Impossible means absolutely-unexplainable

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Impossible means absolutely-unexplainable

Hi, I need some comments on improving the following discussion:


Impossible means absolutely-unexplainable. Absolutely unexplainable means that there is no know explanation and no reasonable probability that and explanation is ever going to be developed. Regardless of how much research we do, and how much time we spend trying to understand, there is no reasonable probability that we are ever going to be able to explain how a bachelor can be married or a circle can be square. Absolutely-unexplainable means impossible. If there is no reasonable possibility that anyone is ever going to be able to explain how something could be possible then it is impossible.


For example, could my ceramic coffee cup on my desk begin thinking and start talking to me right now. I do not believe that anyone will ever be able to explain how that could happen or how that could be possible, and therefore it is impossible for that to happen. If we do not know of any way that something could happen and we do not have any reason to think that any explanation of how something could happen could ever be developed, then it is reasonable to believe that it is impossible.


There are things that we might think are impossible that turn out to be possible. In 1825, Auguste Comte declared “The one thing that man will never know is the chemical composition of the stars”. He knew how far away the closest stars were and he knew how hot the stars were so he was sure that nobody would ever journey to a star and get a sample. Within about 2 decades of Comte’s statement, astronomical spectroscopy was being used to determine the composition of various stars. Comte had good reasons to think that we would never know the composition of stars, but good reason is not infallible any more than any other human knowledge is infallible.


There are lots of things that we cannot yet explain, but that we expect to develop explanations for someday. We do not know why the constants of the Universe have the values that they have, or how the big bang happened, or how abiogenesis happened, but those things are simply unexplained. They are not absolutely unexplainable because there is no reason to think that we cannot eventually find a natural explanations for them.

Fro example, if we define a God as a being who is capable of doing magical things for which there cannot be a natural explanation, then the God is impossible for the same reasons that anything else that is impossible. A magical God is impossible because we cannot explain how he performs magic, and there is no reasonable possibility that anyone is ever going to be able to explain how he can performs magic.
 

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Quote:Impossible means

Quote:
Impossible means absolutely-unexplainable.

"Impossible" is an ambiguous term that is defined differently depending on what field of study you are engaged in.  But in any field, impossibility has nothing to do with one's ability to explain it.  In fact, you are putting the cart before the horse.  It's not that things are impossible because we can't explain them, it's that we can't explain them because they are impossible.

Quote:
Absolutely unexplainable means that there is no know explanation and no reasonable probability that and explanation is ever going to be developed.  Regardless of how much research we do, and how much time we spend trying to understand, there is no reasonable probability that we are ever going to be able to explain how a bachelor can be married or a circle can be square.

Those are not impossible on the sole basis that someone can't explain it.  They are impossible by the principle of contradiction.  You could take what you said and just subsume under the following umbrella statement, "It is impossible to be and not be at the same time".  Once again, it is not impossible because we can't explain it, it's that we can't explain it because it is impossible.

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If there is no reasonable possibility that anyone is ever going to be able to explain how something could be possible then it is impossible.

I think what you are TRYING to put forth is the Cartesian idea of conceivability-possibility.  If I can imagine possible worlds in which A is the case, then A is possible.  For example, I couldn't say that it is impossible for a dragon to exist because while it may be an evolutionary or scientific impossibility at this point, you could imagine worlds in which lizards did evolve to have wings and breath fire.  Granted, the conditions are highly unlikely, but it is not a metaphysical impossibility.  Merely a natural scientific impossibility. 

But once again, impossibility doesn't necessarily follow from our inability to explain it.  That is the mistake you are making.

Quote:
There are things that we might think are impossible that turn out to be possible. In 1825, Auguste Comte declared “The one thing that man will never know is the chemical composition of the stars”. He knew how far away the closest stars were and he knew how hot the stars were so he was sure that nobody would ever journey to a star and get a sample. Within about 2 decades of Comte’s statement, astronomical spectroscopy was being used to determine the composition of various stars. Comte had good reasons to think that we would never know the composition of stars, but good reason is not infallible any more than any other human knowledge is infallible.

Comte never proposed that man CANNOT know the chemical composition of the stars.  In fact, he probably could have imagined possible worlds in which man could find out the chemical composition of the stars, but he personally believed that man would never reach a point whereby they could come up with the technology to find out such information.  That is different than the premise that you are putting forth.

Quote:
Fro example, if we define a God as a being who is capable of doing magical things for which there cannot be a natural explanation, then the God is impossible for the same reasons that anything else that is impossible. A magical God is impossible because we cannot explain how he performs magic, and there is no reasonable possibility that anyone is ever going to be able to explain how he can performs magic. 

Nobody defined God solely as being who could do magic things.  In fact, no knowledgeable Christian actually believes that God can do anything.  God can only do whatever is metaphysically possible.  God cannot falsify the principle of contradiction.  God is defined as an infinite being.  There is nothing metaphysically impossible about such a thing. 


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 Impossible refers to two

 Impossible refers to two very different kinds of systems.  Deductively, we say something is impossible if there it can be proved logically to have no valid form.  "Married bachelor" violates the law of noncontradiction, and is certainly impossible.

When dealing with induction, we are dealing with several probabilities.  First, our data has a probability of being true.  Second, our calculations have a probability of being correct.  All of this is contingent on the probability of our senses accurately conveying these probabilities.

When we say that it's impossible for the earth to suddenly begin rotating in reverse, we are saying that the cumulative support for our observations and probabilistic predictions is so staggeringly large that it is, for all intents and purposes, impossible for the earth to suddenly begin rotating in reverse.  Richard Dawkins explains this very well in one of his books.  Suppose we have a statue of a woman with her hand in the air, as if waving.  For all intents and purposes, it's impossible for that hand to suddenly wave, as if the statue was a beauty pageant contestant.

Theoretically, however, there is a remote possibility of it happening.  Atoms sometimes move in unpredictable ways, and it's within the realm of mathematical conception that trillions of atoms could make random movements that would appear to the naked eye to be a waving stone hand.  The odds against it, however, are so enormous as to make the number of atoms in the universe appear a very small number indeed.  However, given a length of time equal to the life of our universe to the power of trillions of trillions, we would expect that such an event might occur.  Such lengths of time, unfortunately, are well beyond the comprehension of humans.

Consider that one monkey in an army of immortal monkeys typing randomly will eventually come up with the sentence, "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country."  This is only 69 characters out of a set of perhaps 50 possible characters, but the odds against it happening in a single set of 69 characters is staggerinly bad.  The odds of getting the first letter correct are one in 50.  The odds of getting the second letter correct are 1 in 50 squared, or 1 in 250.  We must repeat this process 69 times to get the actual odds.  When we're done, we'll have a number so staggeringly large that we can say for all practical purposes, it's impossible for a monkey to randomly type that exact sentence.

So, impossible can refer to deductive certainty or inductive overwhelming certainty.

 

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Ghost wrote:Quote:Impossible

Ghost wrote:

Quote:
Impossible means absolutely-unexplainable.

"Impossible" is an ambiguous term that is defined differently depending on what field of study you are engaged in.  But in any field, impossibility has nothing to do with one's ability to explain it.  In fact, you are putting the cart before the horse.  It's not that things are impossible because we can't explain them, it's that we can't explain them because they are impossible.

Quote:
Absolutely unexplainable means that there is no know explanation and no reasonable probability that and explanation is ever going to be developed.  Regardless of how much research we do, and how much time we spend trying to understand, there is no reasonable probability that we are ever going to be able to explain how a bachelor can be married or a circle can be square.

Those are not impossible on the sole basis that someone can't explain it.  They are impossible by the principle of contradiction.  You could take what you said and just subsume under the following umbrella statement, "It is impossible to be and not be at the same time".  Once again, it is not impossible because we can't explain it, it's that we can't explain it because it is impossible.

Quote:
If there is no reasonable possibility that anyone is ever going to be able to explain how something could be possible then it is impossible.

I think what you are TRYING to put forth is the Cartesian idea of conceivability-possibility.  If I can imagine possible worlds in which A is the case, then A is possible.  For example, I couldn't say that it is impossible for a dragon to exist because while it may be an evolutionary or scientific impossibility at this point, you could imagine worlds in which lizards did evolve to have wings and breath fire.  Granted, the conditions are highly unlikely, but it is not a metaphysical impossibility.  Merely a natural scientific impossibility. 

But once again, impossibility doesn't necessarily follow from our inability to explain it.  That is the mistake you are making.

Quote:
There are things that we might think are impossible that turn out to be possible. In 1825, Auguste Comte declared “The one thing that man will never know is the chemical composition of the stars”. He knew how far away the closest stars were and he knew how hot the stars were so he was sure that nobody would ever journey to a star and get a sample. Within about 2 decades of Comte’s statement, astronomical spectroscopy was being used to determine the composition of various stars. Comte had good reasons to think that we would never know the composition of stars, but good reason is not infallible any more than any other human knowledge is infallible.

Comte never proposed that man CANNOT know the chemical composition of the stars.  In fact, he probably could have imagined possible worlds in which man could find out the chemical composition of the stars, but he personally believed that man would never reach a point whereby they could come up with the technology to find out such information.  That is different than the premise that you are putting forth.

Quote:
Fro example, if we define a God as a being who is capable of doing magical things for which there cannot be a natural explanation, then the God is impossible for the same reasons that anything else that is impossible. A magical God is impossible because we cannot explain how he performs magic, and there is no reasonable possibility that anyone is ever going to be able to explain how he can performs magic. 

Nobody defined God solely as being who could do magic things.  In fact, no knowledgeable Christian actually believes that God can do anything.  God can only do whatever is metaphysically possible.  God cannot falsify the principle of contradiction.  God is defined as an infinite being.  There is nothing metaphysically impossible about such a thing. 

I'm only taking on your last section with this question.

So you're limiting God wjile saying he has no limits (he's infinite)?

For the other stuff - Are you saying that because it is impossible to explain God he must be real?

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What is, is also to say what

What is, is also to say what isn't, as what is possible excludes the impossible. Wow, see how smart I am ....


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Quote:God is defined as an

Quote:

God is defined as an infinite being.  There is nothing metaphysically impossible about such a thing.

Doesn't make it a coherent, plausible, intelligible concept. Metaphysics is mainly playing with ideas, with no real necessary relation to what actually exists, or what actually IS possible, it just is ideas about ideas.

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BobSpence1 wrote:Doesn't

BobSpence1 wrote:

Doesn't make it a coherent, plausible, intelligible concept. Metaphysics is mainly playing with ideas, with no real necessary relation to what actually exists, or what actually IS possible, it just is ideas about ideas.

Obviously that is your presupposition, but you are just begging the question without supporting your point.  If you try to think of God in the same way you think of physical entities, then it will come across as incoherent, implausible, and unintelligible.  What you don't seem to get is that if the universe has a creator, then the creator of the universe would not abide by any of the laws of nature because the laws of nature are ontologically dependent on the universe and wouldn't exist without it.

Empirically, we can see that nothing can give existence to itself and that nothing can give itself what it doesn't have.  So clearly, God is necessary in order to render intelligible that which we do experience as "actually existing" or "what actually IS possible".

 


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jcgadfly wrote:I'm only

jcgadfly wrote:

I'm only taking on your last section with this question.

So you're limiting God wjile saying he has no limits (he's infinite)?

For the other stuff - Are you saying that because it is impossible to explain God he must be real?


"Infinite" does not mean that God has no limits.  "Infinite" means that he never began nor will he end. 

It isn't impossible to explain God.  It is impossible to IMAGINE God because we can only put in images what we experience in the physical world and God is not a physical entity. 


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 Quote:It isn't impossible

 

Quote:
It isn't impossible to explain God.  It is impossible to IMAGINE God because we can only put in images what we experience in the physical world and God is not a physical entity.

Have you ever thought about the meaning of these words?  You should try it sometime.  This is utter nonsense.

 

 

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Ghost wrote:jcgadfly

Ghost wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

I'm only taking on your last section with this question.

So you're limiting God wjile saying he has no limits (he's infinite)?

For the other stuff - Are you saying that because it is impossible to explain God he must be real?


"Infinite" does not mean that God has no limits.  "Infinite" means that he never began nor will he end. 

It isn't impossible to explain God.  It is impossible to IMAGINE God because we can only put in images what we experience in the physical world and God is not a physical entity. 

If he never began - he doesn't exist. That's a serious limitation.

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Quote:Obviously that is your

Quote:
Obviously that is your presupposition,
 

Speaking of presuppositions.............

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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jcgadfly wrote:If he never

jcgadfly wrote:

If he never began - he doesn't exist. That's a serious limitation.

So nothing is infinite?  You are going to argue that the world just began out of nothing... that the world which did not pre-exist just gave existence to itself?

Or do you believe that the world is infinite, in which case you'll have to account for the constant change and some underlying "stuff" which is completely static. 


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Hambydammit wrote: Quote:It

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
It isn't impossible to explain God.  It is impossible to IMAGINE God because we can only put in images what we experience in the physical world and God is not a physical entity.

Have you ever thought about the meaning of these words?  You should try it sometime.  This is utter nonsense.

I believe changing the meanings of words is a materialist "thing".  I definitely know what these words mean.

Don't confuse imagining with conceptualizing.  Mental images are based on our sense perception, which is our faculty to experience the physical world and retain things in our memory.  But KNOWLEDGE is not just attained through sense experience.  It can also be attained through abstraction.

Our mind is a complex device.  We are not only able to synthesize images of things we have never experienced (for example, we can imagine Pegasus, not because we've actually experienced Pegasus, but because we've experienced a horse and a bird and we simply combined the images), but we can also posit ideas through negation.  For example, everything I've ever experienced in the physical world is a finite thing, yet through my experience of finite comes the knowledge of the negation.  If I experience finitude and understand finitude, then I automatically come to understand the meaning of NOT FINITE.  So while our knowledge of God is awakened through experience, it does not come from perception.  It comes from ABSTRACTION.  We know that things exist which are finite.  All the time, we experience things ceasing to exist.  By default, we come to understand what it means to never cease to exist.  We experience things beginning to exist, so by default we understand what it means to never begin.  No, we can't actually formulate a mental image, but we understand through ABSTRACTION. 

This is how God enters the picture and in order to render intelligible a universe of finite things, an infinitude is necessary.  Whether you want to call it "God", "energy", "a singularity"... something HAS to be infinite.

 


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 Quote:I believe changing

 

Quote:
I believe changing the meanings of words is a materialist "thing".

What?

Who said anything about changing meanings?

Quote:
Mental images are based on our sense perception, which is our faculty to experience the physical world and retain things in our memory.  But KNOWLEDGE is not just attained through sense experience.  It can also be attained through abstraction.

You're almost making sense... almost.

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If I experience finitude and understand finitude, then I automatically come to understand the meaning of NOT FINITE.

Ok.  That's all well and good, but TAG has been thoroughly refuted since about ten minutes after it was told to a logician.

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So while our knowledge of God is awakened through experience, it does not come from perception.

Ok, Joe.  You've made the positive claim.  Now back it up.  Describe exactly how any piece of knowledge (justified true belief) outside of an axiom can be derived with no perception.  Failing to do this, explain how knowledge involving perception can be separated from perception and lumped into this category of "not from perception."

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It comes from ABSTRACTION.

And what, pray tell, facilitated humans' ability to think in the abstract?  And when humans think about "things" in the abstract, what are they using as referents?

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We know that things exist which are finite.

Given, although I suppose some quantum physicists might quibble with you.  Quantum physicists annoy me.

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By default, we come to understand what it means to never cease to exist.

TAG, you're it!

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No, we can't actually formulate a mental image, but we understand through ABSTRACTION.

Soooo....

please explain the logic that dictates the existence of that which we can imagine.

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This is how God enters the picture and in order to render intelligible a universe of finite things, an infinitude is necessary.

Please explain how "God," a "being" described as "infinite" follows from the conceptualization of the mathematical existence of the infinite.

Quote:
Whether you want to call it "God", "energy", "a singularity"... something HAS to be infinite.

The only thing I know that appears infinite is theists' ability to conflate a mathematical construct with a physical reality.

 

 

 

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Ghost wrote:Whether you want

Ghost wrote:

Whether you want to call it "God", "energy", "a singularity"... something HAS to be infinite.

Why? What logic and assertions is this statement based on?

A "singularity" is the opposite of infinite, at least in size. A 'true' mathematical singularity with finite mass/energy would indeed be of theoretical infinite density. But the reality of true strict singularities is a contested issue in science, since at this scale we have not resolved incompatibilities between relativity and quantum theory.

There is certainly is no LOGICAL requirement for an infinite universe or metaverse, at least as a conclusion from current knowledge.

All we would require as a a precursor to the Big Bang is some quantum field of minimum energy, as empty as quantum uncertainty allows. Quantum events, such as the decay of a given radioactive, ie, unstable, atomic nucleus, appear to be governed by the uncertainty principle, in which we cannot define their precise energy, and hence their actual margin of stability at any particular instant. What we can define precisely is the probabilty that it will have enough energy to decay within any specific finite interval of time. So the probabity that this field will have enough energy to initiate, for example, a Big Bang event is low, but not zero. So at some random point after an indefinite, but not infinite period of time, a Big Bang will happen.

What is a logical problem is any attempt to explain creation of the Universe by any entity that is assumed must be greater than the universe, since you have set the the stage for a truly problematic infinte regress. The simple way out of this is to realize that whatever gave rise to the Universe was not of necessity 'greater' than the universe in any sense.

An infinite regress of ever smaller triggering events does not lead to an actual infinity, in the same way that the sum of an infinite series of numbers, where each successive number is smaller by a constant factor than the one before, is a finite number. 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 .... to infinity = 2.

 

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Quote:Ok, Joe.  You've made

Quote:
Ok, Joe.  You've made the positive claim.  Now back it up.  Describe exactly how any piece of knowledge (justified true belief) outside of an axiom can be derived with no perception.  Failing to do this, explain how knowledge involving perception can be separated from perception and lumped into this category of "not from perception."

Sure. 

How do you know that "1 + 1 = 2"?  Is that belief justified on the grounds that all of your lab tests show that anytime you put 1 and 1 together that it equals 2?  Or perhaps there is a dimension to that claim which supercedes sense perception?  Clearly, mathematical propositions are a priori truths.  And yet, mathematical propositions are not analytic in the same way that a claim like "All bachelors are unmarried" would be.  If I was to randomly give you a mathematical equation such as "[(100 x 650) - 34] + 876", you would not know it to be true right away in the same way you know that all bachelors are unmarried.  You would have to defer to a calculator or some sort of mathematical process in your head.  In other words, you are appealing to your sense perception to figure out the answer.  And yet we know that the claim "100 x 650 - 34 + 876 = 65,842" is not true because we perceived it to be the case.  We know that the answer supercedes our sense perception.  Thus, the conclusion is awakened in sense perception, but it does not come from sense perception. 

Quote:
It comes from ABSTRACTION.

Quote:
And what, pray tell, facilitated humans' ability to think in the abstract?  And when humans think about "things" in the abstract, what are they using as referents?

I don't believe we were discussing how humans obtained their cognitive faculties, but I believe it was a combination of evolution and divine intervention.  I don't understand your second question.

Quote:
Given, although I suppose some quantum physicists might quibble with you.  Quantum physicists annoy me.

I don't know any quantum physicist that would claim that no particular things begin to exist and cease to exist, unless they want to deny the existence of particulars altogether, which is essentially a Buddhist idea of a reality... and Buddhism is far more mystical than Christianity could ever hope to be.

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please explain the logic that dictates the existence of that which we can imagine.

That has nothing to do with what I'm talking about.  I never said that whatever we can imagine can possibly exist, though you could make a good case for that.

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Please explain how "God," a "being" described as "infinite" follows from the conceptualization of the mathematical existence of the infinite.

Well I didn't say that the existence of God follows from the mere abstraction.  There's more to it than that.  But I can explain how you can infer the existence of God from the external world but you have to agree with the following:

(1) That particular things exist

(2) That particular things go in and out of existence

(3) That what we perceive is separate from us


Do you agree?

Quote:
The only thing I know that appears infinite is theists' ability to conflate a mathematical construct with a physical reality.

God is not physical at all.

 

 


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BobSpence1 wrote:A

BobSpence1 wrote:

A "singularity" is the opposite of infinite, at least in size. A 'true' mathematical singularity with finite mass/energy would indeed be of theoretical infinite density. But the reality of true strict singularities is a contested issue in science, since at this scale we have not resolved incompatibilities between relativity and quantum theory.

There is certainly is no LOGICAL requirement for an infinite universe or metaverse, at least as a conclusion from current knowledge.

So how can the universe have brought itself into existence?  If your answer is that it could be attributed to some quantum field of minimum energy, then it did not bring itself into existence and in fact actually preexisted since the very laws that you are using to explain its origin are based on the laws of the universe, which you already granted did not pre-exist.  So your theory breaks down.

And yes, if you are going to go back to something infinite, you have to grant that there can only be ONE infinite being, since two infinite beings would presuppose some distinction between them which means that they have different properties.. and since only an infinite being can have positive attributes, the other being must at least have one negative attribute, which means that it is not infinite.  Another truth that you could even observe empirically is that nothing can give itself that which it does not have.  So we are going back to a singular entity from which all other entities come and it NECESSARILY has to be greater.  It doesn't matter if you've observed at the quantum level that complexity comes from simplicity (which isn't necessarily true unless you change meanings of terms).  Certainly, whatever complexity can be attributed to your little friends did not come from that little simpleton alone.  To equate that to the creation of the world is just ridiculous, your analogy is not even on the same planet.  Clearly, God HAS to be greater than the universe if he created because the universe cannot give itself what it doesn't have, the least of which is existence itself.

An infinite being avoids the problem of the infinite regress, in fact, that's why it is obvious to begin with that an infinite being exists.  Mind you, I'm not even saying "God" here.  But something HAS to be infinite.

Quote:
An infinite regress of ever smaller triggering events does not lead to an actual infinity, in the same way that the sum of an infinite series of numbers, where each successive number is smaller by a constant factor than the one before, is a finite number. 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 .... to infinity = 2.

You should do a better job picking your false analogies.

Your mathematical equation does not equal "2", it equals "1.9375".  And if I infinitely kept adding numbers with each being smaller than the previous, it would NEVER equal "2". 

 

 


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Ghost wrote:patcleaver

Ghost wrote:
patcleaver wrote:
Impossible means absolutely-unexplainable.

"Impossible" is an ambiguous term that is defined differently depending on what field of study you are engaged in.  But in any field, impossibility has nothing to do with one's ability to explain it.  In fact, you are putting the cart before the horse.  It's not that things are impossible because we can't explain them, it's that we can't explain them because they are impossible.

The only test I know of for possibility is our ability to explain how something is possible in view of what we know.

If we do not know that something exists, and we cannot explain how it could possibly exist, then it is not true that it is possible that it exists.
If we do not know that something has been done, and we cannot explain how it is possible to do it, then it is not true that it is possible to do it.

It would be so easy to refute me if I am wrong. Just name one thing that rational people (e.g. not theists) consider possible that we have no evidence for and that we cannot explain how it is possible.

I could be wrong about what possibility and impossibility mean with regard to magical beings, so please explain your objections.

 

Ghost wrote:
patcleaver wrote:
Absolutely unexplainable means that there is no know explanation and no reasonable probability that and explanation is ever going to be developed.  Regardless of how much research we do, and how much time we spend trying to understand, there is no reasonable probability that we are ever going to be able to explain how a bachelor can be married or a circle can be square.

Those are not impossible on the sole basis that someone can't explain it.  They are impossible by the principle of contradiction.  You could take what you said and just subsume under the following umbrella statement, "It is impossible to be and not be at the same time".  Once again, it is not impossible because we can't explain it, it's that we can't explain it because it is impossible.

I agree that my examples were only things that were logically impossible. There are other things that are physically impossible based on our observations that we have formulated into physical laws.

It is impossible to go back in time even though there is no logical contradiction and no physical law that it would violate. It is impossible to go back in time because I have no evidence that it has ever been done and I do not know of any way to do it.

Ghost wrote:
patcleaver wrote:
If there is no reasonable possibility that anyone is ever going to be able to explain how something could be possible then it is impossible.

I think what you are TRYING to put forth is the Cartesian idea of conceivability-possibility.  If I can imagine possible worlds in which A is the case, then A is possible.  For example, I couldn't say that it is impossible for a dragon to exist because while it may be an evolutionary or scientific impossibility at this point, you could imagine worlds in which lizards did evolve to have wings and breath fire.  Granted, the conditions are highly unlikely, but it is not a metaphysical impossibility.  Merely a natural scientific impossibility.

But once again, impossibility doesn't necessarily follow from our inability to explain it.  That is the mistake you are making.

If 1% of stars have an earth-like planet, then there are about 2E18 earth like planets in the Universe.

Is it possible that one of those planets have giant 60’ long, flying, several thousand pound, fire-breathing dragons?

What is similar to fire-breathing dragons:

There are several insects that spray formic acid.
Bombadier beetles shoot out liquids from two separate glands and the liquids react when combined to heat up to nearly 100 Celsius.
The digestive systems of most animals contain hydrochloric acid at such high concentrations that they slowly digest the linings of their own stomachs, and the linings have to be constantly regrown.
Some animals vomit as a defense.
Some animals generate light at room temperature.
There is a type of gliding snake.
Some snakes shoot venom from fangs in their mouths.
Some parts of animals are flammable and other parts are essentially non-flammable.
The largest flying dinosaur that I know of was Quetzalcoatlus, and it only weighed 300 pounds.
There are chemicals, that if combined, spontaneously combust, but no animals even manipulates a combination of those chemicals.

No, I am not going to believe that its possible for a dragon to exist, because the ability to breath fire or anything reasonably similar has never evolved here on earth, and you can not explain an evolutionary path for the ability to breath fire to evolve.

When you say that something is possible then that means that you actually understand it well enough to know that it is possible. In order to claim that something can evolve you have to know enough about evolution to know that it can actually evolve.

Ghost wrote:
patcleaver wrote:
There are things that we might think are impossible that turn out to be possible. In 1825, Auguste Comte declared “The one thing that man will never know is the chemical composition of the stars”. He knew how far away the closest stars were and he knew how hot the stars were so he was sure that nobody would ever journey to a star and get a sample. Within about 2 decades of Comte’s statement, astronomical spectroscopy was being used to determine the composition of various stars. Comte had good reasons to think that we would never know the composition of stars, but good reason is not infallible any more than any other human knowledge is infallible.

Comte never proposed that man CANNOT know the chemical composition of the stars.  In fact, he probably could have imagined possible worlds in which man could find out the chemical composition of the stars, but he personally believed that man would never reach a point whereby they could come up with the technology to find out such information.  That is different than the premise that you are putting forth.

Comte could not imagine any way for man to ever know the composition of the stars. I do not know if he ever actually said that it was impossible, but using my definition of impossible, then I think he would have agreed that it was impossible.

The only point of the section on Comte  is that people can be wrong about what is possible and people can be wrong about what is impossible.

Ghost wrote:
patcleaver wrote:
For example, if we define a God as a being who is capable of doing magical things for which there cannot be a natural explanation, then the God is impossible for the same reasons that anything else that is impossible. A magical God is impossible because we cannot explain how he performs magic, and there is no reasonable possibility that anyone is ever going to be able to explain how he can performs magic.

Nobody defined God solely as being who could do magic things.  In fact, no knowledgeable Christian actually believes that God can do anything.  God can only do whatever is metaphysically possible.  God cannot falsify the principle of contradiction.  God is defined as an infinite being.  There is nothing metaphysically impossible about such a thing.

Something is possible if you can prove that its possible, otherwise it is not true that its possible.

One definition of Impossible is: not possible.  That is the definition I am using.

If you cannot explain how its possible for a being to be infinite, then an infinite being is impossible.
God is impossible by your definition of God.

If you cannot explain how its possible for a being to be non-physical then a non-physical being is impossible. God is impossible by your definition of God.

You perform your ritualistic magic on your knees, and think that your telepathic God can detect the signal and magically grant your wishes. Magic is impossible, telepathy is impossible, a magical being who grants your wishes is impossible.


Please explain how your god can remember things without any memory, or think without any brain, or know without any senses, or have social instincts (morals) without living in a society, or do anything without being made of matter and having a source of energy. Everything about your God is impossible.


I understand how something as simple as “empty space” could be infinite, and I know that matter and energy can result from quantum effects in “empty space”, but I cannot understand how its possible for something as complicated as the God that you believe in could be infinite.

If I cannot understand how something could be possible, then I have to believe that it is impossible.

I cannot understand how God could be possible, therefore God is impossible.
 

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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Ghost wrote:BobSpence1

Ghost wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

A "singularity" is the opposite of infinite, at least in size. A 'true' mathematical singularity with finite mass/energy would indeed be of theoretical infinite density. But the reality of true strict singularities is a contested issue in science, since at this scale we have not resolved incompatibilities between relativity and quantum theory.

There is certainly is no LOGICAL requirement for an infinite universe or metaverse, at least as a conclusion from current knowledge.

So how can the universe have brought itself into existence?  If your answer is that it could be attributed to some quantum field of minimum energy, then it did not bring itself into existence and in fact actually preexisted since the very laws that you are using to explain its origin are based on the laws of the universe, which you already granted did not pre-exist.  So your theory breaks down.

There is no logical requirement for it to "bring itself into existence" - that is a nonsense concept, no matter what it is applied to.

I do not grant or assume that the Laws that we observe in our Universe did not exist in any form before the Big Bang. What Science assumes is that there would still be some regularities, some basic order, which is all Physical 'Laws' describe. In a what may have been a very different context that preceded the Big Bang event in some pre-existing equivalent of 'space, would not necessarily be quite consistent with what we observe from within our universe. IOW our Laws would be a special case of a more general system of Laws.

I am assuming merely that a very minimal virtual empty space may have pre-existed our Universe, and that there is no logical requirement for anything more than that,

You insist it had to be some infinite entity you call God, which is pure naked assertion.

Quote:

And yes, if you are going to go back to something infinite,

which I am not... so all the following is  pointless speculation, especially since it is about "infinite beings"...

Quote:

you have to grant that there can only be ONE infinite being, since two infinite beings would presuppose some distinction between them which means that they have different properties.. and since only an infinite being can have positive attributes, the other being must at least have one negative attribute, which means that it is not infinite.  Another truth that you could even observe empirically is that nothing can give itself that which it does not have.  So we are going back to a singular entity from which all other entities come and it NECESSARILY has to be greater. 

You still have not proved this.

Quote:

It doesn't matter if you've observed at the quantum level that complexity comes from simplicity (which isn't necessarily true unless you change meanings of terms).

It is demonstrably and observably true.

Quote:

Certainly, whatever complexity can be attributed to your little friends did not come from that little simpleton alone.  To equate that to the creation of the world is just ridiculous, your analogy is not even on the same planet.  Clearly, God HAS to be greater than the universe if he created because the universe cannot give itself what it doesn't have, the least of which is existence itself.

An infinite being avoids the problem of the infinite regress, in fact, that's why it is obvious to begin with that an infinite being exists.  Mind you, I'm not even saying "God" here.  But something HAS to be infinite.

No. You have it backwards - it is your assumption that 'God HAS to be greater than the universe' that leads to the necessity in your faulty understanding of reality of an infinite regress of ever greater infinities, so since we know, with a high degree of evidence, that the Universe itself arose from an extremely simple entity, a featureless blob of intense, pure energy, that complexity arises from simplicity, you have no argumement.

Even the growth of an Redwood from tiny seeds, the growth of a single cell into an adult human person demonstrate spontaneous growth of complexity.

Quote:

Quote:
An infinite regress of ever smaller triggering events does not lead to an actual infinity, in the same way that the sum of an infinite series of numbers, where each successive number is smaller by a constant factor than the one before, is a finite number. 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 .... to infinity = 2.

You should do a better job picking your false analogies.

Your mathematical equation does not equal "2", it equals "1.9375".  And if I infinitely kept adding numbers with each being smaller than the previous, it would NEVER equal "2". 

Here is the final demonstration of your lack of understanding of logic and math. That sequence is equivalent to taking a 2 inch ruler, and marking it at the 1-inch, then at 1.5", 1.75", 1.875", etc, ie, at the midpoint between the current point and the 2" mark, indefinitely, which will take you progressively ever closer to the 2" mark, but cannot take you beyond it.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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patcleaver wrote:The only

patcleaver wrote:

The only test I know of for possibility is our ability to explain how something is possible in view of what we know.

And I've already explained to you why your view of "possibility" is false.  Possibility has NOTHING to do with a finite being's ability to explain it.  To put it bluntly, you are WRONG.

Quote:
It would be so easy to refute me if I am wrong. Just name one thing that rational people (e.g. not theists) consider possible that we have no evidence for and that we cannot explain how it is possible.


How could I when you are arbitrarily categorizing people?  The homeless man down the street certainly couldn't explain how a monkey could give birth to something that wasn't a monkey.. does that make it impossible in light of the fact that Mr. homeless man isn't a theist?  What is your criteria for "rational" and how do you deciper if something which we currently can't explain is potentially explainable?  Your logic is flawed in so many ways. 

Quote:
I agree that my examples were only things that were logically impossible. There are other things that are physically impossible based on our observations that we have formulated into physical laws.

So are we simply talking about PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY or are we talking about IMPOSSIBILITY UNDER ANY GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES? 

Quote:
It is impossible to go back in time even though there is no logical contradiction and no physical law that it would violate. It is impossible to go back in time because I have no evidence that it has ever been done and I do not know of any way to do it.

Actually, some scientists propose that time travel is theoretically possible if humans can ever obtain the technology and physiology to be able to travel faster than the speed of light.

I personally believe that there is a contradiction involved.  Time is our own ordering of events.  And time traveling itself is an event, which means that even in the act of time traveling, we are still labeling events in accordance to a BEFORE and an AFTER in forward progress, which presupposes that time is still moving forward.  So by time traveling, you are actually proposing that there can be both a forward movement and a backward movement at the same time, which are mutually exclusive.  Therefore, the whole idea is a contradiction.

Quote:
If 1% of stars have an earth-like planet, then there are about 2E18 earth like planets in the Universe.

Is it possible that one of those planets have giant 60’ long, flying, several thousand pound, fire-breathing dragons?

You don't understand the claim I was making.  I'm not saying that it is POSSIBLE that a dragon CURRENTLY exists on another planet.  I'm actually agreeing that it is a scientific impossibility.  My point is that a dragon IS possible because given certain circumstances, a dragon COULD exist and there is no logical contradiction involved.  I'm not saying that these circumstances are true at this very moment, but I'm saying that they COULD HAVE BEEN TRUE.  I can't explain how breathing fire could evolve because I am not a scientist, but I'm sure you could find a great evolutionary scientist who could explain such a phenomenon, i.e. what WOULD have to be true for such a thing to be possible.

Quote:
One definition of Impossible is: not possible.  That is the definition I am using.

That's not a definition.  That's a tautology.   It would be like if I said, "The definition of a human being is a human."

Quote:
If you cannot explain how its possible for a being to be infinite, then an infinite being is impossible.

That's a strange way to word a question.  How do you answer it?  What if I asked you, "How is being human possible?"  You could answer that with an infinite series of answers and I could retort with an unlimited amount of accusations of you begging the question.  The same applies to God.  I could answer that an infinite being is possible if he is immaterial, not subject to the laws of nature, perfect, etc., but then you would just ask, "Well how is that possible"?  This is just a game that neither one of us can win and it will just turn into an epistemological argument about what we can reasonably consider knowable.

Quote:
If you cannot explain how its possible for a being to be non-physical then a non-physical being is impossible. God is impossible by your definition of God.

Is the number "1" a physical being?  Are your thoughts physically beings? 

Quote:
If I cannot understand how something could be possible, then I have to believe that it is impossible.

Or it just means that you don't have the capacity to understand or you just haven't learned enough.

Quote:

I cannot understand how God could be possible, therefore God is impossible.

And I can't understand how it is possible for someone to actually believe that God is impossible by virtue of the fact that s/he can't understand how God could be possible. 

So I guess your belief is impossible.


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Quote:Your mathematical

Quote:
Your mathematical equation does not equal "2", it equals "1.9375".  And if I infinitely kept adding numbers with each being smaller than the previous, it would NEVER equal "2".
 

Of course, technically, it would never equal two; the limit of it approaches two. This means that if you added those numbers up infinitely, it would become so close to two, in fact, infinitely close, that you might as well call it 2 anyways. It is definitely not 1.9375; you just pulled that out of thin air.  

Uuuumm, maybe you should shy away from mathematics and stick to less objective topics, like God.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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I would agree that the idea

I would agree that the idea of something bringing itself into existence is nonsense.   And yet, you also deny the possibility of an infinite being.  So you've really painted yourself in a corner. 

To assume that the laws of the universe existed in some form prior to the universe is nonsense.  First of all, what is a law of nature?  It's merely a statement specifying that if A occurs, then B must follow.  And they are forumated by scientists based on what?  Empirically observation of the UNIVERSE.  Therefore, for you to presume that the laws of nature could somehow supercede the universe in some form makes no sense at all.  So for science to assume some basic order of something other than the universe is speculation, no more meaningful than postulating that the world began five minutes ago with all of our memories in place.  God belief, as I've demonstrated, CAN be extrapolated from our experiences in the physical world.  From where can you extrapolate the idea that the laws of nature, which are predicated of this universe somehow had another subject to be predicated of before the universe (and I use the term "before" loosely because time is part of our experience of the physical universe)?

An empty space pre-existed our universe?  Did you know that SPACE is also based on our experience of the physical world?  Furthermore, "empty space" is really a contradiction in terms when you consider that space is really the relationship between objects.... for example, you could not perceive that a room has lots of space unless there were two physical walls through which some void could be perceived.

Like most materialists, you are describing a world prior to the universe in terms that are based upon the universe itself and ontologically dependent upon it.  A total contradiction.

As far as your point re: the universe arising from simplicity:  First of all, we need to understand that the "universe" isn't describing an entity in itself.  The universe is the sum of many different parts.  It is the sum of all matter, energy, space, time, and anything we can perceive.  So to speak of all this as a singular entity in itself is misleading because it gives way to your faulty assumption that the universe started out as the complex entity that we experience today, i.e. that at one point, there was a small simple thing and then at another point, all the planets were aligned, the energy was flowing, the stars were positioned, etc.  This was surely a gradual process and certainly the complexity that we see is not just attributed to one simple entity that preceded it.  That's nonsense.  It's as nonsensical as assuming that the evolution of a single cell into a human being is attributed ONLY to that cell and nothing else.  My point still stands that nothing can give itself what it doesn't have and a single cell certainly didn't give me my ability to read, run, speak a foreign language, etc.

Second of all, even if we assume that what you say about this simple "blob" of energy is true, the question is still begged:  Where did this blob come from?  Who or what put it there?  You already agreed that it is not infinite yet you also agreed that nothing can give existence to itself.  So how did it get there?

Finally, you are still wrong regarding your example with the ruler.  No matter how many times you traverse a smaller distance leading up to the 2, I can traverse an even smaller distance.  Granted, we would need special tools in order to make the measurements, but it we are infinitely dividing, then you will NEVER get to the end of the ruler.  So your idea that infinity can somehow end is contradictory and unintelligible.

 


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butterbattle wrote:Of

butterbattle wrote:

Of course, technically, it would never equal two; the limit of it approaches two. This means that if you added those numbers up infinitely, it would become so close to two, in fact, infinitely close, that you might as well call it 2 anyways. It is definitely not 1.9375; you just pulled that out of thin air.  

Uuuumm, maybe you should shy away from mathematics and stick to less objective topics, like God.

Ummm, no.  Grab a calculator.

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 = 1 + .5 + .25 + .125 + .0625 = 1.9375

 


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Ghost wrote:If you try to

Ghost wrote:
If you try to think of God in the same way you think of physical entities, then it will come across as incoherent, implausible, and unintelligible.  What you don't seem to get is that if the universe has a creator, then the creator of the universe would not abide by any of the laws of nature because the laws of nature are ontologically dependent on the universe and wouldn't exist without it.

To stick with your labeling of arguments, that's an argument from ignorance. You don't know what a universe creator would be like. A universe creator may, indeed, have to abide by the laws it creates. I can think of tons of possibilities of characteristics that might belong to this universe creator from an infinite palette of possibilities. That makes the universe creator of your description increasingly improbable.

Ghost wrote:
Empirically, we can see that nothing can give existence to itself and that nothing can give itself what it doesn't have.

K

Ghost wrote:
So clearly, God is necessary in order to render intelligible that which we do experience as "actually existing" or "what actually IS possible".

Holy non sequitur, Batman! Because things can't bring themselves into existence, I present a featureless creature out of necessity. What?

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Ghost wrote:An infinite

Ghost wrote:

An infinite being avoids the problem of the infinite regress, in fact, that's why it is obvious to begin with that an infinite being exists.  Mind you, I'm not even saying "God" here.  But something HAS to be infinite.

Only that thing that's infinite doesn't necessarily have to have any other attributes, right? Actually, just because you can think of something (like the concept of the infinite) does that really necessarily mean that it must exist?

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Ghost wrote:Ummm, no.  Grab

Ghost wrote:

Ummm, no.  Grab a calculator.

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 = 1 + .5 + .25 + .125 + .0625 = 1.9375

Yeah, butter. Calculate a limit approaching 2 by grabbing a calculator ... forever. Hey, there's something that's infinite: the amount of time you'd have to spend with a calculator to calculate a limit.

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HisWillness wrote:To stick

HisWillness wrote:

To stick with your labeling of arguments, that's an argument from ignorance. You don't know what a universe creator would be like. A universe creator may, indeed, have to abide by the laws it creates. I can think of tons of possibilities of characteristics that might belong to this universe creator from an infinite palette of possibilities. That makes the universe creator of your description increasingly improbable.



Except that your infinite palette of possibilities probably only includes a few ideas that are actually intelligible. 

How could a universe creator have to abide by the laws of the universe when that creator is "PRIOR" to the universe?  Wouldn't the universe then have to pre-exist in order for this creator to be bound by those laws which I thought we established he had yet to create?

Also, you need to learn the meaning of "ad ignorantiam".  I did not argue that God exists because nobody has proved that he doesn't.


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Ghost wrote:BobSpence1

Ghost wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

An infinite regress of ever smaller triggering events does not lead to an actual infinity, in the same way that the sum of an infinite series of numbers, where each successive number is smaller by a constant factor than the one before, is a finite number. 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 .... to infinity = 2.

You should do a better job picking your false analogies.

Your mathematical equation does not equal "2", it equals "1.9375".  And if I infinitely kept adding numbers with each being smaller than the previous, it would NEVER equal "2". 

Ghost, I am going to try to help you out.

If you had second year High School Algebra, then you should know that the following mathamatical-like notation represents an infinite set of numbers of an understandable pattern being added up to reach the sum of 2.

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 .... to infinity = 2.

Although actually I think only 3 dots is more common.

Theologians and most Christian apologists do not understand anything about infinity and infinite sets so just ignore whatever they say about infinity and infinite sets (and anything else for that matter). Usually whenever a theologian understands what he is talking about then he is lying. On the other hand there are some of Christian apologists like Craig, who simply lie about infinity and infinite sets by making claims that they do not have good evidence for, but almost all Christian apologists constantly lie anyway.

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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Ghost wrote:So how can the

Ghost wrote:

So how can the universe have brought itself into existence?  If your answer is that it could be attributed to some quantum field of minimum energy, then it did not bring itself into existence and in fact actually preexisted since the very laws that you are using to explain its origin are based on the laws of the universe, which you already granted did not pre-exist.  So your theory breaks down.

I do not think anyone here believes that a quantum field brought itself into existence. Either nothingness is unstable, or something physical in some way always existed, or there is some other physical way for universes to come into existence, or there was no time before the big bang.

Ghost wrote:
"Infinite" does not mean that God has no limits.  "Infinite" means that he never began nor will he end. 

This is what Ghost claims "infinite" means when he says that God is "infinite"

Ghost wrote:
And yes, if you are going to go back to something infinite, you have to grant that there can only be ONE infinite being, since two infinite beings would presuppose some distinction between them which means that they have different properties.. and since only an infinite being can have positive attributes, the other being must at least have one negative attribute, which means that it is not infinite.

Now we can see that this is nonsense in view of his earlier definition of "infinite".

If "infinite" being simply means that it always was and always will be, then there is no reason that there could be lots of "infinite" beings with different properties. Nothing about infinity suggests monity. Also, differences in properties does not suggest that one has a positive property and one has negative property - one could be green and the other could be blue.

Existence is defined as all that exists, and Existence is the fundamental truth, and Existence can not depend on anything else. God is just nonsense.

 

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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patcleaver wrote:Ghost, I am

patcleaver wrote:

Ghost, I am going to try to help you out.

If you had second year High School Algebra, then you should know that the following mathamatical-like notation represents an infinite set of numbers of an understandable pattern being added up to reach the sum of 2.

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 .... to infinity = 2.


And if you had fourth grade spelling, you would know how to spell "mathematical".  But I digress.

You CANNOT add an infinite set of numbers and have it equal ANYTHING.  If you started from 1 and infinitely added increasingly smaller numbers to it, you would NEVER get to the number 2.  This is another classic case of materialists taking words like "infinite" and rearranging the meaning to fit their own agenda.  It is like the way that a determinist will take free will, redefine it as something other than what it is and then say, "Therefore, we can be free and determined." 


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Ghost wrote:Except that your

Ghost wrote:
Except that your infinite palette of possibilities probably only includes a few ideas that are actually intelligible.

What does it matter if they're intelligible? Your suggestion was one that is super-material, and thus - by definition - unintelligible. Why is my unintelligible worse than yours? 

Ghost wrote:
How could a universe creator have to abide by the laws of the universe when that creator is "PRIOR" to the universe?

Jeez, I don't know. You're the one making up this universe creator. I guess you can make up whatever rules you want for the creature. Why would "prior" even be a necessary component, when the universe creator has the capacity to create time? Then there exists no prior.

Ghost wrote:
Wouldn't the universe then have to pre-exist in order for this creator to be bound by those laws which I thought we established he had yet to create?

Here, again, you're binding your universe creator to the concept of time, which I'm guessing you had it create, so who's confused here?

Ghost wrote:
Also, you need to learn the meaning of "ad ignorantiam".  I did not argue that God exists because nobody has proved that he doesn't.

No, you're arguing that a creature probably exists because you can think of it in the vaguest possible terms. Perhaps I extended the concept too much. Mea culpa.

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Ghost wrote:You CANNOT add

Ghost wrote:
You CANNOT add an infinite set of numbers and have it equal ANYTHING.

Ah ... I'm certain Newton and Leibniz were both clear on this one several hundred years ago. Xeno's paradox isn't what we're talking about here, it's ... well, I'm not going to give you a lecture on the difference between continuous and discrete math. How is it possible that you understand an infinite and not continuous mathematics? I'm baffled.

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saint Willness wrote:Jeez, I

saint Willness wrote:

Jeez, I don't know. You're the one making up this universe creator. I guess you can make up whatever rules you want for the creature. Why would "prior" even be a necessary component, when the universe creator has the capacity to create time? Then there exists no prior.

BULLS EYE

It is satanic to make up your own god and worship them, but that is exactly what the Theologians (and Ghost) are doing. He is looking for any definition of God that is rational, that we can accept, and then he will invite us to worship the god that he invented. What utter blasphemy against truth. If there were a god surely this would be blasphemy, and surely that god would cast this one in the lake of fire for his intentional irrationality.

My hint to Ghost is that all definitions of God are irrational nonsense because god is irrational impossible nonsense and god does not exist, and if there were a God, he would agree with me and bless me for saying this.

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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patcleaver wrote:I do not

patcleaver wrote:

I do not think anyone here believes that a quantum field brought itself into existence. Either nothingness is unstable, or something physical in some way always existed, or there is some other physical way for universes to come into existence, or there was no time before the big bang.

You are using "nothingness" as a subject of a sentence, as if it is in reference to an entity.  Too funny. 

So what is this physical entity that has always existed and how do we account for it today since it would still be existing today if that were true?  Moreover, how would do that in light of the constant flux going on?  Where is this static entity?

What "physical" way can universes come into existence?  Is there another universe with its own laws which this universe is subsumed under?  In light of that, what accounts for that universe on top of ours? 

Maybe there was no time before the big bang, of course we would have to agree that our use of the world "before" is strictly metaphorical, since if time did not exist, then there was no "before".  But that wouldn't preclude the existence of a creator.

Quote:
If "infinite" being simply means that it always was and always will be, then there is no reason that there could be lots of "infinite" beings with different properties. Nothing about infinity suggests monity. Also, differences in properties does not suggest that one has a positive property and one has negative property - one could be green and the other could be blue.

Let's put it this way:  We are assuming that God is an infinite being and the ultimate source for everything that is.  This ultimate source must necessarily be more perfect than that which it creates because nothing can give itself what it doesn't have.  It's not that perfection is bound up with the idea of infinitude, it just necessarily follows when we posit the idea of an infinite being inferred from the principle that nothing can give existence to itself, which nobody has disagreed with so far.

Now Leibniz' law of identity states that A is identical to B if A and B share the same properties.  Now given that this infinite being is infinite in his perfection, he has all positive predicates.  This being has everything that you could possibly attribute to it.  "Green" and "Blue" are not positive predicates, they partake of finite entities and are actually bound up with limitations of being.  You cannot attribute these sorts of qualities to an infinite being because they are bound up (ontologically dependent) on entities that are material, which are imperfect by their very nature.  So in order for there to be two infinite beings in the sense that we're talking about, they would both have to have all positive predicates.  But according to Leibniz' law, they would just end up being the same being.  So in order to be a separate being, one must necessarily be FINITE. 


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HisWillness wrote:Why would

HisWillness wrote:

Why would "prior" even be a necessary component, when the universe creator has the capacity to create time? Then there exists no prior.

Hence, why I put the word in quotes.

Quote:
Here, again, you're binding your universe creator to the concept of time, which I'm guessing you had it create, so who's confused here?

Actually, I was disproving your theory.  Thanks for agreeing.

Quote:
No, you're arguing that a creature probably exists because you can think of it in the vaguest possible terms. Perhaps I extended the concept too much. Mea culpa.

I'm arguing that God exists because everything that is finite needs a creator and since an infinite regress is impossible, there must be an infinite creator.  And then certain truths follow from that, like the inference to God's infinite perfection and monism.

Cool, eh?

 


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Proof that 1+1/2+1/4+....

Proof that 1+1/2+1/4+.... converges to 2

 

 

. Now let the sum be Sn

 

that is Sn=1+1/2+1/4+.......

 

Multiply by 2

 

 

so 2Sn=2+2/2+2/4+......=2+1+1/2+1/4+.....

 

But 1+1/2+1/4+......... is Sn!

 

 

So

 

2Sn=2+Sn

 

Therefore Sn=2

 

 

 


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Ghost wrote:I'm arguing that

Ghost wrote:
I'm arguing that God exists because everything that is finite needs a creator

Alright, we have a cosmological argument with a side of non-sequitur. Your statement that everything that is finite needs a creator is not certain at all.

Ghost wrote:
and since an infinite regress is impossible, there must be an infinite creator.

You're like the King of Non-Sequitur. The steps in this one are:

1) Everything that is finite needs a creator

2) Infinite regress is impossible, therefore

3) An infinite creator must exist

(cricket)

Even if I give you the benefit of the doubt that your two first statements are, in fact, true ... it's still a completely disjointed set-up you have going here.

Ghost wrote:
And then certain truths follow from that, like the inference to God's infinite perfection and monism.

Will you please stick to just giving me one argument that makes sense? Never mind this extra, parenthetical nonsense.

"Everything that is finite needs a creator" - says who?

"Infinite regress is impossible" - hey, this one might work!

"An infinite creator must exist" - why? Certainly not from the statements above.

Also, what "theory" were you disproving? I was trying to wrap my mind around your wacky concept of the universe, not invent anything new.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:...

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

... Therefore Sn=2

It is a classic. But Ghost isn't so much into the math as the metaphysics, which involves ... well ... less math.

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HisWillness wrote:Alright,

HisWillness wrote:

Alright, we have a cosmological argument with a side of non-sequitur. Your statement that everything that is finite needs a creator is not certain at all.

So tell me how its possible for a finite being to create itself?

Quote:
Even if I give you the benefit of the doubt that your two first statements are, in fact, true ... it's still a completely disjointed set-up you have going here.

How so?

Quote:
Will you please stick to just giving me one argument that makes sense? Never mind this extra, parenthetical nonsense.

But it's important.

Quote:
"Everything that is finite needs a creator" - says who?

Says the principle of contradiction.  Let A equal a finite being:  Either A created itself, or A was brought into existence by B.  If A created itself, then A pre-existed in some form, which would mean that A both existed and not existed.  Therefore, A was brought into existence by B.

Quote:
"An infinite creator must exist" - why? Certainly not from the statements above.

I thought you agreed that an infinite regress was impossible?


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Ghost wrote:Let's put it

Ghost wrote:
Let's put it this way:  We are assuming that God is an infinite being and the ultimate source for everything that is.

That's a very large assumption.

Ghost wrote:
This ultimate source must necessarily be more perfect than that which it creates because nothing can give itself what it doesn't have.

There's no way for me to accurately understand the meaning of that sentence. First, "ultimate source", and then "more perfect", and finally that bit about giving to one's self.

Ghost wrote:
It's not that perfection is bound up with the idea of infinitude

Oh, heavens, no.

Sorry, what?

Ghost wrote:
it just necessarily follows when we posit the idea of an infinite being inferred from the principle that nothing can give existence to itself, which nobody has disagreed with so far.

I might be able to disagree if I knew what the hell you were talking about! Even given the premise that nothing can give existence to itself (except, of course, your conception of God) why does this something that must be infinite also have to be a creature with these extra attributes? It doesn't follow (literally "non sequitur" ).

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HisWillness wrote:That's a

HisWillness wrote:

That's a very large assumption.

True by definition.

Quote:
I might be able to disagree

.... typical atheist, waiting to deny God from the outset without even considering the arguments from the other side.
 


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Ghost wrote:So tell me how

Ghost wrote:
So tell me how its possible for a finite being to create itself?

Okay, so what you were saying before is not that every finite thing must have a creator, but every finite being must have a creator? Certainly every finite being must have a parent of some sort, but I don't know if that's what you mean by "creator". I don't think a finite being can create itself, but that's not what you were talking about.

Ghost wrote:
How so? [re: logical steps that do not follow]

Well, when you have a syllogism that tries to connect two ideas that are conceptually separate, and then reach a conclusion that is, itself, separate from those two ideas, you have something that doesn't work. I don't know how I could be more clear.

As for your infinite creator, now I see where you're going. Let's go there, since it appears to be the fun part of the argument.

So!

In our discussion here, can infinite beings dispense with being created, and thus avoid the problem of explaining their existence altogether?

 

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Ghost wrote:Will wrote:I

Ghost wrote:

Will wrote:
I might be able to disagree...
typical atheist, waiting to deny God from the outset without even considering the arguments from the other side.

I dearly hope that was a joke, or I might suggest praying for a sense of humour.

Help me help you. Give me something solid, here. Why would you use logic if you have such disdain for it? Why math when you find it unsightly? Why is your argument even rational if you consider rationality so pitiful?

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HisWillness wrote:Okay, so

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, so what you were saying before is not that every finite thing must have a creator, but every finite being must have a creator? Certainly every finite being must have a parent of some sort, but I don't know if that's what you mean by "creator". I don't think a finite being can create itself, but that's not what you were talking about.

????

Finite being = finite thing.  "Being" doesn't just mean "living".  I wasn't just talking about reproduction.  I'm talking about the coming to be of anything.  Like your computer or your car... or trees or rocks.... you could not explain the existence of these things by just saying, "They just are."

Quote:
Well, when you have a syllogism that tries to connect two ideas that are conceptually separate, and then reach a conclusion that is, itself, separate from those two ideas, you have something that doesn't work. I don't know how I could be more clear.

Typically, when you disprove an argument, you should take it premise by premise and tell me why a certain premise isn't true.  I'm well aware of the rules of propositional logic.  And actually, I don't see that what you've just described applies to my argument.

Quote:
In our discussion here, can infinite beings dispense with being created, and thus avoid the problem of explaining their existence altogether?

Yes.


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Hey Ghost. Silly old shit

Hey Ghost. Silly old shit ... what created the creator? ... umm ....  therefore there is no creator, and therefore we have the intuitive word "eternal". Infinite just means ONE. Nothing is created , all is just in transition ... Simple science.

What gets super dupper stupid and dangerous is idol worship. Is that you Ghost???

How can you possibly be against atheism, which means non- theism, non-idol worship of a master??? Do you have a ritual to your god idol??? Is it some form of "surrender" to a MASTER??? Perhaps an appreciation, or fear of this awe of life we all share, never asking to be, nor given a single option as to be what we are?

Why do you invent a caring master???  Why do we not have cosmic wings and agua lungs, and why can we starve and suffocate, worry and suffer, to always chase bits of joy ???

   I love life and equally, proportionality hate it. Yin Yang .... I was not created ... I am god, I am what I am, what is ... a wave, a human, of the eternal ocean of oneness / connectedness.

The best explanation of what we are, what g-awe-d / existence is , is our science.

 

 


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Ghost wrote:Ummm, no.  Grab

Ghost wrote:
Ummm, no.  Grab a calculator.

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 = 1 + .5 + .25 + .125 + .0625 = 1.9375

(OMG, I'm actually laughing out loud right now, and I can't stop. LMAO)

Have you ever heard the expression, when you're in a hole, stop digging?

With an infinite series, you're supposed to keep adding those numbers up infinitely. You've just proven that your math expertise doesn't even surpass a high school algebra 2 class. You just grabbed a calculator and punched in those numbers. Hahahaha. 

You know what infinitely means? Don't stop!

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 = 1 + .5 + .25 + .125 + .0625 = 1.9375

See? You stopped at .0625 and stopped adding, so of course you got 1.9375. Why did you stop?

Keep going. ... +.03125 + .015625... 

http://www.math.utah.edu/~carlson/teaching/calculus/series.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_(mathematics)

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Ghost wrote:Will wrote:Okay,

Ghost wrote:
Will wrote:
Okay, so what you were saying before is not that every finite thing must have a creator, but every finite being must have a creator? Certainly every finite being must have a parent of some sort, but I don't know if that's what you mean by "creator". I don't think a finite being can create itself, but that's not what you were talking about.

???? Finite being = finite thing.  "Being" doesn't just mean "living".  I wasn't just talking about reproduction.

Okay - no problem, but you need to bring that up, because I won't know what you're talking about until you tell me. The dictionary definition of "being" has a slight bias in favour of life.

Ghost wrote:
I'm talking about the coming to be of anything.  Like your computer or your car... or trees or rocks.... you could not explain the existence of these things by just saying, "They just are."

It would be a bad explanation for my consumer goods, yes. It's easy to find out where they were made, and by whom. The rocks and trees, however, present quite a different problem. We know precisely what formed them only back so far in time. After that, we're in the realm of speculation. You're saying, then, given ignorance, we should accept any available philosophical conclusion?

Ghost wrote:
Typically, when you disprove an argument, you should take it premise by premise and tell me why a certain premise isn't true.  I'm well aware of the rules of propositional logic.

Then you should be comfortable with the idea of invalidating a logical argument (rather than "disproving" it). But I already did that in post 36 by showing you how disjointed your argument was. We'll do it again.

Ghost wrote:
I'm arguing that God exists because everything that is finite needs a creator

Ignoring your first statement (that you're supporting God's existence), you have not demonstrated that everything finite needs a creator. You'll have to demonstrate that. By the way, it's a false dichotomy to suggest that something is either created or it isn't. If you witness the universe forming, all that you know is that the universe formed. You do not know if it was created or not.

Ghost wrote:
and since an infinite regress is impossible, there must be an infinite creator.

Certainly if all finite things MUST be created (which you have not demonstrated) then the argument kind-of holds. Except that an infinite regress is as problematic as an infinite creator, and for the same reasons. I'm not saying that an infinite creator is completely impossible, just that the two concepts present the same problem.

Ghost wrote:
And then certain truths follow from that, like the inference to God's infinite perfection and monism.

The phrase "infinite perfection" is difficult to understand, since neither "infinite" nor "perfection" is achievable on this physical plane. Both are concepts, thus far only found in human brains.

Ghost wrote:
Will wrote:
In our discussion here, can infinite beings dispense with being created, and thus avoid the problem of explaining their existence altogether?
Yes.

Before I go on, I should tell you that I enjoy exploring angles to arguments. I don't actually care if one of us "wins". But if your argument isn't strong, that's insulting. Just a personal note.

So what we're saying here is that if there can exist an infinite being, it has a "get out of being created free" card. I'm not sure how you might defend that, considering there's no observable "infinite". I personally have a strong bias towards empirical evidence because it makes for the strongest epistemology. Many tests mean that we know something to a good degree of probability, that is. But we have no evidence of infinity ever being observed, so it's difficult drawing conclusions about what the nature of infinity might be (outside of the mathematical realm, which is, by definition, the product of imagination).

It's sort of like String Theory, in that it sounds great, but has yet to actually match with anything observed. Mind you, the math is in its infancy, but it's fair to say nothing's really happened with it yet.

You have a tough row to hoe here: either demonstrate that "infinite" has some substance, or your description of an "infinite creator" implies a non-being.

[edit:addendum]

As a tie-in with your earlier statements about series, mathematics creates a convention by which we might model relationships between numbers. "Infinity" is a concept that helps to describe unusual situations where any other number would be "too small" to express. What you're describing, I think, is usually referred to as a "proper class" - a term used (essentially) for resolving paradoxes in naiive set theory. Your version of "God" is a proper class, and shares with them a kind of mathematical non-existence.

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Ghost wrote:jcgadfly

Ghost wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

If he never began - he doesn't exist. That's a serious limitation.

So nothing is infinite?  You are going to argue that the world just began out of nothing... that the world which did not pre-exist just gave existence to itself?

Or do you believe that the world is infinite, in which case you'll have to account for the constant change and some underlying "stuff" which is completely static. 

I would never argue your first question because that would mean that I agree with your view. Theists hold to the "something came from nothing (Ok - Yahweh's word)". I don't.

I also don't hold to a static Universe. That, however,  has nothing to do with the possibility of Universe always existing. You're the one with the unchanging God, remember? Quit projecting your errors on me. Thanks.

I don't know how/if the Universe began and, for the present, I can live with that. Why do you need the Canaanite deity?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Let me describe my

Let me describe my understanding of the contemporary, scientific, basics of fundamental reality, as contrasted with the medieval comcepts Ghost is arguing from.

The only stuff which seems to be persistent, neither created nor destroyed, is matter/energy.

Energy and matter change form, some of which change manifests as what we perceive as 'creation' and growth of discrete objects. These changes are driven by a complex set of of interactions of matter and energy, which can be understood in many cases as groups of closely associated groups of matter particles interacting collectively, ie other entities. The new entities can and normally do have attributes and properties that are not shared by whatever entities were involved in helping to re-organise the basic matter in the environment into the new entity. We make objects all the time that do things that we can't. The capabilities, all the attributes of an entity are a function of the specific structure, the arrangement of the matter of which it is constituted. So any entity that has sufficient construction ability can give some other entity any possible capability, if they know the structure required. Sytematic experiment, trial and error, can ultimately allow the requisite knowledge to be acquired, at least in principle.

Attributes that are dependent on complex patterns of structure and process, such as are manifested by living organisms, can and do emerge from simpler entities.

Any attempt to speculate about the likely existence, let alone the nature, of entities vastly different in scale and/or attributes from what we observe, are pure speculation.

To take yet another step, ie to entities with assumed infinite attributes, is to argue from pure ignorance. We have no evidence of actual infinities in reality, we could of course never prove anything was iinfinite by actual observation. At best we say something seems to be unbounded, which is not the same at all. After all even the surface of the Earth has no boundary, no edge, yet it is definitely finite.

Speculation about infinities is very tricky. Mathematically Cantor showed that there are an infinite number of identifiably different infinities, or as Cantor called them 'transfinite' numbers. The lowest order is the number of integers (0,1,2,3....). Then there is the number of 'real' numbers, ie with vlues between the integers, such as 1.5, 1.52, 1.56, etc. And so on.

So anyone who can't even get his head around the concept of the sums of an infinite series, which has been around for at least 500 years, is grossly under-qualified to say anything about any of the concepts I have discussed here, let alone throw around 'arguments' and assertions about the possible existence and nature of something so absolutely beyond our possible comprehension, as 'infinite' entities...

 

 

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