Playing the other side of the field/Something to ponder

Lucifer_theFallen
Lucifer_theFallen's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: 2010-11-10
User is offlineOffline
Playing the other side of the field/Something to ponder

 Hello! This is Lucifer the Fallen, and I figured I'd start arguing the theist side since you all seem smug in your answer (and for the record, I'm an atheist. Don't waste your time mud slinging). Now I'm not obligated to argue the Christian perspective (that would be too easy, the bible has waaaaaaay too many holes), I'm instead going to attempt to debate the THEIST perspective (which means I can choose any theistic perspective I want).

 

So for now, I'll start with a pantheist argument:

 

Supposing the world is omnipotent, wouldn't the electrons present in the atmosphere give way to the possibility of a consciousness? Supposing that the universe had a consciousness, wouldn't that be considered a god as it is all encompassing of everything we know and therefore perfect?

M - theory argument:

The basic premise behind m-theory is that there are multiple dimensions, and that ours came into being when to waves of energy crashed into one another (if I am off by a bit, feel free to correct me. I am on the first chapter in Stephen Hawking's "Grand Design&quotEye-wink. Basically though, if our universe came into existence through a being creating that energy which initiated the crash, would that being be god? Why/why not? If you found out you were created by a being(s) that were smarter than you, but only slightly, would you worship them? What if they were also mortal (based on the premise that time is not a constant, and that the same rules of your universe are not apparent of all). Is there a way to absolutely disprove that an imperfect being created the universe? Would that being be worthy of worship?

Existentialist argument:

Supposing a civilization of highly intelligent beings with a supercomputer created thousands of simulations that simulated early universes, and one of those universes were ours. Would you be able to tell which is real, and how? Supposing that were true, would that civilization be considered god(s)? 

 

In any case, I like to debate. Like-minded people bore me to death...tell me something I haven't heard. =P

Use evidence, reason or logic whenever possible.


Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5448
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Lucifer_theFallen wrote:I'm

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:

I'm instead going to attempt to debate the THEIST perspective (which means I can choose any theistic perspective I want).

Isn't that what all theists do? 

 

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:

The basic premise behind m-theory is that there are multiple dimensions, and that ours came into being when to waves of energy crashed into one another (if I am off by a bit, feel free to correct me. I am on the first chapter in Stephen Hawking's "Grand Design&quotEye-wink. Basically though, if our universe came into existence through a being creating that energy which initiated the crash, would that being be god? Why/why not?

You could call it whatever you want. If there was convincing evidence that it existed I would believe in it.

 

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:

If you found out you were created by a being(s) that were smarter than you, but only slightly, would you worship them?

I was. Well at least my parents were smarter than me at my birth and for a few years. And no, I would not worship them. Not really a big fan of worshiping anyone or anything.

 

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:

 Is there a way to absolutely disprove that an imperfect being created the universe? Would that being be worthy of worship?

Not yet that I am aware of. It is possible but I would rate it as highly unlikely. If there was such a being, it is not worthy of worship. It is certainly worthy of being careful around because of its awesome power but I reject the idea that simply because something created you it should be worshiped. Why would you worship something simply because it is powerful? Or because it created you? Do you worship your parents? We can prove that they created you.

 

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:

Supposing a civilization of highly intelligent beings with a supercomputer created thousands of simulations that simulated early universes, and one of those universes were ours. Would you be able to tell which is real, and how? Supposing that were true, would that civilization be considered god(s)? 

Again call it whatever you like. I wouldn't worship it. Yes we could be in the Matrix. Unlikely, but not impossible. In absence of any evidence I will believe that it is not the case. 

 

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:

In any case, I like to debate. Like-minded people bore me to death...tell me something I haven't heard. =P

Use evidence, reason or logic whenever possible.

What evidence? You have used absolutely none. You simply created a few scenarios in your head. It doesn't matter what scenario you create, if there is no evidence there is no reason to believe it. If there is evidence then there might be a reason to consider it. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Luminon
SuperfanTheist
Luminon's picture
Posts: 2455
Joined: 2008-02-17
User is offlineOffline
Lucifer_theFallen wrote:So

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:

So for now, I'll start with a pantheist argument:

 

Supposing the world is omnipotent, wouldn't the electrons present in the atmosphere give way to the possibility of a consciousness? Supposing that the universe had a consciousness, wouldn't that be considered a god as it is all encompassing of everything we know and therefore perfect?


Not at all. Perfection, for example omnipotence, the capability of everything is nothing more than a passive potential. It could be poetically called a singularity. Not even the pantheistic God can do everything at once and perfectly, that would not make any difference. Instead, what we see in the universe is a great long process, presumably from simplicity and imperfection towards greater complexity, and eventually to perfection. It is sort of a cosmic game, but we must consider that we can see only a tiny part of the universe. We can see just 3 dimensions, something of time, and just some kinds of matter which don't even form the majority of the universe. Our knowledge of the universe is small. Some people say that the universe is a great brain, consciousness or something, and considering how little we know about it, it indeed could be. But if there is any perfection somewhere in there, it is very far away from us.

 

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:
M - theory argument:

The basic premise behind m-theory is that there are multiple dimensions, and that ours came into being when to waves of energy crashed into one another (if I am off by a bit, feel free to correct me. I am on the first chapter in Stephen Hawking's "Grand Design&quotEye-wink. Basically though, if our universe came into existence through a being creating that energy which initiated the crash, would that being be god? Why/why not?

By definition, that would be probably Deistic god.

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:
If you found out you were created by a being(s) that were smarter than you, but only slightly, would you worship them? What if they were also mortal (based on the premise that time is not a constant, and that the same rules of your universe are not apparent of all). Is there a way to absolutely disprove that an imperfect being created the universe? Would that being be worthy of worship?
M-theory is my favorite theory. But why do you presume that creator(s) of the universe demand to be worshipped? Seriously, worship is overrated, only total douchebags want to be worshipped. We don't even worship our parents. Children often grow smarter than parents, better adaptive to new situations. (and technologies)
There are many various relationships to god, other than worship. Some really awesome dudes deserve to be worshipped and more, but they couldn't care less for that, which only adds to their awesomeness. They tell the worshippers that they should instead turn their devotion to people in hard and life-threatening conditions, who really need it.
Christians tell me that worshipping Jesus is a personal relationship. Next time somenone says that, I'll ask which other family members do they worship.


Lucifer_theFallen wrote:
Existentialist argument:

Supposing a civilization of highly intelligent beings with a supercomputer created thousands of simulations that simulated early universes, and one of those universes were ours. Would you be able to tell which is real, and how? Supposing that were true, would that civilization be considered god(s)? 

 

By definition, if it would be possible to simulate universes like that, these universes would be real. Artificial, but real.
Yeah, in that case the creators, could be considered gods, but most of all the supercomputer.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Lucifer_theFallen

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:

 Hello! This is Lucifer the Fallen, and I figured I'd start arguing the theist side since you all seem smug in your answer (and for the record, I'm an atheist. Don't waste your time mud slinging).

For the record, if you want to have a discussion without mud-slinging, you should post in the Kill 'Em With Kindness (KEWK) forum, where the rules of that forum are strictly designed for that purpose. This is the Atheist Vs. Theist forum, where mud-slinging is allowed as long as it's not trolling.

Quote:
So for now, I'll start with a pantheist argument:

Default argument against pantheism: Why call it 'god'?

Quote:
Supposing the world is omnipotent, wouldn't the electrons present in the atmosphere give way to the possibility of a consciousness?

The 'world' meaning the Earth, or the 'world' meaning the universe?

I suppose there is a vanishingly small probability of random electrons having consciousness, but we have no evidence that such is the case. The only forms of consciousness we are currently knowledgeable about are the consciousnesses of living things. Most would argue that requires a brain, or similar organ, but I suppose it might be reasonable to investigate whether complex plant systems might have their own versions of consciousness. However, currently that would only be speculation. We do not have the evidence to support that.

Quote:
Supposing that the universe had a consciousness

It does. Us.

Quote:
wouldn't that be considered a god as it is all encompassing of everything we know and therefore perfect?

Oh, you mean the entire universe.

Suppose it does. Why should it be considered a god? What makes you think it would be perfect? Can you think of anything that is actually perfect? What is perfection?

The consciousness arising from our own brains isn't perfect. It isn't even perfect within the context of our own brains. Are you aware of what every neuron in your brain is doing? No. In fact, your consciousness is only a tiny part of what goes on in your brain. The vast majority of your mind is sub-conscious and/or non-conscious.

Why should we expect a universal consciousness to be perfect? We have no examples of anything that's actually perfect, let alone a perfect consciousness. And in any case, we have no evidence of any universal consciousness anyway.

But, hypothetically, if we consider the possibility of a universal consciousness, isn't it just as plausible -- if not more so -- that it is an incredibly slow and ponderous consciousness, that it evolved naturally from non-consciousness just as ours did, that it is imperfect and probably has many flaws as ours does, that it's not actually aware of everything as ours are not, that it is not omnipotent or omniscient as ours are not, that it may in fact have many stupid ideas and thoughts as ours often do?

 

Quote:
Basically though, if our universe came into existence through a being creating that energy which initiated the crash, would that being be god? Why/why not?

Default argument against pantheism: Why call it god? If we happened to create a miniature universe with little conscious entities inside it (e.g. perhaps a computer simulation or AI, perhaps simply a self-contained eco-system with artificially created life), would that make us gods? No. We would still be humans. We may get those created entities to worship us and call us gods, but that wouldn't make us gods either. In fact, if one of those created entities asked the question, "Why are you guys calling the humans 'gods'?" I for one would consider that entity to be a cut above the rest.

Quote:
If you found out you were created by a being(s) that were smarter than you, but only slightly, would you worship them? What if they were also mortal (based on the premise that time is not a constant, and that the same rules of your universe are not apparent of all). Is there a way to absolutely disprove that an imperfect being created the universe? Would that being be worthy of worship?

Ironically, you're making a nice case against pantheism. Again, why call it god?

Quote:
Supposing a civilization of highly intelligent beings with a supercomputer created thousands of simulations that simulated early universes, and one of those universes were ours. Would you be able to tell which is real, and how? Supposing that were true, would that civilization be considered god(s)?

Why call them gods?

Ultimately, there is no evidence that we actually are such a universe. If future evidence showed that we probably are, then we'll talk about it. But until then, it is purely speculation. Are you going to actively believe this and have it influence your life decisions? Are you going to build a religion around the idea? Then I'd argue against the rationality of that based on lack of evidence. Just like every other 'god'.

Quote:
In any case, I like to debate. Like-minded people bore me to death...tell me something I haven't heard. =P

It's not our job to entertain you. That would bore me to death.

Quote:
Use evidence, reason or logic whenever possible.

You haven't actually made a case for pantheism. Where are your evidence, reason, and logic?

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


anyuta34 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
When the 6morning arrived

deleted


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
What is to gain from any of

What is to gain from any of those propositions?

Let's say the universe is a vast quantum computer (a la Seth Lloyd's proposition that it is so). Further, let's say that it is a conscious vast quantum computer (which Lloyd most adamantly asserts is not so, but let's argo the proposition anyway).

Big deal. What does that gain us in knowledge, practical or otherwise? Our speculations on what it "thinks" is completely useless. What is it thinking? What it's next state will be? Is it admiring all the disparate life throughout the universe, like we admire the neurons firing in our brains? (That is, is it completely unaware of us, can it perceive us individually, and so on?) How can we ever know?

The problem with pantheism (and deism) is epistemic. Let's say we could somehow prove the universe "thinks," say through some form analysis of quantum behavior of dark matter. (Never mind that it's impossible at the moment. We're speculating a general thesis via a concrete example.) How do we determine what the universe is thinking, after we've established that it thinks? (This is similar to the problems we have with artificial intelligence. How do you simulate the power of the brain without constructing a brain?) How do we communicate? What do we do with that communication? The kinds of questions we want to ask are probably not within the experience of such a being.

Basically, once you start speculating a "what if?" scenario ('what if the universe were an immense supercomputer?') (with an answer of 42, of course), you have to continue speculating.

But, until we have empirical evidence one way or another, that's all it is: speculation. What knowledge can you gain from speculating about it? That is, unless you are prepared to devote your life attempting to gain empirical evidence.

And so I ask you, what's the point of assuming pantheism? (Or panentheism, if you want to get even more abstract.) What knowledge does it gain you? How does it help your life, or the lives of others?

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3945
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Lucifer_theFallen wrote:So

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:
So for now, I'll start with a pantheist argument:

Cool, let's do it.

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:
Supposing the world is omnipotent, wouldn't the electrons present in the atmosphere give way to the possibility of a consciousness?

How?

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:
Supposing that the universe had a consciousness, wouldn't that be considered a god as it is all encompassing of everything we know and therefore perfect?

Not perfect, but I wouldn't mind calling it God. You have to provide evidence that the universe is conscious though, of course. Whether we consider it a God or not is really just a matter of definition. You come up with a definition of God, and if it fits that definition, then bingo, it's God.

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:
Basically though, if our universe came into existence through a being creating that energy which initiated the crash, would that being be god? Why/why not?

It's an intelligent being, and it created the universe? Okay, I'll call that thing "God," sure.

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:
If you found out you were created by a being(s) that were smarter than you, but only slightly, would you worship them?

No.

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:
What if they were also mortal (based on the premise that time is not a constant, and that the same rules of your universe are not apparent of all). Is there a way to absolutely disprove that an imperfect being created the universe? Would that being be worthy of worship?

For the first question, no, we can't absolutely disprove it. Can we be almost completely disprove it? I don't know.

For the second question, there is no absolute "worthiness." I wouldn't worship it though. I might respect it.

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:
Would you be able to tell which is real, and how?

Probably not, like we can't know whether or not we're in the The Matrix.

Lucifer_theFallen wrote:
Supposing that were true, would that civilization be considered god(s)?

Again, if you define them as such.

 

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


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
WTF has "omnipotent" got to

WTF has "omnipotent" got to do with anything?? Are you a Theist trying to 'yank our chains', because only a Theist would seriously think of "omnipotence" as some inherent property of something 'God-like'.

That first 'suppose' actually makes no sense.

You should have asked "Suppose the world has a conscious mind".

The 'electrons present in the atmosphere' are almost all bound to atoms, and as such have very little interaction. As a potential consciousness, that is an extremely unlikely foundation. Mind seems to require some stable foundation that can support a complex persistent structure of interacting elements, with something that can have several stable states to serve as a memory, all of which implies the necessity of something solid, not liquid or gaseous.

And again, why would "encompassing everything" imply "perfect"? That is a non-sequiter. Another dumb Theist-style presumption.

As natural asked, WTF is 'perfect' in this context??

Nothing deserves worship. 'Worship' is also a stupid Theist concept.

If something is truly powerful, and in a position to do what it wants with us, we would obviously want to avoid pissing it off, of course. If it did insist we suck up to it, under threat, or even some promise of big reward, it would actually be even less worthy of 'worship', but maybe we would have little choice in the case of a threat, or maybe it may be worth it, in the case of promise, to at least pretend to 'worship' it, whatever that meant.

What has 'mortal' got to do with 'time not being constant'??

'Mortal' means of finite lifetime and/or capable of being killed.

In the case of Pantheism, the 'God' would almost certainly be 'mortal', in both senses. Everything we know about 'worlds' and 'universes' suggests that they are finite in lifetime.

In the case of super-powerful  trans-dimensional entities, they could still easily be mortal, in both senses, without any implications about the nature of time.

Again, 'imperfect' is an irrelevant and meaningless qualification.

The last proposition is the most relevant and plausible, and the uber-civilization could well be considered 'Gods'. Actually the last proposition is really structurally similar to the second.

Some strange irrelevant qualifications in there about 'perfection', 'omnipotence', and '(im)mortality', which Theists seem to always, unnecessarily, associate with 'God'. They are also attributes which could never be demonstrated to finite beings.

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


Rich Woods
Rational VIP!
Rich Woods's picture
Posts: 868
Joined: 2008-02-06
User is offlineOffline
Every week at the end of my

Every week at the end of my show, I plug this website, and state that you don't have to be an atheist to join... but then I go on to say that you had better have your arguments prepared, because there are some extremely bright people who post here... if you think you can create a screen name and drop a few colorful metaphores to make people think you're smart....prepare to have your ego bruised.

 

Obviously, Lucifer doesn't watch my show.