The Strange, Questionable Question

magilum
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The Strange, Questionable Question

When considering the origin of the question of gods, one has to wonder who may have been the first to ask; then one has to imagine the staggering ignorance this person would have been born into, and the kinds of everyday occurrences this person would have thought miraculous. It would have been a perception with no framework for understanding cause and effect. The weather, child-birth, the sun, the stars, comets, earthquakes, disease, death, would all be strange, inexplicable and unpredictable. Who would blame such a person for, out of desperation, fashioning some specious means of appeal to make the bad things stop, and the good things continue, when he or she has no means of interpreting what is happening on any but the most immediate level? 

What was inevitable bad reasoning for primitive mankind, when all the world was a mystery, we've preserved by pushing this broken concept of causality along whatever borders happen to surround our knowledge. Before Darwin observed the artificial selection of pigeons, and it occurred to him that the features of life as we know it could have developed slowly, through natural selection, there was no explanation for the variety of species on the planet; and there were the religions, with their 'answers' to fill the gap. It's only in hindsight that we can look at Creationism and see its vacuity; or in the light of so many natural questions having been answered that we can cast a skeptical eye on explanations that seem irreconcilable with what we do know (a luxury primitive man lacked).

Every time a natural explanation has been discovered, another hiding place for the gods has been razed. We have scorched the earth on topics like the solar system, so that it seems incomprehensible to return to an Aristotelean model of it. Why then, I wonder, do we force ourselves to hold in such esteem these unsubstantiated notions, that over the years have done nothing but retreat from evidence, when the questions themselves were probably inspired by things answered naturally centuries ago?


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In summary: 1. Primitive

In summary:

1. Primitive man had questions about his small world.

2. We've answered those questions (except for 'why,' which is begging the question).

2.5. Thus destroying the original home of the gods.

3. We didn't get the implications of destroying the home of the gods, and mistakenly continue asking the question.

4. The home of the gods remains at the edge of knowledge.

5. We have no knowledge of gods themselves.

6. Either the nature of the gods has actually changed, or their invocation is a declaration of ignorance.


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Quote: Why then, I wonder,

Quote:
Why then, I wonder, do we force ourselves to hold in such esteem these unsubstantiated notions, that over the years have done nothing but retreat from evidence, when the questions themselves were probably inspired by things answered naturally centuries ago?

I think the answer is multi-faceted. First, we're biological organisms, not computers. Feed the question of religion into a computer programmed for logic, and the answer is clear. No gods. We, on the other hand, do lots of things that are damn near insane. If you were to ask the same logic computer to build a model of how humans should live, mate, die, and interact with each other, it sure wouldn't come out looking like any society on earth.

The god answer taps into hard wiring, not just emotion. Depression, which is damn unhealthy, is often a result of a keen awareness of exactly how little power we have over our own existence. A certain amount of self deception is often helpful to humans. Take that minor evolutionary adaptation and make it a meme, and you get religion.

Yeah, it's more complicated than that, but what I'm saying is that there's a perfectly logical reason for why it's here, and I think evolutionary psychologists might actually be able to pinpoint it with certainty in the next generation or so.

Also, religion is not just about belief. Many people don't believe in god so much as they believe in belief in god. There's a buffer between atheists and theists, and it's the people who think that we should get off of theists' backs, even though their beliefs are a bit wacky.

Religion is also politics, and there are plenty of historical examples of people doing really stupid things en masse simply because they were engrossed in political gain rather than a broader sense of long term good for the species.

The question I've been asking myself for years is this: Are humans really capable of living rationally as a species instead of individuals? I'm afraid I lean towards the negative, and this makes me quite pessimistic about the long term viability of mass atheism. Even so, I keep trying. I could be wrong, after all.

 

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Since we lack evidence, all

Since we lack evidence, all that's left to do is interrogate the question itself. People come up with these very rococo apologetic arguments, trying to reify the gods through contorted double-talk or bad analogies alone. The knowledge and reasoning ability of the average person today, atheist or theist (even an apologist), would instantly demolish the specious reasoning of those from which we've inherited our critical blind spot for the question, if not the question itself.

I agree that the data points to civilizations independently deriving different concepts of gods, either as provincial or ultimate authorities, along with various other sprites, demons and elemental spirits. It doesn't suggest anything about validity, of course (since they're don't corroborate each other), only our inclination to invent them.


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"Are humans really capable

"Are humans really capable of living rationally as a species instead of individuals? I'm afraid I lean towards the negative, and this makes me quite pessimistic about the long term viability of mass atheism. Even so, I keep trying. I could be wrong, after all."

Well... Is it desirable? and Is it at least possible?  If the answers to these questions are "yes" then we must keep on the path that we are on.


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magilum wrote: In

magilum wrote:

In summary:

1. Primitive man had questions about his small world. 



This is a straw man argument. The position of mysticism and religious philosophy through history is not this weak, the contemplations of ancient man aren't crude or immature by definition. It may be popular thinking that ancient man were savage brutes without reasoning faculty but this is really not true. the original tools of reason, that we still apply today, come from the same places as theological thought. 

Quote:
 

2. We've answered those questions (except for 'why,' which is begging the question).

2.5. Thus destroying the original home of the gods.

 affirming the consequent. the home of the gods is not in the classical physical realm so answers in that scope don't have any effect on the spiritual/deistic realms of light and paradox.


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I just got finished reading

I just got finished reading Breaking the Spell (Dennett) and he touches on aspects of this. People in the modern world don't believe in god and supernatural the same was a people in early societies did. In the early societies, you could credibly claim that the evidence for God was all around you because no better explaination existed. If you believed that sacrificing a goat would make it rain, you actually sacrificed a goat if you wanted it to rain.

Today's God is spiritual and mysterious, the impossible-to-define divine force that moves the universe. No theist today would step in front of a train believing that God would stop it. It a very different kind of belief, as Dennett puts it, more of a belief in belief than an actual belief in God.  

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Eloise wrote: This is a

Eloise wrote:

This is a straw man argument. The position of mysticism and religious philosophy through history is not this weak, the contemplations of ancient man aren't crude or immature by definition. It may be popular thinking that ancient man were savage brutes without reasoning faculty but this is really not true. the original tools of reason, that we still apply today, come from the same places as theological thought.

Talk about a straw man, this statement totally misses the point. The point is that even if early man was a supergenius in terms of natural reasoning power, he lacked the knowledge gained through millennia of research to create our present understanding of nature. God and the supernatural was a reasonable explaination, but only given the limitations on the information he had access to.  

Eloise wrote:

affirming the consequent. the home of the gods is not in the classical physical realm so answers in that scope don't have any effect on the spiritual/deistic realms of light and paradox.

There are no spiritual/deistic realms of light. The classical, physical realm is all there is. Paradox is how we know that something can't exist - like God. 

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Tilberian wrote:

Tilberian wrote:
Eloise wrote:

This is a straw man argument. The position of mysticism and religious philosophy through history is not this weak, the contemplations of ancient man aren't crude or immature by definition. It may be popular thinking that ancient man were savage brutes without reasoning faculty but this is really not true. the original tools of reason, that we still apply today, come from the same places as theological thought.

Talk about a straw man, this statement totally misses the point.

I was referring to this:

"What was inevitable bad reasoning for primitive mankind, when all the world was a mystery "

The reasoning wasn't so bad is all I am saying.

This is where I could just punch a creationist for giving these ancient people a bad name. Most theology draws on the properties of the seen world to illustrate unseen thought, then dumb organisations come along and make no light of it with attempts to draw direct correlations between mental height and physical sky and post hoc a literal interpretation. Then I get in discussions with atheists who seem to want to argue that the creationist is smart enough to know what they're looking at in theology. It's frustrating, we're talking about people who apparently don't even know what they're looking at it the real world, they are supposed to have the monopoly on the correct analysis of literature? Sorry. lets just get on the same page here, the one I'm on is where we do not generalise all ancient thinkers into the form of modern day creationist whackos.

Quote:

The point is that even if early man was a supergenius in terms of natural reasoning power, he lacked the knowledge gained through millennia of research to create our present understanding of nature. God and the supernatural was a reasonable explaination, but only given the limitations on the information he had access to.

I can agree with this somewhat, though it's not so much that we have a great deal more information now, than ancient man, but rather that we have organised it 'better' and shared it more extensively. In any case this is a fair point, Tilberian, but as below, on the whole the spiritual thought is not debunked by these naturalistic finds.

Quote:
Eloise wrote:

affirming the consequent. the home of the gods is not in the classical physical realm so answers in that scope don't have any effect on the spiritual/deistic realms of light and paradox.

There are no spiritual/deistic realms of light. The classical, physical realm is all there is. Paradox is how we know that something can't exist - like God.

Don't be so sure about that. Light is far from fitting into a classically defined world. And paradox is not as simple as untrue, fortunately in many ways.

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Eloise wrote: I can agree

Eloise wrote:

I can agree with this somewhat, though it's not so much that we have a great deal more information now, than ancient man, but rather that we have organised it 'better' and shared it more extensively. In any case this is a fair point, Tilberian, but as below, on the whole the spiritual thought is not debunked by these naturalistic finds.

I just don't see how you can say that we don't have orders of magnitude more information about the natural world now than ancient man had. He didn't have microscopes. He didn't have telescopes. The great experiments that revealed the theorectical underpinnings of things like electricity and gravity and light and chemistry hadn't been done.

Spritual thought is debunked insofar as it attempts to make claims about the natural world ie that God exists. Attempts to discover the world through spiritual thought have always failed to yield any discovery or new information. Compared to science, spiritual thought has acheived nothing. Further, we know now where spiritual thought comes from: the same neural processes that create all other thought. Spiritual thought is the same as fantasizing.  

Eloise wrote:

Don't be so sure about that. Light is far from fitting into a classically defined world. And paradox is not as simple as untrue, fortunately in many ways.

Light fits quite nicely into the classically defined world, in fact our observations of light have played a huge role in determining our classical theoretical models. We have evidence of light, we can observe and measure its action all around us. We don't know everything about it or how it behaves under certain circumstances, but this suggests nothing except an ever-receding limit to our knowledge. Nothing about light requires or even suggests a realm where our standards of rationality break down.

There is no such thing as a paradox in the natural world. The fact that we are able to imagine paradoxes that we can't define as untrue suggests nothing except the fact that our brains our able to play with their internal model of reality to produce alternate models that are not connected to the real world. This is no more amazing than the fact that I can think a suitcase can fit into a trunk, and be mistaken.

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Tilberian wrote: Light

Tilberian wrote:

Light fits quite nicely into the classically defined world, in fact our observations of light have played a huge role in determining our classical theoretical models. We have evidence of light, we can observe and measure its action all around us. We don't know everything about it or how it behaves under certain circumstances, but this suggests nothing except an ever-receding limit to our knowledge. Nothing about light requires or even suggests a realm where our standards of rationality break down.

There is no such thing as a paradox in the natural world. The fact that we are able to imagine paradoxes that we can't define as untrue suggests nothing except the fact that our brains our able to play with their internal model of reality to produce alternate models that are not connected to the real world. This is no more amazing than the fact that I can think a suitcase can fit into a trunk, and be mistaken.

 

Light is the subject of many paradoxes, in fact that is the key behind the theory of relativety where space and time are interlinked. 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: Light

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Light is the subject of many paradoxes, in fact that is the key behind the theory of relativety where space and time are interlinked.

Light is only apparently the subject of paradoxes because we don't have a unified model for how it works. 

For instance, light did indeed appear to be paradoxical in that it didn't matter how fast you were moving toward a light source, you always measured the same speed of light. But Einstein resolved the paradox by explaining that time is local and relative to the observer, and that when we accelerate toward a distant light source our mass increases and local time slows down, perfectly offsetting the increase in velocity and leaving the light speed constant.

My gut tells me that a similar revolution in thinking will be necessary to unify quantum and classical physics. Until that happens, we are stuck with paradoxes that are pointing to two things: the error in our theoretical models and their own untruth.

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Tilberian wrote: For

Tilberian wrote:

For instance, light did indeed appear to be paradoxical in that it didn't matter how fast you were moving toward a light source, you always measured the same speed of light. But Einstein resolved the paradox by explaining that time is local and relative to the observer, and that when we accelerate toward a distant light source our mass increases and local time slows down, perfectly offsetting the increase in velocity and leaving the light speed constant.

 

And that led to more paradoxes. 



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Tilberian wrote: My gut

Tilberian wrote:

My gut tells me that a similar revolution in thinking will be necessary to unify quantum and classical physics. Until that happens, we are stuck with paradoxes that are pointing to two things: the error in our theoretical models and their own untruth.

 

I actually think that it's our finite minds but meh. 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: I

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
I actually think that it's our finite minds but meh.

 

This sounds like something that the people of ancient societies would say in regards to important questions of the time.


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

For instance, light did indeed appear to be paradoxical in that it didn't matter how fast you were moving toward a light source, you always measured the same speed of light. But Einstein resolved the paradox by explaining that time is local and relative to the observer, and that when we accelerate toward a distant light source our mass increases and local time slows down, perfectly offsetting the increase in velocity and leaving the light speed constant.

 

And that led to more paradoxes.

Apparent paradoxes. And several gigantic leaps forward in our understanding of the world and our power over it. The score in the Advancement of Human Knowledge game then stood at Enlightenment: 256129487, Centuries of Spiritual Navel-Gazing: 0. Spiritual NG then elected to punt, hoping that their rookie linebacker Co-opted Multiculturalism would be able to turn the tide on defence. So far it seems to be working out for them. Disingenuous Pleas for Equal Time is having a hell of a game, too.

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Eloise wrote: magilum

Eloise wrote:
magilum wrote:

In summary:

1. Primitive man had questions about his small world.

This is a straw man argument. The position of mysticism and religious philosophy through history is not this weak, the contemplations of ancient man aren't crude or immature by definition. It may be popular thinking that ancient man were savage brutes without reasoning faculty but this is really not true. the original tools of reason, that we still apply today, come from the same places as theological thought. 

Humanity's reasons for asking were based on ignorance (not stupidity), and their conclusions (that they could appeal to make the crops grow, for instance) on specious reasoning. Those reasons are gone.

Eloise wrote:
Quote:

2. We've answered those questions (except for 'why,' which is begging the question).

2.5. Thus destroying the original home of the gods.

affirming the consequent. the home of the gods is not in the classical physical realm so answers in that scope don't have any effect on the spiritual/deistic realms of light and paradox.

It's not in the physical realm now.


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Tilberian

Tilberian wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

For instance, light did indeed appear to be paradoxical in that it didn't matter how fast you were moving toward a light source, you always measured the same speed of light. But Einstein resolved the paradox by explaining that time is local and relative to the observer, and that when we accelerate toward a distant light source our mass increases and local time slows down, perfectly offsetting the increase in velocity and leaving the light speed constant.

And that led to more paradoxes.

Apparent paradoxes. And several gigantic leaps forward in our understanding of the world and our power over it. The score in the Advancement of Human Knowledge game then stood at Enlightenment: 256129487, Centuries of Spiritual Navel-Gazing: 0. Spiritual NG then elected to punt, hoping that their rookie linebacker Co-opted Multiculturalism would be able to turn the tide on defence. So far it seems to be working out for them. Disingenuous Pleas for Equal Time is having a hell of a game, too.

 

You keep saying we will resolve them. I highly doubt it. Not because they're wrong, but because QM seems random and operates and distances and energies beyond our understanding. By the looks of it, we may never reach these energies and distances.

 

That is what I'm saying. 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

My gut tells me that a similar revolution in thinking will be necessary to unify quantum and classical physics. Until that happens, we are stuck with paradoxes that are pointing to two things: the error in our theoretical models and their own untruth.

 

I actually think that it's our finite minds but meh.

I differ slightly Cpt and think, rather, that it is the product of finite organisational structures heirarchically ordered in our rather expansive conscious mental ability.

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magilum wrote:

magilum wrote:

Eloise wrote:
magilum wrote:

In summary:

1. Primitive man had questions about his small world.

 

This is a straw man argument. The position of mysticism and religious philosophy through history is not this weak, the contemplations of ancient man aren't crude or immature by definition. It may be popular thinking that ancient man were savage brutes without reasoning faculty but this is really not true. the original tools of reason, that we still apply today, come from the same places as theological thought.

Humanity's reasons for asking were based on ignorance (not stupidity),

Yeah it's actually the order of magnitude of ignorance that I am challenging in your argument though, Magilum. It's not as weak a position as asking questions and always in every case coming up with completely wrong answers, that simply is not where theological thought stands objectively in our present day.

Quote:

and their conclusions (that they could appeal to make the crops grow, for instance) on specious reasoning.

The specious reasoning is not the all of theology, though, which is why I say straw man. You can put up and knock down superstition on the grounds that it is superstition, fine, but it really can't be said that all human revelation of theological import fits in that same category, it's just not so.

 

Eloise wrote:
magilum wrote:

2. We've answered those questions (except for 'why,' which is begging the question).

2.5. Thus destroying the original home of the gods.

affirming the consequent. the home of the gods is not in the classical physical realm so answers in that scope don't have any effect on the spiritual/deistic realms of light and paradox.

It's not in the physical realm now.

as I was saying to Tilberian, this kind of thinking is a source of frustration for me and I mentally kick those who popularised it in the teeth for my having to argue it with atheists. It never was in the classical physical realm it was always in the realm of the unseen foundations of physical existence. That is not proven false at all; it is in fact proven True that such is the place where light and paradox trump classical reasoning.

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Eloise wrote: magilum

Eloise wrote:
magilum wrote:

Eloise wrote:
magilum wrote:

In summary:

1. Primitive man had questions about his small world.

 

This is a straw man argument. The position of mysticism and religious philosophy through history is not this weak, the contemplations of ancient man aren't crude or immature by definition. It may be popular thinking that ancient man were savage brutes without reasoning faculty but this is really not true. the original tools of reason, that we still apply today, come from the same places as theological thought.

Humanity's reasons for asking were based on ignorance (not stupidity),

Yeah it's actually the order of magnitude of ignorance that I am challenging in your argument though, Magilum. It's not as weak a position as asking questions and always in every case coming up with completely wrong answers, that simply is not where theological thought stands objectively in our present day.

In most situations, we disregard failed hypotheses; for the gods, we rationalize. Our rationalizations have grown more sophisticated because their conclusions would have no viability otherwise (razing the homes of gods).

Eloise wrote:

Quote:

and their conclusions (that they could appeal to make the crops grow, for instance) on specious reasoning.

The specious reasoning is not the all of theology, though, which is why I say straw man. You can put up and knock down superstition on the grounds that it is superstition, fine, but it really can't be said that all human revelation of theological import fits in that same category, it's just not so.

I realize that theology has been intertwined with philosophy and science over the centuries, lending it an air of credibility, but its core assumption has only failed and retreated, until it's had nothing to contribute to either field.

Eloise wrote:

Eloise wrote:
magilum wrote:

2. We've answered those questions (except for 'why,' which is begging the question).

2.5. Thus destroying the original home of the gods.

affirming the consequent. the home of the gods is not in the classical physical realm so answers in that scope don't have any effect on the spiritual/deistic realms of light and paradox.

It's not in the physical realm now.

as I was saying to Tilberian, this kind of thinking is a source of frustration for me and I mentally kick those who popularised it in the teeth for my having to argue it with atheists. It never was in the classical physical realm it was always in the realm of the unseen foundations of physical existence. That is not proven false at all; it is in fact proven True that such is the place where light and paradox trump classical reasoning.

How early on can this be demonstrated? I find it hard to imagine early idol worshippers not thinking the literal sun was divine, for instance... I think people gave up their lives for the presumption that it was, actually, and that it needed to be appeased. But I can always be proven wrong.


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Eloise

Eloise wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

My gut tells me that a similar revolution in thinking will be necessary to unify quantum and classical physics. Until that happens, we are stuck with paradoxes that are pointing to two things: the error in our theoretical models and their own untruth.

 

I actually think that it's our finite minds but meh.

I differ slightly Cpt and think, rather, that it is the product of finite organisational structures heirarchically ordered in our rather expansive conscious mental ability.

 

What? 


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eloise wrote: magilum

eloise wrote:
magilum wrote:

as I was saying to Tilberian, this kind of thinking is a source of frustration for me and I mentally kick those who popularised it in the teeth for my having to argue it with atheists. It never was in the classical physical realm it was always in the realm of the unseen foundations of physical existence. That is not proven false at all; it is in fact proven True that such is the place where light and paradox trump classical reasoning.

How early on can this be demonstrated? I find it hard to imagine early idol worshippers not thinking the literal sun was divine, for instance... I think people gave up their lives for the presumption that it was, actually, and that it needed to be appeased. But I can always be proven wrong.

Kalahari Bushmen creation myth, thought to be the oldest in the world.  Here 

"Bushmen believe Kang gave the same life to humans as he gave everything else.."

"This life is in the form of spirits which cannot be seen. What can be seen with the naked eye is a shell or body. Within those shells, including those of humans are spirits."

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Eloise wrote: eloise

Eloise wrote:
eloise wrote:
magilum wrote:

as I was saying to Tilberian, this kind of thinking is a source of frustration for me and I mentally kick those who popularised it in the teeth for my having to argue it with atheists. It never was in the classical physical realm it was always in the realm of the unseen foundations of physical existence. That is not proven false at all; it is in fact proven True that such is the place where light and paradox trump classical reasoning.

How early on can this be demonstrated? I find it hard to imagine early idol worshippers not thinking the literal sun was divine, for instance... I think people gave up their lives for the presumption that it was, actually, and that it needed to be appeased. But I can always be proven wrong.

Kalahari Bushmen creation myth, thought to be the oldest in the world.  Here 

"Bushmen believe Kang gave the same life to humans as he gave everything else.."

"This life is in the form of spirits which cannot be seen. What can be seen with the naked eye is a shell or body. Within those shells, including those of humans are spirits."

Having read the passage, I concede the point that the gods weren't uniformly given physical status. They were, however, credited with physical principles and phenomena to the explanation of which they are no longer contributors. I don't see theological speculation about a 'foundation' for reality corresponding with physics and more than I see the Genesis account being corroborated by Big Bang Theory (as a comparison, not saying you made this claim). I think the immaterial/supernatural was invoked to rationalize the incomprehensibility of physical principles of which they were ignorant, and viewing it as, say, a prediction of particle physics is something like equivocation.


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magilum wrote:

magilum wrote:
Eloise wrote:
eloise wrote:
magilum wrote:

as I was saying to Tilberian, this kind of thinking is a source of frustration for me and I mentally kick those who popularised it in the teeth for my having to argue it with atheists. It never was in the classical physical realm it was always in the realm of the unseen foundations of physical existence. That is not proven false at all; it is in fact proven True that such is the place where light and paradox trump classical reasoning.

How early on can this be demonstrated? I find it hard to imagine early idol worshippers not thinking the literal sun was divine, for instance... I think people gave up their lives for the presumption that it was, actually, and that it needed to be appeased. But I can always be proven wrong.

Kalahari Bushmen creation myth, thought to be the oldest in the world. Here

"Bushmen believe Kang gave the same life to humans as he gave everything else.."

"This life is in the form of spirits which cannot be seen. What can be seen with the naked eye is a shell or body. Within those shells, including those of humans are spirits."

Having read the passage, I concede the point that the gods weren't uniformly given physical status. They were, however, credited with physical principles and phenomena to the explanation of which they are no longer contributors. I don't see theological speculation about a 'foundation' for reality corresponding with physics and more than I see the Genesis account being corroborated by Big Bang Theory (as a comparison, not saying you made this claim). I think the immaterial/supernatural was invoked to rationalize the incomprehensibility of physical principles of which they were ignorant, and viewing it as, say, a prediction of particle physics is something like equivocation.

Where I see such, likewise, comparisons as having validity is in the fact that what we are finding in particle physics are the physical principles that make existence possible in the manner which we experience it. What is done differently by the precise discipline of science is how we view and organise the data and extroplate the results from it. We look at very small things and carefully note each step. But what we get in result is explanations of real visible manners in which life and energy emerges into our cosmos- gravity, matter, energy, information, time and space and light.

Our careful data processing makes our discoveries able to be defined with more exactness and therefore far more logically supportable, but they are not necessarily different, and moreover, most importantly, they are not based on information that is unrelated to the information ancient man based their ideas on, the information is all related intrinsically, pure classical level natural phenomenon such as time and light must necessarily be sources of the same data as particle physics if viewed in the right way. (If not we'll never get a unified theory and maybe we should concede a god of the gaps. LOL ,just kidding, we won't do that) Eye-wink

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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Eloise wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

My gut tells me that a similar revolution in thinking will be necessary to unify quantum and classical physics. Until that happens, we are stuck with paradoxes that are pointing to two things: the error in our theoretical models and their own untruth.

 

I actually think that it's our finite minds but meh.

I differ slightly Cpt and think, rather, that it is the product of finite organisational structures heirarchically ordered in our rather expansive conscious mental ability.

 

What?

What I mean is that our minds are not finite. They cannot be by definition of emergent consciousness, such consciousness has non-local direct access to all information in the system.

So I say that it is the finite organisational structure that sorts this information which stands between us and the unification of known and unknown reality.

One essence of this structure is heirarchical order- the order in which data is organised by its relevance and importance.

For example if I ask you to take three values which you think are most important, you might say progress, rationality and simplicity. Then your conscious data will be organised around those principles. What does not fit with those values is filtered to a lower level in the heirarchy even to the point where it is relegated to a heap of garbage. For an atheist that is where most theological data goes in the heirarchy of thought, but that's beside the point. The point is that the structure is finite, not the mind .

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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

My gut tells me that a similar revolution in thinking will be necessary to unify quantum and classical physics. Until that happens, we are stuck with paradoxes that are pointing to two things: the error in our theoretical models and their own untruth.

 

I actually think that it's our finite minds but meh.

It is a bad idea to attribute us not knowing something to the belief that we can never know it, because if we hold onto this belief, we will never know it.

 

It is far better to instead delude ourselves into believing that we can know the answer, and to actively search for the answer than to convince ourself that something about the material world around us can simply "not be known."  In this case, delusion is far more valuable than reality, for in pursuing the answer to that question, we will probably come accross many things we do not know, even if we can never actually know the thing which we are pursuing.  In all, pursuing a model is always beneficial to us.


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Quote: It is far better to

Quote:
It is far better to instead delude ourselves into believing that we can know the answer, and to actively search for the answer than to convince ourself that something about the material world around us can simply "not be known."

I think delude is the wrong word.  Science has an astounding record when it comes to asking questions about nature.  Out of, I don't know, maybe ten million questions that have been asked, science has answered about nine million nine hundred ninety nine thousand nine hundred and ninety.  It's reasonable to predict that with that level of success, science can eventually answer any valid question.

I'd say we have a reasonable expecatation that science can answer any question that's been properly asked.  One thing to take into account is that good questions require cumulative knowledge.  In other words, we couldn't ask "What caused the Big Bang" until we knew the Big Bang existed.  

Again, the past success of science leads us to believe that either:

1) Science will answer the questions we are asking

or

2) Science will answer other questions, such that we will see that the questions we are asking now aren't the right questions, at which point, science will answer the questions.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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To Hambydammit There have

To Hambydammit

There have been thousands, maybe even millions of these kind of questions.  Questions like "What is at the edge of the earth" (when people thought it was flat) or like "why do the planets orbit in such a strange way around the earth"?  You must remember that scientists asked these questions and thought they could answer them, believed they could answer them, but the pursuit of these questions allowed them to realize that the questions were meaningless.

We may never discover the foundation of gravity, or why the quantum (very very small) world is so different from the relativistic (big) world.  All our equations tell us that whatever we do discover, we will never be able to test (i.e. String theory, the untestable theory of everything).  This doesn't negate the fact that deluding ourselves into believeing we can solve these questions does more good than harm, even if the current equations suggest that they will never be answered, even if we are going against evidence that we currenty observe.  In fact, momentarily deluding one-self against what they believe is the only way to actually question one's belief, and analyze the flaws in a particular idea or theory.