A set

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A set

So, if we wish to discuss the set of sentient beings S, we know with certainty that it is not empty.

So we have at least

 

S={h} where h = humans.

 

If we consider the possibility of degrees of sentience, are there beings with less sentience than humans? Recent work with sign language and primates suggest that they may be closer to sentience than not so it is not entirely unreasonable to and a few species to this set. If we accept degrees of sentience then it can be ordered.

S={S1,S2,....Sh} where S is a specific species and Sh is humans. Humans in this set are 'the most sentient'

 

If we assume that life exists elswhere in the universe, and that sentience is a probable outcome of evolution then the set can reasonably become

S={S1,S2...Sh...Sn} where Sn is the most sentient being and Sh (humans) exist somewhere in the continuum between least and most.

Any problems with this so far? More to come.


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wavefreak wrote: More to

wavefreak wrote:
More to come.

 

I am sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation. 


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jce wrote: wavefreak

jce wrote:

wavefreak wrote:
More to come.

 

I am sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation. 

I would guess that this line of thinking is heading straight to Sg, when God is the end of the set of sentience.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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stillmatic wrote: I would

stillmatic wrote:
I would guess that this line of thinking is heading straight to Sg, when God is the end of the set of sentience.

Yeah, I think you win the mind reading prize for the day.  Still, it should be amusing anyway.   


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stillmatic wrote: jce

stillmatic wrote:
jce wrote:

wavefreak wrote:
More to come.

 

I am sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation. 

I would guess that this line of thinking is heading straight to Sg, when God is the end of the set of sentience.

Nothing that quaint. I am establishing a domain of discourse. I'm expecting that I will get some feedback as soon as I go down a suspect path.

 

So let's expand this.

 

Instead of just sentient beings, I want to include intelligent species. Dogs and cats are clearly intelligent, but not necessarily sentient.

So the Set is

I={S1,S2, .Ss.. Sh ... Sn}

Where S1 is the least intelligent species, Ss is a minimally sentient species, Sh is human and Sn is a maximally sentient being.

I'm going to go with DeludedGods idea that such sentience is limited by some type of energy gradient. So for now, this must be a finite set.


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Quote: Instead of just

Quote:

Instead of just sentient beings, I want to include intelligent species. Dogs and cats are clearly intelligent, but not necessarily sentient.

So the Set is

I={S1,S2, .Ss.. Sh ... Sn}

Where S1 is the least intelligent species, Ss is a minimally sentient species, Sh is human and Sn is a maximally sentient being.

I'm going to go with DeludedGods idea that such sentience is limited by some type of energy gradient. So for now, this must be a finite set.

Well, until now, I see nothing wrong with your line of thought.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
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OK, given the

OK, given the Set of intelligent species 

I={S1,S2, .Ss.. Sh ... Sn}

Where S1 is the least intelligent species, Ss is a minimally sentient species, Sh is human and Sn is a maximally sentient being limited by some available energy gradiant.

My first question is how does the theory of multiple unverses effect the composition of this set? Please note I am not claiming anything about interaction between members of the set. I'm just interested in what is *in* the set.

 

edit: spelling


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Quote: My first question

Quote:

My first question is how does the theory of multiple unverses effect the composition of this set? Please note I am not claiming anything about interaction between members of the set. I'm just interested in what is *in* the set.

Up to now it is only a matter of categorizing. You can define In, where n is the index of the Universe that you are referring to.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


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Rigor_OMortis

Rigor_OMortis wrote:

Quote:

My first question is how does the theory of multiple unverses effect the composition of this set? Please note I am not claiming anything about interaction between members of the set. I'm just interested in what is *in* the set.

Up to now it is only a matter of categorizing. You can define In, where n is the index of the Universe that you are referring to.

 So we could resaonbly conclude

I={U1,U2, ...Un}

Where Ui ={S1,S2, ... Sn} or the set of intelligent life in any universe U (potentially the empty set for any particular universe)

So is I an infinite set? Note that this does not imply any single species would have infinite intelligence. 


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Rigor_OMortis wrote:

Quote:

My first question is how does the theory of multiple unverses effect the composition of this set? Please note I am not claiming anything about interaction between members of the set. I'm just interested in what is *in* the set.

Up to now it is only a matter of categorizing. You can define In, where n is the index of the Universe that you are referring to.

 So we could resaonbly conclude

I={U1,U2, ...Un}

Where Ui ={S1,S2, ... Sn} or the set of intelligent life in any universe U (potentially the empty set for any particular universe)

So is I an infinite set? Note that this does not imply any single species would have infinite intelligence. 

It may be an infinite set, but if multiverse theory is true, not all universes in the multiverse may be able to support life. I would also be careful about any interaction between universes as well, not just between single species.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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stillmatic wrote:

stillmatic wrote:

 It may be an infinite set, but if multiverse theory is true, not all universes in the multiverse may be able to support life. I would also be careful about any interaction between universes as well, not just between single species.

Agreed. I have not claimed any interaction between universes. The part about other universes containing life or not is similar to the set of integers. There are even integers and odd integers, prime integers, perfect integers, etc. Even, odd and prime integers are all subsets of the the infinite set of integers and are infinite sets themselves. We know that the probablity of life in any given universe is non-zero because there is life in this universe. So it seems reasonable to conclude there are both an infinite number of universes with life and a infinite subset of those universes with sentient life. No?


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No objections?   So we

No objections?

 

So we have a set

 

I = {U1={S1,S2...Sn},U2={S1,S2...Sn},...Uh={S1,S2...Sn},...Un1={S1,S2...Sn}}

Where each U is a universe containing sentient life and each S in Ui is a sentient species. Uh is the universe that contains humanity.

From this we can create the set of all setient life forms in all the universes

A = {S1,S2,... Sh,...Sn} but since the set is infinite

A = {S1,S2,...Sh,...} wher Sh is humanity.

 

So now another question. Given DulededGods idea that sentience is bound to some form of energy gradient, then what is the upper bound of sentience? I suppose there could be some other universe that would have an infinite energy gradient but that complicates matters so I'm going to assume there is an upper bound. We can assume there is also a lower bound. So if we create a measure of sentience Q with QL as the lower bound and QU as upper bound we can assign a Q value to each member of our set of sentient beings. From this we can create an ordered set of all possible Q values

Q = {QL,Q1,Q2, ... Qh,...Qn,Qn+1,QU}

Where Qh is humanity's sentience quotient.

 

Are we still OK here?

 


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Bueler?

Bueler?


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So from the above, we can

So from the above, we can conclude that God created the world in y days and that Moses was a gay pedophile.

 

(Seems that only stupid statements get a response so I thought I'd give it a go) 


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Wave, Sentience is the

Wave,

Sentience is the ability to feel pain and pleasure, it is not equal to intelligence. Sentience is just one factor we must take into account when talking about the moral status of animals. It is probably not wrong to pull the legs off a fly. It will feel nothing. Flies are not sentient. Almost all vertebrates are sentient, as are octopi and squid (honourary vertebrates).

Intelligence is another factor as is the capacity to communicate. What you are talking about is not sentience. I hope I've cleared up some definitions.


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Jacob Cordingley

Jacob Cordingley wrote:

Wave,

Sentience is the ability to feel pain and pleasure, it is not equal to intelligence. Sentience is just one factor we must take into account when talking about the moral status of animals. It is probably not wrong to pull the legs off a fly. It will feel nothing. Flies are not sentient. Almost all vertebrates are sentient, as are octopi and squid (honourary vertebrates).

Intelligence is another factor as is the capacity to communicate. What you are talking about is not sentience. I hope I've cleared up some definitions.

 

OK. I'll eliminate sentience and simplify it further by just talking about intelligence.It might be possible to add sentience back into it later.


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So, to summarize I have

So, to summarize I have constructed an ordered set that has upper and lower bounds but with an infinite number of elements. 

Q = {QL,Q1,Q2, ... Qh,...Qn,Qn+1,QU}

Where Qh is humanity's intelligence quotient.

 

 I can see nothing in the construction of this set that violates any known science. While it relies on some of the more speculative areas of cosomology (i.e. multi-verses) it does not use any negative definitions like supernatural.

 

Now it gets tricky. I want to itroduce the psychology of humans  into the argument. Note that I am discussing ONLY human psychology. I cannot discuss the working of the minds of any other member of this set of intelligent entities.

I think it is plausible to say that humans are primed to assign supernatural explanations to things that confound us. This is not to say that this tendency cannot be over-ridden (hence arrival at atheism through logic). But the evidence is overwhelming that people will easily believe in supernatural explanations of things they don't understand. Like it or not, it is part of what we are. In this regard, atheism is an anomaly.

 So now I introduce a term dQ (delta-Q) defined as Qi-Qj. This is simply a comparison if the inate intelligence of any entity in the set. Since it is an ordered set this makes perfect sense.  I think it safe to assume that intelligence implies knowledge and that for any Qi>Qj that the knowledge potential of Qi exceeds that of Qj.

 Let's look at a "real world" situation. Imagine a hunter gatherer culture deep in the Amazon that has never had contact with our technology. If we landed in the middle of their village in a helicopter andjumped out in flight suits and helmets what would be the psychological impact of this encounter? At least temporarily, we would be viewed as gods. After awhile, they might figure out that we bleed and die, but at least initially they would be so overwhelmed that the human predisposition for invoking supernatural explanations would be triggered. So now I introduce another value dK (delta K) that represent the difference in the kowledge base between two members of our set of intelligent entites.

 And now the magic words

 

God is any member in set of intelligent entities such that the value of dK between humans and this entity is so large an encounter with this entity overwhelms our rationality and invokes our predisposition to assign supernatural explanations to that which we do not understand. More-over, (big leap here - probably needs work) because each step in the construction of the set has a non-zero probablity and the set is infinite, such an entity must exist.  This does NOT claim that we will ever encounter such a being, only that it must exist.

 

 This is a POSITIVE definition of God, is it not?

 

caveat -I a ran out of gas here. This is more a sketch of an idea than anything else. 

 

 

 


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If that's the case, wouldn't

If that's the case, wouldn't that mean there are infinite Gods?


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stillmatic wrote: If that's

stillmatic wrote:
If that's the case, wouldn't that mean there are infinite Gods?

 

Sure. Why not? 


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:

stillmatic wrote:
If that's the case, wouldn't that mean there are infinite Gods?

 

Sure. Why not? 



It seems like a lot of work to prove their might be other intelligent species out there that might be God-like in their intellectual superiority to us.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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stillmatic

stillmatic wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

stillmatic wrote:
If that's the case, wouldn't that mean there are infinite Gods?

 

Sure. Why not?

It seems like a lot of work to prove their might be other intelligent species out there that might be God-like in their intellectual superiority to us.

 

Well, it wasn't really that much work. It's not like I devoted the last ten years of my life to it.


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Wavefreak, I'm terrible with

Wavefreak, I'm terrible with maths!


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Jacob Cordingley

Jacob Cordingley wrote:
Wavefreak, I'm terrible with maths!

 

So I've managed to baffle you with my bullshit, eh? Tongue out


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I think there's a few

I think there's a few breakdowns in what you're trying to do, wavefreak.

First, you have to take the assumption that multiverses even exist and that entities in these multiverses can even have properties that we can assign to them such as intelligence and whatnot.

Second, you have to take the assumption that if they exist, there are infinite multiverses (and therefore infinite entities), which may or may not be true.

Third, the thing with multiverses and even potentially stuff in our own universe is whether or not they can have causal contact with us. If something from another multiverse cannot come within causal contact with us, then effectively it does not exist. Even in our own universe, stuff beyond our event horizon (assuming the universe is larger than our event horison) can have no causal contact with us unless it violates some physics laws. Essentially, it does not exist to us.

Finally, assuming all that above, what you've proven is just there is an entity in some multiverse that we cannot sufficiently understand and would call supernatural and we just so happen to call God. Even then, this entity would have a perfectly natural explanation for it's existence and would seem to be contrary to the usual concept of a god. This also runs into the problem that every god also has an entity that it cannot sufficiently understand and would call God, which also seems contrary to the usual concept of a god.

By the way, you introduced the term DQ, I'd just like to point out that it's already been around making cool treats for a while.


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Truthiness wrote: First,

Truthiness wrote:
First, you have to take the assumption that multiverses even exist

Agreed, but this assumption does not violate any known science and is actually implied by current theories.

Quote:
 

and that entities in these multiverses can even have properties that we can assign to them such as intelligence and whatnot.

Also conceeded. But we know the probablity of intellegence is non-zero. Hence, if there are infinite universes (also theoretically supported) then there are other intelligent entities.

 

Quote:
 

Second, you have to take the assumption that if they exist, there are infinite multiverses (and therefore infinite entities), which may or may not be true.

 

see above.

 

Quote:
 

Third, the thing with multiverses and even potentially stuff in our own universe is whether or not they can have causal contact with us. If something from another multiverse cannot come within causal contact with us, then effectively it does not exist. Even in our own universe, stuff beyond our event horizon (assuming the universe is larger than our event horison) can have no causal contact with us unless it violates some physics laws. Essentially, it does not exist to us.

I made no attempt to establish any causual connection between entities. 

 

 

Quote:

Finally, assuming all that above, what you've proven is just there is an entity in some multiverse that we cannot sufficiently understand and would call supernatural and we just so happen to call God. Even then, this entity would have a perfectly natural explanation for it's existence and would seem to be contrary to the usual concept of a god. This also runs into the problem that every god also has an entity that it cannot sufficiently understand and would call God, which also seems contrary to the usual concept of a god. By the way, you introduced the term DQ, I'd just like to point out that it's already been around making cool treats for a while.

These are only problems for people that insist on a classic view of an immaterial, infinite god.

 

All I am trying to show is that within currently accepted theories of physics and psychology that the necessary conditions exist for an entity that for all intents and purposes would be god. 

 


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wavefreak wrote: All I am

wavefreak wrote:

All I am trying to show is that within currently accepted theories of physics and psychology that the necessary conditions exist for an entity that for all intents and purposes would be god. 

 

Semantically I guess you're right, but again I don't think you've established anything all that meaningful other than given a bunch of assumptions, there's an entity that may seem like a god to us but is in reality a product of it's universe just as we are.


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Truthiness

Truthiness wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

 

All I am trying to show is that within currently accepted theories of physics and psychology that the necessary conditions exist for an entity that for all intents and purposes would be god.

 

Semantically I guess you're right, but again I don't think you've established anything all that meaningful other than given a bunch of assumptions, there's an entity that may seem like a god to us but is in reality a product of it's universe just as we are.

 

Isn't this the nature of rational discourse  "given assumptions A, B, C, and D the E logically follows"? Because I didn't argue for the existence of the God of Abraham it lacks meaning? Sounds a bit like like No True Scotsman (No *true* proof of god would look like this).

 

 


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wavefreak wrote:   Isn't

wavefreak wrote:

 

Isn't this the nature of rational discourse  "given assumptions A, B, C, and D the E logically follows"? Because I didn't argue for the existence of the God of Abraham it lacks meaning? Sounds a bit like like No True Scotsman (No *true* proof of god would look like this).

 

 

I'm not arguing that you're making an argument for the God of Abraham. I'm saying that given your propositions, the only thing you've established is an entity that we don't sufficiently understand and could/would label god. Other than that, there are no properties we can give this entity.

Also, using this line a reasoning, since there's infinite entities, every entity has an infinite amount of entities that it cannot understand and may label god and every entity has an infinite amount of entities that cannot understand it and would label it as a god. IE, there are an infinite amount of entities that would consider us god or gods.

To me there's nothing special about any particular entity.

And realistically, what does this mean for us? Anything?

I guess I'm not seeing the point of the argument.


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Proof of such an entity in

Proof of such an entity in a multi-verse is a general case. Proof of such an entity in our universe would be a specific case - and much more difficult to prove. But I need the one before I can hope to get to the other. 


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wavefreak wrote: Proof of

wavefreak wrote:

Proof of such an entity in a multi-verse is a general case. Proof of such an entity in our universe would be a specific case - and much more difficult to prove. But I need the one before I can hope to get to the other. 

Ok, fair enough. But you don't even have to deal with multiverses to get to the point which I think you're trying to make, that is there's an entity in this universe that we could very well come into contact with that would be not understood by us and could be labeled god. Am I correct in assuming this is what you're going for?

I don't think you're going to find too many people who would deny the possibility of an entity or species that would seem god-like to us. Any technology sufficiently advanced would seem like magic and all that jazz (I forget the exact quote). But all this is really doing is playing with the definition of 'god'. We can call it any number of things from god, to not understood aliens, to cthulu, whatever. All we're doing is playing with the name. What comes of it is the emotional attachment to the name 'god'. I say call it what you want, you call it god, but I call it Ishmael. I find nothing special about the entity other than it's (currently, maybe always) beyond our understanding.


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wavefreak wrote: Jacob

wavefreak wrote:

Jacob Cordingley wrote:
Wavefreak, I'm terrible with maths!

 

So I've managed to baffle you with my bullshit, eh? Tongue out

Seriously I have to think for five minutes to do simple multiplications! That's what I get for dropping it at the age of 16!


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Truthiness wrote: But all

Truthiness wrote:
But all this is really doing is playing with the definition of 'god'.

 Exactly.

The biggest issue "proving" god is that there is no coherent definition of what god is. To me it seems backwards to invoke an omnipotent, omniscient being that for thousands of years has been argued about to no avail. So, fine. Start from what can be coherently argued and see where it takes me.  A multi-verse cosmology is a convenient place to start. At this point I only need to show that the necessary conditions exist for a being that for all intents and purposes appears to be god. If it looks like a rose and smells like a rose ...

 


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wavefreak, you're awesome, I

wavefreak, you're awesome, I hate you. I hoped to get some real work done tonight but noooo, now I'm gonna be going through and seeing what other posts by you I can find...

I have a set T of rational, witty theists, who argue and write in a way I like and don't make me glaze over. Currently it looks like so:
T = {wavefreak, CoryT}
Does anyone know any more members of the set?

To address your hypothesis:

It was your point that you weren't proving there was any infinite intelligence made me want to HUG-SQUISH you! Not just that you understood your subject, but that you could see where other people might misunderstand.

And the infinity of infinities thing - yup, excellent. If the infinity of universes is like all numbers, and life is only possible between the numbers 7 and 7.00000001, there are still an infinite number of numbers between those two.

In fact, we can definitely establish that there's a maximum of intelligence, if we can establish that there is a maximum universe mass in our infinite set [edit: and if we can assume that intelligences are limited to a single universe and not, say, to a single brane, etc]. In that case, the max intelligence is where the entire universe is used for computation, and the data is stored in the smallest quanta, in an analogue fashion.

Glad you removed sentience from it, I'm much happier with the just-intelligence one. I've known intelligent but barely-sentient people, and vice versa! Though "Intelligence" is still a woolly term, we can work with it I'm sure Smiling

Seems to be that you're making an Arthur C Clarke claim: "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

I see one logical flaw with that, in that you've not proven that even in an infinite group there isn't a point of intelligence above which no "believed-godlike" or "magic" exists.

So I could claim that we've reached that point. I think I would make that claim, too: even if the universe-brain made itself known and said "I made you all!", I believe I'd still want to know the mechanism of Creation, and wouldn't ascribe it to "magic". Especially given the gorgeously simple mechanisms for everything we know already about: the "how" of Creation would doubtless be utterly mathematically beautiful. I'd also be really really interested in what was going on in that god's mind, what its morality and hopes and dreams were. I'd give my eye-teeth for a communicative god like that Sad

If you can't prove the nonexistence of this "no further magic" point (because you can't prove a negative), I'm more than happy to ignore this: I really want to see where you're going with this and don't want to stop you.

T="theists who's posts are fun-to-read, truth-seeking and insightful". Your own T will be different, but Tdewi includes { Avecrien, Cory T, crocaduck, JHenson, jread, wavefreak }


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I really like this thread.

I really like this thread. I'm grateful for the civility and fun of it Smiling

I have this notion that there may be a threshold for understanding the difference between magic and function. I don't believe in magic. I don't believe in the 'super natural.' I believe only in things I do or do not understand. I grasp the idea that I might come to understand how something seen as super-natural functions or that, even though I can not ever hope to understand, it still functions in a 'natural' way.

I wonder at humanity or another species coming into contact with god or another super-being and working out whether they can aspire to its level or if they're stuck stumped for some reason or length of time/evolution. What could be overcome with technology? "Okay, you naturally see into other spectrums of light, I'll build goggles that let me do the same. Or if the ability is beyond my ability to replicate, can you replicate it for the sake of me/my species?"

Given that I believe in being resurrected and modified into something more than I am now, and that I'll be ultimately able to interact directly with god and his angelic workforce, I hope to be able to learn about what means were used to do what is attributed to god. I want to contribute!

 

Mike Gravel for president!


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First, I would like to

First, I would like to concur that this is an interesting thread, and I greatly respect you, wavefreak, for being able to discuss rationally with atheists.

But your argument is far too obfuscated; the discussion of the set of sentient beings and the threshold of godhood really breaks down to:

If there are an infinite number of universes,

then a god-like being must exist in one of them.

With such an argument, one needn't restrict oneself to a being that simply seems to be a god; one of the infinite universes will actually contain a god; even though it might really be an illusion created by quantum fluctuations, in one of the universes, the random jostling of particles will produce behavior exacly consistent with that of an Abrahamic God. In fact, there will be an infinite number of universes like this! Infinity is a poverful number; do not underestimate it.

When supposing an infinite number of universes, all possible things will exist; that does not make a God any more likely in our universe than a gigantic tamato (there are an infinite nember of them, too).

Please point out my errors - I'm new at this.

If I am wrong on any point (including, but not limited to, spelling, grammar, and the question of God's existence), please correct me as quickly as possible.


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Thanks y'all for the

Thanks y'all for the replies. I need to cogitate. There are some things I can tighten up and maybe simplify. Then maybe I can take it a little further.


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Looking forward to it!

Looking forward to it!


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Hey look, I made it into T!

Hey look, I made it into T! That may be the best compliment I've had in a while.
I'm christian-ish? Smiling

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Well, I dunno... I doubt

Well, I dunno... I doubt many Christians would take you on, but your beliefs seem rooted in Christianity. Do feel free to correct me though!

I'm not mean enough to make F, the set of people on both sides who make me facepalm. Would be a much longer list than T!

T="theists who's posts are fun-to-read, truth-seeking and insightful". Your own T will be different, but Tdewi includes { Avecrien, Cory T, crocaduck, JHenson, jread, wavefreak }


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I'm content with the label,

I'm content with the label, sir. I just thought it was funny. I don't get along with mainstream christianity, it's contrary to their own claims and material. The scholars, however, I do fine with. I've been thrilled by the growing momentum on both questioning the evolution of afterlife concepts and the evolution of who Jesus was thought to be.
And there are some groups that better represent the original state, so I'm happily not alone.

 I had a more personal detailing of where I stand, where I think I'm standing, and where I'd really be and why were I wrong, but then I realized how irrational that would be on often aggressive forums Sticking out tongue

 

(OR: It is the responsibility of theists to claim that they're the bearers of religious truth and others are wrong. So I'm a christian and they/you're not! Neiner neiner!)

Mike Gravel for president!


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DewiMorgan wrote:

DewiMorgan wrote:
Well, I dunno... I doubt many Christians would take you on, but your beliefs seem rooted in Christianity. Do feel free to correct me though! I'm not mean enough to make F, the set of people on both sides who make me facepalm. Would be a much longer list than T![

T={ Avecrien (Xian, ish),
Cory T (Old Earth),
JHenson (Xian?),
jread (Xian),
wavefreak (Pantheist?) }

 

wavefreak = freaktheist


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:

 Exactly.

The biggest issue "proving" god is that there is no coherent definition of what god is. To me it seems backwards to invoke an omnipotent, omniscient being that for thousands of years has been argued about to no avail. So, fine. Start from what can be coherently argued and see where it takes me.  A multi-verse cosmology is a convenient place to start. At this point I only need to show that the necessary conditions exist for a being that for all intents and purposes appears to be god. If it looks like a rose and smells like a rose ...

 

"Appears" being the operative word here. Appearances can be deceiving, however.

I'll allow you to remove omnipotent and omniscient from the definition of god, but when you do that you also remove much of the meaning. The god you have now, a priori, doesn't strike me as anything particularly impressive.

By playing with definitions you can do some weird things. I can define god to mean the same thing as stapler. Well I know a stapler exists since there's on on my desk right now, therefore god exists using my definition. You see how this is somewhat assinine?


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Truthiness

Truthiness wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

 

 Exactly.

The biggest issue "proving" god is that there is no coherent definition of what god is. To me it seems backwards to invoke an omnipotent, omniscient being that for thousands of years has been argued about to no avail. So, fine. Start from what can be coherently argued and see where it takes me.  A multi-verse cosmology is a convenient place to start. At this point I only need to show that the necessary conditions exist for a being that for all intents and purposes appears to be god. If it looks like a rose and smells like a rose ...

 

"Appears" being the operative word here. Appearances can be deceiving, however. I'll allow you to remove omnipotent and omniscient from the definition of god, but when you do that you also remove much of the meaning. The god you have now, a priori, doesn't strike me as anything particularly impressive. By playing with definitions you can do some weird things. I can define god to mean the same thing as stapler. Well I know a stapler exists since there's on on my desk right now, therefore god exists using my definition. You see how this is somewhat assinine?

Agreed. But for me, at a minimum, if this argument holds, it proves we are not alone. This is far from calling god a stapler. I have deliberately limited the definitions for now. But the starting point of using intellignece as one criteria allows exploration of more complex god-like attributes. Starting from a stapler, it would be hard to consider things like the possibility of contact and communication.

 

Another comment I am sure to hear is "if we cannot communicate or contact this entity, what difference does it make?" Truthfully, maybe none at all. But calling this a useless excercise because of this fact is suspiciously like calling parts of mathematics useless since it has no "practical" application.  "Proof" of the exitence of this type of entity may languish for 500 years and suddenly become relevant to some other line of inquiry. So I continue to tease at the Gordian Knot. 


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person132 wrote:First, I

person132 wrote:

First, I would like to concur that this is an interesting thread, and I greatly respect you, wavefreak, for being able to discuss rationally with atheists.

But your argument is far too obfuscated; the discussion of the set of sentient beings and the threshold of godhood really breaks down to: 

If there are an infinite number of universes,

then a god-like being must exist in one of them.

With such an argument, one needn't restrict oneself to a being that simply seems to be a god; one of the infinite universes will actually contain a god; even though it might really be an illusion created by quantum fluctuations, in one of the universes, the random jostling of particles will produce behavior exacly consistent with that of an Abrahamic God.

This overstates it. First the Abrahamic God is "infinite", "omniscient", "immaterial" and all those things. Such things cannot exist within the current framework of known physics. There is nothing in my argument that invokes these impossibilities.  And saying that infinite multi-verses allows *anything* strikes me as absurd. I could then in my mind conceive of any absurd idea and then conclude it exists somewhere "out there" - heffalumps and woozles, anyone? 

Quote:

 In fact, there will be an infinite number of universes like this! Infinity is a poverful number; do not underestimate it.

When supposing an infinite number of universes, all possible things will exist; that does not make a God any more likely in our universe than a gigantic tamato (there are an infinite nember of them, too).

A giant tomato is easily discredited. Firstly, we know what a tomato is. So to be a tomato it would have to conform to the physics of our universe. An infinite tomato would require infinite mass - clearly exceeding the mass required for the formation of a black hole, hence it would collapse into a non-tomato. A finite tomato would be subject to all the known laws of chemistry and biology of our universe and hence would not be able to become giant by any known mechanism.

The point of course is not everything is possible even with infinite multi-verses.

 

edit: I can't believe I'm talking about giant tomatos. Too funny.


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"The point of course is not

"The point of course is not everything is possible even with infinite multi-verses."

Thank you. 'Infinite' is a flaky term, too often used to justify things that can't be justified.

Mike Gravel for president!


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wavefreak wrote: Agreed.

wavefreak wrote:
Agreed. But for me, at a minimum, if this argument holds, it proves we are not alone.

That seems like a large leap to me. If your argument holds, that each universe has a finite limit of intelligence, it only means that there is a level of intelligence that cannot be exceeded in any given universe. So, assuming that humans are not at that point or very close, there might be a more intelligent life form out there, but you can't assume that it exists just because it's possible. Furthermore, since by the description given here, such a being must be natural, and and inhabitant of the universe (rather than a creator of it), it seems to me that there is very little reason to call it god. It couldn't do anything that violates the natural laws, and so it probably couldn't offer an afterlife, couldn't intervene in our affairs, couldn't even communicate with us in a timely fashion. So why would it be god?

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


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rexlunae wrote: wavefreak

rexlunae wrote:
wavefreak wrote:
Agreed. But for me, at a minimum, if this argument holds, it proves we are not alone.
That seems like a large leap to me. If your argument holds, that each universe has a finite limit of intelligence, it only means that there is a level of intelligence that cannot be exceeded in any given universe. So, assuming that humans are not at that point or very close, there might be a more intelligent life form out there, but you can't assume that it exists just because it's possible. Furthermore, since by the description given here, such a being must be natural, and and inhabitant of the universe (rather than a creator of it), it seems to me that there is very little reason to call it god. It couldn't do anything that violates the natural laws, and so it probably couldn't offer an afterlife, couldn't intervene in our affairs, couldn't even communicate with us in a timely fashion. So why would it be god?

 

I make no claims about an afterlife, intervention in our affairs, communication or anything else. And I persoanlly have no problem with god not being "spirit". Maybe god consists of some unknown particle of energy field or something. Maybe god is protons, neutrons and electrons. Don't know. Don't care.

 

About assuming something exists because it is possible, if the probabilitly of something existing is non-zero, then in an infinite set, it must exist.  What I have shown is within conditions that are consistent with current (not necessarily accepted) theories in physics and a psychological dymanic that speaks  from how "god" would be perceived that there is a non-zero probability of this type of entity existing. Given an infinite number of universes, this non-zero probablity means the existance of this entity is a certainty.

If the multi-verse forms of cosmology are proven to be wrong, then this entire argument is weakened beyond repair.

Also, this conversation is getting somewhat diverted from what I have stated and into what it means. I don't want to talk about the implications of my "proof" until I am convinced that it is valid in what it claims. The ONLY thing it claims is that an entity of sufficient intelligence exists such that if we were to come into meaningful contact with it that we would perceive it as god.


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wavefreak wrote: Also,

wavefreak wrote:

Also, this conversation is getting somewhat diverted from what I have stated and into what it means. I don't want to talk about the implications of my "proof" until I am convinced that it is valid in what it claims. The ONLY thing it claims is that an entity of sufficient intelligence exists such that if we were to come into meaningful contact with it that we would perceive it as god.

Close but not quite; what your "proof" claims is that for any given entity in a universe, there exists an infinite amount of entities that would, upon contact, be gods and an infinite amount of entities that a particular entity would be god to.


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Truthiness

Truthiness wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

 

Also, this conversation is getting somewhat diverted from what I have stated and into what it means. I don't want to talk about the implications of my "proof" until I am convinced that it is valid in what it claims. The ONLY thing it claims is that an entity of sufficient intelligence exists such that if we were to come into meaningful contact with it that we would perceive it as god.

Close but not quite; what your "proof" claims is that for any given entity in a universe, there exists an infinite amount of entities that would, upon contact, be gods and an infinite amount of entities that a particular entity would be god to.

 

OK. That's more accurate.


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wavefreak wrote:rexlunae

wavefreak wrote:
rexlunae wrote:
wavefreak wrote:
Agreed. But for me, at a minimum, if this argument holds, it proves we are not alone.
That seems like a large leap to me. If your argument holds, that each universe has a finite limit of intelligence, it only means that there is a level of intelligence that cannot be exceeded in any given universe. So, assuming that humans are not at that point or very close, there might be a more intelligent life form out there, but you can't assume that it exists just because it's possible. Furthermore, since by the description given here, such a being must be natural, and and inhabitant of the universe (rather than a creator of it), it seems to me that there is very little reason to call it god. It couldn't do anything that violates the natural laws, and so it probably couldn't offer an afterlife, couldn't intervene in our affairs, couldn't even communicate with us in a timely fashion. So why would it be god?

I make no claims about an afterlife, intervention in our affairs, communication or anything else. And I persoanlly have no problem with god not being "spirit". Maybe god consists of some unknown particle of energy field or something. Maybe god is protons, neutrons and electrons. Don't know. Don't care.

But why do you consider this thing to be god? Is it just the intelligence, or is it also that it could be very different from us? Should stupid people consider smart people to be god? Should dolphins consider humans to be god, or vice versa?

wavefreak wrote:
Also, this conversation is getting somewhat diverted from what I have stated and into what it means. I don't want to talk about the implications of my "proof" until I am convinced that it is valid in what it claims. The ONLY thing it claims is that an entity of sufficient intelligence exists such that if we were to come into meaningful contact with it that we would perceive it as god.

Ok, but my line of questioning ties back into my answer to that question. I would say no. You're line of thinking does not address at all how much smarter is possible. Steven Hawking may be smarter than me, but I don't consider him a god. And even with his level of intelligence, he can be wrong even in situations in which I would be right. It may even be true that some humans are maximally smart already.

When Europeans arrived in America and were assumed to be gods by some of the natives, was that because they were, as individuals, actually smarter, or were they just very different (physically, linguistically, etc.) and in possession of technology that the natives hadn't seen? Do you think that their cultural tendency to ascribe natural events to supernatural gods would have factored in to their thinking?

But even that type of awe would be very hard to achieve now, because humans are much closer to a complete understanding of the universe, and because in many human cultures, the scientific method has basically trumped mythic thinking. At a certain point, we just know to much about the universe and how it works to be awed by technology or difference in a religious sense. We might be amazed by some aspects of the creature, but I don't think that we would generally call it god.

We just aren't as superstitious as we were even a few centuries ago, even the religious among us, and I think that's the reason we wouldn't ever see something as a god, no matter how smart it is. A few credulous people might be drawn in, but I think they would be the exception not the rule.

[edit: grammar]

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


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I'll get back to you in a

I'll get back to you in a few days. There are some very good points brought up that I think I can answer but I need to chew on it.