what science really is

Apokalipse
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what science really is

I've come over from the AN. first post here.

I'm a strong atheist. I like to debate over religeon. but something I've noticed is that a lot of people do not understand what science really is.

the religeous sometimes try and claim that you have to have "faith" to accept science. these people don't understand what science is.

so what is science really?
science itself is not a group of theories, facts, or laws of physics. though they sometimes represent what science has done.

science itself is actually a process. it is a logical process people follow in order to try and find the truth.
in a nutshell, the scientific process is this:
* to observe phenomena or events, and recognise patterns that they follow.
* through understanding the patterns they follow, generate a formal theory around it
* then test this new theory given a range of different circumstances and make sure it agrees with your observations

and one of the most important things

* remove as many assumptions as you can

this one is extremely important.
one of the biggest faults with religeon in general is the amount of assumptions required for it to be correct.

some of the main religeous assumptions, in no particular order are:

* the universe had a beginning - of everything, including time
* time is not a concept - if it has a start point, and the creator is not subject to it
* the creator is outside the universe
* the unviverse was created
* this creator is intelligent
* this creator is omnipotent (he must be if he can create matter out of nothing)

and the biggest assumption is this:
* there is a creator

religeon is based on so many assumptions, it is far more logical to just eliminate the concept of a god altogether. that is one of the reasons religeon does not like science.
science is about proof, and eliminating assumptions. and in these areas, religeon simply fails the scientific process.

so, in an attempt to dodge scientific scrutiny, the religeous have tried to place the "faith" label on science. thereby putting religeon next to science, instead of science being applied to verify religeon.

anyway, my point is that science itself is not a bunch of theories, laws of physics, or facts.
science is a process. a means to try and discover proof.

and therefore you cannot "believe in" science. you can simply apply it in an attempt to try and discover the truth.

our scientific theories (theories which science thus far agrees with) are not complete, and we do not have a full understanding of the universe.
this is not because science is flawed. it's because the application of science depends on our ability to think and understand the universe.
and ultimately, people are not perfect. far from it.
perfection is a concept anyway. just like infinite is.

so it comes down to how well people can follow the scientific process, and what their level of thinking is.

I guess what I'm saying is that, science really is the only way to actually find out how the universe works.
you cannot simply make a stab in the dark, and then keep making asumptions to patch up the flaws later on, which is what religeon does.

science itself does not claim to be, or to know the truth. it is simply a means to try find the truth. which, given the stupidity of mankind, is turning out to be a long and painful path.


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Those are good points but I

Those are good points but I think one has to start from an earlier understanding: methods of acquiring knowledge (of which Science is one).

We acquire a great deal of information as we go through daily lives, some from experience, some from the experience of others. There are at least six different methods of acquiring knowledge. Below are the six best recognized methods with a brief discription.

1.Tenacity - the quality of holding fast.
This method bacisely means the acquisition and persistance of superstitions. This is frequently called faith among various religious people. This can be considered as holding onto a belief with a lack of or even in spite of the evidence to the contrary. An example of this would be to believe that Accupuncture is a real form of health care simply because of tradition. People have believe in it for so long, it must be true.

The weaknesses with this method is that the belief may be incorrect or innacurate and tenacity provides no mechanism to test or verify the belief.

2.Intuition - direct knowledge.
This is a method used by many psychics, mystics, prophets and the like. They claim the information came to them, sometimes by god.

The weakness with intuition is that it does not provide a method to verify or test for accuracy. This does not mean the information is wrong, it's just not verifable.

3.Authority - acceptance of information from another because that person is highly respected.

The weakness here is that the information may be innacurate but is blindly accepted as being unquestionable. Experts may transmit accurate or even scientific knowledge. Being an expert in one area does not make one a expert in another. Just because one is a Nobel prize winner in medicine does not make one an expert in physics. An appeal to an expert means that the authority will be considered, not blindly accepted.

4.Rationalism - using reason to arrive at knowledge. This approach assumes that valid knowledge can be acuired if correct reasoning is used. The scientific method uses this method as a part of its approach. The danger of relying on reason alone is that the premisis on which the reasoning is based may be flawed.

5.Empiricism - knowledge based on personal experience.
This approach can be very powerful to the experiencer of the knowledge but there can be innacuaracies in the conclusion or even the event itself. What you experienced may be idosyncratic. This method can be helpul when used with reason but by itself it leads to a chaotic body of knowledge as not everone has the same experiecnces or comes to the same conclusion even if both witness the same event. Anyone that has seen a magician perform should be aware of the flaws of this method.

6. Science - a method or process of generating a body of knowledge. This method incorporates some of the above methods but it's greatest strength is that it is reproducable and verifable. Science has five steps that must be followed:
a.Identifying the problem and forming a hypothesis.
b.Designing the experiement
c.Conducting the experiement
d.Testing the hypothesis
e.Communicating the research results

When time permits I'll discuss this some more.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


Apokalipse
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adn that's why science tops

and that's why science tops the list. because it is a process, in which your hypotheses must be proven, or at least shown to be accurate without reasonable doubt.

and you mised one of the most important parts of science. to remove as many assumptions as possible.

by making asumptions, especially untestable ones, then the hypothesis is much less likely to be correct.


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I get so annoyed when

I get so annoyed when ignorant Christians say things like "Scientists just worship science."


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That's the other great

That's the other great strength of Science, it is self correcting. Something may believed to be true but with time it will be tested over and over again. If it passes the tests, it is probably true. The other methods are not tested, they are taken on faith, not to be questioned.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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MattShizzle wrote:I get so

MattShizzle wrote:
I get so annoyed when ignorant Christians say things like "Scientists just worship science."

same. especially when they start making claims as to 'what atheists believe'

I think it stems from them assuming that their god exists, and that anything that disagrees must be proven, or it is simply a belief.

they try to shift the burden of proof to scientists, and atheists, who are simply rejecting their claims.


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* the universe had a


* the universe had a beginning - of everything, including time
* the creator is outside the universe
* the unviverse was created

the universe is, was, and always has been.


* time is not a concept - if it has a start point, and the creator is not subject to it

while this is an assumption sometimes held, tho is not a requisite for god


* this creator is omnipotent (he must be if he can create matter out of nothing)
* this creator is intelligent

i would tend to think that 'intelligence' is overrun by omnipotence, and that those two features would be difficult to hold at once. tho, this is god we're talking about and 'ineffible' is an assumption that should be on the list


and the biggest assumption is this:
* there is a creator

that everything simply exists, from my perspective, is as large and incomprehensable an assumption as that there is a god.

in fact, if twisted properly, i could see them written as the same thing

if someone could clarify, i would appreciate it

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


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"that everything simply

"that everything simply exists, from my perspective, is as large and incomprehensable an assumption as that there is a god.
in fact, if twisted properly, i could see them written as the same thing"

What is your perspective and how does it grant you this view?

Induldge me, twist these two assertions properly and show me that they can be written as the same thing.

In short, what are you even saying?


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* the creator is outside


* the creator is outside the universe

first, let me reject that and state that the creator does not need to exist outside of the universe and instead may be inside the universe

then to your question:

my perspective is that there is no particular reason for anything to be. given that the universe is (and i think we can agree that it is), the mechanics of its initial existence is magick. i dont mean to state that too flippantly, i know we have big-bang and string theory and all kinds of other models that are reasonable and speak to these terms. however, a little snark seems in order as it would be foolish to argue that anyone knows 'how' all this shit (i.e. matter) got here.

let alone how all that shit manifested itself into

* a system that is 'possible to be understood' (a phrase that only has meaning in a system that is possible to be understood)

* a system containing beings able to utelize this understandability property

* a system containing beings able to reflect on the existence of the system and their ability to utelize its understandability

the consistency of the time arrow, the level of the hbar, the nature of atoms, and the eventual simulation or actualness of a persistent and consistent 'reality' all lead to some very confusing questions that cannot be answered simply by removing the assumption of creator.

furthermore, once understandable existence has been established, it is not unreasonable, in my mind, to establish a basis for understandability.

perhaps this is a little anthropocentric, but i would propse that we live in a vastly intentioned space. by this i mean that all of our experience is built on deterministic realizations of experiences built on a culmination of (apparently) probablistic relationships.

using these terms as a basis, i would count the diligence of existence toward a subjective experience that we could adequetly label 'reality' a gift in parellel with those of existing, percieving, and understanding. those four things, in my opinion, justify the concept of god, paying particular note to the use of the words 'intentioned space' and the three 'gifts of experience'

at the same time, i would count these four things: existence, reality, perception, and understanding; the (clunky) sum of existence and subjective experience.

this is what i mean when i say
that everything simply exists, from my perspective, is as large and incomprehensable an assumption as that there is a god.

as an additional point, once you have assumed the default existence of one inexplicable entity (e.g. the universe), i do not find it unreasonable to assume other inexplicable phenomenon as a cause, result, or catalyst.

finally, i think science is a very good tool. to think that it is the sum of all tools and grok-catalyst for total understanding is, in my view, myopic at best

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


Apokalipse
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* the creator is outside the

* the creator is outside the universe

this comes from the idea that god is the one who created the universe. if god created the universe, then logically there would be no universe before god created it.
and without a universe there, howe can god be inside it?

Quote:
it would be foolish to argue that anyone knows 'how' all this shit (i.e. matter) got here.
exactly. which is kind of why I made the post.
I was making the point that, wherever possible, you should remove assumptions wherever possible, because we don't know if they are right or wrong.

Quote:
as an additional point, once you have assumed the default existence of one inexplicable entity (e.g. the universe), i do not find it unreasonable to assume other inexplicable phenomenon as a cause, result, or catalyst.
we know these things:
* we exist
* the universe exists (because we're inside it, and interacting with it)
so the universe being here is not an assumption. it's something that we know is true.

however, the existance of a god is something that we do not know. so we can't simply assume that one exists.

also, the existance of a god does introduce just as many questions, if not more, than there being no god

the logical position is to remove the assumption that a god does exist unless proven otherwise.
and that is because, a theory which requires the least amount of assumptions is most often the correct one.

and that also applies to any untested hypothesis.

Quote:
finally, i think science is a very good tool. to think that it is the sum of all tools and grok-catalyst for total understanding is, in my view, myopic at best
I disagree.

the only way to really know if something is correct, is to prove it. this includes removing every assumption.
while sometimes this is not always possible, the very least one should do is to remove all assumptions you can

there are things, like wind friction at low velocities can be assumed negligible. assumptions like these will not affect the outcome significantly enough to really alter the results.

but anyway, my point is this: the above is the only way one can really "know" anything.
the defenition of "science" was only created as a formal way to describe the above process.

in other words, the term science simply describes anything people do to find out how something works, and then proving their explanation correct.
the method can be anything, provided that it can be proven at least beyond reasonable doubt, and there are as few assumptions as possible. preferrably none.


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first, a definition Grok

first, a definition
Grok (IPA /gɹɑk/, rhymes with rock) is a verb that connotes knowledge greater than that which can be sensed by an outside observer. It is an understanding beyond empathy and intimacy. In grokking, one experiences the literal capabilities and frame of reference of the subject.

now, contrast that with


in other words, the term science simply describes anything people do to find out how something works

and this is my point. god has reasonably little to do with how things work(from our perspective, anyway) and, instead, points much more strongly to why "things" "are" in the first place.


we know these things:
* we exist
* the universe exists (because we're inside it, and interacting with it)
so the universe being here is not an assumption. it's something that we know is true.

well its here now, ill give you that. that doesnt make it less of an inexplicable entity.

more to the point, we know that the universe exists, but that is all the farther science can delve. if there were a reason, then science would just miss that possibility altogether. science does not deal with 'reasons', it deals with process. and this is why i say

i think science is a very good tool. to think that it is the sum of all tools and grok-catalyst for total understanding is, in my view, myopic at best

if you want to know how something works, look to science. if you want to know what its doing there or what your interactions with it mean or could possibly mean, science probably isnt your best tool.

on the issue of the creator's existence inside or outside the universe:

'creator' might be a misleading term. 'director' may be more semantically appropriate, tho i would maintain the roll of a 'creator' would have also been experienced by necessity, as otherwise we live in a perpetual motion machine, which im pretty sure isnt the case.

'creator' ('director' and 'god' as well, for that matter) may indicate any number of processes or events or combinations of them characterized with or by intention or with a goal, understanding, or some other applicable term toward or away from an existing or other possible framework.

to put it more clearly:
the universe intended to be understood. science will only utelize this property, but will never be able to understand it.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


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well I think the appropriate

well I think the appropriate question in this case is this:
how do we know there's a "why" in the universe?
was there a reason that the universe came into existance?

again, I don't like to make assumptions, so that qustion thus far remains open. but I find it more probabble myself that there was no reason that the universe came into existance. only a means, which may have happened spontaneously.

reason implies that there is something intelligent that chose to put the universe into existance; in that, this intelligent, umm.. thing, had a reason to make the universe.

I disagree that the universe intended to be understood. this also implies some form of intelligence; and like I said, we cannot simply make assumptions about the universe.

I would also think that if the universe intended to be understood, then we'd at least know a lot more about it than we do.


averyv
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well I think the


well I think the appropriate question in this case is this:
how do we know there's a "why" in the universe?
was there a reason that the universe came into existance?

thats a good question. either way the answer falls, you (i, anyone) cant really know about it. i think that maybe a better question could be 'was there a reason the universe came into existence like this? and to that, i would reply:

yes. so that we could have this conversation.

I find it more probabble myself that there was no reason that the universe came into existance. only a means, which may have happened spontaneously.

given a universe, i would tend to agree with you. out of the realm of all possible universes, there are very few configurations which we could label 'understandable' (or even 'habitable') as we understand it. it is this, the configuration of our universe and the extreme balance that it represents for etching out a niche for self-reflexive life, that causes me to attribute the universe with intention. specifically, the intention to house beings capable of existance within _this framework. im not asking you to agree, im merely stating that there is a level of 'coincidence' required in forming what we understand as a habitable environment, and that level is too high for me to claim 'coincidence' as its primary cause.

I disagree that the universe intended to be understood. this also implies some form of intelligence; and like I said, we cannot simply make assumptions about the universe.

on this point i would like to ask how it is possible for intentioned beings to spawn from un-intentioned space. if intelligence, intention, and understanding are not properties of the universe, how may we so often employ them? in my view, intention spawning from a strictly material body is an unreasonable assumption about the universe.

I would also think that if the universe intended to be understood, then we'd at least know a lot more about it than we do.

i put this in a category with 'if there were a god he wouldnt let all the babies die'. its a pleasant sentiment, but by no means a reasonable requirement. if the universe intended to be understood, if the property of 'omnipotence' is to be attributed, it would be understood at any given time precicely tothe level of its intended understanding. or perhaps it is merely understood to the degree that it is understood, and the universe is disapointed about it. in either case (or any other), our success in understanding has little to do with why the universe exists as an understandable and livable place instead of a mashup of energy and matter swirling around in chaos, which, by all reasonable statistics, it should be

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


Apokalipse
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Quote:thats a good question.

Quote:
thats a good question. either way the answer falls, you (i, anyone) cant really know about it. i think that maybe a better question could be 'was there a reason the universe came into existence like this? and to that, i would reply:

yes. so that we could have this conversation.

the answer still could be no. spontaneous quantum fluctuations just "happen" without needing a reason why.

Quote:
given a universe, i would tend to agree with you. out of the realm of all possible universes, there are very few configurations which we could label 'understandable' (or even 'habitable') as we understand it. it is this, the configuration of our universe and the extreme balance that it represents for etching out a niche for self-reflexive life, that causes me to attribute the universe with intention. specifically, the intention to house beings capable of existance within _this framework. im not asking you to agree, im merely stating that there is a level of 'coincidence' required in forming what we understand as a habitable environment, and that level is too high for me to claim 'coincidence' as its primary cause.
so we get into probabilities.
have you heard the idea of multiverses?

the idea is that there are trillions of universes inside extra dimensions.
if this theory were true, it would mean that the mathematical probability of one of these universes would happen like ours has, is extremely likely, given the amount of universes there are.

still, we cannot make assumptions about these matters. though I was using this to demonstrate that "intention" is at best, speculation. and one cannot say that the universe was intended

my stance is to hold the negative position until proven otherwise

Quote:
on this point i would like to ask how it is possible for intentioned beings to spawn from un-intentioned space. if intelligence, intention, and understanding are not properties of the universe, how may we so often employ them? in my view, intention spawning from a strictly material body is an unreasonable assumption about the universe.
mathematically, with the uncountable amount of planets in this universe, it is very probabble for a planet to occur capable of producing and sustaining life.
so that establishes that life can happen without a reason.

the rest is up to evolution.
evolution is a process by which organisms adapt to survive.
the mechanisms are:
genetic mutation
natural selection

they both occur randomly, but their product becomes ordered.

evolution is not concerned with how organisms survive. it is only concerned with whether they survive.

in the vast majority of cases, evolution favoured physical changes.
in our case, we were given extended mental capabilities. this allowed us to outsmart natural predators, and to outsmart our prey. and it gave us an immense advantage, which is why humans are so prosperous compared to other animals.

our ability to think, through evolution, simply extended further than for "just survival"
and that's why humans are as intelligent as we are, albeit far from perfect.

BTW, evolution has been proven beyond reasonable doubt, which is demonstrated by fossilised records, and by real observations (for example viruses mutating and adapting to drugs)
and also because the products of evolution are far from perfect (evolution is ongoing) which is why we haven't understood the universe as well as it is possible to.
and it's also why (I'm not sure of the exact figure, but I think it's this) about 90-95% of our DNA is completely useless.

Quote:
i put this in a category with 'if there were a god he wouldnt let all the babies die'. its a pleasant sentiment, but by no means a reasonable requirement. if the universe intended to be understood, if the property of 'omnipotence' is to be attributed, it would be understood at any given time precicely tothe level of its intended understanding. or perhaps it is merely understood to the degree that it is understood, and the universe is disapointed about it. in either case (or any other), our success in understanding has little to do with why the universe exists as an understandable and livable place instead of a mashup of energy and matter swirling around in chaos, which, by all reasonable statistics, it should be
of course you'd still have to accept the notion that the universe does want to be understood.

while technically that is possible, it still amounts to pure speculation.
and like I said, I generally don't make assumptions based on what we don't know.
but still, I do not consider that notion to be very probabble.
it still implies that there was a reason for the universe existing, and that there is some form of intelligence either about the universe itself, or about a creator of the universe.

then yet again, I get back to this: I don't like making assumptions on the universe.


averyv
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the premise of this site is

the premise of this site is that god is irrational. i hold that our universe's existence is irrational (actually, id count it impossible) and, further, life is irrational even given a universe. for this reason, i feel that god (direction, intention, purpose being an intrinsic and active piece of our universe) is the only reasonable explanation.

so here are a series of questions that, i feel, sum up the majority of my point. please note that im not really a "creationist" (im not even sure i know what it means), tho i could not really consider evolution a viable possiblity without direction. you may feel free to assume i do not have a totally clear picture on the subject. (not sarcasm)

also, i understand some of the options given are a little one sided. feel free to answer the sentiment. or not answer at all. i was just messing around.

anyway, i am not looking for agreeance or arbitrary argument. i am challenging someone to disrupt my sense of universal placement.

when matter exists does it:
a. sit there/ simply exist
b. convert itself into life

please explain your answer

when a mutation occurs is it more typically a:
a. insertion
b. deletion

do mutations most typically
a. act as a benefit
b. act as a detrement
c. kill the host

as complexity occurs in evolution, is a mutation:
a. more likely to act as a benefit
b. less likely to act as a benefit
c. most probably going to kill the host population before critical mass

when two very very tiny things bump into each other, do they:
a. bump away again
b. destroy each other
c. explode at billions of degrees with uniform force in every available direction generating persistent and consistent universe rife with matter, energy, and a slew of physical deterministic tendencies built on probabalistic quantum fluctuations via a fabric of 'space-time' eventually giving way to not only life, but sentient and self-reflexive life capable of manipulating its surroundings and speculating at its existence

last question:

Quote:
evolution is not concerned with how organisms survive. it is only concerned with whether they survive.

even this statement implies that evolution has an inexplicable goal that entails the survival of at least one species of life. how could this construct established from literal nothingness?

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


Apokalipse
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Quote:the premise of this

Quote:
the premise of this site is that god is irrational. i hold that our universe's existence is irrational (actually, id count it impossible) and, further, life is irrational even given a universe. for this reason, i feel that god (direction, intention, purpose being an intrinsic and active piece of our universe) is the only reasonable explanation.
why do you say that the universes existance is irrational?
quite simply, we know it exists. therefore it cannot be "irrational" to say that it exists.

secondly, why do you say that god is the only explanation?
there are heaps and heaps of possible explanations. god not being the most scientifically consistent.
however, all our current theories about how the universe came about are still based on assumptions, and/or are assumptions themselves.

therefore we don't have any conclusins we can say are true in explaining the universe. and this includes the existance of a god.

and also, the existance of a god itself still does leave questions; for example, where this god itself came from

Quote:
so here are a series of questions that, i feel, sum up the majority of my point. please note that im not really a "creationist" (im not even sure i know what it means), tho i could not really consider evolution a viable possiblity without direction. you may feel free to assume i do not have a totally clear picture on the subject. (not sarcasm)
why don't you consider evolution viable? observations so far have very consistently agreed with evolution. just as an example, the mutation of viruses. that's evolution in action.

Quote:
also, i understand some of the options given are a little one sided. feel free to answer the sentiment. or not answer at all. i was just messing around.
what's one-sided about them?
my responses have been based on logical reasoning, and really trying to not make assumptions

Quote:
when matter exists does it:
a. sit there/ simply exist
b. convert itself into life
that depends on what life itself is.
as has been predicted by Einstein, matter is actually energy. that's where E = MC² comes from.
and it has been proven and demonstrated by atomic technologies, including the atomic bombs.
C = 300000000 m/s
C² = 90000000000000000
and that's why the atomic bombs are so powerful.

anyway, if life is actually energy, then it may be possible for matter to "convert" itself into life. but like I have said before, making any assumptions either way is illogical.

also, if the above is correct in that life is actually energy, then answers a and b can both be correct. most of the matter sits there, but occasionally, some matter may become life.

still, back to my original point. I am not going to make assumptions either way.

Quote:
when a mutation occurs is it more typically a:
a. insertion
b. deletion
typically, it's a change. but it can also be an insertion, or a deletion.
but also keep in mind, it is completely random.

genetic mutation itself is random. and so evolution requires more than just genetic mutation. the other mechanism, natural selection, plays a very vital role in evolution. in that, nature selects out the changes that simply do not work under the circumstances.

Quote:
do mutations most typically
a. act as a benefit
b. act as a detrement
c. kill the host
if I had to pick one, I'd say that it is more common for a mutation to do more harm than good.

however, this is what natural selection is for. natural selection typically weeds out the changes which will:
give no advantage where it is needed
or give a disadvantage

Quote:
as complexity occurs in evolution, is a mutation:
a. more likely to act as a benefit
b. less likely to act as a benefit
c. most probably going to kill the host population before critical mass
again, it is completely random. but that's what natural selection is for. to weed out the changes that will not allow the organism to survive, given its conditions.

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when two very very tiny things bump into each other, do they:
a. bump away again
b. destroy each other
c. explode at billions of degrees with uniform force in every available direction generating persistent and consistent universe rife with matter, energy, and a slew of physical deterministic tendencies built on probabalistic quantum fluctuations via a fabric of 'space-time' eventually giving way to not only life, but sentient and self-reflexive life capable of manipulating its surroundings and speculating at its existence
that depends on a range of circumstances, including:
what these two things are
how fast they are going
what direction they are going
and what other conditions there are. for example, other acting forces that may be acting on them (gravity, magnetism etc..)

so there is really no answer unless you are specific as to what circumstances there are.

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even this statement implies that evolution has an inexplicable goal that entails the survival of at least one species of life. how could this construct established from literal nothingness?
actually, natural selection is all about weeding out bad things. not "selecting good things"
the changes that give an organism advantages will increase the probability that the organism will survive the circumstances at hand.

in other words, by default, natural selection will try to select out everything.
but survival advantages given to something by genetic mutation will allow it to survive against natural selection.

in the case of humans, it is an increase in intelligence that allowed us to survive natural selection

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how could this construct established from literal nothingness?
it is established by removing that which prevents establishment. that is natural selection.

and when you say "from literal nothingness"
this simply becomes a moot point. nobody can make assumptions as to where the universe came from out of nothingness

there are some interesting theories though.

for example, the positive/negative energy theory;
that everything in the universe is made of positive and negative energy, such that, the total energy (when the positive and negative energy are added up) actually equals zero. therefore, the universe is equivalent to nothing.

note that I am not saying that this theory is true. it is an interesting one. but my point yet again goes back to assumptions; that one cannot simply make assumptions.


darth_josh
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The answer to all of your

The answer to all of your first questions is YES. All of the above.
Each of those things happens.

You've answered your own last question by examining mutations.

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averyv
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Quote:why do you say that

Quote:
why do you say that the universes existance is irrational?
quite simply, we know it exists. therefore it cannot be "irrational" to say that it exists.

i cannot follow nothing into something, and i cannot understand a perpetual motion machine. its not 'irrational' to 'say' the universe exists, of course, as we can agree that it does, however its existence strikes me as paradoxical.
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secondly, why do you say that god is the only explanation?
there are heaps and heaps of possible explanations. god not being the most scientifically consistent.

the only reasonable explanation. totally intended as a subjective thought. the only explanation sufficient to smooth the inconsistencies that i see as i understand them is a god object.

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why don't you consider evolution viable?...just as an example, the mutation of viruses. that's evolution in action.

i recognize the mutation of viruses and speciation asthe same process. i do not recognize them as the same thing.
undirected evolution feels like a death trap. i understand that you cite natural selection often, but, for reasons that will be explained in a few paragraphs, i do not feel that such a guard is enough to evolve highly complex inner organs and contingent bodily systems to generate significant advances in a population before reaching critical mass. i understand that it is possible, tho i also understand that my hand may pass through a solid if i put it down at the right moment.

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as has been predicted by Einstein, matter is actually energy. that's where E = MC² comes from...
and it has been proven and demonstrated by atomic technologies, including the atomic bombs.
C = 300000000 m/s
C² = 90000000000000000
and that's why the atomic bombs are so powerful.

anyway, if life is actually energy, then it may be possible for matter to "convert" itself into life. but like I have said before, making any assumptions either way is illogical.

i must admit, i have never considered relativity in this light (ha). its an interesting thought, tho i dont see much correlation between matter==energy and energy==life, not that e=mc^2 says anything like matter==energy in the first place. life=(matter+energy)/matter*energy or something and i could start to get into it. we would have to square something, of course.

just kidding. however, its worth noting that even though energy and matter are convertable, they arent exactly jumping between states. it would take a pretty significant push to move either entity into 'life', whatever conglomeration that may be. i would agree that assumptions of these sorts seem illogical

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also, if the above is correct in that life is actually energy, then answers a and b can both be correct. most of the matter sits there, but occasionally, some matter may become life.

i do not reject this as a possibility, though i do not see it being more compelling than my previous conception. i also do not recognize it as an obstacle to my previous conception, and do not regaurd it as particularly viable without some level of direction.

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in other words, by default, natural selection will try to select out everything.

it might be unfair of me to boil all that you said about my evolution questions into a single sentence, though i feel this most appropriately illustrates my problem with evolution given no intention or direction.

i dont understand why natural selection didnt win. i mean, it had every advantage, mutations are death. and yet, somehow, life eeked through. for a generation of totally random (and we're talking, like, really random here. not this rand crap) additions and deletions to DNA and end up with even anything at all that remotely in any way looked like something that could be usable, or in less likelyhood, useful would be amazing. to have it happen in a way that yeilds a meaningful end product, or even a product that could have meaning attributed to it, is a truly gargantuan and fantastic statistical miracle. this baffles me. truly. i dont get it. unless life was just a given for some other reason or my conception of what 'totally random' means is wrong, i cannot move past this point. the requirements for natural selection to have even had a chance to play its part in trying to kill off life are just too much for me.

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and when you say "from literal nothingness"
this simply becomes a moot point. nobody can make assumptions as to where the universe came from out of nothingness

well then i guess im missing something. as far as im concerned, either:
a. the universe came from literal nothingness
b. the universe has always always been
c. the universe came from something that was, but was not the universe
d. the universe does not exist

d is ridiculous. the universe does exist. c implies that there is something that is not the universe, which would be a subject i dont believe that i am qualified to speak on, and b implies that we live in a giant perpetual motion machine, and i am not prepared to stand behind that either.

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[the theory] that everything in the universe is made of positive and negative energy, such that, the total energy (when the positive and negative energy are added up) actually equals zero. therefore, the universe is equivalent to nothing.

an interesting theory. nothing manifesting itself so strongly as something has some extremely difficult implications, but im always up for theory. again however, i do not find it more compelling than my conception of god, nor again an obstacle to it. tho i must say it does put some buddhist thought into a pleasant light, and that never hurts my feelings.

i wanted to comment a little more on one thing that you said:

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there are heaps and heaps of possible explanations [for the universe and where it came from]. god not being the most scientifically consistent.

there are heaps and heaps. i have read more than a few items on the subject, and have what i feel is a reasonably strong laymans understanding of the physical landscape we occupy. i am versed in the scientific method and understand well the benefits of scientific inquiry. however, i am an individual who, when presented with several options, will pick the most compelling of the available options. as new options appear,they must be understood comparatively against old assumptions. assumptions are cheap and expendable. they may be employed and destroyed as necessary.

i contend that we are dealing in a topic with unique rules. it is my feeling that a compelling explanation stands strong where absolute truth appears a non-option. i count knowing the truth of the origin and methods of life and the universe as non-options, and in return generate and accept that which appears reasonable.

and so, i must to ask why it is not scientifically consistent to imagine an aire of direction in the time arrow. it already points forward, even though it looks the same in reverse. how is it more viable that infinite universes could spawn inexplicably and unseen and yet there could not be intention toward a form of life inherent in this space, despite the universe's miraculous configuration as a space which can house a persistent and consistent environment.

finally, a uniform explosion of spacetime (no matter the direction or speed of the two tinies who bumped) strikes me as scientifically inconsistent. explosion are not uniform. and yet, our universe did (and does) expand uniformly. i recognize that it does not 'follow' that there must be direction for such an unlikely occurance. tho i have not been compelled to believe any scenario i have been offered without said guiding force. any way you slice it, we live in a pretty unlikely scenario. even to state that it all just happened on its own is a pretty sizable assumption. granted that it does not assume any particular outside phenomenon, it does however put an awful lot of strain on those weak ones that have been observed.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


Apokalipse
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averyv wrote:i cannot follow

averyv wrote:
i cannot follow nothing into something, and i cannot understand a perpetual motion machine. its not 'irrational' to 'say' the universe exists, of course, as we can agree that it does, however its existence strikes me as paradoxical.
this is all we know: the universe exists. how it came into existance, we don't know. but it's no good making assumptions about it.

besides, the concept of a god is not withoout its own paradoxes.
for example, god apparently created the universe, out of nothing
and still, there is no explanation as to where this god came from either.
suppoesdly, he's perfect, and was able to exist all by himself. and yet the universe, which is far from "perfect" must be created?

it makes more sense to not assume a god does exist.

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the only reasonable explanation. totally intended as a subjective thought. the only explanation sufficient to smooth the inconsistencies that i see as i understand them is a god object.
but then you have to explain this god itself. and that brings in more questions and problems than it solves.
like, which religeon is correct. or how exactly you must act. or what exactly the holy book literally means (not even Christians themselves can agree on how to interpret pieces of the bible)

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i recognize the mutation of viruses and speciation asthe same process. i do not recognize them as the same thing.
undirected evolution feels like a death trap. i understand that you cite natural selection often, but, for reasons that will be explained in a few paragraphs, i do not feel that such a guard is enough to evolve highly complex inner organs and contingent bodily systems to generate significant advances in a population before reaching critical mass. i understand that it is possible, tho i also understand that my hand may pass through a solid if i put it down at the right moment.
evolution directs itself, using natural selection.
to truly understand natural selection, you will see that it is all the guard that is necessary.
it does not create beings that are perfect. and that's why nothing on this planet is perfect. we aren't perfect, we're far from it. from the 90-95% of our DNA that is useless, to all the diseases that occur, such as heart diseases, and cancer, or the fact that some people are born without limbs. that's simply evolution in action.

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i must admit, i have never considered relativity in this light (ha). its an interesting thought, tho i dont see much correlation between matter==energy and energy==life, not that e=mc^2 says anything like matter==energy in the first place. life=(matter+energy)/matter*energy or something and i could start to get into it. we would have to square something, of course.

just kidding. however, its worth noting that even though energy and matter are convertable, they arent exactly jumping between states. it would take a pretty significant push to move either entity into 'life', whatever conglomeration that may be. i would agree that assumptions of these sorts seem illogical

well you're right in that matter and energy are not often jumping between states - on this planet at least.
however look at the stars. they are just big nuclear reactions held together by their own gravity.
in nuclear reactions, a lot of the matter is converted into energy. that's why we get lots of heat, light and other radiation from the stars.

also, there is already plenty of energy in the universe anyway. with the assumption that life is energy, my point was not that matter had to be converted into energy to produce life. just that, if life is energy, that it may be possible.

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i do not reject this as a possibility, though i do not see it being more compelling than my previous conception. i also do not recognize it as an obstacle to my previous conception, and do not regaurd it as particularly viable without some level of direction.
that's good, you're holding the negative position on this issue when there is no evidence to show that it is true. that's exactly how one should think with issues like these.

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it might be unfair of me to boil all that you said about my evolution questions into a single sentence, though i feel this most appropriately illustrates my problem with evolution given no intention or direction.

i dont understand why natural selection didnt win. i mean, it had every advantage

no, natural selection does not have all the advantages
how natural selection works:
basically, an animal will live in some place, with certain conditions.
if there are natural predators, then that animal has to have some way of surviving against them.
in some cases, speed allows them to evade their predators.
so mutations occur in some of these animals. some of them make the animal go faster, some of them go slower.

in this case, the animals that are slower are very likely to be caught against those which are faster. and so the faster ones live on, while the slower ones die out.

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mutations are death.
not necessariy. yes, most of the time they are, but not always. natural selection is there to weed out the changes that does not allow it to survive.

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and yet, somehow, life eeked through.
life is always going to eek through natural selection. the only question is: in what way?
natural selection is about survival of the fittest. i.e. animals that are fit for their circumstances, generally do survive.

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for a generation of totally random (and we're talking, like, really random here. not this rand crap) additions and deletions to DNA and end up with even anything at all that remotely in any way looked like something that could be usable, or in less likelyhood, useful would be amazing.
the random mutations are what cause change. but random mutations alone do not cause evolution. it only works in combination with natural selection.

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to have it happen in a way that yeilds a meaningful end product, or even a product that could have meaning attributed to it, is a truly gargantuan and fantastic statistical miracle.
again, the crucial mechanism is natural selection. genetic mutations alone cannot cause life to evolve.

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this baffles me. truly. i dont get it.
that's the problem. most people do not truly understand how evolution works, and so reject it because of that.

evolution requires the two mechanisms; mutations, and natural selection.
it is only when both of these mechanisms work that evolution can occur.

also, I do stress that, despite things being complex, everything is far from perfect. in fact, when you really get down to it, there are simply so many flaws and things that can and do go wrong with any organism. for example cancer, or how some people are born without limbs, or how thee are siamese twins, or there's long and short-sightedness.... I think that is a clear indication of evolution rather than design.

Quote:
unless life was just a given for some other reason or my conception of what 'totally random' means is wrong, i cannot move past this point.
the genetic mutations are random. but when you simultaneously have genetic mutations, along with natural selection, there can be order.

it's not just life that order is seen. anything with a significant amount of gravity becomes spherical. that is order.
planetary systems revolving around stars is orderly.
stars rotating around a central black hole create galaxies that are somewhat ordered in structure.

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the requirements for natural selection to have even had a chance to play its part in trying to kill off life are just too much for me.
I think you are overestimating the ability of natural selection to kill organisms.
natural selection does not try to systematically kill all organisms that are a smidgen faulty. there is a margin for error. and that margin for error is large enough for organisms to survive if they have appropriate advantage(s)

Quote:
well then i guess im missing something. as far as im concerned, either:
a. the universe came from literal nothingness
b. the universe has always always been
c. the universe came from something that was, but was not the universe
d. the universe does not exist

d is ridiculous. the universe does exist. c implies that there is something that is not the universe, which would be a subject i dont believe that i am qualified to speak on, and b implies that we live in a giant perpetual motion machine, and i am not prepared to stand behind that either.

the existance of a god falls under category c
the main problem with c (aside from it being an assumption) is that this "something" that the universe came from, is itself left unexplained.
and it also does not explain where this "something" got all the stuff needed to create the universe.

category b, although is an assumption, makes things very simple. and therefore has a higher probabbility of being correct.

category a seems to be a problem. however, it may actually be possible; that is, if the universe is actually made up of opposing things (for example positive and negative energy) which exactly cancel each other out. and that effectively means the universe is made of nothing.
however this does have another problem. to create a theory around that, is so far simply speculation; i.e. is based on assumptions.

Quote:
an interesting theory. nothing manifesting itself so strongly as something has some extremely difficult implications, but im always up for theory. again however, i do not find it more compelling than my conception of god, nor again an obstacle to it. tho i must say it does put some buddhist thought into a pleasant light, and that never hurts my feelings.
personally I think the theory makes more sense than "goddidit" given that it provides a complete answer.
with the concept of a god, it still leaves some things unexplained, for example where this god came from, and where he got the stuff to create the universe.

however yet again, I am pointing out that both concepts are mere speculation. I simply find the positive/negative energy theory more probabble.

Quote:
there are heaps and heaps. i have read more than a few items on the subject, and have what i feel is a reasonably strong laymans understanding of the physical landscape we occupy. i am versed in the scientific method and understand well the benefits of scientific inquiry. however, i am an individual who, when presented with several options, will pick the most compelling of the available options.
through the scientific method, the most logical way of going about things is to scrutinise everything, and hold no bias towards anything unless:
* observations are consistently agreeing with the theory
* the theory is based on few, if any assumptions;
if any assumptions are made, they must either not significantly affect the result, or have a very high probability of being correct.

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as new options appear,they must be understood comparatively against old assumptions. assumptions are cheap and expendable. they may be employed and destroyed as necessary.
I hold the position that all assumptions must be either proven or destroyed, for us to decide whether to employ them.

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i contend that we are dealing in a topic with unique rules. it is my feeling that a compelling explanation stands strong where absolute truth appears a non-option. i count knowing the truth of the origin and methods of life and the universe as non-options, and in return generate and accept that which appears reasonable.
I would say we simply do not know if we can know the truth; given that we do not know it.
for all we know, it may be possible. and that's why we keep searching.

still, if something isn't proven, it still may be wrong.
so I tend to use probabbility, instead of saying something is right or wrong.
if something is not very probabble to me, I hold the negative position of a hypothesis or theory unless it can be proven correct

Quote:
and so, i must to ask why it is not scientifically consistent to imagine an aire of direction in the time arrow. it already points forward, even though it looks the same in reverse. how is it more viable that infinite universes could spawn inexplicably and unseen and yet there could not be intention toward a form of life inherent in this space, despite the universe's miraculous configuration as a space which can house a persistent and consistent environment.
my point was to avoid using assumptions.
as for the infinite universes, I am holding it as a possibility only. it could be false, it could be true. we have no idea. but I am not making assumptions either way.

I also made the point that, mathematically, it is actually quite likely for a planet to occur like Earth has, which is capable of sustaining life.
and this is given the sheer number of planets in the universe. there are so many we can't count them. and we almost definately won't be able to.

Quote:
finally, a uniform explosion of spacetime (no matter the direction or speed of the two tinies who bumped) strikes me as scientifically inconsistent. explosion are not uniform. and yet, our universe did (and does) expand uniformly. i recognize that it does not 'follow' that there must be direction for such an unlikely occurance. tho i have not been compelled to believe any scenario i have been offered without said guiding force.
we know that the big bang happened. there is evidence for that, as the universe is expanding, and accelerating right now.

we know that the big bang happpened. that's all we know. we don't know what happened before the big bang, or what caused it.
and it is for this reason that I am not going to jump to any conclusions, or start making assumptions about it; we simply do not know.

Quote:
any way you slice it, we live in a pretty unlikely scenario.
unlikely relative to what?
we do not know how many possible ways the universe could operate (as in, laws of physics, universal constants) or even whether it could operate in any other way.
so we can say nothing about the likelihood of our universe being in its current state.

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even to state that it all just happened on its own is a pretty sizable assumption. granted that it does not assume any particular outside phenomenon, it does however put an awful lot of strain on those weak ones that have been observed.
logically, it is best not to assume there was any outside phenomenon that caused the universe to come into existance; this is given that we have no evidence and simply no grounds to say exactly how the universe came into existance. we only have a bunch of theories.


averyv
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Quote:god apparently created

Quote:
god apparently created the universe, out of nothing
and still, there is no explanation as to where this god came from either.

i would guess he came from the same place the universe did. god and understanding are requisite for each other in my mind. matter and space and time and probably even locomotion by little life things are not impossible to imagine without the presence of a god. understanding, self reflection, intention, and purpose, however, are much more difficult to deal with. this is why i say that self reflection and the rest are intrinsic to this universe. and that, most basically, is god.

Quote:
suppoesdly, he's perfect, and was able to exist all by himself. and yet the universe, which is far from "perfect" must be created?

god is the definition of existence in the system of the relavent domain (i.e. here). perfection, as everything else, is relative to definition.
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but then you have to explain this god itself.

i just dont find that to be such a difficult task. also one that doesnt really require consistency from one subjective experience to another. but, if youd like a definition, i would accept 'the truth of existence' or 'the dataglue of reality' if you'd like to be all geeky about it. not that these are complete or even remotely close to actual definitions of god, but its a sentiment anyway.
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and that brings in more questions and problems than it solves.
like, which religeon is correct. or how exactly you must act. or what exactly the holy book literally means (not even Christians themselves can agree on how to interpret pieces of the bible)
im not sure its a requirement that any religion be correct for there to be a god. my guess would be that none are, but all have some interesting or useful information to throw in. as for 'how you must act', i dunno. how you should act is an interesting question in light of there being a god, i suppose, but not significantly more interesting than the question of how you should act given that there is not a god. more importantly, i think, is what you do. if you need god hanging rules over your head to tell you how you 'must' act, then you have probably missed something. not that some fine suggestions weren't given.

as for the bible, i dont know what to tell you. i would sooner go to the woods than the bible, but i got that suggestion from the bible, so, i think its just up to you.

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we aren't perfect, we're far from it. from the 90-95% of our DNA that is useless, to all the diseases that occur, such as heart diseases, and cancer, or the fact that some people are born without limbs. that's simply evolution in action.

i have two responses to this
1. i dont even know what you mean when you say the word 'perfect'. from the examples you give, it sounds like you mean a being that lives eternally, never gets sick, and uses 100% of its dna or something, which sounds like more of a 'disaster' than 'perfection', unless these perfect beings also dont reproduce.
2. am i to take from that statement that we will evolve out of heart failure or cancer? does my inner instinct know which girl is most, or more importantly least, likely to get cancer?

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well you're right in that matter and energy are not often jumping between states - on this planet at least.
however look at the stars. they are just big nuclear reactions held together by their own gravity.
in nuclear reactions, a lot of the matter is converted into energy. that's why we get lots of heat, light and other radiation from the stars.

good point. i will concede even life is theoreticall possible without a god.
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natural selection is about survival of the fittest. i.e. animals that are fit for their circumstances, generally do survive.

then god is the circumstances.

science probably wont find god, because its too busy looking right at it, as god is the definition of this system. so, actually, science finds god all the time. it is just mistakenly labeled experimental data.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


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so what you're saying is

so what you're saying is that 'god' is a suitable explanation to plug in the holes of things you don't understand?
through all of this, your major mistake is in taking the universe to exist anthropocentrically. get over yourself.
understanding, self reflection, intention, and purpose are not properties of the universe, they are properties and concepts created by the human brain. much in the same vein, the concept of 'life' is not a counterpart of matter or energy, it is a concept created by humans to linguistically differentiate organisms from inanimate objects. a rock is not 'alive' because the matter it consists of does not interact in a way that produces energy. a lizard, on the other hand, is made up of matter that interacts, produces and expends energy, and then consumes more matter to continue the process. the word 'life' merely describes the matter/energy interaction of organisms. (note, however, that matter can interact and produce energy without being life, i.e. the sun is not 'alive')
which brings us to the universe, and conservation of matter/energy. matter and energy never go anywhere. people seem (seem) to think that the 'end of the world' and destruction of humanity means also that everything will cease to exist. this is also stupidly anthropocentric. we cannot destroy the universe. we cannot really destroy anything. even if we blew up the entire planet of earth, and 'earth' no longer existed, the matter and energy that earth was comprised of would still exist. so if the matter/energy of the universe cannot be destroyed, then it will always exist. it then logically follows that it always has existed, as matter/energy can not be created either. the mass of the universe is constant, matter/energy neither comes into existence nor leaves it.
the big bang theory does not describe the formation of the universe from nothing. it describes the sudden, rapid expansion of the universe from a state of concentrated matter/energy.
ah, and lastly, ascribing some sort of 'meaning' or significance to interactions is another highly anthropocentric concept. "i'm so complex and great, there must be some sort of purpose and meaning in the things that i do" is just a pompous byproduct of human self-reflection with a dash of pride.

Fear is the mindkiller.


Apokalipse
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averyv wrote:i would guess

averyv wrote:
i would guess he came from the same place the universe did.
which is where?
averyv wrote:
god and understanding are requisite for each other in my mind. matter and space and time and probably even locomotion by little life things are not impossible to imagine without the presence of a god.
one question, why?
again, you just can't make claims without evidence.

averyv wrote:
understanding, self reflection, intention, and purpose, however, are much more difficult to deal with.
those are human qualities and/or concepts. they say nothing about how we got here. the only thing we can say is that we have those properties.

averyv wrote:
this is why i say that self reflection and the rest are intrinsic to this universe. and that, most basically, is god.
I don't see how you made that connection. how does the existance of a god relate to human properties?
again, we know that we can have those properties. how we got them is another matter; but we still can't be making assumptions about it.

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god is the definition of existence in the system of the relavent domain (i.e. here).
that isn't really what I was asking. how is it that god, a supposedly perfect being, come to exist on his own? did he come from nothing?

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perfection, as everything else, is relative to definition.
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but then you have to explain this god itself.

i just dont find that to be such a difficult task. also one that doesnt really require consistency from one subjective experience to another. but, if youd like a definition, i would accept 'the truth of existence' or 'the dataglue of reality' if you'd like to be all geeky about it. not that these are complete or even remotely close to actual definitions of god, but its a sentiment anyway.
I wasn't asking about defenitions, I was asking about existance. i.e. how does god exist? where did he come from?

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im not sure its a requirement that any religion be correct for there to be a god. my guess would be that none are but all have some interesting or useful information to throw in. as for 'how you must act', i dunno. how you should act is an interesting question in light of there being a god, i suppose, but not significantly more interesting than the question of how you should act given that there is not a god. more importantly, i think, is what you do. if you need god hanging rules over your head to tell you how you 'must' act, then you have probably missed something. not that some fine suggestions weren't given.
all of which are based on man-made morality.
good points, but my point was that if one assumed the existance of a god, it also creates so many unanswerable questions.
therefore, one cannot say that god does exist. because not only is that unprovable, but one is also faced with having to try and answer the other questions.
and also, the more unanswered ends a theory has, the less likely it is to be correct.

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as for the bible, i dont know what to tell you. i would sooner go to the woods than the bible
good to see. it is simply more logical to accept things that are actually proven. the bible is not proven, not to mention it contradicts itself on many fronts.

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but i got that suggestion from the bible, so, i think its just up to you.
I simply never follow the bible. I do not need the bible for me to be a good person, nor to lead a good life.

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i have two responses to this
1. i dont even know what you mean when you say the word 'perfect'. from the examples you give, it sounds like you mean a being that lives eternally, never gets sick, and uses 100% of its dna or something, which sounds like more of a 'disaster' than 'perfection', unless these perfect beings also dont reproduce.
2. am i to take from that statement that we will evolve out of heart failure or cancer? does my inner instinct know which girl is most, or more importantly least, likely to get cancer?
perfection is a concept, meaning unflawed in all aspects.
I ws commenting on the uncountable amount of flaws that occur in the human anatomy, which simply should not be there had we been designed.

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good point. i will concede even life is theoreticall possible without a god.
it is entirely possible. we just haven't worked out exactly how it happened in our case.

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then god is the circumstances.
why do you say that?

when I said circumstances, I meant things like these:
what it has to eat and drink, what it has to do to get to it, how much sunlight it gets, how hot it gets, how many and what kind of natural predators it has, what kind of terrain it is living on, what the animals current state is etc...

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science probably wont find god, because its too busy looking right at it, as god is the definition of this system. so, actually, science finds god all the time. it is just mistakenly labeled experimental data.
you're saying the universe is actually god?
if that's the case, then when god created the universe, he actually created himself. and at the same time, the universe created god, and itself.

the defenition of god I, and the vast majority of people use is: an external entity to, and creator of, the universe.


averyv
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Quote:so what you're saying

Quote:
so what you're saying is that 'god' is a suitable explanation to plug in the holes of things you don't understand?

not really. what im saying is more along the lines of 'god is the definition of all things'. this has the side-effect of smoothing over things that are not understood. however, all things that can be observed and explained may be to whatever degree is possible. the point of god is not explanation, tho at times that role is employed as a truism. as in all truisms, this is not particularly useful
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through all of this, your major mistake is in taking the universe to exist anthropocentrically. get over yourself.
over myself, and happily so. the universe does not exist for the sake of humans, humans are a reflection of the universe. all that we are and do are functions of the universe and its properties. which brings me to:
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understanding, self reflection, intention, and purpose are not properties of the universe, they are properties and concepts created by the human brain.

i find this to be quite a bizarre statement, as it seems to imply that somehow the human brain may have properties that are not properties of the universe. understanding, self reflection, intention and purpose are words to describe existing phenomenon. to say that the phenomenon that they represent are not properties of the universe would imply that they happen somewhere else. and they might, i guess. but if that place isnt the universe, then i dont know a thing about it.
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much in the same vein, the concept of 'life' is not a counterpart of matter or energy, it is a concept created by humans to linguistically differentiate organisms from inanimate objects.

this is an extremely anthropocentric statement. life is a phenomenon that exists and happens totally independent of humans or language. our being able to categorize something in no way makes it a 'concept created by humans'. well, ok. so it does make it a 'concept created by humans'. but only in the sense that we generated the words to describe a particular pre-existing phenomenon. however, 'life' can exist without humans to label it as such.
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which brings us to the universe, and conservation of matter/energy. matter and energy never go anywhere. people seem (seem) to think that the 'end of the world' and destruction of humanity means also that everything will cease to exist. this is also stupidly anthropocentric. we cannot destroy the universe. we cannot really destroy anything.

ok, agreed.
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so if the matter/energy of the universe cannot be destroyed, then it will always exist. it then logically follows that it always has existed, as matter/energy can not be created either. the mass of the universe is constant, matter/energy neither comes into existence nor leaves it.

ok, im going to use the phrase 'its just there' to sum that up
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the big bang theory does not describe the formation of the universe from nothing. it describes the sudden, rapid expansion of the universe from a state of concentrated matter/energy.

ok. if that is an explanation for the universe, i have no fewer questions. leaving aside the 'where did all that matter come from' (because, of course, its just there), how did it get to be so concentrated, and where did the energy for the explosion come from? how did it explode into such a delicate balance of consistency? or perhaps those things just happened as well?

the thing is, none of this in any way speaks to whether or not there is a god, and if anything leads me further into believing in it under the exact framework that you are describing.

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ah, and lastly, ascribing some sort of 'meaning' or significance to interactions is another highly anthropocentric concept.

i guess that would be true if you didnt extend meaning to anything but humans, or believed that meaning was for the sake of humans, or something along those lines. but, it does extend to everything in the universe (as everything in the universe is exactly the same) and it is not for the sake of humans (tho we are the ones you hear talking about it most). this does not mean that it is not experienced by all things that are involved in the universe. it just means you couldnt understand their expression of it or relation to it. in other words, there is purpose and meaning in every atom ofthe universe, and solely for the sake of purpose and meaning. humans are a reflection of the universe, and we frequently get confused between that which we can categorize and that which we created.
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"i'm so complex and great, there must be some sort of purpose and meaning in the things that i do" is just a pompous byproduct of human self-reflection with a dash of pride.

and yes, that statement is extremely pompous. its also not a very accurate reflection of any of my comments. instead, i might say something like
"things are so complex and wonderful, it is truly an amazing property of the universe that a consciousness may look and reflect on it. such a state is truly the definition of purpose and meaning"

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


Apokalipse
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Quote:Quote:understanding,

Quote:
Quote:
understanding, self reflection, intention, and purpose are not properties of the universe, they are properties and concepts created by the human brain.

i find this to be quite a bizarre statement, as it seems to imply that somehow the human brain may have properties that are not properties of the universe. understanding, self reflection, intention and purpose are words to describe existing phenomenon. to say that the phenomenon that they represent are not properties of the universe would imply that they happen somewhere else. and they might, i guess. but if that place isnt the universe, then i dont know a thing about it.
the universe itself, as far as I can tell, does not have a conscience. therefore cannot think.
human beings, however can and do think. and those properties come with the ability to think.

the universe is just a term used to define everything inside, and including, the 3 dimensions of space, and time itself if you include time as a dimension.

an antiatom can collide with an atom and they'll annhilate each other
as far as we know, there is no antiuniverse that can collide with this one and annhilate it

I can walk up a set of stairs.
the universe itself cannot walk up a set of stairs

a star is very hot
the universe itself can neither be described as hot nor cold.
there are hot parts, and there are freezing parts.


averyv
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Quote:the universe is just a

Quote:
the universe is just a term used to define everything inside, and including, the 3 dimensions of space, and time itself if you include time as a dimension.

i had considered that the universe was a term to describe everything inside the 4 dimensions as well as the physical laws that govern the totality and the body of possibility these things represent.

to use your star example, there are parts which we would describe as 'hot' and parts which we would describe as 'freezing'. more importantly, however, these descriptions are descriptions of the state of a subject based on the primary building blocks of the universe, these being things and the processes by which things interact. most importantly, these states that are applied to the stars are intrinsic to the universe under which we live and, as such, may be applied to other applicable things under the universe, despite an inability to describe the entire universe as particularly hot or cold.

to extend this thought, suppose that there is a concept denoting 'purpose' with a specific understandable definition as a property which may be attributed to a particular subject. 'purpose', then, if it can be displayed by a subject of the universe, is itself a property of the universe. 'a purpose' ('the purpose', 'a specific purpose') may not be and does not need to be a fact of the universe (just as it cannot be, on the whole, labeled hot or cold) but this does not stop purpose itself from being a concept (i would say entity, being that time is a dimension.) extant in the universe, generated directly by the universe itself.

intention:
a determination to act in a certain way

source: merriam-webster online

if i may be so bold to frame those words more generally, i might say that a more accurate description would be as a general or generic but specified path which leads by assumption, and hopefully to a particular objective.

which, as it turns out, maps very closely to my conception of the time arrow. the 'particular objective' being as simple as 'forward from here' and potentially as complex as total determinism (not likely), and the generic or general path should be obvious to everyone, even if you have to look backward for it (and only get a really small, confusing, and blurry slice to see).

opinions:
the determinism we experience is universal intention. the understanding we experience is universal reflection. we are, absolutely, a part and reflection of the universe, and there is nothing in us or that we can do or concieve that is not absolutely intrinsic to the universe.

again i would like to point out that the 'intention' or 'purpose' of the universe does not need to be defined by anything other than the processes of the universe itself (e.g. the time arrow and simple existence). but i do not know how something that is not a part of the universe could manifest so obviously in the universe. even antiatoms are here, universal counterpart or not.

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the universe itself, as far as I can tell, does not have a conscience. therefore cannot think.
human beings, however can and do think. and those properties come with the ability to think.

thought is reflection while a conscience is a possible byproduct, not the necessary predecessor. the universe can obviously reflect on itself, as we are part of the universe, and we can reflect on it. further, the universe generated us, and this, when taken with the reflexive nature of the time arrow, shows a specific intent to reflect.

it is by no means necessary that 'we' were generated for the cause or purpose of reflection (take that as humans, those humans who do and have and will exist, this planet, whatever). however, we were generated and we do reflect. this was the path of the time arrow from the beginning (at the very least, after the fact.)

for that matter, it is by no means necessary that anything be generated to reflect. however, we were, and it was the path of the time arrow from the very beginning, even if that could only be said reasonably after the fact. (of course it could only be 'said' at all after the fact..)

however, at this point, while its important not to be anthropocentric, it seems ill advised to ignore the subjective experience that is so obviously a defining part of our experience in this universe which fosters and gives stage for experience and perspective. this is not a point to be taken lightly, tho again not one to be given too strongly to the humans. these things are part of the universe, we just have access, or maybe only the more prominant ability to say something about it

btw the universe walking up stairs was a really funny mental image. 5 points.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


DrFear
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i apologize if i'm not

i apologize if i'm not following what you're trying to say, but humor me for a second.
define the word "reflection" as you use it with regard to the universe.
also, define the word "reflection" as you use it with regard to humans.

averyv wrote:
the universe can obviously reflect on itself, as we are part of the universe, and we can reflect on it.

what i'm getting from this is you using two different definitions of "reflect" to explain some sort of circular relationship between 'us' and 'the universe'....no? i think i'm grasping your concept, but just need a little clarification....

Fear is the mindkiller.


Apokalipse
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I think your argument

I think your argument basically stems from this:

averyv wrote:
the universe can obviously reflect on itself

I disagree. saying so is just making an assumption.

while there are things in the universe that can reflect on themselves, one cannot say that the whole universe does.
remember, the universe is a collection of everthing inside it.

just like a human body is a collection of the things inside it.
a cell inside our body may have the ability to replicate by itself
the human body as a whole cannot replicate by itself

therefore, we can say that, if something inside a system has a property, that does not mean that the system itself has that property.

Quote:
btw the universe walking up stairs was a really funny mental image. 5 points.
glad you liked that one Smiling


averyv
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well, i can certainly

well, i can certainly understand where you are coming from with that point. i believe my thought may be more generally expressed in that the whole of the universe has the same potential to reflect on itself as any particular segment of the universe, and it doesnt particularly matter which matter is reflective and which (if any) isnt, it only so happens that we are and can express that. however, this statement of our being able is merely a reflection on the possibility's existence everywhere, even if the only manifestation seen exists with us.

i would say that it is merely the temporary configuration that the human body is in that lets us utelize reflection, but it is the universe itself which holds the potential, where potential for reflection may be described as consistency and persistence on an objective level.

im going to break from those particular circles and try to put this in a slightly different light.

two days ago i went to a record sale at my local library and came across 'songs of the universal life' by the universal life church choirs and monestary. i bought it because it had a neat b&w of the milkyway (and i was pretty sure it woudl be hilarious), but, prior to two days ago, i knew literally nothing about them.

the record is bad. (it is funny. it almost sounds like abba...). and even the statement of their particular beliefs that im about to regurgitate gets taken to a place that id prefer not see it go, but it is what it is.

...all people are the masters of their own lives and have the right to determine their own religious beliefs and values, as long as these beliefs do not infringe on the rights of others. to accept another man's version of 'what is God?' is to give that man spiritual power over your life; power to direct your thoughts and your actions

and i agree. well, mostly anyway. as far as im concerned, if youd like to generate values that do nothing but infringe on the rights of others, i may have an personal problem with it, but its well within your universal right if its in your ability (this has got to be the single most dissapointing truth of our subjective experience). that aside, the most important sentiment in this statement, in my opinion, is the idea that your subjective experience is validated by your subjective experience.

missing some objective Truth (which will probably be fully overturned within a few lifetimes) is vastly less important than misinterpreting a subjective experience for the sake of some body of individuals (or singular figure) who attempts to claim a particular belief for you. be they political, religious, medial, remedial, or any other and in any direction.

subjective opinions should be held subjectively accountable in my opinion, regaurdless of the agreeance of others (or even well established physical fact, if you can justify it to yourself), the individual is the individual's own ultimate authority, and subjective experience is the individual's only guide.

its just a matter of what you're here for, i guess.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


averyv
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Quote:Quote:the universe can

Quote:
Quote:
the universe can obviously reflect on itself, as we are part of the universe, and we can reflect on it.

what i'm getting from this is you using two different definitions of "reflect" to explain some sort of circular relationship between 'us' and 'the universe'....no?

reflection: self examination, primarily through comparison of subjective experience. the culmination past subjective experience for the sake of either of thought or consideration

i would consider it a linear relationship, as the effort of the statement was to diminish the distinction between a particular body and the universe as an entity, granting that what is extistent in the universe is necessarily generated of the universe (and, by extention, the universe itself). this thought stems primarily from the ultimate sameness of all things, along with a general (though not specific) inability to distinguish the edges of objects.

so, anyone can reflect on or think about the universe, and anyone who could be called anyone is a part of the universe. therefore, a particular unit of the universe can reflect on or think about the universe itself and, simultaneously, all things of the universe are essentially the same and, ultimately, only one (or maybe zero). in the post immediately previous to this one i make a further (but much more concise) attempt to explain this thought,

honestly tho, i would tend to think this a truism

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


Apokalipse
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averyv wrote:reflection:

averyv wrote:
reflection: self examination, primarily through comparison of subjective experience. the culmination past subjective experience for the sake of either of thought or consideration
so in other words, if the universe were to reflect on itself, it would be examining itself.
that implies intelligence. That is something that we cannot say that the universe itself has, otherwise we'd be making an assumption.

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i would consider it a linear relationship, as the effort of the statement was to diminish the distinction between a particular body and the universe as an entity, granting that what is extistent in the universe is necessarily generated of the universe (and, by extention, the universe itself). this thought stems primarily from the ultimate sameness of all things, along with a general (though not specific) inability to distinguish the edges of objects.
edges are a human concept, to help us understand things.
I would attribute "edges" of a human body to be the skin itself, which separates the system that we refer to as a human body, with all the air, ground, clothes etc outside it.

Quote:
so, anyone can reflect on or think about the universe, and anyone who could be called anyone is a part of the universe. therefore, a particular unit of the universe can reflect on or think about the universe itself and, simultaneously, all things of the universe are essentially the same and, ultimately, only one (or maybe zero). in the post immediately previous to this one i make a further (but much more concise) attempt to explain this thought,
in this case, we need a distinction between the universe as a whole, and a section of the universe.
a human being is a very insignificant part of the universe, in comparision with the universe as a whole.
and we cannot say that a human is the universe; just a really small part of it. Which, granted, is capable of reflecting on the universe, but the same cannot be said for the universe as a whole.

I think the issue has diverted off a bit. we were originally talking about whether the universe itself has an intelligence (therefore a conscience), whether there is an intelligence outside the universe (a god) or whether there is neither.

and my point on that issue was that we cannot make assumptions about it; that is, hold the negative position about all assumptions unless proven correct.
therefore, the logical position is not to believe that the universe (as a whole) has an intelligence, nor that there is an intelligent deity outside the universe, unless we were able to prove that.
and thus far, we haven't done so.


averyv
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Quote:and we cannot say that

Quote:
and we cannot say that a human is the universe; just a really small part of it. Which, granted, is capable of reflecting on the universe, but the same cannot be said for the universe as a whole.

but i am not saying that a human is the universe. i am saying that a human is of the universe. its impossible to deny that a human is made of materials and governed by laws of the universe. therefore, it is (at the very least) reasonable to say the the universe may foster intelligence. further, unless humans are somehow greater than the sum of their parts, the attributes we attribute to ourselves are inextricably from the universe.

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in this case, we need a distinction between the universe as a whole, and a section of the universe.
a human being is a very insignificant part of the universe, in comparision with the universe as a whole.

i disagree. the only distinction to be made is that we are aware that reflection occurs at this (totally arbitrary) moment in time and place in space, and that we dont know much on the subject after that. a human may be only a very very insignificant portion of the universe, but more importantly it is a possible configuration using merely that which is intrinsic to the universe.

Quote:
so in other words, if the universe were to reflect on itself, it would be examining itself.
that implies intelligence. That is something that we cannot say that the universe itself has, otherwise we'd be making an assumption.

but we are examining the universe right now. we have 'intelligence', but more importantly we are a possible representation of the universe. that we happen less often than nothingness or rocks is not to say that the universe does not have intelligence, only that we do not know how far intelligence extends.

it is a reasonable assumption to say that it does not extend to anything at all except humans. however, as you said

Quote:
edges are a human concept, to help us understand things.
I would attribute "edges" of a human body to be the skin itself, which separates the system that we refer to as a human body, with all the air, ground, clothes etc outside it.

edges are a human concept. you (and i, as it turns out) may attribute skin to be the edge of a human. however, on a more basic level such a distinction does not hold.

because of this, my stance is that a human is not universally different from a rock. we have ability of expression of concepts that are inherent to the universe because of our bodily configuration and nothing more. we are not special. we didnt, by our existence, generate new things in the universe. we merely manipulate and reflect on that which was already there using nothing at all more than that which was already there.

Quote:
I think the issue has diverted off a bit. we were originally talking about whether the universe itself has an intelligence (therefore a conscience), whether there is an intelligence outside the universe (a god) or whether there is neither.

intelligence != conscience. a conscience is a byproduct of our manifestation of intelligence combined with subjective experience. there is nothing to say that the universe, an objective issue (the science that we would be con), would have the same experience of conscience. therefore, the universe may hold intrinsicly intelligence and not have a conscience.

and the intelligence outside the universe thing defining the possibility of god is...well, i dont know what tosay. no there is probably not intelligence outside the universe, and if there were, i would have absolutely nothing to say about it. does that mean there does not exist something which could be called 'god'? i dont think so. however, i will concede to you without hesitation that the general conception of 'God' is cartoonish at best, and outright detrimental at worst.

people have this nasty habit of taking concepts (like god and government) and turning them into a guy who lives down the street.

and as a good friend of mine once said

if there's no such thing as god, then what are we talking about?

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


ShaunPhilly
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So, I've been reading this

So, I've been reading this thread. I feel like this point has been made, but sometimes another person saying the point in different words from a diffeent perspective helps.

What does our ability to "reflect" or think about small segments about the universe have to do with the universe's ability to self-reflect?

Remember that we, as parts of the universe (no disagreement there) cannot actually think about the universe, but on;y parts of it. We have a concept of "everything that exists" that we refer to as "universe," but we cannot think about he universe a sa whole. we cannot even think og ourselves as a whole, we just have linguistic signs (words) that point to a part of the referent (object).

What some people have been saying here is taht we need to distinguish liguistic concepts from attempts at describing metaphysical truth. We get caught up in the grammar of language and how it's supposed to describe the world. But the map is not the terrain.

1. We (humans) have intelligence
2. We (humans) are part of the universe
3. We (humans) have the ability to self-reflect by use of very specialized segments of the universe that create conscious experience.
C1: Certain parts of the universe are able to self-reflect on parts of the universe.

You cannot derive anything from this, universally. You cannot say that, for example

C2: the universe can self-reflect.

C1 and C2 are different statements, and the latter cannot be derived from the former.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


Apokalipse
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averyv wrote:but i am not

averyv wrote:
but i am not saying that a human is the universe. i am saying that a human is of the universe. its impossible to deny that a human is made of materials and governed by laws of the universe. therefore, it is (at the very least) reasonable to say the the universe may foster intelligence. further, unless humans are somehow greater than the sum of their parts, the attributes we attribute to ourselves are inextricably from the universe.
“the universe” is a concept. It’s just a term to include everything inside the 3 dimensional space, and possibly the dimensions themselves. Therefore no properties can be attributed to “the universe”
things inside the universe can have properties, however.

humans are not made of the universe, the universe is partially made from humans; although we are an extremely small part of it.

also, attributes to the starter motor of a car cannot be applied to the whole car.
the starter motor uses magnets. but the whole car is not magnetic.

Quote:
i disagree. the only distinction to be made is that we are aware that reflection occurs at this (totally arbitrary) moment in time and place in space, and that we dont know much on the subject after that. a human may be only a very very insignificant portion of the universe, but more importantly it is a possible configuration using merely that which is intrinsic to the universe.
"the universe" is made up of everything inside it. humans are made of things that are in "the universe" because when we say "the universe" we are including everything, including ourselves.
"the universe" is not one thing. it is an extremely large collection of things including ourselves.

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but we are examining the universe right now. we have 'intelligence'
yes, that is true
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but more importantly we are a possible representation of the universe
I disagree
"the universe" is not one thing, but a collection of everything in the three dimensions
do we represent the galaxy trillions of lightyears away?
we certainly have no correlation with it.

we can only say that we represent a small portion of the universe; a collection of things that is a subset of "the universe"

Quote:
that we happen less often than nothingness or rocks is not to say that the universe does not have intelligence, only that we do not know how far intelligence extends.

it is a reasonable assumption to say that it does not extend to anything at all except humans. however, as you said

exactly. and we therefore cannot say there is a god.

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edges are a human concept. you (and i, as it turns out) may attribute skin to be the edge of a human. however, on a more basic level such a distinction does not hold.
on a more universal level, everything is made of energy.
but the concept of "edges" are required for us to understand things.
if one person were to put a piece of food into a microwave, they don't think "I'm putting this collection of quarks and quasars into another collection of quarks and quasars"
on a basic level, people think more along the lines of "I'm putting this object (food) into another object (microwave)"

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because of this, my stance is that a human is not universally different from a rock. we have ability of expression of concepts that are inherent to the universe because of our bodily configuration and nothing more. we are not special. we didnt, by our existence, generate new things in the universe. we merely manipulate and reflect on that which was already there using nothing at all more than that which was already there.
we are comprised of the same elemental "stuff" (energy)
but we are an ordered system, and have a consciousness. and as such, we also have intelligence.
as you say, we have the ability to reflect on things. a rock doesn't. and that makes us different in that respect.

you're right though, on an elemental level. we aren't special.

Quote:
I think the issue has diverted off a bit. we were originally talking about whether the universe itself has an intelligence (therefore a conscience), whether there is an intelligence outside the universe (a god) or whether there is neither.

Quote:
intelligence != conscience
they are different terms with different meanings; but for one to have intelligence, they must be conscious about the things they think about. otherwise they can't think about anything.
i.e. consciousness is a prerequisite of intelligence.
Quote:
a conscience is a byproduct of our manifestation of intelligence combined with subjective experience.

I would put it the other way; intelligence is a byproduct of conscience.
as I said above, for one to have intelligence, they must be conscience of the things they are thinking about.
Quote:
there is nothing to say that the universe, an objective issue (the science that we would be con), would have the same experience of conscience. therefore, the universe may hold intrinsicly intelligence and not have a conscience.
see above: consciousness is a prerequisite for intelligence.

Quote:
and the intelligence outside the universe thing defining the possibility of god is...well, i dont know what tosay. no there is probably not intelligence outside the universe, and if there were, i would have absolutely nothing to say about it. does that mean there does not exist something which could be called 'god'? i dont think so. however, i will concede to you without hesitation that the general conception of 'God' is cartoonish at best, and outright detrimental at worst.
that depends on what we define as "god"
the accepted defenition is "the creator of the universe"

Quote:
people have this nasty habit of taking concepts (like god and government) and turning them into a guy who lives down the street.
apparently, god is everywhere.

Quote:
and as a good friend of mine once said

if there's no such thing as god, then what are we talking about?

a figment of our imagination.


DrFear
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averyv wrote: if there's no

averyv wrote:

if there's no such thing as god, then what are we talking about?

heh, so if we were talking about the easter bunny, that must mean there is such a thing? this is the same misconstruction of the indexical nature of language that Shaun was referring to.

so allow me to possibly misconstrue your point once again. you now appear to be saying that since parts of the universe possess intelligence, that intelligence is something that the universe also possesses.
so prove that the 'universe' (the encompassment of all matter and energy that exists) operates in a manner consistent with intelligence as we know the term. providing examples of intelligence within the universe is not proof of such. you would need examples of actual tested instances in which the 'universe', all matter and energy at once, acted in an intelligent manner.
if i may be so bold as to predict your response, it would follow your previous arguments to claim that the laws of physics, quantum and otherwise, have all just been a misinterpretation of the workings of a large, intelligent framework.
this is fantasy.

Fear is the mindkiller.


averyv
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Quote:you now appear to be

Quote:
you now appear to be saying that since parts of the universe possess intelligence, that intelligence is something that the universe also possesses.

what i am saying is that because intelligence is a possibility in the universe, intelligence is a possiblity in the universe and that the universe is a body of possibility more than it is a collection of things.

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your previous arguments to claim that the laws of physics, quantum and otherwise, have all just been a misinterpretation of the workings of a large, intelligent framework.

no, just that there is a large, interconnected, persistent, consistent environment. and its not a misrepresentation, things are exactly how they are. you say the laws are the layout of the environment. i say the environment shapes the laws.

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so if we were talking about the easter bunny, that must mean there is such a thing?

if the easter bunny could survive on concept alone, then sure. if he has to make rounds with a basket of eggs, i think there would be a problem.

Quote:
so prove that the 'universe' (the encompassment of all matter and energy that exists) operates in a manner consistent with intelligence as we know the term. providing examples of intelligence within the universe is not proof of such. you would need examples of actual tested instances in which the 'universe', all matter and energy at once, acted in an intelligent manner.
i would think that intelligence, being defined that one learns from experience, could not be talked about in the same way on the universal level, as 'learning' requires to know less at one point in time than another.

so, i will cowardly but openly renig on many statements and say that "intelligence" as you consider it is not what the universe has. that does not mean that i do not consider the universe intelligent, just that i hold a definition for objective intelligence, namely persistence and consistency, as well as a special place in my heart for the subjective experience.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


Apokalipse
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averyv wrote:what i am

averyv wrote:
what i am saying is that because intelligence is a possibility in the universe, intelligence is a possiblity in the universe and that the universe is a body of possibility more than it is a collection of things.
from thefreedictionary:
"universe"
1. All matter and energy, including the earth, the galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space, regarded as a whole.

this means that the universe is nothing more than a collection of everything inside it.
the term regarded means thought of as
in other words, it's a concept. a term used by the human mind.

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no, just that there is a large, interconnected, persistent, consistent environment. and its not a misrepresentation, things are exactly how they are. you say the laws are the layout of the environment. i say the environment shapes the laws.
I say the laws are just concepts, which things simply follow by nature.

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if the easter bunny could survive on concept alone, then sure. if he has to make rounds with a basket of eggs, i think there would be a problem.
this reminds me of something I saw:
http://www.positiveatheism.org/writ/santa.htm

the problem with what you said is, "the easter bunny" is actually a noun.
i.e. the term "easter bunny" is describing something that supposedly exists in a physical form.
so the easter bunny cannot "survive on concept alone"

Quote:
i would think that intelligence, being defined that one learns from experience, could not be talked about in the same way on the universal level, as 'learning' requires to know less at one point in time than another.
I would define intelligence as the ability to make rational decisions, to affect an outcome in one's favour.
and I do not see the universe doing this.
we only see people, and sometimes other animals doing this, who are just a small part of the concept we describe as "the universe"

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so, i will cowardly but openly renig on many statements and say that "intelligence" as you consider it is not what the universe has.
I don't think the universe is intelligent. but my reason is that "the universe" is a concept, not a deity.
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that does not mean that i do not consider the universe intelligent, just that i hold a definition for objective intelligence,

if you're going by your defenition of intelligent, that one learns from experience, then how does this hold true?
does "the universe" learn from experience?

Quote:
namely persistence and consistency, as well as a special place in my heart for the subjective experience.
I would not say that persistance and consistency are necessarily properties that pertain to intelligence.
as to subjectiveness, that is a concept.


averyv
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Quote:"universe" 1. All

Quote:
"universe"
1. All matter and energy, including the earth, the galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space, regarded as a whole.

this means that the universe is nothing more than a collection of everything inside it.


this means that the universe is considered as such by whoever wrote that definition. i disagree with it and claim that the universe also consists of all actions, reactions, and interactions within the universe as time is a dimension.
Quote:
the term regarded means thought of as
in other words, it's a concept. a term used by the human mind.

thats fine. "the universe" the concept still represents "theuniverse" an actual factual place and time to be. rather, every possible place and time (and way) to be. or it doesnt. or it just 'isnt'... and then we have some problems.

Quote:
the problem with what you said is, "the easter bunny" is actually a noun.
i.e. the term "easter bunny" is describing something that supposedly exists in a physical form.
so the easter bunny cannot "survive on concept alone"

that was actually exactly my point. i didnt say 'the god' and i made the stipulation that 'the easterbunny' would exist just fine if he could survive on concept alone. as you pointed out, he cant. god can, and is doing it right now.

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I would define intelligence as the ability to make rational decisions, to affect an outcome in one's favour.
and I do not see the universe doing this.

im not sure how to respond to that, as im not sure what you mean.
what would the favor of the universe be? to continue existing? mission accomplished?

Quote:
we only see people, and sometimes other animals doing this, who are just a small part of the concept we describe as "the universe"

this point has been well worn. i just disagree. i hold fast to universal exact-samenity despite temporal and physical arrangement. one portion of the universe is every portion of the universe because there just is not a worthwhile difference. you can think what you like, of course, i just dont see things being that seperate

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I don't think the universe is intelligent. but my reason is that "the universe" is a concept, not a deity.

of all of the things you have definitively labeled 'concepts', a diety seems to be the only one that accurately fits the bill. 'the universe' is a place, state, occasion which can be spoken of in terms of a concept used to represent tangible things. a diety, on the other hand,while it may make a physical appearance (sculpture, woman's face in tree stump) it really is just pure concept, and one you may feel free to define however you like. call it non-being. its really none of my business.

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does "the universe" learn from experience?

the universe is experience. what role it plays in the playing out of experiencing the universe (as though all parts of it did not already exist) is unknowable to me (maybe even to the universe, but i wouldnt know that either). but it is definitely in on the game (yes, the playing field matters). existence is definitely there for all of existence.

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I would not say that persistance and consistency are necessarily properties that pertain to intelligence.

learning ( as well as 'existing', or 'keeping ice in a glass') would be impossible without persistence and consistency (time arrow, hbar). they are absolutely essential properties to every aspect of life as we know it, not the least of which being intelligence which, as we have already been over, requires 'experience' which, in turn, requires some similance of consistency by which to judge said experience

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as to subjectiveness, that is a concept.

of course 'subjectivity' and 'objectivity' are represented as concepts. subjectivity is a concept which represents a particular mode of being. objectivity is impossible for me (or you or any other single point perspective), but exists anyway and gives possibility to the subjectivity. they dont have specific physical representations, (well, objectivity does, tho it would be particularly difficult for humans to attempt to quantify it) tho they are exemplified within the universe at every point.

they are, as far as i can tell, the backbone of a persistent environment. subjectivity is the birth of concept. objectivity is the grounds where concepts actually materialize as things (ideas are nouns too. time is a dimension) and we sit in that awkward basket of reality that makes some vague attempt to balance the two *and* make it to work on time in the morning.

but, at this point i have meandered into the realm of subjective experience. an area i give a good deal of merit to, as it is far more respectable than a third-party Truth factory, whether its labcoat or minutely exposed collar is white.

anyway, we know some things and we think some things and whatever. none of it really makes that much difference, and every bit of it may come to be known as 'uninformed' or 'misinterpreted' in 50 years. or maybe not. i wont see the final decision anyway. (there is going to be one of those, right?)

in any case, it is unreasonable to go around to other subjective bodies and expect them to harbor your same assumptions, even if that is the assumption that assumptions should not be held. its a fine thing to think given proper context, but pure reason is an impossible deathtrap. likewise, religious institutions (institutions in general) push agendas on individuals for the advancement of whatever institution's agenda. this is wrong. deplorable even

the problem, as i see it, is that it (like most concepts that get institutions built after them) is just not something for the masses.

i tried to post a few times before this (stupid internet), and each time it came out quite a bit different. but a very important sentiment that i would like to get across is that objectivity is not viewed objectively. as such, people tend to end up with different names and terminology to categorize it (reality, existence) in the mode of their own understanding. or the understanding of whoever is dominant or was so in upbringing. however, nobody knows.

as much as i have enjoyed this conversation, i have enjoyed it under the pretense of learning your point of view far more than changing mine. mine has certainly been refined along the way, but i am aware that my opinion makes literally nil difference. it just simply could not matter less what i (or anyone else) thinks about god. other points of view in relation to mine are just interesting to me, and you guys were here anyway, and i assume you just wouldnt answer me if i was bothering somebody.

anyway, i do think that the typical explanation of what 'god' is leaves quite a bit to be desired. 'creator of the universe' (while potentially a true statement depending how well the universe can handle an infinite loop) is quite limiting and just doesnt very well encompass our environment

instead, to my understanding, god is the relationship of a subjective experience to the fact and consequences of objectivity. god is the objectivity itself and the physical laws and environmental constraints by which objectivity propogates the subjective experience. 'he' isnt a 'thing' for measuring or explaining, 'it' is a 'concept' by which understanding is made possible. and that satisfies me. and, to be honest, it even kind of makes me smile.

but, then, ive never really fit anywhere on this argument. i think disagreeing with everyone is probably the safest bet.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


DrFear
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averyv wrote: this means

averyv wrote:

this means that the universe is considered as such by whoever wrote that definition. i disagree with it and claim that the universe also consists of all actions, reactions, and interactions within the universe as time is a dimension.

so now you suppose to redefine words as you see fit to support your un-educated assumptions?

averyv wrote:

that was actually exactly my point. i didnt say 'the god' and i made the stipulation that 'the easterbunny' would exist just fine if he could survive on concept alone. as you pointed out, he cant. god can, and is doing it right now.

why can god and not the bunny? they both provide the same amount of proof for their existence...

averyv wrote:

im not sure how to respond to that, as im not sure what you mean.
what would the favor of the universe be? to continue existing? mission accomplished?

what would the favor of a grain of sand be? to hold in same, i would have to imagine.....

averyv wrote:

this point has been well worn. i just disagree. i hold fast to universal exact-samenity despite temporal and physical arrangement. one portion of the universe is every portion of the universe because there just is not a worthwhile difference. you can think what you like, of course, i just dont see things being that seperate

so jupiter is the same as the sun, and the sun is the same as earth? your judgement of 'worthwhile' is your own, and quite frankly, makes absolutely no sense. your argument is exposing you as a nihilist.

averyv wrote:

the universe is experience. what role it plays in the playing out of experiencing the universe (as though all parts of it did not already exist) is unknowable to me (maybe even to the universe, but i wouldnt know that either). but it is definitely in on the game (yes, the playing field matters). existence is definitely there for all of existence.

the universe is not experience, time is experience, and time is a measure of all change in the universe. once again, you are equating parts with the whole. an arm is not human, but a human contains an arm. a particle is not the universe, but the universe contains particles, a collection of particles is defined as the universe, a single particle is not.

averyv wrote:

in any case, it is unreasonable to go around to other subjective bodies and expect them to harbor your same assumptions, even if that is the assumption that assumptions should not be held.

each human is a subjective body, aye, but when it comes together and agrees on evidence that proves a theory (not an assumption) with others, the first person subjective becomes a third person objective. many different points of view have all come together and agreed on scientific proof, and that is what shapes our understanding of reality, reality does not exist outside the bounds of our comprehension.

averyv wrote:
but a very important sentiment that i would like to get across is that objectivity is not viewed objectively. as such, people tend to end up with different names and terminology to categorize it (reality, existence) in the mode of their own understanding. or the understanding of whoever is dominant or was so in upbringing. however, nobody knows.

objectivity is not foreign to the human mind. i can easily view a situation from a completely neutral standpoint, and have no judgement whatsoever.
you seem to have a very convoluted idea of exactly what language is. reality and existence go hand in hand, agreed, but on the human 'mode' of understanding, one may view existence as fantasy (as you have been), making up meanings and explanations that are imaginary, while science provides hard proof that leads to the understanding of reality.

averyv wrote:
'creator of the universe' (while potentially a true statement depending how well the universe can handle an infinite loop) is quite limiting and just doesnt very well encompass our environment

why wouldn't it be able to 'handle' an infinite loop? explain to me what exactly would the universe not be able to 'handle'.

averyv wrote:
instead, to my understanding, god is the relationship of a subjective experience to the fact and consequences of objectivity. god is the objectivity itself and the physical laws and environmental constraints by which objectivity propogates the subjective experience. 'he' isnt a 'thing' for measuring or explaining, 'it' is a 'concept' by which understanding is made possible. and that satisfies me. and, to be honest, it even kind of makes me smile.

actually, that makes me smile a bit too, because, (and hey, anybody else correct me if i'm wrong) if i'm not mistaken, you've just attributed the word 'god' to a romantic definition of science itself.

averyv wrote:
but, then, ive never really fit anywhere on this argument. i think disagreeing with everyone is probably the safest bet.

and then you go and again peg yourself as a nihilist. which is fine. because you don't actually believe anything you're saying.

Fear is the mindkiller.


averyv
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Quote:so now you suppose to

Quote:
so now you suppose to redefine words as you see fit to support your un-educated assumptions?

i suppose to define words as they apply to my experience. language is the framework of thought, and i dont suppose it to be all that beneficial have thought rigidly framed and especially by individuals who have never seen reality from my perspective. furthermore, i find it totally reasonable to view the universe as a totality in every direction including time. the universe is not the totality of things that exists within the body of the universe at any particular slice in time. and, unless time is not apart of our universe, time is a part of our universe, and is specifically not accounted for in the definition in question.

and my assumptions are not 'un-educated'. i am, actually, fairly well educated and am no stranger to these topics of conversation. i understand that language is a very binding aspect of our experience, and it is difficult to see sometimes how fundamental it is in shaping understanding, but accepting a foreign definition of something like 'the universe' or 'god' as accurate and totally complete because its written in a book or because some dude told me thats the way it was would probably make me puke on myself.

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why can god and not the bunny [exist on concept alone]? they both provide the same amount of proof for their existence...

an easter bunny needs to hold a basket. god doesnt.

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what would the favor of a grain of sand be? to hold in same, i would have to imagine.....

agreed. the favor of the universe and any aspect of the universe are the same.

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so jupiter is the same as the sun, and the sun is the same as earth?

well not when you say it like that.
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your judgement of 'worthwhile' is your own, and quite frankly, makes absolutely no sense. your argument is exposing you as a nihilist.
from your perspective and from my perspective, these things are different. objectively speaking, they are not. everything is mostly nothing, and the makings of the rest is the same too, just configured into a specific body to confuse you.

and i am not a nihilist. someone who believes that there is a god would have a difficult time believing that there is no ultimate truth. i just dont think you or i have any clue what it might possibly look like. if it must be categorized (everything does have to be, of course. what the hell else are we going to do?) i am a preeventualist primarily, an existentialist after that, and when im in the grocery store i try to keep it to determinism so i can just get my things and be done with it.

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each human is a subjective body, aye, but when it comes together and agrees on evidence that proves a theory (not an assumption) with others, the first person subjective becomes a third person objective.

objective reality doesnt change. humanity's perspective on objective reality does. a large enough collection of believers does not make gravity's effects the workings of a rock's affinity for stable ground.

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many different points of view have all come together and agreed on scientific proof, and that is what shapes our understanding of reality, reality does not exist outside the bounds of our comprehension.

that might be the most anthropocentric thing ive ever read.

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objectivity is not foreign to the human mind. i can easily view a situation from a completely neutral standpoint, and have no judgement whatsoever.

objectivity is not a foreign concept to the human mind. you can easily view a situation and attribute your standpoint the arbitrary and un-verifiable label of 'neutral', and have no judgement whatsoever.

i dont believe you on that last part either, but im not one to downplay an individual's ability to not think something. on the other hand, if you had a truly neutral standpoint, you might not even recognize the number red.

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you seem to have a very convoluted idea of exactly what language is.

i dont know what youre talking about.

but serioiusly, it may be 'unconventional', but it is fairly well specified to those who know the syntax.

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reality and existence go hand in hand, agreed, but on the human 'mode' of understanding, one may view existence as fantasy (as you have been), making up meanings and explanations that are imaginary, while science provides hard proof that leads to the understanding of reality.

you have a bad habit of wrongly asserting where i am coming from. let me be clear that all meanings are all made up, and i am as free to do it as whatever jackass wanted to impose the concept of definition on me in the first place.

personal grievences aside, you are granting way too much credit to the way we percieve reality. im not saying existence is fantasy. im saying that we dont get it.

science provides 'hard proof' in the working mechanics of our universal construct. and not very accurately. but well enough that we typically dont notice the offset for quite some time. it leads to a knowledge of how things in reality typically work to some approximation, but understanding of reality deals with meaning and science does not. if you had said hard proof that leads to understanding of how reality works i probably wouldnt have gone on for so long.

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why wouldn't it be able to 'handle' an infinite loop? explain to me what exactly would the universe not be able to 'handle'.

that was a joke. i was referring to the god creating universe creating himself paradox.

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actually, that makes me smile a bit too, because, (and hey, anybody else correct me if i'm wrong) if i'm not mistaken, you've just attributed the word 'god' to a romantic definition of science itself.

then i am glad to know my meaning was not skewed. however, that science deals with mechanics and not at all on any level meaning is no small point to pass by, as it is the reason i find god a useful concept.

im glad i made you smile.

Quote:
and then you go and again peg yourself as a nihilist. which is fine. because you don't actually believe anything you're saying.

again. not a nihilist. did not say 'there is no such thing as underlying reality'. i only said that i do not fit very well in any particular camp on this (or many) issues. that doesnt mean i do not believe some reality or truth exists, furthermore i have clearly stated by entering this discussion under the pretenses i have that i do believe there is an underlying reality and, furthermore, have mentioned casually the obvious nature of universal existence.

i do not think any one group or method has a monopoly on understanding objective reality. i will say that more confidently. no one has a clue what true objectivity is outside of some vague conceptualization of it. everyone experiences this, i assume, and go on to assumethat each has it incorrect to an immesurable degree in an unknowable direction.

and to be honest with you, i dont find it all that important to be on anyone's side on this or many issues. that is what religions and sports clubs are for. this does not make me a nihilist, this makes me a disagreeable.

and i do very much believe what i am saying. for someone with pure objectivity so securely under his belt you miss the subjective mark an awful lot.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


DrFear
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averyv wrote: and, unless

averyv wrote:
and, unless time is not apart of our universe, time is a part of our universe, and is specifically not accounted for in the definition in question.

time is not a part of the universe. time is the change of the universe. if i am cooking a hamburger, is cooking a hamburger part of me? is [the action of being cooked part of the burger? is the expansion of the universe a part of the universe? these are intangible things that are happening, not tangible things that are.

averyv wrote:
but accepting a foreign definition of something like 'the universe' or 'god' as accurate and totally complete because its written in a book or because some dude told me thats the way it was would probably make me puke on myself.

the definition of a word merely describes the thing the word is pointing to. the definitions aren't made up by man, the word is made up to represent a thing, and the definition is a description of the thing the word was made up for.

averyv wrote:
Quote:
why can god and not the bunny [exist on concept alone]? they both provide the same amount of proof for their existence...

an easter bunny needs to hold a basket. god doesnt.

cute, but that doesn't answer the question.

averyv wrote:

agreed. the favor of the universe and any aspect of the universe are the same.

to exist has nothing to do with favor, though. by your logic, the universe could suddenly choose not to exist, should its favor turn to suicide....

averyv wrote:
Quote:
so jupiter is the same as the sun, and the sun is the same as earth?

well not when you say it like that.

well you are saying it like that, just in different words. so your argument is only plausible in a manner of speaking.

averyv wrote:
objectively speaking, they are not. everything is mostly nothing, and the makings of the rest is the same too, just configured into a specific body to confuse you.

so now it's the universe's "favor" to confuse us, eh?

averyv wrote:
and i am not a nihilist. someone who believes that there is a god would have a difficult time believing that there is no ultimate truth. i just dont think you or i have any clue what it might possibly look like. if it must be categorized (everything does have to be, of course. what the hell else are we going to do?) i am a preeventualist primarily, an existentialist after that, and when im in the grocery store i try to keep it to determinism so i can just get my things and be done with it.

ha ha, good call. the only reason i say that is because it seems like you're just making up crazy shit in order to keep us dancing on the strings a bit longer, which, in the case that you are, thank you for the brain workout.

averyv wrote:

objective reality doesnt change. humanity's perspective on objective reality does.

true. the more we learn, the more we gain a better idea of reality. and nothing we've learned points anywhere in the direction of your idea of reality.
averyv wrote:
a large enough collection of believers does not make gravity's effects the workings of a rock's affinity for stable ground.

believing science is rational, because it's been tested and proven and we can see it. believing what you say is irrational...because it's made up.

averyv wrote:
Quote:
many different points of view have all come together and agreed on scientific proof, and that is what shapes our understanding of reality, reality does not exist outside the bounds of our comprehension.

that might be the most anthropocentric thing ive ever read.

i can see how it could be read as that, but that's not what i meant. a better wording would be "reality is not beyond our comprehension".

averyv wrote:

you have a bad habit of wrongly asserting where i am coming from. let me be clear that all meanings are all made up, and i am as free to do it as whatever jackass wanted to impose the concept of definition on me in the first place.

so you don't find it necessary to have a word mean a particular thing? you sure communicate coherently enough for someone who thinks any word can mean anything.
again, the words are made up, the definition describes what the word was made up to reference.

averyv wrote:
...understanding of reality deals with meaning and science does not. if you had said hard proof that leads to understanding of how reality works i probably wouldnt have gone on for so long.

mm, but i wouldn't have said that, because that implies that there is some meaning to existence.

averyv wrote:
and to be honest with you, i dont find it all that important to be on anyone's side on this or many issues. that is what religions and sports clubs are for.

but science is not religion, and it is not taking a side. it objectively looks at all the possibilities, and the evidence points to the truth.

averyv wrote:
and i do very much believe what i am saying. for someone with pure objectivity so securely under his belt you miss the subjective mark an awful lot.

i never claimed to live in complete objectivity. i merely said i could look at something from an objective point of view.

Fear is the mindkiller.


averyv
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Quote:time is not a part of

Quote:
time is not a part of the universe. time is the change of the universe. if i am cooking a hamburger, is cooking a hamburger part of me? is [the action of being cooked part of the burger? is the expansion of the universe a part of the universe? these are intangible things that are happening, not tangible things that are

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

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the definition of a word merely describes the thing the word is pointing to. the definitions aren't made up by man, the word is made up to represent a thing, and the definition is a description of the thing the word was made up for.

so the definition of the word treason is intrinsic in the word treason? and a rose by any other name would not smell as sweet? and it couldnt possibly mean something else? wordsdont define themselves. people define words, and then words define ideas, and then people have ideas about words. it is not such a simple interaction.

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why can god and not the bunny [exist on concept alone]? they both provide the same amount of proof for their existence..
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an easter bunny needs to hold a basket. god doesnt.

cute, but that doesn't answer the question.

well yes it does. the easter bunny has to hold a basket, and so it needs more than concept. it needs a basket-holding hand. it needs to be able to lay eggs, or get and distribute eggs, and preferably be a good hider. there are qualifications to being a physical easter bunny while there are none for god, as god's definition involves being undefinable. 'ineffible'. thats my favorite part.

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to exist has nothing to do with favor, though. by your logic, the universe could suddenly choose not to exist, should its favor turn to suicide....

but that would negate favor, thus non-being is not in anything's favor, not that the word 'favor' has any typical place in this conversation. i would need to re-read and see howthat started..(i probably did that.)

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it seems like you're just making up crazy shit in order to keep us dancing on the strings a bit longer, which, in the case that you are, thank you for the brain workout.

i am not just making crazy shit upSmiling, or at least, i believe in what i am saying. but i know i am saying unconventional things. i view scientific measurement as approximation to be validated against personal experience, as objective reality is foreign to us, and therefore quite possibly misdirected from the start. i consider individual philosophy more valuable than a hopeless search for objective truth. its there. it definitely is. there is just nothing s aying we're looking from the right angle.

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"reality is not beyond our comprehension".

i disagree, though if you could prove it i would be interested. the workings of reality, perhaps. but the whole of reality is far too great for you or i, god or no god.

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so you don't find it necessary to have a word mean a particular thing? you sure communicate coherently enough for someone who thinks any word can mean anything.
again, the words are made up, the definition describes what the word was made up to reference.

i do think a word can mean anything. within conversational or personal context certain words hold varied meanings, though there is certainly a fairly reliable trend line, but metaphor and idiom allow words to be shaped in odd ways. definitions should not be merely accepted, but should be honed by context. a definition describes the current reference of a word, not its original intent. and aside from that, over time words change in meaning and pronunciation. they are not so concrete to begin with

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if you had said hard proof that leads to understanding of how reality works i probably wouldnt have gone on for so long.

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mm, but i wouldn't have said that, because that implies that there is some meaning to existence.

i was attempting to have science be dominant over universal workings/mechanics while philosophy can take care of meaning. you say no meaning, you have your philosophy. i disagree that there is no meaning to existence, tho would not consider it necessarily universally defined. rather, it is a personal thing. you say its none, fine by me. i say its some, fine by me too.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it, it has been quipped. this is right, and the virtue that should be upheld first in a secular society.

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but science is not religion, and it is not taking a side. it objectively looks at all the possibilities, and the evidence points to the truth.

i understand this, but i disagree that science points to actual objective reality. as i have stated elsewhere, science assumes objective reality and then measures against it. truth is not a product of science. fact is, on the other hand, and i find those little more than interesting.

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i never claimed to live in complete objectivity. i merely said i could look at something from an objective point of view.

first, i contend that no one does live in complete objectivity, which is why discussing on the level of complete objectivity is ultimately a waste of time. also why science won't ever find god. its all about the mechanics, and gods got apretty steady hand. held the hbar low so you could have a glass of ice water and keep the whole thing intact.

and otherwise, i still contend that true objectivity universally impossible for individuals who deal with 'perspective'. 'objective' meaning that you discount your personal perspective in favor of another, i will grant you this. meaning an actual shift to universal perspective; i just disagree with that possibility.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989