Dr. Dino's Challenge Accepted... again

Hambydammit
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Dr. Dino's Challenge Accepted... again

http://web.archive.org/web/20060526053859/http://ne-plus-ultra.net/pubs/kisby_hovindarticle_rev2.pdf

 

Unfortunately, my stupid little copy of Acrobat won't let me cut and paste this article.  Can someone else do it?

 

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:
Unfortunately, my stupid little copy of Acrobat won't let me cut and paste this article. Can someone else do it?

I was able to copy and paste with Preview. Anyway, here you go:

Doubting Dr. Dino
Kent Hovind’s $250,000 Challenge Met
© 2004
Adam Kisby

 

While most readers of Skeptic magazine are undoubtedly familiar with James Randi’s
$1,000,000 Paranormal Challenge (http://randi.org/research/index.html), some may not
be acquainted with Kent Hovind’s $250,000 Offer
(http://www.drdino.com/articles.php?spec=67&kws=250,000) for proof of the
evolutionary hypothesis. Dr. Hovind, who is known as “Dr. Dino” among his most ardent
supporters, is a vociferous campaigner for Young Earth Creationism. He asserts that his
$250,000 Offer demonstrates that the evolutionary hypothesis is religious rather than
scientific in nature.

Proponents of evolution who wish to collect Dr. Dino’s $250,000 must be prepared to
prove evolution—in the broadest sense of the word—beyond any reasonable doubt. Dr.
Hovind requires the proof to be empirically verifiable, and he promises to forward
submissions to an impartial committee of scientists for review. Skeptics argue that Dr.
Hovind defines evolution so broadly that only a second Big Bang would fully satisfy his
conditions, and they suspect that his committee of scientists is comprised of Young Earth
Creationists like himself.

Many claimants to the award have disqualified themselves by undertaking to prove the
evolutionary hypothesis on their own terms. By contrast, I have attempted to construct a
proof of the evolutionary hypothesis that exactly meets Dr. Hovind’s conditions. I
reproduce the same as succinctly as possible below.

Proof of Hovind’s Third Hypothesis

In his challenge guidelines, Hovind presents this problem:

Prove beyond reasonable doubt that the process of evolution (option 3 ... under "known
options" ) is the only possible way the observed phenomena could have come into
existence.

Hovind also provides these options as possible explanations for the Universe:

Option 1: The Universe was created by God.
Option 2: The Universe always existed.
Option 3: The Universe came into being by itself by purely natural processes (known as
evolution) so that no appeal to the supernatural is needed.

We formalize these options by phrasing them in more rigorous terms:

Hypothesis 1: God is the unique necessary cause of the Universe.
Hypothesis 2: Nothing is the unique necessary cause of the Universe.
Hypothesis 3: The Universe itself is its own unique necessary cause.

We then simplify our hypotheses by expressing them symbolically:

Hypothesis 1: ~G ⇒ ~U
Hypothesis 2: ~∅ ⇒ ~U
Hypothesis 3: ~U ⇒ ~U

Please review the Table of Definitions below for explanations of the symbols used in this
proof.


Table of Definitions

G the set representing “God” or “purely supernatural reality”; it contains all
existing sets that are neither U nor subsets of U

∅ the set representing “nothing”; it has no existing subsets other than itself;
all sets contain it as a subset

U the set representing “the Universe” or “purely natural reality”; it contains
all existing sets that are neither G nor subsets of G

( ) the operators representing grouping of other symbols

= the operator representing identity and called “equals”

~ the operator representing negation and called “not”

∨ the operator representing strict disjunction and called “exclusive or”

⇒ the operator representing implication and called “therefore” or “if-then”

⊂ the operator representing subset; it is logically equivalent to ⇒ insofar as
all conditional propositions are directly translatable into universal
categorical propositions; proper subsets are not equal to the sets that
contain them; improper subsets are equal to the sets that contain them

∩ the operator representing intersection of sets; the intersection of disjoined
sets is always ∅; the intersection of any set and its subset is always that
subset


The relationship between causation and logical implication is relatively uncomplicated;
however, what we mean by “unique necessary cause” requires a brief explanation. If we
say that X is the “cause” of Y (X ⇒ Y), we do not mean that Y could not be apart from
X. In other words, if we say that the grass is wet because it rained, we do not mean to
suggest that rain is the only explanation for wet grass. X may be an accidental cause of Y
rather than a necessary one.

We define a “necessary cause” of a thing to be that without which that thing is not. If X is
a necessary cause of Y, then X is something without which Y is not (~X ⇒ ~Y). For
example, photosynthesis does not occur without light, so we say that light is a necessary
cause of photosynthesis. Of course, a “necessary cause” is not necessarily a “unique
necessary cause.” Photosynthesis does not occur without light, but neither does it occur
without CO2. In this sense, photosynthesis has at least two necessary causes.

We discern a unique necessary cause by disjoining all available necessary causes: (~X1 ⇒ ~Y) ∨
(~X2 ⇒ ~Y) ∨ (~X3 ⇒ ~Y) ... et sequens. We then eliminate necessary causes until only the unique necessary cause remains. Because we are seeking to identify the unique necessary cause
of the Universe, we preclude the possibility of multiple causes a priori. Thus, our hypotheses are
strictly disjoined: (~G ⇒ ~U) ∨ (~∅ ⇒ ~U) ∨ (~U ⇒ ~U). We now evaluate each hypothesis for
logical consistency.

First Hypothesis: ~G ⇒ ~U
(God is the unique necessary cause of the Universe.)

1. ~G ⇒ ~U Given
2. U ⇒ G Modus Tollens
3. U ⊂ G Definition of Subset
4. G ∩ U = U Definition of Intersection
5. G ∩ U = ∅ Definition of Intersection
6. U = ∅ Lines 4 and 5


If we begin with the assumption that God is the unique necessary cause of the Universe,
we deduce by modus tollens that the existence of the Universe implies the existence of
God. (Modus tollens is a well-established rule of inference that states that if X ⇒ Y then
~Y ⇒ ~X; conversely, if ~X ⇒ ~Y then Y ⇒ X.) Equivalent set notation describes the
Universe as a subset of God. Now, if the Universe is a subset of God, then the
intersection of God and the Universe is the Universe itself; however, we know from the
definition of intersection that the intersection of God and the Universe is exactly nothing.
If we combine these propositions, we conclude that the Universe is equal to nothing,
which is a contradiction. Therefore, our assumption that God is the unique necessary
cause of the Universe must be false.

Second Hypothesis: ~∅ ⇒ ~U
(Nothing is the unique necessary cause of the Universe.)

1. ~∅ ⇒ ~U Given
2. U ⇒ ∅ Modus Tollens
3. U ⊂ ∅ Definition of Subset
4. only ∅ ⊂ ∅ Definition of ∅
5. U = ∅ Lines 3 and 4


Next, we begin with the assumption that nothing is the unique necessary cause of the
Universe. We deduce by modus tollens that the existence of the Universe implies the
existence of nothing. Equivalent set notation describes the Universe as a subset of
nothing; however, we know from the definition of nothing that only nothing is a subset of
nothing. If we combine these propositions, we conclude a second time that the Universe
is equal to nothing, which remains a contradiction. Therefore, our assumption that
nothing is the unique necessary cause of the Universe must also be false.

Third Hypothesis: ~U ⇒ ~U
(The Universe itself is its own unique necessary cause.)

1. ~U ⇒ ~U Given
2. U ⇒ U Modus Tollens
3. U ⊂ U Definition of Subset
4. U = U Definition of Subset


Finally, we begin with the assumption that the Universe itself is its own unique necessary
cause. We deduce by modus tollens that the existence of the Universe implies the
existence of the Universe. Equivalent set notation describes the Universe as a subset of itself. Since the Universe cannot be a proper subset of itself without contradiction, we
determine that the Universe is an improper subset of itself, which means also that the
Universe is equal to itself. Therefore, our assumption that the Universe itself is its own
unique necessary cause is true by definition. Of course, we can do this in one step, but we
choose to follow the same line of reasoning we use in the first two cases in order to avoid
any appearance of having handled this hypothesis prejudicially.

Now, because Kent Hovind demands empirical proof, we also test our hypotheses against
what we observe. We have demonstrated that our first and second hypotheses are
reducible to the equation U = ∅, which describes a non-existing Universe. Since the
existence of the Universe is self-evident, we can safely reject the first two hypotheses.
Moreover, the third hypothesis is reducible to the equation U = U, which describes an
existing Universe. This agrees with what we observe and is absolutely incontrovertible,
for even if we deny the existence of the Universe, we ourselves must exist to deny it.

We conclude that the evolutionary hypothesis is the only one of our hypotheses that is
both logically consistent and empirically demonstrable; and even if we initially believed
it to be an improbable explanation, we have reduced both alternatives to absurdity.
Q.E.D.

Conclusion

I dispatched my proof to Dr. Dino shortly after committing it to paper. Many weeks later,
I received a terse reply from Hovind in which he dogmatically rejected my proof. What
was his justification? “The Universe is proof of a Designer—not proof that there is no
Designer.” Hovind’s response suggests that he is unwilling or unable to produce
legitimate objections. Nevertheless, the burden of proof now rests squarely on his
shoulders.

I contend that either my proof is technically correct or Hovind’s $250,000 Offer is
fundamentally flawed. If my proof is correct, then Hovind is constrained by the terms of
his offer to release the prize money. On the other hand, if Dr. Hovind’s $250,000 Offer is
flawed, then he is morally obligated to withdraw or modify it.

Because Hovind has neglected to forward my submission to the aforementioned
committee of scientists for review, I appeal to the readers of Skeptic magazine to judge
my case. Still, I am skeptical that Dr. Dino will change his mind. In fact, James Randi
agrees that this would constitute indisputable evidence of the miraculous. So, in the
unlikely event that Hovind does change his mind, I’ll be collecting Randi’s prize as well!

About the Author

Adam Kisby is delightedly married and lives with his wife and four children in South
Carolina. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Chicago and
briefly attended Seminary before becoming dissatisfied with traditional theology. He is an active member of several high-IQ societies and pursues interests in philosophy,
physics, psychology, and religion. Adam is currently employed as a certified counselor
but also accepts projects as an Internet research analyst and consultant. e-mail contact:
a_kisby@hotmail.com.

Good night, funny man, and thanks for the laughter.


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I guess I must have a

I guess I must have a crappy verson of Adobe.  Print preview is disabled.

Anyway, thanks!

I'm interested to see what todangst has to say about this.

 

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I don't know if it's your

I don't know if it's your version of Acrobat that won't let you copy/paste, or just the program in general.  Since I use a Mac, I opened it up in Preview and was able to copy/paste. However, I couldn't copy the text formatting - it copied as plain text (Notepad) , not rich text (MS Word) .

The bit at the top that is centered - I did that, but in the original the first line is a bigger size. 

Good night, funny man, and thanks for the laughter.


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Ah. In the immortal words

Ah.

In the immortal words of tech guys everywhere, "Fuck Microsoft."

At least the symbols converted properly.  That's the main issue.

As far as the proof itself, I can't find anything wrong with it, but I'm also not a PhD student of logic, so I'm hoping someone else will chime in.  I can see that there might be some objection to the way Hovind's three options were reduced, but it seems to me that the objections wouldn't be terribly relevant, as the alternatives would lead to the same basic place.

For instance, it is not inherent in Dr. Dino's statement that God is the only possible necessary cause for the universe.  Nevertheless, a few more steps will reach the same conclusion, since any necessary cause will either be natural or supernatural, and thus fall under option 1 or 3.

Anyway, thanks again for lending the Mac wizardry.

Hopefully, keeping this bumped will attract the logicians qualified to grade my term papers.

 

 

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

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My propositional calculus

My propositional calculus is pretty rusty, but I can follow it well enough to see that the proof is internally valid.

But many credible theists (i.e. not Hovind) would object to the definition of God as "purely supernatural reality." Because that definition leads inevitably to "the intersection of God and the Universe is exactly nothing" which creates the internal contradiction at the conclusion of this proof, it's an assumption that most theists won't agree to.

Instead, the more widespread assumptions are that God is sometimes/partly material, or that God cannot be definied within the categories "material/immaterial."  These alternative assumptions don't lead to the same conclusion as the original writer here. 

Since neither assumption can currently be known to be true, any proof that uses either assumption as a premise can be valid, but not sound.

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The argument contains an

The argument contains an incoherent term: G

 


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Quote: The argument

Quote:
The argument contains an incoherent term: G

I guess the question I was asking was, given the terms, are the arguments valid?  They look completely internally consistent to me, but then it's been 15 years since I was in college, so I just wanted to have backup on that opinion.

Once it's established that the argument is valid, would it be wrong to say that this proof demonstrates the incoherency of the term, G, by showing that the argument won't work with G involved?

 


 

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Quote: 1. ~∅ ⇒ ~U

Quote:

1. ~∅ ⇒ ~U Given
2. U ⇒ ∅ Modus Tollens
3. U ⊂ ∅ Definition of Subset
4. only ∅ ⊂ ∅ Definition of ∅
5. U = ∅ Lines 3 and 4

This makes no sense.

In English:

If not nothing then no Universe.

But 'not nothing' is, by definition, something.  


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1. ~U ⇒ ~U Given 2. U

1. ~U ⇒ ~U Given
2. U ⇒ U Modus Tollens
3. U ⊂ U Definition of Subset
4. U = U Definition of Subset

 

Also this. All this says is that the universe is the universe. To imply from that the universe caused itself from this is....dumb.

 

U = U

the 'universe is the universe'

 

No shit Sherlock.

Guess what? Nothing is also a subset of the universe (by definition)

{I would use actual math notation, but don't know how to put it on the board}

So all elements of U is contained in U. So one element say Sn is also an elemnt of U. However, there is no uniqe element between U and U therefore they are symmetrical. I can easily interchange the two. But guess what? Unless they define the subset I can also interchange 'nothing' to it since 'nothing' is also a subset of the universe. 

 

 

 


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Hovind still has to pay off

Hovind still has to pay off 850k, where is he going to find 250K, besides, the intelectually dishonest prick wouldnt pay up even if he admited to himself he was wrong. His scams would no longer draw him attention.

Hey Hovind, dont drop the bar of soap in the shower. 

 

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I just want to clear up my

I just want to clear up my previous post by addressing his logic.

 

Quote:

Finally, we begin with the assumption that the Universe itself is its own unique necessary cause. We deduce by modus tollens that the existence of the Universe implies the existence of the Universe. Equivalent set notation describes the Universe as a subset of itself. Since the Universe cannot be a proper subset of itself without contradiction, we determine that the Universe is an improper subset of itself, which means also that the Universe is equal to itself. Therefore, our assumption that the Universe itself is its own
unique necessary cause is true by definition.

 

 

It's simple. Replace 'Universe' with anything else (a toaster, deck of cards) and you can get the same conclusion. 


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Quote: First Hypothesis:

Quote:

First Hypothesis: ~G ⇒ ~U
(God is the unique necessary cause of the Universe.)

1. ~G ⇒ ~U Given
2. U ⇒ G Modus Tollens
3. U ⊂ G Definition of Subset
4. G ∩ U = U Definition of Intersection
5. G ∩ U = ∅ Definition of Intersection
6. U = ∅ Lines 4 and 5

If we begin with the assumption that God is the unique necessary cause of the Universe, we deduce by modus tollens that the existence of the Universe implies the existence of God. (Modus tollens is a well-established rule of inference that states that if X ⇒ Y then ~Y ⇒ ~X; conversely, if ~X ⇒ ~Y then Y ⇒ X.) Equivalent set notation describes the Universe as a subset of God. Now, if the Universe is a subset of God, then the intersection of God and the Universe is the Universe itself; however, we know from the
definition of intersection that the intersection of God and the Universe is exactly nothing. If we combine these propositions, we conclude that the Universe is equal to nothing, which is a contradiction. Therefore, our assumption that God is the unique necessary cause of the Universe must be false.

 

Well if the universe is all there is, then God must be in the subset of the universe. He got it backwards. 

 

Oh, BTW, it is been said that the total energy of the universe is zero, so the universe can be 'nothing' >_>

 

 


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refutation

I've just read this so called "proof" that the universe made itself and I must say that this is pretty laughable. This guy is using laws of logic to argue that there is no cause for the existence of the Universe, knowing that there is one law of logic that says that every effect must have a cause. The Universe being an effect, it must have a cause outside itself. This may be arguable so I will explain my point. I will then show that for one to say that the universe doesn't have a cause, he must stop using logics because he doesn't believe in logics.

 

Firstly, in the so called "proof", it is said that the Universe would be a subset of God if God would have created the Universe. Well, if this is true, knowing that God was the same before and after the creation of the universe, because he must be intemporal, then he couln't have created the universe (the Universe would still be a subset of God before its creation). Therefore, it is obvious that the Universe isn't and can't be a subset of God. If this wasn't the case, the word creation wouldn't mean anything.

 

I must also reply to the last post that the Universe cannot equal zero. Even if there is positive and negative energy, both are something. If you take some piece of nothingness, you cannot get something else which is less something than this. Nothing is an absolute absence of something. Even if a negative energy exists, that energy is still positive in the fact that it is something. The Universe is not a set of mathematical numbers. It is real. And if someone thinks the contrary, let him place himself in front of a train if he really believe that.

 

Lets take that problem from the beginning, starting with the definition of some variables. I won't use them too often.

 

G = God (a supernatural being, timeless, spaceless, outside matter, which has a mind with freedom).

 

∆ = any supernatural force

 

U = Universe (the recollection of all matter which is inside time space and matter).

 

Ø = nothing (the total absence of anything either material or non-material).

 

→ = causation

 

∞ = infinite


 

As it was said before, but I must correct these assertions to be more rigorous, there is four possibles ways the Universe could have come into existence. either:

 

∆ → U (any supernatural cause caused the Universe. I don't put G there because there is no possible way to know if it is God or something else at this stage).

 

U → U (the universe caused itself by natural processes. The existence of the Universe was necessary). Some Evolutionists perspective.

 

Ø + chance → U (nothing made the Universe, by chance). The Universe wasn't necessary by laws of nature, but we're still here and that's all. Some Evolutionists perspective.

 

U = U   (The Universe just is. It has no cause).


 

A. Lets take each possibility one at a time. Firstly, lets consider U caused U. In this perspective, it says that this Universe was nothing before. But there was non-material laws before the first moment of time which made Time-Space-Matter and this was necessary. There are many problems with this assertion.

 

1. Laws of nature are Ø if nature doesn't exist. Laws of nature are only there in our mind to help us explain the activity of matter. Laws of nature are real, but they are nothing more than concepts. For example, if we take the law of gravity, it is obvious that no apple would fall if there were no apple. If laws of nature do not exist outside nature, then the laws that could have created the Universe need to be outside nature, supernatural. Lets keep that in mind.

 

2. Some people say that there is a multiverse beyond this universe that produces billions of random universes and that this multiverse created the actual laws of nature by chance according to the laws of nature that exist in that multiverse. Then, a problem arise which is what caused that multiverse. In order for that multiverse to have made our universe by a serie of predetermined rules, then that multiverse must have steps in it fonctioning which means that the multiverse is subject to time since time is a succession of events. This theory just push farther the problem of the beginning of time. Some could say that the laws existing to cause the Universe were outside time, like in a non-material computer. I'll adress this later since this doesn't change the fact that these laws would be supernatural ending the assertion that the material universe made itself.

 

3. In the end, this option must be changed either to U = U, Ø + chance → U or ∆ → U, either the Universe was always there or the universe was made from nothing without laws to cause it, or the Universe came from a supernatural cause was it God or a supernatural computer.

 

B. Could U = U ? could the universe have been there always? In other words, could there be not only an potential infinite amount of time, but also an actual infinite amount of time? That would mean that right now, an infinite amount of time have passed in the past. There are some problems with this also.

 

1. Scientists say that the Universe is burning out, so at an infinite point in the future, the Universe will be infinitely cold and unstructured and infinitely large. But if the Universe is without beginning, why has this not already happened?

 

2. One could say that the Universe might have a way to stabilize itself and to recuperate the lost energy and therefore, even if we do not know how that happen right now, this would allow the universe to be infinite in time. Aristotle was the first to show that this is impossible. He said that it is impossible to travel through an infinite medium. someone cannot walk an infinite road and arrive at the end. This is easy to understand:

 

 ∞/2 = ∞

 

If that person would have travelled half the infinite road, there would still be an infinite amount of distance between both points. And it is even impossible to travel half the infinite because this is also the infinite. In the same way, if the Universe had no beginning, it would be as if we would make an infinite regress in time. At that point, there would be an infinite amount of time between the theorical first moment of the Universe and today. We would then wait until today. But since there would be always an infinite amount of time to go through, we would never get to the point we would be waiting for. Therefore, today would never come into existence. But since we know that today does exist, we are forced to conclude that the Universe must have had a beginning in time.

 

3. That option must therefore be changed into either ∆ → U or Ø + chance → U.

 

C. Could the Universe come out of nothing by no laws but chance? This theory is the same as if I would say that if I watch a number 1 during enough time, it could become a number 2. Even though this sound idiot to think that, I'm not sure this would convince evolutionists that they are stupid to think the Universe could come into existence by chance. So, I will explain in details the problems relating to this assertion.

 

1. In real life, would we expect a ball to fall if there was no thrown ball? One should understand that the notion of chance is not an almighty concept. Chance is always dependant to some laws. In order for a lucky event to happen, there must be laws limiting the possibilities for that event to happen. If we could expect a ball to hit a bird one mile away by chance, it would still be necessary to throw the ball. The ball would never throw itself. In the same way, if we would throw dices to decide whether or not the universe would be created, it would be still necessary for us to throw the dices in order to get the lucky number. A dice has 6 faces, right angles, dots on it and obeys to gravity and to the dice thrower in order to show a result. this is something complicated. Even if the event of getting a precise number on a dice is something lucky, the process by which you get it is not. By the same way, if the Universe was made by a result of luck, the process that made the result was not caused by chance.

 

    Why can I assert this? It's pretty simple. Lets imagine the Universe was made by chance by a result of a thrown dice, but not thrown, a dice with no law. Then, why should there be only one result. We could get a universe existing and not existing at the same time, subject to time and timeless at the same time, etc. It is pretty easy to see that this is impossible. Even if the universe was made by luck, we know that it couldn't get two contradicting results. This law is a law that is supreme even to the event of the appearance of the Universe. The laws of logics are above the Universe. If chance had to obey to the laws of logics in the event of the appearance of the Universe even if logics do not exists materially, then there must be some supernatural mechanisms that caused the Universe.

 

2. Also, it is very easy to understand that such an assertion contradict the fondation of logics since there is a law in physics that says: "nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed". 0 do not equals 1.

 

3. Another point to make is that if the Universe was caused by chance, what caused that chance isn't the supreme law of the Universe anymore? I know that I've already showed that chance does obey the laws of logics, but we need to understand that if chance alone had caused the universe, then chance alone should be governing  it. Then, the events that we would see everyday would be all spontaneous and not obeying any law. If chance made the world, then we should be surprised that we stay alive more than 10 seconds. If we happened to be by chance, we should also disappear by chance and not rationally. This only fact shows the stupidity of believing in chance as the only cause of the Universe. How can we explain the constistancy of the laws of nature if these laws were made by chance? Shouldn't they disappear also by chance?

 

4. In the end, it is way more rational to say that the Universe came into existence by some sort of supernatural mechanism or caused by a supreme being.

 

D. Is the question closed? not really. Even if we know that the Universe must have had a supernatural cause, how can we know for sure what it is? The supernatural cause of the universe could be either a supernatural computer or a supernatural mind known as God. Either:

 

∆C → U (the supernatural computer caused the Universe)

 

∆G → U (the supernatural mind caused the Universe)

 

1. Lets explore first the possibility of a supernatural computer to be the cause of our existence. This hypothesis would predict that according to it own laws, the infinitely powerful computer would create a world perfectly structured like the one we look at. By some sort of mechanism working on it own, the computer could create a perfectly structured world without the obligation for us to obey to moral laws. In fact, this hypothesis is a retake of the U → U hypothesis. The main difference is that it doesn't say that natural laws existed before time existed. it says that supernatural laws existed in a mindless supernatural entity that created the actual Universe according to its own predetermined fonctions. In short, this hypothesis does say that the existence of the Universe is necessary. It only remove the problem of time in the second hypothesis. But there is an important problem with that theory.

 

2. Since this mindless supernatural being is outside of time and that there are no steps in its decisions, how can it decide at one point that it won't create the Universe and that it will create the first moment of the Universe in a certain way and then stop creating the Universe. If that supernatural computer was really programmed to work in a certain way, how can it produce different results without causes according to the moment we are at in time and that, at the same time, these results neither follow constant laws neither are they a result of chance.

 

3. This also poses the problem of Who programmed the supernatural computer. If the computer didn't have the freedom to program itself, how did it get programmed? Since we can observe in our life that no computer can program itself, then we must conclude that either this supernatural computer had a cause or it had the freedom to program itself which therefore doesn't make it a computer anymore, but a mind. But a supernatural entity cannot have a cause since there is no succession of events outside time. Therefore, the cause of the Universe must be a supernatural mind.

 

E. Comes now the question whether or not a supernatural mind could have created the Universe (a God). Some would say that this is not possible since we should then ask the question: what made God?

 

1. Since a supernatural cause is timeless, there cannot be a cause to it (there is no succession of events outside time). There is no need to tell why God is such or such. Since a mind is free to be as it wants to be, it can program itself as it likes. Some could ask why God loves us or why he did so, but the farther we can understand rationally is what follows logics, but it is impossible to understand rationally why someone makes a decision when he has nothing to gain from that decision.

 

Logics can guide you to God, but it can't make you love him.

 

 

 

 

 


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hanntonn wrote:D. Is the

hanntonn wrote:
D. Is the question closed? not really. Even if we know that the Universe must have had a supernatural cause, how can we know for sure what it is? The supernatural cause of the universe could be either a supernatural computer or a supernatural mind known as God. Either:

∆C → U (the supernatural computer caused the Universe)

∆G → U (the supernatural mind caused the Universe)

Here's your first really big error. You have not justified that it has to be a mind or computer intentionally designing and shaping this universe. If supernatural is just defined as anything outside/before this universe, why can't the cause be some basic mechanical trigger that sparks the chain reaction necessary to start the beginning of the universe? You are stuck on the notion that it must be some incredibly powerful puppet master.

hanntonn wrote:
3. This also poses the problem of Who programmed the supernatural computer. If the computer didn't have the freedom to program itself, how did it get programmed? Since we can observe in our life that no computer can program itself,

If you're only defining supernatural computers as automatons, then you must justify that they cannot program themselves. You cannot just use an argument from analogy. That is a fallacy in this situation. If you're defining them as automatons that can't program themselves, then you must also consider automatons that can program themselves.

hannton wrote:
or it had the freedom to program itself which therefore doesn't make it a computer anymore, but a mind.

So, you've observed that minds can program themselves? Define "program.

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


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clarification

Thanks for the reply butterbattle;

    I may have to clarify my last point even if I think I had provided the answers in my post, but must explain myself for the sake of rationality.

 In my last two hypothesis, I meant to say that there are two possibilities of a supernatural cause for the Universe. Either the Universe was caused intentionally by an entity which has the freedom to do it or the Universe was caused by a supernatural set of laws (I said that this is contained in a supernatural computer).
A. Lets explore the hypothesis of a supernatural set of laws causing the Universe. Since laws are just explanations of what is seen, you need to have an entity (anything existing which would also be timeless) that causes the laws. Either this entity is a very basic trigger like you said or a complicated trigger (automatons thanks for the word!)
∆A → U (the supernatural automaton caused the Universe)
∆T→ U (the supernatural trigger caused the Universe)

1. could a simple timeless trigger cause the Universe as we see it? What we do know about a triggers is that even the simplest must have at least two parts: the trigger and the energy to start it. Where did that energy come from? If we say that the energy come from the trigger itself then there must be either another part to the trigger that created the energy to launch it or we must say that the trigger was always started. If the first possibility is true, then we must conclude that the supernatural trigger is in fact an automaton (more complex). The second possibility cannot be true since the Universe wouldn't have had a beginning and we wouldn't be there to talk about it since we can't make an infinite regress in time. The Universe would be infinite in time because we could always ask the question: what was there one moment before the appearance of the Universe? Since the trigger was always started then the Universe was also created one moment before it was created and we can go back to infinity doing this.
    Moreover, if we take this problem differently, what simple trigger could cause the order we see in the Universe? There are only one possibility for this. It must be randomness, chance, luck. This must be so because if what is caused is not random, then it is predetermined. If it is predetermined, then the trigger must be at least as complex as the Universe since it must contain the definition of all the laws of the Universe in itself. Since we have already seen that Ø + chance → U is impossible, we must then conclude that the trigger should be at least as complex as the universe. The only possible choice is the automaton.

B. Could the Universe be caused by an automaton? This is possible, but since we've just seen that a supernatural automaton must be at least as complex as the Universe, this raises the question as to how did it get that complex? Either the automaton programmed itself or something else programmed it or someone else did it. I will make also the hypothesis that the automaton wasn't programmed at all.
By programming, I mean putting inviolable patterns of actions in a being (any kind of being). If the automaton could violate a pattern of action to do something not programmed in itself, then it would be free and therefore not an automaton.
∆A → ∆A (it programmed itself)
∆ → A (something programmed the automaton)
∆M → A (a mind programmed the automaton)
∆A = ∆A (it just is. That's all)
1. Could ∆ → A? If another mindless being would have programmed the supernatural automaton, then the Automaton wouldn't be supernatural any more and we would again need to explain how that mindless being got programmed since it needed to be at least as complex as the first automaton in order to program it. We could regress to infinity like that. At the end, one automaton must have designed itself or a mind must have designed it.

2. could ∆A → ∆A? I think this is obviously wrong, but since this was an objection to my argumentation, I must explain why. Could an automaton program itself? Lets say there was a mindless supernatural being before the Universe got here without any predetermined patterns in it. By which process could it program itself. If that being is mindless, then it must follow determined patterns. But if there are no determined patterns in it, then it must at least follow the pattern which is to do nothing. If the automaton decide to start programming itself, then it goes outside his predetermined patterns.
     Some could say that the automaton had only one pattern which was to program itself and it did it. But since the automaton must be as complex as the Universe, the process by which the automaton program itself must also be as complex as the automaton is since everything is predetermined. It is the same as to say that a manual explaining how to build a car must be at least as complex as the car. If this wasn't the case, then we could explain how a car is built by showing a grain of sand.
    If the process by which the automaton get programmed is as complex as the automaton itself, then it raises the question as to what made that process. We then go back to infinity since we can't find a valid answer. In the end, the automaton must have been programmed by a mind or it wasn't programmed at all.

3. Could an automaton not be programmed? I made the analogy that no computer can program itself and I got contradicted on that point. So, lets say that the supernatural automaton was there and that's all. We can't explain how it got programmed, but that's the truth and that's all. This raises a big problem. A computer produces results according to the information it gets from his environment. If you give it 2+ 2 =, it responds 4. But what if the computer never gets anything from its environment like the supernatural automaton? it will never produce any results other than what it is already programmed to do on it own. However, since there is no time outside our Time-Space-Matter universe, then the supernatural automaton must always be producing the same results. Without any data coming from the outside world, the automaton wouldn't start doing something else than what it is already doing. Someone could say that there was a random process in the automaton which decided when it should create the Universe. But since there are no steps outside time, there is enough time in one moment to have produced all the results of randomness. At that point, we go back to the problem we had with the supernatural trigger. We fail to explain why the Universe is not infinite in time duration if the supernatural automaton was always doing the same actions from eternity.
 In the end, the only other known possibility for an automaton to have created the Universe is that a supernatural mind made the automaton which made the Universe. ∆M → A → U
But this is absurd in the sense that if the automaton is as complex as the Universe and that this automaton is purposeless outside the fact that it creates the Universe, why should the supernatural mind create that automaton. This would be purposeless and as we can see in this Universe, nothing is purposeless. Therefore, a purposeless automaton doesn't exist.

4. Finally, I come back to my first conclusion that logics leads us to a supernatural mind as the first cause of the Universe. But why a mind? because a mind is the only thing that is free to do something without following patterns of actions, but that his actions still have a purpose. A mind is the only thing that can explain why the entity creating the universe did not create the Universe one moment before it did and that it did it one moment after. Also, A mind is the only thing that can program itself like I wrote in my last post. I meant by this that a mind can make his own patterns of actions and change them without cause but at the same time with purpose. This is what best explain our World. We live in a Universe which has purpose, but since we can't go back to infinity to explain the cause of that purpose, we know that there must be an uncaused cause. The combination of both points leads to a mind as the first cause of the Universe.

From that to conclude that this mind is the Christian God, or the muslim God or else, I won't push the argumentation farther. The only known thing is that the Universe was caused by a mind. You may accept it or reject it, it stays the truth anyway according to logics.

Also Butterbattle, I must tell you that I'm not stuck on the notion that the Universe must be caused by an incredibly powerful puppet master. Firstly, I don't think I'm a puppet. Secondly, I'm not stuck on a notion, but logics lead me to the fact that only a mind can cause the Universe. But for you, ARE YOU STUCK ON THE NOTION THAT THERE CAN'T BE A MIND BEHIND THE UNIVERSE? I've nothing to do with your anger against christians or other religions. I love logics and science and this debate has nothing to do with religion. It's a philosophical one.


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Hanntonn, if you're going to

Hanntonn, if you're going to write more posts, we prefer that you create an account.  

I did not expect you to reply, but now that you have, welcome to the forum.

hanntonn wrote:
In my last two hypothesis, I meant to say that there are two possibilities of a supernatural cause for the Universe. Either the Universe was caused intentionally by an entity which has the freedom to do it or the Universe was caused by a supernatural set of laws (I said that this is contained in a supernatural computer).

You wrote, "But a supernatural entity cannot have a cause since there is no succession of events outside time." You are contradicting yourself. If causality cannot exist without time, then how can a sentient entity cause these laws? Moreover, how can anything cause the the universe?

A true dichotomy would be that the cause was either intentional or unintentional. An unintentional cause is not necessarily a "set of laws," so you have a false dichotomy, although I suppose that might depend on what you're defining as a "law." I doubt you're defining "set of laws" to be any unintentional cause though. Other than a "set of laws," it could be any number of simple or complex mechanisms.

If you are borrowing this concept from "natural laws," it should be said that in the natural world, a law causing something in the way that you are explaining it is simply incoherent. Natural laws are characteristics of the natural world, and our formulations of these laws are just descriptions of how the natural world functions. They are derived from the natural world. There is no justification for claiming that the laws can precede the actual physical reality.  

Of course, all bets are off when we're discussing what occurred before the beginning of the universe, I am permitted to at least posit the possibility of something-that's-exactly-like-natural-laws-except-it's-supernatural-and-exists-like-a-Platonic-form. But, likewise, I can also posit anything I want. That's essentially captures the essence of the problem here. There is no reality to refer to, and I do not think there is a conclusion that can be reached from the available true premises. That's my position; I do not think it is possible to say for certain "what" "caused" "what" (or pretty much anything really) when we're talking about before the universe using logic alone. So, for the rest of this post, I will simply try to point out many conceptual problems with your premises.

hanntonn wrote:
Since laws are just explanations of what is seen,

If they are just explanations, how do they cause something?

hanntonn wrote:
you need to have an entity (anything existing which would also be timeless) that causes the laws.

What are supernatural laws, and why do they need something to cause them?

Again, you wrote, "But a supernatural entity cannot have a cause since there is no succession of events outside time." If it is only an apparent contradiction, please resolve it.

hanntonn wrote:
1. could a simple timeless trigger cause the Universe as we see it? What we do know about a triggers is that even the simplest must have at least two parts: the trigger and the energy to start it.

We're talking about something supernatural. Why would it need energy? 

hanntonn wrote:
Where did that energy come from? If we say that the energy come from the trigger itself then there must be either another part to the trigger that created the energy to launch it or we must say that the trigger was always started.

It's a supernatural trigger. It's nothing but a construct of our imagination. It can create and do whatever we define it to do with just a single part.

hanntonn wrote:
The second possibility cannot be true since the Universe wouldn't have had a beginning and we wouldn't be there to talk about it since we can't make an infinite regress in time. The Universe would be infinite in time because we could always ask the question: what was there one moment before the appearance of the Universe? Since the trigger was always started then the Universe was also created one moment before it was created and we can go back to infinity doing this.

It doesn't have to be always started. It's a supernatural trigger. It can start whenever we decide it to for any number of supernatural reasons.

hanntonn wrote:
Moreover, if we take this problem differently, what simple trigger could cause the order we see in the Universe?

It's a supernatural trigger. Just imagine one that can.

hanntonn wrote:
If it is predetermined, then the trigger must be at least as complex as the Universe since it must contain the definition of all the laws of the Universe in itself.

It's a supernatural trigger. Complexity is a description of natural systems. A supernatural trigger can be as simple as we define it to be and still contain as much information as we want.

Even if it were a natural trigger, you have not justified why it must be exactly at least as complex as the universe. That's a scientifically inept statement.

hanntonn wrote:
B. Could the Universe be caused by an automaton? This is possible, but since we've just seen that a supernatural automaton must be at least as complex as the Universe, this raises the question as to how did it get that complex?

It is a supernatural automaton. It can be eternally that complex.

hanntonn wrote:
1. Could ∆ → A? If another mindless being would have programmed the supernatural automaton, then the Automaton wouldn't be supernatural any more

Why wouldn't it be supernatural anymore? Define supernatural.

hanntonn wrote:
However, since there is no time outside our Time-Space-Matter universe, then the supernatural automaton must always be producing the same results.

Producing results involves causation. If there's no time, then you wouldn't produce results at all.

hanntonn wrote:
because a mind is the only thing that is free to do something without following patterns of actions, but that his actions still have a purpose. A mind is the only thing that can explain why the entity creating the universe did not create the Universe one moment before it did and that it did it one moment after.

There are no "moments" outside of time.

hanntonn wrote:
We live in a Universe which has purpose,

Define "purpose" and provide evidence that our universe has it.

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


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There is no evidence

There is no evidence whatever to propose that "a mind is the only thing that is free to do something without following patterns of actions".

It seems to follow the assumption that there is something meaningful about the philosophical/religious idea of "free will", of a decision or choice being non-deterministic in the sense of not being in any sense based on prior 'causes'.

To me, that makes a mockery of my idea of 'making a decision'. In what sense can I make choice in a total absence of criteria or influences or urges or personal preferences or reasoning processes etc? How would such a decision be any different to tossing a coin?

Conscious choices, decisions, are , AFAICS, based on the net balance of all those factors, and more. ie they are 'causal' consequences of such factors, which in turn are consequences of other states and events, and so on. What else could there be? it may help to realize that any identifiable state of existence is rarely 'determined' solely by any unique identifiable 'cause', but rather is affected by an indefinitely large set of contributory events or states of its environment.

The conceptions of medieval and earlier philosophers about the nature of causality, and many other things, were hopelessly simplistic.

There is no justification for assuming that a 'purpose' exists outside the context of an individual consciousness, that it could meaningfully be ascribed to the Universe.

Examination of things happening within our Universe show that causes may easily be 'lesser' than the effects they cause, by whatever criteria you want to use, in duration or energy involved. Once you realize this, it follows that any event can perfectly well be the result of a notionally infinite chain of cause-and-effect, that nevertheless will have a finite duration and involve finite energy, and require a hypothetically infinitesimal origin at a finite time in the past. This only requires that in the sequence, each cause is effectively smaller that what it causes by a factor that is a finite value less than unity.

In fact, Science, in the form of Quantum Mechanics, rescues us from even the notionally tricky idea of an infinitesimal 'first cause', in that below some finite scale, uncertainty, indeterminism dominates, and Planck scale 'events' effectively fire at random.

So no mind is required to somehow 'will' something to happen, in fact that really makes no sense.

Another thing is that order does not require a mind. The reality is the reverse, the emergence of complex ordered processes such as 'mind' requires an inherent level of ordered processes and structure to exist already.

Order only requires that the fundamental structural components of reality, be they quarks and/or something more elementary, be essentially identical and simple.

In the same way that a collection of identical spheres will settle into a single layer arranged in a perfect triangular pattern when shaken on a sloping table, order and pattern is an emergent thing.

So, the minimal background for emergence of our Big Bang universe, and mind, is a an absolutely minimal background of raw potentiality, energy, as close as is possible to nothingness.

 

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

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

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

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


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butterbattle wrote:hanntonn

butterbattle wrote:

hanntonn wrote:
In my last two hypothesis, I meant to say that there are two possibilities of a supernatural cause for the Universe. Either the Universe was caused intentionally by an entity which has the freedom to do it or the Universe was caused by a supernatural set of laws (I said that this is contained in a supernatural computer).

You wrote, "But a supernatural entity cannot have a cause since there is no succession of events outside time." You are contradicting yourself. If causality cannot exist without time, then how can a sentient entity cause these laws? Moreover, how can anything cause the the universe?

causality can exist outside time but not the effect. A supernatural cause can produce an effect, but the effect must be subjected to time since if the effect is not subject to time, then it was always there and it is therefore no more an effect of anything. An effect follows the cause in time, and if a supernatural entity would have a cause (therefore being an effect) then it would be subjected to time and this is why it wouldn't be supernatural. By supernatural, I mean what is outside everything related to our Universe. Angels wouldn't be supernatural because even if they would not be material and not spatial, they would still be subjected to some kind of time since they must have had a beginning (but this is a theological parenthesis). If something is subjected to time, it can't be supernatural. The only thing that is supernatural is what was always existing before our Universe got here.

butterbattle wrote:
A true dichotomy would be that the cause was either intentional or unintentional. An unintentional cause is not necessarily a "set of laws," so you have a false dichotomy, although I suppose that might depend on what you're defining as a "law." I doubt you're defining "set of laws" to be any unintentional cause though. Other than a "set of laws," it could be any number of simple or complex mechanisms.

I meant by laws predetermined patterns of action or procedure. something that is programmed follows predetermined laws or patterns. a set of laws is an explanation of how a mechanism works. If there are no laws, no patterns, then there is no mechanism, all is randomness. But we've already seen that pure randomness is impossible since there would be an infinite amount of time that would have passed if it was the case. If there is a mechanism, then there is an automaton to make the mechanism  work.

butterbattle wrote:
If you are borrowing this concept from "natural laws," it should be said that in the natural world, a law causing something in the way that you are explaining it is simply incoherent. Natural laws are characteristics of the natural world, and our formulations of these laws are just descriptions of how the natural world functions. They are derived from the natural world. There is no justification for claiming that the laws can precede the actual physical reality.

You are right here. Laws do not exist by themselves, but they explain how the world functions. This is why I said that if there are supernatural laws, then there must be a supernatural entity or automaton to cause the laws.

butterbattle wrote:
Of course, all bets are off when we're discussing what occurred before the beginning of the universe, I am permitted to at least posit the possibility of something-that's-exactly-like-natural-laws-except-it's-supernatural-and-exists-like-a-Platonic-form. But, likewise, I can also posit anything I want. That's essentially captures the essence of the problem here. There is no reality to refer to, and I do not think there is a conclusion that can be reached from the available true premises. That's my position; I do not think it is possible to say for certain "what" "caused" "what" (or pretty much anything really) when we're talking about before the universe using logic alone. So, for the rest of this post, I will simply try to point out many conceptual problems with your premises.

Like I just said, there are no laws existing by themselves when we understand what is a law. But for the rest of what you say, if we can't know what was before the Universe, then this whole blog is purposeless.

butterbattle wrote:
hanntonn wrote:
Since laws are just explanations of what is seen,

If they are just explanations, how do they cause something?

How comes that you contradict me here when you say exactly the same thing earlier:

butterbattle wrote:
  Natural laws are characteristics of the natural world, and our formulations of these laws are just descriptions of how the natural world functions.
This is not very honest.

butterbattle wrote:
What are supernatural laws, and why do they need something to cause them?

supernatural laws are the explanations of patterns of actions or events or thoughts in operation before the appearance of time. They don't need to be caused, but I've showed in another point that it is impossible even for automaton to produce other results than it is already producing, so, there is no explanation as to why it decided to create the Universe without reason. This is why the automaton need to be caused by something else.

butterbattle wrote:
hanntonn wrote:
1. could a simple timeless trigger cause the Universe as we see it? What we do know about a triggers is that even the simplest must have at least two parts: the trigger and the energy to start it.

We're talking about something supernatural. Why would it need energy?

I don't mean a physical energy in this assertion. I mean that there is a difference between a trigger started and a trigger stopped. I call this difference energy. Since it is impossible to explain what caused a completely simple trigger to pass from the state of being stopped to the state of being started outside the notion of freedom or randomness, then, the real cause of the appearance of the Universe must really be either randomness or freedom (mind).

butterbattle wrote:
It's a supernatural trigger. It's nothing but a construct of our imagination. It can create and do whatever we define it to do with just a single part.

No it can't. If the trigger is outside time and that it is determined at that moment to be on the state of being stopped, you still don't have the explanation as to why it suddenly started.

butterbattle wrote:
hanntonn wrote:
The second possibility cannot be true since the Universe wouldn't have had a beginning and we wouldn't be there to talk about it since we can't make an infinite regress in time. The Universe would be infinite in time because we could always ask the question: what was there one moment before the appearance of the Universe? Since the trigger was always started then the Universe was also created one moment before it was created and we can go back to infinity doing this.

It doesn't have to be always started. It's a supernatural trigger. It can start whenever we decide it to for any number of supernatural reasons.

You can decide when the trigger should have started? Well, that is good imagination. Were you there before the Big Bang to start the trigger? You say that there could be some supernatural reasons for the trigger to start. If the trigger is determined by some pattern of actions, and that there are no motivation coming from the outside world to create the Universe, How can the trigger have no reason to create the Universe at one point and that at the same time it suddenly decided to make the Universe without any change in the datas needed by it supernatural reasons to push the trigger to make the Universe. Shouldn't there be either an infinite amount of time passed in this Universe or else shouldn't there be nothing at all since there were no changes in the datas the trigger took from itself or his environment before the Universe appeared. So, If you really believe in that supernatural trigger, then you must explain what are the supernatural reasons for the trigger to start at all.

butterbattle wrote:
hanntonn wrote:
Moreover, if we take this problem differently, what simple trigger could cause the order we see in the Universe?

It's a supernatural trigger. Just imagine one that can.

Imagination has nothing to do with science or rationality. A child can imagine how Santa Claus could fly with reindeers, but we all know this is impossible. Even if I can't imagine any trigger which could cause the Universe because this is clearly not rational, I still can think of a very simple trigger that could cause the complexity of the Universe. In fact, I don't know of any simpler trigger. And that trigger is a mind. A mind is something very simple. It has no parts and it can choose to put complex structures where there is none even if the mind in itself is not a complex thing.

butterbattle wrote:
hanntonn wrote:
If it is predetermined, then the trigger must be at least as complex as the Universe since it must contain the definition of all the laws of the Universe in itself.

It's a supernatural trigger. Complexity is a description of natural systems. A supernatural trigger can be as simple as we define it to be and still contain as much information as we want.

   You are quite right here except for the fact that a simple trigger cannot contain a lot of information. Having information is equal to complexity. Have you ever seen a book that is the most simple and which contains the most information at the same time? In fact, it's the most complex book that contains the most information. The simplest trigger is the one that contains the less information. But the problem with this is that if it doesn't contain information, then it must either build the information freely or randomly. But it is pretty clear that the information in the Universe is not random. But I think you are right to say that complexity refers mostly to natural systems. This is why I don't like the idea of a complex trigger known also as an automaton.

butterbattle wrote:
Even if it were a natural trigger, you have not justified why it must be exactly at least as complex as the universe. That's a scientifically inept statement.
Dont' repeat yourself, you've already said that. I've just said that the trigger must be as complex as the universe the same way the manual to build a car must be at least as complex as the car itself. It must be so only because the trigger cannot determine anything else that it has already determined in itself since it is not a free mind. If there was a process by which the trigger could determine something, then you would still need to explain the complexity of that process since there must be no place for freedom.

butterbattle wrote:
hanntonn wrote:
B. Could the Universe be caused by an automaton? This is possible, but since we've just seen that a supernatural automaton must be at least as complex as the Universe, this raises the question as to how did it get that complex?

It is a supernatural automaton. It can be eternally that complex.

You've failed to read what I said about this. Of course this could be the case if there wasn't another problem which is: what process in the automaton caused it to not always create the Universe and then to create it. If the processes of the automaton are determined, how can it produce different results without any motivation. If the automaton didn't have the reason to create the Universe when the Universe didn't exist where did that reason came from if the automaton follow his own unchanging patterns. I wrote that either the Universe should always have existed and I showed that this is impossible or the Universe should not exist at all which is not the case. Therefore, an automaton cannot have created the Universe.

butterbattle wrote:
hanntonn wrote:
1. Could ∆ → A? If another mindless being would have programmed the supernatural automaton, then the Automaton wouldn't be supernatural any more

Why wouldn't it be supernatural anymore? Define supernatural.

If the automaton was caused by another mindless something, then it is an effect. I've showed that every effects are subjected to time since, if they are not, then they were always as they were and so they are in fact uncaused. This is why the automaton would therefore not be supernatural: because it would be subjected to time.

butterbattle wrote:
hanntonn wrote:
However, since there is no time outside our Time-Space-Matter universe, then the supernatural automaton must always be producing the same results.

Producing results involves causation. If there's no time, then you wouldn't produce results at all.

Isn't what I'm trying to tell you? if the automaton produces always the same results and that there is no result since there is no time, how could there be a different result from nothing. Either the automaton always produced Time and everything which is in time or it didn't do anything. But since an infinite amount of time is impossible, therefore an automaton cannot have created the Universe.

butterbattle wrote:
hanntonn wrote:
because a mind is the only thing that is free to do something without following patterns of actions, but that his actions still have a purpose. A mind is the only thing that can explain why the entity creating the universe did not create the Universe one moment before it did and that it did it one moment after.

There are no "moments" outside of time.

I'm saying this by analogy. Since when the Universe didn't exist is earlier than the moment it was created, We know that the cause of the Universe must be able to produce different effects without any cause outside itself. Since a predetermined being can't do that, I find a best explanation in the "mind" hypothesis.

butterbattle wrote:
hanntonn wrote:
We live in a Universe which has purpose,

Define "purpose" and provide evidence that our universe has it.

having a purpose is having a reason to be. The Universe has a purpose since there is a reason why it exists. For the evidences, there are plenty. But I will work this backward and pretend there could be no purpose to this Universe to shows that it doesn't make sense. Usually, a believer will say that the purpose of the Universe is to make us learn about the nature of God not directly, but through nature in order to be able to love him and go with him after our death. Lets pretend this is not the case. There is no life after death, there is no real purpose to our actions, we just live and that's all. This raises the question as to why we should try to be good in our lives? Why should we make the effort to listen to someone we disagree with? More importantly, how could you convince a young person in real psychological pain and wanting to put an end to his life to not do it because it could go better in the future. Since that person doesn't see the beauty of the future,  how is he gonna hope in the future if his life is purposeless. If his life is purposeless, then he is suffering for nothing. Going further, we can also see that it would be impossible for us to convince someone who would know that he would stay in a concentration camp for the rest of his life to not put an end to his life. We couldn't convince him because we would try to save his life and at the same time we would tell him that there is not good reason why his life should be saved. For these reasons, it is obvious that life has purpose and meaning. Hospitals and schools weren't built on the idea that life had no purpose other than to have fun since there it's the only life that we have. On the contrary, believing that life has no meaning is responsible of suicides, drugs and egoism. In fact, why should we care about others if life has no meanings.


BobSpence
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We try to be good in order

We try to be good in order to live in a more pleasant environment, with more positive relationships with our neighbours, and with the expectation that acting positively toward our fellow members of society will encourage positive actions toward us in return. The mental processes and the underlying brain structures, the 'mirror-neurones' have been detected.

Such interactions and behaviour and reactions have been identified, at a somewhat simpler level, among many social animal groups, from elephants to primates to wolves.

So, in general, there is utterly no justification for proposing a supervening 'supernatural' entity to 'explain' human behaviour and motivations, rather our understanding of psychology provides a broad explanation for the persistence of such supernatural beliefs.

God is an effect, not a cause, that is not an ultimate explanation of anything.

 

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

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

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

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BobSpence1 wrote:We try to

BobSpence1 wrote:

We try to be good in order to live in a more pleasant environment, with more positive relationships with our neighbours, and with the expectation that acting positively toward our fellow members of society will encourage positive actions toward us in return. The mental processes and the underlying brain structures, the 'mirror-neurones' have been detected.

BobSpence1 wrote:

We try to be good in order to live in a more pleasant environment, with more positive relationships with our neighbours, and with the expectation that acting positively toward our fellow members of society will encourage positive actions toward us in return. The mental processes and the underlying brain structures, the 'mirror-neurones' have been detected.

You still don't have any reasons why someone very sad shouldn't make suicide. Also, even if you are good in order to encourage others to be good toward you, you wouldn't need to do that if you were a member of a club and that you could enslave all mankind. If you only need to be good toward those that can hurt you, then you don't need to be good toward those that can't. Hitler did this for some years. He was not as lucky as the roman empire, but the main point stays. Without purpose to life, you don't have a reason to be good. The only thing is that you hope to be loved during the time your are alive. But what do you make of those that loves to see the sufferings of others and theirs? They have a different view of happiness then the one you have, but they are both valid logically if there is no purpose to life. The only reason why we don't function according to this way of life is that there are more people that want an objective justice than there are that want chaos. But there could be chaos, this is not impossible. It depends on many variables in the human life, but men are capable of great ignorance and madness.

quote=BobSpence1]

God is an effect, not a cause, that is not an ultimate explanation of anything.

This is very ridicule to say that. God can only be the cause or he doesn't exist. But I think, I've showed enough reasons why it is rational to think a mind should have made the Universe. If you can prove what created the Universe, then do it. I'm waiting on that to happen.


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BobSpence1 wrote:There is no

BobSpence1 wrote:

There is no evidence whatever to propose that "a mind is the only thing that is free to do something without following patterns of actions".

Then, suggest something else. Do you know anything else that have a behaviour but that this behaviour is not predetermined? Randomness has no behaviour and an automaton is determined. It's pretty logical to me to conclude that there are no other options.

BobSpence1 wrote:
It seems to follow the assumption that there is something meaningful about the philosophical/religious idea of "free will", of a decision or choice being non-deterministic in the sense of not being in any sense based on prior 'causes'.

To me, that makes a mockery of my idea of 'making a decision'. In what sense can I make choice in a total absence of criteria or influences or urges or personal preferences or reasoning processes etc? How would such a decision be any different to tossing a coin?

There is a cause to this kind of decision, but nowhere outside the purpose you give to that decision. The cause of the decision is the purpose of the mind. The main difference between this and tossing a coin is that the decision made by a mind will be coherent with all the other decisions it will make. Tossing a coin is never coherent.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Conscious choices, decisions, are , AFAICS, based on the net balance of all those factors, and more. ie they are 'causal' consequences of such factors, which in turn are consequences of other states and events, and so on. What else could there be? it may help to realize that any identifiable state of existence is rarely 'determined' solely by any unique identifiable 'cause', but rather is affected by an indefinitely large set of contributory events or states of its environment.

This is because you are not the primary cause. You are influenced by your environment and everything you learn. But what if you had no environment and nothing to influence you. You would have to find a reason to act nowhere outside yourself. Since no actions are programmed in you, you need to behave in the way you choose. Since this behaviour is what you chose to do, your actions are neither the result of chance neither are they the result of determination.

BobSpence1 wrote:
There is no justification for assuming that a 'purpose' exists outside the context of an individual consciousness, that it could meaningfully be ascribed to the Universe.
You are right. Except if one's consciousness is the cause of the Universe. Then, a purpose to the Universe would be valid by analogy to the purpose of the one that made it.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Examination of things happening within our Universe show that causes may easily be 'lesser' than the effects they cause, by whatever criteria you want to use, in duration or energy involved.
 

Well, I've yet to see a ball hit another ball and that the one that was hit gets on motion at a speed faster than the speed of the other ball without another type of energy involved.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Once you realize this, it follows that any event can perfectly well be the result of a notionally infinite chain of cause-and-effect, that nevertheless will have a finite duration and involve finite energy, and require a hypothetically infinitesimal origin at a finite time in the past. This only requires that in the sequence, each cause is effectively smaller that what it causes by a factor that is a finite value less than unity.

I don't realize that. The word you should have used is "imagine" not realize. You've yet to show me one effect greater than it cause without external energy involved in the calculus. It's pretty simple. Zero does not equal one. Your simple theory is simply out of logics. Even if what you say was true, which is not, a hypothetically infinitesimal origin is still something and not nothing. There is a large difference. and it's not because you use the word infinitesimal that this should blow our mind. It's just a word. It doesn't make any sense that 1 could equal 2. It might look good on a mathematical calculus, but it is not sound.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Another thing is that order does not require a mind. The reality is the reverse, the emergence of complex ordered processes such as 'mind' requires an inherent level of ordered processes and structure to exist already.

Nothing requires anything to exists supernaturally, so order does not require a mind. But choice requires a mind when there is an undetermined action. As I've showed, an automaton would either never create the Universe or the Universe would also be eternal. Since both are impossible, it is obvious that the Universe is caused by a mind. In your second sentence, you confuse a mind and a brain. A brain by itself is not conscious. This is easy to show when you know that each particle of the brain is not conscious individually; why should it be conscious on a whole? The brain is just showing results like a computer does. The brain is no more conscious than a computer. It's the mind that look at the results that is conscious. Anyway, I wasn't talking about a human mind, but a supernatural mind. If our Universe requires a choice to exist, then it is obvious that a choice was made.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Order only requires that the fundamental structural components of reality, be they quarks and/or something more elementary, be essentially identical and simple.

The information in the arrangement of those elementary particles is not simple. Don't you know anything about the structures and information in DNA? Even if a protein has got all the amino acids to make it, if it is not ordered in a certain way, it won't fold. So, the Universe is, yes, made of simple particles, but also of information. That information is complex and non-emergent. Learn about irreducible complexity.

BobSpence1 wrote:
In the same way that a collection of identical spheres will settle into a single layer arranged in a perfect triangular pattern when shaken on a sloping table, order and pattern is an emergent thing.

Lets shake a bunch of letters on a table and we will make a book then. By the way, what was there to shake the non-existent Universe?


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hanntonn wrote:BobSpence1

hanntonn wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

We try to be good in order to live in a more pleasant environment, with more positive relationships with our neighbours, and with the expectation that acting positively toward our fellow members of society will encourage positive actions toward us in return. The mental processes and the underlying brain structures, the 'mirror-neurones' have been detected.

BobSpence1 wrote:

We try to be good in order to live in a more pleasant environment, with more positive relationships with our neighbours, and with the expectation that acting positively toward our fellow members of society will encourage positive actions toward us in return. The mental processes and the underlying brain structures, the 'mirror-neurones' have been detected.

You still don't have any reasons why someone very sad shouldn't make suicide. Also, even if you are good in order to encourage others to be good toward you, you wouldn't need to do that if you were a member of a club and that you could enslave all mankind. If you only need to be good toward those that can hurt you, then you don't need to be good toward those that can't. Hitler did this for some years. He was not as lucky as the roman empire, but the main point stays. Without purpose to life, you don't have a reason to be good. The only thing is that you hope to be loved during the time your are alive. But what do you make of those that loves to see the sufferings of others and theirs? They have a different view of happiness then the one you have, but they are both valid logically if there is no purpose to life. The only reason why we don't function according to this way of life is that there are more people that want an objective justice than there are that want chaos. But there could be chaos, this is not impossible. It depends on many variables in the human life, but men are capable of great ignorance and madness.

quote=BobSpence1]

God is an effect, not a cause, that is not an ultimate explanation of anything.

Quote:

This is very ridicule to say that. God can only be the cause or he doesn't exist. But I think, I've showed enough reasons why it is rational to think a mind should have made the Universe. If you can prove what created the Universe, then do it. I'm waiting on that to happen.

I thought you were going to make this hard.

People shouldn't commit suicide because it affects the people around them. We need to be aware of people who are sad enough to off themselves because trying to get them to look at what they're doing and helping with their problem (if we can) benefits all of us. If I had to wait for God to stop me from committing suicide...well, let's just say we wouldn't be having this discussion. God was one of the prime causes of my suicidal depression - people helped me out of it.

You need God to give your life purpose? That's really scary. It implies that you are willing to accept whatever idea any voice in your head tells you because you think it's God.

I'll stick with making my own purpose, thanks. It seems more useful than doing whatever God or the preacher you like tells you. Paul called that "being blown about by every wind of doctrine". The irony of Paul writing that is that confusing people was his mission.

AS for God being the cause or not existing, you've unknowingly hit on truth. We have no evidence that God existed outside of the minds of the people who wrote the holy books. What should that tell you? 

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


BobSpence
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hanntonn wrote:BobSpence1

hanntonn wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

We try to be good in order to live in a more pleasant environment, with more positive relationships with our neighbours, and with the expectation that acting positively toward our fellow members of society will encourage positive actions toward us in return. The mental processes and the underlying brain structures, the 'mirror-neurones' have been detected.

You still don't have any reasons why someone very sad shouldn't make suicide. Also, even if you are good in order to encourage others to be good toward you, you wouldn't need to do that if you were a member of a club and that you could enslave all mankind. If you only need to be good toward those that can hurt you, then you don't need to be good toward those that can't. Hitler did this for some years. He was not as lucky as the roman empire, but the main point stays. Without purpose to life, you don't have a reason to be good. The only thing is that you hope to be loved during the time your are alive. But what do you make of those that loves to see the sufferings of others and theirs? They have a different view of happiness then the one you have, but they are both valid logically if there is no purpose to life. The only reason why we don't function according to this way of life is that there are more people that want an objective justice than there are that want chaos. But there could be chaos, this is not impossible. It depends on many variables in the human life, but men are capable of great ignorance and madness.

What has being depressed enough to commit suicide got to do with it? That can happen, and does, with or without religious belief.

We act good towards others because it helps make our whole society more friendly and pleasant. And we don't really do it as a conscious decision, it is a natural tendency that we , as social creatures, have evolved with, because social animals are more successful if they are cooperative and friendly toward each other than if they tend to fight most of the time.

Religious beliefs, and other kinds of dogma, are one of the sorts of influence that can overcome these natural tendencies, and  indeed help to form "clubs aimed at enslaving mankind".

It is not about just about a "need to be good toward those that can hurt you", it is that trying to be friendly to everyone makes everything more pleasant and easier to work with, whether or not they could hurt you . You don't need to be friendly, but things are more pleasant if you are. This is all. A 'purpose' is definitely not required to encourage us to be good, just the emotional 'reward' of a more pleasant life.

People who don't share these urges, or are persuaded by dogmas that tell them that people who don't share their beliefs should be killed, will always be with us, because there are occasions, such as when competition for resources can lead to conflict, and having some individuals who can persuade others to join into groups that can go and fight and kill other people may help one group survive instead of both starving, perhaps. There are various theories as to why some species are more prone to violence than others. In fact, it is equally, maybe more likely, that people, like Hitler, who strongly feel they have a purpose in life, are the ones that have the drive to do all that nasty stuff, because they feel they have some ultimate lofty purpose that justifies serious pain and suffering in the short term.

So the idea of having a 'purpose' is one of the things that can make people be really bad, not just good. It bypasses those natural cooperative tendencies, or harnesses them into forming armies to dominate others. Religious beliefs can make the problems caused by the mad and ignorant much worse.

It is interesting to compare the range of human social behavior with that of two of our close cousin species, chimpanzees  and bonobos. Chimps are even more prone to form groups and go off on killing sprees than we are, whereas bonobos are more like all hippie 'make love not war' types. 

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

God is an effect, not a cause, that is not an ultimate explanation of anything.

This is very ridicule to say that. God can only be the cause or he doesn't exist. But I think, I've showed enough reasons why it is rational to think a mind should have made the Universe. If you can prove what created the Universe, then do it. I'm waiting on that to happen.

You did not understand what I meant there. I guess I was being too metaphorical.

The belief in God, not a God itself (there are no Gods, of course, outside our own imagination)  is caused by our psychological need to explain what we see. When people can see no simple 'natural' causes, they have a strong tendency to imagine some invisible or magical being making it all happen.

It is not a matter of strict proof either way, it is about seeing what is more likely to be true.

If you want to study Physics and Cosmology, then Stephen Hawking can show you why a God is not needed to explain how the Universe came to be. The more we actually study the nature of the Universe, the more it looks like something driven by random processes at the lowest level, but with enough tendencies to form orderly structures like atoms, which tend to gather into molecules, which under the right conditions form more complex things, and so on. If life and the universe were really consciously 'designed' we should expect to see far less diversity of structure - a designer should be able to work out the best design for each part of the Universe for his ultimate purpose, then use that everywhere. This is not what we find when we study it.

We see the sort of thing we would expect from natural, evolutionary processes. Random variations all over the place. Just as Darwin found in the Galapagos Islands, in the birds there. He could not understand why a God would make so many variations of birds, differences from island to island. This is what started him wondering if there really was a Cosmic Designer, and started to shake his belief in God, which he still held at the time.

Unfortunately, the serious explanations of the origins of things, that are based on careful study of the Universe itself, are harder to learn than taking the easy path of religious ideas that simply amount to magic beings willing everything into existence. So most people take that easy path,  just reading ancient books where people back then wrote down what they thought, about everything being due to the will and actions of magic creatures with enormous powers.

 

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

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

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

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


hanntonn
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jcgadfly wrote:I thought you

jcgadfly wrote:

I thought you were going to make this hard.

An objection is only hard when the first assertion is not sound.

jcgadfly wrote:
People shouldn't commit suicide because it affects the people around them.

You don't get the point. Why should they care? They're gonna be dead. Gone. They won't regret anyone. You might care, not them.

jcgadfly wrote:
We need to be aware of people who are sad enough to off themselves because trying to get them to look at what they're doing and helping with their problem (if we can) benefits all of us.
 

Like I said. The one that shutdown himself will not regret anything because he won't be there to regret. You may have a reason to regret his act, but he has none. It's easy to understand that we can't help everyone. If we help someone to get out of his problems, there will be another that we won't be able to save. In the end, you need to have a moral reason to not do it because you can't always depends on others. If there is no moral reason for one to care about his own life why should we care about the life of others. Some may be sad about someone else's death, but why should I be sad if I think I can live this life on my own?

jcgadfly wrote:
If I had to wait for God to stop me from committing suicide... well, let's just say we wouldn't be having this discussion. God was one of the prime causes of my suicidal depression - people helped me out of it.

God wasn't the cause of your depression. It was the idea that you had of God that caused your depression. Maybe religious people told you that God would punish you because you had some sexual disorders or any other things, but the main point is that this idea may be wrong and God could still exist. God could exist even if everyone would have a wrong idea about him. In my view of this matter, I think on the contrary of many christians that God is not there to punish us waiting for us behind a wall to catch us making a sin. I think he loves all of us even when we sin and that he is always ready to forgive us if we know that we are weak and that we want to get better. There is only a hell for those that refuse to love. Hell is only a state of separation from love. The only thing that we need to do is to destroy the pride that we have of ourselves that keep us stuck in our sins and keep us from loving each others. After this, we will still continue to sin because we are weak, but we will be trying to get better and this is what matters. Sinning doesn't matter; but fighting against sin does matter even if sin is in ourselves.

Moreover, It is false to think that religious people should wait for God to act in their lives. God doesn't do any actions in our lives directly except when there are miracles. He makes our own actions succeed, but in the first place, if we don't act, nothing will happen. St-Augustine said: when you pray, do as if everything depended on God. When you act, do as if everything depended on you. Believing in God is not an abdication of the reason over ignorance; it is the fulfilment of what the reason is looking for: the first cause. But when you return to your everyday life, it shouldn't change anything in your actions except for the fact that you do it for a reason that matters.

jcgadfly wrote:
You need God to give your life purpose? That's really scary. It implies that you are willing to accept whatever idea any voice in your head tells you because you think it's God.

If that was the case, that would be scary like you say. If it is true that we hear voices in our heads, why should we listen to them? Have they proved they are good? We know in ourselves with the use of Reason that it's not all inner voices that are good inspirations. Some may come from good spirits, or bad spirits or may be created by our own emotions. Our reason must be there to analyse these voices and decide which one is good, which one is bad. This is a very hard thing to do and not many people succeed in doing this. So, to say that a believer listen to the voices that talks to him inside is not how it should be. A true believer has faith by looking to the real world, not to the imaginary one. Why is that? because the outside world can be studied because it leaves traces. Our thoughts do not leaves traces and we are not able to study them. Thoughts might be good if they go along with the reality, but they shouldn't influence our live if they do not go along with it. A theist and an atheist should look at the world the same way, but the main difference is that a theist has a reason to do everything even to stay alive when he is gonna suffer his whole life.

jcgadfly wrote:
I'll stick with making my own purpose, thanks. It seems more useful than doing whatever God or the preacher you like tells you. Paul called that "being blown about by every wind of doctrine". The irony of Paul writing that is that confusing people was his mission.

This is good. You are right. We shouldn't do things because we are told to do so. We should do it because we understand it. I've got bad experiences when I was young about liking a preacher. I've learn to not trust appearances, and make my own ideas. But I didn't conclude God didn't exist because that preacher was stupid or wicked. He had an idea of God that wasn't what I thought was good because it was not coherent. You are right to make your own purpose in life because it's the only way you will be able to understand why you are doing what you do. If you are rational in the way you learn how to make a purpose out of life, it should go along with the idea the creator had when he created rationality. The thing that you should know though is that no one learns everything by himself. You should be able to listen to what the society before you has to say about life. You will then be able to take what is good from that society and reject what is wrong. The only way to do this is to love the society that was before us even with it weaknesses and to be humble that ourselves too can also do the same mistakes they did.

jcgadfly wrote:
AS for God being the cause or not existing, you've unknowingly hit on truth. We have no evidence that God existed outside of the minds of the people who wrote the holy books. What should that tell you? 

I've talked about the possibility of a mind creating the Universe without citing one sentence of these holy books. What does that tell you? Am I influenced by them in my reasoning? No. I think I could define my line of reasoning in the line of Aristotle and Aristotle was accused by the Greeks of not being pious. Anyway, if something was false just because it was written by someone, then how can anything written be true? Did you made the hypothesis of the non-existence of a creator out of nothing? No. The hypothesis of the non-existence of God depends on the fact that there are people that make the hypothesis of the existence of God. If there were no Intelligent-designers, there wouldn't be any non-intelligent-designers. All this to say that it is not because something is without proofs at the origin that it is not true. I may not be able to prove that I have the same ancestors than the ones that you have, but it is almost certain that it is the case. We are able to prove these kinds of things by proving that the contrary is very unlikely. Even if the first people that posed the hypothesis of the existence of a creator were not able to prove it, I think it is possible to at least know that the contrary is unlikely. To support this idea, I've talked about the fact that both randomness and determinism can't explain why there is a Universe because there should  be either no Universe or an always existent Universe if it is the case.


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hanntonn wrote:jcgadfly

hanntonn wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

I thought you were going to make this hard.

An objection is only hard when the first assertion is not sound.

Your assertions are as unsound as they come.

jcgadfly wrote:
People shouldn't commit suicide because it affects the people around them.

Quote:
You don't get the point. Why should they care? They're gonna be dead. Gone. They won't regret anyone. You might care, not them.

And you know the minds of suicides how? It has nothing to do with needing God for morals. I've been on both sides of the issue (intervening and potential suicide). People aren't thinking clearly when they get to the point of considering suicide. Reminding them that there are people who love them and will miss them just seems far more effective than threatening them with hell or telling them they need God to be moral.

jcgadfly wrote:
We need to be aware of people who are sad enough to off themselves because trying to get them to look at what they're doing and helping with their problem (if we can) benefits all of us.
 

Quote:
Like I said. The one that shutdown himself will not regret anything because he won't be there to regret. You may have a reason to regret his act, but he has none. It's easy to understand that we can't help everyone. If we help someone to get out of his problems, there will be another that we won't be able to save. In the end, you need to have a moral reason to not do it because you can't always depends on others. If there is no moral reason for one to care about his own life why should we care about the life of others. Some may be sad about someone else's death, but why should I be sad if I think I can live this life on my own?

And as I posted above - telling them they need God because they're immoral without him isn't helpful. If I was looking for a morality to base preventing suicide on, it wouldn't be a God who has a book full of his immorality

jcgadfly wrote:
If I had to wait for God to stop me from committing suicide... well, let's just say we wouldn't be having this discussion. God was one of the prime causes of my suicidal depression - people helped me out of it.

God wasn't the cause of your depression. It was the idea that you had of God that caused your depression. Maybe religious people told you that God would punish you because you had some sexual disorders or any other things, but the main point is that this idea may be wrong and God could still exist. God could exist even if everyone would have a wrong idea about him. In my view of this matter, I think on the contrary of many christians that God is not there to punish us waiting for us behind a wall to catch us making a sin. I think he loves all of us even when we sin and that he is always ready to forgive us if we know that we are weak and that we want to get better. There is only a hell for those that refuse to love. Hell is only a state of separation from love. The only thing that we need to do is to destroy the pride that we have of ourselves that keep us stuck in our sins and keep us from loving each others. After this, we will still continue to sin because we are weak, but we will be trying to get better and this is what matters. Sinning doesn't matter; but fighting against sin does matter even if sin is in ourselves.

My idea of God came from reading the Bible. have you read it? No, I guess not because you hold a view that is unsupported by scripture.

Quote:
Moreover, It is false to think that religious people should wait for God to act in their lives. God doesn't do any actions in our lives directly except when there are miracles. He makes our own actions succeed, but in the first place, if we don't act, nothing will happen. St-Augustine said: when you pray, do as if everything depended on God. When you act, do as if everything depended on you. Believing in God is not an abdication of the reason over ignorance; it is the fulfilment of what the reason is looking for: the first cause. But when you return to your everyday life, it shouldn't change anything in your actions except for the fact that you do it for a reason that matters.

Honestly, I'm shocked that you and Augustine admit to how ineffective prayer is. Why do you pray for things, work to get them and then give God the credit for your efforts?

jcgadfly wrote:
You need God to give your life purpose? That's really scary. It implies that you are willing to accept whatever idea any voice in your head tells you because you think it's God.

Quote:
If that was the case, that would be scary like you say. If it is true that we hear voices in our heads, why should we listen to them? Have they proved they are good? We know in ourselves with the use of Reason that it's not all inner voices that are good inspirations. Some may come from good spirits, or bad spirits or may be created by our own emotions. Our reason must be there to analyse these voices and decide which one is good, which one is bad. This is a very hard thing to do and not many people succeed in doing this. So, to say that a believer listen to the voices that talks to him inside is not how it should be. A true believer has faith by looking to the real world, not to the imaginary one. Why is that? because the outside world can be studied because it leaves traces. Our thoughts do not leaves traces and we are not able to study them. Thoughts might be good if they go along with the reality, but they shouldn't influence our live if they do not go along with it. A theist and an atheist should look at the world the same way, but the main difference is that a theist has a reason to do everything even to stay alive when he is gonna suffer his whole life.

You're using reason to determine whether the voices you hear in your head are REAL voices in your head? Also, if reason is so important why does your God want you to replace it with faith?

jcgadfly wrote:
I'll stick with making my own purpose, thanks. It seems more useful than doing whatever God or the preacher you like tells you. Paul called that "being blown about by every wind of doctrine". The irony of Paul writing that is that confusing people was his mission.

Quote:
This is good. You are right. We shouldn't do things because we are told to do so. We should do it because we understand it. I've got bad experiences when I was young about liking a preacher. I've learn to not trust appearances, and make my own ideas. But I didn't conclude God didn't exist because that preacher was stupid or wicked. He had an idea of God that wasn't what I thought was good because it was not coherent. You are right to make your own purpose in life because it's the only way you will be able to understand why you are doing what you do. If you are rational in the way you learn how to make a purpose out of life, it should go along with the idea the creator had when he created rationality. The thing that you should know though is that no one learns everything by himself. You should be able to listen to what the society before you has to say about life. You will then be able to take what is good from that society and reject what is wrong. The only way to do this is to love the society that was before us even with it weaknesses and to be humble that ourselves too can also do the same mistakes they did.

Why do you need a god to love other people? Are you saying that you would be a sociopath without one? It doesn't make sense to me to need a god that doesn't value humanity in order to value humanity.

jcgadfly wrote:
AS for God being the cause or not existing, you've unknowingly hit on truth. We have no evidence that God existed outside of the minds of the people who wrote the holy books. What should that tell you? 

Quote:
I've talked about the possibility of a mind creating the Universe without citing one sentence of these holy books. What does that tell you? Am I influenced by them in my reasoning? No. I think I could define my line of reasoning in the line of Aristotle and Aristotle was accused by the Greeks of not being pious. Anyway, if something was false just because it was written by someone, then how can anything written be true? Did you made the hypothesis of the non-existence of a creator out of nothing? No. The hypothesis of the non-existence of God depends on the fact that there are people that make the hypothesis of the existence of God. If there were no Intelligent-designers, there wouldn't be any non-intelligent-designers. All this to say that it is not because something is without proofs at the origin that it is not true. I may not be able to prove that I have the same ancestors than the ones that you have, but it is almost certain that it is the case. We are able to prove these kinds of things by proving that the contrary is very unlikely. Even if the first people that posed the hypothesis of the existence of a creator were not able to prove it, I think it is possible to at least know that the contrary is unlikely. To support this idea, I've talked about the fact that both randomness and determinism can't explain why there is a Universe because there should  be either no Universe or an always existent Universe if it is the case.

Thanks for the false dichotomy. Isn't it strange that we have evidence that the Big Bang occurred but there is absolutely none for this Mind you claim? I'll settle for evidence over evidence + magic any day.

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


hanntonn
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BobSpence1 wrote:Religious

BobSpence1 wrote:

Religious beliefs, and other kinds of dogma, are one of the sorts of influence that can overcome these natural tendencies, and  indeed help to form "clubs aimed at enslaving mankind".

I'm not talking about religious groups. I'm talking about personal religious beliefs. If someone thinks that he needs to be charitable and to respect others in order to go to heaven, how is he enslaving mankind with this belief? The real person that will enslave mankind with religious groups is the one that exploit personal beliefs of people in order to gain power, money, goods. But the truth in this is that this kind of person if he is sincere is mixing his own passions with his religious beliefs. He is not really believing that he need to be charitable and to respect others, but he thinks that he does. Men are good at lying to themselves. Real religious beliefs, if they are good, are good, but if you tell someone there is no need to have religious beliefs, then the same people that use religious to their own passions won't even have to lie to themselves in order to be bad.

BobSpence1 wrote:
It is not about just about a "need to be good toward those that can hurt you", it is that trying to be friendly to everyone makes everything more pleasant and easier to work with, whether or not they could hurt you . You don't need to be friendly, but things are more pleasant if you are. This is all. A 'purpose' is definitely not required to encourage us to be good, just the emotional 'reward' of a more pleasant life.

Well, some love the emotional feeling of making others suffer or being pursued by the policemen or to kill themselves. They call that extreme sports and they love the adrenaline involved in this. Is this ok to think that way? According to your belief system, it is. I think this is not rational.

BobSpence1 wrote:
People who don't share these urges, or are persuaded by dogmas that tell them that people who don't share their beliefs should be killed, will always be with us, because there are occasions, such as when competition for resources can lead to conflict, and having some individuals who can persuade others to join into groups that can go and fight and kill other people may help one group survive instead of both starving, perhaps. There are various theories as to why some species are more prone to violence than others. In fact, it is equally, maybe more likely, that people, like Hitler, who strongly feel they have a purpose in life, are the ones that have the drive to do all that nasty stuff, because they feel they have some ultimate lofty purpose that justifies serious pain and suffering in the short term.

So the idea of having a 'purpose' is one of the things that can make people be really bad, not just good. It bypasses those natural cooperative tendencies, or harnesses them into forming armies to dominate others. Religious beliefs can make the problems caused by the mad and ignorant much worse.

This is another problem which point to the fact that not every purpose to life is good. It comes back to the idea that we can have wrong ideas of what is good or what is bad. It is clear that if Hitler did believe in God, he had clearly not a rational idea of what was the objective good. This shouldn't discourage us of finding an objective good. This is all logics is about. Hitler based himself on the idea that there were less advanced races in humankind and he thought he had to eliminate them in order to speed up evolution. According to your worldview, what he did doesn't matter. We don't experience any feelings about what people lived in concentration camp. So, why should that matter for us? The answer is that it don't. But there is clearly something irrational about this. There is no reason for human dignity or equal rights if everything depends on our good or bad emotions.

BobSpence1 wrote:

The belief in God, not a God itself (there are no Gods, of course, outside our own imagination)  is caused by our psychological need to explain what we see. When people can see no simple 'natural' causes, they have a strong tendency to imagine some invisible or magical being making it all happen.

Why do we need to explain things? it's because we have a inner belief that everything can be explained. Rationality forces us to find a cause to every effect. But since everything can't be only effect, there need to be one first cause. The belief in God comes rationally because of what I'm telling you, not because we don't understand something. Rational believers do not like superstition, but try to explain things. When they can't find an answer because of the lack of study, they don't conclude to the miracle. It's when they are able to study the datas and that they find something impossible without reasonable doubts that they conclude to the miracles. If there are people that explain what they can't explain with superstitious toughts without verifying if there could be another cause to what they've seen and without asking them why should there be a miracle in the first place, this is clearly not the case about most of the believers that I know. There might be a lot of superstitious people in your country, but concluding that this is a Universal experience is far from being obvious.

BobSpence1 wrote:
It is not a matter of strict proof either way, it is about seeing what is more likely to be true.

This is true. It's why you should re-read what I wrote about the problem of the Universe being either not there or always there if there is not a personal cause to the Universe. I've yet to see an objection on this.

BobSpence1 wrote:
If you want to study Physics and Cosmology, then Stephen Hawking can show you why a God is not needed to explain how the Universe came to be. The more we actually study the nature of the Universe, the more it looks like something driven by random processes at the lowest level, but with enough tendencies to form orderly structures like atoms, which tend to gather into molecules, which under the right conditions form more complex things, and so on. If life and the universe were really consciously 'designed' we should expect to see far less diversity of structure - a designer should be able to work out the best design for each part of the Universe for his ultimate purpose, then use that everywhere. This is not what we find when we study it.

Physics tells us : nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything is transformed. From this law to conclude that the Universe came from nothing is very hard to admit. You must suppress this law in order to make this work. But this law is all what we can observe. Therefore it wouldn't be rational to suppress it. Stephen hawking may be well known in his field because of his great talent for making synthesis from premises, but this is not a guarantee that he's got talent in forming premises. All he says contradict the law of physics that I've just written for you and he's got no proof to support his claim because what he says can't be observed. From that, I can conclude that it is not rational to listen to what he says about the origin of the Universe.

BobSpence1 wrote:
We see the sort of thing we would expect from natural, evolutionary processes. Random variations all over the place. Just as Darwin found in the Galapagos Islands, in the birds there. He could not understand why a God would make so many variations of birds, differences from island to island. This is what started him wondering if there really was a Cosmic Designer, and caused him to start shake his belief in God, which he still held at the time.

Darwin had no idea that all the physiological appearance of the animals was caused by the DNA. Since there are no known process until today that can create information in the DNA, evolutionary processes stay wishful thoughts. There are processes that can destroy information or replicate it but none that can make new one. Even if evolutionary processes predict that there would be variations in the species after a long time, special creation can also predict this. The variations that Darwin saw were variations already permitted by the DNA. He did not see a dog produced from a bird. This is the difference between microevolution and macroevolution. Everyone knows microevolution is possible since the DNA permits it. But there is no process in the DNA that can allow macroevolution to happen. The main difference between the theory of evolution and special creation is that special creation go according to the datas that we see in the DNA and evolution do not go according to the data. the DNA shows that no information is made from randomness and this is what special creation tells us. Evolution tells us that DNA can change over time, but there are no known process that can add information in the DNA and the more scientists study DNA, the more they see difficulties for it formation by chance.

    Anyway, Darwin had no reason to think God didn't exist because of this. Even is evolution was true, we would still need a first cause for the Universe.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Unfortunately, the serious explanations of the origins of things, that are based on careful study of the Universe itself, are harder to learn than taking the easy path of religious ideas that simply amount to magic beings willing everything into existence. So most people take that easy path,  just reading ancient books where people back then wrote down what they thought, about everything being due to the will and actions of magic creatures with enormous powers.

Do I look like a guy who takes the easy path? I don't explain things magically and I speak rationally about the possible causes of the Universe. Isn't that enough for you to understand that what you are talking about has nothing to do with me and the debate we have right now? If other people do not have any reason to believe what they believe, just ignore them. You talk with me, not them. In counterpart, I see that you take the easy path when you say evolution is true without having proof of it happening. You take the easy path when you don't answer what I said about the fact that if the cause of the Universe is not personal, the Universe should either be infinite in time or we shouldn't be there at all. Since both options are illogical, you must either accept a personal cause to the Universe or find something else than determinism or randomness to explain the Universe. I've yet to hear you thoughts about this matter. You've got to understand that this debate has nothing to do with anger. If you think the belief in God causes wrong things in the world, maybe you've got a wrong idea about God. You need to put aside all opinions on this matter and think logically if you want to find an answer to this debate. According to logics there must be a first cause to the Universe and even if everyone don't know what is this first cause,

I think I've showed that it is very likely that this cause is a personal one: a mind. Maybe you don't like the idea that this mind wants you to do something, but this doesn't change the logical problem. So, lets say that the mind causing the Universe do not care about  what we do; would you find it hard to believe that he exists? is there really a logical problem with the existence of God?

 


 


BobSpence
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Just to pick one common

Just to pick one common misconception - natural selection is an example of precisely such a process which serves to explain where the 'information content' encoded in structure of DNA came from. There is no fundamental mystery or violation of Laws of Physics involved in evolution. The ultimate source of new information in that sense is random mutation, which is observed to happen frequently in DNA replication - genes get deleted, moved around, extra copies get made, so there is nothing stopping the step-by-step change of any sequence of DNA into any other. Add a selection process, and you have all you need for evolution...

The RAW physical information content in DNA is simply the data describing the position and energy of each particle - that is the form of information which basic physical principles says cannot be created or destroyed.

You have NOT shown that a mind can even exist as a primary essence prior to the existence of something to support it - all the evidence we have from research is that mind is an emergent attribute of a certain class of complex organisms.

So you are just making a giant assumption about the likelihood of such a mind being possible, let alone being able to just will a universe into existence.

That is what I mean about taking the easy path, just making wild assumptions about what might be possible, way beyond anything that has been shown to be plausible by study of reality.

 

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

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

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

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


hanntonn
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Thanks for the reply, it's

Thanks for the reply, it's very interesting and I'm honest about this. We're getting in cool stuff.

jcgadfly wrote:

And you know the minds of suicides how? It has nothing to do with needing God for morals. I've been on both sides of the issue (intervening and potential suicide). People aren't thinking clearly when they get to the point of considering suicide. Reminding them that there are people who love them and will miss them just seems far more effective than threatening them with hell or telling them they need God to be moral.

You are right to say that it is wrong to tell sad people about them going to Hell if they do not act morally. Not acting morally is a weakness. People should know that not being moral will make them sad, but they should know about what is a unconditional love. As I said, if God created us weak, then he must love us with our weaknesses. What is taught in theology is that no one is good by himself. And this is also scriptural. So, someone acting immorally should not focus on his weaknesses, but should try to love others even with his weaknesses and should be humble enough to recognize that it's not him that becomes good in his life. About this, Jesus didn't say: be good an you will go to heaven. He said: no one is good except God. Forgive and you will be forgiven. In my view of the matter, I think God saves everyone that wants to be saved. He forgive everyone that forgive others and themselves. But the ones that don't forgive themselves are those that suppress the truth of their weaknesses. Don't be afraid of God, but don't say your weaknesses are not weaknesses either.

jcgadfly wrote:

And as I posted above - telling them they need God because they're immoral without him isn't helpful. If I was looking for a morality to base preventing suicide on, it wouldn't be a God who has a book full of his immorality

You are not necessarily immoral without God, but I think you need his love to be happy. And I'm not talking about the love of the imaginary God that you have in your head. That one is probably really bad and blood thursty. But if he was real, you'd be dead right now. I would base morality about suicide on the fact that God loves everyone even the one that killed his brother and is ready to forgive and to give everlasting joy to everyone that accept forgiveness. No one should commit suicide because they should know that God will love them even if they made all the crimes possible if they choose to hate the crimes they did and be forgiven. The problem is that we often associate too much our action with ourselves. But we should know that most of the time, our actions are motivated by emotional urges and these urges are not really us. This is why we should accept that we are weak and try to love others through that weakness. Appart from this; how can you judge that a book is full or immorality if you don't have any base to tell what should be moral or what should not be moral. If there is no justice, nothing is immoral.

jcgadfly wrote:

My idea of God came from reading the Bible. have you read it? No, I guess not because you hold a view that is unsupported by scripture.

Why should you care about the Bible if you don't believe it? This should even confort the idea that one can believe in God not basing himself on a book. Why should that be wrong to believe rationally in a God instead of believing in him through the Bible? But I think you are wrong. What I'm telling you comes from the teachings of the Universal Church. There are only many people that stay backward to this doctrine by a spirit of sectarism and superstition.

jcgadfly wrote:
  Honestly, I'm shocked that you and Augustine admit to how ineffective prayer is. Why do you pray for things, work to get them and then give God the credit for your efforts?

Prayer is not ineffective because you work like if God was not there to help you. If someone knows that God is the giver of life, then he knows that everything good that happen in life comes from him. If you pray for a charity and that someone else decided to be charitable toward you that day, you must realize that this is an action of God since that person is also a creature of God. Everything comes from God anyway if he did created the Universe. But the reason why you act like if everything depended on you and not on God is because God must have involved our free will in the happenings or History if we are really free. If we wait for something to happen on it own, this also is put into the calculus. In this sense, the more you are thoughtful about your actions in doing Good, the more you are involved in the actions of God in the World. So, in order for the glory of God to be seen in the world, we must make the more good things that we can. Jesus said that we would be rewarded a hundred times more in heaven to have done the works of God in the world. If we wait for God to tell us what to do, then, there would be no faith. If we wait for God to do all good things, how are we going to show that we love others. That remembers me about one guy that said that God couldn't exist because he created the viruses. What he didn't think is that God shows his love when there are people that invent treatment to the viruses because of their love toward others. God's love is shown when someone tells you that God wants to forgive you without conditions. You don't need to be good, only to want to be better and to be forgiven.

So, to say prayers are ineffective is not really how we should take this. In fact, we should think that everything God does in the world, he does it through someone, not directly. So, in fact, you even may be that instrument unknowingly by having intentions to do something good for others.

jcgadfly wrote:
You're using reason to determine whether the voices you hear in your head are REAL voices in your head? Also, if reason is so important why does your God want you to replace it with faith?

by voices, I hope we are talking about the same thing. I'm not talking about those who hear real voices in their head. This might often be psychologically abnormal. I'm talking about any ideas or motions that we have in our heads. Either these ideas come from us, or from someone or something or from any spirits if they do exists. There are no guarantee that any or our ideas are good. So they must pass through the test of reasoning. This is called discernment. Faith do not replace reason. Faith is the basis for any reasoning. How can you study nature if you don't believe that the world you see, hear, touch is not real. At the basis of reasoning, there is a statement of faith: I believe the world is real and is not imaginary. This, you can't prove that it's true. You must accept it by faith.

jcgadfly wrote:

Why do you need a god to love other people? Are you saying that you would be a sociopath without one? It doesn't make sense to me to need a god that doesn't value humanity in order to value humanity.

is the God you're talking about real? how could a God make us with free will with the capability to know if he exists and give no value to our existence. If he didn't value that, why would he do it then? I don't need God to love others although this might be arguable. But I certainly need him to be loved. I feel that there will never be a moment in my life in which all my needs will be fulfilled either emotionally or intellectually. I think God has the capability to fulfil the infinite desire of the hearth and of the mind and this is what makes him so great.

jcgadfly wrote:

Thanks for the false dichotomy. Isn't it strange that we have evidence that the Big Bang occurred but there is absolutely none for this Mind you claim? I'll settle for evidence over evidence + magic any day.

What evidences are you talking about? Red Shifts. Any one knows that red shifts can be explained by other theories. And One should know that if the Big Bang occured, there should be more energy in the Universe when looking in the direction where the Big Bang occured because there should be stars going in all directions. But the truth of this matter is that when scientists look at the sky, they see the same intensity in any directions exactly as if we were at the center of the Universe where the Big Bang occured. But anyways, I'm not arguing against the Big Bang, I don't care if you believe the Big Bang. Even if it did happen, you need to have a cause to the Big Bang that is supernatural. And this is where the logical discussion started. It has nothing to do with magic. I don't know why you say there are no evidences that this mind exists. I've showed why I believe it is the most rational reason that could cause a finite time and this is the main point of my argumentation. No atheist have yet shown me any non personal cause that can make a Universe with a finite time.


 


hanntonn
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BobSpence1 wrote:Just to

BobSpence1 wrote:

Just to pick one common misconception - natural selection is an example of precisely such a process which serves to explain where the 'information content' encoded in structure of DNA came from. There is no fundamental mystery or violation of Laws of Physics involved in evolution. The ultimate source of new information in that sense is random mutation, which is observed to happen frequently in DNA replication - genes get deleted, moved around, extra copies get made, so there is nothing stopping the step-by-step change of any sequence of DNA into any other. Add a selection process, and you have all you need for evolution...

There are only two random processes that have been observed in DNA. Duplication and deletion. But geneticists have shown that these random mutations are destructive and at the same time, they don't add anything since deletion of genes are certainly not an upgrade of the DNA and a duplication, in adding no new information, will make it more difficult for the organism to survive by putting more information than is needed in a developmental process. Mutations do not only need to be random in order for evolution to be true, but it also need to be positive and adding new information. A duplication might be positive but it's not adding information to the organism. A new gene could add information, but if it is placed randomly in the DNA, it could be destructive for the organism. The combination of both conditions renders the process of evolution mathematically impossible to happen. And we've yet to see one newly randomly created gene. For that gene to be positive after that it is far from being obvious that it will happen. In fact, there are millions if not billions times more chance to have a non-positive new gene or even a non-functional gene. From that to conclude that evolution can happen, I must call it blind faith.

BobSpence1 wrote:
You have NOT shown that a mind can even exist as a primary essence prior to the existence of something to support it - all the evidence we have from research is that mind is an emergent attribute of a certain class of complex organisms.

The answer to this is simple. I've shown it by deduction. We know that a supernatural first cause do not need to be explained how it got there because there must be a first cause. But by deducing what is produced by the hypothetical first cause, we can know what can be or what cannot be the first cause.

Since automaton would always produce the same results, there should be either an eternal physical universe or there should not be any. On the other hand, since outside time there are no steps in any type of actions, all results of randomness would have been produced from eternity. In this case also, there should be either no Universe or an always existent one. Between determinism and randomness, there is only one known process that could have created a finite Universe. A free behaviour. A free behaviour is the attribute of a mind. This is how I've showed that a mind must have caused the Universe. I don't have to justify why a mind could be existent before the Universe. I'm only deducing from the observation of this Universe that no other options fit the place of the first cause than a mind. This is called proving something by showing that the contrary is impossible.

BobSpence1 wrote:
So you are just making a giant assumption about the likelihood of such a mind being possible, let alone being able to just will a universe into existence.
it's not a giant assumption. The result of the process of the first cause in the creation of the Universe show that a mind fit best that position. It would be a giant assumption if many other options could fit that place, which is not the case.

BobSpence1 wrote:
That is what I mean about taking the easy path, just making wild assumptions about what might be possible, way beyond anything that has been shown to be plausible by study of reality.

Show how my hypothesis is not plausible according to the study of reality. We know for sure that the Universe is finite in time and that it does exist. It's only from those two premises that I conclude that a mind is the best possible cause of the Universe. So, show me why you think it is not plausible.


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hanntonn wrote:BobSpence1

hanntonn wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Just to pick one common misconception - natural selection is an example of precisely such a process which serves to explain where the 'information content' encoded in structure of DNA came from. There is no fundamental mystery or violation of Laws of Physics involved in evolution. The ultimate source of new information in that sense is random mutation, which is observed to happen frequently in DNA replication - genes get deleted, moved around, extra copies get made, so there is nothing stopping the step-by-step change of any sequence of DNA into any other. Add a selection process, and you have all you need for evolution...

There are only two random processes that have been observed in DNA. Duplication and deletion. But geneticists have shown that these random mutations are destructive and at the same time, they don't add anything since deletion of genes are certainly not an upgrade of the DNA and a duplication, in adding no new information, will make it more difficult for the organism to survive by putting more information than is needed in a developmental process.

Wrong on all counts.

Actually we have observed  deletion, duplication, copying error (effectively changing one gene or base into another), and relocation.

Deletion may be harmful, unless it was a surviving onco-gene (cancer causing).

Duplication is typically neutral, occasionally harmful it increases the production of some protein which is bad in amounts beyond a certain level. But duplication is an important part of evolution, in that the additional copy is free to mutate without the organism losing the function it originally performed. It is in fact the basic mode in which your idea of information content can increase.

Putting "more information than is needed in a developmental process" is harmful? How? It is just increasing the potential production of some protein, which may be good or bad, depending on the particular mechanisms affected.

Relocation is typically neutral, unless a gene land beside an inhibitor promotor sequence, which change its activity.

Quote:

Mutations do not only need to be random in order for evolution to be true, but it also need to be positive and adding new information. A duplication might be positive but it's not adding information to the organism. A new gene could add information, but if it is placed randomly in the DNA, it could be destructive for the organism. The combination of both conditions renders the process of evolution mathematically impossible to happen. And we've yet to see one newly randomly created gene. For that gene to be positive after that it is far from being obvious that it will happen. In fact, there are millions if not billions times more chance to have a non-positive new gene or even a non-functional gene. From that to conclude that evolution can happen, I must call it blind faith.

As I described above, duplication is precisely what allows new capabilities to be added to the organism. This is one of the things that allows evolution to happen. Relocation is almost always neutral. Since the vast majority of mutations are neutral, and the harmful ones get quickly weeded out, evolution is inevitable.

You really are uninformed on this stuff, aren't you. Do you get all your information from Creationist web-sites?

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
You have NOT shown that a mind can even exist as a primary essence prior to the existence of something to support it - all the evidence we have from research is that mind is an emergent attribute of a certain class of complex organisms.

The answer to this is simple. I've shown it by deduction. We know that a supernatural first cause do not need to be explained how it got there because there must be a first cause. But by deducing what is produced by the hypothetical first cause, we can know what can be or what cannot be the first cause.

Since automaton would always produce the same results, there should be either an eternal physical universe or there should not be any. On the other hand, since outside time there are no steps in any type of actions, all results of randomness would have been produced from eternity. In this case also, there should be either no Universe or an always existent one. Between determinism and randomness, there is only one known process that could have created a finite Universe. A free behaviour. A free behaviour is the attribute of a mind. This is how I've showed that a mind must have caused the Universe. I don't have to justify why a mind could be existent before the Universe. I'm only deducing from the observation of this Universe that no other options fit the place of the first cause than a mind. This is called proving something by showing that the contrary is impossible.

Deduction is only as good as your starting assumptions.

An automaton would not necessarily always produce the same results. There are many factors here.

Even if it was such as to always produce the same outcome when subjected to exactly the same inputs, that would also require that, if it was one with memory and learning capability, it would have had to be subject to exactly the same sequence of conditions from the time it was first activated up to the present.

Unless it was a very simple one, that quickly becomes an impossible requirement for anything approximating the complexity of even a simple organism. Once you add in the idea of feed-back, where the output of each cycle of some process becomes part of the input for the next cycle, chaos effects can come into play, and the behaviour becomes no more predicable, in a practical sense, than any equivalently complex living organism.

So your statement about an 'automaton' is based on a misunderstanding.

The number of states that, say, an infinite sea of random energy could go through would also be infinite.

In multi-dimensional space, time is possibly just another dimension, so all we are discussing is a (possibly infinite) 'space' containing a range of possible states at each location. Given enough extent of space-time, even an infinitesimal chance of a combination of states existing at some location that suffices to support, say, a Big Bang scenario, is easily a finite possibility. 

Even if the range of such states is finite, that just means there will be an infinite sequence of BB events, which incidentally would demolish any strength to the Fine-Tuning argument. You could have an infinite number of variations of the primary constants, so the probability of one or more arising suitable for life-as-we-know-it would become a certainty.

I'm sorry, fail again.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
So you are just making a giant assumption about the likelihood of such a mind being possible, let alone being able to just will a universe into existence.
it's not a giant assumption. The result of the process of the first cause in the creation of the Universe show that a mind fit best that position. It would be a giant assumption if many other options could fit that place, which is not the case.

BobSpence1 wrote:
That is what I mean about taking the easy path, just making wild assumptions about what might be possible, way beyond anything that has been shown to be plausible by study of reality.

Show how my hypothesis is not plausible according to the study of reality. We know for sure that the Universe is finite in time and that it does exist. It's only from those two premises that I conclude that a mind is the best possible cause of the Universe. So, show me why you think it is not plausible.

Show me an infinite immaterial being, or just an immaterial consciousness. There is NO logical path from the existence of a finite universe, ie one that had an origin, to a mind as the only possible first cause.

A sea of random raw potentiality, equivalent to the energy of the vacuum, as considered in Quantum Theory, is all that is theoretically required, based on extrapolations from actual empirical research. Once something can form the singularity of the Big Bang, which actually requires no more than a minimal amount of energy, the subsequent events are understood to a useful degree.

So you assume an infinite mind as a necessary first cause, I assume a sea of something as close as possible to absolutely nothing without actually being non-existent, and virtually formless.

Which is more plausible to just exist or spontaneously form?

If a simpler, finite mind (the human mind) requires a higher order mind to create it, you are requiring a infinite ever diverging regress of ever-greater 'minds'.

Whereas my hypothesis, supported by research in neuro-science, that consciousness is an emergent attribute of a certain class of complex systems, and that all forms of complexity can emerge from simpler things, there is no such problem.

I have already shown you why a mind of any sort seems to be dependent on a pre-existing substrate that can provide a ground for a complex process to run, and that can have stable memory.

You are making a naked assumption that something can exist that has never been unambiguously observed, and is not really theoretically possible, certainly less plausible than the current most way-out theories in physics. Minds require inputs to interact with memory and current states of awareness, which normally requires some stable substrate, ie, not just naked energy, or its supernatural equivalent.

To go beyond this is purely speculation, not a logical deduction.

God is a primitive, naive, baseless, illogical concept, which begs more questions than it even pretends to explain.

You have nothing going for your beliefs. Nada. Zilch. Get used to it. 

Sorry (not), just had to get that off my chest....

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

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

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

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


hanntonn
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BobSpence1 wrote:Wrong on

BobSpence1 wrote:

Wrong on all counts.

Actually we have observed  deletion, duplication, copying error (effectively changing one gene or base into another), and relocation.

Deletion may be harmful, unless it was a surviving onco-gene (cancer causing).

Duplication is typically neutral, occasionally harmful it increases the production of some protein which is bad in amounts beyond a certain level. But duplication is an important part of evolution, in that the additional copy is free to mutate without the organism losing the function it originally performed. It is in fact the basic mode in which your idea of information content can increase.

Putting "more information than is needed in a developmental process" is harmful? How? It is just increasing the potential production of some protein, which may be good or bad, depending on the particular mechanisms affected.

Relocation is typically neutral, unless a gene land beside an inhibitor promotor sequence, which change its activity.

You make evolution of the gap hypothesis here. Lets observe that deletion do not add anything to the organism, duplication only add already existing information, copying errors do not contain informations since it is random. information has order where randomness has none, relocation do not add any information either. If all your mutational processes are neutral, it doesn't add any information to the organism. In the end, you should just get a infinite number of copies of preexistant genes. But you've yet to show how even one single gene could be formed. If copying errors are randoms, then even neutral non-coding copying errors should happen and be preserved through time. At the end, there should be a lot of non-coding sequences in the DNA without definite patterns. This is what scientists thought before about the DNA scrap.  But recent discoveries have shown that these parts of DNA are in fact coding sequences. So, the myth of non-coding sequences is coming soon to it end. You insist on the idea that duplication is one process by which information can increase in content by random mutation. Excuse-me but you've yet to explain how can randomness produce definitely ordered sequences of DNA. If DNA is really random, why should it code anything anyway? In fact, I'm exactly asking you how could a completely new sentence be added to a book and why should that new sentence mean something. Even if there could be newly randomly made up genes; why should they code anything?

BobSpence1 wrote:
As I described above, duplication is precisely what allows new capabilities to be added to the organism. This is one of the things that allows evolution to happen. Relocation is almost always neutral. Since the vast majority of mutations are neutral, and the harmful ones get quickly weeded out, evolution is inevitable.

As you describe above, which description is unsupported by observation, duplication only copy preexistant information. If evolution is all made of duplication, then how is the first information formed anyway? Shouldn't there be a lot of duplicated genes since evolution is random so it needs a lot of copied genes to mutate the copied genes randomly. And why should it be the copied genes that mutate and not the one that are coding? Through time, it should create a complete disorder. The fact is that genes are not massively copied in the DNA and it is not randomly ordered. Why should the harmful mutations be quickly weeded out? The theory that the animal with a superior gene will survive and eradicate the previous species is far from being obvious. If a baby with a superior gene would be conceived, there wouldn't be any guarantee today that he would be born since there is abortion. As for other animals, even a bird with longer wings can become sick or be shot by a riffle or caught by a predator. Yes, he might have more chance to survive, but it is not a guarantee, and giving the fact that the animal is an obvious minority, he has a higher percentage to be killed since other animals from his species could die and it wouldn't affect the survival of the species as a whole. And if the new gene is an important mutation that occurred, how is this animal going to reproduce? He won't find another mate of his species. Evolution stops right there

BobSpence1 wrote:
You really are uninformed on this stuff, aren't you. Do you get all your information from Creationist web-sites?

I'm being honest. Stop doing the roster fight. What I said is true. There is no known process that can add information in an organism. You are accusing me of proposing a first cause that have not been observe, but you are quick to accept that evolution is true even though it's not observable. If you can accept the evolution that you have not seen, why do you say I can't accept a supernatural mind that I've not seen?

BobSpence1 wrote:

An automaton would not necessarily always produce the same results. There are many factors here.

Even if it was such as to always produce the same outcome when subjected to exactly the same inputs, that would also require that, if it was one with memory and learning capability, it would have had to be subject to exactly the same sequence of conditions from the time it was first activated up to the present.

Unless it was a very simple one, that quickly becomes an impossible requirement for anything approximating the complexity of even a simple organism. Once you add in the idea of feed-back, where the output of each cycle of some process becomes part of the input for the next cycle, chaos effects can come into play, and the behaviour becomes no more predicable, in a practical sense, than any equivalently complex living organism.

So your statement about an 'automaton' is based on a misunderstanding.

Premise 1: there is no steps outside time or where there is no steps there is no time.

premise 2: an automaton can only produce the effects it is determined to produce.

Conclusion, if there is no step outside time, no change, the automaton should produce either all the results it can or none since getting always the same data would produce always the same results. If the data that the automaton gets permits it to produce time then it should have produced time before it produced time, which is illogical.

Even if there is chaos involved in the duration of the Universe, there is none prior to it since there is no steps and everything is determined. If it is not determined, then it must be random because it can't be a free process or "someone". Chaos is synonymous to random, so what you're talking about is a mixture of determinism and randomness. The problem is that both have the same problem with time duration.

BobSpence1 wrote:
The number of states that, say, an infinite sea of random energy could go through would also be infinite.

In multi-dimensional space, time is possibly just another dimension, so all we are discussing is a (possibly infinite) 'space' containing a range of possible states at each location. Given enough extent of space-time, even an infinitesimal chance of a combination of states existing at some location that suffices to support, say, a Big Bang scenario, is easily a finite possibility. 

Even if the range of such states is finite, that just means there will be an infinite sequence of BB events, which incidentally would demolish any strength to the Fine-Tuning argument. You could have an infinite number of variations of the primary constants, so the probability of one or more arising suitable for life-as-we-know-it would become a certainty.

I'm sorry, fail again.

Since there are no steps outside time, an infinite number of states of energy would be either submitted to another type of time or it would take only one step to go through them all. If it is submitted to another type of time, then you are again stuck in the problem Aristotle talked about which is you can't go through an infinite number of state. If it was true, we couldn't be here to talk about it. If these states are not submitted to time, then in one step, it would go through all states and you should again be in the time state prior to the appearance of time which is again illogical. Again, sorry for the infinite sequence of BB events, you can't go through an infinite sequence of events. This is a logical fallacy. We could be here to talk about it. Yes, you could get an infinite number of variations of the primary constants if this wasn't a logical fallacy. In fact, the human brain has a talent in imagination. One can think he can go through an infinite amount of time and still think he is rational in saying this. About the fail thing, I think you should blow this out of proportion. You didn't understand the logical fallacy you said just before.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Show me an infinite immaterial being, or just an immaterial consciousness. There is NO logical path from the existence of a finite universe, ie one that had an origin, to a mind as the only possible first cause.

This doesn't show why my hypothesis is not plausible. You are asking me to show you the creator. You know that this is impossible. There wouldn't be any free will if you knew without the slightest doubt that God existed. You would be good for sure, but you would do it by fear and not by love. This in not the way things are done in this world. As to say there are no logical path between finite time, the Universe and a mind as the primary cause; I think you can't have understood what I said and still think that. Determinism, spontaneity, free will are all the behaviour that we can see in this world. Since determinism and spontaneity would either produce an eternal Universe or a non-existent one, I conclude that a mind with free will must have created the Universe. If you don't see a path here, I think you will never see it.

BobSpence1 wrote:
  A sea of random raw potentiality, equivalent to the energy of the vacuum, as considered in Quantum Theory, is all that is theoretically required, based on extrapolations from actual empirical research. Once something can form the singularity of the Big Bang, which actually requires no more than a minimal amount of energy, the subsequent events are understood to a useful degree.

I agree that there is no problem at all with what you say if you can explain what happened before the Big Bang. Keep up the good imagination with extrapolations. It's good for your health.

BobSpence1 wrote:
So you assume an infinite mind as a necessary first cause, I assume a sea of something as close as possible to absolutely nothing without actually being non-existent, and virtually formless.

a sea of something close to nothing is not a sea, it is a grain of sand. If that something is material, then it depends on the time world because there are steps in it existence. But an actual infinite amount of time is impossible. Your sea of something must therefore be non-existent at some point in time. If your something is non-material, then you must explain why the Big Bang did not occur before making the Universe eternal, since determinism produces always the same results with the same datas, and all results of spontaneity can be produced at once prior to time since there are no steps.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Which is more plausible to just exist or spontaneously form?

The observation of nature shows us that no laws of nature appear spontaneously. From the consistency of the laws of nature, we can see that spontaneity is not the supreme cause of what we see. spontaneity cannot change the law of gravity. This has never been observed and will never be basing ourselves on logics. This shows us that determinism is more likely to be the cause of the Universe than spontaneity. If determinism is the cause of the Universe, then all there is just exists even involving the supernatural world. If you believe either in God or in determinism, you must conclude that the world just exist. There are no infinite regress of greater cause. Sorry to disappoint you. If you believe that spontaneity is the primary cause, then you must explain why the laws of nature are not spontaneous.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
If a simpler, finite mind (the human mind) requires a higher order mind to create it, you are requiring a infinite ever diverging regress of ever-greater 'minds'.
Why should that be so? Is that your only objection to my hypothesis? Since there are no steps prior to the existence of time, no mind existing prior to time can be caused. If there would be an infinite regress of superior minds, why couldn't the first infinitely superior mind create us directly? Anyway, the hypothesis that because we, finite beings, need a superior mind to make us, that mind must be also finite is baseless. Also, you've yet to show why a cause must be caused. If there would be needed to have other minds to make the subsequent ones, then why isn't that the case for determinism and spontaneity in your own hypothesis. Every determinism should be caused by another determinism and also every spontaneous event should be explained by a certain determinism. If you don't have to explain these things, I don't have to either. But it stays that my hypothesis works well with the emergence of our universe in a finite time. Yours don't work either with determinism or spontaneity.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
Whereas my hypothesis, supported by research in neuro-science, that consciousness is an emergent attribute of a certain class of complex systems, and that all forms of complexity can emerge from simpler things, there is no such problem.

Really? so even if every organism are made of the same basic elements, only those that are complex enough can be conscious. So, the complexity itself has consciousness? If it is so, the more a biological system is complex, the more chance we have of it being conscious. So, we're going to make biological robots and if we get them complex enough they will become conscious. Don't be kidding. You're confusing between the appearance of consciousness and true consciousness. All animals are made of molecular robots throughout their whole body. According to darwinism, life doesn't exist. It's the appearance of life that makes the reality. According to this, there are no scientifical reason why we should be conscious. Every part of our body is made of molecular machines. These machines are not conscious, they just do the work. So, in the end, our body should only produce the appearance of consciousness. The fact that we can be conscious that we are conscious is not something explainable through observation. We fail to explain what microscopical part of a brain we need to remove in order to remove consciousness. But if none of the parts of a brain is conscious, then it's only an appearance of consciousness that we see when talking to people. Since consciousness has nothing to do with the parts of the brain, then there are no reason why a more complex biological system should even be conscious.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

You are making a naked assumption that something can exist that has never been unambiguously observed, and is not really theoretically possible, certainly less plausible than the current most way-out theories in physics. Minds require inputs to interact with memory and current states of awareness, which normally requires some stable substrate, ie, not just naked energy, or its supernatural equivalent.

The Big Bang, evolution has never been observed, yet you believe it. That is not really theoretically possible, you've yet to show why. You only said that minds always need other minds to cause them. This is not obvious. It is certainly not less plausible then determinism or spontaneity in fact. And there are no other explanation actually. All others are derived from those two if you study them carefully. I also see that you can only conceive a mind in a material body which need to interact with matter to gain knowledge of the world. But there are no evidence that there are no other types of mind capable of free will. I don't base my hypothesis on the existence of the mind that we know in human experience. It's the observation of the finite time Universe that point to an entity creating voluntarily the Universe.

BobSpence1 wrote:
To go beyond this is purely speculation, not a logical deduction.

all reasoning is speculation. one's speculation may be coherent or not. It's when it's coherent that people believe it. We don't need to see everything in order to know things. Men knew that the earth was round before they could fly in space or even travel around the world. They could do it with mathematical calculus. We can do the same with the first cause hypothesis. According to what we see in the Universe, we can conclude what could cause that. Order, finite time, information, purpose, and undetermined behaviour such as the human mind are all facts that point to a mind as the first cause.

BobSpence1 wrote:
God is a primitive, naive, baseless, illogical concept, which begs more questions than it even pretends to explain.

You can't assert this loudly without proving it. Get to work. Show me how it is illogical.

BobSpence1 wrote:
You have nothing going for your beliefs.

Can you prove this assertion?


BobSpence
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Duplication of a whole gene

Duplication of a whole gene does not initially provide, in general any increased functionality, that is true.

But what you are missing is that, once you have more than one copy of a gene, then mutations of one copy now are possible without the organism losing the functionality of the original.

This is what allows new genes to evolve from existing ones, which themselves are still needed, removing the grounds for a very common anti-evolutionist argument.

Random variation is the ultimate way genuinely new patterns are generated, ie, patterns not functionally or logically tied to or derivable from an existing one by rules.

It has been observed and documented: http://genome.cshlp.org/content/18/9/1446.full

 

on Automaton:

I assumed you were trying to argue against the possibility of purely material entities to behave in what we think of as unpredictable or 'free will', non-deterministic, manner.

I showed that a 'deterministic' process could easily behave in a manner indistinguishable from what we think of requiring 'free choice', 'undetermined.

Your argument here seems to be assuming that I was envisaging an 'automaton' that could substitute for the 'mind' you see as essential to serve as a 'first cause',

That is completely unconnected to anything I was arguing, I won't bother even trying to respond to such nonsense.

There is no need for anything resembling a mind to serve as the 'first cause'.

 

Time:

If the energy states of my 'first cause' are 'inside time', they will take an infinite time to go through all their possible states.

If it is considered from viewpoint outside time, all those states will simply exist somewhere within the multi-dimensional 'space-time' as I described. You simply seem to have failed to understand what I said. Try reading it again.

 

origin state:

An infinite sea of energy at the lowest possible energy density above zero is not remotely anything like a small piece of matter - you utterly fail to understand the concepts and context of modern physics and cosmology, so it really is pointless continuing this discussion.

Sorry.

Goodbye.

 

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

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

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

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


cj
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hanntonn wrote: BobSpence1

hanntonn wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

There is no evidence whatever to propose that "a  mind is the only thing that is free to do something without following patterns of actions".

Then, suggest something else. Do you know anything else that have a behaviour but that this behaviour is not predetermined? Randomness has no behaviour and an automaton is determined. It's pretty logical to me to conclude that there are no other options.

 

Yes, I know something else.  Chaotic systems or stochastic processes.  There is a difference between the two.  However, what they have in common is that there are both deterministic and random forces occurring simultaneously within the system/process.  For example, a chaotic system might be the water flowing out of a faucet.  The water will fall - in a mostly contained fashion at a rate of flow determined by the pressure in the system - but you will not be able to determine the exact path of any one molecule within the waterfall.  Or, any system with random queues - the size of the queue is random, the time any one person or object joins the queue is random, but if watched carefully, you will be able to determine an average time between additions to the queue and an average time to process all elements/people in the queue. 

 

hanntonn wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
It seems to follow the assumption that there is something meaningful about the philosophical/religious idea of "free will", of a decision or choice being non-deterministic in the sense of not being in any sense based on prior 'causes'.

To me, that makes a mockery of my idea of 'making a decision'. In what sense can I make choice in a total absence of criteria or influences or urges or personal preferences or reasoning processes etc? How would such a decision be any different to tossing a coin?

There is a cause to this kind of decision, but nowhere outside the purpose you give to that decision. The cause of the decision is the purpose of the mind. The main difference between this and tossing a coin is that the decision made by a mind will be coherent with all the other decisions it will make. Tossing a coin is never coherent.

 

Many decisions made by minds are pretty incoherent.  Mine included.  We are none of us 100% rational or logical.  And if god/s/dess were 100% rational or logical, we would all be a lot more comfortable in the world.  Which isn't really perfect for us or us perfect for it.

 

hanntonn wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
There is no justification for assuming that a 'purpose' exists outside the context of an individual consciousness, that it could meaningfully be ascribed to the Universe.
You are right. Except if one's consciousness is the cause of the Universe. Then, a purpose to the Universe would be valid by analogy to the purpose of the one that made it.

 

The problem with the entire "purpose of the universe" discussion is that NO ONE knows what that purpose may be.  Sure, we could read the various religious and spiritual books and make a guess extrapolated from the book that appealed to us or we are comfortable with from our upbringing.  But it is only a guess.  I wend my way through my days without any direction from a "higher power" or a "spiritual leader" but I manage just fine, putting one foot in front of the other.  And that is what everyone does - theist or atheist.  Otherwise, you are going to have to convince me god/s/dess texts you 3-4 times a day.

 

hanntonn wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Examination of things happening within our Universe show that causes may easily be 'lesser' than the effects they cause, by whatever criteria you want to use, in duration or energy involved.
 

Well, I've yet to see a ball hit another ball and that the one that was hit gets on motion at a speed faster than the speed of the other ball without another type of energy involved.

 

It's called "coefficient of elasticity" - I think it was the second semester of college physics I was introduced to the concept.  What it means is the amount of give two materials have with respect to each other does influence the outcome of their smashing into each other.  You can calculate the final velocity (speed) if you know the coefficient of elasticity for all materials involved, you know the initial velocity of all objects and the angle of impact.

This is a more formal definition.  It may seem a stretch to get to increased velocities, but the term is just about the change in the shape and the spring as it deforms/reforms.  See slow motion videos of baseballs hitting bats - the bat and the ball both deform on impact.

http://www.answers.com/topic/coefficient-of-elasticity wrote:

The noun has one meaning:

Meaning #1:

(physics) the ratio of the applied stress to the change in shape of an elastic body

 

hanntonn wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Once you realize this, it follows that any event can perfectly well be the result of a notionally infinite chain of cause-and-effect, that nevertheless will have a finite duration and involve finite energy, and require a hypothetically infinitesimal origin at a finite time in the past. This only requires that in the sequence, each cause is effectively smaller that what it causes by a factor that is a finite value less than unity.

I don't realize that. The word you should have used is "imagine" not realize. You've yet to show me one effect greater than it cause without external energy involved in the calculus. It's pretty simple. Zero does not equal one. Your simple theory is simply out of logics. Even if what you say was true, which is not, a hypothetically infinitesimal origin is still something and not nothing. There is a large difference. and it's not because you use the word infinitesimal that this should blow our mind. It's just a word. It doesn't make any sense that 1 could equal 2. It might look good on a mathematical calculus, but it is not sound.

 

So, see my discussion above about coefficient of elasticity.  Or learn about springs and their k values.  You start with a small velocity - could be zero but it isn't likely - and you wind up with big velocities.  That is all Bob is saying.  The initial impetus need not be a large one.  Nor is Bob saying 1=2.  If there were some indication you understood basic physics, I would be more inclined to pay attention to your theories about the origin of the universe.

 

hanntonn wrote:

The information in the arrangement of those elementary particles is not simple. Don't you know anything about the structures and information in DNA? Even if a protein has got all the amino acids to make it, if it is not ordered in a certain way, it won't fold. So, the Universe is, yes, made of simple particles, but also of information. That information is complex and non-emergent. Learn about irreducible complexity.

 

Oh, balls.  We have heard about irreducible complexity.  It is total baloney.  Biologically.  Cosmologically.   Evolutionarily.  Chemically.  Atomically.  Must I go on?  It isn't information that prevents a protein from folding properly, it is the atomic forces within the molecule.  Simple push-pull.  No "information" is present in DNA or proteins.  And the reason proteins are usually formed correctly, is because they are simple mirror images of existing molecules that work.  Because if they didn't work, you would be eating up a lot of health care monies or you would be dead.  You really need to take a few science courses from an accredited university.

Proteins are not always formed correctly, DNA does not always replicate correctly, our cells do not always operate at 100%.  You - and I and everyone else - are a mosaic of correctly formed DNA and incorrectly formed DNA.  Yes, we all have about 100-200 mutations in our DNA.  Not in all cells - some cells will have one or more while other cells will have other mutations.  This article is not very technical:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827123210.htm

 

hanntonn wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
In the same way that a collection of identical spheres will settle into a single layer arranged in a perfect triangular pattern when shaken on a sloping table, order and pattern is an emergent thing.

Lets shake a bunch of letters on a table and we will make a book then. By the way, what was there to shake the non-existent Universe?

 

If you shake enough letters on a table, we would be able to find some words - and then put the words in sentences and so on.  Sort of like those magnetic strips of nonsense phrases that you can put up in semi-meaningful sentences.  Or the corporate speak generators.  One from column A and two from column B.  Humans find patterns in their environments - it is an evolutionary advantage.

We are back to stochastic processes - randomness combined with deterministic forces.  That is what shook the non-existent universe.  We will figure it out eventually - maybe next year, maybe in a couple of hundred years.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


BobSpence
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 Aarrgh! Since cj had a go

 

Aarrgh! Since cj had a go at responding to this idiot, I think I should make sure the response is as clear as I can make it:

hanntonn wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

There is no evidence whatever to propose that "a  mind is the only thing that is free to do something without following patterns of actions".

Then, suggest something else. Do you know anything else that have a behaviour but that this behaviour is not predetermined? Randomness has no behaviour and an automaton is determined. It's pretty logical to me to conclude that there are no other options.

I have. It needs nothing more than the lowest level energy fiels. Look up 'quantum foam'.

A mind, by everything we know from modern research, cannot exist as a disembodied essence. It definitely can emerge from non-sentient biology, in the short term - it happens every time a fertilized human egg matures.

The emergence of life-forms which display sentience when sufficiently mature can be traced back thru genetic and fossil evidence to very simple forms, which show no trace of it when mature, so it has also been shown to emerge by descent and evolution from essentially non-sentient life-forms. So it can emerge from an environment which has no trace of sentience. 

It has only ever been identified in a species possessing a brain, and many experiments have demonstrated it is essentially totally dependent on the brain.

So there is no precedent or logical extrapolation to justify the idea of a disembodied intelligence as a plausible idea, so minds are emergent phenomena from complex emergent life forms.

There is no real evidence of minds being able to cause physical things to manifest or physical actions to occur except via nerve signals conducted from the brain to physical organs.

So the idea of a mind as being in any sense a logical or plausible possibility as a 'cause' of the Universe, let alone the ultimate cause of existence itself is totally without justification or warrant 

To repeat, all that is required is a minimal base of energy. 

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
It seems to follow the assumption that there is something meaningful about the philosophical/religious idea of "free will", of a decision or choice being non-deterministic in the sense of not being in any sense based on prior 'causes'.

To me, that makes a mockery of my idea of 'making a decision'. In what sense can I make choice in a total absence of criteria or influences or urges or personal preferences or reasoning processes etc? How would such a decision be any different to tossing a coin?

There is a cause to this kind of decision, but nowhere outside the purpose you give to that decision. The cause of the decision is the purpose of the mind. The main difference between this and tossing a coin is that the decision made by a mind will be coherent with all the other decisions it will make. Tossing a coin is never coherent.

The purpose of the mind is the cause, or at least part of the cause, yes. So what is your problem? I essentially I said that.

Along with all kinds of other states of the mind that can affect the way it will make a decision. Those other states, and any 'purpose' currently being actively considered in the mind when the decision is made. So the net effect, the balance, of all those factors, plus possibly some state of health, and other states of the nervous system, the effect of any psycho-active substances currently active in the body, such as alcohol or drugs all determine the decision that is made.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Conscious choices, decisions, are , AFAICS, based on the net balance of all those factors, and more. ie they are 'causal' consequences of such factors, which in turn are consequences of other states and events, and so on. What else could there be? it may help to realize that any identifiable state of existence is rarely 'determined' solely by any unique identifiable 'cause', but rather is affected by an indefinitely large set of contributory events or states of its environment.

This is because you are not the primary cause. You are influenced by your environment and everything you learn. But what if you had no environment and nothing to influence you. You would have to find a reason to act nowhere outside yourself. Since no actions are programmed in you, you need to behave in the way you choose. Since this behaviour is what you chose to do, your actions are neither the result of chance neither are they the result of determination. 

They still will inevitably be the result of the current state of your mind, and all those other internal factors mentioned above. Just 'eliminating' any external environment does not remove all determinates of your decision - it really doesn't change anything in any fundamental way. 

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
There is no justification for assuming that a 'purpose' exists outside the context of an individual consciousness, that it could meaningfully be ascribed to the Universe.
You are right. Except if one's consciousness is the cause of the Universe. Then, a purpose to the Universe would be valid by analogy to the purpose of the one that made it.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Examination of things happening within our Universe show that causes may easily be 'lesser' than the effects they cause, by whatever criteria you want to use, in duration or energy involved.
 

Well, I've yet to see a ball hit another ball and that the one that was hit gets on motion at a speed faster than the speed of the other ball without another type of energy involved.

Of course. In general there will be energy available to allow larger actions to occur. That energy is typically just 'sitting around', not playing any active part in actually initiated or causing or determining the effect. It could just be the stored energy in an unstable snow slope, waiting for the final small trigger to initiate the avalanche.

Or the sea of dry grass waiting for a spark of ignition. 

Or a single neutron hitting a Uranium-235 nucleus at just the right energy to cause a chain-reaction and set off the Bomb.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Once you realize this, it follows that any event can perfectly well be the result of a notionally infinite chain of cause-and-effect, that nevertheless will have a finite duration and involve finite energy, and require a hypothetically infinitesimal origin at a finite time in the past. This only requires that in the sequence, each cause is effectively smaller that what it causes by a factor that is a finite value less than unity.

I don't realize that. The word you should have used is "imagine" not realize. You've yet to show me one effect greater than it cause without external energy involved in the calculus. It's pretty simple. Zero does not equal one. Your simple theory is simply out of logics. Even if what you say was true, which is not, a hypothetically infinitesimal origin is still something and not nothing. There is a large difference. and it's not because you use the word infinitesimal that this should blow our mind. It's just a word. It doesn't make any sense that 1 could equal 2. It might look good on a mathematical calculus, but it is not sound.

I did not make a condition that no external energy would be involved.

Energy is not even a relevant factor when we consider the idea of the supposed need of a mind to 'create' or cause a lesser mind. Any assumption that a greater mind is required leads to an impossible infinite regress, requiring ever greater minds, so that is a non-starter. Whereas the reality is that minds do not require minds of any kind to 'create' them, but will typically be the result of an emergent process over an iteration of ever more intelligent life-forms selected by evolutionary forces.

Once you understand that actual causal events in a chain do not need to be larger than their effect, the nuclear chain-reaction being a perfect example, all the medieval metaphysical crap of 'sufficient reason' and 'first mover' and so on can be safely consigned to the scrapheap of the  history of thought.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Another thing is that order does not require a mind. The reality is the reverse, the emergence of complex ordered processes such as 'mind' requires an inherent level of ordered processes and structure to exist already.

Nothing requires anything to exist supernaturally, so order does not require a mind. But choice requires a mind when there is an undetermined action. As I've showed, an automaton would either never create the Universe or the Universe would also be eternal. Since both are impossible, it is obvious that the Universe is caused by a mind. In your second sentence, you confuse a mind and a brain. A brain by itself is not conscious. This is easy to show when you know that each particle of the brain is not conscious individually; why should it be conscious on a whole? The brain is just showing results like a computer does. The brain is no more conscious than a computer. It's the mind that look at the results that is conscious. Anyway, I wasn't talking about a human mind, but a supernatural mind. If our Universe requires a choice to exist, then it is obvious that a choice was made.

An undetermined action implies purely random, not a mind. It can come from chaotic or quantum uncertainty, for example. Quantum scale actions are the most apparently purely random of anything we know, implying that the ground of existence is something like a 'sea' of chaotic basic potentiality. The universe most definitely does NOT require a choice to exist, just a finite probability within the available time-scale or event-space that there will be a random impulse of sufficient magnitude and appropriate directivity to start things going.

NOTE: computers and any automated logic effectively makes choices all the time. IF... THEN... Choices are made by the application of existing knowledge to a fresh set of options.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Order only requires that the fundamental structural components of reality, be they quarks and/or something more elementary, be essentially identical and simple.

The information in the arrangement of those elementary particles is not simple. Don't you know anything about the structures and information in DNA? Even if a protein has got all the amino acids to make it, if it is not ordered in a certain way, it won't fold. So, the Universe is, yes, made of simple particles, but also of information. That information is complex and non-emergent. Learn about irreducible complexity.

Yes, information is necessary, but it does not require a conscious mind. RAW information is a property of the number of fundamental particles in a system - it is the description of the location and momentum of each particle. Not really relevant to DNA. The ordered structure of DNA is determined by the process of natural selection acting on the random mutations generated by the random processes of thermal and sometimes high energy radiation, such as local natural radioactivity and cosmic rays.

No fundamental principles are violated there in this process.

Have you heard of 'genetic algorithms"? They harness this process of random variation + selection for computer code best fitting some test, to generate code that can actually do better than consciously designed code. Get it? It can surpass a human designer. Think about it. It is an explicit refutation of the idea that a mind is required to specify DNA code. Unless you want to say that a computer can mimic a human mind...

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
In the same way that a collection of identical spheres will settle into a single layer arranged in a perfect triangular pattern when shaken on a sloping table, order and pattern is an emergent thing.

Lets shake a bunch of letters on a table and we will make a book then. By the way, what was there to shake the non-existent Universe?

You completely missed the point of that example. It is the collection of identical objects that is necessary to allow symmetrical ordered patterns to form spontaneously from random energy input. A deep insight that went completely over your medieval brain.

The universe only needed that base level of random energy I keep mentioning. NOT A F**KING MIND.

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

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

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

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


hanntonn
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The link you provided is

The link you provided is interesting stuff, but it doesn't show how new information come into existence in the gene. It only show how can information be moved around in DNA and mixed to form new genes in a chimeric pattern. But since you need to have to explain how completely new gene originates with information in them, you shouldn't use pre-existent DNA to explain how it can be originated. If not, then the whole DNA sequence would be only copies and chimeric rearrangements of pre-existent information, which is not the case.

I didn't miss the point. You say that a duplication of genes renders possible a mutational process adding information in genes in order to cause evolution. I know this, but mutational processes adding beneficial information still must happen in order for evolution to be true. This has not been seen. It's not because there is some basis to an assertion that the assertion is automatically true. In fact, there are no guarantee either that evolution can happen even if new information is added to a system without requiring intelligence. That new information must also be beneficial and there is no guarantee that this will be the case if mutation are random. If fact the combination of both conditions renders this almost impossible for evolution to happen. This is the main point I'm saying.

On automaton,

     For sure a material infinitely complex automaton could easily produce exactly the same result than free will since there is not enough time in a finite time universe to produce all the results of it. But there would be enough time to do that prior to the existence of time. If it is non-sense, then we're settled. But there is a need of a free will prior to the existence of time for the reason I said in relation to determinism or spontaneity or a combination of both.

About time,

    if an infinite amount of states of energy are considered from a viewpoint outside time, it won't change the fact that we are not in a viewpoint outside time and from our viewpoint an infinite amount of states of energy, causing infinite time regress is a logical fallacy. This might be explained by saying that from a viewpoint outside time, there can't exist a logical fallacy in a viewpoint inside time, rendering the possibility of something false in a viewpoint inside time impossible to be true in a viewpoint outside time, except if you believe there could be more than more contradictory truth existing at the same time.

About the origin state, I don't care what is the sea of energy you talk about. It doesn't change anything to what I'm saying in the hypothesis we are discussing. Either there is finite time or there is infinite time. We know that there is finite time, so you need to explain how can a finite time Universe be created if it originates from a point where everything happens simultaneously. All the results of chance would be produced in that non-step world and the chance process cannot choose to start without a pre-existent process telling it to start and that process itself couldn't decide by itself to start, and this would go beyond to infinity and at the end you would need a decision to be made or all the results possible would either not be produced or already be produced before the appearance of time itself. If time itself is comprised in those processes, then it makes a logical fallacy.


hanntonn
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cj wrote:  Yes, I know

cj wrote:

 

Yes, I know something else.  Chaotic systems or stochastic processes.  There is a difference between the two.  However, what they have in common is that there are both deterministic and random forces occurring simultaneously within the system/process.  For example, a chaotic system might be the water flowing out of a faucet.  The water will fall - in a mostly contained fashion at a rate of flow determined by the pressure in the system - but you will not be able to determine the exact path of any one molecule within the waterfall.  Or, any system with random queues - the size of the queue is random, the time any one person or object joins the queue is random, but if watched carefully, you will be able to determine an average time between additions to the queue and an average time to process all elements/people in the queue.

Like you say it yourself, chaotic systems are a mixture of randomness and determinism. It doesn't respond to the problem of the finite time universe being created by such a process from a outside time perspective where there are no steps and no decisions made.

 

cj wrote:
Many decisions made by minds are pretty incoherent.  Mine included.  We are none of us 100% rational or logical.  And if god/s/dess were 100% rational or logical, we would all be a lot more comfortable in the world.  Which isn't really perfect for us or us perfect for it.

What you say assumes that our rationality is contradictory to what God does. The problem with this is that is God made rationality, how can rationality be contrary to the purpose he gave it which is to explain everything. It's only irrationality that do not go along with this purpose. So in the end, you must assume either God didn't make rationality (he doesn't exists) or that you are irrational in saying what you say in order to be coherent. So, until you prove that God doesn't exist, I'm going to assume you are irrational in saying what you say.

 

cj wrote:

The problem with the entire "purpose of the universe" discussion is that NO ONE knows what that purpose may be.  Sure, we could read the various religious and spiritual books and make a guess extrapolated from the book that appealed to us or we are comfortable with from our upbringing.  But it is only a guess.  I wend my way through my days without any direction from a "higher power" or a "spiritual leader" but I manage just fine, putting one foot in front of the other.  And that is what everyone does - theist or atheist.  Otherwise, you are going to have to convince me god/s/dess texts you 3-4 times a day.

There is no need to find what is the real purpose of the Universe to be having this discussion. We talking about proving whether or not God can exist (basing ourselves on the idea of free will as the primary indication that God exists) on a rational basis only. This has nothing to do with any faith. This might have religious implication, but the question itself has none. It's a scientifically valid one. Not considering all rational possibilities is called close-mindedness.

 

cj wrote:

So, see my discussion above about coefficient of elasticity.  Or learn about springs and their k values.  You start with a small velocity - could be zero but it isn't likely - and you wind up with big velocities.  That is all Bob is saying.  The initial impetus need not be a large one.  Nor is Bob saying 1=2.  If there were some indication you understood basic physics, I would be more inclined to pay attention to your theories about the origin of the universe.

 You're not being honest here. In physics, there is a basic principle that no energy comes from nowhere. If you get big velocities from small ones, you must either get the energy from somewhere else or some mass must be changed into energy in order that the velocity can speed up. But this is not my main point. The main point is that anything related to physics depends on this time Universe. Even if you could get energy from nowhere, you would still need to explain why time started and was not always there. This is not a physical question, it is a metaphysical one. It's the continuation of physics where physics do not operate. The only thing that you can keep from the physical observation is that everything is logical. So, if the supernatural world is coherent with logics, it can be studied. If it not coherent, then we must give up reason to imagination or faith to explain how the Universe got here. So, to elaborate from what I'm saying here that I'm not credible in talking about the origin of the Universe is clearly dishonest.


 

cj wrote:

Oh, balls.  We have heard about irreducible complexity.  It is total baloney.  Biologically.  Cosmologically.   Evolutionarily.  Chemically.  Atomically.  Must I go on?  It isn't information that prevents a protein from folding properly, it is the atomic forces within the molecule.  Simple push-pull.  No "information" is present in DNA or proteins.  And the reason proteins are usually formed correctly, is because they are simple mirror images of existing molecules that work.  Because if they didn't work, you would be eating up a lot of health care monies or you would be dead.  You really need to take a few science courses from an accredited university.

If proteins are only formed by mirror image of existing ones, than you need to explain how can the first one be formed randomly and from that to conclude that it can arrange itself into DNA sequences. But it is not by mirror image that proteins are formed, but by the instruction of the messenger RNA, being a copy of a DNA sequence. So, if there is no DNA prior to the formation of proteins, then no proteins will ever form. It is what has always been observed. No life can arise by random processes. You really need more courses don't you? You said: It isn't information that prevents a protein from folding properly. I didn't say the contrary. I said that there is information in the sequence how the protein is ordered. If the protein is not ordered according to the code of the DNA, it won't even be usable, even if the protein is made up of the same amino acids than a functioning one. What you say about irreducible complexity is what I call a leap of faith. You say irreducible complexity is baloney, but I've never heard about someone explaining how, for example, the bacterial flagellum can arise by a random process. Of course there have been some explanation tried, but none is likely to have really happened. It only stays imaginary. I won't go any further because if you don't see irreducible complexity as posing difficulties to the possibility of evolution, then your faith is assured.

 

cj wrote:
Yes, we all have about 100-200 mutations in our DNA.

shouldn't there be a lot more if evolution is random? why isn't there more non-coding sequences of DNA. In fact, most of the DNA should be non-coding is evolution is really random. Again, it's not the case.

 

cj wrote:

If you shake enough letters on a table, we would be able to find some words - and then put the words in sentences and so on.  Sort of like those magnetic strips of nonsense phrases that you can put up in semi-meaningful sentences.  Or the corporate speak generators.  One from column A and two from column B.  Humans find patterns in their environments - it is an evolutionary advantage.

can you conclude from this that a book can be written all randomly? Gosh, I was having so much difficulties in trying to learn how I could write an interesting book. My problem is resolved. Thank you so much!!!


BobSpence
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hanntonn wrote: The link you

hanntonn wrote:

The link you provided is interesting stuff, but it doesn't show how new information come into existence in the gene. It only show how can information be moved around in DNA and mixed to form new genes in a chimeric pattern. But since you need to have to explain how completely new gene originates with information in them, you shouldn't use pre-existent DNA to explain how it can be originated. If not, then the whole DNA sequence would be only copies and chimeric rearrangements of pre-existent information, which is not the case.

That is not a problem!!

The mechanism of formation of new functional genes is straight-forward. Gene duplication and mutation generates the raw new information.

The random effects which cause the copying error is what generates the new information. Random changes a re a fundamental source of new information, in the sense of novel structures. That is where it comes from.

The environment weeds out the harmful mutations, enhances the spread of useful ones, which is where your idea of 'new information' comes from - it comes from the environment. It is an open system, there is no violation of any principle.

Quote:

I didn't miss the point. You say that a duplication of genes renders possible a mutational process adding information in genes in order to cause evolution. I know this, but mutational processes adding beneficial information still must happen in order for evolution to be true. This has not been seen. It's not because there is some basis to an assertion that the assertion is automatically true. In fact, there are no guarantee either that evolution can happen even if new information is added to a system without requiring intelligence. That new information must also be beneficial and there is no gua

What is your f**king problem, dude?

That article, and this one, and others demonstrate that it happens.

Mutation, duplication, copying errors happen. Documented. That IS new information, whether harmful, neutral, or beneficial.

The interaction of successive generations containing the new DNA with their environment selects for the beneficial variations, and against the harmful ones.

That is the evolutionary algorithm.

It has been documented. It works.

Did you read my comment on genetic algorithms? This process of random variation followed by selection by relative success in performing a required task has been applied to generate new computer code which can often work better than human designed code.

WTF more do you want before you will accept that the evolutionary algorithm works?

Quote:

On automaton,

     For sure a material infinitely complex automaton could easily produce exactly the same result than free will since there is not enough time in a finite time universe to produce all the results of it. But there would be enough time to do that prior to the existence of time. If it is non-sense, then we're settled. But there is a need of a free will prior to the existence of time for the reason I said in relation to determinism or spontaneity or a combination of both.

So what if something will have time to produce all possible states? All that is required is that at least one of those states is sufficient to initiate 'creation'. 

An infinitely complex automaton would generate an infinite number of states anyway, so what is your problem???

There is no need for 'free will 'to exist 'before time'.

Or perhaps there is - your version of free will is indistinguishable from randomness. Quantum Mechanics shows that randomness exists at the foundation of existence. Problem solved.

Quote:

About time,

    if an infinite amount of states of energy are considered from a viewpoint outside time, it won't change the fact that we are not in a viewpoint outside time and from our viewpoint an infinite amount of states of energy, causing infinite time regress is a logical fallacy. This might be explained by saying that from a viewpoint outside time, there can't exist a logical fallacy in a viewpoint inside time, rendering the possibility of something false in a viewpoint inside time impossible to be true in a viewpoint outside time, except if you believe there could be more than more contradictory truth existing at the same time.

About the origin state, I don't care what is the sea of energy you talk about. It doesn't change anything to what I'm saying in the hypothesis we are discussing. Either there is finite time or there is infinite time. We know that there is finite time, so you need to explain how can a finite time Universe be created if it originates from a point where everything happens simultaneously. All the results of chance would be produced in that non-step world and the chance process cannot choose to start without a pre-existent process telling it to start and that process itself couldn't decide by itself to start, and this would go beyond to infinity and at the end you would need a decision to be made or all the results possible would either not be produced or already be produced before the appearance of time itself. If time itself is comprised in those processes, then it makes a logical fallacy.

Our viewpoint doesn't affect reality.

I said that even without time, an infinite number of energy states can exist, allowing the finite possibility of at least one existing that suffices to initiate time. No time regress implied or required.

QM theory and observation demonstrate events occurring with no apparent cause, purely defined by a probability function, ie the event will have a defined statistical probability of occurring within any given time interval, just as is observed with radio-active decay. Nothing 'chooses' to start - it has a specific inherent propensity to start, determined by its structure and the degree of stability of the energy states of its fundamental components. The less stable, the greater the probability that it actually 'fire' in any given interval of time.

This statistical random nature at the base level of reality is what answers this standard objection - without this, radioactive decay would not be as we observe - every unstable atom would either decay immediately or never. This is not what is observed. You don't have to go back to the question of the origin of the universe to highlight this question and the scientifically established framework - quantum randomness - which accurately models the reality, demonstrating billions of times a second that a mind making a conscious choice to locate some event at some point in space-time (viewed from the timeless state) or initiate it at a specific time (from a temporal viewpoint) is not necessary in any sense.

Since such events always display the most statistically pure random behavior seen, the opposite of what would be needed to suggest the possibility of conscious intervention. Your hypothesis is void. 

 

 

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

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

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

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


BobSpence
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Look, hanntonn, I get your

Look, hanntonn, I get your problem.

You are emotionally invested in the God thing, and you are frightened that there is now a mountain of evidence that points to it being just a primitive myth.

So you buy into all the intellectually dishonest crap put out by sites like the Discovery Institute to try and shore up your belief.

Read what we have said here, go away and think about it, read a bit of Quantum Mechanics, Neuroscience, Biology (from real biologists, not from Behe, Dempski, and co).

Let it sink in.

Then come back and discuss it again, ok?

 

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

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

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

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


hanntonn
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Look, I think we can't

Look, I think we can't settle this debate on the science side because it would be too long. It would not only be too long, but also you always use authoritative arguments as if somehow you were better informed than I am on some subject giving you credit automatically. But this kind of argumentation involving pride is not accepted as an argument in a debate because it is a logical fallacy. You don't need to act like a protective father with me, I'm old enough to make my own ideas.

But since you tell me that I'm emotionally involved in this, I'm going to tell you that you are somehow right. I don't think we can be ever totally neutral in our emotions. As for now, I feel joy to debate this subject. So, to say that I'm emotionally involved in this is right in that sense. On your side however, you think you are not emotionally involved, but you are. This is very easy to show.

In the conclusion of this discussion, I can say that I've not convinced you of my ideas, but you've not convinced me that I was wrong. You didn't convince me of your ideas, but I didn't convince you, you were wrong. What is certain though is that even if as an atheist you are certain there is no God, yet you can't have any proof of that. I'm not saying that you don't think there can be another explanation to the existence of the Universe. I'm only saying that you don't have the proof that God can't exist, yet you believe firmly that he doesn't exist. Since atheists are against faith because faith is irrational, I find most irrational of you to believe by faith that God can't exist without evident proof of that. There may be no proof that God exist, but from that to conclude that he can't exist is a leap of faith which, if you are honest with yourself, you should be against.

There is also one strange thing about atheists is that they can't explain why the Universe is not an imaginary illusion and must accept that everything really exist by faith, yet they are against faith.

From this, I must conclude that there can only be rational agnostics, not rational atheists. Except if you can prove that God certainly doesn't exist (without requiring faith in the process would be also appreciated).

 


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I've thought about something

I've thought about something else that is funny. You accuse me of being emotionally invested in the God thing, which is true, I love emotions, but you are the one that shows the most emotional thoughts such as : "what is your F**king problem, dude" or "since the other guy responded to this idiot". These kind of thoughts are not rational, but emotional. So, as I said, you need to find rational answers to these things if you are rational like you are so proud of saying. But if you pay attention to what everyone knowns about life, you will understand that you can only be agnostic, not atheist.


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Personally, hanntonn, I

Personally, hanntonn, I don't think you can settle the debate on the science because you have no science defending your position.

As for your emotions, while we can't be neutral where they are concerned they do not belong in a scientific debate. Facts don't change because you don't believe in them. In your world, you believe that facts are facts because you believe in them.

Bob isn't trying to convince you of anything. He would like you to think for yourself.

It's not a question of having faith that gods don't exist. It's a lack of evidence for them that is the issue. As for the God of the Bible, since the writers were kind of enough to provide a description of his qualities, we can say that such an entity is too self-contradictory to exist.

You also seem to be convinced that agnosticism is a middle ground between theism and atheism. This is not correct. Most of us consider ouselves agnostic atheists, i.e, "I don't know whether God exists or not. Because I have no evidence one way or the other, I don't believe."

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


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Hanntonn

What kind of a jackass statement is that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*There is also one strange thing about atheists is that they can't explain why the universe is not an imaginary illusion and must accept that everything really exist by faith, yet they are against faith*

I wont even get into your assault and battery against the English language and sentence structure. The statement is assinine on its own. The universe is exactly what observation & study shows us, if you know something new about the universe then show us your observation studies so that we can see them as well. btw NO atheist is against FAITH, we are not against much at all. It's the DELUSIONAL miss-belief that faith and reality ARE the SAME THING that we are against. You can have all the leap of faith you want, all the dogma & rituals you want, go for it and enjoy your imaginary friends. This is NOT the PSYCHIATRIC response squad. We are the Rational Response Squad; and you will get a rational response to anything you throw at us!!!!!!!!!!!

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hanntonn wrote:Look, I think

hanntonn wrote:

Look, I think we can't settle this debate on the science side because it would be too long. It would not only be too long, but also you always use authoritative arguments as if somehow you were better informed than I am on some subject giving you credit automatically. But this kind of argumentation involving pride is not accepted as an argument in a debate because it is a logical fallacy. You don't need to act like a protective father with me, I'm old enough to make my own ideas.

But since you tell me that I'm emotionally involved in this, I'm going to tell you that you are somehow right. I don't think we can be ever totally neutral in our emotions. As for now, I feel joy to debate this subject. So, to say that I'm emotionally involved in this is right in that sense. On your side however, you think you are not emotionally involved, but you are. This is very easy to show.

In the conclusion of this discussion, I can say that I've not convinced you of my ideas, but you've not convinced me that I was wrong. You didn't convince me of your ideas, but I didn't convince you, you were wrong. What is certain though is that even if as an atheist you are certain there is no God, yet you can't have any proof of that. I'm not saying that you don't think there can be another explanation to the existence of the Universe. I'm only saying that you don't have the proof that God can't exist, yet you believe firmly that he doesn't exist. Since atheists are against faith because faith is irrational, I find most irrational of you to believe by faith that God can't exist without evident proof of that. There may be no proof that God exist, but from that to conclude that he can't exist is a leap of faith which, if you are honest with yourself, you should be against.

There is also one strange thing about atheists is that they can't explain why the Universe is not an imaginary illusion and must accept that everything really exist by faith, yet they are against faith.

From this, I must conclude that there can only be rational agnostics, not rational atheists. Except if you can prove that God certainly doesn't exist (without requiring faith in the process would be also appreciated). 

To repeat something I said many times, talking about "proof" for or against God is irrelevant.

Knowledge is about trying to establish what is most likely to be true.

I am not 100% certain there is no God, and even Richard Dawkins has said the same thing.

I believe pretty confidently that there is no God, for all the reasons I detailed in this discussion. In the world as I have come to know after a long time studying science and people and culture, etc, 'God' seems to me an extremely unlikely being, it does not fit into so much else I understand about the world.

It is this varying degree of confidence I attach to the various items I could describe as 'beliefs' that is important. Not absolute true/untrue status.

I do not 'believe by faith' there is no God - it simply, honestly, is so inconsistent with everything else I have observed and read about the world, that I would have to throw away a massive amount of evidence and understanding of almost everything to accept it, especially the clearly mythical versions of God associated with the major world religions.

No faith involved, apart from, perhaps, "faith" in the principle that what is worth assuming to be true is what seems to best fit with everything else I have come to know. And 'God' is a massive fail under that criterion in my personal context of a pretty wide range of experience and reading and discussing with people of all different beliefs.

If you keep insisting I have some sort of faith, you simply do not understand my PoV. This is not surprising, since I don't quite understand exactly why people like yourself hold so tightly to your beliefs, and clearly reject well-documented evidence which explicitly contradicts your assertions, as you have done here in several very clear cases.

I do have a general understanding of the kind of psychological mechanisms that probably explain it, but I would never claim to know how you really feel about these things, and why, and would never attempt to contradict your account of how you see things, altho you seem to not be willing to accept my account of how I see things, as when I say 'faith' is not involved, except perhaps arguably in that sense of 'faith' in a few core assumptions as to how to gain better understanding and knowledge of reality at all levels. Even there, I regard those more as 'working assumptions' subject to continual adjustment as I gain more experience.

To be clear, I am not talking about the truth or otherwise of either position, just how each 'side' approaches and understands the issues.

I do on occasion experience discomfort when I hear or read of some report or testimony or claim which seems to be significantly in conflict with my current understanding and assumptions, and cannot be easily discounted. But I could not hold to my general position if I let myself dismiss such accounts too casually.

I recognize the feeling, and endeavour to find the core points that trouble me, and investigate as thoroughly as time and availability of more relevant information permit.  If it clearly shows a discrepancy in my current understanding, I endeavour to make the necessary adjustments. If I can't resolve it, I try to at least mark that bit of 'knowledge' with a mental question mark, to remember that there are more uncertainties about it than I previously assumed. In many cases, I later come across some further reports or evidence which resolves the issue, but not always.

I never really bought into the belief in God even as a child, so I do not have the experience of being a committed believer. I have to rely on the accounts of people who claim they were once devout, but eventually lost their faith, to try to understand the difference between belief and disbelief, as experienced by people who have been in both positions. So far, the balance of these accounts is consistent with my assumptions about the reasons why people typically start off believing religious ideas.

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

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hanntonn wrote:I've thought

hanntonn wrote:

I've thought about something else that is funny. You accuse me of being emotionally invested in the God thing, which is true, I love emotions, but you are the one that shows the most emotional thoughts such as : "what is your F**king problem, dude" or "since the other guy responded to this idiot". These kind of thoughts are not rational, but emotional. So, as I said, you need to find rational answers to these things if you are rational like you are so proud of saying. But if you pay attention to what everyone knowns about life, you will understand that you can only be agnostic, not atheist.

I am emotionally attached to the ideal of honestly seeking truth, with absolute minimum presuppositions, and it gets to me when confronted with what come across to me as a pig-stubborn refusal to see the bleeding obvious. No apologies.

The balance of probabilities would require you to be equally agnostic about  fairies, UFO's and Santa Claus, or teacups in orbit about Saturn.

Once the estimated likelihood of some idea is so low relative to all kinds of other fanciful but not absolutely impossible ideas, it is actually dishonest to keep using that word just for one particular unlikely idea.

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

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

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

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


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If everyone of you are not

If everyone of you are not against the faith idea, why is that that you talk about my faith in a mind as the first cause as being naive, yet you think your faith is less naive. Why is that? if there is no proof on either sides, then it is just a question of opinion as to why something is naive or not. So, why should I care about your opinion?

If someone think that it is unlikely that God exist, then it might also be likely that he exists. If not, why?

I don't care about what you guys think about religious people or the Bible, etc, etc. If you think the God of the Bible is inconsistent, then imagine another God as you like him except that he has free will. Then, and only then you can start talking about arguing against the possibility of it existence. If you have nothing to prove it, then your atheism is not more rational than any faith.

By the way, an atheist mean someone that believe that God doesn't exist. An agnostic is someone that doesn't know if God exist or not. So an agnostic atheist would be someone that don't know if God exist, but believe that God doesn't exist. If this is your title, then your opinion on God is only supported by your faith. So, your opinion do not even matter since faith is something irrational.


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hanntonn wrote:If everyone

hanntonn wrote:

If everyone of you are not against the faith idea, why is that that you talk about my faith in a mind as the first cause as being naive, yet you think your faith is less naive. Why is that? if there is no proof on either sides, then it is just a question of opinion as to why something is naive or not. So, why should I care about your opinion?

If someone think that it is unlikely that God exist, then it might also be likely that he exists. If not, why?

I don't care about what you guys think about religious people or the Bible, etc, etc. If you think the God of the Bible is inconsistent, then imagine another God as you like him except that he has free will. Then, and only then you can start talking about arguing against the possibility of it existence. If you have nothing to prove it, then your atheism is not more rational than any faith.

By the way, an atheist mean someone that believe that God doesn't exist. An agnostic is someone that doesn't know if God exist or not. So an agnostic atheist would be someone that don't know if God exist, but believe that God doesn't exist. If this is your title, then your opinion on God is only supported by your faith. So, your opinion do not even matter since faith is something irrational.

An atheist is someone who lacks a belief in God.

The first cause is Ok, identifying with one particular mythical figure is dishonest.

If something is estimated to be likely to exist with a probability of < 0.0000000000000001%, (say), then it would make no sense to say it is likely to exist. You can attach another figure expressing your confidence in your estimate of the basic likelihood. And then attach a figure of confidence in that figure and so on. You have to stop somewhere.

We can imagine an incredibly large range of logically possible figures that have equally little evidence for them as the Xian God. Why should we take any of them seriously, and how would we select one??

Our opinion of God is supported by the clear balance of the evidence, you idiot.

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

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

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BobSpence1 wrote:Once the

BobSpence1 wrote:

Once the estimated likelihood of some idea is so low relative to all kinds of other fanciful but not absolutely impossible ideas, it is actually dishonest to keep using that word just for one particular unlikely idea.

Who is deciding what is likely or unlikely. I've explained myself about what I think make my hypothesis likely with the problem of the finite time Universe. You may not see the problem, but I see it. So, it is not because you don't understand something that it makes something unlikely for others. Who are you to decide what is unlikely? teas cup orbiting Jupiter have no logical basis and no reason to be. On the contrary, my hypothesis has many reasons to be. So to say it is unlikely because you think so is far from convincing for me. You can't make me do a leap of faith by friendship for you when friendship as no purpose in your world view outside the fact that it makes yourself happier. Your desire to educate me in order that I get more nice toward you, I have really nothing to do with it. A world without true charity is non-sense.


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hanntonn wrote:BobSpence1

hanntonn wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Once the estimated likelihood of some idea is so low relative to all kinds of other fanciful but not absolutely impossible ideas, it is actually dishonest to keep using that word just for one particular unlikely idea.

Who is deciding what is likely or unlikely. I've explained myself about what I think make my hypothesis likely with the problem of the finite time Universe. You may not see the problem, but I see it. So, it is not because you don't understand something that it makes something unlikely for others. Who are you to decide what is unlikely? teas cup orbiting Jupiter have no logical basis and no reason to be. On the contrary, my hypothesis has many reasons to be. So to say it is unlikely because you think so is far from convincing for me. You can't make me do a leap of faith by friendship for you when friendship as no purpose in your world view outside the fact that it makes yourself happier. Your desire to educate me in order that I get more nice toward you, I have really nothing to do with it. A world without true charity is non-sense.

We estimate it for ourselves taking into account all those factors you mention, and more. This is all we can honestly do. 

I do not accept an "argument from authority", which is the only alternative to estimating for myself. I will give some weight to the opinions of someone who has some established 'track record' in the subject of concern, but so many 'authorities' throughout history have later been shown be clearly mistaken, one has to be try and investigate it yourself, as far as possible.

Teacups orbiting Jupiter do not violate logic - they are not impossible, which is all 'logic' deals with.

I gave you much evidence for why I held my position throughout this thread - I did not merely say I did not think it likely.

I showed you direct evidence that new genetic 'information' does arise, that mind is not necessary to originate novel code, that a mind making a choice is not required to account for events occurring at some undetermined time. IOW your core arguments are deeply flawed, to say the least.

I don't expect you to concede this, we see this denial so tediously often here.

As Mark Twain said, "Faith is believing what you know ain't so".

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

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

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BobSpence1 wrote:An atheist

BobSpence1 wrote:

An atheist is someone who lacks a belief in God.

The first cause is Ok, identifying with one particular mythical figure is dishonest.

We can imagine an incredibly large range of logically possible figures that have equally little evidence for them as the Xian God. Why should we take any of them seriously, and how would we select one??

Our opinion of God is supported by the clear balance of the evidence, you idiot.

First, if an atheist is someone that lacks belief in God, then being agnostic is equal to being atheist since not knowing if God exist is also a lack of belief in God. Your definition clearly lacks something. The main difference is that the agnostic do not always care about believing in God or not, the atheist does really care. In fact he does care about not believing in a God. So, the real definition of the atheist is someone that has faith that God doesn't exist.

Second, if identifying the first cause with one particular figure is dishonest, then why should we identify it more with the figure you imagine than mine? If you don't like any of the existent figures to be the first cause, you can't prove I can't made up one that you wouldn't like and still be having a free will.

Third, what evidences are you talking about. You've presented none. Or, maybe the evidence is what comes after the comma?


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Bob, even if there were new

Bob, even if there were new information arising in genes, what I don't think you've proved (but I don't want to get away from the subject), even if a mind was not necessary for the existence of the Universe, it could still be true that a mind caused the Universe. There are no objection there. You've flawed nothing of what I said. Teacups orbiting Jupiter have no basis to be there. There are even no indications there could be teacups there. As to the existence of God, since you've said that a primary cause is possible, a mind causing the Universe is clearly possible even in your mind. You just don't like what type of God it could be. For that part, I won't object, it's not my point.

If Faith is really believing what is not, then I must be wrong in thinking my senses are not illusions of a false world.