questions of origin for the Atheist

jumbo1410
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questions of origin for the Atheist

Forgive my ignorance, but I am curious about Atheists' beliefs about the universe. What is a singularity? Compressed matter of infinite density, a mass of infinite gravity? Two problems with the BB that have been bothering me are 1) Gravity existed after the BB; and 2) Gravity is a measure of force (attractive) between matter, meaning particles had to have existed before the BB - albeit packed together in infinite density. Is this correct?

 

Do Atheists believe in BB thoery, String theory or 11 Dimensional theory (sometimes called 26D theory I think)? I know most Atheists believe in evolution, but what about the origins of the universe?

 

Sorry if these have already been answered btw.


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Quote:jumbo1410 wrote: I

Quote:

jumbo1410 wrote:
I don't think the omnipotent being "ALWAYS" gets what it wants, even if it has the means to do so, but that does not mean a limit to omnipotence. You are assuming that having omnipotence means acting omnipotent.

 

"Acting" omnipotent? What are you talking about? If omnipotence is unlimited, then it's unlimited. An omnipotent creature could suffer no moment of want (ie lacking something).

Since this is getting into crazy town, where contradiction is no issue, we can just stop. You already have an emotionally anthropomorphic invisible creature with all power, so ...

Whoa, hold it there sport. Omnipotence is unlimited power. But that says absolutely nothing about whether that being will use unlimited power all the time. For example, picking up a glass of water would be impossible for an OOO being if that being was to use all of its power to do so, it would break the glass. Presumably then, an OOO being can refrain from using absolute power at any time. Power does not necessarily mean strength, of course, but this is a counter example.

Quote:
Why? How does omnibenevolence follow omnipotence? Not that either concept makes any sense at all, but omnibenevolence just means "standard for good", so since your being IS, apparently your standard for good, OF COURSE it's omnibenevolent! That's circular. Again.

Are you for syria? I think you engage your mouth before your brain. Omni means all, right? All benevolent = All good. An all good being is defined above as "comitted to doing all Good things", within reason. How is this circular? I think you are throwing a whole bunch of philosophical terms together in an attempt at coherence. I am not saying that omnipotence follows from omnibenevolent, or vice versa. What I did say is that a discussion about "wants" inclvolves a discussion about will, therefore also omnibenevolence will play a part, since the will of an omnipotent thing must be wholly good...

"Omnibenevolence is an inevitable sub-argument in this scenario." I did not say at any point omnibenevolence follows from omnipotence. If you read back over my posts, I said I couldn't care less if you believe in nothing, something (giant lobsters for example) or are undecided. It concerns me when atheists make just as many unfounded claims as theists do, and maintain their unfounded claims are right, a priori.

This is a discussion about your beliefs, and I have not heard your response to quantum tunnelling in quantum foam "producing" particle pairs. Hijacking a thread and turning the argument against the arguer is not answering a single thing. All you are doing is supporting my assumption:

Quote:
It is too easy for Atheists to hide in the grey areas of theories of origin, as if having no theory somehow allows you to systematically fire questions at people, whilst never entering the battlefield yourself, and claiming immunity.


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With regard to theOP, the BB

With regard to theOP, the BB does NOT assume that sub-atomic particles were all packed into the singularity. You obviously have not read any scientific accounts of the Big Bang.

The singularity was purely energy, which only began to condense out into particles as it expanded and cooled.

 

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jumbo1410 wrote:In other

jumbo1410 wrote:

In other news, I didn't get to address Bobspence1's particle pair thing. These pairs, you say, pop out of nowhere. That is not correct. Quantum foam theory states that quantum tunnelling may be responsible. The pairs that appear could be from another area of our universe, crossing both time and spacial dimensions that otherwise limit matter particles; instataneously. This would give the impression of "vanishing" from one area, and "appearing out of nowhere" in another. By saying they spontaneosuly formed out of nothing is a blatant disregard of the empirical extrapolation (you so desperately need) in order to make sense of your theory.

 

It seems you set aside various elements of physics and hypothesis as and when you feel, in order to win an argument.

No, you have apparently trolled for an unusual speculation about virtual particles.

From Wiki:

Quote:

Quantum foam is theorized to be created by virtual particles of very high energy. Virtual particles appear in quantum field theory, where they arise briefly and then annihilate during particle interactions, in such a way that they affect the measured outputs of the interaction even though the virtual particles are themselves never directly observed. They can also appear and annihilate briefly in empty space, and these "vacuum fluctuations" affect the properties of the vacuum, giving it a nonzero energy known as vacuum energy, a type of zero-point energy (however, physicists are uncertain about the magnitude of this energy).

If you don't like Wikipedia, here is a mention of quantum foam from New Scientist

Quote:

All fledgling theories of quantum gravity also make a more general and even weirder prediction: the structure of space and time is very different from the gentle curves predicted by general relativity. The American physicist John Wheeler realised in the 1950s that if you look at things on a scale of about 10-35 metres, quantum fluctuations become powerful enough to play tricks with the geometry of the Universe. Space and time break down into "fuzziness" or "foaminess". A spaceship that size could find itself negotiating virtual black holes, or getting sucked into one wormhole after another and tossed back and forth in time and space.

Maybe you saw something like that bit about small particles being tossed around from one part of the Universe to another thru micro worm-holes, but that is not about virtual particle pairs.

Could you provide a reference which proposed that virtual particles tunnelled from other parts of space? That is honestly the first time I have heard of it. It would not quite explain why VP's appear in particle/anti-particle pairs.

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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Quote:Maybe you saw

Quote:
Maybe you saw something like that bit about small particles being tossed around from one part of the Universe to another thru micro worm-holes, but that is not about virtual particle pairs.

Could you provide a reference which proposed that virtual particles tunnelled from other parts of space? That is honestly the first time I have heard of it. It would not quite explain why VP's appear in particle/anti-particle pairs.

Certainly. You will find that virtual particle pairs can be considered "a manifestation of quantum tunnelling." (Under the heading of properties.)

I'm sorry, but you were wrong.

You might want to rethink your theory of "raw energy" condensation, too...


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jumbo1410 wrote:Quote:Maybe

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
Maybe you saw something like that bit about small particles being tossed around from one part of the Universe to another thru micro worm-holes, but that is not about virtual particle pairs.

Could you provide a reference which proposed that virtual particles tunnelled from other parts of space? That is honestly the first time I have heard of it. It would not quite explain why VP's appear in particle/anti-particle pairs.

Certainly. You will find that virtual particle pairs can be considered "a manifestation of quantum tunnelling." (Under the heading of properties.)

I'm sorry, but you were wrong.

You might want to rethink your theory of "raw energy" condensation, too...

Quantum tunnelling is only significant over very short distances. That reference says nothing about VPP's tunnelling from some other part of the Universe.

Later in the same article

Quote:

This implies the number of particles in an area of space is not a well-defined quantity but like other quantum observables is represented by a probability distribution. Since these particles do not have a permanent existence, they are called virtual particles or vacuum fluctuations of vacuum energy. In a certain sense, they can be understood to be a manifestation of the time-energy uncertainty principle in a vacuum,

Which is pretty much in accord with what I said.

With regard to the Big Bang, at the earliest phase, it was somewhat academic to talk about the distinction between matter and energy, but anything one could conceivably label 'matter' was certainly not in the form of the 'ordinary' particles of matter such as electrons, protons and neutrons.

From another page, on the Big Bang:

Quote:

In the most common models, the universe was filled homogeneously and isotropically with an incredibly high energy density, huge temperatures and pressures, and was very rapidly expanding and cooling. Approximately 10−37 seconds into the expansion, a phase transition caused a cosmic inflation, during which the universe grew exponentially. After inflation stopped, the universe consisted of a quark-gluon plasma, as well as all other elementary particles. Temperatures were so high that the random motions of particles were at relativistic speeds, and particle-antiparticle pairs of all kinds were being continuously created and destroyed in collisions.

I think I know who has to do some more research.

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:But it is

BobSpence1 wrote:

But it is the only approach to knowledge which has a rigorous process for assessing the reliability of the ideas and models of reality that it constructs. That is its essence, awareness of the fallibility of the human mind and its perceptions, and subjecting all hypotheses to as impartial and objective a testing process as can be devised. Also an explicit rejection of any form of "argument from authority". 

This appears to be true only as an approach to a specific kind of knowledge.  Really, though, philosophy is prior to science, as the whole idea of science being an accurate approach to assessing models is a philosophical position and is not itself scientific.

Quote:

There is no way to establish such absolute moral facts. It is an empty concept.

With all due respect, it seems you are still begging the question.  From an atheistic perspective it is an empty concept, but such a perspective is not given, so it cannot be concluded that there is no way to establish such facts.

Quote:

Why can God not repeat his message whenever the memories fade and the message gets scrambled? The problem then disappears. Such a being certainly should know that it is inevitable that mere mortals, even with the best will in the world, will eventually lose things, misinterpret, and progressively drift away from any path. Languages drift, so the meaning of ancient texts will inevitable become ambiguous, even if the authors took great care originally.

Honestly, this is a strange question, for how can I answer it?  Since you do not believe in God this obviously entails that you don't believe God repeats the message (and there was never one to begin with).  So even if I claim that God does in certain respects, this won't mean anything to you.


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BobSpence1 wrote:jumbo1410

BobSpence1 wrote:

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
Maybe you saw something like that bit about small particles being tossed around from one part of the Universe to another thru micro worm-holes, but that is not about virtual particle pairs.

Could you provide a reference which proposed that virtual particles tunnelled from other parts of space? That is honestly the first time I have heard of it. It would not quite explain why VP's appear in particle/anti-particle pairs.

Certainly. You will find that virtual particle pairs can be considered "a manifestation of quantum tunnelling." (Under the heading of properties.)

I'm sorry, but you were wrong.

You might want to rethink your theory of "raw energy" condensation, too...

Quantum tunnelling is only significant over very short distances. That reference says nothing about VPP's tunnelling from some other part of the Universe.

Later in the same article

Quote:

This implies the number of particles in an area of space is not a well-defined quantity but like other quantum observables is represented by a probability distribution. Since these particles do not have a permanent existence, they are called virtual particles or vacuum fluctuations of vacuum energy. In a certain sense, they can be understood to be a manifestation of the time-energy uncertainty principle in a vacuum,

Which is pretty much in accord with what I said.

With regard to the Big Bang, at the earliest phase, it was somewhat academic to talk about the distinction between matter and energy, but anything one could conceivably label 'matter' was certainly not in the form of the 'ordinary' particles of matter such as electrons, protons and neutrons.

From another page, on the Big Bang:

Quote:

In the most common models, the universe was filled homogeneously and isotropically with an incredibly high energy density, huge temperatures and pressures, and was very rapidly expanding and cooling. Approximately 10−37 seconds into the expansion, a phase transition caused a cosmic inflation, during which the universe grew exponentially. After inflation stopped, the universe consisted of a quark-gluon plasma, as well as all other elementary particles. Temperatures were so high that the random motions of particles were at relativistic speeds, and particle-antiparticle pairs of all kinds were being continuously created and destroyed in collisions.

I think I know who has to do some more research.

It seems plausible to theorize that VPP's are higher dimensional manifolds which intersect our spacetime manifold giving the appearance of spontaneous creation followed by annihilation in time.

 


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QED wrote:BobSpence1

QED wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
Maybe you saw something like that bit about small particles being tossed around from one part of the Universe to another thru micro worm-holes, but that is not about virtual particle pairs.

Could you provide a reference which proposed that virtual particles tunnelled from other parts of space? That is honestly the first time I have heard of it. It would not quite explain why VP's appear in particle/anti-particle pairs.

Certainly. You will find that virtual particle pairs can be considered "a manifestation of quantum tunnelling." (Under the heading of properties.)

I'm sorry, but you were wrong.

You might want to rethink your theory of "raw energy" condensation, too...

Quantum tunnelling is only significant over very short distances. That reference says nothing about VPP's tunnelling from some other part of the Universe.

Later in the same article

Quote:

This implies the number of particles in an area of space is not a well-defined quantity but like other quantum observables is represented by a probability distribution. Since these particles do not have a permanent existence, they are called virtual particles or vacuum fluctuations of vacuum energy. In a certain sense, they can be understood to be a manifestation of the time-energy uncertainty principle in a vacuum,

Which is pretty much in accord with what I said.

With regard to the Big Bang, at the earliest phase, it was somewhat academic to talk about the distinction between matter and energy, but anything one could conceivably label 'matter' was certainly not in the form of the 'ordinary' particles of matter such as electrons, protons and neutrons.

From another page, on the Big Bang:

Quote:

In the most common models, the universe was filled homogeneously and isotropically with an incredibly high energy density, huge temperatures and pressures, and was very rapidly expanding and cooling. Approximately 10−37 seconds into the expansion, a phase transition caused a cosmic inflation, during which the universe grew exponentially. After inflation stopped, the universe consisted of a quark-gluon plasma, as well as all other elementary particles. Temperatures were so high that the random motions of particles were at relativistic speeds, and particle-antiparticle pairs of all kinds were being continuously created and destroyed in collisions.

I think I know who has to do some more research.

It seems plausible to theorize that VPP's are higher dimensional manifolds which intersect our spacetime manifold giving the appearance of spontaneous creation followed by annihilation in time.

OK, so you could have just admitted that you were wrong about the current understanding of these phenomena, if that is the best response you can make. IOW, I am assuming that you were unable to find any references to support your original claims, otherwise you could have posted them.

I will concede that, by some interpretations, there could be 'matter particles' of some exotic variety at the earliest stages of the BB, but the particles as we know them today, which make up visible matter, were NOT present in the BB.

Yes, something like this could definitely be argued as the underlying explanation for quantum phenomena, but it is still just speculation at this point, until we have more evidence.

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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QED wrote:BobSpence1

QED wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

But it is the only approach to knowledge which has a rigorous process for assessing the reliability of the ideas and models of reality that it constructs. That is its essence, awareness of the fallibility of the human mind and its perceptions, and subjecting all hypotheses to as impartial and objective a testing process as can be devised. Also an explicit rejection of any form of "argument from authority". 

This appears to be true only as an approach to a specific kind of knowledge.  Really, though, philosophy is prior to science, as the whole idea of science being an accurate approach to assessing models is a philosophical position and is not itself scientific.

The only type of knowledge it is restricted to is that which can be systematically tested or checked in some way. If you can't do that, you have no warrant for treating it as more than just speculation, guesswork, personal preference, etc.

Quote:

Quote:

There is no way to establish such absolute moral facts. It is an empty concept.

With all due respect, it seems you are still begging the question.  From an atheistic perspective it is an empty concept, but such a perspective is not given, so it cannot be concluded that there is no way to establish such facts.

It is a purely personal judgement. Religion does not resolve moral issues, it just replaces them with demand for obedience to a code of laws. The closest they get to a moral injunction is the "do unto others..." thing, which tells us to base our moral decisions on our personal feelings.

So an 'absolute' moral code could conceivably be a list of things like the Golden Rule, which say how one should relate to and decide how to act towards others, but not a simple list of specific 'Thou shalt not ..." 's. There is nothing that to distinguish that from a legal system.

Quote:

Quote:

Why can God not repeat his message whenever the memories fade and the message gets scrambled? The problem then disappears. Such a being certainly should know that it is inevitable that mere mortals, even with the best will in the world, will eventually lose things, misinterpret, and progressively drift away from any path. Languages drift, so the meaning of ancient texts will inevitable become ambiguous, even if the authors took great care originally.

Honestly, this is a strange question, for how can I answer it?  Since you do not believe in God this obviously entails that you don't believe God repeats the message (and there was never one to begin with).  So even if I claim that God does in certain respects, this won't mean anything to you.

A strange answer.

I was responding to your post where you said:

Quote:

But consider, for the sake of argument, that God is real and wants to communicate to mankind a message.  If God waits too long, then a vast amount of people never get to hear it.  And even if God waited for a longer period of time, generations from now would most likely accrue the same level of skepticism that you possess.  The problem is simply inherent to finite beings with finite language and communication and seems to be independent of time or place.

Here

I repeat my question: Why can't God issue his message to each generation? Or even more frequently, to remind us? 

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:OK, so you

BobSpence1 wrote:

OK, so you could have just admitted that you were wrong about the current understanding of these phenomena, if that is the best response you can make. IOW, I am assuming that you were unable to find any references to support your original claims, otherwise you could have posted them.

I will concede that, by some interpretations, there could be 'matter particles' of some exotic variety at the earliest stages of the BB, but the particles as we know them today, which make up visible matter, were NOT present in the BB.

Yes, something like this could definitely be argued as the underlying explanation for quantum phenomena, but it is still just speculation at this point, until we have more evidence.

In what sense was I wrong in my understanding of current phenomena?  What original claims are you referring to?


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BobSpence1 wrote:The only

BobSpence1 wrote:

The only type of knowledge it is restricted to is that which can be systematically tested or checked in some way. If you can't do that, you have no warrant for treating it as more than just speculation, guesswork, personal preference, etc.

Again, this very view is based on a philosophical position, which is itself not scientific in nature.

Quote:

It is a purely personal judgement. Religion does not resolve moral issues, it just replaces them with demand for obedience to a code of laws. The closest they get to a moral injunction is the "do unto others..." thing, which tells us to base our moral decisions on our personal feelings.

So an 'absolute' moral code could conceivably be a list of things like the Golden Rule, which say how one should relate to and decide how to act towards others, but not a simple list of specific 'Thou shalt not ..." 's. There is nothing that to distinguish that from a legal system.

The 10 commandments are not morality itself, they are based on moral absolutes.  They represent a legal code of conduct given to a communal group of people and are based on absolute moral principles.

Quote:

A strange answer.

I was responding to your post where you said:

Quote:

But consider, for the sake of argument, that God is real and wants to communicate to mankind a message.  If God waits too long, then a vast amount of people never get to hear it.  And even if God waited for a longer period of time, generations from now would most likely accrue the same level of skepticism that you possess.  The problem is simply inherent to finite beings with finite language and communication and seems to be independent of time or place.

Here

I repeat my question: Why can't God issue his message to each generation? Or even more frequently, to remind us? 

I would contend that God does remind us.  However, God doesn't need to reissue it anew each time because the essentials are perfectly clear.  God does not need to do everything for us.


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QED wrote:BobSpence1

QED wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

OK, so you could have just admitted that you were wrong about the current understanding of these phenomena, if that is the best response you can make. IOW, I am assuming that you were unable to find any references to support your original claims, otherwise you could have posted them.

I will concede that, by some interpretations, there could be 'matter particles' of some exotic variety at the earliest stages of the BB, but the particles as we know them today, which make up visible matter, were NOT present in the BB.

Yes, something like this could definitely be argued as the underlying explanation for quantum phenomena, but it is still just speculation at this point, until we have more evidence.

In what sense was I wrong in my understanding of current phenomena?  What original claims are you referring to?

Your were not able to provide a justification for your claim that

Quote:

The pairs that appear could be from another area of our universe, crossing both time and spacial dimensions that otherwise limit matter particles; instataneously. This would give the impression of "vanishing" from one area, and "appearing out of nowhere" in another. By saying they spontaneosuly formed out of nothing is a blatant disregard of the empirical extrapolation (you so desperately need) in order to make sense of your theory.

The ideas you express here go way beyond the implications of that single reference to "quantum tunnelling". They are certainly not consistent with the standard account of virtual particle-pairs , which explain their appearance in the context of Quantum Uncertainty, in that it allows short-term apparent violation of the principle of Conservation of Matter/Energy - a question which would not arise if the particles were not thought to be arising locally and spontaneously.

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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Quote:The ideas you express

Quote:
The ideas you express here go way beyond the implications of that single reference to "quantum tunnelling". They are certainly not consistent with the standard account of virtual particle-pairs , which explain their appearance in the context of Quantum Uncertainty, in that it allows short-term apparent violation of the principle of Conservation of Matter/Energy - a question which would not arise if the particles were not thought to be arising locally and spontaneously.

Its all there in black and white, so I am not going into specifics. Going back a few steps:

1. You were saying that matter can be the efficient cause of itself, correct?

2. You were saying that virtual particle pairs are an example of such matter producing itself, no?

3. It has been shown that these particle pairs are an effect of quantum tunelling, as in, they are not the efficient cause of themselves.

4. Given point three, how is it that you have shown a particle pair to be the efficient cause of itself?

 

The whole point of this discussion is to determine whether or not matter can be the efficient cause of itself.


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jumbo1410 wrote:Quote:The

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
The ideas you express here go way beyond the implications of that single reference to "quantum tunnelling". They are certainly not consistent with the standard account of virtual particle-pairs , which explain their appearance in the context of Quantum Uncertainty, in that it allows short-term apparent violation of the principle of Conservation of Matter/Energy - a question which would not arise if the particles were not thought to be arising locally and spontaneously.

Its all there in black and white, so I am not going into specifics. Going back a few steps:

1. You were saying that matter can be the efficient cause of itself, correct?

2. You were saying that virtual particle pairs are an example of such matter producing itself, no?

3. It has been shown that these particle pairs are an effect of quantum tunelling, as in, they are not the efficient cause of themselves.

4. Given point three, how is it that you have shown a particle pair to be the efficient cause of itself?

 

The whole point of this discussion is to determine whether or not matter can be the efficient cause of itself.

1. No, I am not saying that. I maintain that nothing can be "the efficient cause of itself". That is a nonsensical concept.

2. Yes, VPP's seem to be an example of the spontaneous appearance of matter particles.

3.

The discussion in this article may be what the original reference to quantum tunneling was referring to:

Quote:

Now Holger Gies from the Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat in Jena, Germany, and Joerg Jaeckel from Durham University in the UK, are proposing a third kind of tunnelling. In this case, a quantum particle changes into a pair of virtual particles which pass through the barrier and then change back again. 

They give the example of photons changing into minicharged particles, particles with tiny fractional electronic charges which are predicted by some forms of string theory. These should pass through mirrors that would otherwise reflect photons, making it seem as if the photons had tunneled through the barrier (which in effect they had).

This is not quite the same scenario as the appearance of VPP in empty space, and does not 'prove' that VPP's simply 'tunnel' from somewhere else in the immediate vicinity. That would apply where there are actual particles clearly present, as in the scenario described above.

The Uncertainty Principle says that the energy level of any region cannot be specified precisely, and that includes the value zero. So even at the lowest possible level, there is a finite probability that there will be (at least temporarily) sufficient energy to transform into a particle-antiparticle pair. No identifiable event necessarily 'causes' this, apart from the minimal but pervasive, effectively or perhaps actually random, energy, or potential for action, that may be the ground of observed random Quantum events, such as VPP's and radioactive decay.

4. No, as already discussed , the concept of anything being "the efficient cause of itself" is not coherent, of course. 

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

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QED wrote:That is fair, but

QED wrote:

That is fair, but I don't believe that science is the sole source of knowledge.  This is not to say that science is irrelevant and has nothing to say concerning ultimate reality.  It is, however, limited and cannot, IMO, be our only resource.

My argument is simply that it's the most reliable and successful epistemology. Other epistemologies -- like certain convoluted (and occasionally misguided) first-order logic proofs from slightly shaky a priori positions -- are less reliable by large margins.

So when you say it can't be our only resource, and you don't present an alternative, it leads me to believe that you're not really making an argument, so much as implying that such an argument might exist.

QED wrote:
But rationality is still rationality even if there are no brains.  If you think rationality is simply a matter of proper function, then how would you know who's brain is functioning more properly: the atheist or the theist?

Brain function is usually determined by tests. I imagine you'd find that circular in my argument, but as I've said, there's nothing better in terms of actually knowing than tests. Testing isn't perfect, of course, but it yields the most reliable results.

QED wrote:
Quote:

Okay, that's fine. I was talking about human behaviour, and of course we need a social context for morality and rationality.

Respectfully, I question the accuracy of this statement.  If there are moral facts, then social context is only needed for morality and rationality to be instantiated.  What is in fact moral and what is in fact rational does not change, even in the absence of social context.

But humans outside of a society has never happened. Even pre-humans were social creatures (as evidenced by the behaviours of chimps and bonobos). There has never been a moral or rational situation that we know of that was outside of a social context.

As for moral facts, I think you're entering into the is-ought problem by saying that there definitely are moral facts. I wouldn't be able to say that with such certainty. Considering how different moral systems can be in different parts of the world, it doesn't appear as though the moral fact actually exists.

QED wrote:
What do you mean by "immeasurable"?

I mean impossible to measure.

QED wrote:
In light of my above comments, the "stuff" out of which something is made is irrelevant to whether or not it can be rational or moral.  The only question is whether a being is capable of participating in morality and rationality.  The means by which a being participates in morality or rationality is of no concern.

But it is, because we only know about human rationality, and other-creature rationality is an unknown. A complete unknown, in fact, because we still don't have any understanding or information about how something other than us would be rational. We simply don't have any way to deal with that kind of lack of information without resorting to conjecture, which it seems you're doing.

QED wrote:
Quote:

Actually, it was a guess. Go ahead, tell me why God's actions are always good.

The answer to this question depends on who you ask.  IMO, God's actions are always good by definition.

That, I have to take like "I believe this, therefore I believe it." There's no reason for me to believe you, here. "God's actions are always good because they are" isn't wildly compelling.

QED wrote:
IOW, I take the concept of God to include moral perfection.  Thus, if any being, no matter how powerful exists, but is not morally perfect, then I would not attribute the title 'God' to such a being.
Quote:

Okay, but you have the convenient position of not being able to confirm anything you're saying about this being. You can say "it could exist" to any objection I have, and I can only disagree based on the number of contradictions in the definition. You have the luxury of running the show, because it's as if you've made something up, and I'm left to judge whether or not it's plausible.

Either way, the existence of your God (specifically) appears irrelevant to me, in a practical sense. Something that does not have a component in the physical world isn't in a position to help or harm me, so it's the kind of thing that could be passed over, other than in fun internet debate.

 

Here we are again, where you seem to know the important parts of God's message, and I'm left wondering how you know that. The factual parts seem unimportant to the message, so which parts are?

QED wrote:
I believe that if one can truly get a handle on the purpose for the writing and the context in which it was written, then it really does emerge as a remarkable work.

Here, we have no argument. Our only difference would be in our conclusion about the purpose for the writing. It's a remarkable work, but it seems more rooted in an attempt to explain the unknown in the absence of solid knowledge, and a book of laws in the absence of such a codification.

QED wrote:
But consider, for the sake of argument, that God is real and wants to communicate to mankind a message.  If God waits too long, then a vast amount of people never get to hear it.

It seems as though time would be irrelevant for such a being, so the timing is odd. As Christopher Hitchens put it (in one of his bullet-point arguments), God waited around 100,000 years to bring his message to humanity. I suppose waiting too long is relative.

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jumbo1410 wrote:Whoa, hold

jumbo1410 wrote:
Whoa, hold it there sport. Omnipotence is unlimited power. But that says absolutely nothing about whether that being will use unlimited power all the time. For example, picking up a glass of water would be impossible for an OOO being if that being was to use all of its power to do so, it would break the glass. Presumably then, an OOO being can refrain from using absolute power at any time. Power does not necessarily mean strength, of course, but this is a counter example.

I'm not sure we're on the same page. Let's take "power" as "the ability to make something happen". That would appear to be reasonable. If a being is all-powerful, it seems also reasonable that the being could make anything happen. A beling that can make anything happen doesn't have to use all of its power at once if it's not required for the task -- that's spurious.

But if the being can make anything happen, then how could it be displeased, even for a minute? Would it not correct the universe to align with its wishes? It can make anything happen.

jumbo1410 wrote:
Quote:
Why? How does omnibenevolence follow omnipotence? Not that either concept makes any sense at all, but omnibenevolence just means "standard for good", so since your being IS, apparently your standard for good, OF COURSE it's omnibenevolent! That's circular. Again.

Are you for syria? I think you engage your mouth before your brain. Omni means all, right? All benevolent = All good. An all good being is defined above as "comitted to doing all Good things", within reason. How is this circular?

When your standard for perfect benevolence is a being, and you make the "argument" that the being you're talking about is omni-benevolent, you're being circular.

jumbo1410 wrote:
I am not saying that omnipotence follows from omnibenevolent, or vice versa. What I did say is that a discussion about "wants" inclvolves a discussion about will, therefore also omnibenevolence will play a part, since the will of an omnipotent thing must be wholly good...

You're not saying that omnipotence follows from omni-benevolence, but you're saying that the will of an omnipotent being must be wholly good.

Do you see why you might be confusing me? Those two statements are contradictory.

jumbo1410 wrote:
It concerns me when atheists make just as many unfounded claims as theists do, and maintain their unfounded claims are right, a priori.

What unfounded claim am I making? I keep trying to argue the point of omnipotence.

jumbo1410 wrote:
This is a discussion about your beliefs, and I have not heard your response to quantum tunnelling in quantum foam "producing" particle pairs. Hijacking a thread and turning the argument against the arguer is not answering a single thing.

On some level, you must understand that you're weaseling out of the main point. In supplying that challenge, saying that atheists don't know what the origin of the universe is, you're asking for a whole bunch of people to give the same answer: "You're right -- we don't know." Most of us have already said as much. I certainly have.

To say that the description provided by the big bang theory is inadequate to the task will always be true -- especially in the scientific community! Theories are simply the most rigorous and best tested explanations. They are the most accurate, and most reliable explanations found.

What you're implying is that you have an alternative explanation, without subjecting yourself to the same rigorous principles. In fact, you ask us to take your suggestion at face value, because of an objection to the same testing model that sent several missions to the moon! Your model has no equivalent successes, so it would be difficult to take it as seriously. Simply believing sounds fine, but it doesn't get us any closer to a description of the origins of the universe.

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Quote:I'm not sure we're on

Quote:
I'm not sure we're on the same page. Let's take "power" as "the ability to make something happen". That would appear to be reasonable. If a being is all-powerful, it seems also reasonable that the being could make anything happen. A beling that can make anything happen doesn't have to use all of its power at once if it's not required for the task -- that's spurious.

I just don't think your example is as compelling as you think it is. You forget that we are defining OOO as not capable of LI, therefore OOO cannot make anything happen. It's an argument built on inaccurate presuppositions - a straw man. You went from defining "power" as "the ability to make something happen" to "all-powerful" meaning "make anything happen." That is a contradiction in and of itself. All things including LI? If not, then not "all things"? Read on, as I think we are arguing about something quite futile.

Quote:
But if the being can make anything happen, then how could it be displeased, even for a minute? Would it not correct the universe to align with its wishes? It can make anything happen.

Given the above, mutatis mutandis: It would correct the universe to align with its wishes so long as the "correction" is not an LI, and no contradiction arose out of the change. It can make "anything' (as defined above) happen, but whether it will or not, is a matter of motivation, hence the word "will." Your argument lacks any context, as in, you are assuming too much or too little. Which brings me to the next point, where I believe we diverge.

Quote:
When your standard for perfect benevolence is a being, and you make the "argument" that the being you're talking about is omni-benevolent, you're being circular.

I am assuming you are asking me about the being I believe in?

If you are - then I take that being to have these properties:

a) Omnipotence

b) Omniscience

c) Omnibenevolence

d) Omnipresence

e) Transcendence

e) "Unique" relationship with time

f) Eternal

g) Intimate

 

Some of these attributes follow from each other - omniscience assumes omnipresence, omnipresence assumes transcendence, transcendence assumes a unique relationship with time, a URWT suggests immortality/eternity. Or, you could reason simply that omniscience presuposes a unique relationship with time (knowing one's future for example).

If you are not - then I have no answer for the being you propose, or lack thereof. The why's and how's of no-thing, do not interest me. Science on the other hand, does.


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jumbo1410 wrote:I just don't

jumbo1410 wrote:
I just don't think your example is as compelling as you think it is. You forget that we are defining OOO as not capable of LI, therefore OOO cannot make anything happen. It's an argument built on inaccurate presuppositions - a straw man. You went from defining "power" as "the ability to make something happen" to "all-powerful" meaning "make anything happen." That is a contradiction in and of itself. All things including LI? If not, then not "all things"? Read on, as I think we are arguing about something quite futile.

Given the above, mutatis mutandis: It would correct the universe to align with its wishes so long as the "correction" is not an LI, and no contradiction arose out of the change. It can make "anything' (as defined above) happen, but whether it will or not, is a matter of motivation, hence the word "will." Your argument lacks any context, as in, you are assuming too much or too little.

Your assumptions here are monumental. While I stab in the dark to attempt at understanding how such an unlikely being could operate, you seem prepared to blithely assume that this being would behave this way or that. What was I supposed to do with "omnipotent"? Start with the idea that beings in your arguments could only behave within certain rules? If you mean "almost omnipotence" then fine. But it's not like I could know that.

jumbo1410 wrote:

If you are - then I take that being to have these properties:

a) Omnipotence

b) Omniscience

c) Omnibenevolence

d) Omnipresence

e) Transcendence

e) "Unique" relationship with time

f) Eternal

g) Intimate

Some of these attributes follow from each other - omniscience assumes omnipresence, omnipresence assumes transcendence, transcendence assumes a unique relationship with time, a URWT suggests immortality/eternity. Or, you could reason simply that omniscience presuposes a unique relationship with time (knowing one's future for example).

Why would anyone believe in that being? You've really given me no reason to believe you at all.

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HisWillness wrote:My

HisWillness wrote:

My argument is simply that it's the most reliable and successful epistemology. Other epistemologies -- like certain convoluted (and occasionally misguided) first-order logic proofs from slightly shaky a priori positions -- are less reliable by large margins.

So when you say it can't be our only resource, and you don't present an alternative, it leads me to believe that you're not really making an argument, so much as implying that such an argument might exist.

Though you denied it in a previous post, I can't help but see an advocation of the verification principle implicit in your argument.  That is, knowledge consists of what can be empirically verified.  What is more, you seem to subscribe to the offshoot falsification principle, which asserts that a sentence is meaningful only if it is capable (in principle) of being empirically falsified.  What I believe you are missing, however, is that this is a philosophical position and one that is outside the applicability of science.  Thus, you take yourself to know at least some things which are not "scientific".

Moreover, you seem to take for granted that atheism should somehow serve as a default position.  In other words, because there is no direct scientific evidence for God, you seem to suggest that it is advisable to not believe in God.  In some sense, you seem to be implying that God is a sort of ad hoc explanation.  Consider, though, that it is common place in astrophysics to posit an early inflationary era in the expansion of the universe to circumvent the horizon problem, explain spacetime flatness and large scale isotropy and homogeneity.  Because of the nature of the inflation, however, it is unobservable to us.  Nevertheless, it does not follow that it is irrational to believe that such an era took place.

Or consider an example from philosophy.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I assume that not only do you believe in other minds, but you would also consider such a belief to be quite appropriate and rational.  And this despite the fact that you would be hard pressed to produce a suitable argument, for we are inevitably confined to our own perspective and so cannot observe that others indeed have minds.  Sure, you can conjecture that others have minds based on behavior, but this still falls short of proof and even indubitable evidence.

Quote:

But humans outside of a society has never happened. Even pre-humans were social creatures (as evidenced by the behaviours of chimps and bonobos). There has never been a moral or rational situation that we know of that was outside of a social context.

As for moral facts, I think you're entering into the is-ought problem by saying that there definitely are moral facts. I wouldn't be able to say that with such certainty. Considering how different moral systems can be in different parts of the world, it doesn't appear as though the moral fact actually exists.

I think you would be surprised at how much agreement there are between moral systems around the world.  But again, all I am saying is that if a social context exists (which is comprised of morally relevant beings), then there are moral absolutes.

Quote:

But it is, because we only know about human rationality, and other-creature rationality is an unknown. A complete unknown, in fact, because we still don't have any understanding or information about how something other than us would be rational. We simply don't have any way to deal with that kind of lack of information without resorting to conjecture, which it seems you're doing.

There is no such thing as "other-creature rationality".  Rationality is rationality and obtains irrespective of how a being participates in that rationality.  For example, suppose we encounter a being of a fundamentally different substance than our own.  No matter what this being is "made" of, it would be just as irrational for this being to believe that square circles can be created as it would for us to believe such a thing.

Quote:

That, I have to take like "I believe this, therefore I believe it." There's no reason for me to believe you, here. "God's actions are always good because they are" isn't wildly compelling.

QED wrote:
IOW, I take the concept of God to include moral perfection.  Thus, if any being, no matter how powerful exists, but is not morally perfect, then I would not attribute the title 'God' to such a being.

Okay, but you have the convenient position of not being able to confirm anything you're saying about this being. You can say "it could exist" to any objection I have, and I can only disagree based on the number of contradictions in the definition. You have the luxury of running the show, because it's as if you've made something up, and I'm left to judge whether or not it's plausible.

Either way, the existence of your God (specifically) appears irrelevant to me, in a practical sense. Something that does not have a component in the physical world isn't in a position to help or harm me, so it's the kind of thing that could be passed over, other than in fun internet debate.

What I am saying is that God's immutable nature serves as the foundation of morality.  But of course, if there are contradictions in the definition, then certainly, the being given by that definition cannot exist.  Thus, if there is no being in existence with the property of moral perfection, then God would not exist.

Now, it seems to me that you are confusing defining something with arbitrarily making something up.  If I arbitrarily make something up, then I can do it in such a way that it would be impossible to disprove it or I could continually make amendments to circumvent your objections.  But I don't believe that a rational conception of God needs to taken this way.  I am positing the existence of a very specific type of being, which either necessarily exists or else necessarily cannot exist.  This is not to say, however, that your critiques do not help to refine the definition of God so that it is more precise, but it is constrained to limits so that there is no arbitrary make believe going on.

Quote:

Here, we have no argument. Our only difference would be in our conclusion about the purpose for the writing. It's a remarkable work, but it seems more rooted in an attempt to explain the unknown in the absence of solid knowledge, and a book of laws in the absence of such a codification.

The human endeavor is to explain the unknown, but you too quickly assume that positing a God is unfounded.  Since the beginning of recorded history humans have posited the existence of God or gods.  Now, this does not prove that God or gods exist, but it would be a mistake, IMO, to assume that such ideas were rooted in ignorance.  True, ancients mistakenly attributed certain (or many) phenomena to the actions of God or gods, but this does not mean that they were mistaken in the existence of such a being(s).

Quote:

It seems as though time would be irrelevant for such a being, so the timing is odd. As Christopher Hitchens put it (in one of his bullet-point arguments), God waited around 100,000 years to bring his message to humanity. I suppose waiting too long is relative.

I suppose my point was simply that questioning why God supposedly did X instead of Y is not sufficient for doubting God's existence.


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BobSpence1 wrote:QED

BobSpence1 wrote:

QED wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

OK, so you could have just admitted that you were wrong about the current understanding of these phenomena, if that is the best response you can make. IOW, I am assuming that you were unable to find any references to support your original claims, otherwise you could have posted them.

I will concede that, by some interpretations, there could be 'matter particles' of some exotic variety at the earliest stages of the BB, but the particles as we know them today, which make up visible matter, were NOT present in the BB.

Yes, something like this could definitely be argued as the underlying explanation for quantum phenomena, but it is still just speculation at this point, until we have more evidence.

In what sense was I wrong in my understanding of current phenomena?  What original claims are you referring to?

Your were not able to provide a justification for your claim that

Quote:

The pairs that appear could be from another area of our universe, crossing both time and spacial dimensions that otherwise limit matter particles; instataneously. This would give the impression of "vanishing" from one area, and "appearing out of nowhere" in another. By saying they spontaneosuly formed out of nothing is a blatant disregard of the empirical extrapolation (you so desperately need) in order to make sense of your theory.

The ideas you express here go way beyond the implications of that single reference to "quantum tunnelling". They are certainly not consistent with the standard account of virtual particle-pairs , which explain their appearance in the context of Quantum Uncertainty, in that it allows short-term apparent violation of the principle of Conservation of Matter/Energy - a question which would not arise if the particles were not thought to be arising locally and spontaneously.

I think you are mistakenly attributing quotes to me that are not really mine.  I believe the above quote came from Jumbo.


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QED wrote:Though you denied

QED wrote:

Though you denied it in a previous post, I can't help but see an advocation of the verification principle implicit in your argument.  That is, knowledge consists of what can be empirically verified.  What is more, you seem to subscribe to the offshoot falsification principle, which asserts that a sentence is meaningful only if it is capable (in principle) of being empirically falsified.  What I believe you are missing, however, is that this is a philosophical position and one that is outside the applicability of science.  Thus, you take yourself to know at least some things which are not "scientific".

You're confused. Popper introduced falsification as an answer to the verification principle of logical positivism. Popper was a philosopher of science, and this is a discussion of the philosophy of science. But you've confused me, too, because I don't know what you're saying isn't applicable to science. Do you think that Popper wasn't a philosopher, or that he wasn't a philosopher of science, or that philosophy and science don't meet?

QED wrote:
Moreover, you seem to take for granted that atheism should somehow serve as a default position.  In other words, because there is no direct scientific evidence for God, you seem to suggest that it is advisable to not believe in God.  In some sense, you seem to be implying that God is a sort of ad hoc explanation.  Consider, though, that it is common place in astrophysics to posit an early inflationary era in the expansion of the universe to circumvent the horizon problem, explain spacetime flatness and large scale isotropy and homogeneity.  Because of the nature of the inflation, however, it is unobservable to us.  Nevertheless, it does not follow that it is irrational to believe that such an era took place.

Notice that astrophysicists do not place a picture of Thor there instead. It's a mathematical construct, not a "god", which is still a vaguely defined non-physical something-or-other. Such things have no place in science, because they cannot be measured. Science is concerned with what can be measured. Mathematics often points to something that hasn't been measured yet, but at least can be measured. It's given a quantity, at least.

QED wrote:
Or consider an example from philosophy.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I assume that not only do you believe in other minds, but you would also consider such a belief to be quite appropriate and rational.  And this despite the fact that you would be hard pressed to produce a suitable argument, for we are inevitably confined to our own perspective and so cannot observe that others indeed have minds.  Sure, you can conjecture that others have minds based on behavior, but this still falls short of proof and even indubitable evidence.

No, but it's good evidence that other people think. I don't think people have minds, I think they have brains. Brains think, which is easily demonstrable. I don't see where the problem is.

QED wrote:
Quote:

As for moral facts, I think you're entering into the is-ought problem by saying that there definitely are moral facts. I wouldn't be able to say that with such certainty. Considering how different moral systems can be in different parts of the world, it doesn't appear as though the moral fact actually exists.

I think you would be surprised at how much agreement there are between moral systems around the world.  But again, all I am saying is that if a social context exists (which is comprised of morally relevant beings), then there are moral absolutes.

But that's nonsense -- it's only recently (historically speaking) that pederasty has become a serious taboo, and I'm frankly happy that's so. The same goes for slavery, and both of those things are disgusting, in my opinion. My moral context is much different than that of the ancient Greeks and Romans, who thought both were acceptable. Of course, slavery had a kind of global resurgence in the colonial period, and there was bitter disagreement over the morality of it.

Even killing isn't an absolute. If I'm in a uniform, and killing someone who isn't from my country, I'm a hero. No uniform, or someone in my own country, I'm a hit man or murderer. The act itself is not moral. It depends entirely on social context.

QED wrote:
There is no such thing as "other-creature rationality".

You're amazing. Now you're in a position to tell me what doesn't exist? Just amazing.

QED wrote:
Rationality is rationality and obtains irrespective of how a being participates in that rationality.
 

How could you possibly know that? You're actually discussing a completely unknown being as if you have knowledge of it.

QED wrote:
For example, suppose we encounter a being of a fundamentally different substance than our own.  No matter what this being is "made" of, it would be just as irrational for this being to believe that square circles can be created as it would for us to believe such a thing.

Listen to yourself! What would we identify as "rational"? We would identify rationality as compared to our own rationality, would we not? I mean, what else would we consider rational other than ourselves? Human beings are rational because we say we are. It's how we describe what we're doing when we're being rational. So any other type of thinking would be immediately compared to our type of thinking.

QED wrote:
What I am saying is that God's immutable nature serves as the foundation of morality.  But of course, if there are contradictions in the definition, then certainly, the being given by that definition cannot exist.  Thus, if there is no being in existence with the property of moral perfection, then God would not exist.

Well yeah.

QED wrote:
Now, it seems to me that you are confusing defining something with arbitrarily making something up.  If I arbitrarily make something up, then I can do it in such a way that it would be impossible to disprove it or I could continually make amendments to circumvent your objections.  But I don't believe that a rational conception of God needs to taken this way.  I am positing the existence of a very specific type of being, which either necessarily exists or else necessarily cannot exist.

The problem is that I can't see the difference between God and something made up. It's not that I don't believe in a being called God, it's that I don't believe you that this God being exists. You have given me no reason to believe it. You also present a false dichotomy between this being having to necessarily exist or that necessarily cannot exist.

God exists, just not in the way that you or I exist. God exists like fictional characters exist -- as ideas.

QED wrote:
The human endeavor is to explain the unknown, but you too quickly assume that positing a God is unfounded.

No, I object to suggesting something with attributes so vague as to make your assertion nonsense.

QED wrote:
I suppose my point was simply that questioning why God supposedly did X instead of Y is not sufficient for doubting God's existence.

My point is that you cannot show that God has done anything, and thus, it is difficult to see why it is necessary to consider God at all.

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HisWillness wrote:You're

HisWillness wrote:

You're confused. Popper introduced falsification as an answer to the verification principle of logical positivism. Popper was a philosopher of science, and this is a discussion of the philosophy of science. But you've confused me, too, because I don't know what you're saying isn't applicable to science. Do you think that Popper wasn't a philosopher, or that he wasn't a philosopher of science, or that philosophy and science don't meet?

I think you are missing the point.  Philosophy is prior to science and so we need to be able to come to knowledge by other means beyond science if science is to have a foundation.

Quote:

Notice that astrophysicists do not place a picture of Thor there instead. It's a mathematical construct, not a "god", which is still a vaguely defined non-physical something-or-other. Such things have no place in science, because they cannot be measured. Science is concerned with what can be measured. Mathematics often points to something that hasn't been measured yet, but at least can be measured. It's given a quantity, at least.

Again, you are missing the point.  The point is that it is not necessarily irrational to believe something in the absence of observable evidence.  What Thor has to do with anything I am not sure.

Quote:

No, but it's good evidence that other people think. I don't think people have minds, I think they have brains. Brains think, which is easily demonstrable. I don't see where the problem is.

This is a bit of a semantics game and does not address the issue.  The fact is, you cannot be certain that brains do think, let alone other brains.  All you experience is the phenomenon of your own consciousness.

Quote:

You're amazing. Now you're in a position to tell me what doesn't exist? Just amazing.

Am I not in just as good of a position as you?  Do you not claim that God does not exist?  Do you not claim that moral facts do not exist?

Quote:

How could you possibly know that? You're actually discussing a completely unknown being as if you have knowledge of it.

No I am remarking on the nature of rationality.

Quote:

Listen to yourself! What would we identify as "rational"? We would identify rationality as compared to our own rationality, would we not? I mean, what else would we consider rational other than ourselves? Human beings are rational because we say we are. It's how we describe what we're doing when we're being rational. So any other type of thinking would be immediately compared to our type of thinking.

I think you are confusing rationality in itself with the biological operations of the brain.  Are you not undercutting your own arguments?  If we are rational only on our say so, then what meaning or advantage does rationality have?  Your objections to God have just become impotent as they cannot apply beyond your own mind and the belief that they are "true".  Furthermore, you seem to be giving a circular statement when you say, "rationality is how we describe what we are doing when we are being rational".  So, how do we know when we are being rational?  Perhaps the ancients ascribing the action of gods to physical phenomena is more rational than your naturalistic view.  How would you tell?

Finally, do you not see that you are using your reasoning objectively to lay down limits on "other" beings?  Otherwise, how could you conclusively say that their rationality and thinking will likely be different to ours or must be "compared" to our thinking?  What you have here is a self-defeating position.

Quote:


The problem is that I can't see the difference between God and something made up. It's not that I don't believe in a being called God, it's that I don't believe you that this God being exists. You have given me no reason to believe it. You also present a false dichotomy between this being having to necessarily exist or that necessarily cannot exist.

God is not a contingent being and so there is no false dichotomy here.  Now, what makes God indistinguishable from something made up?  What are the properties of a "made up" thing?

Quote:

God exists, just not in the way that you or I exist. God exists like fictional characters exist -- as ideas.

This is begging the question.

Quote:

No, I object to suggesting something with attributes so vague as to make your assertion nonsense.

In what sense are they "so vague"?

Quote:

My point is that you cannot show that God has done anything, and thus, it is difficult to see why it is necessary to consider God at all.

How do you know that I cannot in principle show such a thing?


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QED wrote:HisWillness

QED wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

You're confused. Popper introduced falsification as an answer to the verification principle of logical positivism. Popper was a philosopher of science, and this is a discussion of the philosophy of science. But you've confused me, too, because I don't know what you're saying isn't applicable to science. Do you think that Popper wasn't a philosopher, or that he wasn't a philosopher of science, or that philosophy and science don't meet?

I think you are missing the point.  Philosophy is prior to science and so we need to be able to come to knowledge by other means beyond science if science is to have a foundation

Wrong. This reveals a fundamental misconception.

For example, Alchemy is prior to chemistry, but is now known to be almost entirely mistaken. Science developed from philosophy but is in no way dependent  on it or reducible to it. It has progressed way beyond anything accessible to Philosophy, in most, if not all, areas of substantial knowledge, ie, beyond the realms of opinion, world-view, ways to think about thinking, etc.

Any area of 'knowledge' not having some form of justification beyond the arena of the mind has no warrant to be taken as anything more than speculation, apart from definitions and strictly logical deductions from definitions or assumptions, such as logic itself, and math, which are ultimately tautologies. Justification does not need to amount to proof or 100% certainty to be useful.

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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QED wrote:I think you are

QED wrote:
I think you are missing the point.  Philosophy is prior to science and so we need to be able to come to knowledge by other means beyond science if science is to have a foundation.

Philosophers have been bickering about knowledge since the days of Plato, and gotten no where. I suppose that puts them light years ahead of theologians, but that's another story. In the mean time, science has progressed to a point where we can send space probes through the little gaps in Saturn's rings. Seems clear to me which method is better for obtaining knowledge.

QED wrote:
Moreover, you seem to take for granted that atheism should somehow serve as a default position.  In other words, because there is no direct scientific evidence for God, you seem to suggest that it is advisable to not believe in God.  In some sense, you seem to be implying that God is a sort of ad hoc explanation.  Consider, though, that it is common place in astrophysics to posit an early inflationary era in the expansion of the universe to circumvent the horizon problem, explain spacetime flatness and large scale isotropy and homogeneity.  Because of the nature of the inflation, however, it is unobservable to us.  Nevertheless, it does not follow that it is irrational to believe that such an era took place.

Please stop insulting the fine subject of astrophysics by comparing the inflation model with the vacuous notion of god.


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QED wrote:I think you are

QED wrote:
I think you are missing the point.  Philosophy is prior to science and so we need to be able to come to knowledge by other means beyond science if science is to have a foundation.

You just ignored what I wrote! I was talking about the philosophy of science, and you just steamrolled into this "philosophy is prior" stuff. I know philosophy is prior, and I addressed the philosophical basis for it concisely. Science does have a foundation, and a strong one, philosophically speaking. It's all fine and dandy to say that reality is subjective, or whatever you were talking about, but you conveniently ignore the success of the empirical method as an epistemology.

QED wrote:
Again, you are missing the point.  The point is that it is not necessarily irrational to believe something in the absence of observable evidence.  What Thor has to do with anything I am not sure.

Thor and Yaweh are both gods. If a mathematician put "god here" in any of her equations, that's ridiculous. You're suggesting that a god was equivalent to a mathematical construction, and while I agree that both are imaginary, the god would be less useful towards the understanding of the universe. Less useful; not helping.

QED wrote:
This is a bit of a semantics game and does not address the issue.  The fact is, you cannot be certain that brains do think, let alone other brains.  All you experience is the phenomenon of your own consciousness.

Right. So when other people are interacting with me, and I see stuff on the news, and things get invented that I didn't think of, then that's just my ... unconscious doing that? Is that what you're thinking? Am I just talking to a figment of my imagination who can actually confuse me? I'm not convinced by the fear, uncertainty and doubt school of apologetics. I'm also not 11, so this nonsense doesn't hold water for me.

QED wrote:
Am I not in just as good of a position as you?  Do you not claim that God does not exist?  Do you not claim that moral facts do not exist?

Oh, did God show up? Did he sign your copy of the bible while I was out? Did you find an example of a moral fact? No.

QED wrote:
I think you are confusing rationality in itself with the biological operations of the brain.

Did you have an example of non-biological rationality to share? Lots of examples of non-biological things behaving rationally? Doing rational stuff?

QED wrote:
If we are rational only on our say so, then what meaning or advantage does rationality have?  Your objections to God have just become impotent as they cannot apply beyond your own mind and the belief that they are "true".

My own mind? Do you mean to imply that only I am rational? That doesn't make much sense. Maybe you should rephrase that, because I honestly don't know what you mean.

QED wrote:
Furthermore, you seem to be giving a circular statement when you say, "rationality is how we describe what we are doing when we are being rational".  So, how do we know when we are being rational?  Perhaps the ancients ascribing the action of gods to physical phenomena is more rational than your naturalistic view.  How would you tell?

There! At last, a good fucking question. Quite right: how do we tell when we're being rational, when we're the ones who hold the definition? We can always ... oh, I don't know ... stick to a standard definition and then test? How about that?

QED wrote:
Finally, do you not see that you are using your reasoning objectively to lay down limits on "other" beings?  Otherwise, how could you conclusively say that their rationality and thinking will likely be different to ours or must be "compared" to our thinking?  What you have here is a self-defeating position.

A being made of completely different stuff than we are, in possibly a different type of existence we are, and your guess is that it behaves in certain ways exactly like we do? That's your guess? I'm just saying it's a bit weak, that's all.

QED wrote:
God is not a contingent being and so there is no false dichotomy here.

I guess I'll just have to take your word for that, considering you seem to know exactly what God is up to, and does, and how God acts, and what he has on his Godly toast.

QED wrote:
Now, what makes God indistinguishable from something made up?  What are the properties of a "made up" thing?

Like ideas. They are communicable patterns shared in communities of people.

QED wrote:
Quote:
God exists, just not in the way that you or I exist. God exists like fictional characters exist -- as ideas.

This is begging the question.

It's not begging the question. Do you or I exist like God does? Obviously not. So I'm assuming that you take issue with the second part of what I said. I'll soften it: I have reason to believe that God is an idea.

QED wrote:
In what sense are they "so vague"?

You put "transcendence" and "intimate" on your list of attributes! You must be kidding.

QED wrote:
How do you know that I cannot in principle show [that God has done anything]?

Because you can attribute anything and nothing to God. If you say "God did it", how am I to say that God didn't? You also cannot show that God did. So at first glance, it would appear that we're at an impasse, except that you're the one making the claim. In that case, I'm certainly justified in not believing you if you give me no reason to.

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brief comment

Gentlemen,

Let me join your interesting discussion.

I happened to be a physics professor and, since astrophysics and BB theory are not exactly my fields, I am not sure I can comprehend the details of these disciplines of science.  And I suggest that Jumbo takes a few classes in quantum mechanics and astrophysics at least before he tries to discuss the details of something that he cannot comprehend yet. 

That said, the existence of the universe with the properties that we all observe (electrons, protons, photons, quarks, etc.) is an interesting philosophical issue for both theists AND atheists.  If someone, like Jumbo, wants to claim that he or she beliefs in a god that orchestrated the BB, so be it.  It just does not mean that such a belief explains anything or can be used for anything but to pacify a believer's brain. 

 

To me, the universe is satisfactory explained all the way back  to the BB.  If someone seeks his god, he should place such god back in time before the BB. 

 

Good luck.

 

 

 


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Quote:Your assumptions here

Quote:
Your assumptions here are monumental. While I stab in the dark to attempt at understanding how such an unlikely being could operate, you seem prepared to blithely assume that this being would behave this way or that. What was I supposed to do with "omnipotent"? Start with the idea that beings in your arguments could only behave within certain rules?

I'm sorry if I seem misleading, I assumed that you followed the link to omnipotence in a previous post.

I am making no such assumptions. If I have, please quote me as saying them. I think you will find that I have offered conditionals to other posts by Bob, saying (IF p THEN q ) and son on. This is not indicative of my position on omnipotence. You will find that I said explicitly that I was undecied.

 

Quote:
If you mean "almost omnipotence" then fine. But it's not like I could know that.

No. I do not mean almost omnipotent. Look at above posts. How are your reading lessons going, BTW?

 

Quote:
Why would anyone believe in that being? You've really given me no reason to believe you at all.

...And here is your biggest mistake. I am not trying to "convert" you, or reason such a being exists. Far be it from me. Quite frankly, you haven't even got the fundamentals down for me to even begin that topic yet. I am merely responding to innacuracies about these attributes - what they mean, how they apply etc. In my first few posts, I said I do not care what you believe in. What I DO care about are unreasoned, sloppy or lacking responses that miss the point entirely. This is what happens when you get too far off topic. Which brings me to this garbage:

Quote:

On some level, you must understand that you're weaseling out of the main point. In supplying that challenge, saying that atheists don't know what the origin of the universe is, you're asking for a whole bunch of people to give the same answer: "You're right -- we don't know." Most of us have already said as much. I certainly have.

To say that the description provided by the big bang theory is inadequate to the task will always be true -- especially in the scientific community! Theories are simply the most rigorous and best tested explanations. They are the most accurate, and most reliable explanations found.

What you're implying is that you have an alternative explanation, without subjecting yourself to the same rigorous principles. In fact, you ask us to take your suggestion at face value, because of an objection to the same testing model that sent several missions to the moon! Your model has no equivalent successes, so it would be difficult to take it as seriously. Simply believing sounds fine, but it doesn't get us any closer to a description of the origins of the universe.

Seriously, mate:

1. I answered all of your questions, you failed to answer all of mine (VPP theory for example). First sentence above=wrong.

2. "We don't know" eh? Singing a different tune than before... "The actual singularity is plausible to me." <--- That is what annoys me most. Second sentence=wrong.

3. "They are the most accurate" eh? Even the ones that don't have the features you say they do? Second paragraph=wrong.

4. I'm implying that you, and others, are making flase claims about BBT, and pretty much every other scientific thing you have offered. First sentence,  to last paragraph=wrong.

 

You are wasting my time.

 


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jumbo1410 wrote:I'm sorry if

jumbo1410 wrote:

I'm sorry if I seem misleading, I assumed that you followed the link to omnipotence in a previous post.

There was no need for a link that provided the same assumption that you were pressing: that omnipotence is subject to the rules of logic. What amazes me is that it's okay for whatever being you're talking about to create a universe containing logic and then have to abide by it. You just seem to know all these things psychically.

jumbo1410 wrote:
Quote:
Why would anyone believe in that being? You've really given me no reason to believe you at all.

...And here is your biggest mistake. I am not trying to "convert" you, or reason such a being exists. Far be it from me. Quite frankly, you haven't even got the fundamentals down for me to even begin that topic yet. I am merely responding to innacuracies about these attributes - what they mean, how they apply etc. In my first few posts, I said I do not care what you believe in. What I DO care about are unreasoned, sloppy or lacking responses that miss the point entirely. This is what happens when you get too far off topic.

The question before us has been a scientific theory (based on mathematics) as compared to an imaginary deity. Philosophically, the former holds up better than the latter.

jumbo1410 wrote:
I answered all of your questions, you failed to answer all of mine (VPP theory for example). First sentence above=wrong.

I suppose answering with nonsense counts. Yeah, you sure answered my questions.

jumbo1410 wrote:
2. "We don't know" eh? Singing a different tune than before... "The actual singularity is plausible to me." <--- That is what annoys me most. Second sentence=wrong.

So you figure not knowing and finding something plausible are roughly the opposite things? The actual singularity is still plausible in the mathematical sense. That doesn't mean I've represented the big bang theory as a theoretical physicist, I'm just illustrating the induction from math. After checking it out and realizing I was wrong, it's not like it's a problem. It's just math.

jumbo1410 wrote:
"They are the most accurate" eh? Even the ones that don't have the features you say they do? Second paragraph=wrong.

What are you trying to make this about? No matter how you flip this, you end up with a nonsense account of the origin of this universe instead of a dynamic mathematical model.

jumbo1410 wrote:
4. I'm implying that you, and others, are making flase claims about BBT, and pretty much every other scientific thing you have offered. First sentence,  to last paragraph=wrong.

I'm having trouble figuring out what your problem is with the big bang theory. It's all math. When we talk about it casually like this, that's not doing the math. We're not going to be doing the topic any justice.

1410 wrote:
You are wasting my time.

Okay, let's stop that, then. You're quite right in saying that the big bang theory is pieced together. Absolutely. The model needs hyperinflation, dark matter, and all sorts of other mathematical constructs to work. It's true. So we keep working on the math. If you have some math you'd like to contribute to the effort, I'm sure it would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi again. Don't mean to bump

Hi again. Don't mean to bump this thread to the top again, but ahh well.

 

Quote:
There was no need for a link that provided the same assumption that you were pressing: that omnipotence is subject to the rules of logic. What amazes me is that it's okay for whatever being you're talking about to create a universe containing logic and then have to abide by it. You just seem to know all these things psychically.

Not sure what you are trying to say here. I won't repeat myself, I don't think the above is even relevant.

 

Quote:
The question before us has been a scientific theory (based on mathematics) as compared to an imaginary deity. Philosophically, the former holds up better than the latter.

If TBB is a theory, then is the math you speak of theoretical as well?

If the math is not, does mathematics deductively prove this theory to be a true representation of origins?

If the math does deductively prove TBBT, why is TBBT still a hypothesis?

If TBBT is not a hypothesis, can you point me to the person who deductively proved it?

If you can't, then am I entitled to other hypothesis?

If not, why?

 

Quote:
I suppose answering with nonsense counts. Yeah, you sure answered my questions.

Example?

 

Quote:
So you figure not knowing and finding something plausible are roughly the opposite things? The actual singularity is still plausible in the mathematical sense. That doesn't mean I've represented the big bang theory as a theoretical physicist, I'm just illustrating the induction from math. After checking it out and realizing I was wrong, it's not like it's a problem. It's just math.

Ahh, no to first question...

So TBB is an induction from mathematics...? If it is an induction, then i'm guessing there is a point where the math stops, and the hypothesis begins? And you are trying to squeeze a singularity into this mathematical regress? And singularities are not part of the BBT? And you think I need to provide an account for why I believe in God, because you have answered me satisfactorally?

Quote:
What are you trying to make this about? No matter how you flip this, you end up with a nonsense account of the origin of this universe instead of a dynamic mathematical model.

I ain't the one flippin here boss.

Quote:
I'm having trouble figuring out what your problem is with the big bang theory. It's all math. When we talk about it casually like this, that's not doing the math. We're not going to be doing the topic any justice.

I have bo problem w/TBBT. I hate repeating myself, but: I have a problem with people saying it does all this stuff and has singularities and faries and created itself out of nothing or a vacuum or this and that and it cures cancer... It's all un-empirical heresay, a hypothesis, an extrapolation, a story for the evidence jubkies, a scientist's holy grail if only he could use the mathematics to prove it... OK, i exaggerated.

 

I dont have a problem with TBBT. I just don't find it a very plausible explanation.