The Most Fundamental Question of Existence

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The Most Fundamental Question of Existence

Why is there something rather than nothing?


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Paisley wrote:butterbattle

Paisley wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

But you seem to be resigned to ignorance and not even willing to engage in some kind of rational speculation.

Lol. Yeah, like you, right? He's closed-mindedly admitting that he doesn't know, and you're open-mindedly 'speculating' that the answer is your religion.

The materialist has to give some kind of answer. If not, then he is conceding the point.  IOW, the materialist saying "I don't know" implies that "I really don't know if the materialist worldview is true." 

Haha, yeah, right, of course. As a materialist, I possess a special obligation to know everything. If there's something I don't know, God wins.   

That's what "I don't know" implies to the fundamentalist regardless, isn't it? That our worldview is crumbling, that we're weak. You, on the other hand, are gung-ho for God; you know everything, and there's nothing you could be possibly be wrong about. You can't say "I don't know" because "I don't know" is for namby pamby closed-minded people.

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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butterbattle wrote:Paisley

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Incidentally, consciousness (i.e. awareness) is simple. In fact, there is nothing simpler with the possible exception of nothingness itself.

Haha. Okay, give me an example of a simple, conscious thing. 

I said that consciousness (i.e. awareness itself) is simple. 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:I said that

Paisley wrote:

I said that consciousness (i.e. awareness itself) is simple. 

What does "awareness itself" mean? The experience of consciousness is simple? The philosophical idea is simple?

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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Atheistextremist wrote:in

Atheistextremist wrote:

in infancy but whatever truth we can know will be discovered by accelerators exploring the fundamentals of subatomic and not by theism disguised as speculation.

One materialist (i.e. the high-level moderator and resident science expert) on this thread has already gone on record and stated that we may never know. When it was pointed out that this amounts to a resignation to ignorance, then he changed his tune and made an appeal to quantum mysticism to explain the mystery of existence.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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kidvelvet wrote:Paisley

kidvelvet wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Why is there something rather than nothing?

I don't know.  Why do I like waffles better than pancakes?

Then you don't know if the materialist worldview is really true. If you are a true skeptic, then you should be skeptical of your own worldview.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:One

Paisley wrote:

One materialist (i.e. the high-level moderator and resident science expert) on this thread has already gone on record and stated that we may never know. When it was pointed out that this amounts to a resignation to ignorance, then he changed his tune and made an appeal to quantum mysticism to explain the mystery of existence.

It is not a "resignation to ignorance." The fact that we may never know doesn't imply that we won't try. 

 

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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Paisley wrote:Then you don't

Paisley wrote:

Then you don't know if the materialist worldview is really true.

Saying that we don't know why there is something rather than nothing is not equivalent to not knowing whether materialism is true. You don't have to know everything to be a materialist.

Why don't you try to actually justify your conditional instead of just spewing the same tag line over and over?

 

 

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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Kapkao wrote:Paisley

Kapkao wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Because the materialists here are tacitly admitting that the gap is insurmountable. Moreover, this is of utmost concern for many (if not most) of us.

Repeat this over and over until it makes perfect sense:

The gap only exists within your mind.

You, without your human mind.... can not understand the presence of substance as well as the complete absence of it. Materialism and spiritualism are entirely mental concepts.

Are you arguing that we should dispense with concepts?

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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mellestad wrote:OP: No

mellestad wrote:

OP: No idea.  Probably now knowable by beings with our frame of reference.

Special pleading a god isn't a logical answer though.  

Well, you have just made an argument that it is by saying that the answer to the question is not "knowable by beings with our frame of reference." This implies that the only way to know would entail a God's-eye view of the world.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Zaq wrote:If you start with

Zaq wrote:

If you start with nothing and then* take a small deviation, you'll have something.

The part that follows the asterisk (i.e. take a small deviation) is tantamount to saying "insert a miracle."

Zaq wrote:

Once you have something, you'll have some spacetime for that something to exist in.

Yeah, that implies that there is a nonspatial, nontemporal domain.

Zaq wrote:

Once you have spacetime, quantum effects will ensure that you keep having something

In short, nothing is an unstable equilibrium (if it is an equilibrium at all).  Unstable equilibria are, well, unstable.  So a state of nothingness is an unstable state.

There is a distinction between a relative vacuum and an absolute vacuum.

Zaq wrote:
 

Alternatively, one could argue that nothingness is logically impossible.  After all, with nothing, you wouldn't have the laws of logic, and that obviously contradicts the laws of logic.  Therefore nothingness is a logically contradictory state.

Bingo! Of course, the "laws of logic" presuppose consciousness, not unless you believe that the laws of logic (clearly immaterial concepts) are free-floating in the void of nothingness.

Zaq wrote:
 

*Of course, nothing would also mean no time, which confuses pretty much anything you'd want to say about the subject.  By the time** you get to the then, you'd already** have time, which is something.

**See how hard it is to work with timelessness.

You need to literally think out of the box (i.e. the materialist worldview).

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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butterbattle wrote:Paisley

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The materialist has to give some kind of answer. If not, then he is conceding the point.  IOW, the materialist saying "I don't know" implies that "I really don't know if the materialist worldview is true." 

Haha, yeah, right, of course. As a materialist, I possess a special obligation to know everything. If there's something I don't know, God wins.  

This is an "atheist vs. theist" debate forum. You have an obligation to argue for your worldview. If you don't, then you concede the debate by default.

butterbattle wrote:

That's what "I don't know" implies to the fundamentalist regardless, isn't it? That our worldview is crumbling, that we're weak. You, on the other hand, are gung-ho for God; you know everything, and there's nothing you could be possibly be wrong about. You can't say "I don't know" because "I don't know" is for namby pamby closed-minded people.

The materialist worldview is a closed-minded viewpoint because it is constrained by the physical-closure principle. You're really are incapable of thinking "outside of the box."  

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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mellestad wrote:Is it just

mellestad wrote:

Is it just me, or are you getting riled up Pais?

It's just you.

mellestad wrote:

The problem is, *anyone*, atheist or theist, who comes up with a trite answer to this question is totally full of shit.  It isn't, 'The Most Fundamental Question of Existence" because it isn't even a question.  It is nothing but a vague idea that may or may not have an answer.

I have doubts about science answering the question, and to suppose some kind of philosophy or logical argument can crack the 'ultimate' secret of the universe is simply absurd.  I know you only start threads like this to pick fights, but this is just stupid, especially for someone like you who has been around for long enough to know what all the 'answers' will be.  You just want to hear us say, "we don't know".  Well, we don't know.  And neither do you.  And the chances are, none of us will ever know.  So get back to asking questions humans can actually answer.

Agreed. You don't know. However, you actually believe that you're in a position to judge the theistic position as completely irrational. That's a fairly arrogant position to take especially in light of the fact that you have just admitted "the chances are none of us will never know."

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Bob's hardly resigning to ignorance

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

in infancy but whatever truth we can know will be discovered by accelerators exploring the fundamentals of subatomic and not by theism disguised as speculation.

One materialist (i.e. the high-level moderator and resident science expert) on this thread has already gone on record and stated that we may never know. When it was pointed out that this amounts to a resignation to ignorance, then he changed his tune and made an appeal to quantum mysticism to explain the mystery of existence.

 

Honesty would lead him to say there's a good chance we won't know where we came from. We all know Bob's current interest in QT as providing answers to the origins of the universe/multiverse so it's not like he made this up for your benefit. It's also obvious in Bob's post that he considered there must have been a chance of something existing as opposed to nothing. As he pointed out, something does exist and that supports him rather than you. We have no idea whether or not once upon a time there was nothing. I'd be keen to hear your views on the magical fairy you think created the something you're are so convinced must have been preceded by nothing. A nothing that miraculously self generated an all powerful creative thing from the midst of the nothing.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Whatever the prime mover

Paisley wrote:

You don't know. However, you actually believe that you're in a position to judge the theistic position as completely irrational. That's a fairly arrogant position to take especially in light of the fact that you have just admitted "the chances are none of us will never know."

 

Whatever the prime mover is, the chances it's going to be something other than a natural force should be discounted. We see natural forces doing shit all around us but we see no sign of almighty god or anything supernatural that cannot be better explained as our onboard sense of awe. Explain to us why it's arrogant to assume that the forces that govern the universe are not supernatural.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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butterbattle wrote:Paisley

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

I said that consciousness (i.e. awareness itself) is simple. 

What does "awareness itself" mean? The experience of consciousness is simple? The philosophical idea is simple?

"I don't know if I am aware or not. But I do know that I am rational and you are not." - her cluelessness...bird brain butterbattle

If I have to define the term "awareness" for you, then you clearly do not have the intellectual capacity to continue this debate.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley,The concepts of

Paisley,

The concepts of quantum a-causality and spontaneous, but temporary, appearance of virtual particle pairs are based on observation, and are tightly constrained within mathematically defined limits. And also are in no way dependent on consciousness, either at our level or at some higher level.

Thus they really don't correspond to the theological concepts you refer to except in a very superficial way.

On Consciousness, something essentially simple cannot have thoughts and make considered decisions, so how does your essentially simple 'thing' contribute to the actual process of conscious thought/reasoning?? It would be like expecting something as nearly fundamental and simple as an electron to perform the functions of a full computer.

 

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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Paisley wrote:If there is

Paisley wrote:

If there is nothing, then there is NOTHING to explain.

If there is something, then there is SOMETHING to explain.

Thank you sir, for providing a rather pristine example of circular logic.

 

As I am also something of a nihilist when it comes to "all things spiritual", I can understand some limited degree of "The Supreme Truth"'s reasoning. (if not agree with it)

But what I can't understand is WHY "NOTHING" should be deified... or even treated as 'holy'.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Paisley wrote:mellestad

Paisley wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Is it just me, or are you getting riled up Pais?

It's just you.

mellestad wrote:

The problem is, *anyone*, atheist or theist, who comes up with a trite answer to this question is totally full of shit.  It isn't, 'The Most Fundamental Question of Existence" because it isn't even a question.  It is nothing but a vague idea that may or may not have an answer.

I have doubts about science answering the question, and to suppose some kind of philosophy or logical argument can crack the 'ultimate' secret of the universe is simply absurd.  I know you only start threads like this to pick fights, but this is just stupid, especially for someone like you who has been around for long enough to know what all the 'answers' will be.  You just want to hear us say, "we don't know".  Well, we don't know.  And neither do you.  And the chances are, none of us will ever know.  So get back to asking questions humans can actually answer.

Agreed. You don't know. However, you actually believe that you're in a position to judge the theistic position as completely irrational. That's a fairly arrogant position to take especially in light of the fact that you have just admitted "the chances are none of us will never know."

Lol.  And you are the one with trite answers.  The theistic response is to flat out make shit up and pass it off as Truth. My intellectual wiener isn't so small that I can't accept the limitations of my knowledge.

If someone in science ever figures things out, great.  Until then all we have is 'I don't know' and theists resting the entire on a logical thought problem with zero evidence that only speaks to the converted.

But whatever.  I guess I should consign myself to watching you make a fool out of yourself.  It must be nice to think you know everything, what with the Lord Almighty whispering sweet nothings in your ear before bed every night.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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butterbattle wrote:Paisley

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Then you don't know if the materialist worldview is really true.

Saying that we don't know why there is something rather than nothing is not equivalent to not knowing whether materialism is true. You don't have to know everything to be a materialist.

Why don't you try to actually justify your conditional instead of just spewing the same tag line over and over? 

Materialism (like any metaphysical position) is ultimately based on faith. Why don't you have the simple humility to acknowledge it?

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:butterbattle

Paisley wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Then you don't know if the materialist worldview is really true.

Saying that we don't know why there is something rather than nothing is not equivalent to not knowing whether materialism is true. You don't have to know everything to be a materialist.

Why don't you try to actually justify your conditional instead of just spewing the same tag line over and over? 

Materialism (like any metaphysical position) is ultimately based on faith. Why don't you have the simple humility to acknowledge it?

As I suspected, you don't really give a damn about discussing the question. Please stop stirring the shit now.

"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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Paisley wrote:butterbattle

Paisley wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Then you don't know if the materialist worldview is really true.

Saying that we don't know why there is something rather than nothing is not equivalent to not knowing whether materialism is true. You don't have to know everything to be a materialist.

Why don't you try to actually justify your conditional instead of just spewing the same tag line over and over? 

Materialism (like any metaphysical position) is ultimately based on faith. Why don't you have the simple humility to acknowledge it?

Our position is based on a particular set of working assumptions, kept as basic as possible (as per Occam), which seem to best account for what we observe, both directly and from the work of others (in Science). We try to be continually open to modifying those assumptions as we come across new evidence. That doesn't sound like 'faith' to me.

My 'faith' is that this approach is more likely to lead to a better understanding of reality than deciding on some more elaborate set of pre-suppositions and holding to those more rigidly, which is how I see the various Theistic positions.

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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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

One materialist (i.e. the high-level moderator and resident science expert) on this thread has already gone on record and stated that we may never know. When it was pointed out that this amounts to a resignation to ignorance, then he changed his tune and made an appeal to quantum mysticism to explain the mystery of existence.

 

Honesty would lead him to say there's a good chance we won't know where we came from. We all know Bob's current interest in QT as providing answers to the origins of the universe/multiverse so it's not like he made this up for your benefit. It's also obvious in Bob's post that he considered there must have been a chance of something existing as opposed to nothing.

It doesn't appear that you actually understand how Bob is employing the nature of QM randomness to explain why there is something rather than nothing. If you did, then you would know that he is invoking quantum woo. Also, Bob's belief in the existence of "parallel universes" is a metaphysical belief, not a scientifically-established fact. I don't have a problem with metaphysical beliefs or with quantum woo per se. But I do have a problem with those who refuse to acknowledge that they have metaphysical beliefs and that they are employing quantum woo to justify those beliefs, especially when these same people (e.g. Bob) ridicule others for doing the same.

Atheistextremist wrote:

As he pointed out, something does exist and that supports him rather than you.

I am freely acknowledging that something does exist. This should be self-evident to anyone who has read the OP of this thread. That being said, that something does exist does not support his position as to "why" something exists. IOW, he really has no explanation - not unless you count his invocation of quantum supernaturalism as an explanation. In which case, he is supporting my position.

Atheistextremist wrote:

We have no idea whether or not once upon a time there was nothing. I'd be keen to hear your views on the magical fairy you think created the something you're are so convinced must have been preceded by nothing. A nothing that miraculously self generated an all powerful creative thing from the midst of the nothing.

You're making a straw-man argument. I don't subscribe to the RSS's  "Mickey Mouse" conception of God that you and others on this forum continually lampoon. Also, I have already provided a plausible answer to the question I posed in the OP of this thread. See post #36 in this thread for more details on Wheeler's "Participatory Universe."

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Quantum randomness strongly

Quantum randomness strongly suggests that randomness is a fundamental aspect of existence, so it is a plausible and simple extension of this to see this essential randomness being involved in something simply coming to exist, without any explicit macro-scale 'cause' required, any more than an explicit cause is apparent for each radioactive decay event.

I do not 'believe in the existence of parallel universes'. Where did you get that from?

The 'multiverse' is a reference to the idea that our observable universe, that appears to have originate in the Big Bang event may not be all there is. The BB may have occurred within the context of a larger Universe. There is nothing strange about such an idea, but by its nature it is hard to actually detect any 'greater' universe from within our observable universe. So far, we can only infer what it may be like from how well various hypotheses seem to work, or help to 'explain' aspects of our universe and its origin.

Some interpretations of Quantum Mechanics assume some form of multiple parallel worlds (a better description than Universes), representing the various different possible outcomes from each quantum level wave-function collapse event. The one that makes most sense to me does not envisage a truly independent 'world' for each option, more of a series of possible paths through a multidimensional 'space' encompassing all possible states of reality.  The 'evidence' for such an idea is the results and implications of Quantum Mechanics. It is more of a particular interpretation of the theory, a way of imagining what the math might 'mean'. The 'solidity' of each possible 'world' is a function of its probability, so this prevents the total multi-dimensional volume of these multiple worlds from growing indefinitely. If you imagine tracing the splitting into many 'worlds' along what corresponds to the time dimension, the less likely 'worlds' progressively fade towards zero 'reality' along with their likelihood, so the total effective time cross-section does not continue to grow indefinitely.

You, Paisley, seem to have such an incredibly simplistic, ultimately reductionist approach to understanding reality. Reductionist in the sense of discarding all the more subtle and complex concepts, like 'reducing' consciousness  to some ethereal fundamental 'substance' or component of a 'higher' realm, rather than a manifestation of an extremely complex 'physical' process. Note: not an epiphenomenon, but an intrinsic aspect of the process. The descriptive separation between the physical process and the phenomena we experience as 'consciousness' is an artefact of the limited ability of that same mind to grasp very complex things in one thought structure. It is why we subdivide the study of reality into physics, chemistry, biology, cosmology, etc.

You seem really 'hung up' on largely obsolete, simplistic categories from metaphysics, determine to force today's more complex view of reality forced on us by the results of science into categories defined when our picture of 'Life, the Universe, and Everything' was far simpler than it is today.

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

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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

You don't know. However, you actually believe that you're in a position to judge the theistic position as completely irrational. That's a fairly arrogant position to take especially in light of the fact that you have just admitted "the chances are none of us will never know."

Whatever the prime mover is, the chances it's going to be something other than a natural force should be discounted. We see natural forces doing shit all around us but we see no sign of almighty god or anything supernatural that cannot be better explained as our onboard sense of awe. Explain to us why it's arrogant to assume that the forces that govern the universe are not supernatural.

Because you don't know and you are making this pretense of knowledge by assuming that the only valid interpretation of the evidence is a materialistic one. Moreover, you are scoffing at any other interpretation, even interpretations made by eminent physicists.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

You don't know. However, you actually believe that you're in a position to judge the theistic position as completely irrational. That's a fairly arrogant position to take especially in light of the fact that you have just admitted "the chances are none of us will never know."

Whatever the prime mover is, the chances it's going to be something other than a natural force should be discounted. We see natural forces doing shit all around us but we see no sign of almighty god or anything supernatural that cannot be better explained as our onboard sense of awe. Explain to us why it's arrogant to assume that the forces that govern the universe are not supernatural.

Because you don't know and you are making this pretense of knowledge by assuming that the only valid interpretation of the evidence is a materialistic one. Moreover, you are scoffing at any other interpretation, even interpretations made by eminent physicists.

Considering we have no evidence of any supernatural force acting on the universe, ever, I don't see how it is arrogant to assume one does not exist.  This is the same old argument Pais, and you still don't have any answer.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Paisley wrote:This is an

Paisley wrote:

This is an "atheist vs. theist" debate forum. You have an obligation to argue for your worldview. If you don't, then you concede the debate by default.

Admitting that I don't know everything does not mean that I am conceding the debate.

By your logic, unless you profess to know everything, you have already admitted that you don't know whether God exists as well.

Paisley wrote:

The materialist worldview is a closed-minded viewpoint because it is constrained by the physical-closure principle. You're really are incapable of thinking "outside of the box."  

Okay, I'll bite.

What's the physical-closure principle? 

 

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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Paisley wrote:"I don't know

Paisley wrote:

"I don't know if I am aware or not. But I do know that I am rational and you are not." - her cluelessness...bird brain butterbattle

If I have to define the term "awareness" for you, then you clearly do not have the intellectual capacity to continue this debate.

Of course I have a definition of "awareness." But, in my understanding of it, calling it "simple" or "complicated" is incoherent because awareness itself has no substance. So, I'm asking you how you're defining it because you obviously don't understand it same way I do.

*sigh* Why do I even bother?

 

 

 

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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Paisley wrote:Materialism

Paisley wrote:
Materialism (like any metaphysical position) is ultimately based on faith. Why don't you have the simple humility to acknowledge it?

I do not have faith in materialism. I merely subscribe to it in the same way that I am a scientific naturalist. 

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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butterbattle wrote:Paisley

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

"I don't know if I am aware or not. But I do know that I am rational and you are not." - her cluelessness...bird brain butterbattle

If I have to define the term "awareness" for you, then you clearly do not have the intellectual capacity to continue this debate.

Of course I have a definition of "awareness." But, in my understanding of it, calling it "simple" or "complicated" is incoherent because awareness itself has no substance. So, I'm asking you how you're defining it because you obviously don't understand it same way I do.

*sigh* Why do I even bother?

 

 

 

Butterbattle let me answer this for you, from previous attempts to get paisley to define how her terms things in his world. IF you don't know what awareness is then I can't continue talking to you because you are ignorant, awareness is being aware. what don't you understand.

yeah  I don't even know why you bother Sticking out tongue


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I'm not sure

 

Paisley wrote:

It doesn't appear that you actually understand how Bob is employing the nature of QM randomness to explain why there is something rather than nothing. If you did, then you would know that he is invoking quantum woo. Also, Bob's belief in the existence of "parallel universes" is a metaphysical belief, not a scientifically-established fact. I don't have a problem with metaphysical beliefs or with quantum woo per se. But I do have a problem with those who refuse to acknowledge that they have metaphysical beliefs and that they are employing quantum woo to justify those beliefs, especially when these same people (e.g. Bob) ridicule others for doing the same.

 

I'm not sure you're correct in saying this, Pais. The point I was making is that Bob has spoken generally of QT as offering possible answers. He has never insisted it did or expressed deep faith in it and I think it's fair to say we both know Bob well enough to agree that if a more plausible explanation came along he'd jump at it without hesitation. I agree with you that QT is an ethereal beast - and I admit my understanding of it is nebulous. That does not make QT metaphysical - unless your definition of metaphysical is unusually broad.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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I guess this is a fair criticism of

Paisley wrote:

You're making a straw-man argument. I don't subscribe to the RSS's  "Mickey Mouse" conception of God that you and others on this forum continually lampoon. Also, I have already provided a plausible answer to the question I posed in the OP of this thread. See post #36 in this thread for more details on Wheeler's "Participatory Universe."

 

my point but your faith is sufficiently subjective that it precludes a comprehensive understanding of it from our perspective. Your positions are always couched in such a way as to expose you to no threat and to reveal virtually nothing about what you believe while pinning us to the unknowable. I would have thought that describing your belief system as involving the creation of something from nothing by a 'powerful creative thing' was broad enough to contain your crab-like lateral thought processes. Obviously not.


 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Ummmm

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

As he pointed out, something does exist and that supports him rather than you.

I am freely acknowledging that something does exist. This should be self-evident to anyone who has read the OP of this thread. That being said, that something does exist does not support his position as to "why" something exists. IOW, he really has no explanation - not unless you count his invocation of quantum supernaturalism as an explanation. In which case, he is supporting my position.

 

I'm not sure why you preface this point by suggesting I was saying you did not understand that something exists by calling our renewed attention to the heads or tails nature of this thread. This seems to me to be nothing but an adhom in a tuxedo. The point I was making is that something exists. This supports Bob's position better than it supports yours. Bob has never said there was nothing. You have. And you still have not explained what evidence you have for insisting that there has ever been a state of nothing.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley,The

BobSpence1 wrote:

Paisley,

The concepts of quantum a-causality and spontaneous, but temporary, appearance of virtual particle pairs are based on observation, and are tightly constrained within mathematically defined limits.

Okay. So the present scientific evidence undermines materialism on three counts:

1) a violation of determinism....not every physical event has a physical cause

2) a violation of the conservation law...virtual particles popping in and out of existence violate this law

3) a violation of the physical-closure principle...the logical implication of items 1 and 2

Three strikes and you're out in baseball.

BobSpence1 wrote:

And also are in no way dependent on consciousness, either at our level or at some higher level.

Well, it appears that many (if not most) of the founders of quantum physics disagree with your assessment. And I would hope that the "RRS's resident science expert" would be more knowledgeable about the "quantum mind-body problem" (a.k.a. the measurement problem). To dogmatically assert that quantum indeterminacy is in "no way dependent on consciousness" is simply not true. The evidence can be and has been interpreted to be dependent on consciousness by some of the most noted figures in physics.

Quote:

Parallels between quantum mechanics and mind/body dualism were first drawn by the founders of quantum mechanics including Erwin Schrodinger,[2] Werner Heisenberg,[3] Wolfgang Pauli,[4] Niels Bohr,[4] and Eugene Wigner [6]

(source: Wikipedia: Quantum mind-body problem)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mind%E2%80%93body_problem

BobSpence1 wrote:

Thus they really don't correspond to the theological concepts you refer to except in a very superficial way.

I disagree. "Creation ex nihilo" and "uncaused causes" are textbook theological concepts.

BobSpence1 wrote:

On Consciousness, something essentially simple cannot have thoughts and make considered decisions, so how does your essentially simple 'thing' contribute to the actual process of conscious thought/reasoning??

I was referring to pure consciousness or awareness which is devoid of all thoughts and images. This is a well-documented experience in the world's mystical literature. The Sanskrit term for it is "turiya." Without the witnessing aspect of pure awareness, there would be no thoughts to consider. I am fairly certain that Sam Harris will vouch for me on this one.

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

BobSpence1 wrote:

It would be like expecting something as nearly fundamental and simple as an electron to perform the functions of a full computer. 

David Bohm (eminent physicist and Einstein's protege) believed that an electron had a complex inner structure that was comparable to a radio and that was guided by information in the quantum field. He also believed that  the electron had a mental pole which was represented by the probability wave. (See pp. 29 & 324 "The Undivided Universe: An Ontological Interpretation of Quantum Theory" by David Bohm and Basil J. Hiley)

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Yes - that's fascinating stuff and most thought provoking

Paisley wrote:

See post #36 in this thread for more details on Wheeler's "Participatory Universe."

 

but we have to agree it's still vastly speculative and does not posit supernatural forces as far as I can tell - unless you are saying the supernatural is the natural that we do not or cannot comprehend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Kapkao wrote:As I am also

Kapkao wrote:

As I am also something of a nihilist when it comes to "all things spiritual," I can understand some limited degree of "The Supreme Truth"'s reasoning. (if not agree with it)

But what I can't understand is WHY "NOTHING" should be deified... or even treated as 'holy'.

Ask the RRS's resident scientific expert (i.e. Bob). He believes that "nothingness" is the cause of everything.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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mellestad wrote:Paisley

mellestad wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Agreed. You don't know. However, you actually believe that you're in a position to judge the theistic position as completely irrational. That's a fairly arrogant position to take especially in light of the fact that you have just admitted "the chances are none of us will never know."

Lol.  And you are the one with trite answers.  The theistic response is to flat out make shit up and pass it off as Truth. My intellectual wiener isn't so small that I can't accept the limitations of my knowledge.

If someone in science ever figures things out, great.  Until then all we have is 'I don't know' and theists resting the entire on a logical thought problem with zero evidence that only speaks to the converted.

But whatever.  I guess I should consign myself to watching you make a fool out of yourself.  It must be nice to think you know everything, what with the Lord Almighty whispering sweet nothings in your ear before bed every night.

I have never denied the centrality of faith in the theistic worldview. In fact, I fully embrace it and make no apologies for it. The atheist is the only one here who has completely deluded himself into thinking that he operates soley on reason without any element of faith.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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mellestad wrote:Paisley

mellestad wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Agreed. You don't know. However, you actually believe that you're in a position to judge the theistic position as completely irrational. That's a fairly arrogant position to take especially in light of the fact that you have just admitted "the chances are none of us will never know."

Lol.  And you are the one with trite answers.  The theistic response is to flat out make shit up and pass it off as Truth. My intellectual wiener isn't so small that I can't accept the limitations of my knowledge.

If someone in science ever figures things out, great.  Until then all we have is 'I don't know' and theists resting the entire on a logical thought problem with zero evidence that only speaks to the converted.

But whatever.  I guess I should consign myself to watching you make a fool out of yourself.  It must be nice to think you know everything, what with the Lord Almighty whispering sweet nothings in your ear before bed every night.

I have never denied the centrality of faith in the theistic worldview. In fact, I fully embrace it and make no apologies for it. The atheist is the only one here who has completely deluded himself into thinking that he operates soley on reason without any element of faith.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Materialism (like any metaphysical position) is ultimately based on faith. Why don't you have the simple humility to acknowledge it?

Our position is based on a particular set of working assumptions, kept as basic as possible (as per Occam), which seem to best account for what we observe, both directly and from the work of others (in Science). We try to be continually open to modifying those assumptions as we come across new evidence. That doesn't sound like 'faith' to me.

Those working assumptions are beliefs which are ultimately taken on faith. Science has never established that the physical is actually fundamental and your blatant refusal to acknowledge this is simply a display of intellectual dishonesty.

Incidentally, William of Ockham was a Christian monk, not a spiritually-improverished materialist.

BobSpence1 wrote:

My 'faith' is that this approach is more likely to lead to a better understanding of reality than deciding on some more elaborate set of pre-suppositions and holding to those more rigidly, which is how I see the various Theistic positions.

Your faith-commitment to materialism (and there is no need to use the scare quotes because that is exactly what it is) prevents you from thinking "outside of the box" (the box in this analogy is your materialist prison). I'm the only free-thinker here. You and your ilk are simply slaves to the dogma of the materialist creed.

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Pais

Quote:
Your faith-commitment to materialism (and there is no need to use the scare quotes because that is exactly what it is) prevents you from thinking "outside of the box" (the box in this analogy is your materialist prison). I'm the only free-thinker here. You and your ilk are simply slaves to the dogma of the materialist creed.

 

Do you believe there are things called facts - elemental truths that are not open to personal interpretation? Does the general truth that in the absence of complete knowledge atheists may postulate possibilities really constitute faith? You insist that you embrace faith without restraint. An atheist who slots in the most likely answer while remaining open to and even hoping for a better option in the future is not the same as an individual embracing a theistic faith and it is obtuse of you to suggest that this is so. You are not the only free thinker here. Your core of faith constitutes a mental base jump supported by an invisible parachute. In fact your position seems to be an insistence that we should stop thinking and accept things on faith forgoing ultimate objectivism. The fact that as realists we are going to be corralled by the limits of our ability to ascertain all the facts does not make atheism a faith-based pseudo religion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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BobSpence1 wrote:Quantum

BobSpence1 wrote:

Quantum randomness strongly suggests that randomness is a fundamental aspect of existence, so it is a plausible and simple extension of this to see this essential randomness being involved in something simply coming to exist, without any explicit macro-scale 'cause' required, any more than an explicit cause is apparent for each radioactive decay event.

If it so strongly suggests that something emerged magically (that's the appropriate adverb) from nothing, then why do you believe in the "many worlds" interpretation?

BobSpence1 wrote:

I do not 'believe in the existence of parallel universes'. Where did you get that from?

The "multiverse" (literally many universes) and "parallel universes" are interchangeable terms.

Quote:

The different universes within the multiverse are sometimes called parallel universes.

(source: Wikipedia: Multiverse)

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

BobSpence1 wrote:

The 'multiverse' is a reference to the idea that our observable universe, that appears to have originate in the Big Bang event may not be all there is. The BB may have occurred within the context of a larger Universe. There is nothing strange about such an idea, but by its nature it is hard to actually detect any 'greater' universe from within our observable universe. So far, we can only infer what it may be like from how well various hypotheses seem to work, or help to 'explain' aspects of our universe and its origin.

It is hard to actually detect any greater universe? Try again. You have never detected any universes (not unless you are some kind of Eck master). Moreover, it is theoretically impossible to detect these alleged universes. This is why they are commonly referred to as "parallel universes."

Your inference does not have anymore explanatory power than postulating the existence of God. And you're kidding yourself if you believe otherwise. The MWI is a metaphysical interpretation. And to boot, the MMI (i.e many minds interpretation) is its logical extension. Can you say "quantum woo woo?"

BobSpence1 wrote:

Some interpretations of Quantum Mechanics assume some form of multiple parallel worlds (a better description than Universes), representing the various different possible outcomes from each quantum level wave-function collapse event. The one that makes most sense to me does not envisage a truly independent 'world' for each option, more of a series of possible paths through a multidimensional 'space' encompassing all possible states of reality.

The terms "multidimensional" and "parallel" are really interchangeable in this context.

All possible states is a logical construct representing potentiality, not actuality since your individual consciousness can only experience one given state. Of course, the universal consciousness (or the multidimensional Self) experiences them all. We call this "God."

BobSpence1 wrote:

The 'evidence' for such an idea is the results and implications of Quantum Mechanics. It is more of a particular interpretation of the theory, a way of imagining what the math might 'mean'. The 'solidity' of each possible 'world' is a function of its probability, so this prevents the total multi-dimensional volume of these multiple worlds from growing indefinitely. If you imagine tracing the splitting into many 'worlds' along what corresponds to the time dimension, the less likely 'worlds' progressively fade towards zero 'reality' along with their likelihood, so the total effective time cross-section does not continue to grow indefinitely.

Time is relative to the reference frame of the observer.

MWI is metaphysical speculation (regardless of the high-level math involved). "Imagining what the math might mean" makes this abundantly clear.

BobSpence1 wrote:

You, Paisley, seem to have such an incredibly simplistic, ultimately reductionist approach to understanding reality. Reductionist in the sense of discarding all the more subtle and complex concepts, like 'reducing' consciousness  to some ethereal fundamental 'substance' or component of a 'higher' realm, rather than a manifestation of an extremely complex 'physical' process.

I consider consciousness to be as fundamental as space-time, mass/energy. I am hardly the only one who has this view. Greater minds than yours or mine share this belief.

My view accords with humanity's spiritual intuitions and experiences as well as with the evidence provided by parapsychology. Yours does not.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Note: not an epiphenomenon, but an intrinsic aspect of the process. The descriptive separation between the physical process and the phenomena we experience as 'consciousness' is an artefact of the limited ability of that same mind to grasp very complex things in one thought structure. It is why we subdivide the study of reality into physics, chemistry, biology, cosmology, etc.

You seem really 'hung up' on largely obsolete, simplistic categories from metaphysics, determine to force today's more complex view of reality forced on us by the results of science into categories defined when our picture of 'Life, the Universe, and Everything' was far simpler than it is today.

You stated previously that consciousness is some kind of "abstract pattern." That's not only unintelligible. But it suggests that consciousness is nonphysical. I have to remind you that your worldview precludes you from ascribing reality to the nonphysical.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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mellestad wrote:Paisley

mellestad wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Because you don't know and you are making this pretense of knowledge by assuming that the only valid interpretation of the evidence is a materialistic one. Moreover, you are scoffing at any other interpretation, even interpretations made by eminent physicists.

Considering we have no evidence of any supernatural force acting on the universe, ever, I don't see how it is arrogant to assume one does not exist.  This is the same old argument Pais, and you still don't have any answer.

The evidence is subject to interpretation. And I have already cited sources in this thread demonstrating that many of our most noted physicists have interpreted QM to be consistent with idea that consciousness is fundamental. So, this notion that there is no evidence is patently false. There most certainly is evidence and you're simply refusing to acknowledge it.   

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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butterbattle wrote:Paisley

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

This is an "atheist vs. theist" debate forum. You have an obligation to argue for your worldview. If you don't, then you concede the debate by default.

Admitting that I don't know everything does not mean that I am conceding the debate.

By your logic, unless you profess to know everything, you have already admitted that you don't know whether God exists as well.

You have to make some kind of argument how something emerged from nothing. Or, if you believe that something has always existed, then you have to give a rational account for time and causality. If you can't, then you are conceding the debate by default.

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The materialist worldview is a closed-minded viewpoint because it is constrained by the physical-closure principle. You're really are incapable of thinking "outside of the box."  

Okay, I'll bite.

What's the physical-closure principle

Look it up. I am not here to teach materialism to those who profess to be materialists.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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butterbattle wrote:Paisley

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

"I don't know if I am aware or not. But I do know that I am rational and you are not." - her cluelessness...bird brain butterbattle

If I have to define the term "awareness" for you, then you clearly do not have the intellectual capacity to continue this debate.

Of course I have a definition of "awareness." But, in my understanding of it, calling it "simple" or "complicated" is incoherent because awareness itself has no substance. So, I'm asking you how you're defining it because you obviously don't understand it same way I do.

*sigh* Why do I even bother?

Well, if you believe that "awareness" has no substance, then I guess you believe it is nonphysical.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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butterbattle wrote:Paisley

butterbattle wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Materialism (like any metaphysical position) is ultimately based on faith. Why don't you have the simple humility to acknowledge it?

I do not have faith in materialism. I merely subscribe to it in the same way that I am a scientific naturalist. 

If you believe that only the physical exists, then you expressing a metaphysical belief.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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latincanuck

latincanuck wrote:

Butterbattle let me answer this for you, from previous attempts to get paisley to define how her terms things in his world. IF you don't know what awareness is then I can't continue talking to you because you are ignorant, awareness is being aware. what don't you understand.

yeah  I don't even know why you bother Sticking out tongue

It is not possible to have a rational discussion with an individual who is confused as to whether he is aware or not. So, if you are truly struggling with this issue, then I would suggest that you don't bother. You would be wasting both of our time.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Quantum randomness strongly suggests that randomness is a fundamental aspect of existence, so it is a plausible and simple extension of this to see this essential randomness being involved in something simply coming to exist, without any explicit macro-scale 'cause' required, any more than an explicit cause is apparent for each radioactive decay event.

If it so strongly suggests that something emerged magically (that's the appropriate adverb) from nothing, then why do you believe in the "many worlds" interpretation?

"Magically" has many connotations not appropriate to this context.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

I do not 'believe in the existence of parallel universes'. Where did you get that from?

The "multiverse" (literally many universes) and "parallel universes" are interchangeable terms.

 

Quite incorrect. 'Mutiverse' envisages a metaverse which may contain more than one 'Universe' as we are aware of, ie it is a context within which there may have been many Big-Bang events, which gave rise to Universe such as ours with no necessary communication with each other or with the 'outer' 'multiverse'.

There is a semantic problem finding a suitable term for a context which may contain one or more instances of what we have come to think of as 'the Universe', ie the totality of what exists.

'Parallel universes' is actually a different concept, imagining the co-existence of Universe which are very similar in most, if not all, respects to the one which we are aware of, often thought to coexist in some sense with ours, often assumed to have some subtle influence on ours, or allowing the occasional breach of whatever normally prevents mutual communication or influence.

There is nothing in the general concept of a 'multiverse' or 'metaverse' which assumes that multiple BB 'universes' are 'parallel', ie close to synchronous in time (however you interpret that 'dimension'), and very similalr in structure. IOW 'parallel universes' may be, at best, a possible subset of 'multiverse' concepts.

Quote:

 

 

Quote:

The different universes within the multiverse are sometimes called parallel universes.

(source: Wikipedia: Multiverse)

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

BobSpence1 wrote:

The 'multiverse' is a reference to the idea that our observable universe, that appears to have originate in the Big Bang event may not be all there is. The BB may have occurred within the context of a larger Universe. There is nothing strange about such an idea, but by its nature it is hard to actually detect any 'greater' universe from within our observable universe. So far, we can only infer what it may be like from how well various hypotheses seem to work, or help to 'explain' aspects of our universe and its origin.

It is hard to actually detect any greater universe? Try again. You have never detected any universes (not unless you are some kind of Eck master). Moreover, it is theoretically impossible to detect these alleged universes. This is why they are commonly referred to as "parallel universes."

I have answered this above.

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Your inference does not have anymore explanatory power than postulating the existence of God. And you're kidding yourself if you believe otherwise. The MWI is a metaphysical interpretation. And to boot, the MMI (i.e many minds interpretation) is its logical extension. Can you say "quantum woo woo?"

Actually what I described certainly does have potentially more explanatory power than 'God', which has zero ultimate explanatory power. Simply because they are based on extrapolation from what we do know.

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BobSpence1 wrote:

Some interpretations of Quantum Mechanics assume some form of multiple parallel worlds (a better description than Universes), representing the various different possible outcomes from each quantum level wave-function collapse event. The one that makes most sense to me does not envisage a truly independent 'world' for each option, more of a series of possible paths through a multidimensional 'space' encompassing all possible states of reality.

The terms "multidimensional" and "parallel" are really interchangeable in this context.

 

 

This is even more gratuitously wrong than your conflation of 'multiverse' and 'parallel universes'.

Multidimensional does not imply or refer to multiple instances of any given universe. At most, it describes what is probably a necessary attribute of a context which could contain multiple instances of a BB type 'universe', which are not necessarily parallel in any sense.

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All possible states is a logical construct representing potentiality, not actuality since your individual consciousness can only experience one given state. Of course, the universal consciousness (or the multidimensional Self) experiences them all. We call this "God."

Consciousness is not specially relevant to this interpretation of MWI. Our consciousness itself is imagined to split along the various alternative trajectories, along with other aspects of the Universe.

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BobSpence1 wrote:

The 'evidence' for such an idea is the results and implications of Quantum Mechanics. It is more of a particular interpretation of the theory, a way of imagining what the math might 'mean'. The 'solidity' of each possible 'world' is a function of its probability, so this prevents the total multi-dimensional volume of these multiple worlds from growing indefinitely. If you imagine tracing the splitting into many 'worlds' along what corresponds to the time dimension, the less likely 'worlds' progressively fade towards zero 'reality' along with their likelihood, so the total effective time cross-section does not continue to grow indefinitely.

Time is relative to the reference frame of the observer.

MWI is metaphysical speculation (regardless of the high-level math involved). "Imagining what the math might mean" makes this abundantly clear.

The comment on time is, while true, not in conflict with this MWI. There is an acknowledge problem reconciling Relativistic concepts with QM at the quantum scale, but that is a separate topic. "Imagining what the math might mean" simply describes what we mean by calling it an 'interpretation'. Metaphysics is irrelevant to any serious pursuit of knowledge and insight - it is an area of thought long past its 'use-by' date, IMHO.

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BobSpence1 wrote:

You, Paisley, seem to have such an incredibly simplistic, ultimately reductionist approach to understanding reality. Reductionist in the sense of discarding all the more subtle and complex concepts, like 'reducing' consciousness  to some ethereal fundamental 'substance' or component of a 'higher' realm, rather than a manifestation of an extremely complex 'physical' process.

I consider consciousness to be as fundamental as space-time, mass/energy. I am hardly the only one who has this view. Greater minds than yours or mine share this belief.

My view accords with humanity's spiritual intuitions and experiences as well as with the evidence provided by parapsychology. Yours does not.

Intuition and parapsychology are not remotely reliable sources of actual knowledge. 

Intuition has been repeatedly shown to be highly misleading as providing insights into the origin and nature of our own thought processes.

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BobSpence1 wrote:

Note: not an epiphenomenon, but an intrinsic aspect of the process. The descriptive separation between the physical process and the phenomena we experience as 'consciousness' is an artefact of the limited ability of that same mind to grasp very complex things in one thought structure. It is why we subdivide the study of reality into physics, chemistry, biology, cosmology, etc.

You seem really 'hung up' on largely obsolete, simplistic categories from metaphysics, determine to force today's more complex view of reality forced on us by the results of science into categories defined when our picture of 'Life, the Universe, and Everything' was far simpler than it is today.

You stated previously that consciousness is some kind of "abstract pattern." That's not only unintelligible. But it suggests that consciousness is nonphysical. I have to remind you that your worldview precludes you from ascribing reality to the nonphysical.

I never described consciousness as an 'abstract pattern'. 'Pattern' is already an abstraction. I typically refer to it as some kind of process, which does have something in common with 'pattern', but implies something more dynamic, ie progressing along the time dimension, and I have referred to 'patterns' as simple examples of referents which are neither actual material entities nor supernatural realities, to demonstrate the false dichotomy you keep insisting on between 'materialism' and everything else.

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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v4ultingbassist
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Paisley wrote:Okay. So the

Paisley wrote:

Okay. So the present scientific evidence undermines materialism on three counts:

1) a violation of determinism....not every physical event has a physical cause

2) a violation of the conservation law...virtual particles popping in and out of existence violate this law

3) a violation of the physical-closure principle...the logical implication of items 1 and 2

Three strikes and you're out in baseball.

 

Physical-closure principle says that IF something has a cause, it is physical.  A 'non-cause' isn't a nonphysical cause in that it isn't a cause in the first place.

 

The conservation law isn't violated.

 

You fail.


kidvelvet
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Paisley wrote:kidvelvet

Paisley wrote:

kidvelvet wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Why is there something rather than nothing?

I don't know.  Why do I like waffles better than pancakes?

Then you don't know if the materialist worldview is really true. If you are a true skeptic, then you should be skeptical of your own worldview.

When did I state that the materialist worldview is true?  Right now, my worldview involves waffles.  I like waffles.  I don't know why I like waffles, but I like them.  I don't need to question or go into sophomoric philosophical overload to understand that I like waffles.  Some people don't like waffles.  I don't know why they don't like waffles.  No worries, I will enjoy their waffles.

I don't think I need to be skeptical about my own waffle enjoyment. 

However, while I enjoy my waffle, I do know that so far, the claim for god has insufficient evidence.  So, I must assume it false. 

So now you know that my worldview involves enjoying waffles and atheism.  How that translates to materialism...not sure.

Dolt:"Evolution is just a theory."
Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."


mellestad
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Paisley wrote:mellestad

Paisley wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Because you don't know and you are making this pretense of knowledge by assuming that the only valid interpretation of the evidence is a materialistic one. Moreover, you are scoffing at any other interpretation, even interpretations made by eminent physicists.

Considering we have no evidence of any supernatural force acting on the universe, ever, I don't see how it is arrogant to assume one does not exist.  This is the same old argument Pais, and you still don't have any answer.

The evidence is subject to interpretation. And I have already cited sources in this thread demonstrating that many of our most noted physicists have interpreted QM to be consistent with idea that consciousness is fundamental. So, this notion that there is no evidence is patently false. There most certainly is evidence and you're simply refusing to acknowledge it.   

sigh.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


BobSpence
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mellestad wrote:Paisley

mellestad wrote:

Paisley wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Because you don't know and you are making this pretense of knowledge by assuming that the only valid interpretation of the evidence is a materialistic one. Moreover, you are scoffing at any other interpretation, even interpretations made by eminent physicists.

Considering we have no evidence of any supernatural force acting on the universe, ever, I don't see how it is arrogant to assume one does not exist.  This is the same old argument Pais, and you still don't have any answer.

The evidence is subject to interpretation. And I have already cited sources in this thread demonstrating that many of our most noted physicists have interpreted QM to be consistent with idea that consciousness is fundamental. So, this notion that there is no evidence is patently false. There most certainly is evidence and you're simply refusing to acknowledge it.   

sigh.

But you see, anything that doesn't fit into what he labels as 'atheistic materialism' automatically supports the supernatural. Ta-da! Surely you see the 'logic' ??!?

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