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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BobSpence1 wrote:mellestad

BobSpence1 wrote:

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' ??!?

It would be fine if it was anything new, but it never is.  He just elaborately rephrases God of the gaps for every discussion and mixes it with blank eyed theistic poetry-babble.

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


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

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.

All interpretations of QM with the possible exception of the Standard intrepretation (which really isn't an interpretation) are metaphysical interpretations. 

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

Bob's preference for MWI is based on a subjective-bias for materialism.

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


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

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.

I am a nonmaterialist. What does this mean? It means simply that I am "without a belief in the materialist worldview." Does this have some implications? Yes, it implies that I believe in some kind of spiritual reality.

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


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What kind of spiritual reality, Pais?

 

Paisley wrote:

I am a nonmaterialist. What does this mean? It means simply that I am "without a belief in the materialist worldview." Does this have some implications? Yes, it implies that I believe in some kind of spiritual reality.

 

Do you leave it fairly open and base it on the apparent functionality of things we don't understand or do you hold to biblical/theological beliefs of any sort? 

Are your beliefs only based on the complexity of the universe/multiverse and its origins? That's what we do seem to talk about on your threads.

Or do you have other arguments/considerations you keep to yourself?

 

 

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


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

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.

Bob has made the argument (and I am admittedly paraphrasing here) that it is very plausible that something emerged from nothing because we have empirical evidence that something emerges from nothing and that it emerges uncaused all the time (e.g. virtual particles popping in and out of existence). This is the same tactic that atheist philosopher Quentin Smith employs. It's a specious argument.

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


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

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.

Yeah, it's speculative. But it is no more speculative than the "many worlds" interpretation which Bob is peddling.

Whether it is "supernatural" or not depends on how you define "natural." If you define a "natural explanation" to be a "physical explanation," then this is a supernatural explanation because free will is determining the initial conditions of the 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 foam?

 

Paisley wrote:

Bob has made the argument (and I am admittedly paraphrasing here) that it is very plausible that something emerged from nothing because we have empirical evidence that something emerges from nothing and that it emerges uncaused all the time (e.g. virtual particles popping in and out of existence). This is the same tactic that atheist philosopher Quentin Smith employs. It's a specious argument.

I thought Bob's pre-universal reality was quantum foam rather than nothing?

 

 

 

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


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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

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.

Yeah, it's speculative. But it is no more speculative than the "many worlds" interpretation which Bob is peddling.

Whether it is "supernatural" or not depends on how you define "natural." If you define a "natural explanation" to be a "physical explanation," then this is a supernatural explanation because free will is determining the initial conditions of the universe.

That is nonsense.

The particular version of the MWI that I described is a mental model that attempts to help us understand how the Quantum wave-function math might 'work' in some sense that we might be able to grasp.

The observer effect does not require a conscious being. This has been demonstrated with physical instrumentation placed to record the outcome of a Quantum 'event'.

It is not a 'conscious observer' that is required, it is any macro-scale system that will physically record the result of the wave-function collapse. So quit your bullshit, Paisley.

On ultimate origins, 'quantum foam' is vastly more plausible as the proximate cause of whatever may have been the primary 'event' ie the Big Bang, or alternatively, in the Multiverse scenario, whatever may have preceded its origin, if the nature of Time actually requires this. 

The closely related, but separate, issue of whether the 'first cause' entity itself, whether quantum foam, or even God, or maybe the BB itself incorporated its own primary 'event', either was just eternally there or appeared spontaneously out of 'true nothing', whatever that ultimately means, is another thing.

The Quantum approach to time sequence and what we normally think of as causality can also be addressed by probability concepts, which I have already described. But to briefly repeat, if there is one dominant state of the universe which has overwhelming influence on whether some particular event occurs in the immediately following state in the nominal direction of forward time, it will be identified as the 'cause'.

But if no possible state of the universe has any discernible effect on the likelihood of a particular event occurring in the immediate future, as is the case with radioactive decay, we could say that the event is without cause.

But from within this perspective of the flow of time, closely related to the MWI picture I described, 'causality' is no longer a fundamental, it is merely descriptive of a certain category of wave-function probabilities.

Now it could be that some particular state of existence, eg quantum foam, is intrinsically more probable than any others, if anything is going to simply appear, that will be it.

'Quantum Foam' is an attempt to provide a conceptual 'mechanism' for what triggers apparently random events.

Quantum Mechanics is such a counter-intuitive science, we need more than one mental model to help us get our heads around it. They are all almost inevitably crude approximations to whatever the 'ultimate reality' is, which may be some sort of synthesis of these ideas, plus other stuff we have yet to come across....

Hope this helps someone. I don't expect Paisley to get it, of course.

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

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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:

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?

Give me an example.

Atheistextremist wrote:

Does the general truth that in the absence of complete knowledge atheists may postulate possibilities really constitute faith?

I said materialism is a metaphysical belief. There's no question about this.

Atheistextremist wrote:

You insist that you embrace faith without restraint.

I never said this.

Atheistextremist wrote:

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.

Hoping? That's textbook faith....

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen." Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

Atheistextremist wrote:

You are not the only free thinker here. Your core of faith constitutes a mental base jump supported by an invisible parachute.

I would suggest that you focus more on communicating effectively rather than on being cute. You're not very good at being cute.

Atheistextremist wrote:

In fact your position seems to be an insistence that we should stop thinking and accept things on faith forgoing ultimate objectivism.

Please cite a personal quote of mine to support this accusation. It would appear that you just make things up in order to have something to run off your mouth.

Atheistextremist wrote:

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.

I never said that atheism is a faith-based pseudo religion. But I do believe that atheistic materialism qualifies as a form of fundamentalism and that atheists in general are not very open-minded (especially the ones that participate on this forum). The bottom line here is that you're really not the free-thinker you fancy yourself to be because you're really not open to other possibilities.

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


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

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.

This is simply a pathetic ploy in order to salvage materialism.

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

The conservation law isn't violated.

You fail.

Virtual particles popping in and out of existence do violate the conservation law. Below is a link to an article in "Scientific American" that supports this claim. So, you fail.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=are-virtual-particles-rea 

 

"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:Kapkao

Paisley wrote:

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.

I believe a Quantum ANTIsingularity (i.e. a cosmic egg) is the cause of everything...

...and I don't care for rock mullets

“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

Paisley wrote:

v4ultingbassist wrote:

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.

This is simply a pathetic ploy in order to salvage materialism.

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

The conservation law isn't violated.

You fail.

Virtual particles popping in and out of existence do violate the conservation law. Below is a link to an article in "Scientific American" that supports this claim. So, you fail.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=are-virtual-particles-rea 

From that article:

Quote:

Quantum mechanics allows, and indeed requires, temporary violations of conservation of energy, so one particle can become a pair of heavier particles (the so-called virtual particles), which quickly rejoin into the original particle as if they had never been there. If that were all that occurred we would still be confident that it was a real effect because it is an intrinsic part of quantum mechanics, which is extremely well tested, and is a complete and tightly woven theory--if any part of it were wrong the whole structure would collapse.

Note the underlined. Quantum Mechanics is totally part of Physics/Physicalism.

Actual Physicalism is defined by the results of physical investigation.

So modern Scientific Physicalism, or Naturalism, is knowledge gained by the study of the natural world. So what happens is that all new 'laws' and theories consistent with scientifically revealed and confirmed data are automatically within the scope of Naturalism. That's how it works.

The distinction from metaphysical/philosophical approaches to knowledge is that science deduces which framework to apply as that which best fits what our investigations uncover, rather than presupposing anything, whether it be 'materialism' or 'dualism' or whatever. The assumptions of science are open to continuous review, in the light of the results of research.

The essence of science is to use whatever techniques we can to minimize the influence of individual hang-ups and biases etc, and apply as many independent tests and involve as many (hopefully) independent researchers as possible.

 

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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Paisley wrote: This is

Paisley wrote:

This is simply a pathetic ploy in order to salvage materialism.

 

"The first premise of this argument is the thesis of the Causal Closure of the Physical — that is, the thesis that every event which has a cause has a physical cause." - Link

 

If it doesn't have a cause, it doesn't have a cause.  Are you SERIOUSLY trying to say that a lack of cause is a type of cause?  I suppose you would because you seem to believe that dreamless sleep, where we lack awareness, is the purest form of awareness.  You really don't sound intelligent right now.

 

 

Quote:

Virtual particles popping in and out of existence do violate the conservation law. Below is a link to an article in "Scientific American" that supports this claim. So, you fail.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=are-virtual-particles-rea 

 

They come in pairs.  One positive, one negative.  They exist briefly, and their overall change to the system is a wopping 0.  No violation.  Also, the uncertainty principle factors into what happens in the creation of virtual particle pairs.

 

"We are really using the quantum-mechanical approximation method known as perturbation theory.  In perturbation theory, systems can go through intermediate "virtual states" that normally have energies different from that of the initial and final states.  This is because of another uncertainty principle, which relates time and energy." - Link


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Paisley wrote:This is simply

Paisley wrote:
This is simply a pathetic ploy in order to salvage materialism.

Isn't it cute when non-scientists try to understand science? They come up with the funniest conclusions!

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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unf.........

nigelTheBold wrote:

Paisley wrote:
This is simply a pathetic ploy in order to salvage materialism.

Isn't it cute when non-scientists try to understand science? They come up with the funniest conclusions!

I'm a non-scientist...........

“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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Kapkao wrote:nigelTheBold

Kapkao wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

Paisley wrote:
This is simply a pathetic ploy in order to salvage materialism.

Isn't it cute when non-scientists try to understand science? They come up with the funniest conclusions!

I'm a non-scientist...........

But it doesn't appear as if you're trying to come to any conclusions. Also, it seems you understand the science behind the physics, or the physics behind the science. Whichever you prefer.

Near as I can tell, you certainly aren't attempting to use science to prop up non-scientific (and nonsensical) questions such as, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" (As opposed to the scientific question, 'How did the universe form?')  You don't seem to propose something that does not obviously exist (for instance, "qualia," another of Paisley's favorite non-scientific obfuscations) and claim science is incomplete because science can't account for it.

I was perhaps being a little too general in my snarkiness. I don't regret it, though I meant no offense to you. (Me, I was educated in physics, but my career is in computers. So I too am not a scientist.)

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:You don't

nigelTheBold wrote:

You don't seem to propose something that does not obviously exist (for instance, "qualia," another of Paisley's favorite non-scientific obfuscations) and claim science is incomplete because science can't account for it.

Are you actually arguing that your subjective experiences (i.e. qualia) do not exist?

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


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 Oh God, please don't get

 Oh God, please don't get him started Nigel!!!!!

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


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BobSpence1 wrote:From that

BobSpence1 wrote:

From that article:

A temporary violation is still a violation. And if you truly believe that it isn't, then the next time a police officer pulls you over and cites you for violating the speed limit...contest it and go to the judge and tell him...."No, your Honor....I wasn't violating the speed limit....I was only TEMPORARILY violating the speed limit." See how far that gets you.

Virtual particles popping in and out of existence violate both the conservation law and the physical-closure principle. Also, QM violates determinism, on which materialism is predicated. That's three strikes against materialism and I haven't even mentioned entanglement and nonlocality.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Quantum Mechanics is totally part of Physics/Physicalism.

Yeah, and the "many worlds" interpretation is part of metaphysics. As I recall, you have expressed utter contempt and disdain for metaphysics. However, that doesn't seem to prevent you from engaging in it. Some individuals like myself would call that hypocrisy.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Actual Physicalism is defined by the results of physical investigation.

So modern Scientific Physicalism, or Naturalism, is knowledge gained by the study of the natural world. So what happens is that all new 'laws' and theories consistent with scientifically revealed and confirmed data are automatically within the scope of Naturalism. That's how it works.

I see. You're simply jockeying for position again by moving the goal posts. Here's the bottom line: "Non-reductive physicalism" is actually a dualistic position because it holds that consciousness does not "reduce" (hence...the non-reductive qualifier) to the physical. So, either you're affirming the reality of the nonphysical or you're denying the existence of consciousness. Pick your poison. Either way, I win and you lose.

By the way, you may want to edit the Wikipedia article on "physicalism" because its definition does not completely accord with yours (see quote below).

Quote:

Physicalism is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things.

(source: Wikipedia: Physicalism)

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

What exactly does this mean? It means that you have to provide me with one physical property of consciousness. If you can't do that, then you are conceding the point that materialism is based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence).

BobSpence1 wrote:

The distinction from metaphysical/philosophical approaches to knowledge is that science deduces which framework to apply as that which best fits what our investigations uncover, rather than presupposing anything, whether it be 'materialism' or 'dualism' or whatever. The assumptions of science are open to continuous review, in the light of the results of research.

Apparently, my presence here is not for naught because you are now co-opting my argument. I have stated repeatedly on this forum that science does not make metaphysical pronouncements.

"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:...where

BobSpence1 wrote:

...where Bob shows that the quote-mined version of an article Pais presented is cherry picked for his own bias...

 

Just once, it would be nice to see, "Oh, I'm sorry, I did not read that correctly."

 

Naturally, we see him bulldoze ahead, shrugging off any potential facts that get in his way.

 

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


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Paisley wrote:KSMB wrote:Why

Paisley wrote:

KSMB wrote:

Why should there be nothing rather than something?

Well, assuming the materialist worldview is true for the sake of argument, then there does not appear to be any logical explanation why there is something rather than nothing. The idea that a materialist world can exist (at least in theory) independently of consciousness is not self-explanatory.

Well sir, I can ask the same thing. There is no logical explanation as to why God should exist.

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

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Right

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

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?

Give me an example.

Atheistextremist wrote:

Does the general truth that in the absence of complete knowledge atheists may postulate possibilities really constitute faith?

I said materialism is a metaphysical belief. There's no question about this.

Atheistextremist wrote:

You insist that you embrace faith without restraint.

I never said this.

Atheistextremist wrote:

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.

Hoping? That's textbook faith....

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen." Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

Atheistextremist wrote:

You are not the only free thinker here. Your core of faith constitutes a mental base jump supported by an invisible parachute.

I would suggest that you focus more on communicating effectively rather than on being cute. You're not very good at being cute.

Atheistextremist wrote:

In fact your position seems to be an insistence that we should stop thinking and accept things on faith forgoing ultimate objectivism.

Please cite a personal quote of mine to support this accusation. It would appear that you just make things up in order to have something to run off your mouth.

Atheistextremist wrote:

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.

I never said that atheism is a faith-based pseudo religion. But I do believe that atheistic materialism qualifies as a form of fundamentalism and that atheists in general are not very open-minded (especially the ones that participate on this forum). The bottom line here is that you're really not the free-thinker you fancy yourself to be because you're really not open to other possibilities.

 

Apparently you believe facts are open to personal interpretation. And the fact materialism sits under the banner of metaphysical beliefs doesn't support your delight in the immaterial. I'm unsure why you think your faith is based on something that actually exists other than conjecture - you are taking a leap with no support and your insistence you are not doing so doesn't change this. The fact is you don't know the truth but you pound your pulpit with complete conviction. Multiple folk on this thread have admitted to not knowing but you never really do. Next you deny you demand we operate on faith while insisting you are the only free thinker here thanks to your ability to be open to "other possibilities". What are these immaterial possibilities you believe in and what is their proof? If we agree with you, what is it we then believe in? That once there was nothing? That something you keep refusing to define made all the rest of the something out of nothing? When accused of asking us to have faith in the unknowable you then claim you never said such a thing and reach for your quiver of sly adhoms. When accused of suggesting atheism is a faith based religion you say you never said such a thing despite the fact you continually allude to it. And you then say atheistic materialism is a form of fundamentalism. What sort of fundamentalism, Pais? Religious? And don't tell me hoping to know more about the facts of the world and religious faith are the same bloody thing.

 

 

 

 

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


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mellestad wrote:Oh God,

mellestad wrote:

Oh God, please don't get him started Nigel!!!!!

Oh, I won't. I stopped playing his word-games a long time ago. The fact that "life-force" used to be a major philosophical point, but is now relegated to the quaint ideas sales bin, shows the future (or current, really) destiny of "qualia." Same with the "ether" that was supposed to pervade the universe. Paisley is nothing more than a pseudo-intellectual with enough knowledge to be tedious. He stopped being entertaining or interesting a long, long time ago.

His constant harping on things of which he is obviously ignorant is pathetic. The more I learn about philosophy, the more I realize he is ignorant and pathetic in two languages: science and philosophy.

There is a good thing to come of this. I've learned that philosophy can be interesting and enlightening. You just have to be able to separate the ridiculous from the thoughtful. In a lot of respects, this is no different than science: there are a lot of Timecubes out there. Part of the skill of the layman is figuring out how to identify the Timecubes from the Lenskis.

 

[Edit addendum]

As an example of his ignorance of the science, I point to exhibit A: his inability to realize that virtual particles do not violate laws of conservation of energy because they exist along a temporary energy gradient, and their energy sum is 0. This shows profound ignorance of the laws of conservation, or ignorance of the nature of virtual particles. Someone with a little more knowledge would've at least introduced Hawking radiation into the discussion.

Further, his insistence on the magic of quantum mechanics, the nature of which we are almost entirely ignorant, shows that his epistemology is based on "whatever matches my preconceptions." If he were intellectually honest, he would admit that there are current propositions of the nature of QM that are strictly causal in nature, and cause both nonlocality and entanglement to become nothing more than mathematical illusions.

As with all people who wish to believe in magic, he jumps at any ignorance and says, "I know the answer to that! It's magic!" rather than taking the intellectually honest approach of saying, "This is currently a mystery."

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Paisley wrote:nigelTheBold

Paisley wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

You don't seem to propose something that does not obviously exist (for instance, "qualia," another of Paisley's favorite non-scientific obfuscations) and claim science is incomplete because science can't account for it.

Are you actually arguing that your subjective experiences (i.e. qualia) do not exist?

No, Paisley. I don't argue that subjective experience doesn't exist. I argue that qualia doesn't exist. And stop trying to conflate the two. It indicates that you're either a fucking idiot, or a fucking liar.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:Paisley

nigelTheBold wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Are you actually arguing that your subjective experiences (i.e. qualia) do not exist?

No, Paisley. I don't argue that subjective experience doesn't exist. I argue that qualia doesn't exist. And stop trying to conflate the two. It indicates that you're either a fucking idiot, or a fucking liar.

"Qualia" are subjective experiences. So, if you are arguing that they do not exist, then you qualify as an eliminative materialist and are therefore irrational. If you are arguing that qualia are not subjective experiences, then you are an idiot because you are clearly misinformed and revealing your ignorance by making a pretense of knowledge.

Quote:

The most common versions are eliminativism about propositional attitudes, as expressed by Paul and Patricia Churchland,[6] and eliminativism about qualia (subjective experience), as expressed by Daniel Dennett and Georges Rey[2]

(source: Wikipedia: Eliminative materialism)

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

Quote:

"Qualia" (pronounced /'kwalie/ or pronounced /'kweilie/), singular "quale" (pronounced /'kwale/, roughly KWAH-leh), from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to describe the subjective quality of conscious experience.

(source: Wikipedia: Qualia)

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

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nigelTheBold wrote:As an

nigelTheBold wrote:

As an example of his ignorance of the science, I point to exhibit A: his inability to realize that virtual particles do not violate laws of conservation of energy because they exist along a temporary energy gradient, and their energy sum is 0. This shows profound ignorance of the laws of conservation, or ignorance of the nature of virtual particles. Someone with a little more knowledge would've at least introduced Hawking radiation into the discussion.

I have just cited an article in "Scientific American" by Gordon Kane who says that quantum mechanics requires the temporary violations of the conservation law in order for virtual particles to pop in and out of existence. Gordon Kane is the Director of the Michigan Center of Theoretical Physics at the University of Michigan.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=are-virtual-particles-rea

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nigelTheBold wrote:Further,

nigelTheBold wrote:

Further, his insistence on the magic of quantum mechanics, the nature of which we are almost entirely ignorant, shows that his epistemology is based on "whatever matches my preconceptions." If he were intellectually honest, he would admit that there are current propositions of the nature of QM that are strictly causal in nature, and cause both nonlocality and entanglement to become nothing more than mathematical illusions.

As with all people who wish to believe in magic, he jumps at any ignorance and says, "I know the answer to that! It's magic!" rather than taking the intellectually honest approach of saying, "This is currently a mystery."

Just curious. What is your position on the "many worlds" interpretation of QM?

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


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

This is simply a pathetic ploy in order to salvage materialism.

 

"The first premise of this argument is the thesis of the Causal Closure of the Physical — that is, the thesis that every event which has a cause has a physical cause." - Link

If it doesn't have a cause, it doesn't have a cause Are you SERIOUSLY trying to say that a lack of cause is a type of cause?

I know it doesn't have a cause. I have already pointed this out. And I am also pointing out that you don't have a physical explanation for an uncaused physical event. Thanks for your cooperation and participation in helping me bring this fact home.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Virtual particles popping in and out of existence do violate the conservation law. Below is a link to an article in "Scientific American" that supports this claim. So, you fail.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=are-virtual-particles-rea 

They come in pairs.  One positive, one negative.  They exist briefly, and their overall change to the system is a wopping 0.  No violation.  Also, the uncertainty principle factors into what happens in the creation of virtual particle pairs.

Virtual particles require the violation of the conversation law in order to pop in and out of existence and I have just cited a reputable source that validates my claim. Your failure to acknowledge this does not change this fact. It simply reveals your intellectual dishonesty.

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


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Apparently you believe facts are open to personal interpretation. And the fact materialism sits under the banner of metaphysical beliefs doesn't support your delight in the immaterial. I'm unsure why you think your faith is based on something that actually exists other than conjecture - you are taking a leap with no support and your insistence you are not doing so doesn't change this. The fact is you don't know the truth but you pound your pulpit with complete conviction. Multiple folk on this thread have admitted to not knowing but you never really do. Next you deny you demand we operate on faith while insisting you are the only free thinker here thanks to your ability to be open to "other possibilities". What are these immaterial possibilities you believe in and what is their proof? If we agree with you, what is it we then believe in? That once there was nothing? That something you keep refusing to define made all the rest of the something out of nothing? When accused of asking us to have faith in the unknowable you then claim you never said such a thing and reach for your quiver of sly adhoms. When accused of suggesting atheism is a faith based religion you say you never said such a thing despite the fact you continually allude to it. And you then say atheistic materialism is a form of fundamentalism. What sort of fundamentalism, Pais? Religious? And don't tell me hoping to know more about the facts of the world and religious faith are the same bloody thing.

I said that materialism is a metaphysical belief that is ultimately based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence). And I will keep harping on this until you and others on this forum acknowledge this. The "many worlds" intepretation of QM is a metaphysical interpretation (not a scientific theory) in order to safeguard materialism. There is no question about this. There are a plethora of other metaphysical interpretations that support a spiritual worldview. There is no question about this either. 

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


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D33PPURPLE wrote:Paisley

D33PPURPLE wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Well, assuming the materialist worldview is true for the sake of argument, then there does not appear to be any logical explanation why there is something rather than nothing. The idea that a materialist world can exist (at least in theory) independently of consciousness is not self-explanatory.

Well sir, I can ask the same thing. There is no logical explanation as to why God should exist.

Well, actually there may be. And interestingly enough, an atheist on this thread made an argument that might provide the basis for it.

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.

One could argue that the laws of logic (or rationality itself) cannot exist independently of conscious intelligence. And if logic or rationality must necessarily exist in order to provide a logical or rational explanation for existence, then one could argue that conscious intelligence must necessarily exist. Of course, we call this necessary "conscious intelligence" God.

Actually, the Stoics called this necessary "conscious intelligence or rationality" the "logos" which was later co-opted by Christianity and ascribed to Jesus Christ (e.g. John 1:1). So, the Christ or the Logos is rationality itself whose existence is necessary in order to give a rational basis for existence.

"In the beginning was the Word (i.e. the Logos), and the Word was with God, and Word was God." John 1:1 KJV

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


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Pais

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Apparently you believe facts are open to personal interpretation. And the fact materialism sits under the banner of metaphysical beliefs doesn't support your delight in the immaterial. I'm unsure why you think your faith is based on something that actually exists other than conjecture - you are taking a leap with no support and your insistence you are not doing so doesn't change this. The fact is you don't know the truth but you pound your pulpit with complete conviction. Multiple folk on this thread have admitted to not knowing but you never really do. Next you deny you demand we operate on faith while insisting you are the only free thinker here thanks to your ability to be open to "other possibilities". What are these immaterial possibilities you believe in and what is their proof? If we agree with you, what is it we then believe in? That once there was nothing? That something you keep refusing to define made all the rest of the something out of nothing? When accused of asking us to have faith in the unknowable you then claim you never said such a thing and reach for your quiver of sly adhoms. When accused of suggesting atheism is a faith based religion you say you never said such a thing despite the fact you continually allude to it. And you then say atheistic materialism is a form of fundamentalism. What sort of fundamentalism, Pais? Religious? And don't tell me hoping to know more about the facts of the world and religious faith are the same bloody thing.

I said that materialism is a metaphysical belief that is ultimately based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence). And I will keep harping on this until you and others on this forum acknowledge this. The "many worlds" intepretation of QM is a metaphysical interpretation (not a scientific theory) in order to safeguard materialism. There is no question about this. There are a plethora of other metaphysical interpretations that support a spiritual worldview. There is no question about this either. 

 

Don't you think there's a difference between being open to a possibility and actually believing in something. You seem to suggest the 2 are interchangeable. And do you really think many worlds is not a scientific theory in order to "safeguard materialism"? I thought MWI was a fairly old math theory and that the MWI theory of QT matched quite well with current experiments. And I don't think atheists believe with insufficient evidence. I think there is a point where we stop believing and start saying we don't know, or we say maybe, or we say possibly. You keep insisting that this caution in the face of thinning evidence mirrors religious faith. How can this be? We're not using faith to bypass ignorance in postulating 'external' materialistic possibilities outside this material universe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


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Paisley wrote:D33PPURPLE

Paisley wrote:

D33PPURPLE wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Well, assuming the materialist worldview is true for the sake of argument, then there does not appear to be any logical explanation why there is something rather than nothing. The idea that a materialist world can exist (at least in theory) independently of consciousness is not self-explanatory.

Well sir, I can ask the same thing. There is no logical explanation as to why God should exist.

Well, actually there may be. And interestingly enough, an atheist on this thread made an argument that might provide the basis for it.

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.

One could argue that the laws of logic (or rationality itself) cannot exist independently of conscious intelligence. And if logic or rationality must necessarily exist in order to provide a logical or rational explanation for existence, then one could argue that conscious intelligence must necessarily exist. Of course, we call this necessary "conscious intelligence" God.

Actually, the Stoics called this necessary "conscious intelligence or rationality" the "logos" which was later co-opted by Christianity and ascribed to Jesus Christ (e.g. John 1:1). So, the Christ or the Logos is rationality itself whose existence is necessary in order to give a rational basis for existence.

"In the beginning was the Word (i.e. the Logos), and the Word was with God, and Word was God." John 1:1 KJV

OK, you have just surpassed your previously depths of stupidity. You appear to take the TAG argument seriously, the second most idiotic argument for God, after St.Anslem's ontological argument.

Therefore you are an idiot.

The Universe has attributes which are formally described by the laws of logic, in the consciousness of conscious minds. Those attributes formally described by the laws of logic, etc, exist a priori - they in no way depend for their existence on the existence of such a conscious description of them. 

The reverse is true - the existence of any form of conscious entity is totally dependent on reality having those basic attributes.

I genuinely thought even you would not be so stupid.

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Here is a more considered,

Here is a more considered, contemporary definition of Physicalism:

Quote:

Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on, or is necessitated by, the physical. The thesis is usually intended as a metaphysical thesis, parallel to the thesis attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Thales, that everything is water, or the idealism of the 18th Century philosopher Berkeley, that everything is mental. The general idea is that the nature of the actual world (i.e. the universe and everything in it) conforms to a certain condition, the condition of being physical. Of course, physicalists don't deny that the world might contain many items that at first glance don't seem physical — items of a biological, or psychological, or moral, or social nature. But they insist nevertheless that at the end of the day such items are either physical or supervene on the physical.

 I am reasonably comfortable with this. 

 

 

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

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Yep

BobSpence1 wrote:

Here is a more considered, contemporary definition of Physicalism:

Quote:

 

Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on, or is necessitated by, the physical. The thesis is usually intended as a metaphysical thesis, parallel to the thesis attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Thales, that everything is water, or the idealism of the 18th Century philosopher Berkeley, that everything is mental. The general idea is that the nature of the actual world (i.e. the universe and everything in it) conforms to a certain condition, the condition of being physical. Of course, physicalists don't deny that the world might contain many items that at first glance don't seem physical — items of a biological, or psychological, or moral, or social nature. But they insist nevertheless that at the end of the day such items are either physical or supervene on the physical.

 I am reasonably comfortable with this.  

 

So am I. But this probably means Pais can say we are eliminative materialists "and therefore irrational".

 

 

 

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


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dead-on, Nigel

nigelTheBold wrote:

But it doesn't appear as if you're trying to come to any conclusions. Also, it seems you understand the science behind the physics, or the physics behind the science. Whichever you prefer.

Near as I can tell, you certainly aren't attempting to use science to prop up non-scientific (and nonsensical) questions such as, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" (As opposed to the scientific question, 'How did the universe form?')  You don't seem to propose something that does not obviously exist (for instance, "qualia," another of Paisley's favorite non-scientific obfuscations) and claim science is incomplete because science can't account for it.

I was perhaps being a little too general in my snarkiness. I don't regret it, though I meant no offense to you. (Me, I was educated in physics, but my career is in computers. So I too am not a scientist.)

I understand lots of things many others do not, and I fail to understand many of the things that are understood naturally by others.........(IE common sense)

heh! I spent my earliest formative years looking at astronomy books... trying my DAMNEDEST to figure out the one, final "unexplained mystery" of quantum mechanics... the gravitational singularity.

I think I ended up bruising my 'brain muscle' during all that hard thinking... but I was better off for it.

edit, as a side note: I can hardly blame you for not being a physicist... too much arthritis-inducing chalkboard scribbling

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Paisley wrote:I know it

Paisley wrote:

I know it doesn't have a cause. I have already pointed this out. And I am also pointing out that you don't have a physical explanation for an uncaused physical event. Thanks for your cooperation and participation in helping me bring this fact home.

 

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

 

Wow you a moron.  Physicalism is not necessarily deterministic.  Where you got that idea (maybe it's from your archaic use of materialism) is beyond me.  Violation of determinism does NOT violate physicalism.  Also, you talk all about CAUSES, and now you suddenly change your tune to an 'explanation.'  To me, it just sounds like a different way of you trying to say that not having a cause for something means that explanation is wrong.  You are presupposing determinism.

 

Paisley wrote:

Virtual particles require the violation of the conversation law in order to pop in and out of existence and I have just cited a reputable source that validates my claim. Your failure to acknowledge this does not change this fact. It simply reveals your intellectual dishonesty.

 

Oh?  And my link wasn't reputable?  You cited an article in an online magazine.  I cited a university website.  I learned in gradeschool that .edu trumps .com.


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Paisley wrote:nigelTheBold

Paisley wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

No, Paisley. I don't argue that subjective experience doesn't exist. I argue that

qualia

doesn't exist. And stop trying to conflate the two. It indicates that you're either a fucking idiot, or a fucking liar.

"Qualia" are subjective experiences. So, if you are arguing that they do not exist, then you qualify as an eliminative materialist and are therefore irrational. If you are arguing that qualia are not subjective experiences, then you are an idiot because you are clearly misinformed and revealing your ignorance by making a pretense of knowledge.

I'm not playing your stupid word-game, Paisley. If I accept "qualia" as equivalent to "subjective experience," you will then go on to use it in an expanded dualistic fashion. It's what you always do. I guess that makes you a fucking liar.

As Dennett has pointed out, "qualia" is being used by philosophers today in the same way that "life-force" was used by philosophers a hundred years ago. Just as there is no "life-force" to cause life, there is no "qualia" to cause subjective experience. If you weren't so intellectually dishonest, you would just use the words "subjective experience."

This is the last I'll post on this. I don't want to derail this thread from your other batherings on stuff you have no fucking clue about.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Paisley wrote:nigelTheBold

Paisley wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

Further, his insistence on the magic of quantum mechanics, the nature of which we are almost entirely ignorant, shows that his epistemology is based on "whatever matches my preconceptions." If he were intellectually honest, he would admit that there are current propositions of the nature of QM that are strictly causal in nature, and cause both nonlocality and entanglement to become nothing more than mathematical illusions.

As with all people who wish to believe in magic, he jumps at any ignorance and says, "I know the answer to that! It's magic!" rather than taking the intellectually honest approach of saying, "This is currently a mystery."

Just curious. What is your position on the "many worlds" interpretation of QM?

My take is that we don't have any idea about the nature of QM. We have a statistical model of the behavior. That's it. Any conjecture based on propositions of the nature of QM are nothing more than mental wanking. The "many worlds" interpretation is vaguely interesting in an SF sort-of-way, but otherwise has no more ontological relevance than god literally playing dice with each quantum event.

Identifying our areas of ignorance is an important task. Knowing what to do with that ignorance is also an important task. What you do, Paisley, is to take our areas of ignorance and insert your own special biases. This is fine: that's really what we all do.

The problem is when you start asserting you have proof that your interpretation is the right one. Hell, the problem is you assuming any kind of ontological meaning in any interpretation. And when your interpretation needs to insert something that has no ontological standing whatsoever (some other dualist realm where the spirit lives, or whatever your favorite delusion is), you have less ontological standing.

Talking to an actual philosopher over the last month, I've gained new respect for philosophy. I used you as a model of why I thought philosophy was a ten-pound bag of pustulent puppies, Paisley. (Hah! Alliteration.) After describing your approach to philosophy, he laughed and said, "Yeah. Actual philosophers hate these guys too. They can read the words, but they can't synthesize meaning. And they don't understand the limits or purpose of philosophy."

I guess it's like a non-scientist reading a scientific paper, latching on to a few words, and thinking they have a profound understanding of the subject matter. It's the exact same thing in your case, Paisley. Only you do it to both science, and to philosophy.

Which is why you are always asking people what their take is on things that have no true ontological standing, like qualia and many-worlds. In the end, it's all just opinion, and has no bearing on this thing we call reality. It's also why you ask questions like, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" as if there were any profound meaning to the question.

As I said, I'm glad that your understanding of philosophy is as weak as your understanding of science.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Kapkao wrote:heh! I spent my

Kapkao wrote:

heh! I spent my earliest formative years looking at astronomy books... trying my DAMNEDEST to figure out the one, final "unexplained mystery" of quantum mechanics... the gravitational singularity.

Me too! In 8th grade, I would check out books on nuclear physics. Not the big ones, mind you, but just the typical layman's-overview books -- typically, books detailing the subatomic menagerie, the history of particle physics, and so on. One of my favorite articles in Discover Magazine was about a bunch of rogue physicists who were pursuing the wild idea that most current physicists scoffed at -- string theory. It was an elegant and simple theory.

I also loved the big illustrated books of the universe. And after Cosmos aired, I really wanted to be an astronomer. Then I wanted to work at CERN.

Quote:
I think I ended up bruising my 'brain muscle' during all that hard thinking... but I was better off for it.

edit, as a side note: I can hardly blame you for not being a physicist... too much arthritis-inducing chalkboard scribbling

That decision came after a talk with my adviser, when he asked me what I wanted to do after graduation. He was mostly asking where I wanted to attend grad school, and what I would specialize in. We talked about CERN, and other research areas, and he disillusioned me at the time. He had gotten his PhD at CalTech. He had also wanted to work at CERN. He was instead teaching physics at the University of Alaska (he hastened to explain that he loved what he was doing, and had no regrets).

It was really just the realization that I probably couldn't become a rock star. And while I enjoyed my stint in a lab assisting a professor doing high-temperature superconductivity research, I realized that wasn't what I wanted to do for my life.

Anyway, all that's neither here nor there. I just understand what you mean about being passionate about the science without being a scientist yourself. And bruising your head against new things is the best way to keep in mental shape.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:Paisley

nigelTheBold wrote:

Paisley wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

No, Paisley. I don't argue that subjective experience doesn't exist. I argue that

qualia

doesn't exist. And stop trying to conflate the two. It indicates that you're either a fucking idiot, or a fucking liar.

"Qualia" are subjective experiences. So, if you are arguing that they do not exist, then you qualify as an eliminative materialist and are therefore irrational. If you are arguing that qualia are not subjective experiences, then you are an idiot because you are clearly misinformed and revealing your ignorance by making a pretense of knowledge.

I'm not playing your stupid word-game, Paisley. If I accept "qualia" as equivalent to "subjective experience," you will then go on to use it in an expanded dualistic fashion. It's what you always do. I guess that makes you a fucking liar.

I have cited two sources to support my claim that "qualia" are subjective experiences. One of those sources explicitly states that Daniel Dennett denies the existence of qualia (i.e. subjective experiences). Now, you are finding yourself in a "Catch-22 situation" because you made a blunder by shooting off your mouth when you clearly did not know what the heck you were talking about.

nigelTheBold wrote:

As Dennett has pointed out, "qualia" is being used by philosophers today in the same way that "life-force" was used by philosophers a hundred years ago. Just as there is no "life-force" to cause life, there is no "qualia" to cause subjective experience. If you weren't so intellectually dishonest, you would just use the words "subjective experience."

This is a specious argument. First, it is making the assumption that only certain life forms have the experience of awareness. Secondly, there is no consensual agreement on what  constitutes life. Thirdly, Dennett himself endowed the first self-replicating molecular systems in the primordial soup with intentionality. IOW, he is either flirtly dangerously close with panpychism or he is denying the existence of subjective experiences. (I will let you pick your poision on that one). Fourthly, our first-person perspective provides us with irrefutable proof that we have subjective experiences. Finally, we know why Dennett is taking this completely irrational position. It's called vested-interest. He is in charge of an artificial intelligence project and he and his team are burden with the responsibility of creating some kind of conscious robot. If he can convince others that consciousness is simply information processing, then he can make the claim that robots already have consciousness. That anyone could fall for such a ridiculous argument probably indicates that they share his pipe dream.

nigelTheBold wrote:

This is the last I'll post on this. I don't want to derail this thread from your other batherings on stuff you have no fucking clue about.

Who are you kidding? You have just fallen prey to your own stupidity and now you are vainly attempting to "save face." We both know that. I suggest that you change your screen name from "Nigel the Bold" to "Nigel the Chicken." That would be more appropriate.

"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:Who are you

Paisley wrote:

Who are you kidding? You have just fallen prey to your own stupidity and now you are vainly attempting to "save face." We both know that. I suggest that you change your screen name from "Nigel the Bold" to "Nigel the Chicken." That would be more appropriate.

What are you, a fucking 8-year-old?

Grow up.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:Paisley

nigelTheBold wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Who are you kidding? You have just fallen prey to your own stupidity and now you are vainly attempting to "save face." We both know that. I suggest that you change your screen name from "Nigel the Bold" to "Nigel the Chicken." That would be more appropriate.

What are you, a fucking 8-year-old?

Grow up.

Paisley's an intellectual masochist and you're depriving him?

"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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nigelTheBold wrote:Paisley

nigelTheBold wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Just curious. What is your position on the "many worlds" interpretation of QM?

My take is that we don't have any idea about the nature of QM. We have a statistical model of the behavior. That's it. Any conjecture based on propositions of the nature of QM are nothing more than mental wanking. The "many worlds" interpretation is vaguely interesting in an SF sort-of-way, but otherwise has no more ontological relevance than god literally playing dice with each quantum event.

It would appear that you believe that MWI qualifies as nothing more than a metaphysical belief.

nigelTheBold wrote:

Identifying our areas of ignorance is an important task. Knowing what to do with that ignorance is also an important task. What you do, Paisley, is to take our areas of ignorance and insert your own special biases. This is fine: that's really what we all do.

If you believe it is fine and that everyone else does it too (including yourself), then why the personal attack?

nigelTheBold wrote:

The problem is when you start asserting you have proof that your interpretation is the right one. Hell, the problem is you assuming any kind of ontological meaning in any interpretation. And when your interpretation needs to insert something that has no ontological standing whatsoever (some other dualist realm where the spirit lives, or whatever your favorite delusion is), you have less ontological standing.

Consciousness is axiomatic (i.e. self-evident). Any attempt to deny its existence presupposes it. If that doesn't qualify as proof, then nothing does. Moreover, the burden of proof is upon those who assert that consciousness is physical, not on those who question it. Why? Because consciousness is clearly subjective, not objective. Therefore, if you truly believe that consciousness is physical, then provide me with one physical property. If you can't accomplish that, then I expect you to acknowledge that your belief in materialism is ultimately based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence). Failure to do so on your part will demonstrate to me that you are intellectually dishonest. And since dishonesty is a character flaw, I will conclude that your character is suspect. IOW, you are not to be trusted.

nigelTheBold wrote:

Talking to an actual philosopher over the last month, I've gained new respect for philosophy. I used you as a model of why I thought philosophy was a ten-pound bag of pustulent puppies, Paisley. (Hah! Alliteration.) After describing your approach to philosophy, he laughed and said, "Yeah. Actual philosophers hate these guys too. They can read the words, but they can't synthesize meaning. And they don't understand the limits or purpose of philosophy."

I see. You were evidently so distraught by my complete dismantling of your materialist worldview that you desperately sought professional help by paying a visit to an academic philosopher.

nigelTheBold wrote:

I guess it's like a non-scientist reading a scientific paper, latching on to a few words, and thinking they have a profound understanding of the subject matter. It's the exact same thing in your case, Paisley. Only you do it to both science, and to philosophy.

Philosophy is about making an argument. I am very good at making an argument; you are not. If this is point of contention for you, then I suggest you sharpen your debating skills by learning how to craft a a more cogent argument rather than engaging in the juvenile behavior of flinging ad hominem attacks and throwing hissy fits. Also, I will hasten to add that I have never made a scientific claim or philosophical claim that I did not support by citing a reliable source. I wish I could say the same for you and others on this forum.

nigelTheBold wrote:

Which is why you are always asking people what their take is on things that have no true ontological standing, like qualia and many-worlds. In the end, it's all just opinion, and has no bearing on this thing we call reality.

Subjective experiences clearly exist. To deny this is inherently self-refuting. I had my reasons  for asking your input on the "many worlds" interpretation. But it is not for the reason you think. However, I am not ready to share my reasons for this request with you, at least not just yet. At any rate, it would appear that you believe MWI is comparable to a metaphysical belief such as believing in the existence of God. Thanks for your input.

nigelTheBold wrote:

It's also why you ask questions like, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" as if there were any profound meaning to the question.

As I said, I'm glad that your understanding of philosophy is as weak as your understanding of science.

Martin Heidegger (philosopher who specialized in ontology) considered the question "why is there something rather the nothing" to be the most fundamental question in philosophy. (Martin Heidegger is arguably the most influential philosopher within the last century.) 

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/

"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:Consciousness

Paisley wrote:

Consciousness is axiomatic (i.e. self-evident). Any attempt to deny its existence presupposes it. If that doesn't qualify as proof, then nothing does. Moreover, the burden of proof is upon those who assert that consciousness is physical, not on those who question it. Why? Because consciousness is clearly subjective, not objective. Therefore, if you truly believe that consciousness is physical, then provide me with one physical property. If you can't accomplish that, then I expect you to acknowledge that your belief in materialism is ultimately based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence). Failure to do so on your part will demonstrate to me that you are intellectually dishonest. And since dishonesty is a character flaw, I will conclude that your character is suspect. IOW, you are not to be trusted.

 

It can be controlled by physical stimuli.  It relies on energy to exist.  Even if you assume that it is non-physical, it integrates with the brain in a physical way and therefor has a physical component.  Do I get a gold star?

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


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 Consciousness in any way

 Consciousness in any way shape or form you define it cannot exist without physical interaction of matter. If Paisley wants to believe rainbows and fairy dust comes out of complex processes then let him, he'll obviously never make it in any scientific field or discover anything to advance human understanding of anything. But he'll be happy because he thinks he knows what he's talking about just like every other human.


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Paisley wrote:D33PPURPLE

Paisley wrote:

D33PPURPLE wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Well, assuming the materialist worldview is true for the sake of argument, then there does not appear to be any logical explanation why there is something rather than nothing. The idea that a materialist world can exist (at least in theory) independently of consciousness is not self-explanatory.

Well sir, I can ask the same thing. There is no logical explanation as to why God should exist.

Well, actually there may be. And interestingly enough, an atheist on this thread made an argument that might provide the basis for it.

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.

One could argue that the laws of logic (or rationality itself) cannot exist independently of conscious intelligence. And if logic or rationality must necessarily exist in order to provide a logical or rational explanation for existence, then one could argue that conscious intelligence must necessarily exist. Of course, we call this necessary "conscious intelligence" God.

Actually, the Stoics called this necessary "conscious intelligence or rationality" the "logos" which was later co-opted by Christianity and ascribed to Jesus Christ (e.g. John 1:1). So, the Christ or the Logos is rationality itself whose existence is necessary in order to give a rational basis for existence.

"In the beginning was the Word (i.e. the Logos), and the Word was with God, and Word was God." John 1:1 KJV

And why, pray tell, would we call something that allows Logical Laws to work "God"? And why attribute ANY OTHER property to said "God"? I just don't see your logic. If anything, you are just redefining "God" well beyond the intention of Christianity.

On the other hand, I can argue that the "conscious intelligence" is, in fact, my own mind and that everything else does not exist and it'd be as provable as this "God".

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


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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." 

Well duh. I don't know if the materialist worldview is true much like I don't know if you even exist. The simple fact is that all worldviews are unprovable, including yours.

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


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D33PPURPLE wrote:Paisley

D33PPURPLE 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." 

Well duh. I don't know if the materialist worldview is true much like I don't know if you even exist. The simple fact is that all worldviews are unprovable, including yours.

That's right. The materialist worldview is ultimately based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence). Also, there is a particularly pernicious brand of materialism (that is fairly prevalent here) known as "eliminative materialism" and those who adhere to it apparently doubt their own existence.

"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:D33PPURPLE

Paisley wrote:

D33PPURPLE 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." 

Well duh. I don't know if the materialist worldview is true much like I don't know if you even exist. The simple fact is that all worldviews are unprovable, including yours.

That's right. The materialist worldview is ultimately based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence). Also, there is a particularly pernicious brand of materialism (that is fairly prevalent here) known as "eliminative materialism" and those who adhere to it apparently doubt their own existence.

It always strikes me as amusing that Theists have to "prove" that everyone has faith on something. Yes, you can say that belief in all world views require"faith", but there is enough reasonable evidence for materialism that to say there isn't sufficient evidence is to mock the word hyperbole.

But even if grant that materialism requires some degree of faith, even believing that anyone other than yourself is real requires faith. If that's the case, then materialism requires the exact same faith that it takes to believe that other people are real. In other words, there is about as much logical evidence for materialism as there is for the existence of everyone and everything around you. It isn't a huge logical leap--rather, it is a natural conclusion from anything that can be humanly ascertained.

Not only does the Theist (well, the overwhelming majority of them) make the faith-based claim described above, but they make YET ANOTHER one, even when it's completely unnecessary to do so. This is what the Atheist protests. If even the world around us can't be proven and requires some degree of faith to believe in, why add a dogmatic belief about what we can't even properly conceive?

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Yeah, it's speculative. But it is no more speculative than the "many worlds" interpretation which Bob is peddling.

Whether it is "supernatural" or not depends on how you define "natural." If you define a "natural explanation" to be a "physical explanation," then this is a supernatural explanation because free will is determining the initial conditions of the universe.

That is nonsense.

The particular version of the MWI that I described is a mental model that attempts to help us understand how the Quantum wave-function math might 'work' in some sense that we might be able to grasp.

The MWI is not speculative? Give me a break. Your "brother in arms" considers all QM interpretatons as nothing more than mental masturbation. That would include the "many worlds" interpretation too.

nigelTheBold wrote:

My take is that we don't have any idea about the nature of QM. We have a statistical model of the behavior. That's it. Any conjecture based on propositions of the nature of QM are nothing more than mental wanking. The "many worlds" interpretation is vaguely interesting in an SF sort-of-way, but otherwise has no more ontological relevance than god literally playing dice with each quantum event.

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