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Everything posted by Memammal

  1. My use of the word "eternal" might have been misleading. I intended to refer to there being no beginning nor end to the block universe (consider points 2 & 3 listed under The Astounding Implications of the Block Universe in said article) and the notion that time (and the arrow of time) in itself becomes somewhat illusionary.
  2. Yes, but it remains to be illusionary...akin to the randomness of the quantum phenomena that we discussed earlier. His argument really boils down to yes, you may have free will to choose...but said choice will be deterministic as it has already been made/implemented (seeing that the future event is as real as the present). The difference between presentism/tensed and eternalism/tenseless lies in the fact that with the first-mentioned only the present (-event) IS real [EDIT: a past event WAS real, a future event WILL BECOME real...these imply that the past and future are seen as less real than the present] whereas with the eternalism/tenseless approach ALL events ARE EQUALLY real and simply occurring at different coordinates of spacetime. It is a very important distinction.
  3. @ Strange: This is one of the most concise and best explanations of the implications of the block universe model that I have come across and it also happens to have relevance to this thread: Time, Free Will and the Block Universe. PS. The above article refers to tensed and tenseless theories of time. These correspond with presentism vs eternalism. A block universe model featuring tensed time or presentism is commonly referred to as the growing or evolving block universe.
  4. Note the following: The eternal block universe is one (of more) interpretation(s) of said model, but seemingly the most "popular". Secondly, eternal does not necessarily imply (physically) infinite. That illusionary time concept again...(among other things). Perhaps we are steering a bit off topic, no? The block universe has been (and still is being) discussed in a number of threads here in the Philosophy category.
  5. Possibly (but not necessarily) w.r.t. something like deism or pantheism, but not w.r.t. theism. Said model does not allow for an external agent or tinkerer. It also implies that the universe is eternal, i.e. no beginning and no end. Yes, the standard block universe model incorporates Minkowski spacetime and is based on GR & SR. I was merely trying to explain Tampitump's p.o.v. as quoted in my previous post.
  6. I know I should not be sticking my nose into this, but let us all just calm down a bit. Who knows, Tampitump might just have a bad day and might have over-reacted. Keep in mind the topic of the discussion...did he have free will..? Enough said. These examples do not necessarily point to indeterminism (or randomness), even though it may seem like it. An eternal deterministic block (4D) universe could resolve that particular argument as it states that all events (past, present and future) are immutable, carved in stone and equally real. Whatever may appear to be random, cannot be as it "has already occurred in the future" (according to said theory). In that sense Tampitump had a point when he wrote that (perceived) "quantum indeterminism does not negate determinism".
  7. It is still not an open-and-shut case, but the evidence seem pretty strong. A deterministic universe is one angle of said argument, but apart from- and in further support thereof are the mounting behavioural and neuroscientific evidence. This may help: Free Will - Jerry Coyne. Here is an introduction: Our thoughts and actions are the outputs of a computer made of meat—our brain—a computer that must obey the laws of physics. Our choices, therefore, must also obey those laws. This puts paid to the traditional idea of dualistic or "libertarian" free will: that our lives comprise a series of decisions in which we could have chosen otherwise. We know now that we can never do otherwise...
  8. @ EdEarl, I find this quite fascinating. As you, I thought of panspermia as something akin to a possible contributing factor at most (perhaps explaining the origin of RNA?). This suggests something more substantial, no? I have a growing suspicion, mere speculation at this point in time, from connecting certain dots. Your post above, your other post in another thread plus some of the articles that I quoted and referenced in that same thread (below your before-mentioned post) represent some of those dots. It seems somewhat radical, so let me rather search for more dots first.
  9. Think about what has changed between the first, second or consecutive observations of the pen (events), apart from the pen's physical appearance. That is your fourth dimension and it is an integral part of each observation/event. Think i.t.o. block universe.
  10. Look at that pen again, Tim88. It is still the same pen, but your observation or experience of the pen now constitutes a different event than the one you referred to "before". The pen may appear to be 3-D, yet your separate observations of it happened at different coordinates in a 4-D universe. Hope this helps.
  11. The backlash within Republican Party ranks look pretty damaging. And so it should be; Trump is a walking, talking disaster.
  12. Start with what? Just so that we are clear...you do realise that colonising stars is a pretty horrific way to fix overpopulation, no?
  13. Uhmm, we have not yet worked out exactly how we intend to colonise Mars, which is easy going and just a stone throw away compared to other galaxies...and colonising stars will probably not feature on the short list of alternatives...
  14. Let me add this to the above post: And since I have now found the published articles, let me link these too:
  15. Just back to the topic. May I suggest the following reading material: The Neural Correlates Of Consciousness - Susan Blackmore The Self - Bruce Hood Cognitive Agency - Thomas Metzinger Free Will - Jerry Coyne These are short, but powerful and insightful articles that form part of “This Idea Must Die; Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress”. Reading the title of said publication together with the titles of each of the above-mentioned articles will give you a hint about their respective opinions.
  16. For what it is worth, I was referring to the discussion on page 35 and in particular post # 693.
  17. This in order to explain why I consider it to be the status quo and why I felt justified to put (null hypothesis) in brackets next to it: For substantiation please read my post# 676 of this thread together with the parts that I quoted and commented on in said post. In another exchange (somewhere shortly before, or after that...I would have to search for it) an important principle of the so-called "myth theories" was debunked (something that you might have also touched on when you wrote "and that of a god who like most other gods of that time had a human aspect").
  18. Thank you Tim88, but I do not agree with your assessment as set out in the second paragraph above. Please read the OP again...and/or browse through the thread...and you will notice that the discussion here has focussed almost entirely on the first "hypothesis". The OP is welcome to clarify. PS. The Jesus Myth Theory was the alternative option, which is the one that corresponds with your second "hypothesis". But the OP clearly asked about the actual historicity (i.e. whether he existed or not) of the man popularly known as Jesus (of the Bible, i.e. the one who was later elevated by virtue of early Christianity to the son of God who died for humanity's sins, etc.). Most historians, Biblical scholars and authors on the topic of a historical Jesus hold an opinion similar to the one that I articulated in the post that was met with a few thumb down votes.
  19. Thank you Mordred for clarifying that. I agree with your opinions above and they are also in line with at least two other findings that I previously referenced: Vesselin Petkov​'s Is there An Alternative To The Block Universe View And Springer Berlin Heidelberg's Relativity of Simultaneity and Eternalism: In Defense of the Block Universe
  20. Fair enough...I must have read too much into this "With that the question about a historical Jesus was sufficiently answered for me: I discovered that I had allowed myself to be fooled by religion and religion-based historians."
  21. I respectfully disagree with your assertion in context of this thread. We are not discussing the merits of a supernatural Jesus, or Christianity. Furthermore, the historians and Biblical scholars who have researched the topic of a historical Jesus were not all religious or Christian. Having an informed opinion that it is more likely for a historical Jesus to have existed than not, does not necessarily imply that one is a Christian. I am not a Christian. I am not sure why my previous post was voted down. I merely repeated my earlier opinion, one that I had already motivated, and I did so in support of Tampitump's opinion above and to a lesser degree, John Guthber and others who argued that there is little point to continue the debate without new information.
  22. I.m.o. there exist sufficient circumstantial evidence to maintain the status quo (or null hypothesis) that an historical Jesus figure PROBABLY did exist and that the life and times of said historical Jesus had SOME resemblance to what is being portrayed in parts of the synoptic gospels. There seems little to no credible evidence to support the non-existence of-, or to point to some sort of fictional/fabricated Jesus. All these arguments have already been presented and there seem to be little new information that could shed some light on it. No need to argue about it in circles any longer. If the OP, or any reader comes to a different conclusion or is happy with WE DON'T KNOW, so be it.
  23. Having read through the most recent posts and in particular relevant parts of Mordred's post #111, it would appear that we are now merging onto the same reality plane w.r.t. the block universe (philosophically speaking).
  24. I gather it is the physicist side of you...which is perfectly understandable. I can only speak for the block universe approach, hence me snipping out the rest for the purpose of my response. I.t.o. the block universe approach the so-called arrow of time becomes a bit of a misnomer. Perhaps a arrow of location would be more descriptive..? *(Perceived)* entropy may indeed be different at different locations within the block universe. As I alluded to, that would then be a given...a physical and predetermined (unavoidable) property of being at (or experiencing) a different coordinate along said reality. Reversing expansion implies moving to another (prior) coordinate. All locations are equally real though, with its associated properties (w.r.t. entropy et al). *(Edit)* Here is another perspective, which was not googled. I have the book, so I apologise beforehand if copying from it may infringe copyright:
  25. Although I agree with a lot of what Mordred posted in the part quoted above, I do have a few reservations. This is not necessarily to counter- or question Mordred, but an attempt to share the visualisation of this model. As far as I am concerned the standard block universe is generally perceived as both deterministic and eternalistic (although there are arguments favouring presentism and indeterminism). In another thread studiot and myself were, at first, unable to find common ground re the block universe until we resolved a simple misunderstanding re the term deterministic. So before we proceed, let us revisit said term and its intended definition i.t.o. the block universe: A deterministic system is a system in which no randomness is involved in the development of future states of the system. A deterministic model will thus always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state. It is important to understand that the (deterministic and eternalistic) standard block universe proposes immutable past, present and future events (fixed in stone, done and dusted). One has to actually visualise a "physical" (granular, particle, or field-assembled) eternal horizontal block; with no beginning and no end (if you want to, add an infinitely expanding shape). This eternal (on-its-side-cone-shaped) block is made up with an infinite (yes I know, another topic for another discussion) number of vertically aligned slices, each with its own immutable event. Embedded into this block (say from left to right along its expanding shape) is our "chronological" perception of these events (aka our sense of reality). Each "consecutive" slice will yield an immutable future event that will be perceived as "qualia", i.e. experiencing or observing an event on a specific coordinate (opposed to a moment in time) within this four-dimensional block. No doubt that there are physical processes (both on quantum and on macro level) transpiring in the unfolding of each event...but these processes are predetermined...immutable. They may appear random or uncertain, yet they simply "manifest as they should have" in order to illuminate (as per the moving spotlight) the next event. Let us consider that film analogy as described in the source that I referenced earlier in the thread where our embedded perception of reality within this block universe equates to a film consisting of countless frames, each frame consisting of a separate mini process towards an inevitable future. Our perception thereof is akin to watching the movie where everything occur in a sensible, chronological and natural manner...waiting for events to unfold. Imagine having an alternative manner of accessing said reality, like the ability to pause, rewind or even fast forward...for example a scene where a car falls from a cliff that can be paused, or rewind...as if violating the laws of physics..? Which brings me to the evolving block. I find it hard to buy into the notion that "evolving block tries to keep events as deterministic as possible" given the above explanation and illustration. Let me also add another- and slightly different perspective, an opinion that I find quite appealing: Lastly and simply as a matter of interest: There seems to be a compelling parallel with another thread in the Biology/Evolution section that deals with free will, consciousness and evolution: http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/74370-since-we-have-no-free-will-what-purpose-doesdid-consciousness-serve/
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