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afungusamongus

Physicists can't avoid a creation event

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1) Causality is a valid concept.

2) Our observable universe is approximately 14 billion years old, and began with the Big Bang.

3) The Big Bang caused itself. No, see #1

3) God created himself, then the Big Bang. No, #1 again

3) Something outside our observable universe caused the Big Bang.

C) There is more to our universe than is observable; Big stuff happens there, and seems to stay there.

Try again.

1) Causality is a valid concept. Not quite.

 

Newton's third law was the start of the downfall of the notion of cause and effect. It is invalid to label one of the forces that comprise a third law pair as the cause and the other as the effect. One way out is that there are not two forces. There is but one force, and this one force results in equal but opposite reactions by the two particles. So does this rescue cause and effect?

 

No. Relativity theory with its relativity of simultaneity says you better think hard about this concept of causality. But at least the universe obeys local realism. So is cause and effect rescued, at least locally?

 

No. Quantum mechanics says you better think even harder about this concept of causality. There is a tinge of causality in some interpretations of quantum mechanics, but this quantum causality is weird -- and still hotly debated. Does somewhat elusive quantum causality rescue our naive concept of cause and effect?

 

No. Bell's Theorem says you better think real hard about this concept of causality.

 

Our primitive notion of cause and effect is, well, primitive, and is inextricably coupled with our primitive notion of time. Relativity theory once again says you better think hard about this notion of time. Quantum mechanics goes one step further and questions whether time really exists (with no answer, at least no yet.)

 

Regarding your statement

3) The Big Bang caused itself. No, see #1

The currently dominant hypothesis is that the Big Bang did indeed cause itself. One explanation is that the total energy of the universe is identically zero. Nothing is required to create nothing, and the universe as a whole is ultimately nothing.

 

Your #1 is "Causality is a valid concept". This needs to be qualified with sometimes. Newtonian mechanics is also a valid concept. Sometimes. The #1 rule learned by physicists over the last century plus is "don't extrapolate." Just because "causality is a valid concept" sometimes does not mean that it is universal. Your strike through "the Big Bang caused itself" implicitly assumes that causality is universal.

 

That causality is universally true is falsified by radioactive decay, as I mentioned in an earlier post.

 

Radioactive decay falsifies your first premise. In fact, modern physics says you better think hard about that primitive notion of cause and effect.
And what's this?! I'll be looking it up, but a direct explanation would be greatly appreciated! (I mean, if the decay happens only in a certain circumstance, wouldn't that place the cause somewhere near the circumstance? Not to mention, without cause and effect, well...decision-making gets kinda...tricky.)

Older point of view: Radioactive decay just happens. There is no cause. It just happens, randomly.

Newer point of view: Radioactive decay results from vacuum fluctuations. Vacuum fluctuations just happen, randomly. There is no cause.

Regardless of the point of view, radioactive decay comes down to "stuff just happens."

 

 

Regarding your final comment, "well...decision-making gets kinda...tricky": Yep. That's exactly right. Relativity of simultaneity says that cause and effect are kinda tricky. Bell's Theorem says that you should put a strike through the "kinda".

 

 

Why can't we subscribe to an infinite regress of causes?

Exactly. While the consensus view is that the big bang created itself, that does not mean that it is true. Some cosmologists are starting to ask about "before the big bang." And they get an infinite regress.

 

The OP responded to your question with

"If one continues along the same lines, the initial problem will recur infinitely and will never be solved." - Wikipedia on infinite regresses

You didn't supply a link. Here it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_regress

 

1. It's wikipedia. It's free. You get what you pay for.

2. That quote is supposedly from reference 1. Big problem here: Where is reference 1? This is a broken wikipedia article.

3. Very nice quote out of context. The very next sentence, which you omitted, is "Not all regresses, however, are vicious."

 

The argument as presented in the OP is fallacious for many reasons.

1. It is a "god of the gaps" style argument.

2. It assumes the primitive notion of causality is universal. It isn't.

3. If valid, why just one god? Why not a panoply of gods?

4. If just one god, why yours? At best you get some kind of deism from this argument. You do not get the Jewish/Christian/Islam God.

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Premise

1) Everything that exists has a reason, but not necessarily a recognizable purpose.

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"Premise

1) Everything that exists has a reason, but not necessarily a recognizable purpose. "

 

That premise is false.

There is a counter example.

The universe.

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It seems to me that the title of the thread puts the cart before the horse. The current favourite is a big bang creation, and there are observations which seem to support the theory, but there are those who argue that some observations, e.g., the CBR, support other theories, and that the BB has several flows which can only be overcome by assuming several improvable parameters such as dark matter and energy, a variable speed of light and universal constant of gravitation, strings, and a much higher z value than those observed at extreme distances from our position in space, to name but a few, besides the unanswerable question of what was it exactly that banged?

 

First creating a god or gods to credit them afterwards with the creation of a universe of some 4.2 x 10^52 kilograms seems to me like sweeping the embarrassing questions under the carpet. Nor is a syllogism or a philosophical discourse by Aquinas or Anselm or anyone else, a substitute for good scientific research.

 

Perhaps cosmologists shall one day discover a solution for the rapid expansion of a big bang universe which does not require the prior creation of a god, or that infinite space has the property of producing, without the agency of a god, neutrons at regular intervals which degenerate into hydrogen atoms (the building blocks of the universe) and parcels of energy, in a continuous creation process, at the rate of 9.656E-38 grams / cubic meter / sec, to give us the steady and slow expansion rate (not a bang) of 71.3 kms / sec / megaparsec, which limits the radius of the visible universe (from our point in space) to 13.7 billion light-years.

Edited by Zed Bee

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[/size] "All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning." - Alexander Vilenken

 

It "began" in a trivial sense. It's eternal in a non-trivial sense. Why are you ignoring this?

 

Make up your mind is the universe eternal or not. They are mutually exclusive claims that cannot be true at the same time.

 

No, they're not. I've shown in this thread that they're not. There was never a time when the universe did not exist; it has always existed.

 

So in essence we are left with three options for the existence of the universe

1) Eternal

2) Created Itself

3) Created by another

 

Seems like science has dis proven number 1. 2 is logically incoherent. So it seems like we are left with 3.

 

Option 1 has not even been close to disproven. Also, you left out the "uncaused" option.

 

I'm going to repost my initial post in this thread. Hopefully you'll read it this time.

 

The theorem only shows that the universe began to exist in the trivial way that "object A is said to begin to exist at time t if and only if there is no time before time t at which object A existed". If you'd look at the theorem instead of reading dishonest hacks like WLC, you'd know that the theorem just says that the expansion of the universe had a beginning. All of the mass-energy in the universe today was present at time epsilon of the big bang, so it also fulfills another definition: "object A is said to be eternal if and only if there is no time at which object A does not exist". So, the universe both had a finite beginning and is eternal; you are wrong about the implications of the theorem.

 

Premise 1 is entirely unsupported. Now, you're going to say something to the effect of "every day experience PROVES premise 1". Well, it really doesn't. There are two types of "comes to exist" that are relevant to the argument. There is creatio ex nihilo which premise 1 talks about (things popping into existence out of nothing) and there is creatio ex materia which people use to justify premise 1 (things "come into existence" because other things rearrange; no new thing is actually made). If we are to make an induction about whether or not an ex materia beginning requires a cause, we are completely unable to do so due to a lack of any evidence at all. In fact, the evidence we have gives us an inductive inference of "whatever comes into existence comes into existence ex materia".

 

As I said above, the universe only began to exist in the trivial sense; it always existed. Kalaam (which didn't start with Aquinas, btw) fails horribly on all counts. And it began to exist by neither ex-materia nor ex-nihilo. The argument is entirely irrelevant to this kind of beginning.

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And there, at the outset, Aquinas makes his mistake. It is a neat statement. It seems to match observation. It just happens to be wrong. Not just possibly wrong, but demonstrably wrong.

 

Please feel free to explain why the principle of casualty is wrong.

 

'Tis a general maxim in philosophy, that whatever begins to exist, must have a cause of existence. This is commonly taken for granted in all reasonings, without any proof given or demanded. 'Tis suppos'd to be founded on intuition, and to be one of those maxims, which tho' they may be deny'd with the lips, 'tis impossible for men in their hearts really to doubt of.2 - David Hume

 

Whatever is produc'd without any cause is produc'd by nothing, or in other words, has nothing for its cause. But nothing can never be a cause, no more than it can be something, or equal to two right angles. By the same intuition that we perceive nothing not to be equal to two right angles, or not to be something, we perceive, that it can never be a cause; and consequently must perceive, that every object has a real cause of its existence.5 - David Hume

 

Have you ever heard the phrase of nothing comes nothing?

Edited by afungusamongus

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Please feel free to explain why the principle of casualty is wrong.

 

Causality needs time, time and the universe are inseperable

 

Have you ever heard the phrase of nothing comes nothing?

 

 

Yes, what point are you trying to make?

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[/size]

 

Have you ever heard the phrase of nothing comes nothing?

 

Good thing the universe didn't come from nothing, then, isn't it?! There was never a time when the universe did not exist. How hard is this to grasp?

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"Premise

1) Everything that exists has a reason, but not necessarily a recognizable purpose. "

 

That premise is false.

There is a counter example.

The universe.

 

Why false? Everything that exists must have came from somewhere to exist as it does. That is reason enough. We just don't know for what reason. And if you are saying there is no reason for the universe to exist, please explain? Purpose? There are literally millions of things lying about right here on earth that seem to have no noticeable or functional purpose. Edited by rigney

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Please feel free to explain why the principle of casualty is wrong.

I think an earlier poster had already mentioned this, but one example would be radioactive decay. If you disagree tell me why a specific atom fissions at a specific time.

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Another thing to remember is that the bib bang is only the creation of Matter/Energy and Space/Time. This does not preclude there existing "something" there to create Matter/Energy and Space/Time.

 

But, since this "somthing" created time, it could not, of course exist before the big bang as that would require time to exist before it was created (which is nonsensical). It would be more accurate to think of this "something" as existing eternally at the big bang.

 

Causality, however, is another matter. In the classical, macroscopic world, causality seems to be a hard and fast rule but when you look at the quantum world (and there have been many, many experiments done to confirm this), causality is not so hard and fast.

 

This means the premise "Causality is a valid concept" has been proved wrong. Sure, it hold (almost all the time) for macroscopic events, but when you get down to very short period events, it does not hold. And the cause of the big bang is the shortest period of time you could get (it is literally an instantiation event).

 

Under QM and more specifically the Uncertainty principal, the more accurately you know one of a pair of properties (such as position/momentum) the less you know the other.

 

It is this that allows for an uncertainty in time to exist and for cause to follow the effect. This means that the instant of the big bang (including the cause and the effect) actually was smeared out over a period called the Planck Time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_time

 

This also breaks the claim that "Causality is a valid concept".

 

It might seem to be valid that the claim that causality holds, when you actually test this we find that it is not true. And, as the entire argument for a deity rests on the assumption that everything needs a cause that fits within a valid frame of causality (which is now proven false) then the argument become invalid.

 

It is fine to use pure thought to come up with ideas, but if you don't test these ideas against reality, then no matter how rigours your logic, or how sophisticated your arguments, you can not be certain that you are making accurate descriptions of reality. Basically, in all arguments: Reality Wins.

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Please feel free to explain why the principle of casualty is wrong.

Have you read any of the previous posts, or are you just here to soapbox? Read post #26 by me, or post #36 by Edtharan.

 

 

Have you ever heard the phrase of nothing comes nothing?

That's the universe for you: Nothing. Total energy: Nothing. Total momentum: Nothing. Total charge: Nothing. The universe not only was created from nothing, it is nothing, in total. The consensus view is that the universe created itself out of nothing. There was nothing before the big bang, there was no "before", period. The notion of "before the big bang" is nonsensical. At least that's the consensus view.

 

The notion of the nature of time is important here. What does "before" even mean? Time may not be a fundamental concept. It may well instead be an emergent feature. Physicists don't quite know yet what time is. If time is an emergent feature then asking about "before the big bang" truly is a nonsense question.

 

Just because the consensus view holds that asking about before the big bang is a nonsense question doesn't stop some physicists and cosmologists from asking it. One answer is that you get universes galore, an infinite number of them, forming from one another as quantum fluctuations. The universe is nothing, in total. It takes nothing to create one per these non-standard views. For now, however, there is no evidence that supports these concepts. Not yet, anyhow.

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Why false? Everything that exists must have came from somewhere to exist as it does.

 

Nope. You see, there was never a time when the universe didn't exist. It began (in a trivial sense), but it has always existed.

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Yoda how can something be eternal and have a beginning? They are mutually exclusive truth claims and cannot be true at the same time.

 

If causality breaks down then it is entirely possible for nothing to create something. How can nothing create something is what I ask you Ed?

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Yoda how can something be eternal and have a beginning? They are mutually exclusive truth claims and cannot be true at the same time.

 

Because, as I've said multiple times, the universe only began in a trivial sense. It has always existed.

 

 

If causality breaks down then it is entirely possible for nothing to create something. How can nothing create something is what I ask you Ed?

 

We're not talking about something coming from nothing; we're talking about something which has always existed.

 

Given that, I see no reason why something couldn't pop into existence from nothing. Nothing (by definition) has none of the rules our universe does and as such has no notion of conservation or causality.

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http://www.scribd.co...-Creation-Event

 

Lets call this a public service announcement to all the atheist on this board. It seems that Alexander Vilenkin has showed again why a eternal universe is improbable. Their was off course a very well known Christian who also believed the universe had a beginning. His name was Thomas Aquinas. He was one of Christianity greatest philosophers. Among some of his feats was the formulation of a argument for the existence of God.

 

Lets review his argument for a bit.

 

Premises

1) Whatever comes into existence has to have a cause.

2) The universe came into being.

3) Therefore the universe has to have a cause.

 

We cannot invoke a infinite regress of causes.

 

When confronted with the problem of discerning exactly what this first cause is we find this cause needs some specific attributes.

 

First of all to have existed before the universe existed it had to be immaterial.

 

For it to have existed before time existed it had to be eternal.

 

And lastly to be able to create a universe it had to be immensely powerful and knowledgeable.

 

Lo and behold before you know it you have your self something resembling a God.

 

We still need some more work to get us to the Christian God, but at the very least it takes you away from atheism.

 

I would like to remind everyone who post in this thread about another quote from a respected Christian

 

 

Feel free to discuss.

 

Allow me to augment your insightful writing.

 

Yes, today it has so become that the "orthodox" assumption is that humans evolved by a manner of accidents { this could be referred to as "chaos" } from life on this planet, which in turn had evolved from a series of physical accidents { random? } or inevitable consequences of the physical environment. Our origin basically, is that it just,,happened..that way because that's the way it HAD to as so happen,given the prevailing conditions. Yes,,Our evolution has been in the pattern we so have deduced→ from ape to man.

 

Some of us in the spiritual psychologies, especially those of study in neuropsychology, { some like to cast us as being named { "parapsychologists}..Whatever... have a theory. The premise of which is that even accidents have a cause. One does not merely die by accident. All deaths have a cause of death. To those wishing to argue my point. I say, fine. What caused the accidental sequences required for the human evolution? Also, effects do first have causes and they also have reason { purpose } A drunk crashing his car and dying is an example. The cause of his death {effect } was his drunken driving. And so then, what was his purpose? His death caused by driving drunk affirmed that drunken driving is more likely to result in an accident than not being drunk. One could also further declare the purpose. His purpose was to set an example, send a warning to others regarding the possible consequences of such actions. There are a number of psychologists that agree. Humans came into being via a cause { be that cause something as to an accident,} fine, and human evolution has purpose.. Some in this field of science postulate either a special creation of humans or that humans are a representative of higher levels of being acting upon the earth, rather than a product of the earth itself,even though by being physically embodied they are very much of the earth itself<•>

 

Ushie

 

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Allow me to augment your insightful writing.

 

Yes, today it has so become that the "orthodox" assumption is that humans evolved by a manner of accidents { this could be referred to as "chaos" } from life on this planet, which in turn had evolved from a series of physical accidents { random? } or inevitable consequences of the physical environment. Our origin basically, is that it just,,happened..that way because that's the way it HAD to as so happen,given the prevailing conditions. Yes,,Our evolution has been in the pattern we so have deduced→ from ape to man.

 

Some of us in the spiritual psychologies, especially those of study in neuropsychology, { some like to cast us as being named { "parapsychologists}..Whatever... have a theory. The premise of which is that even accidents have a cause. One does not merely die by accident. All deaths have a cause of death. To those wishing to argue my point. I say, fine. What caused the accidental sequences required for the human evolution? Also, effects do first have causes and they also have reason { purpose } A drunk crashing his car and dying is an example. The cause of his death {effect } was his drunken driving. And so then, what was his purpose? His death caused by driving drunk affirmed that drunken driving is more likely to result in an accident than not being drunk. One could also further declare the purpose. His purpose was to set an example, send a warning to others regarding the possible consequences of such actions. There are a number of psychologists that agree. Humans came into being via a cause { be that cause something as to an accident,} fine, and human evolution has purpose.. Some in this field of science postulate either a special creation of humans or that humans are a representative of higher levels of being acting upon the earth, rather than a product of the earth itself,even though by being physically embodied they are very much of the earth itself<•>

 

Ushie

 

 

 

How does this augment his OP? The arrogance of theists (and you) in demanding humans are separate from the animal kingdom (special in some way) never ceases to amaze me, how exactly are we so special? There are a myriad of scientific studies that show we are just another example of an evolved species. Also why do theists insist on trying to prove it? As far as I’m aware God insists on faith alone and so any proof that he does exist would automatically mean he doesn’t, if this premise is true, as he would disappear in a puff of logic (paraphrasing Douglas Adams here).

 

 

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How does this augment his OP? The arrogance of theists (and you) in demanding humans are separate from the animal kingdom (special in some way) never ceases to amaze me, how exactly are we so special? There are a myriad of scientific studies that show we are just another example of an evolved species. Also why do theists insist on trying to prove it? As far as I'm aware God insists on faith alone and so any proof that he does exist would automatically mean he doesn't, if this premise is true, as he would disappear in a puff of logic (paraphrasing Douglas Adams here).

 

 

 

 

If my so expressed "tale" does not make sense or seems of arrogance then read and comprehend; you just don't understand. It is all within the parametres of logic.

"Everything you may not be able to understand doesn not infer invalidaion."U.M" ♀.

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How does this augment his OP? The arrogance of theists (and you) in demanding humans are separate from the animal kingdom (special in some way) never ceases to amaze me, how exactly are we so special? There are a myriad of scientific studies that show we are just another example of an evolved species. Also why do theists insist on trying to prove it? As far as I'm aware God insists on faith alone and so any proof that he does exist would automatically mean he doesn't, if this premise is true, as he would disappear in a puff of logic (paraphrasing Douglas Adams here).

 

 

 

Read my signature as it applies very much. I happen to not be a "theist," if anything,I would best be called a deist.

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If my so expressed "tale" does not make sense or seems of arrogance then read and comprehend; you just don't understand. It is all within the parametres of logic.

"Everything you may not be able to understand doesn not infer invalidaion."U.M" ♀.

 

 

Instead of assuming my ignorance (another example of your arrogance), perhaps you could take time away from your soapbox to actually answer the questions I’ve posed.

 

 

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Side note: your final paragraph might have been more intelligble if you had included the correct number of brackets.

 

What caused the accidental sequences required for the human evolution?

Do you understand how 'accident' is being used in this context? You do not appear to. No one is saying evolution is causeless, but that individual steps are a result of the chance concatenation of other events. Two potential ancestors to humans, both bearing a key mutation, but having an otherwise slightly different genome forage in a forest. One, by chance, is eaten by a predator. The other avoids this fate, at least until it has mated and passed its genes on to another generation. As a consequence humans emerge with a slightly different character than would have been the case of the survival had been reversed.

 

And so then, what was his purpose? His death caused by driving drunk affirmed that drunken driving is more likely to result in an accident than not being drunk. One could also further declare the purpose. His purpose was to set an example, send a warning to others regarding the possible consequences of such actions.

Purpose involves a deliberate act to achieve a specific end. Are you seriously suggesting the drunk driver crashed deliberately to serve as a warning to other drunks? That is what the words you have written mean. Is that what you intended them to mean, or did you just accidentally misstate yourself?

 

Some in this field of science postulate either a special creation of humans or that humans are a representative of higher levels of being acting upon the earth, rather than a product of the earth itself,even though by being physically embodied they are very much of the earth itself<•>

Please provide citations from refereed journals that include scientists making such declarations.

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Read my signature as it applies very much.

<> JuSt bEcause yoU arE Not FamiliAr witH a cOncept doeS nOt inValidate iT <>

 

Conversely, we have all heard of unicorns....

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How does this augment his OP? The arrogance of theists (and you) in demanding humans are separate from the animal kingdom (special in some way) never ceases to amaze me, how exactly are we so special? There are a myriad of scientific studies that show we are just another example of an evolved species. Also why do theists insist on trying to prove it? As far as I'm aware God insists on faith alone and so any proof that he does exist would automatically mean he doesn't, if this premise is true, as he would disappear in a puff of logic (paraphrasing Douglas Adams here).

 

 

 

Let me answer you.

 

Humans are pretty special, but you could say it's a matter of opinion, so I need not go there.

 

You are right: theists should not and cannot prove it. Trying to prove it is not worth the effort. I don't think God insists on faith alone, but faith is surely important.

 

That's a way that humans are special: we live by faith. We understand faith and can reason about it. No other species can do that. Granted, that does not prove God's existence.

 

We can all agree on an Absolute Truth as I state in my book. That is, we all believe in an eternal presence that governs all material things. Modern physics suggests that this material universe embodies the concept of perfection, in that every electron (or quark, or photon) is identical to every other one in its essential aspects. Modern science also suggests an immutable logic governs this world.

 

I am in awe of this. You may not be. But you cannot deny the essential reality of which I speak. Therefore, the eternal and the perfect exists and has always been with us. Perhaps that is not God, but it is leading in that direction.

Edited by hypervalent_iodine
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Let me answer you.

 

Humans are pretty special, but you could say it's a matter of opinion, so I need not go there.

 

I think ants are pretty special as are elephants, dogs etc... As you have gone there please elaborate.

 

 

 

That's a way that humans are special: we live by faith. We understand faith and can reason about it. No other species can do that. Granted, that does not prove God's existence.

 

 

How do you know elephants, ants, dogs etc... don't have a similar faith.

 

 

We can all agree on an Absolute Truth as I state in my book "Embrace the Infinite": the existence of natural law. That is, we all believe in an eternal presence that governs all material things. Modern physics suggests that this material universe embodies the concept of perfection, in that every electron (or quark, or photon) is identical to every other one in its essential aspects. Modern science also suggests an immutable logic governs this world.

 

What absolute truth do you refer to, I haven't read your book, and what eternal presence is it that governs all material things?

 

 

I am in awe of this. You may not be. But you cannot deny the essential reality of which I speak. Therefore, the eternal and the perfect exists and has always been with us. Perhaps that is not God, but it is leading in that direction.

 

I do deny this statement. What is it you claim to be perfect?

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I think ants are pretty special as are elephants, dogs etc... As you have gone there please elaborate.

 

 

 

 

How do you know elephants, ants, dogs etc... don't have a similar faith.

 

 

This is a matter of opinion. If you think elephants and dogs are special, who am I to challenge that? If you believe they live by faith, you may be right.

 

What absolute truth do you refer to, I haven't read your book, and what eternal presence is it that governs all material things?

 

 

I do deny this statement. What is it you claim to be perfect?

 

The Absolute Truth I refer to is that there is a material world governed by natural law. Yes, one can deny this also, but I think it's a real stretch. I am basically not interested in arguing with those who believe everything that goes on is a figment of someone's imagination, that the world does not exist, etc. I don't think anyone who is sane really believes that. We all believe there is a material world out there, that science helps us learn about it, and that the world is governed by natural law. That is why I call it "Absolute Truth". Granted, you may deny the existence of a material world.

 

According to modern physics, elementary particles are perfectly identical to each other in fundamental aspects. It is a symmetry of nature. If that symmetry did not exist, many things would be hard to explain such as the existence of atoms. That is the perfection I speak of: the perfect identity of elementary particles.

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