Jump to content

Physicists can't avoid a creation event


Recommended Posts

Faith and superstition are hard to distinguish from one another.

Experiments like Skinner's pigeons show that animals are capable of superstition. There is also a logical justification in terms of evolutionary theory as to why this trait would develop (false positives in believing many things being less important than false negatives), as well as support from psychology as to humans having a prediliction for attributing things to some sort of agency.

 

If you want to claim that humans are special in some way, then it is up to you to support this claim (or even elaborating as to what is special about them without support would be a step up).

 

Also, I do not understand your point about trying to link the existence of natural laws and god. To me, an immutable, logical, verifiable framework that governs the universe absolutely is the antithesis of any but the vaguest religious concepts. I cannot distinguish it from the definition of naturalism.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 106
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

What caused God? Your argument fails just as quickly as that of an atheist.

It 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". All of th

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?

Clearly the person who does not know the difference between believing in God and superstition may just have to consult a dictionary. It is a grave insult to call a Christian superstitious and I strongly resent everyone on these forums who claims that. Dim reeper Seems to have a very aggresive stance on these issues. Is he interested in discussion or is he just here to tell a few Christians how superstitious they are.

 

Is this the type of discourse you scientist want to be known for?

 

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.

 

That just seems to be saying that things can come into being uncaused. I have discussed the flawed philosophy underpinning such claims.

 

Can you explain to me if life is such a inevitable consequence of the physical environment. Why have we not seen other planets with life on it.

snapback.pngDivagating the Future, on 27 February 2012 - 05:06 AM, said:

 

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.

 

That still does not answer Divas question. Does these individual steps go back into infinity or does it have some sort of cosmic starter gun that started the first cause that led to it all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Clearly the person who does not know the difference between believing in God and superstition may just have to consult a dictionary. It is a grave insult to call a Christian superstitious and I strongly resent everyone on these forums who claims that. Dim reeper Seems to have a very aggresive stance on these issues. Is he interested in discussion or is he just here to tell a few Christians how superstitious they are.

 

Is this the type of discourse you scientist want to be known for?

 

 

 

 

How is asking questions considered agressive? When have I told anyone what to think?

 

 

 

Faith and superstition are hard to distinguish from one another.

 

Please try reading the quote properly and by the way my names Dimreepr...:)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Clearly the person who does not know the difference between believing in God and superstition may just have to consult a dictionary. It is a grave insult to call a Christian superstitious and I strongly resent everyone on these forums who claims that. Dim reeper Seems to have a very aggresive stance on these issues. Is he interested in discussion or is he just here to tell a few Christians how superstitious they are.

 

Is this the type of discourse you scientist want to be known for?

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/faith

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/faith

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05752c.htm

 

All seem to agree that faith is a strong belief. They either end there or specify further that it is a belief held in the absence of or opposition to reason and evidence.

The last link is a little unclear, but seems to be claiming that faith is knowledge that is not justified with natural reason and evidence (which goes against the definition of knowledge I know of, but I digress) and instead attributes it to inate knowledge or revelation.

 

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/superstition

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/superstition?q=superstition

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/superstition

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14339a.htm

 

All seem to agree that superstition is belief that is held in the absence of or in opposition to reason and evidence.

The last goes on to explain that people, in the absence of the true understanding of the natural laws of the universe, will attribute things to some agency.

 

The only distinctions I can see is that faith is sometimes used in other contexts to mean 'belief based on evidence' (as in 'I have faith in Jim's ability') and the way in which the unsupported belief is described.

 

Please enlighten me if I have missed anything.

 

That just seems to be saying that things can come into being uncaused. I have discussed the flawed philosophy underpinning such claims.

As we only have one potential example of something coming into being (the universe). it makes to sense to attempt an inductive argument.

All other things were a transition from a previous state.

Many of these transitions being governed by the circumstances (cause), some with no known correlation to any other event (like radioactive decay).

Also, as has been discussed 'come into being' is a bit of a shaky term, as it implies an earlier time (something that is not true -- at least in the sense that we understand time).

Can you explain to me if life is such a inevitable consequence of the physical environment. Why have we not seen other planets with life on it.

Maybe it's a rare occurance? Maybe they all figured out something we haven't and left? Maybe they're more different than we expected?

Go read about the Drake equation if this is not completely obvious to you.

 

That still does not answer Divas question. Does these individual steps go back into infinity or does it have some sort of cosmic starter gun that started the first cause that led to it all.

 

Please try to talk about one thing at a time. You appear to be piling evolution (something very well understood), abiogenesis (something which is very plausible given current scientific knowledge, but the details are still very unclear), and a first event concept (something concluded logically from observations and the current best known laws of physics).

 

If the starter gun is posited, then it is subject to the same requirements given by the previous argument. You have to either stop the argument somewhere and say 'this thing doesn't need a cause' or you still wind up with infinite regress.

If you are stopping somewhere, then Occam's razor says you may as well stop before you get to the gun. Unless you have some other reason to think it exists.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

How is exchange symmetry, the exclusion principle and the true indistinguishable nature of elementary particles has anything to do with God. Yes if the exclusion principle didn't exist then this world wouldn't have existed but if scientific realism is proved and if it is found that the external physical world is a material world made up of atoms then it is best to give up the concept of God and say God is dead. Your idea doesn't lead you to something like a God.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Faith

   [feyth] Show IPA noun 1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability. 2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact. 3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims. 4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty. 5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

 

 

su·per·sti·tion

   [soo-per-stish-uhn] Show IPA noun 1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like. 2. a system or collection of such beliefs. 3. a custom or act based on such a belief. 4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion. 5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

 

Christianity is the first and not the latter. The argument I gave in the OP is perfectly reasonable and uses current scientific knowledge in its first premise. So please I think my discourse can escape the Superstition moniker.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Faith

   [feyth] Show IPA noun 1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability. 2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact. 3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims. 4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty. 5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

 

 

su·per·sti·tion

   [soo-per-stish-uhn] Show IPA noun 1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like. 2. a system or collection of such beliefs. 3. a custom or act based on such a belief. 4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion. 5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

 

Christianity is the first and not the latter. The argument I gave in the OP is perfectly reasonable and uses current scientific knowledge in its first premise. So please I think my discourse can escape the Superstition moniker.

 

 

 

We can all cherry pick our favourite definitions to bolster our own particular argument this, however, is intellectually dishonest. You also seem to cherry pick the questions you choose to answer.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

There are un-caused events. Quantum fluctuations (as a direct example see the Casimir effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect) can and do exist and these are completely random (actually there are several effects that if they weren't truly random would cause certain experiments to get a different result than they do - such as the 2 slit experiment : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_slit_experiment).

 

So it is demonstrably proven that there are random, un-caused events that occur.

 

This renders your entire argument false. :o

Link to post
Share on other sites

Faith

   [feyth] Show IPA noun 1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability. 2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact. 3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims. 4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty. 5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

 

 

su·per·sti·tion

   [soo-per-stish-uhn] Show IPA noun 1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like. 2. a system or collection of such beliefs. 3. a custom or act based on such a belief. 4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion. 5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

 

Christianity is the first and not the latter.

 

The latter definition applies to the former, ie. with these definitions, faith is a subset of superstition. At least insofar as we use the word faith rather than the word knowledge.

 

The argument I gave in the OP is perfectly reasonable and uses current scientific knowledge in its first premise. So please I think my discourse can escape the Superstition moniker.

That is exactly what most of the serious responses have been contesting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Faith

   [feyth] Show IPA noun 1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability. 2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact. 3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims. 4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty. 5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

 

 

su·per·sti·tion

   [soo-per-stish-uhn] Show IPA noun 1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like. 2. a system or collection of such beliefs. 3. a custom or act based on such a belief. 4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion. 5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

 

Emphasis mine

Link to post
Share on other sites

Faith and superstition are hard to distinguish from one another.

...

Also, I do not understand your point about trying to link the existence of natural laws and god. To me, an immutable, logical, verifiable framework that governs the universe absolutely is the antithesis of any but the vaguest religious concepts. I cannot distinguish it from the definition of naturalism.

 

This is a lot of "word casting" going on here. What I mean is, using words that are poorly defined but have connotations to make an argument.

 

Faith is central to our lives as human beings with a sense of value. To you I just said: "Superstition is central to our lives as human beings with a sense of value." I don't really care what you call it. Faith is fundamental to being human.

 

All entities that are subject to scientific analysis have mass. (Physical science, that is). Not all things in this world have mass. Not all things that are important have mass. Science has its limits. Faith is important.

 

You cannot distinguish what I said from "naturalism". That's just using a word. What is the content of this statement? To you, natural law and god are far removed. That's simply an assertion. You do not deny the existence and all encompassing power of natural law, that we are all subject to it and cannot escape it. This does not necessarily imply god, but in my view does not rule out god. To you, god is a personality that contradicts natural law. The awe inspiring and eternal presence of natural law may lead to a different sort of religion than you are used to. Perhaps a different definition of god than you choose to accept. Others may feel a spiritual connection to the eternal and all powerful.

 

The bottom line is the importance and power of faith. I mean "superstition."

 

How is exchange symmetry, the exclusion principle and the true indistinguishable nature of elementary particles has anything to do with God. Yes if the exclusion principle didn't exist then this world wouldn't have existed but if scientific realism is proved and if it is found that the external physical world is a material world made up of atoms then it is best to give up the concept of God and say God is dead. Your idea doesn't lead you to something like a God.

 

How can we pretend to know what God is? The flaw here is that we can replace faith with "scientific realism", as if scientific realism were absolute and sufficient. The sufficiency of science is a common argument made against religion. Science is a method that provides a description of the natural world. It does not contradict or supplant faith. Science shows us many things about the material world. If the material world were all that existed, then science might be sufficient. The material world is only a fraction of what exists.

 

I can never give up on the non-material world, yet I am not so foolish as to underestimate the power that Nature holds over me. I walk the line.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How can we pretend to know what God is? The flaw here is that we can replace faith with "scientific realism", as if scientific realism were absolute and sufficient. The sufficiency of science is a common argument made against religion. Science is a method that provides a description of the natural world. It does not contradict or supplant faith. Science shows us many things about the material world. If the material world were all that existed, then science might be sufficient. The material world is only a fraction of what exists.

 

I can never give up on the non-material world, yet I am not so foolish as to underestimate the power that Nature holds over me. I walk the line.

 

Sure, Science contradicts Faith and Religion. There can be only one external world, either give up religion or Faith and accept scientific realism or give up scientific realism and assert that only non-material world exist, you can not say both the material as well as the non-material world exist out there.

 

Therefore stop merging modern science with religion or faith it doesn't make any sense, It is ridiculous.

Edited by immortal
Link to post
Share on other sites

Faith is central to our lives as human beings with a sense of value. To you I just said: "Superstition is central to our lives as human beings with a sense of value." I don't really care what you call it. Faith is fundamental to being human.

 

All entities that are subject to scientific analysis have mass. (Physical science, that is). Not all things in this world have mass. Not all things that are important have mass. Science has its limits. Faith is important.

I don't even get what point you're trying to make. Why is it fundamental? What does it do? What do you mean?

 

You cannot distinguish what I said from "naturalism". That's just using a word. What is the content of this statement? To you, natural law and god are far removed. That's simply an assertion. You do not deny the existence and all encompassing power of natural law, that we are all subject to it and cannot escape it. This does not necessarily imply god, but in my view does not rule out god.

Please differentiate between deism and theism.

These things absolutely rule out all but the most abstract forms of theism (ie. the idea that there is some entity outside of natural law that we communicate with and/or interferes with the world).

They do not rule out many forms of deism (or the idea of a non-interfering conscious entity). These ideas, however, are completely useless and do not require much faith. The existence and nature of some thing outside of the universe is completely irrelevant to my life.

 

To you, god is a personality that contradicts natural law. The awe inspiring and eternal presence of natural law may lead to a different sort of religion than you are used to. Perhaps a different definition of god than you choose to accept. Others may feel a spiritual connection to the eternal and all powerful.

If it is outside of natural law and can do anything (this includes soul/afterlife/etc concepts), then it is contradictory to natural law, or natural law should be extended.

If it is outside of natural law because it does not interact with the universe, then it is irrelevant.

If it is within natural law, then it is just a thing and can be studied like any other thing.

The bottom line is the importance and power of faith. I mean "superstition."

You keep saying this, but all I see from faith/supserstition is people misusing it for their own ends or being mislead by it into harming themselves or others.

How can we pretend to know what God is?

If we can't know anything about it, then it does not do anything (or does not do anything that can be differentiated from no effect) and is irrelevant.

If it does something or reacts to us in any way, then we can poke it and see what happens.

The flaw here is that we can replace faith with "scientific realism", as if scientific realism were absolute and sufficient. The sufficiency of science is a common argument made against religion. Science is a method that provides a description of the natural world. It does not contradict or supplant faith.

Science regularly contradicts superstitious and religious claims. We know where lightning comes from, we know the sun isn't carried by some guy in a chariot, we know the positions of the planets don't actually tell you how your friends are going to treat you today, and so on. When this happens, we're just left with a smaller set of superstitions (those that fit, or can be moved to the remaining gaps).

The material world is only a fraction of what exists.

 

I can never give up on the non-material world, yet I am not so foolish as to underestimate the power that Nature holds over me. I walk the line.

What does this non-material world do?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, Science contradicts Faith and Religion. There can be only one external world, either give up religion or Faith and accept scientific realism or give up scientific realism and assert that only non-material world exist, you can not say both the material as well as the non-material world exist out there.

 

Therefore stop merging modern science with religion or faith it doesn't make any sense, It is ridiculous.

 

The material and non-material worlds co-exist.

 

All things in the material world have mass. Not all things that exist have mass (I do not mean mass = 0, but mass cannot be defined).

 

Do patterns exist? Do patterns have mass? Ponder that.

 

 

Thank you.

Edited by Anthony Mannucci
Link removed
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't even get what point you're trying to make. Why is it fundamental? What does it do? What do you mean?

 

 

I mean to claim everything that exists in the world is verifiable is unlikely. The unverifiable exists. A world outside of science exists.

 

Please differentiate between deism and theism.

These things absolutely rule out all but the most abstract forms of theism (ie. the idea that there is some entity outside of natural law that we communicate with and/or interferes with the world).

They do not rule out many forms of deism (or the idea of a non-interfering conscious entity). These ideas, however, are completely useless and do not require much faith. The existence and nature of some thing outside of the universe is completely irrelevant to my life.

 

 

The existence of something outside of the physical universe is very relevant to your life. That is, if you value things in your life which you probably do. Is value verifiable?

 

If it is outside of natural law and can do anything (this includes soul/afterlife/etc concepts), then it is contradictory to natural law, or natural law should be extended.

If it is outside of natural law because it does not interact with the universe, then it is irrelevant.

If it is within natural law, then it is just a thing and can be studied like any other thing.

 

You keep saying this, but all I see from faith/supserstition is people misusing it for their own ends or being mislead by it into harming themselves or others.

 

If we can't know anything about it, then it does not do anything (or does not do anything that can be differentiated from no effect) and is irrelevant.

If it does something or reacts to us in any way, then we can poke it and see what happens.

 

 

Unfortunately, the unverifiable is central to our lives. We all must accept that. This world is not only of verifiable things. That's just the way it is.

 

The conceptual foundations of science are not verifiable. Experiments are verifiable. Not all aspects of science are.

 

Logic itself has limits. Russell's paradox, etc. Who would have thought? You have faith that science "hangs together". We have faith in the workings of the external material world. Admittedly, the power of natural law, acting everywhere all the time, is great.

 

Science regularly contradicts superstitious and religious claims. We know where lightning comes from, we know the sun isn't carried by some guy in a chariot, we know the positions of the planets don't actually tell you how your friends are going to treat you today, and so on. When this happens, we're just left with a smaller set of superstitions (those that fit, or can be moved to the remaining gaps).

 

What does this non-material world do?

 

Religion need not be strictly about explaining the material world. I advocate science for that, despite the limitations of science. If given the choice, my decisions always side with natural law as I understand it. I would never hope to see natural law violated. Yet, I have plenty of faith, because not all things within the world are governed by natural law.

Edited by Anthony Mannucci
Link removed
Link to post
Share on other sites

I reiterate, what does the non-material world do? What effect does it have on me?

If it has no effect, it can safely be discarded because there is no reason to believe it over any other claim of something with no effect.

If it has an effect but is singular and not contingent on anything in the natural world, it is indistinguishable from randomness. We have plenty of things that act in this way (see atomic decay).

If it is not contingent on anything in the natural world and applies everywhere, then it is natural law.

If it has an effect and it is contingent on things in the natural world, then it can be examined with the tools of science.

 

You keep bringing up mathematics. This is an entirely separate issue. Whether or not mathematics has its own existence, it is still completely reasonable (accessable by reason), and bound by rules. It either does not have its own existence (and is merely an abstraction on the natural world, like green -- green does not exist, it's a concept), or fits under the umbrella of natural (and we extend 'natural law' to include the way axioms interact with each other). There's also the issue of whether information does, in fact, have mass.

 

If it is not bound by traditional logic, it is either bound by another formal reasoning system (there are plenty, look them up) or I can say whatever I like about it. Including that it is bound by logic.

 

If you're going to pull the problem of induction card, you have bigger problems than whether science explains everything.

Induction is internally consistent.

Deduction is internally consistent.

They are both methods of reasoning.

Prove to me without using deduction, that deduction is valid.

Exactly the same problem. Yet people only ever whine about induction.

I can go one further and say that the only reason we accept deduction as a valid form of reasoning is that it is internally consistent, and it works. This is an inductive argument.

 

So just what do you mean by supernatural/not governed by natural law? I cannot seem to find any concept/thing that they apply to, which isn't completely irrelevant to everything.

Edited by Schrödinger's hat
Link to post
Share on other sites

I reiterate, what does the non-material world do? What effect does it have on me?

 

The non-material world is central to your sense of values. Your sense of values has an enormous effect on you. It determines how you behave every day.

 

If it is not bound by traditional logic, it is either bound by another formal reasoning system (there are plenty, look them up) or I can say whatever I like about it. Including that it is bound by logic.

...

So just what do you mean by supernatural/not governed by natural law? I cannot seem to find any concept/thing that they apply to, which isn't completely irrelevant to everything.

 

Logic is an incomplete route to knowledge. Logic transforms certain statements into other statements. Axioms or starting assumptions must be provided.

 

Natural law governs the material. My statement is that ideas or concepts lie outside of the material world, existing more as patterns than as material objects having mass. You rely on these ideas and concept every day to live your life.

 

I just found this quote on another web site. I cannot vouch for its authenticity:

 

"All religions, arts, and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's

life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom." -Albert Einstein-

Edited by Anthony Mannucci
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Natural law governs the material. My statement is that ideas or concepts lie outside of the material world, existing more as patterns than as material objects having mass. You rely on these ideas and concept every day to live your life.

 

Again you have to choose one or give up another, you cannot say both those patterns exist and also assert that material things exist, if you are saying that we access those patterns or ideas through our brains then its the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. There is no place in the molecular neurobiology of the brain for an activity like that. The material and the non-material world cannot exist simultaneously, you got to choose one or give up the other.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The non-material world is central to your sense of values. Your sense of values has an enormous effect on you. It determines how you behave every day.

My values come from biology and society (more biology, really).

Logic is an incomplete route to knowledge. Logic transforms certain statements into other statements. Axioms or starting assumptions must be provided.

Deduction requires axioms -- axioms which are predominantly inductive. As well as axioms which are informed by our physical state (such as: I dislike pain) which are arguably also inductive.

Natural law governs the material. My statement is that ideas or concepts lie outside of the material world, existing more as patterns than as material objects having mass. You rely on these ideas and concept every day to live your life.

Ideas and concepts are still accessable and examinable via deduction and induction. They do not influence the world or us except by having some materiial representation (such as a configuration of our brain, or of a machine). When they are in this form, they follow natural laws.

 

One also has to be careful of conflating the abstract with some nebulous concept of the supernatural. Ideas and concepts bear no resemblance to an entity which could create the universe or most other supernatural and religious claims.

 

 

This is leading towards a dualism/mind and or does maths/do ideas exist debate. May I suggest splitting the thread or taking it to one of the existing threads on that subject if you want to head down that path?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I reiterate, what does the non-material world do? What effect does it have on me?

 

The non-material world has an effect on you every time you make a moral choice or feel joy.

 

If it has an effect and it is contingent on things in the natural world, then it can be examined with the tools of science.

 

Yes, the non-material world can be viewed as contingent on the material in some way, yet it is not amenable to scientific analysis. It is, after all, non-material.

 

You keep bringing up mathematics. This is an entirely separate issue. Whether or not mathematics has its own existence, it is still completely reasonable (accessable by reason), and bound by rules. It either does not have its own existence (and is merely an abstraction on the natural world, like green -- green does not exist, it's a concept), or fits under the umbrella of natural (and we extend 'natural law' to include the way axioms interact with each other). There's also the issue of whether information does, in fact, have mass.

 

"Green does not exist, it's a concept"? So concepts do not exist? I think you are basically agreeing with me here, except in the part where concepts do not exist. I think they do exist.

 

My values come from biology and society (more biology, really).

 

Yes, I call your value system "psyche-based morality." It's a very relative and changeable form of values. If I could design the appropriate drug, I could make it so you value killing innocent children. If that's OK with you, then so be it.

 

One also has to be careful of conflating the abstract with some nebulous concept of the supernatural. Ideas and concepts bear no resemblance to an entity which could create the universe or most other supernatural and religious claims.

 

Not all religion involves the supernatural. Aren't there religions for which the concept of the supernatural does not exist?

 

In any case, this shows your bias in deciding what is supernatural or not. It's just a matter of habit. You are so used to the world as it is, that you call it "natural". We really don't understand the natural world, although science lets us describe it. The scientific method is tailored towards the world as it is. Why can't I view this world as miraculous, even though it is with me every day?

 

When early man/woman started to develop awareness of the world around him/her, he/she was more in touch with its miraculous character. We are somewhat jaded now, and forget that science is a reaction to the miraculous world. Science does not explain the world, but describes it.

Edited by Anthony Mannucci
Link to post
Share on other sites

The non-material world has an effect on you every time you make a moral choice or feel joy.

 

That's a beautiful baseless assertion you have there. Really quite stunning.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The non-material world has an effect on you every time you make a moral choice or feel joy.

Baseless assertion.

Yes, the non-material world can be viewed as contingent on the material in some way, yet it is not amenable to scientific analysis. It is, after all, non-material.

If it is contingent on, or interacts with the material world then it is amenable to measurement.

 

"Green does not exist, it's a concept"? So concepts do not exist? I think you are basically agreeing with me here, except in the part where concepts do not exist. I think they do exist.

Green is a label that I apply to a variety of things. Some of these are a class of physical phenomena (which are quite varied). The rest are phenomena that occur in my head. It only exists in the same way that 'fast' exists (I have said once already that this is another issue and is getting rather far off of the original topic. If you wish to have this discussion I would prefer we take it to another thread -- preferably one of the existing ones).

 

Yes, I call your value system "psyche-based morality." It's a very relative and changeable form of values. If I could design the appropriate drug, I could make it so you value killing innocent children. If that's OK with you, then so be it.

Appeal to emotion and possibly the most intellectually dishonest thing you've said so far.

Yes, you could change my brain so that I would want to kill people if you had the suitable knowledge. I accept this as a fact, but your attempt at emotional manipulation by implying this means I would not object to it has missed its mark.

Not all religion involves the supernatural. Aren't there religions for which the concept of the supernatural does not exist?

Please provide an example, I don't really know what you mean.

In any case, this shows your bias in deciding what is supernatural or not. It's just a matter of habit. You are so used to the world as it is, that you call it "natural".

This is precisely what I and any scientists/naturalists I know of mean by natural. The world as it is. The world that I can interact with and apply logic to.

The word supernatural shifts from one vague meaning to another and I rarely see it pinned down to any intelligible meaning.

 

Here are some proposed definitions to make communication easier:

Natural -- Anything which can be measured and interacted with (in principle or practise). Definitely includes the material (anything with mass/stress-energy), I would normally include the rules which the material follows, but I shall leave that open to debate.

Abstract -- The realm of ideas, maths, rules and thoughts. Things which are only interacted with by means of some representation. I am giving this its own category because it may overlap with natural in part or in whole or may not.

Supernatural -- I still have no coherent definition here. Perhaps we could use it for things not in the other two categories (I cannot conceive of one).

We really don't understand the natural world, although science lets us describe it. The scientific method is tailored towards the world as it is. Why can't I view this world as miraculous, even though it is with me every day?

We have a far less loaded term for that: numinous. Try it out.

If you want to use the words god (or God), supernatural, miraculous etc. as a pantheist would, or to describe the natural world in your day to day life, I have no problem. Unfortunately many people try the debating 'technique' of shoe-horning those words into a discussion, and then change the meaning once they do so.

Now I know you wouldn't try something so intellectually dishonest, would you?

Instead, use words that have a more consistent meaning, or define the ones you use rigorously.

When early man/woman started to develop awareness of the world around him/her, he/she was more in touch with its miraculous character. We are somewhat jaded now, and forget that science is a reaction to the miraculous world. Science does not explain the world, but describes it.

 

Plenty of people appreciate the numinous. Scientists as just as much, if not more, than others -- you rarely see laymen gaping in awe at a bacterium or the solution to an equation.

You are right in that physics has little to do with metaphysics (other than constraining it), but one thing it has shown us is how woefully inadequate most of our early attempts at metaphysics were. The concept of a wavefunction is almost impossible to comprehend fully and intuitively, even when one can describe it more precisely than our best instruments can measure. It is so absurd that some deny it even today. Yet science led us to it and held our nose to it until we could not describe nature any other way.

 

The wavefunction is still just a description, but when the descriptions are so wildly different to metaphysical claims, one must take it as a caution.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The non-material world has an effect on you every time you make a moral choice or feel joy.

 

Several people have called this baseless. It is not.

 

It is perhaps a partial characterization of the term "non-material world". It shows that morality and joy, while useful concepts, have nothing whatever to do with science. They may be germane to the actions of a scientists, but not to science itself.

 

So, rather than baseless, it is simply devoid of any scientific content. Thus the statement should be characterized not as baseless, but rather as vacuous in the context of a discussion the initial premise of which is physics.

 

On the other hand the entire premise of the thread is rather silly as "creation event" in the context of modern physics is an undefined term coined for the sole purpose of initiating a futile discussion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Appeal to emotion and possibly the most intellectually dishonest thing you've said so far.

 

 

The appeal to emotion is deliberate. Your sense of moral values is very tied to emotions. Your values are from biology, but that does not mean there is not an emotional component.

 

Please provide an example, I don't really know what you mean.

 

 

A religion can be based on worship and the assertion of a moral code based on faith. It need not postulate a "supernatural world".

 

Here are some proposed definitions to make communication easier:

Natural -- Anything which can be measured and interacted with (in principle or practise). Definitely includes the material (anything with mass/stress-energy), I would normally include the rules which the material follows, but I shall leave that open to debate.

Abstract -- The realm of ideas, maths, rules and thoughts. Things which are only interacted with by means of some representation. I am giving this its own category because it may overlap with natural in part or in whole or may not.

Supernatural -- I still have no coherent definition here. Perhaps we could use it for things not in the other two categories (I cannot conceive of one).

 

 

Yes, that is what I am saying. The abstract is not amenable to scientific analysis, but is used in scientific reasoning. The abstract exists. That's all I am saying. I am not interested in the Supernatural. Someone else brought that up.

 

 

Plenty of people appreciate the numinous. Scientists as just as much, if not more, than others

 

 

To appreciate the numinous is to go down a path that does not involve science, but that involves values, and starts to bring in the idea of awe. Once this idea is brought in, one is beginning to bring in the basis for religion. Perhaps "appreciating the numinous" is like a mini-religion. You are doing something ("appreciating") that is not part of a scientific experiment. You are stepping outside the measurable world, yet valuing that non-material world. So, that could be your religion.

 

Science itself is numinous. I am making the connection between what scientists may believe and what religious people may believe, but I am not claiming they are identical. I see a link there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.