Underlore

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Neo-atheism



You know, I get it that atheism is more rational and better for humanity, but I have to note the irony. This was written by atheists for atheists so they can feel snide and smug at the expense of those who disagree, if they are not under the delusion that this is actually going to shame anyone into renouncing their faith.

Does that sound familiar?

Seriously guys, the claim that atheism is as much a religion as bald is a hair color, is being rendered less clever by the day as more and more militant, proselytizing, and yes even dogmatic atheists are generated. The modern neoatheist is likely to be someone who did not come up with it on their own but instead Googled it because of their family and friends, or maybe a billboard. The same kids that would have been satanists to piss off mommy and daddy 10 year ago, are now reading Dawkins and Hitchens.

Science can not, and positively will not ever, be able to answer the question of what enforces the physical constants, or why existence bothers existing, because science by its very nature is limited to explaining things which exist.

There can be no experimentation or control group or manipulation of physical law, and even if there were it would simply become a property of existence that would in turn be unexplainable.

Science is a tape recorder, nothing more.

How gravity works in relation to the other elements of reality can be answered experimentally, but why gravity exists or why it behaves as it does, can not.

I feel like I did when I was 17 and atheism was the bold new world view.

I felt time compression and a-causality explained it all, but I was not considering the rules themselves.

I took the rules as axiomatic, as unexplorable, I did not see the forest for the trees.

Obviously a self creating universe is consistent with the laws of reality as we know them, there need not be a beginning or end or a cause… from within the framework of those rules, but why are those rules there? Why do they take this form?

And don’t tell me it’s random, one of an infinite series of realities, because if that were the case you just fall into a bigger trap.

If our reality is just 1 of an infinite set of realities with infinitely varying laws of physics then why was a universe not created that instantly annihilated all others? I know that didn’t/won’t occur because I exist, therefor there can not be infinite universes, or the rules that create the definition of universe, are limited, and here again, why that limit, why not some other limit?

Atheists just haven’t thought it through.

I wonder what I’ll be when the rest of the would be intellectual crowd comes around to my (and Einstein’s) flavor of deism.

Atheists may claim the god of the gaps and note the gap is shrinking, yes indeed, but like all significant things with regard to our universe there is a paradox at the heart of it all.

If you squeeze hard enough, the only room left for god will be everywhere.

Updated: May 11, 2010 — 3:02 pm
  • Anonymous

    Do you believe in the God of the Bible?

    Nopers. Didn’t I say that somewhere in the post? Well, it bears repeating. I do not believe in the white light paradoxical god that is obviously sentient.

    Because God really does refer to a specific monotheistic deity.

    I’m aware that’s what they would like, but just because some people call all soda Coke does not me all sodas are Cokes. Besides, in a sense we are talking about the same thing, my version simply is cleaned of all the rationally inconsistent bits. The best picture of my god is Einstein’s Old One. The Base Force. Not, First Mover as that implies linearity and thus subjugation to our universe’s logic/physics.

    You need to come up with your own name, otherwise you’re just going to end up confusing people, especially since, I suspect, you don’t believe in the attributes assigned by Christians to God.

    I would but the point of this post is to stand against neoatheism for being a clever new fundamentalism. Religion has no right to intrude on matters of science and science is simply not equipped to tell people why they exist. Neoatheism is in effect science doing exactly that because it is taken as a set of positive claims, as opposed to merely opposing insanity, which by definition most religion is.

    I claim my philosophy as a religion (Cryptarianism), and I call my god God for much the same reason I use the term polygamy instead of polyamory, that is, to pick a fight that needs to happen. I see efforts to rename my faith to something more palatable or less controversial as a cheap attempt at pandering, and an evasion of my responsibility to my species and abilities.

    Atheism as a concept has limits and the meteoric rise of neoatheism needs to be checked with the same rational clarity atheists themselves claim to have by default. Indeed, this veneer of rationality is what makes the new missionary militant neoatheism all the more dangerous.

    Hate stems from out of hand dismissal, and the rank and file neoatheists are not smarter than rank and file theists. In many functional ways it is a new religion or a philosophical fad. Neoatheists by and large think themselves as intelligent as Dawkins just because they’ve mastered a prefab list of arguments and they simply aren’t. Grabbing neoatheism off a bus or off a random snarky webpage is absolutely not the same as coming to it logically as the old guard did.

    For the vast majority of neoatheists the whole idea serves as an excuse to be self indulgent. Again, this must be checked.

    So, what name do Deists give to this apathetic “First Cause”?

    Ask them. I call mine “God” or refer to it functionally based on the context of the conversation at hand.

    And how do the various religions relate to this “First Cause”?

    Again, ask them. But I feel compelled to note that my god by virtue of its logical antecedents shares its only two traits (existence and primacy) with all other concepts of God. My god is God Lite, that is it retains the only two traits that make a god a god, and no others. Now that’s not to say it does or does not have these extraneous traits, simply that it for whatever reason displays no evidence of them as far as I can tell.

    For instance, nothing which could speak to me could convince me it is god. The nature of the universe precludes proof of this set. (For a more in depth exploration of that, which I am not endorsing by the way, check out http://www.newbanner.com/SecHumSCM/IsGodTaoist.html)

    Awareness, logic, knowledge, existence, all of these have limits which transcend human limitation or potential for study. The neoatheist delusion that EVERY answer can be found with rationality and logic is a form of blind willful ignorance just the same as the most conflicted paradoxical fundamentalist yarn.

    A full understanding of the cosmos demands answers to both how AND why.

    Why not say “Creator” all the time?

    Because it implies linearity and again subjugation to rules my god by definition is exempt from by virtue of its “location”.

    Now, this is probably important, Is there an axiom of paradox? Because if there isn’t, there probably should be one.

    I actually tried to pen a few new axioms when I first ran into them from this context… (http://innomen.blogspot.com/2008/04/axiom-of-paradox.html)

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008
    Axiom of Paradox
    There is no set which cannot exist.

    Think square circles.

    Does this fly? Or would it merely be an extension the set of empty sets? Like the set of non-sets.

    I obviously failed, this idea is thoroughly exhausted and was before I was born. Though to my understanding there is no specifically named axiom of paradox. However it is clear that there are paradoxical axiomatic issues at work in the universe, but I don’t claim to understand them. I simply keep finding paradox at the heart of important philosophical and rational matters.

    For example, QM’s hidden variable interpretation. What happens if that variable is true and yet forever unknowable? What impact does that have on science? Reminds me of the Incompleteness Theorem.

    I’m waxing tangential. Apologies.

    You stated that the Creator is the “enforcer of Axioms”. Well, I pose this question then, which axioms?

    All of them.

    And how do you know?

    Deduction.

    The trouble though, is your asserting there is a Creator, is an axiom itself (or an empty assertion), since axioms are supposed to be self-evident.

    Not to be snide, but reread the debate. My assertions of god are based completely on epistemological logic. Ironically (paradoxically?) my faith requires none.

    The Creator axiom doesn’t seem that self-evident to me. I mean, the idea of an infinite omniverse seems just as probable, if not more probable.

    The same logic would apply because the set of your universes (omniverse) still has traits and constraints. For example, we can know by virtue of our existence that no universe exists which has annihilated all others. My god is the source of those constraints and the “reason” reason works as it does and not in some other arbitrary way.

    When I asked a Theravada Buddhist monk…

    I have a big problem with Buddhism for many of the same reasons as I have a problem with neoatheism. Pretensions of intellectual completeness in a universe which is demonstrably and irrevocably incomplete annoy me to no end.

    What I’ve concluded, as a result of my own research and thought processes, is that everyone is trying to assert their axioms with more assertions of their axioms.

    It’s a common problem, and in a sense inescapable because all reason depends first on axioms. All I can say is that my position is based on exploration of that problem. I can’t tell you what’s in the hole but I can tell you exactly how big it is, and what has to be down there.

    The irony for me is that the logical process of my claim is accepted by virtually everyone if you add the word quantum. The populace is more than comfortable accepting a limited degree of resolution with regard to an answer in almost every walk of life, most notably quantum mechanics, but not when it comes to religion or god. When it comes to god they want to know the particle’s exact speed and position. Indeed some fans of QM don’t even need a particle to HAVE speed and position. For an extra dose of irony, quantum mechanics is the most accurately tested and robust theories put forth by mankind. Though it’s not without it’s problems. (http://underlore.com/TBA/?p=726)

    I think we have to be careful with these kinds of assertions, because no matter how strongly an axiom is asserted, it doesn’t make it true.

    Exactly. Truth itself is axiomatic at a fundamental level, that’s why rationality alone is insufficient.

    I don’t know. I mean, I like to think that some axioms are better than others, but what is it that makes it so?

    I’m reminded of the Hawking quote above. And my answer is as I’ve stated. It is because the thing on the outside made it so. This is not the same as a god of the gaps argument because my implied advice is not “Well, God did it, end of story.” but rather “God did it, now let’s figure out how.”

    The axiomatic bedrock can only be exposed through science. It’s the brush clearing away debris so we can get a picture of the fossil. You dig? :)

    And based on this criteria, which axioms should be believed, and which ones should be discarded?

    Those which are true. That is, those which can be shown to exist by whatever means which are consistent and rational.

    The other problem that I’m thinking presents itself in the Deist position, is what is your “God” good for? | So what good is He?

    Provision of axioms.

    He doesn’t have the contradictory problem of omniscience, omnipotence, and benevolence, because he is apathetic.

    No. He doesn’t have them because they don’t apply. It’s like asking if a proton is republican.

    Your “God” appears to have created the Universe out of boredom, then walked away, or spends all his time watching the drama unfold, unapologetic of what it created.

    My god from all indications is not even sentient. But I’m quick to add THAT type of statement is categorically not supportable. Again, my god only has two traits which are demonstrable, the rest is speculation.

    I mean, as soon as you assert there is a sentient creator, you have to start asking about the nature of said creator.

    Absolutely.

    What attributes to apply to the Creator?

    Existence and Primacy.

    Do you believe the Creator implemented laws of Ethics into the Universe?

    Not as such. Ethics clearly exist and are wildly adaptive but they for my part appear to be an emergent property. I don’t see any non-circumstantial evidence of divine sentience anywhere.

    Is there justice in the Universe, ultimately?

    Absolutely. The laws of physics apply to every particle and they are perfectly enforced. The higher order justice you’re referring to is our problem and in many ways beyond the scope of God. Personal Idea: Perhaps the point of our existence is to solve that very problem?

    Is there existence after death?

    A better question is were we ever alive in the first place. I’m made of the same stuff as a rock. Is a rock alive? I personally doubt time exists which makes the question moot. (Platonia and Tralfamadore for the win :) )

    one man’s “self-evident” is another man’s “what you say?!”

    That’s where science and reason come in. We agree on all axioms because we have no choice. People who reject an axiom are mentally ill or ignorant by definition.

    P.S. Reality is all that matters.

    That depends powerfully on how you define reality. My dreams for instance are VERY important to me. Are they a part of reality? In one sense they are real, neurological electrochemical events. But in another they are flights of mental fancy, unreal phantoms. Savvy?

    So what reality does your Creator exist in?

    For all I know it doesn’t require a separate reality to exist in. Again, all I know, and I suspect all that can be known, about my god is that it exists and that it has primacy.

    It still would exist in some reality

    It could very well BE that reality. My god could very easily be an environment and nothing more.

    so how could it be the cause of all reality?

    That’s a wonderful question. Have fun with it. I simply know that it is (did?) by virtue of this universe’s nature.

    It’s like the sun. Its shiny and hot. How it comes to be shiny and hot is a matter for the heliologists and physicists.

    Do you believe it is perpetually moving out of reality?

    My impression of motion is that it is illusory. I don’t think anything “moves” in any ultimate sense. This goes back to the nature of time, and the non-locality of the hidden variable.

    The interesting thing about your axiom of the Creator, based on that axiom, it should be possible to infer some interesting things about Absolute Reality, or the set of all reality, don’t you think?

    I really haven’t thought about it. To me that seems microscopic. It’s important but not suitable given the flavor of my mind. I’m a top down kinda guy. Bottom up is just as valid and important, but I’m not at all suited for it.

  • http://friendfeed.com/innomen Innomen

    Do you believe in the God of the Bible?

    Nopers. Didn’t I say that somewhere in the post? Well, it bears repeating. I do not believe in the white light paradoxical god that is obviously sentient.

    Because God really does refer to a specific monotheistic deity.

    I’m aware that’s what they would like, but just because some people call all soda Coke does not me all sodas are Cokes. Besides, in a sense we are talking about the same thing, my version simply is cleaned of all the rationally inconsistent bits. The best picture of my god is Einstein’s Old One. The Base Force. Not, First Mover as that implies linearity and thus subjugation to our universe’s logic/physics.

    You need to come up with your own name, otherwise you’re just going to end up confusing people, especially since, I suspect, you don’t believe in the attributes assigned by Christians to God.

    I would but the point of this post is to stand against neoatheism for being a clever new fundamentalism. Religion has no right to intrude on matters of science and science is simply not equipped to tell people why they exist. Neoatheism is in effect science doing exactly that because it is taken as a set of positive claims, as opposed to merely opposing insanity, which by definition most religion is.

    I claim my philosophy as a religion (Cryptarianism), and I call my god God for much the same reason I use the term polygamy instead of polyamory, that is, to pick a fight that needs to happen. I see efforts to rename my faith to something more palatable or less controversial as a cheap attempt at pandering, and an evasion of my responsibility to my species and abilities.

    Atheism as a concept has limits and the meteoric rise of neoatheism needs to be checked with the same rational clarity atheists themselves claim to have by default. Indeed, this veneer of rationality is what makes the new missionary militant neoatheism all the more dangerous.

    Hate stems from out of hand dismissal, and the rank and file neoatheists are not smarter than rank and file theists. In many functional ways it is a new religion or a philosophical fad. Neoatheists by and large think themselves as intelligent as Dawkins just because they’ve mastered a prefab list of arguments and they simply aren’t. Grabbing neoatheism off a bus or off a random snarky webpage is absolutely not the same as coming to it logically as the old guard did.

    For the vast majority of neoatheists the whole idea serves as an excuse to be self indulgent. Again, this must be checked.

    So, what name do Deists give to this apathetic “First Cause”?

    Ask them. I call mine “God” or refer to it functionally based on the context of the conversation at hand.

    And how do the various religions relate to this “First Cause”?

    Again, ask them. But I feel compelled to note that my god by virtue of its logical antecedents shares its only two traits (existence and primacy) with all other concepts of God. My god is God Lite, that is it retains the only two traits that make a god a god, and no others. Now that’s not to say it does or does not have these extraneous traits, simply that it for whatever reason displays no evidence of them as far as I can tell.

    For instance, nothing which could speak to me could convince me it is god. The nature of the universe precludes proof of this set. (For a more in depth exploration of that, which I am not endorsing by the way, check out http://www.newbanner.com/SecHumSCM/IsGodTaoist.html)

    Awareness, logic, knowledge, existence, all of these have limits which transcend human limitation or potential for study. The neoatheist delusion that EVERY answer can be found with rationality and logic is a form of blind willful ignorance just the same as the most conflicted paradoxical fundamentalist yarn.

    A full understanding of the cosmos demands answers to both how AND why.

    Why not say “Creator” all the time?

    Because it implies linearity and again subjugation to rules my god by definition is exempt from by virtue of its “location”.

    Now, this is probably important, Is there an axiom of paradox? Because if there isn’t, there probably should be one.

    I actually tried to pen a few new axioms when I first ran into them from this context… (http://innomen.blogspot.com/2008/04/axiom-of-paradox.html)

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008
    Axiom of Paradox
    There is no set which cannot exist.

    Think square circles.

    Does this fly? Or would it merely be an extension the set of empty sets? Like the set of non-sets.

    I obviously failed, this idea is thoroughly exhausted and was before I was born. Though to my understanding there is no specifically named axiom of paradox. However it is clear that there are paradoxical axiomatic issues at work in the universe, but I don’t claim to understand them. I simply keep finding paradox at the heart of important philosophical and rational matters.

    For example, QM’s hidden variable interpretation. What happens if that variable is true and yet forever unknowable? What impact does that have on science? Reminds me of the Incompleteness Theorem.

    I’m waxing tangential. Apologies.

    You stated that the Creator is the “enforcer of Axioms”. Well, I pose this question then, which axioms?

    All of them.

    And how do you know?

    Deduction.

    The trouble though, is your asserting there is a Creator, is an axiom itself (or an empty assertion), since axioms are supposed to be self-evident.

    Not to be snide, but reread the debate. My assertions of god are based completely on epistemological logic. Ironically (paradoxically?) my faith requires none.

    The Creator axiom doesn’t seem that self-evident to me. I mean, the idea of an infinite omniverse seems just as probable, if not more probable.

    The same logic would apply because the set of your universes (omniverse) still has traits and constraints. For example, we can know by virtue of our existence that no universe exists which has annihilated all others. My god is the source of those constraints and the “reason” reason works as it does and not in some other arbitrary way.

    When I asked a Theravada Buddhist monk…

    I have a big problem with Buddhism for many of the same reasons as I have a problem with neoatheism. Pretensions of intellectual completeness in a universe which is demonstrably and irrevocably incomplete annoy me to no end.

    What I’ve concluded, as a result of my own research and thought processes, is that everyone is trying to assert their axioms with more assertions of their axioms.

    It’s a common problem, and in a sense inescapable because all reason depends first on axioms. All I can say is that my position is based on exploration of that problem. I can’t tell you what’s in the hole but I can tell you exactly how big it is, and what has to be down there.

    The irony for me is that the logical process of my claim is accepted by virtually everyone if you add the word quantum. The populace is more than comfortable accepting a limited degree of resolution with regard to an answer in almost every walk of life, most notably quantum mechanics, but not when it comes to religion or god. When it comes to god they want to know the particle’s exact speed and position. Indeed some fans of QM don’t even need a particle to HAVE speed and position. For an extra dose of irony, quantum mechanics is the most accurately tested and robust theories put forth by mankind. Though it’s not without it’s problems. (http://underlore.com/TBA/?p=726)

    I think we have to be careful with these kinds of assertions, because no matter how strongly an axiom is asserted, it doesn’t make it true.

    Exactly. Truth itself is axiomatic at a fundamental level, that’s why rationality alone is insufficient.

    I don’t know. I mean, I like to think that some axioms are better than others, but what is it that makes it so?

    I’m reminded of the Hawking quote above. And my answer is as I’ve stated. It is because the thing on the outside made it so. This is not the same as a god of the gaps argument because my implied advice is not “Well, God did it, end of story.” but rather “God did it, now let’s figure out how.”

    The axiomatic bedrock can only be exposed through science. It’s the brush clearing away debris so we can get a picture of the fossil. You dig? :)

    And based on this criteria, which axioms should be believed, and which ones should be discarded?

    Those which are true. That is, those which can be shown to exist by whatever means which are consistent and rational.

    The other problem that I’m thinking presents itself in the Deist position, is what is your “God” good for? | So what good is He?

    Provision of axioms.

    He doesn’t have the contradictory problem of omniscience, omnipotence, and benevolence, because he is apathetic.

    No. He doesn’t have them because they don’t apply. It’s like asking if a proton is republican.

    Your “God” appears to have created the Universe out of boredom, then walked away, or spends all his time watching the drama unfold, unapologetic of what it created.

    My god from all indications is not even sentient. But I’m quick to add THAT type of statement is categorically not supportable. Again, my god only has two traits which are demonstrable, the rest is speculation.

    I mean, as soon as you assert there is a sentient creator, you have to start asking about the nature of said creator.

    Absolutely.

    What attributes to apply to the Creator?

    Existence and Primacy.

    Do you believe the Creator implemented laws of Ethics into the Universe?

    Not as such. Ethics clearly exist and are wildly adaptive but they for my part appear to be an emergent property. I don’t see any non-circumstantial evidence of divine sentience anywhere.

    Is there justice in the Universe, ultimately?

    Absolutely. The laws of physics apply to every particle and they are perfectly enforced. The higher order justice you’re referring to is our problem and in many ways beyond the scope of God. Personal Idea: Perhaps the point of our existence is to solve that very problem?

    Is there existence after death?

    A better question is were we ever alive in the first place. I’m made of the same stuff as a rock. Is a rock alive? I personally doubt time exists which makes the question moot. (Platonia and Tralfamadore for the win :) )

    one man’s “self-evident” is another man’s “what you say?!”

    That’s where science and reason come in. We agree on all axioms because we have no choice. People who reject an axiom are mentally ill or ignorant by definition.

    P.S. Reality is all that matters.

    That depends powerfully on how you define reality. My dreams for instance are VERY important to me. Are they a part of reality? In one sense they are real, neurological electrochemical events. But in another they are flights of mental fancy, unreal phantoms. Savvy?

    So what reality does your Creator exist in?

    For all I know it doesn’t require a separate reality to exist in. Again, all I know, and I suspect all that can be known, about my god is that it exists and that it has primacy.

    It still would exist in some reality

    It could very well BE that reality. My god could very easily be an environment and nothing more.

    so how could it be the cause of all reality?

    That’s a wonderful question. Have fun with it. I simply know that it is (did?) by virtue of this universe’s nature.

    It’s like the sun. Its shiny and hot. How it comes to be shiny and hot is a matter for the heliologists and physicists.

    Do you believe it is perpetually moving out of reality?

    My impression of motion is that it is illusory. I don’t think anything “moves” in any ultimate sense. This goes back to the nature of time, and the non-locality of the hidden variable.

    The interesting thing about your axiom of the Creator, based on that axiom, it should be possible to infer some interesting things about Absolute Reality, or the set of all reality, don’t you think?

    I really haven’t thought about it. To me that seems microscopic. It’s important but not suitable given the flavor of my mind. I’m a top down kinda guy. Bottom up is just as valid and important, but I’m not at all suited for it.

  • http://redplanetaryearth.blogspot.com Kevin

    …and I call my god God for much the same reason I use the term polygamy instead of polyamory, that is, to pick a fight that needs to happen.

    Do you refer to your God as Allah when you talk to Muslims?

    I see efforts to rename my faith to something more palatable or less controversial as a cheap attempt at pandering, and an evasion of my responsibility to my species and abilities.

    The reason I advocate Creator is because I think it is more precise, not because it is pandering. If you refer to God as the Creator, some people will find it more intriguing. Though, I suppose in a sense using God might make sense, but wouldn’t you have to know your audience before making such an assessment? Besides, when arguing against neo-atheism for Deism, not to be confused with Creationism, wouldn’t using the term Creator be better, since the term creator is more vague than the term “God”?

    Hate stems from out of hand dismissal, and the rank and file neoatheists are not smarter than rank and file theists. In many functional ways it is a new religion or a philosophical fad. Neoatheists by and large think themselves as intelligent as Dawkins just because they’ve mastered a prefab list of arguments and they simply aren’t. Grabbing neoatheism off a bus or off a random snarky webpage is absolutely not the same as coming to it logically as the old guard did.

    I think we agree. It’s bad to assume we are smarter, or know more than we do. I suppose given the axiom of induction, a first cause is the only logical conclusion. However, saying that this first cause is anything more than the singularity, isn’t that proposing to know more than you do? Do you have a mathematical understanding of the singularity?

    And how do the various religions relate to this “First Cause”?

    Again, ask them. But I feel compelled to note that my god by virtue of its logical antecedents shares its only two traits (existence and primacy) with all other concepts of God. My god is God Lite, that is it retains the only two traits that make a god a god, and no others. Now that’s not to say it does or does not have these extraneous traits, simply that it for whatever reason displays no evidence of them as far as I can tell.
    For instance, nothing which could speak to me could convince me it is god. The nature of the universe precludes proof of this set. (For a more in depth exploration of that, which I am not endorsing by the way, check out http://www.newbanner.com/SecHumSCM/IsGodTaoist.html)

    Don’t you mean nothing that could speak to you, and only speak to you, could convince you that it is the Creator? I assume burning bushes, pillars of fire, plagues, and prophecy might convince you?

    I’ll get through that link at some point. Liking it so far.

    Awareness, logic, knowledge, existence, all of these have limits which transcend human limitation or potential for study. The neoatheist delusion that EVERY answer can be found with rationality and logic is a form of blind willful ignorance just the same as the most conflicted paradoxical fundamentalist yarn.
    A full understanding of the cosmos demands answers to both how AND why.

    How and why? Not necessarily. Even your Creator doesn’t really answer why, it just answers how. It sounds like your Creator’s answer to why is “because”, which is the same answer to “why” that you get minus the Creator. Unless you attribute anthropomorphic things like feelings (e.g. love, boredom), will “why” possibly make sense? But then what happens when The Creator asks why? It is still, just “because”. Unless the Creator had to perform some act to create himself, like travel to mordor and dump a ring into mt. doom, or worse, experience everything that every living sentient being will have to experience, but even then, it wouldn’t answer “why” the Creator went through with it instead of quitting or giving up.

    Why not say “Creator” all the time?

    Because it implies linearity and again subjugation to rules my god by definition is exempt from by virtue of its “location”.

    How does “Creator” imply linearity and subjugation to rules? Besides, isn’t your “God” subject to rules, for instance, by definition he caused this Universe, he didn’t “uncause” it. I think the term “God” implies way much more crap than “Creator” since God is attiributed characteristics in The Bible.

    Now, this is probably important, Is there an axiom of paradox? Because if there isn’t, there probably should be one.

    I actually tried to pen a few new axioms when I first ran into them from this context… (http://innomen.blogspot.com/2008/04/axiom-of-paradox.html)

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008
    Axiom of Paradox
    There is no set which cannot exist.
    Think square circles.
    Does this fly? Or would it merely be an extension the set of empty sets? Like the set of non-sets.

    I obviously failed, this idea is thoroughly exhausted and was before I was born. Though to my understanding there is no specifically named axiom of paradox. However it is clear that there are paradoxical axiomatic issues at work in the universe, but I don’t claim to understand them. I simply keep finding paradox at the heart of important philosophical and rational matters.
    For example, QM’s hidden variable interpretation. What happens if that variable is true and yet forever unknowable? What impact does that have on science? Reminds me of the Incompleteness Theorem.
    I’m waxing tangential. Apologies.

    Interesting, didn’t know about your blogspot blog. I’ll have to read it.
    Anyway, speaking of paradoxes, have you read this book: Brief History of Paradox?

    Not to be snide, but reread the debate. My assertions of god are based completely on epistemological logic. Ironically (paradoxically?) my faith requires none.

    Can you construct the logic you used to arrive at your conclusion of a Creator syllogistically? It might be easier for me to understand where you’re coming from.

    The Creator axiom doesn’t seem that self-evident to me. I mean, the idea of an infinite omniverse seems just as probable, if not more probable.

    The same logic would apply because the set of your universes (omniverse) still has traits and constraints. For example, we can know by virtue of our existence that no universe exists which has annihilated all others. My god is the source of those constraints and the “reason” reason works as it does and not in some other arbitrary way.

    I don’t think so. An omniverse just is. Just like your Creator. Why are the constraints the way they are? Because. Why does your Creator exist? Because. The constaints need not have a “source” in the sense you are saying, just as the omniverse or your Creator doesn’t need a source.

    What I’ve concluded, as a result of my own research and thought processes, is that everyone is trying to assert their axioms with more assertions of their axioms.

    It’s a common problem, and in a sense inescapable because all reason depends first on axioms. All I can say is that my position is based on exploration of that problem. I can’t tell you what’s in the hole but I can tell you exactly how big it is, and what has to be down there.

    Your logic must be based on axioms. What are they? I’d like to see them so I can see if they are “self evident”. Excuse me for not being able to pick them out of all the language in the debate. I’m not that detail oriented. Just a limitation of my neurology, I think.

    Your “God” appears to have created the Universe out of boredom, then walked away, or spends all his time watching the drama unfold, unapologetic of what it created.

    My god from all indications is not even sentient. But I’m quick to add THAT type of statement is categorically not supportable. Again, my god only has two traits which are demonstrable, the rest is speculation.

    I mean, as soon as you assert there is a sentient creator, you have to start asking about the nature of said creator.

    Absolutely.

    What attributes to apply to the Creator?

    Existence and Primacy.

    So, for clarification, you’re uncertain if the Creator is sentient?

    Is there justice in the Universe, ultimately?

    Absolutely. The laws of physics apply to every particle and they are perfectly enforced. The higher order justice you’re referring to is our problem and in many ways beyond the scope of God. Personal Idea: Perhaps the point of our existence is to solve that very problem?

    Isn’t it illogical to say “absolutely” then refer to “higher order justice” as being elusive? The set of justice includes “higher order justice”, and if this “higher order justice” is uncertain, “absolutely” doesn’t apply. So you’re uncertain that there is justice in the Universe?

    Is there existence after death?

    A better question is were we ever alive in the first place. I’m made of the same stuff as a rock. Is a rock alive? I personally doubt time exists which makes the question moot. (Platonia and Tralfamadore for the win )

    Sentience is an axiom. Though life, I believe, has a pretty specific scientific definition. So you’re questioning the self? You don’t believe there is an axiom of the self, like Descartes claimed?

    one man’s “self-evident” is another man’s “what you say?!”

    That’s where science and reason come in. We agree on all axioms because we have no choice. People who reject an axiom are mentally ill or ignorant by definition.

    Well, ignorance is an axiom. This appears self-evident. But the self (another axiom?) appears to be doubted by yourself, though I wouldn’t consider you mentally ill. It is a valid question. Perhaps an even better question, is how can we know come to know whether we have a self or not? I think the question just leads to another axiom, an axiom of the self. It doesn’t matter how the self arises, it just matters whether or not it is there. I think the axiom of a self is true. But maybe I am just being lazy. It does appear that the self dies at brain death, however, it also appears that the “subjective self” comes from nothing. The problem is this dualistic (paradoxical?) notion of the self, the subjective and the objective. Looking out into the Universe, it would appear the subjective self is an illusion, and that all that exists is the objective self. I don’t know. What I do find frightening, is that I might come back, again and again. I’m not too keen on continuing to suffer in a Universe that doesn’t really care whether I suffer or not. I think anytime I meditate on the self, I always end up where I started, nowhere.

    P.S. Reality is all that matters.

    That depends powerfully on how you define reality. My dreams for instance are VERY important to me. Are they a part of reality? In one sense they are real, neurological electrochemical events. But in another they are flights of mental fancy, unreal phantoms. Savvy?

    The argument about whether your dreams are reality is the same as whether or not you have a self, or whether or not, as you said in the past, angel dust users are “time folding”. It appears to be a hallucination, though I would say I’d like to believe in “the self”, however, I think to do so may be delusional.

    My impression of motion is that it is illusory. I don’t think anything “moves” in any ultimate sense. This goes back to the nature of time, and the non-locality of the hidden variable.

    Motion is axiomatic. Why would you believe the axiom is false?

    You’re a top down kind of guy and you just spent the time quoting my response in detail so that you could address points in detail? That sounds “bottom” up to me. But perhaps neither top down nor bottom up is about details. Just generalities. Though, I would say that the set of all realities probably is macroscopic, not microscopic. Why do you think it is microscopic?

  • http://redplanetaryearth.blogspot.com Kevin

    …and I call my god God for much the same reason I use the term polygamy instead of polyamory, that is, to pick a fight that needs to happen.

    Do you refer to your God as Allah when you talk to Muslims?

    I see efforts to rename my faith to something more palatable or less controversial as a cheap attempt at pandering, and an evasion of my responsibility to my species and abilities.

    The reason I advocate Creator is because I think it is more precise, not because it is pandering. If you refer to God as the Creator, some people will find it more intriguing. Though, I suppose in a sense using God might make sense, but wouldn’t you have to know your audience before making such an assessment? Besides, when arguing against neo-atheism for Deism, not to be confused with Creationism, wouldn’t using the term Creator be better, since the term creator is more vague than the term “God”?

    Hate stems from out of hand dismissal, and the rank and file neoatheists are not smarter than rank and file theists. In many functional ways it is a new religion or a philosophical fad. Neoatheists by and large think themselves as intelligent as Dawkins just because they’ve mastered a prefab list of arguments and they simply aren’t. Grabbing neoatheism off a bus or off a random snarky webpage is absolutely not the same as coming to it logically as the old guard did.

    I think we agree. It’s bad to assume we are smarter, or know more than we do. I suppose given the axiom of induction, a first cause is the only logical conclusion. However, saying that this first cause is anything more than the singularity, isn’t that proposing to know more than you do? Do you have a mathematical understanding of the singularity?

    And how do the various religions relate to this “First Cause”?

    Again, ask them. But I feel compelled to note that my god by virtue of its logical antecedents shares its only two traits (existence and primacy) with all other concepts of God. My god is God Lite, that is it retains the only two traits that make a god a god, and no others. Now that’s not to say it does or does not have these extraneous traits, simply that it for whatever reason displays no evidence of them as far as I can tell.
    For instance, nothing which could speak to me could convince me it is god. The nature of the universe precludes proof of this set. (For a more in depth exploration of that, which I am not endorsing by the way, check out http://www.newbanner.com/SecHumSCM/IsGodTaoist.html)

    Don’t you mean nothing that could speak to you, and only speak to you, could convince you that it is the Creator? I assume burning bushes, pillars of fire, plagues, and prophecy might convince you?

    I’ll get through that link at some point. Liking it so far.

    Awareness, logic, knowledge, existence, all of these have limits which transcend human limitation or potential for study. The neoatheist delusion that EVERY answer can be found with rationality and logic is a form of blind willful ignorance just the same as the most conflicted paradoxical fundamentalist yarn.
    A full understanding of the cosmos demands answers to both how AND why.

    How and why? Not necessarily. Even your Creator doesn’t really answer why, it just answers how. It sounds like your Creator’s answer to why is “because”, which is the same answer to “why” that you get minus the Creator. Unless you attribute anthropomorphic things like feelings (e.g. love, boredom), will “why” possibly make sense? But then what happens when The Creator asks why? It is still, just “because”. Unless the Creator had to perform some act to create himself, like travel to mordor and dump a ring into mt. doom, or worse, experience everything that every living sentient being will have to experience, but even then, it wouldn’t answer “why” the Creator went through with it instead of quitting or giving up.

    Why not say “Creator” all the time?

    Because it implies linearity and again subjugation to rules my god by definition is exempt from by virtue of its “location”.

    How does “Creator” imply linearity and subjugation to rules? Besides, isn’t your “God” subject to rules, for instance, by definition he caused this Universe, he didn’t “uncause” it. I think the term “God” implies way much more crap than “Creator” since God is attiributed characteristics in The Bible.

    Now, this is probably important, Is there an axiom of paradox? Because if there isn’t, there probably should be one.

    I actually tried to pen a few new axioms when I first ran into them from this context… (http://innomen.blogspot.com/2008/04/axiom-of-paradox.html)

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008
    Axiom of Paradox
    There is no set which cannot exist.
    Think square circles.
    Does this fly? Or would it merely be an extension the set of empty sets? Like the set of non-sets.

    I obviously failed, this idea is thoroughly exhausted and was before I was born. Though to my understanding there is no specifically named axiom of paradox. However it is clear that there are paradoxical axiomatic issues at work in the universe, but I don’t claim to understand them. I simply keep finding paradox at the heart of important philosophical and rational matters.
    For example, QM’s hidden variable interpretation. What happens if that variable is true and yet forever unknowable? What impact does that have on science? Reminds me of the Incompleteness Theorem.
    I’m waxing tangential. Apologies.

    Interesting, didn’t know about your blogspot blog. I’ll have to read it.
    Anyway, speaking of paradoxes, have you read this book: Brief History of Paradox?

    Not to be snide, but reread the debate. My assertions of god are based completely on epistemological logic. Ironically (paradoxically?) my faith requires none.

    Can you construct the logic you used to arrive at your conclusion of a Creator syllogistically? It might be easier for me to understand where you’re coming from.

    The Creator axiom doesn’t seem that self-evident to me. I mean, the idea of an infinite omniverse seems just as probable, if not more probable.

    The same logic would apply because the set of your universes (omniverse) still has traits and constraints. For example, we can know by virtue of our existence that no universe exists which has annihilated all others. My god is the source of those constraints and the “reason” reason works as it does and not in some other arbitrary way.

    I don’t think so. An omniverse just is. Just like your Creator. Why are the constraints the way they are? Because. Why does your Creator exist? Because. The constaints need not have a “source” in the sense you are saying, just as the omniverse or your Creator doesn’t need a source.

    What I’ve concluded, as a result of my own research and thought processes, is that everyone is trying to assert their axioms with more assertions of their axioms.

    It’s a common problem, and in a sense inescapable because all reason depends first on axioms. All I can say is that my position is based on exploration of that problem. I can’t tell you what’s in the hole but I can tell you exactly how big it is, and what has to be down there.

    Your logic must be based on axioms. What are they? I’d like to see them so I can see if they are “self evident”. Excuse me for not being able to pick them out of all the language in the debate. I’m not that detail oriented. Just a limitation of my neurology, I think.

    Your “God” appears to have created the Universe out of boredom, then walked away, or spends all his time watching the drama unfold, unapologetic of what it created.

    My god from all indications is not even sentient. But I’m quick to add THAT type of statement is categorically not supportable. Again, my god only has two traits which are demonstrable, the rest is speculation.

    I mean, as soon as you assert there is a sentient creator, you have to start asking about the nature of said creator.

    Absolutely.

    What attributes to apply to the Creator?

    Existence and Primacy.

    So, for clarification, you’re uncertain if the Creator is sentient?

    Is there justice in the Universe, ultimately?

    Absolutely. The laws of physics apply to every particle and they are perfectly enforced. The higher order justice you’re referring to is our problem and in many ways beyond the scope of God. Personal Idea: Perhaps the point of our existence is to solve that very problem?

    Isn’t it illogical to say “absolutely” then refer to “higher order justice” as being elusive? The set of justice includes “higher order justice”, and if this “higher order justice” is uncertain, “absolutely” doesn’t apply. So you’re uncertain that there is justice in the Universe?

    Is there existence after death?

    A better question is were we ever alive in the first place. I’m made of the same stuff as a rock. Is a rock alive? I personally doubt time exists which makes the question moot. (Platonia and Tralfamadore for the win )

    Sentience is an axiom. Though life, I believe, has a pretty specific scientific definition. So you’re questioning the self? You don’t believe there is an axiom of the self, like Descartes claimed?

    one man’s “self-evident” is another man’s “what you say?!”

    That’s where science and reason come in. We agree on all axioms because we have no choice. People who reject an axiom are mentally ill or ignorant by definition.

    Well, ignorance is an axiom. This appears self-evident. But the self (another axiom?) appears to be doubted by yourself, though I wouldn’t consider you mentally ill. It is a valid question. Perhaps an even better question, is how can we know come to know whether we have a self or not? I think the question just leads to another axiom, an axiom of the self. It doesn’t matter how the self arises, it just matters whether or not it is there. I think the axiom of a self is true. But maybe I am just being lazy. It does appear that the self dies at brain death, however, it also appears that the “subjective self” comes from nothing. The problem is this dualistic (paradoxical?) notion of the self, the subjective and the objective. Looking out into the Universe, it would appear the subjective self is an illusion, and that all that exists is the objective self. I don’t know. What I do find frightening, is that I might come back, again and again. I’m not too keen on continuing to suffer in a Universe that doesn’t really care whether I suffer or not. I think anytime I meditate on the self, I always end up where I started, nowhere.

    P.S. Reality is all that matters.

    That depends powerfully on how you define reality. My dreams for instance are VERY important to me. Are they a part of reality? In one sense they are real, neurological electrochemical events. But in another they are flights of mental fancy, unreal phantoms. Savvy?

    The argument about whether your dreams are reality is the same as whether or not you have a self, or whether or not, as you said in the past, angel dust users are “time folding”. It appears to be a hallucination, though I would say I’d like to believe in “the self”, however, I think to do so may be delusional.

    My impression of motion is that it is illusory. I don’t think anything “moves” in any ultimate sense. This goes back to the nature of time, and the non-locality of the hidden variable.

    Motion is axiomatic. Why would you believe the axiom is false?

    You’re a top down kind of guy and you just spent the time quoting my response in detail so that you could address points in detail? That sounds “bottom” up to me. But perhaps neither top down nor bottom up is about details. Just generalities. Though, I would say that the set of all realities probably is macroscopic, not microscopic. Why do you think it is microscopic?

  • Anonymous

    Do you refer to your God as Allah when you talk to Muslims?

    No.

    but wouldn’t you have to know your audience before making such an assessment?

    Only if I was a sycophant. Creator implies will and linearity and a possible lack of divinity. All of which are counter the definition of a bare minimum god.

    wouldn’t using the term Creator be better, since the term creator is more vague than the term “God”?

    I’m not trying to hide behind vagary. I’m not trying to win votes or be popular. I’m simply sharing the facts. I leave public relations to others more capable and more inclined.

    Do you have a mathematical understanding of the singularity?

    Since I don’t understand the relevance I’m going to guess no. Do you mean the technological Singularity or like the singularity at the center of a black hole?

    I assume burning bushes, pillars of fire, plagues, and prophecy might convince you?

    Not remotely. Nothing that can be experienced would convince me. I would need to be convinced directly bypassing my senses completely. If it’s a part of my reality then its bound by my reality, action taken of any kind is counter to the definition of a god.

    Even your Creator doesn’t really answer why

    You’ve not understood it. God is the answer to the fundamental why of existence by definition.

    It sounds like your Creator’s answer to why is “because”, which is the same answer to “why” that you get minus the Creator.

    So what? I never said god had practical value. It’s simply required for existence by virtue of it’s nature. If there were actually nothing there, then there would be nothing here, or what is here would be some completely alien form.

    But then what happens when The Creator asks why?

    What part of non sentient was unclear? Many of your comments for example strongly imply linear time. For purposes of this discussion our existence is a single instantaneous whole in 4 dimensions. You’re getting lost in details and delusions. You’re trying to drag an axiom into the realm of logical steps so you can refute them, but your effort to move the concept distorts it resulting in an effective strawman. I know you want me to show my god to be the classic delusion that the neoatheists so enjoy tearing apart but it isn’t.

    How does “Creator” imply linearity and subjugation to rules?

    Because it implies a position on a super scale where at one point existence was not, and then it was “created.” The very existence of this scale for god to occupy is a rule set, and you end up with the classic and exhaustively explored “well who made god then” or “turtles all the way down” type arguments. I have trouble conveying the concepts involved with speech but let me try again… God is the set which define sets. I’ll bet that doesn’t remotely help.

    Besides, isn’t your “God” subject to rules, for instance, by definition he caused this Universe

    Rules imply a will in conflict with a setting, an existence separate from its environment. As I said god Is an environment and it has no will. It is not bound by these constraints it Is these constraints. You seem incapable of thinking outside of the rule set in which you exist. Maybe its like how trying to imagine a new color or visualize a hypersphere is for me. Simply not within the parameters of my neurological hardware. If it were, how would you know?

    I think the term “God” implies way much more crap than “Creator” since God is attributed characteristics in The Bible.

    Did it ever occur to you that maybe they named their god after his species type (for lack of a better term) to cause this confusion? (You should check out the http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b2544/The-Perfect-Heresy/Stephen-OShea/?si=0) I’m not going to name it something else, because god is what it is. Making up a new word is counter productive and callow.

    Interesting, didn’t know about your blogspot blog. I’ll have to read it.

    I have 7 of them. All defunct and any relevant posts have been migrated here and updated.

    have you read this book: Brief History of Paradox?

    Nope, is it free? I’m reading this at the moment. http://www.feedbooks.com/book/4949

    Can you construct the logic you used to arrive at your conclusion of a Creator syllogistically?

    I don’t what what syntax you would accept if my exhaustive answering of each of your questions and responses is insufficient. Provide me a template and I’ll fill in the blanks?

    As to how I arrived at my picture of god, I’ve already explained in excruciating detail. But put simply: Axioms exist and persist == God.

    The constaints (sic) need not have a “source” in the sense you are saying, just as the omniverse or your Creator doesn’t need a source.

    You’re using linear logic to explain why a non linear spontaneous existence can exist without cause. Acasual and casual are positions on the same scale when the entire scale fails to apply at the level under discussion. Acasual is just a way of saying inserted into the timeline in a non traditional way. It is not the same as saying devoid of timeline.

    You can logically state an omniverse devoid of my sense of god, but its like saying an ax without an ax head or an ax handle. You can play Kantian existence doubt games all you like, that’s why nothing could convince me it is god or an agent of god, those same issues, language allows for it. But you succeed merely in deceiving yourself.

    Your logic must be based on axioms. What are they?

    I already answered that. You’re approaching argumentum ad nauseam. As before, word for word. Those which are true. That is, those which can be shown to exist by whatever means which are consistent and rational. Do you want a list of all known axioms? https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_axioms There’s a good start.

    Excuse me for not being able to pick them out of all the language in the debate.

    That’s a red herring. I don’t know if you are doing it on purpose or if it’s a manifestation of some lower order drive. You have an opinion and you simply want me to restate mine in different ways until I do so badly once at which point you can pick it apart. Should my restatement be perfect you will claim (or have) continued misunderstanding and demand further clarification until I err, lather rinse repeat.

    If you don’t understand by now having read every word of this post, you’re not going to understand. And that may be my failing as a teacher, but fortunately I’m not in the missionary business.

    So, for clarification, you’re uncertain if the Creator is sentient?

    Again, Nothing can be known for certain about god except its two primary facets. But given its nature sentience would seem unattainable if not completely useless. So no I’m not absolutely certain, but I personally believe with infinite conviction that it is not sentient. And if it were it would be so totally alien it might as well not be. It would be like asking if gravity is sentient. I don’t know, could be, but I strongly doubt it.

    The set of justice includes “higher order justice”

    That’s a sophist trick. If you want to constrain the hypothetical like that then of course my answer is whatever you want it to be. You mean justice like will little billy get presents this year because he’s been a good boy, and I mean justice like gravity doesn’t play favorites. If you demand that the word justice include both, then no, there obviously is no justice.

    Sentience is an axiom.

    Sentience seems a bit complicated to put in the same list as the plank length and the like. For me it’s a bit like the uncertainty principal. Sentience may very well be unprovable in the detection sense. But I think it has antecedents.

    “The simplest thought, like the concept of the number one, has an elaborate logical under pinning. The brain has it’s own language for testing the structure and consistency of the world.” -Carl Sagan

    It seems to me very intuitive to imagine that sentience has a similar “logical underpinning” which would by definition take it out of the running for an axiom. But then again, there’s always cogito ergo sum.

    It seems I’m infinitely biased being that I feel a perfectly convincing sense of sentience. Though the nature of reality precludes me from convincing you for the very same reasons nothing could convince me that it is god.

    Though life, I believe, has a pretty specific scientific definition.

    Not really. Is a virus alive? How about fire? This is an old debate. For my own part, life is a case by case assessment. For example I don’t consider ants to be truly alive, but I could see an ant colony being alive. (GEB for the win.) ultimately to me it’s a meaningless word like “natural.”

    how can we know come to know whether we have a self or not?

    The sense of self is as much a product of our brain as a sense of smell. Buddhism is about engendering numbness of this sense. This numbness is a profound experience since the rest of the brain keeps right on going. Leaving you with experiences that seem to be flowing nowhere. Or rather creating the illusion that you are everything and nothing. It’s like thinking of blindness and senses humans don’t even have. What color are x-rays or magnetism? They aren’t black. They are absent.

    A sentient being has a self. By definition. If you annihilate yourself you cease being sentient. Now as established previously being sentient is not conveyable ultimately. Which opens the door to philosophical zombies. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Philosophical_zombie

    So the short answer is “we” can’t but “I” can.

    I’m not too keen on continuing to suffer in a Universe that doesn’t really care whether I suffer or not.

    Agreed. Hence my goal of physical immortality. I think a life and death stage of existence is infantile. Once we kill death and stop breeding, our real evolution will begin. But that’s completely a personal thing.

    The argument about whether your dreams are reality is the same as whether or not you have a self

    Yes. But only in so far as the effort to convince others. I’m convinced for my own part and the position of others in an of itself is meaningless to me.

    Motion is axiomatic. Why would you believe the axiom is false?

    I think you need to sharpen your conception of that constitutes an axiom.

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya

    Why would I believe motion is an illusion? Because motion is the transition of distance over time and I have strong reason to disbelieve time. Zeno’s paradox for the win. :)

    You’re a top down kind of guy and you just spent the time quoting my response in detail so that you could address points in detail?

    Heh, publicly on the subject of all reality. Pretty macroscopic. :)

    Why do you think it is microscopic?

    I don’t?

  • http://friendfeed.com/innomen Innomen

    Do you refer to your God as Allah when you talk to Muslims?

    No.

    but wouldn’t you have to know your audience before making such an assessment?

    Only if I was a sycophant. Creator implies will and linearity and a possible lack of divinity. All of which are counter the definition of a bare minimum god.

    wouldn’t using the term Creator be better, since the term creator is more vague than the term “God”?

    I’m not trying to hide behind vagary. I’m not trying to win votes or be popular. I’m simply sharing the facts. I leave public relations to others more capable and more inclined.

    Do you have a mathematical understanding of the singularity?

    Since I don’t understand the relevance I’m going to guess no. Do you mean the technological Singularity or like the singularity at the center of a black hole?

    I assume burning bushes, pillars of fire, plagues, and prophecy might convince you?

    Not remotely. Nothing that can be experienced would convince me. I would need to be convinced directly bypassing my senses completely. If it’s a part of my reality then its bound by my reality, action taken of any kind is counter to the definition of a god.

    Even your Creator doesn’t really answer why

    You’ve not understood it. God is the answer to the fundamental why of existence by definition.

    It sounds like your Creator’s answer to why is “because”, which is the same answer to “why” that you get minus the Creator.

    So what? I never said god had practical value. It’s simply required for existence by virtue of it’s nature. If there were actually nothing there, then there would be nothing here, or what is here would be some completely alien form.

    But then what happens when The Creator asks why?

    What part of non sentient was unclear? Many of your comments for example strongly imply linear time. For purposes of this discussion our existence is a single instantaneous whole in 4 dimensions. You’re getting lost in details and delusions. You’re trying to drag an axiom into the realm of logical steps so you can refute them, but your effort to move the concept distorts it resulting in an effective strawman. I know you want me to show my god to be the classic delusion that the neoatheists so enjoy tearing apart but it isn’t.

    How does “Creator” imply linearity and subjugation to rules?

    Because it implies a position on a super scale where at one point existence was not, and then it was “created.” The very existence of this scale for god to occupy is a rule set, and you end up with the classic and exhaustively explored “well who made god then” or “turtles all the way down” type arguments. I have trouble conveying the concepts involved with speech but let me try again… God is the set which define sets. I’ll bet that doesn’t remotely help.

    Besides, isn’t your “God” subject to rules, for instance, by definition he caused this Universe

    Rules imply a will in conflict with a setting, an existence separate from its environment. As I said god Is an environment and it has no will. It is not bound by these constraints it Is these constraints. You seem incapable of thinking outside of the rule set in which you exist. Maybe its like how trying to imagine a new color or visualize a hypersphere is for me. Simply not within the parameters of my neurological hardware. If it were, how would you know?

    I think the term “God” implies way much more crap than “Creator” since God is attributed characteristics in The Bible.

    Did it ever occur to you that maybe they named their god after his species type (for lack of a better term) to cause this confusion? (You should check out the http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b2544/The-Perfect-Heresy/Stephen-OShea/?si=0) I’m not going to name it something else, because god is what it is. Making up a new word is counter productive and callow.

    Interesting, didn’t know about your blogspot blog. I’ll have to read it.

    I have 7 of them. All defunct and any relevant posts have been migrated here and updated.

    have you read this book: Brief History of Paradox?

    Nope, is it free? I’m reading this at the moment. http://www.feedbooks.com/book/4949

    Can you construct the logic you used to arrive at your conclusion of a Creator syllogistically?

    I don’t what what syntax you would accept if my exhaustive answering of each of your questions and responses is insufficient. Provide me a template and I’ll fill in the blanks?

    As to how I arrived at my picture of god, I’ve already explained in excruciating detail. But put simply: Axioms exist and persist == God.

    The constaints (sic) need not have a “source” in the sense you are saying, just as the omniverse or your Creator doesn’t need a source.

    You’re using linear logic to explain why a non linear spontaneous existence can exist without cause. Acasual and casual are positions on the same scale when the entire scale fails to apply at the level under discussion. Acasual is just a way of saying inserted into the timeline in a non traditional way. It is not the same as saying devoid of timeline.

    You can logically state an omniverse devoid of my sense of god, but its like saying an ax without an ax head or an ax handle. You can play Kantian existence doubt games all you like, that’s why nothing could convince me it is god or an agent of god, those same issues, language allows for it. But you succeed merely in deceiving yourself.

    Your logic must be based on axioms. What are they?

    I already answered that. You’re approaching argumentum ad nauseam. As before, word for word. Those which are true. That is, those which can be shown to exist by whatever means which are consistent and rational. Do you want a list of all known axioms? https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_axioms There’s a good start.

    Excuse me for not being able to pick them out of all the language in the debate.

    That’s a red herring. I don’t know if you are doing it on purpose or if it’s a manifestation of some lower order drive. You have an opinion and you simply want me to restate mine in different ways until I do so badly once at which point you can pick it apart. Should my restatement be perfect you will claim (or have) continued misunderstanding and demand further clarification until I err, lather rinse repeat.

    If you don’t understand by now having read every word of this post, you’re not going to understand. And that may be my failing as a teacher, but fortunately I’m not in the missionary business.

    So, for clarification, you’re uncertain if the Creator is sentient?

    Again, Nothing can be known for certain about god except its two primary facets. But given its nature sentience would seem unattainable if not completely useless. So no I’m not absolutely certain, but I personally believe with infinite conviction that it is not sentient. And if it were it would be so totally alien it might as well not be. It would be like asking if gravity is sentient. I don’t know, could be, but I strongly doubt it.

    The set of justice includes “higher order justice”

    That’s a sophist trick. If you want to constrain the hypothetical like that then of course my answer is whatever you want it to be. You mean justice like will little billy get presents this year because he’s been a good boy, and I mean justice like gravity doesn’t play favorites. If you demand that the word justice include both, then no, there obviously is no justice.

    Sentience is an axiom.

    Sentience seems a bit complicated to put in the same list as the plank length and the like. For me it’s a bit like the uncertainty principal. Sentience may very well be unprovable in the detection sense. But I think it has antecedents.

    “The simplest thought, like the concept of the number one, has an elaborate logical under pinning. The brain has it’s own language for testing the structure and consistency of the world.” -Carl Sagan

    It seems to me very intuitive to imagine that sentience has a similar “logical underpinning” which would by definition take it out of the running for an axiom. But then again, there’s always cogito ergo sum.

    It seems I’m infinitely biased being that I feel a perfectly convincing sense of sentience. Though the nature of reality precludes me from convincing you for the very same reasons nothing could convince me that it is god.

    Though life, I believe, has a pretty specific scientific definition.

    Not really. Is a virus alive? How about fire? This is an old debate. For my own part, life is a case by case assessment. For example I don’t consider ants to be truly alive, but I could see an ant colony being alive. (GEB for the win.) ultimately to me it’s a meaningless word like “natural.”

    how can we know come to know whether we have a self or not?

    The sense of self is as much a product of our brain as a sense of smell. Buddhism is about engendering numbness of this sense. This numbness is a profound experience since the rest of the brain keeps right on going. Leaving you with experiences that seem to be flowing nowhere. Or rather creating the illusion that you are everything and nothing. It’s like thinking of blindness and senses humans don’t even have. What color are x-rays or magnetism? They aren’t black. They are absent.

    A sentient being has a self. By definition. If you annihilate yourself you cease being sentient. Now as established previously being sentient is not conveyable ultimately. Which opens the door to philosophical zombies. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Philosophical_zombie

    So the short answer is “we” can’t but “I” can.

    I’m not too keen on continuing to suffer in a Universe that doesn’t really care whether I suffer or not.

    Agreed. Hence my goal of physical immortality. I think a life and death stage of existence is infantile. Once we kill death and stop breeding, our real evolution will begin. But that’s completely a personal thing.

    The argument about whether your dreams are reality is the same as whether or not you have a self

    Yes. But only in so far as the effort to convince others. I’m convinced for my own part and the position of others in an of itself is meaningless to me.

    Motion is axiomatic. Why would you believe the axiom is false?

    I think you need to sharpen your conception of that constitutes an axiom.

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya

    Why would I believe motion is an illusion? Because motion is the transition of distance over time and I have strong reason to disbelieve time. Zeno’s paradox for the win. :)

    You’re a top down kind of guy and you just spent the time quoting my response in detail so that you could address points in detail?

    Heh, publicly on the subject of all reality. Pretty macroscopic. :)

    Why do you think it is microscopic?

    I don’t?

  • http://redplanetaryearth.blogspot.com Kevin

    Well, I thought about quoting point by point, but I think in the best interest of getting to the point, a more general response would be more productive. In fact, I had already gone through it completely step by step when I decided to delete it and write this comment :(. Oh well, I learned something in the process. Anyway.

    So, it appears you believe in a “God”, with its only knowable attributes as being primal and existant. Basically, I think you’re argument is the same as TAG, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendental_argument_for_the_existence_of_God. I think it goes something like this:

    Everything needs a cause.
    Thus Axioms need a cause.
    There is no known cause for Axioms.
    Therefore, there is a cause that is primal and existent.
    This cause is God.

    The problem that I see, is that you can replace God with omniverse, and singularity, and the logic is still sound. So, let me ask this, what is the difference between “God” and the Big Bang singularity?

  • http://redplanetaryearth.blogspot.com Kevin

    Well, I thought about quoting point by point, but I think in the best interest of getting to the point, a more general response would be more productive. In fact, I had already gone through it completely step by step when I decided to delete it and write this comment :(. Oh well, I learned something in the process. Anyway.

    So, it appears you believe in a “God”, with its only knowable attributes as being primal and existant. Basically, I think you’re argument is the same as TAG, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendental_argument_for_the_existence_of_God. I think it goes something like this:

    Everything needs a cause.
    Thus Axioms need a cause.
    There is no known cause for Axioms.
    Therefore, there is a cause that is primal and existent.
    This cause is God.

    The problem that I see, is that you can replace God with omniverse, and singularity, and the logic is still sound. So, let me ask this, what is the difference between “God” and the Big Bang singularity?

  • Anonymous

    So, it appears you believe in a “God”, with its only knowable attributes as being primal and existant.

    Correct. Primacy being shorthand for enforcer of physical constants and shaper of axioms.

    Basically, I think you’re argument is the same as TAG

    Not at all, though Matthew Slick’s TAG is somewhat close. Where he uses logical absolutes, I use axioms which would include logical absolutes, and I reject the implication of a “mind.” Besides, I could picture other universes where our logical absolutes don’t apply.

    I suppose my argument in that context would be that because axioms exist there must be something transcendent “below” them.

    Everything needs a cause.
    Thus Axioms need a cause.
    There is no known cause for Axioms.
    Therefore, there is a cause that is primal and existent.
    This cause is God.

    Barring the linguistic limits imposed by the notion of time, yes you pretty well have it.

    The problem that I see, is that you can replace God with omniverse, and singularity, and the logic is still sound.

    Except that omniverse and singularity and any other non-novel term would have traits beyond existence and primacy, the traits which when paired become god.

    Example: You may posit an alternate explanation, like say the flying spaghetti monster which is primal, existent, and noodly. It is not god because god has ONLY the two knowable traits. See what I mean? Now god may very well be noodly, but it can’t be known either way. Adding noodly (or any other traits) to my god makes him a different claim and subject to the burden of proof for the new facet(s).

    You see I don’t consider this faith based. I’ve arrived at my god. To add noodly to my god would demand faith. For my part primacy and existence do not require faith. Noodly would. All other traits that could be ascribed to god are either matters of faith or parts of observable reality, neither of which apply to god.

    So, let me ask this, what is the difference between “God” and the Big Bang singularity?

    My god is compatible with whatever cosmology happens to be correct and infinite incorrect ones. So I’m hesitant to answer the question in a serious way. My snide answer would be the big bang is a cosmology, and god is not. But I see what you’re driving at so let me try…

    The initial item which exploded and gave rise to this universe (assuming that cosmology is correct) is a function of the nature of the reality in which it sat and proceeded according to physical laws. Again assuming linearity, despite the Big Bang being non linear since time was also a result of its detonation apparently, god would be why it occurred in the way that it did, indirectly. God came “before” (I know I know) the singularity.

    In a way the big bang is too specific. I don’t see any real reason to assume that the big bang itself will not yield to some other immediate non-god cause thus making direct relationships between god and it silly, like saying god causes thunder. I think the big bang is explorable, (perhaps the intersection between our universe and another?) but that’s just me, I’m not really qualified to say, cosmology isn’t really my thing. If it proves to be the furthest back we’re capable of going then yes for the sake of definition god will have caused it, not been the result of it as with the rest of observable reality.

  • http://friendfeed.com/innomen Innomen

    So, it appears you believe in a “God”, with its only knowable attributes as being primal and existant.

    Correct. Primacy being shorthand for enforcer of physical constants and shaper of axioms.

    Basically, I think you’re argument is the same as TAG

    Not at all, though Matthew Slick’s TAG is somewhat close. Where he uses logical absolutes, I use axioms which would include logical absolutes, and I reject the implication of a “mind.” Besides, I could picture other universes where our logical absolutes don’t apply.

    I suppose my argument in that context would be that because axioms exist there must be something transcendent “below” them.

    Everything needs a cause.
    Thus Axioms need a cause.
    There is no known cause for Axioms.
    Therefore, there is a cause that is primal and existent.
    This cause is God.

    Barring the linguistic limits imposed by the notion of time, yes you pretty well have it.

    The problem that I see, is that you can replace God with omniverse, and singularity, and the logic is still sound.

    Except that omniverse and singularity and any other non-novel term would have traits beyond existence and primacy, the traits which when paired become god.

    Example: You may posit an alternate explanation, like say the flying spaghetti monster which is primal, existent, and noodly. It is not god because god has ONLY the two knowable traits. See what I mean? Now god may very well be noodly, but it can’t be known either way. Adding noodly (or any other traits) to my god makes him a different claim and subject to the burden of proof for the new facet(s).

    You see I don’t consider this faith based. I’ve arrived at my god. To add noodly to my god would demand faith. For my part primacy and existence do not require faith. Noodly would. All other traits that could be ascribed to god are either matters of faith or parts of observable reality, neither of which apply to god.

    So, let me ask this, what is the difference between “God” and the Big Bang singularity?

    My god is compatible with whatever cosmology happens to be correct and infinite incorrect ones. So I’m hesitant to answer the question in a serious way. My snide answer would be the big bang is a cosmology, and god is not. But I see what you’re driving at so let me try…

    The initial item which exploded and gave rise to this universe (assuming that cosmology is correct) is a function of the nature of the reality in which it sat and proceeded according to physical laws. Again assuming linearity, despite the Big Bang being non linear since time was also a result of its detonation apparently, god would be why it occurred in the way that it did, indirectly. God came “before” (I know I know) the singularity.

    In a way the big bang is too specific. I don’t see any real reason to assume that the big bang itself will not yield to some other immediate non-god cause thus making direct relationships between god and it silly, like saying god causes thunder. I think the big bang is explorable, (perhaps the intersection between our universe and another?) but that’s just me, I’m not really qualified to say, cosmology isn’t really my thing. If it proves to be the furthest back we’re capable of going then yes for the sake of definition god will have caused it, not been the result of it as with the rest of observable reality.

  • http://redplanetaryearth.blogspot.com Kevin

    Yeah, and since I’m not a string theorist, I have nothing more to offer, really.

  • http://redplanetaryearth.blogspot.com Kevin

    Yeah, and since I’m not a string theorist, I have nothing more to offer, really.

  • Anonymous

    Well, thanks for your time, I did realize through our discussion that what I have faith in is that existence and axioms need a foundation of some kind. By definition I have no evidence that they do since I can not bring things into existence (or remove them) nor can I author new axioms or alter existing ones.

    I suppose if science were to ever put itself in a position to do those things I would be forced to accept whatever picture they offer as explanation for that ability. However, I believe this will never occur. Do you think it’s reasonable to view these actions as firmly outside the abilities of science permanently?

    P.S. http://vimeo.com/317469 Seen that?

  • http://friendfeed.com/innomen Innomen

    Well, thanks for your time, I did realize through our discussion that what I have faith in is that existence and axioms need a foundation of some kind. By definition I have no evidence that they do since I can not bring things into existence (or remove them) nor can I author new axioms or alter existing ones.

    I suppose if science were to ever put itself in a position to do those things I would be forced to accept whatever picture they offer as explanation for that ability. However, I believe this will never occur. Do you think it’s reasonable to view these actions as firmly outside the abilities of science permanently?

    P.S. http://vimeo.com/317469 Seen that?

  • http://redplanetaryearth.blogspot.com Kevin

    what I started writing: Thanks for your time as well. Sorry I left so curtly, it wasn’t anything personal, it was just that I didn’t want us to spin our wheels needlessly. I’m really getting to a point where simplification of a person’s point needs to be my primary goal. I start throwing out all these questions and assertions without first asking for a summary of someone’s point. Something I have to work on.

    what I decided to write: a priori / a posteriori? Is that basically the problem?

    I’m thinking in possibilities and probabilities these days. So, to answer your question “if it’s reasonable to view these actions as firmly outside the abilities of science permanently”, possibly? And to further convolute things, I don’t think I have the thinking power and/or knowledge to calculate a reasonable probability. It may be a pussified view, but what else can I do without certainty?

    Fact is, you may be right, but then Christians may be right too. Seriously. I haven’t ruled it out as a possibility. But in my mind the probability is that the scientists are right, and at this point the “primal existent” thing, at least for our Universe, is the singularity. But what *is* a singularity? Really? Is it like asking what infinity is, mathematically? I have no idea, and this troubles me.

    A deist on #scripture on undernet asked me what god I believed in. I basically evaded the question. He called me a worm. Then he asked me how many demons and gods I believed there were. I told him “possibly infinite, probably 0″. *THEN* I started to hear voices. *facepalm*. He wished me the best, then I decided talking to him was a waste of time, because he was so quick to go to the ad hominem. I really find mud slinging frustrating, it is such a waste of energy. I spent the rest of the time lurking the channel and perusing the other channels I frequent…but the voices, and the conversations that others had that night in that channel, bothered me to the point that I couldn’t fall asleep that night. The voices have since stopped…but who knows, maybe it’s a hardware problem, brain.

    Here is some total mental masturbation: I find it kind of punny that your God and the big bang singularity could be the same thing, since the singularity appears to be primal and existent, m theory not withstanding. The so-called pun is that you’re such a fan of the technological singularity, that the two just seem to fit. Not sure if you’re a fan of Grease, but Ha ha ha.

    Here is me waxing on about what I’m “going to do” which sheds some light on how *fucking ignorant* I am: Speaking of a big bang singularity, I asked in #math on freenode about the singularity. Was pointed to the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penrose%E2%80%93Hawking_singularity_theorems, and told that I would have to understand both linear algebra and vector calculus in order to understand it. I got a “C” in linear algebra at a rudimentary state college :(. I downloaded two books, one on linear algebra and one on vector calculus, I could probably provide links if you’re interested in the books, they’re under the GNU open source license I think, but I’m actually trying to be brief. At any rate, between trying to learn python, perl, java, and c, and probably failing, I may not get anywhere. But I’m going to try.

    P.S. I think I did see http://vimeo.com/317469. I’ll watch it again. Is there something in particular that I should be looking for? Incidentally, off the top of my rather poor memory, I remember doing some research on the topic and found some evidence that pointed to “10 dimensions” as being erroneous. But again, that’s just someone else’s opinion unless I learn the math for myself .

    P.P.S. Here is some emotional faith based subjective “crazy” talk: There are times, when people are talking about God, the Creator, as this sentient entity that hears all, and knows all, to the point that Pronoun knows what we think before we are even thinking it, I Believe. Capital B, all bets are off AND all chips are in. The Hope that I feel at these fleeting moments, leads me to tears that I struggle against. But the moment doesn’t last, and as soon as it comes I return to the realization that it doesn’t matter *what* I believe. All the Universe cares about is processing its “rules”, and what I believed returns from whence it came, irrelevancy.

  • http://redplanetaryearth.blogspot.com Kevin

    what I started writing: Thanks for your time as well. Sorry I left so curtly, it wasn’t anything personal, it was just that I didn’t want us to spin our wheels needlessly. I’m really getting to a point where simplification of a person’s point needs to be my primary goal. I start throwing out all these questions and assertions without first asking for a summary of someone’s point. Something I have to work on.

    what I decided to write: a priori / a posteriori? Is that basically the problem?

    I’m thinking in possibilities and probabilities these days. So, to answer your question “if it’s reasonable to view these actions as firmly outside the abilities of science permanently”, possibly? And to further convolute things, I don’t think I have the thinking power and/or knowledge to calculate a reasonable probability. It may be a pussified view, but what else can I do without certainty?

    Fact is, you may be right, but then Christians may be right too. Seriously. I haven’t ruled it out as a possibility. But in my mind the probability is that the scientists are right, and at this point the “primal existent” thing, at least for our Universe, is the singularity. But what *is* a singularity? Really? Is it like asking what infinity is, mathematically? I have no idea, and this troubles me.

    A deist on #scripture on undernet asked me what god I believed in. I basically evaded the question. He called me a worm. Then he asked me how many demons and gods I believed there were. I told him “possibly infinite, probably 0″. *THEN* I started to hear voices. *facepalm*. He wished me the best, then I decided talking to him was a waste of time, because he was so quick to go to the ad hominem. I really find mud slinging frustrating, it is such a waste of energy. I spent the rest of the time lurking the channel and perusing the other channels I frequent…but the voices, and the conversations that others had that night in that channel, bothered me to the point that I couldn’t fall asleep that night. The voices have since stopped…but who knows, maybe it’s a hardware problem, brain.

    Here is some total mental masturbation: I find it kind of punny that your God and the big bang singularity could be the same thing, since the singularity appears to be primal and existent, m theory not withstanding. The so-called pun is that you’re such a fan of the technological singularity, that the two just seem to fit. Not sure if you’re a fan of Grease, but Ha ha ha.

    Here is me waxing on about what I’m “going to do” which sheds some light on how *fucking ignorant* I am: Speaking of a big bang singularity, I asked in #math on freenode about the singularity. Was pointed to the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penrose%E2%80%93Hawking_singularity_theorems, and told that I would have to understand both linear algebra and vector calculus in order to understand it. I got a “C” in linear algebra at a rudimentary state college :(. I downloaded two books, one on linear algebra and one on vector calculus, I could probably provide links if you’re interested in the books, they’re under the GNU open source license I think, but I’m actually trying to be brief. At any rate, between trying to learn python, perl, java, and c, and probably failing, I may not get anywhere. But I’m going to try.

    P.S. I think I did see http://vimeo.com/317469. I’ll watch it again. Is there something in particular that I should be looking for? Incidentally, off the top of my rather poor memory, I remember doing some research on the topic and found some evidence that pointed to “10 dimensions” as being erroneous. But again, that’s just someone else’s opinion unless I learn the math for myself .

    P.P.S. Here is some emotional faith based subjective “crazy” talk: There are times, when people are talking about God, the Creator, as this sentient entity that hears all, and knows all, to the point that Pronoun knows what we think before we are even thinking it, I Believe. Capital B, all bets are off AND all chips are in. The Hope that I feel at these fleeting moments, leads me to tears that I struggle against. But the moment doesn’t last, and as soon as it comes I return to the realization that it doesn’t matter *what* I believe. All the Universe cares about is processing its “rules”, and what I believed returns from whence it came, irrelevancy.

  • Anonymous

    what I started writing: Thanks for your time as well. Sorry I left so curtly, it wasn’t anything personal, it was just that I didn’t want us to spin our wheels needlessly. I’m really getting to a point where simplification of a person’s point needs to be my primary goal. I start throwing out all these questions and assertions without first asking for a summary of someone’s point. Something I have to work on.

    No problem and I have a similar issue as well, as society and humanity’s knowledge base become more complicated the rules of logical debate are going to become ever more important, and making clear your logical foundations is a required step at the outset of a logical debate. Else as you suggest you end up talking past each other or argue even if you actually agree.

    However I feel the need to add that some ideas are not compressible without loss of fidelity as a result of the structure of language and social conventions on communication.

    So, to answer your question “if it’s reasonable to view these actions as firmly outside the abilities of science permanently”, possibly?

    Well would a specific example of such an action help? I mean atheists love to refute the white light version of god with clever impossibilities, things god can’t do for largely semantic reasons and assumptions of universal logic, but they never do the same thing to science, despite the fact that science itself has always asserted a finite scope.

    Something by definition science will never be able to do is change any physical constant(barring exit of our reality and influencing it from the outside). And ironically science is more bound to the conditions of this cosmos than god is since god would already be outside, science would have to first find an exit.

    Science will never be able to prove any given person is sentient. Science will never be able to show you what I see as the color green with certainty. And perhaps more to the point science can never tell you why you are here. It can only tell you how you came to be here.

    It may be a pussified view, but what else can I do without certainty?

    Go the route of super position, if you can’t answer a specific look for a general that universally applies. In a way that’s the whole goal of science. A standard model tested in miniature producing rules that can be scaled up to include everything observable.

    Fact is, you may be right, but then Christians may be right too.

    But in this context the statement is dismissive and suspect. The Christians famously aren’t right on a whole host of fronts. They aren’t even in agreement on what their own book means. And their claims are so massively complicated and subjective they become unfalsifiable. My claims may also by definition be unfalsifiable but for very different reasons, namely an apparently built in ambiguity about the fabric of reality, not because of my logical inability to make a specific claim. Besides, one could falsify my position, simply show an alternate mechanism for the formation of existence, like say create a device which adds to the universe without cost (producing something from nothing), or alter, system wide, a physical constant.

    Seriously. I haven’t ruled it out as a possibility. But in my mind the probability is that the scientists are right, and at this point the “primal existent” thing, at least for our Universe, is the singularity. But what *is* a singularity? Really? Is it like asking what infinity is, mathematically? I have no idea, and this troubles me.

    Prior to my migration to deism I was a strong atheist, as in I saw proof for a lack of god. This proof took the form of logical arguments and tearing apart the conflicted definition of my opponents. I saw the universe as having no need for a cause because the moment of the big bang was composed of compressed time as well as space allowing for a seeming paradox to be real. Time compressed, curved, touched, and caused itself. But I realized that the physics that allowed for this had to have been in place prior to the bang or the bang would not have worked. (Try to ignore the linearity of that, language prevents me from expressing what I “mean” clearly.)

    My point is that we are probably both right and that’s where I get my position on science vs spirituality and how vs why. Science can tell me what was written but it can’t tell me where the paper came from. The big bang almost surly happened, your singularity almost surly existed, but regardless of the math of it, in general I can ask why did anything, including the big bang, bother to exist at all?

    Then he asked me how many demons and gods I believed there were. I told him “possibly infinite, probably 0″.

    Heh, I’m reminded of QM’s range of answers sliminess. Obviously you were correct, but the answer is useless. It’s like responding to a hideously complex multiplication of two posatives problem with “some positive number.”

    *THEN* I started to hear voices. *facepalm*.

    Really? (You won’t find me attacking your position based on your mental health status. I will not say you’re wrong because you’re crazy, but I may call you crazy because you’re wrong. :) )

    The voices have since stopped…but who knows, maybe it’s a hardware problem, brain.

    The brain obviously has multiple levels of processing, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss them. What did the voices say? Assuming it wasn’t like a murmuring cocktail party effect. I often ask myself a question and then simply wait. Sometimes even days later the answer will simply occur to me, perhaps you receive the same information as a vocal hallucination. Sure there aren’t people standing there talking to you, but that’s not to say the information conveyed is unreal. If you ask yourself whats 5 times 5 and a voice replies 25, its not wrong simply because the voice isn’t real.

    Here is some total mental masturbation

    I don’t think they are possibly the same thing, the scope of each is different, the formation of *this* universe is not the same as the basis of all existence unless you show that this universe is conclusively all of existence, which is impossible. But still, yes that is funny. :)

    I asked in #math…

    I appreciate the offer but I don’t need to know Japanese to say conclusively it’s a language. Don’t get hung up on the details, because in this context the details are irrelevant. Can any math equation change an axiom? No, at BEST it can refine our understanding of existing axioms. Thus I can make statements about the whole of math without understanding all of math. Wiki Godel, and then read Godel Escher Bach. :) You’ll enjoy it a LOT more than any inquiry into math from a technical perspective.

    P.S. I think I did see http://vimeo.com/317469. I’ll watch it again. Is there something in particular that I should be looking for? Incidentally, off the top of my rather poor memory, I remember doing some research on the topic and found some evidence that pointed to “10 dimensions” as being erroneous. But again, that’s just someone else’s opinion unless I learn the math for myself .

    No, it just gets one thinking in the proper direction, trying to see behind the mirror at a cognitive level so to speak. And you’re right I don’t believe in that model, because of its liberal use of the word “possible” and that fact that its mainly playing with abstractions. It’s useful as an art form and as a thought experiment, just as with math, but it is hardly solid in any practical sense.

    The infinite universe type thing for example, neatly side stepped by the video’s use of the word possible, is in conflict or begs a question. 1. What renders a given concept possible or impossible in the context of existence? 2. If there are infinite universes with how come one hasn’t destroyed all the others, if that’s not possible, see #1 (or why (or god))?

    P.P.S. Here is some emotional faith based subjective “crazy” talk: There are times, when people are talking about God, the Creator, as this sentient entity that hears all, and knows all, to the point that Pronoun knows what we think before we are even thinking it, I Believe. Capital B, all bets are off AND all chips are in. The Hope that I feel at these fleeting moments, leads me to tears that I struggle against. But the moment doesn’t last, and as soon as it comes I return to the realization that it doesn’t matter *what* I believe. All the Universe cares about is processing its “rules”, and what I believed returns from whence it came, irrelevancy.

    I appreciate you sharing that. For my own part the notions of simulation reduce me to happy tears. The idea that all reality is false in someway, thus rendering moot all the tortures and injustices, and that my dreams are just as real in a real sense as reality, is deeply appealing.

    I think its because a simulation can not fail. It exists to answer a question and though the answer may not be what you wanted it is still an answer.

    What if mine is the maximum suffering? Given how little I actually suffer, that would be positive beyond words. But it would also mean you’re a phantom p-zed, and clearly you aren’t :/

    And for the record even if I knew for a fact it was all a sim, that wouldn’t change my behavior, but I would demand some edits.

    “What if all the world you think you know, Is an elaborate dream?” – Nine Inch Nails, With Teeth, Right Where It Belongs (this is the version I like best http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRBCVR2aTD8 )
    Matrix, 13th Floor, and rather spectacularly, the Australian aboriginal cosmology of The Dreaming, and or the Simulation hypothesis. I wrote a short story once about the ultimate goal from an ethical standpoint of technology. About a man who’s job it is to go back in time and prevent torture without disturbing the timeline. It’s crap, but I’m proud of the concept.

    Shameless plug: http://underlore.com/TBA/?p=175 Beware, solipsististic existential doubt can be soul crushing. http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10269.aspx

  • http://friendfeed.com/innomen Innomen

    what I started writing: Thanks for your time as well. Sorry I left so curtly, it wasn’t anything personal, it was just that I didn’t want us to spin our wheels needlessly. I’m really getting to a point where simplification of a person’s point needs to be my primary goal. I start throwing out all these questions and assertions without first asking for a summary of someone’s point. Something I have to work on.

    No problem and I have a similar issue as well, as society and humanity’s knowledge base become more complicated the rules of logical debate are going to become ever more important, and making clear your logical foundations is a required step at the outset of a logical debate. Else as you suggest you end up talking past each other or argue even if you actually agree.

    However I feel the need to add that some ideas are not compressible without loss of fidelity as a result of the structure of language and social conventions on communication.

    So, to answer your question “if it’s reasonable to view these actions as firmly outside the abilities of science permanently”, possibly?

    Well would a specific example of such an action help? I mean atheists love to refute the white light version of god with clever impossibilities, things god can’t do for largely semantic reasons and assumptions of universal logic, but they never do the same thing to science, despite the fact that science itself has always asserted a finite scope.

    Something by definition science will never be able to do is change any physical constant(barring exit of our reality and influencing it from the outside). And ironically science is more bound to the conditions of this cosmos than god is since god would already be outside, science would have to first find an exit.

    Science will never be able to prove any given person is sentient. Science will never be able to show you what I see as the color green with certainty. And perhaps more to the point science can never tell you why you are here. It can only tell you how you came to be here.

    It may be a pussified view, but what else can I do without certainty?

    Go the route of super position, if you can’t answer a specific look for a general that universally applies. In a way that’s the whole goal of science. A standard model tested in miniature producing rules that can be scaled up to include everything observable.

    Fact is, you may be right, but then Christians may be right too.

    But in this context the statement is dismissive and suspect. The Christians famously aren’t right on a whole host of fronts. They aren’t even in agreement on what their own book means. And their claims are so massively complicated and subjective they become unfalsifiable. My claims may also by definition be unfalsifiable but for very different reasons, namely an apparently built in ambiguity about the fabric of reality, not because of my logical inability to make a specific claim. Besides, one could falsify my position, simply show an alternate mechanism for the formation of existence, like say create a device which adds to the universe without cost (producing something from nothing), or alter, system wide, a physical constant.

    Seriously. I haven’t ruled it out as a possibility. But in my mind the probability is that the scientists are right, and at this point the “primal existent” thing, at least for our Universe, is the singularity. But what *is* a singularity? Really? Is it like asking what infinity is, mathematically? I have no idea, and this troubles me.

    Prior to my migration to deism I was a strong atheist, as in I saw proof for a lack of god. This proof took the form of logical arguments and tearing apart the conflicted definition of my opponents. I saw the universe as having no need for a cause because the moment of the big bang was composed of compressed time as well as space allowing for a seeming paradox to be real. Time compressed, curved, touched, and caused itself. But I realized that the physics that allowed for this had to have been in place prior to the bang or the bang would not have worked. (Try to ignore the linearity of that, language prevents me from expressing what I “mean” clearly.)

    My point is that we are probably both right and that’s where I get my position on science vs spirituality and how vs why. Science can tell me what was written but it can’t tell me where the paper came from. The big bang almost surly happened, your singularity almost surly existed, but regardless of the math of it, in general I can ask why did anything, including the big bang, bother to exist at all?

    Then he asked me how many demons and gods I believed there were. I told him “possibly infinite, probably 0″.

    Heh, I’m reminded of QM’s range of answers sliminess. Obviously you were correct, but the answer is useless. It’s like responding to a hideously complex multiplication of two posatives problem with “some positive number.”

    *THEN* I started to hear voices. *facepalm*.

    Really? (You won’t find me attacking your position based on your mental health status. I will not say you’re wrong because you’re crazy, but I may call you crazy because you’re wrong. :) )

    The voices have since stopped…but who knows, maybe it’s a hardware problem, brain.

    The brain obviously has multiple levels of processing, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss them. What did the voices say? Assuming it wasn’t like a murmuring cocktail party effect. I often ask myself a question and then simply wait. Sometimes even days later the answer will simply occur to me, perhaps you receive the same information as a vocal hallucination. Sure there aren’t people standing there talking to you, but that’s not to say the information conveyed is unreal. If you ask yourself whats 5 times 5 and a voice replies 25, its not wrong simply because the voice isn’t real.

    Here is some total mental masturbation

    I don’t think they are possibly the same thing, the scope of each is different, the formation of *this* universe is not the same as the basis of all existence unless you show that this universe is conclusively all of existence, which is impossible. But still, yes that is funny. :)

    I asked in #math…

    I appreciate the offer but I don’t need to know Japanese to say conclusively it’s a language. Don’t get hung up on the details, because in this context the details are irrelevant. Can any math equation change an axiom? No, at BEST it can refine our understanding of existing axioms. Thus I can make statements about the whole of math without understanding all of math. Wiki Godel, and then read Godel Escher Bach. :) You’ll enjoy it a LOT more than any inquiry into math from a technical perspective.

    P.S. I think I did see http://vimeo.com/317469. I’ll watch it again. Is there something in particular that I should be looking for? Incidentally, off the top of my rather poor memory, I remember doing some research on the topic and found some evidence that pointed to “10 dimensions” as being erroneous. But again, that’s just someone else’s opinion unless I learn the math for myself .

    No, it just gets one thinking in the proper direction, trying to see behind the mirror at a cognitive level so to speak. And you’re right I don’t believe in that model, because of its liberal use of the word “possible” and that fact that its mainly playing with abstractions. It’s useful as an art form and as a thought experiment, just as with math, but it is hardly solid in any practical sense.

    The infinite universe type thing for example, neatly side stepped by the video’s use of the word possible, is in conflict or begs a question. 1. What renders a given concept possible or impossible in the context of existence? 2. If there are infinite universes with how come one hasn’t destroyed all the others, if that’s not possible, see #1 (or why (or god))?

    P.P.S. Here is some emotional faith based subjective “crazy” talk: There are times, when people are talking about God, the Creator, as this sentient entity that hears all, and knows all, to the point that Pronoun knows what we think before we are even thinking it, I Believe. Capital B, all bets are off AND all chips are in. The Hope that I feel at these fleeting moments, leads me to tears that I struggle against. But the moment doesn’t last, and as soon as it comes I return to the realization that it doesn’t matter *what* I believe. All the Universe cares about is processing its “rules”, and what I believed returns from whence it came, irrelevancy.

    I appreciate you sharing that. For my own part the notions of simulation reduce me to happy tears. The idea that all reality is false in someway, thus rendering moot all the tortures and injustices, and that my dreams are just as real in a real sense as reality, is deeply appealing.

    I think its because a simulation can not fail. It exists to answer a question and though the answer may not be what you wanted it is still an answer.

    What if mine is the maximum suffering? Given how little I actually suffer, that would be positive beyond words. But it would also mean you’re a phantom p-zed, and clearly you aren’t :/

    And for the record even if I knew for a fact it was all a sim, that wouldn’t change my behavior, but I would demand some edits.

    “What if all the world you think you know, Is an elaborate dream?” – Nine Inch Nails, With Teeth, Right Where It Belongs (this is the version I like best http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRBCVR2aTD8 )
    Matrix, 13th Floor, and rather spectacularly, the Australian aboriginal cosmology of The Dreaming, and or the Simulation hypothesis. I wrote a short story once about the ultimate goal from an ethical standpoint of technology. About a man who’s job it is to go back in time and prevent torture without disturbing the timeline. It’s crap, but I’m proud of the concept.

    Shameless plug: http://underlore.com/TBA/?p=175 Beware, solipsististic existential doubt can be soul crushing. http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10269.aspx

  • http://redplanetaryearth.blogspot.com Kevin

    Well would a specific example of such an action help? I mean atheists love to refute the white light version of god with clever impossibilities, things god can’t do for largely semantic reasons and assumptions of universal logic, but they never do the same thing to science, despite the fact that science itself has always asserted a finite scope.
    Something by definition science will never be able to do is change any physical constant(barring exit of our reality and influencing it from the outside). And ironically science is more bound to the conditions of this cosmos than god is since god would already be outside, science would have to first find an exit.

    I’m not sure that science’s scope is finite, because the scope of mathematics is not. If we disagree on this, perhaps it’s because we disagree on the definition of what science is.

    Science will never be able to prove any given person is sentient. Science will never be able to show you what I see as the color green with certainty. And perhaps more to the point science can never tell you why you are here. It can only tell you how you came to be here.

    As far as sentience goes, it appears that the self-evident thing here, the axiom, is that sentience is caused by the brain. Without brain, no sentience in reality. So, it may be that science doesn’t have to prove sentience, because it doesn’t have to prove axioms. I think the subjectiveness of color is the same problem. It all depends on whether or not the brain is the seat of all subjective experience, and if it is, then the brain could be mapped and the experience of green may be a certain group of neurons firing in a particular sequence. It’s possible I’m wrong, it’s possible that sentience is caused by “God”, but I don’t think this is a very strong probability.

    The Christians famously aren’t right on a whole host of fronts. They aren’t even in agreement on what their own book means.

    They agree on a lot though. God, Jesus, Heaven. But, considering their track record, probably don’t have a clue. But their faith isn’t entirely without logic. They hold to the axiom that the Bible’s infallibility is self-evident, then they run with that axiom to come up with a whole bunch of stuff based on what the Bible says. Proving it wrong is essentially unfalsifiable, even if you try to point out discrepencies and inconsistencies in the Bible, it just becomes an infinite process of apologetics.

    Prior to my migration to deism I was a strong atheist, as in I saw proof for a lack of god. This proof took the form of logical arguments and tearing apart the conflicted definition of my opponents. I saw the universe as having no need for a cause because the moment of the big bang was composed of compressed time as well as space allowing for a seeming paradox to be real. Time compressed, curved, touched, and caused itself. But I realized that the physics that allowed for this had to have been in place prior to the bang or the bang would not have worked. (Try to ignore the linearity of that, language prevents me from expressing what I “mean” clearly.)

    Not sure how you arrive at the conclusion that physics would have had to exist before the big bang, since as far as I know, at time t=0 the singularity is undefined. You might then say that math had to exist, but math might be the primal existent force that you call “God”. Still though, I don’t see how you can jump to the conclusion that the laws of physics themselves aren’t the “primal existent” force you call “God”. Maybe I’m just not capable of thinking about it the way you do.

    …but regardless of the math of it, in general I can ask why did anything, including the big bang, bother to exist at all?

    Because? Seriously, if that answer is good enough for “God”, who’s definition is only primacy and existence, then why isn’t it good enough for the Big Bang singularity?

    Heh, I’m reminded of QM’s range of answers sliminess. Obviously you were correct, but the answer is useless. It’s like responding to a hideously complex multiplication of two posatives problem with “some positive number.”

    There isn’t anything slimy about it. It’s just honest. What’s more slimy, admitting you can’t arrive at a solid conclusion, or believing that there are n number of demons for no apparent reason? I really think the question was a trap. You ask the question, the person responds with essentially “I don’t know”, and then the accuser points his finger and call the respondent a fool. I’m not even saying it’s impossible to know, epistemologically, I’m just saying this is what I know.

    I really get the feeling sometimes, that people aren’t really interested in figuring anything out, they just want to win arguments.

    I asked in #math…

    I appreciate the offer but I don’t need to know Japanese to say conclusively it’s a language. Don’t get hung up on the details, because in this context the details are irrelevant. Can any math equation change an axiom? No, at BEST it can refine our understanding of existing axioms. Thus I can make statements about the whole of math without understanding all of math. Wiki Godel, and then read Godel Escher Bach. You’ll enjoy it a LOT more than any inquiry into math from a technical perspective.

    I read the Godel wiki. I’ll check out Godel Escher Bach. I think the details are important, because they often times tell us how an axiom is self-evident. So yeah, I agree with this article that studying mathematics daily is probably a good idea: http://sites.google.com/site/steveyegge2/math-every-day.

    P.S. I think I did see http://vimeo.com/317469. I’ll watch it again. Is there something in particular that I should be looking for? Incidentally, off the top of my rather poor memory, I remember doing some research on the topic and found some evidence that pointed to “10 dimensions” as being erroneous. But again, that’s just someone else’s opinion unless I learn the math for myself .

    No, it just gets one thinking in the proper direction, trying to see behind the mirror at a cognitive level so to speak. And you’re right I don’t believe in that model, because of its liberal use of the word “possible” and that fact that its mainly playing with abstractions. It’s useful as an art form and as a thought experiment, just as with math, but it is hardly solid in any practical sense.
    The infinite universe type thing for example, neatly side stepped by the video’s use of the word possible, is in conflict or begs a question. 1. What renders a given concept possible or impossible in the context of existence? 2. If there are infinite universes with how come one hasn’t destroyed all the others, if that’s not possible, see #1 (or why (or god))?

    When I watched it again, I basically arrived at the conclusion that I don’t really get it. I’ll have to watch it several more times, and perhaps practice with the geometry myself to really get it.

    I see your point regarding “begging the question”. The question of why one Universe doesn’t destroy all the others is an intriguing one. However, I would say that the laws of the Universe and your “God” may actually be one and the same, because reality wouldn’t exist as we know it if “God” hadn’t caused things to happen the way they did. And then, with Occam’s Razor, extract “God”, and the laws of the Universe themsevles become the primal existent cause. As soon as you apply primal existent cause to something “outside” the Universe, I just ask why not apply this to the laws of the Universe, which could be considered “outside” of it, conceptually. To be honest, I still don’t see the difference between a singularity and your “God”, probably because I don’t see the singularity as something “inside” the Universe.

    The idea that all reality is false in someway, thus rendering moot all the tortures and injustices, and that my dreams are just as real in a real sense as reality, is deeply appealing.

    I appreciate you sharing this as well, but to be honest, I don’t get it. I’ve never actually *really* believed reality is false in someway for any length of time. Anytime the thought comes to mind, I simply test reality, and disappoint any sense that it isn’t real. Hmmm, there might be some intriguing connection here with lucid dreaming. Testing reality is an important component to it. Do you lucid dream?

    “What if all the world you think you know, Is an elaborate dream?” – Nine Inch Nails, With Teeth, Right Where It Belongs

    It’s a good song. Are you a fan of Erik Satie? I like how hypnotic his music sounds. No lyrics though.

    I wrote a short story once about the ultimate goal from an ethical standpoint of technology. About a man who’s job it is to go back in time and prevent torture without disturbing the timeline. It’s crap, but I’m proud of the concept.
    Shameless plug: http://underlore.com/TBA/?p=175 Beware, solipsististic existential doubt can be soul crushing. http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10269.aspx

    Yeah, I read it. Interesting idea.

  • http://redplanetaryearth.blogspot.com Kevin

    Well would a specific example of such an action help? I mean atheists love to refute the white light version of god with clever impossibilities, things god can’t do for largely semantic reasons and assumptions of universal logic, but they never do the same thing to science, despite the fact that science itself has always asserted a finite scope.
    Something by definition science will never be able to do is change any physical constant(barring exit of our reality and influencing it from the outside). And ironically science is more bound to the conditions of this cosmos than god is since god would already be outside, science would have to first find an exit.

    I’m not sure that science’s scope is finite, because the scope of mathematics is not. If we disagree on this, perhaps it’s because we disagree on the definition of what science is.

    Science will never be able to prove any given person is sentient. Science will never be able to show you what I see as the color green with certainty. And perhaps more to the point science can never tell you why you are here. It can only tell you how you came to be here.

    As far as sentience goes, it appears that the self-evident thing here, the axiom, is that sentience is caused by the brain. Without brain, no sentience in reality. So, it may be that science doesn’t have to prove sentience, because it doesn’t have to prove axioms. I think the subjectiveness of color is the same problem. It all depends on whether or not the brain is the seat of all subjective experience, and if it is, then the brain could be mapped and the experience of green may be a certain group of neurons firing in a particular sequence. It’s possible I’m wrong, it’s possible that sentience is caused by “God”, but I don’t think this is a very strong probability.

    The Christians famously aren’t right on a whole host of fronts. They aren’t even in agreement on what their own book means.

    They agree on a lot though. God, Jesus, Heaven. But, considering their track record, probably don’t have a clue. But their faith isn’t entirely without logic. They hold to the axiom that the Bible’s infallibility is self-evident, then they run with that axiom to come up with a whole bunch of stuff based on what the Bible says. Proving it wrong is essentially unfalsifiable, even if you try to point out discrepencies and inconsistencies in the Bible, it just becomes an infinite process of apologetics.

    Prior to my migration to deism I was a strong atheist, as in I saw proof for a lack of god. This proof took the form of logical arguments and tearing apart the conflicted definition of my opponents. I saw the universe as having no need for a cause because the moment of the big bang was composed of compressed time as well as space allowing for a seeming paradox to be real. Time compressed, curved, touched, and caused itself. But I realized that the physics that allowed for this had to have been in place prior to the bang or the bang would not have worked. (Try to ignore the linearity of that, language prevents me from expressing what I “mean” clearly.)

    Not sure how you arrive at the conclusion that physics would have had to exist before the big bang, since as far as I know, at time t=0 the singularity is undefined. You might then say that math had to exist, but math might be the primal existent force that you call “God”. Still though, I don’t see how you can jump to the conclusion that the laws of physics themselves aren’t the “primal existent” force you call “God”. Maybe I’m just not capable of thinking about it the way you do.

    …but regardless of the math of it, in general I can ask why did anything, including the big bang, bother to exist at all?

    Because? Seriously, if that answer is good enough for “God”, who’s definition is only primacy and existence, then why isn’t it good enough for the Big Bang singularity?

    Heh, I’m reminded of QM’s range of answers sliminess. Obviously you were correct, but the answer is useless. It’s like responding to a hideously complex multiplication of two posatives problem with “some positive number.”

    There isn’t anything slimy about it. It’s just honest. What’s more slimy, admitting you can’t arrive at a solid conclusion, or believing that there are n number of demons for no apparent reason? I really think the question was a trap. You ask the question, the person responds with essentially “I don’t know”, and then the accuser points his finger and call the respondent a fool. I’m not even saying it’s impossible to know, epistemologically, I’m just saying this is what I know.

    I really get the feeling sometimes, that people aren’t really interested in figuring anything out, they just want to win arguments.

    I asked in #math…

    I appreciate the offer but I don’t need to know Japanese to say conclusively it’s a language. Don’t get hung up on the details, because in this context the details are irrelevant. Can any math equation change an axiom? No, at BEST it can refine our understanding of existing axioms. Thus I can make statements about the whole of math without understanding all of math. Wiki Godel, and then read Godel Escher Bach. You’ll enjoy it a LOT more than any inquiry into math from a technical perspective.

    I read the Godel wiki. I’ll check out Godel Escher Bach. I think the details are important, because they often times tell us how an axiom is self-evident. So yeah, I agree with this article that studying mathematics daily is probably a good idea: http://sites.google.com/site/steveyegge2/math-every-day.

    P.S. I think I did see http://vimeo.com/317469. I’ll watch it again. Is there something in particular that I should be looking for? Incidentally, off the top of my rather poor memory, I remember doing some research on the topic and found some evidence that pointed to “10 dimensions” as being erroneous. But again, that’s just someone else’s opinion unless I learn the math for myself .

    No, it just gets one thinking in the proper direction, trying to see behind the mirror at a cognitive level so to speak. And you’re right I don’t believe in that model, because of its liberal use of the word “possible” and that fact that its mainly playing with abstractions. It’s useful as an art form and as a thought experiment, just as with math, but it is hardly solid in any practical sense.
    The infinite universe type thing for example, neatly side stepped by the video’s use of the word possible, is in conflict or begs a question. 1. What renders a given concept possible or impossible in the context of existence? 2. If there are infinite universes with how come one hasn’t destroyed all the others, if that’s not possible, see #1 (or why (or god))?

    When I watched it again, I basically arrived at the conclusion that I don’t really get it. I’ll have to watch it several more times, and perhaps practice with the geometry myself to really get it.

    I see your point regarding “begging the question”. The question of why one Universe doesn’t destroy all the others is an intriguing one. However, I would say that the laws of the Universe and your “God” may actually be one and the same, because reality wouldn’t exist as we know it if “God” hadn’t caused things to happen the way they did. And then, with Occam’s Razor, extract “God”, and the laws of the Universe themsevles become the primal existent cause. As soon as you apply primal existent cause to something “outside” the Universe, I just ask why not apply this to the laws of the Universe, which could be considered “outside” of it, conceptually. To be honest, I still don’t see the difference between a singularity and your “God”, probably because I don’t see the singularity as something “inside” the Universe.

    The idea that all reality is false in someway, thus rendering moot all the tortures and injustices, and that my dreams are just as real in a real sense as reality, is deeply appealing.

    I appreciate you sharing this as well, but to be honest, I don’t get it. I’ve never actually *really* believed reality is false in someway for any length of time. Anytime the thought comes to mind, I simply test reality, and disappoint any sense that it isn’t real. Hmmm, there might be some intriguing connection here with lucid dreaming. Testing reality is an important component to it. Do you lucid dream?

    “What if all the world you think you know, Is an elaborate dream?” – Nine Inch Nails, With Teeth, Right Where It Belongs

    It’s a good song. Are you a fan of Erik Satie? I like how hypnotic his music sounds. No lyrics though.

    I wrote a short story once about the ultimate goal from an ethical standpoint of technology. About a man who’s job it is to go back in time and prevent torture without disturbing the timeline. It’s crap, but I’m proud of the concept.
    Shameless plug: http://underlore.com/TBA/?p=175 Beware, solipsististic existential doubt can be soul crushing. http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10269.aspx

    Yeah, I read it. Interesting idea.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure that science’s scope is finite…

    That’s more than a little scary and why I feel compelled to speak up about the emerging fundamentalism associated with neoatheism. Science’s scope is extremely limited. It can only tell us how things occur. Its nature is the analysis of a system, it can not answer questions of purpose of any kind or any sort of why question. When scientists use the word why they are actually using a grammatical shortcut of a how question. It’s a linguistic problem. How is process, why is purpose. Process is never equal to purpose.

    it appears that the self-evident thing here, the axiom, is that sentience is caused by the brain.

    You can’t even prove sentience exists outside your own head. I could very well be your hallucination. And for all you know your potentially singular instance of sentience is actually caused by your left kidney. Just because all the hallucinations indicate it comes from the head, really in no ultimate way does that prove anything.

    I agree of course that sentience lies in the brain, my point is we can’t prove it ever. Science can’t touch sentience. For example, how I reconciled it when I was religious as a child was “the brains is the lens through which the soul shines” that is while playing with the brain causes obvious cognitive effects in my view that was merely because we were dirtying the lens. Science can’t answer such metaphysical questions, because it is grounded in the physical by definition.

    So, it may be that science doesn’t have to prove sentience, because it doesn’t have to prove axioms.

    Obligation or not it lacks the ability. Prove you’re sentient to a scientific certainty, then get back to me and we’ll peer review.

    It all depends on whether or not the brain is the seat of all subjective experience, and if it is, then the brain could be mapped and the experience of green may be a certain group of neurons firing in a particular sequence…

    But that would give no indication of the qualia of the experience. Reproducing the same firing pattern in my head may show up as red, perhaps all plant life is red to me. You see?

    They agree on a lot though. God, Jesus, Heaven.

    Setting aside this tangent, no they don’t. The mind of god, the nature of Jesus, and the character of heaven are all fiercely disputed among Christians. Pretty much the only thing they agree on was god made reality.

    They hold to the axiom that the Bible’s infallibility is self-evident…

    An axiom has to be true for it to be an axiom. They may wish it to be an axiom but it isn’t.

    Not sure how you arrive at the conclusion that physics would have had to exist before the big bang…

    Because it proceeded in such an orderly fashion that we know about it. You are getting lost in jargon again. I ask you why did the singularity exist? Setting aside the question of can something with zero dimensionality be said to exist, the very definition of a singularity is the inability to understand past it based on evidence. To then take that as evidence for the existence of nothing prior is circular logic. There is no evidence for existence prior to that point that is therefor evidence that nothing existed prior to that point. It’s like saying the room ceases to exist when you close your eyes just because you fail to have visual evidence of its existence. (see my post on quantum mechanics linked above)

    This is why we have philosophy and epistemology. Science loves to bury this fact, but the very foundations of the concept of knowledge itself are shaky. We used to have logicians. I actually have a few logic text books which I nabbed from the free box at school. No more.

    So much faith in fact that you above admitted a complete inability to perceive a limit to its scope at all despite the fact that you yourself ARE such a limit. And if you doubt the evidence of your own existence then how in the world can you accept the evidence presented by others who’s existence is on even shakier ground?

    You might then say that math had to exist

    Math is an abstraction, a product of a mind, an arrangement of concepts, it no more existed than the 5th season of lost existed. but I see what you meant. Kinda goes to Matt’s TAG.

    Still though, I don’t see how you can jump to the conclusion that the laws of physics themselves aren’t the “primal existent” force you call “God”.

    It’s a seamless progression. It’s one more why in the chain of questions. You’ve accepted a concept of what constitutes a reasonable exploration of reality, and that concept breaks down at the level of evidence-free fact. Godel: The universe has two choices, either it will contain true and unprovable statements (like god) or it is incomplete. Since by definition it can’t be incomplete… *shrugs* All events proceed orderly from axiomatic physical laws.

    It’s like the QM post, you may choose to believe that a particle has no position or speed until it is measured, I choose to believe that is has both I must simply pick which one I’m going to know to what degree. (uncertainty principal) The cat is either alive or dead, the notion of a superposed state is like a singularity, its an artifact of error.

    Seriously, if that answer is good enough for “God”, who’s definition is only primacy and existence, then why isn’t it good enough for the Big Bang singularity?

    Because, the big bang singularity only explains (maybe) our universe and its current shape. It does not explain from whence sprang the laws of physics, nor why they are stable, nor the other universes which clearly exist, nor does it explain existence itself. It ONLY answers how our universe progressed. By your logic the singularity didn’t happen because since we only have theoretical evidence for its nature up to a few picoseconds after it began, and we can NEVER have evidence from before or the instant of, this evidence free zone could therefor not have existed. At some point to form a complete picture you must accept things that can produce no evidence. It’s like finding a hole. You can deduce facets of its nature by absence.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/04/does-our-universe-live-inside-a-.html

    If you reject the evidence of existence itself as demanding a non linear foundation, then the big bang itself as proof of a singularity must also be rejected on the same grounds. This is why science breaks down at singularities, not because the rules of reality fold but because our abstracts of them fold.

    It’s like the recent picture of the sun as a dark matter collector solving the the solar composition problem ( http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/07/dark-matter-sun/ ). It’s been that way the whole time, long before life existed on this planet, much less life capable enough to theorize the existence of dark matter. Only our abstractions have changed. Science is a process of mind, nothing more.

    Singularities trouble the physicists that encounter them because they know they are almost certainly mathematical artifacts, indices of error, not truth.

    You ask the question, the person responds with essentially “I don’t know”

    I’m just saying you didn’t say “I don’t know”, you gave a range, an answer. (possibly infinite probably 0) And that’s like QM’s whole probability shtick.

    I really get the feeling sometimes, that people aren’t really interested in figuring anything out, they just want to win arguments.

    People hate my view because it’s a conversation stopper. They don’t like being irrevocably stripped of the opportunity to equal themselves with god. They don’t like hearing that there are portions of existence permanently beyond even the conception of understanding much less control. Like being alive isn’t awesome enough. People want control, and they want to know. And saying that I know for a fact that they can’t ever know is a cosmic buzz kill. Like I if tore the last page out of a book and handed it to them they want to say the second to last page is the last page rather than face up to never knowing the ending.

    Being life forms in a biosphere we know movement is life, finding out there’s no where to go is, distressing. Cognitive dissonance for the win. Even false certainty is adaptive because a bad decision is often better than no decision.

    Really, we’re lucky the universe is even remotely simple or stable enough to accumulate even the most infinitesimally small and accurate understanding of it.

    I mean seriously, just look at this shit. ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/525347 )

    I think the details are important, because they often times tell us how an axiom is self-evident.

    You’re probably right. I don’t have a mind for details, I work top down in many ways. But math in and of itself to me is just so much of a game to me. (Reminds me of the glass bead game in Magister Ludi) People get lost in it, its important, no doubt but it’s still just an abstraction. As Godel showed, it’s limited.

    And then, with Occam’s Razor, extract “God”, and the laws of the Universe themsevles become the primal existent cause.

    You’ve just used “laws of the universe” to mean exactly what I mean when I say god. Again, I have no idea of its nature I only said its there, and what it does. The razor, while a solid precept, is a touch over used and doesn’t apply here because the elements are equivalent. People often misuse the razor’s point to equate simple with comfortable.

    Its not a competition, as you and others have framed it, the big bang doesn’t even pretend to answer the questions for which god is the answer. Even if this universe completely bootstrapped itself into existence from nothing, that doesn’t answer where existence itself came from or why it is this way and not some arbitrary other way. I’ll also add that the notion that all existence is composed of what we can see to me just smells as dim as the geocentric model of the universe. Like goldfish thinking the whole world is the aquarium.

    To be honest, I still don’t see the difference between a singularity and your “God”,

    The singularity has traits beyond existence and primacy. For example we know by definition it no longer exists. (if time exists of course)

    Why do you keep capping and quoting god? Still trying to strap a beard and a penis on it? :)

    Testing reality is an important component to it. Do you lucid dream?

    Yesiree bob, though less and less. My dream checks now fail. >.< All I've done is increase the fidelity of my dreams. Lights work in my dreams, I can read text, (recently I even had a dream that had subtitles) operate electronic devices, and my "powers" are diminishing. As a crazy what if, maybe this is like a death clock. That the day my dreams reach parity with reality is the day I'll die heh. One thing that I never seem to notice no matter how much I train are novel situations. Like I'll just accept that I'm back in school or what have you. It's probably a good thing. I could see me retreating into a dream state in lieu of a real life if given the chance.

    It’s a good song. Are you a fan of Erik Satie? I like how hypnotic his music sounds. No lyrics though.

    Nopers but I’ll probably check it out. I like the instrumental stuff so long as its not overly simple.

  • http://underlore.com/TBA/?page_id=2 Innomen

    I’m not sure that science’s scope is finite…

    That’s more than a little scary and why I feel compelled to speak up about the emerging fundamentalism associated with neoatheism. Science’s scope is extremely limited. It can only tell us how things occur. Its nature is the analysis of a system, it can not answer questions of purpose of any kind or any sort of why question. When scientists use the word why they are actually using a grammatical shortcut of a how question. It’s a linguistic problem. How is process, why is purpose. Process is never equal to purpose.

    it appears that the self-evident thing here, the axiom, is that sentience is caused by the brain.

    You can’t even prove sentience exists outside your own head. I could very well be your hallucination. And for all you know your potentially singular instance of sentience is actually caused by your left kidney. Just because all the hallucinations indicate it comes from the head, really in no ultimate way does that prove anything.

    I agree of course that sentience lies in the brain, my point is we can’t prove it ever. Science can’t touch sentience. For example, how I reconciled it when I was religious as a child was “the brains is the lens through which the soul shines” that is while playing with the brain causes obvious cognitive effects in my view that was merely because we were dirtying the lens. Science can’t answer such metaphysical questions, because it is grounded in the physical by definition.

    So, it may be that science doesn’t have to prove sentience, because it doesn’t have to prove axioms.

    Obligation or not it lacks the ability. Prove you’re sentient to a scientific certainty, then get back to me and we’ll peer review.

    It all depends on whether or not the brain is the seat of all subjective experience, and if it is, then the brain could be mapped and the experience of green may be a certain group of neurons firing in a particular sequence…

    But that would give no indication of the qualia of the experience. Reproducing the same firing pattern in my head may show up as red, perhaps all plant life is red to me. You see?

    They agree on a lot though. God, Jesus, Heaven.

    Setting aside this tangent, no they don’t. The mind of god, the nature of Jesus, and the character of heaven are all fiercely disputed among Christians. Pretty much the only thing they agree on was god made reality.

    They hold to the axiom that the Bible’s infallibility is self-evident…

    An axiom has to be true for it to be an axiom. They may wish it to be an axiom but it isn’t.

    Not sure how you arrive at the conclusion that physics would have had to exist before the big bang…

    Because it proceeded in such an orderly fashion that we know about it. You are getting lost in jargon again. I ask you why did the singularity exist? Setting aside the question of can something with zero dimensionality be said to exist, the very definition of a singularity is the inability to understand past it based on evidence. To then take that as evidence for the existence of nothing prior is circular logic. There is no evidence for existence prior to that point that is therefor evidence that nothing existed prior to that point. It’s like saying the room ceases to exist when you close your eyes just because you fail to have visual evidence of its existence. (see my post on quantum mechanics linked above)

    This is why we have philosophy and epistemology. Science loves to bury this fact, but the very foundations of the concept of knowledge itself are shaky. We used to have logicians. I actually have a few logic text books which I nabbed from the free box at school. No more.

    So much faith in fact that you above admitted a complete inability to perceive a limit to its scope at all despite the fact that you yourself ARE such a limit. And if you doubt the evidence of your own existence then how in the world can you accept the evidence presented by others who’s existence is on even shakier ground?

    You might then say that math had to exist

    Math is an abstraction, a product of a mind, an arrangement of concepts, it no more existed than the 5th season of lost existed. but I see what you meant. Kinda goes to Matt’s TAG.

    Still though, I don’t see how you can jump to the conclusion that the laws of physics themselves aren’t the “primal existent” force you call “God”.

    It’s a seamless progression. It’s one more why in the chain of questions. You’ve accepted a concept of what constitutes a reasonable exploration of reality, and that concept breaks down at the level of evidence-free fact. Godel: The universe has two choices, either it will contain true and unprovable statements (like god) or it is incomplete. Since by definition it can’t be incomplete… *shrugs* All events proceed orderly from axiomatic physical laws.

    It’s like the QM post, you may choose to believe that a particle has no position or speed until it is measured, I choose to believe that is has both I must simply pick which one I’m going to know to what degree. (uncertainty principal) The cat is either alive or dead, the notion of a superposed state is like a singularity, its an artifact of error.

    Seriously, if that answer is good enough for “God”, who’s definition is only primacy and existence, then why isn’t it good enough for the Big Bang singularity?

    Because, the big bang singularity only explains (maybe) our universe and its current shape. It does not explain from whence sprang the laws of physics, nor why they are stable, nor the other universes which clearly exist, nor does it explain existence itself. It ONLY answers how our universe progressed. By your logic the singularity didn’t happen because since we only have theoretical evidence for its nature up to a few picoseconds after it began, and we can NEVER have evidence from before or the instant of, this evidence free zone could therefor not have existed. At some point to form a complete picture you must accept things that can produce no evidence. It’s like finding a hole. You can deduce facets of its nature by absence.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/04/does-our-universe-live-inside-a-.html

    If you reject the evidence of existence itself as demanding a non linear foundation, then the big bang itself as proof of a singularity must also be rejected on the same grounds. This is why science breaks down at singularities, not because the rules of reality fold but because our abstracts of them fold.

    It’s like the recent picture of the sun as a dark matter collector solving the the solar composition problem ( http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/07/dark-matter-sun/ ). It’s been that way the whole time, long before life existed on this planet, much less life capable enough to theorize the existence of dark matter. Only our abstractions have changed. Science is a process of mind, nothing more.

    Singularities trouble the physicists that encounter them because they know they are almost certainly mathematical artifacts, indices of error, not truth.

    You ask the question, the person responds with essentially “I don’t know”

    I’m just saying you didn’t say “I don’t know”, you gave a range, an answer. (possibly infinite probably 0) And that’s like QM’s whole probability shtick.

    I really get the feeling sometimes, that people aren’t really interested in figuring anything out, they just want to win arguments.

    People hate my view because it’s a conversation stopper. They don’t like being irrevocably stripped of the opportunity to equal themselves with god. They don’t like hearing that there are portions of existence permanently beyond even the conception of understanding much less control. Like being alive isn’t awesome enough. People want control, and they want to know. And saying that I know for a fact that they can’t ever know is a cosmic buzz kill. Like I if tore the last page out of a book and handed it to them they want to say the second to last page is the last page rather than face up to never knowing the ending.

    Being life forms in a biosphere we know movement is life, finding out there’s no where to go is, distressing. Cognitive dissonance for the win. Even false certainty is adaptive because a bad decision is often better than no decision.

    Really, we’re lucky the universe is even remotely simple or stable enough to accumulate even the most infinitesimally small and accurate understanding of it.

    I mean seriously, just look at this shit. ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/525347 )

    I think the details are important, because they often times tell us how an axiom is self-evident.

    You’re probably right. I don’t have a mind for details, I work top down in many ways. But math in and of itself to me is just so much of a game to me. (Reminds me of the glass bead game in Magister Ludi) People get lost in it, its important, no doubt but it’s still just an abstraction. As Godel showed, it’s limited.

    And then, with Occam’s Razor, extract “God”, and the laws of the Universe themsevles become the primal existent cause.

    You’ve just used “laws of the universe” to mean exactly what I mean when I say god. Again, I have no idea of its nature I only said its there, and what it does. The razor, while a solid precept, is a touch over used and doesn’t apply here because the elements are equivalent. People often misuse the razor’s point to equate simple with comfortable.

    Its not a competition, as you and others have framed it, the big bang doesn’t even pretend to answer the questions for which god is the answer. Even if this universe completely bootstrapped itself into existence from nothing, that doesn’t answer where existence itself came from or why it is this way and not some arbitrary other way. I’ll also add that the notion that all existence is composed of what we can see to me just smells as dim as the geocentric model of the universe. Like goldfish thinking the whole world is the aquarium.

    To be honest, I still don’t see the difference between a singularity and your “God”,

    The singularity has traits beyond existence and primacy. For example we know by definition it no longer exists. (if time exists of course)

    Why do you keep capping and quoting god? Still trying to strap a beard and a penis on it? :)

    Testing reality is an important component to it. Do you lucid dream?

    Yesiree bob, though less and less. My dream checks now fail. >.< All I've done is increase the fidelity of my dreams. Lights work in my dreams, I can read text, (recently I even had a dream that had subtitles) operate electronic devices, and my "powers" are diminishing. As a crazy what if, maybe this is like a death clock. That the day my dreams reach parity with reality is the day I'll die heh. One thing that I never seem to notice no matter how much I train are novel situations. Like I'll just accept that I'm back in school or what have you. It's probably a good thing. I could see me retreating into a dream state in lieu of a real life if given the chance.

    It’s a good song. Are you a fan of Erik Satie? I like how hypnotic his music sounds. No lyrics though.

    Nopers but I’ll probably check it out. I like the instrumental stuff so long as its not overly simple.

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