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Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 18, 2021 at 4:23 pm)Jehanne Wrote: In particular, this:

Wikipedia -- Abraham–Lorentz force, Signals from the Future.

I hadn't known about this classical derivation, but in Quantum mechanics, the future affects our interpretation of the history of the past.

For instance, when a photon passes through an absorbing gas, the correct interpretation is that the photon forms a superposition with all gas molecules.  Future measurements may show that a particular one actually did the absorbing, but this event is farther down the causal chain, after we have completed a macroscopic measurement.

Once we find that one molecule did the absorbing, none of the other molecules can possibly have been found to be effected.  They didn't gain any momentum or energy from the interaction.  It is like it never happened to them.  Only the one molecule gains energy and momentum.

This isn't retro-causality, but the Transactional Interpretation of quantum mechanics makes use of this "our interpretation of the past must be consistent with the measurements of the present or future".  It posits that advance waves travel from now into the future, and into the past, and that only transactions that complete a handshake (a consistent causal chain) are considered to have really happened.

It is a useful idea.  For instance, one can stop an atom from emitting radiation by preventing it from coupling to external radiation modes.  There are only two ways to model this.  You either say that the atom radiates, but when the radiation can't couple to the external world, it sends a wave back in time to cancel the whole thing.  Or, you say that a pre-emission vacuum fluctuation probes the entire system, and that the atom only emits when the electric field perturbation from the vacuum field fluctuation has gone on for enough time to ensure a radiation mode.

Quantum mechanics guarantees consistency.  It doesn't say we really know what happens all the time.
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 18, 2021 at 3:55 pm)Klorophyll Wrote:
(October 5, 2021 at 5:45 pm)Jehanne Wrote: How could a God that exists out of time do anything?  

Incredulity. Just because you can't imagine some action taking place independently of time doesn't mean it's impossible.

Of course, Klorophyl doesn't know logical fallacies. Personal incredulity is when someone is making a conclusion out of his own lack of education about the subject for which there is available data, like "eye could not evolve because there can not be a half eye."

What Jehanne is doing is simply testing your claim which is to you a sacrilege.

And the claim that God created the universe but not being allowed to ask who created God is Special pleading.
teachings of the Bible are so muddled and self-contradictory that it was possible for Christians to happily burn heretics alive for five long centuries. It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas). Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated the wholesale murder of heretics, apostates, Jews, and witches. - Sam Harris, "Letter To A Christian Nation"
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 18, 2021 at 3:55 pm)Klorophyll Wrote:
(October 7, 2021 at 9:18 am)polymath257 Wrote: How is it vastly more likely? Seriously, why would it be any more likely in the case of a designer (who has to obey their own rules of behavior---in other words, other physical laws).

I think it's time to introduce formal notations here, I am going to assume you are familiar with the notation of conditional probaility .

Let's call T the proposition "A personal creator exists", . U the proposition : "there is a universe ",  C the proposition "There are personal agents who exist because of life-permitting conditions, fine -tuning, etc.".

Then we have P(T|U&C)>P(T|U). That is, taking into account our own existence and life-permitting conditions supports the proposition T. The fact that our existence is contingent upon many vastly unlikely outcomes does warrant an explanation, and the most straightforward explanation for a universe bringing about personal agents is a personal creator who intended for this to happen. All theories that describe the workings of the universe are by definition within the universe and therefore have zero explanatory power when it comes to explaining the universe itself.

OK, how do you support that P(T|T&C)>P(T|U)? What is your event space? What measure do you use on it?

And, more specifically, what are the probabilities of P(T|U&(not C))? How about P(U&(not C))? Without those, it is impossible to compare those relative probabilities.

But you are going further and claiming that P(T|U&C)>> P(T|U). How, precisely, do you justify that claim?

Quote:Saying that a universe like ours doesn't require an explanation is the inverse gambler's fallacy, any unlikely outcome deserves careful consideration. If you shoot at someone 1000000 bullets at point-blank range and still miss the person, there is a serious need for an explanation, you can't just say: we're asking for an explanation just because the person survived the experience. Well guess what, the universe's occurence is vastly more impressive than the latter example.

I disagree. I don't think there *can be* a coherent 'explanation' for something like that. It is like asking for the cause of causality. The question itself makes no sense.
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(October 7, 2021 at 9:18 am)polymath257 Wrote: The difference, of course, is that we know that kitchen plates don't move around by themselves. There physical properties do not allow for that. This means that there has to be something else that moves them.

In the case of the universe and its components, we know that they *do* move around by themselves because they have properties and thereby obey natural laws. For example, gravity naturally and without intelligent intervention, allows for the formation of stars and planets. In spite of their having structure and being orderly, not designer is required for their formation. The natural laws are sufficient.

Natural laws are neither sufficient nor insufficient in this context, they are completely irrelevant. We are already in agreement that these laws are descriptive. If they are, then they simply help us describe better what happens in our universe, you should simply step back a bit and ask yourself: why do we have this universe with such laws in the first place?

And to expect an answer to that question means that you already have some regularities. And those regularities *are* examples of natural laws.

You simply cannot have any actual explanations without natural laws of some sort. So to e ven ask for the cause of natural laws is a category error.

Quote:Computer engineers design computers too and "leave" them to users, and there you go: you have a computer that magically works without intelligent intervention.....

Once again, a design dependent on natural laws.
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(October 7, 2021 at 9:18 am)polymath257 Wrote: No, I never included a starting point. In fact, that was the whole argument: there need not be a starting point.

Yes, a consistent model can be wrong. But you were claiming an infinite regress is a self-contradiction. If you admit that an infinite regress is *internally consistent*, that is quite enough to show that the Kalam argument fails.

Your model is not a model for an infinite regress of causes. It's a model in which infinite regress already happened, and where we're free to choose a finite interval of time along this infinity. But this infinity is, as I argued, logically impossible in itself. Incorporating a logically impossible proposition in your model will yield to anything. What you should do, instead, is suggest a model of this very regress of causes that doesn't lead to contradiction.
[\quote]

But the point is that it is NOT logically impossible. The model I gave shows that. There is no *logical* contradiction in the model, which even you have admitted.

What is the precise contradiction that occurs in my model?

And yes, of course it is a model with an infinite regression of causes. And yes, those causes *already happened* at any given spot. That is the whole point: there is no start,
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(October 7, 2021 at 9:18 am)polymath257 Wrote: I disagree. Time is part of the universe. It is *within* the universe. The universe is a four dimensional spacetime manifold.

But that means that the universe as a whole is timeless. it simply exists. All causality is *within* it.

Causality doesn't depend on time. Again, if you assume causality breaks down outside the spacetime, then you allow for things to pop in and out of existence without any causation. This is literally the end of any possible discussion about anything.

Nope, there is no popping in and out of existence without time. Instead, what happens is that spacetime 'just is'. There is no cause of spacetime because ALL CAUSES ARE WITHIN SPACETIME.

But yes, things *do* pop in and out of existence *within the universe* without causes.

(October 18, 2021 at 3:55 pm)Klorophyll Wrote: I am sorry if adding another definition is too much for your brain to handle. If this helps, you can substitute for the word time anything you like to be able to speak coherently about things happening prior to the universe, just don't keep invalidating arguments for no reason. The word "prior" here is, as explained before, in a causal sense. If causality holds outside of spacetime, then something (X) caused the spacetime. A new definition of a "time" or, even better, a sequence of events, is simply the sequences of all causes and effects that ever happened, and we assign to each element of this causal chain a rank i. If A causes B, and B causes C, then A would "happen" at rank i=0, B at rank i=1, etc. This is really simple and there is nothing incoherent about it. 

Again, you can replace time/rank/sequence with anything you like, arguing about semantics won't help you here.
What makes you think that 'prior in a causal sense' that isn't 'prior in a temporal sense' is even coherent?
Why would you even think it is *possible* for spacetime to have a cause?
And, in your scenario, the 'rank' is simply a notion of time. Nothing else. Time is the rank function (to the existent a rank function can even be defined).
And, again, time only makes sense within spacetime, so that rank function is *part of the geometry of the universe*. because of that *there is no rank outside of spacetime*.
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 18, 2021 at 3:55 pm)Klorophyll Wrote: The fact that our existence is contingent upon many vastly unlikely outcomes does warrant an explanation, and the most straightforward explanation for a universe bringing about personal agents is a personal creator who intended for this to happen. All theories that describe the workings of the universe are by definition within the universe and therefore have zero explanatory power when it comes to explaining the universe itself.

And your problem is that "Goddunnit!" isn't an explanation at all and doesn't even pretend to have any explanatory power. It's simply a crutch for your mythology and an excuse to stop asking questions.
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
At work.

Ah the 'Impossible odds' talk.

Just like a lottery where they sell a million tickets. A person only has a 'One in a million' chance of winning.

However , that there WILL be a winner is a hundred percent chance.

*Sigh*

Coffee
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 18, 2021 at 11:13 pm)Paleophyte Wrote:
(October 18, 2021 at 3:55 pm)Klorophyll Wrote: The fact that our existence is contingent upon many vastly unlikely outcomes does warrant an explanation, and the most straightforward explanation for a universe bringing about personal agents is a personal creator who intended for this to happen. All theories that describe the workings of the universe are by definition within the universe and therefore have zero explanatory power when it comes to explaining the universe itself.

And your problem is that "Goddunnit!" isn't an explanation at all and doesn't even pretend to have any explanatory power. It's simply a crutch for your mythology and an excuse to stop asking questions.

The claims that existence warrants justification is just that, a claim, not a given.

For me, reality/existence/ everything just is.  For me, a fact justifies its own existence. It may imply many things, but it infers nothing but itself .

Also worth pointing out that a common position for agnostics is that god or the supernatural is not knowable with any certainty. That is  not my position, but I find it compelling.

"Agnosticism is the view that the existence of God, the divine, or the supernatural is not known or knowable with any certainty. If the question is "Does God exist?", "yes" would imply theism, "no" would imply atheism, and "I'm not sure" would imply agnosticism—that God possibly can or cannot exist.[1][2][3][4] Another definition provided is the view that "human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exists or the belief that God does not exist."[3]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism

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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 19, 2021 at 1:21 am)Oldandeasilyconfused Wrote: That is  not my position, but I find it compelling.

"Agnosticism is the view that the existence of God, the divine, or the supernatural is not known or knowable with any certainty. If the question is "Does God exist?", "yes" would imply theism, "no" would imply atheism, and "I'm not sure" would imply agnosticism—that God possibly can or cannot exist.[1][2][3][4] Another definition provided is the view that "human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exists or the belief that God does not exist."[3]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism

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And, then, there's agnostic atheism:

Wikipedia -- Agnostic Atheism

An excellent book on the topic of infinity is the following:

Dot, Dot, Dot: Infinity Plus God Equals Folly
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 18, 2021 at 5:55 pm)Fake Messiah Wrote: Of course, Klorophyl doesn't know logical fallacies. Personal incredulity is when someone is making a conclusion out of his own lack of education about the subject for which there is available data, like "eye could not evolve because there can not be a half eye."

That's not the general definition of personal incredulity, one can also commit the fallacy when arguing about abstract objects or metaphysical entities, there doesn't have to be "data". Saying that an omnipotent being can't do anything without time, simply because you can't think of how he would do it, is a textbook example of this fallacy.

(October 18, 2021 at 5:55 pm)Fake Messiah Wrote: What Jehanne is doing is simply testing your claim which is to you a sacrilege.

Jehanne thinks that action is impossible without time by appealing to her own lack of imagination. What do we call that, I forgot? 

(October 18, 2021 at 5:55 pm)Fake Messiah Wrote: And the claim that God created the universe but not being allowed to ask who created God is Special pleading.

God is generally presented as a first cause. If the theist manages to establish the existence of God as a first cause, it's moronic to ask "who created God?" after that. There is no special pleading in this case.

(October 18, 2021 at 9:06 pm)polymath257 Wrote: OK, how do you support that P(T|T&C)>P(T|U)? What is your event space? What measure do you use on it?

And, more specifically, what are the probabilities of P(T|U&(not C))? How about P(U&(not C))? Without those, it is impossible to compare those relative probabilities.

But you are going further and claiming that P(T|U&C)>> P(T|U). How, precisely, do you justify that claim?

First of all, P(non C) is exactly zero. Because the fact that the universe obeys life-permitting conditions is indisputable, and is generally conceded by both the theist and the atheist, therefore P( C )=1, from which we get P(non C)=0. Since the probability of non C is zero, the probability P(U&(not C)) is zero, and the probability P(T|U&(not C)) is undefined. It's impossible to condition on an event of probability zero.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conditiona...ility_zero

Now for the justification that P(T|U&C)>P(T|U), that's because the existence of a finely tuned universe makes it more probable that an intelligent designer exists as opposed to a "less tuned" universe or some random vacuum. If you have in front of you a work of art next to a random paint splatter, it's clear that the probability of an artist existing is vastly superior for the work of art, given the skillfulness displayed in the first object.

(October 18, 2021 at 9:06 pm)polymath257 Wrote: I disagree. I don't think there *can be* a coherent 'explanation' for something like that. It is like asking for the cause of causality. The question itself makes no sense.

Why ? That's not the same thing. If a very unlikely scenario occurs, like shooting thousands of bullets at point-blank range and still missing, it demands an explanation. How is this request incoherent?

(October 18, 2021 at 9:06 pm)polymath257 Wrote: And to expect an answer to that question means that you already have some regularities. And those regularities *are* examples of natural laws.

You simply cannot have any actual explanations without natural laws of some sort. So to e ven ask for the cause of natural laws is a category error.

It's true that we can't have a physical or natural explanation without natural laws, but this is not the issue. We're not looking for some scientific theory of the universe's existence, nobody can hope to apply the scientific method beyond the observable universe, however we still have the ability to think logically about what caused the universe with all its natural laws, given that the principle of causality is universally valid.

Again, isn't it problematic for you to allow for violating causality? 

(October 18, 2021 at 9:06 pm)polymath257 Wrote: What makes you think that 'prior in a causal sense' that isn't 'prior in a temporal sense' is even coherent?

It's perfectly coherent. Take the model of simultaneous causation, let's say A causes B, and B causes C, and both these operations happen simultneously. In this case A is prior to B/B prior to C in a causal sense, but no time has elapsed in this model.

(October 18, 2021 at 9:06 pm)polymath257 Wrote: Why would you even think it is *possible* for spacetime to have a cause?.

Because it's irrational to suspend the principle of causality for the spacetime itself.

(October 18, 2021 at 9:06 pm)polymath257 Wrote: And, in your scenario, the 'rank' is simply a notion of time. Nothing else. Time is the rank function (to the existent a rank function can even be defined).

Not necessarily, time is a rank function, but not any rank function should be time. As above, you can have a chain of causes and effects arising simultaneously, in which it's meaningless to speak about time, but you can still assign ranks to every element of this chain. There is nothing incoherent about doing it.

(October 18, 2021 at 9:06 pm)polymath257 Wrote: And, again, time only makes sense within spacetime, so that rank function is *part of the geometry of the universe*. because of that *there is no rank outside of spacetime*.

As above, a rank function doesn't necessarily have to be time.

(October 18, 2021 at 11:50 pm)Peebo-Thuhlu Wrote: At work.

Ah the 'Impossible odds' talk.

 Just like a lottery where they sell a million tickets. A person only has a 'One in a million' chance of winning.

However , that there WILL be a winner is a hundred percent chance.

Invalid analogy.

In the case of a lottery, someone prepared beforehand the prize the winner will get. Also, playing the lottery is a vastly simpler process than, say, protein synthesis.

(October 19, 2021 at 1:21 am)Oldandeasilyconfused Wrote: The claims that existence warrants justification is just that, a claim, not a given.

For me, reality/existence/ everything just is.  For me, a fact justifies its own existence. It may imply many things, but it infers nothing but itself .

Congratulations, you just flushed the entirety of science down the toilet. 

All science is based on an inference to the best explanation(or abduction) of some aspects or phenomena in reality. If you think reality justifies itself, you just rejected science.

Applying the principle of abduction to the universe itself lead us to a creator of the universe, that's the idea behind the a posteriori arguments for God.
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 18, 2021 at 3:55 pm)Klorophyll Wrote:
(October 6, 2021 at 9:02 am)Angrboda Wrote: Time is already defined in Hawking-Hartle.  If you add another definition then you are guilty of equivocation and your argument is invalid.  Don't be stupid.

I am sorry if adding another definition is too much for your brain to handle. If this helps, you can substitute for the word time anything you like to be able to speak coherently about things happening prior to the universe, just don't keep invalidating arguments for no reason.

I didn't invalidate your argument for no reason but because it contained an example of the fallacy of equivocation which makes your argument invalid. This has to be one of the stupidest objections I've ever heard. You can substitute any word you like so long as you are clear that it doesn't at some point refer to what is termed time in the Hawking-Hartle framework. If you are talking about things preceding each other temporally then you are talking about time and the charge of equivocation holds. If you want to talk about something else, like fluxnaub, which bears no relation to time and temporal concepts in this universe, then knock yourself out. Since it, fluxnaub, has nothing to do with time, temporality, "prior", or any related temporal concepts then it's pointless as an object tion to Hawking-Hartle. Seriously, are you really this stupid?


(October 18, 2021 at 3:55 pm)Klorophyll Wrote: The word "prior" here is, as explained before, in a causal sense. If causality holds outside of spacetime, then something (X) caused the spacetime. A new definition of a "time" or, even better, a sequence of events, is simply the sequences of all causes and effects that ever happened, and we assign to each element of this causal chain a rank i. If A causes B, and B causes C, then A would "happen" at rank i=0, B at rank i=1, etc. This is really simple and there is nothing incoherent about it. 

This is just a bare assertion and can be dismissed if you can't support it. Do you have an argument or evidence that something caused spacetime?


(October 18, 2021 at 3:55 pm)Klorophyll Wrote: Again, you can replace time/rank/sequence with anything you like, arguing about semantics won't help you here.

I'm not the one arguing semantics, but seeing as you've doubled down on causal order not requiring temporal order, that allows the introduction of an argument that further undercuts any argument for God such as Kalam. If a cause does not need to temporally precede its effect, then it's possible that something created within this universe caused our universe to exist, forming a sort of temporal loop. I don't have a problem with that if you don't. You've provided yet another way the universe can exist without a creator.
[Image: Fenrir-sign.jpg]
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 20, 2021 at 3:20 pm)Angrboda Wrote: I didn't invalidate your argument for no reason but because it contained an example of the fallacy of equivocation which makes your argument invalid.  

How can it be equivocation if I explicitly said, repeatedly, that time belongs to the spacetime...? Any sane mind can apprehend the idea of a succession of causes of effects. The fact that you need the additional time dimension to accept this possibility is simply your lack of imagination, nothing else.

And surely you must have noticed, you're repeating the word "equivocation" quite a lot recently.

(October 20, 2021 at 3:20 pm)Angrboda Wrote: Since it, fluxnaub, has nothing to do with time, temporality, "prior", or any related temporal concepts then it's pointless as an object tion to Hawking-Hartle. 

Um.. Nobody here is objecting to Hawking-Hartle's model, I am not sure to whom you're writing this. This model suggest that, simply put, there was only space and no time near the beginning of the universe.

More importantly, this model implies that the universe didn't exist forever.

https://www.hawking.org.uk/in-words/lect...ng-of-time
Quote: "In this lecture, I would like to discuss whether time itself has a beginning, and whether it will have an end. All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago"

Quote: "In fact, James Hartle of the University of California Santa Barbara, and I have proposed that space and imaginary time together, are indeed finite in extent, but without boundary."

So this model is not exactly on your side, as you might have noticed.

(October 20, 2021 at 3:20 pm)Angrboda Wrote: This is just a bare assertion and can be dismissed if you can't support it.  Do you have an argument or evidence that something caused spacetime?

I simply used the causality principle, which you seem to have conceded to. Or am I mistaken?

(October 20, 2021 at 3:20 pm)Angrboda Wrote: I'm not the one arguing semantics, but seeing as you've doubled down on causal order not requiring temporal order

Exactly. There can be a causal order without the need of time. 

(October 20, 2021 at 3:20 pm)Angrboda Wrote:  If a cause does not need to temporally precede its effect, then it's possible that something created within this universe caused our universe to exist, forming a sort of temporal loop.  I don't have a problem with that if you don't.  You've provided yet another way the universe can exist without a creator.

Seriously, @Angrboda ?

If you use the word "temporally", then you are placing yourself inside the universe, in which case a cause has to temporally preceed the effet.

Outside the universe/spacetime, there is no temporal order anymore, and we're left with causal order.
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