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Thread: Take the atheist challenge

  1. #21
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    Prisme, why don't you provide a link to the version of the cosmological argument you prefer. I'll then tell you what I see as the logical flaws in it. That way we don't have to do a dance about wether we're talking about the same argument.

    Thanks for trying to clarify, but frankly your response made less sense to me than the original. Maybe we can get somewhere with a text.

  2. #22
    Speak of Ideas, not of things Prisme's Avatar
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    Q:"Why does physics matter?" A:When your car doesn’t start do you check the gas and the battery or do you perform an exorcism to drive the demon out of your engine block? Physics matters because it works
    This is about as convincing as the argument of design with the 'watch found in the forest' as example.

    Cars and cosmology don't mix my friend. Just like theories don't actually 'work' as you put it. As you should know, Quine and Duhem have shown that theories are not as certain as people like you proclaim them to be. In fact, theories and their hypothesis can actually be used in a way that they will never be shown to be false.
    I would of hoped that your knowledge of the science of science (or philosophy of science) would have evolved at the same rate as your knowledge of certain sciences such as physics.
    If you would of bothered, you would know that theories don't prove much and that physics is a far cry from more actualized sciences such as biology.
    You talk of 'theoretical potentiality' all the time and yet you portray an image of certainty.

    ---------

    Now lets dissect what you bothered to say about the universe that wasn't purely rhetorical:

    Truth is a hard thing to come by; in fact it is nearly impossible.
    Value judgement. Prove it. Maybe you are making this 'complicated world' theory up.

    It is this, more than anything else that I try to convey to people here. Certainty is the hobgoblin of the mind.
    Anything else that you can tell us about the mind with certainty? I could find hundreds of psychologists that would differ. Many actually say that what we perceive is more real than reality itself. Bother to comment?

    The moment you are absolutely certain of something, the moment you hold faith in your mind, reality beings to slip away from you.
    But if you have nothing that is certain... then what is your reality raithere? Nothingness?
    If reality can 'slip away', then you are saying that there actually IS A REALITY. One that is more real than others, one that we should all have fiath in and which you, yourself, proclaim to have faith in finding.

    The Universe is not static, it is always changing, and if we could really understand the immensity of that which we do not know and how much of what we thing we know is wrong… well most people probably could not handle it… they are so certain.
    You didn't finish that thought... but who cares right? Probably wasn't going really far.


    Man I'm having fun We've just changed from physics to philosophy and you're post-modernist ass is taking a whoopin'

    ---------------------

    -If some forms of energy are eternal, matter isn't one of them. -Wrong again
    Oh look! we are playing 'raithere says'!
    Who was I to be thinking that certain physical theories which prone the end of the universe by energy depletion of by having the universe implode on itself?

    Not quite. The Ekpyrotic model fits all known facts. Now, that does not mean it has been proven…
    Then come back and talk about it when it is proven... you seem to demand such an unrealistic standard from others when it comes to physics.

    Matter essentially condensed from the hyper-energetic state in the first few seconds after the big bang.
    Nice theory. You forgot to replace 'essentially' with 'most likely according with the theory'.

    Here is a nice Big bang counter-claim from Havard:
    http://www.space.com/businesstechnol...er_000522.html

    --------

    As for the laws of thermo-dynamics, I will say this:

    Eventhought everyone believes in them (as they do with gravity), these laws do not necessarily represent or explain by themselves the entirety of the higher laws of physics that make thermo-dynamics possible.

    I could talk to you about how everybody knows that interstate 01 is a 50 mph zone and that it is certain. But I would be short changing you by not mentionning all the municipal, state and federal laws that went into interstate 01's 50mph policy.

    This said, energy that you and me utilize by throwing a rock is not quite comparable to the energy contained in spliting atoms and the continuous expansion of the universe.
    Thus, I am not the madman you make me out to be when I hypothise that the cosmos is not necessarily acting under the cruda and basic laws of thermo-dynamics alone.



    Prisme
    Last edited by Prisme; 06-28-03 at 07:11 PM.

  3. #23
    Speak of Ideas, not of things Prisme's Avatar
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    Sorry to have offended you fragile hart Poet.

    Who would of guessed that people with such a radical pic would have feelings?

    But then again, I'm glad you changed it.

    Peace woman.

    Prisme
    Last edited by Prisme; 06-28-03 at 07:22 PM.

  4. #24
    Speak of Ideas, not of things Prisme's Avatar
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    Maybe we can get somewhere with a text.
    Maybe you could get somewhere with hooked-on-phonics.

    Read Aristotles 'Physics' concerning the ,necessity of a prime mover' in order for science to be possible and we'll talk.

    And if you find your arguments form websites, please cite them even if it changes nothing or you don't imply in any way that you are their author... raithere could make himself believe that you have plagerized.
    Last edited by Prisme; 06-28-03 at 07:21 PM.

  5. #25
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    Been there done that. Aristotle's doesn't work any better than most of the others.

    I mentioned a link because many classical arguments are available on the web. Which translation do you want to deal with?

  6. #26
    <i>...theories don't prove much and that physics is a far cry from more actualized sciences such as biology.</i>

    What do you mean by "more actualized"?

  7. #27
    Speak of Ideas, not of things Prisme's Avatar
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    D:
    Actually, aristotle is much more coherant than any cosmological argument that attempts to prove God, for aristotle only speaks of a prime motor, not of a God.
    Again you offer no concrete proof of your claims.


    James R.:

    raithere was saying that 'physics work'. Of course, some basic physical laws can be observed and applied (such as gravity), but abstract cosmology can't be as concretely experimented on the same level as biology.

    Biology has more to observe than to theorize with\about. Contrarely to most of abstract physics (such as theories concerning the creation of the universe or the undeniable behavior of quarks or energy), -cells, pathogenes, antibiotics, chemicals, vegetation and moisture- are all concrete observable phenomenons that leave no doubt towards the correct interpretation.
    Certain pathogenes always form when the X moisture level is obtained and only a type Y antibiotic can restore the cells... for we have observed it from its origin to its completion.

    On the other hand, in abstract physics, one does not start with the true origin of the universe... one must theorize it. And since the end hasn't arrive either, one must again theorize if the universe has one in store or not.
    So this is why it is possible for two theorists to see the same physical concept or event and interpret it differently, according to ones own physical theory.
    Again, as Quine and Duhem have shown, theories CAN survive any criticism, for there is no way to absolutely rule out what we have already taken for granted in our respectful theories.
    Proof?
    Just go and see all the actual theories concerning the origin of the universe... there is not one, but a couple that are taken seriously and are fighting each other (3-5). Thus a debate is persisting, for nobody has the same foundation and nobody has managed to completly anihilate the other theories fondation.

    So each theory remains a good theory as long as it can contain itself. It doesn't have to be an indubitable theory, just coherant enought to sustain its own logic.

    In addition, Popper and the neo-pepperians claim that a scientific theory that is absolute cannot under any circumstances be considered scientific. For science does not deal with absolutes and can never gurantee absolutes. Rather, science is a process of falsification.

    However, as we all know, logical thought is not a gurantee for truth.
    For example: It would only be logical that stiffer prison sentences would dissuade crime, but criminology has shown that it is not the severity of the punishement that matters, only the chances of getting caught.


    All in all, raithere's attitude is more noble than his claims:

    He admits to not fully adhere to a particular scientific theory, but on the other hand, he seems to attribute too much certainty to some particular physical concepts that remain theoritical at best.

    Catch 22:
    -Science is the only thing that speaks correctly of this world
    -I admit that science has no absolutes and most likely never will
    -------------
    At the same time that science offers an incomplete understanding answer of this world, I must only consider this one.

    So by being absolutly certain, he is only being absolutly subjective.



    Prisme

    see you in a couple of days.
    Last edited by Prisme; 06-28-03 at 09:39 PM.

  8. #28
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    back to the topic at hand

    Originally posted by Prisme
    Cars and cosmology don't mix my friend. Just like theories don't actually 'work' as you put it. As you should know, Quine and Duhem have shown that theories are not as certain as people like you proclaim them to be. In fact, theories and their hypothesis can actually be used in a way that they will never be shown to be false.
    In a sense, I agree. Theories are merely models, the semantic interpretations of those models is further confused by an almost infinite (or perhaps truly infinite, if one considers recursion within linguistics) number of presuppositions and assumptions.

    Your question, however, was ‘Why does physics matter?’ and the answer depends upon what we are trying to accomplish. As far as a general answer goes however; physics matters because it ‘works’. Physics theories are hypotheses backed up by empirical observation, if not they remain hypotheses, or if they fail empirical observation they are rejected. You know this. Tossing epistemological arguments into the mix however does not invalidate my rejection of you initial argument as your argument set the paradigm within which we are working; that being science. Now if you want to go off into other arenas we can but mixing the two doesn’t work well. We might as well toss in nihilism and screw the whole thing.

    If you would of bothered, you would know that theories don't prove much and that physics is a far cry from more actualized sciences such as biology.
    What areas of physics are you referring to? Cosmology is largely hypothetical, mechanics is not, nor are the laws of thermodynamics.

    You talk of 'theoretical potentiality' all the time and yet you portray an image of certainty.
    Are you more concerned with what I say or how I say it? You’re tossing Quine at me which suggest that you’re more than intelligent enough to discern the difference.

    Value judgement. Prove it. Maybe you are making this 'complicated world' theory up.
    Prove it? I can only point out that no one so far seems to have achieved it. But if it’s not difficult why don’t you disprove my ‘value judgment’ by showing how easy it is to discern what is absolutely, irrefutably true.
    But if you have nothing that is certain... then what is your reality raithere? Nothingness? If reality can 'slip away', then you are saying that there actually IS A REALITY. One that is more real than others, one that we should all have fiath in and which you, yourself, proclaim to have faith in finding.
    My subjective reality is based in congruency rather than assumptions of truth. As for any absolute reality, I remain unsure, although I find it quite likely that it is beyond our ken. I have no faith that we'll find anything of the sort but I applaud the effort.
    Who was I to be thinking that certain physical theories which prone the end of the universe by energy depletion of by having the universe implode on itself?
    The energy would return to the ground state from which it came or be compressed into a singularity in this case… it wouldn’t ‘go away’.
    Then come back and talk about it when it is proven... you seem to demand such an unrealistic standard from others when it comes to physics.
    There is a difference between an unproven hypothesis and a disproved hypothesis. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what the difference is.
    Nice theory. You forgot to replace 'essentially' with 'most likely according with the theory'.
    Yes, I can accept that.

    Here is a nice Big bang counter-claim from Havard
    Thanks for the interesting link but apparently you missed this; "Matter, energy and space-time are conserved. They're interchangeable," which is exactly what I’ve been saying.

    Eventhought everyone believes in them (as they do with gravity), these laws do not necessarily represent or explain by themselves the entirety of the higher laws of physics that make thermo-dynamics possible.

    Thus, I am not the madman you make me out to be when I hypothise that the cosmos is not necessarily acting under the cruda and basic laws of thermo-dynamics alone.
    That does not mean that they’re invalid. Relativity did not invalidate classical physics, it supplemented it. Now perhaps there is some ‘out’, I’m willing to entertain the possibility but the arguments you have given do not support your initial position.

    Basically, what you’re trying to do here is support your position by hypothesizing that perhaps maybe someday we’ll find out that the laws of thermodynamics do not apply in all conditions or to the Universe as a whole. Perhaps we will but that does not equate with “From a purely scientific standpoint, it is easy to demonstrate that matter cannot be eternal in nature”. You have not been able to demonstrate that assertion.

    ~Raithere

  9. #29
    Speak of Ideas, not of things Prisme's Avatar
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    Physics theories are hypotheses backed up by empirical observation,
    Not as a general rule. Go read my post above yours.


    Cosmology is largely hypothetical
    Glad you admit that cosmology (a form of science) isn't a guarantee. We are making progress.

    You’re tossing Quine
    I feel sorry that you feel overwhelmed by my 'tossing' of him.
    But then again, maybe you feel that way because you simply can't reply to him.
    And be assured, I understand Quine.

    can only point out that no one so far seems to have achieved it. But if it’s not difficult why don’t you disprove my ‘value judgment’ by showing how easy it is to discern what is absolutely, irrefutably true.
    If I were to live in the renaissance, I would say:
    "I cannot doubt that I doubt"

    But if I try something new, I could say that:

    Is it good to 'beat some sense' into someone? (example of certain cultures of just foolish people that our just like us who believe that violence has a purpose, such as hitting one's wife to 'correct' her)
    To that I say:
    "the benefits of receiving a punch is relative, but the pain is universal"

    1-The results of having given a blow may or may not yield the desired results.
    2-But the one thing that is absolute is that the pain inflicted applies to every case.

    And since it is counter-survival to sustain trauma, (physically as well as psychologically), then we should never hit people in the objective of 'correcting' them.

    Easy enough?

    My subjective reality is based in congruency rather than assumptions of truth. As for any absolute reality, I remain unsure, although I find it quite likely that it is beyond our ken. I have no faith that we'll find anything of the sort but I applaud the effort.
    1-You start off with an assumption... but I'll let it slide.
    2-'Maybe' it is beyond us.
    3-You applaud the effort? Can you actually find any segment of the 942 posts you have written and show me where you 'applauded the effort'? I think what you meant is ridicule the effort and made sure no further attempts would be made...

    The energy would return to the ground state from which it came or be compressed into a singularity in this case… it wouldn’t ‘go away’.
    But it would reduce\modify itself? Thats decaying enough for me.

  10. #30
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    All in all, raithere's attitude is more noble than his claims:

    He admits to not fully adhere to a particular scientific theory, but on the other hand, he seems to attribute too much certainty to some particular physical concepts that remain theoritical at best.
    My certainty is a response to your initial position. I am quite certain that “All of these evidences, and several others we have not made reference to, show that matter cannot be eternal” is false. (emphasis mine) As to what is true… well, I’ve already given you my opinion on that.

    Catch 22:
    -Science is the only thing that speaks correctly of this world
    -I admit that science has no absolutes and most likely never will
    -------------
    At the same time that science offers an incomplete understanding answer of this world, I must only consider this one.

    So by being absolutly certain, he is only being absolutly subjective.
    When did I ever suggest that ‘science is the only thing that speak correctly of this world’ or that I must only consider this one?

    ~Raithere

  11. #31
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Prisme
    Glad you admit that cosmology (a form of science) isn't a guarantee. We are making progress.
    I never stated that it was, that was your assumption, I am glad we were able to correct it.
    I feel sorry that you feel overwhelmed by my 'tossing' of him.
    But then again, maybe you feel that way because you simply can't reply to him.
    I’m not overwhelmed or unable to reply to Quine, in fact I rather agree with him from an epistemological standpoint. We were, however, discussing what is scientifically demonstrable not epistemology.
    You applaud the effort? Can you actually find any segment of the 942 posts you have written and show me where you 'applauded the effort'? I think what you meant is ridicule the effort and made sure no further attempts would be made.
    Participating in ”the effort” is what I am doing here so aside from my occasional attempts at humor pretty much all of my posts are part of it. As far as ‘applauding’ individual contributions, I have done so quite a few times. Look them up yourself or ask around.

    I’ve explained the reasoning behind the stringency of my posts on numerous occasions but since you seem to be taking offense I will do so again. I tend to take a rather firm position and an abrupt tone when posting for a few reasons: One, clearly positioning my stand makes it easier for others to A) understand the point I am trying to make and B) refute or correct it. Two, it tends to evoke a response from others, which is why I am here in the first place. If you look through the variety of threads here you will notice an interesting trend; the more reasonably the post is written the less likely it is that anyone will respond to it. In fact I once responded with that very point to someone who was wondering why no one was replying to his topics.

    As far as ridiculing, well, I apologize for that. Sarcasm seems to come off very strongly when written and I should be more careful with it.

    But it would reduce\modify itself? Thats decaying enough for me.
    It doesn’t matter, the total energy would not diminish and the theoretical ‘rebounding Universe’ could do so indefinitely. If instead the Universe is infinite the term ‘closed system’ becomes meaningless in this context and entropy is only a localized (relatively speaking) phenomena. Another possibility would be that some factor causes a periodic ‘injection’ of energy into the system, sustaining it indefinitely. Or perhaps the Universe is a one time shot; it began, will expand forever, and matter/energy will eventually become so diffuse that nothing happens. All of these possibilities fit our observations to greater or lesser extents.

    The disappearance of matter/energy from the Universe has not been observed, however, and the argument provided is quite simply invalid. While you might invent some hypothesis that would explain how matter/energy would disappear from the Universe such was not given in the argument, nor have you provided one. You have failed to provide a logical or evidential argument as to why the ‘atheistic’ response is invalid.

    Getting back to your question, since your answer is not ‘demonstrable from a purely scientific standpoint’, and even disregarding hypothetical scientific explanations; there is no logical difference between attributing eternal existence to the Universe or to God. The assumed property of eternal existence is just that; assumed. We can equally apply the attribute to God’s Mom, if you like.

    ~Raithere

  12. #32
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    Re: Certainty

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Raithere
    Energy and the fundamental forces, however, do seem to be eternal in nature.
    That is because they constitute nature, wouldn't you say? The question is; Is nature eternal?
    Some, like the notion of a supernatural cause, are simply un-testable and meaningless.
    That depends on what you term as "super-natural."
    Even if we assume a supernatural cause, it tells us nothing. No further hypotheses can arise from such a supposition.
    What is the use of hypothesis in direct knowledge?
    There is no way, for instance, to jump from ‘a supernatural creator’ to ‘Yahweh.
    What do you mean?
    If the Universe is everything in ‘physical’ existence what is outside and how do you transfer energy there?
    Where did the energy come from in the first place?
    Is it safe to assume that wherever there is energy, there must be an energetic principle? If you don't think so, please state why?
    If your hypothesis is that energy can leave the Universe or somehow go away then you must provide a mechanism for that and some way to prove or disprove the hypothesis.
    Maybe energy goes back to its original source.
    If we were able to provide "a mechanism," to measure where the energy goes, that mechanism would also be part of the said energy and is in no position to go outside of itself, therefore all calculations would be, in part, speculation. So in effect physical science has no jurisdiction.
    We know that energy can come from nothing (virtual particles from a quantum fluctuation).
    Where do these various particles/quantum fluctuation come from?
    Mathematically there is nothing that prevents all the energy in the Universe coming from nothing as long as it eventually returns to nothing.
    Then what you mean is "something" as opposed to "nothing," because surely "nothing" means "nothing" including energy.
    Truth is a hard thing to come by; in fact it is nearly impossible.
    Is this a general, across-the-board claim, or is it a personal claim?
    If the former, then please explain to me how you can speak for everybody (all species) living, or have lived, on this planet?
    The moment you are absolutely certain of something, the moment you hold faith in your mind, reality beings to slip away from you.
    Having faith doesn't mean your certain, it means you believe something based on some kind of authority, in the hope that you will become certain in due course of time. When certainty is reached, there is no need of faith. The reality is dependant on the authority.
    The Universe is not static, it is always changing, and if we could really understand the immensity of that which we do not know and how much of what we thing we know is wrong… well most people probably could not handle it… they are so certain.
    Nothing (including ourselves), is static, everything is changing, which is one of the basic laws of the matter.
    1) comes into being
    2) develops/grows
    3) produces by-product
    4) dwindles
    5) vanishes
    When your car doesn’t start do you check the gas and the battery or do you perform an exorcism to drive the demon out of your engine block?
    When someone is possessed by a demon, do you check the gas or battery in your car, or do you go to someone who knows the art of exorcism.
    Physics matters because it works.
    But not with everything.

    Love

    Jan Ardena.
    Last edited by Jan Ardena; 06-30-03 at 05:32 AM.

  13. #33
    That is because they constitute nature, wouldn't you say? The question is; Is nature eternal?
    Define nature...

    Where did the energy come from in the first place?
    The first law of thermodynamics quite clearly states that energy is never created or destroyed. It is just transferred. There is rock solid evidence and successful results in controlled experiments to support this law.

    Therefore, energy is eternal.

    Is it safe to assume that wherever there is energy, there must be an energetic principle? If you don't think so, please state why?
    Please explain. What do you mean by an energetic principle?

    Maybe energy goes back to its original source.
    If we were able to provide "a mechanism," to measure where the energy goes, that mechanism would also be part of the said energy and is in no position to go outside of itself, therefore all calculations would be, in part, speculation. So in effect physical science has no jurisdiction.
    HUH?

    Then what you mean is "something" as opposed to "nothing," because surely "nothing" means "nothing" including energy.
    Nothing means 'nothing'.

    When someone is possessed by a demon, do you check the gas or battery in your car, or do you go to someone who knows the art of exorcism.
    I would laugh, because I lack belief in demons.

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Physics matters because it works.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    But not with everything.
    You do have an example to support that claim, don't you?

  14. #34
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by mountainhare
    Define nature...
    What is generally perceived via the senses.

    It is just transferred.
    Therefore, energy is eternal.
    OK, so where was it transferred from.

    Please explain. What do you mean by an energetic principle?
    If something moves from A to B, then what is the mover, or in other words for there to be energy, there must be the energetic.

    Nothing means 'nothing'.
    Then how can energy come out of "nothing."


    I would laugh, because I lack belief in demons.
    Because you lack belief, doesn't mean demons don't exist.


    You do have an example to support that claim, don't you?
    Lets begin with intuition.

    Love

    Jan Ardena.

  15. #35
    Speak of Ideas, not of things Prisme's Avatar
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    Golly!

    Well,

    I'm glad that the participants of this thread are all enjoying themselves.

  16. #36
    Speak of Ideas, not of things Prisme's Avatar
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    When did I ever suggest that ‘science is the only thing that speak correctly of this world’ or that I must only consider this one?
    I'll admit that this was an assumption on my part raithere. But if my assumption is predjudice... please do correct me by informing me of the others methods that you consider usable.


    we were disscussing what is scientifically demonstrable not epistemology
    Epistomology:
    Knowledge of knowlwdge.. or more commonly said to be the science of knowledge.

    If we are unable to define how we know, then we cannot speak of what is 'scientifiaclly demonstrable'.

    I maintain that Quine's epirtemology can be used to criticize applicable\theoretical science.


    As far as ridiculing, well, I apologize for that. Sarcasm seems to come off very strongly when written and I should be more careful with it.
    I apologize too raithere, for I sometimes have spills also. I can take this whole debating business too seriously sometimes.

    While you might invent some hypothesis that would explain how matter/energy would disappear from the Universe such was not given in the argument, nor have you provided one
    If it would please you for me to find such a theory, I will try to find one and post it here.
    I'll type: proton decay.

    Last edited by Prisme; 06-30-03 at 12:36 PM.

  17. #37
    In search of Immortality Cris's Avatar
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    Jan,

    Most of your statements seem to reflect a need to revise basic physics.

    Because you lack belief, doesn't mean demons don't exist.
    But lack of proof does mean they are fictional.

    Physics matters because it works.

    *** But not with everything.

    You do have an example to support that claim, don't you?

    *** Lets begin with intuition.
    It is not intuitive that combining certain gasses produces a liquid, it is not intuitive that combining certain toxic substances results in something edible. It is because most things in reality are not intuitive that we developed the scientific method.

    What do you find intuitive that leads you to believe that in some cases physics does not work?

  18. #38
    Registered Senior Member
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    Originally posted by Cris
    What do you find intuitive that leads you to believe that in some cases physics does not work?
    Try this one Cris,

    "If free will produces physical effects which cannot be accounted for by physical forces, then its action does not conserve energy. And it has been long held that if ‘free will’ does not conserve energy, it cannot occur."

    Please show us how can Physics explain such a simple for granted action like free will.

  19. #39
    Registered Senior Member
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    Originally posted by Flores
    Try this one Cris,

    "If free will produces physical effects which cannot be accounted for by physical forces, then its action does not conserve energy. And it has been long held that if ‘free will’ does not conserve energy, it cannot occur."

    Please show us how can Physics explain such a simple for granted action like free will.
    You might try first showing that free will exists. Physics cannot explain how a Pegasus flies either. But this hardly counts against physics.

  20. #40
    Registered Senior Member
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    Originally posted by drnihili
    You might try first showing that free will exists. Physics cannot explain how a Pegasus flies either. But this hardly counts against physics.
    I have a free will to call you an idiot and type my words or pay attention to my work. I choose to call you an idiot. Is this enough of a free will demonstration, or would you like me to show you more.

    Plus, is this physics of yours so damn stupid that it can't begin to understand the human brain and how it functions.

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