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Author Topic: Information: The material physical Cause of causation  (Read 5356 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 19, 2011, 11:04:30 AM »

Interesting article:

"I have been doing some deep thinking lately, and I thought I would share a concept that may be very interesting to debate and discuss. I recently had deep discussions with theists about consciousness, material physicality, and what exactly "Information" is both conceptually and philosophically. I have done some interesting research in this area and discovered a very interesting take on reality. I will first begin with my position, and the concluding thoughts (not really originally all mine on this subject), and then post the supportive evidence for the conclusion. And feel free to share your thoughts, and questions

MY POSITION:

Materialist/Realist:

One that understands why nothing can not be a person, thing, object, substance, thought, emotion, feeling, place, or form of existing existence. Under this position all things must have material physical value, substance, information, structure, and complexity in order to exist. All things begin with the substance of existence or what is existent. Hence we believe in what is actually possible and real.

Under my position, I view that information is metaphorically "GOD" as the cause of all causation vs some magical entity that would require it in order to be conscious, existent, know itself exists, or be capable of even making a simple choice or decision. And thus along with this, we can see why Creationism is more than likely just a logical fallacy vs material physical manipulation of what already exists. Hence, do we ever really create anything vs creatively manipulating what already exists materially and physically into new patterns, concepts, or works of art?"

The rest here: http://matt-mattjwest.newsvine.com/_news/2011/01/17/5864016-information-the-material-physical-cause-of-causation-#comments
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 11:17:43 AM »

I have to say that I fail to see the merits of all this wordplay. Since God exists, defining reality to exclude Him is obviously illegitimate.
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2011, 12:46:23 PM »

I have to agree with Keble that all the word play in  your post destroys your objectivity. For example, you begin by defining your position as the "materialist/realist" view. However, I would call the theistic view the "realist" view, because it objectively address the order in nature, human consciousness, rationality, and our responsibility to a moral law. I would call the materialist view the fantastical/magical view as it asserts or implicitly assumes that something comes from nothing, order comes from disorder, and more comes from less. Second, you refer to our view of God as some "magical" being. Obviously Christians do not believe in magic, and the word "magic" is so ill defined that it's hard to even know what you mean.
Finally, I have to say, I don't know if your are addressing creationism (the view the world was created in six days with no evolution), polytheism (the view that there are multiple gods, who are part of the created system), deism (the view that there is a god who ordered everthing then stands back and watches) or monotheism (traditionally, the view that there is one transcendant God who is infinitely beyond the system of created reality and brought all beings with in the created system from non-being to being, and contours to be the cause of created reality's continued existence). I assume that you are not talking about pantheism.
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 01:23:50 AM »

"MY POSITION:

Materialist/Realist:

[some random text]"

He's not as deep as he thinks he is.
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011, 05:52:28 PM »

I read the original link and it appears the author is attempting to explain how "I" can exist in a purely material universe without descending into Nihilism. Such a defense is made by arguing that we do have a purpose after death in that our energy is transplanted into other aspects of the created order. While this is a nice attempt at explaining away the nihilistic conclusions of naturalism, it still falls short for one main reason:

Purpose requires a direction and direction requires a Director.

That in my death my atoms are transfered and I feed worms is a happy accident of evolution, a mere by-product, but certainly not a "purpose." Nor does it avoid nihilism because it points out that only in my annihilation do I serve any purpose; while alive I have no purpose, no "essence" except that which I make for myself.

But the mere idea of there being one substance (physical) is an absurdity as there's no backing for it and it's ultimately illogical. To demonstrate that there's no backing for the idea of there being one substance, we merely look to the statement, "There is only one substance." Now, if such a statement produces knowledge then the statement proves there are two substances and that the mind is immaterial (though it works with the material brain). I can audibly declare "There is only one substance," I can write it, I can sing it, I can put it in a video, and so on. I can shape the knowledge in any formation. Upon learning that "There is only one substance," you gain knowledge while I lose none. That is, you have learned something without me giving anything up. But this doesn't happen with material items - if I have a blue apple and give it to you, I no longer have that same blue apple. Thus, by attempting to present me with something knowledgable in order to prove there is no immaterial substance, you must use the immaterial. This is why such naturalistic arguments are self-defeating and lack backing.

More importantly, were we to ignore the above and grant there is only one substance (physical) then it would be illogical to believe as such, even if true. This might strike you as odd, but bear with me.

If the physical universe is all that exists then it is ultimately guided by natural selection. Natural selection is concerned with one thing - survival. Natural selection doesn't care one iota for the truth of a position, merely whether or not the position leads to the survival of the species. So we look at the belief in a spiritual substance, or more namely, God. If the belief in God doesn't aid in survival then such a belief should have dissipated by now. On the contrary, if the belief in God has aided in survival then we have no reason to argue against such a belief. Either way, the belief becomes epiphenominal for the naturalist and difficult to explain away.

But the atheist might say that a belief in God has in fact aided us in survival in the past, but now only harms us. Rather than avoiding the previous argument, the atheist has only set up a dilemma where he must take on one horn or the other. If God doesn't exist, but the belief in God aids in survival or did at one time, then this serves as proof that natural selection is geared towards survival and not truth gathering - so long as a belief aids in survival, the truth of the belief is irrelevant. If the truth is superfluous to survival and accidental, then it means we cannot trust our cognitive abilities. Our trust in our noetic environment would be thrown off as there would be no way we could justifiably say that a belief in naturalism - or any belief - is rational considering our rationality was bred for survival and not truth gathering.

To see this, imagine walking into a factory that produces widgets. You take pride in noticing that all the widgets are red, but then someone points out to you that there are red lights in the factory, thus making everything appear to be red. Now, it could be that the widgets are red, but you'd have no rational grounds to claim so; any claim that the widgets are actually red, regardless of the reality of them being red, would be a baseless claim, that is, illogical.

So under this naturalistic viewpoint that you present to us we are left with a dilemma and we must take one horn or the other; we must explain how a belief in God (or the immaterial) came about sans natural selection, or we must say that a false belief was created via natural selection. Either way, we lost any true capacity to accept naturalism as a logical position, even if true.

Now, while this doesn't disprove naturalism, it does show the lunacy and untenable nature of naturalism, or the belief in one physical substance. We can prima facie reject naturalism simply on it being untenable and by definition irrational. This leaves the naturalist in envy of the dualist who holds to what is at least a logical position and one that can be validated by universal human experience and observation.
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2011, 06:03:24 PM »

lulz again at the tag.
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2011, 09:31:04 PM »

Brilliant post theo philospher, welcome to the boards! Good to see a new philosopher on here. Smiley

I think you made a mention about how natural selection shapes the universe as it is, but what about physical laws themselves? Aren't we guided by them? If natural selection is a process, then what exactly is guiding the whole process itself?
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2011, 09:13:41 AM »

Okay, there are a few misconceptions here that I think I should clear up.

But the mere idea of there being one substance (physical) is an absurdity as there's no backing for it and it's ultimately illogical.


This I don't quite understand. We have never found anything nonphysical in the universe, because our universe is physical. Why then would anyone assert that nonphysical things exists. Even ideas in your head are physical processes - networks of neurons.

Quote
That is, you have learned something without me giving anything up. But this doesn't happen with material items - if I have a blue apple and give it to you, I no longer have that same blue apple. Thus, by attempting to present me with something knowledgable in order to prove there is no immaterial substance, you must use the immaterial. This is why such naturalistic arguments are self-defeating and lack backing.

But that is simply not true, because you're treating knowledge like it is non-physical. Knowledge might not be a substance, but it has physical properties. The human cognome project seeks to do to the brain what the human genome project did to DNA. Through decades of research with millions of participants through various forms of brain scan technology, never have we found a nonphysical process, that includes language and learning. A thought might not be a material item, but it is a physical process. The physical processes of potassium/sodium ion channels and chemical neurotransmitters, the networks they make, are pretty well understood - none of it being supernatural.

Quote
If the physical universe is all that exists then it is ultimately guided by natural selection.

That is incorrect. The universe is only "guided" by physical laws. There are definite physical laws in atomic chemistry, physics, and mathematics; but biological laws of nature are not concrete laws. They are simply biological processes that function on this planet.

Quote
So we look at the belief in a spiritual substance, or more namely, God. If the belief in God doesn't aid in survival then such a belief should have dissipated by now. On the contrary, if the belief in God has aided in survival then we have no reason to argue against such a belief. Either way, the belief becomes epiphenominal for the naturalist and difficult to explain away.

There are biological reasons to believe in God. Our human brain is built to understand cause and effect; combine that dynamic with ignorance of primitive cultures, and it is obvious that the ideas of Gods were invented to find a cause and effect relationships to things primitive people didn't understand. Natural forces became Gods. Diseases became Gods. The supernatural explanation of course has faded since then, with a naturalistic point of view. So not only does naturalism explain it, but it also cures it.

Quote
If God doesn't exist, but the belief in God aids in survival or did at one time, then this serves as proof that natural selection is geared towards survival and not truth gathering.

Natural selection is only the name of the process, not a guiding force. Organisms that are able to adapt, or have certain traits, survive. There is no "truth" or knowledge present in the system. The system does not go toward an end goal. Natural selection is label given to only one process in biology - for example there is artificial selection, or sexual selection.

Quote
so long as a belief aids in survival, the truth of the belief is irrelevant.

Not quite. Truth is relevant to the human condition. We have evolved beyond the shallow drive of just surviving, and we have become a species that values truth. While truth is inconsequential to the universe, it is important to us. You say truth is superfluous to our survival, but from a psychological standpoint, the truth is VERY relevant to our survival. Knowing the cause and effect of something, knowing something is true, allows us to survive. So here I'm not sure where your argument is going.

Quote
So under this naturalistic viewpoint that you present to us we are left with a dilemma and we must take one horn or the other; we must explain how a belief in God (or the immaterial) came about sans natural selection, or we must say that a false belief was created via natural selection. Either way, we lost any true capacity to accept naturalism as a logical position, even if true.

I did explain how the idea of God was created via natural selection, which has also created false beliefs, in Gods. There have been many ideas of God in the past, all of which are claimed to be false since only a handful of major religions still exist today. So not only has the human brain, from natural selection, created the idea of God, but also made false Gods. The concept of any God is just the same biologically driven thinking of finding causes to an uncontrollable universe. God only exists because some believe it to exist, and they only believe so because someone before them told them, which going all the way back, only happened because something occurred that couldn't have been explained at the time. I'm not sure then where all of this naturalism is illogical comes from. Everything so far has been explained by natural processes. However if the natural process wasn't the answer, someone else would have to demonstrate what it was before claiming to be right.
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2011, 12:00:02 PM »

Brilliant post theo philospher, welcome to the boards! Good to see a new philosopher on here. Smiley

I think you made a mention about how natural selection shapes the universe as it is, but what about physical laws themselves? Aren't we guided by them? If natural selection is a process, then what exactly is guiding the whole process itself?


Yes, the physical laws are what would guide the universe sans biological life. Biological life, however, is guided by both natural selection and the physical laws (which are really one in the same for biological life).

The whole point is that one physical law for biological life - especially advanced life - is to 'seek survival,' which is Natural Selection. Were this the only thing guiding humans, then we couldn't trust our noetic environment, which would be quite counter-intuitive to even possessing the capacity to reason.
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2011, 12:32:31 PM »

Quote
This I don't quite understand. We have never found anything nonphysical in the universe, because our universe is physical. Why then would anyone assert that nonphysical things exists. Even ideas in your head are physical processes - networks of neurons....But that is simply not true, because you're treating knowledge like it is non-physical. Knowledge might not be a substance, but it has physical properties. The human cognome project seeks to do to the brain what the human genome project did to DNA. Through decades of research with millions of participants through various forms of brain scan technology, never have we found a nonphysical process, that includes language and learning. A thought might not be a material item, but it is a physical process. The physical processes of potassium/sodium ion channels and chemical neurotransmitters, the networks they make, are pretty well understood - none of it being supernatural.

The problem with such a statement is that it's begging the question - it assumes that all that exists is the physical and therefore everything has to be a product of the physical. Thus, the scientific discoveries are tainted from the get-go even though they bring about more questions and show the implausibility of naturalism.

You state that knowledge has physical properties, but again I ask, what properties? Certainly knowledge is manifested physically, but knowledge itself, the ding an sich of knowledge, is quite intangible. As I stated, were it material then we would lose something when presenting knowledge. Simply dismissing this with a wave of your hand and saying, "No, it's neuron processes" doesn't constitute a sufficient rebuttal.

As for the project, I'm well aware of such types of projects, but they've all failed thus far to explain the "ghost in the machine." Naturalism is committed to a non-dual explanation of the universe, which significantly hampers them when it comes to the philosophy of the mind. They must treat the issues between body and mind as "brute facts" and say, "evolution did it" even though such issues are sui generis when compared to the naturalist explanation of man. Naturalism takes consciousness for granted and assumes it is a product of evolution, yet cannot provide a sufficient cause within the evolutionary output; after all, we can imagine a world where consciousness does not exist, thus we know that consciousness is not a necessary part of creation.

Thus we have this grand metaphysic provided to us by naturalism that consciousness just doesn't fit into. Consciousness becomes a recalcitrant fact, something that undermines the grand narrative and can't be fit within the grand narrative, yet we know it exists. So we turn to your hypothesis and the hypothesis of many - everything is just a function of the brain.

Yet, this completely lacks any nuanced approach to the immaterial aspects of the human experience. Were we to cover the windows of a car and then look at the engine, we would see a machine without a driver. If we moved one part of the engine, we could get it to rev up. The modern scientist would then declare, "Aha! There is no driver in the machine, only the machine! See, when I touch this part of the engine it revs up! This means that when we see cars driving and turning, it is the machine because the driver is an illusion!" This is essentially the same thing being done when we look at certain patterns in the brain. When scientists see that certain areas are stimulated with certain environments, this shows the effect on the brain, but it still doesn't explain the cause as originating in the brain.

The problem mentioned above is proven by the fact of our awareness. I am aware of my senses, but such a concept is contradictory if we are merely physical; how can the brain be aware of itself if it is purely physical? Removing humans, such an awareness is not duplicated in nature. All my thoughts, my beliefs, my views, my wants, my needs, are aware only to me; no scientist can discover them by opening my brain. So where are they stored? Why can't my mind be read? Why is it that when I die my knowledge goes with me, rather than dumping it into a computer? Where is all of this located?

But moving onto the argument from mereological replacement, we see that we can change the parts of a human without impacting the whole. Were we purely physical beings, we would predict that in changing one part of us (be it a lung, a heart, etc) we would change completely. As it is, we don't. Thus, under a purely physical point of view, the logical conclusion is that all "I" am is a brain. Yet the brain doesn't function without the rest of the body and therefore is dependent upon everything else, making everything essential to the brain's identity (for survival). Yet we just saw that replacing parts doesn't change our identity. Thus, there must be some non-physical identity that keeps us as the whole.

I would encourage you to pick up a copy of J.P. Moreland's Recalcitrant Imago Dei for further study on this issue.

Quote
That is incorrect. The universe is only "guided" by physical laws. There are definite physical laws in atomic chemistry, physics, and mathematics; but biological laws of nature are not concrete laws. They are simply biological processes that function on this planet.

Then they are concrete for us, which still gets to the point I was making. For us, on this planet, the most important aspect guiding our lives is natural selection - so important that no naturalist would ever advocate that we can deviate from natural selection. It simply is.

Here is where everything gets interesting. You admit that natural selection is only concerned about survival and that God was an invention that aided in that survival via explanatory powers of the natural world when you say:

Quote
There are biological reasons to believe in God. Our human brain is built to understand cause and effect; combine that dynamic with ignorance of primitive cultures, and it is obvious that the ideas of Gods were invented to find a cause and effect relationships to things primitive people didn't understand. Natural forces became Gods. Diseases became Gods. The supernatural explanation of course has faded since then, with a naturalistic point of view. So not only does naturalism explain it, but it also cures it...Natural selection is only the name of the process, not a guiding force. Organisms that are able to adapt, or have certain traits, survive. There is no "truth" or knowledge present in the system. The system does not go toward an end goal. Natural selection is label given to only one process in biology - for example there is artificial selection, or sexual selection.

(As an aside, natural selection predicts sexual selection, that is, sexual selection falls under the process of natural selection...)

Now you go on to contradict yourself when you say,
Quote
Not quite. Truth is relevant to the human condition. We have evolved beyond the shallow drive of just surviving, and we have become a species that values truth. While truth is inconsequential to the universe, it is important to us. You say truth is superfluous to our survival, but from a psychological standpoint, the truth is VERY relevant to our survival. Knowing the cause and effect of something, knowing something is true, allows us to survive. So here I'm not sure where your argument is going.

...and then turn around again and contradict yourself by saying,
Quote
I did explain how the idea of God was created via natural selection, which has also created false beliefs, in Gods. There have been many ideas of God in the past, all of which are claimed to be false since only a handful of major religions still exist today. So not only has the human brain, from natural selection, created the idea of God, but also made false Gods. The concept of any God is just the same biologically driven thinking of finding causes to an uncontrollable universe. God only exists because some believe it to exist, and they only believe so because someone before them told them, which going all the way back, only happened because something occurred that couldn't have been explained at the time. I'm not sure then where all of this naturalism is illogical comes from. Everything so far has been explained by natural processes. However if the natural process wasn't the answer, someone else would have to demonstrate what it was before claiming to be right.

So you fall right into the trap I set - you have proven that believing in naturalism is illogical and untenable. Again, you say, "Well we've evolved beyond that." How do you know? How do you know that's not just a survival mechanism causing you to believe we've moved beyond it?

Regardless of your subjective and anecdotal answer, the fact is that discovering the truth isn't necessary to us as a species. You can't say that a belief in God was formed as a survival mechanism and then turn around and say that truth is essential for our species survival. Those two statements contradict each other. If God doesn't exist, but belief in Him was necessary for survival, then knowing the truth is not essential for our survival, meaning there is no reason to trust in our cognitive abilities because they will lead us to believe things that aid in our survival, but are not true.

Were this a debate, this would be the case of "game, set, match." You bit right into what I was saying and proved how naturalism is illogical. However, I would implore that you get over your bias against Christianity and theism in general and actually contemplate what you have read today. I beg of you to research this issue beyond typing it into Google. Go read books on this subject, real books by real philosophers, not some hack-job done by a Richard Dawkins or a Kirk Cameron.

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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2011, 01:18:27 PM »

Theo Philosopher,
These are great posts, but look out. Soon all the Eastern Orthodox will start attacking  you for your "Scholastic" approach.
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2011, 01:33:52 PM »

The Philosopher,
These are great posts, but look out. Soon all the Eastern Orthodox will start attacking  you for your "Scholastic" approach.
Firstly, its "theo philosopher", and secondly, what are you talking about?
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2011, 01:35:21 PM »

Theo Philosopher,
These are great posts, but look out. Soon all the Eastern Orthodox will start attacking  you for your "Scholastic" approach.
Firstly, its "theo philosopher", and secondly, what are you talking about?
What are you talking about?
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2011, 01:39:00 PM »

Theo Philosopher,
These are great posts, but look out. Soon all the Eastern Orthodox will start attacking  you for your "Scholastic" approach.
Firstly, its "theo philosopher", and secondly, what are you talking about?
What are you talking about?
Its rather poor show to alter someone's quote- especially considering the fact that your alterations to your original post are timestamped as is mine. Smiley

The Philosopher,
These are great posts, but look out. Soon all the Eastern Orthodox will start attacking  you for your "Scholastic" approach.
Firstly, its "theo philosopher", and secondly, what are you talking about?

Theo Philosopher,
These are great posts, but look out. Soon all the Eastern Orthodox will start attacking  you for your "Scholastic" approach.

« Last Edit: Today at 04:35:31 by Papist »
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 01:42:47 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2011, 01:41:02 PM »

Theo Philosopher,
These are great posts, but look out. Soon all the Eastern Orthodox will start attacking  you for your "Scholastic" approach.
Firstly, its "theo philosopher", and secondly, what are you talking about?
What are you talking about?
Its rather poor show to alter someone's quote- especially considering the fact that your alterations to your original post are timestamped as is mine. Smiley

The Philosopher,
These are great posts, but look out. Soon all the Eastern Orthodox will start attacking  you for your "Scholastic" approach.
Firstly, its "theo philosopher", and secondly, what are you talking about?
I'm kidding around. I have been on this forum long enough to know that they are time stamped.
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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2011, 01:48:14 PM »

Theo Philosopher,
These are great posts, but look out. Soon all the Eastern Orthodox will start attacking  you for your "Scholastic" approach.

Thank you for the compliment.

Also, I think the objection that Orthodox have to scholasticism is that it is often misused as an explanation of the Christian God, or as a sufficient argumentation for proving the existence of the Christian God. If that is truly their objection, then I don't see how they've have a problem with everything I posted as I'm not claiming this "proves" the Christian God. Rather, it makes theism tenable and plausible, but truth faith must be an action of believing and living, not just intellectual acknowledgement.

If, on the other hand, they just outright reject my explanations, then that'd be a first; I've yet to run into an Orthodox who doesn't love a little natural philosophy when properly applied. Smiley

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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2011, 11:19:06 AM »

The problem with such a statement is that it's begging the question - it assumes that all that exists is the physical and therefore everything has to be a product of the physical. Thus, the scientific discoveries are tainted from the get-go even though they bring about more questions and show the implausibility of naturalism.

Scientific discoveries are not tainted. How do you even get that idea? Because a field of inquiry stays within the boundaries of the physical universe, doesn't mean there aren't other things out there. Science doesn't touch religion because science cannot go beyond the physical. Implausibility is not a problem because, so far, 100% of our universe has been observed as physical. It's not that I deny that there might be something nonphysical, but the better question is, why would I accept it when 0% of our universe has been identified as nonphysical?

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You state that knowledge has physical properties, but again I ask, what properties? Certainly knowledge is manifested physically, but knowledge itself, the ding an sich of knowledge, is quite intangible. As I stated, were it material then we would lose something when presenting knowledge. Simply dismissing this with a wave of your hand and saying, "No, it's neuron processes" doesn't constitute a sufficient rebuttal.

Not everything is lost when it has been given up. There is such a thing as replication. In your analogy, nothing can be created, things can only be passed on. The physical manifestation of knowledge are quite clear in the robust growth of dendritic connections within the human brain. To learn something and retain knowledge then becomes a function of the size of the neural network. You say it's intangible, but why do you say so? You say it doesn't because you assume so. Learning and communication, creativity, etc, are functions of the brain. One doesn't have to give up anything like it is a resource. It's a difficult concept for first grasp, but do computers lose anything by sharing information wirelessly? No, then obvious computers must be nonphysical, or supernatural, dare I even say magical?

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As for the project, I'm well aware of such types of projects, but they've all failed thus far to explain the "ghost in the machine." Naturalism is committed to a non-dual explanation of the universe, which significantly hampers them when it comes to the philosophy of the mind.

Actually, it doesn't because the mind (or consciousness) is a function of the brain - a physical object. Without the brain, the consciousness cannot survive in the physical world. Now you dismissing naturalism because it cannot explain something is an argument from ignorance: we haven't learned everything about something, that thing must not be true. You on the other hand, say naturalism is not true, yet you cannot establish that supernaturalism IS true. Nobody has ever observed the soul, or angels/demons, fairies, psychics, magic, etc. So once again, the supernaturalistic explanation in a 100% physical universe is lacking evidence. It is because it lacks evidence that I find it false, not that I dogmatically defend naturalism.

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Naturalism takes consciousness for granted and assumes it is a product of evolution, yet cannot provide a sufficient cause within the evolutionary output; after all, we can imagine a world where consciousness does not exist, thus we know that consciousness is not a necessary part of creation.

Woah, hold on, have you actually looked at the evolutionary perspective on consciousness, or have you just said there is none because you personally haven't seen it? There are tons of resources out there on human consciousness. Properly defining it would be particularly nice, however depending on who you ask, consciousness may also be only an illusion. Until we can better understand the brain, there can be no consensus of what consciousness is, or where it comes from. That means you cannot say that there IS a supernatural aspect until you demonstrate it, and I cannot say that there is definitely none. I can however say that because everything else in the entire universe is physical, that consciousness is probably as well, if it even exists. Call that an assumption if you like, but it is far meeker than the assumption you're making.

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Thus we have this grand metaphysic provided to us by naturalism that consciousness just doesn't fit into. Consciousness becomes a recalcitrant fact, something that undermines the grand narrative and can't be fit within the grand narrative, yet we know it exists. So we turn to your hypothesis and the hypothesis of many - everything is just a function of the brain.

Because why would you think anything else? This whole universe is occurring inside your brain. And after that brain dies, every single function of the personality, emotions, cognitions, sensations and physical motor functions cease. This is not an opinion, but a verifiable fact. Every aspect of a body can be removed and replaced, yet the person keeps themselves, yet if that brain were removed, even select parts of it, the human would cease being that human.

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When scientists see that certain areas are stimulated with certain environments, this shows the effect on the brain, but it still doesn't explain the cause as originating in the brain.

And you saying that the unknown is NOT physical is an argument from ignorance. Because we don't know something, you cannot say it is material or supernatural. I can say that everything else so far, without exception, has been material. Personally, I'm putting my bet on material.

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I am aware of my senses, but such a concept is contradictory if we are merely physical [woah, what?]; how can the brain be aware of itself if it is purely physical? Removing humans, such an awareness is not duplicated in nature. All my thoughts, my beliefs, my views, my wants, my needs, are aware only to me; no scientist can discover them by opening my brain. So where are they stored? Why can't my mind be read? Why is it that when I die my knowledge goes with me, rather than dumping it into a computer? Where is all of this located?

First, self awareness is a very physical process, and we've identified it in other species. The basic litmus test of self awareness is showing an animal their reflection. If they can recognize it as themselves, then they know have a basic concept of what they look like, and who they are. Fun fact, dolphins, (some) apes, and even magpies are self aware. Even more fun fact, some humans before the age of two are NOT self aware. Whatever self awareness is, it is not solely part of the human condition. Secondly, with enough technology, it is possible that we might be able to map out every neuron in your brain, essentially reading you thoughts. We can even do it now at a very basic level. Where is all of it located?; in various parts of the brain. Before you start claiming that we have no naturalistic explanation, I would encourage you to actually look up the naturalistic explanations.

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But moving onto the argument from mereological replacement, we see that we can change the parts of a human without impacting the whole. Were we purely physical beings, we would predict that in changing one part of us (be it a lung, a heart, etc) we would change completely. As it is, we don't. Thus, under a purely physical point of view, the logical conclusion is that all "I" am is a brain. Yet the brain doesn't function without the rest of the body and therefore is dependent upon everything else, making everything essential to the brain's identity (for survival). Yet we just saw that replacing parts doesn't change our identity. Thus, there must be some non-physical identity that keeps us as the whole.

Whaaat? This just baffles me. Every part of our body operates at a physical level. Talk to any doctor, and they'll tell you that everything is run by chemistry. We can remove an arm, and the human is still in the physical universe. We can do heart, liver, kidney transplants, and the human does not change their personality. However if you give the human specific chemicals that affect parts of their brain, like say dopamine, not only will their personality change, but their physical body will too. These chemicals are also physical. I have NO idea why you think there is a non-physical part of the body, because every part of the body is PHYSICAL. The brain could survive on its own if it were hypothetically hooked up to a machine to keep it alive. Such an existence without sensations would be quite a dreary one, but it is possible.

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Then they are concrete for us, which still gets to the point I was making. For us, on this planet, the most important aspect guiding our lives is natural selection - so important that no naturalist would ever advocate that we can deviate from natural selection. It simply is.

But we have deviated from natural selection. I'm beginning to think that you are getting the wrong idea of natural selection. Natural selection is the process by which the environment causes certain adaptations to survive. Now because we humans have been able to modify our environment, we essentially mitigate the effects of natural selection. For example we allow sickly people to survive and reproduce, going against natural selection, because their value to us as humans is worth keeping them in the gene pool. There is a whole different process called artificial selection that we use, sometimes without even recognizing it.

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(As an aside, natural selection predicts sexual selection, that is, sexual selection falls under the process of natural selection...)

Natural selection is the environment selection specific traits. Sexual selection is the mating process selecting certain traits. They are not one in the same, and sometimes they work against each other. The male peacock for example has adaptations that would cause him to die by natural selection, but they are kept going by sexual selection.

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So you fall right into the trap I set

Hold on there Jethro, not quite. You seem to miss the distinction I'm making. Our species was built upon the foundation of finding cause and effect for things in our universe. At present, our species values truth above some things. The idea of religion is not truth, but only a remnant of our primitive past when the urge to find cause and effect trumped the urge to find truth. However I think you keep confusing naturalism with natural selection. They are not the same thing. Even if we evolved a certain way, it still means that the universe is still, so far, completely physical. You're making a shell game by trying to convolute the definitions of natural selection and naturalism. As I said, they are not the same thing.

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You have proven that believing in naturalism is illogical and untenable. Again, you say, "Well we've evolved beyond that." How do you know? How do you know that's not just a survival mechanism causing you to believe we've moved beyond it?

And how have I done that? How have I shown that the universe is not entirely physical? I'm not sure how you give out points, but you're fairly far behind simply because of the astounding falseness of the assertions you've made. You are making assumptions on the universe based only on your limited experience. You so far have not defeated naturalism.

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The fact is that discovering the truth isn't necessary to us as a species.

Who said it was necessary? I said our species valued truth. You're so quick to claim victory, when your claim attacks nothing I said. Please reread what I wrote.

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You can't say that a belief in God was formed as a survival mechanism and then turn around and say that truth is essential for our species survival. Those two statements contradict each other. If God doesn't exist, but belief in Him was necessary for survival, then knowing the truth is not essential for our survival, meaning there is no reason to trust in our cognitive abilities because they will lead us to believe things that aid in our survival, but are not true.

Well, like I said, I never said it was essential to our survival. I said we valued truth. Obviously it isn't absolutely necessary for our survival because humans have believed things that were not true - namely religion. You seem to think my statements contradict each other, but you didn't read my statements. And finally, even if they did, that would not refute naturalism.

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Were this a debate, this would be the case of "game, set, match."

Yeah, not quite. You should go back and read what I said; not defeat your interpretation of what I said. *sigh* And finally, look up naturalism, and try to find points against it. The arguments of naturalism are not contradictory, only what you think I said of natural selection (not even remotely naturalism). I doubt this is a case of game, set, match.. The points you've made, I've matched. The points I've made, you haven't. You think you caught me in a contradiction, but that was a fault of your reading comprehension. You say that the contradiction disproved naturalism, when you didn't address the points of naturalism. I'm beginning to think you don't know what natural selection is - or naturalism for that matter. Some things you were just flat out wrong (ex: self awareness, sexual selection, and you didn't even touch artificial selection). If you want to bring your A game, actually match my points and explain why they're wrong.
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« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2011, 03:46:30 AM »

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Because why would you think anything else? This whole universe is occurring inside your brain. And after that brain dies, every single function of the personality, emotions, cognitions, sensations and physical motor functions cease. This is not an opinion, but a verifiable fact. Every aspect of a body can be removed and replaced, yet the person keeps themselves, yet if that brain were removed, even select parts of it, the human would cease being that human.

This fall under that brain in the vat thing?
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« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2011, 04:09:47 AM »

I've been waiting for some Theophilosophizor vs. TryingtoConvert back and forths...

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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2011, 01:31:46 PM »

Perhaps Trying to Convert is missing Effecient Causality and the related Law of Sufficient Reason.
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« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2011, 01:59:07 PM »

Perhaps Trying to Convert is missing Effecient Causality and the related Law of Sufficient Reason.
Bingo.

Essentially, it's the problem both of modern atheism and modern apologetics; hardly anyone actually reads experts in the field, so their arguments generally are off target (this stands for both Christians and atheists).

Anyway, I'm working on a reply to TTC, though it will probably be my last one as I generally don't have a lot of time to spend on long internet debates where there are no rules and there are no ends...but it does provide a nice distraction from editing my manuscript. Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2011, 03:07:37 PM »

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Scientific discoveries are not tainted. How do you even get that idea? Because a field of inquiry stays within the boundaries of the physical universe, doesn't mean there aren't other things out there. Science doesn't touch religion because science cannot go beyond the physical. Implausibility is not a problem because, so far, 100% of our universe has been observed as physical. It's not that I deny that there might be something nonphysical, but the better question is, why would I accept it when 0% of our universe has been identified as nonphysical?

This is what I mean by “tainted,” it’s begging the question. It takes the conclusion, “All things are material” and injects it into the premise “There is a material cause for everything.” It automatically closes itself off to an immaterial causality. Thus, no matter what the theist argues, he is left at a disadvantage.

Furthermore, what you are proposing comes dangerously close to logical positivism, which has been proven to be a dead belief because it’s self-refuting. If you are saying that knowledge can only be constituted by what is observable, then I think I’ve found the problem in your reasoning.

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Not everything is lost when it has been given up. There is such a thing as replication. In your analogy, nothing can be created, things can only be passed on. The physical manifestation of knowledge are quite clear in the robust growth of dendritic connections within the human brain. To learn something and retain knowledge then becomes a function of the size of the neural network. You say it's intangible, but why do you say so? You say it doesn't because you assume so. Learning and communication, creativity, etc, are functions of the brain. One doesn't have to give up anything like it is a resource. It's a difficult concept for first grasp, but do computers lose anything by sharing information wirelessly? No, then obvious computers must be nonphysical, or supernatural, dare I even say magical?

This is a straw man fallacy; you’re misrepresenting my argument, possibly because you may not understand it because I didn’t explain it that way.
The best way to explain it is to look at computers and ask, “Are computers immaterial?” Obviously they aren’t. So would this mean that information is also material? Not at all, because you’re committing the fallacy of equivocation; you’re assuming that because computers can pass information and computers are physical, information must also be physical. However, information is not an essential aspect of computers. In other words, one can conceivably have a computer that contains no information (via nothing being programmed onto it). In fact, your analogy turns on you and actually aids my position.

The question is, “What is information?” If information is material then we should be able to take it and put it under the microscope. The statement, “This is a material statement” should be able to fit under the microscope. But we can only do so when we give a physical manifestation to the idea “This is a material statement.” This is because (and this is where the clarification would have aided you in understanding what I was saying) ideas are inherently immaterial. While ideas can be presented in different physical aspects – and must if we are to share ideas – the idea itself is immaterial, which allows it to be put into different physical forms. For instance, right now you are reading this idea via the reflections of light, a purely physical process. Were we in person, you would know of the idea via sound waves being constructed in a certain way that makes the idea intelligible to you.

All of this indicates that the idea, in its essential self, is immaterial whereas it does require a material format in order to be understood and shared. However, the form of the idea can change, indicating that while the essential idea itself (the ding an sich of the idea) remains unchanged, the form changed drastically.

That is what is meant when I say that an idea or knowledge is immaterial. To say, “Well this is all a process of the brain” is an incomplete statement. Yes, while the brain uses physical functions to interpret and process, there is nothing to indicate that the brain is the cause of the processes rather than the effects of a cause. To assert otherwise is to beg the question.

Now before you turn this on me and say that I am assuming otherwise, let me state that I am not. Merely I am saying that you can’t use the conclusion I am attacking to support your premises. I am attacking x and stating that y used as a justification of x doesn’t work. This doesn’t mean you can turn around and uplift y to justify x, because that is begging the question.

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Actually, it doesn't because the mind (or consciousness) is a function of the brain - a physical object. Without the brain, the consciousness cannot survive in the physical world. Now you dismissing naturalism because it cannot explain something is an argument from ignorance: we haven't learned everything about something, that thing must not be true. You on the other hand, say naturalism is not true, yet you cannot establish that supernaturalism IS true. Nobody has ever observed the soul, or angels/demons, fairies, psychics, magic, etc. So once again, the supernaturalistic explanation in a 100% physical universe is lacking evidence. It is because it lacks evidence that I find it false, not that I dogmatically defend naturalism.

Again, this is more question begging. You stated that consciousness is a product of the brain de facto. But that’s what I’m debating, so you’re asserting the contention as a fact, meaning that it’s quite impossible to prove otherwise, hence the accusation of question begging.

As for an argument from ignorance, I don’t fall into that fallacy at all. I’m saying that it is impossible for naturalism to explain certain things. This would mean that if we could ever explain consciousness as something that actually exists, naturalism couldn’t account for it by nature of what naturalism teaches. That’s not an argument from ignorance at all; rather the converse is true. To say, “Well we haven’t discovered it yet” is the actual argument from ignorance because it’s saying, “Yeah, we can’t explain it, but we will.” In other words, though there is no answer, nor any reason to believe that naturalism can by its nature beget an answer, you hold blind faith that an answer will come about (though any such answer would undermine naturalism). That is, by definition, the argument from ignorance.

What I’m arguing is that certain aspects of humans are beyond the explanatory powers of naturalism while they are predicted by cognitive realism. To simply assert that naturalism is true and use it as a defeater is circular – you might as well argue the Bible is infallible because the Bible says it’s infallible. It’s the same type of argument.

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Woah, hold on, have you actually looked at the evolutionary perspective on consciousness, or have you just said there is none because you personally haven't seen it? There are tons of resources out there on human consciousness. Properly defining it would be particularly nice, however depending on who you ask, consciousness may also be only an illusion. Until we can better understand the brain, there can be no consensus of what consciousness is, or where it comes from. That means you cannot say that there IS a supernatural aspect until you demonstrate it, and I cannot say that there is definitely none. I can however say that because everything else in the entire universe is physical, that consciousness is probably as well, if it even exists. Call that an assumption if you like, but it is far meeker than the assumption you're making.

Admittedly, I am not an expert on the philosophy of mind. However, it does compose a major section of my degree and graduate studies, so while I’m not an expert, I am familiar with it. Notably, I am familiar with the works of Jaegwon Kim, Roderick Chisholm, John Searle, Daniel Dennett, Frank Jackson, Thomas Nagel, and others. My understanding of naturalism in relation to philosophy of the mind comes from them, so if you disagree with my summation of the naturalistic argument, you should take it up with the naturalists.

As for taking on meek assumptions, again your creating a fallacy (composition). You’re assuming that because some parts of the universe are physical, all of existence itself has to be physical as well. Yet, consciousness is but one defeater for such a fallacious way of thinking; simply waving it off as an illusion doesn’t work because such a teaching is self-defeating (one must be conscious in order to say that it’s an illusion).
The idea of consciousness as an illusion comes from the view that only material states can be validated in the third person (as an observer). Since consciousness is a first person activity, logical positivists have proposed the theory that consciousness is an illusion since it can’t be properly observed and tested via the scientific method. The illogical and self-defeating nature of logical positivism aside, such a stance is a priori preposterous. Let me explain.

You can search through any textbook in chemistry or physics and you will not discover anything that explains consciousness as a part of matter. We do not see any other aspect of the material universe begetting consciousness. This is compounded by our own debate – you are arguing that my beliefs are false. But let me ask you, is the moon false? Is the Sun false? Are atoms false? The answer is that they are neither true nor false. But if consciousness is an illusion then ideas are matters of material consideration, which in turn means that ideas cannot be true or false; they can simply be (such as the moon, atoms, or the Sun). To assert otherwise is a case of special pleading.

In order to explain anything about humans, we must do so in a personal fashion and not a mechanistic manner. If Peter desired to stab Paul, then we would explain this in a personal manner and not a mechanistic manner. We wouldn’t say that Peter’s desire was a mechanistic response (with exception to self-defense, but let us say that Peter killed Paul because he didn’t like Paul’s tie) because if we did say that Peter’s act was mechanistic, then how could we properly send him to prison or hold him accountable for his crime? After all, the real fault lays with Paul for wearing a tie that would incite people to murder; but then again, if consciousness is an illusion then Paul only chose that tie because biology had guided him to choose that tie, so there was no real choice involved.

So from just an a priori view of humanity, we know that consciousness isn’t an illusion because we experience it on a daily basis. While that might make the logical positivists and empiricists cringe, I simply point them back to their corners and tell them to explain their self-refuting epistemology before they come out of their rooms.

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Because why would you think anything else? This whole universe is occurring inside your brain. And after that brain dies, every single function of the personality, emotions, cognitions, sensations and physical motor functions cease. This is not an opinion, but a verifiable fact. Every aspect of a body can be removed and replaced, yet the person keeps themselves, yet if that brain were removed, even select parts of it, the human would cease being that human.

I agree that the brain is essential to human survival, but this doesn’t prove that the brain is the central aspect of everything. An engine is essential to the survival of a car, but for the car to operate and drive correctly it needs a driver, who doesn’t need the car. Thus, the driver is essential to the proper function of the car, but the car is not essential to the proper function of the driver. This would be akin to the dualistic argument for human persons (though it might frustrate Aquinas).

But my explanation is covered above.

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And you saying that the unknown is NOT physical is an argument from ignorance. Because we don't know something, you cannot say it is material or supernatural. I can say that everything else so far, without exception, has been material. Personally, I'm putting my bet on material.

More straw man and question begging. What I am saying is that it is beyond the explanatory power of naturalism to explain certain aspects of human existence. I’m saying that certain aspects of human existence contradict naturalism and therefore naturalism can never truly explain it. Now, if naturalism is false, then supernaturalism must be true (in some form). When you have an either/or and it is proven to be an either/or with no third option, if one option is eliminated as a viable way to describe reality, the other option must be true by processes of elimination.

To be honest, I really don’t have the time to go through the rest of the post. As it stands, even if I did I would merely be using longer sentences to justify my claims and I fear you would come back and take it one line at a time (thus ignoring the broader context).

Generally, I have no problem going back and forth so long as the discussion is friendly, concise, and going somewhere. As it is, I fear the first part won’t happen (since your PM’s have been less than cordial), we already know the second part isn’t occurring, and we’re both beginning to repeat ourselves. So I leave you the final word, but I would implore you to go out there and look up Richard Swinburne’s “Evolution of the Soul.” Please, read books, not the internet.  

« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 03:09:40 PM by theo philosopher » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2011, 10:24:36 PM »

TtC, I think that you should take a look at this article, entitled, "The Curious Metaphysics of Dr. Stephen Hawking"

"Why would a preeminent physicist make the claim that “the universe can come from nothing?” This is precisely what Dr. Stephen Hawking has done in his new book, “The Grand Design,” when he notes, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

This statement betrays Hawking’s fundamental assumption about the universe, namely that it came from nothing. But why would a preeminent physicist assume that the universe came from nothing? Presumably, because he believes that there are reasons for thinking that the universe had a beginning.

Let me put it in reverse: If one believes that there is significant evidence for a beginning of the universe then one is confronted with the question, “what was the universe before the beginning?” If the beginning is truly a point at which the universe came into existence then one is confronted by the fact that prior to the beginning, the whole physical universe was nothing..."
Full Article:
http://www.magisreasonfaith.org/new%20at%20magis/the-curious-metaphysics-of-dr-stephen-hawking/

Also, take a look at this book by Dr. Edward Feser
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« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2011, 10:30:37 PM »

All long as this thread keeps TtC, Papist, and Pseudopher busy . . .
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« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2011, 10:31:25 PM »

I've been waiting for some Theophilosophizor vs. TryingtoConvert back and forths...



hammer lulz.
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« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2011, 11:36:29 PM »

TtC, I think that you should take a look at this article, entitled, "The Curious Metaphysics of Dr. Stephen Hawking"

"Why would a preeminent physicist make the claim that “the universe can come from nothing?” This is precisely what Dr. Stephen Hawking has done in his new book, “The Grand Design,” when he notes, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

This statement betrays Hawking’s fundamental assumption about the universe, namely that it came from nothing. But why would a preeminent physicist assume that the universe came from nothing? Presumably, because he believes that there are reasons for thinking that the universe had a beginning.

Let me put it in reverse: If one believes that there is significant evidence for a beginning of the universe then one is confronted with the question, “what was the universe before the beginning?” If the beginning is truly a point at which the universe came into existence then one is confronted by the fact that prior to the beginning, the whole physical universe was nothing..."
Full Article:
http://www.magisreasonfaith.org/new%20at%20magis/the-curious-metaphysics-of-dr-stephen-hawking/

Also, take a look at this book by Dr. Edward Feser


I've been reading a lot of physics lately about what this "nothing" means.  Apparently, nothing is not really "nothing" in the sense that you and I understand it.  It boggled my mind for a while, but I think I got it now.  The idea is that if you take all the matter of the universe including dark matter out of the picture, and you're left with essentially a vacuum of space, of what we can consider "nothing," and take its mass (or energy?) it actually has value.  So nothing seems to have "something."  I think that's what physicists today mean when things are spontaneously created from this thing called "nothing."

What is this "nothing?"  I don't know if I fully grasped the concept, but from what I understand is that it's spontaneously appearing negative and positive particles that disappear in such an extremely minute fraction of a second.  It's apparently happening all around us.  Where do these particles come from?  Again, I haven't fully understood this concept, but according to theoretical physicists, it's borrowed energy from the future and disappears.  I don't know what that means, but apparently time is a dimension that is important in this "nothing" area.
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« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2011, 05:22:09 AM »

This is what I mean by “tainted,” it’s begging the question. It takes the conclusion, “All things are material” and injects it into the premise “There is a material cause for everything.” It automatically closes itself off to an immaterial causality. Thus, no matter what the theist argues, he is left at a disadvantage.

Of course the theist is left at a disadvantage because none of what we found so far is supernatural, and yet the theist argues for a supernatural universe. The burden of proof is on the theist (or supernaturalist). Everything the naturalist has predicted has been consistent with their premises. I can assume that we live in an all material universe, and that could indeed be wrong at some point, but everything so far as been material. The assumption you make however is much more egregious because you assume something exists despite no evidence for it in a universe that has astounding evidence for the contrary.

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The best way to explain it is to look at computers and ask, “Are computers immaterial?” Obviously they aren’t. So would this mean that information is also material? Not at all, because you’re committing the fallacy of equivocation; you’re assuming that because computers can pass information and computers are physical, information must also be physical.

I know the information passed between the computers is physical, and we know how it works. I’m not saying that because the computer is physical that the part of the computer is also physical, but that we know the information passed is physical in and of itself. And what is your explanation? That it’s not a physical process because there is no material that you can hold in your hand or see under a microscope?

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That is what is meant when I say that an idea or knowledge is immaterial. To say, “Well this is all a process of the brain” is an incomplete statement. Yes, while the brain uses physical functions to interpret and process, there is nothing to indicate that the brain is the cause of the processes rather than the effects of a cause. To assert otherwise is to beg the question.

Now before you turn this on me and say that I am assuming otherwise

But you ARE assuming because you don’t know if the brain is the cause or the effect and you assume there is something nonphysical about it. You say that knowledge is immaterial, yet you don’t understand how brain processes, stores, categorizes, and changes information. There is astounding amounts of research that shows that the brain is the cause of such things and nothing to the contrary. I can give the brain dopamine inhibitors to such a degree that a person shows signs of schizophrenia. Obviously the chemicals caused the brain to change, and therefore express certain psychological traits. The schizophrenia didn’t change the brain, the brain caused the schizophrenia. I can also remove parts of your brain and you will be unable to perform certain functions, like inhibition control, or form memories. The brain is the seat of everything, and taking it away causes everything else to stop. So yes, according to new research, the brain is the cause. You’re trying to argue exceptionally old points of mind/brain dualism which have been addressed and are currently being eroded by cognitive neuroscience.

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Again, this is more question begging. You stated that consciousness is a product of the brain de facto. But that’s what I’m debating, so you’re asserting the contention as a fact, meaning that it’s quite impossible to prove otherwise, hence the accusation of question begging.

It’s not that I’m begging the question, it’s just that I have a degree in psychology and you don’t understand the physical properties of the brain. Simply because you don't know something that I do doesn't mean that I'm making something up. The evidence supports a consciousness rooted in the brain, so what is your evidence against? We can change the way people think by physical chemicals affecting physical receptors in physical networks of the brain. Once the person dies, the consciousness doesn’t just drift around in a cloud. The person is gone, and so is their consciousness. Everything points to a physical brain and so far there is no evidence to the contrary. So when you say I’m making an assumption, or begging the question, that is just false.

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This would mean that if we could ever explain consciousness as something that actually exists, naturalism couldn’t account for it by nature of what naturalism teaches.

Then I think we’re arguing on different points because I came into this debate defending naturalism as the idea that depicts reality and the universe as something physical, as in not supernatural. If you’re trying to say that I need to find a root of everything in nature then our points aren’t matching. I am less concerned with how consciousness got there, and more concerned with the workings as such. In either case, if you’re arguing for something other than a physical universe, then you have to show evidence as to why you think so. But once again there's a problem, you simply can't say that nature didn't cause something if you don't know how nature functions.

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You hold blind faith that an answer will come about (though any such answer would undermine naturalism). That is, by definition, the argument from ignorance.

I have no faith (in anything). I personally make no claim to the existence of the supernatural, as stated in my previous posts, but if I were pressed for an answer, I’d say that judging from the physical makeup of the universe, I would expect the rest of the universe to be physical as well – things like the origin of consciousness and the origin of universe itself. Every question scholars have asked so far has been eventually answered by a physical observation, and not a supernatural one. In order for me to accept the contrary, and even for the contrary against naturalism to be true, you need EVIDENCE of such. Which you don’t seem to have. What you are arguing is your interpretations of physical phenomena, or going after things we have little understanding of, and using that against naturalism without putting forward a point of your own.

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You’re assuming that because some parts of the universe are physical, all of existence itself has to be physical as well.

But in a universe where everything so far is physical, why would I think that someone is not physical? 100% of the universe is physical, and 0% of the universe is not physical. Show me the evidence contrary to that and I will change my mind. I admit I made an assumption, but your assumption is far worse – assuming there is something nonphysical in a physical universe.

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We wouldn’t say that Peter’s desire was a mechanistic response (with exception to self-defense, but let us say that Peter killed Paul because he didn’t like Paul’s tie) because if we did say that Peter’s act was mechanistic, then how could we properly send him to prison or hold him accountable for his crime? After all, the real fault lays with Paul for wearing a tie that would incite people to murder; but then again, if consciousness is an illusion then Paul only chose that tie because biology had guided him to choose that tie, so there was no real choice involved.

Welcome to the conversation psychological behaviorists had sixty years ago. Is there a consensus of how consciousness works? NO. Will we find out? MAYBE. The observations seen over the years shows that our brain is run by very VERY complex circuitry. There are positive feedback loops, and circuits that fight against each other, and there is a constant war between the inhibitory networks in the prefrontal cortex and the emotionally desire driven networks of the limbic system. Some psychologists argued that everything we do is not actually a choice but a calculation within our brains, and that we have no free will (B.F. Skinner, or John Watson, I think). They argued that the idea of free will is a construct of the brain. To function at a higher level, the personality needs to think it’s in control. There is also much more than just our day to day thinking. Waking consciousness is only the top of the pyramid to which countless other processes go on at the base, undetected. Now do I agree with that? I’m not sure. However what does the supernaturalistic explanation have? Well not much. Every function of the body and reception by the senses is done by the brain. So what purpose does something like a soul have? If the soul even exists at all, it is trivial. But mind/brain dualism isn’t anything new. The arguments are pretty old, and they’re turning obsolete by new research.

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I agree that the brain is essential to human survival, but this doesn’t prove that the brain is the central aspect of everything.

The facts say otherwise. Look up the case of Phineas Gage, and how damage to the prefrontal cortex caused personality changes. The brain is the central aspect to everything because it manages everything within our body. You don’t seem to have a very robust understand as to the workings of the brain: from the brainstem controlling heartbeat and respiration, to the occipital lobe controlling sight, or the pituitary gland controlling hormones. Without the brain, we would die; or if we didn't die, we would have no feelings or memories. Every other part of the body can be replaced, but not the brain. As soon as you remove that 3 pound of grey matter, the human stops existence. However if you replaced every other part of the body, perhaps making someone a cyborg, they would keep their personality, memories, and emotions, etc etc. So when you say naturalism can’t explain it, half of that statement is just wrong, and the other half is an argument from ignorance.

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Now, if naturalism is false, then supernaturalism must be true (in some form).
[/quote]

Awww, pretty tricky, but no, supernaturalism is true once evidence for it arises that shows it to be true. If naturalism is false, then naturalism is false.

As it stands, you know a great deal about philosophy, way more than me, but you also understand very little of the processes of psychology, biology and evolution. Naturalism would be very easily refuted if evidence of the supernatural came to light, and it would take much less effort to argue away naturalism then. However you’ve gone and tried to refute naturalism because you see things that cannot be explained by naturalism, to which you should probably look them up. Some things you assert are just downright wrong, and the things we don’t know yet are simply arguments from ignorance.

Every supernaturalistic explanation has been shown to be wrong over the course of scientific inquiry. Why do the planets move? What keeps us on the ground? What causes diseases? What causes psychological disorders? What made the first organisms? Where did we come from? The supernaturalistic explanations have been losing ground for hundreds of years. The base you stand on is eroding, and until you can show something supernatural then supernaturalism is not a viable way to consider reality. As far as naturalism goes, everything we’re been able to observe is natural, and you have not provided evidence for me to think otherwise.
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« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2011, 06:05:45 AM »

TtC, I think that you should take a look at this article, entitled, "The Curious Metaphysics of Dr. Stephen Hawking"

"Why would a preeminent physicist make the claim that “the universe can come from nothing?” This is precisely what Dr. Stephen Hawking has done in his new book, “The Grand Design,” when he notes, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

This statement betrays Hawking’s fundamental assumption about the universe, namely that it came from nothing. But why would a preeminent physicist assume that the universe came from nothing? Presumably, because he believes that there are reasons for thinking that the universe had a beginning.

Let me put it in reverse: If one believes that there is significant evidence for a beginning of the universe then one is confronted with the question, “what was the universe before the beginning?” If the beginning is truly a point at which the universe came into existence then one is confronted by the fact that prior to the beginning, the whole physical universe was nothing..."
Full Article:
http://www.magisreasonfaith.org/new%20at%20magis/the-curious-metaphysics-of-dr-stephen-hawking/

Also, take a look at this book by Dr. Edward Feser


What's interesting about Hawking's new book is it helps in the argument for God.
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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2011, 11:48:17 AM »

The biggest problem with Stephen Hawkings newest book is that he says nothing new. It's still that the origins of the universe come from a rounded point rather than a definite point and he has to use theoretical numbers to validate his hypothesis. Thus, the numbers are valid in theory, but these numbers don't exist in reality (that's the easiest way to put it). In other words, his hypothesis couldn't function in reality...
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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2011, 01:18:44 PM »

TtC, I think that you should take a look at this article, entitled, "The Curious Metaphysics of Dr. Stephen Hawking"

"Why would a preeminent physicist make the claim that “the universe can come from nothing?” This is precisely what Dr. Stephen Hawking has done in his new book, “The Grand Design,” when he notes, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

This statement betrays Hawking’s fundamental assumption about the universe, namely that it came from nothing. But why would a preeminent physicist assume that the universe came from nothing? Presumably, because he believes that there are reasons for thinking that the universe had a beginning.

Let me put it in reverse: If one believes that there is significant evidence for a beginning of the universe then one is confronted with the question, “what was the universe before the beginning?” If the beginning is truly a point at which the universe came into existence then one is confronted by the fact that prior to the beginning, the whole physical universe was nothing..."
Full Article:
http://www.magisreasonfaith.org/new%20at%20magis/the-curious-metaphysics-of-dr-stephen-hawking/

Also, take a look at this book by Dr. Edward Feser


I've been reading a lot of physics lately about what this "nothing" means.  Apparently, nothing is not really "nothing" in the sense that you and I understand it.  It boggled my mind for a while, but I think I got it now.  The idea is that if you take all the matter of the universe including dark matter out of the picture, and you're left with essentially a vacuum of space, of what we can consider "nothing," and take its mass (or energy?) it actually has value.  So nothing seems to have "something."  I think that's what physicists today mean when things are spontaneously created from this thing called "nothing."

What is this "nothing?"  I don't know if I fully grasped the concept, but from what I understand is that it's spontaneously appearing negative and positive particles that disappear in such an extremely minute fraction of a second.  It's apparently happening all around us.  Where do these particles come from?  Again, I haven't fully understood this concept, but according to theoretical physicists, it's borrowed energy from the future and disappears.  I don't know what that means, but apparently time is a dimension that is important in this "nothing" area.
From what I understand, physicists are realizing the absurdity of something coming from nothing (that would be magic, not science) so, they posit that these vaccums are really the presence of equal postive and negative matter, so that they cancel eachother out, making the matter undetecable to us. Also, if there is a "borrowing" of energy from the future, then we are really not talking about nothing. Of course they are speculating.
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« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2011, 12:27:40 PM »

TtC, I think that you should take a look at this article, entitled, "The Curious Metaphysics of Dr. Stephen Hawking"

"Why would a preeminent physicist make the claim that “the universe can come from nothing?” This is precisely what Dr. Stephen Hawking has done in his new book, “The Grand Design,” when he notes, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

This statement betrays Hawking’s fundamental assumption about the universe, namely that it came from nothing. But why would a preeminent physicist assume that the universe came from nothing? Presumably, because he believes that there are reasons for thinking that the universe had a beginning.

Let me put it in reverse: If one believes that there is significant evidence for a beginning of the universe then one is confronted with the question, “what was the universe before the beginning?” If the beginning is truly a point at which the universe came into existence then one is confronted by the fact that prior to the beginning, the whole physical universe was nothing..."
Full Article:
http://www.magisreasonfaith.org/new%20at%20magis/the-curious-metaphysics-of-dr-stephen-hawking/

Also, take a look at this book by Dr. Edward Feser


I've been reading a lot of physics lately about what this "nothing" means.  Apparently, nothing is not really "nothing" in the sense that you and I understand it.  It boggled my mind for a while, but I think I got it now.  The idea is that if you take all the matter of the universe including dark matter out of the picture, and you're left with essentially a vacuum of space, of what we can consider "nothing," and take its mass (or energy?) it actually has value.  So nothing seems to have "something."  I think that's what physicists today mean when things are spontaneously created from this thing called "nothing."

What is this "nothing?"  I don't know if I fully grasped the concept, but from what I understand is that it's spontaneously appearing negative and positive particles that disappear in such an extremely minute fraction of a second.  It's apparently happening all around us.  Where do these particles come from?  Again, I haven't fully understood this concept, but according to theoretical physicists, it's borrowed energy from the future and disappears.  I don't know what that means, but apparently time is a dimension that is important in this "nothing" area.
From what I understand, physicists are realizing the absurdity of something coming from nothing (that would be magic, not science) so, they posit that these vaccums are really the presence of equal postive and negative matter, so that they cancel eachother out, making the matter undetecable to us. Also, if there is a "borrowing" of energy from the future, then we are really not talking about nothing. Of course they are speculating.

I'm not sure how much of it is speculation and how much of it is scientific.  From what I understand, one of the ways that they proved this was how a black hole radiates positive particles and sucks negative particles, decreasing the size of the black hole until it runs out of energy.  This is after it has suck all things around it, that it starts to take from "nothing" these negative particles and separating it from the positive.

So, playing devil's advocate, maybe they're on to something.  I don't know.  At this point, their science or speculation is confusing to me, and I'm trying day by day to read and understand more of it.
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« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2011, 01:42:26 PM »

TtC, I think that you should take a look at this article, entitled, "The Curious Metaphysics of Dr. Stephen Hawking"

"Why would a preeminent physicist make the claim that “the universe can come from nothing?” This is precisely what Dr. Stephen Hawking has done in his new book, “The Grand Design,” when he notes, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

This statement betrays Hawking’s fundamental assumption about the universe, namely that it came from nothing. But why would a preeminent physicist assume that the universe came from nothing? Presumably, because he believes that there are reasons for thinking that the universe had a beginning.

Let me put it in reverse: If one believes that there is significant evidence for a beginning of the universe then one is confronted with the question, “what was the universe before the beginning?” If the beginning is truly a point at which the universe came into existence then one is confronted by the fact that prior to the beginning, the whole physical universe was nothing..."
Full Article:
http://www.magisreasonfaith.org/new%20at%20magis/the-curious-metaphysics-of-dr-stephen-hawking/

Also, take a look at this book by Dr. Edward Feser


I've been reading a lot of physics lately about what this "nothing" means.  Apparently, nothing is not really "nothing" in the sense that you and I understand it.  It boggled my mind for a while, but I think I got it now.  The idea is that if you take all the matter of the universe including dark matter out of the picture, and you're left with essentially a vacuum of space, of what we can consider "nothing," and take its mass (or energy?) it actually has value.  So nothing seems to have "something."  I think that's what physicists today mean when things are spontaneously created from this thing called "nothing."

What is this "nothing?"  I don't know if I fully grasped the concept, but from what I understand is that it's spontaneously appearing negative and positive particles that disappear in such an extremely minute fraction of a second.  It's apparently happening all around us.  Where do these particles come from?  Again, I haven't fully understood this concept, but according to theoretical physicists, it's borrowed energy from the future and disappears.  I don't know what that means, but apparently time is a dimension that is important in this "nothing" area.
From what I understand, physicists are realizing the absurdity of something coming from nothing (that would be magic, not science) so, they posit that these vaccums are really the presence of equal postive and negative matter, so that they cancel eachother out, making the matter undetecable to us. Also, if there is a "borrowing" of energy from the future, then we are really not talking about nothing. Of course they are speculating.

I'm not sure how much of it is speculation and how much of it is scientific.  From what I understand, one of the ways that they proved this was how a black hole radiates positive particles and sucks negative particles, decreasing the size of the black hole until it runs out of energy.  This is after it has suck all things around it, that it starts to take from "nothing" these negative particles and separating it from the positive.

So, playing devil's advocate, maybe they're on to something.  I don't know.  At this point, their science or speculation is confusing to me, and I'm trying day by day to read and understand more of it.

Even if we grant such a premise (which we shouldn't), it still doesn't account for the physical laws that allow something to come from "nothing." That is, if all matter was contained within the pre-Big Bang "capsule" or whatever we want to call it, what physical law kept it contained until time t1? Likewise, what physical law caused the matter to "explode" outward at t2? And, what is more, what caused the physical law?
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« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2011, 05:34:37 PM »

Care to respond to anything I have to say theo?
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« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2011, 04:41:58 PM »

I'm not sure how much of it is speculation and how much of it is scientific.  From what I understand, one of the ways that they proved this was how a black hole radiates positive particles and sucks negative particles, decreasing the size of the black hole until it runs out of energy.  This is after it has suck all things around it, that it starts to take from "nothing" these negative particles and separating it from the positive.

I read Hawking's original "popular" paper in Sci. Am. decades ago when it was first published, so let's see if I can explain this quickly. One of the quantum mechanical phenomena that you can't ordinarily see is that the vacuum spontaneously emits particle/antiparticle pairs which then immediately annihilate each other. You can't see this directly due to conservation of matter/energy but it has effects upon other processes.

When you are close to a black hole, however, it is possible for one member of the pair to fall into the event horizon while the other escapes. Since antiparticles can be treated as normal particles travelling backwards in time, the effect is essentially that a particle tunnels out of the BH and scatters off of normal space-time. The black hole, it turns out, acts like a black body at a tremendous temperature, and the smaller the hole, the faster it leaks. Pretty much any information about what's in the hole gets lost in the process since it is completely stochastic (it's dependent pretty much on the random fluctuations of the vacuum and not on the properties of the hole other than mass and charge). The time frame of this is very long considering the processes that create new black holes (because these are quite massive), but a really tiny hole simply explodes.

Nobody has ever seen this effect, and IIRC there is some dispute in the physics world about it. We "see" black holes now because of heating of inflowing material.
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« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2011, 12:27:33 AM »

I have to say that I fail to see the merits of all this wordplay. Since God exists, defining reality to exclude Him is obviously illegitimate.


If you think it's word play.. Try making a post with a reply without material-physicality, or information... Hardly illegitimate Wink I see a lot of people contradicting themselves while trying to argue against the articles position that deals with information theory.  

I will address some other peoples arguments here as well.

** Non-materialism is impossible. Nothing can not be a person, place, object, substance, entity or thing in literal context. When theists create such logical fallacies such as "non-materialism" it boggles the mind. So I can simply address the problem as follows:

I find those arguments interesting, but they would require creating a logical fallacy. It would be like trying to argue a negative existing entity that doesn't exist while trying to claim it does. This is in fact what many theists are currently attempting to do in order to circumvent the problem that such a conscious entity would be far more complex that the Universe itself. They start assigning attributes of non-existence as if defecting to the other side would win the debate, or if people like myself wouldn't notice.

I even got this argument:

Quote
   God is beyond the "sum of all things that exist."

basically he's trying to rationalize that his said GOD is made of nothing, and is thus simpler than the Universe :/ It's non-material, a-spatial, a-dimensional ect.. All attributes of nothing, or non-existence! Hence made of nothing, in a place of nowhere, has no dimensional value, no-capacity and yet magically exists without complexity as well. Of course he's going to argue that because otherwise his entire ideology self-collapses, even though it does anyways if you actually take the time to put it into context.

Also seen referenced here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcHp_LWGgGw&feature=related

He doesn't even know how to apply infinite regress. He sits there contradicting himself in his circular arguments. He goes right into assigning No-parts, no-composition, a-spatial ect. He then he sits there stating Dawkins logic is magically invalid or a fallacy .. This tells you how pleading for ignorance religion is. The reason why they argue for ignorance like this is because they really have nothing left to offer but to create logical fallacies and then phish for the ignorant to believe them in order to keep the GOD fantasy alive. :/ (this doesn't mean it's not ok to believe in such things, I am only addressing the logical fallacies).


So what many of you aren't getting from the posted article of mine is this:

Consciousness requires far more cause to support than unconsciousness.. No entity can create the very fundamental rules of existence because itself would be equally slave to require them in order to exist.. My article also shows why Omniscience is a logical fallacy.





 
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« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2011, 12:35:50 AM »

Quote
This statement betrays Hawking’s fundamental assumption about the universe, namely that it came from nothing

Nothing isn't nothing anymore in science.. and what you wrote is not what Hawking's is referring to. So I will gladly explain this here as well Smiley

A good quote from a fellow Newsviner Smiley Referenced about our existence and the Universe:
Quote
   If you find one, count me in. Some choose to belief in faith and the others choose to belief in science, fine as long as we don't go beyond "debate". After all, we don't know "jack @!$%#" for sure or unless someone can come up with absolute proof answer.

My Reply was:


We have, it's rooted in information theory and physics. However, the lack of the 100% answer is reference only to the gray areas of reality. Hence what lies between zero (ground state - lowest possible level without actually being literally zero), and the infinity. We already know you can't create Ground state, or even be conscious at Ground state. However, we do not know everything to which is above it.. And this is the crux to all arguments, anything above ground state is irrelevant to existence.

It's the application of infinite regress until we reach a point to where regression can go no further in order to solve the problem. It can only be solved by an impossible, or a point to which is impossible to regress any further.. So lets explore that here:

What we already know by fact and by example:

Spatial capacity to which is the capacity to exist, and have a place to exist in. This can not ever have zero literal capacity, exist as zero capacity, or exist in the form of a negative capacity. Hence, literal 0 dimensional objects, places, or things do not exist because they can not have the capacity to do so. And that is especially true for someone that would try and imply -1 dimensional capacity or something to be a-spatial..

And what is Spatial Capacity made of?

ENERGY! (Yep, that everyday stuff that even heats our homes). It's also why we know that spatial capacity is infinite.

And that also means no literal negative or zero energy can exist. This is also stated in the laws of Thermodynamics because literal zero temperature, or thermal property is impossible for this very same reason. This is from ground state to every day objects like the chair you sit in here on Planet Earth.. So we do know quite a bit, we just don't know the entire sum total there is to know between zero (ground state) and above. Chaotic systems are nearly impossible to predict, or fully understand at every level that might emerge.

So you can feel free to reference:

1) Scale:
http://primaxstudio.com/stuff/scale_of_universe/

2) You, me, and everything else on the orders of magnitude on the energy scale..as also demonstrated above under (scale):

http://talklikeaphysicist.com/2009/energy-scale-of-over-100-orders-of-magnitude/

Gravity is considered a negative energy (not literally, just opposite force in the opposite direction/attraction)This is also where expansion is considered positive energy. The total net energy is zero (not literal). This is where Zero point energy, as energy, is in a state of Equilibrium vs actually being nothing or literally zero. This is why we refer to zero-point energy or ground state. So at rest there is zero-point energy. This is where zero also = 1 or (0,1) in qbits

Zero point energy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy

Ground State:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_state

Vacuum Energy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_energy

Zero Energy Calculator:
http://www.curtismenning.com/ZeroEnergyCalc.htm

The Four stages of Matter:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88tK5c0wgH4
--
Quantum Electrodynamics:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8R4Tz_vKEE
--
Chaos Theory and Emerging order from the coupling of positive and negative feedback:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HVRniR3GrQ
--
Butterfly effect: Secret life of Chaos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6NnCOs20GQ

--

So yes, there are gaps in our "Knowledge" of the universe, but they are actually only Gray Area Gaps in terms of physics, complexity of chaotic systems, and how exactly to infinite detail did the Big Bang happen from Quantum fluctuations of energy.

This can best be understood by the following example:

We know we are human and what we are made of, and where we relatively reside. However, we do not infinitely know everything there is to know about ourselves, or our species.. In fact we know more about the Chicken than we do about ourselves on a scientific level. So are we human? Do we need to know the entire 100% of all the infinite information we could ever gain about ourselves to understand what we are? Do we need to know everything in order to make correct assumptions of what we are based on the available and already known knowledge of what we are?

Same principle applies to Earth.. We don't need to infinitely know everything about Earth to know it's a habitable planet in a solar system labeled "sol" to which resides in the Milky-way Galaxy amongst the billions of other Galaxies...And this is why the GOD of the Gaps argument is erroneous..

You can also note these references:

Our own Universe has been measured to be flat with less than a 2 percent margin of error.

http://wmap.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_age.html

For clarity, like a disc floating in space similar to our own Galaxy but at a much grander scale. Thus the net Energy = zero (no lower than ground state).

Some Good source videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqb1lSdqRZY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV33t8U6w28&feature=relmfu

Other resources:

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2848

http://icecube.wisc.edu/~halzen/notes/week1-3.pdf

http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/lectures/early_univ.html

http://casswww.ucsd.edu/public/tutorial/Cosmology.html

I hope I have helped provide some known answers to help the debate here Smiley Enjoy the information! Cheers! Smiley
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 12:48:11 AM by TheJackel » Logged
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« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2011, 01:07:58 AM »

Quote
Purpose requires a direction and direction requires a Director.

Incorrect.. Purpose is self-attainment, or self-attained from a chaotic system. No conscious director required. The purpose is to exist. Existence requires nothing other than the fact that nothing can not literally ever exist. What comes to complex from the lowest possible foundation of existence is irrelevant. Existence would exist with or without a GOD or a conscious product of it. The more complexity and power you try to imply as GOD, the more cause it will require to exist!. Complexity doesn't begin at the highest level, it begins at the lowest possible level!

Theists trying to argue GOD created the Universe is like trying to argue that 10 created 0(ground state),1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and itself so itself could exist. What theists don't realize is that it is the thing with the lowest possible level of power and complexity to which is the answer to where it all begins. The point where regression is literally impossible to regress any further without becoming literally nothing!.

But hey, if theists want to argue for a Nothing GOD, I can't help but accept their answer that their GOD is nothing. o.O If there GOD is that of logical fallacies it's plausibility is Zero in the literal context!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 01:10:37 AM by TheJackel » Logged
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« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2011, 01:25:26 AM »

Quote
The problem mentioned above is proven by the fact of our awareness. I am aware of my senses, but such a concept is contradictory if we are merely physical; how can the brain be aware of itself if it is purely physical?

You mean how can a brain know it exists if it's not nothing? Do you understand your argument? The reason why you think of your consciousness as non-material is because you can not sense, process, or know the entire process as it happens to which makes you a continuous emerging property. Hence, you don't know which neuron fired first.. Consciousness is best described in laymen terms: Energy processing energy, or information processing information. Computers are a very good primitive example of the basics of cognitive dynamics of energy. Scientists can even extract images for your brain, and display what you are thinking. (yes its very basic atm).. Mental processing is a material-physical process because nothing can not process anything, or exist to process anything.


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« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2011, 08:20:32 AM »

TTC, if you wanted to change your username, you could have asked the webmaster.
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« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2011, 01:22:07 PM »


If you think it's word play.. Try making a post with a reply without material-physicality, or information... Hardly illegitimate Wink I see a lot of people contradicting themselves while trying to argue against the articles position that deals with information theory.  
You have to clarify what you mean by not referencing material-physicality in order discuss anything. If you mean that because everything is material/physical, then we have to assume physicality in order discuss anything, you are stacking the deck in favor of your position by assuming your conclusion in your premise. This is not an argument, but an assertion accepted through blind faith on your part. If, on the other hand, you mean that it is necessary to reference physical reality, in order to address other topics, not because you are assuming your conclusion, but that is how we humans understand things, you are correct. Because the beginning of all knowledge comes from the senses, of course we speak of non-physical things in terms of physical things. Our direct experience is of the physical. Thus, in order to speak about any non-physical/spiritual reality we must speak by analogy. This does not exclude a non-physical reality, but demonstrates that all metaphysics (the study of being in its non-physical, ultimate causes) is analogical.

** Non-materialism is impossible. Nothing can not be a person, place, object, substance, entity or thing in literal context. When theists create such logical fallacies such as "non-materialism" it boggles the mind. So I can simply address the problem as follows:

I find those arguments interesting, but they would require creating a logical fallacy. It would be like trying to argue a negative existing entity that doesn't exist while trying to claim it does. This is in fact what many theists are currently attempting to do in order to circumvent the problem that such a conscious entity would be far more complex that the Universe itself. They start assigning attributes of non-existence as if defecting to the other side would win the debate, or if people like myself wouldn't notice.

I have to be honest with you. I am really having trouble following your argument. I am not ever sure what you mean. But I am gonna give it a shot anyway. I think you are saying that it's a fallacy to argue that God exists when he doesn't. Again, this isn't argument, because it assumes the conclusion in the premise. It's a blind faith assertion on your part.
Now, as for you argument that a designer of the universe must be complex, I think that you are absolutely wrong. First, I am going to say that you clearly stole this argument from Richard Dawkins, who btw, is a terrible philosopher. Most of the so called "arguments for atheism" that he provides are nothing more than sophomoric mumbo-jumbo. If you really want to defend atheism, you should study the classical atheists. Although their arguments all ultimately contain logical fallacies, they are at least deeper thinkers.
Now here is why Theist logically argue that the God must be simple.
1. Everything that begins to exist must have a sufficient cause for it's existence.
2. Right now there are many things causing me to exist (including the parts that make me up).
3. The chain of things causing me to exist is either infinite or finite.
4. If the chain is infinite, then there is no sufficient reason for the existence of the chain, as each being depends on another for existence, but then none actually has being. Therefore, nothing would exist. But clearly things exist.
5. Therefore the chain is finite and has a First Cause.
6. The First Cause is either composed of parts or is simple.
7. If the First Cause is composed of parts, then it depends on the composition of its parts for its existence.
8. But then this would mean that the First Cause is caused, which is a contradiction.
9. Therefore the First Cause must be simple.

I even got this argument:

Quote
   God is beyond the "sum of all things that exist."

basically he's trying to rationalize that his said GOD is made of nothing, and is thus simpler than the Universe :/ It's non-material, a-spatial, a-dimensional ect.. All attributes of nothing, or non-existence! Hence made of nothing, in a place of nowhere, has no dimensional value, no-capacity and yet magically exists without complexity as well. Of course he's going to argue that because otherwise his entire ideology self-collapses, even though it does anyways if you actually take the time to put it into context.
By arguing that God is beyond the sum of all existing things, is not to argue that there is no God, but to argue that God is superior to all finite changing being. Thus, His existence would not be like ours at all. At best, we can only analogically apply the same term "existence" to ourselves and to God. Another way to say this it to turn the phrase on its head and say that God is absolute existence, because he does not depend on another for his existence, nor on any parts to compose Him, and we who are composed and, thus, contingent, are really only a shadowy "sort-of/kind-of" existence. Either way, God is infinitely beyond us and our limited experience.

In your argument above you say that the theist is arguing that God is made of "nothing". That's correct, in so far, as we would say that God is not made/composed. I demonstrated above that God is not composed, because He is the First Cause. Therefore, he isn't made at all. He just is. Further, it's not that God is nothing in the sense of not existing. He is really no-thing. A thing is contingent. It is an object. But God, because he is infinitely beyond us, is not the object of anything. He is ultimate subject.

Again, all of your arguments assume the premise in the conclusion. You assume that composed-changing-material reality is all that there is, then conclude the same thing. This is not an argument. In fact, composed-changing-material things are so dependent on others for their existence, that they are less real and less existant than simple-stable-non-material, absolute being, i.e. God.


Also seen referenced here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcHp_LWGgGw&feature=related

He doesn't even know how to apply infinite regress. He sits there contradicting himself in his circular arguments. He goes right into assigning No-parts, no-composition, a-spatial ect. He then he sits there stating Dawkins logic is magically invalid or a fallacy .. This tells you how pleading for ignorance religion is. The reason why they argue for ignorance like this is because they really have nothing left to offer but to create logical fallacies and then phish for the ignorant to believe them in order to keep the GOD fantasy alive. :/ (this doesn't mean it's not ok to believe in such things, I am only addressing the logical fallacies).
Actually, the accusations that you are making against the youtube video are more applicable to yourself. You have not provide a single reasonable argument that refutes the existence of God, while we have provided many to the contrary. You cannot refute them or even engage the logic of the arguments. Instead you, you just state your position and claim that we theists are illogical. I challenge you to engage my argument for a First Cause and Divine Simplicity.
As for "infinite regress", many theistic philosophers will allow for the possibility of an infinite regress in time (though I disagree. In order for there to be an infinite regress in time, the infinite series of minutes leading up this minute now would end with this minute, but there is no end to an infinite series). However, the causal arguments for the existence of God do not rely on causality in time, or "horizontal causality". Rather, they reference the chain of causes and effects that is causing a particular being to exist in this moment, with no time on either side. This is called vertical causality, and in vertical causality, infinite regress is impossible, because it doesn't allow for the sufficient reason for the existence of anything.

So what many of you aren't getting from the posted article of mine is this:

Consciousness requires far more cause to support than unconsciousness.. No entity can create the very fundamental rules of existence because itself would be equally slave to require them in order to exist.. My article also shows why Omniscience is a logical fallacy.

God is the fundamental rule of existence. He did not create it. He is that. He is the absolute. All existence must be measured by Him. Therefore, there is no fallacy in omniscience or omnipotence.
Now my challenge for you. Will you address my real arguments, or only your sophomoric caricatures?
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« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2011, 02:00:47 PM »


If you think it's word play.. Try making a post with a reply without material-physicality, or information... Hardly illegitimate Wink I see a lot of people contradicting themselves while trying to argue against the articles position that deals with information theory.  
You have to clarify what you mean by not referencing material-physicality in order discuss anything. If you mean that because everything is material/physical, then we have to assume physicality in order discuss anything, you are stacking the deck in favor of your position by assuming your conclusion in your premise. This is not an argument, but an assertion accepted through blind faith on your part. If, on the other hand, you mean that it is necessary to reference physical reality, in order to address other topics, not because you are assuming your conclusion, but that is how we humans understand things, you are correct. Because the beginning of all knowledge comes from the senses, of course we speak of non-physical things in terms of physical things. Our direct experience is of the physical. Thus, in order to speak about any non-physical/spiritual reality we must speak by analogy. This does not exclude a non-physical reality, but demonstrates that all metaphysics (the study of being in its non-physical, ultimate causes) is analogical.

** Non-materialism is impossible. Nothing can not be a person, place, object, substance, entity or thing in literal context. When theists create such logical fallacies such as "non-materialism" it boggles the mind. So I can simply address the problem as follows:

I find those arguments interesting, but they would require creating a logical fallacy. It would be like trying to argue a negative existing entity that doesn't exist while trying to claim it does. This is in fact what many theists are currently attempting to do in order to circumvent the problem that such a conscious entity would be far more complex that the Universe itself. They start assigning attributes of non-existence as if defecting to the other side would win the debate, or if people like myself wouldn't notice.

I have to be honest with you. I am really having trouble following your argument. I am not ever sure what you mean. But I am gonna give it a shot anyway. I think you are saying that it's a fallacy to argue that God exists when he doesn't. Again, this isn't argument, because it assumes the conclusion in the premise. It's a blind faith assertion on your part.
Now, as for you argument that a designer of the universe must be complex, I think that you are absolutely wrong. First, I am going to say that you clearly stole this argument from Richard Dawkins, who btw, is a terrible philosopher. Most of the so called "arguments for atheism" that he provides are nothing more than sophomoric mumbo-jumbo. If you really want to defend atheism, you should study the classical atheists. Although their arguments all ultimately contain logical fallacies, they are at least deeper thinkers.
Now here is why Theist logically argue that the God must be simple.
1. Everything that begins to exist must have a sufficient cause for it's existence.
2. Right now there are many things causing me to exist (including the parts that make me up).
3. The chain of things causing me to exist is either infinite or finite.
4. If the chain is infinite, then there is no sufficient reason for the existence of the chain, as each being depends on another for existence, but then none actually has being. Therefore, nothing would exist. But clearly things exist.
5. Therefore the chain is finite and has a First Cause.
6. The First Cause is either composed of parts or is simple.
7. If the First Cause is composed of parts, then it depends on the composition of its parts for its existence.
8. But then this would mean that the First Cause is caused, which is a contradiction.
9. Therefore the First Cause must be simple.

I even got this argument:

Quote
   God is beyond the "sum of all things that exist."

basically he's trying to rationalize that his said GOD is made of nothing, and is thus simpler than the Universe :/ It's non-material, a-spatial, a-dimensional ect.. All attributes of nothing, or non-existence! Hence made of nothing, in a place of nowhere, has no dimensional value, no-capacity and yet magically exists without complexity as well. Of course he's going to argue that because otherwise his entire ideology self-collapses, even though it does anyways if you actually take the time to put it into context.
By arguing that God is beyond the sum of all existing things, is not to argue that there is no God, but to argue that God is superior to all finite changing being. Thus, His existence would not be like ours at all. At best, we can only analogically apply the same term "existence" to ourselves and to God. Another way to say this it to turn the phrase on its head and say that God is absolute existence, because he does not depend on another for his existence, nor on any parts to compose Him, and we who are composed and, thus, contingent, are really only a shadowy "sort-of/kind-of" existence. Either way, God is infinitely beyond us and our limited experience.

In your argument above you say that the theist is arguing that God is made of "nothing". That's correct, in so far, as we would say that God is not made/composed. I demonstrated above that God is not composed, because He is the First Cause. Therefore, he isn't made at all. He just is. Further, it's not that God is nothing in the sense of not existing. He is really no-thing. A thing is contingent. It is an object. But God, because he is infinitely beyond us, is not the object of anything. He is ultimate subject.

Again, all of your arguments assume the premise in the conclusion. You assume that composed-changing-material reality is all that there is, then conclude the same thing. This is not an argument. In fact, composed-changing-material things are so dependent on others for their existence, that they are less real and less existant than simple-stable-non-material, absolute being, i.e. God.


Also seen referenced here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcHp_LWGgGw&feature=related

He doesn't even know how to apply infinite regress. He sits there contradicting himself in his circular arguments. He goes right into assigning No-parts, no-composition, a-spatial ect. He then he sits there stating Dawkins logic is magically invalid or a fallacy .. This tells you how pleading for ignorance religion is. The reason why they argue for ignorance like this is because they really have nothing left to offer but to create logical fallacies and then phish for the ignorant to believe them in order to keep the GOD fantasy alive. :/ (this doesn't mean it's not ok to believe in such things, I am only addressing the logical fallacies).
Actually, the accusations that you are making against the youtube video are more applicable to yourself. You have not provide a single reasonable argument that refutes the existence of God, while we have provided many to the contrary. You cannot refute them or even engage the logic of the arguments. Instead you, you just state your position and claim that we theists are illogical. I challenge you to engage my argument for a First Cause and Divine Simplicity.
As for "infinite regress", many theistic philosophers will allow for the possibility of an infinite regress in time (though I disagree. In order for there to be an infinite regress in time, the infinite series of minutes leading up this minute now would end with this minute, but there is no end to an infinite series). However, the causal arguments for the existence of God do not rely on causality in time, or "horizontal causality". Rather, they reference the chain of causes and effects that is causing a particular being to exist in this moment, with no time on either side. This is called vertical causality, and in vertical causality, infinite regress is impossible, because it doesn't allow for the sufficient reason for the existence of anything.

So what many of you aren't getting from the posted article of mine is this:

Consciousness requires far more cause to support than unconsciousness.. No entity can create the very fundamental rules of existence because itself would be equally slave to require them in order to exist.. My article also shows why Omniscience is a logical fallacy.

God is the fundamental rule of existence. He did not create it. He is that. He is the absolute. All existence must be measured by Him. Therefore, there is no fallacy in omniscience or omnipotence.
Now my challenge for you. Will you address my real arguments, or only your sophomoric caricatures?

Btw, material-physicality is relative: angels and spirits are spiritual, immaterial and non-physical only in reference to what we call/experience as material/physical.  In comparison to God, they are all physical and material.
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« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2011, 02:04:07 PM »

Can angels step into our material world but only by God's command?
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« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2011, 02:12:38 PM »


If you think it's word play.. Try making a post with a reply without material-physicality, or information... Hardly illegitimate Wink I see a lot of people contradicting themselves while trying to argue against the articles position that deals with information theory.  
You have to clarify what you mean by not referencing material-physicality in order discuss anything. If you mean that because everything is material/physical, then we have to assume physicality in order discuss anything, you are stacking the deck in favor of your position by assuming your conclusion in your premise. This is not an argument, but an assertion accepted through blind faith on your part. If, on the other hand, you mean that it is necessary to reference physical reality, in order to address other topics, not because you are assuming your conclusion, but that is how we humans understand things, you are correct. Because the beginning of all knowledge comes from the senses, of course we speak of non-physical things in terms of physical things. Our direct experience is of the physical. Thus, in order to speak about any non-physical/spiritual reality we must speak by analogy. This does not exclude a non-physical reality, but demonstrates that all metaphysics (the study of being in its non-physical, ultimate causes) is analogical.

** Non-materialism is impossible. Nothing can not be a person, place, object, substance, entity or thing in literal context. When theists create such logical fallacies such as "non-materialism" it boggles the mind. So I can simply address the problem as follows:

I find those arguments interesting, but they would require creating a logical fallacy. It would be like trying to argue a negative existing entity that doesn't exist while trying to claim it does. This is in fact what many theists are currently attempting to do in order to circumvent the problem that such a conscious entity would be far more complex that the Universe itself. They start assigning attributes of non-existence as if defecting to the other side would win the debate, or if people like myself wouldn't notice.

I have to be honest with you. I am really having trouble following your argument. I am not ever sure what you mean. But I am gonna give it a shot anyway. I think you are saying that it's a fallacy to argue that God exists when he doesn't. Again, this isn't argument, because it assumes the conclusion in the premise. It's a blind faith assertion on your part.
Now, as for you argument that a designer of the universe must be complex, I think that you are absolutely wrong. First, I am going to say that you clearly stole this argument from Richard Dawkins, who btw, is a terrible philosopher. Most of the so called "arguments for atheism" that he provides are nothing more than sophomoric mumbo-jumbo. If you really want to defend atheism, you should study the classical atheists. Although their arguments all ultimately contain logical fallacies, they are at least deeper thinkers.
Now here is why Theist logically argue that the God must be simple.
1. Everything that begins to exist must have a sufficient cause for it's existence.
2. Right now there are many things causing me to exist (including the parts that make me up).
3. The chain of things causing me to exist is either infinite or finite.
4. If the chain is infinite, then there is no sufficient reason for the existence of the chain, as each being depends on another for existence, but then none actually has being. Therefore, nothing would exist. But clearly things exist.
5. Therefore the chain is finite and has a First Cause.
6. The First Cause is either composed of parts or is simple.
7. If the First Cause is composed of parts, then it depends on the composition of its parts for its existence.
8. But then this would mean that the First Cause is caused, which is a contradiction.
9. Therefore the First Cause must be simple.

I even got this argument:

Quote
   God is beyond the "sum of all things that exist."

basically he's trying to rationalize that his said GOD is made of nothing, and is thus simpler than the Universe :/ It's non-material, a-spatial, a-dimensional ect.. All attributes of nothing, or non-existence! Hence made of nothing, in a place of nowhere, has no dimensional value, no-capacity and yet magically exists without complexity as well. Of course he's going to argue that because otherwise his entire ideology self-collapses, even though it does anyways if you actually take the time to put it into context.
By arguing that God is beyond the sum of all existing things, is not to argue that there is no God, but to argue that God is superior to all finite changing being. Thus, His existence would not be like ours at all. At best, we can only analogically apply the same term "existence" to ourselves and to God. Another way to say this it to turn the phrase on its head and say that God is absolute existence, because he does not depend on another for his existence, nor on any parts to compose Him, and we who are composed and, thus, contingent, are really only a shadowy "sort-of/kind-of" existence. Either way, God is infinitely beyond us and our limited experience.

In your argument above you say that the theist is arguing that God is made of "nothing". That's correct, in so far, as we would say that God is not made/composed. I demonstrated above that God is not composed, because He is the First Cause. Therefore, he isn't made at all. He just is. Further, it's not that God is nothing in the sense of not existing. He is really no-thing. A thing is contingent. It is an object. But God, because he is infinitely beyond us, is not the object of anything. He is ultimate subject.

Again, all of your arguments assume the premise in the conclusion. You assume that composed-changing-material reality is all that there is, then conclude the same thing. This is not an argument. In fact, composed-changing-material things are so dependent on others for their existence, that they are less real and less existant than simple-stable-non-material, absolute being, i.e. God.


Also seen referenced here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcHp_LWGgGw&feature=related

He doesn't even know how to apply infinite regress. He sits there contradicting himself in his circular arguments. He goes right into assigning No-parts, no-composition, a-spatial ect. He then he sits there stating Dawkins logic is magically invalid or a fallacy .. This tells you how pleading for ignorance religion is. The reason why they argue for ignorance like this is because they really have nothing left to offer but to create logical fallacies and then phish for the ignorant to believe them in order to keep the GOD fantasy alive. :/ (this doesn't mean it's not ok to believe in such things, I am only addressing the logical fallacies).
Actually, the accusations that you are making against the youtube video are more applicable to yourself. You have not provide a single reasonable argument that refutes the existence of God, while we have provided many to the contrary. You cannot refute them or even engage the logic of the arguments. Instead you, you just state your position and claim that we theists are illogical. I challenge you to engage my argument for a First Cause and Divine Simplicity.
As for "infinite regress", many theistic philosophers will allow for the possibility of an infinite regress in time (though I disagree. In order for there to be an infinite regress in time, the infinite series of minutes leading up this minute now would end with this minute, but there is no end to an infinite series). However, the causal arguments for the existence of God do not rely on causality in time, or "horizontal causality". Rather, they reference the chain of causes and effects that is causing a particular being to exist in this moment, with no time on either side. This is called vertical causality, and in vertical causality, infinite regress is impossible, because it doesn't allow for the sufficient reason for the existence of anything.

So what many of you aren't getting from the posted article of mine is this:

Consciousness requires far more cause to support than unconsciousness.. No entity can create the very fundamental rules of existence because itself would be equally slave to require them in order to exist.. My article also shows why Omniscience is a logical fallacy.

God is the fundamental rule of existence. He did not create it. He is that. He is the absolute. All existence must be measured by Him. Therefore, there is no fallacy in omniscience or omnipotence.
Now my challenge for you. Will you address my real arguments, or only your sophomoric caricatures?

Btw, material-physicality is relative: angels and spirits are spiritual, immaterial and non-physical only in reference to what we call/experience as material/physical.  In comparison to God, they are all physical and material.
Well state Isa. That sounds familiar. But I can't remember from where. Anyway, that is quite an important point and thank you for sharing it.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 02:15:50 PM by Papist » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2011, 02:14:31 PM »

Can angels step into our material world but only by God's command?
That which is superior with our world, is not in competition with our world, because the superior transcends the inferior. Therefore, angels would have no problem manifesting themselves to material beings. That doesn't mean that they become material as we know material.
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You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
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« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2011, 02:17:33 PM »

So how does that fit into the angels appearing at Christ's tomb? Surely the women saw it as material?
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