3 Major Scientific Discoveries In The Past Century That Point To God

  
Via:  Nerm_L  •  2 weeks ago  •  337 comments

By:   Stephen C. Meyer (The Federalist)

3 Major Scientific Discoveries In The Past Century That Point To God
Three major discoveries during the last century contradict the forecasts of scientific atheists, pointing instead in a distinctly theistic direction.

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In the beginning ...

Three small words that are far more profound than their simplicity suggests.  And the meaning of these three small words is clear, concise, and unambiguous.  

The pot was made of clay.  And clay was made of weathered stone.  And the stone was made of star stuff.  We can understand the material beginning of the pot in exquisite detail.  But all of what we have learned studying the material beginning of the pot will tell us little if anything about the potter.  To learn something of the potter we must look beyond the tangible substance of the pot and consider the intangible aesthetic of the pot.  The mark of the potter may be impressed upon the substance of the pot but it is the complexity of form and workmanship that tells us of the potter. 

Defining beauty or meaning in material terms is impossible.  The substance of art does not define its beauty or meaning.  The artist has manipulated the substance to create beauty and meaning.  And we recognize that mark of creation in the intangible aesthetic of what has been created.  That aesthetic gives us an ethereal, intangible connection with its creator.

In the beginning was what?  The most basic of answers would be an amorphous blob of energy.   Substance without beauty or meaning.  

The beginning is creation of a universe of wondrous beauty, improbable complexity, intricate forms of substance, and profound questions whose answers and meaning cannot be found in understanding the material substance of the universe.  The elegant and exquisite aesthetic of the universe displays the mark of creation.  And that aesthetic gives us a deep, ethereal, and intangible connection with its creator.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



This week, traditional Jews and Christians celebrate special acts of God in human history. Yet, polling data now show that an increasing number of young people, including those from religious homes, doubt even the existence of God.

Moreover, polls probing such young "religiously unaffiliated agnostics and atheists" have found that science — or at least the claims of putative spokesmen for science — have played an outsized sole in cementing disaffection with religious belief. In one, more than two-thirds of self-described atheists, and one-third of agnostics, affirm "the findings of science make the existence of God less probable."

It's not hard to see how many people might have acquired this impression. Since 2006 popular "new atheist" writers — Richard Dawkins, Victor Stenger, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Stephen Hawking, Bill Nye, and Lawrence Krauss — have published a series of best-selling books arguing that science renders religious belief implausible. According to Dawkins and others, Darwinian evolution, in particular, establishes that "The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose … nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."

But does science actually support this strictly materialistic vision of reality? In fact, three major scientific discoveries during the last century contradict the expectations of scientific atheists (or materialists) and point instead in a distinctly theistic direction.

First, cosmologists have discovered that the physical universe likely had a beginning, contrary to the expectations of scientific materialists who had long portrayed the material universe as eternal and self-existent (and, therefore, in no need of an external creator).

The first evidence of a cosmic beginning came in the 1920s when astronomers discovered that light coming from distant galaxies was being stretched out or "red-shifted" as if the galaxies were moving away from us. Soon after, Belgian priest and physicist Georges Lemaitre and Caltech astronomer Edwin Hubble independently showed that galaxies farther away from Earth were receding faster than those close at hand. That suggested a spherical expansion of the universe (and space) like a balloon inflating from a singular explosive beginning — from a "big bang."

Lemaitre also showed that Einstein's equations describing gravity most naturally implied a dynamic, evolving universe, despite Einstein's initial attempt to gerrymander his own equations to depict the universe as eternally existing and static — i.e., neither contracting nor expanding. In 1931, Einstein visited Hubble at the Mt. Wilson observatory in California to view the red-shift evidence for himself. He later announced that denying the evidence of a beginning was "the greatest blunder" of his scientific career.

This evidence of a beginning, later reinforced by other developments in observational astronomy and theoretical physics, not only contradicted the expectations of scientific materialists, it confirmed those of traditional theists. As physicist and Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias observed, "The best data we have [concerning a beginning] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the first five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole."

Second, physicists have discovered that we live in a kind of "Goldilocks universe." Indeed, since the 1960s, physicists have determined that the fundamental physical laws and parameters of our universe have been finely tuned, against all odds, to make our universe capable of hosting life. Even slight alterations in the values of many independent factors — such as the strength of gravitational and electromagnetic attraction, the masses of elementary particles, and the initial arrangement of matter and energy in the universe — would have rendered life impossible.

Not surprisingly many physicists have concluded that this improbable fine-tuning for life points to a cosmic "fine-tuner." As former Cambridge astrophysicist, Sir Fred Hoyle argued: "A common-sense interpretation of the data suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics" to make life possible.

To avoid this conclusion, some physicists have postulated a vast number of other universes. This "multiverse" idea portrays our universe as the outcome of a grand lottery in which some universe-generating mechanism spits out billions and billions of universes — so many that our universe with its improbable combination of life-conducive factors would eventually have to arise.

Yet, advocates of the multiverse overlook an obvious problem. All such proposals — whether based on "inflationary cosmology" or "string theory" — postulate universe generating mechanisms that themselves require prior unexplained fine-tuning — thus, taking us back to where we started and the need for an ultimate fine-tuner.

Finally, discoveries in molecular biology have revealed the presence of digital code at the foundation of life, suggesting the work of a master programmer. After James Watson and Francis Crick elucidated the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953, Crick developed his famed "sequence hypothesis." In it, Crick proposed that the chemical constituents in DNA function like letters in a written language or digital symbols in a computer code.

Functioning computer code depends upon a precise sequence of zeros and ones. Similarly, the DNA molecule's ability to direct the assembly of crucial protein molecules in cells depends upon specific arrangements of chemical constituents called "bases" along the spine of its double helix structure. Thus, even Richard Dawkins has acknowledged, "the machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like." Or as Bill Gates explains, "DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we've ever created."

No theory of undirected chemical evolution has explained the origin of the information in DNA (or RNA) needed to build the first living cell from simpler non-living chemicals. Instead, our uniform and repeated experience — the basis of all scientific reasoning — shows that systems possessing functional or digital information invariably arise from intelligent causes.

We know from experience that software comes from programmers. We know generally that information — whether inscribed in hieroglyphics, written in a book, or encoded in radio signals — always arises from an intelligent source.

So the discovery of information — and a complex information transmission and processing system — in every living cell, provides strong grounds for inferring that intelligence played a role in life's origin. As information theorist Henry Quastler observed, "information habitually arises from conscious activity."

Historian of science Fredrick Burnham notes: "the idea that God created the universe [is] a more respectable hypothesis today than at any time in the last 100 years." In my book "Return of the God Hypothesis," I concur, and argue that recent scientific discoveries about biological and cosmological origins have decidedly theistic implications, suggesting that popular scientific reports of the death of God may have been — to adapt Mark Twain's famous quip — greatly exaggerated.


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Nerm_L
Junior Principal
1  seeder  Nerm_L    2 weeks ago

Good Friday marks an ending.  A life extinguished and removed from us.  A connection broken.

Easter Sunday celebrates a beginning.  He is risen.  We are no longer separated by an ending.  We are connected once again.  

In the beginning ...

What wondrous things await us?

 
 
 
MAGA
Senior Guide
1.1  MAGA  replied to  Nerm_L @1    2 weeks ago

Great article!  Thanks for finding it and seeding it here.  Happy Easter! 

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Junior Silent
2  SteevieGee    2 weeks ago

If there is an omnipresent all powerful god and he want's me to believe in him he knows what to do.  Meanwhile, I'll just keep on living my best.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3  Gordy327    2 weeks ago
First, cosmologists have discovered that the physical universe likely had a beginning, contrary to the expectations of scientific materialists who had long portrayed the material universe as eternal and self-existent (and, therefore, in no need of an external creator).

This is a flawed argument, amounting to a variation of an infinite regress fallacy. The "beginning" of the physical universe is widely regarded as the Big Bang, for which there is empirical evidence. It does not imply or demonstrate the presence or intervention of a creator of any kind. Invoking a creator is just an assumption applied, but lacking any real evidence or proof.

Second, physicists have discovered that we live in a kind of "Goldilocks universe." Indeed, since the 1960s, physicists have determined that the fundamental physical laws and parameters of our universe have been finely tuned, against all odds, to make our universe capable of hosting life.

A variation of the argument from design fallacy. It's basically saying that since the universe is the way it is (allowing life to exist), it must have been due to god. That is another flawed premise and assumption. The laws of physics are the same throughout the universe. While we understand them, it's just conjecture as to what differences might have occurred had the laws been different. A thought experiment maybe. But evidence for a god, certainly not.

Sir Fred Hoyle argued:

That should raise a big red flag right there. Sir Hoyle is well known proponent of Intelligent Design, for which there is no evidence to support either. His "arguments" against the Big Bang Theory amounted to little more than a scientifically sounding "nu-uh." He never offered anything to contradict the BB Theory and still refused to accept it despite the empirical evidence gathered to support it.

Finally, discoveries in molecular biology have revealed the presence of digital code at the foundation of life, suggesting the work of a master programmer.

Just another Argument from Design fallacy. The only code (not digital) for life is RNA and DNA. That falls along the lines of abiogenesis and evolution. Saying there's a "master programmer" is just another assumption based on ignorance. It all amount to nothing more than "things are like this because God." Surely anyone can see how flawed a premise like that is? 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
3.1  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @3    2 weeks ago

You're abusing the word "fallacy." That is, unless you can prove them false, they aren't necessarily fallacy simply because you don't agree with them. 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
3.1.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1    6 days ago
You're abusing the word "fallacy."  That is, unless you can prove them false, they aren't necessarily fallacy simply because you don't agree with them.

You are mistaking "fallacy" for "false".

Fallacy = a failure in reasoning which renders an argument invalid.

List of fallacies

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1    6 days ago

Do you understand what a fallacy is?

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
3.1.3  Ozzwald  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1.2    6 days ago

Do you understand what a fallacy is?

Yeah, he's gone.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
3.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Gordy327 @3    one week ago
It's basically saying that since the universe is the way it is (allowing life to exist), it must have been due to god.

“If you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!"

- Douglas Adams

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
4  Hal A. Lujah    2 weeks ago

Who made god?  

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1  Gordy327  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4    2 weeks ago
Who made god?  

Indeed. If one is going to argue that God made everything, then it's only logical to take it a step further and ask who made god. This becomes an infinite regress fallacy.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4    2 weeks ago
Who made god?  

Who or what made existence?  If there wasn't existence before the Big Bang then the material universe was made from nonexistence or nothing.  Even atheists are required to believe in infinite and eternal existence that wasn't made.

If the material universe was made from nonexistence or nothing then god could have been made from nonexistence or nothing in a similar manner.  If the Big Bang made the material universe from an unknown existence then phenomena of a similar type could have made god from an unknown existence.  If god was made, there isn't anything that precludes god being made before the material universe was made.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.1  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2    2 weeks ago
 If there wasn't existence before the Big Bang then the material universe was made from nonexistence or nothing. 

We don't know what was before the Big Bang. That is the honest answer to such a question. Invoking god as the answer is just a baseless assumption and intellectually lazy.

Even atheists are required to believe in infinite and eternal existence that wasn't made.

Says who? Don't presume to dictate to atheists what they should or should not believe.

If the material universe was made from nonexistence or nothing then god could have been made from nonexistence or nothing in a similar manner.

Then who/what made god? Infinite regress.

If the Big Bang made the material universe from an unknown existence then phenomena of a similar type could have made god from an unknown existence.  If god was made, there isn't anything that precludes god being made before the material universe was made.

See previous statement! Regardless, there is no evidence to suggest god (as typically defined) actually made anything or that there even is a god to begin with. It's just a God of the Gaps fallacy. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.2  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @4.2.1    2 weeks ago
Says who? Don't presume to dictate to atheists what they should or should not believe.

If the material universe emerged into existence from nonexistence or nothing then god need not exist.  And if god need not exist then god need not have been made.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
4.2.3  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2    2 weeks ago

The question of what came first is a question so irrelevant that it doesn’t need an answer.  The assumption that there was a sentient creator is only meaningful if that creator is a thing that can be interacted with.  It can’t, no matter how hard anyone tries to convince you that it can.  Faith is just a belief in something that has zero evidence of its truth.  Religion is the immoral exploitation of such.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.4  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.2    2 weeks ago
If the material universe emerged into existence from nonexistence or nothing then god need not exist. 

Another possibility is the universe has always existed.

And if god need not exist then god need not have been made.

Which makes god irrelevant.

 
 
 
MAGA
Senior Guide
4.2.5  MAGA  replied to  Gordy327 @4.2.1    2 weeks ago
Says who? Don't presume to dictate to atheists what they should or should not believe.

No, that’s what many atheists and so called pro science consensus geeks try to do to the rest of us.  Without success.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.6  Gordy327  replied to  MAGA @4.2.5    2 weeks ago
No, that’s what many atheists and so called pro science consensus geeks try to do to the rest of us.  

Such paranoid nonsense. I highly doubt anyone actually cares about your beliefs that much.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.7  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  MAGA @4.2.5    2 weeks ago
No, that’s what many atheists and so called pro science consensus geeks try to do to the rest of us.  Without success.  

That's not actually what happens.  Atheists and 'pro-science consensus geeks' (as you call them) dismiss other beliefs without regard for the merits of those other beliefs.

Dismissing other beliefs, out of hand, can only be justified by the hubris of those who are dismissive.  A dismissive attitude stifles other beliefs as much as does imposing beliefs on others.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.8  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2    2 weeks ago
Who or what made existence? 

Thing is, we have evidence that existence is real.   So we can all objectively conclude that existence IS.   We also can conclude that existence is eternal since something cannot come from absolute nothing.   Existence has always been.

So, logically, existence itself is a great candidate as the first cause.   Further, the substance of existence (energy or whatever it might be), is evidenced to emerge into forms.   We see forms emerging all the time.   The formation of a star, for example, is a wonderful example of a form emerging from the substance of existence, undergoing change and eventually breaking down (dying) so that its substance can be repurposed.

The notion that our universe is simply an emergent property of existence makes logical sense.   There are no logical flaws in that hypothesis.    The God hypothesis, in contrast, is replete with logical flaws.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.9  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.8    2 weeks ago
Thing is, we have evidence that existence is real.

Do we?  We know that existence is associated with substance.  What do we know of existence in the absence of substance?  The available evidence is suggestive that existence is an emergent property of substance.

If substance is an emergent property of existence then emergent properties other than substance are probable.  If substance is the only emergent property of existence then we again are confronted with an infinite regress and the logic becomes meaningless. 

The probability of emergent properties of existence other than substance is suggestive that God would be an emergent property of existence and that God would exist in a form that is not associated with substance.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.10  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.7    2 weeks ago
Atheists and 'pro-science consensus geeks' (as you call them) dismiss other beliefs without regard for the merits of those other beliefs.

Because they rely on evidence and proof. Not mere empty claims or because "someone says so." 

Dismissing other beliefs, out of hand, can only be justified by the hubris of those who are dismissive.  A dismissive attitude stifles other beliefs as much as does imposing beliefs on others.  

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."  ― Christopher Hitchens

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.11  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.9    2 weeks ago
Do we? 

Yes, Nerm, we have evidence that existence is real.

What do we know of existence in the absence of substance?  

What, you mean the existence of nothing?   That is a logical contradiction.   Nothing = ¬Existence

The available evidence is suggestive that existence is an emergent property of substance.

What is that supposed to mean?    Existence emerging from substance makes no sense since substance must first exist.   Existence is the prerequisite (first) attribute of everything.

If substance is an emergent property of existence then emergent properties other than substance are probable.  If substance is the only emergent property of existence then we again are confronted with an infinite regress and the logic becomes meaningless. 

You are polluting my carefully chosen language.   I used the word 'substance' to refer to the unknown nature of quintessential existence.    The substance IS existence, not an emergent property.   I used the term 'form' when writing of that which emerges from existence.   It is as if you are purposely trying to obfuscate this discussion.   Your question is on your distortion of what I described.   It makes no sense and I am not going to try to answer it.

The probability of emergent properties of existence other than substance is suggestive that God would be an emergent property of existence and that God would exist in a form that is not associated with substance.

Again, substance (as I used that carefully chosen word) is NOT an emergent property of existence.    Read what I wrote again.   I am not going to engage when you shift the meanings of words.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.2.12  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.8    2 weeks ago
We also can conclude that existence is eternal since something cannot come from absolute nothing.   Existence has always been.

Conclude this from what? How do you propose to prove something cannot come from absolutely nothing? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.13  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.12    2 weeks ago
Conclude this from what? How do you propose to prove something cannot come from absolutely nothing?

By definition!    

Nothing = the absence of existence = ¬existence = literally nothing whatsoever

Existence cannot emerge from nothing because, by definition, there is literally nothing from which to emerge.

1 cannot come from 0.   If you think something can emerge from nothing then you have snuck in some kind of substance in your definition for 'nothing'.   Remove any trace of substance and what you have left is the abstract notion of nothing.


Also, I am curious as to what it means to you for something (existence) to emerge from nothing.   How does it make any sense to you?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.2.14  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.13    2 weeks ago

Still playing by the rules of this universe? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.15  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.14    2 weeks ago

Your vague non-answer tells me that you do not want to deal with my answer / question.   

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.2.16  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.15    one week ago
Your vague non-answer tells me that you do not want to deal with my answer / question.

I pretty much answer it down below. I will admit a mistake on my part. I let myself get trapped by your wording. Specifically:

We also can conclude that existence is eternal since something cannot come from absolute nothing.

It's usually put in terms of something coming from nothing but this isn't correct when describing what God did in creating. It says He spoke and it was. It doesn't say He created something from nothing. Hence, my comment about playing with the rules of this universe. By the rules of this universe we can't get something from nothing. 

And as I say down below, don't ask me how that works. I'm not God. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.2.17  Tessylo  replied to  Gordy327 @4.2.1    one week ago
"Invoking god as the answer is just a baseless assumption and intellectually lazy."
Indeed.  The answer 'because god' is meaningless

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.18  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4.2.3    one week ago
The question of what came first is a question so irrelevant that it doesn’t need an answer.  The assumption that there was a sentient creator is only meaningful if that creator is a thing that can be interacted with.  It can’t, no matter how hard anyone tries to convince you that it can.  Faith is just a belief in something that has zero evidence of its truth.  Religion is the immoral exploitation of such.

You asked the question.  There seems to be some surprise there was an answer to that question in @4.2.  So, now you declare the question you asked has become irrelevant.

The question of what came first is the fundamental basis for science to observe and explain causal relationships.  Declaring that questions of what came first are irrelevant invalidates science.

Faith also involves picking and choosing evidence and answers to support beliefs while dismissing other beliefs.  

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.19  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @4.2.4    one week ago
Another possibility is the universe has always existed.

Then the universe would not have an age.  If the universe has always existed then the physics of cosmology is invalid.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.20  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.16    one week ago
It's usually put in terms of something coming from nothing but this isn't correct when describing what God did in creating. It says He spoke and it was. It doesn't say He created something from nothing. Hence, my comment about playing with the rules of this universe. By the rules of this universe we can't get something from nothing. 

You posited two classes of existence:  that of God and that of everything else.  I was asking how this second class of existence came forth.   Did is come from nothingness or was it repurposed class one existence?   Clearly I am suggesting that there is but one class of existence:  existence is singular.

And as I say down below, don't ask me how that works. I'm not God. 

Drakk, when you posit a notion it is coming from you, not God.   I am asking you to explain your own posit.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.21  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.16    one week ago
It's usually put in terms of something coming from nothing but this isn't correct when describing what God did in creating. It says He spoke and it was. It doesn't say He created something from nothing. Hence, my comment about playing with the rules of this universe. By the rules of this universe we can't get something from nothing. 

The assertion also conveniently ignores that my statement was "If there wasn't existence before the Big Bang then the material universe was made from nonexistence or nothing."

Is existence a property of substance or is substance a property of existence.  My coffee on my desk did not exist before I made it.  I manipulated the substance of the universe to transform nonexistence into existence.   My coffee did not exist before I made it; I brought my coffee into existence from nonexistence. 

But that's not the same as making coffee from nothing.  That's because I am trapped in a four dimensional universe made of substance.  And I can only describe existence in terms of those four dimensions applied to substance.  Even my subjective experience demonstrates that nonexistence is just as much part of reality as is existence. 

Even within the subjective constraints of a four dimensional reality I demonstrate that existence is not eternal by drinking my coffee.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.22  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.11    one week ago
What, you mean the existence of nothing?   That is a logical contradiction.   Nothing = ¬Existence

You are assuming nonexistence is equivalent to nothing.  

What is that supposed to mean?    Existence emerging from substance makes no sense since substance must first exist.   Existence is the prerequisite (first) attribute of everything.

But that is how existence works within the constraints of our four dimensional reality.  Whatever I make brings what is made from nonexistence.  Within our four dimensional reality creation transforms nonexistence into existence as a property of what has been created.

The coffee on my desk did not exist before I made it.  And the existence of my coffee is not eternal; the coffee no longer exists as I drink it.  My coffee's existence depends upon its presence in reality.

You are polluting my carefully chosen language.   I used the word 'substance' to refer to the unknown nature of quintessential existence.    The substance IS existence, not an emergent property.   I used the term 'form' when writing of that which emerges from existence.   It is as if you are purposely trying to obfuscate this discussion.   Your question is on your distortion of what I described.   It makes no sense and I am not going to try to answer it.

How is that different than my explanation that the substance of a pot tells us little about the potter?  The potter shapes substance into a different form.  We can know all we can know about the substance of the pot but that knowledge provides little if any information about the potter.  The aesthetic of the form of the pot provides the evidence of the potter.  

The form and the aesthetic of the form did not exist before it was created.  The form may be made of some substance that existed but the form and the aesthetic of the form is not defined by that substance or the prior existence of that substance.  The whole of the form is greater than the sum of its substance because the form possesses intangible as well as tangible qualities.

Again, substance (as I used that carefully chosen word) is NOT an emergent property of existence.    Read what I wrote again.   I am not going to engage when you shift the meanings of words.

That only plays word games to ignore the context of my statements and change the meaning of my context.  I suggest you read what I wrote again and attempt to address what I wrote instead of trying to change the meaning of what I wrote.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
4.2.23  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.18    one week ago

You asked the question.  There seems to be some surprise there was an answer to that question in @4.2.  So, now you declare the question you asked has become irrelevant.

Are you suggesting that you know the answer to be anything other than “man”?  Maybe you are just reinforcing the notion that wrong answers are still answers.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.24  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4.2.23    one week ago
Are you suggesting that you know the answer to be anything other than “man”?  Maybe you are just reinforcing the notion that wrong answers are still answers.

The question concerns God, not man.  Your question was 'who made God?'. 

Are you attempting to claim man is God?

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
4.2.25  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.24    one week ago

One could substitute anything that is known to not exist, shows no sign of existing, or is intentionally fictional for the word “God” in the question, and the question would have the same validity and the same general answer.  Claiming that God created God just puts the attempted explanation into an infinite loop of nonsense.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.26  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.22    one week ago
You are assuming nonexistence is equivalent to nothing.  

Yes!   The absence of existence is nothing.

And I am not assuming anything.   I am describing a concept.   The concept I am describing is nothingness — complete absence of everything.

But that is how existence works within the constraints of our four dimensional reality.  Whatever I make brings what is made from nonexistence.  Within our four dimensional reality creation transforms nonexistence into existence as a property of what has been created.

No, whatever you make is repurposing substance that already is in existence.   

The coffee on my desk did not exist before I made it.  And the existence of my coffee is not eternal; the coffee no longer exists as I drink it.  My coffee's existence depends upon its presence in reality.

The coffee on your desk did not exist in the form you label 'coffee on my desk' until you repurposed other substances to make this form.   You did not poof your coffee into existence from nothing;  you transformed what already existed.   

The potter shapes substance into a different form. 

Correct.   Transform, not create from nothing.

That only plays word games to ignore the context of my statements and change the meaning of my context.  I suggest you read what I wrote again and attempt to address what I wrote instead of trying to change the meaning of what I wrote.

It is not a word game to hold to the meaning of the words I used in my original comment.   There is no way to communicate if one carefully chooses words and ensures the usage is clear only to have an interlocutor come in and violate the established semantics.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.2.27  Drakkonis  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.21    one week ago
But that's not the same as making coffee from nothing.  That's because I am trapped in a four dimensional universe made of substance.  And I can only describe existence in terms of those four dimensions applied to substance.  Even my subjective experience demonstrates that nonexistence is just as much part of reality as is existence. 

 Even so, your analogy works if we keep in mind it's an analogy and not an equivalency. As you point out, we're constrained by our circumstances but that doesn't invalidate your point. Although we don't literally create the raw material from which houses are created it is clear that houses cannot exist unless we make them come into being. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.2.28  Drakkonis  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4.2.25    one week ago
One could substitute anything that is known to not exist, shows no sign of existing, or is intentionally fictional for the word “God” in the question, and the question would have the same validity and the same general answer.

Not really. You couldn't substitute God with the Easter Bunny for instance, since the attributes attributed to the Bunny doesn't account for anything except hidden treats. It would not be a logical substitution. There is a concept called plausibility that prevents just anything being God. If one wants to explore what God would necessarily be then He would necessarily have certain attributes. Things that must be true about Him or else He wouldn't be God. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.29  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.26    one week ago
Yes!   The absence of existence is nothing.
And I am not assuming anything.   I am describing a concept.   The concept I am describing is nothingness — complete absence of everything.

Only within the context of your truth of faith.  The opposite of nothing is something.  And the opposite of existence is nonexistence.  

You are assuming that there must always be something.  You are assuming that what we can observe is a something in different configurations of form.  You are assuming that nothing cannot be a state of existence; without evidence, I might add.  

The coffee on your desk did not exist in the form you label 'coffee on my desk' until you repurposed other substances to make this form.   You did not poof your coffee into existence from nothing;  you transformed what already existed. 

It was not coffee before I made it.  The substances that were repurposed were different and not a substitute for coffee.  Coffee may be a form derived from other substance but that unique form is associated with a unique existence.  

Correct.   Transform, not create from nothing.

The transformation brings the something into existence from nonexistence.  I didn't make the coffee from nothing.  But the coffee did not exist before I made it.

It is not a word game to hold to the meaning of the words I used in my original comment.   There is no way to communicate if one carefully chooses words and ensures the usage is clear only to have an interlocutor come in and violate the established semantics.

You are attempting to change the context of the discussion by altering the meaning of that context.  I have already presented an argument that refutes your assertions.  Will you address that refutation or move onto another tangent to change the contextual meaning of that refutation?

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
PhD Guide
4.2.30  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2    one week ago
Who or what made existence?  If there wasn't existence before the Big Bang then the material universe was made from nonexistence or nothing.

While science has shown that our universe had a beginning, it does not rule out something always existing. The religious claim their God always existed, thus they are claiming an intricate being of infinite power apparently with feelings and emotions not unlike humans, always existed.

We now know that there is something called dark matter or dark energy and apparently there is a lot more of it than there is of regular matter that exists in our universe. Perhaps the big bang was just a pinhole in that dark matter where dark energy was focused and burst forth in what scientists call the big bang creating all the matter in our universe, a kind of matter bubble among a sea of dark matter. This is as plausible, if not more so since we can actually detect the existence of dark matter, as any always existing God fantasy, especially one that resembles humans so much (male, gets angered, has regret, etc.).

If the Big Bang made the material universe from an unknown existence then phenomena of a similar type could have made god from an unknown existence.

True, but then he/she/it wouldn't be the God described in the bible or most other mythos. It would be some galactic super being extraterrestrial that was itself created by something like my theory of always existing dark matter.

If god was made, there isn't anything that precludes god being made before the material universe was made.

If God was "made" then he would by definition have a creator. If he burst into being like our universe did then he's not so different than ourselves, just a far more powerful version of life that came into existence.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.31  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.2.30    one week ago
While science has shown that our universe had a beginning, it does not rule out something always existing. The religious claim their God always existed, thus they are claiming an intricate being of infinite power apparently with feelings and emotions not unlike humans, always existed.

And that claim of always existing requires infinite and eternal time.  So, there's still a catch.

God being timeless may be subtly distinct from God being eternal but that distinction requires us to consider that the given attributes may have been influenced by our subjective reality constrained by four dimensions.  IMO that's a conflict between what we know, what we don't know, and possibly what we cannot know.

True, but then he/she/it wouldn't be the God described in the bible or most other mythos. It would be some galactic super being extraterrestrial that was itself created by something like my theory of always existing dark matter.

But which description of first cause is correct?  Genesis 1 provides a different description of first cause than does John 1.  John 1 tells us "In the beginning was The Word".  That suggests The Word made god God; meaning that God was made and was not always God (always being another catch).  John 1 tells us that The Word was first cause and God was a result of first cause.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.2.32  Drakkonis  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.2.30    one week ago
We now know that there is something called dark matter or dark energy and apparently there is a lot more of it than there is of regular matter that exists in our universe.

Actually we don't know. It is a hypothesis put forward to explain why galaxies behave the way they do. We have yet to detect dark matter or energy except possibly inference. However, this is not enough to know dark matter exists. For instance, I read an article that claims dark matter is only half the value of what we thought it was due to new findings. Eliminating half the dark matter is a rather substantial number. It is possible that future findings concerning other discovered phenomena may reduce this number further, possibly to the point dark matter is not necessary to explain the universe. At this point, we just don't know. 

To be clear, I have no objection to dark matter as an explanation. I merely point out that we don't have actual direct evidence of dark matter at this time and that there exists the potential of some future, directly detectable explanation that could eliminate the need for it. After all, if the referenced study is correct, we've already eliminated half of it. 

If God was "made" then he would by definition have a creator. If he burst into being like our universe did then he's not so different than ourselves, just a far more powerful version of life that came into existence.

I agree, which is why I would reject such as God. A being trying to qualify for the job of God (capital G) wouldn't be dependent on something having to create Him. Wouldn't the thing that created god actually be the real God?  

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.2.33  Drakkonis  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.31    one week ago
But which description of first cause is correct?  Genesis 1 provides a different description of first cause than does John 1.  John 1 tells us "In the beginning was The Word".  That suggests The Word made god God; meaning that God was made and was not always God (always being another catch).  John 1 tells us that The Word was first cause and God was a result of first cause.

Actually, that isn't correct. It simply says the Word was there at the beginning of creation, not that the Word was created at that time. The complete verses go like this:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

The beginning being talked about was our universe. The verses actually state the opposite of what you are suggesting and John's intent was to impart that Jesus, who is the Word being talked about, already existed before anything was made. The point he was making was the eternal nature of the Word, and therefore, the eternal nature of Jesus as the Word. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.34  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.29    one week ago
You are assuming that there must always be something.  

What is there to assume?   Existence is proven.   Reality is of existence and not of non-existence.   Nothingness is simply a concept and it is not the state of reality.   So, yeah, I assume that reality exists and that existence is eternal.   Not much of an assumption.

You are assuming that what we can observe is a something in different configurations of form. 

As opposed to?

You are assuming that nothing cannot be a state of existence; without evidence, I might add.

What does that mean:  " Nothing cannot be a state of existence"?   

It was not coffee before I made it.  The substances that were repurposed were different and not a substitute for coffee.  Coffee may be a form derived from other substance but that unique form is associated with a unique existence.  

Correct, it was not coffee before you made it.   Did you not get that from what I wrote?   Once assembled, the ingredients became part of a unique form:  your coffee.   Again, what did you think I just described?

The transformation brings the something into existence from nonexistence.  I didn't make the coffee from nothing.  But the coffee did not exist before I made it.

Correct.   Like before you were born you did not exist.   Again, what do you think I am describing?    Did I confuse you by noting that your coffee repurposed that which already exists?   Just like the cells in your embryonic form were repurposed.   

You are attempting to change the context of the discussion by altering the meaning of that context.  I have already presented an argument that refutes your assertions.  Will you address that refutation or move onto another tangent to change the contextual meaning of that refutation?

Oh bullshit Nerm.   I am simply spending my time trying to help you understand my point.   

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.35  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.33    one week ago
The beginning being talked about was our universe. The verses actually state the opposite of what you are suggesting and John's intent was to impart that Jesus, who is the Word being talked about, already existed before anything was made. The point he was making was the eternal nature of the Word, and therefore, the eternal nature of Jesus as the Word. 

That interpretation is what I heard as a child.  Even as a child I recognized the circular logic of claiming The Word was the Messiah.  What was the point of birth, death, and resurrection?  Wouldn't that interpretation suggest that Jesus was his own father?  Interpreting The Word as the Messiah would make the life of Jesus just dinner and a show for God.

The Word could be interpreted as the Messianic Prophecy which would be more logical.  But that would also be unsatisfying in its narrow scope; suggesting that Jesus was the sole reason for creation.  And that interpretation would suggest that the Messianic Prophecy has not yet been fulfilled since we are still here and this reality definitely ain't heaven.

A more acceptable interpretation (for me, at least) would be that The Word is the law; natural law and moral law.  Jesus, himself, said that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law.  Jesus was born, lived, and died in accordance with natural and moral law.  Resurrection fulfilled the law.

IMO, physics represents a portion of The Word.  The Word is why there are causal relationships.  The Word is why there are moral consequences.  The Word is why we reside in a Goldilocks universe.

From my point of view, the Goldilocks universe is the evidence of God.  The demand for God to show himself would require God to violate the law of The Word.  And violating the natural and moral laws of The Word would be the end of the universe.  The doubters would likely remain unconvinced by their own destruction.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.36  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.34    one week ago
As opposed to?

You are assuming that nothing cannot be a state of existence; without evidence, I might add.

What does that mean:  " Nothing cannot be a state of existence"?   

Are the fundamental forces of gravity, magnetism, the weak force, and the strong force made of matter or energy?  Are these fundamental forces tangible things?  Are the fundamental forces substance?

What about spooky attraction at a distance?

Magnetism, particularly electromagnetism, can be switched on and switched off.  Does electromagnetism continue to exist when it is switched off?  

These forces are in a state of existence comprised of what?  Can the form of these forces be altered and manipulated into some other form?

It seems that the description of existence you provided may be incomplete.

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
4.2.37  MrFrost  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.2    one week ago
If the material universe emerged into existence from nonexistence or nothing then god need not exist. 

One possibility is that the Universe has always existed and that it expands, then contracts, then expands....etc..  All based on gravity, which doesn't need god to exist. 

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
4.2.38  evilgenius  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.36    one week ago
Are the fundamental forces of gravity, magnetism...  fundamental forces tangible things? 

Yes, mathematically they are tangible measurable things. 

What about spooky attraction at a distance?

What about it? Because we don't yet know what form the cat in the box takes doesn't mean we just give up and call it God's Will. We still open the box, observe, analyze and formulate.

Magnetism, particularly electromagnetism, can be switched on and switched off.  Does electromagnetism continue to exist when it is switched off?  

The energy to produce it still exists. The electromagnetic wave itself dissipates into random energy (entropy). Newton's Law says we can neither create nor destroy energy only change it's form.

These forces are in a state of existence comprised of what?

This is the realm of quantum physics.

7) Quantum physics is not magic . ... As strange as quantum physics is– and don’t get me wrong, it’s plenty weird– it does not suspend all the rules of common sense. The bedrock principles of physics are still intact: energy is still conserved, entropy still increases, nothing can move faster than the speed of light.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.39  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.36    one week ago
Are the fundamental forces of gravity, magnetism, the weak force, and the strong force made of matter or energy?  Are these fundamental forces tangible things?  Are the fundamental forces substance?

As I have defined substance, everything that exists is of substance.   So that includes gravity, magnetism, weak and strong forces and everything else that you conceive of that exists.

What about spooky attraction at a distance?

Yes, entanglement exists and thus there is underlying substance.

Magnetism, particularly electromagnetism, can be switched on and switched off.  Does electromagnetism continue to exist when it is switched off?  

WTF does this have to do with this discussion?

These forces are in a state of existence comprised of what?  Can the form of these forces be altered and manipulated into some other form?

Composed of substance.   Yes they can be reformed.

It seems that the description of existence you provided may be incomplete.

In what way?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.40  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  evilgenius @4.2.38    one week ago
Yes, mathematically they are tangible measurable things. 

The forces may be measurable (indirectly) but they aren't tangible. 

What about it? Because we don't yet know what form the cat in the box takes doesn't mean we just give up and call it God's Will. We still open the box, observe, analyze and formulate.

Yeah, what about it?  Is spooky attraction at a distance matter or energy or substance?  Can the form of spooky attraction at a distance be manipulated into another form?

The energy to produce it still exists. The electromagnetic wave itself dissipates into random energy (entropy). Newton's Law says we can neither create nor destroy energy only change it's form.

But the electromagnetic force is not energy or matter.  The electromagnetic force is in a distinct state of existence.  Forces are quite real and there isn't anything magical about forces.  But the existence of forces isn't described in materialistic terms.

This is the realm of quantum physics.

I made no claims that quantum physics is magic.  Obviously spooky attraction at a distance functions independently of the speed of light because it's not energy.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.41  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.39    one week ago
As I have defined substance, everything that exists is of substance.

That circular logic won't dodge the bullet.  Because something exists it must be substance and because something is substance it must exist.  That's another chicken and egg infinite regress.  It's a do-loop without resolution.  That circular logic doesn't convey information.

Composed of substance.   Yes they can be reformed.

How?  Flip the switch to off and electromagnetism no longer exists in any state.  So, the switch allows us to exert control over existence and nonexistence.  We aren't changing the form of electromagnetism.  We can destroy the substance (by your definition) of electromagnetism by turning off the switch.  The existence or substance (by your definition) of electromagnetism isn't eternal.

In what way?

I've only listed some examples.  There are others, such as momentum and inertia, that are not explained by the circular logic of infinite regress.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.42  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.41    one week ago
That circular logic won't dodge the bullet. 

Show me the circular logic.   Good luck.

Because something exists it must be substance and because something is substance it must exist. 

Why does this confuse you?    If something exists that means, per my posit, that it is OF the quintessential substance of existence.    The only other option per my posit is nothingness.   Something exists (and thus is OF existence .. OF substance) or it does not exist — nothingness.   

Illustrate the problem that you think you see.   Be very specific.   

That's another chicken and egg infinite regress.  It's a do-loop without resolution.  That circular logic doesn't convey information.

You are confused.   There is no recursion in what I have posited.   Reread what I wrote or ask a pointed question.   But don't simply claim flaws until you understand what you are talking about.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.43  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.41    one week ago
Flip the switch to off and electromagnetism no longer exists in any state.  So, the switch allows us to exert control over existence and nonexistence.  We aren't changing the form of electromagnetism.  We can destroy the substance (by your definition) of electromagnetism by turning off the switch.  The existence or substance (by your definition) of electromagnetism isn't eternal.

Forms come into existence and go out of existence.   The substance is not  destroyed, it is repurposed into some other form.

I've only listed some examples.  There are others, such as momentum and inertia, that are not explained by the circular logic of infinite regress.

Well let’s hear your argument.   But I again recommend that you first understand what I have posited before you try to find flaws.  So far, your language demonstrates that you have presumed your own meaning for ‘substance’ and thus it is impossible for you to critique ‘substance’ as I defined the concept.

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Senior Quiet
4.2.44  gooseisgone  replied to  Gordy327 @4.2.1    one week ago
We don't know what was before the Big Bang. That is the honest answer to such a question.

That is the answer "no one knows". There is as much evidence of a Big Bang from nothing as there is for a creator, which is none. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.45  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.42    one week ago
Why does this confuse you?    If something exists that means, per my posit, that it is OF the quintessential substance of existence.    The only other option per my posit is nothingness.   Something exists (and thus is OF existence .. OF substance) or it does not exist — nothingness.    Illustrate the problem that you think you see.   Be very specific.   

It doesn't confuse me.  You've only replaced infinite and eternal God with infinite and eternal substance (by your definition).  God by any other name is still God.

You aren't questioning the existence of a god; you are questioning the sentience of a god.  You are presenting a materialistic and determinate theism.  The substance you describe is a supernatural medium not constrained by the four dimensions of our reality.

God is the answer to all questions in Abrahamic theology.  Substance (by your definition) is the answer to all questions according to your theology.

You are confused.   There is no recursion in what I have posited.   Reread what I wrote or ask a pointed question.   But don't simply claim flaws until you understand what you are talking about.

Who or what created substance (by your definition)?  How would your answer be any different than answers to the question 'who or what created God?'

You are employing the same circular logic by essentially claiming that substance is responsible for its own existence.  The infinite regress is the same for substance (by your definition) as it is for God.

By rejecting the concept of nonexistence or nothing you've fallen into the same God-trap of infinite regress.  God by any other name is still God.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
4.2.46  evilgenius  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.40    one week ago
The forces may be measurable (indirectly) but they aren't tangible. 

Anything measurable exists and therefore is tangible. An digital file can't be touched, but can be measured and is considered tangible. 

Can the form of spooky attraction at a distance be manipulated into another form?

Yes, quantum particles can change flavor by observing them. We can change how we observe them, thus changing their flavor.

But the electromagnetic force is not energy or matter.  The electromagnetic force is in a distinct state of existence.  Forces are quite real and there isn't anything magical about forces.  But the existence of forces isn't described in materialistic terms.

Electromagnetic force is a wave and waves are made up of quantum particles. Quantum particles are matter at the smallest level and can be observed. Waves can be observed. 

Obviously spooky attraction at a distance functions independently of the speed of light because it's not energy.

In complexity theory the particles are entangled. New research suggests the mathematical matrices of observable entanglement are infinite. Less than a handful of people on the planet know what that means - I am not one of those, but the implications are mind blowing. None the less we are using entangled particles in laboratories for testing secure quantum computing systems. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.47  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  evilgenius @4.2.46    one week ago
Electromagnetic force is a wave and waves are made up of quantum particles. Quantum particles are matter at the smallest level and can be observed. Waves can be observed. 

Yes, electromagnetic light is a wave.  But induced magnetism is not.  The confusion is my fault for using common vernacular rather than being more precise.  Sorry for the confusion.

Magnetism induced by electricity is not a wave.  The magnetic field exists when electricity flows.  The magnetic field does not exist when the electricity does not flow.  We can control the existence and nonexistence of an induced magnetic field with a switch on the flow of electricity.

In complexity theory the particles are entangled. New research suggests the mathematical matrices of observable entanglement are infinite. Less than a handful of people on the planet know what that means - I am not one of those, but the implications are mind blowing. None the less we are using entangled particles in laboratories for testing secure quantum computing systems. 

Quantum entanglement has turned Schrodinger's cat into twins.  Entangled superposition changes the paradox because we don't know if the state of the cat in box is the result of superposition or the result off its entangled twin.

We don't know which cat we are observing.  And we don't know if our observations are changing the state of the cat or if the state of the cat is changing our observations.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.2.48  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  gooseisgone @4.2.44    one week ago
evidence of a Big Bang

Evidence for the Big Bang includes:

  • all other galaxies are moving away from us
  • the further away a galaxy is, the faster it is moving away

These two features are found in explosions - the fastest moving objects end up furthest away from the explosion.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.49  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.45    one week ago
You've only replaced infinite and eternal God with infinite and eternal substance (by your definition).  God by any other name is still God.

You are at least starting to get close.   I have not replaced God, I have rather considered if the first cause is necessarily sentient or if a sentient (complex) first cause is even what one would expect.   My focus in on the questions:   what is existence and is existence created or is existence necessarily eternal?  

You aren't questioning the existence of a god; you are questioning the sentience of a god.  You are presenting a materialistic and determinate theism.  The substance you describe is a supernatural medium not constrained by the four dimensions of our reality.

God is really not the primary focus.  But, sure, if you want to go there then existence itself as a first cause would be, arguably, a non-sentient first cause.   If you want to call that 'God' then that certainly would be defensible.

God is the answer to all questions in Abrahamic theology.  Substance (by your definition) is the answer to all questions according to your theology.

Now you are just trying be insulting with word play.   Calling what I have described as theology either illustrates that you are still quite confused about what I have offered or you are trying to be obnoxious.   I will go with confused (benefit of the doubt).

Substance (by your definition) is the answer to all questions according to your theology.

Where do I write anything like that?    Tell you what, instead of 'substance' which is short for the 'quintessential substance of existence' how about we just call it 'Q'?   That way we can shed all baggage that goes with the English word 'substance' and go with a word 'Q' that has no baggage whatsoever.   

Q answers no questions.   It is simply that which distinguishes existence from nothingness.   Having Q means to exist.   And over time many forms will emerge, undergo change and die.   That is, Q will emerge as a form, the form will change (changes in Q) and eventually it will die (the Q will be repurposed).   Q is simply that which distinguishes a form in existence from one that does not exist.

Who or what created substance (by your definition)? 

Q is necessarily eternal.  Remember, this is all about a thought-experiment to explore the question of first cause.   Q must be eternal because something cannot come from nothing thus Q cannot come from nothing.   Q necessarily has always been.   To wit, nothing created Q.

How would your answer be any different than answers to the question 'who or what created God?'

Are you serious?

There is substantial (even overwhelming) evidence supporting Q.   That is, existence itself is highly evidenced.   There is no evidence of God (if you mean the Christian God).   But if you are asking what religious people would say regarding God, many would simply state that God is eternal and is the first cause.    The key difference between the two is complexity.   Q is defined as the most primitive substance of existence — shared by all that exist.   There is no complexity to explain ... it is defined to be the epitome of primitive.   God, in contrast, is arguably the most complex sentient entity possible.   This raises the quite profound question of how the first cause can be complex?    On one hand we have complexity evolving over unfathomable durations while on the other hand we have uber-complexity simply existing.   Such complexity without a designer?

You are employing the same circular logic by essentially claiming that substance is responsible for its own existence.  The infinite regress is the same for substance (by your definition) as it is for God.

You know Nerm, I answer you questions and you come back with the questions and same obnoxious allegations.   Where have I ever written that Q is 'responsible for its own existence'?   Where have I ever suggested that Q has existence?   I have defined Q as the quintessential substance of existence and have posited that existence itself is the first cause.   This posit makes sense because we absolutely know that existence itself IS.   No guesswork.   So positing that existence itself is the first cause is not much of a stretch.

By rejecting the concept of nonexistence or nothing you've fallen into the same God-trap of infinite regress.  God by any other name is still God.

I suppose I should be used to people who are so focused in trying to find a flaw that they never take the time to actually understand what they are trying to scrutinize.

Where have I rejected the concept of nonexistence?   This is such a stupid claim, I am embarrassed for you.   And the infinite regress continues to simply be a product of your imagination that has nothing to do with what I have posited.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.50  Gordy327  replied to  gooseisgone @4.2.44    one week ago

Wrong! There is empirical evidence for the Big Bang. There is none for a "creator."

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.51  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.49    one week ago
You are at least starting to get close.   I have not replaced God, I have rather considered if the first cause is necessarily sentient or if a sentient (complex) first cause is even what one would expect.   My focus in on the questions:   what is existence and is existence created or is existence necessarily eternal?  

Yes, existence can be created and destroyed which means existence cannot be eternal.  There is ample evidence to support that existence and nonexistence are opposite states and we can observe the transition between those states within the four dimensions of reality.  Metaphysical descriptions aren't necessary.

God is really not the primary focus.  But, sure, if you want to go there then existence itself as a first cause would be, arguably, a non-sentient first cause.   If you want to call that 'God' then that certainly would be defensible.

Why are you interchanging substance and existence?  You are claiming that substance (by your definition) is first cause.

There is substantial (even overwhelming) evidence supporting Q.   That is, existence itself is highly evidenced.   There is no evidence of God (if you mean the Christian God).   But if you are asking what religious people would say regarding God, many would simply state that God is eternal and is the first cause.    The key difference between the two is complexity.   Q is defined as the most primitive substance of existence — shared by all that exist.   There is no complexity to explain ... it is defined to be the epitome of primitive.   God, in contrast, is arguably the most complex sentient entity possible.   This raises the quite profound question of how the first cause can be complex?    On one hand we have complexity evolving over unfathomable durations while on the other hand we have uber-complexity simply existing.   Such complexity without a designer?

The transition to a state of nonexistence is also highly evidenced.  The existence of a form is not defined by the existence of the form's tangible components.  Destroying the form also destroys the existence of that form.  Creation and destruction of a form results in the transition from nonexistence to existence to nonexistence. 

By the same token the form of Q becomes nonexistent when Q assumes a different form.  Q in a different form is no longer Q; the new form possesses its own unique existence.

Without the transition between existence and nonexistence we could not identify causal relationships.  An effect cannot exist before a cause exists; there aren't enough degrees of freedom in our four dimensional reality to allow that.

You know Nerm, I answer you questions and you come back with the questions and same obnoxious allegations.   Where have I ever written that Q is 'responsible for its own existence'?   Where have I ever suggested that Q has existence?   I have defined Q as the quintessential substance of existence and have posited that existence itself is the first cause.   This posit makes sense because we absolutely know that existence itself IS.   No guesswork.   So positing that existence itself is the first cause is not much of a stretch.

Am I to make assumptions about your meaning and interpretation?  I ask questions to avoid making assumptions.  That is the purpose of questions.  Without answers to my questions I only have the options of simply dismissing the stated argument as incomplete and inadequate because the questions can't be answered - or - making assumptions as I choose.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.52  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.51    one week ago
Yes, existence can be created and destroyed which means existence cannot be eternal.  

No, forms of existence can be created and destroyed;  not existence itself.    

There is ample evidence to support that existence and nonexistence are opposite states and we can observe the transition between those states within the four dimensions of reality.  Metaphysical descriptions aren't necessary.

Again, where do you find me stating that existence and nonexistence are not opposites?    

Why are you interchanging substance and existence?  You are claiming that substance (by your definition) is first cause.

Q = the quintessential substance of existence.    If existence is eternal then Q is ipso facto eternal.    Forms of Q are not necessarily eternal.  

The transition to a state of nonexistence is also highly evidenced. 

And ... ?   What point are you trying to make?

The existence of a form is not defined by the existence of the form's tangible components.  Destroying the form also destroys the existence of that form.  Creation and destruction of a form results in the transition from nonexistence to existence to nonexistence. 

Are you trying to say something different from forms come into existence, undergo change and eventually die (and their Q is repurposed)?

By the same token the form of Q becomes nonexistent when Q assumes a different form.  Q in a different form is no longer Q; the new form possesses its own unique existence.

You again illustrate that you do not understand what I mean by Q.   Let's try something more intuitive.   Instead of Q, let's just pretend that the lowest possible form of reality is the atom (we know this is not true but it is intuitive).   Now, you are made of atoms.   Prior to birth your atoms were all over the place.   Then you were conceived and a certain initial set of atoms comprised your zygote.   As you grew you lost some atoms and gained many more new atoms which were repurposed into your form at time t.   Eventually you will die and your atoms at that point in your life will eventually be repurposed into other forms.     Some of your atoms might be part of the next Einstein.

When you say 'Q in a different form is no longer Q' that is as wrong as you stating 'Atoms in a different form are no longer atoms'.

Without the transition between existence and nonexistence we could not identify causal relationships.  An effect cannot exist before a cause exists; there aren't enough degrees of freedom in our four dimensional reality to allow that.

Skipping this since it seems irrelevant to this discussion and nobody is suggesting that an effect can exist without a cause.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.53  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.49    one week ago
Now you are just trying be insulting with word play.   Calling what I have described as theology either illustrates that you are still quite confused about what I have offered or you are trying to be obnoxious.   I will go with confused (benefit of the doubt).

The insult is only your perception.  You are presenting a Pagan Theology; Pagan being a descriptor of a type of theology.  If you wish to overlay the political mishmash surrounding the use of the term Pagan to perceive an insult, that is your choice.

Knowledge exists and, by your definitions, substance or Q must be the source of knowledge.  Moral law exists and, by your definitions, substance or Q must be the source of moral law.  Beauty exists and, by your definitions, substance or Q must be the source of beauty.  By your definitions, substance or Q must be the source of anything and everything that exists; only the form of Q has been altered.  By your definitions, substance or Q must be supernatural based upon the constraints of our four dimensional reality.  That's why your description of substance or Q is a theology.

You know Nerm, I answer you questions and you come back with the questions and same obnoxious allegations.   Where have I ever written that Q is 'responsible for its own existence'?   Where have I ever suggested that Q has existence?   I have defined Q as the quintessential substance of existence and have posited that existence itself is the first cause.   This posit makes sense because we absolutely know that existence itself IS.   No guesswork.   So positing that existence itself is the first cause is not much of a stretch.

You haven't answered my questions beyond claiming '... because Q'.  How do the fundamental forces fit within your descriptions?  Because Q.  The source of everything that exists is the substance of Q and anything that ceases to exist returns to its source of the substance of Q.  Quintessential Existence is everlasting and when we die we will return to the everlasting Quintessential Existence.

Quintessential Existence is first cause, the source of everything that exists, permeates everything that exists, and the repository of everything when it ceases to exist in its form.  Quintessential Existence is omnipresent.  And since all knowledge and all power are forms of Quintessential Existence then Quintessential Existence is the source of omniscience and omnipotence,  Quintessential Existence possesses god-like qualities and traits; therefore; Quintessential Existence must be God.

Since Quintessential Existence must be God then the answer to all questions would be '... because Q'.

You are presenting a theology that is described as pagan in common language.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.54  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.53    one week ago
You are presenting a Pagan Theology; Pagan being a descriptor of a type of theology. 

Nerm you are impossible.   It is truly amazing to see you take this concept of existence and leap to (of all things) Pagan theology.   Is it ever possible for you to stick with what people write and not change the meaning of words or add facts of your own design?   After all, what is the point of engaging me if you change what I wrote?   And no you are not merely giving consequences,  you are absolutely changing what I wrote.

Knowledge exists and, by your definitions, substance or Q must be the source of knowledge.  Moral law exists and, by your definitions, substance or Q must be the source of moral law.  Beauty exists and, by your definitions, substance or Q must be the source of beauty.  By your definitions, substance or Q must be the source of anything and everything that exists; only the form of Q has been altered.  

Everything that exists is of Q.   Knowledge exists only as a record and the records are of Q.   Moral law exists only as a record and the records are of Q.   Beauty exists as a complex set of recorded constraints and preferences with the records being of Q.   

None of the above have Q as their source but all of the above exist only as records and the records are of Q.

By your definitions, substance or Q must be supernatural based upon the constraints of our four dimensional reality.  That's why your description of substance or Q is a theology.

You really keep trying to twist things.   I said nothing about the nature of Q on purpose.  So when you impose supernatural and four dimensional reality you are imposing constraints that I have purposely avoided.   You are, in effect, creating (no surprise) a strawman argument.

You haven't answered my questions beyond claiming '... because Q'. 

Then you are not reading carefully or you have a mental block of some kind.   Either way, I have intentionally directly addressed your questions according to the posit I have written and not according to your extensions and twists.

How do the fundamental forces fit within your descriptions?   Because Q. 

Read what I wrote Nerm.  Good grief man this is ridiculous.   Here is the exchange:

Nerm @4.2.36 ☞ Are the fundamental forces of gravity, magnetism, the weak force, and the strong force made of matter or energy?  Are these fundamental forces tangible things?  Are the fundamental forces substance?
TiG @4.2.39 ☞ As I have defined substance [Q], everything that exists is of substance [Q].   So that includes gravity, magnetism, weak and strong forces and everything else that you conceive of that exists.

I did not write 'because Q', I stated what I have established.   Everything that exists is by definition of Q.   Fundamental forces exists thus they are of Q.   You have a problem with me being consistent.   I have a problem with you being obnoxious.   Q is simply a label for the substance (undefined) which distinguishes existence from nothingness.   I am not going to define Q in terms of physics or dimensions because I am making no assumptions.   Get with the 'no assumptions' concept.

Quintessential Existence is first cause, the source of everything that exists, permeates everything that exists, and the repository of everything when it ceases to exist in its form. 

Correct for Q (quintessential substance of existence).   Existence itself is posited as the first cause.   Everything that exists is a form of Q.    When forms cease to exist, their Q is repurposed into other forms.

Quintessential Existence is omnipresent. 

I have not written that and I disagree unless you are saying that wherever there is existence there is Q ... if so then I agree.

And since all knowledge and all power are forms of Quintessential Existence then Quintessential Existence is the source of omniscience and omnipotence, 

Not the source of anything.   Stop thinking source.   Q is that which distinguishes existence from non-existence.   Don't attribute Q because I have not done so (on purpose).

But knowledge (the record of such) and power (as in forces?) exist they are forms of Q.   And if there were a sentient mind that is omniscient (logically I think this is impossible) then that mind would be a form of Q.   And if a sentient entity were omnipotent (logically I think this is impossible) then it too would be a form of Q.    If something exists it is a form of Q:  it is a form and the substance of the form is Q.

Quintessential Existence possesses god-like qualities and traits; therefore; Quintessential Existence must be God.

If you want to think of Q as God have at it; one could make a good case for deeming existence as God and there are people who do believe that reality (existence) is God.   But that is not my point.   

Since Quintessential Existence must be God then the answer to all questions would be '... because Q'.

I never wrote that and I would never write that.   It is a vague and uber-general statement.   Also, I disagree that Q must be God.   That statement is replete with problems starting with how God is defined to an individual.   This is coming from you, not from me.   You should stop trying to change my posit.

You are presenting a theology that is described as pagan in common language.

You are not paying attention to what I write and instead are imposing your own meaning and pretending it comes from me.   Not like this is anything new.   I realize it is much easier to engage in debate if you get to change my position and argue against that.    But I will call you out on it so it is not going to work.

Try to just stick with what I write.   If you have questions / problems with that then ask / state.   

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.55  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.53    one week ago

Here is a super-simple summary of what I have posited regarding Q:

  1. Something distinguishes that which exists from nothingness.   ( If you do not agree with this then there is no point continuing. )
  2. I have labeled that something 'Q'.
  3. We do not know anything about Q other than being the label for the quintessential substance of existence (that which distinguishes existence of a form from nothingness).

512

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.56  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.54    one week ago
Everything that exists is of Q.   Knowledge exists only as a record and the records are of Q.   Moral law exists only as a record and the records are of Q.   Beauty exists as a complex set of recorded constraints and preferences with the records being of Q.    None of the above have Q as their source but all of the above exist only as records and the records are of Q.

So far, Quintessential Existence gives rise to substance, form, and, now, records.  I do not understand what differentiates substance, form, and records from each other since they are all of Q (using your nomenclature).  According to your description substance, form, and records are an altered state of Q.

You really keep trying to twist things.   I said nothing about the nature of Q on purpose.  So when you impose supernatural and four dimensional reality you are imposing constraints that I have purposely avoided.   You are, in effect, creating (no surprise) a strawman argument.

According to your description (and refusal to address my questions) it appears that nature of 'of Q' (using your nomenclature) or an altered state of Q (using my nomenclature).  Therefore Q would be supernatural.

Our universe and our four dimensional reality are of Q (your nomenclature) or an altered state of Q (my nomenclature).  Therefore existence beyond our reality would be of Q (your nomenclature) or a state of Q (my nomenclature) that may be an altered state or a fundamental state which, again, would be supernatural because that state of Q would not be within our reality.

A logical conclusion is not a strawman.  There may be a flaw in the logic which can be addressed but that still doesn't constitute a strawman argument.  Bogus allegations that appeal to emotion do not address the logic of the conclusion.  If the logic is flawed then point it out.

I did not write 'because Q', I stated what I have established.   Everything that exists is by definition of Q.   Fundamental forces exists thus they are of Q.   You have a problem with me being consistent.   I have a problem with you being obnoxious.   Q is simply a label for the substance (undefined) which distinguishes existence from nothingness.   I am not going to define Q in terms of physics or dimensions because I am making no assumptions.   Get with the 'no assumptions' concept.

Yes, that is technically correct.  After much roundabout you have added clarity by stating 'of Q'.  I must assume (because you have not yet stated) that the characteristics of Q are determinate suggesting that anything of Q arising (or emerging) as substance, form, or records is due to the determinate characteristic of Q.  

If the characteristic of Q is not determinate then some other (yet unidentified) initiator would be a contributor to the emergence of substance, form. or records as a state of Q.  However, according to your description a (yet unidentified) initiator must be of Q or must be nonexistent (since everything that exists is of Q).

So, the logic resolves to a conclusion of 'because Q'.  

Not the source of anything.   Stop thinking source.   Q is that which distinguishes existence from non-existence.   Don't attribute Q because I have not done so (on purpose). But knowledge (the record of such) and power (as in forces?) exist they are forms of Q.   And if there were a sentient mind that is omniscient (logically I think this is impossible) then that mind would be a form of Q.   And if a sentient entity were omnipotent (logically I think this is impossible) then it too would be a form of Q.    If something exists it is a form of Q:  it is a form and the substance of the form is Q.

That returns to my question concerning fundamental forces and my thought experiment of induced magnetism caused by controlling the flow of electricity.

Stopping the flow of electricity results in the magnetic field no longer being present.  Has the magnetic field ceased to exist?  Is the magnetic field no longer of Q?  Or has the magnetic field changed state that returns to a state of Q?

Will you answer these questions now?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.57  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.56    one week ago
Will you answer these questions now?

First of all this is beyond obnoxious; pure trolling   I have been directly answering all your questions (against my better judgment) and you dare suggest otherwise.   I am soon to run out of patience with you Nerm.   


So far, Quintessential Existence gives rise to substance, form, and, now, records.  I do not understand what differentiates substance, form, and records from each other since they are all of Q (using your nomenclature).  According to your description substance, form, and records are an altered state of Q.

Everything that exists is a form of Q.   You keep trying to make this more complicated than it is.   To what end?

According to your description (and refusal to address my questions) ...

Bullshit!   Flat out lying.   This may be the last post I respond to from you.

... it appears that nature of 'of Q' (using your nomenclature) or an altered state of Q (using my nomenclature).  Therefore Q would be supernatural.

Again, I have purposely established Q as a placeholder for that which distinguishes existence from nothingness.   I have not attributed it because nobody could possibly know what it is other than distinguishing existence from nothingness.   You keep trying to add attributes and I have explicitly stated that I do not presume attributes on purpose.   Certainly you can grasp this concept.   Do so.

Our universe and our four dimensional reality are of Q (your nomenclature) or an altered state of Q (my nomenclature).  Therefore existence beyond our reality would be of Q (your nomenclature) or a state of Q (my nomenclature) that may be an altered state or a fundamental state which, again, would be supernatural because that state of Q would not be within our reality.

Again, if something exists it is of Q.   Thus if there is something in existence that we would deem supernatural then it ipso facto is of Q.   

A logical conclusion is not a strawman.  There may be a flaw in the logic which can be addressed but that still doesn't constitute a strawman argument.  Bogus allegations that appeal to emotion do not address the logic of the conclusion.  If the logic is flawed then point it out.

So when I point out your definitional and logical flaws this does not register with you?   

Yes, that is technically correct.  After much roundabout you have added clarity by stating 'of Q'.

Roundabout?   This is pure trolling by you.   I have been consistently stating my posit.    You are not challenging me Nerm, you are annoying me with repeated stupid questions that do not correlate with what I have been telling you.   

I must assume (because you have not yet stated) that the characteristics of Q are determinate suggesting that anything of Q arising (or emerging) as substance, form, or records is due to the determinate characteristic of Q.  

I have explicitly stated that I make no assumptions about Q other than being that which distinguishes existence from nothingness.   You can assume whatever the hell you want, Nerm, but your assumptions go against a fundamental principle of my posit which is to NOT make assumptions.   

If the characteristic of Q is not determinate then some other (yet unidentified) initiator would be a contributor to the emergence of substance, form. or records as a state of Q.  However, according to your description a (yet unidentified) initiator must be of Q or must be nonexistent (since everything that exists is of Q).

You are treating existence as a form.   It is not.  Existence is not a form;  it is that from which forms emerge (this is not a new concept).   I have not posited an origin or nature of existence only that it IS (and this is highly evidenced).   So I have purposely not stated anything about determinism and certainly not of existence because my posit is that existence might be the first cause.

So, the logic resolves to a conclusion of 'because Q'.  

Except for the flaws in your thinking noted above.

Stopping the flow of electricity results in the magnetic field no longer being present.  Has the magnetic field ceased to exist?  Is the magnetic field no longer of Q?  Or has the magnetic field changed state that returns to a state of Q?

The magnetic field ceased to exist.   Its form is gone and the Q that comprised the magnetic field is repurposed.   And it is possible that the magnetic field changed state into some other form (which would be of Q).   That would be new in physics but I suppose it is possible.   Regardless, this is well beyond my posit.

There is no 'state of Q'.   You continue to invent concepts that are not part of my thought experiment and then expect me to answer your variations.   Stick with what I wrote.   My posit, as written, is complete.   Going beyond what I wrote requires making assumptions and that goes against the point of my thought experiment.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.58  TᵢG  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.55    one week ago

Well Nerm I see you have ignored my simple summary.   

Do you agree that something distinguishes that which exists from nothingness?

Yes or No.

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Senior Quiet
4.2.59  gooseisgone  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.2.48    one week ago
Evidence for the Big Bang includes:

Not looking for evidence of the Big Bang, I am looking for the evidence of what "created" the Big Bang and where did it come from. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.60  TᵢG  replied to  gooseisgone @4.2.59    one week ago

We have no evidence (and thus only speculation) what happened in the planck epoch (initial 10-44 seconds of the formation of our universe).

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Senior Quiet
4.2.61  gooseisgone  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.57    one week ago
have not posited an origin or nature of existence only that it IS

Then everything else is moot. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.62  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.57    one week ago

You write this:

Everything that exists is a form of Q.   You keep trying to make this more complicated than it is.   To what end?

And then you write this:

The magnetic field ceased to exist.  Its form is gone and the Q that comprised the magnetic field is repurposed.   And it is possible that the magnetic field changed state into some other form (which would be of Q).   That would be new in physics but I suppose it is possible.   Regardless, this is well beyond my posit.

I'm trying to understand how the existence of some form or thing that ceases to exist is repurposed.  The concept of repurposing existence is extraordinarily complicated.  I am not aware of any evidence suggesting that existence is repurposed.

There is no 'state of Q'.   You continue to invent concepts that are not part of my thought experiment and then expect me to answer your variations.   Stick with what I wrote.   My posit, as written, is complete.   Going beyond what I wrote requires making assumptions and that goes against the point of my thought experiment.

I am not inventing concepts.  I am trying to understand your concept.  When I attempt to describe reality using your terms and your concept to test my understanding you just throw a tantrum, call it trolling or a strawman, and repeat your assertions.

I haven't just declared "that's the stupidest shit I ever heard".  I am attempting to apply your concept to reality.  And, frankly, your concept isn't fitting reality very well.

To me the magnetic field has become nonexistent; the magnetic field was some thing that could be observed and then the magnetic field cannot be observed by any means because the magnetic field has ceased to exist and has become no thing.

You are attempting to present an argument that the existence of the magnetic field has been repurposed.  Repurposed to what?  Another thing?  Without a thing, Q would represent the existence of no thing.  Existence without a thing would become Quintessential Nonexistence; existence without some thing or the existence of nothing.

You have addressed the problem of the existence of nothing by describing a substance.  When the magnetic field ceases to exist and its existence is repurposed does that transmute the magnetic field into quintessential substance?  What is this substance?  Can this substance be observed?  Is this substance part of our observable reality or is it not part of observable reality?

How can be distinguish the quintessential substance of existence or Quintessential Existence from the existence of no thing or Quintessential Nonexistence?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.63  TᵢG  replied to  gooseisgone @4.2.61    one week ago

What is that supposed to mean?

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Senior Quiet
4.2.64  gooseisgone  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.63    one week ago

It means you don't know, neither do I, so please stop trying to explain Q, existence, initial 10-44 seconds of the formation of our universe when there is something before that.   

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.65  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.62    one week ago
And then you write this:

Yeah Nerm, I was answering your question.   A question that was irrelevant to my point but I answered the damned thing anyway.

I'm trying to understand how the existence of some form or thing that ceases to exist is repurposed.  The concept of repurposing existence is extraordinarily complicated.  I am not aware of any evidence suggesting that existence is repurposed.

There is nothing complicated about it.   Go back to my analogy of atoms.   When you die your atoms are repurposed.   Do you disagree?   Do we know how your atoms will be repurposed?  No, of course we do not.   But we know that your atoms will eventually be part of some other form (repurposed).   Now apply that to Q.

I am not inventing concepts. 

Your latest one was a 'state of Q'.   Prior to that you characterized existence as a form.   Just read your posts.

I am trying to understand your concept.  When I attempt to describe reality using your terms and your concept to test my understanding you just throw a tantrum, call it trolling or a strawman, and repeat your assertions.

If you want to understand my concept then step one is to not add your own extensions and variations to it.   

I am attempting to apply your concept to reality.  And, frankly, your concept isn't fitting reality very well.   

Which illustrates you do not understand what I have posited or you are simply being obnoxious.  I am positing nothing more than existence.   If you cannot grasp the notion of things existing vs. things not existing then why are you engaging me?

To me the magnetic field has become nonexistent; the magnetic field was some thing that could be observed and then the magnetic field cannot be observed by any means because the magnetic field has ceased to exist and has become no thing.

That is fine with me.   That is how I first addressed your question and then you asked it again.   If the magnetic field has become nonexistent then its Q has been repurposed.   The form that we called the magnetic field no longer is a form in existence.    Why is this complicated to you?

You are attempting to present an argument that the existence of the magnetic field has been repurposed.  Repurposed to what?  Another thing? 

Good grief man what is your problem?   Do you not understand the level of abstraction at play here?   Do you not understand the concept of not making assumptions.   I am intentionally NOT presuming that which cannot be evidenced.   Thus I make no comments on how things are repurposed.   And further, you want me to tell you how an arbitrary magnetic field's Q is repurposed.   That is like asking me to tell you how the atoms of a particular dead animal are repurposed.    That has nothing to do with the posit and it is a stupid question.

Without a thing, Q would represent the existence of no thing. 

I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.   

Existence without a thing would become Quintessential Nonexistence; existence without some thing or the existence of nothing.

Add quintessential nonexistence to the list of things you have added to my posit.     

You have addressed the problem of the existence of nothing by describing a substance.

Nothing does not exist.   So I do not know what you are trying to say here.

When the magnetic field ceases to exist and its existence is repurposed does that transmute the magnetic field into quintessential substance? 

How many times do I have to say this (actually I know the answer to that) before you incorporate my answer into your base of knowledge?    When any form ceases to exist the Q that represented its existence no longer are part of the form.   That is repurposing.   Where the Q for any particular form goes is not part of this posit.   Again, you certainly understand that atoms are repurposed when we die.   Do you ask where those atoms go?    Why not?   

What is this substance?  Can this substance be observed?  Is this substance part of our observable reality or is it not part of observable reality?

Again you fail to stick to the posit.   I have explicitly stated that Q is unknown.   I have defined it as that which distinguishes existence from nothingness.   Q is the quintessential substance of existence which means that it is something that is entirely unknown.   And you now are asking me about its properties as if you have never read my description.   This is either gross obtuseness or trolling.   I think it is the latter.

How can be distinguish the quintessential substance of existence or Quintessential Existence from the existence of no thing or Quintessential Nonexistence?

Yeah, pure trolling.

We are done.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.66  TᵢG  replied to  gooseisgone @4.2.64    one week ago
It means you don't know, neither do I, so please stop trying to explain Q, existence, initial 10-44 seconds of the formation of our universe when there is something before that.   

I am not trying to explain Q;  Q is a placeholder for something that is entirely unknown.   It represents an abstract concept.   Q is that which distinguishes existence from nothingness.   It is not known, I have not claimed it is known, indeed I have insisted from the beginning that it is entirely unknown.    Further the label Q (and its description: quintessential substance of existence) use language and terms that purposely connote an unknown substance (and one that we likely will never know).   

At least get a handle on what I have posited before commenting on it.

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Senior Quiet
4.2.67  gooseisgone  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.66    one week ago
get a handle on what I have posited
terms that purposely connote an unknown substance (and one that we likely will never know).   

I believe I have, my comment is accurate. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.68  TᵢG  replied to  gooseisgone @4.2.67    one week ago

No, your comment is demonstrably not accurate.  It is exactly wrong to think that I am here explaining Q.   If anything I spend my time trying to get people to understand that Q is a placeholder for an unknown.   Clearly you do not understand that either;  even after I explain my posit to you, you stubbornly return insisting you are correct.

Well you are wrong about that too.

Q is that which distinguishes existence from nothingness.   That which exists is of Q.   What is Q?   It is the quintessential substance of existence.   What is that?   Nobody knows.   Nobody may ever know.   But clearly there is something that distinguishes existence from nothingness.   I call that Q.   You can call it Fred if you wish.   And we can talk around it but cannot explain it.

This is akin to discussing dark energy.   We have given it a label and can describe why it must exist, but we know almost nothing about it.    We cannot explain dark energy.   And, similarly, I cannot and have never even attempted to explain Q but it seems logical that its described purpose is fulfilled.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.69  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.19    one week ago
Then the universe would not have an age.  If the universe has always existed then the physics of cosmology is invalid.

Not necessarily. If the universe collapsed on itself (the Big Crunch), then the universe would revert to what it was before the Big Bang and "Bang" all over again, possibly in an endlessly repeating cycle. Technically, the "universe" (all matter and energy) would still be present, but only the current universe post Bang could be dated.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.70  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @4.2.69    one week ago

By Nerm's reasoning every living creature is as old as our atoms.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.71  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.70    one week ago
By Nerm's reasoning

I'm not even sure what his reasoning is anymore. Seems like a need to inject belief/faith/god into or as an explanation for everything.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.72  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.65    one week ago
Yeah Nerm, I was answering your question.   A question that was irrelevant to my point but I answered the damned thing anyway.

And I have been attempting to understand the answers you have provided. 

There is nothing complicated about it.   Go back to my analogy of atoms.   When you die your atoms are repurposed.   Do you disagree?   Do we know how your atoms will be repurposed?  No, of course we do not.   But we know that your atoms will eventually be part of some other form (repurposed).   Now apply that to Q.

That's nothing other than existence constrained by our four dimensional reality.  The atoms were repurposed to allow my form but I am more than atoms.  My existence isn't defined by my atoms.  I'll shed atoms as parts of me die and fall away.  And I obtain new atoms when my form renews itself.  In fact, I must constantly repurpose atoms to continue living. 

But none of that changes the existence of the atoms.  The atoms existed before my form, co-exist with my form, and will exist when my form ceases to exist.  The atoms may have been repurposed but the existence of the atoms has not been repurposed.  The only existence that changes is that of my form.

I am attempting to apply Q to reality.  I am not attempting to apply reality to Q.  Perhaps that is the disconnect in this discussion of Q.

Good grief man what is your problem?   Do you not understand the level of abstraction at play here?   Do you not understand the concept of not making assumptions.   I am intentionally NOT presuming that which cannot be evidenced.   Thus I make no comments on how things are repurposed.   And further, you want me to tell you how an arbitrary magnetic field's Q is repurposed.   That is like asking me to tell you how the atoms of a particular dead animal are repurposed.    That has nothing to do with the posit and it is a stupid question.

But Q, itself, is an assumption.  By intentionally NOT presuming that which cannot be evidenced the assumption of Q cannot be tested rationally.  

The atom's existence is not the same as the animal's existence.  They co-exist; they share existence.  The animal only exists while it is present in reality and can be observed.  The atom remains an atom regardless of where it resides in reality.  The atom's existence has not been repurposed in any way.  The atom's existence is uniquely it's own.

How can I apply Q to reality?  Yes, I can selectively and subjectively apply reality to Q.  Isn't that how religions work?

How many times do I have to say this (actually I know the answer to that) before you incorporate my answer into your base of knowledge?    When any form ceases to exist the Q that represented its existence no longer are part of the form.   That is repurposing.   Where the Q for any particular form goes is not part of this posit.   Again, you certainly understand that atoms are repurposed when we die.   Do you ask where those atoms go?    Why not?   

Yes, I get that.  Why are you ignoring my statement that the aesthetic of the form is not defined by the substance of the form.  The form is a separate existence that co-exists with the substance.  The substance has not given up its unique existence when it is incorporated into a form.

The clay in the pot still exists as clay.  The existence of the clay has not been repurposed.  A separate existence of form has been added and co-exists with the clay.  Destroying the existence of the form does not destroy the existence of the clay.  The clay continues to exist as clay; it's existence is not repurposed.

The existence, destruction, and nonexistence of the form doesn't change the atom's existence.  The atom's existence has not been repurposed. 

Where is Q?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.73  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @4.2.69    one week ago
Not necessarily. If the universe collapsed on itself (the Big Crunch), then the universe would revert to what it was before the Big Bang and "Bang" all over again, possibly in an endlessly repeating cycle. Technically, the "universe" (all matter and energy) would still be present, but only the current universe post Bang could be dated.

That explanation only conserves the existence of matter and energy.  Each universe would possess its own separate, unique existence.

Read my commentary.  What I am presenting is that there is co-existence.  The existence of the material substance co-exists with the existence of the form.

The material substance has been utilized to create a form but that is separate from the existence of the material substance.  Knowing all there is to know about the material substance will not allow us to learn about the creator of the form.  The existence of the form is separate from the existence of the material substance; they co-exist in the form.

The atoms have their own unique existence.  The bricks have their own unique existence. The building has its own unique existence.  Knowing everything there is to know about the atoms will not provide information about the building's architect.   

Our reality consists of many elements and components that co-exist.  If there is a creator, the evidence of that creator will be found in the form and aesthetic of what has been created.  Understanding the existence of matter and energy isn't where that evidence will be found because the existence of matter and energy co-exists with the existence of what has been created.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.74  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.73    one week ago

The universe is made up of matter and energy. Even if the universe were to collapse and rebang, it's still the same matter and energy. The forms might be different, but that's about it. There could be a "creator," but there's nothing there to suggest that is the case. Implying or invoking the presence of a creator is still just mere belief.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.75  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @4.2.74    one week ago
The universe is made up of matter and energy. Even if the universe were to collapse and rebang, it's still the same matter and energy. The forms might be different, but that's about it. There could be a "creator," but there's nothing there to suggest that is the case. Implying or invoking the presence of a creator is still just mere belief.

Technically it would be the same energy since matter is a condensate.  But even if the energy is the same the result would be different universes.

Here's an off the wall question to ponder.  Can the fundamental forces become so intense that they would be converted to energy?

The universe is made up of energy, condensed matter, and forces.  There isn't any way to know if a 'rebang' would result in a universe like the one we observe.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.76  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.72    one week ago

I am intentionally no longer responding to you.    I was tempted but then you started off with yet another strawman (the existence of atoms) and argue:

"The only existence that changes is that of my form."

Yeah, Nerm, that is what I have been describing!   The atoms do not change existence, it is the form.   Q does not change existence, only the form changes existence.  You go through this lengthy discussion as if rebutting what I wrote only to assert what I stated upfront.

It is this nonsense that I am done with.   I will patiently repeat and explain to a point.   I will not, however, continually answer paraphrases of answered questions or deal with endless tangents that go outside of my posit.

Take it up with someone else, my patience with you is gone.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.77  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.75    one week ago

Yes, it would be a different universe. I said that. But the matter & energy would still be the same. An analogy would be recycling a Coke can into a Pepsi can. It's still the same can. Just with a different label.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.78  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.76    one week ago
Yeah, Nerm, that is what I have been describing!   The atoms do not change existence, it is the form.   Q does not change existence, only the form changes existence.  You go through this lengthy discussion as if rebutting what I wrote only to assert what I stated upfront.

So, your summary in @4.2.55 is intended to only show that Q allows the intangible aesthetic of form?

Isn't that a backhanded admission that everything that exists is not of Q?  That's why I used induced magnetism as an example to clarify your intended meaning.

Basically you are saying that Q means the same thing as I presented in my commentary for the seed.  Why didn't you just say that?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.79  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @4.2.77    one week ago
Yes, it would be a different universe. I said that. But the matter & energy would still be the same. An analogy would be recycling a Coke can into a Pepsi can. It's still the same can. Just with a different label.

That assumes a can will be recycled into a can.  But we know that's not how it works.

You are omitting forces; the universe is made up of energy, condensed matter, and forces.  We don't know that matter would condense and we don't know if the forces would be the same.  Using your analogy, the can may not be recycled into a can.

If this universe condenses; the next Big Bang could be a fizzle.  The evidence found in this universe only applies to this universe.  That can be sluffed off with 'we don't know' but not knowing doesn't support assuming that the can will be recycled into a can.  Yes, it's possible.  But belief in that possibility requires faith.  So, we return to the beginning of the discussion which wouldn't unfold the same way.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.2.80  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.78    one week ago

How obnoxious;  you continue to blatantly misrepresent.   As I have clearly stated I am done constantly correcting you.  

You are trolling.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.81  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.80    one week ago

He doesn't seem to be the only one trolling here either. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.82  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.79    one week ago

I see my analogy was lost on you. Regardless of what universe it is, it's still made up of matter and energy. How they're arranged in a particular universe is just aesthetics. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.83  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @4.2.82    one week ago
I see my analogy was lost on you. Regardless of what universe it is, it's still made up of matter and energy. How they're arranged in a particular universe is just aesthetics. 

The only thing that can be said with any degree of certainty is that the next universe would be made up of energy.  The Big Bang did not include matter; matter appeared after the Big Bang.

Yes, our universe and our reality has been made up of energy, matter, and forces.  And, yes, how that energy, matter, and forces are arranged would a type of aesthetics.  And, the point being omitted, is that evidence of a creator would be found in those aesthetics.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.84  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.83    one week ago

There can be no universe without matter. The Big Bang contained all the matter and energy in the universe. So I'm not sure on what basis you claim matter wouldn't be included?

As for aesthetics, you only assume there's a creator there. The aesthetics itself is not evidence of a creator. It's evidence of the universe and what's in it. But nothing to suggest anything more than that.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4.2.85  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @4.2.84    one week ago
There can be no universe without matter.

That's quite an assertion.

As for aesthetics, you only assume there's a creator there. The aesthetics itself is not evidence of a creator. It's evidence of the universe and what's in it. But nothing to suggest anything more than that.

You are assuming aesthetics don't matter.

We can look at a stone and determine from its aesthetic if it has been shaped by nature or by a creator.  We can see a bird's nest, spider web, excavated burrow, or hornet's nest and do not assume they are the result of the proper materials and proper conditions coming together at the proper time.  We can look at lines scratched into a stone and determine if they are the result of random chance or purposeful intent.  

We really do possess the ability to discern the mark of creation from the aesthetic of objects.  And that mark of creation must mean there was a creator.  The aesthetic provides evidence for a conclusion there was a creator.  That conclusion is not an assumption.

The seeded article cites scientific evidence that also provides aesthetic evidence.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.86  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.85    one week ago
That's quite an assertion.

Are you suggesting matter is not necessary for the universe?

You are assuming aesthetics don't matter.

You are assuming it does.

We can look at a stone and determine from its aesthetic if it has been shaped by nature or by a creator.  We can see a bird's nest, spider web, excavated burrow, or hornet's nest and do not assume they are the result of the proper materials and proper conditions coming together at the proper time. 

How would you be able to tell the difference? What method of testing will make that determination? It's more likely you would just assume there's a creator just because you find something intricate or pleasing. 

We really do possess the ability to discern the mark of creation from the aesthetic of objects.  And that mark of creation must mean there was a creator.  The aesthetic provides evidence for a conclusion there was a creator.  That conclusion is not an assumption.

Yes, it is an assumption. You offer nothing to definitively determine if there's a creator behind it or even of there's a creator at all. Such judgements regarding a creator is entirely subjective and amounts to nothing more than claiming "this is like that because God/creator."

The seeded article cites scientific evidence that also provides aesthetic evidence.  

No, it desn't. All it does is basically say things are the way they are because of god. That either shows a personal theistic bias (or emotional appeal) or a lack of understanding, i.e. we don't know why things are like they are so it must be due to god/creator. I already pointed out the flaws with the article's assumptions earlier and they're all built around logical fallacies.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3  Tacos!  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4    2 weeks ago

We believe God is the one thing that always exists. There is no before or after God. Our normal concepts of space and time simply don’t apply.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.1  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @4.3    2 weeks ago
We believe God is the one thing that always exists. There is no before or after God.

The key word there is "believe." There is nothing to establish god actually existing in the first place.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.2  Tacos!  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.1    2 weeks ago
The key word there is "believe.

It’s not key to anything. I get that you think it’s a super important observation, but it’s not.

There is nothing to establish god actually existing in the first place.

It’s hard to imagine a more intellectually dishonest take if you have read the seed. Either that, or you don’t know what the word “nothing” means.

We’ve been down this road before Gordy, so let’s not rehash, ok? You will accept no evidence. That is established. You also cannot define what would constitute acceptable evidence. That is also established.

You always want proof but I cannot fathom how to prove a thing to you that neither one of us is equipped to fully understand. It’s just not a rational demand. You can’t measure the immeasurable. You can’t prove the undefinable. You either see the reasonableness of it or you don’t. You either feel it or you don’t. Arguing about proving it is stupid.

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
4.3.3  JBB  replied to  Tacos! @4.3    2 weeks ago

At one time I believed in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Normal proof was not needed. Logic and reason were abandoned because I wanted to believe in magic. Such is childhood.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.4  Tacos!  replied to  JBB @4.3.3    2 weeks ago

That’s a pretty child-like analogy, too. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.5  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.2    2 weeks ago
It’s not key to anything. I get that you think it’s a super important observation, but it’s not.

You seem to think belief is important. But belief does not equal fact. That's the key!

It’s hard to imagine a more intellectually dishonest take if you have read the seed. Either that, or you don’t know what the word “nothing” means.

I did read it and I pointed out the logical flaws with it.

We’ve been down this road before Gordy, so let’s not rehash, ok?

Request denied. I'll discuss what I like, thank you.

You will accept no evidence. That is established. You also cannot define what would constitute acceptable evidence. That is also established.

Wrong on both counts! I have said before, repeatedly, that I look for objective, empirical evidence. The simple fact of the matter is, none has ever been presented. No doubt if it were, it would rock the scientific world.

You always want proof but I cannot fathom how to prove a thing to you that neither one of us is equipped to fully understand.

I didn't ask for just proof (although proof would be nice), as that is too high a bar to set. I said I would accept evidence.

It’s just not a rational demand. You can’t measure the immeasurable. You can’t prove the undefinable.

If you can't define it, measure it, describe it, define it, ect., but claim it actually exists or define it, then that is not rational in the least.

You either see the reasonableness of it or you don’t.

There's nothing reasonable about it! It's emotion and/or wishful thinking, plain and simple.

That’s a pretty child-like analogy, too. 

But also spot on! How is god any different from the Tooth Fairy and the like? Both require belief, right?

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
4.3.6  JBB  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.4    2 weeks ago

How do you explain things to childlike minds?

What examples of magic do you believe true? 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.7  Gordy327  replied to  JBB @4.3.6    2 weeks ago
How do you explain things to childlike minds?

"You see Billy, the Easter Bunny is really just a magical, invisible, anthropomorphized Hare who carries a magical, constantly full basket of pigmented chicken eggs and places them in strategic positions for you to locate and then consume, assuming you discover them soon enough and they do not start rotting. This magic Bunny only comes around once a year on Easter though."

How's that? jrSmiley_18_smiley_image.gif

What examples of magic do you believe true? 

God poofing everything into existence?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.8  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.5    2 weeks ago
You seem to think belief is important. But belief does not equal fact. That's the key!

But it also doesn't disqualify it as fact, either. You never seem to understand that. If what one believes in turns out to be true and factual, belief was justified. That it wasn't arrived at by the materialists insistence on objective scientific evidence isn't relevant. 

I did read it and I pointed out the logical flaws with it.

No, actually. You didn't. You just called them fallacies and summarily dismiss the point for no rational reason.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.9  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @4.3    2 weeks ago
We believe God is the one thing that always exists. There is no before or after God. Our normal concepts of space and time simply don’t apply.

Then is God existence itself?   If God is singularly the only thing that always exists then how is God distinct from existence?    It seems you have defined the pantheist god.

Pantheism in general:

"At its most general, pantheism may be understood positively as the view that God is identical with the cosmos, the view that there exists nothing which is outside of God, or else negatively as the rejection of any view that considers God as distinct from the universe."

Where universe is equated with existence itself or all that exists .

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.10  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.8    2 weeks ago
But it also doesn't disqualify it as fact, either. You never seem to understand that.

I think you just do not recognize Gordy's acknowledgement.   I have never witnessed Gordy claim that a belief sans evidence is necessarily false.   Ask him.   I bet you that he agrees that a belief sans evidence could actually be true.   For example, there are some people who absolutely believe in extraterrestrials.   We have zero evidence of exolife, especially intelligent, sentient exolife, but it might exist and thus that unsubstantiated belief might coincidentally turn out to be true.

If what one believes in turns out to be true and factual, belief was justified.

I see it as a lucky coincidence.   See above.   

That it wasn't arrived at by the materialists insistence on objective scientific evidence isn't relevant. 

Thing is, the belief could also be wrong.   Chances are very good that a belief sans evidence will get things wrong;  that the belief will be wrong.   That is because (unless someone can show otherwise) belief sans evidence is simply a product of our imagination since there is no source of information other than our imagination (or the imagination of others).    Now if the belief was tapping into some sixth sense (bypassing normal evidence) then that would be a source of information and would provide justification correlated with the credibility of this sixth sense.   But, of course, to convince others one would need to evidence this sixth sense.

   

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.11  Tacos!  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.5    2 weeks ago
I did read it and I pointed out the logical flaws with it.

No, you label arguments as logical fallacies, but labeling is the end of it. You don’t ever actually make the case. It’s a way of dismissing someone else’s point of view disingenuously without ever considering the content. In so doing, you convince yourself, but no one else. You might as well just say “nope!” It’s just as empty.

I have said before, repeatedly, that I look for objective, empirical evidence. The simple fact of the matter is, none has ever been presented

And I pointed out that you can’t define what such evidence would look like. In fact, no one could. But you conveniently ignore this point because it defuses your whole game.

If you can't define it, measure it, describe it, define it, ect., but claim it actually exists or define it, then that is not rational in the least.

Actually it is rational and this has been demonstrated, but you can’t engage with the content of the seed.

By the way, we can’t measure or test string theory, but very intelligent rational people are convinced that it defines the nature of the universe. 

There's nothing reasonable about it! It's emotion and/or wishful thinking, plain and simple.

That’s just your opinion. But it’s an opinion formed without even attempting to consider a point of view not your own.

But also spot on!

No it’s not, but I’m not surprised you endorse a simplistic idea without considering things like context. What a waste! And yet, how typical.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.12  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.9    2 weeks ago

I did not describe pantheism. You seem to be wishing that were so, but it’s not.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.13  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.11    2 weeks ago
By the way, we can’t measure or test string theory, but very intelligent rational people are convinced that it defines the nature of the universe. 

String theory is actually just a hypothesis (poorly labeled).    However, it is based upon a solid foundation of physics (research on properties of empirically derived mathematics describing reality).   So while string theory is entirely theoretical (not falsifiable and thus not a real theory of empirical science) it is not a wild-assed guess either.   Finally, I am unaware of any theoretical physicist who believes that string theory must be correct.   Best I can tell, there are those who find it a fascinating idea that holds promise in finding a unified theory of everything (unifying quantum physics with intuitive physics by solving the problem of gravity).

If someone believes that string theory is certain truth then that would be an irrational leap of faith that goes well beyond the current level of string theory research.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.14  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.13    2 weeks ago
It is not a wild-assed guess either.

Neither is God, in spite of what you might personally think.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.15  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.12    2 weeks ago
I did not describe pantheism. You seem to be wishing that were so, but it’s not.

I do not 'wish' anything.   Why make this personal?   What you described sounded like pantheism to me  

If there is no before or after God then how does God differ from existence itself?    You seem to be saying that God exists eternally (no before or after).   So existence did not come first, as you see things, and God emerge later as a property of existence.    You seem to be saying that God has always existed and always will:  God is aligned with existence (and presumably existence is aligned with God).

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.16  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.14    2 weeks ago
Neither is God, in spite of what you might personally think.

God is a concept that we (human beings) have imagined.   The concept takes thousands of contradicting forms and is not grounded in anything other than the notion that there must be something greater than us in charge of the reality we perceive.

The essential notion of a sentient creator is not a wild-assed guess.   It is, however, a hypothesis.   It is speculation.

The specific notions (the attributes, personalities, modes, behavior, etc. ascribed) of the various thousands of historical gods are clearly wild-assed guesses;  the word 'fiction' seems spot on.

If in the future one of these gods turns out to be real then I would say that those who hold (or held) that notion of god got a lucky coincidence.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.17  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.10    2 weeks ago
I think you just do not recognize Gordy's acknowledgement.   I have never witnessed Gordy claim that a belief sans evidence is necessarily false. 

 Going this route again, are we? First thing he does in here is label, incorrectly, everything in sight as a fallacy. In other words, the premise of the article that the listed phenomena point toward God, or an intelligent creator, is based on fallacious understanding of the phenomena. Therefore, belief that it does is necessarily false in his estimation. 

Further, nice the way you added to what was said. The subject was belief, not belief sans evidence. Neither I or, I would assume, Tacos! believes in God sans evidence. That was what the article was about, you know? I certainly think the phenomena listed qualify as evidence of God's existence, among other things. 

I see it as a lucky coincidence.   See above.

Really? Just lucky? If it turns out there is other intelligent life out there those who believed it all along just made a lucky guess rather than considering probability statistics based on science? Seems we had an argument not that long ago where you were incensed at my refusal to recognize that out of the trillions of possible life bearing planets out there, some of them are likely to have life, possibly intelligent life. I refused because, scientifically, you can't establish probability off of one example. Are you now saying that if we discover another planet with life on it, possibly intelligent, it was just a lucky guess on your part and not a consideration of scientific evidence? 

Here's the thing. Most people believe in God because they believe there is evidence for that belief. That you or others may not consider it evidence isn't very relevant. So, you can keep putting it in terms of "sans evidence" but you're only stating "evidence you don't personally accept."

Thing is, the belief could also be wrong.   Chances are very good that a belief sans evidence will get things wrong

Couldn't agree more. If I lived in Las Vegas and I believed an aircraft carrier was going to crash into my house tomorrow just because I believed it there's a pretty good chance my belief is wrong. But, if I believe in God because of the things I observe and experience tells me that He exists, that's a different kettle of fish. I'm not believing sans evidence. I'm not a materialist. I don't limit myself the way you do. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.18  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.17    2 weeks ago
Going this route again, are we? First thing he does in here is label, incorrectly, everything in sight as a fallacy. In other words, the premise of the article that the listed phenomena point toward God, or an intelligent creator, is based on fallacious understanding of the phenomena. Therefore, belief that it does is necessarily false in his estimation. 

I bet you that Gordy, if you ask him, will tell you that he does not hold that belief is necessarily false.

Further, nice the way you added to what was said. The subject was belief, not belief sans evidence.

You think my clarity is some kind of trick?   Good grief man.   We are not talking about belief based on solid evidence but rather belief sans evidence.   We have evidence that the moon orbits our planet; it is sensible to believe this is so.   Clearly belief on good evidence is NOT what we are talking about.   So why portray my comment as though I have done something tricky?

Neither I or, I would assume, Tacos! believes in God sans evidence. That was what the article was about, you know? I certainly think the phenomena listed qualify as evidence of God's existence, among other things. 

The phenomena do not evidence God (and certainly not the Christian God).   The phenomena simply evidence that our universe came into existence, can only exist under very specific circumstances and is amazingly complex.   Where is the tie to the Christian God?   In the past you have argued that fine-tuning is evidence of God.   But that presumes intent;  if the 'tuning' of our universe were slightly different we would not exist and some other sentient entity might by marveling at how their universe was fine-tuned just for them. 

Where is the evidence of a necessary sentient creator? 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.19  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.15    2 weeks ago
If there is no before or after God then how does God differ from existence itself?

I don't know how Tacos! would answer this but I suspect it would be pretty close to what I'm about to say. 

There are, two classes of things that exist. One class is solely populated by God, who has always existed, without beginning and will always exist, without end. The other class is all else that exists, which is the created order God made, which is not God or a part of God. That is, there's not a shred of pantheism involved in it. 

God is not contingent upon nor emergent from anything. He is self-contained, for lack of a better word, meaning He needs no space to exist in or anything to sustain Him. No body in which to exist. He draws no power or sustenance from anything, having nothing outside Himself that He needs or requires. Subject to absolutely nothing except His own nature. He is the only truly sovereign person, unable to be assailed in the least way. 

We, however, are created beings. We are not only contingent upon God creating us, we need four dimensional space in which to exist. We need a universe with stable laws in which to exist. We need countless other things, like air, water and food to continue to live. We need social interaction in order to function correctly and those interactions are best when certain rules are followed and worst when they aren't. We are subject to practically everything, including our usually barely controlled nature and if there is a word that least describes us it would be sovereign. 

There is no material connection between us and God, with the exception of Jesus, who took on human form as part of God's plan. That is, there is not a reality where God and the created order are subsets of a larger set, except to say that both exist. That isn't to say that they share the same sort of existence or that there's this metaphysical thing "existence" that both are subject to. 

Now, you don't have to accept that as truth. You're perfectly allowed to see it how you want to. But there's not much point in arguing about it when we aren't even speaking of the same things, you know? We aren't starting from the same place. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.20  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.19    2 weeks ago
There are, two classes of things that exist. One class is solely populated by God, who has always existed, without beginning and will always exist, without end. The other class is all else that exists, which is the created order God made, which is not God or a part of God. That is, there's not a shred of pantheism involved in it. 

So when comparing existence itself to nothingness, existence (the violation of nothingness) has always been because God (as you see things) exists and God is eternal.

Is it your contention then that God created this second class of existence from nothing?    If so, explain how literal nothing can become something.    It is logical to say that God formed all that exists in the second class by repurposing first class existence.   But to claim that something emerged from literal nothing contradicts the meaning of literal nothing.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.21  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.20    one week ago
Is it your contention then that God created this second class of existence from nothing?    If so, explain how literal nothing can become something.

Contrary to what you might think, I'm not God : ) In other words, how could I possibly answer that except that God spoke and it was. How would I know the mechanics of it? Besides, your wording is wrong. He didn't change a handful of nothing into something. There wasn't, then there was. 

It is logical to say that God formed all that exists in the second class by repurposing first class existence.   But to claim that something emerged from literal nothing contradicts the meaning of literal nothing.

Or it says something about God's power. But I get what you're saying. Again, though, you are speaking from materialist assumptions. For you, if God exists, He would necessarily be an emergent property of what you think of as existence and therefore subject to existence's rules. Thus, you can't get something from literal nothing even from God. 

But the God I believe in isn't a part of your "existence" or put another way, the natural order you think exists. He is not an emergent property of it but, rather, it's creator. Apparently, He can create something where there was literally nothing before. 

Incidentally, I find the concept of "nothing" harder (perhaps impossible) to conceptualize than infinity. When I try to think of a nothingness, I can't help but think of a place, which would be something, where nothing is. In fact, the act of thinking of nothing makes it something, it seems. I think real nothingness is something we can't actually hold in our minds. A real concept of it never enters it. The thought that can't be thunk? 

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.22  Tacos!  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.19    one week ago

Exactly. Well said. It’s really not so complicated.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.23  Tacos!  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.21    one week ago

Perfect.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.24  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.18    one week ago
So why portray my comment as though I have done something tricky?

Because, as you've just done now, you dismiss what we consider evidence as "not good evidence" and therefore not valid for this conversation. The only things you want to allow as evidence is what you consider as qualifying evidence according to your criteria. Hence: 

We are not talking about belief based on solid evidence but rather belief sans evidence.

My belief in God is based on solid evidence as far as I am concerned. It passes my criteria. That it doesn't pass yours doesn't exclude it from this conversation and therefore your "belief sans evidence" has neither justification or validity. 

The phenomena do not evidence God (and certainly not the Christian God).

I disagree. 

Where is the tie to the Christian God?

Well, certainly not in the apparent fine tuning of the universe alone. If we just look at that in isolation then it's a pretty weak argument. But when I combine it with the totality of all the other evidence out there, I get a much more convincing set of evidences. Once again you treat the question from purely materialistic assumptions. You're free to do so, but there's no reason at all that anyone else has to.

But that presumes intent;  if the 'tuning' of our universe were slightly different we would not exist and some other sentient entity might by marveling at how their universe was fine-tuned just for them.

And again assuming materialism. Fine. Assume away. But why is my presumption of intent less valid than yours that there is none? You can what if until the cows come home but it means nothing. Only what is. This universe appears to be fine tuned for life. I consider that one item of evidence of many that leads me to believe God exists. Can you explain why anyone should hold a materialistic view of existence? Please don't say something about empiricism because that would be an utter fail. About the only reason I can think of for holding materialist views is the personal decision not to believe in anything you can't see or anything you have to take on faith. 

Where is the evidence of a necessary sentient creator?

Where is the evidence that a sentient creator isn't necessary? 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.3.25  Tessylo  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.7    one week ago
"How do you explain things to childlike minds?"

"You see Billy, the Easter Bunny is really just a magical, invisible, anthropomorphized Hare who carries a magical, constantly full basket of pigmented chicken eggs and places them in strategic positions for you to locate and then consume, assuming you discover them soon enough and they do not start rotting. This magic Bunny only comes around once a year on Easter though."

How's that?   jrSmiley_18_smiley_image.gif

What examples of magic do you believe true? 

God poofing everything into existence?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.26  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.21    one week ago
Contrary to what you might think, I'm not God : ) In other words, how could I possibly answer that except that God spoke and it was.

You posited it so I figured you could explain it.

For you, if God exists, He would necessarily be an emergent property of what you think of as existence and therefore subject to existence's rules. 

No, I was taking your scenario and asking you about it.

Incidentally, I find the concept of "nothing" harder (perhaps impossible) to conceptualize than infinity. When I try to think of a nothingness, I can't help but think of a place, which would be something, where nothing is. In fact, the act of thinking of nothing makes it something, it seems. I think real nothingness is something we can't actually hold in our minds. A real concept of it never enters it. The thought that can't be thunk? 

I find it easy to conceptualize nothingness.    It is the opposite of existence.   To reify a bit, prior to being born, there was no Drakk.   That is nothingness.   Drakk did not exist.   'Drakk exists' vs. 'Drakk does not exist' ≅  existence vs. nothingness.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.27  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.24    one week ago
Because, as you've just done now, you dismiss what we consider evidence as "not good evidence" and therefore not valid for this conversation. The only things you want to allow as evidence is what you consider as qualifying evidence according to your criteria. Hence: 

You did not explain how my qualifying belief sans evidence vs. belief (unqualified) is some kind of a trick.   I was being specific and you deem it a trick.   Try to not presume I am trying to be dishonest and we might avoid a lot of this misunderstanding.

But, addressing what you wrote anyway, I do indeed reject 'feelings' and unspecified evidence as evidence.   Evidence, in this context, would be something that can be objectively measured.   If not, then anyone could put forth anything as 'evidence' and thus 'evidence' becomes meaningless.   Further, evidence needs to directly identify that which it supports.   Evidence that could be explained with multiple contradicting hypothesis is not evidence of either.   So, for example, the complexity of the human eye is not evidence that God exists nor is it evidence of evolution.   To evidence God one would start with the defining characteristics of God.   These vary, but for the Christian God this includes perfection, omniscience, and omnipotence.    These are almost impossible to evidence in pure form because they are extremes, but one could approximate evidence for omnipotence by an entity being observed forming a new galaxy (or even something more modest such as transforming our solar system into a binary star system).    Suffice it to say that evidencing the Christian God is arguably impossible.   But by the same token, belief in same is based on pure speculation or trust in what other human beings have declared.   I have a problem with that.

My belief in God is based on solid evidence as far as I am concerned. It passes my criteria. 

What is your evidence?

I disagree. 

Because?

But when I combine it with the totality of all the other evidence out there, I get a much more convincing set of evidences. 

Again, what are these evidences?   You keep complaining that I am too limiting in my treatment yet you only refer to your evidence in the abstract.   My take from that is that your evidence is simply 'I believe' and/or 'it rings true to me' or equivalent.   Certainly you know that this is not evidence.

And again assuming materialism.

To me this is simply a dodge.   Quit hiding behind the 'materialism' label and give me solid examples.

This universe appears to be fine tuned for life. I consider that one item of evidence of many that leads me to believe God exists.

There is zero evidence of sentient fine-tuning.   The evidence states that the universe is dependent upon a host of factors with tiny tolerances.   It is very easy then for our universe to not exist.   Our universe is rare.   But, then again, there are a host of universes that are also rare.   If the factors did not produce our specific universe they could have produced a universe where entirely different sentient entities might emerge and presume that their universe was fine-tuned just for them.

Can you explain why anyone should hold a materialistic view of existence?

I reject your label.   You deem everything I write materialistic simply because I do not include speculation and feelings as evidence.    It is fair to say that I am not spiritual; that I do not simply believe that which I am told.   The materialist label (like all labels) brings in baggage and thus pollutes the discussion.

About the only reason I can think of for holding materialist views is the personal decision not to believe in anything you can't see or anything you have to take on faith. 

It is not a personal decision Drakk.   Mere words encouraging me to 'believe on faith' do not persuade me.   I do not choose to be skeptical of mere words, that is simply how my mind works.   I do find it difficult to imagine how anyone can be convinced to 'believe' in something for which there is no evidence simply because some other human begins said it is true.

Where is the evidence that a sentient creator isn't necessary? 

Instead of answering my question you simply ask the reciprocal of me?    I take that to mean that you have no evidence that a sentient creator is necessary.

Evidence that a sentient creator is unnecessary is in the science of evolution.   At the biochemical level we see how the most inexplicable, complex, seemingly designed things (life forms) are actually the result of reproductive variations conditioned by a changing environment.   Thus in our local observation (our planet) we see complexity arising without the direct guiding hand of a sentient agent.    This is not proof that God is unnecessary, but it is evidence that complexity arises without a guiding hand.

We see the same phenomena at the cosmological and quantum levels.   At the cosmological level we observe the lifecycle of stars, planets and more exotic creations such as nebulae, quasars, black holes, etc.    Science well understands how plasma and gravity (and other forces) work together to create these various forms.

Now you can claim that God put this all in place and that this is all an indirect consequence of His design.   That is speculation.   It is possible, but it is simply speculation.   And I cannot prove you wrong because all we have is evidence that God is not necessary, not proof.   Thus your speculation can exist in the gaps.

Now, do you have evidence that God is necessary?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.28  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.27    one week ago
You did not explain how my qualifying belief sans evidence vs. belief (unqualified) is some kind of a trick.   I was being specific and you deem it a trick.   Try to not presume I am trying to be dishonest and we might avoid a lot of this misunderstanding.

But what you're doing is dishonest. When you say you're being "specific" in saying "belief sans evidence" you are attempting to impose your interpretation of what qualifies as evidence in order to force the discussion onto grounds of your choosing. If I do not question this tactic then I am tacitly agreeing that we believe without evidence, which I know isn't true. We believe because of evidence. 

But, addressing what you wrote anyway...

Yes, I know. You're not telling me anything new here about what you believe or what you require for evidence to be considered evidence. 

What is your evidence?

Go to Google and do a search on "evidence for God". But I consider the greatest evidence to be the existence of morality. We've had that discussion so many times you should know this by now.

Because?

Seriously?

Again, what are these evidences?   You keep complaining that I am too limiting in my treatment yet you only refer to your evidence in the abstract.   My take from that is that your evidence is simply 'I believe' and/or 'it rings true to me' or equivalent.   Certainly you know that this is not evidence.

Again, seriously? We're in this discussion because of an article that claims scientific discoveries point to God and you have to ask, "what are these evidences?" How about those three for starters?  You aren't asking me because you are unaware of what they are. You are asking me so you can argue why they shouldn't be or aren't evidence in your view. 

I reject your label.   You deem everything I write materialistic simply because I do not include speculation and feelings as evidence.

Reject away : ) but I call you materialist because that is what you are. Unless something is empirically provable it doesn't exist for you. Oh, sure, you don't deny it might possibly exist but that's simply a defensive tactic for arguments, relieving you of burden of proof in claiming something doesn't exist. In reality, even if God proved to you that He exists in a manner that would satisfy you, you would still believe He would simply be an emergent property of a materialist universe. It would not change your materialism in the slightest. 

There is zero evidence of sentient fine-tuning.   The evidence states that the universe is dependent upon a host of factors with tiny tolerances.   It is very easy then for our universe to not exist.

Actually, the argument is that the universe appears to be fine tuned for life to exist. One explanation for this is that a sentient creator, or God, is an explanation for this apparent fine tuning. 100 years ago atheistic scientists would have scoffed at this outright, as they believed the universe was eternal and static. Then along came Hubble and others who showed that the Bible was right all along, which was why Hubble was so hard to accept in the beginning for so many. Even Einstein. 

So, we have a beginning, which was what was claimed and it appears that the universe seems fine tuned for life. Circumstantial evidence for sure, but added to all other evidence for which God fits as an explanation, it adds up to something hard to deny. For most of us, at least. 

Our universe is rare.   But, then again, there are a host of universes that are also rare.   If the factors did not produce our specific universe they could have produced a universe where entirely different sentient entities might emerge and presume that their universe was fine-tuned just for them.

This is news to me! Wow! I wonder how I could have missed news of our discovery of other universes! Are there pictures? How did we get a probe there? Are we planning manned missions to other universes? 

Instead of answering my question you simply ask the reciprocal of me?    I take that to mean that you have no evidence that a sentient creator is necessary.

Please, TiG. I know you know exactly what I was saying with the reciprocal. 

Evidence that a sentient creator is unnecessary is in the science of evolution.   At the biochemical level we see how the most inexplicable, complex, seemingly designed things (life forms) are actually the result of reproductive variations conditioned by a changing environment.   Thus in our local observation (our planet) we see complexity arising without the direct guiding hand of a sentient agent.    This is not proof that God is unnecessary, but it is evidence that complexity arises without a guiding hand.

I see. So, you've (or someone) established what it must look like if God did indeed have a guiding hand in what you call evolution? Can you explain what those criteria would be? That would make it much easier for me to believe in unguided evolution. Thanks. 

We see the same phenomena at the cosmological and quantum levels.   At the cosmological level we observe the lifecycle of stars, planets and more exotic creations such as nebulae, quasars, black holes, etc.    Science well understands how plasma and gravity (and other forces) work together to create these various forms.

The cosmological level, too? That's great! So can you also explain how understanding how all this cosmological wonder happens sans God? I mean, you must have some idea of what it would look like if God were actually responsible and, presumably, it would be markedly different from what we observe, so what would it be?

Now you can claim that God put this all in place and that this is all an indirect consequence of His design.   That is speculation.   It is possible, but it is simply speculation.   And I cannot prove you wrong because all we have is evidence that God is not necessary, not proof.

You don't understand the implications of your own words. The same thing you point to as evidence that God is not necessary is the same evidence we claim shows He is. And neither of us can prove our position. So how is yours not speculative while mine is? 

Now, do you have evidence that God is necessary?

Do you have evidence that God is not necessary? You see? I can put the same impossible burden on you as well. Looks like it has to be determined some other way, huh? 

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
4.3.29  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Tacos! @4.3    one week ago

We believe God is the one thing that always exists. There is no before or after God.

The oddest part about what religionists believe is that they think this God cares about anything they care about.  They don’t just think it, they claim to know it, and they will judge anyone who doesn’t agree - all based on nonexistent evidence.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.30  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.28    one week ago
But what you're doing is dishonest. When you say you're being "specific" in saying "belief sans evidence" you are attempting to impose your interpretation of what qualifies as evidence in order to force the discussion onto grounds of your choosing. If I do not question this tactic then I am tacitly agreeing that we believe without evidence, which I know isn't true. We believe because of evidence. 

Why do you engage in these games Drakk?

I qualified the word 'belief' to be clear and here you are continuing to insist that this is some kind of trick.   Being specific in language is not a trick.    

Also, look again at what I wrote:

TiG @4.3.10I think you just do not recognize Gordy's acknowledgement.   I have never witnessed Gordy claim that a belief sans evidence is necessarily false.   Ask him. 

This says nothing about the nature of evidence.   The purpose of this statement was to express the fact that I have yet to see Gordy ever claim that belief sans evidence is necessarily false.    The 'sans evidence' part is critical to my meaning.   Look at how this reads without it:

I have never witnessed Gordy claim that a belief is necessarily false. 

What would that mean?   That Gordy has never claimed that a belief is necessarily false??   That is not my intended meaning.    We know that Gordy has claimed that 'a' belief is false.   I have claimed a belief is false.   For example, the belief that dinosaurs coexisted with human beings is a false belief.

That statement as you want me to write it is meaningless and does not express my meaning.   What I wrote expresses my meaning nicely.   Seems to me you are purposely deflecting into these ridiculous tangents.    To what end?

But I consider the greatest evidence to be the existence of morality. 

As if the many, varied mores and values seen in countless historical cultures did not evolve as societies evolved.   You observe contradictory mores & values with great variety and somehow that is evidence of God.   Seems to me the evidence of God (albeit very weak still) would be if there was a unified morality where the entire planet had the very same sense of morality over time.   That would at least indicate some unifying factor.   The presence of variation is what one would expect if there were no unifying factor.

How you see that as evidence of God is mystifying.

Unless something is empirically provable it doesn't exist for you.

The use of labels is crude.   It is a form of stereotyping.   It makes language awkward and inaccurate.   I do not label you.   Have you noticed?

Stick with the meaning.   Yes, without persuasive objective evidence I do not believe something is true.   I do not simply accept as truth what some human being declares as such.

Actually, the argument is that the universe appears to be fine tuned for life to exist.   ...

'For life' qualification does not change my answer.

There is zero evidence of sentient fine-tuning.   The evidence states that the universe is dependent upon a host of factors with tiny tolerances.   It is very easy then for our universe to not exist.   Our universe is rare.   But, then again, there are a host of alternately 'tuned' universes that are also mathematically rare.   If the factors did not produce our specific universe they could have produced a universe where entirely different sentient entities might emerge and presume that their universe was fine-tuned just for them.

There are logically many variations of universes (using the fine-tuning analogy) that could have resulted with life of some form.    Apparently you do not see the flaw with the fine-tuning argument even when I note that an alternatively tuned universe could have sentient entities arguing that the universe was fine-tuned for them.    To the entity (arrogantly) it looks as though the universe where fine-tuned just for them.  More likely, they are simply an emergent property of the universe.   They quite likely are simply a side-effect, not the objective.

So, you've (or someone) established what it must look like if God did indeed have a guiding hand in what you call evolution? 

Nobody has suggested that.   You are dodging the question.   You can speculate that God is indirectly guiding evolution but there is no evidence of that.   It might be because we do not recognize the evidence (yet) or it might be because there is no evidence because there is no guiding.   We do not know.   But at this point you also have no evidence that a sentient entity is guiding evolution so why would you believe it is so?   Faith?  Because you want to believe it?  Because someone told you to believe it?

So can you also explain how understanding how all this cosmological wonder happens sans God? I mean, you must have some idea of what it would look like if God were actually responsible and, presumably, it would be markedly different from what we observe, so what would it be?

Science can explain with great detail how planets, stars, galaxies, etc. form, undergo change and die.   There is nothing in this collective explanation that requires a sentient entity.   You phrase your question as if I have claimed that it is impossible for a guiding hand to exist.   That is dishonest.    I did not even imply a sentient entity is impossible;  I illustrated that so far there has been no need reference to a sentient entity anywhere in these explanations.

You don't understand the implications of your own words. The same thing you point to as evidence that God is not necessary is the same evidence we claim shows He is. And neither of us can prove our position. So how is yours not speculative while mine is? 

This is cute.  You tell me I do not understand the implications of my words and as proof you misrepresent what I wrote.   Sloppy or dishonest?   I have not made the case that God is not necessary.   I asked you:

TiG @4.3.18Where is the evidence of a necessary sentient creator? 

You could have replied:  "I do not believe a sentient creator is necessary"  or  "I do not have any evidence that a sentient creator is necessary but I believe it nonetheless"  or some other phrasing where you honestly attempt to answer my question.   Instead you just reversed the question and asked me.   I, being cooperative, attempted to answer your reflected question.   In doing so, I did not claim that God is unnecessary (as a statement of certainty) but rather pointed out that the evidence thus far shows no indication that God is necessary.   There is evidence suggesting that the universe formed without the need for a sentient guiding force.   

The key difference is this.   You have put forth a posit that God exists and that God is guiding the evolution of our reality.   I have instead described (summarily) what science has observed.   You have no evidence that God exists nor do you have evidence that God is guiding evolution.   But all the explanations of science I referred to do have supporting evidence (continuously under scrutiny).   For example, the lifecycle of a star is well known.  Science can explain this lifecycle from plasma clouds to supernova and nowhere is their a need to call upon supernatural intervention.   You can insist that God is involved, but you would be inserting a spurious condition.   God is simply not necessary to explain the lifecycle of a star.    

That does not mean there is no God.   But it does mean that there is a profound lack of a smoking gun here.   If God is involved then He is involved in ways that continue to escape us.   It sure looks like things are operating unguided ... so how you can look at that and declare evidence of God is quite a feat.

Bottom line:  when you claim the existence of God you bear the burden of proof.   When I note no current need for God in scientific explanations, that is simply a statement of fact (currently).   It does not mean no God exists or that God might become a necessary variable in a future scientific theory.   It does mean that as of now, the God factor does not appear in science.

Do you have evidence that God is not necessary? You see? I can put the same impossible burden on you as well. Looks like it has to be determined some other way, huh? 

I attempted to answer.   You deflected.  (And continue to do so.)

If you deem the burden impossible then why did you not simply write that you have no such evidence and it is impossible to get it?    I understand that would then be an admission that you have no basis for believing God is necessary.   Maybe that is why you engaged in this game.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.31  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.30    one week ago
If you deem the burden impossible then why did you not simply write that you have no such evidence and it is impossible to get it?    I understand that would then be an admission that you have no basis for believing God is necessary.   

(Sigh)

I think I'll just call an impasse at this point.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.32  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.31    one week ago

Okay with me to stop this merry-go-round.    This was another exercise where I endlessly correct your various representations of what I wrote.

After all this effort you still do not recognize what is likely the most primitive aspect possible — that of existence itself.   You reject the idea that existence itself could be the first cause because ... you just do.   You replace the most abstract reference I can make — that of the quintessential substance of existence — and insist that 'substance' means material (no matter what I write).   

I do not accept the idea that you cannot think sufficiently abstract to conceive of substance beyond (below, well below) material into a concept which I call 'substance'.   Or that it is this substance that distinguishes that which exists (is of substance) from that which does not exist (has no substance).   And this means that if something were spiritual or ethereal (if you prefer) the ethereal quality would be of this quintessential substance.   The attribution of substance is what distinguishes existence from non-existence (even an idea requires substance since the idea is a property of something with substance).   And I am not putting a restriction on God here, I am giving an example to express the abstract nature of 'substance' as I have consistently used the term.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.33  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.32    one week ago
This was another exercise where I endlessly correct your various representations of what I wrote.

Or this was an exercise where you don't seem to realize there is a counter argument to your argument being made, which you simply interpret as misunderstanding your position. After all, how could your position possibly be wrong? Case in point:

I do not accept the idea that you cannot think sufficiently abstract to conceive of substance beyond (below, well below) material into a concept which I call 'substance'.

I totally get the concept. I have not the slightest confusion about it. Do you think that it is therefore true and not mere speculation on your part? 

 And I am not putting a restriction on God here, I am giving an example to express the abstract nature of 'substance' as I have consistently used the term.

Yes, another thing I have not the slightest confusion about or lack of understanding, as long as we're speaking within the context of your viewpoint. As soon as I step out of your viewpoint and into my viewpoint, you are in fact putting a restriction on God. God necessarily being dependent on your "substance" in order to exist.

Whatever God was dependent upon, even for His own existence, would be God, not Him. If God were subject to "substance" for His existence, then He would necessarily be ruled by whatever rules governs "substance". Again substance would be God, not God. If God were subject to "substance" for His existence, then potentially, the correct application of the rules of substance by a clever enough entity could thwart, perhaps even defeat God. Again, God would not be God then.

So saying you aren't putting a restriction on God is only true depending on how one defines God, is it not? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.34  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.33    one week ago
Or this was an exercise where you don't seem to realize there is a counter argument to your argument being made, which you simply interpret as misunderstanding your position. After all, how could your position possibly be wrong? Case in point:

You have not made a counter argument.   You have simply misrepresented what I wrote.  I should be used to this by now.

I totally get the concept.

You demonstrably do not.   Your insistence on this being tied to 'material' proves it.

As soon as I step out of your viewpoint and into my viewpoint, you are in fact putting a restriction on God. God necessarily being dependent on your "substance" in order to exist.

That is not a restriction on God.   It is equivalent to stating: God exists.   Either God exists (is of existence) or God is existence.   It makes no logical sense to hold that God (cannot even use the word 'exists' now) is around before existence.   Either God is existence or God is a form of existence.

In short:  God either exists (is of existence) or God is existence.   When you break existence into two classes your first class is that which enables God to exist.   So in your first class is God of class one existence (i.e. God exists) or is God the same as class one existence.   You seem to have described the former.   My guess is that you will simply tell me neither and then give a non-explanation.

Whatever God was dependent upon, even for His own existence, would be God, not Him. If God were subject to "substance" for His existence, then He would necessarily be ruled by whatever rules governs "substance". Again substance would be God, not God. If God were subject to "substance" for His existence, then potentially, the correct application of the rules of substance by a clever enough entity could thwart, perhaps even defeat God. Again, God would not be God then. 

God could be existence itself.

So saying you aren't putting a restriction on God is only true depending on how one defines God, is it not? 

How God is defined is always critical and it can make profound differences in consequences.

Regardless, my purpose was not to restrict God but rather to define existence.   If God exists then that would mean God is of existence.   If God is not of existence then God is existence itself.   God cannot preexist existence itself, right?   Or are you going to claim otherwise?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.35  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.34    one week ago
God cannot preexist existence itself, right?   Or are you going to claim otherwise?

Depends on what we're defining as existence, doesn't it? You imbue the word with properties other than a state of being. In your definition, it is inextricably bound up with "substance." In fact, the way you speak of it, substance and existence are synonyms. "Substance" whatever it is, represents the most basic, irreducible (element, particle, quanta, fizzgig?) possible of something that exists, from which all other things are made of. You group the entire concept under the heading "existence". 

That is not the way I think of existence.

I think that existence means no more than something that exists. That's all. Because of that, I think the manner in which something exists is more relevant than the simple fact of it's existence. The nature of God's existence is unique from all other things that exist. So, to answer your question, it's meaningless because of the manner of God's existence. He can't predate existence because He has always existed. Unlike everything else, which began to exist at some point. 

If God exists then that would mean God is of existence.

It means God exists. It doesn't mean God is of existence in the manner that "being of existence" requires in your view. You are making a connection based on a speculated view of your own making and nothing more. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.36  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.35    one week ago
Depends on what we're defining as existence, doesn't it?

Existence is the opposite of nothingness.   

You imbue the word with properties other than a state of being.

Yeah, it is the state of not being nothing.

In your definition, it is inextricably bound up with "substance." In fact, the way you speak of it, substance and existence are synonyms. "Substance" whatever it is, represents the most basic, irreducible (element, particle, quanta, fizzgig?) possible of something that exists, from which all other things are made of. You group the entire concept under the heading "existence". 

Everything that exists is of the quintessential substance of existence.    If something exists then it is of existence and what makes it of existence as opposed to nothingness is the quintessential substance of existence (where substance is defined in the abstract as the most primitive makeup of existence).

I think that existence means no more than something that exists. That's all.

You seem to have gone beyond that.   You hold that God exists and that Nerm exists but they are of two different classes of existence.   So what is that all about then?   And if something exists, what is the difference between it and that which does not exist?   What is the essential distinction of it from nothingness?

Because of that, I think the manner in which something exists is more relevant than the simple fact of it's existence. The nature of God's existence is unique from all other things that exist.  So, to answer your question, it's meaningless because of the manner of God's existence. He can't predate existence because He has always existed. Unlike everything else, which began to exist at some point. 

Thus you hold that God exists and is eternal.  And since He is eternal and cannot predate existence, God must be synonymous with your class one existence.   And then everything else was created by God and it is of class two existence (which God of course must have created).

The logical consequence of what you have been stating.   I am still not clear on how class two existence came to pass?   Did God poof it into reality (nothingness into something)?   That is, did God not add anything to create this class two existence?   The very act of creating means something is going on.   Something is carrying out this act.   This is not nothing to something, right?

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.3.37  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.5    one week ago
I look for objective, empirical evidence. The simple fact of the matter is, none has ever been presented. No doubt if it were, it would rock the scientific world.

I agree, I also look for objective information and try to remain neutral to What GOD is. (as I do with everything)

One of the things I look at is that Everything that is needed to work together the earth, the sun, our atmosphere, water, including trees and all the different animals that maintained what's here and us humans, is here and does work together. 

All of that being just right for earth to be what it is, just seems to me to be something.

My idea of what that something may be is most like a Deist.  Some sort of (we'll call it god) is responsible for every thing being as it is and everything working together to produce What is here. 

(I call it GOD, but I think of GOD as something, perhaps more as an entity, a force, or even a "human like being" (which to me sound less likely)

Even though I may takes some flak on that one, but I say what I believe, If proven wrong.. Good I hate being wrong and I'm happy to change what I think... If proven to my satisfaction and I do try real hard to always be objective and neutral, open minded and teachable.

..........................................  

May I ask what your explanation is for everything needed and is present to be What it is ? 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.38  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.36    one week ago
Existence is the opposite of nothingness.
Yeah, it is the state of not being nothing.

Com on, TiG. You and anyone else who's bothered to follow this argument knows you mean more than simply that concerning existence. You prove it immediately when you say...

Everything that exists is of the quintessential substance of existence.    If something exists then it is of existence and what makes it of existence as opposed to nothingness is the quintessential substance of existence (where substance is defined in the abstract as the most primitive makeup of existence).

Whatever this "quintessential substance of existence" is, you connect everything that exists, including God, under that heading in an almost pantheistic way. All that exists, according to your view, is generated by it and has been for eternity. Don't now try to sell us on the idea that all you mean is " the opposite of nothingness". 

You seem to have gone beyond that.   You hold that God exists and that Nerm exists but they are of two different classes of existence.   So what is that all about then?   And if something exists, what is the difference between it and that which does not exist?   What is the essential distinction of it from nothingness?

What's that all about? I don't know how I can make it clearer. God has always existed. He is not made of anything. He needs no space or any other concept you could come up with in which to exist. He is not dependent on anything. He needs nothing with which to sustain Himself. There are no conditions necessary for Him to exist. He simply is, always has and always will. 

The rest of everything else was created by God. Not converted from something into something else. I have no idea how that works. As such, we do not exist in the same manner. We are contingent on His act of creation and, having been created, our continued existence is dependent as it can possibly get. 

The difference between what exists and what doesn't is self explanatory. The essential difference is that it isn't nothingness. 

Now, I don't ask you to believe a word of that. That is not the purpose for my stating all this earlier and it isn't my purpose for stating it now. The purpose for stating it is simply so that you know where I am coming from when I say things in this whatever it is. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.39  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.38    one week ago
Com on, TiG. You and anyone else who's bothered to follow this argument knows you mean more than simply that concerning existence. You prove it immediately when you say...

You object to me offering a summary statement?   On what grounds?   You claim that offering a summary statement means that I have nothing more to say on the subject?  Since when is that true for anyone?   

Whatever this "quintessential substance of existence" is, you connect everything that exists, including God, under that heading in an almost pantheistic way. All that exists, according to your view, is generated by it and has been for eternity. Don't now try to sell us on the idea that all you mean is " the opposite of nothingness". 

Well you claim you understand what I have described but the above is either written to be obnoxious or you truly do not understand.     I have been stating all along that existence is the opposite of nothingness.   

The rest of everything else was created by God. Not converted from something into something else. I have no idea how that works. As such, we do not exist in the same manner. We are contingent on His act of creation and, having been created, our continued existence is dependent as it can possibly get. 

So you hold that God simply creates something from nothing.   You find that to be logical?   Grounding a belief on 'God creates something from nothing' should cause at least one red flag indicating something is not quite right.

The difference between what exists and what doesn't is self explanatory. The essential difference is that it isn't nothingness. 

If something that exists is distinguished from nothingness then why do reject recognizing that 'substance' which represents the distinction?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.40  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.39    one week ago
You object to me offering a summary statement?

No. 

On what grounds?

Since I don't object, none.

You claim that offering a summary statement means that I have nothing more to say on the subject?  Since when is that true for anyone?   

I can't say as this seems an unsubstantiated claim based on no observable context. In other words, I can think of anything I've said to justify this accusation.

Well you claim you understand what I have described but the above is either written to be obnoxious or you truly do not understand.     I have been stating all along that existence is the opposite of nothingness.

Which has little to nothing to do with what has been debated thus far. Are you now stating that you do not in fact believe all that exists necessarily exists under the rubric "quintessential substance of existence?"

So you hold that God simply creates something from nothing.   You find that to be logical?   Grounding a belief on 'God creates something from nothing' should cause at least one red flag indicating something is not quite right.

As I have stated before, I do not believe it is correct to describe what God did in the act of creation as making something from nothing. That seems a logical impossibility. You can't logically take a quantity of nothing for the purpose of converting it into something else, as there is nothing to convert. It seems that creation exists simply because He desired it to. You may consider that splitting hairs. That's fine. 

If something that exists is distinguished from nothingness then why do reject recognizing that 'substance' which represents the distinction?

Why do you ask the same question but ignore the answer given? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.41  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.40    one week ago
Which has little to nothing to do with what has been debated thus far. Are you now stating that you do not in fact believe all that exists necessarily exists under the rubric "quintessential substance of existence?"

And I have also stated that existence is the opposite of nothingness and that which distinguishes existence from nothingness is possessing quintessential substance of existence.   The question seems unnecessary.   It is possible to state A, B and C and at a later point state just B.   That does not mean that A and C are no longer valid.   It just means that we (human beings) do not repeat our entire argument in every sentence in every comment.

As I have stated before, I do not believe it is correct to describe what God did in the act of creation as making something from nothing. That seems a logical impossibility. You can't logically take a quantity of nothing for the purpose of converting it into something else, as there is nothing to convert. It seems that creation exists simply because He desired it to. You may consider that splitting hairs. That's fine. 

Given you have affirmed you hold making something out of literal nothing to be a logical impossibility then you could have answered my question(s) about substance (in this thread).   Your answer, repeatedly, is that God created something because He desired to.   Surely you see that is not an answer to the question.   You offer a why when I asked for what.

I have posited that anything that exists (is OF existence) necessarily has substance which I have defined as that of quintessential existence —that which distinguishes existence from nothingness.   And this substance is not material;  I have imposed no limits whatsoever on the substance because that would be an assumption which I purposely am trying to avoid in this posit.

So if God (presuming He exists) created the universe, He necessarily formed it from the substance of existence.    If He did not make something literally out of nothing then He necessarily formed it out of something.   That something (in its most primitive form) is what I have labeled 'the quintessential substance of existence'.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.42  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.41    one week ago
And this substance is not material;  I have imposed no limits whatsoever on the substance because that would be an assumption which I purposely am trying to avoid in this posit.

Yes, I am aware. The result, however, is that all you are doing is claiming there is this thing called "substance" and everything that exists comes from it, somehow. The problem is that all along you argue as if all this were factual when all you've done is create a blank check you can fill in with whatever you desire when, in reality, "substance" has all the validity of pink unicorns. 

So if God (presuming He exists) created the universe, He necessarily formed it from the substance of existence.    If He did not make something literally out of nothing then He necessarily formed it out of something.   That something (in its most primitive form) is what I have labeled 'the quintessential substance of existence'.

TiG. You seriously need to take a step back for a few minutes and realize you are talking about a hypothesis. One I have repeatedly told you I do not agree with. Your statement here argues as if it is not a hypothesis but established fact. I get that God creating something from literally nothing doesn't work under your hypothesis but it's just a hypothesis. You understand that, right? That what you are proposing is nothing more than a thought experiment? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.43  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.42    one week ago
The result, however, is that all you are doing is claiming there is this thing called "substance" and everything that exists comes from it, somehow.

So why do you fail to hold true to this upfront definition?    I posited a concept and gave it a label so that it is possible to then have a discussion.    

The problem is that all along you argue as if all this were factual when all you've done is create a blank check you can fill in with whatever you desire when, in reality, "substance" has all the validity of pink unicorns. 

Yes 'substance' is absolutely a blank check.   By intention!!   No assumptions.   Fully general.   How many times must I state this?

Now you complain that my conception of substance is too general ... too abstract?    Do you not recognize that we are discussing is one of the most abstract, general topics possible??   Yes, I have defined substance in general terms.   It is intentionally defined to cover all the bases.   This substance is that which distinguishes existence from nothingness.    Of course it is general.   What else could it possibly be?

You complain that I have offered something that can cover all the bases while disagreeing that it covers all the bases.

One I have repeatedly told you I do not agree with. 

Yeah, you do not agree with the notion that everything that exists is of a substance that distinguishes it from nothingness.   Which then means, in case you have not realized this, that you think that it is possible for something to exist without substance.   And that means that something exists as nothingness (given how I have defined 'substance').   Your conception is that it is possible for something to exist when it lacks that which distinguishes existence from nothingness.   

Your statement here argues as if it is not a hypothesis but established fact.

I have already told you that I am not stating this as established fact.   Forget that?   This is a thought experiment Drakk.   I have posited a way of thinking of existence vs. nothingness that is based upon what we currently know.    And while I do not claim certainty, I have yet to see you offer a single flaw in this conception.   Every flaw that you have raised has been based on you changing what I have stated in some way.   There is always some 'misunderstanding' and I spend most of my time simply swatting these endless misunderstanding flies.   After a while one beings to wonder if the misunderstanding is intentional.   After all, this is not a difficult concept for someone with your intellect to understand.   Thus when I see endless misrepresentation of what I continually explain and reexplain, my ability to hold this as intellectual honesty wains.

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Senior Quiet
4.3.44  gooseisgone  replied to  JBB @4.3.3    one week ago
Logic and reason were abandoned because I wanted to believe in magic.

What do you think the Big Bang Theory is, you create something from nothing aka magic. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.3.45  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.43    one week ago
So why do you fail to hold true to this upfront definition?    I posited a concept and gave it a label so that it is possible to then have a discussion.

Sorry, your "why do you fail to hold true to this upfront definition" is a little vague. I have no idea what you mean by "hold true". I can only imagine you are asking why I disagree with your concept. If that is what you are asking, I've answered a number of times already.

Now you complain that my conception of substance is too general ... too abstract?    Do you not recognize that we are discussing is one of the most abstract, general topics possible??   Yes, I have defined substance in general terms.   It is intentionally defined to cover all the bases.   This substance is that which distinguishes existence from nothingness.    Of course it is general.   What else could it possibly be?

It was not a complaint. It was pointing out that it is merely notional, yet you seem to argue as if it is established fact. 

You complain that I have offered something that can cover all the bases while disagreeing that it covers all the bases.

Inaccurate. I have said before that your hypothesis makes logical sense. That would naturally mean that I agree that it covers all the bases. I simply do not think it reflects actual reality.

Yeah, you do not agree with the notion that everything that exists is of a substance that distinguishes it from nothingness.

Again, inaccurate. I do not agree that all that exists consists of this "substance". What distinguishes what exists from what doesn't is the fact that what exists, exists, not that it consists of your hypothetical "substance."

Which then means, in case you have not realized this, that you think that it is possible for something to exist without substance.

Within the context of what you present as substance, yes, this is true.

And that means that something exists as nothingness (given how I have defined 'substance').

This is only true within the context of your "substance" hypothesis, which I hope is not necessary to point out is just mind candy at this point. This is reinforced by your own words, "given how I have defined 'substance". Once we depart your hypothesis it is no longer necessarily true. That is, there's no reason, or perhaps it would be more accurate to state, there is no evidence, that your criteria for existence is necessary to exist. 

I have already told you that I am not stating this as established fact.   Forget that?   This is a thought experiment Drakk.   I have posited a way of thinking of existence vs. nothingness that is based upon what we currently know.    And while I do not claim certainty, I have yet to see you offer a single flaw in this conception.

I haven't offered an explanation of a flaw in your conception because there isn't one that I can see. I've stated more than once that your conception is logically consistent within it's assumptions. 

My objection to your conception is that it doesn't account for the God I understand to exist. Even so, that doesn't mean there is a flaw in you conception within it's assumptions

So, no. I haven't forgotten that you have not specifically stated that this is established fact, nor did I imply such. What I said was that you are arguing as if it were established fact. As evidence, when I explain the state of God's existence, you do not accept it as simply what I believe to be true about God or the manner in which He exists but, rather, attempt to explain why it can't be because it doesn't fit within your conception of "substance". How can you do so and not treat it as established fact? 

Every flaw that you have raised has been based on you changing what I have stated in some way.

Untrue. I have changed not one thing you've stated. I demand you present even just one thing you believe I've changed. That "substance" is really just material? Already explained and, I might note, you presented no objection to.

There is always some 'misunderstanding' and I spend most of my time simply swatting these endless misunderstanding flies.

Again, untrue. You have yet to demonstrate a single misunderstanding on my part. 

After a while one beings to wonder if the misunderstanding is intentional.   After all, this is not a difficult concept for someone with your intellect to understand.

No, it isn't difficult to understand. I understood it completely years ago when we first discussed it. So, I have to wonder what it is that you think I misunderstand? Every instance of claimed misunderstanding on your part was answered on my part. I can't recall any objection to what I answered with. In fact, my answers to your objections seem to have gone largely ignored.

Thus when I see endless misrepresentation of what I continually explain and reexplain, my ability to hold this as intellectual honesty wains.

Can you give me even one example of something I've misinterpreted?

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.46  Gordy327  replied to  gooseisgone @4.3.44    one week ago

That statement demonstrates you do not understand what the Big Bang is.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.47  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.45    one week ago
I have no idea what you mean by "hold true".

To be consistent.

I do not agree that all that exists consists of this "substance". What distinguishes what exists from what doesn't is the fact that what exists, exists, not that it consists of your hypothetical "substance."

What does it mean then to exist?   What is the difference between something that exists and something that does not exist?    You have simply stated that the difference between what exists and what does not exist is that the former exists.    'X exists if it exists otherwise it does not exist' is not saying anything.

I have decided to call this substance 'Q' (from now on) to eliminate all semantic baggage (e.g. materialism) associated with the word 'substance'.   Still means the same thing:  Q = the quintessential substance of existence.   All things that exist are forms of Q by definition.   All things that do not exist are without Q.   The presence of Q distinguishes existence from nothingness.

My objection to your conception is that it doesn't account for the God I understand to exist. 

I realize that.   Although existence itself could be God.   If sentience, uber-power, knowledge and intelligence emerges from existence one could easily consider this to be an attribute of existence.   Thus existence itself could arguably (I would have to think more on this) explain God.   Regardless, objecting to Q because it does not match your religious beliefs is obviously not a spectacular reason.

After all, you cannot even bring yourself to state that if God exists that means He is necessarily OF existence.   You find the need to create two classes of existence, one for God and the other for everything else.

I demand you present even just one thing you believe I've changed. That "substance" is really just material? Already explained and, I might note, you presented no objection to.

I have chronicled where you have done this in the article in every spot where I speak of misrepresentation.   Already written, just read.   

But even easier, look at what you just did.   You again reiterate the 'substance (Q) is just material' mantra.   You just nailed the biggest offender.   And your explanations all hold to the notion of physical material.

Note also that you claim that you have explained but I have not objected to your explanation.   Funny, seems to me I have objected multiple times with explanation and I have finally stopped even responding to your continued repetitious claim.    Not only have I objected but you have portrayed my ignoring your most recent repetitions as tacit agreement.   

Here is a starting first example, if you are interested then just keep reading our past comments:

@4.3.32Yes, I am aware. The result, however, is that all you are doing is claiming there is this thing called "substance" and everything that exists comes from it, somehow. The problem is that all along you argue as if all this were factual when all you've done is create a blank check you can fill in with whatever you desire when, in reality, "substance" has all the validity of pink unicorns. 

You claim that I have made a factual claim when I have all along stated this as a posit.   This is a thought experiment that is based heavily on what we have observed (evidence) and with as few assumptions as possible towards contemplating the question of 'what is the most likely first cause'.    Your characterization equates this to writing a blank check ... basically you have equated it with bullshit as if this is a word game.

This is a categorical misrepresentation.   A more subtle misrepresentation is to say that everything that exists comes from Q (substance).   That is not what I have written.   Everything that exists is a form of Q.   It is the Q that distinguishes existence from nothingness.    And, importantly, the Q is not material.   As I have noted repeatedly, if a ghost did exist then it would be a form of Q.   The point is that there is something that distinguishes existence from nothingness and I have labeled this Q and have defined it as the most primitive quintessential substance of existence.

Can you give me even one example of something I've misinterpreted?

See above.   You identified the critical area yourself ( continually trying to recast Q as materialism ) in various attempts.   The majority of the misrepresentation is in the meaning (and intent) of Q.   You continually (although not consistently) frame Q as though it were physical when in actuality it is the placeholder for that which distinguishes existence from nothingness.   A spirit, if it exists, would certainly not be physical but it is a form of Q.    

Crucially:   Since something cannot logically come from nothing, each 'something' has some property that gives it existence.   This is what I have labeled Q (aka quintessential substance of existence).   This is not a materialist view since materialism is a philosophy of intuitive constructs of our universe (inherently physical).   Further, if you wish to expand materialism to include everything that exists then why keep harping on materialism if not to distort the concept of Q by making it appear as though I have defined some physical construct?   

Here is a hint Drakk.   When someone provides a concept, even one that is abstract, that is simply defined and bears minimal (if any) assumptions, there is no reason to try to characterize and reframe it in different ways unless one is trying to misrepresent.   Simply stated:   Q is very simple to understand.   I fully appreciate asking questions to try to clear up any ambiguity or for me to better establish the perspective I have offered.   All good.   But this:  'no, what you actually have here is xxx'  crap is typically nothing more than misrepresentation.

For the balance, you can read my posts as easily as I can and see where I object to misrepresentation.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.48  TᵢG  replied to  gooseisgone @4.3.44    one week ago
What do you think the Big Bang Theory is, you create something from nothing aka magic. 

The universe did not come from nothing.   I know that Professor Kraus speaks of this but it is tongue in cheek.   He is not talking about a literal nothing (pure nothingness).   He is stating that the universe expanded from a chain reaction of existing particles which had a net energy of 0 but were triggered (destabilized) by quantum fluctuation.   That is one (albeit not the most common) hypothesis.

To wit, his 'nothing' = net zero energy state.

Our universe did not emerge from nothingness;  that is a nonsensical notion.   Something cannot possibly come from pure nothingness.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.49  Gordy327  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.3.37    one week ago
One of the things I look at is that Everything that is needed to work together the earth, the sun, our atmosphere, water, including trees and all the different animals that maintained what's here and us humans, is here and does work together. 

That works currently. But if you look at Earth's history, Much of our planet's history was not favorable for humans or other plants and animals. Mammals didn't evolve until about 200 million years ago.

All of that being just right for earth to be what it is, just seems to me to be something.

It's called time and evolution.

Even though I may takes some flak on that one, but I say what I believe, If proven wrong..Good I hate being wrong and I'm happy to change what I think... If proven to my satisfaction and I do try real hard to always be objective and neutral, open minded and teachable.

Here's where you differ from most: you have your beliefs but are willing to reconsider should new evidence or information be forthcoming. Most who are set in their beliefs refuse to be open minded or question/change their beliefs in light of evidence or new information. You seem to take a more intellectually honest position.

May I ask what your explanation is for everything needed and is present to be What it is ? 

Are you asking what I think is necessary for the current world we inhabit?

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.3.50  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.49    one week ago
Are you asking what I think is necessary for the current world we inhabit?

Thanks for the nice reply Gordy,  

Actually it's more than that, everything that is necessary includes the universe itself. The sun, planet, moon, from the largest whale down to an ant and of course us. 

Quite the elaborate "system" that even makes earth habitable enough for anything living. 

All by chance ? 

I don't know bout that .. maybe... but sure seems pretty improbable to me.   

But, I don't play the lottery either so...  jrSmiley_26_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.51  TᵢG  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.3.50    one week ago

There might be a grand designer.   That fixes the chance problem for the universe, but it kicks the can on chance itself.   Was the designer a result of chance?    If not then it has a designer.   

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.3.52  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  TᵢG @4.3.51    one week ago
Was the designer a result of chance?

Good Question.

Which of course, I have no answer for. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
4.3.53  MrFrost  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4.3.29    one week ago
The oddest part about what religionists believe is that they think this God cares about anything they care about.

Yep. I'm a Deist and while I am, "on the fence" about the existence of 'God', I certainly do NOT believe that if there is a 'God', it has any interest in Humans, or, had anything to do with the creation of the universe. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
4.3.54  MrFrost  replied to  gooseisgone @4.3.44    one week ago

What do you think the Big Bang Theory is, you create something from nothing aka magic. 

No. Gravity is the key. More mass = more gravity. Black holes and neutron stars are, "Gravity Gone Wild", we know those things exist. If you take all the matter in the universe and start pushing it all together, that's an incredible amount of gravity and density. If the universe expands for a long time, it stands to reason that it will contract at some point, creating an infinitely dense point. That point explodes, and viola, the universe is created. There is no reason to believe that if that theory is true, that the universe may have done this many times over the course of trillions and trillions of years. 

The part that will really screw with your noodle is how this process even started. 

This is of course one theory of many, it just happens to be one that makes the most sense to me. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
4.3.55  MrFrost  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.40    one week ago
As I have stated before, I do not believe it is correct to describe what God did in the act of creation as making something from nothing. That seems a logical impossibility. You can't logically take a quantity of nothing for the purpose of converting it into something else, as there is nothing to convert. It seems that creation exists simply because He desired it to. You may consider that splitting hairs. That's fine. 

Matter cannot be created or destroyed. Even 'God' has to conform to the laws of the universe. If there is a 'God', where did the material come from to create the universe? 

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Senior Quiet
4.3.56  gooseisgone  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.46    one week ago
That statement demonstrates you do not understand what the Big Bang is

You response demonstrates that you can't wrap your brain around what existed "prior" to the big bang, unless of course you can tell me and then explain how that came to be, at some point there is nothing and then there isn't. 

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Senior Quiet
4.3.57  gooseisgone  replied to  MrFrost @4.3.54    one week ago
That point explodes, The part that will really screw with your noodle is how this process even started.

I understand the process but, no one explains what and how the gravity, energy neutrons, protons, electrons got here before the Big Bang. 

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
4.3.58  evilgenius  replied to  gooseisgone @4.3.56    one week ago
what existed "prior" to the big bang

There are 2 hypothesis I know of - the most common being the expanding then contracting universe. Existence will stop expanding and then contract until it hits singularity and explode again in another big bang. The second is that the big bang is the product of our universe bubbling out from another existence (multiverse theory) if every possibility exists then parallel universes are created constantly. Both ideas have some math that supports them but the answers can never be known because we can't observe either of them.  

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
4.3.59  MrFrost  replied to  gooseisgone @4.3.57    one week ago

I understand the process but, no one explains what and how the gravity, energy neutrons, protons, electrons got here before the Big Bang. 

That's my point... We don't know yet and may never know. But using the the old fallback of, "God did it", simply doesn't wash. 'God' has been used to explain the unexplained things for thousands of years. Comets, asteroids, Northern Lights...all were explained as something 'God' did, but now we know they are just natural phenomena that 'God' had nothing to do with. 

So when I hear someone say, "God created the universe and everything in it", I see it as someone unwilling to speculate and only wants to take the easy way out. 

Seriously, if this master being was so powerful and was capable of creating the entire universe, don't you think there would be at least SOME proof? Even a shred of evidence? I would think so, yet there is literally none....at all. 

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.3.60  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  MrFrost @4.3.59    one week ago
if this master being was so powerful and was capable of creating the entire universe, don't you think there would be at least SOME proof?

Hi MrFrost. I'd say we do have proof its just so in our face we don't recognize it. The universe and all that it contains is in itself proof.  Otherwise its all just a accident. ?

IMO: I doubt all just happen by chance. Perhaps I'm wrong but I don't buy lottery tickets either so....  jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif  

 

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Senior Quiet
4.3.61  gooseisgone  replied to  MrFrost @4.3.59    one week ago
That's my point... We don't know yet and may never know.

Exactly.

I see it as someone unwilling to speculate and only wants to take the easy way out. 

It is an option, I do not believe you get something from nothing.  

don't you think there would be at least SOME proof?

The Big Bang is widely accepted but, no one ever offers proof of the forces that caused it and where they came from, which to me is the beginning of existence (that'll make you head hurt). 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.62  TᵢG  replied to  gooseisgone @4.3.61    one week ago
I do not believe you get something from nothing.  

Good for you because that contradicts the meaning of 'nothing'.   It is illogical.   Anyone who literally claims that something comes from nothing has some serious explaining to do.

The Big Bang is widely accepted but, no one ever offers proof of the forces that caused it and where they came from, which to me is the beginning of existence (that'll make you head hurt). 

The acceptance of the Big Bang is based on the substantial correlation of physics and observations.   The acceptance is based on the fact that what we know all leads to our universe emerging from a singularity about 13.8 billion years ago and undergoing various stages of expansion and interaction to produce what we have today.    Scientists literally have taken our present day observations and have worked the mathematics backwards to the Big Bang.    Their views are confirmed by evidence such as cosmic background radiation.

It is not a guess, it is not speculation.   It is the best information we currently have regarding the origin of the universe.   Don't slight it.

And the beginning of the universe is not necessarily the beginning of existence.   Indeed, it is almost certainly NOT.   For you to hold that existence itself started with the beginning of our universe is for you to hold that something can emerge from nothing.

Think about it.    Logically, the universe emerged out of something.    One call call that something 'existence itself' and be at least logically consistent with observations and semantics.

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
4.3.63  Kathleen  replied to  gooseisgone @4.3.57    one week ago

That’s what I was thinking. How was all that made?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.64  TᵢG  replied to  gooseisgone @4.3.57    one week ago
I understand the process but, no one explains what and how the gravity, energy neutrons, protons, electrons got here before the Big Bang. 

Neutrons and protons are formed from quantum particles.   Electrons are quantum particles.   Gravity is one of the four fundamental forces.

Nobody can explain where these elementary particles and forces came from.   That is, nobody can get to the Q level (or, it would seem, even close).

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
4.3.65  MrFrost  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.64    one week ago
Nobody can explain where these elementary particles and forces came from.   That is, nobody can get to the Q level (or, it would seem, even close).

Totally agree. For me anyway, just laying down the old, "Can't explain it, must be God", is intellectually lazy. The Big Bang Theory does have it's holes, no doubt of it, but it explains a lot more than, "God did it". 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.66  Gordy327  replied to  gooseisgone @4.3.61    one week ago
The Big Bang is widely accepted but, no one ever offers proof of the forces that caused it and where they came from, which to me is the beginning of existence

There is no "proof" of the Big Bang. But there is empirical evidence.

You response demonstrates that you can't wrap your brain around what existed "prior" to the big bang, unless of course you can tell me and then explain how that came to be, at some point there is nothing and then there isn't. 

I already said it's unknown what came before the Big Bang. Anything before (if there is a "before") is mere speculation at best. The honest answer is no one knows about the before. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.67  Gordy327  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.3.50    one week ago
Thanks for the nice reply Gordy,  

You're welcome.

Actually it's more than that, everything that is necessary includes the universe itself. The sun, planet, moon, from the largest whale down to an ant and of course us. 

Well, you do need a universe before you can have anything in that universe.

Quite the elaborate "system" that even makes earth habitable enough for anything living. 

Yes, but keep in mind, there are plenty of planets that are not habitable for anything living. As far as we know.

All by chance ?

Quite possible.

I don't know bout that .. maybe... but sure seems pretty improbable to me.   

That's just it, we don't really know for sure. It would be nice if we did. But oh well...

But, I don't play the lottery either so

You can't win if you don't play, right? Lol

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.68  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.11    one week ago
No, you label arguments as logical fallacies, but labeling is the end of it

I "label" it for what it is!

You don’t ever actually make the case.

The case is it's all based on assumptions. There's no actual evidence presented to support the assumptions or claims made. That's the case.

And I pointed out that you can’t define what such evidence would look like. In fact, no one could. But you conveniently ignore this point because it defuses your whole game.

I have said multiple times in other similar discussions that evidence should be objective, empirical, and falsifiable. The same standards in science. If you claim I have not presented that definition of evidence before, then you either have not been paying attention or are lying. Which is it?

Actually it is rational and this has been demonstrated, but you can’t engage with the content of the seed.

Demonstrated how! Be specific!

By the way, we can’t measure or test string theory, but very intelligent rational people are convinced that it defines the nature of the universe. 

No one is calling string theory fact. 

That’s just your opinion. But it’s an opinion formed without even attempting to consider a point of view not your own.

Feel free to make your case then!

No it’s not, but I’m not surprised you endorse a simplistic idea without considering things like context. What a waste! And yet, how typical.

As you said, "That’s just your opinion. But it’s an opinion formed without even attempting to consider a point of view not your own."

Neither is God, in spite of what you might personally think.

God is just a theological concept. But there's nothing outside of belief (wishful thinking) to substantiate that concept.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.3.69  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.67    one week ago
there are plenty of planets that are not habitable for anything living. As far as we know.

Very true and part of why earth being so perfect for all kinds of life that works together to maintain the planet seems such a gamble that it is just an "accident" seems pretty unlikely to me.  

IF there were not so many variables that need to be just right for the results we see, I'd be less likely to think that it is not just a result of chance.

Earth and especially life on earth is so fragile that if Everything isn't just right life doesn't survive or exist.

But as they say .. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.  Mistake, accident, entity, force, GOD ? 

IMO: No one alive knows for sure. Including of course me. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.70  Gordy327  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.3.69    one week ago
Very true and part of why earth being so perfect for all kinds of life that works together to maintain the planet seems such a gamble that it is just an "accident" seems pretty unlikely to me.  

Don't forget, Earth has varied environments and certain organisms are adapted to survive in their respective environment.

IF there were not so many variables that need to be just right for the results we see, I'd be less likely to think that it is not just a result of chance.

Depending on changes to those "variables," Earth may still host life. But it might not be as biodiverse or evolved. Such changes have occurred in the past.

Earth and especially life on earth is so fragile that if Everything isn't just right life doesn't survive or exist.

Ironically, life itself is resilient enough to survive (in some form or other), to various degrees. "Life finds a way," right?

IMO: No one alive knows for sure. Including of course me. 

We only know what we know. Hopefully we'll know more someday.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.71  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @4.3.8    one week ago
But it also doesn't disqualify it as fact, either.

I never said it didn't.  But to be fact, there needs to be something more substantial than belief to demonstrate it as such. Simply calling something a fact because one believes it is meaningless.

 If what one believes in turns out to be true and factual, belief was justified. That it wasn't arrived at by the materialists insistence on objective scientific evidence isn't relevant. 

In other words, a lucky guess.

No, actually. You didn't. You just called them fallacies and summarily dismiss the point for no rational reason.  

I guess you didn't bother reading my post #3.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.72  Tacos!  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.68    one week ago
I have said multiple times in other similar discussions that evidence should be objective, empirical, and falsifiable. The same standards in science.

Empty words. You can set those standards if you like, but you can't say what they would look like. You can't say what should be measured or tested.

Other forms of human thought are required, but you are unwilling to consider them.

Don't ask me. Read the seed. Try to open your mind to its content.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.73  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.72    one week ago
Empty words.

I used simple words.

You can set those standards if you like, but you can't say what they would look like. You can't say what should be measured or tested.

I go by scientific standards. I don't make them up. It seems you prefer to go by whatever you find more pleasing or suitable to your own narratives.

Other forms of human thought are required, but you are unwilling to consider them.

Not if they're irrational and illogical.

Don't ask me. Read the seed. Try to open your mind to its content

I have read it and I have addressed it (Post #3). Did you even bother to check that?  I'm open to actual evidence. Not BS or empty claims and mere assumptions.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.74  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.72    one week ago

Evidence of God starts by establishing the defining characteristics of God.   That is, what are those characteristics that define God?   Given that, one turns to design of experiment.

For example, one of the defining characteristics of the Abrahamic God is that it created our universe.    Thus one test would be to identify an entity capable of performing this feat.   Unfortunately, this requires the cooperation of God who, it would appear, is unwilling to even make His presence known.   Thus while we could design an experiment to reveal convincing evidence of the ability to create the universe (e.g. transform our solar system into a binary system), we have no subject upon which to perform the test.

And the same is true for every other characteristic (e.g. perfection, omniscience, omnipresence, ...) of the Abrahamic God.

Thing is, one can alternatively use logic as a test.  For example, the characteristic of omniscience.   An omniscient entity knows the future.   Thus it is impossible for an omniscient entity to be surprised, disappointed, change its mind, etc.   Yet the Abrahamic God has done all those things.   So either the divine Word of the perfect God (which defines God) is flawed (imperfect) or God is not omniscient.

Contradictions such as these form a very strong case that the Abrahamic God (as defined by the Bible, Qur'an, etc.) does not exist.   This does not mean no god exists, but it would mean that the God as defined does not exist.

So that should be enough to show that one can definitely describe evidence and engage in a formal process of validation.


Now, what typically occurs is that the believer simply states the equivalent of 'I believe' and leaves it at that.   There is no objective evidence ever offered (although it is sometimes alluded to exist).   It is all ultimately based on believing what other people have claimed sans evidence.   That is fine, but it is not certain truth.   Thus when some articulate God exists! or equivalent, it is appropriate to challenge that claim of certainty.   Articulating, 'I believe God exists' is personal opinion and no burden of evidence applies.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.75  Tacos!  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.73    one week ago
I go by scientific standards.

No, you really don't.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.76  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.74    one week ago
we could design an experiment to reveal convincing evidence of the ability to create the universe

I doubt that. We have no knowledge of how it's done.

this requires the cooperation of God

The cooperation of the subject to be tested? The subject helps you design and run the experiment? That would be a terrible experiment.

An omniscient entity knows the future.

Does it? I have no idea, and I don't think you do either. We don't have the required knowledge of how time works or how omniscience works. You're making an assumption based on your own ideas.

Yet the Abrahamic God has done all those things.

Apparently. That might be wrong. I can appear to be angry for effect, but it's not proof that I actually am angry. Or maybe I am just being misinterpreted. Same with surprise. Same with disappointment. Same with changing one's mind.

Contradictions such as these form a very strong case

Possibly - if all your assumptions are true. There is no way to know if they are, though. 

(By the way, nothing you have described would be of any use to Gordy because none of it is the scientific method. I'm not faulting it. Just pointing it out.)

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.77  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.76    one week ago
We have no knowledge of how it's done.

The claim is that God created the universe.   Thus the experiments would deal with cosmological creation such as transforming our system into a binary system (or grander, if your prefer).

The cooperation of the subject to be tested? The subject helps you design and run the experiment? That would be a terrible experiment.

Sorry, Tacos!, but if we are testing the existence of God we would need cooperation of the big guy.   This is God, not some frat boy earning spending money by being a lab rat.   

Does it? I have no idea, and I don't think you do either. We don't have the required knowledge of how time works or how omniscience works. You're making an assumption based on your own ideas.

Yes.   And you should have an idea; that is how omniscience is defined in the Bible.    So I am not making an assumption, I am going by how God is defined by the Bible.   But really you get to define God as you envision him so if you do not want to include the biblical characteristic of omniscience that is cool.    After all, it is unlikely that two people will have the same defining characteristics for the god they believe in.   Lots of god definitions out there.

Apparently. That might be wrong. I can appear to be angry for effect, but it's not proof that I actually am angry. Or maybe I am just being misinterpreted. Same with surprise. Same with disappointment. Same with changing one's mind.

So you posit that God simply pretended for theatrics?   LOL.   Sure, Tacos!, why not?   Define God however you wish.    The existence of God depends on how you define God.   For example, I could define a god that I can prove exists.   I can also provide a definition of a god that I can prove does not exist.   Everything is based on the defining characteristics.

Possibly - if all your assumptions are true. There is no way to know if they are, though. 

Ah but I make no assumptions.   I am going by how God is defined in the Bible.   My examples draw from the Bible.   But, as I have repeated, you would actually put forth the defining characteristics of your God.


(By the way, nothing you have described would be of any use to Gordy because none of it is the scientific method. I'm not faulting it. Just pointing it out.)

All of it is the scientific method (the latter portion, however, was logic and I noted that.)    For example, the defining characteristics establish the hypothesis.   The verification is by empirical observation.   You are simply nuh' uh-ing.   

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.78  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.77    one week ago
cosmological creation such as transforming our system into a binary system

How do you know that's a good test? I'm not going to keep going over the rest of it. You sort of reference scientific thinking but ignore basic tenets of the scientific method. We have neither the knowledge nor means to scientifically test for God. It's time to admit that.

I am going by how God is defined in the Bible.

I'm a believer, but I don't conclude that God is defined with completeness in the Bible. I'm not sure I know anyone who does. This is one of the dangers when non-believers think they know what believers believe and then proceed to argue against it.

I'm pretty sure every Christian I've ever met would tell you that God is powerful, intelligent, and complex in ways far beyond our ability to ever comprehend. I would not presume to imagine that I could define God or test for God.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.79  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.75    one week ago

Then you don't understand science.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.80  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.78    one week ago
How do you know that's a good test? I'm not going to keep going over the rest of it. 

That was an example test Tacos!.    And you know it was an example.   And I even stated that grander tests are possible.   Why did you ignore that?  (Rhetorical, I know.)

I think it was a good example because any entity that can convert a solar system into a functioning binary system has evidenced cosmological powers.   A grander test would be creating a new galaxy.

You sort of reference scientific thinking but ignore basic tenets of the scientific method. We have neither the knowledge nor means to scientifically test for God. It's time to admit that.

All you are doing here is making a claim.  You do not explain your claim, you simply make it.    What basic tenets have I ignored?    I have stated that this would be a scientific experiment thus I am declaring intent to follow the scientific method.   I have not detailed the specifics of an experiment process so how can you possibly state that it violates the tenets of the scientific method?   You cannot.  You are simply making a vague claim with no substance.

We have neither the knowledge nor means to scientifically test for God. It's time to admit that.

Without God's participation as the subject that is correct;   as I noted upfront.   With God's participation we most definitely could devise experiments to test specific characteristics.   This is why we start with the defining characteristics.   You are simply nuh' uh-ing anything I write;  that is what should be admitted.   (It is obvious.)

I'm a believer, but I don't conclude that God is defined with completeness in the Bible.

I did not say that God is defined 'with completeness', I said 'defined'.   'Complete' is not a requirement.  'Sufficient' is what we look for.   The Bible has defining characteristics of God and I listed some of them.  Again, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, perfection, etc.   The Bible also shows God being surprised, convinced to change His mind, etc.   The Bible provides a wealth of information.   So if we are testing the god of the Bible we would need someone (the individual whose god we are testing for) to define the test criteria by identifying the defining characteristics of God — those that, if satisfied, would evidence this god.

I'm not sure I know anyone who does. This is one of the dangers when non-believers think they know what believers believe and then proceed to argue against it.

If someone believes in a god then they either believe in something abstract (e.g. god = that which created us) or they believe in something that has evolved with religion (e.g. the Abrahamic god, Brahma, etc.)    If one's god is simply 'that which created us' then that god is immediately evidenced by the fact that we exist (no sentience requirement).   If one's god is a highly attributed god of religion the we do what I described above.    

I'm pretty sure every Christian I've ever met would tell you that God is powerful, intelligent, and complex in ways far beyond our ability to ever comprehend. I would not presume to imagine that I could define God or test for God.

That then would require a test subject that is powerful, intelligent, and complex in ways far beyond our ability to ever comprehend.   Going beyond our ability to comprehend seems like a low bar.   Seems to me that a super advanced exolife species qualifies as god under that definition.    But if that is how they define their god, then we go with it.

Finally, it is possible to define a god that cannot be tested.   For example, if we define god as simply 'perfection' or 'beauty' or 'happiness', 'love',  etc. then we could (I suppose) deem this god exists because these qualities exist in reality.   But such a vague, abstract definition for god is itself so meaningless that such a test would likely also be meaningless IMO.


The one problem with this, as I have stated upfront, is that we are testing a subject and that subject is 'God'.   If 'God' does not cooperate then no test can be run.   This lack of cooperation has been in place for thousands of years and I predict that 'God' will never cooperate.    So people will continue to be free to define 'God' as they see fit and excuse their beliefs with 'I just believe'.

However, if 'God' were to show up, we certainly could devise tests to evidence defining characteristics.   This would never prove that 'God' is truly 'God' (unless we are talking about a definition such as God=nature) but it would indeed provide evidence (or evidence of exclusion).

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.81  Tacos!  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.79    one week ago

Oh well if you say so, then I guess it must be true. jrSmiley_88_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.3.82  Tessylo  replied to  Tacos! @4.3    one week ago

jrSmiley_88_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.83  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.80    one week ago
You are simply nuh' uh-ing anything I write

If you want to keep repeating the same pointless things over and over, I don't know why my response should change.

You can't scientifically test for God. Period. End of story.

If you want to keep inventing arbitrary tests to measure a thing you can't possibly understand, I will keep replying with some version of "nuh uh."

'Complete' is not a requirement.

Of course it is! How can you measure or test for a thing when you don't even have an understanding of what it is? All we have is a very limited record of some peoples' experience of God. I find it ironic that you want to use this limited record as some kind of foundation for a scientific experiment, but go ahead and knock yourself out.

That then would require a test subject that is powerful, intelligent, and complex in ways far beyond our ability to ever comprehend.   Going beyond our ability to comprehend seems like a low bar.   Seems to me that a super advanced exolife species qualifies as god under that definition.    But if that is how they define their god, then we go with it.

Here you make a mistake in logic. God has qualities. You then make the conclusion that anything with those qualities could be taken for a God. Do you see your problem yet? i.e. God is powerful - Alien lifeform is powerful - therefore alien lifeform is a God. Unless that is all we need to know about God or the Alien, this conclusion is erroneous.

Your approach fails to consider the certainty that you don't fully understand God. God undoubtedly has a giant basket full of qualities you don't understand and are probably incapable of understanding. You have taken some small handful of qualities and decided - without justification - that you have a sufficient understanding of God. But, you don't.

If 'God' does not cooperate then no test can be run.

Even if he did, you still couldn't test for him. How would you know his cooperation was valid? If God creates all existence (and I believe he must) and exists himself in some way that transcends our possible experiences (as again, I believe he must) the game is rigged before you begin.

We believe God is infinite. How are you going to measure and test for "infinity?"

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.84  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.81    one week ago

Yes, it is. Glad you agree.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.85  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.83    one week ago
You can't scientifically test for God. Period. End of story.

Brilliant argument.    196

Of course it is! 

Sufficiency is all that is required.  Complete (100%) definition is excessive and ridiculous.   One does not have to define a god to the infinitesimal level of detail (100%) to evidence its existence.   What is needed are the defining characteristics .   What are the characteristics that define God to you?   That is what is tested for.  

Here you make a mistake in logic. God has qualities. You then make the conclusion that anything with those qualities could be taken for a God. Do you see your problem yet? i.e. God is powerful - Alien lifeform is powerful - therefore alien lifeform is a God. Unless that is all we need to know about God or the Alien, this conclusion is erroneous.

I have stated that the first step in evidencing a god is to define that god - to provide the defining characteristics that, if satisfied, evidence the existence of this god.   That should be clear.   You start off complaining that one must define the god 100% (well past defining characteristics).   That is silly as noted above.   Now you say that if a god is defined with defining characteristics that it is a mistake in logic to consider satisfaction of those characteristics as evidence of the god as defined.   You really are just objecting to anything I write.  It is totally a 'nuh-uh.

Here is an example.   Let's say someone defines 'God' as ' that which enabled the earth, its lifeforms and all other heavenly bodies to form '.    Not an uncommon view.   Note that there is no requirement of sentience.    If this is the defining characteristic then the evidence for this 'God' is the accumulated evidence of evolution (cosmological and biochemical).   This 'God' is natural reality itself.   

  1. Define 'God' based on the sufficient defining characteristics.
  2. Evidence (if possible) these defining characteristics.
  3. The degree to which these characteristics are evidenced is the confidence that this 'God' exists based on the evidence.

And if someone were to define 'God' as ' whatever ancient men wrote down in a book ' then one would seek to evidence all those claims.   Although in this case one would first test to see if the definition was logically coherent.  If it is self-refuting then no evidence is required as the 'God' (as defined) cannot possibly exist (as defined).

God is powerful - Alien lifeform is powerful - therefore alien lifeform is a God. 

If your only defining characteristic for 'God' is ' powerful ' then you apparently have a lot of 'God's.   That is a consequence of how you have defined your 'God'.   The logic is entirely sound to deliver multiple 'God's per that definition.

If someone offers a broad and non-discriminating definition such as what you offered, I think the testers would dismiss the definer as not being serious and move to someone who has a serious definition.

Your approach fails to consider the certainty that you don't fully understand God.

This is why we start with the defining characteristics.   If you believe in a 'God' and you cannot even describe the defining characteristics then you really do not have a grasp on what you believe in.   I think in this case the definer needs to reevaluate his beliefs until he knows what he is talking about.

God undoubtedly has a giant basket full of qualities you don't understand and are probably incapable of understanding. You have taken some small handful of qualities and decided - without justification - that you have a sufficient understanding of God. But, you don't.

You just refuse to accept the defining characteristics concept.   There is no need for someone to understand everything about their 'God' to offer the characteristics that, if true, provide evidence that their 'God' exists.   All those things the believer does not know about their 'God' clearly have nothing to do with their belief in its existence.   Yet you demand that these hidden qualities be known.   Looks to me like you are adding in whatever demands you can dream up just to be disagreeable.    And this latest is the most silly IMO.

Even if he did, you still couldn't test for him. How would you know his cooperation was valid? If God creates all existence (and I believe he must) and exists himself in some way that transcends our possible experiences (as again, I believe he must) the game is rigged before you begin.

How would I know the cooperation was valid?   You mean not a trick?   Clearly with 'God' by most definitions 'God' could trick us in a heartbeat.   So if 'God' is a trickster there is no way to evidence 'God' either positively or negatively because 'God' could be distorting our minds and even the reality of the tests.   So, sure Tacos!, if 'God' wants to screw with us, 'God' likely would be able to.   This is akin to your note that 'God' might not participate in the test and my answer is, again, that this would indeed screw up the tests.   In short, 'God', by choice, could make it impossible for us to test its existence.   One might even argue that 'God' has been doing just that all along.   So, yes, 'God' could stop us / screw with us.   No doubt.

We believe God is infinite.  How are you going to measure and test for "infinity?"

If that is your only defining characteristic then you have defined existence itself as 'God'.   And if 'eternal' is but one of your defining characteristics (let's say sentience is another) then the characteristic of 'eternal' will likely not be evidenced and the confidence that the subject is 'God' will be lowered (one of the coefficients is 0).    The quality of the test depends upon your defining characteristics.

Note that @ 4.3.80 I offered:

TiG @ 4.3.80  ☞ Finally, it is possible to define a god that cannot be tested .   For example, if we define god as simply 'perfection' or 'beauty' or 'happiness', 'love',  etc. then we could (I suppose) deem this god exists because these qualities exist in reality.   But such a vague, abstract definition for god is itself so meaningless that such a test would likely also be meaningless IMO.

Ultimately this is not complicated.   

  1. List the defining characteristics of 'God'
  2. Establish tests to evidence these characteristics
  3. The results of the test will be part of a polynomial which will deliver a confidence that this 'God' exists

And if the defining characteristics are self-refuting, one can use logic to prove the 'God' is impossible and skip all the testing.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.86  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.85    one week ago

I think we both agree that god, as defined by the bible (Abrahamistic God)  is logically self refuting and impossible. Of course, we also both know  that some people don't care about or respect logic.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.87  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.86    one week ago

I continue to wonder why some stick with 'God' as defined (in a self-refuting fashion) by ancient men over thousands of years across many cultures.   

To me, given modern capabilities, it seems sensible to define 'God' as 'that which enabled our existence'.   After all, how could we possibly know anything more about 'God' than that?

Then we could spend our time (as we are already doing) trying to understand 'God' by understanding that which 'God' enabled to exist.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.88  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.87    one week ago

I think some people are just conditioned or indoctrinated into  believing in God as biblically defined. To the point where they are incapable or unwilling to even consider anything even remotely different, contradictory, or illogical. Of course, it's also intellectually easier to simply think "I believe it, that settles it." 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.89  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.88    one week ago

Agreed.   My religious friends and family seem to have very abstract notions of God; most of them at least.   Along the lines of 'there must be some greater power'.   The more religious (minority) simply parrot what they have been taught.    And typically what they have been taught is Jesus-centric, whitewashed and pleasant.   

The key notion that holds all of them is everlasting life.   The second, seems to me, is the comfort of knowing that something (i.e. God) has our back.   And certainly I understand that.  After all, who wants death to be final?   Who wants to never have the opportunity to see a departed loved one again?   And, worse, who wants to face the reality that our universe is absolutely hostile to life and that we exist on a planet that is itself hostile to life but modest enough so that life can continue nonetheless.

Religion is comfort.   Religion makes it easier to deal with harsh reality.   

Too bad that we cannot have the good by-products of religion (e.g. comfort) without the bad (e.g.  people thinking and acting based on beliefs merely claimed by other human beings to be true).

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.3.90  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.89    one week ago

I've often said the basis for religious belief is emotional comfort. It's emotionally comforting to be told or believe there is a God that loves you and will effectively grant you immorality. Fear of death and lost loved ones are among our most basic fears. What better way to cope than with happy feel good stories of immorality and returned family. Of course, it seems the more emotionally invested one gets, the less rational one tends to get. It's like a scale, and often tipped towads emotion.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.91  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.85    one week ago
Brilliant argument.

Actually it was a conclusion. A statement of position. You might want to learn the difference.

What are the characteristics that define God to you?   That is what is tested for. 

I have already told you that two of the many characteristics were "beyond human understanding" and "infinite." Now if you think you can test for either of those things, you're delusional. 

But you keep trying, which tells me you aren't paying attention or you just want to bludgeon me to get me to say whatever the hell it is you want me to say - probably to validate what you already believe.

Sufficiency is all that is required.

Since "Period. End of Story" neatly encapsulated how I feel about this discussion, I don't need to respond to all that mess of what you wrote. However I will acknowledge that whatever you think is sufficient is sufficient for you. That's all you need. Only supreme conceit could be behind a need to have everyone else go along with your personal process.

One more thing to drive the point home through something that is obviously thick:

Ultimately this is not complicated.   
  1. List the defining characteristics of 'God'
  2. Establish tests to evidence these characteristics
  3. The results of the test will be part of a polynomial which will deliver a confidence that this 'God' exists

Won't work.

  1. Impossible - for reasons already given.
  2. Can't be done - again, reasons given and because of (1).
  3. Therefore no results are possible.

Give up. Stop. I said elsewhere the idea of a test is stupid. I repeat here: It's stupid. You will not convince me otherwise.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.92  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.91    one week ago
Actually it was a conclusion.

It was actually a baseless declaration.   It was a ' I am right 'cause I say so ' declaration.   ' Argument ' was overly generous.

I have already told you that two of the many characteristics were "beyond human understanding" and "infinite." Now if you think you can test for either of those things, you're delusional. 

And I have already told you that I can define many 'Gods' with abstractions so meaningless that they cannot be tested.  'God' defined as 'beauty' or 'love', etc.   So you are yet again trying to make a point that I have already made.    


That established, is that really your defining characteristics for 'God':    beyond human understanding and infinite ?   That's it?    If that is all you have then your 'God' could be existence itself.    One can make a strong argument that existence must be eternal (based on something cannot come from nothing) and thus is infinite (at least in terms of time).   So there is one candidate.   But your vague defining characteristics yield plenty of potential 'God's.

Your other characteristic of ' beyond human understanding ' correlates with the information content of the universe.   The universe is far beyond our ability to grasp.   Indeed, anything below the particle physics level is beyond our ability to grasp.   There are myriad examples that are beyond human understanding.    Your overly general abstraction yields quite a few 'Gods'.    And this is easy to test for.   There are quite likely far more things beyond our ability to understand than that which we do understand.   

So you just defined a lot of 'Gods' that can be shown to exist.   ( You would be one of the individuals I mentioned who would be escorted out of the lab for not trying to be serious . )

Is that really how you define 'God'?   Surely you have more reified characteristics that have convinced you to believe in 'God'.   After all, the characteristics you offer require no religion, no sacred text.   Stories of Noah's ark, etc. are entirely superfluous.   Are you really a believer in a 'God' that is more abstract than a deity (i.e. not even sentient)?   

But you keep trying, which tells me you aren't paying attention or you just want to bludgeon me to get me to say whatever the hell it is you want me to say - probably to validate what you already believe.

Note, Tacos!, that you just made a point that I had already made and you then accuse me of not paying attention.   Now that is both ironic and pathetic.   I even gave you the quote in my prior comment.   Remember this quote from @ 4.3.80 repeated @ 4.3.83 ?:

TiG @   4.3.80   ☞  Finally, it is possible to define a god that cannot be tested  .   For example, if we define god as simply 'perfection' or 'beauty' or 'happiness', 'love',  etc. then we could (I suppose) deem this god exists because these qualities exist in reality.   But such a vague, abstract definition for god is itself so meaningless that such a test would likely also be meaningless IMO.

You suggesting that I am the one not paying attention is laughable.   Don't argue points that I have already made;  makes one think you do not know what you are talking about.

Since "Period. End of Story" neatly encapsulated how I feel about this discussion, ...

Then why have you replied.   You continually telling me nuh'uh accomplishes nothing.  

... I don't need to respond to all that mess of what you wrote.

Of course not.   So you categorically declare that everything I wrote was wrong and that you have no need to respond.    And now you come in, ignoring what I wrote, and engage in more nuh'uh-ing.    I am sure anyone reading this is mighty impressed with that.

However I will acknowledge that whatever you think is sufficient is sufficient for you . That's all you need. Only supreme conceit could be behind a need to have everyone else go along with your personal process.

Yes Tacos! I have proposed that the believer first define their 'God' in terms of defining characteristics.   You, of course, even have a problem with that (your demonstrably absurd 100% requirement).   Since you pretend still to not understand what I have offered I will break it down again.   To provide evidence that something exists one does not need to have a 100% understanding of all its characteristics.   

For example.   A current question is the existence of exolife.   To answer that question we necessarily must define what we mean by exolife.   Does that mean that we must detail everything about some exolife to be discovered?   Must we know its anatomy, what it eats, its sleep cycle (if any), the color of its skin, etc.?   How about Carbon based?   Would we demand that exolife be Carbon based (i.e. Silicon based would not be life)?   Clearly not.   You get that, right?    Sufficiency ... not completeness.

Any rational scientist would assemble the defining characteristics of exolife (not ALL characteristics).   We would use the defining characteristics to recognize exolife when (if) we find it.   These characteristics would be something similar to the definition of life on Earth :

"All living organisms share several key characteristics or functions: order, sensitivity or response to the environment, reproduction, growth and development, regulation, homeostasis, and energy processing. When viewed together, these characteristics serve to define life."

Clearly you comprehend that the above is not an exhaustive list of characteristics.   So when looking for exolife we would have similar characteristics which are profoundly far less than 100% understanding of all exolife.   

Now apply that to the search for 'God'.   We would test that which is sufficient to establish the existence of a 'God' as defined.   The definition would be rational:   a set of defining characteristics.   Just as I stated upfront.   Your demand for 100% (complete) list of characteristics is foolish and irrational.   


Give up. Stop. I said elsewhere the idea of a test is stupid. I repeat here: It's stupid. You will  not  convince me otherwise.

Not going to happen.    You keep going with your nuh-uh argument and refusal to even acknowledge my rebuttals and I will be right here like a pit-bull rebutting what you write.    

Also, convincing you was never my objective.  I never expect you to agree with anything.   My objective has been and is to rebut your accusations.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3.93  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.92    one week ago

I'm not reading that. You contributions grow increasingly toxic. I have urged you to stop and told you twice I feel we are done. Stop responding to me.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.3.94  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @4.3.93    one week ago
Stop responding to me.

You reply to my comment, tell me you are not going to read it and then tell me to stop responding to you.

Here is a suggestion:  you could have just not responded.   Your non-response would have provided the same level of intelligent commentary and I would have not written anything further.

Also, yeah I counterpunch.   

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
4.4  cjcold  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4    one week ago
Who made god?  

Early man made god/s. They created gods for every occasion. 

Instead of us being created in god's image, we created them in ours. 

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
4.4.1  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  cjcold @4.4    one week ago

That is the correct, indisputable answer.  

 
 
 
r.t..b...
Masters Participates
5  r.t..b...    2 weeks ago

To MAGA specifically, and to all those who may believe likewise by extension...enjoy this day and every day in your chosen faith...

...but please refrain from presuming you speak to the majority of those that have chosen a different spiritual path.

...and never for a second think your beliefs should ever define the rights of those whom think differently...after all we are blessed to live in a country where those beliefs are guaranteed.

Be grateful, give thanks, and

‘Just. Let. It. Go.’

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
5.1  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  r.t..b... @5    2 weeks ago
...but please refrain from presuming you speak to the majority of those that have chosen a different spiritual path. ...and never for a second think your beliefs should ever define the rights of those whom think differently...after all we are blessed to live in a country where those beliefs are guaranteed.

What's the difference between imposing beliefs on others and dismissing the beliefs of others?  It seems both achieve the same result of stifling other beliefs.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
Masters Participates
5.1.1  r.t..b...  replied to  Nerm_L @5.1    2 weeks ago

Please, nerm...no one should ever have the temerity nor arrogance to ‘impose’ their religious beliefs on another...

...when that happens, as it too often does across the globe, it is a healthy exercise to ‘dismiss’ those beliefs, if for no other reason than to expose the hypocrisy. 

happy easter. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
5.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @5.1    2 weeks ago
What's the difference between imposing beliefs on others and dismissing the beliefs of others?  It seems both achieve the same result of stifling other beliefs.

Imposing beliefs on someone is just pushing your views onto to others and forcibly trying them to adopt your views. Dismissing them in no way prevents the believer from continuing their belief. Their belief is simply rejected by another and generally has a more "live and let live" approach. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6  TᵢG    2 weeks ago
The elegant and exquisite aesthetic of the universe displays the mark of creation.  And that aesthetic gives us a deep, ethereal, and intangible connection with its creator.

You have leaped to a sentient entity (creator) when there is no evidence of same.    There might be a creator but nobody knows.   

Thing is, there must always be a first cause.   If that first cause is a sentient entity then we have a bizarre notion that the most complex, most powerful entity that can exist has simply always existed with all of its powers.   It is difficult to make sense of such a notion.   It is, however, possible to imagine that the quintessential substance of existence (call it energy for lack of a better word) has always existed and simply interacts over unfathomable time (infinity) to yield (emerge) forms that exist for a while and then eventually decompose and are repurposed.

What I described matches the evidence.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.1  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @6    2 weeks ago
You have leaped to a sentient entity (creator) when there is no evidence of same.    There might be a creator but nobody knows. 

That is correct, nobody knows.  And the inability to know requires belief and faith.  

Thing is, there must always be a first cause.   If that first cause is a sentient entity then we have a bizarre notion that the most complex, most powerful entity that can exist has simply always existed with all of its powers.   It is difficult to make sense of such a notion.   It is, however, possible to imagine that the quintessential substance of existence (call it energy for lack of a better word) has always existed and simply interacts over unfathomable time (infinity) to yield (emerge) forms that exist for a while and then eventually decompose and are repurposed.

If the material universe emerged from quintessential existence then god could emerge from quintessential existence in some type of similar phenomena of emergence.

And a god could shape the substance of quintessential existence into the aesthetic of a material universe just as a potter shapes clay into a pot.  The mark of creation is not found in the material substance of what has been created.  The intangible aesthetic of what has been created connects us to the creator of that aesthetic.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.1.1  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1    2 weeks ago
And the inability to know requires belief and faith.  

That doesn't make it truth or fact. It's just opinion or wishful thinking. Passing off belief as fact is just dishonest.

If the material universe emerged from quintessential existence then god could emerge from quintessential existence in some type of similar phenomena of emergence.

And who/what caused that quintessential existence to emerge, ect., ect.? That is an infinite regress fallacy.

And a god could shape the substance of quintessential existence into the aesthetic of a material universe just as a potter shapes clay into a pot. 

"Could" being the key word here. Also, it depends on how a god is being defined.  A magical fairy could shape existence too. But I doubt anyone would take that assumption seriously. It's nothing more than mere conjecture without a shred of evidence.

The mark of creation is not found in the material substance of what has been created.  The intangible aesthetic of what has been created connects us to the creator of that aesthetic.

So the physical universe has nothing to do with a deity? Is that what you're saying? The article presented seems to indicate the opposite.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.1.2  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @6.1.1    2 weeks ago
That doesn't make it truth or fact. It's just opinion or wishful thinking. Passing off belief as fact is just dishonest.

The possibility is not a fact.  But belief in the possibility is a truth of faith.

The possibility that the origin of life is a result of conditions, chemistry, and physical processes is not a fact; it's only a possibility.  Believing in that possibility as the only way life could originate would be a truth of faith.

And who/what caused that quintessential existence to emerge, ect., ect.? That is aninfinite regressfallacy.

Yes, the chicken and egg question is an infinite regress fallacy that neither refutes or proves.  The question cannot be answered with evidence or facts; the answers are only possibilities.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.1.3  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1    2 weeks ago
If the material universe emerged from quintessential existence then god could emerge from quintessential existence in some type of similar phenomena of emergence.

Yes!   God, if one exists, is logically an emergent property of existence.

And a god could shape the substance of quintessential existence into the aesthetic of a material universe just as a potter shapes clay into a pot.  The mark of creation is not found in the material substance of what has been created.  The intangible aesthetic of what has been created connects us to the creator of that aesthetic.

Yes, if God emerged from existence then God could logically do amazing things like create our universe.   The notion of a sentient creator remains possible.   Of course, being an emergent form of existence, God could deform (die).   

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.1.4  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.2    2 weeks ago
The possibility is not a fact. 

I never said it was.

But belief in the possibility is a truth of faith.

That still doesn't make it truth or fact.

The possibility that the origin of life is a result of conditions, chemistry, and physical processes is not a fact; it's only a possibility.  Believing in that possibility as the only way life could originate would be a truth of faith.

There is empirical evidence to support the possibilities given. But no one is (nor should be) claiming any of the possibilities as actual fact.

the answers are only possibilities.

There are no answers. Just assumptions and opinions. All lacking any empirical support.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
PhD Guide
6.1.5  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.2    2 weeks ago
belief in the possibility is a truth of faith

Faith is just another word used to explain believing in something you want to believe in without evidence. If religious persons admitted that their belief in God is merely a possibility then most would consider them weak in faith. Most religious persons would be considered gnostic theists as they actively work on building their faith in a particular deity casting doubt aside in preference of absolutism. Most atheists, on the other hand, don't rule out the possibility of a creator or prime mover, they simply haven't seen any evidence of one and thus are not convinced one exists and would be considered agnostic atheists.

The possibility that the origin of life is a result of conditions, chemistry, and physical processes is not a fact; it's only a possibility

Yes, it's the most likely possibility considering we have zero actual evidence of any magical sky wizard. Those who choose to believe in the slim possibility of said sky wizard do so because they want to, not because they've been convinced by any tangible evidence.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.1.6  Gordy327  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @6.1.5    2 weeks ago
If religious persons admitted that their belief in God is merely a possibility then most would consider them weak in faith.

Such an admission would require intellectual honesty. 

Most atheists, on the other hand, don't rule out the possibility of a creator or prime mover, they simply haven't seen any evidence of one and thus are not convinced one exists and would be considered agnostic atheists.

That is the rational and intellectually honest position to take.

Those who choose to believe in the slim possibility of said sky wizard do so because they want to, not because they've been convinced by any tangible evidence.

It's an emotional basis.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.1.7  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @6.1.4    2 weeks ago
That still doesn't make it truth or fact.

I disagree.  A truth of faith is a truth.  Obviously that truth is subjective.  However, the subjectivity of a truth of faith does not diminish its value or significance.

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
6.1.8  Ender  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.7    2 weeks ago
A truth of faith is a truth.

To them, yes.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.1.9  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.7    2 weeks ago
A truth of faith is a truth.  Obviously that truth is subjective. 

If it's subjective, then it cannot logically be a truth. Truth goes in line with fact or reality. That must be empirically demonstrated to be factual truth. Subjective "truth" is just wishful thinking or according to one's personal desires. But that does not mean it is fact or reality.

However, the subjectivity of a truth of faith does not diminish its value or significance.

Any value or significance is also subjective and individualistic. It does not necessarily coincide with reality or fact.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.1.10  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @6.1.5    2 weeks ago
Faith is just another word used to explain believing in something you want to believe in without evidence. If religious persons admitted that their belief in God is merely a possibility then most would consider them weak in faith. Most religious persons would be considered gnostic theists as they actively work on building their faith in a particular deity casting doubt aside in preference of absolutism. Most atheists, on the other hand, don't rule out the possibility of a creator or prime mover, they simply haven't seen any evidence of one and thus are not convinced one exists and would be considered agnostic atheists.

The belief that there is life elsewhere has been justified by logic and not by evidence.  There isn't any evidence of extraterrestrial life.  Life exists on Earth and that fact has been extrapolated into a possibility justified by logic.  And the lack of evidence of extraterrestrial life hasn't precluded faith that extraterrestrial life will be found.

So, faith that extraterrestrial life will be found is really only believing something you want to believe without evidence.

Faith doesn't require evidence.  But there must be some sort of logical argument to support belief.  Often that logic is an extrapolation of evidence.  The evidence supports the logic of a possibility.  And belief in that possibility as being true requires faith.

So, faith is not just believing whatever one wants to believe.  Faith is believing that a possibility, supported by evidence and logic, is true.  Like it or not, faith in God is a logical conclusion.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
Masters Participates
6.1.11  r.t..b...  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.7    2 weeks ago

If I believed with every fiber of my being through faith that the earth was flat, that does not make it a truth, nerm...

Through your faith, believe as you will as to your own origin theories, your own ethos in dealing with the present, and your own hopes of the afterlife...but your faith is yours alone, regardless of the efforts to justify anything beyond the spiritual.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
6.1.12  Thrawn 31  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.7    2 weeks ago
A truth of faith is a truth.  Obviously that truth is subjective.

that is called a personal opinion.

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
6.1.13  Ender  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.10    2 weeks ago

That just sounds like you believe in grand design.

I think the opposite, that were are random.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.1.14  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.10    2 weeks ago
The belief that there is life elsewhere has been justified by logic and not by evidence. 

Given that Earth hosts a large biodiversity of life in many different environments, the logical reasoning concludes exolife is a probability. But that should not be presented or accepted as a certainty until exolife is actually found.

There isn't any evidence of extraterrestrial life. 

This is correct.

Life exists on Earth and that fact has been extrapolated into a possibility justified by logic. 

Yes, a possibility

And the lack of evidence of extraterrestrial life hasn't precluded faith that extraterrestrial life will be found.

This particular notion of "faith" has more of an empirical and mathematical possibility component to it.

So, faith that extraterrestrial life will be found is really only believing something you want to believe without evidence.

Yes, it's still a belief and not factual or certain until exolife is actually found. It'll be quite interesting to see the reactions should exolife be found.

Faith doesn't require evidence.

That's why claims based on faith can be summarily dismissed.

But there must be some sort of logical argument to support belief. 

Belief tends to be emotionally based. Not logically based.

Often that logic is an extrapolation of evidence.  

We start with what we know and what available evidence we already have. Unlike actual faith, it's not something we pull out of thin air and desire or hope for.

The evidence supports the logic of a possibility.  And belief in that possibility as being true requires faith.

If something is mathematically possible, no belief is required or necessary. 

Like it or not, faith in God is a logical conclusion.

There is no evidence for a god. So the possibility of a god (depending on how god is defined) is not zero. But also not a high possibility. Assumptions that god is real sans evidence is mere faith (and wishful thinking) and illogical. 

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
PhD Guide
6.1.15  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.10    2 weeks ago
The belief that there is life elsewhere has been justified by logic and not by evidence.

Most who believe there is life out there are simply admitting the possibility of some other life existing in the universe, they are not claiming they know who, what and where that other life is. They aren't defining it and telling others that the little green men want us to behave a certain way and if we don't then those little green men will judge us to an eternity of suffering. Admitting the possibility of extraterrestrial life is far from nurturing a deep seated faith in their existence.

Faith doesn't require evidence.  But there must be some sort of logical argument to support belief.

Most religions are void of any sort of logical argument to support their beliefs. If they simply took the stand that virtually every person who believes in extraterrestrial life did then they would willingly admit that their belief is pure conjecture and that they could not with any certainty describe or define that alien life to others. Perhaps those who claim to have been abducted by aliens would be closest to those with religious faith as they try to ascribe an image or purpose of those they claim to have come into contact with. Frankly, I find alien abductees describing their encounter somewhat more believable than religious persons expressing their encounters with the supposedly divine.

So, faith is not just believing whatever one wants to believe.

Perhaps if a person claims they were abducted and probed they are describing an event and belief in something they didn't want to believe but through personal experience now are converted, but those in religious faiths have to have a desire to believe before they ever experience any personal connection to their faith.

Faith is believing that a possibility, supported by evidence and logic, is true. Like it or not, faith in God is a logical conclusion.

Utter nonsense. One can come to a logical conclusion that something humans may describe as a God exists out there somewhere, the universe is vast and so without evidence disproving such an existence there is always a possibility that it does exist. The problem with the religious is they almost always seek to narrowly define that existence and claim they know what it is and what it wants of them and humankind to the exclusion of all other versions of deities and extraterrestrial lifeforms. If they were honest they would admit any other version may be just as valid or invalid as their own. Christians are atheists when it comes to all other versions of deities that mankind has ever invented, from Allah to Zeus. They just irrationally have decided to believe in one brand of deity which, wonder of wonders, almost always matches exactly to the deity that their parents and/or peers believe in. That isn't rational or logical, it's indoctrination pure and simple.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.1.16  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  r.t..b... @6.1.11    one week ago
If I believed with every fiber of my being through faith that the earth was flat, that does not make it a truth, nerm...

That would be a truth of faith that has value and significance within that faith.  And that truth of faith would be supported by subjective evidence.

Faith determines what evidence is acceptable and what evidence is dismissed.  The truth of faith would be subjectively rational.  

Through your faith, believe as you will as to your own origin theories, your own ethos in dealing with the present, and your own hopes of the afterlife...but your faith is yours alone, regardless of the efforts to justify anything beyond the spiritual.

Yes, believe whatever you want to believe.  And select whatever evidence supports that belief.  Dismiss all other beliefs.  Have faith.

But your subjectivity is not superior to the subjectivity of others.  Objective evidence chosen by selective subjectivity to support one's belief does not make an objective truth.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.1.17  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Thrawn 31 @6.1.12    one week ago
that is called a personal opinion.

An opinion, within the context of your comment, shared by a majority is still an opinion, too.  The shared opinion by many is no different than a opinion of one person.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
Masters Participates
6.1.18  r.t..b...  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.16    one week ago

Hear, hear, nerm. Remember your last paragraph always.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.1.20  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @6.1.14    one week ago
Given that Earth hosts a large biodiversity of life in many different environments, the logical reasoning concludes exolife is a probability. But that should not be presented or accepted as a certainty until exolife is actually found.

Earth does not provide evidence of extraterrestrial life.  The possibility of extraterrestrial life based on Earth is a logical construct to support a belief in that possibility.

Life on Earth is only diverse in form.  At the most basic level life on Earth is the same.  Complex forms are made up of cells that are little different than single celled organisms.  So, the argument based upon Earth's biodiversity is a logical construct to support belief in the possibility of extraterrestrial life and extraterrestrial evolution.  

The search for extraterrestrial life is being justified by a truth of faith that life would emerge elsewhere in the universe and evolve into something comparable to humans on Earth.  The biology of Earth is a truth imposed onto the universe that is supported by the subjective evidence of that Earth biology.  The belief in the possibility of extraterrestrial life is based upon faith that Earth's biology is truth.

There is no evidence for a god. So the possibility of a god (depending on how god is defined) is not zero. But also not a high possibility. Assumptions that god is real sans evidence is mere faith (and wishful thinking) and illogical. 

There is as much evidence for a God as there is for extraterrestrial life and evolution.  A belief in either possibility requires faith.  And that faith can be sustained by subjectively selecting evidence and logic that supports belief.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.1.21  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @6.1.15    one week ago
Most who believe there is life out there are simply admitting the possibility of some other life existing in the universe, they are not claiming they know who, what and where that other life is. They aren't defining it and telling others that the little green men want us to behave a certain way and if we don't then those little green men will judge us to an eternity of suffering. Admitting the possibility of extraterrestrial life is far from nurturing a deep seated faith in their existence.

IMO it's actually faith that Earth's biology is truth.  Those who believe in extraterrestrial life and extraterrestrial evolution are imposing Earth's biology onto the universe as a truth without evidence.

The idea of little green men arises from a belief that life both emerged and evolved on some other planet in a manner similar to what happened on Earth.  That requires faith the Earth's biology is truth.  Earth provides the only evidence so that truth of faith is supported by the subjective evidence of Earth.  And those who have faith that Earth's biology is truth really are imposing their faith on others and really are dismissing other beliefs without any evidence.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.1.22  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  r.t..b... @6.1.18    one week ago
Hear, hear, nerm. Remember your last paragraph always.

I do not need to remember my last paragraph because it is woven into the fabric of the United States.  That's why the US Constitution has a 1st amendment.  That's why the United States is not a majority-rule democracy.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.1.23  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.20    one week ago
Earth does not provide evidence of extraterrestrial life. The possibility of extraterrestrial life based on Earth is a logical construct to support a belief in that possibility.

Life on Earth allows for the probability of life elsewhere in the universe. It's mathematical. Belief is not required. If and when we actually discover exolife, even in the smallest degree, that will prove there is (or at least was) exolife.

Life on Earth is only diverse in form.  At the most basic level life on Earth is the same.  Complex forms are made up of cells that are little different than single celled organisms.  So, the argument based upon Earth's biodiversity is a logical construct to support belief in the possibility of extraterrestrial life and extraterrestrial evolution.  

The laws of physics operates the same throughout the universe. Atoms form molecules, which can form amino acids, which can form proteins, which forms nucleic acids, which leads to life. Earth is essentially a big laboratory of organic molecules. Add the probable trillions of planets in the universe and you have a lot of laboratories for potential life.

The search for extraterrestrial life is being justified by a truth of faith that life would emerge elsewhere in the universe and evolve into something comparable to humans on Earth. 

It's justified by a desire for knowledge and a search for truth, based on what we already know and have here.

There is as much evidence for a God as there is for extraterrestrial life and evolution.

What is the evidence for god? There is no evidence of exolife-yet. But there is plenty of empirical evidence for evolution. Evolution is more of a "truth" than god is!

A belief in either possibility requires faith.  And that faith can be sustained by subjectively selecting evidence and logic that supports belief.

You seem to think faith/belief is a necessity for something, or a need?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6    2 weeks ago
Thing is, there must always be a first cause.   If that first cause is a sentient entity then we have a bizarre notion that the most complex, most powerful entity that can exist has simply always existed with all of its powers.

The error you are making is that there must always be a first cause within the universe in which we exist. You have no idea what, if any, rules apply outside of it. The reason you find the idea of an eternal God bizarre is that you judge the idea as being bound by the laws of our existence when you can present no evidence as to why it would necessarily be so. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.1  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2    2 weeks ago
The error you are making is that there must always be a first cause within the universe in which we exist.

Why do you impose our universe as an arbitrary limitation?     I would think in terms of existence and not limit oneself to our known universe.

You have no idea what, if any, rules apply outside of it.

The basic chain of causes (cause and effect) shown linearly (but this is actually a directed graph):

cause0 ⇢ cause1 ⇢ cause2 ⇢ cause3 ⇢ ...  causen-1 ⇢ cause ...

What do you have if you remove the first-cause (cause0)?   That is, how can you remove cause0 without making cause1 the first cause?   Show me what you have.

The reason you find the idea of an eternal God bizarre is that you judge the idea as being bound by the laws of our existence when you can present no evidence as to why it would necessarily be so. 

Who said that I find the idea of an eternal God to be bizarre?   I have stated for years that a sentient creator is indeed a possibility?    And I have not made any reference to physics here (the laws of our existence) only to basic logic and the meaning of terms.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.2  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.1    2 weeks ago
Why do you impose our universe as an arbitrary limitation? 

Because it is where we get the idea of first cause. We have never observed an effect without a prior cause but logic states that there must be a first cause or, absent one, grant a miracle, as you later do in 6 .

What do you have if you remove the first-cause (cause 0 )?

Not sure what you're going for here. Why would I want to remove cause 0 ? My point is that there actually is a cause 0 . In actuality, I'm now lost as to what point you're trying to make, having reread your post. First, you state " Thing is, there must always be a first cause ," but then state later in the same paragraph the opposite. " It is, however, possible to imagine that the quintessential substance of existence (call it energy for lack of a better word) has always existed and simply interacts over unfathomable time (infinity) to yield (emerge) forms that exist for a while and then eventually decompose and are repurposed ."

Yes, I know you said " possible " meaning you don't commit to it in writing, but it seems to be what you believe. I don't see a third option. Either the material universe has always existed in spite of the miracle this would entail or there was a first cause. I say miracle because what else would you call it when you have an infinite regression of cause and effect without an actual first cause? Cause and effect demands a first cause. Assuming that the material world, regardless of whatever iteration it's on, has existed eternally is as an extraordinary a claim as people say God is. 

Who said that I find the idea of an eternal God to be bizarre?

Um, are we now going to debate what your words literally say or how it actually means something different if we just look at it right? 

If that first cause is a sentient entity then we have a bizarre notion that the most complex, most powerful entity that can exist has simply always existed with all of its powers. It is difficult to make sense of such a notion.

 I have stated for years that a sentient creator is indeed a possibility?

Yes, as long as it was an emergent property of " ... the quintessential substance of existence (call it energy for lack of a better word) has always existed and simply interacts over unfathomable time (infinity) to yield (emerge) forms that exist for a while and then eventually decompose and are repurposed ." That is not a description of God that I accept, and you have stated that you do not accept mine. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.3  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.2    one week ago
Because it is where we get the idea of first cause. We have never observed an effect without a prior cause but logic states that there must be a first cause or, absent one, grant a miracle, as you later do in 6 .

You seem to be noting the need for a first cause in the above quote, so why do you deem my recognition of a first cause as an error?    You seem to be objecting to that which you endorse.   What is the error?

My point is that there actually is a cause 0 . 

That has been my point too.   Looks like we are off track here.    I have stated that there must be a first cause.    That first cause could be existence itself (where the substance of existence interacts and results in forms).    The other first cause posited by many is God.    But this requires that the most complex sentient entity possible simply exists.    And it contradicts the notion by those who presume God as the first cause that complexity necessitates a designer.

So between the two extremes:   

  1. existence itself is the first cause which produces increasingly complex forms over time through a process of unguided evolution
  2. the most complex sentient entity simply exists and then orchestrates everything

Option 1 only requires that existence be real (which is quite highly evidenced) whereas option 2 makes a giant leap to require the existence of uber-complexity as the first cause (which has no supporting evidence and involves the complexity problem).

 " Thing is, there must always be a first cause ," but then state later in the same paragraph the opposite. " It is, however, possible to imagine that the quintessential substance of existence (call it energy for lack of a better word) has always existed and simply interacts over unfathomable time (infinity) to yield (emerge) forms that exist for a while and then eventually decompose and are repurposed ."

When you think I am contradicting myself I suggest you presume I am not and try to interpret my words accordingly.    Explaining:  I have been stating that there logically must be a first cause.   The later point on quintessential substance of existence is an example of a first cause.

The entire quote:

TiG @6 ☞ Thing is, there must always be a first cause.   If that first cause is a sentient entity then we have a bizarre notion that the most complex, most powerful entity that can exist has simply always existed with all of its powers.   It is difficult to make sense of such a notion.   It is, however, possible to imagine that the quintessential substance of existence (call it energy for lack of a better word) has always existed and simply interacts over unfathomable time (infinity) to yield (emerge) forms that exist for a while and then eventually decompose and are repurposed.

Here I offer two possible first causes:  eternal, uber-complex sentient entity or eternal existence itself from which forms evolve unguided.   I have no idea how you managed to read that as a contradiction.

Um, are we now going to debate what your words literally say or how it actually means something different if we just look at it right? 

Let's go to what I wrote:

TiG @6 ☞  If that first cause is a sentient entity then we have a bizarre notion that the most complex, most powerful entity that can exist has simply always existed with all of its powers.   

What I described as bizarre is the notion of 'the most complex, most powerful entity that can exist has simply always existed with all of its powers'.   That is the extreme view of 'God' as the first cause.   That variant I do find bizarre.   Another variant is a God who is not omnipotent, etc. that itself emerged from existence and evolved to the point (to the complexity) where it is capable of creating our universe.   Evolving from simple to complex strikes me as sensible but simply being the most complex, etc. strikes me as bizarre.    (And this variant can be seen as eternal if we view God as a sentient property of existence itself.)

Yes, as long as it was an emergent property of " ... the quintessential substance of existence (call it energy for lack of a better word) has always existed and simply interacts over unfathomable time (infinity) to yield (emerge) forms that exist for a while and then eventually decompose and are repurposed ." That is not a description of God that I accept, and you have stated that you do not accept mine. 

See, you do remember things I have written.   Seems that we need to just connect some of the dots.

I know that you do not accept that notion.    But what I described is a first cause of the most primitive substance possible (the substance of existence itself) evolving over time into more complex forms.    We have seen that occur in a much smaller scale in our universe.   The pattern is there.   The logic is there.

In contrast, you find it more likely that uber-complexity and power simply existed.   No creator of same, it just existed and then everything else falls into place after that grand first step is made.    

Clearly you can see why what I proposed has almost no presumption whereas yours is arguably the grandest possible presumption.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.2.4  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.2    one week ago
Because it is where we get the idea of first cause. We have never observed an effect without a prior cause but logic states that there must be a first cause or, absent one, grant a miracle, as you later do in 6 .

I will intrude to point out that "in the beginning ..." is a statement of first cause.

First cause accounts for the fourth dimension of time of our use of deductive reasoning.  Deductive reasoning requires a beginning.  Without a beginning there can't be a chain of events through time to arrive at what is.

We can manipulate the reality of the three dimensions of space but we cannot (at least not yet) manipulate the reality of the fourth dimension of time.  If we achieve the capability to manipulate time then we could change the beginning to alter the result using inductive reasoning.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.5  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.3    one week ago
Option 1 only requires that existence be real (which is quite highly evidenced) whereas option 2 makes a giant leap to require the existence of uber-complexity as the first cause (which has no supporting evidence and involves the complexity problem).

That isn't correct. Option one requires exactly the same thing as option two. Option one requires that what you term existence has no first cause and has always existed, just as believers claim God had no first cause and has always existed. You haven't eliminated any complexity at all. 

You say you yourself endorse the idea there must be a first cause but seem unaware that you don't actually address what the first cause is for option one. You simply ignore that option one actually dismisses a first cause by claiming "existence" has simply always existed. No first cause. 

When you think I am contradicting myself I suggest you presume I am not and try to interpret my words accordingly.    Explaining:  I have been stating that there logically must be a first cause.   The later point on quintessential substance of existence is an example of a first cause.

Sure, I'll do that, if you can actually explain how "quintessential substance of existence" qualifies as a first cause without itself requiring a cause. What you are doing is taking the believers statement about God having never had a cause or a beginning and substituting "quintessential substance of existence." That is why you are contradicting yourself. You claim you are providing a first cause but, really, you're just saying there was none. It's just always existed in some iteration "quintessential substance of existence."

Here I offer two possible first causes:  eternal, uber-complex sentient entity or eternal existence itself from which forms evolve unguided.   I have no idea how you managed to read that as a contradiction.

Hopefully you now have some idea why it's a contradiction. 

That variant I do find bizarre.

Glad that's settled, then. 

Clearly you can see why what I proposed has almost no presumption whereas yours is arguably the grandest possible presumption.

Actually, what you propose suggests some rather large presumptions to me. First, one has to assume the natural world, meaning whatever form the "quintessential substance of existencecurrently takes wherever it exists, has always existed without first cause. That's a rather complex assumption, don't you think? At the very least it is simply abandoning the question of first cause because there simply can't be one for your view to work. It's simply something that has to be taken on faith. 

The second is that an unthinking, non-sentient "quintessential substance of existence" could actually result in entities such as ourselves, purely by chance, let alone an emergent god of some sort. Another thing that has to be taken on faith. In fact why, should your view actually be true, would "quintessential substance of existence" be bothered to form anything at all? What we know is this universe and since it exists one can point to it that this substance apparently can be bothered to form things even if we don't know what preceded it or what the rules are. Okay, fine. But that's based on no more evidence than putting forth God as the explanation. It's simply taken on faith. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.6  Drakkonis  replied to  Nerm_L @6.2.4    one week ago
I will intrude to point out that "in the beginning ..." is a statement of first cause. First cause accounts for the fourth dimension of time of our use of deductive reasoning.  Deductive reasoning requires a beginning.  Without a beginning there can't be a chain of events through time to arrive at what is.

Okay. Seems reasonable.

We can manipulate the reality of the three dimensions of space but we cannot (at least not yet) manipulate the reality of the fourth dimension of time.  If we achieve the capability to manipulate time then we could change the beginning to alter the result using inductive reasoning.

Kinda lose me here. I can think of a number of problems with this. The most obvious to me would be that, even if we could manipulate time, how could we affect first cause? We are creatures of three dimensional space. How could we go back to a time where there was none in order to manipulate first cause? Perhaps you are imagining time as a sort of rope stretching back and if we could somehow send a sort of oscillation down the line we could affect it that way? Personally, I think time is inviolate. I don't think it can be changed. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.7  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.5    one week ago
That isn't correct. Option one requires exactly the same thing as option two. Option one requires that what you term existence has no first cause and has always existed, just as believers claim God had no first cause and has always existed. You haven't eliminated any complexity at all. 

You seem to understand what I wrote yet you deem it incorrect while agreeing.   Yes, Drakk, option one requires that eternal existence IS the first cause and with option two, eternal God is the first cause.    

Now how do you see existence itself (no form, no complexity) as complex as God?   Really, what words exist to explain this incredibly obvious distinction?    We are talking about two extremes here.    It is as if you tell me you understand liquid vs. solid and then claim that there is zero difference in entropy.   

You say you yourself endorse the idea there must be a first cause but seem unaware that you don't actually address what the first cause is for option one. You simply ignore that option one actually dismisses a first cause by claiming "existence" has simply always existed. No first cause. 

Existence is the first cause in option one.   That is the point.   I mentioned two first causes:   existence itself and God.   

You seem to understand what I write but then come up with these strange distortions from nowhere and then claim that my logic is flawed.   Just go with what I write.  If my language is vague then ask me pointed questions rather than assume I am confused.

Sure, I'll do that, if you can actually explain how "quintessential substance of existence" qualifies as a first cause without itself requiring a cause. 

That is the concept of first cause.    The first cause is that which begins the causal chain.   I have posited that the causal chain starts with an eternal existence.   That means that (lucky for us) the default condition of reality is existence (vs. nothingness).   So the first attribute of anything is 'it exists'.   Existence itself is the foundation upon which everything rests.   And I have further stated that existence is not simply a concept but that it is the basis for reality thus there is an (unspecified) quintessential substance of existence.   I have no idea what this might be (think of it as primitive energy) but it would be what science would discover if we continued below the particle physics level down to level zero of existence.

In short, you asked me to explain how a first cause can exist without requiring a first cause.   My answer is that the first cause would need to be the most primitive existence imaginable.   You, in contrast, posit the first cause as the most complex, powerful, sentient entity possible.

What you are doing is taking the believers statement about God having never had a cause or a beginning and substituting "quintessential substance of existence."

Why not just stick with what I write instead of speculating?  I offered an alternative first cause that was not God.   Pure and simple.

That is why you are contradicting yourself. You claim you are providing a first cause but, really, you're just saying there was none. It's just always existed in some iteration "quintessential substance of existence."

Good grief, are you purposely trying to not understand what I write Drakk?    I posited existence itself as the first cause.   How many ways must I write this?  To view that as a contradiction illustrates that you are desperately trying to find a contradiction.   

The contradiction is to claim that complexity necessitates a creator (as many do) and then posit the first cause as God (the most complex sentient entity possible).   How you cannot acknowledge that and instead try to find a contradiction in:   ‘existence itself as the first cause’ is curious (to say the least).

Actually, what you propose suggests some rather large presumptions to me. First, one has to assume the natural world, meaning whatever form the "quintessential substance of existencecurrently takes wherever it exists, has always existed without first cause.

I am positing that it IS the first cause.   

That's a rather complex assumption, don't you think?

No, it is the least complex (by intent).   What is less complex than existence alone?

At the very least it is simply abandoning the question of first cause because there simply can't be one for your view to work. It's simply something that has to be taken on faith. 

Again, I posited existence itself as the first cause.   ( Does repetition help achieve understanding?   Let's see. )

The second is that an unthinking, non-sentient "quintessential substance of existence" could actually result in entities such as ourselves, purely by chance, let alone an emergent god of some sort. Another thing that has to be taken on faith.

How do you bring faith into a hypothesis?   I have offered a first cause other than God.   

In fact why, should your view actually be true, would "quintessential substance of existence" be bothered to form anything at all?

Where do I say that this is truth?    But you can see evolution all around us and science has shown how complexity forms from seemingly random interactions so there is good reason to hold that forms could emerge from quintessential existence.   

What we know is this universe and since it exists one can point to it that this substance apparently can be bothered to form things even if we don't know what preceded it or what the rules are. Okay, fine. But that's based on no more evidence than putting forth God as the explanation. It's simply taken on faith. 

You seem to be trying to equate my argument with religion.   That is a tactic.   Thing is, I have not ever claimed what I have posited as truth or even necessity.   I have simply offered an alternative first cause that does not come with the complexity baggage of God.   I understand why you refuse to acknowledge this and seek to try to find 'contradictions', 'faith', etc.    I would prefer you not engage in such tactics and just deal with what I wrote.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.2.8  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.6    one week ago
Kinda lose me here. I can think of a number of problems with this. The most obvious to me would be that, even if we could manipulate time, how could we affect first cause? We are creatures of three dimensional space. How could we go back to a time where there was none in order to manipulate first cause? Perhaps you are imagining time as a sort of rope stretching back and if we could somehow send a sort of oscillation down the line we could affect it that way? Personally, I think time is inviolate. I don't think it can be changed. 

Well, yes, my statement does depend upon time being infinite and eternal.  That's the difficulty in discussing these issues.  The constraints of our four dimensional reality traps us in our subjectivity.  There aren't enough degrees of freedom to allow us to be completely objective.

Your point is quite astute.  From what we know we could only go back to time zero.  From what we know we could return to the beginning but that would not allow us to return to first cause since the beginning would not be the first cause but the result of first cause.

"In the beginning ..." is a statement of first cause by naming that first cause; either God in Genesis 1 or the Word in John 1.

 
 
 
Dig
Senior Guide
6.2.9  Dig  replied to  Nerm_L @6.2.4    one week ago
We can manipulate the reality of the three dimensions of space but we cannot (at least not yet) manipulate the reality of the fourth dimension of time.

Actually, we can manipulate it to a certain extent. The passage of time is experienced as a function of acceleration/velocity through space, and is not the same for all observers (like the speed of light is). The clocks on satellites in orbit have to be adjusted to account for this, because their speed causes time to pass a wee bit slower for them relative to our experience on Earth's surface.

If you could go on an extended space journey at high speed, then when you come back less time will have passed for you than was experienced by those you left behind. The faster you go, and the longer you're gone, the greater the difference would be.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.10  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.7    one week ago
Now how do you see existence itself (no form, no complexity) as complex as God?

I don't find what you call existence as complex as God. I find the idea that the material world, in whatever form you wish to imagine it in, being eternal and without first cause as complex as God being eternal and without first cause. Do you see the difference?

In other words, option one doesn't actually deal with first cause at all. It simply assumes the material world has always existed with no explanation given as to how that could be. Christian apologists have a saying that describes your position concerning an eternal material existence. "Just give us the first miracle and we can explain all the rest." 

You seem to understand what I write but then come up with these strange distortions from nowhere and then claim that my logic is flawed.   Just go with what I write.  If my language is vague then ask me pointed questions rather than assume I am confused.

I do understand what you write. I point out the problems with it, which aren't distortions of what you say. Your language is not vague. 

Why not just stick with what I write instead of speculating?

Because it is not speculating. Proposing an eternal material existence necessarily means material existence had no first cause. That is inescapable. "Just sticking with what you write" is asking that I ignore this aspect of your argument.

To me, claiming that the observable universe demonstrably operates on the principle of cause and effect no matter where we look but that it doesn't apply to material existence itself is unsupportable. It's claiming that the very principle by which it operates doesn't apply in explaining why it exists in the first place. We can use cause and effect to explain how a planet came to be but not material existence itself. That is, there's no cause to a system that is nothing but cause and effect. It's just to be taken on faith it just is that way. 

I posited existence itself as the first cause.   How many ways must I write this? 

Because you give no reason as to why that should be considered true or how it's even logical???????????? You simply eliminate the need for a first cause by arbitrarily stating that material existence is eternal. You honestly don't see that as sidestepping the first cause issue? How can material existence have existed from eternity without itself having a first cause??????? How many ways must I write this question before you actually address it? 

How do you bring faith into a hypothesis?   I have offered a first cause other than God.

Upon what basis other than faith are we to accept an eternal material existence? Have you provided evidence with which to eliminate faith as a reason for believing in an eternal material existence? 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.11  Drakkonis  replied to  Nerm_L @6.2.8    one week ago
Well, yes, my statement does depend upon time being infinite and eternal.  That's the difficulty in discussing these issues.

Boy, you got that right. Sometimes, when I intentionally try to get my head explode, I go on YouTube and watch vids about what we think we understand about time. Really mind bending stuff, at least for me. That people even thought of these things concerning something I just take for granted makes me feel about as intelligent as dirt : ) 

From what we know we could only go back to time zero.  From what we know we could return to the beginning but that would not allow us to return to first cause since the beginning would not be the first cause but the result of first cause.

Yeah, "from what we know" is pretty much the catch, isn't it? 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.2.12  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.11    one week ago
Yeah, "from what we know" is pretty much the catch, isn't it? 

Yup, there's always a catch (as Constantine would say, if you've seen the movie).  I think the phrase in vogue at one time was "God works in mysterious ways".

What we know, what we think we know, and what we have forgotten seems to muck up the works quite often.  It's not always easy to unmuck things, either.  And it's often a little too humbling to admit we mucked up.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.13  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.10    one week ago
I don't find what you call existence as complex as God.

Well that is a start.   

What I call existence?   I am not redefining existence.   Existence = all of objective reality.   Existence = ¬ nothingness.   It is likely the most basic concept there is.

In other words, option one doesn't actually deal with first cause at all. It simply assumes the material world has always existed with no explanation given as to how that could be. Christian apologists have a saying that describes your position concerning an eternal material existence. "Just give us the first miracle and we can explain all the rest." 

No, that is not even remotely close to what I wrote.   I make no mention of the 'material world'.   I speak only of existence and note that there is a substance of existence.   That substance is not defined other than to say it would be the extreme of primitive.   I suggested that you think of it as energy just as an intuitive handle.   

My point was that existence itself IS.   Existence is known to BE.   We have proof!   And that everything that exists is a form of existence.   Do not limit this to material things.

In effect, you actually are rejecting the idea that existence itself could even be the first cause.   You simply declare that it cannot be.   Then you add in assumptions that I have not made and then allude to existence as the first miracle.    A lot of nuh 'uh here.

Proposing an eternal material existence necessarily means material existence had no first cause. That is inescapable. "Just sticking with what you write" is asking that I ignore this aspect of your argument.

I did not propose that.   Again you create your own meaning and attribute it to me.   Stop inserting 'material existence'.   I have never written that or alluded to it.   The word 'substance' was chosen purposely and defined as unknown but extremely primitive.   That goes well below the level of 'material'.    Until you get that you will likely continue to misrepresent what I am writing.

To me, claiming that the observable universe demonstrably operates on the principle of cause and effect no matter where we look but that it doesn't apply to material existence itself is unsupportable.

See above.   You have polluted this discussion by inserting 'material existence'.

Because you give no reason as to why that should be considered true or how it's even logical????????????

You cannot grasp how existence itself could be the first cause??    You cannot understand how what is arguably the most fundamental essence could be the first cause??    There is nothing for me to break down.   This is as basic as it gets.   You are rejecting the equivalent of 1+1=2.

You simply eliminate the need for a first cause by arbitrarily stating that material existence is eternal.

See above. 

You honestly don't see that as sidestepping the first cause issue? How can material existence have existed from eternity without itself having a first cause??????? How many ways must I write this question before you actually address it? 

See above.    And you claiming that I am not addressing something illustrates ill intent by you.   I spend all of my time correcting non-stop tangents and twists from you.   I have well over-explained my point.   

Break free of this material existence crap that you introduced.  

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.14  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.13    one week ago
You have polluted this discussion by inserting 'material existence'.

This is why I am calling an impasse.

You don't get to dictate things like this. What you are talking about is material existence, whether it is in the form of actual material or simply energy or whatever other thing you wish to think of it as. Existence is not an actual object of any kind. It is a state of being that a thing either has or doesn't have. I see no need to be constrained by your terminology in order to make it easier for you to talk about your point, especially when I think it's wrong.

That is why I speak of material existence, because it's what you are actually talking about. That you speak of it in vague terms representing some unknown and likely unknowable state it may have had prior to this universe doesn't actually change anything. And that's assuming that there actually was material existence, in your terms or mine, before this universe existed, something we have no evidence for in the first place. 

Simply put, I believe there are two classes of things that exist. There is God in one class and only God. In the other is all else that exists and it only exists because He willed it to exist, without changing some previously existing whatever into the universe we observe. 

You apparently believe there is only one class of existence consisting of everything that has the state of existing, wherever that may be or whatever form it takes and all of it shares some basic something you define as matter or energy or whatever that is reduced to some undefined uber-elementary something that is the basis for all that exists. 

Now, given such different and likely irreconcilable differences in views, why would I constrain myself to only speaking in terms you approve of when my purpose in involving myself in this discussion is the defense of my point rather than yours?  

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.15  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.14    one week ago
You don't get to dictate things like this.

Yes I do.   When I define a concept I most definitely hold the right to its definition.

What you are talking about is material existence,  ...

You can keep declaring that and illustrating to me that you stubbornly refuse to acknowledge my point.

Existence is not an actual object of any kind. It is a state of being that a thing either has or doesn't have.

Where did I write that existence is an object?   Yes, existence is an attribute of something that exists.   So your first sentence came from thin air but your second sentence at least correlates with part of what I have written.

That you speak of it in vague terms representing some unknown and likely unknowable state it may have had prior to this universe doesn't actually change anything.

Abstract terms.   I am speaking of likely the most abstract notion possible.   And it sure as hell is not 'material'.

Simply put, I believe there are two classes of things that exist. There is God in one class and only God. In the other is all else that exists and it only exists because He willed it to exist, without changing some previously existing whatever into the universe we observe. 

Yes I know you do.   So you believe that God just poofs everything else into existence from literal nothing.   Nothing to something?   Not even the notion of God transforming 'energy' (by whatever name) into that which has come into existence?   Just, poof, magic, we have a universe?   

You apparently believe there is only one class of existence consisting of everything that has the state of existing, wherever that may be or whatever form it takes and all of it

There is only one 'class' of existence that is evidenced.   I see no reason to complicate this by splitting the notion of existence into classes.   Your two classes is pure invention / speculation by you.   It is merely an idea.   Don't think there is more to it than that.   

Now, given such different and likely irreconcilable differences in views, why would I constrain myself to only speaking in terms you approve of when my purpose in involving myself in this discussion is the defense of my point rather than yours?  

Because I defined my terms upfront and then consistently used them to express an idea.   If you change the meaning of my terms you are purposely making communication impossible.   And the only reason I defined terms is because these concepts have no established English words so it is necessary to introduce the notion of a quintessential substance of existence and define it.    

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.16  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.15    one week ago
Yes I do.   When I define a concept I most definitely hold the right to its definition.

No, actually. You don't. This isn't a lecture. This is a debate. Or was supposed to be. 

You can keep declaring that and illustrating to me that you stubbornly refuse to acknowledge my point.

You do recognize, don't you, that according to your own words, "substance" is simply matter or even energy or whatever else may exist reduced to some theoretical uber-reduced "substance", that is the basis of whatever exists, even states we can't imagine, right? My purpose in calling it "material existence" is to stress this point because regardless of what state a thing that exists is in, be it one quanta of "substance" or an entire universe, it's still a materialist viewpoint of existence. Something you continually affirm every time you insist God would be an emergent property of your "existence." That is, God is not some supernatural entity (meaning non-material, natural or whatever) but just another part of what we are all a part of. 

So, when I say "material existence" I am not misunderstanding your argument,  nor am I twisting what you say. I am not putting words in your mouth. I am stating the obvious implications of your own argument. That it is a materialistic argument from beginning to end. 

Now, you may not like my using that term. I'm sorry it upsets you but I'm not using it to piss you off. I'm using it because it best expresses my side of the argument. Sorry you can't seem to understand that. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.17  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.16    one week ago
No, actually. You don't. This isn't a lecture. This is a debate. Or was supposed to be. 

You mean I cannot upfront put forth a concept, give it a name and then consistently use that defined and named concept in my argument?

Really?    

You deem establishing a term for a concept that has no English word lecturing?

Do not even suggest to me that you are trying to have a discussion.   Clearly you have done whatever you could to make discussion impossible.

You do recognize, don't you, that according to your own words, "substance" is simply matter or even energy or whatever else may exist reduced to some theoretical uber-reduced "substance", that is the basis of whatever exists, even states we can't imagine, right?

I have taken great pains to make it crystal clear that substance is not mere matter or energy.   I carefully suggested that energy might be an intuitive handle so that you would not think I was talking about energy.   What I am talking about is something that is yet to be known that is below matter, below particle physics and likely below energy.   So if you actually understand that this ' uber-reduced "substance" ' is an abstract reference to that which is shared by all that exists, then that is some headway.   But if you again call it material then I do not know what is in your mind but it surely is not what I have described.

My purpose in calling it "material existence" is to stress this point because regardless of what state a thing that exists is in, be it one quanta of "substance" or an entire universe, it's still a materialist viewpoint of existence.

Because you say so?

Something you continually affirm every time you insist God would be an emergent property of your "existence." That is, God is not some supernatural entity (meaning non-material, natural or whatever) but just another part of what we are all a part of. 

You think a supernatural entity cannot be of existence??   If a supernatural entity exists then it is NOT nothing, right?   There is something there, right?   Why is it that you cannot recognize that this would also be substance (not material) as I defined?    Substance is that which distinguishes existence from non-existence.

You have God in your class 1 existence.   That existence is not nothing;  it is real.   Thus there is a quintessential substance (not a material) which distinguishes it from non-existence.   If you want to argue that supernatural means nothing then fine, but if you hold that a supernatural entity exists then it necessarily has an attribute that distinguishes it from non-existence.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.18  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.17    one week ago
You mean I cannot upfront put forth a concept, give it a name and then consistently use that defined and named concept in my argument?

No, that isn't what I mean. I mean that you cannot restrict my response to your argument. You cannot insist that I argue within a framework that I do not accept as valid. I think you know that is what I am saying. 

You deem establishing a term for a concept that has no English word lecturing?

No, I deem your demand that I use your terminology only acceptable as a demand if this were a lecture I was attending instead of a debate. 

I have taken great pains to make it crystal clear that substance is not mere matter or energy.

I couldn't care less. What "substance" consists of is irrelevant to the actual point, which is that whatever it is, God would necessarily be a part of it under your view. Under your view, matter is made of "substance". What difference does it make if we now take that matter and reduce it to substance? Does doing so make it more likely that God would be of "substance" in your view? Suppose we take all of "substance" that exists and convert it to matter. Is it now less likely that God is actually a part of substance under your view? I think not, so what's the point about getting bend out of shape about the terms I use? Since matter is "condensed substance" what the hell difference does it make to your argument????? None. The only relevant point is that whatever "substance" is and whatever form it currently exists in, you believe God would necessarily be of it. 

Because you say so?

No, because it meets the definition of materialism. Look it up if you need to, which I know you don't. 

You think a supernatural entity cannot be of existence?? 

Correct. That would be the definition of "supernatural" after all. 

There is something there, right?

What do you mean by "something there?" Like something you could see or touch? No, there's nothing there in that sense unless He chooses to present Himself that way. And even then, It would probably be wrong to describe that presentation as anything more than an icon. God is spirit, whatever that is. Something that doesn't have a physical component, apparently. 

Why is it that you cannot recognize that this would also be substance (not material) as I defined?
  1. Because you've given me no reason to accept it as fact. I'm perfectly aware, within the system you present, that God being of this substance, whatever you want to consider it to be, makes perfectly logical sense. But that the logic is consistent doesn't make it factual. I do not believe it is factual.
  2. God, as defined by your system, would not be God in my view. Something that depends on something else, whether for its existence or anything else cannot be what I would consider to be God. It would merely be a higher order creature, regardless of the magnitude and so, not God. 
  3. Your system does not explain where what is essentially the material, or energy or whatever in its most reduced form as "substance" came from. Instead, rather than substance being an actual substance, you appear to regard it more as some sort of amalgamation force, substance and energy that causes existence, having operated from eternity. Yes, I know. Substance is just a placeholder for something that really doesn't have a definition. You're using "substance" not in the dictionary sense of some material thing, but rather, some  "something" there aren't actually words to describe.  You sometimes use "essence" which I think is probably a better word. 
You have God in your class 1 existence.   That existence is not nothing;  it is real.

With you so far...

Thus there is a quintessential substance (not a material) which distinguishes it from non-existence.

And we part ways. How do you get from God existing to "thus..."? You're literally stating the mere fact of existence proves there is this "quintessential substance" (doesn't matter what you consider it to be. Only that it has the property of being the root cause of existence, it is what existence springs from or however you prefer to phrase it). I think you've lost track of the fact that your "quintessential substance" argument is just a hypothesis. 

If you want to argue that supernatural means nothing then fine, but if you hold that a supernatural entity exists then it necessarily has an attribute that distinguishes it from non-existence.

Obviously I don't argue that supernatural means nothing. I certainly do think that such an entity has attributes that distinguish it from non-existence. But the mere fact of existence doesn't validate your hypothesis. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.19  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.18    one week ago
I mean that you cannot restrict my response to your argument. You cannot insist that I argue within a framework that I do not accept as valid. I think you know that is what I am saying. 

You do not accept that existence is the most primitive attribute of anything that exists.    That the quintessential substance of existence (the most primitive { no word for this } that distinguishes existence from non-existence) is invalid.   This has the consequence of you holding that something exists without substance and thus it exists yet it is nothing.

Well that is remarkable.

No, I deem your demand that I use your terminology only acceptable as a demand if this were a lecture I was attending instead of a debate. 

You are going to argue everything? 

There is no word for the concept I defined ;   I necessarily had to pick a label (a word) for the concept in order to communicate.  Why is that a problem for you Drakk? 

How in hell can we communicate if you refuse to even use the label I offered for this unnamed concept I have posited?   Do we refer to it as the ' unnamed concept '?    Do we both affix our own label to this concept I defined and attempt to work with synonyms?   Or do you demand that you label my concept and that we use your label instead?   How petty and unreasonable do you wish to be?

Under your view, matter is made of "substance". 

Not just matter.   If something exists it is OF the substance of existence.   If not then it would be OF nothing ... it would be nothingness ... it would not exist.

What difference does it make if we now take that matter and reduce it to substance?

Not just matter Drakk.   Anything that exists is ultimately OF existence.   If a ghost exists then it is OF existence (it is OF the quintessential substance of existence).  

No, because it meets the definition of materialism.

Again you insist on reframing my point to be strict materialism.   Is a ghost a material existence?

Correct. [ " You think a supernatural entity cannot be of existence?? " ] That would be the definition of "supernatural" after all. 

So if something is supernatural it does not exist??   How special.

And that is not the definition of supernatural.   Supernatural = " (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature. "  

Supernatural does not mean ' does not exist '.

Like something you could see or touch? 

No.   You are still stuck in the material world.  Looks like it is deliberate.   Something as in NOT nothing.

God is spirit, whatever that is. Something that doesn't have a physical component, apparently. 

And you are going to tell me that even now you think I have been talking about physical components, right?

But that the logic is consistent doesn't make it factual. I do not believe it is factual.

I do not know if it is factual either.   That has never been the point.   The point is to describe a concept of existence based solely on what we have evidenced.  To do so making no assumptions and not inventing new concepts (e.g. two classes of existence).   As I started out noting, we know that existence IS; no question.   We know that which exists has a special quality that distinguishes it from nothingness.  I have phrased that quality as 'being of existence'.   And I have further offered that being of existence means something is of the quintessential substance of existence (a concept that seems ultimately true because no matter how low one gets this substance must be distinguished from nothingness otherwise existence has no meaning).

God, as defined by your system, would not be God in my view. Something that depends on something else, whether for its existence or anything else cannot be what I would consider to be God. It would merely be a higher order creature, regardless of the magnitude and so, not God. 

Yeah I know this is why you have been disagreeing with basically everything on this topic.   Ultimately you reject it because for God to exist He must either be OF existence or must be one with existence.  

Your religious beliefs require that God be the first cause and that means God must be eternal and be devoid of structure.   That is, God cannot consist of anything (not even energy or whatever spirits are composed of).    If God is absent that which distinguishes existence from nothingness then God, in essence, consists of nothingness ... which would mean God does not exist.

Toss out logic and just go with belief.

Your system does not explain where what is essentially the material, or energy or whatever in its most reduced form as "substance" came from.

Well, gee, sorry but defining the origin of existence was not my objective.   I thought I would stick with a more modest goal based on what we have evidenced.   But note Drakk that God as the first cause does not explain where God came from either.   In every case, I would expect, the first cause will not 'come from' anything.  Seems to me the first cause is necessarily eternal.  Right?   So why does your observation not bother you regarding God?    If you are bothered that the quintessential substance of existence is eternal (which I think is necessary) and thus we cannot logically state where it came from, why are you not equally concerned that we cannot state the origin of God?   It is the exact same issue.

I am curious if you will even attempt to directly address this question.

Instead, rather than substance being an actual substance, you appear to regard it more as some sort of amalgamation force, substance and energy that causes existence, having operated from eternity.

I have purposely not attempted to define or limit 'substance'.   It is purposely left as an unknown because we flat out do not know anything about it.   You are working overtime to limit it and I have told you each time that you are changing what I described.

Yes, I know. Substance is just a placeholder for something that really doesn't have a definition. You're using "substance" not in the dictionary sense of some material thing, but rather, some  "something" there aren't actually words to describe.  You sometimes use "essence" which I think is probably a better word. 

So you get it.  So how can you understand what I mean by substance and then talk about matter and making note of God as physical?   Why are you not consistently applying the concept?   

You're literally stating the mere fact of existence proves there is this " quintessential substance" (doesn't matter what you consider it to be.

I am stating that if something exists it is OF existence.    This is not a proof of quintessential substance of existence.   Existence is, by definition, distinguished from nothingness and the difference is the quintessential substance of existence.

Only that it has the property of being the root cause of existence, it is what existence springs from or however you prefer to phrase it). I think you've lost track of the fact that your "quintessential substance" argument is just a hypothesis. 

It is not a hypothesis, it is definitional.   If existence has no quintessential substance then existence is no different than nothingness.   (I am running out of way to paraphrase this.)

Obviously I don't argue that supernatural means nothing. I certainly do think that such an entity has attributes that distinguish it from non-existence. But the mere fact of existence doesn't validate your hypothesis. 

Then what does it mean Drakk?   You say that a supernatural entity could exist and thus is distinguished from nothingness but reject my extremely general abstract notion of substance and offer nothing as an alternative.   A supernatural entity either has substance (as defined) or it is indistinguishable from nothingness and thus does not exist.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.20  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.19    one week ago
You do not accept that existence is the most primitive attribute of anything that exists.

Untrue, although I would not word this point in this way. I would say it is the most basic fact to attribute to something that exists. The point from which to describe all other attributes of that which exists. 

That the quintessential substance of existence (the most primitive {no word for this} that distinguishes existence from non-existence) is invalid.

Not true as stated. I recognize the difference between existence and non-existence. What I object to is all the baggage you hang on the meaning of the word "existence". 

This has the consequence of you holding that something exists without substance and thus it exists yet it is nothing.

An alternate way of stating the same is recognition that something can exist in a manner that I do not understand. 

There is no word for the concept I defined;  I necessarily had to pick a label(a word) for the concept in order to communicate.  Why is that a problem for you Drakk? 

It is not a problem for me. The following proves it:

Yes, I know. Substance is just a placeholder for something that really doesn't have a definition. You're using "substance" not in the dictionary sense of some material thing, but rather, some  "something" there aren't actually words to describe.  You sometimes use "essence" which I think is probably a better word. 

This shows I am aware you are trying to use an existing word for a concept we don't actually have words to describe. Please note that in doing that I made no objection to your doing so.

How in hell can we communicate if you refuse to even use the label I offered for this unnamed concept I have posited?

I don't refuse to use it. Look back through our conversation and you'll see I refer to it often. I also choose at times to put things in terms of "material existence" because it is necessary to make my point. Rather than accepting that I have a different point of view, you choose to interpret what I say as a misunderstanding of your own point of view. 

Not just matter.   If something exists it is OF the substance of existence.   If not then it would be OF nothing ... it would be nothingness ... it would not exist.

For the sake of sanity and progress, please believe me that I understand this perfectly. I don't need it continually explained to me. Apparently, though, you need it explained to you that this is a point of view only. It doesn't necessarily explain reality as is. I'm not trying to be offensive. It's simply a fact, unless you can prove your point of view. And that point of view would need to prove that all that exists exists in the same manner, regardless of what it is. 

Not just matter Drakk.   Anything that exists is ultimately OF existence.   If a ghost exists then it is OF existence (it is OF the quintessential substance of existence). 

Yes, I'm not confused or unaware of this aspect of your hypothesis. I don't know how to convince you of this. If invisible pink unicorns exist (which would be an oxymoron because how could something invisible have color) they would be of this "quintessential substance of existence."  Name anything you wish to, even God, and I understand that you mean it would necessarily fall under your definition of existence. 

I don't understand why you don't believe that I actually understand what you're saying other than simply disagreeing that this expresses the nature of reality means, to you, that I don't understand. That is, you seem to think that if I truly understood, then I would agree that God must exist under the same conditions all else exists. 

Again you insist on reframing my point to be strict materialism.   Is a ghost a material existence?

Under your hypothesis? Yes. 

Here's why. Under your hypothesis, whatever exists, regardless of the state in which it exists, has as it's basis this "quintessential substance of existence" you postulate. Regardless of what "quintessential substance of existence" is (and not even you can define it) it is the basis of all that exists in your hypothesis. Materialism is defined as "the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications." All you have done with your hypothesis is hypothetically reduced matter to something more basic and undefined, yet is still the basis of matter. You could cut up, grind up or liquify a human into something less than the whole but it wouldn't change the fact it was still human. 

Or let's put it another way. Let's imagine you and I have the ability to observe this universe from the outside. Further, let's pretend that we have special lenses that allows us to see beneath the reality of matter and see this "quintessential substance of existence" of which matter is made up. And since we are imagining, let's further assume we can see ghosts, which our special lenses allows us to see as consisting of more of this "quintessential substance of existence." Our lenses allows us to see that ghosts don't exist in the sense that material things do but, none the less, still made of " quintessential substance of ex