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  #21  
Unread 21st January 2009, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by aiki View Post
I think this might be a case of comparing apples to oranges...
How so? I looked over the comparison and as far as the point I was making goes, it makes sense to me. I'm happy to admit my comparison was wrong if you wouldn't mind explaining where the comparison breaks down.

I didn't mean to suggest that the force of gravity couldn't vary in its strength, but that my experience does serve as a reasonable basis for expecting that it exists in other places on the globe. And as you have just described, in a fascinating array of ways, the principle of gravity exists far beyond the limits of my planet! It appears that in this instance I am far from being deceived by extrapolating from my experience.
But have you ever experienced microgravity, 1/8 gravity, or the folding/twisting effects that might exist around a singularity? I personally haven't, and therefore these effects are not based purely upon my lifely experiences.

Nonetheless, while you may acknowledge a maker in the first instance, you refuse to do so in the second. This seems to me to be profoundly inconsistent.
No, the purpose between the two examples was to setup a dichotomy between man-made aesthetics and natural aesthetics, to show that even though a human hand can manufacture something pleasant, it is not necessary to do so. Unless you're claiming that God has an infinite number of fingers swirling the eddies of the ocean to generate chaotic patterns that go to produce the waves we see on the beach? This is effectively arguing that Chaos Theory is God's divine hand, and is equivalent to the idea of Intelligent Gravity, postulated on the satirical newspaper The Onion.

Peace to you too. I enjoy these conversations, so if I seem combative in my posts, don't take offense. I respect your right to believe what you wish, it's just that debate holds no reservations. (I consider engaging in debate to be agreement to have your views questioned and vice versa, much like people agreeing to a boxing match.)

Last edited by ragarth; 21st January 2009 at 12:52 PM.
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  #22  
Unread 21st January 2009, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ragarth View Post
I admit I'm bastardizing the utility of the default position, since a default position is always trumped or proven by scientific evidence, but in the absence of scientific evidence, then all we have to go on is the default position. Since I've found no scientific evidence for or against the existence of Deity of any form, then I'm left with developing a default position on the subject. As pointed out previously, default positions are subjective, and so this post is my fulfilling my curiosity about the basis for default positions other than my own.

The usual utility of the default position is to establish an 'assumed' result of an experiment when there is no factual or evidential basis to have an actual scientific prediction. For instance, before the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics was conceived, the default position on the state of an object without observation would be that the object would have the same state as the state you find it in after observation, in other words, if I have a cat in a box, the cat is already either dead or alive, and my observation by opening the box merely confirms this. However, the default position of the copenhagen interpretation changes this to say that the cat exists in both states simultaneously, thereby providing a new default position on the subject of the cat's state of life or death. So, whatever your preferred theory to describe the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is, is what defines what you assume to be the default state of an unobserved particle. The Copenhagen interpretation has a lot of problems, but it solves others, therefore it's still in contention, but it may not be for too much longer, a 'weak' method of observation is under experimentation that could break the heisenberg uncertainty principle. I can try to find the paper on this if you'd like.
Ah, I see what you're trying to get at. Interesting way to begin your quest. I don't believe you've had the opportunity to explore all the available evidence yet though. You may want to check out J.P. Moreland's book "Scaling the Secular City" to begin with. It's a bit dated, but a good overall starting point.

I can agree with all of this, it does not, however, require that God exist. I think it's more likely that a non-intelligent agent is the cause of the universe's inception than an intelligent agent, much like when two rocks in space collide (defining the system as the interaction between the two rocks), it's more likely that neither rock was thrown by an intelligent hand then it is that they're space debris put in their current trajectories by gravitational forces. The actual forces that made the system possible by setting the vector of the rocks are not a part of the system (thereby making this an open system), but the forces are not intelligent.

Pushing the scope of view on this further incurs the same logical problem with both a God process and a natural process: Both rely on an infinite string of processes to create a universe (In one, God is infinite in power, scope, and existence, in another, successive naturalistic processes are required). This is an area that needs much more research, and we're working on it. :-)
The Kalam cosmological argument argues for a completely closed or isolated system (which I believe accords with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics). Which means that for something temporal to exist the agent that first caused the universe would need the following characteristics. It would have to be uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial. Furthermore, this cause must have a purpose for having been caused within eternity and without time or space. Taking into consideration the intricacies of the universe to produce something as fragile as life... what other non-intelligent agent could do such a thing? Anything but a personal creator to account for the cosmology of the universe is grasping for straws.

This is two fold. The omniscience is a requirement of being able to mask his existence from us in terms of scientific inquiry.
The problem here that I see (and maybe it's just your wording) is the idea that the creator is intentionally masking his existence. Other options exist. For instance... materialist naturalists aren't looking for God... so it's no big surprise they can't see him. The creator is not masking himself from us, but we don't have the tools or are using the wrong tools to see him. Or maybe we're looking in the wrong place completely. I, personally, am betting on the first option... that God exists. He wants to make himself known to his creation, but his creation refuses to acknowlege him.
If it could be proven that God exists, then God need not be omniscient, but if no scientific proof exists to prove God's existence, then God must be omniscient to have set that up. Unfortunately I'm possessed of a very empirical mind, for the universe to reveal God's existence to me would require some form of scientific proof of his existence, in the absence of this, the universe does not reveal the existence of God. Jesus being the son of God is a topic in contention- we'd start talking about Jews, Muslims, etc, if we went here and so it's not proof of God either (even if you can validate his existence, which is a possibility- Jesus may very well exist, but his having lived is not proof of his half-divinity).
Well again, I think you haven't yet explored all your options as far as empirical evidence is concerned. But as I've said already, I believe that naturalistic/materialistic methods can only go so far in exploring supernatural themes... by their very nature really, which is why questions on the meaning of life, and the like are often confined to the softer sciences like philosophy.

This is absolutely true, and it can be backed up. Lightning was once the domain of the supernatural... a Zeus's wrath striking down from the heavens, but it is now explained using scientific reasoning and proof. The supernatural is only supernatural as long as we can't explain it using known laws of nature. Taking this further (and off topic) I give you this thought set:

Anything defined by science, can be used in technology, like quantum processors, neural nets, lightning (electricity), and light (lasers)

Anything useable in technology can be used by humans to effect goals

Anything supernatural can eventually be defined using science, thereby making it no longer supernatural.
Well, I'd argue that. It's a bit egotisitic, and, well... unreasonable to assume that science will someday 'explain it all' (almost as bad as leaning on the phrase 'goddidit' without using a little critical thinking). Science will teach and continues to teach us much. I doubt we'll ever have all the answers by naturalistic means.

God's power uses the supernatural to effect powerful changes to reality
Very true.

So, if we can define the supernatural to make it science in the future, and use science in technology to achieve our goals, and God's power is supernatural, then through science we can achieve the power of God for ourselves. If we can achieve the power of God in our future, are we then God's, or was God not truly a God to begin with?
Lucifer used the same line of thinking... look at what happened to him lol

This line of logic breaks if the supernatural cannot all be defined by science, but then, if not all supernatural can be defined by science, then that's one really big assumption without a backing of proof.
Kind of begging the question though, isn't it? How do you prove something unprovable if you don't even have the right tools to do so?

Last edited by Adrift*; 21st January 2009 at 03:13 PM.
  #23  
Unread 22nd January 2009, 07:09 AM
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Soul Biscuit, hiya!

Thank you for the assistance, but rules in this forum are: 1 non Christian per thread. This forum is explicitly meant to be stacked against the non christians in that way because it's final purpose is to seek converts. I'm kinda bastardizing that purpose by using it to explore my own beliefs by challenging them, but that still doesn't change the forum rules.

Again, thanks for the help, but don't break the forum rules on my account.

Adrift, I was answering your reply yesterday when my dog unplugged my pc and ticked me off. It's a bit hard to write posts when in a bad mood, so it's going to be a while before I can answer your post. I also need to research the kalam argument, it looks kinda poor to me, so I need to see if there's more to it I'm not seeing, or if I'm misunderstanding it.
  #24  
Unread 22nd January 2009, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by soul_biscuit View Post
I see a problem here. Nothing supernatural can be described by science, because science is limited to the natural. The natural is anything that interact with the universe of space, time, matter and energy. The "super"natural is not a part of the natural, and therefore is not amenable to scientific inquiry.

For that reason, it is also incapable of leaving evidence, and for that reason may as well not exist, as I see it.
For any who read this, this is technically accurate and is the position of anyone who doesn't believe in the supernatural, period. This is also my position, but because I'm speaking with someone who does believe in the supernatural, I framed the idea of the supernatural into those aspects of supernatural that just aren't explained science yet (like lightning in years past), and that supernatural which cannot be explained by science. (as of yet unstated: If it can't be explained by science, it can't be proven, if it can't be proven, it can't be observed, measured, or tested. if it can't be observed, measured, or tested, then it doesn't exist. This opens up a whole new can-o-worms that's superfluous to the conversation at hand- which deals with default positions on deity, not default positions on the supernatural, magic, etc.)

The whole idea of this also arose from a silly thought problem I had revolving around science encompasing the supernatural and what that means for humanity vs supernatural entities such as God.
  #25  
Unread 22nd January 2009, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ragarth View Post
Soul Biscuit, hiya!

Thank you for the assistance, but rules in this forum are: 1 non Christian per thread. This forum is explicitly meant to be stacked against the non christians in that way because it's final purpose is to seek converts. I'm kinda bastardizing that purpose by using it to explore my own beliefs by challenging them, but that still doesn't change the forum rules.

Again, thanks for the help, but don't break the forum rules on my account.

Adrift, I was answering your reply yesterday when my dog unplugged my pc and ticked me off. It's a bit hard to write posts when in a bad mood, so it's going to be a while before I can answer your post. I also need to research the kalam argument, it looks kinda poor to me, so I need to see if there's more to it I'm not seeing, or if I'm misunderstanding it.
No problem, take your time. In the meantime I'll take a shot at answering some of soul_biscuit's points.
Nothing in the Kalam argument necessitates intelligence or personality.
While this may be ultimately true, there aren't many options left on the table, and the Cosmological Argument leads naturally to the teleological argument (the argument from design). What we do know, however, is that a causer must always be greater than the cause. Something greater than the universe must have created the universe. And this causer must have the properties I've laid out earlier. It must be uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial.

Further, if the "uncaused cause" can be eternal, why can't the universe?
Well we're certain that the universe is not eternal (infinite rather) because of the widely accepted theory of the Big Bang. More to the point though is that, you can't have an actual infinite in time without the problem of an infinite regress. In other words, since it's impossible for one to add or subtract from an infinite number of years, then to get to January 22nd, 2009 is impossible. The universe does have a starting point. It is not infinite.
Finally, the nature of life is explained perfectly adequately by natural selection. No postulation of a designer is necessary.
That could be, and is argued, but more to the point, the order of the universe is so fine tuned as to make it practically impossible for it to be ordered the way it is, purely by chance. Not to even mention that it has the ability to sustain life.

I also need to research the kalam argument, it looks kinda poor to me...
I think you'll find that that's not at all true. Some of the worlds greatest 20th and 21st century philosophers and scientists have either supported or wrestled with the argument. At any rate, keep an open mind. I'm sure you'll find plenty of pros and cons for the argument in your search, but it hasn't been toppled yet.
  #26  
Unread 22nd January 2009, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Adrift* View Post
The Kalam cosmological argument argues for a completely closed or isolated system (which I believe accords with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics). Which means that for something temporal to exist the agent that first caused the universe would need the following characteristics. It would have to be uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial. Furthermore, this cause must have a purpose for having been caused within eternity and without time or space. Taking into consideration the intricacies of the universe to produce something as fragile as life... what other non-intelligent agent could do such a thing? Anything but a personal creator to account for the cosmology of the universe is grasping for straws.
Just a point of semantics here, the Kalam cosmological argument is the antithesis of the idea of a closed system because a closed system cannot have any external source of energy or manipulation. To explain this, let's assume for a moment that God *did* create the universe, God would then have existed before the universe, and we can assume God existed after the creation of the universe, so God did not transform into the universe. This leaves two options, God created the universe external to himself, or the universe is a part of God. If the universe is external to God, then God is an external influence, making the universe an open system, if the universe is part of God (or God a part of the universe is assumed here), then God still existed before the universe, and so the universe's inception was via an external source. This is batting semantics here, so I'll leave it at that and argue the meat of it: Can Kalam's Cosmology be used to postulate an intelligent creator?

There are several ways to break this- The first is the unproven assertion that the universe had a beginning, and to understand why this is a potentially fatal flaw in this thought train, you must understand the potential for infinity within multi-dimensional space. Working with a 4-dimensional object called a hypersphere, it's possible for you to travel in any direction in 3d space, in a straight line, and end up back where you began, to understand this let's imagine an alternate universe composed of 2 spacial dimensions. In this universe, we'll call it flatland, the flatopians are 2 dimenisonal creatures who can only move in two directions, they can't sense in any way a 3rd dimension. Now let's take flatopia and put it on the surface of a sphere, now flatopia is infinite to a flatopian, but finite to us. If a flatopian stared far enough in one direction, they'd even be able to see the back of their own head! If time is wrapped along a hypersphere cosmology, then the flow of time need not ever had a beginning or end.

The second part is what you're defining the creator as: uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial. Even assuming these are possible traits for anything to have, intelligent or not, there is nothing inherent in these that cannot be applied to non-intelligent phenomena. Harking back to my analogy of two rocks colliding, if these weren't rocks, but isntead were uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial hyperstrings that happened to intersect in some quantum fluctuation, this has as much validity as the idea of a super intelligence of the same qualities. Applying Occam's razor, God has these assumptions: uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial, and intelligent, while my hyperstrings have these assumptions: uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial, thereby making the non-intelligent hyperstrings more likely. To note, there is a theory floating about more complex than the idea of nth-dimensional hyperstrings, the idea being that our universe is a bubble of 3-d space collapsed from a higher-dimensional super-space. Time and the big bang began when the collapse took place, the 'size' of our universe is expanding like a crazy mad-hatter explosion, and it will eventually return to it's previous nth spatial state. It was proposed when string theory came about, and has hung around all the way through m-brane theory.

Both these, to me, show that jumping to an intelligent creator as the impetus for our universe's inception is an unfounded assumption, even within the confines of the proof provided. The fact is, adding intelligence to the mix does nothing to advance the argument of Kalam's Cosmology, it only served to add an additional assumption which complicates the matter without adding value to the argument.

The problem here that I see (and maybe it's just your wording) is the idea that the creator is intentionally masking his existence. Other options exist. For instance... materialist naturalists aren't looking for God... so it's no big surprise they can't see him. The creator is not masking himself from us, but we don't have the tools or are using the wrong tools to see him. Or maybe we're looking in the wrong place completely. I, personally, am betting on the first option... that God exists. He wants to make himself known to his creation, but his creation refuses to acknowlege him.
I agree that there is room for exploration in the idea of God hiding himself and this can use a deeper analysis (I invite it, I'm 'in the box' so to speak on this idea, so external analysis is critical for my growth in this area), however, the argument given here is weak. Not all scientists are materialist naturalists, many are very devout theists and would probably love to look up at the sky, into animal populations, at the genetic code, or at the geologic processes and say 'God's mark is here' with empirical evidence to back it up. Unfortunately, though, even they either rely on misunderstanding of information outside their field, or on faith for their beliefs. The lack of empirical evidence is my reasoning, and if we're looking in the wrong place, then eventually we'll find his presence and all rational atheists will have no choice but to see the light or give up rationality.

Well again, I think you haven't yet explored all your options as far as empirical evidence is concerned.
If you have empirical evidence for the existence of God, we can start a new thread for that, if you'd like?

Well, I'd argue that. It's a bit egotisitic, and, well... unreasonable to assume that science will someday 'explain it all' (almost as bad as leaning on the phrase 'goddidit' without using a little critical thinking). Science will teach and continues to teach us much. I doubt we'll ever have all the answers by naturalistic means.
I can't argue this, but at the same time, while we have no reason to suspect that science has no limits, we have no reason to suspect science has limits. All we can do is work till we either know it all within a reasonable doubt, or hit a limitation to what science can achieve. My thought problem was off topic as I stated, and just me having a little fun playing with an idea.

Lucifer used the same line of thinking... look at what happened to him lol
If I believed in Lucifer, this would be a valid warning. A more apt warning would be to not let hubris blind us to the risks, sometimes science is a grab of power from nature, and power can corrupt and blind.

Kind of begging the question though, isn't it? How do you prove something unprovable if you don't even have the right tools to do so?
That really is the question, and isn't it around the same area of this thread? Working with default positions is an attempt to rationalize an expectation or belief when no empirical evidence is there for it.

What we do know, however, is that a causer must always be greater than the cause. Something greater than the universe must have created the universe.
I understand this was addressed to Soul Biscuit, but it's my thread and I can do what I wanna! j/k Honestly though, there is no reason that an initiator must be greater than the initiated. Chaos Theory is a prime example of this, in complex systems beyond our ability to know every variable exactly, a small variation can have increasingly greater changes over time, this is the origin of the idea of a butterfly flapping it's wings in Africa causing a hurricane in Florida. Therefore, while it's possible that what created the universe was greater than the universe, it could also have been something as small as a pair of intersecting photons.

That could be, and is argued, but more to the point, the order of the universe is so fine tuned as to make it practically impossible for it to be ordered the way it is, purely by chance. Not to even mention that it has the ability to sustain life.
There's two interesting arguments to this: If the chances the universe as we know it is ordered this way are 12*10^30,000,000,000,000 (or a 12 with 30 trillion 0's after it), then it would take that many universes for the chance of this 1 universe forming ever popping up, in the hypersphere cosmology, there could have been this many previous iterations of the universe in the past, or in a multiverse topology, there could be this many universes existing at the same time. The 2nd refutation to this is: What are the chances we would exist in a universe like ours? 100%, because if the universe were different, we wouldn't exist, and therefore wouldn't know- Inversely, if the univserse had a law stipulating all planets must be cubes, then we'd be debating the chances of existing in a cubicle universe as proof of God.

Last edited by ragarth; 22nd January 2009 at 04:42 PM.
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Unread 22nd January 2009, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ragarth View Post
Just a point of semantics here, the Kalam cosmological argument is the antithesis of the idea of a closed system because a closed system cannot have any external source of energy or manipulation. To explain this, let's assume for a moment that God *did* create the universe, God would then have existed before the universe, and we can assume God existed after the creation of the universe, so God did not transform into the universe. This leaves two options, God created the universe external to himself, or the universe is a part of God. If the universe is external to God, then God is an external influence, making the universe an open system, if the universe is part of God (or God a part of the universe is assumed here), then God still existed before the universe, and so the universe's inception was via an external source. This is batting semantics here, so I'll leave it at that and argue the meat of it: Can Kalam's Cosmology be used to postulate an intelligent creator?
The kalam argument does work under a closed system by assuming that the universe was creatio ex nihilo. Created from nothing. There was nothing. No transfer of energy or mass. Then there was a something. The universe... which is tending towards a state of equilibrium (that will happen in a closed system). You're looking at God as though he were a material agent bound by time and space. He isn't a material agent, he's immaterial. He's spiritual. and he's timeless.

There are several ways to break this- The first is the unproven assertion that the universe had a beginning, and to understand why this is a potentially fatal flaw in this thought train, you must understand the potential for infinity within multi-dimensional space. Working with a 4-dimensional object called a hypersphere, it's possible for you to travel in any direction in 3d space, in a straight line, and end up back where you began, to understand this let's imagine an alternate universe composed of 2 spacial dimensions. In this universe, we'll call it flatland, the flatopians are 2 dimenisonal creatures who can only move in two directions, they can't sense in any way a 3rd dimension. Now let's take flatopia and put it on the surface of a sphere, now flatopia is infinite to a flatopian, but finite to us. If a flatopian stared far enough in one direction, they'd even be able to see the back of their own head! If time is wrapped along a hypersphere cosmology, then the flow of time need not ever had a beginning or end.
The problem here is one of reality. Though mathematically a hypersphere is feasible, in 3 dimensional reality there is no evidence beyond the mathematical that hyperspheres can or do exist. No more so than Euclidian geometry existing in real space and time. Not to mention that if the universe is expanding it must have had a singularity to expand from. Unless of course the universe is both expanding and contracting, but as far as I know, the Big Bang is still the excepted model.

The second part is what you're defining the creator as: uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial. Even assuming these are possible traits for anything to have, intelligent or not, there is nothing inherent in these that cannot be applied to non-intelligent phenomena. Harking back to my analogy of two rocks colliding, if these weren't rocks, but isntead were uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial hyperstrings that happened to intersect in some quantum fluctuation, this has as much validity as the idea of a super intelligence of the same qualities. Applying Occam's razor, God has these assumptions: uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial, and intelligent, while my hyperstrings have these assumptions: uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial, thereby making the non-intelligent hyperstrings more likely. To note, there is a theory floating about more complex than the idea of nth-dimensional hyperstrings, the idea being that our universe is a bubble of 3-d space collapsed from a higher-dimensional super-space. Time and the big bang began when the collapse took place, the 'size' of our universe is expanding like a crazy mad-hatter explosion, and it will eventually return to it's previous nth spatial state. It was proposed when string theory came about, and has hung around all the way through m-brane theory.
The problem with quantum fluctuations is, of course, they require energy. Where did the energy come from? Again, there's the problem of infinite regress when it comes to an infinite number of moments.

The reason for a personal creator rather than a natural set of conditions in eternity is because the conditions needed to cause the universe would need to be eternal and the cause and event would be coeternal... which isn't logical. It took something in eternity to act on its own volition to cause the big bang.

I agree that there is room for exploration in the idea of God hiding himself and this can use a deeper analysis (I invite it, I'm 'in the box' so to speak on this idea, so external analysis is critical for my growth in this area), however, the argument given here is weak. Not all scientists are materialist naturalists, many are very devout theists and would probably love to look up at the sky, into animal populations, at the genetic code, or at the geologic processes and say 'God's mark is here' with empirical evidence to back it up. Unfortunately, though, even they either rely on misunderstanding of information outside their field, or on faith for their beliefs.
Wow, that's a bit presumptuous, don't you think?
The lack of empirical evidence is my reasoning, and if we're looking in the wrong place, then eventually we'll find his presence and all rational atheists will have no choice but to see the light or give up rationality.
I have a feeling that he'll make his presence incontrovertibly known before all rational atheists "find his presence".

If you have empirical evidence for the existence of God, we can start a new thread for that, if you'd like?
I thought that's what we were doing here...

If I believed in Lucifer, this would be a valid warning. A more apt warning would be to not let hubris blind us to the risks, sometimes science is a grab of power from nature, and power can corrupt and blind.
It wasn't really a warning. More of a joke really. My concern though is that science has become a new religion and a new god for some atheists.

I understand this was addressed to Soul Biscuit, but it's my thread and I can do what I wanna! j/k Honestly though, there is no reason that an initiator must be greater than the initiated. Chaos Theory is a prime example of this, in complex systems beyond our ability to know every variable exactly, a small variation can have increasingly greater changes over time, this is the origin of the idea of a butterfly flapping it's wings in Africa causing a hurricane in Florida. Therefore, while it's possible that what created the universe was greater than the universe, it could also have been something as small as a pair of intersecting photons.
We're not talking about a small ripple that becomes greater over time though. We're talking about a singularity with enough power to create the entire cosmos.

There's two interesting arguments to this: If the chances the universe as we know it is ordered this way are 12*10^30,000,000,000,000 (or a 12 with 30 trillion 0's after it), then it would take that many universes for the chance of this 1 universe forming ever popping up, in the hypersphere cosmology, there could have been this many previous iterations of the universe in the past, or in a multiverse topology, there could be this many universes existing at the same time. The 2nd refutation to this is: What are the chances we would exist in a universe like ours? 100%, because if the universe were different, we wouldn't exist, and therefore wouldn't know- Inversely, if the univserse had a law stipulating all planets must be cubes, then we'd be debating the chances of existing in a cubicle universe as proof of God.
So you admit that this universe is fine tuned, but only in as much as there were/are enough universes to go around that we were lucky enough to be born into this one? Well that's pretty fortunate Was the multiverse finely tuned as well do you think?

Physics make my head hurt
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Unread 23rd January 2009, 01:32 AM
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Thank you for the assistance, but rules in this forum are: 1 non Christian per thread. This forum is explicitly meant to be stacked against the non christians in that way because it's final purpose is to seek converts. I'm kinda bastardizing that purpose by using it to explore my own beliefs by challenging them, but that still doesn't change the forum rules.
It is rather hypocritical of you to urge soulbiscuit to observe the letter of the law on this forum while you violate the spirit of it.

This forum's stated purpose is:

"A Forum for Non Christians to explore Christianity with Christians."

By your own admission, you have no interest in Christianity, but rather simply intend to abuse this forum by using it as a means to investigate and fortify your own atheistic beliefs. Inasmuch as this is so, I should think you would have nothing to say about soulbiscuit's contravention of the rules of this forum.

Peace.
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Unread 23rd January 2009, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by aiki View Post
It is rather hypocritical of you to urge soulbiscuit to observe the letter of the law on this forum while you violate the spirit of it.

This forum's stated purpose is:

"A Forum for Non Christians to explore Christianity with Christians."

By your own admission, you have no interest in Christianity, but rather simply intend to abuse this forum by using it as a means to investigate and fortify your own atheistic beliefs. Inasmuch as this is so, I should think you would have nothing to say about soulbiscuit's contravention of the rules of this forum.

Peace.
Then I leave the decision to you, is my thread so baseless and foul that I should end it and have it closed?
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Unread 23rd January 2009, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Adrift* View Post
The kalam argument does work under a closed system by assuming that the universe was creatio ex nihilo. Created from nothing. There was nothing. No transfer of energy or mass. Then there was a something. The universe... which is tending towards a state of equilibrium (that will happen in a closed system). You're looking at God as though he were a material agent bound by time and space. He isn't a material agent, he's immaterial. He's spiritual. and he's timeless.
If we assume God created the universe, there was a progenitive act, this invalidates the existence of a closed system in this respect. Even if you can eliminate the idea of the energy potential of the universe coming from somewhere else by relying upon the supernatural, the fact is that God would have provided influence in the form of information, ie, unless God had nothing to do with setting the original state of the universe, and has not interfered in the universe at any point since (energy can come in the form of him burning a bush, regardless of whether it's ex nihilo, it modifies the universe in such a way that it's no longer closed). Still though, it's a minor point that does little to advance my argument or yours, to my knowledge, neither is dependent upon a closed or an open system.

The problem here is one of reality. Though mathematically a hypersphere is feasible, in 3 dimensional reality there is no evidence beyond the mathematical that hyperspheres can or do exist. No more so than Euclidian geometry existing in real space and time. Not to mention that if the universe is expanding it must have had a singularity to expand from. Unless of course the universe is both expanding and contracting, but as far as I know, the Big Bang is still the excepted model.
You are right, but it's an example of a potential model, and to note, the big bang does not necessitate a beginning of everything. It necessitates a beginning of this universe, but it does leave the doors open for something to exist before the big bang. Indeed, the big bang doesn't actually even bother itself with the beginning of everything, quote from wikipedia ( here ):

"

The Big Bang theory, though generally held to be committed to a finite age of the universe, does not commit to a view of infinity that supports the Kalam argument. Mathematical models of the Big Bang generally end in a singularity that has a location in time that is a finite distance from any given event. However, there is also an infinite number of events between this singularity and any given point. This behavior of space and time is allowed by the differential geometry and topology underlying general relativity, the physical theory on which the Big Bang theory is based. Additionally, some Big Bang models are infinite in spatial extent or have an infinitely long past, such as some models devised by Georges Lemaître or Sir Arthur Eddington. However, as Phillip James Edwin Peebles writes, in his "Principles of Physical Cosmology" as well as other publications, the Big Bang theory does not really concern itself with universal origins (cosmogony)."

As a side note, I wonder how the idea of singularity evaporation would effect the big bang theory, could this provide a method by which the universe could begin from a singularity? It would also answer the matter to antimatter ratio discrepency since matter by it's very nature is the product of a singularity evaporating.

The problem with quantum fluctuations is, of course, they require energy. Where did the energy come from? Again, there's the problem of infinite regress when it comes to an infinite number of moments.
The same logic can be turned upon God, where did the energy come from? There's the problem of infinite regress when it comes to an infinite number of moments. (As stated previously, any quality you can assign to God you can assign to non-intelligent phenomena, therefore, any answer to these questions you give God, will also answer you're own question.)

The reason for a personal creator rather than a natural set of conditions in eternity is because the conditions needed to cause the universe would need to be eternal and the cause and event would be coeternal... which isn't logical. It took something in eternity to act on its own volition to cause the big bang.
There not need be any intelligent agent to create the universe, if intelligence can exist without time, then so can action. Think about it, now think: Didn't thinking about it take you a few moments? If the answer is yes, then intelligence falls into the same problems as non-intelligent reactions in regards to a timeless environment. If you say God can think without having to use time, then that's another assumption, and it can easily be said that an uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial non-intelligent event need not use time to do it's actions.

I thought that's what we were doing here...
I'm assuming a lack of empirical evidence, in the face of empirical evidence, one need not rely upon default positions to form an opinion, hence it would make this thread moot. If however, you're empirical evidence turns out to be less than convincing, then this thread is still valuable, and discussion of the topic would serve to derail it.

We're not talking about a small ripple that becomes greater over time though. We're talking about a singularity with enough power to create the entire cosmos.
Who's to say a whisper didn't initiate the yell? Dynamite uses a fuse to be ignited. The spark that lights the fuse is a small occurence, followed by the fuse burning, a slightly larger occurance, which is then followed by the big bang of dynamite. Just because we can't see what precedes the big bang does not mean there isn't something there.

So you admit that this universe is fine tuned, but only in as much as there were/are enough universes to go around that we were lucky enough to be born into this one? Well that's pretty fortunate Was the multiverse finely tuned as well do you think?
Only in as much as chance can fine tune anything. Here's an example: You know the water wheel expirement? It was the first physical example of a testable, desk-sized chaotic systm. Basically, you take a stationary water wheel and run water onto it's top, and you cannot predict which direction the water wheel will begin turning, it's chaotic. If one direction is assigned 0 and another direction assigned 1, then we can use statistics to find out how many times it'd take before we have a decent probability of getting the string 00100110110. Is this system finetuned to produce that string? No, it's not. Is it capable of producing that string if given enough time? Yes it is.
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