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  1. #421
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Temporally no, causally yes. We can have a causal predecessor to the BB while recognizing that time has its origin at t=0.
    So you are saying the BB is when time started. But something "caused" the BB, and that happened when time did not exist.
    Is this correct?

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  3. #422
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    But I believe the multiverse hypothesis is that the number of universes is infinite so going by the lottery ticket analogy, a new drawing happens every week for rest of eternity and of course eventually your number will be drawn so the odds of winning are 100%. So it's certainty, not chance.
    That is one variant of a multi-verse hypothesis, but it isn't really one that physicists put forward. Virtually all models put forward have a finite set of 'branes' (sub-universes) that occur in the context of their model. There are some problems with the concept as you put it forward (which I don't mean to imply was incorrect) that make it untenable, one of which is that we need assume that this multi-verse is an actual infinite, ie it has already produced an infinite number of universes (or else we fall back to a chance argument). That is problematic because iterative processes (like false vacuum inflation) can only produce potential infinites, not actual infinites. It would be like counting to infinity. You can in theory do that, but you will never actually get to infinity.

    We don't need to go into it here (though I can if you want), but it also seems that the initial conditions required for a multi-verse to continue on, ad infinitum, and produce all possible values in its sub-branes (rather than clustering or repeating) are pretty fine tuned themselves. Perhaps even more fine tuned than the constants we are talking about. So I'm not sure it really gets us very far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    So unless one is going to posit that it's impossible that there are an infinite number of alternative universes, it must be considered possible and therefore "infinite alternative universes" must be added to the list of "possible explanations".
    I think there are some compelling arguments (offerred earlier) as to why a infinite multi-verse is physically impossible. Even if we set those aside though, I don't think I said it shouldn't be added to the list. If I recall correctly, I said that it was a sub-component of "necessity." IE if we have an infinite number of drawings that cover all possible outcomes, then it is necessarily true that at least one universe would have the outcome we see.

    My objection was that it wasn't a fourth category.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    I definitely agree that the ramification of infinite universes is mind-boggling. But then pretty much every alternative option is mind-boggling as well if one really thinks about them in-depth.

    You can level criticisms to the multi-verse hypothesis but as long as it's possible, it must be considered an option.
    There is a difference between mind boggling and absurdity though. Saying that, in actuality, there is an actual world where Mickey Mouse's club house is the objective reality of the universe stretchs a bit beyond just mind boggling.

    But I agree with your last sentence. Although I would maintain the mechanics make an actualized set of infinite universes as physically impossible, that isn't even the most compelling point imo. Rather, it is that it is so fantastically unlikely that it isn't a compelling explanation for the observed fine tuning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Detailed yes.
    I mean I have not detailed its defense. I've simply laid out the premises, explained some technical defintions, and offerred a defense of the physics concept of fine tuning.

    The next step, once we agree that those are the three possible explanations for the observed phenomenon is to explore each of them in detail as part of premise 2.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Is this a proof read error or I am not getting the message here??
    To date no convincing explanation is complete and ya, why not ask why the values are what they are?
    Let me try to rephrase it. Let's take one of those Sherlock Holmes style mind games I remember seeing as a kid. You are called in to investigate a dead body. It's a man hanging from a noose. All the doors and windows are locked from the inside. No one else has a key to the room. You look around and fnd that there were no chairs or tables in the room he could have used to get up to the noose, just a puddle of water on the floor. There are no injection marks or holes, he died from the hanging it appears.

    I remember puzzling over that for a long time as a kid, and I couldn't answer what happened exactly. But even then, I could get close by saying; there are only three possible explanations for his death. Suicide, Murder, Accident. I can rule out murder based on the inability to entry and accident based on the scenario design and probability. Thus suicide is the best explanation

    I certainly couldn't, at the time, tell you exactly how he did it, but I could tell you what category of activity it was.

    The same is true here. You are absolutely right that we can't detail the exact mechanics of the beginning of the universe, but that doesn't mean we can't rule out some categorical options.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Perhaps, but given we know almost nothing about either you seem to be reaching here.....
    No more so then it would be reach to ask whether or not the government has the power to levy income taxes because no one really knows how the IRS will interpret section 179 of the tax code this year.

    One of those is a foundational question, the other is a specific instance question based upon the foundational principles. Because we don't fully understand all the specific applications of a physical principle does not mean we can't talk about its underlying nature.

    We don't, for example, have a compelling model for fluid dynamics that explains shock dynamics, or even the annoying little waves that develop over time on gravel roads. Those deficiencies are not good reason for us to abandon a discussion of the different states of matter.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Or God could have made radiation less deadly to humans/life/.
    Ok, lets say He did. How does that affect our ability to adapt to climactic changes? The limitation of that ability would have a downstream effect on the ability of cities to form and thereby writing and civilization. Can you elaborate on the full magnitude of the change to our current world given that initial change?

    I realize that those questions are rhetorical in pratice, that is kind of my point. If you are going to maintain that better world would have been achieved if ony God had done X, you are hand waving a vast sea of assumptions. The outcomes of emergent systems are definitionally hard to predict, I think we should be wary thinking we can assume their outcomes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Really, "fine tuned" looses most of it's meaning if it only applies to constants that make matter possible
    Why? If, in order to get my lottery prize, I have to win three different drawings rather than just one, how does that make the odds of the first one any less remarkable?

    How does it applying just to matter make the appeal to chance any more palatable? We are still talking about about twice as many zeros than there particles in the entire universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Well, you know, a universe that wasn't trying to kill every known form of life
    But that isn't really a realistic comparison. You are comparing the observed result with a tiny, tiny fraction of the populations and determinging it isn't remarkable. It would be like only considering the times a coin flip lands on its side, and saying "this isn't that remarkable, it could have landed with the head upright on its side." If we artificially remove all the vast options of it being heads and tails we can think a side land is nothing special, but that isn't a good analysis of the population of optons.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Uh huh. First you say it would be "pure chance", then you say that VP are caused. That would not be chance would it?
    And,
    what causes the "underlying quantum field" to act as it does?
    Those two statements aren't contradictory. If I pull a lottery ball out of a bag, the number is determined by pure chance. It doesn't mean its selection wasn't caused right?

    My bracketed comments were more a reference to your claim, which is popular on the internet, that virtual particles are uncaused. VPs' creation is governed by probability at the quantum level and brought about by fluctuations in the quantum field governed by Quantum Field Theory (a subset of Quantum Mechanics), a set of laws that describe our particular universe.

    What is most important for the analogy you put forward is that virtual particles are a repeating selection in statistical terms. It's like picking out a lottery ball then putting it back in and doing that trillions and trillions of times, you'll eventualy get the number you want.

    The initial conditions of the universe happens only once which makes appealing to probability fantastic.

    I should also point out the scale difference here. Any given fluctuation producing virtual particles is something like a 1 in 10^1000 (very broadly, this range obviously differs wildly depending on conditions). So the creation of a virtual particle, from a probability perspective is x*y in 10^1000 (where x is the size of the observed region and y is how long you observe it). This number gets really reasonable if you consider a moderately sized area over a sufficiently long time (and I mean like a hundredth of meter cubed for 1 second moderate).

    That pales in comparison to 1 in 10^10^123.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    If the is no time between cause and effect, how would one discern what caused a given event?
    Logical necessity. There is no time between a lot of causes and effects within our universen now and that doesn't cause a problem. First a technical example, when we alter an entangled particle, its partner changes instantaneously. There is no time betwen our change and the partner's change, but we know which is the cause and which is the effect.

    In a less technical example, if we pour a bucket of water into a pool there is no time between the pouring and the pool rising, but we know which caused which.

    More abstractly, we can distinguish between cause and effect by determining which has causally prior conditions containing the other. For example, we have A and B. B's definition is such that it can exist only if A does (iff A, b). A does not have such conditions as part of its definition. Therefore A causes B.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Common usage among humans it means pretty much everything.
    Dictionary.com, Webster, etc match much closer to my comments than yours.

    But, what is the significance of the difference?
    No doubt, but common usage and technical usage differ all the time. Given that the discussion is a physics one, the physics usage is the more appropriate one. It's a lot like the idea of personhood in legal contexts. People lost their minds over SCOTUS' use of the word person in the Citizen's United case, but SCOTUS wasn't wrong, they were just using the more precise legal definition of person rather than the overly broad term people use in every day language.

    We need to rely on the more technical definition here otherwise any criticism of th argument on these grounds simply becomes a begging the question fallacy. You simply define God out of the picture. Essentially, you say God doesn't exist because He doesn't exist, which isn't a very compelling argument. [To be more precise, the argument becomes; a being outside of our universe doesn't exist becausewe define outside the universe as not existing]

    From a purely physics perspective this definition becomes self defeating. If we are trying to understand the origins of our spacetime, we can't preclude causation arising from outside of our spacetime without also insisting that our universe "created itself." That is a self-defeating proposition, especially in a universe that is finite in age and violates several basic physics principles about causation.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  4. #423
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    That is one variant of a multi-verse hypothesis, but it isn't really one that physicists put forward.
    It's the one that I'm putting forward. Taken to its logical conclusion, as long as it's possible for life to exist in a universe, life WILL exist. As long as this kind of multiverse could possibly exist, there's a fourth option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    We don't need to go into it here (though I can if you want), but it also seems that the initial conditions required for a multi-verse to continue on, ad infinitum, and produce all possible values in its sub-branes (rather than clustering or repeating) are pretty fine tuned themselves. Perhaps even more fine tuned than the constants we are talking about.
    It's not necessarily an either/or. Just because it produces all possible values does not mean that it produces them only once and avoids repetition or other effects of sheer randomness.




    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think there are some compelling arguments (offerred earlier) as to why a infinite multi-verse is physically impossible. Even if we set those aside though, I don't think I said it shouldn't be added to the list. If I recall correctly, I said that it was a sub-component of "necessity." IE if we have an infinite number of drawings that cover all possible outcomes, then it is necessarily true that at least one universe would have the outcome we see.
    Then maybe I don't understand what you mean. Here is the original description.

    2) Necessity. There is a governing principle. They have to be these particular values. No other values were possible. Something akin to the die only having threes on all sides.

    To apply the die analogy to multiverse, it would say that every side of the die has a different number on it and the only reason that a three appeared is because the die is rolled so many times that eventually it shows up. If no other values were possible, then the die could never roll anything other than a three but of course the die has everything else along with the three and therefore there are an infinite number of other possible values.





    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    There is a difference between mind boggling and absurdity though. Saying that, in actuality, there is an actual world where Mickey Mouse's club house is the objective reality of the universe stretchs a bit beyond just mind boggling.
    I think "mind boggling" is stronger than absurd. There's plenty that I think is absurd but doesn't boggle the mind.

    But I don't see why that which is absurd cannot be possible. And really, something being absurd seems pretty subjective. An atheist could argue that he is justified in thinking that an always-existing eternal being with no creator is absurd and it would probably be impossible to prove that he's wrong - one could only subjectively disagree with his subjective opinion that it's absurd. I doubt you could provide an objective standard for "absurd" so I'm not sure if absurdity really means anything in this situation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But I agree with your last sentence. Although I would maintain the mechanics make an actualized set of infinite universes as physically impossible, that isn't even the most compelling point imo. Rather, it is that it is so fantastically unlikely that it isn't a compelling explanation for the observed fine tuning.
    "Fantastically unlikely" fits within the realm of "possible".

    And if it's true, it's a great explanation for the "observed" fine tuning.

    An analogy would be if there was a twenty sided die (this represents infinity but I want to keep the analogy simple) and if it rolls a twenty, life develops. So it's rolled again and again and it rolls a 1, then a 4, then a 17 and eventually it rolls a 20 and life develops. And the life concludes that the die was fine-tuned to roll a twenty. But of course it's just randomness that appears to be fine-tuning from the perspective of those who can't see the all of the other rolls that were also made.

    And if you don't want to accept infinite universes, how about quadrillion or some other huge number? Because all that has to happen is that the number of universes match the odds of life forming in a universe for it to be certainty that at least one universe develops life. If it's quadrillion to one that life will develop in a universe, then a quadrillion universes is all that is need to guarantee life in a universe and the need be no fine-tuning to ensure that life happens somewhere.
    Last edited by mican333; June 10th, 2018 at 10:45 AM.

  5. #424
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    The premise you are discussing is: "1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to physical necessity, chance, or design."
    ...
    I want to offer this clarification because your phrasing does not match the argument presented.
    Again, by using Fine-Tuning as rational justification for your belief in the Xtian deity, you are making the implicit claim that the universe was finely-tuned by said deity for human life on planet earth. Do you have any support for this claim?
    If you explicitly state that you are not making this claim as part of Fine-Tuning as support for the Xtian deity, then Fine-Tuning does not serve as rational justification for a belief in the Xtian deity, and the FTA's conclusion supports nothing more than "the universe appears to be finely-tuned for the creation of black holes".

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I didn't avoid answering this question, the question is a red herring. The argument presented is not about the beginning of life on this planet. If this question relates to one of the premises, please clarify.
    Yes, by calling it a red herring and not answering, you are avoiding answering it. Far from a red herring, the question relates to the implied claim you are making that a deity finely-tuned the universe for human life on earth. Again, if you don't hold to the position that a deity finely-tuned the universe for human life on earth, please state so clearly, and we can dismiss the FTA as having no further conclusion than "the universe appears finely-tuned for the creation of black holes".

    Your avoidance of clarifying your position on the implicit claim of fine-tuning for human life and your position on the origins of life on earth is cause for concern because these are quite crucial aspects of using arguments such as KCA & FTA as support for any specific deity. These arguments themselves say nothing about the actual cause, and don't by themselves support your conclusion that the cause was the Xtian deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    They were not.
    Then why not present those reasons as your rational justification for believing in the Xtian deity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But this thread isn't about how I came to belief, it is about whether theistic belief is rational.
    You are essentially saying that those areas are mutually exclusive ... interesting. So the initial reasons for how you cam to belief were not rational, and your initial belief was not rationally justified? Did you only have rational justification for your belief in the Xtian deity once you were met with the three arguments you have listed here?
    Last edited by futureboy; June 10th, 2018 at 06:33 AM.

  6. #425
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    one of which is that we need assume that this multi-verse is an actual infinite, ie it has already produced an infinite number of universes (or else we fall back to a chance argument).
    Why would a limited number of multiverses be necessarily chance events?

    ---------- Post added at 05:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Even if we set those aside though, I don't think I said it shouldn't be added to the list. If I recall correctly, I said that it was a sub-component of "necessity."
    Actually what you said was:
    "Well that technically isn't a fourth option, but is part of the chance variant."

    ---------- Post added at 05:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:37 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    No more so then it would be reach to ask whether or not the government has the power to levy income taxes because no one really knows how the IRS will interpret section 179 of the tax code this year.
    Wow....big stretch here.
    We know a whole lot about the gov't and the IRS.

    All we know of dark matter/energy (assuming they exist, and I don't believe they do) is they interact with gravity and nothing else we know of, correct?

    ---------- Post added at 05:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:50 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Why? If, in order to get my lottery prize, I have to win three different drawings rather than just one, how does that make the odds of the first one any less remarkable?
    "Fine Tuned" for life more than implies the universe showed much more than "allow" life on a spec of dust when the incredible vastness of the rest of the universe would kill said life. I don't see it "fine tuned" when the universe barely lets life exist at all.

    ---------- Post added at 06:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:58 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But that isn't really a realistic comparison. You are comparing the observed result with a tiny, tiny fraction of the populations and determinging it isn't remarkable.

    Ok, it's "remarkable"!!!!
    Now what?
    The universe is still by vast leaps/bounds/orders of magnitude more deadly to our form of life anywhere we know of with the only exception being Earth???

    "Fine tuned" for matter maybe, but life, not so much. Maybe that is out sticking point.

    Are you saying our universe is "fine tuned" for life in general or just matter existing or some such??

    Cause our universe is so far producing an incredibly, unbelievably small quantity of life if that is what you are forwarding.

    Let me address the rest of your post later as I am out of time at the moment.

  7. #426
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    you will never actually get to infinity
    Two things:
    1. You can count to infinity if you count an infinite number of times.
    2. Wouldn't a deity that exists outside of space & time be infinite?

  8. #427
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    One can not complete an unending task. Counting to infinity is nonsense, because infinity is not an end point to be reached.
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    One can not complete an unending task. Counting to infinity is nonsense, because infinity is not an end point to be reached.
    I didn't say anything about completing anything. It's a simple answer to a simple question: How do you count to infinity? By counting an infinite number of times.
    It really just serves to highlight the absurdity of claiming that not being able to "get to infinity" means that an actual infinite is impossible. Our limited comprehension of concepts like "infinity" doesn't serve as support for any claims regarding it.

  11. #429
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Counting to, is a phrase that references an end point. Like you drive to the store. You count to 10. In order for the phrase to be true, you must be able to complete or finish the jurney to whatever object or subject you are referencing. Here you are saying to infinity. But infinity is not an end or thing to complete.
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Counting to, is a phrase that references an end point. Like you drive to the store. You count to 10. In order for the phrase to be true, you must be able to complete or finish the jurney to whatever object or subject you are referencing. Here you are saying to infinity. But infinity is not an end or thing to complete.
    Again, this in no way addresses the failure of claiming that not being able to "get to infinity" means that an actual infinite is impossible. Our limited comprehension of concepts like "infinity" doesn't serve as support for any claims regarding it.
    Question: Isn't the Xtian deity infinite?

  13. #431
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    I am addressing your claim that you can count to infinity.
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I am addressing your claim that you can count to infinity.
    Question: How do you count to x?
    Answer: By counting x times.

    If you want to say that counting to x times is impossible if x is infinity, then the failure begins at the question, not the answer.

    "Counting/getting to something" is by definition about finite end points. Therefore any claims combining the vocabulary "getting to finite end points" and "infinity" are absurd - and that includes the claim that one can "never actually get to infinity" - hence the response of "you get to infinity by counting infinite number of times". It just serves to highlight the absurdity of claiming that not being able to "get to infinity" means that an actual infinite is impossible.
    Again, our inability to fully comprehend infinity is not support for any claims regarding it. If asks an absurd question, they'll get an absurd answer.

    BTW, you're still avoiding the question: Isn't the Xtian deity infinite?

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    It's the one that I'm putting forward. Taken to its logical conclusion, as long as it's possible for life to exist in a universe, life WILL exist. As long as this kind of multiverse could possibly exist, there's a fourth option.
    Two points

    First, I'm ok with you putting that forward as a rebuttal to premise 2. It would need to be defended as feasible with evidence and argumentation at that point.


    Second, it wouldn't be a fouth option, it would be a defense of option 2, chance (or option 1 depending on how you frame it). It would be akin to drawing the lottery ball an infinite number of times. The question related to premise 2 is, is the option of chance (with whatever mechanism we chose to defend) increase the liklihood to an acceptable level? (More on what that level should reasonably be later).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    It's not necessarily an either/or. Just because it produces all possible values does not mean that it produces them only once and avoids repetition or other effects of sheer randomness.
    True, which is part of the absurdities of actual infinites imo. We can have an infinite number of this world or any other world or all worlds. That feature doesn't avoid its own fine tuning requirements because it would need to continue generating branes ad infinitum rather than stopping at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    To apply the die analogy to multiverse, it would say that every side of the die has a different number on it and the only reason that a three appeared is because the die is rolled so many times that eventually it shows up. If no other values were possible, then the die could never roll anything other than a three but of course the die has everything else along with the three and therefore there are an infinite number of other possible values.
    I think you are right here. It depends on how the argument is presented and I've seen it presented a multitude of ways. Your correction towards the chance option is better given what you are describing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    But I don't see why that which is absurd cannot be possible.
    Absurdity does not generally convey impossibility (though in some cases it can), but premise 2 is not aimed at saying two of the three options are impossible, but rather, is that premise more likely correct than not correct. The hurdle is, after all, rationality, and rationality does not require absolute omniscient certainty. Absurdity would fit well into that bucket. Absurdity, by its definition, implies that it is less likely true than not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    "Fantastically unlikely" fits within the realm of "possible"...And if you don't want to accept infinite universes, how about quadrillion or some other huge number?
    I promised above a more thorough treatment of what is a reasonable chance. I'm sorry if this is at all pedantic, I think you know far more than I'm putting forward here, but I thought it would be best to start with basics and get it out.

    I would put forward that we adopt here the strict version of what we apply in all other scientific fields, a significance test. In all kinds fields we answer the question "is the result we attained significant or chance?" There are entire disciplines specializing in determinging that answer for incredibly obscure data sets. Very generally, we apply a significance test based on variance. That is where the term six sigma event comes from (some times called Black Swans a term I believe coined by Nassim Taleb). Generally we say that if the finding is outside of a two sigma range from the mean that the finding its significant at a 95% confidence level. I would expand this out to a three sigma deviation for the sake of conservativism. (Three sigma deviations yield a 99.7% confidence rate).

    Given the size of the population in the argument relative to the size of the fine tuned population (1 in 10^10^123) we would need to (assuming a non-replicating drawing,ie each single universe is different from any other universe) have somewhere around 1.57x10^10^120 universes.

    I would propose that as the basic metric for evaluating chance going forward.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Why would a limited number of multiverses be necessarily chance events?
    See above for my last response to Mican. I think that unless you produce a ridiculous number of branes (and that mechanism requires its own complex and finely tuned set of conditions) the probabiliy of it producing a matter sustaning universes falls out of statistical credibility.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    We know a whole lot about the gov't and the IRS.
    Right, and we know a lot about the universe. But even if I approache someone who knew virtually nothing about the IRS. Someone who was blissfully unaware of federal income taxes, agencies, etc. That person could still reasonably answer the question, "Does the government have the power to levy an income tax?"

    The details of the subsequent creation of the IRS, its provisions, and interpretations are a result of, not germane to, whether the government has the power to levy that tax.

    The same is true here. It isn't a relevant objection to argue that we don't fully understand the implementation to say that it didn't arise from certain mechanisms. I don't fully understand how a 787 is constructed. It doesn't mean I can't rule out that it happens by chance.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    "Fine Tuned" for life more than implies the universe showed much more than "allow" life on a spec of dust
    To be accurate, it doesn't imply that, you infer it. The additional conditions and expected outcomes aren't ones inherent in the term or used widely in professional literature.

    What is happening is that a few in this thread are using the term in common parlance, as they think I mean it rather than the specific, technical definitions offerred. I am using the term in line with common usage amongst physicists and cosmologists.

    What I think is happening is, as I said earlier, the term is being confused with the term "optimal." What you describe above is whether the universe is optimal (with all other considerations considered moot) for life. But that isn't what fine tuning implies. Nuclear weapons are very fine tuned. Even the slightest mis-calibration means the weapon won't go critical. But they still waste more than half the potential energy available for the reaction. There is a huge world of meaning difference between something being fine tuned to allow for an outcome and something being perfect (with all other considerations ignored) for that outcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Ok, it's "remarkable"!!!!
    Now what?
    Now we consider which of the three possible explanations best explains that remarkability. IE premise 2.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, by using Fine-Tuning as rational justification for your belief in the Xtian deity, you are making the implicit claim that the universe was finely-tuned by said deity for human life on planet earth. Do you have any support for this claim?
    The title of this thread is about theistic beliefs being rationally justified. I am making an argument related to that subject. Your inference of an implicit claim is just that, your inference, based on a faulty assumption that this argument was about something other than what it was.

    Specifically, the premise I forwarded (and supported) was; "1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to physical necessity, chance, or design."

    Do you accept or reject that the the concept widely accepted in physics as fine-tuning is the result of physical necessity, chance, or design? If the latter, what alternative explanation (not covered in the three) do you forward? If, rather, you would argue that the widely accepted concept in physics is incorrect, please provide a justification and support that it is wrong.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Far from a red herring, the question relates to the implied claim you are making that a deity finely-tuned the universe for human life on earth.
    Given that the argument doesn't mention or address human life, that is, by definition a red herring.

    A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to "win" an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic.
    http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...d-herring.html

    Unless you address the actual premises, you aren't engaging the argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Two things:
    1. You can count to infinity if you count an infinite number of times.
    2. Wouldn't a deity that exists outside of space & time be infinite?
    1 and 2 deal with two distinct forms of infinites. 1 addresses a potential infinity which isn't so much an infinite set, but a direction. As the link describes, "Potential infinity refers to a procedure that gets closer and closer to, but never quite reaches, an infinite end. For instance, the sequence of numbers 1, 2, 3, 4,... gets higher and higher, but it has no end; it never gets to infinity. Infinity is just an indication of a direction -- it's "somewhere off in the distance."" When you describe "counting an infinite number of times" you are (more or less) referencing a limit function, which gets infinitely close to a value, but never quite gets there.

    2 deals with an actual (sometimes called completed) infinity. IE a set of things that has an infinite number of members. These do not involve a process, like potential infinites, but rather rely on a definitional set to contain infinite members.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Future. The statement only makes sense, if you are not conflating terms. Infinity is not a number and as can not be reached by using numbers. Any more than you can to x. When x is undefined.
    To serve man.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    The title of this thread is about theistic beliefs being rationally justified. I am making an argument related to that subject.
    No, your argument is not related to that subject, since it lacks the necessary conclusion of the theistic belief which you hold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Your inference of an implicit claim is just that, your inference, based on a faulty assumption that this argument was about something other than what it was.
    Again, you offered the argument as a rational justification for belief in the Xtian deity. Therefore, you are making the claim that the universe was finely-tuned by said deity for human life on earth. Please support this claim or retract it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Specifically, the premise I forwarded (and supported) was; "1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to physical necessity, chance, or design."
    Again, without support that the universe was finely-tuned for human life on earth, this argument supports nothing more than the conclusion that the universe appears to be finely-tuned for the creation of black holes. It therefore does not serve as rational justification for belief in the Xtian deity which you are trying to support with this argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Given that the argument doesn't mention or address human life, that is, by definition a red herring.
    No, it means the argument fails to support the conclusion of the Xtian deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Unless you address the actual premises, you aren't engaging the argument.
    The argument doesn't support the belief in the Xtian deity without adding the implicit claim. Please support or retract the claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    2 deals with an actual (sometimes called completed) infinity. IE a set of things that has an infinite number of members. These do not involve a process, like potential infinites, but rather rely on a definitional set to contain infinite members.
    In what way is the Xtian deity infinite, if at all? Provide support for your answer.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    See above for my last response to Mican. I think that unless you produce a ridiculous number of branes (and that mechanism requires its own complex and finely tuned set of conditions) the probabiliy of it producing a matter sustaning universes falls out of statistical credibility.
    Perhaps, and yet here we are and no one has an answer yet that isn't just plain fantastic.

    ---------- Post added at 06:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:16 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Right, and we know a lot about the universe. But even if I approache someone who knew virtually nothing about the IRS. Someone who was blissfully unaware of federal income taxes, agencies, etc. That person could still reasonably answer the question, "Does the government have the power to levy an income tax?"
    WHAT????
    With out knowledge of the IRS said person would have very little knowledge of gov't at all.
    Beyond the FACT that govt's can only levy taxes by force, how could a person with no knowledge of gov't answer such a question at all?
    Analogy fail...

    ---------- Post added at 06:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:23 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    The same is true here. It isn't a relevant objection to argue that we don't fully understand the implementation to say that it didn't arise from certain mechanisms. I don't fully understand how a 787 is constructed. It doesn't mean I can't rule out that it happens by chance.
    Could anyone look at a 787 and NOT think it was man made?
    When looking at the universe, this is clearly not so evident how it may have started or we wouldn't still be arguing about it would we?
    Analogy fail...

    ---------- Post added at 06:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:26 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    What is happening is that a few in this thread are using the term in common parlance, as they think I mean it rather than the specific, technical definitions offerred. I am using the term in line with common usage amongst physicists and cosmologists.
    Fair enough. Then big deal, we are back to this universe allows (barely) for life to exist, nothing more. If the idea behind the "creation" of the universe was not specifically for life to exist, then religion takes quite a big hit. This would totally counter Christianity's teachings.

    ---------- Post added at 06:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:33 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Now we consider which of the three possible explanations best explains that remarkability. IE premise 2.
    Yet you claim our universe was created, and the creator does not have to fallow these same rules???
    I am guessing you will say something like "necessity", but we would be back to a "not passing mustard" situation again if that were to be the case.

    After all, you are proposing a different universe that God resides in that is beyond this type of questioning are you not??

    Also, I believe you missed post #421, here it is again:
    "So you are saying the BB is when time started. But something "caused" the BB, and that happened when time did not exist.
    Is this correct? "

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Future. The statement only makes sense, if you are not conflating terms. Infinity is not a number and as can not be reached by using numbers. Any more than you can to x. When x is undefined.
    Exactly, hence the absurdity of any claims combining the vocabulary "getting to finite end points" and "infinity", and that includes Squatch's claim that one can "never actually get to infinity", as an argument against the universe being actually infinite.

    BTW, you're still avoiding the question: Isn't the Xtian deity infinite? If so, then how is that possible?

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    No, your argument is not related to that subject, since it lacks the necessary conclusion of the theistic belief which you hold.
    You mean it doesn't specifically justify a Christian belief?

    So?

    Again, this thread isn't about Christianity. Nor have I claimed anywhere on the site that that argument, by itself, is a justification for a Christian belief.

    Again, this thread is specifically about whether or not a broad, theistic belief is rational. This argument is presented in that context here, and in no other.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Again, you offered the argument as a rational justification for belief in the Xtian deity.
    Can you show where I made that claim? The only reference to God I've made is in relation to specific questions by Frank and Belthazor. The origin of this argument was, rather, post 201 where I was responding to Frank's request to "If you would like to make an argument that "at least one god exists" or "it is more likely that at least one god exists than that none do" using reason, logic, math or science...I love to hear it and discuss it."

    At least one god exists is theism, not Christianity specifically.

    I've made no claim that these two arguments, by themselves, support a rational conclusion of Christianity, but rather theism, which is what we are talking about here.

    You've asked me to support that claim. If you are unable to show where I've made such a claim, I'd like to ask you to explicitely retract that request. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Again, without support that the universe was finely-tuned for human life on earth
    To reiterate, I'm using the term "fine-tuning" in the same manner as physicists and astrophysicists use the term. Do you disagree with their use or my definition of their use? If so, please detail how their usage, or my understanding of their usage is incorrect.

    If you have no objection to the definition accepted in journals, then can you address the question posed. Is the premise: "1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to physical necessity, chance, or design." more likely true than not?

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    In what way is the Xtian deity infinite, if at all? Provide support for your answer.
    What does that claim have to do with the argument I've put forward? If you can justify that it isn't a red herring (since you seem unwilling to directly address the premises presented) I'm happy to answer, but given how off-topic it is to the fine tuning argument, I'm not sure who it isn't spam.



    You also didn't engage the discussion of infinities. Did the text help to clarify the two different types of infinites and how a potential infinite (the kind you were referring to when you reference "counting to") never actually gets to infinity?

    1 and 2 deal with two distinct forms of infinites. 1 addresses a potential infinity which isn't so much an infinite set, but a direction. As the link describes, "Potential infinity refers to a procedure that gets closer and closer to, but never quite reaches, an infinite end. For instance, the sequence of numbers 1, 2, 3, 4,... gets higher and higher, but it has no end; it never gets to infinity. Infinity is just an indication of a direction -- it's "somewhere off in the distance."" When you describe "counting an infinite number of times" you are (more or less) referencing a limit function, which gets infinitely close to a value, but never quite gets there.

    2 deals with an actual (sometimes called completed) infinity. IE a set of things that has an infinite number of members. These do not involve a process, like potential infinites, but rather rely on a definitional set to contain infinite members.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Perhaps, and yet here we are and no one has an answer yet that isn't just plain fantastic.
    Define fantastic in a measurable sense. I think when we use subjective discriptors of that nature we end up just enshringing out initial conclusions against the argument. Perhaps all the answers are "fantastic" it doesn't mean that one of them isn't the most likely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Beyond the FACT that govt's can only levy taxes by force, how could a person with no knowledge of gov't answer such a question at all?
    By reading the Constitution? By reading the 16th Amendment a person could clearly answer the question of whether or not the government is allowed to levy an income tax without once appealing to understanding about the IRS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Could anyone look at a 787 and NOT think it was man made?
    When looking at the universe, this is clearly not so evident how it may have started or we wouldn't still be arguing about it would we?
    Right, we can rule out chance because a chance event resulting in a 787 is statistically less likely than other explanations. But your response skipped a step. When you say that no one doubts that it was made by man, you are right, artificial creation by humans is a category of explanation.

    If you were to offer that category to me, I wouldn't be justifid in saying, "but you don't know each step in a 787's creation, therefore we can't rule out chance." That would be absurd. That is the exact form of your objection here. You are saying we can't rule out an entire category of options because we can't detail the specific steps on another category.

    To employ an argument ad absurdum rebuttal, your argument could be applied to say "we can't reject the widely discredited primeval atom theory of the origin of the universe because we don't understand the full model of the universe." Clearly that isn't the case, we have rejected that particular theory, despite our understanding.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Then big deal, we are back to this universe allows (barely) for life to exist, nothing more.
    In statistical terms, yes it is actually a very big deal. That is why there are hundreds of peer-reviewed articles on these subjects, why it is a perenial discussion in the physics community, and why it is discussed at conferences.

    Regardless of however you want to subjectively assess it, we have to deal with the premise offered. "The fine-tuning of the universe is explainable through either necessity, chance, or design."

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    This would totally counter Christianity's teachings.
    Oh? Can you detail which part of the nicene creed requires that life be present in all parts of the universe?

    I think it, more accurately, would counter some inferences that people have about Christian teaching (including some Christians to be fair) rather than any core doctrine or theology.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Yet you claim our universe was created, and the creator does not have to fallow these same rules???...After all, you are proposing a different universe that God resides in that is beyond this type of questioning are you not??
    No, why would I need to propose a universe God resides in? What rule have I proposed that God is exempt from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    So you are saying the BB is when time started. But something "caused" the BB, and that happened when time did not exist.
    Is this correct?
    I thought I had explained it elsewhere, if not, sorry.

    The first statement is correct. That there is no temporally prior moment to T=0 in the big bang. The second statement is correct, that there is a causal prior to the big bang. The third statement is not correct. The causal prior didn't happen "when" anything since time is not related, dimensionally, to that prior. Rather, I would say, that the cuasal prior exists absent time.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    This thread is not about "a broad theistic belief". It's about theistic beliefs, plural, which are held by theists, and the rational justification for them. An example of such a belief is the belief in the Xtian deity, which the arguments you've offered don't even come close to.

    If you don't want to provide rational justification for the theistic beliefs which you hold, such as the belief in the Xtian deity, then fine by me. They remain unjustified until you do.

    I understand that you brought up the arguments in response to Frank’s challenge, but the arguments don’t support even “a broad theistic belief”. KCA supports that the universe had some unknown & unknowable cause, and Fine Tuning supports that the universe was designed by some unknown & unknowable thing to create black holes.

    You were asked if these arguments were the ones which convinced you to believe in the first place, to which you answered "They were not. But this thread isn't about how I came to belief, it is about whether theistic belief is rational."

    Now I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that a key factor in having a belief is how one came to it it, and whether that process was rationally justified. So I’ll happily correct you about this thread, and confirm that it is indeed about how one comes to a belief.

    So I ask you again:
    Question to opponent.Then why not present those reasons as your rational justification for believing in the Xtian deity?
    Question to opponent.So the initial reasons for how you cam to belief were not rational, and your initial belief was not rationally justified?
    Question to opponent.Did you only have rational justification for your belief in the Xtian deity once you were met with the three arguments you have listed here?

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    This thread is not about "a broad theistic belief". It's about theistic beliefs, plural, which are held by theists, and the rational justification for them. An example of such a belief is the belief in the Xtian deity, which the arguments you've offered don't even come close to.
    You don't really realize it, but your doing a bit of shifting here.

    Quote Originally Posted by OP
    The general idea is that, since it's in our interests to believe things which are true, then belief in claims which have not been demonstrated to be true is not rationally justified.
    The OP refers to ALL claims. The problem is you appear to be pigeon holing all paths to christian beliefs. Specifically appealing to how one originally "reasoned" to the belief in Christ.


    Let me offer an example of this problem.
    I believe America is the Greatest country in the world, and in history.
    I originally came to this belief as a child, because I liked the story of Georg Washington and his honesty in chopping down the cherry tree.
    To say that, that is still the basis for my current belief really misses something.

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Now I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that a key factor in having a belief is how one came to it it, and whether that process was rationally justified. So I’ll happily correct you about this thread, and confirm that it is indeed about how one comes to a belief.
    So, per the above, I would say this is an error. It isn't what brings one to a belief, but why one maintains a belief.
    To serve man.

 

 
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