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  1. #261
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Could you advise where you found this quote?
    He did a lecture series "the Inexplicable Universe" I think.
    It's on Netflix

  2. #262
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    What I think is specifically wrong about your argument is that you used it to "establish" "the universe began to exist."

    It does not even come close to establishing it, Squatch.

    Finer minds than those at work here in this thread have grappled with the subject matter here...and come up very, very short.
    Why doesn't it? Or, alternatively, can you offer up the opinions of respected experts that claim the universe did not begin to exist?

    I understand that you don't find the evidence presented as convincing, that is fine. But if you want to argue that my evidence and defense doesn't get there, you have to offer a reason why.



    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Then "some things" can get thru to pretty much anyone.
    As in "undeniable?"
    I'm not sure that that is the case at all. There is a whole school of thought (that has not an insigificant number of followers) arguing that we don't really exist, that there is no such thing as you or me. Our consciousness is simply a by-product of emergent properties within the brain, and your identity is just a philosophic definition.

    While I'm not able to construct an argument that is valid and true doesn't mean that there therefore aren't people who accept the position regardless.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    True, however the creator of the universe left it for me to see and I am actively searching to see if there is any truth to it, so I don't see how come I would be unaware or unconvinced of what ever I am finding???
    There could be a lot of reasons for that, not the least of which is that perhaps you haven't come across the person or situation that reveals it to you. Likewise it could be because you aren't seeing the "evidence" because you are approaching it with a certain frame or perspective in mind. Or perhaps the specific evidence or argument or experience that would be compelling to you requires a certain set of pre-conditions or experiences or understanding. I'm not sure that us not having crossed that argument at some specific point in our life is a good reason to think that the argument or experience doesn't exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Perhaps, and maybe I am just ignorant, but I still see a lot of room for "we don't have a clue" or really better said there is a lot of unknown out there???
    Absolutely, no argument there. What we don't understand about that event is significant. But that gap, sizeable though it is, isn't reason to reject the knowledge we do have. Because we can't model fluid mechanics (a remarkable reality that just prompted a $10M prize I think) doesn't mean we should reject our table that tells us about high and low tides. Or even more accurately, it shouldn't cause us to be agnostic on whether water is wet (a philosophic, not physics based statement).


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Well if it sat "forever" it would not have exploded at all??

    This gets to our PM discussion about infinites and their contradictions. If the universe were past infinite (IE had no beginning), then it would have literally just sat there, forever and it would have exploded. The skepticism you express I completely share for all the reasons I put forward in our PM. I'm not sure how, if the universe was infinitely old, we ever get to "now." You are competely correct that it never should have exploded because we can't transverse an infinite amount of time. It becomes contradictary and nonsensical very quickly, which is another reason for us to accept that the universe isn't infinitely old.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    you are saying, if I may paraphrase:
    "there was nothing, then a singularity that BB, perhaps at the same moment as it appeared" and that the cause for this could come after the BB??
    Not exactly, sorry if I worded it confusingly.

    What I am saying is that 1) there was a state in which our universe didn't exist (there was nothing). And 2) there was a state in which the singularity exists. The cause for that state change (1) nothing ---> 2) Singularity) would need to be, by definition, external to the singularity (which contains all of our spacial and temporal dimensions). That cause would be causally before the singularity (but obviously not temporally before since time doesn't exist until the singularity exists).




    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    To be clear, any confusion here is due to Squatch's misuse of the term "steady state". Nobody refers to a "steady state singularity" when discussing BB theory - certainly not the BB models which do posit a beginning-less singularity, such as the Hawking-Hartle proposal - and not even WLC.
    Which is why I said that no one discusses that as a concept, right. More relevantly, let's talk about your assertion that the Hawking-Hartle model doesn't have a beggining. I get that you probably read that on an atheist website, but do you have actual support that the Hawking Hartle model does not have a beginning? I think you've confused the fact that the HH model is unbounded or featureless as time approaches zero with the idea that it doesn't begin.

    Imagine the universe as a cone. But instead of a point at the bottom, we have a curved edge. No one would then argue that the cone doesn't have a bottom then, right?




    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Besides that gem, the biggest error here is your claim that all models include a "definite point at which the universe goes from not-existing to existing" (which they certainly don't).
    I'm game if you are. What models, specifically, fit the definition of not having a beggining? And since you've asked to operate at a non-layperson level, please provide serious papers with physical descriptions to support your claim.
    "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.


  3. #263
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think you've confused the fact that the HH model is unbounded or featureless as time approaches zero with the idea that it doesn't begin.
    The model explains how and why the idea of "this is the beginning" loses any meaning when approaching t=0, hence it didn't "begin" in the sense that you appear to be using the word (transition from non-existence of the universe to existence of the universe). If you're using the term in another sense, then please explain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Imagine the universe as a cone. But instead of a point at the bottom, we have a curved edge. No one would then argue that the cone doesn't have a bottom then, right?
    This only further demonstrates the pointlessness of discussing a "beginning" for the model.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    What models, specifically, fit the definition of not having a beggining?
    Again, it depends how you define "beginning", but the "Non-singular and Cyclic Universe from the Modified GUP" is one example. Here's some links:
    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10...17/02/035/meta
    http://www.physics-astronomy.com/201...l#.WoHZ-3xG3mg
    Super-serious paper with a lot of a lot of physics and philosophy based reasons:
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1608.00560.pdf

    Please note that, while many models may mention or use the term "beginning", this is not meant to imply "a definite point at which the universe goes from not-existing to existing", as you put it. Most current models (those with serious papers) don't even go into that realm, and for good reasons.

    Also, it's important to be careful about equivocating between "begin" as meaning "change from a previous (unknown) state to the current state", and "change from not-existing to existing". Your example of lumber becoming a chair is an example of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    And since you've asked to operate at a non-layperson level, please provide serious papers with physical descriptions to support your claim.
    Where did I ask this?

  4. #264
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I'm not sure that that is the case at all. There is a whole school of thought (that has not an insigificant number of followers) arguing that we don't really exist, that there is no such thing as you or me. Our consciousness is simply a by-product of emergent properties within the brain, and your identity is just a philosophic definition.
    Back to "brains in a vat" again....hmmmpfff...
    (I keep asking you not to go here, BUT EVEN A BRAIN IN A VAT EXISTS!!! It's still a brain, it still thinks etc. So, SOME things are still undeniable! In this case "a brain exists in a vat!)

    Well we weren't discussing everyone has to believe something because of the same piece of evidence. Again, we all require different levels before we accept anything as true. In your case, I don't think you can be convinced you don't exist, nor can you make a good argument for the same. The same goes for me.
    If the Christian God existed I think it would be as undeniable that God existed as me, at least "to me"!

    Get it
    ???

    ---------- Post added at 05:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:23 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    There could be a lot of reasons for that, not the least of which is that perhaps you haven't come across the person or situation that reveals it to you. Likewise it could be because you aren't seeing the "evidence" because you are approaching it with a certain frame or perspective in mind. Or perhaps the specific evidence or argument or experience that would be compelling to you requires a certain set of pre-conditions or experiences or understanding. I'm not sure that us not having crossed that argument at some specific point in our life is a good reason to think that the argument or experience doesn't exist.
    This is a tough sell. Again, God knows what I would find compelling/believable, and wants me to believe and worship. Why make it hard (to the point of KCA for some sort of proof?)???

    ---------- Post added at 05:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:30 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    What I am saying is that 1) there was a state in which our universe didn't exist (there was nothing). And 2) there was a state in which the singularity exists. The cause for that state change (1) nothing ---> 2) Singularity) would need to be, by definition, external to the singularity (which contains all of our spacial and temporal dimensions). That cause would be causally before the singularity (but obviously not temporally before since time doesn't exist until the singularity exists).
    Yes, I realize you are saying that, but it just does not have to be the case at all.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2008-06-universe.html#jCp


    https://phys.org/news/2008-06-universe.html
    Hartle and his colleagues examined models of the universe that were homogenous, isotropic and closed. A cosmological constant was assumed, as was a scalar field with quadratic potential. They looked at entire classical histories, examining the ideas of a singularity, such as a Big Bang, or considering a bounce with a finite radius. The point was to get a picture of which scenarios are most likely to produce a universe that is similar to what we see currently.
    “Both things, a Big Bang or a bounce, are possible,” Hartle says. “However, we found a significant probability that the early universe might have bounced.”

    The "jury just has not reached a verdict yet" it seems or I am reading this wrong? I have been searching but not finding the confidence level you articulating.

  5. #265
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    The model explains how and why the idea of "this is the beginning" loses any meaning when approaching t=0, hence it didn't "begin" in the sense that you appear to be using the word (transition from non-existence of the universe to existence of the universe). If you're using the term in another sense, then please explain.
    I think you might misunderstand the specifics of the HH model (I have a pretty strong intuition of this given that you are using HH to object to the wrong premise). HH uses imaginary time (the time variant of imaginary numbers) to reconcile certain contradictions that occur in the laws of physic as you shrink the universe down to a singularity. This technique allows a "rounding off" of minkowski space as it approaches a singularity and effectively evades a singularity by warping the dimensions themselves. But that doesn't indicate that the universe didn't have a begginning. As Prof. Hawking himself said:

    The no boundary proposal, predicts that the universe would start at a single point, like the North Pole of the Earth. But this point wouldn't be a singularity, like the Big Bang. Instead, it would be an ordinary point of space and time, like the North Pole is an ordinary point on the Earth, or so I'm told. I have not been there myself.
    ...
    The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago. The beginning of real time, would have been a singularity, at which the laws of physics would have broken down.
    http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-beginning-of-time.html


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    "Non-singular and Cyclic Universe from the Modified GUP" is one example
    Except, as I already showed earlier, and was linked several times, cyclical and modified gup models are not past incomplete due to entropy.

    TLDR Version: Entory increases between each cycle of the universe making its peak (largest point) a little larger each time. As Borde-Guthe-Valenkin showed in their paper cited already in this thread, that shows that all cyclical theories currently on the table had a begginning.

    If you would like more detail, I'll quote Chad's excellent work:

    The first oscillating theories for the Universe did just this by having the Universe expand and contract without ever actually reaching the singularity. Rather as the Universe contracted, matter and energy somehow passed each other by without actually coming to a point. As the matter and energy of the Universe passed by one another they would expand out until one again the Universe reached a point were the internal gravitation of the Universe overcame the expansion and forced it to contract yet again. However, this model was inherently flawed. Perhaps the most damning of the flaws against this theory was the fact that since the Universe never collapsed to an actual singularity, Entropy was preserved from one oscillation to the next. Dr. Novikov and Dr. Zel’dovich both pointed out in a 1973 publication entitled Physical Processes Near Cosmological Singularities that:

    The second possibility suggests the appealing picture of a cyclic universe, persisting indefinitely into the past and future. However there is a flaw in this picture. As Tolman (1934) pointed out long ago, every cycle involves irreversible generation of entropy. If the baryon number remains constant, the total mass and pressure must both increase from cycle to cycle, hence, the maximum radius must increase from cycle to cycle as shown in Figure 4. The multicycle model therefore has an infinite future, but only a finite past.

    Figure 4 from their paper does an excellent job of illustrating this fact:



    Sources: I. D. Novikov and Ya. B. Zel’dovich (1973) Physical Processes Near Cosmological Singularities Annu. Rev. Astro. Astrophys. 11 387-412

    As if that is not damning enough for the theory, there is also the fact that it lacked any physical mechanism for why the Universe should start expanding again in the first place. Furthermore, 3 years earlier in 1970, Dr. Steven Hawking and Dr. Roger Penrose coauthored a paper in which they showed that the existence of an initial singularity was inevitable for nearly every model of the Universe.

    The present paper carries these results further, and considerably strengthens the implication that a singularity-free bounce (of the type required) does not seem to be realizable within the frameworks of general relativity.

    Sources: S. W. Hawking and R. Penrose (1970) The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences 314. 1519. 529-548.

    Despite all this, the cyclic model of the Universe has managed to be resurrected in light of Dr. Edward Whitten’s discovery of M-theory, which united the 5 different string theories and allowed for the existence of structures called branes. Originally it had been my intention to deal with this theory in a later section, but as we are currently discussing cyclic models of the Universe, I feel it is best to at least touch on the basics here and address some of the issues.

    Modern physics has gone a long way from the early days in unifying the fundamental forces of nature. As of right now the Standard model of Particle Physics manages to unify the Strong Nuclear Force, the Weak Nuclear Force, and Electromagnetism all within the framework of Quantum Mechanics. However, it fails to include in this framework the fourth fundamental force, which is gravity. The prevailing view of gravity is given by General Relativity. However, at the quantum level General Relativity breaks down, making a synthesis of the two so far impossible. String theory arose as an attempt to solve this problem and to unify both Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. While standard particle theory attempts to explain the matter and energy in terms of 0-dimensional particles, string theory attempted to explain this in terms of 1-dimensional strings. However, research in this field resulted in the formation of 5 different and seemingly incompatible theories. But in the 1995 this changed when Whitten managed proposed that each of the 5 different string theories was really a different aspect of a greater underlying theory called M-theory. In M-theory, the fundamental make up of the matter and energy is really multidimensional membranes or branes and the strings of string theory are nothing more than 1-dimensional sections of these branes.

    Sources: The Elegant Universe, 1999 and The Fabric of the Cosmos, 2005 by Brian Greene.

    If a lot of this doesn’t make sense, I apologize. This argument is already long enough and entire books have been written on string theories. For a quick synopsis check wikipedia:
    Introduction to M-Theory and String theory

    I have given this brief overview because as previously mentioned cyclic models have seen a resurrection in the face of M-theory. Dr. Paul Steinhardt and Dr. Neil Turok of Cambridge proposed the Steinhardt-Turok model in which two 3 dimension branes exist in parallel to one another. These parallel 3-dimensional branes collide with one another in a periodic cycle and it is this collision, the interaction of these two 3-branes, which generates the Big Bang and the 4-dimensional Universe which we observe. Our own Universe is located on one of these 3-branes which gives rise to our 3-spatial dimensions. The interaction of the two 3-branes provides the fourth time dimension. Furthermore, according to Steinhardt and Turok, the fate of these two branes is forever connected in this eternal cycle. This cycle was illustrated on the cover of Science:



    Sources: Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok (2002) A Cyclic Model of the Universe Science 296 1436 - 1439 and The Fabric of the Cosmos 2005 by Briane Greene

    However, in a 2003 paper Dr. Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin showed that that the exact same issues of entropy that plagued earlier cyclic models still plagued Steinhardt and Turok’s model and that while it was possible for the cyclic model to be eternal into the future, it had to have a definitive beginning in the past.

    In some versions of the cyclic model the brane space-times are everywhere expanding, so our theorem immediately implies the existence of a past boundary at which boundary conditions must be imposed. In other versions, there are brief periods of contraction, but the net result of each cycle is an expansion. For null geodesics each cycle is identical to the others, except for the overall normalization of the affine parameter. Thus, as long as Hav>0 for a null geodesic when averaged over one cycle, then Hav>0 for any number of cycles, and our theorem would imply that the geodesic is incomplete.

    When the authors say past boundary, they imply an initial starting point. The same is implied by saying that the geodesic is incomplete, which means that it is incomplete in past-directions (again a definitive starting point).

    Sources: Arvind Borde, Alan H. Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin (2003) Inflationary Spacetimes are Incomplete in Past Directions Physical Review Letters 90. 15

    Brian Greene puts it in a much more comprehensible manner:

    [I]The cyclic model has its own share of shortcomings. As with Tolman’s model, consideration of entropy buildup (and also of quantum mechanics) ensures that the cyclic model’s cycles could not have gone on forever. Instead, the cycles began at some definite time in the past, and so, as with inflation, we need an explanation of how the first cycle got started.

    Sources: The Fabric of the Cosmos 2005 by Briane Greene

    Keep in mind the paper I have just cited by Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin, for it implications apply not only to brane models, but also to all models that have inflationary cosmology (it is interesting to note that Alan Guth is considered the father of Inflationary Cosmology). As it so happens, nearly all-modern models incorporate inflationary cosmology in some fashion. Inflationary cosmology refers to a model of the early universe in which, shortly after the big bang, the Universe underwent exponential expansion, before leveling out to current levels of expansion (overview of Inflationary Cosmology). While not the standard model per se, Inflationary Cosmology dominates within the field because of its enormous success in explaining such things as the homogeny of the Universe. This of course includes both the Brane Cosmologies I have just described as well as the Oscillating model mentioned earlier.
    This camp includes even multiverse models, such as brane cosmology, those theories where new Universes are born out of the singularities of black holes, or where regions of space undergoing inflation then give birth to new regions of space that undergo inflation as developed by Dr. Andrei Linde (sometimes referred to as the Bubble Universe). While all such models are indeed infinite to the future, they are not infinite in the past. Always they return to the need for an initial singularity and an ultimate beginning.
    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...gical-Argument


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Back to "brains in a vat" again....hmmmpfff...
    (I keep asking you not to go here, BUT EVEN A BRAIN IN A VAT EXISTS!!! It's still a brain, it still thinks etc. So, SOME things are still undeniable! In this case "a brain exists in a vat!)
    Remember, I was only using this as a counter example for how people can hold positions unreasonably regardless of evidence. And that brain might not exist in their theory, it is simply a result of a holographic projection by the universe's boundary conditions. The brain there doesn't exist any more than an ant colony thinks. Neither are real, independent things.

    They would reject any kind of material explanation for their consciousness. Like you said, you and I are similar in the counter, we fully do believe that we exist and we doubt that any such argument could convince us otherwise, right?

    So if we too are "unpersuadable" for certain arguments, what makes you think that there are such arguments for the existence of God to some people?


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    This is a tough sell. Again, God knows what I would find compelling/believable, and wants me to believe and worship. Why make it hard (to the point of KCA for some sort of proof?)???
    You make a bit of leap here in going from the idea that God knows what you would find believable to assuming that it is an easy state of affairs to bring about. The KCA might not be the thing that works for you, apologetics in general might not be the thing. They might be wholly unrelated to your journey or small building blocks in a more compelling case. Humans are best set (if the data is to be believed) in stable, long term monogomous relationships. That doesn't mean we get married right way before we are mentally mature enough and have had the experiences we need to participate in that kind of relationship. No lasting relationship is built in a day. Usually they start long before you actually meet the other person.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    The "jury just has not reached a verdict yet" it seems or I am reading this wrong? I have been searching but not finding the confidence level you articulating.
    Here is the full paper for review: https://arxiv.org/pdf/0711.4630.pdf

    This paper doesn't actually seem to have anything to do with whether the universe is past finite or not. In fact it seems to assume it in the introduction section when it presumes on average inflationary cosmology (and doesn't claim to violate BVG Theorem). This paper is more about what happens in the late stage of the universe (once it starts collapsing again) in the Hawking-Hartle No Bondary proposal. I describe HH a bit above in my response to future. What this paper is asking is, under HH, when the universe collapses back in on itself does it go to a singularity or occupy a finite amount of space and then start expanding again. They found most likely the latter (assuming HH to be true).

    This is important because it means there is absolutely no entropy reset (rather than an imperfect reset in a singularity) and thus entropy grows from cycle to cycle faster than if there had been a singularity [when I say singularity I mean a HH singularity, not a classical one for those looking to sharpshoot me]. If you look at the section I quote above to future from Chad's old explanation you'll see that this means their model conforms to the BVG Theorem and therefore, must be past finite.

    It doesn't really matter if we are in an cyclical or classical type universes, both start at a given point, HH is no exception (see Hawking's quote above as well).

    Theoretical physics can be a hard community to take a poll of. I don't think you are going to find anywhere where people are saying something like "there is no real debate here." What you will find, and what I think is telling, is that no one is really working on models that predict a past infinite universe. HH, Sean Carroll's, Valenkin's, and the half dozen or so mainstream models all have begginings, they differ on the mechanism that occurs. You simply can't find anyone out there saying "X model means the universe is eternal."
    "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.


  6. #266
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think you might misunderstand the specifics of the HH model (I have a pretty strong intuition of this given that you are using HH to object to the wrong premise).
    That only goes to show you shouldn't always trust your intuitions and jump to conclusions, Squatch, no matter how strong they may be! The main reason here being that you imagine that the HH model was brought up to "object to a premise", which it wasn't. It was simply an example of why talking about beginnings is pointless given the current state of our knowledge about cosmology. That you jumped on this as some gotcha only proves that even more. In any case, since you quoted Hawking apparently as some sort of support for your ultimate goal of proving that the universe began to exist and that the cause was a deity, here's another quote from your source:

    Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory, and say that time began at the Big Bang. Events before the Big Bang, are simply not defined, because there's no way one could measure what happened at them. This kind of beginning to the universe, and of time itself, is very different to the beginnings that had been considered earlier. These had to be imposed on the universe by some external agency. There is no dynamical reason why the motion of bodies in the solar system can not be extrapolated back in time, far beyond four thousand and four BC, the date for the creation of the universe, according to the book of Genesis. Thus it would require the direct intervention of God, if the universe began at that date. By contrast, the Big Bang is a beginning that is required by the dynamical laws that govern the universe. It is therefore intrinsic to the universe, and is not imposed on it from outside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Entory increases between each cycle of the universe making its peak (largest point) a little larger each time. As Borde-Guthe-Valenkin showed in their paper cited already in this thread, that shows that all cyclical theories currently on the table had a begginning.
    A few issues here:
    (1) No amount of detail provided by yourself or Chad would suffice to convince anyone that what you're saying is true - you're simply taking the same tired old (and debunked) apologetic tactics countless others have used when making claims that the universe began to exist based on the BGV theorem. Even BGV themselves don't agree that their theorem conclusively proves that the universe began to exist. Here's a quote from Vilenkin:
    "Theologians have often welcomed any evidence for the beginning of the universe, regarding it as evidence for the existence of God … So what do we make of a proof that the beginning is unavoidable? Is it a proof of the existence of God? This view would be far too simplistic. Anyone who attempts to understand the origin of the universe should be prepared to address its logical paradoxes. In this regard, the theorem that I proved with my colleagues does not give much of an advantage to the theologian over the scientist."
    (2) BGV presupposes a classical spacetime, which may not be the case, especially in some modified GUP models.
    (3) It's possible that the 2nd law of thermodynamics doesn't apply in all cases/situations (can be violated), or that it applies differently when working with various cyclical states. This is actually covered in the "Non-singular and Cyclic Universe from the Modified GUP" paper.

    Bottom line: if you are claiming that the universe began to exist in that it changed from not existing to existing, you need to support this, as it is still a long way off from even being a generally accepted and coherent concept within cosmology. If you actually were able to support it conclusively, it's safe to say you wouldn't be doing it here on ODN. For one thing you would most likely first be recognized and awarded for being able to make sense of what "begin to exist" even means (hint: it's not like how a chair begins to exist). And that really is the point, after all - we laypersons can go back and forth about what we think the various theorems and models say and jump to our own conclusions, but in the end we (you) are just trying to sound like we (you) know what we (you) are talking about, when that really isn't the case. You can try all you want to cobble together different details from various theorems and models in order to try and argue that a deity created the universe, but it won't be convincing to anyone other than yourself and other theists who similarly lack actual evidence for their beliefs and are grasping at straws. Really, it's best if you left the scientisting to actual scientists - that's the only way we'll get to the bottom of this.
    Last edited by futureboy; February 14th, 2018 at 09:13 AM.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Remember, I was only using this as a counter example for how people can hold positions unreasonably regardless of evidence. And that brain might not exist in their theory, it is simply a result of a holographic projection by the universe's boundary conditions.
    I remember (as well as saying please don't go there as it makes any discussion fairly nonsensical). To you or me "that brain could be in a vat" but that wasn't my point. The person saying "he/she" could be a "brain in a vat" still believes that he/she exists (even if as only a hologram-(maybe like the doctor in one of the Star Trek remakes...)
    Tell me, the people you describe, do you suppose they actually live their life as "nothing can be known or that they don't really exist" or do they eat, sleep, go to work etc? The point being, if you live your life counter to your claims (the hologram people) do you actually believe, or is it more of a thought experiment, because it doesn't work in the world we actually live in?
    A hologram doesn't need sleep or to eat. Can someone really deny they exist and actually believe it?

    ---------- Post added at 05:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:43 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You make a bit of leap here in going from the idea that God knows what you would find believable to assuming that it is an easy state of affairs to bring about.
    Really??? It isn't even a baby step from where I sit.

    Again, look to biology for a moment. The complexity is truly insane. All the bacteria and virus' that must live in the human body to keep us alive. The incredible interactions between cells.
    That God could figure out how to make that work, let alone create the whole universe on a thought, is orders of magnitude "harder" than allowing me to know that God exists at all???

    I don't see how it could be "hard" at ALL for God?
    (as in , how could anything be "hard" for God to "bring about"??)
    (again, I will mention for anyone else reading, at this point we are discussing just Christianity. earlier in the thread I was discussing the three major religions.)

    ---------- Post added at 05:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:03 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Here is the full paper for review: https://arxiv.org/pdf/0711.4630.pdf

    This paper doesn't actually seem to have anything to do with whether the universe is past finite or not.
    I certainly didn't say that it did.
    The Title of the article I quoted was "How did the universe begin".

    “Theories regarding the beginning of the universe are expressed as wave functions,” Hartle tells PhysOrg.com. “The no-boundary wave function is one theory about the origins of the universe.” The goal of this particular work with Hawking and Hertog, he continues, was to model the universe and see what kind of probabilities exist that the current universe could have originated in a certain way.

    https://phys.org/news/2008-06-universe.html#jCp

    “Theories regarding the beginning of the universe are expressed as wave functions,” Hartle tells PhysOrg.com. “The no-boundary wave function is one theory about the origins of the universe.” The goal of this particular work with Hawking and Hertog, he continues, was to model the universe and see what kind of probabilities exist that the current universe could have originated in a certain way.

    “Our model does make a number of strong assumptions,” Hartle continues. But, he insists, “this is a standard trade-off in physics. Our model is simplified so that we can analyze it completely.”
    “In present cosmology, we test models to see if different proposals fit the universe that we see. In this instance, we see that the no-boundary wave function does,” Hartle says. “We see that there is a good chance the universe originated in a bounce.”
    “We hope that can extend this to other, more sophisticated models, with different potentials and different degrees of freedom.”


    Again, I am looking, but don't see your level of confidence being articulated by anyone. All I can find is "the jury is still deliberating".

    ---------- Post added at 05:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:19 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Theoretical physics can be a hard community to take a poll of. I don't think you are going to find anywhere where people are saying something like "there is no real debate here." What you will find, and what I think is telling, is that no one is really working on models that predict a past infinite universe. HH, Sean Carroll's, Valenkin's, and the half dozen or so mainstream models all have begginings, they differ on the mechanism that occurs. You simply can't find anyone out there saying "X model means the universe is eternal."
    And yet we still don't even understand gravity since 96% of the universe is "missing".

    I believe your confidence level is unfounded at this time.

    ---------

    Also, what you are saying posits even more complex problems then that of the universe' existence.
    Is it even possible for "something" to be eternal?
    Can a conscious "something" outside of our universe affect our universe?
    Can there be "anything" outside our universe?
    How/where could such a being derive an eternal energy source from?
    How can consciousness be "contained" in a non-material "being"
    How can God make prophesy and know all future and history and I can still retain free will?
    How can I make a free will decision if the choices are not clear?
    What are the possible reasons that (Omni) God would not make them quite clear?

    (I'll stop here , just for the moment, but hope you can see my point)

    ---

    If energy can not be created/destroyed how could the energy of the universe not be past infinite?

    I can still see "time beginning" at the BB, but the universe itself I'm still having issues with. Near as I can tell, the BB was just an expansion and cooling of what already was.
    Last edited by Belthazor; February 14th, 2018 at 04:40 PM.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    The person saying "he/she" could be a "brain in a vat" still believes that he/she exists (even if as only a hologram-(maybe like the doctor in one of the Star Trek remakes...)
    Tell me, the people you describe, do you suppose they actually live their life as "nothing can be known or that they don't really exist" or do they eat, sleep, go to work etc? The point being, if you live your life counter to your claims (the hologram people) do you actually believe, or is it more of a thought experiment, because it doesn't work in the world we actually live in?
    A hologram doesn't need sleep or to eat. Can someone really deny they exist and actually believe it?
    Voyager, not my favorite spin off to be honest. I'm not sure they really think "they" exist. I know Laurance Krauss, for example, doesn't think Laurence Krauss exists. He thinks the atoms exist (I believe, I'm not sure what his particular flavor of physics is currently), and that they are ordered, but is there an entity that is "Krauss?" Not really, it is an illusion created by chemical reactions, nothing more.

    That is a fantastic follow up btw. They do eat and sleep and all of that for sure, but what choice do they have? I'll give a small story to illustrate what I mean. Krauss and Craig were once debating and Krauss made essentially this point. We don't really exist as beings, we are simply complex chemical interactions, the rest is illusion. Craig asked him then if words really had meaning or where they just emergent properties of those reactions. Krauss acknowledged that they then didn't have any meaning, they were simply arbitrary properties. Craig responded something like, "if your words don't have any meaning, than your argument doesn't actually mean anything, doesn't tell us anything about the universe, so why should we accept it, and why are you making it?" Generally this is where most clips end because it shows the internal inconsistency of Krauss' argument. But he had a rebuttal that is illustrative here (though imo not very convincing). Krauss said (paraphrase) "what choice do I have? I'm driven by these chemical reactions to make this specific set of sounds."


    So sure, they eat, sleep, marry, etc. but that isn't illustrative of their belief set being incoherent, they simply argue that those actions are the natural actions of holograms, or chemical sacks, etc. There is no "choice" because there is no "them" to make a choice.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    how could anything be "hard" for God to "bring about"??
    Becuase of competing claims. If it was solely a black box with Belthazor in it, sure, it should be trivial. But consider all that biological and physical complexity you invoked. That complexity means that any particular interaction has such complex nth order effects that even minor interactions can have profound impacts (in common parlance the butterfly effect). God has a more complex task than just providing Belthazor with evidence. He has to balance that with both the free will of us as creatures, the total good or optimization of the universe given our free will and tendency to make bad decisions, and the experience towards a relationship with Him that every other human being has and will have. That isn't so trivial of a task at all. Especially when you consider that providing you with that relaltionship might mean doing an action that pushes someone else further away (or at least I don't see any reason to assume everyones' requirements don't have any internal contradictions).

    We can add to that all the complexity that is you, Belthazor (and by extension this is true a trillion times over since we are all like this). You are not the same person today that you were at 15. You are more educated, more sophisticated, and have a rich set of experiences that frame your perception of evidence, relationships, and claims. Keeping your mind consistent on its view of that relationship over all that time is a pretty herculean task all by itself.

    I think the complexity you invoke to discuss His power is also just as much an evidence that it takes a lot of precision and crafting to get things just right and makes the result of any possible action incredibly complex. Certainly complex enough that I don't think we should be confident that we can predict the results if "God had only done x."

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Again, I am looking, but don't see your level of confidence being articulated by anyone. All I can find is "the jury is still deliberating".
    I fully agree that the jury is still out on what model best represents how the early universe behaved. In fact, it is almost certainly none of them. I think it is partially my fault for not explaining the landscape a bit more in depth.

    Before I start, I'm sorry if this gets pedantic for anyone, I just want to make sure I cover all the bases.

    First, we need to discuss theorems. Theorems are very different than the scientific method. The latter is inductive reasoning, which means you can be really, really sure of your hypothesis, but never certain. The former is deductive in nature. A theorem is something that is proven true, 100%. If you start with A,B,C, you will get Z, full stop.

    Now, theorems have a base set of assumptions or presuppositions that cover how applicable they are. So if you don't have A above, you might not get Z because the theorem doesn't hold.

    In the mid-70s Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose drafted the Hawking Penrose theorem. Without going into painful detail it essentially says that inflationary universes can't be infinitely old. It was an early precursor to the BVG Theorem I've mentioned. The later theorem is essentially a restatement of Hawking-Penrose, but it eliminates some of the assumptions and makes it a more comprehensive theorem.

    Why is this important? Because we know that any possible model created in the future will either be a) past finite or b) covered under one of the exceptions to the theorem. There are no other possible options, thats why theorems are so important. Any future physicist's prediction either has to be consistent with the theorem, or has to shoehorn itself into one of the exceptions.

    Generally, there are five exceptions to that theorem;




    (from the article I sent you earlier, I think the graphic is helpful).

    Exception 1 has generally been ruled out by physicists since it requires some incredibly improbable fine tuning requirements and even then is remarkably unstable. There are a few researchers in this field, but not many, and most are working it not necessarily to create an accepted model, but to develop mathematical and process techniques to test other models.

    Exceptions 2, 4, and 5 were closed off by the BVG theorem almost completely (there are some small exceptions, but they generally require results different than what we've observed in our universe and can be discarded), thus any models of these variants would end up being past finite.

    That leaves us with 3 where a majority of work is going on today. GoldPhoenix, who was our resident physicist at one point, had some pretty convincing arguments as to why he believed that this would be the area that would be the most productive and likely the "correct" outcome. It is also important to note that every model proposed within this thread and the original thread falls into this exception.

    We can divide this exception into two areas, String Theory and Quantum Gravity (sometimes called Semi-classical). The former are covered by BVG theorem and are thus all past finite. There is a lot of work going on in this area and we might see some coherent model come out of it, even if String Theory has been disappointing in its results.

    Semi-Classical models also feature beginnings, though not because of BVG, but rather as a principle of the underlying quantum gravity assumptions necessary to start the model.



    To summarize, if we think of these theorems as providing cubby holes that models have to fit into, we can see that there really aren't any areas that don't have past finite universes unless we start to radically overturn all of our observational evidence about the universe (I can't emphasize this enough, we would need to overturn relativity to make those cubbies consistent with the universe we live in).


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Is it even possible for "something" to be eternal?
    That is an interesting question. And I think it depends a lot on what you mean by eternal. If you mean that it has existed, in time, forever, I would say no. For all the long reasons I think we talked about somewhere having to do with actual infinites.

    If we mean something existing absent a temporal dimension, I don't see any reason why not. Specifically, I don't see any reason that a temporal dimension is a necessary thing for what we are talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    How can God make prophesy and know all future and history and I can still retain free will?
    That is theology. Calvinism vs. Armineanism vs. Molinism. I don't disagree with your point that you are making. I'm certainly not implying that we have the KCA, therefore all questions solved. But none of these questions really serve as defeators to the KCA imo. They are certainly fruitful areas of discussion for other arguments and we could bring those arguments to bear (some without definitive answers to be sure), but they are more about which flavor of theism, rather than theism as a concept as far as I can tell.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    If energy can not be created/destroyed how could the energy of the universe not be past infinite?
    There is one important aspect of that rule that is germane here. Energy cannot be created or destroyed within a closed system. IE within the box of the universe we cannot create additional energy or destroy it. That rule doesn't necessarily apply to non-isolated systems. One of the model variants above (I really don't remember which one) has a "negative gravity" constant that is constantly dense throughout the expanding multi-verse, that means energy is being created in that system as it expands, and there aren't really any problems with that in that scenario.


    Quote Originally Posted by Future
    The main reason here being that you imagine that the HH model was brought up to "object to a premise", which it wasn't.
    Fair enough. Do you have an objection to one of the premises then?


    Quote Originally Posted by Future quoting Hawking
    Events before the Big Bang, are simply not defined...
    If you read the context of that paragraph you'll see he is talking about before in a temporal since, akin to "earlier than." Certainly there is no serious objection to his statement in that light because earlier than T=0 is a meaningless concept. We need to be careful though not to accidentally stumble into an equivocation fallacy and confuse before (meaning earlier) and before (meaning causally prior).


    Quote Originally Posted by Future
    if you are claiming that the universe began to exist in that it changed from not existing to existing, you need to support this
    I am. Please see my explanation above concerning the landscape of physical models in light of the boundaries placed on them by theorems.

    And since we are quoting Prof. Vilenkin, I'll add:

    It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.

    Many Worlds in One (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006), 176.

    All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1204.4658
    "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

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Do you have an objection to one of the premises then?
    One can't object to something which isn't even coherent. Please provide a coherent explanation and support for P1.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Voyager, not my favorite spin off to be honest. I'm not sure they really think "they" exist. I know Laurance Krauss, for example, doesn't think Laurence Krauss exists. He thinks the atoms exist (I believe, I'm not sure what his particular flavor of physics is currently), and that they are ordered, but is there an entity that is "Krauss?" Not really, it is an illusion created by chemical reactions, nothing more.

    That is a fantastic follow up btw. They do eat and sleep and all of that for sure, but what choice do they have? I'll give a small story to illustrate what I mean. Krauss and Craig were once debating and Krauss made essentially this point. We don't really exist as beings, we are simply complex chemical interactions, the rest is illusion. Craig asked him then if words really had meaning or where they just emergent properties of those reactions. Krauss acknowledged that they then didn't have any meaning, they were simply arbitrary properties. Craig responded something like, "if your words don't have any meaning, than your argument doesn't actually mean anything, doesn't tell us anything about the universe, so why should we accept it, and why are you making it?" Generally this is where most clips end because it shows the internal inconsistency of Krauss' argument. But he had a rebuttal that is illustrative here (though imo not very convincing). Krauss said (paraphrase) "what choice do I have? I'm driven by these chemical reactions to make this specific set of sounds."


    So sure, they eat, sleep, marry, etc. but that isn't illustrative of their belief set being incoherent, they simply argue that those actions are the natural actions of holograms, or chemical sacks, etc. There is no "choice" because there is no "them" to make a choice.
    Ya Voyager! Worst(?) spin off. Hated the captain. Just could not get into the series, but did like the hologram doctor.

    You are correct, Krause is not very convincing.
    My point still is, if you live life contrary to your "beliefs", you might want to question those "beliefs".

    He is trying to define away "personhood". Of course chemical reactions affect your personality. But your personality also affects the chemical reactions??
    Rather than argue your correctness, just change the meaning of the words. Much faster/easier!

    ---------- Post added at 05:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:33 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Becuase of competing claims. If it was solely a black box with Belthazor in it, sure, it should be trivial. But consider all that biological and physical complexity you invoked. That complexity means that any particular interaction has such complex nth order effects that even minor interactions can have profound impacts (in common parlance the butterfly effect). God has a more complex task than just providing Belthazor with evidence. He has to balance that with both the free will of us as creatures, the total good or optimization of the universe given our free will and tendency to make bad decisions, and the experience towards a relationship with Him that every other human being has and will have. That isn't so trivial of a task at all. Especially when you consider that providing you with that relaltionship might mean doing an action that pushes someone else further away (or at least I don't see any reason to assume everyones' requirements don't have any internal contradictions).

    We can add to that all the complexity that is you, Belthazor (and by extension this is true a trillion times over since we are all like this). You are not the same person today that you were at 15. You are more educated, more sophisticated, and have a rich set of experiences that frame your perception of evidence, relationships, and claims. Keeping your mind consistent on its view of that relationship over all that time is a pretty herculean task all by itself.

    I think the complexity you invoke to discuss His power is also just as much an evidence that it takes a lot of precision and crafting to get things just right and makes the result of any possible action incredibly complex. Certainly complex enough that I don't think we should be confident that we can predict the results if "God had only done x."
    Of course all those things interact. God made it that way!

    You must not be one of them "God has a plan for your life" people then??

    If god can "make" quantum mechanics, he can "allow" me to know he exists (since he wants me to fallow).

    ---------- Post added at 05:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:39 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    That is theology. Calvinism vs. Armineanism vs. Molinism. I don't disagree with your point that you are making. I'm certainly not implying that we have the KCA, therefore all questions solved. But none of these questions really serve as defeators to the KCA imo. They are certainly fruitful areas of discussion for other arguments and we could bring those arguments to bear (some without definitive answers to be sure), but they are more about which flavor of theism, rather than theism as a concept as far as I can tell.
    Right, that point has more to do with the special pleading for a particular religion as apposed to theism in general.
    As in, it is an issue for Christianity.

    ---------- Post added at 06:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:45 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    In the mid-70s Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose drafted the Hawking Penrose theorem. Without going into painful detail it essentially says that inflationary universes can't be infinitely old. It was an early precursor to the BVG Theorem I've mentioned. The later theorem is essentially a restatement of Hawking-Penrose, but it eliminates some of the assumptions and makes it a more comprehensive theorem.
    Can there ever really be "nothing", as in nothing and then a singularity?

    If time "restarted" for each cyclical universe that "appeared" why would entropy necessarily invade my parade?

    ---------- Post added at 06:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:07 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    That is an interesting question. And I think it depends a lot on what you mean by eternal. If you mean that it has existed, in time, forever, I would say no. For all the long reasons I think we talked about somewhere having to do with actual infinites.

    If we mean something existing absent a temporal dimension, I don't see any reason why not. Specifically, I don't see any reason that a temporal dimension is a necessary thing for what we are talking about.
    Then I don't understand. How can God be eternal?


    No kidding?
    How can anything "live" in an a-temporal way?
    How could God act in any way without time being involved?

    ---------- Post added at 06:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:11 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    If you read the context of that paragraph you'll see he is talking about before in a temporal since, akin to "earlier than." Certainly there is no serious objection to his statement in that light because earlier than T=0 is a meaningless concept. We need to be careful though not to accidentally stumble into an equivocation fallacy and confuse before (meaning earlier) and before (meaning causally prior).
    I see no way for "causally prior"' to not be "earlier". I heard you say some things could be cause/affect at the same "time", but that would not be "causally prior" or I am not getting it?
    Last edited by Belthazor; February 17th, 2018 at 07:00 AM.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    One can't object to something which isn't even coherent. Please provide a coherent explanation and support for P1.
    It isn't coherent to say that things that begin to exist have a cause? What part of it isn't coherent in your mind?


    Premise 1

    This is generally considered a relatively fundamental law of causation. Changes in state (going from not existing to existing) require causation. We should consider that any effect that lacks a cause becomes, by definition "necessary." And self sufficient effects cannot, by definition "begin." It is also self-evidently true. Rejecting this claim is equivalent to maintaining the claim that; "If null, then B begins to exist." However, the condition set, null is always and in all possible worlds true. Therefore B must exist in all possible worlds and at all possible moments. Thus it couldn't "begin to exist."

    In the past, some have sought to object to this premise by forwarding different aspects of Quantum Mechanics. These fail however because the causal mechanism still exists, it is the quantum wave function. The confusion often arises because we confuse a probabilistic cause for no cause at all. If there was a random number generator that killed a cat on odd numbers, we wouldn't say that the cat's death was uncaused.

    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l=1#post557787



    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Ya Voyager! Worst(?) spin off. Hated the captain. Just could not get into the series, but did like the hologram doctor.

    You are correct, Krause is not very convincing.
    My point still is, if you live life contrary to your "beliefs", you might want to question those "beliefs".

    He is trying to define away "personhood". Of course chemical reactions affect your personality. But your personality also affects the chemical reactions??
    Rather than argue your correctness, just change the meaning of the words. Much faster/easier!
    The doctor had his moments, but then they all had moments. There were plenty of times, especially early on, that his character was a little too pinnocio-y for my taste.

    I think Krauss would say that he isn't in contradiction (of course, who ever admits that? ;-) ), rather he would say that there is no such thing as personality, it is simply deterministic chemical reactions, all the way down. Personhood, personality, identity are simply illusions created by a complex brain chemistry. Now, I disagree with that, but it isn't necessarily inconsistent to eat if you don't exist if you also argue that you are deterministically required to eat.

    That said, your final point is, I think, the right one. Krauss is just carrying a reductio ad absurdum as if it weren't absurd to escape the consequences. But that was my original point, people do that all the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Of course all those things interact. God made it that way!

    You must not be one of them "God has a plan for your life" people then??

    If god can "make" quantum mechanics, he can "allow" me to know he exists (since he wants me to fallow).
    I am actually one of those people, but I also recognize that we get a vote in that plan. God certainly can make complex systems, but that doesn't mean that every option is available to God within that system. He aslo has to weigh the massively complex outcomes from that complex system that result from Him creating the particular scenario you have in mind. It doesn't seem intuitive to say that God could actualize the perfect set of circumstances that would essentially "make" you believe and do that for everyone with, on net, no negative side effects, right?


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Right, that point has more to do with the special pleading for a particular religion as apposed to theism in general.
    As in, it is an issue for Christianity.
    I'm not sure why it would be special pleading. I don't think molinism, for example, makes any such fallacious appeal. Could you elaborate?


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Can there ever really be "nothing", as in nothing and then a singularity?

    If time "restarted" for each cyclical universe that "appeared" why would entropy necessarily invade my parade?
    According to most physical theories, yes. The spatial and temporal dimensions collapse along with the matter and energy within the universe. Absent those dimensions, a materialist philosophical view would argue that there is nothing. Literally no thing. It is entirely concievable that there would be nothing, nothing followed by a material universe? I'm not sure that would hold.


    Because a fundamental requirement of cyclical universes is that they don't collapse to absolute singularities (it is impossible for a number fo reasons, not the least of which is infinite density). Even if time resets, the "initial" conditions of that new universe in the cycle aren't a low entropy state (which is a particular peculiarity of our universe that allows for life, a la the fine tuning argument). Some segment of that disorder is carried over from the old universe to the initial conditions of the new universe on each cycle.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Then I don't understand. How can God be eternal?


    No kidding?
    How can anything "live" in an a-temporal way?
    How could God act in any way without time being involved?
    The answer to your first question is that God exists atemporally absent the universe. Which of course leads to your other questions.

    These questions remind me of QM. We need to be careful in distinguishing between things which are hard to comprehend (particles as probability waves or even the scale of the universe) and those things which aren't possible. I completely agree that it is hard to understand what it would be like to simply exist absent the flow of time (though even in some materialist, non-theist conceptions we do, actually exist that way, such as the B-Theory of time in which time is more or less an illusion based on event ordering related to causation).

    Acting is, likewise something I think we covered a bit before. We don't need time to describe state changes (we do so all the time in physics). We even have acts in physics that we argue happen simultaneously (though there is some debate on that).

    Interestingly, a few descriptions of multiverse dynamics suffer from the same problem. Generally they operate along a non-temporal dimension, and we could describe God in that sense too. An expansionary multiverse might exist along a dimension of entropy, total enery, state description, etc. Imagine God existing in state A, and state b, and state c. States a and b exist absent any temporal dimension. State C exists with our universe. It is definitely hard to imagine what that would be like for us, but there isn't anything internally incoherent about the description imo. In that description we would still say that God has "always" existed though we are using "always" to not refer to all time periods, but all states.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    I heard you say some things could be cause/affect at the same "time", but that would not be "causally prior" or I am not getting it?
    Why wouldn't it be causally prior? Let's look at the case of 'entangled' particles. These particles are linked so that if one is spinning clockwise, the other must spin counterclock wise. If we change the spin of one we change the spin of the other. That change doesn't take some period of time, the second particle switches at the same time as the first particle. But the change in the first particle is still causally prior to the change in the second particle, right? If you were writing it out, you'd still have to describe the change in the first particle before the second one, even if we aren't talking about the events happening over a period of 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

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think Krauss would say that he isn't in contradiction (of course, who ever admits that? ;-) ), rather he would say that there is no such thing as personality, it is simply deterministic chemical reactions, all the way down. Personhood, personality, identity are simply illusions created by a complex brain chemistry. Now, I disagree with that, but it isn't necessarily inconsistent to eat if you don't exist if you also argue that you are deterministically required to eat.

    That said, your final point is, I think, the right one. Krauss is just carrying a reductio ad absurdum as if it weren't absurd to escape the consequences. But that was my original point, people do that all the time.
    Perhaps, but it appears he is just being obstinate and will defend a failed point just because he is the one who made it.
    Though, he doesn't live his life as if that were true, so how deeply does he really hold that position?
    I would still submit that he thinks it might be true, that's about all.
    He still admits he exists whether his unique personality doesn't qualify as "personhood" or not.

    ---------- Post added at 12:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:52 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I am actually one of those people, but I also recognize that we get a vote in that plan. God certainly can make complex systems, but that doesn't mean that every option is available to God within that system. He aslo has to weigh the massively complex outcomes from that complex system that result from Him creating the particular scenario you have in mind. It doesn't seem intuitive to say that God could actualize the perfect set of circumstances that would essentially "make" you believe and do that for everyone with, on net, no negative side effects, right?
    Fair enough, People are allowed to wonder from the "plan" I suppose.
    I don't like the "make" word here. Allow seems much closer...
    And the question is:
    Why would God NOT allow it?

    To the "no negative side effects...um, so far most humans that have ever lived to date are not Christian (and a lot of the ones that do identify that way aren't really as in don't know the basic tenants and basically just live the way they want to and still say they are Christian).
    So NOT being allowed to know has obviously had negative side affects (since God wants all to be saved).

    ---------- Post added at 12:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:00 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I'm not sure why it would be special pleading. I don't think molinism, for example, makes any such fallacious appeal. Could you elaborate?
    At first I made clear I was discussing Judaism, Muslim, and Christianity at the same time. A few posts ago I mentioned that at the moment you and I were discussing Christianity to avoid confusion when referring to "God".
    Where did molinism come from???

    Special pleading starts when you go from the KCA (assuming a person is down with that argument) to the cause of the universe is the Christian God, as opposed to the other two major religions. Since they all use the same types of evidence and claims for their truth value. I realize you said Christianity's evidence is stronger, however, the fact remains, it is the same types of evidence/arguments as the other two and just is not CLEARLY superior as most humans that have ever lived reject it.

    Similar to the claim humans in Heaven will/can not sin but MUST sin here on earth. If humans can go without sin in Heaven I have heard of no reason why this state if affairs can not be obtained here on earth.
    (Nor why God would bother creating humans knowing the vast majority would never be Christian)

    ---------- Post added at 12:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:15 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    According to most physical theories, yes. The spatial and temporal dimensions collapse along with the matter and energy within the universe. Absent those dimensions, a materialist philosophical view would argue that there is nothing. Literally no thing. It is entirely concievable that there would be nothing, nothing followed by a material universe? I'm not sure that would hold.
    Yet at the moment we no of no such place actually existing, correct?

    ---------- Post added at 12:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:19 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Because a fundamental requirement of cyclical universes is that they don't collapse to absolute singularities (it is impossible for a number fo reasons, not the least of which is infinite density). Even if time resets, the "initial" conditions of that new universe in the cycle aren't a low entropy state (which is a particular peculiarity of our universe that allows for life, a la the fine tuning argument). Some segment of that disorder is carried over from the old universe to the initial conditions of the new universe on each cycle.
    This is counter to my understanding. I have not heard anyone say that it would NOT collapse to a singularity?
    Perhaps I misunderstood?

    ---------- Post added at 12:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:22 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    The answer to your first question is that God exists atemporally absent the universe. Which of course leads to your other questions.
    Easier to say than do

    So if God acted in some way in the yr 500, and again in 512, how could a temporal situation be avoided?

    ---------- Post added at 12:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:25 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Why wouldn't it be causally prior? Let's look at the case of 'entangled' particles. These particles are linked so that if one is spinning clockwise, the other must spin counterclock wise. If we change the spin of one we change the spin of the other. That change doesn't take some period of time, the second particle switches at the same time as the first particle. But the change in the first particle is still causally prior to the change in the second particle, right? If you were writing it out, you'd still have to describe the change in the first particle before the second one, even if we aren't talking about the events happening over a period of time.
    A couple things here.

    If this article is correct, we have never attempted to measure entangled particle 300 miles apart?
    How can it be said then that the distance between particles doesn't matter?

    https://www.livescience.com/28550-ho...fographic.html
    "A proposed experiment would send one photon of the entangled pair to the orbiting International Space Station, a distance of around 310 miles (500 kilometers). This would be the largest distance that has been experimentally tested."

    And two.
    10,000 times the speed light is quite fast indeed, but would that escape time? I think not.
    "When observed, Photon A takes on an up-spin state. Entangled Photon B, though now far away, takes up a state relative to that of Photon A (in this case, a down-spin state). The transfer of state between Photon A and Photon B takes place at a speed of at least 10,000 times the speed of light, possibly even instantaneously, regardless of distance."

    (and three:
    what if both particles were measured art the same time????!!)


    Squatch,
    It just occurred to me an issue you and I are having. I keep talking about people who are
    "genuinely looking for the truth"

    and you keep answering with people who are
    "genuinely not looking for the truth"


    Get it
    Last edited by Belthazor; February 20th, 2018 at 04:42 PM.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Perhaps, but it appears he is just being obstinate and will defend a failed point just because he is the one who made it.
    Ok, lets say he is being obstinate, doesn't that show my point? If he doesn't believe that position he is vociverously ignoring a point that is patently obvious, he is a great example, in that case, of my defense that humans are remarkably obstinate creatures.




    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Fair enough, People are allowed to wonder from the "plan" I suppose.
    I don't like the "make" word here. Allow seems much closer...
    And the question is:
    Why would God NOT allow it?
    I'm not sure that rephrasing makes sense given that we agree people are stubborn creatures. If we subsitute the word allow we still have the problem of unbelief I think. There are still the Krausses of the world refusing to concede their position. In order to overcome our ability to wander from the plan, it would have to be "make." Or, we could accept some level of unbelievers and say that God is optimizing the situation, ie getting the best possible given our obstinancy.

    But then we have to ask, how do we really know what that kind of world looks like? Clearly we don't understand enough about the complex systems of this universe to really predict the manifold effects any change in His intervention would have, right?

    You are absolutely right that there are a lot of people who lived as not Christians (about 14% and growing of all the people in history lived as Christians or Jews). Should that number be lower? Maybe, maybe not. It is a pretty touch legitimate analysis to argue. I would have a hard time saying "if only God did X, things would be better" as it usually ends up, upon painful details of thought that there are a lot of unintended consequences I didn't think of initially. Its a little like altering prices in an economy and then being surprised just how many negative effects occur. [On a side note, society is an emergent system, like an economy, and there is a principle in emergent systems that exogenous interference tends to decrease the functionality and resiliency of the system, which is why it is so hard here to really assume that X intervention would produce, on net, better outcomes].


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    At first I made clear I was discussing Judaism, Muslim, and Christianity at the same time. A few posts ago I mentioned that at the moment you and I were discussing Christianity to avoid confusion when referring to "God".
    Where did molinism come from???
    Sorry, molinism is a theological tennent within Christianity (it, along with Calvinism and Armenianism make up the largest theological explanations for God's foreknowledge).

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Special pleading starts when you go from the KCA (assuming a person is down with that argument) to the cause of the universe is the Christian God, as opposed to the other two major religions.
    Well that wouldn't be a special pleading fallacy. Special pleading involves applying a rule to a context, then exempting another context from that rule to avoid the consequences. To use an overtly political example,

    "We want a carbon tax on corporations to stop them from polluting the atmosphere." (IE increase the price, decrease the supply).
    "Minimum wages have no effect on employment." (price and supply are, apparently, no longer relevant).

    What you describe is certainly a fallacy though, I would call it making an invalid argument.

    P1) The KCA is true and valid.
    C1) Therefore the Christian God exists.

    That conclusion does not follow from that premise. The KCA only proports to show that God exists. This could be Allah, for example. That is, if the KCA is the only thing we have to go on. I would argue it isn't and provide other arguments as to why the Christian conception of God is the best explanation out there. That is a bit outside the scope of this thread, but those arguments exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Yet at the moment we no of no such place actually existing, correct?
    I think this is a bit of an equivocation fallacy. Saying, "oh, that place over there is nothing" is a nonsensical statement. Like asking what happened an hour before time began. "Nothing" is a description, not a place. It is the lack of spatial and temporal dimensions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    This is counter to my understanding. I have not heard anyone say that it would NOT collapse to a singularity?
    Perhaps I misunderstood?
    I doubt it, I think it probably just isn't mentioned much. Proponents don't mention it because it is widely seen as a reason for rejecting this class of theories. Lay discussions don't cover it much because it is a bit of inside baseball. Discussing the why of complex spatial geometries and such are a bit much for lay articles.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Easier to say than do

    So if God acted in some way in the yr 500, and again in 512, how could a temporal situation be avoided?
    Ahh, sorry I didn't clarify. We were talking about God's existence absent the universe. God creates time when He creates the universe, so in that sense, with the universe he is acting in relation to its temporal aspect. An overly simplistic way of saying it is that God becomes temporal once He creates the universe and enters time. This is certiainly not an area settled within Christian Philosophy, and certainly not my particular are of expertise. There are generally two positions.

    1) God enters time as part of His creation of the Universe.

    2) God interacts with time like we, as 3D creatures, interact with 2D objects.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    How can it be said then that the distance between particles doesn't matter?
    The answers to questions 1,2,and 3 are the same. Because the underlying physics says that these are not determined by the light cone. The principle that allows for quantum entaglement is, essentially, time neutral. It specifically requires (for information symetry reasons) that there cannot be a period of time that those two particles have the same spin. There will be, of course, experiments of the principle from further and further way so that we can verify it more and more precisely. But the underlying principle is a pretty important one in relativity. And relativity is pretty well established experimentally. Is it possible that there is a time delay? Sure, science doesn't actually prove anything after all. But we would have to throw Einstein out if it does, and that doesn't seem very probable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Squatch,
    It just occurred to me an issue you and I are having. I keep talking about people who are
    "genuinely looking for the truth"

    and you keep answering with people who are
    "genuinely not looking for the truth"


    Get it
    I do, and generally you are correct. I would point out that a lot of us, even when we are genuinely looking for the truth, still have some massive blindspots caused by our own mental hueristics and biases. I have not doubt that mothers are genuinely seeking the truth about their baby's health, but still a portion of them come to an anti-vax position.

    To reprhase, I would be careful conflating our genuiness with our capability.
    "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

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Ok, lets say he is being obstinate, doesn't that show my point? If he doesn't believe that position he is vociverously ignoring a point that is patently obvious, he is a great example, in that case, of my defense that humans are remarkably obstinate creatures.
    It shows HE doesn't want to know the truth, this does not speak to those that do...

    ---------- Post added at 05:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:57 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But then we have to ask, how do we really know what that kind of world looks like? Clearly we don't understand enough about the complex systems of this universe to really predict the manifold effects any change in His intervention would have, right?
    God has "intervened" many times that had much more affect on the world than letting me know God exists.

    ---------- Post added at 05:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:00 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    That conclusion does not follow from that premise. The KCA only proports to show that God exists. This could be Allah, for example. That is, if the KCA is the only thing we have to go on. I would argue it isn't and provide other arguments as to why the Christian conception of God is the best explanation out there. That is a bit outside the scope of this thread, but those arguments exist.
    We have discussed this. Yes, you believe the evidence is stronger for Christianity than the others, however, they all use similar arguments/evidence and CLEARLY since most human's that ever lived do not agree with you it is not OBVIOUSLY stronger. \
    But you reject other religions VERY similar claims is why I said special pleading.
    Do I have my fallacies mixed up? Perhaps confirmation bias?

    ---------- Post added at 05:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:50 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think this is a bit of an equivocation fallacy. Saying, "oh, that place over there is nothing" is a nonsensical statement. Like asking what happened an hour before time began. "Nothing" is a description, not a place. It is the lack of spatial and temporal dimensions.
    It was more a question of, could there actually have been "nothing" before the BB?

    ---------- Post added at 05:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:54 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I doubt it, I think it probably just isn't mentioned much. Proponents don't mention it because it is widely seen as a reason for rejecting this class of theories. Lay discussions don't cover it much because it is a bit of inside baseball. Discussing the why of complex spatial geometries and such are a bit much for lay articles.
    This would need more support.

    ---------- Post added at 06:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:56 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    The answers to questions 1,2,and 3 are the same. Because the underlying physics says that these are not determined by the light cone. The principle that allows for quantum entaglement is, essentially, time neutral. It specifically requires (for information symetry reasons) that there cannot be a period of time that those two particles have the same spin. There will be, of course, experiments of the principle from further and further way so that we can verify it more and more precisely. But the underlying principle is a pretty important one in relativity. And relativity is pretty well established experimentally. Is it possible that there is a time delay? Sure, science doesn't actually prove anything after all. But we would have to throw Einstein out if it does, and that doesn't seem very probable.
    One of us is missing something here....
    Let's try question again 2 (first).

    https://www.livescience.com/28550-ho...fographic.html
    "When observed, Photon A takes on an up-spin state. Entangled Photon B, though now far away, takes up a state relative to that of Photon A (in this case, a down-spin state). The transfer of state between Photon A and Photon B takes place at a speed of at least 10,000 times the speed of light, possibly even instantaneously, regardless of distance."

    This says it takes "time" (though "possibly" instantaneous) even though we have only measured this over miles (hardly worthy of a statement like "regardless of distance").
    "If" it does take time, then obviously both will have the same spin at some point...

    ---------- Post added at 06:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:04 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I do, and generally you are correct. I would point out that a lot of us, even when we are genuinely looking for the truth, still have some massive blindspots caused by our own mental hueristics and biases. I have not doubt that mothers are genuinely seeking the truth about their baby's health, but still a portion of them come to an anti-vax position.
    But this is way past an "in general". God wants a relationship and all to be saved.

    ---------- Post added at 06:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:06 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    To reprhase, I would be careful conflating our genuiness with our capability.
    Normally, I would agree, except in this case we have supernatural Omni God working the show, so this really just would not apply (since God knows us better than we know ourselves).

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    It isn't coherent to say that things that begin to exist have a cause? What part of it isn't coherent in your mind?
    This part:
    Changes in state (going from not existing to existing) require causation.


    Please provide a coherent explanation for "going from not existing to existing", as we have no actual examples of this.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    It isn't coherent to say that things that begin to exist have a cause? What part of it isn't coherent in your mind?
    I won't say it's incoherent but I assume you will agree that "cause" requires linear time.

    For example if I cause a rock to roll down a hill, then there was a moment in time before the rock started rolling that I took action to cause it to roll.

    But if there was no time prior to the rock rolling, then there was no instance where I, or anyone or anything else, could have caused it to happen because "instances" did not exist before time existed.

    So if time started when the universe started (which I believe is the case) then there was no "before universe" for there to be a cause for the universe.
    Last edited by mican333; March 4th, 2018 at 10:20 AM.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    He died. He rose again three days later. Over 500 people at that time saw a dead Man who was alive again.

    Peter
    Although Judaism and Muslims (for instance) deny that Jesus rose from the "dead".

    However, if we granted for conversation that it did happen, it still takes all meaning out of the word "death".

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    He died. He rose again three days later. Over 500 people at that time saw a dead Man who was alive again.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Although Judaism and Muslims (for instance) deny that Jesus rose from the "dead".
    The question becomes what is their evidence, and when (in regards to the timeline) does it stem from? Check it out. What do you have from Judaism from an early date? And what of Islam? The religion is six hundred years removed from relevance; it has a smorgasbord of different religions incorporated into it - Judaism, aberrant Christianity, Zorastrianism, and pagan beliefs during its time. If Judaism wanted to kill the Christian movement they would have produced the body. That would have squashed any resurrection talk and the spread of the movemant. Gary Habermas has done extensive work on the evidence. Frank Morison, Who Moved the Stone, has also documented the position, among many.

    https://theologue.files.wordpress.co...ankmorison.pdf

    For your consideration in this e-book check out p.57 under, 9. The Historic Crux Of The Problem. Most people will not consider the evidence, but I hope you will!

    "The story of the Resurrection, which was taught and preached throughout the ancient world during the first forty years of the Christian era, was not told or created by outsiders, but by the original band of followers of Jesus. They did not wait two or three decades before giving their version to the world. They began their organized campaign within two months of the occurrences. Within three decades most of them had perished violently for their adhesion to this very story." p.59

    So these believers were persecuted to death, for what - a lie?

    "Now the question the reader will have to consider seriously is whether it was possible for all this widespread agitation and conflict of ideas involving as it did the definite claim that Jesus had risen to have been conducted successfully or indeed at all, in the actual and physical presence of the remains of Jesus. This is a concrete point to which we shall have to return repeatedly, for it is vital and quite fundamental to our understanding of the case.
    Primarily, of course, it is a question of the evidence, and it is a noteworthy fact that such indications as we have point decisively in the opposite direction. Consider, first, a circumstance already briefly alluded to in a previous chapter, but which now forces itself into special prominence. I mean the absence of any sign that the tomb of Jesus became an object of interest to His contemporaries during the critical weeks and years following the Crucifixion."
    p. 61

    Produce the body or remains and the crediblity is lost, yet the Jews nor Romans produce the body. Find a written record that they did from the period.

    " The assumption that the tomb was empty seems to have been universal. The only controversy of which we have any record, and it was clearly a heated one, was on the vexed question as to whether the disciples had secretly removed the body. This, 1 say, is a very formidable fact. It suggests that something had already occurred to make the vacancy of the tomb common ground, and to place it high out of the reach of dispute or argument." p.62

    The gravesite wasn't important to them, nor was it venerated until centuries later. Christians did not worship the grave because He is risen! He is not in the grave. From the very beginning the Resurrection became a cornerstone of Christianity, not where He lay dead because they and we do not believe He is dead.

    "We realize also why it was that throughout the four years when Christianity was growing to really formidable dimensions in Jerusalem, neither Caiaphas, nor Annas, nor any recognized member of the Sadducean camarilla, whose prestige and personal repute was so deeply affronted and outraged by the new doctrine, ever took the obvious shortcut out of their difficulties.
    If the body of Jesus still lay in the tomb where Joseph had deposited it, why did they not say so? A cold and dispassionate statement of the real facts, issued by someone in authority, and publicly exhibited in the temple precincts, would have been like a bucket of water upon the kindling fire of the Christian heresy. It would have steadied the situation in their favor. It would have impeded immensely, if not destroyed, the growing daily stream of new converts.
    Apparently they did nothing of the kind, for the reason that they could not. In all the fragments and echoes of this far-off controversy that have come down to us we are nowhere told that any responsible person asserted that the body of Jesus was still in the tomb. We are only given reasons why it was not there. Running all through these ancient documents is the persistent assumption that the tomb of Christ was vacant.
    Can we fly in the face of this cumulative and mutually corroborative evidence? Personally, I do not think we can."
    p.63

    See also Ch. 13. The Witness Of The Great Stone, for move of the argument. In total the book is small and would not take more than a couple of days to read. I use the Miscrosoft 'Read Aloud' feature when I'm lazy. It reads it for you.

    Another site that offers the evidence from a non-biblical perspective is given below. It builds on Frank Morison's book in my opinion:

    https://www.thoughtco.com/proofs-of-...rection-700603

    "Further nonbiblical evidence for Jesus' existence comes from the writings of Flavius Josephus, Cornelius Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, and the Jewish Sanhedrin. The following seven proofs of the resurrection show that Christ did, indeed, rise from the dead."
    (the seven proofs follow in the article).

    Not only this, the gospels record that Jesus appeared to these disciples and over 500 hundred people after His resurrection. They witnessed to these appearances.

    1 Corinthians 15:3-8
    3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.


    And what did Jesus preach? He preached judgment, within the span of THAT generation. He spoke of their heaven and earth, everything they held dear (their temple worship and special covenant relationship passing away) within that generation. This happened. The temple, the centerpoint of their relationship to God was destroyed in A.D. 70.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    However, if we granted for conversation that it did happen, it still takes all meaning out of the word "death".
    For the believer! Death loses its sting. We have hope for the future. It does not end at the death of our bodies!

    Peter

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I doubt it, I think it probably just isn't mentioned much. Proponents don't mention it because it is widely seen as a reason for rejecting this class of theories. Lay discussions don't cover it much because it is a bit of inside baseball. Discussing the why of complex spatial geometries and such are a bit much for lay articles.
    Stephen Hawkins seems to disagree:
    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/...dawn-time.html

    "It's the biggest question in the universe. What happened before the Big Bang? Now world-famous physicist Steven Hawking says he has an answer.
    “The boundary condition of the universe ... is that it has no boundary,” Hawking tells the National Geographic’s Star Talk show this weekend.
    In other words, there is no time before time began as time was always there.
    It was just different.
    He tells physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson that amid the almost infinitely small quantum foam of the singularity before the Big Bang, time existed in a ‘bent’” state.
    It was distorted along another dimension — always getting fractionally closer to, but never becoming, nothing.
    So there never was a Big Bang that created something from nothing.


    It’s just looks that way from our point of perspective."


    He goes a bit further, but it still looks to me like there was always "something" and never "nothing" if you get my drift

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    It shows HE doesn't want to know the truth, this does not speak to those that do...
    I think it does if we realize that sometimes (oftentimes) our obstinancy isn't a concious activity, but part of our cognitive biases. It isn't odd for us to ignore a patently obvious point because we are anchored to an existing position or statement, even if we don't conciously realize we are doing so. To state it a different way, there are two requirements in truth seeking, a willingness to seek the truth (which is your point), and the ability to overcome innate cognitive biases and processes that shortcut truth seeking.

    Returning to our example, Krauss likely doesn't conciously think that eating proves he doesn't believe his theory. Rather, he has rationalized his choice to eat as coherent within the theory by moving the goal posts perhaps or another cognitive process that allows him to minimize dissonance. If we were to strap him to a functional lie detector, I have no doubt he wouldn't spike the needle when he stated his position, but that doesn't mean he is functionally seeking the truth.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    God has "intervened" many times that had much more affect on the world than letting me know God exists.
    But my point is that we don't really know the effects of that specific action. He has intervened for sure, and there were complex emergent results of that interaction. But because He successfully made one interaction doesn't mean He can successfully make all interactions. The results are too complex for us to seriously argue that He very well could have without a net worse result overall.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    We have discussed this. Yes, you believe the evidence is stronger for Christianity than the others, however, they all use similar arguments/evidence and CLEARLY since most human's that ever lived do not agree with you it is not OBVIOUSLY stronger. \
    But you reject other religions VERY similar claims is why I said special pleading.
    Do I have my fallacies mixed up? Perhaps confirmation bias?
    Ahh, well I'm not sure I would call it a fallacy because I haven't advocated specifically for Christianity here. I was sticking to the OP's reference simply to theism, which the KCA supports.

    I would caution at using a large group of people's belief as evidence of truth value or strength of an argument, which is an Appeal to Popularity Fallacy. The majority of people who have lived worshiped the sun and moon as gods as well, I don't think we would use that as evidence that those arguments are strong.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    It was more a question of, could there actually have been "nothing" before the BB?
    Unless we appeal to a multi-verse hypothesis (and its intendant problems) then yes, by definition, absent the big bang there would be "no thing" since the big bang is the origin of spatial and temporal dimensions. There certainly isn't a physical or philosophical problem with the idea of nothing that I'm aware of. Am I missing an issue here?


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    This would need more support.
    Sure, it is important to note that we are talking about the Loop Quantum Gravity models here rather than other cyclical models (like the Ekpyrotic models) which don't claim to be past eternal. [Grabbing some of the papers I also found something I hadn't been aware of. The most recent evidence seems to indicate that the universe's expansion is accelerating. This would definitely preclude any current cyclical model as there doesn't appear to be a peak expansion for the universe.]

    Loop Quantum Gravity models were initially developed to talk about the dynamics of black holes. There are quite a few physics problems out there regarding the event horizon (like loss of information, Hawking radiation, etc). We know that black holes aren't singularities, they occupy a finite amount of space based on their mass. Loop quantum gravity was an attempt to "peer behind the curtain" and figure out some of the physical aspects of the black hole. What it ended up showing was what I mention here, that the black hole cannot be a pure singularity, it must occupy a set spatial volume. That means it doesn't escape the laws of thermodynamics. This is an incredibly good thing when we think of black holes because it means that information isn't lost when matter enters the black hole. If that hadn't been true there would have been a pretty major rewrite to quantum mechanics and relativity.

    If we apply that to the mother of all black holes, a singularity at the end/beginning of a cycle, it means the same thing. Information isn't lost, and entropy carries over from one cycle to another.

    As Mithani and Vilenkin put it:

    Another possibility could be a universe which cycles through an infinite series of big bang followed by expansion, contraction into a crunch that transitions into the next big bang. A potential problem with such a cyclic universe is that the entropy must continue to increase through each cycle, leading to a “thermal death” of the universe. This can be avoided if the volume of the universe increases through each cycle as well, allowing the ratio S/V to remain finite. But if the volume continues to increase over each cycle, Hav > 0, meaning that the universe is past-incomplete.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    This says it takes "time" (though "possibly" instantaneous) even though we have only measured this over miles (hardly worthy of a statement like "regardless of distance").
    "If" it does take time, then obviously both will have the same spin at some point...
    A meaningless correction: "different spin" rather than same spin. No big deal, just wanted to be clear.

    A more meaningful correction. It doesn't say it takes time, it says we know there is an upside boundary on the time it could possibly take that is 10,000 times faster than the speed of light would attain.

    It would be like seeing a parked car and hitting it with a radar detector. The radar detector isn't perfect, so even though it reads zero, it really has an error factor, something like "the car is travelling slower than 1/100,000th of a mph and could be 0."

    It is also incredibly important that it is happening faster than the speed of light. That leaves us only two possibilities, it is happening instantaneously, or all of relativity is incorrect. I say the latter because relativity (and several other disciplines) place the upper speed limit in the universe as the speed of light. So while the author is being, appropriately, conservative, once we cross the speed of light, the general inference is that it is instantaneous. Of course, science can't prove anything being an inductive logic system, so more experimentation will always occur, but there is a pretty strong confidence level in relativity and thus in this being instantaneous.

    Does that answer your question? Am I missing your point?


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    But this is way past an "in general". God wants a relationship and all to be saved.
    No doubt. But He is also constrained by our ability to resist reason, logic, evidence, and relationships. Despite the good intentions of both parties, often our limitations get in the way. Mothers reject doctor's advice on vaccines, loving couples get divorced, people inject heroin, etc, etc. We are, in the end, fallible beings in a broken world, imperfect outcomes are a natural consequence of that fact, even if we assume the best of intentions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Stephen Hawkins seems to disagree...In other words, there is no time before time began as time was always there.
    It was just different.
    He tells physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson that amid the almost infinitely small quantum foam of the singularity before the Big Bang, time existed in a ‘bent’” state.
    This isn't really too different from what I put forward as his position earlier. He uses the north pole as an analogy. He says, "what's north of the north pole? It's a meaningless question." And he is somewhat right. But, if we are travelling south, there is definitely a place where we are in space, and then a place where we are on the Earth. IE a beggining of our travels on Earth. His second comment about how time is "different" is somewhat disengenous. He is referring to his use of Imaginary Time (a temporal relative to imaginary numbers like the square root of negative 2), which is great in the math, but when you translate it back out to a physical universe it becomes somewhat nonsensical. "In Hawking and Hartle's no boundary proposal, the notion that the universe has neither begining nor end is something that exists in mathematical terms only. In real time, which is what we as human biengs are confined to...there will always be a singularity, a begining of time. Among his contradictory statements in A Brief History of Time, Hawking actually concedes this. 'When one goes back to real time in which we live there will still appear to be singularities...in real time the Universe has a begining.'"

    On a side note, as I pointed out earlier, it is begginning to appear that the universe will not collapse back in on itself, which Hawking's model predicts, so it will likely need a serious relook. "Hawking's model is highly speculative, based on what Hawking believes a quantum theory of gravity (which does not yet exist) must be like. In addition, mounting evidence against the eventuality of the Big Crunch spoils the symmetry of Hawking's model." Professor Koons, Univerity of Texas.

    Despite its popularity in the press because of Prof. Hawking's name recognition (and I include Tyson here, and just to clarify, he isn't a physicist, though astrophysicist sounds similar they are, and I'm being snarky here, similarities between a chiropractor and a doctor), his theory has recieved virtually no support within the physics community. Prof. Turok (who created one of theories we discussed earlier, though he has since discarded it to my knowledge) gave a spirited dissection of Hawking's model at a symposium citing about a half dozen papers showing problems with the model. An interesting blog post on the rebuttal was written by a physicist out of the Niels Bohr International Academy at the University of Copenhagen (about a high ranking spot as you can get in physics) here:

    In particular, there were two claims I never quite saw fleshed out: “The universe emerged from nothing via quantum tunneling” and “According to Hawking, the big bang was not a singularity, but a smooth change with no true beginning.”

    As a result, I’m delighted that I’ve recently learned the physics behind these claims, in the context of a spirited take-down of both by Perimeter’s Director Neil Turok.

    Neil held a surprise string group meeting this week to discuss the paper I linked above, “No smooth beginning for spacetime” with Job Feldbrugge and Jean-Luc Lehners, as well as earlier work with Steffen Gielen. In it, he talked about problems in the two proposals I mentioned: Hawking’s suggestion that the big bang was smooth with no true beginning (really, the Hartle-Hawking no boundary proposal) and the idea that the universe emerged from nothing via quantum tunneling (really, Vilenkin’s tunneling from nothing proposal).

    In popularization-speak, these two proposals sound completely different. In reality, though, they’re quite similar (and as Neil argues, they end up amounting to the same thing). I’ll steal a picture from his paper to illustrate:



    The picture on the left depicts the universe under the Hartle-Hawking proposal, with time increasing upwards on the page. As the universe gets older, it looks like the expanding (de Sitter) universe we live in. At the beginning, though, there’s a cap, one on which time ends up being treated not in the usual way (Lorentzian space) but on the same footing as the other dimensions (Euclidean space). This lets space be smooth, rather than bunching up in a big bang singularity. After treating time in this way the result is reinterpreted (via a quantum field theory trick called Wick rotation) as part of normal space-time.

    What’s the connection to Vilenkin’s tunneling picture? Well, when we talk about quantum tunneling, we also end up describing it with Euclidean space. Saying that the universe tunneled from nothing and saying it has a Euclidean “cap” then end up being closely related claims.

    Before Neil’s work these two proposals weren’t thought of as the same because they were thought to give different results. What Neil is arguing is that this is due to a fundamental mistake on Hartle and Hawking’s part. Specifically, Neil is arguing that the Wick rotation trick that Hartle and Hawking used doesn’t work in this context, when you’re trying to calculate small quantum corrections for gravity. In normal quantum field theory, it’s often easier to go to Euclidean space and use Wick rotation, but for quantum gravity Neil is arguing that this technique stops being rigorous. Instead, you should stay in Lorentzian space, and use a more powerful mathematical technique called Picard-Lefschetz theory.

    Using this technique, Neil found that Hartle and Hawking’s nicely behaved result was mistaken, and the real result of what Hartle and Hawking were proposing looks more like Vilenkin’s tunneling proposal.

    Neil then tried to see what happens when there’s some small perturbation from a perfect de Sitter universe. In general in physics if you want to trust a result it ought to be stable: small changes should stay small. Otherwise, you’re not really starting from the right point, and you should instead be looking at wherever the changes end up taking you. What Neil found was that the Hartle-Hawking and Vilenkin proposals weren’t stable. If you start with a small wiggle in your no-boundary universe you get, not the purple middle drawing with small wiggles, but the red one with wiggles that rapidly grow unstable. The implication is that the Hartle-Hawking and Vilenkin proposals aren’t just secretly the same, they also both can’t be the stable state of the universe.

    Neil argues that this problem is quite general, and happens under the following conditions:

    A universe that begins smoothly and semi-classically (where quantum corrections are small) with no sharp boundary,
    with a positive cosmological constant (the de Sitter universe mentioned earlier),
    under which the universe expands many times, allowing the small fluctuations to grow large.
    If the universe avoids one of those conditions (maybe the cosmological constant changes in the future and the universe stops expanding, for example) then you might be able to avoid Neil’s argument. But if not, you can’t have a smooth semi-classical beginning and still have a stable universe.

    Now, no debate in physics ends just like that. Hartle (and collaborators) don’t disagree with Neil’s insistence on Picard-Lefschetz theory, but they argue there’s still a way to make their proposal work. Neil mentioned at the group meeting that he thinks even the new version of Hartle’s proposal doesn’t solve the problem, he’s been working out the calculation with his collaborators to make sure.

    I know it is a bit much, but it is a good explanation of why this model is not widely accepted.



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    This part:
    Changes in state (going from not existing to existing) require causation.


    Please provide a coherent explanation for "going from not existing to existing", as we have no actual examples of this.
    We don't?

    What is this:


    And what is this:



    If we go from the state in picture 1 to the state in picture 2, a chair has been created.

    Now, your obvious objection will be "the individual atoms were already there, they were just rearranged!" To which I will ask "and?" The rearranging of atoms is an information creation process (IE that information comes into existence) that is fundamentally described in physics (see my discussion about the information loss problem originally part of black hole theory). Thus we cannot simply dismiss that information and arrangement creation as irrelevant as it is fundamentally described in thermodynamics as an underlying law for the universe.

    What's more, we can reject your objection further with the example of virutal particles (which cause Hawking Radiation). These are particles that pop into existence at the quantum level and after a brief period annihilate themselves. These particles don't appear out of nothing as is sometimes described, but come from probabilistic fluctuations to the quantum foam that exists at the Planck distance level of the universe.

    Thus, we have two examples of the causation proposed in my argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I won't say it's incoherent but I assume you will agree that "cause" requires linear time.
    I don't see why that would be the case. Given, for example, quantum entanglement the cause and effect are simultaneous, no linear time is required for the state change of the particles. We can even remove the state change here and retain the causation. If particle 1 is spinning downward, it causes particle 2 to spin upward to retain information symmetry. No time is taken in that sentence, it is a static description that requires 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.


 

 
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