A logical proof of a creator?

  • #51
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Yes of course it is all a great pile of assumptions. How may times must this be agreed?

But the argument is that only certain assumptions about the nature of reality will prove to be self-consistent and thus logically regular over time. So metaphysics is about finding the least number of assumptions to generate a realistic model of the reality we experience.


You mean the assumption of free-will will ever be proved or disproved? How?
Or the assumption of a mind-independent reality will be falsified? How?
Or it will be falsified that other minds, beside mine exist? How?
Or the assumption that we are able to understand reality? How?

Are any of these "self-consistent assumptions"? Or "regular over time"?



It's perfectly alright to make assumptions as a starting point for our investigations and as a foundation on which we will build our scientific theories. It's only when you reach for some fundamental truths like the origin of the universe, something out of nothing, creators, etc. that those assumptions become problematic.



The invariances of nature as Nozick put it.

There need be nothing cloudy about the principles on which we chose our assumptions (and reject others).

A journey not yet completed is not the same as a journey that cannot even be started - which is what you keep falsely attempting to argue.



There is nothing cloudy really about the "principles on which we chose our assumptions", and i never claimed otherwise. I did claim however that we are choosing our assumptions mainly on aestetic grounds, as to remove god from the equation. This is quite understandable in a secular society and wouldn't make sense had it been otherwise. However, we should be aware that those assumptions are taken for granted and not examined(and they couldn't be anyway). They could all be wrong.


Because even the first vague stirrings of organisation, of a fruitful direction, of an emergence of a global regularity or law, becomes self-reinforcing.


This is how nothing becomes something? "vague stirrings of organisation" means exactly nothing without a context. You need a context and a set of laws for anything to be starting a "vague stirrings of organisation". The "emergence of a global regularity or law, becomes self-reinforcing" is no different than the "emergence of a universe with laws as a self-reinforcing system". It's simply no explanation at all.




Who is this "we" that does not understand? I have spent many years with those active in systems science who do understand these basic ideas. Agreed a physics forum almost by definition is the least likely place to find any systems thinkers :tongue:. You have to hang out with neuroscientists, neural networkers, theoretical biologists and ecologists.



No, you do not understand strong emergence. That's why you are so exceptionally vague about potentiality, indeterminancy, vaguness and the "phase transition" to crispness. How did you answer my question about the "global constraints"? What are these constraints and where do they come from? You are basically applying a watered down version of reductionism to a vague idea of nothing becoming something. I can find you neuroscientists and biologists that will make all kinds of weird claims, but when you push them into a corner their understanding of such phenomena quickly turns to personal philosophies.

Human logic requires causality and determinism at minimum and as soon as you posit that some vaguesness is going into a phase transition and becoming something actual, it's no different than magic. Maybe this is how the world works, but you are not justified in assuming that you understand the process involved. You are describing the phenomenon as you observe it, you are not explaining the actual causal chain that leads to strong emergence. That's why a phenomenon is said to "emerge" as opposed to being "resultant" and I am very very skeptical of claims that "strong emergence" has been understood.
 
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  • #52
apeiron
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Sorry Georg but this is a just a bunch of questions and assertions, not an argument.

You have not studied the particular logic in question, as you admit, so it is clearly premature to be passing judgement.
 
  • #53
Sorry Georg but this is a just a bunch of questions and assertions, not an argument.

You have not studied the particular logic in question, as you admit, so it is clearly premature to be passing judgement.

Really? He seems to make points worth responding to, I think.
 
  • #54
apeiron
Gold Member
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Really? He seems to make points worth responding to, I think.

No, he really isn't making points, just misunderstanding and contradicting.

For example,

You mean the assumption of free-will will ever be proved or disproved? How?
Or the assumption of a mind-independent reality will be falsified? How?
Or it will be falsified that other minds, beside mine exist? How?
Or the assumption that we are able to understand reality? How?

Are any of these "self-consistent assumptions"? Or "regular over time"?

If we are modelling, we are free to assume anything. Then the act of measuring a model's prediction proves its utility to us. So the "how" here is already obvious. And the extent to which we can really know the world is plain - never absolute, always pragmatic.

Now which of these working assumptions have not proven their worth over time, and which did I claim could not also in principle be doubted?

And then all this was written as a "response" to my concrete point that metaphysics is about the minimisation of assumptions. (Or in physics, the same information minimisation principle is expressed as a desire for a Theory of Everything). Georg did not make any counter-point to this point, just made some angry noises and confused protest.

So you see how real arguments run. You keep moving along from one consequence to another. 1) We cannot know the world, but we can model it pragmatically. So what are the principles behind good modelling? 2) The minimisation of assumptions (finding models of greatest possible generality). 3) And then the next interesting question is how do we actually minimise assumptions, and what does the minimal set look like?

Georg is not willing to move on, so I simply lose interest in rehashing the initial step of the argument.

There are good books people can go read, like Tor Norretranders' The User Illusion for a popular introduction.
 
  • #55
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No, he really isn't making points, just misunderstanding and contradicting.

For example,



If we are modelling, we are free to assume anything. Then the act of measuring a model's prediction proves its utility to us. So the "how" here is already obvious. And the extent to which we can really know the world is plain - never absolute, always pragmatic.

Now which of these working assumptions have not proven their worth over time, and which did I claim could not also in principle be doubted?

And then all this was written as a "response" to my concrete point that metaphysics is about the minimisation of assumptions. (Or in physics, the same information minimisation principle is expressed as a desire for a Theory of Everything). Georg did not make any counter-point to this point, just made some angry noises and confused protest.



Apeiron, I was merely sticking to the topic. Just to remind you the topic is "A logical proof of a creator?", so we are discussing everything within the context of a hypothetical creator. I was objecting to the idea that our models will lead us to some fundamental truths(i.e. disprove god), because those models could well be flawed by the unprovable assumptions that we are forced to make. Even if you minimized the number of asumptions, you will still be stuck with a few indispensible ones. We always think of something within the context of something else. Before we can even begin to form and express a thought, we are building a context for it. With the fundamental questions, that context is our assumptions and they are here to stay. You assume that the laws of nature haven't changed in the past, you assume that time flows, that there is an observer-independent reality, that the universe wasn't created yesterday with our memories fixed as they, that we have free-will and are free in our decisions and thoughts, that the beginning must be understandable, that determinism and causality must have hold around that time(13 billion years ago or more), that we are not in a software program, that we can reach the smallest constituents of the world and build up ALL the phenomena we observe from their interactions, and so on and so forth. We haven't made any real progress on the fundamental questions; the universe(i will call it reality as it sounds less ambiguous) is much more incomprehensible than it was a century ago and the models that you are mentioning in the above quote are on shakier ground than they were in the 19th century. All this is in the context of what is mysterious and what is not about our reality and what conclusion can be drawn on a hypotetical god based on the current knowledge we have.




So you see how real arguments run. You keep moving along from one consequence to another. 1) We cannot know the world, but we can model it pragmatically. So what are the principles behind good modelling? 2) The minimisation of assumptions (finding models of greatest possible generality). 3) And then the next interesting question is how do we actually minimise assumptions, and what does the minimal set look like?

Georg is not willing to move on, so I simply lose interest in rehashing the initial step of the argument.

There are good books people can go read, like Tor Norretranders' The User Illusion for a popular introduction.


That's the scientific view and very few scientists are interested in truths, as that would clearly be a philosophical question. The scientific view doesn't have an answer as to how the universe became whatever it is now. It has competeing models and heated arguments whose model is better. The sad part is that they could all be wrong and this is not some freaky possibility, but a very real one. Those questions still lie deep into the field of philosophy, though there are modest to moderate attempts by cosmology to pull topics out of it. But cosmology moves in sync with the rest of physics, so whatever developments and revolutions take place in the other fields of physics, they take their toll on the models in cosmology. This is how fashion is born in physics, the prevalent model is kept in high regard until new developments and findings require adjustments to the old theory. If experiments no longer confirm said theory, the theory goes to the trash(just look how fast the assumption that the universe was a fixed structure went to the trash bin, when GR came to light). Within these periods there are jumps(revolutions) that propel physics suddenly forward, but lots of times they force us to reassess the assumptions we made earlier. In such times, which happens to be the time of our lifetime now, it's good to keep an open mind to the possibility that the assumptions might be wrong, incl. the assumption that we will understand the universe and thus make existence seem less mystical and mysterious. So getting back to my first post in this thread, the idea that the universe might have been created is definitely not out of the question, though it may be countered that science deals only with the natural(i don't very much agree with this) and such questions should be relegated to philosophy. The bottom-line is this - your proposed models are too deeply rooted in assumptions and are not a good tool for making fundamental discoveries of truths. You can surely use science to disprove god and build models of how the universe might have hypothetically come here, but the assumptions just shine through to the unbiased. And they could all be right or they could all be wrong.
 
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  • #56
apeiron
Gold Member
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Again a bunch of stuff that is your mistaken assumptions about my position than anything that resembles it.

To understand the points I have been making, you would need to read CS Peirce on semiotics and pragmatism. Then Robert Rosen on modelling theory. And also have a good working knowledge of developmental processes and self-organisation.

If you want to believe reality is mysterious, then that is your choice in life. But to me it seems quite surprisingly comprehensible.

You just seem to have a completely backwards take on things. When GR and QM came along, they did not make Newtonian mechanics wrong. Instead they expanded our view by increasing our appreciation of the deeper symmetries that lay beyond this first level of modelling. We knew more about reality as a result, not less.

Again, modelling is logic + measurement. ie: the scientific method. So assumptions are always there to be changed, played around with. They are never "right" in the first place, just pragmatic choices which seemed useful because they demonstrably got us somewhere when plugged into our modelling relationship with the world. And if they were never "right", then neither can they later be "wrong", just improved upon, more general choices made.

God, like anything else, is a fact about the world we would want to model - which means theory AND measurement. That is the only way we could KNOW (as opposed to believe, hope, fool ourselves).

Now the OP was indeed about logical arguments for god. And I pointed out how the standard reductionist approach to logic (which you of course employ) is self-contradictory on the question of creators and creations.

You have failed to respond coherently on that basic issue.

I then said there is another tradition of logical thought based on systems - notions of development, self-organisation, holism, semiosis, etc - where creators and creations become instead stories of self-creation (out of vagueness).

You don't seem to know enough about this alternative to address it. You just dismiss it angrily.
 
  • #57
That's the scientific view and very few scientists are interested in truths, as that would clearly be a philosophical question.

Oh come on, do you really believe that?! What is science if not a search for truth without filling in the blanks with assumptions and speculation? You're making me regret saying anything in your defense. :grumpy:
 
  • #58
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Oh come on, do you really believe that?! What is science if not a search for truth without filling in the blanks with assumptions and speculation? You're making me regret saying anything in your defense. :grumpy:


You could say that it is, as long as you realize what assumptions you are making and assess whether you consider them to be truths.
 
  • #59
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Again a bunch of stuff that is your mistaken assumptions about my position than anything that resembles it.

To understand the points I have been making, you would need to read CS Peirce on semiotics and pragmatism. Then Robert Rosen on modelling theory. And also have a good working knowledge of developmental processes and self-organisation.

If you want to believe reality is mysterious, then that is your choice in life. But to me it seems quite surprisingly comprehensible.



I was looking up the author you referenced when i noticed the last bolded sentence above and gave up. How did you anser my questions about your understanding of reality? How did you answer my question about the global constraints and where they come from? Your response was - read X, Y, Z...
Seeing that you now claim you understand reality, it's quite de-motivating for me to read books that didn't catch the attention of Greene, Kaku, Hawking, Witten, Wheeler, Zeilinger, Davies, Penrose etc. top physicists who never make claims they understand reality.





You just seem to have a completely backwards take on things. When GR and QM came along, they did not make Newtonian mechanics wrong. Instead they expanded our view by increasing our appreciation of the deeper symmetries that lay beyond this first level of modelling. We knew more about reality as a result, not less.



We know more, but we understand reality FAR less. And by far, i mean really far. And yes, that holds for you too, though your ridiculous claims that you have understood it. You have not and that is at least 99.99999999% certain and the above claim reveals that you are failing to grasp conceptually what GR and quantum theory are saying about the world and especially our understanding of it(and even about our ability to understand it). Ok, since you will spout some model that you believe is "true", it's time for me to make a definitive statement - Nobody understands the reality that comes out of GR and QM. And so that you can be absolutely certain about it - that includes you apeiron. The fact that you seem to think otherwise, only proves that you have failed to conceptually realize said theories.


Could you devise an experiment that proves that all of reality is somehow emergent through decoherence or a similar principle? Even that would not be "understanding", but a description, as strongly emergent phenomena are merely described, not understood and your inability to provide contrary evidence, despite my demands, is conclusive of this. "Read a,b,c,d... authors" is not evidence that you understand it, it's rather evidence to the contrary.




Now the OP was indeed about logical arguments for god. And I pointed out how the standard reductionist approach to logic (which you of course employ) is self-contradictory on the question of creators and creations.



It's not if you don't consider your reductionist logic to be applicable to god. You first need to be able to comprehend your own reality, then move on to higher targets like a hypotetical creator. I said this a couple of times now, but yet you seem to think you understand reality. It would have been funny if it wasn't sad. Philosophers need to keep up with the developments in physics, otherwise they'd be fooling themselves even beyond the level of their own skepticism.




You have failed to respond coherently on that basic issue.


That's misinformation. I responded with "It's not if you don't consider your reductionist logic to be applicable to god. You first need to be able to comprehend your own reality, then move on to higher targets like a hypotetical creator." Go to page number 3 and see for ourself. You have failed to show why your logic needs to be applicable to god.




I then said there is another tradition of logical thought based on systems - notions of development, self-organisation, holism, semiosis, etc - where creators and creations become instead stories of self-creation (out of vagueness).

You don't seem to know enough about this alternative to address it. You just dismiss it angrily.



This model is more vague than the vagueness that you keep saying gives birth to our universe. As i've said and you couldn't provide evidence to the contrary - your vagueness model could have given birth to anything - from black-hole eating dolphins to non-visible i-pods. Your theory even fails to explain why we observe our universe as it is, and not in a different form. And if you are going to push "the global constraints" thing, be specific what they are, where they come from and why they are the way they are. And why are they not in a different shape and of different kind?
 
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  • #60
apeiron
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Seeing that you now claim you understand reality....

Yeah, I say reality is surprisingly comprehensible and you jump to this version of what I said. You are still whaling away at straw men of your own imagination.
 

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