Can we imagine death?

  • Thread starter Martini
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  • #26
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wittgenstein said:
If we provisionally define God as the foundation of reality ( ultimate meaning) then sense ultimate meaning has no explanation, then God cannot explain himself even to himself! God is a mystery to himself!

What if god isn't as constrained in ability and capacity as us humans? Would the logic of the ant be sufficient to explain to herself the concept of counterfactual definiteness?
 
  • #27
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"What if god isn't as constrained in ability and capacity as us humans?"
Wavejumper
I have provisionally accepted that God is all knowing.However, since there isn't an answer to why God exists, God himself/herself has no idea why he/she exists! The question,' why does God exist" is a meaningless question, like asking ' is the number 5 married'?:surprised
 
  • #28
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wittgenstein said:
"What if god isn't as constrained in ability and capacity as us humans?"
Wavejumper
I have provisionally accepted that God is all knowing.However, since there isn't an answer to why God exists, God himself/herself has no idea why he/she exists! The question,' why does God exist" is a meaningless question, like asking ' is the number 5 married'?:surprised

No it is not. You are making a very unwarranted and possibly very wrong assumption that human logic is the end all, be all. We are not Gods, i think most everybody will agree with that. Our logic and intuition are amazing, but we are not all-knowing. You cannot claim:

"since there isn't an answer to why God exists, God himself/herself has no idea why he/she exists"


because you, as all other humans, are just an evolved social animal. You are not God and you don't know everything to make such a sweeping statement. If i had to take a guess, i'd say that you hardly know more than a few billionths of a percent of all there is to know in the universe. That you don't know why a God may exist is no reason to believe god himself wouldn't know. Just 120 years ago, your great grandfathers were riding carts and used candles instead of electricity. It's way too early to conclude that human logic is all powerful, we have a long way to go and judging by the current state of physics, we have completely lost our way towards understanding reality.

And most of all, it's a logical fallacy to postulate that a NOT all-knowing entity can describe/understand a presumed all-knowing entity.
 
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  • #29
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Ultimate meaning by definition has no explanation. If it had an explanation it would not be ultimate (foundational). The IQ of the thinker ( God or otherwise does not enter the equation). Something without an explanation will still not have an explanation no matter how all knowing the thinker may be.
 
  • #30
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wittgenstein said:
Ultimate meaning by definition has no explanation. If it had an explanation it would not be ultimate (foundational). The IQ of the thinker ( God or otherwise does not enter the equation). Something without an answer will still not have an answer no matter how all knowing the thinker may be.

So if the ant says there is no answer why there are 4 seasons in the northern hemisphere, does this mean that there fundamentally is no reason why seasons change?
 
  • #31
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Read my post again. Your response has nothing to do with what we are talking about.
 
  • #32
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What do you disagree with? Are you saying that ultimate meaning has an explanation?
 
  • #33
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"Existence is not a predicate"
Kant
Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?
Stephen Hawking
Put the two quotes together and I can see why existence cannot have an explanation.
 
  • #34
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In other words, abstractions ( the source of thought and meaning) cannot define or explain existence. Suppose some genius answered Hawking's question. The answer would still have to be in a set of rules and equations.
 
  • #35
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wittgenstein said:
In other words, abstractions ( the source of thought and meaning) cannot define or explain existence. Suppose some genius answered Hawking's question. The answer would still have to be in a set of rules and equations.


Not necessarily. Hawking is not God either, that's a given(and btw he was referring to something like God that could explain why the hypothetical TOE is the way it is). Our logic is constantly evolving, we are adding new layers of logic to our understanding of the universe, we are building on our conceptual model of how everything fits together, almost on a daily basis. In time, we will likely find more and more answers including to the questions that you so vehemently assert there is no answer. It has been like that for 200 000 years, I have ZERO reasons to believe this trend will change today afternoon, or next Saturday. That's why i gave you the example with the ant, we are still the ant but will we still be the ant in the year 3305?

There is some weird and uncanny relationship between the human mind and the implicit and explicit order in this universe with its thousands physical laws governing its orderly and predictable behaviour. Even if we aren't special, you could say that the universe appears set up for intelligent life to explore it. Why is this so, pick your guess, we are still ants. No one can explain Why there is causality any better than "it's how the laws of physics are". We essenitally don't know why they are the way they are, we only know how they are.
 
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  • #36
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wittgenstein said:
Ultimate meaning by definition has no explanation. If it had an explanation it would not be ultimate (foundational). The IQ of the thinker ( God or otherwise does not enter the equation). Something without an answer will still not have an answer no matter how all knowing the thinker may be.


WaveJumper said:
So if the ant says there is no answer why there are 4 seasons in the northern hemisphere, does this mean that there fundamentally is no reason why seasons change?
wittgenstein said:
Read my post again. Your response has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

I've read it 5 times and i am failing to see how it has nothing to do with your post. You are asserting that your logic is God-like and all-powerful and thus conclude that the existence of God is meaningless. To this i objected with the example of the ant that couldn't grasp the concept of counterfactual-definiteness and the reason seasons change. That an evolving human can't currently understand something is not a reason to believe there is fundamentally no reason. You don't know for a fact if Ultimate meaning has no explanation, you assert it based on your wrong assumption that your logic is all powerful and god-like(which it sadly is not).
 
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  • #37
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wittgenstein said:
What do you disagree with?
This statement:

wittgenstein said:
If we provisionally define God as the foundation of reality ( ultimate meaning) then sense ultimate meaning has no explanation, then God cannot explain himself even to himself! God is a mystery to himself!

presupposes the assumption that human logic is the ultimate(God-like) logic that could ever exist, hence you make the bold conclusion that if a human can't currently comprehend an event or occurence, then there fundamentally cannot possibly be an explanation(meaning) for it. I don't agree with this line of reasoning as i don't view human reasoning as all-powerful at this stage of development.

Will we in time become god-like? If we survive as species, I can bet on it.



Are you saying that ultimate meaning has an explanation?
Possibly, even if we don't find it. I wouldn't make a definite statement but the last 200 000 years of homo sapiens existence leave little room for doubt that the concepts "reason" and "meaning" have a special place in what you call a Universe.
 
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  • #38
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"Our logic is constantly evolving, we are adding new layers of logic to our understanding of the universe, we are building on our conceptual* model of how everything fits together, almost on a daily basis."
Wavejumper
* this implies abstractions and logic implies rules and equations.

Of course you can redefine logic and say that it includes mystical knowing but that would ( to me) be a bit of a stretch.
PS; We are debating religion and I hope that we will ignore the emotional intensity of the subject. You have and I have, but it is very easy to get angry when one's fundamental beliefs are challenged.
 
  • #39
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"Are you saying that ultimate meaning has an explanation?"
ME

"Possibly, even if we don't find it. I wouldn't make a definite statement but the last 200 000 years of homo sapiens existence leave little room for doubt that the concepts "reason" and "meaning" have a special place in what you call a Universe."
Wavejumper
But if ultimate meaning had a meaning ( an explanation) it would not be ultimate ( foundational). Yes, logic has a very important place in the universe. However, we are talking about foundational concepts, concepts that by definition cannot be explained.
 
  • #40
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In the event that time did not exist before the big bang, or if it (or many other of the natural/universal laws/properties) were dissimilar that what we're familiar with, I would think that our logic wouldn't work. Without time, or with a different sort of time, there would be no cause and effect relationships as we know them. And if you want to twist your noodle, try imagining a universe in which the consequent preceded the antecedent, or they happened simultaneously!

However, I think it's presumptuous to assume that that means there IS no answer; it just may be an answer that doesn't conform to the laws of the observable universe we know and love.
 
  • #41
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My point is that an explanation of the ultimate explanation violates the definition of ultimate explanation. Ultimate ( foundational) implies that their are no more explanations. Of course,one can say P and not P and that God understands reality this way*, but that is mystical thinking not logic. For example saying P and not P is like saying," a square circle." I quoted Hawking because I thought he made the idea clear. In order to explain existence one cannot ultimately use logic, rules of thought or equations because they only yield more rules of thought and equations.
* Note that I am not saying that God is wrong to think this way. I am only saying that such an understanding is outside logic and rationality and that is why I have called it mystical.
 
  • #42
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I am familiar with quantum logic.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dialetheism/

However, I find it mystical ( not in a supernatural sense) because it violates the core of our common sense logic (P and not P). True people know how to use it but.... Imagine a geometry based on a square circle. Some people will be able to make calculations with it.However, I would say that they do not know what a square circle is, even tho the entire geometry is based on it. Knowing how to get answers that conform to reality without knowing why things are that way is similar to magic. I know the magic formulas but don't ask me why they work ( why they can make empirical predictions)!
 
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  • #43
tchitt
Let's say that there is no afterlife, no reincarnation, nothing but death.
Can we imagine death?
Every time you try to think about death, you end up having a thought.
So what do you think about this?
I imagine it'll be a lot like it was 23 years ago before I was conceived.
 
  • #44
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wittgenstein said:
My point is that an explanation of the ultimate explanation violates the definition of ultimate explanation. Ultimate ( foundational) implies that their are no more explanations. Of course,one can say P and not P and that God understands reality this way*, but that is mystical thinking not logic. For example saying P and not P is like saying," a square circle." I quoted Hawking because I thought he made the idea clear. In order to explain existence one cannot ultimately use logic, rules of thought or equations because they only yield more rules of thought and equations.
* Note that I am not saying that God is wrong to think this way. I am only saying that such an understanding is outside logic and rationality and that is why I have called it mystical.

It is(only) currently mystical. There may not be such a thing as a foundational reality, haven't we already been introduced to infinities in black holes and in the still theoretical singularity? In fact, if reality doesn't stretch to infinity, as in some form of a MWI, i'd say existence would seem both impossible(what exists and where?) and probably an illusion(i presume the human mind is a valid tool to understand reality, if it is not, absolutely everyone is wrong). I even consider the idea of a multiverse much more brain-friendly that the idea of something existing into nothing(or something that exists into non-existence).

But wouldn't you say that these guys would have found the existence of the Internet and Facebook quite mystical and outside all logic and rationality?

http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/8821/picture1v.jpg [Broken]



My other point is this - at T=0 something happened, something that led to the expansion and unfolding of the universe to its present state. We have seen causality being preserved every second after the Big Bang(we wouldn't have gained knowledge had it been otherwise). Doesn't it sound logical that what you call "there is no Why" is simply the cause of the emergence of the Universe?

What rationality dictates that we deny a cause for the appearance of the universe?
 
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  • #45
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"But wouldn't you say that these guys would have found the existence of the Internet and Facebook quite mystical and outside all logic and rationality?"
Wavejumper
No because postulating the internet or face book does not imply P and not P. Well, Ok...They may actually say such a thing but it is only because they do not know the proper definition of mystical. Most people do not. Mystical has nothing to do with the occult or supernatural physical objects. Ghosts ( the concept as there are no ghosts) for example are supernatural physical objects as are angels because they possess a geometry. Mysticism is about ways of thinking not descriptions of geometrical forms. Asking a mystic if he/she believes in ghosts is like asking a republican if evolution is correct, some do some do not. Either way evolution is not related to the way a republican thinks.
"Doesn't it sound logical that what you call "there is no Why" is simply the cause of the emergence of the Universe?"
Wavejumper
Yes, but that first cause by definition has no cause or explanation and that is why it is outside logic. Perhaps, there are alternative ways of comprehending existence. However, logic and rationality by definition must fail when considering first causes. Hawking ( in the quote I gave) seems to be asking," where did the laws of physics come from"? If you answer that with a physics equation then you will then have to ask," where did that equation come from." Do they exist in some eternal Platonic realm ( I don't believe so) and somehow descend into physical reality? If they do not then they also have an explanation and we are back to an infinite regress. The only solution ( it seems to me) is to bite the bullet and say that the creation of the universe was ultimately caused by an event that does not have an explanation and that reality is ultimately irrational.
 
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  • #46
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PS; I am not saying that a mystical way of thinking can explain ultimate causes. Actually, as I have said no one knows the answer because there is no answer. However, I am willing to entertain the idea that there is a way outside logic that can explain ultimate causes.
 

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