# Denial of God (now with logic)

That's like saying it's pointless to wonder if your country has a President.
Not it's not, how exactly did you draw this conclusion? From mid-air?

If everyone completely disregarded the notion of a "leader" our entire world would be in constant chaos(much more so than it is now)

Ok, that's great that you believe that... really I'm happy for you.

I would emphasize following four alternatives:

Possibility 00: There was no original cause, and there is no god.

Possibility 01: There was no original cause, and there is a god.

Possibility 10: There was an original cause, and there is no god.

Possibility 11: There was an original cause, and there is a god.

How could anyone eliminate any of these alternatives by logic? They look all possible to me.

The discussion about original cause reminds me about the sets $]-\infty,\infty[$ and $[0,\infty[$. The set $]-\infty,\infty[$ doesn't have a beginning but the set $[0,\infty[$ does. Consider following claims:

Claim 1: "Time axis is like $[0,\infty[$, and god made time began at $t=0$."

Claim 2: "Time axis is like $]-\infty,\infty[$,and god made time began at $t=-\infty$."

Is the claim 2 more absurd than the claim 1? IMO it's not. They look both something that I have difficulty understanding, and both something that I would not deny as impossible.

What is the original cause of Mandelbrot's fractal?

apeiron
Gold Member
I think set theory is a good thing to mention because we know how that kind of logic fails with self-referential causal situations.

After set theory came category theory. Which is based on dichotomisation - the division into structures and morphisms.

This in turn should lead you to a developmental causality in which figure and ground arise synergistically.

Then to make this trick work, you need a suitable ground of development like vagueness, and recognition of final cause so that what happens as the result of self-organisation can be said to have "causal inevitability".

So translating this to set theoretic terms, vagueness would seem to be the set of all possible sets. But it does not exist. It is just pure possibility.

Then the possible becomes the actual as collections of localised things are grouped by their shared forms. Sets describe the broken symmetry where there are global contexts which allow for local events.

Trying to disprove God(s) using logic is like trying to prove him with logic. In other words, it is futile, absurd, and, well, kind of stupid. It also fails to assume the belief that several theists have, and that is that God(s) transcend logic.

Also, logic is a human invention meant to organize statements and find any tautologies(if any) and truth tables of any compound statements. It is not used to actually experimentally validate statements other than the tautologies like P^(~P).

Is the claim 2 more absurd than the claim 1? IMO it's not.

Remember, the "big bang" theory does postulate there was a beginning. Another point, I'd like to make is that, even if time does not have a beginning or end, that is not a disproof against God(s), except for the possibility of several interpretations of scriptures, such as the literal interpretations of Genesis.

A classical question of philosophy that "why would the universe even bother to exist" (phrased from Feynman), and that can not be explained by logic alone. Therefore, some turn to physics, some turn to God(s), and some turn to both.

Case C: Causation is a poorly understood term,

Agreed. How we view causation is epiphenomena of PHYSICAL LAWS + TIME, that is all. The thing is, BOTH EXIST WITHIN THIS UNIVERSE, so they cannot be applied to WHATEVER PRECEEDED THIS UNIVERSE.

Does this debunk the OP?

In my opinion it's a pointless question so why ask it?

Are you science? I know I'm not science, so I would like to speculate on whether a creater could possibly exist

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apeiron
Gold Member
Agreed. How we view causation is epiphenomena of PHYSICAL LAWS + TIME. The thing is, BOTH EXIST WITHIN THIS UNIVERSE, so they cannot be applied to WHATEVER PRECEEDED THIS UNIVERSE.

Except, if the universe is clearly the result of a broken symmetry, then it does make "logical" sense to talk about its initial conditions as a prior state of symmetry.

We know from physics that our universe does indeed look like the result of a thermodynamic symmetry breaking process.

But then our standard-issue mechanistic logic is not a symmetry breaking model of causality. It is all about how A + B constructs future state C. Not about how past state of symmetry A divides locally~globally (towards a B~C brokenness).

So you have physics telling us one thing - reality is the product of a symmetry-breaking, so implying a prior symmetry. And our logic not being up to the task of representing this fact because it is not itself founded on symmetry-breaking machinery.

The reason for introducing the machinery of vagueness, dichotomies and hierarchies is because this is a symmetry-breaking view of logic to match the scientific observations.

Once logic and observation are aligned, then we can make logical extrapolations about what may be "outside" and "before" the big bang.

I should add, in case there is any doubt, that there is no room for gods in this particular approach as far as I'm concerned. It is a purely physical view.

Gods are posited as the law-givers and world-creators. The systems approach, based on symmetry-breaking models, is all about self-organisation. If you still need a god somewhere - an external cause - the story is not working.

This kind of conventional god is just efficient causation. So again repeating the standard mechanistic shortcoming in which all causality is reduced to just efficient causation.

As Aristotle recognised, there are four causes. You have the dichotomy formed by the material and formal causes (local substance~global form). Then you have another dichotomy in efficient and final cause (local initiating event~global organising purpose).

It takes this kind of holistic package to model a systems-level action like symmetry-breaking.

Having accepted that, the crucial question - so far as origins of universes go - is how to cash out the realisation that in the beginning was not nothing, or even everything (either as a plenum or eternal time), but instead an unbroken symmetry.

Multiverses, lie algebras, quantum mechanics - they are all dipping a toe in that water. But the barrier to clearer understanding is that people still continue to use old logic to extrapolate.

If the physics is telling us the answer is symmetry breaking, then logic needs to be updated to match. Or rather, reconnect with the symmetry breaking models of ancient philosophy.

Are you science? I know I'm not science, so I would like to speculate on whether a creater could possibly exist

Am I science? Do you mean scientist?

As an aside, I don't think any speculation is necessary on whether a creator could possibly exist. It's well-known that it's possible... This doesn't change the fact that trying to prove/disprove a creators existence or looking for diffinitive answers for the existence of such a creator are rediculous and wasteful.

Read apeirons response I found it particularly well written.

Am I science? Do you mean scientist?

As an aside, I don't think any speculation is necessary on whether a creator could possibly exist. It's well-known that it's possible... This doesn't change the fact that trying to prove/disprove a creators existence or looking for diffinitive answers for the existence of such a creator are rediculous and wasteful.

I meant to say that it's disinteresting to science, as it cannot be proven, but interesting on a personal level.

skippy1729
Case D: There was an original cause. The original cause caused itself.

There is a (very speculative) physical model of this "Can the universe create itself?" by Gott and Li, published in a peer reviewed journal (Physical Review D) available at http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9712344. Paper is very technical but there is a nice picture at http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/ps/9712/9712344v1.fig1.gif

Abstract: The question of first-cause has troubled philosophers and cosmologists alike. Now that it is apparent that our universe began in a Big Bang explosion, the question of what happened before the Big Bang arises. Inflation seems like a very promising answer, but as Borde and Vilenkin have shown, the inflationary state preceding the Big Bang must have had a beginning also. Ultimately, the difficult question seems to be how to make something out of nothing. This paper explores the idea that this is the wrong question --- that that is not how the Universe got here. Instead, we explore the idea of whether there is anything in the laws of physics that would prevent the Universe from creating itself. Because spacetimes can be curved and multiply connected, general relativity allows for the possibility of closed timelike curves (CTCs). Thus, tracing backwards in time through the original inflationary state we may eventually encounter a region of CTCs giving no first-cause. This region of CTCs, may well be over by now (being bounded toward the future by a Cauchy horizon). We illustrate that such models --- with CTCs --- are not necessarily inconsistent by demonstrating self-consistent vacuums for Misner space and a multiply connected de Sitter space in which the renormalized energy-momentum tensor does not diverge as one approaches the Cauchy horizon and solves Einstein's equations. We show such a Universe can be classically stable and self-consistent if and only if the potentials are retarded, giving a natural explanation of the arrow of time. Some specific scenarios (out of many possible ones) for this type of model are described. For example: an inflationary universe gives rise to baby universes, one of which turns out to be itself. Interestingly, the laws of physics may allow the Universe to be its own mother.

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apeiron
Gold Member
There is a (very speculative) physical model of this "Can the universe create itself?" by Gott and Li, published in a peer reviewed journal (Physical Review D) available at http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9712344. Paper is very technical but there is a nice picture at http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/ps/9712/9712344v1.fig1.gif
.

The wormhole part of the paper is not convincing. Yes, GR modelling allows their CTCs, but equally, CTCs would conflict with thermodynamic modelling.

Even in GR, without some exotic mechanism, a wormhole would pinch off instantly. Though perhaps "instantly" is still slow enough for their approach.

On the other hand, their description of the early universe as a highly symmetric fuzz of CTCs - an extension of the imaginary time Hartle/Hawking idea - is the kind of concept I mean by vagueness. A foam of possibility where direction is as yet undefined.

Not only does the south pole not have meaning, but east lies symmetrically in all directions (being identical still to west). It needs a symmetry breaking in the direction of north to also make all the other directions distinct.

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This question of 'does god exist' is what has drawn me to do physics at university level, and this thread has given me some food for thought.

This makes sense to me, maybe not you, but I am thinking aloud here...

Of course this question is beyond our current intelligence, just like we can't work out what makes us concious or how the brain and imagination and our infinite memory works.

Re: Big bang, it came from something, and that something came from something too, just as 'god' came from something and so on, to me god is 'infinity' until I know better. It's like infinite self replication but gathering intelligence in the form of different 'mechanisms' of being along the way, the big bang being one of them, and the whole 'creation of living souls' the other. Whatever 'time' is, we need to think of these stages as this 'god gathers' intelligence and mechanisms 'over' time.

Then we get back to the idea as to whether time is infinite, 'infinite' being it has no end, and therefore has no beginning, so there must be some kind CTC, this mechanism being a stage of how god gathers intelligence to make himself appear infinite after the big bang.

But at the moment, all I can logically assume is that this universe is inside another universe, that at the moment we cannot enter (blackholes?) What is the fabric of intelligence inside this outer universe? Does 'our god' represent a sentient being in this outer universe? Maybe our universe is just a scientific experiment within that universe created by 'god', and he is the same for an outer universe for his existence etc.

Which brings us back to the infinite cycle of existence.

Something else that also needs asking is if god is a sentient being within an outer universe then do we have the intelligence to work out such matter... if you built a robot, would it be able to work out how itself works or how he is 'concious', let alone who or what built it.

Personally I think the more we can work out about our own inner workings (brain, conciousness etc) only then we can begin to imagine how our creator designed us and then who 'he' really is, and then 'where' he is, and 'why' he made us. But I don't think 'life forms' as we know it was programmed to ever have the intelligence to even comprehend the idea of it's creator.

One final though, we are our parents kids etc etc, it's a cycle... just like the idea of a CTC, it's self replication.

And I can't think any more about it at the moment.

So, is there a God or not?

Yes.

I agree. Although I can't prove it.

I submit that there is a Case C to include with cases A and B mentioned prior below....

Case C: There was in fact an original cause. However, if prior to that orignial cause there was an obsolute void of both time and space, then I would conclude that it would be not only possible, but probably likely, to have an orignial cause without a prior cause. In this case, an endless loop would not apply since time did not exist as well as space.

Lisi, Hawking, LHC and others are doing important work, but even after Higgs particle is explained and proven, it will still leave this question unanswered.
.................................................................................................

Starting question: What was the original cause that started everything, how can there be an original cause without god?

Response:

Case A: There was no original cause; the universe always was and always will be.
Result: No god.

Case B: There was an original cause. Then what caused the original cause? Another cause would lead to an infinite loop and achieve nothing, so the original cause must always have existed. Why couldn't the universe have always existed, it would be illogical to think otherwise?
Result: No god.[/QUOTE]

I agree. Although I can't prove it.

I believe a dragon lives in my garage but I can't prove that either. Sorry.