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God Not Needed for TOE

  1. Apr 26, 2005 #1
    I have thought much on this question, and I have concluded that God will not be needed for any eventual TOE. In fact, the question of His existence either way shall play no part.

    There are only four possibilities:

    1. Assume there is no God. Assume no TOE is ever found. God's existence is irrelevant.
    2. Assume there is no God. Assume a satisfactory TOE is found. God's existence is irrelevant.
    3. Assume there is a God. Assume no TOE is ever found. God's existence is irrelevant.
    4. Assume there is a God. Assume a satisfactory TOE is found. This is the only alternative in which God's existence might, at least initially, be conjectured to be relevant.

    The entire rest of this thought follows the assumption that God exists. I do not want to have to keep clarifying that I am talking about Alternative 4 in the following reasoning. It is in the model of (God intersection TOE|…) then…

    Those who claim the existence of God universally declare that His attributes are found in this physical universe. For instance, gravity is the physical reflection of the attractive power of God's love. Light, by which we see, is the physical manifestation of the spiritual reality of His Truth. And so on. Depending upon the belief system, the physical forces are actually, physically God, or are symbolic representations of God’s attributes. I do not think there is any belief system that does not specify this in one way or another. Certainly, this is the case of the major world religions (Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrian, Bahá’í, etc.). Furthermore, there exists a relationship between His love and His Truth, even if we do not know at this time all the laws governing that relationship. There is a relationship between gravity and light, even if we do not know at this time all the laws governing that relationship.

    Those who insist on the existence of God go on to tell us He created us purposefully. In fact, anything this God does MUST BE purposeful. Else the whole point of our creation is meaningless, and the whole definition of God becomes nonsense. From this we draw the conclusion, and the God proponents say the same, that one of the reasons God put us in this physical plane of existence is so that we shall discover these Truths and these relationships, as well as the relationship between God and ourselves.

    Clearly, one of the paths to Him which He gave, then, is this reflection of the spiritual Truths in the physical reality. He has put His signs everywhere, say the God proponents, in infinite ways, in order to accomplish this. A tautology MUST BE that if God is Infinite, and His creation reflects His Truths, then His signs are manifest in infinite ways.

    In fact, there is no quality claimed of God that is not reflected somehow in this physical plane: He creates, mothers give birth, the Big Bang bangs. He is just, we set up court systems and teach children to take turns. Mohammed says all things He created male and female. We have conservation and equal and opposite reaction. He is infinite. The creation is infinite (parallel universes and so many other theories...).

    Consequently, given a God, the initial creation of the whole universe must be a reflection of one or more spiritual realities. Since the physical universe reflects these spiritual realities, there will be physical correspondences to this creation. There is cardinality between spiritual Truth and physical manifestation.

    Since those who claim God exists say we were meant to discover the spiritual realities, and since this universe reflects those spiritual realities, there will be discoverable spiritual realities that are physically reflected in the origin and workings of this cosmos.

    Thus, regardless of whether there may be a reason to say the original Cause could not have existed without God, by the explanations of those who are God proponents, we need not have God present in order to discover the reality of the origin of the universe. We need to find the physical reflection in this plane of whatever spiritual realities caused the origin. Just as we did not use God to discover any of the other realities of modern physics, we do not need God to discover this one. Given God, or not given God, that physical reality exists now. Apparently, by the arguments of the God proponents, we are meant to discover it, as one more sign of the reality of God, and one more way to increase our understanding of His nature.

    To sum, creation must have a physical cause and the physical signs are meant to be discovered. Hence, they are discoverable.

    Hence, God's existence is irrelevant to a TOE under any alternative.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2005 #2
    What is a TOE?
  4. May 14, 2005 #3
    It's a mythical creation of hyper-rationalist people who believe the universe is made of numbers.
  5. May 14, 2005 #4
    TOE stands for Theory of Everything. It attempts to unify the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, the electromagnetic force and gravity under a single theory. Some theorize that all four fundamental interactions can be described in a single equation.

    That statement is ignorant at best and deceptive at worst. :rolleyes:
  6. May 14, 2005 #5
    this kind of posts are what push people out of here: ok, be religious, be theist, stick to your position, we atheists and scientific people (rational-logical) aren't like yours that try to convert us, we do leave you do think like that.

    About the topic of the thread, good prove, I think equally about god and TOE. Although if you see, TOE is paradoxical (in language). And if it really meant what it's word do, then god, would HAVE to be included in TOE.
  7. May 14, 2005 #6
    "We atheists and scientific people"... don't make me laugh. How do you know I'm not atheist and scientific? I certainly didn't mention God in my post.

    And if you think the idea of a set of mathematical equations accounting for "everything" is not a myth, please state your case. I'm all ears.
  8. May 14, 2005 #7


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    Who says all theists are out there spending their days trying to convert people? And when did religion and science become mutually exclusive?
  9. May 14, 2005 #8
    When insecure people need to bolster their (non)beliefs with logic and reasonning that is provided by others because they aren't capable of doing the work themselves.
  10. May 14, 2005 #9
    The only myth is your misinterpretation of TOE to mean "the universe is made of numbers", and that it claims to account for "everything".

    The electroweak theory has already unified the electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force. There is also some success in a Grand Unified Theory, to unify three of the four fundamental interactions. If you can falsify TOE then present your supporting evidence. Otherwise your claim is nothing but an unsubstantiated opinion.
  11. May 15, 2005 #10
    For the second question, they aren't mutually esclusive. (I was trying to speek about atheism not about scinece, but it was him that used the rational thinking (=scientists)).

    For the first question, not all theists spend their time trying to convert people, I mean that they have spend the time converting people during history, and it is true.

    Please stick to the discussion about the TOE and god in this thread.
  12. May 15, 2005 #11
    If it doesn't account for everything, why is it called a theory of everything?

    What claim? The only thing I claimed is that some people believe "everything" can be expressed through mathematical equations, although you were quick enough to defend their position by claiming that by "everything" they don't really mean "everything". So I guess their literary shortcomings can be excused after all; physicists and engineers are notorious for not knowing how to write proper English.

    I don't even know why I'm wasting time with this. I thought the person asking what TOE means was trying to make a subtle point. It didn't occur to me someone in a philosophy forum wouldn't know what TOE stands for. My apologies, and I'm outta here.
  13. May 15, 2005 #12
    i wonder, do these assumptions cover all options to this debate?

    eg. many will argue God exists but not with the same attributes as you grant. an attribute-less god is a common concept in eastern philosophy.

    but to say god is irrelevent and therefore TOE should ignore all discussion of gods existence is probably going a bit far, simply because the study of god (albeit a philosophy with similar beliefs to consciousness, soul, spirit, etc) is a universally human discipline at least, if not more developed and advanced than any contemporary scientific theory emerging in the last couple of centuries.

    therefore if any TOE was to be formed, surely it would be advantageous (and simply more harmonious!) to incorporate some simple philosophic axioms etc, that acknowledge the position of scientific discourse within the huge array of belief systems and ways of life on earth, many of which incorperate god.

    i suppose for an objective TOE to be formed, generalisations must be made, and there will always be phenomena that will not be covered within its limits. phenomena is subjective AND objective, and even this simple binary distinction is a manifestation of the intellect. in fact all that there is and all that there is not simply is as it is, or is not what it is not.

    as soon as one intellectualises anything, one imposes manifestations of the mind upon that thing, therefore limiting it to the understanding of the intellect.

    The Thing over there,
    Is not what is seems,
    It is what it is,
    Do you know what that means?

    Try as you might, it finds a way out,
    If it didn't the ego would explode, no doubt!

    I know it not, but nothing knows it well: so well that nothing will not tell.

  14. May 15, 2005 #13
    Let me see...For Faust: I am using the TOE as it is commonly used.

    Theory of everything
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    A theory of everything (TOE) is a theory of theoretical physics and mathematics that fully explains and links together all known physical phenomena (i.e. "everything").

    If you wish to re-define the meaning of TOE, I have no problem. However, in a message forum such as this, we have to start somewhere, using some kind of common vocabulary. So what I am trying to address is one aspect of the God question I see pop up in these forums repeatedly. It seems that your re-definition of the term might make a different, and perhaps interesting thread, but it is beyond the scope of the logic herein. It is understanding natural phenomena I am addressing.

    My main concern revolves around the way God topics are discussed in these threads. People pick at particular aspects of the issue, or the thinking isn't clear because both sides start out from emotional biases, or because people talk entirely different languages. Consequently, for one aspect of the God topics only--whether we need God in order to understand the physical realm--I tried to make a level playing field.

    For instance, there is no indication of my own beliefs about God's existence. That way leads to emotional responses. Similarly, there is no use of physics language vs. theological language. In order to address the issue, I tried to use theological language only. I am unsure if people in prior threads realized that there was an inherent communications gap of people speaking "science" and people speaking "religion". It had the unfortunate consequence of building in an inability to understand each the other side. It makes an automatic "us" vs. "them." Such threads devolve into emotional "my quantam is bigger than your God" responses. Similarly there is no real need to debate, in my argument, even whether God exists or does not exist. The conclusion is the same, either way.

    I do not claim my logic succeeded, altho nothing posted so far says it did not. I am just one fallible person meditating on one aspect of the God discussions that recur at regular intervals in these forums.

    In my study of world religions, I find the concept of phyical reality reflecting spiritual reality to be universal. For some religions, such as the Baha'i Faith, it is explicit dogma. For some, such as Islam, the Scriptures are replete with example after example after example. For some, such as Christianity, it is analogy based upon discourses by many theologians, ministers, sermons, etc. That is to say, it is a common theme. Please note that none of these religions necessarily say that God possesses these attributes. They merely state that our finite minds understand God predominately through attributes. Consequently, God cohesively and mercifully and generously (ah! attributes!) created physical reality so as to have all ways back to Him. God's actual attributes or lack of them are not relevant to humanity's search for Him. All that is relevant is what we can comprehend. I did not mean to slight any religions here by not mentioning them. I just wanted to make my point with a few examples.

    The four possible outcomes I list, which seem to me to be exhaustive, do not rely on whether God has any attributes or not. I realize the issue may appear to come up in the rest of the post. However, I do not believe that it does. The logic in the post is not about God, it is what the God proponents teach about God. Someone else objected privately that these are not his beliefs about God. To that, I must respond that no posting can address all the individual beliefs extant, nor does any proof have to prove all things to all people. It is only with majorities we may address issues of teaching, understanding and belief.

    For instance, there is a current thread in the Skepticism and Debunking Forum about attempting to disprove the existence of God. I make the point therein that there exist people who do not believe Apollo missions landed on the moon. It is unnecessary to prove to them such missions happened. No discussion is needed about the worthiness of these people, nor of the practicality or truthfulness of their beliefs: not because they may be wrong, but solely because they are in the minority. The bell curve assures many thoughts about all topics.

    There is no proof of all things for all people. There cannot be. The only issue is whether we can establish a theory that is internally consistent, has no meaningful observational contradictions, has meaningful observational support, and is in agreement with other lines of knowledge. These are the tests of scientific theory. If we establish such a theory, we can address the majority of people.

    I wish to emphasize an oft-overlooked consideration of scientific theory: It must be in agreement with other lines of knowledge. The reason this is important is that there is no proof of all things for all people. People believe things because those things seem to people to be Cohesive. The things repeat other places, they have consistent analogies across unrelated lines of investigation, they appear to have a common or even universal theme (e.g., fractals; quantum uncertainty; entropy; spacetime curvature and men moving in the straightest line to female curves [just kidding!]) General occurance of findings makes us comfortable. However, it also reflects the need inside us to find patterns and order, and to create such things as conspiracy theories, astrology, thunder gods, and so, so many other things. We must, then, be on guard against seeming Cohesiveness.

    Let us stipulate for the sake of this post that there is a study of God that is "more developed and advanced than any contemporary scientific theory emerging in the last couple of centuries." I am unsure what is the logical connection to the TOE. You do not seem to make this connection. Rather, it appears to my no doubt limited intellect that you are saying:

    1. People WANT God to be connected to the TOE;
    2. If knowledge exists somewhere, then that knowledge, regardless of subject matter, must be applied to the TOE.

    Probably I am reading your words incorrectly, or you are assuming I have some common knowledge which, through no fault of yours, I remain ignorant of. I apologize for my defect. However, as I read your words, there seems no demonstration that we must look beyond physical science to understand fully physical phenomena.

    What you say may be true, but still not invalidate my original post. I, personally, would enjoy such a union, if one could be made. I do not yet see why it is proven necessary. There is an inherent flip side to my original post: if God exists, and if physical reality is an inherent manifestation of those Divine attributes that we can understand in this reality, then we could find a TOE faster by combining science and religion. Note that the TOE would be the same either way. It would be physical law describing physical action, with no God required to be part of the physical process. However, the TOE would be a reflection of spiritual law governing spiritual action. It would yield the most fundamental "why" of all. A corollary to this flip side is that is possible the physcial TOE may do more to explain God than much "religion" currently does to explain either God or the TOE.

    I am not proposing this flip side is true in this response. I am merely speculating.

    I love the poem. Thanx for including it. I agree that our intellects race well ahead of our comprehension. That is the intellect's job, I think. I also believe that our knowledge will always be subject to a sort of universal Heizenberg's Principle. But I do not believe we cannot understand the relationship of gravity to the other three forces of the universe.
  15. May 16, 2005 #14
    Fair enough. I was criticizing the term as defined, not your usage of it, which is why I didn't criticize your post. I didn't find much wrong with it, by the way.

    I have seen some philosophers propose theories which account for really everything, not only known physical phenomena. Some people think a theory of everything must explain everything, which includes, well, everything, including physical phenomena not yet known. Now of course in such theories physics is just a special case of a more generic model; the important point, though, is that some of them do require the concept of God. So God may be required for a TOE after all.
  16. May 16, 2005 #15
    The Attraction of the Metaphysical

    I admit the pull of the "flip side" I discussed above. It strikes me that if:

    1. There is a God; and
    2. His attributes--that is to say, the attributes which we commonly ascribe to God, whether He is, in fact, attributeless or not--are reflected in physical reality, then

    if we have a TOEPhysical, we have the basis for a TOE. Contrarily, if we have a TOEMetaphysical, we have the basis for the TOE. In this regard, I am, for this one posting, using TOE to be a combination of TOEPhysical plus TOEMetaphysical.

    Furthermore, still given the same two predicates as above, then Science and Religion must have been meant to be two sides of the same coin (Truth) from the beginning of Humanity's comprehension. If that were so, we should see evidence of the world's Scriptures simultaneously explaining both the Spiritual and the Physical realms from the earliest Scriptures. In fact, finding such evidence would be, if not a definitive proof, at least an indication of the validity of the Scriptures itself.

    Now before people start lambasting me with posts of how all this is true for their Scripture, let me say I have studied the threads already existing in these forums regarding God, creation and the like. I do not see any sign of insight for a comprehensive theory, as I have described a valid theory in my posting above. So I do not wish a repeat here of the same things that have already been claimed or described in other threads. A comprehensive theory, "that is internally consistent, has no meaningful observational contradictions, has meaningful observational support, and is in agreement with other lines of knowledge" has not even begun to be thought out in these forums.

    Altho' I find this idea intriguing, and I have been wishing for some one or several people with which to discuss it, I am uncertain that a development along these lines is suitable for forums such as this. It would all be exploration and speculation in the beginning, and a significant waste of everyone's time if nothing ever came of it.

    Btw, by continuing the logic of the postings in this thread, I, unlike other people, do not see that it should be that hard to "prove" whether God exists or not. Rather, it appears that this concept should be as "provable" as anything else. In fact, if I have understood and correctly described the arguments of the God proponents, the universe was created to do nothing other than to establish such a proof. Such a theory would have to meet the same tests as Relativity, the Big Bang, Evolution, and the like. That is, it must match the characteristics of a valid theory as I describe in my postings here.
  17. May 17, 2005 #16
    If that name confuses you, then use its original name i.e. unified field theory.

    Your claim that TOE is a myth.

    It was not a defense. I was merely pointing out your misinterpretation.

    It shouldn't be a big surprise according to your line of reasoning. After all, the question was posed by someone called totallyclueless. :tongue2:
  18. May 17, 2005 #17
    God's existence is irrelevant in any scientific theory. TOEMetaphysical cannot be a scientific theory. I agree with the conclusion of your original post, but I fail to see its significance. Please correct me if I am missing your point.
  19. May 17, 2005 #18
    The name doesn't confuse me, but I think it confuses a lot of people. For instance, I don't think anyone would bother writing a post entitled "God not needed for Unified Field Theory". It would be as profound as a teatrise called "God not needed for accounting".

    The unification of physics is not a myth, but a comprehensive, self-consistent mathematical description of "everything" certainly is.
  20. May 18, 2005 #19
    I suppose the problem also lies with the idea of 'need'. many people think they 'need' something that in actuality they only 'desire'. I think what some of the scientific minds push away from them is their own problem with the unknown. i am not pointing any fingers here, its just that some people seem so sure of themselves when they reject god so blatantly. it is funny because once upon a time i didnt think i would be defending god, but over the past couple of years ive looked far and wide, inside and out, for a way to be Totally unbiased and non-heirarchic in my theory constructing (something i found to be (im)possible, yet by searching i have become more aware of the (L)imitations or lack there of)

    along the way ive moved away from trying to imagine such an entity as being so mysterious and unreachable and began to think reasonably about the CONCEPT of god and what it represents. i began to become more open-minded about him/her/it, while continuing to casually research the physical sciences.

    anyway, i think any attempt at the synthesis of beliefs (including scientism) is hard but necessary. but there is already a huge amount of philosophy doing just this. the unified field theory and the TOE are more on the physical side of it. but personally i cannot imagine constructing a theory without including theory on the very construction that i am taking part in.

    setting up a theory is tricky, because it is in the nature of reality that once something has been propped up, the props decay. (unless they are tended to with love.....) (or maybe if they were made of god!)he he he

    think of a perfect sphere.
    where is it?

    ps. wouldn't it be nice if the word god didnt come with all the unwanted baggage that fills the room when it steps inside. well, as for me, back to cleaning my room... :smile:
    Last edited: May 18, 2005
  21. May 18, 2005 #20

    Tom Mattson

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    It's called a theory of everything because it is supposed to account for all the known interactions. Physicists believe that this is possible, which is reasonable given the past success of theoretical physics. The "everything" is a bit tongue-in-cheek, as physicists like to think that if all physical mechanisms are completely understood then so is everything that exists. This may or may not be reasonable, but it sure doesn't translate into a belief that the universe is made of numbers.
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