Cosmology Science, Mathematics, Philosophy and (Natural) Theology

From IAI News: How infinity threatens cosmology

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Peter Cameron, Emeritus Professor Mathematics at Queen Mary, University of London, writes:

There are many approaches to infinity through the twin pillars of science and religion, but I will just restrict my attention here to the views of mathematicians and physicists.

22 09 23.infinity2.ata
IAI News

Aristotle was one of the most influential Greek philosophers. He believed that we could consider “potential infinity” (we can count objects without knowing how many more are coming) but that a “completed infinity” is taboo. For mathematicians, infinity was off-limits for two millennia after Aristotle’s ban. Galileo tried to tackle the problem, noting that an infinite set could be matched up with a part of itself, but in the end drew back. It was left to Cantor in the nineteenth century to show us the way to think about infinity, which is accepted by most mathematicians now. There are infinitely many counting numbers; any number you write down is a negligible step along the way to infinity. So Cantor’s idea was to imagine we have a package containing all these numbers; put a label on it saying “The natural numbers”, and treat the package as a single entity. If you want to study individual numbers, you can break open the package and take them out to look at them.  Now you can take any collection of these packages, and bundle them up to form another single entity. Thus, set theory is born. Cantor investigated ways of measuring these sets, and today set theory is the commonest foundation for mathematics, though other foundations have been proposed. 

One of Cantor’s discoveries is that there is no largest infinite set: given any set you can always find a larger one. The smallest infinite set is the set of natural numbers. What comes next is a puzzle which can’t be resolved at present. It may be the real (decimal) numbers, or maybe not. Our current foundations are not strong enough, and building larger telescopes will not help with this question. Perhaps in the future we will adopt new foundations for mathematics which will resolve the question.

These questions keep set theorists awake at night; but most mathematicians work near the bottom of this dizzying hierarchy, with small infinities. For example, Euclid proved that the prime numbers “go on for ever”. (Aristotle would say, “Whatever prime you find, I can find a larger one.”

While Kronecker (a fierce opponent of Cantor’s ideas) thought in the nineteenth century that “God created the natural numbers; the rest is the work of man”, we can now build the natural numbers using the tools of set theory, starting from nothing (more precisely the empty set).

Mathematicians know, however, that there is a huge gap between the finite and the infinite. If you toss a coin 100 times, it is not impossible (just very unlikely) that it will come down tails each time. But, if you could imagine tossing a coin infinitely often, then the chance of not getting heads and tails equally often is zero. Of course, you could never actually perform this experiment; but mathematics is a conceptual science, and we are happy to accept this statement on the basis of a rigorous proof.

Infinity in physics and cosmology has not been resolved so satisfactorily. The two great twentieth-century theories of physics, general relativity (the theory of the very large) and quantum mechanics (the theory of the very small) have resisted attempts to unite them. The one thing most physicists can agree on is that the universe came into being a finite time ago (about 13.7 billion years) — large, but not infinite. 

The James Webb Space Telescope has just begun showing us unprecedented details in the universe. As well as nearby objects, it sees the furthest objects ever observed. Because light travels at a finite speed, these are also the oldest objects observed, having been formed close to the beginning of the Universe. The finite speed of light also puts limits on what we can see; if an object is so far away that its light could not reach us if it travelled for the whole age of the universe, then we are unaware of its existence. So Malunkyaputta’s question about whether the universe is finite or infinite is moot. But is it eternal or not? That is a real question, and is so far undecided.

Attempts to reconcile relativity and quantum theory have been made. The ones currently most promising adopt a very radical attitude to infinity. They deny that the infinitely small can exist in the universe, but prescribe a minimum possible scale, essentially the so-called Planck scale.

Such a solution would put an end to Zeno’s paradox. Zeno denied the possibility of motion, since to move from A to B you first have to move to a point C halfway to B, and before that to a point D halfway from A to C, and so on to infinity. If space is not infinitely divisible, then this infinite regress cannot occur. (This solution was already grasped by Democritus and the early Greek atomists.)

Of course, this leaves us with a conceptual problem similar to the one raised by the possibility that the university is finite. In that case, the obvious question is “If the universe has an edge, what is beyond it?” In the case of the Planck length, the question would be “Given any length, however small, why can’t I just take half of it?”

Perhaps because we have been conditioned by Zeno’s paradox, we tend to think of the points on a line to be, like the real numbers, infinitely divisible: between any two we can find another. But current thinking is that the universe is not built this way.

More important to physics, the atomist hypothesis also gets rid of another annoying occurrence of infinity in physics. Black holes in general relativity are points of spacetime where the density of matter becomes infinite and the laws of physics break down. These have been a thorn in the flesh of cosmologists since their existence was first predicted, since by definition we cannot understand what happens there. If space is discrete, we cannot put infinitely many things infinitely close together, and the paradox is avoided. We can still have extremely high density; the black hole recently observed and photographed at the centre of our own galaxy is (on this theory) just a point of such high density that light cannot escape, but does not defy our ability to understand it.

Time, however, remains a problem; current theories cannot decide the ultimate fate of the universe. Does it end with heat death, a cold dark universe where nothing happens? Does the mysterious “dark energy” become so strong that it rips the universe to shreds? Or does the expansion from the Big Bang go into reverse, so that the universe ends in a Big Crunch?

None of this matters to us individually. The sun will expand and swallow the earth long before the universe reaches its end.

Full article at IAI News.

Although this article glosses over some concepts in physics and cosmology, it raises interesting points to ponder.

822 Replies to “From IAI News: How infinity threatens cosmology

  1. 1
    Peter says:

    Infinities pose a challenge in theology as well. For example, how can an All-loving God allow pain and suffering. The ‘All’ adjective implies an infinity – every aspect for all time. Theologians have an equally difficult time dealing with this infinity. In this case I believe it is better to avoid this infinity because it results in contradictions, so must be considered a logical fallacy. For example, an All-loving God would not send people to hell which contradicts the Bible. I believe that the Old Testament writers chose the best way to deal with this problem by avoiding it. According to them God allowed suffering, could be angry at the Jews and punish them.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    “Aristotle was one of the most influential Greek philosophers. He believed that we could consider “potential infinity” (we can count objects without knowing how many more are coming) but that a “completed infinity” is taboo.,,,”

    Yet for the Christian Theist, a ‘completed infinity’ is not taboo but the ‘completed infinity’ is held to reside in the infinite mind of God. As St. Augustine put it, “Never let us doubt then that every number is known to him “whose understanding cannot be numbered”. Although the infinite series of numbers cannot be numbered, this infinity of numbers is not outside the comprehension of him “whose understanding cannot be numbered”.”

    “Every number is defined by its own character so that no number is equal to any other. They are unequal to one another and are different, and the individual numbers are finite, but as a class they are infinite. Does that mean that God does not know all numbers, because of their infinity? Does God’s knowledge extend as far as a certain sum, and end there? No one could be insane enough to say that.
    Now those philosophers who revere the authority of Plato will not despise numbers and say that they are irreverent to God’s knowledge, For Plato emphasizes that God constructed the world by use of numbers, while we have the authority of Scripture, where God is thus addressed, “You have set all things in order all things by number, measure, and weight.” And the prophet says of God, “He produces the world according to number’. And the Savior says in the Gospel, “Your hairs are all numbered”.
    Never let us doubt then that every number is known to him “whose understanding cannot be numbered”. Although the infinite series of numbers cannot be numbered, this infinity of numbers is not outside the comprehension of him “whose understanding cannot be numbered”.”
    – St. Augustine – “City of God” – 12th Book, 19th Chapter
    – Infinity: Aristotle, St. Augustine, Cantor, Gödel – video – 31:29 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/SMt2VtjMfrU?t=1889

    As to:

    “One of Cantor’s discoveries is that there is no largest infinite set: given any set you can always find a larger one.”

    That reminds me of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem which can be succinctly summarized as such, “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”.

    “Gödel’s incompleteness theorem (1931), proves that there are limits to what can be ascertained by mathematics. Kurt Gödel halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything in his theorem that: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”.
    – Stephen Hawking & Leonard Miodinow, The Grand Design (2010)

    In short, Godel’s incompleteness theorems proves that mathematics has a ‘contingent’, i.e. dependent, existence and that it does not have a ‘necessary’, i.e. self sufficient, existence as is erroneously presupposed by most contemporary theoretical physicists today.

    As David Goldman put it, ‘we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable,,, Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.”

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    The religious beliefs that guided Kurt Gödel’s revolutionary ideas
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    This contingent ‘incompleteness’ of mathematics that was demonstrated by Godel adds strong support to the Christian’s claim, via Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, that any mathematics that might describe this universe “are God’s thoughts”,

    Keep it Simple – Edward Feser – 2020
    Excerpt: Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi-­divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our ­experience lack. Mathematical objects seem immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/04/keep-it-simple

    To substantially bolster the Christian’s claim that any mathematics that might describe this universe are “God’s thoughts’, Eugene Wigner, (who’s insights into quantum mechanics continue to drive breakthroughs in quantum mechanics; per A. Zeilinger), and Albert Einstein, who needs no introduction, are both on record as to regarding it as a quote-unquote ‘miracle’ that math should even be applicable to the universe. Moreover, Wigner questioned Darwinism in the process of calling it a miracle, and Einstein even went so far as to chastise ‘professional atheists’ in his process of calling it a miracle.

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    And the last time I checked, miracles are considered the sole province of God,

    mir·a·cle
    a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

    The author in the OP apparently hopes that a purely mathematical theory of everything, (that makes no reference to God), will be forthcoming that joins together general relativity and quantum mechanics

    “Attempts to reconcile relativity and quantum theory have been made. The ones currently most promising adopt a very radical attitude to infinity. They deny that the infinitely small can exist in the universe, but prescribe a minimum possible scale, essentially the so-called Planck scale.”

    Yet to the chagrin of theoretical physicists and mathematicians who hope to find a single mathematical equation that joins together general relativity and quantum mechanics, (that makes no reference to God per se), Godel’s incompleteness theorem has now been extended into quantum physics

    Specifically, it is now proven, via the extension of Godel’s incompleteness into quantum physics, that “even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,” and that “the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”,

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    Undecidability of the Spectral Gap – June 16, 2020
    Toby Cubitt, David Perez-Garcia, and Michael M. Wolf
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1502.04573.pdf

    In short, and mathematically speaking, the microscopic descriptions of quantum mechanics will never be successfully extended to the account for the macroscopic descriptions of General Relativity. i.e. There will never be a purely mathematical ‘theory of everything’ that includes both quantum mechanics and general relativity into a single mathematical equation.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    That quantum mechanics and general relativity can not be ‘unified’ into a single mathematical equation should not be that surprising for theoretical physicists and mathematicians to find out. George Chaitin, via Godel, has now shown that “an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.”

    The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006
    Excerpt: Unlike Gödel’s approach, mine is based on measuring information and showing that some mathematical facts cannot be compressed into a theory because they are too complicated. This new approach suggests that what Gödel discovered was just the tip of the iceberg: an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.
    https://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/The_Limits_of_Reason_Chaitin_2006.pdf

    This presents an irresolvable dilemma for atheists who hope to construct a single mathematical description of the universe that makes no reference to God. As even the late Steven Weinberg, an atheist, himself honestly admitted, “I don’t think one should underestimate the fix we are in.,,, we can already think of mathematically consistent laws that don’t describe the world as we know it. And we will always be left with a question ‘why are the laws nature what they are rather than some other laws?”

    “I don’t think one should underestimate the fix we are in. That in the end we will not be able to explain the world. That we will have some set of laws of nature (that) we will not be able to derive them on the grounds simply of mathematical consistency. Because we can already think of mathematically consistent laws that don’t describe the world as we know it. And we will always be left with a question ‘why are the laws nature what they are rather than some other laws?’. And I don’t see any way out of that.
    The fact that the constants of nature are suitable for life, which is clearly true, we observe,,,”
    (Weinberg then comments on the multiverse conjecture of atheists)
    “No one has constructed a theory in which that is true. I mean,, the (multiverse) theory would be speculative, but we don’t even have a theory in which that speculation is mathematically realized. But it is a possibility.”
    Steven Weinberg – as stated to Richard Dawkins at the 8:15 minute mark of the following video
    Leonard Susskind – Richard Dawkins and Steven Weinberg – 1 in 10^120 Cosmological Constant points to intelligent design – video
    https://youtu.be/z4E_bT4ecgk?t=495

    The only way out of this dilemma is, as Bruce Gordon explains, “a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.”

    Bruce Gordon: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy.
    This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,,
    Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.,,,
    Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    And it is not as if we do not have very good reasons to believe that the infinite Mind of God is behind ‘choosing’ among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bringing into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them.”

    As David Robertson has shown, the “famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.,,,”

    Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas S. Robertson
    Excerpt: Chaitin’s Algorithmic Information Theory shows that information is conserved under formal mathematical operations and, equivalently, under computer operations. This conservation law puts a new perspective on many familiar problems related to artificial intelligence. For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.,,,
    The basic problem concerning the relation between AIT and free will can be stated succinctly: Since the theorems of mathematics cannot contain more information than is contained in the axioms used to derive those theorems, it follows that no formal operation in mathematics (and equivalently, no operation performed by a computer) can create new information.
    http://cires.colorado.edu/~dou...../info8.pdf

    And indeed the free will of God, via the presupposition of the contingency of the universe, played an essential role in the founding of modern science. As Stephen Meyer explains contingency was the essential Judeo-Christian presupposition that lay at the founding of modern science “that nature has an order that is built into it. But it is an order that is contingent upon the will of the Creator.

    “That (contingency) was a huge concept (that was important for the founding of modern science). The historians of science call that ‘contingency’. The idea that nature has an order that is built into it. But it is an order that is contingent upon the will of the Creator. It could have been otherwise. Just as there are many ways to make a timepiece, or a clock,,, there are many different ways God could have ordered the universe. And it is up to us not to deduce that order from first principles, or from some intuitions that we have about how nature ought to be, but rather it is important to go out and see how nature actually is.”
    – Stephen Meyer – 5:00 minute mark – Andrew Klavan and Stephen Meyer Talk God and Science
    https://idthefuture.com/1530/

    And as Sir Isaac Newton himself stated, ‘Without all doubt this world…could arise from nothing but the perfectly free will of God.”

    ‘Without all doubt this world…could arise from nothing but the perfectly free will of God… From this fountain (what) we call the laws of nature have flowed, in which there appear many traces indeed of the most wise contrivance, but not the least shadow of necessity. These therefore we must not seek from uncertain conjectures, but learn them from observations and experiments.”,,,
    – Sir Isaac Newton – (Cited from Religion and the Rise of Modern Science by Hooykaas page 49).
    https://thirdspace.org.au/comment/237

    Moreover, “Newton’s voluntarism moved him to affirm an intimate relationship between the creator and the creation; his God was acted on the world at all times and in ways that Leibniz and other mechanical philosophers could not conceive of,,”

    “Newton’s Rejection of the “Newtonian World View”: The Role of Divine Will in Newton’s Natural Philosophy – (Davis, 1991)
    Abstract: The significance of Isaac Newton for the history of Christianity and science is undeniable: his professional work culminated the Scientific Revolution that saw the birth of modern science,,,
    Newton’s voluntarist conception of God had three major consequences for his natural philosophy. First, it led him to reject Descartes’ version of the mechanical philosophy, in which matter was logically equated with extension, in favor of the belief that the properties of matter were freely determined by an omnipresent God, who remained free to move the particles of matter according to God’s will. Second, Newton’s voluntarism moved him to affirm an intimate relationship between the creator and the creation; his God was acted on the world at all times and in ways that Leibniz and other mechanical philosophers could not conceive of, such as causing parts of matter to attract one another at a distance. Finally, Newton held that, since the world is a product of divine freedom rather than necessity, the laws of nature must be inferred from the phenomena of nature, not deduced from metaphysical axioms — as both Descartes and Leibniz were wont to do.
    http://home.messiah.edu/~tdavis/newton.htm

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    And since Newton also held the orthodox Christian belief that man is made in the image of God,,,

    Priest of Nature – the religious worlds of Isaac Newton – R. Iliffe (Princeton University Press, 2017)
    Excerpt page 5:
    “The analogy between the human and the divine would remain at the heart of Newtons theological metaphysics. In the essay on God, space, and time that he penned in the early 1690s, the analogy between man and God played a key role. Was it not most agreeable to reason, he asked, that Gods creatures shared his attributes as far as possible as fruit the nature of the tree, and an image the likeness of a man, and by sharing tend towards perfection? Similarly, was it not reasonable to believe that God could be discerned in the more perfect creatures as in a mirror? Such a view also enabled humans to understand the being and attributes of the divine.”
    https://www.yoono.org/download/prinat.pdf

    ,,, and since Newton also held to the orthodox Christian belief that man is made in the image of God, (and since he explicitly rejected the mechanical and/or necessitarian philosophy), then I hold that Newton would be very pleased to see the recent closing of the “freedom of choice” loophole within quantum mechanics.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract excerpt: This experiment pushes back to at least approx. 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Moreover, when we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders,,,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the “freedom-of-choice” loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), then rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and provides us with an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”

    December 2021 – When scrutinizing some of the many fascinating details of the Shroud of Turin, we find that both General Relativity, i.e. gravity, and Quantum Mechanics were both dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/in-time-for-american-thanksgiving-stephen-meyer-on-the-frailty-of-scientific-atheism/#comment-741600

    The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8–eE

    Verses:

    Matthew 26:39
    And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  5. 5
    Querius says:

    Peter @1,
    Yes, I agree that theological infinities are logical fallacies just as in mathematics, infinities result from divide-by-zero errors (and 0/0 is undefinable). They do indeed result in contradictions and one can easily be misled.

    Bornagain77 @2,
    I’m glad you mentioned Gödel’s incompleteness theorems in which he proved that any single system of mathematics cannot lead to all true statements. I’m also reminded that God can act or hide invisibly and undetectably within a chaotic system.

    So, if we can easily get mislead in mathematics, how much more easily is it to get mislead within systems of theology based on logic?

    Question: “Can God create a rock that He cannot lift?”
    Answer: Of course, but it depends on what God promises because God cannot lie.

    -Q

  6. 6
    relatd says:

    Peter at 1,

    Are you an atheist?

    “For example, how can an All-loving God allow pain and suffering.”

    God created man and woman. He gave them what are called preternatural gifts. These included freedom from pain. They were given a perfect environment to live in and one commandment. A literal creature appeared and lied to the woman. She and the man disobeyed. They were expelled. Then sin and death entered the world.

    God is not a wish granting machine. Just like a parent will warn their children to be careful while in the woods. There are snakes in there. It appears your idea of God has nothing to do with this. You think God must keep everyone happy and free of suffering every day.

    https://www.catholic.com/qa/how-can-i-make-emotional-sense-out-of-suffering-when-it-happens

  7. 7
    relatd says:

    Ba77 at 2,

    “In short, and mathematically speaking, the microscopic descriptions of quantum mechanics will never be successfully extended to the account for the macroscopic descriptions of General Relativity. i.e. There will never be a purely mathematical ‘theory of everything’ that includes both quantum mechanics and general relativity into a single mathematical equation.”

    Are you sure? I believe this problem has already been solved. It is being kept secret since whoever possesses this knowledge would be ahead of other countries. Example: The desk you sit at is composed of atoms. Its hardness is obvious. Yet these atoms are composed of sub-atomic particles. In the quantum world, a kind of transition occurs. The rules change as to what is normal. The other problem is dealing with equations like E = mc2. Matter times the speed of light squared equals energy? So, if I am in a spaceship traveling at the speed of light, it is beginning to turn into energy. For man to travel to the stars, a faster than light drive is required. For practical purposes, 8 to 10 times the speed of light would be required. I believe this will be achieved in a short period of time. Years not decades.

  8. 8
    dogdoc says:

    BornAgain77,

    Einstein’s views on religion are subtle but not really complicated. Still they are constantly misrepresented. His views (like those of Spinoza) regarding a personal god could not be more clear.

    This might help:
    https://www.learnreligions.com/albert-einstein-quotes-on-a-personal-god-249856

    As for Wigner – he eventually abandoned his ideas regarding consciousness collapsing the waveform. Obviously if you already impart non-scientific properties to human minds (such as libertarian free will) it’s not a stretch to imagine they can collapse waveforms. But if you’re claiming to stick to science, the Von Neumann–Wigner interpretation has no empirical support, and few scientists subscribe to it any more.

    Finally, regarding Newton – yes, he was definitely a devoted theist who believed in a personal god. But that was a long time ago. He also believed in alchemy, that toad vomit would cure the plague, and rejected the idea of an immortal soul, so…

    Cherry-picking scientific results and quotes trying to provide a scientific imprimatur for religious beliefs is a tiresome and futile game.

  9. 9
    Querius says:

    Dogdoc @8,

    As for Wigner – he eventually abandoned his ideas regarding consciousness collapsing the waveform.

    Do you even know the difference between “waveforms” and the wavefunction?

    Are you aware that “Wigner’s friend” thought experiment has been experimentally verified (with qualifications, of course)?

    Better stick with dogs.

    -Q

  10. 10
    dogdoc says:

    Q @9,

    That wasn’t a very good answer. Here’s a short, easy-to-understand article that explains why the Wigner’s friend experiments are not evidence for collapse theories (and why no particular QM interpretation has been experimentally confirmed to date).

    Anyway, I think you missed the point. While there are certainly some physicists and philosophers who believe in some sort of consciousness/collapse interpretation, they are in the minority, and there are no experimental tests that settle the matter. To present this state of affairs – like BA77 does – as if libertarian/interactionist dualism has been proven to exist by quantum physics is misleading in the extreme.

    My advice is to stop trying to show how physics proves your beliefs about the mind/body problem and metaphysical libertarianism. Perhaps someday there will be experimental confirmation of – or disproof of – your beliefs, but not today.

  11. 11
    JVL says:

    Relatd: So, if I am in a spaceship traveling at the speed of light, it is beginning to turn into energy.

    Nope, try again.

    For man to travel to the stars, a faster than light drive is required. For practical purposes, 8 to 10 times the speed of light would be required. I believe this will be achieved in a short period of time. Years not decades.

    Pure science fiction. It’s the Star Trek effect: it all seems so matter-of-fact on the telly, must not be that hard to do.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, just add a tunnelling dimension, easy peasy . . . if you can create a cosmos. KF

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Dogdoc at 8 states,

    BornAgain77,
    Einstein’s views on religion are subtle but not really complicated. Still they are constantly misrepresented. His views (like those of Spinoza) regarding a personal god could not be more clear.

    Then Docdoc links to a site that lists several quotes from Einstein that make it clear that he did not believe in a personal God. Then at the end of post 8 Dogdoc states, “Cherry-picking scientific results and quotes trying to provide a scientific imprimatur for religious beliefs is a tiresome and futile game.”

    It is interesting that Dogdoc would accuse me of cherry picking quotes to support my Christian worldview since cherry picking quotes to support his atheistic worldview is exactly what Dogdoc did when he linked to that site. The fact of the matter is “According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Einstein was more inclined to denigrate atheists than religious people.”

    Religious and philosophical views of Albert Einstein
    Excerpt: According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Einstein was more inclined to denigrate atheists than religious people.[28] Einstein said in correspondence, “[T]he fanatical atheists…are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional ‘opium of the people’—cannot hear the music of the spheres.”[28][29]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_and_philosophical_views_of_Albert_Einstein#Agnosticism_and_atheism

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Dogdoc!

    Moreover, although Dogdoc rightly observed that Einstein believed in Spinoza’s ‘abstract god’, who was ‘less than a person’,

    The God of the Mathematicians – Goldman – 2010
    The religious beliefs that guided Kurt Gödel’s revolutionary ideas
    Excerpt: As Gödel told Hao Wang, “Einstein’s religion [was] more abstract, like Spinoza and Indian philosophy. Spinoza’s god is less than a person; mine is more than a person; because God can play the role of a person.”
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    And although Einstein also said that he “did not believe in life after death,,,, “one life is enough for me.””

    Religious and philosophical views of Albert Einstein
    Excerpt: Albert Einstein’s religious views have been widely studied and often misunderstood.[1] Albert Einstein stated that he believed in the pantheistic God of Baruch Spinoza.[2] He did not believe in a personal God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings, a view which he described as naïve.[3] He clarified however that, “I am not an atheist”,[4] preferring to call himself an agnostic,[5] or a “religious nonbeliever.”[3] Einstein also stated he did not believe in life after death, adding “one life is enough for me.”[6],,,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_and_philosophical_views_of_Albert_Einstein

    ,,, and although Einstein did not believe in a personal God, nor in life after death, Special Relativity itself, (as well as Quantum Mechanics), directly contradicts Einstein and offers rather stunning confirmation for life after death, and therefore, by virtue of that fact, offers rather stunning confirmation for a personal God.

    Specifically, the mathematics of special relativity is based on a single four-dimensional continuum now known as Minkowski space. In fact, the higher dimensional nature of special relativity was a mathematical discovery that was made by one of Einstein math professors in 1908 prior to Einstein’s elucidation of General Relativity in 1915. (In fact, in 1916 Einstein fully acknowledged his indebtedness to Minkowski)

    Spacetime
    Excerpt: In 1908, Hermann Minkowski—once one of the math professors of a young Einstein in Zurich—presented a geometric interpretation of special relativity that fused time and the three spatial dimensions of space into a single four-dimensional continuum now known as Minkowski space. A key feature of this interpretation is the definition of a spacetime interval that combines distance and time. Although measurements of distance and time between events differ for measurements made in different reference frames, the spacetime interval is independent of the inertial frame of reference in which they are recorded.
    Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of relativity was to prove vital to Einstein’s development of his 1915 general theory of relativity, wherein he showed that spacetime becomes curved in the presence of mass or energy.,,,
    Einstein, for his part, was initially dismissive of Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of special relativity, regarding it as überflüssige Gelehrsamkeit (superfluous learnedness). However, in order to complete his search for general relativity that started in 1907, the geometric interpretation of relativity proved to be vital, and in 1916, Einstein fully acknowledged his indebtedness to Minkowski, whose interpretation greatly facilitated the transition to general relativity.[10]:151–152 Since there are other types of spacetime, such as the curved spacetime of general relativity, the spacetime of special relativity is today known as Minkowski spacetime.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

    Moreover, these four dimensional spacetimes that undergird both special relativity and general relativity are also comforting to overall Christian concerns in that they reveal two very different ‘eternities’ to us. One ‘eternity’ is found for a hypothetical observer who is going the speed of light, and another ‘eternity’ is found for a hypothetical observer falling to the event horizon of a black hole.

    Time dilation
    Excerpt: Time dilation: special vs. general theories of relativity:
    In Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity, time dilation in these two circumstances can be summarized:
    1. –In special relativity (or, hypothetically far from all gravitational mass), clocks that are moving with respect to an inertial system of observation are measured to be running slower. (i.e. For any observer accelerating, hypothetically, to the speed of light, time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop.)
    2.–In general relativity, clocks at lower potentials in a gravitational field—such as in closer proximity to a planet—are found to be running slower. (i.e. For any observer falling to the event horizon of a black-hole, time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation

    Specifically, in Einstein’s special relativity we find that time passes differently for different ‘observers’ depending on how fast the observers are moving through space, “with time slowing to a stop as one, (an observer), approaches the speed of light .”

    Time dilation caused by a relative velocity
    Excerpt: Special relativity indicates that, for an observer in an inertial frame of reference, a clock that is moving relative to them will be measured to tick slower than a clock that is at rest in their frame of reference. This case is sometimes called special relativistic time dilation. The faster the relative velocity, the greater the time dilation between one another, with time slowing to a stop as one approaches the speed of light (299,792,458 m/s).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation#Time_dilation_caused_by_a_relative_velocity

    To grasp the whole ‘time slowing to a stop as one, (an observer), approaches the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the exact same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.

    “In the spring of 1905, Einstein was riding on a bus and he looked back at the famous clock tower that dominates Bern Switzerland. And then he imagined, “What happens if that bus were racing near the speed of light?”, (narrator: “In his imagination, Einstein looks back at the clock tower and what he sees is astonishing. As he reaches the speed of light, the hands of the clock appear frozen in time”), “Einstein would later write, “A storm broke in my mind. All of the sudden everything, everything, kept gushing forward.”, (narrator: “Einstein knows that, back at the clock tower, time is passing normally, but on Einstein’s light speed bus, as he reaches the speed of light, the light from the clock can no longer catch up to him. The faster he races through space, the slower he moves through time. This insight sparks the birth of Einstein’s Special Theory of relativity, which says that space and time are deeply connected. In fact, they are one and the same. A flexible fabric called spacetime.”)
    – Michio Kaku
    Einstein: Einstein’s Miracle Year (‘Insight into Eternity’ – Thought Experiment – 6:29 minute mark) – video
    https://youtu.be/QQ35opgrhNA?t=389

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, the finding that time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light is very friendly to Theistic presuppositions about ‘eternity’ and/or ‘eternal life’.

    As Dr. Richard Swenson noted in his book “More Than Meets The Eye”, “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    – Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 11

    Even Einstein himself indirectly alluded to the Theological significance of the ‘eternity’ of special relativity when he, upon the death of his close friend Michele Besso, stated, “For those of us who believe in physics, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

    Einstein and Michele Besso
    Upon Besso’s death in 1955, Einstein wrote a letter of condolence to the Besso family—less than a month before his own death—which contained the following quote “Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That signifies nothing. For those of us who believe in physics, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
    http://quotingeinstein.blogspo.....besso.html

    That time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light, and yet light moves from point A to point B in our universe, and thus light is obviously not ‘frozen within time’, has some fairly profound implications.

    The only way it is possible for time not to pass for light, and yet for light to move from point A to point B in our universe, is if light is of a ‘higher dimensional’ value of time than the temporal time we are currently living in. Otherwise light would simply be ‘frozen within time’ from our temporal frame of reference.

    In the first part of the following video clip, entitled ‘Optical Effects of Special Relativity”, a video which was made by two Australian University Physics Professors, we find that the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer approaches the ‘higher dimension’ of the ‘four-dimensional continuum’ of the speed of light.

    Optical Effects of Special Relativity – video (full relativistic effects shown at 2:40 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/JQnHTKZBTI4?t=160

    Also please note, as was visualized at the 3:00 minute mark of the preceding video, that all of the light was concentrated into the direction of travel of the observer. This concentration of light in the direction of travel is termed the ‘headlight effect’

    Relativistic aberration
    Relativistic aberration is the relativistic version of aberration of light, including relativistic corrections that become significant for observers who move with velocities close to the speed of light. It is described by Einstein’s special theory of relativity.,,,
    One consequence of this is that a forward observer should normally be expected to intercept a greater proportion of the object’s light than a rearward one; this concentration of light in the object’s forward direction is referred to as the “searchlight effect” (or headlight effect).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativistic_aberration

    Now that we have outlined the basics of what we know to be physically true from special relativity, It is very interesting to note that many of the characteristics found in ‘heavenly’ Near Death Experience testimonies are exactly what we would expect to see from what we now know to be physically true about Special Relativity.

    But first and foremost, before we get into that comparison, it is important to note that, (although atheists dismiss Near Death testimonies out of hand as not being worthy of consideration), the evidence for the validity of Near Death Experiences turns out to be far more robust and trustworthy than the evidence for Darwinian evolution is. As Dr. Michael Egnor noted, “The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,”

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    In short, we have far more ‘observational’ evidence that NDEs are real, and therefore for the reality of souls, than we do for the Darwinian claim that unguided material processes can generate immaterial functional information.

    Now as to how NDEs and special relativity correspond. Many times people who have had a deep Near Death Experience mention that their perception of time was radically altered. In the following video clip, Mickey Robinson gives his Near Death testimony of what it felt like for him to experience a ‘timeless eternity’.

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voak1RM-pXo

    And here are a few more quotes from people who have had deep Near Death Experiences, that speak of how their perception of time was radically altered, i.e. how they experienced ‘eternity’, as they were outside of their material, temporal, body during their NDEs.

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – Near Death Experiencer

    ‘There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now.’
    – John Star – NDE Experiencer

    As well, people who have had deep Near Death Experiences also frequently mention going through a tunnel, towards an extremely brilliant light, to a higher heavenly dimension:

    Ask the Experts: What Is a Near-Death Experience (NDE)? – article with video
    Excerpt: “Very often as they’re moving through the tunnel, there’s a very bright mystical light … not like a light we’re used to in our earthly lives. People call this mystical light, brilliant like a million times a million suns…”
    – Jeffrey Long M.D. – has studied NDE’s extensively

    The Tunnel and the Near-Death Experience
    Excerpt: One of the nine elements that generally occur during NDEs is the tunnel experience. This involves being drawn into darkness through a tunnel, at an extremely high speed, until reaching a realm of radiant golden-white light.
    https://near-death.com/tunnel/

    In the following video, Barbara Springer gives her testimony as to what it felt like for her to go through the tunnel towards ‘the light’:

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    – Barbara Springer – (7:40 minute mark)
    Near-Death Experience Documentary: “Shadows: Perceptions of Near-Death Experiencers”
    https://youtu.be/HR0x57aMv-k?t=460

    And in the following audio clip, Vicki Noratuk, who has been blind from birth, (besides being able to ‘miraculously” see for the very first time in her life during her Near Death Experience), Vicki also gives testimony of going through a tunnel at a ‘horrifically’ rapid rate of speed:

    “I was in a body, and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head, it had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And it was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.”,,, “And then this vehicle formed itself around me. Vehicle is the only thing, or tube, or something, but it was a mode of transportation that’s for sure! And it formed around me. And there was no one in it with me. I was in it alone. But I knew there were other people ahead of me and behind me. What they were doing I don’t know, but there were people ahead of me and people behind me, but I was alone in my particular conveyance. And I could see out of it. And it went at a tremendously, horrifically, rapid rate of speed. But it wasn’t unpleasant. It was beautiful in fact.,, I was reclining in this thing, I wasn’t sitting straight up, but I wasn’t lying down either. I was sitting back. And it was just so fast. I can’t even begin to tell you where it went or whatever it was just fast!”
    – Vicki’s NDE – Blind since birth –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y

    And in the following quotes, the two Near Death Experiencers both testify that they firmly believe that they were in a higher heavenly dimension that is above this three-dimensional world, and that the reason that they have a very difficult time describing what their Near Death Experiences actually felt like is because we simply don’t currently have the words to properly describe that higher dimension:

    “Regardless, it is impossible for me to adequately describe what I saw and felt. When I try to recount my experiences now, the description feels very pale. I feel as though I’m trying to describe a three-dimensional experience while living in a two-dimensional world. The appropriate words, descriptions and concepts don’t even exist in our current language. I have subsequently read the accounts of other people’s near-death experiences and their portrayals of heaven and I able to see the same limitations in their descriptions and vocabulary that I see in my own.”
    – Mary C. Neal, MD – “To Heaven And Back” pg. 71

    “Well, when I was taking geometry, they always told me there were only three dimensions, and I always just accepted that. But they were wrong. There are more… And that is why so hard for me to tell you this. I have to describe with words that are three-dimensional. That’s as close as I can get to it, but it’s really not adequate.”
    – John Burke – “Imagine Heaven” pg. 51 – quoting a Near Death Experiencer

    That what we now know to be physically true from special relativity, (namely that it outlines a ‘timeless’, i.e. eternal, ‘dimension of light’ that exists above this temporal dimension), would fit hand and glove with the personal testimonies of people who have had a deep heavenly NDEs is, needless to say, powerful evidence that their testimonies are, in fact, true and that they are accurately describing the ‘reality’ of a higher heavenly dimension, that they experienced first hand, that physically exists above this temporal dimension.

    I would even go so far as to say that such corroboration from ‘non-physicists’, who, in all likelihood, know nothing about the details of special relativity, substantially adds to the overall validity of their personal NDE testimonies and thus substantially adds to the Christian’s claim for a heavenly ‘eternal’ paradise that exists above this temporal realm.

    Matthew 6:33
    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    James 1:17
    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

    Thus in conclusion Einstein himself may not have personally believed in life after death, (nor in a personal God), but Special Relativity itself directly contradicts Einstein and offers stunning confirmation that Near Death Testimonies are accurate ‘physical’ descriptions of what happens after death, of going to a ‘higher timeless/eternal dimension’, i.e. ‘heavenly dimension of light’, that exists above this temporal realm.

    In post 8 and 10 Dogdoc also made some other flimsy claims to try to support his atheistic worldview. But I am more than satisfied to leave my response to him as it sits for now. Besides me having other things to do today, having special relativity support my Christian worldview, and not support his atheistic worldview, is rather satisfying as far as empirical science itself is concerned.

  15. 15
    chuckdarwin says:

    DogDoc/8

    Cherry-picking scientific results and quotes trying to provide a scientific imprimatur for religious beliefs is a tiresome and futile game.

    Well put. One should also mention that Newton was anti-trinitarian but did not publish his views during his lifetime for fear of prosecution under the Blasphemy Act of 1697………

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Oh goody, another atheistic troll tries to bash Christianity because it is debated whether Newton was an orthodox Christian or a heterodox Christian

    “Now there is a debate among scholars about,, Newton. He was a devout Christian of some kind. The question is. Was he an orthodox Christian who believed in the divinity of Christ and the trinity? Or was he more of an Arian, heterodox, Christian who believed in a transcendent God, but as some of our friends in Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, (also) believed that Jesus was created to be an agent of God in the world, and was the exemplar to man, but not fully defined?,, That’s the more common view of Newton’s theological position, but I’ve come to doubt it in recent years. I’ve been made aware of some scholarship by a historian of,, science named Thomas Pfizenmaier. In a seminal article called, “Was Isaac Newton an Arian?”. And what seems to be the best view of Newton’s view is that he doubted the Athenation formulation of the trinity, with its reliance on Greek philosophical concepts like ‘substance’, but was trinitarian. And therefore did believe in the divinity of Christ. I first got skeptical about this, (interpretation that Newton was non-trinitarian), when I saw that passage in the General Scholium, (of Newton’s “Principia’), which is a close paraphrase to the passage in Colossians. Which says, “In Christ all things are held together.”. (As well), He (Newton) wrote a lot on Messianic prophecy.”
    – Stephen Meyer – The Judeo-Christian Origins of Modern Science – 52:47 minute mark – video
    https://youtu.be/ss-kzyXeqdQ?t=3167

    Was Isaac Newton an Arian? (non-trinitarian?)
    Thomas Pfizenmaier
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/3653988

    Does it even cross the minds of these atheistic trolls, (no matter exactly what type of Christian that Newton actually was), that Newton’s deep belief in God, all by itself, completely undermines their atheistic worldview? Or is that complete undermining of their atheistic worldview just an ‘inconvenient fact’ that they completely ignore because they are blinded in their zeal to bash Christianity by any which way they can imagine to do so?

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator, or Universal Ruler;,,, The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect;,,, from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and, from his other perfections, that he is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures for ever, and is every where present”:
    – Sir Isaac Newton – Principia; 1687, GENERAL SCHOLIUM.

    Verse:

    John 14:1-2
    “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?…

  17. 17
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: just add a tunnelling dimension, easy peasy . . . if you can create a cosmos.

    Uh huh.

    Like I said: pure science fiction.

  18. 18
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: another atheistic troll tries to bash Christianity because it is debated whether Newton was an orthodox Christian or a heterodox Christian

    It is quite accepted by many scholars that Newton was a self-proclaimed doubter of the Holy Trinity. Dr Meyer disagrees but that doesn’t make him right. As I’ve said before regarding this issue: I’ll take Newton at his own words. I gave you a link to a copy of the letter he wrote laying out his view clearly and simply. You can refuse to read the letter and deny what he wrote. But he did write that letter and, knowing it would cause him problems if it were made public, chose not to reveal his views openly.

    AND, it’s not a ‘bash’ against Christianity to note that one particular famous person held what would have been considered heretical views (at the time).

    The chip on your shoulder seems to get bigger every day.

  19. 19
    jerry says:

    Cherry-picking scientific results and quotes trying to provide a scientific imprimatur for religious beliefs is a tiresome and futile game.

    Agreed!

    Science points to a creator of immense power and intellect. It does not point to a specific religion. Though certain religions are consistent with the science.

    Logic and other evidence are needed to get to a specific religion. The evidence is there and logic is impossible to escape. But you are right, that part is not science. However, science is a strong partner. So certain theologies and science do not contradict. That should be the conclusion.

  20. 20
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77/16
    “It is terrible to die of thirst in the ocean. Do you have to salt your truth so heavily that it does not even-quench thirst any more?”
    –Friedrich Nietzsche, BGE #81

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    “It is terrible to die of thirst in the ocean.”

    Do tell ChuckyD,

    “Overpoweringly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie all around us; and if ever perplexities, whether metaphysical or scientific, turn us away from them for a time, they come back upon us with irresistible force, showing to us through Nature the influence of a free will, and teaching us that all living things depend on one ever-acting Creator and Ruler.”
    (Kelvin 1871; see also Seeger 1985a, 100-101)
    Sir William Thomson, who was later ennobled as Lord Kelvin, His contributions to science included a major role in the development of the second law of thermodynamics; the absolute temperature scale (measured in kelvins); the dynamical theory of heat; the mathematical analysis of electricity and magnetism,

    “When with bold telescopes I survey the old and newly discovered stars and planets, when with excellent microscopes I discern the unimitable subtility of nature’s curious workmanship; and when, in a word, by the help of anatomical knives, and the light of chemical furnaces, I study the book of nature, I find myself often times reduced to exclaim with the Psalmist, ‘How manifold are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all!’ ”
    (Boyle, as cited in Woodall 1997, 32)
    Robert Boyle is largely regarded today as the first modern chemist,

    “Science brings men nearer to God.,,
    Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.,,”
    (Pasteur, as cited in Lamont 1995; see also Tiner 1990, 75)
    Louis Pasteur one of the most important founders of medical microbiology. Pasteur’s contributions to science, technology, and medicine are nearly without precedent

    “Earth’s crammed with heaven,
    And every common bush afire with God,
    But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
    The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
    – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    Verse:

    Romans 1
    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

  22. 22
    Querius says:

    Notice that Dogdoc still doesn’t acknowledge the difference between a waveform and the wavefunction and the reason behind the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment.

    Wavefunction collapse has been demonstrated experimentally. Bu here’s a video that can get him started on this fascinating subject:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvzSLByrw4Q

    Until then, it’s a waste of time to try to reason with him since he doesn’t obviously understand the subject.

    -Q

  23. 23
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @16,

    Oh goody, another atheistic troll tries to bash Christianity because it is debated whether Newton was an orthodox Christian or a heterodox Christian.

    Yes, exactly. As if that should make any difference at all regarding Isaac Newton’s faith or their pointless arguments.

    For example, if I were able to demonstrate that Newton’s position on the trinity doctrine (which isn’t even mentioned in the Bible) was misunderstood, do you think any of the detractors here would even skip a beat? Would they ever write, “Gosh, I guess you were right after all?”

    LOL

    No, they would simply continue with something like, “Well, Newton didn’t even know about relativity and besides, he had smelly feet.”

    They simply enjoy yelling “squirrel” at a dog show and have absolutely ZERO interest in any research or issues regarding Planck lengths, infinities, or the measurement problem as related to reality.

    -Q

  24. 24
    JVL says:

    Querius: For example, if I were able to demonstrate that Newton’s position on the trinity doctrine (which isn’t even mentioned in the Bible) was misunderstood, do you think any of the detractors here would even skip a beat? Would they ever write, “Gosh, I guess you were right after all?”

    Well, I’m basing my understanding of his view on the Trinity from a letter he wrote laying out his reasoning. Have you read the letter?

    No, they would simply continue with something like, “Well, Newton didn’t even know about relativity and besides, he had smelly feet.”

    Not sure what you’re getting at here. My view on Newton’s genius in mathematics and science shall, as always, remain firm. I acknowledge that he was a deeply religious person as he made clear. His view on the Trinity would probably not seem very controversial now but the scholars I’ve read commenting on that have indicated that it would have been considered heretical at the time but that’s not for me to judge.

    They simply enjoy yelling “squirrel” at a dog show and have absolutely ZERO interest in any research or issues regarding Planck lengths, infinities, or the measurement problem as related to reality.

    Those topics are all of interest to me.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, “Well, I’m basing my understanding of his view on the Trinity from a letter he wrote laying out his reasoning. Have you read the letter?”

    I’ve read that letter the last time you referenced it and, as I said when I read it, nothing in that letter contradicts what Stephen Meyer said in the video that I referenced,

    “Now there is a debate among scholars about,, Newton. He was a devout Christian of some kind. The question is. Was he an orthodox Christian who believed in the divinity of Christ and the trinity? Or was he more of an Arian, heterodox, Christian who believed in a transcendent God, but as some of our friends in Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, (also) believed that Jesus was created to be an agent of God in the world, and was the exemplar to man, but not fully defined?,, That’s the more common view of Newton’s theological position, but I’ve come to doubt it in recent years. I’ve been made aware of some scholarship by a historian of,, science named Thomas Pfizenmaier. In a seminal article called, “Was Isaac Newton an Arian?”. And what seems to be the best view of Newton’s view is that he doubted the Athenation formulation of the trinity, with its reliance on Greek philosophical concepts like ‘substance’, but was trinitarian. And therefore did believe in the divinity of Christ. I first got skeptical about this, (interpretation that Newton was non-trinitarian), when I saw that passage in the General Scholium, (of Newton’s “Principia’), which is a close paraphrase to the passage in Colossians. Which says, “In Christ all things are held together.”. (As well), He (Newton) wrote a lot on Messianic prophecy.”
    – Stephen Meyer – The Judeo-Christian Origins of Modern Science – 52:47 minute mark – video
    https://youtu.be/ss-kzyXeqdQ?t=3167

    Was Isaac Newton an Arian? (non-trinitarian?)
    Thomas Pfizenmaier
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/3653988

    Moreover JVL, have you, an atheist, read Newton’s “A short Schem of the true Religion”? A short Schem of the true Religion, the entire thing JVL, reads like it is coming from a Baptist preacher for crying out loud, and even offers support for Meyer’s view that “the best view of Newton’s view is that he doubted the Athenation formulation of the trinity, with its reliance on Greek philosophical concepts like ‘substance’, but was trinitarian. And therefore did believe in the divinity of Christ”

    JVL, here is Newton’s ‘A short Schem” for you to read. Please pay attention to Newton’s devastating comments about atheism, particularly his comment about atheism being “senseless & odious to mankind”, and also please note his reference to the “day when God shall judge the secrets of Men by Jesus Christ.”

    A short Schem of the true Religion{.} – Newton

    Religion is partly fundamental & immutable partly circumstantial & mutable. The first was the Religion of Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham Moses Christ & all the saints & consists of two parts our duty towards God & our duty towards man or piety & righteousness, piety which I will here call Godliness & Humanity.

    Of Godliness.

    Godliness consists in the knowledge love & worship of God, Humanity in love, righteousness & good offices towards man. Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart & with all thy Soul & with all thy mind: this is the first & great commandment & the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law & the Prophets. Mat. 22. The first is enjoyned in the four first commandments of the Decalogue & the second in the six last.

    Of Atheism

    Opposite to the first is Atheism in profession & Idolatry in practise. Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds beasts & men have their right side & left side alike shaped (except in their bowells) & just two eyes & no more on either side the face & just two ears on either side the head & a nose with two holes & no more between the eyes & one mouth under the nose & either two fore leggs or two wings or two arms on the sholders & two leggs on the hipps one on either side & no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel & contrivance of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom & the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside an hard transparent skin, & within transparent juyces with a crystalline Lens in the middle & a pupil before the Lens all of them so truly shaped & fitted for vision, that no Artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light & what was its refraction & fit the eys of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These & such like considerations always have & ever will prevail with man kind to beleive that there is a being who made all things & has all things in his power & who is therfore to be feared.

    Of Idolatry.

    Idolatry is a more dangerous crime because it is apt by the authority of Kings & under very specious pretenses to insinuate it self into mankind. Kings being apt to enjoyn the honour of their dead ancestors: & it seeming very plausible to honour the souls of Heroes & Saints & to beleive that they can heare us & help us & are mediators between God & man & reside & act principally in the temples & statues dedicated to their honour & memory? And yet this being against the principal part of religion is in scripture condemned & detested above all other crimes. The sin consists first in omitting the service of the true God. For the more time & devotion one spends in the worship of false Gods the less he is able to spend in that of the true one: secondly in serving fals or feigned Gods, that is Ghosts or spirits of dead men or such like beings which you make your Gods by feigning that they can hear your prayers & do you good or hurt & praying to them for protection & blessings & trust in them for the same, & which are false Gods because they have not the powers which you ascribe to them & on which you trust. Whether you call them Dij or Divi Gods or Saints or by any other name is not material. If you ascribe such powers to them & put such trust in them as the heathens ascribed to & put in their Gods you make them such Gods as the Heathens worshipped & as are forbiden in the first commandment. Saint Paul tells the Heathens that the Gods which they worshipped were not Gods. he does not mean that they were not infinite eternal omnipotent & omniscient beings (for the heathens did not take them to be such) but he means that they were not what the Heathens called Gods, they were not such Gods as the heathens took them to bee. that is intelligent spirits able to heare & see their worshippers & do them good or hurt. To place such powers in the souls of dead men is that doctrine of Devils or Demons condemned by the Apostle. An Idol is nothing in the world, a vanity, a lye a fictitious power, The Egyptians & other heathens who propagated Idolatry beleived the transmigration of souls & accordingly taught that the souls of men after death went into several subjects as into the Ox Apis & other sacred animals of Egypt, into the Sun Moon & Stars, into Images consecrated to them &c & on this opinion grounded their worship of those subjects. supposing that the starrs by these Intelligences were moved in their Orbs & understood & governed humane affairs & that statues by these spirits could hear & help us & sometimes move themselves & give oracles. And these are the Devils or Dæmons which Idolators worshipped Levit 7.7. Deut 32.17 2 Chron 11.15. Psal. 106.37. 1 Cor. 10.20. Rev. 9.20. & whose worship the Prophets upbraid with folly by representing that the Idols can neither hear nor se nor walk. that is that they are not animated by such souls as those by which men hear & see & walk, but are mere inanimate stocks & stones voyd of all life & power. [So covetous men by putting that trust in riches which they should put in God become a sort of Idolaters. And much more plainly is it idolatrous to trust in charmes ceremonies, dead bodies, consecrated substances & the like. All this is worshipping the creature instead of the creator.] And thirdly the sin of Idolatry consists in making & worshipping the images of dead men or of other things in heaven above or in the earth beneath or in the waters below the earth that is of birds beasts or fishes (contrary to the second commandment) upon a supposition that by virtue of the souls of dead men or of the supreme God or any other Spirits or Demons good or bad inhabiting them or upon any other account they can hear & see their worshippers or do them good or hurt. To ascribe such powers to them is to feign them Gods (such Gods as the heathens worshipped) & to love or feare or trust in them or express such love feare or trust by prayers praises thanksgivings sacrifices adorations or any other outward action or service is the idolatry of the old heathens forbidden in the second commandment. Stocks & Stones have no such powers, they are not inhabited by the souls of dead men,, eyes have they & see not ears have they & hear not. An Idol are is nothing in the world, They are vanities, lies, fictitious powers, & on this account they are called false Gods & derided as such by all the old Prophets. And of the same kind of folly is it to place any trust in the bodies or bones of dead men or in things consecrated or other things without life or in any ceremonies or charmes: for even the trusting in riches is by the Apostle called Idolatry.

    We are therefore to acknowledge one God infinite eternal omnipresent, omniscient omnipotent , the creator of all things most wise, most just, most good most holy;, & to have no other Gods but him. We must love him feare him honour him trust in him pray to him give him thanks praise him hallow his name obey his commandments & set times apart for his service as we are directed in the third & fourth commandments. For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments & his commandments are not grievous 1 Iohn. 5.3 These things we must do not to any mediators between him & us but to him alone, that he may give his Angels charge over us who being our fellow servants are pleased with the worship which we give to their God.. And this is the first & principal part of religion, This always was & always will be the religion of all Gods people, from the beginning to the end of the world.

    Of Humanity

    The other part of the true religion is our duty to man. We must love our neighbour as our selves, we must be charitable to all men for charity is the greatest of graces, greater then even faith or hope & covers a multitude of sins. We must be righteous & do to all men as we would they should do to us. In Politicks Salus populi suprema lex, In private concerns Quod tibi fieri? non vis alteri ne feceris were laws acknowledged by Heathens & are or ought to be the laws of all man-kind. This was the ethics morality or good manners taught the the first ages by Noah & his sons in some of their seven precepts the later heathens heathens by Socrates Cicero Confutius & other Philosophers, the Israelites by Moses & the Prophets & the Christians more fully by Christ & his Apostles. This is that law which the Apostle tells you was written in the hearts of the Gentiles & by which they are to be judged in the last day Rom. 2.12, 14, 15. “For the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power & godhead, so that they [the nations or gentiles] are without excuse, because when they knew God they glorified him not as God neither were thankfull, but becam vain in their imaginations & their foolish heart was darkened professing themselves to be wise they became fools & changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man & to birds & four footed beasts & creeping things. Wherefore also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts to dishonour their own bodies between themselves — & to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not convenient, being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication wickedness covetousness maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers without natural affection implacable unmercifull; who knowing the judgment of God (that they who commit such things are worthy of death) not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them — And thinkest thou this O [christian] man that judgest them who do such things & doest the same that thou shalt escape the judgment of God — who will render to every man according to his deeds — For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without the law [of Moses] shall also perish without the law & as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law in the day when God shall judge the secrets of Men by Iesus Christ. For not the hearers of the law are just before God but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles which have not the law do by [the light of] nature the things contained in the law these having not the law [of Moses] are [by the light of nature] a law unto themselves, which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, & their thoughts the mean while accusing or excusing one another.” Rom. 1 & 2. Thus you see there is but one law for all nations the law of righteousness & charity dictated to the Christians by Christ to the Iews by Moses & to all mankind by the light of reason & by this law all men are to be judged at the last day. This was the religion of the first ages till they forsook the right worship of the true God & turned aside to the worship of dead men & Idols, & then God gave them over to their lusts & passions for working all manner of unrighteousness. But Moses made a reformation among the Israelites not from the ancient religion propogated by Noah & his posterity to the nations but from the idolatry & immorality with which the Nations had corrupted themselves. ffor as many of the heathens as were converted from their corruptions to worshipp only the true God & follow the law of righteousness were admitted by the Iews into their Gates & outward court of the Temple as Proselites tho they did not receive the law of Moses. The Iews rejected not the Religion of Noah & the first nations but proselited the heathens to it as to the true ancient religion tho a religion which they accounted not so perfect as that of Moses. And in like manner we may lawfully proselite heathens to it (that is to piety & righteousness) & ought to value & love those who profess & practise it even though they do not yet believe in Christ. ffor it is the true religion of Christians as well as heathens tho not all the true Christian religion. Tis so great & necessary a part of the Christian religion that the righteousness of the saints is the white cloathing of the Lambs wife Apoc. 19.8. & the righteous go into eternal life Matt. 25 46. () & as Christ is righteous so everyone that doth righteousness is born of God. 1 Iohn. 2.29.

    Abel was righteous (Heb. 11.4 Mat. 23.35 1 Iohn. 3.12) & Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Pet. 2.5) & by his righteousness he was saved from the flood (Gen 7.1.). . Christ is called the righteous (1 Iohn 2.1 ) & by his righteousness we are saved (Rom. 3.25. & 5.18 1 Cor. 1.30) & except our righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees we shall not enter into the kingdome of heaven. (Mat. 5.20.) Righteousness is the religion of the kingdom of heaven (2 Pet. 3. 13 Isa 60 21) & even the property of God himself [Iud. 5.11. 1 Sam 12.7. Ezra 9.15 Nehem 9.8. Psal. 119.137.] towards man. Righteousness & Love are inseparable for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, & if there be any other commandment, it is breifly comprehended in this saying namely Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law. Rom. 13.8, 9, 10. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light & there is no occasion of stumbling. 1 Iohn 2.10 He that loveth not his brother abideth in death Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer & ye know that no murderer hath eternal life. 1 Iohn 3.14. 15 Beloved let us love one another for love is of God & every one that loveth is born of God & knoweth God & he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God towards us because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Beloved if God so loved us we ought to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time, if we love one another God dwelleth in us. — If a man say I love God & hateth his brother he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we that he who loveth God love his brother also. 1 Iohn 4. Covet earnestly the best gifts [of the Spirit:] & yet I shew unto you a more excellent way [vizt that ye love one another. ffor] Though I speak with the tongues of men & angels & have not charity | love I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling Cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophesy & understand all mysteries & all knowledge & though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains & have no charity | love I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor & tho I give my body to be burned & have not charity | love it profiteth me nothing.
    https://www.newtonproject.ox.ac.uk/view/texts/normalized/THEM00007

  26. 26
    relatd says:

    Ba77 at 25,

    That was wonderful. Those who think they live in “modern” times regard things thought even a short time ago as somehow no longer valid or worth considering; i.e. prior to the last 20 years. That unknown and unnamed “someones” have given them a brand new world to live in and all things have changed. It would be appropriate to call these people liars. The authors of confusion and not so-called progress.

    When I worked in hospital, I was with a patient who looked about 50. I then looked at a form which showed his age to be 100. I asked him, “Pardon me, sir. But how would you compare things now to the way they were when you were in your 20s?” He replied, “Everything’s about the same. It all just happens faster.” This was about 1981.

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, not sci fi, but pointing out that we are not cosmos creators. KF

  28. 28
    dogdoc says:

    BA77,

    I pointed out the well-known issue of people trying to quote Einstein out of context and pretend that he believed in God. Einstein himself often complained about this – for example, when he said:

    “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”
    Albert Einstein, letter to an atheist (1954), quoted in “Albert Einstein: The Human Side,” edited by Helen Dukas & Banesh Hoffman.

    I’d say that was pretty clear.

    You then use the tired tactic of attempting to reverse the charges, pretending that it is I who was cherry-picking Einstein’s quotes. I provided a dozen quotes that unambiguously capture Einstein’s conviction that religions and notions of a personal god are false, even “childish” and “primitive”. How do you respond? With a reference to Einstein’s distaste for militant atheism! But obviously this has nothing to do with Einstein’s own disbelief. I myself share Einstein’s beliefs about religion and gods, and in most situations I too dislike it when people attack religion! I take it on here because I strongly oppose people attempting to co-opt science to claim their own religion is the one true faith. Likewise Einstein was completely against religious dogma and personal deities, but only when pressed on the matter did he feel the need to dispel the lies that religious people were telling about him.

    There are no – not a single one! – quotes from Einstein suggesting he ever wavered on his rejection of religion and personal deities. You pretend that when Einstein said the effectiveness of mathematics was a “miracle” he meant that some supernatural person consciously decided to make it so, and to bolster your false take you quote the dictionary to determine what Einstein meant! Like Spinoza, Einstein utterly and clearly rejected the idea that there exists a god possessing an intellect and a will.

    It’s just this sort of thing over and over and over again with you. You pretend that science has proven your particular collapse theory, which even proponents of collapse theories do not claim. You pretend that science has proven the existence of libertarian free will, and mind/body dualism, which is just ridiculous. You cherry-pick everything to try and find science that supports – or at least doesn’t blatantly contradict – your religious beliefs.

    Are your religious beliefs that tenuous, really? You need to endlessly scan the internet, copying off any result or quote that you can twist into something that looks like evidence for your anthropomorphic god? You think it helps your case when you find some ambiguous quote from a famous scientist that you can spin, but simply ignore all of the famous scientists (including Einstein) who completely reject your beliefs. It’s a silly game, BA.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Dogdoc offers a a fairly heated post on Einstein rejecting belief in a personal God, Yet, in my response to him I did not even deny that Einstein rejected belief in a personal God. (In fact, I conceded that point and moved on to the science of special relativity in order to prove my point), I merely said to Dogdoc that “According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Einstein was more inclined to denigrate atheists than religious people.”

    To go even further that that, Einstein compared atheists to slaves and even said that, “Although he did not believe in a personal God, he indicated that he would never seek to combat such belief because “such a belief seems to me preferable to the lack of any transcendental outlook.”

    According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Einstein was more inclined to denigrate atheists than religious people.[28] Einstein said in correspondence, “[T]he fanatical atheists…are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional ‘opium of the people’—cannot hear the music of the spheres.”[28][29] Although he did not believe in a personal God, he indicated that he would never seek to combat such belief because “such a belief seems to me preferable to the lack of any transcendental outlook.”[30]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_and_philosophical_views_of_Albert_Einstein#Agnosticism_and_atheism

    Thus I merely pointed out the obvious fact that Dogdoc is a blatant hypocrite for accusing me of ‘cherry picking’ quotes to support my Christian worldview since he is the one who is, in fact, at the present moment, ‘cherry picking’ quotes that denigrate Christians and ignoring the many quotes where Einstein explicitly lambasts atheists. (not to mention ignoring the science I presented).

    For instance, Einstein was ‘really angry’ at atheists for quoting him to support their atheism.

    “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”
    – Einstein – “Einstein, the Life and Times, Ronald W. Clark, 1971, p425.
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.g.....stein.html

    Apparently Dogdoc does not care if Einstein got ‘really angry’ at atheists for quoting him to support their atheistic worldview

    Looking at Einstein’s religious views more soberly though, since Einstein rejected belief in a personal God, and yet also ‘angrily’ rejected belief in atheism, then, since he expressed belief in the fuzzy ‘abstract god’ of Spinoza, then I hold it would be fair to say that Einstein did not exactly have his all beliefs in God all ironed out.

    For instance of the contradictory nature of Einstein’s religious beliefs,, and directly contrary to Dogdoc’s claim that “Einstein utterly and clearly rejected the idea that there exists a God possessing an intellect and a will”, (directly contrary to that claim from Dogdoc), Einstein clearly stated that “I want to know how God created this world .. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.”

    “I want to know how God created this world .. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.”
    – Einstein – Quoted in Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way, (New York, Morrow, 1988), 177.
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.g.....stein.html

    I certainly don’t know how God can possibly have ‘thoughts’ if he does not also possess an ‘intellect and a will’. Perhaps Dogdoc can work that little detail out for us?

    But be that as it may, Dogdoc turns out to be guilty of exactly what Dawkins was guilty of in trying to enlist Einstein to support his atheism. Namely refusing to engage Einstein’s religious beliefs in their ‘strongest form’.

    Reviewing Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’ – Anthony Flew –
    Flew amplifies on this charge, and Dawkins’ avoidance of a particular statement by Einstein:
    The fault of Dawkins as an academic … was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine which he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form. Thus we find in his index five references to Einstein. They are to the mask of Einstein and Einstein on morality; on a personal God; on the purpose of life (the human situation and on how man is here for the sake of other men and above all for those on whose well-being our own happiness depends); and finally on Einstein’s religious views. But (I find it hard to write with restraint about this obscurantist refusal on the part of Dawkins) he makes no mention of Einstein’s most relevant report: namely, that the integrated complexity of the world of physics has led him to believe that there must be a Divine Intelligence behind it. (I myself think it obvious that if this argument is applicable to the world of physics then it must be hugely more powerful if it is applied to the immeasurably more complicated world of biology.)
    He continues:
    Of course many physicists with the highest of reputations do not agree with Einstein in this matter. But an academic attacking some ideological position which s/he believes to be mistaken must of course attack that position in its strongest form. This Dawkins does not do in the case of Einstein and his failure is the crucial index of his insincerity of academic purpose and therefore warrants me in charging him with having become, what he has probably believed to be an impossibility, a secularist bigot.
    http://shrineinthesea.blogspot.....usion.html

    Moreover, Dogdoc’s continued hammering away at Einstein’s lack of belief in a personal God is interesting since, in post 13, I fully conceded to Dogdoc that Einstein did not believe in a personal God and specifically stated that, “although Einstein did not believe in a personal God, nor in life after death, Special Relativity itself, (as well as Quantum Mechanics), directly contradicts Einstein and offers rather stunning confirmation for life after death, and therefore, by virtue of that fact, offers rather stunning confirmation for a personal God.”

    In short, I appealed to special relativity itself, i.e. Einstein’s own baby, not to any quotes on religion that Einstein may have uttered, in order to refute Einstein’s non-belief in a personal God.

    And the last time I checked, in science empirical evidence has the final say.

    “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is … If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    – Richard Feynman

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test all things. Hold fast to what is good.

  30. 30
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: ’ve read that letter the last time you referenced it and, as I said when I read it, nothing in that letter contradicts what Stephen Meyer said in the video that I referenced,

    Are you sure? Perhaps we should consider what Newton actually wrote:

    Since the discourses of some late writers have raised in you a curiosity, of knowing the truth of that text of Scripture concerning the testimony of the three in heaven 1 Iohn 5.7: I have here sent you an account of what the reading has been in all ages, & by {what} steps it has been changed, so far as I can hitherto determine by records. And I have done it the more freely because to you who understand the many abuses which they of the Roman Church have put upon the world, it will scarce be ungratefull to be convinced of one more than is commonly believed. For althô the more learned & {clear} sighted men (as Luther, Erasmus, Bullinger Grotius & some others) could not dissemble their knowledge, yet the generality are fond of the place for its making against heresy. But whilst we exclaim against the pious frauds of the Roman Church, & make it a part of our religion to detect & renounce all things of that kind: we must acknowledge it a greater crime in us to favour such practises, then in the Papists we so much blame on that account. For they act according to their religion but we contrary to ours. In the eastern nations, & for a long time in the western the faith subsisted without this text & it is rather a danger to religion then an advantage to make it now lean upon a bruised reed. There cannot be better service done to the truth then to purge it of things spurious: & therefore knowing your prudence & calmnesse of temper, I am confident I shal not offend you by telling you my mind plainly: especially since ’tis no article of faith, no point of discipline, nothing but a criticism concerning a text of scripture which I am going to write about.

    The history of the corruption in short is this. First some of the Latines interpreted the spirit water & blood of the Father, Son & Holy ghost to prove them one. Then Ierome for the same end inserted the Trinity in expres words into his Version. Out of him the Africans {began to allege} it against the Vandals about 64 years after his death. Afterwards the Latines noted his variations in the margins of their books & thence it began at length to creep into the text in transcribing, & that chiefly in the twelft & following Centuries when revived by the Schoolmen. And when printing came it crept out of the Latine into the printed Greek against the authority of all the greek MSS & ancient Versions, & from the Venetian presses it went soon after into Grece. Now the truth of this history will appear by considering the arguments on both sides.

    The arguments alleged for the testimony of the three in heaven are the authorities of Cyprian, Athanasius & Ierome, & of many greek manuscripts & almost all the Latine ones.

    Cyprians words run thus. The Lord saith, I and the Father am one, & again of the Father & Son & Holy Ghost it is written. And these three are one. The Socinians here deale too injuriously with Cyprian while they would have this place corrupted: for Cyprian in another place repeats almost the same thing If, saith he, [one baptized amongst hereticks] be made the temple of God, tell me I pray of what God? . . . . If of the Holy ghost, since these three are one, how can the Holy ghost be reconciled to him who is the enemy of either the Father or the Son. These places of Cyprian being in my opinion genuine seem so apposite to prove the testimony of the three in heaven, that I should never have suspected a mistake in it could I but have reconciled it with the ignorance I meet with of this reading in the next age amongst the Latines of both Afric & Europe as well as amongst the Greeks. For had it been in Cyprian’s Bible, the Latines of the next age when all the world was engaged in disputing about the Trinity & all arguments that could be thought of were diligently sought out & daily brought upon the stage, could never have been ignorant of a text, which in our age now the dispute is over is chiefly insisted upon. In reconciling this difficulty I consider therefore that the only words of the text quoted by Cyprian in both places are, And these three are one: which words may belong to the eighth verse as well as to the seventh. ffor Eucherius Bishop of Lion in France & contemporary to S. Austin, reading the text without the seventh verse tells us that many then understood the Spirit, the Water & the Blood to signify the Trinity. And S. Austin is one of those many as you may see in his third book against Maximus, where he tells us that the Spirit is the Father, for God is a spirit, the water the Holy Ghost, for he is the water which Christ gives to them that thirst, & the blood the Son for the Word was made flesh. Now if it was the opinion of many in the western Churches of those times that the spirit, the water & the blood signified the Father, the Son, & the Holy Ghost, its plain that the testimony of the three in heaven in expresse words was not yet crept into their books, {&} even without this testimony it was obvious for Cyprian or any man else of that opinion to say of the Father & Son & Holy Ghost: it is written And these three are one. And that this was Cyprian’s meaning, Facundus, an African Bishop in the sixt Century is my author. For he tells us expresly that Cyprian in the above mentioned place understood it so, interpreting the water, spirit & blood to be the Father, Son & Holy Ghost & thence affirming that Iohn said of the Father, Son & Holy Ghost, These three are one. This at least may be gathered from this passage of Facundus, that some in those early ages interpreted Cyprian after this manner. Nor do I understand how any of those many who took the spirit water & blood for a type of the Trinity, or any man else who was ignorant of the testimony of the three in heaven (as the Churches in the times of the Arian controversy generally were) could understand him otherwise. And even Cyprian’s own words do plainly make for this interpretation. For he does not say, the Father, the Word & the Holy Ghost as ’tis now in the seventh verse, but the Father & Son & Holy Ghost as ’tis in Baptism, the place from whence they used at first to derive the Trinity. If it be pretended that the words cited by Cyprian are taken out of the seventh verse rather then out of the eighth because he reads not Hi tres in unum sunt but hi tres unum sunt I answer that the Latines generally read hi tres unum sunt as well in the eighth verse as in the seventh as you may see in the newly cited places of S. Austin & Facundus, & those of Ambrose, Pope Leo, Beda & Cassiodorus which follow, & in the present Vulgar Latine. So then the testimony of Cyprian respects the eighth, or at least is as applicable to that verse as to the seventh, & therefore is of no force for proving the truth of the seventh: but on the contrary for disproving it we have here the testimonies of Facundus, S. Austin, Eucherius & those many others whom Eucherius mentions. {For} if those of that age had met with it in their books they would never have understood the spirit the water & the blood to be the three persons of the Trinity in order to prove them one God.

    There’s more.

    And, if I have to pick between Dr Meyer and Newton as far as what Newton actually said and believed . . . who should I pick?

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    You do understand the distinction that Meyer made to Newton’s rejection of “Greek philosophical concepts like ‘substance’ in order to clarify Newton’s belief in the divinity of Christ do you not?

    “Now there is a debate among scholars about,, Newton. He was a devout Christian of some kind. The question is. Was he an orthodox Christian who believed in the divinity of Christ and the trinity? Or was he more of an Arian, heterodox, Christian who believed in a transcendent God, but as some of our friends in Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, (also) believed that Jesus was created to be an agent of God in the world, and was the exemplar to man, but not fully defined?,, That’s the more common view of Newton’s theological position, but I’ve come to doubt it in recent years. I’ve been made aware of some scholarship by a historian of,, science named Thomas Pfizenmaier. In a seminal article called, “Was Isaac Newton an Arian?”. And what seems to be the best view of Newton’s view is that he doubted the Athenation formulation of the trinity, with its reliance on Greek philosophical concepts like ‘substance’, but was trinitarian. And therefore did believe in the divinity of Christ. I first got skeptical about this, (interpretation that Newton was non-trinitarian), when I saw that passage in the General Scholium, (of Newton’s “Principia’), which is a close paraphrase to the passage in Colossians. Which says, “In Christ all things are held together.”. (As well), He (Newton) wrote a lot on Messianic prophecy.”
    – Stephen Meyer – The Judeo-Christian Origins of Modern Science – 52:47 minute mark – video
    https://youtu.be/ss-kzyXeqdQ?t=3167

    Was Isaac Newton an Arian? (non-trinitarian?)
    Thomas Pfizenmaier
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/3653988

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    “Who is a liar, saith John, but he that denyeth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist that denyeth the Father & the Son. And we are authorized also to call him God: for the name of God is in him. Exod. 23.21. And we must believe also that by his incarnation of the Virgin he came in the flesh not in appearance only but really & truly, being in all things made like unto his brethren (Heb. 2 17) for which reason he is called also the son of man.”
    – Isaac Newton – 140 sourced quotes
    https://libquotes.com/isaac-newton/quotes/god
    – via Drafts on the history of the Church (Section 3). Yahuda Ms. 15.3, National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel. 2006 Online Version at Newton Project
    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton

  33. 33
    dogdoc says:

    BA77,

    You’ve backed away from your claims of Einstein’s belief in god-given miracles, which represents some progress. So now I see we are in agreement: Einstein thought theistic religion was primitive, childish superstition, and that there is no such thing as a god with intellect and will, but it’s still not a good thing to go around pointing that out to religious people. I’m good with that! I love when people of different beliefs can reach common ground.

    You go on to denigrate the religious philosophy of Spinoza, calling it “fuzzy” and suggesting it needs “ironing out”. If you think Einstein’s religious views are so confused, why would you start out by pretending that his views supported your own? Now, the fact is that it’s absolutely true that Einstein – like many physicists! – was no genius in philosophy, and he was terrible at articulating his beliefs in that area. All the more reason you should give up your gambit of using quotes from physicists to support your religious ideas of course.

    But you just can’t stop yourself, and you continue to misinterpret Einstein’s and Spinoza’s use of the word “God”. How much more do you need to understand that for Spinoza and Einstein, that word does not refer to the same thing you mean? Not a conscious being. Not something with beliefs and desires. Not something that is concerned with the activity of human beings.

    Just as you point out apparent contradictions in Einstein’s language about “God”, you continue to contradict yourself – on one hand admitting Einstein didn’t believe in any sort of god recognizable to theists, and on the other hand trying to show Einstein’s belief in “miracles” implied a deity, that his distaste for atheists suggested he accepted theism, and so on.

    Then you pretend that I am “trying to enlist Einstein to support his atheism”. WRONG AGAIN. First, I’m not technically an “atheist” (I identify as a theological non-cognitivist). Second, if I was interested in defending my views I would refer to philosophers, certainly not physicists.

    Finally, you continue with your bizarre project of co-opting real science to promote your Christianity, and claim that Special Relativity proves the afterlife – which in turn proves the existence of a personal god. This is all so far beyond what the empirically-grounded physics says it is just preposterous for you to present it as science. Whatever else they may be, human beings are physical organisms, and the physical organism that is you is going to cease to exist. Speculating about how information may – or may not – persist in the universe doesn’t tell you if you (your memories, your personality, your desires, your values, etc etc) are going to persist once your brain no longer exists. Yet you insist on pretending that all of physics confirms your own particular religious beliefs.

    I am 100% certain that I do not know the answers to the Big Questions of existence. I am also 100% certain that nobody else does either. Science doesn’t rule out the existence of a conscious creator of our universe, but it most certainly doesn’t confirm it. Just be happy in your own beliefs and stop acting like science proves you are right!

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    I stopped reading after the first sentence, “You’ve backed away from your claims of Einstein’s belief in god-given miracles, ”

    No I did not. Please read more carefully where I specifically quoted Einstein wanting to know God’s thoughts.

    Like I said, I quit reading Dogdoc’s response after that blatant distortion of my views.

    So whatever Dogdoc, I laid my scientific case out to refute Einstein’s, (and your), non-belief in a personal God at posts 13 and 14.. Unbiased readers can read it at their leisure and decide for themselves who has presented the better case.

    You, because of your dogmatic atheism, obviously refuse to accept any and all scientific evidence that refutes your atheistic worldview. So I certainly don’t consider you to be a neutral arbiter of the scientific evidence. If you were fair to the evidence, you certainly would not be a Darwinian atheist.

    As Euler himself pointed out a few centuries ago, “If these people (atheists) maintained the slightest rigor, the slightest taste for the truth, it would be quite easy to steer them away from their errors; but their tendency towards stubbornness makes this completely impossible.”

    A Defense of the (Divine) revelation against the objections of freethinkers (atheists), by Mr. (Leonhard) Euler
    Excerpt: “The freethinkers (atheists) have yet to produce any objections that have not long been refuted most thoroughly. But since they are not motivated by the love of truth, and since they have an entirely different point of view, we should not be surprised that the best refutations count for nothing and that the weakest and most ridiculous reasoning, which has so often been shown to be baseless, is continuously repeated. If these people maintained the slightest rigor, the slightest taste for the truth, it would be quite easy to steer them away from their errors; but their tendency towards stubbornness makes this completely impossible.”
    http://www.math.dartmouth.edu/.....2trans.pdf

    (Leonhard) Euler is held to be one of the greatest mathematicians in history and the greatest of the 18th century. A statement attributed to Pierre-Simon Laplace expresses Euler’s influence on mathematics: “Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all.”[4][5] Carl Friedrich Gauss remarked: “The study of Euler’s works will remain the best school for the different fields of mathematics, and nothing else can replace it.”[6]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonhard_Euler

    The Most Beautiful Equation of Math: Euler’s Identity
    http://www.science4all.org/art.....-identity/

    God by the Numbers – Connecting the constants
    Excerpt: The final number comes from theoretical mathematics. It is Euler’s (pronounced “Oiler’s”) number: e^pi*i. This number is equal to -1, so when the formula is written e^pi*i+1 = 0, it connects the five most important constants in mathematics (e, pi, i, 0, and 1) along with three of the most important mathematical operations (addition, multiplication, and exponentiation). These five constants symbolize the four major branches of classical mathematics: arithmetic, represented by 1 and 0; algebra, by i; geometry, by pi; and analysis, by e, the base of the natural log. e^pi*i+1 = 0 has been called “the most famous of all formulas,” because, as one textbook says, “It appeals equally to the mystic, the scientist, the philosopher, and the mathematician.”,,,
    The discovery of this number gave mathematicians the same sense of delight and wonder that would come from the discovery that three broken pieces of pottery, each made in different countries, could be fitted together to make a perfect sphere. It seemed to argue that there was a plan where no plan should be.,,,
    Today, numbers from astronomy, biology, and theoretical mathematics point to a rational mind behind the universe.,,, The apostle John prepared the way for this conclusion when he used the word for logic, reason, and rationality—logos—to describe Christ at the beginning of his Gospel: “In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God.” When we think logically, which is the goal of mathematics, we are led to think of God.
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ml?start=3

  35. 35
    relatd says:

    “theological non-cognitivist”? Oh sure. People us that term in conversation all the time. Some details:

    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/theological-non-cognitivism

  36. 36
    Querius says:

    JVL @24,

    Querius: No, they would simply continue with something like, “Well, Newton didn’t even know about relativity and besides, he had smelly feet.”

    JVL: Not sure what you’re getting at here. My view on Newton’s genius in mathematics and science shall, as always, remain firm. I acknowledge that he was a deeply religious person as he made clear.

    What I’m getting at is that many detractors here simply want to argue their position without regard for the arguments they employ. If it turns out that their understanding is wrong, they find a new criticism (smelly feet) or simply drop that argument as if it were a used sandwich wrapper. They’re simply protecting their orthodoxy or their ideology.

    Science is expected to constantly change in its understanding. And that’s why I don’t tie my Christianity to Science or vice versa!

    As far my faith is concerned, I’d label myself an “originalist,” embracing the teachings of the historical figure of Yeshua of Nazareth rather than the cultural and philosophical encrustations of what I consider “Churchianity” or “theology.” I believe Isaac Newton did likewise, as much as he was able in the oppressive “woke” environment of the orthodox religious power structure of his day.

    Some brilliant scientists and mathematicians of history were devout believers (Blaise Pascal had a significant impact on my life as did physicist Lambert Dolphin, and synthetic chemist James Tour). Conversely, there are many brilliant scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers who were/are atheists, agnostics, or perhaps theists or deists, Einstein among them.

    Those topics [Planck lengths, infinities, the measurement problem as related to reality] are all of interest to me.

    I’m glad to hear that. Truly.

    I’ve also noticed the twisting and squirming of many theoretical physicists in trying to maintain their deterministic materialism in the face of mounting evidence against it. As you well know, even Einstein famously wrote in December 1926, “The theory [i.e. Quantum Mechanics] produces a good deal but hardly brings us closer to the secret of the Old One. I am at all events convinced that He does not play dice.”

    I would suggest that the evidence in QM seems to indicate the “Old One” loves to play dice! And why the hell not? [smile]

    -Q

  37. 37
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: I stopped reading after the first sentence, “You’ve backed away from your claims of Einstein’s belief in god-given miracles, ”

    This I believe. I think you stop reading many things that contradict what you say. But that shouldn’t stop an honourable person from at least admitting the material does contradict their statements. But you can’t do those simple, honest things.

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL accuses me of not being honest. Which is extremely ironic coming from a dogmatic atheist who refuses to be honest to the empirical evidence.

    But anyways, I clearly conceded that Einstein did not believe in a personal God, and yet, at the same time, I also clearly pointed out that Einstein contradicted himself in wanting to know God’s thoughts.

    How God can possibly have ‘thoughts’ without being a ‘person’ in some way, shape, form or fashion, I have no idea.

    This clearly is a contradiction in logic on Einstein’s part!

    In the same way, I hold that Einstein’s use of the word ‘miracle’, in his noting the applicability of mathematics to the universe, while at the same time denigrating ‘professional atheists’, suffers the same fate of logically contradicting Einstein’s non-belief in a personal God.

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    Again, the last time I checked, miracles are considered the sole province of God,

    mir·a·cle
    a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

    For Einstein to use the word ‘miracle’, while at the same time denigrating ‘professional atheists’, simply makes no sense unless it is referring to divine agency. i.e. a ‘personal’ God of some sort, whether it be Deistic or Theistic. A ‘personal’ God who ‘miraculously’ wills the laws of the universe to be as they are. In short, Einstein, like when he stated that he wanted to know God’s thoughts, is directly contradicting his non-belief in a personal God when he used the word ‘miracle’ in such a fashion.

    And again, this debate about Einstein’s religious beliefs is all besides the point anyways To repeat, in posts 13 and 14 I appealed to special relativity itself, i.e. Einstein’s own baby, not to any quotes on religion that Einstein may have uttered, in order to refute Einstein’s non-belief in a personal God.

    And the last time I checked, in science empirical evidence has the final say.

    “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is … If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    – Richard Feynman

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test all things. Hold fast to what is good.

  39. 39
    dogdoc says:

    BA: “I stopped reading after the first sentence”

    Alright then! Another productive internet debate – I expected nothing else. You will continue to misconstrue quotes and argue from the authority of physical scientists in the realm of metaphysics and theology, and spend the rest of your life scouring the internet for descriptions of scientific progress that can be made to align with your predetermined beliefs in Christian dogma. Have fun with that!

  40. 40
    dogdoc says:

    Relatd:

    “theological non-cognitivist”? Oh sure. People us that term in conversation all the time.

    That might be the purest instantiation of “argument from ignorance” I’ve come across – nice job!

    As for Bill Craig’s take on theological non-cognitivism (TNC), he is as usual hopelessly confused. TNC does not entail positivism, nor verificationism, nor any other particular theory of meaning.

    Craig is correct, however, when he writes: “This belies the fashionable claim among the uninformed that atheism is simply the absence of God belief and therefore makes no claim and requires no justification. That naïve view fails to distinguish between the different forms that the absence of belief in God may take: one might be an atheist, an agnostic, or a non-cognitivist. So we need to ask our non-believing interlocutor exactly which form of non-theism he espouses. Then we can inquire what reasons he has for his particular view.”

    Bravo Dr. Craig! And of course sauce for goose is sauce for the gander: When someone says they “believe in God” there is any number of things they may be referring to. To wit, what Spinoza (and Einstein) meant by the word “God” is utterly different from what others mean! Spinoza’s god was essentially “the totality of nature”, so by that definition I of course believe in God.

    My position is simply that until somebody makes some meaningful claim about what they are referring to as “God”, it makes no sense to decide whether it exists or not.

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    Dogdoc says that I am the one who ‘misconstrue quotes’ all the while he is the one who misconstrued my post to claim that I conceded something about Einstein’s use of the word ‘miracle’ which I never conceded. And for which I gave a very good reason why I did not concede it. The hypocrisy is literally dripping off of every word that Dogdoc wrote. In short, Dogdoc is as dogmatic and unreasonable as atheists come.

  42. 42
    dogdoc says:

    BA,

    So not only is hypocrisy dripping from my words, but they are doing so literally! Get the handi wipes!

    And now you’ve called me an atheist and I’ve already told you I am not an atheist. Oh my G*d! You are such a hypocrite for misconstruing my beliefs while condemning me for doing the same! The shame, the horror, the literally dripping hypocrisy!

    I am not an atheist, and I am not dogmatic – you should have picked up on that when I explained that I am 100% certain I do not know the answers to life’s deepest questions (the origin of the universe, life, etc). All I’m saying is that you don’t know the answers either, nor do physicists and mathematicians, no matter how famous they are. I do understand why you’re not going to give up on your attempts to show otherwise, though – what are you going to do with all of those terabytes of copypasta?

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    To further empirically demonstrate that Einstein’s non-belief in a personal God is directly contradicted by empirical evidence.

    First off, in the 4 dimensional spacetime of Einstein’s General Relativity, we find that each 3-Dimensional point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe,,,

    Where is the centre of the universe?:
    Excerpt: There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a “Big Bang” about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell.
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/.....entre.html

    ,,, and since any 3-Dimensional point can be considered central in the 4-Dimensional space time of General Relativity, then, as far as General Relativity is concerned, it is now left completely open to whomever is making a model of the universe to decide for themselves what is to be considered central in the universe,,, As the following article states, “You can, to the chagrin of Santa Barbarans, take Los Angeles as the center of the universe and define every other place with respect to it. In this framework,”

    How Einstein Revealed the Universe’s Strange “Nonlocality” – George Musser | Oct 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Under most circumstances, we can ignore this nonlocality. You can designate some available chunk of matter as a reference point and use it to anchor a coordinate grid. You can, to the chagrin of Santa Barbarans, take Los Angeles as the center of the universe and define every other place with respect to it. In this framework, you can go about your business in blissful ignorance of space’s fundamental inability to demarcate locations.,,
    In short, Einstein’s theory is nonlocal in a more subtle and insidious way than Newton’s theory of gravity was. Newtonian gravity acted at a distance, but at least it operated within a framework of absolute space. Einsteinian gravity has no such element of wizardry; its effects ripple through the universe at the speed of light. Yet it demolishes the framework, violating locality in what was, for Einstein, its most basic sense: the stipulation that all things have a location. General relativity confounds our intuitive picture of space as a kind of container in which material objects reside and forces us to search for an entirely new conception of place.
    http://www.scientificamerican......locality//

    Even individual people, as the following article makes clear, can be considered to be central in the universe according to the four-dimensional space-time of General Relativity,,,

    You Technically Are the Center of the Universe – May 2016
    Excerpt: (due to the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the 4-D space-time of General Relativity) no matter where you stand, it will appear that everything in the universe is expanding around you. So the center of the universe is technically — everywhere.
    The moment you pick a frame of reference, that point becomes the center of the universe.
    Here’s another way to think about it: The sphere of space we can see around us is the visible universe. We’re looking at the light from stars that’s traveled millions or billions of years to reach us. When we reach the 13.8 billion-light-year point, we’re seeing the universe just moments after the Big Bang happened.
    But someone standing on another planet, a few light-years to the right, would see a different sphere of the universe. It’s sort of like lighting a match in the middle of a dark room: Your observable universe is the sphere of the room that the light illuminates.
    But someone standing in a different spot in the room will be able to see a different sphere. So technically, we are all standing at the center of our own observable universes.
    https://mic.com/articles/144214/you-technically-are-the-center-of-the-universe-thanks-to-a-wacky-physics-quirk

    ,,, In fact, when Einstein first formulated both Special and General relativity, he gave a ‘hypothetical’ observer a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements in the universe.

    Introduction to special relativity
    Excerpt: Einstein’s approach was based on thought experiments, calculations, and the principle of relativity, which is the notion that all physical laws should appear the same (that is, take the same basic form) to all inertial observers.,,,
    Each observer has a distinct “frame of reference” in which velocities are measured,,,,
    per wikipedia

    The happiest thought of my life.
    Excerpt: In 1920 Einstein commented that a thought came into his mind when writing the above-mentioned paper he called it “the happiest thought of my life”:
    “The gravitational field has only a relative existence… Because for an observer freely falling from the roof of a house – at least in his immediate surroundings – there exists no gravitational field.”
    http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/…..ode85.html

    Introduction to Tensor Calculus for General Relativity
    Excerpt: The second essential idea underlying GR is that at every spacetime point there exist locally inertial reference frames, corresponding to locally flat coordinates carried by freely falling observers, in which the physics of GR is locally indistinguishable from that of special relativity. This is Einstein’s famous strong equivalence principle and it makes general relativity an extension of special relativity to a curved spacetime.
    http://web.mit.edu/edbert/GR/gr1.pdf

  44. 44
    bornagain77 says:

    Likewise, quantum mechanics also ‘unexpectedly’ gives each individual person ‘significance’ in this universe. Specifically, in Quantum Mechanics it is the measurement itself that gives each observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe. As the following article states, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”,,,

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-q.....dness.html

    Likewise, the following violation of Leggett’s inequality stressed the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Moreover, this recent 2019 experimental confirmation of the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment, (with the caveat that photons were used as proxies for human observers), established that “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    Because of such experiments like the preceding from quantum mechanics, Richard Conn Henry, who is Professor of Physics at John Hopkins University, stated “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.”

    “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial, and have fears and agonies that are very similar to the fears and agonies that Copernicus and Galileo went through with their perturbations of society.”
    – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/quantum.enigma.html

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time.

    These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    In short, our best science from both quantum mechanics and General Relativity give us very strong indication that God is very much a ‘personal’ God who cares very deeply for each us us individually. Far more than we can possibly know or imagine right now.

    Quote and Verses:

    The Easter Question – Eben Alexander, M.D. – Harvard – March 2013
    Excerpt: More than ever since my near death experience, I consider myself a Christian -,,,
    Now, I can tell you that if someone had asked me, in the days before my NDE, what I thought of this (Easter) story, I would have said that it was lovely. But it remained just that — a story. To say that the physical body of a man who had been brutally tortured and killed could simply get up and return to the world a few days later is to contradict every fact we know about the universe. It wasn’t simply an unscientific idea. It was a downright anti-scientific one.
    But it is an idea that I now believe. Not in a lip-service way. Not in a dress-up-it’s-Easter kind of way. I believe it with all my heart, and all my soul.,,
    We are, really and truly, made in God’s image. But most of the time we are sadly unaware of this fact. We are unconscious both of our intimate kinship with God, and of His constant presence with us. On the level of our everyday consciousness, this is a world of separation — one where people and objects move about, occasionally interacting with each other, but where essentially we are always alone.
    But this cold dead world of separate objects is an illusion. It’s not the world we actually live in.,,,
    ,,He (God) is right here with each of us right now, seeing what we see, suffering what we suffer… and hoping desperately that we will keep our hope and faith in Him. Because that hope and faith will be triumphant.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....79741.html

    Hebrews 4:13
    “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account.”

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.??

    Psalm 139:7-14
    Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    Dogdoc, “I am not an atheist, and I am not dogmatic”

    Sorry Dogdoc, I go by the old “walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck, probably is a duck” criteria for identifying dogmatic and unreasonable atheists like yourself.

    🙂

  46. 46
    dogdoc says:

    BA,

    The “walks like a duck and talks like a duck” criterion often just serves as an excuse for prejudice. How about if you stop falsely assuming that I am an unreasonable atheist, and I, despite your rhetoric here, won’t assume that you are an old man with a bushy grey beard and dirty clothes who stands on a street corner with a sign that says “The End is Nigh”. Deal?

    In short, our best science from both quantum mechanics and General Relativity give us very strong indication that God is very much a ‘personal’ God who cares very deeply for each us us individually. Far more than we can possibly know or imagine right now.

    Ok, BA, listen. As I said before, I do not approve of anyone attacking religion per se. I only argue against those attempting to prove that everyone’s ideas about religion are false except their own, and especially those who try to co-opt science in that attempt. I am literally happy for you if the thought of a loving and personal God makes your life better! Still, you should temper your fideism, embrace a bit of humility, and acknowledge that the deepest mysteries of the universe resist our certain understanding. If people would be a little more comfortable with a little less certainty in these matters we might not be as quick to caricature and attack each other.

  47. 47
    bornagain77 says:

    So you are certain in your uncertainties? While I am certain that the empirical evidence strongly supports belief in a personal God. Go figure.

    “Speculations? I have none. I am resting on certainties. I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.’
    – Michael Faraday – When asked about his speculations on life beyond death, as quoted in The Homiletic Review (April 1896), p. 442

    – Michael Faraday (September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867) was an English physicist and chemist who is one of the most influential scientists of all time.[1] His most important contributions, and best known work, were on the closely connected phenomena of electricity and magnetism, but he also made very significant contributions in chemistry.
    Faraday was principally an experimentalist; in fact, he has been described as the “best experimentalist in the history of science”.[2] He did not know any advanced mathematics, however.[3] Both his contributions to science, and his impact on the world, are nonetheless vast:
    https://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Michael_Faraday/Citable_Version#cite_note-2

  48. 48
    Sir Giles says:

    CD: Well put. One should also mention that Newton was anti-trinitarian but did not publish his views during his lifetime for fear of prosecution under the Blasphemy Act of 1697………

    And by all accounts, a totally reprehensible human being.

  49. 49
    dogdoc says:

    Yes BA, who is the dogmatic one again? You were certain of your religious dogma prior to any scientific results, look for only those results that support your forgone conclusions, ignore all those that speak against them, and remain certain no matter how many scientists disagree, no matter how often the consensus changes. Most physicists dismiss consciousness collapse interpretations, yet you present that as confirmed fact. You accept anything that Einstein says that appears supportive of your theistic views and reject whatever he says against them. On and on. And then you call others “dogmatic”. And then you complain about hypocrisy.

  50. 50
    bornagain77 says:

    Dogdoc, “who is the dogmatic one again?

    You are.

    “You were certain of your religious dogma prior to any scientific results,”

    Another lie. No I wasn’t. I was pleasantly surprised that the scientific evidence so strongly supported my belief in a personal God.

    “look for only those results that support your forgone conclusions,”

    Another lie. No I don’t, I look at all the evidence and if the experimental evidence simply flat out contradicts any apriori belief I may have, I discard and/or adjust my apriori belief accordingly. It is called experimental science. You might give it a try someday.

    “ignore all those that speak against them, and remain certain no matter how many scientists disagree, no matter how often the consensus changes.”

    More lies. I pay attention to what scientists say especially if they have experimental evidence to back up what they say. I ignore what they say if it is contradicted by the experimental evidence. Again, the experimental evidence has the final say in science, and it is the experimental evidence itself, which I presented, that strongly supports my belief in a personal God and strongly disconfirms your, and Einstein’s, unbelief in a personal God. Again, it is called empirical science, you might give it a try someday.

    “Most physicists dismiss consciousness collapse interpretations, yet you present that as confirmed fact.”

    I have never held that my own consciousness in particular collapses the ‘infinite dimensional’ wave function. I find that idea to be patently absurd. In fact, I hold that it is fairly obvious that God is required in order to provide a ‘sufficient cause’ in order to explain the collapse the ‘infinite dimensional’ wave function.

    In so far as human observers in particular are concerned, I ‘merely’ hold to the ‘instrumentalist approach’ in quantum mechanics’ where free will plays an integral role, (as opposed to the ‘realist approach’ in quantum mechanics which harbors the insanity of ‘many worlds’), In the instrumentalist approach a human observer’s free will is integral in bringing about wave function collapse. As the late Weinberg, an atheist, put it, “In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,”

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 2017
    Excerpt: Today there are two widely followed approaches to quantum mechanics, the “realist” and “instrumentalist” approaches,9 which view the origin of probability in measurement in two very different ways. For reasons I will explain, neither approach seems to me quite satisfactory.10,,,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,,
    ,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    In the realist approach the history of the world is endlessly splitting; it does so every time a macroscopic body becomes tied in with a choice of quantum states. This inconceivably huge variety of histories has provided material for science fiction. 12
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf
    May 2021
    Instrumentalist approach experimentally confirmed to be true.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/granville-sewell-on-origin-of-life-as-a-provably-unsolvable-problem/#comment-729788
    December 2021 –
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-in-an-infinity-of-universes-is-another-you-reading-this-article/#comment-743056

    “You accept anything that Einstein says that appears supportive of your theistic views and reject whatever he says against them.”

    And I presented scientific evidence from Einstein’s very own theories that directly contradict his non-belief in a personal God. So I would say that I have very good reason to be picky in ascertaining Einstein’s quotes. Again, it is called empirical science, you might give it a try someday.

    “On and on. And then you call others “dogmatic”. And then you complain about hypocrisy.”

    LOL, you, not me, are the one who is refusing to follow the evidence where it leads and are being ‘dogmatic’ in your apriori non belief in a personal God.

    For crying out loud, thus far you haven’t even cited a single experiment to support your position.. You simply keep repeating your opinion over and over again, as if that is enough, and ignore any and all evidence presented to you. You act as if the Scientific evidence doesn’t even matter to you. Shoot, as far as I see it, that is the friggin definition of being dogmatic!

    The charge of hypocrisy against you stems simply from the fact that you accused me a ‘cherry picking’ quotes in order to support my position and ignoring all other quotes, yet in the very thread that you accused me of doing that, you turned around and presented a site that had several ‘cherry picked’ quotes that supported your position without taking any other quotes into consideration. It was a stunning display of hypocrisy on your part.

    Before then, and since then, I’ve done my best to take all Einstein’s quotes into consideration and have even used Einstein’s own scientific theories in order to refute his non-belief in a personal God. All in all, I would say that, in toeing the line of empirical science, I have done a fairly good job of defending my belief in a personal God and refuting his, and your, non-belief in a personal God. (even if I say so myself)

    Of course, you don’t accept any of the evidence that I presented, but alas, that goes with the territory of you being a dogmatic and unreasonable ‘person’, (I did not say atheist 🙂 ), who is uncertain about everything save, of course, for being certain about his own uncertainty. 🙂

  51. 51
    dogdoc says:

    BA,

    ME: “You were certain of your religious dogma prior to any scientific results,”

    YOU: No I wasn’t. I was pleasantly surprised that the scientific evidence so strongly supported my belief in a personal God.

    Okay, so it looks like you got this backwards. I said your belief in a personal God preceeded the scientific evidence you’ve gathered. You denied that, and then explained that… your belief in a personal God preceded the scientific evidence you’ve gathered! So we agree: You started out with a belief in God, and then collected scientific evidence, which you believe is consistent with those beliefs. But of course your a priori theism determined how you interpret these results! (See “motivated reasoning”).

    I look at all the evidence and if the experimental evidence simply flat out contradicts any a priori belief I may have, I discard and/or adjust my apriori belief accordingly.

    So whenever some scientific result that you have claimed as evidence for God is called into question, your certainty regarding the existence of God is decreased? It’s very unusual for people with strong commitments to something (like a belief in evolution, or a belief in God) to be able to overcome their confirmation biases. From what I’ve seen, you take any scrap of science (like your cherry-picked quotes, or your unpopular QM interpretations) and that’s enough to convince you that you’ve further supported your beliefs.

    I hold that it is fairly obvious that God is required in order to provide a ‘sufficient cause’ in order to explain the collapse the ‘infinite dimensional’ wave function.

    And you think this is a scientifically meaningful and empirically supported conclusion? How does God do it, and which experiment confirmed this ability?

    In so far as human observers in particular are concerned, I ‘merely’ hold to the ‘instrumentalist approach’ in quantum mechanics’ where free will plays an integral role, (as opposed to the ‘realist approach’ in quantum mechanics which harbors the insanity of ‘many worlds’),

    There are no experiments that confirm libertarian free will. There are no experiments that confirm whether many worlds is true or false (or superdeterminism or retrocausality or QBism or Bohmian mechanics or…).

    In the instrumentalist approach a human observer’s free will is integral in bringing about wave function collapse.

    You think this is a scientific statement. It is not; you’ve failed to characterize “free will” in any way that can be used to experimentally confirm its existence.

    As the late Weinberg, an atheist, put it, “In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,”

    Perfect example of you cherry-picking ambiguous quotes. (Ambiguous as to whether Weinberg thought conscious thought was responsible). You can pick scientists who say things you like, and I can find scientists who say things you don’t like. You think you’re doing scientific research, when all you’re doing is picking cherries.

    For crying out loud, thus far you haven’t even cited a single experiment to support your position.

    This is a very weird thing for you to say. What position is it you think I’m defending here? My position is nobody knows how to interpret quantum physics, that none of the things you’re trying to use to support theism (libertarianism, conscious collapse, etc) are even remotely settled science, and even if they were it’s a huge distance between those things and “personal loving god”. My position is that the foundation of your certainty that empirical science supports your brand of theism is imaginary.

    I’ve done my best to take all Einstein’s quotes into consideration

    Really? Even the part when he says belief in anthropcentric gods is childish and primitive?

    …and have even used Einstein’s own scientific theories in order to refute his non-belief in a personal God.

    You have done no such thing of course. If you had, you would be quite famous among both physicists and theologists, but as far as I can tell, you’re not.

    Of course, you don’t accept any of the evidence that I presented,

    You merely select the interpretations you want, no matter how controversial or unpopular, ignore the rest, and then extrapolate from those results without justification until you get what you want – libertarian dualism, and a loving personal god.

    but alas, that goes with the territory of you being a dogmatic and unreasonable ‘person’, (I did not say atheist ? ), who is uncertain about everything save, of course, for being certain about his own uncertainty. ?

    You are lying, BA. I never said I was uncertain about everything save for uncertainty. I very clearly said it was the big questions of existence (life, the universe, etc) that I (and everyone else in the world) is uncertain about.

    So you just lied about what I said. After accusing me of doing that same thing. You know what that’s called, right? Starts with an ‘H’…

  52. 52
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77,
    Frankly, I don’t see anything substantive, supported, or logical in any of the posts by Dogdoc and Sir Giles–a complete waste of time. What I see are accusations, ad hominems, unsupported assertions such as the one against Isaac Newton:

    And by all accounts, a totally reprehensible human being.

    Really? By what accounts? By whose standards? By what definition of reprehensible?

    It’s now believed that Isaac Newton probably suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder. Are people with Asperger’s Syndrome reprehensible? I’ve had professors and colleagues that were “on the spectrum” of autism. I tried to treat them with kindness, accommodation, and appreciation.

    Nowadays, people who suffer from behavioral and developmental problems are no longer treated with contempt, but recognized for their other gifts. I’d venture say that one Isaac Newton has had more value to humanity than a thousand Dogdocs, Sir Gileses, or Queriuses.

    For my part, I’m waiting for anything of value from Dogdoc or Sir Giles with regard to “how infinity threatens cosmology”? Hopefully, they can study up on the issues of mathematical models involving infinity (or zero as in point masses), cosmological challenges, and the wavefunction to contribute something of value relevant to this topic.

    If they don’t, let me suggest ignoring them.

    -Q

  53. 53
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77,

    It would be interesting to evaluate perspectives of the relationship between what can be determined mathematically with what is applicable to reality. This also touches on Dr. Hossenfelder’s complaint in her book, Lost in Math. (https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Math-Beauty-Physics-Astray/dp/0465094252).

    -Q

  54. 54
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: And I presented scientific evidence from Einstein’s very own theories that directly contradict his non-belief in a personal God.

    That’s exactly the kind of biased view Seversky is talking about. You say you consider all the theories and evidence and come to a sound conclusion. But that’s not the case at all. You frequently adopt a fringe view. And why is that? It’s pretty clear you don’t actually understand the mathematics or physics involved. How could you possibly pick between interpretations? Another person, equally unskilled in the relevant sciences, might just go with the consensus view. But you don’t. You pick the fringe. You don’t understand the science and you go for the minority view that corresponds with your theological beliefs. It’s blatantly clear. And you won’t admit it.

  55. 55
    jerry says:

    a complete waste of time.

    Yes!

    They only answer things they can turn against someone or might belittle another. It is always more interesting what they avoid. I understand not answering when the comment is inane as most are because what is the purpose.

    But often it is not inane. They know they are caught. The interesting thing is always that they know they are caught but continue on as if no valid point has been made. They desperately want a gotcha and people often over promise so they provide the opportunity for the gotcha and they pounce.

    Aside: a basic truism – no anti ID person has ever contributed anything that disputes ID. Why, because there is no valid logic or evidence that does.

    But most ID people over promise what ID is and can do. So they provide fodder for the anti ID people. Often it is just the dotting of the “i’s” and crossing of the “t’s” that the anti ID people attack.

  56. 56
    bornagain77 says:

    Since, like Querius, ‘I don’t see anything substantive, supported, or logical’ in any of the posts offered by atheists to try to support their non-belief in a personal God, I will simply continue presenting the scientific evidence that refutes Einstein’s, and their, non-belief in a personal God, and which, by the same token, validates my belief in a personal God.

    Einstein once had a fairly heated exchange with a prominent philosopher of his day, Henri Bergson, over what the proper definition of time should be. Einstein bluntly stated, to an audience of prominent philosophers that he was invited to speak to, that, “The time of the philosophers did not exist”. And in fact, that disagreement with Henri Bergson over what the proper definition of time should be was actually one of the primary reasons that Einstein failed to ever receive a Nobel prize for his work on relativity:

    Einstein vs Bergson, science vs philosophy and the meaning of time – Wednesday 24 June 2015
    Excerpt: The meeting of April 6 was supposed to be a cordial affair, though it ended up being anything but.
    ‘I have to say that day exploded and it was referenced over and over again in the 20th century,’ says Canales. ‘The key sentence was something that Einstein said: “The time of the philosophers did not exist.”
    It’s hard to know whether Bergson was expecting such a sharp jab. In just one sentence, Bergson’s notion of duration—a major part of his thesis on time—was dealt a mortal blow.
    As Canales reads it, the line was carefully crafted for maximum impact.
    ‘What he meant was that philosophers frequently based their stories on a psychological approach and [new] physical knowledge showed that these philosophical approaches were nothing more than errors of the mind.’
    The night would only get worse.
    ‘This was extremely scandalous,’ says Canales. ‘Einstein had been invited by philosophers to speak at their society, and you had this physicist say very clearly that their time did not exist.’
    Bergson was outraged, but the philosopher did not take it lying down. A few months later Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the law of photoelectric effect, an area of science that Canales noted, ‘hardly jolted the public’s imagination’. In truth, Einstein coveted recognition for his work on relativity.
    Bergson inflicted some return humiliation of his own. By casting doubt on Einstein’s theoretical trajectory, Bergson dissuaded the committee from awarding the prize for relativity. In 1922, the jury was still out on the correct interpretation of time.
    So began a dispute that festered for years and played into the larger rift between physics and philosophy, science and the humanities.
    Bergson was fond of saying that time was the experience of waiting for a lump of sugar to dissolve in a glass of water. It was a declaration that one could not talk about time without reference to human consciousness and human perception. Einstein would say that time is what clocks measure. Bergson would no doubt ask why we build clocks in the first place.
    ‘He argued that if we didn’t have a prior sense of time we wouldn’t have been led to build clocks and we wouldn’t even use them … unless we wanted to go places and to events that mattered,’ says Canales. ‘You can see that their points of view were very different.’
    In a theoretical nutshell this, (disagreement between Einstein and Bergson), expressed perfectly the division between lived time and spacetime: subjective experience versus objective reality.,,,
    Just when Einstein thought he had it worked out, along came the discovery of quantum theory and with it the possibility of a Bergsonian universe of indeterminacy and change. God did, it seems, play dice with the universe, contra to Einstein’s famous aphorism.
    Some supporters went as far as to say that Bergson’s earlier work anticipated the quantum revolution of Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg by four decades or more.
    Canales quotes the literary critic Andre Rousseaux, writing at the time of Bergson’s death.
    ‘The Bergson revolution will be doubled by a scientific revolution that, on its own, would have demanded the philosophical revolution that Bergson led, even if he had not done it.’
    Was Bergson right after all? Time will tell.
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionat.....me/6539568

    Henri Bergson, as the preceding article pointed out, championed the primacy of ‘lived time’ over and above Einstein’s ‘spacetime’, Which is to say that Bergson championed ‘subjective experience’ over and above ‘objective reality’ in providing a proper definition of time.

    In particular, the subjective experience of “duration”, as the preceding article stated, was “a major part of his (Bergson’s) thesis on time”.

    In support of Bergson’s main thesis, and as Dr. Egnor has pointed out, “Duration, and/or “persistence of self identity”, is one of defining attributes of the immaterial mind that is irreducible to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian atheists.

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Michael Egnor – 2008
    Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: –
    Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....13961.html

    Likewise, J. Warner Wallace also lists “Persistent self-identity through time”, i.e. ‘duration’, as a property of the immaterial mind that is irreducible to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian atheists.

    Six reasons why you should believe in non-physical minds – 01/30/2014
    1) First-person access to mental properties
    2) Our experience of consciousness implies that we are not our bodies
    3) Persistent self-identity through time
    4) Mental properties cannot be measured like physical objects
    5) Intentionality or About-ness
    6) Free will and personal responsibility
    http://winteryknight.com/2014/.....cal-minds/

    In more clearly defining what Henri Bergson meant by ‘duration’, and/or “persistence of self identity through time”, it is important to note that we each have a unique perspective of being outside of time. In fact we each seemingly watch from some mysterious outside perspective of time as time seemingly passes us by. Simply put, we very much seem to be standing on a ‘tiny’ island of ‘now’ as the river of time continually flows past us.

    In the following video, Dr. Suarez states that the irresolvable dilemma for reductive materialists as such, “it is impossible for us to be ‘persons’ experiencing ‘now’ if we are nothing but particles flowing in space time. Moreover, for us to refer to ourselves as ‘persons’ (experiencing now), we cannot refer to space-time as the ultimate substratum upon which everything exists, but must refer to a Person who is not bound by space time. (In other words) We must refer to God!”

    Nothing: God’s new Name – Antoine Suarez – video
    Paraphrased quote: (“it is impossible for us to be ‘persons’ experiencing ‘now’ if we are nothing but particles flowing in space time. Moreover, for us to refer to ourselves as ‘persons’, we cannot refer to space-time as the ultimate substratum upon which everything exists, but must refer to a Person who is not bound by space time. i.e. We must refer to God!”)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOr9QqyaLlA

    In further defining the immaterial mind’s attribute of ‘the experience of the now’, in the following article Stanley Jaki states that “There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,, ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.”

    The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, May 2008
    Excerpts: There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,,
    Three quarters of a century ago Charles Sherrington, the greatest modern student of the brain, spoke memorably on the mind’s baffling independence of the brain. The mind lives in a self-continued now or rather in the now continued in the self. This life involves the entire brain, some parts of which overlap, others do not.
    ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.
    ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond.
    ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
    http://metanexus.net/essay/mind-and-its-now

    After Einstein’s heated exchange with Bergson, which resulted in Einstein failing to ever receive a Nobel prize for his work on relativity, Einstein had another encounter with another prominent philosopher named Rudolf Carnap.

    In particular, and around 1935, Einstein was specifically asked by Rudolf Carnap, “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”
    – Rudolf Carnap

    According to Stanely Jaki, Einstein’s answer to Carnap was ‘categorical’, he said: “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”
    – Albert Einstein

    Bergson and Einstein quotes are taken from the last few minutes of this video:
    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    Einstein’s categorical denial that ‘the experience of the now’ can be a part of physical measurement was a very interesting claim for Einstein to make since “The experience of ‘the now’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, established itself as very much being a defining part of our physical measurements in quantum mechanics.

    For instance, the following delayed choice experiment with atoms, (which I have referenced previously) demonstrated that, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice) quantum experiment confirms – Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

    Likewise, the following violation of Leggett’s inequality, (which I have also referenced previously), stressed the quantum-mechanical assertion “that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.”

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    The Mind First and/or Theistic implications of quantum experiments such as the preceding are fairly obvious. As Professor Scott Aaronson of MIT once quipped, “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists,,, But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor quantum computation – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

  57. 57
    bornagain77 says:

    The ‘experience of the now’, directly contrary to what Einstein himself thought was experimentally possible, also makes itself known in experimental science through what is termed the ‘quantum zeno effect’.

    Wikipedia’s entry on the Quantum Zeno effect provocatively states that “a system can’t change while you are watching it”

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: Sometimes this effect is interpreted as “a system can’t change while you are watching it”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Zeno_effect

    Wikipedia’s old entry on the Quantum Zeno effect also proactively stated that “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.”

    Perspectives on the quantum Zeno paradox – 2018
    The quantum Zeno effect is,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/196/1/012018/pdf

    Atheistic materialists have tried to get around the Quantum Zeno effect by postulating that interaction with the environment, i.e. decoherence, is sufficient to explain the Quantum Zeno effect.

    Perspectives on the quantum Zeno paradox – 2018
    Excerpt: The references to observations and to wavefunction collapse tend to raise unnecessary questions related to the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Actually, all that is required is that some interaction with an external system disturb the unitary evolution of the quantum system in a way that is effectively like a projection operator.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/196/1/012018/pdf

    Yet, the following interaction-free measurement of the Quantum Zeno effect demonstrated that the presence of the Quantum Zeno effect can be detected “without interacting with a single atom.”

    Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms – 14 April 2015
    Excerpt: In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object—realized by a laser beam—prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2.....S-20150415

    Thus, regardless of how atheistic materialists may feel about it, the Quantum Zeno effect is experimentally shown to be a real effect that is not reducible to any possible materialistic explanation.

    That “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay” is very interesting to note since entropy is very foundational to any definition of physical time that we may put forth.

    Shining Light on Dark Energy – October 21, 2012
    Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,,
    Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy. ,,,
    The principles of thermodynamics are at their roots all to do with information theory. Information theory is simply an embodiment of how we interact with the universe —,,,
    http://crev.info/2012/10/shini.....rk-energy/

    Moreover, as if that was not bad enough for Atheistic materialists, in quantum information theory, (and via experimental confirmation of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment), it is now held that entropy is not a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.

    As the following 2017 article states: James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,,
    quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,,
    Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    That entropy is found, (via experimental realization of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment), to be ‘a property of an observer who describes a system” is simply completely devastating to any reductive materialistic explanations that seek to explain the existence of humans as being the result of purely physical forces, with no recourse to any intelligent ‘observers’ who might be describing the system.

    On top of the fact that, in quantum information theory, entropy is “a property of an observer who describes a system”, entropy is also, by a very wide margin, the most finely tuned of the initial conditions of the Big Bang. Finely tuned to an almost incomprehensible degree of precision, 1 part in 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. As Roger Penrose himself, a staunch agnostic, stated, “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”

    “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”
    – Roger Penrose – How special was the big bang? – (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)

    “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).”
    – Roger Penrose – The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them?

    And yet to repeat, via quantum information theory, “we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”

    That statement is just fascinating! Why in blue blazes should the finely tuned entropic actions of the universe, entropic actions which also happen to explain time itself, even care if I am consciously observing them, and/or describing them, unless ‘the experience of ‘the now’ really is more foundational to reality than the finely tuned 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe is? To state the obvious, this finding of entropy being “a property of an observer who describes a system.” is very friendly to a Mind First, and/or to a Theistic view of reality.

    For instance Romans chapter 8: verses 20 and 21 itself states, “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

    Romans 8:20-21
    For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    “We have the sober scientific certainty that the heavens and earth shall ‘wax old as doth a garment’….
    Dark indeed would be the prospects of the human race if unilluminated by that light which reveals ‘new heavens and a new earth.’”
    Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824 – 1907) – pioneer in many different scientific fields, particularly electromagnetism and thermodynamics.
    https://darwinthenandnow.com/scientific-revolution/william-thompson-kevin/

    Psalm 102:25-27
    Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.

  58. 58
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, on top of Wheeler’s delayed choice experiment with atoms, the violation of Leggett’s inequality, the Quantum Zeno effect, and Quantum information theory, all falsifying Einstein’s belief that “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics”, quantum entanglement in time and quantum contextuality also falsify Einstein’s belief that “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics”

    As to quantum entanglement in time, and as the following articles state, “a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.” and, “Quantum correlations come first, space-time later.”

    Physicists provide support for retrocausal quantum theory, in which the future influences the past
    July 5, 2017 by Lisa Zyga
    Excerpt: retrocausality means that, when an experimenter chooses the measurement setting with which to measure a particle, that decision can influence the properties of that particle (or another particle) in the past, even before the experimenter made their choice. In other words, a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.
    https://phys.org/news/2017-07-physicists-retrocausal-quantum-theory-future.html

    Quantum Weirdness Now a Matter of Time – 2016
    Bizarre quantum bonds connect distinct moments in time, suggesting that quantum links — not space-time — constitute the fundamental structure of the universe.
    Excerpt: Not only can two events be correlated, linking the earlier one to the later one, but two events can become correlated such that it becomes impossible to say which is earlier and which is later.,,,
    “If you have space-time, you have a well-defined causal order,” said Caslav Brukner, a physicist at the University of Vienna who studies quantum information. But “if you don’t have a well-defined causal order,” he said — as is the case in experiments he has proposed — then “you don’t have space-time.”,,,
    Quantum correlations come first, space-time later. Exactly how does space-time emerge out of the quantum world? Bruner said he is still unsure.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160119-time-entanglement/

    As well, in regards to quantum entanglement in time, Professor Elise Crullis provocatively states “entanglement can occur across two quantum systems that never coexisted,,, it implies that the measurements carried out by your eye upon starlight falling through your telescope this winter somehow dictated the polarity of photons more than 9 billion years old.”

    You thought quantum mechanics was weird: check out entangled time – Feb. 2018
    Excerpt: Just when you thought quantum mechanics couldn’t get any weirder, a team of physicists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reported in 2013 that they had successfully entangled photons that never coexisted. Previous experiments involving a technique called ‘entanglement swapping’ had already showed quantum correlations across time, by delaying the measurement of one of the coexisting entangled particles; but Eli Megidish and his collaborators were the first to show entanglement between photons whose lifespans did not overlap at all.,,,
    Up to today, most experiments have tested entanglement over spatial gaps. The assumption is that the ‘nonlocal’ part of quantum nonlocality refers to the entanglement of properties across space. But what if entanglement also occurs across time? Is there such a thing as temporal nonlocality?,,,
    The data revealed the existence of quantum correlations between ‘temporally nonlocal’ photons 1 and 4. That is, entanglement can occur across two quantum systems that never coexisted.
    What on Earth can this mean? Prima facie, it seems as troubling as saying that the polarity of starlight in the far-distant past – say, greater than twice Earth’s lifetime – nevertheless influenced the polarity of starlight falling through your amateur telescope this winter. Even more bizarrely: maybe it implies that the measurements carried out by your eye upon starlight falling through your telescope this winter somehow dictated the polarity of photons more than 9 billion years old.
    Elise Crullis assistant professor in history and philosophy of science at the City College of New York.,,,
    https://aeon.co/ideas/you-thought-quantum-mechanics-was-weird-check-out-entangled-time

    As to quantum contextuality, (which is integral for quantum computing), we find that “In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation”

    Contextuality is ‘magic ingredient’ for quantum computing – June 11, 2012
    Excerpt: Contextuality was first recognized as a feature of quantum theory almost 50 years ago. The theory showed that it was impossible to explain measurements on quantum systems in the same way as classical systems.
    In the classical world, measurements simply reveal properties that the system had, such as colour, prior to the measurement. In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.
    Imagine turning over a playing card. It will be either a red suit or a black suit – a two-outcome measurement. Now imagine nine playing cards laid out in a grid with three rows and three columns. Quantum mechanics predicts something that seems contradictory – there must be an even number of red cards in every row and an odd number of red cards in every column. Try to draw a grid that obeys these rules and you will find it impossible. It’s because quantum measurements cannot be interpreted as merely revealing a pre-existing property in the same way that flipping a card reveals a red or black suit.
    Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
    Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. That’s part of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-w.....antum.html

    Quantum contextuality
    Quantum contextuality is a feature of the phenomenology of quantum mechanics whereby measurements of quantum observables cannot simply be thought of as revealing pre-existing values. ,,,
    Contextuality was first demonstrated to be a feature of quantum phenomenology by the Bell–Kochen–Specker theorem.[1],,,
    1. S. Kochen and E.P. Specker, “The problem of hidden variables in quantum mechanics”, Journal of Mathematics and Mechanics 17, 59–87 (1967)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_contextuality

    And as Anton Zeilinger states, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    Thus from multiple lines of experimental evidence, (i.e. Wheeler’s delayed choice experiment with atoms, the violation of Leggett’s inequality, the Quantum Zeno effect, Quantum information theory, Quantum entanglement in time, and quantum contextuality), Einstein’s belief that “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics” has been thoroughly, and impressively, falsified.

    In fact, I hold that it would now be much more appropriate to rephrase Einstein’s answer to the philosopher Rudolph Carnap in this way; “It is impossible for “the experience of ‘the now’” to ever be divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    Thus in conclusion, Einstein’s non-belief in a personal God, besides being directly contradicted by both of his own theories of Special Relativity and General Relativity, (see posts 13, 14, and 43), is also directly contradicted by multiple lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics. Multiple lines of experimental evidence that all converge to the same conclusion that a ‘Mind first’, and/or Theistic, view of reality is, by far, the correct view of reality to hold.

    As physics professor Richard Conn Henry stated in the prestigious scientific journal Nature in 2005, (and in regards to some of these recent experimental advances in quantum mechanics), “The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.”

    The mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry – 2005
    The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.
    Excerpt: “The ultimate cause of atheism, Newton asserted, is ‘this notion of bodies having, as it were, a complete, absolute and independent reality in themselves.’”,,,
    Arthur Eddington explained: “It is difficult for the matter-of-fact physicist to accept the view that the substratum of everything is of mental character.”
    Physicists shy from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics. A common way to evade the mental Universe is to invoke ‘decoherence’ — the notion that ‘the physical environment’ is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is neces- sary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in ‘Renninger-type’ experiments, the wave function is col- lapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The Universe is entirely mental.,,,
    The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.”
    – Richard Conn Henry is a Professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
    https://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  59. 59
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 55,

    “But most ID people over promise what ID is and can do.” Seriously? You took a survey? How many ID people are here? An exact number please. How many lurkers are here? In the black room we occupy where no one can see anyone, I know, based on my experience as a moderator elsewhere, that there are lurkers who read posts and rarely or never post anything themselves.

  60. 60
    relatd says:

    Ba77,

    Just as surely as there are atoms that make up physical objects, these atoms also consist of sub-atomic particles. The quantum world is very real but our understanding of it is basic, functional. The experience of “now” and passing through time occurs simultaneously. This represents a mental and physical effect. We age and we experience different things as time passes. In the eternity of the afterlife, time does not exist.

    Anywhere as the center of the universe is an extremely flawed concept. Traveling through space would require avoiding objects that exist there. A deep-space image would reveal the coordinates of other galaxies that are in motion relative to Earth. I submit that this apparent motion is little understood. That what propels these galaxies is little understood. Our own solar system is stated to be in orbit around the center of our galaxy. So I propose that all galaxies are also in orbit to the edge of the universe. After the Big Bang, what did the universe expand into? A kind of space that had no electromagnetic energy? No physical properties? A void?

  61. 61
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: And in fact, that disagreement with Henri Bergson over what the proper definition of time should be was actually one of the primary reasons that Einstein failed to ever receive a Nobel prize for his work on relativity:

    Curious. I hadn’t heard that before. And I couldn’t find where that argument had been made. Could you provide a reference? It is a most curious fact.

  62. 62
    JVL says:

    Relatd: So I propose that all galaxies are also in orbit to the edge of the universe.

    What do you mean by “to the edge of the universe”?

  63. 63
    relatd says:

    JVL at 62,

    The Universe does not occupy infinite space or infinite void. It has a physical edge. If galaxies around us are viewed as moving away from us, what are they actually doing? What is actually happening? I propose the universe itself revolves around a center. A central point.

  64. 64
    JVL says:

    Relatd: The Universe does not occupy infinite space or infinite void. It has a physical edge.

    That’s possible. How would that appear if you got close enough to ‘see’ it? If you approached it would you just stop like when you hit the edge of the map in a video game?

    If galaxies around us are viewed as moving away from us, what are they actually doing? What is actually happening? I propose the universe itself revolves around a center. A central point.

    But if the whole universe is rotating about a central point (like a giant LP) then wouldn’t our relative positions to the other points we can observe stay constant?

  65. 65
    relatd says:

    JVL at 64,

    Due to the vast distances involved, we can see that every galaxy around us is in motion. Angular motion. The arrangement of galaxies as shown in deep space images is not uniform. There may be galaxies that are right next to each other and others that are far apart, but from our narrow field of view only. If it were possible to build a three-dimensional view, then it would be possible to resolve this question. Using the balloon analogy, the galaxies would have a non-uniform distribution.

    What did the Big Bang expand into? That is the important question. Apparently, it expanded into a region with zero particles and zero electromagnetic energy. The edge of the universe would appear as complete blackness looking out from this edge.

  66. 66
    JVL says:

    Relatd: Due to the vast distances involved, we can see that every galaxy around us is in motion. Angular motion. The arrangement of galaxies as shown in deep space images is not uniform. There may be galaxies that are right next to each other and others that are far apart, but from our narrow field of view only. If it were possible to build a three-dimensional view, then it would be possible to resolve this question. Using the balloon analogy, the galaxies would have a non-uniform distribution.

    Yes, I get that. The way I see your model is like an LP or globe, rotating about a central axis. BUT, each point on that disk or globe maintains a constant distance from all other points on that disk or globe. But it seems like that is not the case; it looks like the distances between points on that globe is changing.

    What did the Big Bang expand into? That is the important question. Apparently, it expanded into a region with zero particles and zero electromagnetic energy. The edge of the universe would appear as complete blackness looking out from this edge.

    I too have wondered what the Big Bang expanded into. Not only have I not come to a satisfactory conclusion but I’m not sure I’ve heard a satisfactory explanation.

    So . . . you think you can’t go past the edge of the universe? It’s a boundary not just a perceptual limit?

  67. 67
    relatd says:

    JVL at 66,

    If it were possible to travel faster than light then it follows, I believe, that a spaceship would require a medium to travel through. Beyond the edge of the Universe there is no medium. No substantial anything. I propose that there would be a complete loss of power due to a lack of quantum effects. It would not be immediate but speed dependent. If a civilization had the technology to send probes to the edge of the Universe they would see a speed-related drop in power and then a loss of communications. The probe would be held in place in the void after a brief period of travel inside it.

  68. 68
    JVL says:

    Relatd: If it were possible to travel faster than light then it follows, I believe, that a spaceship would require a medium to travel through.

    Well, all vehicles travel through some kind of medium. And you did say IF it were possible to travel faster than light. We don’t know if that is possible. Yet.

    Beyond the edge of the Universe there is no medium. No substantial anything.

    I’m not sure how we can know that. What if the universe we perceive is embedded in some greater medium?

    I propose that there would be a complete loss of power due to a lack of quantum effects. It would not be immediate but speed dependent.

    Um . . . do you think that normal propulsion systems are dependent on quantum effects?

    If a civilization had the technology to send probes to the edge of the Universe they would see a speed-related drop in power and then a loss of communications. The probe would be held in place in the void after a brief period of travel inside it.

    How can you be inside a void? What does a void mean? Without dimension? Without time? Without space?

  69. 69
    relatd says:

    Like it or not, the Universe expanded into nothing. Literally nothing. All things are linked to the quantum world. All things are in communication with it. I believe faster than light travel is possible. Propulsion requires subatomic effects. Once they disappear in the void, all propulsion stops. Radio waves, or perhaps a faster equivalent, stops. A probe would disappear in the void. There would be no light to reflect off it. The characteristics of the void is that it contains no physical objects except a number at the edge, including asteroids. Once an asteroid flies into the void, it leaves the macro and quantum world effects behind. It loses energy and stops, as if held in place. There would be a short region at the edge of the Universe where quantum effects would end. It would not be possible to go beyond this short region or barrier.

  70. 70
    dogdoc says:

    I just came back to see if anyone would try to refute my remarks about poor BA77, who spends his life trawling the internet for any science – real science, fake science, controversial and speculative science, incoherent attempts at science, whatever – that he can spin into something that makes him feel like he’s proving Christianity via physics. But of course BA just carries on – it is all he can do. (Apparently there is another poster here, Seversky, who has made the same observations that I have regarding BA, and was undoubtedly treated to the same non-response as I received).

    In the meantime it’s been amusing reading some other contributors, in particular Relatd, who has some curious theories himself. His conviction that the universe has a “physical edge” is of course very much like the ancient sailors who feared falling off the physical edge of the Earth. After all, the Earth’s surface couldn’t go on forever, could it? 🙂

    Anyway, this was fun – carry on!

  71. 71
    Viola Lee says:

    I just read a short book by John Gribbin, who is an astrophysicist and respected science writer, called Six Impossible Things, which a short summary of six different interpretations of the meaning of quantum mechanics. The word “consciousness” does not appear in the book, but of course measurement does. When one reads BA’s quotes one can’t help but wonder how many quotes which present different views are going into his database, or never ever get there, and never see the light of day.

    And, dogdoc, I also think some of the discussion here about relativity, a void outside the universe, etc. are not connected with a good understanding of science. I would be interested to see sources, if there are any, about some of these ideas.

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL at 61, I picked up that tidbit about Einstein failing to receive a Nobel Prize for relativity because of his clash with Henri Bergson over the proper definition of time from Jimena Canales. She wrote an entire book on the subject, the award-winning “The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson and the Debate that Changed Our Understanding of Time” (2015)

    Jimena Canales
    Jimena Canales is a Mexican-American historian of science and author with a background in physics and engineering.
    Jimena Canales is the author of Simply Einstein (2021),[1] Bedeviled: A Shadow History of Demons in Science (2020),[2] the award-winning The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson and the Debate that Changed Our Understanding of Time (2015)[3] and A Tenth of a Second: A History (2009)[4] as well as numerous articles on the history of modernity; specializing in art, science and technology (appearing in Artforum, Aperture, WIRED, The New Yorker,[5] The Atlantic,[6] NPR,[7] among others). Canales obtained a B.S. in engineering physics at the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in 1995, a master’s degree in History of Science at the Harvard University and a PhD in History of Science at the same university in 2003. In 2004 she worked as an assistant professor in the Department of History of Science at Harvard University and in 2013 she was promoted to associate professor.[8] In 2012 she was senior fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie and in the summer she worked as a visiting professor at the Summer School for Media Studies at Princeton University in the German department.[9] In 2013 she was recruited to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in the History of Science, which she held until 2017.[10]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimena_Canales

    The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson and the Debate that Changed Our Understanding of Time
    https://www.amazon.com/Physicist-Philosopher-Einstein-Bergson-Understanding/dp/0691173176

    Einstein vs Bergson, science vs philosophy and the meaning of time – Joe Gelonesi – 24 Jun 2015
    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/philosopherszone/science-vs-philosophy-and-the-meaning-of-time/6539568

    Here is an audio link to an interview that Jimena Canales gave on that book,

    audio Interview of Jimena Canales
    http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn.....150621.mp3

  73. 73
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @58,

    Thanks for the excerpts–there were some things there that I didn’t know. Concerning the conjectures of some of physicists who are apologists of deterministic materialism, I picture them playing a game of cards where they’re dealt five cards total, face down. After the first card is turned face up, they all argue what the poker hand must be. Then, the second card is turned face up. More arguments, conjectures, theories, intense mathematics, and wild speculations. But no one wants to turn over the third card. From my perspective, I just want to see the cards and where they are leading toward.

    One of my books on Quantum Mechanics is titled Quantum Enigma by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kutterner. Chapter 1 starts out like this:

    I was visiting friends in Princeton on Saturday in the 1950s when our host asked his son-in-law, Bill Bennett, and me Bruce) if we’d like to spend the evening with his friend, Albert Einstein. Twpo awed physics graduate students soon waited in Einstein’s living room as he came downstairs in slippers and sweatshirt. I remember tea and cookies but not how the conversation started.

    Einstein soon asked about our quantum mechanics course. He approved of our professor’s choice of David Bohm’s book as the text, and he asked how we liked Bohm’s treatment of the strangeness quantum theory implied. We couldn’t answer. We’d been told to skip that part of the book and concentrate on the section titled, “The Mathematical Formulation of the Theory.” Einstein persisted in exploring our thoughts about what the theory really meant. But the issues that concerned him were unfamiliar to us. Our quantum physics courses focused on the use of the theory, not its meaning. Our response to his probing disappointed Einstein, and that part of our conversation ended.

    The 16th chapter of their book is titled, “The Mystery of Consciousness.” Chapter 17 is titled “The Mystery Meets the Enigma,” and the final chapter is titled, “Consciousness and the Quantum Cosmos.”

    In other words, these chapters cover all the interesting meaning that Einstein wanted to discuss.

    In the beginning, there were only probabilities. The universe could only come into existence if someone observed it. It does not matter that the observers turned up several billion years later. The universe exists because we are aware of it. – Martin Rees, British cosmologist and astrophysicist.

    And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:31 KJV

    -Q

  74. 74
    bornagain77 says:

    Querius, since you mentioned “Quantum Enigma by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kutterner”, you might appreciate this video.

    The Measurement Problem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    The very beginning of the video states,

    “This video is dedicated to Physicist Bruce Rosenbaum 1927 – 2014 without his work this video would not have been possible.”

    As well, the video, at the 2:37 mark, has an excellent discussion on why decoherence does not solve the measurement problem which leads directly into a discussion on the von Neumann chain.

    The Measurement Problem
    https://youtu.be/qB7d5V71vUE?t=157

  75. 75
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Here is an audio link to an interview that Jimena Canales gave on that book,

    Thanks, that was interesting.

  76. 76
    bornagain77 says:

    Since the atheists on this thread have, basically, only offered the usual ad hominem, and still have not offered “anything substantive, supported, or logical” to support their non-belief in a personal God, I will simply continue presenting the scientific evidence that refutes Einstein’s, and their, non-belief in a personal God, and which, by the same token, validates my belief in a personal God.

    Einstein, as far as his science was concerned, was, ‘philosophically’ (not scientifically), a determinist and a reductive materialist. And as such he denied the reality of free will, even though, as he honestly confessed, he was self-refutingly “compelled to act as if freedom of the will existed”.

    “I am a determinist. As such I do not believe in free will. The Jews believe in free will. They believe that man shapes his own life. I reject that doctrine philosophically. In that respect I am not a Jew.,,,,
    Practically, I am, nevertheless, compelled to act as if freedom of the will existed. If I wish to live in a civilized community, I must act as if man is a responsible being.
    I know that philosophically a murderer is not responsible for his crime; nevertheless, I must protect myself from unpleasant contacts. I may consider him guiltless, but I prefer not to take tea with him.”
    – Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – “What Life Means to Einstein,” Interview with G. Viereck, Saturday Evening Post (26 Oct 1929) pg. 114
    https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/wp-content/uploads/satevepost/einstein.pdf
    (of note: In that interview Einstein also confesses to believing in Darwinian evolution)

    “His (Einstein’s) belief in causal determinism was incompatible with the concept of human free will. Jewish as well as Christian theologians have generally believed that people are responsible for their actions.,,,
    “Human beings in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions,” Einstein declared in a statement to a Spinoza Society in 1932.”
    http://content.time.com/time/s.....-3,00.html

    “I must confess that I was not able to find a way to explain the atomistic character of nature. My opinion is that … one has to find a possibility to avoid the continuum (together with space and time) altogether. But I have not the slightest idea what kind of elementary concepts could be used in such a theory.”
    — Albert Einstein – Einstein to David Bohm (1954) – Einstein from “B” to “Z” Springer, p. 151 – John Stachel
    https://books.google.com/books?id=OAsQ_hFjhrAC&pg=PA151#v=onepage&q&f=false
    (of note: This quote was stated by Einstein the year before he passed away, after 3 decades of trying “to find a way to explain the ‘atomistic character’ of nature”)

    It is interesting to note that Einstein, by his own admission, ‘philosophically’, not ‘scientifically’, rejected belief in free will. This is because, philosophically speaking, the belief in free will, (especially belief in the free will of God), played an essential role in the founding of modern science in medieval Christian Europe.

    As I mentioned previously in this thread at post 2, 3, and 4, the belief that the universe was ‘contingent’ on the free will of God was necessary for the founding of modern science. This is summed up in the what is termed ‘the contingency of nature’, and which is a main presupposition that lay at the founding of modern science in medieval Christian Europe.

    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour

    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”

    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.” (Francis Bacon’s inductive methodology)
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    As Stephen Meyer stated elsewhere, contingency “was a huge concept” and is the belief that nature has “an order that is contingent upon the will of the Creator,,”

    That (contingency) was a huge concept (that was important for the founding of modern science). The historians of science call that ‘contingency’. The idea that nature has an order that is built into it. But it is an order that is contingent upon the will of the Creator. It could have been otherwise. Just as there are many ways to make a timepiece, or a clock,,, there are many different ways God could have ordered the universe. And it is up to us not to deduce that order from first principles, or from some intuitions that we have about how nature ought to be, but rather it is important to go out and see how nature actually is.”
    – Stephen Meyer – 5:00 minute mark – Andrew Klavan and Stephen Meyer Talk God and Science
    https://idthefuture.com/1530/

    And indeed, the belief in contingency, and/or ‘divine will’, played an integral role in Sir Isaac Newton’s founding of modern physics.

    Newton — Rationalizing Christianity, or Not? – Rosalind W. Picard – 1998
    Excerpt: The belief that it was by divine will and not by some shadow of necessity that matter existed and possessed its properties, had a direct impact on Newton’s science. It was necessary to discover laws and properties by experimental means, and not by rational deduction. As Newton wrote in another unpublished manuscript, “The world might have been otherwise,,” (see Davis, 1991)
    https://web.media.mit.edu/~picard/personal/Newton.php

    And indeed Newton explicitly rejected the deterministic and/or necessitarian view of creation. Specifically, “Newton rejected both the clockwork metaphor itself and the cold mechanical universe upon which it is based. His conception of the world reflects rather a deep commitment to the constant activity of the divine will, unencumbered by the “rational” restrictions that Descartes and Leibniz placed on God,,,”

    “Newton’s Rejection of the “Newtonian World View”: The Role of Divine Will in Newton’s Natural Philosophy – (Davis, 1991)
    Abstract: The significance of Isaac Newton for the history of Christianity and science is undeniable: his professional work culminated the Scientific Revolution that saw the birth of modern science,,,
    Newton’s voluntarist conception of God had three major consequences for his natural philosophy. First, it led him to reject Descartes’ version of the mechanical philosophy, in which matter was logically equated with extension, in favor of the belief that the properties of matter were freely determined by an omnipresent God, who remained free to move the particles of matter according to God’s will. Second, Newton’s voluntarism moved him to affirm an intimate relationship between the creator and the creation; his God was acted on the world at all times and in ways that Leibniz and other mechanical philosophers could not conceive of, such as causing parts of matter to attract one another at a distance. Finally, Newton held that, since the world is a product of divine freedom rather than necessity, the laws of nature must be inferred from the phenomena of nature, not deduced from metaphysical axioms — as both Descartes and Leibniz were wont to do.
    http://home.messiah.edu/~tdavis/newton.htm

  77. 77
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus, ‘philosophically speaking’, for Einstein to ‘philosophically’, not ‘scientifically’, reject free will, especially the free will of God, was for him to reject an essential philosophical presupposition that lay at the founding of modern science. And I would argue, was for Einstein to reject a philosophical presupposition that still continues to be very much an essential presupposition for the continued successful practice of modern science.

    Physics and the Mind of God: The Templeton Prize Address – by Paul Davies – August 1995
    Excerpt: “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/1995/08/003-physics-and-the-mind-of-god-the-templeton-prize-address-24

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.theistic.net/papers.....cience.pdf

    Moreover, besides Einstein rejection of God’s free will being ‘philosophically unsound’, Einstein’s ‘philosophical’, and not scientific, rejection of his very own his own free will is for him to hold a position that is simply incoherent nonsense.

    As George Ellis explains, “if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.
    I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense.”

    Physicist George Ellis on the importance of philosophy and free will – July 27, 2014
    Excerpt: And free will?:
    Horgan: Einstein, in the following quote, seemed to doubt free will: “If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.” Do you believe in free will?
    Ellis: Yes. Einstein is perpetuating the belief that all causation is bottom up. This simply is not the case, as I can demonstrate with many examples from sociology, neuroscience, physiology, epigenetics, engineering, and physics. Furthermore if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.
    I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense.
    Physicists should pay attention to Aristotle’s four forms of causation – if they have the free will to decide what they are doing. If they don’t, then why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....free-will/

    It is difficult for me to see how a genius of Einstein’s caliber could fail to see the blatant self-refuting logical fallacy that is inherent in denying his own free will.

    The Illusion of Free Will – Sam Harris – 2012
    Excerpt: “Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it.,,,”
    – Jerry Coyne
    https://samharris.org/the-illusion-of-free-will/
    That statement by Coyne should literally be the number one example of a self-refuting statement that is given in philosophy/logic 101 classes.

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html
    Of note: Martin Cothran has written several textbooks on traditional logic

    (1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts.
    (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain.
    (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2)
    (4) no effect can control its cause.
    Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality.
    – per Box UD

    Moreover, (and more importantly as far as empirical science itself is concerned), Einstein’s non-belief in free will is now ‘scientifically’, not ‘philosophically’, refuted.

    In neuroscience, and as brain surgeon and professor Dr. Michael Egnor states, “an objective review of the neuroscientific evidence unequivocally supports the existence of free will.,,, Free will is a real and fundamental aspect of being human, and the denial of free will is junk science and self-refuting logical nonsense.”

    Michael Egnor: Is free will a dangerous myth? – October 6, 2018
    Excerpt: 4. ,,, an objective review of the neuroscientific evidence unequivocally supports the existence of free will. The first neuroscientist to map the brains of conscious subjects, Wilder Penfield, noted that there is an immaterial power of volition in the human mind that he could not stimulate with electrodes. The pioneer in the neuroscience of free will was Benjamin Libet, who demonstrated clearly that, while there is an unconscious material predisposition to acts as shown by electrical brain activity, we retain an immaterial “free won’t,” which is the ability to veto an unconscious urge to act. Many experiments have followed on Libet’s work, most of which use fMRI imaging of brain activity. They all confirm Libet’s observations by showing what is at most a loose correlation between brain activity and volition (for example, nearly half the time the brain activity that precedes the act is on the wrong side of the brain for the activity to determine the will)—the looseness of correlation being best explained as evidence for libertarian free will. Modern neuroscience clearly demonstrates an immaterial component to volition.
    Harari is wrong about free will. It is not a myth. Free will is a real and fundamental aspect of being human, and the denial of free will is junk science and self-refuting logical nonsense.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-is-free-will-a-dangerous-myth/

  78. 78
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, besides neuroscience, recent experimental evidence from quantum mechanics itself now also ‘scientifically’ falsifies Einstein’s philosophical belief that he had no free will.

    As the late Steven Weinberg, who was an atheist, stated in the following article, “In the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,”

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    In fact Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, regardless of how he and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    Although there have been several major loopholes in quantum mechanics over the past several decades that atheists have tried to appeal to in order to try to avoid the ‘spooky’ Theistic implications of quantum mechanics, over the past several years each of those major loopholes have each been closed one by one. The last major loophole that was left to be closed was the “setting independence”, “freedom of choice”, and/or the ‘free-will’ loophole:

    Closing the ‘free will’ loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell’s theorem – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Though two major loopholes have since been closed, a third remains; physicists refer to it as “setting independence,” or more provocatively, “free will.” This loophole proposes that a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure — a scenario that, however far-fetched, implies that a physicist running the experiment does not have complete free will in choosing each detector’s setting. Such a scenario would result in biased measurements, suggesting that two particles are correlated more than they actually are, and giving more weight to quantum mechanics than classical physics.
    “It sounds creepy, but people realized that’s a logical possibility that hasn’t been closed yet,” says MIT’s David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. “Before we make the leap to say the equations of quantum theory tell us the world is inescapably crazy and bizarre, have we closed every conceivable logical loophole, even if they may not seem plausible in the world we know today?”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220112515.htm

    And now Anton Zeilinger and company have now, as of 2018, pushed the ‘freedom of choice’ loophole back to 7.8 billion years ago, thereby firmly establishing the ‘common sense’ fact that the free will choices of the experimenter in the quantum experiments are truly free and are not determined by any possible causal influences from the past for at least the last 7.8 billion years, and that the experimenters themselves are therefore shown to be truly free to choose whatever measurement settings in the experiments that he or she may so desire to choose so as to ‘logically’ probe whatever aspect of reality that he or she may be interested in probing.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Excerpt: This experiment pushes back to at least approx. 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Thus regardless of how Steven Weinberg and other atheists may have ‘philosophically’ preferred the universe to behave, with the closing of the last remaining ‘freedom of choice’ loophole in quantum mechanics, “humans are (indeed) brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”, and thus these recent findings from quantum mechanics directly undermine, as Weinberg himself admitted, the “vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”

    Moreover, (to repeat what I stated at the bottom of post 4), when we rightly allow the Agent causality, (i.e. free will), of God ‘back’ into physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders,,,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the “freedom-of-choice” loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), then rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and provides us with an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”

    December 2021 – When scrutinizing some of the many fascinating details of the Shroud of Turin, we find that both General Relativity, i.e. gravity, and Quantum Mechanics were both dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/in-time-for-american-thanksgiving-stephen-meyer-on-the-frailty-of-scientific-atheism/#comment-741600

    The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8–eE

    Verses:

    Matthew 26:39
    And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    So thus in conclusion, although Einstein ‘philosophically’ did not believe in free will, nor in a personal God, the scientific evidence itself that we now have in hand refutes Einstein ‘philosophical’ non-belief in free will, and, (by extension of the implications of humans actually having free will), also ‘scientifically’ refutes his non-belief in a personal God.

  79. 79
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @74,

    Querius, since you mentioned “Quantum Enigma by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kutterner”, you might appreciate this video.

    The Measurement Problem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    Thank you for the link to a brilliant video!

    The term, “decoherence,” simply puts a name on the mystery of the measurement problem–it doesn’t explain it. I appreciate the the term, “metaphysical prejudice” in the video to account for all the twisting and squirming by some theoretical physicists to avoid the implications of quantum mechanics with respect to reality.

    At least Lee Smolin is up front about his metaphysical presupposition rather than disguising it as do many of the others.

    The way I explained it to my wife was in terms of a six-sided die. The outcomes are deterministic as are the probabilities of each value. When we throw the die, the outcomes average 3.5 and each outcome of 1-6 has a ~17% probability, but the equivalent of a “wavefunction” collapse into a singe value (100% probability) only occurs after it stops tumbling. In our macro world, we recognize a physical mechanism that accounts for which of the faces comes up (discounting Chaos Theory for the moment), but there’s no known hidden physical mechanism or variable that determines a quantum outcome (the Dirac choice).

    Our FREE WILL CHOICE of what to measure is intimately connected with the outcome, but if our choice is deterministic, then we’re part of a Von Neumann chain that goes back to the big bang, which means that a single point is responsible for all of space-time, mass-energy, plus dark matter, dark energy, and contains ALL the information in the universe for ALL of history, including ALL our choices.

    This level of complexity and fine tuning seems extremely unlikely.

    Also, the limits to how much information that we can extract from a system is limited (the Heisenberg choice) and is based on what we choose to measure.

    Thanks again,

    -Q

  80. 80
    dogdoc says:

    re: Free Will

    So, I disagree with just about every inference made here, but let’s just focus on one thing – free will – which is at the heart of theism, ID, and many arguments made here.

    A preliminary note: I see there has been much made over the idea that algorithmic information theory shows that humans’ ability to generate mathematical axioms proves the existence of human free will. This is of course the same argument as saying that evolutionary processes can’t generate new CSI (or however you’d like to characterize the sort of information that evolution supposedly can’t generate). The problem is that these limits only apply to systems that do not incorporate randomness or external information. Once you accept that randomness and external information can indeed be incorporated into the output of evolutionary algorithms (or AI computers or other physical processes), the argument is not logically provable, merely statistical.

    But let’s not argue that. And let’s also not argue about Libet-type experiments; as usual, BA (and Egnor) take an unpopular, fringe interpretation of the science and pretend that it is confirmed. (Many believe Libet-type experiments actually disconfirm conscious choice; I believe they don’t show anything much at all).

    Rather, I’d really like to debate what I consider a simple, straightforward argument against human free will as it is typically understood. So I’m not going to talk about physical determinism, or information conservation, but instead discuss free will in terms most meaningful to human beings: moral responsibility.

    Let’s take an example of a choice, say, whether to spend a dollar on candy or donate it to a charity that feeds starving children. You believe that human beings are capable of making such a decision freely, meaning that they are the ultimate decider and their choice is not the result of antecedent cause.

    Importantly, free choices like this also entail that the choice is not simply random, but rather arrived at via a process of reasoning. If one’s choice was merely the result of a “mental coin flip”, where the decider had no reason to pick one alternative over the other, then such a choice would not be the sort that confers value or responsibility upon human choice. In your view, I believe, God imbued humans with free will, not merely an ability to make completely random, arbitrary choices for no reason at all.

    Now, in our example of the candy/charity dilemma, one might consider any number of factors to arrive at a choice. I may believe, for example, that the charity would help the children, that God wants me to help others, that I want to do what God wants, and conclude on that basis that I should forgo the candy and donate the dollar. Or, I may not care what God wants, or not believe in God, or believe that all charities are scams, and decide to buy the candy.

    In any case, the choice would depend on my beliefs, my desires, my values, my priorities, commitments, fears, hopes, etc. All of these may be among the reasons why I choose one action over the other.

    Let’s say that in my deliberations I find that my beliefs and desires etc. seem to lead to one decision, but I reject that decision and choose the alternative. After all, free will should allow me to make any choice for any reason, and I am free to change my mind at will. But just like the original decision, that rejection must either be made for a reason, or else it is purely arbitrary and random. If we agree that the sort of free will that’s important to moral reasoning is not merely random, then my freedom to change my mind is likewise the result of my deliberation over my beliefs, desires, values, and so on.

    Clearly, if it is really me who is making the free choice, then my beliefs, desires, values and so on must also have been freely chosen – by me. If some evil neurosurgeon somehow implanted their own beliefs (such as “eating the candy bar will help starving children more than donating to charity”), or desires (“I am utterly obsessed with candy and can think of nothing else!”) then the choice you made would no longer be free, because you didn’t choose those beliefs, desires, etc.

    But is it possible for one to freely choose their beliefs, desires, values, priorities, and so on? Let’s say that I love to eat candy very much, and am mightily tempted to buy the candy bar. But I’ve never deliberated over whether or not to love to eat candy – I just find that this is true of me without ever choosing it. If my strong desire for candy results in me choosing to buy the candy bar, then my decision is the result of something that I did not choose.

    One might object that one can always discount that unchosen desire; I could say to myself “Even though I find myself wanting the candy very badly, I will still choose to donate!”. But at this point the problem should be clear: Once again, the decision to discount the unchosen desire for candy must be based upon some reason, and that reason will end up being unchosen.

    Or, one may object that even if we lack the ability to freely choose our beliefs, etc, we can always put ourselves in a position where our beliefs, desires etc will be shaped in some desirable way. Perhaps, for example, deciding to go to church and listen to sermons extolling the virtue of charity would over time influence my values such that I would value charity more. But of course it would have to be my pre-existing desire to change my beliefs, desires etc that resulted in me attending church in the first place.

    There is no escape from this catch-22. Until one has freely chosen beliefs, desires etc, one can’t excercise free will. But unless one already has free will, one can’t have freely chosen beliefs, desires, etc.

    Thus, the sort of free will that most people imagine they have is logically impossible. Other sorts of free will are possible, and one can certainly base moral responsibility on other things, but I’d like to see if anyone can refute the argument that the sort of “first cause”, “the-buck-stops-here” free will that I believe most feel is required for moral responsibility is impossible.

  81. 81
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @78,

    Regarding the perspectives and beliefs of Albert Einstein, I think it’s helpful to fire his attributed quotes at our conceptions to see where they bounce off. I don’t know what order they were originally delivered or in their full context–the order might indicate a progression in his thoughts on the subject.

    My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

    I see a pattern, but my imagination cannot picture the maker of that pattern. I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?

    It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

    I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.

    I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.

    I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.

    Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.

    God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.

    I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know God’s thoughts, the rest are details.

    That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.

    I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil.

    I am a deeply religious nonbeliever – this is a somewhat new kind of religion.

    Before God we are all equally wise – and equally foolish.

    Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that this is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not bring us any closer to the secrets of the “Old One.” I, at any rate, am convinced that He is not playing at dice.

    You believe in the God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world that objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture. … Even the great initial success of the quantum theory does not make me believe in the fundamental dice-game, although I am well aware that our younger colleagues interpret this as a consequence of senility. No doubt the day will come when we will see whose instinctive attitude was the correct one.

    God is clever, but not dishonest.

    Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of Nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being.

    The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously.
    What I’m really interested in is whether God could have made the world in a different way; that is, whether the necessity of logical simplicity leaves any freedom at all.

    From these quotes, I think we can see at least two different ways that Einstein uses the word, “God.” It reminds me of a charming Jewish proverb that asserts the existence of TWO gods, the second being the “God” appearing in arguments.

    And finally, regarding all the boring appeals to scientific authority and orthodoxy, Einstein had this to say:

    He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.

    -Q

  82. 82
    bornagain77 says:

    Per Dogdoc at 80: As I referenced in my posts at 77 and 78, Empirical evidence, from both neuroscience and quantum mechanics, now strongly indicates that our ability to choose between options is not determined by any possible prior physical/material causes. i.e. As far as empirical science itself is concerned, we have the ability to freely choose between possible options..

    Yet, you still want to ‘debate’ the existence of free will. ,,, Well, not to sound blunt, debate the empirical evidence, not me, The empirical evidence is what you are having a problem with, not me.

  83. 83
    dogdoc says:

    BA77,
    It would appear to me that you can find no way to refute the argument I’ve made. In my experience, nobody ever has.

    The empirical evidence is what you are having a problem with, not me.

    I’m having trouble with neither, of course.

    As for your post @77, I have already commented on Libet-type experiments in my previous post @80, and explained that these sorts of experiments have been claimed to both support and refute the notion of conscious free will, and that my position is that they do neither. All you have done is to present some quote from Egnor that you like, while ignoring arguments from people like Daniel Wegner, Daniel Dennett, and many, many others who argue against your position. Once again, you are cherry-picking one particular view while ignoring everything else.

    Here’s a good article explaining why the empirical science of Libet-type experiments have neither confirmed nor refuted free will:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/09/free-will-bereitschaftspotential/597736/
    (note: See how I just provide a link to external material, rather than clutter up this page with endless copypasta? You should try it!)

    As for your post @78, well, you’ve done it again, and cherry-picked only one opinion regarding the free will loophole in EPR experiments while ignoring all of the countervailing arguments. Here’s an excellent discussion of that including a well-articulated opposing view by none other than Sabine Hossenfelder:
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphy.2020.00139/full

    Once you have dealt with the objections to your position that I have referenced in these two links we can continue our debate on the empirical evidence that you believe supports free will.

    In the meantime, if you had the integrity you seem to believe you have, you can either attempt to refute the argument I have made in @80 or admit that you cannot. My argument destroys the notion that our choices are free in the way you think they are, and that undermines just about everything you believe. You ought to very easily point out where my argument goes wrong – why not give it a try?

  84. 84
    Querius says:

    Bornagain @82,

    Empirical evidence, from both neuroscience and quantum mechanics, now strongly indicates that our ability to choose between options is not determined by any possible prior physical/material causes. i.e. As far as empirical science itself is concerned, we have the ability to freely choose between possible options.

    The fact is that in the famous double-slit experiment, our decision to observe one slit instantly changes the result of either a diffraction pattern or two bars regardless whether the observation was made *after* the particles used passed through the slits. This tells us that the cause was not something that happened at the slits, but it’s related to the information about the particle or particles.

    That the effects of this experiment and entanglement are instantaneous and not limited by the speed of light, reinforces the conclusion that information itself manifests itself in our universe, but is not limited to our universe.

    The Heisenberg uncertainly principle indicates that there’s a limit on the information we can CHOOSE to extract from conjugate variables. Why there should be such a limit is a mystery and it also creates a problem for determinism.

    The problem that deterministic materialists face is their struggle with predestination–that all our choices and nature’s responses even at the quantum level must therefore have been determined at infinite precision at the big bang or from temporal infinity in a steady state universe (“turtles all the way back”) or in generating ex nihilo a completely new universe from every decision point or wavefunction collapse.

    This means that everything must scripted and there are no probabilities or random outcomes, something that even Dr. Hossenfelder cannot accept. If you throw in only a single random event, the entire script loses its determinism from that point on, let alone effects such as photon emissions and quantum foam.

    The effect I’m interested in is whether the wavefunction has gravity before it collapses. The amount of gravity is currently far too small for use to measure. My guess is that it doesn’t.

    -Q

  85. 85
    Querius says:

    And even the concepts of infinite precision, temporal infinity, infinite black-hole density/gravity at an infinitely small point is highly suspicious and blows up the math in a similar way as a divide by zero operation.

    -Q

  86. 86
    dogdoc says:

    BA77: Empirical evidence, from both neuroscience and quantum mechanics, now strongly indicates that our ability to choose between options is not determined by any possible prior physical/material causes. i.e. As far as empirical science itself is concerned, we have the ability to freely choose between possible options.

    Querius has refrained from engaging my argument against free will @80, but instead discusses issues with determinism. Note that my argument is entirely independent from the question of determinism, or physical causality in general. It demonstrates that we lack the sort of free will that people typically assume we have; that is, the ability to deliberate and act on the basis of reasons of our own choosing. My argument does not refute a fundamental libertarianism – it allows for the possibility of acting randomly with no antecedent cause – and thus it does not figure in discussions regarding EPR-type experiments. But as many have pointed out, random choices are not the sort of free will worth wanting, and the free will BA77 is defending here certainly involves a stronger notion of will and intention than mere randomness.

  87. 87
    BobSinclair says:

    Dogdoc

    Is it the theistic impression of free will that bothers you? or is this just the ramblings of an event predicated around the time of the Big Bang that has brought you automating paragraphs upon paragraphs in attempt to convince people you have no free will.

  88. 88
    dogdoc says:

    Also, Querius, reviewing your previous comments I see you objected to me conflating a quantum wave function with the waveform it describes, and referring to a “waveform collapse”, as if that somehow undermined my arguments or credibility. Of course it’s a common usage – a quick search reveals that even local hero Michael Egnor uses the same terminology:

    …the collapse of the quantum waveform is the reduction of potency to act
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/07/what-is-matter-the-aristotelian-perspective/

    I always hope for more principled arguments here, hard not to get discouraged.

  89. 89
    dogdoc says:

    Speaking of a lack of principled argument, BobSinclair here seems to think that calling an argument “rambling” (and utterly misunderstanding the argument I made, laughably thinking it had to do with determinism!) constitutes a rebuttal. So sad.

  90. 90
    Querius says:

    LOL. Oh, was that an argument?

    Again, the topic is “How Infinity Threatens Cosmology.” The nature of “reality” has consequences when applying mathematics to reality, including mathematical infinities. Again, what we CHOOSE to measure or observe has profound and immediate effects in quantum mechanics including wavefunction collapse and the limits (Heisenberg) in the information that can be extracted from conjugate variables.

    Some people argue that our choices are also completely deterministic, but this has already been falsified by the existence of random events. Random events blows a hole in determinism, allowing us to have non-deterministic choices.

    Our non-deterministic choices choices are not random, in fact, when people are given the task of creating a string of random numbers, they inevitably fail to do so, which can be shown statistically. If their choices are non-deterministic and non-random, what do you have left?

    -Q

  91. 91
    dogdoc says:

    Querius,

    LOL. Oh, was that an argument?

    You mean about your funny quibble regarding wavefunction vs waveform? Nope, I don’t see that as an argument, LOL. If you mean the argument I presented against free will, then yes, it is a version of a well-known philosophical argument that many have advanced over the years, now most often associated with Galen Strawson.

    Again, the topic is “How Infinity Threatens Cosmology.”

    BA and I had wandered a bit into the area of free will; he was discussing evidence from neuroscience and physics that he believes strengthens the case for free will. It’s quite all right for people to bring up different topics of course – feel free to talk about what you’d like to discuss and ignore the rest!

    Again, what we CHOOSE to measure or observe has profound and immediate effects in quantum mechanics including wavefunction collapse and the limits (Heisenberg) in the information that can be extracted from conjugate variables.

    Yes, we can all agree on this (though I would be using a compatibilist notion of choice, or one that is agnostic regarding antecedent cause, rather than a libertarian definition).

    Some people argue that our choices are also completely deterministic, but this has already been falsified by the existence of random events. Random events blows a hole in determinism, allowing us to have non-deterministic choices.

    I completely agree that determinism has been undermined by physics.

    Our non-deterministic choices choices are not random, in fact, when people are given the task of creating a string of random numbers, they inevitably fail to do so, which can be shown statistically.

    Interestingly, when Apple first introduced “random shuffle” on their iPods, they of course used a pseudo-random generator, but people complained that the shuffle was not random because at times it might repeat the same song more frequently than others! So Apple had to introduce other (deterministic of course) algorithms to make it seem to human listeners that the order was random! Still, there are obviously many (macro) phenomena that are deterministic, even if underlying quantum processes are not.

    There is also a sense of “random” used in arguments about free will that is not about freedom from statistical patterns, but rather random in the sense of being arbitrary, orthogonal to reason. It is in that sense that my argument rejects random choices as qualifying as “free”.

    If their choices are non-deterministic and non-random, what do you have left?

    Again, the world of our experience is full of phenomena that are deterministic to the limits of observation. But with respect to human free will, I would say the salient categories are deliberate vs. arbitrary.

  92. 92
    dogdoc says:

    Sorry about formatting, here it is again:

    Querius,

    LOL. Oh, was that an argument?

    You mean about your funny quibble regarding wavefunction vs waveform? Nope, I don’t see that as an argument, LOL. If you mean the argument I presented against free will, then yes, it is a version of a well-known philosophical argument that many have advanced over the years, now most often associated with Galen Strawson.

    Again, the topic is “How Infinity Threatens Cosmology.”

    BA and I had wandered a bit into the area of free will; he was discussing evidence from neuroscience and physics that he believes strengthens the case for free will. It’s quite all right for people to bring up different topics of course – feel free to talk about what you’d like to discuss and ignore the rest!

    Again, what we CHOOSE to measure or observe has profound and immediate effects in quantum mechanics including wavefunction collapse and the limits (Heisenberg) in the information that can be extracted from conjugate variables.

    Yes, we can all agree on this (though I would be using a compatibilist notion of choice, or one that is agnostic regarding antecedent cause, rather than a libertarian definition).

    Some people argue that our choices are also completely deterministic, but this has already been falsified by the existence of random events. Random events blows a hole in determinism, allowing us to have non-deterministic choices.

    I completely agree that determinism has been undermined by physics, although the world is full of macro phenomena that are completely deterministic to the limit of our observations.

    Our non-deterministic choices choices are not random, in fact, when people are given the task of creating a string of random numbers, they inevitably fail to do so, which can be shown statistically.

    Interestingly, when Apple first introduced “random shuffle” on their iPods, they of course used a pseudo-random generator, but people complained that the shuffle was not random because at times it might repeat the same song more frequently than others! So Apple had to introduce other (deterministic of course) algorithms to make it seem to human listeners that the order was random! Still, there are obviously many (macro) phenomena that are deterministic, even if underlying quantum processes are not.

    There is also a sense of “random” used in arguments about free will that is not about freedom from statistical patterns, but rather random in the sense of being arbitrary, orthogonal to reason. It is in that sense that my argument rejects random choices as qualifying as “free”.

    If their choices are non-deterministic and non-random, what do you have left?

    Again, the world of our experience is full of phenomena that are deterministic to the limits of observation. But with respect to human free will, I would say the salient categories are deliberate vs. arbitrary.

  93. 93
    BobSinclair says:

    Dogdoc

    You made no argument to rebut, there was no attempt on my behalf to take anything you wrote seriously enough to warrant a rebuttal. But by all means continue to pat yourself on the back while you sit up there on your high horse.

  94. 94
    bornagain77 says:

    BobSinclair at 87,

    Touche, that brought a smile to my face. 🙂

    Of additional note: in direct contradiction to the atheistic claim that our thoughts are merely the result of whatever prior state our material brain happens to be in, ‘Brain Plasticity’, the ability to alter the structure of the brain from a person’s focused intention, has now been established by Jeffrey Schwartz, as well as among other researchers.

    The Case for the Soul – InspiringPhilosophy – (4:03 minute mark, Brain Plasticity including Schwartz’s work) – Oct. 2014 – video
    The Mind is able to modify the brain (brain plasticity). Moreover, Idealism explains all anomalous evidence of personality changes due to brain injury, whereas physicalism cannot explain the mind.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBsI_ay8K70

    Jeffrey Schwartz: You Are More than Your Brain – Science Uprising Extra Content
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFIOSQNuXuY&list=PLR8eQzfCOiS1OmYcqv_yQSpje4p7rAE7-&index=9

  95. 95
    dogdoc says:

    BA,
    Sadly, neither you nor BobSinclair are able to understand that my argument has nothing to do with determinism.

    Predictably, nobody here is able to refute the simple argument against free will that I have presented (usually known by philosophers as “The Basic Argument” by Galen Strawson).

    Instructively, however, we see in this a perfect example of what is wrong with the posters on this website: When an argument doesn’t fit with their preconceived beliefs, they simply ignore it.

    I have engaged why your certainty regarding your neuroscientific evidence for free will is far from convincing, and provided a reference with an excellent discussion explaining why I’m right. I have engaged why your understanding of QM does not disprove superdeterminism and provided another excellent reference on that.

    You, however, are afraid to engage my argument against free will. Clear as day, on this page for all to see.

  96. 96
    BobSinclair says:

    Dogdoc

    I guess I wasn’t clear the first time, 1 your argument isn’t much of an argument, 2 I never engaged or even attempted to “rebut” your “argument” I simply offered a jest (perhaps lacking free will means you’ve lost your sense of humour).

    I have to say though I do enjoy the “I’m right, you’re wrong” stance you’re taking. Especially now that your arguing over superdeterminism, just fantastic.

  97. 97
    bornagain77 says:

    Dogdoc, (or more precisely, forces which Dogdoc has no control over) states that “The Basic Argument” by Galen Strawson” is irrefutable proof that Dogdoc has no free will.

    Yet Galen Strawson himself, (or more precisely, forces which Galen Strawson has no control over), honestly admits that, “To be honest, I can’t really accept it (that I have no free will) myself,” he says. “I can’t really live with this fact (that I have no free will) from day to day. Can you, really?”

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails
    Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: An especially clear example is Galen Strawson, a philosopher who states with great bravado, “The impossibility of free will … can be proved with complete certainty.” Yet in an interview, Strawson admits that, in practice, no one accepts his deterministic view. “To be honest, I can’t really accept it myself,” he says. “I can’t really live with this fact from day to day. Can you, really?”
    But if humans “can’t really live with” the implications of a worldview, is it a reliable map to reality?
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/04/when_evolutiona/

    So Galen Strawson himself, Dogdoc’s hero for denying he has free will, pulls the trigger for his own suicide.

    Specifically, if it is impossible for you to live your life consistently as if your atheistic worldview is actually true, (and, say, live as if you don’t actually have free will), then your worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is, but your worldview must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    – per answers for hope

    The neuroscientific evidence for free will is rock solid, but I really have no interest in wasting hours chasing Dogdoc down every rabbit hole that he presents, only to have him deny that any of the evidence I present to him makes any difference. (I’ve been through this same argument with other dogmatic atheists way too many times),, Superdeterminism, in a word, is nonsense, Nonsense that ends denying that we can trust what our experimental results are telling us today since those results were somehow ‘super determined’ to give us false readings today,, ‘superdetermined’ billions of years ago, even ‘superdetermined’ prior to the Big Bang. i.e. it is all pure unmitigated poppycock that doesn’t even make good science fiction!. In short, Dogdoc has nothing.

  98. 98
    BobSinclair says:

    Dogdoc

    I’ll bite, so from a quick read of your argument. you believe that free will is reliant upon variables such as a persons values, morals, likes and dislikes etc and those influence or cause a person’s decision. so, you believe a person is never truly “free” in such a way as to make a spontaneous “on the spot” decision correct?

  99. 99
    Querius says:

    Dogdoc @92,

    You mean about your funny quibble regarding wavefunction vs waveform?

    No, I sure didn’t. But now that you mention it, not knowing the difference between a waveform and the wavefunction is not a funny quibble. It simply shows that you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s like hearing a football commentator saying something like, “And now this brings up the fifth down.”

    Querius asks: If their choices are non-deterministic and non-random, what do you have left?

    Docdoc responds: Again, the world of our experience is full of phenomena that are deterministic to the limits of observation.

    How is that statement at all relevant?

    Besides, researchers can use a pseudo-random number generator to choose which slit a researcher observes and measures, and the result will always be the same, namely that the wavefunction always collapses as a result of the researcher observing it. The researcher’s observing something affects whether it remains a probability wave or becomes a particle. Now isn’t that curious?

    Side comment: The “limits of observation” opens up a whole new world of Chaos theory. Those limits can have dramatic consequences.

    There is also a sense of “random” used in arguments about free will that is not about freedom from statistical patterns, but rather random in the sense of being arbitrary, orthogonal to reason. It is in that sense that my argument rejects random choices as qualifying as “free”.

    Oh joy. You created a new definition of the word “random.” In your argument, random now means arbitrary or contrary to reason.

    In the real world, what’s “reasonable” is always at the mercy of Bayesian inferences. Do you agree or will you be introducing more terms and re-definitions?

    -Q

  100. 100
    dogdoc says:

    BA,

    Let us count the ways in which you are wrong!

    Dogdoc, (or more precisely, forces which Dogdoc has no control over)

    Mistake #1: Of course we have control over our actions! What a silly thing for you to say! We do not, however, choose the beliefs and desires that constitute the reasons for our choices.

    …states that “The Basic Argument” by Galen Strawson” is irrefutable proof that Dogdoc has no free will.

    Mistake #2: Perhaps you think it’s clever to pretend that my argument applies only to me, but obviously it applies to all of us.

    Yet Galen Strawson himself, (or more precisely, forces which Galen Strawson has no control over), honestly admits that, “To be honest, I can’t really accept it (that I have no free will) myself,” he says. “I can’t really live with this fact (that I have no free will) from day to day. Can you, really?”

    Mistake #3: How could this quote from Strawson possibly impact the validity of this argument? It’s just your tired old quote cherry-picking and mistaking people’s psychological/emotional response to philosophical results for actual rational argumentation. Strawson himself does not make that mistake.

    So Galen Strawson himself, Dogdoc’s hero…

    Mistake #4: I did not get this argument from Strawson, I merely told you that he is the philosopher most commonly associated with some version of this argument. That enabled you to quickly google him and mine this quote that you offer instead of an actual criticism of the argument I presented!

    Specifically, if it is impossible for you to live your life consistently as if your atheistic worldview is actually true,

    Mistake #5: As it happens, I have no trouble living a happy life that is entirely consistent with my worldview. I am not an atheist, remember? As long as we’re making unfounded assumptions, though, perhaps I should respond I hope you’re happy as an unhinged lunatic who lives on a street corner holding a sign that says “The End is Nigh!”?

    For your edification, my worldview is best described as “mysterianism”, a term coined by Colin McGinn which indicates that I believe we simply do not know the answers to many of the deepest questions of existence, the mind/body problem, and so on.

    …(and, say, treat your children like the meat robots instead of loving them unconditionally),

    Mistake #6: Ooh, I must have really hit a nerve by presenting an argument that you can’t refute. Now you’re really getting personal. I love my family with all my heart. What a stupid, horrible thing for you to say to me. Really disgusting for you to stoop to these horrendous and bizarre accusations just because you can’t argue against what I’ve written. Wow.

    …then your worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is, but your worldview must instead be based on a delusion.

    Mistake #7: Rather than debate the points I laid out rationally, all you have done is make up lies about me, how I love, how happy I am, and what my emotions are about what philosophical arguments reveal.

    Note to the fair reader: BA has not provided one single attempt to refute the argument I presented in @80.

    The neuroscientific evidence for free will is rock solid

    Stubborn assertion is not an argument. The reference I provided was quite thorough in explaining why Libet-type experiments fail to show either that free will exists or it does not. But as I stated earlier, I am happy to agree to disagree about this – it wasn’t what I was interested in arguing in the first place.

    Superdeterminism, in a word, is nonsense,…

    This site lovingly quotes Sabine Hossenfelder when she casts doubt on physics that you don’t like, but you immediately call her views not only wrong but nonsense if she argues against your beliefs. Cherry picking is all you do.

    I of course have never argued for superdeterminism! My point, as always, is that you can’t just pick the one interpretation of the physics that you feel supports your religious beliefs.

  101. 101
    dogdoc says:

    BobSinclair,

    I’ll bite,…

    Bravo!!

    … so from a quick read of your argument. you believe that free will is reliant upon variables such as a persons values, morals, likes and dislikes etc and those influence or cause a person’s decision.

    I would say that their choices are either reliant on these things (beliefs, desires, values, priorities, moral commitments, etc etc), or if not, then they are arbitrary.

    so, you believe a person is never truly “free” in such a way as to make a spontaneous “on the spot” decision correct?

    As I stated repeatedly, one can freely make an arbitrary decision – one that is not responsive to reason, like a mental coin flip. I go on to say that such decisions are free in a sense, but do not constitute the sort of free will that most people find worth wanting.

  102. 102
    relatd says:

    Dogdoc at 100,

    “mysterianism”? Hoo boy. And I’ve been called fringe…

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nn0300_199

    Anyway, as I watch this sparring match, it appears that Ba77 is in the lead as far as this contest is concerned.

  103. 103
    dogdoc says:

    Q,

    But now that you mention it, not knowing the difference between a waveform and the wavefunction is not a funny quibble. It simply shows that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    I’ve already explained the difference to you, and shown that Egnor (a favorite of BA’s and others on this site) uses the same terminology as I did, like many others do. You actually had no trouble at all understanding the meaning. It seems to me you could do better than this.

    Querius asks: If their choices are non-deterministic and non-random, what do you have left?

    Docdoc responds: Again, the world of our experience is full of phenomena that are deterministic to the limits of observation.

    How is that statement at all relevant?

    You seem to be arguing that our choices can neither be determined nor random, leaving only something else (presumably libertarian will?). My point is that if the operation of our brain results in our choices, and it operates as a classical system, then we need not assume our choices are non-deterministic. (I am not asserting these assumptions, only making the point as a conditional).

    None of this, however, has anything to do with the argument I’ve presented.

    Besides, researchers can use a pseudo-random number generator to choose which slit a researcher observes and measures, and the result will always be the same, namely that the wavefunction always collapses as a result of the researcher observing it. The researcher’s observing something affects whether it remains a probability wave or becomes a particle. Now isn’t that curious?

    Absolutely!

    Side comment: The “limits of observation” opens up a whole new world of Chaos theory. Those limits can have dramatic consequences.

    Very true!

    Oh joy. You created a new definition of the word “random.” In your argument, random now means arbitrary or contrary to reason.

    You’re wrong, I didn’t invent this argument, these concepts, or that word sense. You’re also wrong in that it doesn’t mean “contrary to reason” – it means independent of reason.

    In the real world, what’s “reasonable” is always at the mercy of Bayesian inferences. Do you agree or will you be introducing more terms and re-definitions?

    Actually I am a Bayesian, and I don’t object to what you’ve said (although obviously we can’t apply Bayes’ rule to every real-world situation, because the world is too ambiguous to formally automate our inferences). I don’t understand what that has to do with the argument I presented though.

  104. 104
    bornagain77 says:

    Of course we have control over our actions!”

    Definition: free will
    the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.

    Thanks for playing.

    Dogdoc tries this caveat, “We do not, however, choose the beliefs and desires that constitute the reasons for our choices.”

    So, even though he said that we control our actions, we really do not have the control to choose between options. Oh what a tangled web we weave,,,

    The Illusion of Free Will – Sam Harris – 2012
    Excerpt: “Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it.,,,”
    – Jerry Coyne
    https://samharris.org/the-illusion-of-free-will/
    That statement by Coyne should literally be the number one example of a self-refuting statement that is given in philosophy/logic 101 classes.

    Michael Egnor: Jerry Coyne Just Can’t Give Up Denying Free Will – April 27, 2020
    Excerpt: Someday, I predict, there will be a considerable psychiatric literature on the denial of free will. It’s essentially a delusion dressed up as science. To insist that your neurotransmitters completely control your choices is no different than insisting that your television or your iphone control your thoughts. It’s crazy.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-jerry-coyne-just-cant-give-up-denying-free-will/

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html
    Of note: Martin Cothran is author of several textbooks on traditional logic
    https://www.amazon.com/Martin-Cothran/e/B00J249LUA/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1

    In short, the claim from Atheistic Naturalists that they have no free will completely undermines any claim that they are making, or that they are even capable of making, a logically, and/or rationally, coherent argument in the first place:

    (1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts.
    (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain (determinism).
    (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2)
    (4) no effect can control its cause.
    Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality.
    – per Box UD

    The rest of Dogdocs post gets no better. I have much better things than to do than pick apart his nonsense piece by piece.

  105. 105
    BobSinclair says:

    Dogdoc

    If a person is predisposed to making a decision based on a held belief, value, or desire, and given you have said people are incapable of choosing their beliefs etc. then prior conditions precede any and all choices, in which case each choice is “arrived” at by conditions preceding conditions preceding conditions etc etc.

    Also you have agreed that one is capable of making arbitrary decisions but say this isn’t the sort of free will people want.
    What definition of free will is it you believe people desire?

  106. 106
    Querius says:

    Dogdoc,

    Actually I am a Bayesian, and I don’t object to what you’ve said

    I’m not sure what you meant by “I am a Bayesian.” Did you mean you’ve chosen to use Bayesian inferences for what you consider is reasonable? Or did you mean something else?

    I don’t understand what that has to do with the argument I presented though.

    My response was to your arbitrary substitutions of “reasonable” and “arbitrary” for the terms, “determinism” and “random.”

    I no longer know what you’re arguing except that you disagree on principle with Bornagain77, and that you consider yourself a “mysterianist,” rejecting one of the fundamental assumptions of science, which is that we’re even capable of understanding the laws of the universe.

    So, what are you actually arguing and do you have any tangible, experimental support for whatever position you’ve chosen?

    -Q

  107. 107
    dogdoc says:

    BA,

    Definition: free will
    the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.

    Both science and philosophy require precise clarifications in language in order to proceed. It is the exacting nature of these pursuits that distinguish them from everyday conversation. Dictionaries, in contrast, capture the sense of words as they are used in everyday conversation. It is very naive of you, then, to think you could make score a debating point regarding a complex philosophical concept such as free will by quoting a dictionary. If you were actually interested in truth instead of constantly just plumping the comfort of your beliefs, you would offer and seek clarifications instead of attempting to find gotchas.

    What I’m saying is that each individual controls his own actions. Even an autonomous robot controls its own actions! But that obviously doesn’t mean that it has free will in the sense that it can freely choose the reasons it has for selecting one action over another.

    Thanks for playing.

    Witty repartee!

    Dogdoc tries this caveat, “We do not, however, choose the beliefs and desires that constitute the reasons for our choices.”

    Um, this is not a caveat, it is the heart of this particular argument. Once again: If we base our choices on reasons, then we must freely choose our reasons in order for our choices to be free. But we cannot choose our reasons, and so in this sense our reasoned choices cannot be free.

    So, even though he said that we control our actions, we really do not have the control to choose between options. Oh what a tangled web we weave,,,

    It’s actually a very simple argument (it is, after all, known as The Basic Argument among moral philosophers). Unfortunately you seem thus far unable to grasp it.

    [here BA inserts some irrelevant copypasta in lieu of attempt to mount a defense of his beliefs]

    In short, the claim from Atheistic Naturalists…

    Here, you attempt to change the subject. Instead of talking about what I’ve said regarding free will, you’d like to talk about what other people believe about atheism and naturalism. I understand your motive here – it’s because you have no rebuttal to my argument.

    …that they have no free will completely undermines any claim that they are making, or that they are even capable of making, a logically, and/or rationally, coherent argument in the first place:

    Not a bit…

    (1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts.

    Ok, I can work with that.

    (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain (determinism).

    For the Nth time, determinism has nothing to do with my argument against free will. You think you have an argument against determinism, so that’s what you do, ignoring the fact that my argument works exactly the same no matter what your beliefs about determinism are. You have one hammer and every opposing view therefore looks like a nail!

    In any case, materialism does not entail that a “thinker” is an effect of brain function. Rather, materialism (if you insist on using this term) entails that thinking is a function of brain processes and nothing else.

    (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2)

    You are here assuming your conclusion: IF you assume that something outside of the brain controls the brain, THEN rationality would be an effect of something other than brain function. If, however, you assume that rationality emerges from brain function, then it’s just brain function and nothing else.

    (4) no effect can control its cause.

    Not that it matters, but this appears to starkly contradict the cybernetic definition of a feedback mechanism.

    Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality.

    Well, no (!2,!3,!4).

    And on top of that, my argument has absolutely nothing to do with rationality! All I’m saying that free choices worth wanting must be made according to reasoned deliberation instead of being made arbitrarily; I’ve never said anything about whether those choices must be rational.

    The rest of Dogdocs post gets no better. I have much better things than to do than pick apart his nonsense piece by piece.

    Well, I give you credit for trying a little bit, anyway. You did not do a good job, and this is a very weak excuse for giving up, but… thanks for playing 🙂

  108. 108
    dogdoc says:

    BobSinclair,

    If a person is predisposed to making a decision based on a held belief, value, or desire, and given you have said people are incapable of choosing their beliefs etc. then prior conditions precede any and all choices, in which case each choice is “arrived” at by conditions preceding conditions preceding conditions etc etc.

    This is close to what I’m saying, yes. But it’s not that some people are “predisposed” to making a decision based on beliefs/desires/etc (BDe) while others may not be. Rather I’m saying that the sort of free will that people value and believe in requires that our choices are the result of reasoned deliberation rather than being made for no reason at all, and BDe (again – beliefs, desires, values, priorities, preferences, fears, hopes, commitments, etc etc) are those things that can serve as reasons.

    Also you have agreed that one is capable of making arbitrary decisions but say this isn’t the sort of free will people want.

    Right.

    What definition of free will is it you believe people desire?

    I think that most people believe that we are the ultimate authors of decisions, and subsequent actions. “Free will” to most people means that we have a component within ourselves, or an aspect of ourselves – the will – and that is the ultimate arbiter of our choices.

    It is also important for people that the will is not merely a coin-flip. Theists sometimes offer “the free will defense” in response to the problem of evil, and this implies that God felt it was so important for humans to have free will that He allows evil and suffering as a result. It seems implausible that the ability to make choices merely at random, for no reason whatsoever, would be considered that important.

  109. 109
    dogdoc says:

    Q,

    I’m not sure what you meant by “I am a Bayesian.” Did you mean you’ve chosen to use Bayesian inferences for what you consider is reasonable? Or did you mean something else?

    Something else: I just meant that I’m familiar with Bayesian reasoning, and believe that (1) it accurately reflects the thought processes people often intuitively use to judge certainty in their beliefs, and (2) represents a way that people ought to evaluate and update their certainty if they wish to hold true beliefs.

    This is not part of my argument, though – you brought it up. My argument doesn’t talk about rationality or reasonability of choices; rather, the argument only applies to decisions that are made for some set of reasons instead of for no reason at all.

    My response was to your arbitrary substitutions of “reasonable” and “arbitrary” for the terms, “determinism” and “random.”

    I would suggest you read my argument @80. In this context, “random” doesn’t mean the same thing that it does when talking about, say, radioactive decay. The word “random” can mean different things in different contexts! In evolutionary theory, “random mutation” does not use the word in the same sense as quantum physics either, as I’m sure you’re aware. What I mean by a “random” decision in this context is that it is reached for no particular reason – it is arbitrary, like a mental coin flip.

    I no longer know what you’re arguing except that you disagree on principle with Bornagain77, and that you consider yourself a “mysterianist,” rejecting one of the fundamental assumptions of science, which is that we’re even capable of understanding the laws of the universe.

    Hahaha no, I’m not advocating the abandonment of seeking to understand what we can learn about the universe. My remark about mysterians was just an aside to BA77, who was making unfounded assumptions about my “worldview”. Mysterianism refers mainly to the mind/body problem, not physics.

    So, what are you actually arguing and do you have any tangible, experimental support for whatever position you’ve chosen?

    As I explained to BA77, thus far the experiments intended to shed light on the nature of conscious choice (Libet-type experiments) do not favor any particular solution to questions of free will.

    What I am arguing for in general is that I am against the project of declaring metaphysical questions (ontology, mind/body problem, free will, the existence of / nature of God, etc) to have been conclusively solved by scientific inquiry (like BA77 does constantly). They haven’t, and I think it’s important to remain humble in our ignorance.

    What I’m arguing for in particular is the point I laid out @80 – that the sort of free will most people believe they have is logically impossible, like lifting yourself up by your bootstraps (or causa sui if you like latin).

  110. 110
    Fordgreen says:

    BA77: “ The rest of Dogdocs post gets no better. I have much better things than to do than pick apart his nonsense piece by piece.”

    I can’t speak for others, but I for one would be interested in seeing BA77 picking apart Dogdoc’s arguments. It would be good to see a counter-argument from BA77 to Dogdoc’s post @80, “The Basic Argument”. It doesn’t feel like it’s been addressed yet. Personally I don’t have the philosophical chops to do it, but would like to see the conversation continue. Whether one agrees with it or not, it’s an intriguing and well-stated idea. I think Dogdoc is a worthy and erudite opponent, don’t you think BA77?

  111. 111
    Alan Fox says:

    Mysterianism. There was a commenter here, using the handle aiguy, someone else who doesn’t post here any more, who identified as a mysterian. Most of what he posted made sense.

    On the other hand, there’s a trend here, an obsession even, to label commenters, especially those with inconvenient ideas, as …ists and …ian’s. Label safely attached, arguments can be ignored or strawmanned. Prime example BA77 and “atheists”.

  112. 112
    vividbleau says:

    “Mysterianism. There was a commenter here, using the handle aiguy, “

    I know we are never to compliment our intellectual opponents but I will. AI guy IMO laid out the strongest arguments against ID. The highest compliment I can give him is that he challenged me and caused me to think about things I had not thought about before. AI guy is the Goat

    Vivid

  113. 113
    vividbleau says:

    Gogdoc

    I wanna get in the game not to rebut your argument per se because there is much I seem to agree with. Don’t have time tonight but will try to engage tomorrow. BTW here is a hint as to my take on “Free Will” , free will is an oxymoron.

    Vivid

  114. 114
    bornagain77 says:

    Fordgreen, “It would be good to see a counter-argument from BA77 to Dogdoc’s post @80, “The Basic Argument”. It doesn’t feel like it’s been addressed yet. Personally I don’t have the philosophical chops to do it, but would like to see the conversation continue.”

    Shoot, I very much thought others, i.e. Querius and Bob Sinclair, were doing a mighty fine job of ‘philosophically’ taking his argument apart.

    And seeing as I usually focus on the empirical evidence itself, not philosophy, I don’t know if I really have the ‘philosophical chops’ either. But anyways here goes.

    First, in addressing his philosophy, I guess it is necessary to see what philosophical foundation Dogdoc is standing on.

    In this thread Dogdoc has claimed to be a “mysterianist” in his philosophical outlook. Which is, right off the bat, weird since being a “mysterianist”, as Relatd pointed out in 102, is definitely a ‘fringe’ position for anyone to hold is ever there was one, (and yet Dogdoc has repeatedly dismissed my arguments several times in this thread simply on the basis that he believes they are ‘fringe” arguments, Go figure!)

    Mysterianism lite
    Excerpt: A philosophical view known as ‘mysterianism’ holds that even though there is nothing supernatural about how consciousness arises from neural activity, the human brain is simply not equipped to understand it. The reason we find the mind–brain problem so baffling, the argument goes, is that humans did not evolve sufficient cognitive abilities to solve it, just as armadillos did not evolve the ability to understand arithmetic. This argument has been advocated by philosophers such as Colin McGinn and cognitive scientists such as Steven Pinker.,,,
    https://www.nature.com/articles/nn0300_199

    Moreover, as Querius has rightly pointed out in post 106, as a ‘fringe’ “mysterianist”, Dogdoc has rejected “one of the fundamental (philosophical) assumptions of science, which is that we’re even capable of understanding the laws of the universe”.

    Thus, as a ‘fringe’ “mysterianist”, and as far as the philosophy of science is concerned, philosophically speaking Dogdoc is already in big time trouble since he has already rejected a primary philosophical presupposition, (and I might add Theological presupposition), that is required for doing science. Namely, he has rejected the philosophical/Theological presupposition that the universe is intelligible to the human mind.

    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”

    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.” (Francis Bacon’s championing of inductive reasoning over and above the deductive reasoning of the ancient Greeks)
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    To claim that the human mind is incapable of understanding the ultimate mysteries of the universe, as Dogdoc holds with his ‘fringe’ “mysterianist” philosophy, is for him to undermine a necessary presupposition for doing science, As Paul Davies explained in his 1995 Templeton address, “even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”

    Physics and the Mind of God: The Templeton Prize Address – by Paul Davies – August 1995
    Excerpt: “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/1995/08/003-physics-and-the-mind-of-god-the-templeton-prize-address-24

    And as professor of philosophy Robert C. Koons explains, “Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.”

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.theistic.net/papers.....cience.pdf
    Rob Koons is a professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. With degrees from Michigan State, Oxford, and UCLA, he specializes in metaphysics and philosophical logic, with special interest in philosophical theology and the foundations of both science and ethics.

    Thus from the very get go, before we even get into the specifics of Dogdoc’s argument in 80, as a person who holds to the ‘fringe’ philosophy of Mysterianism, Dogdoc, philosophically speaking, has already disqualified himself from being able to authoritatively speak to the science.

    But be that as it may, and as to Dogdoc’s specific argument in 80, from Relatd’s citation in 102 we find that Mysterianists’s hold that quote-unquote “there is nothing supernatural about how consciousness arises from neural activity”. Leaving aside the pesky detail that Mysterianists have already philosophically disqualified themselves from being able to coherently comment on whether anything may be natural or supernatural in the brain, this specific claim that “there is nothing supernatural about how consciousness arises from neural activity” commits the Mysterianist to the overarching philosophy of naturalism and/or materialism.

    OK now that we have Dogdoc’s philosophical underpinnings more clearly defined, We can now more properly deconstruct Dogdoc’s argument in 80 and see where its flaws lay. Dogdoc summarizes his ‘philosophical’ argument in post 80 as such,

    “There is no escape from this catch-22. Until one has freely chosen beliefs, desires etc, one can’t excercise free will. But unless one already has free will, one can’t have freely chosen beliefs, desires, etc.
    Thus, the sort of free will that most people imagine they have is logically impossible.”

    So, as a Mysterianist, who holds that “there is nothing supernatural about how consciousness arises from neural activity”, Dogdoc is forced to hold that all our former and present beliefs and desires are purely ‘natural’, physical, and/or material, in their foundational essence, and is also forced to hold that any rationality that we may use to arrive at any new beliefs and desires is also purely ‘natural’, physical, and/or material, in its foundational essence.

    Yet, in direct contradiction to that naturalistic belief, we harbor many beliefs and desires that are clearly immaterial, i.e. ‘non-natural’ in their foundational essence.

    As Dr. Michael Egnor explains, “Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, (love), and an endless library of abstract concepts.,,, It is in our ability to think abstractly that we differ from apes. It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. Our difference is a metaphysical chasm.,,,
    Systems of taxonomy that emphasize physical and genetic similarities and ignore the fact that human beings are partly immaterial beings who are capable of abstract thought and contemplation of moral law and eternity are pitifully inadequate to describe man.”

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals
    – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,
    A human being is material and immaterial — a composite being. We have material bodies, and our perceptions and imaginations and appetites are material powers, instantiated in our brains. But our intellect — our ability to think abstractly — is a wholly immaterial power, and our will that acts in accordance with our intellect is an immaterial power. Our intellect and our will depend on matter for their ordinary function, in the sense that they depend upon perception and imagination and memory, but they are not themselves made of matter. It is in our ability to think abstractly that we differ from apes. It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. Our difference is a metaphysical chasm. It is obvious and manifest in our biological nature. We are rational animals, and our rationality is all the difference. Systems of taxonomy that emphasize physical and genetic similarities and ignore the fact that human beings are partly immaterial beings who are capable of abstract thought and contemplation of moral law and eternity are pitifully inadequate to describe man.
    The assertion that man is an ape is self-refuting. We could not express such a concept, misguided as it is, if we were apes and not men.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/11/the_fundamental_2/

    Moreover, rationality itself, since it is based on immaterial logic, is also ‘non-natural’, i.e. non-material, in its foundational essence, and thus also directly contradicts Dogdoc’s Mysterianist belief that conscious activity is explicable in purely ‘natural’, physical, and/or material terms. And, more specifically, also undermines his argument against free will in post 80 that we are unable freely choose our present beliefs and desires.

    Specifically, Dogdoc’s belief that his present beliefs and desires are purely ‘natural’, physical, and/or material, and also his belief that his present ‘physical’ beliefs and desires are dictated by his former ‘physical’ beliefs and desires, and that, therefore, his free will is merely an illusion, is directly undermined by the fact that when we form new beliefs, especially in science, we use rationality in order to form those new beliefs and desires. Yet, when we use rationality we are using a faculty of our immaterial minds, namely immaterial logic, that simply has no physical and/or material explanation.

    As Dr. Egnor explains, “the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism?”

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    Thus, since we, especially in science, use rationality to form new beliefs, and since rationality itself is very much ‘joined at the hip’ with logic, and yet logic itself is immaterial in its foundation essence, then Dogdoc belief that all our former and present beliefs and desires are the result of purely natural, physical, and/or material causes, is directly undermined.

    Supplemental note,

    Is God Real? Evidence from the Laws of Logic – J. Warner Wallace
    Excerpt: All rational discussions (even those about the existence or non-existence of God) require the prior foundation of logical absolutes. You’d have a hard time making sense of any conversation if the Laws of Logic weren’t available to guide the discussion and provide rational boundaries. Here are three of the most important Laws of Logic you and I use every day:
    The Law of Identity,,,
    The Law of Non-Contradiction,,,
    The Law of Excluded Middle,,,
    These logical rules are necessary in order for us to examine truth statements. We also need them to point out when someone is reasoning illogically. We use the Laws of Logic all the time; you couldn’t even begin to read or reason through this blog post if you didn’t employ these laws. In fact, you’ve never had an intelligent, rational conversation without using these laws. They’re not a matter of subjective opinion; they are, instead, objectively true. So, here’s an important question: “From where do the transcendent, objective laws of logic come?”
    As an atheist, I would have been the first to describe myself as rational. In fact, I saw myself as far more reasonable than many of the Christians I knew. But, I was basing my rationality on my ability to understand and employ the Laws of Logic. How could I account for these transcendent laws without the existence of a transcendent Law Giver?
    (1) The Objective Laws of Logic Exist
    We cannot deny the Laws of Logic exist. In fact, any reasonable or logical argument against the existence of these laws requires their existence in the first place.
    The Objective Laws of Logic Are Conceptual Laws
    These laws are not physical; they are conceptual. They cannot be seen under a microscope or weighed on a scale. They are abstract laws guiding logical, immaterial thought processes.
    The Objective Laws of Logic Are Transcendent
    The laws transcend location, culture and time. If we go forward or backward a million years, the laws of logic would still exist and apply, regardless of culture or geographic location.
    The Objective Laws of Logic Pre-Existed Mankind
    The transcendent and timeless nature of logical laws indicates they precede our existence or ability to recognize them. Even before humans were able to understand the law of non-contradiction, “A” could not have been “Non-A”. The Laws of Logic were discovered by humans, not created by humans.
    (2) All Conceptual Laws Reflect the Mind of a Law Giver
    All laws require law givers, including conceptual laws. We know this from our common experience in the world in which we live. The laws governing our society and culture, for example, are the result and reflection of minds. But more importantly, the conceptual Laws of Logic govern rational thought processes, and for this reason, they require the existence of a mind.
    (3) The Best and Most Reasonable Explanation for the Kind of Mind Necessary for the Existence of the Transcendent, Objective, Conceptual Laws of Logic is God
    The lawgiver capable of producing the immaterial, transcendent laws preceding our existence must also be an immaterial, transcendent and pre-existent mind. This description fits what we commonly think of when we think of a Creator God.,,,
    https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-god-real-evidence-from-the-laws-of-logic/

    Verse and quotes:

    John 1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

    ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also the root word from which we derive our modern word logic
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”

  115. 115
    relatd says:

    Ba77,

    I have known truly genius level people, including a teenager with a highly developed mind. He was already doing science at a young age. Invention is based on observation, imagination and hope. Example: “There must be a cure and I will find it.” Or a group of engineers are given an assignment to build an aircraft with a certain speed, range and bomb load. It is doesn’t matter that such an aircraft does not yet exist. Such great advances are made based on God-given talents and determination.

    I was just reading about a computer chip with 114 billion transistors. This even though there were warnings that certain limits in chip design existed.

  116. 116
    BobSinclair says:

    Dogdoc

    Ok, let me see if I’ve understood correctly.
    Reasons – beliefs/desires/etc (BDe)
    Free will – ability to make a choice based on preconceived (BDe)

    So if someone’s (BDe) are thrust upon them by external forces so to speak, and they’re decisions hence forth are affected by these predetermined (BDe), which part is then doing the choosing based on these prior beliefs? Would you say the Will is independent from the forces affecting someone’s acquisition of a particular (BDe) and if so how?.

    I’m certainly not arguing that a persons decision isn’t affected by prior commitments for that would be silly. As to how they arrived at those commitments, I would say at least some things are held which I don’t believe you could say were chosen “freely”. A quick example might be someone’s likes and dislikes, sometimes you just “know” whether you’ll like something or not.

    So I get the impression it’s a sort of limited “Freedom” you appear to be arguing for.

  117. 117
    dogdoc says:

    Fordgreen,

    Whether one agrees with it or not, it’s an intriguing and well-stated idea.

    I appreciate your open-mindedness! I remember seeing a headline in the satirical newsletter The Onion that said something like “Breaking News: Someone on an Internet Forum Changed Their Mind!”

    There are a set of deep questions about “Life, The Universe, and Everything” (apologies to Douglas Adams), and if there is a chance for anyone to change their mind about anything here, I would like to suggest this: Don’t be so sure you know the answers to these questions!

  118. 118
    dogdoc says:

    Alan Fox,

    Mysterianism. There was a commenter here, using the handle aiguy, someone else who doesn’t post here any more, who identified as a mysterian. Most of what he posted made sense.

    Sounds like a person after my own heart 😉

    On the other hand, there’s a trend here, an obsession even, to label commenters, especially those with inconvenient ideas, as …ists and …ian’s. Label safely attached, arguments can be ignored or strawmanned. Prime example BA77 and “atheists”.

    Excellent comment! So very true and important to realize this. Rather than debate ideas, people are obsessed with placing people in labelled boxes, and then attributing all sorts of things to everyone they place in the box!

    A terrific example is right here regarding this “mysterianism” label. I mentioned this to BA77 as a minor aside, because he was insisting on placing me in a box labelled atheist/materialist/naturalist. (In truth I reject each of these three labels for different, but strongly held, reasons!) But people who aren’t able to debate the arguments I make resort to attacking me based on labels, and attribute beliefs to me that I do not hold.

    Let’s try hard to debate the issues and not get confused by labelled boxes.

  119. 119
    dogdoc says:

    Vividbleau,

    The highest compliment I can give him [aiguy] is that he challenged me and caused me to think about things I had not thought about before.

    Again I’m impressed by open-mindedness here!

    BTW here is a hint as to my take on “Free Will” , free will is an oxymoron.

    I believe we may agree. Once you think carefully about what “free will” could possibly base its decisions on, you realize that most people’s conception of free will is incoherent.

  120. 120
    dogdoc says:

    BobSinclair,

    Ok, let me see if I’ve understood correctly.
    Reasons – beliefs/desires/etc (BDe)
    Free will – ability to make a choice based on preconceived (BDe)

    Yes.

    So if someone’s (BDe) are thrust upon them by external forces so to speak, and they’re decisions hence forth are affected by these predetermined (BDe), which part is then doing the choosing based on these prior beliefs? Would you say the Will is independent from the forces affecting someone’s acquisition of a particular (BDe) and if so how?.

    You had asked what I thought free will typically meant to people and I responded that most people think that the will is a component or aspect of them. I myself do not look at it that way. (There is a history of how the idea of “will power” was popularized – it was not always thought of the way it is now).

    In my view, people. make decisions. They might make them impulsively, reflexively, spontaneously, without deliberation, but again I do not think this is the sort of decision that most people are interested in defending as an exercise of free will. But if they deliberate about their choice, then BDe is the basis for their deliberation.

    If someone “brainwashed” me into BDe that I would not otherwise hold, my responsibility for choices based on those BDe’s would be attenuated, and legal systems generally recognize this as a legitimate defense. We must each choose our own BDe in order to be responsible for our actions, but we can’t choose our own BDe without already having BDe.

    I’m certainly not arguing that a persons decision isn’t affected by prior commitments for that would be silly. As to how they arrived at those commitments, I would say at least some things are held which I don’t believe you could say were chosen “freely”. A quick example might be someone’s likes and dislikes, sometimes you just “know” whether you’ll like something or not.

    So I get the impression it’s a sort of limited “Freedom” you appear to be arguing for.

    First, it’s not just likes/dislikes/desires or simple basic preferences – it is also the totality of your beliefs and the “etc” part – values, priorities, fears… whatever may serve as reasons for a deliberate decision.

    But yes, you could say I think there is a “limited freedom”, in the sense that we have proximate responsibility for our choices. It is a person who takes action, not a history of innate and acquired BDe. So, while it doesn’t make any sense to think that people can use their own BDe to decide what their own BDe should be, there is still a sense that we are the proximate cause of our actions. If I think I should torture a puppy because my deliberations over my BDe tells me that is the course of action to take then I can be held responsible (and incarcerated in order to protect society from me and my terrible BDe). Still and yet, I did not choose to have those terrible, sick BDe’s in the first place.

    Thank you for your clarifications and constructive discussion, BobSinclair. Perhaps you’ll disagree in the end but I do appreciate you engaging in good faith.

  121. 121
    dogdoc says:

    BA77,

    Shoot, I very much thought others, i.e. Querius and Bob Sinclair, were doing a mighty fine job of ‘philosophically’ taking his argument apart.

    I haven’t seen any attempt to directly refute my argument @80 from either Querius or BobSinclair, however both of them have responded intelligently and earnestly, working to clarify the issues.

    First, in addressing his philosophy, I guess it is necessary to see what philosophical foundation Dogdoc is standing on.

    What Fordgreen was interested in was your rebuttal of my argument at @80. What you seem to be preparing for is to invent your strawman version of some “philosophical foundation” and attack that, rather than refute my argument. Too bad.

    In this thread Dogdoc has claimed to be a “mysterianist” in his philosophical outlook.

    I made that comment as an aside, because you insist on labelling me and telling me what I think instead of reading what I say and asking me what I think. Mysterianism has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the argument I’ve made here.

    Which is, right off the bat, weird since being a “mysterianist”, as Relatd pointed out in 102, is definitely a ‘fringe’ position for anyone to hold is ever there was one, (and yet Dogdoc has repeatedly dismissed my arguments several times in this thread simply on the basis that he believes they are ‘fringe” arguments, Go figure!)

    So much is wrong with this. First, again, we have not discussed what I mean by that comment about mysterianism, and if you wanted to discuss it you would need to first ask me what I think, instead of dredging up all sorts of things on the internet that have nothing to do with my position. Second, I have criticised you for pretending that various fringe/unpopular scientific positions (conscious collapse theories in QM for example) have been empirically proven to be true. I obviously make no such claims for mysterianism. As I’ve said here, the only thing that mysterianism means to me is that it appears that nobody has a clear, empirically verified understanding of the relationship between reality and conscious experience, and it is possible that we are inherently incapable of understanding that relationship.

    Now, let’s leave that behind and get back to you refuting my argument about free will, shall we?

    Mysterianism lite Excerpt:…

    Oh, too bad. Rather than engage my argument about free will, which is really at the heart of much of your statements regarding science, religion, and philosophy, here you go quoting other people about things that I do not necessarily agree with and have nothing to do with the argument we’re discussing!

    Lose the labels and learn to debate, BA!

    Thus, as a ‘fringe’ “mysterianist”, and as far as the philosophy of science is concerned, philosophically speaking Dogdoc is already in big time trouble since he has already rejected a primary philosophical presupposition, (and I might add Theological presupposition), that is required for doing science. Namely, he has rejected the philosophical/Theological presupposition that the universe is intelligible to the human mind.

    You’re just wrong about everything I’m afraid. I of course do not reject that the universe is intelligible. Instead of telling me what I think, why don’t you ask me? The reason of course is that the only way you can feel you’re “winning” is if you make up both sides of the argument.

    [more and more irrelevant copypasta quotes cluttering up this page…]

    Thus from the very get go, before we even get into the specifics of Dogdoc’s argument in 80,

    Hahahahaha this is actually pretty funny.

    as a person who holds to the ‘fringe’ philosophy of Mysterianism, Dogdoc, philosophically speaking, has already disqualified himself from being able to authoritatively speak to the science.

    So your strategy here is:
    1) Take one side comment about mysterianism that I made
    2) Attribute to me all sorts of ideas that I don’t believe
    3) Attack those strawman positions
    4) Completely ignore every single thing I actually said in the argument @80 that we are debating
    5) Pretend that this means you’ve won the debate.

    This is a perfect illustration of what Alan Fox above had predicted!

    But be that as it may, and as to Dogdoc’s specific argument in 80, from Relatd’s citation in 102 we find that Mysterianists’s hold that quote-unquote “there is nothing supernatural about how consciousness arises from neural activity”.

    Here you say you are going to get specific about my argument @80… and then immediately revert to talking about completely irrelevant issues that have nothing whatsoever to do with my argument. Wow, just wow.

    Dogdoc summarizes his ‘philosophical’ argument in post 80 as such,

    “There is no escape from this catch-22. Until one has freely chosen beliefs, desires etc, one can’t exercise free will. But unless one already has free will, one can’t have freely chosen beliefs, desires, etc.
    Thus, the sort of free will that most people imagine they have is logically impossible.”

    Aha! FINALLY you have managed to address my argument! Great. Yes, this is the summary of my argument @80, and you have copied it accurately – good start.

    So, as a Mysterianist, who holds that “there is nothing supernatural about how consciousness arises from neural activity”…

    It’s like you are doing a comedy routine. “OK, here I go, I’m going to attack DogDoc’s argument now. Are you ready? Here we go! Did you know that DogDoc thinks that everything is natural? Ok, he may not have said that but he’s in the “naturalist” box so I can assume all sorts of things that he thinks!”

    If you wanted to debate naturalism I’d be happy to, and you would learn why I think that all three labels you insist on putting on me are not well specified (atheism, naturalism, materialism). None of this has anything to do with the argument I made regarding free will.

    Dogdoc is forced to hold that all our former and present beliefs and desires are purely ‘natural’, physical, and/or material,

    No, BA, I’m very sorry but I am NOT forced to believe all of these things just because you say I am. This is just ridiculous.

    [More irrelvant copypasta… MUCH more… then quotes from the Bible…]

    That was just terrible, BA. Nothing but strawmen, labels, irrelevant copypasta – not one single attempt to address my argument. Stop pasting these big quotes you’ve found and actually try to reason about what I’ve said, then tell us where you think the argument as I’ve presented it @80 is wrong. Just try it!

  122. 122
    bornagain77 says:

    Dogdoc, “If you wanted to debate naturalism I’d be happy to, and you would learn why I think that all three labels you insist on putting on me are not well specified (atheism, naturalism, materialism). None of this has anything to do with the argument I made regarding free will.”

    So you are not a naturalist, atheist, or materialist? Frankly, from your line of argumentation against free will it is very hard to tell that you are not in one, or all, of those camps. Your arguments indicate very much that you are in at least one of the camps if not all of them, and yet you claim that you are not.

    Again, I use the old walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck, probably is a duck, to figure out what type of person I am talking to. It is not on me, but it is on you, to make clear distinctions about your exact position. ESPECIALLY when you are the one who is clearly putting forth such a ‘fringe’ nuanced view against the reality of free will that does not fall into at least one of those camps.

    As a sidenote. The manner in which you have repeatedly addressed me thus far in this thread has been very disrespectful and trollish, and if Fordgreen had not asked me to address your post I would not have bothered to do so.. Frankly, as far as I was concerned, you could have gone and jumped in a lake. I was done with your condescending drivel until Fordgreen specifically asked me to comment. I have much better things to do than to put up with crap like that from you. Especially when, in my honest opinion, your arguments don’t appear to be all that well thought out or grounded.

  123. 123
    asauber says:

    The candy/charity dilemma is a false dilemma. There are probably an uncountable number of choices for any given situation we have the ability to conceive and decide upon that we are constantly confronted with. An artist would choose from a palette of colors. You can give more to charity or buy a whole case of candy bars after you get your paycheck. You can give the candy bar to a hungry kid or throw it in the woods for the ants. You can use your imagination. There are shades of grey. You can choose not to decide. How about not caring at all? Candy bars and charitable donations don’t stimulate your brain. Too busy to notice. Carolina Blue is cool. So is Cornflower. Lets use red, though. This song would sound better on acoustic guitar. Nope, I changed my mind, now piano sounds better (until I get drunk). I’m not in the mood. Go ask your Father.

    Andrew

  124. 124
    dogdoc says:

    BA77,

    So you are not a naturalist, atheist, or materialist?

    Really? Back to the labels right off the bat? Are you joking?

    Frankly, from your line of argumentation against free will it is very hard to tell that you are not in one, or all, of those camps.

    All you can think about is putting labels on people. You have no interest in arguing issues like free will.

    Your arguments indicate very much that you are in at least one of the camps if not all of them, and yet you claim that you are not.

    Labels, boxes, strawmen, camps, tribes, teams, blah blah blah. Stop it and address my argument.

    Again, I use the old walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck, probably is a duck, to figure out what type of person I am talking to.

    If it wasn’t for ad hominem reasoning, you would have no reasoning at all.

    It is not on me, but it is on you, to make clear distinctions about your position when you are the one who is clearly holding such a ‘fringe’ nuanced view against the reality of free will that does not fall into at least one of those camps.

    Once you concede that you have no way to rebut my argument at @80, I promise I will explain and debate my views regarding naturalism, materialism, atheism, and even mysterianism. At this point you have no understanding of what I think about these things.

    As a sidenote. The manner in which you have repeatedly addressed me thus far in this thread has been very disrespectful, and if Fordgreen had not asked me to address your post I would not have bothered.. I have much better things to do than to put up with crap like that from you.

    I apologize if my comments to you have been disrespectful, and I will commit to being more respectful in the future. In turn, I will ask of you to refrain from pretending I believe stupid things that I don’t believe, from telling me that my worldview compels me to treat my children like meat robots rather than love them, and so on. Deal?

    Especially when, in my honest opinion, you arguments don’t appear to be all that well thought out.

    Really? Can you say why?

  125. 125
    Viola Lee says:

    “If it wasn’t for ad hominem reasoning, you would have no reasoning at all.”

    Good line. 🙂

  126. 126
    asauber says:

    It’s about time I cleaned the house. Naw, it can wait. Nope, the Missus wants it done today. Right out of Pledge. Go figure.

    Andrew

  127. 127
    bornagain77 says:

    Asks for clarity, gets mocked for using ‘labels’. Whatever, I’m done.

  128. 128
    dogdoc says:

    OK then! I asked BA to stop using purely ad hominem reasoning in his arguments, and he has used that as an excuse to refuse to even attempt to address my argument in @80.

    It is obvious, I trust, to the fair reader that BA does not know where to start suggesting any weakness in the argument as I’ve stated it, and his only interest was attaching “-isms” to me an attacking me on that basis.

    Hopefully BA is not representative of other posters here. I am still interested if anyone can find anything wrong with the argument against free will that I’ve described. If not, I’m happy to debate other issues, including what I think the problems are with the labels atheism, naturalism, and materialism.

  129. 129
    BobSinclair says:

    Dogdoc

    So to sum up. A person’s BDe’s, represent’s the “content” of that individual’s life. Content not freely chosen but given to them, I guess you could say, and that content is the basis of which the individual will use or base any and all decision’s on.

    Now, you say a person is able to act upon they’re given content to make informed decisions, but which part of the person is doing the choosing or the rationalising? What separates the chooser from the chosen? and why aren’t all decision’s made as a sort of automated response based on the particular BDes held by the individual, thus fore going the need for rationality.

    Aside- I believe it can be beneficial to engage in Debate now and then, for if nothing else then at least to understand the other parties position.

  130. 130
    jerry says:

    I am still interested if anyone can find anything wrong with the argument against free will

    Having not read the comment, I will use my free will to make a comment.

    The best proof that there is no free will for some is that they choose to make inane comments despite being presented with evidence and logic that dispute their claims. I have never met an an anti ID person who can back up their position. So yes, there are some who do not have free will.

    I always maintain the most interesting part of the debate is why are the anti ID people are so irrational. Lack of free will is a good explanation. They just cannot help themselves.

  131. 131
    Querius says:

    Thank you, Bornagain77, BobSinclair and Jerry,

    Yikes, looks like we’re getting plastered by vacuous comments on everything but the topic of “How Infinity Threatens Cosmology along with a cat-and-mouse game of “guess what I believe.”

    Then there are the vacuous admiring comments of open-mindedness and other silliness.

    The earlier assertion of

    “Actually I am a Bayesian, and I don’t object to what you’ve said . . .”

    sounds like it comes from a trollbot or perhaps someone unfamiliar with common English usage (relax, English is also my second language). No one normally says “I am a Bayesian” any more than

    – “I am a geometric.”
    – “I am an integral.”
    – “I am a normal curve.”

    This, and the lack of sequential logic is pretty suspicious. However, unlike some skeptics here, the entity did pick up the erroneous usage of “waveform” from the video by Egnor, but wasn’t aware that “wavefunction” is the correct term, which is completely familiar to anyone who has studied the subject.

    So, let me once again recommend simply ignoring vacuous, tangential rhetoric designed to troll serious participants. As some other contributors here, I’m willing to cut some slack for honest off-topic questions, but when it becomes apparent that a person merely intends to shout “squirrel” at a dog show, I’m not for running off barking into the forest.

    Does this make sense, Kairosfocus?

    -Q

  132. 132
    dogdoc says:

    BobSinclair,

    So to sum up. A person’s BDe’s, represent’s the “content” of that individual’s life.

    BDe’s are all of reasons one may enlist to make any particular choice.

    Content not freely chosen but given to them, I guess you could say, and that content is the basis of which the individual will use or base any and all decision’s on.

    BDe’s come to exist through innate disposition and world experience, yes. And if one bases on a decision on reasons (rather than on no reason at all) then BDe’s are the term I’m using to encompass all reasons that may factor in.

    Now, you say a person is able to act upon they’re given content to make informed decisions, but which part of the person is doing the choosing or the rationalising?

    As I said @120,

    DOGDOC:
    You had asked what I thought free will typically meant to people and I responded that most people think that the will is a component or aspect of them. I myself do not look at it that way. (There is a history of how the idea of “will power” was popularized – it was not always thought of the way it is now).

    There are plenty of models in psychology that partition our mentality into interacting components. Id/Ego/Superego was a popular one obviously. I personally don’t subscribe to such models (I’m interested in the functional components being identified by neuroscience, but it’s still so early in the research). I don’t believe that there is something separate called a “will” that makes choices – I think it is a person who makes choices.

    What separates the chooser from the chosen?

    The person is the chooser and the choices are the chosen. I’m not sure why you think there needs to be a “separation”.

    and why aren’t all decision’s made as a sort of automated response based on the particular BDes held by the individual, thus fore going the need for rationality.

    Let me try to unpack this. First, when one responds automatically, I take this to be a reflexive response – one that is not consciously deliberated. This is a sort of choice we can make but that I have said does not qualify as an exercise of free will (at least the sort of free will worth wanting).

    Second, I have not introduced the notion of “rationality” in my argument at all. I talk about reasoned deliberation, but make no attempt to distinguish rational vs. irrational choices. Say I chose to buy the candy bar, and the main reason that my decision was based upon was that I believed every candy bar purchased helped a unicorn learn to fly. I would consider this to be a decision that was reasoned (was not made arbitrarily) but not reasonable or rational (consistent with facts or goals).

    It is interesting to think about which of our decisions proceed from conscious reasoning and which are automatic, and why, and how! I have ideas regarding this that I hesitate to introduce for fear of taking the conversation in too many directions, but I’d be willing to share them if you’re interested (they involve the notion that consciousness may be perceptual rather than causal, but please let’s not get into this right now).

    The important point is this: The free choices under discussion are those that are consciously deliberated over a set of reasons. Those are the decisions that convince people that someone is worthy of praise, or blame. Again, most legal systems recognize that someone who is unable to make reasoned decisions are not typically held responsible for their choices.

    Aside- I believe it can be beneficial to engage in Debate now and then, for if nothing else then at least to understand the other parties position.

    I think you have understated the case, Bob!! It is more than beneficial – it is absolutely necessary! I constantly seek out the smartest people I can find who disagree with me about important things – politics, religion, philosophy, etc – and I honestly love to be shown to be wrong (nobody believes me when I say that except those who know me well).

    Once again I really applaud your openness.

  133. 133
    dogdoc says:

    DD: “Actually I am a Bayesian, and I don’t object to what you’ve said . . .”

    Q: sounds like it comes from a trollbot or perhaps someone unfamiliar with common English usage (relax, English is also my second language). No one normally says “I am a Bayesian” any more than
    – “I am a geometric.”
    – “I am an integral.”
    – “I am a normal curve.”

    “I am a bayesian” returns six full pages of hits on Google. HAHAHAHAHAHA
    I’ll try to cut you some slack as a non-native English speaker, but it’s sad that since you can’t refute my arguments you fixate on silly, mistaken criticisms of my word choices.

  134. 134
    Querius says:

    DD: Squirrel!!!
    Q: (yawn)

  135. 135
    Viola Lee says:

    I just read the OP. The first paragraph is a very good summary of the difference between a potential and an actual infinity, the latter being a mathematical abstract concept that can not be instantiated in reality.

    The hypotheses about Planck units in time and space bring up some interesting issues, but in many other areas where we know things are discrete (molecules in a gas) we find it vastly easier to analyze them with calculus, as if they were continuous. The article does mention how a discrete approach might change the theory of black holes, but I’m sure there is a lot to work out there.

  136. 136
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @135,

    Thank you! We’re finally back on topic.

    I just read the OP. The first paragraph is a very good summary of the difference between a potential and an actual infinity, the latter being a mathematical abstract concept that can not be instantiated in reality.

    Yes, exactly! We’ve talked before about applying mathematics to reality as a temporarily useful model or approximation.

    The hypotheses about Planck units in time and space bring up some interesting issues, but in many other areas where we know things are discrete (molecules in a gas) we find it vastly easier to analyze them with calculus, as if they were continuous.

    So true! And Dr. Hossenfelder maintains that Planck lengths seem to “pixelate” the universe only because of the limits to energy density that would otherwise result in a black hole. I think you might enjoy her video in context of the limits to the applicability of any mathematical extrapolation (if you’ve not already seen it):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyPdIBnWOCM

    Notice that she doesn’t a priori reject the possibility of a pixelated universe, but is wary of extrapolating 16 orders of magnitude.

    The article does mention how a discrete approach might change the theory of black holes, but I’m sure there is a lot to work out there.

    Indeed! Also closely associated is a reasonable theory of gravity–as you know, Einstein addressed this issue in his General Theory of Relativity. And then there’s Loop Quantum Gravity:
    https://www.amazon.com/Loop-Quantum-Gravity-General-Relativity/dp/9813209933

    -Q

  137. 137
    Viola Lee says:

    I read Rovelli’s “Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity” some time ago. All speculative but that is how theoretical physics and math proceeds.

  138. 138
    dogdoc says:

    “All speculative but that is how theoretical physics and math proceeds.”

    That’s for sure. So important to remember, for example, that you can’t point to one particular, speculative QM interpretation of your choosing and pretend that it empirically confirms some particular version of metaphysics or religion. That really was the central point of my debate with BA here, who needs to take note of this.

  139. 139
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @137,

    All speculative but that is how theoretical physics and math proceeds.

    Rovelli is good and, as I mentioned previously, I appreciate Lee Smolin’s candor. You might be interested in Hossenfelder’s book, Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray.
    https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Math-Beauty-Physics-Astray-ebook/dp/B0763L6YR7/ref=sr_1_1?crid=6ON7KC51WURE&keywords=lost+in+math&qid=1664587880&qu=eyJxc2MiOiIxLjk3IiwicXNhIjoiMS43MCIsInFzcCI6IjEuNzUifQ%3D%3D&sprefix=lost+in+math%2Caps%2C168&sr=8-1

    This is also relevant to the OP–she argues for less speculation (supported by the beauty of math) until more experimental evidence can be extracted.

    Rovelli, Smolin, and Hossenfelder are all deterministic materialists, but I appreciate their insights–up to a point. The implications of QM are so profound that they should be willing to suspend their presumptions to see where the data leads them–at least until more experimental results become available, which has been occurring.

    Yes, all this also impacts cosmology and the nature of black holes and gravity, along with gravity asymptotically approaching infinity in a black hole.

    -Q

  140. 140
    Viola Lee says:

    re 138 to dogdoc: Absolutely. The range of possible QM interpretations is fascinating, but the debate among experts is spirited.

    More importantly, IMO, is that we will never know the “real” interpretation. Rather, the best we can do, is come up with a metaphorical system of understanding (all metaphysics is metaphorical), or more likely a set of competing systems, which are beyond empirical resolution. That’s a thought off the top of my head tonight! 🙂

  141. 141
    Viola Lee says:

    Wikipedia says this about Rovelli’s view on religion:

    Religious views
    Rovelli defines himself “serenely atheist”.[22] He discussed his religious views in several articles and in his book on Anaximander. He argues that the conflict between rational/scientific thinking and structured religion may find periods of truce (“there is no contradiction between solving Maxwell’s equations and believing that God created Heaven and Earth”),[23] but it is ultimately unsolvable because (most) religions demand the acceptance of some unquestionable truths while scientific thinking is based on the continuous questioning of any truth. Thus, for Rovelli, the source of the conflict is not the pretense of science to give answers – the universe, for Rovelli is full of mystery and a source of awe and emotions – but, on the contrary, the source of the conflict is the acceptance of our ignorance at the foundation of science, which clashes with religions’ pretense to be depositories of certain knowledge.

    I can agree with lots of this.

  142. 142
    dogdoc says:

    Viola,

    Rather, the best we can do, is come up with a metaphorical system of understanding (all metaphysic is metaphorical), or more likely a set of competing systems, which are beyond empirical resolution.

    My inclination is that it might be nice to refrain from inventing (or perpetuating) competing metaphysical systems. People have been doing that for a few thousand years, and it seems to exacerbate our tribal instincts. As technology empowers more people to do more mischief more easily, tribal instincts become more dangerous. Perhaps we should work towards admitting that nobody really knows the answers to the deepest questions, so we should really be tolerant of whatever each of us comes up with. Just a thought 🙂

  143. 143
    Viola Lee says:

    I certainly agree about the dangers of competing metaphysical systems, which is really what a key component of all religions are. I’m definitely in the “nobody really knows” camp, and as I stated often before, in the “no one really can know” camp.

    However, on the one hand my first thought is that I’m inclined to think that competing interpretations of QM don’t hold the same dangers, but then I see here at UD the attachment to one view as a validation of one religious view, and the antagonism aimed at other views and I’m not so sure: the theism/materialism conflict is what drives a great deal of the dissension here, and those seem to have become linked to differing QM interpretations.

  144. 144
    Querius says:

    Regarding the description of Rovelli’s perspective on religion that you provided, I’d extend Stephen J. Gould’s assertions about separate magesteria to other human experiences beyond just science and religion. For example, just because we can’t measure beauty in BTUs or courage in candelas doesn’t mean we have to believe they’re not real.

    He seems to lump together the overwhelming number and history of religious beliefs–they have a very wide range of content. For example . . .

    – Marxism, both a political and moral religion, has a number of fundamental perspectives on economic equity and social structure that must be accepted by its true believers.

    In a sense then, the competing interpretations of quantum mechanics also share some of the same qualities as religion. There’s also an orthodoxy in QM that’s difficult to challenge without suffering estrangement from the academic community. This has also been the case in cosmology (Halton Arp) and medicine (Ignaz Semmelweis) as a couple of examples.

    But it’s amazing what additional data can potentially change (hopefully not one funeral at a time as Max Planck lamented) such as with the recent James Webb Space Telescope.
    https://www.nasa.gov/content/james-webb-space-telescope-latest-news

    -Q

  145. 145
    Viola Lee says:

    Is there an orthodoxy in QM? I think it might be too splintered at this point to have one interpretation that stands out as the orthodox one. Maybe I’m wrong, though.

    Although, yes several people have suffered estrangement in the past: David Bohm, for instance.

    An interesting and entertaining book on all this, by the way, is “How the Hippies Saved Physics”, by David Kaiser.

  146. 146
    dogdoc says:

    Viola,

    I’m definitely in the “nobody really knows” camp, and as I stated often before, in the “no one really can know” camp.

    Me too.

    Is there an orthodoxy in QM? I think it might be too splintered at this point to have one interpretation that stands out as the orthodox one. Maybe I’m wrong, though.

    Seems to me that (1) the taboo regarding researching QM foundations has lessened substantially, and (2) there are more different interpretations now than ever, so not so much orthodoxy I’d say. (Not to say there aren’t the academic politics that constrain what gets tenured and funded where).

    I loved “How the Hippies saved Physics”! I went to the Esalen Institute in the late 70’s and took a seminar on Quantum Reality from Nick Herbert, a member of The Fundamental Fysiks Group. If I remember correctly (highly unlikely) we talked mainly about The Dancing Wu Li Masters and of course The Tao of Physics. Really something that so much real science emerged from those speculative ideas.

  147. 147
    Viola Lee says:

    Cool that you know that book, and very cool that you had some experience with that group!

  148. 148
    jerry says:

    One of the best arguments for free will is going on before our eyes.

    People are responding to each other as if they have free will. Comments based on previous comments are being made. There is no “I cannot help what I am saying” in their comments. They are not random nor determined. They are freely chose.

    But yet there’s an obvious bias in the comments to avoid the obvious. The choice to ignore anything that would discredit their bias is anything but random. So there is a sort of helplessness in the comments. That is the more interesting question. What drives their irrational bias.

    They have the free will to correct it but they don’t. So they argue that free will doesn’t exist. Maybe, this argument is freely chosen to justify their bias?

    One of the best arguments for free will is that the modern world suddenly and only emerged when humans were given freedom. When they were allowed to make choices. Interesting thing is that there is a concerted effort going on in the world now to eliminate choice. Anything not freely approved by the left is called misinformation.

    Maybe the source for this freely chosen intolerance is their exposure to a false ideology.

  149. 149
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, rational responsible significant freedom, in the end, cannot be argued to. This is one of the typical darkness for light rhetorical tricks. For, it is self evident, as without it, argument is instantly absurd. KF

  150. 150
    bornagain77 says:

    Ignoring the troll who wants to play stupid cat and mouse games, and back to the topic at hand, “How Infinity Threatens Cosmology”.

    Theoretical physicists and/or mathematicians have a bit of a history of dealing with infinity, A bit of a history of using various mathematical ‘sleights of hand’ in order to derive mathematically useful descriptions of the universe.

    For instance, and as a primary example, Newton invented invented infinitesimal calculus in order to derive a proper mathematical description of gravity:

    Calculus
    Calculus, originally called infinitesimal calculus or “the calculus of infinitesimals”,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculus
    History: “Infinitesimal calculus was developed in the late 17th century by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz independently of each other.”
    – per wiki

    How & Why Isaac Newton Invented Calculus
    Excerpt: Newton started by trying to describe the speed of a falling object. When he did this, he found that the speed of a falling object increases every second, but that there was no existing mathematical explanation for this. The issue of movement and the rate of change had not yet been explored to any significant degree in the field of mathematics, so Newton saw a void that needed to be filled. He began work on this right way, incorporating planetary ellipses into his theory too to try to explain the orbit of the planets. He found that by using calculus, he could explain how planets moved and why the orbits of planets are in an ellipse. This is one of Newton’s break throughs: that the gravitational force that holds us to the ground is the same force that causes the planets to orbit the Sun and the Moon to orbit Earth.
    https://www.mathtutordvd.com/public/How-Isaac-Newton-Changed-the-World-with-the-Invention-of-Calculus.cfm

    And yet Newton was only able to derive a mathematical useful description of Gravity, via infinitesimal calculus, by assuming that there are an “infinite number of infinitesimally small lines. (and that) Each line is an instance in which nothing moves.”

    7:30 mark;,,, “eternal certainties laid down by God which Newton and Leibniz had discovered. And it was infinity that lay at the heart of it all. But there was a problem with it. If you look at that beautiful smooth curve of motion you notice that it is not actually smooth. It is made of an infinite number of infinitesimally small lines. Each line is an instance in which nothing moves. But like frames of film, if you run them one after another you get motion. And it worked.The whole thing relied on infinity but it worked. And because it worked everyone said. “Alright, we don’t understand infinity, just leave it alone.” Cantor comes along and says, “No, if this whole thing least on infinity we have to understand it.”
    – Dangerous Knowledge (1 of 5)
    https://vimeo.com/122917065

    Of course, as the preceding video alluded to, nobody really understood how you could possibly get motion from an infinite number of infinitely small lines that don’t move. But this mathematical ‘sleight of hand’ that was used to deal with infinity was accepted because, mathematically, it all worked. Which is very similar, (and indeed shares some theoretical overlap), to the present ‘shut up and calculate’ position that many physicists have taken with the ‘spooky’ instrumentalist approach to quantum mechanics,

    The instrumentalist view is carried by the famous quote of David Mermin, “Shut up and calculate”, often misattributed to Richard Feynman…”,,,
    – per wiki

    But anyways, (and very similar to Newton using a mathematical ‘sleight of hand” in order to deal with infinity to subsequently derive a useful mathematical description of gravity), Richard Feynman, also used a mathematical “sleight of hand” in order to deal with infinity.

    Specifically, Richard Feynman, in his role in developing Quantum-Electrodynamics (QED), which is a mathematical theory in which special relativity and quantum mechanics are unified,,,,

    Theories of the Universe: Quantum Mechanics vs. General Relativity
    Excerpt: The first attempt at unifying relativity and quantum mechanics took place when special relativity was merged with electromagnetism. This created the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. It is an example of what has come to be known as relativistic quantum field theory, or just quantum field theory. QED is considered by most physicists to be the most precise theory of natural phenomena ever developed.
    http://www.infoplease.com/cig/.....ivity.html

    ,, Richard Feynman in his role in developing QED, was only able to unify special relativity and quantum mechanics into quantum electrodynamics by quote unquote “brushing infinity under the rug” by a technique called ‘Renormalization’

    THE INFINITY PUZZLE: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe
    Excerpt: In quantum electrodynamics, which applies quantum mechanics to the electromagnetic field and its interactions with matter, the equations led to infinite results for the self-energy or mass of the electron. After nearly two decades of effort, this problem was solved after World War II by a procedure called renormalization, in which the infinities are rolled up into the electron’s observed mass and charge, and are thereafter conveniently ignored. Richard Feynman, who shared the 1965 Nobel Prize with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga for this breakthrough, referred to this sleight of hand as “brushing infinity under the rug.”
    http://www.americanscientist.o.....g-infinity

    And this “brushing infinity under the rug”, i.e. ‘renormalization’ of infinity, never set right with Richard Feynman. As Feynman states in the following video, “Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do?”

    “It always bothers me that in spite of all this local business, what goes on in a tiny, no matter how tiny, region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time, according to laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out. Now how can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do?”
    – Richard Feynman – one of the founding fathers of QED (Quantum Electrodynamics)
    Quote taken from the 6:45 minute mark of the following video:
    Feynman: Mathematicians versus Physicists – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obCjODeoLVw

    I don’t know about Richard Feynman, but as for myself, being a Christian Theist, I find it rather comforting to know that it takes an ‘infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do’. The reason why I find it rather comforting is because of John 1:1, which says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” ‘The Word’ in John 1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos also happens to be the root word from which we derive our modern word logic.

    John1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John 1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also the root word from which we derive our modern word logic
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

  151. 151
    bornagain77 says:

    It is also interesting to note that this ‘brushing infinity under the rug”, in order to mathematically unify quantum mechanics and special relativity, also left the entire enigma of quantum measurement unaddressed. As Sheldon Lee Glashow put it, “Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.”

    Not So Real – Sheldon Lee Glashow – Oct. 2018
    Review of: “What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics”
    by Adam Becker
    Excerpt: Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and their contemporaries knew well that the theory they devised could not be made compatible with Einstein’s special theory of relativity. First order in time, but second order in space, Schrödinger’s equation is nonrelativistic. Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.
    https://inference-review.com/article/not-so-real

    That the entire enigma of quantum measurement would be left on the cutting room floor, via ‘brushing infinity under the rug’ in Quantum-electrodynamics (QED), is certainly NOT a minor problem for a theory, (i.e. QED), that purports itself to be the correct first step towards a final mathematical ‘theory of everything’

    The Measurement Problem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    But anyways, be that as it may, although Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics were unified via
    renormalization, i.e. ‘brushing infinity under the rug’, no such mathematical ‘sleight of hand’ exists for unifying General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics,

    Professor Jeremy Bernstein states the situation as such, “there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.”

    Quantum Leaps – Jeremy Bernstein – October 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Divergent series notwithstanding, quantum electrodynamics yielded results of remarkable accuracy. Consider the magnetic moment of the electron. This calculation, which has been calculated up to the fifth order in ?, agrees with experiment to ten parts in a billion. If one continued the calculation to higher and higher orders, at some point the series would begin to break down. There is no sign of that as yet. Why not carry out a similar program for gravitation? One can readily write down the Feynman graphs that represent the terms in the expansion. Yet there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.
    https://inference-review.com/article/quantum-leaps
    Jeremy Bernstein is professor emeritus of physics at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

    And as theoretical physicist Sera Cremonini stated, “You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,”

    Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces
    We asked four physicists why gravity stands out among the forces of nature. We got four different answers.
    Excerpt: the quantum version of Einstein’s general relativity is “nonrenormalizable.”,,,
    In quantum theories, infinite terms appear when you try to calculate how very energetic particles scatter off each other and interact. In theories that are renormalizable — which include the theories describing all the forces of nature other than gravity — we can remove these infinities in a rigorous way by appropriately adding other quantities that effectively cancel them, so-called counterterms. This renormalization process leads to physically sensible answers that agree with experiments to a very high degree of accuracy.
    The problem with a quantum version of general relativity is that the calculations that would describe interactions of very energetic gravitons — the quantized units of gravity — would have infinitely many infinite terms. You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,
    Sera Cremonini – theoretical physicist – Lehigh University
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-gravity-is-not-like-the-other-forces-20200615/

    And as Michio Kaku stated in the following video, when you try to combine General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics, “you get an infinite sequence of infinities, (which is) infinitely worse than the divergences of Einstein’s original theory (i.e. General Relativity).”

    “Here is the problem (with black holes), right there, when ‘r’ (radius) is equal to zero, The point at which physics itself breaks down. So 1 over ‘r’ equals 1 over 0 equals infinity. To a mathematician infinity is simply a number without limit. To a physicist it is a monstrosity. It means first of all that gravity is infinite at the center of a black hole. That time stops. And what does that mean? Space makes no sense. It means the collapse of everything we know about the physical universe. In the real world there is no such thing as infinity. Therefore there is a fundamental flaw in the formulation of Einstein’s theory.”
    (And Michio Kaku then notes, when you try to combine General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics) “In fact, you get an infinite sequence of infinities, (which is) infinitely worse than the divergences of Einstein’s original theory (i.e. General Relativity).”
    Quantum Mechanics & Relativity – Michio Kaku – The Collapse Of Physics As We Know It ? – video
    Science vs God Its The Collapse Of Physics As We Know it – video
    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2jbd7x

    Various attempts have been made to find a mathematical workaround for this apparent ‘infinite mathematical divide’ that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, M-Theory, etc.. They all have failed. And as was mentioned in the OP, “The ones currently most promising adopt a very radical attitude to infinity. They deny that the infinitely small can exist in the universe, but prescribe a minimum possible scale, essentially the so-called Planck scale.”

    “Attempts to reconcile relativity and quantum theory have been made. The ones currently most promising adopt a very radical attitude to infinity. They deny that the infinitely small can exist in the universe, but prescribe a minimum possible scale, essentially the so-called Planck scale.”
    – Peter Cameron, Emeritus Professor Mathematics at Queen Mary, University of London

    Yet even this workaround of prescribing a minimum possible size will not bridge the ‘infinite mathematical divide’ that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

    Specifically, it is now proven, via the extension of Godel’s incompleteness into quantum physics, that “even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,” and that “the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”,

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    Undecidability of the Spectral Gap – June 16, 2020
    Toby Cubitt, David Perez-Garcia, and Michael M. Wolf
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1502.04573.pdf

    In short, and mathematically speaking, the microscopic descriptions of quantum mechanics, (even if you prescribe a minimum possible size), will never be successfully extended to the account for the macroscopic descriptions of General Relativity. i.e. There will never be a purely mathematical ‘theory of everything’ that includes both quantum mechanics and general relativity into a single mathematical equation.

  152. 152
    bornagain77 says:

    And although there will never be a purely mathematical ‘theory of everything’ that bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between quantum mechanics and general relativity, all hope is not lost in finding the correct ‘theory if everything’.

    Dr. William Dembski in this following comment, although he was not directly addressing the ‘infinite mathematical divide’ that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, offers this insight into what the ‘unification’ of infinite God with finite man might look like mathematically:, Specifically he states, “The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31
    William Dembski PhDs. Mathematics and Theology
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    Of note: I hold it to be fairly obvious that ‘growing large without measure’ can only ever be a potential infinity. Whereas a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero would be an actual infinity and/or a “completed totality”

    Potential Infinity vs. Actual Infinity – June 7, 2012 by Ryan
    Excerpt: In a potential infinity, one can keep adding or subdividing without end, but one never actually reaches infinity. In a sense, a potential infinity is an endless process that at any point along the way is finite. By contrast, in an actual infinity, the infinite is viewed as a completed totality.
    http://www.numbersleuth.org/tr.....-infinity/

    Moreover, when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founder of modern physics, Sir Isaac Newton, himself originally envisioned,

    ‘Without all doubt this world…could arise from nothing but the perfectly free will of God… From this fountain (what) we call the laws of nature have flowed, in which there appear many traces indeed of the most wise contrivance, but not the least shadow of necessity. These therefore we must not seek from uncertain conjectures, but learn them from observations and experiments.”,,,
    – Sir Isaac Newton – (Cited from Religion and the Rise of Modern Science by Hooykaas page 49).
    https://thirdspace.org.au/comment/237

    “Newton’s Rejection of the “Newtonian World View”: The Role of Divine Will in Newton’s Natural Philosophy – (Davis, 1991)
    Excerpt: Newton’s voluntarism moved him to affirm an intimate relationship between the creator and the creation; his God was acted on the world at all times and in ways that Leibniz and other mechanical philosophers could not conceive of, such as causing parts of matter to attract one another at a distance. Finally, Newton held that, since the world is a product of divine freedom rather than necessity, the laws of nature must be inferred from the phenomena of nature, not deduced from metaphysical axioms — as both Descartes and Leibniz were wont to do.
    http://home.messiah.edu/~tdavis/newton.htm

    and when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God back into physics, as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company,

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Excerpt: This experiment pushes back to at least 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    ,, then that (very) reasonable concession to rightly allow God ‘back’, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides a very plausible, and empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.

    Specifically, when scrutinizing some of the many fascinating details of the Shroud of Turin, we ‘surprisingly’ find that both General Relativity, i.e. gravity, and Quantum Mechanics were both dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    As can be seen in the following ‘backside’ image, and holographic image video, from the Shroud of Turin, there is no flattening on the backside of the body as would be expected if the image on the Shroud had formed if a dead body had merely been laying flat on a slab of rock.

    Shroud image – backside
    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/jPxzJOtRHgLSddLOYbOQ_kpvXUV6aOt0mG-8DZeeEXj7uFSr63hqsGbgknwNBEFFFtrayZsYH8ONdXznreuD1TnOxYOeM72QFFuydody6Bpb1FJ2yNoMLabv_Kub7LA

    Shroud Hologram – backside image
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYBcIX1YLCg

  153. 153
    bornagain77 says:

    And in the following video, the late Isabel Piczek, who made a sculpture from the Shroud of Turin states that, “The muscles of the body are absolutely not crushed against the stone of the tomb. They are perfect. It means the body is hovering between the two sides of the shroud. What does that mean? It means there is absolutely no gravity.”

    “When you look at the image of the shroud, the two bodies next to each other, you feel that it is a flat image. But if you create, for instance, a three dimensional object, as I did, the real body, then you realize that there is a strange dividing element. An interface from which the image is projected up and the image is projected down. The muscles of the body are absolutely not crushed against the stone of the tomb. They are perfect. It means the body is hovering between the two sides of the shroud. What does that mean? It means there is absolutely no gravity. Other strange you discover is that the image is absolutely undistorted. Now if you imagine the clothe was wrinkled, tied, wrapped around the body, and all of the sudden you see a perfect image, which is impossible unless the shroud was made absolutely taut, rigidly taut.”
    Isabel Piczek – 2:20 mark
    Turin shroud – (Particle Physicist explains event horizon) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIpdIz5Rp3I

    As well, Kevin Moran, an optical engineer who has studied the Shroud of Turin, describes the Shroud Image in this way, “The unique front-and-back only image can be best described as gravitationally collimated. The radiation that made the image acted perfectly parallel to gravity. There is no side image. The radiation is parallel to gravity,,,”

    Optically Terminated Image Pixels Observed on Frei 1978 Samples – Kevin E. Moran – 1999
    Discussion
    Pia’s negative photograph, from 1898, showed what looked to be a body that was glowing, but slightly submerged in a bath of cloudy water. This condition is more properly described as an image that is visible, at a distance, but by locally attenuated radiation. The unique front-and-back only image can be best described as gravitationally collimated. The radiation that made the image acted perfectly parallel to gravity. There is no side image. The radiation is parallel to gravity and, if moving at light speed, only lasted about 100 picoseconds. It is particulate in nature, colliding only with some of the fibers. It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique,,,
    Theoretical model
    It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed.
    Discussion
    The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/moran.pdf

    Moreover, besides gravity being dealt with on the Shroud of Turin, the Shroud of Turin also gives us evidence that Quantum Mechanics itself was also dealt with.

    In the following paper, it was found that it was not possible to describe the image formation on the Shroud in classical terms but they found it necessary to describe the formation of the image on the Shroud in discrete quantum terms.

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete (quantum) values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/mus/541/1/c1a0802004.pdf

    Moreover, the following rather astonishing study on the Shroud, found that it would take 34 Trillion Watts of what is termed VUV (directional) radiation to form the image on the shroud.

    Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud – NOV 26TH 2016
    Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.
    ‘However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come only to several billion watts)”.
    Comment
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion (trillion) Watts of VUV radiation to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.
    http://www.predatormastersforu.....er=3014106

    Lazzaro’s (approx.) 30th slide in his powerpoint presentation states,
    Excerpt: 34 thousand billion watt is an impressive number but,,
    * Back to basics: let us consider the fraction A/B.
    If B is very small then A/B results in a very large number.,,,
    * 17 joules energy/0.00000001 seconds results in 1.7 billion watt. It is called “peak power” which different of the commonly used “average power”.
    * The above peak power was delivered to 1 cm^2 flax.
    Being the average man skin surface = 2 m^2 = 20,000 cm^2, we have 34 thousand billion watt necessary to complete the body image on the Shroud.
    https://www.academia.edu/38029774/Linen_Coloration_by_Pulsed_Radiation._A_Review

    That it is even possible for the human body to emit such ‘quantum light’ is revealed by the following,

    Photocount distribution of photons emitted from three sites of a human body – 2006
    Excerpt: Signals from three representative sites of low, intermediate and high intensities are selected for further analysis. Fluctuations in these signals are measured by the probabilities of detecting different numbers of photons in a bin. The probabilities have non-classical features and are well described by the signal in a quantum squeezed state of photons. Measurements with bins of three sizes yield same values of three parameters of the squeezed state.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520060

    Humans Glow in Visible Light – July 2009 – with photographs
    Excerpt: Past research has shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive. In fact, virtually all living creatures emit very weak light,
    https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna32090918

    Thus in conclusion, when we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders,,,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), then rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and provides us with a very plausible, and empirically backed, reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  154. 154
    Seversky says:

    Viola Lee/143

    I certainly agree about the dangers of competing metaphysical systems, which is really what a key component of all religions are. I’m definitely in the “nobody really knows” camp, and as I stated often before, in the “no one really can know” camp.

    The desire to know is a good thing. So is the recognition of the limits of our knowledge.

    The real danger is when people come to believe they are in possession of some Absolute Truth, be it religious or political. That is when they come to believe they are justified in doing anything in the furtherance of that truth. That is when the suffering and bloodletting begins.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltjI3BXKBgY

  155. 155
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/153

    And in the following video, the late Isabel Piczek, who made a sculpture from the Shroud of Turin states that, “The muscles of the body are absolutely not crushed against the stone of the tomb. They are perfect. It means the body is hovering between the two sides of the shroud. What does that mean? It means there is absolutely no gravity.”

    As far as I can tell, Isabel Piczek was a religious artist. She was never a particle physicist nor any other kind of physicist.

  156. 156
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks for the correction Seversky. I think the mistake of calling her a ‘physicist’ originated in 2009. But have not traced down the exact source of the misattribution. It could have been earlier.

    Regardless of her status as a physicist, the main point she made from making a sculpture from the Shroud of Turin remains, As can be seen in the following photograph and hologram, there is no flattening on the backside of the body as would be expected if the image on the Shroud had formed if a dead body had merely been laying flat on a slab of rock.

    Shroud image – backside
    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/jPxzJOtRHgLSddLOYbOQ_kpvXUV6aOt0mG-8DZeeEXj7uFSr63hqsGbgknwNBEFFFtrayZsYH8ONdXznreuD1TnOxYOeM72QFFuydody6Bpb1FJ2yNoMLabv_Kub7LA

    Shroud Hologram – backside image
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYBcIX1YLCg

    Here is Isabel Piczek’s obit:

    November 14, 1927 – September 29, 2016
    Isabel Helen Piczek, a world-renowned ecclesiastical and sacred artist, passed away peacefully in her home in Echo Park, California on September 29, 2016 at the age of 88. She was born in Hatvan, Hungary on November 14, 1927 to Zoltan and Elona Piczek. Her father Zoltan was a noted artist and art professor. Isabel graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest and in addition to being a world class artist also became an internationally known Physicist, recognized for her study of the Shroud of Turin. Isabel shared her formative years as an artist with her sister Edith who also nurtured and developed her own artistic style. Their partnership blossomed and matured through the years. Edith was a frequent collaborator and Isabel’s lifetime companion until her death in 2012.

    Isabel was still a young student when she began to visualize the possibilities of a new sacred art form – a new liturgical vision. She realized early on that there would be no opportunity to create that vision in Hungary as it was then part of the suppressed world behind the Iron Curtain under Communist rule. Just after the end of World War II, Isabel and her sister fled the Communist regime in Hungary and escaped across the border into Austria. It was a difficult and often dangerous journey but they soon found their way to freedom. After a brief stay in Vienna, they literally “painted” their way across Europe, traveling from one monastery to another, enduring struggles and challenges along the journey. At one point they wandered in the snow of the Alps for three days until finally finding their way across the Italian border. They continued on to Rome which would become their home for the next three years.

    In Rome, Isabel won the International Grand Award for her painting at the Galleria di Roma. As a result, though still only a teenager, she won the competition to paint a new mural. Isabel, already a prodigy, was only 14 years old but was commissioned to paint a 400 sq. ft. true fresco mural at the world famous Pontifical Biblical Institute owned by the Vatican.

    When she arrived to receive the award, officials doubted that such a young girl could have created the submitted art that had won the competition. To prove her ability they demanded that she complete the first third of the mural for free and that a panel of experts would judge her work. The judges were astonished at the quality and maturity and approved the completion of the commission. From that humble start, during their three-year stay in Rome, Isabel and her sister would go on to be hired and to complete 42 additional mural paintings.

    Declining a scholarship to move to in Paris, Isabel and her sister briefly lived in Canada before making the decision to come to America in 1956. They soon established their Studio, the Construction Art Center, in Echo Park close to downtown Los Angeles. It is here that Isabel has continued to live and create art for over 50 years.

    Her body of work is nothing short of astonishing and includes colossal size murals, mosaics, paintings, stained glass windows and tile works for over 400 buildings, churches and cathedrals in seven countries and on three continents.

    Winning an International Competition, Isabel created the 300 sq. ft. figurative stained glass entrance for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Considering the hundreds of art works she has created, Isabel frequently references the following as among her favorite. The large Resurrection mural at Holy Cross Mausoleum in Culver City; the art works of the Sacred Heart Chapel in Santa Ana: the mosaics of St John Neumann Church in Irvine; St. Anne of the Sunset in San Francisco; San Fernando Mission Mausoleum in Mission Hills; St. Mary Magdalene’s in Camarillo; the mural paintings, mosaic and stained glass at the Guardian Angel Cathedral in Las Vegas, Nevada; Holy Family Church in Deming, New Mexico; St. John Fisher in Palos Verdes Peninsula; and the murals, stations and stained glass windows at St. Anthony Church in San Gabriel.

    In 1992, Isabel along with her sister Edith was honored by Pope John Paul II in recognition of her prolific artistic achievements, examples of which can be found in multiple cathedrals, churches and other buildings across the world.

    Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, conferred on Piczek admission into the Pontifical Order of Saint Gregory and the title Dame of Saint Gregory, making her one of only 70 Knights and Dames throughout the world who hold this honor.

    The following narrative is excerpted from a talk that Isabel presented at St. Anthony Church in San Gabriel, California on June 28, 2016. The event celebrated the restoration and rededication of the first murals that she painted after coming to the United States. It says so much about her life.

    ******************

    One afternoon I was painting a mural at the Cathedral in Las Vegas when suddenly a young man appeared at the foot of my scaffold, asking; ”How can I learn to paint large murals like this?”

    “I am sorry but you can not learn it”, I answered. “You must be born with this power. It comes with you. Of course, you must learn the technique and the chemistry of the paints, however, in itself, that will not help you create great compositions – great works of art”.

    “In other words”, said the young man, “it is a gift”. “Yes”, I said, “but remember, it is a gift that comes with a very high price. Once you are born with this gift your life and your choices are all set”.

    And yet, what a life is waiting for you! A fabulous life that never leaves you in doubt as to what your task is at any moment. Your work takes you to new walls, new cities and new situations. It is never dull!

    For that, you have to give up certain human comforts. You will not walk much on the floor but from scaffold to scaffold somewhere in mid-air. But from there you see so much more! You learn to love silence and the company of giants that you yourself put around you. You also learn to love the typical noises that big buildings make – churches, cathedrals, big halls – and the sound of the chimes or bells in most of these buildings as they break the grand silence every hour, reminding us of the “passing of time”, leaving behind its grandeur and sometimes irreversible sadness.

    Isabel’s art and research has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. Her legacy lives on through her extraordinary work.

    Funeral Mass and celebration of life will be held on Thursday October 13, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.

    Mission San Fernando Rey de España

    15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd,

    Mission Hills, CA 91345
    https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/san-gabriel-ca/isabel-piczek-7107755

  157. 157
    jerry says:

    She was never a particle physicist nor any other kind of physicist.

    Two things.

    Was she wrong about the muscles? Or are you trying to find anyway to object? As an artist, she would be would be qualified to to assess the tone of the muscles where a particle physicist would not. You may be right. I just never heard either argument before about the Shroud.

    A page on the definitive site on the Shroud about Isabel Piczek

    https://www.shroud.com/late16.htm#memorial4

    Second, you failed to make any other objections. Which means you just acquiesced in whatever else was said. Welcome to ID!

    Of course we always knew you supported ID since for over 13 years you have failed to make any subsative objection to it. It is your unique way to support ID and we thank you.

  158. 158
    dogdoc says:

    KF,

    Jerry, rational responsible significant freedom, in the end, cannot be argued to. This is one of the typical darkness for light rhetorical tricks. For, it is self evident, as without it, argument is instantly absurd

    I would say the rhetorical trick is this: “I declare your argument to be absurd, so I won’t argue with you”.

    Ok, fine. Let’s both agree that we have rational, responsible, significant freedom. In that case, here’s an argument that, if we’re right about freedom, must be wrong.
    Can you please tell us where it fails?

    1) Moral choices must be based upon our beliefs.
    2) In order for our moral choices to be free, our beliefs must be freely choosen by us.
    3) The free choice of our own beliefs must be based upon beliefs we already hold.
    4) It is not possible to hold freely chosen beliefs before we have freely chosen beliefs.
    5) Therefore it is logically impossible to make free moral choices

  159. 159
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Jerry at 157, I did not think of that before. Her almost unrivaled qualifications as an internationally acclaimed artist would make her exceptionally qualified to assess the tone of the muscles on a piece of clothe, where, as you pointed out, a particle physicist would not be particularly gifted in judging the tone of muscles on a piece of clothe.

  160. 160
    jerry says:

    1) Moral choices must be based upon our beliefs.
    2) In order for our moral choices to be free, our beliefs must be freely choosen by us.
    3) The free choice of our own beliefs must be based upon beliefs we already hold.
    4) It is not possible to hold freely chosen beliefs before we have freely chosen beliefs.
    5) Therefore it is logically impossible to make free moral choices

    Gobbledygook!!!

  161. 161
    jerry says:

    A more sensible alternative.

    1) choices that are moral must be based upon truth.

    2) true beliefs which include choices that are moral are also based on evidence and logic

    3) thus when we freely make moral choices they are based on evidence and logic

    4) most people equate opinions and true belief but they are not equivalent because most opinions are not justified and thus not completely true or even false.

    5) most people do not base their choices on evidence and logic. Why? It’s too hard and there are no perceived real negative consequences for a high percentage of choices.

    Is the ability to find truth when necessary and act on it , a proof of free will? Is the ability to not act on this truth sometimes because the act will have negative consequences also a proof of free will.

    Aside: I have never thought too much about free will before because it was so obvious. It’s interesting that people push for the lack of it.

  162. 162
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @151,

    Thank you–it never occurred to me that the evidence of radiation from the shroud of Turin was only in two directions, parallel to gravity, rather than in omnidirectional as one might expect.

    Regarding gravity, space-time, and causality, I greatly appreciated this interview with theoretical physicist, Lee Smolin. If you’ve not already seen it, I think you’ll enjoy it–also Viola Lee and some others here. Robert Lawrence Kuhn is an exemplary interviewer as well.

    https://youtu.be/QOAcQCFNtbo

    While I disagree with his presumption of deterministic materialism, which is not mentioned in this video, I respect his honest, up-front declaration. He treats scientific inquiry with humility and with deep thinking rather than the typical know-it-all arrogance often found in academia.

    His observations about the fundamental role of causality with respect to our experience with time and the nature of black holes are fascinating. At the end of his interview, he wonders whether we’re due for a paradigm shift to reconcile the emergent complexities and conundrums we’re facing regarding time.

    -Q

  163. 163
    Querius says:

    Jerry @161,

    Psychologist, B.F. Skinner, famously wrote a book in 1971 titled “Beyond Freedom and Dignity.” As a result, he became known as the father of behaviorism. Skinner concluded that free will is an illusion and people are meat robots that can simply be programmed.

    The big advantage of behaviorism is that no one can be held morally responsible for anything they do. It’s all due to programming.

    As a result, intelligent, powerful people get to “decide” what programming is the most beneficial to society, humanity, the world, and then feel totally justified in controlling the programming of “the chattering masses.” After all, leaders of society are simply meat robots as well and also cannot be held responsible. The fact that they’re in charge is inevitable due to their superiority and control. Whatever they do also cannot be challenged on any grounds.

    And this collapses down to “might makes right.” May God protect us from such monsters.

    -Q

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    DD, perfect example of hyperskeptical dismissiveness towards correction of error, ad hominem form.

    Did it register with you that for arguments to work at all,

    [a] they have to be freely made, hopefully informed by true facts and cogent reasoning . . . as opposed to presumably unconscious mechanical and/or stochastic programming AND

    [b] the listener or reader must also be significantly free.
    _______________________

    [c1] If a and/or b fail, argument thus reason thus warrant and knowledge instantly fail, i.e.

    [c2] even the arguments of the proponent of determinism on dynamic-stochastic processes also fail, self discrediting just as immediately. SO INSTEAD
    ===============================

    [d] We can only argue on the prior implicit acceptance of responsible, rational freedom, so to argue is to implicitly accept it.

    That is why the whole exercise of trying to argue to refute responsible rational freedom must fail instantly through patent self referential incoherence, i.e. strong form absurdity.

    Whatever else reality is, it has in it creatures who argue and take argument seriously so must rest implicitly on having responsible, rational freedom.

    Onward, that freedom is morally governed [morality only applying to such freedom], starting with first duties of reason, to truth, to right reason, to warrant and wider prudence, to sound conscience etc. For instance your argument above tried to discredit me as failing such duties.

    Unsuccessfully.

    KF

  165. 165
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, in so arguing, Skinner instantly discredited himself, of course the elitist implicit exception is for themselves: they are reasonable but hoi polloi is not. Where that leads is obvious and destructive as well as indefensible. KF

  166. 166
    relatd says:

    Dogdoc at 142,

    Pure crap and you know it.

    “Perhaps we should work towards admitting that nobody really knows the answers to the deepest questions, so we should really be tolerant of whatever each of us comes up with.”

    Or, radical individualism. Just making it up as you go along. That’s no way to live.

    And certainly no way to run a society.

    So, “I’ll just do whatever crosses my mind.”? Crap. Sloppy attempt at removing blame since ‘nobody – according to you – really knows the answers.’ Quit peddling dumb philosophy here.

  167. 167
    relatd says:

    Vl at 145,

    I’m working on a book titled How the Hippies Ruined the Country – How Radicals, Anarchists and Communists Infiltrated our Neighborhoods in the Late 1960s to Sell their Fake Philosophy, and Dope.

  168. 168
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 148,

    You’ve done it! You’ve demonstrated free will in action! Thank you.

  169. 169
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 154,

    Tell me when the Atheist Utopia you envision will appear.

  170. 170
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 157,

    As someone with an arts background, you cannot paint human figures accurately without a knowledge of how muscles work. And how they appear in action and at rest. The best a layman can do is say “It looks right.” An artist has to actually know what he or she is looking at.

  171. 171
    relatd says:

    Querius at 162,

    The following makes no sense:

    “… rather than in omnidirectional as one might expect.” You are ignoring that the image on the Shroud was made by God. The same God who turned water into wine and raised the dead. He has complete control. There is nothing expected here except what was actually observed as the final effect.

  172. 172
    relatd says:

    Ba77,

    A few thoughts. First, gravity can occur through simple experiment. I tied a thin rope to a rock. I spun it and felt the the pull of gravity at right angles. I threw it into the air and watched it slow briefly before the pull of gravity dropped it to the ground. In those easy to repeat experiments, it became obvious that a gravitational pull could be created by taking a mass and spinning it. The pull is obvious.

    Some scientists have talked about ‘gravity waves’ or some particle, like a Graviton, that creates gravity. The fact of the matter is that any sufficiently large and dense mass will also create a slight gravitational effect. If the mass is very large, like a moon or planet, the gravity felt is greater.

    The case of Quantum Mechanics in isolation is directly related to macro objects. It cannot be otherwise. All macro objects are composed of atoms that are composed of subatomic particles. So just because the Quantum World has different rules in operation than the marco world, and even though scientists are having trouble coming up with a description to link them, it’s obvious that both exist and are linked.

    As an aside, I think the layman is generally not interested in scientific problems like this.

  173. 173
    Viola Lee says:

    Relatd writes, “I’m working on a book titled How the Hippies Ruined the Country”.

    That’s quite a knee-jerk, uninformed response. “How the Hippie’s Saved Physics” is a serious book about one of the issues in this thread: whether QM should be content with its fantastic ability to calculate results that agree with experimental results within many orders of precision versus a desire to interpret what QM says about the nature of reality.

    HtHSP was written by David Kaiser, “David I. Kaiser is an American physicist and historian of science” at MIT, “head of its Science, Technology, and Society program, and a full professor in the department of physics, [Wikipedia] He also has written “Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of Feynman Diagrams in Postwar Physics”, a very interesting book about how the influence of Feynman diagrams spread throughout science.

    HtHSP tells an important story. Here’s a short summary. When QM first became prominent in the 1920’s, there was lots of discussion among famous physicists about what it meant. As the years went by, little progress was made on interpretations but the power of QM’s predicted results grew, so an approach that de-emphasized the meaning of QM took over (later summarized as “Shut up and calculate).

    However, in the ’60s a group of physicists in California became interested in similarities between Eastern metaphysics and QM, and revived the idea of exploring the meaning of QM. Some of their ideas went nowhere, such as tying ESP to QM, but others, like their work with Bell’s theorem and quantum entanglement, were essential to further developments in QM. They also revived an interest in the meaning of QM which has continued to this day.

    So HtHSP is a serious book that gives some credit to the intellectual atmosphere of the ’60s for some important advances in both practical and theoretical QM science.

    Hope you learned something, relatd.

  174. 174
    relatd says:

    VL at 173,

    “That’s quite a knee-jerk, uninformed response.”

    No, that was a “I lived through it and saw this all actually happen” response. I was there. I heard what they said. And it was contrary to what I was taught and believed about human beings. I was hoping others would get that.

  175. 175
    Viola Lee says:

    You obviously didn’t see the physics happen.

  176. 176
    Viola Lee says:

    Realtd writes, “As an aside, I think the layman is generally not interested in scientific problems like this..”

    I’m beginning to think your layman’s science background is not very good, perhaps because you are not very interested.

    For instance, you write, “I tied a thin rope to a rock. I spun it and felt the the pull of gravity at right angles. I threw it into the air and watched it slow briefly before the pull of gravity dropped it to the ground. In those easy to repeat experiments, it became obvious that a gravitational pull could be created by taking a mass and spinning it. The pull is obvious.”

    As you spin the rock on the rope, it wants to travel in a straight line but the rope forces it to diverge from that path. The force you are feeling is commonly called centrifugal force. It is not a “gravitational pull.” When you release the rock it does fall due to gravity, but that is not related to the fact that you were spinning it. You could just throw the rock up in the air and the same thing would happen.

    You also write, “The fact of the matter is that any sufficiently large and dense mass will also create a slight gravitational effect. If the mass is very large, like a moon or planet, the gravity felt is greater.”

    In fact, all mass has a gravitational effect: it does not have to be a “sufficiently large and dense mass.” “Newton’s law of universal gravitation is usually stated as that every particle attracts every other particle in the universe with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers.” [Wikipedia]

  177. 177
    bornagain77 says:

    Relatd at 172, “even though scientists are having trouble coming up with a description to link them (Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity together), it’s obvious that both exist and are linked.”

    Indeed, there must be “something” holding them together.

    it is not only that Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity have this unbridgeable infinite mathematical divide between them, it is also that, theoretically speaking, Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity contradict each other to the point of literally blowing the entire universe apart.

    As Gregory Chaitin states, “There are serious problems with the traditional view that the world is a space-time continuum. Quantum field theory and general relativity contradict each other. The notion of space-time breaks down at very small distances, because extremely massive quantum fluctuations (virtual particle/antiparticle pairs) should provoke black holes and space-time should be torn apart, which doesn’t actually happen.”

    “There are serious problems with the traditional view that the world is a space-time continuum. Quantum field theory and general relativity contradict each other. The notion of space-time breaks down at very small distances, because extremely massive quantum fluctuations (virtual particle/antiparticle pairs) should provoke black holes and space-time should be torn apart, which doesn’t actually happen.”
    – Gregory J. Chaitin , Francisco A. Doria, and Newton C. a. Da Costa – Goedel’s Way: Exploits into an Undecidable World

    Here are a few more references that drive this point home about current theoretical models ripping our universe apart.

    “In order for quantum mechanics and relativity theory to be internally self-consistent [Seeking consistency between quantum mechanics and relativity theory is the major task theoretical physicists have been grappling with since quantum mechanics emerged], the physical vacuum has to contain 10^94 grams equivalent of energy per cubic centimeter. What that means is, if you take just a single hydrogen atom, which is one proton and one electron and all the rest of the atom is ‘empty space,’ if you take just that volume of empty space, … you find that you end up with a trillion times as much vacuum energy as all the electromagnetic energy in all the planets, all the stars, and all the cosmic dust in a sphere of radius 15 billion light-years.”
    To summarize, the subtle energy in the vacuum space of a single hydrogen atom is as great as all the electromagnetic energy found in everything within 15 billion light-years of our space-time cosmos.” ,,,
    Dr. William Tiller – Human Intention

    Cosmic coincidence spotted – Philip Ball – 2008
    Excerpt: One interpretation of dark energy is that it results from the energy of empty space, called vacuum energy. The laws of quantum physics imply that empty space is not empty at all, but filled with particles popping in and out of existence. This particle ‘fizz’ should push objects apart, just as dark energy seems to require. But the theoretical value of this energy is immense — so huge that it should blow atoms apart, rather than just causing the Universe to accelerate.
    Physicists think that some unknown force nearly perfectly cancels out the vacuum energy, leaving only the amount seen as dark energy to push things apart. This cancellation is imperfect to an absurdly fine margin: the unknown ‘energy’ differs from the vacuum energy by just one part in 10^122. It seems incredible that any physical mechanism could be so finely poised as to reduce the vacuum energy to within a whisker of zero, but it seems to be so.
    http://www.nature.com/news/200.....8.610.html

    The 2 most dangerous numbers in the universe are threatening the end of physics – Jessica Orwig – Jan. 14, 2016
    Excerpt: Dangerous No. 2: The strength of dark energy
    ,,, you should be able to sum up all the energy of empty space to get a value representing the strength of dark energy. And although theoretical physicists have done so, there’s one gigantic problem with their answer:
    “Dark energy should be 10^120 times stronger than the value we observe from astronomy,” Cliff said. “This is a number so mind-boggling huge that it’s impossible to get your head around … this number is bigger than any number in astronomy — it’s a thousand-trillion-trillion-trillion times bigger than the number of atoms in the universe. That’s a pretty bad prediction.”
    On the bright side, we’re lucky that dark energy is smaller than theorists predict. If it followed our theoretical models, then the repulsive force of dark energy would be so huge that it would literally rip our universe apart. The fundamental forces that bind atoms together would be powerless against it and nothing could ever form — galaxies, stars, planets, and life as we know it would not exist.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/.....57366.html

    Of note to the 1 in 10^120 fine-tuning that is required for Dark Energy.

    At the 6:09 minute mark of the following video, Hugh Ross comments on the ‘disturbing implications’ that “dark energy”, i.e. the 1 in 10^120 cosmological constant’, has given atheistic astrophysicists

    Astrophysicist Hugh Ross – Incredible Astronomical Discoveries & Dark Energy – 2018 video
    https://youtu.be/c9J9r7mdB6Q?t=367

    And here is a link to the ‘disturbing implications’ paper from atheistic astrophysicists that Dr. Ross mentioned in the preceding video. (A paper, which tried to deny that we have a ‘true cosmological constant’, that was withdrawn from consideration because of the mounting evidence for a Cosmological Constant (Dark Energy)). Humorously, the implications of the 1 in 10^120 cosmological constant were ‘disturbing for the atheists since it quote-unquote “would have required a miracle”.

    Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant – Dyson, Kleban, Susskind (each are self proclaimed atheists) – 2002
    Excerpt: “Arranging the universe as we think it is arranged would have required a miracle.,,,”
    “The question then is whether the origin of the universe can be a naturally occurring fluctuation, or must it be due to an external agent which starts the system out in a specific low entropy state?”
    page 19: “A unknown agent [external to time and space] intervened [in cosmic history] for reasons of its own.,,,”
    Page 21 “The only reasonable conclusion is that we don’t live in a universe with a true cosmological constant”.
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0208013.pdf

    Dr. Hugh Ross also listed several Bible verses that ‘predicted’, (thousands of years before the 1 in 10^120 cosmological constant was even known about), God ’’Stretching out the Heavens’. The following site list several verses that speak of God ‘Stretching out the heavens’

    Bible References to God Stretching Out the Heavens
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.g.....retch.html

    Out of that group of verses, the following verse is my favorite, since it, in the Old Testament no less, also makes an allusion to Jesus walking on water.

    Job 9:8
    He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.

    So yes indeed Relatd, since quantum mechanics and general relativity theoretically contradict each other to literally ripping our universe apart, then I agree wholeheartedly that there must be “something”, or more precisely “Someone”, very powerful holding the two theories together.

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  178. 178
    vividbleau says:

    DD

    “3) The free choice of our own beliefs must be based upon beliefs we already hold”

    I once was an atheist and now I am a theist the exact opposite of what I believed before, what am I missing?

    Vivid

  179. 179
    vividbleau says:

    DD

    I don’t want to hide the football ,here is my position regarding free will. It is free and determined.

    Free and Determined

    “We have seen Edwards’ view and Calvin’s view, so now we’ll go into the Sproulian view of free will by appealing to irony, or to a form of paradox.

    I would like to make this statement: in my opinion, every choice that we make is free, and every choice that we make is determined. Again, every choice that we make is free, and every choice that we make is determined.

    Now that sounds flatly contradictory because we normally see the categories of “determined” and “free” as mutually exclusive categories. To say that something is determined by something else, which is to say that it’s caused by something else, would seem to indicate that it couldn’t possibly be free.

    But what I’m speaking about is not determinism. Determinism means that things happen to me strictly by virtue of external forces. But, in addition to external forces that are determining factors in what happens to us, there are also internal forces that are determining factors.

    What I’m saying, along with Edwards and Calvin, is that if my choices flow out of my disposition and out of my desires, and if my actions are effects that have causes and reasons behind them, then my personal desire in a very real sense determines my personal choice.

    If my desires determine my choice, how then can I be free? Remember I said that, in every choice, our choice is both free and determined. But what determines it is me, and this we call self-determination. Self-determination is not the denial of freedom, but the essence of freedom. For the self to be able to determine its own choices is what free will is all about.

    The simple point I’m trying to make is that not only may we choose according to our own desires but, in fact, we always choose according to our desires. I’ll take it even to the superlative degree and say that we must always choose according to the strongest inclination at the moment. That is the essence of free choice—to be able to choose what you want.” RC Sproul

  180. 180
    Viola Lee says:

    I like what Vivid says.

  181. 181
    dogdoc says:

    Vividbleau,

    “3) The free choice of our own beliefs must be based upon beliefs we already hold”

    I once was an atheist and now I am a theist the exact opposite of what I believed before, what am I missing?

    Our beliefs (and desires, priorities, etc.) change constantly! But at no time can you freely choose your beliefs.

    The idea that we can voluntarily change our beliefs is called doxastic voluntarism. My argument relies on the claim that voluntarism is false – that we cannot simply choose to believe whatever we want. The simplest way to see this is to try it: Right now, make a choice to believe that Rome is the capitol of France. Any luck? Sure, the issue is of course more nuanced than that, and you can certainly find some defenders of voluntarism, but I still think the position is obviously false. The most common defense of voluntarism is to cite the possibility of indirect voluntarism, where although people can’t simply choose to change their belief, they can commit to some action(s) that have the effect of changing their beliefs. But indirect voluntarism doesn’t amount to being ultimately responsible for your belief, because you had to have some unchosen reason (belief, desire, etc) in order to want your beliefs to change in the first place.

    Say you didn’t believe in God, and then you witnessed a miracle, and now you do believe in God. Was that your free choice to change your belief? You did not choose to witness the miracle, and you did not choose how the miracle affected your belief, so you cannot be ultimately responsible for your conversion, and your choice to believe in God was not a free choice.

    Now let’s say you read an article that says theists are happier than atheists, and you decide you would like to believe in God for that reason, but you aren’t able to simply choose to start believing in Him. So you go to church and listen to wonderful things about God and meet lots of nice people who love God and after awhile you find you believe in God. This is an example of indirect voluntarism, but was this a free choice? No. Why did you choose to go to church? To be happier. Did you freely choose to want to be happy rather than unhappy? No, that was not a free choice, you just found (like most people) that you prefer happiness to unhappiness. So you did not freely choose the reason why you went to church in the first place, and the change in your belief was not freely chosen.

    Regarding your view of free will: I agree 100%. My description in @120 of a “proximate cause” was essentially the same compatibilist view: Even though we are not the ultimate authors of our choices, our choices still come from us. This is essentially what Sproulian compatibilism says.

    The main difference is that I do not talk about determinism in my argument. I think issues of causality in general are difficult, and determinism introduces unnecessary complications into thinking about free will. All we have to consider is our mental makeup (again – our beliefs, desires, priorities, commitments, fears, hopes, etc. etc.). We cannot determine our own mental makeup because to do so would require we are already the way we are before we can choose the way we are. Nietzsche referred to this as causa sui and pointed out the logical impossibility of creating yourself – using your beliefs and desires to select your beliefs and desires.

  182. 182
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, it is safer to say, our desires, views, values, preferences, impulses, habits etc more or less strongly influence what we tend to do. Unless you mean to impose the flawed tautology that whatever we choose is what we prefer. The point is, some of the most transforming decisions are those we take because we reason that they are right or even just prudent, despite our inclinations. Those are the decisions that lead to a fresh beginning. KF

  183. 183
    dogdoc says:

    KF,

    it is safer to say, our desires, views, values, preferences, impulses, habits etc more or less strongly influence what we tend to do.

    What else might influence or factor into your choice besides all of these things?

    Unless you mean to impose the flawed tautology that whatever we choose is what we prefer.

    Again, deliberations may be based upon beliefs desires, morals, priorities, values, preferences, commitments, fears, hopes, and so on. So of course I’m not only talking about preferences.

    What besides these things could possibly serve as reasons for a choice?

    The point is, some of the most transforming decisions are those we take because we reason that they are right or even just prudent, despite our inclinations. Those are the decisions that lead to a fresh beginning.

    In that case, the reason for your choice would be a moral belief, or a commitment to prudence. But how did you acquire that moral belief? How did you come to value prudence? Did you deliberate over these things, or did you simply find yourself with those beliefs and desires, the way we might just find ourselves with a desire for chocolate?

    Even if somehow you think you freely chose those beliefs and desires, if the reasons for your choice were not freely chosen by you then your choices still would not be free. And so on.

    1) Choices must be based upon our beliefs (and desires and so on and so on)
    2) In order for our choices to be free, our beliefs must be freely chosen by us.
    3) Like all choices, the choice of our beliefs will be based upon our beliefs.
    4) It is therefore not possible to choose one’s beliefs until one has already chosen one’s beliefs
    5) Therefore it is logically impossible to make free choices

  184. 184
    kairosfocus says:

    DD, immediately, there are needless disputes over words; I used preferences as a global term. Next, you again sidestepped the point of what we imply by argument, see 164 above, to you: https://uncommondescent.com/cosmology/from-iai-news-how-infinity-threatens-cosmology/#comment-766405 . Then in your latest attempt at a reductio argument you trap yourself by failing to understand a self-moved first cause agent. Yes, there is undoubtedly a spiral of cumulative self-influences and experiences. However independent agency [required for argument] also allows for first tentative efforts on provisional principles [to be reinforced by success], for whimsy and for reasoned principle or decisions that put the right, duty or prudence before preference, global sense. So, one may make provisional choices on tentative ideas, one may follow exemplars, one may exert whimsy, one may act from worked out reason, one may act on results of a crisis of conscience and more. Your framework sets up and knocks over a strawman. KF

  185. 185
    jerry says:

    There must be something in this no free will argument.

    A troll comes along who doesn’t believe in anything he is saying. Spouts nonsense. And then all the guppies dutifully bite and he is happy.

    Irony: the one demonstrating free will is the troll.

  186. 186
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, there is a place for showing that no free will ARGUMENTS inherently assume what they set out to overturn. As in, oopsie! KF

    PS: I excerpt from 164 above:

    for arguments to work at all,

    [a] they have to be freely made, hopefully informed by true facts and cogent reasoning . . . as opposed to presumably unconscious mechanical and/or stochastic programming AND

    [b] the listener or reader must also be significantly free.
    _______________________

    [c1] If a and/or b fail, argument thus reason thus warrant and knowledge instantly fail, i.e.

    [c2] even the arguments of the proponent of determinism on dynamic-stochastic processes also fail, self discrediting just as immediately. SO INSTEAD
    ===============================

    [d] We can only argue on the prior implicit acceptance of responsible, rational freedom, so to argue is to implicitly accept it.

    That is why the whole exercise of trying to argue to refute responsible rational freedom must fail instantly through patent self referential incoherence, i.e. strong form absurdity.

    Whatever else reality is, it has in it creatures who argue and take argument seriously so must rest implicitly on having responsible, rational freedom.

    Onward, that freedom is morally governed [morality only applying to such freedom], starting with first duties of reason, to truth, to right reason, to warrant and wider prudence, to sound conscience etc.

    That’s now a point of reference for future oopsies.

  187. 187
    Viola Lee says:

    KF and Jerry: what to you you think of Vivid’s post at 179?

  188. 188
    dogdoc says:

    KF,
    You use “preferences” as a “global term” to describe the things that may factor into one’s deliberations. You then suggest that there are things that are not preferences – tentative ideas, exemplars, whimsy, results of reasoning, conscience, and so on.

    But of course all of those things are just additional items to be added to the list of possible reasons for one’s decisions. If, for example, you chose to use whimsy to make some decision, then either you chose whimsy for absolutely no reason at all, in which case you’ve made an arbitrary decision that does not constitute the sort of free will worth wanting, or you chose whimsy for some reason. Or, if you made a choice based on your conscience, then you would have to have freely chosen to have a conscience in order to be responsible for that choice. In all cases, the infinite regress makes ultimate responsibility impossible.

  189. 189
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @187,

    KF and Jerry: what to you you think of Vivid’s post at 179?

    Let me add my abbreviated perspectives to that of Vividbleau, Jerry, Kairosfocus.

    1. It’s more likely that I have a free will because I’m aware and feel like I do. Our social interactions also are predicated on free will.

    2. If “God” created space and time (aka Einstein’s spacetime), it doesn’t make sense that “God” exists within time or is located somewhere in space. FWIW, I’ve previously described the violation of this concept as an “inverse Ouroboros.” It also might make sense why the God of Moses named himself “I AM.”

    3. We experience time in one dimension and in one direction only. To get to tomorrow from yesterday, we have to pass through today. Yes, everything could be an illusion, but we sure don’t drive our cars as such. Or hopefully not!

    4. So imagine your life as a series of freewill choices and consequences (causality) along a timeline. It’s easy if you try. 😉 Now turn the line “sideways.”

    5. Imagine “God” observing your life along this timeline but not located on the timeline. “God” is observing your life simultaneously happening from your birth to your death and all your freewill choices in between–all “at the same time.”

    This perspective allows you to have free will AND for “God” to know your future without making you into a robot.

    Ok, back on the subject. So what did you think of the Lee Smolin interview by Robert Lawrence Kuhn in 162?
    https://youtu.be/QOAcQCFNtbo

    -Q

  190. 190
    Viola Lee says:

    Vivid’s (and Sproul’s) key point, to which I concur, is the idea of self-determination. As long as my choices arise from me and are not coerced by external forces, they are freely chosen. The complex of things within me that I take into consideration (reason, values, preferences, desires, needs, perhaps even whimsy, etc. – whatever you want to call them) are in some sense my business and no one else’s. Those are all parts of my self (the space is intentional), and making my choices based on my self is what constitutes self-determination.

    Of course, one can ask why those component parts of my self are as they are, and get involved in discussing one’s experiences, one’s biological nature, one’s rational assessment of evidence, etc. But no matter where that discussion trails off to, those things which are integrated into my being are me (whether I can voluntarily change them or not), and thus if I take them into consideration I am exercising free will in the sense of self-determination.

  191. 191
    Querius says:

    Jerry @185,

    A troll comes along who doesn’t believe in anything he is saying. Spouts nonsense. And then all the guppies dutifully bite and he is happy.

    Bravo!

    Likewise, I don’t appreciate always being led into the swamps of vacuous assertions on topics not related to the OP. I’ll go a little ways, but there’s a limit when it seems simply to be the result of “someone shouting ‘squirrel’ at a dog show” to use my own analogy.

    -Q

  192. 192
    jerry says:

    I have eaten the bait and gone off topic

    what to you you think of Vivid’s post

    I disagree.

    It would be silly to argue that internal desires don’t affect decisions. It would also be silly to argue that one does not consider multiple outcomes for most choices. Or the benefit/probability of the choices. But often, there is no clear preference and I must choose one.

    In all the decisions one makes each day and there are literally thousands, the choice is nearly always meaningless. For example, I’m sitting next to a window and just looked out. To say such a movement is determined at that moment is ludicrous. Leaving the house, I’ll walk on that stepping stone this time and not the other. To say I don’t have the capability to choose is an absurdity.

    To argue against ID is stupid. One has to willfully avoid the obvious. To willfully not read/accept the logic and evidence is a choice. It is an act of the will especially in an anonymous situation. But people do it all the time. Someone above tried to undermine ID by bringing up free will. An obvious willful choice.

    Now I often make the comment the most interesting thing is why someone won’t accept the obvious. Does the person not accepting the obvious do so because they are internally determined to not do so. Now, I can see an academic or some professionals doing so because of financial reasons. But for the average anti ID person, they choose to ignore the obvious and be obstructive.

    I believe we are conflating everyday mundane things with serious decisions. However, in both we have choices. My niece just spent a year making up her mind on what college to attend. She finally made a choice last Spring and now is a freshman. If it was predetermined, what a waste of time.

    All that is being said is that we cannot know all the factors affecting a choice including a last second quantum event. I agree. But we still have the power to change the decision.

    The world progresses in a lot of ways. If there was no free choice, why did this happen? Why are some amongst us trying to destroy the world? Is it their hate that is driving their anti human choices?

  193. 193
    dogdoc says:

    Again, compatibilism offers a way to make sense of moral responsibilty and enables us to understand each other as agents. But clearly, the sort of ultimate responsibility and freedom that we intuitively feel can’t exist: If one’s motivating reasons are beyond our control then we can’t be ultimately responsible. As I’ve said, if one’s beliefs and desires had been implanted by an evil neuroscientist, or a hypnotist, then we would not hold that person responsible for their choices. What I’m arguing is that this is functionally the scenario that all of us are in – but instead of the neuroscientist or hypnotist we have our inherited tendencies and environmental influences.

  194. 194
    Viola Lee says:

    re 191 to Q: It was BornAgain who repeatedly brought up free will in the first part of this thread. You were the first person to respond to that at post 79, and then dogdoc responded to that.

    I suggest you talk to BA about “always being led into the swamps of vacuous assertions on topics not related to the OP”, and look at your role in turning the discussion to free will.

  195. 195
    dogdoc says:

    Thanks Viola 🙂

    Q, my argument actually hinges on the impossibility of an infinite regress of reasons – perhaps that will qualify it as being on topic on this thread?

  196. 196
    jerry says:

    always being led into the swamps of vacuous assertions on topics not related to the OP

    We have free will not to respond.

    Did the third Donkey have no free will? See below.

    https://twitter.com/buitengebieden/status/1576288280500240385

    All three are future Republicans. The third one is a potential Presidential candidate.

  197. 197
    Paxx says:

    relatd: though scientists are having trouble coming up with a description to link them

    This is actually not the case. There are plenty of putative hypotheses that link the quantum world with gravity. The challenge is testing them.

  198. 198
    relatd says:

    Dogdoc at 193,

    “compatibilism” ? Did you just go the Book of Obscure Belief Systems and just pick one from column A and another from column B?

    “Compatibilism offers a solution to the free will problem, which concerns a disputed incompatibility between free will and determinism. Compatibilism is the thesis that free will is compatible with determinism. Because free will is typically taken to be a necessary condition of moral responsibility, compatibilism is sometimes expressed as a thesis about the compatibility between moral responsibility and determinism.”

    Nonsense.

  199. 199
    vividbleau says:

    VL
    “Vivid’s (and Sproul’s) key point, to which I concur, is the idea of self-determination. As long as my choices arise from me and are not coerced by external forces, they are freely chosen”

    You would think the idea of self determination would be pretty non controversial. If I am not determining my choices who the heck is?

    Vivid

  200. 200
    Sandy says:

    I’ll take it even to the superlative degree and say that we must always choose according to the strongest inclination at the moment.

    🙂 Nope. God gave Commandments for a purpose.

  201. 201
    relatd says:

    Dogdoc at 193,

    “If one’s motivating reasons are beyond our control then we can’t be ultimately responsible.”

    Let’s see. In court to answer questions about reckless driving.

    “But your Honor, my motivating reasons are beyond my control!”

    Nonsense. I don’t want to hear another word from you. Don’t think I’m so stupid as to not see beyond your philosophical get out of jail free card. I find you guilty. Furthermore, I am suspending your driver’s license for one year and you will be sent to a guidance counselor of this court’s choosing.

  202. 202
    relatd says:

    Paxx at 197,

    putative?

    Hey Bob. Did you hear about those putative hypotheses?

    The what hypotheses?

  203. 203
    Viola Lee says:

    Do you not know what putative means? What is the point of 202?

  204. 204
    bornagain77 says:

    VL: “It was BornAgain who repeatedly brought up free will”

    But alas, I have no free will. Forces beyond my control repeatedly brought it up, 🙂

  205. 205
    Viola Lee says:

    Then I won’t hold you responsible, BA, for not taking responsibility. 🙂

    But you might look at my 190.

    And, by the way, I believe in free will: the issue is trying to describe what that means, how it works in respect to our overall being, and its relationship to a metaphysical framework.

    You can choose to investigate the issue, or not, and to communicate and discuss in whatever manner you want. I actually do consider you responsible for the way you behave in your communications here.

  206. 206
    relatd says:

    I have no control over my choices! I’m not responsible!

    Oh brother…

    As a person with free will, I only have two choices: Do what is right or do what is wrong. I think most people would do what is right, in most cases.

    Note: I will not reply to the Vague Argument, meaning “We can’t really know anything about anything, especially when talking about human behavior!”

    Baloney.

  207. 207
    kairosfocus says:

    DD, have you ever made a wrenching, painful decision in the teeth of your preferences or wishes? Have you ever done a job under protest? That should answer your further distortion. KF

  208. 208
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, I hold that absent significant freedom, responsible rationality is impossible; for cause. We are influenced but not determined. And for a mind broadening concept, note that the North Pole is due North of every other point on the Earth . . . so, what is the time there, becomes a good test. KF

  209. 209
    Viola Lee says:

    More or less, I agree KF. I’ve described my position about this quite a few times to you. My position is that via free will we determine ourselves: self-determination is the heart of the matter. We pay attention to all the myriad influences that course around both inside us and outside us, but ultimately it is our choices that make us who we are.

    P.S. I just saw your addition about the North Pole. I was only agreeing with your first sentence in 208 when I wrote what I did.

  210. 210
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes to DD, “DD, have you ever made a wrenching, painful decision in the teeth of your preferences or wishes? Have you ever done a job under protest? That should answer your further distortion. K”

    That doesn’t really challenge DD’s view, because one could say that one had more important, higher priority “preferences”. Very often choices involve conflicts among various aspects of our self (preferences, values, needs, etc.), and we wind up choosing to forego things we really would like to pay attention to because other motivations are more compelling.

  211. 211
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @194,

    re 191 to Q: It was BornAgain who repeatedly brought up free will in the first part of this thread. You were the first person to respond to that at post 79, and then dogdoc responded to that.

    But the context of 79 was wavefunction collapse, which I addressed as follows:

    Our FREE WILL CHOICE of what to measure is intimately connected with the outcome, but if our choice is deterministic, then we’re part of a Von Neumann chain that goes back to the big bang, which means that a single point is responsible for all of space-time, mass-energy, plus dark matter, dark energy, and contains ALL the information in the universe for ALL of history, including ALL our choices.

    The big bang supposedly started at a point that was infinitely small and included all of spacetime, mass-energy, and the supposedly predetermined information that initiated deterministic materialism.

    I also referenced the book, Quantum Enigma by Rosenblum and Kuttner, who emphasized FREE WILL CHOICE throughout their book.

    All of this is relevant to one aspect of “How infinity threatens cosmology.”

    In 189, I tried to address your question about God, free will, and determinism from my perspective. And I’m still wondering:

    Ok, back on the subject. So what did you think of the Lee Smolin interview by Robert Lawrence Kuhn in 162?
    https://youtu.be/QOAcQCFNtbo

    -Q

  212. 212
    relatd says:

    Ba77,

    Back to quantum computing. Researchers are making such computers and a recent breakthrough in error correction will allow for larger versions.

    https://phys.org/news/2022-09-quantum-technology-unprecedented-captured.html

    Regardless of the math, the quantum world, so far as it is known, is being put to practical use.

  213. 213
    Viola Lee says:

    Your right about your role in the free will discussion. As it pertains to humans, that came out of discussion between BA and dogdoc.

    However, you wrote, “In 189, I tried to address your question about God, free will, and determinism” and I don’t think I’ve had anything to say about God on this thread.

    Also I listened to about 1/2 the Smolin video at double speed with closed captions on: seems like it was pretty basic. The idea that space is an arena in which things happen as time goes by as been outdated for 100 years. Good popularization, I suppose.

  214. 214
    dogdoc says:

    KF,

    DD, have you ever made a wrenching, painful decision in the teeth of your preferences or wishes? Have you ever done a job under protest? That should answer your further distortion.

    In order to refute my argument you’ll need to show which of my premises you think are false or why they don’t lead to the conclusion I’ve made.

    1) Choices must be based upon our beliefs (and desires and so on and so on)
    2) In order for our choices to be free, our beliefs must be freely chosen by us.
    3) Like all choices, the choice of our beliefs will be based upon our beliefs.
    4) It is therefore not possible to choose one’s beliefs until one has already chosen one’s beliefs
    5) Therefore it is logically impossible to make free choices

    Or, at the very least, just informally explain to us what it is you think is wrong with my argument.
    Instead, you call my argument a “distortion”, which is weird, and make a cryptic comment that doesn’t explain why my argument fails.

    I will try to clarify where you go wrong, however – if not for your sake then for interested readers:

    Let’s say I make a wrenching, painful decision in the teeth of my preferences or wishes. Very obviously, I would only do that if I had a very good reason.

    For example, let’s say I have an old, terminally ill dog, near death, who has no chance of recovery, and is in agony. While I would of course wish and prefer that my dog continue to live, I make the wrenching, painful decision to euthanize him in order to spare him pointless suffering. Did I exercise free will in this example? No, of course not. I didn’t deliberate over whether or not to love my dog – I simply love my dog without ever choosing to. I didn’t freely choose my desire for him to avoid living his remaining hours in agony; I couldn’t possibly feel any other way. And so on – all of my deliberations rest on unchosen reasons.

    Anyway, I’ve made these points many times on this page already. It appears you are either unwilling or unable to understand my position; in fact you are apparently still under the impression that I am invoking determinism as the defeater of free choice, even though I’ve corrected that misapprehension over and over again.

    In any event I’m not very hopeful that you will attempt to refute my argument – I believe you cannot.

  215. 215
    dogdoc says:

    VL @210

    That doesn’t really challenge DD’s view, because one could say that one had more important, higher priority “preferences”. Very often choices involve conflicts among various aspects of our self (preferences, values, needs, etc.), and we wind up choosing to forego things we really would like to pay attention to because other motivations are more compelling.

    It is very gratifying to see someone who understands this so well! Thank you.

    …we wind up choosing to forego things we really would like to pay attention to because other motivations are more compelling.

    This is precisely why I included “priorities” in my list of reasons people use to guide their decisions.

  216. 216
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @213,

    The idea that space is an arena in which things happen as time goes by as been outdated for 100 years.

    As you might remember, Lee Smolin has gone back to separating time from space as a result of the difficulties raised by spacetime.

    If you’re at all interested in why, you might want to see the rest of the interview rather than simply blowing off Lee Smolin as 100 years out-of-date, which certainly isn’t a fair or informed judgment! His latest book (2019) is

    https://leesmolin.com/einsteins-unfinished-revolution/

    -Q

  217. 217
    bornagain77 says:

    Although Dogdoc has played coy in this thread and has refused to be specific about what his exact overarching worldview is, (when I asked him to be specific about his exact worldview so that I could more properly address his argument, he said that I was attaching ‘labels’ (see post 124)), I hold that Dogdoc’s argument against free will, in order to have a chance at being successful, cannot assume Darwinian materialism, and/or Atheistic materialism, as being true, but must assume Theism as being true.

    1) Choices must be based upon our beliefs (and desires and so on and so on)
    2) In order for our choices to be free, our beliefs must be freely chosen by us.
    3) Like all choices, the choice of our beliefs will be based upon our beliefs.
    4) It is therefore not possible to choose one’s beliefs until one has already chosen one’s beliefs
    5) Therefore it is logically impossible to make free choices

    Dogdoc’s argument rests on the premise that all our present decisions are based on preexistent beliefs and that these preexistent beliefs cannot be chosen by us.

    So far so good. But in order for a person to have beliefs in the first place, a person must first have an immaterial mind and soul in which to hold those beliefs, and a person cannot be a purely material being as is held within Atheistic/Darwinian materialism.

    As J.P. Moreland explains at the 3:30 mark of the following interview, “It is because we, (as souls), have a faculty of (immaterial) mind that we are capable of having concepts, thoughts, beliefs,,, things like that.”,,,

    “It is because we, (as souls), have a faculty of (immaterial) mind that we are capable of having concepts, thoughts, beliefs,,, things like that.”,,,
    – J.P. Moreland – Is the Soul Immortal?
    https://youtu.be/QzbdT0GxAdk?t=209

    As Dr. Egnor explained, (and as was mentioned previously), “Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, (love), and an endless library of abstract concepts..,,, Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,”

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, (love), and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    A human being is material and immaterial — a composite being. We have material bodies, and our perceptions and imaginations and appetites are material powers, instantiated in our brains. But our intellect — our ability to think abstractly — is a wholly immaterial power, and our will that acts in accordance with our intellect is an immaterial power. Our intellect and our will depend on matter for their ordinary function, in the sense that they depend upon perception and imagination and memory, but they are not themselves made of matter. It is in our ability to think abstractly that we differ from apes. It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. Our difference is a metaphysical chasm. It is obvious and manifest in our biological nature. We are rational animals, and our rationality is all the difference. Systems of taxonomy that emphasize physical and genetic similarities and ignore the fact that human beings are partly immaterial beings who are capable of abstract thought and contemplation of moral law and eternity are pitifully inadequate to describe man.
    The assertion that man is an ape is self-refuting. We could not express such a concept, misguided as it is, if we were apes and not men.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/11/the_fundamental_2/

    To further solidify the claim that the beliefs of our immaterial mind “cannot be instantiated in matter”, In the free will theorem of Conway and Kochen we find that “it would not even be possible to place the information into the universe’s past in an ad hoc way.”

    The Free Will Theorem of Conway and Kochen
    Excerpt: Since the free will theorem applies to any arbitrary physical theory consistent with the axioms, it would not even be possible to place the information into the universe’s past in an ad hoc way. The argument proceeds from the Kochen-Specker theorem, which shows that the result of any individual measurement of spin was not fixed (pre-determined) independently of the choice of measurements.
    Conway and Kochen describe new bits of information coming into existence in the universe, and we agree that information is the key to understanding both EPR entanglement experiments and human free will.,,,
    ,,, it is essential to solutions of the ‘problem of measurement’ to recognize that the “cut” between the quantum world and the classical world is the moment when new information enters the universe irreversibly.,,,
    https://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/free_will_theorem.html

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    Atheistic/Darwinian materialism is simply a non-starter in so far as explaining our preexistent beliefs.

    And since any preexistent beliefs that we may have must be properties of our immaterial mind, and since Dogdoc’s entire argument against free will rests on the notion of preexistent beliefs, it is fitting to ask exactly what preexistent belief(s) are we born with?

    Well, it is now found that children are born with a “predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.”

    Children are born believers in God, academic claims – 24 Nov 2008
    Excerpt: “Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....laims.html

    Out of the mouths of babes – Do children believe (in God) because they’re told to by adults? The evidence suggests otherwise – Justin Barrett – 2008
    Excerpt: • Children tend to see natural objects as designed or purposeful in ways that go beyond what their parents teach, as Deborah Kelemen has demonstrated. Rivers exist so that we can go fishing on them, and birds are here to look pretty.
    • Children doubt that impersonal processes can create order or purpose. Studies with children show that they expect that someone not something is behind natural order. No wonder that Margaret Evans found that children younger than 10 favoured creationist accounts of the origins of animals over evolutionary accounts even when their parents and teachers endorsed evolution. Authorities’ testimony didn’t carry enough weight to over-ride a natural tendency.
    • Children know humans are not behind the order so the idea of a creating god (or gods) makes sense to them. Children just need adults to specify which one.
    • Experimental evidence, including cross-cultural studies, suggests that three-year-olds attribute super, god-like qualities to lots of different beings. Super-power, super-knowledge and super-perception seem to be default assumptions. Children then have to learn that mother is fallible, and dad is not all powerful, and that people will die. So children may be particularly receptive to the idea of a super creator-god. It fits their predilections.
    • Recent research by Paul Bloom, Jesse Bering, and Emma Cohen suggests that children may also be predisposed to believe in a soul that persists beyond death.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....god-belief

    In fact, besides children being predisposed to believe in God, studies have now established that ‘belief in design’ is ‘knee jerk’ inference that is built into everyone, especially including atheists, and that atheists themselves have to mentally work suppressing their “knee jerk” design inference!

    Is Atheism a Delusion?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ii-bsrHB0o

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

  218. 218
    bornagain77 says:

    And as the following paper stated, “religious non-belief is cognitively effortful.”

    Richard Dawkins take heed: Even atheists instinctively believe in a creator says study – Mary Papenfuss – June 12, 2015
    Excerpt: Three studies at Boston University found that even among atheists, the “knee jerk” reaction to natural phenomenon is the belief that they’re purposefully designed by some intelligence, according to a report on the research in Cognition entitled the “Divided Mind of a disbeliever.”
    The findings “suggest that there is a deeply rooted natural tendency to view nature as designed,” writes a research team led by Elisa Järnefelt of Newman University. They also provide evidence that, in the researchers’ words, “religious non-belief is cognitively effortful.”
    Researchers attempted to plug into the automatic or “default” human brain by showing subjects images of natural landscapes and things made by human beings, then requiring lightning-fast responses to the question on whether “any being purposefully made the thing in the picture,” notes Pacific-Standard.
    “Religious participants’ baseline tendency to endorse nature as purposefully created was higher” than that of atheists, the study found. But non-religious participants “increasingly defaulted to understanding natural phenomena as purposefully made” when “they did not have time to censor their thinking,” wrote the researchers.
    The results suggest that “the tendency to construe both living and non-living nature as intentionally made derives from automatic cognitive processes, not just practised explicit beliefs,” the report concluded.
    The results were similar even among subjects from Finland, where atheism is not a controversial issue as it can be in the US.
    “Design-based intuitions run deep,” the researchers conclude, “persisting even in those with no explicit religious commitment and, indeed, even among those with an active aversion to them.”
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/richa.....dy-1505712

    It is not that Atheists do not believe in Design, it is that Atheists, for whatever severely misguided reason, live in denial of the Design that they themselves believe exists in nature.

    Perhaps the two most famous quotes of atheists trying to suppress their innate and preexistent ‘design belief’ are the two following quotes:

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    – Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case”
    – Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – 1988

    It is very easy to see why Francis Crick in particular, co-discoverer of the DNA helix, would be constantly haunted by his innate belief that life must be Intelligently Designed. DNA itself literally screams, “I AM INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED” from every angle that you look at it.

    A few factoids about DNA
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/movie-night-with-illustra-a-whale-of-a-story-and-18-trillion-feet-of-you/#comment-745611

    I hold the preceding studies which found that “religious non-belief is cognitively effortful” to be confirming evidence for the claim made in Romans 1:19-20

    Romans 1:19-20
    For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    One final note, as mentioned previously, for Dogdoc’s argument against free will to have a chance at being successful, it cannot assume Darwinian materialism, and/or Atheistic materialism, as being true, but must assume Theism as being true.

    And indeed, Calvinists, due to the Sovereignty of God, have been arguing against the reality of free will, in much the same manner as Dodoc currently is, for several hundred years now.

    Do humans have a free will? Calvinism says “No!”
    Excerpt: Here are some Calvinist quotes about Free will:
    “Free will is nonsense” (Spurgeon, Free Will a Slave, 3).
    “Free will makes man his own savior and his own god” (Tom Ross, Abandoned Truth, 56).
    “The heresy of free will dethrones God and enthrones man. … The ideas of free grace and free will are diametrically opposed. All who are strict advocates of free will are strangers to the grace of the sovereign God” (W. E. Best, Free Grace Versus Free Will, 35, 43).,,,
    https://redeeminggod.com/no-free-will-in-calvinism/

    And here is an excellent sermon by Tim Keller that, at the 12:00 minute mark, gets the Calvinists’ view of God’s sovereignty trumping our free will across very well

    Does God Control Everything? – Tim Keller – (God’s sovereignty, evil, and our free will, how do they mesh? Short answer? God’s Omniscience!) – video (12:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/MDbKCZodtZI?t=727

    So, since his argument cannot possibly be based in Atheistic/Darwinian materialism, is Dogdoc arguing for Calvinism?

    Of related note, according to original sources, Calvin’s view of free will is far more nuanced than is often portrayed in these debates on the internet these days:

    Did John Calvin Believe in Free Will? – SEPTEMBER 12, 2014
    Excerpt: So did Calvin believe in free will? That all depends on the meaning. If by free will one means that the unbeliever is in no way necessitated by sin, but has it in his power to either do good or evil toward God, then the answer is no. But if one means that the unbeliever is in total bondage to sin, sinning willfully yet under necessity (not coercion), making him utterly dependent upon God’s irresistible grace to liberate him, then Calvin is your man.
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/did-john-calvin-believe-in-free-will/

    Free will in theology
    Excerpt: John Calvin ascribed “free will” to all people in the sense that they act “voluntarily, and not by compulsion.”[117] He elaborated his position by allowing “that man has choice and that it is self-determined” and that his actions stem from “his own voluntary choosing.”[118]
    The free will that Calvin ascribed to all people is what Mortimer Adler calls the “natural freedom” of the will. This freedom to will what one desires is inherent in all people.[16]
    Calvin held this kind of inherent/natural[119] free will in disesteem because unless people acquire the freedom to live as they ought by being transformed, they will desire and voluntarily choose to sin. “Man is said to have free will,” wrote Calvin, “because he acts voluntarily, and not by compulsion. This is perfectly true: but why should so small a matter have been dignified with so proud a title?”[120] The glitch in this inherent/natural freedom of the will is that although all people have the “faculty of willing,” by nature they are unavoidably (and yet voluntarily without compulsion) under “the bondage of sin.”[121]
    The kind of free will that Calvin esteems is what Adler calls “acquired freedom” of the will, the freedom/ability[122] “to live as [one] ought.” To possess acquired free will requires a change by which a person acquires a desire to live a life marked by virtuous qualities.[20] As Calvin describes the change required for acquired freedom, the will “must be wholly transformed and renovated.”[123]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_in_theology#Calvinism
    Like John Calvin, Arminius affirmed total depravity, but Arminius believed that only prevenient grace allowed people to choose salvation:
    Concerning grace and free will, this is what I teach according to the Scriptures and orthodox consent: Free will is unable to begin or to perfect any true and spiritual good, without grace…. This grace [prœvenit] goes before, accompanies, and follows; it excites, assists, operates that we will, and co operates lest we will in vain.[71]
    Prevenient grace is divine grace which precedes human decision. It exists prior to and without reference to anything humans may have done. As humans are corrupted by the effects of sin, prevenient grace allows persons to engage their God-given free will to choose the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ or to reject that salvific offer.
    Thomas Jay Oord offers perhaps the most cogent free will theology presupposing prevenient grace. What he calls “essential kenosis” says God acts preveniently to give freedom/agency to all creatures. This gift comes from God’s eternal essence, and is therefore necessary. God remains free in choosing how to love, but the fact that God loves and therefore gives freedom/agency to others is a necessary part of what it means to be divine.
    This view is backed in the Bible with verses such as Luke 13:34, NKJV
    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!”
    Here we see Jesus lamenting that He is unable to save Jerusalem as they are not willing. We see that whilst Jesus wants to save Jerusalem He respects their choice to continue on in sin despite His will that they be saved.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_in_theology#Arminianism

    Thus even Calvin, although having a very high view of God’s sovereignty, did not strictly deny the reality of free will in man in regards to man’s salvation.

    And, as a Christian myself who has experienced the grace of God in my life, I can live with Calvin’s nuanced view of free will. A nuanced view that, whilst not completely denying the reality of free will, does respectfully have a very high regard for God’s sovereignty over creation. i.e. Regardless of whatever ‘evil’ and/or sin that a man may choose to do in contradiction to God’s perfect will for his life, never the less “God causes all things to work together for good”. And also makes room for God’s will in that God is “not willing for any to perish, but all to come to repentance.”

    Verses:

    Romans 8:28?
    And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

    2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord does not delay the promise, as some esteem slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

  219. 219
    Viola Lee says:

    Q, I wasn’t blowing off Smolin. It was the other guy who was bringing up the context of a static arena of space and time. I understood the modern view that Smolin was talking about. Maybe I’ll go watch the second half, but watching people talk is just such a slow and unsatisfactory way for me to get information.

  220. 220
    asauber says:

    “1) Choices must be based upon our beliefs (and desires and so on and so on)”

    They don’t. George Costanza did The Opposite because he thought it could provide better outcomes (*his* imagination). Those choices were based on a silly notion, a maybe, not a real belief in anything specific. The fact that he could do The Opposite or not do The Opposite, and chose among both, at various times means what?

    Andrew

  221. 221
    asauber says:

    Furthermore, George got to define what The Opposite was. Going over and talking to the blonde at the counter was The Opposite, although it didn’t have to be. He picked what The Opposite was based on happenstance.

    Andrew

  222. 222
    asauber says:

    He was going to have Tuna on Toast, which he had chosen regularly before. He got Chicken Salad on Rye, Untoasted. Jerry said Salmon was the Opposite of Tuna. lol

    Andrew

  223. 223
    asauber says:

    George declared The Opposite was his religion after he practiced it for awhile. He judged it was working well enough for him. His choice.

    Andrew

  224. 224
    asauber says:

    One more thing, at first he dismissed The Opposite, and had to be convinced by an argument from Jerry to try it.

    Andrew

  225. 225
    relatd says:

    Ba77,

    The goal of some is to argue away certain things as if they don’t exist. It takes a little research to realize that the truth is the truth. I would hope everyone desires to know what is true. On the other hand, there are those who prefer to construct elaborate escapes from the truth. I think it safe to say that they will always find that they have painted themselves into a corner. But they have a way out, it’s called the truth.

  226. 226
    Viola Lee says:

    But we disagree about what is the truth, I think, including about what exists.

  227. 227
    relatd says:

    VL at 226 and 227,

    So, reality isn’t real and truth is on a sliding scale? Or ??? and ???????.

  228. 228
    Viola Lee says:

    Not sure what reality isn’t real means. There are all sorts of things we think are true, and various degrees of certainty for various kinds of things. Some things are logically absolutely true (2 + 2 = 4), some things in the real world are virtually certain (the earth is approximately spherical), but most truths are at least in theory tentative in that they could be modified or even overturned with additional evidence. And lots of what we consider truths are various opinions we have about which others disagree. Truth is not a monolithic entity.

  229. 229
    relatd says:

    VL at 228,

    Please don’t take this the wrong way but you are terrible at presenting arguments. Your comments lack specific details, leaving them open to interpretation. I suggest you use specific examples. Vagueness is not helpful.

    Truth is monolithic, meaning what is true is always true. The only exceptions include theoretical physics and the actual mechanisms involved in star and planet formation, for example.

  230. 230
    Viola Lee says:

    I’ll be glad to talk specific.

    The statement “Truth is monolithic, meaning what is true is always true” is just a tautology: it doesn’t really say anything specific.

    I did give some specific examples: 2 = 2 =4 is absolutely true because it’s part of a logical system. The earth is approximately spherical is an empirical truth that is certainly true. Two cups of coffee a day is good for longevity is a recent research result that is tentatively true, but could be changed by further research. Most of what we consider true is like theoretical physics in that we have some ideas, some more validated than others, about what is true, but we could could later turn out to be wrong.

    Maybe you could be more specific about what you mean by “what is true is always true”?

  231. 231
    relatd says:

    VL at 230,

    The truths human beings use to live their lives every day are always true. The phases of life, from conception till death. The decisions we make daily which are based on truths.

  232. 232
    bornagain77 says:

    Twenty Arguments God’s Existence – Peter Kreeft
    Excerpt: 11. The Argument from Truth
    This argument is closely related to the argument from consciousness. It comes mainly from Augustine.
    1. Our limited minds can discover eternal truths about being.
    2. Truth properly resides in a (immaterial) mind.
    3. But the human mind is not eternal.
    4. Therefore there must exist an eternal mind in which these truths reside.
    https://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/20_arguments-gods-existence.htm#11

    Peter John Kreeft (born March 16, 1937) is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and The King’s College. A convert to Roman Catholicism, he is the author of over eighty books[4] on Christian philosophy, theology and apologetics. He also formulated, together with Ronald K. Tacelli, Twenty Arguments for the Existence of God in their Handbook of Christian Apologetics.[5][6]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Kreeft

  233. 233
    Viola Lee says:

    Hmmm, Relatd, that’s not very specific. Can you give an example? I suspect you’re talking about what you consider religious truths, not empirical truths like whether it’s OK to drink coffee or personal truths like I think X would be a good President.

  234. 234
    relatd says:

    VL at 233,

    I’m starting to see that it’s not worth commenting on your posts. You say vague things followed by things that primarily interest only you. You appear to enjoy being vague, unless it touches on a few of your personal interests.

    I don’t care if people drink coffee or not.

    People can choose who they want to vote for.

    It appears that the only truths that interest you are non-religious. Your choice.

  235. 235
    kairosfocus says:

    VL [attn DD), I once did that, working for two years under protest. It was in the teeth of my preferences but I thought the alternative was worse, for the future of a nation. Over the past year, I faced a needless impossible dilemma situation and had to carry out a lesser of evils, extremely painful action. On any reasonable sense of preferences, in both these cases I did from duty things that I strongly disagreed with but which were not to the level, utterly unconscionable. Freedom expresses itself in the clash of preference and duty, and as a choice of least of evils. KF

  236. 236
    Viola Lee says:

    I’m trying to discuss the general idea of truth. What would you like me to be more specific about? Since you aren’t giving any examples of what truths you are talking about, I can’t tell.

  237. 237
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @213, 219

    Also I listened to about 1/2 the Smolin video at double speed with closed captions on: seems like it was pretty basic. The idea that space is an arena in which things happen as time goes by as been outdated for 100 years. Good popularization, I suppose.

    This is why I thought you were blowing off Lee Smolin.

    Maybe I’ll go watch the second half, but watching people talk is just such a slow and unsatisfactory way for me to get information.

    That’s why I also provided you with a link to Lee Smolin’s latest book, Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution, if you’re interested in the subject.

    The big clash in quantum mechanics is the experimental evidence that demonstrates things about reality that are completely unexpected by deterministic materialists. The facts are generally not disputed, only the interpretation of what the facts mean.

    * Human observation changes outcomes of experiments.
    * Changes are independent of time and distance.
    * Physical experiments are limited by a total amount of knowable information.
    * Particles materialize from mathematical probabilities when observed.
    * Waves of probabilities (of the same kind) interact with each other.
    * Spacetime is measurably filled with probabilities that materialize and then disappear.
    * Spacetime is measurably being stretched by an unknown force.
    * Galactic orbits are measurably changed by an unknown type of matter.
    * Concentrations of mass-energy forms black holes in spacetime that absorb mass-energy.
    * The universe itself (space, time, mass, energy, etc) seems to have originated from a single infinitely tiny point.
    * All this weirdness affects reality from quantum to galactic scales.

    But most theoretical physicists exert massive amounts of time, intense thought, and mathematics (sometimes involving infinities) to try to make all this compatible with deterministic materialism.

    Why don’t they instead simply accept and follow the evidence as it emerges?

    -Q

  238. 238
    relatd says:

    VL at 236,

    Oh well. Good bye.

  239. 239
    Viola Lee says:

    re 235: yes, sometimes we have to make hard choices, and sometimes our principles clash with our more self-centered interests. This is one of the hearts of the human condition.

  240. 240
    Viola Lee says:

    Q, I’m interested in all that, and read books about it occasionally. I’m not particularly interested in the “materialistic determinism” issue, and I guess I don’t see that “most theoretical physicists exert massive amounts of time, intense thought, and mathematics (sometimes involving infinities) to try to make all this compatible with deterministic materialism.”

    QM points to reality being very different than our macroscopic experience of it. Hypothesizing as to what that means is controversial: I made a few comments on that back at 71 an 140-145. Whatever the case, QM provides a new window into what “deterministic” and “materialism” even mean, so I don’t think it helps to make “deterministic materialism” a battleground.

  241. 241
    Viola Lee says:

    re 238: too much for me to ask what you like me to be more specific about, or to give an examples of what truths you are talking about? Oh well … 🙂

  242. 242
    dogdoc says:

    BA,

    Although Dogdoc has played coy in this thread and has refused to be specific about what his exact overarching worldview is…

    It is weird, and disturbing, that you are unable to debate issues. Instead, you are singularly focussed on what “worldview” your opponent subscribes to. You want to square off into opposing teams each labelled with some “-ism”, so you can unleash your huge cache of copypasta against the other team. When faced with someone who wants only to debate specific questions and refuses to fit into one of your ideological buckets, you refuse to debate. But it’s not only that you refuse – you are literally unable to understand what it means to argue over questions, and you can only argue about your labelled ideological buckets.

    I have views regarding the mind/body problem, free will, epistemology, moral theory, evolutionary theory, and lots of other things. I take each of these as interesting questions, and make no attempt to wrap up my thoughts into some canon of beliefs that can be labelled and categorized into a single overarching worldview.

    The parallel to current political polarization is obvious; people refuse to debate issues and instead focus on communicating their team identity through gotchas and sound bites. It’s a sad state of affairs – our species’ predisposition to tribalism trumps our curiosity and rationality.

  243. 243
    Viola Lee says:

    I suspect what relatd is talking about as “truth” are Christian beliefs such as God, Jesus, salvation, etc. Obviously billions of people in the world don’t think those are true. That’s why my wanting to talk more generally about what different kinds of truth are, and how we know, is unsettling.

  244. 244
    dogdoc says:

    KF,

    Freedom expresses itself in the clash of preference and duty, and as a choice of least of evils.

    Duty is just another reason that we factor into our choices, along with our preferences, beliefs, desires, values, priorities, commitments, hopes, fears, and so on. Not sure why that is hard for you to understand.

  245. 245
    asauber says:

    “preferences, beliefs, desires, values, priorities, commitments, hopes, fears, and so on.”

    Whims, thrills, pleasures, avoidances, moods, expectations, rebellions, gambles, calculations, traditions, conformities, loyalties, “balance”… etc.

    Andrew

  246. 246
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @230,

    I did give some specific examples: 2 = 2 =4 is absolutely true because it’s part of a logical system.

    Ok, I agree with 2 = 2 (the identity property), but I don’t agree that 2 = 4.
    Surely, you must remember that logical systems are incomplete (Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems) and are subject to context. If you travel a mile north and then a mile east, are you two miles from where you started?

    BA77,
    Thanks for the additional background on free will. I’m glad that you pointed out from the Bible that God’s will is not universal or irresistible. Perhaps God has chosen to limit His will so that we can have free will. I believe such applications of infinities and absolutes lead to error, which is why I reject the logic of Spinoza, Calvin, and cosmologists who rely on infinities.

    Similarly, I’d have to say that I find the argument from Peter Kreeft also suspect for similar reasons on each of his four points. For example, how can I know that my limited mind can discover eternal truths? Maybe they’re simply apparent truths.

    In a logic class I once took, the professor introduced the Green-Blue Paradox.” IIRC, he talked about a light that was green for 100 years, after which it briefly turned blue. He called that color “grue.” However, to the average observer, the light usually, obviously, and measurably is green.

    However, the question of why is there something rather than nothing is far more challenging in my opinion. We see the effects of existence: complexity, balance, ingenuity, beauty, awe, charm, life, and death . . . and conscious thought. The existence of conscious thought must have a cause, but so far no one has been able to demonstrate how conscious thought can come from particles of inanimate matter.

    -Q

  247. 247
    Viola Lee says:

    Typo, Q. 2 + 2 = 4.

    re 244: Good point about duty, dogdoc: that occurred to me also. A sense of duty towards certain values or principles, including a belief in some responsibility to others beyond ourselves, is another one of the many things we take into consideration when exercising our will.

  248. 248
    asauber says:

    “things we take into consideration when exercising our will”

    VL,

    Things we Sometimes take into consideration…

    Andrew

  249. 249
    asauber says:

    Am I hungry enough to decide to ignore my dietary restrictions and stop at McDonald’s Drive-Thru?

    Is my blood sugar too high to eat there?

    Is my blood sugar too low to eat there?

    Do I have enough money?

    Do I have enough time to stop?

    Is there a McDonalds around at all?

    Do I have enough gas?

    Did the missus give me instructions? lol

    Andrew

  250. 250
    asauber says:

    Oh McDonalds had a stupid commercial I saw last night. I’m not giving them any of my money.

    Andrew

  251. 251
    bornagain77 says:

    Translation of DD’s response at 242 to my posts at 217 & 218, “I prefer having a room full of smoke rather than having clear definitions”.

    Of a similar note to DD not wanting to get too specific in his definitions, and as David Berlinski noted elsewhere about Darwin’s theory, not being carefully defined or delineated is a major flaw that prevents Darwin’s theory itself from ever being a hard science.

    “Before you can ask ‘Is Darwinian theory correct or not?’, You have to ask the preliminary question ‘Is it clear enough so that it could be correct?’. That’s a very different question. One of my prevailing doctrines about Darwinian theory is ‘Man, that thing is just a mess. It’s like looking into a room full of smoke.’ Nothing in the theory is precisely, clearly, carefully defined or delineated. It lacks all of the rigor one expects from mathematical physics, and mathematical physics lacks all the rigor one expects from mathematics. So we’re talking about a gradual descent down the level of intelligibility until we reach evolutionary biology.”
    – David Berlinski
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec8lpcA5hls&list=PLF9DB30F6802BC5CE&index=1

  252. 252
    asauber says:

    See you get to choose how your beliefs apply to you, if at all, depending on the situation. They (the beliefs) are considerations, not dictators.

    Andrew

  253. 253
    relatd says:

    Ba77 at 251,

    When someone appears in the ring, here, wearing their boxing gloves, they think they can dictate the rules. Or ‘I will keep punching until you see things my way.’ That’s all that’s happening.

  254. 254
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, as a refresher over the past decade or so, truth is that which says of what is, that it is; and, of what is not, that it is not. Adapted, Ari, Met 1011 b. Truth is ontologically accurate description. That is non ideological and should be uncontroversial. If you mean wish or opinion etc, there are perfectly serviceable words for such. Corruption of language is a common first step to corruption of thought, knowledge, practice and civilisation. KF

  255. 255
    vividbleau says:

    BA
    “Excerpt: John Calvin ascribed “free will” to all people in the sense that they act “voluntarily, and not by compulsion.”[117] He elaborated his position by allowing “that man has choice and that it is self-determined” and that his actions stem from “his own voluntary choosing.”[118]”

    Virtually every Calvinist ( not hyper Calvinists) I know including Spurgeon would agree with this definition.

    The following questions , although anyone can chime in , are posed to Christians.
    Is the will free from Gods will? That is can man’s will supersede and thwart Gods will?
    Is the will free from sin. Augustine’s.non posse non peccare , not able not to sin? In our post Adamic unregenerate state are we not able not to sin?
    Is the will free from you, your self?

    Vivid

  256. 256
    relatd says:

    Vivid at 255,

    The long answer:

    https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/free-will

    The longer answer (which I think you’ll like).:

    https://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/free-will

  257. 257
    vividbleau says:

    Related
    Thanks for those links. Indeed the Council of Trent placed anathemas on Luther, Calvin and the reformers regarding their view on free will.

    Briefly here is my very abbreviated view regarding the will. My will is self determined. Each and everyone one of us freely and without coercion choose what we MOST WANT at the time our choice is made given the options available to us at the time the choice is made.

    I must confess I don’t know what is controversial, at least it seems that way to me, about my position that my choices are self determined.

    Vivid

  258. 258
    relatd says:

    Vivid at 257,

    You have the common view of free will. But some create elaborate work-arounds in the form of other versions of where free will comes from. Some even think that they are not influenced at all by anything outside of themselves (which is illusory) or that outside influences (which they have to choose) are to blame, and their choices aren’t really “free.” In other words, ‘how can anyone or any decision/choice be truly free’?

  259. 259
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, you write. “VL, as a refresher over the past decade or so, truth is that which says of what is, that it is; and, of what is not, that it is not. Adapted, Ari, Met 1011 b. Truth is ontologically accurate description.”

    Yes of course, but that description of truth is really just definitional: truth should accurately describe the realm of reality to which it applies. That doesn’t move us too much closer to knowing specifically what actually is the truth.

  260. 260
    Viola Lee says:

    I like 2/3 of this paragraph from the “long answer” link that relatd offered:

    Our freedom is precisely our rational ability to choose between a number of means to an end. This means that our freedom is not an end in itself—it is itself a kind of means to the end.

    Yes, important point.

    The frequent problem with people, at least in our culture, is that they think everything is just fine as long as you get to choose.

    I disagree: I don’t think this is a common attitude. I think most people would agree with the first sentence.

    The classical and Catholic view is different. For us, everything is fine if we use our understanding in order to arrive at our true good.

    This takes us back to the question of what is the “true” good. Catholics, of course, will have some general common understanding of what is the true good, but people in general will have a variety of different notions.

    There is a great verse from Dylan’s “Jokerman” which ties together these two part of this thread: free will and truth:

    Freedom,
    just around the corner for you.
    But with truth so far off,
    what good will it do?

  261. 261
    BobSinclair says:

    Dogdoc

    “For example, let’s say I have an old, terminally ill dog, near death, who has no chance of recovery, and is in agony. While I would of course wish and prefer that my dog continue to live, I make the wrenching, painful decision to euthanize him in order to spare him pointless suffering.
    Did I exercise free will in this example? No, of course not. I didn’t deliberate over whether or not to love my dog – I simply love my dog without ever choosing to. I didn’t freely choose my desire for him to avoid living his remaining hours in agony; I couldn’t possibly feel any other way. And so on – all of my deliberations rest on unchosen reasons. “

    So in your example above, you didn’t choose to love the dog, you didn’t choose to euthanise the dog, these choices were made for you by “unchosen reasons”.

  262. 262
    dogdoc says:

    BA,

    Translation of DD’s response at 242 to my posts at 217 & 218, “I prefer having a room full of smoke rather than having clear definitions”.

    This is the opposite of the truth. I am always in favor of clarifying definitions! Which terms in my argument would you like to clarify?

    Dogdoc’s argument rests on the premise that all our present decisions are based on preexistent beliefs and that these preexistent beliefs cannot be chosen by us.

    Yes this is close to my argument, with the caveat that some preexistent beliefs may have likewise been subject to reasoned deliberation, but at some point the choice must originate with unchosen beliefs.

    But in order for a person to have beliefs in the first place, a person must first have an immaterial mind and soul in which to hold those beliefs, and a person cannot be a purely material being as is held within Atheistic/Darwinian materialism.

    If you would like, then purely for the sake of argument, I will agree that immaterial minds and souls (whatever they are) are required to “hold” beliefs, desires, etc, and that a person cannot be a material being. Doesn’t affect my argument one bit.

    Atheistic/Darwinian materialism is simply a non-starter

    Sure, why not? Purely for the purpose of this debate, let’s agree that Atheistic/Darwinian materialism is just completely ridiculous and only a fool would consider it. Good? Ok, now let’s debate my argument about free will!

    And since any preexistent beliefs that we may have must be properties of our immaterial mind, and since Dogdoc’s entire argument against free will rests on the notion of preexistent beliefs, it is fitting to ask exactly what preexistent belief(s) are we born with?

    Well no, it is not relevant to my argument at all. I never mentioned what these preexistent beliefs, desires, values, priorities, etc are or should be, because it makes no difference to my argument no matter what they are. They may be true or false, smart or stupid, profound or trivial. The point is, at no point could you already be yourself with a set of beliefs that you yourself have freely chosen.

  263. 263
    dogdoc says:

    BobSinclair,

    So in your example above, you didn’t choose to love the dog, you didn’t choose to euthanise the dog, these choices were made for you by “unchosen reasons”.

    Of course I did choose to euthanize the dog – who else would have made that choice? And I deliberated long and hard about that choice, and various different (and conflicting!) reasons came to bear: My love for the dog, my belief that he was suffering, my belief that he could never get better, my belief that euthanasia would be quick and painless, my desire for his suffering to end, etc.

    But if you take any one of those reasons, you will see that for each one, either that reason was (1) never consciously deliberated by me, or (2) itself the result of yet other beliefs and desires. This regress can never be ended, because you cannot use your beliefs and desires to select your beliefs and desires, any more than you can lift yourself up by your own bootstraps. And unless you can be ultimately responsible for the reasons you use to make a choice, then you cannot be ultimately responsible for the choice.

    As others have discussed, however, it still makes perfect sense to say that you make your own choices, and even that one can be held responsible for them. Instead of absolute, ultimate freedom what we have is a proximate freedom. Analogically, it’s like correctly saying the four ball was responsible for hitting the eight ball into the pocket, even though it was because of the cue ball – and the cue stick – and so on – before that. (Again, my argument is not about causality – this was just an illustration).

  264. 264
    bornagain77 says:

    Dogdoc, so you conceded, for the sake of argument, that “immaterial minds and souls (whatever they are) are required to “hold” beliefs, desires, etc, and that a person cannot be a material being.”

    So this honest concession on your part puts you squarely in the camp of Theism. And as such you must deal with the rich history in Christianity of the debate over the existence of free will. As I alluded in post 218, Calvinists, because of the sovereignty of God, have been denying the existence of free will, in much the same manner as you are currently doing, for centuries now. (see bottom of 218 for a few references).

    As well, in posts 217 and 218, I also laid out my case for why any preexistent beliefs we may be born with are important to consider. Primarily, we are born with a preexistent belief in God. And yet atheists have now been shown to be ‘suppressing’ that preexistent belief in God that we are born with.

    As should be needless to say, these findings all fit perfectly within Christian theology.

    Romans 1: 18-20
    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    And again, since you conceded the existence of souls and immaterial minds, and are thus squarely in the camp of Theism, this nuanced view in Christian theology, of balancing God’s sovereignty with our free will, must be taken into consideration.

    This is certainly not an easy task as the centuries long debate in Christian theology itself testifies to.

    For instance, God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    Yet, as many atheists on this site themselves give witness to, there are many people who simply refuse to ‘choose’ God, and to submit their will to God’s good and perfect will for their lives.,

    And this ‘free will’ choice on their part to reject God has dire consequences for them, As C.S. Lewis noted,

    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”?
    – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    In support of C.S. Lewis’s contention that “Without that self-choice there could be no Hell”, I only have to point to the many people who are angrily, even fanatically, ‘pro-choice’ in their beliefs as far as abortion in concerned, demanding the unrestricted right to choose death for their unborn baby no matter what stage of development the baby may be in.

    Again, the consequences of this ‘free will’ choice of humans to reject God, are fairly drastic. You are literally choosing between eternal life with God in heaven or eternal death separated from God in hell.

    Verses:

    Deuteronomy 30:19-20
    This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    Proverbs 8:36
    But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

    John 5:40
    and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

    Because of such dire consequences for our eternal souls, I can only plead for atheists to seriously reconsider their ‘free will’ choice to reject God, and to now freely choose life, even eternal life with God, instead of constantly fighting tooth and nail against the God created you and gave you life. (and who loves you far more than you can possibly understand right now)

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    John 5:24
    Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

  265. 265
    Viola Lee says:

    dogdoc writes at 263,

    And unless you can be ultimately responsible for the reasons you use to make a choice, then you cannot be ultimately responsible for the choice.

    As others have discussed, however, it still makes perfect sense to say that you make your own choices, and even that one can be held responsible for them. Instead of absolute, ultimate freedom what we have is a proximate freedom.

    This clarifies some things to me. We are responsible for our choices, and can be held responsible by others: dogdoc calls this “proximate freedom”. I think this is consistent with the idea of freedom being characterized by self-determination.

    As dogdoc says, we sometimes “deliberate long and hard”, and “various different (and conflicting!) reasons came to bear” on our decisions, but if we try to track down the source of those reasons, you can never find a foundation which itself consists of reasons that were somehow chosen without referring to further reasons. Hence the problem of infinite regress, and thus no ultimate, as opposed to proximate, responsibility.

    I disagree with the conclusion expressed in the last sentence above. At some point, I accept that I have characteristics that are me, integral parts of myself, and the reasons that they are me (genetics, upbringing, internal biology beyond my control) is immaterial. I choose to take responsibility for those parts of me irrespective of the causal chain that laid the foundation, and I don’t think there is any more to free will than that. That is what the idea of self-determination implies.

    Therefore, I think the idea of “ultimate responsibility” that dogdoc says doesn’t exist is a false trail, because to the extent that the causal chains of reasons escape my being, they fall outside the domain of the category of responsibility. It is a category error to thinks that the chain of reasons starting with the beginning of the universe (the infinite regress dogdoc mentions) and leading up to me has anything to do with responsibility: only when those things become part of me does responsibility begin.

    Another way of saying this is, in dogdoc’s terms, proximate responsibility is the only kind of responsibility there is: the ideas of “ultimate responsibility” is a philosophical mistake.

    Responsibility, and the exercise of free will, starts with the individual person. It makes no difference how much the world has helped shape us, or mis-shape us, we are responsible for being who we are, however that may be.

  266. 266
    dogdoc says:

    BA,

    Dogdoc, so you conceded, for the sake of argument, that “immaterial minds and souls (whatever they are) are required to “hold” beliefs, desires, etc, and that a person cannot be a material being.”

    This is not a “concession” of course; I am agreeing arguendo to these ideas to see if you will actually respond to my argument rather than dive off into these other topics.

    So this honest concession on your part puts you squarely in the camp of Theism.

    Again, you are mischaracterizing what it means to agree to something arguendo, or for the sake of argument. The purpose of agreeing arguendo is just to move an argument along without getting hung up on issues that do not directly pertain to the debate at hand.

    And as such you must deal with the rich history in Christianity of the debate over the existence of free will.

    No, we are debating the argument that I have laid out that shows why ultimate responsibility for one’s choices is impossible.

    Unfortunately, the rest of your post simply discusses the matters I have already agreed to arguendo, rather than engage my argument. I have to say, I am extremely unsurprised.

    I think it’s clear to any fair reader here that the reason you do not engage my argument is simply because you can’t. Nobody else in this thread has tried to refute my argument either. I posted here honestly hoping to see what sorts of counter-arguments people could come up with. In any case, it is interesting that nobody would even try.

  267. 267
    relatd says:

    Dogdoc at 266,

    You are arguing for an absurd position. It has no basis in reality.

    “No, we are debating the argument that I have laid out that shows why ultimate responsibility for one’s choices is impossible.”

    I’m not responsible if I choose to run a stop light or stop sign? Nonsense. You have adopted an Absurdist position. That’s all.

  268. 268
    Viola Lee says:

    re 266: I thought the same thing, dogdoc. BA thoroughly misconstrued what “for the sake of argument “means, and why one takes that position, and wound up again at the Shroud of Turin without addressing your arguments at all.

  269. 269
    Viola Lee says:

    re 267: dogdoc goes on to discuss “proximate responsibility”, which I then discussed at 265. People can legitimately disagree with dogdoc (I did, in part), but I don’t think you can dismiss his argument as Absurdist if you consider it carefully and accurately.

  270. 270
    dogdoc says:

    Viola, you and BobSinclair appear to be the only two here who have understood what I am arguing, perhaps along with Vivid who I believe holds views similar to mine. It is unthinkable to me to be presented with an argument that challenges my beliefs and then proceed to ignore it. I’ve spent my whole life curious about ideas that challenge my understanding, and my views have changed many times as a result. Holding on even more tightly to ideas that are threatened by opposing argument is unnatural to me, yet I see more and more how natural it is to people in general.

  271. 271
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks. And I would be curious if you have any thoughts on my remarks about proximate responsibility (which I agree with) and ultimate responsibility (with which I disagree.) Do you see the point I am trying to make?

  272. 272
    bornagain77 says:

    Concedes for the sake of argument that the immaterial mind and soul exists, and then refuses to accept the conclusions that follow from making that concession.

    To mock the troll, “why am I not surprised?’

    I’m done with his inanity. I will let my posts at 217 and 218 stand as stated.

  273. 273
    dogdoc says:

    Haha, I was just writing the following while you made your last post 🙂

    Viola, I realize I haven’t responded to your well-articulated criticism/dissent from my view @265.
    I understand you to be saying that you reject the distinction between proximate and ultimate responsibility, at least for some choices.

    I admit I have said this before: “Anyone over 40 (or some age) is responsible for their own personality”. It’s not meant literally; what I was getting at is that at some point it’s just not helpful to try and identify the origins of one’s defects, faults, foibles, neuroses, or their strengths and virtues either. So from a practical point of view I agree with you.

    But philosophically, I believe this is still a compatibilist view, and it doesn’t rescue the sort of freedom that most people believe they have, and want to have. I think the point about the evil neuroscientist who implants beliefs and desires without the subject’s consent makes this clear: If we’re not ultimately responsible for the origins of our beliefs and desires, then we’re not responsible for choices based upon them. Perhaps you have a better-developed idea of how beliefs etc. can be truly self-chosen despite their external origins.

    As I’ve mentioned, most legal systems acknowledge that certain circumstances remove people from responsibility, for example a brain tumor that induces changes in one’s beliefs and desires. But while brain tumors are obvious pathologies, we have no more control over more subtle, hard-to-identify conditions that account for all of our beliefs and desires.

  274. 274
    vividbleau says:

    DD
    “Viola, you and BobSinclair appear to be the only two here who have understood what I am arguing, perhaps along with Vivid who I believe holds views similar to mine.”

    Yes I think we do although I don’t know if I agree on all points but I have been quite clear on my position for your consideration so you would be the judge of that.

    What would help me better understand your argument would be an example of a pre existent belief. Maybe you have done this already if so please direct me to the relevant post. Thanks in advance.

    Vivid

  275. 275
    dogdoc says:

    BA,

    Concedes for the sake of argument that the immaterial mind and soul exists, and then refuses to accept the conclusions that follow from making that concession.

    Again, I wasn’t saying that I actually believe those statements, or even find them meaningful, but rather I was saying that they don’t matter to my argument, and I don’t want to argue about them. But I agree, let’s just agree to disagree at this point.

  276. 276
    Viola Lee says:

    “For the sake of argument” does not mean “concede”. This is well known, and the refusal to acknowledge it is, to use a phrase that occurs here sometimes, telling. 🙂

  277. 277
    dogdoc says:

    Vivid,

    Yes, as I said, I think we see the sort of free will that we have in very similar ways, and that it is a compatibilist view.

    I’m not distinguishing “pre-existent” beliefs from other beliefs; somebody else had used that term and I repeated it for consistency.

    At the time one makes a choice, they hold some set of beliefs, desires, and all the other things I’ve been listing. Unless one makes a choice for no reason, these beliefs and desires are the only reasons that could possibly figure into our deliberations – there is nothing else. So we need to be responsible for the beliefs and desires we hold in order to be responsible for our choices. But we would already need to have our beliefs and desires in order to freely choose new beliefs and desires, and this begins an infinite regress of choices that you could not possibly have initiated.

  278. 278
    vividbleau says:

    DD
    FWIW I found your comment regarding an infinite regress , I could not find the relevant post, very interesting.

    Vivid

  279. 279
    bornagain77 says:

    ^^^ As usual, Pure B.S. from the trolls

    For someone to concede a point for the sake of argument is for them to provisionally accept the point as being true in order see what the argument holds if the point is actually true.

    And If the point of an immaterial mind and soul is actually true, and preexistent beliefs are held therein, (such as the preexistent belief in God that is now found in toddlers), then it matters very much to DD’s argument in that, under Christian Theism, we are, as souls, very much morally responsible for our subsequent ‘free will choice’ to either accept that preexistent belief in God or reject it.

    As I’ve heard more than one preacher say, God does not send anyone to hell. People send themselves to hell by their choice to reject Him

    For instance, the first hit on a google search of ‘Does God send people to hell?” returned this mini sermon,

    Does God ‘Send People to Hell’? – 2019

    The notion that God sends people to hell is accurate in a certain sense. If by “send to hell” one means that God himself will cast unrepentant sinners into the lake of fire (Rev. 14:10; 20:15; cf. Matt. 25:41), then that is true enough. However, in another real and very important sense, God does not send anyone to hell; people send themselves there, by their own choice.

    Let us ponder this important point in more detail, for it is critical in answering the question before us.

    When God created humankind, he fashioned a creature of great worth and dignity. Unlike the other creatures recorded in the creation account of Genesis, he created men and women alone in his image. Among other things, this image entails a moral likeness to God, including the capacity for self-determination and meaningful ethical choices. One of those meaningful ethical choices — indeed, the most meaningful choice of all — is whether to love and serve God or to spurn his love. Those who reject God thereby choose hell, which is separation from God. What God is guilty of, so to speak, is respecting the free will of creatures that he created in his own image by allowing them to exercise their choice to reject him. God thus acknowledges the worth of human creatures by continuing to uphold their existence and by allowing them to choose their own path.

    And what path has the unrepentant sinner chosen? It is, in essence, to be “God,” which is to be the center of his or her own autonomous universe, in which one’s own desires reign supreme. The obstinate rebel will not bow the knee — or at least not willingly or with joy — because submitting to the will of another is abhorrent to such a one. Yet, these sinful creatures, being creatures, live in God’s universe, governed by God’s moral laws, with God as its Lord. God’s moral laws work as invariably as his physical laws, and one either conforms to them or they dash him to pieces.

    Now, one of those invariable moral truths is that the rational creature, whether human or angelic, can only find happiness in submission to God as the ground of all joy. Conversely, when one willingly separates from God and substitutes oneself as his or her own god, that individual cannot but be wretched. This is simply the way the moral universe works. Sinners may rail against this with all their being, but they may just as well rage against the law of gravity.

    We should also note that the lost in hell would never choose to leave their condition for heaven, granting that the essence of heaven is joyful submission to God. To those who set their affections totally upon themselves — who are “curved inward,” as St. Augustine put it — heaven would be a kind of suffering even worse than hell itself. No doubt they would choose all the fringe benefits of a life with God, but only if they could have it without God himself. But this cannot be.

    Excerpt taken from 40 Questions About Heaven and Hell, by Alan W. Gomes (M.Div. ’81, Th.M. ’84, professor of theology).
    https://www.biola.edu/blogs/biola-magazine/2019/does-god-send-people-to-hell

  280. 280
    TimR says:

    I have enjoyed reading your argument, Dogdoc, and it reflects my views also.
    I have commented here in the past, but not much anymore. I find it to annoying to deal with the residents here who just respond emotionally to anything they don’t agree with (or more often than not, can’t get their heads around).

    I’ve also enjoyed watching BA77 flailing around and in the end retreating behind his wall of pulp science and religious copy pasta. Thanks for your service!

  281. 281
    dogdoc says:

    Thanks TimR, glad you enjoyed it. It makes me sad to see some of the responses here.

  282. 282
    Viola Lee says:

    “Copy pasta”! That’s good. 🙂

  283. 283
    bornagain77 says:

    “It makes me sad”

    You have no clue what true sadness is yet.

  284. 284
    dogdoc says:

    Viola, Your critique of my argument is interesting, I would like to think about it. Is there some discernible difference between the evil neuroscientist’s influence and one that you’ve incorporated from, say, your peer group, that renders the former an override of your freedom, while the latter just becomes part of you? (referring to @273)

  285. 285
    Viola Lee says:

    Good question. I’m enjoying this conversation a lot, as these are ideas I am developing (or at least developing an articulation of) in response to your and Vivid’s posts. I look forward to thinking about this tomorrow afternoon when I’m back home with some time..

  286. 286
    vividbleau says:

    DD
    “But we would already need to have our beliefs and desires in order to freely choose new beliefs and desires, and this begins an infinite regress of choices that you could not possibly have initiated.”

    Well this is going to cause a firestorm from some of my friends but the desire part is quite Biblical

    “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psa 51:5

    Augustine’s non posse non peccare. I am going to duck, cover and shelter in place now LOL

    Vivid

  287. 287
    dogdoc says:

    That’s brilliant Vivid. Yes let the storm just pass haha. One of my favorite adages is, “We are all victims of victims”.

  288. 288
  289. 289
    Origenes says:

    //On absolute vs proximate responsibility/freedom //

    I choose to hold that “I” exist —— to be clear, with “I” I refer to my consciousness, my viewpoint. I am the only one who has access to my “I”, put another way: no one but me can possibly have an informed opinion on this particular subject, therefor whatever I choose to believe about my “I” can only be my absolute responsibility, can only be the result of my fully self-determined choice.
    – – – – – –
    (1.) I do something.
    (2.) A thing that does not exist cannot do something —— from nothing nothing comes.

    From (1.) and (2.)

    (3.) I exist

  290. 290
    jerry says:

    I find it to annoying to deal with the residents here who just respond emotionally to anything they don’t agree with (or more often than not, can’t get their heads around).

    Perfect description of the anti ID person.

    Strategy of the anti ID person: find anything that will make a pro ID person look bad. Even if it’s just the failure to dot “i’s” or cross “t’s”. By all means never deal with substance or you will lose every time. Ignore anything that will make you look bad or a pro ID person look good.

    Aside: pro ID people here cooperate by providing lots of things that have nothing to do with ID that are often excessive even if within reason.

  291. 291
    asauber says:

    This is beating a stale horse, but you can choose to maintain, discontinue, or question beliefs and desires. based on new information, You can choose to re-rank them in priority. Any and all of them.

    Beliefs and desires shift, disappear, reappear, mutate, and evolve because people choose to change them.

    Andrew

  292. 292
    asauber says:

    Why do people go on diets? Because they chose to change their beliefs about how they should eat.

    Andrew

  293. 293
    asauber says:

    And I suspect that one of the reasons you dumb Atheists are here is to help maintain your Atheism. You can comment and see Atheism’s superiority over all things in glorious display and feel better about it. You’re really not fooling anyone but yourselves.

    Andrew

  294. 294
    asauber says:

    Anyway, there are plenty of Atheists who have chosen to change their beliefs and become Christians and vice-versa. Acts of the will.

    Andrew

  295. 295
    jerry says:

    makes me sad to see some of the responses here

    Has to be one of the most phony statements ever.

  296. 296
    relatd says:

    Ba77,

    To become your own god and arbiter of all that is true – to you – is what is being preached here. What I find stupid is the crazy “agree to disagree” idea. Unilateral disagreement is like unilateral disarmament, it doesn’t work.

    So, the trolls come here to promote their viewpoints, present some ideas, and think that maybe some will listen. But I’m not seeing any ideas that are worth considering. This is just an exercise that ends in futility.

    2 Timothy 3:7

    “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”

  297. 297
    Querius says:

    Relatd @296,
    From reading the previous comments, the following proverb comes to mind:

    A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. -Proverbs 18:2 ESV

    This has been made abundantly clear! The trolls start out with “innocent questions” and “unanswerable challenges” but only read the responses (if they even do that) to try to find a rebuttal, make vacuous assertions or level ad hominem attacks.

    They’re here only to shout “squirrel” at a dog show. You can spot them when they get completely off topic and then laugh at all the time they were able to waste by diverting attention from the OP.

    Let me ask, which of them brought out any examples of infinities and how these interact with cosmology?

    That’s why virtually all our conversations here are diverted to the same hopeless babble. Again . . .

    A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. -Proverbs 18:2 ESV

    Please don’t feed the trolls.

    -Q

  298. 298
    relatd says:

    Querius at 297,

    I have to wonder if this is a case of: “What do you want to do today?” I know, let’s rattle a few cages at UD for sport.

    And so it goes. The internet is an open microphone, anyone can use it for good or ill.

    As far as “feeding the trolls,” there needs to be a response in some cases. Otherwise the trolls can lead others down the path to uh… NONSENSE. Don’t want that either.

  299. 299
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes at 289, that was pretty neat. I even tucked it away for future reference for the next time a Darwinian atheist claims that his conscious experience is merely a neuronal illusion.

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    https://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/the-confidence-of-jerry-coyne/?mcubz=3

    Quote from Sam Harris (a Darwinian materialist): “The self is an illusion.”
    – Michael Egnor Demolishes the Myth of Materialism (Science Uprising EP1)
    https://youtu.be/Fv3c7DWuqpM?t=267
    – Naturalism requires us to believe that our minds are an illusion. But, as neurosurgeon Michael Egnor says, “if your hypothesis is that the mind is an illusion, then you don’t have a hypothesis.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/hush-the-universe-is-learning/

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.,,,
    – Alex Rosenberg – Professor of Philosophy Duke University – The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    “The first thing to understand, I believe, is that there is no thing like “the self.” Nobody ever had or was a self. Selves are not part of reality. Selves are not something that endures over time. The first person pronoun “I” doesn’t refer to an object like a football or a bicycle, it just points to the speaker of the current sentence. There is no thing in the brain or outside in the world, which is us. We are processes… the self is not a thing but a process.”
    – Thomas Metzinger is a German philosopher. As of 2011 he holds the position of director of the theoretical philosophy group at the department of philosophy at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz

    “that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins ”If consciousness is an illusion…what isn’t?”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

  300. 300
    Querius says:

    Relatd @299,

    As far as “feeding the trolls,” there needs to be a response in some cases.

    If it’s a persistent TROLL, then why bother? One can predict that the comment is disingenuous.

    But, I guess I’ll concede partly to your point: to give one reasonable answer and not to follow up on the inevitable abuse. In some cases, it might be helpful for others to see a correction of any misperceptions, which of course will be rejected by the troll.

    What do you think?

    -Q

  301. 301
    relatd says:

    Querius at 300,

    By filling up post after post after post, the troll hopes that others will forget any objections and buy into the NONSENSE I mentioned earlier. If your boy was being told lies by a neighbor and repeated them, what would you do?

  302. 302
    relatd says:

    Not seen on Monty Python:

    Hello, Mister James? This is All Bill Collectors. You have several that are past due.

    [clears throat] “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed.”

    I see. In any case, we expect payment immediately. Will you be sending a cheque? If not I can take your credit card information over the phone.

    “Do you accept Bitcoin?”

    No, we do not.

    “Can I put the wife on?”

    I’d rather you didn’t.

    “Could I pay in equivalent weight in Spam?”

    No. I’m afraid not.

    “Can I pay in person?”

    We, uh, have no offices. I am working remotely from home.

    [silence]

    Hello? Hello? Sigh, another one…

  303. 303
    Querius says:

    Relatd @301, 302,

    If your boy was being told lies by a neighbor and repeated them, what would you do?

    Point taken. In my case, it would be lies told them by college professors.

    “Could I pay in equivalent weight in Spam?”

    Haha! Yeah, pop psychology and philosophical spam.

    -Q

  304. 304
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain @299

    Thank you.
    Obviously Jerry Coyne must exist in order to deny his own existence. As Descartes argued, even the act of doubting one’s own existence is in fact confirmation of one’s existence —— I do something, therefor, I exist.
    The next insurmountable problem for materialists like Coyne is that, in order to be rational one has to be free. Jerry cannot be said to be a rational being if he is not in control of his thoughts and opinions. The problem for Coyne & co is that materialism explicitely states that Jerry’s thoughts and opinions (like everything else) are determined by events long before he was born & the laws of nature, as opposed to by Jerry Coyne himself. IOWs self-determination, freedom, is prerequisite to rationality.

  305. 305
    Viola Lee says:

    Just got home: I’d like to point out that materialism is not part of this discussion about free will/responsibility: two of us are not materialists (Vivid and myself), and dogdoc has stated that the theism/materialism issue doesn’t affect his argument.

    Carry on, and hopefully those of us actually contributing something substantive here will return.

  306. 306
    Querius says:

    Free will entered the discussion only as part of the supposedly free will choice of what to measure in quantum mechanics related to wavefunction collapse and the Heisenberg choice. Since the fundamental nature of reality begins with quantum events, the involvement of conscious observation (aka the measurement problem) becomes relevant, especially since the Big Bang initially occurred at the quantum level.

    As anyone familiar with quantum mechanics knows, much of the work by theoretical physicists has been focused on maintaining deterministic materialism at the quantum level and with infinitely small distances that required infinite amounts of fine tuning to contain all information required to maintain determinism.

    So, additional perspectives that don’t involve dog whistles and shouts of “squirrel” are welcome at this dog show as far as I’m concerned.

    Let me suggest that philosophical issues about “free will” have now been thoroughly beaten to death and don’t need further dispute.

    Again, we’re faced with the all of spacetime, mass-energy, laws of physics, and all information originating from nothing, but starting at a point infinitely small to determine everything studied in cosmology.

    -Q

  307. 307
    Viola Lee says:

    More: I am puzzled why people trying to have a serious discussion about one of the topics raised in the OP are being considered “trolls”. You may not agree with us, or even be at all interested in the line of thought we are pursuing, but that doesn’t make our presence here “trollish”.

    Trolls are people who make useless, non-productive remarks for the purpose of arousing or expressing negative judgments or emotions. To be frank, I think most of the remarks this morning about trolls are themselves much better examples of trollish behavior than the remarks being criticized.

    Bible verse:

    Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but don’t consider the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you tell your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye;’ and behold, the beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your ow