Atheism is the only rational position to take
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10-08-2017, 09:08 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(10-08-2017 04:10 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  In fact that is not a problem in Quantum Mechanics. There is always a well defined wave function to describe the quantum state of a system. No matter how many elementary particles are there in the system. The more are the particles the more complex is the wave function. But there is always a well defined quantum state for the system regardless of the size.

Errr... No.

An object's Compton wavelength, the scale at which quantum effects become meaningful, is inversely proportional to its mass. Above about 20 micrograms, the Compton wavelength is less than Planck length, the smallest amount of space that can be meaningfully described. Objects massing more than 20 micrograms can never experience quantum effects. This is the reason why any argument invoking quantum explanations for macroscale phenomena may be summarily dismissed.

In principle, you could determine the wave function of an entire human being, however that wave function is incapable of ever existing as more than a mathematical abstraction. Your time would be better spent arguing over whose shadow can bench press the most.

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11-08-2017, 01:16 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(10-08-2017 09:08 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  
(10-08-2017 04:10 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  In fact that is not a problem in Quantum Mechanics. There is always a well defined wave function to describe the quantum state of a system. No matter how many elementary particles are there in the system. The more are the particles the more complex is the wave function. But there is always a well defined quantum state for the system regardless of the size.

Errr... No.

An object's Compton wavelength, the scale at which quantum effects become meaningful, is inversely proportional to its mass. Above about 20 micrograms, the Compton wavelength is less than Planck length, the smallest amount of space that can be meaningfully described. Objects massing more than 20 micrograms can never experience quantum effects. This is the reason why any argument invoking quantum explanations for macroscale phenomena may be summarily dismissed.

In principle, you could determine the wave function of an entire human being, however that wave function is incapable of ever existing as more than a mathematical abstraction. Your time would be better spent arguing over whose shadow can bench press the most.

And thats why i stopped arguing with him. Once somebody invokes quantum theory and makes the most common mistake of all, thinking it applies to more than the atomic scale, you better wait until the dude got some basic physics lessons.

He also had thrown in a quote from Dyson, which obviously is used by Deepak Chopra, which should be a dead giveaway that something is fishy about it.
When you have a closer look you see that Dyson is making wild speculations (which he is absolutely entitled to do), not more not less, yet still NF323 thinks its someone elses job to either define what Dyson is talking about or be irrational in dismissing the speculation.
I actually think he is a prime example of "too much philosophy and not enough science". You better be somewhat balanced in your knowledge about both, otherwise you will start to make absurd and ridiculous claims sooner or later in such discussions.

Just.dont.invoke.quantum.physics.it.will.make.you.look.like.a.fool

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11-08-2017, 01:29 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(10-08-2017 12:57 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I'm pretty sure the Copenhagen Interpretation was not a part of the ontological framework of those that conducted the experiments which led to it.

The Copenhagen Interpretation isn't metaphysical. So why would it be apart of the ontological framework?

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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11-08-2017, 01:31 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
If one was to try and explain the evidence we see (multiple religions all full of people claiming to directly communicate with "God") then a polytheistic model is far better than a monotheistic one. To propose a monotheistic one would be to say that God either:

1) Doesn't care what religion you are in (certainly not presented as the case)
2) Changes its mind about things, and even its characteristics, depending on who he is talking to
3) Communicates so poorly that people come up with entirely different ideas about it
4) Enjoys screwing with people

So sure, one of the above could be the case, but I doubt any religious monotheist would want to use one of these as an explanation.

They could of course go along the lines of, "Only my religion is right, and everyone else is worshipping nothing at all". In that case, it's obviously entirely possible to be fully convinced you are in communication with God, to pledge your life to it, even die for it, and be completely wrong and dealing with nothing at all. This then undermines their own position completely, since they have no empirical evidence that they are dealing with anything more factual.

So polytheism makes more sense... and imaginary characters makes even more sense and require less fudging of the evidence. The fact that people have so much trouble defining Gods make them appear entirely woven into the person themselves, like a dream they can't put into words. During many conversations I've had, the properties of this being change during the course of the conversation depending on what point the theist is trying to defend. This malleability also suggests something that doesn't actually exist.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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11-08-2017, 01:36 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(10-08-2017 01:00 PM)mordant Wrote:  As I said, there's a lot of material in there that doesn't support the primacy of existence. You don't have any even nominally Christian belief systems go all-in on the primacy of consciousness apart from maybe e.g. Christian Science as defined by Mary Baker Eddy. But they are certainly not all-in on the primacy of existence. Not when you have the deity willing things into existence, or believers urged to petition this deity to influence events in their favor.

How is primacy of existence not maintained with the addition of a divine being? Does the fact that the being can create things at will mean those things do not exist separate from human consciousness? Of course, under Christian theism, they don't exist separate from God's will, but this seems to be irrelevant to the OP. The primacy of consciousness is irrational only when humans think they can will things into existence.

Quote:It is selective mainly because it goes off into the weeds too much for most people's taste if the primacy of consciousness is not somewhat selective / compartmentalized.

But saying that it doesn't suit most people's tastes is a long way away from the claim that atheism is the only rational explanation.

Quote:I would say the more literalist / inerrantist / fundamentalist the sect, the more it leans toward primacy of consciousness. Not as an explicit philosophical teaching, but it's certainly implicit and inherent so long as you imagine that the universe is created and sustained by the power of even one supreme Mind.

Sure it leans towards the primacy of God's will, but again that doesn't seem to be relevant.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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11-08-2017, 01:44 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(11-08-2017 01:31 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  If one was to try and explain the evidence we see (multiple religions all full of people claiming to directly communicate with "God") then a polytheistic model is far better than a monotheistic one. To propose a monotheistic one would be to say that God either:

1) Doesn't care what religion you are in (certainly not presented as the case)
2) Changes its mind about things, and even its characteristics, depending on who he is talking to
3) Communicates so poorly that people come up with entirely different ideas about it
4) Enjoys screwing with people

There are plenty more possibilities here. It's possible that there is only one god and yet many people are deceived into believing in the wrong one.

Quote:So sure, one of the above could be the case, but I doubt any religious monotheist would want to use one of these as an explanation.

They could of course go along the lines of, "Only my religion is right, and everyone else is worshipping nothing at all". In that case, it's obviously entirely possible to be fully convinced you are in communication with God, to pledge your life to it, even die for it, and be completely wrong and dealing with nothing at all. This then undermines their own position completely, since they have no empirical evidence that they are dealing with anything more factual.

I'm somewhat confused. Why would you demand empirical evidence for the existence of a god when so many theists believe in god on an entirely different basis? Many think the belief in god precedes empirical analysis. I think you need to address people according to their own worldview. A theist could easily ask you to give your special revelation for empiricism. Of course, this would be absurd because you don't accept special revelation as means for justification.

Quote:So polytheism makes more sense... and imaginary characters makes even more sense and require less fudging of the evidence. The fact that people have so much trouble defining Gods make them appear entirely woven into the person themselves, like a dream they can't put into words. During many conversations I've had, the properties of this being change during the course of the conversation depending on what point the theist is trying to defend. This malleability also suggests something that doesn't actually exist.

Perhaps you would benefit from finding more educated theists.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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11-08-2017, 04:38 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(11-08-2017 01:44 AM)Naielis Wrote:  Perhaps you would benefit from finding more educated theists.

Do you have an idea where we could find any?

Most I've met can't even recognize factual and logical errors after they've been pointed out on multiple occasions.
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11-08-2017, 06:22 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(11-08-2017 04:38 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  Do you have an idea where we could find any?

Most I've met can't even recognize factual and logical errors after they've been pointed out on multiple occasions.

Well I have a few friends who are pretty well educated Christians. You've met one of them (Necessitarian). But most of them don't come on these forums. I debate with them on discord.

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11-08-2017, 07:04 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(11-08-2017 01:36 AM)Naielis Wrote:  
(10-08-2017 01:00 PM)mordant Wrote:  As I said, there's a lot of material in there that doesn't support the primacy of existence. You don't have any even nominally Christian belief systems go all-in on the primacy of consciousness apart from maybe e.g. Christian Science as defined by Mary Baker Eddy. But they are certainly not all-in on the primacy of existence. Not when you have the deity willing things into existence, or believers urged to petition this deity to influence events in their favor.

How is primacy of existence not maintained with the addition of a divine being? Does the fact that the being can create things at will mean those things do not exist separate from human consciousness? Of course, under Christian theism, they don't exist separate from God's will, but this seems to be irrelevant to the OP. The primacy of consciousness is irrational only when humans think they can will things into existence.

Quote:It is selective mainly because it goes off into the weeds too much for most people's taste if the primacy of consciousness is not somewhat selective / compartmentalized.

But saying that it doesn't suit most people's tastes is a long way away from the claim that atheism is the only rational explanation.

Quote:I would say the more literalist / inerrantist / fundamentalist the sect, the more it leans toward primacy of consciousness. Not as an explicit philosophical teaching, but it's certainly implicit and inherent so long as you imagine that the universe is created and sustained by the power of even one supreme Mind.

Sure it leans towards the primacy of God's will, but again that doesn't seem to be relevant.
I suppose a lot of this depends on whether you make special pleading for god's consciousness being different from human consciousness. To me, consciousness is consciousness. If consciousness trumps existence in one instance, then why would it not trump it in all instances, if you're making any attempt at consistency? If god's consciousness is special in this regard then it probably deserves a different label unless you're positing without evidence that god's consciousness is stronger / purer / unfallen, a sort of reverse special pleading in which human consciousness is corrupted and stunted relative to god's.

Put another way, Christianity and similar religions basically say that wishing makes it so for god. Without the "for god" qualifier it would be a patently untrue statement that violates experienced reality. But if we can imagine an invisible deity to whom different rulesets apply, then we can hold out the hope that existence is not primary in all cases for we mere mortals with the help of the deity's "special consciousness". Again ... conveniently, in an invisible afterlife, or in circumstances that could more economically be explained as random happenstance.
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11-08-2017, 10:09 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(11-08-2017 07:04 AM)mordant Wrote:  
(11-08-2017 01:36 AM)Naielis Wrote:  How is primacy of existence not maintained with the addition of a divine being? Does the fact that the being can create things at will mean those things do not exist separate from human consciousness? Of course, under Christian theism, they don't exist separate from God's will, but this seems to be irrelevant to the OP. The primacy of consciousness is irrational only when humans think they can will things into existence.


But saying that it doesn't suit most people's tastes is a long way away from the claim that atheism is the only rational explanation.


Sure it leans towards the primacy of God's will, but again that doesn't seem to be relevant.
I suppose a lot of this depends on whether you make special pleading for god's consciousness being different from human consciousness. To me, consciousness is consciousness. If consciousness trumps existence in one instance, then why would it not trump it in all instances, if you're making any attempt at consistency? If god's consciousness is special in this regard then it probably deserves a different label unless you're positing without evidence that god's consciousness is stronger / purer / unfallen, a sort of reverse special pleading in which human consciousness is corrupted and stunted relative to god's.

Put another way, Christianity and similar religions basically say that wishing makes it so for god. Without the "for god" qualifier it would be a patently untrue statement that violates experienced reality. But if we can imagine an invisible deity to whom different rulesets apply, then we can hold out the hope that existence is not primary in all cases for we mere mortals with the help of the deity's "special consciousness". Again ... conveniently, in an invisible afterlife, or in circumstances that could more economically be explained as random happenstance.

Well, a theist could always respond that God does not violate "primacy of existence", because his (God's) existence and consciousness are simultaneous -- neither can exist without the other. So there is no "primacy" issue. The whole "primacy of existence" argument depends on the assumption that consciousness can only arise as an emergent property of something material -- i.e., that there can be no such thing as an immaterial consciousness. Another way to express this is that existence can only be attributed to material things. And that's a whole other can of worms. I don't see any metaphysical reason why you can't posit an immaterial consciousness. Good luck demonstrating its existence, though (or any mechanism by which it can "cause" any material objects or effects)!
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