Dr. Ordway's lecture
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24-05-2014, 08:29 AM
RE: Dr. Ordway's lecture
(24-05-2014 08:18 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  The evidence we have does not support the view that the universe is eternal.

The evidence at our disposal leads us to conclude that things that come into existence have causes.

So to say, "Well the universe is eternal" or "the universe does not need a cause" is to simply ignore the evidence we have. Those that hold these views do so despite the evidence to the contrary, not because of the evidence.

And what evidence is that?

Citation needed.

I'm not claiming that the universe as it is now is eternal, but that it's more plausible that everything in the universe has existed in one form or another eternally, rather than god did it.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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24-05-2014, 09:03 AM
RE: Dr. Ordway's lecture
(24-05-2014 08:29 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(24-05-2014 08:18 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  The evidence we have does not support the view that the universe is eternal.

The evidence at our disposal leads us to conclude that things that come into existence have causes.

So to say, "Well the universe is eternal" or "the universe does not need a cause" is to simply ignore the evidence we have. Those that hold these views do so despite the evidence to the contrary, not because of the evidence.

And what evidence is that?

Citation needed.

I'm not claiming that the universe as it is now is eternal, but that it's more plausible that everything in the universe has existed in one form or another eternally, rather than god did it.

You think it is more plausible that the universe has always exited in one form or another. a la Carl Sagan.

Now, at my disposal, and for anyone to review, there are at least two philosophical arguments against this notion and two scientific confirmations.

The first one which I will let you deal with is the philosophical argument against the possibility of being able to traverse an actual infinite number of past events.

This argument goes like this. Al-Ghazali says the series of past events, going back in time, has been formed by adding one member after another. The series of past events is like a series of dominoes falling one after another until the last domino, which is today, is reached. But, he says, no series which is formed by adding one member at a time, one after another, can ever be actually infinite because you cannot pass through an infinite number of things one member at a time.

Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders...z32e5JO8uM


So if you can defeat this argument then you will be able to do something that no philosopher has ever been able to do and that is to show how we could get to this moment in time (the present) while at the same time maintaining that the number of past events is infinite stretching back and back into the eternal past.
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24-05-2014, 09:44 AM
RE: Dr. Ordway's lecture
(24-05-2014 09:03 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(24-05-2014 08:29 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  And what evidence is that?

Citation needed.

I'm not claiming that the universe as it is now is eternal, but that it's more plausible that everything in the universe has existed in one form or another eternally, rather than god did it.

You think it is more plausible that the universe has always exited in one form or another. a la Carl Sagan.

Now, at my disposal, and for anyone to review, there are at least two philosophical arguments against this notion and two scientific confirmations.

The first one which I will let you deal with is the philosophical argument against the possibility of being able to traverse an actual infinite number of past events.

This argument goes like this. Al-Ghazali says the series of past events, going back in time, has been formed by adding one member after another. The series of past events is like a series of dominoes falling one after another until the last domino, which is today, is reached. But, he says, no series which is formed by adding one member at a time, one after another, can ever be actually infinite because you cannot pass through an infinite number of things one member at a time.

Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders...z32e5JO8uM


So if you can defeat this argument then you will be able to do something that no philosopher has ever been able to do and that is to show how we could get to this moment in time (the present) while at the same time maintaining that the number of past events is infinite stretching back and back into the eternal past.

Except whatever created the universe is eternal? How do you live with a mind so full of contradiction?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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24-05-2014, 09:48 AM
RE: Dr. Ordway's lecture
(24-05-2014 09:03 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You think it is more plausible that the universe has always exited in one form or another. a la Carl Sagan.

Now, at my disposal, and for anyone to review, there are at least two philosophical arguments against this notion and two scientific confirmations.

The first one which I will let you deal with is the philosophical argument against the possibility of being able to traverse an actual infinite number of past events.

This argument goes like this. Al-Ghazali says the series of past events, going back in time, has been formed by adding one member after another. The series of past events is like a series of dominoes falling one after another until the last domino, which is today, is reached. But, he says, no series which is formed by adding one member at a time, one after another, can ever be actually infinite because you cannot pass through an infinite number of things one member at a time.

Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders...z32e5JO8uM


So if you can defeat this argument then you will be able to do something that no philosopher has ever been able to do and that is to show how we could get to this moment in time (the present) while at the same time maintaining that the number of past events is infinite stretching back and back into the eternal past.

Philosophical arguments that attempt to explain reality always lead to absurdities. They always have, and they always will.

Infinity or eternity is an absurd concept to our severely limited experience in this world.

Your rationale leads you to the absurd concept of god, because of whatever emotional need you have for that. My rationale eliminates that unneeded conclusion and sticks with the necessity of the eternity of what we know actually exists.

I'll read up on your link when I can and comment if I think it deserves to even be mentioned. Please provide your scientific evidence. I am more interested in what you have to say about that.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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24-05-2014, 10:08 AM
Re: RE: Dr. Ordway's lecture
(24-05-2014 08:18 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(24-05-2014 07:14 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  No, the KCA assumes that which nobody knows. It defeats nothing, and answers nothing. It's actually more plausible that the contents of the universe are eternal rather that assuming an external, eternal, supernatural cause for it.

In light of the current findings of contemporary cosmology and astronomy, it is more plausible that the universe is not eternal in the past.

So one has to deal with that honestly.

Now by all means, if you or anyone else wants to say that something can come from nothing without a cause then that is fine.

I do not think it is an intellectually defensible position that's all.

It seems that such a position would be the last one a person would espouse who claims that we should follow the evidence wherever it leads.

The evidence we have does not support the view that the universe is eternal.

The evidence at our disposal leads us to conclude that things that come into existence have causes.

So to say, "Well the universe is eternal" or "the universe does not need a cause" is to simply ignore the evidence we have. Those that hold these views do so despite the evidence to the contrary, not because of the evidence.

That is my whole argument.

It demonstrates that one cannot reject the KCA on the grounds that the premises are unsupported by logical and rational argumentation corroborated by scientific evidence.

In fact, of all the arguments, it seems to me that this one would be the one that would be most persuasive to the scientifically minded. And in some cases where those who are willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads it is.

But those who would rather believe that the universe just popped into existence without a cause from nothing are not going to be persuaded by any argument.

Are you so dense to not understand how support works?

Scientific Evidence isn't calculated enough to the point of knowing the universe came to exist. You're right that we don't have evidence to support the universe is eternal or without cause either. The evidence is lacking for each.

It's not making a claim to believe that the universe is eternal when one points out your claim the universe has a cause is invalid. All you are doing is making an assertion on the view you like, instead of what logically is right which would be to assert nothing at the moment.

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24-05-2014, 10:15 AM
RE: Dr. Ordway's lecture
(24-05-2014 09:03 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  This argument goes like this. Al-Ghazali says the series of past events, going back in time, has been formed by adding one member after another. The series of past events is like a series of dominoes falling one after another until the last domino, which is today, is reached. But, he says, no series which is formed by adding one member at a time, one after another, can ever be actually infinite because you cannot pass through an infinite number of things one member at a time.

Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders...z32e5JO8uM


So if you can defeat this argument then you will be able to do something that no philosopher has ever been able to do and that is to show how we could get to this moment in time (the present) while at the same time maintaining that the number of past events is infinite stretching back and back into the eternal past.


The inverse of the argument is that unless the universe will come to a definite end then there must be an infinite number of events, or dominoes ahead of us. So even if the universe had a beginning the argument still applies.

At t+infinity this still means that you must "pass through an infinite number of things one member at a time".

The argument assumes that the universe is made up of discrete events and is not continuous. We cannot make that assumption.

A more interesting question to my mind is to figure out whether the universe will exist for infinite time. If it does, and your religion assumes it does using the concept of Heaven and Hell, then why assume that time is asymmetric with a beginning but without an end?
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24-05-2014, 10:22 AM
RE: Dr. Ordway's lecture
So I've read a little into the link you provided. The mistake made over and over again is assuming that what applies to reality inside of this universe also applies outside of it.

It is, insofar as we currently have evidence for, impossible to assert with any kind of authority what may or may not exist outside of our universe, and what events or "causes" made it happen.

To do so is dishonest. Kalam is krap, sir. You keep insisting that it makes sense when it clearly does not.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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24-05-2014, 10:55 AM (This post was last modified: 24-05-2014 11:01 AM by Mathilda.)
RE: Dr. Ordway's lecture
(24-05-2014 05:58 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  But it seems to me that you have made a pretty bad argument here when you say that the brain is not rational i.e. irrational.

If that is true, then nothing you just wrote in your post is rational, for you used your cognitive faculties (your brain) to write what you did.

Therefore why accept anything you say or anything anyone else says as rational?

It is not useful to ascribe a choice or behaviour as being wholly rational or irrational. The paradox is that if you tried to live your life only by making 100% rational decisions, i.e. by evaluating all evidence and data and arriving at a decision based on expected utility, that you would in fact be judged by everyone as acting irrationally.

The classic example is from a surgeon called Antonio Damasio who had a patient with brain damage and emotional impairment. At the end of an appointment Damasio gave his patient two possible dates for the next appointment. Damasio then sat and waited for half an hour watching his patient decide between the two possible dates that were equally good. The patient was trying to take into account all possible factors, and the relevance to which day to choose was becoming increasingly small. Damasio eventually got bored and made the decision on behalf of the patient. The patient was immediately happy with the decision.

What this tells us is that we need irrational preferences in order to act rationally.

What we have are two competing systems. Cognition is understood to widen our choices, and with the patient above, the range of possibilities to consider was too wide so no choice was ever made. Emotions counter-act this by narrowing our range of choices.

Imagine a rabbit happily eating grass. It senses the presence of a predator but does not know where the predator is or whether it is in imminient danger. This is not a suitable time for being rational and deciding whether to continue eating grass or to run for shelter, and also to decide which shelter provides the maximum safety versus how quickly it can get there. If a rabbit had to figure all that out it would still be deciding while a predator crept up behind it and snatched it. The rabbit that runs the moment it feels that there is any possibility of trouble is more likely to survive and see another day.

Sometimes seemingly irrational choices and behaviour are actually rational on an evolutionary time scale. You can think of instincts as emotional drives instilled by evolution. A jealous wife may act irrationally for any minor misdemeanour and overreact at a moment's notice, but this behaviour could discourage a husband with the potential to commit adultery to even contemplate infidelity thus stopping it from becoming a problem. The husband is then more likely to stick around and help raise the children.

Our emotions provide the irrational preferences that we need in order to act rationally. They do this by reducing the range of choices available to us. Cognition provides the rational decision making processes and opens up the range of possibilities to us.

tl;dr Emotions are irrational. Cognition is rational. You need both to act rationally. Personal preference is driven by emotion.
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24-05-2014, 10:56 AM (This post was last modified: 24-05-2014 11:00 AM by Jeremy E Walker.)
RE: Dr. Ordway's lecture
(24-05-2014 09:44 AM)Chas Wrote:  Except whatever created the universe is eternal? How do you live with a mind so full of contradiction?

I see nothing contradictory in the view that a necessarily existing causal agent brings about an effect (the universe) at t=1 where, t represents the coming into being of the space-time manifold, hence the beginning of time as we know it. The causal agent existing timelessly prior to the creative act and simultaneously with time at t=1, thus preserving the causal relation of a cause existing explanatorily prior to its effect.
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24-05-2014, 11:12 AM
RE: Dr. Ordway's lecture
(24-05-2014 10:56 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I see nothing contradictory in the view that a necessarily existing causal agent brings about an effect (the universe) at t=1 where, t represents the coming into being of the space-time manifold, hence the beginning of time as we know it. The causal agent existing timelessly prior to the creative act and simultaneously with time at t=1, thus preserving the causal relation of a cause existing explanatorily prior to its effect.

And once again we arrive at the same question (I told you that philosophical questions always end in absurdity).

Where in the ever living frack does your causal agent come from? If you don't have an answer for that then every argument you've previously given is for naught. We will not get to the bottom of this, and it's futile to keep trying.

But what's worse than trying is to assert conclusions that are illogical and to try to convince others that they will be in trouble if they don't adhere to your own personal delusions.

Sometimes it's better to just slow the fuck down and think about things more.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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