"God is self-existent"
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30-03-2015, 06:11 PM (This post was last modified: 30-03-2015 06:25 PM by Hafnof.)
RE: "God is self-existent"
(30-03-2015 02:01 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(28-03-2015 07:47 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  Again: Conservation of matter/energy may hold across the creation of the universe, in which case something eternal-ish may have existed that was matter/energy. I don't think you would claim your god is made of matter/energy so it is clear that if you think the equation holds across the creation of the universe that your god is excluded from being a possible cause. If you believe instead that conservation of matter/energy does not hold this opens the door for many other interesting possibilities other than you god. So which is it? Why are you arguing for a law that rules out your creation myth? Why are you continuing to do this when you could be dealing with much more interesting and difficult to address equations that I have pointed you to multiple times in the hope that you would take some interest in this subject rather than ignoring the substance of the subject?

At the risk of oversimplifying, the Law states that matter and energy may not be created from nothing. Did you have a choice besides steady state universe and big bang universe, which I've missed?

When I read your responses on this subject my first thought is typically "has he read a single word of what I just said?". I want to know that you are honestly interested enough in the subject to read and think about what I have written.

Again, as simply as I think I can say this:
- A law describes our experience. It is an engineering tool. This law has changed in the past based on our changed experiences. This law may or may not hold across the horizon of the big bang.
- If it does hold it eliminates the possibility of a god creating matter and energy from nothing thus it defeats your argument to insist it must hold in its present form. As Chas says your creation model could be saved by proposing that God created negative energy to match the positive energy and therefore preserves conservation of energy, just as this could be a solution to the big bang origin question without a god. Likewise your creation model could be saved if you say that God is eternal and that the universe is in some sense made of his substance, just as creation of the universe from an earlier substance without a god could answer this question.
- You yourself are proposing a universe that is created out of an earlier form, where that earlier form is in some sense "eternal". You seem happy to accept a model where a god exists outside space and time yet reject a model where something simpler exists outside of space and time to create the universe.

Whatever gap you leave open to accommodate a god to answer the question of the big bang's origin always opens the door to a simpler explanation that does not include a god. Whatever excuse you have for the god to be able to create the universe can be simplified to remove that god from the creation model. It is self-defeating for you as a theist to simultaneously try and show that a god could have created the universe but that natural means could not have created the universe. Likewise, most forms of natural causation could have a god added to them.

These are the basic creation models I am aware of that are not excluded by present evidence:
- The universe began with the big bang. Space and time were created then. There is no cause, just an edge to the universe. The universe is like a four-dimensional crystal and having an edge is just a part of its nature. Eg the big bang "just is" or God created the universe from nothing in a way that does not conform to conservation of energy.
- The universe is in some sense "eternal" in its present form. The big bang is merely an event horizon we can't see past. The universe was always there and at some stage was in a hot dense state that changed over time into the universe we know. Eg the universe is eternal or God "is" the universe.
- The substance of the universe is "eternal" - the universe in some sense always existed. It may have changed form "before" the big bang but resulted in the big bang as we know it. Eg two earlier universes collided creating our universe or God made the universe out of his substance.

I believe that the big bang is essentially fact now - but in saying so it is important to be careful about what that means. When I say big bang I mean that the universe was at some point in the past in a hot dense state that eventually became the current known universe. Nothing more than that. I'm not claiming singularities or "creation" in any specific form - just a hot dense state existed about 13.8 billion years ago.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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30-03-2015, 06:25 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(30-03-2015 04:34 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  No, no, no -- you're not being fair. They're pretending that a "who" answers a "how", and that totally works! Because "who" and "how" are made of the same 3 letters. Like, wow, man...

Which, of course, proves that dog did it.

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01-04-2015, 01:59 PM (This post was last modified: 01-04-2015 02:03 PM by The Q Continuum.)
RE: "God is self-existent"
(30-03-2015 06:11 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(30-03-2015 02:01 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  At the risk of oversimplifying, the Law states that matter and energy may not be created from nothing. Did you have a choice besides steady state universe and big bang universe, which I've missed?

When I read your responses on this subject my first thought is typically "has he read a single word of what I just said?". I want to know that you are honestly interested enough in the subject to read and think about what I have written.

Again, as simply as I think I can say this:
- A law describes our experience. It is an engineering tool. This law has changed in the past based on our changed experiences. This law may or may not hold across the horizon of the big bang.
- If it does hold it eliminates the possibility of a god creating matter and energy from nothing thus it defeats your argument to insist it must hold in its present form. As Chas says your creation model could be saved by proposing that God created negative energy to match the positive energy and therefore preserves conservation of energy, just as this could be a solution to the big bang origin question without a god. Likewise your creation model could be saved if you say that God is eternal and that the universe is in some sense made of his substance, just as creation of the universe from an earlier substance without a god could answer this question.
- You yourself are proposing a universe that is created out of an earlier form, where that earlier form is in some sense "eternal". You seem happy to accept a model where a god exists outside space and time yet reject a model where something simpler exists outside of space and time to create the universe.

Whatever gap you leave open to accommodate a god to answer the question of the big bang's origin always opens the door to a simpler explanation that does not include a god. Whatever excuse you have for the god to be able to create the universe can be simplified to remove that god from the creation model. It is self-defeating for you as a theist to simultaneously try and show that a god could have created the universe but that natural means could not have created the universe. Likewise, most forms of natural causation could have a god added to them.

These are the basic creation models I am aware of that are not excluded by present evidence:
- The universe began with the big bang. Space and time were created then. There is no cause, just an edge to the universe. The universe is like a four-dimensional crystal and having an edge is just a part of its nature. Eg the big bang "just is" or God created the universe from nothing in a way that does not conform to conservation of energy.
- The universe is in some sense "eternal" in its present form. The big bang is merely an event horizon we can't see past. The universe was always there and at some stage was in a hot dense state that changed over time into the universe we know. Eg the universe is eternal or God "is" the universe.
- The substance of the universe is "eternal" - the universe in some sense always existed. It may have changed form "before" the big bang but resulted in the big bang as we know it. Eg two earlier universes collided creating our universe or God made the universe out of his substance.

I believe that the big bang is essentially fact now - but in saying so it is important to be careful about what that means. When I say big bang I mean that the universe was at some point in the past in a hot dense state that eventually became the current known universe. Nothing more than that. I'm not claiming singularities or "creation" in any specific form - just a hot dense state existed about 13.8 billion years ago.

I read what you wrote. However, statements such as "This law may or may not hold across the horizon of the big bang." is tantamount to saying that "this universe may have always been here or may have been created".

And if space and time were created after a Big Bang, there is no problem of infinite regression with my God who always was, as He existed out of linear time.

Quote:Whatever gap you leave open to accommodate a god to answer the question of the big bang's origin always opens the door to a simpler explanation that does not include a god.

I didn't leave a gap open other than where skeptics say "I don't know" which is a gap when confronted with the fact that the Law of Conservation refutes the universe being in existence.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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01-04-2015, 05:42 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
We don't know. We really don't. We don't have any good reason to think the universe originated in one way or a different way. No matter which way anyone suggests it may have come about there is room for a god to be involved, for universe-creating pixies to be involved, or for no intelligence to be involved. That's the nature of the question. It is an open question.

You saying that the law of conservation of energy "refutes the universe being in existence" is an extremely ignorant position however. It shows that you don't know what a law is in science. You don't know how science works, and finally that you lack the imagination to come up with a single way that the universe could exist while this law holds despite me pointing out at least three in posts you have directly replied to.

I'll leave room for a god so long as you acknowledge that you have not ruled out a universe without a god. If you say you have ruled out a universe without a god then I'll use your logic to show you have ruled out a universe with a god. The two concepts are inseparable based on current evidence. All we can do is either apply a razor to eliminate unnecessary assumptions or hold to a dogma and continue to believe what we want to believe. That's how this works.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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02-04-2015, 10:30 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(01-04-2015 05:42 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  We don't know. We really don't. We don't have any good reason to think the universe originated in one way or a different way. No matter which way anyone suggests it may have come about there is room for a god to be involved, for universe-creating pixies to be involved, or for no intelligence to be involved. That's the nature of the question. It is an open question.

You saying that the law of conservation of energy "refutes the universe being in existence" is an extremely ignorant position however. It shows that you don't know what a law is in science. You don't know how science works, and finally that you lack the imagination to come up with a single way that the universe could exist while this law holds despite me pointing out at least three in posts you have directly replied to.

I'll leave room for a god so long as you acknowledge that you have not ruled out a universe without a god. If you say you have ruled out a universe without a god then I'll use your logic to show you have ruled out a universe with a god. The two concepts are inseparable based on current evidence. All we can do is either apply a razor to eliminate unnecessary assumptions or hold to a dogma and continue to believe what we want to believe. That's how this works.

I'm not a scientist, I'm a lay person. Please help me correct this statement:

The Law of Conservation = matter and energy may not be created in this current universe in its present state

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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02-04-2015, 12:58 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(01-04-2015 01:59 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  And if space and time were created after a Big Bang, there is no problem of infinite regression with my God who always was, as He existed out of linear time.
Keep in mind that if your god is exempt from the infinite regression rule because he existed outside linear time, then anything that exists outside linear time is also exempt from that rule.

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04-04-2015, 08:12 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(02-04-2015 10:30 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  I'm not a scientist, I'm a lay person. Please help me correct this statement:
The Law of Conservation = matter and energy may not be created in this current universe in its present state

A simple corrected version would be:
For a closed system that behaves like ones we have experience with and has a simple temporal dimension the energy of the system at time t0 is equal to the energy of the system at time tn, for any n.

That is: t0 = tn
That's the "law". In science, "law" is synonymous with "equation we find useful within the confines of the physics we have experience with". It's not a doctrine. It's not a command from on high. It's a description of what we know within the bounds of what we know.

Wikipedia has a good basic history on how this equation has been developed over time:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy

Again:
- Conservation of energy may or may not hold across the creation of the universe because it is an event we don't have sufficient experience with to know which of our physics do and which do not apply. Therefore, a creation model being inconsistent with conservation of energy does not necessarily exclude it from being correct.
- Conservation of energy can be preserved across the creation of a universe by having negative energy created alongside the positive energy (t0 = 0, tn = -E + E), or simply by stating that the universe began at time t0 and that there is no such thing as t(-1) for the equation to fail to hold across. Therefore, natural explanations for the origin of the universe exist that do not conflict with conservation of energy.

But let me repeat the really fundamental point here: If a god model of creation exists then it is possible to describe a natural mechanism that exists under the same laws. If natural model of creation exists then it is possible to describe a god mechanism that exists under the same laws. That's why this whole discussion is pointless as an argument. It's fine to want to understand and to discuss this stuff but to act as a blunt instrument in the way you seem to be approaching the subject is pointless. You can't win an argument on this subject. We don't know enough for anyone to win.

Semi-Formally:
1. Let C be a creation model of the universe. Say that C = G + M where G is a god and M is a creation mechanism. Let C' = M. If God has a mechanism to create the universe then a mechanism exists to create the universe, and god is not required.
2. Let C' be a creation model of the universe. Say that C' = M. Let C = G + M. If a mechanism exists to create the universe, then it is possible to assume that a god directed the mechanism.

The whole argument is an intellectual dead end, and if you think you have any kind of gotcha argument going such as "but what about conversation of energy?" then I'm sorry to tell you that your argument isn't sound. If God has a mechanism to create the universe then a mechanism exists to create the universe. No god needed.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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04-04-2015, 10:32 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(01-04-2015 01:59 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  I read what you wrote. However, statements such as "This law may or may not hold across the horizon of the big bang." is tantamount to saying that "this universe may have always been here or may have been created".

My favorite third option, to refute this false dichotomy, is a pair of cyclical universes, mirrored twins; our own universe, in which time flows forward, and a second universe that emerges from our own big crunch, where time flows backwards so it runs from crunch right back to a pre-big bang state, and the cycle begins all over again. No eternal universe, no beginning to it.

You might be tempted to remark on how unlikely that sounds to you, but since your worldview also encompasses time travel, I don't think you have much of a leg to stand on, asserting that.

Quote:I didn't leave a gap open other than where skeptics say "I don't know" which is a gap when confronted with the fact that the Law of Conservation refutes the universe being in existence.

I'm sorry, but this is an incredibly stupid statement. As has already pointed out to you, the physical laws are descriptions of behavior based on observation, not proscriptions of the same. If you actually think that the configuration of the physical laws would lead one to conclude that the universe couldn't exist, then you are simply wrong; our observations clearly show that the universe exists, and so either the conclusions you think you can draw from the physical laws are wrong, or the physical laws themselves are wrong and need to be changed or expanded on. There is no possibility here where your conclusions actually stand.
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06-04-2015, 09:20 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(04-04-2015 08:12 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(02-04-2015 10:30 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  I'm not a scientist, I'm a lay person. Please help me correct this statement:
The Law of Conservation = matter and energy may not be created in this current universe in its present state

A simple corrected version would be:
For a closed system that behaves like ones we have experience with and has a simple temporal dimension the energy of the system at time t0 is equal to the energy of the system at time tn, for any n.

That is: t0 = tn
That's the "law". In science, "law" is synonymous with "equation we find useful within the confines of the physics we have experience with". It's not a doctrine. It's not a command from on high. It's a description of what we know within the bounds of what we know.

Wikipedia has a good basic history on how this equation has been developed over time:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy

Again:
- Conservation of energy may or may not hold across the creation of the universe because it is an event we don't have sufficient experience with to know which of our physics do and which do not apply. Therefore, a creation model being inconsistent with conservation of energy does not necessarily exclude it from being correct.
- Conservation of energy can be preserved across the creation of a universe by having negative energy created alongside the positive energy (t0 = 0, tn = -E + E), or simply by stating that the universe began at time t0 and that there is no such thing as t(-1) for the equation to fail to hold across. Therefore, natural explanations for the origin of the universe exist that do not conflict with conservation of energy.

But let me repeat the really fundamental point here: If a god model of creation exists then it is possible to describe a natural mechanism that exists under the same laws. If natural model of creation exists then it is possible to describe a god mechanism that exists under the same laws. That's why this whole discussion is pointless as an argument. It's fine to want to understand and to discuss this stuff but to act as a blunt instrument in the way you seem to be approaching the subject is pointless. You can't win an argument on this subject. We don't know enough for anyone to win.

Semi-Formally:
1. Let C be a creation model of the universe. Say that C = G + M where G is a god and M is a creation mechanism. Let C' = M. If God has a mechanism to create the universe then a mechanism exists to create the universe, and god is not required.
2. Let C' be a creation model of the universe. Say that C' = M. Let C = G + M. If a mechanism exists to create the universe, then it is possible to assume that a god directed the mechanism.

The whole argument is an intellectual dead end, and if you think you have any kind of gotcha argument going such as "but what about conversation of energy?" then I'm sorry to tell you that your argument isn't sound. If God has a mechanism to create the universe then a mechanism exists to create the universe. No god needed.

Quote:For a closed system that behaves like ones we have experience with and has a simple temporal dimension the energy of the system at time t0 is equal to the energy of the system at time tn, for any n.

Here's where I take exception to this--the statement above is tantamount to saying, "Yes, we believe the Law of Conservation always applies in this universe--unless it didn't--because if it always applies there are gaps we're uncomfortable with--and we don't want theists sticking their ideas in those gaps."

I could as easily state that "6 plus 6 equals 12 always and forever, as far as we know, except when it doesn't or hasn't."

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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06-04-2015, 09:52 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(06-04-2015 09:20 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(04-04-2015 08:12 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  A simple corrected version would be:
For a closed system that behaves like ones we have experience with and has a simple temporal dimension the energy of the system at time t0 is equal to the energy of the system at time tn, for any n.

That is: t0 = tn
That's the "law". In science, "law" is synonymous with "equation we find useful within the confines of the physics we have experience with". It's not a doctrine. It's not a command from on high. It's a description of what we know within the bounds of what we know.

Wikipedia has a good basic history on how this equation has been developed over time:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy

Again:
- Conservation of energy may or may not hold across the creation of the universe because it is an event we don't have sufficient experience with to know which of our physics do and which do not apply. Therefore, a creation model being inconsistent with conservation of energy does not necessarily exclude it from being correct.
- Conservation of energy can be preserved across the creation of a universe by having negative energy created alongside the positive energy (t0 = 0, tn = -E + E), or simply by stating that the universe began at time t0 and that there is no such thing as t(-1) for the equation to fail to hold across. Therefore, natural explanations for the origin of the universe exist that do not conflict with conservation of energy.

But let me repeat the really fundamental point here: If a god model of creation exists then it is possible to describe a natural mechanism that exists under the same laws. If natural model of creation exists then it is possible to describe a god mechanism that exists under the same laws. That's why this whole discussion is pointless as an argument. It's fine to want to understand and to discuss this stuff but to act as a blunt instrument in the way you seem to be approaching the subject is pointless. You can't win an argument on this subject. We don't know enough for anyone to win.

Semi-Formally:
1. Let C be a creation model of the universe. Say that C = G + M where G is a god and M is a creation mechanism. Let C' = M. If God has a mechanism to create the universe then a mechanism exists to create the universe, and god is not required.
2. Let C' be a creation model of the universe. Say that C' = M. Let C = G + M. If a mechanism exists to create the universe, then it is possible to assume that a god directed the mechanism.

The whole argument is an intellectual dead end, and if you think you have any kind of gotcha argument going such as "but what about conversation of energy?" then I'm sorry to tell you that your argument isn't sound. If God has a mechanism to create the universe then a mechanism exists to create the universe. No god needed.

Quote:For a closed system that behaves like ones we have experience with and has a simple temporal dimension the energy of the system at time t0 is equal to the energy of the system at time tn, for any n.

Here's where I take exception to this--the statement above is tantamount to saying, "Yes, we believe the Law of Conservation always applies in this universe--unless it didn't--because if it always applies there are gaps we're uncomfortable with--and we don't want theists sticking their ideas in those gaps."

I could as easily state that "6 plus 6 equals 12 always and forever, as far as we know, except when it doesn't or hasn't."

Except it doesn't say anything like that. You have not understood the statement.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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