So what do you believe?
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27-07-2013, 08:08 PM
RE: So what do you believe?



... this is my signature!
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27-07-2013, 08:16 PM
RE: So what do you believe?
Okay. This is going to get complicated and metaphysical and probably earn me a few jeers.

I believe in the existence of potentially multiple universes. (And no, I can't really define "exists" here, but then I can't define it in a single-universe model either.) I believe that there is a universe for each possible arrangements of facts by truth-values. That is, if we had a list of (not necessarily countable) true-or-false questions that could be asked about a world, everything from the position of this or that rock to whether the gravitational constant is equal to ______, then every logically consistent set of true/false responses to those questions would correspond to its own universe.

I believe that each one of us exists simultaneously in some number (at least one, but not all) of these universes. From our perspective, the universes are overlaid and identical. If ever a distinction (such as the placement of a rock) between universes came into the sphere of our awareness, we would essentially split into different versions of us, one who saw the rock here and another who saw it there and maybe a third who saw it yonder, etc, and would no longer be the same person. In this way, objective truth is a rather hazy concept.

As a result, questions of truthhood and falsehood are tricky. Almost certainly, some things are true for some universes we occupy and false for others. However, we occupy all of them simultaneously, and cannot answer "true" only in the universes where they are true and "false" only in the universes where they are false. This includes questions about history (who shot JFK, did the universe just poof into existence ten seconds ago with all our memories in place), present things beyond our perception (what's happening a thousand miles from here right this instant?) and scientific facts that are unknown to us personally (how does the brain work?). A similar conundrum would exist about deities. The answer could be one thing in one universe but could be another thing in another universe, and we have no ability to tell them apart.

What we CAN do is seek out these answers. If we don't know what's under a rock but guess, in some universes we'll be wrong and in some we'll be right. (Unless we guess something that's literally impossible, of course.) But if we actually peer under the rock, we split. Let's say in one set of universes we see ants and in another we see centipedes. Those two versions of us are no longer the same, and the universes they inhabit are no longer overlapping. They CAN answer differently, corresponding to the results of their investigations, and for the most part the answers they arrive at to the question correspond to the actual answers in those universes. In this manner, the search for truth becomes practical and meaningful, even in the absence of objective truth.

Questions about the existence of deities, unless they are logically necessary or logically impossible, must also be subject to such tests if one is to have any hope of correlating one's answer reliably to the truth. If no such test is possible, then so is any hope of reliably arriving at the truth.

I recognize that this is an untestable, unprovable, unfalsifiable hypothesis, indistinguishable by any known method from a more conventional view of reality. I prefer to think of it as an alternate paradigm rather than a competing claim of fact. It's a useful (to me, at least) model for dealing with uncertainty. I'm sure most other people will find it either utterly ridiculous or overly complicated.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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28-07-2013, 10:38 AM
RE: So what do you believe?
I have ceased belief in TheMrBillShow because he simply quoted "Bull Durham". I feel so violated.

See how readily belief may change.
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28-07-2013, 11:50 AM
RE: So what do you believe?
(28-07-2013 10:38 AM)JAH Wrote:  I have ceased belief in TheMrBillShow because he simply quoted "Bull Durham". I feel so violated.

See how readily belief may change.

Damn, that reminds me. My post was supposed to be a reply to his...

... this is my signature!
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28-07-2013, 12:20 PM
RE: So what do you believe?
I believe I'll have a drink. Preferably a 21 year old Madeira finished Bushmills
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28-07-2013, 01:17 PM
RE: So what do you believe?
(28-07-2013 10:38 AM)JAH Wrote:  I have ceased belief in TheMrBillShow because he simply quoted "Bull Durham". I feel so violated.

See how readily belief may change.

Fine by me, seeing as how I don't exist anyway...

There is no "I" in "team" but there is a broken and mixed up "me."
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28-07-2013, 02:33 PM
RE: So what do you believe?
(27-07-2013 08:16 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  Okay. This is going to get complicated and metaphysical and probably earn me a few jeers.

I believe in the existence of potentially multiple universes. (And no, I can't really define "exists" here, but then I can't define it in a single-universe model either.) I believe that there is a universe for each possible arrangements of facts by truth-values. That is, if we had a list of (not necessarily countable) true-or-false questions that could be asked about a world, everything from the position of this or that rock to whether the gravitational constant is equal to ______, then every logically consistent set of true/false responses to those questions would correspond to its own universe.

I believe that each one of us exists simultaneously in some number (at least one, but not all) of these universes. From our perspective, the universes are overlaid and identical. If ever a distinction (such as the placement of a rock) between universes came into the sphere of our awareness, we would essentially split into different versions of us, one who saw the rock here and another who saw it there and maybe a third who saw it yonder, etc, and would no longer be the same person. In this way, objective truth is a rather hazy concept.

As a result, questions of truthhood and falsehood are tricky. Almost certainly, some things are true for some universes we occupy and false for others. However, we occupy all of them simultaneously, and cannot answer "true" only in the universes where they are true and "false" only in the universes where they are false. This includes questions about history (who shot JFK, did the universe just poof into existence ten seconds ago with all our memories in place), present things beyond our perception (what's happening a thousand miles from here right this instant?) and scientific facts that are unknown to us personally (how does the brain work?). A similar conundrum would exist about deities. The answer could be one thing in one universe but could be another thing in another universe, and we have no ability to tell them apart.

What we CAN do is seek out these answers. If we don't know what's under a rock but guess, in some universes we'll be wrong and in some we'll be right. (Unless we guess something that's literally impossible, of course.) But if we actually peer under the rock, we split. Let's say in one set of universes we see ants and in another we see centipedes. Those two versions of us are no longer the same, and the universes they inhabit are no longer overlapping. They CAN answer differently, corresponding to the results of their investigations, and for the most part the answers they arrive at to the question correspond to the actual answers in those universes. In this manner, the search for truth becomes practical and meaningful, even in the absence of objective truth.

Questions about the existence of deities, unless they are logically necessary or logically impossible, must also be subject to such tests if one is to have any hope of correlating one's answer reliably to the truth. If no such test is possible, then so is any hope of reliably arriving at the truth.

I recognize that this is an untestable, unprovable, unfalsifiable hypothesis, indistinguishable by any known method from a more conventional view of reality. I prefer to think of it as an alternate paradigm rather than a competing claim of fact. It's a useful (to me, at least) model for dealing with uncertainty. I'm sure most other people will find it either utterly ridiculous or overly complicated.

The idea of multiple universes all over laying each other has long been rattling around in my mind as well. I have often asked myself, "What universe do you want to live in" ?

It would be interesting to believe that we as human beings live an existence of moving through multiple universes with every choice we make, every movement we make. Imagine that each moment in time is a frozen still frame. There is no fluidity, no true motion. We merely move through each frozen frame, frame by frame, universe to universe.

That would mean that getting up from my couch and walking to my door, is really me moving to the universe where I open this door at this particular time.
In much the same way, you could show a virtual me on a computer screen, of individual pixels turning off and on showing what appears to be fluid movement but in "reality" it's pixel by pixel being turned off or on with certain values.

So at any given moment, I am selecting which universe I want to occupy by my actions. But my actions alone don't determine what the universe looks like, I can only move to a universe in which is identical to the one I just left, by a fraction of a moment.

But what if we could will those small fractions of a moment so that we live in a universe where the basketball drops or it misses.
Many basketball players and I'm sure other sports people like archers, try to focus on seeing the shot as successful before the shot is made, before the arrow is released.
Can you will yourself to move into a universe where a certain action will take place ?

I will give one small example and then I'm done.
Many years ago, I took a plane flight to meet a young woman whom I had known over the internet a few years and one other time in person. We hadn't been romantic in person and I very much wanted us to be. I tried to will myself to be in the universe in which she would come running up to me and jump in my arms with her legs wrapped around me.

When I arrived at her house after a 6 hr long plane ride, I got out of the rental car and there she was. She ran toward me, jumped in my arms and wrapped her legs around me.

It was a very good weekend Smile

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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28-07-2013, 05:45 PM
RE: So what do you believe?
(23-07-2013 01:49 PM)JDepps Wrote:  I am not an atheist. I'm an agnostic.
As many have said, it's not an either or situation.
If you can't answer "yes" to the question "Do you believe in god/s?" then you are an atheist.
Even if your answer is "I don't know" that is still an atheist.

(23-07-2013 01:49 PM)JDepps Wrote:  And being an agnostic is extremely stressful and brain puzzling constantly wondering is this true, is that true.
What does it matter? I am of the position that we can never be 100% certain of truth.
Are you worried about going to hell in the case that you get it wrong?

(23-07-2013 01:49 PM)JDepps Wrote:  I'm just curious what you all believe. Whether it's Evolution, Big Bang, whatever.
Evolution is not a belief, Evolution is a theory built upon a huge amount of objective and measurable evidence taken from a multitude of perspectives e.g. DNA analysis, results of selective breeding, experiments on guppies in rivers with sandy bottoms or pebble bottoms, wth or without predators, experiments on bacteria, fossil record, observing various forms of "eye" accross different animals.
Deniers of Evolution have no evidence supporting their skepticism. In the past they have come up with some reasonable questions regarding the concept of irreducable complexity, but these presented challenges rather than contradictions to the theory of Evolution. Given the examples of Irreducable Complexity e.g. the Eye or the flagelum, it has been clearly shown how evolution can have developed these complex structures.
It should be noted that Christians can accept the Evolution theory as well as continue to believe in their god. These don't have to be mutually exclusive.
Also atheist can lack a belief in god/s without knowing anything about the Evolution theory.
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28-07-2013, 07:00 PM
RE: So what do you believe?
(28-07-2013 05:45 PM)Stevil Wrote:  It should be noted that Christians can accept the Evolution theory as well as continue to believe in their god. These don't have to be mutually exclusive.

We know the Buybull was written/compiled by ignorant people who were seeking answers to maintain control and/or cope with the knowledge of our own mortality. To think that the 6 days in Genesis wasn't meant to be literally 6 days is just an attempt to bridge a gap that really cannot be bridged. They meant it literally because, based on the information they had available, it seemed possible. They weren't being allegorical, so anyone who says that is just playing it safe.

“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

- Bertrand Russel
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28-07-2013, 08:52 PM
RE: So what do you believe?
(28-07-2013 07:00 PM)eksyte Wrote:  We know the Buybull was written/compiled by ignorant people who were seeking answers to maintain control and/or cope with the knowledge of our own mortality. To think that the 6 days in Genesis wasn't meant to be literally 6 days is just an attempt to bridge a gap that really cannot be bridged. They meant it literally because, based on the information they had available, it seemed possible. They weren't being allegorical, so anyone who says that is just playing it safe.
I think trying to argue that the bible when taken literally is inconsistent with observations and scientific scrutiny therefore Christianity is incorrect, while this holds water with you and I, it becomes merely a strawman argument when applying it to Christians, because most of today's Christians don't believe that the bible is to be taken literally.
The Catholics, whom represents hundreds of millions of Christians, are allowed to accept both evolution and Christianity.
Christianity is a very broad label. Consider the name "Jesus Christ" to be merely a trademark, something that binds these people under the same umbrella, but otherwise Christians can vary quite drastically in their beliefs.
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