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Old May 11 2013, 05:09 PM   #61
horatio83
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

The error of religious fundamentalists and secular fundamentalists (Krauss came up in this thread, Dawkins would be another example) is that they do not know boundaries, they believe that religion says something about material reality respectively that science disproves something improvable like God or makes philosophy obsolete.
A bit more humility wouldn't hurt these people. Be it science or philosophy, there is no form of human thinking which is universal and able to give an answer to everything.
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Old May 11 2013, 05:16 PM   #62
JarodRussell
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

Religion is the result of verbal constructs. We cannot fathom that the universe came out of nowhere because we can always ask "What came before?". But just because we can think of something doesn't mean it exists. Beaming, Middle Earth, Smurfs, Superman, the Creator, SOMETHING before the universe, SOMETHING after death. We cannot understand Non-Existence because our brain draws from experience, and there is no such thing as the experience of Non-Existence. Which is why we build that fantasy about the afterlife, because we can ask "What comes AFTER it?" But we only do that because we cannot understand the actual reality. Mathematics is the only language where you cannot ask "What came before" or "What comes after that?", where you cannot fantasize, hence it's the only language that is able to properly describe our universe.

Religion is a form of escapism. Reality is bad, the chaos of reality is confusing, so you look at stories that cheer you up and that project artificial sense into all the chaos. Sounds familar. I read and watch fiction to do that. And no, Captain Kirk doesn't exist.
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Old May 11 2013, 05:24 PM   #63
Timelord Victorious
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

horatio83 wrote: View Post
The error of religious fundamentalists and secular fundamentalists (Krauss came up in this thread, Dawkins would be another example) is that they do not know boundaries, they believe that religion says something about material reality respectively that science disproves something improvable like God or makes philosophy obsolete.
A bit more humility wouldn't hurt these people. Be it science or philosophy, there is no form of human thinking which is universal and able to give an answer to everything.
Wrong. Those scientists are the first to change their mind when evidence to their current belief comes up.

Who is more humble? The one who admits to being wrong before or the one who claims to be right about the presumably unknowable?
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Old May 11 2013, 05:26 PM   #64
JarodRussell
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

Timelord_Victorious wrote: View Post
Wrong. Those scientists are the first to change their mind when evidence to their current belief comes up.
Well, some scientists don't. At some point, eventually, human ego will get in every scientist's way.
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Old May 11 2013, 05:29 PM   #65
horatio83
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

Timelord_Victorious wrote: View Post
horatio83 wrote: View Post
The error of religious fundamentalists and secular fundamentalists (Krauss came up in this thread, Dawkins would be another example) is that they do not know boundaries, they believe that religion says something about material reality respectively that science disproves something improvable like God or makes philosophy obsolete.
A bit more humility wouldn't hurt these people. Be it science or philosophy, there is no form of human thinking which is universal and able to give an answer to everything.
Wrong. Those scientists are the first to change their mind when evidence to their current belief comes up.

Who is more humble? The one who admits to being wrong before or the one who claims to be right about the presumably unknowable?
I am a hardcore atheist but I would never claim like Dawkins that being a scientist enables one to disprove something improvable like God. This is secular fundamentalist bullshit. The proper way to act is to say that God is a religious notion, not something of material existence which you can prove or not. And here you see why these guys are fundamentalists, their religious equivalents try to do the same but just the other way around: prove God, give him material reality, dinosaurs together with Adam and Eve and so on.

And a guy like Krauss who says stuff like Even if you accept this argument that nothing is not nothing, you have to acknowledge that nothing is being used in a philosophical sense. But I don't really give a damn about what "nothing" means to philosophers; I care about the "nothing" of reality. And if the "nothing" of reality is full of stuff, then I'll go with that. (http://www.theatlantic.com/technolog...solete/256203/) is obviously not aware of the limits of his discipline. The notion that a universe can emerge out of a quantum vacuum is brilliant but to go one step further and claim that this makes physics a meta-discipline which eradicates philosophy and just answered one of the oldest questions of mankind is arrogant and stupid.
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Old May 11 2013, 06:35 PM   #66
Timelord Victorious
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

horatio83 wrote: View Post
Timelord_Victorious wrote: View Post
horatio83 wrote: View Post
The error of religious fundamentalists and secular fundamentalists (Krauss came up in this thread, Dawkins would be another example) is that they do not know boundaries, they believe that religion says something about material reality respectively that science disproves something improvable like God or makes philosophy obsolete.
A bit more humility wouldn't hurt these people. Be it science or philosophy, there is no form of human thinking which is universal and able to give an answer to everything.
Wrong. Those scientists are the first to change their mind when evidence to their current belief comes up.

Who is more humble? The one who admits to being wrong before or the one who claims to be right about the presumably unknowable?
I am a hardcore atheist but I would never claim like Dawkins that being a scientist enables one to disprove something improvable like God. This is secular fundamentalist bullshit. The proper way to act is to say that God is a religious notion, not something of material existence which you can prove or not. And here you see why these guys are fundamentalists, their religious equivalents try to do the same but just the other way around: prove God, give him material reality, dinosaurs together with Adam and Eve and so on.

And a guy like Krauss who says stuff like Even if you accept this argument that nothing is not nothing, you have to acknowledge that nothing is being used in a philosophical sense. But I don't really give a damn about what "nothing" means to philosophers; I care about the "nothing" of reality. And if the "nothing" of reality is full of stuff, then I'll go with that. (http://www.theatlantic.com/technolog...solete/256203/) is obviously not aware of the limits of his discipline. The notion that a universe can emerge out of a quantum vacuum is brilliant but to go one step further and claim that this makes physics a meta-discipline which eradicates philosophy and just answered one of the oldest questions of mankind is arrogant and stupid.
I have never read or heard anything from Dawkins like science can prove god (as in some kind of deity) wrong.
He said, science makes the probabilty of the nonexistance of a deity extremely probable which is not the same thing.
He may have said that science proves the Christian god wrong which I would 100 percent agree with.
You don't even need science for that, just a bit of logical reasoning.

I read the whole interview and I don't see where you get the notion from, that Krauss sees philosophy as eradicated.
Physics certainly has answered questions previously only tackled by philosophy and religion, but at no point Krauss claims that we already know everything.
Although he doesn't accept that there is anything that is inherently unknowable and therefore the eternal domain of philosophy.
Some logic problems have nothing to do with the observable reality per se, but are at the core mathematical in nature and therefore in a way empirical.

I tend to agree with him.

It is ok to say "I don't know." as long as you actually don't. It is intellectually honest.
But to assume that something is unknowable and not investigate the question is presumptions and really gets you nowhere.

And this is in essence what this thread is about, isn't it?
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Old May 11 2013, 06:54 PM   #67
horatio83
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

Timelord_Victorious wrote: View Post
He may have said that science proves the Christian god wrong which I would 100 percent agree with.
You don't even need science for that, just a bit of logical reasoning.
You might wanna lat our your "logical reasons".
God is a religious notion and not a material object. Science is not able to prove that something immaterial like God does exist or not.
Science is about facts, religion about faith. If religious fundamentalists claim that their religious stories says something about the material world or secular fundamentalists claim that they can disprove God or any other metaphysical notion they are not just lying but engaged in some serious form of bullshitting that actually hurts religion and science.
It is as if a knight tried to take part in a game of checkers. Wrong game, dude.


Timelord_Victorious wrote: View Post
I read the whole interview and I don't see where you get the notion from, that Krauss sees philosophy as eradicated.
I don't really give a damn about what "nothing" means to philosophers; I care about the "nothing" of reality. And if the "nothing" of reality is full of stuff, then I'll go with that.

If your nothing is "full of stuff" it is not nothing but something. As you are so keen about logic, this is just a claim that A is the same as not A, a plain logical error. But the cause of this attitude is a dismissive attitude towards philosophy and the belief that physics has substituted philosophy. It is no coincidence that the title of the book, "Why There is Something Rather than Nothing", claims to have found an answer to this old philosophical question.
Wrong game again. Krauss has not really shown why there is something instead of nothing. He has not provided an answer to a philosophical question, he has shown something physical, that the net sum of energy in a universe can be zero and that a universe can emerge out of a quantum vacuum.
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Last edited by horatio83; May 11 2013 at 07:15 PM.
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Old May 11 2013, 07:22 PM   #68
Timelord Victorious
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

horatio83 wrote: View Post
You might wanna lat our your "logical reasons".
God is a religious notion and not a material object. Science is not able to prove that something immaterial like God does exist or not.
Science is about facts, religion about faith. If religious fundamentalists claim that their religious stories says something about the material world or secular fundamentalists claim that they can disprove God or any other metaphysical notion they are not just lying but engaged in some serious form of bullshitting that actually hurts religion and science.
It is as if a knight tried to take part in a game of checkers. Wrong game, dude.
You said you are a hardcore atheist. Do I really have to argue to you why the Abrahamic notion of a god is completely nonsensical?
Dawkins never, to my knowledge, claimed that he or any other scientist claims to be able to disprove all concepts of a deity.
Can you give me a source for that claim? Some link or a video or book title where he said something like that? I would find that extremely interesting, cause it would go against everything I DID see/read him mention and claim.

All I've ever see him mention is that science has laid waste to origin claims of the bible and creation myths we previously believed to be true before Darwin and that science is the only reasonable way to investigate something.

I don't really give a damn about what "nothing" means to philosophers; I care about the "nothing" of reality. And if the "nothing" of reality is full of stuff, then I'll go with that.

If your nothing is "full of stuff" it is not nothing but something. As you are so keen about logic, this is just a claim that A is the same as not A, a plain logical error. But the cause of this attitude is a dismissive attitude towards philosophy and the belief that physics has substituted philosophy. It is no coincidence that the title of the book, "Why There is Something Rather than Nothing", claims to have found an answer to this old philosophical question.
Wrong game again.
You concentrate on that one quote. have you read the rest, because he blatantly admits that he choose the title to gain peoples attention and get them to buy their book which they might not have done with a more generic title. He says, it was a gamble that might lose him some readers in the end but that it would also gain him some, because those readers would discover something through his book about the nature of the universe and it's origins they didn't previously know. And even if they disagree with his conclusions it would still have sparked an awareness of the topic which would be his main goal.
Anything is better than to admit defeat in pursuing the quest for an answer and just say "God did it" because that is the lazy way.
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Old May 11 2013, 07:43 PM   #69
horatio83
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

The God Delusion.
Yes you do, if it just requires just a little bit of logical reasoning I am sure that you can spell out in a few lines how you can disprove a metaphysical notion like God, how you can apply the tools of sciences on something inherently unscientific.

I couldn't care less about the existence of God. In my opinion it is just a notion that we made up but (and no, I cannot prove this scientifically, it is just my opinion) so is all of human culture. Money is just green pieces of paper but it has real purchasing power because people believe in it. Santa Claus is just a story and people do not even subjectively believe in him (parents pretend to for the sake of their children and once the children are old enough they pretend to for the sake of pleasing their parents and getting candies and presents) and yet he impacts our lives.
Same with God. One has to take the notion seriously because it obviously impacts human life tremendously. I care more about what a notion of God implies, whether it justifies a crusade or makes somebody sacrifice his life in an emancipatory struggle, then trying to force it down other people's throat that their faith is nonsense.

While Dawkins and Krauss are fairly harmless forms of not knowing the limits of one's discipline there are also far more nefarious forms of secular fundamentalism. Guys like Harris or Hitchens are Islamophobic neoconservatives and differ very little from Christian fundamentalist neocons. Bush could justify his crimes via claiming to have a connection to God, Harris justified torture via science.
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Old May 11 2013, 11:04 PM   #70
CorporalCaptain
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

horatio83 wrote: View Post
Santa Claus is just a story and people do not even subjectively believe in him (parents pretend to for the sake of their children and once the children are old enough they pretend to for the sake of pleasing their parents and getting candies and presents) and yet he impacts our lives.
That's a very limited perspective of the ways in which people believe in Santa.

In the first place, Saint Nicholas was an actual historic figure, whom Santa is largely, if not mostly, modeled after. Take away the modern American trappings and you still have the European traditions, but underneath all that is an actual historical figure, of importance.

For some, at least, the whole point of Santa is that he is an allegory for charity, and for them that belief in the merit of charity never goes away. When they say, "I believe in Santa," they aren't referring to an old man in a red suit. They are instead referring to that personification of charitable giving around Christmas. Gifts "from Santa" are gifts given anonymously.

Naturally, not everyone thinks in those terms. However, it's disingenuous to focus exclusively on the literals of an old man in a red suit, as if people holding some naive or delusional belief in such a creature, or play acting as if they do, are the only reasons why the rest of the "sane" people must continue to be affected by the notion.

Santa isn't just a story, as you say. It's also a lesson.
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Old May 11 2013, 11:22 PM   #71
Tora Ziyal
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

^ Nice explanation of the meaning of Santa / St. Nick, CC.

horatio83 wrote: View Post
God is a religious notion and not a material object. Science is not able to prove that something immaterial like God does exist or not.
Science is about facts, religion about faith. If religious fundamentalists claim that their religious stories says something about the material world or secular fundamentalists claim that they can disprove God or any other metaphysical notion they are not just lying but engaged in some serious form of bullshitting that actually hurts religion and science.
It is as if a knight tried to take part in a game of checkers. Wrong game, dude.
Yes. Good distinction. And I will now think of you whenever I play checkers, dude.
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Old May 12 2013, 01:57 AM   #72
horatio83
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
horatio83 wrote: View Post
Santa Claus is just a story and people do not even subjectively believe in him (parents pretend to for the sake of their children and once the children are old enough they pretend to for the sake of pleasing their parents and getting candies and presents) and yet he impacts our lives.
That's a very limited perspective of the ways in which people believe in Santa.

In the first place, Saint Nicholas was an actual historic figure, whom Santa is largely, if not mostly, modeled after. Take away the modern American trappings and you still have the European traditions, but underneath all that is an actual historical figure, of importance.

For some, at least, the whole point of Santa is that he is an allegory for charity, and for them that belief in the merit of charity never goes away. When they say, "I believe in Santa," they aren't referring to an old man in a red suit. They are instead referring to that personification of charitable giving around Christmas. Gifts "from Santa" are gifts given anonymously.

Naturally, not everyone thinks in those terms. However, it's disingenuous to focus exclusively on the literals of an old man in a red suit, as if people holding some naive or delusional belief in such a creature, or play acting as if they do, are the only reasons why the rest of the "sane" people must continue to be affected by the notion.

Santa isn't just a story, as you say. It's also a lesson.
I guess using the easter bunny would have been less ambivalent.

I did not wanna take a piss on Saint Nicholas, I merely wanted to point out that the truth value of a belief is (at least to me) irrelevant while the content matters.
In this instance it is as you rightly pointed out the idea of charity. Whether Saint Nicholas really did all this stuff or whether it is just made up, whether it is history or a story, matters to me as little as whether Socrates existed or Platon invented him or whether Jesus is a historical or a mythological person.

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Yes. Good distinction. And I will now think of you whenever I play checkers, dude.
Checkers sucks, chess is better.
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Last edited by horatio83; May 12 2013 at 02:09 AM.
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Old May 12 2013, 02:23 AM   #73
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

Captain McBain wrote: View Post
The universe shows that there must be a Creator.
No.

The assertion itself does suggest the limits of human imagination, though.
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Old May 12 2013, 04:33 AM   #74
Australis
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

Sorry, the religious stuff doesn't interest me any more.

Question: how can we get past the apparent light speed barrier?
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Old May 12 2013, 06:57 AM   #75
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

Australis wrote: View Post

Question: how can we get past the apparent light speed barrier?
OPTIMISM!
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