Nick_A wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:12 am
Why limit one's inquiries for the sake of a formula? Why not consider them all - bottom-up, top-down, outside-in and inside-out - all of it?
I will consider it if you can express how the ONE can be created from nothing. If you can do that you can sell anything.
Okay but with a disclaimed that this is purely speculative. Next it will be your turn to explain how the ONE (presumably God) can be created from nothing.
We start with Krauss's "nothingness" - the quantum foam. "Empty" space has been measured to be vibrant with energy, rather than truly empty. As far as we know, true emptiness has never been and may not even be possible. To greatly simplify, the space was replete with what's known as virtual particles, fluctuations popping in and out of existence immediately. There was "something" but none of those things persisted. Then, for whatever reason, perhaps simply probabilities after so many iterations, one of the virtual particles did not pop out of existence but inflated, taking in all around it in a feedback loop. As the universe cooled atoms formed and order could increase without the turbulence of ubiquitous high temperatures. Since then, in a sense, reality has always entailed a kind of natural selection - survival of the persistent. Patterns capable of persisting remained as part of reality while less robust ones disappeared into the environment. This appears to still be the case - with objects like galaxies, stars, planets and black holes proving to be remarkably robust and persistent, and these dominate the skies (visually, anyway).
Over time life evolved, then intelligence. Each time entities needed to solve the problem of survival - against volcanoes, ice ages, meteors, predators, disease, drowning, malnutrition, thirst, conflict, and so on. Since the Sun is now dying with the climate already warming, in time life will need to solve the problem of their planet no longer being viable. Somewhere, sometimes, in the universe surely species are finding a way to live on other worlds. However, there comes a time when the solar system itself stops being viable. Even then, there are risks of black hole blasts, rogue planets, stars and black holes, not to mention occasional hazardous energetic emissions from the heart of the galaxy.
In time, as described above, perhaps each subsequent universe reaches its own Omega Point via time, probabilities and intrinsic/natural selection?
Do I believe
this? Of course not. It's just one possibility.
Your turn. How do you posit that all came to be?
I remain agnostic, as you well know. You continue to only make assertions without the reasoning that underpins those assertions. Please provide reasoning for assertions.
It is pretty much agreed that the universe came into existence and will gradually run down and “die” This means that it didn’t always exist. Existence is a process that either began from nothing and evolved from the bottom up or began with no-thing and the conscious creation of universal laws involuting creation from the top down. I’d like you to explain the logical process by which creation develops from nothing.
It's a big and overly ambitious job for nobodies like us but I was silly enough to take on the challenge above.
As above. Your turn now - and with much details as I provided please.
Incorrect information. Only Abrahamic religions start with a conscious source. Buddhism remains agnostic to the idea and it has various creation myths. The Tao has no deity, and Hinduism is polytheistic.
Aside from appeals to authority, do you have any other basis for believing that the first fluctuation of reality was conscious?
Buddha never denied God. He discouraged speaking of it since he knew it would inspire meaningless arguments getting in the way of the intent of Buddhism. He was right.
The universe is governed by both consciousness and mechanical laws. Mechanical laws don’t arise by accident. They are expressions of consciousness. If you disagree, show me how they can arise by accident.
Still, Buddhism can incorporate atheism as easily as it incorporates monotheism or polytheism. It surely is not a monotheistic religion.
"Accident" is the wrong word - it's via the kind of selection above. Any mutation that persists more than a standard gene is more likely to be found in subsequent populations. "Survival of the fittest" is a powerful concept but I think that "persistence of the suitable" is broader and captures the dynamic in non-sentient entities. For instance, why did the proto Earth persist while many other similar planetoids did not? Basically for the same reason that the biggest piglet gets the most milk while the runt misses out. It was larger and thus more robustly present in reality than smaller objects.
Why do you think abiogenesis did not occur more than once on Earth? Any new and fragile fledgling life would simply be an easy meal for existing "battle hardened" organisms. Why do no new humanly sentient species emerge? Because if they did they would be competition for humans and we'd kill or enslave them.
Your turn, and again with similar detail - how did God create (or become) the laws of physics? How did God bring all this about?
The schism between science and religion in the west is increasing and now organising politically, with the far right increasingly claiming to have God on the their side, the far left claiming to have the planet on their side, and the centre and centre-left claiming the scientific angle.
Rather, it seems that there is a growing link between science and spirituality while while religions are becoming ever more political and social and less spiritual.
You keep referring to secular religious expression while I refer to the essence of religion which asserts meaning and purpose for Man while spirituality only admits a source for the logic of the universe. It is a step in the right direction but until universal purpose is admitted as well as Man’s purpose within it, spirituality will lack meaning for Man.
There's an old sporting saying: "You can only play what's in front of you". I would like to report that religions with sophisticated ideation and metaphysics are growing but increasingly the most influential adherents in church hierarchies seem to be the most conservative fundamentalists.
Still, as you say, this is just the fluff - not the "meat" of the great question: "What is really going on?".
I do somewhat resent that I was conditioned into the God meme and how this has has coloured and tainted my views. It's so indelibly ingrained in my mind that it interferes with my capacity to see reality without that filter. It's frustrating but I don't apportion blame; religion was more dominant when I was young and it was simply a matter of course for kids to be indoctrinated.
It is unfortunate that you were harmed in this way. It does seem that you have become fixated on a personal god concept which makes you deny the god concept which refers to a source for creation itself. The God concept is not the same as the concept of a particular god..
Not harmed so much as I lost the opportunity to imagine reality. The loss is akin to that of a child observing a bird, whose attention weakens when given the label "bird" - naturally shifting focus to that which most helps survival these days, ie. improving connectivity potential.
I assure you that if there were not so many people fighting against the teaching of evolution, women's and gay rights, first trimester abortions and so on for irrational reasons I would be much less "fixated" on the personal deity.
Consider the "God concept" - "a source for creation itself" - that's extremely speculative. What do you think of John Hagelin's unified field as God?
Are you much keen on sacred geometry? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx31y1KKK3E
So I don't care about removing the concept, as you think. I simply want to engage in a thought experiment of imaging how we might see reality if we'd never heard of the God concept. Have you ever tried it, Nick? Imagining how reality may appear if you never knew the God concept? Just out of curiosity to see what it might seem like?
As far back as I can remember I’ve always had the impression that a reality existed far greater than me of which I was a part. I cannot imagine not having this impression. My guess is that there is something deep within Man that is drawn to its source. When a person for some reason learns of God and begins to think of God it nourishes the seed of the soul. It is a natural rather than indoctrinated process.
But why assume the greater entity is God? Why not humanity or the Earth or the solar system or the galaxy, known entities in which we are constituents?
When I do that I find that the awe and love one would normally associate with a deity shifts to nature, the Earth and the cosmos. One might say that Spinoza sits neatly between theism and atheism - where the grandeur, complexity, beauty, creativity and mystery of universe and nature evokes spiritual ideation, feelings and sensations, and especially so when one sees humanity as a part and expression of the emerging edifices rather than a divinely corrupted antagonist.
So, in the sense that humanity is a part of nature, I do worship this "beast" because I find nature impressive in all of its forms, including the human ones. Under inspection, the nature of reality is simply breathtaking and extraordinary, deity or not.
The 'concept' of the One is not, properly speaking, a concept at all, since it is never explicitly defined by Plotinus, yet it is nevertheless the foundation and grandest expression of his philosophy. Plotinus does make it clear that no words can do justice to the power of the One; even the name, 'the One,' is inadequate, for naming already implies discursive knowledge, and since discursive knowledge divides or separates its objects in order to make them intelligible, the One cannot be known through the process of discursive reasoning (Ennead VI.9.4). Knowledge of the One is achieved through the experience of its 'power' (dunamis) and its nature, which is to provide a 'foundation' (arkhe) and location (topos) for all existents (VI.9.6). The 'power' of the One is not a power in the sense of physical or even mental action; the power of the One, as Plotinus speaks of it, is to be understood as the only adequate description of the 'manifestation' of a supreme principle that, by its very nature, transcends all predication and discursive understanding………………………………
IMO you’ve experienced dunamis within our planet. It is a very meaningful experience. Some are satisfied with that. Others in need of meaning are drawn to philosophy to answer what it means to be human within dunamis. Why seek to destroy this natural impulse only to strengthen the influence of society as the source for objective human meaning and purpose?
Re: your last question, I think the answer is "collateral damage". Cultural selection amongst nations continues to favour those who are most controlled and least tolerant of non-conformity. The advantage of the cohesive over the chaotic has been a feature of human societies for millennia. Once it was religion that galvanised ancient societies and their increased coordination and internal cooperation gave them an advantage over their less organised and committed foes. Now it's nationalism, but they were still societies governed under a strict command system.
So there is certainly a tradeoff between beauty and power, as we are currently observing in nature as the beauty, innocence and complexity of other species is being superseded by human functionality, knowingness and self awareness. The dynamic is not miles from the innocence and sweetness lost for the sake of survival when the child grows to be the adult. Fortunately, a new beauty emerges in the adult (and the "child" is often not truly lost), and so the cycles continue.