Numbers, what are they?

What is the basis for reason? And mathematics?

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Belinda
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Immanuel Can wrote:
Problem: we don't live in a cyclical universe.
That is a pity, as we can't look forward to the Age of Gold coming round again.
Immanuel Can
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Belinda wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:50 pm Immanuel Can wrote:
Problem: we don't live in a cyclical universe.
That is a pity, as we can't look forward to the Age of Gold coming round again.
Right. Better live with that, and guard against excess enthusiasms and folly, rather than dreaming. Those secular "dreams" have always historically turned out to be nightmares.
Ginkgo
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:55 pm
Ginkgo wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:16 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Well, there IS one, whether you feel you "need" it or not.
What I am saying is that your mathematical argument doesn't apply to a cyclical universe.
Problem: we don't live in a cyclical universe. And that's empirical. The universe, as we know from things like the Red Shift Effect, is expanding, and time is verifiably linear.

Evolution is also linear, as a theory, by the way. It's only reincarnation that's cyclical, but so far as Darwin goes, there's no thought of that at all, and no ability of the theory of evolution to deal with that or incorporate it -- there is only the supposition of linear progression.

And empirically as well, we can discern that the distribution of energy in the universe is equalizing linearly...a scientific principle known as "entropy," developing toward an eventual energy-equilibrium called "heat death," after which nothing ever happens -- which also demonstrates that time is linear.

Here's master-physicist Alexander Vilenkin on the subject:

"It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176)."

So you've got a great deal of very well-established science to overcome if you're going to posit a cyclical universe now.

That being said, there are a few attempts to save the idea of a past-eternal universe, because the implications are quite serious for the theory of Atheism if the universe is linear. But these remain speculative models, and are totally lacking in empirical confirmation. Vilenkin and colleagues think they're beyond the reasonable expectation of any such empirical support even appearing.

So you're really asking a lot of yourself there: to know more than the scientists do, and to pull up a theory they think not only IS not empirically confirmed now, but cannot even potentially be confirmed.

Understandably, therefore, I am curious to see what you will come up with.
Immanuel Can wrote: What's your "empirical" argument, then?
I am still working on it. I'll post it when I get some more time.
Fair enough now. But regarding your last response, you can hardly be disgruntled with me for failing to anticipate an empirical argument you can't even yet articulate to yourself, can you?
The problem is the starting point of the universe, usually referred to as the Big Bang. All Vilenkin is really saying is that the universe has a beginning. This is a classical argument that doesn't address the quantum explanation for the beginning of the universe. Classical physics breaks down at the so-called singularity. If quantum theory is correct then I believe that the universe is eternal.
Belinda
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:30 pm
Belinda wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:50 pm Immanuel Can wrote:
Problem: we don't live in a cyclical universe.
That is a pity, as we can't look forward to the Age of Gold coming round again.
Right. Better live with that, and guard against excess enthusiasms and folly, rather than dreaming. Those secular "dreams" have always historically turned out to be nightmares.
The Age of Gold is just one secular dream. Religious people dream religious consolations.
Immanuel Can
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Ginkgo wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:57 pm All Vilenkin is really saying is that the universe has a beginning. This is a classical argument that doesn't address the quantum explanation for the beginning of the universe.
Actually, it does. There are only two options: the universe had a beginning, or it did not. Quite correctly, you said that it did. Therefore, the causal regress attaches, and mathematics make it certain, therefore, that there had to be an Original Cause. That is, assuming we all believe the axiom that "That which begins to exist has a cause." And anything other than that is a belief in magic, not science.

Now, if, contrary to all empirical evidence and the word of experts like Vilenkin, you could show that the universe was past-eternal, then the maths wouldn't be against that, and you might have a case.
Immanuel Can
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Belinda wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:11 am The Age of Gold is just one secular dream. Religious people dream religious consolations.
Well, the important point is this: something is going to be true about the future. That is, when the future becomes the present, some state of affairs will pertain. That it won't be an "Age of Gold" is obvious. But what will it be?

Obviously, humanly speaking, none of us knows. The Atheist, we might say, has not a prayer of even knowing. But IF God were to speak, then He could tell someone what the future holds...as much of it or as little as He might like. That would be an advantage of not being bound by time and space, of course: omnipresence has its rewards.

So there may be many "religious" dreams, and it's certain all secular ones are mere dreams. But among those projections taken for "dreams" by the skeptical, what's our assurance that one doesn't exist that is actually God-revealed? IF God exists, that would surely be possible.

Belinda
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:36 am
Belinda wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:11 am The Age of Gold is just one secular dream. Religious people dream religious consolations.
Well, the important point is this: something is going to be true about the future. That is, when the future becomes the present, some state of affairs will pertain. That it won't be an "Age of Gold" is obvious. But what will it be?

Obviously, humanly speaking, none of us knows. The Atheist, we might say, has not a prayer of even knowing. But IF God were to speak, then He could tell someone what the future holds...as much of it or as little as He might like. That would be an advantage of not being bound by time and space, of course: omnipresence has its rewards.

So there may be many "religious" dreams, and it's certain all secular ones are mere dreams. But among those projections taken for "dreams" by the skeptical, what's our assurance that one doesn't exist that is actually God-revealed? IF God exists, that would surely be possible.

Omnipresence is a lovely idea but I am afraid it is only cultural. As for predictability, if we men could predict with the complete accuracy God is credited with I am sure we would all die of boredom, and in fact, would never have evolved beyond the most primitive vertebrate.

Whether God self revealed them or not I remember a good few epiphanies. These too I have to be sceptical about, not that they did not actually happen but that I know I am very subject to confirmation bias.

As for 'atheists', some of these are dogmatic and some are more like agnostics, and some are moderately this or that. Some atheists would literally not want to be seen dead in a church and others are happily churchy. Having been a Humanist for some years I have met quite a few atheists. Some of these have been actively harmed by religious others, and this has been a stern lesson to them to distrust all religiosity.
Immanuel Can
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Belinda wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:30 am Omnipresence is a lovely idea but I am afraid it is only cultural.
Don't be afraid. There's no such thing as an "omnipresent culture." Nor is "omnipresence" an idea unique to culture. It's actually a very simple, universal concept: the question is, does any Being in the universe possess that quality?
Whether God self revealed them or not I remember a good few epiphanies.
Well, I can't say whether or not your epiphanies were good, or even real. But obviously, there are two errors we can make when we have intense personal experiences: one is to be too credulous of them when they are not authentic; the other is to be too hard-hearted to believe them when they are real. Which yours were, you'll have to decide.
As for 'atheists', some of these are dogmatic and some are more like agnostics,
They don't have their own nomenclature worked out properly. And there's a very strategic reason they refuse to do so, though they could, very easily.

It has to do with attack versus defence. When on the attack against "religious" people, Atheists want to affirm dogmatically that God does not exist. If they did not, why bother being an Atheist at all? But when the Theist pushes back and says, "What proof have you for your dogma," the Atheist wants to be able to slide back into the more defensible position of saying, "Well, I'm not saying I know; I'm just saying I doubt strongly." Of course, this then deprives their initial dogma of force -- it reduces it to being merely a statement of the lack of personal experience or conviction, and not at all a truth claim that would bind anyone else. So the Atheist reverses this again in order to attack.

Keeping the definition of "Atheism" vague and vacillating is strategic. It's not that it actually IS vague between the two positions, or NEEDS to be left so. It's that the Atheist doesn't want to answer for the consequences of the logic of Atheism itself. In attack, he wants to be definite, and in defence he wants to slip away from any burden of proof to defend his definiteness.

So it's a shady double game. But the truth is that etymologically, Atheism is a very clear, simple idea "No [belief in] gods." Period. Agnosticism etymologically simply means "don't know." So degrees of uncertainty are all agnostic, and a declaration of there being no gods is Atheistic. The former is a declaration of personal confusion, and the latter a truth claim. Very simple. But the Atheist has no advantage in being as honest as etymology would indicate he should be, because he knows that pure Atheism is indefensible.
Some of these have been actively harmed by religious others, and this has been a stern lesson to them to distrust all religiosity.
That's quite understandable, instinctively. But obviously, it's also an overreaction, and disproportionate to the facts.

I may be fearful if I was once bitten by somebody's pet animal. It doesn't remotely imply all pets bite. Such a reaction is phobic and excessive, obviously. They maybe need to settle down and learn to discern the difference between a rottweiler and a goldfish.
Belinda
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:29 pm
Belinda wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:30 am Omnipresence is a lovely idea but I am afraid it is only cultural.
Don't be afraid. There's no such thing as an "omnipresent culture." Nor is "omnipresence" an idea unique to culture. It's actually a very simple, universal concept: the question is, does any Being in the universe possess that quality?
Whether God self revealed them or not I remember a good few epiphanies.
Well, I can't say whether or not your epiphanies were good, or even real. But obviously, there are two errors we can make when we have intense personal experiences: one is to be too credulous of them when they are not authentic; the other is to be too hard-hearted to believe them when they are real. Which yours were, you'll have to decide.
As for 'atheists', some of these are dogmatic and some are more like agnostics,
They don't have their own nomenclature worked out properly. And there's a very strategic reason they refuse to do so, though they could, very easily.

It has to do with attack versus defence. When on the attack against "religious" people, Atheists want to affirm dogmatically that God does not exist. If they did not, why bother being an Atheist at all? But when the Theist pushes back and says, "What proof have you for your dogma," the Atheist wants to be able to slide back into the more defensible position of saying, "Well, I'm not saying I know; I'm just saying I doubt strongly." Of course, this then deprives their initial dogma of force -- it reduces it to being merely a statement of the lack of personal experience or conviction, and not at all a truth claim that would bind anyone else. So the Atheist reverses this again in order to attack.

Keeping the definition of "Atheism" vague and vacillating is strategic. It's not that it actually IS vague between the two positions, or NEEDS to be left so. It's that the Atheist doesn't want to answer for the consequences of the logic of Atheism itself. In attack, he wants to be definite, and in defence he wants to slip away from any burden of proof to defend his definiteness.

So it's a shady double game. But the truth is that etymologically, Atheism is a very clear, simple idea "No [belief in] gods." Period. Agnosticism etymologically simply means "don't know." So degrees of uncertainty are all agnostic, and a declaration of their being no gods is Atheistic. The former is a declaration of personal confusion, and the latter a truth claim. Very simple. But the Atheist has no advantage in being as honest as etymology would indicate he should be, because he knows that pure Atheism is indefensible.
Some of these have been actively harmed by religious others, and this has been a stern lesson to them to distrust all religiosity.
That's quite understandable, instinctively. But obviously, it's also an overreaction, and disproportionate to the facts.

I may be fearful if I was once bitten by somebody's pet animal. It doesn't remotely imply all pets bite. Such a reaction is phobic and excessive, obviously. They maybe need to settle down and learn to discern the difference between a rottweiler and a goldfish.
Does any Being in the Universe possess the quality of omnipresence? No. Omnipresence is not the possession of a Being. Omnipresence is being itself plus the possibility that any being may be good from time to time.

The meaning of 'epiphany' depends on which deity is manifesting. My epiphanies are not those of a supernatural Person, but instead are manifestations of good. None of my experiences have been "intense" and if they had been I'd have been more sceptical than ever. What I mean by epiphany is a manifestation of goodness which may appear under the guise of beauty, truth, mercy, endurance, and so forth.

The atheists I have known have all been moderately or very interested in the possibility of there being a supernatural deity. One or two were dogmatic there was no such thing whereas others were more interested in ontological alternatives. What matters is to not be absolutely sure of your own knowledge and understanding. I like etymology more than most especially toponymy. However 'atheist' has historically meant disrespect for specific gods or a specific god in some particular way. The word atheist has both an etymology and a history .

The lasting harm that religious people, as religious people,have done is not something that any animals are capable of doing. The harm I refer to is that religions are hierarchical institutions that have the power to engage emotionally hungry devotees and their children. Priests are imbued with magical moral authority that can be used for good or evil. Too much for any man. Religions have pervaded some schools and glossed over bullying and rape.The institutions became false idols.I refer not only to RCs but also to JWs, Anglicans, Presbyterians, and all churches, religions, and sects that are less than democratic in every way.
Scott Mayers
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

cicero117 wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:59 am
Scott Mayers wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:07 am
To the question,"how can an order be maintained when there is no one controlling it?" should be,

Why does an origin in Nothing REQUIRE obeying a law of consistency?

Order is dependent necessarily on Non-order to mean something by contrast. But if anything originates unordered (chaos of an infinity of things OR nothing at all), then what is 'non-ordered' is not complelled to require 'order' by default.
Then everything just boils down to the fact that there is actually someone that controls order (?)
Nothing is needed.What do you mean by 'someone'? The use of 'obey' that I used is to demonstrate that no one nor anything exists IN an absolute state of nothing to assure that it REQUIRES remaining 'nothing'. That is, the very nature or 'order' is itself dependent upon "law" on a natural basis. However, if there is NO 'law' (such as that of physics, that is) without the concept of "consistency" to exist. But AT the point of nothing, only "inconsistency" like a kind of law of no law. It actually has no meaning until at least two or more things exist and are compared. Prior to this stage then, reality AS an apriori state of Totality, being Nothing has no compulsion to BE 'consistent'. Also, 'consistent' law based universes are only the description of those worlds that have some consistent pattern completely throughout.

This can be compared most intuitively by imagining that all that existed were monitor/television screens of each possible size, whereby each POSSIBLE pixel SET (or 'frame') that can create each single image exists but that only some have a pattern that we perceive as real. Furthermore, for more complexity, you have every possible SET of Frames that can be combined to create 'stories'. Most would be nonsense and lack pattern. But those that do are manifested as particular Universes.

Another similar comparison I use is identical to the above but uses jigsaw puzzles to represent the 'frames', but where the particular shapes of each piece are equal [That is, they can 'fit' anywhere without depending on the shape].
Immanuel Can
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Belinda wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:03 pm Does any Being in the Universe possess the quality of omnipresence? No.
What's your evidence for this? Or do you just mean, "I want to believe that...etc."
What I mean by epiphany is a manifestation of goodness which may appear under the guise of beauty, truth, mercy, endurance, and so forth.
Then you mean an epiphany is something that reflects a quality that Atheism cannot even rationally believe is real...just an odd feeling human beings get in the presence of certain things, but a feeling untied to any objective truth or objective value.
The atheists I have known have all been moderately or very interested in the possibility of there being a supernatural deity.
You mean "agnostics."
The word atheist has both an etymology and a history .
Both confirm what I have said. Etymologically, Atheism means "no [belief in] gods." Historically, such as Richard Dawkins have been caught playing both sides of the fence, just as I have pointed out.
The harm I refer to is that religions are hierarchical institutions that have the power to engage emotionally hungry devotees and their children.
Heh. You've just described every human institution since the dawn of time.
Priests are imbued with magical moral authority
Some "religions" have no priests at all.

This is one of the differentiators that skeptics never seem to want to notice. Some religions have clergy, and some do not. Some have done violence, and some never have. Some are implicated in paedo scandals, and some are not. Some teach peace and harmony, and some teach killing infidels...

Why don't Atheists ever seem to want to notice the difference? Why do they not recognize the injustice of grouping them all as one, as "religion"? Because they're not interested. They're only keen to dismiss the whole lot at one time.
Ginkgo
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:31 am
Ginkgo wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:57 pm All Vilenkin is really saying is that the universe has a beginning. This is a classical argument that doesn't address the quantum explanation for the beginning of the universe.
Actually, it does. There are only two options: the universe had a beginning, or it did not. Quite correctly, you said that it did. Therefore, the causal regress attaches, and mathematics make it certain, therefore, that there had to be an Original Cause. That is, assuming we all believe the axiom that "That which begins to exist has a cause." And anything other than that is a belief in magic, not science.

Now, if, contrary to all empirical evidence and the word of experts like Vilenkin, you could show that the universe was past-eternal, then the maths wouldn't be against that, and you might have a case.
I did a bit of googling and found this. Apparently the three of us could be wrong.

"Big Bang Vanishes"-Quantum Theory Describes an Eternal Universe.

An intriguing new theory suggests there was no Big Bang singularity, no starting point and points at the possibility that the universe had no beginning.
The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there according to Ahmed Farag Ali at Egypt’s Benha University. Ali and coauthor Saurya Das at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, have shown in a paper published in Physics Letters B that the Big Bang singularity can be resolved by their new model in which the universe has no beginning and no end.
Immanuel Can wrote: "That which begins to exist has a cause." And anything other than that Is a belief in magic, not science.
It is probably worth noting that the law of cause and effect doesn't apply in the quantum world.
Belinda
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Immanuel, I know the sort of atheist you mean. Do you know the story of Don Quixote?
I wrote:
Does any Being in the Universe possess the quality of omnipresence? No.
One does not require proof of ontological preferences. To be sure Spinoza attempted it however his deduction rested on axioms.Nevertheless I accept Spinoza's metaphysical basis for ethics. This makes me an atheist according to your view as I don't believe there is a supernatural Being.

What the omnipresence of deity means for me is the hope that evidences of goodness, love, mercy, pity, and peace will not die away from the world.
Last edited by Belinda on Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Immanuel Can
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Ginkgo wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:55 pm "Big Bang Vanishes"-Quantum Theory Describes an Eternal Universe.
There are about five categories of "Eternal Universe" theories out there. Unfortunately, none of them has any empirical data behind it. They're theoretical models, and forever empirically untestable, because they all posit conditions (like "alternate universes") that by definition cannot ever be tested by empirical methods from this universe.

But these are big and obscure topics, requiring a level of knowledge in physics and cosmology that transcend the present audience, I suspect. So it's not clear to me how we can debate the maths, or if even attempting to do so makes a whole lot of sense here.

To make it clear, though: there are only two alternatives. One is that the universe had a beginning, and the other is that it did not. The former is empirically supported by evidence. The latter is theoretical speculation, much of it forever unfalsifiable because untestable. There, I suppose, we rest.
Immanuel Can
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Re: Numbers, what are they?

Belinda wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:00 pm Immanuel, I know the sort of atheist you mean.
I mentioned some different types. What "sort" do you mean?