Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wearesmrt's Incisive Analytical Capabilities

Wearesmrt does an analysis of yesterday’s post:

Stan is (a) an asshole; (b) a bigot; (c) a racist; (d) has delusions of grandeur.

See how this refutes the charges against the AtheoLeft assault?

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

We still loathe you, darlin' - nothing personal.

Kiss kiss.

Reynold said...

It's the reasons for the names. You conveniently left out the reasons for the name-calling. Good grief. "Blacks of Feral America", really? And you wonder why you get called a racist?

Not surprised really. Anyone who read your article or saw the smrt post which linked to and quoted your article would be able to make up their own minds as to whether those names are justified.

Care to come over and discuss or are you just going to stick here like you always do so you can have the final say on what's said?

Steven Satak said...

@Stan: notice how they seize on the words actually used - I think Blacks of Feral America is a good descriptive of the situation you're describing - and try to hijack the discussion. Suddenly it's not about the actual behavior of atheists, the Left and the entitled dependents they have created.

It's now about Stan and how he's this-ist and that-ist. Yes, let's talk about that naughty Stan and his backward, unenlightened, un-PC ways. Let's all ignore the actual issues he raised because, you know, once we've plastered him with "racist", "bigot", "asshole" and "delusional", we've got him.

He's now irrational (he's a bigot, he can't help saying those things) and nothing he says carries any weight at all.

Of course, not all of us see it that way.

I mean, who's calling him an asshole? A racist? A bigot? Who the fuck are *you*? That's right, Reynolds - you're just like me, nobody. When are you going to stop the smear and actually address the issues?

The answer, as Stan has pointed out, is that this IS your answer to the issues - lie and slander. Oh, and shouting curse words as often and as loudly as you can. It's not about making sense, it's about making stupid readers believe you because, like TMZ, you're there more often and you flatter the asshole in all of us.

Sorry, "Reynolds" - and all the other assclowns who think they are the smartest guys in the room. We're on to your tricks and your 'newspeak'. Your kind has been around for a long, long time. You couldn't beat Socrates or Plato - then or now. What the hell makes you think you're fooling anyone worth the mention now?

I submit you're the ones who are deluded. Smartest guys around, my ass.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are an ass, Stevie-child.

Stan said...

Anonymous,
Either identify yourself with a moniker or your comments will be deleted. You are likely a driveby shooter, anyway, and hiding behind the skirts of "anonymous", as a child behind mommy.

Reynold said...

Steve
I mean, who's calling him an asshole? A racist? A bigot? Who the fuck are *you*? That's right, Reynolds - you're just like me, nobody. When are you going to stop the smear and actually address the issues?
I have dealt with Stan's issues before, during the debate I had with him. And yes, each name I call him has been justified repeatedly. For example: Even though I pointed out atheist pro-life groups and said that I was pro-life, Stan went on to say that neither I nor atheists in general gave a damn about babies.

Yet it was Stan himself who, when confronted with the fact that his god himself ordered babies killed, asked me to prove that such a thing was NOT an "act of love"!

Why don't you come on over to the smrt forums and deal with us there? If you hold our intelligence in such disdain and it's justified then it should be easy for you to show us up.


As for "smearing"? We're all still waiting for your friend Stan to stop. Maybe you should talk to him.
Unless you're full of it of course.

Stan said...

Reynold,
That is why you were banned in the first place. When comments are accusatory yet content free, they are non-rational, and without meaning. That is your type of Logic, and that is what you defend.

Did you read the actual content? If you did, then you are even more lost. If you did not, then you have shown your capacity for analysis. The Reds are the New Progressive (AtheoLeft) equivalent of the Red Army in the Atheist wonderland of the Russian takeover in 1917 and up. The Whites are the equivalent of the devalued non-elites - the non-Reds who were eugenically butchered out of existence. The browns are the hispanic invasion which the New Progressives want to install as voters (e.g. search on Mexifornia) and the feral blacks are the killers in the cities such as Chicago, Detroit, etc. etc. which are running entire sections of those cities.

Now if you want to refute any of that, then do it. Refute the facts, the equivalences, the degradation of the nation which is Progressing toward abject cultural chaos, with no sense of history, no sense of liberty, no sense of responsibility, and with massive entitlements - such as your personal moral entitlement to condemn words without any comprehension of meaning, context, or concept.

Reynold, your attacks are morally bankrupt, a concept which has no meaning under Atheism, but which entails integrity. I reject them.

Stan said...

Reynold,
Your inability to address the actual issues raised, and you and your cohort's personal attacks, absolutely identify and personify your worldview and type of irrationality.

You were banned before and you are very close to being banned again. Your cowardly "anonymous" friend will be deleted, and if you do not address the issues in the post which you attack with Ad Hominem Abusives rather than with rational refutations, you will be deleted from commenting here.

You do not want to discuss; you want to pretend that you are morally superior, which impossible for an Atheist, because any morals which an Atheist has, he has created for himself, or adapted to his own personal desires. So your morals are personal, not universal, and your moral condemnation is without any force of moral authority.

You are also without intellectual authority since you do not even address the concepts, never have and never will.

And finally, your entire refutation of our previous "debate" (a euphemism if ever there was one) is predicated on fallacy after fallacy which were pointed out, explained in detail, and ignored by you. There is no reason to discuss anything with such a person.

One last chance: either discuss the issues in the post straight on, or go back to your buddies in the Atheist intellectual and moral VOID.

Stan said...

It is abundantly clear that Atheists, especially the AtheoLeftists, cannot and will not defend their worldview or their rational process or their moral process with anything more than personal attacks, ridicule and logical fallacies - sometimes all at the same time. They claim no beliefs on the one hand and they attack the bible on the other hand, regardless of whether their opponent is attached to that religion, or whether that is pertinent to the argument of a creating agent for the universe.

Atheists rarely-to-never get to the point of addressing actual basic principles. They are more concerned with attacking their attacker, diminishing their opponent, throwing out juvenile expletives, and asserting their own arrogance than with addressing the actual issues.

I've been here way too long to be influenced by those cheap, cheesy tactics.

Those who cannot or will not discuss actual issues or events will not be given space here.

Steven Satak said...

@ Reynolds: I visited the SMT. It's just like Internet Infidels... packed to the rafters with atheists and 'free thinkers' whose unspoken (and in my opinion, unfounded) assumption is that they are the smart ones because they reject theism, but especially Christianity.

They reject theism because they are too smart to be taken in. They consider themselves very smart because they reject theism. It's a closed logical loop, one that never addresses the issue that theism might be true. Or false.

Such muzzy thinking is rampant among your folks at SMT, whose basic assumptions are never questioned by other 'friendlies'. When they are addressed by Stan and other brave internet adventurers, you and your kind respond with the usual tactics.

That is, ridicule, insult and slander. You dogpile theists with all of these, multiples of your fellow forum members trotting out the same old illogical crap and pseudo-logical sophistry. You deliberately mis-state, misunderstand or just plain ignore the replies. You insist on criticizing Christianity and other theistic faith by holding up versions suited for a five-year old - or some obvious whack-job who claims the mantle of theism to cover his/her own agenda.

When corrected, you consistently derail the conversation with trifles, as well as every manner of illogical thinking (strawman, red herring, Tu Quoque, circular reasoning, category error) and then...

As if your balls weren't made of enough brass, you accuse Stan and his fellows of these exact same things. Without backing your claims with proof or logical deduction. As though waving the words around were enough. Subtitute 'strawman' for 'asshole' and it amounts to the same thing - baseless accusations made by a pack of irrational nobodies who are clearly whistling past the graveyard while they worship Nothing and themselves.

Whistle away, Reynolds - you and everyone at SMT. You pack of free thinkers think more people whistling the same tune will keep the spooks away? It may work with your foolish fellow humans, but take the word of a fellow nobody... the real world is objective, there's more than meets the eye, and none of it gives a damn for your 'free thought'.

"Free thought"! Pfah! It's only free when you're surrounded by sycophants. The minute someone disagrees with your crowd, we find out double-quick just what you mean by "Free Thinking".

You guys are only fooling yourselves. Come over and help me clean out my garage. Then we can talk.

Tch tch said...

All verbage, yet nothing to say.

Stan and Steve - please fix yourselves before attempting to blame everyone else for your self-imposed shortcomings.

Put on your big-boy underoos.

Stan said...

Tch Tch:

Your comments are completely empty of content, so there is no reason for you to have wasted computer cycles with that.

If you have something with actual analytic content, then why not share it?

Your comment is too generically canned Atheist snark.

Martin said...

Wearesmrt has some of the most irrational people I've ever seen. Ironic how the more someone tells you they are smart (or whatever) rather than showing it, the less likely they actually are.

Hugo came from that forum, and infected my entire blog with all kinds of non-thinkery. The man was unable to use even basic logic. For example, I had a post explaining the First Way, and the first premise was "at least some things are changing". That is, rivers flow, birds fly, people are born and die.

It took Hugo 45 comments of opposition to that premise to finally agree that, oh, yes, such things do change! 45!

Amazing what the human mind is capable of when it doesn't want something to be true. Such a premise would be unobjectionable in ANY other argument, but as soon as they see it is part of an argument from theism, time to oppose it at all costs. I swear, if a premise in an argument for the existence of God said "God does not exist", they would oppose that too!

Good grief.

Anyway, I did something I hated doing and would normally never do, but that goes to show you the depth of this person's irrationality. I deleted every comment he ever posted on my blog. It was just clutter. I mean, a post saying "things change" fills up with hundreds of comments disputing it, even though he doesn't dispute it! Another post on the ontological argument filled up with him agreeing with every premise but denying the conclusion! Of a DEDUCTIVE argument!

The WEARESMRT forum has an entire sections devoted to analysis of idiots like Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. That's how they convince themselves they are SMRT; by comparing themselves to morons like Cameron and Comfort.

This is like thinking you are a championship boxer because you punch three year olds.

Steven Satak said...

@Tch tch:

All verbage, yet nothing to say.

Ah, simply because you say so, or is there proof to back it up?

Stan and Steve - please fix yourselves before attempting to blame everyone else for your self-imposed shortcomings.

Ah, the assumption that the error lies on our side, and in ourselves. Based on? Or do we just need to disagree with you to get the "there must be something wrong with you" saw? Well, of course. Tch, tch... please stop blaming others (meaning me and Stan) for not meeting your standards. We don't follow your creed and never will.

Put on your big-boy underoos.

Thank you. A prime example of irrational innuendo being served up instead of actual answers or rebuttal. Really, is that the best you have?

I thought you fellows were supposed to be smart. Seems to me you're just smartass. No shortage of that in the world, unfortunately.

Stan said...

Martin,
My experience has been similar. Both Hugo and Reynold have been banned here in the past, and for similar causes.

The reason for rational process disciplined rules is specifically to deal with irrationality of this sort: failure to accept non-ideological arguments when they meet all standards of rationality.

It comes down to this: either you accept the standards of rational logic discipline, or you do not. Atheists as a whole, do not; they are the only absolute which they accept, not logic.

Because Atheism and Materialism cannot be defended using the rational disciplines, the Atheist must search for rationalizations to prop up his ideology. This involves "poke and hope", meaning that they keep throwing out all sorts of crap, hoping that something might take hold, attempting to bulldoze the opposition, rather than arrive at a reasoned conclusion.

This also explains the constant and consistent misconstrual of arguments which are provided to them: they cannot be argued against, so they distort their meanings and/or redefine terms mid-stream.

When the opposition gets tired of the childish thought antics of the Atheist and starts to shut the Atheist out, the Atheist then turns to personal attacks, ignoring all actual content.

This, in the childish world of the Atheist, is considered a "win".

It is very similar to the insult contests that are enjoyed by Junior High School (Middle School) age children. If you can anger your opposition, you win.

There is absolutely no drive toward truth as it is discovered under disciplined logic. There is only the hegemonic desire to dominate.

Hence the childish insults we see from wearesmrt.

In actuality all Atheists pursue similar trajectories; some are more mature than others in their approach to civility.

Martin said...

>Atheists as a whole

Read Bradley Monton, and Graham Oppy, and Quentin Smith, and other top atheist philosophers, and you won't get this nonsense. They also offer arguments against theism like you ask for, but they are not physical and empirical. This is because those guys are not naive positivists like most Gnu Atheists are.

Hugo said...

Unfortunately (or fortunately actually since I don't want to get sucked in again) I still do not have the time to concentrate on such discussions, but I do read this blog every other day, and obviously Martin's attack deserves a quick response.

"Hugo came from that forum, and infected my entire blog with all kinds of non-thinkery. The man was unable to use even basic logic. For example, I had a post explaining the First Way, and the first premise was "at least some things are changing". That is, rivers flow, birds fly, people are born and die.

It took Hugo 45 comments of opposition to that premise to finally agree that, oh, yes, such things do change! 45!"


My response on his blog was, and still is:

" the problem can be summarized like this: you assume that chains of things that change must be changing because of an unchanging head at the beginning of the chain.

Then, you start the argument:

- Some things are changing.
- What changes is changed by something else.
- These things are part of a chain that has a head that does not change, or else the chain would not change

Don't you see the problem?

Back in November, you simply replied:

"November 1, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Martin said...
No."


So I tried again...

I would like you to see the problem yourself, so let's re-phrase it that way:

- Chains of moving things change because of a single thing that causes the change without changing itself
- Some things are changing.
- What changes is changed by something else.
- These things are part of a chain that has a head that does not change, or else the chain would not change

Now?"

To which Martin replied:

"You haven't pointed out any problem. You've just listed the argument. An amazingly accurate rendition, surprisingly."

Anybody can see why the argument is wrong... but Martin does not.

But is it what made him angry? Of course not... it's the shouting match that came after, where we both insulted each other... I pointed out how he wasted time reading a book, how he uses ad hominem to call me illogical (as a person, never for precise ideas), and bragged about some good test results (yes I know, how elitist of me to explain why I am pretty sure I understand why his arguments are WRONG). Martin prefers to pretend that it's because I was being illogical of course; it makes him sound smarter I guess? At the same time he was not proud enough to own his words and leave them there. Odd. Maybe he's preparing another book?

Anyway, one more quick point and I'm done for the week... Martin and I discussed 3 arguments for the existence of God (Change, Ontological, Normativity). He walked away from all 3 after agreeing that I do have a good understanding of the arguments, but incapable of seeing his mistakes. I never even tried to convince him of the opposite (that there is no god); I merely pointed out why the ones he presented are wrong, which is always much easier to do than to prove an argument right... On 1 of the 3, he actually ended up conceding that it was flawed and in need of re-writing... The new version also failed and he walked away... again... So if the 3 arguments are to be discussed here, that would be great! Perhaps others could join and support/contradict Martin. See you later...

Hugo said...

Oh and by the way... I don't really care about WeAreSMRT.com. I have not commented in over a year I think... but for their defense, the reason why Comfort is such a big part of the forum is because that's how it started, historically. The forum was founded by people who were having fun discussing his absurd posts at a group called the Raytractors. It's for entertainment purposes; nobody thinks Comfort is any kind of real apologist... but he does have followers, inspire lots of people and sell stuff. So exposing his lies is always a good thing.

Steven Satak said...

@Hugo: do you really think Stan is gonna let you start your nonsense up here again? You played it on Martin's ground. Now you're trying it here.

Talk about thread necromancy.

Hugo said...

@Steven, how can you be so off track...?

1) Stan encouraged me to participate last week. He and I understand that differences in the past should not prevent productive dialogues focused on issues instead of the speaker/writer.

2) I mentioned that I don't have time to write thoughtful responses or to get involved in complex discussions, so I prefer to avoid the topic and remain more passive. If others want to discuss the ideas, I will be glad to read but will refrain from participating. For some time at least...

Martin said...

Hugo,

"you assume that chains of things that change must be changing because of an unchanging head at the beginning of the chain."

There is no assumption. A receiver necessitates a giver just like a valley necessitates a mountain. If you have a receiver, it must be receiving from somewhere. See here.

I explained this a half dozen different ways on my blog but you are unable or unwilling to understand it. It's hopeless.

Stan said...

Hugo,
There is no assumption inherent in the statement "things are moving".

It is an empirical observation; science has equations for motion; nothing in the observation of motion requires any assumption beyond "I can observe physical phenomena".

Your argument is based on adding unnecessary presumption on your part, a presumption which is unnecessary to the statement, and which is unnecessary to the physical observation.

The argument starts with one, single deduction:

IF [I see movement], THEN [motion exists].

Do you deny this? Or do you merely fear the potential results of an argument not yet completed? You cannot deny a deduction because you don't like it's future implications... unless you deny the value of deduction as a part of your worldview.

Stan said...

Hugo,
The argument gives you choices: either (a) things which are in motion have always been in motion, or (b)something started them in motion, a thing which was not in motion itself.

If you choose (a) then you choose infinite regression; if you choose (b) then you have stopped the infinite regression by assuming an originator.

Infinite regressions are generally rejected in deductive debates; they cannot be proved, or even understood as rational constructs. They are on the order of rationalized excuses for avoiding an unpleasant conclusion. However, you must choose the infinite regression despite its irrationality if for some reason you must reject the original cause for motion.

However, if you reject the original cause for motion and opt for the infinite regress, you must provide deductive reasons for your choice, both reasons why one is correct and reasons why the other is false, or your choice must be considered merely personal opinion: a choice without reasons must be considered unreasoned and unreasonable: irrational and defensive of a personal worldview which is not defensible deductively.

It is not enough, btw, to declare an argument false because "you see that it is false" or that "everyone can see that it is false". Those are not reasons, they are judgments based on opinion, not empirical factoid or deduction.

Falseness can be proved; merely alleging it is not proof.

Steven Satak said...

@Everyone: I still think Hugo is wasting the heck out of everyone's time. But hey, it's yours to spend as you see fit. How many atheists can stand on the head of a pin? I dunno... does it really matter?

yonose said...

Steven,

Be careful!! people with Nihilistic thoughts are very, very difficult to get convinced otherwise.

I humbly think is because of the lack of differentiation, of contextualizing any part of this humanity, in relation to the understanding of the ontological possibility of anything which lacks contingency.

In other words, the "position" in between contingency and non-contingency, when some phenomena of a designated nature is being contextualized, is not totally understood. So, while anything which may not lack some directly or not-directly observable phenomena is preferable, when something is not easy to explain even by our own human limitation linguistically speaking, reductionist attempts at, what the think, is a plausible solution without to much clutter, at the expense of being proved wrong constantly.

Kind Regards.

Hugo said...

Hi Stan,

" There is no assumption inherent in the statement "things are moving"."

Perhaps assumption is not the correct word then? but there is certainly a common understanding of what 'moving' or 'change' means.

Let me add 1 word to clarify. If we start an argument with 'SOME things are moving', I cannot possibly go forward without the statement 'SOME things are not moving' to also be true.

If 'SOME things are not moving' is not true, then 'moving' means something I am not familiar with. Or 'things ' means something I am not familiar with.

(NOTE 1)

The argument starts with one, single deduction:

IF [I see movement], THEN [motion exists].
Do you deny this?


Same as above. I would not deny this, of course, but then I need to ask...

IF [I don't see movement], THEN [motion does not exist].
Do you deny this?

Is the meaning of motion different in the two?

" The argument gives you choices: either (a) things which are in motion have always been in motion, or (b)something started them in motion, a thing which was not in motion itself."

I disagree with 'a thing which was not in motion itself'. Things that are put in motion by something else are put in motion by something that does move itself. How can a thing which was not in motion itself cause something to move? This contradicts your own words:
It is an empirical observation; science has equations for motion; nothing in the observation of motion requires any assumption beyond "I can observe physical phenomena".
Then you must agree that equations always point to a thing in motion making something else become in motion. 'F=ma' has things in motions on both sides...

you must choose the infinite regression despite its irrationality if for some reason you must reject the original cause for motion.

Both are purely conceptual.
1) An infinite regress is purely conceptual and cannot be understood as a rational construct; we agree.
2) An original cause for motion is something which causes motion without being in motion; also purely conceptual. But here we disagree...

Why conclude/believe such a thing exists? Why believe something can cause motion without moving? That's supposed to be the goal of the argument from change!

" It is not enough, btw, to declare an argument false because "you see that it is false" or that "everyone can see that it is false". Those are not reasons, they are judgments based on opinion, not empirical factoid or deduction.

Falseness can be proved; merely alleging it is not proof. "


I agree with that, but the difference here is that I am the one who wrote the version of the argument found above, and I am telling you that I wrote it so that it is clearly invalid, on purpose! Ironically, you agree that is an accurate representation of the argument from change for the existence of God... Seriously, please re-read it; the mistake IS obvious.

Finally, I would like to specify something. This argument is supposed to prove that God exists by starting with 'things are changing'. I am not convinced by it because of the flaws I listed above. This does not in any way justify the belief that 'God does not exist.' Explaining why an argument fails does not prove its opposite. It really is just another example of why I remain unconvinced.

Hugo said...

(NOTE 1)
This is what Martin complains about by the way; that it took me 45 comments to understand. I was curious to find quotes in my emails; I collated some of them but it's too long to post here in my opinion. Let me know if you are interested in reading... I wouldn't want to be accused of wasting anybody's time ;) Actually, I am probably the one who did waste time by re-reading these exchanges, anyway...

(NOTE 2)
"Or do you merely fear the potential results of an argument not yet completed? You cannot deny a deduction because you don't like it's future implications... unless you deny the value of deduction as a part of your worldview."

This is an ad hominem; it's passive-aggressive but it is an insult nonetheless. I don't really care and would just ignore it, but I thought of writing a side note about it to point out the fact that if I were to 'dare' write something like that back at you, you would surely call me on it, since it's your blog and you make the rules... Let's focus on the logical arguments if we are to keep discussing. Thanks!

Martin said...

See what I mean?

Normal:

"Do you agree that birds are flying, rivers are flowing, the Earth is turning? In other words, do you agree that at least some things are changing?"

"Yes. Of course. In just saying the words 'of course', air moved out of my lungs and across my vocal chords. Of course there are at least some things changing."

Hugo:

""Do you agree that birds are flying, rivers are flowing, the Earth is turning? "Do you agree that birds are flying, rivers are flowing, the Earth is turning?"

"Perhaps assumption is not the correct word then? but there is certainly a common understanding of what 'moving' or 'change' means. Let me add 1 word to clarify. If we start an argument with 'SOME things are moving', I cannot possibly go forward without the statement 'SOME things are not moving' to also be true. If 'SOME things are not moving' is not true..."

The best term for this I've seen is called "selective hyperskepticism."

Anyway, even if you get Hugo to agree to all the premises, he'll still just deny the conclusion, like he did with the ontological argument on my blog. That's a perfect definition of irrationality: agreeing with the premises of a deductive argument but denying the conclusion.

It's pointless. Waste of time. You can't argue with people who don't play by the rules of logic, reason, and evidence. It's pigeon chess.

Hugo said...

Martin:That's a perfect definition of irrationality: agreeing with the premises of a deductive argument but denying the conclusion.

That's wrong. You forgot the SUBARU is a CAR example already?

Plus you, AGAIN, accuse me of overthinking, when the goal of such discussion IS to THINK.

Martin said...

Hugo, this is my last attempt, against my better judgement.

Do you understand Parmenides? He argued that being is, and non-being is not. That is, objects/substances/creatures/spirits/etc either exist, or they do not. There is no middle ground. An object/substance/creature/spirit/etc cannot kind of exist. It either is, or it isn't.

So:
1. objects/substances/creatures/spirits/etc either exist, or they do not

Note that what exists is up to science to discover. Parmenides is speaking on the most general level, and not making any statements about what actually does happen to exist.

So:
2. Parmenides is arguing on the most general level; he is not doing empirical science, here

Change means something changes location, or quantity, or quality. Growing bigger, moving, shrinking, freezing, melting, being painted, being digested, burning, talking, etc.

For change to occur, the new state (location, object, quality, quantity, etc) would have to come to be from either A) being, or B) non-being. But being already is, and so nothing new can come from it. And non-being is not, and something cannot come from non-being.

Ergo:
3. Change cannot occur

Just like how it looks like the sun is circling the Earth even though it isn't, it looks like things are changing but they really are not.

Do you understand points 1, 2, and 3?

Hugo said...

Yes it makes sense; it's similar to when we say that 'nothing ever gets created or destroyed; everything is just transformed'.

So Parmenides' statement that 'Change cannot occur' is on par with that.

Clearly change does occur and clearly things are created/destroyed...

What's the point?

Martin said...

OK, so Aristotle didn't think this was correct. He thought that things do change. What he thought Parmenides missed was the concept of potentiality. Things do have a sort of middle-ground between existence and non-existence.

The stone is actually at the top of the hill but has the potential to roll off it.

The rubber ball is actually red but has the potential to be painted green.

So:

4. The world is divided into actual and potential

In this way, Aristotle solves Parmenides' problem.

Problems?

Hugo said...

Problems? Several, yes.

Things don't have a middle-ground between existence and non-existence. They are what they are. They are not what they are not. Basic logical absolutes. So either a thing exists, or not.

A stone at the top of the hill is what it is: a stone + situated at the top of a hill. Its potential states are conceptual representation that do not point to something that exists. So only the stone at the top of the hill exists. The rolling stone does not.

Same thing with the rubber ball. The red ball exists. The non-red ball does not. The potential green ball does not exist more than the potential blue ball.

So:`

The world is not divided into actual and potential. The world contains only the actual. The potential is conceptual.

And by 'world' here I assumed it meant the real world in which we live; the world that exists outside of our consciousness.

=================

FYI, this will me my last message for several days...

Martin said...

So you agree with Parmenides then. Change does not occur.

Chris said...

Well,

I suppose that's progress. After thousands of words written, it's only now that the basic principles of act and potency are directly addressed? Can you smell what the nominalism is cooking?

Martin said...

I already went over this in my original blog article.

I already give up. He's accepted that change occurs before, but he simultaneously believes there is no potentiality. So he both accepts and does not accept that change occurs. How this cognitive dissonance doesn't make him blow a fuse I do not know.

I quit. Not worth the time.

Steven Satak said...

@Martin: Like I said, a waste of your time. Hugo's not actually looking for answers so much as an amusing argument. Which is why I don't respond to him/her.

What I want to know is, does all of this come as a surprise? Atheists (and many others) have no problem whatsoever maintaining two mutually exclusive ideas in their heads. First they trot one out, use it, and then trot the other out when its usefulness is needed.

The only thing the two have in common is that they are necessary for Hugo to do what he wants. And then justify it. If anyone notices the disagreement between the two, they're accused of "failing to understand".

And that is a true statement.

But it's not the cohabitation of two mutually exclusive ideas - or that the conflict even exists - that is misunderstood. It's that Hugo (and others like him) don't actually believe any of it while they're not talking about it.

In other words, while Martin scratches his head and shrugs, Hugo is blissfully trotting to another forum, where he can spread more confusion and discontent. Because that's what he's really here for.

Stan said...

Hugo said,

”IF [I don't see movement], THEN [motion does not exist].
Do you deny this?”


Of course I deny this! It is a logical absurdity:
IF [I don’t see Detroit], THEN [Detroit does not exist].

Is the meaning of motion different in the two?

What is different is that your argument is based on affirming the consequent, on the one hand, and it involves an empirical falsifiable untruth.

" ‘ The argument gives you choices: either (a) things which are in motion have always been in motion, or (b)something started them in motion, a thing which was not in motion itself.’

I disagree with 'a thing which was not in motion itself'. Things that are put in motion by something else are put in motion by something that does move itself.


First you argue that motion does not exist if you don’t see it, and now you argue that motion exists and is an infinite regression, which you declare as truth in bold type.

”How can a thing which was not in motion itself cause something to move? This contradicts your own words:
It is an empirical observation; science has equations for motion; nothing in the observation of motion requires any assumption beyond "I can observe physical phenomena".”


Absolutely false. I’m beginning to recall your method of arguing. Observation of motion, if that is your argument, stops at physical boundaries beyond which no observations are possible. Your proposition requires that (a) there are no boundaries to physical existence and (b) motion has existed for all of an infinite chain of collisions. So you have, by virtue of your objections, accepted the infinite regression and the infinite universe.

”Then you must agree that equations always point to a thing in motion making something else become in motion. 'F=ma' has things in motions on both sides...”.

False. Equations point ONLY to phenomena contained within this universe, which is limited and not infinite. You have chosen the infinite regression, and the infinite universe as more acceptable than having a start, which our universe actually did have.

You are generating conundrums as obstacles to the conclusion (to which you continually refer) and seemingly abhor which are merely minutia and hardly relevant; why would you do that? For you to claim that I said that all motion has moving causes because of the existence of equations, is absurd. Really, it is absurd.
(more below)

Stan said...

”you must choose the infinite regression despite its irrationality if for some reason you must reject the original cause for motion.

Both are purely conceptual.”


And here you make a claim for which you have no possible evidence, and further, one which appears to reject based only on Materialism, not fact or logic. You tend to flit in and out of Radical Skepticism, and this appears to be one of those times: you, yourself, are purely conceptual under solypsism.

1) An infinite regress is purely conceptual and cannot be understood as a rational construct; we agree.
2) An original cause for motion is something which causes motion without being in motion; also purely conceptual. But here we disagree...

Why conclude/believe such a thing exists? Why believe something can cause motion without moving? That's supposed to be the goal of the argument from change


You needn't conclude anything Hugo, and I suspect that you won't. And I suspect that you won't give any disciplined reason for that choice. Your statement rejects the conclusion... based on the conclusion. That is nonsensical.

First, if you choose neither option, then the conversation stops exactly there. Second, you cannot make an argument out of mere questions: you must provide reasons for not choosing, or for choosing the one you did choose.

Now then. If mass/energy and space/time were created in the Big Bang (and if not, then your argument is with physics and Stephen Hawking, not us) then the equations were meaningless before the creation of the physical entities to which they refer. In fact, the universe was created in a massless, energyless environment, and was caused to go into motion without benefit of motion itself inherent in the agent which induced it. (Motion requires space and time to move in). Now you may deny this, but if you do and you choose the infinite regression as the more “reasonable” choice, then you must defend your choice with rational arguments (not more questions).

So the real question is this: why would you or anyone choose an infinite regression rather than a beginning, especially in the face of modern physics?
(more below)

Stan said...

'It is not enough, btw, to declare an argument false because "you see that it is false" or that "everyone can see that it is false". Those are not reasons, they are judgments based on opinion, not empirical factoid or deduction.

Falseness can be proved; merely alleging it is not proof.'

I agree with that, but the difference here is that I am the one who wrote the version of the argument found above, and I am telling you that I wrote it so that it is clearly invalid, on purpose!


That is absolutely false, Hugo, I wrote the argument above, simplified for you specifically. (!)

And now it is back, I do believe I recall your method of objecting clearly now. You poke out statements which are not filtered by yourself for any logical content whatsoever; then you argue that they cannot be dismissed, because they concern you deeply, regardless of any logical case made against them. There is no way to hold a rational conversation with such a person.

You have indicated that you prefer an infinite regression to the facts of physics (actually you do that by asking questions so as not having to take a position), and that is your privilege. But I have no reason to continue discussions in such an intellectual environment, because it is obvious that you will choose any irrationality in order to preserve your worldview. That approach just doesn't fit here and it will not be pursued.

” Ironically, you agree that is an accurate representation of the argument from change for the existence of God... Seriously, please re-read it; the mistake IS obvious.”

First, the argument goes only to existence of a non-moving mover. Your fear of winding up with a proof for the existence of God is palpable.

There is only the choice I gave you in the syllogisms; you chose infinite regression, so: end of story.

“Finally, I would like to specify something. This argument is supposed to prove that God exists by starting with 'things are changing'. I am not convinced by it because of the flaws I listed above. This does not in any way justify the belief that 'God does not exist.' Explaining why an argument fails does not prove its opposite. It really is just another example of why I remain unconvinced.”

Hugo, I’m sorry but I don’t believe that for a femtosecond: you give all the signs of being a convinced Atheist with Materialist and Radical Skeptical overtones. You choose to exposit irrationalities and even worse, to maintain them in the face of actual logic and even actual empirical science. That is a strong indicator of rationalizing premises in order to preserve your desired answer.

Under that approach there will be no case possible for which you cannot dig up absurd reasons NOT to believe - because believing in the logic leads you away from your needs for Atheism to be true.

In other words, Atheism is more important to your needs than is logic. So you cannot accept deductive syllogisms which do not conform to your Atheism.

That is perhaps the one thing that Atheists have in common: protection of Atheism from the attacks of disciplined deductive logic.

Martin said...

>why would you or anyone choose an infinite regression rather than a beginning, especially in the face of modern physics?

Strictly speaking, the infinite regress of which the First Way is concerned with is a concurrent one, not one stretching back in time. If the wall is receiving light, it must be receiving it from somewhere, by necessity. The First Way allows the universe to be infinitely old. Aquinas was not interested in probability arguments. Only in logical proofs. It's still theoretically possible that the universe had no beginning. However, it is not possible for a receiver to not have a giver. It's a logical absurdity.

Stan said...

I'm not seeing your point:

The reception of light requires a source of photon/wave emission, space between transmitter and receiver, and transit time; those are necessary. Time being necessary, then an infinite regression (if it exists) must extend backwards in time.

It is not necessary to disregard known physical properties in order for this to be valid.

Explain how infinite physical causality would extend laterally for a single instant of time - i.e. no time involved, if the effect is totally dependent upon the cause for its existence.

And, for example, one can deduce the existence of a single light source based on the wall receiving light, but how does that support an infinite regression? Much less a lateral one.

Finally, I think that the infinite universe fails Reductio Ad Absurdum when the expanding universe evidence is considered as part of the premise grounding.

And that makes it easier to see the sense of an unmoved mover.

Martin said...

There's a difference between saying that the number of past events terminates in a first event at some point in the distant past because infinity is impossible, and arguing that the rock that is being pushed by the stick must terminate in something that can push without needing to be pushed by anything further.

The first regress relies on trying to show the absurdity of an infinite number of past events, whereas the second regress in theory allows an infinite regress, but just says that even if so, there still must be something embedded in the regress that can push without needing to be pushed.

E.g., the caboose is being pulled by a boxcar, which is being pulled by a boxcar, which is being pulled by a boxcar, etc. Aquinas would say that the chain of boxcars cannot be infinitely long because then there would be no locomotive and hence nothing pulling the caboose. But strictly speaking, there could be an infinite chain of boxcars as long as there was a locomotive buried somewhere in the chain. So this type of chain does not depend on arguments against the possibility of infinity like the first chain does.

Stan said...

OK, I see the lateral case of the trains engine in the middle. If there is motion, then there must be a cause for motion, regardless of where it falls in the infinity of units. (physical instances)

So it pulls from the rear, and pushes toward the front.

That doesn’t work for time-based chains, it seems to me, because no cause can come from the future, working backwards to pull events to it. Even a vacuum which pulls does so based on existing pressure from the opposing zone. The pre-existing pressure (differential) does the work.

And it seems that contingency is both lateral and sequential, so cause-in-the-middle wouldn't apply to it.

Still this is all obviated by the probability that there was no infinite regression for our universe. I know Aquinas didn’t know that, so his arguments wouldn't reflect that. Still, his argument seems strengthened, not weakened by the knowledge of the Big Bang... so long as the contingency is not a future event.

Martin said...

To take the real life example, the lake is frozen because it is being made frozen (being made actually frozen rather than just potentially) by the cold air. The air is actually cold because of uneven heating of the Earth's crust. Which is actually unevenly heating because of the sun. Which is actually burning because of nuclear reactions. Which are actually happening because of gravity pulling the Sun's own mass in on itself. Which is actually happening because of the Higg's boson.

This chain might have existed from all eternity. Nothing about it demands a beginning in time. The lake might have always been frozen, from eternal past.

Either way, "underneath" the Higgs boson at the center of the sun must be something that is actualizing this chain without needing to be actualized by anything further. Because a receiver (the lake receiving its actuality) necessitates a giver (something giving actuality without having to get it from anything further).

I.e., something purely actual, with no potentials for change.

And after that he goes on to deduce all the familiar attributes. Something purely actual causing all change must be all powerful. All-knowing (because being able to learn is an example of having an unrealized potential, which a thing of pure actuality does not have), and so on.

Stan said...

And if the chain of receivers and givers is infinite, it still is actual and requires an actualizer which needs no actualization itself, and thus would be infinite itself, or at least a superset of the infinite universe which is merely a physical actuality.

OK, then.

Hugo said...

Hi Stan,

Way behind on comments... I was going to write 2 parts, 1 purely on the logic side (regarding the philosophical discussion rotating around the "argument from change"), and another as a comment/opinion piece. I decided to skip the 2nd here as more recent posts might be a better place to do so. However, the 2nd part will not be completely empty.

I wanted to make a clear division between the 2 parts since Atheists are accused, especially here on this blog, to avoid giving reasons for rejecting theistic theories. Separating the logical argumentation from commentaries is a simple yet efficient way to correct that misconception, at least for what concerns myself: I cannot pretend that all Atheist reject gods for good reasons, just like Theist do not all accept gods for good reasons. Personally however, I will never walk away from someone who asks me why I don't believe in something.

PART 1: Actual LOGICAL argumentation

Statement 1) At least some things move (change) 'and' at least some things don't move (change).

1A) Hugo said: ”IF [I don't see movement], THEN [motion does not exist].
Do you deny this?”

Stan replied:
Of course I deny this! It is a logical absurdity:
IF [I don’t see Detroit], THEN [Detroit does not exist].


Obviously, this is not what I meant... let me re-phrase:
"IF [I see something not moving], THEN [non-motion/stability/immobility exists]"

Sounds good now?

Hugo said...

Statement 2) There is no good reason to believe that something that does not move can cause something else to start moving 'and' there is no good reason to believe that things which are in motion have always been in motion

2A)
Hugo quoted: " ‘The argument gives you choices: either (a) things which are in motion have always been in motion, or (b)something started them in motion, a thing which was not in motion itself.’

Hugo replied: I disagree with 'a thing which was not in motion itself'. Things that are put in motion by something else are put in motion by something that does move itself.

Stan replied:
First you argue that motion does not exist if you don’t see it...
I did not. It was a misunderstanding as explained above.

...and now you argue that motion exists and is an infinite regression...
I did not. I never claimed that motion is part of an infinite regression, but it could.

...which you declare as truth in bold type.

I did put something true in bold type because I do consider it to be true, but it’s not 'motion exists and is an infinite regression'. What I consider true is that things that move were put in motion by something else that moves. Please explain if you think I am wrong, but if we want to be logical about all of this, and very thorough, we need to clarify what's logically possible as well.

Even though I claim that all moving things, that I know of, were put in motion by something else that was in motion, it does not follow that it has to be the case for all existing things. The logical implication is that it is possible for something to be moved by a non-moving thing, just like it's possible that such a thing does not exist.

I am almost certain that this was not clear so the next section re-uses the same topic:

Hugo said...

2B)
Hugo asked: How can a thing which was not in motion itself cause something to move? This contradicts your own words: It is an empirical observation; science has equations for motion; nothing in the observation of motion requires any assumption beyond "I can observe physical phenomena".”

Stan replied: Observation of motion, if that is your argument, stops at physical boundaries beyond which no observations are possible. Your proposition requires that (a) there are no boundaries to physical existence and (b) motion has existed for all of an infinite chain of collisions. So you have, by virtue of your objections, accepted the infinite regression and the infinite universe.

This is not my argument, this is not the correct interpretation of my words and it's an invalid deduction.

First, what you wrote is a tautology: "Observation of motion, [...], stops at physical boundaries beyond which no observations are possible." Observation stops when no observation is possible. Right.

Second, an infinite physical existence is, by definition, impossible to disprove. There could be an infinite number of ways to arrange an infinite amount of matter/energy for an infinite amount of time. There could be infinite numbers of Big Bang events, with infinite variations, from the smallest possible to the largest possible. It does not stop there though; it can be even way more complex than that. There could be a fixed number of universes, completely independent from each other, each created by a god that himself/herself live in another kind of physical existence that is itself infinite, or not... My proposition does not require any of this, and certainly does not require that there are no boundaries to physical existence.

I do believe that there are known physical boundaries beyond which no observations are possible, but that does not mean that there is nothing physical beyond these boundaries, nor does it mean that there is nothing at all. There could well be something that we cannot observe beyond these boundaries, something which we can label as non-physical or non-material if we want to. What I find illogical is to believe that such things exist.

I have also not accepted the infinite regression; I reject that 'motion has existed for all of an infinite chain of collisions'. I specifically rejected that notion here, in that thread, and many times before. Infinity is a conceptual property which we cannot demonstrate for physical things, by its very definition. Therefore, for the same reason, I find illogical to believe that we are part of an infinite physical universe.

I am still pretty certain that this was not clear again, and there were more quotes to cover, so the next section re-uses that topic again:

Hugo said...

2C) Hugo said: ”Then you must agree that equations always point to a thing in motion making something else become in motion. 'F=ma' has things in motions on both sides...”.

Stan replied: False. Equations point ONLY to phenomena contained within this universe...
Agreed. This does not contradict what I wrote so the word 'False' was inadequate.

...which is limited and not infinite...
Can you prove that? The 'visible' universe is limited and not infinite; we know that. However, it is illogical to dismiss an infinite universe just like it's illogical to claim that the universe must be infinite. Logically speaking, 1 of the 2 options has to be true, but it does not mean that we can prove either. We are thus not justified in believing either. Claiming that 1 or the other is necessarily the correct interpretation is a leap of faith.

However, (regardless of whether we agree or not on the universe being finite) what's ironic is that the point regarding the equation actually serves the point I am trying to make. What's happening in the universe cannot logically be used to explain how the universe itself functions. Therefore, observation of movement inside the universe tells us nothing about the universe as a whole!

You have chosen the infinite regression, and the infinite universe as more acceptable than having a start, which our universe actually did have.

Same thing... Can you prove that? No, because it's only the 'visible' universe which is limited and not infinite.

As you said, equations do point to phenomena contained within this universe. We thus cannot use these equations and extrapolate beyond what we know is covered by these equations. Pre-Big Bang concepts of existence fall under that category, for example... It is thus illogical to accept an infinite universe just like it is illogical to accept that our universe is all there is.

In other words, we hit the same question again: why choose the finite universe?

Hugo said...

The obvious answer is that physics tells us that the universe had a beginning. This raises (at least) 2 critical issues. First, if current cosmology is sufficient proof the physical universe is finite, then no other human beings before the 20th century was justified to believe that the universe is finite, which is absurd considering the fact that most arguments for the existence of creator gods are much older and still accepted today. Second, what we know about the universe already extends beyond what we can observe; so we know that when we talk about the Big Bang, we are already in the conceptual world. These concepts, the theories about the origin of the universe, could be wrong, to some level. We are thus not in a position to claim that the universe necessarily is finite. Logically speaking, the door remains open.

Going back to the beginning... these paragraphs explained why I believe both Statement 2) and your (Stan's) statement: "either (a) things which are in motion have always been in motion, or (b)something started them in motion, a thing which was not in motion itself."

To summarize, yes, it is true that either one of them must be true. Logically speaking, either there is an infinite chain of motion or not. If not, it means that there is a head which was not in motion itself. The problem is that we are not justified to believe 1 option only because we consider that the other option was not proven true. In order to accept 1 option, we need to conclusively prove that the option is true, or conclusively prove that the contrary is false. Merely stating that we don't believe 1 option is not the same as proving it false. This is why I am logically justified to reject both claims. I reject the infinite regression and I reject the notion of an un-moving mover. Both of them are concepts that were not proven to point to an existing thing. The infinite regression is conceptual; the un-moving mover is conceptual.

Note that the universe being finite or not, as Martin pointed out, is not even related to the argument from change directly. It is, however, the exact same logical principles for both discussions so I think that it's clear why we can interchange the two while discussing. The infinite chain of motion and the infinite universe are equally un-proven; just like the finite chain of motion with a non-moving head and the finite universe.

Hugo said...

Statement 3) Conceptual objects are, by default, purely conceptual. The author of the concept needs to provide justification as to why the concept points to an existing thing.

3A) Hugo said: Both are purely conceptual.”

Stan replied: And here you make a claim for which you have no possible evidence, and further, one which appears to reject based only on Materialism, not fact or logic.

I am not making a claim, I am addressing a claim: something can be put in motion by a non-moving thing.
Do you believe this claim to be true? I don't...
Can you support it if you do?

My point is that the argument from change attempts to prove the existence of a non-moving mover and fails at doing so. You cannot just assert that a non-moving thing can make things move. To use your own words... really, it is absurd.

Moreover, yes, it is purely conceptual until you prove otherwise. That's how argumentation for the existence of something works. For anything! If I want to prove to you that 'X' exists, then 'X' is by definition purely conceptual until I justify why the concept of 'X' I am presenting refers to an actual 'X' that exists outside of my own mind. Here, the goal is for you to prove why this 'X' you think exists is more than just a concept in your mind. The 'X' is this thing you label as a 'non-moving mover', something you did not prove exists.

Hugo said...

3B) Hugo said:
-- 1) An infinite regress is purely conceptual and cannot be understood as a rational construct; we agree.
-- 2) An original cause for motion is something which causes motion without being in motion; also purely conceptual. But here we disagree...

Stan replied: First, if you choose neither option, then the conversation stops exactly there.

Claiming that we have to choose between these two options is not logical for 2 reasons. First, they are not even the only 2 options (lack of imagination?). Second, even if they were the only 2 options, they are by definition both non-falsifiable at the moment. That's what was covered in the infinitely long section 2 (pun intended.)

Second, you cannot make an argument out of mere questions: you must provide reasons for not choosing, or for choosing the one you did choose.

I hope I made that clear by now.

Now then. If mass/energy and space/time were created in the Big Bang (and if not, then your argument is with physics and Stephen Hawking, not us)

Saying that "mass/energy and space/time were created in the Big Bang" is a shortcut. The addition of 'visible' or 'that we know of' makes the statement complete: "all of the visible mass/energy and space/time that we are aware of were created in the Big Bang." This is what Stephen Hawking claims. Why do you think he proposes M-theory and the notion that there might be at least 10^500 universes? Clearly, the mass/energy and space/time of these 10^500 universes was not created in the Big Bang...

...then the equations were meaningless before the creation of the physical entities to which they refer.

We agree on that; same as above. The equations describing the mass/energy and space/time we are surrounded by stop working at the Big Bang, or at the very best help us explain why the Big Bang happened the way it did. The equations are not very good at telling us what it means to exists outside of our universe...

In fact, the universe was created in a massless, energyless environment, and was caused to go into motion without benefit of motion itself inherent in the agent which induced it. (Motion requires space and time to move in). Now you may deny this, but if you do and you choose the infinite regression as the more “reasonable” choice, then you must defend your choice with rational arguments (not more questions).

So the real question is this: why would you or anyone choose an infinite regression rather than a beginning, especially in the face of modern physics?


That is a fantastic claim! There is so much to it...

Hugo said...

1) We cannot know that the universe was created in a massless, energyless environment for more than 1 reason.
First, if the universe we live in is part of a multi-verse or any other kind of universe-container, then our universe was created as part of a larger mass/energy system. We cannot disprove that.
Second, if the universe is defined to be the multi-verse itself, including all mass/energy, then we cannot disprove that it always existed.
Third, even if we entertain the idea that at some point in the past there was no mass/energy, some form of massless energyless environment, then we are left with just that: an environment without mass, without energy, without space and without time. We know what it was not. We don't know what it was.

2) We cannot k now that the universe was caused to go into motion without benefit of motion. This is a direct consequence of not being able to prove that it was not always in motion. Granted, if at some point there was nothing 'moving' yet something existed anyway, that/these things were not moving themselves and somehow caused something else to move. We are still left without any means to explain how movement can be caused without movement; no better than having an infinite chain.

3) An agent induced movement? Correct if I am wrong, this seems to follow from the possible idea that at some point there was no space/time/mass/energy. If my interpretation is correct, this is a reasoning error. It implies that because there was no 'x', 'y' must have been there, since 'y' is not made of 'x'.
Wrong.
Even if we were to agree that the universe is definitely finite, and thus that clearly there was no space/time/mass/energy before the universe existed, it is still wrong to claim that there was something else. That something else needs a justification of its own.

4) Denying the claim that a motionless agent caused the space/time/mass/energy universe to start moving does not equal choosing the infinite regression. This was discussed at length in the points above. Even though it is labeled as 'reasonable' in the quote, choosing between the infinite regress or not is not a reasonable choice. The reasonable choice is to reject the two un-proven notions while at the same time accepting the fact that one of them must be true.
To be clear, the two options here are not 'infinite regression' vs 'agent causing stuff to move'; the two options are 'infinite regression' or 'not infinite regression'. 'not infinite regression' can then be a bunch of different things, some of which we probably cannot even think of since it entails ides such as non-moving thing making something move, which is just as absurd as an infinite physical thing.

Hugo said...

Statement 4) Proving an argument wrong does not automatically prove its opposite right.

Hugo said: Finally, I would like to specify something. This argument is supposed to prove that God exists by starting with 'things are changing'. I am not convinced by it because of the flaws I listed above. This does not in any way justify the belief that 'God does not exist.' Explaining why an argument fails does not prove its opposite. It really is just another example of why I remain unconvinced.

Stan replied: Hugo, I’m sorry but I don’t believe that for a femtosecond

It is not an opinion. It's a fact. Proving an argument wrong does not automatically prove its opposite right... regardless of the argument! The confusion here is that there are several techniques in logical argumentation that can be used to prove something right by disproving its opposite. Here's the catch: these arguments are not wrong; that's the point. I am sure it's not clear yet, let me re-phrase...

The point I am trying to make here is that if an argument is wrong, then the argument is meaningless, regardless of what the argument meant. On the other hand, if we prove a claim (A) to be false, then any other claim (B,C,D...) implying that A is true is necessarily false. These 2 notions are completely different.

When it comes to the argument from change, it is clear to me that it fails at proving that a non-moving mover exists. The argument fails at its task. The argument only. Therefore, it does not mean that the claim 'a non-moving mover exists' is false, just like it does not mean that the claim 'a non-moving mover does not exist' is true. The only thing we know is that the argument from change is wrong. That's it.

Hugo said...

PART 2 - Short I promise...

Stan, here's a list of quotes from you:
1) "I’m beginning to recall your method of arguing."
2) "You tend to flit in and out of Radical Skepticism, and this appears to be one of those times: you, yourself, are purely conceptual under solypsism."
3) "You needn't conclude anything Hugo, and I suspect that you won't. And I suspect that you won't give any disciplined reason for that choice. Your statement rejects the conclusion... based on the conclusion. That is nonsensical."
4) "I recall your method of objecting clearly now. You poke out statements which are not filtered by yourself for any logical content whatsoever; then you argue that they cannot be dismissed, because they concern you deeply, regardless of any logical case made against them. There is no way to hold a rational conversation with such a person."
5) "But I have no reason to continue discussions in such an intellectual environment, because it is obvious that you will choose any irrationality in order to preserve your worldview. That approach just doesn't fit here and it will not be pursued."
6) "Your fear of winding up with a proof for the existence of God is palpable."
7A) "Hugo, I’m sorry but I don’t believe that for a femtosecond: you give all the signs of being a convinced Atheist with Materialist and Radical Skeptical overtones. You choose to exposit irrationalities and even worse, to maintain them in the face of actual logic and even actual empirical science. That is a strong indicator of rationalizing premises in order to preserve your desired answer."
7B) "Under that approach there will be no case possible for which you cannot dig up absurd reasons NOT to believe - because believing in the logic leads you away from your needs for Atheism to be true."
7C) "In other words, Atheism is more important to your needs than is logic. So you cannot accept deductive syllogisms which do not conform to your Atheism."
7D) "That is perhaps the one thing that Atheists have in common: protection of Atheism from the attacks of disciplined deductive logic."

All of these are purely attacks on my sense of logic and 'style', whatever that is... It is really fascinating that you, self-proclaimed defender of logic and reason, keep using so many insults when "discussing".

Sorry for spamming... but trust me there would be so much more to say! I really just don't have the time...
Actually, could you ban me? It would make me smile and prevent me from commenting again :)
Dam I wasted so much time tonight...

This by the way shows how wrong Steven Satak was once again; pretending that I go from blog to blog, lol, what a joke... I barely have time to READ this blog... I had 1 night of free time that I decided to invest in this discussion because I find it interesting. Even when I used to have time I never ended up commenting on more than a dozen different blogs, over several years!

And to Martin,
If you got to read this... yes I do suffer from cognitive dissonance. You are so right. I cannot accept that something potential exists, I only accept non-potential existence. I also have another issue; I believe that a word like 'change' can mean two things that are completely contradictory, at the same time. I really don't know I can go through life like this... It's probably why I did no better than a college ranked 500 in the USA; that's why I erased all traces of discussion with a reader on my blog, I was ashamed when he mentioned IQ and GMAT scores; that's why I wasted time writing a book with a fake name, I am too embarrassed... oh no wait, I think that was you, my bad...

Yes yes, I know, what an elitist bitch I am. But eh, at least I know it! And hopefully I am all wrong and Martin is just too modest to show the real talent he has!

Stan said...

Hugo,
Wow. You wrote a book here. Your opening statement is promising, but I haven't the time just now to completely read your offering - but I will. Please be patient with me, I will respond.

Stan

Stan said...

Hugo,
I think I can very quickly address this:

”What I consider true is that things that move were put in motion by something else that moves. Please explain if you think I am wrong, but if we want to be logical about all of this, and very thorough, we need to clarify what's logically possible as well.”

This is the origin of the logical conundrum. It is true that there is a backward chain of moving things, which are caused by other moving things. The question is this: is there an original cause for the motion, or is there not. I.e. does the chain end at some originator or is it infinite?

If there is an original cause, and we declare that all (not some, but all) moving things are caused by other moving things, then the "original cause" for motion cannot be the actual original cause, because there is always a prior moving thing which caused it to move, therefore it is NOT the original cause). In order for there to be an originating cause, we must say the the cause itself had no prior cause for moving. Either (a) it was moving without cause, (b) it was moving on its own cause, (c) or it was not moving. But we cannot say that "all" motion is caused by other motion, IFF we declare there to be an origin for motion.

IFF there is not an original cause for the motion, then there is an infinite chain, which is generally considered a logical absurdity, both incomprehensible and unprovable.

So we must deal with the more rationally acceptable conclusion that there was an original cause.

Option (a) has no meaning.

Option (b) entails self-empowerment.

Option (c) suggests agency.

Stan

Hugo said...

Hi,

There is a reasoning error in what you wrote; I think half of my long comments is about explaining that error...

IFF there is not an original cause for the motion, then there is an infinite chain, which is generally considered a logical absurdity, both incomprehensible and unprovable.

It's not a logical absurdity. It's actually possible logically speaking. It is slightly incomprehensible since we cannot grasp infinity. And yes it's certainly unprovable.

So we must deal with the more rationally acceptable conclusion that there was an original cause.

It is not more rationally acceptable, why would it be?

An un-caused cause, an un-moved mover, whatever we are talking about, is possible, hard to comprehend, but unlike infinity, could be provable, I suppose. Not really sure how we can prove that though...

Saying that infinity is not believable is certainly no reason. 'Not believable' does not equal 'proven false/wrong/non-existent'

Hugo said...

oh and also addressed that:
Option (c) suggests agency.

See this part:
orrect if I am wrong, this seems to follow from the possible idea that at some point there was no space/time/mass/energy. If my interpretation is correct, this is a reasoning error. It implies that because there was no 'x', 'y' must have been there, since 'y' is not made of 'x'.
Wrong.
Even if we were to agree that the universe is definitely finite, and thus that clearly there was no space/time/mass/energy before the universe existed, it is still wrong to claim that there was something else. That something else needs a justification of its own.

Stan said...

Hugo,

"That something else needs a justification of its own."

Either motion is contingent or it is not. If the universe was set into motion, either it is contingent upon a prior entity as a cause, or it set itself into motion (non-contingent).

This is more clearly expressed as causation:

Either the universe caused itself (non-contingent) or it had a prior cause outside of itself (contingent).

If we choose non-contingent, then we have chosen something which is never observed, and which is not rationally explainable (something comes out of absolutely nothing, for no reason, with no cause).

Further, motion cannot be understood outside the universe, because it is defined as a position change in x,y,z coordinates over a period of time, t. These things are specific to our universe (Hawking et. al)

Stan said...

Hugo,

Regarding the contingency of motion:

From Plato.Stanford.edu:

"
1. A contingent being (a being such that if it exists it could have not-existed or could cease to) exists.

2. This contingent being has a cause of or explanation[1] for its existence.

3. The cause of or explanation for its existence is something other than the contingent being itself.

4. What causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must either be solely other contingent beings or include a non-contingent (necessary) being.

5. Contingent beings alone cannot provide an adequate causal account or explanation for the existence of a contingent being.

6. Therefore, what causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must include a non-contingent (necessary) being.

7. Therefore, a necessary being (a being such that if it exists cannot not-exist) exists."


This reasoning addresses the impossibility of an infinite regression of contingency - which includes contingent motion.

Stan said...

Hugo,
Perhaps I should summarize:

The mere existence of contingent entities (or their properties such as motion) cannot be explained by an infinity of pure contingencies; i.e. even that many contingent entities are still purely contingent.

Contingent upon what? Contingent upon a separate cause for their existence, because contingent entities cannot exist on their own - that is a property of contingency.

That separate cause is non-contingent.

Stan said...

Hugo,
One argument against the concept that infinity is rational: its use leads directly to absurdities.

For example, there exists an infinite chain of pop-beads. We approach it somewhere in the middle, and break the chain. Now the pop-beads extend infinitely to the right and infinitely to the left - we have two infinite chains, regressing in each direction. This is absurd, of course.

More specifically it is mathematically impossible for two subsets each to equal the set (note 1): the concept of infinity is mathematically impossible, yet it is a mathematical concept being used for philosophical "proof".

Note 1:
infinity divided by two = infinity.

So infinity divided by two taken twice = 2 * infinity.

The result is that
(infinity/2) + (infinity/2) = 2*infinity,

or,

1 = 2.

There are many absurd results from the use of infinity. That is because it is an impossible term to define. Even the idea that x/0=infinity is without meaning for this reason: how is x divided into parts that have zero content?

Infinity and infinite regressions are not useful concepts, except to demonstrate mathematical errors.

Stan said...

Hugo,
I gotta git, but here's one place to look: on the link above to stanford.plato, go to para. 5.2 for a discussion of infinity.

Stan said...

Hugo,
Back for a short time.

I should address this:

" If my interpretation is correct, this is a reasoning error. It implies that because there was no 'x', 'y' must have been there, since 'y' is not made of 'x'.
Wrong."


The discussion is not about composition ("made of..."), it is about this:
IF [(X starts to exist) & (the existence of X was caused by Y which is a part of NOT X)], THEN [Y must have agency to have caused X].

Stan said...

Hugo,
I have a little time here, but not much. I’ll try to address your 2B.

”I do believe that there are known physical boundaries beyond which no observations are possible, but that does not mean that there is nothing physical beyond these boundaries, nor does it mean that there is nothing at all. There could well be something that we cannot observe beyond these boundaries, something which we can label as non-physical or non-material if we want to. What I find illogical is to believe that such things exist.

I have also not accepted the infinite regression; I reject that 'motion has existed for all of an infinite chain of collisions'. I specifically rejected that notion here, in that thread, and many times before. Infinity is a conceptual property which we cannot demonstrate for physical things, by its very definition. Therefore, for the same reason, I find illogical to believe that we are part of an infinite physical universe.


The physical boundaries of approaching and observing the Big Bang exist because the existence of physical components of the universe cease to exist as time regresses toward its own non-existence. This is currently accepted science, as I have pointed out previously. The concept of physical causation ceases to apply; and yet there must have been a cause, not a physical cause, for the initiation of the universe prior to t = 10^-35 sec which is generally acknowledged as the physical boundary of the Big Bang, beyond which physical observation is impossible, because physical existence was not present.

Consider the Reductio Ad Absurdum contrary: there was no cause, either physical or non-physical; the universe erupted into physical existence for no reason or cause. There is a logical block to this idea: there must have been rules for the eruption to occur, because the most obvious of those rules is this: This process of eruption has limiting rules which limit it from occurring all the time and all places. We would see unlimited eruptions of new universes, unless there is a limiting function in place, a priori.

So if there are rules, a priori, then there must be other non-physical existence, a priori, which functions to provide rules.

So even the Reductio Ad Absurdum leads to a priori existence which is not physical.

Hugo said...

(On phone, pardon mistakes)

After reading the exchange here a few times and even drafting a response, I realized that everything boils down to 1 thing: is an actual infinite possible?

The article you linked to attempts to support 'no' as an answer and you did so too, but I remain unconvinced. The reasons are all in the form of examples of why a first cause makes more sense, what you called a logical block. There is however no deduction process here, or I don't see it...

In other words, the argumentation against a possible actual infinite run in circles. An actual infinite is deemed impossible because otherwise a first cause is not required, and a first cause is required because we cannot have an actual infinite. That's what your last paragraph stated with attempts to use reductio ad absurdum, you gave examples of why a cause seem necessary, but forgot the obvious one: no cause means infinite. So using reductio ad absurdum does not work tonprpve that a first cause necessarily exists, we remain with 2 possible scenarios: a cause or not, infinite or not...

Science does not help. Reducing the big bang theory to a theory of "everything came into existence" is an oversimplification and naive way the o claim that we know that nothing exists outside the visible universe.

Cheers

Stan said...

Hugo,
"In other words, the argumentation against a possible actual infinite run in circles. An actual infinite is deemed impossible because otherwise a first cause is not required, and a first cause is required because we cannot have an actual infinite."

Actually not. An infinite chain of contingent causes cannot exist, because the entire set is contingent. Contingency is the very definition of requiring something prior. Time did not exist in the environment before the Big Bang (Hawking, et.al.) So the contingent set stops (looking backward in time) at the Big Bang.

Looking backward in time, there is no infinite existence of universal mass/energy, space/time because they did not exist before the Big Bang. So prior physical cause for physical effects - such as motion - stop there too. The actual question is whether the first physical effect, which occured without any possibility of physical cause, was caused non-physically or was spontaneous, out of nothing.

Here's the logical hitch: being a physical effect, it is automatically known to be contingent because non-contingency is denied under empirical science.

So being non-contingent, it must have had a cause, but there is no possiblity of a prior mass/energy cause because the first effect is the first existence of mass/energy.

Therefore, we know the following:

1. Everything which exists in the universe is contingent under empirical scientific definition.

2. The very first effect - the brand new existence of mass/energy - came into being without prior existence of mass/energy.

3. Without the prior existence of mass/energy, the first effect whichs is the existence of mass/energy and is contingent, must have been contingent on some cause which was not mass/energy. That cause would necessarily be non-physical, non-material in the sense of physical = material = mass/energy.

I.e., the first cause of the first material effect in the universe - its material existence - necessarily is non-material.

This is the primary deduction.

a further deduction is this:

IF a non-material entity caused the material existence of the universe, then the non-material entity which did so had the capacity and capability to do so (agency).

These arguments cannot be sidelined by concepts of infinity, because there is no infinite regression of mass/energy. This is fully supported by cosmological science, and Hubble's discovery of the Red Shift and proof of the expanding universe, which convinced Einstein of Deism, rejecting his earlier Atheism.

Stan said...

Hugo,
"In other words, the argumentation against a possible actual infinite run in circles. An actual infinite is deemed impossible because otherwise a first cause is not required, and a first cause is required because we cannot have an actual infinite."

Actually not. An infinite chain of contingent causes cannot exist, because the entire set is contingent. Contingency is the very definition of requiring something prior. Time did not exist in the environment before the Big Bang (Hawking, et.al.) So the contingent set stops (looking backward in time) at the Big Bang.

Looking backward in time, there is no infinite existence of universal mass/energy, space/time because they did not exist before the Big Bang. So prior physical cause for physical effects - such as motion - stop there too. The actual question is whether the first physical effect, which occured without any possibility of physical cause, was caused non-physically or was spontaneous, out of nothing.

Here's the logical hitch: being a physical effect, it is automatically known to be contingent because non-contingency is denied under empirical science.

So being contingent, it must have had a cause (upon which it is contingent), but there is no possiblity of a prior mass/energy cause because the first effect is the first existence of mass/energy.

Therefore, we know the following:

1. Everything which exists in the universe is contingent under empirical scientific definition.

2. The very first effect - the brand new existence of mass/energy - came into being without prior existence of mass/energy.

3. Without the prior existence of mass/energy, the first effect which is the existence of mass/energy and is contingent, must have been contingent on some cause which was not mass/energy. That cause would necessarily be non-physical, non-material in the sense of physical = material = mass/energy.

I.e., the first cause of the first material effect in the universe - its material existence - necessarily is non-material.

This is the primary deduction.

a further deduction is this:

IF a non-material entity caused the material existence of the universe, then the non-material entity which did so had the capacity and capability to do so (agency).

These arguments cannot be sidelined by concepts of infinity, because there is no infinite regression of mass/energy. This is fully supported by cosmological science, and Hubble's discovery of the Red Shift and proof of the expanding universe, which convinced Einstein of Deism, rejecting his earlier Atheism.

Hugo said...

Hi Stan,

So the problem here really is the same again and again, why would the universe not possibly be infinite, or in other words, why is it necessarily contingent? That's what you use as fact to support this idea: An infinite chain of contingent causes cannot exist, because the entire set is contingent.

I reject the reasons you gave. They all rely on the same principle: before the Big Bang nothing physical existed. But how can you be so sure of that? And how can you even rely on Hawking's finding when you know that he would disagree with you on the implications of his own findings? (And of many many others of course)

In other words, there is an easy parallel to make with our ancestors. They were looking up at the sky, seeing things move around them and thought that this is it, stuff move around us. Later they realized we move in this stuff too and there is a lot we don't see with the naked eye. Now, jumping to today, you claim that this universe we see around us is all there is? But why? It could be the case sure, but it could also be so many other things...

For example, earlier you tossed aside the idea that Big Bangs don't occur all the time, because we don't see that happening, but how could we? What if our Big Bang is one of a billion Big Bang? What if they all happen at the same time so no time constrain is needed outside our universe? Etcetcetc... Oops, G2g...

Stan said...

Hugo,

"I reject the reasons you gave. They all rely on the same principle: before the Big Bang nothing physical existed. But how can you be so sure of that? And how can you even rely on Hawking's finding when you know that he would disagree with you on the implications of his own findings? (And of many many others of course)"

First, I don’t disagree with Hawkings finding; I disagree with his improper philosophical deduction based on his finding.

Second, what do you need for certainty? If rational arguments deducing the overwhelming probability are not certain enough to satisfy you, then you are asserting radical Skepticism, and you can never be satisfied until you get the answer which you desire in your emotions, rather than in your rational mind.

”In other words, there is an easy parallel to make with our ancestors. They were looking up at the sky, seeing things move around them and thought that this is it, stuff move around us. Later they realized we move in this stuff too and there is a lot we don't see with the naked eye. Now, jumping to today, you claim that this universe we see around us is all there is? But why? It could be the case sure, but it could also be so many other things...”

Again that is not what I have said. The argument from contingency claims that there IS something else: a cause. There is no claim that there is nothing else.

Further, you are correct about science being temporary and producing contingent factoids which are falsifiable but not falsified. But you have given no reason to suspect that there is any prior material existence before the Big Bang. That can be seen as superstition, even more than your denial of accepted science. You have no reason to believe that, other than the same belief that leads to the “brain in a vat” denial of all reality, which is an undeniable argument and which is incontrovertible by material empirical testing. However, it is also an unsupported and unsupported belief, which is emotional in nature, not rational.

” For example, earlier you tossed aside the idea that Big Bangs don't occur all the time, because we don't see that happening, but how could we? What if our Big Bang is one of a billion Big Bang? What if they all happen at the same time so no time constrain is needed outside our universe? Etcetcetc... Oops, G2g...”

Hugo, “simultaneous Big Bangs” is in no manner unconstrained. It is constrained to simultaneity. You are groping for straws in a maelstrom. Please: at least think through the obvious answers to your “issues”. That is the point of rational thinking… completely thinking through both… BOTH… sides, pro and con. You are merely throwing out bogus cons, making it clear that you do not want the pro to be true, so you throw whatever comes into your mind at it, without much consideration.

Here's the bottom line. Since you cannot know, with your own eyes, that mass/energy, space/time did not exist before the Big Bang (re: Hawking, et.al.) and that therefore temporal contingency logically had to stop at the point where mass and time first came into existence, then you (a) reject these points of both science and logic, and (b) create alternative stories which you give higher credence. These stories are without any basis in actual knowledge, and are not defeaters to the argument being made. THEREFORE, your counter-arguments are without weight against the logic and science being presented.

THUS, you very apparently are predisposed to denial rather than to discovery; that is an antirational position.

Hugo said...

On my phone again so sorry, I have to be quick since it's not efficient and cannot really copy/paste since it's annoyingly time consuming...

First, I also partially with Hawkins' philosophical conclusions, since there could still be a god behind all this universe around us. But Stan, you do disagree with science findings by declaring that nothing existed prior to the Big Bang...

Second, I need for certainty the same thing anybody else should require imo, objective facts and rational arguments... you did not provide such argumentation to support your claims regarding the universe and its potential causes.

Second (again), I do not have any emotional attachment to these things. Why would I? Because I want to reject a specific god? I am ok with a god existing, I actually wish it were for sure, there would be a lot of pros to it I think.

Yes you claimed that there is nothing else, nothing else natur nothing else physical, nothing else but the 1 god you believe in...

It's good that we agree on 1 thing regarding scientific factoids, but the choice of words is subtle yet important. I dont claim we have reasons to suspect there was anything, I claim that we cannot prove otherwise. Yes the brain in a vat scenario has similarities but it's a complete different topic and implications, a very bad parallel in thus case.

The simultaneous Big Bang example is very useful. It serves to show that the simple view of a single universe with all of the possible "time" is bogus. I think you should also think more about these things. Why not read aboyt evidence of the multiverse?

You're bottom line is wrong and confirms that you still don't understand my position. I DONT give higher value to one scenario. You stated precisely thw opposite of what I believe...

I am seeking, searching, open minded. I wish you were right and there were a god, I wish we could prove which one and stop fighting about it... this is just not thw reality we live in, and I choose reality and reason over emotions and wishful thinking.

Stan said...

Hugo said,

”First, I also partially with Hawkins' philosophical conclusions, since there could still be a god behind all this universe around us. But Stan, you do disagree with science findings by declaring that nothing existed prior to the Big Bang...”

There are no science “findings” of material existence prior to the Big Bang. There is no science deduction based on observed material existence that there was material existence prior to the Big Bang. There is only ungrounded speculation.

I made no claim that there was nothing before the Big Bang, I specifically claim that there can be deduced an existence before the existence of mass /energy, space/time, an existence which is necessarily not part of the material universe, and not necessarily made of universal materials.

You seem to be telling me what my position is, yet you are getting it wrong, even though I spelled it out completely. I even gave it numbered premises.

”Second, I need for certainty the same thing anybody else should require imo, objective facts and rational arguments... you did not provide such argumentation to support your claims regarding the universe and its potential causes.”

This is absurd, and trending toward complete denial of the obvious, which I will spell out right now: First: There is no material object to be shown, so there is no material “objective” evidence; demanding material evidence for non-material existence is a blatant Category Error. (If I had a nickel for every time I have said that…) Second I have given you an enumerated deductive argument above, which you now claim does not exist.

Tell me why this should not stop right exactly here.

”Second (again), I do not have any emotional attachment to these things. Why would I? Because I want to reject a specific god? I am ok with a god existing, I actually wish it were for sure, there would be a lot of pros to it I think.”

Frankly, I believe your performance over your claim here. (see your assertion of "reality", below)

”Yes you claimed that there is nothing else, nothing else natur nothing else physical, nothing else but the 1 god you believe in...”

I said nothing about “1 god”. Period. Nothing. You are now squirming by using false accusations, and you have not addressed the argument given you. If you have any evidence ("proof") that there is (a) physical, material, mass/energy, space/time existence prior to the Big Bang , then give it here and now; (b) If you have any evidence ("proof") that there is NO non-material evidence prior to the Big Bang, then give it here and now. (c) If you have any evidence that objective knowledge is all that there is existent, then show that proof here and now, making it objective knowledge. (d) If you can provide disciplined ("disproof") for the deduction which I gave you above, then make your objective knowledge apparent and show your disproof.

Make sure that your "proof" or "disproof" meet your own demand for objective evidence and "reality".

If this sounds terse, so be it. I am impatient with sustained denial of obvious prior arguments and especially with dishonest representation of my position in order to defend the opposing argument.

Stan said...

”It's good that we agree on 1 thing regarding scientific factoids, but the choice of words is subtle yet important. I dont claim we have reasons to suspect there was anything, I claim that we cannot prove otherwise. Yes the brain in a vat scenario has similarities but it's a complete different topic and implications, a very bad parallel in thus case.”

Brain-in-a-Vat denialist Skepticism is exactly what you are doing. You are asserting Radical Skepticism in the Pyrrhonian vein. You wish to deny whatever you cannot “prove”, and you neglect to define your specifications for proof, your specifications for existence, your specifications for “objective”. What is implied in your denial is both Radical Skepticism and Philosophical Materialism.

”The simultaneous Big Bang example is very useful. It serves to show that the simple view of a single universe with all of the possible "time" is bogus. I think you should also think more about these things. Why not read aboyt evidence of the multiverse? “

That now is bullshit. If you have some evidence, then give it. Here and now. And I demand that you give the exact type of evidence which you demand: “objective” evidence, not speculative hypotheses attempting to support Atheist denialist positions. Your assertion of my ignorance is an insult and is without merit. And your use of multiverse speculations to shore up your "disproof" is just Radical Skepticism, pure and simple.

”You're bottom line is wrong and confirms that you still don't understand my position. I DONT give higher value to one scenario. You stated precisely thw opposite of what I believe...

I am seeking, searching, open minded. I wish you were right and there were a god, I wish we could prove which one and stop fighting about it... this is just not thw reality we live in, and I choose reality and reason over emotions and wishful thinking.”


What you choose is not to address the evidence which is given to you, using the criteria which you claim to use, and which you demand of others: objective and rational.

By choosing some cherished concept of “reality”, which is actually Philosophical Materialism, you have shown your actual worldview, which is not “searching, open minded”, it is locked solidly onto a single concept and rejects deductive arguments without even attempting to analyze them.

Your only argument is that the argument which you did not address cannot be the case, because: "material reality". That reality is limited to material existence is a concept which you assert but cannot "prove". Thus, Materialism is your ideology, around which your mind is enclosed, regardless of your assertions otherwise.

Why should we continue this conversation, when you refuse to consider arguments contrary to your ideology?

Hugo said...

No Stan you did not present argumentation defending what we disagree on. Have to keep it short again so what matters is this; Prove this premise:

1. Everything which exists in the universe is contingent under empirical scientific definition.

You assert it without justification. The only way such statement can be true is if 'universe' = 'what we can observe empirically'

So I don't deny that you present evidence nor deductive arguments, I only reject premises like 1. above.

Too much to cover for now...

Oh but here's 1 thing I had saved for further reading:
http://www.space.com/21421-universe-multiverse-inflation-theory.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2326869/Is-universe-merely-billions-Evidence-existence-multiverse-revealed-time-cosmic-map.html

Cheers

Stan said...

Hugo said:

”’1. Everything which exists in the universe is contingent under empirical scientific definition.’

So I don't deny that you present evidence nor deductive arguments, I only reject premises like 1. above.”


You are free to reject whatever you like. You are free to demand whatever proof you like. You are free to NOT provide any specifications for what you reject. However, you are not likely to convince anyone that you are open minded while rejecting a definition under which logic and science operate. By rejecting the definition you reject both logic and science as operable in places you cannot visit or see or test. That is up to you, of course, but your skepticism is not convincing as a means to actual knowledge; all your skepticism does is to prevent knowledge which is obtained deductively, rejected regardless of its probability.

And your dependence upon extra-cosmic speculation in order to bolster your cosmic skepticism goes exactly counter to your demand for first hand observation in order to know a thing. If you cannot extrapolate the first principles of the known universe to apply to the same universe, only to portions which are outside of your visual horizon, then it is irrational for you to treat speculations of other universes (also outside your visual horizon) with anything other than that very same skepticism and rejection. No, your rejection is absolutely biased toward answers you want, prejudiced emotionally. So your rejectionism itself is certainly rejectable based on that prejudice.

So go your happy way. There will be no discussion possible with you due to your pre-chosen rejections which are biased by your prechosen favored (but unknowable by the same standards by which you reject) speculations.

Hugo said...

Hi Stan,

So I did make a mistake in a previous comment regarding the definition of 'universe' but what you wrote after clarified it and made it evident that we disagree on is the definition. You are correct. It will be evident by the end of this comment.

Hugo said:
”’1. Everything which exists in the universe is contingent under empirical scientific definition.’
So I don't deny that you present evidence nor deductive arguments, I only reject premises like 1. above.”

Stan replied:
"You are free to reject whatever you like. You are free to demand whatever proof you like."
Useless rhetorical point #1

"You are free to NOT provide any specifications for what you reject."
I give very detailed explanations as to what I reject and why. I reject the notion that the universe was shown to be limited; I reject the idea that "it's impossible for the universe to be infinite."
You on the other hand, do believe this idea. You believe the statement: "it's impossible for the universe to be infinite". And you seem to believe it very strongly, as if we 'knew' it to be true, as if it was close to 100% probable. Correct?

"However, you are not likely to convince anyone that you are open minded while rejecting a definition under which logic and science operate."
Your definition implies that '"it's impossible for the universe to be infinite" so yes, I do reject that definition because it goes against logic and science.
A correct statement is that it's impossible for whatever started to exist since the Big Bang to be infinite. That is scientifically accurate. But logically speaking, if the universe is the container for all that is physical/material/natural, then it is still possible that there was something more, so what we perceive to be the universe is possibly just a tiny fraction of a larger universe, which may or may not be infinite.

"By rejecting the definition you reject both logic and science as operable in places you cannot visit or see or test."
I don't reject logic and science as operable in places I cannot visit/see/test since the Big Bang is already something we cannot visit/see/test. Dark matter would be another example. We cannot directly visit/see/test it yet I am as convinced as any other person (who knows what it is) that it does in fact exists. We infer its existence from the things that we do visit/see/test, just like the Big Bang.

The disagreement we have is on what we can infer, or not, from what we already know.

"That is up to you, of course, but your skepticism is not convincing as a means to actual knowledge; all your skepticism does is to prevent knowledge which is obtained deductively, rejected regardless of its probability."
Useless rhetorical point #2
(It goes against everything I care about... If I did not want new knowledge, I would not try to learn nor discuss with people I disagree with. If I rejected deductive knowledge, regardless of its probability, I would fail at pretty much everything I do in life, especially the things I am good at right now!)

Hugo said...

"And your dependence upon extra-cosmic speculation..."
Yes it's speculation, but to prove a point: it's POSSIBLE that the universe we live in is part of a much bigger structure. You asked for reasons to suspect that; I supplied them.

"...in order to bolster your cosmic skepticism goes exactly counter to your demand for first hand observation in order to know a thing."
You are the one who is skeptic of a multi-verse here. I think it's POSSIBLE that, even though we cannot have first hand observation and will most likely never have it, what's outside the "post-Big Bang Universe" is yet more physical/material/natural stuff. I think it's possible there could be an infinite quantity of this stuff, whatever it may be. I also think it's POSSIBLE that there is nothing outside the visible universe around us as I pointed out before... You reject these possibilities without proper justification: You state that the universe is contingent, by definition, regardless of the POSSIBILITY that the universe is actually much bigger, possibly infinite, and thus non-contingent.

I do specify 'proper' justifications because you gave 1, but I reject it. You stated that time started with the Big Bang and that this is thus an indication that the universe is contingent. This simply re-affirms the idea that the post-Big Bang universe is contingent, but not that it cannot possibly be part of a non-contingent container. It states the conclusion that the universe is contingent as starting point. The definition of the universe thus include 'contingent', which goes against logic and science.

"If you cannot extrapolate the first principles of the known universe to apply to the same universe, only to portions which are outside of your visual horizon, then it is irrational for you to treat speculations of other universes (also outside your visual horizon) with anything other than that very same skepticism and rejection."
I am consistent. What I do, just like any seeker does, is precisely what you describe here: extrapolate the first principles of the known universe. This leads us to the Big Bang Theory as the best explanation for the beginning of the universe we live in. The problem is what you infer from this Theory...

No, your rejection is absolutely biased toward answers you want, prejudiced emotionally.
Useless rhetorical point #3
You had to bring up the 'emotional' side of it again? Why? There is nothing emotional about these things... so your accusation reveal your own emotional attachment if there is any...

So go your happy way. There will be no discussion possible with you due to your pre-chosen rejections which are biased by your prechosen favored (but unknowable by the same standards by which you reject) speculations.
Useless rhetorical point #4
Sure. I don't mind stopping the discussion on the possibility that the universe is infinite. You claim that I am emotional about but you seem to think that it's important enough for you to not want to discuss anything else... so this sounds a lot more emotional than I could possibly be... unless I am getting this wrong and you mean only that you cannot discuss 'that' thing anymore?

What if I were to say, 'ok' let's suppose the universe is clearly finite and at some point nothing material/physical/natural existed, we would continue with a proof for...? I would not want to be accused of saying that you want to prove 1 God... I won't have much time anymore anyway since I am done with my vacation :(

Stan said...

”I give very detailed explanations as to what I reject and why. I reject the notion that the universe was shown to be limited; I reject the idea that "it's impossible for the universe to be infinite."

This is certainly not any reasoning for the conclusion you make; it is merely a conclusion with no premises.

”You on the other hand, do believe this idea. You believe the statement: "it's impossible for the universe to be infinite". And you seem to believe it very strongly, as if we 'knew' it to be true, as if it was close to 100% probable. Correct?”

That which can be proved with disciplined deduction and additionally has disciplined empirical support can be rationally believed; contrary information without any sort of proof or even premises such as you provide are imaginings which you find useful, but are without any supporting premises for validation, therefore they fail the principles of logic, and further, they therefore not credible as possible conclusions. You must defeat both the deductive logic and the empirical observations if you are to give credibility to your imaginings.

”Your definition implies that '"it's impossible for the universe to be infinite" so yes, I do reject that definition because it goes against logic and science.”

That is incredibly false. FALSE. The universe did not exist prior to the expansion; you must defeat that if you are to make credible arguments.

” But logically speaking, if the universe is the container for all that is physical/material/natural, then it is still possible that there was something more, so what we perceive to be the universe is possibly just a tiny fraction of a larger universe, which may or may not be infinite.”

You are logic chopping by confusing terms. You claim this:

(a) , if the universe is the container for ALL that is physical/material/natural, then it is still possible that there was something more,

This is false, if the “something more” is “physical/material/natural”, which obviously contradicts the premise, a mistake which your conclusion rides on:

(b) so what we perceive to be the universe is possibly just a tiny fraction of a larger universe, which may or may not be infinite.

False. If ALL that is mass/energy is contained in the universe we know to exist, then there is no reason to even consider that there is a larger mass/energy existence (“larger universe”), except in your imagination, and even that violates your own logic. If there is something more, it is not logical to think that it is mass/energy without some actual reason to think so. Other than imagining it.
(more below)

Stan said...

” "By rejecting the definition you reject both logic and science as operable in places you cannot visit or see or test."
I don't reject logic and science as operable in places I cannot visit/see/test since the Big Bang is already something we cannot visit/see/test. Dark matter would be another example. We cannot directly visit/see/test it yet I am as convinced as any other person (who knows what it is) that it does in fact exists. We infer its existence from the things that we do visit/see/test, just like the Big Bang.

The disagreement we have is on what we can infer, or not, from what we already know.”


Yes, it is. You cannot infer imaginary physical existences from current science observations, nor can you infer infinities from finites, without invoking your imagination as the source.

” "That is up to you, of course, but your skepticism is not convincing as a means to actual knowledge; all your skepticism does is to prevent knowledge which is obtained deductively, rejected regardless of its probability."

Useless rhetorical point #2


And that is a useless defense against the point being made. I’ll make it again: your rejection of actual knowledge-based deductions, in favor of imaginary physical existences, prevents the acceptance of actual knowledge. You claim to accept the Big Bang on one hand, and then you claim that it is credible that the universe is actually infinite; that is anti-scientific. You claim to accept that the Big Bang was the creation of mass/energy, space/time, and then you claim that the contingency of the universe doesn’t end when looking back; that is anti-logical, without premises and denying a tautological truth.

”(It goes against everything I care about... If I did not want new knowledge, I would not try to learn nor discuss with people I disagree with. If I rejected deductive knowledge, regardless of its probability, I would fail at pretty much everything I do in life, especially the things I am good at right now!)

And yet you have done so, in favor of your ideology.
(more below)

Stan said...

” I also think it's POSSIBLE that there is nothing outside the visible universe around us as I pointed out before... You reject these possibilities without proper justification: You state that the universe is contingent, by definition, regardless of the POSSIBILITY that the universe is actually much bigger, possibly infinite, and thus non-contingent.”

It is also possible that the sun is molten cheese, just awaiting nachos. But not likely. The possibilities you cling to exist only in your mind; you cannot justify them using any knowledge of the universe which has been given empirical standing, and it goes against knowledge of the universe which does have empirical standing. You have no reason or reasoning for your imagined “possibilities”.

Let’s talk justification. You have never, ever, ever declared what justification means to you. It is a wiggle word that you use without definition. I have tried to pry that out of you, to no avail. So I stop here, until you define justification in detail, because I have science on my side as justification, while you have only your imagination which you consider “possible”, therefore justified. I consider your imaginings to be non-justifiable as knowledge; I consider the science currently available to be at least best-available physical knowledge. And the science discounts an infinite universe (which you imagine without cause), it discounts non-contingency (which you imagine without cause) of both the expanding universe and the universe back to but not including the origination of the expansion, and it does not support any prior mass/energy, space/time existence (which you also imagine without cause).

If you cannot produce cause for your imagined “possibilities”, cause which refutes the case against your imagined “possibilities”, then you have no justifiable case, either logically or empirically.

When you speak of justification, I consider your rejection of science which you base on your imaginings to be completely without justification, whereas science is at least based on repeatable empirical disciplined observation of what you call “reality”: physical, material existence. Your imaginings are faced with actual knowledge which contradicts and therefore refutes their value.

So your concept of “justification” must vary quite widely from mine, and from the use of actual knowledge.

Kindly justify your concept of “justification” – after you have fully laid it out with complete specifics for what facts you accept as justifiable.

And if you refuse to discuss this with the comment, "useless rhetoric", as you have done above to avoid actual discussion, then the thread is, in fact, over.

Hugo said...

Hi Stan,

I will post a response on the marriage thread shortly. Let me know if it explains what "justification" means clearly enough... I would then go back to answer your last comment here if you are interested.

Cheers