PDA

View Full Version : Does God exist?



Pages : [1] 2

Tom Montgomery
04-02-2014, 06:36 AM
Follow the link for the entire interview. Perhaps some of you will find this as thought provoking as I did.


OPINIONATOR | THE
STONE

Is Belief a Jewish Notion?

By GARY GUTTING
March 30, 2014

This is the fourth in a series of interviews about religion that I am conducting for The Stone. The interviewee for this installment is Howard Wettstein, a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of “The Significance of Religious Experience.”

Gary Gutting: You say you’re a naturalist and deny that there are any supernatural beings, yet you’re a practicing Jew and deny that you’re an atheist. What’s going on here? What’s a God that’s not a supernatural being?

Howard Wettstein: Let’s begin with a distinction between participation in a practice and the activity of theorizing, philosophically and otherwise, about the practice. Even an advanced and creative mathematician need not have views about, say, the metaphysical status of numbers. Richard Feynman, the great physicist, is rumored to have said that he lived among the numbers, that he was intimate with them. However, he had no views about their metaphysical status; he was highly skeptical about philosophers’ inquiries into such things. He had trouble, or so I imagine, understanding what was at stake in the question of whether the concept of existence had application to such abstractions. Feynman had no worries about whether he was really thinking about numbers. But “existence” was another thing.

It is this distinction between participation and theorizing that seems to me relevant to religious life.

G.G.: How so?

H.W.: I had a close friend in Jerusalem, the late Rabbi Mickey Rosen, whose relation to God was similarly intimate. To watch him pray was to have a glimpse of such intimacy. To pray with him was to taste it; God was almost tangible. As with Feynman, Mickey had no patience with the philosophers’ questions. God’s reality went without saying. God’s existence as a supernatural being was quite another thing. “Belief,” he once said to me, “is not a Jewish notion.” That was perhaps a touch of hyperbole. The point, I think, was to emphasize that the propositions we assent to are hardly definitive of where we stand. He asked of his congregants only that they sing with him, song being somewhat closer to the soul than assent.

This brings to mind Buber’s emphasis on the distinction between speaking to God, something that is readily available to all of us, and significant speech/thought about God, something that Buber took to be impossible.

G.G.: But you can’t in fact speak to someone who doesn’t exist — I can’t speak to Emma Bovary, although I can pretend to or think I can. Further, why would you even want to pray to someone you didn’t believe exists? On your account praying to God seems like playacting, not genuine religious commitment.

H.W.: Were I to suggest that God does not exist, that God fails to exist, then what you suggest would have real purchase. My thought is otherwise; it’s rather that “existence” is, pro or con, the wrong idea for God.



http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/opinionator/2014/03/30/is-belief-a-jewish-notion/

seanz
04-02-2014, 06:37 AM
God is on Facebook.

bogdog
04-02-2014, 06:44 AM
Ya spelt it backwards.

Duncan Gibbs
04-02-2014, 06:57 AM
A picture says it all really...

http://capslovetwo.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/magritte-this-is-not-a-pipe-1928-29.jpg?w=448&h=312

skuthorp
04-02-2014, 07:02 AM
First you have to care.

Tom Montgomery
04-02-2014, 07:03 AM
Or not....

PeterSibley
04-02-2014, 07:07 AM
You'd need to define god and that is impossible so .........

Flying Orca
04-02-2014, 07:14 AM
I think the question is, "Does $god exist outside human perception?"

...and I think the answer is, "No."

skuthorp
04-02-2014, 07:14 AM
I started to say that about defining god Peter, but decided that as god is personal to every one who believes, and different to everyone that believes, billions of definitions are or have been in existence and all are valid. I discount any attempts to use organised dogma to be invalid. It's the belief that exists, not the god. Likewise if you don't you don't, and god doesn't.

TomZ
04-02-2014, 07:19 AM
Kind of like schrodingers cat. Except the cat (or God) is either there in the box, or he is not, as long as you don't look in the box He is both there and not there. ?

bogdog
04-02-2014, 08:09 AM
Of course God exists. Do you?Ya spelt it backwards...

Gerarddm
04-02-2014, 08:54 AM
I exist more surely than Your Favorite Deity.

The OP reminds me of the early 60s cocktail party subject, Is God Dead?

Todd D
04-02-2014, 09:05 AM
Do santa claus and the tooth fairy exist? Pretty much the same question with the same answer if you ask me.

peb
04-02-2014, 09:06 AM
You'd need to define god and that is impossible so .........

Why?

John Smith
04-02-2014, 09:12 AM
Unless one can show God gives a damn, his existence doesn't matter.

What does matter is what people believe. A lot of the actions of people are based on their religious beliefs. As to whether their beliefs are true or not, there is a reason we call it "FAITH' and not "FACT".

Recently a couple was sent to jail. They had two children who, at different times, got sick. The couple prayed. The kids bot died. I think that's a good example of how effective the whole thing is.

RodB
04-02-2014, 09:26 AM
Oh... theres a God... and he exists within us.

Perhaps this is one of his angels. |:)

R


http://youtu.be/bSj31u3urvs

John Smith
04-02-2014, 09:30 AM
Maybe he exists within you, which means he is your creation.

Why isn't it simply random that some people sing beautifully and others can't carry a tune? You think a God makes those choices?

S.V. Airlie
04-02-2014, 09:31 AM
I think God is on ignore!

genglandoh
04-02-2014, 09:34 AM
I have faith that God exists.
But I can not prove God exists.

John Smith
04-02-2014, 09:52 AM
I have faith that God exists.
But I can not prove God exists.
That's the point. It is simply faith.

You may live your life based on what you believe, but can't prove, and what you believe is important.

I'm still looking for a reason God's existence matters.

Also, over the years the believers and the scientists have had disagreements. Far as I can recall, the scientists have always been proven correct.

Perhaps I view this through overly simplistic ideas, but a God who cannot prevent his salesmen (priests) from molesting innocent children is not a God worth having. He's certainly not worthy of praise. A God would matter if he got involved in at least some of the affairs of humans.

John Smith
04-02-2014, 09:53 AM
That's the point. It is simply faith.

You may live your life based on what you believe, but can't prove, and what you believe is important.

I'm still looking for a reason God's existence matters.

Also, over the years the believers and the scientists have had disagreements. Far as I can recall, the scientists have always been proven correct.

Perhaps I view this through overly simplistic ideas, but a God who cannot prevent his salesmen (priests) from molesting innocent children is not a God worth having. He's certainly not worthy of praise. A God would matter if he got involved in at least some of the affairs of humans.

Is your faith that God exists and will solve all our problems greater than the scientific evidence that the earth is warming and the climate is changing?

Arizona Bay
04-02-2014, 10:53 AM
Is your faith that God exists and will solve all our problems greater than the scientific evidence that the earth is warming and the climate is changing?

There is only one awareness.
There is only one of us here.
The entirety of the universe is focused in your perception.
You are the perceiver, and that which is perceived.
What is seen as 'other' is but a reflection of our self.
How we/I treat all that seems as 'other', is a reflection of the refinement, and identification with the Ego and Mind, which are the tools for experiencing a reality of causality and limitation.

Will I solve the problem?
Is it a problem, or an experience?

Tom Montgomery
04-02-2014, 11:05 AM
It appears that no one has bothered to follow the link and read the bulk of the interview.

What a shame.

peb
04-02-2014, 11:07 AM
It appears that no one has bothered to follow the link and read the bulk of the interview.

What a shame.

I did Tom. And I meant to thank you for the link. I read it all, and can honestly say I do not quite understand the reasoning. But it was an interesting read. Just don't have much else to say about it.

BrianY
04-02-2014, 11:19 AM
Well, I read most of it and I find it less than satisfying. The idea that one can accept the eixstence of God without defining what "God" is is, well, impossible for me. IMO it is also unreasonable. Essentially is comes down to the assumption that any experience of God that you may think you have IS God, which is, to my mind, a total cop out.

Spinoza defined God as "All that is"...which seems to me to be pretty close to what Wettstein is saying, only Spinoza actually gives the term "God" definition whereas Wettstein refuses to. All I can conclude from Wettstein's remarks is that it really doesn't matter if god exists or not. It's the ritual and the process that people go through as if God exists that matter. That's a position I can agree with, but I suspect that Wettstein wouldn't

Chip-skiff
04-02-2014, 11:22 AM
I'd read it it before opening this thread (thanks to an e-subscription on my iPad).

While the God topic is evidently of great concern to you, for me it's like listening to people discuss the characters on a TV show that I've never seen, and never will. The only thing that concerns me is what the believers might do next in pursuit of their shared illusion.

Bflat
04-02-2014, 12:13 PM
You'd need to define god and that is impossible so .........

Why do you think defining god impossible?

genglandoh
04-02-2014, 12:16 PM
Do you think less of people who believe in God?

Bobby of Tulsa
04-02-2014, 12:18 PM
If you have to ask, then it is a mute point. You either believe or you don't. Kinda simple really. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen. Think of a set of boat plans and a pile of lumber.

PhaseLockedLoop
04-02-2014, 12:26 PM
One of my complaints about the New Atheists, like Richard Dawkins, is their reductive tendency. I don’t see why the psychological (or more generally naturalistic scientific) explicability of a phenomenon should suggest that questions associated with its meaning are put to rest.

I'm not a theist, but I'm very much in sympathy with this observation.

Arizona Bay
04-02-2014, 12:27 PM
Do you think less of people who believe in God?
No, nor does it matter to me how they define it, or if they don't.
Belief is irrelevant, it's your actions in the world that matter.

BrianY
04-02-2014, 12:36 PM
And just to further the idea, God knows His perfect creation, His Son; He has zero interest in, and zero knowlege of the details and dramas of anyone's temporal experience of the illusion. The illusion, all thirteen billion years of space-time, which is the ego, the idea that somehow we are separate from our Father, which is impossible by our very nature, has no effect on the Life of God and His Son because God and His glorious, perfect, eternal Son are not in time but in Eternity. "There is no place, no situation, and no time when God is not Present." All of what is real is Oneness.

Just sayin.'

so how do you know that any of this is true?

ERGR
04-02-2014, 01:46 PM
It's actually more difficult to prove that something doesn't exist than to prove that it exists.
Erik

John Smith
04-02-2014, 01:56 PM
Well, I read most of it and I find it less than satisfying. The idea that one can accept the eixstence of God without defining what "God" is is, well, impossible for me. IMO it is also unreasonable. Essentially is comes down to the assumption that any experience of God that you may think you have IS God, which is, to my mind, a total cop out.

Spinoza defined God as "All that is"...which seems to me to be pretty close to what Wettstein is saying, only Spinoza actually gives the term "God" definition whereas Wettstein refuses to. All I can conclude from Wettstein's remarks is that it really doesn't matter if god exists or not. It's the ritual and the process that people go through as if God exists that matter. That's a position I can agree with, but I suspect that Wettstein wouldn't

If one man asks another, "Do you believe in God?", and the second man says, "Yes.", you have a situation where both men immediately believe their beliefs are quite similar, although they may be quite different.

John Smith
04-02-2014, 01:58 PM
Do you think less of people who believe in God?

Only when they start passing laws based on those beliefs that I have to live under. Or when those believes allow their children to die for lack of medical attentions.

John Smith
04-02-2014, 01:59 PM
I'd like someone to explain how/why if God never gets involved in our lives his existence matters.

capefox
04-02-2014, 02:06 PM
Many people seem to have a spiritual awareness of some sort of benevolent being or force outside themselves. I've experienced the comfort, encouragement, and guidance of this influence. It seems to be connected to and strengthened by doing things like prayer, meditation, helping others, staying away from vices, etc. We are not solely logical beings. We seem to do better as people and a species when the spiritual conscience and common sense intersect and cooperate.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
04-02-2014, 02:12 PM
No..sadly God Does not exist. If God did exist being the sentient product of evolution would a much simpler experience.

bogdog
04-02-2014, 02:20 PM
Dogs exist, why the need for spiritual delusions?

TomF
04-02-2014, 02:30 PM
I'd like someone to explain how/why if God never gets involved in our lives his existence matters.
Have we not been through this?

Feeling sick today - my brain wasn't up to Tom's link after a day of meetings. will give it a shot later.

Jim Bow
04-02-2014, 02:32 PM
And don't get me started on this Holy Ghost nonsense.

switters
04-02-2014, 02:34 PM
https://scontent-a-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1.0-9/p403x403/10174867_786016418152730_1394112840_n.jpg

and that should eb the end of this discussion:p

John Smith
04-02-2014, 02:39 PM
Have we not been through this?

Feeling sick today - my brain wasn't up to Tom's link after a day of meetings. will give it a shot later.

Many times. You've been most patient. Bottom line, however, IMO, is he simply doesn't get involved in our lives, so his existence seems, to me, not to matter.

There is something, again to me, very straight forward about a man testifying falsely and that testimony convicting an innocent person. Same with allowing priests to molest young children. There simply has to be some point in which he will protect one person from the free will of another.

Apparently there is not, so I cannot see him mattering.

John Smith
04-02-2014, 02:40 PM
Have we not been through this?

Feeling sick today - my brain wasn't up to Tom's link after a day of meetings. will give it a shot later.

Many times. You've been most patient. Bottom line, however, IMO, is he simply doesn't get involved in our lives, so his existence seems, to me, not to matter.

There is something, again to me, very straight forward about a man testifying falsely and that testimony convicting an innocent person. Same with allowing priests to molest young children. There simply has to be some point in which he will protect one person from the free will of another.

Apparently there is not, so I cannot see him mattering.

John Smith
04-02-2014, 02:41 PM
Can't explain the double post.

CWSmith
04-02-2014, 02:43 PM
There is something, again to me, very straight forward about a man testifying falsely and that testimony convicting an innocent person. Same with allowing priests to molest young children. There simply has to be some point in which he will protect one person from the free will of another.

Apparently there is not, so I cannot see him mattering.

Aren't we called to do some of that ourselves? We can't rely on lightning bolts to do all the work. That does not mean that God does not exist - it means we are not doing what we are called to do. Some people commit these sins and the rest of us fail to uncover them and set things right.

seanz
04-02-2014, 03:09 PM
It appears that no one has bothered to follow the link and read the bulk of the interview.

What a shame.

Not a shame at all, it's proof of free-will.

BrianY
04-02-2014, 03:12 PM
Can't explain the double post.

God...or Satan. Take your pick.

Michael D. Storey
04-02-2014, 03:14 PM
You'd need to define god and that is impossible so .........

The great Carl Sagan was asked once if he believed. He sed, whatduya mean, God? The kid sed 'Ya know...,' The Carl sez you mean that all-powerful force that controls everything in the universe?' The kid sez 'sure' Carl sez, ' Oh, you are talking about gravity.'

skuthorp
04-02-2014, 03:42 PM
This is the great discussion subject, as long as one doesn't equate the activities of man, ie priests, as having anything to do with the subject at all. Religions come and go, flawed constructs of man attempting an explanation for his/her condition.

bogdog
04-02-2014, 04:06 PM
This was a school kid's clay project 29,000 years ago back when man was more natural and in touch with his spiritual side. She was their deity, who are we to claim to know better.

http://humanorigins.si.edu/sites/default/files/imagecache/lightbox/images/portrait/3.8.5-11_fired_clay_venus_dolni_vestonice_jddh_p.jpg

Chip-skiff
04-02-2014, 07:31 PM
Do you think less of people who believe in God?

Not necessarily (if you mean god in an encompassing way, not just christians.) But I'm wary of the horrible consequences that ensue when people conclude that acting out their hatred and violent impulses is the result of godly prompting or divine will— that's pretty common and extremely destructive.

peb
04-02-2014, 08:02 PM
Not necessarily (if you mean god in an encompassing way, not just christians.) But I'm wary of the horrible consequences that ensue when people conclude that acting out their hatred and violent impulses is the result of godly prompting or divine will— that's pretty common and extremely destructive.

Perhaps in some parts of the world.

peb
04-02-2014, 08:04 PM
This is the great discussion subject, as long as one doesn't equate the activities of man, ie priests, as having anything to do with the subject at all. Religions come and go, flawed constructs of man attempting an explanation for his/her condition.

There are certainly a few religions which do not come and go.

I

peb
04-02-2014, 08:05 PM
The great Carl Sagan was asked once if he believed. He sed, whatduya mean, God? The kid sed 'Ya know...,' The Carl sez you mean that all-powerful force that controls everything in the universe?' The kid sez 'sure' Carl sez, ' Oh, you are talking about gravity.'

Sagan didn't even understand gravity. Probably safe to say he wasn't much of an authority about god either.

peb
04-02-2014, 08:08 PM
Tom, I agree, it's a shame more people didn't read your link. At least they would then have an example of someone who takes the issue seriously. It's obvious that mist on this forum have not used many brain cells doing so in their life.

genglandoh
04-02-2014, 08:10 PM
Only when they start passing laws based on those beliefs that I have to live under. Or when those believes allow their children to die for lack of medical attentions.

Does it bother you that Obama believes God is in control?

Obama talks about his faith
“First and foremost, my Christian faith gives me a perspective and security that I don’t think I would have otherwise: that I am loved. That, at the end of the day, God is in control," Obama said.
http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/08/obama-talks-about-his-faith-132696.html

Gerarddm
04-02-2014, 08:19 PM
Aaaargh. This instance on identifying a deity as a male drives me intellectually batty. Such patent nonsense. For all anybody knows, if there is a singular encompassing deity, said deity might be an It, not a He or a She. For all anybody knows, in an omniverse our universe could have been created by machine intelligence. " And wha'rs yer Jesus noo"?

Flying Orca
04-02-2014, 08:33 PM
Tom, I agree, it's a shame more people didn't read your link. At least they would then have an example of someone who takes the issue seriously. It's obvious that mist on this forum have not used many brain cells doing so in their life.

If you hold your head just like this and squint, taking "the issue" of other people's games of "let's pretend" seriously appears to be a waste of brain time in itself.

skuthorp
04-02-2014, 08:38 PM
There are certainly a few religions which do not come and go.

I
…and there's quite a few that have fallen by the wayside, time will tell or not, but they are all constructs of our species.

As for Obama, he may or may not not believe there is a god 'in control', but in your setup he can't say so.

LeeG
04-02-2014, 09:08 PM
Does anyone make a cast iron crockpot?

peb
04-02-2014, 09:11 PM
If you hold your head just like this and squint, taking "the issue" of other people's games of "let's pretend" seriously appears to be a waste of brain time in itself.

Suppose that's fair, assuming one is consistent and admits that since it would just be a waste of brain time, one has never really thought about the issue. But that does not seem to be the case. Those who obviously have little thought on the matter tend to decide to make fools of themselves instead.

PeterSibley
04-02-2014, 09:12 PM
You'd need to define god and that is impossible so .........


Why?

To decide if something exists it helps if you know what you are talking about. Universal life force , Rainbow Serpent , Krshna, Jehovah or Flying Spaghetti Monster.

skuthorp
04-02-2014, 09:16 PM
I still say it's the wrong question, do you believe in god is the question, and if you do he exists, for you, in an exclusive tailor made form. I'm sure Phelps god was real to him.

Flying Orca
04-02-2014, 09:19 PM
Suppose that's fair, assuming one is consistent and admits that since it would just be a waste of brain time, one has never really thought about the issue. But that does not seem to be the case. Those who obviously have little thought on the matter tend to decide to make fools of themselves instead.

It doesn't take a lot of thought to realize that there is no evidence for such belief... and move on.

PeterSibley
04-02-2014, 09:22 PM
The fun bit for me is that if, as monotheists believe , there is only one god he or she must have multiple names and personalities as that same "one god" has appears to many different cultures . Try telling a Christian that Allah and Jehovah are the same deity and maybe the Rainbow serpent too.

Flying Orca
04-02-2014, 09:26 PM
The whole idea is just such a nose-stretcher to me... I couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 when I first had the idea presented to me and it just seemed ludicrous. Still does.

wardd
04-02-2014, 09:29 PM
if god didn't believe in me would i exist?

PeterSibley
04-02-2014, 09:30 PM
The whole idea is just such a nose-stretcher to me... I couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 when I first had the idea presented to me and it just seemed ludicrous. Still does.

You early developer you, for me the fun started when I heard multiple claims of "ours is the only one ".

It doesn't seem ludicrous to me , just completely unknowable.

CWSmith
04-02-2014, 09:31 PM
Try telling a Christian that Allah and Jehovah are the same deity

A great many of us believe that, including most priests I know (and maybe one pope).

peb
04-02-2014, 09:35 PM
It doesn't take a lot of thought to realize that there is no evidence for such belief... and move on.

But people don't move on, that's my point. Several examples on this thread.

PeterSibley
04-02-2014, 09:35 PM
A great many of us believe that, including most priests I know (and maybe one pope).

But certainly none of the Christians in my area, 'tis the stuff of towering rages . I have been assured Moslems are devil worshippers and Allah is the Devil. The local lads and laddets are products of a few strange US "evangelical" organisations , profitable ones too.

Flying Orca
04-02-2014, 09:36 PM
for me the fun started when I heard multiple claims of "ours is the only one ".

My early experience had an element of that, in that I moved to a new town and got... well, not exactly beaten up, but pushed around some, because I couldn't say what church my family "went to". (If I'd been in a church at all, I didn't remember it.)

DMillet
04-02-2014, 09:38 PM
It doesn't seem ludicrous to me , just completely unknowable.

Just this. I've had experiences that lead me to believe there's much more than we are capable of understanding but I'll not claim to have the answers. In my mind, anyone that presumes to have the answer is at the very least mistaken.

CWSmith
04-02-2014, 09:51 PM
But certainly none of the Christians in my area, 'tis the stuff of towering rages . I have been assured Moslems are devil worshippers and Allah is the Devil. The local lads and laddets are products of a few strange US "evangelical" organisations , profitable ones too.

You are listening to the loudest, not the majority.

PeterSibley
04-02-2014, 09:52 PM
My early experience had an element of that, in that I moved to a new town and got... well, not exactly beaten up, but pushed around some, because I couldn't say what church my family "went to". (If I'd been in a church at all, I didn't remember it.)

I was sent to a Church of England boys school and became well versed in that form of theology, I even topped the year in "Scripture" , so I have some basis for my .... attitudes. I took a keen interest in comparative religion for a few years and came to the conclusion that I sensed something but not enough to "name''. I'd call myself a confirmed agnostic, I don't deny but I can't see sufficient evident or nor have I experienced sufficient to confirm anything significant.

PeterSibley
04-02-2014, 09:52 PM
You are listening to the loudest, not the majority.

It's the majority in this valley.

PeterSibley
04-02-2014, 09:54 PM
Just this. I've had experiences that lead me to believe there's much more than we are capable of understanding but I'll not claim to have the answers. In my mind, anyone that presumes to have the answer is at the very least mistaken.

That is exactly my problem with organised religion, the codification of allowable belief .

DMillet
04-02-2014, 10:02 PM
I was sent to a Church of England boys school and became well versed in that form of theology, I even topped the year in "Scripture" , so I have some basis for my .... attitudes. I took a keen interest in comparative religion for a few years and came to the conclusion that I sensed something but not enough to "name''. I'd call myself a confirmed agnostic, I don't deny but I can't see sufficient evident or nor have I experienced sufficient to confirm anything significant.

Funny, after a whole lot of years of deeply thinking about this stuff, I've come to the exact same conclusion.

jclays
04-02-2014, 10:34 PM
Yes he does

DMillet
04-02-2014, 11:16 PM
Do either of you have any definitive proof?

leikec
04-02-2014, 11:36 PM
"That’s one way to argue for the reality or existence of God, but it’s not my way. Such an argument is subject to refutation by showing that naturalistically acceptable reasons can explain our experience, either in Freud’s way or some other. And given the propensity of the universe to disclose itself increasingly to scientific understanding, this argument seems, among other things, risky."



I like this.

Jeff C

DMillet
04-02-2014, 11:45 PM
I think it's all pretty damn cool. I mean, if everything we understand to be true, scientifically speaking, is in fact the truth what started it all? The big bang? Everything we observe came from a point smaller than an atom. I want some explanation for that. It's not that I don't believe it, it's just HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

Arizona Bay
04-03-2014, 12:02 AM
I think it's all pretty damn cool. I mean, if everything we understand to be true, scientifically speaking, is in fact the truth what started it all? The big bang? Everything we observe came from a point smaller than an atom. I want some explanation for that. It's not that I don't believe it, it's just HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

Yeah, it is cool.

How did it happen? Followed (for me) by why did it happen, why is there something, rather than nothing?
And what is it?
Why is our point of perception at a 'place' where things seem separate and solid, when we know they're not?

Guess I'm interested in where we are now. :D

DMillet
04-03-2014, 12:18 AM
While many people seem interested in where we come from, many more seem really interested in where we're going to go. The inability of some to entertain the possibility that life just might not be eternal after all seems, well, unacceptable. You know the rest.

This sort of thing used to bother me. It doesn't anymore. Maybe there's something after we die, maybe there's not. What good does it do to get overly concerned about it? Whatever is, is. A person that lives their life in an ethical and, what they deem moral way, has nothing to worry about either way.

Gerarddm
04-03-2014, 12:31 AM
A person that lives their life in an ethical and, what they deem moral way, has nothing to worry about either way.

There is no need to sound my reputation
I have a sense of right and wrong, what's more-
Heaven's proudest gift.
Call no man blessed until he ends is life in peace,
fulfilled.
If I can live by what I say, I have no fear.

- Aeschylus, Agamemnon

DMillet
04-03-2014, 12:49 AM
I agree with this, but a person who doesn't may have nothing to worry about either. Let's hope that in that nano second when the lights go out they have time to reflect on it.

'Tis absolutely true. One of the mysteries of life. It doesn't affect the way I live my life 'cause worry about the afterlife isn't part of why I do things the way I do. I do wonder though about those that feel the need to confess their sins regularly. If they know they are doing wrong, by their own moral code, why do they continue to do it?

Nanoose
04-03-2014, 12:56 AM
Thanks for the article, Tom. I appreciated his later point that just because we can understand a process does not mean there is nothing beyond or behind that process. But I would disagree with his perception of himself as a Jew given their commitment to the Shema.

PeterSibley
04-03-2014, 12:57 AM
'Tis absolutely true. One of the mysteries of life. It doesn't affect the way I live my life 'cause worry about the afterlife isn't part of why I do things the way I do. I do wonder though about those that feel the need to confess their sins regularly. If they know they are doing wrong, by their own moral code, why do they continue to do it?

A good question , one that I feel I have some idea of but also one that I'd preferred answered by someone who confesses.

Waddie
04-03-2014, 01:48 AM
As an atheist and occasional agnostic I don't have much insight as to the existence of God, but my wife does. She is a devout Catholic and goes to confession especially during Lent, (the season we are now in, and which ends at Easter). I don't know if God exists, probably not, but it is of great comfort to her to believe in God. Her belief has helped her to lead a good life and be a great wife and mother. Could some secular path have produced a similar person? Perhaps, but since her belief system is part of who she is secularism couldn't have produced the same exact person.

I think more than anything she gains a real sense of community through faith. She feels part of something bigger than just the ordinary human experience, and has the fellowship of others who feel the same way. Now, I have a bunch of pals I play softball with, but I don't think it's the same.

I asked her about going to confession, and she said that just the act of sharing her shortcomings with someone who could coax her and remind her about the importance of leading a righteous life was of great benefit. Doing penance gave her time to think and reflect on these issues. And she doesn't think you can truly be forgiven until you acknowledge that you've sinned. Well, it's her belief, not mine, but I wouldn't criticize her for it. None of us have the answers; especially the ones who are so sure they're right.

BTW; I've seen her do some extraordinary acts of charity and/or forgiveness toward others that I could never hope to match.

regards,
Waddie

PeterSibley
04-03-2014, 01:51 AM
Thanks Waddie and wife of Waddie.

Curtism
04-03-2014, 01:59 AM
Exactly, Waddie, well said.

I have several family members who believe they are what they are due to Gods will. And just because I'm not so certain about such things doesn't entitle me to be intolerant of their views. Particularly when I consider that I learned that sort of tolerance from them.

John Smith
04-03-2014, 03:33 AM
Aren't we called to do some of that ourselves? We can't rely on lightning bolts to do all the work. That does not mean that God does not exist - it means we are not doing what we are called to do. Some people commit these sins and the rest of us fail to uncover them and set things right.
I believe there is no evidence God cares, so I don't see why it matters whether he exists or not. You believe differently.

Over the years, debates over God's existence usually end up with everything having to had a beginning. Then I ask, "When did God begin?" only to be told he always was. Kind of defeats their own view.

How are we, mere mortals, supposed to prevent a priest from molesting a child before it happens? We are not mind readers. For the same reason, how are we to know a witness is lying?

Simply put, in my view, a loving, caring God would not let an innocent man be convicted.

John Smith
04-03-2014, 03:33 AM
God...or Satan. Take your pick.

Or a simple glitch.

John Smith
04-03-2014, 03:36 AM
This is the great discussion subject, as long as one doesn't equate the activities of man, ie priests, as having anything to do with the subject at all. Religions come and go, flawed constructs of man attempting an explanation for his/her condition.

What does this mean? How/why would God allow his followers to believe something/anything, that is not true? Where did they get the idea the earth was flat, or the center of the universe? Did they get this from God, or did God simply allow them to believe this?

John Smith
04-03-2014, 03:38 AM
Perhaps in some parts of the world.

In which parts of the world is this not true? "But I'm wary of the horrible consequences that ensue when people conclude that acting out their hatred and violent impulses is the result of godly prompting or divine will— that's pretty common and extremely destructive."

John Smith
04-03-2014, 03:39 AM
There are certainly a few religions which do not come and go.

I

But, do they change?

John Smith
04-03-2014, 03:41 AM
Does it bother you that Obama believes God is in control?

Obama talks about his faith
“First and foremost, my Christian faith gives me a perspective and security that I don’t think I would have otherwise: that I am loved. That, at the end of the day, God is in control," Obama said.
http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/08/obama-talks-about-his-faith-132696.html

It always bothers me when we elect people who believe in God. Fortunately, not all who proclaim to believe so strongly as to put God before our constitution. Sadly, there are many who do. A truly religious man must put his God first, and, yes, they scare me.

John Smith
04-03-2014, 03:43 AM
I still say it's the wrong question, do you believe in god is the question, and if you do he exists, for you, in an exclusive tailor made form. I'm sure Phelps god was real to him.

That's correct. It matters a great deal what people believe. It matters less whether what they believe is true or not.

peb
04-03-2014, 06:29 AM
In which parts of the world is this not true? "But I'm wary of the horrible consequences that ensue when people conclude that acting out their hatred and violent impulses is the result of godly prompting or divine will— that's pretty common and extremely destructive."

Pretty common? North America, South America, Europe, most of Asia, Australia, .... In the vast majority of the world, if you goal is to reduce violence, you would be extremely ineffective if you chose to do so by eliminating/changing religion.

Peerie Maa
04-03-2014, 06:31 AM
To decide if something exists it helps if you know what you are talking about. Universal life force , Rainbow Serpent , Krshna, Jehovah or Flying Spaghetti Monster.There is the rub. Even the god of the three books has morphed and evolved with time. When you think of all of the other religions all around the earth and through history you see that He/She/Them/It are all wildly different and often at opposite ends of the range of behaviours and demands, leaving one to conclude that they must all be human constructs. From this follows the realisation that the need for spirituality and something to "blame" causes peoples to invent gods to give meaning to a perplexing world.

PeterSibley
04-03-2014, 06:39 AM
What does this mean? How/why would God allow his followers to believe something/anything, that is not true? Where did they get the idea the earth was flat, or the center of the universe? Did they get this from God, or did God simply allow them to believe this?

This comes back to my question about a definition .

If there is a god to me it is life, the motivation that is the difference between a living person ( or animal) and a corpse. The difference is the only obvious sign of something identifiably "godlike' in my experience. That which I could call consciousness or life force is present in every being that is alive , it doesn't care very much if you are an ant, a tree or a human . All pass and the river goes on.

John Smith
04-03-2014, 08:26 AM
Do either of you have any definitive proof?

Burden of proof is on those who proclaim the positive; those who belief God exists bear the burden of proving it.

John Smith
04-03-2014, 08:27 AM
I think it's all pretty damn cool. I mean, if everything we understand to be true, scientifically speaking, is in fact the truth what started it all? The big bang? Everything we observe came from a point smaller than an atom. I want some explanation for that. It's not that I don't believe it, it's just HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

You are approaching the "Everything has to have a beginning" position. Then you have to explain how God began. If He was always there, then everything does not have to have a beginning.

John Smith
04-03-2014, 08:30 AM
Pretty common? North America, South America, Europe, most of Asia, Australia, .... In the vast majority of the world, if you goal is to reduce violence, you would be extremely ineffective if you chose to do so by eliminating/changing religion.

If we could end all the violence that is based on religious beliefs, it would make a noticeable dent.

genglandoh
04-03-2014, 08:32 AM
It always bothers me when we elect people who believe in God. Fortunately, not all who proclaim to believe so strongly as to put God before our constitution. Sadly, there are many who do. A truly religious man must put his God first, and, yes, they scare me.

Thanks for your honest answer.

BrianY
04-03-2014, 08:41 AM
Or a simple glitch.

Yah, but what CAUSED the glitch?

TomF
04-03-2014, 08:50 AM
It always bothers me when we elect people who believe in God. Fortunately, not all who proclaim to believe so strongly as to put God before our constitution. Sadly, there are many who do. A truly religious man must put his God first, and, yes, they scare me.By extension, a truly patriotic man must put his country first; a truly ideological man must put his ideology first, etc. Objectively, something must always be put first, eh? Whether or not the person's aware of it, themselves.

What would you rather it be? Self-interest seems high in the running in contemporary society ... and I find that much more frightening.

peb
04-03-2014, 09:21 AM
If we could end all the violence that is based on religious beliefs, it would make a noticeable dent.

Not in any of the areas (and likely many others) of the world I listed. It would make almost no difference at all in the vast majority of the world.

Keith Wilson
04-03-2014, 09:30 AM
Most wars these days are not primarily religious. This isn't 1625. In fact, except for the vile treatment of women in certain traditional Muslim cultures (one could say 'backward', but it's not polite) which is partially religious in origin, little violence in general these days can be attributed to religion. Some of the nasty anti-homosexual stuff going on in parts of Africa is an exception, but most violence is for ordinary practical reasons - greed, self-interest, ambition, pure nastiness, ethnic hatreds, competition for resources or land . . .

CWSmith
04-03-2014, 10:34 AM
It's the majority in this valley.

That kind of small-mindedness is little more than the social cliques of high school and it forms from very much the same motivation and mentality. In time it spreads to every aspect of life. I would move.

CWSmith
04-03-2014, 10:36 AM
I believe there is no evidence God cares, so I don't see why it matters whether he exists or not. You believe differently.

Over the years, debates over God's existence usually end up with everything having to had a beginning. Then I ask, "When did God begin?" only to be told he always was. Kind of defeats their own view.

How are we, mere mortals, supposed to prevent a priest from molesting a child before it happens? We are not mind readers. For the same reason, how are we to know a witness is lying?

Simply put, in my view, a loving, caring God would not let an innocent man be convicted.

Yes, we have been through this before. You want more than is offered to any of us. In the world you describe, where would be our responsibilities? What would we learn? How would we evolve as people with souls? I admire your values, but you expect too much.

Bflat
04-03-2014, 10:54 AM
This comes back to my question about a definition .

If there is a god to me it is life, the motivation that is the difference between a living person ( or animal) and a corpse. The difference is the only obvious sign of something identifiably "godlike' in my experience. That which I could call consciousness or life force is present in every being that is alive , it doesn't care very much if you are an ant, a tree or a human . All pass and the river goes on.

You have defined god, yet you claim that defining god is impossible. What gives?

If, like you, we define god as "life" then all can believe in that god since there is ample evidence of life; but, to do so kind of castrates the meaning of words. Likewise, if I define god as a "tea cup" all can believe, but we already have a word for "tea cup" and we already have a word for "life." God would be superfluous, and quite possibly is superfluous to the point of really only existing as a word.

So, defining god may be difficult, but perhaps not impossible. I think what you may be getting at is that there are numerous definitions of god; as many as there are opinions, it seems. To that degree, the definition is pretty arbitrary and ambiguous. If that's what you mean, I'm "with you."

To me, since there is no good evidence for gods I don't believe in any. Life is evidence of life, not god.

Cheers

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
04-03-2014, 01:03 PM
I like this one


Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

Flying Orca
04-03-2014, 01:09 PM
I like this one

RAH?

CWSmith
04-03-2014, 01:43 PM
I like this one


Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

I've always felt that God calls me to be a better man and helps me to be what he calls me to be.

The God who said "He who is without sin cast the first stone." and "Go, your sins are forgiven." has the morals of a spoiled child? The God who forgave his murderers as he hung on a cross had the manners of a spoiled child? The God who took a religion you had to be born into and made salvation available to all was a spoiled child?

You must know some remarkable children.

Flying Orca
04-03-2014, 01:48 PM
The God who said "He who is without sin cast the first stone." and "Go, your sins are forgiven." has the morals of a spoiled child? The God who forgave his murderers as he hung on a cross had the manners of a spoiled child? The God who took a religion you had to be born into and made salvation available to all was a spoiled child?

1) "Most".

2) There's that little "eternal torture for not following impossible rules" thing...

bogdog
04-03-2014, 02:14 PM
I don't know if God exists... he/she has never revealed his or her presence and existence to me... but he/she has my phone number :)Land line or cell? Probably placed the call several billions years ago, based his location, and then went off and completely forgot about it. Happens to me all the time.

bogdog
04-03-2014, 02:24 PM
(could God convert the fish into Chilean Sea Bass, while he's at it?) :) Sorry, that's really a non-sustainable fishery...

Bflat
04-03-2014, 02:25 PM
I've always felt that God calls me to be a better man and helps me to be what he calls me to be.

The God who said "He who is without sin cast the first stone." and "Go, your sins are forgiven." has the morals of a spoiled child? The God who forgave his murderers as he hung on a cross had the manners of a spoiled child? The God who took a religion you had to be born into and made salvation available to all was a spoiled child?

You must know some remarkable children.

Sure, the god of the new testament in his best moods is better than that of the old, but they're claimed to be one and the same. The bible's god is at various times said to be displeased with his creation. If so, he alone owns that failure, and it is only fitting that he try to make things right with any sentient beings he creates. To do less would be, at best, irresponsible, and at worst, sadistic.

CWSmith
04-03-2014, 02:43 PM
1) "Most".

2) There's that little "eternal torture for not following impossible rules" thing...

Actually, if you move beyond grade school catechism, you will probably conclude that hell is as much a human construct as it is divine and it begins with the prayer "Please leave me alone and stop telling me what to do." It is more an answer to our prayers than the result of tallying too many bad grades. Moreover, many of us don't believe in it, but that infuriates people no end to think that Hitler (or members of one's own family in some cases) will make it to heaven.

CWSmith
04-03-2014, 02:45 PM
Sure, the god of the new testament in his best moods is better than that of the old, but they're claimed to be one and the same. The bible's god is at various times said to be displeased with his creation. If so, he alone owns that failure, and it is only fitting that he try to make things right with any sentient beings he creates. To do less would be, at best, irresponsible, and at worst, sadistic.

I would claim that my wife is not quite the person I thought she was when we married and I'm sure she would say the same about me. Time brings understanding and the Bible is written by humans. They are, admittedly, the less reliable of the two in the relationship.

Michael D. Storey
04-03-2014, 02:46 PM
Sagan didn't even understand gravity. Probably safe to say he wasn't much of an authority about god either.

How is it that not understanding, in your opinion, gravity, would loosen his authority on the Divine? Are you suggesting that you are such an authority, and can therefore speak for Carl's abilities and lack thereof?

BrianY
04-03-2014, 03:06 PM
How is it that not understanding, in your opinion, gravity, would loosen his authority on the Divine? Are you suggesting that you are such an authority, and can therefore speak for Carl's abilities and lack thereof?

Also do YOU understand gravity? If not, why should anyone believe that you understand God? I mean, if the critera for judging one's ability to be an authority on God is one's ability to undertsand gravity, there's a whole bunch of "religious authorities" who's opinions and teachings we should discount.

Did the Apostles understand gravity? How about all of the popes and preachers down through the ages? Billy Grahm?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
04-03-2014, 03:20 PM
RAH?

Lazarus Long - "Time enough for love"

also - "Always keep beer in a dark place"

http://jpetrie.myweb.uga.edu/Heinlein.html

Keith Wilson
04-03-2014, 03:24 PM
http://www.pulsamerica.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Desierto-Florido1.jpg



Searching for the Dharma

You've traveled up ten thousand steps in search of the Dharma.
So many long days in the archives, copying, copying.

The gravity of the Tang and the profundity of the Sung
make heavy baggage.

Here! I've picked you a bunch of wildflowers.
Their meaning is the same
but they're much easier to carry.

~ Xu Yun ~

peb
04-03-2014, 03:36 PM
How is it that not understanding, in your opinion, gravity, would loosen his authority on the Divine? Are you suggesting that you are such an authority, and can therefore speak for Carl's abilities and lack thereof?

He was a scientist, that was his claim to authority. If he miss represents gravity in his analogy ( which he should know) why would we give home any credit with understanding the divine ( which he never studied or took seriously).

Flying Orca
04-03-2014, 03:39 PM
Actually, if you move beyond grade school catechism, you will probably conclude that hell is as much a human construct as it is divine

I'm going by what Christians have told me they believe, and by what is written in the Bible. It's easy enough to say that you believe some parts and don't believe other parts, but if a deity or religion is whatever an individual decides to believe it is, I should think it becomes rather meaningless.

Flying Orca
04-03-2014, 03:40 PM
Lazarus Long - "Time enough for love"

Yes, Robert Anson Heinlein, RAH. As I thought. (I have been quite a fan at various times.)

BrianY
04-03-2014, 03:46 PM
He was a scientist, that was his claim to authority. If he miss represents gravity in his analogy ( which he should know) why would we give home any credit with understanding the divine ( which he never studied or took seriously).


In what way did he misrepresent gravity in the analogy?

Keith Wilson
04-03-2014, 03:47 PM
. . . but if a deity or religion is whatever an individual decides to believe it is, I should think it becomes rather meaningless.Excuse me? Every deity or religion is what individuals decide to believe it is. Whether the divine exists or not, none of us have infallible knowledge of it; whether the divine exists or not, all religions and beliefs are human constructs. All religions are subject to various interpretations, all of them change over time, sometimes quite radically.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
04-03-2014, 03:55 PM
Yes, Robert Anson Heinlein, RAH. As I thought. (I have been quite a fan at various times.)

"Revolt in 2100" is sort of relevant....

Phil Y
04-03-2014, 04:03 PM
Does God exist? No I don't believe so.

CWSmith
04-03-2014, 04:21 PM
I'm going by what Christians have told me they believe, and by what is written in the Bible. It's easy enough to say that you believe some parts and don't believe other parts, but if a deity or religion is whatever an individual decides to believe it is, I should think it becomes rather meaningless.

Yes, it is easy to say on your part as well as mine. You can either believe that the New Testament is wrong if the Old Testament is right, or you can view it as an evolution of understanding. I'm sorry, but I think your interpretation fails to make a sincere effort to understand, but you are not alone.

PeterSibley
04-03-2014, 04:39 PM
You have defined god, yet you claim that defining god is impossible. What gives?

If, like you, we define god as "life" then all can believe in that god since there is ample evidence of life; but, to do so kind of castrates the meaning of words. Likewise, if I define god as a "tea cup" all can believe, but we already have a word for "tea cup" and we already have a word for "life." God would be superfluous, and quite possibly is superfluous to the point of really only existing as a word.

So, defining god may be difficult, but perhaps not impossible. I think what you may be getting at is that there are numerous definitions of god; as many as there are opinions, it seems. To that degree, the definition is pretty arbitrary and ambiguous. If that's what you mean, I'm "with you."

To me, since there is no good evidence for gods I don't believe in any. Life is evidence of life, not god.

Cheers

Lets say that the various religions have multitudinous descriptions of their particular gods and they don't gel. As someone above noted, men create gods very much in their own image, sometimes an improvement, sometimes a megalomaniac of truly genocidal aspiration, while some of the native animist or pantheist religions come closest to a "definition" that I find acceptable.

What I see is "life", the different between a corpse and a live person , the rest seems icing on the cake or perhaps the result of a few mushrooms.

Peerie Maa
04-03-2014, 04:46 PM
http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by peb http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?p=4116754#post4116754)
Sagan didn't even understand gravity.


I am intrigued to know on what you base this opinion.

Flying Orca
04-03-2014, 04:58 PM
"Revolt in 2100" is sort of relevant....

Yeah, he kind of called that one, didn't he?

Flying Orca
04-03-2014, 05:00 PM
Excuse me? Every deity or religion is what individuals decide to believe it is. Whether the divine exists or not, none of us have infallible knowledge of it; whether the divine exists or not, all religions and beliefs are human constructs. All religions are subject to various interpretations, all of them change over time, sometimes quite radically.

Right. And because the constructs are subjective, they become meaningless to anyone else, though there be much noise to the contrary.

Flying Orca
04-03-2014, 05:03 PM
Yes, it is easy to say on your part as well as mine. You can either believe that the New Testament is wrong if the Old Testament is right, or you can view it as an evolution of understanding. I'm sorry, but I think your interpretation fails to make a sincere effort to understand, but you are not alone.

Well, I'm happy to admit I'm coming from a standpoint from which anything that leaves no physical evidence in the natural world looks deeply dubious. It's hard to make a sincere effort to understand something so subjective, arbitrary, and utterly lacking in supporting evidence as a deity of some sort.

CWSmith
04-03-2014, 05:06 PM
Well, I'm happy to admit I'm coming from a standpoint from which anything that leaves no physical evidence in the natural world looks deeply dubious. It's hard to make a sincere effort to understand something so subjective, arbitrary, and utterly lacking in supporting evidence as a deity of some sort.

I wish you well, Orca. As they say in Maine, "You can't get there from here."

Flying Orca
04-03-2014, 05:17 PM
I wish you well, Orca. As they say in Maine, "You can't get there from here."

That's probably true; they say it in my home state too, in which (if memory serves) you reside. :) In any event, I wish you nothing but the best, as well.

Keith Wilson
04-03-2014, 05:32 PM
And because the constructs are subjective, they become meaningless to anyone else, though there be much noise to the contrary.I'm not at all sure that follows. Many other things that are obviously human constructs (art, music, stories . . . ) are not at all meaningless. And merely because we have imperfect, contradictory, partial, and very likely wrong ideas about the divine doesn't necessarily mean we just made it up. Maybe we did, but maybe not, even though we don't have a very good handle on it. One way or another, religious ideas can have a significant effect on how people behave, for better or worse, and that's very far from meaningless.

Flying Orca
04-03-2014, 05:44 PM
I'm not at all sure that follows. Many other things that are obviously human constructs (art, music, stories . . . ) are not at all meaningless. And merely because we have imperfect, contradictory, partial, and very likely wrong ideas about the divine doesn't necessarily mean we just made it up. Maybe we did, but maybe not, even though we don't have a very good handle on it. One way or another, religious ideas can have a significant effect on how people behave, for better or worse, and that's very far from meaningless.

Hmmm, interesting. I think I draw the dividing line on the possibility of shared reference. We can look at the same piece of art, we can listen to the same story, we can perform the same piece of music... but there is no externally apparent deity to which we can refer, no basis of comparison as it were.

I agree that belief's effect upon behaviour is far from meaningless, but I think that's a subject distinct from the (objective?) meaning of the belief itself.

CWSmith
04-03-2014, 05:47 PM
That's probably true; they say it in my home state too, in which (if memory serves) you reside. :) In any event, I wish you nothing but the best, as well.

By the way, Garnet Rogers has a lovely new CD with some moving songs about loss. I hope he has another joyful recording down the road, but it's very powerful.

Keith Wilson
04-03-2014, 05:49 PM
but there is no externally apparent deity to which we can refer, no basis of comparison as it were.No? Maybe not. Much common human experience, though. Religion, when it has any value, is much more like poetry than physics.


Searching for the Dharma

You've traveled up ten thousand steps in search of the Dharma.
So many long days in the archives, copying, copying.

The gravity of the Tang and the profundity of the Sung
make heavy baggage.

Here! I've picked you a bunch of wildflowers.
Their meaning is the same
but they're much easier to carry.

~ Xu Yun ~

TomF
04-03-2014, 06:18 PM
I understand that not everyone shares my experience, or that of it seems some others here. it does feel sad to not share such a frame of reference with more of my friends.

Flying Orca
04-03-2014, 06:20 PM
By the way, Garnet Rogers has a lovely new CD with some moving songs about loss. I hope he has another joyful recording down the road, but it's very powerful.

Yes, he gave Oystagirl an advance copy (mixed but not mastered) when we saw him in January. We likes it.

Flying Orca
04-03-2014, 06:22 PM
No? Maybe not. Much common human experience, though. Religion, when it has any value, is much more like poetry than physics.


I understand that not everyone shares my experience, or that of it seems some others here. it does feel sad to not share such a frame of reference with more of my friends.

I have a commitment to playing some tunes at the Irish Club, but I want to acknowledge these posts, and tell you both that my intention is not to ignore you, but to give you my full attention. :)

BrianY
04-03-2014, 06:27 PM
I understand that not everyone shares my experience, or that of it seems some others here. it does feel sad to not share such a frame of reference with more of my friends.

Take some comfort in the thought that although it's our similarities/commonalities that bring us together, it's our differences (as long as we're respectful and courteous) that makes our interactions interesting.

TomF
04-03-2014, 06:33 PM
I have a commitment to playing some tunes at the Irish Club, but I want to acknowledge these posts, and tell you both that my intention is not to ignore you, but to give you my full attention. :)I was playing flute and whistles a bit earlier too! Among the instruments I've picked up, for when there's another piano player in the room.

someday, I should probably learn guitar...

Chip-skiff
04-03-2014, 06:47 PM
I was playing flute and whistles a bit earlier too! Among the instruments I've picked up, for when there's another piano player in the room.

someday, I should probably learn guitar...


I've played guitar for a great many years, backing up the people who were having real fun, and advise you to take up the pipes:

http://www.uilleann.com/images/fullsetmed.jpg

The Uilleann pipes, a proper lyric instrument, unlike those curséd Scottish war pipes that sound like the spirits of evildoers, being buggered in hell. Or the Northumbrian smallpipes, a very decent second choice.

While I don't think god exists, I am confident that Kathryn Tickell does:


http://youtu.be/HiuMwskhsGk

TomF
04-03-2014, 06:50 PM
I love the Uilleann pipes - a wonderful sound, and might go there yet. But you rather misunderstand my guitar hankering ... yeah, I should learn how to accompany someone, and will. But as much as anything I want to learn slide. :D

John Smith
04-03-2014, 06:53 PM
I've always felt that God calls me to be a better man and helps me to be what he calls me to be.

The God who said "He who is without sin cast the first stone." and "Go, your sins are forgiven." has the morals of a spoiled child? The God who forgave his murderers as he hung on a cross had the manners of a spoiled child? The God who took a religion you had to be born into and made salvation available to all was a spoiled child?

You must know some remarkable children.

I've always told my kids, and any other youngsters I've had dealings with, to envision the type of person they'd like to be, and decide accordingly. Also, I've suggested they ask themselves if they'd want their mom to know what they're doing.

Sometimes fictional characters can take on a "life". Sherlock Holmes comes to mind. Maybe it's the same with God.

CWSmith
04-03-2014, 07:15 PM
Sometimes fictional characters can take on a "life". Sherlock Holmes comes to mind. Maybe it's the same with God.

You're very funny, John. You left off Star Trek.

TomF
04-03-2014, 07:20 PM
You're very funny, John. You left off Star Trek.WWPD? (what would Picard do?)

CWSmith
04-03-2014, 07:27 PM
WWPD? (what would Picard do?)

You laugh, but if more managers took the responsibility that he took, the world would be a better place.

Arizona Bay
04-03-2014, 07:32 PM
I understand that not everyone shares my experience, or that of it seems some others here. it does feel sad to not share such a frame of reference with more of my friends.

Tell me about it... :)

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
Perhaps they're better left unsung.
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone,
If you should stand then whos to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home

Keith Wilson
04-03-2014, 08:55 PM
I used to sing my kids to sleep with that song. |:)

Nanoose
04-03-2014, 10:05 PM
You are approaching the "Everything has to have a beginning" position. Then you have to explain how God began. If He was always there, then everything does not have to have a beginning.

Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
There must be one uncaused cause, a first mover (Aristotle), to begin a series of cause and effect.
If God had a beginning, what 'began' him is the uncaused cause, i.e. God.
You cannot have an infinite concrete regress; there must be some first, some uncaused cause, which is the generally agreed definition of God.

Keith Wilson
04-03-2014, 10:08 PM
You cannot have an infinite concrete regress . . . Why in the world not? That seems a completely unwarranted assumption.

elf
04-03-2014, 10:24 PM
And Ali Anderson, too.

Nanoose
04-03-2014, 10:46 PM
Given an infinite regress you never arrive 'here.'
Given an infinitely long chain of dominoes they never fall, for you are never done adding more to the series. Given anything sequential, you need a first to commence the sequence.
In any chain of cause and effect, you need some first cause or the series never begins/doesn't exist.

Nanoose
04-03-2014, 10:47 PM
Yes, he does.

Nanoose
04-03-2014, 10:57 PM
Hi, Glen! :D

Nanoose
04-03-2014, 11:07 PM
Thanks, sweetie! oxox

Arizona Bay
04-04-2014, 12:04 AM
Given an infinite regress you never arrive 'here.'


A different perspective :D

'Here' is the only place we can be, the past and future spiral out in both directions from 'here'. So in that sense now is the moment of creation, the zero point, the beginning of the infinite.

PeterSibley
04-04-2014, 02:34 AM
What a delightfully civil thread . |:)

skuthorp
04-04-2014, 03:06 AM
BTW Chip-skiff, TomF, Larks plays the Uilleann pipes too.

TomF
04-04-2014, 06:52 AM
Deb, I'm not sure if Aristotle's notion of a first mover stands up alongside the various and conflicting notions of '"time" in modern physics. While the theories are far from transparent and are certainly not settled, the 1 thing which stood out for me when listening to an exploration of some of them on an"Ideas" program, was that time probably isn't linear and sequential. We experience it that way because we live in a linear and sequential way, but time itself is much bigger, and potentially much more convoluted.

Which does not, BTW, argue that God doesn't exist. Just that the first mover argument falls apart if time is recursive, or multiple, or etc.

Keith Wilson
04-04-2014, 07:19 AM
It's ancient reasoning, but basically silly, and completely inadequate to the task.. We don't know anywhere near enough about the nature of time and causality to reach such an enormous conclusion from such small and wildly speculative evidence. much less attribute a personality and purposes to that conclusion. Logic, despite the best efforts of many bright and devout people, doesn't help much here.

Michael D. Storey
04-04-2014, 07:20 AM
Also do YOU understand gravity? If not, why should anyone believe that you understand God? I mean, if the critera for judging one's ability to be an authority on God is one's ability to undertsand gravity, there's a whole bunch of "religious authorities" who's opinions and teachings we should discount.

Did the Apostles understand gravity? How about all of the popes and preachers down through the ages? Billy Grahm?

I would suggest that your comment is influenced by your feelings that perhaps the Divine should be capable of controlling gravity, so, if Sagan did not understand what the Divine (allegedly, in this construct) controls, then Sagan could have not understood the Divine. Like if you can not build an automatic transmission, you (therefore) can not drive. I would suggest that there is room for partial understandings of each in the less than perfect mind.
I would lastly point out that I have not revealed my opinions on either gravity or the Divine, whether either exists, or whether I have even a partial understanding of either.

Peerie Maa
04-04-2014, 07:24 AM
Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
There must be one uncaused cause, a first mover (Aristotle), to begin a series of cause and effect.
If God had a beginning, what 'began' him is the uncaused cause, i.e. God.
You cannot have an infinite concrete regress; there must be some first, some uncaused cause, which is the generally agreed definition of God.

Hi Deb,
Maybe you need to think about this new research http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7440217.stm


Dr Adrienne Erickcek, from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and colleagues now believe these fluctuations contain hints that our Universe "bubbled off" from a previous one.

TomF
04-04-2014, 07:29 AM
bubbles, all the way down

BrianY
04-04-2014, 07:49 AM
Given anything sequential, you need a first to commence the sequence.
In any chain of cause and effect, you need some first cause or the series never begins/doesn't exist.

Yes, but in an infinite chain of time, you can determine first causes for any series of events if you are selective about the chunks of time you're looking at. If you ignore the before and after and narrow your view to a specific portion of infinite time, then time apears to have a beginning and possibly an end. For example, If we only think about that portion of infinite time that begins with the creation of the universe, it seems reasonable to assume that there must have been a first cause - a starting point for everything. If however we place the creation of the universe within an infinite time stream, then that "starting point for everything" is not really a starting point for "everything" but merely a bump in the road. It's like the first page of a random chapter of a book made up of an infinite numbers of chapters.

Peerie Maa
04-04-2014, 08:03 AM
bubbles, all the way down

Yes I know. Better than turtles though.

The bubbles idea has also been postulated to help think about alternate universes with sets of differing physical constants. We may be in a bubble where the constants set aloows us to live, embedded in a foam of alternatives with differing but still coherent sets of constants.

John Smith
04-04-2014, 09:39 AM
Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
There must be one uncaused cause, a first mover (Aristotle), to begin a series of cause and effect.
If God had a beginning, what 'began' him is the uncaused cause, i.e. God.
You cannot have an infinite concrete regress; there must be some first, some uncaused cause, which is the generally agreed definition of God.

That only makes sense to those who believe God exists.

John Smith
04-04-2014, 09:42 AM
Given an infinite regress you never arrive 'here.'
Given an infinitely long chain of dominoes they never fall, for you are never done adding more to the series. Given anything sequential, you need a first to commence the sequence.
In any chain of cause and effect, you need some first cause or the series never begins/doesn't exist.

You cannot believe this and make an exception.

PhaseLockedLoop
04-04-2014, 10:27 AM
Whether one believes or not has nothing to do with God's reality.

Isn't that kind of true of pretty much everything, supposedly? Either there is a tree in the forest or there isn't, regardless of what anyone believes? If it falls, it makes a noise, though no ears may hear, etc.?

(this argument never made sense to me, btw)

JimD
04-04-2014, 10:36 AM
...If it falls, it makes a noise, though no ears may hear, etc.?


Actually, it doesn't make a noise. At best it makes a pressure wave in the air. Sound is a subjective experience that's all in your head. Just sayin'.

Arizona Bay
04-04-2014, 10:52 AM
Actually, it doesn't make a noise. At best it makes a pressure wave in the air. Sound is a subjective experience that's all in your head. Just sayin'.

Yeah. :D
In the same sense, the whole universe happens inside your head.

Arizona Bay
04-04-2014, 10:56 AM
And who says a 'now' has to be a point.

Getting back to about God, the question, "Does God exist?" really ends up being about the Nature of God and our own nature and what we can know. The teacher says the true nature of God is only knowable at the center of oneness, it is not possible for a mind experiencing space-time to get it. "We say 'God is,' and we cease to speak. We don't know how to experience non-duality; we live in, and all of our culture is immersed in, this seemingly unending story that is actually demonstrably finite. We have a mind capable of understanding, in a cursory manner, the concept of thirteen billion years, equating that with infinity or eternity. We have the limit of our own brief lifespan, the equally brief lifespan of humans, and life on earth, and this is as the merest of ripples in an infinite pond, speckeled with galaxies and worlds all thirteen billion years old. Big— but not infinite or eternal. And we will all forever miss almost all of it. For all intents and purposes, except knowing the Creator, the whole of the agonizingly vast universe is forever outside of anything that we can think of as us. But we are, all of us living, part of a continuous spark that lights up this little sphere for a time. More importantly, we are all one in the only sense that could possibly matter.

In an earlier part of this thread, someone asked me how I know what I stated as what I regard as the truth. Like TomF, I have had my experience. I have come to recognize that my experience argues for a lifelong search for our Creator. My first deliberate act as an individual was to go outside my family to find a church and learn about God. I've been baptized and studied the Bible for years, and belonged to various churches, been a counselor at a Billy Graham crusade, been obnoxiously evangelical in my early days, eventually transitioned to atheism and began studying philosophy and eventually Eastern traditions, always with a continuing need to understand the Creator and my place in things. All of which, for me, culminates in reading, and struggling to believe, A Course in Miracles. It has very consistent answers to all the objectionable parts of humanity's struggle to know, to be happy, to relinguish the common burden, as well as the only reasonable answer to such questions as 'how can a loving Father treat His Children this way, allow such things to happen?' It also happens to jive fairly well with Buddhism in that we all recognize that each of us suffers without enlightment and is due our compassion and that that is how we achieve enlightenment which is the end of suffering. How do I know this? My mind recognizes, in an intellectual way as well as emotionally, that I am of God. My real, true self is Created perfect because I am of God. Which is why it is impossible that I am ever apart from God or ever threatened. Which is why I overlook all of the ego's space-time argument that we are carrying on without God. I forgive my brother for his apparent devotion to the illusion which appears to keep us separate. When I do that, forgive the ego, I see the face of Christ in everyone. To quote the Beatles, sort of, 'You are me and we are he and we are all together. Your true eternal self and I and Jesus and our Father are one and the same. Everything else is just dream imagery, and has no affect on reality.

And John, it doesn't matter whether you believe or not, the truth is still true. God is eternal and so are you, but your life time on earth isn't. You can go beyond the suffering of this life time, but it involves belief.

Y>
Though I may have different words.

Among them, our individual perceptions are like teats on the cosmic udder.

A dear friend calls us taste buds.

BrianY
04-04-2014, 11:23 AM
Jim Mahan

Whether one believes or not has nothing to do with God's reality.



Isn't that kind of true of pretty much everything, supposedly? Either there is a tree in the forest or there isn't, regardless of what anyone believes? If it falls, it makes a noise, though no ears may hear, etc.?

(this argument never made sense to me, btw)

This is an interesting subject all by itself - is there an objective reality outside of/seperate from our perception of reality? We could spend days talking about that. Let me try to narrow it down a bit to the question of God.....Does God exist regardless of whether people believe in him or not?

Let's go back to Ancient Greece. The people believed in a whole panoply of gods and goddesses. To the ancient greeks, these god were as real as anything else. There was no doubt about whether they existed or not. Now we regard these gods and goddesses as myth, that they were not actually real but just made up stories that some people thought were real.

What changed? What made the Greek gods and goddesses go from 100% to 100% fake? A change in human beliefs. People chose to believe in the reality of different gods. Were the Ancient Greek stupid? Defective in some way? No. They were pretty smart people very much like us in their reasoning and thinking capacities and biologically identical to us. Yet we choose to believe that what they believed is just flat out wrong.

If the Greeks were right and despite our change in belief their gods still exist, what difference does it make? Since we have chosen to believe that they are not real, they have absolutely no influence or affect on us. Hermes could be sitting right next to me as I type this and it wouldn't matter one bit.

In every practical way, the only way that gods are "real" is if people believe that they are and allow that belief to influence their lives. The faithful can assert the veracity of their beliefs and see signs of God's direct influence on the earth and it's inhabitants all they want, but the non-believer remains unaffected and sees different forces at work. Your belief in God's reality has no effect on me except in how that belief makes you behave.

Since there is nothing that I experience that is so far beyond our understanding that it can only be caused by something supernatural, I have no need for God to exist. Therefore he doesn't. You on the other hand have expereinced things that you can only ascribe to God. Therefore God exists.

The difference - the determining factor as to whether God does or does not exist - is our belief. Since there is no objective way of proving or disproving God's existence, the only "proof" we can provide is our belief or non-belief. In this situation, it is our belief that makes God exist and our lack of belief that makes him not exist.

TomF
04-04-2014, 11:29 AM
except .... except that many things have existed, and still exist, quite outside human understanding of that fact. It may not be apparently relevant to us, but no less real. On some of those stars we see, there may be other elements which have yet to make it onto our periodic table. Irrelevant to the way we live our lives, but nonetheless real.

I think that the question of God's relevance, particularly to people who don't have any interest in or belief in the divine, might appear to be rather the same. But God's existence isn't a matter of whether or not we've experienced or believed ... things can exist beyond all belief. And manifestly, have.

Breakaway
04-04-2014, 11:29 AM
http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by PhaseLockedLoop http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?p=4118341#post4118341)

Isn't that kind of true of pretty much everything, supposedly? Either there is a tree in the forest or there isn't, regardless of what anyone believes? If it falls, it makes a noise, though no ears may hear, etc.?

(this argument never made sense to me, btw)



The tree falls, yes. But the sound is only created if some little bones in our ears, or that of some other animal's ears, are struck by the vibrations created when the tree falls. If no ears are in range of those vibrations, then no sound occurs.

Kevin

Peerie Maa
04-04-2014, 11:41 AM
The tree falls, yes. But the sound is only created if some little bones in our ears, or that of some other animal's ears, are struck by the vibrations created when the tree falls. If no ears are in range of those vibrations, then no sound occurs.

Kevin

That is like saying that there are no waves on the sea without a beach for them to crash against, or no light in the sky without eyes to see it with. Totally human centric and anti science.

Sound waves are what we call pressure variations passing through a medium just as water waves are pressure variations travelling along an interface between two fluids of different density.

Keith Wilson
04-04-2014, 11:45 AM
That's purely a linguistic distinction. Is "sound" vibrations of air molecules with a certain range of characteristics, or is "sound" what happens to our ears and nervous systems when those vibrations reach us? Pick one or the other, but it doesn't really matter. The tree falling makes "sound" by definition 1, but not by definition 2. So what?

John Smith
04-04-2014, 12:24 PM
except .... except that many things have existed, and still exist, quite outside human understanding of that fact. It may not be apparently relevant to us, but no less real. On some of those stars we see, there may be other elements which have yet to make it onto our periodic table. Irrelevant to the way we live our lives, but nonetheless real.

I think that the question of God's relevance, particularly to people who don't have any interest in or belief in the divine, might appear to be rather the same. But God's existence isn't a matter of whether or not we've experienced or believed ... things can exist beyond all belief. And manifestly, have.

I agree with all of this. The difference between you and me is that I simply admit, "I don't know." Others say "God did it".

This is very much like going to the doctor with a really nasty headache. He says, "You have a migraine." That makes him sound like he knows something. Truth is, all he's saying is that you've got a really bad headache, and he has no idea what causes it.

John Smith
04-04-2014, 12:25 PM
The tree falls, yes. But the sound is only created if some little bones in our ears, or that of some other animal's ears, are struck by the vibrations created when the tree falls. If no ears are in range of those vibrations, then no sound occurs.

Kevin

Sound waves are present whether or not there are ears to hear them. If you turn your radio off and walk out of range, it's still on and music or whatever is still playing.

JimD
04-04-2014, 01:04 PM
Sound waves are present whether or not there are ears to hear them. If you turn your radio off and walk out of range, it's still on and music or whatever is still playing.

No sound out there, John. Just pressure waves in various frequencies. That's what 'sound' waves are. Sorry you missed grade school science class ;)

JimD
04-04-2014, 01:06 PM
There is no light in the sky, either. Just electromagnetic waves of various frequencies, some of which we subjectively experience as light, roughly comparable to how we subjectively experience sound from pressure waves.

Breakaway
04-04-2014, 01:07 PM
That is like saying that there are no waves on the sea without a beach for them to crash against, or no light in the sky without eyes to see it with. Totally human centric and anti science.

I see your viewpoint, but I will persist in mine.

The waves or vibrations created as the tree falls exist regardless of our presence. But 'sound' is a human construct. Its the name we've given our perception of certain vibrations. To use your analogy, its like waves that NEVER strike a beach and so never create surf.

Kevin

Keith Wilson
04-04-2014, 01:11 PM
Just semantic; a distinction that leaves us no wiser.

Breakaway
04-04-2014, 01:22 PM
Just semantic; a distinction that leaves us no wiser.

Some people ( those within audible range of the tree and with operating anatomical equipment) will hear the sound. Others ( out of range, or with non-working anatomical equipment) will not hear the sound.

The tree falls in both cases.

Kevin

Peerie Maa
04-04-2014, 01:27 PM
I see your viewpoint, but I will persist in mine.

The waves or vibrations created as the tree falls exist regardless of our presence. But 'sound' is a human construct. Its the name we've given our perception of certain vibrations. To use your analogy, its like waves that NEVER strike a beach and so never create surf.

Kevin

The energy still propagates whether or not any one is there to record it. Light existed before life evolved. Waves existed before life evolved, sound existed before life evolved. The transfer of energy from one place to another via a wave form does not need us to be there for it to happen.
Now if you want to argue semantics what do you call the pressure fluctuations that the falling tree creates?

Breakaway
04-04-2014, 01:46 PM
Now if you want to argue semantics what do you call the pressure fluctuations that the falling tree creates?

If I am close, and aren't wearing earplugs I call it noise. Its only sound because I hear it. The vibrations propagate,yes, but if no one hears it, there is no sound.

Sound is like color. The frequencies of light exist. But where I see green, a dog sees grey, a colorblind person sees blue, and fully blind person sees nada. But in all cases, the light waves exist. Its just color that is a matter of perception.

Same thing with sound.

Kevin

TomF
04-04-2014, 01:58 PM
Might it be the same with God?

JimD
04-04-2014, 02:01 PM
Some people ( those within audible range of the tree and with operating anatomical equipment) will hear the sound. Others ( out of range, or with non-working anatomical equipment) will not hear the sound.

The tree falls in both cases.

Kevin

Or more accurately, some people's ear drums will vibrate when contacted by the propagating pressure waves, send signals to the brain, and generate the subjective experience of sound. Other ear drums will not vibrate as the pressure wave caused by the falling tree attenuates over distance or other obstruction, and will not signal the brain, which in turn will not generate the subjective experience of sound. The tree falls in both cases.

JimD
04-04-2014, 02:10 PM
Just semantic; a distinction that leaves us no wiser.
Certainly no wiser with regard to the existence or non existence of God. But a little wiser in regard to how the Universe operates. Not having read this entire thread I'm not sure which of the infinite definitions of God anyone might be referring to.

BrianY
04-04-2014, 02:39 PM
except .... except that many things have existed, and still exist, quite outside human understanding of that fact. It may not be apparently relevant to us, but no less real. On some of those stars we see, there may be other elements which have yet to make it onto our periodic table. Irrelevant to the way we live our lives, but nonetheless real.

Yes you're right of course. I think the difference is that I'm making the admittedly large leap in assuming that everything that exists and is at present unknown to us is not supernatural - that these unknows are extensions of the material universe and that they can be explained by existing laws of physics or new laws of physics that do not conflict with basic fundamental pricipals of physics which,as far as we know, apply everywhere in the universe.

I fear I'm not explaining myself very well....

Basically, I guess what I'm saying is that if something can be explained through physics - either existing physics or physics yet to be - then it is by definition not "supernatural". If it is not supernatural, then there is no need for a supernatural explanation or cause which eliminates the need for faith in any sort of divine entity. Gods exist because they explain the unexplainable, the stuff that appears to defy reason and science. If and when we encounter something that is unexplainable even at a theoretical level in a way that is consistent with what we know about how the universe works, then we have encountered the supernatural and explanations that rely on the supernatural make sense. If my hypothesis is correct, we should see that over time, supernatural explanations give way to rational explanations...which is exactly what we do see throughout human history. Now I supopse it is possible to believe that things that are explainable by science and reason are actually caused by supernatural forces, but proving that is impossible and because there is a perfectly rational, non-supernatural explanation, there's no need to believe in the supernatural cause.


I think that the question of God's relevance, particularly to people who don't have any interest in or belief in the divine, might appear to be rather the same. But God's existence isn't a matter of whether or not we've experienced or believed ... things can exist beyond all belief. And manifestly, have.

Yes things can exist beyond all belief (For example, I still can't believe that they can make thumb drives that store gigabytes of data. That's incredible!), but the questions is if these things require a supernatural cause or not. Personal incomprehension isn't enough (as in my disbelief about the thumb drives. Obvioulsy they can and do exist and they're designed and made by people so despite my personal attitude toward them, they are definitely 'real"). You have to look at the collective knowledge and experience of all of us. Are they so inconsistent with our collective experience and knowledge that the only reasonable explanation is that they were caused by a supernatural agency? If the answer is yes, then you have cause to believe in something superatural. The problem then becomes determining the nature of that "something".

ETA - All of this is what Spinoza was getting at when he defined "God" as "all that is" as opposed to "An entity separate from and outside of all that is". In Spinoza's views, there is nothing "supernatural" - all that exists is by definition, ALL THAT EXISTS. If we assume that God exists, then God must be part of this "all that exists" and cannot be "supernatural". In this view, if you believe that 'existance exists", you automatically believe that God exists becasue Spinoza defined "God" as all things that exist. My question whether this version of God deserves to be call "God".

Peerie Maa
04-04-2014, 02:46 PM
If I am close, and aren't wearing earplugs I call it noise. Its only sound because I hear it. The vibrations propagate,yes, but if no one hears it, there is no sound.

Sound is like color. The frequencies of light exist. But where I see green, a dog sees grey, a colorblind person sees blue, and fully blind person sees nada. But in all cases, the light waves exist. Its just color that is a matter of perception.

Same thing with sound.

Kevin

OK, can you find one piece of text that uses "noise waves", instead of "sound waves"?

Peerie Maa
04-04-2014, 02:49 PM
Yes you're right of course. I think the difference is that I'm making the admittedly large leap in assuming that everything that exists and is at present unknown to us is not supernatural - that these unknows are extensions of the material universe and that they can be explained by existing laws of physics or new laws of physics that do not conflict with basic fundamental pricipals of physics which,as far as we know, apply everywhere in the universe.



I agree with that point of view. Everything else are known unknowns or unknown unknowns, neither of which are magic and some day may be moved to the known known category.

TomF
04-04-2014, 03:31 PM
I have some sympathy with aspects of Spinoza's position. After all, if we play the imagination game of assuming that God exists and created all that is, then how would God be super-natural (in the sense of not-natural)? Would God not instead be the source of "natural," the very essence of it? The creator could not create something alien to the laws which bind his/her own being; the fact that we grope to understand those laws of physics etc., getting better at it over time is no denial of God, but another route to understanding God. Through understanding the way that creation is structured.

It is a misapprehension, I think, to presume that God must exist outside of the "reality" we experience daily. Or to put it another way, to presume that what we experience daily is de facto devoid of God ... because we understand bits of it.

In my understanding, God is God of the periodic table of elements, of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, not just of the "gaps." And don't find it threatening to my faith as the "gaps" continue to diminish.

skuthorp
04-04-2014, 03:32 PM
Might it be the same with God?
That's just what I have been saying TomF, god exists for those who believe, and doesn't for those who don't. The manifestation depends on the variety of the belief. But following the tree analogy, does god exist whether we believe or not? That is the base belief that religions depend on of course. Interesting discussion.

Breakaway
04-04-2014, 03:46 PM
OK, can you find one piece of text that uses "noise waves", instead of "sound waves"?

About as readily as you can produce a deaf man, or a man who'se never left the desert, that knows what a falling tree sounds like. :cool:

Kevin

Peerie Maa
04-04-2014, 04:02 PM
About as readily as you can produce a deaf man, or a man who'se never left the desert, that knows what a falling tree sounds like. :cool:

Kevin

I'll take that as a "no I can't then", Fairy Nuff.

TomF
04-04-2014, 04:02 PM
...But following the tree analogy, does god exist whether we believe or not? That is the base belief that religions depend on of course. Interesting discussion.It wouldn't matter so much whether we believe in God, as whether God believes in us. :D

skuthorp
04-04-2014, 04:11 PM
It wouldn't matter so much whether we believe in God, as whether God believes in us. :D
If we build a skyscraper, and it falls down, do the cockroaches in the cracks in the walls think it was because of something they said/did?:D

TomF
04-04-2014, 04:41 PM
Wasn't it? :D

Breakaway
04-04-2014, 05:05 PM
I'll take that as a "no I can't then", Fairy Nuff.

Oh, don't be silly. You are assigning to much power to labels. If we decide that we are going to call rocks fubbles, the things-once-called-rocks continue to have the properties that they have always exhibited.

Sound waves, noise waves... I'll tell you what: explain difference between sound waves and shock waves. Not the source, mind you, the waves. What is the difference in the waves themselves?

Kevin

Edited: We should probably choose a medium in which to compare the types of waves, so lets go with air. What is the difference between shock waves and sound waves traveling through air?

Peerie Maa
04-04-2014, 05:14 PM
Oh, don't be silly. You are assigning to much power to labels. If we decide that we are going to call rocks fubbles, the things-once-called-rocks continue to have the properties that they have always exhibited.

Sound waves, noise waves... I'll tell you what: explain difference between sound waves and shock waves. Not the source, mind you, the waves. What is the difference in the waves themselves?

Kevin

If you watch a film of an explosion there is only one shock wave expanding out (underwater shock waves behave differently and bounce, but there is still only one of them). Sound waves come in trains, short trains from the vibrations caused by a single concussion, long ones as long as the source continues to create them.

Noise is the word used for a particular group of sounds, those that we don't like. Did your parents not condemn the music that you liked as a teen as noise, when to you it was a good sound? :D

Breakaway
04-04-2014, 05:20 PM
Thank you. I though all waves behaved the same. I was wrong.



Noise is the word used for a particular group of sounds, those that we don't like. Did your parents not condemn the music that you liked as a teen as noise, when to you it was a good sound?

They did! This is my point! Dad's noise was my music. The thing changed depending upon how it was perceived. And my dog could hear some really high harmonics that caused him to howl. But we could not hear them. The same event was perceived differently by different beings.

But only the one, same event happened in all cases.

Am my getting clearer?

Kevin

Peerie Maa
04-04-2014, 05:30 PM
Thank you. I though all waves behaved the same. I was wrong.There is normally only one wave crest with a tsunami, as it was caused by a discrete pressure pulse. Whereas wind waves are caused by a continuing transfer of energy from wind to water through the water surface. The wave train that forms a boats wake are caused by two pressure sources that are moving, which is why a wave train is formed at bow and stern.



They did! This is my point! Dad's noise was my music. The thing changed depending upon how it was perceived. And my dog could hear some really high harmonics that caused him to howl. But we could not hear them. The same event was perceived differently by different beings.

But only the one, same event happened in all cases.

Am my getting clearer?

Kevin

May be, but I think that you are coming to realise that sound exists whether you are there or not, and when you don't dislike the experience it is sound, but if you don't like it it comes into the subset of sounds that we call noise.

Breakaway
04-04-2014, 05:34 PM
I have to make dinner for the girls.

John Smith
04-04-2014, 05:38 PM
No sound out there, John. Just pressure waves in various frequencies. That's what 'sound' waves are. Sorry you missed grade school science class ;)

My opinion is it makes sound waves whether YOU are there to here it or not. They may be a nearby squirrel who hears it.

Peerie Maa
04-04-2014, 05:48 PM
I have to make dinner for the girls.

There's those time zones again. I expect I'll be in bed when you get back.

Nanoose
04-04-2014, 07:23 PM
Deb, I'm not sure if Aristotle's notion of a first mover stands up alongside the various and conflicting notions of '"time" in modern physics. While the theories are far from transparent and are certainly not settled, the 1 thing which stood out for me when listening to an exploration of some of them on an"Ideas" program, was that time probably isn't linear and sequential. We experience it that way because we live in a linear and sequential way, but time itself is much bigger, and potentially much more convoluted.

Which does not, BTW, argue that God doesn't exist. Just that the first mover argument falls apart if time is recursive, or multiple, or etc.
Thanks, Tom. I didn't know this. Fascinating. I'd be curious to know how one determines time 'probably isn't' linear/sequential. Good thing google is my friend.
But even if time is recursive (etc) I'm not sure that would cabosh a first mover argument, would it?

Nanoose
04-04-2014, 07:33 PM
Hi Deb,
Maybe you need to think about this new research http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7440217.stm

Thanks, Nick. Yes - the multi-verse theory. I read something similar to that article just last week - connected to Black Holes. What is lacking is anything concrete related to the idea; perhaps, as the article notes, some cosmic evidence will surface. Until then we'll have to carry on without it.

Nanoose
04-04-2014, 07:34 PM
A different perspective :D

'Here' is the only place we can be, the past and future spiral out in both directions from 'here'. So in that sense now is the moment of creation, the zero point, the beginning of the infinite.
Given an infinite past, our sun burned out infinitely long ago and we're not here. Sorry. ;)

Nanoose
04-04-2014, 07:38 PM
Yes, but in an infinite chain of time, you can determine first causes for any series of events if you are selective about the chunks of time you're looking at. If you ignore the before and after and narrow your view to a specific portion of infinite time, then time apears to have a beginning and possibly an end. For example, If we only think about that portion of infinite time that begins with the creation of the universe, it seems reasonable to assume that there must have been a first cause - a starting point for everything. If however we place the creation of the universe within an infinite time stream, then that "starting point for everything" is not really a starting point for "everything" but merely a bump in the road. It's like the first page of a random chapter of a book made up of an infinite numbers of chapters.

But there was no space/time prior to the universe. There was nothing before the universe. The beginning of the universe was the beginning of space and time.
If the universe is eternal we have a different set of questions to ponder such as we're wondering about here.

skuthorp
04-04-2014, 08:00 PM
We don't know if the universe is eternal, we and it haven't been here long enough.
And here we are discussing concepts that a few hundred years ago would have gotten us burned at someones stake. Aint life grand?

Old Dryfoot
04-04-2014, 08:57 PM
But there was no space/time prior to the universe. There was nothing before the universe. The beginning of the universe was the beginning of space and time.
If the universe is eternal we have a different set of questions to ponder such as we're wondering about here.

Only if we assume that the universe is linear, with a single beginning and a single end, for all we know it could be cyclical. The Big Bang could be nothing more that the result of the Big Crunch; see Einstein's Cyclic Model.

Nanoose
04-04-2014, 10:21 PM
Only if we assume that the universe is linear, with a single beginning and a single end, for all we know it could be cyclical. The Big Bang could be nothing more that the result of the Big Crunch; see Einstein's Cyclic Model.
Granted, yet current science says yes to beginning/end not Big Crunch/Cyclic.

leikec
04-04-2014, 10:32 PM
Any conception of God falls out of favor quickly as I more fully understand my own concept of my innate awesomeness....

:D

Jeff C

JimD
04-04-2014, 10:48 PM
My opinion is it makes sound waves whether YOU are there to here it or not. They may be a nearby squirrel who hears it.
Fair enough, John. And my point is that sound waves aren't sound. They are called sound waves because what's between our ears (or the squirrel's) make sound from them. The waves themselves are pressure gradients and are utterly soundless. Falling trees don't make sound. All they do is transfer energy into the air.

Old Dryfoot
04-04-2014, 10:55 PM
Granted, yet current science says yes to beginning/end not Big Crunch/Cyclic.

Current science favors it yes, but it does not rule out a cyclic universe either. As proposed by Einstein a cyclic explanation would not fit with relativity due to the compounding of entropy. But when considered in the context of M Theory and String Theory, entropy is reduced to negligible levels.

The gory details can be read here.
http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0111098.pdf?origin=publication_detail
http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0111030.pdf
http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0307132.pdf

But it's really all conjecture at this point, however I do believe that the answers are forthcoming. Hopefully within my lifetime.

Old Dryfoot
04-04-2014, 11:06 PM
Here is a layperson's version of the proposed Cyclic Model. For all of us without a wall full of degrees in physics and such. ;)

Cyclic universe could explain cosmological constant May 5, 2006
Two theoretical physicists have developed a model that could explain why the cosmological constant takes the small, positive value that it does in today's universe. The value of the constant is responsible for the observed acceleration in the expansion of the universe. However, the new model, developed by Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University in the US and Neil Turok at Cambridge University in the UK, will be controversial. It requires that time existed before the Big Bang, assumes that the universe is older than the 14 billion years we think it is, and says that the universe regularly undergoes repeating "cycles" of big bangs and big crunches (Sciencexpress 1126231).


The cosmological constant, or Λ, was first introduced by Einstein in 1917 to explain why the universe did not appear to be expanding. Edwin Hubble later showed that the universe was expanding, causing Einstein to call the constant his "biggest blunder". But when scientists first measured a value for Λ in 1998, they found it had a tiny, positive value -- indicating that acceleration of the universe is speeding up.


http://images.iop.org/objects/phw/news/thumb/10/5/3/0605031.jpg (http://images.iop.org/objects/phw/news/10/5/3/0605031.jpg)
Figure 1 (http://images.iop.org/objects/phw/news/10/5/3/0605031.jpg)

However, it is unclear why this value is an incredible 120 orders of magnitude smaller than would be expected if the universe formed under the "standard" Big Bang theory. Solving this mystery is one of the most important challenges in cosmology today.


Physicists have proposed several theories to explain why Λ is so small. One of the most popular -- the "anthropic principle" -- states that Λ is randomly set and has very different values in different parts of the universe (figure 1). We happen to live in a rare region, or "bubble", where Λ has the value we observe. This value has allowed stars, planets and therefore life to develop. However, this theory is also unsatisfactory for many scientists because it would be better to be able to calculate Λ from first principles.


http://images.iop.org/objects/phw/news/thumb/10/5/3/0605032.jpg (http://images.iop.org/objects/phw/news/10/5/3/0605032.jpg)
Figure 2 (http://images.iop.org/objects/phw/news/10/5/3/0605032.jpg)

Steinhard and Turok's new theory assumes we live in a cyclic universe, where each cycle from Big Bang to big crunch takes about a trillion years. It postulates the existence of a long sequence of vacuum states, in which Λ changes in a small series of steps, or cycles, of steadily decreasing cosmological constant. The constant is assumed to start out large and positive and hops down the steps to ever lower values.


Each hop takes longer and longer so that the entire universe spends vastly more time at the lowest positive value of Λ, which we see today, than at any other value (figure 2). The last jump, to a negative value, terminates the cycling behaviour of the universe so that it rapidly ends in a big crunch.


Although a similar model was developed by US physicist Larry Abbot in the 1980s, he showed that the descent to small values of Λ took so long that all the matter in the universe would have completely dissipated during this time, therefore resulting in an empty universe. Steinhardt and Turok have fixed this flaw by combining his model with their cyclic model of the universe. The difference now is that a high density of matter is created at the beginning of each cycle so that the universe is never empty.


"We have proposed a mechanism whereby superstring theory and M theory (our best unified theories of quantum gravity to date) allow the universe to pass through a Big Bang," Turok told PhysicsWeb. "But more theoretical work is needed to see whether our proposal is fully consistent."


There will, however, be a way of testing the new theory. According to the standard model of the universe, there was a period of rapid expansion shortly after the Big Bang, known as inflation, that bathed the universe with gravitational waves. A series of experiments are currently underway to detect these waves, which have never been seen before. However, Steinhardt and Turok's model says the gravitational waves generated if their model is correct would be too small to be detected. So if gravitational waves are found in the next few years, it would rule out their theory.

Donn
04-04-2014, 11:07 PM
230+ posts chatting about something that doesn't exist?



Odd.

Old Dryfoot
04-04-2014, 11:10 PM
Spoilsport!


:D

BrianY
04-04-2014, 11:18 PM
But there was no space/time prior to the universe. There was nothing before the universe. The beginning of the universe was the beginning of space and time.
If the universe is eternal we have a different set of questions to ponder such as we're wondering about here.

Not necessarily. There was no space/time in THIS universe before THIS universe began but this universe could be merely the latest edition of a whole succession of universes.

BrianY
04-04-2014, 11:26 PM
Fair enough, John. And my point is that sound waves aren't sound. They are called sound waves because what's between our ears (or the squirrel's) make sound from them. The waves themselves are pressure gradients and are utterly soundless. Falling trees don't make sound. All they do is transfer energy into the air.

analogy: are the notes printed on a page music? or is music what happens when someone plays those notes on an instrument?

But what if there's no one around to hear the performance and the player is deaf? Is he making music? Or does music only exist in the mind of the listener when the physical effects of vibrations in the air are translated by the brain into what we understand as "music"?

Jim Mahan
04-05-2014, 03:08 AM
230+ posts chatting about something that doesn't exist?



Odd.

Chump.

Peerie Maa
04-05-2014, 03:45 AM
Given an infinite past, our sun burned out infinitely long ago and we're not here. Sorry. ;)

Deb,
You know better.
Our sun is a baby in the time-scale of the existing universe. Suns are being created blowing up and seeding the universe for materiel for new solar systems all of the time. Big molecules like carbon iron and silicon come from old super novas, so for us to be here there had to be at least one prior generation of stars.

slug
04-05-2014, 04:51 AM
Sure god exists...I have proof...

yesterday I was carrying a paint bucket half full of paint over a freshly sanded teak deck.........my toe stubbed a cleat, the bucket of paint squirted off the palm of my hand and I watched..in slow motion .. As this bucket did a complete 360 and land bottom side up...no paint was spilled.

this is god at work

skuthorp
04-05-2014, 04:57 AM
Old Dryfoot, #238. Gravitational waves found.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/critical-opalescence/files/2014/04/History-of-the-Universe-BICEP2_excerpt-142x300.jpg (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/critical-opalescence/files/2014/04/History-of-the-Universe-BICEP2_excerpt.jpg)It’s not usually put like this, but the discovery of primordial gravitational waves (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gravity-waves-cmb-b-mode-polarization/) two weeks ago has given us our first direct glimpse of a period before the big bang. The term “big bang” is sometimes taken to mean the beginning of the universe, and that’s the impression you get from diagrams such as the one at left, which the BICEP2 team (http://bicepkeck.org/) showed during the press conference announcing its discovery. But cosmologists don’t know whether the universe had a beginning. The term “big bang” really refers to the beginning of the universe as we know it—that is, an expanding universe filled with matter that has cooled and coagulated into galaxies. Cosmic inflation, the process the BICEP2 results appear to have vindicated, occurred before the big bang by this definition. The universe during inflation was a deeply alien place, devoid of matter, governed by primeval ur-forces, and thoroughly quantum.

http://www.google.com.au/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=gravitational+waves+found&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=2tI_U7-PN6GN8QfFyoDQDA#q=gravitational+waves+found&rls=en&tbm=nws

http://www.google.com.au/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=gravitational+waves+found&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=2tI_U7-PN6GN8QfFyoDQDA#q=gravitational+waves+found&rls=en&tbm=nws (http://www.google.com.au/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=gravitational+waves+found&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=2tI_U7-PN6GN8QfFyoDQDA#q=gravitational+waves+found&rls=en&tbm=nws)

Peerie Maa
04-05-2014, 05:29 AM
analogy: are the notes printed on a page music? or is music what happens when someone plays those notes on an instrument?

But what if there's no one around to hear the performance and the player is deaf? Is he making music? Or does music only exist in the mind of the listener when the physical effects of vibrations in the air are translated by the brain into what we understand as "music"?

This illustrates the difference between human centric thinking and science centric thinking. We do both, but if you want to understand how things work you have to suppress the human centric thought process.

Human centric = flat earth. If it were a globe all of the seas would run round to the bottom and fall off. ;)

Human centric thinking also explains why the ancient Greeks and some African peoples do not see or have names for all of the colours of the rainbow. Our (modern European) human centric view did allow us to see them all, so that let us shift from human centric to science centric and figure out how frequencies work. That is why the science centric thinking allows us to know that sound exists even if we do not happen to hear it.

Just had a thought, can we see and name all of the colours of the rainbow because we live in a rain soaked part of the world with lots of rainbows?

skuthorp
04-05-2014, 05:34 AM
Ah yes PM, the "wine dark sea" quote from Homer.

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/hoffman_01_13/

JimD
04-05-2014, 06:26 AM
analogy: are the notes printed on a page music? or is music what happens when someone plays those notes on an instrument?

But what if there's no one around to hear the performance and the player is deaf? Is he making music? Or does music only exist in the mind of the listener when the physical effects of vibrations in the air are translated by the brain into what we understand as "music"?

An interesting question. I wouldn't presume to know what defines music or if written musical notation or the air pressure waves created by the musician's control of his/her instrument by themselves constitute music. But the sound of music is still created in the head of the listener. The hills are not alive without conscious experience. Also, I think the fact that we can imagine music in our heads without the aid of external pressure waves is a good indication of where the sound actually resides, which is to say internally, not externally.

TomF
04-05-2014, 06:31 AM
230+ posts chatting about something that doesn't exist?



Odd.Seinfeld was a show about nothing. How long did it last? :D

Peerie Maa
04-05-2014, 06:40 AM
Ah yes PM, the "wine dark sea" quote from Homer.

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/hoffman_01_13/

and research with these people:

Color perception See also: Linguistic relativity and the color naming debate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_relativity_and_the_color_naming_debate)
Several researchers have studied the Himba perception of colours.[28] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himba_people#cite_note-himba_colour-28) The Himba use four colour names: zuzu stands for dark shades of blue, red, green and purple; vapa is white and some shades of yellow; buru is some shades of green and blue; and dambu is some other shades of green, red and brown. It is thought that this may increase the time it takes for the Himba to distinguish between two colours that fall under the same Herero colour category, compared to people whose language separates the colours into two different colour categories.[29] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himba_people#cite_note-29)


Which indicates that Homer was just telling it like it is.

JimD
04-05-2014, 06:42 AM
Physicists have been able to get even closer to nothing than Seinfeld. But only so close. That nothing cannot exist may be more than just a play on words. I recall we covered nothing on a previous thread. Maybe several.

Nanoose
04-05-2014, 11:54 AM
230+ posts chatting about something that doesn't exist?



Odd.
Guess this shoots that theory to hell. ;)

Nanoose
04-05-2014, 12:31 PM
Here is a layperson's version of the proposed Cyclic Model. For all of us without a wall full of degrees in physics and such. ;)

Cyclic universe could explain cosmological constant

May 5, 2006

My concern is the date of that article. But it did mention future work in the field of gravitational waves being important to testing the theory. And the big announcement this week was about exactly that. For example, http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/23/primordial-gravitational-waves-tantalising-cosmic-birth-big-bang

From the 2006 article: "However, Steinhardt and Turok's model says the gravitational waves generated if their model is correct would be too small to be detected. So if gravitational waves are found in the next few years, it would rule out their theory."

Nanoose
04-05-2014, 12:34 PM
Deb,
You know better.
Our sun is a baby in the time-scale of the existing universe. Suns are being created blowing up and seeding the universe for materiel for new solar systems all of the time. Big molecules like carbon iron and silicon come from old super novas, so for us to be here there had to be at least one prior generation of stars.
Agreed, Nick, but not relevant to my point.

Breakaway
04-05-2014, 01:33 PM
May be, but I think that you are coming to realise that sound exists whether you are there or not,( snip)


Nick

I spent the night in reflection. You have made a strong case for your point of view. It almost swayed me. But in the end, I am sticking where I am: sound happens in our head; waves and vibrations happen in the world.

Jim D is doing a much better job than I putting the idea into words.


And my point is that sound waves aren't sound. They are called sound waves because what's between our ears (or the squirrel's) make sound from them. The waves themselves are pressure gradients and are utterly soundless. Falling trees don't make sound. All they do is transfer energy into the air.

Kevin

CWSmith
04-05-2014, 01:35 PM
Seinfeld was a show about nothing. How long did it last? :D

Not to get off topic too much, but have you watched Seinfeld's web-show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee"? It's great! I love the goat joke!

Peerie Maa
04-05-2014, 01:36 PM
Agreed, Nick, but not relevant to my point.

In which case I do not understand your point.
The issue that you were addressing was the concept of the light cone discussed by Hawking in A Brief History of Time, which is about now and how stuff behaves with passing time. It also predicates that some things cannot happen when they are outside the light cone.

Old Dryfoot
04-05-2014, 01:59 PM
My concern is the date of that article. But it did mention future work in the field of gravitational waves being important to testing the theory. And the big announcement this week was about exactly that. For example, http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/23/primordial-gravitational-waves-tantalising-cosmic-birth-big-bang

From the 2006 article: "However, Steinhardt and Turok's model says the gravitational waves generated if their model is correct would be too small to be detected. So if gravitational waves are found in the next few years, it would rule out their theory."

Everything must be questioned. While this recent discovery would indeed rule out the Cyclic Model, to take it as proof at this point is premature.


But today, James Dent at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a couple of pals say the BICEP2 team has overlooked something. They say one possibility is that the polarisation of the cosmic microwave background was indeed caused by gravitational waves just as the BICEP2 team claim, but that these waves formed after inflation, not before it.

Here’s how. For the last few years, cosmologists have discussed what happened in the moments after inflation, as the universe began to cool. It was during this time that the universe we know ‘condensed’ out of the high energy maelstrom generated in the Big Bang.

In particular, as the universe cooled, the fundamental forces we see now, such as the weak and strong nuclear forces and the electromagnetic force, formed in processes called phase changes, just as ice forms as water cools below a critical temperature or as a magnetic field within a material aligns as it cools below a critical temperature.

What’s interesting about phase changes is that they don’t form across the entire material at the same instant. In a cooling magnet, for example, the magnetic field forms in different regions which then spontaneously align when the temperature cools below the critical point. Only then does a uniform field fill the entire material.

Many cosmologists think that the same kind of phases changes occurred in the universe after inflation. Each phase change began in different regions at slightly different times.

But as the entire universe cooled, the fields in these regions would have spontaneously aligned, filling the universe with the same properties at that instant.

This self-ordering process would have been hugely violent, generating its own gravitational waves that rippled through spacetime, albeit after inflation. Could this process be responsible for the polarisation that the BICEP2 team has measured?

According to Dent and co, it could. “Unfortunately, the [BICEP2 measurement] falls just short of ruling out this other source as the dominant contribution of the observed effect,” they say.
So the big announcement last week was premature. And before it can be confirmed, the BICEP2 team has some work ahead of it to rule out the possibility that self ordering in the early universe could be responsible.

https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/56c8050f60db

Nanoose
04-05-2014, 02:04 PM
Everything must be questioned. While this recent discovery would indeed rule out the Cyclic Model, to take it as proof at this point is premature.

Agreed. One article I read said at least a couple of years of testing to confirm.

Old Dryfoot
04-05-2014, 02:25 PM
Personally I don't think we need to look to the stars to answer the question does God exist, we only need to look to ourselves. For me as an atheist I see God as an ideal, Jesus was the embodiment of that ideal, and Heaven and Hell the earthly rewards or punishments for how we live. God exists if you want God to exist.

Peerie Maa
04-05-2014, 02:41 PM
Nick

I spent the night in reflection. You have made a strong case for your point of view. It almost swayed me. But in the end, I am sticking where I am: sound happens in our head; waves and vibrations happen in the world.

Jim D is doing a much better job than I putting the idea into words.



Kevin

We do need something to name the mechanism that transfers the energy. We have waves on water, light as the name for waves in the electromagnetic field, so what do you call the waves that carry sound. Science calls them "sound", do you call them anything different? You do agree that they exist independent of the observer don't you? They should have a name.