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Author Topic:   Is String Theory Supernatural?
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4880
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 136 of 181 (698978)
05-12-2013 3:46 AM
Reply to: Message 135 by GDR
05-12-2013 12:00 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

They believed essentially in a 3 tier world with us in the middle, heaven up there somewhere and the underworld beneath us.

People place god somewhere out of reach. Then, when we advance enough to go there, they have to change the model.

I suppose it's human to want an explanation but I really don't understand why you can't just call God magical and be done with it.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by GDR, posted 05-12-2013 12:00 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by GDR, posted 05-12-2013 5:02 PM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 137 of 181 (698992)
05-12-2013 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by Tangle
05-12-2013 3:46 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
Tangle writes:

People place god somewhere out of reach. Then, when we advance enough to go there, they have to change the model.

Certainly. It would be pretty foolish not to change the model as we continue to learn.

Tangle writes:

I suppose it's human to want an explanation but I really don't understand why you can't just call God magical and be done with it.

Actually that is a really good point. It certainly would be easier and IMHO that is essentially what the fundamentalists do. The Bible is the inerrant word of God and that pretty much settles things. I could just let things stand with what I know, (or if you like, think I know ), now and get on with life.

However, just like any scientist who wants to continue to learn I'm a Christian who wants to continue to learn. I want to form my conclusions based on as much information that I can get. I went for years in the manner that you describe. I accepted the Christian faith in my mid thirties but it was only about 12 years ago that I decided that I really wanted to delve into my faith in an attempt to come to a conclusion to that age old question from Pilate of "what is truth". As a result I started reading books on science and theology which is about all I've read for years now. (Except for Harry Potter because my niece was so into it.)


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by Tangle, posted 05-12-2013 3:46 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 138 by Tangle, posted 05-12-2013 5:29 PM GDR has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4880
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 138 of 181 (698994)
05-12-2013 5:29 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by GDR
05-12-2013 5:02 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

However, just like any scientist who wants to continue to learn I'm a Christian who wants to continue to learn.

But you're not learning anything about your god, you're simply plonking him somewhere else every time you hear a new scientific idea about our universe.

God is in the clouds until we get to fly above them, now he's in the 12 dimension or hiding behind a brane. It's not science, it's non-science or just nonsense. It's just you - and others - making stuff up to fit your old god into a new world.

It's just sound silly - i'd understand you more if you just had a belief that he's outside knowledge. At least that would have some internal consistency.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by GDR, posted 05-12-2013 5:02 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by GDR, posted 05-13-2013 2:22 AM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 139 of 181 (699000)
05-13-2013 2:22 AM
Reply to: Message 138 by Tangle
05-12-2013 5:29 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
Tangle writes:

But you're not learning anything about your god, you're simply plonking him somewhere else every time you hear a new scientific idea about our universe.
God is in the clouds until we get to fly above them, now he's in the 12 dimension or hiding behind a brane. It's not science, it's non-science or just nonsense. It's just you - and others - making stuff up to fit your old god into a new world.
It's just sound silly - i'd understand you more if you just had a belief that he's outside knowledge. At least that would have some internal consistency.

I’m not being that specific. I am interested in science for its own sake but also speculate on how it might fit with my theological beliefs. I’m not trying to fit my beliefs into any specific theory but only to the general idea of the existence of other universes and/or dimensions. I’ve already done my best to explain essentially the same thing to Straggler.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by Tangle, posted 05-12-2013 5:29 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by Tangle, posted 05-13-2013 2:55 AM GDR has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4880
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 140 of 181 (699001)
05-13-2013 2:55 AM
Reply to: Message 139 by GDR
05-13-2013 2:22 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

I’m not being that specific. I am interested in science for its own sake but also speculate on how it might fit with my theological beliefs.

If you're interested in science, you'll know that science has shown over and over again, that religious beliefs are wrong and that in order to maintain the belief the belief itself has to change from something absolute and inerrant to something plastic and changeable.

Trying to jam a 2000 year old myth into modern physics is just bonkers - it's misappropriation.

Most Chrisians believe that God is everwhere and with them, how do the physics of omnipresence work?


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by GDR, posted 05-13-2013 2:22 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by GDR, posted 05-13-2013 11:00 AM Tangle has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 141 of 181 (699009)
05-13-2013 8:43 AM
Reply to: Message 135 by GDR
05-12-2013 12:00 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
You seem to have created a rather subjectively appealing position for yourself. If theists put forward models that science refutes (e.g. Christian cosmological models) then it is just a case of humans putting forward answers to the best of their limited understanding at the time. But if theists suggest anything that can possibly be interpreted, no matter how tenuously, as being even remotely in accordance with even the most speculative of scientific theories then this is held up as some sort of theistic insight into the true nature of reality.

You seem to have created a view of looking at the world that provides a win-win situation for the theistically inclined. One where failure is ignored and ambiguity is confidently proclaimed as success.

GDR writes:

The only thing I would add is that it seems to me that if QM and relativity have proven anything they have at least proven that the basis of our existence is anything but intuitive, so who knows what the future holds in the science world.

Wherever science finds further questions to investigate theists see gaps in which to insert their beliefs.........


This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by GDR, posted 05-12-2013 12:00 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by GDR, posted 05-14-2013 9:05 AM Straggler has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 142 of 181 (699013)
05-13-2013 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 140 by Tangle
05-13-2013 2:55 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
Tangle writes:

Most Chrisians believe that God is everwhere and with them, how do the physics of omnipresence work?

I don't know, but I have speculated how it might work in the thread on my beliefs. Briefly though, I have speculated that we could be an we our universe is an emergent property of a greater reality, and that we connect with that greater reality in ways that we don't perceive.

Be very clear that I know that is highly speculative and that I agree that I am looking for ways that the world might work that are compatible with my pre-existing theistic beliefs.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by Tangle, posted 05-13-2013 2:55 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 145 by Tangle, posted 05-14-2013 5:25 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 143 of 181 (699077)
05-14-2013 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 141 by Straggler
05-13-2013 8:43 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
Straggler writes:

You seem to have created a view of looking at the world that provides a win-win situation for the theistically inclined. One where failure is ignored and ambiguity is confidently proclaimed as success.

I don't think that's a fair comment. People so often think of Christianity as involving an inerrant Bible. I don't and so it does leave a lot more ambiguity as where my faith is concerned. The bottom line for me is that there is a God, God is loving just and good as seen in the words of Jesus, that God resurrected Jesus vindicating His life and words, and that the NT writers did a good job of recording the life and teachings of Jesus with all that entails.

When science or historians come up with new information then I'm all ears when it comes to adjusting my thoughts around those beliefs. If there was proof that my fundamental beliefs are wrong then they would have to be adjusted as well but as has been pointed out they are pretty much unfalsifiable.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Straggler, posted 05-13-2013 8:43 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by Straggler, posted 05-14-2013 12:12 PM GDR has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 144 of 181 (699089)
05-14-2013 12:12 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by GDR
05-14-2013 9:05 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

When science or historians come up with new information then I'm all ears when it comes to adjusting my thoughts around those beliefs. If there was proof that my fundamental beliefs are wrong then they would have to be adjusted as well.....

But I thought you believed in miracles? Feeding thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish would violate conservation of energy and raising the dead would seem to be equally in violation of scientific evidence regarding decomposition and suchlike.

I really don't see how one can both believe in miracles and claim to be adjusting their beliefs to be in line with science.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by GDR, posted 05-14-2013 9:05 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by NoNukes, posted 05-15-2013 12:09 AM Straggler has responded
 Message 149 by GDR, posted 05-15-2013 1:37 PM Straggler has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4880
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 145 of 181 (699131)
05-14-2013 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by GDR
05-13-2013 11:00 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

Be very clear that I know that is highly speculative and that I agree that I am looking for ways that the world might work that are compatible with my pre-existing theistic beliefs.

It's very obvious that what you are saying about physics and how it relates to your god is highly speculative - and that's just you saying it; others would be much harsher.

By saying that you're looking for ways to make your religious beliefs compatible with the discoveries of science, you're knowingly applying confirmation bias - which is deeply odd.

For God's sake, either let yourself believe fully in the magic of your religion or be objective and rational about the science. Or do what most believers do and not think about it much.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by GDR, posted 05-13-2013 11:00 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by GDR, posted 05-15-2013 1:50 PM Tangle has responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9727
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 146 of 181 (699146)
05-15-2013 12:09 AM
Reply to: Message 144 by Straggler
05-14-2013 12:12 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
But I thought you believed in miracles? Feeding thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish would violate conservation of energy and raising the dead would seem to be equally in violation of scientific evidence regarding decomposition and suchlike.

Miracles violate the rules. In the case of feeding the multitude, we don't have evidence that the event never happened. Instead you have concluded that it could not using strictly deductive reasoning based on your experience that scientific laws are never broken.

Contrast that type of miracle with a literal Genesis-style Creation Week. We are not required to merely rely on conservation of energy or matter to deductively conclude that the Creation Week never happened. Instead we have objective evidence that the earth, moon, sun, etc are older than 6000 years old, and we have evidence of what actually did happen.

GDR can accept that science has established that God, despite being omnipotent, simply did not intervene in the way described in Genesis. But GDR is not forced to accept the same thing regarding the feeding of the 5000. Yes it violates the rules, but God can do that.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 144 by Straggler, posted 05-14-2013 12:12 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2013 6:22 AM NoNukes has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 147 of 181 (699154)
05-15-2013 6:22 AM
Reply to: Message 146 by NoNukes
05-15-2013 12:09 AM


"God can do that"
NN writes:

God can do that

God can generally do whatever the theist in question requires God to be able to do in order to maintain their belief. For example….

NN writes:

We are not required to merely rely on conservation of energy or matter to deductively conclude that the Creation Week never happened. Instead we have objective evidence that the earth, moon, sun, etc are older than 6000 years old, and we have evidence of what actually did happen.

If one were to accept the existence of such evidence but still consider a biblically derived age of the Earth to be essential to one’s belief system then one would simply proclaim that God created the Earth/universe recently but with the appearance of age. Because - to quote you – “God can do that”. In fact this is indeed one of the creationist positions. Omphalism

NN writes:

GDR can accept that science has established that God, despite being omnipotent, simply did not intervene in the way described in Genesis. But GDR is not forced to accept the same thing regarding the feeding of the 5000.

GDR seems to take a three pronged approach.

  • If a theistic claim obviously contradicts scientific findings but the theistic claim in question IS NOT a deeply held belief (e.g. the age of the Earth derived from biblical inerrancy) then the theistic claim is wrong as a result of human error. Fair enough.

  • If a theistic claim obviously contradicts scientific findings and the theistic claim in question IS a deeply held belief (e.g. miracle performed by Jesus) then the theistic claim is correct on the basis that “God can do that”.

  • If any aspect of science can be put forward, no matter how speculatively or tenuously, as being ‘congruent’ with theistic claims (e.g. unperceived dimensions suggested by string theory being somehow related to an imperceptible heavenly realm) then this will be cited as supportive of the theistic claim in question.

    As an exercise in belief re-enforcement it’s quite obviously very successful.

    As a convincing argument for theism or an exercise in critical thinking – Well to put it politely – It leaves a lot to be desired.

    Edited by Straggler, : Formatting


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 146 by NoNukes, posted 05-15-2013 12:09 AM NoNukes has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 148 by NoNukes, posted 05-15-2013 12:10 PM Straggler has responded

      
  • NoNukes
    Member
    Posts: 9727
    From: Central NC USA
    Joined: 08-13-2010
    Member Rating: 3.0


    Message 148 of 181 (699169)
    05-15-2013 12:10 PM
    Reply to: Message 147 by Straggler
    05-15-2013 6:22 AM


    Re: "God can do that"
    ... one would simply proclaim that God created the Earth/universe recently but with the appearance of age. Because - to quote you – “God can do that”. In fact this is indeed one of the creationist positions. Omphalism

    Yes one could do that, but essentially nobody does. I don't believe very many people are Omphalists. Even the most ardent Bible literalist rejects the idea that God hid old fossils and radioactive materials in the ground just to make the earth appear to be old. Instead, the literalists go the route of simply saying that science is wrong about aging.

    GDR seems to take a three pronged approach.

    If a theistic claim obviously contradicts scientific findings..

    The problem with your logic/description is that you lump all scientific findings in the same boat. I think some scientific findings and conclusions are qualitatively different in basis and logic than others. GDR may actually do some of the things you suggest. I do not know everything he believes, but the particular examples of Jesus feeding a multitude and Creation week do not, in my opinion, fit the pattern you describe.

    As a convincing argument for theism or an exercise in critical thinking – Well to put it politely – It leaves a lot to be desired.

    I'm not making the argument that you should be convinced. I'm suggesting that GDR's beliefs are not as inconsistent as you describe. What you have laid out is the 'God of Gaps' which is the situation where God diminishes as our knowledge of science becomes more complete.

    Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


    Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

    I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.

    If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 147 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2013 6:22 AM Straggler has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 152 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2013 3:12 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

        
    GDR
    Member
    Posts: 4240
    From: Sidney, BC, Canada
    Joined: 05-22-2005


    Message 149 of 181 (699177)
    05-15-2013 1:37 PM
    Reply to: Message 144 by Straggler
    05-14-2013 12:12 PM


    Re: What is supernatural?
    Straggler writes:

    But I thought you believed in miracles? Feeding thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish would violate conservation of energy and raising the dead would seem to be equally in violation of scientific evidence regarding decomposition and suchlike.

    I really don't see how one can both believe in miracles and claim to be adjusting their beliefs to be in line with science.

    Well, NoNukes answered this better than I ever could and I agree with what he wrote. Yes there are things that I believe that can't be answered by science. I remember N T Wright writing that all life is a miracle but sometimes God does things that surprise us.


    He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

    Micah 6:8


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 144 by Straggler, posted 05-14-2013 12:12 PM Straggler has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 153 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2013 3:20 PM GDR has responded

        
    GDR
    Member
    Posts: 4240
    From: Sidney, BC, Canada
    Joined: 05-22-2005


    Message 150 of 181 (699178)
    05-15-2013 1:50 PM
    Reply to: Message 145 by Tangle
    05-14-2013 5:25 PM


    Re: What is supernatural?
    Taq writes:

    It's very obvious that what you are saying about physics and how it relates to your god is highly speculative - and that's just you saying it; others would be much harsher.


    sticks and stones.......

    Tangle writes:

    By saying that you're looking for ways to make your religious beliefs compatible with the discoveries of science, you're knowingly applying confirmation bias - which is deeply odd.

    I have no doubt there is a confirmation bias in my reasoning but that is true of all of us. Given sufficient reason to change my mind though, I am prepared to and actually have changed my views.

    Also, I am not looking for ways to make my religious beliefs compatible with science, I am looking for ways for science to inform my religious beliefs.


    He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

    Micah 6:8


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 145 by Tangle, posted 05-14-2013 5:25 PM Tangle has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 151 by Tangle, posted 05-15-2013 2:42 PM GDR has responded

        
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