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Author Topic:   Chance as a sole-product of the Universe
PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 3 of 263 (317869)
06-05-2006 9:28 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
05-31-2006 1:01 PM


What do you mean by chance ?
At this point is it unclear it could mean

1) "chance" as in non-deterministic behaviour

Or

2) "chance" in opposition to intent.

In either case the idea that chance is only an element of this universe, rather than a general principle that is at least potentially applicable to anything else that might exist is far from self-evident and requires support.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by mike the wiz, posted 05-31-2006 1:01 PM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by mike the wiz, posted 06-05-2006 10:43 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 7 of 263 (317922)
06-05-2006 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by mike the wiz
06-05-2006 10:43 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
Can you please answer my question ? Unless you answer I don't see how I am supposed to argue that "chance" applies outside the universe because I literally do not know what your "chance" is. Not that I should have to produce such an argument - it is your job to support your claims and if you cannot then you should admit it and retract the assertion, rather than trying to shift the burden of proof

I would further like you to substantiate your claim that anyone asserts that chance exists when absolutely nothing exists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by mike the wiz, posted 06-05-2006 10:43 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Admin, posted 06-05-2006 11:57 AM PaulK has replied
 Message 29 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 8:48 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 11 of 263 (317935)
06-05-2006 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Admin
06-05-2006 11:57 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
I hope that Mike at least understands the question and even if he doesn't understand the alternatives I suggested he should be able to answer it in his own words.

As for the last sentence, I suspect that this:

quote:

...I fail to see how chance would be an eternal characteristic that exists where nothing exists.


may be a strawman - it argues against a position which isn't actually held. So I want Mike to procide an example of somebody who actually claims that "chance...[is] an eternal characteristic that exists where nothing exists"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Admin, posted 06-05-2006 11:57 AM Admin has replied

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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 30 of 263 (318241)
06-06-2006 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by mike the wiz
06-06-2006 8:48 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
I don't think that asking for explanation is complicating matters. If the two options I suggest aren't what you mean then please explain what you DO mean.

quote:

If you wanted to understand, then you wouldn't say "answer A or B".


And I didn't say that.

quote:

DO you really think that I believe that you don't know what I'm talking about when I say "chance"?

I certainly hope so, because you claim that neither of the two interpretations I offered is correct !

quote:

I wasn't being purposefully ambigious, it's that the site had the same problem as me. That is, we were trying to define chance as randomness


That's the first definition I offered.

quote:

This isn't a strawman because the ones who assert that reality came about via multiple big bangs, or simply by chance, obviously REQUIRE chance to firstly exist independent of the universe, which as far as I know IS reality.

But if they beleive in some sort of reality prior to our universe, then it would be a strawman. As I understand it, Eternal Inflation and the Ekpyrotic Universe both appeal to some "pre-existing" reality where chance could operate.

The closest I can think of is the idea of a space of zero volume inflating to become a universe like ours - but even then we have something that is not "nothing" in the absolute sense that your argument would require.

quote:

Philosophically, the philosophers conclude God. Their reasoning, as far as I can see, is better.

That's SOME philosphers. Others conclude otherwise. And I've yet to see a good philosphical argument for the existence of a God (although the Ontological argument is a clever piece of sophistry).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 8:48 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 9:52 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 34 of 263 (318257)
06-06-2006 10:05 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by mike the wiz
06-06-2006 9:52 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
No, God is a very bad answer to the question of why our universe exists, because it assumes more than it is trying to explain.

On a purely philosophical level I'd go for a simple impersonal cause on the basis of parsimony. On a scientific level, I'd have to trust the cosmologists to produce ideas which at least fit well with what we know and have to make fewer assumptions.

So far as I am concerned I do not know if it is chance or necessity that produced this universe. However, since I see no good way of knowing which is the case and so it is not a great concern to me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 9:52 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 10:30 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 42 of 263 (318273)
06-06-2006 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by mike the wiz
06-06-2006 10:30 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
It seems simple enough. A God is a very specific, very complex entity, that is assumed to exist without explanation. If the universe requires an explanation then so does God for the same reasons. And just saying that God necessarily exists is a cop-out. YOu might as well say that our universe necessarily exists and dispose of the unnecessary God-assumptions.

quote:

If you look at my previous post, you'll see that God infact is the best parsimonious answer to all things, from an OVERALL perspective.

No, I don't see any such thing.

quote:

That is, because things are answered individually, as scientific and natural, then THE WHOLE is explained thus, similarly. AGAIN ANY ATHEIST POSITION must then rely on chance otherwise there could be no atheist position because it depends on a being not being involved.

That's only true if you take the second definition of chance that I offered, but we've already agreed that you really meant the first. There's nothing in atheism that requires that the universe has a non-determinisitic cause.

quote:

That is; you are not required in order for me to wash my underwear, but that by no means means that your actual existence is somehow conflated with this matter. For all we know, the washing of my underwear merely isn't important to you.

There's too big problems with your argument. Firstly the best explanation need not be true, and parsimony is a criterion for determining the best explanation. Secondly the question of your laundry is extraneous and therefore not even relevant to the question of the best explanation. I would assert, however that a human using the handle PaulK" is the best explanation for the existence of this post - but your laundry has nothing to do with that.

quote:

Likewise, any parsimonious explanation in regards to the universe, cannot be conflated with the matter of God's existence.


It seems to me that you are saying that we should beleive the "best explanation" if it is the one we like, but not otherwise.

quote:

God is a brilliant answer. A conscious entity will always be an excellent answer because it answers all the questions

That's another reason why it's a very bad answer. It can "explain" anything. So it can only "explain" things we already know.

quote:

...I think you underestimate it's genuine philosophical credence, because you conflate God with religion.

On the other hand it could be that I mentioned the fact that other philosphers conclude that there is no God because I've read some of their work. Like Mackey's The Miracle of Theism.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 10:30 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 11:55 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 48 of 263 (318312)
06-06-2006 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by mike the wiz
06-06-2006 11:55 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
When considering parsimony "entities" means "assumptions". "God" includes a whole host of assumptions, which are not necessary to explain our universe. Thus it is not parsimonious at all.

quote:

From reading your post, I would say that you don't see many things, including all of the points I was making.


No, what I saw were unsupported assertions.

quote:

. If the universe requires an explanation then so does God for the same reasons.

Fallacious. Only atheism shifts the cause. God is the eternal prime mover.


No, it is entirely correct. The universe is supposed to require an explanation (which need not be a cause) because it is complex and ordered God is more complex and more ordered and thus also requires an explanation. And to say that "atheism shifts the cause" is simply to beg the question.

quote:

Let's say the big bangs happen in a place that has chance.

If you want to - just remember that it is your assumption.

quote:

chance -> place of BBs -> chance -> universe -> chance, and so on. All you do is shift the problem and find no ultimate cause. God in fact answers the problem because he doesn't need a cause.

Why do I have to use "chance" as the explanation for your "place" ? Because you say so ? That's a strawman.

quote:

The problem in hand is the universe, BECAUSE it hasn't always existed


Are you sure ? I certainly don't know if there was any time before our universe or even if the concept is meaningful. So far as I know it is possible that our universe has existed for all time.

quote:

Something that has always existed (God), by definition, requires no explanatory causes


As I said previously "explanation" is not the smae as "cause". I am asking for the former, not the latter.

quote:

I see no point in continuing this debate with you. I'd rather have a productive discussion with someone else.

It would be productive if you allowed it to be. I am better-informed on these issues than you and I've probably put more thought into my position. If you really care about honing your arguments then you really should be listening to what I say.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 11:55 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 12:31 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 54 of 263 (318333)
06-06-2006 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by mike the wiz
06-06-2006 12:31 PM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
I am not aware of any "multiple Big Bang scenario" which fits your description. If you are I suggest you provide a reference. And certainly it does not represent my views.

quote:

If you don't take the position, then there is no plausable scenario for atheism. It's that simple.

What's wrong with my suggestion of a simple first cause ? It doesn't involve an infinite regress. It doesn't assume a God. So what's wrong with it ?

quote:

I see that it's an ego-contest with you, as usual, rather than a search for a reasonable position

It's only a contest if you make it one. I simply stated a fact.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 12:31 PM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 1:12 PM PaulK has replied
 Message 60 by ramoss, posted 06-06-2006 2:00 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 59 of 263 (318350)
06-06-2006 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by mike the wiz
06-06-2006 1:12 PM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
So you don't think that you can learn anything from people who are better-informed by you. I'd say that that attitude is a significant barrier to productive discussion.

quote:

Since I have a good knowledge of reasoning and argumentation, and haven't made any errors, then I fail to see why I should listen to you

Since you have made a lot of errors - far more than good arguemnts in this thread (if there are any) - it seems that you have rather a lot to learn


This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 61 of 263 (318361)
06-06-2006 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by ramoss
06-06-2006 2:00 PM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
The ekpyrotic universe is quite distinct from the "cyclic universe" theory and neither fits Mike's description. The Big Rip is about the end of our Universe, not the beginning so it isn't like Mike's idea either..

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by ramoss, posted 06-06-2006 2:00 PM ramoss has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by ramoss, posted 06-06-2006 4:19 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 63 of 263 (318387)
06-06-2006 4:23 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by ramoss
06-06-2006 4:19 PM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
And the .pdf you linked to clearly states that this proposal is distinct from the earlier "cyclic universe" scenarios. And it still isn't like Mike's idea..

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by ramoss, posted 06-06-2006 4:19 PM ramoss has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by ramoss, posted 06-06-2006 6:21 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 65 of 263 (318582)
06-07-2006 2:34 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by ramoss
06-06-2006 6:21 PM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
Exactly. A cyclic universe model. Not The cyclic universe model.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by ramoss, posted 06-06-2006 6:21 PM ramoss has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by ramoss, posted 06-07-2006 9:11 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 69 of 263 (318887)
06-07-2006 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by ramoss
06-07-2006 9:11 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
Which is a complete irrelevance. All I said was that there were n ideas like Mikes that I knew of, making it very much a strawman and falsifying his claim that it was the only possiblity open to an atheist. To that I added that THE cyclic universe theory was distinct from the ekpyrotic version you mentioned. Both these points remain true.t

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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 74 of 263 (322265)
06-16-2006 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by mike the wiz
06-16-2006 11:42 AM


Re: Back to school boys
So basically you weren't arguing that there has to be something on which chance can operate, you really were arguing that chance could only exist in this universe. Perhaps you can justify that claim, because you certainly haven't done it in this thread, to date.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by mike the wiz, posted 06-16-2006 11:42 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by mike the wiz, posted 06-17-2006 12:20 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 82 of 263 (322838)
06-18-2006 8:11 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by mike the wiz
06-17-2006 12:20 PM


Re: Back to school boys
quote:

I made it clear that if chance operates outside of the universe, then that must be an assumption

Which only leads back to the question I started with. Why should we assume that chance isn't a general principle ? It's an abstract generalisation, so if there is anything outside our universe why should we assume that it could not include an element of chance ?

(And I'd note that if you are trying to defend the Fine Tuning argument denying one of it's assumptions isn't a sensible way of doing it).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by mike the wiz, posted 06-17-2006 12:20 PM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by mike the wiz, posted 06-18-2006 12:21 PM PaulK has replied

  
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