Well I think without a doubt that there is strong evidence against the existence of most deities commonly believed in. So although one could still support a general Platonic "lives outside time" god with a reasonable argument, I think the case against specific gods is simply too strong and so I would say I know Yahweh, Zeus, e.t.c. do not exist.
For Yahweh for instance, his personality is typical of the gods of Semite cultures of the period, he literally uses stock phrases that occur among other Semite gods such as the Babylonian gods. e.g. "Was it not I who X,Y...."
His opinions and values reflect those of a Bronze age Semite culture.
He is described as taking part in events which we know did not occur historically or performed feats for which there is explicit evidence they did not occur (stopping the Sun).
Ultimately the case that he exists is no stronger than the case for Enlil.
I would say I know all specific gods worshipped by any culture do not exist. The existence of an abstract creator God is a more difficult question, but I find that people often defend the existence of the abstract God in arguments, while personally believing in one of the specific human ones.
Eh. You could support the possibility of such a figure,.....
Sorry, yes. I should phrase it as: One could make an argument that a Platonic featureless God is a possibility, without there being directly contradictory evidence. This is in contrast to most explicit gods of human cultures where even this much would not be possible.
but to claim anything about it, including its existence, would be to claim knowledge that you've just said that you cannot by definition have.
Did I say this? I didn't mean to give that impression if I did, not that I would disagree though.
So... what are the things that I switch context about without skipping a beat? Is it possible for me to even identify such things? Or would I require an external source to turn on such a light-bulb?
I don't know about you Stile, but I can give an example from my line of work. Often when discussing physics with my colleagues I will occasionally say "virtual particles" are not real.
The reason I say this is because they are not. Virtual particles do not exist. This is not in some wishy-washy sense that "nothing exists" or some garbage like that. Electrons for example do exist. Virtual particles are just mathematical tools.
However often it is much easier and more useful to think of physical processes in terms of these fictional objects rather than the real dynamics. However since you think in terms of these objects all the time, you naturally become used to them and it can be a bit odd to find out they don't actually exist.
For that reason I often find that some physicists will switch to this "true truth" and "absolute knowledge" type stuff to defend their intuition. I think most human beings will do this when they find out a foundational concept of their mental framework is false or just a metaphor rather than being actually true. So perhaps you could try to think of something like that. That's how I found out my "Gods".*
*Although actual God wasn't one of them, I've been an atheist my whole life.
I think it is arguable how much of this is really simple.
The periodic table's structure comes from the enormous complexity of Quantum Electrodynamics. What protons, neutrons and electrons actually are similarly becomes a rabbit hole of complexity in modern Field Theory. A proton can't be simulated accurately even with networked supercomputers. Saying exactly what an electron is is the subject of a large monograph by Othmar Steinmann, turns out it doesn't really have a specific mass. It's not fully accurate to say atoms are "made of" protons, neutrons and electrons either.
Saturn's rings again follow from gravitation, but is that really a simple? The rings themselves again can't be fully simulated due to their chaotic nature that arises from the nonlinearity of gravity.
I say this as you might find it interesting, I'm not disagreeing with the main point of your argument here in this thread.
It's to say that these examples don't constitute complexity coming from simplicity. If a proton cannot be modelled fully by a set of networked supercomputers and the experimentally accessible part of its own complexity is described by the incredibly complex infinite dimensional mathematics of Quantum Field Theory, how can it be said to be "simple basic stuff".
Complexity is not evidence of intelligent origin. If it were, intelligence itself would have to have an intelligence existing before it to develop it, which is a contradiction.
I'm not contending that it is. I am however contending that most of the complexity you mentioned doesn't come from a deeper level of simplicity, but a deeper level of incredible complexity.
Sarah Bellum writes:
I was using protons, neutrons and electrons making up the Periodic Table as an example of complexity (the chemical properties of the Periodic Table) that one would not expect from descriptions of elementary particles that make up the atoms
I mean if your picture of atoms is based on something like the Bohr model that presents atoms as little solar systems, then yes you wouldn't expect it. However if your picture of protons is the one from quantum field theory where the experimental properties of one proton are beyond the power of a supercomputer why wouldn't you expect that complexity? It's not complexity from a simpler layer
Sarah Bellum writes:
There's no reason to think the complexity you spoke of is not the result of some deeper level, as protons, neutrons and electrons are at a deeper level than the chemicals they make up
There is a deeper level, but it seems to be even more complex, possibly incomprehensibly so. So rather than complexity arising from simpler levels below it's actually complexity built atop increasing complexity.
I still don't see how this things are simple or basic. They all seem as complex if not more so than the level above them.
As I said protons, neutrons and electrons require infinite dimensional mathematical structures to describe and even computing their properties approximately is beyond the reach of networked supercomputers.
Beyond this we know the layer beneath them is even more complex. I still don't get the origin of this "simple basic stuff" phrase. The universe doesn't operate like Conway's Game of Life where you get complexity from quite simple basics.
Just to say that article is quite confused with very confused phrasing like: this interaction will inevitably alter the trajectory of that electron whereas its momentum after the measurement is related to
Since electrons don't have trajectories or momenta it's hard to parse this, at least in the standard view of QM.
The observer effect, although it's not really called that in physics, is that measurements always require an alteration in one's probability assignments, increasing uncertainty for some properties. This is unlike classical physics.
If you saw a car at the bottom of the road let's say you'd say it was away from you. If you then measured it to be going at that wouldn't really introduce any uncertainty to where the car is going to be later, it would be away.
In QM you'd actually be unsure where the car would be measured to be. It might even be measured as passed you and be up the road from your position.
I hesitate to respond as this is well above my pay grade. I do confuse the "observer effect" with the "uncertainty principle" and only have the vaguest grasp of either.
Can you in the layest in laymen's terms tell me how consciousness plays into all of that.
Note below in order to be accurate to quantum theory I have to use very belaboured language. Electrons for example don't have positions or momenta. When we measure the surface of a metal certain types of detection screens will develop marks. In common expositions we say that's "where the atoms are", but fully accurately quantum theory only says those marks are just marks on our screens not actually where atoms are. So I can't say "the position of the electron", only "the result of position measurements".
What tends to be called the "observer effect" or similar names in popular expositions is a name for the combination of two aspects of quantum theory. One is the "uncertainty principle" and the other is "state reduction".
The Uncertainty Principle: The Uncertainty Principle states that there's maximum limit to the ability to predict the results of measurements on quantum systems. It's not possible to be more certain of what will occur than that limit.
If you've already hit that limit the Uncertainty Principle means that any attempt to gain further information about one type of measurement will cause a loss of information about another type of measurement.
So if you've already hit the limit and you try to do a very accurate position measurement, so that you can narrow the range of future position measurements, you'll have made future momentum measurements more uncertain.
Any attempt to get more accurate than the fundamental knowledge limit causes some kind of irremovable disturbance of quantum systems causing a loss of information at least equal to the amount you gained
State Reduction: This is the part of QM that causes some elements of consciousness to enter popular discussions. State reduction says that when you perform an experiment and obtain a result you update your probabilities.
This isn't very unusual. If somebody has rolled a dice that you haven't seen yet, you give a 1/6 chance to each outcome:
If you then hear that the number rolled was even, you would update this to:
Because of the information you've gained the chance for some results has gone to zero and others have increased to 1/3.
So there is an assumption of some kind of "reasoning agent" who changes their expectations because of what they've learned, but it's not invoking some mysterious power of consciousness. It's unlike classical theories which are written as a description of the world and don't assume the presence of an agent. However this agent is present for the same reason it is in gambling theory: parts of the mathematics represent what they've learned.
Edited by Son Goku, : No reason given.
Edited by Son Goku, : Had to put in 0.0 to stop the 0 values from vanishing.
Isn't this where the measurement problem comes in? Collapse of the wave function to a single spike? Is this not the actual (+- Heisenberg) location?
The measurement problem is basically that QM doesn't actually tell you what will happen in a measurement. It only gives probabilities to observe things.
So before you make a measurement you have chances for various outcomes. Once you make a measurement you know the outcome and then update your probabilities. Collapse of the wavefunction isn't really a physical process. It's what I called "State Reduction" above. Updating probabilities in light of observations.
So you prepare a silver oven and place a detection screen near it. QM predicts various chances for the screen to develop certain detection marks on it. When you see a mark you then update your probabilities. However things like the Kochen-Specker theorem prevent you from interpreting the mark as "the location of a silver atom". It's just a mark on the screen.
Could you go into a little more detail of what would constitute a "reasoning agent". what would constitute a reasoning agent other than a conscious entity or a measurement by a conscious entity?
Probability theory is a bit vague on what a reasoning agent is since it just assumes it as a primitive that's unexplained.
Typically it's anything that could be programmed with or understand and apply the rules of probability theory. Self driving cars would be an example or several other automata. As well as ourselves.
Also what would be left if there no "reasoning agent" in the universe?
You can't apply quantum theory. It wouldn't mean there is nothing, just that the theory is written from the perspective of an observing agent. If there is no agent the theory can't be applied.
It's like Gambling theory. No gambler and it can't really be applied. It's unlike General Relativity which describes the world independent of any agent's presence.
Now in many cases where there is no agent one can still apply the theory by imagining a fictional agent. For example I can still apply QM to a gas cloud in space because I can "imagine" what a little robot doing observations on the cloud might see, even if there is no robot there.
However in cases where there can't be a classical agent the theory cannot be applied. An example would be the early universe. I had a friend who was advised off doing a PhD applying quantum theory to the early universe because the theory simply breaks down there because there can't be agents.
Not exactly, no. But what can be done exactly in science anyway?
This is nothing to with preciseness. The actual arrangement of the universe appears to be non-mathematical, so it can't be encoded even approximately.
Sarah Bellum writes:
Can you think of some way of proving we are not in a simulation?
That the results of quantum theory appear to be incompatible with an underlying algorithm.
Now there are obscure ways out of this. However they all have to be fine tuned and ultimately become as believable as "Well what if the bones were all planted correctly in the soil which was made to have the right properties for dating to make it seem like evolution was true"
However, even within the OT there are also threads of a loving God who would abhor much of what is written about Him in the OT This isnâ€™t about trying to convert you to anything but just to point out that it isnâ€™t just about holy books and what they say in a literal sense. Religions are all created by humans trying to understand the nature of God.
This is anticipated to a degree in my post. Once one engages in saying things like selected parts of the books if read correctly describe a "deeper" being only glimpsed partially through the texts the argument becomes much more difficult. The way you are talking about the texts isn't even how their authors or original followers viewed them, as we can see in the case of the Tanakh with early Rabbinical commentaries. Going even earlier Yahweh was probably a wind god in the Canaanite pantheon.
Historically he seems to have been a wind god for Canaanites in general, before becoming the national god of one subgroup of Canaanites after the Bronze Age collapse. It's a varying mix of those two concepts one sees in the Old Testament.
To say all of this is actually a veiled reference to an entity completely unlike this requires a remove from the texts and historical evidence to a more philosophical argument.
What I'm saying is that the beings directly presented in the texts are not real.