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Old 05-23-2010, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,618 posts, read 11,904,948 times
Reputation: 3747

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Hello. Let me introduce myself. Dr. Empirical here. I love to see things that someone can wack me over the head with. Now THAT'S a lump! Why, I can even measure it!

Yes, all you say is true, but then, for most all of it, we then come to some functional conclusions. We assign an arbitrary number system to "length", let's say, but then, we measure and use that necessary number to cut the plywood, and darned of it doesn't work! The patch we make for our leaking roof actually fits!

Is our numbering system thus valid? I'd say so.

So now, we try to measure, or witness, some such useful evidence for the greater Godly myth, and nope. Nothing. Never. Ever. No actions, no good fits, no incontrovertible miracles, in fact, quite the opposite by statistical count.

But, we being rationalists, insist on trying out a few alternate,m but non-supernatural and potentially useful hypotheses about the origins of life or the greater universe. And we also conclude, that, if our ideas have any validity, then we should also see "such and such" as a possible result and consequence. You know, the Power of Prediction? As in: if there really were a Big Bang (and we're still only speculating on that one, mind you) then it would, according to Dr. Empirical's pet theories, potentially produce some possible residual radiation, or other byproduct, of Type Z. (just an example...) Expanding at such and such a rate, and out in the universe. Detectable in some way.

(BTW, turn on your AM radio, and tune it off-station. We now think/know that the white noise you hear is exactly the tell-tale remnants of the Big Bang's outpouring of EMF. Nifty, huh? And measurable.)

Well whaddah you know, huh? WE reliably find just exactly that sort of evidence. Exactly that! (Coincidence? God put it there just to confuse us? Like dino fossils? I'm really getting tired of that sorry concept, BTW)

So is it all just a pipe dream, a wild, evil and assumptive guess by know-nothing scientists, or does the observable evidence at least partly support our ideas to some degree? Note that no-one has yet claimed any absolute understanding, but at least we try, relentlessly, to predict and measure, to observe and deliberate. No "Goddunnit" fallbacks required, because after all, they have failed all tests so far.

You make your own mind up, but I don't see how the two alternatives have anywhere near the same potential or credibility. One just keeps falling on it's face, and there's little left to argue about on it's behalf.

Despite the purely philosophical basis for all our metrics, they have provided some real utility. Else, it's all a big fantasy, even your God's existence. And we're just a figment of our own imaginations. Or mushrooms, growing in a pile or dino dung, out in the field. Horrors!
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
20,893 posts, read 14,595,140 times
Reputation: 3952
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSykes View Post
It is impossible to apprehend any of these universals in their purest form, much less "prove" their existence. Yet the entire foundation of geomathematical thought rests upon the assumption of their existence through imperfect worldly representations.
The dead hand of Plato strikes again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSykes
What prevents us, then, from assuming the existence of God in the same fashion?
Because it wouldn't be in "the same fashion" at all. Geometry deserves our consideration because it actually works.
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Bayou City
2,987 posts, read 4,807,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HistorianDude View Post
The dead hand of Plato strikes again.

Because it wouldn't be in "the same fashion" at all. Geometry deserves our consideration because it actually works.
But who decides that? One could perhaps argue that an assumption of transcendent intelligence works just as efficiently toward its own respective cause. How is the utility of an assumption of non-corporeal geometric entities any different from that of an assumption of God?
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
20,893 posts, read 14,595,140 times
Reputation: 3952
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSykes View Post
But who decides that?
Every single one of us. We may not all decide it consciously... and some of us may even deny it and insist that we believe otherwise.

But we still operationally lead our lives under the agreement that geometry works. We do not get out of bed in the morning without tacitly accepting and acknowledging it. Not a single one of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSykes
One could perhaps argue that an assumption of transcendent intelligence works just as efficiently toward its own respective cause.
Sure, you could argue anything you please. But it would not be the same since our operational acknowledgment of objective realities (like the efficacy of geometry) actually work. This is why we inductively embrace them, even without thinking about it.

I am happy to help you move that acceptance of geometry from inchoate to conscious by demonstrating its effectiveness, utility and truth.

Where is the comparable demonstration of that "transcendent intelligence" of which you speak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSykes
How is the utility of an assumption of non-corporeal geometric entities any different from that of an assumption of God?
The former actually does have utility. That's a rather huge difference right there.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Bayou City
2,987 posts, read 4,807,985 times
Reputation: 2509
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
Hello. Let me introduce myself. Dr. Empirical here. I love to see things that someone can wack me over the head with. Now THAT'S a lump! Why, I can even measure it!

Yes, all you say is true, but then, for most all of it, we then come to some functional conclusions. We assign an arbitrary number system to "length", let's say, but then, we measure and use that necessary number to cut the plywood, and darned of it doesn't work! The patch we make for our leaking roof actually fits!

Is our numbering system thus valid? I'd say so.

So now, we try to measure, or witness, some such useful evidence for the greater Godly myth, and nope. Nothing. Never. Ever. No actions, no good fits, no incontrovertible miracles, in fact, quite the opposite by statistical count.

But, we being rationalists, insist on trying out a few alternate,m but non-supernatural and potentially useful hypotheses about the origins of life or the greater universe. And we also conclude, that, if our ideas have any validity, then we should also see "such and such" as a possible result and consequence. You know, the Power of Prediction? As in: if there really were a Big Bang (and we're still only speculating on that one, mind you) then it would, according to Dr. Empirical's pet theories, potentially produce some possible residual radiation, or other byproduct, of Type Z. (just an example...) Expanding at such and such a rate, and out in the universe. Detectable in some way.

(BTW, turn on your AM radio, and tune it off-station. We now think/know that the white noise you hear is exactly the tell-tale remnants of the Big Bang's outpouring of EMF. Nifty, huh? And measurable.)

Well whaddah you know, huh? WE reliably find just exactly that sort of evidence. Exactly that! (Coincidence? God put it there just to confuse us? Like dino fossils? I'm really getting tired of that sorry concept, BTW)

So is it all just a pipe dream, a wild, evil and assumptive guess by know-nothing scientists, or does the observable evidence at least partly support our ideas to some degree? Note that no-one has yet claimed any absolute understanding, but at least we try, relentlessly, to predict and measure, to observe and deliberate. No "Goddunnit" fallbacks required, because after all, they have failed all tests so far.

You make your own mind up, but I don't see how the two alternatives have anywhere near the same potential or credibility. One just keeps falling on it's face, and there's little left to argue about on it's behalf.

Despite the purely philosophical basis for all our metrics, they have provided some real utility. Else, it's all a big fantasy, even your God's existence. And we're just a figment of our own imaginations. Or mushrooms, growing in a pile or dino dung, out in the field. Horrors!
Again, could not the argument be made that a certain degree of utility likewise arises from the assumption of God as the ultimate and transcendent basis of all consciousness? A dot on a page is made in the image of the transcendent point. We draw a line from one dot to another randomly placed, create shapes, construct objects, etc. This demonstrates the empirical utility inherent in the a priori assumption of the point.

Similarly, if corporeal consciousness is made in the image of a transcendent consciousness (i.e., God), then it is only through the existence of this corporeal consciousness that God's existence can be approximated, just as the point can only be approximated through the existence of the dot. The empirical utility in this case is simply arises from the myriad ways in which consciousness interacts with the world.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:33 PM
 
12,174 posts, read 11,915,027 times
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Your argument is just a hokie sleight of hand. Does the number 1 exist? Well, yes and no ... the number 1 is an abstraction, like the word "tree." It's a representation of reality that we can manipulate to get tangible results. The sound "ta ree" doesn't really "exist" in that it doesn't walk around in the world and greet people, but it's a useful construct when talking to a gardener about what plants I want pruned and what not. Same thing for numbers ... "1" isn't "real" but it's useful when it comes to figuring out how much of something to exchange for something else.

Now let's talk about God. Does "God" exist? Well ... the concept certainly does, but when you start ascribing properties to it and stating that it is a personality that directly impacts history and human lives, that comes off as absurd to some of us as stating that you have a deep, personal relationship with the number "1", and the number "1" fathered a perfect human child with a woman 2,000 years ago, or that the number "1" spoke to a man named Muhammad 1,600 years ago.
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Bayou City
2,987 posts, read 4,807,985 times
Reputation: 2509
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCobb View Post
Your argument is just a hokie sleight of hand. Does the number 1 exist? Well, yes and no ... the number 1 is an abstraction, like the word "tree." It's a representation of reality that we can manipulate to get tangible results. The sound "ta ree" doesn't really "exist" in that it doesn't walk around in the world and greet people, but it's a useful construct when talking to a gardener about what plants I want pruned and what not. Same thing for numbers ... "1" isn't "real" but it's useful when it comes to figuring out how much of something to exchange for something else.

Now let's talk about God. Does "God" exist? Well ... the concept certainly does, but when you start ascribing properties to it and stating that it is a personality that directly impacts history and human lives, that comes off as absurd to some of us as stating that you have a deep, personal relationship with the number "1", and the number "1" fathered a perfect human child with a woman 2,000 years ago, or that the number "1" spoke to a man named Muhammad 1,600 years ago.
If utility is your guide, then what makes the reality-correlate of any abstraction like Number any more useful than that of an abstraction like God? One could perhaps argue just as well that God, while not "real", is at least as "useful" with regard to matters of the human consciousness (the reality-correlate that represents God) as Number One is regarding things that exist in reality in the form of a number.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:39 AM
 
4,047 posts, read 4,668,384 times
Reputation: 1326
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSykes View Post
If utility is your guide, then what makes the reality-correlate of any abstraction like Number any more useful than that of an abstraction like God? One could perhaps argue just as well that God, while not "real", is at least as "useful" with regard to matters of the human consciousness (the reality-correlate that represents God) as Number One is regarding things that exist in reality in the form of a number.
Symbols like "1" are created by humans to represent what we observe. Math is useful because it helps us measure, explain and manipulate our world.

If you want to say that the word "God" is simply a human created symbol representing reality, like numbers are, then fine. But all you have to work with is what we can observe about reality, so then your symbol "God" only represents what we can observe (e.g. "God is whatever indiscriminate processes formed our world as we see it today"). This excludes the usual godly traits like consciousness.

But it actually sounds like you are saying that our consciousnesses are the 'symbols' representing God (an unobservable God consciousness I assume you mean). This is completely different than human-created symbols used in language to represent reality that we observe. One is a language symbol representing observation, the other is our consciousness itself (how it represents a "God" I have no idea).
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:03 AM
 
Location: Bayou City
2,987 posts, read 4,807,985 times
Reputation: 2509
Quote:
Originally Posted by LogicIsYourFriend View Post
Symbols like "1" are created by humans to represent what we observe. Math is useful because it helps us measure, explain and manipulate our world.

If you want to say that the word "God" is simply a human created symbol representing reality, like numbers are, then fine. But all you have to work with is what we can observe about reality, so then your symbol "God" only represents what we can observe (e.g. "God is whatever indiscriminate processes formed our world as we see it today"). This excludes the usual godly traits like consciousness.

But it actually sounds like you are saying that our consciousnesses are the 'symbols' representing God (an unobservable God consciousness I assume you mean). This is completely different than human-created symbols used in language to represent reality that we observe. One is a language symbol representing observation, the other is our consciousness itself (how it represents a "God" I have no idea).
Indeed, consciousness is the very "symbol" that represents God inasmuch as we posit ourselves as created "in God's image". There cannot be a transcendence toward God (intuitive or otherwise) but through the direct observation and interpretation of concrete "instances" of consciousness "in action". The field of psychophysics for example represents just one way in which we have tried to encapsulate consciousness as a distinct, "quantifiable" entity. More broadly, though, consciousness in its very structure exists "for itself", and there is really nothing that logically prevents us from positing consciousness itself as an object that would lend itself to symbolization.
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:25 AM
 
Location: S. Wales.
48,763 posts, read 14,655,584 times
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Very well. But the problem here has moved on from arguing that because numbers or dates or language or music are all human inventions yet we believe in them, why can't we believe in a god which apparently had no more tactibility than numbers?

to

We have consciousness. Why can't we call that 'God'?

Putting it that way should show what's the problem here.

Human codification of real objects is a red herring. The objects are as proveably real as anyone ought to require. God is not.

True, our consciousness is as real as anyone should require. We all experience that as we experience dreams, deja vu, voices in the head and feelings of love or hate.

But to take those and try to adduce anything other than the workings of our bodies and brains requires some reason why we should suppose so.

There is no evidential or logical reason to do so.

Our consciousness is as evidentially a development of the way animal brains work and that from the reactions of the simple animals and plants, too, and THAT from the molecular reactions of inert matter and chemicals.

Just as our bodies are evidentially a development of animal bodies.

There is no valid reason to pin the 'God' label on any of that.

'What if' or 'Isn't it possible..?' will not do. They are interesting ideas but are only ideas until there is some modicum of evidence. so far there is nothing like enough to take them as probabilities, let alone definite facts to believe in.
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