An explanation of God.

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Greta
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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Greta » December 9th, 2017, 9:31 pm

SimpleGuy wrote:
December 4th, 2017, 9:38 am
First of all nobody knows what matter and energy truly is, we can just define it's measurement or estimation through other physical observables. The rest is your modelling of reality. The problem is, what is god, if god is assumed to be almighty? If he could predict all stopping turing machines , he would be out of our universe, due to the fact that this either would be contradictory or at least no true algorithm for god's decision would exist , right ?
The absolutist gendered Abrahamic gods, who interfere and punish, are the ancients' metaphors for nature. They would ideally not be taken any more literally than the Greek, Norse, Indian or Roman gods.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Wayne92587 » December 10th, 2017, 2:47 pm

Greta
while I have long been a monist, now I am favouring dualism.

If Time were a monism, there would be not transition in Time, no past, no present, no future.
A moment in Time would be everlasting, eternal, never changing.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Wayne92587 » December 10th, 2017, 3:03 pm

God is not the God you imagine God to be.

What I am saying is that man has the sense of Realities that he can not speak, Sacred Knowledge, the Knowledge of a priori Reality.

The problem being is that speaking of Sacred Knowledge, the Knowledge of a Realtiy that can not be experience, the result is Blasphemy, an Abomination.

Because of this, I declare myself to be an "atheist", that "believes" in God.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Count Lucanor » December 10th, 2017, 9:18 pm

Greta wrote: The problem with the "God of the gaps" is it assumes that the only deeply spiritual aspects of life must pertain to a deity as defined by ancient superstitious cultures. However, there may be other extraordinary dynamics underpinning reality that are not "God" but could give that impression to some.
The only good thing about modern quackery, especially those narratives surrounded with the aura of "mysterianism" (the kind of stuff that would have Leonard Nimoy talking about in the "In search of" series) is that at least they pertain to the realm of the natural world. All that is needed (supposedly) is a little more research to solve the mystery, although probably nobody would like to solve it, as all the mystery will be gone and so the fun of its magic.
Greta wrote: UFOs. My issue with most UFO reports is that, given that our spacecraft don't have airport signalling lights, I'm not sure why UFOs would. Still, respected analysts cannot explain a small percentage of reports. Based on probabilities there are probably numerous intelligent species in the universe, so the UFO question comes down to the feasibility of interstellar travel, especially since no civilisations are close enough for us to detect their radio waves. Long haul space travel would not suit biological beings since, barring stasis (which has its own problems), life on an interstellar voyage would be horrible. You would think such travel would be best done by AI with long working lives.
I loved UFO's stories when I was a kid and my brothers recounted some weird experiences. I still remember going by my mom's hand near our house and looking at a cross-shaped figure in the sky. The phenomenon is fascinating, but at this time of my life I made peace with the notion that it is pure myth. Leaving aside the problem of interstellar travel, when one looks at how the whole narrative was born and installed in mass culture, and how it keeps evolving, adapting its views to more contemporary mindsets, one sees the clear patterns of a myth. Ufology works as a field of literature, not as one of scientific research. It is mostly the work of journalist and self-taught researchers. The only serious scientific endeavor in that field, the Condon Committee, came up with nothing, and I think they did a fair job. There's also the Fermi paradox meeting the Drake equation, which questions the likelihood of any encounter with other advanced civilizations. I think there's a very good chance of having life forms somewhere else in the universe, and some chance that they have become advanced civilizations, but the chance that they have been visiting the Earth, is zero.
Greta wrote: ESP. I'm still open to telepathy existing (https://www.thoughtco.com/twin-telepath ... ce-2593932), although the physics is unknown. Whatever, much can be gleaned from body language and voice tone and bona fide telepathy will be available to many people via technology in the future.
James Randi had for several decades the "One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge", for anyone to get one million dollars by proving their ESP story under controlled conditions. No one ever claimed the prize.
Greta wrote: Cryptozoology. With today's interrogative methods new species are regularly being found, but they tend to be either very small or deep sea creatures.
Most of the "interesting" creatures have been shown to be fakes. That goes for Big Foot, the Yeti and the Loch Ness monster.
Greta wrote: So my "occult" interests are around peak experiences and NDEs. They are suggestive of other layers of reality - seemingly not material by our current definition but, if existent, there will surely be subtle, previously unrecognised or properly defined, physical processes involved.
Since all these experiences rely purely on testimonial evidence, which is the least reliable of all, unless something concrete and objective which can be tested comes up, I will remain skeptic. On the other hand, recent research has suggested natural neurochemical explanations of the "tunnel sensation" involved with the agony of death.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... ear-death/
Greta wrote: So, while I don't believe in anything, I do think there are probably aspects of the nature of reality that would not render sophisticated theists ridiculous, despite the anthropomorphisation of their interpretations. By the same token, the "evil spirits" of the past turned out to be real, aka viruses and bacteria. When you think about it, they can function rather like evil spirits in a human body - an inhabiting, unseen hostile entity. By the same token, there may be natural processes that function somewhat in the way that people think of as God or godlike.
I agree there may be some level of justification in people misunderstanding natural phenomena, but I think there's even a greater justification in realizing that all those apparently mysterious forces will turn out to be, as always, natural processes. Especially if what is claimed to be a supernatural force is thought to be governing the existence and development of things like viruses, bacteria and every ill of humanity. Just when we thought we had all of that figured out, turns out that praying and rubbing the feet of a plaster saint remain as standard cultural practices for dealing with the contingent facts of life. No sophisticated theist that I know, disregard these practices, but endorse them as necessary.
Greta wrote:
I would not scoff at the quantum world so quickly, despite much questionable new age wishful thinking. Recent experiments showed that gravity does not affect quantum spin (http://www.ibtimes.com/gravity-not-link ... ng-2393506). The ramifications are that a TOE may not be possible, that we will always have two entwined worlds that sometimes operate by different fundamental rules.
I have no problem with the quantum level, any more than I could have with the macroscopic level. It's all physics and it's all about matter and energy. However these worlds may be entwined, nothing suggests the existence of substance dualism and a "spiritual" realm, which implies the notion of consciousness. Of course, the key dispute by the woo woo peddlers is centered around the effects of observation in the state of a physical system, believed to be caused by the subjective consciousness, which is a misconception.
Greta wrote:
So, while I have long been a monist, now I am favouring dualism. Just as the LHC has seemingly disproved the existence of ghosts (according to Brian Cox) it appears that this experiment disproved monism; apparently one domain of reality is material and the other domain is the configuration of that material - energy and information, body and mind.
I think you're rushing. The article itself ends saying it all could be an instrument problem, so nothing conclusive. And I don't see where it's favoring dualism.
Greta wrote:
Just as bacteria and viruses act rather like evil spirits, then dynamic patterning of the quantum realm may be what mystics refer to as "spirit". I do not believe that the ancients were complete idiotic dunderheads; it's easy to underestimate them with their seemingly nonsensical fantastic tales. Rather, without scientific language, the ancients spoke more in metaphors. Unfortunately, many since have taken those observations literally and thus, misinterpreted what was originally meant.
The ancients were just ignorant, which is not the same as being idiotic. Their mindsets were the ones we should have expected from their conditions of living, so who could blame them? And actually we should praise them for the discoveries and inventions they made by mere observation and minimal tools. At the same time, it would be naive to believe that the ancients were just being ingenuous, as if there weren't spaces for deception, power struggles and ideological manipulation. Mythical thinking is not only about allegorical explanations, it's also about lies and manipulation. In any case, we live in different conditions now and when you see educated people rushing to meet their plaster cast symbols, something is not right:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hGYiTKEMoQ

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Dark Matter » December 11th, 2017, 1:20 am

Wayne92587 wrote:
December 10th, 2017, 3:03 pm
God is not the God you imagine God to be.

What I am saying is that man has the sense of Realities that he can not speak, Sacred Knowledge, the Knowledge of a priori Reality.

The problem being is that speaking of Sacred Knowledge, the Knowledge of a Realtiy that can not be experience, the result is Blasphemy, an Abomination.

Because of this, I declare myself to be an "atheist", that "believes" in God.
I think Paul Tillich might say the same. :mrgreen:

Given the evidence of experience at hand, I cannot rightfully disbelieve in a personal and loving God. "Rightfully" merely meaning "in good conscience", "justifiably," "rationally." However, I reserve the right define what I mean by "personal" because many will assume it refers to a Big Daddy in the Sky.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Greta » December 11th, 2017, 1:56 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
December 10th, 2017, 9:18 pm
Greta wrote:The problem with the "God of the gaps" is it assumes that the only deeply spiritual aspects of life must pertain to a deity as defined by ancient superstitious cultures. However, there may be other extraordinary dynamics underpinning reality that are not "God" but could give that impression to some.
The only good thing about modern quackery, especially those narratives surrounded with the aura of "mysterianism" (the kind of stuff that would have Leonard Nimoy talking about in the "In search of" series) is that at least they pertain to the realm of the natural world. All that is needed (supposedly) is a little more research to solve the mystery, although probably nobody would like to solve it, as all the mystery will be gone and so the fun of its magic.
All you are saying is that physics research will continue to uncover physical phenomena. Meanwhile, the subjective nature of existence and its connection with "stuff" remains not well understood. However, today's models will be tomorrow's laughably naive notions so I keep an open mind.
Count Lucanor wrote:
Greta wrote:So my "occult" interests are around peak experiences and NDEs. They are suggestive of other layers of reality - seemingly not material by our current definition but, if existent, there will surely be subtle, previously unrecognised or properly defined, physical processes involved.
Since all these experiences rely purely on testimonial evidence, which is the least reliable of all, unless something concrete and objective which can be tested comes up, I will remain skeptic. On the other hand, recent research has suggested natural neurochemical explanations of the "tunnel sensation" involved with the agony of death.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... ear-death/
I am aware of the rationalisations. Yet consider the dynamics behind people on the verge of death suddenly becoming briefly more functional, eg. congenitally blind people experiencing blindsight, severe dementia patients suddenly becoming lucid. This is the mental equivalent of a person with a broken leg suddenly jumping up and dancing a jig. What is the rationalisation for these phenomena? A fortuitous release of a blockage as the brain's material degrades? Heh, maybe. I see no need to rush our conclusions one way or another with these things.
Count Lucanor wrote:
Greta wrote:So, while I don't believe in anything, I do think there are probably aspects of the nature of reality that would not render sophisticated theists ridiculous, despite the anthropomorphisation of their interpretations. By the same token, the "evil spirits" of the past turned out to be real, aka viruses and bacteria. When you think about it, they can function rather like evil spirits in a human body - an inhabiting, unseen hostile entity. By the same token, there may be natural processes that function somewhat in the way that people think of as God or godlike.
I agree there may be some level of justification in people misunderstanding natural phenomena, but I think there's even a greater justification in realizing that all those apparently mysterious forces will turn out to be, as always, natural processes.
The cosmos, the Earth, microbes, plants, animals, technology are all interconnected natural systems. Not all of these systems are known or understood, and will inevitably prove to be more strange that logical positivists suppose.

Logical positivism is necessary for rigour; the movement is basically a maximally conservative stance that reflexively resists new ideas. As soon as a physicist breaks from the standard narrative they are dismissed as "gone rogue". However, the universe was once the solar system and the stars until some renegades worked out that we lived in a galaxy. Then we just had the Milky Way, plus stars and Hubble's initial findings were met with skepticism, although that was nothing compared with the contempt for the black hole hypothesis when it first appeared - help up as evidence that physicists were nuts. QM observations were similarly doubted.

I do not reject ideas just because they touch on the claims of woo-persons. There are usually some "babies" in what is admittedly a great lake of "bathwater".
Count Lucanor wrote:
Greta wrote:I would not scoff at the quantum world so quickly, despite much questionable new age wishful thinking. Recent experiments showed that gravity does not affect quantum spin (http://www.ibtimes.com/gravity-not-link ... ng-2393506). The ramifications are that a TOE may not be possible, that we will always have two entwined worlds that sometimes operate by different fundamental rules.
I have no problem with the quantum level, any more than I could have with the macroscopic level. It's all physics and it's all about matter and energy. However these worlds may be entwined, nothing suggests the existence of substance dualism and a "spiritual" realm, which implies the notion of consciousness. Of course, the key dispute by the woo woo peddlers is centered around the effects of observation in the state of a physical system, believed to be caused by the subjective consciousness, which is a misconception.
Consciousness logically relies on quantum processes because if consciousness was purely an EM phenomenon then it would be quite well understood. The quantum realm is subtle, as is consciousness. Max Tegmark refuted the Hameroff/Penrose hypothesis about quantum processes in the brain's microtubules, claiming that decoherence would create too noisy an environment in the brain for ordered quantum processes. Further investigations, however, have noted ways in which quantum decoherence in the brain can be temporarily resisted by quantum particles in the brain.
Count Lucanor wrote:
Greta wrote: So, while I have long been a monist, now I am favouring dualism. Just as the LHC has seemingly disproved the existence of ghosts (according to Brian Cox) it appears that this experiment disproved monism; apparently one domain of reality is material and the other domain is the configuration of that material - energy and information, body and mind.
I think you're rushing. The article itself ends saying it all could be an instrument problem, so nothing conclusive. And I don't see where it's favoring dualism.
Perhaps I rushed like you with NDEs? Alas, we are human.

Seriously, as I said. I was previously a monist because that's where the research led. However, the state of play at present, and I am still surprised by it, favours that reality could actually be dual. Later experiments could tip the balance the other way but we don't know, hence the experiments :)
Count Lucanor wrote:
Greta wrote:Just as bacteria and viruses act rather like evil spirits, then dynamic patterning of the quantum realm may be what mystics refer to as "spirit". I do not believe that the ancients were complete idiotic dunderheads; it's easy to underestimate them with their seemingly nonsensical fantastic tales. Rather, without scientific language, the ancients spoke more in metaphors. Unfortunately, many since have taken those observations literally and thus, misinterpreted what was originally meant.
The ancients were just ignorant, which is not the same as being idiotic. Their mindsets were the ones we should have expected from their conditions of living, so who could blame them? And actually we should praise them for the discoveries and inventions they made by mere observation and minimal tools. At the same time, it would be naive to believe that the ancients were just being ingenuous, as if there weren't spaces for deception, power struggles and ideological manipulation. Mythical thinking is not only about allegorical explanations, it's also about lies and manipulation. In any case, we live in different conditions now and when you see educated people rushing to meet their plaster cast symbols, something is not right:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hGYiTKEMoQ
That's too pat for me. The ancients were ignorant in the same way as we today will seem ignorant to more advanced people of the future. Still, I agree on the manipulation aspect. No questioning allowed = a stitch-up. What better to maintain civil order than an omnipresent auditor on duty 24/7 who could read one's every thought? It worked well, allowing for more cohesion and determination, given religious societies a competitive advantage. Ironic that religion's success is basically an example of group selection.

Still, before the organisations of religions formed were the original ideas, stemming from extraordinary experiences. I'm interested in those kinds of experiences, not so much to have myself but to better understand; I suspect there are valid layers of meaning to these experiences beyond mere dopamine and wishful thinking. Note, I suspect, I don't know.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Wayne92587 » December 11th, 2017, 5:53 am

The subjective nature of existence and its connection with "stuff" remains not well understood. However, today's models will be tomorrow's laughably naive notions so I keep an open mind.

There is not such animal a the subjective nature of existence.

It is only our knowledge of Reality that is subjective, not existence itself, existence is an objective Reality.

The subjective nature of existence may be a Reality or merely an Illusions, the problem being that an Illusion is a Reality, is subjective an merely mistaken to be an objective Reality.

Some people here do not seem to understand the nature of an Illusion.

An Illusion is a lie that is mistaken to be the Truth, Illusions being born of rationalization, the imagination, are a creation, come from somewhere far out in left Field.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by SimpleGuy » December 12th, 2017, 4:50 am

Wayne92587 wrote:
December 10th, 2017, 3:03 pm
God is not the God you imagine God to be.

What I am saying is that man has the sense of Realities that he can not speak, Sacred Knowledge, the Knowledge of a priori Reality.

The problem being is that speaking of Sacred Knowledge, the Knowledge of a Realtiy that can not be experience, the result is Blasphemy, an Abomination.

Because of this, I declare myself to be an "atheist", that "believes" in God.
Whence he now dissolves into a logic cloud, this would satisfy our theory. You know the adams style, "thus i do not exist, answered god and dissolved into a logic cloud".

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Count Lucanor » December 13th, 2017, 3:08 pm

Greta wrote: All you are saying is that physics research will continue to uncover physical phenomena. Meanwhile, the subjective nature of existence and its connection with "stuff" remains not well understood. However, today's models will be tomorrow's laughably naive notions so I keep an open mind.
Sure, who doesn't feel enthusiastic about the potential discoveries in such a promising field. But let me do a quick recap of what we do know already about the subjective nature of existence and its connection with stuff. We know that consciousness and agency is found in living organisms. We know that subjectiveness always implies a subject. We know that the whole set of processes behind sense perception, abstract representations, reflexes and emotions take place in a nervous system with a brain. We know that they operate with neurotransmitters passing electrochemical signals between neuron cells in synapses, and that this is key for the memory function of the brain. We know that any minimal impairment of any part of the nervous system results in alterations of the functions of other systems in the organism and when the damage occurs in the brain, normal cognitive functions are severely affected. When psychotropic drugs are administered targeting that neural architecture, the effects are felt as vivid experiences of consciousness by the subject. We know that just like any other physiological tissue, without oxygen your brain is dead. And without a brain functioning, you simply die and so disappear any traces of your cognition, it goes nowhere to be stored.

So, the subjective nature of existence is intimately linked to physical biological processes going on in the subject's body and there are no findings in science that will dispute that. Whatever gets discovered tomorrow is very unlikely to change all of this and turn it into laughing material; and right now the chances of everything in the subjective experience of organisms depending on a new, yet to be discovered immaterial force, are extremely low, not to say inexistent.
Greta wrote: I am aware of the rationalisations. Yet consider the dynamics behind people on the verge of death suddenly becoming briefly more functional, eg. congenitally blind people experiencing blindsight, severe dementia patients suddenly becoming lucid. This is the mental equivalent of a person with a broken leg suddenly jumping up and dancing a jig. What is the rationalisation for these phenomena? A fortuitous release of a blockage as the brain's material degrades? Heh, maybe. I see no need to rush our conclusions one way or another with these things
That is nothing. Pat Robertson and every other televangelist perform those tricks everyday, in front of an audience. People get back to walking, are cured from cancer, etc. What am I supposed to say? Should I not rush to conclusions and give Jesus and Robertson the benefit of the doubt? Hell no!! Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I understand the difficulties of bringing NDE to the science lab. No rat or monkey is going to reveal much about their afterlife experiences, so all we get is anecdotic evidence from humans. It's OK to believe it, I guess, but so will be astrology, witchcraft, reading tobacco leaves and bleeding statues. Once you open the can of worms, anything is possible, everything gets the benefit of the doubt. So why even bother with scientific inquiries?
Greta wrote: The cosmos, the Earth, microbes, plants, animals, technology are all interconnected natural systems. Not all of these systems are known or understood, and will inevitably prove to be more strange that logical positivists suppose.

I get the point that knowledge about everything is never complete. Absolute knowledge is perhaps impossible to achieve. But to assume that everything will have to be incomprehensible is an unwarranted hypothesis. We look for the best explanation and if there's none, we must assume it will be found through proper systematic research and it will be part of the causal regularities of the world. Experience tells us that what was once thought to be weird, magical behavior of nature, turned out to be natural and intelligible.
Greta wrote: Logical positivism is necessary for rigour; the movement is basically a maximally conservative stance that reflexively resists new ideas. As soon as a physicist breaks from the standard narrative they are dismissed as "gone rogue".
As I understand the history of knowledge, it's the other way around. The science field has been openminded and bravely advancing their "heresies" against the current of the religious-minded establishment, while theologians have took the conservative stance, imposing dogmas and hindering scientific progress.

Niels Bohr was very close to the Vienna Circle of logical positivists. He even participated in one congress they held dedicated to quantum physics and they were very receptive to his theories.
Greta wrote: I do not reject ideas just because they touch on the claims of woo-persons. There are usually some "babies" in what is admittedly a great lake of "bathwater".
I just reject woo-woo ideas. If someone has a good hypothesis, let's hear it. The god hypothesis, in any of its forms, is not one of them, it's absolutely ridiculous.
Greta wrote: Consciousness logically relies on quantum processes because if consciousness was purely an EM phenomenon then it would be quite well understood. The quantum realm is subtle, as is consciousness. Max Tegmark refuted the Hameroff/Penrose hypothesis about quantum processes in the brain's microtubules, claiming that decoherence would create too noisy an environment in the brain for ordered quantum processes. Further investigations, however, have noted ways in which quantum decoherence in the brain can be temporarily resisted by quantum particles in the brain.
If this guy Tegmark disproved something, it was a quantum theory of consciousness. The problem that I see with these theories (speculations, really) is that they depart, perhaps ingenuously, from a dualistic notion of consciousness, as if it were some type of pure substance (the "spirit"), disregarding the biological processes, because they are presupposed to be byproducts of the non-physical process of consciousness. Mental experience is devoid of all its physical relations with sense perception. The usual inversion from Idealism.
Greta wrote: That's too pat for me. The ancients were ignorant in the same way as we today will seem ignorant to more advanced people of the future. Still, I agree on the manipulation aspect. No questioning allowed = a stitch-up. What better to maintain civil order than an omnipresent auditor on duty 24/7 who could read one's every thought? It worked well, allowing for more cohesion and determination, given religious societies a competitive advantage. Ironic that religion's success is basically an example of group selection.

Still, before the organisations of religions formed were the original ideas, stemming from extraordinary experiences. I'm interested in those kinds of experiences, not so much to have myself but to better understand; I suspect there are valid layers of meaning to these experiences beyond mere dopamine and wishful thinking. Note, I suspect, I don't know.
I think we're different now, in the sense that we have accumulated experience and our better knowledge includes sophisticated methods and instruments that the ancients only could have dreamed of.

I do think there are other layers of meaning to our experiences beyond chemical responses to stimuli. We are not just animals, but highly complex beings with evolved brains and higher cognitive functions allowed by the billions of connections of our neural network and its interactions with the perceived environment. I don't see anything of this happening because of some mysterious, non-physical force. I don't think that old beliefs about the existence of such forces justify them now.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Wayne92587 » December 13th, 2017, 4:44 pm

First Time. Time before the beginning moment of Creation, Time, Space and Motion each existd as an undifferentiated Singularity, the Singularity Time, Space and Motion existing as the whole of a Single Reality.

At the beginning moment of the creation of the Evolutionay process, due to the displacemen of a Fully Random Infinitly Finite, Indivisible Singuarlty having no mass, having no relative, numerical, having a numerical value of Zero-0, a Random Singularity of f Zero-0, the First partical to be tansfigured by way of a metamorphic Tansition, an infinitely finite Indivisible Singularity of Zero-0 was converted into Singularity having relative value, a numerical value of One-1 by becoming the First Partical of Zer-0 to be converted, to transcend the Nothingness.

Upon the displacement of a Fully Random Infinitely Finite Indivisible, a Singularity of Zero-0 became the first in a series, the beginning of a process such as the Evolutionary Process, the beginning of a Continuum such as Space-Time; Space-Time being three Times Great , a plurality, Three-Dimensional.

Due to displacemt a Fully Random Partical of Zero-0 became the First in a series, the First Singularity of One-1 allowing for measurment as to location and momentum in Time.

The Creative Process began with the transition, the metamorphic transfiguration, the converstion, of a Singularity of Zero-0 into a Singularity having relative, a numerical valute of One-1

A displace singularity of Zero-0 as the first Singularity, to be reborn a Singularity of One-1, becoming the Reality fo First Cause, the un-caused Cause.

As a Particle, Singularity of Zero-0, was converted into the Single direct material cause of a system of Chaos become the cause (as in the Butterfly Effect) the single direct material cause of the heavens and the Earth, the Universe, the Reality of Everything that become a material Reality.

“Auemen”, Lord of the Ring-0, Keeper of the Wholey Grail.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Greta » December 13th, 2017, 8:36 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
December 13th, 2017, 3:08 pm
And without a brain functioning, you simply die and so disappear any traces of your cognition, it goes nowhere to be stored.
As far as we know. "Goes nowhere to be stored" is an educated guess presented as fact - a statement needs a qualifier to avoid being an article of faith. Note that both generators and filters fail when they malfunction.
Count Lucanor wrote:So, the subjective nature of existence is intimately linked to physical biological processes going on in the subject's body and there are no findings in science that will dispute that. Whatever gets discovered tomorrow is very unlikely to change all of this and turn it into laughing material; and right now the chances of everything in the subjective experience of organisms depending on a new, yet to be discovered immaterial force, are extremely low, not to say inexistent.
Maybe. I'd rather not pre-empt.
Count Lucanor wrote:
Greta wrote:I am aware of the rationalisations. Yet consider the dynamics behind people on the verge of death suddenly becoming briefly more functional, eg. congenitally blind people experiencing blindsight, severe dementia patients suddenly becoming lucid. This is the mental equivalent of a person with a broken leg suddenly jumping up and dancing a jig. What is the rationalisation for these phenomena? A fortuitous release of a blockage as the brain's material degrades? Heh, maybe. I see no need to rush our conclusions one way or another with these things
That is nothing. Pat Robertson and every other televangelist perform those tricks everyday, in front of an audience. People get back to walking, are cured from cancer, etc. What am I supposed to say? Should I not rush to conclusions and give Jesus and Robertson the benefit of the doubt? Hell no!! Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I understand the difficulties of bringing NDE to the science lab. No rat or monkey is going to reveal much about their afterlife experiences, so all we get is anecdotic evidence from humans. It's OK to believe it, I guess, but so will be astrology, witchcraft, reading tobacco leaves and bleeding statues. Once you open the can of worms, anything is possible, everything gets the benefit of the doubt. So why even bother with scientific inquiries?
That doesn't come close to addressing the situation. You hastily dismissed deathbed blindsight and lucidity superstition and "extraordinary claims" - yet they are true, but might have naturalistic explanations, which you would know if you researched rather than assumed.

Count Lucanor wrote:
Greta wrote:The cosmos, the Earth, microbes, plants, animals, technology are all interconnected natural systems. Not all of these systems are known or understood, and will inevitably prove to be more strange that logical positivists suppose.

I get the point that knowledge about everything is never complete. Absolute knowledge is perhaps impossible to achieve. But to assume that everything will have to be incomprehensible is an unwarranted hypothesis. We look for the best explanation and if there's none, we must assume it will be found through proper systematic research and it will be part of the causal regularities of the world. Experience tells us that what was once thought to be weird, magical behavior of nature, turned out to be natural and intelligible.
That is all obvious enough, except that "to assume that everything will have to be incomprehensible" is not even close to my position. Is that really what you think I am talking about? Read again! No point going further until this is resolved.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Count Lucanor » December 13th, 2017, 10:50 pm

Greta wrote:As far as we know. "Goes nowhere to be stored" is an educated guess presented as fact - a statement needs a qualifier to avoid being an article of faith. Note that both generators and filters fail when they malfunction.
No, that's not a guess. It is a fact that mental activity is exclusively bound to living organisms. That's as undisputed as the fact that cellulose is found produced in living organisms. To say that cellulose is nowhere else to be found produced is not to present an article of faith.
Greta wrote:That doesn't come close to addressing the situation. You hastily dismissed deathbed blindsight and lucidity superstition and "extraordinary claims" - yet they are true, but might have naturalistic explanations, which you would know if you researched rather than assumed.
I simply dismiss the extraordinary claims of natural irreversible processes, like those of terminal or incurable illnesses, suddenly reversing miraculously. Blindsight is anyway a known condition in people which has survived head trauma, so it's not particularly linked to the agony of death and certainly doesn't mean that there's an afterlife. For sure it has a natural explanation! I never doubted it.
Greta wrote: That is all obvious enough, except that "to assume that everything will have to be incomprehensible" is not even close to my position. Is that really what you think I am talking about? Read again! No point going further until this is resolved.
My apologies if I misinterpreted your position, but the statement:

"will inevitably prove to be more strange that logical positivists suppose"

...that you gave in response to my statement:

"I think there's even a greater justification in realizing that all those apparently mysterious forces will turn out to be, as always, natural processes"

...surely gave me the impression that if not precisely meaning what I thought you meant, at least got fairly close. But I'm glad that actually we agreed.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Greta » December 13th, 2017, 11:05 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
December 13th, 2017, 10:50 pm
"will inevitably prove to be more strange that logical positivists suppose"

...that you gave in response to my statement:

"I think there's even a greater justification in realizing that all those apparently mysterious forces will turn out to be, as always, natural processes"

...surely gave me the impression that if not precisely meaning what I thought you meant, at least got fairly close. But I'm glad that actually we agreed.
Anything that is not known isn't considered to be part of nature. Once it's known, it is. My point is that it's assumed that reality is as we think and that is simply only true as regards a limited part of reality. I am especially unsure about our conscious relationship to time.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Count Lucanor » December 14th, 2017, 9:16 am

Greta wrote:
December 13th, 2017, 11:05 pm
Anything that is not known isn't considered to be part of nature. Once it's known, it is. My point is that it's assumed that reality is as we think and that is simply only true as regards a limited part of reality. I am especially unsure about our conscious relationship to time.
There lies our major disagreement. Nature is the only thing, the only reality, we know to exist. That we don't know it perfectly, even if we knew just a little bit, does not justify the hypothesis of the existence of another realm different than nature. By nature in general I mean a realm constituted by matter and energy, composed as a system of regularities or interdependencies between its constituents, determined only by these laws, and not by any will, purpose or mind-driven transcendent cause. By "another realm different than nature" I mean a domain constituted by something more than matter and energy, composed not as a system of internal regularities or law-obeying relationships, but determined by a wilful, mind-driven transcendent cause, with a purpose.

We know some things about nature. If there's something more than nature: we don't know a thing about it, we cannot know a thing about it and as a consequence: it can't have any relation with nature, otherwise it would be part of the wholeness of nature and we would know nothing (not even a little bit) of the behavior of nature, its fundamental laws. If it is posited that there's a potential thing, still unknown, that completes nature as a wholeness, you still have to assume that it falls within the immanent causes of nature and will constitute part of its fundamental laws, without any justification to posit a transcendental cause with will and purpose, which are generally agreed to be properties of consciousness.

It also happens that we have had experience with transcendental realms being posited as the causes of strange effects we didn't understand in nature. And consistently, whenever we finally understood them, there was never such transcendent cause.

I think there are more than enough reasons to expect natural explanations, devoid of mind-driven transcendental causes, of that we don't fully understand yet.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Greta » December 14th, 2017, 11:12 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
December 14th, 2017, 9:16 am
Greta wrote:
December 13th, 2017, 11:05 pm
Anything that is not known isn't considered to be part of nature. Once it's known, it is. My point is that it's assumed that reality is as we think and that is simply only true as regards a limited part of reality. I am especially unsure about our conscious relationship to time.
There lies our major disagreement. Nature is the only thing, the only reality, we know to exist. That we don't know it perfectly, even if we knew just a little bit, does not justify the hypothesis of the existence of another realm different than nature.
That is not what I said. I have not at any stage deviated from the "everything is nature" view. Note the passive tense in the first sentence - saying that others tend to think that, not me. Nature just is, and it's our inclination to try to understand it better.
Count Lucanor wrote: By nature in general I mean a realm constituted by matter and energy, composed as a system of regularities or interdependencies between its constituents, determined only by these laws, and not by any will, purpose or mind-driven transcendent cause. By "another realm different than nature" I mean a domain constituted by something more than matter and energy, composed not as a system of internal regularities or law-obeying relationships, but determined by a wilful, mind-driven transcendent cause, with a purpose.
Your definition of nature precludes humans and even some other species to some extent, which I'm sure isn't your intent. Nature clearly does include will and purpose, although it seemingly did not a couple of billion years ago.
Count Lucanor wrote:If it is posited that there's a potential thing, still unknown, that completes nature as a wholeness ...
Just checking, are you referring to a TOE?
Count Lucanor wrote:, you still have to assume that it falls within the immanent causes of nature and will constitute part of its fundamental laws, without any justification to posit a transcendental cause with will and purpose, which are generally agreed to be properties of consciousness.
Nature is logically to some extent transcendental. Proof: humans. AI will be even more so. Maybe there are intelligent systems in nature that we don't perceive? You doubt it. I'm not convinced that "natural" and "transcendental" need parsing; "we are made from star stuff" :)

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