Stop with the "who created God" argument it's bloody horrendous.

Announcements Posted on
Four things that unis think matter more than league tables 08-12-2016
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Luke Kostanjsek)
    Something certainly can come from nothing; a proven example of (more or less) this is quantum fluctuations in the vacuum. The purpose of raising such a point is that an argument oft-presented by religious people against the big bang is that 'the universe can't have just come from nothing'. If you use such a reasoning, to then claim God can come from nothing is inherently contradictory.

    For instance, you say that there must be an 'Eternal First Cause'; then the question merely becomes why couldn't the universe itself have been this 'Eternal First Cause'? If you argue that the first Thing to exist had no creator and simply Was, then how can you show that the universe couldn't have been this very Thing?
    Oh, quantum fluctuations... so um...

    where are the laws of quantum mechanics supposed to have come from?

    and er...

    Quantum mechanics never produces something out of nothing.Also, theories that the universe is a quantum fluctuation must presuppose that there was something to fluctuate—their ‘quantum vacuum’ is a lot of matter-antimatter potential—not ‘nothing’.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    THANK YOU. You have reason. To Hawking's second point, I would simply say God is transcendent and exists outside of time but anyway...
    Certainly, it's possible to create an argument along the lines of 'God exists in some kind of ethereal plane outside of our own, so the laws of His plane are in no way bound by our own', which by definition of the way it's constructed allows for a God free from the limitations of our physics. The point being made by Hawking though, is that the Big Bang theory now offers a way in which a God is not required; it offers a concrete, mathematically supported model which explains how the universe began (notwithstanding one or two slight kinks that shall doubtless be ironed out in the coming decades).

    Generally speaking, the best explanation is the simplest one which explains all the observations we have. Whilst the 'God model' can explain the creation of the universe, it is significantly more complicated and raises far more questions than the Big Bang model. If there aren't any phenomena which require a God to be explained, then it seems a somewhat bizarre - and certainly arbitrary - choice to choose such an explanation.

    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    It started here:

    '!!mentor!!' here seems to being a hypocrite, contradicting himself and going back on his word and yet he suggests the Big Bang is eternal then proceeds to call me scientifically illiterate.
    I think he was playing devil's advocate; he's saying that if you accept that something can just exist and not require a Creator, then why can't that something be the universe, rather than a God who then made the universe?

    Certainly, any suggestion that the Big Bang is eternal is seemingly nonsensical though.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheTungsten74)
    I don't believe that to be true. He was certainly Religious initially, but he slowly lost his faith over time. In his latter years he openly said he was Agnostic and didn't believe in many of the fundamental tenets of Christianity. This is what i have gathered from sources such as Documentaries on his life and his own Autobiography.
    The Wikipedia page similarly corresponds with this point:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religi...Charles_Darwin

    but we're really getting off-topic from the original argument made by OP.
    Quote from his autobiography: "i cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic."
    I agree with his sentiment here. I find it presumptuous and unfounded to assume a god (or an eternal first cause in general) created the universe, let alone a personal god you think is the "right one".
    Thats interesting. I haven't read Darwin's autobiography but i have a book which quotes him as saying;

    ' [Reason tells me of the] extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capability of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.24'

    The thing is he references this quote from Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin 1809-1882, ed. Nora Barlow (London: Collins, 1958), 92–3.

    It may have been his earlier position, perhaps changing to agnostic later in life.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    The blind and lame have all been cured by Jesus already. If by old age, you mean living forever, it's not possible and science will never TRULY do it.
    Whilst we may not literally live forever because the universe will eventually end, it's virtually a certainty that with future advancements in biology and stem cell research we'll effectively become immortal on any reasonable timescale.

    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    If you don't want to believe that God created the universe but it only saddens me to realise your punishment which will last for eternity. Perhaps, in the tribulation period, you may realise although going through that tribulation will not be easy.
    Threatening someone with something they don't believe in is useless. You're not going to feel in the least scared if threatened with Thor's wrath are you?

    In any case, hell isn't real so we really have nothing to worry about.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    Oh, quantum fluctuations... so um...

    where are the laws of quantum mechanics supposed to have come from?

    and er...

    Quantum mechanics never produces something out of nothing.Also, theories that the universe is a quantum fluctuation must presuppose that there was something to fluctuate—their ‘quantum vacuum’ is a lot of matter-antimatter potential—not ‘nothing’.
    Again, asking where they 'came from' is a moot question. They are a consequence of the conditions in which the universe began. Indeed, had a different initial fluctuation lasted long enough to cause the Big Bang, it could well have resulted in different laws. I'm certainly not at the cutting edge of quantum mechanics, and it is certainly true that there are several unanswered questions in the field, but the Big Bang model does an effective job of explaining all our current observations, which is the best metric by which any model is tested.

    Like I said, it's an oversimplification. 'Nothingness' doesn't really exist, but the vacuum is the closest you can get to some kind of Void. In reality, you have 'positive' and 'negative' energy (The quotations are because again, this is strictly incorrect terminology. There is no language in which this concept can be correctly explained, aside from mathematics. A more accurate description would be that energy is created in multiple places, but is bound to cancel out with each other, though this still doesn't quite articulate it). These fluctuations stem from the fact that the Uncertainty Principle means that true 'nothingness' cannot exist. Whether you choose to call the vacuum actual nothingness is merely a semantic argument.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    Loving the blatant cherry-picking...

    Matthew 5:17-19, from the Sermon on the Mount: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

    All has been accomplished as Christ has died on the cross so.. hmm.

    I'm not arguing for demons, I'm saying they do exist. If you think they aren't, I already said that you can go to a real Satanist and ask him to get you possessed.

    Lol, some people are possessed and some people have mental disorders.

    If you've ever been to Africa or countries where they have old traditional religions, you will know there are things called witch-doctors and the consequences of their actions are very real. Obviously, you've never been there, so your ignorance has blinded you to the reality of what you're saying.

    Yes, many people in the past were called witches for no reason and people scapegoated but that doesn't mean they are not in existence.
    All is accomplished doesnt refer to his death.Thats just your interpretation.As the sentence before refers to heaven and earth passing away, it could just as easily mean until judgement day.Demons dont exist.How you use africa as an example is beyond me.In certain parts of africa FGM is practiced.Probably the same parts where you find witch doctors.Ok now I really cant take you seriously if you believe in witches.What possible reason do you have to believe in witches?Have you ever seen magic? Why are witch doctors only found in uneducated parts of the world like africa? Why can witch doctors do nothing about aids or HIV? I dont need to go somewhere to know witches are not real.They are a fairy tale.Made up to scare children.Only infants and those of low intellect believe in such nonsense.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Luke Kostanjsek)
    Something certainly can come from nothing; a proven example of (more or less) this is quantum fluctuations in the vacuum. The purpose of raising such a point is that an argument oft-presented by religious people against the big bang is that 'the universe can't have just come from nothing'. If you use such a reasoning, to then claim God can come from nothing is inherently contradictory.

    For instance, you say that there must be an 'Eternal First Cause'; then the question merely becomes why couldn't the universe itself have been this 'Eternal First Cause'? If you argue that the first Thing to exist had no creator and simply Was, then how can you show that the universe couldn't have been this very Thing?
    There are simply mountains of assumptions that need to be made in order to argue quantum mechanics shows something coming from nothing. First, you have to reject an instrumentalist view of quantum mechanics and argue for a realist view. You also have argue for one the specific physical interpretations of Quantum mechanics with are indeterministic as opposed to deterministic. But even after you get past those heavy questions you have the barrier that the quantum vacuum is actually something, it's a rich and dynamic form of energy. In the end you simply have the fluctuation of one form of energy into something else, which wouldn't be something from nothing. So in the end, even granting all assumptions needed, quantum mechanics at best shows that events happen uncaused or indeterminately, not the creation of something out of nothing.

    This has been noted by atheist philosopher of religion Quentin Smith; '[ Quantum mechanics] at most tend to show that acausal laws govern the change of condition of particles, such as the change of particle x's position from q1 to q2. They state nothing about the causality or acausality of absolute beginnings, of beginnings of the existence of particles"

    Ultimately, the philosopher of science Kanitscheider puts it well; 'it is essential to note that the foregoing is far from being a spontaneous generation of everything from naught, but the origin of that embryonic bubble is really a causal process leading from a primordial substratum with a rich physical structure to a materialized substratum of the vacuum. Admittedly this process is not deterministic, it includes that weak kind of causal dependence peculiar to every quantum mechanical process" (Bernulf Kanitscheider, "Does Physical Cosmology Transcend the Limits of Naturalistic Reasoning?" in Studies on Mario Bunge's "Treatise," ed. P. Weingartner and G. J. W. Dorn [Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1990], pp. 3467).

    He also mentions that 'If taken seriously, the initial singularity is in head-on collision with the most successful ontological commitment that was a guiding line of research since Epicurus and Lucretius . . . . . [out of nothing, nothing comes] is a metaphysical hypothesis which has proved so fruitful in every corner of science that we are surely well-advised to try as hard as we can to eschew processes of absolute origin."
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Luke Kostanjsek)
    Without having read the full thread of comments, I would just like to point out that referring to the Big Bang as eternal, or using any other measure of time to describe the Big Bang, is inherently wrong. The Big Bang theory proposes that the Big Bang was the point at which time began; asking what came 'before' the Big Bang is like asking what's North of the North Pole - it's an inherently contradictory question. I'll quote Stephen Hawking (from The Grand Design) as he puts it far better than I ever could:

    1) “In the early universe—when the universe was small enough to be governed by both general relativity and quantum theory—there were effectively four dimensions of space and none of time. That means that when we speak of the “beginning” of the universe, we are skirting the subtle issue that as we look backward toward the very early universe, time as we know it does not exist! We must accept that our usual ideas of space and time do not apply to the very early universe. That is beyond our experience, but not beyond our imagination, or our mathematics.”

    2) “The role played by time at the beginning of the universe is, I believe, the final key to removing the need for a Grand Designer, and revealing how the universe created itself. … Time itself must come to a stop. You can’t get to a time before the big bang, because there was no time before the big bang. We have finally found something that does not have a cause because there was no time for a cause to exist in. For me this means there is no possibility of a creator because there is no time for a creator to have existed. Since time itself began at the moment of the Big Bang, it was an event that could not have been caused or created by anyone or anything. … So when people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the Big Bang, so there is no time for God to make the universe in. It’s like asking for directions to the edge of the Earth. The Earth is a sphere. It does not have an edge, so looking for it is a futile exercise.”
    Please,correct me of I'm wrong, but doesn't Hawking eliminate the singularity in his model by introducing imaginary numbers for the time variables in Einstein's gravitational equations? Thing is, this ends up having time indistinguishable from space so that, rather than having the usual interpretation of three dimensions of space and one dimension of time, you have a Euclidean four dimensional space. This seems to be a success tool physics uses in solving issues in quantum mechanics, but they then swap back into the usual interpretation of space time. Hawking seems to admit this 'Only if we could picture the universe in terms of imaginary time would there be no singularities . . . . When one goes back to the real time in which we live, however, there will still appear to be singularities." Hawking, Brief History of Time, pp. 138-39.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Supermonkey92)
    There are simply mountains of assumptions that need to be made in order to argue quantum mechanics shows something coming from nothing. First, you have to reject an instrumentalist view of quantum mechanics and argue for a realist view. You also have argue for one the specific physical interpretations of Quantum mechanics with are indeterministic as opposed to deterministic. But even after you get past those heavy questions you have the barrier that the quantum vacuum is actually something, it's a rich and dynamic form of energy. In the end you simply have the fluctuation of one form of energy into something else, which wouldn't be something from nothing. So in the end, even granting all assumptions needed, quantum mechanics at best shows that events happen uncaused or indeterminately, not the creation of something out of nothing.

    This has been noted by atheist philosopher of religion Quentin Smith; '[ Quantum mechanics] at most tend to show that acausal laws govern the change of condition of particles, such as the change of particle x's position from q1 to q2. They state nothing about the causality or acausality of absolute beginnings, of beginnings of the existence of particles"

    Ultimately, the philosopher of science Kanitscheider puts it well; 'it is essential to note that the foregoing is far from being a spontaneous generation of everything from naught, but the origin of that embryonic bubble is really a causal process leading from a primordial substratum with a rich physical structure to a materialized substratum of the vacuum. Admittedly this process is not deterministic, it includes that weak kind of causal dependence peculiar to every quantum mechanical process" (Bernulf Kanitscheider, "Does Physical Cosmology Transcend the Limits of Naturalistic Reasoning?" in Studies on Mario Bunge's "Treatise," ed. P. Weingartner and G. J. W. Dorn [Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1990], pp. 3467).

    He also mentions that 'If taken seriously, the initial singularity is in head-on collision with the most successful ontological commitment that was a guiding line of research since Epicurus and Lucretius . . . . . [out of nothing, nothing comes] is a metaphysical hypothesis which has proved so fruitful in every corner of science that we are surely well-advised to try as hard as we can to eschew processes of absolute origin."
    Yours seems a very philosophical take, and I am by no means particularly versed in the philosophy of physics. That said:

    1) Not really sure what you're saying about determinism/indeterminism and instrumentalist/realist. Quantum mechanics is ultimately a statistical explanation of quantum interactions, and the law of large numbers proves that their average will hold for the macroscopic so long as the models accurately describe the statistical distribution of the quantum events. And the fact is that, to date, quantum mechanics has made accurate predictions at every turn. There is no firmer way to test a model.

    2) Indeed, but that is nothing more than semantics. True 'nothingness', as in the absence of all, is impossible as a result of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. The vacuum is as 'empty' as space can get; whether you choose to describe this as nothingness or not is merely a quirk of language.

    3) One of the most popular models at the moment actually suppose that the net energy of the universe is 0, so everything strictly came from 'nothing'. Matter is considered 'positive' energy and gravity 'negative' such that it all cancels out. So in a literal sense, this model argues the universe came from nothing, if you consider this net absence of energy as 'nothing'. Again, this feels rather semantic. Whilst it's certainly interesting to discuss what the concept of 'nothingness' really is, it doesn't seem especially pertinent. If quantum mechanics makes accurate predictions of all observable phenomena, then it holds as an accurate model.

    4) I could well be missing the point with regards Kanitscheider's words, but that seems an extraordinarily weak argument; that because a principle has held for classical physics and guided classical physics, we ought presume its truth for quantum physics also. I would take a more literal view - and I would suggest a more practical one - that if a model can explain all observable phenomena and make accurate predictions, then it is an effective model.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Supermonkey92)
    Please,correct me of I'm wrong, but doesn't Hawking eliminate the singularity in his model by introducing imaginary numbers for the time variables in Einstein's gravitational equations? Thing is, this ends up having time indistinguishable from space so that, rather than having the usual interpretation of three dimensions of space and one dimension of time, you have a Euclidean four dimensional space. This seems to be a success tool physics uses in solving issues in quantum mechanics, but they then swap back into the usual interpretation of space time. Hawking seems to admit this 'Only if we could picture the universe in terms of imaginary time would there be no singularities . . . . When one goes back to the real time in which we live, however, there will still appear to be singularities." Hawking, Brief History of Time, pp. 138-39.
    N.B I'll preface this by saying I'm reaching the limits of my understanding at this point, some of this may not be 100% accurate.

    Yes, his model is built around Minkowski spacetime (I think Minkowski was the first to examine this possibility); it pushes space-time to its limit and supposes that in the earliest conditions of the universe time behaves exactly as a spatial dimension. This has been developed somewhat though. Many of the complications of imaginary time have been resolved though, by instead considering the limits of the light cone associated with any given point, as these eliminate many of the problems associated with the order of events in Minkowski space.

    From a mathematical point of view, there is an isometry between Minkowski spacetime, and Euclidean space and time. It goes back to different models explaining the same phenomena. It is possible to try and explain our everyday experiences through the medium of Minkowski spacetime; it would just be an unnecessary complication. It's something we're seeing increasingly often in quantum physics called supersymmetry. In string theory, we have been finding that several 'different' string theories are in fact isometries of one another. Tentatively, it is suggested that ultimately we will be able to eventually collapse these down into a single theory - dubbed M Theory - which would show that all the other string theories are simply analogues of one another.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Stop with religion, it's bloody horrendous
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    God isn't an event, so there is no such thing as him having never happened, he has always been 'happening' if I may say so but that doesn't work for the Big Bang, if it's eternal it must always be happening.
    You're right. god isn't an event. god isn't anything but a made up story.
    Again the big bang could've been the "eternal first cause". A hypothesis gaining ground, which stems from the multiverse hypothesis suggests that the big bang has always been happening. Here's one of many links that you can check out.

    http://www.physics.princeton.edu/~st...skauthors.html

    Don't worry, if you don't understand, the rest of use scientifically literate people do. Perhaps you can pray to the flying spaghetti monster ( http://www.venganza.org/about/ ) or whatever made up god you believe in.for knowledge.

    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    No it doesn't, how can an event exist outside of the outside of time, that makes no sense whatsoever. One of the NASA Officials said the universe is a shadow of something greater, God is omnipresent so he is everywhere. There is no place he can't reach.
    Just when I think you finally understand about the absurdity of the outside of the outside of time, you then show that you don't by believing god exists outside of time. If something can exist outside of time, then why not the outside of outside of time?

    Really, before you reply just take a bit of time to think about this.

    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    Yes, eternity is but something that IS ETERNAL isn't. Eternity isn't a lot of time - that makes no sense, it is to be outside of time. Even then as I said, something that is eternal isn't an application of the concept of time. I know why you're struggling - I doubt you have studied this strand of quantum physics.
    Again, eternal / eternity are indeed an application of time and so can't be outside of time. It's like saying 'south' isn't an application of direction as it exists outside of directions. I don't claim to be a quantum physicist, but I do tend to read a variety of scientific articles and if something piques my interest, i'll seek out academic papers, so i'm pretty sure I have a stronger grasp of such concepts. I believe that education is very important. If only you people believed in facts as much as you believed in fairy tales the world would be a better place.

    Now, if you feel the need to go to the bible to find a way to contradict peer-reviewed studies, then you can't hope to understand such concepts.

    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    No you're just confused. Even if you use your definition that eternity is infinite time, then how can the Big Bang be eternal, you make no sense in mine or your own logic. The Big Bang is an event not a Person so how can it be eternal LOL and then you call yourself scientifically literate.
    I'm not confused. Although, i'm not a physicist, I do read around the subject. I make a huge amount of sense. I would implore you to educate yourself. If you disagree with my stance then read around the subject and link in some peer-reviewed science to justify your position. Otherwise, you'll remain ignorant and that would be a shame when we live in a world when we've more access to information than we've ever had. Thanks, science.

    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    It was you that suggested the Big Bang could be the eternal first cause and now you're trying to act as if you didn't get proven wrong. If it's not a real concept you're still wrong.
    But I didn't get proven wrong. I stated something and you said basically said, "That's not right. It's god, innit". That's not proof. That is a counter statement not backed by anything. If I were you, I wouldn't think of going to university just yet. You'll acquire unnecessary crippling debt by answering every question with, "god did it, innit".

    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    My beliefs aren't misguided and won't harm anyone. Science has harmed many just as 'religion' has. Belief doesn't require facts or evidence but it doesn;t mean it can't utilise them.
    Your beliefs are totally misguided. If everyone had your beliefs then we'd be having this conversation still living in the dark ages. Again, thanks science.

    Science has never and can't ever harm anyone. People harm people. No-one ever said, "I will kill you as Charles Darwin demands in the book, 'The origin of species'. But people have and do still kill stating that that is what god demands in the bible.

    (Original post by StudyJosh)
    This cringy smile is just getting weird LOL From what we have already seen, you've has disproved yourself so I'm worried about your education.All you did was prove my logic was sound. The Big Bang is an event, so how can it be an eternal first cause? Your mind saddens me, it's not scientifically literate, logical or anything - it's just bigoted.
    Your cringy LOL's are getting weird. LOL

    LOL Again, you've offered no proof of anything. So there's no need to worry about my education. I consistently obtain firsts so i'll be okay. LOL

    LOL I probably did prove your logic...on opposite world. Unfortunately for you, this is Earth where facts and logic prevail over superstition. You should visit this plant more often to get used to it. LOL

    Just read up on the big bang and and the cyclic hypothesis.
    Uh oh, but that would mean educating yourself about something. We can't have that, can we.

    LOL
    Spoiler:
    Show
    LOL
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    Whilst we may not literally live forever because the universe will eventually end, it's virtually a certainty that with future advancements in biology and stem cell research we'll effectively become immortal on any reasonable timescale.



    Threatening someone with something they don't believe in is useless. You're not going to feel in the least scared if threatened with Thor's wrath are you?

    In any case, hell isn't real so we really have nothing to worry about.
    Goodness, when you say you 'don't believe that something exists' and that, definitively, 'hell isn't real' you really don't sound like you're living up to your silly redefinition of atheism, do you.

    If you're going to redefine atheism, at least live up to it. If it's a 'lack of belief', act like it rather than making these positive claims. You can't have it both ways.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Luke Kostanjsek)
    Yours seems a very philosophical take, and I am by no means particularly versed in the philosophy of physics. That said:

    1) Not really sure what you're saying about determinism/indeterminism and instrumentalist/realist. Quantum mechanics is ultimately a statistical explanation of quantum interactions, and the law of large numbers proves that their average will hold for the macroscopic so long as the models accurately describe the statistical distribution of the quantum events. And the fact is that, to date, quantum mechanics has made accurate predictions at every turn. There is no firmer way to test a model.

    2) Indeed, but that is nothing more than semantics. True 'nothingness', as in the absence of all, is impossible as a result of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. The vacuum is as 'empty' as space can get; whether you choose to describe this as nothingness or not is merely a quirk of language.

    3) One of the most popular models at the moment actually suppose that the net energy of the universe is 0, so everything strictly came from 'nothing'. Matter is considered 'positive' energy and gravity 'negative' such that it all cancels out. So in a literal sense, this model argues the universe came from nothing, if you consider this net absence of energy as 'nothing'. Again, this feels rather semantic. Whilst it's certainly interesting to discuss what the concept of 'nothingness' really is, it doesn't seem especially pertinent. If quantum mechanics makes accurate predictions of all observable phenomena, then it holds as an accurate model.

    4) I could well be missing the point with regards Kanitscheider's words, but that seems an extraordinarily weak argument; that because a principle has held for classical physics and guided classical physics, we ought presume its truth for quantum physics also. I would take a more literal view - and I would suggest a more practical one - that if a model can explain all observable phenomena and make accurate predictions, then it is an effective model.
    1). Exactly. The mathematics of quantum mechanics are not under question, but you can only start making claims about causation in quantum mechanics by having physical interpretations of what the data show and even then how to interpret the data in the first place. For example, it is true that, given Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty, we cannot precisely predict individual subatomic events. What is debated is whether this inability to predict is due to the absence of sufficient causal conditions, or whether it is merely a result of the fact that any attempt to precisely measure these events alters their status. The very introduction of the observer into the arena so affects what is observed that it gives the appearance that effects occur without sufficient or determinative causes. But we have no way of knowing what is happening without introducing observers into the situation and the changes they bring. We are simply are unable to discern the intermediate states of an electron's existence, for example. When Heisenberg's indeterminacy is understood not as describing the events themselves but rather our knowledge of the events, the Causal Principle still holds. This illustrates the instrumentalist/ realist issue within quantum mechanics. There are also completely deterministic interpretations of Quantum mechanics, like that by David Bohm. Most who point to Quantum mechanics as violations of causation do so due to indeterminacy, but there are completely deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics which are identical to indeterminate ones regarding predictions.

    2) could you explain what you mean by the uncertainty principle meaning that nothing existing is impossible? It's just that there has been much push back against this idea that the quantum vacuum is nothing or that nothing (the actual definition of nothing) is impossible. In a rather infamous reply to Krauss' book A Universe from Nothing, David Albert describes it's shortcomings;

    'Lawrence M. Krauss, a well-known cosmologist and prolific popular-science writer, apparently means to announce to the world, in this new book, that the laws of quantum mechanics have in them the makings of a thoroughly scientific and adamantly secular explanation of why there is something rather than nothing.

    . . . . And what the fundamental laws of nature are about, and all the fundamental laws of nature are about, and all there is for the fundamental laws of nature to be about, insofar as physics has ever been able to imagine, is how that elementary stuff is arranged. The fundamental laws of nature generally take the form of rules concerning which arrangements of that stuff are physically possible and which aren’t, or rules connecting the arrangements of that elementary stuff at later times to its arrangement at earlier times, or something like that. But the laws have no bearing whatsoever on questions of where the elementary stuff came from, or of why the world should have consisted of the particular elementary stuff it does, as opposed to something else, or to nothing at all.

    . . . . What on earth, then, can Krauss have been thinking? Well, there is, as it happens, an interesting difference between relativistic quantum field theories and every previous serious candidate for a fundamental physical theory of the world. Every previous such theory counted material particles among the concrete, fundamental, eternally persisting elementary physical stuff of the world — and relativistic quantum field theories, interestingly and emphatically and unprecedentedly, do not. According to relativistic quantum field theories, particles are to be understood, rather, as specific arrangements of the fields. Certain *arrangements of the fields, for instance, correspond to there being 14 particles in the universe, and certain other arrangements correspond to there being 276 particles, and certain other arrangements correspond to there being an infinite number of particles, and certain other arrangements correspond to there being no particles at all. And those last arrangements are referred to, in the jargon of quantum field theories, for obvious reasons, as “vacuum” states. Krauss seems to be thinking that these vacuum states amount to the relativistic-*quantum-field-theoretical version of there not being any physical stuff at all. And he has an argument — or thinks he does — that the laws of relativistic quantum field theories entail that vacuum states are unstable. And that, in a nutshell, is the account he proposes of why there should be something rather than nothing.

    But that’s just not right. Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field-*theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields — what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields! The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t. And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings — if you look at them aright — amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/bo...anted=all&_r=1

    Albert is a rather famous author on Quantum mechanics and great at explaining it to a popular audience, by many accounts this was a rather powerful reply. So if you have any books to or sources to push me to regarding the uncertainty principle showing there must be something, I'd appreciate it.

    3) regarding the idea that the universe has a net energy of 0 as a permissible reason for the universe coming into existence without a cause, I think it's largely semantic and quite mistaken. The idea seems to be that the universe actually is nothing and so it doesn't violate the principle of causation. But that's absurd. I exist, my bike exists etc so the universe can only said to be nothing in terms of net energy. Kind of if your debt cancels out your wealth giving a net worth. But I'm skeptical of that reasoning, it seems to be that because a universe with a net energy is 0, it would violate the law of conservation by coming into existence uncaused, but that seems far too restricted criteria to determine whether something can come into existence out of nothing, why don't we see regular cases of something coming into existence out of nothing with a net energy of zero? After all the law of conservation would have nothing to say with regards to those situations. Also, Christopher Isham has done some work on something called 'ontic seeding' which would need to precede in order for there to be the evenly balanced net energy. Can you get you hands on the cosmos and creation lecture series? Search for Quantum Cosmology and the Origin of the Universe and it explains the scenario.

    4) I'm sorry I can't see what you have highlighted on the app.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    Goodness, when you say you 'don't believe that something exists' and that, definitively, 'hell isn't real' you really don't sound like you're living up to your silly redefinition of atheism, do you.

    If you're going to redefine atheism, at least live up to it. If it's a 'lack of belief', act like it rather than making these positive claims. You can't have it both ways.
    What you're arguing now is merely semantics. It would be incredibly tedious to add the caveat "but there is an infinitesimally small chance it exists" every time one made a statement about something unlikely. The chance is so small that for all intents and purpose one can in ordinary language just say it isn't real.

    And it isn't a "silly redefinition" of atheism, it's what atheism is. Many theists oppose this because they know their own position isn't backed up by any evidence and so want to drag atheists down into the same predicament.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    What you're arguing now is merely semantics. It would be incredibly tedious to add the caveat "but there is an infinitesimally small chance it exists" every time one made a statement about something unlikely. The chance is so small that for all intents and purpose one can in ordinary language just say it isn't real.
    Language is extremely important and to an uninformed observer your language suggests you know things you don't. If you're going to be intellectually honest I'd hope you would stay true to the definition of atheism you use.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    Language is extremely important and to an uninformed observer your language suggests you know things you don't. If you're going to be intellectually honest I'd hope you would stay true to the definition of atheism you use.
    Language's importance does not mean it has to be taken to semantic extremes. And you cannot honestly berate someone for this when on another thread you said no theist believes the soul has been around before the body and then when questioned about this false claim say that you didn't actually mean that.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Ok but you're entirely wrong.

    You're approaching the infinite regress incorrectly; there is no reason why events could not go back in a chain that was shaped like a necklace (everything connected together) - like a loop - at all. There is no reason for there to be any kind of 'start' to the universe itself, we don't even need a creator.
    --
    The 'who created God' argument is perfectly valid since people who ****ing believe in God themselves have argued "everything has a cause so universe needs a cause hur de dur" which instantly turns back on them as there is no reason at all for why God himself would not need a cause; you can't make an axim stating "all things need a cause... EXCEPT THIS ONE BECAUSE IT'S SPECIAL" that's just dumb and not sound.

    Then again trying to discuss anything metaphysical and quite frankly not real is dumb but y'know clearly you believe this kinda nonsense.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    Language's importance does not mean it has to be taken to semantic extremes. And you cannot honestly berate someone for this when on another thread you said no theist believes the soul has been around before the body and then when questioned about this false claim say that you didn't actually mean that.

    I say sloppy things too! Doesn't make it right.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    And it isn't a "silly redefinition" of atheism, it's what atheism is. Many theists oppose this because they know their own position isn't backed up by any evidence and so want to drag atheists down into the same predicament.
    It is a silly redefintion because it cripples atheism as an intellectual viewpoint. It's just a description of how you feel - neither right nor wrong. You say there's no evidence for theism (though you know there is, of course), but I'm genuinely interested in what you're putting your faith in for the origin of the universe. How do atheists reconcile something coming from nothing? Or there being anything at all, rather than nothing? Is it all resting on quantum mechanics or what?
 
 
 
Write a reply… Reply
Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register
  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: November 11, 2016
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Poll
Do you think you'll achieve your predicted A Level grades?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.