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Philosophy: The case for/against materialism
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The Gooz Boos Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Philosophy: The case for/against materialism
(04-15-2017 02:11 AM)RatInTheWoods Wrote:  Quantum fluctuations have proven Newton's first law to be outdated.
How so? I can't find any research on this, nor arguments. I've never seen any evidence to suggest that quantum fluctuations divert objects spontaneously from their original paths.
(04-15-2017 02:11 AM)RatInTheWoods Wrote:  But in any case I was more referring to "the creation of matter/energy" must have been "created by something else"
Gotcha. Covered that two posts above this one.
(04-15-2017 02:11 AM)RatInTheWoods Wrote:  This is logically false, since you get a "created by something else" loop back to where?
Again, this is the entire point of the original argument. It's not an objection. It's the basis for the argument.
(04-15-2017 02:11 AM)RatInTheWoods Wrote:  If you then create a supernatural explanation then you still are left with the problem of explaining the creation of the supernatural entity.... ie it doesn't solve the problem.
That leaves you with "it existed since the beginning of time" reason - which applies to matter and energy just as easily as supernatural entities. Occam's razor would leave you with matter and energy as having always existed.
Any substance with the property of necessity is not caused and is outside of time. So there is no problem to solve. Matter does not have the property of necessity—it is contingent. I've covered this six ways from Sunday. If you can't grasp the basic concept, I don't know what to tell you.
04-15-2017 02:58 AM
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Liberty Sea Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Philosophy: The case for/against materialism
(04-15-2017 02:38 AM)The Gooz Boos Wrote:  You seem comfortable with the notion that our universe is an infinite regress. So much so that you suggest the universe's history is an infinitely repeating cycle of big bang and big crunch. So what I'll do is argue that a universe with an infinitely-regressing past is a logical absurdity.

1) The universe's history extends infinitely into the past
2) If you progressively iterate through time for any amount of time, you will approach but never reach infinity seconds.
3) There was a moment in time infinitely many seconds prior to the current moment. (logically follows from 1)
4) From the perspective of that moment, you progressively iterate through time.
5) You will never arrive at the present moment, so the present moment is impossible.
---
∴) The present moment is impossible.

So, as you can see, if the universe was an infinite regress of events you would not be here right now. All moments would suffer from the same incoherence. The universe would be a complete self-contradiction if it were infinite.

Ah, the famous argument for temporal finitism that was popularized by Kant in the thesis of his first antinomy, but actually came from some obscure guy named Philoponus. Many philosophers have responded to this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_f..._reception

At the moment I'm feeling lazy and also busy with something else, so pardon me for not formulating my own respond here. I'll come back to it at some point. In the mean time, feel free to formulate arguments against the objections mentioned in that article (and, if you will, do some research on their sources for more detailed presentation. It's a strenuous undertaking, but one can't expect to solve perennial philosophical problems with easy work, eh?)
(This post was last modified: 04-15-2017 04:32 AM by Liberty Sea.)
04-15-2017 04:30 AM
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kavi Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Philosophy: The case for/against materialism
(04-13-2017 06:52 PM)The Gooz Boos Wrote:  Your examples serve my purposes. You say that we already knew what a rock was, and that we then invented language to describe it. So then it reasonably follows that we knew what abstract, immaterial concepts were before inventing language to describe them. If you posit that abstract concepts and modal necessities, like the numbers and laws of logic, existed independently of language, that is circumstancial evidence that these immaterial things actually exist.

Another bit of evidence is the fact that the universe abides by these immaterial numbers and laws of logic. Let's take the law of non-contradiction, for example. For any proposition P, P cannot both be true and untrue at the same time and in the same sense. This reigns true throughout not only physical things, but also abstract things. A water bottle cannot both contain water and not contain water at the same time. 2+2 cannot equal 4 and not equal 4 at the same time. Since the universe and all of existence follows this law, it is absurd to suggest that it exists solely as a linguistic construct of human imagination. Abstract concepts are real things—modal necessities—that exist in and of themselves, independently of us. The only way to escape this conclusion is to reject logic itself, which is by definition illogical and absurd.

I think you overstate the importance of logic. You have to remember that logic is language ultimately, and it is a human construct created to model the physical world that existed before it. Logic is an internally consistent grammar that allows us to reason about the physical world. It is not the physical world that abides by logic, it is logic that abides by the physical world. We have created an internally consistent grammar with meaningful (relating to the physical world) symbols which is a tool that is useful for us, for no other purpose than to explore the material/physical/real world.

1 + 1 = 2 only because we give real-world meanings to the symbols 1,2 and functions + and =. You would know that this is totally arbitrary if you understand how a machine, or any calculus would evaluate the value of "1+1".

That P cannot both be true and false at once is only because we interpret true and false as contradictory terms. The universe doesnt care how we interpret things, it just is. If P = "This statement is false" then ofcourse it can be both true and false at once, but then that is because of the way I have created the statement, again, the universe doesnt care and is ambivalent whether my language says anything about it or not.

(04-13-2017 06:52 PM)The Gooz Boos Wrote:  
(04-13-2017 04:33 PM)kavi Wrote:  Now, without the word soul, or God, or afterlife (all related things your argument could be used for) we simply could not be having this discussion. But those are man-made words created to suit a purpose other than referring to real things i.e. to propagate religious ideas to the benefit of those doing so. These are non-words or fake words. We simply need to purge our dictionaries of these evil imposters and get back to a purer, more meaningful language.
Again, topics of soul, God, and afterlife are all outside of the scope of this topic (materialism). Reserve your objections to religion, maybe we'll talk about that later. To avoid these tangents, we can say that X is a necessary substance, the essence of which we don't know anything about. Try to stay on topic.

What is X?
Can you point to X?
Can you feed me with X?
Can you hit me in the head with X?

I dont think so. X is nothing but a figment of your linguistic imagination. That it is a purely linguistic concept should be clear because you cannot imagine it's feel, it's sound, it's look, it's size or any other way in which it may effect your senses. This is true for all non-material/non-natural/non-physical things.


(04-13-2017 06:52 PM)The Gooz Boos Wrote:  
(04-13-2017 04:33 PM)kavi Wrote:  The Physical world is necessary, because there is nothing else we know and otherwise I would not be typing this. It is not, as you say 'contingent'
But it IS contingent. This is evident in both the fact that the physical world constantly changes and in the fact that it had a beginning.

The physical is not contingent because we are here and it is here. We can debate forever that it was not at some point, and at some point may not be, but for now it is necessary and it is.

(04-13-2017 06:52 PM)The Gooz Boos Wrote:  
(04-13-2017 04:33 PM)kavi Wrote:  Lastly, I will add. All things must exist within some system of rules or laws. If not, there will be anarchy and chaos only. Those Laws in our case are the Laws of Physics, whether we know them all or not. They are existence and they are the physical world.
The laws themselves are not material. Unless you've found them and want to show me pictures? Tongue

Ofcourse they are material. Physics came about by observing and measuring the physical world.

(04-13-2017 06:52 PM)The Gooz Boos Wrote:  
(04-13-2017 04:33 PM)kavi Wrote:  But it is important to understand that existence=physical world=natural laws.
Another thing that is important to understand is that the equation presented is nothing more than dogma.

You think that is dogma, the very thing that we exist in and that we rely on. Yet, you think your ideas of something else, call it X, the most vague definition ever, that is based on some basic reasoning from modal logic 101, that is the true essence of everything, is not dogma?
04-15-2017 08:33 AM
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The Gooz Boos Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Philosophy: The case for/against materialism
LibertySea, the only one on there that is relevant to my argument is the objection about cardinality, but that won't test well. The difference between an infinite set which includes infinity and one which does not include infinity is the difference between actual infinity and potential infinity. So what's proposed is that the past is a potential infinity. A potential infinity which has been wholly traversed is not a potential infinity, but an actual infinity. The past is necessarily that which has already been wholly traversed. Therefore, if the past is infinite, it must be an actual infinity rather than a potential infinity. So my argument stands.


Kavi, I think it's hilarious that you've gone and done exactly what I said. I said that in order for you to skirt the conclusion I laid out, you would have to reject the existence of logic. You've gone and done exactly that. And by doing so, you've allowed yourself to form "arguments" which are wholly illogical. For if logic doesn't exist and is just a figment of our imagination, it's internally consistent for you to discard logic in your argument. Your post doesn't deserve a response, but I want to respond for your sake. I'll make it very small and unobtrusive so as to avoid clutter/bothering other users.

(04-15-2017 08:33 AM)kavi Wrote:  I think you overstate the importance of logic. You have to remember that logic is language ultimately, and it is a human construct created to model the physical world that existed before it. Logic is an internally consistent grammar that allows us to reason about the physical world. It is not the physical world that abides by logic, it is logic that abides by the physical world. We have created an internally consistent grammar with meaningful (relating to the physical world) symbols which is a tool that is useful for us, for no other purpose than to explore the material/physical/real world.
There you go again. Firstly, logic and thought are NOT mere language. I've covered this before with you. Secondly, I'm talking about concepts themselves. I'm not referring to the language used to describe concepts. I'm not referring to the origin of human understanding of concepts. I am talking about the actual concepts. This is a red herring—a total and complete diversion. When you make objections based on the origins of language or whatever, you're arguing against a wall, not against me. Get your head in the game. PS: You yourself debunked the notion that thought is mere language. Earlier, you said that human beings knew what rocks were before we invented the language to describe them. If you are right, that proves that thought is NOT mere language. For if thought were mere language, it would be impossible to think or know anything without knowing a language.

Quote:1 + 1 = 2 only because we give real-world meanings to the symbols 1,2 and functions + and =. You would know that this is totally arbitrary if you understand how a machine, or any calculus would evaluate the value of "1+1".
Yeah, you did it again. Referring to printed syntax of mathematics, rather than the necessity of the mathematics themselves. Another red herring. A real fucking genius.

Quote:That P cannot both be true and false at once is only because we interpret true and false as contradictory terms. The universe doesnt care how we interpret things, it just is. If P = "This statement is false" then ofcourse it can be both true and false at once, but then that is because of the way I have created the statement, again, the universe doesnt care and is ambivalent whether my language says anything about it or not.
So if human beings suddenly decided that true and false weren't contradictory terms, suddenly the universe would allow any and every proposition to be both true and false simultaneously and in the same sense? That's ludicrous, but also flies in the face of materialism. The rest of this quote is the same red herring as the red text from earlier.

Quote:What is X?
Can you point to X?
Can you feed me with X?
Can you hit me in the head with X?

I dont think so. X is nothing but a figment of your linguistic imagination. That it is a purely linguistic concept should be clear because you cannot imagine it's feel, it's sound, it's look, it's size or any other way in which it may effect your senses. This is true for all non-material/non-natural/non-physical things.
I'm not asserting anything further about X, because the essence of X is not relevant to the topic of materialism. All we need to know for the sake of argument is that X is a necessary substance. Way to go off on a tangent... again... As for whether you can point, feed, hit in the head, etc.: Given premise 12 in the OP argument, we can conclude X is immaterial, so unless there's a way to point/feed/hit in the head with something immaterial either in general or in accordance with the particular nature of said immaterial thing, you cannot.


Quote:The physical is not contingent because we are here and it is here. We can debate forever that it was not at some point, and at some point may not be, but for now it is necessary and it is.
That doesn't make it non-contingent. You don't understand the basic concept, yet you post with such arrogance and wrong-headed confidence. Maybe do a google search. It is inescapably and necessarily so that something that is "for now" is NOT necessary.

Quote:Ofcourse they are material. Physics came about by observing and measuring the physical world.
That doesn't make them material. The actual laws of physics (not language or human understanding) don't exist materially, but naturally. Not that this example matters, my dude. I brought it up as a joking reaction to one of your earlier non-arguments.

Quote:You think that is dogma, the very thing that we exist in and that we rely on. Yet, you think your ideas of something else, call it X, the most vague definition ever, that is based on some basic reasoning from modal logic 101, that is the true essence of everything, is not dogma?
I didn't argue against the existence of the material world. I argued against your bullshit, unsubstantiated, dogmatic equation. I deliberately left X vague and undefined because its essence is not relevant to THIS discussion. So I've asserted that X, something I haven't talked about AT ALL, is the true essence of everything? I haven't talked about X. You're on another tangent. Cut it out. Get on topic.
(This post was last modified: 04-18-2017 03:13 AM by The Gooz Boos.)
04-18-2017 03:02 AM
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BortimusPrime Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Philosophy: The case for/against materialism
The requirement for a material object to have a cause isn't necessarily true. Quantum fluctuations can produce particles out of the vacuum, but they almost always average out to nothing, and the probability of a macroscopic object popping into existence out of thin air is so low that it would take a googolplex years to non-negligibly occur. That said, if you have an infinite void and infinite time, there's nothing in the laws of physics that stops a big bang from popping out of thin air and making a whole new universe. In fact given infinite time, every possible universe timeline indeed occurs an infinite number of times, but with unimaginably enormous distance and time between instances.

Of course this also means that since your brain is much smaller than the universe, it's vastly more probable that you're just a lone Boltzmann brain floating in an infinite space with fake memories of an existing universe right up until the point of reading this thread.
04-18-2017 04:09 AM
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The Gooz Boos Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Philosophy: The case for/against materialism
(04-18-2017 04:09 AM)BortimusPrime Wrote:  The requirement for a material object to have a cause isn't necessarily true. Quantum fluctuations can produce particles out of the vacuum, but they almost always average out to nothing, and the probability of a macroscopic object popping into existence out of thin air is so low that it would take a googolplex years to non-negligibly occur.That said, if you have an infinite void and infinite time, there's nothing in the laws of physics that stops a big bang from popping out of thin air and making a whole new universe. In fact given infinite time, every possible universe timeline indeed occurs an infinite number of times, but with unimaginably enormous distance and time between instances.

Of course this also means that since your brain is much smaller than the universe, it's vastly more probable that you're just a lone Boltzmann brain floating in an infinite space with fake memories of an existing universe right up until the point of reading this thread.

This serves my argument. Does quantum mechanics not qualify as a cause? Also, interestingly enough, quantum fluctuations, being in a state of constant change, are also contingent.

I addressed this earlier. In basic terms, you're right. There's nothing in the laws of physics as such (and there shouldn't be-- physics is contingent to the natural world), but there is much in metaphysical modal logic to make that impossible. It's worth noting that Lawrence Krauss's "something from nothing" theory presupposes that quantum fluctuations exist, so it's not truly something-from-nothing, but matter-from-quantum.
(This post was last modified: 04-18-2017 04:38 AM by The Gooz Boos.)
04-18-2017 04:36 AM
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BortimusPrime Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Philosophy: The case for/against materialism
(04-18-2017 04:36 AM)The Gooz Boos Wrote:  
(04-18-2017 04:09 AM)BortimusPrime Wrote:  The requirement for a material object to have a cause isn't necessarily true. Quantum fluctuations can produce particles out of the vacuum, but they almost always average out to nothing, and the probability of a macroscopic object popping into existence out of thin air is so low that it would take a googolplex years to non-negligibly occur.That said, if you have an infinite void and infinite time, there's nothing in the laws of physics that stops a big bang from popping out of thin air and making a whole new universe. In fact given infinite time, every possible universe timeline indeed occurs an infinite number of times, but with unimaginably enormous distance and time between instances.

Of course this also means that since your brain is much smaller than the universe, it's vastly more probable that you're just a lone Boltzmann brain floating in an infinite space with fake memories of an existing universe right up until the point of reading this thread.

This serves my argument. Does quantum mechanics not qualify as a cause? Also, interestingly enough, quantum fluctuations, being in a state of constant change, are also contingent.

I addressed this earlier. In basic terms, you're right. There's nothing in the laws of physics as such (and there shouldn't be-- physics is contingent to the natural world), but there is much in metaphysical modal logic to make that impossible. It's worth noting that Lawrence Krauss's "something from nothing" theory presupposes that quantum fluctuations exist, so it's not truly something-from-nothing, but matter-from-quantum.

True, but if quantum mechanics is a cause, it couldn't be considered an intelligent creator in any meaningful sense, as it's analogous to someone flicking paint at a canvas at random until they eventually produce the Mona Lisa. One could argue that God just wrote the rules for quantum mechanics and then let it go, but so far my experience in my quantum computing class leads me to believe that if any entity designed this shit then it was probably the devil.

Also, the other issue with a quantum fluctuation big bang is that it isn't falsifiable, so it really belongs in the realm of stoner conversations between physicists.
(This post was last modified: 04-18-2017 03:07 PM by BortimusPrime.)
04-18-2017 03:04 PM
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The Gooz Boos Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Philosophy: The case for/against materialism
Quote:True, but if quantum mechanics is a cause, it couldn't be considered an intelligent creator in any meaningful sense, as it's analogous to someone flicking paint at a canvas at random until they eventually produce the Mona Lisa. One could argue that God just wrote the rules for quantum mechanics and then let it go, but so far my experience in my quantum computing class leads me to believe that if any entity designed this shit then it was probably the devil.

Also, the other issue with a quantum fluctuation big bang is that it isn't falsifiable, so it really belongs in the realm of stoner conversations between physicists.

I don't know how many times I'll have to repeat that this thread isn't about God. It's about materialism and I guess naturalism too. But on that point, since quantum fluctuations are themselves contingent, their existence and current states are dependent on other things. So it's not the ultimate cause of contingent things. QM can't have that role, so of course it isn't God.

Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Just don't tell Lawrence Krauss that. If Krauss was right, then awesome. If not, then awesome. It's not an interesting question to me.
(This post was last modified: 04-18-2017 03:53 PM by The Gooz Boos.)
04-18-2017 03:50 PM
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