A true agnostic speaks

Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago to Philosophy
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I hadn't ever heard of the Socratic Paradox, but it is what I have long advocated.
SOURCE URL: https://www.dailywire.com/news/44831/award-winning-physicist-science-does-not-kill-god-joseph-curl


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  • Posted by  $  jlc 7 months ago
    We have a problem with the word “believe” that makes it difficult to discuss this subject:
    - I ‘believe’ I like pistachio ice cream better than any other type. (trivial preference)
    - I ‘believe’ in Odin. (non-falsifiable religious statement)
    - I ‘believe’ in evolution. (falsifiable scientific opinion)
    The most common use case is, obviously the first one. We routinely use the word “believe: in everyday conversation, to indicate a trivial or transient preference. Unfortunately, when we begin to discuss philosophy and enduring world views, we also use this word…but I think that people actually mean “somewhere on the spectrum between trivial and cosmic” when they are speaking philosophically. This can lead to arguments that sound philosophical but which really have a large semantic component.

    Jan
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 months ago
      Thank you for posting this summary of the world believe.
      I use "accept" in the case of "believing" in evolution. I don't really think of evolution as a belief.

      Unscientific people's language betrays them. They call it "Darwinism". They can't conceive that accepting science is completely different from starting with a sacred figure. They'll say they don't believe in it because first Darwinists said Lamarkian evolution was one way species changed, then you said it was all natural selection, now they're backtracking in some ways with epigenetics. Darwinists can't even stick to their story.

      To avoid being confused with this anti-scientific view of science, I try to say accept if it's about a scientific theory.
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    • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
      To believe that something is true is not a matter of semantics. The question is how one knows. That is not resolved by analytic philosophy and "semantics".
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 months ago
    Atheism requires a secular basis for morality, since a theistic code has no meaning for an atheist. Generally, most Western atheists are exposed to, and comply with out of habit, moral codes derived from religious sources. However, there is a vulnerability to prefer secular establishment, such as a government, to decree and impose moral codes. That is why we tend to find many with atheistic beliefs followers of Marxism or other similar authoritarian philosophies.

    Objectivism is one system of beliefs that offers a better alternative for those who espouse atheism. It neither depends on myth nor doctrine, and is sound logically, with positive results for those that follow its precepts. Objectivists who are atheists tend not to be hostile to religion, but indifferent to it.

    As one with a science background, and a student of human religious beliefs, I find myself in the Deist camp (which is sort of "almost agnostic"). I think I was influenced by Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason" at an early age, and determined not to be affected by the trappings of organized religion. Objectivism seemed a natural course for me, as it's focused on the individual and his actions, much like Deists, who believe we are entirely responsible for improving life (if you want a miracle, get busy and make it happen).
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    • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
      There's no such thing as Objectivist who are not atheists. The mysticism of theism, whether in metaphysics or ethics or both, is incompatible with Objectivism. Ignoring the trappings is better, but is at the level of argument over competing rituals between sects, which is secondary.

      Ayn Rand was more indifferent than hostile to religion as a crude form of philosophy because religion is so intellectually weak. She was mostly indifferent to it rather than hostile culturally except where religion and religionists, such as a Pope or a Buckley, became obnoxious and intrusive in promoting their destruction, especially in attacks on sex and abortion, and their attempts to defend capitalism against collectivism on religious grounds, which is impossible and only obliterates correct concepts for proper understanding.
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  • Posted by mshupe 7 months, 1 week ago
    I don't know what the significance of this is. There is nothing new about the ideas that science and religion can co-exist, and not knowing if God exists is not to deny God exists. Even Rand explained that the definition of God precludes a reasonable explanation.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
      Many take the hard-line stance of pure atheism (a denial of any possibility of the existence of God) being the only doctrine acceptable to the Objectivist. I really appreciate his line "I'll keep an open mind because I understand that human knowledge is limited." That to me says that he is willing to check his prejudices and biases at the door and investigate whatever comes his way - even if it challenges his preconceptions. To me, that is what an Objectivist should advocate: to always be willing to revisit and check one's assumptions. One can not broaden one's horizons if one has blinders on.
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      • Posted by  $  exceller 7 months, 1 week ago
        Atheism is about belief or, specifically, what you don't believe. Agnosticism is about knowledge or, specifically, about what you don't know. An atheist doesn't believe in any gods.

        Socrates said he knows that he doesn't know. That is agnosticism not atheism.
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        • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
          Many atheists are antagonistic to the possibility of the existence of a deity. They cease to be agnostics when they do that, I agree. But as the subject of the author points out, it is an impossible position. "Atheism is a belief in non-belief. So you categorically deny something you have no evidence against." I agree with this physicist in saying that it is a more rational stance to hold to agnosticism than to atheism.
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          • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 7 months ago
            More accurately, atheism is non-belief in belief.

            As for Socrates, to claim to know that you don't know is still a form of knowledge. What these dudes really mean is that because we don't know everything (God's alleged omniscience), therefore we don't know anything. That is asserting that A is not A. It is not just a paradox but a blatant contradiction. It is an attempt to smuggle in a defense of irrational premises and the entire fraudulent belief system built on them. Rand: "Check your premises." Aristotle: "A is A."
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            • Posted by  $  7 months ago
              "atheism is non-belief in belief."

              That statement doesn't make any sense to me. Belief has to be in something specific - it isn't generic and random. To disclaim all belief, one would first have to know all beliefs and disavow them all. I can totally understand people picking a specific belief and saying I don't believe that. What I can't comprehend is people attempting to claim they don't believe anything. That's a pretty wide net to cast because it encompasses literally everything.

              "to claim to know that you don't know is still a form of knowledge."

              Eh, it's more an acknowledgement of humility where one admits there is still much out there one does not know but is willing to learn. I think that's what separates Socrates as an agnostic rather than an atheist. An agnostic is still willing to listen and test out new ideas.

              "What these dudes really mean is that because we don't know everything (God's alleged omniscience), therefore we don't know anything."

              I'm not sure if you worded this the way you intended, because this is a fallacy of the inverse. One doesn't have to know everything to know something. In fact, that is the entire point of belief in the first place: you posit something as yet unknown, then test to see if it is true. The thing is that the test itself is underlain by the belief. If you claim to believe in nothing, you are willing to do nothing new or with an unknown outcome. As pointed out by the subject of the article, that's an entirely anti-scientific approach because the scientific method depends upon looking at the unknown in new and uncertain ways.
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              • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                Atheism is non-belief in the supernatural. It is not non-belief in "anything" or a "claim to believe in nothing", which would be intellectual nihilism. It does not mean "you are willing to do nothing new or with an unknown outcome".

                Knowing what you know and how versus what you don't is objectivity, not "humility". Agnosticism means accepting the possibility of the arbitrary, not "still willing to listen and test out new ideas." Rejecting theism is not unwillingness to learn. One can only learn about what there is evidence for. A "willingness" to take theism seriously in not the standard of knowledge.

                The confusion of knowledge with omniscience is common among theists. One Blarman once claimed on this forum that we don't know reality because we didn't know he was going to have an accident. He rejected the response that "One doesn't have to know everything to know something".

                One does not learn by arbitrarily "positing something as yet unknown, then test to see if it is true". Knowledge grows based on evidence, not arbitrary imagination.
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      • Posted by mshupe 7 months, 1 week ago
        Yes, an atheist says that I know God does not exist. A religionist says that I know God exists. Rand's Objectivism says there are two side, one is right, one is wrong, in between is evil. I suppose that's why she claims to be an atheist. Reason is our only tool for survival. Achieving life is our only moral duty. Self-sacrifice is not part of the science. Existence exists. The definition of God requires abandonment of reason. This anti-life. God does not exist.
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        • Posted by  $  gharkness 7 months ago
          A-theism: lack of (or without) belief. This describes most of the atheists I know, including myself, and I know a lot. These atheists will be willing to change their minds if provided with actual evidence to the contrary, which makes them both atheist (lacking in belief) and agnostic (admitting that they don't know). (IOW, mshupe, we do not say "I know God does not exist.")

          To be sure, there are those who describe themselves as atheist, but do have a positive belief that there is no god, as you mentioned. There is a big difference. It seems to me that these "atheists" are believers in a different religion. So it's probably not a great idea to try to speak for all atheists by stating their definition of atheism, especially if you aren't one. If you are, then you certainly should define which type of atheist you are, to avoid confusion.
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        • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
          Atheism means rejection of belief in the supernatural because there is no evidence for it, usually with no coherent statement of what it is supposed to mean at all. A-theism is a rejection of theism, not a belief in anything. It is not what Blarman calls a "bias" or "prejudice", and is not a rejection of any kind of knowledge -- knowledge requires reason and therefore rejects assertions of faith out of hand.

          If an assertion is specific enough to be contradictory in addition to arbitrary, which is commonly the case in theism, then you can say it can't be because contradictions don't exist, but if it is vague enough to avoid overtly contradicting itself, then you still reject it as a cognitively worthless utterance for which there is no evidence, i.e., as if it had never been said, and that is all that is required to reject theism. The arbitrary has no cognitive worth, with no claim on your serious attention.

          Those are the fundamental "two sides", one of which (rationality) is right, that you refer to.

          The same is true of arbitrary assertions of "possibility". A statement that something is "possible" requires evidence. Blarman's imaginary "hypotheses" are not grounds for taking his assertions seriously. Rational thought, let alone science, does not run around conjuring arbitrary fantasies in search of evidence. That is why the claim of Creationism to be part of "science" is roundly rejected and ignored by serious thinkers.

          The article has nothing to do with physics and is not a rational argument for "agnosticism". It is simply bad philosophy. (Plato, of which the Socratic dialogues are part, is full of mysticism.) The only rational meaning of "science does not kill god" is that science does not engage in the cognitively worthless at all, including theism -- there is nothing coherent to refute or take seriously. Science doesn't "kill" or do anything else with it.

          All this has been explained on this forum previously and Blarman continues to ignore it, still insisting that his theism be taken seriously, while denouncing rational rejection as "bias" and "prejudice". Reason and faith are opposites. Reason rejecting faith is not a "bias".
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        • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
          I lost you about half-way through right after you said "that's why she claims to be an atheist."
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
            Seems to be anti-objective to say there is definitely not a "causation to existence".

            I get the confusion and rejection of the idea of a "God"...many things and ideas were called God, not to mention the physical creatures (Nephilim) the ancients thought were Gods or Sons of Gods.

            That is why I sick with "Causation"...that represents the highest reality as opposed to an entity that may have taken part in our creation.
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            • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
              Causation is the law of identity applied to action, not a "highest reality". Things do what they do in accordance with what they are. There is only one reality: everything that exists. There are no alternate realities outside of what is, let alone a hierarchy with a "highest reality".

              The post by mshupe you seem to be referring to didn't say anything about a "causation to existence". Causation is within existence, something causing something else. Causation requires existence to operate. The notion of something causing existence is incoherent, as is anything said to be outside of existence to do anything.

              The notion of a "cause of existence" is self contradictory. A cause of anything must exist. There is nothing outside of existence to be a cause and existence as such cannot be caused.
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            • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
              The word "existence" comes from the Latin word exsistere meaning "to appear", "to arise", "to become", or "to be", but literally, it means "to stand out" (ex- being the Latin prefix for "out" added to the causative of the verb stare, meaning "to stand").[5] In a technical sense, this refers to standing out of both being and becoming, thus having the qualities of both.[6]

              "to appear", "to arise", "to become", or "to be" and "To Stand, To Stand Out", infers causation.

              In order for "Anything" to exist, in this dimension, (if you like), in the universe, or the Cosmo, their must be Magnetism and electricity. Magnetism and Electricity governs everything in what we know, see and experience in existence; that is the cause for anything to "appear, to arise, to become or to be.
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              • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                Existence is everything that is. Etymology of words from ancient languages is irrelevant to the valid concept.

                The role of electromagnetism is a topic of physics, not metaphysics. No science has established that it "governs everything" or is the "cause" for anything to exist. There are electromagnetic aspects of matter. Electromagnetism causing anything to "appear" out of nothing makes no sense. It is New Age nonsense, not physics or rational philosophy.
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                • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
                  "Mechanistic" cause
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                  • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                    Please write in sentences. You do not appear to understand the role of electromagnetism in physics and that it is not philosophical metaphysics.
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                    • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
                      Not metaphysics...reality...see electric universe model and many recent NASA scientific papers in the last few years...our understandings are changing and the old models are dying.
                      I understand this perfectly, I have been studying this since 2010.
                      Keep up with the times...

                      End of discussion.
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                      • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                        Reducing everything to electromagnetism was attempted in the 19th century and failed. It is contrary to known facts. Claiming that electromagnetism causes things to "appear" into existence makes no sense at all. You don't have "understanding", you follow New Ageism fads on the internet without understanding science, then call it "studying". It's no better than your alien Nephilim legends and magic frequencies. "Keeping up with the times" does not subordinate either rational philosophy or physics to mysticism.
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                        • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
                          That is not what we are talking about. Nothing could come together, combine to make anything without positive and negative charges, without magnetics.
                          Has nothing to do with frequencies or any other new age perversions.

                          Always the mysticism with you...THINK!..electrons, protons, neutrons...nothing could exist without electrical forces, without magnetism...without gravity.
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                          • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                            Electromagnetism is one aspect of physical reality. Anyone can learn that in elementary high school physics. It is not gravity and not electrically neutral neutrons. It does not "govern everything in what we know, see and experience in existence; that is the cause for anything to appear, to arise, to become or to be". That is quasi-poetic nonsense, not physics.

                            So is your "I sick [sic] with 'Causation'. that represents the highest reality as opposed to an entity that may have taken part in our creation."

                            So is your promoting it with "our understandings are changing and the old models are dying. I understand this perfectly, I have been studying this since 2010. Keep up with the times... End of discussion." Pretentious, presumptuous nonsense is not the last word in anything.

                            You do not represent "understanding", either in this or the other nonsense with alien Nephilim legends, magic frequencies, and "unconscious" humans wandering the planet like zombies. It's an embarrassment on a forum for Ayn Rand's philosophy of reason. It does, however, fit right in with Blarman's promotions of his religious mentality posturing as reason and science.
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      • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
        Atheism is an attempt to make a theory as to the non-existence of something, a god, for which there is absolutely no evidence. Agnosticism is the belief in the possible existence of something for which there is absolutely no evidence. If one is to be rational, one must have some objective evidence for any belief that something might exist. Then the possibility can be tested by searching for more evidence and if found may or may not point to the original belief that the thing existed or may discount the original belief.
        An atheist is one who has no belief in the existence of a god, period. There is no opinion on the existence of a god since there is no evidence for a god. Evidence first then argument for that evidence and still end in a scientific belief "that' such and such exists and not a religious belief 'in' something not to be questioned.
        Great harm has been done by the idea that there are various degrees of weak or strong atheistic beliefs from which one can believe that agnosticism is anything other than an irrational position to try to hold logically in one mind.
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        • Posted by  $  7 months ago
          "Atheism is an attempt to make a theory as to the non-existence of something, a god, for which there is absolutely no evidence."

          Is there really no evidence or simply that there are some who seek to deny the existence of evidence because it is inconvenient? There is a huge difference. The point of the agnostic is that they do not claim that the matter is closed without convincing evidence either way. Thus his point about atheism being a non-starter: it is a hypothesis which can not be proven.

          "If one is to be rational, one must have some objective evidence for any belief that something might exist."

          I completely agree. The disagreement is over what constitutes evidence or how that evidence is obtained. The open mind - the agnostic - is willing to consider anything as potential evidence and is not predisposed to reject potential evidence.
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          • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
            "The point of the agnostic is that they do not claim that the matter is closed without convincing evidence either way. "

            An atheist does not claim the matter closed since it is impossible to prove non-existence of a nothing, one can only point out flaws in positive statements.


            "Is there really no evidence or simply that there are some who seek to deny the existence of evidence because it is inconvenient?"

            Opinions of others are not a valid basis for an individuals rational conclusions about the existence of anything. Only observation of objective reality with reason and logic can one understand what exists.
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            • Posted by  $  7 months ago
              "An atheist does not claim the matter closed since it is impossible to prove non-existence of a nothing, one can only point out flaws in positive statements."

              The atheist starts with the premise that there is nothing - an untestable hypothesis. Then they sit back and claim that since they can't prove a negative that their argument is sound. As the subject of this article points out - that's not the scientific method. I am in total agreement with you that one can only posit something that then may be proved via testing. What is inconvenient to some about the atheist vs deist argument is that in order to test for something, you have to investigate its properties so as to determine what tests will be efficacious. That means that in order to learn if a god exists, one must actually learn about that god. And that in a nutshell is religion.

              "Opinions of others are not a valid basis for an individuals rational conclusions about the existence of anything. Only observation of objective reality with reason and logic can one understand what exists."

              Ah, but you assume that they are merely opinions and not objective facts. And that is what I am pointing out: there are many people who have experienced real events in their lives for which only the presence of a supernatural world can provide an explanation. Yet atheists regularly dismiss these people and events. Why?
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              • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
                "The atheist starts with the premise that there is nothing. "

                That statement is shear nonsense. The verb 'is' indicates existence. There can be no premise that there 'is' nothing. An atheist begins with the premise that that something must exit before one can use the verb 'is'. One cannot test for something for which one has no evidence. To view objective reality as something which one arbitrarily must test for something for which one has has absolutely no evidence, is not rational. Suppose I went looking for an extraterrestrial alien who landed in Wisconsin at some time in history without any evidentiary reason for doing so, I would most likely be wasting my time and may even have a mental illness.
                How do you learn about something, a god, that does not exist. An agnostic pretends to know what properties a god would have without any evidence for any god. Making up an arbitrary definition does not save one from being irrational, it is irrational.
                Even mathematics that exists only in minds requires mathematical relationships for something to exist in the mind.
                The opinions of others about supernatural events are just opinions and most atheists have long ago given up on pretending that every belief by others need have time spent on checking out the belief. I have a somewhat friend, who believes that back in his drinking and drug days, he was at a lunch counter when two demons sat down next to him. He will not discus that belief of his. He more recently believed that when he fell on his face in his driveway with a heart attack, that god was giving him a chance to straighten out his life. Now apparently god must have not been happy with his progress and gave him 4th degree liver cancer. He does not want to discuss his beliefs. Am I to investigate the make believe demons and god that he keeps from seeing that they are figments of his imagination.
                Agnostics don't even have any evidence and somehow believe in a possibility with zero probability since no god has ever had any evidence for its existence given, just mysteries in some minds.
                Atheists do not regularly dismiss those people and events. They mostly do not want to waste time on an unlimited number of non-objective anecdotal opinions.

                A very clear article by Nathanial Branden in the April 1963 "The Objectivist Newsletter' deals with the rationality of agnosticism.
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                • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                  "One cannot test for something for which one has no evidence."

                  Uh, the entire purpose of testing is to uncover evidence which either proves or disproves one's hypothesis. One can not presuppose that no evidence can possibly exist, however, and claim an "objective" analysis. If one asserts that no evidence can possibly exist, one would have to have searched the entire universe and understood the entire universe such that one could know their search was thorough and complete. In doing so, one would effectively become exactly that which the atheist denies may exist. It's an argument untenable to the atheist's position either way.

                  "How do you learn about something, a god, that does not exist."

                  One must first abandon the preconception that a god can not exist. As pointed out above, such an assertion is pure bravado at best. Existence is not subject to one's will, desire, or preconception. Atoms existed even though they were not postulated until Bohr's model. Then we discovered that Bohr's model was incomplete because the electron shells weren't simply spherical. Then we discovered that the nucleus wasn't homogeneous, but consisted of protons and neutrons. Then we discovered that quarks underlay both protons and neutrons. Now it is postulated that strings underlay quarks. But in all of this, people postulated what could be and then went looking for it. The search for "god" is precisely the same way. You have to study out what could be and test for that.

                  Does that mean "listening to every opinion" out there? No. There are thousands of religions out there and I quite agree that the quantity is prohibitive to do an exhaustive study of each. So what you have to ask yourself is this: do I want to continue to exist after death and if so, to what end? That is the discussion of god: the state of one's being after death.
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                  • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                    The history of physics and its methods have nothing to do with the arbitrary assertions of religious mysticism. Nothing. Physics does not arbitrarily dream up fantasies in the name of "hypotheses" about which there is no evidence and proceed to look for "tests" of that for which there is no evidence. (And Blarman's attempts to describe different stages of physics are cartoon substitutes as he desperately attempts to invoke analogies to demand respect for his mysticism).

                    Someone "wanting" immortality says nothing about a supernatural "higher power" or that it "could be", only someone's fantasy. What "could be" is not arbitrary; what is possible is not whatever one feels like until the "entire universe" is impossibly "searched and understood" to show otherwise. He has the whole intellectual process backwards in a giant floating abstraction designed to keep his game going indefinitely, with no possibility of rational refusal to take him seriously in his open-ended fantasies based on feelings.

                    Even most theological debate is not obsessed with immortality the way Blarman is. Neurotic obsession is not a rational basis for desired "hypothesis".
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              • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                There is no "assumption" that his arbitrary assertions are opinions. Assertions made without evidence are opinions -- baseless opinions. People who "experience real events in their lives" claiming that "only the presence of a supernatural world can provide explanation" are irrational: Mystical appeals to the supernatural are not a logical explanation of anything. Explanation is conceptual integration of what is already known about reality with what is being explained, not mystic appeal to the incoherent assertions posturing as objective facts outside existence. That is why such mystics are dismissed as outside the realm of rational discussion.
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              • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                Blarman continues to misrepresent atheism as "premise that there is nothing". That is not true. There is no "premise that there is nothing". The logical principle is that arbitrary assertions of the existence of something require valid concepts and evidence of the existence asserted. Without that they are dismissed out of hand as cognitively worthless. Rejection of gibberish is not an assertion about the purported subject matter at all let alone a sweeping "premise" that "there is nothing" (which is the nihilistic opposite of the axiomatic concept of existence).

                HIs claim that "in order to learn if a god exists, one must actually learn about that god. And that in a nutshell is religion" is confirmation of his arbitrary approach. He arbitrarily assumes on feelings that there is something unspecified to "learn about".

                "Investigating" "properties" of an undefined entity with no evidence of existence "so as to determine what tests will be efficacious" is a circular floating abstraction that makes no sense at all. "And that in a nutshell" is his religion.
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          • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
            Rejecting arbitrary "hypotheses" is not a matter of "convenience" and does not require proof. The burden of proof is on he who makes the assertion, including an assertion of "possibility". "Anything" is not "potential evidence". He who has an "open mind" quickly has it filled with trash. We have active minds, open to rational ideas, not "open" to "anything". Rejecting arbitrary assertions of faith as cognitively not worthy of consideration is not "predisposed to reject potential evidence".
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            Posted by PeterSmith 7 months ago
            "Is there really no evidence or simply that there are some who seek to deny the existence of evidence because it is inconvenient? "
            Evidence of what? Inconvenient how and to who?
            You understand that religion can't have evidence because then it wouldn't be religion, right?

            "The disagreement is over what constitutes evidence or how that evidence is obtained."
            One might not believe in aliens because there is no evidence. That's not the issue with religion.
            Religion is arbitrary and self contradictory.
            As such you KNOW there's nothing there. No evidence is required. It's SELF-evident.
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            • Posted by  $  7 months ago
              "You understand that religion can't have evidence because then it wouldn't be religion, right?"

              You understand you are working on a false definition, right? Religion is a way of life according to a set of principles. If you want to disprove any given "religion", you must disprove its principles. The proof of a principle is in the exercise of that principle.

              "As such you KNOW there's nothing there. No evidence is required. It's SELF-evident."

              That you are ignorant of something does not mandate that I am as well. I also find it interesting that you are so willing to assert on your side of the argument that no evidence is required, yet demand that I produce evidence on mine. You don't find that argument even the least bit hypocritical? I do.

              If you choose to believe that there is no purpose to life and no existence after death, that is your choice. My firsthand experiences and knowledge tell me otherwise. My experiences are concrete evidence to me that confirm my belief - my hypothesis. But I do not ask anyone to rely on my knowledge. I simply encourage them to find out for themselves. Whether they choose to do so is up to them - as is whether or not they choose to ask for help.

              Why should I look for something - a higher power? Ask yourself these two questions: do I want to continue to exist (after death) and if so, in what state? Those are the answers religion holds which "science" can not - and never will be able to - answer.
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              • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                Religion is not a "way of life according to a set of principles". That does not characterize religion. Religion requires belief on faith in the supernatural. Trying to pass off religion as essentially adherence to "principle" is a vicious package deal. Understanding and living in accordance with objective principles is not an instance of religion; it is the opposite.

                Blarman's demand that rational people must "disprove" his arbitrary assertions are irrational and false. Contrary to Blarman, living in accordance with mystical dogma and ritual posing as "principles" does not make the dogma and rituals true. There is no requirement to "disprove" them in order to reject faith as cognitively worthless with no meaning and no logical claim to truth. Blarman demands that his faith be disproved before rejecting it, then claims it can't be because "proof of a principle is in the exercise of that principle", with his presumed "exercising" supposedly preventing their disproof.

                It's double talk demanding immunity from logical criticism. His discussion is outside the realm of logic. Rejecting his faith is not "ignorance", nor is it "hypocritical" to reject contradictions as impossible; the law of identity is axiomatic. No discussion is possible without it.

                Contrary to Blarman no one has said that "there is no purpose to life". See "The Objectivist Ethics" and Atlas Shrugged. Incoherent mysticism does not fill a supposed void with a principle for "purpose to life"; irrational individuals adopt mysticism as their subjective purpose.

                Blarman once posted here that he would go crazy if he couldn't believe in his own immortality, which is not an argument for anything other than a need for psychological counseling . Now he says that he "looks for a higher power" to answer his desperate quest to "continue to exist (after death)" and asks "if so, in what state?". Contrary to his claim that "those are the answers religion holds which 'science' [sic scare quotes] can not - and never will be able to - answer", raving mysticism answers nothing, and only reason, in particular science, can answer questions -- valid questions in terms of valid concepts about reality, not mysticism.

                Blarman's dramatic demeaning of science for not providing a neurotic satisfaction of immortality as he evangelizies his faith here is irrational and contrary to the purpose of the forum. His preaching and his presumptuous suggestion that others seek his "help" is inappropriate and obnoxious. This is a forum for Ayn Rand's ideas of reason and individualism not promotion of faith while denouncing, with Blarman's "help", reason and science as inadequate for human knowledge.
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              • -2
                Posted by PeterSmith 7 months ago
                "You understand you are working on a false definition, right?"
                I'm defining things just fine. You are playing word games to avoid conceding to the logical positions of those of us who are not using false definitions.

                "That you are ignorant of something does not mandate that I am as well."
                What am I ignorant of, given my statement?

                "If you choose to believe that there is no purpose to life and no existence after death, that is your choice."
                The first point in this sentence is a non-sequitur, the second one is a contradiction.

                "My experiences are concrete evidence to me that confirm my belief - my hypothesis."
                What experience of yours confirms what belief of yours?

                "Why should I look for something - a higher power?"
                You shouldn't. You shouldn't do anything arbitrary.

                "Ask yourself these two questions: do I want to continue to exist (after death) and if so, in what state?"
                There is no life after death, that's a contradiction. This is a not a question you need to ask yourself, you need to clean up your thinking.

                "Those are the answers religion holds which "science" can not - and never will be able to - answer."
                Religion has no answers and you're not asking any questions, you're making random, contradictory assertions.
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                • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                  "You are playing word games"

                  Always the excuse of someone who can't debunk the actual statement - resort to ad hominem.

                  "What am I ignorant of, given my statement?"

                  You claimed to know what I know, yet you turned right around and asked: "What experience of yours confirms what belief of yours?"

                  Now if you were asking that question with any sincerity whatsoever, I would be inclined to tell you. Since you aren't, I'm not going to cast my pearls. You've made it abundantly clear that your mind is made up. That's your choice. But since you aren't interested in an honest conversation either, I'm Ignoring you from this point out.
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                  • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                    Blarman's illogical floating abstractions, arbitrary assertions, and contradictions in his circular arguments trying to rationalize taking him seriously are in fact "word games". That is direct observation of what he writes in his posts, not "ad hominem".

                    Peter did not "claim to know" what Blarman "knows". He rejected Blarman's invalid reasoning and invalid concepts.

                    Blarman telling us he could "cast pearls" is another contradiction in terms, best taken as a joke.
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                    • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
                      Doesn't he steal the concept 'purpose' by not considering that purpose depends upon a self deciding on a course of action. That a purpose is a self made course of action and not something given to one by others or some feeling about a imagined god or by the impossible supernatural. The supernatural being outside of existence, the belief in which is totally irrational.
                      Is he actually interested in knowledge or is he one of the trolls who have ruined all the USENET groups dealing with Objectivism?
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                      • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                        Yes he steals the concept 'purpose'. A human moral purpose requires a self deciding on a course of action for some end. (But lower animals don't necessarily "decide" and there can be a human involuntary purpose to some life-supporting action like breathing or blood flow that serves a biological but not a moral "purpose", or function, serving life).

                        Blarman's claim of a "purpose" to human life beyond the life of the individual as a moral value in himself is a mystical teleology. It assumes an intrinsic value in the universe beyond human life and which every life serves. He steals the concepts 'value' and 'purpose'' depending on life of a biological organism for an intrinsic attribute of mankind as such -- as a metaphysical intrinsic (mystical) value. To the extent it is supposed to be moral purpose determined by a god it invokes Primacy of Consciousness along with the rest of his religion.

                        He steals more than 'purpose'; he steals the concepts of 'value', 'life', 'morality' and the whole universe. With that kind of grand larceny he's up for the epistemological Big House for a very long time.

                        Invoking such contradictory nonsense is not seeking knowledge. It is not grasping facts, which can't done without perception and valid concepts based on reality and used with consistency. It's fantasy in floating abstractions motivated by his feelings, acknowledged to be a phobia over mortality and inventing whatever he wishes to be his "hypothesis" to save his terrified soul.

                        I don't know that he was ever trolling usenet forums with his corruption. He may have come across Ayn Rand too recently for that.
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                      • Posted by  $  6 months, 3 weeks ago
                        If you want to know how I define Purpose, I'd invite you to read my book, because that is the topic and the title. I'm working with the publisher now.
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                        • Posted by lrshultis 6 months, 3 weeks ago
                          So you cannot define 'purpose'?
                          Sure is impossible without a published book or the manuscript or even parts of it being placed on the Internet. The only objective evidence is that you claim to have one that has not been published yet. I will not be agnostic about the existence of a book that may or may not exist. For the present I have no possibility of ever reading the non existent book, I have no reason to believe that your reference to it is no more than an arbitrary statement, though maybe a mental attempt to put something over on me.
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                          • -1
                            Posted by  $  6 months, 3 weeks ago
                            I was being entirely serious and not at all flippant or casual. After a year of work, the final draft is done and I am working with a published author to get it edited, sized, and all the rest (since the process is new to me). Has it been written? Yes. Does it cover Purpose? Yes - extensively. It also touches on basic economics and value derivation through consensual exchange. And when it becomes available, I plan on offering it through the Gulch Store (if possible).

                            I never try to "put one over on" other people regarding philosophy. I don't have anything to gain through deception and according to my personal code of conduct it is morally wrong of me to engage in any such. If you don't want to believe me, that's your choice. We can have fundamental philosophical disagreements, but when the matter becomes one of impugning the other's motives, ad hominem invective, etc., then that's when I leave them to their own devices because all possibility of a profitable exchange of ideas gives way to personal bigotry.
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                            • Posted by lrshultis 6 months, 3 weeks ago
                              So when it becomes available invite me then and not use a future reading as your definition of purpose. A definition is not composed of a book, but rather of a genus and the distinguishing relationships which is the differentia, a mathematical relationship to other existing members in that genus.
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                              • Posted by  $  6 months, 3 weeks ago
                                Why not simply take someone at their word in the first place instead of automatically assuming ulterior motives as you did? Why seek to denigrate someone simply because you disagree with them philosophically? Both are emotional and not rational responses. Casting aspersions at someone is the sign that conversation is over. Adieu.
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                  • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
                  • Posted by PeterSmith 7 months ago
                    "Always the excuse of someone who can't debunk the actual statement - resort to ad hominem."
                    Well, this would describe would you did in your previous post when you suggested I was using a, "false definition." Neither of us have engaged in ad hominem, but you ARE playing word games, as you well know.

                    Look, you seem to be simply dismissing the basic, self evident facts, that are being explained to you, engaging in arbitrary assertions and then making a lot of projections.

                    You can't do that and then claim others are not interested in "honest conversation."

                    You're just projecting.
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                    • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                      He is, but don't assume that he knows he is playing word games. Those characteristically employing mysticism and rationalism in their thinking often don't know the difference between objective thought and word games. Don't assume that they know what proper thinking is.
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        • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
          Most theism we encounter asserts contradictory notions of god related to some theology, which is why it is typically rejected in the form "does not exist". Yet it seems that many do not understand the explicit logic of rejecting contradictions or the arbitrary, even while sensing that something is wrong with both, at least implicitly. The lack of understanding leaves them susceptible to "agnosticism".

          The concept "agnosticism" as a supposedly middle way doesn't make much sense. Someone saying he is "agnostic" because he doesn't know for lack of evidence and therefore doesn't believe is a-theist, without belief in theism, i.e., atheist, as you described. On the other hand, someone who knows he has no evidence but grants a "possibility" and takes the arbitrary claims seriously is not being rational.

          You're right that a great deal of harm has been done promoting agnosticism as a logically coherent notion, let alone a 'third way'. But "strong" versus "weak" atheism generally means (as I have heard it used) rejecting contradictory notions of god as impossible versus rejecting believe in the arbitrary, not agnosticism.

          "Strong" versus "weak" is still not a good terminology because rejecting the arbitrary is just as epistemologically "strong" as rejecting contradictions. Taking the arbitrary cognitively worthless seriously already is a contradiction of reason, willing to entertain anything whatsoever on emotional grounds in the name of an "open mind". When a distinction in such "strong" versus "weak" is attempted, it opens the door to confusions over agnosticism. We either think in terms of non-contradictory identification (logic) or we don't.
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  • Posted by CaptainKirk 7 months ago
    So, whats the difference between Atheists and an Agnostic?

    Atheist: I would not believe in God, if I met him as I was dying, and he offered m salvation... Because that is just my mind playing tricks on me as I fade into nothingness.

    Agnostic: I will believe in God when I see him! [But will God Believe in YOU when you need him?]

    Religious: I accept God because I can't know everything, and the complexity and simplicity of nature makes that easier, and this will help me be a better person!

    Zealot: I will sacrifice ALL my pleasures today, so that I get an infinite return on that investment in the future, when I am with God. [Being Dead is apparently better than truly being Alive]

    ==
    Where I struggled as a child... Every Religion basically says "they are right, and the others are wrong and lead to damnation".
    Well then, YOUR PARENTS choose your damnation 99% of the time, because most people don't change.
    Furthermore, the MAJORITY of people are not of the same religion, so they are damned.
    What does it matter?

    Well... It's your journey, your soul, and your life. If it helps you be a better person, and support people who need it, then it is good.
    If it makes you a murderer, then I think we can live without it (and you, for that matter)
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    • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
      Basing an argument on premises of "if I met him as I was dying" is not rational; the arbitrary is outside the realm of logical consideration at all. We deal with phenomena as we discover them, whatever they are. Rational thought does not start with arbitrary fantasies about what we will or wish to discover.

      As a substitute for reason religion does not make people "better". There are elements of common-sense morality absorbed into some religious societies and thought of as part of "religion", and which are better than the murderers, but they aren't specific to religious origins in supernaturalism and faith. Religion does not make the finiteness of knowledge "easier"; the arbitrary corrupts knowledge and the method of attaining it.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 6 months, 4 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    Ironically, the following came to my e-mail attention today after your question:

    Osteoblastic Cell Stimulation by Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields

    New Rochelle, NY, March 27, 2019—Bone fracture healing can be augmented with the application of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs), but a consensus regarding idealized conditions is lacking. A new study characterizes the in vitro effects of these PEMFs on the crucial osteoblast precursor cells and seeks to determine the optimal conditions that will promote bone regeneration. The study is published in Tissue Engineering, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article free on the Tissue Engineering website until April 27, 2019.

    Swee-Hin Teoh, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, presents his work with colleagues in an article titled “Effects of Electromagnetic Field on Proliferation, Differentiation and Mineralization of MC3T3 Cells”. The authors applied a daily controlled dose of pulsed electromagnetic radiation in varying duration to MC3T3-E1 osteoblast precursor cells and monitored cell viability and metabolic activity. This analysis revealed that the PEMFs increased cell proliferation either with or without osteogenic media. Calcium deposition was not enhanced by the PEMF, but osteogenic gene expression was induced. The study demonstrates that PEMF parameters must be chosen carefully to produce the desired effects for bone regeneration.

    “This study confirms that pulsed electromagnetic field have indeed potential for application in bone regeneration, but the data emphasized also that a carefull selection of the PEMF parameters is required to induce a favorable effect,” says Tissue Engineering Methods Co-Editor-In-Chief Editor John A. Jansen, DDS, PhD, Professor and Head, Department of Biomaterials, Radboud University Medical Center.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 6 months, 4 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/...

    The magnetic fields affect the production of reactive oxygen species (i.e. free radicals) that are responsible for cellular destruction and, to a lesser extent, construction.

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/...

    https://www.fit.edu/faculty-profiles/...
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    • Posted by Lucky 6 months, 4 weeks ago
      Now, does that mean that 4G and 5G could be harmful?

      There is a possible mechanism, the power levels are very very low, so I think- no.
      But has the research been done?

      This thread is getting way off topic - a good thing too.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 6 months, 4 weeks ago
        The Earth's magnetic field is what your body normally sees anyway. A small electric field at the appropriate wavelengths could cause problems, particularly with regard to hearing; cell phone exposure is probably not enough to cause long term effects, but we won't know that for sure for years.
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    • Posted by ewv 6 months, 4 weeks ago
      You're in an impressive department.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 6 months, 4 weeks ago
        Thank you. There are many things that I took out of reading AS as an adult. One thing I could do something about was to do whatever I could to make Florida Tech into a university like The Patrick Henry University. It's not there yet and never will be ... because since I read AS, I haven't gone after money from The State Science Institute (i.e. NSF or NIH). In some ways that put me in a vulnerable position, but I made enough money from my past ventures that I can now fund my own research. Being at a university with a tenure system early in my career would have definitely been incompatible with me being able to avoid The State Science Institute path. Many of my colleagues think I'm nuts for doing it this way, but science and engineering requires the correct philosophy.
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        • Posted by ewv 6 months, 4 weeks ago
          In a mixed economy in which someone's chosen career is dominated by government he has no obligation to forego that chosen career (provided it is a legitimate career). But for the reasons government should not be dominating it it's not good that it does, and one has to live with that, so it's good that you found a way to avoid it.

          One of the reason I chose to not pursue an academic career was the typical university requirements for faculty to be politicians pursing grants, mostly government, to fund the university. Who wants to live like that?
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          • Posted by Lucky 6 months, 4 weeks ago
            Well I remember while in industry working on proposals to get government grants as the company was supposedly doing research.

            One of the parts of Richard Feynman's story I remember was how he refused to do the admin. - It was a wasteful diversion of his time, there were competent people who can do that.
            It would not be easy to take that stance and succeed.
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          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 6 months, 3 weeks ago
            Amazingly, many faculty at many universities like being "politicians pursuing grants". There are many who aspire to be Stadler.
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            • Posted by ewv 6 months, 3 weeks ago
              Stadler or Ferris or a combination of both? Stadler was 'non-political': He didn't want to be bothered with the politics, only have others provide him the means and state prestige for his work, lending his scientific prestige to whatever wanted to exploit it. Ferris was all overt political power-seeking and wielding of power with no real work to support.
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              • Posted by  $  jbrenner 6 months, 3 weeks ago
                There are many who are like Stadler because that is the way the game is played. There are some who are like Ferris, too, with a high concentration of Ferrises in the climate change and alternate energy areas. Those who have legitimate alternate energy technologies who do not want the graft are not widely known. The prestige is with "earning" grants and publishing papers, rather than with earning contracts, publishing patents and making usable products.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 7 months ago
    Agnoticism does not make much sense. The tenet that something may exist, but no one can know. If you know enough about it to say it may possibly exist, don't say you don't know it.
    Saying you are wiser than another because you don't claim to know anything is contemptible. At least a person who doesn't know much still knows what he knows.
    I don't like to define myself as an atheist, because that doesn't say what I believe, only what I do not believe. I would rather be characterized by what I do believe (Objectivism) rather than by what I don't believe.
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  • Posted by Lucky 7 months ago
    Award winning physicist Marcelo Gleiser, physics and astronomy professor

    The award is the Templeton Prize, $1.5 million. This prize is to promote religion.
    Other winners include theologian Desmond Tutu, better described as marxist racist.

    If the quotes are correct, then Gleiser is ignorant of the role of the scientific method over past centuries in showing that nature can be understood rather than repeating myth and superstition.

    As for what Socrates said and meant, it is unlikely that he defended willful ignorance. He was attacking the support of current fads by those who pretend to know.
    Socrates was defending intellectual honesty, not ignorance. This view accords with his reputation as far as it is known as he refused to support the religious fads of his time.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months ago
      So what do you say to his assertion "Atheism is a belief in non-belief. So you categorically deny something you have no evidence against."

      Or his observation "Science can give answers to certain questions, up to a point. This has been known for a very long time in philosophy, it's called the problem of the first cause: we get stuck."
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      • Posted by Lucky 7 months ago
        What do I think of the assertion:
        "Atheism is a belief in non-belief. So you categorically deny something you have no evidence against."
        I will sit this one out.

        But, I will mention to blarman, who reads Vonnegut, that I have just finished The Sirens of Titan. blarman may or may not like the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent which is good for a laugh. I mention the book because the ending is so sentimental and sad. Vonnegut uses his plain and raw language to tell a deeply moving story, I think the word is pathos.
        It reminds me of the question above, what would you do if you met him just before dying.
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        • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
          Atheism does not mean what he claimed it does. It properly rejects theism as arbitrary, not as a premise to deny in advance with a groundless "belief" in "non-belief".

          Atheism is not a belief or commitment to anything, it refers to a rejection of something in particular -- theism, not what one does accept as true. It includes those who philosophically accept all kinds of different positions, not all of which are rational, and some may even be atheists for the wrong reasons.
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        • Posted by  $  7 months ago
          Yes, the word is pathos, meaning a deep or moving feeling. Thanks for the recommendation! I think it is healthy to be able to laugh at one's self from time to time. Laughter is good medicine!
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      • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
        This has already been answered several times in detail, and several times before that on previous threads. Blarman ignores it. He misrepresents the concept of atheism and the reasons for it. There is no "first cause" "problem". Theological "problems" are not the province of physics and not relevant to any rational thought. Trying, in particular, to account for a cause of existence from 'outside' existence is a self-contradiction. Science is not "stuck" over such "problems"; it ignores them as meaningless.
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  • Posted by ewv 7 months ago in reply to this comment.
    Nope. It's deadly seeeeerious. Quantum Nephlimphlams did it all from a higher higher reality. You can't get any more serious than that. Unless it's higher higher higher. Someone on the internet said so.
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    • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
      LMAO!...You should go on Saturday Night Live!...at least the show would be funny then.
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      • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
        Not worth it. The royalties would all go to Carl. It's his material.
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        • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
          You can have them...Royalties on The Fight for Conscious Human Life are still doing fine.
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          • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
            The zombies are paying you off? Throw in a big enough kickback from that and maybe we can talk.
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            • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
              I generally, have been humbled by the professional people that have actually read my book, shocked even, (poorly written as I observe now). It has spurred me to take writing more seriously, work on being a better writer. It wasn't something I ever thought I'd do.

              So...no, they are certainly not zombies, they, (as a rule) are a lot smarter than I and a few that are involved in the same area of work as I. They are teachers and professors that are involved in quantum physics, biology, archeology, history, etc.

              From them I get Constructive encouragement, mentorship and a view of how all the sciences are evolving from new information.

              But you...could easily get on SNL and make the show funny again without my help or royalty bribes...
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              • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                You have previously said that your fight for consciousness is with those (zombies) who you insist are unconscious humans. Now you say they are smarter than you. This is not good. If said zombie mentors are the ones selling you flattery along with advice on how science is evolving, as presented here, then you need a new set of unconscious zombies who don't think and talk so much.

                You could try to take the whole team, especially the current unconscious ones, on SNL to make a killing, but would have better luck getting attention from another ebook vanity press that charges extra for flattery while training you to work your way up in a combination of Amway and Scientology. Publishing a "book" under a pseudotytle so even Amazon can't find it was a great strategy to keep it inside the invitation-only Secret League of The Nothink Society. https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... http://neotrends.com/

                You might even get another paid "invitation" from Mark Hamilton after you're through trying to profit off the offers of the more sophisticated Nigerian spammers. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/...

                Doesn't seem there are any kickbacks to be had from this delusion so I think I'll pass. Hamilton and the Quantum Nephlimphlams Quartet are offering a better deal selling invitations to flattery. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/news/...
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                • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
                  You know not of what you speak. Now you denigrate the likes of Dr Robitaille, most notable among my readership.
                  You really should read the Neothink Manuscripts, they are eye opening; after all, it was Mark Hamilton that introduced me to the likes of Ayn Rand and Julian Jaynes others. (however, I cannot endorse his marketing techniques of the last few years...his readership has topped out at 30mil plus).

                  Oh, and Professor Peterson will be accounting for the works of Jaynes in his studies of the Old Testament at my suggestion...he will be reading my book as well.

                  I will give you credit for alerting me about Amazon...seems there is an error in their listing of the ISBN#.
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                  • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                    This Robitaille? https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pierre-...

                    "In 2000, he was asked to step down from his position as director (though he remains a professor) when he began to promote theories that were outside his actual realm of expertise, specifically related to non-mainstream beliefs in the areas of astronomy and physics: he maintains that satellite measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation, believed by most astronomers to be an afterglow of the Big Bang, are actually observations of a glow from Earth's oceans.[2]

                    "He also maintains that the Sun is not a gaseous plasma, but is in fact made of liquid metallic hydrogen. None of his ideas have been accepted by any reputable physics publication.

                    "Robitaille has been presented as a physicist, cosmologist and even an astrophysicist, though anyone who has gained actual credentials in these fields would beg to differ. Criticism of his crank ideas range from accusations of cherry picking evidence to a failure to understand even rudimentary thermodynamics.

                    "In 2002, Robitaille and his wife paid for a full page ad in the Sunday New York Times,[3] detailing his microwave and Sun hypotheses. Mainstream astronomers reviewed and dismissed Robitaille's claims as 'untenable' and 'completely wrong'.[4]...

                    "He has since continued to spam non-crank physicists with his ideas, particularly one email run in 2009 widespread enough for recipients to discuss it amongst themselves.[6] His work has also been latched onto for support from the nuttier global warming denialists.[7] He is also admired by electric universe advocates: he spoke at the 2014 Electric Universe Conference on his microwave and Sun theories.[8]"
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                    • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 6 months, 4 weeks ago
                      The tides are advancing faster than you can deny them...old school out, new school in...just as it should be.
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                      • Posted by ewv 6 months, 4 weeks ago
                        Kooks demanding attention are not the tide of science. You are not any kind of "school". You have no background in science and do not understand it. You have latched onto something promoted on the internet and follow it as the "wisdom" of a guru with no understanding. Anyone can broadcast anything on the internet. And they do. Please stop these repetitive promotions of nonsense. It is not science. It does not belong on this forum.
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                  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
                    Post Script...I don't know why I should bother, but here, I'll do you a favor...Listen to this one, (just one of many examples and the latest in this series) and you will get an idea of where science is heading and from which I express some of my views.
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtT_k...

                    And like always, 100 years from now we will be revising this too, I am sure.
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                    • Posted by lrshultis 6 months, 3 weeks ago
                      You cannot be serious to claim that the video has anything to do with science. Vogt seems to not understand mathematics or physics. He seems to believe that the Fourier series for a square wave will explain everything about spectra. Why use a Fourier series for a square wave when spectral lines are not necessarily equally spaced. One does not place an equals sign between unequal quantities as he does in his little chart. Pure numerology.
                      His belief that somehow electrons in an atom can only jump to a single higher energy state thus producing no more than the number of electrons spectral lines is a miss understanding of the cause of spectra. Depending upon the absorbed energy of photons, there is a vary large number of spectral lines detectable. In fact, there can be a near continuous number of spectral lines as in black body radiation.
                      Vogt does not under stand the physics of angular momentum and inertia. To stop the Earth's rotation would require a momentum transfer to the Earth equal to the angular momentum of the rotation of the Earth. That is completely impossible from any electromagnetic forces, especially any internally generated forces. Momentum can only be changed by an external momentum. Any changes in rotation rate, wobble, etc. are due to the redistribution of matter, but does not decrease the total angular momentum. Outside forces such as the gravitational forces from the moon, planets, and the Sun do transfer momentum to the angular momentum of the Earth and can slightly change the rotation rate of the Earth. The idea that the magnetic poles can change with a shift in the crust of the Earth is pure nonsense. just the inertia differences between the poles and equator would stop any such shift of crust in a short period of time.
                      As for gravitation being an electromagnetic phenomenon, with respect to being a central force, is a surface charge on a sphere force, 4PIradius of the sphere, while gravitational force is a densitymass central force, 4/3PI*radius^2. The fact that electromagnetism is on the order 10^40 times as strong as gravitation force, it is only great enough to overcome gravitation for relatively small masses. Try to pick up a paperclip with a magnet on, say, a white dwarf or a neutron star.
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                    • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                      Please stop promoting this nonsense here. It is not science. You have no understanding of science. You have latched onto some nuts on the internet and believed them with no understanding. It does not belong here.
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                      • Posted by lrshultis 6 months, 3 weeks ago
                        I could not believe that he would give that video as to where science is headed. Such nonsense is far from physical laws, that it should not be taken as any kind of science.
                        I meet many people who would like to say the science is whatever scientists say it is. They do not want to believe that discovering scientific knowledge is not just to believe what some fancy nonsense says. They never discovered the scientific method for obtaining physical knowledge and never discovered logical thinking for judging what is real.
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                        • Posted by ewv 6 months, 3 weeks ago
                          But they do know how to follow internet gurus, and you have already been 'downvoted' (on an Ayn Rand forum, no less) for being an infidel.

                          But fear not. Voght says his lecture series is based on his books. https://www.amazon.com/Theory-Multidi... In these learned tombs you will find all your questions answered.

                          Who needs physics and the anti-concept of non-conservation of angular momeentum to predict that the earth's rotation stops and reverses? Vogt says he "figured it out" from his "information theory of existence".

                          This deep theory has an impeccable pedigree. He thinks the "Hebrew alphabet" proves there was a "people that was literally tens of millions of years more advanced than us. Abraham and Moses who pulled the two plates out merely found them in, deep in the cave."

                          "This alphabet is the first physical evidence we have that a very highly advanced civilization once lived on Earth. Creation of the Hebrew Alphabet, will reveal what the Torah really is and by doing so, the surface story disappears entirely. The only part of the surface story that has importance is the Genesis story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden story told us who the people were who put the technology into the family burial cave."

                          In describing his own book he says, "The author proves that there is a very high probability the next polar reversal will happen between September and December 2046. He found the exact date encoded in the Torah." (So now you know, too.)

                          Now do you understand? This is even better than besmirching the reputation of Fourier series.

                          This is how he describes his "philosophy of science":

                          "Everything starts with an idea -- even the Universe", he tells us. "The currently accepted teaching is that matter is the dominant thing in the Universe, and everything could be explained by understanding the relationship between matter and energy.

                          "The only alternative explanation is that the Universe is the product of information [information about what?]. The information creates the matter world we live in, and it is transmitted from another time-space relationship, into our time and space to create our reality."

                          "The Theory of Multidimensional Reality is the world's first purely information theory of existence."

                          "Only after the last eight years have some physicists come to the conclusion that our reality is a hologram".

                          That indubitably demonstrates how profoundly scientific he is.
                          What could be more appropriate to Blarman's religious thread promoting "agnosticism" as respectable?

                          But there is more to his depth. Here is some more from how he describes his own books:

                          "God's Day of Judgment; The Real Cause of Global Warming is a totally unique book. It provides the scientific reason for the polar reversals and ice ages. It also answers the age-old religious question: What is God's Day of Judgment and when will it happen? Douglas Vogt offers 60 major scientific discoveries or reinterpretations and 60 major Biblical discoveries."

                          "Why was the Universe created? If God created the Universe than who created God? And what is man's purpose in the Universe? The answers to these and other difficult questions are in this book."

                          Among his profound investigations he includes, "We do not know why the natural log e exists in our Universe."

                          Answer that one from Metaphysics and you have it all.

                          Yep, Carl is really onto something here. It's the perfect intellectual vortex for the intransigently ignorant. But once again, how does he decide which of these loons to believe and which to ignore? And why does anyone on this forum take his daily regurgitation of embarrassing tripe and nonsense seriously?

                          Is he more gullible in following this Voght loon, Nephlimphlams, the "Elecrtric Universe", and his theory of unconscious zombies roaming the earth -- or in sending money to "motivational speaker" Mark Hamilton in exchange for his flattery and "manuscripts" after being "invited" to join his NeoNoThink "Society" operated as a Nigerian spam racket? Nigerians, too, are profound. Nigerian tides "are advancing faster than you can deny them...old school out, new school in". It's the latest in "science".
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                  • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                    If the "motivational speaker" Hamilton and his "manuscripts" for the NeoNoThink "Society" "introduced" him to "the likes of Ayn Rand" then it is no surprise why he shows so little understanding of and interest in Ayn Rand and the purpose of this forum.

                    How does he decide which internet crackpots to follow in the name of "science"? He can believe whatever he wants, but this forum is not a place to promote crank internet cult "theories" and his 70 page self-published "ebook" rambling with the same nonsense he posts here.

                    But we know he's not responsible. His Nephlimphlams caused it.
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  • Posted by PeterSmith 7 months, 1 week ago
    Objectivism states that god does not exist, because the idea of the supernatural violates the law of identity.
    In other words, the fact that god doesn't exist is self evident.
    That's all there is to it.
    To believe in god, is to reject reason from the very base of the hierarchy of knowledge, so it will corrupt everything that follows.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months ago
      So what do you say to this physicist who states "Atheism is inconsistent with the scientific method. Atheism is a belief in non-belief. So you categorically deny something you have no evidence against."

      Further "Science can give answers to certain questions, up to a point. This has been known for a very long time in philosophy, it's called the problem of the first cause: we get stuck."

      I'm also wondering where you get the notion that "the idea of the supernatural violates the law of identity".
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 months ago
        I would say that the concept of an unknowable fact (which is what supernatural belief is) is foreign to science. A scientist will readily admit limits to what is known, but will maintain that unexplainable effects should lead to a knowable cause that can be observed or measured. The supernatural falls outside of the envelope of science until evidence leads to a recognition of its reality.

        Ironically, some elements of what is called science have supernatural elements: things can are posited but unobserved and unmeasured, but still believed to exist. Dark matter and dark energy are among those essentially supernatural elements, as no evidence has been presented to support the existence of these mathematical constructs.
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        • Posted by  $  7 months ago
          "I would say that the concept of an unknowable fact (which is what supernatural belief is) is foreign to science."

          I agree that claiming that something is "unknowable" is a non-starter. That being said, sometimes one must be open to other methods of testing in order to confirm the hypothesis. That commonly becomes the point of contention between deists and atheists: which methods are "acceptable" for use in the scientific method.
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          • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
            Faith and feelings are not forms of evidence. There is no scientific debate about that.
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            • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 months ago
              There are many as yet unexplained human senses. The recent discovery that humans can detect the Earth's magnetic field was unexpected. There may be connections to elements of the universe about us that we aren't consciously aware of. Whether some of our "feelings" are in fact information that we decipher incorrectly as divine force (or maybe not incorrectly?), or are nothing more than an emotional reaction remains unknown. Science is about discovery, and we are discovering that we really don't know as much about ourselves as we thought.
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              • Posted by  $  jbrenner 7 months ago
                The discovery that humans can detect the Earth's magnetic field was not unexpected to me. Think of how birds migrate to the exact same spots over thousands of miles. We can feel the force, but it is not a mystical entity.
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              • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                There are five senses and no evidence of a 'sixth sense' warranting faith. There is no evidence of "divine force". Scientific discovery does not include mysticism.
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                • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 months ago
                  Science confirms a "sixth sense" if you consider magnetic field detection as that previously undiscovered ability. I don't think that any of the standard accepted senses have the ability to detect magnetic fields, unless you can propose how.
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                  • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                    There are five sense organs, but physical affects throughout the body from all kinds of electromagnetic radiation. It's not a means of sensing "divine force" or anything supernatural, somehow beyond the five senses through which we perceive reality as the source of knowledge. The notion of a "sixth sense" has traditionally meant the religionists' feelings claimed to have a source of revelation.
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                    • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months ago
                      New scientific study show humans have a sixth sense.
                      https://www.sciencenews.org/article/p...
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                      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 7 months ago
                        ewv's comment regarding your reference to human's sixth sense is correct about the response to the Earth's magnetic field being a physical effect. The best analogy to this effect is how birds know where to migrate to over thousands of miles of distance. My daughter worked last summer with one of the other professors in my department on how we can exploit this response to magnetic fields to do better tissue engineering, particularly with regard to nerves.
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                        • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                          Has it been demonstrated that they follow magnetic fields and not prevailing wind currents (or both)? It would be interesting to see if they veer off course in an artificial field.

                          Is tissue engineering trying to make artificial nerves sensitive to the external fields?
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                      • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                        There is no identifiable sixth sense organ, only a physical affect that can be discriminated by the brain. But it is physical, not something mysterious like the claimed use of a divining rod or worse.
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                    • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
                      The only other means of sensing reality is with human made instrumentation which are then sensed by the five senses. From time to time a sense will be found to have some other thing that it senses which had not be recognized before, such a the sense of taste to which umami, "a category of taste in food (besides sweet, sour, salt, and bitter), corresponding to the flavor of glutamates, especially monosodium glutamate" is fairly well recognized. But being agnostic about senses is not rational and will change should actual new means of sensing be discovered just as a new fifth force has not been found and cannot be accepted until testable evidence is discovered.
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        • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
          There is a plague of mathematical rationalism in some realms of physics, which is not good, but there is no requirement for direct sensory perception of every phenomenon of science -- which is the terrible philosophy of Positivism. The Positivists influenced by Hume and Kant said there is no such thing as an electron, only "ammeter readings", Mach said that there are no atoms, etc.

          Theoretical entities such as electromagnetic waves, atoms, and subatomic particles are known by inference through their effects we can observe and measure. They are not "supernatural". All concepts (in a hierarchy of abstractions) are ultimately based on sense perception, but we cannot directly perceive every kind of entity that exists. Such abstract concepts of theoretical entities not directly perceived are not supernaturalism.
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          • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 months ago
            Dark matter and dark energy fall outside of the normal realm of theoretical physics in that they seem to be nothing more than gigantic "fudge factors" to explain a huge discrepancy between our observed and measured universe, and what our mathematical constructs tell us. There is more evidence of the often scoffed at zero point energy (Casimir Effect) than of either dark matter or dark energy. So far, experiments aimed at better identifying and observing dark matter or dark energy have failed impressively. Until better explanation, I consider the "darks" to be superstition growing from a refusal to consider that our whole mathematical physics construct may be very wrong.
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            • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
              If not in the normal realm of theoretical physics, then what has to be revised? It is the evidence which shows that there is more gravitational field effect from very large objects such as galaxies which do not fit the amount of visible matter observed. In this case, Until some physical evidence is seen, the method is to theorize with what has been seen, trying other mathematical relations to describe what is known. There is only individual a and groups of physicists doing there best to understand what is going on, There is no conspiracy keeping then from passing over obviously wrong hypotheses and theories. One thing that might be wrong is to assume that mathematical continuity, applied to space-time relations, will work in describing nature which might be discrete in the very small, but there is no other way but to have infinitesimals in mathematical analysis. Of course other relationships as groups, rings, and fields along with, as Penrose tries, twisters and other somewhat strange mathematics. The methods of electric gravity, etc. from the electric universe people is far worse than trying to investigate some kinds of unseen matter or undiscovered energy relationships from what is already well known. One mystery about gravitation is the lack of aberration as though it has speed much greater than the speed of light. But there is evidence that it travels at the speed of light.
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            • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
              Physics isn't wrong; new discoveries require new concepts and explanations to expand the scope of what is known in physics. That does not make previous knowledge wrong. Unlike in religion, there are at least real phenomena in outer space that need to be explained, but rationalism with mathematical "constructs" isn't a substitute.
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              • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                In reference to the clowns who 'downvoted' this, evidently believing physics is "wrong": Science consists of expanding knowledge, pertaining to what is known to have been discovered. It is not a succession of exploded fallacies, each claiming omniscience. It consists of objective concepts and principles understood in context, not discoveries of alleged intrinsic ideas, which is mysticism.
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        • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
          They are not mathematical constructs. Physical laws cannot be violated. Unless the laws of gravity have been revised, some have tried to revise them without success, observations show that there must be other not seen matter that exists but not visible and other energy sources to have jerked the acceleration of the observed expansion of the Universe. Subsets of mathematics are used to describe the possible properties of those existents.
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          • Posted by  $  7 months ago
            The other possibility raised (and I think someone else posted here in the forum about it) is that the initial calculation of the mass of the universe was wildly wrong. If I recall correctly, a new theorem was presented which revised the calculation, lowered the resulting mass, and eliminated the need for "dark matter" entirely.
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            • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months ago
              The electric universe theory does not need dark matter or dark energy. See project thunderbolt.
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              • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
                It does not stand up to many physical laws.
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                • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months ago
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                  • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
                    So it comes down to whether the mass distributions in the Birkeland Currents is great enough to make the gravitational field of the galaxy able to rotate at a rate observed from observation of the mass of the visible stars. Gravitation is a mass centered phenomenon and not charge or magnetic field centered. If it were not just mass centered it would be measurable in the solar system in the orbits of the planets which agree with General Relativity. The Sun is a huge ball of plasma with strong magnetic fields which do not change its mass. The Birkleland Currents supposedly causing the aurora do not cause a change in mass of either the Sun or the Earth.
                    The video seems to imply that the Birkeland Currents between galaxies cause the structure of the Universe's matter rather than the Universe's Matter causing the structure of the Birkeland Currents. Matter is primary, Birkeland Currents secondary.
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            • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
              The mas of the Universe is difficult to determine since it is about 165 billion light years across and half of it cannot even be detected by gravitational effects due to the finite speed of light and that of gravitational fields. As for the matter not being observed, it must be inferred from the expansion of the Universe from a big bang kind of expansion. Now religious persons get around that by their desire to have absolute knowledge apparently given though faith. Science has no such absolute as it proceeds by trying to get better and better measurements of objective reality with somewhat a questioning about how valid the measurements are. It is somewhat an asymptotic approach toward physical truth. If there is anything that can be said about unknowable it is that the undetectable part of the universe is only knowable through inference from known physical laws.
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              • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                "As for the matter not being observed, it must be inferred from the expansion of the Universe from a big bang kind of expansion."

                If it is matter, it has a gravitational pull on other matter as described by Newton's law of gravity. It can't "hide" from other matter. I would also point out that if one wants to postulate (via inference), one must then take the step of testing and confirmation before any conclusion is justified.

                "Now religious persons get around that by their desire to have absolute knowledge apparently given though faith."

                I think you have a different kind of knowledge in mind there. Religions (excluding scientology) typically spend more time worrying about their view of existence after death than the things of this life. They tend to focus on morals and principles which have to do with human behavior in the physical world rather than the physical world itself. That's why I don't believe the two (science and religion) must necessarily be portrayed as combatants: their realms of application aren't the same.

                "...the undetectable part of the universe is only knowable through inference from known physical laws."

                Inference is useful as a tool, but we would never have developed the theories of modern life by constraining ourselves to that which was already known. The scientific method is not about what is known, but about what is unknown and how we may detect and interact with it. One of the key things in my mind which separates the search for the unknown in science vs the search for the unknown in religion is the subject matter itself: self-willed beings. If we adhere to the principle of non-coercion, we are entirely dependent on any kind of conversation with a being from the unseen world occurring according to that being's ability, will, and pleasure rather than our own. That's a very different kind of test to construct.
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                • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                  Does Blarman know anything about the subject of dark matter? Does he know the difference between detection by gravitational effect versus light that does not reach us? Why does he think it's called "dark"?

                  We don't need him to pronounce "I would also point out" the need for "testing and confirmation". But he doesn't understand inference either. Inference of theoretical entities not directly perceivable requires much more than arbitrary hypothesis about the "unknown" and here now "test".

                  Advance of scientific knowledge starts what is, not subjective imagination. It requires discovery of phenomena not yet explained, indirect measurement detecting new effects and their relations, a hierarchy of rational concepts based on what is perceivable, integration of related phenomena, and identification of causal factors.

                  There is no understanding in staring at a "test" with no rational concepts and relations explaining it, which requires explaining in terms of what is already known, not fantasies about higher powers from other worlds.

                  Introducing "coercion" from unknown "self-willed beings" from "unseen worlds" for a "different kind of test" for his mysticism is all nonsense and has nothing to do with scientific thought.

                  And then Captain Obvious instructs us that "we would never have developed the theories of modern life by constraining ourselves to that which was already known". Leaving aside that the Blarman religious mentality is not part of that "we", what does he think inference of new, previously unknown theoretical entities means if not something new?

                  Growth in science is inductive, based on new ways of conceptualizing observed fact. It is not arbitrary "hypotheses" required out of fear of mortality, followed by desperately searching for "tests" of the inexplicable and demands to take all that seriously.
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                • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
                  If the velocity of light and gravity are finite and measured at c, then because the Universe since the Big Bang is so large from its expansion rate that light and gravity cannot have affects farther than the 13.8 billion light years age of the Universe while the Universe is on the order of 165 billion light years across. The inference is from measured, i.e., observational data and not just an arbitrary guess.
                  All science stems from hypothesis based on known, i.e., measured data else how does one even produce an hypothesis? Do you make hypothesis just out of arbitrary thoughts?
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                  • Posted by  $  6 months, 3 weeks ago
                    There are some postulates which argue that the speed of light is not a constant and has actually been decreasing. If that is true, it undermines much of what people "understand" about the Big Bang theory. All we have are momentary measurements and assumptions to deal with in a field of study still very new. Any inference must still be validated by concrete testing.

                    "Do you make hypothesis just out of arbitrary thoughts?"

                    What is an "arbitrary" thought? If the thought did not originate from within your own conscious processes, then from where - or whom? If it did originate within your thought processes, it could not have been arbitrary, but the results of other thoughts. I would caution against trivializing any thought because that is how many people rationalize away the evidence right in front of them.
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                    • Posted by lrshultis 6 months, 3 weeks ago
                      Science, as a process, does not postulate unless some evidence exists to do so, i.e., evidence from which an hypothesis can be formed. Just guessing that something is unknown and that unknown is explainable by some arbitrary hypothesis is not rational.
                      'an arbitrary thought' means that the thought has not been logically formatted from evidence or already known to be true knowledge. An human brain is quite capable of producing any kind of nonsense thoughts automatically such as in dreams where the dream has no relation to objective reality. An agnostic has an arbitrary thought that some thing, a god, might exist without any evidence from objective reality. The brain has an extremely complex identity which can and does sometimes produce thoughts which are irrational due to not consciously applying a string of logical conscious arguments.
                      I just had a thought: you are lying in the road waiting to commit suicide. I posit that that is not an
                      arbitrary thought due to my brain being perfectly unable to have a none rational thought. Same goes for any agnostic posits.
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                      • Posted by  $  6 months, 3 weeks ago
                        "Science, as a process, does not postulate unless some evidence exists to do so, i.e.,"

                        To me, evidence abounds pointing to the presence of something more than random chance. Life itself - especially human life - is far too complex for it to be an accident even once - let alone in billions of separate species. The construction of this solar system and planet have so many interweaved variables that if one relies completely on chance one is taking a leap of faith so astronomically improbable that it dwarfs the number of atoms in the universe (assuming the calculation is accurate of course). I can find evidence to support a search in just about everything I look at. The question is whether or not someone else is willing to do the same.

                        I didn't really catch much of the rest of your post. I wasn't sure if it was just an arbitrary thought or a thought experiment that I failed to follow.
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                        • Posted by lrshultis 6 months, 3 weeks ago
                          So the big Consciousness with no existing stuff had a thought and magically matter and radiation came into the existence that the big C had thought up?
                          Matter and radiation have identities and act in accord with those identities. Life requires carbon with its bonding properties. It and other elements which compose life do not act randomly. They act with respect their identities which might be considered complex at the quantum level.
                          Complexity is how hard it is to describe the degree of randomness in some context.
                          Life is a process of decreasing the entropy of certain systems, living systems. It requires energy from outside of it to do that decrease. Don't think that I view entropy as any more than a relationship about matter nor as some kind of controlling consciousness.
                          To believe that something somehow produced all the matter and radiation is to have a belief without any evidence whatsoever. It is the belief of those who knock on my door and wave their hand at what exists as a proof that god exists.

                          As for the last part of my post, I was just showing how thoughts can be arbitrary in that I had random idea pass into consciousness with absolutely no evidence to back it up. Of course thoughts originate in one's brain but may or may not be arbitrary about objective reality. Of course my comment was created as an arbitrary comment with no reasoning behind it other than to make a sentence with no real context other than that of showing that thoughts need not relate to objective reality. That one can just pretend that some reality exists where isolated consciousnesses can exist, being conscious of nothing or just dream of nothing.
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                          • Posted by  $  6 months, 3 weeks ago
                            You said you were looking for evidence upon which to build a postulate. I gave you some. If you choose to ignore it because of your own preconceptions and prejudices that is your choice. The point of this conversation was to see how truly agnostic and open to other ideas self-described atheists really are. I am disappointed, but not really surprised.

                            Similarly, if you choose to rationalize away every suggestion from other people which you don't like and call it "arbitrary" because it doesn't fit with your biases, that is also your choice but it again is a far cry from being agnostic. Adieu.
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                • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                  Blarman says "I think you have a different kind of knowledge in mind there". No, not a "different kind" of knowledge, just knowledge as opposed to the fantasy of faith, which is not knowledge.

                  It is true that religionists "tend to focus on morals and principles which have to do with human behavior in the physical world rather than the physical world itself". They reject principles for understanding and living successfully on earth, with the purpose of their morality -- especially in Christianity -- being to achieve salvation in another world, a fantasized world first conjured in the minds of mystics.

                  It is true that "their realms of application aren't the same" between science and religion. One pursues life on earth and the other doesn't, sacrificing life on earth for the supernatural.

                  Science and a rational ethics are not disjoint; science practices the virtues of rationality and productivity; ethics requires pursuit of science. To "spend more time worrying about their view of existence after death than the things of this life" is "necessarily combative" with science: The conflicting "realms of application" don't make them compatible; the conflict substitutes the supernatural for rational understanding in life on earth.

                  Hence the bizarre antics of Creationists combating science as they try to rationalize a relation between their supernatural and a subordinate existence -- in the name of the science they oppose as they desperately plead and demand to be accepted by it.

                  Also like Blarman, Creationists arbitrarily concoct "hypotheses" from religious faith, then rationalize "tests" in pretend science. That is the opposite of science. But there is nothing new in their making reason a handmaiden to faith, which certainly is necessarily "combative" against science and always has been throughout the history of religion.
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                  • Posted by LibertyBelle 7 months ago
                    Sometimes people assume a sort of supernatural realm, in which the known laws of nature do not apply; "to those who understand, no explanation is necessary; to those who do not, no explanation is possible." They seem to claim that what they are saying does not have to be comprehensible here,on earth, in the physical world. But they use the means of the physical world to convey their beliefs; they use their tongues, the eardrums of those who hear them, paper or parchment, writing implements, hand signals, etc. to say what they are going to say; yet they deny the validity of these physical mediums.
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                    • Posted by  $  6 months, 3 weeks ago
                      Others merely assign false names and descriptions to that which they do not want to believe. They create straw men out of false definitions, pronounce them to be false, then spend their time in self-congratulation. There are those of all stripes, creeds, and affiliations who do this, deceiving themselves and then seeking validity for their deception through the approbation of others.

                      I do not believe there is a "supernatural" realm - only portions of reality which we do not at the present time have instruments which can uncover such. I don't believe there are any extra-realistic laws - just principles which many do not understand. The real question is whether or not one is seeking for the truth even if it is difficult to accept given ones' preconditions or if one is comfortable with what one has.
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          • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 months ago
            You respond with the knee jerk reaction of a mathematician: when the numbers from your calculations don't work, try to find an as yet unmeasured "constant" to make them work, rather than accept the possibility that something in your math isn't right.

            Prior to Einstein, scientists taught Newtonian physics would scoff at what his discoveries predicted. "Physical laws cannot be violated?" Who says we really understand the forces that drive the universe? The "darks" are a possible explanation for what makes the universe behave contrary to our accepted constructs, but fixating on a single solution may be getting in the way of a more open search for multiple possibilities, which is not very scientific.
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            • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
              "Knee jerk reaction" adjusting "constants" does not characterize mathematicians.

              There is rarely something not right "in the math". "The math" is how physical laws are formulated with how quantities are related and solved for. New phenomena require new mathematical formulations of new laws, not correcting erroneous mathematics. Discovery of new physics can be aided by looking mathematically at observed discrepancies and looking for new kinds of entities that may account for it. The discovery of the planet Neptune is a simpler example of what lrshultis is talking about. Other new physics requires more fundamental additions.

              Scientists are still taught Newtonian physics because it is correct. It doesn't preclude the later discoveries expanding on it.
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              • Posted by lrshultis 7 months ago
                The Newtonian gravitational law was so accurate that it found discrepancies in the perihelion shift of the planet Mercury. To solve that problem, Einstein apply tensor mathematics to give a more exact result.
                There sure seems to be a large agnostic viewpoint about objective reality from some in this thread.
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                • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                  They noticed relatively early that the shift in the perihelion of Mercury was off at a rate of 43 seconds per century! By the early twentieth century physicists found that only half of that could be accounted for by special relativity.

                  The mystics interpret that to mean that Newton was "wrong" because his laws are not infinitely accurate, whatever that is supposed to mean.

                  But Einstein had to do more than "apply" tensor calculus. He had to formulate new more general field equations, of which Newton's law of gravitation was shown to be a low order approximation. So far Einstein's equations have been found to be as accurate as can be measured, though in very few kinds of measurements.

                  The agnosticism sophistry is being promoted here by religionists like Blarman as a wedge to try to get others to take them seriously. It's all fundamentally wrong, along with their misrepresentations of science and misuse of scientific terminology, neither of which they have any understanding.
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      • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
        Atheism is not inconsistent with the scientific method. The scientific method rejects the arbitrary. It does not require "evidence against the arbitrary" in order to reject it as worthless. Atheism is a rejection of the arbitrariness of theistic belief, not a belief in anything. The person quoted in the article was making pronouncements from bad philosophy, not physics. Physics is not "stuck" in ignoring irrelevant theological "problems".
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      • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
      • -1
        Posted by PeterSmith 7 months ago
        "So what do you say to this physicist who states "Atheism is inconsistent with the scientific method. Atheism is a belief in non-belief. So you categorically deny something you have no evidence against.""
        I would say, "you're fired."

        "Further "Science can give answers to certain questions, up to a point. This has been known for a very long time in philosophy, it's called the problem of the first cause: we get stuck.""
        There is no problem of the first cause. There simply is no first cause. Remember, if you've got a contradiction you resolve it. You don't proceed ahead and just accept it as "a problem."

        "I'm also wondering where you get the notion that "the idea of the supernatural violates the law of identity"."
        By knowing the proper definitions of words and concepts.
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        • Posted by  $  7 months ago
          "I would say, "you're fired."

          Hehe. So because you can't debate it, you dismiss it.

          "There is no problem of the first cause. There simply is no first cause."

          If you're going to wade into a logical debate, at least come prepared.

          "By knowing the proper definitions of words and concepts."

          You didn't answer the question. I have never heard the argument that "the idea of the supernatural violates the law of identity". I'm wondering where you heard it or if you just made it up.
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          • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
            "Hehe" followed by a strawman is not an argument. The arbitrary utterances of mystics "can't be debated" because there is no cognitive content to debate, not because of anyone's evasion or inability to argue logically.
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          • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
          • -1
            Posted by PeterSmith 7 months ago
            "Hehe. So because you can't debate it, you dismiss it."
            Because it's arbitrary I dismiss it, as should you.
            There's nothing to debate.

            "If you're going to wade into a logical debate, at least come prepared."
            I did. The basic logic was explained in the very next sentence. The idea of a first cause is a contradiction.

            "I have never heard the argument that "the idea of the supernatural violates the law of identity". I'm wondering where you heard it or if you just made it up."
            You're one of the top voted posters on an Objectivist forum and you don't know what the law of identity is? Hmmm.
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