When you look up at the sky.........

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Re: When you look up at the sky.........

#136

Post by johnspenn » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:28 am

GregD wrote:...Maybe it would be better to forget entirely about Hawking radiation and focus on the "quantum effect" that drives it...
Yes, maybe so. I admit, and you already know, I know VERY little about quantum physics.

However, I do want to try to see if i understand your viewpoint, because frankly the physics are far beyond my ability to comprehend. So, here are two questions based on what you have said.
GregD wrote:...matter (matter/antimatter pairs) appear from "nothing" all the time...
1. Do you hold this statement to be true? That something comes from nothing?
GregD wrote:...we do not know that everything that begins to exist has a cause. See, for example, Hawking radiation; matter spontaneously forms.
2. Do you hold that events occur/objects come into being without cause?



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Re: When you look up at the sky.........

#137

Post by GregD » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:57 am

johnspenn wrote:
GregD wrote:...matter (matter/antimatter pairs) appear from "nothing" all the time...
1. Do you hold this statement to be true? That something comes from nothing?
GregD wrote:...we do not know that everything that begins to exist has a cause. See, for example, Hawking radiation; matter spontaneously forms.
2. Do you hold that events occur/objects come into being without cause?
1. Let me elaborate. The physics community has a long history of producing increasingly accurate descriptions of our reality. This is one of their current working hypotheses. It is likely to be a good approximation of what happens. I am unaware of the current state of experimental verification, however. There are two ways to look at it, though:
a). something comes from "nothing" (notice the quotes)
b). our mental concept of "nothing", the complete absence of everything, does not exist in reality
Perspective b) is a more precise characterization than perspective a).

2. No.

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Re: When you look up at the sky.........

#138

Post by johnspenn » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:13 am

GregD wrote:
johnspenn wrote:
GregD wrote:...matter (matter/antimatter pairs) appear from "nothing" all the time...
1. Do you hold this statement to be true? That something comes from nothing?
GregD wrote:...we do not know that everything that begins to exist has a cause. See, for example, Hawking radiation; matter spontaneously forms.
2. Do you hold that events occur/objects come into being without cause?
1. Let me elaborate. The physics community has a long history of producing increasingly accurate descriptions of our reality. This is one of their current working hypotheses. It is likely to be a good approximation of what happens. I am unaware of the current state of experimental verification, however. There are two ways to look at it, though:
a). something comes from "nothing" (notice the quotes)
b). our mental concept of "nothing", the complete absence of everything, does not exist in reality
Perspective b) is a more precise characterization than perspective a).

2. No.
Thank you for answering those questions. Thankfully, I can say that based on your answers, we are in agreement i.e. Nothing, defined as literally "no thing" or the absence of everything, does not exist. So, in essence, something can not come from nothing. And, events do not occur, nor do objects come in to being uncaused or without cause. This really is a huge step forward.

Could you please explain to me what you mean by "nothing", because I have noticed the quotes each time you have used them. Thanks!

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Re: When you look up at the sky.........

#139

Post by GregD » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:38 am

johnspenn wrote:Could you please explain to me what you mean by "nothing", because I have noticed the quotes each time you have used them. Thanks!
The quotes indicated the word was used with some literary license. Because in the real world, there is no such thing, precisely, as our mental concept of nothing:
GregD wrote:b). our mental concept of "nothing", the complete absence of everything, does not exist in reality.
EDIT: Are you going somewhere with this? Or are you just resolving loose ends?

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Re: When you look up at the sky.........

#140

Post by johnspenn » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:56 am

I'm trying to establish some common ground. It seemed by some of what you wrote that we had absolutely no common beliefs, and If you had said "yes I believe something can come from nothing" and had denied the principle of causality ("yes I believe that things can come into existence without cause") then frankly I wouldn't have seen any reason or basis to continue our conversation.

I'd point out that we know the nothing, as in the absence of all things, doesn't exist because of philosophy and not science.

The same is true for the principle of causality-

Using the methods of science it is impossible to prove or disprove either premise.

Do you believe that anything at all exists supernaturally (souls, spirits, ghosts)?

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Re: When you look up at the sky.........

#141

Post by GregD » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:21 am

johnspenn wrote: I'd point out that we know the nothing, as in the absence of all things, doesn't exist because of philosophy and not science.

The same is true for the principle of causality-

Using the methods of science it is impossible to prove or disprove either premise.

Do you believe that anything at all exists supernaturally (souls, spirits, ghosts)?
I disagree with the first 3 sentences and/or don't understand what you are talking about. But until you use them for a critical point arguing for or against a specific assertion I don't have much interest in these general characterizations.

I would say that science has systematically ignored the possibility of supernatural phenomena and nevertheless has been wildly successful. So I conclude that for practical purposes it is an effective strategy to also ignore the possibility of supernatural phenomena when deciding how to manage my life and understand our reality.

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Re: When you look up at the sky.........

#142

Post by johnspenn » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:14 pm

I'll try again. I did mis-word my first sentence.

You and I have agreed that nothing (as in the absence of all things) does not exist. This is something that can not be proven scientifically.

You and I agree that if something happens, or something begins to exist, there must be a prior cause. This is something that can not be proven scientifically.

Whether or not science has ignored the possibility of supernatural phenomena is not what I was asking. What I'm asking is this:
Do you, GregD, believe that there exists anything that is supernatural, or immaterial.

Some atheists believe that the physical universe and all that is contained therein is all there is, with the exception possibly of other universes outside our own. What say you?

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Re: When you look up at the sky.........

#143

Post by GregD » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:08 pm

johnspenn wrote:You and I have agreed that nothing (as in the absence of all things) does not exist.
Does not exist in real life. Yes we agree.
johnspenn wrote:This is something that can not be proven scientifically.
Nope. I don't agree with this. Is it important?
johnspenn wrote:You and I agree that if something happens, or something begins to exist, there must be a prior cause.
I agree that has been the case so far observed and consequently it is a compelling expectation.
johnspenn wrote: This is something that can not be proven scientifically.
I don't agree that it has been proven in the sense that there could never be a counter example. Is it important?
johnspenn wrote:Whether or not science has ignored the possibility of supernatural phenomena is not what I was asking. What I'm asking is this:
Do you, GregD, believe that there exists anything that is supernatural, or immaterial.
The fact that science has ignored the possibility and has been enormously successful is the data from which I conclude (not believe, but conclude) that ignoring the possibility of the existence of supernatural stuff is a good strategy for deciding what to think and do.
johnspenn wrote:Some atheists believe that the physical universe and all that is contained therein is all there is, with the exception possibly of other universes outside our own. What say you?
I would say that approximation fits the data that we have.

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Re: When you look up at the sky.........

#144

Post by johnspenn » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:23 am

As far as proving the non-existence of nothing (hope that makes sense) and proving that there is a prior cause for every event scientifically: The point I am making is that we know many things that cannot be proven scientifically, these being just two of those things. Even you admitted science has limitations-
GregD wrote:Because of the limitations of science<emphasis mine>, we can not know scientifically what caused the big bang or what precipitated the ultimate beginning of the universe.
These two subjects- no nothing, causality- can not be proven scientifically and thus serve to show more of the limitations of science.

If I'm wrong, and scientists have proved either or both definitively via the scientific method, please provide the appropriate links to the papers in question, and upon review i will be glad to admit my error.

Or perhaps you could even plan the necessary scientific experiments yourself and describe your methods of proving these two points.

Otherwise, do you agree that science does indeed have limits, and that these two areas of knowledge fall under these limits?

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Re: When you look up at the sky.........

#145

Post by GregD » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:53 am

johnspenn wrote:As far as proving the non-existence of nothing (hope that makes sense) and proving that there is a prior cause for every event scientifically: The point I am making is that we know many things that cannot be proven scientifically, these being just two of those things. Even you admitted science has limitations-
GregD wrote:Because of the limitations of science<emphasis mine>, we can not know scientifically what caused the big bang or what precipitated the ultimate beginning of the universe.
These two subjects- no nothing, causality- can not be proven scientifically and thus serve to show more of the limitations of science.

If I'm wrong, and scientists have proved either or both definitively via the scientific method, please provide the appropriate links to the papers in question, and upon review i will be glad to admit my error.

Or perhaps you could even plan the necessary scientific experiments yourself and describe your methods of proving these two points.

Otherwise, do you agree that science does indeed have limits, and that these two areas of knowledge fall under these limits?
I agree that Science has limits.

The links I gave earlier make it clear that our concept of "nothing" is inconsistent with quantum mechanics. I don't know why you keep coming back stating science is incapable of "proving the non-existence of nothing". Independent of whether science has been able to "prove" this to date, you have provided no argument whatsoever to suggest that it is incapable of proving such a thing.

Where does something BESIDES science prove "the non-existence of nothing"?

Where does ANYTHING prove causality? How is this significant? Even in the case that it were true it does not imply that humans are capable of determining the cause of observed effects.

It seems to me you are getting repetitious. Where is this going?

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Re: When you look up at the sky.........

#146

Post by johnspenn » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:06 am

GregD wrote:Where does something BESIDES science prove "the non-existence of nothing"?
GregD wrote:Where does ANYTHING prove causality?
The answer to both of these questions is common sense, common experience and reasoning. Not science. I would say instead of using the word prove, that it is much more reasonable to believe these things than not to believe them.
GregD wrote:I don't know why you keep coming back stating science is incapable of "proving the non-existence of nothing".
Because A. it is true and B. I'm making a point about the limitations of science. I understand you hold SCIENCE, as you are fond of referring to it, in very high regard, but as I have repeatedly stated it is a very limited enterprise.
GregD wrote:It seems to me you are getting repetitious. Where is this going?
Looks like it's going nowhere fast, to me anyway, which is why I expressed my misgivings about these types of open-forum discussions in the first place. If you wish to dis-engage, you are free to, of course.

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