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GabrielYYZ
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
GabrielYYZ wrote:
bogamol wrote:
Here's what (I think) BK said, summarized into something other than a giant wall of text.

It is possible to have a question that has no discoverable answer, to discuss that question and even to act on what you believe the answer is most likely to be. This is completely rational, despite not being testable in empirical terms.


I don't see how that's anything more than an academic exercise and, while there's nothing particularly bad about it, i don't think it is rational to act on what you think/believe is the answer to an unanswerable question.

We could, after all, discuss whether there are millions of civilizations living inside a single atom, we could even imagine what those civilizations are like but the second you claim the atom king told you you need to make other people do certain things, that's when i, personally, would say it is nonsense unless you could justify your claim.

It's not an "academic exercise"; it's what we base most of our day to day behavior on. More importantly, this type of thinking is necessary to answer the most important questions that guide our very behavior (and even guide science), which science can not answer: such as questions of morality and just what the hell we're trying to accomplish besides individual survival. Furthermore, all scientific advancement actually begins with speculative thought.

If men actually followed your logic, Parmenides would never have speculated that the Earth is round, and would have dismissed the idea as "nonsense" or "religious crap that nobody needs to think about because it doesn't matter, and that's best left to the charlatan priests and oracles". Or, if he did talk about it, people like you would have run him out of town. As a result, Eratosthenes, hundreds of years later, would never have measured the angle to the Sun at the same time in two different locations, to actually confirm the curvature of the surface and estimate the size of the planet.


It begins with speculative thought, yes, and ends with either the acceptance or rejection of that hypothesis based on the results you get from testing it. We don't just speculate that fire burns, we actually have evidence of that happening and that's why we (generally) try to avoid coming in contact with fire.

Speculating that there's a "spiritual dimension" or "spirit zone" is not by itself nonsensical, it's believing it as truth without having any justification to do so, which is what i reject.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bogamol wrote:
Since science cannot speak on the rationality of morality it can only condone behavior based on whether it helps or hinders the survival of genes. Thus science can, in certain situations lead to genocide. Watch male lions attack a pride and kill all the cubs. There ia no morality to be found within the confines of science.


Actually there is. It's no accident that the most successful and powerful species around today is an animal which evolved not just to live in social groups but also in complex societies. Morality is an emergent property in social species because they gain such a huge evolutionary advantage from group living, and group living is incompatible with ruthless individualism.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
Speculating that there's a "spiritual dimension" or "spirit zone" is not by itself nonsensical


Wittgenstein: "whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must STFU noob."
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
GabrielYYZ wrote:
bogamol wrote:
Here's what (I think) BK said, summarized into something other than a giant wall of text.

It is possible to have a question that has no discoverable answer, to discuss that question and even to act on what you believe the answer is most likely to be. This is completely rational, despite not being testable in empirical terms.


I don't see how that's anything more than an academic exercise and, while there's nothing particularly bad about it, i don't think it is rational to act on what you think/believe is the answer to an unanswerable question.

We could, after all, discuss whether there are millions of civilizations living inside a single atom, we could even imagine what those civilizations are like but the second you claim the atom king told you you need to make other people do certain things, that's when i, personally, would say it is nonsense unless you could justify your claim.

It's not an "academic exercise"; it's what we base most of our day to day behavior on. More importantly, this type of thinking is necessary to answer the most important questions that guide our very behavior (and even guide science), which science can not answer: such as questions of morality and just what the hell we're trying to accomplish besides individual survival. Furthermore, all scientific advancement actually begins with speculative thought.

If men actually followed your logic, Parmenides would never have speculated that the Earth is round, and would have dismissed the idea as "nonsense" or "religious crap that nobody needs to think about because it doesn't matter, and that's best left to the charlatan priests and oracles". Or, if he did talk about it, people like you would have run him out of town. As a result, Eratosthenes, hundreds of years later, would never have measured the angle to the Sun at the same time in two different locations, to actually confirm the curvature of the surface and estimate the size of the planet.


It begins with speculative thought, yes, and ends with either the acceptance or rejection of that hypothesis based on the results you get from testing it. We don't just speculate that fire burns, we actually have evidence of that happening and that's why we (generally) try to avoid coming in contact with fire.

Speculating that there's a "spiritual dimension" or "spirit zone" is not by itself nonsensical, it's believing it as truth without having any justification to do so, which is what i reject.

This I can go along with, for the most part. But this is the specificity that your earlier commentary lacked.

I will point out that this is artificially black and white. Nobody but a fanatic (e.g., mcgruff :P ) believes anything to be absolute truth, every piece of information has its associated uncertainty, to one degree or another. Therefore, It is artificial to separate the thought processes that lead to "might be true" from those that lead to "is probably true".

It makes sense to recognize uncertainties, and treat the highly uncertain and purely speculative as exactly that. But, that does not make them "nonsense". If it did, we would never advance, in any realm of thinking. Our only progress would be making as many babies as the rest of nature would permit.

As an example, I said everything we have observed, ever, has context. I speculate, based on this, that it is very likely that the big bang too had context. Science thus far offers me little with respect to this (especially if I rely on only the fundamentals taught in the schoolhouse). But I might theorize that reality is comprised of numerous dimensions besides those we perceive, and that the big bang occurerd in a context other than the space/time/gravity/matter/energy context which presently accepted scientific theory indicates was all created by that big bang, or at least within a separate instance of a dimensional reality defined in those terms. It's pure speculation, I can't test it, but it's based on my experience and what little I know. I intuitively classify it as "possible" or "likely" or whatever. I may or may not made choices based on my confidence in that conclusion. It's rational thought, whether it's "science" or not.

Someone else might similarly speculate that this context includes some sentient influence (say, based on their experience and knowledge that apparently stable, highly ordered systems are contrary to the 2nd law of thermodynamics as they interpret it, and in nature, are often the result of intentional acts -- take the ant hill or beaver dam as examples). While I may have different experience and knowledge, and make a different assessment as to the likelihood of this, that does not make it "irrational". Ignorant, perhaps, assuming I am correct that my experience and knowledge are superior (which is a dangerous assumption to make, particularly about people you don't actually know), but not "nonsense".
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
bogamol wrote:
Since science cannot speak on the rationality of morality it can only condone behavior based on whether it helps or hinders the survival of genes. Thus science can, in certain situations lead to genocide. Watch male lions attack a pride and kill all the cubs. There ia no morality to be found within the confines of science.


Actually there is. It's no accident that the most successful and powerful species around today is an animal which evolved not just to live in social groups but also in complex societies. Morality is an emergent property in social species because they gain such a huge evolutionary advantage from group living, and group living is incompatible with ruthless individualism.

You are so anthropocentric. :lol:

Humans are neither the most successful nor the most powerful species around today; bacteria are, and they don't live in "social groups" or "complex societies". The are also almost certain to be around long after all trace that we ever existed has been turned back into magma or interstellar dust.

But don't let me interrupt your socio-economically motivated "Scyentific" thought process. :wink:
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bacteria are a species? Please tell me more...
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
Bacteria are a species? Please tell me more...


Taking each species individually, you don't think that almost all of them will qualify aa more successful than humans at almost every survival metric?

protip we would not digest food of it werent for our enteric bacteria but those little buggers dont need us to survive.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
Bacteria are a species? Please tell me more...

Species can be both singular and plural. You might notice I said "Bacteria are", not "Bacteria is". :?

Also, they evolve so rapidly an apples-to-apples comparison artificially constrained by your word choice is not highly useful. It would be more appropriate to compare them to mammals, and the same is still true; they are far more successful, influential, and are very likely to be here long after mammals.

There's nothing really notable about humans, if you look beyond measuring ourselves in our own self-flattering terms.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@bogamol

Actually, many bacteria exhibit social behaviours: quorum sensing, myxobacteria "pack hunting", etc.

However, morality doesn't really come into play in systems comprised of programmed behaviours. Morality implies the freedom to choose, and some kind of awareness of the implications of the choice.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
GabrielYYZ wrote:
Speculating that there's a "spiritual dimension" or "spirit zone" is not by itself nonsensical


Wittgenstein: "whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must STFU noob."


Mind sharing a bit more? The rest of my sentence, i think, gets to that same point.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
Actually, many bacteria exhibit social behaviours: quorum sensing, myxobacteria "pack hunting", etc.

However, morality doesn't really come into play in systems comprised of programmed behaviours. Morality implies the freedom to choose, and some kind of awareness of the implications of the choice.

True. However, morality is merely a token we use to refer to cooperative behavior, which (as you point out), is not unique to humans. Almost all species engage in cooperative behavior to some extent and some to a far greater extent that we do. But, it's important to note that many species also compete among themselves to just as great an extent, or more, than they cooperate.

Cooperation has its benefits, as does competition. It's certainly not the one model for success, or the sole reason for H. sapiens' success. I would argue that, compared to most species, H. sapiens is fiercely competitive within itself.

Also, based on science alone, it's hard to argue that we have any actual "freedom to choose" and are just slightly more complex systems than those you refer to as "programmed". The most compelling arguments for free will are philosophical, not scientific.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
This I can go along with, for the most part. But this is the specificity that your earlier commentary lacked.

I will point out that this is artificially black and white. Nobody but a fanatic (e.g., mcgruff :P ) believes anything to be absolute truth, every piece of information has its associated uncertainty, to one degree or another. Therefore, It is artificial to separate the thought processes that lead to "might be true" from those that lead to "is probably true".

It makes sense to recognize uncertainties, and treat the highly uncertain and purely speculative as exactly that. But, that does not make them "nonsense". If it did, we would never advance, in any realm of thinking. Our only progress would be making as many babies as the rest of nature would permit.

As an example, I said everything we have observed, ever, has context. I speculate, based on this, that it is very likely that the big bang too had context. Science thus far offers me little with respect to this (especially if I rely on only the fundamentals taught in the schoolhouse). But I might theorize that reality is comprised of numerous dimensions besides those we perceive, and that the big bang occurerd in a context other than the space/time/gravity/matter/energy context which presently accepted scientific theory indicates was all created by that big bang, or at least within a separate instance of a dimensional reality defined in those terms. It's pure speculation, I can't test it, but it's based on my experience and what little I know. I intuitively classify it as "possible" or "likely" or whatever. I may or may not made choices based on my confidence in that conclusion. It's rational thought, whether it's "science" or not.

Someone else might similarly speculate that this context includes some sentient influence (say, based on their experience and knowledge that apparently stable, highly ordered systems are contrary to the 2nd law of thermodynamics as they interpret it, and in nature, are often the result of intentional acts -- take the ant hill or beaver dam as examples). While I may have different experience and knowledge, and make a different assessment as to the likelihood of this, that does not make it "irrational". Ignorant, perhaps, assuming I am correct that my experience and knowledge are superior (which is a dangerous assumption to make, particularly about people you don't actually know), but not "nonsense".


How do you get to "a separate instance of a dimensional reality"? I know you say it is pure speculation, but you must have some reason to think that that exists. Also, what constitutes "sentient influence"? and, could we test that influence as it manifests in reality in some form or another?

Another question i have is: what do you mean by context, in this context?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@GabrielYYZ

Speculation itself is nonsensical according to Wittgenstein. Any statement you make which isn't linked to some known fact is meaningless.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
@GabrielYYZ

Speculation itself is nonsensical according to Wittgenstein. Any statement you make which isn't linked to some known fact is meaningless.

What is a "known fact"? There doesn't seem to be much agreement about it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
This I can go along with, for the most part. But this is the specificity that your earlier commentary lacked.

I will point out that this is artificially black and white. Nobody but a fanatic (e.g., mcgruff :P ) believes anything to be absolute truth, every piece of information has its associated uncertainty, to one degree or another. Therefore, It is artificial to separate the thought processes that lead to "might be true" from those that lead to "is probably true".

It makes sense to recognize uncertainties, and treat the highly uncertain and purely speculative as exactly that. But, that does not make them "nonsense". If it did, we would never advance, in any realm of thinking. Our only progress would be making as many babies as the rest of nature would permit.

As an example, I said everything we have observed, ever, has context. I speculate, based on this, that it is very likely that the big bang too had context. Science thus far offers me little with respect to this (especially if I rely on only the fundamentals taught in the schoolhouse). But I might theorize that reality is comprised of numerous dimensions besides those we perceive, and that the big bang occurerd in a context other than the space/time/gravity/matter/energy context which presently accepted scientific theory indicates was all created by that big bang, or at least within a separate instance of a dimensional reality defined in those terms. It's pure speculation, I can't test it, but it's based on my experience and what little I know. I intuitively classify it as "possible" or "likely" or whatever. I may or may not made choices based on my confidence in that conclusion. It's rational thought, whether it's "science" or not.

Someone else might similarly speculate that this context includes some sentient influence (say, based on their experience and knowledge that apparently stable, highly ordered systems are contrary to the 2nd law of thermodynamics as they interpret it, and in nature, are often the result of intentional acts -- take the ant hill or beaver dam as examples). While I may have different experience and knowledge, and make a different assessment as to the likelihood of this, that does not make it "irrational". Ignorant, perhaps, assuming I am correct that my experience and knowledge are superior (which is a dangerous assumption to make, particularly about people you don't actually know), but not "nonsense".


How do you get to "a separate instance of a dimensional reality"? I know you say it is pure speculation, but you must have some reason to think that that exists. Also, what constitutes "sentient influence"? and, could we test that influence as it manifests in reality in some form or another?

They're just examples. Assume we can't presently test it but might be able to someday.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
Another question i have is: what do you mean by context, in this context?

Context means what it means. Everything has it, but it seems to be notably absent from all descriptions and discussion of the big bang. Bear with me. Thinking in broader terms than the following words normally mean (i.e. acknowledging the possible existence of umpteen dimensions and other unknown aspects of reality), I'm talking about "where" did it occur. "Where" would normally mean "where in Cartesian space" or maybe "where in space-time", but I mean "where" in that broader, n-dimensional sense. "Where" in a reality I'm sure we don't yet come close to understanding the true nature of what "where" might mean.

Also, I'm talking about causation. Here we have this singularity; how did it get to be? We are told there was no time, space, matter, energy, or gravity before it happened, so how did it come about? If it is what actually gave birth to all time, then causation is an impossibility, and it had no cause. But from everything we know, everything has a cause. So there must be some other non-temporal "sequential chain of event"-like construct, outside either the "instance" or "container" of reality created by the big bang or outside the dimensions or aspects of reality which we are capable of perceiving.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
@GabrielYYZ

Speculation itself is nonsensical according to Wittgenstein. Any statement you make which isn't linked to some known fact is meaningless.


I would say that speculation itself could be nonsensical, but speculation by itself definitely is, and i would also substitute statement for truth claim. After all, saying "i think that water's cold" is speculation until you actually touch it but saying "i think that water's hard" is nonsense, no?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
@bogamol

Actually, many bacteria exhibit social behaviours: quorum sensing, myxobacteria "pack hunting", etc.

However, morality doesn't really come into play in systems comprised of programmed behaviours. Morality implies the freedom to choose, and some kind of awareness of the implications of the choice.


Research in neurocognitive science suggest that when we make decisions, the moment we have cognitive activity (such as thinking and making those decisions), decision has already been made. We are simply unfolding the logic of it.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muso wrote:
Deists, by definition, are "Creationists". Yet a deist believes the "big bang theory" as much as your nearest atheist does. The difference lies only with the idea of a prime mover. That's it. The variation is between 100% chance 15 billion years ago and something else, 15 billion years ago, setting the same phenomena into effect.

Being that politicians are not burdened with the responsibility of creating a universe, what difference does it make on how they believe it came into existence?

What is more important is how they view their own, actual, responsibilities. We have democrats thinking that wealth can be multiplied via division... that islands will capsize if too many people are on them, that the Mars rover will be able to get a close up of the Apollo mission's landing location, that there are 57 states and that children need breathalyzers.

In comparison, I'll take a creationist over a completely brain-dead democrat any day.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:

They're just examples. Assume we can't presently test it but might be able to someday.


Fair enough.

My view is that, until the day those assumptions can be tested, they are of no use whatsoever. They don't give us any knowledge and, while they could be, as i said, good academic exercises, they don't solve any problem without us being able to test their validity.

BoneKracker wrote:

Context means what it means. Everything has it, but it seems to be notably absent from all descriptions and discussion of the big bang. Bear with me. Thinking in broader terms than the following words normally mean (i.e. acknowledging the possible existence of umpteen dimensions and other unknown aspects of reality), I'm talking about "where" did it occur. "Where" would normally mean "where in Cartesian space" or maybe "where in space-time", but I mean "where" in that broader, n-dimensional sense. "Where" in a reality I'm sure we don't yet come close to understanding the true nature of what "where" might mean.

Also, I'm talking about causation. Here we have this singularity; how did it get to be? We are told there was no time, space, matter, energy, or gravity before it happened, so how did it come about? If it is what actually gave birth to all time, then causation is an impossibility, and it had no cause. But from everything we know, everything has a cause. So there must be some other non-temporal "sequential chain of event"-like construct, outside either the "instance" or "container" of reality created by the big bang or outside the dimensions or aspects of reality which we are capable of perceiving.


The "First Cause argument", if everything has a cause, what caused the big bang? To be honest, it always gives me a headache, even though i think it is a good one. If the big bang had a cause and we assume that "an intelligence" did it, what caused the intelligence? and, if the intelligence didn't have a cause, why move the goal post back, why not assume that the big bang was the uncaused cause?

Like i said, i think that's a good argument, but not really useful if we can't test it. After all, it doesn't really help understand anything, it just gives us more questions and more ways we can get lost trying to find a good answer.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

whether the uncaused cause is a thinking entity or an uncaused random event is not something we can currently answer and while you might not be interested in solving the unsolveable, I think others are. Further, this problem is a factor which has guided our path since the beginning of human history and as such I think it is a question worth keeping on the back burner until (if ever) we are able to answer it definitively. That said, where religious people can be shown to be wrong eg its ok to stone women to death because when they were raped, they were asking for it (a religious argument against self determinism btw). or that the world is 6k years old when we can empirically show that it is ~11 billion years old...proponents of the demonstrably wrong idea should be told about it.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bogamol wrote:
whether the uncaused cause is a thinking entity or an uncaused random event is not something we can currently answer and while you might not be interested in solving the unsolveable, I think others are. Further, this problem is a factor which has guided our path since the beginning of human history and as such I think it is a question worth keeping on the back burner until (if ever) we are able to answer it definitively. That said, where religious people can be shown to be wrong eg its ok to stone women to death because when they were raped, they were asking for it (a religious argument against self determinism btw). or that the world is 6k years old when we can empirically show that it is ~11 billion years old...proponents of the demonstrably wrong idea should be told about it.


I suggest not calling it "solving the unsolveable", if it's unsolveable, how can you solve it?

Occam's razor tell us that we should go with the hypothesis that makes the fewest assumptions, that hypothesis creates more problems than it solves. That's not to say it shouldn't be tested, the day it can be tested, i'm sure it will be. But, until that day comes, why assume it is true, or even valid, if we have no way of testing its validity?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
bogamol wrote:
whether the uncaused cause is a thinking entity or an uncaused random event is not something we can currently answer and while you might not be interested in solving the unsolveable, I think others are. Further, this problem is a factor which has guided our path since the beginning of human history and as such I think it is a question worth keeping on the back burner until (if ever) we are able to answer it definitively. That said, where religious people can be shown to be wrong eg its ok to stone women to death because when they were raped, they were asking for it (a religious argument against self determinism btw). or that the world is 6k years old when we can empirically show that it is ~11 billion years old...proponents of the demonstrably wrong idea should be told about it.


I suggest not calling it "solving the unsolveable", if it's unsolveable, how can you solve it?

Occam's razor tell us that we should go with the hypothesis that makes the fewest assumptions, that hypothesis creates more problems than it solves. That's not to say it shouldn't be tested, the day it can be tested, i'm sure it will be. But, until that day comes, why assume it is true, or even valid, if we have no way of testing its validity?


I think you should do some mushrooms.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
bogamol wrote:
whether the uncaused cause is a thinking entity or an uncaused random event is not something we can currently answer and while you might not be interested in solving the unsolveable, I think others are. Further, this problem is a factor which has guided our path since the beginning of human history and as such I think it is a question worth keeping on the back burner until (if ever) we are able to answer it definitively. That said, where religious people can be shown to be wrong eg its ok to stone women to death because when they were raped, they were asking for it (a religious argument against self determinism btw). or that the world is 6k years old when we can empirically show that it is ~11 billion years old...proponents of the demonstrably wrong idea should be told about it.


I suggest not calling it "solving the unsolveable", if it's unsolveable, how can you solve it?

Occam's razor tell us that we should go with the hypothesis that makes the fewest assumptions, that hypothesis creates more problems than it solves. That's not to say it shouldn't be tested, the day it can be tested, i'm sure it will be. But, until that day comes, why assume it is true, or even valid, if we have no way of testing its validity?


I think it makes less assumptions to say that an ordered universe was created by an organized being than it does to say that order erupted out of chaos...randomly.
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Muso
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prenj wrote:
I think you should do some mushrooms.


++

Agreed.
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GabrielYYZ
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prenj wrote:
I think you should do some mushrooms.


I think you're late to the party, that ship sailed a long time ago...
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