Author Topic: Defiance and CrystalDragon: "Gods, Existence, and the Supernatural"  (Read 442 times)

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Offline Graybeard

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This debate is between Defiance and CrystalDragon.  The topic is "The concepts of gods, existence, and the supernatural."

Only these two participants are permitted to post in this thread. Any posts by non-participants in this thread will be deleted.

As this is not a formal debate, more a broad ranging discussion, I will not set up a commentary thread.  If you wish to comment on it, you are free to start a topic.  I believe everyone can start one in the Formal Debate area, but I could be wrong.  If you cannot, feel free to start it in Chatter under the title "Commentary: Defiance and CrystalDragon, "Gods, Existence, and the Supernatural"



Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Defiance

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Re: Defiance and CrystalDragon: "Gods, Existence, and the Supernatural"
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 08:57:55 PM »
Hello, CrystalDragon.

As you probably know, I'm an atheist. I do not believe in gods, and furthermore, I do not believe in anything that people like to label as "supernatural". According to what knowledge I do have about the Universe, I find it hard to understand why people believe in these things.

By starting this topic, I hope to understand your personal position on this topic and why it is like that.
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/schooljokes/physicsjokes.html

Online CrystalDragon

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Re: Defiance and CrystalDragon: "Gods, Existence, and the Supernatural"
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2016, 04:05:07 PM »
Hi there, Defiance.  Thank you very much for having the idea to start thiis topic (and Graybeard for making the thread).

I'm a theist who was raised Catholic from a young age, and I have a belief in what's considered "supernatural".  Mt opinion on the latter, however is that just because we define something as supernatural doesn't mean it can't be known to us through natural sciences, measurements, and the like, just that we haven't found a method for it yet.
Sometimes what is unknown is the most interesting.

"It is always darker right before the light.  Or for some people, it just stays dark, but they don't seem to notice."

Offline Defiance

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Re: Defiance and CrystalDragon: "Gods, Existence, and the Supernatural"
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2016, 08:49:45 PM »
Alrighty.

I would like to start by asking you to define:

God(s), existence, and supernatural.

What are the properties?
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/schooljokes/physicsjokes.html

Online CrystalDragon

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Re: Defiance and CrystalDragon: "Gods, Existence, and the Supernatural"
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 01:01:21 PM »
To be a bit more clear on what you're asking to make sure there's no misunderstandings, you're looking for me to define more concrete properties of each of those things, aside from the more abstract like "God is love", correct?  What's an example of defining something via listing it's properties that you're looking for?

At present, here are my definitions, though I'm willing to clarify if needed. :)

God - the Supreme Being who shaped the universe and drives its processes. 

god - a being above humanity who has powers of creation that are beyond what humans are capable of doing (examples include the likes of creating something out of apparently nothing, changing properties contrary to what we know as physics, etc.)

existence - something that has a presence in the universe, whether being accessible through the senses of the world as they are currently understood or undetectable at present but nonetheless are present (ex. dark matter—we haven't directly observed it yet, but there is a chance it has a presence in the universe)

supernatural - a form of existence, whether matter or energy, that appears to defy the current laws of physics and knowledge as we currently understand it.  A physical explanation can be possible, but for the moment it defies our current knowledge, capabilities, and understanding of the world.  Examples include ghosts, aliens, chimeras, and the like.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 01:03:21 PM by CrystalDragon »
Sometimes what is unknown is the most interesting.

"It is always darker right before the light.  Or for some people, it just stays dark, but they don't seem to notice."

Offline Defiance

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Re: Defiance and CrystalDragon: "Gods, Existence, and the Supernatural"
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 01:41:04 PM »
Please, no "God is love" stuff. You have no idea what that phrase has put us through. Ahem Lukvance. Cough cough.

Anyways.

An example of defining something by properties would be like me defining the color blue:

Blue is the light in the visible spectrum of electromagnetic radiation (energy) that has a wavelength of 450 to 495 nanometers (thanks wikipedia). You can even try to define blue as matter, provided you have enough knowledge in physics.

Furthermore I can say that it has a frequency of 606 to 668 tera hz. I could go on to explain that the photons that make up blue light have a certain amount of energy, in joules, but you get the point.

I am letting you know exactly what I mean when I say "blue"; it's a specific kind of light that has unique characteristics that other kinds of light do not.

I would like to ask you to give a more detailed definition of god (lowercase), keeping in mind how I defined "blue". Perhaps let me know the composition of god, is he/she/it matter? Energy? Force? Concept?

Existence. if something exists, it has a location, AND a time, correct?

For instance, if I say "my laptop exists", I am more specifically saying that it has a physical location (in this case atop my desk), AND a specific time frame for itself. Meaning that if I take my laptop elsewhere, it would still have a location, and time frame for when it was at that location.

That is how you can prove something exists in this universe; it has a location and time. it fits well with our understanding of time and space.

Emotions exist. Why? They are what we call a chemical process in the brain (location) that occurs at a certain time. They have a time and location.

Every single thing in existence can be explained this way. People, bullets, etc.

Supernatural. Is the entire universe not natural? It is. Nature is literally everything in the universe; matter, energy, aliens, etc.

Therefore, supernatural would have to be somehow "not in the universe."

How can you demonstrate that? How can you demonstrate something supernatural? When we observe something, anything; it's because that something exists within the universe, and we have experienced that phenomenon through nature (whether that be through sound, vision, touch, etc).

Going back to existence.

The problem with gods is that... where (location) and when (time) are they? (I'll leave it up to you to define WHAT they are in the first place).
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/schooljokes/physicsjokes.html

Online CrystalDragon

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Re: Defiance and CrystalDragon: "Gods, Existence, and the Supernatural"
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2016, 09:35:36 AM »
Thanks for the clarification on the properties you're looking for.  That was the most thorough definition of "blue" I've ever read. :D

So, using that time/location/composition description, here's how I define "god" in the lowercase.  In that terminology, gods have a specific location and time in the universe, and are made of matter.  However, given their status as gods, they are able to manipulate matter and energy to their will in a way that humans are incapable of.

Take Q from Star Trek, for instance.  He would fit the definition of a god in the lowercase, seeing as not only can he access a plane of existence that humans cannot (wherever the Q continuum is), and most importantly, he can manipulate matter and energy to his will, making different things appear out of seemingly thin air (like a mariacchi band).

Interestingly, there's this article from a website I discovered a while back thanks to TV Tropes—Exit Mundi, which is a collection of scenarios in which the world as we know it could end.  Some are plausible, some are highly unlikely but interesting, etc.

But the page about eternity (http://www.exitmundi.nl/exitmundi.htm the second one to the left on the top row of four). brings up an interesting point: given enough time, blobs of matter and energy could cause things to reappear in the vaccuum, such as the Eiffel Tower, seemingly out of nowhere.  It could be that gods in the lowercase have somehow figured out how to harness those sort of anomalies and that would be how such Fear's are possible for them.
Sometimes what is unknown is the most interesting.

"It is always darker right before the light.  Or for some people, it just stays dark, but they don't seem to notice."

Offline Defiance

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Re: Defiance and CrystalDragon: "Gods, Existence, and the Supernatural"
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2016, 12:55:05 AM »
Quote
gods have a specific location and time in the universe, and are made of matter

Matter. Hmm. Can you specify what exactly? Which kinds of atoms?

So if they have a specific location and time, are they bound by space and time, like everything else in existence? You cannot have location and time without being a part of space-time. Most importantly, if they have a location, where are they? I'd like to see one.

Quote
are able to manipulate matter and energy to their will in a way that humans are incapable of.

How do you know this? Can you demonstrate this claim? How do they do this?



As for the physics, the very same physics that predicts quantum fluctuations, it also tells us that time and space began existing at the Big Bang, approximately 13.7 billion years ago.

And if time and space began there, and gods have a time and location... they were created in the Big Bang? Surely they couldn't have existence (location/time) "before" the Big Bang?


My issue with the whole shebang is that I can't bring myself to "believing" this god stuff because nothing I know supports any idea of gods. 

From what I can tell, you also have nothing to prove to yourself that gods are a part of reality, and not an imagined concept. What exactly convinces you that the universe contains gods?
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/schooljokes/physicsjokes.html

Online CrystalDragon

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Re: Defiance and CrystalDragon: "Gods, Existence, and the Supernatural"
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2016, 09:03:23 PM »
Quote
gods have a specific location and time in the universe, and are made of matter

Matter. Hmm. Can you specify what exactly? Which kinds of atoms?

So if they have a specific location and time, are they bound by space and time, like everything else in existence? You cannot have location and time without being a part of space-time. Most importantly, if they have a location, where are they? I'd like to see one.


If gods in the lowercase exist, I'd assume that they  would have a homeworld (or several) in some ways similar to ours.  Even so, though we are like forms primarily based around carbon, they could either be carbon based too or made up of some atomic form completely alien to us, perhaps even made up of elements that we haven't discovered yet.

Quote
How do you know this? Can you demonstrate this claim? How do they do this?



As for the physics, the very same physics that predicts quantum fluctuations, it also tells us that time and space began existing at the Big Bang, approximately 13.7 billion years ago.

And if time and space began there, and gods have a time and location... they were created in the Big Bang? Surely they couldn't have existence (location/time) "before" the Big Bang?


My issue with the whole shebang is that I can't bring myself to "believing" this god stuff because nothing I know supports any idea of gods. 

From what I can tell, you also have nothing to prove to yourself that gods are a part of reality, and not an imagined concept. What exactly convinces you that the universe contains gods?

I freely admit that I can't demonstrate this claim in the same way that I could demonstrate I have a cap, laptop, capacity for empathy, etc.   This doesn't mean they aren't possible, granted, just that it's not currently within our concrete discovery yet.  Better to admit when you don't really know something rather than grasping at excuses that you only halfheartedly feel/come up with.

As for the "before the Big Bang" currently we don't know, at least for certain, what came before the Big Bang. though I have heard theories, among them being a kind of "cyclical universe" (all matter condensing into a black hole and then restarting, etc) or that it was perhaps the membranes of two parallel universes colliding with each other.  If the parallel universe theory is correct, and beings that would be gods to us have perfected time/space/universal travel, I don't see why they couldn't have traveled to or even, in some way, started our universe (though that would be a good deal harder if we go with the 'black hole starting the universe' theory given the near-infinite gravity of black holes).  In that way, being much more advanced than us and literally from a world/universe beyond ours, they could easily be seen as "gods", especially to those in the earliest cultures of human civilization.
Sometimes what is unknown is the most interesting.

"It is always darker right before the light.  Or for some people, it just stays dark, but they don't seem to notice."

Offline Defiance

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Re: Defiance and CrystalDragon: "Gods, Existence, and the Supernatural"
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2016, 03:45:42 PM »
CrystalDragon,

Quote
I'd assume that they  would have a homeworld...could either be carbon based too or made up of some atomic form completely alien to us, perhaps even made up of elements that we haven't discovered yet

What leads you to conclude that gods have these properties? What evidence have you seen?

These theories of physics need a hefty amount of work. Therefore I just don't think it's fair for us, the general public, to try and use them to explain things. Experts in the field work hard to try and make explanations that not only comply with everything they observe in the universe, but also what they think of "before" the Big Bang.

But I want to stress this idea:

If gods exist within space and time, how are they able to create space and time (aka, the universe, etc)? It seems that before gods would began existing, space time would have to be there before them.
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/schooljokes/physicsjokes.html