Author Topic: Natural Explanation Vs Magical  (Read 8206 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #87 on: March 29, 2014, 12:11:14 AM »
So I'm afraid I don't really have an answer. Perhaps you could tell me what you think we should mean by natural?
May I suggest: "not created for a purpose; not created intentionally; not created for a reason; created by non-sentient forces."

Thanks Graybeard.  That could be considered a working definition for this thread to help discussion.  penfold's definition was comprehensive and impressive but could 'scare' us all out of continuing because it would be so difficult to try and take account of all the possible meanings of the word 'natural'.

Your (working) definition strikes me as getting close to the heart of the question posed by the OP.

So if we take natural to mean 'not designed' or 'without purpose' this should help us maintain clarity and not get too side-tracked.

I linked 'natural' to 'cause and effect' which does not immediately tie in with 'not designed' but I was only considering one aspect of 'natural'.

If we consider for a moment what we call 'the laws of nature' these are regarded by non theists as being without purpose and i think we can agree that a key aspect of the 'action' of these laws is through cause and effect. So I think we can all stay on the same page and consistent using these terms.

Now, one place I think we could get into trouble is the use of the term 'supernatural'.  By 'supernatural' do we mean anything that is not natural ?  If that is the case then would we have to say that anything we humans create intentionally (ie with purpose) is therefore supernatural ?  That would sound odd.  So if supernatural is not the full complement of natural then we will soon need at least one more term for the remainder (ie not natural or supernatural).

I think that the term 'supernatural' is currently being used by some posters as the only possible alternative to natural.  This would indicate that they consider anything that humans do with intention (purpose) is natural.

I typed all this to see where it leads and now I think I am going to ask Greybeard (or anyone else) to amend his definition so that things created purposefully by humans are not now defined as supernatural.

Just to give Greybeard's definition again, 'natural' = "not created for a purpose; not created intentionally; not created for a reason; created by non-sentient forces."

Any other comments also welcome.

[ I wasn't expecting that to be my end point when I started typing but so be it :-) ]



Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #88 on: March 29, 2014, 12:56:29 AM »

[snip]

The next step then ie what we choose to name the 'uncaused origin', is up to the beholder.  'The unknown' is possibly as good a name as any.

But just don't pretend that it's natural.

The only one doing the pretending is you - since you are choosing to arbitrarily assert (i.e. - merely claim "by my definition it's true...") that the cause of our local universe is not natural. Sorry, you don't just get to pretend that your "supernatural" verbiage is a sufficient answer. For one, you have yet to even coherently define this "supernatural". All you did was make the assertion (once again, which I rebutted) that natural means cause and effect. But that attempt at a definition is insufficient for taking into account all things that are in fact part of the natural world (i.e. - all things that exist and can be demonstrated in some coherent way or have sound evidence to support their existence). You are attempting to define your way into victory. FAIL. What you actually need is a demonstration of this "supernatural" of which you claim is there - not just "I define natural this way. So I'm going to exclude anything I personally don't know about or understand, and instead just posit the 'super' natural." This is precisely the path that your predecessors took when they didn't understand things in the natural order. "Look! There's lightening coming from the clouds! It must have been supernatural Zeus!"

When we don't know something, we should admit it - not claim it's "supernatural" out of our ignorance or incredulity.

I haven't used the term supernatural - because that term has so much baggage attached to it.  All I am saying is that the origin cannot be natural.  I have not (yet) made any claims about the non-natural origin.

I am making no claims about the origin other than that it is not natural.

So let's stick to this point before we try and make any leap to defining supernatural.

You are saying that I am simply defining things the way I want.  So let's examine that clearly.

I am not talking about things we do not understand.  I am talking about either -
   - a first event for the universe (first = uncaused) OR
   - a universe that had no beginning (no first event) - and no beginning means uncaused

Is there a third option ?  If not then we are not dealing with unknowns.  We are dealing with just two known logical possibilities.

'Uncaused' is at the basis of both options.  Now median, can 'uncaused' be 'natural' in any sense of the word 'natural' ?

This is what you are not addressing.  Nothing to do with unknowns.  Nothing to to with incredulity.   Nothing to do with ignorance.

Anyone else is welcome to have a go at this also.

Offline median

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1790
  • Darwins +186/-15
  • Gender: Male
  • Yahweh: Obviously not obvious.
    • Talk Origins
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #89 on: March 29, 2014, 02:17:25 AM »
I haven't used the term supernatural - because that term has so much baggage attached to it.  All I am saying is that the origin cannot be natural.  I have not (yet) made any claims about the non-natural origin.

I am making no claims about the origin other than that it is not natural.

So let's stick to this point before we try and make any leap to defining supernatural.

You are saying that I am simply defining things the way I want.  So let's examine that clearly.

I am not talking about things we do not understand.  I am talking about either -
   - a first event for the universe (first = uncaused) OR
   - a universe that had no beginning (no first event) - and no beginning means uncaused

Is there a third option ?  If not then we are not dealing with unknowns.  We are dealing with just two known logical possibilities.

'Uncaused' is at the basis of both options.  Now median, can 'uncaused' be 'natural' in any sense of the word 'natural' ?

This is what you are not addressing.  Nothing to do with unknowns.  Nothing to to with incredulity.   Nothing to do with ignorance.

Anyone else is welcome to have a go at this also.

You must not have read or understood my previous posts. The scientists working in this field do-not-know and neither do you. So you shouldn't be pretending to talk about 'this option' vs 'that option'. Absolutely NONE of us is in a position to postulate about "options". YOU DON'T KNOW what the options are and you shouldn't act like you do. There are lots of unknowns in the scientific enterprise and we do not just insert "oh it's not natural then" when we don't understand something. Logically speaking, there are lots of possibilities. But the time to actually go with one of those possibilities (TENTATIVELY btw) is when there is sufficient evidence.

Now, ALL of our current evidence and experience in this phenomenal reality IS in fact natural. So to merely CLAIM that a cause of something is not natural is both ad hoc and question begging. Again, there are lots of unexpected, and counter-intuitive, things which are discovered by science (such as at the quantum level). But absolutely NONE of that makes it "not natural". This is just verbiage that is being made-up to crack the door open for supernatural mumbo-jumbo pseudoscience.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #90 on: March 29, 2014, 03:36:14 AM »
Dominic, you  did not respond to my post-- about how logical-sounding words do not necessarily reflect reality and how if there is a powerful loving being behind everything who wanted us to know about it, we would all know about it. Clearly and without a doubt. Do you agree or not? 

[snip]
 
That puts us back to the starting line. What is the point of proposing a god-person that does nothing but exist, undetectable and unknowable, out there somewhere? At best, you have created a deist god, Dominic. One that made everything and then poofed itself away, leaving no trace of its existence.

I await the next step, which is invariably the claim that nothing is real and we cannot truly know anything anyway..... :-\

Hello ngfm

I think you are reading a bit more into my posts than is there.  So far I am only dealing with the question of natural vs magical vs perhaps something else.  If someone agrees with the gist of one of my posts I'm not going to suddenly say 'Aha, therefore there is a God and the bible is literally true' (the second part which I don't believe anyway).  I don't want to do that.

I agree that 'logical sounding words' can be just as unhelpful and confusing as any other words depending on how they are used and we need to be careful.  Logic is just a guide.  On it's own, it doesn't actually tell us what is true.

At the risk of veering off the thread I will comment on your first paragraph above.  I agree at least partly!  If God wanted us to know about something then it could just instantly be so.  Yes, it probably could.  But if you then insisted that God must therefore reveal all to us immediately then I absolutely disagree.  It would be like telling the end of the story, throwing away a kids toys because they will eventually break, or telling someone about life without letting them experience it.  In fact I think we would complain to God if that happened!

As I mentioned I think that is off topic.  It is interesting - but it is a different topic to the OP.  Give me a PM if you would like to continue this discussion somewhere else.

Re this thread, I am simply saying that the origin (whether or not it is eternal) must be uncaused and that anything uncaused cannot be natural.   I have made no conclusions or assumptions about God from that logic.  And I welcome challenges to that logic or a definition of natural which could encompass something that is uncaused.



Offline junebug72

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1999
  • Darwins +71/-80
  • Gender: Female
  • "Question Everything"
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #91 on: March 29, 2014, 05:59:34 AM »
What way do you believe then?

I believe in a Natural God not religion.


I don't think it even makes sense to talk about what happened before the Big Bang. Our language, intuition and conceptualisation totally breaks down here.

That's the same way I feel about being asked to prove God exists.


I've not said nature isn't capable. What I am saying is that 1) such a being (which is indistinguishable from an advanced alien species) is unnecessary and 2) there is no evidence to suggest that an intelligence created us.
This isn't aimed just at you, but anyone who uses complexity as a signpost for intelligent design - that is by throwing intelligence into the mix you are increasing complexity, not just doubly so, but exponentially so..... to infinity. The evidence we have doesn't match this but matches the logical standpoint where things start off simple and gradually become more complex.

An alien species needs a planet.  I do not consider God a species.

I have never witnessed something simple becoming more complex.  Here my conceptualism breaks down.  I'm not here just to give you a hard time.  I really am in search of truth.  If I could conceive the No God explanation I would.  My brain rejects the idea.  What am I supposed to do with that? I am going to start a thread to discuss this.

I do not agree that having a creator makes things more complex.  The simple answer has always been God.  In my experience the simple answer is the most logical answer.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomas_paine.html#XXwlhVIMq06zWg2d.99

Offline median

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1790
  • Darwins +186/-15
  • Gender: Male
  • Yahweh: Obviously not obvious.
    • Talk Origins
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #92 on: March 29, 2014, 01:08:19 PM »
At the risk of veering off the thread I will comment on your first paragraph above.  I agree at least partly! If God wanted us to know about something then it could just instantly be so.  Yes, it probably could.  But if you then insisted that God must therefore reveal all to us immediately then I absolutely disagree.  It would be like telling the end of the story, throwing away a kids toys because they will eventually break, or telling someone about life without letting them experience it.  In fact I think we would complain to God if that happened!


This term that you are using ("God") doesn't actually refer to anything real. You might as well say, "If Blark-Schmarbelfarben wanted us to know about something...[insert anything here]" because it works just the same. Putting letters together that you can then sound-out doesn't in any way show that those letters (i.e. - that word) is coherent or has any objective reality. Again, kids use the word "Santa". It doesn't refer.

Re this thread, I am simply saying that the origin (whether or not it is eternal) must be uncaused and that anything uncaused cannot be natural.   I have made no conclusions or assumptions about God from that logic.  And I welcome challenges to that logic or a definition of natural which could encompass something that is uncaused.

This just sounds like an assertion, not something that you actually deduced from the evidence. How could you possibly know ANYTHING (whatsoever) about the essence of the cause of our current local known universe? All you're really appealing to here is your own speculation. As I mentioned before, there are lots of possibilities (as far as science is concerned) and to just jump on the one that agrees with your theology (in Craig/Moreland fashion) isn't a reliable way of fact finding. There very well could be a whole host of natural but unknown, and counter-intuitive, phenomena that we have yet to discover about physics, space time, the cosmos, black holes, dark energy/matter, and countless other subjects (and the time to believe something about them is after sufficient evidence, not before). So, why close your mind by asserting that whatever caused our universe must be "non-natural"?

Furthermore, what makes you think that the cause of our known universe must be "uncaused"? This sounds like a J.P. Moreland line coming, about "the impossibility of an actual infinite". If in fact that is the line of reasoning you are driving at I will respond like this. 1) Do you believe "God" (whatever that means) is actually infinite? If so, then this rebuttal is mute due to it's hypocrisy. We only need Occams Razor to stop with the global universe and there's no need to posit a deity. 2) How could you know if our current experience is not just on a continuum, and that we are just part of that continuum? Xeno made a related mistake with his arrows, in postulating that distance is infinite because we can keep dividing the distance an arrow travels (in half), infinitely. Similarly, saying that an "actual infinite" is impossible because we would have had to go through a series of infinite past events in order to get to "now" is to assume that such a mindset correctly represents how reality actually works (i.e. - that we are not just on a continuum and experiencing part of it wholly now - like the below image). And 3) the argument is really based in ignorance, since it assumes the reality of how an "actual infinite" might actually be played-out, or actualized. So too, it is ad hoc, since Moreland (and others who propose the argument) haven't really shown how this would be impossible. It's just an assertion, and since the First Law[1] tells us that energy can neither be created nor destroyed we have better reason for thinking that our experience is simply a part of the global whole of an infinitely continuing matter/energy reality.
 1. of Thermodynamics
« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 01:18:13 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6188
  • Darwins +778/-4
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #93 on: March 29, 2014, 01:35:05 PM »
Dominic, thanks for the reply. I did not say that the god-person had to reveal every secret of the universe to everyone in the world at the same time[1]--as you say, similar to telling a child the ending of the fantastic story before starting. 

I just said that any god-beings that give a damn about humans should let everyone know that they exist, clearly and without a doubt. Otherwise they are just hiding, d!cking around with us, leaving random hints and prophecies here and there, letting everyone make up their own god-beings and religions that mostly get everything wrong.

Except for science, which is at least contingently true and available to everyone, we don't have any other way of figuring things out. The god-beings are of no help; in fact every religion and god that has been proposed has been shown to have no connection to the real world as we learn about it from science. Why would that be?

If it is important that we know about these god-people, they need to step up their game. Because we humans are missing the mark and we need more than hints to a few prophets.
 1. Although that would be literally the most awesome thing ever
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6188
  • Darwins +778/-4
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #94 on: March 29, 2014, 02:06:30 PM »
junebug, simple things become more complex in nature all the time. That is why the natural world is so full of stuff to study and discover. Nature is all about cycles of simple things becoming more complex, then becoming simple again and complex all over again.

One easy example. Simple seeds grow into complex plants. The tiniest seed can grow into a huge tree, which is a complicated living thing that transforms energy from the sun and water from the soil into wood, leaves, fruit and of course more seeds.

Another example. Simple sand and clay sediment under heat and pressure form rocks and then break down into sand and sediment again. Mountains build up slowly from simple layers of earth and sometimes erupt as complex volcanoes. The volcanic lava breaks down into soil, which build up into mountains again.

Yet another example. A simple drop of water, frozen under the proper conditions, becomes the incredibly complex crystal we see as a uniquely beautiful snowflake.

Still another example. Simple raw ingredients like sugar, salt, milk and flour when combined with heat become much more complex things like bread, cake, cookies, etc.

One more example. Tiny human egg and sperm cells meet up and, under the right conditions,  become complex fetuses and then are eventually born as even more complex babies and then grow into teenagers (the most complicated of all)  and then (very slowly) become normal adults.

I am sure you can come up with lots of examples of your own if you think about it.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Online Ataraxia

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 463
  • Darwins +67/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • "I am large, I contain multitudes."
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #95 on: March 29, 2014, 03:46:55 PM »
What way do you believe then?

I believe in a Natural God not religion.

So what you said wasn't hypothetical. Ultimately, at root level, you see everything as a result of nature.

Quote
I don't think it even makes sense to talk about what happened before the Big Bang. Our language, intuition and conceptualisation totally breaks down here.

That's the same way I feel about being asked to prove God exists.

Funny isn't it, how the mysteriousness of god runs parallel with the gaps in our understanding of the reality we perceive....

Quote
I've not said nature isn't capable. What I am saying is that 1) such a being (which is indistinguishable from an advanced alien species) is unnecessary and 2) there is no evidence to suggest that an intelligence created us.
This isn't aimed just at you, but anyone who uses complexity as a signpost for intelligent design - that is by throwing intelligence into the mix you are increasing complexity, not just doubly so, but exponentially so..... to infinity. The evidence we have doesn't match this but matches the logical standpoint where things start off simple and gradually become more complex.

An alien species needs a planet.  I do not consider God a species.

Do they? How can we know all living things need a celestial body in order to exist?

Quote
I have never witnessed something simple becoming more complex.  Here my conceptualism breaks down.  I'm not here just to give you a hard time.  I really am in search of truth.  If I could conceive the No God explanation I would.  My brain rejects the idea.  What am I supposed to do with that? I am going to start a thread to discuss this.

See ngfm's post. Also, I can't make you conceive the idea of no god, and when it boils down to it, I wouldn't want to either. If it leaves you uncomfortable, leave it alone, but at least you can try to understand why others do not reject it.

Quote
I do not agree that having a creator makes things more complex.  The simple answer has always been God.  In my experience the simple answer is the most logical answer.

If you consider intelligence to be complex then god isn't the simple answer.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #96 on: March 29, 2014, 04:07:26 PM »

This term that you are using ("God") doesn't actually refer to anything real. You might as well say, "If Blark-Schmarbelfarben wanted us to know about something...[insert anything here]" because it works just the same. Putting letters together that you can then sound-out doesn't in any way show that those letters (i.e. - that word) is coherent or has any objective reality. Again, kids use the word "Santa". It doesn't refer.

The name of this website uses the term god.  This website is all about the question of whether or not god/s exist.   It's going to be difficult communicating if we never use that term in our discussions.

I was responding to ngfm's hypothetical about a 'powerful loving being behind everything' and simply used the quick term God instead of multiple typings of ngfm's phrase.



Offline Lukvance

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1476
  • Darwins +9/-131
  • Gender: Male
  • Catholic
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #97 on: March 29, 2014, 04:12:08 PM »
Hey median : "Can I say that God is a valid explanation for our universe and so is the Big Bang. That they are not opposed one from another but work together to make the whole truth?"
I could [support my claims], but you wouldn't understand. Others have tried and you can't or won't see it.

You're worth more than my time

Offline median

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1790
  • Darwins +186/-15
  • Gender: Male
  • Yahweh: Obviously not obvious.
    • Talk Origins
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #98 on: March 29, 2014, 04:13:04 PM »

This term that you are using ("God") doesn't actually refer to anything real. You might as well say, "If Blark-Schmarbelfarben wanted us to know about something...[insert anything here]" because it works just the same. Putting letters together that you can then sound-out doesn't in any way show that those letters (i.e. - that word) is coherent or has any objective reality. Again, kids use the word "Santa". It doesn't refer.

The name of this website uses the term god.  This website is all about the question of whether or not god/s exist.   It's going to be difficult communicating if we never use that term in our discussions.

I was responding to ngfm's hypothetical about a 'powerful loving being behind everything' and simply used the quick term God instead of multiple typings of ngfm's phrase.

You missed my point. You can use that term "God", just like children use the term "Santa" but the terms don't have referents. They are just words, for which no one has soundly demonstrated anything real that actually stands behind them (unless, like Santa, you're willing to admit that the term "God" just refers to what is natural; like the dude in the red suit at the mall!).

How does it make sense whatsoever to talk about "a loving being behind everything". Where is "behind everything"? What does that even mean? How does that term even make any sense whatsoever and where is the actual evidence for it?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Lukvance

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1476
  • Darwins +9/-131
  • Gender: Male
  • Catholic
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #99 on: March 29, 2014, 04:14:16 PM »
Hey Foxy Freedom when you say
Quote
The writers of the NT believed in Genesis, so did the people who wrote the OT.
Where you there? what makes you say that. Did they believe that it was an historical fact?
I could [support my claims], but you wouldn't understand. Others have tried and you can't or won't see it.

You're worth more than my time

Offline Foxy Freedom

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1135
  • Darwins +79/-11
  • Gods become obsolete all the time.
    • Foxy Freedom on Doctor Who
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #100 on: March 29, 2014, 04:29:07 PM »
Hey Foxy Freedom when you say
Quote
The writers of the NT believed in Genesis, so did the people who wrote the OT.
Where you there? what makes you say that. Did they believe that it was an historical fact?

Yes, I was there this morning. I asked the author and he told me in his own words. You should ask him too.
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Foxy Freedom

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1135
  • Darwins +79/-11
  • Gods become obsolete all the time.
    • Foxy Freedom on Doctor Who
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #101 on: March 29, 2014, 04:32:47 PM »
Dominic,


This would be much less fun if you were a Christian.  Thank you for your response.  I particularly like it that you are focusing on logic.

I think you have misunderstood my point.

1. 'Nature' refers to the phenomenon that we call 'cause and effect'.

2. 'First cause' on the other hand, is that which gave/gives rise to the phenomenon that we call 'cause and effect'.

3. That which arises through cause and effect is natural.

4. But that which gave rise to (the phenomenon known as) 'cause and effect' itself cannot then be natural.

Tell me if that amends your understanding of what I was saying.

Analogy:  Apples are a type of fruit.  But that which gave rise to apples cannot then (by pure logic alone) itself  be 'apples'.

I understand totally what you are saying that is why I find it so funny. You are just making up definitions to suit yourself. None of your points are entirely true.

Ok, so pls correct one or all of my definitions and we'll take it from there.

I tried to help you out, but you got frightened and ignored me. Now you just keep repeating yourself.

Here is a simple question. If you take a torch and shine light into a mirror, what is the cause and effect you can see (the law if you like) and is what you see natural?
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Foxy Freedom

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1135
  • Darwins +79/-11
  • Gods become obsolete all the time.
    • Foxy Freedom on Doctor Who
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #102 on: March 29, 2014, 04:52:08 PM »
Now you accuse me of lying, as though I cannot ask the author. Once again you are seeing what you want to see.

He told me Genesis was true in Luke 3:23 because he had traced the family of Jesus back to Adam, and of course you know what Luke says is true?
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #103 on: March 29, 2014, 05:38:32 PM »
Dominic,

[snip]

I tried to help you out, but you got frightened and ignored me. Now you just keep repeating yourself.

Here is a simple question. If you take a torch and shine light into a mirror, what is the cause and effect you can see (the law if you like) and is what you see natural?


The first 3 effects listed below could also be regarded as (secondary) causes of the effects which follow them -

(Primary) cause: Turn on torch and point at mirror
Effect: Light emitted against mirror
Effect 2: Light reflected by mirror
Effect 3: Light enters eye
Effect 4: Light interpreted by brain

The effects can be considered natural as they follow from the cause in a repeatable, testable and observable manner.

The primary cause (ie switching on the torch and pointing it) can be considered natural if it stems from causes before it.  The cause (I would suggest in this instance) is the purpose of the individual who decided to use the torch.  A determinist would say that the human's actions were caused by predetermined conditions but I think more people would prefer to say that the person made a deliberate choice through free will.

Either way there are causes behind the human's actions so I am calling these natural actions.  Human actions are testable and observable but may not always be repeatable because of the many factors influencing a human decision.



Online Ataraxia

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 463
  • Darwins +67/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • "I am large, I contain multitudes."
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #104 on: March 29, 2014, 05:43:11 PM »
[...] does that mean you agree that simultaneity makes a hash of a god that creates the universe/spacetime from a timeless, eternal state?
The way I understand timelessness is more complex than simultaneity. In timelessness everything is and is not at the same time, it's something I have difficulty wrapping my mind around, a little like Schrodinger's cat who was alive and dead at the same "time". Heck even simultaneity is not that clear to me.

First off, you're appealing to time to describe timelessness. Next all you're saying timelessness is is simultaneity but where things can logically contradict. In the context of what we are discussing, that just means that god simultaneously created the universe and didn't create the universe, even though that means the universe/space time has always existed too. I really don't think you understand the implications of what you are suggesting, but are just clinging to that lack of understanding regardless.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Offline Foxy Freedom

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1135
  • Darwins +79/-11
  • Gods become obsolete all the time.
    • Foxy Freedom on Doctor Who
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #105 on: March 29, 2014, 05:45:44 PM »
What about effect 2 in detail since it can be regarded as the universe acting alone. Is the reflection natural? Is there a cause and effect law for the way the light is reflected?
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #106 on: March 29, 2014, 05:56:23 PM »
What about effect 2 in detail since it can be regarded as the universe acting alone. Is the reflection natural? Is there a cause and effect law for the way the light is reflected?

Photons absorbed and emitted by atoms ?  I'm pretty sure that science regards that as cause and effect action.


Offline Foxy Freedom

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1135
  • Darwins +79/-11
  • Gods become obsolete all the time.
    • Foxy Freedom on Doctor Who
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #107 on: March 29, 2014, 06:02:43 PM »
What about effect 2 in detail since it can be regarded as the universe acting alone. Is the reflection natural? Is there a cause and effect law for the way the light is reflected?

Photons absorbed and emitted by atoms ?  I'm pretty sure that science regards that as cause and effect action.

I was thinking of something simpler." The angle of reflected light is equal to the angle of incident light." Does that meet all your requirements of cause and effect and totally natural?

You can think of the surface of a lake if you object to a mirror. It works the same way.
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #108 on: March 29, 2014, 06:09:38 PM »
What about effect 2 in detail since it can be regarded as the universe acting alone. Is the reflection natural? Is there a cause and effect law for the way the light is reflected?

Photons absorbed and emitted by atoms ?  I'm pretty sure that science regards that as cause and effect action.

I was thinking of something simpler." The angle of reflected light is equal to the angle of incident light." Does that meet all your requirements of cause and effect and totally natural?

You can think of the surface of a lake if you object to a mirror. It works the same way.

Yes, I believe the reflected angle is the effect of the angle of incidence (proximate cause) and can be considered natural.

Offline Foxy Freedom

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1135
  • Darwins +79/-11
  • Gods become obsolete all the time.
    • Foxy Freedom on Doctor Who
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #109 on: March 29, 2014, 06:12:04 PM »
Now let's look at what is really happening. Do you know how an individual photon travels from the torch to the mirror and reflects off at exactly the same angle?
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #110 on: March 29, 2014, 06:22:49 PM »
Now let's look at what is really happening. Do you know how an individual photon travels from the torch to the mirror and reflects off at exactly the same angle?

I don't know the exact process of photon absorption, emission or perhaps deflection(?) requiring the exact same angle but with a billiard ball (analogy) bouncing off the side cushion it does so at the same angle so the result for the photon is not wholly unexpected or counter intuitive.

Offline Foxy Freedom

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1135
  • Darwins +79/-11
  • Gods become obsolete all the time.
    • Foxy Freedom on Doctor Who
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #111 on: March 29, 2014, 06:37:35 PM »
Now let's look at what is really happening. Do you know how an individual photon travels from the torch to the mirror and reflects off at exactly the same angle?

I don't know the exact process of photon absorption, emission or perhaps deflection(?) requiring the exact same angle but with a billiard ball (analogy) bouncing off the side cushion it does so at the same angle so the result for the photon is not wholly unexpected or counter intuitive.

Well, you might be surprised at the answer. The answer is that photons don't obey the laws of cause and effect as they travel from the torch. They hit the mirror at every angle and are reflected at every angle. They don't even have to hit the mirror at all. What makes them do this? Nothing. The motion is without cause. When you look into a mirror you are seeing an uncaused action become a caused one simply by random motions cancelling each other out.
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Graybeard

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6418
  • Darwins +456/-14
  • Gender: Male
  • Is this going somewhere?
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #112 on: March 29, 2014, 06:47:25 PM »
Hey median : "Can I say that God is a valid explanation for our universe and so is the Big Bang. That they are not opposed one from another but work together to make the whole truth?"
No. You cannot. Statements with reference to the supernatural in them are never really acceptable:

Which do you prefer:

1. "My computer crashed because it has a virus."
2. "My computer crashed because it has a virus and a goblin cursed it. They are not opposed one from another but work together to make the whole truth."

I know which I think is better.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #113 on: March 29, 2014, 08:19:09 PM »
Now let's look at what is really happening. Do you know how an individual photon travels from the torch to the mirror and reflects off at exactly the same angle?

I don't know the exact process of photon absorption, emission or perhaps deflection(?) requiring the exact same angle but with a billiard ball (analogy) bouncing off the side cushion it does so at the same angle so the result for the photon is not wholly unexpected or counter intuitive.

Well, you might be surprised at the answer. The answer is that photons don't obey the laws of cause and effect as they travel from the torch. They hit the mirror at every angle and are reflected at every angle. They don't even have to hit the mirror at all. What makes them do this? Nothing. The motion is without cause. When you look into a mirror you are seeing an uncaused action become a caused one simply by random motions cancelling each other out.

So we are talking about results which have a probability pattern.  And the pattern is densest in a particular direction (keeping the torch in the mirror example) and that direction is along the line of equal angle to incidence at the tangent to the mirror's surface.  (That could be worded better)

So the net (total) result is not random.  The net result is predictable - like the half life of radioactive decay or the average death rate of a population which insurance companies rely on.

An individual photon or a single atom's decay or person's death is perhaps impossible to predict but when considered in a large group or population the results become predictable.

This ties in with the famous double slit experiment and with Schrodinger's cat (thought experiment) and with a person's short and long term fortunes when gambling.

In quantum interactions there is said to be intrinsic indeterminacy (often called uncertainty) which means that individual atomic events are totally unpredictable - not just due to our limited knowledge and measurement but actually intrinsic in the very nature of the particles.

As with all science this theory may be disproved at some later time but the recent evidence appears to be strengthening the case for inherent indeterminacy rather than weakening it.

Okay, so this leaves us with an apparent breakdown in cause and effect at the micro level even though at the macro level there is still accurate predictability eg radioactive half-life.

So it could be argued that a single photon's (or other elementary particle's) interaction is uncaused.

Foxy, my question then back to you is 'Is that uncaused interaction natural in your view ? and if so under what definition of natural?'

Offline Foxy Freedom

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1135
  • Darwins +79/-11
  • Gods become obsolete all the time.
    • Foxy Freedom on Doctor Who
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #114 on: March 29, 2014, 08:41:01 PM »
The single photon works exactly the same way all the time, whether the motion appears to be caused or not. It doesn't change into something else.

Btw It is good to see that you took time to confirm what I said and learned the general concepts.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 08:54:54 PM by Foxy Freedom »
Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

The 2nd edition of the free ebook Devil or Delusion ? The danger of Christianity to Democracy Freedom and Science.       http://t.co/2d1KcJ9V

Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #115 on: March 29, 2014, 09:16:39 PM »
The single photon works exactly the same way all the time, whether the motion appears to be caused or not. It doesn't change into something else.

Btw It is good to see that you took time to confirm what I said and learned the general concepts.

I've received your +1 undeservedly!  What an outrage! : - )

My PM to you explains.