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Good Questions?
Posted: 29 July 2012 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Hell, If i wouldnt be here I wouldnt believe i am here… which is a damn stupid, but also true statement.

So nothing (no space, time, matter, energy) is unable of existence and nothing finally “collapsed” into existence?


It is scary to think that there might be something outside the universe which is much more weird than all this, but it is also damn scary to think that there is absolutely nothing out there… the universe is a scary place, i want to move somewhere else, like Bavaria grin

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Posted: 29 July 2012 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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GdB - 29 July 2012 03:19 AM

I have no definite stance on this subject. I am inclined to say that it is a misuse of the concept of ‘existing’ to say that ‘laws of nature exist’. It seems a bit ‘spooky’ existence compared to rocks and mountains. What are laws of nature when the objects they are supposed to describe do not even exist yet? This seems to lead to a modern kind of platonism, which I somehow find an unacceptable position.

It’s not spooky at all. If one’s physical theory quantfies over laws of nature (i.e., it says, “There exist laws of nature X, Y, Z”), then laws of nature exist. They are different from rocks and mountains in that they lack specific, spatiotemporal attributes: they exist everywhere and at every time, not only at certain places and times. But I don’t see why that difference should concern us.

GdB - 29 July 2012 03:19 AM

PS There is critic on Krauss position here. I start reading now… Maybe this reflects your position, Doug?

Yes, this seems exactly right. I don’t like the term very much, but this is one case of a good physicist with a “scientism” complex. Massimo Pigliucci also weighs in HERE.

Let me be clear: Krauss’s stuff about QM is an interesting footnote to the debate about why something exists rather than nothing. Basically what he’s showing is that if you assume the laws of QM to exist, then it is easy to show why there are (e.g.) physical objects rather than not. And given that, as I say, I find the theological version of the “something rather than nothing” question to be either ill-formed or trivial, I am certainly willing to lend Krauss some weak applause in making some physical sense of the question. But what he’s answered is not the question itself, since his answer assumes the existence of something: viz., the laws of quantum mechanics.

Krauss so clearly assumes what is supposed to require proof; his error is trivial.

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Posted: 29 July 2012 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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dougsmith - 29 July 2012 05:59 AM

It’s not spooky at all. If one’s physical theory quantfies over laws of nature (i.e., it says, “There exist laws of nature X, Y, Z”), then laws of nature exist. They are different from rocks and mountains in that they lack specific, spatiotemporal attributes: they exist everywhere and at every time, not only at certain places and times. But I don’t see why that difference should concern us.

That sounds like Popper’s third world. Is that would you mean? Isn’t that a Platonic vision?

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Posted: 29 July 2012 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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GdB - 29 July 2012 08:35 AM

That sounds like Popper’s third world. Is that would you mean? Isn’t that a Platonic vision?

I have no idea about Popper, and don’t really care. Depending on how one interprets Plato, it is similar to some of his ideas. Though Plato often thought of these abstracta as somehow perfected; laws of nature need not be perfected in any sense.

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Posted: 29 July 2012 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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If we can observe the function of a natural law during an event, does that mean it existed prior to, and was invoked during the event or was the function created at the time of the event?
IMO, Natural laws and their functions exist as a inherent characteristic of the structure of this universe. It is well described by the the term “a latent excellence which may become reality” or Potential.

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Posted: 06 September 2012 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I’m going to check out that book by Krauss. If he’s suggesting that something cannot possibly come from absolutely nothingness, I’m certain he is wrong before I even read his work though. It may seem conflicting to think so. And at first I did think so.  It seems rational. I don’t have to assume, I know I’m alive; Absolute nothingness is defined as the negation of all existence and existences. Being alive is, at least, some existence; Therefore, “I am alive” AND “Absolute Nothingness exists” appear as contradictory statements as a conjunction.

But here’s a thought…if you can only put a finite amount of given real things in a given real container, how many imaginary things can you put in an imaginary container? In other words, the finite real set would be infinitely zero compared to the infinite, empty set {0} in that for every particular truth, you can always find an infinite more falsehoods. In calculus, this amounts to saying that reality is nothing at all!

Does this raise the concepts of idealism? Yes. I’ve read Plato’s works and The Republic may come to mind for those of you who have read it. But taking interpretation into his work or followers of his is inappropriate because of historical and religious connotations that have come after it, even if they may or may not have been to his intentions. There an idealism that should be considered though that can be related in terms of our contemporary society.
    The causation argument presented earlier here is usually rebutted with the challenge of a further causation. If a god could be a prime mover, why should we stop there? What caused God? Of course Thomas just used an ideal definition and then symbolized it as, “God”. Religious people usually understand they are stumped at this point but are comforted with the, “God works in mysterious ways,” reply. This is acceptable. You can argue that a mysterious way is certainly some way or cause, right, even if you don’t know it? Call it ‘M’.
    The scientific arguments may be various but most agree that they are based on a materialistic foundation. The Big Bang Theory is most universally accepted and so most assume an origin of physical nothingness, while many, if not most, a timeless nothingness as well. Even non-Big-Bang Theorist can accept expanding universes and still have to contend with where this ‘space’ is and ‘matter’ and ‘energy’ is coming from. None of it is definitive nor seems to expect it to be. Rather it is spelled out in laws and observational descriptions. Since empirical science can only be based on observations, it can only be based on causation relationships. They can only determine non-causation if all possibilities are enumerated. And the causation of observed phenomena always comes down to another law.
    If the law that defines an electron exist, does it require that any particular electron exist? No. So the law can exist even if any particular electron does not. On the other hand, if a particular electron exists, is it necessary for the laws that define it to exist? Yes! Therefore, the law itself is ‘prior’ essential to its existence. We can say this about all the laws of scientific reality and call it ‘N’.
   
M can belong to any set of infinite other causes. But breaking it down to their elements, if it is possible, could at the least break it down to only one essence, other than zero, itself. The religious may find it suitable to give this essence another emotional or humanistic quality but then the question could be begged whether the essence is either composed as a complex entity or truly a consistent substance. But even if it is absolutely one substance, how does it differentiate from the others or to nothing itself? These would suggest a description or comparison, which because of their universality would be laws. Call these laws, ‘N2’.
Laws don’t require physics to enable their truth. Rather their truth enables the physical reality. Physical reality is just manifestations of actual laws. So N and N2 are both part of nothingness.

This is part of the beginning of my T.O.E. that I’ve been working on. A sincere absolute nothingness doesn’t necessarily have to exist outside of laws except for an infinite point of all of existence and existences.

Edit: error, extra word “to” inappropriately worded taken out.

[ Edited: 12 September 2012 09:43 AM by Scott Mayers ]
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