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The nature of natural law
Posted: 10 April 2015 12:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 April 2015 11:59 PM

Saying there is no chance certain past regularities will change in the future is saying past regularities have to continue into the future. Saying they have to, is saying nature is restricted to behave in certain ways, it seems to me.

No, it means consistency in character. There is no force, no restriction, no limit, no motive, no reason, no law, no cause, no will, no meaning…

StephenLawrence - 09 April 2015 11:59 PM

With no chance of doing anything else. So in other words particles and fields just are what they are and develop as they must do given they are what they are.

They must not. It is their character. There is no .....

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Posted: 10 April 2015 01:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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GdB - 09 April 2015 11:04 PM
Write4U - 09 April 2015 04:40 PM

yes, but the initial conditions dictate the potential permisision or restriction of action.

Nothing is dictated. That is an anthropomorphism. Nature does what it does because it is what it is.

I used the term “dictate” not as an antromorphism, but in the abstract.

From Webster’s: dictate (noun):  “a rule or principle that guides something.”  I don’t see why using that term invalidates the observation.

Nature does what it does because it is what it is and what it is dictates how it does what it does.

[ Edited: 10 April 2015 01:26 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 10 April 2015 01:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Write4U - 10 April 2015 01:03 AM

I used the term “dictate” not as an antromorphism, but in the abstract.

From Webster’s: dictate (noun):  “a rule or principle that guides something.”  I don’t see why using that term invalidates the observation.

But ‘a rule or principle that guides something’ is an anthropomorphism too. Webster is a good dictionary. :)

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Posted: 28 April 2015 10:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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GdB - 10 April 2015 12:19 AM
StephenLawrence - 09 April 2015 11:59 PM

Saying there is no chance certain past regularities will change in the future is saying past regularities have to continue into the future. Saying they have to, is saying nature is restricted to behave in certain ways, it seems to me.

No, it means consistency in character.

The problem is you’re not only claiming nature is consistent in character, you’re claiming you have good reason to believe it. And your good reason is there is “no chance” of it not being consistent in character.

What does “no chance” mean, if not it can’t be other than consistent in character? And what does can’t be other than consistent in character mean, other, than it is physically restricted to that logical possibility only?

 

There is no force, no restriction, no limit, no motive, no reason, no law, no cause, no will, no meaning…

Which has no relevance.

They must not. It is their character. There is no .....

What you’re saying is you know it is their character because you know there is no chance of their character changing. You know their character can’t change.

What I’m saying is without any reason to believe past regularities will hold they almost certainly will not. You say there is no chance they will not. And say that is not a restriction. And this “no chance” is your solution to the problem of induction. You think you’re right to believe past regularities will continue to hold because you have reason to believe there is no chance they will not.

To believe past regularities will hold with good reason you have to believe nature is restricted, or in your words there is “no chance” they will not hold. or in other words they can’t not hold.

You affirm and deny this and I am interested to see if you can resolve that problem.

[ Edited: 28 April 2015 11:02 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 29 April 2015 03:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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GdB - 10 April 2015 01:27 AM
Write4U - 10 April 2015 01:03 AM

I used the term “dictate” not as an antromorphism, but in the abstract.

From Webster’s: dictate (noun):  “a rule or principle that guides something.”  I don’t see why using that term invalidates the observation.

But ‘a rule or principle that guides something’ is an anthropomorphism too. Webster is a good dictionary. :)

Yes, I use it often. But should my use of an anthromorphism be incorrect if used in context? 

A dam dictates the volume of waterflow in the river. The direction of waterflow is guided by the channel.  Anthromorphisms?  Wrong??

[ Edited: 29 April 2015 03:49 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 29 April 2015 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Stephen,

I gave my grounds here and here.

To speculate that laws of nature could change, is just that: a speculation. To derive from this speculation that laws of nature restrict events is then just as speculative. One could also say that laws of nature are the instruments for the objects in the universe to be causally effective. Without nature’s laws a proton could never attract an electron. The laws of nature are not restrictors, they are enablers! They make atoms possible.

From observation we know that the laws of nature are stable since about 13.6 billion years. What is your observation that they could change?

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Posted: 29 April 2015 06:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Write4U - 29 April 2015 03:45 AM

A dam dictates the volume of waterflow in the river. The direction of waterflow is guided by the channel.  Anthromorphisms?  Wrong??

Not wrong as long as you see that the language is metaphoric. Is the dam giving orders to the water not to pass? They are definitely anthropomorphisms, and as long as you do not derive metaphysical claims from them there is no problem. But e.g. Stephen does it. Laws of nature restrict nothing. They describe.

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Posted: 29 April 2015 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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GdB - 29 April 2015 06:32 AM
Write4U - 29 April 2015 03:45 AM

A dam dictates the volume of waterflow in the river. The direction of waterflow is guided by the channel.  Anthromorphisms?  Wrong??

Not wrong as long as you see that the language is metaphoric. Is the dam giving orders to the water not to pass? They are definitely anthropomorphisms, and as long as you do not derive metaphysical claims from them there is no problem. But e.g. Stephen does it. Laws of nature restrict nothing. They describe.

But are you not falling in the same semantic trap?  Humans “describe”, Nature “functions in specfic ways” which we have described with equations, IMO.

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Posted: 29 April 2015 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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GdB, you seem to have circled around in a semantical rabbit trail, in regards to anthropomorphic terminology, as you yourself, said Laws of Nature have a “character” and that they “describe”, and that Nature “dictates”, and the Laws of Nature are “enablers”.  Perhaps it is best to get back on the main trail.

Laws of Nature don’t act.  But everything that acts, does so in accordance with them.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 29 April 2015 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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GdB - 29 April 2015 06:29 AM

To speculate that laws of nature could change, is just that: a speculation.

GdB, if you think past regularities must continue because they couldn’t change, you are a type of necessitarian re natural laws. And this is your solution to the problem of induction. You don’t expect past regularities to change because you think you are justified in thinking they can’t.

I agree b.t.w.

From observation we know that the laws of nature are stable since about 13.6 billion years. What is your observation that they could change?

What does it even mean to say regularities which have been stable for 13.6 billion years could not change? They could change meaning it’s logically possible. So what restricts the logically possible from being actually?

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Posted: 29 April 2015 11:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Mathematics?

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Posted: 29 April 2015 11:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Mathematics is the language of description, not prescription. The laws of nature do not prescribe, but describe, events. As Norman Swartz has argued, the idea of “laws” of nature is a hangover of the theistic idea of a law giver. Dispense with the law giver, and we can dispense with the laws.

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Posted: 29 April 2015 11:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Pec of Uliar - 29 April 2015 11:41 PM

Mathematics is the language of description, not prescription. The laws of nature do not prescribe, but describe, events. As Norman Swartz has argued, the idea of “laws” of nature is a hangover of the theistic idea of a law giver. Dispense with the law giver, and we can dispense with the laws.

But the mathematics describes what? Not merely what does happen since we couldn’t apply the maths in any way.

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Posted: 30 April 2015 12:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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StephenLawrence - 29 April 2015 11:56 PM
Pec of Uliar - 29 April 2015 11:41 PM

Mathematics is the language of description, not prescription. The laws of nature do not prescribe, but describe, events. As Norman Swartz has argued, the idea of “laws” of nature is a hangover of the theistic idea of a law giver. Dispense with the law giver, and we can dispense with the laws.

But the mathematics describes what? Not merely what does happen since we couldn’t apply the maths in any way.

I don’t understand what you mean by this. Certainly, the maths do describe what happens. What else could they do?

It is observed that light always travels at velocity c in a vacuum. From this we can derive special and general relativity and E=mc2 and so on.

But does light obey a law that says it must travel at c? Are there cosmic gendarmes to enforce this law if light gets uppity and decides it wants to travel slower or faster than c?

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Posted: 30 April 2015 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Pec of Uliar - 29 April 2015 11:41 PM

Mathematics is the language of description, not prescription. The laws of nature do not prescribe, but describe, events. As Norman Swartz has argued, the idea of “laws” of nature is a hangover of the theistic idea of a law giver. Dispense with the law giver, and we can dispense with the laws.

And what analogy would you use instead?  Are there no mathematical laws in universal mathematics?

I understand that how we write the equations (descriptions) of these laws is for our convenience. But regardless of “old days”, I don’t visualize a mathematician who made these laws. They are inherent in the mathematical fabric of spacetime, IMO.

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