God: a failed hypothesis or something more?


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #301

E = mc squared.

E = (mass = 0) times c squared = 0

or (Energy = 0) = mc squared = 0

When one works out this equation then either the mass or the energy is 0, the whole equation equals 0. That means that the Beginning of the universe must have arisen out of 0. Nothing, no matter, no energy, no space, no time.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #302

@John_Dalton

I believe that this statement is quite revealing. Indeed you never chose to believe, so this worldview was never yours. You had a choice of two worldviews and you choose the secular one over the Jesuit one.

You were a Catholic and were educated in a Jesuit school. I was a Protestant and was educated in public schools. Catholics have a more intellectual view of faith than do Protestants. Many scientists and Protestants have a problem with the Aristotelian aspect of Catholic thought. It could well be that both Karen and I would have rebelled against the teaching that you did.

However our tradition and faith is different. We do prize making a personal choice for Jesus based on our understanding of the Bible and our experience of Jesus so our faith is very personal and very emotional. That has some weaknesses, but also has strengths, in that faith is not basically about the intellectual, but about the spirit and morality.

It seems that you are concerned about an intellectual, top down faith. We are more concerned about a bottom up faith world view. @T_aquaticus spoke of the slogan, “Take no one else’s word.” I think that I have truly done that when building my worldview, because Christians are free to examine the basic documents of our faith and to talk and experience the Presence of God. We do not need to take anyone else’s word for anything.

That means we take the Truth seriously. We want to be the best we can be and do the best we can do. This is not some intellectual game. This is Life that needs to be taken seriously. If I am wrong, I want to know it so I can change it.


(John Dalton) #303

[quote=“Relates, post:302, topic:37310”]
I believe that this statement is quite revealing. Indeed you never chose to believe, so this worldview was never yours.[/quote]

Only in a childish way.

You had a choice of two worldviews and you choose the secular one over the Jesuit one.

Again, I never saw it as a choice. Things became apparent to me which essentially made only one worldview possible. I don’t remember any angst or waffling. Frankly, it’s all a bit hazy after all the years though.

You were a Catholic and were educated in a Jesuit school. I was a Protestant and was educated in public schools. Catholics have a more intellectual view of faith than do Protestants. Many scientists and Protestants have a problem with the Aristotelian aspect of Catholic thought. It could well be that both Karen and I would have rebelled against the teaching that you did.

I understand the differences somewhat and am learning more. The Jesuits in my high school were generally quite open-minded and I liked most of them. Religious instruction at my elementary school was more matter-of-fact. I was educated for 12 years in Catholic schools and I can’t say what I’d be like otherwise. But it was more a worldview question for me than anything specific about the Catholic faith.

That means we take the Truth seriously. We want to be the best we can be and do the best we can do. This is not some intellectual game. This is Life that needs to be taken seriously. If I am wrong, I want to know it so I can change it.

I believe we have this fully in common!


(Marvin Adams) #304

Considering the infinite energy stored in love and it’s ability to transcend time and space e=mc^2 tells you exactly where the mass came from and it is anything but nothing.

It is just the lack of experience of some poor humans to realise that there is selfless love, thus they lack the understanding of a higher dimension. It is our task as Christians to explain it to those poor fellows and in following Christ to be the evidence of our faith in that selfless love we call God.


(Susan Linkletter) #305

I had to think about your response for awhile. I had always wondered about the reference to sexuality and what part it played in the creation story and comparing it to puberty and a growing awareness of oneself makes sense. I am still thinking about the rest of what you said about what dies as a result of sin. I also like your definition of faith.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #306

Actually the primary choice is not between God and no God, but between monism and dualism. The earliest humans did not make a distinction between the physical and the spiritual, however Judaism, Christianity, and philosophy did. They introduced dualism of the physical and the metaphysical, which is the standard at least in the West today.

Atheism has gone back to monism, but this time it is physical monism. It can also be explained by taking Western dualism and subtracting the metaphysical from it. The problem with this is that it rejects the philosophical tradition of the West because it is found in the metaphysical.

You say you do not remember having a choice, accept for what I would call naïve realism. I wonder if you recall ever asking the Being Question. Why is there something or existence rather than Nothing?

Atheists used to philosophers like Russell, but now people like Dawkins and Hawking reject philosophy. It seems to me that if one says that only the physical is real, then the spiritual and the rational are not, because they are not physical.

If Reality were only physical, it would be simple, which it is not. We live in a complex Reality, where we need to work with many people who are diverse and complex. Science is very helpful dealing with our world, but not the complete answer for facilitating people to work together to help one another.


(John Dalton) #307

To me, it was a distinction between believing that various theological theories developed by people provide understanding about the ultimate nature of reality, and not believing it.

Why do you say that?

Sure, all the time.

I don’t think it’s that simple, but I don’t think we understand reality well enough to make definite judgments about the situation.

Sure.

Agreed.


(Marvin Adams) #308

first of all a happy new year, and secondly thanks for your encouraging reply. I sometimes find it difficult to understand myself, having a brain the size of a planet can make you get lost in the clouds quite easily.

The bible is a great book of poetic language describing the truth on which reality is based in a way accessible to the illiterate as well as the intellectual elite by putting reality in pictures painted in the experience of reality that people could relate to. How illiterate the intellectuals have become, which prevents them from being able to access the bible is a testimony to the impact of materialism hardening their hearts and the religiophobia it creates.

If you have experienced puberty as a parent you should recognise the symptoms, that suddenly when you enter the bathroom and your son thinks his bits fall off when you see him naked and when he rejects your authority, to recognise your own puberty is harder as one tends to deny it. Thus the statement "when you eat from the tree of realisation of good and evil you will suffer death is as factual a statement as you telling your child: and if you touch that live high voltage cable you will certainly die. If you are still part of God you can not die as you are part of a time/space transcendent entity. Physical death has been part of reality all the time but it was not relevant as humans did not “suffer” death. It does change your understanding of Jesus death so, as he suffered and died for us, but not to appease God but to show us what you can endure when you are submitting yourself to God, including death. To sell it as a tool to achieve everlasting physical survival is Satan’s business idea - and he did very well out of it


(Marvin Adams) #309

once you understand the fall story as a poetic description of puberty in the rejection of the authority over the self in the struggle to become your own self you can see why I refere to “pubertarians”, who unlike those who grow up and leave puberty behind learning to give up their selfness for their spouses and later their children, a lot of them turn into cling-on’s to their self, developing a strong bout of religiophobia in the process to fight the idea that there is someone in authority above them that is intellectually superior. Whilst this applies most often to Atheists, oddly enough you can as well get pubertarians that believe that they are Christians :slight_smile:

Some materialists can come to accept a “something” as an authority over them them as they don’t see that as a loss of ego, because you can not lose an internal argument with a brick, thus not suffer an intellectual defeat. To see yourself as the pinnacle of intelligence in existence and credit yourself with with the creation of morality and further intelligence is the ultimate ego trip for humanity that is in the end defeated by a brick it can’t argue with :slight_smile:


(Susan Linkletter) #310

Yes Marvin Adams, I certainly agree and thank you for taking the time to explain it more fully. I was having trouble with the symbolism of puberty as the point in maturity when one tries to shed authority. In my mind it was more of a physical maturation. I think that is why I could not figure out why sexuality was purposefully included in the creation story. It makes perfect sense now.


(Marvin Adams) #311

I think it to be one of the biggest misconceptions in the Christian community to confuse sexuality with sin as such. It becomes a sin when it is used to glorify the self, e.g. for the sake of personal gratification. Then it fails humanity - like in modern marriage based on sexual compensation / access rights, instead of self-sacrificing love.


#312

How do laws point to a law giver? That is just an empty assertion.[quote=“marvin, post:300, topic:37310”]
It seems that you are ignorant of that evidence , thus I am justified in asking you what evidence you have to the contrary as you claim that conclusion to be wrong.
[/quote]

That is a shift in the burden of proof.[quote=“marvin, post:300, topic:37310”]
If you want to be a skeptic only shouting liar liar by ignoring reasoning of your opponents and not providing any of your own you should not expect a fruitful discussion, as it is rather childish.
[/quote]

I am not shouting “Liar, liar”. I am asking for evidence.[quote=“marvin, post:300, topic:37310”]
Because you claim the reasoning of others to be wrong, thus you claim to have knowledge. If you understand how science works, it is not by shouting “you are wrong” or “liar liar” like a child but by providing evidence for your argument to show a hypothesis to be wrong. Its philosophy of science 101
[/quote]

I have knowledge of logical fallacies which is why I am able to recognize them in your arguments.


#313

How so? How did you determine that there was no mass or energy before the beginning of our universe?


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #314

Because that is what the evidence indicates.

“As experimental and theoretical evidence mounted, it became more and more clear that the universe must have had a beginning in time, until in 1970 this was finally proven by Penrose and myself, on the basis of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.” p. 67, The Illustrated A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawkng, updated and expanded edition, 1996


#315

Still waiting for the evidence that there was no mass or energy before the universe began expanding. Simply pointing to a point where something began to expand is not evidence for what came before it.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #316

The fact that there was a beginning in time means that there was nothing before the beginning in time. That is what Stephen Hawking wrote and he explained why he wrote it, because of the physical and theoretical evidence. Now you do not have to agree with what most scientists think the evidence says, but you just cannot deny that it exists.


#317

But we don’t know if that was the beginning of spacetime, only the beginning of our universe.[quote=“Relates, post:316, topic:37310”]
That is what Stephen Hawking wrote and he explained why he wrote it, because of the physical and theoretical evidence.
[/quote]

"The simplest way to make this work is if we are a baby universe. Like real-life babies, giving birth to universes is a painful and mysterious process. There was some early work on the idea by Farhi, Guth and Guven, as well as Fischler, Morgan and Polchinski, which has been followed up more recently by Aguirre and Johnson. The basic idea is that you have a background spacetime with small (or zero) vacuum energy, and a little sphere of high-density false vacuum. "–Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is saying that spacetime existed before the beginning of our universe.

Added in edit:

“Although the singularity theorems of Penrose and myself, predicted that the universe had a beginning, they didn’t say how it had begun. The equations of General Relativity would break down at the singularity. Thus Einstein’s theory cannot predict how the universe will begin, but only how it will evolve once it has begun.”–Stephen Hawking


(GJDS) #318

Statements such as this are extremely speculative - the fact is that an age has been given to the universe, and this can only make sense if such a time were to commence with t=0.

Saying that spacetime existed before this does not make sense. The usual escape clause is that the laws of physics did not exist, in which case anything anyone says cannot be scientific. :laughing:


#319

I am 43 years old, and I have a beginning. Does this mean that 43 years ago t=0?

I will fully agree that the origin of the universe is highly speculative, but @Relates is acting as if it isn’t speculative. Also, he is acting as if all the scientists agree with him when they actually don’t.


(GJDS) #320

Your time and age began at t=0 for yourself. If you were all there is, than all would begin at that time (just for laughs). I do not think the universe is similar to a human being - but even if we explore this laughable option, than our comments can only be scientific within the observations we can make.

I think it is very speculative, but we need to at least acknowledge that an age has been put for the universe we can observe. Other things are just that - other stuff.