"Turn him loose as a theorist..."

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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:36 am

My child (thread) is dying! Please don't!
I want it to thrive, another topic, more input!
"Other universes may exist, but ours seems to be based on war and games" - William S. Burroughs

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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Boothby » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:18 am

We still haven't solved the problem of good and evil!

We've got the atheists and agnostics saying that "good" and "evil" are just descriptive terms without any real physical "existence", and we've got the various flavours of theists afraid to claim that they believe that "good" and "evil" are in some way, shape, or form, actual, physical objects, with idealized representational entities (God and Satan).

Except, of course, that God and Satan aren't actual, physical, palpable objects. They somehow "exist" in a way that is totally alien and inherently unknowable to what we consider as "existing" in our known universe (to me, they "exist" as mythical objects, same as Thor, Loki, Unicorns, Ender, etc.). We can throw $1000 words around describing quantum uncertainties, and hope that the category of existence normally reserved for mythical/spiritual entities can somehow be snuck in along with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and Bell's conjecture (unproven theorem), but it's a definite end-run ("Slide the wall! Slide the wall!")
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:46 am

So are God and Satan (assuming for a moment that they exist) varelse? Or are they ramen that exist in an incomprehensible way?
The fact that we have the Bible suggests that God would be ramen but...

Oh, and if we really had $1000 for every fancy word we put here we'd be, oooh, I'm not going to count!
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Dr. Mobius » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:15 am

If God is ramen, is eating insta-noodles a form of communion? If so, I'm a holier man than I thought...
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:28 am

The 2-minute noodles the body, the boiling water the blood. "Here is my body and blood both for you in one!"
Tasty two-in-one communion. And it only cost a couple of dollars plus Jesus dying on the cross. I like it!
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Boothby » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:54 am

God IS Ramen:

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May you be touched by His noodly appendages...
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby neo-dragon » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:57 pm

My child (thread) is dying! Please don't!
I want it to thrive, another topic, more input!
You're pretty new here so you may not realize, but a thread making it to 3 pages this fast is pretty darn successful.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:35 am

ou're pretty new here so you may not realize, but a thread making it to 3 pages this fast is pretty darn successful.
Thanks, I didn't know that but I'll bear it in mind. The first couple of days were so fast and expansive though I could barely keep up. :)
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:15 am

So... good and evil... hmmm...

I stick by my idea that they are separate, well-defined characteristics that an action can have just as objects have height, mass, electromagnetism and so on. I also believe that like electromagnetism, weak and strong nuclear forces and gravity they will merge in extreme situations. I have no evidence to support this and I haven't thought about it seriously in a while but it just seems sensible to me.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby neo-dragon » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:30 pm

I'm afraid it doesn't seem sensible to me. If no life existed there would still be such things as electromagnetism and gravity, but where would good and evil be? If these "well-defined characteristics" cannot exist without a mind to define and identify them, they are by definition subjective constructs.
Last edited by neo-dragon on Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:00 pm

So just as there are means of measuring gravity and electromagnetism maybe a conscious mind is needed to measure good and evil. And good and evil might apply to conscious decisions and not to objects in the same way that gravity applies to objects but not conscious decision.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby neo-dragon » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:53 am

But they're still subjective concepts. Even the handful of people who have chimed in on this discussion can't come to a consensus on what good and evil mean. Granted, we probably couldn't agree on an exact definition of gravity either, but I'm sure we can agree on its observable attributes.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:10 pm

You speak prettily but give me no reason to believe that good and evil are subjective.
Show me objective proof of their subjectivity and then I'll listen.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby neo-dragon » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:50 pm

What??

This whole thread is objective proof that their subjective. But really, I don't think we're going to make much more progress with this good/evil thing. It's starting to get pretty circular.

However, if I may take things in a different direction, I'm curious about your (or anyone else's) thoughts on life after death.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:02 am

Yeah, I guess... I still haven't looked up "Inaugurated Eschatology" :).

But life after death... Steve and I were talking about believing or not in God and an afterlife. I concluded that it would be safer too because if you didn't and turned out to be wrong, you would be stuffed whereas if you did and were wrong, you wouldn't be around to say "Bugger, it was all for nothing."

In Steve's opinion, the whole basis of Christianity and evangolism is giving your (God's) rules to someone else so that they can give them to others and so on, doing the will of God, and you all abide by them and ask others to so that you can have, after you die, "eternal orgasm".

But whether life after death is sensible to me, I believe in it because I'm a Christian but as for physical aspects, the mind is made up of quantum particles, if the quantum system survived without the neurons...
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Syphon the Sun » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:38 am

That assumes the only two possibilities are your specific God and no God. There are a lot more possibilities.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:04 am

Okay, the God isn't mine and my idea wasn't that, it was the other part about quantum states comprising the mind.

If they could survive without the neurons of the brain, why shouldn't there be "ghosts" of one kind or another?
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Syphon the Sun » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:27 am

I was replying to this:
I concluded that it would be safer too because if you didn't and turned out to be wrong, you would be stuffed whereas if you did and were wrong, you wouldn't be around to say "Bugger, it was all for nothing."
That's Pascal's Wager. The problem, however, is that it assumes two possible states: (1) there is no God, or (2) there is a God and it is the exact God I believe in. But there's another possible state: (3) there is a God it is not the exact God I believe in.

And there are infinite possibilities for what that God might be. It could be the Abrahamic God, it could be Zeus, it could be Osirus or Horus, it could be any number of Gods we don't even know about. Belief in Zeus does not necessarily leave you better off if he's not the actual God that exists, right? So you haven't brought your odds up from 0/1 to 1/1. You've brought them up from 0/∞ to 1/∞.

That was all I was getting at.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Mich » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:21 am

That's why this argument has always bugged me (hi, hello, just stepping in for a moment). It's like playing Russian Roulette with a revolver and a single bullet, then claiming there's a 50/50 chance that you'll be shot in the head: you either will, or you won't!

But then again, the argument might be made that some chance is still better than no chance. To which I start wondering if there's any god that prefers no worship to worshiping the incorrect one. What if I worship Odin only to find out that the correct belief was in some god I had never heard of, a god who punishes you much more severely for "incorrect" worship than for complete lack of such? Pascal's Wager becomes more and more meaningless.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:02 pm

Fair point... faaair point. Hmm.
If you believe in a God though, you're totally convinced that he/she's the correct one and so just find a god who you would feel comfortable believing in and go for it. If you're right about 0/∞ and 1/∞ then there's really nothing beyond that you can do about it because, in the words of Douglas Adams, "Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds."
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Bean_wannabe » Tue May 01, 2012 7:11 am

In the words of a mathematician, any finite number divided by infinity IS nothing, as 1/n -> 0 as n->∞.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Wed May 02, 2012 10:33 pm

Hmm... me thinks that when we start saying "You've got 1/∞ chance of picking the right God it's time to back-track and start again. That or start chatting about philotic physics... now there's a subject I wouldn't mind discussing...
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu May 03, 2012 10:41 am

Or time to say "there's little mathematical advantage in believing in a God," and choose to believe (or disbelieve) for genuine reasons (instead of trying to hedge your bets).
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby neo-dragon » Thu May 03, 2012 11:54 am

As I was the one to bring up the topic of life after death I suppose I should chime in.

Although I'm Christian, my views often tend towards agnosticism. I'm inclined to believe that we probably just cease to exist when we die.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Thu May 03, 2012 5:30 pm

Or time to say "there's little mathematical advantage in believing in a God," and choose to believe (or disbelieve) for genuine reasons (instead of trying to hedge your bets).
Touche. :)

And neo-dragon (I think I gathered your real name was... Ami?) I too am a Christian but have rational cause to doubt the sensibility of my own faith. All I can say is that I believe because I continue to believe, or that given that I'm rational and like evidence for things I can't see any reason why I should continue to believe except that I do, and so something else must be going on. Make sense? I think I've mentioned it before.

The only physical life-after-death I can think of I've already mentioned, and that stuff extends to telepathy and possibly telekinesis, so... probably not, but who knows.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Gravity Defier » Thu May 03, 2012 7:03 pm

And neo-dragon (I think I gathered your real name was... Ami?)
teeheehee
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Thu May 03, 2012 11:16 pm

Yeah, okay stop laughing at me. I haven't been around here long and don't know too much about anyone, least of all meatspace names. Now I know neo-dragon is a special member because of the contribution to SotH and all that but seriously, yes/no is sufficient. There's a difference between not knowing something and lacking the capacity to learn it (being stupid).
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Mich » Thu May 03, 2012 11:59 pm

Dude, we're not making fun of you! It took most of us years to remember each other's names. I still sometimes forget. Honestly, it's awesome how involved you're getting in most of the conversations around.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri May 04, 2012 8:00 am

I think Swarley (Gravity Defier) is just laughing at Jason (neo-dragon) for getting called a girl's name.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby neo-dragon » Fri May 04, 2012 10:04 am

Or time to say "there's little mathematical advantage in believing in a God," and choose to believe (or disbelieve) for genuine reasons (instead of trying to hedge your bets).
Touche. :)

And neo-dragon (I think I gathered your real name was... Ami?) I too am a Christian but have rational cause to doubt the sensibility of my own faith. All I can say is that I believe because I continue to believe, or that given that I'm rational and like evidence for things I can't see any reason why I should continue to believe except that I do, and so something else must be going on. Make sense? I think I've mentioned it before.

The only physical life-after-death I can think of I've already mentioned, and that stuff extends to telepathy and possibly telekinesis, so... probably not, but who knows.
Don't worry about it. There are probably people who have been here for years and don't know my name. I think you were just confused because Ami was mentioned in SotH, whereas I was mentioned in SotG and EE. My name's Jason, by the way.

I understand where you're coming from about your faith. I was born and raised Christian but my academic and professional career has been all about science and science education. I'm certainly not the most knowledgeable scientist here, but I pride myself on being about to look at things rationally and with minimal bias (no bias being generally impossible for us humans), so I recognize that there is no logical reason to believe in a God, or pray to him, but I just do... although I get a bit agnostic at times and will often take the agnostic/atheist side of arguments when I feel that one's faith is blinding them, or because it's often the more fun side to argue.

I think that there is a very subtle difference between "blind faith" and "blinding faith". Both are resolute and powerful, but the latter closes one's mind to anything outside of preconceived notions. Blind faith can in fact change and grow, blinding faith is rigid and distorts one's worldview, forcing reality to fit into one's own beliefs rather than adapting one's beliefs to fit reality. I'm wary of people who exhibit "blinding" faith, and that includes atheists. Yes, people can and do have blinding faith in atheism, and the effect is very much the same.

...If that makes any sense. I kind of just came up with it as I was typing. But to be clear, I don't mean to suggest that you or anyone else here falls into either category.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Gravity Defier » Fri May 04, 2012 4:50 pm

I think Swarley (Gravity Defier) is just laughing at Jason (neo-dragon) for getting called a girl's name.
Basically this. Maybe a little at the irony of you thinking he might be a girl and you being thought of as male because of your username, but not laughing at you. You are quite the breath of fresh air, Tiny genius, and I'm more than thrilled you've found us and stuck around. I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Dr. Mobius » Fri May 04, 2012 8:56 pm

I'm inclined to believe that we probably just cease to exist when we die.
That's just silly. If that's true, what do they stick in the coffin? :stoned:
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby neo-dragon » Fri May 04, 2012 9:09 pm

I forgot, Doc. You should have some unique insight on what happens after death. :P
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Tiny genius » Sat May 05, 2012 1:02 am

You are quite the breath of fresh air, Tiny genius, and I'm more than thrilled you've found us and stuck around. I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression.
Thanks man. I only found this place because I was trying to see if someone had made an "icomeanon" email server. And I've said myself tones can sometimes be hard to catch with written words and so mix-ups in meaning are inevitable, really.
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Re: "Turn him loose as a theorist..."

Postby Dr. Mobius » Sat May 05, 2012 3:19 am

As long as you know to read all of my posts with the utmost seriousness, we shouldn't have any problems.
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