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Religon Or Science ?

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2011 12:15 am
@HeroicOvenmitt,
HeroicOvenmitt wrote:

You agree that the universe had a cause, okay.

I never said that.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
So if the universe, which I am referring to as the natural world, had an external cause(as it could not be internal because it would have to exist to create itself, which is a clear logical impossibility). This external cause is by definition supernatural.

Supernatural is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
"of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe."
The cause is beyond the universe, therefore it is supernatural.

First, your appeal to the dictionary is an argumentum ad verecundiam. A pretty common fallacy of argumentation, but no less a fallacy for that. Secondly, you've committed a conversion error. It may be that all supernatural events are beyond the visible universe, but it doesn't follow that everything beyond the visible universe is supernatural. Consequently, even if the cause of the big bang was "external" to the big bang, and thus from "beyond the universe" (a dubious proposition at best), it doesn't follow that the cause was, therefore, supernatural.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
Yes, it is equally self-evident to gravity.
I believe your argument that it is not is based on the fact that we have not observed every single effect to see if it has a cause.
However, we have not observed every single planet to see if they have gravity.

No, that's not my argument at all. My argument is that your "self-evident" is little different from your "sez me." I have seen no reason to accept your self-evident propositions as anything more than ipse dixits.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
We know that all people die. Or do we?
We have not witnessed all people die, yet we believe it to be true.

I'm pretty confident you don't believe that to be true.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
The reason for this, I believe, is that 100% of the observable evidence points toward the conclusion. So Causality is equally true to gravity and mortality. Do you question the belief in gravity or mortality? If so, can you provide evidence that these theories are invalid and propose a theory that better suits the available evidence?

"Causality" is a purely logical concept. It explains how a sequence of events occurs. As such, it doesn't "exist" in the same way that gravity exists. Nobody can measure causality. There is, consequently, no such thing as a "law of causality" that is comparable to the law of gravity. You're comparing apples and oranges.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
"Gravity is certainly not self-evident. There's quite a bit of research going on right now into the nature of gravity."

What is not self-evident about gravity?

I don't think there's anything self-evident about gravity.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
"What sort of definition is that? Empirical or logical?"
It is a literal definition.

It's either logical or empirical. There's no tertium quid here.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
As for my previous arguments, see this thread and feel free to hop in on it.
http://able2know.org/topic/151352-6

Yeah, that's pretty weak too.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2011 02:41 am
@joefromchicago,
Hey joe, where you going with that conversation in your hand?
Hey joe, can't you see HeroicOvenmitt is just a talkative dude who can't understand.
0 Replies
 
HeroicOvenmitt
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2011 03:30 pm
Joe, may I ask what caused you to question the law of causality?
If nothing, then you would not have questioned it.
If something, be it curiosity, boredom, a belief that I am wrong, then it too had a cause. And if it had a cause, it therefor confirms my argument that everything has a cause in the natural universe. I could give you millions of examples in the natural world.
I suppose gravity and causality are not equal. Gravity is a cause, a golfball not flying off into space is an effect. Causality UNDERLIES gravity.

Even the great skeptic David Hume did not argue against the law of causality. He wrote "I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that something could arise without a cause." And he's one skeptical dude.

As for that other thread, if you disagree, I would gladly welcome you to join in.

Okay, so you do not consider the law of causality to be a law. If this is true, not all effects have a cause. How then can we know any effect has a cause? There is at this point no objective standard(law) against which to compare the evidence. Everything would be subjective.
And again, without the law of causality being valid, science is impossible. Francis Bacon, often called the father of modern science said "True knowledge is knowledge by causes". Science is a search for causes.

Additionally, Robert Jastrow wrote "every effect must have a cause; there is no first cause."

You have provided many interesting philosophical arguments, however there has been no evidence. I continue to argue that the Law of Causality is a self-evident principal of nature. Even your thought process to disprove it is in fact confirming the Law of Causality.
In fact, to deny the law of causality is to deny rationality itself. The very process of rational thinking requires us to put together thoughts(the causes) that result in conclusions(the effects).
mulout
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2011 11:29 pm
@NoOne phil,
1. Why is religion in opposition to science?
Human being are hierarchically social, meaning their nature compels them to mind 'authority' figures. Religion is the social organizing structure which uses 'authority' to organize people into groups to perform work which individuals would not do out of personal need. Science is a discovery process (as a perfect form) which initiates change and does work by ignoring (or in opposition to) authority. The existence of these opposing processes are the ingredients which have led to the species success. Salt and sugar in the same cake makes for the best taste.

2. Why has most human development been the result of science as opposed to religion.
This is a short term observation. Most human development is the result of religiously organized work, in ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian agriculture and architecture, which is to say mathematics. Modern technologies merely build on those knowledge bases and would not exist if not for ancient religious organization.

3. Why do governments, religions leaders, and even terrorists, act against the best interests of the people?
These groups of human beings are trying to organize 'the people' in some ancient and traditional work, as in agriculture or mound building, in a humanly reflexive reaction to a devolving environment: but sadly, at this late stage of human existence, work in which those organizing principles result in no beneficial outcome.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 11:14 am
@HeroicOvenmitt,
HeroicOvenmitt wrote:

Joe, may I ask what caused you to question the law of causality?
If nothing, then you would not have questioned it.
If something, be it curiosity, boredom, a belief that I am wrong, then it too had a cause. And if it had a cause, it therefor confirms my argument that everything has a cause in the natural universe. I could give you millions of examples in the natural world.

A "cause" is simply a concept. It's not a thing. When X precedes Y in a certain way so that we can say that there is a particular relationship between X and Y that explains how X, in some fashion, led to Y, we call that relationship "causation." If every effect has a cause, it's just because we've defined "effect" and "cause" in such a way that for every one of the former there's one of the latter. We could change the "law of causality," therefore, merely by changing our definitions. In contrast, if we changed our definition of "gravity," things wouldn't start falling up.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
Additionally, Robert Jastrow wrote "every effect must have a cause; there is no first cause."

Well, that, of course, doesn't make any sense, but it does point up the problem with the notion that every effect has a cause: it leads to an infinite regress. You've tried to get out of that conundrum by imagining an uncaused cause, which you call "god." That doesn't solve the paradox, it merely adds another one.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
You have provided many interesting philosophical arguments, however there has been no evidence. I continue to argue that the Law of Causality is a self-evident principal of nature.

No doubt. It's much easier to say that it's self-evident than actually trying to explain it. Fresco does the same thing with non-dualism.
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 04:12 pm
@joefromchicago,
Joe ..why are you running a fools errand by wasting your good time on this guy, who are so full of himself and a over simplistic approach to things.?
0 Replies
 
Smileyrius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 05:38 pm
@joefromchicago,
As one who stakes no claim to an abundance of knowledge in this topic, you are welcome to correct me where I am wrong.

Does the law of causality apply something infinite? I was under the assumption that what you call an "uncaused cause", Mr Mit was calling Infinite. It would class as a paradox only if said uncaused cause itself was bound by the law of causality.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 06:17 pm
@mulout,
Neat.
0 Replies
 
HeroicOvenmitt
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 06:54 pm
@Smileyrius,
Smiley understands the concept! And you may very well be the first.
Anything pre-big-bang is not bound by time, because time is a product of the natural world. Therefore, anything outside of the natural world is not subject to time. As such, it is infinite and does not need a cause. That question itself is irrational, it asks "what came BEFORE infinity?" Clearly the answer is nothing because there can be no 'before infinity'.

Joe, your argument that causality is merely a relationship of things based on what preceded what fails. Simply put, it's because your argument that Y is not an effect of X unless we say it is is a false premise. If X-Y is a cause/effect relationship, Y would not happen without X. If I had not posted in this thread(X) you would not have responded to me(Y). To think otherwise undermines rational thought.

Additionally, I will play your game for a moment. (hypothetically) The Law of Causality is false. Therefore, this thread is irrelevant as Science no longer exists. As I stated above, science is a search for causes. If you remove the very pillar upon which science is based, it would be best not hear anything from you on the matter of any empirical or forensic matter as I would have to consider it hypocritical. You cannot accept science without causation.

Quick side note, I just realized religion is spelled wrong in the thread title.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 07:06 pm
@Smileyrius,
Smileyrius wrote:
Does the law of causality apply something infinite?

Ask HO. I don't think there is such a "law."
HeroicOvenmitt
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 07:11 pm
@joefromchicago,
Joe, if you are unwilling to accept the Law of Causality, I cannot make you.

However, I will also ask that you do not use any scientific research or experiments as evidence or arguments in any debates as these are all based on the validity of the Law of Causality. You have been very logical in your arguments and I respect you. Therefore I believe it is beneath you to do such a hypocritical thing as undermine the Law of Causality and then use arguments founded on it.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 07:13 pm
@HeroicOvenmitt,
HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
Joe, your argument that causality is merely a relationship of things based on what preceded what fails. Simply put, it's because your argument that Y is not an effect of X unless we say it is is a false premise. If X-Y is a cause/effect relationship, Y would not happen without X. If I had not posted in this thread(X) you would not have responded to me(Y). To think otherwise undermines rational thought.

Or, in other words, you think the "law of causality" must be true because you can't think of a good reason why it can't be true. You'll excuse me if I'm not persuaded to adopt your position by virtue of your lack of imagination.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
Additionally, I will play your game for a moment. (hypothetically) The Law of Causality is false. Therefore, this thread is irrelevant as Science no longer exists. As I stated above, science is a search for causes. If you remove the very pillar upon which science is based, it would be best not hear anything from you on the matter of any empirical or forensic matter as I would have to consider it hypocritical. You cannot accept science without causation.

It is indeed the acme of irony when someone touts the primacy of science while, at the same time, claiming that a supernatural force must have caused the big bang.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 07:17 pm
@HeroicOvenmitt,
HeroicOvenmitt wrote:

Joe, if you are unwilling to accept the Law of Causality, I cannot make you.

However, I will also ask that you do not use any scientific research or experiments as evidence or arguments in any debates as these are all based on the validity of the Law of Causality. You have been very logical in your arguments and I respect you. Therefore I believe it is beneath you to do such a hypocritical thing as undermine the Law of Causality and then use arguments founded on it.

I'm quite happy accepting cause and effect. They are very useful concepts and I rely upon them all the time. That doesn't mean, however, that I accept that there is a law of causality that applies to the physical world.
HeroicOvenmitt
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 07:23 pm
@joefromchicago,
I believe the Law of Causality to be true because it is self-evident.

"It is indeed the acme of irony when someone touts the primacy of science while, at the same time, claiming that a supernatural force must have caused the big bang."

If not a force outside the natural world, which is what I call a supernatural force, then what?

Do not mistake the above for an assertion based on lack of evidence to the contrary, I have PROVIDED that evidence time and again. My arguments are not as you say, based on a lack of evidence to the contrary. As I said, I can provide a plethora of examples of the Law of Causality in action, though I think it unnecessary. Additionally, my belief that there is a supernatural force in play is based on science, founded on the Law of Causality, the validity of which you are questioning.

"I'm quite happy accepting cause and effect. They are very useful concepts and I rely upon them all the time. That doesn't mean, however, that I accept that there is a law of causality that applies to the physical world."

Then you are happy being hypocritical. Accepting Causality as valid one situation and invalid in another.
If it is not a law, then there is no objective standard of causality, and therefore it is merely subject to interpretation. Whether or not you want to believe there was a cause.
Again, if you are happy to ignore the Law of Causality as a matter of will then I can not persuade you otherwise with any amount of evidence. Would you like me to provide examples of the Law of Causality in action in the physical world? I would hope that they are evident enough that I need not demonstrate them.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2011 09:46 am
@HeroicOvenmitt,
HeroicOvenmitt wrote:

I believe the Law of Causality to be true because it is self-evident.

I know you do. The question is why should I believe the "law of causality" to be true because you think it's self-evident.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
If not a force outside the natural world, which is what I call a supernatural force, then what?

I don't know of any forces outside the natural world. I suppose I might call such a thing a "phantasm" or maybe a "hallucination."

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
Additionally, my belief that there is a supernatural force in play is based on science, founded on the Law of Causality, the validity of which you are questioning.

What is the scientific basis for the "law of causality?" How, for instance, do scientists measure causality?

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
Would you like me to provide examples of the Law of Causality in action in the physical world? I would hope that they are evident enough that I need not demonstrate them.

I'm sure you can cite any number of instances where X caused Y. That's not very interesting or very enlightening, so don't feel compelled to provide examples. Instead, provide an example of a scientific test of the "law of causality" itself -- not a test that demonstrates causality as part of the experiment, but a test of the law, in the same way that, e.g., Lavoisier's experiments tested (and disproved) the phlogiston theory of combustion.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2011 10:48 am
@joefromchicago,
Who me ! Laughing

Joe is doing well here but he, like everybody else is avoiding the the central issue of what constitutes a satisfactory explanation. It turns out that the reading of post-modernists like Derrida and Rorty indicates our predisposition to think in terms of dichotomies ( or dualities) in which one end takes on a privileged or authoritative position. For example, what we call "scientific thinking " might claim to argue from "natural causes", implying that the other side of the dichotomy (supernaturalism) is less than satisfactory. But the problem is, as Joe suggests, that there is no ultimate "natural cause". In other words the dichotomy necessarily evokes both antithetical poles and the religionists consider themselves to be intellectually vindicated by closing the "satisfaction gap".

According to Derrida, there may be no solution to such aporias (problems) which arise from our tendency to think in dichotomies. It is in this spirit that "non-duality" becomes a significant paradigm which transcends and eludes "explanation" per se.
0 Replies
 
HeroicOvenmitt
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2011 11:12 am
@joefromchicago,
As for why you should believe it, I argue... again.... that it is necessarily true for rational thought to be rational, for science to be empirical, and for the universe to exist.

"HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
If not a force outside the natural world, which is what I call a supernatural force, then what?

I don't know of any forces outside the natural world. I suppose I might call such a thing a "phantasm" or maybe a "hallucination."

So bravo! You successfully transformed my query as to whether there is an alternative cause of the universe into a question of which word we should use in place of supernatural.

It's rather upside-down to suggest we search for a scientific basis for the basis of science. It's circular logic. It's as though science would be screaming "I'm true because I say I am!" No, the irrationality of such an idea is obvious.

You suggest we perform a scientific experiment(based on the Law of Causality) to affirm or deny the Law of Causality. Again, circular logic. The Law of Causality is true in every imaginable instance of the natural world and I challenge you to provide me with one in which it is not(don't go back to saying that I'm arguing based on a lack of evidence to the contrary. I have provided evidence and can easily provide more examples).

I apologize for the broken-up-ness of this post. I again accidentally submitted it too soon.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2011 11:51 am
@HeroicOvenmitt,
As a matter of interest, how does your argument encompass what Einstein called the "spooky" findings from Quantum Mechanics such as "non-locality" ? This immediately seems to challenge your view of "logicality" or "rationality" by the empirical finding that the same object can simultaneously occupy separate locations in space. Does it not suggest to you that conventional "causality" is a no go area at the frontiers of physics ?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2011 12:37 pm
@HeroicOvenmitt,
HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
I don't know of any forces outside the natural world. I suppose I might call such a thing a "phantasm" or maybe a "hallucination."

So bravo! You successfully transformed my query as to whether there is an alternative cause of the universe into a question of which word we should use in place of supernatural.

You asked me what I would call such a force. I answered. Now you're criticizing me for the way I answered your question? I'm hurt.

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
It's rather upside-down to suggest we search for a scientific basis for the basis of science. It's circular logic. It's as though science would be screaming "I'm true because I say I am!" No, the irrationality of such an idea is obvious.

I suppose it would be better if we all said that science was self-evident and leave it at that. Would that satisfy you?

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
You suggest we perform a scientific experiment(based on the Law of Causality) to affirm or deny the Law of Causality. Again, circular logic. The Law of Causality is true in every imaginable instance of the natural world and I challenge you to provide me with one in which it is not(don't go back to saying that I'm arguing based on a lack of evidence to the contrary. I have provided evidence and can easily provide more examples).

If it can't potentially be disproved then it's not science. That's Popper. If your "law of causality" can't be tested, then it's just another unverifiable belief, worthy of no more credence than a belief in fairies or magic crystals.

If you want to convince me that there's such a thing as the "law of causality," don't give me evidence. Your evidence is nothing more than a recapitulation of your argument. Rather than evidence of the "law," show me a test of the law. If it truly is a law, then it has been tested. Einstein's general theory of relativity, which you also rely upon, has been tested. So where are the tests of the "law of causality?"

HeroicOvenmitt wrote:
I apologize for the broken-up-ness of this post. I again accidentally submitted it too soon.

Great thoughts can never be revealed too soon.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2011 12:38 pm
Wait . . . there are no magic crystals ? ! ? ! ?
 

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