Something cannot come from nothing. However does that not also mean that something must have come from something?
Why must something have come from
anything at all? We agree that it's illogical to suggest that something came from nothing. Your solution then is to say that something came from something else, whatever that might be. I say in response, where did that older somthing come from? It seems to me that, if you assume that something cannot just have been
forever, i.e. that something must always come from something else, and on these grounds you claim that the world must have come from something else, then by the same logic, you must also assume that 'something else' (from which came the world) must not simply have been
eternally; it too must have come from yet another 'something else.'
In other words, if you assume that the world came from nothing, you are speaking in tongues and the statement means nothing; it's illogical. If, on the other hand, you say that something must have arisen from something esle, then, by that same logic, each successive 'something else' you discover as the origin of another something, must itself have an origin, and so on, ad infinitum. Usually, this kind of thinking leads to the positing of some extra-logical agent as the final cause, such as God, which is another way of saying 'I don't know.'
The only difference between you and I is that you suppose that it has simply always been here, and I just simply refuse to suppose anything other than that we know it is here and are lost to explain it.
It is irritating at first (I tussled with the same paradox once), but now I'm as confortable with the idea that the world always has been, is, and always will be, as you are with the idea that it must have come from something. It might be a matter more of personal preference than anything more substantive.
What is your thought on the time space evaluation that comes into play here Noon?
For isnatnce, if one takes a flashlight and shines it into the sky; lets assume that it does not become misdirected or dissolved by any barriers. That light would continue to travel in a straight line until it was impeded.
So if some extraterrestrial out there in its path sees that light some 500 years from now, they could begin to follow it back to its source. But given the time span, that flashlight battery gave out a long time ago and when they arrived at the flashlight it would be dead.
Now my questions here are twofold. Having followed the light back to its source have they travelled back in time?
And having found the source of the light have they not found its origin?
This is the teaching behind the light given off from some stars. It is said that most of the stars in the sky are so far away that by the time the light given off from then reaches our eyes, it has traveled through time and space for so many thousands of years that the actual origin , the star itself is not even any longer there and all we are seeing is the remnant light from a long ago vanished star.
So what we see really is remnant evidence of something that once existed, and were we to follow that light backwards, would we be going back in time to reach it? NO! We would ultimately still be heading into a future where by the time we got to the origin of the light there would be nothing there.
My question to you Noon, is how does one get to nothing? In other words if we follow that light back to a source that no longer exists, than what do we find when we get there? How can you follow something to a point of non existence? if the ray of light given off does not dissipate and leads right back to its origin , but nothing is there to give it off anymore, we reach a point of illogic again.
That is how I perceive the origin. if one was able to follow creation back to its origin one would be met with an illogical situation of space time displacement, where what used to be there no longer exists. At some point the ray of light stops at the place it began but nothing is there.
I probably know less about physics than you do, so maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see a problem here at all. If I were to follow the path of the light cylinder which had been travelling through space for centuries, what I would see when I arrived is...whatever happens to be at that location then. I certainly didn't travel back in time. Again, maybe I'm missing something; could you explain what exactly is the problem again?
I tend to agree that brainlike functions may be carried out by different types of matter constructed in very different ways. However I am not sure if we should call these processes "thinking." For example, it is probable that a computer will be able to process the information from a large number of sentences simultaneously, perhaps million or more. This is something which human brains do not do very well. In fact people who try to process too many sentences at the same time tend to be considered psychologically impaired. I do not know what thinking-like processes the computer of the future will be going through, but I suspect it will be so far from what humans consider thinking and that we will need different words to describe it.
For the moment, I think we should leave the definition of thinking as a unique function of animal brains.
I agree that thinking which occurs as a result of structures other than our brains, or similiar animal brains, would be a different sort of thinking, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it shouldn't be called thinking at all. The basic, non-anthropomorphic structure of thought, as I see it, is the ability to define/interpret/evaluate/etc. the present, visceral experience in terms of non-present experience of one kind or another. Any structure which thinks has to be able to 'store' past experience such that those lingering experiences are existing (i.e. being experienced) simulteineously with the present experience; that very coincidental existence, that seeing the present through
the more fixed schema of accumulated pasts, is thought.
I think of man, and other higher order structures, as a sort of Rube goldberg machine, in that, at any given moment, most of its actions are not the result of of immediate external stimulation, but rather of arcane and complex interactions going on inside the structure, which are the result of the whole set of past external stimulations. A structure which does not have this sort of capacity is always at the mercy of present events; it cannot think because there is nothing other than the present by which to evaluate the present and make plans, fantasize, reflect etc.
So, if you mean that non-human, non-animal 'thinking' could be extraordinarily different than human-animal thought, then I agree. But I think that the fundemental process would be the same, the very process which makes it 'thought,' and so I would still call it thought.