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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Feb. 5, 2013 @ 13:54 GMT
It’s February, which means I’m a bit late in posting about the January 2013 podcast edition. (Listen and (hopefully) enjoy here.)

This has been one of most popular editions yet -- so thank you to everyone downloading it, and thank you to everyone who contributed. As Brendan has noted elsewhere on the site, the forum threads that are dedicated to each podcast edition seem to be hidden from view. So, I’m just going to open up a couple of threads on the blog, in case people want to discuss, for instance, the not-at-all controversial subject of God and Physics from January’s edition.

There are a few points to discuss in the “Is God a Good Theory” item. The first is a paper that came out last year, written by FQXi member Don Page, a physicist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, outlining a “Theological Argument for the Everettian Multiverse.” We’ve discussed Everett’s Many World’s Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics many times before, including the question of how believing (crudely) that everything that can happen will happen in some quantum parallel world should or should not affect your sense of morality and your behavior. Journalist Peter Byrne, an Everett biographer, has spoken to us in the past about how strange it is that Everett himself could work on nuclear weapons, calculating the effectiveness of bombs in terms of potential lives taken in various scenarios, and at the same time argue that each of these scenarios will play out, somewhere. (Though whether or not Everett really believed that such parallel universes literally come to be is also up for debate, as Byrne also discussed in that podcast item.)

For those of you that do believe that the Many World’s interpretation is correct, does it affect the way you live your life? Are you more careful not to engage in high-risk sports, for instance, out of concern for the future parallel versions of yourself you are dooming to die in some versions of reality because of your thrill-seeking choice? Do you feel morally bound to protect your future parallel selves?

I have also wondered whether deeply religious people, at least those who adhere to the notion that the choices you make about the life you lead will affect where you go in the afterlife (heaven or hell) can coherently believe in parallel universes. It seems to (again at a crude level) disable your agency and your ability to make moral choices. OK, the “you” reading this post today may have been tempted to steal a $10 note from your friend, and refrained -- but does the very fact that you even entertained the possibility mean that you set off a quantum flick of the switch in the brain that created a parallel you who did steal it? Are just having bad thoughts enough to consign some of your future selves to hell?

Don Page’s paper was refreshing in that it puts forward an argument that not only is belief in God compatible with believing in the Everettian multiverse, but it may be possible that God would *choose* to create such a multiverse -- if the laws physics demand it -- because it is more mathematically beautiful. Page then uses this to try and tackle the problem of evil and human suffering in the world, arguing that perhaps God chooses to maximize happiness and good across the multiverse, even if that means that within each individual universe some suffering is inevitable.

I’m not completely convinced by this argument. The problem of why a benevolent God does not choose to intervene more often to alleviate suffering is obviously a long-standing and difficult issue for believers to address. For me, personally, I don’t think the answer that my suffering is counter-balanced, or even outweighed, by the happiness and goodness of other parallel versions of myself is very comforting. It’s already tough enough to deal with envious thoughts when you look at other people around you. Having to handle envy of the lives of the happier parallel versions of “me”, who fared better in the various “What If?” scenarios that have played out in my life, is a step too far. Nonetheless, I commend Page for seriously questioning the standard cry that the multiverse (either Everettian or cosmological) has to stand in opposition to a belief in God.

I discussed Page’s paper with FQXi member and Caltech cosmologist Sean Carroll, at the recent “Is God Explanatory” meeting in Oxford. Carroll has other reasons for remaining unconvinced by Page’s arguments, which you can hear on the podcast -- along with Carroll's arguments for why God does not stand up as a good scientific theory. I am not sure that God should be judged purely as a theory of physics, but I think Carroll’s main argument is aimed at people who invoke God as an alternative to scientific explanation, which is fair enough.

Oh and the "cat" reference in the title of this post? Just to clarify that the strange noise in the middle of the introduction to the God item was not -- as we may have implied -- God intervening in the podcast, but an intervention by Brendan’s cat, Puffy, probably driven wild in anticipation of the “Quantum Birds” feature that was about to follow!

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Feb. 5, 2013 @ 16:04 GMT
If we see GOD as the totality of all multiverses, and then not only in tha causal way but also in the non causal way so every future and every past is NOW, then you can imagine the infinite possibilities of this "TOTAL SIMULTANEITY". Our causal consciousness is entangled with its non causal part, it is this eternal entity (what is a word ?) that can choose between every possibillity in Total Simultaneity, untill now we don't have enough control to choose, but we are defining already our future past and untill now we were not able to change our past past or place in the Devine ALL.

Wilhelmus

pls see : "THE CONSCIOUSNESS CONNECTION"

and my article in the "Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research"

vol.3 n°10 (2012) : "A METAPHYSICAL CONCEPT OF CONSCIOUSNESS" (table of contents) This article is an extension of the FQXi essay where GOD is also treated.

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 5, 2013 @ 19:31 GMT
Zeeya,

What about those of us who have issues with both conventional theology and muliworlds?

The problem with monotheism is the absolute is basis, not apex, so a spiritual absolute would be the essence from which we rise, not an ideal from which we fell. There are explicit political reasons for a top down theology, not logical ones. The current debates are simply pedantic on both sides.

As for multiworlds, since I've made my argument against it too many times to mention, doesn't anyone understand the principle of "Junk in, junk out?" Math is not god. It's a tool.

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali replied on Feb. 5, 2013 @ 19:53 GMT
John, you're absolutely right. While I say that there shouldn't have to be a simplistic choice between either God or the multiverse, because they are compatible, it's also true that you can certainly coherently reject both. I think I made that point in an earlier blog post about God vs the Multiverse, but I forgot to repeat that here. Thank you for reminding me.

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John Merryman replied on Feb. 6, 2013 @ 01:04 GMT
Thanks Zeeya.

In case you may have missed it, my argument against multi-worlds is that we are looking at time backwards. It isn't a vector from past to future, but the changing configuration of what is, that turns future into past. To wit, the earth isn't traveling the fourth dimension from yesterday to tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth rotates. To consider this in the context of multi-worlds, here is a image of the Schrodinger's Cat paradox. Now rather than think of it as the present moving from left to right, think of it as the frames of film moving right to left and it makes much more sense, as it is future probability collapsing into actuality, due to the physical occurence of the events, not the travel along a narrative timeline.

We induce logic from the events as they occur, but then deduce from the resulting narrative.

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali replied on Feb. 6, 2013 @ 17:16 GMT
Hi John,

That's interesting. I just did a quick search, and I see that was the topic of one your FQXi essays. I'll try and take a look at that later.

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 7, 2013 @ 06:06 GMT
To whom it may concern:

I think the most central problem of dealing with the concept of GOD in a scientific manner is to find an appropriate definition of it. The most direct definition as far as I can see is to make use of typical theological attributes like INVISIBILITY (which is certainly one of central attributes that is closely related to the concept of GOD. (Rom 1,20)) and then to ask systematically for the physical implications, that are possibly connected with it.

I followed just this line of reasoning with somehow surprising insights.

In 2009 a paper about this approach has been approved to the FQXI-Contest "What is ultimately possible in physics?". The title of my paper: TAMING OF THE ONE which can still be downloaded from the FQXi-Webpage.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/502

This 11-page paper is just dealing with the theological property of invisibility. The most remarkable aspect of it is its empirical testability. It seems that in our universe this property resp. its deduced implications (i.e. a radical non-dual conception of the universe) is empirically realized ..at least approximately!!

Regards

H. Hansen

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 7, 2013 @ 06:24 GMT
Anon

There is no problem dealing with the concept of God scientifically. By definition, if A there is always the logical possibility of not-A. In our case, God is therefore a logical possible alternative to the physical existence which we can know. As with any other such concept which is extrinsic to what is knowable, any statement other than it is a logical possibility is belief. That is, it cannot be asserted to exist, neither can anything be asserted about the possible nature of it.

Paul

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John Merryman replied on Feb. 7, 2013 @ 12:04 GMT
Helmut,

The most succinct statement describing the conventional view of God is probably Pope John Paul 2's "All-knowing Absolute." The logical fallacy here is that absolute would be a universal state, which negates any distinctions, while knowledge is a process of being able to make distinctions and connections.

The absolute is equilibrium, as in absolute zero. A singular deity...

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Helmut Hansen replied on Feb. 8, 2013 @ 04:50 GMT
JOHN,

it is true, if INVISIBILITY is taken as foundational property, there are no distinctions so far. But just this result is the CRUX. All attempts to prove the existence of the ONE (i.e. GOD) must fail if it is really (!) invisible. And history seems to prove that. In order to be able to deal with this ONE in a scientific way you have to turn around your perspective and to look at the VISIBLE UNIVERSE. This is the only place where the scientific method can be applied.

Finally you have to ask: How must the universe be organized, if its most fundamental basis is truly invisible? Answer: To secure the INVISIBILITY of the ONE the universe has to turn some fundamental distinctions into coincidences, f.e. the distinction between the Smallest and the Largest. In other words, if in our universe the Smallest and Largest do really coincide, then the door to the invisible branch of reality is "closed": We cannot look beyond this door.

It seems, that in our universe the Smallest and the Largest do really coincide. There is an empirical fact that can be read in this metaphysical fashion.

That's the reasoning behind my approach.

Regards

Helmut

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Ken H. Seto wrote on Feb. 7, 2013 @ 15:52 GMT
The following link entitled "The origin of Our Universe as Interpreted by Model Mechanics" supports the existence of a Creator (God):

http://www.modelmechanics.org/2011universe.pdf

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 10, 2013 @ 16:04 GMT
Paul,

I can agree with most of your statements.

Let me say something about FOG and how FOG is related to the reality that is described by metaphysics.

The ONE being invisible can never be described nor observed nor measured. It is beyond every limiting concept. In philosophy we say: It is transcendent. A physical theory which will describe the ONE in an appropriate way has...

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 11, 2013 @ 05:29 GMT
Helmut

This is not the point. By definition, the physical existence which science is investigating has a definitive form. Conversely, anything not of this physical existence is belief, and can be of any form asserted, because there is no basis for proof. Similarly the construction of a metaphysical theory need not be logical, because ‘anything goes’ anyway. Or, to put it bluntly,...

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 11, 2013 @ 05:59 GMT
Paul,

all the statements you are making about physical existence is belief, too, but you don't see it. Every concept we are using in science, in particular, in modern physics is theory-laden and your concept of existence is so much theory-laden that it is much more philosophy than physics. It is even bad philosophy, because its spirit is highly positivistic.

If we look at the historical development of physics we can easily see, that there is an ongoing process in which our fundamental theories about reality are farther and farther from our existential experience. S. Weinberg claims that it is very unlikely that the positivist attitude will be of much help in the future of physics. He even states that the positivism has damaged the development of the twentieth century physics. In his book "Dreams of a Final Theory" he gives some examples.

Helmut

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde replied on Feb. 11, 2013 @ 15:15 GMT
What we perceive is limited to our FIVE senses, the results of the received data we process in OUR science.

This means that for our senses all the rest is INVISIBLE. We are aware of the fact that there is 100% of "matter" in the universe we only SEE 5% (baryonic matter) the rest invisible is 95% !!!

Our knowledge may grow but it never will be the 100%.

perhaps devellop a six'th sense or others...

We cannot prove the existance of GOD, but we can be aware of it and not knowing what we are aware of, this is proven because humanity has always brought up "belief" and fairy tales, our consciousness is ligned up with these invisible undeclarable rest of the universes.

Wilhelmus

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde replied on Feb. 11, 2013 @ 15:17 GMT
see also my first post in the beginning of this thread, thanks...

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 12, 2013 @ 06:21 GMT
Helmut

"all the statements you are making about physical existence is belief, too, but you don't see it". Not so, within the closed system of our physical existence, these statements are correct. They may or may not be correct in respect of another existence (if there is one), but we are locked into this physical existence, not another one, and must, for scientific purposes, examine what is, not what we believe could be.

Wilhelmus

There are more than 5 senses. Do not forget this point relates to all sentient organisms, physical existnce is not the preerve of only what humans sense. Neither is is constricted to just what can be sensed, it also includes what can be proven to have been possible to sense.

Paul

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Feb. 12, 2013 @ 07:23 GMT
Paul,

you are right. Your argument is convincing and consistent. But the truth of your argument depends on two conditions: (1) your system has to be a closed one. (2) There is defintely no external condition that influences this system in any way.

I think it might be difficult to prove condition No. (2) right. It is simply impossible, to exclude the existence of such an external influence - at least from an empirical (i.e. scientific) point of view. It is always possible, that the external influence is empirically very subtle.

Hence, your position implies a belief. Sometimes it might be important to follow your attitude, but there are certainly cases in which a step beyond a closed system might be more meaningful.

Einstein once declared: It is the theory that decides what we can observe - not the other way around.

Helmut

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 13, 2013 @ 06:06 GMT
Helmut

The defining factor on what constitutes the closed system (ie knowable physical existence) could be characterised as ‘detectability’. Which includes properly validated hypothetical ‘detection’ for any sensing system, ie the circumstance where a direct detection cannot be effected for some identifiable reason, but it can be proven that it was potentially possible. ...

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Feb. 12, 2013 @ 13:48 GMT
Wilhelmus

yes, we can ... prove the existence of GOD. Your statement is nothing else than a prejudice... and certainly the most strong one.

If you define GOD as being characterized by theological properties like INVISIBILITY (Rom 1,20), OMNIPRESENCE (Psalm 139) etc. , then you can of course derive specific physical implications that are scientifically testable.

Invisibility f.e. can be explained as the natural result of radical non-dual conception of the universe.

The problem with GOD is not an intellectual one it is of emotional nature.

There is an emotional resistance that is far stronger than any resistance of the past. That's the main problem in dealing with the DIVINE.

Helmut

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde replied on Feb. 13, 2013 @ 15:09 GMT
Helmut

Proving the existene of GOD is I think not a scientific one.

Science can be a departure to this proof but can never in the end give the final TRUTH.

When I derived my perception of Total Simultaneity I arrived at a point that I could no longer fall back on scientific data, just like string theory and Loop Quantum Gravity it was based on data that are beyond the Planck Wall.

All I perceived was that the term I was describing met with all the descriptions of the DIVINE, but it remained a perception that cannot be proved. Anyway it gave me an emotional satisfaction that I was on some kind of right explanation of reality. Educated as Roman Catholic, losing all religion afterwards and now reinventing why humanity including myself is religeous.

So far for the "emotional" part.

Furthermore I think that once you are using the WORDS "God" and "DIVINE" you enter always in a discussion with people that have a conviction that cannot be discussed, every belief has his own dogma's that are like the scientific laws (science is also a belief...)so I prefer to keep the approach of the DIVINE more from the side of the other belief : science, for once you accept the Divine (Total Simultaneity) as the origin of everything you have in fact the ultimate TOE.

Wilhelmus

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Helmut Hansen replied on Feb. 14, 2013 @ 08:48 GMT
Wilhelmus

it is true: If a Modern Metaphysics is scientifically successful it is in fact the key towards a TOE, because it is dealing with something, that is absolutely fundamental. Without considering the ONE all our theories about the universe are essentially incomplete independently how advanced they are.

The key to such a Modern Metaphysics is the conviction that the Universe has to be organized in a very specific and unique way if it shall be compatible with a transcendent foundation. It must secure that the fundamental level of reality cannot be seen or detected in any way from inside the Universe. Just this conceptual demand is highly restrictive.

Furthermore, it might be true that we have already discovered parts of this metaphysical structure of the Universe. There is no doubt, Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity are theories of metaphysical importance. It is very likely that they have grasped essential parts of this metaphysical structure.

Of coure, at the end, we cannot prove the existence of the ONE in a scientific way, because if the ONE is really invisible, as conceived by me, then there is clearly no empirical data that can be related to it. But that does not mean, that Metaphysics as a Science is impossible. There are intrinsic limits as well as in all other scientific theories about the universe.

To me metaphysics is the most powerful and fresh approach to reality if it is consciously applied to the VISIBLE universe, because the visible UNIVERSE is the only place where the scientific method can be used in a meaningful way.

Helmut

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Paul N Butler wrote on Feb. 13, 2013 @ 22:08 GMT
Dear Paul Reed and H. Hansen;

I am addressing both of you at once because you both seem to believe that if God is invisible we can have no way of learning anything about him from observations of the physical world, although you seem to have based that conclusion on opposite concepts. Paul’s concept appears to be that if God is invisible, he is completely disconnected from what we call...

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Helmut Hansen replied on Feb. 14, 2013 @ 09:09 GMT
To Paul Butler

The One is, of course, not restricted to specific (i.e. extremes) parts of the Universe: It is indeed omnipresent. Otherwise it could not be the foundation of all that exist. But more important is the question, how is Omnipresence physically realized in our universe? What are the specific conditions that are necessary to allow something to be everywhere at the same time?

To give an example how an answer to this question could look like: If the velocity of light is really the speed limit of the universe, the ONE cannot be everywhere. Its presence would be limited to the interior of the Light Cone. If we want to know how space and time have to be organized in case of an omnipresent foundation, we have to look for a spacetime, which goes beyond the Light Cone.

This process of metaphysical investigation I am calling 'transcendental progression': It makes consciously use of a fundamental physical theory asking: How does this theory look like if it shall satisfy metaphysical properties like f.e. the property of omnipresence?

That's the way I am looking for a Modern Metaphysics.

Helmut

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 05:34 GMT
Paul

No, my concept is not that God is invisible. God is only a logical possibility, ie an 'entity' which could possibly exist in an alternative existence to the one we can know. That is, we cannot know it, just believe it.

Paul

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Feb. 14, 2013 @ 08:31 GMT
Paul,

you are right: If a system is explicitly defined as a closed one, then there is, of course, no possibility to introduce consistently an external influence. But we are talking about reality. Hence, the question arises: Is reality a closed system in the way you define it?

There are specific points of reality you don't take into account sufficiently:

(1)

Our reality seems to be build up in a hierarchical way, which means, that there are different ontological levels or systems of reality which are related to each other in an asymmetric (!) way: A level (let say level no. 1) which is ontologically absolute determines a level which is less absolute (let say level no. 2), but not the other way around. (The relationship between the world of atoms and our everyday world is an example of such a hierarchical relationship. Atoms are determining the everyday world but not the other way around. ) From this point of view level no. 1 includes conditions, which are determining the intrinsic structure of level no. 2 though these conditions are ontologically of extrinsic nature.

(2)

Your argument implies the assumption that our reality follows rigorously classical logic. But if we look at Quantum mechanics, in particular at Schrödingers Cat, we are confronted with an aspect of reality that is seemingly defying the law of contradiction. I am convinced (more precisely: I belief) that the dual aspect of reality is indeed of fundamental nature.

Helmut

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 05:52 GMT
Helmut

“you are right: If a system is explicitly defined as a closed one, then there is, of course, no possibility to introduce consistently an external influence. But we are talking about reality. Hence, the question arises: Is reality a closed system in the way you define it?”

Can any sentient organism transcend its own existence? Answer: no. Reality is what we can know it as. We are trapped in an existential system. The question is, in physical terms, how does that work.

I do not understand your point 1.

Re point 2. Schrodingers Cat, and indeed the underlying philosophy of QM, is nonsense. It attributes physical reality with a characteristic of indefiniteness, which it cannot have. To be physically existent, whatever constitutes it must be in a specific physically existent state at any given time. QM also confers on the process of sensing (specifically seeing) an effect it cannot possibly have. Sensing reality, ie receiving a physical input, cannot have any effect on reality, for the very simple reason that in order to sense it, it must exist in some definitive physical state first! Not only this, but what is sensed (ie received) is not physical reality anyway, but a representation thereof. In the case of seeing, this is commonly known as light. Whist I am on the subject of fundamental flaws, I will add that Einstein’s relativity is also nonsense. He conflated physical existence and the light representation thereof, so in effect, he shifted the time differential which does occur between time of physical existence and time of receipt of light representation thereof, to al alleged characteristic of reality.

Paul

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 07:23 GMT
Paul,

what you are saying sounds plausible, but you are claiming much more than you realize. The history of mankind as well as the history of science demonstrates, that we are able to transcend our own existence. Actually it happened in so many cases that one can truly say that transcending existence is central part of our human nature.

Of course, you can narrow down the term EXISTENCE or EXISTENTIAL SYSTEM in such a way, that the conclusion of being trapped appears to be a meaningful statement, but if you dig into it, you will see, it does not tell us anything why things are existing at all. Obviously you take existence as a brute fact whose truth does not depend on something more fundamental.

Is that true? And if it is true, what is the promise (resp. the final message) of your approach? What can we reach?

Helmut

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 20:18 GMT
Helmut

“The history of mankind as well as the history of science demonstrates, that we are able to transcend our own existence”

Not so. We can only transcend in terms of belief, and in that context, ‘anything goes’. By definition, we cannot know what we are not able to know. Knowing being a function of what is independently existent.

“it does not tell us anything why things are existing at all”

Obviously not, because it is impossible for us to know why there is what there is. We can only explain it in terms of what it is, as it is available to us. Anything else is belief, ie without objective proof. It may be a shoot em up game operated by giants with 6 heads, we can never know. The subject matter for science is physical existence as knowable.

Paul

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 07:37 GMT
Paul

It is true, we cannot experience something which does not have any measurable or objective effect on the physical universe. I agree totally.

But a Modern Metaphysics - as I understand it - bases upon the hypothesis that there is a specific and unique (!) metaphysical structure of the universe, whose ultimate foundation is determined by metaphysical properties like INVISIBILITY, OMNIPRESENCE et al.

According to my view this foundation being of transcendent nature cannot, of course, be measured or detected in any way, otherwise it could not be characterized of being transcendent in a consistent way, but the metaphysical structure of the Universe can be measured, because it is quite different from the known structure of the Universe. Out of this difference it implies specific and subtle physical (and objective) effects which are still unknown.

These effects are epistemologically comparable with vacuum-effects. As we cannot measure the vaccum itself (!), we are trying to measure it indirectly by specific observable effects like the vacuum polarization. Just this effect could be observed. Hence, most modern physicists are convinced that the vacuum is truly existing.

To me the ONE (i.e. the transcendent field of reality) is comparable to that. The main task of a Modern Metaphysics is to investigate and precize what sort of physical implications are connected with this specific field of reality. Metaphysics is not Philosophy, it is indeed a specific discipline of Physics like Atomic Physics - and I have no doubt it will be the most powerful discipline in the future, because it has far-reaching consequences in many fields of human EXISTENCE. There is no other field of reality that is so deeply obscured by misconceptions and irrationalism than the ONE...

Helmut

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 08:09 GMT
Helmut

“But a Modern Metaphysics - as I understand it - bases upon the hypothesis that there is a specific and unique (!) metaphysical structure of the universe, whose ultimate foundation is determined by metaphysical properties like INVISIBILITY, OMNIPRESENCE et al”

But this is not knowable, so is a pointless pursuit. Because once outside what is knowable (which includes properly constructed hypothesis) ‘anything goes’, as, by definition, there can be no reference against which to judge validity. So my metaphysical take on the structure of the universe is that it is a shoot em up game being played by giants with 6 heads. In the context of metaphysics, any statement is as valid (or invalid) as any other.

Depressing/unexciting as it may be, people need to come to terms with the fact that we can only know what it is possible to know, and there is a definitive physical process underpinning that. We can conceive of, ie believe in, whatever we want, but cannot assert that as knowledge. In other words, there is honour and honesty in stating, we cannot know, rather than pretending we can reveal the ‘secrets of the universe’. Obviously, people have every right to believe in whatever they want to believe in.

Paul

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 15:39 GMT
Paul,

your position is of course clear and of an amazing stringency, but your conclusion of "anything goes" has some implications you don't see.

By using the phrase of "anything goes" you are claiming that metaphysical terms like INVISIBILITY or OMNIPRESENCE cannot be described in terms of physics, but they do. They can be described in such a way, that their physical meaning is very precisely defined. Invisibility and Omnipresence as a closely interrelated metaphysical package implies a specific set of boundary conditions at infinity.

In modern physics we do not really know why the field equations of general relativity are readily solvable only in connection with such boundary conditions at infinity. By a Modern Metaphysics we can possibly get a deeper understanding of this unusual circumstance.

Clearly, if you define GOD (resp. the transcendent field of reality) in such a broad way that you will find him where you look for him, then the word GOD is not of any scientifc use. If you f.e. define GOD as energy, then you can find him even in a lump of coal.

Your phrase of "anything goes" relates to this case and I admit that in the past the word GOD has been used very often in this very vague way.

Helmut

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 18, 2013 @ 05:48 GMT
Helmut

Not so. Once you are considering things that are external to the physical existence we can know, then, by definition, it is belief, and there is no reference against which to validate any such proposition. So, ‘anything goes’, because any such statement can neither be validated as correct or incorrect. Its level of superficial preposterousness is irrelevant. It is either subject to validation, or it is not.

Paul

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Feb. 18, 2013 @ 11:13 GMT
Paul

Not so. You cannot exclude specific parts of reality just by saying: Not so. You are constantly using the term "physical existence" without specifying it in terms of physics. To make it more concrete: Does the VACUUM exist? Yes or no? Is it an external part of reality or not? Is there any experimental proposition to validate it or not?

Helmut

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 07:55 GMT
Helmut

I have specified physical existence in the above postings, but to save me repeating myself, please look at my post in Accidental Universe, thread started by Tom 8/2 12.34. It is my response to Constantinos, post number 72 in that thread.

Paul

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Helmut Hansen replied on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 16:55 GMT
Paul R

As far as I can see you are using a very restricted concept of physical existence. It depends essentially on the possibility to perceice any difference. That is the strength of your approach but it is at the same time its weakness. If something cannot be described in terms of differences, because it is truly of non-dual nature, then it does not exist - at least from your point of view. And that would be nothing else than a belief, too. But to be sure of this conclusion, I want to repeat my original question: What do you are thinking of the vacuum? Does it exist?

Helmut

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 21, 2013 @ 07:29 GMT
Helmut

“As far as I can see you are using a very restricted concept of physical existence”

I am defining physical existence as a function of a physical process (which includes hypothecating that process where it cannot be effected-which is really the same thing, just the way to overcome physical issues). This must be the correct approach, for science, because once outside that confine, which is independent of us and provable, any concept is possible as there is no proof. As it happens, this must involve differences, but that is a consequence of being within a closed system, it is not the point. And anyway, within the closed system these differences are real, assuming obviously, the measurement process has been effected properly.

Vacuum is a difficult one. It is possible with physical existence. What it means is a spatial position where there is nothing. Now, I do not know whether the nature of physical existence ‘allows’ this, ie whether, given its constitution, there is always something, at any given time, in every possible spatial location. What that something might be is another question. We have a logical difficulty in proving nothing. We then have a real difficulty in tracking this nothing in order to use it as a reference, and hence establish difference with respect to it.

Paul

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Paul N Butler wrote on Feb. 19, 2013 @ 03:55 GMT
Dear Helmut,

You seem to be treating God as though he is a part of our universe or as though the universe is a part of him. In such a case there would be at least some possibility that he would be bound by the same things that bind and limit us, but as I mentioned in my previous comment that is not necessarily the case. God could have created our universe to be completely separate from...

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Feb. 19, 2013 @ 05:08 GMT
Paul B

the transcendent field of reality is not limited in any way, otherwise you could not call it consistently 'transcendent'.

But this field is indeed - as conceived by me - an impersonal potential out of which the universe emerges. As far as I can see you take a personal view, like GOD the CREATOR.

But if a Modern Metaphysics works, it is no longer possible to describe GOD in terms of a person. To give an example: If the theological property of INVISIBILITY can be explained convincingly as the natural result of a specific conception of the universe (i.e. as the natural result of a radical non-dual conception), then you can't say: GOD is hiding from us, because invisibility is the unavoidable result of the internal structure of the universe. There is no person who act freely in this or that way.

In this manner GOD is totally bound by the intrinsic structure of reality though he is not limited in any way. Therefore a person who has realized this unlimited nature of God can break the laws of nature and walk on water...

Helmut

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Sridattadev wrote on Feb. 25, 2013 @ 18:58 GMT
Dear All,

If you are all looking for the ONE (god), look no further than with in your self. You are the "ONE" that you have been looking for.

Conscience = Singularity = God = Zero = i = infinity = absolute

Singularity is not only relative infinity, but is also absolute equality.

I exists in every one and is everywhere.

Love,

Sridattadev.

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Sridattadev wrote on Feb. 25, 2013 @ 21:46 GMT
Dear All,

"Consciousness is the sphere of universal schwarzschild radius with a central cosmological constant of conscience." - iSphere.

Love,

Sridattadev.

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Paul N Butler wrote on Feb. 27, 2013 @ 19:43 GMT
Dear Helmet,

I can see that your personal belief is that God is an impersonal potential and not an intelligent being who can act as he will at all times, but your logic in your explanation to me as to why you believe that it must be that way is lacking as follows:

1. Because something can be some way, does not prove that it is that way. You must also disprove all other possibilities...

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Feb. 28, 2013 @ 06:24 GMT
Paul B

of course, you can belief what you like: you can imagine a GOD who is totally beyond of everything. There is no argument against that. That is the inner essence of belief - to be, in principle, not provable in any way neither in a rational nor in an empirical way.

I am not interested in that in any way. I am interested in a scientific metaphysics, in particular, in metaphysical statements that are empirically testable.

According to me the radical non-dual conception of the universe is such an empirically testable proposition. By following this line of reasoning the only conclusion you can draw is that this specific metaphysical conception is pointing to an invisible branch of reality. You cannot f.e. explain in terms of physics how this invisible field of reality is internally experienced by human beings. We know from mystical traditions that it is experienced as highest bliss, but this experience cannot be part of a scientific Metaphysics as far as it is considered of being a physical discipline like Atomic Physics.

The main task of a scientific Metaphysics is to enlighten a field of reality that is still unenlightened. During the history of science we have enlightened almost all fields of reality (i.e. the structure of matter, the code of life etc.), but we have simply no serious knowledge about the transcendent field. There is no other realm of reality that is theoretically overshadowed in such a strong manner like this field.

I am convinced that the systematic scientific exploration of this still unknown field is the most important key to develop a final theory of the universe. To unveil the physical implications of theological properties like INVISIBILITY is - in a way - the most direct way to contribute to this final theory.

Helmut

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 3, 2013 @ 06:10 GMT
Dear Helmut,

My point is that although God can be beyond everything and exist and work completely outside of our world, he has chosen to show himself to man in this world in many ways that can be testable scientifically. As an example, the scriptures (commonly called the Holy Bible) predict many future events some of which have already come to pass hundreds or even thousands of years after...

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Mar. 4, 2013 @ 10:52 GMT
Dear Paul B.

to get an impression of the meaning of the radical non-dual conception I recommend you to read my paper "Taming of the One" which has been approved to the FQXI-Essay-Contest of 2009.

Remarkably the philosophy of Nicolaus Cusa has contributed significantly to the discovery of this conception.

Helmut

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Georgina Parry wrote on Mar. 7, 2013 @ 09:30 GMT
I found this very interesting Religion, Science and the Attack of the Angry Atheists by Max Tegmark There is a really cool interactive graph under the title "Is There A Conflict Between Faith And Origins Science?" Source: The MIT Survey on Science, Religion and Origins. Which shows not as much conflict as might be imagined.Max Tegmark wrote "A friend cautioned me that if we went ahead and posted...

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Mar. 8, 2013 @ 09:31 GMT
Can we expect seriously that science does not change our spiritual view of the universe?

I think, we can't. Whenever science entered a new field of reality it changed our view of this field tremendously. The origin of man is certainly that scientific discovery that changed our view of the universe and ourselves most.

As far as the transcended field of reality is concerned we still don't have any serious scientific knowlegde. It is still doubted that METAPHYSICS as a Science is possible at all. But what would happen if we are going to unveil scientifically all the secrets that are locked in? It is not very likely that we will discover a DIVINE PERSON at the edge of the Universe. It is far more likely that we will discover an impersonal potential... In the historical course of science this tendency toward impersonal entities has been repeated again and again...

Helmut

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Leo Vuyk wrote on Mar. 13, 2013 @ 15:34 GMT
I AGREE, Science can change our spiritual view on the multiverse. HOWEVER WE ONLY NEED SEVERAL EXPERIMENTS TO GET SUPPORT FOR SUCH IDEAS ( E.G. about the QM base for multiverse and other important lements like the constancy of the lightspeed etc . etc).

.

.

Those experiments could be:

1: Lightspeed drag and extinction experiment inside a double mirrored fast rotating cylinder in the lab. Ref [3]

2: CHAMP-GPS satellite distance outlier measurement focused on GPS elevation angle to the earth.Ref [3]

3: Gravity drag related Lightspeed variation experiment between two balloons or satellites and the earth. Ref [3]

4: Multiverse number count by a renewed Benjamin Libet experiment focussed on RPI and RPII ratio. Ref [6]

5: Double Stern-Gerlach atomic Entanglement experiment. Ref [6]

6: Double LeSage gravity experiment by a new massive oscillator. Ref [7]

7: Monopole radiation based Magnetic field experiment Ref: [7]

8: The laboratory production and exploitation of a micro black hole or ball lightning. Ref:[14]

It is all about cause and effect because we seem to live in an instant entangled Multiverse to explain Schroedingers Cat paradox. God plays dice in CP(T) symmetrical universe…

SEE:

http://vixra.org/pdf/1111.0096v1.pdf

Reconcili
ation of QM and GR and the need for a pulsating entangled CPT symmetric raspberry shaped Multiverse

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 09:20 GMT
Dear Leo,

let me add a further idea, that is closely related to your list of experiments.

As you know in modern physics light is regarded as a quantum phenomenon that has both particle-like and wave-like aspects. Today we know that neither of these two aspects is sufficient to describe the nature of light. This dual characteristic of light is quantummechanically considered of being one of its fundamental properties. Given this quantumtheoretical view it seems to be a natural assumption that not only light itself, but also the speed of light c, should be of dual nature.

In my paper "Is the speed of light c of dual nature?" I've explained this idea in more detail. It has been approved to the FQXI-Contest 2012.

www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1453

This idea is - as conceived by me - groundbreaking - at least in the long run.

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Paul N Butler wrote on Mar. 24, 2013 @ 03:03 GMT
Dear Helmut,

I had other things to attend to, so it took me awhile to get a chance to read your paper that you suggested that I read. I found it interesting. There are some places that are problematic, however. First is your interpretation of Romans 1:20. For context I will show Romans 1:19-20 as follows:

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath...

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