• Corvus
    7
    I found this lecture really good. What do you think?

    God is not a Good Theory. Lecture from the 2nd mini-series (Is "God" Explanatory) from the "Philosophy of Cosmology" project. A University of Oxford and Cambridge Collaboration.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew_cNONhhKI
  • Pantagruel
    6
    The whole concept of God doesn't need to be philosophically justified. Historically it has been something that humanity needs both psychologically and socially. Just like ethics. The negative impacts that have resulted from the gradual degradation of the role of religion as it has been supplanted - but not effectively replaced - by an empty scientific-cum-technical mentality are well-documented and lamented by a host of social philosophers.
  • 180 Proof
    41
    The whole concept of God doesn't need to be philosophically justified.Pantagruel
    And neither does existence (or nature) "need to be philosophically justified". No doubt "god" is a redundant idea (i.e. anti-anxiety placebo), an arbitrary terminus to an infinite regress of a categorically mistaken why-question's own making.

    Without watching Sean Carroll's video I know it comes down to this: a mystery cannot be demystified – explained – by a greater mystery; thus, "god" does not explain anything that needs to be explained. My rule of thumb: mysteries beg questions in lieu of answering them.
  • Corvus
    7
    The presenter made clear that it is not the rhetoric or religious God he is talking about.  He is talking about the concept of God in philosophy, and its relation to how the universe works.  How they could have been related to each other, or not related at all etc from Philosophy of Cosmology point of view.  
  • Wayfarer
    21
    Inference magazine review of Sean Carroll's recent book.

    I notice from it that the first tenet of Carroll's belief system is that 'There is only one world, the natural world.' That is something I find hard to reconcile with Carroll's other role as cheerleader in chief for the many-worlds intepretation of quantum physics.

    Carroll argues that the many-worlds theory is the most straightforward approach to understanding quantum mechanics. It accepts the reality of the wave function. In fact, it says that there is one wave function, and only one, for the entire Universe. Further, it states that when an event happens in our world, the other possibilities contained in the wave function do not go away. Instead, new worlds are created, in which each possibility is a reality.

    It seems a contradiction to me.
  • Corvus
    7
    Wouldn't it mean that whatever happens in the real world, it creates a new real world from the previous state of the real world? Logically I feel it sounds ok to me. For instance, if there were a volcano explosion somewhere in the south pacific islands, then that event will definitely affect the earth's atmosphere someway. The world then will not be the same as before the event, as if nothing had happened, although depending on how large and destructive the explosion was, it may cause either just some changes on the CO2 readings and rainfall and air pollution states, or indeed it might have caused catastrophic results on the human lives killing thousands deforming the shape of the land, and destroying the towns and villages.

    But one thing clear is that the world after the event will be, in the actuality a different world, prior to that event. So in the strict sense, a new world is being created every second whenever there is an event or events somewhere in the world no matter how insignificant it was, but still remains as the real world although we may not notice it.

    Even with some totally different and trivial insignificant examples such as, if I moved all the books on the floor to my new bookshelves, that event has created a new world for me. Because now, all my books are facing me from the wall, rather than scattered all over on the room floor.

    It sounds a fine theory to me. :D
  • Wayfarer
    21
    Wouldn't it mean that whatever happens in the real world, it creates a new real world from the previous state of the real world?Corvus

    No, it crests a replica or copy of the world but with some differences. Not a change to the world we’re in, but an actually different world.
  • Corvus
    7
    A replica of the world with some differences. Not a change to the world but an actually different world.Wayfarer

    It is just a matter of the criteria - how large or small the readings, how rigorous or loose the perception of the changes, and also what instruments to measure the changes of the world they are using, but it is the case that no can dispute. I know it can sound mad, but that is scientific theories for you sometimes :D
  • Corvus
    7
    My post was just my quick interpretation from your quotes. But maybe there are more involved. Later, I will have a read the link in peace and quiet, and get back to you, what I think of it.
  • Wayfarer
    21
    Don’t rush. It’s perplexed many of the greatest physicists of the century.
  • Corvus
    7
    Don’t rush. It’s perplexed many of the greatest physicists of the century.Wayfarer
    I agree with the comment made by one of the readers on the MWI theory, and the Universal WaveFunctions page in the link.

    "The idea of the wave-function of the universe is meaningless; we do not even know what variables it is supposed to be a function of. [...] We find the laws of Nature by reproducible experiments. The theory needs a cut, between the observer and the system, and the details of the apparatus should not appear in the theory of the system."

    Just based on UWF and MWI, if one can say there are many worlds out there, that does not sound feasible at all.

    I could go with the theory that the real world emerges from the previous real world every moment whenever there are new events. This sounds more realistic theory to me.
  • Corvus
    7
    Sorry, the above quote was not from a reader, but a famous physicist Raymond Frederick .

    "Raymond Frederick "Ray" Streater (born 1936) is a British physicist, and professor emeritus of Applied Mathematics at King's College London. He is best known for co-authoring a text on quantum field theory, the 1964 PCT, Spin and Statistics and All That."

    Another quick scan on the link page, and from the passing thought. I think it is very interesting stuff, although totally new topics to me. Will keep reading and thinking about it. As you say, no rush.
  • Josh Alfred
    2
    God-of-the-gaps theory comes to mind. Accordingly, you can place a creator into an explanation, as a gap filler for any phenomena. An external cause or external creator as an argument from cosmology could be made but how can we know what this being is like? Such a being could exist, but how do we determine it without observation? I wouldn't think myself, in my interpretation of scriptures that such a being interacts with our world, although as I said others are inclined by the principle of gaps to fill them with a creative being. Such is the case in the positions of occassionalism vs. hard naturalism/materialism, which are the extremes of this kind of epistemological postulating.
  • Corvus
    7
    This video is telling a lot more about it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxvQ3Wyw2M4
  • Corvus
    7
    I don’t think you understand it. Have read of https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretationWayfarer

    I read it, and this is what I think about it.

    I don't think I would take the MWI theory too seriously. It's like what Einstein said, that the universe is 4 dimensional, and there is no time - no past, no present, no future. In their theory maybe, but in reality, it doesn't make sense.

    I don't see any practical or factual point of saying that there are many real worlds out there because of this and that evidence from the measurements and observations, if I can't walk into one, and live in there as long as I want, and come back out and try some other universe in real life experience.

    I feel that one shouldn't follow any theories one hears about just because it is said by a quantum physicist or some famous scientist. One should take in what is feasible and useful for one's own thought logic. If you really think it is right, no one will stop you from believing it.

    But I thought the OP video had a couple of useful and meaningful messages that I took as a good point - God theories professed by the armchair philosophy does not give anything practical or useful for the description and understanding of the universe.
  • Kenosha Kid
    18
    I notice from it that the first tenet of Carroll's belief system is that 'There is only one world, the natural world.' That is something I find hard to reconcile with Carroll's other role as cheerleader in chief for the many-worlds intepretation of quantum physics.

    Carroll argues that the many-worlds theory is the most straightforward approach to understanding quantum mechanics. It accepts the reality of the wave function. In fact, it says that there is one wave function, and only one, for the entire Universe. Further, it states that when an event happens in our world, the other possibilities contained in the wave function do not go away. Instead, new worlds are created, in which each possibility is a reality.

    It seems a contradiction to me.
    Wayfarer

    "World" here just means "branch". It's not the same as a whole separate universe with its own wavefunction. I think it's an unfortunate ambiguity, not a contradiction: world can mean 'everything there is' or 'term in the universal wavefunction'.
  • Wayfarer
    21
    God theories professed by the armchair philosophy does not give anything practical or useful for the description and understanding of the universe.Corvus

    The point about 'God theories' is to encourage you to practice compassion and right living. Belief in God is not a scientific argument. Many scientists don't believe in God, others do, and it makes no difference to their work.

    I find Seah Carroll a pleasant enough fellow, and he's obviously an ace in his area of expertise but I think he's philosophically pretty shallow.

    "World" here just means "branch". It's not the same as a whole separate universe with its own wavefunction.Kenosha Kid

    That depends on who you ask.

    Everett believed in the literal reality of the other quantum worlds.[22] His son reported that he "never wavered in his belief over his many-worlds theory".[79]

    According to Martin Gardner, the "other" worlds of MWI have two different interpretations: real or unreal; he claimed that Stephen Hawking and Steven Weinberg both favour the unreal interpretation.[80] Gardner also claimed that most physicists favour the unreal interpretation, whereas the "realist" view is supported only by MWI experts such as Deutsch and DeWitt. Hawking has said that "according to Feynman's idea", all other histories are as "equally real" as our own, [f] and Gardner reports Hawking saying that MWI is "trivially true".[82]
    Wikipedia

    The question I asked on Physics Forum, if 'many worlds' is a solution, then what is the problem? I didn't get a satisfactory answer, but as I see it, the requirement is purely to avoid the 'wave-function collapse', i.e. the apparent consequence that the act of observation precipitates an outcome.
  • Banno
    27
    The point about 'God theories' is to encourage you to practice compassion and right living.Wayfarer

    ...or sometimes to strap on an explosive vest and be rid of the infidel.

    Here's the rub: these metaphysical notions do not have a truth value; but they do lead to action.

    And by there deeds let them be judged.
  • Wayfarer
    21
    or sometimes to strap on an explosive vest and be rid of the infidel.Banno

    That says a lot more about your prejudices than the subject at hand.
  • Corvus
    7
    The point about 'God theories' is to encourage you to practice compassion and right living. Belief in God is not a scientific argument. Many scientists don't believe in God, others do, and it makes no difference to their work.Wayfarer

    God theories talk about how the universe had been created too.

    find Seah Carroll a pleasant enough fellow, and he's obviously an ace in his area of expertise but I think he's philosophically pretty shallow.Wayfarer

    He is just a quantum physicist. They are not philosophers. :)
    But it is interesting to hear how they see the origin of the universe. They are still all just assertions, which are not fully verified and agreed universally.
  • Corvus
    7
    That depends on who you ask.Wayfarer

    Philosophers raise issues with premises and stick to their good old arguments to come to some conclusions. The traditional philosophical method is discourse.

    Physicists will stick to their observations, measurements, calculations, functions and try to make up theories to prove their hypotheses were right.

    But every scientific theories are made to be proved wrong by further theories and discoveries. Don't rely on them as some eternal truths.
  • Wayfarer
    21
    God theories talk about how the universe had been created too.Corvus

    Not 'how' in any meaningful scientific sense. There's two different creation narratives in Genesis alone. There are thousands of such creation narratives in different cultures. The Hindus have one that the universe was created from a cosmic egg, a single point, the 'bindu'.

    He is just a quantum physicist. They are not philosophersCorvus

    Someone should tell him that.
  • Corvus
    7
    Not 'how' in any meaningful scientific sense. There's two different creation narratives in Genesis alone. There are thousands of such creation narratives in different cultures. The Hindus have one that the universe was created from a cosmic egg, a single point, the 'bindu'.Wayfarer

    Yeah, he dropped it from the beginning of the video quite sensibly. But all the creation narratives still can be meaningful when approached by hermeneutics or analytic methods to come to some metaphysical explanations. Things can be interpreted from different perspectives. They may not be critically scientific, but still can be enormously meaningful in different ways.

    Someone should tell him that.Wayfarer

    Thought it was obvious :D
  • Wayfarer
    21
    Things can be interpreted from different perspectives. They may not be critically scientific, but still can be enormously meaningful in different ways.Corvus

    :up: My thoughts exactly.
  • Corvus
    7
    My thoughts exactly.Wayfarer

    :fire: :100:
  • Tom Storm
    10
    or sometimes to strap on an explosive vest and be rid of the infidel.
    — Banno

    That says a lot more about your prejudices than the subject at hand.
    Wayfarer

    He did say 'sometimes'. It's not like this isn't true.
  • Banno
    27
    That says a lot more about your prejudices than the subject at hand.Wayfarer

    I'm sure we are both being selective as suits us.
  • Wayfarer
    21
    There's a reason that that kind of mentaility is called 'extremism', meaning it's not typical. Yet you use it to typify anything religious.

    If you have time for a long read, have al look at Terror in the God-Shaped Hole, David Loy.
  • Tom Storm
    10
    Thanks. I've always thought that the famous 'god shaped hole' is most apparent in religions themselves. Especially Christian denominations where Jesus' teachings seem to be reversed or annulled. Loy's an interesting figure, his polemical views are bound to be fun.
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