• Devans99
    2.1k
    With the "empty space" only as our frame of reference, correct, time does not pass. If we're broadening the frame of reference to include other things, like the clock, then time would pass.Terrapin Station

    By that logic if I had two clocks, one digital (little motion), one mechanical (lots of motion), time would run quicker for the mechanical clock.

    They're misled by the mathematical conventions they're using, where they're basically "worshipping" the mathematics per se, and they see the mathematics as ontologically primary.Terrapin Station

    We have evidence that time slows as the speed of light approaches so I do not see a timeless photon as controversial.

    Nope. B time is incoherent.Terrapin Station

    OK what's wrong with this proof:

    1. Can’t get something from nothing
    2. So something must have existed ‘always’.
    3. It’s not possible to exist permanently in time (always leads to an infinite regress)
    4. So something must exist outside of time
    5. So more than only now exists
    6. So presentism is false.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    By that logic if I had two clocks, one digital (little motion), one mechanical (lots of motion), time would run quicker for the mechanical clock.Devans99

    It depends on what motion we're focusing on. In the scenario you're describing, we usually focus on the watch faces and what they read. We're talking about our measurement of time relative to our concerns there.

    We have evidence that time slows as the speed of light approaches so I do not see a timeless photon as controversial.Devans99

    What I wrote was "This is false when we consider them relative to other things, so that we're considering the motion. "

    OK what's wrong with this proof:

    1. Can’t get something from nothing
    Devans99

    Just taking it one step at a time, it starts to go off track with that first premise, if it's saying that there can't be nothing and then suddenly something appears. If it's saying that, there's no good reason to believe that.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    It depends on what motion we're focusing on. In the scenario you're describing, we usually focus on the watch faces and what they read. We're talking about our measurement of time relative to our concerns there.Terrapin Station

    If change were time, there would be no way for time to come about. The creation of time takes change.

    What I wrote was "This is false when we consider them relative to other things, so that we're considering the motion. "Terrapin Station

    But I don't think that's how space time works; the photons are moving in space but not in time from their perspective

    Just taking it one step at a time, it starts to go off track with that first premise, if it's saying that there can't be nothing and then suddenly something appears. If it's saying that, there's no good reason to believe that.Terrapin Station

    Its called the conservation of energy. If something came from nothing naturally then we'd be upto infinite matter/energy density by now.
  • Relativist
    737
    It's not a moment of time prior to the first moment of time; it is something timeless that is causally before the first moment of time.Devans99
    You are supposed to be finding a logical flaw in my account, but you are again just reasserting your own assumptions.

    You seem to accept that there is no time prior to the first moment of time. In my account, there is no causally efficacious timeless entity. Rather, the first cause is the state of affairs that exists at t0. You have to show this is logically impossible, and not just by making unsupported assumptions that conflict with it.

    Time cannot start itself.Devans99
    That statement bears no relationship to my account. The initial state of affairs (SOA0) causes the next (SOA1). The relation between SOA0 and SOA1 is a temporal relation. That's what time is in my account: a relation between states of affairs; specifically: the states of affairs that constitute the present state of reality.

    I'm afraid 'brute fact' does not qualify as an explanation
    It "qualifies" as a logically coherent account. Your personal opinion about what is "qualified" beyond that do not serve to falsify my account.

    I think a timeless first cause that starts time is a more enlightening explanation.Devans99
    Of course you do: you are rationalizing your belief. You are NOT showing that you have an objective case for your belief. To do that, you would have to identify logical inconsistency in my account. Failing to do so means you must acknowledge that your argument fails: it depends on debatable premises that can rationally be rejected
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    Rather, the first cause is the state of affairs that exists at t0Relativist

    That is logically impossible. t0 cannot exist unless there is something causally before it to define it. That has to be the start of time.

    There is also a requirement that something must exist permanently and t0 cannot have permanent existence because it is in time; it must be whatever caused t0 that has permanent existence.

    I reiterate, the key metaphysical argument here is:

    A. Can’t get something from nothing
    B. So something must have existed ‘always’.
    C. IE if there was ever a state of nothingness, it would persist to today, so something must have permanent existence.
    D. It’s not possible to exist permanently in time (always leads to an infinite regress; but they have no start so cannot not be), so the ‘something’ must be the timeless first cause (of time/causality).

    Your t0 does not satisfy the permanent existence requirement.

    There is one other option: that time is circular; IE this would satisfy the 'before each moment, there must be another moment' requirement; before the start of time comes the end of time. This model still needs a timeless first cause to set time in motion for example.
  • Relativist
    737
    That is logically impossible. t0 cannot exist unless there is something causally before it to define it. That has to be the start of time.Devans99
    You are still making the unsupported assertion that everything that exists has a cause of its existence. That is an assumption that cannot be shown to be necessarily true.

    There is also a requirement that something must exist permanentlyDevans99
    My account allows for something existing permanently: it just means there is a physical foundation of reality. For example, the quantum fields of which all matter/energy are components of. These exist at all times. Everything that exists is composed of portions of the quantum fields (atoms are made of quarks and electrons; quarks are disturbances in the quark field, electrons are disturbances in the electromagnetic field).

    A. Can’t get something from nothing
    B. So something must have existed ‘always’.
    Devans99
    Something exists at all times in my account; it just changes state.

    D. It’s not possible to exist permanently in time (always leads to an infinite regress; but they have no start so cannot not be), so the ‘something’ must be the timeless first cause (of time/causality).Devans99
    The foundation of reality (e.g. the quantum fields) exist permanently. They exist by brute fact. They did not come into existence (which would entail a prior state at which they didn't exist) they exist at all times.

    Your argument therefore fails.
  • EricH
    37
    I apologize in advance if this comes across as personal criticism, but to assume that our advanced simian brains are remotely capable of dealing with these issues is an act of hubris.

    It’s only in the last 400 years or so that the scientific method has started to uncover the workings of the universe. We’ve only known about the big bang for under 100 years - and even today there are huge gaps & inconsistencies in our knowledge.

    If history is any guide, it is likely that our current explanations about the universe & reality will - at a minimum - be proven partially wrong - i.e., only correct under certain conditions.

    Or for all we know, all our current knowledge may be completely wrong. The entire observable universe could be a pimple on a much larger reality.

    If humanity can succeed in not destroying itself, it may be possible that sometime in the (near? distant?) future we will evolve to the point where maybe we can ask the right questions.

    But please don’t let me hi-jack this thread. I enjoy reading these back & forth discussions; I just hope that everyone accepts that we don’t know what the heck we’re talking about.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    I just want to do one topic at a time for the moment:

    If change were time, there would be no way for time to come about. The creation of time takes change.Devans99

    Is there any way for change to come about? Does change need to be created?
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    The foundation of reality (e.g. the quantum fields) exist permanently. They exist by brute fact. They did not come into existence (which would entail a prior state at which they didn't exist) they exist at all timesRelativist

    I think your model leads to equilibrium. I also cannot see how a field would be responsible for time and the Big Bang. There is an assumption that quantum fields could exist without spacetime; that may not apply; creation of spacetime may have created the quantum fields - all quantum fields we know about require time.

    If history is any guide, it is likely that our current explanations about the universe & reality will - at a minimum - be proven partially wrong - i.e., only correct under certain conditions.

    Or for all we know, all our current knowledge may be completely wrong. The entire observable universe could be a pimple on a much larger reality.
    EricH

    That is correct, but we won't make any progress throwing our hands up and saying we don't know. The trick is to stick to broad brush metaphysical arguments like causality and equilibrium; then you don't fall fowl of specific scientific knowledge.

    Is there any way for change to come about? Does change need to be created?Terrapin Station

    I am not sure. Maybe the first change coincides with the start of time?
  • Relativist
    737
    The foundation of reality (e.g. the quantum fields) exist permanently. They exist by brute fact. They did not come into existence (which would entail a prior state at which they didn't exist) they exist at all times
    — Relativist

    I think your model leads to equilibrium.
    Devans99
    Stating "I think your model leads to equilibrium" is worthless unless you can make a case for that necessarily being the case.

    also cannot see how a field would be responsible for time and the Big Bang. There is an assumption that quantum fields could exist without spacetime; that may not apply; creation of spacetime may have created the quantum fields -
    Every cosmological hypothesis I've encountered assume reality is fundamentally a quantum system. Specifics aren't relevant except to demonstrate with an example. The key issue is that there is something that is fundamental, of which everything is made. Quantum field theory is incomplete, but to a large degree it provides exactly that basis. Quantum fields exist at every point of spacetime. Nothing seems to exist that is not composed of quanta of quantum fields. Conceptually, it leaves nothing out - so it is reasonable to say that spacetime itself is the quantum fields. To claim "spacetime created the quantum fields" is absurd if spacetime IS the quantum fields.

    all quantum fields we know about require time.
    Stick to my model, the one you're supposed to be falsifying. Remember time is a causal relation between states, not some external dependency. The SOA at t0 necessitates the SOA at t1. t0 and t1 don't exist; they are just abstract markers we use to distinguish between the two SOAs, and to depict their relation. To say that time has elapsed is just to indicate change.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    Stating "I think your model leads to equilibrium" is worthless unless you can make a case for that necessarily being the case.Relativist

    All isolated systems head towards equilibrium; that is about as fundamental principle as we have discovered in science and your proposed model is flaunting it. An active agent is required to keep the system out of equilibrium.

    Gravity dominates the 4 forces and is attractive; I see no mechanism in your model that would cause the expansion of space that is keeping us out of equilibrium.

    Quantum fields exist at every point of spacetime. Nothing seems to exist that is not composed of quanta of quantum fields. Conceptually, it leaves nothing out - so it is reasonable to say that spacetime itself is the quantum fields. To claim "spacetime created the quantum fields" is absurd if spacetime IS the quantum fields.Relativist

    But spacetime is not everything; beyond the boundaries of the universe where there is no time; there maybe are no quantum fields; there is no time for anything to fluctuate so there can be no fields.
    Spacetime was created 14 billion years ago. So that means quantum fields did not even exist pre Big Bang, how could they exist without time?

    Quantum fields are irrelevant anyway; there are 10^51 kgs of matter in the universe - the origin of the universe is a macro question. Our best theory is the Big Bang and it is a macro level theory. Macro problems need macro answers; some poxy quantum fluctuation could not shift 10^51 kgs of matter and it certainly could not cause space to expand.

    Stick to my model, the one you're supposed to be falsifying. Remember time is a causal relation between states, not some external dependency. The SOA at t0 necessitates the SOA at t1. t0 and t1 don't exist; they are just abstract markers we use to distinguish between the two SOAs, and to depict their relation. To say that time has elapsed is just to indicate change.Relativist

    There must be something permanent about the universe and your SOA at t0 is not permanent - it is a fleeting moment - what came before it? There must be something causally before it because it is not a permanent feature of the universe.

    So you need a timeless t-1 to preexist it. t-1 would contain God.
  • Relativist
    737
    Stating "I think your model leads to equilibrium" is worthless unless you can make a case for that necessarily being the case.
    — Relativist

    All isolated systems head towards equilibrium; that is about as fundamental principle as we have discovered in science and your proposed model is flaunting it. An active agent is required to keep the system out of equilibrium.
    Devans99
    Are you referring to entropy? How is that a problem? Are you overlooking that the total energy of the universe and/or multiverse is zero? Overlooking Quantum uncertainty?

    Gravity dominates the 4 forces and is attractive; I see no mechanism in your model that would cause the expansion of space that is keeping us out of equilibrium.Devans99
    "Equilibrium" entails zero net energy, but manifested as a superposition of eigenstates of different energies consistent with quantum uncertainty. I mentioned this before. Why are yoy ignoring this? Do you need me to explain what this means?

    But spacetime is not everything; beyond the boundaries of the universe where there is no time; there maybe are no quantum fields; there is no time for anything to fluctuate so there can be no fields.Devans99
    "Maybe" there are no quantum fields? So "maybe" I'm wrong? Your burden is to show that I'm necessarily wrong. I never claimed to prove some particular model (I don't even insist quantum fields are actually the fundamental basis; I just say that there IS some fundamental, natural basis). You're the one claiming to prove God exists; I haven't disputed the POSSIBILITY of an unnatural creator.

    Quantum fields are irrelevant anyway; there are 10^51 kgs of matter in the universe - the origin of the universe is a macro question. Our best theory is the Big Bang and it is a macro level theory. Macro problems need macro answers; some poxy quantum fluctuation could not shift 10^51 kgs of matter and it certainly could not cause space to expand.Devans99
    This is wrong in so many ways! To name a few: 1. matter (including its mass) and energy are interchangeable. 2. I've referred to cosmological models that explain the big bang: 3. I do not have a burden to show any particular model is true - you have the burden to show that all proposed models are false, and that no natural answer is even possible. Otherwise you are engaging in argument frim ignorance (god of the gaps).

    There must be something permanent about the universe and your SOA at t0 is not permanent - it is a fleeting moment -Devans99
    The "something" that is permanent is the lowest level foundation of reality (which may be quantum fields), and the fact that reality comprises a closed, pure state quantum system. That is sufficient. These facts do not change.

    what came before it? There must be something causally before it because it is not a permanent feature of the universe.
    It is logically impossible for something to come before t0. I've stated this numerous times, yet you continue to make unsupported assertions to the contrary. SOA0 exists uncaused, and you have the burden to show this impossible - which requires more than merely making unsupported assertions.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    "Equilibrium" entails zero net energy, but manifested as a superposition of eigenstates of different energies consistent with quantum uncertainty. I mentioned this before.Relativist

    Equilibrium is the state that all isolated system head towards. Most likely it is gravitational equilibrium with all matter/energy in one big black hole. You have to demonstrate how your solution avoids equilibrium - it would have to behave in quite an unnatural manner.

    It is logically impossible for something to come before t0. I've stated this numerous times, yet you continue to make unsupported assertions to the contrary. SOA0 exists uncaused, and you have the burden to show this impossible - which requires more than merely making unsupported assertions.Relativist

    Then t0 must be timeless. And it must be the first cause of things in the macro world. Which means it must be the timeless first cause.

    I do not see why I should buy your model when all the metaphysical arguments point to an timeless intelligent first cause:

    1. Arguments from causation (cosmological arguments)
    2. Argument from the start of time (the start of time requires a timeless first cause).
    3. The necessary being argument
    4. The equilibrium argument (this thread)
    5. The fine tuning argument

    That is 5 good logical arguments for a first cause. That is more than enough for me. Any form of pre-Big Bang physics needs to be compatible with the above arguments. I think your argument fails on all 5 points. The more popular form of pre-Big Bang physics - eternal inflation - is broadly compatible with all 5 so that is a theory I do not dismiss.
  • Relativist
    737
    Equilibrium is the state that all isolated system head towards. Most likely it is gravitational equilibrium with all matter/energy in one big black hole. You have to demonstrate how your solution avoids equilibrium - it would have to behave in quite an unnatural manner.Devans99
    You ignored my response: 1) moving toward higher entropy is irrelevant. This view of "equilibrium" is a future state, and consistent with my model. 2) "equilibrium" in a quantum system is a superposition of eigenstates whose values (e.g. energy) varies per quantum uncertainty) - this is the fact that makes virtually anything possible. The system as a whole is always in "equilibrium" but individual eigenstates evolve without violating the balance.
    Then t0 must be timeless.Devans99
    You're just repeating your unsupported assertion, which I've previously called out. Give up. You have not falsified my model.
    I do not see why I should by your model when all the metaphysical arguments point to an timeless intelligent first cause:Devans99
    You have to accept that my model is POSSIBLY true, unless you can prove it false. The relevance: you're claiming to "prove" God, and "prove" = necessarily true, not just possibly true.
    That is 5 good logical arguments for a first cause. That is more than enough for me.Devans99
    Each of these arguments is only possibly true. I could develop 100 arguments for naturalism being possibly true.

    Arguments for God do nothing more than rationalize one's prior belief: they show God's existence is consistent with what we confidently know about the world. But that's quite different from proving God's existence from agreed, neutral premises (from the perspective of a hypothetical open minded agnostic).
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    You ignored my response: 1) moving toward higher entropy is irrelevant. This view of "equilibrium" is a future state, and consistent with my model. 2) "equilibrium" in a quantum system is a superposition of eigenstates whose values (e.g. energy) varies per quantum uncertainty) - this is the fact that makes virtually anything possible. The system as a whole is always in "equilibrium" but individual eigenstates evolve without violating the balance.Relativist

    Virtually anything is possible but you have to ask whats probable. Would the system reach equilibrium before generating a Big Bang. I feel that is highly probable.

    Its a classical system as well and classical systems evolve towards equilibrium - thermal/gravitational/mechanical. Any naturalist solution will evolve towards classical equilibrium unless there is a self-driven agent to keep it out of equilibrium.

    You have to accept that my model is POSSIBLY true, unless you can prove it false. The relevance: you're claiming to "prove" God, an ld "prove" = necessarily true, not just possibly true.Relativist

    I accept that you model is possibly true, but the possibility of it being true is not very high IMO.

    Each of these arguments is only possibly true. I could develop 100 arguments for naturalism being possibly true.Relativist

    There are strong metaphysical arguments for God; I gave 5. There are no strong arguments against God that I'm aware of. So performing a meta analysis of the available arguments; the probabilities are heavily in favour of the existence of God.
  • Relativist
    737
    Virtually anything is possible but you have to ask whats probable. Would the system reach equilibrium before generating a Big Bang. I feel that is highly probableDevans99
    OK, but if you're going to claim A is more probable than B, you have to analyze both A and B - seriously entertain both possibilities. You didn't; you hastily dismissed the contrary possibilities solely on the basis that they are contrary to YOUR assumption. Stating that you subjectively "feel" the system reaches equilibrium is just another unsupported assertion.

    Its a classical system as well and classical systems evolve towards equilibrium - thermal/gravitational/mechanical. Any naturalist solution will evolve towards classical equilibrium unless there is a self-driven agent to keep it out of equilibrium.Devans99
    Repeating the same unsupported assertion that I've refuted doesn't make it probable.

    You have yet to even comment on the role of quantum uncertainty. Uncertainty certainly plays a role if the world is fundamentally quantum mechanical. That the world is fundamentally quantum mechanical is a near certainty (in that it is accepted physics that the building blocks of matter are quanta that behave according to QM)- so you can't avoid this if you're going to claim your position is more probable.
    There are strong metaphysical arguments for God; I gave 5. There are no strong arguments against God that I'm aware of.Devans99

    There are strong metaphysical arguments for God; I gave 5. There are no strong arguments against God that I'm aware of.Devans99
    Each metaphysical argument depends on convenient metaphysical assumptions that you cannot show are probable. If no argument for God makes God's existence probable, than it is at least equally probable naturalism is true.

    This is is good time to tell you my actual position. I label myself an "agnostic deist." I cannot rule out the possibility one or more of these arguments are sound, so I cannot rule out the possibility of some sort of creator. That said, I note that none of these arguments make a case of a God of religion or for the existence of an afterlife.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    OK, but if you're going to claim A is more probable than B, you have to analyze both A and B. You didn't; you hastily dismissed the contrary possibilities solely on the basis that they are contrary to YOUR assumption. Stating that you subjectively "feel" the system reaches equilibrium is just another unsupported assertion.Relativist

    Our everyday experience and knowledge of science tells us that systems tend to equilibrium naturally. I did not feel it was necessary to justify something so fundamental. All one has to do is look around - everything is in equilibrium accept where life is involved.

    Repeating the same unsupported assertion that I've refuted doesn't make it possible. You have yet to even comment on the role of quantum uncertainty, which is an certainty if the world is fundamentally quantum mechanical. That the world is fundamentally quantum mechanical is a near certainty - so this is a sterp mountain you must climb if you're going to claim your position is more probable.Relativist

    I believe the uncertainty principle only applies to the micro world. I don't see it applies to the macro world. I've never been totally convinced with the uncertainty principle anyway; if after measuring a particle once, if it is measured a second time to assess how far the original measurement deflected it and to assess the particle's speed, then surely additional information is gathered about the particle? This could be extended to a 3rd measurement, even an arbitrary number of measurements so that position and momentum at the original measurement are known to an arbitrary degree of precision. So I don't see what the uncertainty principle has to do with anything; it is an artefact of lack of imagination when data collecting - it does not reflect anything fundamental in the underlying system.

    Each metaphysical argument depends on convenient metaphysical assumptions that you cannot show are probable. If no argument for God makes God's existence probable, than it is at least equally probable naturalism is true.Relativist

    The 5 arguments I gave only use these axioms: causality, conservation of energy and systems tend to equilibrium naturally. These are all fundamental principles of science and common sense. Compare the soundness of these axioms to the muddy/uncertain quantum assumptions of your arguments.

    This is is good time to tell you my actual position. I label myself an "agnostic deist." I cannot rule out the possibility one or more of these arguments are sound, so I cannot rule out the possibility of some sort of creator. That said, I note that none of these arguments make a case of a God of religion or for the existence of an afterlife.Relativist

    I am probably an agnostic deist too but I think a much more optimistic one that you! I do not believe in any of the conventional religions.

    IMO the chances of an afterlife depend on if this is a future real eternalist universe. One can imagine the universe as an eternal circle of time in 4D spacetime - a torus with time going around the outside of the ring and space being the cross-sections of the torus. It would form a causal loop with the Big Crunch causing the Big Bang. We would all live identical lives over and over again (Eternal Return). This is not as crazy as it sounds:

    1. Presentism is impossible; always leads to an infinite regress, its incompatible with the start of time and it is incompatible with the need for something to always exist. So past real eternalism seems possible. If the past is real, maybe the future is too?
    2. The only place in spacetime to get enough matter/energy for the Big Bang is the Big Crunch, so a loop in space time would be very neat and tidy and respectful of the conservation of energy
    3. Before every moment of time, there must be another moment. So the end of time moment coming before the start of time moment satisfy this requirement of Aristotle's
    4. This possibility gains theoretical support from the Closed Timeline Curve; a class of solutions in general relativity that result in causal loops in spacetime - the idea being the large amount of matter associated with the Big Bang / Big Crunch would warp spacetime into a loop.
    5. Circular time is the Occam's Razor design for extended longevity. If we have a benevolent deity then I think this is the design he would go for (if its actually possible which it may not be)

    So the above forms a valid argument for an afterlife IMO.
  • Relativist
    737
    Our everyday experience and knowledge of science tells us that systems tend to equilibrium naturally. I did not feel it was necessary to justify something so fundamental.Devans99
    That everyday experience is entropy. What's the problem? My model is consistent with it. I noted that the initial state was unstable, consequently it is moving toward stability.

    everything is in equilibrium except where life is involved.Devans99
    No, everything is not in equilibrium. It is slowly evolving toward it (heterogeneously).

    I believe the uncertainty principle only applies to the micro world. I don't see it applies to the macro world. IDevans99
    The macro world is composed of micro components (atoms, which are composed of quarks and electrons). The universe began as a micro entity: the Planck Epoch is the period during which diameter of the universe was less than a Planck unit: "macro"physics could not apply and quantum effects were clearly present and applied to the universe as a whole. Your argument concerns the origin of the universe; if you're going to deny accepted physics to make your case, you've lost the debate.

    The 5 arguments I gave only use these axioms: causality, conservation of energy and systems tend to equilibrium naturallyDevans99
    Those axioms depend on unsupported assumptions, including:
    -that it is possible to exist before the first moment of time (t0)
    - that a timeless entity can cause something
    - that "intelligence" can exist independent of something like a brain
    -that something can exist that is not part of the natural world

    Each of of these assumptions is "beyond everyday experience", so it seems you only use that criterion to dismiss alternatives other than your preferred.


    I'll defer commenting on your argument for an afterlife for now.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    That everyday experience is entropy. What's the problem? My model is consistent with it. I noted that the initial state was unstable, consequently it is moving toward stability.Relativist

    I don't see how something can evolve towards stability and cause the big bang at the same time - thats surely a contradiction.

    And it's more than just entropy; gravity naturally causes the universe to end up in one big black hole, which is a form of equilibrium. The fine tuned expansion of space is keeping us out of entropy.

    The macro world is composed of micro components (atoms, which are composed of quarks and electrons). The universe began as a micro entity: the Planck Epoch is the period during which diameter of the universe was less than a Planck unit: "macro"physics could not apply and quantum effects were clearly present and applied to the universe as a whole. Your argument concerns the origin of the universe; if you're going to deny accepted physics to make your case, you've lost the debate.Relativist

    That is our understanding; but physics cannot see before the Planck Epoch. For the massive amount of matter/energy concentrated in one place, there must be some sort of macro explanation. Something must have caused that concentration of matter/energy and physics cannot tell us what.

    Those axioms depend on unsupported assumptions, including:
    -that it is possible to exist before the first moment of time (t0)
    - that a timeless entity can cause something
    - that "intelligence" can exist independent of something like a brain
    -that something can exist that is not part of the natural world
    Relativist

    The arguments I gave to not depend on unsupported assumptions. There were 5 arguments and in total they use 3 axioms: causation, can't get something from nothing and equilibrium. There are no other assumptions, just deductions:

    - You are assuming that it possible for the first moment to exist uncaused which makes no sense; logically it has to be caused by something timeless.
    - Logic demands a timeless entity to start cause and effect off. Its the only way causality could exist
    - Logic demands a permanent intelligent entity to keep us from equilibrium.
    - Logic demands something must exist outside the natural world to cause the natural world.
  • Relativist
    737
    I don't see how something can evolve towards stability and cause the big bang at the same time - thats surely a contradiction.Devans99
    So your issue is specifically the high energy/low entropy state at the big bang. i.e.: you're pointing to the need to explain the big bang. I've pointed out that Cosmologists have developed hypotheses that explain it. We should be able to agree that: 1) there is an explanation; 2) that explanation goes beyond accepted physics.

    I've charged you with argument from ignorance (god of the gaps) reasoning: we don't know the cause, therefore it must be (or is probably) God. That is fallacious. Cosmologists haven't thrown in the towel - they have proposed extensions to accepted physics that provide an explanation. Your excuse for dismissing these is that it's not consistent with experience, but ALL explanations that are beyond existing science are beyond experience but you don't apply that consistently since your metaphysical assumptions are all beyond experience.

    That is our understanding; but physics cannot see before the Planck Epoch. For the massive amount of matter/energy concentrated in one place, there must be some sort of macro explanation.Devans99
    You seem to be claiming the micro world is explained by the macro world, which is the opposite of the case. The building blocks of the macro world are micro - the particles described in the Standard Model of Particle Physics. At the lowest level of known mereology, the objects of existence are quantum mechanical: quarks do not behave like little billiard balls, they do not have both a precise location and momentum. Quantum systems are 100% describable through the quantum mechanical Scroedinger equation. During the Planck Epoch, it is physically impossible for there to have been macro factors that somehow affect it - UNLESS, of course, you simply assume God did it - and this would make your argument circular (assume God in order to prove God).

    Something must have caused that concentration of matter/energy and physics cannot tell us what.
    False, as worded. Current KNOWN physics does not have an established answer. To proclaim "therefore it must be (or is probably) God is argument from ignorance (God of the Gaps) reasoning.
    Those axioms depend on unsupported assumptions, including:
    -that it is possible to exist before the first moment of time (t0)
    - that a timeless entity can cause something
    - that "intelligence" can exist independent of something like a brain
    -that something can exist that is not part of the natural world — Relativist


    The arguments I gave to not depend on unsupported assumptions.
    Devans99
    OK, then falsify my model without using the unsupported assumptions I listed.

    - You are assuming that it possible for the first moment to exist uncaused which makes no sense.Devans99
    If a first moment cannot exist uncaused then there must be an infinite series of past moments. We are both assuming the past is finite, so it logically follows there was an initial state.

    - Logic demands a timeless entity to start cause and effect off. Its the only way causality could exist
    Depends on the unsupported assumption a timeless entity can cause something, so you just contradicted your claim that you don't depend on this assumption.

    - Logic demands a permanent intelligent entity to keep us from equilibrium.
    Which depends on the assumption that "intelligence" can exist independent of something like a brain. Why do you deny that you depend on this assumption?

    It's very simple. There are two overarching possibilities:
    I. Naturalism is true (i.e. what occurs is a product of blind nature, following natural laws)
    II. Naturalism is false (something exists that does not blindly follow natural law)

    One can work out a model that is consistent with either of these. Option I entails an uncaused, initial state that has a property (I call it "unstable") that necessitates change (and change entails time). This is logically coherent and consistent.

    Option II is your model. It may be logically coherent and consistent (I see some problems with it, but I'm setting that aside for now).

    Your mistake is to judge Option 1 based on assumptions or implications of Option II. You can falsify Option I only by identifying an internal contradiction. You have not.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    So your issue is specifically the high energy/low entropy state at the big bang. i.e.: you're pointing to the need to explain the big bang. I've pointed out that Cosmologists have developed hypotheses that explain it. We should be able to agree that: 1) there is an explanation; 2) that explanation goes beyond accepted physics.Relativist

    The Big Bang was a singleton; natural events always come in pluralities. Even given finite time, if the Big Bang was natural, we should expect similar (maybe smaller) events to be occurring... but there is no evidence of this. So it is highly likely the Big Bang is non-natural (it looks it too).

    Cosmologists haven't thrown in the towel - they have proposed extensions to accepted physics that provide an explanation. Your excuse for dismissing these is that it's not consistent with experience, but ALL explanations that are beyond existing science are beyond experience but you don't apply that consistently since your metaphysical assumptions are all beyond experience.Relativist

    Even if things are beyond experience/science, they should still be subject to common sense/logic. These explanations that dismiss causality, equilibrium and probability are running counter to common sense/logic. I am happier with common sense rather than speculative physics.

    Some of the cosmologists solutions are way of the mark. Eternal inflation; which posits a first cause, is the only main stream pre-Big Bang cosmology and it is God compatible.

    False, as worded. Current KNOWN physics does not have an established answer. To proclaim "therefore it must be (or is probably) God is argument from ignorance (God of the Gaps) reasoning.Relativist

    But we can use are common sense. That amount of matter/energy concentrated in one place should in gravitational equilibrium - one big black hole. The fact that it did not result in a black hole is quite remarkable. All naturalistic solutions result in equilibrium... so there must be a non-natural solution... that ties in very nicely with the non-natural circumstances of the Big Bang.

    If a first moment cannot exist uncaused then there must be an infinite series of past moments. We are both assuming the past is finite, so it logically follows there was an initial state.Relativist

    A moment cannot exist without something prior to it that determines it. That could be another moment or it could be the start of time. I don't see how in your model you can have this free standing t0 moment that was not caused by anything. That would be a magic moment, a something from nothing. Contrast that to the timeless model; then the cause of t0 has always existed - no magic required.

    Depends on the unsupported assumption a timeless entity can cause something, so you just contradicted your claim that you don't depend on this assumption.Relativist

    It's not an assumption; it's a logical necessity. All 5 metaphysical arguments I mentioned lead to a timeless first cause. It's unusual to get so many arguments pointing in the same direction, so I give it a lot of credence.

    Which depends on the assumption that "intelligence" can exist independent of something like a brain. Why do you deny that you depend on this assumption?Relativist

    Plants demonstrate intelligence and they have no brain. AI will be completely different from us yet have intelligence. Intelligence could come in a variety of different forms. Intelligence is required to keep us out of equilibrium.

    One can work out a model that is consistent with either of these. Option I entails an uncaused, initial state that has a property (I call it "unstable") that necessitates change (and change entails time). This is logically coherent and consistent.Relativist

    There is a choice between:

    1. An uncaused initial state
    2. A timeless state that causes t0

    I see 1 as logically unacceptable; nothing in time/causality can be uncaused; that would imply it existed for ever and things can't exist forever in time. Whereas 2 makes sense for multiple reasons.

    You can falsify Option I only by identifying an internal contradiction. You have not.Relativist

    I feel I have; naturalism leads to equilibrium; take a look around you and see. Causality requires a first cause; play a game of pool to verify this. Can't get something from nothing requires something to exist permanently and thats not possible in time.
  • Relativist
    737
    The Big Bang was a singleton; natural events always come in pluralities. Even given finite time, if the Big Bang was natural, we should expect similar (maybe smaller) events to be occurring... but there is no evidence of this. So it is highly likely the Big Bang is non-natural (it looks it too).Devans99
    All cosmological theories that explain the big bang agree that there would be multiple big bangs. Is there evidence? Maybe, maybe not. Here's an example of possible evidence. Regardless, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. In some Cosmological models, it is physically impossible for there to be direct evidence of another universe, but it is inferred that they exist (or existed) because (as you say) there should be "pluralities".

    Even if things are beyond experience/science, they should still be subject to common sense/logic. These explanations that dismiss causality, equilibrium and probability are running counter to common sense/logic. I am happier with common sense rather than speculative physics.Devans99
    In no case is causality, equilibrium or probability being denied. Speculative physics is not in conflict with reason. If your "common sense" is in conflict with reasonable extrapolations of science, then the problem is yours.

    Some of the cosmologists solutions are way of the mark. Eternal inflation; which posits a first cause, is the only main stream pre-Big Bang cosmology and it is God compatible.Devans99
    Not everyone agrees with you and I that the past is necessarily finite (our opinions are due to metaphysical analysis, at least mine is) - and that's because physics itself doesn't show that this is the case. Regardless, if we treat our finite-past as an assumption, we still have plenty of cosmological models that are consistent with it.
    But we can use are common sense. That amount of matter/energy concentrated in one place should in gravitational equilibrium - one big black hole. The fact that it did not result in a black hole is quite remarkable.Devans99
    Think like a scientist: it just means that an explanation is called for. That's what the cosmological hypotheses DO. You're dismissing them too hastily.

    All naturalistic solutions result in equilibrium... so there must be a non-natural solution... that ties in very nicely with the non-natural circumstances of the Big Bang.
    What needs explaining is the conditions in the early universe, and you dismiss all proposed naturalistic solutions and conclude there can't be one. Classic argument from ignorance (God of the Gaps).

    If a first moment cannot exist uncaused then there must be an infinite series of past moments. We are both assuming the past is finite, so it logically follows there was an initial state. — Relativist


    A moment cannot exist without something prior to it that determines it. That could be another moment or it could be the start of time. I don't see how in your model you can have this free standing t0 moment that was not caused by anything. That would be a magic moment, a something from nothing. Contrast that to the timeless model; then the cause of t0 has always existed - no magic required.
    Devans99
    I defined a "moment of time" as a state of affairs that evolves to a temporally subsequent state of affairs. This is consistent with an initial state, SOA0 existing at t0. It is not "something from nothing" because there is no prior state of nothingness; no prior moments. SOA0 didn't "pop into existence" because such a "popping" implies there is something existing to pop INTO. Look at it this way, let's assume time is contingent - it needn't have occurred. So there could have been a reality that consisted of an unchanging SOA0: no elapse of time. This seems to be the sort of thing you refer to as "equilbrium." Why couldn't this have been a logical possibility (though counter to what actually occurred)?

    Magic? I admitted that SOA0 at t0 exists by brute fact (exists for no reason). There's no reason for it because there's no cause. This really isn't much different from God - there's no reason for his existence; he wasn't caused. So do we treat anything that exists without explanation as "magic", including God?

    Depends on the unsupported assumption a timeless entity can cause something, so you just contradicted your claim that you don't depend on this assumption. — Relativist

    It's not an assumption; it's a logical necessity.
    Devans99
    If it's a logical necessity, you should be able to prove it. Do so, without making controversial assumptions.

    Which depends on the assumption that "intelligence" can exist independent of something like a brain. Why do you deny that you depend on this assumption? — Relativist


    Plants demonstrate intelligence and they have no brain. AI will be completely different from us yet have intelligence. Intelligence could come in a variety of different forms. Intelligence is required to keep us out of equilibrium.
    Devans99
    Plants are not intelligent (by my definition), but they behave (grow) in ways that are consistent with intelligent behavior, but due entirely to physical, biological activity. Even if you label this "intelligence" of a sort, it is entirely a physical phenomenon. You depend on an intelligence just existing unphysically, and that's not justified.

    There is a choice between:

    1. An uncaused initial state
    2. A timeless state that causes t0

    I see 1 as logically unacceptable; nothing in time/causality can be uncaused; that would imply it existed for ever and things can't exist forever in time. Whereas 2 makes sense for multiple reasons.
    Devans99
    In my model, SOA0 is unique in being uncaused, just as in your model you have a unique, uncaused state (or entity) that exists uncaused.

    You assert there's a logical problem with 1, but the only actual contradiction is:
    (SOA0 is uncaused) AND (everything has a cause)

    The second clause (everything has a cause) is clearly an assumption - a common sense assumption, I admit. But it's equally common sensical to point out that timeless things don't cause anything. The only things in experience that exist timelessly are things like mathematical or logical theorems, or universals (like "4") and these timeless things are abstractions, and certainly causally inert.

    This is the pivotal point: both options are problematic. It seems one of them must be true, but there's no objective basis for picking one. You only point to the problems with the option you don't like, while ignoring the problem with your choice. Be open minded! If you want to pick #2 because it's the more optimistic choice, you are free to do so - but admit you're choosing it for that reason, not because it's logically entailed by an argument.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    I defined a "moment of time" as a state of affairs that evolves to a temporally subsequent state of affairs. This is consistent with an initial state, SOA0 existing at t0. It is not "something from nothing" because there is no prior state of nothingness; no prior moments. SOA0 didn't "pop into existence" because such a "popping" implies there is something existing to pop INTO. Look at it this way, let's assume time is contingent - it needn't have occurred. So there could have been a reality that consisted of an unchanging SOA0: no elapse of time. This seems to be the sort of thing you refer to as "equilbrium." Why couldn't this have been a logical possibility (though counter to what actually occurred)?Relativist

    OK but that makes SOA0 in a state that sounds like what I call timelessness. Also, the need for SOA0 not to arise ex nihilo suggests that it has permanent existence. So from the above explanation, your SOA0 sounds like a dumb version of my timeless first cause.

    Plants are not intelligent (by my definition), but they behave (grow) in ways that are consistent with intelligent behavior, but due entirely to physical, biological activity. Even if you label this "intelligence" of a sort, it is entirely a physical phenomenon. You depend on an intelligence just existing unphysically, and that's not justified.Relativist

    Plants have some form of intelligent including (probably) learning and memory:

    Plants respond to environmental stimuli by movement and changes in morphology. They communicate while actively competing for resources. In addition, plants accurately compute their circumstances, use sophisticated cost–benefit analysis and take tightly controlled actions to mitigate and control diverse environmental stressors. Plants are also capable of discriminating positive and negative experiences and of learning by registering memories from their past experiences

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_perception_(physiology)#Plant_intelligence

    Intelligence could come in many forms. Perhaps God starts out very dumb but through countless eons develops intelligence - a self-evolving being of some form.

    In my model, SOA0 is unique in being uncaused, just as in your model you have a unique, uncaused state (or entity) that exists uncaused.Relativist

    If SOA0 if uncaused then its beyond causality, IE what I'm calling timeless.

    This is the pivotal point: both options are problematic. It seems one of them must be true, but there's no objective basis for picking one. You only point to the problems with the option you don't like, while ignoring the problem with your choice. Be open minded! If you want to pick #2 because it's the more optimistic choice, you are free to do so - but admit you're choosing it for that reason, not because it's logically entailed by an argument.Relativist

    If we make SOA0 timeless then the two models seem to be different only in whether there is intelligence present initially. I favour intelligence because:

    - To cause the first effect without in itself being effected seems to require intelligence
    - The fact that we are in the polar opposite of equilibrium seems to require intelligence
    - The fine tuning for life appears to point to intelligence
    - The creation of a dimension (time) seems unlikely to of happened naturally

    The fact that there is something rather than nothing is already extraordinary - the existence of anything at all defies logic (nothing existing would be much neater - nothing requires no explanation). I admit that making the something intelligent makes it even more extraordinary but that appears to be the explanation that fits best with the facts.
  • Relativist
    737
    OK but that makes SOA0 in a state that sounds like what I call timelessness. Also, the need for SOA0 not to arise ex nihilo suggests that it has permanent existence. So from the above explanation, your SOA0 sounds like a dumb version of my timeless first cause.Devans99
    It is indeed something like a dumb version of your first cause.
    Intelligence could come in many forms. Perhaps God starts out very dumb but through countless eons develops intelligence - a self-evolving being of some form.Devans99
    There's no example of an intelligence existing independently of something physical. A plant is physical.

    How can there have been countless eons for God to evolve if time is finite to the past?

    If SOA0 if uncaused then its beyond causality, IE what I'm calling timeless.Devans99
    SOA0 causes SOA1, so I wouldn't call it "beyond causality", I'd just call it uncaused.
    If we make SOA0 timeless then the two models seem to be different only in whether there is intelligence present initially. I favour intelligence because:

    - To cause the first effect without in itself being effected seems to require intelligence
    - The fact that we are in the polar opposite of equilibrium seems to require intelligence
    - The fine tuning for life appears to point to intelligence
    - The creation of a dimension (time) seems unlikely to of happened naturally
    Devans99
    Recall that I showed that the fine-tuning argument doesn't increase the epistemic probability of God's existence. Everything else you said just seems to be (biased) unsupported assertion.

    The fact that there is something rather than nothing is already extraordinary - the existence of anything at all defies logic (nothing existing would be much neater - nothing requires no explanation).
    No it doesn't. Why should we expect nothing rather than something? Here's a paper that discusses this topic: link.

    I admit that making the something intelligent makes it even more extraordinary but that appears to be the explanation that fits best with the facts.
    Here's why I disagree. The 2 possibilities imply either:

    1) A multiverse just happens to exist, and one of more universes within the multiverse happened to evolve life.
    2) An intelligent mind just happened to exist whose mind included a plan to create a universe (or multiverse) that would necessarily evolve life. This plan was not the product of careful thought and deliberation, no thinking through consequences and selecting from among a set of choices. No, this plan had to exist timelessly in that mind because there was no time to formulate a plan, and so that it could be implemented as time commences. The plan had to be the best possible plan, which means that the mind timelessly knew all other possible plans were lesser.

    #2 entails an enormously more complex entity than #1, and thus it seems enormously less likely.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    There's no example of an intelligence existing independently of something physical. A plant is physical.Relativist

    God may or may not be physical; to cause and evade the Big Bang would seem to need an extra-dimensional or non-material quality. We have no examples of the non-physical (excluding concepts) at all so we cannot speculate whether non-physical things can be intelligent. God is from beyond spacetime so may be physical in a different manner than we are used to. He may be physical but not made from the standard model particles.

    How can there have been countless eons for God to evolve if time is finite to the past?Relativist

    To create time requires a change so change must be possible without time. So it must be possible for things to happen timelessly. I was referring to the development of God's intelligence as something that might happen timelessly and culminate in the creation of time and the universe.

    Relativity says we are all moving at the speed of light in the time direction when stationary. As our speed increases, the amount we are moving in the space direction increases and the amount we are moving in the time direction decreases. If this is taken to the limit as with a photon, you end up with 100% movement in the space direction and no movement in the time direction. Thanks to length compression, the photon can move anywhere in the universe in no time. I wonder if God might be like this; a timeless entity that can move anywhere in the universe in no time?

    The way I imagine this is with 3D spacetime. The x-y plane is space and the z-axis is time. Then normal movement involves movement through both space and time, but something like a photon can zip around in space (the x-y plane) without ever experiencing time. Maybe God is something like that?

    SOA0 causes SOA1, so I wouldn't call it "beyond causality", I'd just call it uncaused.Relativist

    But the proposed state of timelessness is the only state there is that allows something to be uncaused. Logically the first cause / SOA0 must have permanent existence (can't get something from nothing, so something must exist permanently) which is also only possible outside of time.

    No it doesn't. Why should we expect nothing rather than something? Here's a paper that discusses this topicRelativist

    I will have a look at the paper, but from my perspective it is simple: nothing requires no explanation. That there is something seems to require explanation at first. Once it is realised that the 'something' in 'why is there something rather than nothing?' is a reference to the timeless first cause; it becomes a non question: first causes are uncaused, have always existed, have no explanation, have nothing logically prior to them so they do not have a 'why' property.

    #2 entails an enormously more complex entity than #1, and thus it seems enormously less likely.Relativist

    If a multiverse exists then I would contend that all universes in the multiverse will be life supporting (because they are all made of the same stuff, go through the same processes and end up at the same temperature/density. I'm aware there are theories to the contrary; I hold them in low regard; they seem to flaunt common sense). If all the universes are life supporting, then the chances are heavily in favour of a fine tuner being involved (else we'd need a billion to one shot to come off).

    The plan for the universe must have taken a lot of thought - everything from how to get atoms, elements and compounds to form, through formation of stars and planets, nuclear fusion to provide an energy source for life, the expansion of the universe to avoid a gravitational collapse. I believe thinking would be possible without time (the other possibility is God creates time with his first act, has a think, then creates the universe).
  • Relativist
    737
    God may or may not be physical; to cause and evade the Big Bang would seem to need an extra-dimensional or non-material quality. We have no examples of the non-physical (excluding concepts) at all so we cannot speculate whether non-physical things can be intelligent. God is from beyond spacetime so may be physical in a different manner than we are used to. He may be physical but not made from the standard model particles.Devans99
    OK, I can accept the possibility of such an intelligence being metaphysically possible.

    To create time requires a change so change must be possible without time.Devans99

    No. Please consider my description of SOA0: it exists uncaused (because SOMETHING must exist uncaused at the head of the causal chain), and time ensues BECAUSE SOA0 changes to SOA1. Time and change go hand in hand.

    Consider this an axiom of my model: Time is possible if and only if change is possible.

    IMO, this is true even if there is a God. That's why I can't accept the notion of something existing BEFORE time that causes time. That is, unless you're simply defining temporal points differently. In particular, you could claim SOA0 is "before" time because it is not caused by prior states. So if SOA0 is the initial state (with or without God), we could define the temporal points in either of 2 ways:
    1) SOAx is a point in time for all x >= 0 (my definition). OR
    2) SOAx is a point in time for all x > 0

    Are you arguing for def 2? That's fine, but it's not really different because both still show a continuous causal chain. It's just a definitional thing as to whether or not SOA0 is defined as a point of time.

    I will have a look at the paper, but from my perspective it is simple: nothing requires no explanation. That there is something seems to require explanation at first. Once it is realised that the 'something' in 'why is there something rather than nothing?Devans99
    The thesis of the paper is the simple observation that your perspective, which derives from Leibniz Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) is based on the unsupported assumption: we ought to expect nothingness in the absence of a reason for "somethingness". Why not expect that there must exist SOMETHING? If nothingness should be expected, then why is there a God rather than nothingness? One can use God to explain why there's a universe, but this just shifts the question over to God.

    Further more, as a point of fact: there is something. We therefore know that somethingness is possible, and we have no basis for considering nothingness impossible.

    If a multiverse exists then I would contend that all universes in the multiverse will be life supporting (because they are all made of the same stuff, go through the same processes and end up at the same temperature/density. I'm aware there are theories to the contrary; I hold them in low regard; they seem to flaunt common sense). If all the universes are life supporting, then the chances are heavily in favour of a fine tuner being involved (else we'd need a billion to one shot to come off).Devans99
    Your contention flies in the face of your Fine Tuning Argument. That FTA depends on the assumption the fundamental constants could have been different, and the observation of physicists that most alternative values would have made life (as we know it) impossible. Regardless of whether or not those constants could have differed, if there are other universes that are indeed caused by the same factors that cause ours - there's no reason to think they would be identical in every way, and that makes no sense. Consider that if they were strictly identical, WE would be duplicated and all these universes would be just so many mirrors of our universe.

    I agree that if all universes are life supporting, that would be a point in favor of God's existence. However, this is only a hypothetical and does not constitute actual evidence.

    The plan for the universe must have taken a lot of thought - everything from how to get atoms, elements and compounds to form, through formation of stars and planets, nuclear fusion to provide an energy source for life, the expansion of the universe to avoid a gravitational collapse. I believe thinking would be possible without time (the other possibility is God creates time with his first act, has a think, then creates the universe)Devans99
    Your adding another ad hoc assumption: that there can be atemporal thoughts. What happened to Occam's Razor? I get that you may feel forced to assume this, to explain how God could atemporally plan - but it is a strike against the plausibility (and epistemic probability) that there exists a timeless, intelligent first cause.

    Do you accept the implication of your assumption? It implies God is not omniscient (if he knows everything, there's no need to figure things out), and he's not immutable (his knowledge changes in the course of drawing conclusions).

    Finally, if God can have atemporal thoughts - this entails an infinite regress. Since there's no temporal constraint to a sequence of thoughts, there's an infinite series of prior thoughts.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    No. Please consider my description of SOA0: it exists uncaused (because SOMETHING must exist uncaused at the head of the causal chain), and time ensues BECAUSE SOA0 changes to SOA1. Time and change go hand in hand.Relativist

    So SOA0 is timeless and permanent? SOA0 must have permanent existence else it's something from nothing. Then the first change (SOA0->SOA1) causes time?

    That first change; time is not extant when it happens and time is a result of the first change so it still looks as if a timeless change is taking place (it just happens that the change taking place creates time).

    Consider this an axiom of my model: Time is possible if and only if change is possible.Relativist

    Time does not exist initially, so change is not possible initially by this axiom. So creation of time is impossible by this axiom?

    Going from a no time to time situation requires a timeless change.

    1) SOAx is a point in time for all x >= 0 (my definition). OR
    2) SOAx is a point in time for all x > 0
    Relativist

    I am not clear what 'x' stands for in your definition?

    One can use God to explain why there's a universe, but this just shifts the question over to God.Relativist

    Why is there God rather than nothing? God is uncaused, timeless, there is nothing logically prior to God, so it's an inappropriate question. God does not have a why property in the same way an idea does not have a length property. IMO the PEQ is answered by this.

    Your contention flies in the face of your Fine Tuning Argument. That FTA depends on the assumption the fundamental constants could have been different, and the observation of physicists that most alternative values would have made life (as we know it) impossible. Regardless of whether or not those constants could have differed, if there are other universes that are indeed caused by the same factors that cause ours - there's no reason to think they would be identical in every way, and that makes no sense. Consider that if they were strictly identical, WE would be duplicated and all these universes would be just so many mirrors of our universe.Relativist

    The FTA argument still applies: constants for the whole multiverse could have been different (by consideration of hypothetical multiverses that could have existed with different constants).

    Other universes would be structurally different to ours thanks to small variations in the early universe caused by quantum fluctuations. But fundamental stuff like the mass of a quark or the strength of EMR would be the same for all universes (hence all different but all life supporting).

    Your adding another ad hoc assumption: that there can be atemporal thoughts. What happened to Occam's Razor? I get that you may feel forced to assume this, to explain how God could atemporally plan - but it is a strike against the plausibility (and epistemic probability) that there exists a timeless, intelligent first cause.Relativist

    I still maintain that time is a thing and to create it requires timeless change. If timeless change is possible then so is timeless thought. Timeless change is required as far as I can see.

    Do you accept the implication of your assumption? It implies God is not omniscient (if he knows everything, there's no need to figure things out), and he's not immutable (his knowledge changes in the course of drawing conclusions).Relativist

    I don't think God is immutable; that would be like the block universe view of time. God is not omniscient because it's impossible to 'know thy self'.

    Finally, if God can have atemporal thoughts - this entails an infinite regress. Since there's no temporal constraint to a sequence of thoughts, there's an infinite series of prior thoughts.Relativist

    The sequence of thoughts is within some form of timeless causality so there would have to be a 'first thought' that caused all the others I guess. The first thought must be uncaused; maybe it was 'I'm bored'.

    There were two ways to get things started (with God/SOA0) I mentioned:

    1. timeless change is possible
    2. Time is created when the first change happens

    Thinking about it, the 2nd implies the first is possible; it all points to timeless change being a requirement; time cannot exist without it.
  • Relativist
    737
    No. Please consider my description of SOA0: it exists uncaused (because SOMETHING must exist uncaused at the head of the causal chain), and time ensues BECAUSE SOA0 changes to SOA1. Time and change go hand in hand. — Relativist


    So SOA0 is timeless and permanent? SOA0 must have permanent existence else it's something from nothing. Then the first change (SOA0->SOA1) causes time?
    Devans99
    It is false to claim "SOA0 must have permanent existence else its something from nothing." I've demonstrated it multiple times, but you just continue repeating this claim without proving it. I'll try to help you understand why this may be false by giving a hypothetical example of what the SOA0 might consist of, and how a big bang might occur:

    SOA0 consists of the fundamental basis of reality (which never ceases to be the fundamental basis of reality), but in an initial state. For example: assume reality is fundamentally quantum fields (everything that exists is composed of some components of these quantum fields). These exist in an initial state - which is a quantum state, and therefore consists of a superposition of many eigenstates. A single eigenstate can be thought of a discrete (classical) state, but they all exist simultaneously.

    This initial state is in "equilibrium" - where equilibrium is "zero point energy", which is the the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical system may have. Because a quantum state consists of a superposition of eigenstates, there are some eigenstates that are high energy - but these are offset in the quantum system by eigenstates that are of negative energy.

    For sake of discussion, let's assume the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is true. This means that each eigenstate of that superposition can actually change independently of each other. An eigenstate of high energy has low entropy and results in inflation (a "big bang"). But the overall quantum system is still at zero point energy (i.e. the quantum system remains at "equilibrium") because there is a complementary eigenstate of high negative energy that balances it out.

    This cosmological model meets your requirement that an initial state be at equilibrium, but it demonstrates how a universe can nevertheless emerge. There exists something that is permanent: the overall system of quantum fields at zero point energy, but a universe occurs WITHIN this state of "equilibrium". You can think of the overall system as analogous to a photon (which does not experience time despite the universe through which it travels experiencing time), while an individual eigenstate/universe experiences time. Since the overall system is not experiencing time, it is (in a sense) timeless and unchanging, and yet - an individual eigenstate experiences time and change. While this seems paradoxical, it is exactly what a photon experiences in a changing universe - so it is not actually a paradox. Time is relative.

    You can be skeptical of this cosmological model, but you have to acknowledge it is logically consistent. And if it is logically consistent, then it is false to claim it is logically impossible - as you have been doing.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    For sake of discussion, let's assume the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is true. This means that each eigenstate of that superposition can actually change independently of each other. An eigenstate of high energy has low entropy and results in inflation (a "big bang"). But the overall quantum system is still at zero point energy (i.e. the quantum system remains at "equilibrium") because there is a complementary eigenstate of high negative energy that balances it out.Relativist

    To be responsible for all the matter/energy of the Big Bang, the system must be huge; IE a classical system first and a quantum system second. The system would head towards some form of classical equilibrium; the exact opposite of the Big Bang.

    You are trying to use the physics of the micro world for a macro problem. Classical systems may theoretically be represented by an overall wave function but classical systems to not behave like quantum systems; there is no superposition of states in a classical system; the system is in one state only and that state tends to equilibrium.

    I do not buy the Many Worlds interpretation of QM at all; non-local hidden variables like Bohemian mechanics sound more reasonable to me.

    QM is relevant to working out what happened in the singularity; it is not relevant to pre-Big Bang physics IMO because that is a macro question.

    There exists something that is permanent: the overall system of quantum fields at zero point energy, but a universe occurs WITHIN this state of "equilibrium"Relativist

    So something permanent exists; IE a timeless, classical system massive enough to generate the universe.

    I think the fundamental puzzle here is that time requires change (to create time) and change requires time (to enable change).

    My solution is timeless change. The only other solution I can think of is that the first change somehow causes time. But I do not see time as just change. In relativity, the faster things move through space, the slower time runs. So more change seems to equal less time - an inverse relationship. If time is change, then more change should result in time running faster. This does not happen, for example, a mechanical clock (lots of change) tells the same time as a digital watch (less change).

    I do not see time as caused by the entropy increase of the universe; time runs the same speed in a system in which entropy is increasing quickly as it does in a system where entropy is increasing slowly.

    A change must take place for time to be created/emerge; so change must be possible without time. I'd argue that a photon appears, travels (no distance) and disappears all timelessly; the act of disappearing timelessly is a timeless change - so timeless change seems possible.

    Time is something that must be created; it does not emerge from other phenomena.

    You can be skeptical of this cosmological model, but you have to acknowledge it is logically consistent. And if it is logically consistent, then it is false to claim it is logically impossible - as you have been doing.Relativist

    I do not believe a micro theory can explain macro phenomena. QM cannot accurately describe macro systems. There is no superposition of states in a macro system. Macro systems head towards classical equilibrium.

    Where does matter/energy come from under your proposal? Does it exist timelessly or is it created somehow? (EG zero energy universe hypothesis).
  • Relativist
    737
    To be responsible for all the matter/energy of the Big Bang, the system must be huge; IE a classical system first and a quantum system second.Devans99
    False. You are simply redefining the cosmological model I defined.

    Here's a paper in which Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin discusses the general program of Quantum Cosmology:
    Quantum Cosmology and Eternal Inflation

    Here's an article by astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, that explains why the world must be fundamentally quantum waves:

    This Is Why Quantum Field Theory Is More Fundamental Than Quantum Mechanics

    I could find many more references if you need them, but if you are simply going to naively dismiss these, there's no point in continuing the discussion.
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