Cosmological Argument: from contingency

Image result for crab nebula





1. Something exists.
2. Whatever exists, does so either necessarily or contingently.
3. It is impossible that only contingent things exist.
4. Therefore, there exists at least one necessary thing.
5. If there is a necessary thing, that thing is appropriately called 'God.'
6. Therefore God exists.

(revised 8/6/'18)


This version understands Necessity and contingency largely in causal terms. The necessity that creates the universe must be understood as eternal and uncaused for two reasons: (1) The impossibility of ICR[1], there has to be a final cause or nothing would ever come to be, (2) empirically we know the universe is not eternal. See the supporting material. Atheists will often argue that this kind of argument doesn't prove that God is the necessity that causes the universe. but being necessary and creator and primary  cause makes it the sources of all things we can rationally construe that as God.
Finally, even if the cosmological argument is sound or cogent, the difficult task remains to show, as part of natural theology, that the necessary being to which the cosmological argument concludes is the God of religion, and if so, of which religion. Rowe suggests that the cosmological argument has two parts, one to establish the existence of a first cause or necessary being, the other that this necessary being is God (1975: 6). It is unclear, however, whether the second contention is an essential part of the cosmological argument. Although Aquinas was quick to make the identification between God and the first mover or first cause, such identification seems to go beyond the causal reasoning that informs the argument (although one can argue that it is consistent with the larger picture of God and his properties that Aquinas paints in his Summae). Some (Rasmussen, O’Connor, Koons) have plowed ahead in developing this stage 2 process by showing how and what properties—simplicity, unity, omnipotence, omniscience, goodness, and so on—might follow from the concept of a necessary being. It “has implications that bring it into the neighborhood of God as traditionally conceived” (O’Connor 2008: 67).[2]
There's a problem in speaking of God as "a being" since it threatens to reduce God from infinite and omnipresent to a localized entity. This is a semantic problem and we can resole it by through understanding that God is the eternal necessary aspect of being. Being is a thing and God is "that thing" which is unbounded,eternal, and necessary aspect of being. This unbounded condition is implied by the nature of cosmological necessity. The eternal causal agent that gives rise to all existing things could not be itself caused since that would just create the necessity of another explanation (it would mean that thing is not the ultimate cause but is just another contingent thing). Being eternal and necessary means the ground of being. The contrast between human finitude and the infinite evokes the senses of the numinous or mystical experience which is the basisof all religion.[3] 

Of course we understand this eternal necessary aspect of being to be God not only because the infinite evokes the numinous but also because the notion that God is being itself is a major aspect of  Christian Theology.[4]




Notes

[1] Infinite Causal Regression. For arguments against see: No Infinite Causal Regression (link)

[2] Timothy O’Connor2008, Theism and Ultimate Explanation: the Necessary Shape of Contingency, London: Wiley-Blackwell.

[3] David Steindl-Rast,OSB, "The Mystical Core of Organized religion," Greatfulness, blog, 2018

[4] Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church NY: Penguin,1964.65




Comments

im-skeptical said…
This argument appears to make a false dichotomy between 'necessary' and 'contingent'. Of course, it all hinges on the precise definition of those terms, which you haven't supplied for the purposes of this discussion. If we take your words at face value, that which is caused is contingent, and that which is not contingent is necessary. Thus we have only two possibilities: anything that exists must be either contingent or necessary. But the meaning of the word 'necessary', the way we understand it, is not based on that dichotomy. We understand 'necessary' to mean something that could not be otherwise, or something that could not fail to be. But what does this say about the dichotomy between 'necessary' and 'contingent'? A real dichotomy is based on logical possibilities. Something could be necessary or not necessary. Something could be contingent or not contingent. Those are real dichotomies. But why couldn't something be both uncaused and not necessary? I honestly don't see any logical contradiction between those two possibilities.

Take, for example, the existence of virtual particles. They come into being (and out of being again) without a cause. But for any given particle, its existence is certainly not necessary. It could have failed to exist.

What if we restrict our definition of the word 'contingent' to "that which is not necessary"? Now we have a real dichotomy between 'necessary' and 'contingent'. But it completely destroys the cosmological argument, which asserts that a necessary thing must be the first cause of whatever is contingent - in other words, contingent things must have a cause. Under the restricted definition of 'contingent', there is no implication of causation. It simply says that contingent things are not necessary - they could fail to exist. So it would be logically possible for something to exist that is not necessary and also uncaused. But this would not meet the definition of either term 'contingent' or 'necessary' as they are used in the cosmological argument. And yet, it doesn't raise the specter of logical impossibility.

Joe Hinman said…
"This argument appears to make a false dichotomy between 'necessary' and 'contingent'. Of course, it all hinges on the precise definition of those terms, which you haven't supplied for the purposes of this discussion."

Philosophers don;t think it;s a false dichotomy


Matthew Davidson, "God and Other Necessary Beings", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/god-necessary-being/


"It is commonly accepted that there are two sorts of existent entities: those that exist but could have failed to exist, and those that could not have failed to exist. Entities of the first sort are contingent beings; entities of the second sort are necessary beings.[1]We will be concerned with the latter sort of entity in this article."

Ibid
"How do we prove (or warrant belief in) P2? Paul Tillich Was the major exponent we need to understand what he meant by that phrase. One major issue imnvovledintheconceptof god as Beig otselfust be understood. The notion of God as being itself; God is not a being alongside other beings in the universe, or in creation. God is the basis of all being. In fact Tillich does not speak of God as “a being” he leaves out the “a” but simply says that God is “being itself” not “a being itself.” Leaving out the “a” is essential to understanding the concept. This is essential because the whole concept turns upon the idea that God is above the level of things, above contingency, in a category by itself. True to the mystical concept Tillich understands that God is beyond our comprehension. God blows away all of our easy preconceived categories that we have taken for granted since we first learned to talk. Yet though God is beyond everything we name, think, or understand, he is beyond these things in a metaphysical sense; yet “God does not sit beside the world looking at it from outside but he is acting in everything in every moment.”[2] Tillich understands omnipotence not as talk about what God can and cannot do but as “creative power.” It’s this sense of God as a dynamic reality working actively in concert with the natural world that endears him to the process theologians."


If we take your words at face value, that which is caused is contingent, and that which is not contingent is necessary. Thus we have only two possibilities: anything that exists must be either contingent or necessary. But the meaning of the word 'necessary', the way we understand it, is not based on that dichotomy.

You are are wrong, read the quote above fro philosophical dictionary,

We understand 'necessary' to mean something that could not be otherwise, or something that could not fail to be. But what does this say about the dichotomy between 'necessary' and 'contingent'?

Obviously as the quote says above necessary cannot fail to exist and contingent means could fail to exist. But the reason is because the contingency (as the word means) depends upon something else for it's existence ( the necessity) if it could have been different i;ts because the necessity might not have allowed for it,



Joe Hinman said…
A real dichotomy is based on logical possibilities. Something could be necessary or not necessary. Something could be contingent or not contingent. Those are real dichotomies. But why couldn't something be both uncased and not necessary? I honestly don't see any logical contradiction between those two possibilities.

Nature works by causes, anything that requires a cause is by definition contingent, because it could cease or frail to be.Anything temporal is contingent. Uncased and not necessary is a contradiction in terms.



Take, for example, the existence of virtual particles. They come into being (and out of being again) without a cause. But for any given particle, its existence is certainly not necessary. It could have failed to exist.

No they are uncased I established that in a previous paper. Virtual particle are said to be coming from nothing because they don't exist before the collision between particles but they are caused by the collision of particles,


What if we restrict our definition of the word 'contingent' to "that which is not necessary"? Now we have a real dichotomy between 'necessary' and 'contingent'. But it completely destroys the cosmological argument, which asserts that a necessary thing must be the first cause of whatever is contingent -

that could not change the argument but it would be an oxymoron. We already say contingency is not necessary that's part of the definition so that would not change anything



in other words, contingent things must have a cause. Under the restricted definition of 'contingent', there is no implication of causation.

We have no knowledge of anything that doesn't have a cause,certain everything in nature does. But we could assert something some things that don't have causes but they would still be dependent upon prior conditions and they could cease or fail to exist., God would still be the only way for them to come to be since the prior conditions would have to be create by God.


It simply says that contingent things are not necessary - they could fail to exist. So it would be logically possible for something to exist that is not necessary and also uncaused.

really? so something can be true because you want it to be even though it's contradicted by all experiences thorough the history of man? So Christ could have risen from the dead hu>


But this would not meet the definition of either term 'contingent' or 'necessary' as they are used in the cosmological argument. And yet, it doesn't raise the specter of logical impossibility.

What is the basis for using a contradictory definition with no actual evidence to back it up?
im-skeptical said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said…
Philosophers don;t think it;s a false dichotomy
- Correction: Certain religious philosophers don't think it's a false dichotomy.

"It is commonly accepted that there are two sorts of existent entities: those that exist but could have failed to exist, and those that could not have failed to exist. Entities of the first sort are contingent beings; entities of the second sort are necessary beings."
- Yes, that is consistent with the restricted definition of 'contingent' that I gave in the last paragraph of my comment. But it says nothing about causation.

But the reason is because the contingency (as the word means) depends upon something else for it's existence ( the necessity) if it could have been different i;ts because the necessity might not have allowed for it
I'm talking about logical possibilities. There is nothing in that definition of 'contingent' that implies it must be caused. That is merely your presumption. If a virtual particle can exist without a cause, that is an example of something that is not necessary and has no cause. You may reject this on religious grounds, but it is nevertheless a logical possibility.

Nature works by causes, anything that requires a cause is by definition contingent
- Here's where the equivocation comes in. You slide back and forth between two different definitions of 'contingent' - one being that is is something that isn't necessary, and the other being that it has a cause.

No they are uncased I established that in a previous paper. Virtual particle are said to be coming from nothing because they don't exist before the collision between particles but they are caused by the collision of particles
- Now let me explain the reality to you. Yes, virtual particles are involved in the interaction between existing particles. But that's not the only way they come into existence. I'm talking about the ones that are produced from absolutely nothing - no colliding particles, no nothing. This article talks about both cases, and refers to the latter case as the "virtual foam". This is something that has nothing we would recognize as a cause.

that could not change the argument but it would be an oxymoron. We already say contingency is not necessary that's part of the definition so that would not change anything
- The restricted definition certainly does change the argument. You said it yourself: "This version understands Necessity and contingency largely in causal terms." The argument is all about causation. It makes the presumption that contingent things must have a cause.

really? so something can be true because you want it to be even though it's contradicted by all experiences thorough the history of man?
- I'm talking about what is logically possible, based on the restricted definition of 'contingent' but without making the presumption that such a thing must have a cause. And as I pointed out, such things DO exist.
Joe Hinman said…
im-skeptical said...
Philosophers don;t think it;s a false dichotomy
- Correction: Certain religious philosophers don't think it's a false dichotomy.

I quoted the article in the Stanford Encyclopedioa, by Matthew Davidson, "God and Other Necessary Beings", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy you have no proof that Davidson is a religious thinker, Moreover he says, ""It is commonly accepted that there are two sorts of existent entities..." he does not say only among religious philosophers but commonly accepted,.so probability most philosophers of any stripe agree,

from the article:"It is commonly accepted that there are two sorts of existent entities: those that exist but could have failed to exist, and those that could not have failed to exist. Entities of the first sort are contingent beings; entities of the second sort are necessary beings."

Skepie:- Yes, that is consistent with the restricted definition of 'contingent' that I gave in the last paragraph of my comment. But it says nothing about causation.

that says the contingent exist but could have failed. why would something fail to exist? Since all existing things require causes then failing to exist would means something screwed up the cause so obviously cause is at the root of this definition.

Besides genius it's my argument the one making the argumemt always defines the terms,I set the terms not you!


But the reason is because the contingency (as the word means) depends upon something else for it's existence ( the necessity) if it could have been different i;ts because the necessity might not have allowed for it


I'm talking about logical possibilities. There is nothing in that definition of 'contingent' that implies it must be caused. That is merely your presumption.

I just exploded why it is, you have to answer my argent,It's not enough to just say it's merely my presumption no it's my logic, you have to answer my logic, that's called "debate." But here is a philosopher who agrees with me:Garth Kemerling, The Philosophy Pages (websiter are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 )

"Distinction between logical or causal conditions. In logic, one proposition is a necessary condition of another when the second cannot be true while the first is false, and one proposition is a sufficient condition for another when the first cannot be true while the second is false."




If a virtual particle can exist without a cause, that is an example of something that is not necessary and has no cause. You may reject this on religious grounds, but it is nevertheless a logical possibility.

VP's do not exist without causes,I already established this. They emerge out of the collision of other particles that means they are caused by that,

My article disproves this see it here.

Nature works by causes, anything that requires a cause is by definition contingent


Joe Hinman said…
- Here's where the equivocation comes in. You slide back and forth between two different definitions of 'contingent' - one being that is is something that isn't necessary, and the other being that it has a cause.

No my argument in the last post established how the two fit together, the causal version is an explication of the first definition,

I am advancing the argent, therefore I define the terms, I already stated in the opening post that I define contingency as inclusive of causes to disagree yoiu must defeat the logic. I also just quoted Garth Kemerling saying it;s causal.

No they are uncased I established that in a previous paper. Virtual particle are said to be coming from nothing because they don't exist before the collision between particles but they are caused by the collision of particles


- Now let me explain the reality to you. Yes, virtual particles are involved in the interaction between existing particles. But that's not the only way they come into existence. I'm talking about the ones that are produced from absolutely nothing - no colliding particles, no nothing. This article talks about both cases, and refers to the latter case as the "virtual foam". This is something that has nothing we would recognize as a cause.

There is type of Virtual particle that comes from real actual nothing, that's the science nothing trick. They don't really mean nothing this is well known now you can't play that card any more. Noting does does not mean nothing it means vacuum flux. which is more particles.

that could not change the argument but it would be an oxymoron. We already say contingency is not necessary that's part of the definition so that would not change anything.


- The restricted definition certainly does change the argument. You said it yourself: "This version understands Necessity and contingency largely in causal terms." The argument is all about causation. It makes the presumption that contingent things must have a cause.

You have not done anything to overturn my definition, I set the terms since I advance the argument. you must have a reason why y definition doesn't cut it,you have no reason, you just want to screw the argument,because you can't answer it, you have to deal with my argumemt,

Joe beforereally? so something can be true because you want it to be even though it's contradicted by all experiences thorough the history of man?


- I'm talking about what is logically possible, based on the restricted definition of 'contingent' but without making the presumption that such a thing must have a cause. And as I pointed out, such things DO exist.

You have not demonstrated why it's logically possible to avoid the laws of physics. You accept the laws of physics because you worship science so it's logical to assume they work since there is no example of their contradiction,

9/09/2018 07:18:00
im-skeptical said…
You didn't read the article I cited, did you, Joe?
Joe Hinman said…
there is absolutely nothing in that article that did not cover in my Clarice that I linked to:



http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2018/04/quantum-field-theory-no-proof-of.html


I already kicked your ass on this stuff, on this very blog. The trick is your article turns on using the term "nothing" deceptively because they don't mean real nothing.

there are still physical laws as priamry codintioms and vacum flux. that's not nothing,
Joe Hinman said…
not true nothing

"In Physics "nothing" is generally taken to be the lowest energy state of a theory. We wouldn't normally use the word "nothing" but instead describe the lowest energy state as the "vacuum". I can't think of an intuitive way to describe the QM vacuum because all the obvious analogies have "something" instead of nothing "nothing", so I'll do my best but you may still find the idea hard to grasp. That's not just you - everybody finds it hard to grasp."

John Rennie, ''What is meant by Nothing in Physics./ Quatum Physics?" Physics Stack Exchange (June 29, 2012)
https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/30973/what-is-meant-by-nothing-in-physics-quantum-physics
(accessed 3/29/2012)
im-skeptical said…
I already kicked your ass on this stuff, on this very blog. The trick is your article turns on using the term "nothing" deceptively because they don't mean real nothing.
- You only think you "kicked my ass" on this subject because you don't know what you're talking about. I actually studied physics for many years, including graduate level. In the quantum vacuum there are no pre-existing particles to collide with one another. The article I cited calls it "Empty space—that is, space that contains nothing—no energy, no charge, no matter, nothing". It puts it in simple terms that most anyone can understand - that is, unless you have an ideological impediment to accepting a scientific view of reality. And all your harping about what really constitutes "nothing" is still just a philosophical question. But it misses the point of this discussion. The spontaneous generation of virtual particles in the quantum vacuum still occurs without any cause. That's what we were talking about. And you haven't addressed that point at all.
Joe Hinman said…
Blogger im-skeptical said...
I already kicked your ass on this stuff, on this very blog. The trick is your article turns on using the term "nothing" deceptively because they don't mean real nothing.

- You only think you "kicked my ass" on this subject because you don't know what you're talking about. I actually studied physics for many years, including graduate level.

that doesn't mean you are right about that issue,

In the quantum vacuum there are no pre-existing particles to collide with one another. The article I cited calls it "Empty space—that is, space that contains nothing—no energy, no charge, no matter, nothing".

The guys I quoted talked about empty too, but empty is like nothing:it's not really empty,It really means lowest level of something.


It puts it in simple terms that most anyone can understand - that is, unless you have an ideological impediment to accepting a scientific view of reality. And all your harping about what really constitutes "nothing" is still just a philosophical question. But it misses the point of this discussion. The spontaneous generation of virtual particles in the quantum vacuum still occurs without any cause. That's what we were talking about. And you haven't addressed that point at all.


you are blatantly ignoring what the quote said.
Joe Hinman said…
The moderator, "a Curious Mind" answers:

The vacuum is "empty" in every precise sense of the word. What we call "particles" in quantum field theory are states created by so-called annihilation and creation operators, which represent "substracting" and "adding" a particle of a certain type to a state. The free vacuum is by definition precisely the state from which you cannnot substract anything, hence it is "empty". The interacting vacuum is by definition the lowest-lying energy state, but we can't talk about particles for interacting states, so it's meaningless to ask if it is "empty"....The "boiling brew of particles" is a misinterpretation of what so-called vacuum bubbles mean. They are the Feynman diagrams that contribute to the energy of the interacting vacuum state, and if internal lines of such diagrams described actual particles, then these diagrams would mean a continuous creation and annihilation of particles in the vacuum. But the internal lines of Feynman diagrams are not associated to actual particles states (i.e. no creation/annihilation operator of the free theory belongs to them), so this is nonsense. There are no particles in the vacuum and they don't create a universe....He is misinterpreting Feynman diagrams to give laymen reading the book a magical and mysterious, but math-free picture of what quantum field theory is about. This picture is almost completely wrong.It's the lowest-lying energy state of the theory, and the start for so-called perturbation theory. Not much more.[11]
Another poster, Arnold Neumaier:


The only way the usual dynamical language for virtual particles is justified by the theory is as purely figurative analogy in ”virtual reality”, useful for informal talk about complicated formulas and for superficial summaries in lectures capturing the imagination of the audience.This has to be kept in mind when reading in professional scientific publications statements involving virtual particles. Otherwise many statements become completely misleading, inviting a magical view of microphysics and weird speculation, without the slightest support in theory or experiment.[12]
Two things we need to know to make sense of what was just said. First, wen physicists speak of :"nothing" they don't mean that in the sense most people use it. They mean something very different, Understanding this will tell us what they mean by Qm vacuum. ohnRennie tells us:
In Physics "nothing" is generally taken to be the lowest energy state of a theory. We wouldn't normally use the word "nothing" but instead describe the lowest energy state as the "vacuum". I can't think of an intuitive way to describe the QM vacuum because all the obvious analogies have "something" instead of nothing "nothing", so I'll do my best but you may still find the idea hard to grasp. That's not just you - everybody finds it hard to grasp..[13]
Joe Hinman said…
Nothing is the lowest level energy state in a theory, so that would mean an individual particle is "nothing." Rennie goes on to talk about an analogy,if you could turn off the Qm field,there would still be fluctuation, This is vacuum flux, it is the Qm vacuum. it means there are still "particles" messing around.

....The key point is that when I say "turn the field down" I mean reduce the energy to the lowest it will go i.e. you can't make the energy of the electric field any lower. By definition this is what we call the "vacuum" even though it isn't empty (i.e. it contains the fluctuations). It isn't possible to make the vacuum any emptier because the fluctuations are always present and you can't remove them.[14]
Joe Hinman said…
The skeptic merely says there are particles they are popping out of nothing. The problem is the physicists include the particles as part of nothing, there's no empirical observations that they are coming out of real nothing not just coming from some primordial field; in other words a group of more particles,

That does not mean that Krauss doesn't understand or doesn't know what he's saying. He knows but what he is saying is really a faith statement. He wants us to think his statement is a precise factual understanding of the universe but it is actually nothing more than a faith statement based upon facts but those facts do not include empirical knowledge of the origin of the universe, he's really just discussing an educated guess.

Even if we assume field theory as a literally true statement of what happens with sub atomic particles it can't be the case that they actually do emerge from true nothing. The reason is very simple and it is assumed by the theory.The theory itself assumes that prior conditions exist, a framework in which the things emerge. They may not have direct causes in the conventional sense but they clearly do not just pop into existence out of actual noting. There are prior conditions without which the particles would not be possible. Those conditions have to be accounted for. The frame work consists mainly of Time, physical law, ad what they now call field,or Vacuum flux which means more particles.

"He [Krauss] acknowledges (albeit in a parenthesis, and just a few pages before the end of the book) that everything he has been talking about simply takes the basic principles of quantum mechanics for granted."[15] The term"nothing" is erroneous since by that term physicists do not mean what regular people mean by the term.They do not mean the absence of anything at all. "For a half century, physicists have known that there is no such thing as absolute nothingness, and that the vacuum of empty space, devoid of even a single atom of matter, seethes with subtle activity. "[16] I have quoted at least three physicists saying Krauss is wrong his statements can't be taken literally. I think a good term for what they are saying is that his statements are faith based statements or atheist dogma based upon field theory. The three physicists are A Curious Mind, Arnold Neumaier, and Paul Matt Sutter, I close with statement by David Albert the philosopher with Ph.d in physics, from his review of Krauss:

The fundamental physical laws that Krauss is talking about in “A Universe From Nothing” — the laws of relativistic quantum field theories — are no exception to this. The particular, eternally persisting, elementary physical stuff of the world, according to the standard presentations of relativistic quantum field theories, consists (unsurprisingly) of relativistic quantum fields. And the fundamental laws of this theory take the form of rules concerning which arrangements of those fields are physically possible and which aren’t, and rules connecting the arrangements of those fields at later times to their arrangements at earlier times, and so on — and they have nothing whatsoever to say on the subject of where those fields came from, or of why the world should have consisted of the particular kinds of fields it does, or of why it should have consisted of fields at all, or of why there should have been a world in the first place. Period. Case closed. End of story.[17]




The statements Kraus makes are faith statements,they are not exactly wrong but they are not proven they are faith ,he has faith God did not create.
im-skeptical said…
Joe, you still don't know what you're talking about.

The "lowest energy state" is what you have when you take away everything, including particles - leaving NOTHING. Your lack of understanding is clearly revealed when you say "Nothing is the lowest level energy state in a theory, so that would mean an individual particle is "nothing."" An individual particle is not nothing. It has energy. It is not the lowest energy state. Nothing is nothing. No particles, no charges, no energy. THAT's what we mean by the quantum vacuum. It is only a philosophical statement to say that nothing is really not nothing. It doesn't reflect reality. In fact, the vacuum really consists of nothing at all.

And you are still evading the central point here. Virtual particles come to exist without a cause.
Mark Tester said…
There is no location in the universe where the energy state is equal to zero. There is no location in the universe where a true "nothing" exists. Even a volume of space that has all "normal" mass and radiation removed still contains "something" and has a non-zero energy level for the following reasons:

1) Quantum Field Theory (QFT) asserts that particles are excitations of fields. For every fundamental kind of particle, there is an associated field permeating all of space (including regions of "empty" vacuum). There is only one electron field, for example, permeating the whole of the universe; and all electrons are local excitations of this one field. Where there are no excitations, the field remains at it's ground state energy level. If one field is excited enough, it will cause excitations in other fields.
2) Assuming QFT is an accurate description of our universe, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle applied to quantum fields requires energy to fluctuate about the lowest state (when not perturbed by any external energy). In other words, the ground state of a QF cannot be determined to be zero at any given time. (It is impossible to say the field has no energy).
3) Dark energy (if it exists) also permeates all of space (and may be related to the ground-state QF energy in 2 above), regardless of the presence of matter or other energy (although the energy density is incredibly small, 7×10^−30 g/cm^3). This energy cannot be filtered out or shielded. Like QFs, dark energy is present everywhere as a property of space itself.

Additionally, there may also be dark matter that we haven't been able to observe except indirectly. It's true nature is unknown, but probably exists as some type of particle that, so far, is undetectable in a laboratory setting. Given its abundance (5 times more abundant than regular matter) it is likely that if you evacuated a volume of space of regular matter, you could still have particles of dark matter remaining.

So when you say "lowest energy state" you may mean there are no measurable particles present, but you certainly don't mean "nothing" in the common understanding of the word. Every point in space has a non-zero energy density and a fabric of fluctuating quantum fields. Also, any seemingly "empty" volume of space may also contain unknown amounts of dark matter. To say virtual particles come from "nothing" or that they are caused by "nothing" is a huge stretch to say the least. They are most likely caused by quantum mechanical energy fluctuations of the various quantum fields.
Joe Hinman said…
Thank you Mark I appreciate it. Please stick arouind, do you know Barry Graham?
im-skeptical said…
So when you say "lowest energy state" you may mean there are no measurable particles present, but you certainly don't mean "nothing" in the common understanding of the word.
- I mean "nothing" in the sense that people (other than philosophers) have always understood the word. It's what is left when you take every detectable thing away. I think you mean something different by the word. But that's why I say this is a philosophical question. And you're definitely not saying the same thing that Joe is. He insists that this low energy state contains non-virtual particles.
Mark Tester said…
The way that you mean nothing, as in completely devoid of everything, is meaningful only in conversational language, not in describing any real property of any portion of this universe. If you take a region of space and evacuate all detectable particles and shield it from all external energy sources, it will still have a fundamental level of energy that is not equal to zero at all times.

Energy and mass are interchangeable (E~mc^2). If a peak in the fluctuations of the quantum field energy get close enough to a certain level, this energy can precipitate into mass (virtual particles). The virtual particles are NOT there at all times (they come and go), but regardless of their presence, the energy density that gives rise to them is always present.

Historically (as in before the early 1900s), a complete vacuum meant nothing as you now mean it - no energy and no matter. In common vernacular that is how it is still used. However, a vacuum like that cannot be created in this universe because you cannot evacuate all of the energy from any given volume. The energy is nested inside the very fabric of space itself. The name "nothing" seems to stick around, but it is not nothing in the classical sense. There is "stuff" there.

And it's not philosophical. It results in real, measurable effects. The acceleration of the expansion of the universe is likely a result, as is the Casmir effect.

To Joe: I do not know Barry Graham.
im-skeptical said…
Mark,

Thank you for the lesson, but I didn't learn anything from it. I don't think we disagree about how things work in nature. That's something you should take up with Joe, because he's the one who argues against reality. What we disagree about is usage of the term "nothing". There are different schools of thought. I described my usage as being consistent with the "common vernacular" that you refer to. I'm not alone in that. Plenty of physicists agree with me. Your usage is consistent with the philosophical definition (let's call it "p-nothing"). It is the kind of "nothing" from which nothing can come. The problem with that is there is no such thing. It is a fantasy, just like p-zombies. I am of the opinion that physics deals with reality - not with fantasy. So I must disagree with your closing remark. "P-nothing" is indeed philosophical, but that's how you (apparently) define it, not how I do. I'm perfectly fine with saying that stuff does come from nothing.
Joe Hinman said…
Mark are you the Mark Tester at King Abdullah University? I soI really need to talk to you.
Joe Hinman said…
Thank you for the lesson, but I didn't learn anything from it. I don't think we disagree about how things work in nature. That's something you should take up with Joe, because he's the one who argues against reality.

What he said is what i was trying to say in a general way he was able to put the factual content into it,I had the basic concept right. When you call it "reality" that is another statement of faith.When you say "reality" you mean the world of your ideology. You are really saying you have faith that there's no God.

What his testament said is that something is in the fabric of the universe and it is undeniable.What that means for our topic we still have to discuss.

Obviously it means that statement "a universe from nothing" is loaded and misleading. The idea that the universe sprang up out of nothing for no reason is wrong. What we make of that is faith base on both sides.


What we disagree about is usage of the term "nothing". There are different schools of thought. I described my usage as being consistent with the "common vernacular" that you refer to.

That is what is misleading. The vernacular implies there is true absolute nothing and it's not true. There is energy that must be accounted for,where did it come from?


I'm not alone in that. Plenty of physicists agree with me.

No they don't they don't believe there is true absolute nothing and that is what calling it noting impieties,


Your usage is consistent with the philosophical definition (let's call it "p-nothing"). It is the kind of "nothing" from which nothing can come.


You just reshaped what he said,

The problem with that is there is no such thing. It is a fantasy, just like p-zombies. I am of the opinion that physics deals with reality - not with fantasy. So I must disagree with your closing remark. "P-nothing" is indeed philosophical, but that's how you (apparently) define it, not how I do. I'm perfectly fine with saying that stuff does come from nothing.


My God! you reason about yow actions like Nixon did! (Nixon voice:)ultimately we know we are right so if some people get confused by things we say it's ok as long as they stick with us, (flashes double peace sign)

You are saying the word "nothing" is an empty place holder and you can fill it with whatever works for the cause. It is not empty it contaminant a connotation that is totally false. There is no nothing, therefore, no universe from nothing,
im-skeptical said…
What he said is what i was trying to say in a general way he was able to put the factual content into it,I had the basic concept right.
- No, Joe. You don't have the basic concept right. You have said that there must be material particles present to produce virtual particles, and that's not true.

When you call it "reality" that is another statement of faith.
- My "faith" is based on empirical observation. Yours is based on religious belief.

What his testament said is that something is in the fabric of the universe and it is undeniable.
- I'm not disagreeing with what he said. I'm just making a point about how we define a word. I don't use the word 'nothing' in the philosophical sense, because there is no such thing. The same is true of Krauss. He's not wrong, either. You just have to understand what he's saying without overlaying your own interpretations on it.

That is what is misleading. The vernacular implies there is true absolute nothing and it's not true. There is energy that must be accounted for,where did it come from?
- No, Joe. You don't understand what I'm telling you. It is the philosophical definition of 'nothing' that implies absolute nothingness. That's the definition I reject, because there is no such thing. I absolutely agree that there is some kind of "fabric of reality", and I've said so many times. It's what gives rise to the universe. It's what you have when you take away all the stuff, and in that sense, it fits a reasonable definition of 'nothing'

You are saying the word "nothing" is an empty place holder and you can fill it with whatever works for the cause. It is not empty it contaminant a connotation that is totally false. There is no nothing, therefore, no universe from nothing
- Kind of like your own "warrant for belief"? I'm saying that people use words in different ways, and they mean different things to different people. If you want to properly understand what is being said, it requires two things: The one using that word has to define what he means by it, and the one listening has to interpret it in the same manner.
Joe Hinman said…
Blogger im-skeptical said...
What he said is what i was trying to say in a general way he was able to put the factual content into it,I had the basic concept right.
- No, Joe. You don't have the basic concept right. You have said that there must be material particles present to produce virtual particles, and that's not true.

yes skepie I made it absolutely clear in the article I published on this blog

[Joseph Hinman, "Quantum Field theory: No Proof of Something from Nothing," The religious a proiori (no date given) (accessed 3/8/18) http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2018/04/quantum-field-theory-no-proof-of.html]


that I am aware of the obsolescence of "particle" as a metaphor.The thing that is made most emphatic as stated by the scientists who discuss this topic, Tester is no exception any discussion not confuted in equations is wrong; none of the metaphor stack up to the truth. There is no great sin in the langue of particles it's merely a less apt metaphor,the important point is there is no nothing from which the universe emerged. You are being totally dishonest to pretend that he did not say that



When you call it "reality" that is another statement of faith.

- My "faith" is based on empirical observation. Yours is based on religious belief.

Bussshit! you have no empirical observation of vacuum flux,or field or "nothing" or a universe coming nothing, You have no proof of any kind!

What his testament said is that something is in the fabric of the universe and it is undeniable.

- I'm not disagreeing with what he said.

of course not he's in the preisthood of knowledge


Joe Hinman said…
I'm just making a point about how we define a word. I don't use the word 'nothing' in the philosophical sense, because there is no such thing. The same is true of Krauss. He's not wrong, either. You just have to understand what he's saying without overlaying your own interpretations on it.

I don't use the word noting in a philosophical sense. I use it in a conman language has meaning sense. In a meaningful I can understand what is being said sense. You use it in a lie, you lie about i'ts meaning you are still trying to pretend that he didn't say there is no absence of something that needs to be accounted for.

That is what is misleading. The vernacular implies there is true absolute nothing and it's not true. There is energy that must be accounted for,where did it come from?

- No, Joe. You don't understand what I'm telling you. It is the philosophical definition of 'nothing' that implies absolute nothingness. That's the definition I reject, because there is no such thing. I absolutely agree that there is some kind of "fabric of reality", and I've said so many times. It's what gives rise to the universe. It's what you have when you take away all the stuff, and in that sense, it fits a reasonable definition of 'nothing'

But what gave rise to it? it must be a contingency because it is naturalistic,.It has a cause.

Joe before
You are saying the word "nothing" is an empty place holder and you can fill it with whatever works for the cause. It is not empty it contaminant a connotation that is totally false. There is no nothing, therefore, no universe from nothing

- Kind of like your own "warrant for belief"? I'm saying that people use words in different ways, and they mean different things to different people. If you want to properly understand what is being said, it requires two things: The one using that word has to define what he means by it, and the one listening has to interpret it in the same manner.

you just agreed with my argument,"I absolutely agree that there is some kind of "fabric of reality." Groovy, that is my argument, that;s why Kraus is wrong he says Universe from noting we just agreed it's universe from something,but it has to be naturalistic unless you agree with SN,

9/11/2018 08:36:00 AM Delete
Mark Tester said…
I get the sense that you are re-defining nothing from "no-thing whatsoever" to "no-thing except space-time, dark energy, and ground-state quantum fields." Which is not the classical definition of "nothing," but possibly the closest thing you could get to true nothing in physical reality. That is fine if you want to do that, but then when you say virtual particles come from this nothing, it really isn't that controversial - or surprising; and it is absolutely NOT the same as the "nothing" the universe came from because all of these fields are what comprise the fabric of this universe and do not necessarily exist outside of it or precede it. The creation of the universe and all of the QFs within it is an entirely different sort of thing.

But let's continue to clarify some misunderstandings with regards to the nature of virtual particles - If you bin the quantum fields into "nothing" then you must also bin virtual particles into "nothing." Virtual particles exist to explain phenomena using QFs in the context of QFT. QFs and virtual particles go hand-in-hand. This also means that if you want to get away from QFT altogether and develop some other model of the universe without QFs (so that you can have a true nothing, well-except dark energy and space-time curvature), you would not only have to throw out QFs, but virtual particles as well. Virtual particles are a tool of QFT. The "virtual" part of the name implies they are not "real" particles. Much of what is said about virtual particles in the general arena (magazine articles and pop-sci books) is very misleading, even if written by PhD.s who know better, because the substrate of physics and math upon which the poor analogy rests isn't as understandable or as easily understood as the poor analogy itself.

I do appreciate the conversation, it has led me to refresh my understanding of the subject matter and in the process I came across this easy-to-understand gem that may simplify this discussion: https://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/virtual-particles-what-are-they/

Joe: I am not at King Abdullah University, but I guess it's interesting to know there are other Mark Testers out there. I work for a university-affiliated research center. Although I have a couple of degrees in physics, I must admit that physics is more of a hobby than a career.
Joe Hinman said…
I really don't understand why I say nothing does not mean nothing then everyone think's I'm saying the universe comes from nothing. I made a rather conventional venison of the cosmological argent and that's what I'm defending.it is based upon necessary being rather than contingent being.


1. Something exists.
2. Whatever exists, does so either necessarily or contingently.
3. It is impossible that only contingent things exist.
4. Therefore, there exists at least one necessary thing.
5. If there is a necessary thing, that thing is appropriately called 'God.'
6. Therefore God exists.


Then atheists will very often say the universe popped out of empty nothing for no reason and QM particles prove it. Then they quote Krauss. Skepie threw me a bit of a curve by saying there is something there but it is not created by God but he can't how he knows that.

I say Qm theory does not prove or disprove God.
Mark Tester said…
My previous response was mostly directed toward Im-skeptical. No one knows what the universe came from, though we all may have our own opinions. The current standard model of cosmology suggests the universe had a beginning. The universe is defined as all of space-time, quantum fields, and energy. All of this is the universe as we understand it. When Im-skeptical speaks about virtual-particles coming from nothing, the nothing to which he refers consists of space-time (quantum fields). But the universe could not have come from the same type of nothing because quantum fields did not exist before the universe. They are part of the universe. It would be self-causation with no known physical principle to allow it. So one cannot use virtual particles as proof that something comes from nothing, or that something physical can be uncaused. To really drive home the point, virtual particles aren't physical anyway (hence the "virtual" nomenclature); whereas the universe is. They are simply not the same sort of thing.

But a word about QFT and virtual particles. Quantum fields may not even exist in nature. They are a tool physicists use to try to make sense of nature in such a way that they can make predictions and provide a frame-work for the description of observed behaviors. Virtual particles are simply a conceptual and mathematical tool, part of the model, that helps us understand how nature might be accomplishing the things we observe. It could all be wrong. There may be a better model out there yet to be discovered that provides a better description. It may be that any model we can conceive of will never accurately describe reality, only approximate it. But that doesn't mean we can't know things about the universe. For instance, we may only be able to model (with varying degrees of accuracy) how/why mass attracts mass, but we do know that mass attracts mass. We may never have a good model for why the Casmir effect occurs, but we do know that the effect is real. In the same way we know that physical things do not change behavior without an external cause. Real matter doesn't just pop into existence spontaneously without an underlying physical process. But all that we know about these relationships only applies to processes that occur in this universe. Outside of this universe, prior to this universe, these are realms we know nothing about. This is where we must switch to philosophy from physics. I do think philosophy, informed by physics, can provide some clues, but not an exact answer.

It is unlikely that whatever was before this universe consisted of the types of things we see in this universe. If it did, then it would likely behave in a similar fashion to the way things behave in this universe and the creation of a universe would not have occurred (because we've never observed a universe popping into existence here and the total mass/energy of this universe appears to be constant). If it was physical stuff that caused this universe, then you would also have a problem of infinite regression of causality which seems logically paradoxical. I think your contingency argument is similar. You can't have an infinite regression of causality at least not in this universe, and probably (although no one can really say) not in whatever existed before this universe. It seems that there must be some first cause, and this first cause must be unlike anything else we observe - it cannot be physical.

Joe, your last statement is absolutely correct. No physics based model of the universe can ever prove or disprove God. It's very hard to prove or disprove anything outside of mathematics.
im-skeptical said…
Joe, if you'd go back and read my original comment, you will see that I was addressing your argument from the perspective of the dichotomy of necessary vs caused, which I claim is a false dichotomy. I wasn't talking about nothingness at all, but you have diverted to this issue. In the process, my criticism of your argument has been ignored. You still haven't adequately answered it.

If you want to get past the question of nothingness, you could simply choose to use a neutral term such as 'the fabric (or base or substrate) of reality'. We don't need to argue about whether it is something or nothing. We can agree (I hope) that it refers to what you have when there is no stuff. Then, if you please, we can return our attention to your argument and my objection to it.
im-skeptical said…
But the universe could not have come from the same type of nothing because quantum fields did not exist before the universe. They are part of the universe
- I am not claiming that the universe came from something that exists in space-time.

Quantum fields may not even exist in nature. They are a tool physicists use to try to make sense of nature in such a way that they can make predictions and provide a frame-work for the description of observed behaviors.
- I made exactly this argument to Joe many times. Of course, he rejects it, because he knows better.

If it was physical stuff that caused this universe, then you would also have a problem of infinite regression of causality which seems logically paradoxical. I think your contingency argument is similar. You can't have an infinite regression of causality at least not in this universe, and probably (although no one can really say) not in whatever existed before this universe. It seems that there must be some first cause, and this first cause must be unlike anything else we observe - it cannot be physical.
- Physical is hard to define. We usually think of it as being the stuff of the universe - matter, energy, fields. Obviously, it was not the stuff of the universe that created the universe. But it would be a leap of logic to conclude that it must have been some necessary and intelligent being. My argument is that there could be some brute fact of reality that explains the origin of the universe. There's only one reason theists reject this as a logical possibility: It destroys their theistic arguments.
Joe Hinman said…
Mark would you email me so we can talk about something,please?

Metacrock@gmail.com
Joe Hinman said…
im-skeptical said...
Joe, if you'd go back and read my original comment, you will see that I was addressing your argument from the perspective of the dichotomy of necessary vs caused, which I claim is a false dichotomy. I wasn't talking about nothingness at all, but you have diverted to this issue. In the process, my criticism of your argument has been ignored. You still haven't adequately answered it.

I think you are confused.First there is no way necessity/contingency could be a false dichotomy. the whole concept is that things that need causes are deportment upon those causes the latter is the contingency of the former which is necessary. Secondly my argument never asserted that nothingness was an issue but atheists are so apt to do that and the Universe from noting asserts it so of course I was on guard for it,.

If you want to get past the question of nothingness, you could simply choose to use a neutral term such as 'the fabric (or base or substrate) of reality'. We don't need to argue about whether it is something or nothing. We can agree (I hope) that it refers to what you have when there is no stuff. Then, if you please, we can return our attention to your argument and my objection to it.

in your first statm,memt you said: "Take, for example, the existence of virtual particles. They come into being (and out of being again) without a cause. But for any given particle, its existence is certainly not necessary. It could have failed to exist.",given the history of my hassles with atheists I was perfectly justified to assume you were reffering to Cruasses book.
Mark Tester said…
"My argument is that there could be some brute fact of reality that explains the origin of the universe. There's only one reason theists reject this as a logical possibility: It destroys their theistic arguments."

It could be true that the universe exists because of a brute fact, but it is just as arbitrary to say a Brute Fact did it as to say God did it. Saying "Brute Fact did it" is an opinion not based on any observable reality and it is not a testable claim and therefore doesn't destroy any theistic argument any more than saying, "God did it" destroys the atheist's arguments. The theist's framework is based on God, the atheist's on Brute Fact.

But is there a way to determine which is more likely? The question, "why is there a brute fact (or God) at all?" is not a question that can be answered, but maybe we can discern the properties of the Brute Fact (or God) by the properties of the thing created. The universe contains natural laws that govern the behavior of its constituents in logical, seemingly rational, ways that can be described by mathematics (at least to some accuracy). It is a universe that sustains inhabitant creatures that are capable of modeling it and making predictions about it. This would be a very interesting Brute Fact. When a Brute Fact could be anything at all and not necessarily anything at all, it would seem foolish to dismiss the possibility that the Brute Fact is actually God.
im-skeptical said…
I think you are confused.First there is no way necessity/contingency could be a false dichotomy. the whole concept is that things that need causes are deportment upon those causes the latter is the contingency of the former which is necessary. Secondly my argument never asserted that nothingness was an issue but atheists are so apt to do that and the Universe from noting asserts it so of course I was on guard for it,.
- That doesn't answer the issue I raised. You are ignoring that observed fact of things that are uncaused and also not necessary. You have made a false dichotomy. Simply to keep asserting that is is not a false dichotomy is just sticking your fingers in your ear and pretending the issue doesn't exist.

given the history of my hassles with atheists I was perfectly justified to assume you were reffering to Cruasses book.
- You are not justified in diverting from the issue I raised to something entirely different. I don't know anything about Cruasses book.
im-skeptical said…
but it is just as arbitrary to say a Brute Fact did it as to say God did it.
- I made no such assertion. If you were listening, you would have noticed that I referred to is as a "logical possibility".

The universe contains natural laws that govern the behavior of its constituents in logical, seemingly rational, ways that can be described by mathematics (at least to some accuracy).
- The old argument from design. You are confusing human rationality with a-rational behavior of nature. Just because humans can make rational sense of something does not imply in any way that it must be the product of some intelligence.
Mark Tester said…
"I made no such assertion. If you were listening, you would have noticed that I referred to is as a 'logical possibility'"

It seems as though you are asserting that a Brute Fact explanation, as a logical possibility, destroys theistic arguments. I'm stating that it does not destroy any theistic arguments because it isn't the only logical possibility.

I don't know what your particular view is, but if you were to argue for the "Brute Fact did it" point of view when debating a theist, you would not hold any advantage.

I would not be so dismissive of the argument from design. It may not appeal to you specifically, but I do think there is basis for it. Nature may be a-rational in that it doesn't reason, but that doesn't mean it isn't understandable through reason. How could something physical (humans) come into being out of a-rational nature and have the capacity to rationalize nature to the point of making useful tools (like an iPhone) out of it?

In any case, we've clearly left the scope of science and the meaning of virtual particles and so my usefulness in this discussion may be at an end.
im-skeptical said…
Mark,

May I make a suggestion? If you want to address the arguments I make, please read them first. It wouldn't hurt Joe to follow that advice, as well.
Mark Tester said…
I will try, but if multiple people are miss-understanding what you wish to convey, perhaps the issue is with the conveyance.
Joe Hinman said…
skepie you have demonstrated over and over again that you do not read, you spent years Deloitte me that my studies were no good and you never read one of them. You regularly demonstrate that you did not read my essay because you talk about things I ;ve covered as though you had no idea that I talked about it.
Joe Hinman said…
Mark I am imn need o a science person to read and review and give blurb for cover to my next book,God,science and Ideology, if you are interested please Emil me Metacrock@gmail.com
im-skeptical said…
I will try, but if multiple people are miss-understanding what you wish to convey, perhaps the issue is with the conveyance.

- Maybe it's misunderstanding. Maybe it's failure to read. How many times did I say it's "a logical possibility"? I'll wait while you count. Now count how many times I said (or implied) that it's the "only logical possibility".

Here's the thing: I was addressing Joe's argument. I was not making any argument of my own. HIS argument doesn't allow the possibility of a brute fact. That's the issue. That's what I was addressing. And this is something you should easily grasp if only you read what I said without trying to turn my words into something completely different.
Mark Tester said…
To prevent any further misunderstanding then, allow me to return to your first post which is your first set of objections. In it, you assert that there may be a false dichotomy between contingency and necessity (when necessary is defined appropriately) and then you ask why something couldn’t be both uncaused and not necessary, giving virtual particles as an example of such a thing. In subsequent posts, you continued to used virtual particles as existence of un-caused not-necessary things.

My initial responses were in relation to your example. Virtual particles are not an example of this because they are caused (and they are not things in the sense you are using them). Please use a different example.
im-skeptical said…
My initial responses were in relation to your example. Virtual particles are not an example of this because they are caused (and they are not things in the sense you are using them). Please use a different example.
- It seems we disagree. Since virtual particles are detectable, they are "things". But you can't describe the specific causal conditions under which a pair of them will be produced at a specific time and place. Because those causal conditions don't exist. All we get from quantum mechanics is a probability distribution.
Joe Hinman said…
Here's the thing: I was addressing Joe's argument. I was not making any argument of my own. HIS argument doesn't allow the possibility of a brute fact. That's the issue. That's what I was addressing. And this is something you should easily grasp if only you read what I said without trying to turn my words into something completely different.

All of my God arguments seek to establish the idea that belief in God is rationally warranted not that it's proven. I do not seek to prove and I said this a lot. If God does not exist then the world is a brute fact. Everything is a brute fact if there is no God. But the world is not a brute being has depth. so there is reason to believe
Mark Tester said…
"- It seems we disagree. Since virtual particles are detectable, they are "things". "

From the wiki page on virtual particles, "Virtual particles are also excitations of the underlying fields, but are "temporary" in the sense that they appear in calculations of interactions, but never as asymptotic states or indices to the scattering matrix. The accuracy and use of virtual particles in calculations is firmly established, but as they cannot be detected in experiments, deciding how to precisely describe them is a topic of debate."

You can disagree with me all you want, but you are also disagreeing with QFT, which is the basis of virtual particles in the first place.

But even if they could be detected, they are not un-caused. They come about via 1 of 2 ways: 1) caused by particle interactions, 2) caused by perturbations in an existing quantum field in which the energy of the quantum field is momentarily converted to mass via the famous equation E=mc^2.
im-skeptical said…
From the wiki page on virtual particles ...
- Of course they can be detected. See this. The fact is that they have real physical effects on things. Something that doesn't physically exist can't do that.

They come about via 1 of 2 ways: 1) caused by particle interactions, 2) caused by perturbations in an existing quantum field in which the energy of the quantum field is momentarily converted to mass via the famous equation E=mc^2.
- Let's forget, for the moment, that you just got done trying to convince me that these things don't physically exist, and are now telling me that these non-existent things have an energy content and mass, which sounds pretty physical to me. Of the two examples you gave, I already said earlier in this thread that I am referring to the second type. So let's talk about that. The quantum field (as you noted) is a hypothetical construct. It is not detectable. You can never say, for example, that the field has this particular value at this particular time and place. You can never use it to predict precisely where and when it will produce virtual particles. A particle might pop up here, or there, or somewhere else. There is no way to know where and when these events will occur. And that's why I am justified in saying there is no causality involved. At least, not causality of the kind we would recognize anywhere outside the arena of quantum events.
im-skeptical said…
But the world is not a brute [fact] being has depth. so there is reason to believe

- A bald assertion - completely unjustified by logic or evidence.
Mark Tester said…
There is so much misinformation out there, largely arising from well-meaning specialists who try to describe complex processes with simple analogies, but an analogy is rarely an accurate description and in many cases can lead to conceptual errors. I’ll address the article, the Casmir effect, and Hawking Radiation when I have a little more time (possibly tomorrow or Saturday), but in the mean time, I'll provide some information from other sources if you are interested in learning the truth about virtual particles:
1) Here is a general description from a theoretical particle physicist. (I provided this link before): https://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/virtual-particles-what-are-they/
2) Here is a more accurate (and technical) discussion that even goes into how the current mischaracterization has evolved: https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/physics-virtual-particles/

A quick response concerning your response: quantum fields are hypothetical, yes. They cannot be directly observed – yes. But so are virtual particles. They are a hypothetical construct that cannot be directly observed. I’ll try to expound on this in my next post, but virtual particles are a conceptual and mathematical tool in the framework of QFT; virtual particles only exist to connect the dots mathematically between observable states of real particles. All we ever observe are real particles. Do virtual particles have mass? Yes, but not observable mass. More on this in the next post. I strongly recommend you take a look at the links.
Joe Hinman said…
Blogger im-skeptical said...
But the world is not a brute [fact] being has depth. so there is reason to believe

- A bald assertion - completely unjustified by logic or evidence.

there are facts here, the idea that being has depth is open to anyone who has being I am as much an expert on being as you are.

That being has depth is remonstrated by one whoever felt saved,sorry you can;t relate to that but for those of us who do It;ss a mark of maturity. It's logically demonstrated by modes of being by the argument about contingency which you have not answered,

as usual you have said nothing about the actual argument,,
im-skeptical said…
as usual you have said nothing about the actual argument
- Joe, I made a lengthy comment that directly addressed your argument. Instead of provinding any kind of cogent answer to it, you immediately diverted to a marginally relevant topic. And your last remark about depth of being is at best marginally relevant to the actual argument - unless, of course, you can make some kind of explanation as to how it relates.
Joe Hinman said…
Joe, I made a lengthy comment that directly addressed your argument. Instead of provinding any kind of cogent answer to it, you immediately diverted to a marginally relevant topic. And your last remark about depth of being is at best marginally relevant to the actual argument - unless, of course, you can make some kind of explanation as to how it relates.

9/14/2018 08:12:00 AM Delete

First of all, Dr.Hawking, I put the being has depth thing in the actual first post. It is in there.If you would take to reading them you would see. Secondly that does not answer the argument, you are waving it away with a nonstarter.


factsL Necessary being is a modal operator you can;t just make it go away because you don;t like it.You have not answered the argument, necessary being has to be,but it cant be a product of nature.
im-skeptical said…
First of all, Dr.Hawking, I put the being has depth thing in the actual first post. It is in there.If you would take to reading them you would see. Secondly that does not answer the argument, you are waving it away with a nonstarter.
- Here we go with the petty name-calling again. But anyway, I went back and read it again. I still don't believe you discussed "depth of being", although you did speak of the "necessary aspect of being", but that's not the same thing (unless, of course, you explain how it is - but you certainly didn't do that in your article).

You have not answered the argument, necessary being has to be,but it cant be a product of nature.
- I did. If you go back and read what I said, you would see that I addressed the issue if contingent vs. necessary, pointing out that there is another logical possibility that would belie the idea that the cause of the universe must be a necessary being.
Joe Hinman said…
Joe
First of all, Dr.Hawking, I put the being has depth thing in the actual first post. It is in there.If you would take to reading them you would see. Secondly that does not answer the argument, you are waving it away with a nonstarter.

Skep
- Here we go with the petty name-calling again. But anyway, I went back and read it again. I still don't believe you discussed "depth of being", although you did speak of the "necessary aspect of being", but that's not the same thing (unless, of course, you explain how it is - but you certainly didn't do that in your article).

From the original post, last two paragraphs:
quote________________
There's a problem in speaking of God as "a being" since it threatens to reduce God from infinite and omnipresent to a localized entity. This is a semantic problem and we can resole it by through understanding that God is the eternal necessary aspect of being. Being is a thing and God is "that thing" which is unbounded,eternal, and necessary aspect of being. This unbounded condition is implied by the nature of cosmological necessity. The eternal causal agent that gives rise to all existing things could not be itself caused since that would just create the necessity of another explanation (it would mean that thing is not the ultimate cause but is just another contingent thing). Being eternal and necessary means the ground of being. The contrast between human finitude and the infinite evokes the senses of the numinous or mystical experience which is the basisof all religion.[3]

Of course we understand this eternal necessary aspect of being to be God not only because the infinite evokes the numinous but also because the notion that God is being itself is a major aspect of Christian Theology.[4]

____________end quote

the notion of God as not a being(the alternative is beig "itself") is right out of Tillich's theology,that is the rationale for the whole being itself thing,

JoeYou have not answered the argument, necessary being has to be,but it cant be a product of nature.


- I did. If you go back and read what I said, you would see that I addressed the issue if contingent vs. necessary, pointing out that there is another logical possibility that would belie the idea that the cause of the universe must be a necessary being.

You did not provide an alternative, you can't. saying a thing does not make it so. There is no third thing. either a thing is necessary or continent it can't aid those modes of being
im-skeptical said…
the notion of God as not a being(the alternative is beig "itself") is right out of Tillich's theology,that is the rationale for the whole being itself thing,
- Joe, it still says noting about "depth of being". You may read it that way, but there's nothing about "depth" in those words, unless you explain how it relates.

You did not provide an alternative, you can't. saying a thing does not make it so. There is no third thing. either a thing is necessary or continent it can't aid those modes of being
- Yes, I did. Something that is uncaused and also not necessary is the alternative. And modern physics postulates just such a thing. Despite your friend Mark's assertions, there is no causal mechanism for quantum events. He can say "it's the quantum field", but that is nothing more than equations on a chalkboard that give us a model of the phenomenon. Furthermore, it still doesn't resolve the issue of quantum events where there is no space-time (and this must be the case for the beginning of the universe). Yet current cosmological theory postulates the universe beginning from a quantum event. Something that HAS NO CAUSE.

Joe Hinman said…
Joe
the notion of God as not a being(the alternative is beig "itself") is right out of Tillich's theology,that is the rationale for the whole being itself thing,


skep
- Joe, it still says noting about "depth of being". You may read it that way, but there's nothing about "depth" in those words, unless you explain how it relates.


I don't just read it that way Tillich sad it that way. I talk about it more than any other topic.

Joe
You did not provide an alternative, you can't. saying a thing does not make it so. There is no third thing. either a thing is necessary or continent it can't aid those modes of being



skep
- Yes, I did. Something that is uncased and also not necessary is the alternative.

Not an alternative because it's impossible. It's like saying a result without a cause It;s like saying I attribute everything to the un caused effect.

IF IT'S UNCASED IT HAS TO BE NECESSARY




And modern physics postulates just such a thing.

Are you really that illiterate? Tester just got Thor say it does not. Priceless. atheists say the darnedest things,



Despite your friend Mark's assertions, there is no causal mechanism for quantum events


O see now he doesn't known nufin because he buy into your little uninformed idiotic ideology


He can say "it's the quantum field", but that is nothing more than equations on a chalkboard that give us a model of the phenomenon. Furthermore, it still doesn't resolve the issue of quantum events where there is no space-time (and this must be the case for the beginning of the universe). Yet current cosmological theory po


there ant no God cause I don;t want no God, I don't care about reason I refuse to believe alalalaallallaalalalalalalallalalalalla
Joe Hinman said…
there is no reason to pretend we are reasoning this is closed
im-skeptical said…
there is no reason to pretend we are reasoning
- You got that right.

Popular posts from this blog

Where did Jesus say "It is better to give than receive?"

How Many Children in Bethlehem Did Herod Kill?

Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus, Jonah and U2’s Pride in the Name of Love

Dr. John Lennox: Video - Christmas for Doubters

On the Significance of Simon of Cyrene, Father of Alexander and Rufus

William Lane Craig on "If Mind is Reducible to Brain Function, Why Trust Thought?"

Fine Tuning Bait and Switch

Responding to the “Crimes of Christianity”; The Inquisition

The Meaning of the Manger