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III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God" 
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Here is Carrier misrepresenting what Newton's full consideration of gravity actually was:

Quote:
"Thousands of years later, of course, a fellow by the name Isaac Newton figured it out: gravity. The whole complex order of the solar system was entirely explicable by appealing to a single, monotonous, mindless force. No appeal to God was really needed


That was a categorical misrepresentation of Newton's intellectual position regarding gravity.
It's brazenly arrogant and absurd to so blatantly misrepresent a genius like Newton.
Newton would not have described any cosmological notion as being "mindless"
This is Carrier's worldview injected where it does not belong.


Carrier: (emphasis is Carrier's)

Quote:
And only a multiverse can explain where our luck came from. For it explains all fixed order


This is another bombastic claim by Carrier, asserted without sufficient evidence of any kind.
A "multiverse" has not been scientifically proven, and can not be due to many reasons, one being the limit of physics to accurately model an infinite amount of universes.

It follows that a multiverse hypothesis that can not get off the ground, also can not explain "where our luck came from"
That's an equally stupid assertion.
This is Carrier's worldview.

People with the same worldview are having their personal biases reaffirmed (that ol' nasty confirmation bias in action)



Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:58 am
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Interbane wrote:
III.3.3 Modern Multiverse Theory <- In there somewhere. I only have the audio book, and I know I'm right, so I'm not going to get you a quote. :razz2:



Im sure one of your metaphysical / naturalist homeboys around here can help you out.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:01 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Carrier:

Quote:
But as we've already shown (in section 1113.1) something must exist without any explanation at all, so it might as well be a multiverse


That is metaphysical speculation, attached to a "lucky guess" preferential - "it might as well be a multiverse"



Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:07 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Carrier:
(emphasis mine)

Quote:
The multiverse explains everything that exists, and so even from the start it is just as good as "God Did it" It is even better than that,
Quote:
since the multiverse fits and follows from known scientific facts
, and it makes the exact features of this universe highly probable..,


Not only is what I underlined a blatant lie, it also is a total disservice to science - particularly cosmology.

The "facts" of the observable universe do not justify in any way the incredible inductive leap that Carrier is attempting to dress as scientific fact.
Also, the KNOWN laws of nature and the OBSERVATION of observable phenomena of our universe are what gives us clues of its features.

"Dark Matter" and "Dark Energy" make up over 96% of the observable universe.
We are familiar with about 4% of the features of the observable universe. Beyond our horizon is beyond the reach of science.
Call that a "brute fact" if you will.

Dark matter alone and its effects on galaxy clusters (increase rotation) might be another law of the universe that will change the law of gravity as currently understood.

We don't know the exact features of this universe.
We don't know what features a multiverse should create in our universe. Far from it.
Ask any cosmologist that has the discipline and maturity to not let his worldview seep in to science, and moves to promote it as being scientific fact.

Carrier's tone here sounds as if he is mad at a God that he so desperately wants to replace with his own metaphysical Being - ie an Multiverse wrapped up nicely by science for him to believe in.



Last edited by ant on Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:31 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Carrier on Chaotic Inflation:

Quote:
Such an ensemble of universes is formally called a "multiverse." That can be misleading, since in neither of the most plausible theories is there really any more than one 'universe" per se. In Chaotic Inflation, different 'universes' are really just different regions of the same universe, even when in some cases these other regions are hidden in black holes.



Chaotic Inflation hypothesizes randomly distributed "scalar fields" at different patches of a universe.
Bubbles (baby universes) are connected by worm holes (that act like an umbilical cord) that are in turn connected to a mother universe - the first universe that gave birth to us all

The only scalar field that has been observed in nature is the Higgs field. But the Higgs field has not evidenced the effects as described above. Meaning, it has not been close to being determined that scalar fields cause the eventual birthing of baby universes.
Theoretically, baby universes would have their own laws, which would eventually make them distinct from a mother universe that came into existence.

There is no evidence that these regions are hidden in black holes.
Considering that Stephen Hawking has theorized that all information is completely lost in black holes, it's hard to even imagine anything being hidden inside one.


You're welcome, Interbane



Last edited by ant on Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:02 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Interbane wrote:
Going from simple to complex isn't a starting principle. It's a pattern we see in nature, and if it is a principle, it's one reached as a conclusion, rather than a starting condition. We know the elements start from simple and go to complex. We know life goes from simple to complex.

Thanks Interbane.
How do you know life goes from simple to complex? I know this is what neo Darwinism maintains.As far as I understand it,in nature life generates life. And the program of life in D.N.A. and it's execution is exceedingly complex and could hardly look more purposeful than it does.The simplest life forms are not simple.
It also appears that in nature genetic information is lost, as exampled in selective breeding and the loss of potential characteristics to subsequent generations. Arguably there is a loss of complexity here and the direction is opposite in these cases.
And by analogy, intelligent humans devise,design and make complex things like submarines for instance. The component parts may be simple but the submarine already exists whole in the mind of the designer and that designer is vastly more complex than the submarine.
Thus, a submarine is constructed from varied and simple components into a complex entity. but is built following the original plan and blueprint created by it's designer.

It would seem that naturalism requires a simple to complex model to explain the complexity of life and the universe.That's Richard Carrier's logic and why he ends up where he does on the origin of the cosmos.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:20 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Interbane wrote:
III.3.3 Modern Multiverse Theory <- In there somewhere. I only have the audio book, and I know I'm right, so I'm not going to get you a quote. :razz2:


By the way, here's a summary of those six degrees of certainty from strongest to weakest. I put numbers in for clarity:

Carrier wrote:
1) The methods of logic and mathematics are well-developed and provide the greatest certainty we have yet been able to find regarding anything, other than a present, uninterpreted experience.

2) The next greatest certainty has been found in the application of scientific methods to empirical problems.

3) In third place is our own daily experience, when interpreted with a logical or scientific mindset.

4) Fourth is the application of critical-historical methods to claims about past events.

5) Fifth is the application of the criteria of trust to the claims of experts.

6) Sixth is the untested but logical application of inferential generalizations from incomplete facts—that is, plausible deductions. Such is the scale of methods that we have historically been able to discover and confirm as effective.

I'm not sure if Carrier explicitly states where the multiverse falls within these six degrees of certainty. I’d say it’s pretty clearly no. 6, which is why Carrier expresses his belief as something personal. Maybe Carrier overstates the case for scientific consensus in a multiverse. He sounds enthusiastic about the idea, but not wedded to it.
Carrier wrote:
The above theory is not mere speculation. Every element builds entirely on known science. Inflation itself, chaotic or random behavior at small scales, “freezing” at larger scales, collapsing regions jump-starting inflation again, inflated regions being much larger than any distance we could see, etc. All these things actually follow from known scientific facts and established theories, based on empirical observations. Most scientists are in agreement about this. And that makes for a pretty strong argument, although we have yet to find direct evidence for this kind of mechanism at the origin of our universe, and that is what scientists are now looking for.

And then a few pages later . . .

Carrier wrote:
Therefore, I believe it is most probable that a mindless multiverse exists, has always existed, and exists by nature. I don’t claim this as anything more than a good hypothesis. But I believe it is more probably true than any other explanation so far, because it is the simplest and most plausible answer, explaining the most things by appealing to the fewest unknowns. And it fits. The theory that our universe had a mindless physical cause perfectly predicts the universe we observe: a dispassionate, mechanical, mindless, physical cosmos. It makes complete sense of why we are made of frail matter, why life developed through a long and messy process of evolution, why the universe is so big and old, why we can never find any good evidence of supernatural beings or events, and so on. Since this is a plausible, comprehensible explanation for the universe, until we discover some evidence that challenges it, there is no need to resort to any alternative. And until some facts are discovered that better support some other hypothesis, there is no reason to look for any other.


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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
A tone of "this is science, therefore this is what is to be believed as fact" permeates throughout the chapter in question.

It's not honest of you to say he's not married to it when one reads how Carrier clearly tries to frame mutiverse hypotheses within assertions of scientific fact.
It would have been more honest of him to say what rank of certainty the mutiverse falls under.

But he didn't.

That's what happens when your worldview leads to myopia.


Quote:
I'm not sure if Carrier explicitly states where the multiverse falls within these six degrees of certainty. I’d say it’s pretty clearly no. 6, which is why Carrier expresses his belief as something personal. Maybe Carrier overstates the case for scientific consensus in a multiverse. He sounds enthusiastic about the idea, but not wedded to it.


What?

Carrier at no time expressed the multiverse as something he personally believes. The fact that he didn't explicitly say so does not mean he's not married to it, or is not attempting to package it as something it is NOT.

Saying he's enthusiastic about it to a point that he is presenting it as a scientific "fact" (in some of my quotes from the book) but "not wedded to it" is cheap political double-speak.
It's far from being clever about this issue, and just as far as being sincere about his position on the matter.



Last edited by ant on Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:21 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
geo wrote:
The theory that our universe had a mindless physical cause perfectly predicts the universe we observe: a dispassionate, mechanical, mindless, physical cosmos. It makes complete sense of why we are made of frail matter,

Thanks Geo,
I'm just lifting this Carrier quote from your post for convenience. According to Carrier,we are products of this mindless,dispassionate,mechanical cosmos.
So we, just as much as rocks,stars or trees are physical products and parts of the cosmos. But of course we are neither mindless,dispassionate or mechanical, though reductionists would say we are mechanical.
Would a mindless,dispassionate and physical cause really predict thinking,emotional humans and sentient animals? I guess it depends on what you include or leave out when you make these kinds of assertions.

Furthermore our physical laws and constants being created by a fundamental simple chaos is hardly a scientifically proven given.

As far as I know, this idea is not just blithely accepted by many cosmologists.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:37 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Quote:
The theory that our universe had a mindless physical cause perfectly predicts the universe we observe: a dispassionate, mechanical, mindless, physical cosmos.


This is complete and utter rubbish.

Physics as an explanatory concept is incomplete in its attempt at an explanation of any finality, particularly one that concludes some proposition that we are the products of a mindless universe.

Scientific concepts are explanatory tools - devices created to bestow meaning on measurements.
And of course, measurements are limited.

As we move forward into quantum physics the meaning of "permanency" becomes unsustainable.
Nothing remains as what it is for long. Transformation and impermanence is what rules the quantum world.
Or that is what seems to be the case at our infantile stage of QM.

With such an omniscient understanding of the nature of reality, Carrier actually might be a God himself.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:55 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
ant wrote:
With such an omniscient understanding of the nature of reality, Carrier actually might be a God himself


The curious thing is, that in his book he asserts that the universe itself possesses all the attributes normally ascribed to a creator God, as far as it's creating itself goes.
The good news is that it won't him accountable in any way. He says philosophy is a religion for him and he devotes himself to it monk like, in his discipline as he describes in the book.

I watched his debate with Mike Licona on youtube.
He struck me as being like a kid who wants to impress with his knowledge and originality.
Maybe that's a prejudiced impression on my part.He certainly reads voraciously and extensively.

I just see a lot of his ideas as being steered by his worldview as no doubt many of mine are also.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:34 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Quote:
I watched his debate with Mike Licona on youtube.
He struck me as being like a kid who wants to impress with his knowledge and originality.


That's funny because my first impression of him was that he looked like an overgrown, precocious kid.

Lee Smolin, one of the proponents of multiverse theory (loosely used) said in a a round-table discussion that we've barely just crawled out of the crib with theoretical physics (and its applicability).

Although work like his is admirable in its ambition, it was nice to hear him put things in perspective.

Back to the boyishness of Carrier:

I forgot where it was I read that it seems today's rhetoric is mostly for the sake of argumentative persuasion itself and not an honest attempt at understanding.
This holds true particularly in western society where competition (of any kind) is highly valued and "winning" is achieved at all costs - even honesty.

The way Carrier throws the words "fact" and "evidence" around in his discussion of a multiverse is deliberate and disingenuous.

He paralleled the fantastic possibility of the existence of a multiverse with the existence of a God and said, "It might as well be a multiverse!" - kind of like throwing up your hands and saying "I'd rather reject the consideration of a God by asserting a multiverse is a natural fact"



Last edited by ant on Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:00 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Thanks ant,
You certainly raise many and serious objections to Richard Carrier's ideas which he claims have the scientific imprimatur,and proponents like Smolin are more realistic about their own theories it seems.

He's a curious character I think. He studies the bible more than most believers I would say,and some of his insights are good I think.
He's approaching it from a mythicist standpoint and imports what he believes are parallels from pagan mythologies.He spots patterns and parallels in the gospels themselves and uses them to support the imported pagan parallels thesis.Some of the internal gospel parallels he spots are interesting and quite original to him I think. Some a bit contrived.

The gospel writers do use compare and contrast incidents and arrange their material in a structured way.That's not evidence the events didn't happen, but they are used in a purposeful thematic structure and arrangement.
Anyway that's another subject and Carrier would probably suggest that should go in the "what there isn't" section.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:45 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Ant wrote:
Geo wrote:
]I'm not sure if Carrier explicitly states where the multiverse falls within these six degrees of certainty. I’d say it’s pretty clearly no. 6, which is why Carrier expresses his belief as something personal. Maybe Carrier overstates the case for scientific consensus in a multiverse. He sounds enthusiastic about the idea, but not wedded to it.


What?

Carrier at no time expressed the multiverse as something he personally believes. The fact that he didn't explicitly say so does not mean he's not married to it, or is not attempting to package it as something it is NOT.

Saying he's enthusiastic about it to a point that he is presenting it as a scientific "fact" (in some of my quotes from the book) but "not wedded to it" is cheap political double-speak.
It's far from being clever about this issue, and just as far as being sincere about his position on the matter.


Well, yes he does, as quoted in my last post. Carrier says: "Therefore, I believe it is most probable that a mindless multiverse exists, has always existed, and exists by nature. I don’t claim this as anything more than a good hypothesis."

Do you get the idea anywhere here that Carrier's beliefs aren't based on evidence? The man is all about the evidence. If there was evidence that supported a single universe, I think Carrier would change his mind. His belief in the multiverse is clearly expressed as an opinion based on evidence as the quote above well shows.

Carrier is presenting his own personal worldview and how he came to it. I've quoted many examples from the book that shows him talking informally, using first person, such as "Therefore, I believe it is most probable . . ." Certainly the man's opinionated, but he's also obviously well-informed and well-read. I believe the six degrees of certainty, for example, is Carrier's personal philosophy. But he presents these as an argument. You're free to disagree with him, but you have to argue on the merits of his argument and explain why you disagree.

One of Carrier's earlier arguments is that there has never been an instance where science has led to God. There is no God "theory" based on evidence. So, yeah, if you're starting out with a priori beliefs in God, I think you're going to disagree with much of what Carrier says in this book. But your position isn't based on evidence where as Carrier's are. Where Carrier's beliefs are more speculative, he's very careful about presenting them as such.

I also don't think Carrier is overstating that most cosmologists assume a naturalistic universe. Here on Stehpen Jay Gould's web site is a reference to a survey done by Nature Magazine that shows that most of the "higher" scientists don't believe in God or immortality. Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality). This is hardly surprising since science is very much a materialist enterprise.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html


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Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:35 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Quote:
Thanks ant,
You certainly raise many and serious objections to Richard Carrier's ideas which he claims have the scientific imprimatur,and proponents like Smolin are more realistic about their own theories it seems.

He's a curious character I think. He studies the bible more than most believers I would say,and some of his insights are good I think.
He's approaching it from a mythicist standpoint and imports what he believes are parallels from pagan mythologies.He spots patterns and parallels in the gospels themselves and uses them to support the imported pagan parallels thesis.Some of the internal gospel parallels he spots are interesting and quite original to him I think. Some a bit contrived.



The entire framework of mythicist argument is a composition and non sequitur fallacy.
The historiographical criteria used to establish the likelihood of the existence of a figure from ancient requires expertise in several studies, one Hermeneutics, another ancient languages specific to the context of the historical figure in question.

The scholarly consensus has for some time now been that Jesus did in fact exist.
That would be Carrier's

the application of critical-historical methods to claims about past events.

and..,

the application of the criteria of trust to the claims of experts
.

The non existence of The Christ simply isn't even an argument among scholars.
The fact that Carrier totally dismisses two of his six degrees of certainty is already highly suspicious, particularly when he has written a book in which he attempts to argue that the evidence is in for no God.
Why ? Because the multiverse "might as well replace God."

It is laughable when you hear arguments from people that claim the scholarly community is suppressing the evidence because they'd be out of a job if they didn't (YES! That has actually been claimed by someone without evidence!)

There is no question the favorite topic of atheists is God. Even more so that theists!

As I've said before, the root of this is western liberalism. I am nearly convinced of that.
The God of Christianity stands for an ultimate authority. Western liberalism abhors nearly all authority.
It is a psychological rebellion; rebellion against anything that might pose a risk to "freedom"
It is spiritual anarchy, so to speak.

There are some things I agreed with that Carrier wrote. I also said that as well.
But it was very clear to me he also tried to cleverly graft the authority of science on to his personal worldview.
I didn't buy it.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:56 pm
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