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V. Natural Morality - "Sense and Goodness Without God" 
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Post Re: V. Natural Morality - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
I know there are contrary views, and well argumented ones.

A great deal of our disagreement in the book can be reduced to the accepted brute fact. We can agree to disagree on this point, but don't let that stop you from reading until the end. It would be refreshing to talk naturalistic politics.

Regarding the brute fact, there is symmetry to our positions. There is a knee jerk reaction we have when we dwell on concepts such as infinity and timelessness. It is one thing to pack these concepts into another abstraction. It is entirely another to imagine in your head how these things are objective. I can abstract a tree, and I can wrap my head around seeing an actual tree, walking around it, enjoying the susurration of leaves in the wind. We can't do that with infinity, or the beginning of the universe.

Unless we formulate an alternative explanation. Your question on how laws could possibly arise from chaos, or how something could come from nothing, or how the universe could go back in time infinitely, they elicit the same inability to imagine. Our minds recoil from this. Our minds do not recoil from the idea of an agent, such as god. We are used to dealing with agents, but not physics.

But when we analyze the idea of a god, the same problems present themselves. How did god come to be, and why? Does he exist so that we may exist? Why should either of us exist? Why isn't there nothing rather than something? We each have answers for the other person's incredulity, but incredulity is ultimately an emotion.

We will go in endless circles with symmetrical incredulity at the brute fact the other accepts. That's what we've been doing, in fact. Let's agree that we accept different brute facts and move on now. Or if you wish, discuss the part where Carrier discusses which brute fact we should accept.

But that is an earlier chapter - another thread.


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Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:08 pm
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Post Re: V. Natural Morality - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Some mind-blowing ideas in this chapter. One is pretty obvious when you think about it, but Carrier does a great job describing it. As Sagan said, we are made of starstuff. And so is everything. But what it is depends on his geometric configuration in space-time. :-o

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Even if Ed Norton never suffers the horrible fate of falling through a meat grinder, we can say that if he did so, he would be destroyed, and what came out the other side would not be Ed Norton, but a pile of goo. We can say this because the pattern of matter and energy instantiated by Ed Norton is such that this is what will result when it collides with the pattern of matter and energy instantiated by a meat grinder. It is a geometric inevitability. . . . There can only be an Ed Norton if matter and energy exist in a certain pattern of organization, a pattern that will be fundamentally changed by a meat grinder. The goo that results will contain all the same material out of which Ed Norton was made, but it will not really be Ed Norton, because it lacks the arrangement necessary to make an Ed Norton.


There's a great Robyn Hitchcock song I want to quote here, but I'll refrain.

The other idea is that energy and mass are bound up in space-time. Energy is teeming even in the vacuum of space. Maybe there's no such thing as nothing? So my conclusion is that the Big Bang wasn't something from nothing because space is never really empty. It contains huge amounts of energy.

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In fact, it seems it is impossible for energy not to exist. There is growing evidence that even a complete vacuum is seething with energy. And there has long been strong evidence that energy can never be created or destroyed—which makes sense geometrically, since you can’t flatten any area of space-time without bunching up another, unless you can somehow generate or eliminate space-time itself. Otherwise, remove one ripple over here, and another pops up over there—the principles of geometry allow nothing else. Consequently, there doesn’t seem to be any way to get away from the stuff. Wherever there is any place to go in space or time, we always find energy there, and nothing we do can really get rid of it.


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Post Re: V. Natural Morality - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
haha, wow!

What got Ed Norton pulled into that example!? haha!

Geeze.


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:32 pm
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