Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Matt, John, and the Universe

Me: What exactly is the evidence or backing or how do people support the claim
for the One? You might have already answered this in some way but I was just
wanting to clarify it. Thanks.

Matt: Evidence? What evidence? The evidence is everywhere, including inside you.

God does not give proof. It demeans him, and besides which, it serves no purpose. Think about it: at what point are you satisfied that the evidence is sufficient? No matter what were to be brought forward, at any point you can say, "Well, that doesn't prove it. It might equally be explained by x, y, or z."

Proof, of necessity, is something external to that which is to be proven. This is why you can't define a word by using the word. Thing is, when you're talking about the One, there is nothing external to it. By definition. It is everything. Thus, it cannot be proven.

Me: Thanks a lot. Can you explain in laymen's terms what waveform collapse is
and its implications to what we're talking about...thanks.

Matt: The wavefunction is the mathematical description of all the possible states a given particle might occupy, expressed as a probabilistic wave. Collapse is what happens when the particle is observed (i.e. interacts with consciousness, or is measured): the act of looking at it causes the particle to immediately jump into one of the various states from the wavefunction. In other words, collapsing the
wavefunction removes all of the possible states to leave a single remaining actual state. This might seem like a mathematical formalism or philosophical game, but actual laboratory experiment bears it out time and again: when a particle isn't being looked at, it's a wave, and when it is, it's a particle.

Me: Doesn't that have to do with light being shown on it though? Also, when humans look at something, doesn't something in the atmosphere change because our heads are occupying that space? Are you saying that if we looked at it but did not recognize it, the particle would not change? Would it have to be registered consciously to change?

Matt:The question of precisely why observation causes particles to change as they do is one of the great questions of modern physics. People have been asking it since the discipline was formulated back in the 30s, and as yet, there are no satisfactory answers.

Me: By the way, everyone should check out Matt's own blog here on blogspot. It's at . He has a lot of good stuff on there.

John Fannin
2008年10月15日 13:44
The more you actually believe that god, if anything, would have to be everything, the less it actually matters if that's the case or not.

This is something I wrote quite a while ago as an answer to someone curious about what you could possibly be expected to say in prayer to a god believed to already be omnipotent, and something that pretty well describes what my views are.
(tossed on an otherwise unused geocities account because apparently, a definition of god ends up too big to fit into a facebook comment box)

2008年10月15日 13:52
Also, that explanation given of "the one" is begging for a Flying Spaghetti Monster reference.


Matthew Shultz said...

The Pastafarians are amusing, but ultimately trivial IMHO. It amounts to mocking that which is not understood, which amuses only those who do not understand. While those who get it might seem to be chuckling along too, really, they're laughing at them, not with them. The way one laughs at baboons throwing their own feces.

The sad truth is, strict materialistic rationalism is simply incapable of grasping the essences from which all the various religious traditions spring. Biting critiques of the religions themselves are possible and even laudable - organized religion is meant to befuddle and control, not enlighten and liberate - but when you stray into the territory of the militant atheist, you cease being a thoughtful man of reason, and start taking on the aspect of a shit-chucking monkey.

WithoutVoid said...

Let's not get too angry here. I want to have discussions and debates, not barroom brawls. I like the point you made though.

Andrew said...

Why is it that when you go into the territory of atheist, you stop being a man of reason? Didn't it take a lot of reasoning to get to being an atheist? Why does it stop there? Is it because you think there's no room left at that point? Do you think that even the extremely non-religious should leave some room for speculation? Thanks a lot.

Matthew Shultz said...

It's not atheism per se that I have a problem with, but militant atheism. It's an important distinction: the former is merely the belief that there is no God (and no soul, and in the end, nothing but matter and energy); the latter is the conviction that everyone else should hold the same belief, a species of evangelism every bit as intolerant as the fundamentalist born-again 'Christian' movement that it formed in reaction to.