I found through searching for a particular post of mine on Google a Christian website that was discussing my arguments here on Newsvine.. Intrigued, I thought I would try to clarify and defend myself , and my arguments in as a respectful manner as I could muster. :) Yes, we have a Christian asking for help with addressing my arguments O.o So upon replying, I found it Apparent that, like many Christian Forums, censorship is priority to try an not allow open dialog, or have challenging questions brought to the site by non-Christians. This is why many such sites have it to where either your posts must be reviewed and approved, or policies to censor and keep out opposition that might openly challenge their positions. Granted sites have the right to impose any of the policies they should choose to, but they generally don't look very good when going to such extremes.. That being said, I did get banned for defending myself and my own posts in a thread on their site.. But one of the most interesting things is about this thread is not the attack, dogma, the straw man arguments, or even the hominems they used that I found of interest for the purpose of this article. It was the sheer amount of applogetics and fallacy arguments they had to construct to try circumvent my arguments.. Not only did they have to take them out of intended context (quote mine them), but they had to try and conform them and convert them into evidence of their GOD's existence, or in this case magical "proof GOD is eternal".. Now there were other examples I could have chosen from, but this one struck me as the most interesting.:
A: There can be no choice, or decision made without information
B: There can be no consciousness or awareness without information, or the inertia of
C: One can not have knowledge without information
D: One can not do anything without information
Z: There can be no "I" without the information that gives I an Identity.
1. The atheist always begins a debate with the premise that God doesn't exist. 2. His position here is that information is useful, even when nobody existed to use it. 3. A-Z actually show that God is eternal, 4. as information without an entity is useless.
Well there ya have it :/ His response may seem reasonable, but it's actually not.. So I am going to address this argument to which includes his claim on a point to point basis here.. Index of what I will address will be as follows:
1. The atheist always begins a debate with the premise that God doesn't exist.
2. His position here is that information is useful, even when nobody existed to use it.
4. as information without an entity is useless.
3. A-Z actually show that God is eternal
So lets go over these and begin with point number 1 :)
The atheist always begins a debate with the premise that God doesn't exist.
Firstly, Atheism is a disbelief a GOD exists for various reasons and does not always begin with "GOD doesn't exist" as an intended argument of absolute.. Hence, I am an Atheist and yet I don't disagree that the Pantheist GOD exists, I just disagree it's a GOD. It's much more complicated than saying Atheists start with a preposition of "GOD doesn't exist".. One of the major problems concerning the concept of GOD is what Christians, or other theists don't often like to hear.. Such as even "IF" the object, entity, or thing to which they worship, or consider as GOD exists, the criteria for what people would consider to constitute a basis for a definition of a GOD is not universal! That includes the number of GODS, and the reason for this is that the concept of GOD, even if something exists to which can be considered as such by someone, or some group, is that it's at most nothing more than a concept of pure opinion and title of opinion. This by some such as myself, would make the concept moot by power of opinion, and by consequence of that alone. Thus the relevance of that opinion really doesn't go beyond the one whom holds the opinion. You won't see many Christians convert to Pantheism to start worshiping the Pantheist GOD (existence itself) even though they beg you to believe their GOD requires it to exist. And when asked the following questions, they either try to play semantics on word definitions to change the context of the questions, or they avoid at all costs having to directly answer them in regards to the intended context. Especially concerning question number 1.. I have even had Pantheists struggle with trying to deal with these questions:
1. What is GOD without Existence?
2. If Existence is not GOD, what in and of Existence are we supposed to consider as GOD?
3 If Existence is GOD, what in and of existence are we supposed to consider not to be GOD?
So far the avoidance argument I usually get is where they cherry pick one part of the definition of existence in order to ignore the others.. Especially to avoid considering Existence as a "noun" in the context of being synonymous with Reality, a World, or Universe .. Synonymous words that they know I could simply replace "existence" with. The apologetic argument I often get is that they claim the term existence is only a descriptive term or adj. to only denote a property or mode of existence. They do this because placing that in context with being a Universe in regards to being a Universal Set of all Sets would destroy their belief system entirely. Just admitting their GOD needs a place of existence to exist in, or be of, is also avoided at all cost because it invalidates the need to have some magic man they claim to have created existence itself without the need to require anything at all to exist. This to which would include needing existence itself of course. I think some of you might remember that wonderful argument by a theist that said his GOD exists beyond existence..., as if it exists outside of existence. :/ Yes we atheists agree your GOD is not in existence if that is your claim.
However, this is why in some Christian denominations that set theory is taught as being evil... This is especially true when it deals with teaching logic and the application of Logic in regards to the world we live in, or in regards to existence itself as a whole. And when unable to deal with that, they try convert the intended context to only mean "this Universe"(1) as if that was the definition of Universe to which was being used in order to avoid the definition that was being used. (2). What this is, is a shift in the argument to move the goal post because they can't actually logically refute the intended argument without, openly in a public fora, espousing self-refuting arguments. And that is the last thing the want the public see them do, so they have to redefine and restrict the definitions to the point of stripping them bare to what they would find acceptable to maintain their position.. This to which is nothing more than backpedaling to a position they think they can defend..
^ (1) In Big Bang cosmology, the observable universe consists of the galaxies and other matter that we can, in principle, observe from Earth in the present day—because light (or other signals) from those objects has had time to reach the Earth since the beginning of the cosmological expansion.
- ^Webster's New World College Dictionary. Wiley Publishing, Inc.. 2010.
- ^"Universe", Encyclopedia Britannica, "the whole cosmic system of matter and energy of which Earth, and therefore the human race, is a part"
- ^"Dictionary.com". Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- ^"Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- ^The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 2010.
- ^Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
- ^multiverse. Astronomy.pomona.edu. Retrieved on 2011-11-28.
In conjunction with:
Everything (or every thing), is all that exists; the opposite of nothing, or its complement. The totality of things relevant to some subject matter. Without expressed or implied limits, it may refer to anything. The Universe is often defined as everything that exists. Everything as a pronounall, the whole, the total, the lot, the sum, the whole lot, the aggregate, the entirety, or totality of all that exists. (is in and of existence)
2. Universal Set
universal set - The set that contains all the elements or objects involved in the problem under consideration; "all other sets are subsets of the universal set"
Existence has been variously defined by sources. In common usage, it is the world we are aware or conscious of through our senses, and that persists independently without them. Others define it as everything that is, or simply everything. Finally, some define it to be everything that most people believe in.Aristotle relates the concept to causality.
1. The fact or state of existing; being.
2. The fact or state of continued being
3. a. All that exists
.b. A thing that exists; an entity: Reality, Existence, or Universe
A. Reality is the totality of all things, structures (actual and conceptual), events (past and present) and phenomena, whether observable or not that is synonymous with existence, universe, everything, all, and Universal Set theory.
B. something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things derive.
re·al·i·ty (r-l-t)n. pl. re·al·i·ties
1. The quality or state of being actual or true.
2. One, such as a person, an entity, or an event, that is actual: Existence
3. The totality of all things possessing actuality, existence, or essence.
4. That which exists objectively and in fact: Existence
1. The earth.
2. The universe.
3. A state of existence
world - everything that exists anywhere
Now if anyone has read my arguments, they never say an intelligence can't be involved, or could not have been involved in the emergence of our "Observable universe".. This with the exception that you can't create nor destroy energy. This to where literal creation from nothing is impossible vs playing with the physics of the existent system to induce, or, make something like our observable universe.. Nothing in logic or science will tell them that intelligent involvement is impossible. However, in regards to the intended definition above (2), that would in fact be impossible, as existence is in this context.., is not something that can be created as any force to cause would require existence, and to be in and of existence itself to begin with. This is regardless of any argument regarding physicality or immateriality. So right here we can establish that there is no likely possible first cause to existence itself as it's impossible to literally create without requiring it. Thus it is determined to simply exists without possible creation, and because non-existence can not ever have been, be, or ever be an existing person, place, object, substance or thing. And thus this would be a major detractor to the criteria for a concept of GOD for an Atheists such as myself. I found this very issue as a starting point for doubting the existence of a GOD. Even existence itself can not literally create itself, it could only at best interfere with itself to be a self-generating system. A system to where emergent things like our universe, snowflakes, or life are emergent properties from existence, of existence, and in accordance to universal set theory. In analogy terms, it is like two glass objects as emergent properties of the same pile of sand, but with the exception that existence itself is the pile of sand from which all things derive from. To which of course includes ourselves!
And on that point, it brings us to point 2 in regards to his statement regarding the usefulness of information, or we could say the issue of Causality!
Points 2 & 4 :
P2: His position here is that information is useful, even when nobody existed to use it.
P4: as information without an entity is useless.
So in the first point we have learned the first detractors to the Concept of GOD, and the intended usage and context of "Existence" as a Universal set of all sets, or as one infinitely vast self-generating Universe to which would contain and literally be all places and things in totality. Or that which all things are in, of, and derive from..
However, despite how one might argue against the use of existence as a Universal set to try argue separate realities, or places of existence, we can still address Causality in regards to the argument for "First Cause"... This by far is the key issue when dealing with theology as it pertains to trying to answer those hard questions of why we are here, or what our purpose is to be here. And for Christians and many other theists, they believe that answer can only have come from a conscious / sentient source since to them that makes the most logical sense. And granted that does at first seem reasonable or a logical belief in regards to the idea of establishing a "First cause" on the surface. However, there is a fundamental problem with that belief when taken and further examined within the principles we can learn from information science.. A problem to which I have inferred to several times here on Newsvine that simply gets ignored by those whom uphold the belief that only a conscious sentient being could attest to be and represent "First Cause", or even the catalyst to the actualization of reality, existence, information, and knowledge. This problem is specifically in dealing with why a conscious state can not exist without cause, and how that deals with information science in regards to the processes and structure needed to support cognitive systems, or in how that deals with systems theory, sensory systems, function, dynamics, and expression.
Now when they do address the problem above, they simply deny it and profess that their GOD is without cause and eternal, as if professing it magically makes it true. This or that some how doing so will invalidate the argument stating otherwise even to the point of depositing a self-refuting argument that claims consciousness magically requires no information, or even existence to have conscious awareness. Sure they can make those arguments, but what they will not do of course is explain, and demonstrate those claims of absolutes empirically. This to which includes explaining by what methods and mechanisms does their GOD exactly use to cause anything to exist, and how those methods and mechanisms work. Their arguments hence have no actual explanatory power, and rest on pure assertions to truth based purely on faith. So for them, explaining conscious functionality without first the existence of information is something to be avoided all together by repetitively repeating the same absolute negative assertions regardless of how silly, self-refuting, non-reflective of reality, or dishonest they are. That being said, lets get this ball moving in regards to the argument in point 2.
Now this point he makes in regards to my ABC's list in reference to principles of information science is to suggest that information would be of no usage in if nobody or no conscious being was around. This of course as you can see as declared in point 4. This is where we get into the discussion of causality, functionality, purpose, and meaning and how I suspect his position is that without a conscious being there could be no force to cause, no meaning, no causality, purpose, or usefulness of information.. However his argument rests on common pre-21st century interpretation of what information is while ignoring that is no longer the case here in the 21st century. Here in the 21st century we have come to learn that information is much more than something relating to consciousness, intelligence, or sentience since we had discovered that energy and information are two sides of the same coin. This to which is easily demonstrated by this very article in itself even though I had written this article. And even though I can demonstrate energy and information as such with this article, I am going to focus on the subject of causality in dealing with information regardless of physical or immaterial arguments regarding it.. And to do this, I am going to start with some basics regarding the definitions of information:
* Information is any type of pattern that influences the formation or transformation of other patterns. In this sense, there is no need for a conscious mind to perceive, much less appreciate the pattern.
* Systems theory at times seems to refer to information in this sense, assuming information does not necessarily involve any conscious mind, and patterns circulating (due to feedback) in the system can be called information. In other words, it can be said that information in this sense is something potentially perceived as representation, though not created or presented for that purpose. For example, Gregory Bateson defines "information" as a "difference that makes a difference".
* In 2003, J. D. Bekenstein claimed there is a growing trend in physics to define the physical world as being made of information itself (and thus information is defined in this way) (see Digital physics).
* Another link is demonstrated by the Maxwell's demon thought experiment. In this experiment, a direct relationship between information and another physical property, entropy, is demonstrated. A consequence is that it is impossible to destroy information without increasing the entropy of a system; in practical terms this often means generating heat. Another, more philosophical, outcome is that information could be thought of as interchangeable with energy. Thus, in the study of logic gates, the theoretical lower bound of thermal energy released by an AND gate is higher than for the NOT gate (because information is destroyed in an AND gate and simply converted in a NOT gate). Physical information is of particular importance in the theory of quantum computers.
A rock before you requires information to exist. This is to where itself is information, a structure of information, or source of out put and input. Hence, if there wasn't any information there to experience, perceive, or process, the rock simply would not exist!. Even empty space has information to offer!.
And all of that deal with energy to where energy and information are two sides of the same coin.. So what does this have to do with his argument in point 2 &4, or "First Cause"? Especially if theists often claim "immateriality"? Well, despite that we know energy is makes up all the forces to cause we know of, and that it can interfere with itself to be a force to cause, theists will say that energy needed to be created as if a force to cause suddenly needs a force to cause a force so they can claim their GOD to the "First Cause" while using the argument immateriality to circumvent Physicality and physical causality. This even though immateriality is a logical fallacy / self-refuting concept.
It seems like a clever means to circumvent the logic, and argument doesn't it? However it's not actually capable of doing so as I can simply accommodate that argument for the sake of doing. To be more specific, I only to note that information science and the principles of information science equally apply here to cognitive systems and why a conscious state can't exist without cause regardless if immateriality is argued for. Hence, just because for sake of argument a theist can point to an immaterial entity in an immaterial world they claim to be separate from the physical one doesn't mean they can still lay claim to "First Cause". And this is where we can really address the pointed argument about information some how not being useful without anybody being around, or without a conscious entity's existence as we can still say in accordance to information science that no conscious state can exist without information, the inertia of, or cause.. This is simply because information is a global issue irregardless if you try to argue from a position of immateriality, or from a position demonstrating physical causality where energy and information are force to cause, and regarded as two sides of the same coin.
So to put this into context of "First Cause", we can all agree that there must be an eternal initial force to cause, or causality. The question here is what can represent that initial force and First Cause? Now excluding the argument above that existence is the totality of causality, every force to cause, everything in and of existence..., or empirically energy to which is the essence and capacity of information as the cause and force to the cause of our existence, we can just focus on information itself to where material vs immaterial arguments are irrelevant for sake of argument. So in focusing on information itself, we can state that it is information to which is the initial eternal force to cause, and not anything to which is slave to require it in order to exist, function, operate, have a conscious state, or that which is often argued by theologians to represent the initial force, or represent "First Cause". :)
Yes I just said we can consider information itself the initial first cause from which all thing derive from, and in which all things are emergent properties of. You could say information is the very essence of existence itself to which governs and makes up all things that have existential value, function, purpose, or meaning. We all know that without first the existence of information, and especially the inertia of information, you can not have the existence of any conscious state.. Therefore information and the inertia of information is first cause, and the force of causality. So in knowing this, we must realize that for a cognitive system to be functional, to exist, and for a conscious state to be an emergent existential property / phenomenon in and of existence , there must first exist information to which has inertia.. So to repeat like a parroting theist, yes phun intended, without information and the inertia of information, there can be no possible existence of a cognitive system, or any hope for the existence of a conscious state, or some sentient being to which a theist would like to call a "GOD". PERIOD! So much for that argument about information being useless..., eh? And we all love video demonstrations to empirically support the premises above don't we? :) Well, I know I do!! :
3. A-Z actually show that God is eternal
Well, here we have that game of assertion without any actual explanation. An argument that ignored having to address the premises in the ABC's list on a point by point basis much-less establish and demonstrate how that shows his GOD to be "eternal".. Is he suggesting that information is GOD, or that which is slave to require it is GOD? Things that make you go "Hmmmmm"! :)
* No conscious state can exist without cause, and thus by consequence, no conscious entity could ever be eternal, the first cause, or represent an eternal universal set of all sets. And this being one of the major detractors regarding the criteria for considering some entity, thing, or sentient being as a GOD.
* What this shows is that ultimately existence itself is an eternally existent self-generating system capable of creating universes, stars, galaxies, life, and conscious sentient beings such as ourselves. We can neither exist or function without it.
* Even though immateriality is a logical fallacy, it doesn't change, or circumvent the issues as this matter is equally applicable in argument to both arguments of immateriality, and physicality.
* All the above ultimately collapses the concept of GOD for many atheists such as myself.
* This doesn't mean there isn't a higher intelligence out there capable of inducing big bangs ect.. It just means that no such being can represent first cause, or exist without cause.