Debarra

Jasnah and maths

36 posts in this topic

Okay so I'm just posting to hear people's thoughts on this topic since it is something I noticed recently about her conversation with Taravangian about her atheism that seems to leave a philosophical question hanging.

Quote

'I just don't see how anything could be outside God's decrees.' The King shook his head, bemused. 'Brightness Jasnah, I don't mean to argue, but isn't the very definition of the Almighty that all things exist because of him?'

'If you add one and one, that makes two, does it not?'

'Well yes.'

'No God needs declare it so for it to be true,' Jasnah said. 'So, could we not say that mathematics exists outside the Almighty, independent of him?'

'Perhaps.'

'Well I simply claim that morality and human will are independent of him too.'

'If you say that,' the King said, chuckling, 'then you've removed all point for the Almighty's existence!'

'Indeed.'

Now from this exchange we can seem to infer a few things that Jasnah beliefs, firstly that maths is discovered and not invented. If she did not belief in this then her example would rather fall apart. It appears that to her mathematics is a thing that is objectively true and exists outside of human knowledge, she then further clarifies that she does not think this trait of the universe comes from the Almighty either.

With both of these statements though we are left with the question of where exactly she believes mathematics derives from. If it is true and objective yet also not of a God then from what source does mathematics originates from? It seems a large loose thread that isn't acknowledged in the conversation or later within the book. Within the conversation Jasnah is arguing against the perspective that the Almighty is what defines all things yet doesn't ever seem to then propose what it is that defines those things.

What do others think? Is there perhaps something that I missed?

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So I am only explaining the function and logic behind the reasoning. I am not offering any commentary on religion, nor am I trying to convince you to believe this yourself. 

Rickey Gervais put the concept in a very interesting manner. He essentially said if you were to destroy every religious book or record on the planet, and all of humanity died so there was no means of passing on any religious tradition. Then have humans arise again, you would not end up with the same religions. You would have different names, different practices, and different beliefs. If however, you were to destroy every scientific book or record on the planet and all of humanity died so there was no means of passing on any scientific lore. Then have humans arise again, you would have the same scientific theories. They may be called something different. Instead of newton's laws, it might be garblitron's laws, but the laws would still be the same. Because through logic, and deductive reasoning such theories can be observed, tested, re-tested, and concluded upon. Those theories can then be extrapolated upon and applied to other concepts. They are actionable. The theory of gravity results in planes, trains, cars, gears, etc, etc and etc. (Now one could say there is one universal divine truth that would still arise. And there are arguments in response to that, but my point of saying this is not to argue against religion. Just explain this outlook.)

Further, where it comes in where it is "outside god", is the idea that math is math regardless whether we are in reality, or in dreams, or a construct. One plus one is two. Again, it can go by different names. It could be a "zir flax zir gunt dfly". I made up those words. But if I look at one object, and call it a zir, and another object is also a zir, and the action of combining them is a flax, and showing the result is gunt, with the result being a dfly, it is still true. We could even lack the concept of what one is, or two is, but just seeing one object next to another object, being two objects still exists. It is still demonstrable. It is still provable. It does not matter if you believe in God, Yahweh, or any of the other numerous religions, or none at all. All can observe this phenomena, and replicate it. 

Now that then leads to the whole God is the source of it, which then allows it to be, as all things require a source. But that then goes into a line of discourse I had in another thread regarding the nature of omnipotence. That also results in going down a rabbit hole of religious debate. I do not believe that is the point of your thread. If it is, feel free to correct me. My understand was you were asking to understand better the concept that Jasnah was discussing. I did my best to do so. 

Again, not trying to change your mind and make you believe this. Nor am I saying you are wrong to disagree with it. Just stating the function and the logic behind it. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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I don't see how this raises any issues? She simply does not believe in the Almighty, thus it is independent of him as she does not believe in his existence. She thinks the universe and all its laws just exist, that their source is moreso something abstract and fundamental. For instance, as she said, one + one is two, this is displayed to be true in any sense. It is an abstract and fundamental truth without any real origin, it is just, apodictic, in a sense. 

So it is a mix of believing they are abstract and originless, and that the Almighty does not exist to begin with. 

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7 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

So I am only explaining the function and logic behind the reasoning. I am not offering any commentary on religion, nor am I trying to convince you to believe this yourself. 

Rickey Gervais put the concept in a very interesting manner. He essentially said if you were to destroy every religious book or record on the planet, and all of humanity died so there was no means of passing on any religious tradition. Then have humans arise again, you would not end up with the same religions. You would have different names, different practices, and different beliefs. If however, you were to destroy every scientific book or record on the planet and all of humanity died so there was no means of passing on any scientific lore. Then have humans arise again, you would have the same scientific theories. They may be called something different. Instead of newton's laws, it might be garblitron's laws, but the laws would still be the same. Because through logic, and deductive reasoning such theories can be observed, tested, re-tested, and concluded upon. Those theories can then be extrapolated upon and applied to other concepts. They are actionable. The theory of gravity results in planes, trains, cars, gears, etc, etc and etc. (Now one could say there is one universal divine truth that would still arise. And there are arguments in response to that, but my point of saying this is not to argue against religion. Just explain this outlook.)

Further, where it comes in where it is "outside god", is the idea that math is math regardless whether we are in reality, or in dreams, or a construct. One plus one is two. Again, it can go by different names. It could be a "zir flax zir gunt dfly". I made up those words. But if I look at one object, and call it a zir, and another object is also a zir, and the action of combining them is a flax, and showing the result is gunt, with the result being a dfly, it is still true. We could even lack the concept of what one is, or two is, but just seeing one object next to another object, being two objects still exists. It is still demonstrable. It is still provable. It does not matter if you believe in God, Yahweh, or any of the other numerous religions, or none at all. All can observe this phenomena, and replicate it. 

And yet that requires God to be a construction of Humans. If there is a true religion, that religion will spring up again.

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7 hours ago, Frustration said:

And yet that requires God to be a construction of Humans. If there is a true religion, that religion will spring up again.

Totally respect that is your beliefs and i am not trying to convince you nor am i saying you are wrong. All i am about to write is what is the thought behind it and the response. 

There is nothing intrinsic about the various religions on the planet that makes them self provable or able to arise. As in, there is nothing fundamental or self evident that would cause them, without any outside influence to come about. Basically religion is taught. A child cannot on their own, without instruction come to realize church is on Sunday or who jesus christ is. Or know of ra the sun god and the pantheon of egyptian gods. Or about animalism. Or about reincarnation. There are many many many different religions, with fundamentals that starkly disagree with each other. Monotheistic religions for instance is just one type among many types and even then the monotheistic religions disagree on a whole lot of fundamental practices. So showing a universal divine truth that all religions agree to, regardless the denomination and source has been unable to be shown and proven. Thereby if all religious influence has been removed, we would theoretically get an entirely new grab bag of religious beliefs that in all likelihood would look nothing like the religions we know of today.

But again, not saying you are wrong to believe in a universal divine truth. Not trying to convince you to not believe it. I respect your beliefs. All i took by your response is that you wanted to understand what the logic behind the reasoning was. I am not saying one is better than another. And it is not my intention to make you feel bad about your beliefs. So i hope this is taken in the spirit it is made. I dont want to start a religious debate.

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2 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Totally respect that is your beliefs and i am not trying to convince you nor am i saying you are wrong. All i am about to write is what is the thought behind it and the response. 

There is nothing intrinsic about the various religions on the planet that makes them self provable or able to arise. As in, there is nothing fundamental or self evident that would cause them, without any outside influence to come about. Basically religion is taught. A child cannot on their own, without instruction come to realize church is on Sunday or who jesus christ is. Or know of ra the sun god and the pantheon of egyptian gods. Or about animalism. Or about reincarnation. There are many many many different religions, with fundamentals that starkly disagree with each other. Monotheistic religions for instance is just one type among many types and even then the monotheistic religions disagree on a whole lot of fundamental practices. So showing a universal divine truth that all religions agree to, regardless the denomination and source has been unable to be shown and proven. Thereby if all religious influence has been removed, we would theoretically get an entirely new grab bag of religious beliefs that in all likelihood would look nothing like the religions we know of today.

But again, not saying you are wrong to believe in a universal divine truth. Not trying to convince you to not believe it. I respect your beliefs. All i took by your response is that you wanted to understand what the logic behind the reasoning was. I am not saying one is better than another. And it is not my intention to make you feel bad about your beliefs. So i hope this is taken in the spirit it is made. I dont want to start a religious debate.

I think what I'm trying to say, and what you are hearing aren't the same thing so I'll try this

 

Let's assume for the purpose of the argument that one of the religions is correct, that will just have to be accepted, though which one doesn't matter.

Now something caused that religion to arise, because as you pointed out no religion can just be studied into existance.

Therefore if we assume all humans are wipped out and then somehow a new group of humans come back, we are left with two things

Obviously that would not happen without the God/gods/spirits or whatever is worshipped in said religion knowing about it

and two whatever they did to cause the correct religion to arise in the first place can simply be done again.

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17 minutes ago, Frustration said:

I think what I'm trying to say, and what you are hearing aren't the same thing so I'll try this

 

Let's assume for the purpose of the argument that one of the religions is correct, that will just have to be accepted, though which one doesn't matter.

Now something caused that religion to arise, because as you pointed out no religion can just be studied into existance.

Therefore if we assume all humans are wipped out and then somehow a new group of humans come back, we are left with two things

Obviously that would not happen without the God/gods/spirits or whatever is worshipped in said religion knowing about it

and two whatever they did to cause the correct religion to arise in the first place can simply be done again.

So in math and logic, there are some assumptions made as you state. As in, stating, "for the purpose of this exercise, let us assume that X is ....". The thing is, it is then provable. As in the equation is then balanced. Or it can then be proven. If it cannot, then it is retooled, or discarded

What you did right there is self referential. Basically you stated let us assume something is, that by the extending logic, cannot itself be supported. In other words, in order for the solution to be supported and true, something that is not proven or supported must be assumed to be.

So you started your statement with let us assume that one religion has to be correct, to the exclusion of all others. If that is the case, then by that very statement, there cannot be a universal divine truth, because by your statement, it is not universal. It is certainly not discoverable. 

Now as you say, if the religion arose from God.gods.spirits or whatever is worshipped coming from on high down to the mortal plane to start it, that is still being taught. It requires outside influence to come in, and show. So the idea is if there is a divine fundamental truth, then that truth should be regardless the environment, the composition, or what happens. There shouldn't have to be someone to pop up and literally have to tell you it is so. Gravity for instance, does not require that. Some one does not have to come by and explain it. You pick something up. You let it go. It falls to the ground. You hold something in the palm of your hand, and spin around, you feel force exerted on your hand trying to pull the rock away. You can see it takes different levels of effort to move one object versus another. You can flick a pebble with your finger, sending it flying, but feel the impact on your finger. You can try to push a boulder, and feel yourself moving backwards as you shove it while it does not move. All of this does not require a single bit of outside influence. No one has to tell it to you.

But again, if you believe in your religion, or a universal divine truth, what matters is it is true for you. I respect your beliefs. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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8 hours ago, Zoey said:

I don't see how this raises any issues? She simply does not believe in the Almighty, thus it is independent of him as she does not believe in his existence. She thinks the universe and all its laws just exist, that their source is moreso something abstract and fundamental. For instance, as she said, one + one is two, this is displayed to be true in any sense. It is an abstract and fundamental truth without any real origin, it is just, apodictic, in a sense. 

So it is a mix of believing they are abstract and originless, and that the Almighty does not exist to begin with. 

Okay allow me to rephrase in a different way to try and make the issue more clear;

Imagine for a second that there is a chefiest and an achefiest. The chefiest believes that the meal given before them was prepared by an unseen and unobservable chef. The achefiest believes that this chef does not exist at all.

Now in conversation the chefiest remarks that they find the achefiest confusing, because isn't the very definition of a chef is one that is the cause of all food?

In response the achefiest points to a pear on a table and asks if a pear had to be cooked.

The chefiest responds no. The achefiest then concludes their argument by saying that if they can accept the pear exists independently of the chef why would it be hard for them to accept that all things can exist independently of the chef?

 

Now obviously there are some issues with the analogy, mainly that the achefiest's position seems far more absurd than the actual conversation being discussed. However I think that this shows more clearly the core issue at hand, if the achefiest rejects the pear as originating from the chef then were exactly do they think it came from? Ultimately the pear had to come from somewhere but the achefiest never offers a solution and nobody ever questions them on it.

In the context of Jasnah then she uses a similar argument but then never suggests where she thinks maths originates from. Commonly maths is instead claimed to be a human construct that is created by human observation, therefore meaning it doesn't have any 'real' existence. (IE, if all humans died then maths wouldn't exist anymore.) From the conversation though it seems Jasnah rejects this answer, otherwise her use of maths would be a self defeating example. Ultimately an answer is never offered and the only answers that I can think of then get into some iffy territory as it moves very close to how a God may be defined or be argued to exist.

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5 minutes ago, Debarra said:

Okay allow me to rephrase in a different way to try and make the issue more clear;

Imagine for a second that there is a chefiest and an achefiest. The chefiest believes that the meal given before them was prepared by an unseen and unobservable chef. The achefiest believes that this chef does not exist at all.

Now in conversation the chefiest remarks that they find the achefiest confusing, because isn't the very definition of a chef is one that is the cause of all food?

In response the achefiest points to a pear on a table and asks if a pear had to be cooked.

The chefiest responds no. The achefiest then concludes their argument by saying that if they can accept the pear exists independently of the chef why would it be hard for them to accept that all things can exist independently of the chef?

 

Now obviously there are some issues with the analogy, mainly that the achefiest's position seems far more absurd than the actual conversation being discussed. However I think that this shows more clearly the core issue at hand, if the achefiest rejects the pear as originating from the chef then were exactly do they think it came from? Ultimately the pear had to come from somewhere but the achefiest never offers a solution and nobody ever questions them on it.

In the context of Jasnah then she uses a similar argument but then never suggests where she thinks maths originates from. Commonly maths is instead claimed to be a human construct that is created by human observation, therefore meaning it doesn't have any 'real' existence. (IE, if all humans died then maths wouldn't exist anymore.) From the conversation though it seems Jasnah rejects this answer, otherwise her use of maths would be a self defeating example. Ultimately an answer is never offered and the only answers that I can think of then get into some iffy territory as it moves very close to how a God may be defined or be argued to exist.

So again, this is not meant to be critical, nor say religion is wrong. I support anyone's beliefs, their rights in believing them. So long as they are true to you and bring you joy, I am happy for you and support you. This is again, only explaining the responses and thought processes behind them. 

The concept that all things must have an origin, and then stating that there is an entity outside of that then concept, that is an exception to the very rule that is being placed on everything else is self conflicting. So the common concepts are everything has to have an origin, and something cannot make something greater than itself right? Basically the pear must have a cause to come into existence, and so the existence of the pear proves the existence of the chef, then by that logic, there must be a cause for the chef and the cause must be greater than the chef. But the response is that nothing created the chef. Not only that, but there is nothing greater than the chef and as nothing created the chef, the chef always was, always is, and always will be. So the very stated existence of the chef, disputes and contradicts the very argument for its existence. 

That then also leads to what I alluded to earlier. The problem with omnipotence. Stating everything is and flows from one source means it is all powerful. It is the supreme. Nothing is greater than it. But if it can be shown there is something that it can not in fact accomplish, then its all powerfulness is called into question, And if its allpowerfulness is questionable, then anything it is said to have accomplished is called into question. 

Meanwhile math is self provable. Science can be replicated. It does not require a belief in something to be true. Further just because we may not understand or know a function currently, does not mean we never will. We just haven't reached it yet. But it is attainable. There is always something new to learn and understand. While the buck stops at the supreme being as it were. 

So to be put another way, it can be shown and proven that math and science are fundamental to our universe. Religion however cannot.

But that is not to say religion does not do good in people's lives. Which again, this is not to convince people to disbelieve, or say they are wrong to. If it is true for you, that is what is important, and that it gives value to your life.   

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@Pathfinder May I suggest that if your intention is indeed not to debate religion in this thread that you stop debating religion in the thread? Especially when it is going completely off topic on what Jasnah actually believes.

May I also politely advice that generally if your intention truly is to respect what others belief, and not try persuade them to your own beliefs, that having every single comment you make primarily argue against their beliefs even if its totally off topic from the thread does not at all achieve that goal. Even worse it could perhaps even be read as either hypocritical or being dishonest, maybe even calling back to a specific debate tactic used by a character in Elantris. If ones goal is truly to respect others beliefs then the best thing to achieve that is not argue against those beliefs.

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16 minutes ago, Debarra said:

@Pathfinder May I suggest that if your intention is indeed not to debate religion in this thread that you stop debating religion in the thread? Especially when it is going completely off topic on what Jasnah actually believes.

May I also politely advice that generally if your intention truly is to respect what others belief, and not try persuade them to your own beliefs, that having every single comment you make primarily argue against their beliefs even if its totally off topic from the thread does not at all achieve that goal. Even worse it could perhaps even be read as either hypocritical or being dishonest, maybe even calling back to a specific debate tactic used by a character in Elantris. If ones goal is truly to respect others beliefs then the best thing to achieve that is not argue against those beliefs.

I guess I am genuinely confused. I read this:

1 hour ago, Debarra said:

Now obviously there are some issues with the analogy, mainly that the achefiest's position seems far more absurd than the actual conversation being discussed. However I think that this shows more clearly the core issue at hand, if the achefiest rejects the pear as originating from the chef then were exactly do they think it came from? Ultimately the pear had to come from somewhere but the achefiest never offers a solution and nobody ever questions them on it.

In the context of Jasnah then she uses a similar argument but then never suggests where she thinks maths originates from. Commonly maths is instead claimed to be a human construct that is created by human observation, therefore meaning it doesn't have any 'real' existence. (IE, if all humans died then maths wouldn't exist anymore.) From the conversation though it seems Jasnah rejects this answer, otherwise her use of maths would be a self defeating example. Ultimately an answer is never offered and the only answers that I can think of then get into some iffy territory as it moves very close to how a God may be defined or be argued to exist.

As you asking what would be the follow up response to that, as you wanted to understand her logic in stating what she did. What I wrote is an explanation on how and why math and science is seen as external from religion by the atheist Jasnah. Basically her stating math is outside religion is because of what I explained. It is what she said, but what she said was parsed down to a few sentences for brevity. 

(edit: an example. Someone asks how there is wood stacked next to the fireplace. Jasnah says I chopped wood. But that is still missing the details of the process. That she went to the forest. She selected a particular tree, she took an ax, and chopped down the tree. Then she separated the tree into chunks, then she brought them back and placed them by the fireplace. But the statement "i chopped the wood" entails all of that. I just explained the individual steps. So stating math exists outside of a deity, these are the steps as to why that is true. And I said true in regards to the reasoning. Not saying religion is untrue. In logic and science, when something is demonstratable and provable, we then say it is shown to be true. That is a state that exists till it is disproven and shown to not be true. I am not using the terminology to say religion is not true to those that believe it.)

As I said, I did not mean to offend or say anyone was wrong in their beliefs. 

You asked in the initial post what people thought of her argument and if there was something missing.

17 hours ago, Debarra said:

What do others think? Is there perhaps something that I missed?

I thought I responded to that. So I guess my question to you is what kind of answer were you looking for? What did you want people to say? Or another way of putting it, what were you expecting? Maybe that would help me better understand the purpose of your thread. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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18 hours ago, Debarra said:

Okay so I'm just posting to hear people's thoughts on this topic since it is something I noticed recently about her conversation with Taravangian about her atheism that seems to leave a philosophical question hanging.

Now from this exchange we can seem to infer a few things that Jasnah beliefs, firstly that maths is discovered and not invented. If she did not belief in this then her example would rather fall apart. It appears that to her mathematics is a thing that is objectively true and exists outside of human knowledge, she then further clarifies that she does not think this trait of the universe comes from the Almighty either.

With both of these statements though we are left with the question of where exactly she believes mathematics derives from. If it is true and objective yet also not of a God then from what source does mathematics originates from? It seems a large loose thread that isn't acknowledged in the conversation or later within the book. Within the conversation Jasnah is arguing against the perspective that the Almighty is what defines all things yet doesn't ever seem to then propose what it is that defines those things.

What do others think? Is there perhaps something that I missed?

1 hour ago, Debarra said:

In the context of Jasnah then she uses a similar argument but then never suggests where she thinks maths originates from. Commonly maths is instead claimed to be a human construct that is created by human observation, therefore meaning it doesn't have any 'real' existence. (IE, if all humans died then maths wouldn't exist anymore.) From the conversation though it seems Jasnah rejects this answer, otherwise her use of maths would be a self defeating example. Ultimately an answer is never offered and the only answers that I can think of then get into some iffy territory as it moves very close to how a God may be defined or be argued to exist.

I would say that math does not need sapient life to understand it.

For example, when the solar system was being created, no sentient life existed. A big ball of gas and rocks and dust slowly became a star and multiple balls of rockand gas. Clearly something changed the system from one entity to multiple entities. No human was there to count it, but that doesn't mean it didn't divide itself into 'nine' parts.

Even without observers, a concept of numbers existed. While our language of math is invented, math itself is discovered( what I firmly believe and feel is logical)

The concepts of Numbers aren't created, they exist without us. You can't really get rid of numbers exactly. 

Science and math are about how rather than why. With why, it's very hard to test your hypothesis. With how, you can always go deeper and deeper, increasing your knowledge. To prove an axiom, you need a deeper, more fundamental axiom and so on

Tldr: Jasnah thinks Math doesn't have to be created, as it exists independent of sentience and does not seem possible to get rid of. We can't imagine a world without numbers and they seem like natural laws without us. If she was curious about the source of the laws, she would go with how instead of why, and then discover deeper laws

I hope that explains it

Even better tldr: Jasnah does not think math was created, because a world where numbers were 'not created' seems unimaginable and impossible. 

Edited by KaladinWorldsinger
Thought of a better way to phrase it
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5 hours ago, Debarra said:

@Pathfinder May I suggest that if your intention is indeed not to debate religion in this thread that you stop debating religion in the thread? Especially when it is going completely off topic on what Jasnah actually believes.

May I also politely advice that generally if your intention truly is to respect what others belief, and not try persuade them to your own beliefs, that having every single comment you make primarily argue against their beliefs even if its totally off topic from the thread does not at all achieve that goal. Even worse it could perhaps even be read as either hypocritical or being dishonest, maybe even calling back to a specific debate tactic used by a character in Elantris. If ones goal is truly to respect others beliefs then the best thing to achieve that is not argue against those beliefs.

What you're asking of him is a bit difficult to do since what Brandon's referencing here via Jasnah is a real world religion and atheism argument, he's just explaining what that argument is. The essence of the argument boils down to the idea of necessity of source (god), which is being rebuked. It is the simplest and most well-known analogy for the philosophical argument presented in that scene.

I suspect that the irritation you feel at Jasnah's arguments, which is very common if you've noticed from all the threads, comes down to the presentation of logic and religion as religious beliefs being illogical.

Plus, Pathfinder, and other people on the forum who also happen to be atheists are simply getting tired of carrying the burden of proof, always being on the side of the argument that has to present a statement which is then dissected by the other side, plus the sheer amount of Jasnah's Atheism threads and just how often those threads are very impolite towards irreligious and atheist people.

And I'm sorry but, do not ask people to explain their beliefs to you and then tell them that the explanation given is itself fundamentally disrespectful because it's antithetical to your own. He's not infringing on your rights, just stating his own beliefs, just like you did.

Edited by Honorless
Discussion regarding response to this post moved to DMs with the OP
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33 minutes ago, Honorless said:

What you're asking of him is a bit difficult to do since what Brandon's referencing here via Jasnah is a real world religion and atheism argument, he's just explaining what that argument is. The essence of the argument boils down to the idea of necessity of source (god), which is being rebuked.

I suspect that the irritation you feel at Jasnah's arguments, which is very common if you've noticed from all the threads, comes down to the presentation of logic and religion as religious beliefs being illogical.

Plus, Pathfinder, and other people on the forum who also happen to be atheists are simply getting tired of carrying the burden of proof, always being on the side of the argument that has to present a statement which is then dissected by the other side, plus the sheer amount of such threads and just how often those threads are very impolite towards irreligious and atheist people.

And I'm sorry but, do not ask people to explain their beliefs to you and then tell them that the explanation given is itself fundamentally disrespectful because it's antithetical to your own. He's not infringing on your rights, just stating his own beliefs, just like you did.

As a total atheist, I would like to defend @Debarra because the original argument, the Ricky Gervais thought experiment does seem very disrespectful

The argument is if humanity got destroyed and rebuilt itself, religions would look different but science would pretty much the same. The implicit assumption here is, all religions are made up with no real basis. That is the only way I can read it. Which is pretty disrespectful to believers. Again, the argument is disrespectful, not @pathfinder

For ex, let's say Christianity is the true religion ie everything that Practitioners believe in is true. Practitioners beleive that God sent Jesus to earth. If humanity was destroyed and rebuilt again slowly, there is nothing stopping God from sending Jesus again and starting the same religion from the scratch. This is not self conflicting or self proving since religions require and allow divine intervention.

The argument falls apart because we can't prove 100 percent that religions are made up. So the assumption that Ricky Gervais made is disrespectful.

However I am not saying that pathfinder was disrespectful

Edited by KaladinWorldsinger
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The question to debate here is (IMHO of course) - do all things come from anywhere? If the answer is yes, you must make one exception that is the beginnings of all things. This is the greece's philosophers definition for god. And the logic behind that exception is - all the things that we know came from somewhere (pear from the tree, tree from the seed, etc), but we can't know the true nature of god, so he is the only one that can be an exception to that rule. (God is the wildcard, the ultimate stop to "rabbit holes".

And now the point- jasna thinks that it is artificial solution, and therefore believe that either Allllll things need somewhere they come from and here you go to the rabbit hole because it is going to infinity or you can believe that not all things came from somewhere, just some of them, and some of them simply exist. It is not intuitive view, quite against it but the best she can believe in her opinion in conclusion of the Cosmologic argument. 

As for @Pathfinder I respect your respect for those who believe in god, but i think you don't need to be so sensitive (it's the right word? I mean one who dont want to insult other people). Theists can stand criticism (and if not it is a problem) and if you say your thoughts politely its okay in my opinion.

Sorry about the language, I am not English speaker...

Edit: just saw @Debarra reaction. So i want to clarify, i am theist myself, and study almost the whole day my religious beliefs, but i think we will gain more if we can debate things openly and don't worry too much about insulting. Of course we need to pay attention and don't insult and if it happened to apologize and do better but don't let it stop us from learning and debates.

Edited by Bnaya
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49 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

As you asking what would be the follow up response to that, as you wanted to understand her logic in stating what she did

Yes that is what the thread is intended to be about. That isn't what you commented though. What you instead did was start arguing that God doesn't exist.

1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

The concept that all things must have an origin, and then stating that there is an entity outside of that then concept, that is an exception to the very rule that is being placed on everything else is self conflicting. So the common concepts are everything has to have an origin, and something cannot make something greater than itself right? Basically the pear must have a cause to come into existence, and so the existence of the pear proves the existence of the chef, then by that logic, there must be a cause for the chef and the cause must be greater than the chef. But the response is that nothing created the chef. Not only that, but there is nothing greater than the chef and as nothing created the chef, the chef always was, always is, and always will be. So the very stated existence of the chef, disputes and contradicts the very argument for its existence. 

That then also leads to what I alluded to earlier. The problem with omnipotence. Stating everything is and flows from one source means it is all powerful. It is the supreme. Nothing is greater than it. But if it can be shown there is something that it can not in fact accomplish, then its all powerfulness is called into question, And if its allpowerfulness is questionable, then anything it is said to have accomplished is called into question.

This appears to be an argument against one of the Cosmological arguments as well as one against Omnipotence. Both those are off topic however.

1. No one is questioning Jasnah's atheistic beliefs. 

2. No one seems to be suggesting the Cosmological arguments as an argument for there to be a God.

3. In fact it seems that even if there was a God that the thread topic wouldn't be changed much. The focus is on what Jasnah herself believes about the origin of things.

Your post seems more aimed at arguing against what Taravangian is saying throughout the scene than anything Jasnah is saying. Ultimately that seems completely off topic and unwarrantedly going out of its way to argue against religious beliefs. (All the while claiming that isn't what you're doing.)

47 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Plus, Pathfinder, and other people on the forum who also happen to be atheists are simply getting tired of carrying the burden of proof, always being on the side of the argument that has to present a statement which is then dissected by the other side, plus the sheer amount of such threads and just how often those threads are very impolite towards irreligious and atheist people.

I know nothing of previous threads about religion like this in the forums but I would be surprised if this is the case since in my experience what you're describing is the exact opposite of how I've seen these conversations usually go. (With any religious person being the one being ganged up on and picked apart.)

50 minutes ago, Honorless said:

And I'm sorry but, do not ask people to explain their beliefs to you and then tell them that the explanation given is itself fundamentally disrespectful because it's antithetical to your own. He's not infringing on your rights, just stating his own beliefs, just like you did.

Also as explained above they weren't actually explaining their beliefs but instead began randomly arguing against the existence of a God. As well as that I am an ex-catholic and currently Irreligious myself. I largely agree with their conclusion, however that doesn't stop it being off topic and insulting to religious people, all while claiming to respect their beliefs.

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27 minutes ago, KaladinWorldsinger said:

As a total atheist, I would like to defend @Debarra because the original argument, the Ricky Gervais thought experiment does seem very disrespectful

The argument is if humanity got destroyed and rebuilt itself, religions would look different but science would pretty much the same. The implicit assumption here is, all religions are made up with no real basis. That is the only way I can read it. Which is pretty disrespectful to believers. Again, the argument is disrespectful, not @pathfinder

For ex, let's say Christianity is the true religion ie everything that Practitioners believe in is true. Practitioners beleive that God sent Jesus to earth. If humanity was destroyed and rebuilt again slowly, there is nothing stopping God from sending Jesus again and starting the same religion from the scratch. This is not self conflicting or self proving since religions require and allow divine intervention.

The argument falls apart because we can't prove 100 percent that religions are made up. So the assumption that Ricky Gervais made is disrespectful.

However I am not saying that pathfinder was disrespectful

So I do not want to repeat anything because currently I am at a loss on how I am supposed to reply to these things, so all I will say is this was already covered in the reply to frustration. 

19 minutes ago, Bnaya said:

As for @Pathfinder I respect your respect for those who believe in god, but i think you don't need to be so sensitive (it's the right word? I mean one who dont want to insult other people). Theologists can stand criticism (and if not it is a problem) and if you say your thoughts politely its okay in my opinion.

Sorry about the language, I am not English speaker...

I thought I was being polite, but I am being told I was not, so it seems I was not sensitive enough, instead of being so sensitive. So really at a loss on where to go from here. 

7 minutes ago, Debarra said:

Yes that is what the thread is intended to be about. That isn't what you commented though. What you instead did was start arguing that God doesn't exist.

This appears to be an argument against one of the Cosmological arguments as well as one against Omnipotence. Both those are off topic however.

1. No one is questioning Jasnah's atheistic beliefs. 

2. No one seems to be suggesting the Cosmological arguments as an argument for there to be a God.

3. In fact it seems that even if there was a God that the thread topic wouldn't be changed much. The focus is on what Jasnah herself believes about the origin of things.

Your post seems more aimed at arguing against what Taravangian is saying throughout the scene than anything Jasnah is saying. Ultimately that seems completely off topic and unwarrantedly going out of its way to argue against religious beliefs. (All the while claiming that isn't what you're doing.)

I know nothing of previous threads about religion like this in the forums but I would be surprised if this is the case since in my experience what you're describing is the exact opposite of how I've seen these conversations usually go. (With any religious person being the one being ganged up on and picked apart.)

Also as explained above they weren't actually explaining their beliefs but instead began randomly arguing against the existence of a God. As well as that I am an ex-catholic and currently Irreligious myself. I largely agree with their conclusion, however that doesn't stop it being off topic and insulting to religious people, all while claiming to respect their beliefs.

I disagree in how you are characterizing my posts. Further I feel I have answered the questions as you yourself have presented them. I really do not see how one could reply to a post asks how an atheist's argument works, without discussing how the atheist's argument works. I mean I could ask for clarity, but I am concerned that by asking for clarify on the subjects you yourself brought up, I will be seen as attacking.

So I guess again what I am asking is, what kind of response are you looking for?

Then again even saying that might be seen as attacking. So I don't know. 

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Going off what’s been said, it appears this conversation has strayed from the initial intent of the thread and it is definitely getting too circular and into the weeds about whether or not it did. It would be best to move on and back towards the original purpose of this thread. We don’t need to keep debating Pathfinder’s comment. 

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3 hours ago, Debarra said:

I know nothing of previous threads about religion like this in the forums but I would be surprised if this is the case since in my experience what you're describing is the exact opposite of how I've seen these conversations usually go. (With any religious person being the one being ganged up on and picked apart.)

I think it is human nature for us to feel "ganged up on" whenever people disagree with our beliefs.  Please believe that it does indeed happen both ways.

My only addition to the original question is this: we all make assumptions about what is "true", regardless of religious beliefs.  Some feel that the mathematical "laws" which govern the workings of the universe are inherent properties, without which the universe would not exist.  Jasnah seems to be taking this view.  It's rational, but not provable.  We learn in high school that the angles of a triangle must add up to 180°... then later we learn that while this is true in Euclidean plane geometry, there are other useful geometries where it is NOT true.  Can we rule out a mathematical system in which 1 + 1 ≠ 2 ? Others assume that mathematical laws must have been created; this is similarly not provable.

Science as we know it is based on several such unprovable assumptions: that we can believe the evidence of our senses; that the laws we observe on Earth are the same everywhere; that fundamental quantities like Planck's Constant or the Gravitational Constant are, in fact, constant over all of spacetime.  We have no way of proving these things, but we have built a useful system by assuming they are true.

Nothing about science PRECLUDES faith.

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49 minutes ago, AquaRegia said:

I think it is human nature for us to feel "ganged up on" whenever people disagree with our beliefs.  Please believe that it does indeed happen both ways.

My only addition to the original question is this: we all make assumptions about what is "true", regardless of religious beliefs.  Some feel that the mathematical "laws" which govern the workings of the universe are inherent properties, without which the universe would not exist.  Jasnah seems to be taking this view.  It's rational, but not provable.  We learn in high school that the angles of a triangle must add up to 180°... then later we learn that while this is true in Euclidean plane geometry, there are other useful geometries where it is NOT true.  Can we rule out a mathematical system in which 1 + 1 ≠ 2 ? Others assume that mathematical laws must have been created; this is similarly not provable.

Science as we know it is based on several such unprovable assumptions: that we can believe the evidence of our senses; that the laws we observe on Earth are the same everywhere; that fundamental quantities like Planck's Constant or the Gravitational Constant are, in fact, constant over all of spacetime.  We have no way of proving these things, but we have built a useful system by assuming they are true.

Nothing about science PRECLUDES faith.

Not commenting on anything else. Just responding specifically on the term prove that I used, in case that is where some of the upset is originating. 

I was going on the definition of prove to mean:

"to subject to a test, experiment, comparison, analysis, or the like, to determine quality, amount, acceptability, characteristics, etc"

At least that is how I meant to mean math and science is provable. As in, it is testable. You can replicate it, and if you find issue, test that issue, and try to locate the cause. 

Otherwise just one minor quibble, Euclidean plane geometry, is by its definition regarding measurement on a straight plane. Measuring on a globe requires a different set of mathematics to calculate in regards to the curvature. So a triangle that does not add up to 180 degrees, is not a Euclidean triangle. 

 

edit: it seems Honorless's message was taken down, so perhaps I should not have added after all. Not saying that is the reason why I posted, but I don't want my post to seem like I am perpetuating anything. If I should take down this post or hide it @LadyLameness please let me know and I will endeavor to do so. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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Your post is fine - I’m wanting this conversation to move back towards the topic and away from discussing and debating your original post which is why Honorless’ post was hidden. But yours is fine, continue on. :)

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As I said, she just believes Math is originless and abstract, like some type of Platonic Form, existing independently of human intuition or physical existence. It is an actual argument or philosophical viewpoint. That it is something intrinsic to existence due to its very nature. You cannot get rid of math. It has always existed, and will always exist. Not all philosophies believe that all things must have an origin. 

Jasnah is just bringing up an idea of mathematics being an originless and apodictic truth of reality. She made it quite clear, she sees it as a fundamental truth, without needing to be created or confirmed by any power. It simply is. Some sort of Causa sui, Self-existent, Ex Nihilo. You are simply making a fallacious interpretation of another's philosophy based upon your own philosophy, disregarding the fact that many don't agree upon the subjective truth that you are bringing up as a counterpoint to it. 

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Ooo, math discussion!

This is a fairly interesting discussion. Certainly, independent to anyone witnessing it or writing it down mathematically, the universe obeys certain rules. Things like General Relativity is just how it works, and even if no one was around to understand it, that's how it works. I would say as an atheist personally that this does not need to come from anywhere. We cannot, with current science, adequately discern how the universe worked when it was opaque. Everything we observe comes from light, and in the very early universe, light was immediately absorbed by other particles. It was only later that matter spread out more and light could actually travel unimpeded and space looked, well, like space. Before this, we can't witness how the universe worked. The best we can do is model what we can see in the universe and come up with things consistent with our observations. In my opinion, we probably will never truly know with any certainty what precisely happened prior to that. So what made the "rules" of the universe? Well... We have no idea! If people want to associate it with God, sure. But you could theoretically associate it with any religion or divinity and that be just as logically consistent with the physics of the universe, so long as it does also correspond with the observations we have seen.

I would agree there does not need to be any particular reason why the math works the way it does. Often, in math and physics, we are usually asking how things work, rather than why. Like, we can describe very specifically how spacetime warps due to mass, and make specific predictions. But why does it have to be so? Well, that depends on your philosophy. I have definitely met people who are really bothered by that, and that's perfectly fine. For my taste, I am not bothered by this, because I don't see that it needs to come from a higher source. At the same time--and I realize this is a different example than the question of "why does the universe obey these natural laws"--I am not particularly bothered why a specific outcome in a random event occurs. Like if I put a bunch of marbles in a bag, mix them up, and select a marble, I don't think there needs to be any philosophical reason "why" I grabbed that specific marble. It's random. There are tons of meaningless random events that happen all the time, that philosophically kind of don't matter, and there's no deep "why" to it. I see the "why" as to why the universe has these laws as a very similar sort of thing: does that need to have an actual answer? To me, I would say no. That's just how things are. Of course, if this bothers you, that's perfectly fine. I am simply stating my own perspective, having two math degrees and a physics minor. Overall, I am not very excited by such philosophical questions that by necessity cannot be verified. So I'm much more excited by specific, concrete questions like, "What is the cause of the expansion of the universe to be accelerating?" We probably can't answer why, but we could possibly figure out the mechanism on how it works.

That was a bit of a digression but hopefully that was somewhat interesting to read?

(However, though this isn't Debarra's initial post or what they are asking, I would actually forcefully argue that to a mathematician, that act of doing math, is a human created construct, and is not discovered. This is because humans decide what the definitions are, and thus the consequences of those definitions follow from how we design such things. This is less physics and more mathematical philosophy. It gets hairy, though, because the math facts are sort of eternal and perfect, and even if we all die, they are still true forever if we prove them true. But I think if you are a mathematician, and you are doing math, which means you are making new math, that is much more creation/invention in process than discovery.)

Anywho, that's my two cents at least. 

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58 minutes ago, Chaos said:

I would agree there does not need to be any particular reason why the math works the way it does. Often, in math and physics, we are usually asking how things work, rather than why. Like, we can describe very specifically how spacetime warps due to mass, and make specific predictions. But why does it have to be so?

Science and physics used to be able to answer questions like that. If you ask, why that gas gets colder if you open the valve on a pressurized bottle, science can give you an answer.

58 minutes ago, Chaos said:

(However, though this isn't Debarra's initial post or what they are asking, I would actually forcefully argue that to a mathematician, that act of doing math, is a human created construct, and is not discovered. This is because humans decide what the definitions are, and thus the consequences of those definitions follow from how we design such things. This is less physics and more mathematical philosophy.

But aren't we picking the assumptions because they fit (or you would say create) a model that works?

Historically speaking people calculated orbits, described electromagnetism mathematically or did calculus before they did a rigorous definition of the underlying assumptions, didn't they?

 

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