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  1. #31
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    We know that the Universe is finite and not completely infinite because we have observed at least one entity that has a limit.
    Just because something contains finite objects doesn't mean that it is finite. The number "2" is finite; numbers are not.

    No, it does not. Because in that case there will be another question for the theist to answer. What made God? The theist succumbs to the problem of infinite regress, and the Kantian does not.
    My point is that you can substitute a broad definition of "God" for this Kantian "noumenal realm" without making any change to the underlying argument whatsoever.

    Describe that leap as thoroughly as possible, as I do not see it.
    If something is truly infinite, it would be all that there is, so it could constantly change states -- there would be nothing else! Your first leap of faith is that this "noumenal realm" exists at all. The second is that it is inherently unchanging.

    All the evidence we may acquire is evidence of only the world of our experience. On empirical grounds there is no evidence of the noumenal world as it is by definition inscrutable. However, there is philosophical evidence in favor of the existence of the noumenal realm, as I have explained in my earlier posts, especially the previous post.
    We're just going to have to agree to disagree on this point. I regard claims of any inscrutable, undefinable, unknowable and, most importantly, unverifiable entity to be nothing more than mysticism.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  2. #32
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Just because something contains finite objects doesn't mean that it is finite. The number "2" is finite; numbers are not..
    Numbers are merely abstractions. Theoretical representations of what may be real. Or in other words, in themselves they do not allude to anything of reality, they are merely possible ways to express a point. For example, the following statement '2' does not tell us anything about the world. Now, if I say there are two chairs, the statement '2' now does tell us something about the world.

    If something is infinite, that means that only this entity exists. Finite entities may inhere within that entity, however, they lack an identity that is autonomous from the infinite identity. The definition of infinity presupposes that only the infinite entity exists. Thus, all finite entities exist as merely part of that infinite entity. That means that in their own right they do not exist at all. They are merely illusions, or extensions of what truly does exist.

    Thus, what is truly infinite may seem to be finite, but in essence must be infinite.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    My point is that you can substitute a broad definition of "God" for this Kantian "noumenal realm" without making any change to the underlying argument whatsoever...
    What good is that? This does nothing at all to support any of the ideas traditionally associated with God such as creationism or the afterlife.




    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    If something is truly infinite, it would be all that there is, so it could constantly change states -- there would be nothing else! Your first leap of faith is that this "noumenal realm" exists at all. The second is that it is inherently unchanging....
    The explanation for the noumenal realm is as follows. We know that some things exist. The only way they could exist is if they are extensions of what is infinite or noumenal, otherwise we fall prey to the infinite regress argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    If something is truly infinite, it would be all that there is, so it could constantly change states -- there would be nothing else!....
    What is infinite is outside of time because time is one way to measure a thing. What is infinite is by definition immeasurable. Change outside of time is not possible because the definition of change means variation of one state of being for another over time. As a matter of common-sense, it is not possible to assert that something has changed without any time involved in the process. For instance, if we say that Bob changed his hair-style, we obviously mean that at one point his hair-style was one way and at another a different way. Obviously the idea of change would be non-sense if it did not involve a concept of time.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  3. #33
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    The reality of the phenomenal world, or our space, time and matter, for all practical purposes is as real as it gets. The 'ultimate' reality, or the noumenal realm matters only as a substratum or the underlying layer of our reality. We know nothing of it other than it exists.

    Does this strike you as problematic?
    Its problematic not in the sense that I see it to be false. Its problematic because I see it as meaningless. "We know nothing of it other than it exists", if you know nothing of it, then how do you know it exists? (serious)

    If there are no known relevant differences between the noumenal world and the phenomenal worlds, then aren't they one in the same? (if you know of relevant differences, then how can you say you know nothing of the noumenal world?)

    I guess my main question is why there needs to be a noumenal world. what does it explain that the phenomenal world cant? Space-Time adequately explains all there is... everything ultimately reduces to the geometry of space time: any words or concepts we come up with are simply electrical storage codes in our heads that describe this geometry or possible geometries (impossible geometries described through re-arranging of components of real geometries).

  4. #34
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    Its problematic not in the sense that I see it to be false. Its problematic because I see it as meaningless. "We know nothing of it other than it exists", if you know nothing of it, then how do you know it exists? (serious)

    If there are no known relevant differences between the noumenal world and the phenomenal worlds, then aren't they one in the same? (if you know of relevant differences, then how can you say you know nothing of the noumenal world?)

    I guess my main question is why there needs to be a noumenal world. what does it explain that the phenomenal world cant? Space-Time adequately explains all there is... everything ultimately reduces to the geometry of space time: any words or concepts we come up with are simply electrical storage codes in our heads that describe this geometry or possible geometries (impossible geometries described through re-arranging of components of real geometries).

    It explains why the phenomenal world exists in the first place. (It avoids the infinite regress challenge that most arguments that purport to account for the existence of the universe cannot avoid.)
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  5. #35
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    It explains why the phenomenal world exists in the first place. (It avoids the infinite regress challenge that most arguments that purport to account for the existence of the universe cannot avoid.)
    {Andrei} Linde has been involved in most of the significant developments with the theory since then. The next step forward came with the realization that there need not be anything special about the Planck- sized region of spacetime that expanded to become our Universe. If that was part of some larger region of spacetime in which all kinds of scalar fields were at work, then only the regions in which those fields produced inflation could lead to the emergence of a large universe like our own. Linde called this "chaotic inflation", because the scalar fields can have any value at different places in the early super-universe; it is the standard version of inflation today, and can be regarded as an example of the kind of reasoning associated with the anthropic principle.

    The idea of chaotic inflation led to what is (so far) the ultimate development of the inflationary scenario. The great unanswered question in standard Big Bang cosmology is what came "before" the singularity. It is often said that the question is meaningless, since time itself began at the singularity. But chaotic inflation suggests that our Universe grew out of a quantum fluctuation in some pre-existing region of spacetime, and that exactly equivalent processes can create regions of inflation within our own Universe. In effect, new universes bud off from our Universe, and our Universe may itself have budded off from another universe, in a process which had no beginning and will have no end.
    It is entirely possible that existence is infinite, yet due to chaotic inflation, at our particular region of the multi-verse, we find things to be finite. So again, I find the noumenal and the phenomenal to be one in the same...

    In the simplest terms:
    1. at the proper scale, everything = energy.
    2. the simplest possible anything = chaos with no limits or order (infinite)
    3. quantum mechanics has shown us that random events can "freeze" at higher levels of scope (quantum events appear to be not deterministic, yet at our scale, things appear very deterministic)
    4. roll 6 dice 50,000 times and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 is almost inevitable. Our region of the universe, our 'scalar field', is that random but inevitable 'ordering' of the infinite chaos.
    5. The finite world we see is still part of that infinite chaos. The differences in attributes depend only on the scope we arbitrarily decide to view this chaos that we call "space-time" in our particular region.
    6. The phenomenal and noumenal is therefore one in the same, when viewed at the proper scope.

  6. #36
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    I can't see the following two as anything other than fundamentally the same argument:

    - Some things exist! Therefore, there is an unknowable, unfathomable, unverifiable entity who exists beyond the access of rational thought.

    - Some things exist! Therefore, there is an unknowable, unfathomable, unverifiable noumenal realm which exists beyond the access of rational thought.

    Our knowledge of the true nature of the universe is too limited to make any certain claims; there are working theories and various models under consideration (a good example being that pointed out by Babylon Candle), but right now "we don't know" is all that we've got.

    And yes, I get it: infinite regress. However, given the present state of our understanding of the nature of the universe, I think it's entirely premature to assert anything in regard to this conundrum with absolute certainty, let alone that an unfathomable noumenal realm is the only possible solution.

    One thing, however, is certain: the "we can't even know that we know anything" line of anti-thinking that follows from the philosophies of people like Kant and Hegel certainly won't do anything to get us any closer to answers.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  7. #37
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Infinite is by definition unknowable. We know that our universe exists. The only way it could possibly be justified in principle (irrespectively of empirical investigation) is if it stems from the infinite realm.

    On that note what we know about this world is completely irrelevant. This metaphysical principle we have established here is analogous to the nature of reality as laws of mathematics are to engineering. An engineer does not need a wealth of experiences with the principle of addition in order to know that 2 plus 2 always make four. We do not need a wealth of experience to know that a finite thing cannot come from nowhere or derive from the first cause which is also a finite entity.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    One thing, however, is certain: the "we can't even know that we know anything" line of anti-thinking that follows from the philosophies of people like Kant and Hegel certainly won't do anything to get us any closer to answers.
    You seem to be confusing Kant and Hegel for Socrates who said that all he knew was that he knew nothing. Hegel and Kant made bold assertions about how the world works.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

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  8. #38
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    i didnt read anything but the op but here you go

    On point one, there is a difference between knowledge and the ability to understand. Understanding comes before knowledge. The potential to understand is what I think you are talking about here. I believe this comes down to brain function and exists within the contrasts of individual mind development. Physical factors that pretain to this cabability, I believe, are created within a complex system of events beginig at the point of conception through out development.

    On point two, I would say that infants carry a strong tendency for both introversion and extroversion since on a physical level they are exaushted and overwhelmed when receiving too much external stimuli, im guessing this comes from their imature ability to process as they go. As far as the innate characteristics, this could go either way as well. At best it is certainly a mixture of capability as well as introduction. For example one may be capable of or have an understanding toward, but if the actual opportunity is never in existence within their world, certainly this knowledge would not manifest itself . This would lead the individual toward other interests which may or may not be as innate yet still comprehendable and result in the foundations for other interests and preferences to occur, as you stated with your sugar salt analogy.

    To point three, we are all just a little pocket of bacteria that exists in a coexisting but differently functioning time within a larger context that is functioning indipendantly yet slightly connected to us

  9. #39
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Infinite is by definition unknowable. We know that our universe exists. The only way it could possibly be justified in principle (irrespectively of empirical investigation) is if it stems from the infinite realm.
    my point of bringing up chaotic inflation was not to empirically try and 'prove' anything. my only point was to use it to illustrate the following points:

    1. Just because infinite as a set is unfathomable, does not mean numbers within the set are unfathomable. The universe may still be infinite and yet have properties that 'appear' finite in our area of the universe and appear finite to our perception. Just because a line is infinite, does not mean we can't measure a part of the line between A and B. Just because a set is infinite, does not mean we cant quantify the numbers between 2 and 100,000 within the set.

    2. Stemming from the infinite realm, is for all intensive purposes, BEING PART of the infinite realm. If the finite realm extends from within the infinite realm, then they are connected and really one in the same. It would then only be our arbitrary "finite"isizing that makes part of it finite.

    On that note what we know about this world is completely irrelevant. This metaphysical principle we have established here is analogous to the nature of reality as laws of mathematics are to engineering. An engineer does not need a wealth of experiences with the principle of addition in order to know that 2 plus 2 always make four. We do not need a wealth of experience to know that a finite thing cannot come from nowhere or derive from the first cause which is also a finite entity.
    Math ---> physics ---> engineering
    Infinity must be first cause ---> nature of reality

    "Engineering is made from math. Reality is made from infinity"

    That I can agree with. What I can't agree with, is the idea that a "finite" realm then separated from the infinite realm and thus requires us to talk about two different realms. "Reality is made from infinity" does not directly lead to "there are two realities" (im NOT saying that this is what you said, im trying to paraphrase with the hope that you may clarify)

  10. #40
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    SW, in your mind, how would this universe and life have arisen from the noumenal realm? Also, what would the existence of this noumenal realm mean for free will?

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    You seem to be confusing Kant and Hegel for Socrates who said that all he knew was that he knew nothing. Hegel and Kant made bold assertions about how the world works.
    I recant my statement. My knowledge of the philosophies of Kant and Hegel is, at present, not thorough enough to pass any certain judgment. I allowed my biases to be affected by those of my preferred philosopher.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

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