Question that destroys #Atheism

I(X) = Ex 1/n E/LOG SI  S/T (G)

There is one heavy question that destroys #atheism:



A) Matter is information 
B) Matter cannot produce it on its own- needs sentient sender.  
C) Sentient Sender must be intelligent and Causal/Mover Agent in order to code matter.  

Who/What is this sentient sender?  





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This entry was posted in Atheism, Atheist, God, Information, matter, Physics, Sender, Universe. Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to Question that destroys #Atheism

  1. Anonymous says:

    But they can refute the physics- from what I've seen of the other comments, the hypothesis you've quoted (i.e. everything is information, information has to be sent) isn't as widely accepted and proven as you seem to be insisting. I certainly have never heard of it. This means you've based an argument on a point that isn't accepted, almost as if I said “If chocolate tastes like strawberry, and strawberry is better than banana, Chocolate is better than banana.” Not everyone will accept chocolate tastes like strawberry, so they can't logically carry on with the argument. I hope that makes sense, and I hope it doesn't come across as if I'm attacking you, because that is not my intention.

    Also, you say that the origin of information has to be sentient- does that mean that a computer is sentient? Computers regularly send information.

    Personally, If I wanted to discuss the idea like you say you do, I'd offer the source as readily as possible so that half the discussion isn't people saying “Show us!”

    I can see the logic for their being a being that created a universe, but I don't think it's possible to attribute any thing else to that being at this moment, and that instead of just accepting it, our species should do as much as possible to find out as much as possible about this being.

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  2. Sacerdotus says:

    What are you talking about? This is taught in 200 level physic courses throughout the United States of America! Hawkings developed his Information paradox idea using this knowledge. The people who comment on here obviously never too physics and are aloof to the knowledge it possesses.
    Where is your evidence that this is not accepted?

    Computers send information, but can they create it on their own without assistance from a human being? Obviously, computers are not part of the equation because they lack this ability.

    Why isn't it possible to attribute any thing to that being?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I think where you use the word 'information' the word 'energy' is normally used. This is where I, and it seems, others are confused.
    My evidence it isn't accepted is mainly in the comments above due to the misinterpretation of wording. (incidently, if I told you to go find the evidence as it's easy to find, how would you feel?!)

    So would a computer consider a human as a God?

    Well because your point only says that the being exists. Until you have more data, you don't know anything else about the being.

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  4. Sacerdotus says:

    Not at all. “Energy and information are related but
    independent, so the dynamical restrictions for one cannot be derived from those for the other.” Duncan/Semura – Portland State University

    Energy and information relate with each other, but are not the same. Energy is more like the organization tool for information.

    Don't rely on comments made here. Most atheists are contrarians and will say anything for the sake of having an opposite argument.

    I understand your concern, but I don't have the time to quote every textbook, journal out there when one can use Kindle, Ipad or whatever to purchase texts regarding the information; or better yet, can use the library. If I see there is a lot of confusion, then I will try my best to cite sources that are easy enough for all to understand.

    If a computer is sentient, it might consider human as God. If my memory serves me well, this idea is touched upon in Schneider's Sci Fiction and Philosophy.

    Well if this being exists, there is only but so much data we can collect. We have to rely on the data we have not in order to make conclusions. It would be nice to have a dinosaur around to experiment on, but we only have fossil records. So if there is a God or being that controls all, then we have to rely on whatever data we have even if it may not be tangible.

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  5. This isn't physics. The parameters of the question are wrong, and assert there must be a sentient sender of information, which depends on matter. A lot of information depends on energy, not matter, and the two are interchangeable. The question is malformed, because it assumes its parameters. But, even if the parameters were correct, we would still require evidence to support any answer.

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  6. You're also making an analogy between artificial constructs and the natural world. This is a fallacy.

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  7. This is just a really bad tautology, not physics at all.

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  8. Sacerdotus says:

    Explain. Your comment would have more value if you expound on it instead of saying, “it's just bad.” Why is it bad? What doesn't make sense?

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  9. Sacerdotus says:

    It is physics. This deals with information theory. I posed a thought experiment based on it. Regardless of what information is dependent on, it still needs to be created in such a way that allows it to form into something that is distinct.

    To what artificial constructs are you referring to?

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  10. Alan says:

    A) Matter is information – OK I'll accept this though unsure of your exact meaning.
    B) Matter cannot produce it on its own- needs sentient sender.

    What is 'it'? I assume you mean information.

    However you have already stated that matter is information therefore you do not have to produce it.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    There are definitely two logical fallacies committed in your argument, but a case could be made for two others. You claim the following:

    “A) Matter is information
    B) Matter cannot produce it on its own- needs sentient sender.
    C) Sentient Sender must be intelligent and Causal/Mover Agent in order to code matter.”

    This is fallacious reasoning, specifically the “begging the question” fallacy:

    “Begging the Question is a fallacy in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true. This sort of “reasoning” typically has the following form.

    1. Premises in which the truth of the conclusion is claimed or the truth of the conclusion is assumed (either directly or indirectly).
    2. Claim C (the conclusion) is true.

    This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious because simply assuming that the conclusion is true (directly or indirectly) in the premises does not constitute evidence for that conclusion. Obviously, simply assuming a claim is true does not serve as evidence for that claim. This is especially clear in particularly blatant cases: “X is true. The evidence for this claim is that X is true.”

    See; Begging the Question fallacy: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/begging-the-question.html

    Specifically, in your premise (B) you claim your conclusion (C) is true when you say, “Matter cannot produce it on its own- needs sentient sender. (Key phrase being “needs sentient sender.”) By definition then, the conclusion cannot be claimed to be true if the only the evidence for it being true is that it's stated to be true in the premise.

    Note: You do not provide evidence or sources for any of this, instead stating on multiple occasions that this can be found in Hawking's writings or any physics textbooks without stating which type of physics textbooks or which of Hawking's writings. It should go without saying that there are hundreds of different types of physics textbooks for the hundreds of different branches of physics, and Hawking does not write on the same topic all the time. This is also fallacious, and it is known as the “burden of proof” fallacy. The burden of proof is on the side of the party making a claim.

    Since you did not provide sources, one could, based on the nature of your claim, make a case for an “appeal to belief” fallacy and possibly a “biased sample” fallacy since there are no reliable physics textbooks which would claim that a sentient being is required to create information, and Hawking has certainly said nothing of the sort as Hawking doesn't believe in the supernatural leading one to believe that your source is both biased and appealing to belief.

    P.S. I only used the Anonymous tag as I do not wish to create an account on any of the provided websites. I can be found on Twitter @jakejwest.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    First you said that this is not a 'debate', but a question for Atheists to answer. But then you say it is 'intended to started a dialog' and 'this is a debate blog'

    If you want anyone to actually answer the question, support your starting premises or at least provide a source reference (as a scientist would).

    Do you want atheists to answer the question, or do you want a debate?

    Also, the title of this particular blog is not conducive to scientific debate, but is specifically designed to try to annoy atheists so they don't question your premises too closely.

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  13. Sacerdotus says:

    It is a question. This is a thought experiment using physics and philosophy seeking to answer the question of information in matter. This blog is a discussion blog that hosts formal debates as well.

    I already supported my premises which stem from the law of thermodynamics and information theory. If you have not studies physics, naturally, you would be lost in the question as you have demonstrated.

    The question annoys atheists because they cannot answer it making atheism impossible to defend.

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  14. Sacerdotus says:

    You obviously do not know the difference between an argument and a thought experiment. I am not arguing a point here. I am presenting a question to atheists that they would need to answer in order to present atheism as a valid position.

    In order to answer this question, one must understand physics – information theory in particular. Without this knowledge, you will not be able to fully comprehend the question nor even have the possibility to answer it. There is no fallacy here because this is a question, not a statement. The fallacy is in your strawman. You did not understand the question and presumed it to be fallacious in order to distract from your inability to answer it.

    The question is simple to understand.

    A) Matter has information
    B) The law of thermodynamics stats that matter cannot produce information on its own
    C) Information as we know it derives from an intelligent conscious agent capable of organization and critical thinking.

    Now, since information exists in matter and matter cannot produce it on its own and information can only be produced by intelligence, then who or what programmed matter with information?

    If you cannot answer this, then atheism is a premise that cannot be defended logically.

    So what is your answer?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    No, you obviously do no understand the difference between a thought experiment and an argument. It's plainly apparent as your title is argumentative by nature: “Question that destroys #Atheism.” You have an argument (the question) and you have a target (Atheists).

    Not enough? Let's take a look at what Wikipedia says about argumentation:

    “Argumentation theory, or argumentation, is the interdisciplinary study of how conclusions can be reached through logical reasoning; that is, claims based, soundly or not, on premises. It includes the arts and sciences of civil debate, dialogue, conversation, and persuasion. It studies rules of inference, logic, and procedural rules in both artificial and real world settings.

    Argumentation includes debate and negotiation which are concerned with reaching mutually acceptable conclusions. It also encompasses eristic dialog, the branch of social debate in which victory over an opponent is the primary goal. This art and science is often the means by which people protect their beliefs or self-interests in rational dialogue, in common parlance, and during the process of arguing.

    Argumentation is used in law, for example in trials, in preparing an argument to be presented to a court, and in testing the validity of certain kinds of evidence. Also, argumentation scholars study the post hoc rationalizations by which organizational actors try to justify decisions they have made irrationally.”

    Read the first line again: “Argumentation theory, or argumentation, is the interdisciplinary study of how conclusions can be reached through logical reasoning; that is, claims based, soundly or not, on premises.”

    (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentation_theory)

    This is exactly what you did.

    Apparently my post was too long, so I've cut it in half. @jakejwest

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Next, your new argument relies on the “law [sic] of thermodynamics,”

    1. There is no “law [sic] of thermodynamics.” There are FOUR laws of thermodynamics.

    2. None of the four laws of thermodynamics says anything related to matter being able to or not being able to “produce information on its own.”

    3. Entropy has two VERY different meanings in regards to thermodynamics and information theory. I suggest you learn the difference.

    Now, don't believe me? Here are the four laws of thermodynamics:

    Zeroth law of thermodynamics: If two systems are both in thermal equilibrium with a third system then they are in thermal equilibrium with each other. This law helps to define the notion of temperature.

    “First law of thermodynamics: Heat and work are forms of energy transfer. Energy is invariably conserved, however the internal energy of a closed system may change as heat is transferred into or out of the system or work is done on or by the system. In real systems work does not always leave the system. For example, changes in molecular energy (potential energy), are generally considered to remain within the system. Similarly, the rotational and vibrational energies of polyatomic molecules remain within the system.

    From the above, all the energy associated with a system must be accounted for as heat, work, chemical energy etc., thus perpetual motion machines of the first kind, which would do work without using the energy resources of a system, are impossible.

    Second law of thermodynamics: An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system. Perpetual motion machines of the second kind are thus impossible.

    Third law of thermodynamics: The entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches zero. The entropy of a system at absolute zero is typically zero, and in all cases is determined only by the number of different ground states it has. Specifically, the entropy of a pure crystalline substance at absolute zero temperature is zero.”

    (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics)

    Where oh where did you get the idea that the laws of thermodynamics “stats [sic] that matter cannot produce information on its own?” It says nothing of the sort. All the laws of thermodynamics discuss are heat and entropy…

    Lastly, you still haven't given a source regarding your premise that “matter is information,” or your new premise “matter has information.” I'd never heard this before, so I've been scouring Google looking for any source which states such; I've yet to find one. In fact, “matter” isn't mentioned even once on Wikipedia's page on Information Theory. This is quite telling, really.

    Until you can actually prove that your premises are true, you don't have an argument.

    (Note: I don't normally use Wikipedia as a source, but this is hardly an academic discussion…)

    Twitter – @jakejwest

    Like

  17. Allocutus says:

    Hi Michael,

    Let's do this slowly. Let's start with premise A. “Matter is information”. How do you define information for our purposes?

    I will not move further until we get that question clarified.

    Thanks,

    @Allocutus.

    Like

  18. Sacerdotus says:

    Our dialog in Oct of 2012 already covers this.

    Like

  19. Sacerdotus says:

    Jake, you obviously are confused. I can tell by the way you are splicing up your comment by quoting from Wikipedia. You cannot do this without absorbing the material first. I never suggested that there was only ONE law of thermodynamics. I do not understand where you got this idea from.
    Moreover, physics deals with the study of what is matter, energy – in other words, what makes every thing up in this universe. Physicists apply particular terms in order to describe in jargon form the functions of the universe to the smallest particle. Words such as “information” are used to describe this construction. For all intent and purposes, matter is information. Every thing that exists is information. It is ordered and maintains itself via a “code” found within the construction and charges of each particle. Again, I use the word “code” to give a better image of what I am talking about.
    I am sure you have seen the movie “The Matrix.” Do you remember the people in the ship looking at the monitors? All they looked at were green characters flowing downward. These characters composed the universe which the “Matrix” constructed. Our universe is pretty much the same. All matter is information. This idea is relatively new dating about 30-40 years.
    With the development of computers, physicists are able to test the ideas found in information theory. The laws you quoted describe this ordering or information. Energy and matter interact is such a way that it forms what we observe and experience, ie temperature, motion, gas, liquid, solid, plasma and so on.
    Now, the thought experiment I proposed takes into account this information as well as ontology which is a field in philosophy. You do not understand the difference between a thought experiment and an argument. Notice that I pose a question : “Who is this sender?” I ask this question after providing some known facts. Had I been arguing, I would not be asking now would I? An argument would be some thing like this:
    Matter is information, information needs a sentient sender; therefore, this sender is God. I did not do this. I gave the information and posed the question. Readers then have to answer it. See the difference? This is not some thing difficult. I do not understand why you are having issue understanding this basic thought/English exercise.
    Notice you have not answered the question. Instead you quoted from wikipedia and presented an embarrassing straw man argument.

    Like

  20. Sacerdotus says:

    It is Information.

    Matter is information, it exists; but it can only exist due to a sentient sender. The question is. How did the information get here?

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  21. Allocutus says:

    And this was your response:

    “This post is not meant to be a debate but a question for Atheists to answer – or attempt to answer. The information you request can be found in any physics text and even the writings of Hawkings.”

    That is NOT a reply to my question: how do you define “information” for our purposes?

    @Allocutus

    Like

  22. Sacerdotus says:

    I answered this a few posts above yours.

    Like

  23. Daddy Love says:

    I'm not a physicist, I am a writer in a technical field that is not physics. But my understanding is that this information was encoded due to quantum fluctuations during the first trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. But I'll ask Brian Greene and get back yo tou on that.

    But here are the problems I see. First, I do not see any particular reason to accept A/B/C as true. So the rest is meaningless without that. You would have to establish their truth to proceed, and you do not.

    Second, if you succeed in establishing A/B/C as true, then the real answer is “I don't know.” That does not prove that there is a God, and certainly does not convince me that there is one. So what's the point?

    Third, you seem to be implying and/or assuming that if there is some “sentient sender,” that this implies or establishes God. Now, I haven't read every response yet, and it looked to my skimming that you deny asserting that, but really. Let's say you're not. There could be 1 million possible “sentient senders,” only one of whom would correspond to God. Seems like confirmation bias to me. When Brian gets back to me I will let you know.

    Like

  24. Daddy Love says:

    BTW, this is a silly thing. Atheism is a position that “I have not been convinced by the evidence. To which you offer a philosophical proposition and/or possibly a lesson on physics which may or may not be well-grounded in the accepted theory and practice. If you want to convince an atheist, present the evidence. And I mean in a straightforward way. Looks to me a bit like the God of the gaps, where what was presented in earlier generations has been thoroughly debunked so today's theists try to find more and more obscure justifications. If God is what the theists say it is, then the proof should be dead easy. The fact that it's not is telling.

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  25. Nic Taylor says:

    If what you are saying is truly mainstream accepted physics it should realistically only take you a couple of minutes to find and provide links to peer reviewed scientific journals that can show what you say to be true and then move on any debate that would otherwise be stalled by people (whether it be you or someone else) that is incorrect in their understanding of physics.

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  26. Nic Taylor says:

    If what you are saying is truly mainstream accepted physics it should realistically only take you a couple of minutes to find and provide links to peer reviewed scientific journals that can show what you say to be true and then move on any debate that would otherwise be stalled by people (whether it be you or someone else) that is incorrect in their understanding of physics.

    Like

  27. Nic Taylor says:

    If what you say is truly mainstream accepted physics then it should only take you a few moments to provide everyone with links to peer reviewed journals (seen as you are attempting to use physics to debate you should always give your sources and should have provided this information in the original post). This would show if your claims on the nature of physics are indeed correct or if you either made them up, misrepresented some science or simply failed to understand something correctly.

    Like

  28. Sacerdotus says:

    This post deals with a Philosophical thought experiment using Physics. Peer review journals are not the be all end all of science. A peer reviewed journal simply means that others read it. It does not guarantee the information in a journal to be accurate. Remember, data in any journal is valid at the point it was tested. Eventually as with every part of science, that data can change or new methods of acquiring it can develop. The purpose of science and philosophy is to not be stuck on a specific discovery and end all inquiries thereafter. Thinking and re-thinking things must be part of science and philosophy. If you read the comments, I did provide cites for those curious to know more. May I note that a year after this post was published, physicists posted a study showing that this universe might be a computer program. Had I had this data then, I would have included that study here as well.

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  29. Sacerdotus says:

    I think what you are referring to is a prototype processor for computers. What this post deals with is information in matter. Why do you not accept a/b/c as true? Simply rejecting it does not disprove it if you do not provide a refutation of each. Each point is based on logic and physics. Matter contains information, but it cannot produce it on its own. We know from experience that information can only be created via thought processed applied to space and time via writing, equations etc. This requires an intelligent brain. i.e computer programmer programming an app. The post is asking who is the “intelligent sender” if proposition a/b are the current source of knowledge we have? C is the reasoning based on human experience as I have described.

    “I don't know” does not help and is merely a cop out. We have brains and can reason. “I don't know” is not an answer.

    I am not implying anything. I am merely putting forth some reasoning based on physics, philosophy and human experience in order to get a discussion going. The “sentient sender” can be an extraterrestrial or inter-dimensional being testing us in a lab, who knows? There are studies showing that the universe may be a computer simulation, so the possibility exists that all of this may be someone's sims game.

    Like

  30. Sacerdotus says:

    That is not atheism, but apisteuo. Atheism is the rejection of the God hypothesis. Nothing has been debunked. Where did you get this idea from. To date, no atheist has been able to disprove God with evidence. They argue from ignorance instead. The problem here is that some atheist expect evidence to be more than it should. No theist can present a bearded man on a throne before an atheist as proof. Reason and logic are the main tools to provide evidence for God just like they are used to formulate hypothesis and theories in physics, for example “worm holes.” No one has ever seen one or been to one, yet most physicists claim they exists. How do they know this? They use reason, logic and mathematics to come to this conclusion. Similarly, theists us reason, logic and sometimes even mathematics to show that there has to be a God or external being that created and maintains what we call existence. I think it is hypocritical that an atheist would adopt ideas from physicists without hard proof, yet reject a theist's arguments and evidence when both are pretty much the same thing.

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  31. Martin Rose says:

    > …theists use reason, logic and sometimes even mathematics to show that there has to be a God or external being that created and maintains what we call existence.

    Cool. Let's this then please!

    Like

  32. Martin Rose says:

    > There are studies showing that the universe may be a computer simulation

    Surely you mean, 'There are studies attempting to find out that the universe may be a computer simulation'.

    If studies could already show we were a computer simulation, I somehow think this would be plastered across all our TV screens & other media, don't you!

    Like

  33. Martin Rose says:

    > Atheism is the rejection of the God hypothesis

    No it isn't. It is the lack of belief in any Gods.

    Stop trying to re-define the word for your own political/religious/argumentative purposes.

    Like

  34. Sacerdotus says:

    Have you had studies in mathematics, physics and logic? If not, then this will be a futile attempt because you will not understand. Moreover, blogger does not allow special characters so it will be difficult to write out an equation. I will have to improvise.

    Like

  35. Sacerdotus says:

    I was correct the first time. Not every scientific study or research is published on television. Unfortunately, the media does not see money in these kinds of things, so they do not give it air time. Cosmos with Dr. Degrasse seems to be breaking this, so let's see what happens.

    Like

  36. Sacerdotus says:

    I only rely on the academic definition of this work and the culture surrounding it. I do not rely on the internet amateur atheist definition to it which ignores the roots of the word. Atheism literally means “without god” or “no god.” It has nothing to do with belief or disbelief. Apisteuo is the work that deals with “disbelief.” Most atheists on the internet are frauds using the label “atheist” to ride on the wave of disruptive and mischievous online behavior. They repeat whatever they have read on Twitter or blogs and do not understand what atheism really is.

    Like

  37. Martin Rose says:

    You were not correct first time. The media would MOST DEFINITELY love to hear the evidence we're a simulation.

    You just make stuff up for your own political/religious purposes!

    Like

  38. Sacerdotus says:

    The research speaks for itself and is ongoing. As a graduate in the sciences and member of honor societies, I keep up with the latest information. I do not have access to global media, but in my area in the northeast part of the United States, no reports were ever made. Perhaps on youtube you may find something? If you are interested, see http://arxiv.org/abs/1210.1847

    If more evidence is gathered regarding this hypothesis, then atheism will go out the window. If we are indeed a simulation, then it follows that this simulation has a programmer. Atheism will be put in the cemetery. Your accusations only show that you have run out of defenses for atheism. This is understandable. However, I will not post anymore accusations, I want evidence, opinions grounded in reason and evidence. This blog is not meant to be a pointing fingers thing.

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  39. I think what has happened here that the sheer magnitude of utter dishonesty, arrogance (destroys atheism?) and incoherence in your premise overwhelmed this poor chap's rational thought process and he wrote the first cogent thought that came to his mind. I know it was mine, and then this was my second.

    Like

  40. It puts 3 postulations to us as axioms, and concludes without firstly analysing the axioms to ensure they're True, then neglects to work the process between axiom and conclusion, and finally posts it as the Destruction of Atheism.
    It is a stunningly poorly-constructed attack for someone trying so hard to be taken seriously.

    Like

  41. This is the part that simply isn't true.
    Matter is. We know it is because it is here. We see it, measure it. We are made of it.
    There is nothing anywhere intellectually, physically or philosophically that states that matter must be created.
    Physically it is entirely sound to think that matter ALWAYS was.

    Like

  42. Martin Rose says:

    And neither does matter = information.

    Information is a man-made abstract concept, whilst matter is tangible.

    Like

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