Who is an atheist?

Who is an atheist?

There are 9494 comments on the The Sydney Morning Herald story from May 30, 2010, titled Who is an atheist?. In it, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that:

In my last blog there was a moderately spectacular blue between various parties .

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9548 Aug 24, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
We are all stardust - Carl Sagan.
:)

Yes... yes we are.
spider

Ely, UK

#9549 Aug 24, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Indeed-- I just yawned (I so need some coffee), and there is a very good chance that some of the air molecules I exhaled once went in and out of Shakespeare's lungs...
:D
Ohhh,,, not just shakespears lungs,, but many lungs, how about, anything that has ever lived or breathed .
As an aside,,, as I understand things the Bard never had the oppourtunity to sample coffee or tea, tut tut.
There is level of evidence to suggest that the man suffered from a degreee of plaguerism, not that it really matters,,, as people are often so easily taken in on other levels, which have far more importance on everyday life where truth is concerned.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#9550 Aug 24, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
As one observer quipped?
We are made of star ashes, after all.
:)
We are star dust,
We are golden,
We are billion year old carbon,
.....

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#9551 Aug 24, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
Was I wrong somewhere?
Yes agree we got to be careful. What is important is WHAT is endless, lest we start confusing apples with oranges. Like the the numbers of different fractional no. between 0 and 1 would be endless, even as they have a lower and upper bound. Same as the infinite number of points on a line segment.
Also, a line segment 1 meter long has bounded finite length, but infinite number of points on it, length is finite, number of points is infinite.
Further, another line segment 2 meter long will also have infinite no. of points on it. But possiblly the longer line segment has more points on it, hence one infinity can be larger than the other.
In actuality, the longer interval has the same cardinality as the shorter one, even thought they are of different lengths.
Oops, did not mean number of dimensions is infinite, by infinite dimension I meant the lengths along the three axis are endless. My bad. 3D means 3 dimensions.
Exactly. Different notions of 'size'.
In apriori math, number of Dimensions CAN be infinite, all we got to doing is keep integrating from one onto the other. But in the universe as we know it, that is very meaningless beyond 3.(But I have some ideas on what the fourth dimension is (((hushhh, but it is not quite physical as we understand physical)))).
It is now classic to let time be another dimension (whether it is the fourth or the first is a metter of convention). The problem comes in when doing general relativity when spacetime (the four dimensional geometry) is curved (like the two dimensional sphere is curved).
Hope I got things right?
Mostly.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#9552 Aug 24, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
I just might have found the illusive quadruple integral!
Nothing particularly elusive about it. It is just the integral in four dimensions. You can even do 'cylindrical' coordinates, where three coordinates are linear, a version of 'spherical' where two are linear, and another version of 'spherical' where only one is linear. There is even a double version of polar, two radii and two angles.

As you go up dimensions, it gets even more interesting!
spider

Ely, UK

#9553 Aug 24, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Nothing particularly elusive about it. It is just the integral in four dimensions. You can even do 'cylindrical' coordinates, where three coordinates are linear, a version of 'spherical' where two are linear, and another version of 'spherical' where only one is linear. There is even a double version of polar, two radii and two angles.
As you go up dimensions, it gets even more interesting!
What would happen if you ran this through a Black hole??????????
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9555 Aug 24, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
In actuality, the longer interval has the same cardinality as the shorter one, even thought they are of different lengths.
Are you telling me that the set of points in a one meter line segment, and the set of points in a two meter line segment both have the same cardinality?

I don't think one can even say that about the sets of points in two different line segments BOTH one meter long! I do not think you can compare infinities like you can compare numbers. Can you?
It is now classic to let time be another dimension (whether it is the fourth or the first is a metter of convention). The problem comes in when doing general relativity when spacetime (the four dimensional geometry) is curved (like the two dimensional sphere is curved).
Agree one Dimension is not higher or lower than another.

I think integrating an 'n' dimension space is like sweeping it through the (n+1)th dimension. You can do it in math assuming the (n+1)th dimension exists, but in reality if that dimension does not exist, such math is just fiction. That is, you can only sweep a 2D plane thru 3D space, IF AND ONLY IF 3D space exists already, to get your 3D shape. Or you can sweep a point (0D) along any single (EXISTING) dimension (1D space) to get a line.

ALSO if you integrate a 2D object/shape along time, do you get Cinema!
AND if you integrate a 3D shape/object/matter thru time, do we get movement and 'real' physical EVENTS?

Do you think TIME is a pure physical entity? Or a purely logical one? That is:-exists only in our mind?, born from our sense of before and after, a side effect of our ability to store information and compare?

Finally, if a fourth spatial dimension exists, and there are beings that live in it, are we to them what a character in a movie is to us!
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9556 Aug 24, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Nothing particularly elusive about it. It is just the integral in four dimensions. You can even do 'cylindrical' coordinates, where three coordinates are linear, a version of 'spherical' where two are linear, and another version of 'spherical' where only one is linear. There is even a double version of polar, two radii and two angles.
As you go up dimensions, it gets even more interesting!
I think the coordinate systems only help us study the various dimensions, and locate points in them, express shapes in them etc.

Unless I am wrong?

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9557 Aug 24, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
We are star dust,
We are golden,
We are billion year old carbon,
.....
Yes....!

:)

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9558 Aug 24, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Nothing particularly elusive about it. It is just the integral in four dimensions. You can even do 'cylindrical' coordinates, where three coordinates are linear, a version of 'spherical' where two are linear, and another version of 'spherical' where only one is linear. There is even a double version of polar, two radii and two angles.

As you go up dimensions, it gets even more interesting!
Clearly, you and I have somewhat different ideas about what constitutes...

... "interesting".

<laughing my azz off at me, here... >
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9560 Aug 24, 2013
discocrisco wrote:
Perhaps the way to look at it is to examine ourselves. Are we merely a collection of cells arranged in a certain way by chance that somehow produces consciousness? Or are we conscious beings covered by matter that allows us to interact in a material world with other members of this world?
Consciousness may be thought of as 'emergent' from the interactions between neurons.

[Check out "emergence theory"]

But I do not think so. To me emergence is just a failure of the thinker to go into the details. The fact that we can not yet study consciousness, and do not not know if it has structure or not, does not mean we never will. The atom was once unbreakable.

I have made a few attempts to code consciousness, and failed. Maybe next time?
Perhaps the way to look at it is to examine ourselves
There is no perhaps, for the journey into knowledge must start with the knowledge of ourselves.

All our physical senses feed into our mind, and all the information or knowledge we get about the universe, we get it through our mind.

That we are a pattern matching machine is too obvious. We are continually receiving patterns of data from our eyes (a pattern formed by light on our retina) or ears (a pattern of sound). Then we store that data as a pattern, then we accept another pattern, and compare with the saved pattern. So the child learns to recognize shapes and then motion (or observe that a certain kind of sound pattern arrives with a certain kind of light pattern, like the striking of a piano key along with its note)

This (storing and matching of patterns) we do, not just with data from external senses, but internally too, ie with our thoughts too, which are just a pattern of comparison results or decisions, which we then recognize as thoughts. SO THOUGHTS DO HAVE A STRUCTURE.

It is beyond that, that things get blurry to me. What is consciousness? Is it the ability to do all those things together? Our ability to store patterns of decisions that makes us 'conscious'?
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9561 Aug 24, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
That we are a pattern matching machine is too obvious. We are continually receiving patterns of data from our eyes (a pattern formed by light on our retina) or ears (a pattern of sound). Then we store that data as a pattern, then we accept another pattern, and compare with the saved pattern. So the child learns to recognize shapes and then motion (or observe that a certain kind of sound pattern arrives with a certain kind of light pattern, like the striking of a piano key along with its note)
This (storing and matching of patterns) we do, not just with data from external senses, but internally too, ie with our thoughts too, which are just a pattern of comparison results or decisions, which we then recognize as thoughts. SO THOUGHTS DO HAVE A STRUCTURE.
As we compare two patterns, the pattern already in there in memory, must be the before right?

So if we could not store patterns, we would not sense time! Our memory, our ability to store information gives us our sense of time.

So now will time still exist for us if we are no longer able to do this storing? Like when we are dead?
xianity is EVIL

Wheatley, Canada

#9562 Aug 24, 2013
Decade_in_Ruin wrote:
Sorry but time can not be a dimension.
We only see one point of time and we use that to calculate our movement. But as space time we can not measure it.
To try and add time into an equation is futile.
We base time primarily on a short distance. Point a to point d and we still have trouble calculating light as it passes through matter.
For all the math you can attemp to use you will still come out short.
Time travel is not probable due to time. If you go back or forward in time you would not be in same place. Not only on earth but also in space time. Jump 24 hrs either direction and your in outer space. Because time can not be measured time travel is improbable.
time travel is impossible bc past doesnt exist,
and neither does future,all that exists is now,,

Since: Aug 13

Delhi, India

#9563 Aug 24, 2013
Decade_in_Ruin wrote:
Sorry but time can not be a dimension.
We only see one point of time
That I can agree with. It gives us the sense that we only exist in the present.

Fact is, we perceive our existence using our senses. And as we get our sensory information, whether external or internal, we perceive as the PRESENT INSTANT. We are such beings that we can get input information only one pattern at a time, so we can see only only point of time.

[Then I could be wrong, but at least I trying to see things differently.]

Since: Aug 13

Delhi, India

#9564 Aug 24, 2013
xianity is EVIL wrote:
<quoted text>
time travel is impossible bc past doesnt exist,
and neither does future,all that exists is now,,
I used to think so too. Wrote a poem about that in 2007. Sort of still do.

But then again, is that only for beings like us?
Normand Winnipeg

Winnipeg, Canada

#9566 Aug 25, 2013
--- atheist are those who reject GOD'S WAYS and therefor they reject GOD... The lake of fire is waiting for them...
spider

Cambridge, UK

#9568 Aug 25, 2013
Normand Winnipeg wrote:
--- atheist are those who reject GOD'S WAYS and therefor they reject GOD... The lake of fire is waiting for them...
You silly gulible sod,,, how old are you.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#9569 Aug 25, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you telling me that the set of points in a one meter line segment, and the set of points in a two meter line segment both have the same cardinality?
I don't think one can even say that about the sets of points in two different line segments BOTH one meter long! I do not think you can compare infinities like you can compare numbers. Can you?
There are many ways to generalize the way that finite numbers are compared. Cardinality is just one of them. So, once again, we say that two sets have the same cardinality if there is a way to pair them off so that every point of one is paired to exactly one point of the other.

This holds for two line segments, one of which is twice the length of the other. A quick way to see this is to imagine the segments to be parallel, the short one above the long one. Draw the line through the left endpoints and find where it intersects the line drawn through the right endpoints. To make the pairing, just draw a line through this intersection point, through any point on the short line and extend until it intersects the long line. That gives the correspondence between points on the short and long lines. Clearly, each point on each line is associated with exactly one point on the other. So the two line segments have the same cardinality.
Agree one Dimension is not higher or lower than another.
I think integrating an 'n' dimension space is like sweeping it through the (n+1)th dimension. You can do it in math assuming the (n+1)th dimension exists, but in reality if that dimension does not exist, such math is just fiction. That is, you can only sweep a 2D plane thru 3D space, IF AND ONLY IF 3D space exists already, to get your 3D shape. Or you can sweep a point (0D) along any single (EXISTING) dimension (1D space) to get a line.
ALSO if you integrate a 2D object/shape along time, do you get Cinema!
AND if you integrate a 3D shape/object/matter thru time, do we get movement and 'real' physical EVENTS?
From a purely mathematical perspective, an n-dimensional space is just one that is described by n decimal numbers. So, three dimensional space requires numbers associated with left-right, back-front, and up-down:(x,y,z). There is no real problem looking at four coordinates, say (x,y,z,w), and doing the same type of geometric/algebraic manipulations that are done for 2D and 3D. There are even infinite dimensional versions that are well-known and actively studied.

By the way, this is why I described the surface of a sphere as *two* dimensional: you only need two coordinates to locate a point on the surface of a sphere (latitude and longitude, for example). It is a *curved* two-dimensional surface, though.
Do you think TIME is a pure physical entity? Or a purely logical one? That is:-exists only in our mind?, born from our sense of before and after, a side effect of our ability to store information and compare?
Finally, if a fourth spatial dimension exists, and there are beings that live in it, are we to them what a character in a movie is to us!
Time is definitely a physical entity. It can be distorted through mass and energy. It is also a valid dimension since a point in spacetime requires three dimensions to locate it in space and another one for the position in time. That gives four coordinates.

Now, when studying gravity, it turns out that this four dimensional spacetime is *curved*.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#9570 Aug 25, 2013
Decade_in_Ruin wrote:
Sorry but time can not be a dimension.
We only see one point of time and we use that to calculate our movement. But as space time we can not measure it.
To try and add time into an equation is futile.
We base time primarily on a short distance. Point a to point d and we still have trouble calculating light as it passes through matter.
For all the math you can attemp to use you will still come out short.
Time travel is not probable due to time. If you go back or forward in time you would not be in same place. Not only on earth but also in space time. Jump 24 hrs either direction and your in outer space. Because time can not be measured time travel is improbable.
Um, time is measured all the time. I bet if you look at the tray on your computer, you see a measurement of time. It's called a clock. To determine a position in spacetime required four numbers: three for space and one for time. That makes spacetime four dimensional.

I certainly don't see why time cannot be used in equations. In fact, of course, it is done all the time. Newton started the subject of modern physics by considering how things change in position and velocity, which is based on time as a variable describing the position of a particle.

In fact,*all* modern physics, when it looks at dynamics, uses time in some way. Why you think it is an obstacle is beyond me. Perhaps if you took an elementary calculus based physics course, you would see how time can be used mathematically.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#9571 Aug 25, 2013
xianity is EVIL wrote:
<quoted text>
time travel is impossible bc past doesnt exist,
and neither does future,all that exists is now,,
First, you have to be clear about what you mean by 'time travel': we are all traveling into the future at the rate of 1 minute every 60 seconds. Nothing strange about that.

Also, observers moving at high speeds with respect to each other will disagree about when two events happen at the same time: the term 'now' is not physically well defined when changing reference frames. This shows your statement that 'now' is the only thing that exists is simply wrong.

The best way to talk about time travel is in the context of general relativity. Since different observers can disagree about whether things happen at the same time, the concept of the 'future' is vague. That said, there is an observer-independent concept called the 'future light cone'(there is also a past light cone). All causality happens from the past light cone to the future light cone.

The statement that time travel is impossible is, essentially, the claim that there are no *loops* in spacetime that are always pointed into the future light cones (closed, time-like loops). I think every working physicist believes such are impossible in the real world, but we don't have any good mathematical reasons for saying so.

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