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Quote By Alexander Vilenkin

Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/23/2014 5:56:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
"The picture of quantum tunneling from nothing raises another intriguing question. The tunneling process is governed by the same fundamental laws that describe the subsequent evolution of the universe. It follows that the laws should be 'there' even prior to the universe itself. Does this mean that the laws are not mere descriptions of reality and can have an independent existence of their own? In the absence of space, time, and matter, what tablets could they be written upon? The laws are expressed in the form of mathematical equations. If the medium of mathematics is the mind, does this mean that mind should predate the universe?" - Alexander Vilenkin

What do Theists/ Atheists think of this quote?
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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4/23/2014 6:16:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 5:56:13 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"The picture of quantum tunneling from nothing raises another intriguing question. The tunneling process is governed by the same fundamental laws that describe the subsequent evolution of the universe. It follows that the laws should be 'there' even prior to the universe itself. Does this mean that the laws are not mere descriptions of reality and can have an independent existence of their own? In the absence of space, time, and matter, what tablets could they be written upon? The laws are expressed in the form of mathematical equations. If the medium of mathematics is the mind, does this mean that mind should predate the universe?" - Alexander Vilenkin

What do Theists/ Atheists think of this quote?

He's trying to make the leap from descriptivist to proscriptivist, and failing. "Does this mean that the laws are not mere descriptions of reality and can have an independent existence of their own?"--I would say "no, it does not mean that". Now, it MIGHT mean that, but to quote a good deal of folks from my old hometown: "You can't get theah from heah"
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Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/23/2014 6:22:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 6:16:16 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/23/2014 5:56:13 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"The picture of quantum tunneling from nothing raises another intriguing question. The tunneling process is governed by the same fundamental laws that describe the subsequent evolution of the universe. It follows that the laws should be 'there' even prior to the universe itself. Does this mean that the laws are not mere descriptions of reality and can have an independent existence of their own? In the absence of space, time, and matter, what tablets could they be written upon? The laws are expressed in the form of mathematical equations. If the medium of mathematics is the mind, does this mean that mind should predate the universe?" - Alexander Vilenkin

What do Theists/ Atheists think of this quote?

He's trying to make the leap from descriptivist to proscriptivist, and failing. "Does this mean that the laws are not mere descriptions of reality and can have an independent existence of their own?"--I would say "no, it does not mean that". Now, it MIGHT mean that, but to quote a good deal of folks from my old hometown: "You can't get theah from heah"

I guess it depends on whether you think math is invented or discovered. Is it descriptive, or prescriptive? That sort of thing.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/25/2014 5:38:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I just think it is ironic, because when I was an Atheist, I used to use Alexander Vilenkin's model as an Atheistic explanation, but at the end of his book, he hints that it may imply Theism after all.
philochristos
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4/25/2014 2:58:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 5:56:13 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"The picture of quantum tunneling from nothing raises another intriguing question. The tunneling process is governed by the same fundamental laws that describe the subsequent evolution of the universe. It follows that the laws should be 'there' even prior to the universe itself. Does this mean that the laws are not mere descriptions of reality and can have an independent existence of their own? In the absence of space, time, and matter, what tablets could they be written upon? The laws are expressed in the form of mathematical equations. If the medium of mathematics is the mind, does this mean that mind should predate the universe?" - Alexander Vilenkin

What do Theists/ Atheists think of this quote?

This almost sounds like the transcendental argument for God.

I think there are different kinds of laws. There are physical laws which describe the physical world, and I don't think they can exist without a physical world to describe.

Then there are metaphysical laws that apply to both physical and non-physical things, but don't require the physical things to exist; they just put retraints on what physical things could exist or how physical things could be.

Then there are the laws of logic, which apply to everything. These are necessary laws that don't require anything at all to exist. Or, if you consider abtract entities to have ontology, then I guess you could saw the laws of logic exist, in which case "nothingness" is logically impossible.

I've never seen any good reason to think these kinds of laws require minds. Even if there were no minds, I don't think square circles could exist.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/25/2014 3:51:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:58:21 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/23/2014 5:56:13 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"The picture of quantum tunneling from nothing raises another intriguing question. The tunneling process is governed by the same fundamental laws that describe the subsequent evolution of the universe. It follows that the laws should be 'there' even prior to the universe itself. Does this mean that the laws are not mere descriptions of reality and can have an independent existence of their own? In the absence of space, time, and matter, what tablets could they be written upon? The laws are expressed in the form of mathematical equations. If the medium of mathematics is the mind, does this mean that mind should predate the universe?" - Alexander Vilenkin

What do Theists/ Atheists think of this quote?

This almost sounds like the transcendental argument for God.

I think there are different kinds of laws. There are physical laws which describe the physical world, and I don't think they can exist without a physical world to describe.

I disagree, as all "physical laws" are, are mathematical equations (if you assume math is prescriptive and not just descriptive). Space and time are not needed for math, but the mind is.


Then there are metaphysical laws that apply to both physical and non-physical things, but don't require the physical things to exist; they just put retraints on what physical things could exist or how physical things could be.

Then there are the laws of logic, which apply to everything. These are necessary laws that don't require anything at all to exist. Or, if you consider abtract entities to have ontology, then I guess you could saw the laws of logic exist, in which case "nothingness" is logically impossible.

I've never seen any good reason to think these kinds of laws require minds. Even if there were no minds, I don't think square circles could exist.

But what would be preventing a square circles existence though? Isn't the medium of logic the mind? The laws of logic must exist in order to prevent square circles, but a mind must ground the "laws of logic" as it is a concept. Concepts necessarily exist within the mind.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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4/25/2014 5:10:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 3:51:58 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 2:58:21 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/23/2014 5:56:13 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"The picture of quantum tunneling from nothing raises another intriguing question. The tunneling process is governed by the same fundamental laws that describe the subsequent evolution of the universe. It follows that the laws should be 'there' even prior to the universe itself. Does this mean that the laws are not mere descriptions of reality and can have an independent existence of their own? In the absence of space, time, and matter, what tablets could they be written upon? The laws are expressed in the form of mathematical equations. If the medium of mathematics is the mind, does this mean that mind should predate the universe?" - Alexander Vilenkin

What do Theists/ Atheists think of this quote?

This almost sounds like the transcendental argument for God.

I think there are different kinds of laws. There are physical laws which describe the physical world, and I don't think they can exist without a physical world to describe.

I disagree, as all "physical laws" are, are mathematical equations (if you assume math is prescriptive and not just descriptive). Space and time are not needed for math, but the mind is.

But no equation explains anything if there's nothing to be explained.

I meanI can come up with equations myself to describe a fictional universe, but that doesn't mean the equations I came up with were actually physical laws.

But what would be preventing a square circles existence though? Isn't the medium of logic the mind? The laws of logic must exist in order to prevent square circles, but a mind must ground the "laws of logic" as it is a concept. Concepts necessarily exist within the mind.

I don't see any reason to think a mind is needed to ground the laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary in themselves. They don't need anything to ground them other than their own necessity.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/25/2014 6:31:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 5:10:05 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/25/2014 3:51:58 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 2:58:21 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/23/2014 5:56:13 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"The picture of quantum tunneling from nothing raises another intriguing question. The tunneling process is governed by the same fundamental laws that describe the subsequent evolution of the universe. It follows that the laws should be 'there' even prior to the universe itself. Does this mean that the laws are not mere descriptions of reality and can have an independent existence of their own? In the absence of space, time, and matter, what tablets could they be written upon? The laws are expressed in the form of mathematical equations. If the medium of mathematics is the mind, does this mean that mind should predate the universe?" - Alexander Vilenkin

What do Theists/ Atheists think of this quote?

This almost sounds like the transcendental argument for God.

I think there are different kinds of laws. There are physical laws which describe the physical world, and I don't think they can exist without a physical world to describe.

I disagree, as all "physical laws" are, are mathematical equations (if you assume math is prescriptive and not just descriptive). Space and time are not needed for math, but the mind is.

But no equation explains anything if there's nothing to be explained.

Some equations describe future potentialities. For example, in Alexander Vilenkin's model, the laws describing a potential quantum tunnelling event exist logically prior to the universe.


I meanI can come up with equations myself to describe a fictional universe, but that doesn't mean the equations I came up with were actually physical laws.

But what would be preventing a square circles existence though? Isn't the medium of logic the mind? The laws of logic must exist in order to prevent square circles, but a mind must ground the "laws of logic" as it is a concept. Concepts necessarily exist within the mind.

I don't see any reason to think a mind is needed to ground the laws of logic.

Because the laws of logic are conceptual. Concepts exist within the mind.

The laws of logic are necessary in themselves. They don't need anything to ground them other than their own necessity.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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4/25/2014 6:41:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 6:31:01 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 5:10:05 PM, philochristos wrote:

I don't see any reason to think a mind is needed to ground the laws of logic.

Because the laws of logic are conceptual. Concepts exist within the mind.

I don't think they are purely conceptual. I think the laws of logic are laws of being, not laws of thought. We have to think logically if we want our thoughts to correspond to reality because reality is logical.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/26/2014 3:11:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 6:41:12 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/25/2014 6:31:01 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 5:10:05 PM, philochristos wrote:

I don't see any reason to think a mind is needed to ground the laws of logic.

Because the laws of logic are conceptual. Concepts exist within the mind.

I don't think they are purely conceptual. I think the laws of logic are laws of being, not laws of thought.

But ontologically, what are "laws"? They aren't matter, anything physical... It makes the most sense to say they are concepts.

We have to think logically if we want our thoughts to correspond to reality because reality is logical.
philochristos
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4/26/2014 7:42:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/26/2014 3:11:17 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 6:41:12 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/25/2014 6:31:01 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 5:10:05 PM, philochristos wrote:

I don't see any reason to think a mind is needed to ground the laws of logic.

Because the laws of logic are conceptual. Concepts exist within the mind.

I don't think they are purely conceptual. I think the laws of logic are laws of being, not laws of thought.

But ontologically, what are "laws"? They aren't matter, anything physical... It makes the most sense to say they are concepts.

The concepts are just our formulations or expressions of the way reality is. But reality would be what it is whether anybody was expressing the way it is or formulating it. When you refer to the laws of logic, if you're just talking about the expression of them, or the wording of them, or something like that, then sure, that requires a mind. But I think the reality behind the concepts, expressions, formulations, etc., is mind-independent.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/26/2014 1:43:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/26/2014 7:42:23 AM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/26/2014 3:11:17 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 6:41:12 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/25/2014 6:31:01 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 5:10:05 PM, philochristos wrote:

I don't see any reason to think a mind is needed to ground the laws of logic.

Because the laws of logic are conceptual. Concepts exist within the mind.

I don't think they are purely conceptual. I think the laws of logic are laws of being, not laws of thought.

But ontologically, what are "laws"? They aren't matter, anything physical... It makes the most sense to say they are concepts.

The concepts are just our formulations or expressions of the way reality is. But reality would be what it is whether anybody was expressing the way it is or formulating it. When you refer to the laws of logic, if you're just talking about the expression of them, or the wording of them, or something like that, then sure, that requires a mind. But I think the reality behind the concepts, expressions, formulations, etc., is mind-independent.

Again, that doesn't answer what the laws are ontologically. Them being concepts is still the best explanation. The distinction is concepts in God's mind, and concepts in our finite-human minds. Also, nothing is mind-independent in my Panentheistic Idealistic view, but that is another story.