Monday, November 20, 2017

Sacerdotus Is (Even More) Stupid (Than Previously Thought) Pt. 2

Author's note: I know I just wrote that I'd be spending more time writing about social issues and lay off atheism for a bit, but a recent attempt to rebut my blog post on why I'm an atheist got my attention and prompted me to make a response. I'll get back to social issues when this is done.

A supposed "philosopher" who challenged me on my post Why I'm An Atheist, wrote a follow up to my follow up, and in it he claims again, that's he's refuted me and that I'm ignorant of science and philosophy. The exact opposite is true and I can easily show why. His arguments are so bad, they are laughable. And I don't mean this to be facetious, I mean this with all seriousness. He makes so many common argumentative mistakes and factual errors that I cannot take him seriously that he has a degree in philosophy and science. If he does have a degree, he should get a refund, because he apparently learned no serious critical thinking skills because of it. His arguments are on the caliber of the same old tired internet apologist, like the many wannabe William Lane Craig clones out there. Only he's at the low end of the spectrum.

Here I continue with part 2 covering arguments 3, 4, 5, and 6.Starting with his response to argument 3, his words are in block quotes:

3) Causality doesn't exist in the way we think it does

He writes,

Yes, the author does not understand causality.  

I understand causality way better than Sacerdotus does. Notice how he doesn't even bother to attempt to define causality. And notice that his assumption of causality presupposes presentism, which he has not ever even attempted to justify (because he's too ignorant to know he's even presupposed it!).

Yes, there is a consensus that the universe had a cause. This is taught in all cosmology, physics and astronomy courses.  Clearly, the author has never taken any of the aforementioned.

Prove it. Prove the universe had a cause. I asked him to show evidence for that in my last response post, and he still has provided no evidence. Better yet, he needs to define what he means by "causality." I defined what I mean by it, he has not. He's begging the question. This is an utter failure on Sacerdotus's part to demonstrate he's logical and knows how to debate. I've provided ample evidence for my claims, he's provided very little or none for his. Also, I took physics and astronomy courses. There was no mention of the universe having a cause. None. He's also not understanding the usage of "cause" in the colloquial sense versus what it really means to most physicists. He's confusing the colloquial cause with the scientific cause in the same way creationists confuse the colloquial "theory" with the scientific theory.

The author claims that I showed no evidence, yet in my previous post I provided the paragraph the author quoted with a hyperlink. Once again, the author misapplies the argument ad populum. The aforementioned is coined for criticism against common belief, not scientific fact. In science, a consensus is needed. This is why the peer review system exists. This is how science checks and balances itself. We see once again that this author simply is aloof to the facts.

Sacerdotus never provided any evidence that the universe had a cause, which is the thing in question. He provided a link to an article from Cern saying the universe shouldn't exist, but that's completely irrelevant. Yet another failure on his part to be logical and rational. You can't tell me I'm out of line with a consensus when you provide zero evidence for a consensus. My views are actually the mainstream view. Sacerdotus is too ignorant to realize that because all he knows is popular level apologetics.

The author then appeals to Sean Carroll in order to avoid addressing my reply. He/she does not realize that Sean Carroll is giving his personal opinion and does not even offer data or statistics to back up his claims. If you look at the pdf file linked, there is no data. It is just an essay that he wrote. Give me a break.

Carroll is just giving his opinion. He believes that events do not have purpose or causes, but does not show why. 

Wait, so when I quote a scientist, I'm just giving his "opinion," but when Sacerdotus quotes a scientist, it's somehow scientific fact? Give me a break. Look at that double standard. Carroll isn't giving his option. He's explain how, from his decades as a physicist working on cosmology and a fundamental understanding of the universe, there is no causality in the way people normally define the term. He explains this in the paper he wrote, that what we think of causes are really just

a description of the relationship between patterns and boundary conditions....If we know the state of a system at one time, and the laws governing its dynamics, we can calculate the state of the system at some later time. You might be tempted to say that the particular state at the first time “caused” the state to be what it was at the second time; but it would be just as correct to say that the second state caused the first.

Carroll further explains this in his excellent book, The Big Picture, and in his many talks and lectures. See here where I fast forwarded his talk to the relevant section on causality:

Sacerdotus continues his demonstration of ignorance:

He says, "they simply conform to the laws of nature." He does not answer how nor where these laws came from, nor why these laws exist and why they exist in the way they do. Laws need a lawgiver if we are to think logically here. 

How or why these laws exist are technically irrelevant. All one needs to do is show that all physical matter conforms to time symmetric patterns which we describe as the laws of physics. Event A doesn't cause event B to exist, because event B already physically exists in spacetime. It just precedes event A. This is what science says is the case, as Carroll describes in the above linked talk. And given eternalism (which after 3 attempts at explaining Sacerdotus is still too ignorant to understand) those laws do not come into existence; the laws of physics are just human-made descriptions of the physical regularity eternally imprinted in spacetime (which never begins to exist), they exist eternally like the rest of the universe. They cannot have a law giver. He's conflating man-made laws with laws of physics. The laws of physics are just descriptions of physical regularity and patterns in the physical universe. Human laws are things we create to run a society. They are two different notions of "laws." This is a common mistake almost every theist makes. Continuing on,

Ironically, the author bolds a quote that attacks eternalism: "these notions are useful in an informal way for human beings, but are not a part of the rigorous scientific description of the world." This pretty much is what I wrote in my previous reply regarding eternalism. The irony...

There is no irony here because Sacerdotus is ignorant, yet again. Eternalism is an accurate description of the nature of time derived from special relativity. There is no comparison to "causality" in its colloquial definition. Sacerdotus is just too stupid to realize this because he can't seem to understand things that are complex and non-intuitive. This is actually why all people think god is real. They just can't understand many the reasons for why god isn't real because they're too complex and non-intuitive. But here it gets really fun.

Once again, eternalism is not part of science. Science does not confirm this. I already showed that nothing in the universe is determined and even embedded a link of my former physics instructor, Dr. Kaku explaining why nothing is determined by nature. The author as expected failed to address them.

The relativity of simultaneity is part of science, and once you have that, you have eternalism! Furthermore, on his own logic, presentism is not part of science, and he's pressuposing presentism (but too ignorant to realize this). So on his own logic he's doing the very thing he claims I'm doing. To quote Sacerdotus: "The irony..."

He.she cannot do so because he/she does not understand anything being discussed. Minkowski spacetime shows that space and time are not determinate for every observer that has existed and will exist. For each event in A, there are many who will disagree as to whether or not they are determinate from the constant. Here is an equation to show this which I know the author will not understand, but I demonstrate it anyhow to show I know more than this author. v = –c to +c represents the acceleration of uniformity of a person in life. With this pattern, the hypersurface parameter of the person project in a non-linear fashion. Because of this, none of the hypersurfaces interact simultaneously showing that the patterns are not indeterminate.

I don't understand anything being discussed? Please! Everything he just said here is either completely irrelevant as to whether or not eternalism is true, or makes a mockery of the science. All that equation says is velocity equals the speed of light in one direction, to the speed of light in another direction, and nothing about that disproves eternalism, or proves presentism. This is pathetically easy to understand. I challenge him to produce this equation from any reputable source and explain how it is at all relevant to eternalism and special relativity. It seems that he copied a bunch of nonsense from a cheesy site called Soul Physics that makes the same exact argument using the same exact equation (which I've seen before). This site is based entirely off of the Rietdijk-Putnam argument, but I've got my own argument for eternalism. He has to refute my argument in order to show I have not made the case for eternalism. I know he can't do so because it is painfully obvious he doesn't understand special relativity, despite his supposed physics degree (which I can tell is a lie). And what constant? Light? And the "acceleration of uniformity"? That is not a term in special relativity or anywhere in science either. If Sacerdotus wants to debate me on whether or not eternalism is true, I will gladly do so, and whoop his ass. None of this makes any sense to a person who understands special relativity. I guarantee he can't even define what determinate means in this context let alone explain how it's relevant to eternalism.

The bottom line is this: in order to deny that special relativity entails eternalism you have to assume certain things for which you will never and can never have any evidence for. Presentism is based on faith, just like religion is. It's no wonder most theists tend to be presentists.

The non-zero Weyl curvature has nothing to do with what the author thinks it does. They have to do with the gravitational waves that exist in the vacuum of space. The author shows he/she is completely clueless about physics and philosophy. Any reader can see the fallacies in the author's claims without possessing a background in physics or philosophy.

I mentioned that gravitational waves have a non-zero Weyl curvature. If he disagrees, he can show why. I mentioned that a non-zero Weyl curvature is only possible in 4 dimensions. If he disagrees he can show why. I mentioned that a 4 dimensional world is not compatible with presentism, because presentism is 3 dimensional. He shows he's completely clueless of the subject matter and is very desperate to try and show he's smart, but is instead having a much easier time showing his ignorance.

Verdict: Sacerdotus has made no case for causality. He doesn't define causality or prove it to be true. He literally just asserts a consensus. Not only does that make a logical fallacy of an argument ad populum, he doesn't even provide evidence for the consensus! He hasn't shown in any way that causality exists the way people commonly think of it. He doesn't make a case for his views. Bad reasoning all around. He can't possibly have graduated college.

4) The big bang does not say the universe came from "nothing"

Continuing on with his parade of ignorance and stupidity Sacerdotus writes,

The author begins with a laughable remark, "Vilenkin, Kaku, and Krauss all make the mistake of calling the quantum vacuum 'nothing.'"  This is just ridiculous.  The author claims to know more than Ph.D. physicists. It is Dunning-Kruger at work. I think Krauss would get a laugh out of this. The author failed to logically show anything other than he/she does not have a strong grasp of cosmology and philosophy. The author now is working on a strawman claiming that I stated that physicists literally present "nothingness" and literally nothing. I wrote in my previous reply-post, 

A quantum vacuum isn't nothing. You know why? Because it's a quantum vacuum. It's a field with physical properties. That's something, not nothing. Sacerdotus is really confused about my argument here, and this is because it is too nuanced for your average person to understand. I'm using the philosopher's definition of nothing, not the physicist's. Krauss has been called out by numerous people that calling something "nothing" is fallacious. So yes, I know more than a PhD. And of course when I quote a PhD to reinforce my point, somehow Sacerdotus knows better than the scientists I quote! Look at the irony and double standard.

The whole problem Sacerdotus has in understanding my argument is that to describe the universe as "coming from nothing" is false. As I explained, nothing never existed. To "come from" something assumes that something else exists independently of you. If I "come from" Chicago, it means Chicago is a thing that exists independently of me that I can come from. This cannot apply to the universe because the universe is the totality of physical existence. It cannot "come from" anything else because that would imply something else exists apart from it. The universe just has a first moment when time = 0. There is nothing prior to that because time cannot exist prior to time. It's like being north of the north poll. It's impossible. If Sacerdotus thinks it can, he's even more stupid than I already think of think of him, and the burden of proof is on him to demonstrate and prove (not assert) nothing once existed.

When scientists say "the universe comes from nothing" they are making this semantic mistake because of the convenience and limitations of language. This is a problem of language, not reality. Our language is not tuned to describe how the universe really works. That's why I quoted physicist Brian Greene because what he's saying is extremely important and accurate of the limitations of human language. Sacerdotus is ignorant of his, just like Krauss, and many other physicists. He's taking human language and confusing it for reality. In other words, he's confusing the map for the territory. Once you critically think about the big bang, you will see that my view, and the view Sean Carroll has (who has a PhD in physics), is the correct one.

Verdict: Once you understand that I mean the philosopher's definition of "nothing" and not the physicist's definition of a quantum vacuum, then you will see my argument makes complete sense. Sacerdotus is too ignorant to get this.

5) Argument from core theory

In response to my response of the 5th argument he writes,

Science has made no such statement. One can search on Google Scholar for such a peer review paper and will find none. You will find a few scientists; namely, in the psychology field who wrote papers on the soul. If the soul were defined via science as in the case of evolution, it would be taught in school as a scientific fact.

Scientists have certainly said there is no soul, and when they say that they are not merely giving their opinion. They're stating that science as we know it now refutes the idea of a soul. If Core Theory is true, there is no soul. In order for Core Theory to be false, quantum field theory has to be false. And that fact that a soul is not taught in science class, unlike how evolution is, shows there is nothing in science demonstrating a soul. (And before you go saying a soul is immaterial, and therefore cannot be described by science, thinking again. Anything that has an effect on physical matter can be studied through science).

We see again that the author is simply not a friend to the facts. He/she demonstrates this by his response to Penrose's studies on microtubles in neurons and how they relate to quantum physics. The author clearly did not understand or is being willfully ignorant on the topic. This is why he claims no evidence was posted, when in fact, they were. He/she simply chose to not address it, for obvious reasons. He does not have the credentials to engage in such difficult topics.

Sacerdotus never linked to any evidence on Penrose's claim. Penrose is also far outside the mainstream in physics and neuroscience where the majority of people do not think there is a soul. Materialists dominate the field of neuroscience as they do almost every field of science.

Moreover, it was the author who makes conclusions about the number of fermions and bosons (5%). He never provided evidence for this. I simply corrected his/her claims. I wrote that the number changes because matter particles produce and absorb many particles during their existence. Therefore, we cannot pin down an exact number. That is what I wrote. The author is so aloof that he/she does not even remember who wrote what. That is funny.

It's technically irrelevant to my argument from core theory what percentage of the universe makes up fermions and bosons. And he never provided evidence that their percentage fluctuates. Something can be produced and absorbed at a constant rate, leaving it's percentage the same. I don't cite the 5% estimation because it is common knowledge to anyone who knows anything about the universe that it's rounded out to be 5% (or 4.6% technically).

Sacerdotus has to show how the percentage of fermions and bosons is relevant to my argument first.

He/she claims that I do not understand the argument, but we all can see that he/she does not understand the response. He/she makes another ridiculous statement here, "We don't need to know all the forces and particles in the universe.  All we need to know is all the forces and particles relevant to human beings..."  Is he/she serious?  We are all particles in the universe and vice-versa!  Human beings are not distinct substances that exist aside from space-time and matter!  This guy is so ridiculous, for crying out loud!  The knowledge of all particles that may exist is vital to understanding human beings because we are those particles!  The author shows his ignorance by claiming that we are not made up of quarks.  Atoms make up our bodies. These atoms are hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen.  However, these atoms have protons and neutrons in the nucleus which in turn are made of quarks.  Again, the author shows his/her science illiteracy. 

Sacerdotus demonstrates again how ignorant he is of my argument (something he does rather easy.) I never said we aren't made of atoms. I said the whole time we are made of atoms. And we know all the forces and particles those atoms are made of (in Core Theory) and that understanding of those atoms in the Standard Model rules out any additional forces that are not accounted for that a soul would require, if it had any effect on our physical bodies. Hence there is no soul. By him reasserting that we are made of atoms actually makes my point! In fact, to believe we have a soul requires one to believe human beings have a distinct force that applies to the atoms that make up human beings and not inanimate objects like rocks or water. This we know for a fact is false. All atoms behave according to the 3 forces in the Standard Model and gravity. Period.

We can pretty much rule out his/her arguments are faulty due to a lack of strong base on facts. So it is not that anyone misunderstands the Core Theory, it is that he/she has no idea what it is and is misrepresenting it.  What this author is doing is like pushing the idea that 2+2=5 as fact while calling those who disagree the ones who "misunderstand."  The Standard Model is not set in stone. As I explained, it is constantly being challenged. Note how the author did not even address the rest of my reply regarding Meson particles, Wilczek himself, patients who are declared dead and come back after cells begin to die etc.  Could it be that he/she has no rebuttal?  Note that all he/she has done is say that I do not understand. He/she does not offer any rebuttal.

I have offered a clear rebuttal, and Sacerdotus has foolishly helped make my argument for me above. He just doesn't understand my argument and seeks to have the most uncharitable interpretation of me as possible, guaranteeing he will always attack a strawman, and never my real argument. If one actually believes in a soul, I've got some questions for you. Let's see if Sacerdotus can answer these:

  1. There needs to be a way that "soul stuff" interacts with the fields of which we are made-with elections, or photons, or something. Do those interactions satisfy conservation of energy, momentum, and electric charge?
  2. Does matter interact back on the soul, or is the principle of action and reaction violated?
  3. Is there "virtual soul stuff" as well as "real soul stuff," and do quantum fluctuations of soul stuff affect the measurable properties of ordinary particles?
  4. Or does the soul stuff not interact directly with particles, and merely affect the quantum probabilities associated with measurement outcomes?
  5. Is the soul a kind of "hidden variable" playing an important role in quantum ontology?

Of course he can't.

Verdict: He hasn't understood my argument and has (as usual) attacked a strawman. Thus he has not refuted my argument at all. He further demonstrates his ignorance on physics, which is a recurring theme with him.

6) Libertarian free will is incoherent

There is a reason why only 13% of professional philosophers believe in libertarian free will: it's not only incompatible with science, it's conceptually incoherent. This is one of my favorite topics to debate, so this should be fun. He writes,

Our control is the cause.

What causes us to control the cause? He's just pushing the question back one step, which tells me he's never debated this issue before. You see, you can never escape the dilemma. Either human will is caused and determined by something prior to it, or it is uncaused. If it's caused it isn't free, because you cannot have control over something uncaused. This means that even if determinism is false, you still can't have free will (sorry Dr. Kaku, you're wrong and I don't care if you have a PhD. Degrees do not assure you will always be right. To think so makes an argument from authority).

If there is no us, there is not thought. Thought requires a conscious intelligence capable of assimilating stimuli, processing said stimuli and exporting it into a form of communication (verbal, physical, orthographical). Just because our control is a cause does not mean it is the absolute cause. There are different points of causality. Our bodies were caused by conception. But the eggs and sperm that because us had their cause. We can only define a cause within an ontological parameter as it currently exists.  

There is us, but "us" is just a lot of atoms, and those atoms follow the laws of physics which do not allow for free will. Free will would require a force that only applies to us that is not the 4 known forces in physics. On top of that, even if there was such a force, free will itself is incoherent. That's why my argument is a logical one, it is a priori, not a posterior. It doesn't rely on materialism. What's in question here is whether any given instance of thought or will has a cause. Like I said, you have only 2 options: yes or no. If yes, you have no free will. If no, you have no free will. Therefore you cannot under any circumstances have free will, regardless of materialism's truth or falsity.

Moreover, the 4 dimensions are space, time, matter and energy. This is what we believe we exist in. There may be up to 12 according to M- Theory. We may not even be able to perceive them.  The science is still developing in this area. A 4-dimensional state of 4 does not mean there is no free-will. Notice how the author fails to prove his/her claim. 

Matter and energy are not properly considered dimensions. There are the 3 spatial dimensions, and time. Whatever dimensions M-theory suggests is completely irrelevant to the question of free will because again, the problem is logical, not physical. There is nothing for me to "prove" because the author is completely lost as to what I'm even arguing. He's still stuck on the idea that my argument relies on physics. It doesn't. It relies entirely on logic. The very conception of libertarian free will is blatantly self refuting because it would always boil down to choices that are simultaneously caused (else they wouldn't be volitional - due to the agent´s will) and uncaused (else they wouldn't be "free" in a libertarian sense) - and something being "caused" while simultaneously being "uncaused" is a contradiction for any model of what "causality" is. It's incoherent. The true sadness is that Sacerdotus doesn't believe in logic! Once you throw logic out the window there is no point debating anymore. I can just write "sdflkjsdfsdfjsdkjfnrere" as my response and that would be as rational as any argument.
Next, the author claims that Dr. Kaku does not know what he is talking about.  Seriously? A top physicist does not know what he is talking about? 

Yes. And somehow when I quote a top physicist and Sacerdotus disagrees, the same logic doesn't apply. See this double standard? This shows how crappy a critical thinker he is. I can quote a hundred PhDs who are atheists. And if Sacerdotus disagrees I can throw his own argument from authority right back at him and say, "Sacerdotus claims that Dr. Krauss/Carroll does not know what he is talking about on atheism. Seriously? A top physicist does not know what he is talking about?" Nonsense.

Electrons behave in a random manner showing that nothing is determined in this universe. If this were not the case, we all would be frozen in time. There would be no room for differences in nature because all would be set to a determined standard. String theory is very relevant here because it deals with the many vibrations in the "strings of life," so to speak. If this author would take courses on this, he/she would not come across as so ignorant of science.

No they aren't random. As Lawrence Krauss has said himself,

"Quantum mechanics is not indeterministic as many people think, it's a completely deterministic theory. It's second order differential equations with boundary conditions and they're completely determined. Once you give the initial conditions the wave function of a particle after some time is completely determined, so there's no indeterminacy. Now what happens when you measure the properties of that particle based on its wave function that's probabilistic."

So let me give Sacerdotus a taste of his own medicine. Dr. Krauss says quantum mechanics is deterministic and explains why and he's a top physicist with 35 years experience. If Sacerdotus disagrees with this I will says: "Seriously? A top physicist does not know what he is talking about?" 

And again, my argument doesn't depend on determinism being true! It is completely neutral on materialism vs immaterialism, determinism vs indeterminism. I already said that and this idiot is still completely clueless. Finally he writes,

To say that one should do something implies that one can do it otherwise one would not state so. For example, I will say that I can make a gold ring if I cannot do so.

Yes ought implies can but I responded to this already. I said we don't know the future. So if I say Sacerdotus should learn more physics and philosophy so he wouldn't be so blatantly ignorant in trying to refute an intelligent atheist like me, I don't know if he actually will or won't. All I do know is that telling someone to do something might increase their likelihood of doing so. Once you understand that, Huemer's argument collapses, just like free will and the soul has.

Verdict: Sacerdotus does what all people mistakenly do who think libertarian free will exists: he simply says "we" cause our free will. That only pushes the problem back one step: what causes us to cause our "free" will? It either is caused and isn't free or is uncaused and isn't free. It's obvious he's never debated this issue and he knows virtually nothing about it, and that's good evidence he's lying about his degrees. No one with a degree in philosophy can be this ignorant of the subject matter. The burden of proof is on him to outline a complete chronological ordering of events of what happens when free will occurs and show what causes what, if any, and explain how he gets out of the dilemma.

To be continued in part 3.

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