Monday, October 15, 2012

Random Brain Dump - Casualty

Brain is thinking about the cosmological argument again. It's like I'm on a mission to figure out how to explain the problems with it as succinctly as possible.

I think an analogy would work.

Casualty - the concept of cause-and-effect, works only within a scope - a universe where time is running normally. Outside of that, it no longer works correctly.

Explaining why casualty doesn't work "before" the Big Bang, or at t=0, is like trying to explain why Newtonian projectile motion doesn't work at the speed of light, or why it doesn't work at the quantum level.

Or, for a less-physics explanation - it's like trying to explain why an airplane doesn't work on the moon.

If the person doesn't realize that air is only found closely hugging larger planetary objects, and that airplanes need it, one might not realize that air isn't ubiquitous to existence. That's the key to understanding the "first mover" arguments. They're attempting to apply their cartoonish oversimplified understanding of reality to a context that is so bizarre that time itself started. To say "before time" is about as coherent and intelligible as asking for the square-root of -1.

Game of Battleship
It's like they're playing a game of Battleship, where the rules are axiomatic, strict, and all known. The rules cannot break. If there's only one small submarine left, and there's only two spaces left on the grid, one can absolutely logically deduce where the last ship remains. The rules of the game do not account for the possibility that the submarine phased into another reality, or even something as simple as moving over time.

A lot of apologetics takes this approach - "Battleship Syllogisms", but reality is actually a lot more fuzzy and open-ended in terms of possibilities. We aren't decreeing and declaring what the rules of reality are. We're figuring them out... slowly. At best, apologetics can only be a guessing game, assuming that our current understanding of reality is perfect.

That's why the arguments don't work.

Like time and the Big Bang, we may eventually figure out the equivalent of imaginary numbers, but for now, that concept is probably beyond us - even to our imaginations.

They need to start obtaining some actual empirical confirming evidence.

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