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Craig vs Krauss

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Fred

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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2011, 07:27:00 am »
My impression is that Krauss is rejecting pure rationalism - i.e. reason as a source of knowledge. As a scientist, he believes theories should be grounded in empirical evidence because very often, the evidence shows that reality operates differently than would be suggested by pure reason.  As examples, he refers to the rationalist expectation that heavier  objects would fall to earth faster than lighter objects, the surprising results of the quantum mechanics double slit experiment, and the existence of vacuum energy.

This, I believe, is what Krauss had in mind - but he did a poor job of articulating this in his debate.


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Jason Dulle

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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2011, 12:42:56 pm »
ooberman wrote: Jason take a breather from your apologetics and watch the debate again.  You guys are constantly on the defense that you can never listen. Meanwhile, Krauss maligned Aristotelian logic?  Oh no!  Because that's the only Logic we have!  Ph my God!  What will we do!??!  Help us Jesus!  Tell us what to think!

You didn't answer my question.  How was Krauss supportive of philosophy as a source of knowledge?  

You're right, Aristotelian logic is the only kind of logic there is, which is why Krauss' claim that science has shown some of it to be false, is ridiculous.  If I had 2 hours to relisten to the entire debate I would get the quotes for you, but I don't.  

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Jason Dulle

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« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2011, 12:48:22 pm »
Sandspirit wrote: Perhaps, but do you understand the nature of the universe better than Krauss does? If you were sick would you look to philosophy or religion to prescribe a cure? Probably you would turn to medical science. Why in one case do you use science and in the other philosophy or religion?

This is like saying, "When you want to measure the weight of a chicken you use a scale, so why would you turn to a yardstick to measure its height?"  Philosophy and science are different tools that use different approaches to answer different kinds of questions.  Of course science is what we would look to in order to find cures for physical ailments, but science is of little value if we are trying to determine if square circles are possible, or if free will exists.  These things are not susceptible to the scientific method.  The same is true of God.  Science can only tell us about the physical realm.  God is not a physical being, and thus science is the wrong tool to use if we wish to know whether God exists.  Philosophy, however, is equipped to deal with such metaphysical issues.

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Jason Dulle

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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2011, 12:50:19 pm »
fredonly wrote: My impression is that Krauss is rejecting pure rationalism - i.e. reason as a source of knowledge. As a scientist, he believes theories should be grounded in empirical evidence because very often, the evidence shows that reality operates differently than would be suggested by pure reason.  As examples, he refers to the rationalist expectation that heavier  objects would fall to earth faster than lighter objects, the surprising results of the quantum mechanics double slit experiment, and the existence of vacuum energy. This, I believe, is what Krauss had in mind - but he did a poor job of articulating this in his debate.

I would agree with Krauss in large part if this is what he had in mind, but I'm not convinced this is all he had in mind.  He went further by saying philosophy can never count as "evidence."  It's one thing to say that empirical evidence trumps philosophical evidence when the two conflict, but a wholly other matter to say that philosophical reasoning cannot even be admitted as evidence.

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Jason Dulle

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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2011, 12:52:55 pm »

I've been reflecting further on what is wrong with Krauss' apparent epistemological principle that “only empirical data is an acceptable form of evidence.”  This is a philosophical claim related to epistemology.  What empirical evidence could be offered to support this claim?  None.  How, then, could someone like Krauss persuade those who do not accept his philosophical principle that they ought to accept it?  He would either have to appeal to philosophy to show that the principle is rational, or he would have to acknowledge that there is no reason someone should accept his principle.  If the former, then he violates his own principle because he is using philosophical reasoning as evidence to support a philosophical claim.  If the latter, there is no reason to accept his principle, and thus no reason to think empirical data alone counts as evidence.

 

Furthermore, it is obvious that empirical data is not the only kind of evidence available.  If it were, then the vast majority of what we consider historical knowledge must be considered mere speculation since little of what we know about history can be proven empirically.  The same is true of moral values, logical laws, and mathematical principles.  Clearly we have knowledge of these things, and yet we lack empirical evidence for them.  Indeed, empirical evidence is not even possible for such things.  


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Sandspirit

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« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2011, 01:18:50 pm »
This is like saying, "When you want to measure the weight of a chicken you use a scale, so why would you turn to a yardstick to measure its height?" Philosophy and science are different tools that use different approaches to answer different kinds of questions. Of course science is what we would look to in order to find cures for physical ailments, but science is of little value if we are trying to determine if square circles are possible, or if free will exists. These things are not susceptible to the scientific method. The same is true of God. Science can only tell us about the physical realm. God is not a physical being, and thus science is the wrong tool to use if we wish to know whether God exists. Philosophy, however, is equipped to deal with such metaphysical issues.
I was talking about how the universe works, physically. Krauss is one of the leading physicists of his generation and you and Craig and your friends seem to believe you know more than he does.

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Jason Dulle

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« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2011, 01:46:10 pm »
Sandspirit wrote: I was talking about how the universe works, physically. Krauss is one of the leading physicists of his generation and you and Craig and your friends seem to believe you know more than he does.
No, you were asking why anyone would look to science for one thing, but philosophy/religion for another.  And I answered that the reason we would do so is because these are different disciplines designed to answer different types of questions using different tools.  It make sense to use science to find cures for physical ailments, but it doesn't make sense to use science to determine whether a non-physical entity exists.  That's like trying to use a yardstick to weigh a chicken.

As for how the universe works, of course we will look to science to answer that question.  But when Krauss ventures into talk about where the universe comes from, then he has left science and entered into philosophy.  As Craig said in the debate, there are no physics of non-being, so physics/science is incapable of answering the question of how and why our universe came into being.  The cause must be non-material by definition, which lands the question in the lap of the discipline which is specifically suited to deal with non-material questions.

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Sandspirit

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« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2011, 02:00:48 pm »

No, you were asking why anyone would look to science for one thing, but philosophy/religion for another. And I answered that the reason we would do so is because these are different disciplines designed to answer different types of questions using different tools. It make sense to use science to find cures for physical ailments, but it doesn't make sense to use science to determine whether a non-physical entity exists. That's like trying to use a yardstick to weigh a chicken.

As for how the universe works, of course we will look to science to answer that question. But when Krauss ventures into talk about where the universe comes from, then he has left science and entered into philosophy. As Craig said in the debate, there are no physics of non-being, so physics/science is incapable of answering the question of how and why our universe came into being. The cause must be non-material by definition, which lands the question in the lap of the discipline which is specifically suited to deal with non-material questions.
Actually I was talking about arrogance - the belief that amateur philosophers can lecture a leading physicist about how the universe works. Craig acted as though he had nothing to learn. When someone like Krauss says that 2+2 = 5 maybe you should listen because it just may be he knows more than you do.


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Fred

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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2011, 02:15:48 pm »
What is the "philosophical evidence" for God?  KCA is an argument, not evidence.  
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Jason Dulle

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« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2011, 04:55:38 pm »

Quote from: Sandspirit
Actually I was talking about arrogance - the belief that amateur philosophers can lecture a leading physicist about how the universe works. Craig acted as though he had nothing to learn. When someone like Krauss says that 2+2 = 5 maybe you should listen because it just may be he knows more than you do.[/QUOTE]

 

Craig is not an amateur philosopher.  He is a professional philosopher.  And he was not lecturing a leading physicist about how the universe works.  Craig merely took him to task for using language in a equivocal way (his use of "nothing" when claiming that science can explain how something comes from nothing) when appealing to certain cosmological theories to explain the origin of contingent, physical reality.  Both men agreed that physics leads us to conclude the universe had a beginning.  There was no disagreement over physics for Craig to even dispute.  

 

You say Craig acted as though he had nothing to learn, but the same could be said of Krauss.  That doesn't get us anywhere.  Truth, not arrogance or humility, is what matters in debate.

 

Anyone who says 2+2=5 should be ignored because that is absurd.  I would love to see the accountant justifying ledgers that do not match up by insisting 2+2=4 in one, but 2+2=5 in the other.  Or perhaps I should give the store clerk 4 $1 bills to pay for a $5 item, and when she objects I'll respond, "But Dr. Krauss says 2+2=5."  The fact that Krauss said it doesn't give it any more credibility than if Krauss had said circles can be both circles and squares at the same time.  While physicists use math (just as they use logic), mathematics is a "branch" of philosophy, not science.  Why?  Because numbers and mathematical axioms are not physical.  So when Krauss begins to speak to mathematics he is speaking as a philosopher, not as a scientist.  Seeing that Craig is a philosopher, and he knows a thing or two about mathematics, he had every right to challenge Krauss' claim.


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Fred

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« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2011, 08:09:24 pm »
Anyone who says 2+2=5 should be ignored because that is absurd.  

There is a circumstance in which 2+2=5: a computer may store two numbers: 2.25 and 2.25000001, but display them with 0 decimal points of precision, rounded, as 2  When added together, the sum will be
4.50000001 which will be displayed as 5.  Lesson:  if you go with what SEEMS reasonable, you can still be wrong.
Fred

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Sandspirit

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« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2011, 03:34:06 am »

Anyone who says 2+2=5 should be ignored because that is absurd. I would love to see the accountant justifying ledgers that do not match up by insisting 2+2=4 in one, but 2+2=5 in the other. Or perhaps I should give the store clerk 4 $1 bills to pay for a $5 item, and when she objects I'll respond, "But Dr. Krauss says 2+2=5." The fact that Krauss said it doesn't give it any more credibility than if Krauss had said circles can be both circles and squares at the same time. While physicists use math (just as they use logic), mathematics is a "branch" of philosophy, not science. Why? Because numbers and mathematical axioms are not physical. So when Krauss begins to speak to mathematics he is speaking as a philosopher, not as a scientist. Seeing that Craig is a philosopher, and he knows a thing or two about mathematics, he had every right to challenge Krauss' claim.

Krauss specialises in quantum mechanics where the laws of physics do not operate in the same way as  they do in the macro world. Things can be and are particles and waves at the same time, things are in two different places at one time, particles appear to go backwards through time, particles spring into being without a cause. And yes I suppose in this world perhaps 2+2 could equal 5. I'm more interested in Krauss' opinion on that than I am in yours or Craig's.

Mathematics is used to make precise physical predictions about the physical world. It's used to build physical objects. Philosophy can only speculate about possibilities. Only at the fringes of mathematics where its predictions cannot be tested can it be likened to philosophy.

As Craig said in the debate, there are no physics of non-being, so physics/science is incapable of answering the question of how and why our universe came into being. The cause must be non-material by definition, which lands the question in the lap of the discipline which is specifically suited to deal with non-material questions.

This is a series of assumptions. An infinitely existing quantum soup could have been the proximate originator of our universe in which case science is entitled to talk about our beginnings.

Your God is just one of many possible ways our universe could have come into existence. Take a look at the Gnostic creation myth of Sophia if you want something really way out - I'm not saying it's true but there's no more reason to accept it or dismiss it than there is to accept or dismiss the Christian narrative.  


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Fred

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« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2011, 09:22:54 am »
Sandspirit: Your God is just one of many possible  ways our universe could have come into existence.  

I agree, and I'll point out that Craig uses a semantic trick to (seemingly) win his debate.  He has a plausible argument (not a proof) that the universe has a cause, and with a wave of the hands he labels this cause, "God."  Next he starts heaping onto this, the attributes he thinks "God" possesses.  Some are more plausible than others (e.g. "powerful" makes sense "all-powerful" is a leap; "personal agent" fails completely).

Krauss, the amateur debater, failed to jump on this but he did make one comment that this "cause" of the universe, which Craig labels "God"  is the multiverse.  
Fred

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Jason Dulle

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« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2011, 04:46:51 pm »
fredonly wrote: There is a circumstance in which 2+2=5: a computer may store two numbers: 2.25 and 2.25000001, but display them with 0 decimal points of precision, rounded, as 2  When added together, the sum will be 4.50000001 which will be displayed as 5.  Lesson:  if you go with what SEEMS reasonable, you can still be wrong.
This is not at all the same as saying 2+2=5.  What you have showed is that 2.25+2.25=4.5 which, if it must be displayed as a whole number, will be rounded up to 5.  No one would dispute this, and no t-shirt needs to be made to make this point.

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Jason Dulle

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« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2011, 04:54:48 pm »
Sandspirit wrote: Krauss specialises in quantum mechanics where the laws of physics do not operate in the same way as  they do in the macro world.
This is a red herring because neither I or Craig dispute this.  No one is complaining about Krauss' presentation of quantum mechanics.

Sandspirit wrote: Mathematics is used to make precise physical predictions about the physical world. It's used to build physical objects. Philosophy can only speculate about possibilities. Only at the fringes of mathematics where its predictions cannot be tested can it be likened to philosophy.

You've missed the point completely.  I noted that physicists use math.  It's integral to physics.  But numbers, mathematical axioms, and equations are not physical entities.  They are immaterial entities that physicists use to describe physical phenomenon.  As such, it is not the scientists who can tell us what mathematics is and how it works, but the philosopher.

Sandspirit wrote: This is a series of assumptions. An infinitely existing quantum soup could have been the proximate originator of our universe in which case science is entitled to talk about our beginnings.

Fine, but that's not the same thing as the absolute beginning of material reality.  That is the question that Craig is speaking to when he talks about the origin of contingent beings.  But since there was a beginning to physical reality (whether you want to identify it with this universe, or billions of universes prior to this one), ultimately one will get back to a state in which something is not preceded by something else.  And when you reach that stage, physics is no longer capable of providing answers because there are no physics of non-being.