Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Impossible? God like civilizations?


  • Please log in to reply
89 replies to this topic

#1 Moontanman

Moontanman

    Unobtainium...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9029 posts

Posted 17 February 2010 - 05:24 PM

I would like to say why I find the idea of god like aliens or that a sufficiently advanced civilization would be god like offensive.

Everyday we hear why close to fast as light much less faster than light travel is impossible, we hear star travel is impossible, the light speed barrier is total, no way around, no way to have enough energy to even crowd light speed much less pass it.

We hear Star Trek like technology is a fantasy, no Star Ships, no colonies, no moving planets, no destroying a star, everyone is confined to their solar systems, no energy sources big enough to allow practical interplanetary travel much less star travel.

It's all an impossible dream, nothing but fantasy, not even science fiction science fantasy as best.

Then in the next breath, well a civilization a million years ahead of us would be god like and could do anything!

BULLSHIT! If it's impossible, it's impossible, if faster than light is impossible now no matter what, will the laws of nature change in a million years? In a million years will the laws of nature change so super beings will be able to move galaxies in the twinkling of an eye? Will solar systems suddenly be easy to build?

If a Star Trek like civilization is impossible then so are god like beings, if we can see a million year old civilization doing anything then we must assume we can get there in stages. The whole idea of "Impossible" is almost as bad as "God did it" No idea should be framed with "god did it" or that it's "impossible" if being impossible now doesn't mean always then it's not impossible, it's just very difficult and we aren't there yet!

#2 modest

modest

    Creating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4959 posts

Posted 17 February 2010 - 06:21 PM

But, how do you really feel? :eek2:

I don't think it is useful to talk about the impossible. A calculator multiplies numbers with, what was a few centuries ago, god-like precision and speed. A space shuttle has, what was not long past, a god-like view of the earth. What does it mean to be god-like? I don't think it is the impossible, but the improbable, and the improbable is nothing if not possible.

The usual outlook, I think, is that the improbable will never happen. Like Oscar Wilde said “Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable”. We believe in god-like things because we believe in gods. But, we seldom believe we will, ourselves, accomplish the improbable. It's a failure of imagination.

The best and most scientific theories predict very improbable predictions. Einstein's GR for example predicted Eddington would see something which disagreed with Newtonian mechanics—something which given all the correct predictions of Newtonian mechanics over the previous 200 years was most unlikely. But, Eddington did see what would otherwise be considered a miracle, something that went against the scientific knowledge of the time. Einstein didn't have Solomon's "nothing new under the sun" failure of imagination.

We must stare into a crystal ball and only see the past
And in the caverns of tomorrow with our flashlights and our love
We must plunge, we must plunge, we must plunge :shrug:

#3 geko

geko

    Understanding

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 413 posts

Posted 17 February 2010 - 06:49 PM

Holy smokes... a thread on a mini-thread i begun! In the 6 years i've been coming here never have i been so honoured! :hihi:

Everyday we hear why close to fast as light much less faster than light travel is impossible, we hear star travel is impossible, the light speed barrier is total, no way around, no way to have enough energy to even crowd light speed much less pass it.

We hear Star Trek like technology is a fantasy, no Star Ships, no colonies, no moving planets, no destroying a star, everyone is confined to their solar systems, no energy sources big enough to allow practical interplanetary travel much less star travel.

It's all an impossible dream, nothing but fantasy, not even science fiction science fantasy as best.


This is a confusion of the idea (and you're also tentatively tickling the straw man...). Since the arguments in the other thread spawned this one, i shall refer to it. No where was it said that advanced civilisations would be able to linearly 'go faster' than the speed of light. In fact, i didn't even mention, hint at or assume any velocity anywhere.


Then in the next breath, well a civilization a million years ahead of us would be god like and could do anything!

BULLSHIT! If it's impossible, it's impossible, if faster than light is impossible now no matter what, will the laws of nature change in a million years? In a million years will the laws of nature change so super beings will be able to move galaxies in the twinkling of an eye? Will solar systems suddenly be easy to build?

If a Star Trek like civilization is impossible then so are god like beings, if we can see a million year old civilization doing anything then we must assume we can get there in stages. The whole idea of "Impossible" is almost as bad as "God did it" No idea should be framed with "god did it" or that it's "impossible" if being impossible now doesn't mean always then it's not impossible, it's just very difficult and we aren't there yet!


The end statement of the first paragraph was never said.... i think dorothy is coming to dinner...

The 2nd paragraph is rhetorical i'm sure. The last sentence of it though is a reasonable question that i don't know how to answer.

I think your theist beliefs are getting in the way of thinking correctly, or maybe it's connotations attached to words like god, supernatural and natural because in the last paragraph above you say that "impossible is almost as bad as god did it", which i think is an attempt to show your disdain for supernatural causes for natural ones, but i am a little confused as to why in the other thread you invoked the supernatural idea to disprove my idea? Which is it?

Using arguments only because of a vested interest is poor reasoning.

Now to the actual matter, which is definition.

Supernatural is a confusing term. It doesn't even have a reference because, by definition, if something exists, it is natural. You can't even reverse the argument for support (if something is supernatural it doesn't exist), because by citing an is, existence is assumed.

From this comes the stance that supernatural is excluded from all further rational enquiry and thought because it's convoluted, and to be perfectly honest, meaningless.

In which case it's a fact that the origin and birth of the universe is natural.

Therefore, there is nothing supernatural about the statement "a sufficiently advanced civilisation is indistinguishable from our idea and definition of a god". It's a reasonable statement which assumes all requisites are natural.

For the sake of argument, let's assume god created the universe, what makes you think that it's impossible to replicate? In which case, i have to ask again, where is the distinction between the 2? ... which qualifies my statement. (Remember, nothing supernatural is allowed!)

Don't get me wrong, i'm not saying that a civilisation 'is' creating new universes, i'm simply saying that it's a possibility because existence is a natural occurring phenomenon, and since it's natural there's no reason to assume it's not replicable (if it was impossible it wouldn't exist, would it?).

So, since it's natural, and therefore potentially replicable, why is it an impossible job for sufficiently advanced technology?

I'm not sure i can explain the idea more accurately than that, there isn't anything unreasonable (or supernatural), about it.

#4 Moontanman

Moontanman

    Unobtainium...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9029 posts

Posted 17 February 2010 - 10:39 PM

This thread is not a direct response to you geko, no matter how honored you feel, it's a personal view of what I view as magical thinking by people when they invoke the idea of a million year old civilization. Assuming that an advanced civilization will be exponentially better and better for ever and will be able to do God like things. i did not say you mentioned any of the things in this thread, it is not about you.

#5 Moontanman

Moontanman

    Unobtainium...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9029 posts

Posted 17 February 2010 - 11:03 PM

Holy smokes... a thread on a mini-thread i begun! In the 6 years i've been coming here never have i been so honoured! :clue:


dream on

This is a confusion of the idea (and you're also tentatively tickling the straw man...). Since the arguments in the other thread spawned this one, i shall refer to it. No where was it said that advanced civilisations would be able to linearly 'go faster' than the speed of light. In fact, i didn't even mention, hint at or assume any velocity anywhere.



Not true, this thread is independent of the other one. This is a long term idea I've had many times when people invoke the whole magical idea of god like aliens.





The end statement of the first paragraph was never said.... i think dorothy is coming to dinner...


Again it is being said by me now, this is not a response to you.

The 2nd paragraph is rhetorical i'm sure. The last sentence of it though is a reasonable question that i don't know how to answer.


What have your god like powers of retoric failed you?

I think your theist beliefs are getting in the way of thinking correctly, or maybe it's connotations attached to words like god, supernatural and natural because in the last paragraph above you say that "impossible is almost as bad as god did it", which i think is an attempt to show your disdain for supernatural causes for natural ones, but i am a little confused as to why in the other thread you invoked the supernatural idea to disprove my idea? Which is it?


I do not nor did i want to invoke the supernatural, It is the very idea of invoking the supernatural I have a problem with. you call me a theist again and I'll take it personal like. :hihi:


Using arguments only because of a vested interest is poor reasoning.


Yes, you should take that one to heart.

Now to the actual matter, which is definition.

Supernatural is a confusing term. It doesn't even have a reference because, by definition, if something exists, it is natural. You can't even reverse the argument for support (if something is supernatural it doesn't exist), because by citing an is, existence is assumed.


Why do you keep doing it then?

From this comes the stance that supernatural is excluded from all further rational enquiry and thought because it's convoluted, and to be perfectly honest, meaningless.


I agree, the supernatural IE God like powers, is not a part of a rational discussion, hence this thread.


In which case it's a fact that the origin and birth of the universe is natural.


I have no doubt

Therefore, there is nothing supernatural about the statement "a sufficiently advanced civilisation is indistinguishable from our idea and definition of a god". It's a reasonable statement which assumes all requisites are natural.


That is totally disingenuous, by definition God is supernatural, now you are back pedaling.

For the sake of argument, let's assume god created the universe, what makes you think that it's impossible to replicate? In which case, i have to ask again, where is the distinction between the 2? ... which qualifies my statement. (Remember, nothing supernatural is allowed!)

Don't get me wrong, i'm not saying that a civilisation 'is' creating new universes, i'm simply saying that it's a possibility because existence is a natural occurring phenomenon, and since it's natural there's no reason to assume it's not replicable (if it was impossible it wouldn't exist, would it?).


This has nothing to do with the idea of God Like, you were insinuating we would see them as gods, the idea they would be god like defines the parameters of their existence, god is outside the natural, god is not confined by natural law, so to be god like insinuates the ability to defy natural laws. if they can create another universe then that would mean they can manipulate things in a way we cannot but it does not imply godhood. If they can do it so could we, eventually, but to be god implies much more than high tech




So, since it's natural, and therefore potentially replicable, why is it an impossible job for sufficiently advanced technology?


How can you say it's potentially possible, you are just making totally unsubstantiated claims, i can give the idea of FTL travel credence easier than you can substantiate making another universe.

I'm not sure i can explain the idea more accurately than that, there isn't anything unreasonable (or supernatural), about it.


Only that you invoked the idea of god like beings, god like is a heavy duty obligation, the idea of god stops all possible exploration of anything past that. God like aliens can do anything god could, no point in even trying lets just pack up and die off before they find us.:turtle:

#6 geko

geko

    Understanding

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 413 posts

Posted 17 February 2010 - 11:35 PM

I do not nor did i want to invoke the supernatural, It is the very idea of invoking the supernatural I have a problem with.



That is totally disingenuous, by definition God is supernatural, now you are back pedaling.



Please explain how you can have both views at the same time and not consider them spurious.

Here's is the reasoning again just in case it was missed.

Supernatural is a confusing term. It doesn't even have a reference because, by definition, if something exists, it is natural.

From this comes the stance that supernatural is excluded from all rational enquiry

In which case it's a fact that the origin and birth of the universe is natural.

Therefore, there is nothing supernatural about the statement "a sufficiently advanced civilisation is indistinguishable from our idea and definition of a god".


This also leads to the conclusion that god isn't supernatural either. If there is 1, it's natural. Either that or it doesn't exist, take your pick.

#7 Moontanman

Moontanman

    Unobtainium...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9029 posts

Posted 17 February 2010 - 11:38 PM

geko, are you a politician? a right wing republican by chance?

God is by definition supernatural, IE out side the laws of nature or able to ignore them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deity

Or nearer to some of my friends

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goddess

#8 modest

modest

    Creating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4959 posts

Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:09 AM

...by definition, if something exists, it is natural.


You can't say that without making certain assumptions.

It is entirely possible that our universe is governed by certain laws and that any natural event in the universe would by definition follow those laws. It is also entirely possible that something exists outside our universe following different laws. If an event were impossible by the natural laws of our universe yet were made possible by this outside entity then such an event would, by definition, be supernatural.

To be supernatural does not mean a thing is a priori impossible. It means that it cannot be reproduced by any natural means which makes it impossible by natural laws—not impossible by definition.

Only by assuming that something must be natural to exist can one conclude that the supernatural cannot exist, and on the flip side: only by assuming that the supernatural cannot exist can one conclude that something must be natural to exist. While it might be a safe and probably healthy assumption, it is by no means provable. It's, in fact, non-falsifiable.

~modest

#9 Boerseun

Boerseun

    Phantom Cow of Justice

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6062 posts

Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:17 AM

Moontan, I fail to see the issue here.

If you were to magically transport a European peasant from the year 1010AD to today, he will find himself surrounded by technology so utterly alien to his experience that the only word he can use to describe it will be "godlike".

What do you mean, that fat, noisy thing in the sky is a flying machine carrying 500 people halfway around the Earth? Ye gods, man!

What do you mean, that little black shiny thing in your pocket is a machine with which you can speak to anybody on the planet, anywhere, in seconds? Ye gods, man!

And that's only a thousand years.

Imagine a million.

I bet you everything in my bank account that if you were to go magically forward in time to the year 3,000 (only another thousand) you will find yourself surrounded by a species with a technology so advanced that you can only describe them as 'godlike'. That's to say, if the last thousand years was anything to go by.

If the metaphor bother you, by all means, please use another one. But the intention of using the term 'godlike' for superadvanced technology should be crystal clear. Well, to most of us, at least.

#10 Moontanman

Moontanman

    Unobtainium...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9029 posts

Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:24 AM

Moontan, I fail to see the issue here.

If you were to magically transport a European peasant from the year 1010AD to today, he will find himself surrounded by technology so utterly alien to his experience that the only word he can use to describe it will be "godlike".

What do you mean, that fat, noisy thing in the sky is a flying machine carrying 500 people halfway around the Earth? Ye gods, man!

What do you mean, that little black shiny thing in your pocket is a machine with which you can speak to anybody on the planet, anywhere, in seconds? Ye gods, man!

And that's only a thousand years.

Imagine a million.

I bet you everything in my bank account that if you were to go magically forward in time to the year 3,000 (only another thousand) you will find yourself surrounded by a species with a technology so advanced that you can only describe them as 'godlike'. That's to say, if the last thousand years was anything to go by.

If the metaphor bother you, by all means, please use another one. But the intention of using the term 'godlike' for superadvanced technology should be crystal clear. Well, to most of us, at least.


Possibly you all are right, maybe I just have a problem with the idea of God. But i can honestly say i cannot imagine what anyone, alien or not, would have to do to convince me they were god much less make me think it with out first thinking technology. transport me to the age of the dinosaurs? To the Andromeda galaxy in a twinkling? Still thinking technology, raise the dead? Nope technology again, I have quite an imagination but no god like tasks I can think of that would make me think anything but technology.

#11 geko

geko

    Understanding

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 413 posts

Posted 18 February 2010 - 07:22 AM

If an event were impossible by the natural laws of our universe yet were made possible by this outside entity then such an event would, by definition, be supernatural.


Yes, you're right and i'm wrong, semantically at least... and do you know what? I don't bloody like it!

I propose we begin to make nature synonymous with existence and therefore make all of existence natural... because it is :detective:

My case rests... i is in ze error!


no i'm not a politician.

#12 lawcat

lawcat

    Explaining

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 768 posts

Posted 20 February 2010 - 01:15 PM

There are four possibilities when speaking of god and possible, discounting the degrees of probability, and allowing that in supernatural everything is possible.

1) God is supernatural, and possibilities in natural are also in supernatural, therefore nothing is impossible in natural world by the application of supernatural.
2) God is supernatural, but the possibilities allowed in natural world are limited to natural and therefore some things are impossible.
3) God is natural, and all possibilities are allowed in natural even though nothing is supernatural, therefore nothing is impossible.
4)God is natural, and nature is limited, therefore both God and natural are limted and some things are impossible.

#13 Moontanman

Moontanman

    Unobtainium...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9029 posts

Posted 20 February 2010 - 02:34 PM

Not bad logic lawcat but by definition only #1 can be true, if you ignore the definition of god then the others become possible.

#14 lawcat

lawcat

    Explaining

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 768 posts

Posted 20 February 2010 - 02:44 PM

I disagree MoonTan. All four are possible. Only 1 and 2 are unlikely because supernatural is unlikely. By your own setup in original post 3 and 4 are possible, because if god is natural, and civilizations are in natural, then some civilizations can be sufficiently god like to others to be an equivalent of God. By extension, God could be in natural allowing for all possibilities.

#15 Moontanman

Moontanman

    Unobtainium...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9029 posts

Posted 20 February 2010 - 02:53 PM

I don't think it's really possible to successfully argue the point in any direction, definitions of god are subjective to say the least. Like saying how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, it depends on your definition of god. i tend to discount the idea of god any any context, I know there are other schools of thought but none can be taken at face value. As I said the idea of being fooled by technology into seeing god it not possible for me, others see god in toast, so it depends on your point of view.

#16 lawcat

lawcat

    Explaining

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 768 posts

Posted 20 February 2010 - 02:55 PM

Well if we discount god then my post makes no sense. I was just trying to have fun with some possibilities. But certainly, taking god out of equationmakes it all a waste of time. Cool.

Be that as it may, there are certainly things that are impossible lest we are to allow for supernatural. For example, drinking a bottle of water at 70 deg F that is sitting on the Sun's surface, while I am in my bedroom is impossible for me.

#17 Getting A Life

Getting A Life

    Thinking

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 86 posts

Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:11 PM

Having just come back from 1MYAP I can tell you:

Creation is a board game, and old hat.

Black holes are simply misunderstood.

Religions are defined as early programmable psycho/social viruses.

We hated the concept of God being supreme to us. That was the only impossible premise:

We destroyed the religions. We destroyed their literature. We killed their Gods and replaced them with ourselves, the true rulers of destiny.

We are the Gods of our own designs.

Through our consciousness we are everything that ever exists.