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Impossible? God like civilizations?


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#52 coldcreation

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:49 AM

How about saying that a technologically advanced Human from 3000 AD, would appear to have "pseudo-deistic abilities" (or PDAs).

:turtle:


“When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.”
(Frank Sinatra)



#53 Boerseun

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 03:22 AM

...but then we DO know that God is not omnipotent.

Surely a deity who created the universe in 6 days should be able to print money, not?

Turns out He can't. Evey Sunday He wants more of your hard-earned cash, because creating stars and galaxies from scratch is apparently much easier than operating a Heidelberg printing machine with cotton paper.

Either God is not omnipotent, or said Heidelberg machines are operating on a different plane of existence, outside even God's grasp.

#54 Eclipse Now

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 04:57 AM

< totally off topic theological reply >

1The words of(A) the Preacher,[a] the son of David,(:help: king in Jerusalem.
*2© Vanity of vanities, says(D) the Preacher,
***(E) vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3(F) What(G) does man gain by all the toil
***at which he toils under the sun?
4A generation goes, and a generation comes,
***but(H) the earth remains forever.
5(I) The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
***and hastens[c] to the place where it rises.
6(J) The wind blows to the south
***and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
***and on its circuits the wind returns.
7All(K) streams run to the sea,
***but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
***there they flow again.
8All things are full of weariness;
***a man cannot utter it;
(L) the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
***nor the ear filled with hearing.
9(M) What has been is what will be,
***and what has been done is what will be done,
***and there is nothing new under the sun.
10Is there a thing of which it is said,
***"See, this is new"?
It has been(N) already
***in the ages before us.
11There is no(O) remembrance of former things,[d]
***nor will there be any remembrance
of later things[e] yet to be
***among those who come after.

< / totally off topic >


“making many books” and “much study”


This is why the English translations have so much to answer for!

This is the same book that said to "cast your bread upon the waters" and if the scholars are really honest, there's about 4 options for what that might mean. So we have to be careful not to westernise it too much without understanding some of the word plays in the text.

From memory I think the argument goes something like this... and I forget exactly which word has the word-play, but here goes.

There's a lot about human "chatter" as well in the book, and I think somehow we know that the "book" is also wearisome for the same reason as the "chatter".

Now, what's it all about?

Certain books are wearisome only because they are about short-lived human fads that can burn up all our energy as we go chasing after the wind! It is in the context of silly human chatter, like what the Brangelina is up to, or why did Michael Jackson really die, and what is going to happen to his Doctor, News at 11pm! (Because we're all trying to refresh ourselves by watching this drivel that late at night instead of making love to our wives or, dare I say it, sleeping!)

But Solomon was not anti-science. His wisdom was steeped in understandings of nature. (Yet did admittedly have a theological perspective on that. I'm not claiming Ecclesiastes is a science textbook, but a philosophical perspective with a profound respect for nature.)

It's Oprah, not Carl Sagan he's having a go at, OK? Peace man.:turtle:

Also, if "Broken world" is an objection, then please, blame my semantics as that was me, not Solomon. I was just portraying the biblical picture of a world in broken relationship to its God, our rebellion, that terrible but true old word, "Sin". But in fact the bible has nothing to say against nature as such. The physical world and our bodies are gifts to be enjoyed! No, far from it! It was Greek Gnosticism that divided the impure physical body and material world from the more "pure" spiritual form, and profoundly affected Western culture in the process. Where do you think movies like "Ghost" come from? Not Christianity as far as I can tell, the bible doesn't divide body & "soul" as westerners do. Wow, all that from the 2 words "Broken World".

Indeed, Solomon had much to praise about the rhythms of nature and changes of the seasons as God's good provision to us in which to grow our food, etc.

"Vanity" translated above should also convey 'mist', non-permanence, the shortness of life, the ever repeating rhythms of nature that we can't quite find closure with, the vapour of the shortness of life, the fact that nothing is "GAINED" over the long term. And that's a GOOD thing, not a cause for despair!

In this the great temptation for humans is to ask what they have GAINED from all their work, what LASTS... and the answer from the rest of the book is nothing, so trust in the Lord and receive it as a gift.

It profoundly challenges greed and workaholism and the need to "make one's mark" in the world.

It's totally consistent with Jesus when he asks, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul?"

It is a profound existential, moment-by-moment philosophical observation about why we do what we do, and with what daily attitude. And 4000 Sydney-siders found it to be a breath of fresh air when we had a fresh look at Ecclesiastes last Easter.
< / totally off topic theological reply >

Thank you, thank you, I'll be back here every Thursday night.

[B]OK, back on topic:


What is your favourite "out there" scientific theory, on the edge of probability, that might make some of these super-civilisation themes possible?

Mine is various new forms of fusion + downloaded consciousness into small virtual silicon worlds only a few kg in size that are then fired at the stars, and thousands of years later, descendants of these post-humans build Dyson Spheres around the stars and effectively make the galaxy go dark in the process! (To the naked eye at least).

TIME SHIPS, the official sequel to "TIME MACHINE", kind of used these themes.

Yours?

#55 Moontanman

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 11:56 AM

I think it's reasonable to ask what sort of power a being would have to have to actually be God.

Also I think this question does relate to the possibility of "do we really know the true nature of the universe?"

Is everything we see and know all there is? I hate to use Star Trek as a metaphor even though I love the Star Trek "universe" Since Buffy invoked it once already i will again. The premise of the Star Trek universe is not defying the laws of physics, it's that we are currently totally unaware of new laws that allow technology to do much more than we can currently do or conceive of.

In the Star Trek universe artificial force fields are possible, by creating artificial particles to create these force fields, then their is things like subspace, subspace radio, the list does go on but even they make assumptions about things that are impossible as well. Then of course when they find a god like civilization or entity (The Q being would be a great example of this) they have to admit even their tremendous technology can be surpassed in a way that is unknown and assumed to be impossible until they run aground on it. But they never assume these super beings are gods, just god like.

Ye cannot defy the laws of physics Captain! :turtle:

#56 Pyrotex

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:40 PM

There is no reason imo that omnipotent and natural should be mutually exclusive. One could be omnipotent within the realm of natural. In other words, natural could allow for everything--omnipotence.

Hold on there! :evil:

You just used one of the trigger words that makes my blood boil. Well not really. That's a metaphor.

Lawcat, just what is omnipotence? Does it mean to know a whole bunch? Does it mean to know more than you and me put together? No? :eek2:

Well, perhaps it means to know everything? And pray tell, what does it mean to "know everything"?

How do you store that much knowledge? Let's say that you have a sheet of paper with 50 lines of print, each line containing 40 characters. That's 2000 characters on the page. Let's say that our alphabet is limited to 60 characters, numerals, punctuation marks, symbols, etcetera.

Would an "omnicient" god or being know every possible combination of letters on that page? Yes? Now there are 60 to the power of 2000 possible combinations of letters on that page. That's more than 10 to the power of 3000. (Shorten to 10^3000)

Now, there are only about 10^80 atoms in our visible universe. S'fact. Even if we packed the universe with atoms, there would still be fewer than 10^120 atoms. If we stored one character on each atom, we would be able to "know" only 10^120 characters -- or about 5 * 10^116 pages.

We would need more than 10^2803 UNIVERSES, each packed totally full of atoms, each atom storing one character, to be able to store, or "know" all the possible combinations of characters that could appear on one page of text.

Now, that's just ONE PAGE of ordinary text. Don't make me explain how many PACKED UNIVERSES it would take to "know" all the possible kinds of Humans could be created from our DNA. :naughty:

:hihi: :hihi: :hihi:

#57 lawcat

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:29 PM

Interesting as always Pyro :naughty:

Let's look at this:

You just used one of the trigger words that makes my blood boil.

:eek2:

Lawcat, just what is omnipotence? Does it mean to know a whole bunch? Does it mean to know more than you and me put together? No?

Omnipotent means allmighty. But that imo does not include absurdities. Allmighty should not be held to the standard of absurd. Absurdities are not valid.

Well, perhaps it means to know everything? And pray tell, what does it mean to "know everything"?

It means to know everything that can be known. That which can not be known is excluded.

We would need more than 10^2803 UNIVERSES, each packed totally full of atoms, each atom storing one character, to be able to store, or "know" all the possible combinations of characters that could appear on one page of text.


Pyro, you are limiting yourself to certain technology which does not seem workable as presented. When you find a better technology it may be possible. The question of storing information is matter of technology.

#58 Eclipse Now

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 04:22 PM

Then of course when they find a god like civilization or entity (The Q being would be a great example of this) they have to admit even their tremendous technology can be surpassed in a way that is unknown and assumed to be impossible until they run aground on it. But they never assume these super beings are gods, just god like.


Again, a great description that clarifies the discussion in a way that I, for one, find helpful after our little disagreement with Geko.

Anyone remember the episode where the Voyager ship watched a number of supernovae detonating relatively quickly after each other, an unnatural increasing frequency, and discovered it was the result of a Q civil war?

Then the crew got temporary access to the Q Continuum (that's OF COURSE rendered in American civil war themes so the poor mortals could "understand" what they were experiencing), and they walk around with old rifles and when confronted by a mortal, the Q have to spell out to the viewer, "Hey, they might be mortals, but those ARE real Q weapons they are holding!"

Ha ha ha! Oh, man!

Pryo,
Omnipotence means all powerful.
Omniscience means all knowing.
Omnipresent means everywhere.
And IF an omniscient supernatural being meets those 3 criteria it is precisely because He/She/It IS supernatural, and running on “spirit” hardware, of which we can’t even guess at the rules because those rules belong to the “Universe Next Door” that doesn’t even run on our rules.

Your post was interesting about maybe the practical limits to super-computer-deities in THIS universe, say, an Avatar “Awar” that upgrades to a galaxy wide Gaia, like Isaac Asimov’s “Galaxia” from the end of the Foundation series, only universe wide. (Anyone want to coin a term? "Universia" sounds silly.)

But I recommend keeping the distinction between this universe ‘demigod’s’ and the “GOD!” question separate, because postulating what the ‘rules’ might be in the “Universe Next Door” might be too much like debating how many angels can dance on a pinhead, or at the very least setting up a straw-man to attack.

This sort of game reminds me of my old High School mates that 20 years ago played semantic games like “If God can do anything and everything, can He make a rock so heavy He can’t lift it? If He could make it, then He could not lift it, so He can’t do everything! QED!” (Silly simpering smirk starts).


(Let alone the fact that there are LOTS of things the God of the bible simply cannot do, like dishonour Himself, allow His rule to be challenged forever, break His promises, sin, and be illogical as constructed in a game of logical semantics etc! Omnipotence does *not* mean “can do everything” the way a High School kid might imagine.)

#59 Pyrotex

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 06:23 PM

Interesting as always Pyro :naughty: ... Pyro, you are limiting yourself to certain technology which does not seem workable as presented. When you find a better technology it may be possible. The question of storing information is matter of technology.

Lawcat, thank you very much.
My father said it was more important to be interesting than to be correct. Hmmm... I'll get back to that later.

So anyway, the technology I gave for storing data is close to the maximum information storage possible, even in theory. In theory, we could store a 1 or a 0 on a single quantum of matter. That might increase the storage of my example by a million.

But you would still need more than 10^2800 atom-packed universes. You cannot wave this away by asking for a "better technology". One "bit" per quantum is the absolute max.

Do you know how big 10^2800 is? A "googel" is a "1" followed by a hundred zeros. That's ten billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion.
A "googelplex" is a "1" followed by a googel of zeros. This number is not writable in our universe--not enough paper--not enough diskspace--not enough atoms--not enough quanta.
And still, 10^2800 would be 10^28 times bigger than a googelplex.

So, an omniscient being would NOT be able to know what is obviously knowable: the permutations of 2000 characters on a simple page of paper.

#60 Moontanman

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 07:32 PM

It's important to note such large numbers are almost impossible to fathom, we often think of our selves as being unique individuals, never to be duplicated but in a recent article in a science magazine it was pointed out that given that the ways particles in the universe can interact is finite and that given enough particles (the number has no where near the number googleplex) everything in the universe is duplicated at some point and probably many times over. Somewhere there is another pyrotex on another forum (probably better looking, :naughty:) saying exactly the same thing.

Are we talking about beings we could not distinguish from God or beings that want us to believe they are God? It would make a difference, we could probably do a pretty good job of temporarily fooling people from some cultures here on Earth if we really wanted too.

Some fundamentalist types would say the very basis of this conversation is reason for GOD to burn us all for eternity in hell fire. That to even question the idea of God is wrong and HE knows everything we do, say, think or ever have done, said, or thought. To them god is indeed all powerful in every sense of the word.

A being like "Q" could easily lay claim to being God but is such a being realistic?

This brings us back to the basic premise of this thread, are truly God like beings possible? I say no, not if there are laws of the universe that are even close to what we now see, if we are totally wrong them all bets are off.

I propose there are levels of "God Like" depending on what they can do and dependign on what is possible and any motives they might have.

#61 lawcat

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 07:37 PM

Pyro, absurd is not possible. You present a problem of mapping each unit of 10^2800 to each unit of 10^80. It's obviously absurd.

Now to technology. You are using atoms to technologically map information, and obviously using this technology results in impossibility. Let's say that technology has two components: means and method (tools and process, atoms and transfer of information or usage in your example). In your example, using atoms to store information results in impossibility.

Let's look at what could be technology other than atoms--the means. How many gluons in universe? Could that be the solutions to your mapping? How many frequencies in universe? Could that be the solution?

#62 Moontanman

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 07:45 PM

Gluons are less absurd? At least it is within the realm of possibility to map atoms.

#63 lawcat

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 08:02 PM

Gluons are less absurd? At least it is within the realm of possibility to map atoms.


That is a scientific statement. :naughty:

I don't mean to suggest a scientifically radical idea that we can map information on gluons. I have no idea whether we can. I don't have enough knowledge to say anything about it, to confirm or dispute your statement above.

But Pyro's point presents mathematical imposibility first and foremost--mapping 10^10 to 10^1 sets. So first we must find some sets, and then search for somoething physical that matches the needed parameters to map data. The question is could it be gluons? could it be frequencies? considered merely as sets for mathematical mapping purposes. If yes, then we can discuss whether that is technologically possible now according to our knowledge of physics, tommorow, or naturally.

#64 Eclipse Now

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 09:35 PM

Some fundamentalist types would say the very basis of this conversation is reason for GOD to burn us all for eternity in hell fire. That to even question the idea of God is wrong and HE knows everything we do, say, think or ever have done, said, or thought. To them god is indeed all powerful in every sense of the word.

Well, I'm conservative Sydney Anglican evangelical and I'm happy discussing this. ;)

This brings us back to the basic premise of this thread, are truly God like beings possible? I say no, not if there are laws of the universe that are even close to what we now see, if we are totally wrong them all bets are off.

CERN!

#65 Boerseun

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 10:59 PM

Lawcat, don't even bother. Pyro is talking about mapping the permutations on one single sheet of paper. You can try to get gluons to work, but we can always add another sheet of paper to the argument. We can add a whole book. Keep in mind, more than 200,000 new titles are printed on Earth every year - mapping out the possible permutations on their printed pages is a perfectly simple task to describe, with a perfectly simple methodology, with a perfectly simple output stream - of practically infinite length.

So give it a rest.

As well as with your "omnipotence is normal" idea.

Omnipotence, by its very nature, shoves a toffee right in the face of the Laws of Nature. It cannot, cannot operate within the Laws of Nature, and is thus supernatural.

#66 Eclipse Now

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 11:13 PM

Well yeah, omnipotence or omniscience is pretty super-natural. But some things can 'appear' super-natural.

I mean, what about this twinned-pair quantum mechanics thing? I'm not sure what the particle were, but didn't I read something in a real science journal somewhere about the idea that we might be able to take a particle, jiggle it this way, and its twin would jiggle the same way at the same time... even if we took its twin half way across the galaxy?

If we learned to control this "jiggling" and could practically engineer a device that could read it, surely that would form the basis of a faster than light digital communications network?

(With the obvious problem that you have to actually TAKE the twinned pair particle with you, as happened in the sci-fi story of Ender's Game).

But if we left one particle jiggling in a central "hub", there might be a way we can make it jiggle and get read by the device and transmitted to another pair, which would allow me to call you even if I didn't have your exact twinned particle.

In other words, a galaxy wide communication network.

But of course, we'd have to send these units out with our ark-starships of course.
Posted Image

(Unless CERN throws a MAJOR curve-ball and allows this...)
Posted Image

#67 modest

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 12:27 AM

[quote name='Eclipse Now']I mean, what about this twinned-pair quantum mechanics thing? I'm not sure what the particle were, but didn't I read something in a real science journal somewhere about the idea that we might be able to take a particle, jiggle it this way, and its twin would jiggle the same way at the same time... even if we took its twin half way across the galaxy?

If we learned to control this "jiggling" and could practically engineer a device that could read it, surely that would form the basis of a faster than light digital communications network?
[/quote]

[quote name='wiki—quantum entanglement]Observations pertaining to entangled states appear to conflict with the property of relativity that information cannot be transferred faster than the speed of light. Although two entangled systems appear to interact across large spatial separations' date=' the current state of belief is that no useful information can be transmitted in this way, meaning that causality cannot be violated through entanglement. This is the statement of the no-communication theorem.[/quote']Quantum entanglement


The usual response being that even if Bob collapsed the probability wave on one side of the galaxy with ftl intent while Alice detected the entangled pair on the other side of the galaxy instantly, the quantum state would still appear random to Alice, thus no useful information (no communication) can be sent.

It's explained with an opposing viewpoint at: No-communication theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And, here is a good thread for discussing it: FTL Communication

~modest

#68 lawcat

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 01:02 AM

So give it a rest.

As well as with your "omnipotence is normal" idea.


So give it a rest.

As well as with your "omnipotence is normal" idea.


I am going to tell you (1) I disagree, next (2) why I disagree, and (3) why it is important for me to disagree.

First, I already told you in two previous posts that you should not make the definition of "omnipotent" before you logically think it through. But you insist on defining "omnipotent" as supernatural before any logical thinking. This is why.

When you define omnipotent as supernatural, you are equating everything that has attribute of omnipotent to supernatural, but not based on logic but by your fiat--by your definition before logic of omnipotent = supernatural. So omnipotent civilization becomes impossible because it is supernatural, but not because it is logically impossible but because you defined it apriori as impossible. You end up dismissing by fiat that which you can't logically.

Now to justify this dismissal, you cite as evidence of omnipotence scriptures or accepted religious thinking, and physical absurdities in scriptures, which is precisely that which you deny. You are running in logically inconsistent loops.

Second, omnipotent is admittedly just a word, and you are free ceertainly to define it anyway you want for your life, but for purposes of rational discussion we are not speaking of mere semantics of language here. Here is why. Logically only supernatural is truly supernatural--outside of nature, absurd. Every other word or attribute that we wish to equate to supernatural must be reasoned to be supernatural before we define it as supernatural. When we speak of reason, we speak of applying logic--rational discussion. In reason, logic, rationality, absurdities are invalid. So since supernatural is absurd rationally, before we can say that something like omnipotent is absurd we must reason it to be absurd. Omnipotent is not logically absurd, and here is why.

Omnipotent literally means all mighty, all powerrful. "All" consists of natural and supernatural. Of the two sets, only one is valid--the natural set. The supernatural is absurd--it is invalid, it has no rational force. Threfore, there are two logical choices for omnipotent: (1) it is either only valid, and contains only the natural set, or (2) it is invalid and contains both sets. Therefore both are logical possibilities.

This bring me to Third, the policy. What gives force to your argument is that omnipotent in your definition contains all--both supernatural and natural sets--which is supported by omni in omnipotent. But such definition makes omnipotent absurd. Supernatural does not exist.

The policy is to save logical possibilities that can be saved, so as to not dismiss them mistakenly. Care is taken. In rational discussion, force is not given to absurd but to rational. There exists possibility that omnipotent can logically exist "all mighty" within natural, and such "all" is only the valid all by the policy of rational discussion, which is only natural. (read Buffy's comments above.)

Taken as such, omnipotent means having all powers that are natural.

And that is more than I have to say about that.