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Causal Philosophy - Are CDs Materialists?


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#81 mordecai_*

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 07:10 PM

I wasn’t actually trying to build an argument with that comment. I don’t believe that God feels the need to justify every decision he makes, and therefore there isn’t an answer to every question. Personally I am satisfied not knowing everything, but that is unsatisfactory for some people.


It’s not a matter of not knowing everything, it ‘s a matter of knowing history in such a way as not to be refutable so one cannot easily be convinced of false superstitious versions of history. Science surely supplants thousands of cultures histories which are clearly false and based on the lack of scientific knowledge, since all men are born ignorant they invent explanations as to why they exist and how their history was. Think about how many histories you and I reject today we don't even know of or have never read of, of cultures past, even if we did read them we already know apriori via scientific knowledge that their supernatural components and claims about gods and spirits are false, you use the same method I do to rule out all other gods and supernatural phenomena of which you have never read or encountered.


What sort of responsibility do you think God should take? What do you propose that God should be doing?


First god knew beforehand all the children that would ever be born, their geographical locations, whether or not they would be born poor or into diseased times (this is where the lack of scientific knowledge ends up being really cruel, i.e. bubonic plague for instance)


Do you think that the only reason for God to test us is to know what he already knows?


Your missing the point, the form something takes determines its function, god being omniscient does not need to test people he himself built and is made of the exact same chemical and energetic constituents you find in those that believe in him, believers are just patterns and arrangements of matter and energy that would always choose god given the same circumstances 1000x over. CD’s ultimately can’t escape material causes (i.e. for instance autism, retardation, etc) which directly interfere with your ability and capability to know things, but there’s plenty of evidence even “healthy” people’s minds are defective in the same way if you believe in god.


Why is it a problem that God wants people to live a certain way?


It’s only a problem when god’s being unjust and not giving everyone a fair and equal shot at understanding. Which of course the biblical god did not do at all, even the bible is chalk full of errors (Mathew 8:28-34 and Jesus belief in demons, here jesus is misrepresenting reality to everyone watching him, sinning in broad daylight and perpetuating superstition instead of teaching them correct causal philosophy modern CD’s hold i.e. material causes are responsible for sickness and madness, etc).

You are looking at one point of view. Problems certainly can bring out the worst in people, but they also can bring out the best in people. If you took away the problems in our world, you would also not see extreme acts of sacrifice and love.


Yeah but there’s no certain knowledge and theres much knowledge that contradicts the bible, there should be no knowledge that contradicts the bible, but there is PLENTY of evidence that the bible is not true god’s book, omniscience and omnipotence is opposed to error. Every word of god can’t prove true if the evidence falsifies those word statements.


The tests are different for different people, but the judgment is also different. What is wrong with that?


You didn’t answer my question: What does an omniscient god who DESIGNED every human being on the planet NEED with tests, he designed the systems that make people decide one way or another, and these people given the same set of circumstances would ALWAYS decide the same way, an omniscient god DOESN’T need to test people because he’s not IGNORANT of how people work. But the biblical god IS ignorant of how people work that’s why he needs to TEST them before he gives them immortality, i.e. a matter of trust, which is a matter of ignorance for the bible god, which means god is ignorant of how people work himself, because how people work is a matter of the quality of the form something takes which determines the functioning. All of us are mechanical beings, without oxygen you are unable to think, without proper nutrients, and sleep your memory and intellectual ability is affected. It’s all physical, form determines function. The quality of the resources your mother ingested before you were born helped determine what abilities you ended up having, a factor totally beyond your control.

Or take for instance deformed babies that end up living but have deformities for the rest of their live, ostracized from normal human relationships before modern surgery or abandoned or left by superstitious parents. That’s god’s ’design’ in action, it serves no purpose at all.


QUOTE
The weather and displacement of earths resources for a start, the total lack of scientific understanding of cause and effect to reduce the superstition and belief in other gods, god so hated. I mean the bible god wasn’t doing anyone a favor by leaving people and even the jews on their own with no technological or scientific knowledge.


Why is technological and scientific knowledge so important? In a lot of ways, our higher knowledge has allowed us to mess things up in greater ways. We still have pain, sorrow, and death but in different ways. I’m not sure that more knowledge is the answer.


Because 1) It shows god is truly omniscient and not some fake false god. Obviously miracles didn’t convince anyone, but then again god didn’t actually change peoples standard of living for the better to relieve them monotonous work, just imagine a society with electricity way back when and modern farming methods, almost all the time could be spent helping other people and worshiping god because they’d be free from the daily grind of survival and could focus significantly more timeon being good Christians and spreading the gospel itself. The problem is, the argument that an omniscient and omnipotent god took 1000 years to write a saving book, and then took another many thousand years to spread his message is a sloppy and inefficient god! I mean come on, is that the best the master of the universe can come up with? Even *man* could do better then that today with the internet, news travels around the world in seconds and takes less then a day to get to everyone, yet here we have the master of the universe himself, who has all and even more sophisticated technology a civilization of man inhabiting the entire galaxy would have, uses the most backward and cravenly ignorant method in existence to tell people about himself, its ridiculous to believe that an eternal god who knows everything for all time and knows the best future technologies would use something so outdated and inefficient as the bible as a method of communication.

It’s much more plausible to believe the Jews were just a bunch of superstitious people who had no access to science or technology to make their lives better and thought natural processes were god, and misinterpreted natural processes as miracles of god. History shows us people were at their dumbest before scientific times.

I’m not sure that telling everybody all the answers will result in an ideal situation either. I don’t have much experience teaching, but for myself I don’t learn well from someone just telling me answers.


Uhm the ideal situation is not what’s at issue, it’s teaching people the method to distinguish truth from lies, which god never took the time to do, he just said “believe me” and constant failures ensued, the problem is of course that, an omniscient god can’t even in principle fail, even for beings that have free will, he has the power to solve any problem in any manner (including the most peaceful and nonviolent ones).

If people rejected god just because they do so out of irrational means rather then rational ones then I don’t have a problem if evidence and effort expended by god was sufficient for an omni-max god, but think about it. The reason most people reject god today is not on irrational grounds, there is plenty of scientific evidence and just general cruelty in nature to refute biblical claims to godhood. I mean even with Christadelphia you people are split on fundamental issues - i.e. old earth vs young earth, progressive creationism, vs young earth, versus theistic evolution (DJP, and emerging evolutionary christadelphians, which liberalized the whole bible making it pointless). If death existed before the fall in the animal kingdom and god evolved man to his present state, obviously there is no need for salvation because death always was a natural part of the creation and part of how god “created”.

The bible’s own internal evidence is self-refuting as well like Mathew 8 where Jesus exorcises demons, yet according to CD theology demons don’t exist, they are just natural causes, so why pretend and lie to these people and put on a show? There is NO reason to compromise and lie, after all most CD’s take a no compromise position on biblical theology but they allow Jesus to get away with it to save their belief in god, which is ultimately irrational because they can’t accept the fact that Jesus was mad and superstitious and sinned by misrepresenting reality – being a tale bearer, rather then a truth teller about the nature of disease and material causes.


I think there has always been reasons to doubt the existence of God (why is that a problem?). God is not the only answer to unexplained phenomena, however, he may be a reasonable choice.


There is a difference between doubt and complete refutation of allegedly gods own message by the natural record of cosmological and geological history which “God” (i.e. the real god not the bible god) left behind which man can’t corrupt, like the bible can be corrupted because man had his hands all over it.

1) The sun will explode and run out of fuel, this is a fact, in fact we have billions of stars showing us this. If you are a CD and believe in an old universe, whence is gods intervention? In fact if you’re an OEC or a TEC, god will have to move people one day to another planet simply because he has never violated (or left evidence) that the natural laws he set in motion have ever changed. This refutes the promise that Abraham will inherit the land of Israel forever and ever as well as Christians reigning over the earth for an eternity, when the sun will be dead in ~5 billion more years.
2) Meteor impacts on the earth over the earths billion year history, if god created the earth why exactly would he allow meteors that crash into the earth that are just as devastating as atomic bombs? Given the geological record, whence comes gods intervention?
3) The plant and animal kingdoms have existed on the earth for billions of years living and dying, fighting for survival, and shedding blood, not exactly the kind “good” creation you’d expect from an omnipotent being, in fact it’s downright cruel. Humanity itself is well over 100,000 years old, and this is proven scientific fact. If humanity is this old, god sure wasted 90,000 of those years not writing the bible and spreading it to mankind (i.e. where was god during the previous 90K years before the last ~4-5000 when the bible was first invented?)


We definitely have better technology, and we can certainly extend someone’s life, but for what? I’m not sure that we are really that much better off to be honest, and in the process of advancing our knowledge we are also messing up a planet that was working pretty well.


Give me a break, have you looked at the cosmological and geological records of earth and on other planets? If you think having meteors slam into the earth every so often is “Great design” compared to our own technological wonders you got to be kidding me, also the last ice age which killed off a great many things was perfectly natural, most extinctions happened well before man ever existed on planet earth, over 90% of life that has existed on this planet was not killed by us, so if you think that’s a planet not messing itself up, I don’t know what is. Human beings are intelligent, they have the power to reverse changes and solve problems, nature just blindly plunges itself towards self destruction, maybe you should check out the history of the birth and death of stars sometime, even if the earth worked perfectly, once a star collapses it engulfs everything within a certain radius of itself when it runs out of fuel, not exactly “perfectly” working now is it? Pretty sloppy if you ask me.

Edited by mordecai, 17 June 2005 - 07:11 PM.


#82 pantrog_*

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 04:34 PM

hello Forti (and everyone)

Then I must be reading these commentaries incorrectly:


Its a tricky one, Shannon and Von Neumann are alleged to have named information 'entropy' as a physics in-joke. But to be fair I think the two concepts work as potentially useful analogies of each other.

'Von Neumann was asked by Shannon what to name the formula, H=-Sum(i) pi log(pi)? Von Neumann replied rather coyly that he should name it entropy, because (1) the measure is formally the same as that used by Boltzmann in his statistical mechanical treatment of irreversibility, and (2) "Nobody really understands what entropy is, so you will be at an advantage in any discusssion!"'

In that article you will see how significant Shannon's work has been in the field of cognitive psychology.


The Drs. schueler & schueler also have fascinating articles on 'Norwegian forest cats of distinction' and 'Transpersonal psychology'.

Entropy is a measure of disorder, and disorder is essentially the same thing as ignorance. This is how entropy is related to information theory


Imagine a simple signal recieved one item (either a 1 or 0) at a time:

11111111111111111


If I ask you what the next signal item will be - the answer is almost certainly '1'. This is a highly ordered, (~predictable) - low information - signal.

If on the other hand the signal is:

011011011011011011


This signal is less ordered, more complex - the information required to tell you what the next item is increased. Now alternatively:

0101110101010011101


This signal is now apparently disordered, if there is a predictable pattern it is highly complex (otherwise the signal may now be entirely random) and you would require quite an amount of information to tell you what the next item will be.

Therefore systems or signals that are nearly random (highly disordered) require large amounts of information to describe. I suppose we could turn this around and say that the more disordered a system/signal was, the less predictable the position/nature of its components would be - therefore reception of the signal or examination of the system would reduce the ignorance of the observer. The greater the extent of this reduction-of-ignorance the greater the 'information' content of the system or signal.

I wasn't aware that I was saying they were exactly the same thing.


We just have to be careful with terminology when we say 'The universe is a carefully ordered information set, in a closed system' ... the 'closed system' business refers to one of the classical definitions of physical entropy ala the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Its not part of information theory.

This is all Shannon's fault. This is exactly the situation he thought would be funny.

Of course confusing thermodynamic concepts with 'bits' <pun> of information theory has interesting implications for using 'the 2nd law of thermodynamics' as an anti-evolution argument ....

#83 Fortigurn

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 09:25 PM

You seem to be telling me that information theory is in fact a practical joke played by a group of japing mathematicians.

#84 graknil_*

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 06:03 AM

It’s not a matter of not knowing everything, it ‘s a matter of knowing history in such a way as not to be refutable so one cannot easily be convinced of false superstitious versions of history. Science surely supplants thousands of cultures histories which are clearly false and based on the lack of scientific knowledge, since all men are born ignorant they invent explanations as to why they exist and how their history was. Think about how many histories you and I reject today we don't even know of or have never read of, of cultures past, even if we did read them we already know apriori via scientific knowledge that their supernatural components and claims about gods and spirits are false, you use the same method I do to rule out all other gods and supernatural phenomena of which you have never read or encountered.


God could have created man with all knowledge of all mysteries, etc, but does man really need that? I’m not so sure?

First god knew beforehand all the children that would ever be born, their geographical locations, whether or not they would be born poor or into diseased times (this is where the lack of scientific knowledge ends up being really cruel, i.e. bubonic plague for instance)


I’m not sure how this answered my question.

Your missing the point, the form something takes determines its function, god being omniscient does not need to test people he himself built and is made of the exact same chemical and energetic constituents you find in those that believe in him, believers are just patterns and arrangements of matter and energy that would always choose god given the same circumstances 1000x over. CD’s ultimately can’t escape material causes (i.e. for instance autism, retardation, etc) which directly interfere with your ability and capability to know things, but there’s plenty of evidence even “healthy” people’s minds are defective in the same way if you believe in god.


I read through what you wrote and I’m not sure that you answered my question. Do you think that the only reason for God to test us is to know what he already knows?

It’s only a problem when god’s being unjust and not giving everyone a fair and equal shot at understanding. Which of course the biblical god did not do at all, even the bible is chalk full of errors (Mathew 8:28-34 and Jesus belief in demons, here jesus is misrepresenting reality to everyone watching him, sinning in broad daylight and perpetuating superstition instead of teaching them correct causal philosophy modern CD’s hold i.e. material causes are responsible for sickness and madness, etc).


How do you propose that God intervenes and give everyone a ‘fair and equal shot at understanding.’

I think there was another thread already on demons.


Yeah but there’s no certain knowledge and theres much knowledge that contradicts the bible, there should be no knowledge that contradicts the bible, but there is PLENTY of evidence that the bible is not true god’s book, omniscience and omnipotence is opposed to error. Every word of god can’t prove true if the evidence falsifies those word statements.


You didn’t answer what I wrote.

You didn’t answer my question: What does an omniscient god who DESIGNED every human being on the planet NEED with tests, he designed the systems that make people decide one way or another, and these people given the same set of circumstances would ALWAYS decide the same way, an omniscient god DOESN’T need to test people because he’s not IGNORANT of how people work. But the biblical god IS ignorant of how people work that’s why he needs to TEST them before he gives them immortality, i.e. a matter of trust, which is a matter of ignorance for the bible god, which means god is ignorant of how people work himself, because how people work is a matter of the quality of the form something takes which determines the functioning. All of us are mechanical beings, without oxygen you are unable to think, without proper nutrients, and sleep your memory and intellectual ability is affected. It’s all physical, form determines function. The quality of the resources your mother ingested before you were born helped determine what abilities you ended up having, a factor totally beyond your control.


There may be many reasons for testing people. This is what I asked about above.

Or take for instance deformed babies that end up living but have deformities for the rest of their live, ostracized from normal human relationships before modern surgery or abandoned or left by superstitious parents. That’s god’s ’design’ in action, it serves no purpose at all.


I’m not so sure that disabilities serve no purpose. For example there are many examples of people overcoming great disabilities (being born with no arms, etc.). Some disabled people can accomplish extraordinary things that they might not have been motivated to do had they been ‘normal’.

Because 1) It shows god is truly omniscient and not some fake false god. Obviously miracles didn’t convince anyone, but then again god didn’t actually change peoples standard of living for the better to relieve them monotonous work, just imagine a society with electricity way back when and modern farming methods, almost all the time could be spent helping other people and worshiping god because they’d be free from the daily grind of survival and could focus significantly more timeon being good Christians and spreading the gospel itself.


You seem very excited by our society, yet I am not so sure that all the changes have been all that great. Our modern society can certainly produce much more efficiently, but there are always trade offs and I think they are becoming apparent.

The problem is, the argument that an omniscient and omnipotent god took 1000 years to write a saving book, and then took another many thousand years to spread his message is a sloppy and inefficient god! I mean come on, is that the best the master of the universe can come up with? Even *man* could do better then that today with the internet, news travels around the world in seconds and takes less then a day to get to everyone, yet here we have the master of the universe himself, who has all and even more sophisticated technology a civilization of man inhabiting the entire galaxy would have, uses the most backward and cravenly ignorant method in existence to tell people about himself, its ridiculous to believe that an eternal god who knows everything for all time and knows the best future technologies would use something so outdated and inefficient as the bible as a method of communication.


Perhaps there are other reasons for distributing his message in the way he did. Obviously God could have done a much better job himself, but he consistently leaves many responsibilities to man.

God asked the Jews to offer sacrifices despite the fact that he owned everything in the world. Looking at it from the same perspective as above, this is a pretty inefficient way of getting sacrifices. God should have just gone and done his own sacrifices as he could have done a much better job of it.


It’s much more plausible to believe the Jews were just a bunch of superstitious people who had no access to science or technology to make their lives better and thought natural processes were god, and misinterpreted natural processes as miracles of god. History shows us people were at their dumbest before scientific times.


I’m not so sure that the percentage of dumb and smart people are all that different today. People certainly know more things, but that is not (in my opinion) a definition of been smart.

I am not so sure that it is much more plausible that (for example), the whole Christian religion is based on a myth.

Uhm the ideal situation is not what’s at issue, it’s teaching people the method to distinguish truth from lies, which god never took the time to do, he just said “believe me” and constant failures ensued, the problem is of course that, an omniscient god can’t even in principle fail, even for beings that have free will, he has the power to solve any problem in any manner (including the most peaceful and nonviolent ones).

If people rejected god just because they do so out of irrational means rather then rational ones then I don’t have a problem if evidence and effort expended by god was sufficient for an omni-max god, but think about it. The reason most people reject god today is not on irrational grounds, there is plenty of scientific evidence and just general cruelty in nature to refute biblical claims to godhood. I mean even with Christadelphia you people are split on fundamental issues - i.e. old earth vs young earth, progressive creationism, vs young earth, versus theistic evolution (DJP, and emerging evolutionary christadelphians, which liberalized the whole bible making it pointless). If death existed before the fall in the animal kingdom and god evolved man to his present state, obviously there is no need for salvation because death always was a natural part of the creation and part of how god “created”.


Perhaps the problem that God is solving is cannot be solved in a straight solution. In any design there are always trade offs (as one of my profs told me, if you find yourself always winning, you’re doing something wrong). The trade off of giving people free will, is that they can choose to follow their own ways, not teach their children about God, reject any help he might offer, etc.

I’m not so sure that Christadelphians are as split as you think and I am not certain that old/young earth is a fundamental issue.

The bible’s own internal evidence is self-refuting as well like Mathew 8 where Jesus exorcises demons, yet according to CD theology demons don’t exist, they are just natural causes, so why pretend and lie to these people and put on a show? There is NO reason to compromise and lie, after all most CD’s take a no compromise position on biblical theology but they allow Jesus to get away with it to save their belief in god, which is ultimately irrational because they can’t accept the fact that Jesus was mad and superstitious and sinned by misrepresenting reality – being a tale bearer, rather then a truth teller about the nature of disease and material causes.


I think we had a thread on this topic earlier…

There is a difference between doubt and complete refutation of allegedly gods own message by the natural record of cosmological and geological history which “God” (i.e. the real god not the bible god) left behind which man can’t corrupt, like the bible can be corrupted because man had his hands all over it.

1) The sun will explode and run out of fuel, this is a fact, in fact we have billions of stars showing us this. If you are a CD and believe in an old universe, whence is gods intervention? In fact if you’re an OEC or a TEC, god will have to move people one day to another planet simply because he has never violated (or left evidence) that the natural laws he set in motion have ever changed. This refutes the promise that Abraham will inherit the land of Israel forever and ever as well as Christians reigning over the earth for an eternity, when the sun will be dead in ~5 billion more years.
2) Meteor impacts on the earth over the earths billion year history, if god created the earth why exactly would he allow meteors that crash into the earth that are just as devastating as atomic bombs? Given the geological record, whence comes gods intervention?
3) The plant and animal kingdoms have existed on the earth for billions of years living and dying, fighting for survival, and shedding blood, not exactly the kind “good” creation you’d expect from an omnipotent being, in fact it’s downright cruel. Humanity itself is well over 100,000 years old, and this is proven scientific fact. If humanity is this old, god sure wasted 90,000 of those years not writing the bible and spreading it to mankind (i.e. where was god during the previous 90K years before the last ~4-5000 when the bible was first invented?)


1) Why is this supposed to bother me?
2) Why not?
3) I’m no anthropologist, but what I’ve read has never impressed me on the ‘100,000 year old’ history of man. Perhaps it is proven scientific fact, but that is news to me.

Give me a break, have you looked at the cosmological and geological records of earth and on other planets? If you think having meteors slam into the earth every so often is “Great design” compared to our own technological wonders you got to be kidding me, also the last ice age which killed off a great many things was perfectly natural, most extinctions happened well before man ever existed on planet earth, over 90% of life that has existed on this planet was not killed by us, so if you think that’s a planet not messing itself up, I don’t know what is. Human beings are intelligent, they have the power to reverse changes and solve problems, nature just blindly plunges itself towards self destruction, maybe you should check out the history of the birth and death of stars sometime, even if the earth worked perfectly, once a star collapses it engulfs everything within a certain radius of itself when it runs out of fuel, not exactly “perfectly” working now is it? Pretty sloppy if you ask me.


You are looking at one side of it. Humans are constantly trying to copy nature since it works so well. Many human solutions that are great have bigger side effects or don’t work as well. Nature is amazing precisely because of its ability to survive despite the massive disasters that have happened. Our stuff is neat, but not really all that special.

#85 pantrog_*

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 06:18 AM

You seem to be telling me that information theory is in fact a practical joke played by a group of japing mathematicians.


well perhaps the name is a pun. Information theory itself is a useful technology of every-day life e.g. those of us carrying a mobile phone, or who regularly use internet forums ...

#86 mordecai_*

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 12:49 AM

God could have created man with all knowledge of all mysteries, etc, but does man really need that? I’m not so sure?


I don’t know how you can even say this, look at how many people today believe outright lies and fabrications simply because they reject logic, the islamics, the jews, and even non-abrahamic faiths and religions. Over 90% of the human beings that have ever lived were living in lies and delusion, how can you say that god gave people good brains and teachings capable of separating truth from error with failure rates astronomically high? It’s ridiculous

I said: First god knew beforehand all the children that would ever be born, their geographical locations, whether or not they would be born poor or into diseased times (this is where the lack of scientific knowledge ends up being really cruel, i.e. bubonic plague for instance)


Graknil said:
I’m not sure how this answered my question.


The problem is we can’t get to gods purpose until we establish the bible got it’s historical and scientific facts correct, which of course it did not. God’s purpose ultimately matters but if god is evil and he likes lying to and deceiving people then no one can find out who god is or even claim to know god and his will or personality.

I read through what you wrote and I’m not sure that you answered my question. Do you think that the only reason for God to test us is to know what he already knows?


The problem isn’t with god testing people, it’s with inferior design of the world by an omnipotent being that is capable of transcending the laws of nature, if you’re saying god is limited in his own power then he’s not god by definition, I mean if god can’t curb the motion of meteors to prevent them from smacking the earth and wiping out life, then what else can’t god do? Obviously if he can’t take care of meteors he wont be able to stop the sun from dying now will he?


How do you propose that God intervenes and give everyone a ‘fair and equal shot at understanding.’

I think there was another thread already on demons.


Yeah but no one answered it correctly, the simplest and most parsimonious explanation for Jesus exorcism is not that Jesus is the son of god or that he was sinless, it’s that the story is a fabrication, a lie just like the Islamic holy text, man made religion claiming its from a god.



You didn’t answer what I wrote.


I did, I illustrated you can’t talk about gods purpose if god is constantly contradicting himself in the claims he makes which gives us no reason to listen to the book that claims to be from god (the bible). You can’t even get to purpose until you deal with the abundant irrefutable evidence of nature, we can agree that no man can corrupt natural history correct? No man can falsify meteor impacts or volcanoes and earthquakes.


There may be many reasons for testing people. This is what I asked about above.


The problem is god can give people real historical memories without actually creating a nightmarish world. There is no reason for testing people for god because he knows everything, he knows the ultimate causal relationships that make one choose and act or not since he designed them, he is more intimately familiar with the process then anyone could ever be, so there is no reason to test people unless you’re ignorant, this fits precisely within manmade religions where men’s imaginations and logic was totally absent when they wrote these texts.

I said:Or take for instance deformed babies that end up living but have deformities for the rest of their live, ostracized from normal human relationships before modern surgery or abandoned or left by superstitious parents. That’s god’s ’design’ in action, it serves no purpose at all.


Grak said
I’m not so sure that disabilities serve no purpose. For example there are many examples of people overcoming great disabilities (being born with no arms, etc.). Some disabled people can accomplish extraordinary things that they might not have been motivated to do had they been ‘normal’.


You can’t argue something isn’t bad on the slim chance of their being a possibility of them “overcoming”, first of all no overcoming actually takes place because it was always within their potential to do those things they ultimately did. The structure of their brain dictates what is possible for them or not, just like an severely autistic or retarded person has to deal with the fact that he can never function as a medical doctor because the form his or her mind takes prevents such possibilities from even occurring. The fact that you suggest that god needs to give people disabilities to engineer their choices speaks against your argument of free will, after all gods causing these things to get his intended effects and free will be damned since he always knows what you will choose given any set of circumstances, so god is engineering everyone’s choices irregardless since god (according to the bible) is in direct control of nature all the time. (i.e. denial of rain, etc in the old testament).

You seem very excited by our society, yet I am not so sure that all the changes have been all that great. Our modern society can certainly produce much more efficiently, but there are always trade offs and I think they are becoming apparent.


Our society is filled with both good and bad people, it’s the bad people who’s only concern is for themselves and the short-term that ruin our world. Also the fact that a good portion of humanity doesn’t want to be rational, then on top of that a natural world that’s our enemy (i.e. the weather, pests, disease) and you end up with a chaotic world that is both good and bad because nature itself forces people to become desperate. Why do people go to war? Because of natures limited resources, they don't do it for fun, they do it to protect their economies, the capitalist class uses the worker class to go to war to protect itself from hostile capitalists and other very powerful institutions that suppor those who have extreme differenes of opinion or idealogy.

But ultimately it’s nature and finite resources that cause most of the bad in this world - the economy and people are ultimately dependent on resources : how you and I live, that determine to a large extent what goes on businesses that pillage the planet, cell phone, computer, etc, where did all those materials come from? They were displaced from the planet itself. So as long as you support Capitalist economy by participating in it you’re part of the problem as well. There are some 2 billion plus people that live on the earth but don’t have a fraction of the footprint or waste as modern industrialized living north America, Europe and new industrialized parts of Asia.

Perhaps there are other reasons for distributing his message in the way he did. Obviously God could have done a much better job himself, but he consistently leaves many responsibilities to man.

God asked the Jews to offer sacrifices despite the fact that he owned everything in the world. Looking at it from the same perspective as above, this is a pretty inefficient way of getting sacrifices. God should have just gone and done his own sacrifices as he could have done a much better job of it.


The problem still ultimately remains though, man sacrificed to the gods in hopes god would help him, obviously that didn’t occur. This isn’t an exclusive practice of the jews and their god, it was widespread in the ancient world. Why a rational omnipotent god needs someone to kill an animal to keep his emotions in check is pretty absurd. In fact an emotional god implies that the god was invented by man, since emotions are human and animal traits.



I’m not so sure that the percentage of dumb and smart people are all that different today. People certainly know more things, but that is not (in my opinion) a definition of been smart.

I am not so sure that it is much more plausible that (for example), the whole Christian religion is based on a myth.


Think about the accuracy of the machines used to communicate this post to this forum on the internet, it will get to you 100% of the time with 100% accuracy in what I wrote (assuming no electricity failures), the bible used inefficient human beings to translate it, why would god use anything less then 100% accurate reproduction for the most important life saving message and “True history” of mankind? There is no reason anyone could possibly think of especially when you have omnipotence and omniscience at your command, so the only reason then for less then perfect transmission is that “god” intended it that way, or the more parsimonious explanation is that the Christian god of the bible doesn’t exist and it was man that invented the bible and transmitted it for political purposes to subdue populations as well as emotional well being.

Perhaps the problem that God is solving is cannot be solved in a straight solution. In any design there are always trade offs (as one of my profs told me, if you find yourself always winning, you’re doing something wrong). The trade off of giving people free will, is that they can choose to follow their own ways, not teach their children about God, reject any help he might offer, etc.

I’m not so sure that Christadelphians are as split as you think and I am not certain that old/young earth is a fundamental issue.


The problem is for god there are no trade offs, god can design platonic heaven if he wanted to (after all that’s the definition of omniscience and omnipotence, the most perfect theoretical world can actually exist because the power exists to make it so). So no, a god that needs trade offs is out of necessity a non-god for designing a universe that needed trade-offs to begin with.

1) Why is this supposed to bother me?


Because the evidence refutes the biblical story of creation maybe? Sun / Stars weren’t created until the 4th day if you believe the bible and don’t assign new meanings to genesis 1.



2) Why not?


Why does god need to hit the earth with big rocks potentially wiping out humanity? What is the point in creating a world if you’re “bombing” it with giant rocks who’s energy released is just as bad as man’s nuclear weapons, and equally capable of a “nuclear winter” scenario where the whole world dies?

3) I’m no anthropologist, but what I’ve read has never impressed me on the ‘100,000 year old’ history of man. Perhaps it is proven scientific fact, but that is news to me.


Man if you don’t believe in an old earth you have some serious problems, the genetic data lone proves humans have been around for greater then 100,000 years, the archeological evidence alone also proves that Egypt was in existence greater then 6K years ago.


You are looking at one side of it. Humans are constantly trying to copy nature since it works so well. Many human solutions that are great have bigger side effects or don’t work as well. Nature is amazing precisely because of its ability to survive despite the massive disasters that have happened. Our stuff is neat, but not really all that special.


Yeah but look at where humans didn’t copy nature for instance: The internet, computers that are more accurate then men’s minds in calculating and using mathematics, cars, planes, trains, electricity generation, all the inventions based on electricity that freed man from having to scrape a crappy living off the planet and allowed him freedom to choose and pursue science and technology making everyone’s lives better and more free of disease. Nature isn’t a panacea, sure some stuff is designed well, other stuff like parasites that kill your children are not.

Edited by mordecai, 20 June 2005 - 12:55 AM.


#87 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 01:02 AM

...how can you say that god gave people good brains and teachings capable of separating truth from error with failure rates astronomically high?

Because it's patently clear that He did. Otherwise you would be just as deluded as the rest of us. :rofl1:

Edited by Fortigurn, 20 June 2005 - 01:02 AM.


#88 graknil_*

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 05:51 PM

I don’t know how you can even say this, look at how many people today believe outright lies and fabrications simply because they reject logic, the islamics, the jews, and even non-abrahamic faiths and religions. Over 90% of the human beings that have ever lived were living in lies and delusion, how can you say that god gave people good brains and teachings capable of separating truth from error with failure rates astronomically high? It’s ridiculous


Perhaps there are other reasons other than deficiencies in our brains that cause high failure rates when it comes to finding the truth.

The problem is we can’t get to gods purpose until we establish the bible got it’s historical and scientific facts correct, which of course it did not. God’s purpose ultimately matters but if god is evil and he likes lying to and deceiving people then no one can find out who god is or even claim to know god and his will or personality.


Ok, I guess the way this works is the topic can be switched at any time depending on whether you feel like it.

The problem isn’t with god testing people, it’s with inferior design of the world by an omnipotent being that is capable of transcending the laws of nature, if you’re saying god is limited in his own power then he’s not god by definition, I mean if god can’t curb the motion of meteors to prevent them from smacking the earth and wiping out life, then what else can’t god do? Obviously if he can’t take care of meteors he wont be able to stop the sun from dying now will he?


How do you know that God can’t ‘curb the motion of meteors to prevent them smacking the earth and wiping out life’. Last time I checked this hasn’t happened yet.

Yeah but no one answered it correctly, the simplest and most parsimonious explanation for Jesus exorcism is not that Jesus is the son of god or that he was sinless, it’s that the story is a fabrication, a lie just like the Islamic holy text, man made religion claiming its from a god.


You didn’t answer my question.

I’m sorry that nobody answered your demon question correctly, maybe they decided to change to topic…


I did, I illustrated you can’t talk about gods purpose if god is constantly contradicting himself in the claims he makes which gives us no reason to listen to the book that claims to be from god (the bible). You can’t even get to purpose until you deal with the abundant irrefutable evidence of nature, we can agree that no man can corrupt natural history correct? No man can falsify meteor impacts or volcanoes and earthquakes.


Let me rephrase your paragraph:

Mordecai: I didn’t want to talk about that so I changed the subject.

Me: Ok, fine.

The problem is god can give people real historical memories without actually creating a nightmarish world. There is no reason for testing people for god because he knows everything, he knows the ultimate causal relationships that make one choose and act or not since he designed them, he is more intimately familiar with the process then anyone could ever be, so there is no reason to test people unless you’re ignorant, this fits precisely within manmade religions where men’s imaginations and logic was totally absent when they wrote these texts.


Perhaps God could create a bunch of fakes. Aside from resorting to that, there is no other way of creating people that have gone through tests, other than to create people and put them through tests.

Try a thought experiment – see if you can figure out a way of creating someone exactly like the apostle Paul in your fictitious world.

You can’t argue something isn’t bad on the slim chance of their being a possibility of them “overcoming”, first of all no overcoming actually takes place because it was always within their potential to do those things they ultimately did. The structure of their brain dictates what is possible for them or not, just like an severely autistic or retarded person has to deal with the fact that he can never function as a medical doctor because the form his or her mind takes prevents such possibilities from even occurring. The fact that you suggest that god needs to give people disabilities to engineer their choices speaks against your argument of free will, after all gods causing these things to get his intended effects and free will be damned since he always knows what you will choose given any set of circumstances, so god is engineering everyone’s choices irregardless since god (according to the bible) is in direct control of nature all the time. (i.e. denial of rain, etc in the old testament).


If you take the same person, with exactly the same brain, and in one life you give them a fully functionally body and in the other you don’t give them any arms, would they be the same person at the end of their life? Despite the fact that they have the same brain, they would probably end up totally different.



Our society is filled with both good and bad people, it’s the bad people who’s only concern is for themselves and the short-term that ruin our world. Also the fact that a good portion of humanity doesn’t want to be rational, then on top of that a natural world that’s our enemy (i.e. the weather, pests, disease) and you end up with a chaotic world that is both good and bad because nature itself forces people to become desperate. Why do people go to war? Because of natures limited resources, they don't do it for fun, they do it to protect their economies, the capitalist class uses the worker class to go to war to protect itself from hostile capitalists and other very powerful institutions that suppor those who have extreme differenes of opinion or idealogy.

But ultimately it’s nature and finite resources that cause most of the bad in this world - the economy and people are ultimately dependent on resources : how you and I live, that determine to a large extent what goes on businesses that pillage the planet, cell phone, computer, etc, where did all those materials come from? They were displaced from the planet itself. So as long as you support Capitalist economy by participating in it you’re part of the problem as well. There are some 2 billion plus people that live on the earth but don’t have a fraction of the footprint or waste as modern industrialized living north America, Europe and new industrialized parts of Asia.


Lets say you give the world infinite resources. Do you think that would cure most of the ‘bad’ in the world?

Lets take it on a small scale – if parents are raising children and they give them everything they could ever want, what kind of kid would they have?

In actual fact, the world has enough food etc. to support nature (for now…) however it seems that some people don’t share very well. Whose fault is that?

The problem still ultimately remains though, man sacrificed to the gods in hopes god would help him, obviously that didn’t occur. This isn’t an exclusive practice of the jews and their god, it was widespread in the ancient world. Why a rational omnipotent god needs someone to kill an animal to keep his emotions in check is pretty absurd. In fact an emotional god implies that the god was invented by man, since emotions are human and animal traits.


You didn’t understand my point with the sacrifices? Why do you think God asked people to sacrifice?

Think about the accuracy of the machines used to communicate this post to this forum on the internet, it will get to you 100% of the time with 100% accuracy in what I wrote (assuming no electricity failures), the bible used inefficient human beings to translate it, why would god use anything less then 100% accurate reproduction for the most important life saving message and “True history” of mankind? There is no reason anyone could possibly think of especially when you have omnipotence and omniscience at your command, so the only reason then for less then perfect transmission is that “god” intended it that way, or the more parsimonious explanation is that the Christian god of the bible doesn’t exist and it was man that invented the bible and transmitted it for political purposes to subdue populations as well as emotional well being.


From the dead sea scrolls, it seems that the Bible is actually quite accurate. In that case what God has done, is allowed humans to preserve his word, and it turns out the did a pretty good job of it. Now perhaps there are other reasons for God getting man to preserve his word because obviously 100% accuracy is not the most important thing.

The problem is for god there are no trade offs, god can design platonic heaven if he wanted to (after all that’s the definition of omniscience and omnipotence, the most perfect theoretical world can actually exist because the power exists to make it so). So no, a god that needs trade offs is out of necessity a non-god for designing a universe that needed trade-offs to begin with.


Why do you think for God there are no trade-offs? For example, tell me how you would create people that love you, but also have the free will not to?

Because the evidence refutes the biblical story of creation maybe? Sun / Stars weren’t created until the 4th day if you believe the bible and don’t assign new meanings to genesis 1.


I would say maybe, but probably not. There are a few different ways of interpreting the Biblical story of creation for which your concerns are not overly problematic.

Why does god need to hit the earth with big rocks potentially wiping out humanity? What is the point in creating a world if you’re “bombing” it with giant rocks who’s energy released is just as bad as man’s nuclear weapons, and equally capable of a “nuclear winter” scenario where the whole world dies?


Your asking the wrong guy – but seriously, just because you and I don’t know the reason doesn’t mean their wasn’t one.

Man if you don’t believe in an old earth you have some serious problems, the genetic data lone proves humans have been around for greater then 100,000 years, the archeological evidence alone also proves that Egypt was in existence greater then 6K years ago.


I never said anything about an old earth. Anthropology deals with human origins and although you are correct that archeological evidence shows that humans were in existence greater than 6K years, how much archeological evidence is there that humans have been around greater than 100,000 years? Perhaps there is a lot, but from my reading on the subject I havnt been overly impressed.
(BTW, even young earth creationists believe that the earth is greater than 6K years)


Yeah but look at where humans didn’t copy nature for instance: The internet, computers that are more accurate then men’s minds in calculating and using mathematics, cars, planes, trains, electricity generation, all the inventions based on electricity that freed man from having to scrape a crappy living off the planet and allowed him freedom to choose and pursue science and technology making everyone’s lives better and more free of disease. Nature isn’t a panacea, sure some stuff is designed well, other stuff like parasites that kill your children are not.


You might be interested to note that there is currently a lot of research into finding a biological switch to replace the transistor since the heat output of a processor is approaching that of a jet engine.

Although computers are more accurate than men’s minds, our brains are much more developed in other areas. Spend a little time reading on the amount of calculations required to create a controller for a simple robot and you might be a little more impressed with what we seem to be able to do automatically.

Not all men had to ‘scrape a crappy living off the planet’ before electricity. There is a reason though why people’s lives are hard and difficult.

The parasites seem actually designed very well. It seems to me that the problem is that children can die in the first place.

#89 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 07:11 PM

You seem to be telling me that information theory is in fact a practical joke played by a group of japing mathematicians.


well perhaps the name is a pun. Information theory itself is a useful technology of every-day life e.g. those of us carrying a mobile phone, or who regularly use internet forums ...

I suppose that depends on whether or not we actually recognise information as necessary for a material world.

Do you?

#90 pantrog_*

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 11:30 AM

I suppose that depends on whether or not we actually recognise information as necessary for a material world.

Do you?


Interesting question. Depends how you define 'necessary' (just handy, critical, indispensible or synonymous with) and material world ('the physical universe', 'our perception of the physical world' or 'the human world of shopping and pizza'.

Given we participate in this forum I would assume most of us would appreciate having the technology that is underlying it?

#91 Fortigurn

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 05:35 PM

I suppose that depends on whether or not we actually recognise information as necessary for a material world.

Do you?


Interesting question. Depends how you define 'necessary' (just handy, critical, indispensible or synonymous with) and material world ('the physical universe', 'our perception of the physical world' or 'the human world of shopping and pizza'.

I defiine necessar as sine qua non. I define material as the physical universe.

Given we participate in this forum I would assume most of us would appreciate having the technology that is underlying it?


I'm sure we do, but that's not quite what I'm talking about.

#92 Adanac

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 05:57 PM

I defiine necessar as sine qua non.

I was going to say that. Darn, you beat me to it.

#93 pantrog_*

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 10:36 AM

quick google ... sin quo ..non. ..ok 'An essential element or condition'

now 'information' ..

noun {well I knew that bit}

1. Knowledge derived from study, experience, or instruction.
2. Knowledge of specific events or situations that has been gathered or received by communication; intelligence or news. See synonyms at knowledge.
3. A collection of facts or data: statistical information.
4. The act of informing or the condition of being informed; communication of knowledge: Safety instructions are provided for the information of our passengers.
5. Computer Science. Processed, stored, or transmitted data.
6. A numerical measure of the uncertainty of an experimental outcome.
7. Law. A formal accusation of a crime made by a public officer rather than by grand jury indictment.

hmmm

Information is a description of a percieved measurement of the universe. As a fairly pragmatic-materialist kind-of-guy I'd say the universe existed before it was percieved by humans, and you know my feelings on deities ... so therefore

I suppose that depends on whether or not we actually recognise information as necessary for a material world.

Do you?


no

#94 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 05:30 PM

quick google ... sin quo ..non. ..ok 'An essential element or condition'

now 'information' ..

noun {well I knew that bit}

1. Knowledge derived from study, experience, or instruction.
2. Knowledge of specific events or situations that has been gathered or received by communication; intelligence or news. See synonyms at knowledge.
3. A collection of facts or data: statistical information.
4. The act of informing or the condition of being informed; communication of knowledge: Safety instructions are provided for the information of our passengers.
5. Computer Science. Processed, stored, or transmitted data.
6. A numerical measure of the uncertainty of an experimental outcome.
7. Law. A formal accusation of a crime made by a public officer rather than by grand jury indictment.

hmmm

Information is a description of a percieved measurement of the universe.

No it isn't.

As a fairly pragmatic-materialist kind-of-guy I'd say the universe existed before it was percieved by humans, and you know my feelings on deities ... so therefore


So therefore you don't believe that there was information prior to the universe. In fact you don't even believe that there was information prior to human beings.

In fact you're leading me inexorably down the path of epiphenomenalism.

I suppose that depends on whether or not we actually recognise information as necessary for a material world.

Do you?


no


Do you believe that physical laws existed prior to the universe? Or did they come into being at the commencement of the universe? Or did they only come into being as humans discovered them?

#95 Adanac

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 05:36 PM

In fact you're leading me inexorably down the path of epiphenomenalism.

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

#96 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 05:44 PM

In fact you're leading me inexorably down the path of epiphenomenalism.

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

I do actaully. Epiphenomenalism is a completely laughable proposition.

#97 Grace

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 05:45 PM

In fact you're leading me inexorably down the path of epiphenomenalism.

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

:D I think you should change your name to Mr Heckle.

#98 pantrog_*

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 03:50 PM

quick google ... sin quo ..non.  ..ok 'An essential element or condition'

now 'information' ..

noun {well I knew that bit}

1. Knowledge derived from study, experience, or instruction.
2. Knowledge of specific events or situations that has been gathered or received by communication; intelligence or news. See synonyms at knowledge.
3. A collection of facts or data: statistical information.
4. The act of informing or the condition of being informed; communication of knowledge: Safety instructions are provided for the information of our passengers.
5. Computer Science. Processed, stored, or transmitted data.
6. A numerical measure of the uncertainty of an experimental outcome.
7. Law. A formal accusation of a crime made by a public officer rather than by grand jury indictment.

hmmm

Information is a description of a percieved measurement of the universe.

No it isn't.


You might want to provide the 'correct' definition, so as to facilitate conversation. You just sound so shocked with the 'you don't even believe ...' . Doesn't this all depend on how you define information?

Some of the dictionary definitions provided describe 'information' as something that is percieved. Thus although 'information' (e.g. number of pips in an apple) may record or model features of the physcial universe (the pips in an apple) which pre-exist perception, the information itself (the number) only exists after perception.

Similarly relationships between structures or forces in the universe may pre-exist our modeling or description as 'laws'.

To quote a Belgian "Ceci n'est pas une pipe".

(Yes, I almost wrote 'French'.)

Edited by pantrog, 24 June 2005 - 03:53 PM.


#99 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 04:35 PM

You might want to provide the 'correct' definition, so as to facilitate conversation. You just sound so shocked with  the 'you don't even believe ...' . Doesn't this all depend on how you define information?

It's already in the definition you quoted. You simply chose one which suited your argument (one which did not, in fact, actually occur in the dictionary entry).

Some of the dictionary definitions provided describe  'information' as something that is percieved.


And some of them don't.

Thus although 'information' (e.g. number of pips in an apple) may record or model features of the physcial universe (the pips in an apple) which pre-exist perception, the information itself (the number) only exists after perception.


This for a given value of 'information'.

Information exists whether or not it is observed. Amazing as it may seem, the information in a DNA strand existed before we discovered it. We do not bring things magically into existence by observing them (which is itself a contradiction in terms).

Similarly relationships between structures or forces in the universe may pre-exist our modeling or description as 'laws'.


How do you propose that this information exists prior to the universe?

To quote a Belgian "Ceci n'est pas une pipe".

(Yes,  I almost wrote 'French'.)


Oh spare us! Now you're trying to argue cosmology from surrealist art! :hhurts:

#100 pantrog_*

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 05:16 PM

Oh spare us! Now you're trying to argue cosmology from surrealist art!


:)

Just pointing out the difference between social/mental constructs such as writing, laws, pictures, data, records, values ... and the things they represent.

1. Knowledge derived from study, experience, or instruction.


Can 'deriving' knowledge invlove perceiving it?

2. Knowledge of specific events or situations that has been gathered or received by communication; intelligence or news.


Can 'gathering' or 'recieving' data invlove perceiving it?

3. A collection of facts or data: statistical information.


Can 'collecting' facts involve perceiving it?

4. The act of informing or the condition of being informed; communication of knowledge:


Can being 'informed' of something involve perceiving it?

etc, etc, etc

This for a given value of 'information'.

Information exists whether or not it is observed. Amazing as it may seem, the information in a DNA strand existed before we discovered it. We do not bring things magically into existence by observing them (which is itself a contradiction in terms).


If I am correct in my definition that information is a human mental construct for enumerating and recording the phsyical universe - my assertions are logical - so you need to prove that your definition is the correct one. Firstly you would also need to express that definition to us so we could examine it.

DNA exists without it being observed. What I think is an intesting question is why a random DNA sequence is intrinsically different from a DNA sequence from say a Zebrafish nucleus. Intrestingly if both the 'Random sequence' and the Zebrafish genome are both the same size (~1,700 Megabases), they should contain more or less the same information when we read them.

(although from our recent discussion you will have realised that the 'random sequence' is likely to contain more 'information' - think about it and I'll be around sunday to go over the rational.)

Edited by pantrog, 26 June 2005 - 08:55 AM.





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