Re: STRING THEORY IS NONSENSE
If I may intervene at the this point. As I am unclear what argument your trying to put forward.
Are you saying that string theory is nonsense because you have a rigorous mathematical argument that proves this? Or do you are your doubts based on an understanding of reality?
If you have an argument based on flaws in theory itself (excluding what reality is) then I wonder if there is anyone in this forum who can explore your reasoning thoroughly. I would suggest you raise them in another forum.
I agree with Matt that reality is very different from how understanding what something actually is. Is not reality different for each of us. My reality is very different to my dogs reality. I would suggest that is why Hawking etc do not discuss it.
How do we know if an Electron, quark etc actually exist? Well I guess at some level we do not really know. We can only reason based on what we have decided to believe previously and what input is put before us.
Sciences "failure" in understanding the underlying realities of the universe is not the point. As human beings we try to make sense of the world around us. When we find the solution to one issue we raise another. I can not see this changing. There will always be an underlying process we can't currently explain.
Time for me to shut up.
--- In email@example.com, "gich7" <gich7@...> wrote:
> Hello Matt,
> I don't wish to argue, but it seems to me you're not understanding the point
> I'm making. So, with the objective of achieving mutual understanding I'll
> >>>But knowing what "reality" is is very different from figuring out how a
> >>>particular process works.
> I agree with you.
> But this isn't the point I'm trying to make.
> In a mathematical theory [the standard model of quantum mechanics, for example]
> a number of 'objects' [e.g., electrons, quarks, gluons, etc.] are *hypothesized*
> to exist with certain properties. The theory is then used to try and produce
> useful results and the success of quantum theory has been outstanding. No one
> denies this.
> BUT, *do* these (hypothesized) objects with the assumed properties *actually*
> exist. We don't know. We have not been able to produce *any* scientific evidence
> whatsoever that *demonstrates* their existence.
> Ask any scientist a question like: what is an electron (?) and you'll have to
> wait a long time for an answer. A question like what is a quark (which cannot
> exist in isolation), or what is a gluon will produce even more confusion. It
> could well be, and almost certainly is the case, that a *different* set of
> mathematical objects could have been hypothesized to exist 'at the root' of the
> theory that would have produced *exactly* the same outcomes. After all, the
> standard model of quantum mechanics is nothing more than a mathematical model,
> and such models originate in the *imagination* of the mathematician
> >>>"Reality" goes on inside our heads -- it is a description of how we
> >>>experience the environment. It is ineffable. More importantly, it is
> >>>philosophical, not scientific. Unless and until everyone agrees on an
> >>>objective definition of "reality," it is untestable.
> This makes no sense to me Matt. You're making the assumption that we humans can,
> one day, understand the "reality" that underlies the workings of the universe. I
> don't believe we can, and the total failure of science throughout history to
> throw any light whatsoever on this 'underlying reality' appears to me to support
> my view.
> But, there *must be* an underlying reality, there must be some ultimate physical
> truths, that lie behind the workings of the universe.
> As a possibly thought-provoking comment, consider:
> ". . . Meanwhile, Ed Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton,
> New Jersey, proposed that precise physical quantities could still exist, but
> would only be knowable to abstract observers living outside the universe. They
> would not be limited by a horizon (www.arxiv.org/hep-th/0106109). It's a nice
> idea, if you happen to be conveniently situated outside the universe. But for
> today's physicists, it's depressing news: the ultimate physical truths would
> still remain inaccessible to people living inside the universe. . . ."
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Matthew Copple" <mcopple@...>
> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 9:43 PM
> Subject: Re: [stoics] Re: STRING THEORY IS NONSENSE
> But knowing what "reality" is is very different from figuring out how
> a particular process works.
> "Reality" goes on inside our heads -- it is a description of how we
> experience the environment. It is ineffable. More importantly, it is
> philosophical, not scientific. Unless and until everyone agrees on an
> objective definition of "reality," it is untestable.
- I did not have time before, but would like to reply to Daniel's rather imperial sounding statements on God in Stoicism.
--- On Fri, 9/2/11, dtstrain wrote:
>...I think anyone would admit that Stoics use the words 'god', 'divine', 'providence', 'will', and so on (or rather, near-equivalent words in their language). But it's the substance of the conception that is debated. I think it may be equally misleading to say that Spinoza's God is not in many ways consistent with even some early Stoics' conceptions. Epictetus certainly had a very personified god, but even some of those before him strike remarkably similar descriptions to Spinoza and/or deism. In seemingly all Stoic cases such a God is natural, consistent with the natural universe, and destructible - a God that many historic theists would say is no God at all.
I did not say Spinoza, I said the 'God of Einstein'. I do not know if Einstein represented Spinoza correctly or not. In any case Spinoza is usually described not as a Deist, but as holding a particular pantheistic view which may have appeared to many in his own time as atheistic.
>This is what seems to have led the English theist philosopher Ralph Cudworth, for example, to include Stoicism as a type of atheism that 'must be refuted' (although I wouldn't go that far, certainly). Cudworth admitted this applied only to certain Stoics but many philosophers have likened the Stoic God to Spinoza's.
Cudworth was a leader of the Cambridge Plationists, and I doubt that many scholars of Stoicism would take his views on stoic philosophy very seriously these days. His view is nonsense, and perhaps actually more aimed at Spinoza.
>Again, it is not the particulars of this matter that we need to discuss (because, we already have in the past). Rather, the point here is that you simply state it as undisputed fact that all the 'official' Stoics (in some sense), as well as orthodox Stoicism, was necessarily theistic. You make no mention of the previous conversations that have gone on here, and the previously presented evidence on this forum that has several times shown a less theistic (deistic or naturalistic) Stoicism among major sources. More importantly, you make no mention of the dispute among philosophers and scholars.
Yes, in my view it is obvious that the Stoics did not just believe in God, which to a limited degree the Epicureans did also, but also they thought that God's providence was the foundation upon which Stoic ethics was built. Personally I have no problem with that position but, those who do, can make what changes they find helpful. The Stoics also supported the existence of the Pagan pantheon of gods. I do have a problem with that, and so I ignore it. Why should I not? This is a discussion forum not a police state. Members here can try to come to terms with an ancient teaching, and can come and go as they choose. I really do not understand why you are trying to tell me that my view in invalid because you don't like it.
>I don't really intend to get further into the matter of Stoic theism itself, as it would be repetitive. You could at least mention that other takes exist and then declare them inaccurate, but to not even *mention* the debatable nature of the matter seems unfortunate.
>Additionally, your willingness to allow Spinozan or non-theistic or an impersonal-rational-order in Stoicism as 'alternates to orthodox Stoicism' is generous, but unnecessary given the facts; as many diverse takes on God have always existed in Stoicism.
Spinoza was described by Harold Bloom (and apparently Leo Strauss) as an "Epicurean materialist". I think that description may be accurate, but if if it is that does not necessarily disqualify it for anybody but myself.