Finding meaning in an accidental universe
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Benjamin Frank
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« on: September 02, 2022, 06:27:36 AM »
« edited: September 02, 2022, 06:32:46 AM by Benjamin Frank »

From the CBC radio program Ideas. The episode is just under 1 hour long.
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/finding-meaning-in-an-accidental-universe-1.6385397

Physicist Alan Lightman on an infinite universe and the big questions about our place in it

For those who don't want to listen to the episode, there is also an interview posted on the webpage. This is from that interview:

"I don't think that science can ever disprove the existence of God. And I don't think that religion can ever prove the existence of God. I think that you have to take the existence of God as a matter of faith. What I object to with [Richard] Dawkins and a few of the other so-called neo atheists is their dismissal of believers, their condescension to believers, and I think Dawkins said that believers are stupid and that religion is nonsense. Well, I don't think that Mahatma Gandhi was stupid, and I don't think that Abraham Lincoln was stupid. So I really find that kind of viewpoint offensive. As understood by most religions, God exists outside of time and space. And so you're on a fool's errand to try to use science, which is limited to time and space, to try to disprove or dismiss or undermine something that exists outside of time and space."

As a materialist, Lightman believes in the idea of the infinite number of universes:

"I would say in the beginning was quantum physics and relativity. So that probably doesn't sound very spiritual, but to a scientist, it is spiritual. We have very good evidence that our universe began about 13.8 billion years ago in a state of extremely high density and high temperature. But there had to be something before that. And I believe, and most physicists believe, that some kind of space and time existed before the Big Bang.

We speculate that out of that quantum foam of space-time that has probably always existed, that new universes are constantly coming into being and disappearing, coming into being and disappearing. We know that you can create matter out of energy because we've done that in our particle accelerators. And near the Big Bang, our entire universe was the size of a subatomic particle. So it's very conceivable and imaginable that some form of space and time have always existed, that new universes are constantly coming into being. One of those universes became our universe."

As Lightman just explained: that universes come into existence this way is a scientific hypothesis that is also outside of time and space so can also never be proven or disproven.

For what it's worth, I think it's more likely that there is one creator of this universe than an infinite number of universes.



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swamp fox
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2022, 07:21:18 AM »

I don't care what anyone says.

I think people are totally sleeping on the "universe-as-a-simulation" theory.
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Baltimore–Rotterdam Sister City Partnership
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2022, 07:30:08 AM »

I don't care what anyone says.

I think people are totally sleeping on the "universe-as-a-simulation" theory.


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Post-Soviet-Posting
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2022, 11:38:54 AM »

I don't care what anyone says.

I think people are totally sleeping on the "universe-as-a-simulation" theory.




So many years later and it's still one of the most beautiful things I've ever read.
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NUPES Enjoyer
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2022, 02:49:28 PM »

Meaning cannot be "found". It can only be asserted as a conscious expression of our subjectivity.
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Actual Necromancer Joe Manchin
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2022, 11:19:54 PM »

I don't care what anyone says.

I think people are totally sleeping on the "universe-as-a-simulation" theory.




The simulation idea is honestly more similar to conventional theism than most people like to admit, just framed extremely differently and without the stipulation that whoever's simulating us must him/her/them/itself be uncaused.
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TheReckoning
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2022, 04:31:16 PM »

Our universe is not accidental.
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