Logical Cosmogony

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Logical Cosmogony

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:24 pm

Moderator's note: This is a top-down thread, unlike most in this forum.  Newcomers should read from the top, i.e. the following introduction, then follow it downward, so as to understand what this thread is about before commenting.  Newcomers unwilling to do so are unwelcome.  
______________________________________________________________________________

Welcome. In order to introduce this topic, I have reproduced a copyrighted essay that is published on my website at paulandellen.com. If you thirst for more of my ideas, you may browse through my website and find enough not only to slake your thirst, but to threaten to drown you. My sincere thanks go out to you for any time or interest you invest in reading what I have written. Here’s what I mean by “Logical Cosmogony”.

Logical Cosmogony

'Cosmogony' is not a familiar word to most people. Yet, in this essay, I intend to show that all people believe in some cosmogony or other. Cosmogony is a story of how all of reality, or the cosmos, came to be in the first place. Cosmology, which is a slightly more familiar term, is the story of what has happened in the cosmos since that beginning.

I have divided the idea of cosmogony into three overlapping but arbitrary types:

1. Received Cosmogony,
2. Inspired Cosmogony, and
3. Logical Cosmogony.

People fall into at least one of these categories and most belong in all three. But there is usually an emphasis on just one of them, and that sort of characterizes the individual's personally held cosmogony. I consider myself to be a Logical Cosmogonist and in this essay I will try to explain why and give you my views on the subject.

Everybody has a belief in some idea of how the universe, or cosmos, began. They may not spend much time thinking about it, but if you asked them how the universe got started, most people would give you some kind of answer. Most of them would give you an account that I classify as Received Cosmogony. That simply means that the person received the story from someone they trust, most likely their parents.

Received Cosmogony includes all the accounts of the beginning of the universe as dictated in the scriptures and precepts of the world's religions. So most Christians would answer that the universe began as described in Genesis. Muslims and Jews would have a similar belief, since the same story serves for their religious doctrines. Other religions have other stories which are received and accepted by their adherents as soon as they are capable of asking questions about cosmological origins and understanding the answer. I would guess that well over half, and probably a much greater fraction, of the world's population falls into the category of people accepting a Received Cosmogony.

Inspired Cosmogony could be considered as a subset of Received Cosmogony except that instead of receiving the story of origins from other people, the Inspired Cosmogonist receives the story from somewhere inside his/her own mind. But for my purposes here, I will keep this category separate and not consider it part of Received Cosmogony.

The number of Inspired Cosmogonists is extremely small compared to the number of Received Cosmogonists. It includes only the people who believe that they somehow received some true insight into the origins of reality that did not come from the stories told by other people. They had an actual personal experience that revealed the story, or part of it, directly. It is from among this group that religions were founded. It was true in ancient times for such people as Moses, Gautama Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad, and it is true even in modern times for such people as Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, Jim Jones, and a few others.

The Inspired Cosmogonists are not limited to religious founders, however. There are many people who have formed beliefs about the origin of reality who have not founded religions. These include people, for example, who have been inspired by personal experiences under the influence of drugs, or as a result of an NDE, or even in a state of insomnia after a prolonged debate in a dorm room lasting into the wee hours. There is a fine line, though. If any of these accounts gets publicized to the point of other people accepting the story as their Received Cosmogony, then a new religion may blossom, as seems to be the case with Edgar Cayce or Eben Alexander.

The third category, that of Logical Cosmogony, further blurs the already blurred lines, but the category is defined by people who make a deliberate and conscious attempt to logically deduce the story of origins based on empirical evidence, and then adopt the resulting story as their belief. This group contains the scientists who claim to be atheists and who have given serious thought to the question of the origin of reality.

Most scientists, however, have received their cosmogony story by accepting the current scientific paradigm story of the Big Bang without seriously questioning it. If their acceptance is blind, and they give no serious thought to the question, then they probably should be classified as Received Cosmogonists.

Those of us who consider ourselves to be Logical Cosmogonists really want to avoid being classified with the other two groups. Bumping up against the blurry boundaries, it is almost always the case that the earliest foundations of a person's views of cosmogony were established by Received Cosmogony. But those beliefs were abandoned later as the individual's personal logical story developed.

There is also a blurring on the boundary with Inspired Cosmogony in cases where a person has experienced an NDE or some other altered state of mind. The Logical Cosmogonist will not accept those inspirations without question, but will examine them to see if they fit into a logical explanation before they are accepted as beliefs.

In my case, I was born into a traditional Protestant Christian family and received the biblical story of origins. I can't say that I believed the stories, although I could recite them and I ritually declared that I believed them. I questioned the veracity of the stories almost as soon as I learned them and understood them. I claim that they form no basis for my beliefs at this time, but I suspect that through the process of imprinting, they are still there in some form in spite of my denial and my attempts to eliminate and replace them.

I have also experienced some altered states of mind from trauma and from nitrous oxide in the dentist's chair. Even though the experiences seemed real, I never accepted them as real without doubt. I have considered them only as suggestions and inspirations for hypotheses to include in my logical development of my real beliefs.

This whole subject area is very complex and hard to come to grips with. But I think that by considering these three sources of input to our process of developing beliefs about reality we can be a little more honest about those beliefs. In looking at headlines of current events around the world, it seems that some adjustments in people's beliefs might make for a much more peaceful world.

So now let me try to describe my own approach to developing my cosmogony. Since the approach is logical, it must have a logical starting point. That would be the set of premises or initial assumptions on which the logical case rests. By laying them out specifically, we can avoid the mistake of making hidden and unacknowledged assumptions. If some hidden assumptions still remain undisclosed, I implore the reader to bring them to my attention.

My basic assumptions are that,

1. Reality is consistent, i.e. it does not contain contradictions.
2. Reality is finite, i.e. there is nothing "infinite" in existence in spite of the frequent claim that the word 'infinity' represents ideas that are in some sense infinite.
3. Reality is dynamic. Change is undeniable, so change must have happened between the cosmological origin and the writing (or reading) of this essay.
4. The origin of reality was ultimately simple. In my view, it is not logical to suppose that there existed anything very complex before existence itself began.
5. Nothing real is perfect, complete, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient, or infinite.

Obviously many of these assumptions are not only debatable, but categorically denied by most people. But I am prepared to defend each of them and I eagerly invite challenges to them. If anyone can persuade me to alter or drop any of these, I will happily do so. But after some seventy years of thinking about these ideas, any challenger will have to make a pretty good case in order to persuade me to change any of them.

My thinking about these ideas has by no means come to an end. I am still actively working on the development of my cosmogony both by considering ideas expressed by others, and by trying to systematically organize my own ideas into a logical structure on the Euclidean model.

Lately, I have been involved in deep discussions with Greylorn Ell where we discuss both his ideas of cosmogony and mine. He is one of the few people I have run across who accepts my list of five basic assumptions. I have also been attempting to document my ideas and this very essay is one of several I have written that are part of that effort. Another part is a series of what I have titled "Musings". This is a stream-of-consciousness capture where, when I am in the right frame of mind and have the opportunity, I sit down at the keyboard and compose a narrative of my thoughts attempting to work out the details involved in developing and explaining my ideas of cosmogony and cosmology.

Before bringing this essay to a close, I will leave you with a teaser in the hopes that it will arouse your interest in following my developments in more depth. These are some ideas that I expect to develop, explain, and defend in the future.

1. Thought happens.
2. All hypotheses for the ontological essence reduce to concepts of one sort or another.
3. In order for concepts to exist, something like a mind must first exist.
4. The capability for conscious experience is ontologically fundamental.
5. Only two real things exist: consciousness and its thoughts.
6. Conscious experience should be considered the most baffling mystery of the universe.
7. No material machine can be conscious.
8. Sleep should be considered the most baffling mystery of life.
9. The phenomenon of sleep is a strong counter-example for evolution explaining all of biology.
10. Penrose's Treblism is undeniable (the mental, physical, and ideal worlds).
11. The Axiom of Choice makes mathematics inconsistent and unsuitable to describe reality.
12. The universe has more than four space-time dimensions.
13. A space can't be bent unless it is a manifold embedded in a space of one greater dimension.
14. All religions represent truth only at a naïve allegorical level.

Much more to follow.

Paul R. Martin

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Quibble #1

Post by greylorn on Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:09 pm

Paul Richard Martin wrote:Welcome. In order to introduce this topic, I have reproduced a copyrighted essay that is published on my website at paulandellen.com. If you thirst for more of my ideas, you may browse through my website and find enough not only to slake your thirst, but to threaten to drown you. My sincere thanks go out to you for any time or interest you invest in reading what I have written. Here’s what I mean by “Logical Cosmogony”.

Logical Cosmogony

'Cosmogony' is not a familiar word to most people. Yet, in this essay, I intend to show that all people believe in some cosmogony or other. Cosmogony is a story of how all of reality, or the cosmos, came to be in the first place. Cosmology, which is a slightly more familiar term, is the story of what has happened in the cosmos since that beginning.

I have divided the idea of cosmogony into three overlapping but arbitrary types:

1. Received Cosmogony,
2. Inspired Cosmogony, and
3. Logical Cosmogony.

People fall into at least one of these categories and most belong in all three. But there is usually an emphasis on just one of them, and that sort of characterizes the individual's personally held cosmogony. I consider myself to be a Logical Cosmogonist and in this essay I will try to explain why and give you my views on the subject.

Everybody has a belief in some idea of how the universe, or cosmos, began. They may not spend much time thinking about it, but if you asked them how the universe got started, most people would give you some kind of answer. Most of them would give you an account that I classify as Received Cosmogony. That simply means that the person received the story from someone they trust, most likely their parents.

Received Cosmogony includes all the accounts of the beginning of the universe as dictated in the scriptures and precepts of the world's religions. So most Christians would answer that the universe began as described in Genesis. Muslims and Jews would have a similar belief, since the same story serves for their religious doctrines. Other religions have other stories which are received and accepted by their adherents as soon as they are capable of asking questions about cosmological origins and understanding the answer. I would guess that well over half, and probably a much greater fraction, of the world's population falls into the category of people accepting a Received Cosmogony.

Inspired Cosmogony could be considered as a subset of Received Cosmogony except that instead of receiving the story of origins from other people, the Inspired Cosmogonist receives the story from somewhere inside his/her own mind. But for my purposes here, I will keep this category separate and not consider it part of Received Cosmogony.

The number of Inspired Cosmogonists is extremely small compared to the number of Received Cosmogonists. It includes only the people who believe that they somehow received some true insight into the origins of reality that did not come from the stories told by other people. They had an actual personal experience that revealed the story, or part of it, directly. It is from among this group that religions were founded. It was true in ancient times for such people as Moses, Gautama Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad, and it is true even in modern times for such people as Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, Jim Jones, and a few others.

The Inspired Cosmogonists are not limited to religious founders, however. There are many people who have formed beliefs about the origin of reality who have not founded religions. These include people, for example, who have been inspired by personal experiences under the influence of drugs, or as a result of an NDE, or even in a state of insomnia after a prolonged debate in a dorm room lasting into the wee hours. There is a fine line, though. If any of these accounts gets publicized to the point of other people accepting the story as their Received Cosmogony, then a new religion may blossom, as seems to be the case with Edgar Cayce or Eben Alexander.

The third category, that of Logical Cosmogony, further blurs the already blurred lines, but the category is defined by people who make a deliberate and conscious attempt to logically deduce the story of origins based on empirical evidence, and then adopt the resulting story as their belief. This group contains the scientists who claim to be atheists and who have given serious thought to the question of the origin of reality.

Most scientists, however, have received their cosmogony story by accepting the current scientific paradigm story of the Big Bang without seriously questioning it. If their acceptance is blind, and they give no serious thought to the question, then they probably should be classified as Received Cosmogonists.

Those of us who consider ourselves to be Logical Cosmogonists really want to avoid being classified with the other two groups. Bumping up against the blurry boundaries, it is almost always the case that the earliest foundations of a person's views of cosmogony were established by Received Cosmogony. But those beliefs were abandoned later as the individual's personal logical story developed.

There is also a blurring on the boundary with Inspired Cosmogony in cases where a person has experienced an NDE or some other altered state of mind. The Logical Cosmogonist will not accept those inspirations without question, but will examine them to see if they fit into a logical explanation before they are accepted as beliefs.

In my case, I was born into a traditional Protestant Christian family and received the biblical story of origins. I can't say that I believed the stories, although I could recite them and I ritually declared that I believed them. I questioned the veracity of the stories almost as soon as I learned them and understood them. I claim that they form no basis for my beliefs at this time, but I suspect that through the process of imprinting, they are still there in some form in spite of my denial and my attempts to eliminate and replace them.

I have also experienced some altered states of mind from trauma and from nitrous oxide in the dentist's chair. Even though the experiences seemed real, I never accepted them as real without doubt. I have considered them only as suggestions and inspirations for hypotheses to include in my logical development of my real beliefs.

This whole subject area is very complex and hard to come to grips with. But I think that by considering these three sources of input to our process of developing beliefs about reality we can be a little more honest about those beliefs. In looking at headlines of current events around the world, it seems that some adjustments in people's beliefs might make for a much more peaceful world.

So now let me try to describe my own approach to developing my cosmogony. Since the approach is logical, it must have a logical starting point. That would be the set of premises or initial assumptions on which the logical case rests. By laying them out specifically, we can avoid the mistake of making hidden and unacknowledged assumptions. If some hidden assumptions still remain undisclosed, I implore the reader to bring them to my attention.

My basic assumptions are that,

1. Reality is consistent, i.e. it does not contain contradictions.
2. Reality is finite, i.e. there is nothing "infinite" in existence in spite of the frequent claim that the word 'infinity' represents ideas that are in some sense infinite.
3. Reality is dynamic. Change is undeniable, so change must have happened between the cosmological origin and the writing (or reading) of this essay.
4. The origin of reality was ultimately simple. In my view, it is not logical to suppose that there existed anything very complex before existence itself began.
5. Nothing real is perfect, complete, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient, or infinite.

Obviously many of these assumptions are not only debatable, but categorically denied by most people. But I am prepared to defend each of them and I eagerly invite challenges to them. If anyone can persuade me to alter or drop any of these, I will happily do so. But after some seventy years of thinking about these ideas, any challenger will have to make a pretty good case in order to persuade me to change any of them.

My thinking about these ideas has by no means come to an end. I am still actively working on the development of my cosmogony both by considering ideas expressed by others, and by trying to systematically organize my own ideas into a logical structure on the Euclidean model.

Lately, I have been involved in deep discussions with Greylorn Ell where we discuss both his ideas of cosmogony and mine. He is one of the few people I have run across who accepts my list of five basic assumptions. I have also been attempting to document my ideas and this very essay is one of several I have written that are part of that effort. Another part is a series of what I have titled "Musings". This is a stream-of-consciousness capture where, when I am in the right frame of mind and have the opportunity, I sit down at the keyboard and compose a narrative of my thoughts attempting to work out the details involved in developing and explaining my ideas of cosmogony and cosmology.

Before bringing this essay to a close, I will leave you with a teaser in the hopes that it will arouse your interest in following my developments in more depth. These are some ideas that I expect to develop, explain, and defend in the future.

1. Thought happens.
2. All hypotheses for the ontological essence reduce to concepts of one sort or another.
3. In order for concepts to exist, something like a mind must first exist.
4. The capability for conscious experience is ontologically fundamental.
5. Only two real things exist: consciousness and its thoughts.
6. Conscious experience should be considered the most baffling mystery of the universe.
7. No material machine can be conscious.
8. Sleep should be considered the most baffling mystery of life.
9. The phenomenon of sleep is a strong counter-example for evolution explaining all of biology.
10. Penrose's Treblism is undeniable (the mental, physical, and ideal worlds).
11. The Axiom of Choice makes mathematics inconsistent and unsuitable to describe reality.
12. The universe has more than four space-time dimensions.
13. A space can't be bent unless it is a manifold embedded in a space of one greater dimension.
14. All religions represent truth only at a naïve allegorical level.

Much more to follow.

Paul R. Martin

Paul,

Thank you for an intelligent and thoughtful post.  Of course my job is to quibble with it, thereby furthering a set of ideas that make perfect sense to everyone perusing them, who know the meaning of "peruse."  

You wrote: "Inspired Cosmogony could be considered as a subset of Received Cosmogony except that instead of receiving the story of origins from other people, the Inspired Cosmogonist receives the story from somewhere inside his/her own mind..."

You've used the word "received" in two entirely different contexts.  This one seems to me to imply that "Inspired Cosmogonists" receive their ideas from an external source.  Thus, you've conflated your own definitions, making "inspired" cosmogonists essentially identical to "received" cosmogonists.  

This concept furthers the notion that there are no unique ideas, and that the best thoughts of men are merely "received" concepts from some higher, perhaps godlike source.  This is an inherently religious concept coming from belief in an omnipotent God who knows all.  It negates every aspect of Beon Theory, which declares that each mind has the power to think inventively, even to devise ideas contrary to the mistaken opinions of any God/Creator.  You might as well sign up for membership in any of the conventional religions.

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Quibbles

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:00 pm

Greylorn,

I am a little disappointed with your quibbles. You made a big deal out of my poor attempts at classifying people into cosmogonist types in spite of my caveats about blurred boundaries, overlapping categories, and other weaknesses. The fact is that for my purposes, the classification serves no purpose and it should be disregarded completely. I regret writing it.

The only important idea I meant to convey was the definition of what I called "Logical Cosmogonists". They are "people who make a deliberate and conscious attempt to logically deduce the story of origins based on empirical evidence, and then adopt the resulting story as their belief." And of these, the only one I really wish to elaborate on is me. I want to tell you my personal approach at arriving at a cosmogony that makes sense to me.

All the rest we can dispense with, except to recognize and acknowledge that as logical as I try to be, I know that my thinking has been influenced to some degree by my "Received" religious upbringing (imprinting) and my personal "Inspired" experiences with some sort of unknown inspiration (my dentist's chair experience). But if I only use these inputs as suggestions for hypotheses, I don't think they will contaminate my cosmogony too much. They certainly shouldn't force me into a "New Age" pigeonhole, or into "membership in any of the conventional religions" as you so frequently try to do.

I was disappointed that you didn't comment on the meat of my post. I expected you to either confirm or deny my allegation that you agree with my five basic assumptions.

If you don't agree with one or more of my basic assumptions, then we need to resolve that before we move on.

If you do agree, as I think you do, then we can move on to explore the set of fourteen assertions that I listed at the end of the post.


Paul

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quibbles and bits

Post by greylorn on Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:34 pm

Paul Richard Martin wrote:Greylorn,

I am a little disappointed with your quibbles. You made a big deal out of my poor attempts at classifying people into cosmogonist types in spite of my caveats about blurred boundaries, overlapping categories, and other weaknesses. The fact is that for my purposes, the classification serves no purpose and it should be disregarded completely. I regret writing it.

The only important idea I meant to convey was the definition of what I called "Logical Cosmogonists". They are "people who make a deliberate and conscious attempt to logically deduce the story of origins based on empirical evidence, and then adopt the resulting story as their belief." And of these, the only one I really wish to elaborate on is me. I want to tell you my personal approach at arriving at a cosmogony that makes sense to me.

All the rest we can dispense with, except to recognize and acknowledge that as logical as I try to be, I know that my thinking has been influenced to some degree by my "Received" religious upbringing (imprinting) and my personal "Inspired" experiences with some sort of unknown inspiration (my dentist's chair experience). But if I only use these inputs as suggestions for hypotheses, I don't think they will contaminate my cosmogony too much. They certainly shouldn't force me into a "New Age" pigeonhole, or into "membership in any of the conventional religions" as you so frequently try to do.

I was disappointed that you didn't comment on the meat of my post. I expected you to either confirm or deny my allegation that you agree with my five basic assumptions.

If you don't agree with one or more of my basic assumptions, then we need to resolve that before we move on.

If you do agree, as I think you do, then we can move on to explore the set of fourteen assertions that I listed at the end of the post.

Paul
Paul,

Please suspend your disappointment.  I'm perfectly happy to either make use of your three categories or dispense with them entirely, at your wish.  As you know, I like categories.  Properly defined they can clarify many things.  Moreover, I like your three categories and think that they might yet prove helpful.  My complaint was not well defined, but essentially, I'm not keen on blurred distinctions.  If we put these categories to useful work in a subsequent discussion, I propose to sharpen the edges.  

My way of doing this is to adopt the categories themselves as real and sharply defined.  The blurring comes when we try to put people into one category or another.  I'd guess that 97% of people fit into the "Received Cosmogony," group, and that those few who do not spent a fair amount of time in that particular pigeonhole (e.g. myself) before moving onward.

I think that the percentage of genuine Inspired Cosmogonists is so minuscule as to be lost in the round-off, and that the influential ones were mostly fruitcakes.   I do not see J. Christ as a cosmogonist at all; but then, I dismiss the Gospel of John, who IMO was probably a seriously Inspired Fruitcake with no understanding of physics, logic, or reality.  The alleged words of Christ in the first three N.T. books did not convey useful understandings of the beginnings, or of any purpose behind creation.  He merely tried to teach commonsense moral principles.  

You and I are currently Logical Cosmogonist wanna-be's.  That is why we can exchange ideas effectively and often in good humor.  We cannot effectively converse on such subjects with those in other cosmogony categories, because they have adopted different principles for their evaluation of reality.   The Received Cosmogony people are entirely dependent upon authority figures for their version of the beginnings, and are not capable of evaluating their adopted cosmogony using logic.  

Let's see if we can't successfully put ourselves into your categories.  I was a Catholic for 20 years and have always been interested in ideas about the beginnings, and actually believed the church's cosmogony.  I've never been an Inspired Cosmogonist.  My transition into Logical Cosmogony was abrupt and instantaneous at beon level, but my well-programmed Catholic brain dragged its neural equivalent of feet for several years thereafter.  During that transition period I gradually extracted my head from my dorsal orifice, emerging into a world occupied by people who think my head is in a deeper hole than before.  

I see you spending considerable time in both the religious and atheistic sides of the Received Cosmogony spectrum, until an excess of NO moved you into the Inspired camp.  I think that your experiences in that remarkable mental state have been deeply imprinted, and that although powerful, they are not logical.  Your naturally logical mind urges you to become a Logical Cosmogonist.  That is why you found some aspects of Beon Theory acceptable, yet still remain attracted to the metaphysical notions that I put into the New Age religion category.  I use that particular religious category not as an insult, but as an already well-defined religious scheme adopted by millions of people who cannot accept atheism and who distrust organized churches.  IMO your cosmogony is closer to theirs than to mine.  I find both to be illogical, and perhaps we should be discussing that.  

Perhaps what we might also do well to consider is, how can you fit your inspirational experience into a logically coherent cosmogony?  Or, we can ignore the issue and I'll pour another shot.

I should have mentioned that my previous reply was necessarily incomplete.  My day job has become both demanding and troublesome, and I must pay more attention to it, else lose my source of beans and beer money.  I'll be lucky to complete that reply by next week.  

Best regards,
G
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Beyond the Quibbles

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:04 pm

Greylorn,


greylorn wrote:I'm perfectly happy to either make use of your three categories...
Good. I will not rewrite my introductory essay
greylorn wrote:I propose to sharpen the edges.  

My way of doing this is to adopt the categories themselves as real and sharply defined.  The blurring comes when we try to put people into one category or another.
With respect, I think that would be a waste of our time. I think it is important for you and me to examine our own beliefs and their origins so that we can be more logical in our analysis, and maybe get promoted from wanna-bes to full-fledged Logical Cosmogonists. But to spend much time on the beliefs of others would not help us in any way that I can see.
greylorn wrote:Let's see if we can't successfully put ourselves into your categories.
Good idea. Let's do it. I'll try to identify the residual Received and Inspired contributions to my belief in this topic, and I think you should do the same in your BT topic. I'll hop over there and comment on your posts as soon as I catch up here.
greylorn wrote:I see you spending considerable time in both the religious and atheistic sides of the Received Cosmogony spectrum, until an excess of NO moved you into the Inspired camp.  I think that your experiences in that remarkable mental state have been deeply imprinted,
I'm not sure how deeply either imprinting went, but I do acknowledge that both have contributed to my logical development.

My religion has imprinted on me the acceptance of the possibility of a larger reality separate from the physically accessible phenomenal world. At this point I am convinced that there is enough empirical evidence to indicate that possibility without the need for any religious doctrine. But for all I know, without my earlier religious training, I might have opposed the notion just as vigorously as many atheistic and self-proclaimed empiricists do. The way I see it, my imprinting has freed the scope of my thinking to allow for an expansion into hyper-dimensional realms, for example, whereas without the imprinting, my mind might have been as closed as Dennett's or Dawkins'.

Other than that, the whole idea of an Almighty God has been totally erased in my mind. It never did make sense to me and now I believe I know why: it isn't true.

As for the NO experience, that has not imprinted me so much since it happened later in life and I never did accept the reality of my experience without question. It did, however, leave me with a wealth of suggestive ideas that I still think are worth considering when we try to put together a Logical Cosmogony case.

What I plan to do is to write a separate essay documenting my experience once and for all as I should have done years ago.  Then we can draw from it whatever value it might offer in our analysis. I'll post it as soon as I am done.
greylorn wrote:you found some aspects of Beon Theory acceptable...
Indeed I did.
greylorn wrote:...yet still remain attracted to the metaphysical notions that I put into the New Age religion category.  I use that particular religious category not as an insult, but as an already well-defined religious scheme adopted by millions of people who cannot accept atheism and who distrust organized churches.
Let me try to be quite clear. I am not attracted to New Age notions. I have not studied them, I am not familiar with them, I have no interest in them, and if any of my beliefs resemble any of their notions it is purely inconsequential coincidence. Those ideas hold no sway or influence over me or my thinking.

The fact that there might be "millions of people" who are New Agers means nothing to me. The fact that their scheme might be "well-defined" does not impress me. Please cease and desist from insulting me by associating me with them.
greylorn wrote: IMO your cosmogony is closer to theirs than to mine.
To reiterate, please keep such comparisons to yourself.
greylorn wrote:I find both to be illogical, and perhaps we should be discussing that.  
If you find my analysis to be illogical, please point that out to me. We should indeed be discussing that. If you find the other to be illogical, please keep that to yourself.
greylorn wrote:Perhaps what we might also do well to consider is, how can you fit your inspirational experience into a logically coherent cosmogony?
Yes! That is exactly what I have in mind.
greylorn wrote:Or, we can ignore the issue and I'll pour another shot.
You can ignore it, and have your drink, while I get to work on the first part, that of writing my NO experience essay. Then we can both get back to work on the analysis.

Best Regards,

Paul

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Yet another darned cosmogony category.

Post by greylorn on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:26 am

Paul,

I've found nothing to argue with here, and will work on completing my first reply to you on this topic until you finish your promised essay.  

There seems no point in elaborating elsewhere on my personal style of figuring things out.   Of the three categories you defined, to the best of my knowledge I only employ received cosmogonies that strike me as logical.  

There's another category you didn't mention that I also employ, which might be named "Invented Cosmogony."  That would be a cosmogony that I made up, usually combining elements of received information with some personal notions.  Many others do the same.  Some are very effective at marketing their invented cosmogonies, most, like myself are not.  

Beon Theory belongs in the Invented Cosmogony category, and given your insistence that your preferred cosmogony was not derived from any unmentionable popular belief systems, it would seem to belong in the Invented category as well.  

I expect that you, like me, would like to see our respective theories placed in the Logical Cosmogony category, but I figure that the evaluation of that possibility is not up to us.

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Re: Logical Cosmogony

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:23 am

Greylorn,

I think your "Invented Cosmogony" is identical with my "Logical Cosmogony". As I mentioned when I defined it, Logical Cosmogony must begin with the acceptance of a set of assumptions, or axioms, which the cosmogonist invents, or dreams up. Once they are adopted, logical inferences are then made which may lead to nonsense or to some useful explanation.

Your name characterizes the starting point; my name characterizes the follow-on activity.

Paul

(Back to work on my essay)

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My Dentist Chair Experience

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:11 pm

As promised, I have written an account of my dentist chair experience. It is posted and copyrighted on my website at paulandellen.com and is reproduced here in its entirety with my permission:

                                   My Dentist Chair Experience

essay0194

9/7/15

During my life I have had several experiences that might be classified as "religious experiences" or "out-of-body" experiences, but it might also be a stretch to classify all of them as such. There were several times when I lost consciousness, in particular from blows on the head, neck, and back, and from nitrous oxide in the dentist's chair. I also used to deliberately pass out from hyperventilating as a stunt when I was a kid.

In all those cases, I was struck by a couple features of the experience, the reality of which I have questioned ever since the first one.

One of the features was the sensation upon regaining consciousness that "I" had been somewhere else and "I" was just returning to our universe. In all cases, I tried to hold on to memories of the place where I had just been and was frustrated in not being able to do so. In most respects, it was not much different from the ordinary experience of trying to remember a dream

Another impression that remained was that that place did not participate in time as our universe does. Not that there wasn't time there, but that it was vastly different from the sequential inexorable time that we experience.

All of these incidents affected my life by convincing me that reality was not necessarily what it seems to be, and that there might be a lot more going on than we think there is.

The experience in the dentist's chair, though, was more revealing than the others. In that experience, I was taken up through the "levels" of reality. Each successive level opened up an unimaginably more beautiful and complex reality, but on the way back the memories of it were all lost. It was as if my mental capabilities were being drawn through a huge but severely restrictive funnel. The funnel became successively more limiting as I began coming around, to the point where I remembered virtually nothing of my experience as I awakened. I was left only with the vague notion that the place was vastly more complex, interesting, and loving than ordinary "reality".  

I saw all the levels or dimensions of reality all the way to the top and I saw the "Cosmic Joke". The joke is that God is neither perfect nor almighty but instead a sort of Wizard of Oz. I laughed so hard on seeing this that my knees came up and knocked the entire tray of dental tools all over the floor. The dentist was still picking them up and putting them back when I started coming around.

It was pretty clear that there was some sort of guide accompanying me and communicating with me telepathically. I have no recollection of seeing any image of the guide or learning anything about him/her/it.

I think it was because I had an interest that my guide took me "all the way to the top". At some point I questioned my guide as to whether or not he, or other inhabitants of this other world, were interested in questions about the origins and structure of reality. The answer seemed to be sort of indifferent and that some might be interested but typically not.

I also asked my guide whether or not it would be possible for humans to figure out the origin and structure of reality, and the answer was something like, "Yes, it would be possible, but it will take a lot of work and advanced mathematics." I got the impression that if it were to happen, it would have to be done by humans and not by higher-level beings.

When I reached the top level, it seemed as if I were on some sort of viewing platform, or scaffolding-type structure and could see down onto a string of "bits", emanating from under where I was, and flowing out into the void away from me.

What I remember distinctly was a sequence of sensations that made up that string of "bits". It started with a pair of 'tick' sounds (these were the result of the dentist hitting my tooth with a hammer and chisel or some such action). This was followed by two bursts of the whine of the drill. These were followed in turn by two more 'ticks' and two more whines. Then I saw the dentist's face with his mask and glasses peering at me and saying "Feeling better now?" This was followed in turn by the entire sequence of two 'ticks' two whines and one "Feeling better now?" It was a lilting rhythm and it suddenly became apparent to me in a flash exactly how all of reality was constructed. That is what precipitated my destructive laughter.

What seemed very clear to me was that in the beginning, nothing existed but God in a single dimension of time. He was able to impose single bits of information onto that time dimension. These were the 'ticks' and they were imposed in pairs. These pairs were then repeated in pairs, and then in pairs of pairs and so on.

The pattern was exactly the same as the numbers in the Cantor Set which I had studied some years before. (The Cantor Set is a very strange set of numbers that is the residue of the numbers in a line segment after you discard those in the middle third of the segment, then discard those in the middle thirds of each of the two remaining segments, then discard those in the middle thirds of each of the four remaining segments, then those of each of the eight, ...and so on.) The difference is that the Cantor Set is built up from the top down, whereas reality is built from the bottom up.

As the picture gets bigger, the patterns of those bits gets so complicated that fractal structures (I didn't know about fractals at the time) are formed which become the spatial and additional temporal dimensions. What we see as ubiquitous rhythms in the universe, from the vibrations of subatomic strings, to orbiting electrons, to vibrating atoms and molecules, to vibrations of dental drills, to beating hearts, to Beethoven symphonies, to repeated questioning by the dentist of whether I am feeling better now, to sidereal and seasonal cycles, to repeated visits to the dentist, to cycles of life and death, to the cycles of big bangs and crunches (if any), are all natural and in principle, computable outgrowths of that growing complex of fundamental 'ticks' in God's cosmic time.

What I vaguely recall seeing is that entire spectacle laid out in front of me in a way that I could see all details of the entire picture at once, including as a tiny subset my entire life from birth to death with all its detail (my entire life flashed before my eyes, along with the entire history of reality).

The memory of those details, of course, was completely erased as my mind had to squeeze back through the funnel on the way out. All I was left with was the vague memory that someone was trying to help me remember what I had seen.

As I dropped down through the successive levels or dimensions, a voice was telling me "The key is levels. Remember the levels." Of course that stuck with me. I was unable to remember how many levels there were, but I am sure there were more than 5 and fewer than 20.

Later as I studied Differential Geometry and began to understand the mathematical nature of spaces, manifolds, and dimensions, I immediately related it to what I remembered from the dentist experience. After cogitating on the mysteries of the universe ever since then, I think you can see why my ideas have been influenced by my dentist chair experience.

Is it truth? or close to it? I have no idea. It just happens to suggest some interesting ideas to explore when trying to figure out what is going on in reality.

Paul

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Re: Logical Cosmogony

Post by greylorn on Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:39 pm

Paul,

I'd hoped that this would give me something to work with, but no such luck.  Lacking your mathematical background as well as a history of personal mystical experiences, there's nothing in this to which I can relate.  

Presumably if you wanted to kick the experience around with a suitably qualified mathematician, you'd have done so.  But I was not aware of your previous mystical experiences, particularly your predisposition to have them.  In that light, have you considered trying to repeat the experience, perhaps using different chemistry, and in a safely controlled manner that would allow you progress through different levels of the experiences more carefully, learning something about the lower ones before moving on?

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Spatio-Temporal Environments

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:56 pm

Greylorn,

It could well be that it is your limited mathematical background that prevents you from finding anything in my account to which you can relate. The connection that I hoped would be obvious was that between the "experience" of "levels" in the dentist's chair and the understanding of dimensions that I received in that Differential Geometry class.

The geometry, plus my acknowledged acceptance of the possible existence of a world beyond our familiar world (received from my religious upbringing) has led me to consider a rich set of possibilities for figuring out the possible structures, functions, and processes that might take place outside of our manifold.

Those possibilities form a major part of the basis upon which I ground my logical development of my own personal "Logical Cosmogony". If you wish to understand, or to challenge, that development, then you should first try to understand this basis.

In order to proceed in documenting the development of my personal "Logical Cosmogony", I have decided to begin in the middle.

The development, believe it or not, actually began when I was four or five years old in an incident that I have related elsewhere and elsewhen. Rather than begin my narrative at that early stage, I'll skip ahead to the present and simply mention (since I already have) the original incident:

There was a specific event which I vividly remember that occurred some time before I entered grade school and in which I realized that I was conscious. I wanted to understand that consciousness immediately but found it to be too mysterious. For the following seventy years, I have more-or-less continually pursued the project of acquiring that understanding.

The project is still a work in process and I don't expect it to end until I die. So I will start in the middle and let you and the forum readers in on the current state of the development of my "Logical Cosmogony".

The way I will do it is to present what I call a "Musing". Several years ago I began documenting a "stream of consciousness" account of the development of my ideas. Those are all posted on my website and available to anyone who wants to read the back story leading to this current Musing. In addition, as I mentioned elsewhere, you can find a set of disjointed essays on my website that can give you further insight into my thinking in the past.

This most recent Musing deals with the subject of dimensionality which is the natural follow-on to the connection I just mentioned between my Differential Geometry and my Dentist Chair experiences. If you find too much discontinuity by jumping right in to this musing, you may go to my website and dig into my previous musings and my essays for more background.

Here is my current "Musing": It is posted and copyrighted on my website at paulandellen.com and is reproduced here in its entirety with my permission.


Spatio-Temporal Environments

9/18/15 - After re-reading my previous musing, it seems as if my fatigue might have been partially responsible for skipping the past two months. Prior to that re-reading, I was sure that it was because of my pre-occupation with other pressures, responsibilities, and delights that took precedence over musing. In any case, I am ready to muse again.

One change that occurred during the past two months, and which has a bearing on the developing story here, is my intellectual relationship with Greylorn. We have had a strong enough difference of opinion on the interpretation of Beon Theory to induce us to separate our efforts instead of merging them as I reported earlier.

Our differences led us not only to quibbles, but out-and-out arguments that stymied our progress. We had envisioned developing our merged ideas in the Beon Theory section of the http://rgphiloscience.forumotion.com/ forum. After a few postings by each of us, it became clear that it would be better if I spun off my own topic to explain my speculations, and Greylorn would continue to describe Beon Theory as he sees it in his original topic.

Each of us can still draw from the ideas of the other, and if the divisive issues could later be resolved, a merger of the ideas might still be possible.

As it stands, these musings are my own ideas, influenced by Beon Theory along with other sources of ideas, and they will continue to represent my ideas. If there is a merger later, it will be incorporated into these musings. Reading these, then, will give you insight only into my thinking and only secondarily into any influential ideas from other sources.

When we ended last time, I was about to examine a number of components of consciousness with the goal in mind to identify a spectrum of capability for each one. The end goal was to be able to explain how it could make sense that there was no consciousness present at the very origin of reality, and yet, there is now a rich and powerful set of conscious capability in reality. I see this explanation as involving a fairly complex set of spatial and temporal environments that developed over time (i.e. in one or more temporal dimensions.) Before we go much further, that complex environment needs to be explained.

In striving for ultimate simplicity for the beginning, I think that Greylorn's description of a four-dimensional Raw Energy/Aeon environment is more complex than necessary. I favor a one- or two-dimensional environment at the very start just for the sake of simplicity. If it would make any sense, I would even prefer a zero-dimensional start. That difference, incidentally, was one of the deadlocked issues that contributed to the splitting apart of my collaboration efforts with Greylorn.

I have previously mentioned, in the description of what I called the Transfer of Omniscience, the notion of constructing additional dimensions of reality by using fractal geometry. Let me expand on that idea a little here.

If we assume that reality began as a one- or two-dimensional environment, and we agree that we currently find ourselves in a four-dimensional space-time environment that seems also to be an embedded manifold in even higher-dimensional space-time, maybe as high as eleven-dimensional, then it is obvious that reality went through a growth process in order for these extra dimensions to come into being. It is that pattern of growth I would like to explore now.

In our current world, we can observe some facts that might suggest how that development took place. One important fact is that our bodies, our buildings, our earth, our galaxy, and everything else that we can see or touch, exist in three spatial dimensions and exhibit changes over one temporal dimension.

We can also infer the fact that our 4-D space-time is a manifold embedded in at least a 5-D space-time continuum, and possibly even higher.

In our 3-D world, we observe that there are brains which seem to control the behavior of the host organisms that contain the brains.

Another observable fact is that the behavior of some of these organisms, viz. humans, leads to the construction not only of 3-D artifacts, but also 2-D and 1-D artifacts. Let me explain.

We build a host of 3-D artifacts such as pencils, toasters, and buildings by manipulating the 3-D stuff of our world. For many, if not most of these, consciousness is required as a necessary part of the design and construction of the artifact.

It is an open question, at least for those of us who have not closed our minds around the materialistic view of reality, as to exactly where and how consciousness influences the behavior which results in the design and construction of artifacts. It is in explaining the "where" and "how" of that question that is the primary purpose of this inquiry.

Setting that question aside for now, we can observe some other pertinent facts about our reality. One is that we "create" many 2-D artifacts.

Some people, Greylorn being one, might quibble with this assertion. It is true that when we produce a painting, which we might claim is a 2-D artifact, that it is "really" a 3-D artifact because the canvas has thickness as do the layers of paint on top of that.

But, for our purposes here, this objection is not important and we will ignore it. We are dealing with concepts and we can clearly consider the concept of paintings, photographs, shadows, computer monitor screens, and movie theater screens to be two dimensional artifacts without getting bogged down in the real details of the physical structure of such things.

In addition to constructing 2-D artifacts, some of them, like shadows or movie images, change over time. So the complete artifact could be seen as 3-D with two spatial and one temporal dimension.

Going one dimension lower, we can consider the track on a DVD disk to be a 1-D artifact. Let's say the track contains a recording of a rendition of a Beethoven Symphony.

If we again add one temporal dimension to this artifact and connect the DVD player to a speaker, the displacement of the speaker cone will vary in one spatial dimension over time such that we will be able to hear and perceive the marvelous sound of the symphony. The playing of the symphony in this way is a 2-D artifact consisting of one spatial and one temporal dimension.

It is important to note here in passing that the ability to appreciate the beauty of the music is an aspect of consciousness, and of consciousness alone. Nothing else has that ability.

The same goes for the appreciation of the beauty of a painting or of a sunset, but I digress.

The point here is that 3-D beings can "create", i.e. design and construct, 3-D, 2-D and 1-D artifacts. Or, if we include the temporal dimension, 4-D beings can "create" 4-D, 3-D, 2-D and 1-D artifacts. We should note, however, that in the design and construction of some of these artifacts, very elaborate 4-D systems must be designed, constructed, and operated in order for the lower-dimensional artifacts to appear. Think of all that is required in order to perform, record, and play back that Beethoven Symphony, or to project the movie in the theater.

In general, the idea is that conscious beings in an n-dimensional spatio-temporal environment can construct impressive artifacts in m-dimensional environments where 0<m<n+1, and the entities who could be impressed could be ourselves if only we could get a look at it.

Going the other direction, i.e. constructing higher-dimensional artifacts, is a little trickier and we don't have good examples to draw from. That is, for example, it is difficult, if not impossible, for us 3-D beings to construct a 4-D artifact.  We can imagine them and even design them, but we can't (yet) construct them.

We are able to design some of them. For example we know how to design a 3-D object such that if it were taken into a 4-D spatial environment it could be folded up to form a 4-D box, but we can't (yet) construct them, i.e. we can't fold up the box. (Salvador Dali painted pictures of this object. It consists of a central (3-D) cube, with six additional cubes glued to it, one on each face, and then an eighth cube glued to the outside of one of the six cubes.)

We would like to apply these generalizations to both higher and lower dimensions in our explanation of the development of the spatio-temporal environments of reality.

Earlier I mentioned the possibility of using fractal geometry to increase the dimensionality of space. This is also very tricky. Rather than imagining how to build a wormhole through 4-D space by building some kind of "stargate" or other space-warping structure, let's drop down a dimension.

Let's ask whether and how Flatlanders might use fractals to construct a 3-D artifact from what they have at their disposal.

The first step would be to construct a 3-D space in which the 3-D artifact could reside. The hard part is figuring out how to bend their own space. That is, if Flatland is resident on a sheet of paper, how could the Flatlanders make a crease in the paper? Maybe there is some law of Flatland Physics that allows them to do it.

That is not so preposterous because in our 4-D space-time world, General Relativity tells us that we can bend our 3-D space simply by aggregating mass in one location. For example, the mass of the Sun bends our space in the vicinity of the Sun.

So let's suppose that Flatlanders could somehow make a 90º crease in their sheet of paper (i.e. in their 2-D manifold). Then by successively creasing their space by a series of parallel creases and which in cross-section (i.e. perpendicular to the creases) conform to a space-filling fractal (Google "space-filling fractal" to find examples) they can construct an effective 3-D environment.

The environment will be "effective", however, only if there is effective contact between parts of their space that end up arbitrarily close to one another as a result of the fractal curve. That would allow cause and effect relationships to occur between what would otherwise be distant and unrelated points of the original Flatland space.

So, conceptually, conscious beings in an n-dimensional spatio-temporal environment can construct impressive artifacts in m-dimensional environments where 0<m<n+1, and they can also construct n+1-dimensional spaces.

And, if they can construct n+1-dimensional spaces, they should be able to construct n+1-dimensional artifacts in those spaces.

The next step is to suggest a high-level description of how the dimensionality of reality unfolded beginning with a one-dimensional starting point. The description will resemble an Escherian staircase with both ascending and descending flights that may branch in either direction. That will provide an image that will allow us to imagine our particular position in the reality we experience: we are on the third spatial level experiencing the first temporal level with as many as seven (7+4=11) levels above us and with our 2-D and 1-D artifacts suggesting the existence of subordinate dimensions.

Following that, we will have a framework on which we can place the various aspects of consciousness and speculate on how they are distributed. We expect that no such aspect will show up at the lowest level, that our own conscious experience will comfortably fit in Beon one level above us, with a two-way link to our brain, and that there will be a place higher up that will sufficiently explain the consciousness responsible for the design and construction of galaxies and living organisms.

That will all have to wait for later musings. Thanks to everyone who has read this.

Paul R. Martin

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Re: Logical Cosmogony

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:05 pm

Greylorn,

At your request, here is my current "Musing": It is posted and copyrighted on my website at paulandellen.com and is reproduced here in its entirety with my permission.

The Ultimate Origin of Reality

12/4/15 – Again, another two months has slipped by since my last musing. My excuses are the same as before so I won’t elaborate or apologize. My musing time is rather short at the moment because I spent the better part of the day composing and sending an initial letter to Max Tegmark. In it, I explained that I like his book but was disappointed that he didn’t make the case to jettison the notion of infinity from mathematics and that he had evidently succumbed to the same psychological trap so many others have fallen into: that of assuming that if extra spatial dimensions exist then we should be able to see them.

With that letter sent, I will try to turn my thoughts to uninterrupted musing.

In my last conversation with Greylorn, we confirmed that we agree on a lot of issues on which we are in serious disagreement with philosophers, scientists, and theologians alike. In a nutshell, we both think that there exists a non-physical intelligent designer of chemistry, galaxies, and living organisms, that this designer is far from being perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, or infinite, and that the ultimate origination of reality was extremely simple without a trace of consciousness in existence.

We then tried to isolate our fundamental disagreements. We identified one and I was left with the assignment to do some thinking in the attempt to resolve this disagreement. That is what I am doing now.

The disagreement was on what I called, in a previous musing, the spatio-temporal environment of the earliest inception of reality. In Beon Theory, Greylorn has posited that this earliest state of reality consisted of two things: Raw Energy (or as it is known today, Dark Energy) and Aeon and that these two occupy three-dimensional space, either together or separately. Following Occam, I prefer to consider that the original state of reality consisted of only a single spatial dimension, if that.

Greylorn’s challenge to me was to explain how that kind of existence even makes sense. He said he cannot visualize anything real that consists of, or resides in, a single spatial dimension. He asked me to work on some kind of explanation of that possibility.

Here’s what I think about it after having mulled it over in spurious episodes of sleeplessness and while doing mindless work.  

His specific question to me was, “How can anything exist in one dimension?”. So I asked myself, “Indeed, how can anything exist in three dimensions, or in any other space?”

The pre-Socratic philosophers asked this question framing it in the simple question, “Does reality consist of things or stuff?” Democritus favored “things” and coined the term ‘atoms’ to name them, while most of the other pre-Socratic philosophers favored “stuff”. There were several candidates for this “stuff” which were favored singly or in combination by various philosophers. Earth, air, fire, and water were among the favorite candidates.

The difference between “things” and “stuff” was in the extent to which you could in principle divide it. For “things” there was a limit (e.g. atoms) but for “stuff” the division could proceed indefinitely. That is, there was no limit to how fine you could grind up the “stuff”.

As I am sure I have pointed out before, I am adamantly opposed to accepting the notion of infinity for any purpose. So for me infinitely divisible “stuff” is an impossibility. So that leaves “things” as the ultimate constituent of reality. So what could “things” possibly be?

I believe it was Bertrand Russell (or was it Albert Einstein?) who defined a ‘thing’ to be that which obeys the laws of physics. That might be useful, or not; we’ll see.

According to Tegmark, Richard Feynman said: “I believe it is that […] all things are made of atoms—little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.”

That image gives us a model to work with. It works just as well in one, two, or three dimensions as long as we don’t insist on a description of what the “things” actually are. We could imagine that they are hard spheres, or maybe as I think Plato suggested, small hard platonic solids. Or we could adopt the more modern notion that they are packets of vibrations of some medium or other.

OK, then the immediate questions would be, What are those spheres or cubes made of? And what exactly is the medium that vibrates? It’s as if we’re dealing with a 5-year-old kid asking endless questions.

The way out is provided by Euclid. He realized that he couldn’t define all the terms he used and instead took a selected set of them and declared that they were “primitive” and didn’t need definitions or explanations. Primitives were considered to be self-evident.

Among Euclid’s primitives were points, lines, and planes. With these, and some well-chosen axioms, Euclid developed what was arguably the most successful mathematical system of all time. His mathematical structure was accepted by philosophical giants like Kant to serve as a model of reality. It seems like we can adopt this same strategy.

So, to answer Greylorn’s question to me, I would say that a one-dimensional primordial reality could consist of a finite set of “points” moving about on a “line” according to some rule like the one suggested by Feynman above. That rule would constitute the “law(s) of physics” which would then, according to Russell (or Einstein), qualify our “points” to be called “things”.

This leaves a few questions open: What was the shape of that line? How many things are (or were) there at the very beginning? What exactly is that rule of attraction/repulsion? I have run out of time, so the rest will have to wait for the next musing.

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