Personal Beliefs and Interpretation

Again, you are not going to like my translation choice. As a Christian when I have multiple choices of what word to use in a translation and some choices make it false, but other choices allow it to be true, since we don’t really know what was in the mind of the writer, I feel kinda free to choose the word that makes Scripture true. You will howl about this no doubt, but options are for the choosing.

That’s the very definition of bias, isn’t it? And this doesn’t appear to be any sort of response to my post, which wasn’t about interpretation of Genesis but about the evidence we would expect if your scenario were true.

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And you would howl at anyone else doing it for all sorts of other religious scriptures from other religions, not to mention secular texts being re-interpreted as always true because of the multitude of ways to understand basically every single word.

Surely we can all recognize the problem with allowing oneself this sort of unconstrained leeway to consider all alternative interpretations of words plausible simply to square a text with observation.

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John, I didn’t come here to get sidelined by atheist dislike of my religion. I came to talk to believers. see ya

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With all due respect Rumraket, you don’t know me at all and thus don’t know what I would or would not allow another religious group to do. Just cause you are against the idea of God doesn’t really give you the right to sit in judgment of someone’s actions which have never taken place.

I don’t have to really know you to understand how human beings work. Please don’t ask me to pretend that if you were put in a situtation where something that was important to you came down to how something another person said or wrote is to be understood(suppose someone said they’re going to kill you), that you’d just pretend all possible ways those words could be understood were equally likely or plausible.

You’re making an extremely bad excuse for something we all recognize is probably false and extremely self-serving. I’m sorry but the excuse you gave yourself for indulging this unconstrained leeway of alternative interpretation is truly bad, and I couldn’t convince myself you would ever really apply it consistently, much less allow others to do that if you had some other personal investment at stake.

I don’t buy it, and no on else should either.

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John, Jesus loves you and whatever Bible-spouting person caused you to dislike Christians so much, he knows. Whatever they did to you, I would put it up against what my sociopathically murderous mother did to me and my brother. I forgave her, not because I like her, but because I needed it for me.

Rumraker, same for you, Jesus loves you. Whatever christian did you wrong I am sorry.

Having said that, I am going to point out a major flaw in the atheist world view. I strongly suspect that you all hold to the view that consciousness arises as an epiphenomenon of the brain. In other words, consciousness is a physical phenomenon. There is a new, experimentally confirmed work from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness is not subject to the laws of quantum. I wrote this up in Quantum Soul… Now, my preacher son could understand that article, and we all know the technical level of most preachers, so I suspect a couple of smart, well educated guys like you can also follow the argument.

The week my cancer got to my bones and I was a bit depressed, I read an interview with Steven Weinberg,which let me know that consciousness could not be avoided in quantum. I viewed it as a cheer up card from God. Weinberg said:

" Fundamentally, I have an ideal of what a physical theory should be. It should be something that doesn’t refer in any specific way to human beings. It should be something from which everything else–including anything you can say systematically about chemistry, or biology, or human affairs–can be derived. It shouldn’t have human beings at the beginning in the laws of nature. And yet, I don’t see any way of formulating quantum mechanics without an interpretative postulate that refers to what happens when people choose to measure one thing or another ." Steven Weinberg cited by Tim Folger, How Does the Quantum World Cross Over?, Scientific American, July 2018, p. 32

In other words, our conscious choice impacts what we measure–meaning our consciousness is impacting nature, and that implies that consciousness is not a phenomenon of matter. Another Nobel Laureate, Eugene Wigner said:

" When the province of physical theory was extended to encompass microscopic phenomena, through the creation of quantum mechanics, the concept of consciousness came to the fore again: it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness All that quantum mechanics purports to provide are probability connections between subsequent impressions (also called “apperceptions”) of the consciousness, and even though the dividing line between the observer, whose consciousness is being affected, and the observed physical object can be shifted towards the one or the other to a considerable degree [cf., von Neumann] it cannot be eliminated. " Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in John Wheeler and Wojciech Hubert Zurek,Quantum Theory and Measurement, , (Princeton: Princeton University Press 1983), p.169

Wigner went so far as to say:

“… the very study of the external world led to the conclusion that the content of the consciousness is an ultimate reality.” Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, in Eugene Wigner, Philosophical Reflections and Syntheses, Springer, 2012, p. 257

Wigner later jumped to the Evertian many worlds interpretation (MWI) to avoid the above, but in fact going to MWI does not avoid consciousness. As Smolin says of the MWI,

This formulation preserves the idea that there is a single objective view of reality by the extreme means of making that the view of an observer who does not live in the world." "It seems to me that the only possible name for such an observer is God… " Lee Smolin, The Life of the Cosmos Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 264

Then comes the most important but still controversial paper by Daniela Frauchiger and Renato Renner. entitled:

" Quantum Theory cannot consistently describe the use of itself " Nature, Sept 18, 2018

" Recent work supports this view: a still controversial article in Nature by Frauchiger and Renner entitled “Quantum mechanics cannot consistently describe the use of itself"presents a thought experiment which forced the authors to give up one of three cherished assumptions. Their paper says we must either give up the materialism of the soul (quantum doesn’t apply to the observer), or give up logical consistency in science, or give up the idea that we see only one reality. It is hard to give up seeing only one reality, because that is all we see. Giving up the expectation of consistency in science (different observers seeing different things) means that science can’t bring us knowledge. Like Wigner and Peierls, we think giving up on the idea that consciousness is a quantum phenomenon is the least damaging option. If we give up the idea that quantum applies to conscious beings, then we can still have science and knowledge. The experiment by Proietti et al., discussed in the many worlds section, was designed based upon elements of Frauchiger and Renner’s paper and it is, in part, experimental verification of Frauchiger and Renner’s paradox.” Quantum Soul

And while many try to say this work is wrong, it has been experimentally verified by Proietti, et al. conclude (and I will deconstruct this). (5) is Frauchiger and Renner’s article:

" While the precise interpretation of ( 5 ) within nonlocal theories is under debate, it seems that abandoning free choice and locality might not resolve the contradiction. A compelling way to accommodate our result is then to proclaim that facts of the world can only be established by a privileged observer—e.g., one that would have access to the “global wavefunction” in the many worlds interpretation or Bohmian mechanics ,Another option is to give up observer independence completely by considering facts only relative to observers ( 24 ), or by adopting an interpretation such as QBism, where quantum mechanics is just a tool that captures an agent’s subjective prediction of future measurement outcomes. This choice, however, requires us to embrace the possibility that different observers irreconcilably disagree about what happened in an experiment. A further interesting question is whether the conclusions drawn from Bell or Bell-Wigner tests change under relativistic conditions with non-inertial observers." Massimiliano Proietti, et al, Science Advances, 5:9:(2019), Experimental test of local observer independence | Science Advances

Their experiment confirms the problem and they suggest several solutions.

1.Privileged observer- one that would have access to the “global wavefunction” in the many worlds interpretation. As Smolin said above, there is only one name for such an observer–God

2.Bohmian Mechanics. The biggest problem with it is that it violates General Relativity. " Bohmian mechanics breaks relativistic invariance by requiring the choice of absolute time, relatively to which its laws will be processed " Problems with Bohmian mechanics

3.QBism is considering facts only in relation to the observer. " In Qbism, quantum theory becomes a theory not of the observed but of the observer ." Richard Webb, Good Times, Bad Times, New Scientist, Dec 3, 2016, p 44-45 In some sense it is like Peierls view

" The moment at which you can throw away one possibility and keep only the other is when you finally become conscious of the fact that the experiment has given one result… You see, the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requires somebody who know ." Sir Rudolf Peierls, The Ghost in the Machine, p. 73-74 from YouTube around 11:52
QBism and any view that makes quantum about consciousness runs the risk of solipcism. Before Wigner changed to MWI, he pointed out:

Solipsism may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics, monism in the sense of materialism is not. The case against solipsism was given at the end of the first section.” Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, in Eugene Wigner, Philosophical Reflections and Syntheses, Springer, 2012, p. 176

Since I have already shown that the universal wave function–the MWI equation that describes the entirety of the multiverse can only be viewed (and collapsed) by an observer who lives outside the universe, whom most people would call god at least, then Wigners jump to the MWI didn’t solve his problem of consciousness.

Renner, a former Many Worlds supporter, like Wigner, now has changed his mind:

" Take Renner’s favoured many-worlds interpretation, which forgoes the part about alternative facts not being allowed–they are allowed, just in another universe. Renner initially thought this might work. But further investigation showed that there is no branch of the universe after the measurement where the answers of all four observers are consistent. ‘Before this thought experiment, I was relatively convinced that certain interpretations make sense,’ says Renner. 'Now I think none of them can. '" Richard Webb, The Reality Paradox, New Scientist, March 23, 2019, p.32-33

After I got my physics degree, I did a year of grad work in philosophy. I learned there that if one has a theory which leads to contradictions, it means your assumptions are contradictory. The possible solutions to this conundrum are not good if one is a materialist. One can deny General Relativity. One can say quantum is only about consciousness, one can say that we see more than one outcome of an experiment–which is contrary to fact. One can say science doesn’t have to be consistent–which means knowledge can’t be gained. Or one can say that the laws of quantum don’t apply to consciousness and that it is as physicist Stephen M. Barr says, outside the description and applicability of physics:

" A careful analysis of the logical structure of quantum theory suggests that for quantum theory to make sense it has to posit the existence of observers who lie, at least in part, outside of the description provided by physics ." Stephen M. Barr, Modern Physics and Ancient Faith, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2003), p. 27-28

Yall like to whack Christians for what you see as the error of their ways. I wonder how you will react to having the very basic assumptions of your belief system, the physicality of consciousness, challenged by the data of science?

Im going back to the other thread. As I said, I am not here to try to ‘convert’ atheists like yall, who strangely feel compelled to try to convert me. Good luck to both of you. I have enjoyed the conversation, but this isn’t my focus.

That seems both rude and bigoted of you. I haven’t expressed any dislike of your religion. Did you perhaps misread something?

I don’t dislike Christians. Where did you get that idea?

I’m going to pass on the QM argument.

It is a matter of viewpoint. What drives you to spend your time whacking christians?
It can’t be that you find them fascinating, at least I wouldn’t think so. Jesus loves you my friend, even if you don’t like him. Im off to the other thread. I am tiring so quickly now that I need to save my energy for what I want to do here.

That’s not what I’m doing here. I’m attacking bad arguments. Hate the sin, love the sinner.


Thanks I appreciate the sentiment, but I’m not here because Christians have done anything wrong to me.

That actually isn’t a basic assumption of my belief system, but an evidentially derived, though ultimately tentative conclusion. Even so, I think your argument is fundamentally misguided, because whether human conscious experience has a physical basis or not, I don’t see what that has to do with theism or atheism.

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This seems to be the meat of the argument. Unfortunately, it fails.

Material things impact nature all the time. Earthquakes, fires, cosmic rays, gravity, chemical bonding, erosion. That doesn’t mean those things aren’t phenomenon of matter.

Our conscious choice doesn’t only impact what we measure, it also impacts what we eat, what we transport, what we burn. If measurement implies that consciousness is not a phenomenon of matter, so should eating, moving and burning things - but they don’t, so nor does it.

The implication from measurement to non-material phenomenon fails, and the rest of the argument goes with it.

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Well, I am surprised you don’t see a connection. If the consciousness is immaterial and apart from the laws of physics, then that means our consciousness’s exist apart from this reality in some way, and thus is a hint that there is another world that is not of this world. If there is another ‘existence’ out there, then what is in that 'existence" Does a God exist in that world? I couldn’t rule him out under the above assumptions.

You don’t know me well. I spent 16 or so years in serious doubt about Christianity. I read every original work of all the major religions. Most were ‘philosophy’ of how to live. Zoroastrianism’s book is nothing but some sort of praise, but doesn’t have anything verifiable in it. Same with the Dhammapada. The Baghadvagita could have some of the wars verified, but nothing that would ensure that the religion was true. The Bahai Kiti’i’iqan had only one verifiable thing in it. It said that if you left copper in the ground for 70 years it became gold. As translated, that makes the Kiti’i’iqan say something false which a God would know to be false. But if a Bahai guy came around and said not that word isn’t copper but is something that gold could congeal on, I would change my mind. No one has done that but I would give them the chance. The Koran had nothing about nature which could be verified. The interesting thing to me is that the Bible is the only book which goes into a detailed creation story.

And I have spent 50 years trying to figure out if it could be true. I have come to the conclusion that it can be true. It still might be false and my views total bunk. I can’t find Noah’s ship captain’s license to show every one, so yes, I could be wrong, you would probably say I am wrong. Fine. We can differ.

At least as I look back on my life I can say I produced a different view of scripture in regard to the early parts of Genesis. I built something and that is a satisfaction. I am glad I didn’t just whack YECs for all my life because now I would be wondering what was the value of that? Whether i am right or wrong, I did my best for the Lord and have run my race. I have already had a few geologists say they like my new views. They are the most satisfying people to like my views, because they know the geologic data like I do. I have built something others will cuss and discuss after I am gone, Having such a view of one’s life at the end of it is more important than you healthy people think it is.

Why apart from? As best I can tell I am here, conscious, in this reality. Why can’t there be two different types of things as part of the same “realm”, or things can have two different types of properties(in the same way something can have both mass and charge), as part of the same reality?

It seems to me equally fundamentally mysterious why some things have electromagnetic charge, as why I have conscious experience. I have no explanation for that that I could show to be true. And I don’t find band-aid answers like “a God could have ordained it be so” to be any more compelling than “it just is”, or “there is an infinite regression of deeper explanations”. While each of these seem to provide a sort of answer to the question, they also seem weak and superficial, like trying to plug a leaking hole in a sinking boat, with chewing gum. I have to wrestle with not knowing, and yet wanting to.

Sure, and neither could I(I am not an atheist in the sense that I would claim to have ruled out the possibility that a God exists), I just don’t see why I have to join you in making these assumptions. I could agree that giving a description of the active functioning brain in it’s organism, situated in it’s environment, at the level of fundamental fields of physics, or chemistry, or some combination of the two, does not offer any explanation for why I should have conscious experience, nor why redness has the quality it does.

But I don’t see why that should cause me to think there is another sort of “world” with other sorts of “beings” in it. It seems to me you’re taking something fundamentally mysterious and extrapolating wildly about what it means, and by just positing another fundamentally mysterious entity to explain another. We can of course conceive of all sorts of possibilities, but I’d just need something more than mere speculation here. What is it that should compel me to believe that my lack of a physicalist explanation for the qualitative aspects of conscious experience, indicates not only that a different sort of reality exists, but that it is populated by divine person(s)?

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While there are other things the human can do in quantum other than what I spoke of, the problem is that quantum gets all confused if it tries to model a person using quantum mechanics. In quantum we can have influence on what happened in the past! If consciousness was a result of quantum mechanics, then it should be possible to use it to describe that consciousness using quantum mechanics. But doing so brings forth the contradictions mentioned above. And that means that materialism has a big flaw. Materialism defined as everything in the universe arises from matter and the laws governing matter. In this case, the laws governing matter can’t explain consciousness.

So why can’t we have consciousness and matter in this realm together? I would say for the same reason we can’t seem to explain math within the existing world order. Math is largely divided between nominalists and platonists. Nominalists think math is an invention of the human mind and platonists say math exists before and apart from the human mind and humans just discover it…

If math is a product of the human mind (i.e., nominalism is true), then why do we have evidence in astronomy that the mathematical laws of physics existed billions of years prior to the advent of the human mind? Where did that math reside? Who invented that math? It brings up questions like, where is the pythagorean theorem housed? It doesn’t seem to be housed in nature. If it is, please point me to where in nature we go to implement the Pythagorean theorem?

"Platonism about mathematics (or mathematical platonism) is the metaphysical view that there are abstract mathematical objects whose existence is independent of us and our language, thought, and practices. Just as electrons and planets exist independently of us, so do numbers and sets. And just as statements about electrons and planets are made true or false by the objects with which they are concerned and these objects- perfectly objective properties, so are statements about numbers and sets. Mathematical truths are therefore discovered, not invented.
The most important argument for the existence of abstract mathematical objects derives from Gottlob Frege and goes as follows (Frege 1953). The language of mathematics purports to refer to and quantify over abstract mathematical objects. And a great number of mathematical theorems are true. But a sentence cannot be true unless its sub-expressions succeed in doing what they purport to do. So there exist abstract mathematical objects that these expressions refer to and quantify over. “Platonism in the Philosophy of Mathematics” First published Sat Jul 18, 2009; substantive revision Thu Jan 18, 2018,

The reason I bring math into this is the parallel with the consciousness that seems not to be controlled by the laws of this world–that means it is controlled or exists somewhere else. Consider what one of my favorite philosphers on this topic says about qualia–our sensations we feel when we are conscious:

Even for a system of whose qualia I have near-perfect knowledge, myself for example, the problem of qualia is serious. It is this: How is it possible for physical, objective, quantitatively describable neuron firings to cause qualitative, private, subjective experiences? How, to put it naively, does the brain get us over the hump from electrochemistry to feeling? That is the hard part of the mind-body problem that is left over after we see that consciousness must be caused by brain processes and is itself a feature of the brain.” John R. Searles, “Francis Crick, the Binding Problem, and the Hypothesis of Forty Hertz,” in John R. Searles, The Mystery of Consciousness, (New York: A New York Review Book, 1997), p. 28

There is nothing in physics that says an apple has to taste a particular way? There is nothing in physics that says that when we see 680 nm light, that it has to look red. Our sensations don’t seem to be based upon any law of physics. And if that is the case, what are the rules that apply for consciousness? Where are those laws encoded? The laws of physics seem to be encoded in each quanta of space as differential operators, but where are the differential operators that make 680 nm look red?

One guy trying to get over this issue anthropomorphizes information. Suddenly information itself is conscious–and one mustn’t ask how do we know that information ‘feels’. Has he spoken with information?

Why do we experience consciousness at all? Nothing in any objective scientific theory of physics or information accounts for the subjective qualities of our otherwise empirically measurable experiences. In the integrated information theory proposed by Giullo Tononi, consciousness is what information feels like when it reaches a certain level of sophistication, But the fact of that feeling has no underpinning. That is the hard problem.” Guy Inchbald, New Scientist, Jully 13, 2019, p. 24

So now, we have people postulating that information (I presume Shanon information) has feelings. I find the concept ridiculous. lol

One of the limitations of the computational model of the mind that I have not sufficiently emphasized is how profoundly antibiological it is. It is a direct consequence of the definition of computation that the same computer program can be implemented on an indefinite range of different hardwares and the same hardware can implement an indefinite range of different programs. This follows from the formal (abstract. syntactical) character of computation.” John Searles, “How to Transform the Mystery of Consciousness into the Problem of Consciousness,” in John R. Searles, The Mystery of Consciousness, (New York: A New York Review Book, 1997), p.1990

The human program of ‘consciousness’ can’t be ported to a cat or an elephant brain to be run. Each brain has its own unique consciousness. Thus conscousness is not mere computation , otherwise someone could run my cat’s brain program on my wet ware.

Finally if you have consciousness independent of matter, then the world has trillions of independent consciousnesses, which have no relation to the material world–I think one could call them ghosts. If they don’t have a relation or are not under control of the laws of physics, a philosopher would ask, in what substance does consciousness reside?

This would seem a classic confusion of map and territory. Maps are products of the human mind (and hands, etc.); they represent the territory, which is not. Similarly, math represents and describes aspects of the universe, which should not be surprising, as it was originally invented for that purpose. Integers are invented, but countable objects are real. And so on.

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What you say falls right into the Platonistic view. The land is not the product of the human mind. The map is. We discover the map’s traits, We don’t invent the land. Similarly, math exists prior to the advent of mankind. We discover it’s traits. We don’t invent them. But we know that the land exists in this universe. Where does the math exist? Math is a set of relationships that we use a set of symbols to elucidate. Where do we find those or equivalent symbols in our universe? Nowhere. They are somewhere else. As a christian I can say that the laws of math exist where God is. You can’t say that. At least that is my way of viewing it.
Are you suggesting that math in the universe didn’t exist prior to the advent of mankind? In that case one would be taking the position John Wheeler. Wheeler noted that one could change the past via quantum. Consider a photon going past a galaxy that lenses the galaxy from where the photon started.

The observer can chose to have all the photons he sees going on both sides of the galaxy by merely choosing today to see waves. In this case, the observer caused the photons to behave that way 2 billion years ago! Similarly, if he wants to see photons as particles, he can chose to do that and now all photons passing the galaxy that go past the galaxy on one side or the other but not on both sides.
For a while he held to retrocausality but he later came to believe that our consciousnesses create both the universe and its past when we make a quantum observation!

"Wheeler suggested that reality is created by observers and that: “no phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon.” He coined the term Participatory Anthropic Principle (PAP) from the Greek “anthropos” , or human. He went further to suggest that we are participants in bringing into being not only the near and here, but the far away and long ago. [Reference: Radio Interview With Martin Redfern]

Such a view is equivalent to Lord Berkeley’s philosophy, where mind is all there is. Matter is a product of the mind. Berkeley was one of the most influential philosophers, bringing for what is called Idealism. And it also brought forth a funny set of limericks. From my son’s graduate level EE book:

"I just want to mention Berkeley who maintained that matter would cease to exist if unobserved, but luckily there is God who perceives everything, so matter may exist after all. This view was attacked by Ronald Knox in the following limerick:

"There was a young man who said, 'God
Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
continues to be
When there’s no one about in the Quad.’

Berkeley replied in kind:

"Dear Sir: Your astonishment’s odd;
I am always about in the Quad.
And that’s why the tree
Will continue to be,
Since observed by Yours faithfully, God."
L. Solymar and D. Walsh, Lectures on the Electrical Properties of Matter, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 59.

Im off to take my nap–used up today’s energy.

I wouldn’t say that at all.

Again, I would disagree completely. We invent math; math is the map. The world is the territory. Was that not clear in the analogy?

Yes. Math is a description, not a phenomenon. Again, I think this is a basic map/territory confusion on your part. Gravity is not math. F=Gm1m2/d^2 is math.


No it doesn’t. And I say this as a mathematician (but not a mathematical Platonist).

Yes, people disagree about this. Some mathematicians are Platonists and some aren’t. But you aren’t going to persuade me or @John_Harshman about this with mere assertion.

lol, well then it is a good thing I didn’t present mere assertion. I asked if math is an invention of the human mind how does a nominalist explain the astronomical evidence for this invented math working in the universe prior to when mankind was here to invent it?