1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

Perceiving the Universe

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Elios, Feb 23, 2003.

  1. Elios Gems: 17/31
    Latest gem: Star Diopside


    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Messages:
    942
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Everything in the universe is supposed to be made of entities called "atoms". Therefore, the brain is made of atoms. The brain is presumably the mechanism through which we perceive the universe. But, how can we gain any real understanding of the universe by using the very entities that we're trying to understand?
     
  2. Arabwel

    Arabwel Screaming towards Apotheosis Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    7,965
    Media:
    2
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Female
    By using the Force.

    The energy created by the living things to bind things that both live and unhlive, and is not bound by atoms or any other things of mere matter.

    (a serious post? maybe later)
     
  3. Falstaff

    Falstaff Sleep is for the Weak of Will Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2002
    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Elios, this one is just plain silly. I really think you have finally outdone yourself this time.

    (A compliment, by the way!)

    It all really comes down to the essential and ultimate question: "So What???"
     
  4. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    10,377
    Media:
    40
    Likes Received:
    228
    Gender:
    Male
    Perhaps you should answer this question: How does being made of something preclude you from understanding it?
     
  5. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,141
    Media:
    74
    Likes Received:
    133
    Gender:
    Female
    [​IMG] Simple - regard it differently.

    Universe - big thing, lots of stars and stuff

    Brain - squishy thing animals and most humans think with.

    Sometimes if you are too busy looking at the little things you miss the larger part entirely. If you want to understand something look at the broader part and narrow it down so you can studdy specifics - like learning something new.
     
  6. Aces Gems: 19/31
    Latest gem: Aquamarine


    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Messages:
    1,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm more worried about how the Universe Perceives me!

    I hope it isn't mad at me... :mommy:
     
  7. Amon-Ra Gems: 10/31
    Latest gem: Zircon


    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    My fundamental problem is that we'll never perceive the universe... we'll never know what things are like.

    Enter the time delay problem. We use eyes to see things, ears to hear things, etc. All of these reactions and stimuli are subject to that zap signal they have to send to the brain to be interpretted. Which means we don't know what we're feeling, what we're seeing, until a split second after it has happened. That being said, we're always a step behind... So what? Nothing, really, just an interesting tidbit.

    You'll never know what your very last instant alive on this earth will be, because you will die before the nerves send the signal to your brain.
     
  8. BGP Gems: 3/31
    Latest gem: Lynx Eye


    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    [​IMG] From one perspective, we are big, lumpy, water bags. But clearly, we understand a great deal about water and bags.

    We are refered to as "carbon-based" life forms. Yet we have a good handle on Carbon, yes?

    You seem to have offered that because things are eventually made of the same thing at a certain atomic (or sub-atomic) level, then there must be some logical whammy that happens that makes it impossible to know about anything.

    I think that has two problems.

    First, there are radical simularities, depending on your perspective, between every object in the universe; but not simply on a "building block" level. How about in reference to their qualities of mass, size, gravitational pull, and so forth? And what about that makes it harder to understand them and ourselves?

    Nothing. In fact, point two, it is the simularities between us, specifically the shared presuppositions about sense perception, language meaning, logic and fallacies, and so forth, that make it possible for us to communicate. Aristotle's De Anima talks about this.

    It's not just "I think, therefore, I am." It's "I think and I think you think I think, too." Say that three times fast.

    These shared presuppositions are both cognitive/learned and subcognitive/innate. Language would be learned; logic (formal and to some extent, informal) would be innate.

    After thinking about it, what you may be getting at is that it's impossible to push a bus while riding on it. In other words, if God exists as a part of the universe, then how can he create it, since that would involved self-creation, which is irrational?

    Giving you the benefit of the doubt, you seem to be extending that to self-knowledge; how can I know anything if I'm completely subjective in my assessment of my surroundings--I have no objectivity, no external view of myself and my world.

    My reply to that more carefully stated version of what I think you are getting at is that humans know all things inductively, but judge them by some means that are beyond the created order, implanted by a good Creator, and thus the means of our interpreting the world around us have aspects of objectivity to them, having their roots in God, who is as objective as it gets.

    And the most interesting point to me about this kind of discussion is how having any certitude about anything is apparently dependant upon the existence of a good Creator. Look up the "transendental argument" for God's existence if you are interested.

    http://www.carm.org/atheism/trans_refuted.htm

    Sorry I went on so long.
     
  9. Malovae Gems: 18/31
    Latest gem: Horn Coral


    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    1,049
    Likes Received:
    1
    whilst reading this very interesting topic ive started to think about what it would feel like having a conversation with Christina Aguilera on conservative dressing...how strange...but more interesting :)
     
  10. Pyro Gems: 5/31
    Latest gem: Andar


    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    What I consider even harder to imagine is the universe. Sure, it's a bunch of nothing, but where does it end? What's beyond? How can something be beyond if it's everything? What does it look like? Who/what created the universe? Who/what created the who/what that created the universe? What was it like before that?

    All these (or most of them) questions will probably never be answered, and that really annoys me. I wan't to know, it's unfair :) Contrary to what science believes, I refuse to think that nothing can ever equal something. Matter can't be created out of nothing, that's just impossible. But where did the matter that made the planets come from? And what was before that? Has it existed forever? Is that possible, mustn't everything have a beggining and an end exept a circle?

    :eek: These thoughts makes me dizzy.
     
  11. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,141
    Media:
    74
    Likes Received:
    133
    Gender:
    Female
    [​IMG] Think of the universe as a circle then :sleep:

    I find the concept of it all rather easy. Things created from an explosion just as things are destroyed could easily be a mirror effect in a vacuum of space :rolling:

    Different atoms work differently depending on where they are placed.

    If you think it's difficult just think - If atoms make up everything - what are atoms made of? :evil:
     
  12. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,652
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    86
    Gender:
    Male
    protons, neutrons, electrons, and quarks
     
  13. enjan Gems: 5/31
    Latest gem: Andar


    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Quarks are smaller than the sub-particles of an atom, not part of an atom. ;)
     
  14. Capstone Gems: 16/31
    Latest gem: Shandon


    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    887
    Likes Received:
    0
    [​IMG] And neither atoms nor quarks are destroyed in an explosion. Which leads right back to the question: where did they come from in the first place, then?
     
  15. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    10,377
    Media:
    40
    Likes Received:
    228
    Gender:
    Male
    M = E/c^2 Capstone :)
     
  16. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,652
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    86
    Gender:
    Male
    Enjan, protons, neutrons and electrons are made of quarks
    so therefore atoms are (duuuh) made of quarks

    It´s like saying a wall is not made of atoms because it´s made of bricks :rolleyes:

    Edit:
    We got it settled in IRC, let my post my reply here as well

    :p

    [ March 06, 2003, 20:21: Message edited by: Morgoth ]
     
  17. enjan Gems: 5/31
    Latest gem: Andar


    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought you were under the impression that quarks were sub-particles of atoms (i.e. protons, neutrons, electrons).

    Oh, and I like your brick analogy. ;)
     
  18. Dragon's Jewel Gems: 14/31
    Latest gem: Chrysoberyl


    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2002
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    3
    There is a different way to look at the question as well....
    They say that the universe is continuously expanding, yes? So, we're basically trying to understand something that never stops growing, and grows at a rate (supposedly) faster than we can percieve. So, in essence, it's not about understanding something that we are made of, it's can we understand something that we are never going to see an end to. It would be the same as trying to summarize the theory of evolution by referencing a lemur that evolved so fast that it turned into a cat before it's lifespan was over.
     
  19. Erebus Gems: 16/31
    Latest gem: Shandon


    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2002
    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dragon Jewel's right, however since the universe is ever expanding, energy is created, and energy is chaos (more or less. So the expansion of the universe is the entropee (yes it is a real word) so the universe is pure chaos.
     
  20. Capstone Gems: 16/31
    Latest gem: Shandon


    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    887
    Likes Received:
    0
    [​IMG] Come on now, BTA, you know as well as I do that that equation simply states that matter and energy are equivalent forms.

    Tarsakh, I'd respond, but I haven't figured out what you mean yet.
     
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Sorcerers.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.