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    On Sophistry and Physics


    Introduction

    The term “sophist” is used to refer to a person who argues using premises that he himself knows are false. This person then tries to pass off his nonsense as truth by delivering it using eloquent speech. Historically, it was a name given to a group of people who claimed to believe that nothing is real… that the perceived world was merely a hallucination concocted by the non-existent mind of the perceiver. The most effective response to which, was the first suggestion by Imam Abd Al-Qahir Al-Baghdadi in his Usul Al-Deen, where he رحمه الله writes:

    فرقة زعمت أنه لا حقيقة لشيء و لا علم بشيء و هؤلاء معاندون و ينبغي أن يعاملوا بالضرب و التأديب و أخذ الأموال منهم. فإذا اشتكوا من ألم الضرب و طالبوا أموالهم قيل لهم: إن لم يكن لكم و لأموالكم حقيقة لما تشتكون من الألم فما هذا الضجر؟ و لما تطلبون مالا حقيقة له؟

    The first group of the sophists claimed that nothing is real, and that knowledge of things is therefore impossible. Such people only say this out of stubbornness. The way we deal with them is through beating, discipling, and through the confiscation of their wealth. So if they complain from the pain, or ask for their money back, we respond: “if you claim you are not real, then why are you complaining? If you claim that your money is not real, why are you then asking for it?”

    Instead of eloquent speech, the modern sophist resorts to abusing the name of “science” to deliver his quacky theories. In this topic I wanted to address a couple of claims made by modern sophists, popularized by their deluded, godless, fans.

    “The universe can create itself given the law of gravity”

    In his “the Grand design”, Stephen Hawking (in)famously claims: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing”. Some atheists like to parrot this to show that the existence of God is not necessary given the emergence of the universe, since the universe can - allegedly - simply bring itself into existence.

    This claim is absurd due to the ridiculousness of something creating itself:

    For the universe to bring anything into existence, requires the universe to actually exist. If it did not exist, it could not bring anything into existence. This is because non-existent essences cannot influence anything.

    For the universe to be brought into existence, requires it to first not-exist. For if its existence was not preceded by its non-existence, this would make it beginningless. And that which is beginningless cannot be “brought” into existence.

    Thus, for the universe to bring itself into existence, requires it to both exist and not-exist simultaneously. “Exist” in order to create itself. “Not-exist” in order to be brought into existence. This is obviously contradictory, and therefore impossible.

    “The emergence of virtual particles is proof that something can come into existence without a creator”

    The chief popularizer of this claim is Lawrence Krauss. Krauss repeatedly claims: “Empty space is a bubbling brew of virtual particles that pop in and out of existence, in a time scale so short that you can't even measure them.” He uses this to then argue that given quantum mechanics and enough time, a universe can naturally emerge into existence, from nothing, by itself. The existence of a Creator - for Krauss - is as such, unnecessary.

    Contrary to what Krauss would have everyone believe however, there is no scientific evidence that supports the emergence of virtual particles by nothing. What Krauss and his ilk claim is evidence for the emergence of virtual particles by nothing, is actually no evidence at all. Those physicists simply detect the emergence of virtual particles, they look around, they cannot find the cause, so they simply assume those particles emerged into existence by nothing. This is no different from the “god of the gaps” that atheists accuse believers of (“we don’t know the cause, therefore God did it”). Perhaps we should call this the atheist’s “nothing of the gaps”? “We don’t observe a cause, therefore this particle emerged into existence by nothing!”

    The above is apart from Krauss constantly playing around with the term “nothing”, such that it means whatever he wants it to meant at different points in time. Falsely equivocating his personal definition of “nothing” with the most usual definition of the term is deceptive.

    In any case, and as detailed above, there can be no scientific proof for anything coming into existence by nothing. Because the scientific method cannot distinguish between “no cause” and “undetectable cause”. That is a matter beyond the scope of the natural sciences. In reality, the emergence of a being by nothing is a logical impossibility. This is because the existence of an essence is either necessary, impossible or contingent. A necessary essence cannot not-exist. An impossible essence cannot exist. And a contingent essence may or may-not exist.

    That which begins to exist cannot be necessary. Since that which exists necessarily cannot not-exist, while the existence of an emergent being is preceded by its non-existence. Given this being’s prior non-existence, its existence therefore cannot be necessary.

    That which begins to exist cannot be impossible. Since an impossible essence cannot exist, while an emergent being comes into existence. Given this being’s existence, its existence therefore cannot be impossible.

    By process of elimination, it is therefore deduced that an emergent being exists contingently. And that which exists contingently depends on the existence of a specifier to have preferred existence over non-existence for it (since neither is an intrinsic necessity). Thus, everything that begins to exist, was brought into existence by some being other than it.

    Conclusion

    Attempting to pass off extremely speculative (not to mention, absurd) physics as absolute fact, is a little dishonest to say the least. Unfortunately, this is what modern sophists do. And surprisingly, so many people fall for it.

    To protect yourself from sophistry, always remember that stupidity remains stupidity no matter who says it. If someone who you deem qualified claims nonsense, you should know that this is not proof that belief in nonsense is acceptable. Rather, it would be proof that the claimant is either disingenuous… or has no idea what he's talking about.

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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    " Being ignorant of the cause , does not necessarily mean there is no cause. "


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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    At first glance, one could even argue that both points of view would be possible: God or no God. However, when you look at which point of view is the more useful one, you can see that both are not equally useful. If there is no God, then there is no law of God. That does not mean that there will be no law. It just means that someone else will invent the law: the politicians. We clearly do not want that. Therefore, how do we prevent the politicians from inventing new laws? By claiming that God has made all the laws already. In that sense, the answer to the original question does not even particularly matter. Even if God did not exist, I would still claim that he did, simply, because it suits me better. So, yes indeed, I believe that what suits me better, and refuse to believe that what does not suit me. Atheists can claim whatever they want. I do not care about that, because I will never obey to the laws invented by politicians. I simply prefer to obey the laws of God instead. Furthermore, sooner or later, everybody will have to prove that they are willing to risk their lives and die for what they believe in. Since the atheists believe in nothing, they will be made to die for nothing.

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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Interesting thread.

    Is there sufficient proof that Hawkings is working to further atheist agenda instead of working purely for science?

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    Senior Member karkooshy's Avatar
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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by AmantuBillahi View Post
    " Being ignorant of the cause , does not necessarily mean there is no cause. "

    Wa Iyakum.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    At first glance, one could even argue that both points of view would be possible: God or no God. However, when you look at which point of view is the more useful one, you can see that both are not equally useful. If there is no God, then there is no law of God. That does not mean that there will be no law. It just means that someone else will invent the law: the politicians. We clearly do not want that.
    Irrelevant. Things are true in of themselves. How useful they are is secondary. Some facts may be true while being useless to the knower. Some facts may even be true while being harmful to the knower. Just because something is useless doesn't make it false.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    Even if God did not exist, I would still claim that he did, simply, because it suits me better.
    That would make you a sophist… someone who argues using premises that he himself knows are false. And it’s impossible for God to not exist, so such a supposition is an irrational one to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spicen View Post
    Is there sufficient proof that Hawkings is working to further atheist agenda instead of working purely for science?
    I think the very fact that Hawking made such a claim is enough evidence for this. Only a complete imbecile would genuinely believe in a self-created universe. And Hawking is no imbecile. I can only assume that he made that up in order to serve his ideological interests.

    Apart from Hawking specifically, there does seem to be a secular/atheist agenda amongst some of those who work in the natural sciences.

    The other man mentioned in the OP, Lawrence Krauss, literally lied about an email he received from Prof. Alexander Vilenkin during one of his debates (against William Lane Craig, @49:03). Krauss presented the email during the debate, while having had censored parts of it. When called out on this censoring during the debate, Krauss claimed that what he censored were “technicalities”, implying that his censoring did not impact the overall meaning of the email. About a month later, the full email was released by Prof. Vilenkin, exposing Krauss’ lies.

    So yes, scientists - especially those who work in highly theoretical fields - are not as neutral as most people think they are. People like Dawkins, Krauss, DeGrasse Tyson..etc. are “pop scientists” that have been made famous because of their atheism, not because of their science. So they have a vested interest in the propagation of atheism, and they (ab)use the name of "science" to do it.

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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    Wa Iyakum.Irrelevant. Things are true in of themselves. How useful they are is secondary.
    If something is true, it will remain true, no matter from what angle you look at it. That is a powerful property. Hence, if it is true, there will be a way to use it in a useful way. You would just have to discover how. If it is false, it will end up being contradictory, and from a contradiction, it is possible to prove anything, no matter how false. The lies will start snow balling. Therefore, if something is false, relying on it, will ultimately be self-defeating.

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    That would make you a sophist… someone who argues using premises that he himself knows are false.
    For me, it goes beyond true and false. I just do not want to live like that. In that sense, it does not even matter to me, if it is true or false. So, yes, it could be sophism, because it is not possible to convince me of the point of view that God would not exist. Even if God himself came to tell me that he does not exist, I would still not believe it.

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    Senior Member karkooshy's Avatar
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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    Hence, if it is true, there will be a way to use it in a useful way. You would just have to discover how.
    Not necessarily. There are things which I know, that are of no benefit to me (for example: I know Tokyo is the capital of Japan, but this fact has never been of any use to me). That doesn’t mean they’re false. Just because you like something, doesn’t make it true. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t make it false.

    Inversely, some falsehoods are useful for those who claim them. Someone can utter falsehood in order to gain some benefit, or avoid some harm. In fact, that’s the main reason people lie for. Just because this claim benefited the claimant in some way, doesn't mean this claim is true.

    Given the above, how useful the truth of a proposition would be, is not a valid criterion for determining whether it’s true or false.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    it is possible to prove anything, no matter how false.
    This is just more sophistry on your part. You can trick some people into believing that invalid “proofs” are valid. But no matter how many people you’re able to deceive, that wouldn’t make those proofs valid in of themselves. Like I told you in another thread: how many people accept a proof is besides the point. That too is a worthless criterion for determining the truth of a proposition.

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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    for example: I know Tokyo is the capital of Japan, but this fact has never been of any use to me.
    There are situations in which this piece of knowledge may be indeed moderately useful. Maybe it is just a bad example.

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    Just because you like something, doesn’t make it true. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t make it false.
    There are lots of situations in which things are actually exactly like that. If you do not believe that you will finish 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, it will indeed never become true. A prerequisite is that you first believe that it is true that you can do it. Then, it takes a lot of work. However, if you really believe it, you may also put the effort in making it become true. Therefore, it really depends if what you are looking at, is something that you can and want to affect. The truth is in part some immutable state that is imposed onto people, and in part simply what people make it to be. What matters most, is what can be affected.

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    Inversely, some falsehoods are useful for those who claim them. Someone can utter falsehood in order to gain some benefit, or avoid some harm. In fact, that’s the main reason people lie for.
    It is hard, if not on the long term impossible, to prevent a system of lies from backfiring at the liar. But then again, yes, lying may indeed work for a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    Given the above, how useful the truth of a proposition would be, is not a valid criterion for determining whether it’s true or false.
    If the proposition is provable, then you can verify its proof. If it is testable, you can redo the tests. If it rests on witness depositions, you may sometimes be able to re-interview the witnesses. Beyond that, we have entered the domain of conjectures. In that case, there simply is no method to determine if a proposition is true or false. Considerations will then be sheer conjecture. So, what choice do you make, since you have to make one? A conjectural one. For example, most decisions that we make concern things that will take place in the future. So, your decision will be based not on what you know about the future, but on what you believe about it. So, what about the truth of statements of which you simply cannot know the real truth status?

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    You can trick some people into believing that invalid “proofs” are valid. But no matter how many people you’re able to deceive, that wouldn’t make those proofs valid in of themselves. Like I told you in another thread: how many people accept a proof is besides the point. That too is a worthless criterion for determining the truth of a proposition.
    A proof can be verified. Otherwise, it is not a proof. So, tricking people into believing something about a proof, does not seem to be a particularly interesting strategy. It is not even supposed to work. I have actually never produced an original proof here. I may have mentioned other people's proofs, and linked to the original source, but about what original proof of mine would you actually be talking here?

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    This is just more sophistry on your part.
    If there is no way in which you can prove or experimentally test a proposition, just make the choice that suits you best. You can call that "sophistry". I rather call that common sense. You see, I do not believe the unbelievers, simply, because I do not want to believe them, and that mostly, because it is not useful to believe them. So, yes, I maximize the utility of what I believe by rejecting resolutely the unbelievers and their false, pagan unbeliefs. I also encourage everybody to do the same. Do not believe the unbelievers, because the unbelievers are liars.

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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    At first glance, one could even argue that both points of view would be possible: God or no God. However, when you look at which point of view is the more useful one, you can see that both are not equally useful. If there is no God, then there is no law of God. That does not mean that there will be no law. It just means that someone else will invent the law: the politicians. We clearly do not want that. Therefore, how do we prevent the politicians from inventing new laws? By claiming that God has made all the laws already. In that sense, the answer to the original question does not even particularly matter. Even if God did not exist, I would still claim that he did, simply, because it suits me better. So, yes indeed, I believe that what suits me better, and refuse to believe that what does not suit me. Atheists can claim whatever they want. I do not care about that, because I will never obey to the laws invented by politicians. I simply prefer to obey the laws of God instead. Furthermore, sooner or later, everybody will have to prove that they are willing to risk their lives and die for what they believe in. Since the atheists believe in nothing, they will be made to die for nothing.
    True at first glance anything is possible. Even absurd propositions which can not be proven nor disproved , for example , the possibility that life is literally a dream / we are stuck in some matrix.

    I actually knew some folks in real life who used similar reasoning to deny God , as well as ascribing the Qurans divine qualities to UFO.

    Is it impossible that we are in a dream right now? I guess we wouldn't know until we wake ( assuming we would wake up ). But is it sensible and rational to brush aside God's Signs at such a suggestion? Of course not .

    I think the creation of Hell plays a role , a huge one actually , at preventing the mind from getting comfortable with non sense. Hell forces you to act and think maturely. God threatens you for disobeying / being arrogant. The universe itself / UFOS do not make any direct threats. You would be playing your cards right by siding with God and not following your desires.

    "Even if God did not exist .. "

    No God , no you.

    And even if we entertain the impossible , you'd never know that He didn't exist.

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    Senior Member karkooshy's Avatar
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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    There are situations in which this piece of knowledge may be indeed moderately useful. Maybe it is just a bad example.
    The example is fine. Tokyo’s being the capital of Japan is of no consequence to me. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t the capital of Japan.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    It is hard, if not on the long term impossible, to prevent a system of lies from backfiring at the liar. But then again, yes, lying may indeed work for a while.
    People get away with lies all the time. The fact that lying can be of benefit to the liar, means your standards for determining the truth of propositions don’t work.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    There are lots of situations in which things are actually exactly like that. If you do not believe that you will finish 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, it will indeed never become true. A prerequisite is that you first believe that it is true that you can do it. Then, it takes a lot of work. However, if you really believe it, you may also put the effort in making it become true.
    This discussion is about knowledge, not intention. You don't know that you will actually finish the 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, before attempting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    So, what about the truth of statements of which you simply cannot know the real truth status?
    You just say “I don’t know”.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    about what original proof of mine would you actually be talking here?
    Not talking about any proof for yours. Rather, about your statement “it is possible to prove anything, no matter how false”. “Prove” in that context can only mean convincing someone else that something is true (unless you think invalid proofs can be valid). In that case your statement can be true, since there are some gullible people out there who will believe anything. But that doesn’t make the proposition itself true.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    You see, I do not believe the unbelievers, simply, because I do not want to believe them, and that mostly, because it is not useful to believe them. So, yes, I maximize the utility of what I believe by rejecting resolutely the unbelievers and their false, pagan unbeliefs.
    Are you a Muslim?

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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    People get away with lies all the time. The fact that lying can be of benefit to the liar, means your standards for determining the truth of propositions don’t work.
    You see, you may think that it is a strange strategy, but I start by assuming that people are telling me the truth. Only when they dangerously contradict themselves, I will start doubting what they say. So, no, the default for me is that people are not lying, even if they could be.

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    This discussion is about knowledge, not intention. You don't know that you will actually finish the 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, before attempting it.
    I was pointing out that a simplistic two-valued (true or false), Aristotelian system of logic was even rejected by Aristotle himself:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-valued_logic
    The first known classical logician who did not fully accept the law of excluded middle was Aristotle (who, ironically, is also generally considered to be the first classical logician and the "father of logic"[1]). Aristotle admitted that his laws did not all apply to future events (De Interpretatione, ch. IX), but he didn't create a system of multi-valued logic to explain this isolated remark.


    For example, it is not possible to do computer hardware design with just two truth values (true or false). The Verilog standard (IEEE 1364) insists on 4 values and the VHDL standard (IEEE 1164) on 9 values. The consensus in math is that it will work and be more useful for the given application, than a simplistic true/false system, if the algebraic lattice correctly implements the absorption law.

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    unless you think invalid proofs can be valid.
    By discussing the nature of logic with me, you actually gave me an excellent idea. It could be possible to drastically increase the gap between N (=amount of time needed for verification) and NP(=amount of time needed for producing a equation-satisfying false claim) in boolean satisfiability, which is a cornerstone in the security of zcash, by using many-valued instead of 2-valued logic.

    So, yes, the greatest fear in zcash is that invalid proofs could unexpectedly be deemed valid anyway. It would lead to robbing and thefting money on a spectacular scale. The Achilles heel in cryptography is that the intractability of a problem cannot be proven. It can only be disproved. There is also a vague belief in math that says that P is not equal to NP, but nobody knows for sure. The Clay Mathematics Institute will immediately pay out a US$1,000,000 prize for the first correct answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    In that case your statement can be true, since there are some gullible people out there who will believe anything. But that doesn’t make the proposition itself true.
    Lots of statements cannot be verified. So, we fundamentally do not even know if they are true or false. We just believe that they are, or are not. You can trivially make $1 million in fees, if you successfully argue that N=NP is true or is false. We do not care what the answer turns out to be. We just want one. In informal terms, the question is about: Is it always easier to verify a solution than to search for it? So, if you want $1 million dollars paid in complete gratitude, please, tell us the answer.

    You sound like you believe that every proposition is either true or false. That is a simplistic view. The question if every yes/no question has an answer that is either yes or no, is called the David Hilbert's Entscheidungsproblem. The answer is no. There is not always such answer. Worse, most yes/no questions have no answer whatsoever:

    In 1936, Alonzo Church and Alan Turing published independent papers[2] showing that a general solution to the Entscheidungsproblem is impossible.

    Sometimes, both yes and no are the wrong answer to a yes/no question. This issue was famously by Bertrand Russell in the notorious Russell's paradox: Does the set that contains all sets that do not contain themselves, contain itself? yes --> wrong, no --> also wrong. This paradox has caused one of the worst foundational crises in mathematics. It obliterated the credibility of the then dominant axiomatization in mathematics: naive set theory. The foundations of math are still in crisis. They are a mess. They are known to be impredicative.

    In that sense, determining if a proposition is true, is quite often far-fetched, or even completely unattainable, or even fundamentally impossible. That is why I recommend in that case to check instead if it is useful to believe that proposition. If believing it, is useful, then you should feel free to believe it.

    Quote Originally Posted by karkooshy View Post
    Are you a Muslim?
    In one way, I certainly am. I believe that the Islamic theory as it axiomatically rests on the Quran and its interpretation in the Sunnah, is a very powerful idea, possibly even the most powerful on earth. So, I am fascinated with this very interesting abstract object. I am mostly here in this forum to pick up more vocabulary and terms, because the original language of the theory is Arabic. I can see why the precise use of these terms is indeed a requirement.

    In another way, you can clearly sense that I did not grow up in Islam. I am very much a latecomer to the table. It never drew my attention, until the more open conflict started in the West around 15 years ago. The majority of unbelievers were incessantly criticizing it. So, I really had to take a look at it. I felt that I had to know what it was about. The critics of Islam do not stand a chance, because their own alternatives, Christianity and atheism, are known to be unusable.

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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    In one way, I certainly am. I believe that the Islamic theory as it axiomatically rests on the Quran and its interpretation in the Sunnah, is a very powerful idea, possibly even the most powerful on earth. So, I am fascinated with this very interesting abstract object. I am mostly here in this forum to pick up more vocabulary and terms, because the original language of the theory is Arabic. I can see why the precise use of these terms is indeed a requirement.
    .
    Do you pray ? If not , are you willing to learn? Because you should pray , and it should be in accordance with the Prophetic methodology (saws)

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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by AmantuBillahi View Post
    Do you pray ? If not , are you willing to learn? Because you should pray , and it should be in accordance with the Prophetic methodology (saws)
    I pray, yes, and I sometimes watch a video of how other people are praying, but I can tell you that proper salat is still a problem. I don't even know what they are saying while they are praying. So, I just improvise and think to myself that I must probably be saying something similar. I understand the importance of salat, zakat, and ramadan. I am urgently fixing these problems. It is really a process, rather than a one-off task. Some things can be explained by background and history. I am so familiar with sitting in a Christian cathedral and listening to an organ playing Bach. I was not raised as an atheist. So, in that sense, I am not a blank slate. This is one reason why I am looking to move to a place where I can find English-speaking Muslims, short of going back to the West, which I really do not want. The Muslim minority here speak a language than nobody else understands, and they understandably keep clear from strangers, even from Muslim foreigners. I completely understand their point of view that foreigners only mean trouble to them, because that bit is even true. Western NGOs are impatiently trying to infiltrate these communities, to denounce their religion and their marriage practices, teach feminism, look down on their traditions, and generally destroy their community. The western NGOs are totally failing because these Muslims really do not trust them for anything at all, and they are totally right about that. I do not insist on joining too much with them, because the very principle of letting outsiders just join them like that, is too dangerous for them. I help them much better by agreeing that they should keep out outsiders, than by trying to shoehorn myself in anyway.

  14. #14
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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    I pray, yes, and I sometimes watch a video of how other people are praying, but I can tell you that proper salat is still a problem. I don't even know what they are saying while they are praying. So, I just improvise and think to myself that I must probably be saying something similar. I understand the importance of salat, zakat, and ramadan. I am urgently fixing these problems. It is really a process, rather than a one-off task. Some things can be explained by background and history. I am so familiar with sitting in a Christian cathedral and listening to an organ playing Bach. I was not raised as an atheist. So, in that sense, I am not a blank slate. This is one reason why I am looking to move to a place where I can find English-speaking Muslims, short of going back to the West, which I really do not want. The Muslim minority here speak a language than nobody else understands, and they understandably keep clear from strangers, even from Muslim foreigners. I completely understand their point of view that foreigners only mean trouble to them, because that bit is even true. Western NGOs are impatiently trying to infiltrate these communities, to denounce their religion and their marriage practices, teach feminism, look down on their traditions, and generally destroy their community. The western NGOs are totally failing because these Muslims really do not trust them for anything at all, and they are totally right about that. I do not insist on joining too much with them, because the very principle of letting outsiders just join them like that, is too dangerous for them. I help them much better by agreeing that they should keep out outsiders, than by trying to shoehorn myself in anyway.
    That's great man. Your story is interesting , alhamdulillah that you have been guided to Islam.

    Most of us do not know the what is being recited , other than what we have memorized ourselves. It's not necessary to know what the Arabic means but reciting Chapter 1 ( Fatihah ) is mandatory for the Prayer to be accepted. I am sure you know the steps and basic requirements. There are tons of stuff online and also transliterations of the Arabic being recited.

    You really only need to memorize two chapters for now if you have not. Fatihah (1) and Ikhlas (112) are great for starters , if you have not already.

    The prayer is the foundation. Without it you will go astray , in either one way or another. If you need any help , or links on resources feel free to ask.

    May Allah bless you and guide us all.

  15. #15
    Senior Member karkooshy's Avatar
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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    You see, you may think that it is a strange strategy, but I start by assuming that people are telling me the truth. Only when they dangerously contradict themselves, I will start doubting what they say. So, no, the default for me is that people are not lying, even if they could be.
    This is my approach as well. I reckon it’s the approach of most people too. But just because you assume someone is telling the truth, doesn’t mean they actually are. That may be a useful assumption, but it is not knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    Lots of statements cannot be verified. So, we fundamentally do not even know if they are true or false.
    It is not necessary to verify the truth of all propositions in order to determine whether they’re true or not. Some propositions, namely axioms, are self-evidently true. We know they are true, without needing to prove them as such.

    If every statement required a proof, then knowledge would not have been attainable. A statement would depend on its proof, this proof would depend on another proof, the proof of the proof would depend on a third proof… etc. ad infinitum. Entailing an infinite number of requirements before any knowledge could be attained. And an infinite number of requirements cannot be satisfied. Thus, if a proof were required for every proposition, it would be impossible to know anything. However, since knowledge is a reality (i.e. we really do know things), this in of itself is proof for the existence of propositions that do not require proof for their truth to be established.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    You sound like you believe that every proposition is either true or false. That is a simplistic view.
    For us, a proposition involves affirming one thing to another, or negating it from it. Given how we define ‘proposition’, every proposition is answered with either “true” or “false”. If a statement is not answered with either a “true” or “false”, then it isn’t a proposition.

    Mathematicians and Computer Scientists invent multi-valued logics to solve their own problems. This does not concern us in the real world. In the real world, a proposition and its negation are collectively exhaustive. Either God exists or He doesn’t, there is no third alternative. Either God is One or He isn’t, there is no third alternative. Either Muhammed ﷺ is a Prophet or he isn’t, there is no third alternative. And we claim as Muslims, that there are decisive answers to all of the above. Meaning: we can prove that God exists, that He is One, and that Muhammed ﷺ is His messenger.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    In that sense, determining if a proposition is true, is quite often far-fetched, or even completely unattainable, or even fundamentally impossible.
    If it is impossible to determine whether or not a proposition is true, then that means you cannot know if it’s true or not. You can assume it’s true if that benefits you, but such an assumption is not knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by pronorah View Post
    In one way, I certainly am. I believe that the Islamic theory as it axiomatically rests on the Quran and its interpretation in the Sunnah, is a very powerful idea, possibly even the most powerful on earth. So, I am fascinated with this very interesting abstract object. I am mostly here in this forum to pick up more vocabulary and terms, because the original language of the theory is Arabic. I can see why the precise use of these terms is indeed a requirement.
    Alhamdulilah.

    In that case, I would advise you to be more mindful of the language you use when dealing with such delicate subjects. Claiming that you don’t care whether or not God exists is not befitting of a Muslim.

  16. #16
    New Member blacklimousine's Avatar
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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    I believe everything is real. Seeing is believing. In our dreams we "see" into a parallel universe - most likely - in fact; I'm 99% sure about this. Which gives me reason to have faith. It is natural to have faith.

    I also believe in the phrase "as above, so below." which (I) believe means that what is occurring on the "astral plane" is affecting the gravitational energies on earth. The astrophysics of the planets aligning, shining etc. are most certainly having an effect on everything from physics, medicine to tying your shoes in the morning. The sad, but reality of the situation is that the only thing us humans can understand on earth is geometry and physics. This is a concept, a structure for us to materialize and branch out from.

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    Re: On Sophistry and Physics

    Quote Originally Posted by blacklimousine View Post
    I believe everything is real. Seeing is believing. In our dreams we "see" into a parallel universe - most likely - in fact; I'm 99% sure about this. Which gives me reason to have faith. It is natural to have faith.

    I also believe in the phrase "as above, so below." which (I) believe means that what is occurring on the "astral plane" is affecting the gravitational energies on earth. The astrophysics of the planets aligning, shining etc. are most certainly having an effect on everything from physics, medicine to tying your shoes in the morning. The sad, but reality of the situation is that the only thing us humans can understand on earth is geometry and physics. This is a concept, a structure for us to materialize and branch out from.
    I know that the truth will never be truly visible to me.

    Tarski's undefinability theorem says that arithmetical truth cannot be defined in arithmetic. At best, the truth about anything in first-order arithmetic, can be defined in second-order arithmetic. Conversely, the truth of the universe can impossibly be defined inside the universe. It can only be defined outside the universe, in a second-order universality.

    Therefore, what you can see, can impossible be truly important. If something is truly important, you will not be able to see it. Therefore, with your visual approach, you can only be focusing on things that do not matter.

 

 

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