Fordama wrote:This is where you jump the shark. There's no better reason to think that we won't come to an understanding than to claim that we absolutely will. To me that is simply a product of lifelong religious indoctrination that we cannot understand all the mysteries of the universe because we can't understand (insert your deity here) is beyond our comprehension.
We may never understand all these so-called mysteries that you speak of. There's a good chance we'll fry ourselves first. However, we cannot simply state that we'll never know. We can, however, see the destructiveness of the idea that we'll never know. It's intellectual defeatism, for if we can't know, we might as well not try.
As far as the discussion of mathematics has gone in this thread--it is a large debate as to whether we "discover" mathematics or we "invented" mathematics. I've never been able to come down on one side or the other.
You know, Fordama, there are two ways of approaching a debate, especially one that has defied resolution as long as this one has.
First, you can assume that your opponent - let's say, just for example, someone with academic degrees in science from three universities, a minor in philosophy, a forty-year familiarity with science as a profession and a published scientific author with a hobby of reading physics and cosmology - has actually thought through his position and has a rational basis for his conclusions, or
Second, that his opinions are simply "a product of lifelong religious indoctrination" by the "they" that you previously stated have over the centuries foisted religion upon the ignorant so as to manipulate them.
I imagine that the latter is emotionally more satisfying than the former. I tend to side with Goethe, who stated that "With knowledge comes doubt
At a rate, by the same token there is no better reason to think that we will come to a total understanding of the Earth's than that we will not. You consider my position intellectual defeatism, I consider yours intellectual hubris.
Just because you don't expect to discover everything does not imply that you should not continue to investigate. At some point you will reach your maximum strength, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't continue weightlifting. At some point you will die, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to maintain your health. I disagree with your not seeing the point in trying despite inevitable failure.
There are so many non sequiturs that you seem not to have considered. Assuming that there was a big bang, how can you possibly ever discover what happened to bring it about? There is no available information contained within a singularity.
If - as you seem to believe - things simply "always were", how could you ever prove that? How could you prove that "nothing" preceded the existence of energy and matter? So there is no "why" the universe exists? How could you prove that
If in fact there are multiple other dimensions, how would you prove that? If the best you can do is show that the math is feasible, does that prove that they really exist? Or is it merely "faith" in the infallibility of mathematics?
In my experience almost every scientific discovery creates more questions that it does answers. The more answers you get the more questions are generated based on realities that you never knew existed in the first place. You are entitled to your faith, to believe in the attainment of ultimate and total knowledge and our ability to grasp it even if we stumbled across it. I believe I'll have another drink.......Luca