Inspiration physics

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Dr Moore
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Inspiration physics

Post by Dr Moore »

In Mormon theology, (1) inspiration comes through the holy ghost, (2) the holy ghost is spirit, (3) spirit is “more fine” matter.

Is it too big a leap to think that inspiration through the spirit, theoretically, would have to be channeled to the human mind via channels limited by uncertainty and observability principles of quantum physics? Is that implied by the “fine matter” notion?

If that is allowable, then I wonder if these quantum principles should apply.

First, observation alters the signal - no “gentle” way of observing without changing the original information. Secondly, the same inspiration cannot be observed twice, therefore cannot be interrogated by a third party. Third, if the observation system is sloppy (in Joseph’s words, less “pure”), then the observation will he even less true to original intent.

I’m just thinking out loud here. If I haven’t abused the concepts too much, then the Mormon definition of inspiration via holy ghost is inherently a very unreliable system of communication.

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Physics Guy
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Re: Inspiration physics

Post by Physics Guy »

I don't think quantum mechanics is specifically the issue. It's a misconception that measurements not being passive is a specifically quantum principle. It goes back to Newton. Measuring anything is letting it act on some measurement device, and for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

In principle this is always an issue but there's nothing to say that you can't measure one aspect of something while disturbing an aspect of it that doesn't matter to you. Quantum mechanics can even let you do this in a stronger sense than classical mechanics allows. Technically: if the system is an eigenstate of your measured observable then your measurement will not, in fact, alter that state. In that case the measurement can be repeated as many times as you like and will show the same result every time.

Everything physical actually is quantum mechanical, big or small, and the distinctive features of quantum mechanics are just unnoticeable on larger scales. There are ways of sending signals that exploit distinctive features of quantum mechanics, and signals of that kind can be extremely fragile, but ordinary non-fragile signals can also be carried by small quantum systems, and there are even ways of exploiting quantum mechanics to make signals especially robust. Signal fragility is a matter of exactly how you're trying to encode your signal, not of how "fine" the carrier medium is as matter.

So I don't think it really matters whether the Mormon Holy Ghost is such a "fine" form of matter as to show distinctively quantum features. Hopefully the coding strategy used is a robust one.

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Re: Inspiration physics

Post by iwanttotalk »

Obviously god would not create an imperfect method unless he intended it to be imperfect.

Therefore the imperfect transmission of gods will is actually perfect transmission of gods will.

Checkmate physics.

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Physics Guy
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Re: Inspiration physics

Post by Physics Guy »

Hey, that could be another explanation for the EModE.

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huckelberry
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Re: Inspiration physics

Post by huckelberry »

Dr Moore I could not help but read your post as a bit of satire on the idea of inspiration being a fine material thing.

The usual consideration about communication is that the receiver has to create in their own mind an idea of what is intended. that is not only a problem of accuracy of the transmitting code but of the conceptual capacity and limitations of the receiver of the inspiration. No matter how inerrant an original message is the reception is limited by the limits of human individual understanding.

That is what I tell myself anyway when considering the clear lack of inerrancy in scripture. I do not think God had any intention of inspiring inerrant scripture. We are presented with questions and problems instead.

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Dr Moore
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Re: Inspiration physics

Post by Dr Moore »

Yes that is partly the point. Fallibility is known, and appears to be assured. This was another way of viewing that fallibility.

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Re: Inspiration physics

Post by Analytics »

Doesn't this issue generalize to spirits in general?

Is there a spirit in our body that somehow interfaces with our physical body to create a sense of self and somehow be a part of the process of thinking and remembering? When you come "near" death, is it possible for this spirit to literally leave the body? If so, what does that even mean? If a spirit is hovering above its body, how does it see without eyes, hear without ears, and think without a brain?

Science fiction geeks will point out that if an invisibility cloak is somehow developed, one of its necessary features is that whoever or whatever is underneath the cloak will not only be invisible, but will also be blind. There can be no such thing as an invisible eye--seeing necessarily involves capturing light waves, which is the definition of being visible.

The same principle applies to spirits; if there was a spirit floating above a patient in cardiac arrest that is looking down and seeing himself, then in principle we should be able to see the spirit, or at least the parts of the spirit corresponding to its lens and retina. But if spirits seeing doesn't entail focusing light rays onto a retina in the way that real-life seeing does, then what does it mean to see?

Mainstream science has very good reasons to believe that if spiritual entities existed and somehow interfaced or communicated with our brains, we would have discovered it by now. In contrast, proponents of spirits and NDEs haven't even begun to come up with a hypothesis of what spirit stuff and spirit energy are, much less one that is plausible and supported by a tad of evidence.

Having said all that, what is this conversation about? I presume we are assuming that what Joseph Smith taught about spirits is real, and we are continuing his tradition of making stuff up to add color and life to the speculations.
It’s relatively easy to agree that only Homo sapiens can speak about things that don’t really exist, and believe six impossible things before breakfast. You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

-Yuval Noah Harari

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Re: Inspiration physics

Post by huckelberry »

Analytics, your post jogged lose a thought I have not considered for some time. I should clarify that I think Joseph Smiths theory that spirit is extra fine matter is not very useful.

The observation that physical investigation, science, has found no indication of a spirit separate from our physical bodies fits with the internal observation that my awareness is all linked up with physical processes. All sorts of physical changes, fatigue,sleep, exercise, food, lack of food, sugar, caffeine,drugs,natural body chemicals all directly affect my thinking and awareness. It appears that if my consciousness is some spirit it is related in complete parallel with my bodies physical functioning. I normally think it is easier to think my spirit ist is the bodies activities themselves.

Some years ago I read through a portion of Aquinas writing dealing with angels. He went through an extended theory that angels see only through directly receiving knowledge from God. They had no independent eyes at all. At the time I felt that a quirky idea, perhaps emotionally odd. Today thinking of your invisibility problem I thought perhaps our spirits are like those angels. They are independent of our bodies only in the mind of God and are invisible because if separate from the body their perception is completely independent of light or other physical interaction.

For Aquinas this led to the problem of Angelic movement and then to that ever fascinating problem of angels on a pinhead. Well that last detail has probably fascinated only a few people. After first finding it weird I have found this bit of theory of angels a model for how I can think of human spirits.

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Re: Inspiration physics

Post by Gadianton »

In Mormon theology, (1) inspiration comes through the holy ghost, (2) the holy ghost is spirit, (3) spirit is “more fine” matter.
Don't let DCP see that. He believes "reductive materialism" is a distinctly an atheistic doctrine, and at once equates with nihilism.
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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