Archive for June 15th, 2012

June 15th, 2012

WK Clifford’s “Ethics of Belief”

by Max Andrews

W.K. Clifford summarized this deontic model of rationality when he stated, “it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.  If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind… the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.”[1] Clifford gives the scenario of a seafaring ship and the ship owner’s knowledge of the integrity of the ship.  In Clifford’s alternated ending the ship owner is responsible or equally guilty for the shipwreck even though it never happened.  The reason why he’s responsible is because he knew that that’s what could have happened.

The deontic aspect of belief and knowledge is not so much how one forms a belief but rather what that belief is.  This ethic on pertains to what the belief is and how it measures to the evidence.  The justificatory means is peripheral as long as the belief corresponds to reality.  Initially, this seems an untenable position assuming that it may be possible to know the objective truth about all of reality.  In order for one to be justified and to have knowledge without being at fault ethically the belief must be congruent to the evidence.  This allows for reasonable accountability and correction of one’s beliefs and it permits the advancement of knowledge, to learn, and paradigm shifts.

June 15th, 2012

A Third Exception to the BVG Theorem

by Max Andrews

The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem states that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater 1 that system had to have a finite beginning. This would apply in any multiverse scenario as well.  There are four exceptions to the theorem.*

For a greater context please see the first exception to the BVG theorem, which is Initial Contraction (Havg<0).

The third exception: Infinite Cyclicity (Havg=0)

Example: Baum-Frampton “phantom bounce”

These models suggest that the universe goes through a cycle in which it grows from zero (or non-zero) size to a maximum and then contracts back to its starting condition.  The average expansion rate would be a pure zero.