the nature of reality
This essay will be broken down into a sequence of statements and their opposites, implications, and related tests. All relevant concepts will be considered.
We exist: no one can ever actually prove this; in science, it's usually easier to disprove something; we can provide circumstantial evidence/arguments that we exist; if you're dreaming, you can pinch yourself and actually feel pain - so that test fails to reliably prove 'you're not dreaming'; in much the same way, we have no direct proof what we see around us, including all our experiences, is not some elaborate dream.
We don't exist: this is a dream/nightmare, depending on your perspective; this is all shared delusion; we're just 'the stuff of dreams' - illusory, fragile, wisps of smoke,..; there's nothing substantial to our reality; it's all just some big complex fantasy; the fact our universe appears consistent and precise in physical laws means nothing - those phenomena could be simulated; we could be living inside a giant virtual reality simulation. There's no direct proof either way.
God exists: as with our existence, there's circumstantial evidence God exists; there's no direct proof, yet; in mathematics, a proof by contradiction entails the following: if you can exclude all reasonable alternatives leaving one, you are left with that idea/concept; this process of elimination can be used as a proof God exists in the following way: if all cosmological theories that don't depend on God are proven incorrect, that only leaves those that do. If God exists, It interacts with Its creation or It does not - there's no middle ground. If God exists, It's a 'social creature' or It's not - there's no middle ground. Both statements are somewhat equivalent. If God exists, It's a form of life; God is living. In our observations of life, we notice that organisms are largely social, they interact with other organisms, so if God exists, God interacts with us.
God doesn't exist: we cannot prove God doesn't exist - much like we cannot prove our own existence; some use the argument: there's suffering, if God existed, we wouldn't suffer, so God doesn't exist; but this argument is flawed: i argue suffering is largely caused by ignorance; when human civilization started, times were tough, we were just beginning to learn about agriculture and medicine; before civilization, times were even tougher - drought, disease, and natural disasters threatened to wipe humanity out; at times, the species 'hung by a thread' just barely subsisting; but what really threatened us? Those environmental influences or our own ignorance? If neanderthal man had machine guns and the knowledge to use them, we might look totally different than 'modern human'. We had to learn how to make machine guns, we had to learn how to cure diseases, we had to learn how to mitigate natural disasters,.. The other side of the argument: if everything was easy for us, our population would instantly explode and we'd quickly ruin Earth's resources - squandering them on our multitudes - effectively burning humanity out. So struggle is just as necessary - as suffering is due to ignorance. God did not create suffering; God did not create struggle. We suffer because we're stupid; we struggle because we need something to overcome.
God cares about us: Christians would say God "gave his only son for our sins because He loves us so much"; i see this as Christian propaganda and manipulation; other religions are just as guilty; no one religion owns a trademark on God; no one religion can claim special relationship to God; the lighter side of Christianity claims "God is love" which is closer to reality in my estimation; if God exists, God interacts with us; if God interacts, it can only be in positive ways; if God was capricious or tyrannical, we'd quickly depose Him/Her and they'd deserve it; 'interact in positive ways' is equivalent to caring so God cares about us.
God's indifferent toward us: basically disproved above. The only weak link above is about deposing a tyrannical/capricious God. If God exists, They're omnipotent, by definition, so it would be 'difficult at best' to depose a tyrannical/capricious God (if not impossible). But evidence indicates 'the God of the desert', Jehovah, is not actually 'the God of love' we've come to know in more recent times.. Jehovah may have been a manipulative evil entity (otherwise known as Satan) pretending to be God for all we know.. Or Jehovah (and the like) may have been a product of our superstitions (combined with Jewish ethnocentrism) as we evolved toward a more balanced civilization.
Spacetime is causal: there's no circumstantial evidence spacetime is acausal; there's no direct proof it's causal but all things indicate it; causal spacetime has its roots in causal time; if we could violate causality, this would be equivalent to backwards time travel or reversing the arrow of time; there's no circumstantial nor theoretical evidence for backwards time travel or reversing the arrow of time.
Spacetime is acausal: all things indicate it is not.
Spacetime is continuous: essentially this means a smooth variation from one point to another; the classical assumption is that it is but modern quantum mechanics has some theoretical indications it may not be; space may be discrete/cellular; time may be discrete; John Ashmead has looked into this formally and has proposed some interesting 'tests of time' which relate directly to this concept.
Spacetime is discrete: as mentioned above, there are some theoretical indications it may be.
Black holes are important: string theory insists they are because of the more recent development called 'the holographic principle' which declares spacetime is holographic - a mere projection of information contained on the boundary of our universe; this idea is testable; at Fermilab, they are building the Holometer experiment which should be able to detect 'holographic noise'; there could be other explanations for any detected noise however.
Black holes are unimportant: i contend they're nothing more than heavy neutron stars with escape velocities exceeding the speed of light; no big deal.
Photons are random wave packets: this fits conventional theory but does not explain many things we observe: radiometer spin, Hubble Deep Field photon trajectories, photomultiplier tubes, and circularly polarized beams producing torque; they do satisfy the double-slit experiment but this in itself - does not imply inherent randomness is correct.
Photons are electromagnetic-temporal wavelets: explains double-slit phenomena deterministically; explains why photons can interact with extreme gravity - gravitational lensing; explains all deterministic features mentioned above; explains reflection and refraction; explains the Faraday effect; explains differential speed of light in various media; helps us understand absorption and emission better than the model above.
e-m is mediated by virtual photons: fits conventional theory; first derived in complete form by Feynman as QED, quantum electrodynamics; QED is 'worded' in QFT, quantum field theory; widely accepted as the 'most successful theory ever developed', QED may be successful because it may mimic some underlying reality suggested below.
e-m is mediated by real charged antiphotons: in a balanced curvature framework, photons have very slight positive curvature and so antiphotons have very slight negative curvature; the most significant difference, other than curvature, is that some antiphotons carry charge; in this way, they mediate electromagnetism; the theory is testable: near stars, such as our Sun, or near nuclear fission reactors, we should be able to measure a statistical difference say - in pumping dye lasers, the number of pumps required for the system to lase; larger quantities of photons produced imply larger quantities of antiphotons produced which implies electromagnetism should be measurably stronger near stars and fission reactors; balanced curvature assumes: every time a photon is absorbed, so's an antiphoton; every time a photon is produced/emitted, so's an antiphoton.
Spacetime is at least 11D: required by string theory; this is the best conventional competitor to conventional inflation; string theory proposes colliding branes caused the 'big bang'; inflation proposes a 'different kind of physics' operating during inflation causing a rapid expansion of our early universe; both are suspect from a classical perspective since spacetime does not appear to be 11D and 'different physics' is not evident or provable experimentally.
Spacetime is at most 5D: quite recently i've proposed spacetime may simply be 3D+1 where time curves into space; this is a novel development in the theory and so i need time to 'think about it'; the time dimension has some 'fantastical' attributes (as likely labeled by convention): is causal, as required by chemistry/life, has impedance, as in the impedance of space/media, has elasticity, as the previously labeled elasticity of space, and can be twisted directionally, such as with Lense-Thirring; in the development of the theory, 'demoting' gravitation to be an aspect of curved time and the following assignments to time, were a result of a simplification in perspective; it was not so much 'loading time with qualities' as - seeing the commonalities among phenomena; elasticity determines the period between mechanical events; impedance determines the period between electromagnetic events; spacetime may be 3D+1.
Free will: meaningless to conventionalists examining superdeterminism; the alternatives mentioned above are valid only within a deterministic framework; they are plausible and i've written theoretical physicists about them; one responded: "frame your ideas in QFT and I'll look at them" but QFT is based on virtual exchange which does not jive with the alternative; so i wrote them again asking for help developing the theory specifically without QFT.. My point is, they can always choose to help or not to help; they always have a choice regardless of what kind of universe we live in.. If that ain't free will, what is?