[2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Blame Quintushalls for this.

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[2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby HikaruYami » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:23 pm

... that has nothing to do with whether or not God exists.

Why does prayer have to travel at the speed of light? That's what this comic is assuming happens by default, and not just the praying dude, but also the people the inscribed his tombstone. You can't just assert that it must be traveling at the speed of the electromagnetic waves generated by neural electric currents, because those are dissipated to nothing within earth's atmosphere.

Even predicating on the fact that prayers can travel through space and God exists, if prayer travels instead at the speed of sound, or maybe, say, mach 20 (the speed of a certain character in a certain manga), then he could still be much, much less than 1 light year away from "his maker", not certainly "a minimum of 40 lightyears away".

Edited to include link to http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3542#comic
Last edited by HikaruYami on Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby GUTCHUCKER » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:45 pm

comic
Probably because prayers to god are supposed to be instantaneous. The man has decided that information cannot travel instantaneously, and has decided that it must be the next best thing: the maximum possible speed. It's just a stupid comic, it doesn't have to make sense.
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby HikaruYami » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:38 am

The reason prayers are supposed to be instantaneous is not that they are supposed to travel an infinitely far distance arbitrarily quickly, but because God is supposed to be omnipresent, ie, inside of your brain. Physicists that believe in God do not believe that prayers travel faster than light.
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby Talono » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:26 am

The REAL fallacy here is "minimum of 40 lightyears away."

Since it would take a certain amount of light years to reach God, it would take an almost equal amount of years to get the answer back to the man -- with the assumption that god requires no time to think of a response; therefore, the distance to god can only definitively said to be c/2 lightyears, where c is the amount of time (in years) between the prayer being said and god's answer reaching the man.

Because the man in this scenario did not get his answer, the the definitive distance minimum distance to God cannot be said to be one half of the distance traveled by light in 80 years (which would be 40 lightyears). The real definitive minimum distance to god is actually one half of the distance traveled by light in 80 years minus an arbitrarily small moment of time.
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:15 am

HikaruYami wrote:The reason prayers are supposed to be instantaneous is not that they are supposed to travel an infinitely far distance arbitrarily quickly, but because God is supposed to be omnipresent, ie, inside of your brain. Physicists that believe in God do not believe that prayers travel faster than light.



No, most physicists that believe in God probably don't believe ascribing a rate of travel time for prayer to even be meaningful, but this is a joke.
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby Kaharz » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:48 am

GUTCHUCKER wrote: It's just a stupid comic, it doesn't have to make sense.


Clearly you haven't been reading LCD enough or you would know by now that everything has to be completely rational and accurate within the bounds of current scientific understanding. If we don't squash this kind of nonsense now who knows what kind of insanity we could end up with. People might start writing whole books that are entirely fantastic works of fiction.
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby GUTCHUCKER » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:20 pm

That would be just terrible.
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby dangerkeith300 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:45 pm

Talono wrote:The real definitive minimum distance to god is actually one half of the distance traveled by light in 80 years minus an arbitrarily small moment of time.


I know that time and space are related, but you are defining the minimum distance in terms of both lightyears (an actual well-defined distance) and in terms of time itself (the italized part of the quote). Can you redeifine the second part in terms of distance? It's tough to wrap my head around distance measured in units of time.

Also, if god is omnipotent and so we assume he needs zero time to think about the prayer and respond, wouldn't that second term defined by time be removed completely?
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby DonRetrasado » Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:01 am

Kaharz wrote:
GUTCHUCKER wrote: It's just a stupid comic, it doesn't have to make sense.


Clearly you haven't been reading LCD enough or you would know by now that everything has to be completely rational and accurate within the bounds of current scientific understanding. If we don't squash this kind of nonsense now who knows what kind of insanity we could end up with. People might start writing whole books that are entirely fantastic works of fiction.

You missed one caveat, everything has to be within the bounds of science unless they are social sciences because dumb nerds don't understand the social sciences.
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby GUTCHUCKER » Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:41 am

"BUT I'M NOT BITTER."
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby Casey » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:55 am

Oh is that a gal I see or just a fallacy~
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby randomAnon » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:55 pm

God is also supposed to be omniscent, thus, he would know the pray immediately regardless of time or space. Then there's of course the distance/time being meaningless to an omnipotent God.

Then there's the question of which God the man worships. Who said anything about it being the Abrahamic one?
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby Carthaginian stuck in 2014 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:09 am

But they didn't assume that prayers travel at c. He merely stated that information can't travel faster than c. So, assuming that light does travel at c, the man died 80 years after he started waiting for a response, hence the "40 light-years" line. Assuming prayers travel at a speed less than c, it would take more time for god to hear the prayer, hence, "minimum". So the science checks out. We're assuming that since information can't travel faster than the speed of light, then if god was one light year away from us it should take us 2 light years to hear a response. It's basic time domain reflectometry.

The real fallacy, however, is assuming that God would dignify our prayers with a response, or that God can answer questions instantaneously. What if you had a real hard-hitting question? God can't just say whatever he felt. He has to think of a cunning response.

It's things like this that make me wish I was back in Zama.
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby Guest » Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:03 pm

Carthaginian stuck in 2014 wrote:But they didn't assume that prayers travel at c. He merely stated that information can't travel faster than c. So, assuming that light does travel at c, the man died 80 years after he started waiting for a response, hence the "40 light-years" line. Assuming prayers travel at a speed less than c, it would take more time for god to hear the prayer, hence, "minimum". So the science checks out.


No, you're incorrect. "Minimum" is because there was no response, so it could have been further assuming the infrmation traveled at c. However, assume the information traveled at only 1% of the speed of light. Then God wouldn't even have to be 1 light year away. If it was a "minimum" in time your reasoning would be correct, but it's a minimum in distance extrapolated from the time, so it's untrue.
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Re: [2014-11-13] There's a fallacy in today's comic...

Postby Carthaginian stuck in 2014 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:27 am

Guest wrote:
Carthaginian stuck in 2014 wrote:But they didn't assume that prayers travel at c. He merely stated that information can't travel faster than c. So, assuming that light does travel at c, the man died 80 years after he started waiting for a response, hence the "40 light-years" line. Assuming prayers travel at a speed less than c, it would take more time for god to hear the prayer, hence, "minimum". So the science checks out.


No, you're incorrect. "Minimum" is because there was no response, so it could have been further assuming the infrmation traveled at c. However, assume the information traveled at only 1% of the speed of light. Then God wouldn't even have to be 1 light year away. If it was a "minimum" in time your reasoning would be correct, but it's a minimum in distance extrapolated from the time, so it's untrue.


I never thought of it that way. If I ever get back to Carthage I'm going to tell all my Punic friends about this. Wait til Tagaste hears about this!
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