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Universal Physical and Moral Laws, With No Lawgiver – Video by G. Stolyarov II

Universal Physical and Moral Laws, With No Lawgiver – Video by G. Stolyarov II

The New Renaissance Hat
G. Stolyarov II
May 20, 2015

Mr. Stolyarov endeavors to refute the common argument that any law, be it a physical law or a law of morality or justice, requires a lawgiver – an intelligent entity that brought the law into being. While some laws (termed manmade or positive laws) do indeed have human lawmakers, a much more fundamental class of laws (termed universal or natural laws) arise not due to promulgation by any intelligent being, but rather due to the basic properties of the entities these laws concern, and the relations of those entities to one another. To the extent that positive laws are enacted by humans, the purpose of such positive laws should be reflect and effectuate the beneficial consequences of objectively valid natural laws.


– “Universal Physical and Moral Laws, With No Lawgiver” – Article by G. Stolyarov II –

– Formula for the Universal Law of Gravitation: F = G*m1*m2/r2, with F being the force between two masses, m1 and m2 being the two masses, r being the distance between the centers of the two masses, and G being the universal gravitational constant.

– “Commonly Misunderstood Concepts: Happiness” – Essay by G. Stolyarov II

– “Commonly Misunderstood Concepts: Happiness” – Video by G. Stolyarov II

– “Indiana Pi Bill” – Wikipedia

Universal Physical and Moral Laws, With No Lawgiver – Article by G. Stolyarov II

Universal Physical and Moral Laws, With No Lawgiver – Article by G. Stolyarov II

The New Renaissance Hat
G. Stolyarov II
May 13, 2015

Here I endeavor to refute the common argument that any law, be it a physical law or a law of morality or justice, requires a lawgiver – an intelligent entity that brought the law into being. While some laws (termed manmade or positive laws) do indeed have human lawmakers, a much more fundamental class of laws (termed universal or natural laws) arise not due to promulgation by any intelligent being, but rather due to the basic properties of the entities these laws concern, and the relations of those entities to one another. To the extent that positive laws are enacted by humans, the purpose of such positive laws should be to reflect and effectuate the beneficial consequences of objectively valid natural laws. For instance, it is a natural law that each human being possesses a right to life. A positive law that prohibits and punishes murder of one human being by another would reflect the natural law and therefore be desirable. On the other hand, if any positive law were to mandate murder (as various edicts by tyrannical regimes throughout history, targeting political dissidents or disfavored minority groups, have done), then that positive law would be contrary to the natural law and therefore illegitimate and harmful.

The physical laws of nature pertain to all entities, including humans, and describe the regularities with which these entities will behave within applicable situations. Examples of physical laws include Newton’s Three Laws of Motion, the law of gravitation, the law of conservation of matter and energy, and the law of conservation of momentum. If it is asserted that these laws require a lawgiver, then the lawgiver would hypothetically be able to alter these laws on a whim at any time, thereby depriving them of their universality and predictable application. Such a state of affairs would not only be highly inconvenient (to say the least), but also completely incompatible with the reality that these laws are derived from the nature of entities as they are.

We can draw upon ubiquitous observation and the fact that these laws of nature can indeed be harnessed so precisely that every functional technology ever invented works because it takes advantage of them. The argument that the laws of nature could change tomorrow depends on a false perception of what those laws are – a kind of Platonic view that the laws of nature are superimposed upon the world of objects. In reality, however, objects (entities) and their qualities and relationships are all that exist at the most basic level. The laws of nature are relationships that are derived from the very properties inherent to objects themselves; they are not some higher layer of reality on top of the objects that leads the objects to behave in a certain way. That is, the laws of nature are what they are because the things whose behavior they describe are what they are.

The truth that the laws of nature are a function of the objects whose behavior they describe pertains to fundamental physical laws, such as the law of gravitation. While the law of gravitation and the equation [1] describing that law apply universally, the very existence of the law is dependent on the existence of entities that have mass and therefore exhibit gravitational attraction. Were there no entities or no entities with mass (incidentally, both logically impossible scenarios), then the concept of gravity would not have any relevance or applicability. Likewise, the amount of mass of particular entities and their distance of separation from one another will determine the extent of the gravitational force exerted by those entities upon one another. The gravitational force arises because the entities are as massive as they are and located where they are relative to one another; it does not arise because a supernatural lawgiver imposed it upon entities who would otherwise be completely static or random in their behavior in relation to one another.

The key parallel with the laws of morality is that, as the laws of gravitation stem from the objective properties of entities themselves (i.e., that they have mass – which is a universal property of all entities), so do the laws of morality stem from the objective properties of human beings themselves – namely, the biological and physical prerequisites of human survival and flourishing. Different specific decisions may be the appropriate moral decisions in different contexts, but because of the essential similarities of humans along many key dimensions, certain general moral truths will hold universally for all humans.  But again, were there no humans (or similar rational, sentient, volitional beings) with these essential attributes, the concept of morality would have no relevance.

Neither morality nor gravitation require the existence of entities outside of those exhibiting moral behavior or gravitational attraction. A system of physical or moral laws is not dependent on an outside “lawgiver” but rather on the objective natures of the entities partaking in the system. Objective moral laws include the principles of ethics, which address how a person should behave to maximize possible well-being, as well as the principles of justice, which address how people should relate to one another in respecting one another’s spheres of legitimate action, rewarding meritorious conduct, and punishing destructive conduct against others. There is a natural harmony between adherence to objective moral laws and the attainment of beneficial consequences for one’s own life, material prosperity, and happiness – provided that one adheres to a view of long-term, enlightened, rational self-interest, which does not allow one to sacrifice the lives, liberty, or property of others to achieve a short-term gain.

Some would assert that principles of behavior that tend to maximize well-being and serve one’s rational self-interest may be part of prudent or practical conduct, but are not the same as morality. In the minds of these individuals, morality (typically, in their view, willed by an external lawgiver) is independent of practical means or consequences and often (as, for instance, in Immanuel Kant’s outlook on morality) inherently divorced from actions conducive to self-interest. I, however, strongly reject any notion that there might be a dichotomy between morality and practicality, happiness, or prosperity – when a long-term, enlightened, and multifaceted outlook on the latter conditions is considered. Some might be so short-sighted as to mistake some temporary advantage or fleeting pleasure for true fulfillment or happiness, but the objective cause-and-effect relationships within our physical reality will eventually disappoint them (if they live long enough – and if not, their punishment – death – will be even greater). If some or even many humans might be drawn toward certain pleasurable feelings for their own sake (which is an evolutionary relic of a very different primeval environment inhabited by our ancestors – but a tendency ill-adapted to our current environment), this is not the same as achieving truly sustainable prosperity and happiness by using reason to thrive in our current environment (or to create a better environment for human flourishing). One of the objectives of a good moral system is to guide people toward the latter outcome. My essay and video “Commonly Misunderstood Concepts: Happiness” offer more detailed thoughts on key elements of a life of flourishing and the concept of eudaemonia – the actualization of one’s full potential, as Aristotle and later virtue-oriented philosophers described it.

Objective moral law, derived from the fundamental value of every innocent rational, sentient being’s life, posits an essential harmony of the long-term, enlightened self-interests of all who earnestly pursue truth and goodness. Unlike many proponents of an externally legislated moral framework (for which the alleged lawgiver might be a supernatural being, a single human ruler, or a collective of humans), I would not consider self-sacrifice to be a component of morality. I align more with Ayn Rand’s view of sacrifice as a surrender of a greater value (e.g., one’s life) to a lesser value (e.g., abstractions such as nation-states, religions, or perceived slights from another nation-state or religious or cultural group). A person can behave morally – promoting his own life, respecting the rights of others, and contributing to human flourishing – without ever surrendering anything he values (except as an instrument for obtaining outcomes he might justifiably value more). Morality should therefore not be seen as the subordination of the individual to some higher ideal, be it a divine order or a manmade one. Rather, the individual is the ideal for which moral behavior is the path to fulfillment.

A person who behaves morally advances himself while fully respecting the legitimate prerogatives of others. He improves his own life without damaging anybody else’s. In the process of pursuing enlightened self-interest, he also benefits the lives of others through value-adding interactions. Indeed, he may enter into an extensive network of both formal and informal reciprocal obligations with others that result in his actions being a constant, sustainable source of improvement in others’ lives. The virtue of honesty is part of objective ethics and impels a moral individual to strive to honor all commitments once they have been made. The key to a morality based on objective, natural law, however, is that these obligations be entered into freely and not as a result of the self being compromised in favor of an alleged higher ideal. Consequently, a key component of natural law is the liberty of an individual to evaluate the world in accordance with his rational faculty and to decide which undertakings are consistent with his enlightened self-interest. When positive laws are crafted so as to interfere with that liberty, positive law becomes at odds with natural law, leading to warped incentives, institutionalized sacrifices, and painful tradeoffs that many individuals must make if they seek to abide by both natural and positive laws.

Objective natural laws – both physical and moral – do not require a lawgiver and antecede manmade, positive laws. Some natural laws, however, may require positive laws – such as prohibitions on murder, theft, and slavery – in order for the desirable outcome brought about by the natural laws to be reflected in actual (rather than simply hoped-for) human behavior. In order to improve human well-being, positive laws should be developed to advance and effectuate natural laws, instead of attempting to resist them or contravene them. Just as a law that redefines the value of pi as 3.2 (one actually unsuccessfully attempted in Indiana in 1897) is rightly seen as absurd on its face, even if a majority votes to enact it, and would result in many failed constructions if implemented by engineers and designers of machines, so would a law that abrogates the natural liberty of individuals to peacefully pursue their own flourishing result in damage to good human beings and increases in physical harm, suffering, and injustice. A good human lawmaker should respect pre-existing objective natural laws and not attempt to contradict them.

[1] F = G*m1*m2/r2, with F being the force between two masses, m1 and m2 being the two masses, r being the distance between the centers of the two masses, and G being the universal gravitational constant.

This article may be freely distributed, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which requires that credit be given to the author. See Mr. Stolyarov’s biographical information here.

What Happened Before the Big Bang? The New Philosophy of Cosmology – Article by James B. Wright

What Happened Before the Big Bang? The New Philosophy of Cosmology – Article by James B. Wright

The New Renaissance Hat
James B. Wright
June 3, 2012

In the telephone conversation between Ross Anderson, of Atlantic, and Dr. Tim Maudlin, of NYU, entitled “What Happened before the Big Bang?” I was intrigued by his statement “Physicists for almost a hundred years have been dissuaded from trying to think about fundamental questions.”, and “The asking of fundamental physical questions is just not part of the training of a physicist anymore.”  The result of this training is the furious reaction you get if you suggest to a physicist that the Big Bang is nonsense, as is the Expanding Universe.  But could not the Cosmological Redshift be caused by something other than a Doppler frequency shift?  It could, indeed, but because of the Physicists having accepted space as a pure vacuum they couldn’t find the answer.

And the answer is perfectly logical and not at all complicated.  The scientists have calculated that this space has the characteristics of permeability (µ) and permittivity (ɛ), and that these characteristics determine the speed of light (C), which in turn, determines the wavelengths (λ) of light.  So we set up a test range on the moon (which we suppose to be in a vacuum) with a light transmitter and a light receiver a mile away.  There will be N waves of light at frequency (F) traveling through that one mile of space.  Now, if we imagine that the space around the moon actually contains some sort of medium, and that that medium is becoming slowly more dense causing its µ and ɛ to increase, then C will steadily decrease, λ will gradually shorten, and N will be gradually increase.  Consequently, fewer waves will exit the one mile path than enter it, each second, and the light seen at the receiver will be lower in frequency than the light being transmitted, which is fixed, of course.  Move the receiver two miles away and a similar frequency shift will occur over the second mile, adding in a compound fashion to the first one-mile frequency shift.

So we not only have a redshift but we have a compound redshift, precisely as we observe in the Cosmological Redshift.  Our problem is now to determine what this medium can be, and how it could continually increase in density without becoming bogging down after a while?  But it certainly does change the appearance of our Universe, with the Big Bang and the Expanding Universe being discarded.  Before using the evidence at hand to answer this question it may be helpful to use a philosophy available to us to see what we may be able to find that could be useful.

In her philosophy of objective reality Ayn Rand starts it all off with the axiomatic concepts of Existence, Consciousness, and Identity.  We must exist having a consciousness with which we may identify that which exists.  Miss Rand builds her whole philosophy using these concepts, insisting on causal chains.  I use only Existence (openly) to establish a starting point in the science of Cosmology, here again insisting on causal chains.

“Existence Exists.”, as a self-evident axiom.  Our Earth, our Solar system, the Universe, all exist and have existed for the tens of billions of years that our telescopes reveal.  And, if we rule out any such thing as Creation or Annihilation, Existence must have existed for an eternity past, and will exist for a future eternity.  Similarly, it must extend outward from here to the infinite reaches of space.  It is infinite and eternal, which, of course, rules out any sort of a beginning or an end.  And, now we may re-examine the evidence without the need to make it fit into an Expanding Universe.  We will observe that the Galactic Clusters which fill this Universe in some tens of millions, can be expected to extend outward into an infinite ocean of such clusters.  Nothing new or unusual should be anticipated “out there” that’s not already found within our Universe.  And, our Observable Universe should be seen as a very adequate sample of Existence.

One more conclusion we should draw from our Universe, with its hundreds of billions of stars in more hundreds of billions of galaxies all apparently being burned up.  Unless there were mechanisms at work taking the ashes of these old galaxies and renewing them into new galaxies, we wouldn’t be here asking these questions.  We’d be down some “black hole” somewhere.  And the Galactic Clusters are those mechanisms, scattered as they are throughout the Universe and into the endless ocean of Existence.

Gravity is the universal force, a Prime Mover at work everywhere.  It builds the galactic clusters, starting with two galaxies and growing to perhaps three or four thousand galaxies, drawing in not only the galaxies themselves, but also the gaseous masses within the galaxies and the dark masses within the clusters’ outer boundaries, all moving towards the center-of-gravity for each cluster.  And as these masses are being drawn in from the surface of the cluster towards its center they undergo a continual compression until, in time, the central volume develops into a massive spiral galaxy called a Seyfert.

These masses, the ashes of the thousands of galaxies all being moved in toward the central Seyfert galaxy, causing it to eventually reach the point where its central pressure and temperature becomes critical and a nuclear explosion occurs, and after another 7.5 billion years of growth another explosion occurs, etc., etc.  These explosions expels two quasars in opposite directions, usually at escape velocity, quasars that evolve into normal galaxies (per H. Arp), only to become fuel for the galactic clusters.  This transformation must be 100% efficient, with the Universe (and Existence) appearing essentially as we see it today, for all of eternity.

Pausing at this point, it is helpful to envision these galaxy clusters as they are located in the Universe.  If the Universe has 200 billion galaxies and a galactic cluster has 4 thousand galaxies we may roughly estimate that there are about 50 million such clusters spread homogenously throughout the Universe, each doing its job of galactic renovation in its own locale.  And, of course, this mechanism will be at work throughout all of Existence.  It may also be concluded that there would be about 50 million Seyfert galaxies, one for each mature cluster.

A Gravitational Lens is the result of the formation of a Galactic Cluster.  Ideally, a Galactic Cluster is an sphere with some 4 thousand galaxies and their masses of gas and energy, all being drawn inward toward a center-of-gravity.  At the surface of the sphere one may envision wisps of the various masses, being drawn inward quite slowly.  As these masses move inward their density increases gradually until the cluster reaches the critical mass at the center of its Seyfert.  If we look back at the whole of the sphere we find that we have just described a Luneburg Lens, one that is being perpetually rebuilt as the masses are continually moving inward to the nucleus of the Seyfert.  Then as light moves into the lens from (say) a Quasar far beyond the cluster it is refracted inward to a focal point (the Observer) on the other side of the Lens.  While gravity forms the lens it is the lens that focuses (bends) the light.

But note that the light path through the mass is affected by the constant increase in the density of that mass and undergoes a redshift.  Note also that the mass in the path of the light is constantly being renewed with fresh mass coming in from outside that space as it flows towards the center of the cluster so that there isn’t the problem discussed earlier, of a build up mass.  The Cosmological Redshift remains essentially unaffected.

Attention must be paid to the energy mass that leaves the stars along with the stellar winds.  For the Sun it is reported as being 96% winds and 4% energy.  The discussion now takes up with the planets that surround our Sun that are awash in these Winds and Energy.

In high school we were told that “a moving charge generates a magnet field”, and proceeded to build a solenoid and, by passing a DC electric current (a flow of negative charge) through the turns of wire on the solenoid, made an electromagnet having the usual North and South Poles.  One ampere flowing through each of (say) one thousand turns of wire gave us 1000 ampere-turns.  We also found that this same effect could be envisioned as 1000 amperes flowing through one turn of wire, say using a sheet of copper with a cross section area equivalent to the cross-sectional area of the 1000 turns of wire.  Electrons were the “moving charge”.

Now, suppose we were to imagine the Earth as a single turn solenoid, one that was electrically charged with that charge moving (effective) as a flow around the Earth by its rotation.  We would have our Earth generating an electromagnet!  And, by using the solenoid formula we would be able to determine the size of the charge necessary to give that electromagnet it’s observed 0.4 gauss field strength and, furthermore, by noting where the North and South poles were located we could determine whether that charge was positive or negative.

It turns out that all planets have charges that are a function of their surface area and that, except for the Earth, those charges are all positive.  Knowing that our geologists had determined long ago that the Earth had undergone several pole reversals over time it seemed that the ionosphere was acting as a huge capacitor enveloping the Earth and that it intercepted the positive charge, leaving the Earth’s surface negative.  As the Earth itself rotated, not its ionosphere, the magnetic Poles would be determined by this negative charge and would be opposite that of the other planets.  Periodically a massive Solar Storm would short out this ionospheric capacitor allowing the positive charge to drop to the Earths surface and allowing its magnetic North/South poles to agree with that of the other planets.  [Note that only five of the planets (Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus) had characteristics that allowed their charges to be calculated.]

The fact that all of these planets had positive charges suggested that the Solar Wind must be the source of these charges and must itself be positive.  This, in turn, would suggest that the energy mass leaving the Sun was carrying away the negative charged, in some way, and was perhaps intrinsically negative?

So we now may have a negative energy mass leaving the stars as they burn, and a candidate for the “dark matter” of space.  It also gives us a tangible medium that allows the transmission of electro-magnetic waves (TV, Etc.), and one for a magnetic field as an electro-magnetic warp in the dark matter, as well as the dark mass we “feel” in the galactic rates of rotations.  We don’t know what this dark mass is, any more than we know what gravity is, but we do know some of what these forces do.

We now need the mathematicians and the scientists to try afresh using this new Universe, existing within Existence.  If only they would ask the questions that Tim Maudlin claims they are avoiding.

James Burton Wright writes on physics and philosophy on his blog, Cosmological Musings, utilizing a reason-based, Objectivist approach.