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where is your proof that God does not exist?

You sound pretty self righteous. Talking down to someone as if you have all the definite answers.

Do you find great hope in the fact there is no God? Or do you consider hope a desire of man that must be quelled? Or is hope for the fools who need help[ growing old without a nervous breakdown?

As you said God created man from the dust of the earth. True and with that great creation than all the things man has made would not be. To simply imply that man is a great creation without having a created source is foolishness on your part. To also say that man has created better things than God doesn't say to me that you don't believe that God could possibly exist; is says to me that God exists and you prefer to find a way around that fact and look to your self for all the answers.

Answers to what? What are the questions that so desperately drive you to defend that there is no God. People who search for truth and find more solace in the search than in the actual finding are what is refered to as being lost.

I am not ungrateful for the comforts I may have. It sounds to me more like you have taken for granted the freedom you possess. You use your freedom for treating people as if they are less than you. You take your freedom and pursue your pleasures of logic and self serving attitudes. You calling me a fool only makes you look more like the fool.

You don;t believe in God then fine I will not try and persuade you. Just do your research first before you make up your mind totally. Read arguments from both sides and not just from atheist writers or objecitivist or buddhists. they all believe in themselves. Read some guys like C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaefer, G.K. Chesteron, Ravi Zachariais. Check them out. Peace :

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where is your proof that God does not exist?

Where's yours that God does exist? The burden of proof is on whoever asserts something's existence.

Do you find great hope in the fact there is no God?  Or do you consider hope a desire of man that must be quelled? Or is hope for the fools who need help[ growing old without a nervous breakdown?
I find hope in the fact that reality is knowable, that things make sense, and that I can make sense of things. Proceeding on that premise I have accomplished so much that it gives me even more hope for the future.

As for growing old, I'm 60 and have been an atheist all my adult life. Life has been wonderful, I'm no fool, and I am nowhere near having a nervous breakdown. If life here on earth is all there is -- and I have no reason to believe otherwise -- I am more than overjoyed with what that is.

You don't believe in God then fine I will not try and persuade you.  Just do your research first before you make up your mind totally.  Read arguments from both sides and not just from atheist writers or objecitivist  or buddhists.  they all believe in themselves.  Read some guys like C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaefer, G.K. Chesteron, Ravi Zachariais.  Check them out.  Peace :

You left out the best. Aquinas made better arguments for the existence of God than anyone else. His arguments can all be disproved, but he tried to appeal to reason rather than faith.

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disproved? Okay tell me the proof of God's non-existence.

as for the list of authors I mentioned they all appeal to reason.

Reality is knowable of course. So now what is next? We know that we can know reality. But where does this ability to 'know' come from? Where does our ability to reason come from?

You call yourself an atheist but why? Do you need to belong to something. A group of others such as yourself? Did you disbelieve because you saw how some christians behaved wickedly and you used that as proof that God does not exist?

You implied you became an atheist as an adult. I am curious as to how you chose to be an atheist.

Appeal to my reason.

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Guest jrshep
Where's yours that God does exist? The burden of proof is on whoever asserts something's existence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Okay tell me the proof of God's non-existence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

LOL. Good luck, Betsy!

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Reality is knowable of course.  So now what is next?  We know that we can know reality.  But where does this ability to 'know' come from? Where does our ability to reason come from?

It comes from being the kind of creatures we are. Abilities are potentialities for action which come from the nature of the entities which act.

You call yourself an atheist but why?  Do you need to belong to something. 
I can live without it, but given a group of people who share my important values, it can be very nice at times.

A group of others such as yourself? 

I have to share important values with others to feel close to them.

Did you disbelieve because you saw how some christians behaved wickedly and you used that as proof that God does not exist?

No. If you asked me when I was 17 if I believed in God, I would have said, "Yeah. Sure. Why not?" Then one day when I was 18 I asked myself WHY I believed in God and I didn't have a good reason, so I have considered myself an atheist ever since.

Now it's your turn Mook. Why do YOU believe in God and why is the matter IMPORTANT to you?

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I may not have allthe great arguments for God's existence all mapped out and ready for a great debate, but I do believe because I have witnessed God move in many people's lives including mine. I know this may sound a little wierd or hard to believe and I know that many who read this may have great explainations ass to why I am full of crap; but I have seen people healed. I have been one of those people. My kidneys were hurting and I was prayed for and i was healed.

Not only that, which with some people that would be enough, I needed to know more. My search led me on a road away from finding God. I ended up in drugs and the like all the while searching for truth and answers. From my lifestyle I realised I was becoming more of a untrustworthy person. I was prone to lying more and manipulating and just plain not a cool guy. When that moment of realisation came I found salvation in God. He gave me grace to move on and change. Now of course you might say that we can make these changes without recognizing God. Buddhists say this quite often that we can save ourselves. But I am not a machine. I am a personal creature who was created by a personal God and He gave me all that I have amd all that I am. In God is the source of all our "abilities for potentialities for action". We see the evidence of God everyday in the things he has made. Yet As I did before I looked right past all the obvious truths and tried to find truth within myself. But my journey has always led me right back to the source. I guess that is why God is so important to me. All of life traces back to God as creator and animator.

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I know this may sound a little wierd or hard to believe and I know that many who read this may have great explainations ass to why I am full of crap; but I have seen people healed.  I have been one of those people.  My kidneys were hurting and I was prayed for and i was healed.

Sounds like you've solved the medical problem of the ages. I'm curious why you and all those "prayers" aren't out there now en masse curing disease? For one thing, if you were inclined to, you could make a fortune. In any event, someone by now would have pursued this for its money-making potential (other than just huckster evangelists who specialize in separating the gullible from their money).

This of course is all nonsense. You never hear about all the times when they prayed for people and they weren't cured. A fairly high percentage of diseases get cured on their own. And the "placebo" effect is also well known - the phenomenon whereby if you think that you are being cured, that in itself can contribute to your cure - or at least make you feel better. There are also no doubt positive medical effects from just knowing that there are people who care for you and who want to see you better.

It has nothing whatever to do with the intervention of "god(s).

Fred Weiss

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I may not have allthe great arguments for God's existence all mapped out and ready for a great debate, but I do believe ....

Whenever people ask me if I believe in God, my answer and question is always the same:

I exist. If you say I don't exist, that won't bother me because I know that my existence does not depend on your belief or knowledge of me.

I can say all this as a human being. Why not God?

Is God so insecure of his own existence?

Why is Belief needed if he, in fact, exists?

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I may not have allthe great arguments for God's existence all mapped out and ready for a great debate, but I do believe because I have witnessed God move in many people's lives including mine.  I know this may sound a little wierd or hard to believe and I know that many who read this may have great explainations ass to why I am full of crap; but I have seen people healed.  I have been one of those people.  My kidneys were hurting and I was prayed for and i was healed. 

Not only that, which with some people that would be enough, I needed to know more.  My search led me on a road away from finding God.  I ended up in drugs and the like all the while searching for truth and answers.  From my lifestyle I realised I was becoming more of a untrustworthy person.  I was prone to lying more and manipulating and just plain not a cool guy.  When that moment of realisation came I found salvation in God.  He gave me grace to move on and change.  Now of course you might say that we can make these changes without recognizing God.  Buddhists say this quite often that we can save ourselves.  But I am not a machine.  I am a personal creature who was created by a personal God and He gave me all that I have amd all that I am.  In God is the source of all our "abilities for potentialities for action".  We see the evidence of God everyday in the things he has made.  Yet As I did before I looked right past all the obvious truths and tried to find truth within myself.  But my journey has always led me right back to the source.  I guess that is why God is so important to me.  All of life traces back to God as creator and animator.

Wow. That's pretty screwed up.

I'm sorry.

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  • 2 months later...
I was wondering if any of you had heard of Francis Schaefer, the Christian thinker who emphasized that there was absolute truth and reason was the basis for Christianity. If you have read his works, I'm curious to know what you thought.

I met Dr. Schaefer and his wife Edith in Switzerland 30 years ago. He was a caring, wonderful man. You can find out more about his work from "L'Abri Fellowship International" the group he started. They have a web site. He always wore knickers and had longer hair and a beard. People would come from all over the world to hear him speak. His book "How Then Should We Live?" was and still is a blueprint for living.

His wife Edith was also an author. My favorite book of hers was "Tapestry". I believe she is still alive but he died in 1984 or 1986.

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I was wondering if any of you had heard of Francis Schaefer, the Christian thinker who emphasized that there was absolute truth and reason was the basis for Christianity. [...]

1. What did Schaefer mean by "truth" and "reason" -- that is, to what facts of reality do those ideas refer?

A formal definition of each idea -- by genus and differentia -- might help in trying to understand the confused descriptions of Schaeferism in the later posts in this thread.

2. What are the basic principles of Schaefer's metaphysics (ontology)? I ask that because metaphysics is the foundation for, cause of, and therefore explanation of epistemology.

3. Did Schaefer see a role for faith? If so, what did that idea mean to him? Again, a formal genus and differentia definition would help.

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where is your proof that God does not exist?

By God I refer to the Judeo-Christian-Muslim God.

Let's assume that God exists. There are three possibilities.

Either God is good or God is bad, or God is a amoral -- neither good nor bad, just like a robot.

If God is good then why didn't he prevent the rise of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, etc, etc. God did not divert missiles and enemies from the homes of those who prayed to him everyday. God cannot be good.

If God is bad then why did he allow man to live? Why did he not prevent so much progress in technology? God cannot be bad.

If God is amoral, that means he is a robot. He has no knowledge of the good and the bad which implies he has no intelligence. A robot cannot run a world. God cannot be amoral.

God can be neither good, nor bad, nor amoral. Therefore he cannot exist.

I personally like Epicurus' riddle as the best argument for atheism although it isn't a riddle.

Is God willing to remove evil but not able to,

Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able but not willing,

Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing,

Then whence come evil.

Is he neither able nor willing,

then how is he God?

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Francis Schaefer is a well learned Presbatyrian. Though his views on salvation seem to parallel John Calvin's--with which I respectively disagree--Schaefer still offers profound insight into many truths of man and the relationship he can establish with God, through His only son Jesus Christ. I am actually, at a rather sluggish pace, reading one of Schaefer's works. The text is title How Then Shall We Live? and the peace is full of Schaefer's aforementioned insight. I would also recomend the divine works of C.S. Lewis--a very scholarly Christian who makes very intriguing points on how logic and the proof of God are inseprable elements. word.

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God insults man? I would differ and say that God gives man purpose. It can be inffered that Atheists do not believe the Universe has a purpose. If the Universe has no purpose, then man[athiests] could not state as such. If one says the Universe has no purpose, they have then stumbled upon some sort of purpose. The whole idea is illogical. The universe does in fact exist to bring glory to God. The big bang theroy does not defy the existance of God in any away, but the theroy proves His existance. Where would the original "mass" that "bangs" come from, if no One creates it? Man is the most complex creation. No other creation can think or operate as freely and self-realize like man. Machines can not self-realize nor can tomatos. As a psychology student, I am bombared daily with new theories explaining humanity--or in many cases am presented with ideas that de-humanize man. The further Psychology evolves the more complex the mind becomes. Man's purpose is to bring God glory--whether you believe in His existance or not. Man's ultimate goal is to spend eternity with God in heaven, where everything is, for lack of a better word, good. Heaven is misrepresented in inumerous ways, however. That, though, is for another post.

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It can be inffered that Atheists do not believe the Universe has a purpose.
You shouldn't infer this. In fact, I am an atheist, and I believe that the universe does have a purpose, only not to a mysterious God, but to me.

If the Universe has no purpose, then man[athiests] could not state as such. 

See above. I've done it quite easily.

If one says the Universe has no purpose, they have then stumbled upon some sort of purpose.
How's that? Purpose to whom?

The whole idea is illogical.

I use everything that exists around me for the purpose of living my life and flourishing. I don't find that illogical.

The universe does in fact exist to bring glory to God.
Why? Where is this fact coming from?

The big bang theroy does not defy the existance of God in any away, but the theroy proves His existance.

The Big Bang hypothesis, taken literally, states that at one point in time, everything in the universe was very, very close together and very hot. I'm not sure how you get the existence of God from that.

Where would the original "mass" that "bangs" come from, if no One creates it?
Why does mass have to "come from" anywhere? Who said anything about the universe being "created" in a "bang"?

Man is the most complex creation.  No other creation can think or operate as freely and self-realize like man.  Machines can not self-realize nor can tomatos.

Yep. Except the implicit assumption about everything needing a creator, of course.

Man's purpose is to bring God glory--whether you believe in His existance or not.
Why can't I claim that man's purpose is to glorify the Martians orbiting Earth right now, whether you believe in their existence or not?

Man's ultimate goal is to spend eternity with God in heaven, where everything is, for lack of a better word, good. 

Well, that certainly isn't my goal. My goal is to live my life the best that I can.

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Why does mass have to "come from" anywhere? Who said anything about the universe being "created" in a "bang"?

While I sympathize with your overall points in this thread, the fact remains that modern cosmology is creation ex nihilo. Ever since Guth's 1981 paper attempting to correct standard model deficiencies ("Inflationary Universe: A possible solution to the horizon and flatness problems," Alan H. Guth, Physical Review D, V. 23, No. 2, pp. 347-356, January 15, 1981) one form or another of the inflationary model has been combined with the hot big bang and is now the de facto model through general acceptance. The general public need only read the popular books in the field, such as, for instance, Guth's own The Inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins, Perseus Books, 1997, to learn about modern creation ex nihilo. As Guth explicitly states in his book,

"Most important of all, the question of the origin of the matter in the universe is no longer thought to be beyond the range of science. After two thousand years of scientific research, it now seems likely that Lucretius was wrong. Conceivably, everything can be created from nothing. And 'everything' might include a lot more than what we can see. In the context of inflationary cosmology, it is fair to say that the universe is the ultimate free lunch." (p. 15.)

As much of a supporter of modern physics as I am, modern theoretical cosmology, as I have written about before, is almost as bad as is religion in terms of its fundamental premises.

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As much of a supporter of modern physics as I am, modern theoretical cosmology, as I have written about before, is almost as bad as is religion in terms of its fundamental premises.

Hello, Mr. Speicher,

I've read some of your posts, and you seem to know much more about physics in general than I do at this point. That being said, I was under the impression that the Big Bang model made no prediction of a literal "Big bang", since the theory breaks down. Therefore it would be erroneous to state that the Big bang model posits creation ex nihilo, since the theory itself does not address the "moment of creation," as it were. Moreover, I assumed that physicists refer to the "Big Bang" as an ideal event, not one which can be described through formal theory. Are these views false? If not, isn't it then disingenuous for cosmologists to state as fact things like 'the universe was created from nothing in a big bang?'

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I was under the impression that the Big Bang model made no prediction of a literal "Big bang", since the theory breaks down.  Therefore it would be erroneous to state that the Big bang model posits creation ex nihilo, since the theory itself does not address the "moment of creation," as it were.
I attempted to simplify a more complicated issue by focusing solely on the current favor for some form of Guth's inflationary universe combined with the hot big bang. Hence the quote from Guth to give the flavor of "creation." The whole story is a great deal more involved, and here I will just briefly touch upon it, but the notion of "creation" was inherent in modern cosmology from its inception following Einstein's static universe almost ninety years ago.

George Gamow is often credited with the "big bang" in 1948, but he modified work begun decades earlier by Alexander Friedmann and Georges Edouard Lemaitre. In 1922 Freidmann was the first to present a scientific and mathematical model of an expanding universe ("Uber die Krummung des Raumes," Zeitschrift fur Physiks, V. 10, pp. 377-386, 1922) and therein Friedmann wrote about "the creation of the world." Lemaitre, on the other hand, thought that there first existed a static Einstein universe which only later expanded due to certain instabilities.

These two differing views, along with a host of other proposed theories, continued to evolve in various forms, guided by observational data such as that discovered by Hubble in the 1930s. But even before it became contrasted with the formulation of the steady-state theory, the singular origin of the universe continued to gain ground. By 1955 the first general singularity theorems, which necessitated a singular origin, were shown to exist in a large class of models. And, by 1970 we have Stephen Hawking collaborating with Roger Penrose -- expanding on Penrose's earlier work on singularities in 1965 -- developing theorems which showed that a singularity was inevitable under the general conditions which they specified. Almost a decade later, in a volume dedicated to the centennial of Einstein's birth, here is Stephen Hawking talking about the significance of his singularity theorem and the "beginning of time."

"The theorem shows that time will have a beginning for some timelike or null geodesic. It does not prove that this will be so for for every geodesic, and indeed there are some solutions in which this is not the case. However, it seems clear that these are special cases and are unstable; in the general case there will be a curvature singularity that will intersect every world line. Thus general relativity predicts a beginning of time." ("Theoretical Advances in General Relativity," in "Some Strangeness in the Proportion," p. 149, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., 1980.)

If you read the literature throughout this time you will find numerous references to the creation of the universe, matter and all. For instance, just before the cosmic microwave background radiation was discovered in 1965, William Fowler of Caltech opened the "history of the universe" scientific session at the first centennial anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences with a very long review of the current state of knowledge on "the origin of the elements of which the matter of the universe is constituted." This was at a time when the particle processes for such an evolution were still being developed and the hot big bang did not yet resolve the evolutionary processes. Fowler acknowledges this fact as a then current difficulty for the big bang, which he also characterizes as a creation event.

"At our present state of knowledge it is difficult to see how all of these processes could have occurred in a single astronomical event such as a primordial explosion or 'big bang' at the moment of creation of the universe." ("The Origin of the Elements," William A. Fowler, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 524-548, August 14, 1964.)

Likewise, we have such a distinguished and well-known cosmologist as Jayant Narlikar writing about the "creation" event in his 1977 text "The Structure of the Universe," Oxford University Press, p. 125.

"So we have the following description of a big-bang Universe. At an epoch, which we may denote by t = 0, the Universe explodes into existence. ... The epoch t = 0 is taken as the event of 'creation,' Prior to this there existed no Universe, no observers, no physical laws. Everything suddenly appeared at t = 0."

Now, granted that in most current graduate and further-advanced texts (such as Kolb and Turner's "The Early Universe") there is little discussion of a "creation event," even before a dozen years ago it was demonstrated that the singularity (the spacetime metric becoming degenerate and the curvature and density becoming infinite) should not be considered an "event" in standard general relativity. But, regardless, one cannot simply dismiss both the historical context and the current debate which continues in the philosophy of science literature. (In addition, remember that the standard theory does not say that the universe expands into some space, but rather it is an expansion of space itself. If that is not also creation ex nihilo, then the term has no meaning.)

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Hello, Mr. Speicher

But, regardless, one cannot simply dismiss both the historical context and the current debate which continues in the philosophy of science literature. (In addition, remember that the standard theory does not say that the universe expands into some space, but rather it is an expansion of space itself. If that is not also creation ex nihilo, then the term has no meaning.)

Of course, I did not mean to imply that the idea of Big Bang as creation ex nihilo was not historically relevant, nor that it isn't held widely, nor that most cosmological theories incorporate the idea in one way or another. I'm just wondering whether these theories are justified in speaking of a "beginning of time", or whether it can be usefully described by any theory which is grounded in experimental verification. Also, it was always my understanding that a "beginning of time" is a self-contradiction, an instance of concept-stealing. Is this correct?

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Hello, Mr. Speicher

You seem like a friendly sort of guy, Nate. Please call me Stephen.

Of course, I did not mean to imply that the idea of Big Bang as creation ex nihilo was not historically relevant, nor that it isn't held widely, nor that most cosmological theories incorporate the idea in one way or another.  I'm just wondering whether these theories are justified in speaking of a "beginning of time", or whether it can be usefully described by any theory which is grounded in experimental verification.  Also, it was always my understanding that a "beginning of time" is a self-contradiction, an instance of concept-stealing.  Is this correct?
Philosophically we know that the concept of time does not apply to the universe as such; time exists within the universe, not outside of it. The universe is eternal -- it did not have a beginning and it will not have an end, so the notion of a "beginning of time" applied to the universe is sheer nonsense.

With that said, I personally have no objection to using the term "beginning of time" in some contexts, as long as its use is properly understood. For instance, in the Hawking quote I provided, his use of the term in the context of general relativity was technically correct, though his interpretation is wrong. The universe itself did not arise as a quantum fluctuation of nothingness, but extrapolating back using a particular form of solution to the field equations establishes a "beginning of time" within the context of that solution. It simply shows that the singularity theorems in the context of current cosmological models have a limited applicability to the actual universe as a whole.

p.s. In another thread I think you mentioned that you were a math major. May I ask where you are studying and what level you are at? Are you enjoying your education?

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Hi Stephen,

I certainly don't object to a definition of a "beginnning of time" in a technical sense, but as you mention, the term is being thrown around far too cavalierly, and can create misunderstandings of the "The Big bang Theory proves that God exists" type.

p.s. In another thread I think you mentioned that you were a math major. May I ask where you are studying and what level you are at? Are you enjoying your education?

I'm in my last year at Knox College, but right now I'm studying abroad. I'm enjoying my education immensely; there are so many interesting classes and not nearly enough time. :) Mostly I'm interested in Analysis, but I've recently become interested in studying convex polygons as well.

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I'm in my last year at Knox College, but right now I'm studying abroad.

Budapest Semesters? (I know that is quite popular with math students.)

I'm enjoying my education immensely; there are so many interesting classes and not nearly enough time. :)
For an active mind, that never changes!

Mostly I'm interested in Analysis, but I've recently become interested in studying convex polygons as well.

It is really interesting to see just how interconnected mathematics and physics are. The longer I live the more I come across different mathematical concepts in physics, convex polygons included. About a decade after Einstein finished the field equations for general relativity, he began to explore nonsymmetric metrics and connections for a unified field theory approach. The more I read of his work in this area the more interested I became in nonsymetric metrics and the like. This led me to discover the marvelous world of Finsler spaces.

If you have not heard of Finsler spaces, they are a sort of generalization of a Riemannian space, with the requirement that the space be locally Minkowskian, not locally Euclidean as in a Riemannian space. A Riemannian space, however, is a subset of a general Finsler space, since a Euclidean metric is also Minkowskian. In the most general Finsler space the symmetric requirement on the metric is dropped, and the segment between points A and B is not in general equal to the segment between B and A. Finsler geometries are uniquely suited for the existence of any local anisotropy, and there are several cosmological views that deal with a local anisotropy of spacetime.

Anyway, through a book on Finsler spaces and metric methods that I was reading, I was led to a paper by the author in which a certain convex curve was constructed for a convex polygon for examples in illustrating the theory. Eventually this led to a new elementary proof of the Brunn-Minkowski inequality for polygons. From math, to physics, and back to math again. It is all interconnected.

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Hi Stephen,

Budapest Semesters? (I know that is quite popular with math students.)
Bingo! I didn't know this program was that well known.

It is really interesting to see just how interconnected mathematics and physics are. The longer I live the more I come across different mathematical concepts in physics, convex polygons included. About a decade after Einstein finished the field equations for general relativity, he began to explore nonsymmetric metrics and connections for a unified field theory approach. The more I read of his work in this area the more interested I became in nonsymetric metrics and the like. This led me to discover the marvelous world of Finsler spaces ... Anyway, through a book on Finsler spaces and metric methods that I was reading, I was led to a paper by the author in which a certain convex curve was constructed for a convex polygon for examples in illustrating the theory. Eventually this led to a new elementary proof of the Brunn-Minkowski inequality for polygons. From math, to physics, and back to math again. It is all interconnected.

To be honest, most of your explanation on Finsler spaces was above my head. I'm just now taking Differential Geometry, and we've just gotten to the Riemann metric and the Levi-Civitra connection. :) I'll certainly look into Finsler spaces when I have the background for it, though. And I completely agree with your sentiment about the interconnectedness of math and physics-- and in fact I better enjoy studying areas of mathematics that are directly motivated by physics and physical objects as opposed to some of the highly nonconstructive areas of mathematics where all you have to go on are axioms. How about yourself?

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