Intelligent Design Mathematics

At Mind Matters News: Why would a purely physical universe need imaginary numbers?

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Our computers and the entire modern world depend on them, says science writer Michael Brooks in an excerpt from his new book:


In an excerpt from his new book, The Art of More: How Mathematics Created Civilization, science writer Michael Brooks offers the intriguing idea that the modern world arose from imaginary numbers:

But what does his claim that the numbers are “not some deep mystery about the universe” leave us? Recent studies have shown that imaginary numbers — which we can’t really represent by objects, the way we can represent natural numbers by objects — are needed to
describe reality. Quantum mechanics pioneers did not like them and worked out ways around them:

In fact, even the founders of quantum mechanics themselves thought that the implications of having complex numbers in their equations was disquieting. In a letter to his friend Hendrik Lorentz, physicist Erwin Schrödinger — the first person to introduce complex numbers into quantum theory, with his quantum wave function (ψ) — wrote, “What is unpleasant here, and indeed directly to be objected to, is the use of complex numbers. Ψ is surely fundamentally a real function.”

Ben Turner, “Imaginary numbers could be needed to describe reality, new studies find” at LiveScience (December 10, 2021)

But recent studies in science journals Nature and Physical Review Letters have shown, via a simple experiment, that the mathematics of our universe requires imaginary numbers.

News, “Why would a purely physical universe need imaginary numbers?” at Mind Matters News (February 16, 2022)

Takehome: The most reasonable explanation is that the universe, while physical, is also an idea, one that cannot be reduced to its physical features alone.

You may also wish to read:

Why the unknowable number exists but is uncomputable. Sensing that a computer program is “elegant” requires discernment. Proving mathematically that it is elegant is, Chaitin shows, impossible. Gregory Chaitin walks readers through his proof of unknowability, which is based on the Law of Non-contradiction.

Most real numbers are not real, or not in the way you think. Most real numbers contain an encoding of all of the books in the US Library of Congress. The infinite only exists as an idea in our minds. Therefore, curiously, most real numbers are not real. (Robert J. Marks)

and

Can we add new numbers to mathematics? We can work with hyperreal numbers using conventional methods. Surprisingly, yes. It began when the guy who discovered irrational numbers was—we are told—tossed into the sea. (Jonathan Bartlett)

318 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Why would a purely physical universe need imaginary numbers?

  1. 1
    William J Murray says:

    The most reasonable explanation is that the universe, while physical, is also an idea, one that cannot be reduced to its physical features alone.

    That depends on what you mean by the term “physical.” If by “physical” you mean “material,” then no, it does not make sense to say that something material “is also” an idea. Ideas exist in mind. Matter does not exist in mind.

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, matter is often infused with linguistic [math is inter alia a language] information. Computers are classic familiar cases but also see D/RNA and proteins as opposed to random folds such as prions. Classically, mind is immaterial and infuses body, too. KF

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Complex numbers address rotations and oscillations so their presence is in effect saying waves and associated energy are at the core of physical processes. I have argued that the rotating vector view is perhaps a clearer way to conceive of complex numbers. Polynomials and x axis cuts are not the fundamental view of reality. Exponentials including complex exponentials, which take in sine and cos etc, are powerful characteristic functions for many domains. I almost used the half german word there but view it as excessively mystifying. KF

  4. 4
    William J Murray says:

    That “matter” (whatever that’s supposed to be, since we have yet to find any) can be used to transmit an idea from one mind to another doesn’t mean that matter itself is an idea.

    To say that “matter” (if that is what News is using the term “physical” to mean) is also an idea, she might as well be saying that matter is also not-matter – a logical self-contradiction.

  5. 5
    William J Murray says:

    Now, if by physical News does not mean “matter,” then yes, it can make sense to say that the physical world is an idea – not “also” an idea. (Cue Bernardo Kastrup’s book, The Idea of the World.) If what we experience as the physical world is the product of the processing of information into mental experience via mental rules, then of course it makes sense that the physical world we experience exhibits those rules, such as logic, geometry and mathematics.

    But, that’s an entirely different thing than saying “matter exists” and that matter is also an idea.

  6. 6
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    doesn’t mean that matter itself is an idea

    😆 Before anything existed ,indeed the matter was just an idea in the mind of God then that idea is transformed in real matter and we humans have thoughts about that matter because we see it.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Well despite Michael Brooks’s complacency about mathematics describing the universe, no less than Eugene Wigner and Albert Einstein are both on record as to regarding the applicability of mathematics to the universe to be a miracle.

    Eugene Wigner, (after rightly calling into question the ability of Darwin’s natural selection to produce our ‘reasoning power’), stated that, “It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here,,, and “The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.,,”

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,, The great mathematician fully, almost ruthlessly, exploits the domain of permissible reasoning and skirts the impermissible. That his recklessness does not lead him into a morass of contradictions is a miracle in itself: certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Likewise, Albert Einstein is also on record as to regarding the applicability of mathematics to the universe as a ‘miracle’. Einstein even went so far as to chastise ‘professional atheists’ in the process of calling it a ‘miracle’.

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    And the last time I checked, miracles are considered to be the work of God.

    Moreover, what is so ‘non-complacent’ and interesting about the use of imaginary numbers in quantum mechanics is that imaginary numbers, particularly the square root of negative one (i), is essential for understanding the ‘wave packet’ in quantum mechanics prior to measurement, and/or prior to the ‘collapse of the wave function’, (but are not required after the ‘collapse of the wave function)

    Why do you need imaginary numbers (the square root of negative one) to describe Quantum Mechanics?
    “Quantum theory needs existence of an x such that x^2= -1. The reason for this is that orthogonal function spaces, of dimension greater than 2, cannot exist otherwise. In fact the only place where i (the square root of negative one) is needed is in the wave packet prior to measurement. Even the Canonical Commutation Relation doesn’t need it. And nor do the eigenvalue equations. In those, any general scalar will do. But in the wave packet, you need an i.”
    – Steve Faulkner – Philosophy of Science, Logic, Epistemology
    https://www.researchgate.net/post/Why_do_you_need_imaginary_numbers_to_describe_Quantum_Mechanics2

    Moreover, the wave function, prior to collapse of the wave function, is mathematically required to be described by a ‘infinite dimensional’ Hilbert space,

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: We now have, in physics, two theories of great power and interest: the theory of quantum phenomena and the theory of relativity.,,, The two theories operate with different mathematical concepts: the four dimensional Riemann space and the infinite dimensional Hilbert space,
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Wave function
    Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....ctor_space

    Why do we need infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces in physics?
    You need an infinite dimensional Hilbert space to represent a wavefunction of any continuous observable (like position for example).
    https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/149786/why-do-we-need-infinite-dimensional-hilbert-spaces-in-physics

    The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem – Mark Steiner – (page 44)
    Excerpt: Let us now recapitulate: beginning with the concept of a Hilbert space, a certain kind of (usually infinite-dimensional) vector space, and the formal requirement that a unit vector on the space represents all possible information can be gleaned. First, the space cannot be a real vector space; the usual formalism is, therefore, based on a complex Hilbert space. With this formalism the Heisenberg uncertainty principle follows directly. So does the quantization of angular momentum, including the so called “space quantization”. So does the prediction that “electron spin” cannot be due to spatial rotation. And so do the selection rules for the spectrum of hydrogen, based on the “nonphysical” concept of parity.
    The role of Hilbert spaces in quantum mechanics, then, is much more profound than the descriptive role of a single concept. An entire formalism-the Hilbert space formalism-is matched with nature. Information about nature is being “read off” the details of the formalism. (Imagine reading off details about elementary particles from the rules of chess-castling. en passant-a la Lewis Carrol; in Through the Looking Glass.) No physicist today understands why this is possible..
    https://books.google.com/books?id=GKBwKCma1HsC&pg=PA44

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, this ‘infinite dimensional’ Hilbert space takes an infinite amount of information to describe properly,

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (quantum) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the superposition of the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....tcomp/#2.1

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Infinity – Max Tegmark
    Excerpt: real numbers with their infinitely many decimals have infested almost every nook and cranny of physics, from the strengths of electromagnetic fields to the wave functions of quantum mechanics: we describe even a single bit of quantum information (a qubit) using two real numbers involving infinitely many decimals.
    https://www.edge.org/response-detail/25344

    As is fairly obvious, the ‘infinite dimensional’ Hilbert space corresponds to the Theistic attribute of omnipresence. And the infinite information required to describe the ‘infinite dimensional’ wave function prior to collapse corresponds to the Theistic attribute of omniscience.

    Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent God: Definition
    Excerpt: Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence
    Omnipotence means all-powerful. Monotheistic theologians regard God as having supreme power. This means God can do what he wants. It means he is not subject to physical limitations like man is. Being omnipotent, God has power over wind, water, gravity, physics, etc. God’s power is infinite, or limitless.

    Omniscience means all-knowing. God is all all-knowing in the sense that he is aware of the past, present, and future. Nothing takes him by surprise. His knowledge is total. He knows all that there is to know and all that can be known.

    Omnipresence means all-present. This term means that God is capable of being everywhere at the same time. It means his divine presence encompasses the whole of the universe. There is no location where he does not inhabit. This should not be confused with pantheism, which suggests that God is synonymous with the universe itself; instead, omnipresence indicates that God is distinct from the universe, but inhabits the entirety of it. He is everywhere at once.
    https://study.com/academy/lesson/omnipotent-omniscient-and-omnipresent-god-definition-lesson-quiz.html

    In essence, the wave function is, basically, mathematically described as being one of “God’s thoughts’ prior to its collapse to its finite ‘material’ state. Which is rather stunning confirmation of the Christian’s contention, (via Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology), that the (higher dimensional) mathematics that are found to describe this universe really are “God’s thoughts”. Just as was originally held by the Christian founders of modern science.

    “O, Almighty God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee!”
    – Johannes Kepler – (stated shortly after elucidating the mathematical laws of planetary motion)

    Keep It Simple – – by Edward Feser – April 2020
    Excerpt: Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi-­divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our ­experience lack. Mathematical objects seem immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/04/keep-it-simple

    Verse:

    Psalm 115:2-3
    Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; He does as He pleases.

  9. 9
    William J Murray says:

    LCD,
    “Matter” and “the idea of matter” are two entirely different kinds of things. A material building is not an idea of a material building.

  10. 10
    William J Murray says:

    Also, wrt the claim that God “created matter:” where? Where did God create “matter?” We can find any here. Where is it?

    When quantum physics experimentation killed materialism because it found that “matter” did not exist anywhere it looked, it also – unfortunately for many here – killed traditional dualism and any form of realism. All we are left with is some form of ontological idealism.

  11. 11
    polistra says:

    We don’t need imaginary numbers. Everything can be described and calculated without them. They’re just a convenient tool for clearer symbolism and clearer thinking.

  12. 12
    Viola Lee says:

    Off-topic: Sorry, but I’m looking for a place to post this interesting article:

    https://www.sciencealert.com/time-dilation-has-been-measured-at-the-smallest-scale-ever

    Atomic Clocks Experiment Reveals Time Dilation at The Smallest Scale Ever

    DAVID NIELD
    17 FEBRUARY 2022
    In his theory of general relativity, Einstein predicted something called time dilation: the notion that two clocks under two different gravitational pulls will always tick at different speeds.

    The effect has been observed in many experiments since, but now scientists have recorded it at the smallest scale seen so far.

    And

    “This is a completely new ballgame, a new regime where quantum mechanics in curved space-time can be explored,” says Ye.

    “If we could measure the redshift 10 times even better than this, we will be able to see the atoms’ whole matter waves across the curvature of space-time. Being able to measure the time difference on such a minute scale could enable us to discover, for example, that gravity disrupts quantum coherence, which could be at the bottom of why our macroscale world is classical.”

    [my emphasis]

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    ^^^^^:

    LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD – Vlatko Vedral – 2011
    Excerpt: experiments now leave very little room for such processes to operate. The division between the quantum and classical worlds appears not to be fundamental. It is just a question of experimental ingenuity, and few physicists now think that classical physics will ever really make a comeback at any scale.,,,
    Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, without a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must explain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamentally spaceless and timeless physics.
    http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchan.....611038.pdf

    Looking Beyond Space and Time to Cope With Quantum Theory – (Oct. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: To derive their inequality, which sets up a measurement of entanglement between four particles, the researchers considered what behaviours are possible for four particles that are connected by influences that stay hidden and that travel at some arbitrary finite speed.
    Mathematically (and mind-bogglingly), these constraints define an 80-dimensional object. The testable hidden influence inequality is the boundary of the shadow this 80-dimensional shape casts in 44 dimensions. The researchers showed that quantum predictions can lie outside this boundary, which means they are going against one of the assumptions. Outside the boundary, either the influences can’t stay hidden, or they must have infinite speed.,,,
    The remaining option is to accept that (quantum) influences must be infinitely fast,,,
    “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,” says Nicolas Gisin, Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142217.htm?

  14. 14
    Viola Lee says:

    Re the OP and headline: there is a difference between what reality needs (which is a category error: reality has no needs, it just is) and what we need to describe reality. We should keep that in mind.

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    what we need to describe reality

    Or should it be?

    what we find useful to describe reality

  16. 16
    JVL says:

    Polistra: We don’t need imaginary numbers. Everything can be described and calculated without them. They’re just a convenient tool for clearer symbolism and clearer thinking.

    Exactly so.

    Or, as Jerry put it: what we find useful to describe reality.

  17. 17
    JVL says:

    Because probably few people know what a Hilbert space is:

    In mathematics, Hilbert spaces (named for David Hilbert) allow generalizing the methods of linear algebra and calculus from the finite-dimensional Euclidean spaces to spaces that may not have a finite dimension. A Hilbert space is a vector space equipped with an inner product which allows defining a distance function so that it becomes a complete metric space. They serve as a first template for extending the differential and integral calculus that is normally done in Rn, though this can be done more generally using normed spaces.

    Hilbert spaces arise naturally and frequently in mathematics and physics, typically as infinite-dimensional function spaces. The earliest Hilbert spaces were studied from this point of view in the first decade of the 20th century by David Hilbert, Erhard Schmidt, and Frigyes Riesz. They are indispensable tools in the theories of partial differential equations, quantum mechanics, Fourier analysis (which includes applications to signal processing and heat transfer), and ergodic theory (which forms the mathematical underpinning of thermodynamics). John von Neumann coined the term Hilbert space for the abstract concept that underlies many of these diverse applications. The success of Hilbert space methods ushered in a very fruitful era for functional analysis. Apart from the classical Euclidean spaces, examples of Hilbert spaces include spaces of square-integrable functions, spaces of sequences, Sobolev spaces consisting of generalized functions, and Hardy spaces of holomorphic functions.

    Those who are not fans of infinity will no doubt get their knickers in a twist.

    Also, math is not a spectator sport.

  18. 18
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes to Jerry’s comment at 15, although I think both statements are related because one of the things driving our need to describe reality is the need to have useful descriptions. However it is often stated that we also have aesthetic needs to have elegant descriptions as well as useful ones. But no matter what you emphasize, describing reality is a human enterprise separate from reality being itself, so to speak, irrespective of our attempts to describe it.

  19. 19
    Viola Lee says:

    Re Polistra and JVL’s statements “We don’t need imaginary numbers. Everything can be described and calculated without them.”: I think there was an article here a while back claiming that this wasn’t true. The article claimed that there are aspect of QM for which complex numbers are required to describe some phenomena, and can’t be replaced by alternate ways of describing ordered pairs. I can’t remember the argument, but it was something News posted.

  20. 20
    ram says:

    Polistra: We don’t need imaginary numbers. Everything can be described and calculated without them. They’re just a convenient tool for clearer symbolism and clearer thinking.

    Generally true, although, it has been recently discovered that certain predictions of quantum networks require complex (real + “imaginary”) numbers:

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/12/211215112812.htm

    P.S. the term “imaginary” is an unfortunate moniker. When sqrt(-1) and variants are paired with a real number, a better term is “lateral” numbers. There is nothing at all “imaginary” or mysterious about them.

    –Ram

  21. 21
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    Where did God create “matter?” We can find any here. Where is it?

    Immaterial entities are actually created objects. Universals were created by God. The concept of a triangle exists as an immaterial universal – something we can apply to empirical reality (that which we sense).
    Imaginary numbers exist and are proof that there are immaterial things not explainable by materialism or by evolution.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    If Imaginary Numbers Are Needed To Describe Reality, Then Isn’t Materialism Dead Already? – Dec. 22, 2021
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/if-imaginary-numbers-are-needed-to-describe-reality-then-isnt-materialism-is-dead-already/

    Imaginary numbers could be needed to describe reality, new studies find – Dec. 21, 2021
    Excerpt: In their updated version of the classic Bell test, the physicists devised an experiment in which two independent sources (which they called S and R) would be placed between three detectors (A, B and C) in an elementary quantum network. The source S would then emit two light particles, or photons — one sent to A and the other to B — in an entangled state. The source R also would emit two entangled photons, sending them to nodes B and C. If the universe were described by a standard quantum mechanics based on complex numbers, the photons that arrived at detectors A and C wouldn’t need to be entangled, but in a quantum theory based on real numbers, they would.
    To test this setup, the researchers of the second study performed an experiment in which they shone laser beams onto a crystal. The energy the laser gave to some of the crystals’ atoms was later released as entangled photons. By looking at the states of the photons arriving at their three detectors, the researchers saw that the states of the photons arriving at detectors A and C weren’t entangled, meaning their data could be described only by a quantum theory that used complex numbers.
    https://www.livescience.com/imaginary-numbers-needed-to-describe-reality

  23. 23
    Viola Lee says:

    re 20 and 22. Those are the articles I was thinking about.

  24. 24
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Reposting from BA77’s previous:

    Keep It Simple – – by Edward Feser – April 2020
    Excerpt: Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi-­divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our ­experience lack. Mathematical objects seem immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/04/keep-it-simple

    “a realm of entities” – real objects that are immaterial.

  25. 25
    Viola Lee says:

    “Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.”

    However, from another perspective, it could be an effect. Reality is what it is, and math is a description of certain types of aspects of it by creatures (us) who have certain kinds of experiences of it.

  26. 26
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    Agreed. I think Dr Feser is pointing to the connection of cause and effect – that math is a necessary aspect of the cause. But he’s not saying it was created by humans to describe things, but rather it exists as built into reality.

  27. 27
    Viola Lee says:

    SA, I know that Dr. Feser is describing a theistic-Platonic view. I assume (but I’m not sure) that when you write “Agreed” you mean that you agree that there is also a different perspective, not that you agree with that different perspective???

  28. 28
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77 @ 8

    Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.

    I don’t think you and Einstein mean the same thing by the word “miracle.” I don’t think Einstein, as you say, viewed the “applicability of mathematics to the universe as a ‘miracle,'” rather I think he viewed mathematics simply as a tool to describe the world. The “miracles” to which he referred were more subtle. Given his view of Judaism as an “incarnation of the most childish superstitions” and the Bible as “a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.” (Gutkind letter, 1954), along with the above quote, Einstein seems to be using the term “miracle” to describe an intellectual experience of awe regarding the (1) knowability of the universe and the (2) “high degree of ordering of the objective world.” I don’t think he is at all referring to things like turning water into wine, casting out demons or even raising people (including Jesus) from the dead, which seem fundamental to Christianity. I think Einstein would consign those claims to the bin labeled “childish superstitions.”

    As an aside, I note that you omit omnibenevolence from your list of omni’s relevant to the God of theism. Does that mean that you now concede the notion of God as the author of evil? Or was that simply not in your cut-and-paste reference? In any event, it is a pretty glaring omission….

  29. 29
    William J Murray says:

    VL @25 said:

    However, from another perspective, it could be an effect. Reality is what it is, and math is a description of certain types of aspects of it by creatures (us) who have certain kinds of experiences of it.

    What do you mean by “reality” when you say “reality is what it is?” Local reality has been entirely falsified, and recent experiments all but entirely falsify non-local realism.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/nature05677

    Here we show by both theory and experiment that a broad and rather reasonable class of such non-local realistic theories is incompatible with experimentally observable quantum correlations. In the experiment, we measure previously untested correlations between two entangled photons, and show that these correlations violate an inequality proposed by Leggett for non-local realistic theories.

    There is apparently no “it” (reality) for us to be describing. How then can “it” be the source of what we are describing, when “it” doesn’t even exist absent our observational description?

  30. 30
    Viola Lee says:

    I think what I said is a possible explanation of what math is irrespective of one’s view about what reality is. The movement of a falling ball, whether you see it from an idealism view or not, can be modeled by the equation d = 1/2gt^2. Math is one way of describing what we experience, irrespective of how one sees the nature of that experience.

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    Chuckdarwin in you trying to distance Einstein from his use of the word ‘miracle’, I merely note that Einstein chastised ‘professional atheists’ in the process of calling it a miracle.

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    That certainly does not square very well with your claim that Einstein did not mean what he said when he said the word ‘miracle’

    Moreover, although you try to bring Einstein over to your atheistic side in your rather single minded focus on attacking Christianity, (whilst neglecting to ever really defend your supposed ‘science’ of Darwinian evolution), I also merely note that, “according to biographer Walter Isaacson, Einstein was more inclined to denigrate atheists than religious people.[28]”

    According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Einstein was more inclined to denigrate atheists than religious people.[28] Einstein said in correspondence, “[T]he fanatical atheists…are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional ‘opium of the people’—cannot hear the music of the spheres.”[28][29] Although he did not believe in a personal God, he indicated that he would never seek to combat such belief because “such a belief seems to me preferable to the lack of any transcendental outlook.”[30]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_and_philosophical_views_of_Albert_Einstein#Agnosticism_and_atheism

    Of note, Antony Flew, who was heavily influenced by Einstein in his late-life conversion from atheism to Theism, had this to say in reply to Richard Dawkins’s distortion of Einstein’s religious views,,, “(Dawkins),, makes no mention of Einstein’s most relevant report: namely, that the integrated complexity of the world of physics has led him to believe that there must be a Divine Intelligence behind it. “

    Reviewing Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’ – Anthony Flew –
    Flew amplifies on this charge, and Dawkins’ avoidance of a particular statement by Einstein:
    The fault of Dawkins as an academic … was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine which he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form. Thus we find in his index five references to Einstein. They are to the mask of Einstein and Einstein on morality; on a personal God; on the purpose of life (the human situation and on how man is here for the sake of other men and above all for those on whose well-being our own happiness depends); and finally on Einstein’s religious views. But (I find it hard to write with restraint about this obscurantist refusal on the part of Dawkins) he makes no mention of Einstein’s most relevant report: namely, that the integrated complexity of the world of physics has led him to believe that there must be a Divine Intelligence behind it. (I myself think it obvious that if this argument is applicable to the world of physics then it must be hugely more powerful if it is applied to the immeasurably more complicated world of biology.)
    He continues:
    Of course many physicists with the highest of reputations do not agree with Einstein in this matter. But an academic attacking some ideological position which s/he believes to be mistaken must of course attack that position in its strongest form. This Dawkins does not do in the case of Einstein and his failure is the crucial index of his insincerity of academic purpose and therefore warrants me in charging him with having become, what he has probably believed to be an impossibility, a secularist bigot.
    http://shrineinthesea.blogspot.....usion.html

    Here is a related quote from Flew,

    “I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite intelligence. I believe that the universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than a half century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science.”
    – Antony Flew – considered world’s leading atheist philosopher for most of his adult life until a few years shortly before his death
    – The Case for a Creator – Lee Strobel – interview (26:00 minute mark)
    http://www.saddleback.com/mc/m/ee32d/

    Moreover, although Einstein is certainly to be afforded a great deal of respect for General Relativity and Special Relativity, let’s not forget that Einstein’s self admitted ‘greatest blunder’ in science, (in order to avoid a beginning for the universe), as well as his ad hoc appeal to the now falsified ‘hidden variables’ in quantum mechanics, (in order to avoid ‘spooky action at a distance’), were both motivated by his a-priori commitment to methodological naturalism, and/or Atheistic Materialism.

    Who knows how far Einstein may have gotten in science with quantum mechanics had he not been blinded by by his a-priori commitment to methodological naturalism and/or Atheistic materialism?

    “I must confess that I was not able to find a way to explain the atomistic character of nature. My opinion is that … one has to find a possibility to avoid the continuum (together with space and time) altogether. But I have not the slightest idea what kind of elementary concepts could be used in such a theory.”
    — Albert Einstein (1954) – Einstein from “B” to “Z” Springer, p. 151 – John Stachel

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, I suggest that we think of Mathematics as a dual matter: [the study of] the logic of structure and quantity. Our study targets a substance, the core of which — as I discussed here — is an aspect of the logic of being for possible worlds; with certain aspects being framework to any possible world so necessary and eternal albeit duly abstract entities. Things like two-ness, which is pivotal. Where, this then lends pervasive power to certain aspects of Math, hence for instance power in the physical sciences. Such abstracta do not exert causal forces but reflect logical constraints on being. Less general aspects then help us construct logic model worlds that may be close enough to ours to be useful without necessarily being strictly true. Sometimes, they may actually be true of course. KF

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    Vl, initial motion. Even a sprayed water jet for a fountain within a few feet noticeably deviates from a strict parabolic arc. KF

  34. 34
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, I know that an equation like d = 1/2gt^2 is an idealized model that is subject to all sorts of real-world complexities. Among other things, every moment the ball falls g is slightly different. And a sprayed water jet is much more complex than a falling ball. I’m not sure why you thought your comment at 33 was useful or contributed to the discussion.

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, pardon, as a physicist I am highlighting the matter of approximation and by extension just how rapidly complexity enters models. For example, for ballistics, we may ponder a fairly simple model often used by shooters, tracing to Pejsa: https://www.mathscinotes.com/2015/05/pejsas-projectile-drop-versus-distance-formula/ which is considerably simpler than those used by militaries but is effective. BTW, ballistics with air resistance is one gateway into aeronautics and rocket science with side helpings of fluid dynamics. One key consideration is low subsonic vs trans sonic vs supersonic regions of flight dynamics. See this comment with a diagram https://www.mathscinotes.com/2015/05/pejsas-projectile-drop-versus-distance-formula/#comment-2712 KF

  36. 36
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, pardon, but as a math teacher who taught for over 30 years that math in the real world is always an approximation to the idealized math in our models, I know that!!!

    And it doesn’t really relate to the topic being discussed.

  37. 37
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    when you write “Agreed” you mean that you agree that there is also a different perspective, not that you agree with that different perspective?

    I agreed that math could be seen as an effect not a cause – although an effect bound to the cause in a way that we could say it contributes to it. In other words, not arbitrarily.

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, kindly see 32 above. KF

  39. 39
    Viola Lee says:

    I see. Math is certainly not arbitrary. My point is to make this distinction: that math does not cause the world to be what it is, but math is used to describe certain aspects of the world that stem from our experience of the world in a way that suits our nature, both practically and aesthetically (at times.)

    I agree with KF above when he says “Such abstracta do not exert causal forces,” although he and I see other things about the nature of abstractions quite differently.

  40. 40
    Viola Lee says:

    I did read 32, and agree with some of it, KF.

  41. 41
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I’ll argue that math is a cause. Something like the effect of compound interest on savings come from mathematical projections. The projections do not exist as present-day objects, but only as math. It’s a model of something that does not yet exist. But clearly, the math causes understanding, and therefore is the cause of human activity.
    So, math has causal power in the universe.
    Is it the actual cause of the universe? I know that Dr. Feser would not say that – given he has at least one book describing the first cause of the universe and the philosophical arguments for it. The first cause is not math – math was created by God (which is what he says in the quote).
    So, math is not merely something we use, but it is an immaterial force that can cause us to do things via decision making. We don’t consciously use math to add the weights of things and decide that we can’t carry them. The math is built into our reason – given to us by God, and we use it unconsciously. In fact, even infants are moved by mathematics without knowing what it is. They see three blocks and only have 2 hands, so they do the math and realize they can’t grab all three.

  42. 42
    Viola Lee says:

    I’ll agree that “the math causes understanding, and therefore is the cause of human activity.” That’s considerably different from math as an abstraction directly causing the world to be a certain way.

  43. 43
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    That’s considerably different from math as an abstraction directly causing the world to be a certain way.

    It depends on how you look at it. When we construct something, there’s a blueprint or architecture.
    God created math, then created the universe to map into the mathematical constructs. So, math caused the world to be a certain way.
    God could have created a non-mathematically based world. But at the structure of our world is math – which is another way of saying “order, reason, harmony and logic are at the foundation of the world — and those things cause our world to be a certain way and not another way”.

  44. 44
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes, there are different ways of looking at it. I don’t look at it from the “God created it” point of view, but you do, so we have different views that flow from some beginning assumptions.

  45. 45
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    I don’t look at it from the “God created it” point of view, but you do, so we have different views that flow from some beginning assumptions.

    Yes, well stated. I propose God as the origin – so God creating the rational, mathematically consistent structure of the universe is my beginning assumption.
    What do you propose as your beginning assumption?

  46. 46
    bornagain77 says:

    A few notes and quotes; (per the late Steven Weinberg), “we will not be able to derive them, (the mathematical laws of the universe), on the grounds simply of mathematical consistency. Because we can already think of mathematically consistent laws that don’t describe the world as we know it. And we will always be left with a question ‘why are the laws of nature what they are rather than some other laws?’. And I don’t see any way out of that.”

    “I don’t think one should underestimate the fix we are in. That in the end we will not be able to explain the world. That we will have some set of laws of nature (that) we will not be able to derive them on the grounds simply of mathematical consistency. Because we can already think of mathematically consistent laws that don’t describe the world as we know it. And we will always be left with a question ‘why are the laws of nature what they are rather than some other laws?’. And I don’t see any way out of that.
    The fact that the constants of nature are suitable for life, which is clearly true, we observe,,,”
    (Weinberg then comments on the multiverse conjecture of atheists)
    “No one has constructed a theory in which that is true. I mean,, the (multiverse) theory would be speculative, but we don’t even have a theory in which that speculation is mathematically realized. But it is a possibility.”
    Steven Weinberg – as stated to Richard Dawkins at the 8:15 minute mark of the following video
    – Leonard Susskind – Richard Dawkins and Steven Weinberg – 1 in 10^120 – Cosmological Constant points to intelligent design – video
    https://youtu.be/z4E_bT4ecgk?t=495

    And, “an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.”

    The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006
    Excerpt: Unlike Gödel’s approach, mine is based on measuring information and showing that some mathematical facts cannot be compressed into a theory because they are too complicated. This new approach suggests that what Gödel discovered was just the tip of the iceberg: an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.
    http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~chaitin/sciamer3.pdf

    And, “The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy.
    This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,,?
    Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.”

    Bruce Gordon: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy.
    This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,,?Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    And, “Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.”

    Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas S. Robertson
    Excerpt: Chaitin’s Algorithmic Information Theory shows that information is conserved under formal mathematical operations and, equivalently, under computer operations. This conservation law puts a new perspective on many familiar problems related to artificial intelligence. For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.
    http://cires.colorado.edu/~dou...../info8.pdf

    And, (during the founding of modern science in Medieval Christian Europe), “The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities.”

    The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited – July 2010?
    Excerpt: If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.?http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....revisited/

    And, “(contingency) was a huge concept,,, it is an order that is contingent upon the will of the Creator. It could have been otherwise.”

    “That (contingency) was a huge concept (that was important for the founding of modern science). The historians of science call that ‘contingency’. The idea that nature has an order that is built into it. But it is an order that is contingent upon the will of the Creator. It could have been otherwise. Just as there are many ways to make a timepiece, or a clock,,, there are many different ways God could have ordered the universe. And it is up to us not to deduce that order from first principles, or from some intuitions that we have about how nature ought to be, but rather it is important to go out and see how nature actually is.”
    – Stephen Meyer – 5:00 minute mark – Andrew Klavan and Stephen Meyer Talk God and Science
    https://idthefuture.com/1530/

    And, “The belief that it was by divine will and not by some shadow of necessity that matter existed and possessed its properties, had a direct impact on Newton’s science. It was necessary to discover laws and properties by experimental means, and not by rational deduction. As Newton wrote in another unpublished manuscript, “The world might have been otherwise,,”

    Newton — Rationalizing Christianity, or Not? – Rosalind W. Picard – 1998
    Excerpt: The belief that it was by divine will and not by some shadow of necessity that matter existed and possessed its properties, had a direct impact on Newton’s science. It was necessary to discover laws and properties by experimental means, and not by rational deduction. As Newton wrote in another unpublished manuscript, “The world might have been otherwise,,” (see Davis, 1991)
    https://web.media.mit.edu/~picard/personal/Newton.php

    And, “Newton rejected both the clockwork metaphor itself and the cold mechanical universe upon which it is based. His conception of the world reflects rather a deep commitment to the constant activity of the divine will, unencumbered by the “rational” restrictions that Descartes and Leibniz placed on God,,,”

    “Newton’s Rejection of the “Newtonian World View”: The Role of Divine Will in Newton’s Natural Philosophy – (Davis, 1991)
    Abstract: The significance of Isaac Newton for the history of Christianity and science is undeniable: his professional work culminated the Scientific Revolution that saw the birth of modern science,,,
    Newton’s voluntarist conception of God had three major consequences for his natural philosophy. First, it led him to reject Descartes’ version of the mechanical philosophy, in which matter was logically equated with extension, in favor of the belief that the properties of matter were freely determined by an omnipresent God, who remained free to move the particles of matter according to God’s will. Second, Newton’s voluntarism moved him to affirm an intimate relationship between the creator and the creation; his God was acted on the world at all times and in ways that Leibniz and other mechanical philosophers could not conceive of, such as causing parts of matter to attract one another at a distance. Finally, Newton held that, since the world is a product of divine freedom rather than necessity, the laws of nature must be inferred from the phenomena of nature, not deduced from metaphysical axioms — as both Descartes and Leibniz were wont to do.
    http://home.messiah.edu/~tdavis/newton.htm

  47. 47
    bornagain77 says:

    Seeing that the ‘divine will’ of God, (sustaining the universe in its continual existence), played such an integral part in the scientific revolution that Newton was integral in starting, (and although modern science has certainly come a long way since Newton first started the Scientific Revolution), let’s just simply say that Newton would be very pleased to see the recent closing of the “freedom of choice” loophole within quantum mechanics,

    Closing the ‘free will’ loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell’s theorem – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Though two major loopholes have since been closed, a third remains; physicists refer to it as “setting independence,” or more provocatively, “free will.” This loophole proposes that a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure — a scenario that, however far-fetched, implies that a physicist running the experiment does not have complete free will in choosing each detector’s setting. Such a scenario would result in biased measurements, suggesting that two particles are correlated more than they actually are, and giving more weight to quantum mechanics than classical physics.
    “It sounds creepy, but people realized that’s a logical possibility that hasn’t been closed yet,” says MIT’s David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. “Before we make the leap to say the equations of quantum theory tell us the world is inescapably crazy and bizarre, have we closed every conceivable logical loophole, even if they may not seem plausible in the world we know today?”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220112515.htm

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: This experiment pushes back to at least approx. 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Moreover, when we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders,,,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the “freedom-of-choice” loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), then rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and provides us with an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8–eE

    December 2021 – When scrutinizing some of the many fascinating details of the Shroud of Turin, we find that both General Relativity, i.e. gravity, and Quantum Mechanics were both dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/in-time-for-american-thanksgiving-stephen-meyer-on-the-frailty-of-scientific-atheism/#comment-741600

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  48. 48
    Viola Lee says:

    My beginning assumption is that the root of reality is unknowable. We are limited to the experiences and tools that we have in this universe, which is where I start. I have speculations about metaphysics that I like best because they make the most sense to me in comparison to other speculations offered by others, but I understand that all such speculations can’t be shown to be true: their value comes from the ways they help structure our understanding about life here and now in a way that furthers our chosen values, beliefs, needs, etc.

  49. 49
    Viola Lee says:

    I see BA chimed in. I agree with Weinberg when he says, ” In the end we will not be able to explain the world. … We will always be left with a question ‘why are the laws of nature what they are rather than some other laws?’.”

  50. 50
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VA

    In the end we will not be able to explain the world. …

    This would mean that the proposal “God created the world” could not be rejected. All one could say is that you’ve either got a better proposal or you don’t. Saying “I don’t know” is equivalent to saying “Yes, God could have created the universe and I also do not have a better proposal than that”.

  51. 51
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    the root of reality is unknowable

    As above, this would provide you with no basis for rejecting the God Hypothesis.

  52. 52
    Viola Lee says:

    I disagree with your conclusion, SA. Saying that I don’t know is not the same as saying that all metaphysical speculations should be considered equally likely. I don’t have a “better proposal” than the Australian Aborigine origin myths either.

    Also, when you say “God” you have a particular idea of the Christian God, I think, and there are other theistic ideas that are much less burdened with all sorts of dogma that I don’t think are worth my considering at all.

    See 48 for my general feeling about this.

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, unknown is very different from unknow-ABLE. The latter is what you asserted. The latter, too, is not only exceedingly strong but self referential. And so, it claims to be a given first point of knowledge that denies knowledge on that subject. It fails. Instead, we can know certain things about the root of reality, e.g. that it must be causally adequate for a world to exist. The successive finite stage [think, years] traversal of the transfinite being an impossible supertask, it is finitely remote and cannot be a continuation of our causal chain without limit, there was a beginning of our world. Non being having no causal power, were there ever utter nothing, such would forever obtain, there is a finitely remote root of reality. Our world manifesting fine tuning that frames C-chem, aqueous medium, terrestrial planet in galactic habitable zones that enables cell based life, it is arguable that the root is a designer intent on such life. Our world containing rational, responsible, morally governed creatures, the root must be causally adequate for such, arguably pointing to just one serious candidate, the inherently good, utterly wise creator God, a necessary and supreme (maximally great) being. Then, there is the possibility of people knowing God through his self revelation, thus personal encounter. There are now and have been many millions of such. To assign them all to delusion would bring our cognitive abilities under discredit. So, it seems there is more knowable regarding root of reality that may appear at first. KF

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, I was drawing attention, inter alia to: “Less general aspects then help us construct logic model worlds that may be close enough to ours to be useful without necessarily being strictly true. Sometimes, they may actually be true of course.” This brings out contingency in models, how they may be quite restricted, e.g. free fall or projectile motion on a flat world in vacuo with an effectively uniform g field, and how they may contain both approximate and exactly true results. The latter would stem from aspects of math — logic of structure and quantity — that are framework to any possible world. If I put three shillings in a drawer today and two more on the morrow, C S Lewis put it in terms that if there are not exactly five shillings the day following the issue is that the laws of England likely were violated, not those of arithmetic. KF

  55. 55
    William J Murray says:

    VL said:

    My point is to make this distinction: that math does not cause the world to be what it is, but math is used to describe certain aspects of the world that stem from our experience of the world in a way that suits our nature, both practically and aesthetically (at times.)

    This is the point I was trying to bring up with you yesterday. You replied that math describes the experience of the ball falling. This is true, but it’s not the point I was talking about. The question is not if math describes the experience regardless of idealism or realism, but rather is the math causing the experience or is the capacity of math to describe it an effect.

    As I asked before, an effect of what cause? I think your answer would be, whatever is causing the experience whether your ontology is idealist or realist. My question is, since all forms of theoretical realism have been pretty well falsified, what would could be the cause, under idealism, that generates this identical, predictable mathematically precise effect across billions of people’s daily experiences?

    IOW, do you have a causal candidate, under idealism, besides the obvious? (The obvious being math.)

  56. 56
    bornagain77 says:

    Silver Asiatic at 51

    VL: “the root of reality is unknowable”
    SA: “As above, this would provide you with no basis for rejecting the God Hypothesis.”

    Actually SA, it is far worse than that for VL. It would provide him/her with no basis for ‘doing science’ in the first place. i.e. Why even bother ‘doing science’ in the first place if you truly believe, as atheists and secularists do, that “the root of reality is unknowable”, i.e. that there is no real reason and/or purpose, (i.e. no teleology), to be found for our existence and for the existence of the universe?

    As Dr. Michael Egnor bluntly asked A.C. Grayling, “Why look for a reason when there are no reasons?”

    An Open Letter to A.C. Grayling – Michael Egnor – November 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Dear Dr. Grayling:
    ,,, here’s a suggestion for the title of your atheist Oxford conference: “The Metaphysics of Nullity: How Nothing Happened and Then Nothing Made Everything for No Reason.”
    It could be a part of a much bigger atheist project: “The Metaphysics of Entanglement from an Atheist Perspective: Why Look for a Reason When There Are No Reasons?”
    No doubt you’d get a big crowd. Even in Oxford, there are plenty of folks who wouldn’t know a Prime Mover from a prime rib. You could pack the conference with the New Atheist vanguard. Imagine a room full of Brights tackling the metaphysical implications of Nothing!
    There could be some great speakers, and the topics write themselves:
    “Why Quantum Mechanics Is Nothing,” by Lawrence Krauss,,,
    Best regards,
    Mike Egnor
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....01111.html

    The belief that the root of the universe and/or reality is ‘unknowable’, i.e. that there is no real reason and/or purpose, (i.e. no teleology), to be found for our existence and for the existence of the universe, has been around forever and certainly never provided us with the the ‘intellectual presuppositions’ that are necessary for ‘doing science’.

    As Dan Peterson, via Rodney Stark, noted, “A view that the universe is uncreated, has been around forever, and is just “what happens to be” does not suggest that it has fundamental principles that are rational and discoverable. Other belief systems have considered the natural world to be an insoluble mystery, conceived of it as a realm in which multiple, arbitrary gods are at work, or thought of it in animistic terms. None of these views will, or did, give rise to a deep faith that there is a lawful order imparted by a divine creator that can and should be discovered.”

    What’s the Big Deal About Intelligent Design? – by Dan Peterson – December 22, 2005
    Excerpt: Science arose and flourished in a civilization that, at the time, was profoundly and nearly exclusively Christian in its mental outlook.
    There are deep reasons for that, and they are inherent in the Judeo-Christian view of the world which, principally in its Christian manifestation, formed the European mind. As Stark observes, the Christian view depicted God as “a rational, responsive, dependable, and omnipotent being and the universe as his personal creation, thus having a rational, lawful, stable structure, awaiting human comprehension.” That was not true of belief systems elsewhere. A view that the universe is uncreated, has been around forever, and is just “what happens to be” does not suggest that it has fundamental principles that are rational and discoverable. Other belief systems have considered the natural world to be an insoluble mystery, conceived of it as a realm in which multiple, arbitrary gods are at work, or thought of it in animistic terms. None of these views will, or did, give rise to a deep faith that there is a lawful order imparted by a divine creator that can and should be discovered.
    https://spectator.org/47614_whats-big-deal-about-intelligent-design/

    And as Ian Barbour noted, “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.

    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour

    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”

    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.” (Francis Bocon’s inductive methodology)
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    Moreover, the very fact that science has been a ‘remarkable success’ pretty much directly undermines VL’s claim “the root of reality is unknowable”. As Robert Koons, professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas, states, “Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism.”

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.theistic.net/papers.....cience.pdf

    And as historian of science Rodent Stark noted, “That the universe had an Intelligent Designer is the most fundamental of all scientific theories and that it has been successfully put to empirical tests again and again. For, as Albert Einstein remarked, the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible” which Einstein called a “miracle.” And this “miracle” confirms the fact that creation is guided by purpose and reason.

    No False Gods Before Me: A Review of Rodney Stark’s Work by Terry Scambray (December 2018)
    Excerpt: Stark concludes, “That the universe had an Intelligent Designer is the most fundamental of all scientific theories and that it has been successfully put to empirical tests again and again. For, as Albert Einstein remarked, the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible” which Einstein called a “miracle.” And this “miracle” confirms the fact that creation is guided by purpose and reason.
    https://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm?frm=189497&sec_id=189497

    And directly in the face of ‘the remarkable success of science in modern times’, to then turn around, as VL is trying to do right now, and claim that, “the root of reality is unknowable”, is, as Paul Davies noted, “deeply anti-rational”, and is to, “make a mockery of science.”

    Taking Science on Faith – By Paul Davies– Nov. 24, 2007
    Excerpt: Over the years I have often asked my physicist colleagues why the laws of physics are what they are. The answers vary from “that’s not a scientific question” to “nobody knows.” The favorite reply is, “There is no reason they are what they are — they just are.” The idea that the laws exist reasonlessly is deeply anti-rational. After all, the very essence of a scientific explanation of some phenomenon is that the world is ordered logically and that there are reasons things are as they are. If one traces these reasons all the way down to the bedrock of reality — the laws of physics — only to find that reason then deserts us, it makes a mockery of science.
    Can the mighty edifice of physical order we perceive in the world about us ultimately be rooted in reasonless absurdity? If so, then nature is a fiendishly clever bit of trickery: meaninglessness and absurdity somehow masquerading as ingenious order and rationality.
    – per New York Times

    But alas, since VL, (for whatever severely misguided personal reasons), has rejected God, and has rejected Christian Theism in particular, she/he is forced to claim that “the root of reality is unknowable”, and that there is that there is no real reason and/or purpose, (i.e. no teleology), to be found for our existence and for the existence of the universe.

    As Dr. Michael Egnor noted elsewhere, “It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied.”

    Teleology and the Mind – Michael Egnor – August 16, 2016
    Excerpt: In this sense, eliminative materialism is necessary if a materialist is to maintain a non-teleological Darwinian metaphysical perspective. It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/teleology_and_t/

    So thus in conclusion, VL is trying maintain a “deeply anti-rational”, and anti-Christian worldview that, in the end, “makes a mockery of science.”

    It is only by presupposing that the ‘root of reality’ is, at least, partly comprehensible to us, and that there is a ultimate reason and/or purpose, (i.e. an ultimate teleology), to be discovered for our existence, and for existence of the universe, that modern science started and/or is even possible in the first place.

    As Paul Davies noted elsewhere, “even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”

    Physics and the Mind of God: The Templeton Prize Address – by Paul Davies – August 1995
    Excerpt: “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/1995/08/003-physics-and-the-mind-of-god-the-templeton-prize-address-24

    In short, and as far as science itself is concerned, VL’s claim the “the root of reality is unknowable’ is a blatantly self-refuting, “deeply anti-rational”, claim for her/him to make.

    Video and Verse:

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8–eE

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  57. 57
    William J Murray says:

    VL said:

    My beginning assumption is that the root of reality is unknowable.

    I I think the root of reality is, at this point, obvious: mind.

    Logically speaking, all or our experience occurs in mind. The most fundamental statements one can make of knowledge of whatever we call “reality” – “I exist” and “I experience” – are statements of/by mind, about mind. Turn the mind off and there is no “I” and no experience. There is nothing to even call “reality” and no one to call it that.

    Evidentially, we have falsified non-mental realism. What we call “reality” is an experience constructed by mind (consciousness) from informational potential, which is a commodity that only exists in mind.

    I don’t think the conclusion can be rationally avoided: the root of existence/reality is mind, and everything that can be said to “exist,” exists as mental phenomena generated by mind, within mind, experienced and evaluated by mind.

  58. 58
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “unknown is very different from unknow-ABLE. The latter is what you asserted.”

    True, that is what I asserted. All that follows in your post is just another list of beliefs you have from within your particular metaphysical belief system based on assumptions about things we can’t really know.

    BA writes, “Why even bother ‘doing science’ in the first place if you truly believe, as atheists and secularists do, that “the root of reality is unknowable”

    Because science is not about investigating the metaphysics of the root of reality. It is more limited than that. There are plenty of good reasons for doing science in order to just understand how the world around us works.

    WJM writes, “IOW, do you have a causal candidate, under idealism, besides the obvious? (The obvious being math.)” And later he writes, “I don’t think the conclusion can be rationally avoided: the root of existence/reality is mind, and everything that can be said to “exist,” exists as mental phenomena generated by mind, within mind, experienced and evaluated by mind.”

    I think I understand both the philosophical and QM considerations that motivate your beliefs. I think they are closer to my speculative beliefs than, say, theism. But they don’t motivate me like they do you, and I think going into my thoughts about your MRT is beyond the scope of this discussion for me.

  59. 59
    William J Murray says:

    VL said:

    ….I think going into my thoughts about your MRT is beyond the scope of this discussion for me.

    Well, that’s disappointing. I guess I’ll have to look around on Reddit, then 🙂

  60. 60
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77 @ 31 & 56
    Just trying to keep you honest, BA. You keep trying to import folks into your theistic ID universe that don’t belong there, e.g. Einstein, Davies, Flew, etc. I’m not trying to “distance” Einstein from his references to miracles, I’m pointing out that his use of the term is very much different than what is commonly understood by that word….

  61. 61
    Viola Lee says:

    Einstein wrote to to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein in 1929,

    “I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind…”

    That’s a long ways from the God BA believes in, and as close to a theistic viewpoint as any that I could consider.

  62. 62
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77 @56 Good points.
    To say “the root of reality is unknowable”, requires a comprehensive knowledge of reality in itself. How would you know enough to make that statement? Does it mean that “it’s not possible for God to communicate anything to us about the origin of the world?” – or even more, “it’s not possible for God to exist”? That’s hard-atheism in the most extreme form – that it’s not even possible that God exists. That level of certainty is a direct contradiction with the statement that the root of reality is unknowable (since you couldn’t make sweeping-definitive statements about reality if it was unknowable).
    Perpetual and unchangeable ignorance about reality is not a basis upon which someone can build meaning or a rational understanding of life. There would be no reason to search for the reasons for things or to try to get understanding. There would be no reason to try to learn about God since supposedly, it would be impossible to know anything about the cause of things at the root of reality.

  63. 63
    William J Murray says:

    “I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind…”

    This guy on reddit asked all these questions about why/how God created this or that, what is God doing, why is God doing/not doing various things.

    I answered: “God didn’t create anything. God isn’t doing anything. This is what God is.

    That’s the best way I can sum up my views on God.

  64. 64
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind…”

    The contradiction here is that “the fate and doings of mankind” are very much a part of the same world where the god of Deism “reveals Himself”. But this idea will claim that Spinosa’s God cares about the path of planets but not the path of human beings towards the fulfillment of life. Or else, somehow this God has the power to create the universe and all laws, but does not have the power to show providence to human beings but just stands-by helplessly, with no concern.
    Where did Spinoza’s God is supposed to be like Aristotle’s, but Aristotle’s God could not have any limitations in power since there would be nowhere to gain any more possible power. Therefore, the same God who created the universe would have care and responsibility for human life.

  65. 65
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    God isn’t doing anything. This is what God is.

    In a pure theological sense, I find that more consistent than saying “God does this or that”. But we use the anthropomorphic language to try to get understanding. It’s also true that God is – fullness of being, and therefore God is not – a cause of evil.

  66. 66
    Viola Lee says:

    to SA’s post at 62:

    SA writes, “To say “the root of reality is unknowable”, requires a comprehensive knowledge of reality in itself. How would you know enough to make that statement?”

    As usual, people take a statement like this from me as some definite “I know for certain this is true” statement. I never mean that. I’ve written this numerous times: of course, my beliefs are provisional and are my best evaluation of the situation, but not some statement that I’m absolutely certain I’m right.

    SA writes, “ Does it mean that “it’s not possible for God to communicate anything to us about the origin of the world?” – or even more, “it’s not possible for God to exist”?

    No, it certainly doesn’t mean that those things aren’t possible. It just means that I think it very highly unlikely that we would or could know that those things are ontologically, metaphysically true. The empirical evidence concening human beings and the broad scope of metaphysical and religious beliefs points to the much more likely explanation that those beliefs are made-up stories.

    SA writes, “Perpetual and unchangeable ignorance about reality is not a basis upon which someone can build meaning or a rational understanding of life.”

    I said the “root of reality”, not just reality. We know lots about the reality of the world we live in, and are constantly striving to know more. But we need to know enough to know where the dividing line is between what we really can know about and what we can’t

    SA writes, “There would be no reason to search for the reasons for things or to try to get understanding. There would be no reason to try to learn about God since supposedly, it would be impossible to know anything about the cause of things at the root of reality.”

    I have plenty of reasons to want to learn about things without thinking I have to know the ultimate nature of the root of reality. What is available to my understanding about the nature of the world, human beings, and myself is plenty for desiring to live and learn well.

  67. 67
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    But we use the anthropomorphic language to try to get understanding.

    I realize this is pretty much an intractable aspect of trying to understand or describe virtually anything. The problem, though, is that as we go down the road of anthropomorphic descriptions, we immediately find ourselves in the weeds of false analogy.

    For example, “Ground of being” is not analogous to “a being.” “Creating” and “doing” are not concepts that apply to something “outside of space-time.” What does it even mean to say that the “ground of being” exists? We can be certain it exists, but we cannot say it exists in a way that is analogous to how “a being,” like you or I, exist.

  68. 68
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckyD, actually, as I pointed out, (and as you simply ignored as if it had not been said), Einstein’s use of the word ‘miracle’ is very much consistent to the way the word is commonly used and is far more antagonistic to your own Atheistic/Darwinian worldview than it is to Christianity.

    You really need to start checking for the weaknesses in your own worldview first before you start trying to attack other worldviews with a criticism that is much more aptly directed to your own worldview.
    Logical contradictions, (such as the logical contradiction of atheism’s and/or Darwinism’s denial of miracles and yet the tangible existence of miracles, per Einstein), are a fatal flaw in any argument.

    To repeat Einstein, “That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    No matter how you try to spin it, that statement is simply fatal to your argument ChuckyD.

  69. 69
    Viola Lee says:

    WJM’s post at 67 is spot on, and one of the reasons I believe the root of reality is unknowable. All our conceptions are bound up with the way we experience this world and ourselves, and to think that whatever is beyond this world is analogous to what is in the world is just not justified.

  70. 70
    Viola Lee says:

    I see BA doesn’t mention my quote from Einstein: Einstein is discussing the “miracle” of there being a harmonious universe, but he didn’t believe in “a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind…”

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    I see VL didn’t acknowledge that her/his position is ‘deeply irrational’ and ‘makes a mockery’ of science’.

    So much for a fair and balanced debate when one side of the debate simply refuses to acknowledge the fact that their worldview is, at root, ‘deep irrationality’ and ‘makes a mockery of science’.

    i.e. “(An atheist) uses reason to argue against reason. Welcome to the bowels of atheist metaphysics.”

    AN ATHEIST ARGUES AGAINST REASON
    And thinks it is the reasonable thing to do
    Excerpt: “Think of the irony: a professor of philosophy, who is paid only to reason, uses reason to argue against reason. Welcome to the bowels of atheist metaphysics. It would be funny if it were not so dangerous to our culture and to our souls.”
    – Michael Egnor
    https://mindmatters.ai/2019/05/an-atheist-argues-against-reason/

    Moreover, I addressed Einstein’s religious views earlier in post 31 where I ‘merely’ noted that, “according to biographer Walter Isaacson, Einstein was more inclined to denigrate atheists than religious people.[28]”

    “according to biographer Walter Isaacson, Einstein was more inclined to denigrate atheists than religious people.[28]”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-why-would-a-purely-physical-universe-need-imaginary-numbers/#comment-747206

    I guess, in the atheist’s mindset (or is that, in an atheist’s ‘random’, anti-rational, brain-set),, it is only when Einstein denigrates Christianity that we are to take his views seriously. All of Einstein’s fatal criticisms against atheism are to be promptly ignored.

    Oh well, I guess I should not be surprised by such blatant hypocrisy given that I am dealing with people who are dogmatically committed to a ‘deeply irrational’ worldview.

    Moreover, although Einstein himself may not have personally believed in life after death, (nor in a personal God), never-the-less, Special Relativity itself, (Einstein’s first theory of relativity), contradicts Einstein and offers stunning confirmation that Near Death Testimonies are accurate ‘physical’ descriptions of what happens after death, i.e. going to a ‘higher timeless/eternal dimension’, i.e. heavenly dimension, that exists above this temporal realm.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/50-christmases-later/#comment-743334

    Verse:

    Matthew 6:33
    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

  72. 72
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    A saint once said that : avoid at all cost to fight over faith with unbelievers. Why would say something like that?

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, strawman. First the assertion that the root of reality is unknow-ABLE is to assert a knowledge claim about that root. It becomes self referentially incoherent instantly. Had you said unknown to me, that would be a different thing. If you had said, unknown to us all, that may beg the question of whether others do know about and even know that root, but it would not be incoherent; it would just put you in the shoes of the Athenians of 2000 years ago who erected an altar to the unknown god. Your problem, then, is with logic and meaning, not with me or my particular worldview, unless you mean to imply that core logic is caught up in worldviews and is optional. Which, would be grossly irrational given that just to communicate you have had to make use of distinct identity thus its close corollaries, non contradiction and excluded middle. KF

  74. 74
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, do you ever read what other people write, or do you just exclaim” strawman” and start repeating yourself?

    I wrote at 66, “As usual, people take a statement like this from me as some definite “I know for certain this is true” statement. I never mean that. I’ve written this numerous times: of course, my beliefs are provisional and are my best evaluation of the situation, but not some statement that I’m absolutely certain I’m right.”

  75. 75
    Viola Lee says:

    LCD writes, “A saint once said that : avoid at all cost to fight over faith with unbelievers. Why would [he] say something like that?”

    Because faith beliefs are just that – based on faith, so expecting others who don’t already accept the same things on faith is not likely to be fruitful.

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, as I noted, had you said unknown to yourself, it would have been different. Instead you made a universal denial, I guess I can liberally interpret your further remarks as implying that you realise my point is valid. KF

  77. 77
    JVL says:

    Having skimmed through the thread I’ve a few thoughts . . .

    Firstly, while I believe that the basic ‘truths’ of mathematics are invariant and unassailable it is clear that the notation we use, the systems of solution we develop and the problems that drive development of some mathematical techniques are, generally, influenced by human experiences and issues. But it is also true that some mathematical discoveries and results were born out of pure curiosity and wonder. For example: why would anyone trying to solve a real-world problem care if there is an infinite number of primes? Or come up with something like Fermat’s so-called last theorem? Euler basically invented Graph Theory when he tackled what became known as the Konigsberg bridge problem; a real world example (as are some of the later related situations that arose like the travelling salesman problem) but not one that anyone thought was important or mathematical.

    I think it’s clear that the particular order of how we humans developed mathematics is based on a combination of real-world problems and curiosity. In that way it is akin to an art form.

    Secondly, I don’t really see that it’s amazing how well mathematics matches up to the real world when, in fact, the universe is much messier than any of our laws or rules. I’m not talking about Avagadro’s number which is purely a man-made concept. I’m thinking of something like Pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi is an irrational number that has an infinite decimal expansion! That’s not useful until we truncate it. Newton’s laws of motion: pure approximations, very useful approximations but you never, ever see those formulas telling you exact values in the real world. Even Einstein’s lauded theories of relativity . . . have you ever seen the derivation of them? I have. He took an infinite series representation and chopped off all the terms past a certain point. It’s another approximation.

    Take something like compound interest or mortgage calculations. If you’ve ever tried to set up a spreadsheet to calculate such things you quickly realise that you have to round and approximate results because our money system only goes to two decimal places.

    Pure mathematics does not match the real world. Some of our mathematical models are useful and practical and we keep refining them and they keep getting more and more complicated. Just ask the people who are trying to mathematically model the weather or even the spread of a virus. The mathematics came about in an attempt to model and predict the real world. The world does not care at all what our models say or predict.

    Make no mistake, I think the development of Calculus is one of the greatest intellectual achievements human beings have ever done. But there is no way that any real situation is ever completely accurately modelled by our mathematics. We aren’t that good. And we never may be that good. The challenge of trying to use mathematics to predict reality is generally NOT based on the notion that the world is rational; it’s generally based on the challenge itself: can you do better? No mathematician that I have ever known has proposed or supposed that one of the reasons they were trying to figure out some rule or theorem was because they thought reality was designed to be discernible. All they care about is beating someone else to the solution.

    Math is not a spectator sport. Don’t just repost statements that support your point of view, really think about what math can and cannot do. And if you can’t understand what math can and cannot do then consider whether or not you actually have something to contribute to the discussion except to try and advance your agenda. And, consider seriously whether or not you might be incorrect. Not, do I have a lot of quotes supporting my view but: is my view actually, factually correct? Why do I think that way? Do I have the expertise to understand the argument that I am putting forward? If I don’t understand how Einstein derived his rules for relativity can I claim to understand his statements about miracles? Do I really understand his perspective?

  78. 78
    Viola Lee says:

    No, KF, I am making a universal denial. It, like all my beliefs, is provisional and certainly doesn’t claim to be a claim of certain truth. But based on my best evaluation of all I know about human nature, philosophy, religion, psychology, etc., I think it extremely likely that the things people think about the root of reality are inventions arising from both our culture and our tendency to anthropomorphize, and very unlikely to be true about whatever is beyond/before/underlying the world we experience.

    WJM’s post at 67 says this very well.

  79. 79
    Viola Lee says:

    Let me perfectly clear about what I mean by a “universal” denial. I am NOT saying that I am claiming with absolute certainty. I am claiming (with all my regular disclaimers) that metaphysical knowledge of the root of reality (whatever that means) is beyond human comprehension, for everyone.

  80. 80
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF @ 73 – excellent response

    First the assertion that the root of reality is unknow-ABLE is to assert a knowledge claim about that root.

    Exactly. Some precision is required in statements. To say it is “unknow-ABLE’ means that it cannot be known. That’s an absolute statement. It means knowledge is impossible. To then say, “well, yes God could exist and communicate to us” is to deny that the origin is “unknowable”.
    As you said, to say instead “it is unknown to me” is more correct. Others may, indeed know the truth but you (the commenter) doesn’t.

    It becomes self referentially incoherent instantly.

    Exactly. Making absolute statements and then saying they’re just provisional is incoherent.

    Your problem, then, is with logic and meaning, not with me or my particular worldview, unless you mean to imply that core logic is caught up in worldviews and is optional.

    Right. It’s clarity of thought, logic, consistency and willingness to be clear about statements.
    For one to say “it’s not likely that God exists” means that the person is somehow capable of calculating the probability. That person has a comprehensive view of all the variables and calculated that “it’s not likely”? That’s irrational.

  81. 81
    bornagain77 says:

    The atheists on this thread have still not honestly admitted that their worldview cannot possibly ground rationality in the first place. Yet here they sit, persistently, day in and day out, trying to ‘rationally’ argue that their atheistic worldview, which cannot possibly ground rationality, is true.

    The blatantly self-refuting nature of their position would be absolutely hilarious if the ‘potential’ consequences for their eternal souls in rejecting God, especially rejecting Jesus Christ, were not so painfully sad.

    Quote: “Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.”
    – Nancy Pearcey

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself
    Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015,
    Excerpt: An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.
    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.
    Astonishingly, many prominent thinkers have embraced the theory without detecting the logical contradiction. Philosopher John Gray writes, “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” What is the contradiction in that statement?
    Gray has essentially said, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it “serves evolutionary success, not truth.” In other words, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true.
    Self-referential absurdity is akin to the well-known liar’s paradox: “This statement is a lie.” If the statement is true, then (as it says) it is not true, but a lie.
    Another example comes from Francis Crick. In The Astonishing Hypothesis, he writes, “Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive.” But that means Crick’s own theory is not a “scientific truth.” Applied to itself, the theory commits suicide.
    Of course, the sheer pressure to survive is likely to produce some correct ideas. A zebra that thinks lions are friendly will not live long. But false ideas may be useful for survival. Evolutionists admit as much: Eric Baum says, “Sometimes you are more likely to survive and propagate if you believe a falsehood than if you believe the truth.” Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.
    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.
    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.
    A few thinkers, to their credit, recognize the problem. Literary critic Leon Wieseltier writes, “If reason is a product of natural selection, then how much confidence can we have in a rational argument for natural selection? … Evolutionary biology cannot invoke the power of reason even as it destroys it.”
    On a similar note, philosopher Thomas Nagel asks, “Is the [evolutionary] hypothesis really compatible with the continued confidence in reason as a source of knowledge?” His answer is no: “I have to be able to believe … that I follow the rules of logic because they are correct — not merely because I am biologically programmed to do so.” Hence, “insofar as the evolutionary hypothesis itself depends on reason, it would be self-undermining.”,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar/

    Verse and quotes:

    John 1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos also happens to be the root word from which we derive our modern word logic
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

    “Atheists can give no reason why they should value reason, and Christians can show how anyone who believes in reason must also believe in God.”
    Cogito; Ergo Deus Est by Charles Edward White
    Philosophy Still Lives Because God Isn’t Dead
    – per Salvo Magazine

  82. 82
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The phrase “the root cause of reality is beyond human comprehension” requires an absolute knowledge of what humans can know, what our capability is, and how God can reveal Himself to His creation.
    It’s making a knowledge-claim about all of humanity. It’s saying that it is impossible for any human to ever know the origin of things.
    This has to be restated: “I do not think I will ever know the origin of reality because I don’t think I’m capable of it.”
    Ok, that’s reasonable, at least. It’s not the best kind of approach to the topic, but at least someone could engage that.
    But to say “nobody could possibly know the origin of reality” is making a claim for all of humanity for the present and future (and even the past – that supposedly no human ever knew this).

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, ironically, if what was said is that the root of reality is beyond full human comprehension, that would cover all bases nicely. KF

    PS, one reason why I used root is that root here is a way of saying that from which other things have come. Wellspring is similar. Part of this is that non being having no causal capability, I am highlighting the ultimate, necessary being source of worlds. I suspect some have a visceral reaction but on close pondering the matter will be confirmed. At first glance an infinite in the past temporal causal thermodynamically connected origin seems a serious candidate. then, it can be seen that traversal of the transfinite in finite steps is an infeasible supertask. There was a finitely remote beginning of our world and ultimately it comes from necessary being as reality root. I do not exclude a multiverse in saying such.

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, yes, our construction of symbols and approaches is part of the study of facet. The substance of the logic of structure and quantity is what we are studying. KF

  85. 85
    vividbleau says:

    SA, KF
    “The phrase “the root cause of reality is beyond human comprehension”

    Would not someone have to have some comprehension of the root cause of reality to claim it is “beyond comprehension” ?

    Vivid

  86. 86
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Viola Lee
    I believe the root of reality is unknowable

    This is a commom sense truth and another excellent argument to justify the necessity of Bible . If truth is unknowable for humans , definitely is knowable by God as “witness” and creator of origins( and purpose )of this world and He wanted to share this truth with people .
    If you were God would you hide from people or try to communicate with them ? How would
    you communicate with them without affecting their free will?

  87. 87
    Viola Lee says:

    BA writes, “The atheists on this thread have still not honestly admitted that their worldview cannot possibly ground rationality in the first place.”

    You continually conflate atheism with materialism. You should be more accurate. I’ve repeatedly explained this, but you don’t seem to pay attention. I am an example of a non-materialist. I also believe that all gods of human religions are invented. Just today I said I could be sympathetic with Einstein’s idea of God. You should strive to understand a broader range of views, I think.

  88. 88
    Viola Lee says:

    SA writes, “The phrase “the root cause of reality is beyond human comprehension” requires an absolute knowledge of what humans can know, ”

    How in the world can you ignore what I have actually written???? See 78.

  89. 89
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Vivid @ 85
    Exactly. You have to be able to comprehend the thing to make the judgement about it.
    Plus, it’s speaking for everyone “nobody can know the origin of things”.
    What it should be is “I don’t know it” or “it’s beyond what I can comprehend”. Even that though, you’re certainly capable of understanding what the candidates for the origin are.
    Something came from nothing?
    I think we can comprehend what that is supposed to mean and whether it is logical or not.

  90. 90
    Silver Asiatic says:

    LCD

    If truth [about the origin of reality] is unknowable for humans , definitely is knowable by God as “witness” and creator of origins( and purpose )of this world and He wanted to share this truth with people .

    Yes. But it’s also complicated because since God can share His knowledge with us, then we can actually know the origin. We can still know some things about the origin, even without God revealing it. The design and expansiveness of the universe – the harmony of mathematics and forces – indicates that the origin had to have immense power and rational knowledge. There’s actually wisdom in the design as we study it.
    So, we know those aspects were present in the origin of things – immense power, great designing intelligence, and an ordered direction of everything from a single source.

  91. 91
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever VL, you self-refutingly claim that the root of reality is unknowable, (i.e. there is no reason to be found for why reality is the way it is), which is, per Paul Davies, ‘deeply anti-rational’ and is to make ‘a mockery of science’.

    That is all I need to know about the foundation of your worldview, period, in order to whole-heartedly reject it.

    I’ll be damned if I am going to play ring around the posies with you whilst you constantly try to shift your definitions in order to make what is inherently ‘deeply anti-rational’ in your worldview superficially, and fallaciously, rational.

    Taking Science on Faith – By Paul Davies– Nov. 24, 2007
    Excerpt: Over the years I have often asked my physicist colleagues why the laws of physics are what they are. The answers vary from “that’s not a scientific question” to “nobody knows.” The favorite reply is, “There is no reason they are what they are — they just are.” The idea that the laws exist reasonlessly is deeply anti-rational. After all, the very essence of a scientific explanation of some phenomenon is that the world is ordered logically and that there are reasons things are as they are. If one traces these reasons all the way down to the bedrock of reality — the laws of physics — only to find that reason then deserts us, it makes a mockery of science.
    Can the mighty edifice of physical order we perceive in the world about us ultimately be rooted in reasonless absurdity? If so, then nature is a fiendishly clever bit of trickery: meaninglessness and absurdity somehow masquerading as ingenious order and rationality.
    – per New York Times
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-why-would-a-purely-physical-universe-need-imaginary-numbers/#comment-747267

  92. 92
    Viola Lee says:

    BA, you quote, “The idea that the laws exist reasonlessly is deeply anti-rational” and “Can the mighty edifice of physical order we perceive in the world about us ultimately be rooted in reasonless absurdity?”

    I haven’t said anything resembling those statements.

    I accept that we live in an orderly world, and that we have the rationality to understand a great deal about how the various parts work together and are causally related. Furthermore, I am not a materialist: I believe that our mind has rational cognitive abilities and that the use of logic to structure our understanding is part of our nature.

    Could/would you acknowledge that you understand the above paragraph about my beliefs?

  93. 93
    bornagain77 says:

    VL: “I haven’t said anything resembling those statements.”

    VL: “My beginning assumption is that the root of reality is unknowable.”

    VL: “I accept that we live in an orderly world, and that we have the rationality to understand a great deal about how the various parts work together and are causally related.”

    Paul Davies: “The favorite reply is, “There is no reason they are what they are — they just are.” The idea that the laws exist reasonlessly is deeply anti-rational. After all, the very essence of a scientific explanation of some phenomenon is that the world is ordered logically and that there are reasons things are as they are. If one traces these reasons all the way down to the bedrock of reality — the laws of physics — only to find that reason then deserts us, it makes a mockery of science.”

    I rest my case.

  94. 94
    Viola Lee says:

    But I’m not saying that the laws “exist reasonlessly” or that “reason deserts us”. I’m saying that the our reason is limited to a certain domain of experience. I’ll also say that science is limited to investigating that domain, but I’ll add the use and reach of our rationality goes beyond what science investigates to include values and other evaluative beliefs. It is not a “mockery of science” to believe that science can’t investigate everything: to think otherwise is the dreaded scientism that KF so commonly invokes.

    Here is an analogy I mentioned once before that drew no response. It is a fundamental tenet of intelligent design theory to say that inferring design is a separate enterprise from identifying the designer. I say likewise that accepting that order in the universe and reason in human beings exists is separate from identifying the source of that order and reason. The first in both cases is susceptible to empirical verification and the second is beyond the scope of that verification.

    If these two are not analogous positions, explain to me what the difference is.

  95. 95
    bornagain77 says:

    “But I’m not saying that the laws “exist reasonlessly” or that “reason deserts us”

    “My beginning assumption is that the root of reality is unknowable.”

    unknowable
    adjective
    incapable of being known or understood
    beyond human understanding

    Understanding and Reason
    A distinction between understanding and reason as two “capacities of the soul” is already observed in ancient philosophy: understanding—the power of reasoning—grasps all that is relative, earthly, and finite, whereas reason, whose essence consists in the setting of goals, discovers the absolute, divine, and infinite.
    https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Understanding+and+Reason

  96. 96
    Viola Lee says:

    You are not responding to my points, BA.

    No sense saying them again.

  97. 97
    bornagain77 says:

    You are not recognizing your contradiction in logic,

    No sense pointing it out again.

  98. 98
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    I say likewise that accepting that order in the universe and reason in human beings exists is separate from identifying the source of that order and reason. The first in both cases is susceptible to empirical verification and the second is beyond the scope of that verification.

    BA offered a direct question: “Can the mighty edifice of physical order we perceive in the world about us ultimately be rooted in reasonless absurdity?”
    That’s a Yes/No question. Either it can be rooted in reasonless absurdity (an irrational origin) or not.
    You replied with:
    VL: “I haven’t said anything resembling those statements.”
    So, you didn’t answer. Either you think an ordered, rational outcome with the harmony and precision of mathematics can come from an absurd, irrational source or not.
    For empirical verification, it’s the same as with most Intelligent Design proposals: Demonstrate it.
    I can show a highly ordered, rational, complex output as the source of a rational mind.
    What I cannot do is show the same emerging from an unintelligent, reasonless source.

    One way to verify: Find an on-line randomizer. Take one of the sentences I have written here and put it in the randomizer. Then run it until a complete, grammatically correct English sentence appears.

    That’s one simple way of showing that complex, rational outputs can emerge from an unintelligent, irrational, disordered source.
    If this experiment fails (and it will), then we have evidence that the origin of our ordered universe is an intelligent, rational mind.

  99. 99
    Viola Lee says:

    Looks like we’re done, then, as tu quoque doesn’t usually further a discussion. Maybe someone else will respond to my points at 94.

  100. 100
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    reason, whose essence consists in the setting of goals, discovers the absolute, divine, and infinite.

    Interesting point. To say that the origin of the universe is “unknowable” is to say that it is irrational.
    Because reason, as given above, is that which can discover the highest cause of things.
    In fact, that’s the definition of “wisdom” given by Aquinas – the knowledge of the highest causes.
    If the origin of the universe is similar to what we observe – a rational order, then it is knowable since it is based in reason and is something that can be discovered.
    If the origin of the universe is chaos and disorder – then it’s unknowable.

  101. 101
    Viola Lee says:

    re SA at 98, quotes BA’s question to me: “BA offered a direct question: “Can the mighty edifice of physical order we perceive in the world about us ultimately be rooted in reasonless absurdity?”

    I replied, “VL: “I haven’t said anything resembling those statements.”, but SA says that doesn’t answer the question, so I’ll say here: absolutely not. I don’t believe that the world we live in, with all its order and the existence of our rational minds could come from a reasonless absurdity.

    However, the rest of your argument falls prey to the anthropomorphizing fallacy that WJM stated so well at 67. Just because human beings have a kind of logical experience creating order around us doesn’t justify concluding that some similar type of mind is behind the whole universe.

    My guess (and it is just a speculative guess, just as are other metaphysics about the root of reality) is that both the type of mind we experience and the type of physical world we experience both come from something that is neither, and utterly beyond our ability to conceive.

  102. 102
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    I don’t believe that the world we live in, with all its order and the existence of our rational minds could come from a reasonless absurdity.

    That is good to hear, VL. You are stating that the world we live in came from a rational entity.
    The spaceless, timeless, all powerful, wise, rational entity that created the universe is what (Who) we call “God”.

    Just because human beings have a kind of logical experience creating order around us doesn’t justify concluding that some similar type of mind is behind the whole universe.

    If the origin of the universe is “not a reasonless absurdity” as you affirm, then it possesses reason.
    That which possesses reason is what we call “a mind”. Whether God’s mind is like a human mind or not is not relevant. It’s a rational mind and not a reasonless absurdity. That’s concrete, solid knowledge that we can have about the origin of the world.

  103. 103
    bornagain77 says:

    Silver Asiatic at 100, BINGO,

    To claim that it is unknowable to, for all practical purposes, claim “that reason then deserts us, it makes a mockery of science.”

    She/he is trying to have her/his cake and eat it to.

    It is the same type of stupid word game she/he played several months ago when she/he had several people chasing her/his tail in a circle over her/his ‘non-definition’ of time having no beginning.

    Her/his definition of time ended up having nothing whatsoever to do with the space-time we associate with reality and was, in the end, a complete waste of everyone’s time.

    Personally, I have much better things to do than play stupid word games.

  104. 104
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Thanks, BA.
    Also, I validated several months ago that VL is a “she”.

  105. 105
    Viola Lee says:

    No, SA, I’m not saying that the world came from a “rational entity”. You are caught up in a dichotomy where the only two alternatives are meaningless absurd materialism and theism. I have no idea (but I’m doubtful) if it’s reasonable to think of the root of reality (which is the term we are using) as an “entity”, nor if there is anything like conscious rational thought, all-powerful action, or wisdom (or even caring about) human beings at the root. Those are all you overlaying your specific beliefs on top of the situation as if they are the only alternative to meaningless absurdity.

    I’m going to quote WJM here (not because he is an authority, but because he states well something I also believe): ““Ground of being” is not analogous to “a being.” “Creating” and “doing” are not concepts that apply to something “outside of space-time.” What does it even mean to say that the “ground of being” exists? We can be certain it exists, but we cannot say it exists in a way that is analogous to how “a being,” like you or I, exist.”

  106. 106
    dogdoc says:

    VL:

    My guess (and it is just a speculative guess, just as are other metaphysics about the root of reality) is that both the type of mind we experience and the type of physical world we experience both come from something that is neither, and utterly beyond our ability to conceive.

    It is so nice to see someone who believes exactly what I do!!

    Colin McGinn argues persuasively for what is now called, often derisively (new) mysterianism – simply the idea that the deepest questions of existence are not only unanswered, but unanswerable.

    The notion of cognitive closure is particularly compelling: I have a very smart German Shepherd Dog. McGinn points out there is no reason to believe our own cognitive abilities are any more able to comprehend these ultimate mysteries* than my dog’s cognitive abilities could enable him to learn calculus.

    * By “ultimate mysteries” I refer to the metaphysics that VL has been talking about, including the ontological relation between the objects of our perception and our subjective phenomenology.

  107. 107
    Viola Lee says:

    Well, how nice Dogdoc! 🙂 Among other things, knowing that there might be lurkers who are appreciating or enjoying my forays into discussion about these issues is satisfying and adds some additional rationale for doing so.

  108. 108
    Viola Lee says:

    BA, do you believe science can all questions? Specifically, is the question of the ultimate nature of reality a question science can answer?

  109. 109
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    I’m not saying that the world came from a “rational entity”

    The negation of a “reasonless absurdity” which you proposed, is a “rational entity”. There’s no third option.

    [is it] reasonable to think of the root of reality (which is the term we are using) as an “entity”

    Yes, it is reasonable. If it was not an entity, we could not discuss it. Our rational mind grasps entities which are concepts that we analyze and discuss. If the origin of the world is not an irrational source (which you’ve said), then it is a rational entity.

    nor if there is anything like conscious rational thought

    If it is not irrational, then it is rational. That’s what the negation of irrationality is – it’s rational. The negation of “reasonless” is “reasoning”. You’ve said that the origin is “not reasonless” – therefore it is reasoning.

    Those are all you overlaying your specific beliefs on top of the situation as if they are the only alternative to meaningless absurdity.

    I’m not overlaying anything. This is simple logic and analysis. Without that, whatever you have to say could not be understood.

    ““Ground of being” is not analogous to “a being.”

    Actually, it is analogous to “a being” or else we wouldn’t know what the term “ground of being” means. We say “a being” is an individual being – contingent, one of many. Therefore, “ground of being” is understood by analogy as the ultimate cause of all being. We understand what that means, as philosophers have done through the ages. The ground of all being is the fullness of being – all that we know of as “beings” is contained therein. That’s why we use the term “being”. It’s an analogy. It makes sense. Otherwise, we would say its some other invented term that has no connection at all to “being”. But we do not do that since we reason that the beings we experience, come from the fullness of being.

    “Creating” and “doing” are not concepts that apply to something “outside of space-time.”

    We don’t know that. Creating and doing may apply outside of space-time – realized in a different manner than creating and doing we experience in sequential time, but something happens that is identified as those things.

    What does it even mean to say that the “ground of being” exists? We can be certain it exists,

    I think the phrase that follows the question answers it. We observe beings. I am a being. We can be certain that the ground of being exists. What does that mean? It means that it is the completeness of being – nothing can be added or taken away. It is the source of all being – and therefore eternal. No additional power can be added (since it would have to come from outside) – therefore it is “all powerful”, we use the term “omnipotent”. That’s just logic.

    but we cannot say it exists in a way that is analogous to how “a being,” like you or I, exist.”

    As stated above, “we certainly know it exists”. It’s existence is not something unknowable since we share the same existence from that same ground of being. Yes, it is ontologically different, but we know that, and therefore it’s not something completely outside of our comprehension. As above, by logic we can know quite a lot about the ground of all being.

    As stated, since it exists outside of time and space – it is eternal, unbounded, infinite, and spaceless. It also cannot be dependent on any other being for its existence. Nothing can cause it to come into existence or to go out of existence. So, it is uncreated (it could not have been created by any other being since it exists before any other being can exist).

  110. 110
    Viola Lee says:

    SA you write, “The negation of a “reasonless absurdity” which you proposed, is a “rational entity”. There’s no third option.”

    Sure there is. As I said, you are stuck in a false dichotomy? Do you know anything about Eastern philosophy or religion?. One example would be the Tao of Taoism, for instance, which posits an unknowable ground out of which all being manifests, but is definitely not a “being” that “does” anything. This is definitely a third option.

    Also, I imagine you know what a category error is. Is the ocean proud or humble? Well neither, because that whole category doesn’t apply to oceans. It is a similar mistake to ask is the root of reality rational or irrational, especially if we attach meanings based on our understandings of those words in this world. Yes the world is rationally accessible to us, without particular type of embedding and embodiment in space-time, but it is, again, anthropomorphizing to think that anything analogous can be inferred about the ground of being out of which this world, including us and our rationally, springs.

    To say there is no third option is, I think, a deep mistake.

  111. 111
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Skepticism about our knowledge of things always just destroys itself and destroys everybody who takes hold of it. It renders the skeptic to make positive assertions and then deny the ability to assert anything. It’s a form of the liars paradox – leaving the skeptic incomprehensible to himself and self-contradictory.
    S: “We can’t have real knowledge of things. They’re unknowable. Our cognitive abilities give invalid results.”
    R: “Really? Are you certain of that?”
    S: “Yes, absolutely.”

  112. 112
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    Sure there is

    What is the third option between rationality and irrationality?

    It is a similar mistake to ask is the root of reality rational or irrational

    You’ve already stated that the root of reality is “not reasonless absurdity”. So you answered that question already.

  113. 113
    Viola Lee says:

    SA you write,

    S: “We can’t have real knowledge of things. They’re unknowable. Our cognitive abilities give invalid results.”
    R: “Really? Are you certain of that?”
    S: “Yes, absolutely.”

    That is silly, and doesn’t represent me at all. I don’t see that as discussing in good faith, so time for me to get out.

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, truth is unknowable for humans is a claimed known truth. It defeats itself. A safer thing is to note that as error prone creatures, we find ourselves duty bound to truth, right reason, warrant and prudence so that we seek, find, warrant what we can or do know and restrain ourselves from error including over-claiming knowledge or skepticism. KF

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, precisely, it is a self-referential, self-defeating incoherent claim. KF

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    DD [& attn VL, also Vivid, BA77 etc],

    Colin McGinn argues persuasively for what is now called, often derisively (new) mysterianism – simply the idea that the deepest questions of existence are not only unanswered, but unanswerable.

    Do you not notice the self referentiality in that? Then, the self defeat as this is inevitably a claimed answer? Thus the self referential incoherence and reductio ad absurdum?

    If you had cited or said something like, the ultimate root of reality is beyond our full understanding so we cannot provide a complete answer, that would be different.

    We know that self defeat is incoherent and a way of seeing that something is false.

    The denial is thus true: we can and do provide answers as to the roots of reality, through reason informed by our experience and rational insight. Where, we can readily ascertain that just to think or communicate we have had to use distinct identity; which brings with it its close corollaries, non contradiction and excluded middle. It is then advisable never to accept what is inconsistent with this triple law cluster of first principles of right reason.

    If you doubt me on this point, let me put it in terms of an often overlooked part of the classical deposit; a point made by Paul of Tarsus by citing what was likely a C1 Rhetoric 101 example, to correct irrationalism:

    1 Cor 14:7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.

    Building on this, we can see that rational structure is built into language and thought, also into structure and quantity, the mathematical domain, which in key part can be seen as framework to any possible world, W as distinct from a maximally near neighbour W’. Where, such possible worlds are adequately complete descriptions of how this or another world is, was, might have been, might be or could be. So, we may argue onward:

    W = {A|~A}, where it is A that makes it distinct from W’, i.e. distinct identity implies such a structure.

    A is a unit and A’ a complex unit, so we see 1 and 2 with | marking dichotomy being empty, so 0. We already see a mathematical structure and ordering that is framework to ANY distinct possible world. Following von Neumann, we may continue, thusly, with his famous construction:

    {} –> 0
    {0} –> 1
    {0,1} –> 2
    {0,1,2} –> 3
    . . .
    {0,1,2, . . . } –> w, here OMEGA, first transfinite ordinal, order type of N

    We thus see our rational ability to know that N is present in any possible world, a powerful result relevant to the root of reality as N is a set of necessary entities fabric to any distinct possible world. We thus know to certainty something about the root of reality. Where, we may continue:

    consider some n in N, and identify -n as a quantity such that n + [-n] = 0, we have Z, the integers as again embedded structure.

    then, let some p and q be in Z, thus p/q is identifiable and we have Q the rationals.

    thence, we identify numbers requiring convergent, infinite sums of rationals [think, the decimal numbers for convenience] such as pi or e or sqrt 2 etc, and we have R, the reals.

    onward, we can see R* as embracing transfinites and infinitesimals, mileposted by finite and transfinite integers, yes w+1, w+2 etc are just as valid.

    so too are two dimensional rotating vectors so that i*[r] is rotated anticlockwise 90 degrees, thus i*i*[r] is `r, r in R, identifying i^2 = -1, giving C

    we may then identify a spatial plane with orthogonal axes x and i*x aka y. This opens up plane geometry with figures and related properties.

    A similar framing takes us into a 3-d euclidean type space E for convenience thence solids and their properties, all readily seen as embedded in the fabric of any possible world as abstracta of great power as results regarding such are embedded in any possible world. There are many other things that can be composed as abstract logic model worlds.

    We have in hand N,Z,Q,R,R*,C,C*,E,E* etc as fabric to any possible world. Already, we know much about the rational roots of reality.

    So, we have moved beyond reductio already. We have reason to see rational structuring embedded in any possible world starting with distinct identity and a core of mathematics that is applicable to any possible world. These care aspects of the root of reality, abstract aspects of the logic of being for any possible world, starting with the root world from which our world springs.

    If you deny that it is knowable that there is a root, you face issues of W from utter non being, or circular retro causation which is to say the not yet causes itself. It being self evident that non being has no causative power, were utter non being the case, such would forever obtain. Put another way, THAT there is a world entails that something always was as root level necessary being and root world R, from which our and all other possible worlds come or would come.

    Necessary being, being fabric to any possible world W, i.e. if W were actualised, R –> W, W implies R as causally competent root. NB, has characteristics, independent of factors varying from one world to the next, i.e. not dependent on enabling causal factors by contrast with a fire as a typical contingent being. Thus, without temporal-causal beginning or end. Eternality and of world root character.

    We know a fair bit regarding R.

    Notice, these are matters of logic of being. Where we can identify what is impossible of being, as items that have mutually contradictory core characteristics x and y so y = ~x. So, they are infeasible as a square circle or seven sided pentagon are infeasible. We are using first principles of right reason and have elaborated principle 4,

    Weak, inquiry form Principle of Sufficient Reason, wif-PSR: of any candidate being C we may freely inquire as to why it is possible or i9mpossible, actual or possibly actual, and expect to find a reasonable though perhaps partial answer.

    wif-PSR is undeniable, for any c we simply proceed to ask and explore.

    The denials above are in effect denials of wif-PSR and as can be readily seen, fail.

    Going further, is there a DISCONTINUITY in reason so some entity in R has a rationality that is inconsistent with ours or is otherwise utterly incomprehensible to us beyond a kantian type ugly gulch?

    Not credible. We already know that there are pervasive principles of reason, starting with distinct identity and its involvement in thought and communication. We also saw how it immediately extends into the pervasive core of mathematics. There may be a supreme thinker ST in R of utter wisdom, but there is not a rationality utterly alien to ours. Here, I am looking at a possibility, not a defined actuality and such a ST is a candidate here not a part of the line of thought to now.

    However given NB nature of R, we need to realise a key property of serious candidate NB’s. If a scNB is possible of being, it exists in at least one possible world. But, NB’s are fabric to any world so if a scNB is at all possible of being it is part of R which is present in any world. If possible, a scNB is actual. That then brings us to a sobering issue.

    For, God is clearly a scNB. Either, then, God is impossible of being or he is ACTUAL. And, there is no good argument that God is impossible of being. The favourite attempted argument, the deductive form problem of evil is dead, post Plantinga and the free will defence. Where, there are good answers to inductive forms.

    That is,

    THEISTIC PRINCIPLE: there is good reason to acknowledge the reality of God. God, here, being conceived in terms of generic ethical theism: the inherently good, utterly wise creator, a necessary and maximally great being. Already, worthy of loyalty and trust, so too of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature.

    Those who object to TP as false or unknowable, need to provide an answer to wifPSR in regard to God as scNB: _________ As usual, that blank is going to be hard to fill in in ways that are comprehensively factually adequate, logically and dynamically coherent and of balanced explanatory power (neither ad hoc nor simplistic).

    It seems to me that rationality is more universal than some imagine, that it is accessible to us in part, and that this leads to significant knowledge regarding the root of reality R –> W, where W here is our own world as a substitution instance.

    Finally, we are here looking at comparative, root level worldview issues. It is not sufficiently rational to say x has a worldview that differs from my preferences so I can simply dismiss his arguments as pervasively tainted by having a worldview. Nope, everyone has a worldview, sometimes not thought through, what is called a weltbild, a world picture. It is through comparative difficulties on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power that we may responsibly discuss and come to hold balanced, well informed views and conclusions. Where as seen a key factor is self referential coherence without question begging.

    At this level the answer to question begging is precisely the comparative difficulties process, as this comment explores.

    There is no good reason to infer or assume that the root of reality is unknow-ABLE, even though our knowledge on generally available resources is partial and vastly incomplete. Locke has the last word, for now:

    [Essay on Human Understanding, Intro, Sec 5:] Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says [NB: i.e. 2 Pet 1:2 – 4]) pana pros zoen kaieusebeian, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments [Prov 1: 1 – 7], that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their Maker, and the sight of their own duties [cf Rom 1 – 2, Ac 17, etc, etc]. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction, if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp everything . . . It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant [Matt 24:42 – 51], who would not attend his business by candle light, to plead that he had not broad sunshine. The Candle that is set up in us [Prov 20:27] shines bright enough for all our purposes . . . If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly.

    KF

    PS, on Hilbert spaces H beyond E https://www.scienceabc.com/pure-sciences/what-is-a-hilbert-space.html

  117. 117
    ram says:

    Silver Whatever: If it was not an entity, we could not discuss it.

    No. That’s the point. You’re imagined idea of “entity” cannot possibly relate to the Root of All Being. Whatever it is, if it’s anything at all, defies your temporal based, anthromorphic bronze-age ideas of “God”. The very idea of “entity” is a concept in your space-time temporal brain. Hardly a thing that can speak with authority about ultimate reality. Get some humility. Get honest. Stop the pretending.

    It’s okay to say: “I don’t know what ultimate reality is (the Root), and I don’t see how I could know.”

    Unless you and your fellow travellers claim that you have direct knowledge of the Root. Well, pardon us if we’re not impressed. Absolutely no evidence has been proffered around here that such a thing is true.

    –Ram

  118. 118
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Kairosfocus
    LCD, truth is unknowable for humans is a claimed known truth. It defeats itself.

    The truth of this universe ‘s origins was unknowable from human’s side but this truth was exposed by God so is not unknowable anymore. For VL is unknowable because doesn’t believe Christianity is true . VL needs to evade the moral law so he invent a way to escape: a god that is in a coma . 😆
    Doing that VL need to bend the logic but logic is very callous and insensitive with VL’s effort.

  119. 119
    William J Murray says:

    SA said
    @109″

    The negation of a “reasonless absurdity” which you proposed, is a “rational entity”. There’s no third option.

    Can you give an example of a “reasonless absurdity?”

    Actually, it is analogous to “a being” or else we wouldn’t know what the term “ground of being” means. We say “a being” is …

    This like saying that “photography” is analogous to a particular photo of a something, or “cooking” is analogous to a beef wellington.

    Creating and doing may apply outside of space-time – realized in a different manner than creating and doing we experience in sequential time, but something happens that is identified as those things.

    As I pointed out before, this is the problem of anthropomorphizing the “ground of being.” Can you describe “doing” or “creating” something without any implication of space and time?

    If not, then what are you saying when you say “creating something outside of space and time?” You’re not saying anything that has any contextual meaning in any way we can understand it, so then what do the words “create” and “do” mean?

    I think the phrase that follows the question answers it.

    I didn’t say we can’t know anything about the ground of being. I said:

    We can be certain it exists, but we cannot say it exists in a way that is analogous to how “a being,” like you or I, exist.”

  120. 120
    William J Murray says:

    VA said:

    That is silly, and doesn’t represent me at all. I don’t see that as discussing in good faith, so time for me to get out.

    I’m discussing in good faith 🙂

  121. 121
    William J Murray says:

    I’ll just throw this out there: the root of being is potential. It is not something that exists in any non-potential or normative way, but provides for the normative existence of anything and everything else that can possibly exist.

  122. 122
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, I am not speaking to comprehensive knowledge. We know some things, and enough things that we are responsible. KF

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, logic of being and issues of roots of reality involving mathematical entities and pervasive first principles of reason have little to do with loaded language fulminations like this from Dawkins, which you unfortunately echo [e.g. alluding to bronze age sky war god rhetoric], telling us a lot:

    Dawkins, The God Delusion: “The God of the Old Testament [= The God of Israel . . . ] is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully . . . ” [Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Great Britain: Bantam Press, 2006, 31. Cf. Lennox- Dawkins debate, here. ]

    It is you who needlessly injected such due to your preconceptions and patent animus. Rethinking is in order.

    I suggest, you will find the issue of self referential and incoherent worldview assertions is significant and that there are significant things we can know regarding roots of reality tied to R –> W, and to W = {A|~A} where A marks it as distinct from neighbour W’ and what flows from such. Much of it stuff from C19 – 20.

    Beyond, ponder the logic of being, leading to the reality of necessary being. Thence, relevance to R –> W and to serious candidate necessary beings. BTW, for instance, 0, 1, 2 are entities, are necessary, without beginning or end beings, are part of R thus every possible world, are eternal.

    KF

    PS: Let me clip some bronze age material:

    Lev 19: 9 “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.

    11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.

    13 “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14 You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.

    15 “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life1 of your neighbor: I am the LORD.

    17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

    The horror, the horror.

  124. 124
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, reality is actual, and our world as part of it descends in a causal-temporal, thermodynamically constrained fashion. The root, world zero is therefore actual as what W springs from. We do not get a world from utter non being; this understood by contrast with being. KF

  125. 125
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, perhaps a bit of scripture reflecting some of what I am pointing to will help:

    Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,7 in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse . . . .

    14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . .

    13: 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    From origin forward, once rational creatures with conscience guiding responsible freedom and thought towards clarity of truth exist, there is adequate warrant to know that there is an Eternal and Supreme, Moral Power behind the world.

    Our problem is suppression not simple ignorance, and as reason is morally governed via branch on which we all sit first duties attested to by conscience, the suppression of such truths is morally and intellectually devastating. As we can readily see, yet another sign: if your system is leading to absurdity it is absurd, And no that is no emotive reaction to consequences. Though recognising that voyages of folly on the ship of state generally end in shipwreck will help.

    We can see this playing out in the US and Canada — Canada!!!!!!!!!!! — as we speak.

    KF

  126. 126
    William J Murray says:

    KF,
    If the potential for the actual did not exist, there would be no actual. Potential underlies everything. There’s no getting behind potential. That potential is the root of what we normatively call “existence” and “being” has been demonstrated by 100+ years of experimentation, which has falsified normative realism as the “root” of our existence.

  127. 127
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Kairosfocus
    From origin forward, once rational creatures with conscience guiding responsible freedom and thought towards clarity of truth exist, there is adequate warrant to know that there is an Eternal and Supreme, Moral Power behind the world.

    “Adequate warrant “ is not enough otherwise why would Jesus even bother to come?
    Sin damaged us ontologically.

  128. 128
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the root is an actual with the capability — clearer term, I think — to cause worlds such as ours. KF

  129. 129
    William J Murray says:

    KF,
    Yes, potential is an actual thing; it’s just not actual in the normative sense of the word “actual.” It is real, but it’s not real in the normative sense. It is that which provides for normative “actual” or “real” things.

  130. 130
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, adequate warrant means we naturally recognise and are responsible to acknowledge; such that ignorance is thus induced through benumbed conscience and warped thinking. We should know and acknowledge better, especially collectively. If you want further scripture, we have the cockroach effect — light has come but men fled it to dark corners as their deeds were evil, hearts became darkened and hard, consciences benumbed. That evasion is an all too familiar pattern, marches of willful folly are in the teeth of what we should know. KF

    PS, this is not a place to explore theology of redemption but cf Isa 52:13 – 53:12.

  131. 131
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, capability, then. KF

  132. 132
    bornagain77 says:

    SA: Excellent replies!

    VL asks: “is the question of the ultimate nature of reality a question science can answer?”

    Although I ought to know better, (since VL never apologized to anyone for her fallacious ‘time has no beginning’ claim, which wasted hours of our ‘time’), the answer to her present question is, Yes!.

    The inductive methodology of Francis Bacon, i.e. the scientific method itself, literally has the presupposition that science can answer the question of the ultimate nature and/or truth of reality built into it.

    Bacon’s inductive methodology, which he introduced, via his Christian belief in ‘the fall of man’, as a check and balance against humanity’s fallen sinful nature,

    Bacon’s “Enchanted Glass” – Emily Morales – December 2019
    Excerpt: It was the rather low regard for the fallen human mind, besieged as it were by sin, that drove Francis Bacon, the “Father” of the Scientific Method, to formulate a new epistemology in his Great Instauration. In this brilliant man of faith’s view, the Adamic fall left an indelible mark on the human intellect, such that in its total depravity and persistent infirmity it could not be trusted to generate knowledge that was in any way free from bias, wrong presuppositions, or contradictions.,,,
    Recognizing then, the limitations of the human mind for revealing truth by mere logic and deductive reasoning, Bacon posited an altogether different means for knowledge acquisition: experimentation3—repeated experimentation—within the context of a scientific community (natural philosophers in his day). Bacon’s inductive methodology facilitated an explosion in knowledge of the natural world and accompanying technological advancement:
    https://salvomag.com/post/bacons-enchanted-glass

    The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science – Peter Harrison – 2007
    Description: Peter Harrison provides an account of the religious foundations of scientific knowledge. He shows how the approaches to the study of nature that emerged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were directly informed by theological discussions about the Fall of Man and the extent to which the mind and the senses had been damaged by that primeval event. Scientific methods, he suggests, were originally devised as techniques for ameliorating the cognitive damage wrought by human sin. At its inception, modern science was conceptualized as a means of recapturing the knowledge of nature that Adam had once possessed. Contrary to a widespread view that sees science emerging in conflict with religion, Harrison argues that theological considerations were of vital importance in the framing of the scientific method.
    https://www.amazon.com/Fall-Man-Foundations-Science/dp/0521117291
    Peter Harrison is a former Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford and is presently Research Professor and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland. He was the 2011 Gifford Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and holds a Senior Research Fellowship in the Ian Ramsey Centre at Oxford

    Bacon’s inductive methodology, which he introduced, via his Christian belief in ‘the fall of man’, as a check and balance against humanity’s fallen sinful nature, was a radically different form of ‘bottom up’ reasoning that was, practically speaking, a completely different form of ‘bottom up’ reasoning compared to the ‘top down’ deductive reasoning of the ancient Greeks which had dominated philosophical thought for a few millennia up until that time.

    In the deductive reasoning of the ancient Greeks, one reasons down from a ‘conclusion’, and/or a ‘presupposed’ truth about the world, to general facts about the world, and in inductive reasoning one reasons up from the empirical evidence itself, (general facts that are observed about the world), to a more exact ‘conclusion’ and/or a more exact truth about the world.

    Deductive vs. Inductive reasoning – top-down vs. bottom-up – graph
    https://i2.wp.com/images.slideplayer.com/28/9351128/slides/slide_2.jpg

    As Henry F. Schaefer succinctly put it, “The emergence of modern science was associated with a disdain for the rationalism of Greek philosophers who pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.”

    “The emergence of modern science was associated with a disdain for the rationalism of Greek philosophers who pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.”
    – Henry F. Schaefer III – Making Sense of Faith and Science – 23:30 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/C7Py_qeFW4s?t=1415

    And indeed, repeated experimentation, i.e. inductive methodology, ever since it was first set forth by Francis Bacon, has been the cornerstone of the scientific method. And has indeed been very, very, fruitful for man in gaining accurate knowledge of the universe in that repeated experiments lead to more “exacting, and illuminating”, conclusions than are possible with the quote-unquote, “educated guesses” that follow from Aristotle’s deductive form of reasoning.

    Francis Bacon, 1561–1626
    Excerpt: Called the father of empiricism, Sir Francis Bacon is credited with establishing and popularizing the “scientific method” of inquiry into natural phenomena. In stark contrast to deductive reasoning, which had dominated science since the days of Aristotle, Bacon introduced inductive methodology—testing and refining hypotheses by observing, measuring, and experimenting. An Aristotelian might logically deduce that water is necessary for life by arguing that its lack causes death. Aren’t deserts arid and lifeless? But that is really an educated guess, limited to the subjective experience of the observer and not based on any objective facts gathered about the observed. A Baconian would want to test the hypothesis by experimenting with water deprivation under different conditions, using various forms of life. The results of those experiments would lead to more exacting, and illuminating, conclusions about life’s dependency on water.
    https://lib-dbserver.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/thematic-maps/bacon/bacon.html

    So again, the inductive methodology of Francis Bacon, i.e. the scientific method itself, literally has the presupposition that science can answer the question of the ultimate nature and/or truth of reality built into it.

    And so thus again, (especially given the remarkable success of modern science thus far in leading us to more “exacting, and illuminating” conclusions about the universe than are possible with the quote-unquote, “educated guesses” that follow from Aristotle’s deductive form of reasoning), to all of the sudden, after the stunning success of science, arbitrarily presuppose, as VL is currently doing, that the ultimate nature and/or truth of reality is somehow ‘unknowable’ to the inductive methodology of the scientific method is literally to make a ‘mockery of science’ and the stunning success that the inductive methodology of the scientific method has had thus far in leading us to more “exacting, and illuminating” conclusions about the universe.

    Again, the ‘bottom-up’ inductive methodology of Francis Bacon, i.e. the scientific method itself, literally has the presupposition that science can answer the question of the ultimate nature and/or truth of reality built into it.

    And indeed, I hold that we are presently in a position in science to answer that question of the ultimate nature and/or truth of reality.

    But before we try to tackle that question, it is first necessary to give a little background.

    Specifically, it is important to note just how easily false deductive presuppositions can be mistaken for being true presuppositions in spite of of the fact that those deductive presuppositions are not supported, even contradicted, by the empirical evidence of the inductive methodology.

    Case in point, the Copernican Principle, and/or the Principle of mediocrity, (which holds that there is nothing particularly special about the earth and humanity in the universe), is presently held, by the vast majority of people, as being unquestionably true in spite of the fact that it was never empirically established as being true in the first place.

    The Tyranny of Simple Explanations – Philip Ball – AUG 11, 2016
    Excerpt: Take the debate between the ancient geocentric view of the universe—in which the sun and planets move around a central Earth—and Nicolaus Copernicus’s heliocentric theory, with the Sun at the center and the Earth and other planets moving around it.,,,
    It is often claimed that, by the 16th century, this Ptolemaic model of the universe had become so laden with these epicycles that it was on the point of falling apart. Then along came the Polish astronomer with his heliocentric universe, and no more epicycles were needed. The two theories explained the same astronomical observations, but Copernicus’s was simpler, and so Occam’s razor tells us to prefer it.
    This is wrong for many reasons. First, Copernicus didn’t do away with epicycles.,,,
    In an introductory tract called the Commentariolus, published around 1514, he said he could explain the motions of the heavens with “just” 34 epicycles. Many later commentators took this to mean that the geocentric model must have needed many more than 34, but there’s no actual evidence for that. And the historian of astronomy Owen Gingerich has dismissed the common assumption that the Ptolemaic model was so epicycle-heavy that it was close to collapse. He argues that a relatively simple design was probably still in use in Copernicus’s time.,,,
    http://www.theatlantic.com/sci.....or/495332/

    In short, just because the earth is not to be considered central in the solar system itself, that does not automatically mean that the Earth cannot be considered central in the universe as a whole.

    And indeed, the false deductive presupposition of the Copernican Principle, and/or the Principle of mediocrity is now directly contradicted by several lines of, (very powerful), empirical evidence that shows that there is something rather unique, even ‘special’, about the earth and humanity in the universe.

    ,,, the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity has now been overturned by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, our two most powerful theories in science: (as well as by several other lines of scientific evidence)
    August 2021
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/privileged-address-an-excerpt-from-neil-thomass-taking-leave-of-darwin/#comment-736493

    In short, as far as the inductive methodology of the scientific method itself is concerned, the Copernican Principle, and/or the Principle of mediocrity is now found to be, unquestionably, a false deductive presupposition for a person to hold as being true.

    The lesson in all this is simply to note how easily a wide swath of people can be led astray by a false deductive presupposition that is taken to be unquestionably true in spite of the fact that it never was established as being true by the inductive methodology of empirical science in the first place. And how stubbornly a false deductive presupposition can persist in the psyche of humanity in spite of the fact of being, strongly, contradicted by current empirical evidence., i.e. strongly contradicted by inductive reasoning!

    (Of related interest; I think it is very interesting to note just how similar the false ‘mediocrity’ claim, i.e. that there is nothing special about humanity in the universe, is to VL’s present false claim that humanity cannot know the ultimate nature and/or truth, about the universe).

  133. 133
    bornagain77 says:

    To continue on, like the false deductive presupposition of the Copernican Principle, and/or the Principle of mediocrity, there is also another false, widely held, deductive presupposition in science today that is contradicted by the empirical evidence.

    Namely, it is still widely held that a purely mathematical ‘theory of everything’ will be forthcoming.

    The number one unsolved mystery in science today, or one might say the search for the ultimate truth in science today, is the quest to solve the mystery of the “Theory of Everything”.
    The search for the “Theory of Everything” today takes the form of theoretical physicists, and mathematicians, trying to mathematically unify gravity, as it is described by General Relativity, with quantum mechanics into a single overarching mathematical framework that, in principle, would be capable of describing all phenomena in the universe.

    Theory of everything
    A theory of everything (TOE[1] or ToE), final theory, ultimate theory, or master theory is a hypothetical single, all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the universe.[2]:6 Finding a TOE is one of the major unsolved problems in physics.[3] String theory and M-theory have been proposed as theories of everything. Over the past few centuries, two theoretical frameworks have been developed that, together, most closely resemble a TOE. These two theories upon which all modern physics rests are general relativity and quantum mechanics. General relativity is a theoretical framework that only focuses on gravity for understanding the universe in regions of both large scale and high mass: stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, etc. On the other hand, quantum mechanics is a theoretical framework that only focuses on three non-gravitational forces for understanding the universe in regions of both small scale and low mass: sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, etc. Quantum mechanics successfully implemented the Standard Model that describes the three non-gravitational forces – strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and electromagnetic force – as well as all observed elementary particles.[4]:122
    General relativity and quantum mechanics have been thoroughly proven in their separate fields of relevance. Since the usual domains of applicability of general relativity and quantum mechanics are so different, most situations require that only one of the two theories be used.[5][6]:842–844 However, the two theories are considered incompatible in regions of extremely small scale – the Planck scale – such as those that exist within a black hole or during the beginning stages of the universe (i.e., the moment immediately following the Big Bang). To resolve the incompatibility, a theoretical framework revealing a deeper underlying reality, unifying gravity with the other three interactions, must be discovered to harmoniously integrate the realms of general relativity and quantum mechanics into a seamless whole: the TOE is a single theory that, in principle, is capable of describing all phenomena in the universe.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_everything

    To put it mildly, describing all phenomena in the universe is a rather ambitious goal for any single mathematical theory of science to ever hope to achieve.

    But be that as it may, for the last several decades, since at least the mid 1980s, the leading candidate for solving this hypothetical mathematical ‘theory of everything’ has been the mathematical framework of String theory and/or M-theory.

    The ‘scientific’ trouble with String theory and/or M-theory is that it never has had any empirical evidence to support its validity as a unquestionable deductive presupposition,

    As Roger Penrose himself stated, “’What is referred to as M-theory isn’t even a theory. It’s a collection of ideas, hopes, aspirations. It’s not even a theory”,,, “They are very far from any kind of observational (evidence). Yes, they (the ideas of String Theory and/or M-theory) are hardly science.”

    “What is referred to as M-theory isn’t even a theory. It’s a collection of ideas, hopes, aspirations. It’s not even a theory and I think the book is a bit misleading in that respect. It gives you the impression that here is this new theory which is going to explain everything. It is nothing of the sort. It is not even a theory and certainly has no observational (evidence),,, I think the book suffers rather more strongly than many (other books). It’s not a uncommon thing in popular descriptions of science to latch onto some idea, particularly things to do with string theory, which have absolutely no support from observations.,,, They are very far from any kind of observational (evidence). Yes, they (the ideas of String Theory and/or M-theory) are hardly science.”
    – Roger Penrose – former close colleague of Stephen Hawking – in critique of Hawking’s new book ‘The Grand Design’ the exact quote in the following video clip:
    Roger Penrose Debunks Stephen Hawking’s New Book ‘The Grand Design’ – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg_95wZZFr4

    In fact, besides having no ‘inductive’ empirical basis to establish its validity in the first place, String Theory is now found, (much like the false presupposition of the Copernican Principle), to be contradicted by the empirical evidence.

    Specifically, “according to string theory, all particles in the universe can be divided into two types: bosons and fermions. String theory predicts that a type of connection, called supersymmetry, exists between these two particle types.
    Under supersymmetry, a fermion must exist for every boson and a boson for every fermion. Unfortunately, experiments have not yet detected these extra particles.”

    String Theory and Supersymmetry
    Excerpt: According to string theory, all particles in the universe can be divided into two types: bosons and fermions. String theory predicts that a type of connection, called supersymmetry, exists between these two particle types.
    Under supersymmetry, a fermion must exist for every boson and a boson for every fermion. Unfortunately, experiments have not yet detected these extra particles.
    Supersymmetry is a specific mathematical relationship between certain elements of physics equations. It was discovered outside of string theory, although its incorporation into string theory transformed the theory into supersymmetric string theory (or superstring theory) in the mid-1970s.
    One benefit of supersymmetry is that it vastly simplifies string theory’s equations by allowing certain terms to cancel out. Without supersymmetry, the equations result in physical inconsistencies, such as infinite values and imaginary energy levels.
    https://www.dummies.com/education/science/physics/string-theory-and-supersymmetry/

    And as the following 2021 article points out, ‘After years of searching and loads of accumulated data from countless collisions, there is no sign of any supersymmetric particle. In fact, many supersymmetry models are now completely ruled out, and very few theoretical ideas remain valid.’

    Where are all the squarks and gluinos?
    The future of supersymmetry is in serious doubt. – Jan 2021
    Excerpt: The ATLAS collaboration, made up of hundreds of scientists from around the world, have released their latest findings in their search for supersymmetry in a paper appearing in the preprint journal arXiv.
    And their results? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero.
    After years of searching and loads of accumulated data from countless collisions, there is no sign of any supersymmetric particle. In fact, many supersymmetry models are now completely ruled out, and very few theoretical ideas remain valid.
    While supersymmetry has enjoyed widespread support from theorists for decades (who often portrayed it as the obvious next step in advancing our understanding of the universe), the theory has been on thin ice ever since the LHC turned on. But despite those initial doubtful results, theorists had hoped that some model of tuning of the theory would produce a positive result inside the collider experiment.
    While not every possible model of supersymmetry has been ruled out, the future of the theory is in serious doubt. And since physicists have invested so much time and energy into supersymmetry for years, there aren’t a lot of compelling alternatives.
    https://www.livescience.com/no-signs-supersymmetry-large-hadron-collider.html

    In short, String Theory, for all practical purposes, is now considered to be dead as far as being a serious candidate for the hypothetical mathematical ‘Theory of Everything’.

    Of related interest, the prediction(s) from String Theory for the existence of new particles was/is a ‘prediction’ from String Theory that was made just in order to avoid, and/or ‘explain away’, the implications of the fine-tuning of the laws of nature.

    As Sabine Hossenfelder states, “new particles must appear” in an energy range of about a TeV (ie accessible at the LHC) “to avoid finetuning.”

    … This was the argument why the LHC should see something new: To avoid finetuning and to preserve naturalness.
    I explained many times previously why the conclusions based on naturalness were not predictions, but merely pleas for the laws of nature to be pretty.”,,,
    “I must have sat through hundreds of seminars in which naturalness arguments were repeated. Let me just flash you a representative slide from a 2007 talk by Michelangelo L. Mangano (full pdf here), so you get the idea. The punchline is at the very top: “new particles must appear” in an energy range of about a TeV (ie accessible at the LHC) “to avoid finetuning.”
    … This was the argument why the LHC should see something new: To avoid finetuning and to preserve naturalness.
    I explained many times previously why the conclusions based on naturalness were not predictions, but merely pleas for the laws of nature to be pretty. Luckily I no longer have to repeat these warnings, because the data agree that naturalness isn’t a good argument.
    (“Pretty” as in ‘not-fine-tuned’?)
    My disbelief in naturalness used to be a fringe opinion and it’s gotten me funny looks on more than one occasion. But the world refused to be as particle physicists expected, naturalness rapidly loses popularity, and now it’s my turn to practice funny looks. The cube, it’s balancing on a tip and nobody knows why. In desperation they throw up their hands and say “anthropic principle”. Then they continue to produce scatter plots. …
    The naturalness arguments are eventually based on the idea that whatever a fundamental theory looks like, it does conform to this ideal: There’s one or only a few parameters. They are neither fine-tuned nor appear in unreasonably large ratios. We, the stuff we are made of, and our universe, is somehow “natural,” “average” or “mediocre.” However, if you continue to ask “why” at this point you’ll notice how the scientific basis crumbles away under your feet. Why should this be? Because very small parameters make you feel uneasy? Because you don’t find many parameters a satisfactory explanation? Because it’s not pretty? Because it smells like intelligent design?”
    – Sabine Hossenfelder – PhD Physics
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/after-the-multiverse-the-multiworse/#comment-653926

    Needless to say, postulating ficticious, non-existent, particles just so in order to ‘explain away’ fine tuning of the universe smells on awful lot like the false deductive presupposition of the Mediocrity principle has made its way into theoretical physics. (i.e. A false presupposition that was/is held in science in spite of being strongly contradicted by current empirical evidence.)

    But anyways to continue on, although special relativity and quantum mechanics were, via the mathematical sleight of hand of ‘renormalization’, mathematically unified with one another in order to produce the very successful theory of Quantum Electrodynamics, no such mathematical sleight of hand exists for unifying General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics.

    Professor Jeremy Bernstein states the situation as such, “there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.”

    Quantum Leaps – Jeremy Bernstein – October 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Divergent series notwithstanding, quantum electrodynamics yielded results of remarkable accuracy. Consider the magnetic moment of the electron. This calculation, which has been calculated up to the fifth order in ?, agrees with experiment to ten parts in a billion. If one continued the calculation to higher and higher orders, at some point the series would begin to break down. There is no sign of that as yet. Why not carry out a similar program for gravitation? One can readily write down the Feynman graphs that represent the terms in the expansion. Yet there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.
    https://inference-review.com/article/quantum-leaps
    Jeremy Bernstein is professor emeritus of physics at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

    And as theoretical physicist Sera Cremonini stated, “You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,”

    Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces
    We asked four physicists why gravity stands out among the forces of nature. We got four different answers.
    Excerpt: the quantum version of Einstein’s general relativity is “nonrenormalizable.”,,,
    In quantum theories, infinite terms appear when you try to calculate how very energetic particles scatter off each other and interact. In theories that are renormalizable — which include the theories describing all the forces of nature other than gravity — we can remove these infinities in a rigorous way by appropriately adding other quantities that effectively cancel them, so-called counterterms. This renormalization process leads to physically sensible answers that agree with experiments to a very high degree of accuracy.
    The problem with a quantum version of general relativity is that the calculations that would describe interactions of very energetic gravitons — the quantized units of gravity — would have infinitely many infinite terms. You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,
    Sera Cremonini – theoretical physicist – Lehigh University
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-gravity-is-not-like-the-other-forces-20200615/

    In short, there is an unbridgeable ‘infinite mathematical divide’ that separates General Relativity from Quantum Mechanics.

  134. 134
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. William Dembski in this following comment, although he was not directly addressing the ‘infinite mathematical divide’ that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, offers this insight into what the ‘unification’ of infinite God with finite man might look like mathematically:, Specifically he states, “The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31
    William Dembski PhDs. Mathematics and Theology
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    Moreover, when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God back into physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned), and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company,

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Excerpt: This experiment pushes back to at least 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    ,,, when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God back into physics, then that (very) reasonable concession to rightly allow God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.

    The Shroud of Turin is, by far, the most scientifically scrutinized ancient artifact from history.

    Shroud of Turin – Scientific Papers and Articles
    https://www.shroud.com/library.htm#papers

    And when scrutinizing some of the many fascinating details of the Shroud of Turin, we find that both General Relativity, i.e. gravity, and Quantum Mechanics were both dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/in-time-for-american-thanksgiving-stephen-meyer-on-the-frailty-of-scientific-atheism/#comment-741600

    So thus in conclusion, when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God back into physics, as the Christian founders of science originally presupposed to be true,

    February 2022 – The free will of God and the founding of modern science
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-why-would-a-purely-physical-universe-need-imaginary-numbers/#comment-747234

    ,,, then a very plausible, empirically backed, solution to the number one unsolved mystery in science today, of finding a reconciliation between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, readily pops out for us in that, as the Shroud of Turin gives witness to, both Gravity and Quantum Mechanics were dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    Matthew 28:18
    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,”

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    One final note, although some people may complain to me that the ‘Shroud of Turin’ is a pretty flimsy piece of empirical evidence to ‘inductively’ build your case that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides us with the correct solution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’, I merely note that the Shroud of Turin is not nearly as flimsy of a piece of evidence as many people have falsely presupposed.

    Evidence for the Shroud’s authenticity (Timeline of facts) –
    What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know – Myra Adams and Russ Breault – November 08, 2019
    https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/what-is-the-shroud-of-turin.html

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Hologram
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

    So basically, we have a clothe with a photographic negative image on it that was made well before photography was even invented. Moreover, the photographic negative image has a 3-Dimensional holographic nature to its image that was somehow encoded within the photographic negative well before holography was even known about. Moreover, even with our present day technology, we still cannot replicated the image in all its detail.?My question to atheists is this, if you truly believe some mad genius forger in the middle ages made this image, then please pray tell why did this mad genius save all his genius for this supposed forgery alone and not for, say, inventing photography itself since he surely would have required mastery of photography to pull off the forgery? Not to mention mastery of laser holography? Moreover, why did this hypothetical mad super-genius destroy all of his scientific instruments that he would have had to invent in order to make the image? Leonardo da Vinci would not have been worthy to tie the shoe laces of such a hypothetical mad genius!

    These are big questions to deal with. I’ve never seen any of the shroud-skeptics address this.
    We see claims that “the shroud is a forgery” and then the discussion ends with that. It seems obvious to me that the skeptics are afraid to go any further and are just relieved that they “silenced” the shroud.
    But wait – yes, who was this forger? We have 3-D, photographic image of amazing subtlety and refinement. Yes, it’s something that transcends the genius of Leonardo DaVinci. We continue to use 21st century technology just to try to reproduce it.
    But nobody knows the name or origin of this artistic genius? There is no evidence of a workshop or artistic guild where this innovative creation was designed? Nobody from history ever mentioned this person? This genius-artist only produced this one masterpiece work – a holographic image on a cloth (containing pollen traceable to Jerusalem)? It was not framed or put on display. Not sold to anyone. The artist got nothing from creating it. Even the name of the genius artist disappeared. He never influenced any other artists. No family, friends, artistic community – not even the parish church – ever knew or said who he was?
    Amazingly, we only discovered the true power of the image when we took a photo negative of it in the 20th century. Yes, where are the medieval instruments used to create it? Everything was just accidentally lost?
    – Silver Asiatic

    Verse:

    John 20:3-8
    ?So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

  135. 135
    William J Murray says:

    Once you see the necessity of potential as “ground of being,” you understand that “ground of being” isn’t causing anything. It’s not doing anything; it’s not creating anything. It provides for those things. It provides for the doer, the doing, and the done. All of that must already exist as part of potential. Once you understand it, it is easily recognizable as trivially true.

    In this sense, we can better understand the concept of “the ground of being” as being omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, but in a non-normative fashion that is not analogous to the normative concepts of power to act, location and knowledge. It is that which every normative thing is rooted in, but it itself cannot be well described by normative concepts or understandings.

    This is the innate problem of anthropomorphizing, or normalizing, the “ground-of-being” as “a being” that does things. The ground of being is not, cannot be sentient, at least not in any normative sense, because it is that which provides for any normative concept of sentience and what normative sentience requires. It cannot be “intelligent” in any normative sense of the word, because of what normative intelligence requires.

    To say that “the ground of being” is intelligent, makes decisions and “does things” are just nonsensical arrangements of words in any normative, sensible use of language. It’s pure anthropocentrism.

  136. 136
    Viola Lee says:

    An excellent description of the Tao in Chinese philosophy.

  137. 137
    bornagain77 says:

    Apparently Tao was antagonistic to the rise of modern science

    Kelvin’s conundrum: Is it possible to believe in God and science? – 20 October 2013
    Excerpt: Some years ago, the scientist Joseph Needham made an epic study of technological development in China. He wanted to find out why China, for all its early gifts of innovation, had fallen so far behind Europe in the advancement of science.
    He reluctantly came to the conclusion that European science had been spurred on by the widespread belief in a rational creative force, known as God, which made all scientific laws comprehensible,” Lennox said.
    https://inters.org/files/Kelvin.pdf

    Which of course, being antagonistic to the rise of science, directly implies that Tao cannot possibly be a true philosophy.

    “Of all signs there is none more certain or worthy than that of the fruits produced: for the fruits and effects are the sureties and vouchers, as it were, for the truth of philosophy.”
    – Francis Bacon

  138. 138
    Viola Lee says:

    Re 117: Good post by Ram

    Re 120 to WJM: I was referring to Silver Asiatic, not you. I hope/assume you know that. Also, you mean VL for Viola Lee, as you quote me.

  139. 139
    William J Murray says:

    VL,
    Yes, I meant VL. Well, you can’t catch all the typos, I guess.
    I thought you meant you were bowing out of the thread, not just the interaction with particular people.

  140. 140
    Viola Lee says:

    Here is something I’ve posted before, and no one responds to. I think the reason for that is because I’ve made a valid point about some advocates here taking opposite and contradictory positions on two similar questions.

    It is a fundamental tenet of intelligent design theory to say that inferring design is a separate enterprise from identifying the designer. I say likewise that accepting that order in the universe and reason in human beings exists is separate from identifying the source of that order and reason. The first in both cases is susceptible to empirical verification and the second is beyond the scope of that verification.

    If these two are not analogous positions, explain to me what the difference is.

  141. 141
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks, WJM. No, I meant specifically the discussion that was going on at that time with SA, and was specifically referring to post 113.

  142. 142
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL believes I’m not arguing in good faith. If anyone else feels the same, just let me know.

    Ok, WJM. Yes, you’ve pointed out that we can know something about the ground of being – so we “conceptualize it”. This refutes VL’s claim that it is “unknowable” or that it is “beyond comprehension”. We actually know quite a lot about it, as your posts have affirmed.

    Can you give an example of a “reasonless absurdity?

    asodnrawoenrfapeornaosdefnaoisdnfpaoisdnfpaowinfpaowienfoaifnboaisdkfmnowefrhlks clwarfjoaskdnvlkasdhfoaisnm alosidnflad ooiiuyraoirjao oianer;oaisndvaoi n ;oaieiwrh0p42qnr

    Yes, potential is an actual thing; it’s just not actual in the normative sense of the word “actual.” It is real, but it’s not real in the normative sense. It is that which provides for normative “actual” or “real” things.

    Exactly. The ground of being cannot have any potentiality – it’s fully actualized.

    It is not something that exists in any non-potential or normative way, but provides for the normative existence of anything and everything else that can possibly exist.

    Yes, again – this is describing by use of analogy. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to talk about. It’s not a univocal analogy but one that is sufficient and required for rational discourse.
    Of course, “who can know the mind of God?” — we’re creatures and not capable of Full or Complete understanding. But that’s a lot different than saying “God is unknowable” – which is false.

  143. 143
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Ram

    The very idea of “entity” is a concept in your space-time temporal brain.

    No, it’s not. It’s a universal, beyond space and time. I didn’t create the idea of “an entity” – it’s a universal, existent concept that is not “one thing” but applies to many things.
    In the same way “a triangle” is not something I invented in my space-time brain. It exists beyond myself. It’s a universal – existing in the mind of God.

  144. 144
    Viola Lee says:

    SA, was your post at 113 meant to be a serious reply to me? If not, I’ll apologize. If so, do you really think you were accurately representing my position?

  145. 145
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    SA, was your post at 117 meant to be a serious reply to me? If not, I’ll apologize.

    No, it wasn’t directed to you or in response to anything you said. Apology accepted.

  146. 146
    Viola Lee says:

    Good. I apologize to you, but I want to say that I find those made-up strawman arguments quite irritating.

  147. 147
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Ram

    Unless you and your fellow travellers claim that you have direct knowledge of the Root.

    Direct knowledge is not the only means of arriving at certainty about something.
    You have and proclaim complete certainty about a multitude of things that you do not have direct, experiential knowledge of.
    Simple logical inference, trust in sources, analogy from what you have already experienced – all that is sufficient.
    We can speak with authority about characteristics of God based on what we know.
    Humility is not a synonym for ignorance. When we know something is true, the humble act is to say it and not seek to distort or fudge it.
    Humility is an embrace of the truth of things so we overcome our own personal feelings and biases. We humble ourselves before the majesty and greatness of God, known from what we can observe in creation.
    Materialist atheism can’t really have the virtue of humility. Everything is the product of mindless irrational nature. So, there’s nothing to be in awe of, nobody to be grateful to, nobody to humble oneself before.
    Like a guy here last week, responding to a science article describing the incredible speeds of archaea (comparable to 3,000 miles an hour). He responds by saying: that’s impressive until you remember that the earth spins very fast also.
    In other words, no big deal. There’s nothing to be impressed with anywhere.
    And why should there be? Nature just does things. So what? Chemicals and molecules are there, then things happen. Who cares?
    That’s the complete emptying of the gift of human life – a denial of meaning, reverence, value.
    It’s just the expression of nihilism and death. That’s atheism.

  148. 148
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    In this sense, we can better understand the concept of “the ground of being” as being omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, but in a non-normative fashion that is not analogous to the normative concepts of power to act, location and knowledge. It is that which every normative thing is rooted in, but it itself cannot be well described by normative concepts or understandings.

    The problem here is how your understanding may be misread. Some may think that since the ground of being is “non-normative” in all of those aspects (power, knowledge, will, presence), then we can know nothing about it, speak nothing about it, and just have to be silent with agnosticism as if we have no knowledge at all.
    But that’s the extreme, one-sided view your comment may elicit.To say that “the ground of being” as ‘intelligent, makes decisions and “does things” are just nonsensical arrangements of words in any normative, sensible use of language’ means that we can’t talk about the ground of being at all.
    Why not say “the term ground of being is nonsensical”? Because how can human, normative terms refer to something non-normative?
    But we use those terms. We say “fullness of being”, we can say “completely actualized being with no unfulfilled potential”. You’ve used the terms power, intelligence, doing things … ok, if those are not accurate and they’re “nonsensical”, what are the correct, reasonable terms to use?
    I think in this case, you’d have to say “we don’t have to words to describe it”.
    So, that reduces the exploration and discussion to silence and that’s not helpful.
    The fact is, we can say something like “God possesses perfect intelligence” because that is a means for us to understand. To say also “God cannot possess anything because He just is all things” is true also. The two truths go together. God “possesses intelligence” from a human perspective – that’s the best we can do to explain it. God “is perfect intelligence” in another true sense since God’s attributes are equivalent to His existence.
    God is love. God is power. God is wisdom. God is the perfection of all being.
    Those aren’t separate individual characteristics but all joined in a single unity.
    Saying “no human can fully comprehend perfectly the nature and being that is God” is a lot different than saying “we can’t know anything about God” (and therefore the origin of the universe is not possible to be known).
    Since humans are the effect of God’s design, things we know about ourselves tell us something about God – it’s not unknowable or totally beyond comprehension.

  149. 149
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77 – thanks.
    And great quote by Dr. Dembski.
    Also, the shroud is not flimsy evidence at all, as you described.

  150. 150
    Viola Lee says:

    Working backwards: SA writes at 148, “Since humans are the effect of God’s design, things we know about ourselves tell us something about God – it’s not unknowable or totally beyond comprehension.”

    Of course if one starts with that unproveable, faith-based assumption, then all that SA says about being able to know something of God follows, including the possibility of direct revalation.

    But if one doesn’t starts there, then unknowability is back on the table.

    At 147, SA writes, “Materialist atheism …” I hope that SA knows that neither I nor WJM (I don’t know about Ram) are materialists.

    More importantly, though, I’d like to respond to this, from 143:

    Ram: “The very idea of “entity” is a concept in your space-time temporal brain.”

    [SA]No, it’s not. It’s a universal, beyond space and time. I didn’t create the idea of “an entity” – it’s a universal, existent concept that is not “one thing” but applies to many things.

    The concept of entity implies a distinction between one thing (the entity) and all that the thing is not. (KP often emphasizes this.) Therefore, the all-encompassing Oneness being discussed by others of us (in various terms) can’t be considered an entity, because that divides it into what it is and all that it is not, and there is no “other else” to distinguish it from. “Entity” is a concept that draws from our experience in this space-time world (as Ram) said, and can’t be necessarily analogized to some other (unknowable) world where time, space, causality, etc. as we know them in this world don’t exist.

    Eastern philosophy addresses this with the Taoist saying, “The Tao that is spoken is not the true Tao.” We can try to conceptualize our thoughts in order to create philosophies that we share we other, but we need to humbly (I believe that word has been mentioned) understand that we can’t capture the ineffable Oneness in words. As soon as we speak we create divisions that can’t be true of the indivisible.

    Taoism also expresses the idea of this Oneness with the concept of yin/yang. Everything that manifests in our world, including all our thoughts about the world, always creates a complementary duality. We can’t know the Oneness because all of our tools of knowing necessarily involve Twoness.

    These are mystical thoughts, not analytic ones, but they are grounded in an understanding of the limitations of abstract thinking.

  151. 151
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    These are mystical thoughts, not analytic ones, but they are grounded in an understanding of the limitations of abstract thinking.

    That’s fine. I’ll argue that they are, indeed, analytic thoughts. They speak of reality and they are an attempt to describe reality. As such, they are rational. The Tao is not arguing for irrationality or any form of insanity. Instead, it just presents some of the paradoxes that are necessary to accept in any understanding of the origin of things. Mysticism is not another term for ignorance. It can be understood as “pure experience”, but even still, we need our mind to understand mysticism.
    The Tao appeals to reason and then attempts to show that some things are beyond strict logic. But we’d never know that without the use of logic to some basic extent.
    I do not see Eastern philosophy as an argument against the knowledge we can have of God and of the origin of things. I see it as contributing to our knowledge, just as Greek and Christian philosophy does. Judaism, Islam and Buddhism have their parallels. They also make demands of people. Buddhism makes positive affirmations about reality. It’s not just an ambiguous unknown.

  152. 152
    Viola Lee says:

    P.S. I have brought up Eastern philosophy, and Taoism as an example, in response to SA’s remark that “The negation of a “reasonless absurdity” which you proposed, is a “rational entity”. There’s no third option.

    I want to make it clear that there is a third option. I am not arguing that the Eastern view is “true” in a way that other philosophies are not, but it is a “third option”, irrespective of what one thinks of it. Also, it comes closer to being in agreement with my own thoughts about unknowability than other philosophies and religions that make more specific claims.

  153. 153
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    It is a fundamental tenet of intelligent design theory to say that inferring design is a separate enterprise from identifying the designer. I say likewise that accepting that order in the universe and reason in human beings exists is separate from identifying the source of that order and reason. The first in both cases is susceptible to empirical verification and the second is beyond the scope of that verification.

    If these two are not analogous positions, explain to me what the difference is.

    The problem here is that you’re restating the ID inference and then eliminating the inference. What you offer there is not a parallel but a partial idea that draws no conclusion.
    The ID inference begins with the observation of complex, functional/specified order -whether in fine tuning, mathematical correspondence in the universe or irreducibly complex structures in life.
    You’ve said that you accept that there this order can be observed.
    ID then says that we know of several kinds of intelligence: Insect, animal, bird, human … we can see what intelligence produces and what blind, mindless nature (materialism) produces.
    The inference is, that the sophisticated order we see in nature was produced by a mind. That is the only known source of such order that we are aware of, so the inference stands.
    Then, however ID says, “we cannot study the identity of the designer because that is a different field of study”. ID just looks at the science. The identity of the designer would require more than science can evaluate (it would require a study of religious texts for example).
    You seem to be saying that you observe the order, but the inference that a mind created it is beyond what science can show since it cannot be empirically verified.
    But we can empirically verify that intelligence produced some things.
    We apply that inference to historical science – this is forensics. We verify that Stonehenge, for example, was produced by an intelligent cause.
    To say however, “I accept that Stonehenge shows order beyond what blind, unintelligent nature produces, but whether Stonehenge was created by intelligence goes beyond this field of study because it cannot be empirically validated” would be a false conclusion.

  154. 154
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    I want to make it clear that there is a third option.

    My rebuttal to this is that the Tao is not a third option between rationality and irrational absurdity.
    The Tao is based on reason – it’s a rational discourse appealing to the logic of the human mind. It’s not an exercise in irrational thought.
    The Tao is saying that there are some aspects of the universe and reality that go beyond reason. But the fact that a spiritual text can define this is evidence of just another kind of order that needs to be explained. The only choices for an origin are reason and irrational chaos. The Tao has done nothing to show that some other option exists.
    The fact that human reason has limits is a rational construct. It’s not a third option. Something is irrational (blind, mindless, lacking reason) or not. If the origin of reality possesses reason in any degree, then it’s a rational source.
    One problem with Eastern cosmology is sorting out how God could be determined by various forces to do things since God is the cause of all of those forces and must be independent.
    God’s rationality cannot be flawed or imperfect since that would mean He could potentially become more perfect but how could He have that potential since He existed from all eternity and everything is dependent on Him for existence?
    No, the perfection of being and reason in God has to be perfect and complete.
    Eastern philosophy does not propose a third sort of being between rational and irrational – some kind of partly rational being that is both not rational and not irrational.
    If reasoning is involved, then its a rational process. We see the product of reason in the sophisticated order in the world – thus the order comes from a rational source, and we call this God.

  155. 155
    Viola Lee says:

    We are not talking about contrasting the design inference with materialism. We are talking about the difference between observing that order and drawing specific conclusions about the source of that order: about the divide between the design and the designer.

    You say, “The inference is, that the sophisticated order we see in nature was produced by a mind,” but in fact ID says “intelligent cause”, not “mind”. (See ID Defined under Resources in the menu bar). I am arguing that inferring a “mind” is only one option, and even the phrase “intelligent cause” betrays an anthropomorphized, Western perspective. Also your statement “it would require a study of religious texts for example,” points to considering Eastern and well as Western philosophies, even though most (you included) assume that for other than scientific reasons the designer is the Christian God.

    My claim is that the divide between the design and the designer is unbridgeable, and that the true nature of whatever the root of reality is is unknowable. It’s worth our while to study and adopt the perspective that fits our lives best, but to think that we really know is a mistake.

  156. 156
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    I am arguing that inferring a “mind” is only one option

    I’m open to considering all other options for the source of rationality that is evident in the universe. Thus far, the only one proposed is “mind” – that’s what is meant by an intelligent cause. Feel free to propose other options for consideration.

    most (you included) assume that for other than scientific reasons the designer is the Christian God

    It’s not a blind assumption on my part. The study of religions leads people to draw reasonable conclusions, as I’ve done. For “other than scientific reasons” one analyzes the content of religious revelations and spiritual teachings, of course. That’s the way it works. Theology, philosophy and physical science are different disciplines. But no, I don’t merely “assume” but have made rational inferences for my acceptance of Christianity, just as I would with any of my philosophical, historical, political or scientific convictions.

    My claim is that the divide between the design and the designer is unbridgeable, and that the true nature of whatever the root of reality is is unknowable.

    We’ve already been over the problem in claiming that God is unknowable. This remains your viewpoint so there’s nowhere further to go with it.

    It’s worth our while to study and adopt the perspective that fits our lives best, but to think that we really know is a mistake.

    We should adapt our lives to the truths that we discover and not just seek ideas that conform with how we are living. Very often, the truth we discover demands that we change our life.
    You’ve added the term “really know” to modify the term “unknowable”. In one case, we can know but not “really” or “fully”. In the other, an unknowable thing is completely unknown.
    Here on earth in our brief life, we know in part, as if looking through a darkened window. Then, after this life, we will see more clearly and in fullness of light. That no human will ever fully know the nature, essence and existence of God is different than the idea that it is impossible to know that God is the origin of reality.
    Even through we look through the darkened window, we see truths, and the part that we do know is real knowledge. We discover real truths about God, and this shapes our life – it opens us up for infused knowledge that transcends human. The wisdom of God is greater than human wisdom and God can infuse that – deliver that – to the human mind, as He has done with many people throughout history, and He can and will do it for us if we ask, prepare ourselves and show ourselves worthy and appreciative of the gifts.

  157. 157
    Seversky says:

    It reads to me like you are butting up against exactly the same dilemma as always, the unedifying choice between an infinite chain of causation or an uncaused first cause. Whether you call it the “root of reality” or “ground of being” or God, it amounts to the same thing, we don’t know and these largely meaningless abstractions that are the best we can do at this point. Paul Davies seems to reject as “irrational” and “anti-scientific” the position that we may have no choice but to accept the fundamental, ordered nature of the observable Universe as a “brute fact” but neither he nor anyone else seems to have anything better to offer at this time. I believe that, given time, we will come up with something better. We’ll just have to be patient and there are plenty of more pressing problems to be tackled in the meantime.

  158. 158
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky: “I believe that, given time, we will come up with something better (than God).”

    Well, (aside from the fact that you yourself are a finite and fragile creature who could die at any moment, and come face to face with the God that created you,, the God that you (very) irrationally fight tooth and nail against every day), I am certainly not giving you any more ‘time’ to come up with ‘something better’ than God,,,, especially since ‘time’ itself is one of the most powerful evidences against your (very) irrational atheism..,,,

    Atheists have always presupposed ‘time’ to be infinite into the past. Yet, from the best scientific evidence we now have, ‘time’, (as well as space), is now known to have had an absolute beginning approx. 14 billion years ago.

    Big Bang Theory – An Overview of the main evidence
    Excerpt: Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. In 1968 and 1970, they published papers in which they extended Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space.1, 2 According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.”3
    Steven W. Hawking, George F.R. Ellis, “The Cosmic Black-Body Radiation and the Existence of Singularities in our Universe,” Astrophysical Journal, 152, (1968) pp. 25-36.
    Steven W. Hawking, Roger Penrose, “The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series A, 314 (1970) pp. 529-548.
    http://www.big-bang-theory.com/

    “Every solution to the equations of general relativity guarantees the existence of a singular boundary for space and time in the past.”
    (Hawking, Penrose, Ellis) – 1970
    – per leader

    “There is another development in theoretical physics called the Borde, Guth, Vilenkin theorem. And its not based on General Relativity but its based on Special Relativity. And for that reason it is not effected by postulations about what gravity might or might not have been like in the first tiny smidgen of time after the beginning of the universe. And it is those speculations that prevented the Hawking, Penrose, Ellis, singularity theorem from absolutely proving a beginning point.
    Instead the Borde, Guth, Vilenkin, theorem proves a beginning to the universe on the basis of considerations from special relativity that have nothing to do with whether or not there were quantum fluctuations within the first tiny smidgen of time after the beginning of the universe, and whether gravity might have worked differently or not. Instead it is independent of all those kind of considerations and caveats that prevent us from saying that the Hawking, Penrose, Ellis, results are absolute proofs (for a beginning of the universe). Instead you have a very strong proof of a beginning from theoretical physics that is not dependent on these conditions.”,,,
    – Stephen Meyer Discusses the Big Bang, Einstein, Hawking, and More – video – 36:42 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/m_AeA4fMHhI?t=2202

    “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” –
    Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston – in a paper delivered to atheist Stephen Hawking at Hawking’s 70th birthday party (Characterized as ‘Worst Birthday Present Ever’) – January 2012
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....beginning/

    Brian Miller: Everything You Wanted to Know about the Big Bang – Science Uprising Expert Interviews – Sept. 2021
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeLcRles448

    “My argument,” Dr. Penzias concluded, “is that the best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted, had I had nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”
    – Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics – co-discoverer Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation – as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978

    “Certainly there was something that set it all off,,, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis”
    – Robert Wilson – Nobel laureate – co-discoverer Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
    – Fred Heeren, Show Me God (Wheeling, Ill.: Daystar, 2000),

    “The question of ‘the beginning’ is as inescapable for cosmologists as it is for theologians…there is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing”
    – George Smoot and Keay Davidson, Wrinkles in Time, 1993, p.189. – George Smoot is a Nobel laureate in 2006 for his work on COBE

    among all the ‘holy’ books, of all the major religions in the world, only the Holy Bible was correct in its claim for a completely transcendent origin of the universe. Some later ‘holy’ books, such as the Mormon text “Pearl of Great Price” and the Qur’an, copy the concept of a transcendent origin from the Bible but also include teachings that are inconsistent with that now established fact.
    – Hugh Ross; Why The Universe Is The Way It Is; Pg. 228; Chpt.9; note 5)

    The Most Important Verse in the Bible (Genesis 1:1) – Prager University – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BqWdu1BnBQ

    Verse and Quote:

    Genesis 1:1-3
    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

    ‘Let There Be Light’ should actually be translated ‘Be Light!’. In other words, it was not a request.
    – Hebrew Essentials with Danny Ben-Gigi – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DIvIkGm7-k

  159. 159
    Viola Lee says:

    Sev writes, “we don’t know and these largely meaningless abstractions that are the best we can do at this point.”

    Yes, good summary.

  160. 160
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, “largely meaningless abstractions”

    Seversky, in case you forgot, everything is meaningless in your nihilistic worldview of atheism, so if you don’t mind, don’t presuppose to speak for anyone else about what is meaningless and what is not meaningless.

    “Indeed, only if we assume a God who is morally our like can “truth” and the search for truth be at all something meaningful and promising of success. This God left aside, the question is permitted whether being deceived is not one of the conditions of life.”
    – Nietzsche

    The Absurdity of Life Without God by William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: First, there is no ultimate meaning without immortality and God. If each individual person passes out of existence when he dies, then what ultimate meaning can be given to his life? Does it really matter whether he ever existed or not? It might be said that his life was important because it influenced others or affected the course of history. But that shows only a relative significance to his life, not an ultimate significance. His life may be important relative to certain other events. But what is the ultimate significance to any of those events? If all of the events are meaningless, then what can be the ultimate significance of influencing any of them? Ultimately it makes no difference.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....9706/posts

    Is There Meaning to Life? – Dr Craig videos (animated video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKGnXgH_CzE

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.,,,
    – A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    Verses:

    Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    1 Peter 1:3
    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

  161. 161
    Viola Lee says:

    Sev, do you ever post anything without BA immediately responding like he did here. That would get old, I’d think.

    What a crock.

  162. 162
    vividbleau says:

    BA
    “Sev, do you ever post anything without BA immediately responding like he did here. That would get old, I’d think.”

    BA do you ever get tired of VL constant cheer leading ,I would think that gets quite old.

    Vivid

  163. 163
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, necessary being is definable in its own right and with say the natural numbers on the table we have familiar specific examples in hand. Try to imagine a distinct possible world, say W — cf 116 above — without distinction from other worlds, thus twoness being present. It’s like trying to imagine a seven sided pentagon, a direct contradiction, it is some distinguishing A in W that marks it off from near neighbour W’ and we may see W with structure: W = {A|~A}. So, distinction, duality, contrast, two-ness is part of the fabric of ANY world, framework for the world to exist or possibly exist. Try to imagine that in W” such two-ness began to exist at some point, having not existed previously . . . oops there is a duality again. Likewise for 2 to cease from being. We see here a case of a necessary entity that is defined by far more than being causeless. A negation, a non characteristic that may seem vague, arbitrary, dubious. But instead necessary being is about being part of the framework for ANY world that exists or might exist. The point of reality root R, is that it is not non=being and is causally capable of giving rise to worlds: R –> W. Where too, nope you don’t get an infinite temporal-causal past for free, it was shown that once we have countable finite stages [years for convenience] we cannot traverse the transfinite in finite stage steps. The temporal past is finite, pointing to the eternal order of existence of R. Where were it the case that there was non being such would forever obtain. That W is means R is there and is finitely remote. The question is to learn a bit about it. KF

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, kindly note the just above and 116 further above. The verification principle collapsed over half a century ago. Metaphysics and its subset, Ontology [logic of being], roots of worldviews, are highly relevant and meaningful, once we are willing to think through big, hard questions. The reactions above suggest, on fair comment, that your preferred views are coming up short on comparative difficulties. KF

    PS, root of reality is not a synonym for God, it is an acknowledgement of the contingency of a causal-temporal, thermodynamically governed world such as we inhabit. Contingent entities have causal dependence, so it is reasonable to look to their roots. Logic of being then helps us clarify the bill of requisites. The God of ethical theism is a candidate, but ab initio so is a transfinite past. Others are conceivable, there is a raft of worldviews. The problem is, comparative difficulties is a pretty sharp pruner. And, once we realise our rational, responsible morally governed conscience guided freedom is pivotal to our having credibility to think and is part of that contingency that marks our being, that is a very powerful challenge to views such as evolutionary materialistic scientism.

  165. 165
    bornagain77 says:

    Vivid, “BA do you ever get tired of VL constant cheer leading (?), I would think that gets quite old.”

    A troll kissing another troll’s pile of ‘meaningless’ crap,,,, it started out old and gross, and has only gotten much older and grosser.

  166. 166
    bornagain77 says:

    VL sneers at the “anthropomorphized, Western perspective” of God.

    anthropomorphize
    attribute human characteristics or behavior to (a god, animal, or object).

    In short, VL is sneering at the Judeo-Christian presupposition that we were/are made in the image of God.

    Genesis 1:26
    Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

    Yet the belief that we are made in the image of God was a necessary presupposition that lay at the founding of modern science, and continues to be a presupposition that is essential to the successful practice of modern science, i.e. Why even bother practicing science if you truly believe, like atheists and VL do, that you did not have, at least, the capacity to understand and/or ‘know’ the mysteries behind the universe?

    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler

    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour

    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”

    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.” (Francis Bocon’s inductive methodology)
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    Moreover, we can appeal to recent findings in science to support the Christian’s belief that we are indeed made in the image of God.

    In 2014, an impressive who’s who list of leading ‘Darwinian’ experts in the area of language research, authored a paper in which they honestly admitted that,,, “(we have) essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,”

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    Casey Luskin added: “It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92141.html

    The late best selling author Tom Wolfe was so taken aback by this honest confession from leading Darwinists that he wrote a book on the subject. Here is a general outline of his main argument;

    “Speech is 95 percent plus of what lifts man above animal! Physically, man is a sad case. His teeth, including his incisors, which he calls eyeteeth, are baby-size and can barely penetrate the skin of a too-green apple. His claws can’t do anything but scratch him where he itches. His stringy-ligament body makes him a weakling compared to all the animals his size. Animals his size? In hand-to-paw, hand-to-claw, or hand-to-incisor combat, any animal his size would have him for lunch. Yet man owns or controls them all, every animal that exists, thanks to his superpower: speech.”
    —Tom Wolfe, in the introduction to his book, The Kingdom of Speech

    In other words, that humans should master the planet due to his unique ability to understand, communicate, and create, information is completely contrary to the ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking that undergirds Darwinian thought. i.e. Although humans are fairly defenseless creatures in the wild compared to other creatures, such as lions, bears, sharks, etc.., nonetheless, humans have, completely contrary to Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking, managed to become masters of the planet, not by brute force, but simply by our unique ability to understand, create, and communicate information and also to, more specifically, infuse immaterial information into material substrates in order to create, i.e. ‘intelligently design’, objects that are extremely useful for our defense, basic survival in procuring food, furtherance of our knowledge, and also merely for our pleasure.

    What is more interesting still about the fact that humans have a unique ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’ through the ‘top-down’ infusion of immaterial information into material substrates, is the fact that, due to advances in science, both the universe and life itself, are now found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.

    “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”
    Vlatko Vedral – Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College –

    It is hard to imagine a more convincing scientific proof that we are ‘made in the image of God’, than finding that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’, not via brute force as is presupposed in Darwinian thought, but precisely because of our ability to infuse immaterial information into material substrate

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

    Of course, a more convincing proof that we are made in the image of God could be if God Himself became a man, walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead, and then defeated death itself on a cross.

    And that just so happens to be precisely the evidence that is claimed within Christianity.

    For one instance of this evidence is the Shroud of Tutin

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

    The evidence for the Shroud’s authenticity keeps growing stronger. (Timeline of facts) – November 08, 2019
    What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know – Myra Adams and Russ Breault
    https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/what-is-the-shroud-of-turin.html

    John 20:3-8
    So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

  167. 167
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    A troll kissing another troll’s pile of ‘meaningless’ crap,,,,

    Meaningless life of some people it’s a kind of unbearable hell and when they trigger other people they are happy for a few seconds. Perverted kind of happiness but this is all they have. Don’t hate them.

  168. 168
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, language. KF

  169. 169
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, signs of purpose, agent freedom [thus, rationality], moral goodness etc are all signs of personhood. The concept that these are an inferior view comes across as projection reflecting cognitive dissonance. Again, philosophical issues need to be carefully attended to. KF

  170. 170
    bornagain77 says:

    KF, And just what proper ‘language’ am I suppose to use in place of ‘meaningless crap’?

    ‘Meaningless crap’ is a rather benign option compared to the other adjectives and nouns that came to mind?

    🙂

  171. 171
    Viola Lee says:

    I am carefully attending to philosophical issues, KF.

  172. 172
    bornagain77 says:

    Of note, VL’s fallacious claim that the the root of reality is ‘unknowable’ is very similar to the atheist’s fallacious ‘Divine hiddenness argument’. Yet, as Dr. Egnor pointed out, the “Divine hiddenness argument” = Nonsense!

    The Divine Hiddenness Argument Against God’s Existence = Nonsense – Michael Egnor – Oct. 4, 2021
    Excerpt: We will set aside Scriptural revelation and personal experience (given that atheists like Dillahunty discount these anyway) and consider the ways in which God shows Himself in nature (i.e., the ten ways that God’s existence can be known that I listed during my debate with Dillahunty. Here are three excellent references for the details of these various arguments: Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide, (Edward Feser), Five Proofs of the Existence of God (Edward Feser), and Letters to an Atheist (Peter Kreeft).
    These and other works cover evidence such as Aquinas’ First Way (by change in nature), Aquinas’ Second Way (by cause in nature), Aquinas’ Third Way (by contingent existence), Aquinas’ Fourth Way (by degrees of perfection), and Aquinas’ Fifth Way (by design in nature) as well as the Thomistic argument from existence, the Neoplatonic argument (from the order of things), the Augustinian argument (from abstract objects), the rationalist argument (from the principal of sufficient reason), and the argument for Moral Law (from the reality of objective moral obligation).
    Each of these proofs of God’s existence is revealed to us through our intellect.
    Is the information that God provides in these ways sufficient to convince a reasonable person of His existence? Consider the ten ways that simple everyday experience provides inexhaustible evidence for His existence:
    Every change in nature proves His existence. Every cause in nature proves His existence. Everything that exists in nature proves His existence. Every degree of perfection in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of natural design proves His existence. Every realization of possibility in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of organization in nature proves His existence. Every abstract concept proves His existence. Every reason for anything in nature proves His existence. And every twinge of human conscience proves His existence.
    Natural science provides massive evidence for His existence as well. The Big Bang — i.e., the creation of the universe from nothing in an immense primordial flash of light — is a remarkable confirmation of the beginning of the book of Genesis. Astrophysicists have discovered dozens of physical forces and properties in the universe that must have very specific values to permit human life — and of course these forces and properties do have exactly the values necessary for our existence (as if Someone rigged physics just for us). The DNA in living things is an actual code — in every meaningful sense like a computer code with letters and words, grammar and phrases, sentences and punctuation. And life forms’ intracellular metabolism is run by an astonishingly intricate and elegant system of biological nanotechnology.
    So my question to Dillahunty and to other atheists who endorse the Divine Hiddenness argument against God’s existence is this: What is it about God’s existence that you still consider hidden?
    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/10/the-divine-hiddenness-argument-against-gods-existence-nonsense/

    Verse:

    Roman 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

  173. 173
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77 @ 172
    A new ontological argument, the Argument from Nonsense. That’ll stop them darn atheists dead in their tracks…

  174. 174
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    “Divine hiddenness argument” = Nonsense!

    🙂 What disappears if you say its name ?

  175. 175
    William J Murray says:

    VL @155,
    When it comes to the question of “where does the order come from,” and whether or not we can say that it is “mind” that provides the order, I think it’s important to recognize where that order appears to exist, and where it does not appear to exist, and what we mean by “order.”

    I think a good definition of “order” is defined as an arrangement or disposition of people and things in relation to each other in comprehensible patterns and sequences. It seems to me that “mind” is the only place where this can occur. Even if there was an orderly world external of mind, if mind was not capable of representing that order, we would not experience it as such.

    I don’t think it is possible to be a sentient, intelligent being without the mental experience of order, at least not in any normative concept of sentience and intelligence. I would also argue that according to current scientific knowledge, that kind of “order” is not shown to exist “outside” of individual minds. All that has been shown to exist, at least at the “root” level, is potential, not an orderly arrangement of “things” with their own real characteristics and specific qualities.

    I think you’re right to question whether or not that potential can be characterized as “the product of” or being housed in anything we would normally call “mind.” I use the term “mind” or ‘universal mind” because it’s the only kind of thing we know that can house abstract information. It’s the only available, commonly-used term. However, I don’t know if “non-sentient mind” is a meaningful string of words. Of course, we can directly access abstract information and potential with our individual minds, but that’s only a very tiny selection of all that is available in potential. There appears to be at least a functionally infinite amount of information in the potential.

    A sentient, intelligent being in any normative sense cannot experience “all abstract potential” at once. It makes no sense in that situation to say you “decide” or “do” or “create” or “think” or have “a personality.” Or to say you are “a being.”

    I think that you are spot on with the observation that because we are always, necessarily on the limited individual order and comprehensibility side of our relationship with the root, or with infinite potential, there’s no way to know what “it is like” to actually be on the other side off that relationship because our observations and thoughts of that other side can only draw from that potential that which is, in some way, orderly and comprehensible to each of us because of the nature of our own sentient intelligence.

    IOW, all we can draw from the root for our experience is that tiny slice which we, as local, individual, limited sentient beings, dependent on some degree of personal order and comprehensibility can experience.

    More thoughts to follow.

  176. 176
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, broken window theory, refrain from such language at minimum as it is an opening for a distractive spiral to the bottom. KF

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, kindly note the above on claimed meaninglessness:

    1: necessary being is definable in its own right and with say the natural numbers on the table we have familiar specific examples in hand. Try to imagine a distinct possible world, say W — cf 116 above — without distinction from other worlds, thus twoness being present. It’s like trying to imagine a seven sided pentagon, a direct contradiction, it is some distinguishing A in W that marks it off from near neighbour W’ and we may see W with structure: W = {A|~A}. So, distinction, duality, contrast, two-ness is part of the fabric of ANY world, framework for the world to exist or possibly exist. Try to imagine that in W” such two-ness began to exist at some point, having not existed previously . . . oops there is a duality again. Likewise for 2 to cease from being. We see here a case of a necessary entity that is defined by far more than being causeless. A negation, a non characteristic that may seem vague, arbitrary, dubious. But instead necessary being is about being part of the framework for ANY world that exists or might exist. The point of reality root R, is that it is not non=being and is causally capable of giving rise to worlds: R –> W. Where too, nope you don’t get an infinite temporal-causal past for free, it was shown that once we have countable finite stages [years for convenience] we cannot traverse the transfinite in finite stage steps. The temporal past is finite, pointing to the eternal order of existence of R. Where were it the case that there was non being such would forever obtain. That W is means R is there and is finitely remote. The question is to learn a bit about it.

    2: The verification principle collapsed over half a century ago. Metaphysics and its subset, Ontology [logic of being], roots of worldviews, are highly relevant and meaningful, once we are willing to think through big, hard questions. The reactions above suggest, on fair comment, that your preferred views are coming up short on comparative difficulties . . . . root of reality is not a synonym for God, it is an acknowledgement of the contingency of a causal-temporal, thermodynamically governed world such as we inhabit. Contingent entities have causal dependence, so it is reasonable to look to their roots. Logic of being then helps us clarify the bill of requisites. The God of ethical theism is a candidate, but ab initio so is a transfinite past. Others are conceivable, there is a raft of worldviews. The problem is, comparative difficulties is a pretty sharp pruner. And, once we realise our rational, responsible morally governed conscience guided freedom is pivotal to our having credibility to think and is part of that contingency that marks our being, that is a very powerful challenge to views such as evolutionary materialistic scientism.

    3: signs of purpose, agent freedom [thus, rationality], moral goodness etc are all signs of personhood. The concept that these are an inferior view comes across as projection reflecting cognitive dissonance. Again, philosophical issues need to be carefully attended to.

    KF

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, reductio ad absurdum is very valid. Note from J B S Haldane, a co founder of the neo-darwinian synthesis:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For

    if

    [p:] my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain

    [–> taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes; notice, “my brain,” i.e. self referential]
    ______________________________

    [ THEN]

    [q:] I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.

    [–> indeed, blindly mechanical computation is not in itself a rational process, the only rationality is the canned rationality of the programmer, where survival-filtered lucky noise is not a credible programmer, note the funcionally specific, highly complex organised information rich code and algorithms in D/RNA, i.e. language and goal directed stepwise process . . . an observationally validated adequate source for such is _____ ?]

    [Corollary 1:] They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically.

    And hence

    [Corollary 2:] I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. [–> grand, self-referential delusion, utterly absurd self-falsifying incoherence]

    In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

    KF

  179. 179
    William J Murray says:

    One school of thought represented here is that the order – and the sheer detail of that order – and the comprehensibility of our experiences has been provided for us by some super-intelligent designer.

    IMO, I think that the experiments falsifying local realism and which have begun falsifying non-local realism, undermine if not falsify that perspective. If “it” had been deliberately “created/provided” for us, I think we would find local and/or non-local realism to be true.

    The interesting question is if the design (order, comprehensibility, detail, functional information) is not deliberately designed by “an intelligence” and provided for us, how is that we experience it? I think there’s a very simple answer provided under the context of my post @175: the existence of what is to us a (normative) sentient, intelligent being necessarily requires a context of order and comprehensibility. That would be a necessary component of even existing as such a being, so it’s an intrinsically necessary arrangement of information and sentience.

    It doesn’t have to be “created” since it necessarily exists as expressions of potential.

    But, we get to the detail – why all the detail? I think if we think in terms of the inescapability of math, logic and geometry wrt sentience, what produces the detail would be something comparable to a procedural algorithm that can and does provide immense detail in our experience, drawing from available and correlating potential. IOW, you might say we’re each “manifesting” that order, detail and comprehensibility automatically because of the nature of sentience.

  180. 180
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks for the response at 175, WJM.

    Here’s a reply to one phrase: “However, I don’t know if “non-sentient mind” is a meaningful string of words.”

    I’m not sure we can write a meaningful string of words about the ultimate ground of existence, or whatever we are calling it, because every word creates a division between what is and what isn’t, creating a duality (as KF is fond of mentioning), and duality is what arises from Oneness but can’t possibly be used to describe that Oneness.

    But the other issue is sentience. Our sentience is an awareness or consciousness of a constant flow of sensations, thoughts and feelings which are always but a small subset of the content available to us: the flow is always being fueled by things which are currently not in our awareness. This flow of conscious experience and the underlying content upon which it draws is what we think of as mind, I think.

    However, the Oneness, or potential, or whatever we call it, would not have (I speculate) all this specific content: it would just be everything at once. It wouldn’t have, or be, a “sentient mind”. Rather than think of it as a non-sentient mind, I would rather not think of it as a mind at all: mind is a phenomena in this world, and the Oneness from which all this arises would be something else.

    Bottom line: it just doesn’t make sense to me to describe the One in words. As you wrote to me,

    I think that you are spot on with the observation that because we are always, necessarily on the limited individual order and comprehensibility side of our relationship with the root, or with infinite potential, there’s no way to know what “it is like” to actually be on the other side off that relationship because our observations and thoughts of that other side can only draw from that potential that which is, in some way, orderly and comprehensible to each of us because of the nature of our own sentient intelligence.

  181. 181
    William J Murray says:

    VL said:

    Rather than think of it as a non-sentient mind, I would rather not think of it as a mind at all: mind is a phenomena in this world, and the Oneness from which all this arises would be something else.

    I agree with that. I use the phrase “universal mind” just to have words to use to identify it, but as I said, I don’t think the normative meaning of those words really apply. It’s not really something you can have a meaningful conversation with unless the other person just “gets” that you’re using a pointer to point at something that can’t really be pointed at or properly characterized as “a thing” with understandable qualities. I think we’re relying on our capacity to “grok” what we’re talking about at a non-intellectual level.

    For me, though, while this is fun and interesting conversation on its own, it’s pretty much sophistry unless we have some means of translating all of that into some practical use or in a way that has meaningful value in our lives – even if it just provides a sense of peace or wonder or lovable mystery.

    What I’m largely fascinated by is the question of, if our “reality” experience is essentially a construct of mind drawing from abstract potential (“abstract potential” just being a term to “give a feeling” of what it’s being drawn from,) is there a model or a method we can employ to deliberately take advantage of this in some way on our side of the relationship?

  182. 182
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF @ 178
    Egnor isn’t using a reductio ad absurdum argument:

    [R]eductio ad absurdum, (Latin: “reduction to absurdity”), in logic, [is] a form of refutation showing contradictory or absurd consequences following upon premises as a matter of logical necessity. (Encyclopedia Britannica)

    Whether you accept it or not, the Argument from Hiddenness is not contradictory or absurd, i.e., “wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate.” (Google Dictionary)
    Egnor’s liberal use of the term “nonsense” throughout the Dillahunty “debate” and elsewhere is simply his personal opinion and a tactic of dismissiveness. Moreover, J B S Haldane’s argument that you cite isn’t reductio ad absurdum either. Haldane is making an argument from unlikeliness (aka the prosecutor’s fallacy). The fact that something is unlikely does not render it absurd. Likewise, calling something “self-falsifying self referential [sic] incoherence” also doesn’t make it absurd…

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the actual metaphysical problem — and it is the first on record in the Western tradition, Thales of Miletus — is THE ONE AND THE MANY. Monisms sacrifice the diversity, and dualisms (etc) tend to sacrifice the unity. This is a context where R –> W implies R must be unifying; where there are two senses of one: simple unity vs complex unity, i.e. coherent order. The root of reality must bridge one and many, perhaps especially unifying is and ought. The ethical theism answer to is and ought, gives a gateway to a general solution: the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being. One, worthy of trust and loyalty, so of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature. This leads onward, to philosophical theology then to systematic theology, in which there is a satisfying solution in the nature of the Godhead. However, not only is that a large exploration, it goes well beyond UD’s focus. KF

  184. 184
    William J Murray says:

    VL,
    I greatly appreciate this conversation! I just thought of perhaps a better way to frame this.

    What if we “identified” the root of being and existence as the IMB – the “Impenetrable Mystery Box?”

    So, in some unknown and unknowable way, the IMB is “emanating” my existence as a sentient being with free will having comprehensible, orderly, detailed experiences.

    The exiting part of this is: what kind of personal experience as “me” is available from the IMB? I may not be able to look inside the box, but what I can do is experiment on my side to see what it is capable of producing into my experience.

  185. 185
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, yes he did, strong form reductio: evolutionary materialistic scientism undermines rationality itself so refutes itself. Thus, Haldane finds himself forced to recognise that it cannot account for rational, responsible thought down to atoms in our brains. He therefore invites the conclusion that reality is not wholly material. KF

  186. 186
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    If “it” had been deliberately “created/provided” for us, I think we would find local and/or non-local realism to be true.

    You’re using an analogy to reason about the cause – making an inference from what is observed. The inference that it was created/provided for us uses the same kind of inference. We observe minds creating design. So, the mind at the origin has done the same.

    I think if we think in terms of the inescapability of math, logic and geometry wrt sentience, what produces the detail would be something comparable to a procedural algorithm that can and does provide immense detail in our experience, drawing from available and correlating potential. IOW, you might say we’re each “manifesting” that order, detail and comprehensibility automatically because of the nature of sentience.

    As with algorithms we created and implemented, the one(s) at the root also were created and implemented.

  187. 187
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF @183

    Yes, that’s the concern. Monisms make logic and rationality impossible since there is no way to compare or contrast and it violates the law of identity.
    As stated, where there is “a being” there cannot be monism.

  188. 188
    Seversky says:

    Viola Lee/161

    Sev, do you ever post anything without BA immediately responding like he did here.

    Rarely.

    That would get old, I’d think.

    My scroll wheel certainly ages quicker.

  189. 189
    chuckdarwin says:

    WJM @ 184
    You can call it “Black Box” ontology. Interestingly, physicist and deist, Paul Davies, has placed ontology (at least as it relates to “God”) outside the “ken” of science. So, you are in good company…

  190. 190
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Paul Davies is a deist who concludes that his deist god must be the source of the rationality found in the universe (reposted courtesy of BA77’s research):

    Taking Science on Faith – By Paul Davies– Nov. 24, 2007
    Excerpt: Over the years I have often asked my physicist colleagues why the laws of physics are what they are. The answers vary from “that’s not a scientific question” to “nobody knows.” The favorite reply is, “There is no reason they are what they are — they just are.” The idea that the laws exist reasonlessly is deeply anti-rational. After all, the very essence of a scientific explanation of some phenomenon is that the world is ordered logically and that there are reasons things are as they are. If one traces these reasons all the way down to the bedrock of reality — the laws of physics — only to find that reason then deserts us, it makes a mockery of science.
    Can the mighty edifice of physical order we perceive in the world about us ultimately be rooted in reasonless absurdity? If so, then nature is a fiendishly clever bit of trickery: meaninglessness and absurdity somehow masquerading as ingenious order and rationality.
    – per New York Times
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-why-would-a-purely-physical-universe-need-imaginary-numbers/#comment-747267

    “If one traces these reasons [that science discovers via rational process] all the way down to the bedrock of reality — the laws of physics — only to find that reason then deserts us, it makes a mockery of science.” — exactly. We use science in a rational process, noticing how the universe conforms to mathematics, logic, geometric rules – then we get to the Root and reason supposedly disappears. All the rational processes and laws supposedly did not come from a rational mind. This does make a mockery of science since science would be based on an illusion. As he says:

    [If the universe is caused by an unreasoning/irrational cause] … then nature is a fiendishly clever bit of trickery: meaninglessness and absurdity somehow masquerading as ingenious order and rationality.

    Exactly. Even as a deist he figured this out. Nature supposedly caused a trick to make it look like there is a rational source behind the regularity, order and symmetry of laws – but it’s actually all just an illusion and the source of the rationality we find is a blind, irrational cause.
    That’s absurd.

  191. 191
    Viola Lee says:

    I at least am saying something stronger than that: “Black Box” ontology is beyond the range of our knowing, scientific or otherwise.

  192. 192
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF @ 73

    just to communicate you have had to make use of distinct identity thus its close corollaries, non contradiction and excluded middle

    It’s a far better inference to say that we are forced to communicate using those laws you cite since reality itself is based upon those laws.
    To continually have to say “reality is nothing like I describe it, and in fact, no words can describe it” ultimately should just leave that person silenced and unable to communicate.
    One cannot even come up with new terminology because that’s just a process of defining.
    Far clearer and more reasonable it is to say that we can categorize and define because the universe is deliberately structured in order that rational human minds can discover and appreciate it.

  193. 193
    Viola Lee says:

    SA you write, “To continually have to say “reality is nothing like I describe it, and in fact, no words can describe it” ultimately should just leave that person silenced and unable to communicate.”

    Let’s be clear: I have never said reality is Indescribable. I have said that the ultimate ontological nature of the root of reality is undescribable. . We all do a good job, in my opinion, of describing reality, from “the sky is blue” to the most sophisticated scientific topics such as, for example, how the heart beats.

    I assume you understand that distinction, and understand that it is not all of reality, which your sentence seems to imply, that is being considered indescribable.

  194. 194
    William J Murray says:

    CD @189:

    You can call it “Black Box” ontology.

    Love it!

  195. 195
    bornagain77 says:

    You simply can’t make this stuff up. Darwinian Naturalists, who’s worldview cannot ground logic in the first place, are trying to use logic to try to convince themselves and others that their worldview is somehow semi-coherent.

    I’m beginning to suspect that the C.S. in C.S. Lewis really stands for Common Sense instead of Clive Staples.

    C.S. Lewis, “unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins.”

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”
    —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    Verse and quotes:

    John 1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos also happens to be the root word from which we derive our modern word logic
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

    “Atheists can give no reason why they should value reason, and Christians can show how anyone who believes in reason must also believe in God.”
    Cogito; Ergo Deus Est by Charles Edward White
    Philosophy Still Lives Because God Isn’t Dead
    – per Salvo Magazine

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation
    Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

  196. 196
    Viola Lee says:

    Hi BA. Just a friendly reminder: I am not a “Darwinian Naturalist”, so I assume you aren’t talking about me. 🙂

  197. 197
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    As with algorithms we created and implemented, the one(s) at the root also were created and implemented.

    Nothing can be created or implemented unless there is the potential for it to be created or implemented. All possible algorithms and algorithmic outcomes already exist in potentia.

    You might say that nothing is really ever “created.” It all already exists in potentia.

  198. 198
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is another beautiful quote from C.S. (Common Sense) Lewis that I love: “,, I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”

    “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
    – C.S. Lewis

    Ouch, that’s gonna leave a mark! 🙂

    That’s Gonna Leave A Mark
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WDKivqFOgA

  199. 199
    ram says:

    KF: BA77, broken window theory, refrain from such language at minimum as it is an opening for a distractive spiral to the bottom. KF

    Good advice. BA77 has extreme cognitive bias. He fails to acknowledge that modern science was due to a progression of a lot of thinkers from various religions and philosophies over many centuries. Sir Francis Bacon essentially pushed western culture into the modern age when he asked, “why do people believe what they believe?”, and essentially invented the inductive method. This was in spite of Christianity, not because of it. Most Christians at the time believed in a “demon haunted world”, and believed all kinds of crazy things because of it. Bacon was demonstrably influenced by the Rosicrucians and Jewish mystical Kabballa of the time, who were heavily influenced by the Hindu philosophers.

    This is not to say that “Christianity is wrong.” But it is ridiculous to claim that modern science rests primiarly because of “Christian” theology as if all the other rungs on the ladder don’t exist (including Hebrew theology, upon which Christian theology rests.)

    Big subject. BA77 just sees what he wants to see through his very narrow philosophical spectacles.

    –Ram

  200. 200
    Viola Lee says:

    BA’s quote in 198 is again an expression of a black-and-white dichotomy that admits of only two possibilities: his Christian God or materialism. Yes indeed, as Ram says, “very narrow philosophical spectacles.”

  201. 201
    bornagain77 says:

    Atheists are the very last people in the world who should be talking about cognitive bias.

    Atheists are now scientifically proven to mentally suppress their innate, God-given, design intuition. i.e. In other words, it is now scientifically proven that atheists are the ones who are being cognitively biased.

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    Richard Dawkins take heed: Even atheists instinctively believe in a creator says study – Mary Papenfuss – June 12, 2015
    Excerpt: Three studies at Boston University found that even among atheists, the “knee jerk” reaction to natural phenomenon is the belief that they’re purposefully designed by some intelligence, according to a report on the research in Cognition entitled the “Divided Mind of a disbeliever.”
    The findings “suggest that there is a deeply rooted natural tendency to view nature as designed,” writes a research team led by Elisa Järnefelt of Newman University. They also provide evidence that, in the researchers’ words, “religious non-belief is cognitively effortful.”
    Researchers attempted to plug into the automatic or “default” human brain by showing subjects images of natural landscapes and things made by human beings, then requiring lightning-fast responses to the question on whether “any being purposefully made the thing in the picture,” notes Pacific-Standard.
    “Religious participants’ baseline tendency to endorse nature as purposefully created was higher” than that of atheists, the study found. But non-religious participants “increasingly defaulted to understanding natural phenomena as purposefully made” when “they did not have time to censor their thinking,” wrote the researchers.
    The results suggest that “the tendency to construe both living and non-living nature as intentionally made derives from automatic cognitive processes, not just practised explicit beliefs,” the report concluded.
    The results were similar even among subjects from Finland, where atheism is not a controversial issue as it can be in the US.
    “Design-based intuitions run deep,” the researchers conclude, “persisting even in those with no explicit religious commitment and, indeed, even among those with an active aversion to them.”
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/richa.....dy-1505712

    Is Atheism a Delusion?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ii-bsrHB0o

    It is not that Atheists do not see purpose and/or Design in nature and biology, it is that Atheists, for whatever severely misguided reason, live in denial of the purpose and/or Design that they themselves see in nature. And even wikipedia considers ‘denialism’ to be a mental illness.

    In the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person’s choice to deny reality, as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth.
    Denialism
    – Wikipedia

    Perhaps two of the most famous quotes of atheists suppressing their innate ‘design inference’ are the following two quotes:

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    – Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case”
    – Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – 1988

    I can see why Francis Crick in particular, the co-discover of the DNA helix, had to work overtime suppressing his innate design inference. DNA literally screams design from every angle you look at it.
    January 2022
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/movie-night-with-illustra-a-whale-of-a-story-and-18-trillion-feet-of-you/#comment-745611

    Quote and Verses:

    “applying Darwinian principles to problems of this level of complexity is like putting a Band-Aid on a wound caused by an atomic weapon. It’s just not going to work.”
    – David Berlinski

    Romans 1:18-20
    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    Psalm 139:13-14
    For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

  202. 202
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    You might say that nothing is really ever “created.” It all already exists in potentia.

    In my framework I would say that as it “exists in the mind of God” – so then creation would be the actualization of whatever potential was there. The universe was an idea in potentia, and then the potential moved to actualization in the act of creation.
    In the classic terminology where God says “I am” – He is in Himself existence and everything else participates in His being.

    The big problem for deism (or one of them at least) for me is that there has to be some motive or driver for the movement from potential to actual. Something has to cause the creation act.
    In theism, it’s the will of God – the free choice from love. So now, creatures have a relationship with the creator.
    But what caused a deist, impersonal god to create? It couldn’t be some force or other created thing that pushed the process forward. That’s just a paradox.
    Creation through love means that we are provided for and there is meaning and purpose in our lives. Creation because it was determined by a mindless force, or some irrational cause is very similar to materialism in its effect.
    Human beings would have no purpose or destiny.
    That’s one huge problem with nihilistic atheism. Human life has no value. The atheists own life has no value for himself, and therefore he can’t confer value on anyone else. It’s only whatever value he can generate in his own mind and that mind is very insignificant and mostly ignorant – so it can’t give much value at all to anyone else’s life.

  203. 203
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77 quoting Crick

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case”

    Dawkins says something similar. What we observe is an illusion.
    I think that’s a major problem with any worldview that has to say that everything we know and experience is an illusion.
    All the religious and spiritual experience from prophets and teachers and even the miracles and spiritual awareness of common people through the ages – it’s entirely swept away as illusions created by evolution.
    But as another quote you offered said, evolution implants false ideas in our mind for reasons of survival and reproductive success.
    Obviously, that means the mechanism (our mind) needed to evaluate true versus false is biased and corrupted by evolutionary materialist processes. The mind, in that case, was not even evolved to discover the truth. It’s just another organ needed to try to out-survive competition.

    We could repeat that point 100 times a day and it still doesn’t sink in (and also never elicits a coherent response).

  204. 204
    bornagain77 says:

    VL: “I am not a “Darwinian Naturalist”

    Glad to hear that. So when are you finally going to start calling out ChuckyD, Seversky, and the other Darwinists here on UD?,, Instead of jumping into bed with them every chance you get?

    Or are you here just to bash Christianity?

    If so, those are fairly biased double standards that you have there VL if you ask me.

  205. 205
    Viola Lee says:

    We’re not discussing Darwin or anything having to do with him, as far as I can tell. Sev and CD may be materialists (I don’t know exactly where they stand), but Sev seems to be in the “we can’t know” camp.

    And I’m not “bashing Christianity.” I’m arguing that it is not true. Those are different things, I think. It seems that at least as much the bashed than the bashee! 🙂

  206. 206
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever VL, I gave up on you making rationally coherent arguments months ago when you put us through that fallacious ‘time has no beginning’ claim of yours.

  207. 207
    bornagain77 says:

    SA: “We could repeat that point 100 times a day and it still doesn’t sink in (and also never elicits a coherent response).”

    Indeed, sadly, yes!

    The situation with atheists today, i.e. having ‘no love of truth’, is the same today as it was in Euler’s day

    A Defense of the (Divine) revelation against the objections of freethinkers (atheists), by Mr. (Leonhard) Euler
    Excerpt: “The freethinkers (atheists) have yet to produce any objections that have not long been refuted most thoroughly. But since they are not motivated by the love of truth, and since they have an entirely different point of view, we should not be surprised that the best refutations count for nothing and that the weakest and most ridiculous reasoning, which has so often been shown to be baseless, is continuously repeated. If these people maintained the slightest rigor, the slightest taste for the truth, it would be quite easy to steer them away from their errors; but their tendency towards stubbornness makes this completely impossible.”
    http://www.math.dartmouth.edu/.....2trans.pdf

    Verse:

    Matthew 13:15
    For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

  208. 208
    Viola Lee says:

    SA you write, “Obviously, that means the mechanism (our mind) needed to evaluate true versus false is biased and corrupted by evolutionary materialist processes. The mind, in that case, was not even evolved to discover the truth. It’s just another organ needed to try to out-survive competition. We could repeat that point 100 times a day and it still doesn’t sink in (and also never elicits a coherent response).”

    Pardon my shouting, but I AM NOT AN EVOLUTIONARY MATERIALIST, OR ARGUING FOR EVOLUTIONARY MATERIALISM. (And neither, I am sure, is WJM.)

    Could you please acknowledge that you understand that?

  209. 209
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    Ok, understood. You have not been clear or explicit about what you believe in that matter. You do not accept the ID inference and you also think there is a third-option between a rational and irrational source for the origin of rationality itself.
    I accept that you deny the claims of evolutionary materialism. Are you claiming some kind of pantheistic evolution – or monistic idealism like WJM’s?
    Regarding your comment on 193, I think my critique applies even to the root of reality, if not reality itself. To have to say that it’s indescribable and unknowable leads to a dead-end very quickly when it comes to conversations, at least. To me, it’s much more coherent to think that our knowledge and language are appropriate for the task of understanding our own origin – with limits, definitely, but to think that we were created with the ability to understand the universe, and that the universe is comprehensible – leads nicely to the idea that the root of the universe, our own origin can be correctly modeled in our own minds.
    To say that the root of reality is radically and incomprehensibly different than reality itself doesn’t follow very easily from what we commonly observe.

  210. 210
    Silver Asiatic says:

    An excellent analysis of the Tao Te Ching of Lau Tzu – by Thomistic philosopher Ed Feser

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.co.....ology.html

    This doesn’t quite imply pantheism, since there isn’t a complete collapse here of the distinction between Tao and world. But the distinction is arguably sufficiently attenuated that we have a kind of panentheism. I would propose that “apophatic panentheism” might be an apt label for Lao Tzu’s brand of natural theology.

    For pantheism, God and nature are the same.
    For panentheism, God and nature are distinct but united

  211. 211
    Viola Lee says:

    Hmm. That’s a pretty good article. However, I’d like to point out that my main interest is just in considering a couple of the big ideas, which I think are quite relevant to some of our modern understandings of the world though Quantum mechanics’

  212. 212
    Viola Lee says:

    re 209:

    Thanks, SA. Here are some comments.

    SA: “Ok, understood. You have not been clear or explicit about what you believe in that matter.”

    I think I have. For instance , 150 I wrote, “At 147, SA writes, “Materialist atheism …” I hope that SA knows that neither I nor WJM (I don’t know about Ram) are materialists.” and I’ve written, “You are caught up in a dichotomy where the only two alternatives are meaningless absurd materialism and theism.”

    I have been trying to be clear about what I believe (that at the root level the ground of being is unknowable), although I can’t be explicit about what I do believe because what I believe is that I don’t know, and the best I can offer are philosophical speculations.

    But at no time have been arguing for materialism. I believe that we have minds and free will, which is certainly not a materialistic view.

    But I will take it that we have it cleared up that I am not a materialist.

    SA, you write, “You do not accept the ID inference”

    The ID Inference, as I understand it from the “ID defined” article under Resources in the menu bar is comparing an intelligent cause vs undirected causes (i.e, materialism), so that inference doesn’t apply to me, as I am not defending the idea of undirected causes nor am I discussing anything about evolution.

    I accept that we live in an orderly world and that we have rational cognitive abilities to understand it and that we also have free will that can draw on our rationality to hep guide our actions.

    What I am discussing is what we can know about the source of that order and our will and rationality.

    SA: “you also think there is a third-option between a rational and irrational source for the origin of rationality itself.”

    No. I’ve tried to explain that my best guess is that both mind and matter (with due respect for the modern understanding of matter) arise from something that is neither. I’ve tried to explain the idea of category error. The ineffable Oneness is neither rational nor irrational: that is a duality that applies to our world, but as I’ve explained a number of times, I think it is a mistake to think we can extend our understandings that come from this world (space, time, mind, will, etc.) to what whatever the Oneness is from which our world arises. That’s all anthropomorphizing: making “god” in the image of man, and I think it is a mistake.

    SA: “I accept that you deny the claims of evolutionary materialism. Are you claiming some kind of pantheistic evolution – or monistic idealism like WJM’s?”

    I am not discussing evolution, and don’t believe I ever have at this site. Also, no I am not an idealist like WJM. And I’m not a pantheist, because I don’t believe in any form of theism, of any kind of personal divinity. I’m a “We can’t know-ist,” if you need a label, although, as I’ve said I like some basic concepts of Taoism as stating that there is an unknowable Oneness underlying all of existence, and from the One arises all the complementary dualities that make up the world (including us, our minds, an dour will): the world is a world of “restless multiplicity” that arises from a still singularity (the Tao) which can never be directly known.

    SA, you write, “ to think that we were created with the ability to understand the universe, and that the universe is comprehensible – leads nicely to the idea that the root of the universe, our own origin can be correctly modeled in our own minds.”

    Yes, for those who believe in a God who created us with the ability to understand the universe, the root of reality can be modeled.

    But I don’t believe that that God exists, so you and I will forever not see things the same way. The best we can do is understand the point of view of someone who believes differently.

    SA, you write, “To say that the root of reality is radically and incomprehensibly different than reality itself doesn’t follow very easily from what we commonly observe.”

    I don’t agree. As above, I don’t think we can extrapolate from our experience here in space-time to what is beyond.

    SA you write, “I don’t believe that the world we live in, with all its order and the existence of our rational minds could come from a reasonless absurdity.

    I don’t either. But I also don’t fall prey to the false dichotomy/category error problem of thinking that means that those things came from a reasoning mind that is analogous to our own. The One is beyond that distinction.

  213. 213
    ram says:

    BA77 Atheists are the very last people in the world who should be talking about cognitive bias.

    I don’t believe in your bronze-age, anthropomorphically-derived gods, but I’m not an atheist. Quite the opposite. Write it down so you don’t forget it.

    –Ram — Card-carrying member of the Sir Francis Bacon Historical Society

  214. 214
    Viola Lee says:

    Feser writes, “possesses a “simplicity” (I, 32 and 37) that is prior to the “differentiation” we find in the world around us (I,32)”

    That agrees with what I wrote:, “Taoism as stating that there is an unknowable Oneness underlying all of existence, and from the One arises all the complementary dualities that make up the world (including us, our minds, an dour will): the world is a world of “restless multiplicity” that arises from a still singularity (the Tao) which can never be directly known.”

    Feser also write

    However, we have not yet addressed the most striking aspect of this natural theology. It is evident from the start, in the famous, haunting first lines of the Tao Te Ching: “The Tao that can be told of is not the eternal Tao; the name that can be named is not the eternal name” (I, 1). Hence, as the passage goes on to say, the Tao is “nameless” as well as “named.”

    There is paradox here, but no contradiction. What Lao Tzu is telling us is that while of course the Tao can be named or spoken of in one sense – that’s the point of saying what we’ve so far heard him say, after all – what we are speaking about is something that ultimately cannot adequately be captured in language, because it is so radically unlike the temporary, changing, differentiated, dependent things of our experience. In that sense it is nameless. The best we can do is to suggest the ways in which it is not like the things of our experience – it is not temporary, not changing, not differentiated, not dependent, and so on.’

    That’s pretty good, also.

  215. 215
    Viola Lee says:

    I made a note, Ram, in case BA forgets! 🙂

  216. 216
    ram says:

    VL

    😀

    “I hope that SA knows that neither I nor WJM (I don’t know about Ram) are materialists”

    Me neither. My views are very close to WJM’s. I am consciousness-centric, and the way I see it, whatever the “Black Box” Root is, it is transcendent and “contains all potentia.” If someone called me a Platonist who thinks the Hebrew bible (and some other scriptures) have germane mythical value, I probably wouldn’t be offended.

    –Ram

  217. 217
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks. That’s a nice description.

    I think there are many religious works that contain significant and germane mythical value. In part, this “Black Box” view is mystical, not analytic, and there are strands of that in all the major religions (and probably the minor ones), including Christianity.

  218. 218
    Viola Lee says:

    re 184: Thanks, WJM. I also am enjoying the discussion.

    You say, “What kind of personal experience as “me” is available from the IMB (Black Box)? I may not be able to look inside the box, but what I can do is experiment on my side to see what it is capable of producing into my experience.”

    That’s what being alive is. A continual experiment with what one can do, including making meaning, as a living human being.

    You also wrote, “ For me, though, while this is fun and interesting conversation on its own, it’s pretty much sophistry unless we have some means of translating all of that into some practical use or in a way that has meaningful value in our lives – even if it just provides a sense of peace or wonder or lovable mystery.”

    Hmmm. I don’t think sophistry is the right word, but I agree that the important thing is whether there is a connection between our philosophical understandings (whatever we decide to adopt) and the way we live, which is really the crucial aspect of existence.

    For me, the ideas that I express here are connected to important values and principles by which I try to live. In particular, I think dogmatic adherence to one religious belief (or beliefs of other sorts) and a tribalistic denunciation of other beliefs is a detriment to society, including our world-wide common humanity. That is connected to my belief that the root of reality, etc. is unknowable. I’d like people to have a more generous attitude towards the wide range of religious and philosophical beliefs, including lack of religious belief. Also, my belief in free will manifesting from an impersonal “Black Box” is related to my firm existential belief that we are responsible for our own decisions and actions, free from any specific guidance or judgment from anything other than our fellow human beings (and whether we respond to that is also our choice).

    I also very much believe in cultivating a sense of wonder and appreciation for the good parts of the world, and a broad anthropological acceptance of the bad parts, as the world will always be, especially in some big ways, far from perfect.

    Living according to some of these understandings, and seeing what I can do with my life (most of which has already been done because I’ve got many more years behind me than in front of me) is the “experiment”: what can one do with this one opportunity to be alive, given the times and circumstances in which we find ourselves.

    My 2 cents

  219. 219
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/195

    You simply can’t make this stuff up. Darwinian Naturalists, who’s worldview cannot ground logic in the first place, are trying to use logic to try to convince themselves and others that their worldview is somehow semi-coherent

    The theory of evolution was never intended to “ground logic”, whatever you mean by that.

    And how can you have a coherent worldview if it’s based on the absurd story of the Creation and The Fall in Genesis?

  220. 220
    Seversky says:

    Viola Lee/205

    We’re not discussing Darwin or anything having to do with him, as far as I can tell. Sev and CD may be materialists (I don’t know exactly where they stand), but Sev seems to be in the “we can’t know” camp

    For clarification, I’m not a materialist in the classical sense of the term but I am a materialist in the contemporary sense where the word is used interchangeably with physicalist.

    I also believe that the theory of evolution is currently the best explanation we have for the diversity of life on Earth but that could change as we learn more.

    I believe quantum theory is a theory in physics. It describes the nature of physical reality at the smallest scale we have been able to reach thus far. In fact, although the very idea is an abomination to BA77, you can view it as reductive materialism taken to the nth degree.

    So on that basis, I am either an atheist, evolutionist materialist or I’m a materialist, atheist, evolutionary.

    More importantly than any of that I am a committed ailurophile.

    As for the “ground of being”, I think that a Black Box is a good place to put all current speculations. We don’t know what the “ground of being” is and, while it may be unknowable to limited creatures like ourselves, we can’t know that either.

    What we do know is that there is still an awful lot that we don’t know.

  221. 221
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, pardon, your prejudice is showing. You were answered on that at 123 above, but of course ignored. KF

  222. 222
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, 214: simplicity there means, not composed of independent, separately existing prior parts [which would be so for say a contingent being], i.e. a characteristic of necessary being. KF

    PS, fellow travellers of evolutionary materialistic scientism face the challenges of what they conform to and enable. One cannot have one’s cake and eat it. As a test, kindly identify a few points where you disagree with the key tenets of said naturalism as described, why, and what difference it makes.

  223. 223
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, 193:

    I have never said reality is Indescribable. I have said that the ultimate ontological nature of the root of reality is undescribable.

    Which, is yet again a self-referential, self-contradictory, self-falsifying claim: “undescribable” is itself a description. If you had instead said not wholly comprehensible or wholly describable by us, that would be different, that would describe our partial, limited, finite and bounded rationality. It would imply that we cannot completely describe but it would not fall into self referential incoherence. Which last sets loose the principle of explosion and makes thought going forward utterly unreliable. We would be well advised to guard against incoherence in our views.

    Next, the root of reality is in fact the core of reality. We can describe aspects of reality, with more r less some degree of accuracy, and there is no valid controlling principle that locks out describing the root. For example:

    Reality = { R –> W, W1, W2 . . . Wn [ . . . ] },

    says:

    reality is the source of possible worlds, which includes those actualised such as ours, and others simply abstractly describable but not instantiated.

    R is in fact the root, actual world from which ours comes by active cause and from which others may have or may come.

    Where,

    all of these are descriptions of R and its functions, which are understandable to at least some degree.

    I trust these descriptive statements, some algebraic, help show that we can in part recognise, describe, know and understand aspects of the root of reality.

    Further insights come from the significance of the cause effect bond –> and lead to the significance of W containing rational, responsible, significantly free and morally governed, conscience guided creatures, us. For R has to be adequate to ground that. Which, post Hume’s guillotine argument, post Euthyphro and post Thales points to a bill of requisites involving not just creator/source but inherent goodness and utter wisdom. Which, of course, are personal characteristics.

    Such is beyond the reach of the natural sciences, but scientism is yet another self referential, self defeating concept; never mind how it has become institutionally embedded. In fact, it is philosophy that has the better claim to be the senior discipline that in part considers what is required to establish knowledge thus reliability and credible truth rooted in warrant.

    So, yet again, we see that we can and do describe with credible accuracy, certain relevant aspects of the root of reality.

    KF

  224. 224
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, Haldane’s comment applies to physicalism, etc:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For

    if

    [p:] my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain

    [–> taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes; notice, “my brain,” i.e. self referential]
    ______________________________

    [ THEN]

    [q:] I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.

    [–> indeed, blindly mechanical computation is not in itself a rational process, the only rationality is the canned rationality of the programmer, where survival-filtered lucky noise is not a credible programmer, note the funcionally specific, highly complex organised information rich code and algorithms in D/RNA, i.e. language and goal directed stepwise process . . . an observationally validated adequate source for such is _____ ?]

    [Corollary 1:] They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically.

    And hence

    [Corollary 2:] I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. [–> grand, self-referential delusion, utterly absurd self-falsifying incoherence]

    In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

    KF

    PS, Pearcey:

    A major way to test a philosophy or worldview is to ask: Is it logically consistent? Internal contradictions are fatal to any worldview because contradictory statements are necessarily false. “This circle is square” is contradictory, so it has to be false. An especially damaging form of contradiction is self-referential absurdity — which means a theory sets up a definition of truth that it itself fails to meet. Therefore it refutes itself . . . .

    An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.

    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.

    Astonishingly, many prominent thinkers have embraced the theory without detecting the logical contradiction. Philosopher John Gray writes, “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” What is the contradiction in that statement?

    Gray has essentially said, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it “serves evolutionary success, not truth.” In other words, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true.

    Self-referential absurdity is akin to the well-known liar’s paradox: “This statement is a lie.” If the statement is true, then (as it says) it is not true, but a lie.

    Another example comes from Francis Crick. In The Astonishing Hypothesis, he writes, “Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive.” But that means Crick’s own theory is not a “scientific truth.” Applied to itself, the theory commits suicide.

    Of course, the sheer pressure to survive is likely to produce some correct ideas. A zebra that thinks lions are friendly will not live long. But false ideas may be useful for survival. Evolutionists admit as much: Eric Baum says, “Sometimes you are more likely to survive and propagate if you believe a falsehood than if you believe the truth.” Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.

    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.

    [–> that is, responsible, rational freedom is undermined. Cf here William Provine in his 1998 U Tenn Darwin Day keynote:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.

    A few thinkers, to their credit, recognize the problem. Literary critic Leon Wieseltier writes, “If reason is a product of natural selection, then how much confidence can we have in a rational argument for natural selection? … Evolutionary biology cannot invoke the power of reason even as it destroys it.”

    On a similar note, philosopher Thomas Nagel asks, “Is the [evolutionary] hypothesis really compatible with the continued confidence in reason as a source of knowledge?” His answer is no: “I have to be able to believe … that I follow the rules of logic because they are correct — not merely because I am biologically programmed to do so.” Hence, “insofar as the evolutionary hypothesis itself depends on reason, it would be self-undermining.” [ENV excerpt, Finding Truth (David C. Cook, 2015) by Nancy Pearcey.]

  225. 225
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, Similarly and from the other side of the debates, there is inadvertent admission against interest:

    Alex Rosenberg as he begins Ch 9 of his The Atheist’s Guide to Reality:

    >> FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside. [–> So, just how did self-aware, intentional consciousness arise on such materialism? Something from nothing through poof magic words like “emergence” won’t do.] Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.

    Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. [–> grand delusion is let loose in utter self referential incoherence] Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates [–> bye bye to responsible, rational freedom on these presuppositions].

    The physical facts fix all the facts. [–> asserts materialism, leading to . . . ] The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We [–> at this point, what “we,” apart from “we delusions”?] can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives [–> thus rational thought and responsible freedom]. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live.>>

    Of course, post Haldane, equating mind and brain is a first magnitude blunder.

  226. 226
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS, actually, there are many millions across time and in our world today who do know the root of reality by personal life transforming encounter. That is highly valid and its systematic denial would point to our being so delusion prone that our rationality would be generally suspect. But then, that has never fazed those determined to reject say the gospel and its warrant. Which says a lot.

    In that context, we are looking at something different when we ponder reality and its root. We are looking beyond religious traditions or experience [which can and do include a lot of valid knowledge] to something different.

    From our own constitution and world, what can we know regarding its root and where does that point onward?

    It turns out, we can know enough that we are responsible for what we should acknowledge.

  227. 227
    bornagain77 says:

    – Ram – ” I’m not an atheist.,,, (I am a), Card-carrying member of the Sir Francis Bacon Historical Society.”

    Glad to hear that. So I guess that makes you far closer to a Christian than an atheist?

    After all, Francis Bacon was a devout Christian who believed humans were indeed made in the image of God. Specifically he devoutly believed in ‘the fall of man’.

    Which is to say, Bacon’s devout belief in what you disparaged as ‘bronze-age, anthropomorphically-derived gods”) is what, in fact, led him to champion the inductive reasoning of the scientific method over and above the deductive reasoning of the ancient Greeks that had been the dominate form of reasoning up until that time.

    Theology and science in the thought of Francis Bacon
    Steven Matthews – 2013
    Abstract
    This study re-evaluates the religious beliefs of Francis Bacon and the role which his theology played in the development of his program for the reform of learning and the natural sciences, the Great Instauration. Bacon’s Instauration writings are saturated with theological statements and Biblical references which inform and explain his program, yet this aspect of his writings has received little attention. Previous considerations of Bacon’s religion have been drawn from a fairly short list of his published writings. Consequently, Bacon has been portrayed as everything from an atheist to a Puritan; scholarly consensus is lacking. This book argues that by considering the historical context of Bacon’s society, and his conversion from Puritanism to anti-Calvinism as a young man, his own theology can be brought into clearer focus, and his philosophy more properly understood. After leaving his mother’s household, Bacon underwent a transformation of belief which led him away from his mother’s Calvinism and toward the writings of the ancient Church Fathers, particularly Irenaeus of Lyon. Bacon’s theology increasingly came to reflect the theological interests of his friend and editor Lancelot Andrewes. The patristic turn of Bacon’s belief in the last two decades of the reign of Elizabeth significantly affected the development of his philosophical program which was produced in the first two decades of the Stuart era. This study then examines the theology present in the Instauration writings themselves and concludes with a consideration of the effect which Bacon’s theology had on the subsequent direction of empirical science and natural theology in the English context. In so doing it not only offers a new perspective on Bacon, but will serve as a contribution toward a better understanding of the religious context of, and motivations behind, empirical science in early modern England.
    https://experts.umn.edu/en/publications/theology-and-science-in-the-thought-of-francis-bacon

    Lancelot Andrewes (1555 – 25 September 1626) was an English bishop and scholar, who held high positions in the Church of England during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. During the latter’s reign, Andrewes served successively as Bishop of Chichester, of Ely, and of Winchester and oversaw the translation of the King James Version of the Bible (or Authorized Version). In the Church of England he is commemorated on 25 September with a lesser festival.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancelot_Andrewes

    IRENAEUS OF LYONS
    Irenaeus was born sometime around AD 130 and grew up in Asia Minor under the ministry of Polycarp in Smyrna, who was himself a disciple of the apostle John according to tradition. Irenaeus recounts his memories of sitting under Polycarp’s teaching, hearing the accounts of the apostles to the life of Jesus. These experiences only strengthened his conviction of the apostolic nature of the Christian faith.
    Later, Irenaeus made his way to Rome and was influenced by the teaching of Justin Martyr as he sought to confront the many heresies there. From Rome, he eventually made his way to the western province of Gaul and settled in the capital of Lugdunum, which is modern-day Lyons. Living among the Celts in a provincial city, Irenaeus was far from the refinement and civilization Rome, and he lamented the influence of the barbarous Celts on him and his own lack of training in rhetoric or composition. However, Christianity had grown vibrant in Gaul, so that when persecution broke out in 177, many brave believers from Gaul went to their deaths and their heroic testimonies went out to churches across the Roman empire. Prior to the persecutions, Irenaeus had been sent as part of a delegation to Rome, and upon his return to Lugdunum, Irenaeus was chosen to be the bishop where he would serve for the rest of his life.
    Irenaeus’ writings reveal that a significant aspect of his ministry was defending the faith against false teachers.,,,
    https://www.historicaltheology.org/irenaeus-of-lyon/

    Bacon’s “Enchanted Glass” – Emily Morales – December 2019
    Excerpt: It was the rather low regard for the fallen human mind, besieged as it were by sin, that drove Francis Bacon, the “Father” of the Scientific Method, to formulate a new epistemology in his Great Instauration. In this brilliant man of faith’s view, the Adamic fall left an indelible mark on the human intellect, such that in its total depravity and persistent infirmity it could not be trusted to generate knowledge that was in any way free from bias, wrong presuppositions, or contradictions.,,,
    Recognizing then, the limitations of the human mind for revealing truth by mere logic and deductive reasoning, Bacon posited an altogether different means for knowledge acquisition: experimentation3—repeated experimentation—within the context of a scientific community (natural philosophers in his day). Bacon’s inductive methodology facilitated an explosion in knowledge of the natural world and accompanying technological advancement:
    https://salvomag.com/post/bacons-enchanted-glass
    3. Harrison, P. (2007). The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science. Cambridge University Press.

    The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science – Peter Harrison – 2007
    Description: Peter Harrison provides an account of the religious foundations of scientific knowledge. He shows how the approaches to the study of nature that emerged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were directly informed by theological discussions about the Fall of Man and the extent to which the mind and the senses had been damaged by that primeval event. Scientific methods, he suggests, were originally devised as techniques for ameliorating the cognitive damage wrought by human sin. At its inception, modern science was conceptualized as a means of recapturing the knowledge of nature that Adam had once possessed. Contrary to a widespread view that sees science emerging in conflict with religion, Harrison argues that theological considerations were of vital importance in the framing of the scientific method.
    https://www.amazon.com/Fall-Man-Foundations-Science/dp/0521117291
    Peter Harrison is a former Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford and is presently Research Professor and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland. He was the 2011 Gifford Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and holds a Senior Research Fellowship in the Ian Ramsey Centre at Oxford

    Stephen Meyer, (Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge), in his recent book, “Return of the God hypothesis”, lists the three necessary Judeo-Christian presuppositions that lay at the founding of modern science in Medieval Christian Europe.

    The third presupposition reads as such, ‘Human Fallibility “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.” (Francis Bocon’s inductive methodology)'”

    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour

    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”

    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.” (Francis Bocon’s inductive methodology)
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    Of note, although Ram, like VL, sneered at ‘bronze-age, anthropomorphically-derived gods”, the fact of the matter is that we now have very strong ‘scientific’ reasons to believe that we are indeed ‘made in the image of God’ and it that is not just us projecting and/or imagining ourselves onto God, i.e. ‘anthropomorphizing’ God.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-why-would-a-purely-physical-universe-need-imaginary-numbers/#comment-747531

  228. 228
    ET says:

    Viola Lee:

    The ID Inference, as I understand it from the “ID defined” article under Resources in the menu bar is comparing an intelligent cause vs undirected causes (i.e, materialism), so that inference doesn’t apply to me, as I am not defending the idea of undirected causes nor am I discussing anything about evolution.

    It applies to everybody. We exist and there is only ONE reality behind that existence.

  229. 229
    ET says:

    seversky:

    I also believe that the theory of evolution is currently the best explanation we have for the diversity of life on Earth but that could change as we learn more.

    1- There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution
    2- We haven’t even learned what determines biological form!
    3- Given starting populations of prokaryotes there isn’t any naturalistic mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes

    seversky is either lying or just a damn fool

  230. 230
    ET says:

    If we don’t know- as seversky says- then that is what needs to be taught in schools! Yet that is NOT what is being taught! So where is the outrage? Why is it OK to teach lies to unsuspecting children?

  231. 231
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “As a test, kindly identify a few points where you disagree with the key tenets of said naturalism as described, why, and what difference it makes.”

    Sure.

    1. I believe mind is a feature of the universe, and that my mind is different from my physical brain. The two interact in significant ways in some unknown ways, but the interaction goes both ways.

    2. I believe we have genuine, libertarian free will.

    3. I believe that our minds have rational cognitive skills that allow us to understand, though abstract modeling, the world we experience.

    4. I accept that this universe is such that many features work together to make a universe where interesting things happen (physics, chemistry, biology) and that there is some underlying something (the Black Box) behind the existence and nature of both the physical universe and our minds.

    How’s that?

  232. 232
    Viola Lee says:

    Sev, I had to look up ailurophile, and now I know!

    So you might like this in today’s comics: Speed Bump

  233. 233
    chuckdarwin says:

    From Seversky @ 220:

    What we do know is that there is still an awful lot that we don’t know.

    I would say the single, best (and honest) comment in this whole lengthy string.

  234. 234
    jerry says:

    there is some underlying something (the Black Box) behind the existence and nature of both the physical universe and our minds

    This Black Box also makes choices.

    And if it makes choices, that indicates an objective (unless this something with massive powers is just a capricious entity.) Can we ascertain some of what these objectives might be by the choices made?

  235. 235
    jerry says:

    I would say the single, best (and honest) comment in this whole lengthy string.

    Referenced comment should be headline in any discussion of Evolution.

    Especially in textbooks on biology. That would be a major breakthrough.

    ChuckDarwin endorses ID approach to Evolution.

  236. 236
    Viola Lee says:

    I don’t know whether you’ve been carefully following the discussion Jerry (I’m guessing not, perhaps), but “choices” is an excessively anthropomorphized word to use here, and even more to so to think the Black Box has “objectives”. I think it would be more appropriate (with all the usual disclaimers about indescribability) to say the Black Box has effects by its manifested immanent presence that pervades the world we experience.

  237. 237
    Viola Lee says:

    re 235: Jerry, I don’t think evolution is part of this discussion. I think Sev is referring to the ultimate nature of the root of reality (or whatever you want to call it), which has been the topic for quite a while.

  238. 238
    jerry says:

    I think it would be more appropriate (with all the usual disclaimers about indescribability) to say the Black Box has effects by its manifested immanent presence that pervades the world we experience.

    Gobbledegook.

    Specifics happened. Why?

    Are you saying there is no reason for the specifics? That is an extremely incoherent belief.

    I don’t think evolution is part of this discussion.

    It doesn’t have to be.

    I’m just pointing out the absurdity of a remark. Maybe to point out the incoherence of the comment and commenter. It would have just as much relevance to the nature of reality too.

    We know a lot. Because we don’t know everything, it doesn’t mean we have to be stupid about what we do know.

    It seems that the notion that we don’t know everything, that any conclusions about what is known should be ignored and any absurd notion anyone has should be given equal credibility.

  239. 239
    Viola Lee says:

    Again, you are thinking of some kind of entity that is analogous to us, using words like “reason for things” and “objectives” and “choices”. I think those words are not likely to apply to the Black Box, but saying that is not to say that their negatives apply either.

    Have you been reading all the posts about this, or are you just joining the party?

  240. 240
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry, you just added, “We know a lot. Because we don’t know everything, it doesn’t mean we have to be stupid about what we do know.”

    I totally agree. See post 231, #3 above. We know a great deal about the world we live in. What we don’t know is about the world we don’t live in: whatever is before/behind/underneath the world that is beyond our experience. That’s what we are discussing.

  241. 241
    Viola Lee says:

    And Jerry, you just added this: “It seems that the notion that we don’t know everything, that any conclusions about what is known should be ignored and any absurd notion anyone has should be given equal credibility.”

    Absolutely no one here is making that claim.

  242. 242
    jerry says:

    Have you been reading all the posts about this, or are you just joining the party?

    Don’t have to since I am responding to summations which are absurd.

    Absolutely no one here is making that claim

    I stand on my comments. There have been hundreds of threads here where people ignore the obvious after thousands of comments.

  243. 243
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, I see your 231, responding to my 223. I notice the shift to I believe and I accept which is very different from the declarations of un-know-ability. I suggest, a good start, though it would be interesting to see warrant, and I note that we know enough from the self referential incoherence that we do know somewhat. Not all we would like but enough for a start. KF

  244. 244
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD, Ram and WJM are deists.
    Viola is a non-Darwinian, immaterialist-atheist – a “we don’t know ist”
    Seversky is a materialist atheist, although modern version of it.

    Deism and immaterialism are compatible with ID.
    But there are several different flavors of deism possible. Some of them are just atheism with an unknown non-material force out there. It’s an improvement over materialism, but surrenders almost nothing over atheism. I think it just fills the gap for the first cause. The deist god can’t be material since it is outside space and time, but if it could be it would.
    The gap created by materialist atheism is filled by deism, but another big gap opens up between deism and theism. Deism is a step forward in supplying an answer.
    But to just say “it’s unknowable” or an impenetrable “black box” dismisses what we necessarily must know about the deist god. What we do know poses some logical pathways to follow.
    It’s not like we’re totally clueless.
    There are solid inferences one can make. Some ideas are more reasonable than others, some more supported by what we know.

    Human beings experience timelessness, spacelessness to some degree. Some have experienced more transcendent moments. But they remain human beings, using the same human mind to experience that. The idea that a timeless, spaceless God is completely incomprehensible doesn’t follow from what people actually experience.
    We are not totally linear, finite thinkers. The human mind (and soul) is capable of extending to the farthest ends of the universe, to contemplate infinite entities and to create imaginary worlds.

  245. 245
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, My list at 231 is about what I believe about this world. It is not about the source of those things, which is the unknowable Black Box.

    Also, the things in my list are things I accept based on my experience, and by making a choice to believe them. I can’t prove my mind is a separate entity, and I can’t prove that I have libertarian free will, but my internal experience seems to support those beliefs, so I choose to believe them.

    I accept my rationality because I can test my beliefs against further experience, and thus can confirm or fail to confirm what I believe. Rationality works when applied to the objects of my experience: that’s a testable claim. However, as is the subject of this thread, there are limits to what our rationality can address.

    That the universe is such that interesting, orderly things happens is one of those testable claims.

  246. 246
    kairosfocus says:

    CD & Sev, we see through a glass, darkly, but then . . . KF

  247. 247
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    What we don’t know is about the world we don’t live in: whatever is before/behind/underneath the world that is beyond our experience.

    We’ve been over this, but we know quite a lot about the origin of reality – about the “world we don’t live in”. Merely pointing to its existence is knowing something. So, even a total skeptic knows something. It’s not completely unknowable.
    Referencing Dr. Fester’s article on the Tao – the paradoxes Lao Tzu offers is not to say we know nothing about God, but only “in a certain sense” we know nothing,
    We know quite a lot. You’ve concluded that “it’s unknowable” based on what you know.
    For example, if the origin of our being was a material object, that would be knowable.
    But, simple logic tells us, the origin of material being cannot be a material thing.
    That logic tells us something about the supposed “unknowable” – it cannot be a material object.
    So, that which is immaterial exists.
    Tracing back causality, contingent beings depend on something for their existence – the root of reality is the ground of that being.
    I could go on and on, but there’s a lot we know. Even obscurantist Eastern philosophy tells us quite a lot about the ground of being. That’s what it was written to do.

  248. 248
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    “It seems that the notion that we don’t know everything, that any conclusions about what is known should be ignored and any absurd notion anyone has should be given equal credibility.”

    This can be applied to the claim that “the root of reality is unknowable”. Taken literally, “we can’t know anything about the origin of the world”. That aligns with what you said above. To make definitions requires knowledge. The Root of Reality, or the ground of being, or the cause of the universe – all of those are definitions.

  249. 249
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    I think it would be more appropriate (with all the usual disclaimers about indescribability) to say the Black Box has effects by its manifested immanent presence that pervades the world we experience.

    Decision-making is not limited to humans, and thus the term ‘choice’ is not anthromorphic.
    But in the attempt to get away from a God that is personal, conscious and free – the term “has effects” is used. This remains a problem because the “effects” have to be caused by something in the source.
    Free choice can be conscious and willed for a reason.
    “Effects that are manifested” are determined by something – if deterministic (not free) then what is determining the cause of all things?
    That’s the paradox that deism runs into.

  250. 250
    Viola Lee says:

    SA, for one thing, I’m not discussing deism.

    You write, “Decision-making is not limited to humans.” Are you referring to animals? What are you referring to.

  251. 251
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    Here’s the way I see it. You propose that:

    we have genuine, libertarian free will
    mind is a feature of the universe
    we have rational cognitive skills that allow us to understand, though abstract modeling

    All of those features come from a source you’re calling a black-box, unknowable.
    What is the objection to the idea that logically follows:

    The origin and source of those features possesses free will, mind and rationality.

    It confers those things on us because it possesses them.
    One cannot give what one does not have – thus, the origin of all that, possesses all that.

  252. 252
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, you list a lot of things in many previous posts that you think that you know about the root of reality that I don’t think are true, so there’s quite a bit that we would/do disagree about what we know.

    One problem is that to even try to talk about what we don’t know we have to use words which make it sound like we do know something. An example, saying that since the material world can’t have been caused by something material we know the immaterial exists. This is the kind of dilemma about language that we have discussed above. As you frequently point out, duality is an immediate consequence of claiming identity, as what is is separated from what it isn’t. In Taoist terms, all things exist as parts of complementary dualities, but the Tao is beyond those dualities. The Black Box is beyond the material/immaterial duality, as it is beyond all dualities.

    So I think that you think that logic tells you much more about the root of reality than is justified.

  253. 253
    bornagain77 says:

    VL to Jerry:, “but “choices” is an excessively anthropomorphized word to use here.”

    Funny that that “excessively anthropomorphized” conception, i.e. the free will of God, was a necessary presupposition that was essential for the rise of modern science itself

    February 2022 – The free will of God and the founding of modern science (pertinent references are half way down the following post)
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-why-would-a-purely-physical-universe-need-imaginary-numbers/#comment-747234

    All of which is proof yet again that VL is not arguing in a rationally coherent, good faith, manner.

    She was corrected on her claim that we have inappropriately ‘anthropomorphized’ God in post 166. And yet here she sits, continuing to falsely claim that we have inappropriately ‘anthropomorphized’ God.

    So again, (and via post 166),

    anthropomorphize
    attribute human characteristics or behavior to (a god, animal, or object).

    In short, VL, and her cheerleaders, are sneering at the Judeo-Christian presupposition that we were, and are, made in the image of God.

    Genesis 1:26
    Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

    Yet the belief that we are made in the image of God, (i.e. the ‘anthropomorphized’ version of God that she sneers at), was, (again), a necessary, and essential, presupposition that lay at the founding of modern science itself. And that presupposition continues to be a presupposition that is essential to the successful practice of modern science,

    For instance, “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),

    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour

    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”

    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.” (Francis Bocon’s inductive methodology)
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    i.e. Why even bother practicing science in the first place if you truly believe, like atheists and VL apparently do, that you do not have, at least, the capacity within yourself to understand and/or ‘know’ the deep mysteries behind the universe?

    Apparently VL, in total disregard to simple logic, is willing to simultaneously believe that the root of reality is ‘unknowable’, (i.e. an insoluble mystery), and yet at the same time hold that we are ‘somehow’ able to discover deep truths about the nature of reality.

    Sorry, it simply doesn’t work that way. As the old saying goes, you can’t have your cake and eat it to.

    Contradictions in logic are fatal to arguments. Apparently VL does not care that her argument is inherently contradictory. So again, I hold that VL is not arguing in good faith.

    Moreover, in a rather stunning confirmation of the fact that Francis Bacon, and the other Christian founders of modern science, did not falsely ‘anthropomorphize’ God, when they brought forth modern science, we can appeal to recent findings in modern science to directly support the Christian’s belief that we are indeed made in the image of God.

    In 2014, an impressive who’s who list of leading ‘Darwinian’ experts in the area of language research, authored a paper in which they honestly admitted that,,, “(we have) essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,”

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    Casey Luskin added: “It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92141.html

    The late best selling author Tom Wolfe was so taken aback by this honest confession from leading Darwinists that he wrote a book on the subject. Here is a general outline of his main argument;

    “Speech is 95 percent plus of what lifts man above animal! Physically, man is a sad case. His teeth, including his incisors, which he calls eyeteeth, are baby-size and can barely penetrate the skin of a too-green apple. His claws can’t do anything but scratch him where he itches. His stringy-ligament body makes him a weakling compared to all the animals his size. Animals his size? In hand-to-paw, hand-to-claw, or hand-to-incisor combat, any animal his size would have him for lunch. Yet man owns or controls them all, every animal that exists, thanks to his superpower: speech.”
    —Tom Wolfe, in the introduction to his book, The Kingdom of Speech

    In other words, that humans should master the planet due to his unique ability to understand, communicate, and create, information is completely contrary to the ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking that undergirds Darwinian thought. i.e. Although humans are fairly defenseless creatures in the wild compared to other creatures, such as lions, bears, sharks, etc.., nonetheless, humans have, completely contrary to Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking, managed to become masters of the planet, not by brute force, but simply by our unique ability to understand, create, and communicate information and also to, more specifically, infuse immaterial information into material substrates in order to create, i.e. ‘intelligently design’, objects that are extremely useful for our defense, basic survival in procuring food, furtherance of our knowledge, and also merely for our pleasure.

    What is more interesting still about the fact that humans have a unique ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’ through the ‘top-down’ infusion of immaterial information into material substrates, is the fact that, due to advances in science, both the universe and life itself, are now found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.

    “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”
    Vlatko Vedral – Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College –

    It is hard to imagine a more convincing scientific proof that we are ‘made in the image of God’, than finding that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’, not via brute force as is presupposed in Darwinian thought, but precisely because of our ability to infuse immaterial information into material substrate

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

    Thus, despite VL’s repeated false assertion that we Christians have inappropriately “anthropomorphized” God, the fact of the matter is that modern science itself has now provided Christians with fairly powerful scientific evidence that we are indeed made in the image of God. Whereas VL’s false assertion that we have inappropriately “anthropomorphized” God is severely wanting for any empirical support. Scientifically speaking, her false assertion is ‘naked as a Jay-bird’ as the old saying goes.

    One final note, a more convincing proof that we are made in the image of God could be if God Himself became a man, walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead, and then defeated death itself on a cross.

    And that just so happens to be precisely the evidence that is claimed within Christianity.

    One rather powerful piece of scientific evidence supporting the validity of Christianity is the Shroud of Turin

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

    The evidence for the Shroud’s authenticity keeps growing stronger. (Timeline of facts) – November 08, 2019
    What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know – Myra Adams and Russ Breault
    https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/what-is-the-shroud-of-turin.html

    John 20:3-8
    So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

  254. 254
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    The Black Box is beyond the material/immaterial duality, as it is beyond all dualities.

    You just made a positive, defining assertion about something you’ve claimed to be “unknowable”. You just provided boundaries and a definition. So, you know quite a lot already and are trying to correct people in their understanding of something you’re claiming we can know nothing about.
    That’s a problem as I see it.

  255. 255
    Viola Lee says:

    SA, re 251. I have a physical body. Do I therefore assume the Black Box has a physical body?
    I have a wide range of emotions. Do I assume the Black Box has a wide range of emotions.
    Etc….

    You write, “It confers those things on us because it possesses them.”

    SA, there is just a gulf between our understandings. It doesn’t “confer” anything. It underlies all, from innumerable immense galaxies to all the moments of our lives, but I don’t think it “wants” anything. It just is.

    The Feser article called this “apophatic”: The Tao can only be described by saying what it is not, because any attempt to say what it is runs into the false duality problem of language that I have been describing.

    And to SA, re 254: You write, “You just made a positive, defining assertion about something you’ve claimed to be “unknowable””

    Let me reiterate something: I’m not offering this Taoist perspective as true, because my belief is that all metaphysics, including religious metaphysics, are human inventions to account for the unaccountable. However, I personally find this perspective the most satisfying. I have also been interested in explaining it in order to make it clear that theism and materialism aren’t the only two possible ways to see the world.

  256. 256
    bornagain77 says:

    ^^^^
    Apparently superficially rationalizing away deep contradictions in logic are Viola Lee’s bread and butter.

    Frankly, I think I’ll go do something much more entertaining, like watching paint dry. 🙂

    10 Hours of Paint Drying
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLOPygVcaVE

  257. 257
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    The origin and source of those features possesses free will, mind and rationality.

    It confers those things on us because it possesses them.
    One cannot give what one does not have – thus, the origin of all that, possesses all that.

    The logic from this continues into: the only way the black box source can confer on us the sense of being time-linear finite beings with doubts, fears, confusion, hate, schizophrenia, lust, anger, etc., is if that black box experiences itself as a time-linear finite being with doubts, fears, confusion, hate, schizophrenia, lust, anger, etc. You don’t get to arbitrarily draw the line of what it is like to be “the black box” at the border of convenient qualia.

    A flashlight is not light. It has the potential to emanate light, but it is not itself light.

  258. 258
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    I pointed out the contradiction in your claim. I think you’ve acknowledged it.

    I’m not offering this Taoist perspective as true,

    Ok, so you think it is not true. It is therefore false.

    However, I personally find this perspective the most satisfying.

    You’re satisfied with something that you think is not true. That’s just believing in an illusion.
    This undercuts what you’re saying. As I explained before, a person who says “the topic I’m discussing is unknowable” will quickly run out of anything to say. It’s better to just be quiet and speak about what you know, instead of insisting that what you’re saying is non-knowledge or even what you know to be false (as you say of the Tao).

    I don’t think I can go any farther on this. I’ve done what I could – it’s just at a standstill unless you want to rethink/adjust your views. I’m not demanding that. It certainly takes time for a person to think through these issues. It’s ok to say “I don’t know” – nothing wrong with that. But to insist that “nobody can know” when people actually do present knowledge (or you yourself present knowledge in contradiction to the ‘unknowable’ claim), then this just creates problems in understanding and communication.
    I say this with respect for you and your viewpoints. Again, I just think we reached a dead-end here.

  259. 259
    William J Murray says:

    Also, referring to the ground of being is not predicated on knowing anything about the ground of being; it is a logical inference derived from our own existential position and capacity to reason. We can’t even tell that it is emanating us. We can’t see that happening. We can’t experience that. It’s a logical inference. It may be a logical necessity. But, it’s not based on any direct observation or knowledge of that source.

  260. 260
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    One cannot confer non-being or create the non-existent.
    Deficiencies are a lack of perfection – they’re not a positive creation of being.
    Fullness of existence is absolute perfection because it lacks nothing of the good, true and beautiful. A lack in any of those things is merely a potential for perfection, not a positive creation of non-existence.

  261. 261
    Viola Lee says:

    SA, you write,”VL: I’m not offering this Taoist perspective as true,
    SA: Ok, so you think it is not true. It is therefore false.”

    As I’ve said, we have an unbridgeable gulf between us. Our metaphysics are inventions. They are like literature, which is not intended to be true but is meant to play some significant role in our understanding.

    And WJM did a much better job at 257 of replying to your post at 251.

    I’m willing to call our discussion a dead-end, also.

  262. 262
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF @ 246
    Some of us, perhaps. Some of us see reality only too well…

  263. 263
    Viola Lee says:

    re 256: BA, I invite you to not read my posts. I don’t read yours.

  264. 264
    bornagain77 says:

    ^^^^^ Cannot be ‘too careful’ what one reads eh VL?

    “In reading Chesterton, as in reading MacDonald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere — “Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,” as Herbert says, “fine nets and stratagems.” God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”
    – C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

  265. 265
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    One cannot confer non-being or create the non-existent.

    We’ve been over this. All possibilities are always present in potentia.

    Deficiencies are a lack of perfection – they’re not a positive creation of being.
    Fullness of existence is absolute perfection because it lacks nothing of the good, true and beautiful. A lack in any of those things is merely a potential for perfection, not a positive creation of non-existence.

    I can’t make sense of this other than to chalk it up to your personal ideology.

  266. 266
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    We can’t experience that. It’s a logical inference. It may be a logical necessity. But, it’s not based on any direct observation or knowledge of that source.

    Yes, agreed. We take what we know and what we can derive by logic and arrive at knowledge. But also, we can reach a high degree of certainty about things even without direct experiential knowledge.

    You gave an analogy on cooking to beef wellington. I see it more like like my kitchen as an analogy for all the kitchens in the neighborhood. I see I have a stove, so with no direct experience of any of those kitchens, I conclude that most of them probably have a stove.
    But we see certain values within our universe and we infer that they have an origin in a power that can create those values. By logic, the creator cannot be composed of what has been created.
    It’s not a strict deduction but it’s “friendly to reason” to conclude that the creator has knowledge of what was created and the act of creation is something the human mind could recognize as such, even though its not done by material means or in sequential time.
    As I said before, humans experience timeless moments and things that transcend the linear, sequential movements. Even acts of great creation happen in a timeless, spaceless sort of way.
    Mozart created an entire symphony in his mind in a matter of minutes.
    This is the most incredible example I’ve ever seen of the God-given power in a human being to understand far beyond what we would think possible. I can’t resist yet another kick at the dead horse – this video renders Darwinism a stone-age collection of myths. The complete ignorance of science on these matters is astounding:

    Brain Man: The Boy With The Incredible Brain (Superhuman Documentary) | Real Stories
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPySn3slfXI

    11 million views so you might have already seen it

  267. 267
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    I can’t make sense of this

    It’s not my personal idea, it’s just an adaptation of the classic philosophical argument on the degrees of perfection.

  268. 268
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    By logic, the creator cannot be composed of what has been created.

    Didn’t you just say:One cannot give what one does not have – thus, the origin of all that, possesses all that.
    Color me confused.
    Also, as a reminder, the idea of “a creator” of space-time is logically self-contradictory. So is the idea of making a decision “outside of space-time.” Any personal experiences expressed as a feeling of being beyond or outside of time and space sure didn’t happen outside of their linear space-time experience or else they wouldn’t know when it occurred or that it happened to them. Nor would they have been able to experience any sequences of qualia. All of that happens within a framework of at least personal space-time. The act of creation or making a decision any any normative sense requires at least a personal sense of linear time.

    Yes, there is logic that extends from the assumption of an original creator making choices and creating things, but it’s that assumption that I question because I don’t see how that is a rational perspective.

  269. 269
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    One cannot give what one does not have – thus, the origin of all that, possesses all that.

    Whatever is all being cannot be “a composition”.

  270. 270
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    Also, as a reminder, the idea of “a creator” of space-time is logically self-contradictory.

    Once we move past scientism and materialism and begin talking about the nature of God, we accept that there are paradoxes. Your worldview has them, certainly. But we just try to present what is most reasonable – even though we bump into various limits and obscurities.
    That reality has a source or origin aligns with the concept of a creator. That our lives had a beginning is intuitive. That the universe had a beginning is a scientific proposal. So, where there’s a beginning, there’s an act – call it creation, call it actualization.
    We could say “we don’t know what to call it” but I don’t see that as different from saying “it’s analogous to the human design process – not the same, but like it enough that we use the word ‘create’.”
    Communication on this topic would be impossible if we had to have exact, univocal terms.
    That’s an option.
    “This is a topic I cannot talk about because we don’t have human terms for it”.
    Ok, I could go with that. The person just exempts himself from any discussion since it’s all “unknowable and beyond comprehension”.
    But I think we try to discover things and it’s good to discuss what we can find.
    To do that, we use terms like “doing” or “creation”. We can just say upfront: “it’s not an exact match with what God actually does” – then just go forward from there.
    As long as a person doesn’t think that God is trapped by time or limited by material resources in what He can create, it doesn’t seem to be a problem.
    True – some people could get confused by that and picture God as a material being, but that’s can be easily corrected.

  271. 271
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, there is a big gap between merely thinking one knows and working through the logic of being. I have worked through the logic. Others are showing you some of it. One thing that is clear from the outset is to assert that the root of reality is unknowable is to assert a knowledge claim about said root and it is thus self referentially incoherent and falsifies itself. From there we can work out positive things we know. KF

  272. 272
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, I extend the quote:

    1 Cor 13: 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. [Paul of Tarsus, c 55 AD]

    And yes, that is a foundational Christian text.

    KF

  273. 273
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the creation of our space-time manifold is not an incoherent concept. It may seem strange but even the concept of a sub cosmos with fluctuating universes is like that. KF

  274. 274
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, ” I have worked through the logic.”

    And not everyone agrees with the assumptions you make and the conclusions you reach. I certainly don’t.

    You write, “One thing that is clear from the outset is to assert that the root of reality is unknowable is to assert a knowledge claim about said root and it is thus self referentially incoherent and falsifies itself”

    This is your favorite ploy. What you fail to acknowledge is my repeated disclaimer that I am not asserting something I know to be true: I am making a claim that taking all I know about humans beings, including about religion, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, etc, all of human beings metaphysics are inventions, so I don’t think any of them is “true”. I have other reasons for thinking that we really can’t know about the root of reality, but they are all provisional, but it seems that saying we can’t know about the root of reality seems much more likely, based on evidence, than thinking we can.

    Your “self-referential incoherency” argument just doesn’t wash.

    That’s what I think.

  275. 275
    chuckdarwin says:

    VL @ 274
    Hold on to those “self-referential incoherencies.” They can be redeemed at the Discovery Institute’s Discovery Store (for real) for things like coffee mugs, stylish tote bags, ball caps, and tons more cool stuff…… 🙂

  276. 276
    ram says:

    KF: Ram, pardon, your prejudice is showing. You were answered on that at 123 above, but of course ignored. KF

    Blah blah blah. Not persuasive.

    Are you saying your god is a bronze-age god? Is that what you’re defending?

    –Ram

  277. 277
    ram says:

    BA77: The inductive methodology of Francis Bacon, i.e. the scientific method itself, literally has the presupposition that science can answer the question of the ultimate nature and/or truth of reality built into it.

    It was in spite of Christianity not because of it.

    Dum dee dum dum.

    –Ram

  278. 278
    ram says:

    VL and WJM…

    Nice to have some fresh air around here.

    Kintergardeners often hate giving up their li’l philosophical blankies.

    All in good time.

    Peace.

    –Ram

  279. 279
    ram says:

    Hey, BA77 and KF and fellow travellers…

    Do you believe that a literal serpent talked to a literal Adam and Eve in a literal garden about 6000 (give or take) years ago?

    Yes or no?

    Thanks

    (I wonder, as I ask the question, how embarrassed they must feel about the question, and how threatened they must feel about the question. But why feel embarrassed or threatened if reality is on your side?)

    Now… if you don’t literally believe that happened, then, well, by golly, there’s something to talk about. Right?

    I can hear it now…. that’s a diversion. Yeah, well, anything KF doesn’t like facing up to is a diversion. Funny how talking about their beloved scriptures is always some kind of diversion. Is that what Jesus would say?

    Yeah, yeah, this isn’t a Bible study. But… it really is, at the end of the day.

    Take away their religion/scriptural-interpretation, and they are left with what everyone else is left with: science. And believe me, they will whine, moan and complain, but they love science and rely on it over all as well as the rest of us. And they know this. Who do they think they’re kidding? And modern science was delivered by occultists, kabbalists, and homosexuals. Living in the world of modern dentistry is a wonderful thing! Just try living without it when you’re in a pinch. You’ll trade your soul to satan for some sweet relief. 😀

    –Ram

  280. 280
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram,

    toxic, red herring based distractor; especially as you know that UD is not a theology blog with a resident panel of experts and one of the slanders out there is that design theory is creationism in a cheap tuxedo. See our Weak Argument Correctives under the resources tab.

    Thus, as you have been advised on the point repeatedly, insistence on such behaviour is, regrettably, a sign of want of good faith.

    The intent, manifestly, is to switch focus from something YOU are uncomfortable with and project.

    Further to which, you refuse to recognise that what I have discussed above and in other threads has little or nothing to do with Bible Study or Biblical Theology. It has everything to do, instead with

    [a] empirical investigation of reliable signs of design in the world of life and the cosmos (tracing to considerations of inductive logic and epistemology), and

    [b] investigation of logic of being tied to root of reality, i.e. that worldview integrative exercise known as Metaphysics and particularly Ontology.

    As can be seen from 116 above, the issue here has been the claim that root of reality issues are “unknow-ABLE,” where that claim is self referential, implies it is objective and known, refuting itself. Under normal circumstances, that would suffice to settle the matter, as incoherence due to self referential self contradiction is reduction to absurdity, strong form. But these are not normal times.

    Perhaps, it has not dawned on you that I have not set out on exposition and systematisation of scriptures but on examination of empirical evidence and on worldviews analysis as appropriate. Here, spending a fair bit of effort on foundations of Math, responsive to Wigner’s wonderment over the power of Math in science, tracing to the concept of logic of necessary being — ontology — and examples of knowledge of roots of reality. Where BTW, philosophy in this context has a senior claim to science. In particular, scientism is self referentially incoherent right from the term itself. That is, the notion that science monopolises or so dominates serious knowledge claims that its voice of the moment is the decisive queen move, is a claim in EPISTEMOLOGY, a core branch of . . . you guessed it . . . Philosophy. Hence, Scientism is absurdly incoherent, but exploits institutional domination to impose agendas that would not otherwise prevail. As we have seen at first hand with marginalisation and denigration of a growing number of effective treatments since March 2020.

    Sciences and technologies are useful in their place, as is fire. But out of place, they help induce marches of ruinous folly.

    As for your reconstruction of origins of modern science, it reeks of revisionism and promotion of agendas seeking to ride on the tails of the lab coats of scientism. Fail.

    KF

  281. 281
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    Pardon, but we don’t get to have our cake and eat it:

    >>You write, “One thing that is clear from the outset is to assert that the root of reality is unknowable is to assert a knowledge claim about said root>>

    1: Manifestly the case, despite your claims to the contrary.

    2: Had you instead said, unknown to me, or controversial among scholars etc — everything in Philosophy is controversial as hard questions have no easy answers and so we work by comparative difficulties — that would have been different. But, that is NOT what you have claimed.

    3: That’s why I called you on manifest self referential incoherence thus principle of explosion and reductio.

    >>and it is thus self referentially incoherent and falsifies itself”>>

    4: Yup.

    >>This is your favorite ploy.>>

    5: In effect you are trying to use loaded language to dismiss a logical issue. Fail.

    >> What you fail to acknowledge is my repeated disclaimer that I am not asserting something I know to be true:>>

    6: So, do not assert un-know-ability, instead say unknown to me or subject to controversies under comparative difficulties. As was already noted.

    >> I am making a claim that taking all I know about humans beings, including about religion, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, etc,>>

    7: Do you see the little knowledge claim there? That is immediately an illustration of claiming to know un-know-ability.

    >> all of human beings metaphysics are inventions,>>

    8: Metaphysics is a study, of a substance involving critical examination of worldviews, towards synthesis, and as such is a discipline with 2400+ years of history going back to Thales on the dock at Miletus pausing between futures investments to ponder the one and the many.

    9: The substance is being, reality, its contents and their roots. As I summarised above, R –> W etc.

    >> so I don’t think any of them is “true”.>>

    10: Here, denial of our ability to overcome error and through right reason find warranted truth, of course itself being precisely a worldview by the backdoor, hyperskepticism influenced radical relativism, maybe the relativism of one, subjectivism.

    11: A worldview claiming to be true and so refuting itself by self referential incoherence.

    >> I have other reasons for thinking that we really can’t know about the root of reality, but they are all provisional,>>

    12: See the repetition of the un-know-ability thesis regarding roots of reality, claiming to be knowledge regarding said topic?

    13: Doubling down on self referential absurdities is question begging but can be highly persuasive.

    >>but it seems that saying we can’t know about the root of reality seems much more likely, based on evidence, than thinking we can.>>

    14: More of the same incoherent circularity.

    15: A better approach is to start with highly knowable self evident first principles of reason then define knowledge in that light and apply logic to reality, being and its roots. Especially to possible vs impossible being, contingent and necessary being further informed by possible world speak.

    16: Much, as has been done above and elsewhere.

    KF

  282. 282
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    A better approach is to start with highly knowable self evident first principles of reason then define knowledge in that light and apply logic to reality, being and its roots. Especially to possible vs impossible being, contingent and necessary being further informed by possible world speak.

    That’s a very nice summary. You’ve done several articles that move through those steps.
    The guy here who says “science is all we’ve got” is badly confused by scientism. You can’t do anything without the first principles and then analysis of reality in light of that.

  283. 283
    Viola Lee says:

    Who here is saying “Science is all we got?”

    Certainly not me, WJM, or Ram.

    Also, FWIW, I accept that the laws of logic are essential for human understanding. I don’t accept, however, many of the assumptions and conclusions KF reaches: much of what he considers as purely logical is infused with his own metaphysical assumptions.

  284. 284
    ram says:

    VL: Who here is saying “Science is all we got?” Certainly not me, WJM, or Ram.

    Indeed.

    –Ram

  285. 285
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    Let’s note one of your statements at outset, so we can pin down the matter, this being perhaps your most radical assertion:

    we can’t know about the root of reality seems much more likely, based on evidence, than thinking we can

    See the self referential problem there, even with the relative likelihood claim? A self referentially incoherent claim is instantly of zero likelihood as it cannot be true. What cannot be true is only knowable as necessarily false.

    Now, I am not making a priori metaphysical commitments of any consequences; despite your assertions to the contrary. Where, your repeated assertion that I have done so without specifying what I have allegedly assumed that I should not becomes questionable. It raises the issue of an implicit ad hom circumstantial, i.e. you know I happen to be a Christian — an end point of reasoning and experience, not an inherited assumption — and may be implying inevitable defective reasoning for anyone with such views. But in fact the reasoning I am using is general.

    Did I merely assume first principles of right reason or impose them on mere priestcraft? Not at all.

    For, first principles of right reason are self-evident, pervasive and inescapable, branch on which we all sit stuff. Distinct identity is necessary to think and communicate, as was noted from a C1 Rhetoric 101 example; admittedly I used Paul but merely as an apt cite on a general fact. As in, what are these distinct glyphs strung together to make meaningful text about? To evade this, you are stuck with silence and non thought, then the difference and identity of food, drink, clothing and shelter stare you in the face. Those who try to live apart from this instantly fail.

    As you know or should acknowledge, non contradiction and excluded middle are close corollaries.

    If your effective quarrel is with these, your problem is with reason not my alleged assumptions.

    As to science is all we got, that seems to be a summary from SA perhaps paraphrasing, it points to scientism, that science so monopolises or dominates knowledge that anything otherwise rooted doesn’t count. As I have noted, this is an epistemologicsl, i.e. philosophical claim and refutes itself. In any case, science depends on Math, which does not work on empirical but logical methods driven by at basic level first facts, at another, axioms derived from framing such facts then setting up logic model worlds.

    Going on, reductio is an application of non contradiction, thence principle of explosion. H being asserted, consequences are derived, and once a contradiction or denial of known fact results, fail, so the denial ~H is true.

    In your case, you keep asserting un-know-ability of the root of reality.

    As I pointed out yesterday at 281, many times in the course of an argument. But that is itself a knowledge claim and it about said root, it fails.

    As for rooting of the world, it is notoriously temporal-causal and successive, one year follows another for instance. It is therefore appropriate to consider where it came from.

    An initial candidate is, infinite past. And even this is knowledge about the root, that such is a candidate. It turns out, traversal of an explicit or implicit transfinite span in finite stage steps such as years is an infeasible supertask.

    So, my point is, had you instead said unknown to you or controversial among thinkers, yes obvious. Philosophy being the study of hard questions (towards a coherent understanding of reality), that is the case inevitably. So, comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power. But that is not what you have said.

    You have been asserting un-know-ability of the root of reality, a universal negative claim that implicitly is itself a knowledge claim. So, it refutes itself.

    To see that we don’t need anthropology etc, we just need to recognise a knowledge claim and when it becomes self referential and incoherent.

    KF

  286. 286
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, yes, but these days such is marginalised by the credentialed and chattering class. It turns what should be generally recognised into needless controversy. This then clouds onward thinking. Aquinas’ little errors in the beginning at watershed lines in our thinking ending up in oceans of error a continent away from otherwise readily knowable truth. That is why we need to be so careful to recognise first principles of reason antecedent to proof as such already bake them in. KF

    PS, Epictetus,

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. We here see the first principles of right reason in action. Cf J. C. Wright]

  287. 287
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, kindly note my two comments just above. KF

  288. 288
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, when I wrote, “we can’t know about the root of reality seems much more likely, based on evidence, than thinking we can … “

    You wrote, “See the self referential problem there, even with the relative likelihood claim?”

    No, I do not. I have many times discussed the provisional nature of my claim, based on empirical evidence about the nature of human belief as shown through studies of comparative religion, philosophy, psychology, etc. You dismiss those and seem to have no understanding at all of the distinction between my statement and a “universal negative claim” that you later say I am making.

    You later say, “If your effective quarrel is with these [the laws of logical reasoning], your problem is with reason not my alleged assumptions.”

    Once again, you PAY ABSOLUTELY NO ATTENTION TO WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ACTUALLY SAY!!!

    Pardon my shouting, but I’ve said multiple times that I accept that the laws of logic are an essential part of our rational cognitive abilities. It would be really nice if you would acknowledge that so you don’t keep bringing up the same irrelevant issue of that being in question.

    Then you write, “As to science is all we got, that seems to be a summary from SA perhaps paraphrasing, it points to scientism, … “

    Again, you ignore what others are saying. Neither I, WJM, or Ram are advocating for anything approaching scientism.

    Then you write, “As for rooting of the world, it is notoriously temporal-causal and successive, one year follows another for instance. It is therefore appropriate to consider where it came from. An initial candidate is, infinite past. “

    As I and WJM have pointed out a number of times, space, time, and linear causality are features of our world. Thinking that they as we know them apply to whatever exists “outside” or “before” our world (both words themselves being inappropriate but we have no other words to use) is not justified.

    The general problem with your “self-referential incoherence” argument is that you always judge statements by others by your own philosophical framework, so anything anyone says that comes from a different framework and contradicts your framework is labeled “incoherent”, Yes, it’s “incoherent” to you because you have such a rigid, narrow view in which only your perspective is true.

    It’s one thing to disagree with people. It’s another thing to be unable to really understand what other people are and are not saying and to be so sure of yourself that anyone who disagrees with you, working from a different perspective, is guilty of “self-referential incoherence.”

    That’s why I called your frequent claim of self-referential incoherence a “ploy”. It’s a tactic to avoid recognizing and responding to a different view than your own.

  289. 289
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL: Who here is saying “Science is all we got?” Certainly not me, WJM, or Ram.
    Ram: Indeed
    Ram @ 279 “Take away their religion/scriptural-interpretation, and they are left with what everyone else is left with: science,. And believe me, they will whine, moan and complain, but they love science and rely on it over all as well as the rest of us.

  290. 290
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    As to science is all we got, that seems to be a summary from SA perhaps paraphrasing, it points to scientism, that science so monopolises or dominates knowledge that anything otherwise rooted doesn’t count. As I have noted, this is an epistemologicsl, i.e. philosophical claim and refutes itself. In any case, science depends on Math, which does not work on empirical but logical methods driven by at basic level first facts, at another, axioms derived from framing such facts then setting up logic model worlds.

    Exactly. This is the significant error you pointed to in your insistence on the aherence to First Principles. The denial of those, then jumping directly to a ridicule of scriptural texts just reveals an incoherent foundation for understanding reality.

  291. 291
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    self-referential incoherence

    Some examples of the same that we see frequently:

    * Rationality has no origin, or else it originates from an irrational source but should be (or cannot be) trusted.
    * There is no such thing as reality and we have the experimental science to prove it.
    * All that exists is just one thing (monism). That’s what it is, in contrast to what you think it is.
    * We know that immaterial entities do not exist because physical science cannot detect them
    * Metaphysical concepts (like this one) are not true. They’re just invented.
    * Literature is not interested in the truth. It’s just meant to help us.
    * There is no truth. I’m fully convinced of this and I insist on it.
    * There is a third option between truth and falsehood.
    * There is a third option between rational intelligence and mindless irrationality

  292. 292
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, for cause I stand by the above. More later. KF

  293. 293
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, some interesting observations. The third option is an epistemological one, uncertainty, which can be about something which is accurate to reality or something which is not. But what is or is not is not what we KNOW it is what is so, it is ontological not epistemological. It seems we have a confusion of main streams in philosophy. Of course knowledge is a bridge, what is so warranted as to be credibly (and reliably) taken as true and is thus believed. One who so believes has knowledge, at least in the weak, possibly correctable sense in science, history, law and ever so many real world endeavours. This is the day to day sense where we have high, objectively warranted truth, but of course there is a stronger sense, absolutely reliable warrant, which is rare. KF

  294. 294
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    See the self referential problem there, even with the relative likelihood claim?

    Right because a measure of likelihood requires a comprehensive knowledge.

    “Based on my extensive knowledge, I conclude that nobody can know anything about it. ”
    That’s incoherent.

  295. 295
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    The third option is an epistemological one, uncertainty, which can be about something which is accurate to reality or something which is not.

    Right because as you’ve pointed out very well so many times before, the Law of Identity requires the one and the many and thus monism fails.

  296. 296
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, you write, “VL, for cause I stand by the above. More later. KF.”

    I wouldn’t bother with more later, KF. I know we’re going around in circles and are not going to reach any common understandings. I should not have even bothered responding this morning.

    Over and out.

  297. 297
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL: Who here is saying “Science is all we got?” Certainly not me, WJM, or Ram.
    Ram: Indeed
    Ram @ 279 “Take away their religion/scriptural-interpretation, and they are left with what everyone else is left with: science,. And believe me, they will whine, moan and complain, but they love science and rely on it over all as well as the rest of us.
    VL I should not have even bothered responding this morning.
    Over and out.

  298. 298
    Viola Lee says:

    My remark was to KF, SA, not you. Your post at 297 doesn’t make that clear.

  299. 299
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Good morning, Viola. Ok, it seemed like you were making a sweeping statement about responding in that you regretted posting any response at all on this thread. I see the clarification.

  300. 300
    ram says:

    “Agape your neighbor as yourself, hang all the Law and the Prophets on that.”

    Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31.

    That’s what it’s all about.

    Are you Christians doing that? When you start to do that, I’ll take you seriously.

    Everything else is verbal noise to make yourself feel better.

    –Ram

  301. 301
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    Fair comment, the only one going in circles is you.

    Now that I have back access and have noted on breaking news, for record:

    >>I have many times discussed the provisional nature of my claim, based on empirical evidence about the nature of human belief as shown through studies of comparative religion, philosophy, psychology, etc.>>

    1: Yes, we are error prone, that is not in dispute (error exists is undeniable and self evident), it in fact was foundational to my earlier discussion of warrant, thus knowable objective truth, where you were found in opposition. Surprise — NOT.

    2: That noted, the issue is a point of intersection between logic and reality, the self referential incoherent cannot be true, where you have repeatedly asserted that the root of reality is unknowable, indeed, even when you have tried to reformulate in likelihood terms. I note again:

    we can’t know about the root of reality seems much more likely, based on evidence, than thinking we can

    3: ANS:The likelihood of an incoherent, self referentially inconsistent statement . . . an impossibility . . . remains zero, so everything after my italicised is simply error carried forward. The error remains in the italicised and bolded part and stands uncorrected.

    >> You dismiss those>>

    4: Simple falsehood and strawman misrepresentation.

    5: Indeed, this evidently traces to your earlier problem with our cognitive ability to so warrant that we may arrive at objective truth in cases where warrant succeeds. We are error prone but are not hopelessly mired in ignorance and error.

    >> and seem to have no understanding at all of the distinction between my statement and a “universal negative claim” that you later say I am making.>>

    6: Roll the tape, above you made assertions that the root of reality is unknowable. This was corrected. You went to the provisionality claim and fail to recognise that likelihood of a self refuting impossibility is ZERO.

    >>You later say, “If your effective quarrel is with these [the laws of logical reasoning], your problem is with reason not my alleged assumptions.”>>

    7: That seems clear, even through your provisional empirical studies show claims: you have yet to concede the force of the law of non contradiction that a self refuting claim fails — not in the abstract, but in a concrete case where you are involved.

    8: Where, assertion that goes beyond we are error prone about X to X is unknowable is a second order claim to knowledge about X, denying that knowledge about X is not in our gift.

    >>Once again, you PAY ABSOLUTELY NO ATTENTION TO WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ACTUALLY SAY!!!>>

    8: Personal attack based on, ironically, your failure to notice what I have actually said above and earlier.

    >>Pardon my shouting, but I’ve said multiple times that I accept that the laws of logic are an essential part of our rational cognitive abilities.>>

    9: Laws of logic part of our cognition is unfortunately different from that they engage the real world and in particular that reduction to absurdity for a claim H implies H is false to reality so not-H obtains.

    >> It would be really nice if you would acknowledge that>>

    10: Note the distinction in focus I just highlighted: what is self refuting is false and fails to accurately describe reality, it is not true and its denial is true.

    11: Note, this is very different from our cognitive function and its error proneness. Ironically, that error exists is a first example of self evident, absolutely known truth that overturns any claim

    – that we cannot know truth (likely, we cannot adequately warrant truth claims) or

    – that there is no accurate description of reality (= there is no truth), or

    – that there is no reality capable of being accurately described, etc.

    >>so you don’t keep bringing up the same irrelevant issue of that being in question.>>

    12: Kindly note the just above as to why it remains highly relevant. I particularly note the focus shift from laws of logic regarding reality, its accurate description — truth — and ability to reason rightly about it based on self evident first principles, to descriptions of our cognitive function.

    13: That sounds suspiciously like, the kantian ugly gulch between our inner world and the externality of things in themselves. Indeed, that is a plausible candidate for a part explanation of your remarks above.

    14: F H Bradley long since replied to the kantians, for cause:

    We may agree, perhaps, to understand by metaphysics an attempt to know reality as against mere appearance, or the study of first principles or ultimate truths, or again the effort to comprehend the universe, not simply piecemeal or by fragments, but somehow as a whole [–> i.e. the focus of Metaphysics is critical studies of worldviews] . . . .

    The man who is ready to prove that metaphysical knowledge is wholly impossible . . . himself has, perhaps unknowingly, entered the arena . . . To say the reality is such that our knowledge cannot reach it, is a claim to know reality ; to urge that our knowledge is of a kind which must fail to transcend appearance, itself implies that transcendence. [–> this is the “ugly gulch” of the Kantians] For, if we had no idea of a beyond, we should assuredly not know how to talk about failure or success. And the test, by which we distinguish them, must obviously be some acquaintance with the nature of the goal. Nay, the would-be sceptic, who presses on us the contradictions of our thoughts, himself asserts dogmatically. For these contradictions might be ultimate and absolute truth, if the nature of the reality were not known to be otherwise . . . [such] objections . . . are themselves, however unwillingly, metaphysical views, and . . . a little acquaintance with the subject commonly serves to dispel [them]. [Appearance and Reality, 2nd Edn, 1897 (1916 printing), pp. 1 – 2; INTRODUCTION. At Web Archive.]

    15: That seems highly relevant.

    16: As for your attempt to use loaded language — ploy — to dismiss my correction of the self referential incoherence you have doubled down on repeatedly, F H Bradley’s point should show why such is needed.

    17: On scientism, SA seems to have highlighted Ram, and the corrective is in order, scientism fails.

    KF

  302. 302
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, there is abundant history showing Christians as outstanding examples of living by neighbour love, your sweeping generalisation to the contrary sounds like an excuse to dismiss by demanding an unattainable perfection. Yes, there is moral struggle we all face, yes, the course of history is too often that of recording crimes and follies. Note here Lord Acton, a Christian BTW as well as a great historian, power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely, great men are bad men. That wrong tainting the course of all civilisations has nothing to do with truth, soundness, the right; it is by these instead, that we can set out to soundly reform civilisation, and not without some effect. If you doubt me, ask the ghosts of Wilberforce, Equiano and Booth et al. Even, Duplessis-Mornay, Rutherford, Locke and the Continental Congress of 1776 who issued the call to prayer on May 17 before the declaration of July 4th. And more. KF

  303. 303
    Sandy says:

    Everything else is verbal noise to make yourself feel better.

    Everything else is verbal noise to make yourself feel better.

    Everything else is verbal noise to make yourself feel better.

  304. 304
    kairosfocus says:

    Sandy, point, with just a hint of self reference. KF

  305. 305
    jerry says:

    There is constant denigrations of the various ways that people have lived in history. Each is meant to undermine this particular way of life. By implication it means there is something better or at least as good.

    But what is missing in all these criticisms is the ability to point to anything better. Before one criticizes Christianity, please point to a superior way of life. I have never seen anyone do it.

    Christianity for centuries embraced The Great Chain of Being which is political in nature not religious. It subjected the great percentage of people to servitude. For that it could be criticized

    It goes back to Plato (and before) who definitely got it wrong in his Republic. When freedom is added to Christianity, nothing better has appeared in this world.

    The problem is that many believe there is a better way and we see that acted out today in much of the world. But nothing has proved better.

    So if one is going to criticize, only do so with something demonstrably better. So far in the history of the world no one has.

    Aside: the modern world owes its existence to the addition of freedom to Christianity. First in England and Holland and then to the English colonies and then to Western Europe.

  306. 306
    bornagain77 says:

    I see that Ram, starting at 277, has made a number of statements bashing Christianity.

    277:
    BA77: The inductive methodology of Francis Bacon, i.e. the scientific method itself, literally has the presupposition that science can answer the question of the ultimate nature and/or truth of reality built into it.

    Ram: It was in spite of Christianity not because of it.
    Dum dee dum dum.

    Well, dum dee dum dum, and unsurprisingly, that is yet another false claim.

    As was already pointed out to Ram in post 227, (and as Ram has apparently refused to acknowledge), Francis Bacon championed the inductive methodology of the scientific method precisely because of his Christian belief in the ‘fall of man’
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-why-would-a-purely-physical-universe-need-imaginary-numbers/#comment-747662

    In 279 Ram made two different, rather bizarre, claims. I will address the last one first, since it relates to the previous claim

    Ram: “modern science was delivered by occultists, kabbalists, and homosexuals.”

    And again, this yet another false claim. Modern science was born of men who were devoutly Christian in their beliefs and certainly was not born of some mystical tradition, and/or of the homosexual community in Medieval Christian Europe.

    In fact, rather than science being born out of some mystical tradition, Christianity had the effect of ameliorating mystical beliefs into rigid scientific disciplines, i.e. “Real science arose only once: in Europe”—in Christian Europe. “China, Islam, India, and ancient Greece and Rome each had a highly developed alchemy. But only in Europe did alchemy develop into chemistry. By the same token, many societies developed elaborate systems of astrology, but only in Europe did astrology develop into astronomy.”,,,

    The Christian Origins of Science – Jack Kerwick – Apr 15, 2017
    Excerpt: Though it will doubtless come as an enormous shock to such Christophobic atheists as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and their ilk, it is nonetheless true that one especially significant contribution that Christianity made to the world is that of science.,,,
    Stark is blunt: “Real science arose only once: in Europe”—in Christian Europe. “China, Islam, India, and ancient Greece and Rome each had a highly developed alchemy. But only in Europe did alchemy develop into chemistry. By the same token, many societies developed elaborate systems of astrology, but only in Europe did astrology develop into astronomy.”,,,
    In summation, Stark writes: “The rise of science was not an extension of classical learning. It was the natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: nature exists because it was created by God. In order to love and honor God, it is necessary to fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation, it ought to be possible to discover these principles.”
    He concludes: “These were the crucial ideas that explain why science arose in Christian Europe and nowhere else.”
    https://townhall.com/columnists/jackkerwick/2017/04/15/the-christian-origins-of-science-n2313593

    At 279 Ram also asked,

    Do you believe that a literal serpent talked to a literal Adam and Eve in a literal garden about 6000 (give or take) years ago?
    Yes or no?
    Thanks
    (I wonder, as I ask the question, how embarrassed they must feel about the question, and how threatened they must feel about the question. But why feel embarrassed or threatened if reality is on your side?)

    But at 213 did not Ram specifically state, “I’m not an atheist. Quite the opposite.,,, –Ram — Card-carrying member of the Sir Francis Bacon Historical Society”.?
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-why-would-a-purely-physical-universe-need-imaginary-numbers/#comment-747638

    So since Ram does not believe in Darwinian Atheism, then that necessary means that he can not possibly believe that humans were completely unintended accidents, (as Darwinian Atheists believe). Which, by default, means that Ram must believe that humans must have been created, and/or intended, in some way, shape, or form. i.e. Which is to say. Ram, in his rejection of Darwinian atheism, must believe in some form of ‘Adam and Eve”

    It seems that Ram and his fellow travelers, although they often take great pains to distinctly separate themselves from Darwinian atheists, never quite get around to telling us exactly how life of earth, and humans in particular, originated. Needless to say, that is a rather glaring explanatory gap for their worldview.

    Ram, If you could fill that glaring explanatory gap in your worldview I would certainly appreciate it.

    But anyways, regardless of how Ram tries to dance around this fairly direct contradiction in logic, we now have VERY good scientific evidence to believe that a literal Adam and Eve actually existed,

    Jan. 2022 – Fossil Record refutes human evolution
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-fox-news-adam-and-eve-are-compatible-with-evolution/#comment-744141
    November 2021 – Human evolution? – the evidence from genetics, (as well as the mathematics of population genetics itself), falsifies the Darwinian claim that humans evolved some chimp-like ancestor.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/evangelical-scientists-getting-it-wrong/#comment-740245
    November 2021 – Human exceptionalism refutes Darwinian evolution
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/evangelical-scientists-getting-it-wrong/#comment-740249
    etc.. etc..

    As to Ram’s claim that I believe “a literal serpent talked” to Adam and Eve, well, if Ram is going to criticize what he believes to be a Biblical myth it might behoove Ram to get his supposed Biblical myth right in the first place. The serpent was not a ‘literal serpent’ and/or a ‘literal snake’ until after God cursed the serpent for deceiving Eve,

    Genesis 3:13-15
    Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
    The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
    So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
    “Cursed are you above all livestock
    and all wild animals!
    You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
    And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
    he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

    So no, I don’t believe a ‘literal snake’ talked to Eve. I believe God transformed whatever ‘cunning creature’ that deceived Eve in the garden into a snake.

    Of course, God transforming one creature into another creature is to be considered far more of a miraculous occurrence than some creature merely talking to Eve.

    But alas, the even more spectacularly ‘miraculous’ transformation of bacteria into all the species of life on Earth, all without God mind you, is readily accepted without even the bat of an eye by Darwinian atheists.

    But apparently, in Ram’s book, (and since Ram never seems to get around to actually criticizing Darwinian atheism), that far more spectacular, even ‘miraculous’, claim from Darwinists about the endless transformation of lifeforms into other lifeforms is above all mocking and ridicule, whereas God transforming a single creature into a snake is beyond the pale and deserves to be mocked, ridiculed, and rejected on the spot.

    To state the obvious, this is not a fair and unbiased judgement on Ram’s part.

    As Chesterton noted, “When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.”

  307. 307
    bornagain77 says:

    Ram also insinuated that I believe in Young Earth Creationism (YEC). i.e. a 6000 year old earth.

    No I don’t. And for most of Church history there was no such thing as Young Earth Creationism. For the most part, a strict YEC interpretation of the Bible was developed in the early 20th century.

    History of Creationism – March 23, 2013 – The Creationists – By Ray Lakeman
    Excerpt: Creation Science (YEC) is a new movement of the twentieth century. It arose as a movement composed of trained scientists and lay Christian supporters from a wide range of Christian churches, and it has grown despite almost universal opposition from both mainstream scientists and the mainstream leaders in churches.
    In the early years of the twentieth century the self-described geologist George McCready Price stood virtually alone in insisting on the recent appearance of life and on a global flood catastrophe that massively rearranged the earth’s crust. Price was well-received by creationists, but made few converts beyond his Seventh Day Adventist Church.
    In 1932 the Evolution Protest Movement was formed in London, and is now called the Creation Science Movement, the oldest creationist society on Earth.,,,
    https://reasonablefaithadelaide.org.au/history-of-creationism/

    Prior to that, the view that the universe was older that 6000 years old was a widely held view among Christians. For instance Lord Kelvin of thermodynamics fame, a devout Christian who opposed Darwin, is fairly famous for holding an Old Earth view,

    Contrary to what YEC’s claim, it is simply impossible to get a strict 24 hour day, and/or a 6000 year history, out of Genesis.

    Why I Reject A Young Earth View: A Biblical Defense of an Old Earth – Jonathan M. – 2011
    Excerpt: If, therefore, it may be considered legitimate to take the seventh day as representative of a much longer period of time, then whence the mandate for supposing a commitment to interpreting the other six days as representative of 24-hour periods?
    Fourth, there is the multiple-usage of the word “day” in Genesis 1. Let’s take a look at the manner in which the word “day” is used in the Genesis 1 (up to 2:4) narrative alone:
    1. Genesis 1:5a: “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.” Here, “day” is contrasted with “night”: Thus, a 24-hour day is not in view, but rather “day” in the sense of “daytime” (i.e. 12 hours).
    2. Genesis 1:5b: “And there was evening and there was morning — the first day.” Here, the word does indeed mean a 24-hour day.
    3. Genesis 2:3: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” To this, I have already alluded — the key point here is the absence of “evening” and “morning”, which denotes all of the previous six days.
    4. The correct rendering of the Hebrew with respect to Genesis 2:4 is “This is the account of the heavens and the earth in the day they were created, when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.”
    http://crossexamined.org/why-i.....old-earth/

    As Augustine himself stated in the fifth century, ”What kind of days these were (in Genesis) it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible, to determine”

    BIBLICAL REASONS TO DOUBT THE CREATION DAYS WERE 24-HOUR PERIODS – January 28, 2015
    Excerpt: it may come as a surprise to some contemporary conservatives that some of the great stalwarts of the faith were not convinced of this (strict 24 hour period) interpretation.
    Augustine, writing in the early fifth century, noted, ”What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible, to determine” (City of God 11.7).
    J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937), author of the 20th century’s best critique of theological liberalism, wrote, “It is certainly not necessary to think that the six days spoken of in that first chapter of the Bible are intended to be six days of twenty four hours each.”
    Old Testament scholar Edward J. Young (1907-1968), an eloquent defender of inerrancy, said that regarding the length of the creation days, “That is a question which is difficult to answer. Indications are not lacking that they may have been longer than the days we now know, but the Scripture itself does not speak as clearly as one might like.”
    Theologian Carl F. H. Henry (1913-2003), one of the most important theologians in the second half of the twentieth century and a defender of Scriptural clarity and authority, argued that “Faith in an inerrant Bible does not rest on the recency or antiquity of the earth. . . . The Bible does not require belief in six literal 24-hour creation days on the basis of Genesis 1-2. . . . it is gratuitous to insist that twenty-four hour days are involved or intended.”
    Old Testament scholar and Hebrew linguist Gleason Archer (1916-2004), a strong advocate for inerrancy, wrote ”On the basis of internal evidence, it is this writer’s conviction that yôm in Genesis could not have been intended by the Hebrew author to mean a literal twenty-four hour day.”
    I want to suggest there are some good, textual reasons—in the creation account itself—for questioning the exegesis that insists on the days as strict 24 hour periods,,,.
    https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2015/01/28/biblical-reasons-to-doubt-the-creation-days-were-24-hour-periods/

    So Ram, no I do not believe in YEC. And, as far a scriptural interpretation is concerned, I do not feel the least bit compromised in my Christian belief for not holding a strict YEC interpretation. In fact, I feel that my Old Earth interpretation is far more faithful to the actual Biblical text than a YEC interpretation is.

    And then at 300 Ram finishes his bashing of Christianity with this criticism,

    “Agape your neighbor as yourself, hang all the Law and the Prophets on that.”
    Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31.
    That’s what it’s all about.
    Are you Christians doing that? When you start to do that, I’ll take you seriously.
    Everything else is verbal noise to make yourself feel better.

    Well first off, it is very strange that Ram would hold the Christian moral of “Agape your neighbor as yourself,” to be objectively true and yet, on the other hand, reject Christianity because we all, everyone of us, (Christians and non-Christians included), fail, on some level or other, to meet that standard of moral perfection.

    And although I would argue that Christianity has been the source of great benevolence for man, (i.e. charities, hospitals, orphanages, etc.. etc..), the fact that all men are morally imperfect in one way or the other, and directly contrary to what Ram may believe, is actually all the more proof that the ‘fall of man’ must be true. And is also proof of how much we ALL, every one of us, desperately need the purifying power of Christ’s love in our lives.

    1 John 3: 2-3
    Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

  308. 308
    asauber says:

    The overt hostility towards Christianity is and has been a perpetual phenomenon for a segment of commenters here. It essentially motivates all the positions this segment of commenters claims to hold. They are unable to address ID, but they attack ID’ers like getting out of bed in the morning, every day.

    Andrew

  309. 309
    jerry says:

    It essentially motivates all the positions this segment of commenters claims to hold

    But

    what is missing in all these criticisms is the ability to point to anything better. Before one criticizes Christianity, please point to a superior way of life. I have never seen anyone do it.

    I can point to the modern world as a direct result of Christianity and freedom.

  310. 310
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    that error exists is a first example of self evident, absolutely known truth that overturns any claim

    – that we cannot know truth (likely, we cannot adequately warrant truth claims) or

    – that there is no accurate description of reality (= there is no truth), or

    – that there is no reality capable of being accurately described, etc.

    That’s an excellent starting point – irrefutable.
    That error exists refutes monism.
    Then, as you say, it refutes the notion that the truth does not exist.
    This cuts directly against the claim that ‘reality does not exist’ – since the truth is aligned with being and therefore with what is real.
    The world is not reducible to quantum physics, which is really just an interpretation based on measures and mathematics.
    The idea that “everything is an illusion” is a monism, denial of truth, self-refuting absurdity that destroys reason and violates the Law of Identity.
    Any theory that ends with that kind of result cannot be correct.

  311. 311
    asauber says:

    “But

    what is missing in all these criticisms is the ability to point to anything better. Before one criticizes Christianity, please point to a superior way of life. I have never seen anyone do it.”

    Jerry,

    I agree with this. No alternatives offered.

    Andrew

  312. 312
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    we all, everyone of us, (Christians and non-Christians included), fail, on some level or other, to meet that standard of moral perfection

    True. It’s not a good idea to reject Christianity simply because people do not live up to the perfect moral standard that Christ established. It’s the same for someone who is opposed to religion because the Jews were unfaithful.
    That person should start with a solid understanding of reality first (which is the ID view) and philosophy of causality (God is the necessary being and first cause).
    Our own personal moral development and practice of virtue is not dependent on what everybody else is doing.

  313. 313
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks for the comments. As to Jerry’s observation in particular: “what is missing in all these criticisms is the ability to point to anything better. Before one criticizes Christianity, please point to a superior way of life. I have never seen anyone do it.”

    Indeed, Atheists and non-Christians who regularly visit UD primarily to bash Christianity, (and never really give a cogent defense of the supposed ‘science’ of Darwinian evolution), never seem to ask themselves, “what would the world look like without Christianity?”

    Despite what atheists may falsely imagine about Christianity, the fact of the matter is that Christianity has been the most powerful ‘force for good’ in the world that the world has ever known.

    The late Dr. D. James Kennedy (2007) once asked “What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?”.

    What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?: The Impact of Jesus in the World – D. James Kennedy – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTPC2crcoVo
    Book
    https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/what-if-jesus-had-never-been-born-the-positive-impact-of-christianity-in-history_d-james-kennedy_jerry-newcombe/324511/item/4537575/

    In his study of the question, Dr. Kennedy found 21 powerfully ‘good’ contributions to the world that Christianity has given.

    21 Positive Contributions Christianity Has Made Through the Centuries By D. James Kennedy (excerpted from “What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?”)
    (1) Hospitals, which essentially began during the Middle Ages.
    (2) Universities, which also began during the Middle Ages. In addition, most of the world’s greatest universities were started for Christian purposes.
    (3) Literacy and education for the masses.
    (4) Capitalism and free enterprise.
    (5) Representative government, particularly as it has been seen in the American experiment.
    (6) The separation of political powers.
    (7) Civil liberties.
    (8) The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and in more modern times.
    (9) Modern science.
    (10) The discovery of the New World by Columbus.
    (11) The elevation of women.
    (12) Benevolence and charity; the good Samaritan ethic.
    (13) Higher standards of justice.
    (14) The elevation of common man.
    (15) The condemnation of adultery, homosexuality, and other sexual perversions. This has helped to preserve the human race, and it has spared many from heartache.
    (16) High regard for human life.
    (17) The civilizing of many barbarian and primitive cultures.
    (18) The codifying and setting to writing of many of the world’s languages.
    (19) Greater development of art and music. The inspiration for the greatest works of art.
    (20) The countless changed lives transformed from liabilities into assets to society because of the gospel.
    (21) The eternal salvation of countless souls.
    https://verticallivingministries.com/tag/benefits-of-christianity-to-society/

    And although Atheists and non-Christians on UD may strenuously object to homosexuality being included as a ‘sexual perversion’ in Dr. Kennedy’s list, none-the-less, I would think that even Atheists and non-Christians would also agree that Dr. Kennedy’s list is, by and large, a very impressive list in so far as establishing that Christianity has had a tremendously positive impact on the world.

    Defense of all 21 claims: (Dec. 2019)
    1-5
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/historian-christianity-has-been-the-worlds-greatest-engine-for-moral-reform/#comment-690247
    8-11
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/historian-christianity-has-been-the-worlds-greatest-engine-for-moral-reform/#comment-690251
    12-16
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/historian-christianity-has-been-the-worlds-greatest-engine-for-moral-reform/#comment-690252
    17-21
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/historian-christianity-has-been-the-worlds-greatest-engine-for-moral-reform/#comment-690256

    In comparison, what has any other worldview, especially atheism, given the world? If anything, Stalin and Mao are shining examples of the depths of moral depravity that man is capable of sinking to when man ‘forgets God’

    “More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
    Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
    – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – 1983 Templeton Address

    As atheist and/or agnostic historian Tom Holland stated, “In my morals and ethics, I have learned to accept that I am not Greek or Roman at all, but thoroughly and proudly Christian.” and “If Western civilization is the fishbowl then the water is Christianity.”

    Tom Holland: Why I was wrong about Christianity – 2016
    It took me a long time to realise my morals are not Greek or Roman, but thoroughly, and proudly, Christian.
    Excerpt: The longer I spent immersed in the study of classical antiquity, the more alien and unsettling I came to find it. The values of Leonidas, whose people had practised a peculiarly murderous form of eugenics, and trained their young to kill uppity Untermenschen by night, were nothing that I recognised as my own; nor were those of Caesar, who was reported to have killed a million Gauls and enslaved a million more. It was not just the extremes of callousness that I came to find shocking, but the lack of a sense that the poor or the weak might have any intrinsic value. As such, the founding conviction of the Enlightenment – that it owed nothing to the faith into which most of its greatest figures had been born – increasingly came to seem to me unsustainable.
    “Every sensible man,” Voltaire wrote, “every honourable man, must hold the Christian sect in horror.” Rather than acknowledge that his ethical principles might owe anything to Christianity, he preferred to derive them from a range of other sources – not just classical literature, but Chinese philosophy and his own powers of reason. Yet Voltaire, in his concern for the weak and ­oppressed, was marked more enduringly by the stamp of biblical ethics than he cared to admit. His defiance of the Christian God, in a paradox that was certainly not unique to him, drew on motivations that were, in part at least, recognisably Christian.
    “We preach Christ crucified,” St Paul declared, “unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.” He was right. Nothing could have run more counter to the most profoundly held assumptions of Paul’s contemporaries – Jews, or Greeks, or Romans. The notion that a god might have suffered torture and death on a cross was so shocking as to appear repulsive. Familiarity with the biblical narrative of the Crucifixion has dulled our sense of just how completely novel a deity Christ was. In the ancient world, it was the role of gods who laid claim to ruling the universe to uphold its order by inflicting punishment – not to suffer it themselves.
    Today, even as belief in God fades across the West, the countries that were once collectively known as Christendom continue to bear the stamp of the two-millennia-old revolution that Christianity represents. It is the principal reason why, by and large, most of us who live in post-Christian societies still take for granted that it is nobler to suffer than to inflict suffering. It is why we generally assume that every human life is of equal value. In my morals and ethics, I have learned to accept that I am not Greek or Roman at all, but thoroughly and proudly Christian.
    – per new statesman

    Atheists in Praise of Christianity? – May 19, 2020
    Excerpt: Historian Tom Holland is known primarily as a storyteller of the ancient world. Thus, his newest book Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World, came as something of a surprise for several reasons. First, Tom Holland is not a Christian. Second, Holland’s book is one of the most ambitious historical defenses of Christianity in a very long time.
    Attracting Criticism
    Holland’s book-length defense of the belief system the elites love to despise has unsurprisingly attracted some criticism. He faced off with militant atheist and prominent philosopher A.C. Grayling on the question “Did Christianity give us our human values?” Grayling struggled to rebut Holland, sounding more petty than philosophical. Holland, on the other hand, became positively passionate in his defense of Christianity. If Western civilization is the fishbowl, he stated, then the water is Christianity.
    https://stream.org/atheists-in-praise-of-christianity/

    And indeed, I’ve often wondered after Seversky, or some other atheist, has bashed Christianity on UD, “If they hate Christianity so much, why don’t they just move to some other country, like North Korea, where any Christian influence in that country is brutally suppressed?” I think the answer is fairly obvious.

    Verse:

    Matthew 7: 15-20
    Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, by their fruit you will recognize them.

  314. 314
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/313

    And indeed, I’ve often wondered after Seversky, or some other atheist, has bashed Christianity on UD, “If they hate Christianity so much, why don’t they just move to some other country, like North Korea, where any Christian influence in that country is brutally suppressed?” I think the answer is fairly obvious.

    I know some Christians believe they are an oppressed minority but it’s an absurd belief.

    The overwhelming majority of members of both Federal or State congresses identify themselves as believers, mostly some flavor of Christianity. They have had their hands on the levers of political power in this country since its foundation. Those who oppressed other races throughout this country’s history would have identified themselves as Christian almost to a man or woman.

    If anything, it’s the likes of atheists and agnostics who were – and to an extent still are, judging by the comments made about them here – the despised minority.

  315. 315
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states, “it’s the likes of atheists and agnostics who were – and to an extent still are, judging by the comments made about them here – the despised minority.”

    Sev, a couple of observations. First it is weird that an atheist, of all people, would try to claim to be a quote-unquote ‘despised’ minority when it is Christians who have been ‘despised’, i.e. persecuted, especially in Academia, for their beliefs.

    At Mind Matters News: Non-Materialist Science Is Wanted — Dead Or Alive – August 29, 2021
    Michael Egnor: They will destroy people. They will destroy people’s careers. Look at what people tried to do to Mike Behe for writing Darwin’s Black Box (1996). He’s tenured. But in his department, he was treated as a pariah. If they could have fired him, they would have done it in a minute.
    Arjuna Das: I was wondering how he got away with it.
    Michael Egnor: He’s tenured. I’ve gotten calls to my department in my university demanding that I be fired. That’s a fairly frequent thing.
    I was called a couple of years ago by the campus police that there was a death threat against me and they wanted to protect me. So this kind of stuff goes on. And some of these people are vicious.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-non-materialist-science-is-wanted-dead-or-alive/

    Discrimination (by Darwinists) is a pervasive reality in the scientific (and education) world. It’s also a hidden reality.
    Scott Minnich
    Richard Sternberg
    Günter Bechly
    Eric Hedin
    Don McDonald
    David Coppedge
    Caroline Crocker
    Bryan Leonard
    Martin Gaskell
    Dean Kenyon
    Roger DeHart
    Granville Sewell
    https://freescience.today/stories/
    Here are many more examples of discrimination against people who dare question Darwinism
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/review-of-darwins-doubt-slams-id-theorists-for-not-publishing-in-darwinist-run-journals/

    Slaughter of Dissidents – Book
    Volume 1 of a trilogy, the disturbing premise of this book documents widespread discrimination by Darwin loyalists against Darwin skeptics in academia and within the scientific community. Multiple case studies expose the tactics used to destroy the careers of Darwin skeptics, denying them earned degrees and awards, tenure, and other career benefits offered to non-skeptics. The book exposes how freedom of speech and freedom of expression are widely promoted as not applicable to Darwin doubters, and reveals the depth and extent of hostility and bigotry exhibited towards those who would dare to question Darwinism. The book also shows how even the slightest hint of sympathy for Darwin Doubters often results in a vigorous and rabid response from those who believe such sympathies represent an attack on science itself.,,,?”If folks liked Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” they will be blown away by “Slaughter of the Dissidents.” – Russ Miller?http://www.amazon.com/Slaughte.....0981873405

    Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (full movie)
    ?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5EPymcWp-g

    Thus Seversky your lamenting being a ‘despised’ minority rings very hollow.

    And I note that this persecution of Christians at the hands of Atheists in Academia is in spite of the fact that empirical science itself literally falsifies core Darwinian presuppositions at every turn,

    Darwinism vs. Falsification – list
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I6fT6ATY700Bsx2-JSFqL6l-rzXpMcZcZKZfYRS45h4/

    And I also note that this persecution of Christians at the hands of Atheists in Academia is in spite of the fact that we can’t even ‘do science’ in the first place without first assuming Intelligent Design, even assuming Judeo-Christian, presuppositions as being true.

    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science itself, (namely that the universe is contingent and rational in its foundational nature and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can, therefore, dare understand the rationality that God has imparted onto the universe), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results themselves, from top to bottom, science itself is certainly not to be considered a ‘natural’ endeavor of man.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analyzed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial logic and immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.
    Again, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.

    I also note that this persecution of Christians at the hands of atheists in academia is also in spite of the fact that the University system itself owes its very existence to Christianity.

    Another development in the history of Christian education was the founding of universities. The origins of the university can be traced to the 12th century, and by the 13th century the medieval university had reached its mature form. Universities were founded during the rest of the Middle Ages throughout Europe and spread from there to other continents after the 16th century. The earliest universities emerged as associations of masters or students (the Latin universitas means “guild” or “union”) that were dedicated to the pursuit of higher learning. The universities, which superseded the cathedral schools as centres of advanced study, came to have a number of shared traits: the teaching methods of lecture and disputation, the extended communal living in colleges, the periodically changing leadership of an elected dean, the inner structure according to faculties or “nations,” and the European recognition of academic degrees. Universities provided instruction in the liberal arts and advanced study in the disciplines of law, medicine, and, most importantly, theology. Many of the great theologians of the era, notably St. Thomas Aquinas, were associated with the universities.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Christianity/Forms-of-Christian-education

    The History of Christian Education in America
    Excerpt: The first colleges in America were founded by Christians and approximately 106 out of the first 108 colleges were Christian colleges. In fact, Harvard University, which is considered today as one of the leading universities in America and the world was founded by Christians. One of the original precepts of the then Harvard College stated that students should be instructed in knowing God and that Christ is the only foundation of all “sound knowledge and learning.”
    – per ehow
    Only eighteen years after the Pilgrims landed in the New World, Harvard College, the first of the Ivy League schools, was established for the sake of educating the clergy and raising up a Christian academic institution to meet the needs of perpetuating the Christian faith. All of the Ivy League schools were established by Christians for the sake of advancing Christianity and meeting the academic needs of the New World. No better summary of this effort can be offered than the one provided by the founders themselves:,,,
    – per Christian heritage

    Sev: the second observation about your false claim about being a ‘despised’ minority is that you are missing the forest for the trees.

    You see Seversky, you and other atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, will often wax poetic about how much better the world would be without Christianity. In other words, atheists often try to sell a vision of a ‘Atheistic utopia”. But the fact of the matter is that every time atheists have gained power in a country, and have suppressed Christianity within that country, far from turning their countries into ‘utopias’, atheists have instead turned their countries into living hellholes.

    Atheism’s Body Count *
    It is obvious that Atheism cannot be true; for if it were, it would produce a more humane world, since it values only this life and is not swayed by the foolish beliefs of primitive superstitions and religions. However, the opposite proves to be true. Rather than providing the utopia of idealism, it has produced a body count second to none. With recent documents uncovered for the Maoist and Stalinist regimes, it now seems the high end of estimates of 250 million dead (between 1900-1987) are closer to the mark. The Stalinist Purges produced 61 million dead and Mao’s Cultural Revolution produced 70 million casualties. These murders are all upon their own people! This number does not include the countless dead in their wars of outward aggression waged in the name of the purity of atheism’s world view. China invades its peaceful, but religious neighbor, Tibet; supports N. Korea in its war against its southern neighbor and in its merciless oppression of its own people; and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge kill up to 6 million with Chinese support. All of these actions done “in the name of the people” to create a better world.
    https://www.scholarscorner.com/atheisms-body-count-ideology-and-human-suffering/

    Thus Seversky, when I rhetorically asked, “why don’t they (atheists), (since they hate Christianity so much), just move to some other country, like North Korea, where any Christian influence in that country is brutally suppressed?”, I was being, tongue in cheek, facetious in my question and was merely pointing out that the false imaginary world of a ‘atheistic utopia’, that atheists constantly try to sell to the general public, is, much like Darwinian evolution itself, contradicted by reality itself. In short, the mythical ‘atheistic utopia’ that atheists imagine to be possible without Christianity simply does not exist in reality. I.e. It is a fantasy!

    Of related interest is this failed ‘experiment’ to create an atheistic utopia right here in America:

    Atheism and Liberal, Missouri
    Excerpt: In the summer of 1880, George H. Walser founded the town of Liberal in southwest Missouri. Named after the Liberal League in Lamar, Missouri (to which the town’s organizer belonged), Walser’s objective was “to found a town without a church, [w]here unbelievers could bring up their children without religious training,” and where Christians were not allowed (Thompson, 1895; Becker, 1895). “His idea was to build up a town that should exclusively be the home of Infidels…a town that should have neither God, Hell, Church, nor Saloon” (Brand, 1895).,,,
    It took only a few short years for Liberal’s unattractiveness and inconsistency to be exposed. People cannot exclude God from the equation, and expect to remain a “sober, trustworthy” town. Godlessness equals unruliness, which in turn makes a repugnant, immoral people. The town of Liberal was a failure. Only five years after its establishment, Braden indicated that “[n]ine-tenths of those now in town would leave if they could sell their property.
    http://www.apologeticspress.or.....ticle=1447

    Verse:

    James 1:17
    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

  316. 316
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states, “it’s the likes of atheists and agnostics who were – and to an extent still are, judging by the comments made about them here – the despised minority.”

    Sev, a couple of observations. First it is weird that an atheist, of all people, would try to claim to be a quote-unquote ‘despised’ minority when it is Christians who have been ‘despised’, i.e. persecuted, especially in Academia, for their beliefs.

    At Mind Matters News: Non-Materialist Science Is Wanted — Dead Or Alive – August 29, 2021
    Michael Egnor: They will destroy people. They will destroy people’s careers. Look at what people tried to do to Mike Behe for writing Darwin’s Black Box (1996). He’s tenured. But in his department, he was treated as a pariah. If they could have fired him, they would have done it in a minute.
    Arjuna Das: I was wondering how he got away with it.
    Michael Egnor: He’s tenured. I’ve gotten calls to my department in my university demanding that I be fired. That’s a fairly frequent thing.
    I was called a couple of years ago by the campus police that there was a death threat against me and they wanted to protect me. So this kind of stuff goes on. And some of these people are vicious.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-non-materialist-science-is-wanted-dead-or-alive/

    Discrimination (by Darwinists) is a pervasive reality in the scientific (and education) world. It’s also a hidden reality.
    Scott Minnich
    Richard Sternberg
    Günter Bechly
    Eric Hedin
    Don McDonald
    David Coppedge
    Caroline Crocker
    Bryan Leonard
    Martin Gaskell
    Dean Kenyon
    Roger DeHart
    Granville Sewell
    https://freescience.today/stories/
    Here are many more examples of discrimination against people who dare question Darwinism
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/review-of-darwins-doubt-slams-id-theorists-for-not-publishing-in-darwinist-run-journals/

    Slaughter of Dissidents – Book
    Volume 1 of a trilogy, the disturbing premise of this book documents widespread discrimination by Darwin loyalists against Darwin skeptics in academia and within the scientific community. Multiple case studies expose the tactics used to destroy the careers of Darwin skeptics, denying them earned degrees and awards, tenure, and other career benefits offered to non-skeptics. The book exposes how freedom of speech and freedom of expression are widely promoted as not applicable to Darwin doubters, and reveals the depth and extent of hostility and bigotry exhibited towards those who would dare to question Darwinism. The book also shows how even the slightest hint of sympathy for Darwin Doubters often results in a vigorous and rabid response from those who believe such sympathies represent an attack on science itself.,,,?”If folks liked Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” they will be blown away by “Slaughter of the Dissidents.” – Russ Miller?
    – per amazon

    Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (full movie)
    ?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5EPymcWp-g

    Thus Seversky your lamenting being a ‘despised’ minority rings very hollow.

    And I note that this persecution of Christians at the hands of Atheists in Academia is in spite of the fact that empirical science itself literally falsifies core Darwinian presuppositions at every turn,

    Darwinism vs. Falsification – list
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I6fT6ATY700Bsx2-JSFqL6l-rzXpMcZcZKZfYRS45h4/

    And I also note that this persecution of Christians at the hands of Atheists in Academia is in spite of the fact that we can’t even ‘do science’ in the first place without first assuming Intelligent Design, even assuming Judeo-Christian, presuppositions as being true.

    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science itself, (namely that the universe is contingent and rational in its foundational nature and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can, therefore, dare understand the rationality that God has imparted onto the universe), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results themselves, from top to bottom, science itself is certainly not to be considered a ‘natural’ endeavor of man.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analyzed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial logic and immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.
    Again, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.

    I also note that this persecution of Christians at the hands of atheists in academia is also in spite of the fact that the University system itself owes its very existence to Christianity.

    Another development in the history of Christian education was the founding of universities. The origins of the university can be traced to the 12th century, and by the 13th century the medieval university had reached its mature form. Universities were founded during the rest of the Middle Ages throughout Europe and spread from there to other continents after the 16th century. The earliest universities emerged as associations of masters or students (the Latin universitas means “guild” or “union”) that were dedicated to the pursuit of higher learning. The universities, which superseded the cathedral schools as centres of advanced study, came to have a number of shared traits: the teaching methods of lecture and disputation, the extended communal living in colleges, the periodically changing leadership of an elected dean, the inner structure according to faculties or “nations,” and the European recognition of academic degrees. Universities provided instruction in the liberal arts and advanced study in the disciplines of law, medicine, and, most importantly, theology. Many of the great theologians of the era, notably St. Thomas Aquinas, were associated with the universities.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Christianity/Forms-of-Christian-education

    The History of Christian Education in America
    Excerpt: The first colleges in America were founded by Christians and approximately 106 out of the first 108 colleges were Christian colleges. In fact, Harvard University, which is considered today as one of the leading universities in America and the world was founded by Christians. One of the original precepts of the then Harvard College stated that students should be instructed in knowing God and that Christ is the only foundation of all “sound knowledge and learning.”
    – per ehow
    Only eighteen years after the Pilgrims landed in the New World, Harvard College, the first of the Ivy League schools, was established for the sake of educating the clergy and raising up a Christian academic institution to meet the needs of perpetuating the Christian faith. All of the Ivy League schools were established by Christians for the sake of advancing Christianity and meeting the academic needs of the New World. No better summary of this effort can be offered than the one provided by the founders themselves:,,,
    – per Christian heritage

    Sev: the second observation about your false claim about being a ‘despised’ minority is that you are missing the forest for the trees.

    You see Seversky, you and other atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, will often wax poetic about how much better the world would be without Christianity. In other words, atheists often try to sell a vision of a ‘Atheistic utopia”. But the fact of the matter is that every time atheists have gained power in a country, and have suppressed Christianity within that country, far from turning their countries into ‘utopias’, atheists have instead turned their countries into living hellholes.

    Atheism’s Body Count *
    It is obvious that Atheism cannot be true; for if it were, it would produce a more humane world, since it values only this life and is not swayed by the foolish beliefs of primitive superstitions and religions. However, the opposite proves to be true. Rather than providing the utopia of idealism, it has produced a body count second to none. With recent documents uncovered for the Maoist and Stalinist regimes, it now seems the high end of estimates of 250 million dead (between 1900-1987) are closer to the mark. The Stalinist Purges produced 61 million dead and Mao’s Cultural Revolution produced 70 million casualties. These murders are all upon their own people! This number does not include the countless dead in their wars of outward aggression waged in the name of the purity of atheism’s world view. China invades its peaceful, but religious neighbor, Tibet; supports N. Korea in its war against its southern neighbor and in its merciless oppression of its own people; and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge kill up to 6 million with Chinese support. All of these actions done “in the name of the people” to create a better world.
    https://www.scholarscorner.com/atheisms-body-count-ideology-and-human-suffering/

    Thus Seversky, when I rhetorically asked, “why don’t they (atheists), (since they hate Christianity so much), just move to some other country, like North Korea, where any Christian influence in that country is brutally suppressed?”, I was being, tongue in cheek, facetious in my question and was merely pointing out that the false imaginary world of a ‘atheistic utopia’, that atheists constantly try to sell to the general public, is, much like Darwinian evolution itself, contradicted by reality itself. In short, the mythical ‘atheistic utopia’ that atheists imagine to be possible without Christianity simply does not exist in reality. I.e. It is a fantasy!

    Of related interest is this failed ‘experiment’ to create an atheistic utopia right here in America:

    Atheism and Liberal, Missouri
    Excerpt: In the summer of 1880, George H. Walser founded the town of Liberal in southwest Missouri. Named after the Liberal League in Lamar, Missouri (to which the town’s organizer belonged), Walser’s objective was “to found a town without a church, [w]here unbelievers could bring up their children without religious training,” and where Christians were not allowed (Thompson, 1895; Becker, 1895). “His idea was to build up a town that should exclusively be the home of Infidels…a town that should have neither God, Hell, Church, nor Saloon” (Brand, 1895).,,,
    It took only a few short years for Liberal’s unattractiveness and inconsistency to be exposed. People cannot exclude God from the equation, and expect to remain a “sober, trustworthy” town. Godlessness equals unruliness, which in turn makes a repugnant, immoral people. The town of Liberal was a failure. Only five years after its establishment, Braden indicated that “[n]ine-tenths of those now in town would leave if they could sell their property.
    – per apologetics press

    Verse:

    James 1:17
    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

  317. 317
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note to the atheist’s war on Christianity:

    UK Humanists seek to ‘ban repentance’!
    by Gavin Cox – 22 February 2022
    https://creation.com/uk-humanists-seek-to-ban-repentance

    Sev, so tell me again about how atheists are being unfairly ‘despised’ and persecuted.

  318. 318
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky @ 314

    I know some Christians believe they are an oppressed minority but it’s an absurd belief.

    It brings up a bunch of issues.

    The overwhelming majority of members of both Federal or State congresses identify themselves as believers, mostly some flavor of Christianity. They have had their hands on the levers of political power in this country since its foundation. Those who oppressed other races throughout this country’s history would have identified themselves as Christian almost to a man or woman.

    But there’s been a very big change in American culture since the Civil War (if you’re referring to the slavery era). The real influence and power in the country is with academia where young minds are shaped. Since the mid 20th century, colleges and universities have been changed from places where (mostly Christian) values were inculcated in students to now, where post-modernist deconstructionism is the primary goal in liberal arts and even touching in some ways on science. Evolutionary biology makes Christianity a minority view, and as BA points out, there has been oppression and cancelling of Christian teachers.

    Christianity is therefore a minority view in the shapers of culture – academia, entertainment and media. It still has a presence in sports, to some degree on an individual level (athletes still pray but sports teams are not permitted to promote religion beyond that).

    But going beyond all of that, I always have a problem talking about “Christianity” on this site because people can define that term in different ways. The Amish, for example, would think of themselves as a persecuted minority and some think they are “true Christianity” versus all others.

    The other big problem for me, which I fall into frequently, is identifying ID as a Christian project. But there are atheists, Jews, Hindus and Muslims who support ID.
    There are also Christians who oppose ID. So, it’s too messy to sort all of that out on a forum like this which is not supposed to be for theological debate.

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