Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization Intelligent Design Self-replication The God Hypothesis

At Quora: Is it possible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that intelligence was required to create life?

Spread the love

Josh Anderson writes:

Yes, it is. Here’s the question you should ask yourself: Is symbolic code something that blind, intelligence-free physical processes could create and use? Or is mind alone up to the task?

The legendary John Von Neumann did important work on self-replicating systems. A towering giant in the history of mathematics and pioneer in computer science, he was interested in describing machine-like systems that could build faithful copies of themselves.

Von Neumann soon recognized that it would require both hardware and software. Such a system had to work from a symbolic representation of itself. That is, it must have a kind of encoded picture of itself in some kind of memory.

Crucially, this abstract picture had to include a precise description of the very mechanisms needed to read and execute the code. Makes sense, right? To copy itself it has to have a blueprint to follow. And this blueprint has to include instructions for building the systems needed to decode and implement the code.

Here’s the remarkable thing: Life is a Von Neumann Replicator. Von Neumann was unwittingly describing the DNA based genetic system at the heart of life. And yet, he was doing so years before we knew about these systems.

The implications of this are profound. Think about how remarkable this is. It’s like having the blueprints and operating system for a computer stored on a drive in digital code that can only be read by the device itself. It’s the ultimate chicken and egg scenario.

How might something like this have come about? For a system to contain a symbolic representation of itself the actualization of precise mapping between two realms, the physical realm and an abstract symbolic realm.

In view here is a kind of translation, mechanisms that can move between encoded descriptions and material things being described. This requires a system of established correlations between stuff out here and information instantiated in a domain of symbols.

Here’s the crucial question: Is this something that can be achieved by chance, physical laws, or intelligence-free material processes? The answer is decidedly NO. What’s physical cannot work out the non-physical. Only a mind can create a true code. Only a mind can conceive of and manage abstract, symbolic realities. A symbolic system has to be invented. It cannot come about in any other way.

If you think something like this – mutually interdependent physical hardware and encoded software  can arise through unguided, foresight-less material forces acting over time, think again. If I were to ask you to think of something, anything that absolutely requires intelligence to bring about, you’d be hard pressed to think of a better example. It’s not just that no one understands how it could be done, it’s that we have every reason to believe that it is impossible in principle. No intelligence-free material processes could ever give you something like this.

But wait, how can we be so sure this feature of life was not forged by evolution, built up incrementally by the unseen hand of natural selection? What’s to say this is beyond the ability of evolution to create?

The question answers itself. In order for evolution to take place you have to have a self-replicating system in place. You don’t evolve to the kind of thing we’ve been describing. That is, necessarily, where you begin.

The DNA and the dizzyingly complex molecular machinery that it both uses and describes did not evolve into existence. This much is clear. Any suggestion that it did is not based on a scintilla of empirical evidence or any credible account of how it could have come about in this way.

The conclusion is clear: The unmistakable signature of mind is literally in every cell of every living thing on earth.

Watch a few seconds of this to remind yourself of the kind of mind-bending sophistication in view here:

Quora

Note that John von Neumann mathematically showed that the information content of the simplest self-replicating machine is about 1500 bits of information. This is a vast amount of information, since information bits are counted on a logarithmic scale, and it cannot be explained by any natural process, since it far exceeds the information content of the physical (non-living) universe. Therefore, since self-replicating organisms obviously exist on Earth, their origin must come from the only known source of this level of information – an intelligent mind of capability far beyond our mental ability – consistent with the biblical view of God.

475 Replies to “At Quora: Is it possible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that intelligence was required to create life?

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Human beings are made of around 30 trillion little self-replicating machines or cells. If the existence of all the cells in a human being cannot be accounted for by natural processes then we must all have been designed?

  2. 2
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 1,

    It is the only reasonable conclusion. ID research has found great levels of complexity in living things that natural/evolutionary processes could not have stumbled on, regardless of the amount of time available. Chaos cannot order itself. Order creates order. Intelligence creates order.

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    the complexity, self-replicating molecules, codes, … yes, we heard that before … of course, this is a good argument, no rational person can deny it … but let’s don’t forget, we are not talking to rational persons … Darwinists can ignore and ‘debunk’ almost everything …

    I as an engineer, i think, that one of the best arguments for designed cell is the capability of detecting errors/ damage … and then to repair it.

    Inside the cell, everything gets repaired. From cell membrane to DNA molecule.

    The moment all the damage sensing and repair machinery was discovered, Darwinism was falsified and creation confirmed.

    These features are fundamental for life. If things don’t get repaired = cancer = no life = no ‘evolution’.

    If you are a Darwinist, you have to believe, that these damage sensing and repair mechanisms emerged at the same moment, because the damage sensing triggers the repair machinery … as a Darwinist, you also have to believe, that this damage sensing/repair mechanisms evolved instantly, in the beginning of “whatever it was” … otherwise, there won’t be any life or ‘evolution’ … as a Darwinist, you have to believe in very absurd things …

    Here is a very nice DNA Damage and Repair animation:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceFr0xTMV5k

  4. 4
    Alan Fox says:

    If you are a Darwinist, you have to believe, that these damage sensing and repair mechanisms emerged at the same moment…

    This is wrong. Biologists who subscribe to the concept of Darwinian evolution have no need of such a belief.

  5. 5
    martin_r says:

    Alan Fox @4

    you are wrong. But it does not surprise me. You people don’t even understand what you have to believe in … and how high your level of faith has to be :)))))

  6. 6
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @5

    you are wrong. But it does not surprise me. You people don’t even understand what you have to believe in … and how high your level of faith has to be :)))))

    Ah, got to love UD: if you disagree with someone else’s description of your beliefs, it’s you who’s wrong!

  7. 7
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 6,

    Both sides can’t be right.

  8. 8
    chuckdarwin says:

    PM1/6
    That’s one of the least of their annoying habits….

  9. 9
    martin_r says:

    PM,

    but you guys ARE wrong. That is a fact.

  10. 10
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @9

    but you guys ARE wrong. That is a fact.

    It’s one thing to say that our beliefs are false; it’s quite something else to say that we’re mistaken about what our beliefs are.

  11. 11
    Sir Giles says:

    PM1: Ah, got to love UD: if you disagree with someone else’s description of your beliefs, it’s you who’s wrong!

    It’s much easier to dispute their claims that way.

  12. 12
    Caspian says:

    As often happens, the comments ignore the main point of the post. Taking it back to Seversky@1, who wrote:
    “Human beings are made of around 30 trillion little self-replicating machines or cells. If the existence of all the cells in a human being cannot be accounted for by natural processes then we must all have been designed?”
    I’ll answer in the affirmative. We are designed, and by a designer that must be transcendent to this universe – consistent with God. If designed, then we are significant, not an accidental outgrowth of natural forces, like erosion of a mountainside. The biblical account of our origin and the purpose of our existence offers us hope. Such is the “good news of great joy” announced at the first Christmas.

  13. 13
    relatd says:

    Caspian at 12,

    Exactly right.

  14. 14
    asauber says:

    “The biblical account of our origin and the purpose of our existence offers us hope. Such is the “good news of great joy” announced at the first Christmas.”

    It’s Hope for the hopeless. Even for stubborn hopeless UD trolls.

    Andrew

  15. 15
    chuckdarwin says:

    Caspian/12
    Surely you are not implying that humans cannot find significance (or hope or meaning) without subscribing to a biblical “worldview?”

  16. 16
    relatd says:

    CD at 15,

    Where do people find significance, or hope or meaning, outside of a Biblical worldview?

  17. 17
    jerry says:

    Biologists who subscribe to the concept of Darwinian evolution have no need of such a belief

    That’s why Darwinian Evolution
    and punctuated equilibrium are self refuting.

    Things must happen simultaneously if they are to be meaningful in Darwinian Evolution or else the ecology is destroyed. So what actually happens is that Darwinian processes only produce trivial changes that cannot add up to anything in the Evolution debate.

    They may be important for adaptation but not Evolution. We call the science that studies these changes, genetics.

    ID completely accepts modern genetics. So ID accepts Darwinian processes because while they cannot produce anything of consequence for Evolution, they are important for nearly all species at certain times.

    That’s why Darwin’s finches are excellent for ID’s mascots.

        Let’s go finches.

  18. 18
    Viola Lee says:

    Relatd writes, “Where do people find significance, or hope or meaning, outside of a Biblical worldview?”

    That is an incredibly narrow, parochial statement. It’s one thing to be attached attached to your religious view, and believe it brings you significance, hope, and meaning. It’s another to thing that your religious view is the only possible way for people to find significance, hope, and meaning in their life. Leaving aside the non-religious such as myself, who have no problem finding significance, hope, and meaning in our lives, there are billions of people of non-Biblical religions who also find significance, hope, and meaning in their lives through their religious beliefs: Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists being the major religions.

    I don’t see how you can demean so many of your fellow human beings. It’s a sad commentary on the divisiveness fostered by tribal religious beliefs.

  19. 19
    relatd says:

    VL at 18,

    Instead of accusing me of something, answer the question.

    Oh, I demean people? Give me a break.

  20. 20
    Viola Lee says:

    I did answer: through other non-Biblical religious beliefs, as well as non-religious beliefs. Obviously, billions of such people find significance, hope, and meaning in their lives.

    Demean means “to lower in character, status, or reputation” or “to lower in dignity, honor, or standing”.

    That is what you are doing when you imply that non-Biblical believes can’d find significance, hope and meaning , but Biblical believers can: you are elevating your religion and lowering all others.

    I think demean is an appropiate word.

  21. 21
    relatd says:

    VL at 20,

    I asked a question. You went into Accusation Mode. You have no interest in discussing things or asking me questions like “Are you are tribal religionist out to demean people?” Don’t assume anything, OK?

  22. 22
    Origenes says:

    Martin-r @3

    I as an engineer, i think, that one of the best arguments for designed cell is the capability of detecting errors/ damage … and then to repair it.

    The following story about repair is absolutely mindblowing:

    According to the usual comparison, it’s as if you had to pack 39 km of extremely thin thread into a tennis ball. Moreover, this thread is divided into 46 pieces (individual chromosomes) averaging, in our tennis-ball analogy, over 0.8 km long. Can it be at all possible not only to pack the chromosomes into the nucleus, but also to keep them from becoming hopelessly entangled?

    All we can say currently is that we know some of the players addressing the problem. For example, there are enzymes called “topoisomerases” whose task is to help manage the spatial organization of chromosomes. Demonstrating a spatial insight and dexterity that might amaze those of us who have struggled to sort out tangled masses of thread, these enzymes manage to make just the right local cuts to the strands in order to relieve strain, allow necessary movement of genes or regions of the chromosome, and prevent a hopeless mass of knots.
    Some topoisomerases cut just one strand of the double helix, allow it to wind or unwind around the other strand, and then reconnect the severed ends. This alters the supercoiling of the DNA. Other topoisomerases cut both strands, pass a loop of the chromosome through the gap thus created, and then seal the gap again. (Imagine trying this with miles of string crammed into a tennis ball) — Talbott

    How does it work? Incomprehensible!

  23. 23
    Viola Lee says:

    My answer was that people with non-Biblical religious beliefs can find significance, hope, and meaning in their lives.

    Do you think that is true?

  24. 24
    Sir Giles says:

    Relatd: Where do people find significance, or hope or meaning, outside of a Biblical worldview?

    If a person is incapable of finding hope, significance and meaning independent of a biblical world view then the hope, significance and meaning they find with a biblical world view is just an illusion.

  25. 25
    relatd says:

    VL at 23,

    That wasn’t your first answer. Please don’t accuse and call people names based on an assumption. A guess. If I’m not clear then ask for some clarification instead of immediately jumping to a conclusion, OK? That makes for a discussion.

    What I think doesn’t matter. Tell me exactly where and how you find meaning in your life.

  26. 26
    Viola Lee says:

    Realtd, your question was “Where do people find significance, or hope or meaning, outside of a Biblical worldview?”

    My answer was “there are billions of people of non-Biblical religions who also find significance, hope, and meaning in their lives through their religious beliefs: Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists being the major religions.”

    Do you agree with my answer: that people can find significance, hope, and meaning through religions other than Biblical ones?

  27. 27
    relatd says:

    VL at 26,

    It appears you don’t want to have a discussion. Oh well.

  28. 28
    Sir Giles says:

    VL, I would argue that for many, significance, meaning and hope can be enhanced by religious beliefs, but they can’t be created by them.

  29. 29
    Viola Lee says:

    Relatd, I don’t see how you can say I don’t want a discussion? You asked a question. I provided an answer, and want to know whether you agree with my answer or not. That seems like the kind of thing that takes place in a discussion.

    What kind of response would you want me to provide that would qualify in your eyes as being part of a discussion?

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    Exactly how does one go about finding any real significance, purpose, and meaning for life, (much less finding any real hope for eternal life), within Atheistic Naturalism?,,, A worldview which explicitly denies that such ‘abstract’ entities as “significance, purpose, meaning, and hope” even exist?

    “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
    – Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning – 1946 – Austrian psychiatrist, Auschwitz survivor

    ,,, Atheistic naturalism is an inherently nihilistic worldview which explicitly denies that we have any real significance to our lives,,, even engendering a claim from the late Hawking that our lives have no more significance than ‘chemical scum’,,,,, a nihilistic worldview which also claims that the universe, and therefore our lives in the universe, have no real, and ultimate ‘teleological purpose’, behind their existence, (it’s all a big ole purposeless accident of some random quantum fluctuation),,,,, and that, therefore, there simply can be no real meaning ever found for our lives in this big ole ‘accidental’ universe which just so happened to spring into existence, in a flash of light, for absolutely no reason whatsoever,,, a naturalistic worldview which also entails that we are purely physical beings, with no immaterial, i.e. spiritual, component to our being, and that, therefore, life ends at the grave and there simply can be no real hope for life beyond death?

    Fortunately for us, and thank God, all these nihilistic claims inherent within atheistic naturalism are all found to be false claims.

    You Chemical Scum, You
    Raymond Tallis engages with the dregs of philosophy.
    Excerpt: Significant Insignificances
    Voltaire got things off to a jolly secular start quite a while back, by instructing the eponymous hero of his novel Zadig (1747) to visualise “men as they really are, insects devouring one another on a little atom of mud.”,,
    The philosopher and professional misanthrope John Gray has argued that Darwin has cured us of the delusions we might have had about our place in the order of things – we are beasts, metaphysically on all fours with the other beasts. “Man” Gray asserts in Straw Dogs (2003), “is only one of many species, and not obviously worth preserving.” And in case you’re still feeling a bit cocky, he adds: “human life has no more meaning than that of slime mould.” Slime mould? Yikes! Can it get any worse?
    Yes it can. For physics has again been recruited to the great project of disproving our greatness. Stephen Hawking’s declaration in 1995 on a TV show, Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken, that “the human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate size planet, orbiting round a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a billion galaxies” is much quoted. If we beg to differ, perhaps is it only because we are like the mosquito who, according to Nietzsche, “floats through the air… feeling within himself the flying centre of the universe”? (‘On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense’, 1873.)
    There is something repugnant about this nihilistic grandstanding. For a start, it’s insincere. Voltaire did not consider himself merely an insect, any more than Gray considers slime mould his peer, or Hawking regards Hawking as a quantum of chemical scum.
    https://philosophynow.org/issues/89/You_Chemical_Scum_You

    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/

    Study: Atheists Find Meaning In Life By Inventing Fairy Tales – Richard Weikart
    MARCH 29, 2018
    Excerpt: However, there is a problem with this finding. The survey admitted the meaning that atheists and non-religious people found in their lives is entirely self-invented. According to the survey, they embraced the position: “Life is only meaningful if you provide the meaning yourself.”
    Thus, when religious people say non-religious people have no basis for finding meaning in life, and when non-religious people object, saying they do indeed find meaning in life, they are not talking about the same thing. If one can find meaning in life by creating one’s own meaning, then one is only “finding” the product of one’s own imagination. One has complete freedom to invent whatever meaning one wants.
    This makes “meaning” on par with myths and fairy tales. It may make the non-religious person feel good, but it has no objective existence.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/.....iry-tales/

    The Easter Question – Eben Alexander, M.D. – Harvard – March 2013
    Excerpt: More than ever since my near death experience, I consider myself a Christian -,,,
    Now, I can tell you that if someone had asked me, in the days before my NDE, what I thought of this (Easter) story, I would have said that it was lovely. But it remained just that — a story. To say that the physical body of a man who had been brutally tortured and killed could simply get up and return to the world a few days later is to contradict every fact we know about the universe. It wasn’t simply an unscientific idea. It was a downright anti-scientific one.
    But it is an idea that I now believe. Not in a lip-service way. Not in a dress-up-it’s-Easter kind of way. I believe it with all my heart, and all my soul.,,
    We are, really and truly, made in God’s image. But most of the time we are sadly unaware of this fact. We are unconscious both of our intimate kinship with God, and of His constant presence with us. On the level of our everyday consciousness, this is a world of separation — one where people and objects move about, occasionally interacting with each other, but where essentially we are always alone.
    But this cold dead world of separate objects is an illusion. It’s not the world we actually live in.,,,
    ,, He (God) is right here with each of us right now, seeing what we see, suffering what we suffer… and hoping desperately that we will keep our hope and faith in Him. Because that hope and faith will be triumphant.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....79741.html

    Verse:

    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.

    Only Hope
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnH9xU5qyVo

    Of supplemental note

    since Darwinian Atheists, as a foundational presupposition of their materialistic philosophy, (and not from any compelling scientific evidence mind you), deny the existence of souls, (and since the materialist’s denial of souls, (and God), has led to so much catastrophic disaster on human societies in the 20th century), then it is VERY important to ‘scientifically’ establish the existence of these ‘souls’ that are of incalculable worth, and that are equal, before God.
    Nov. 2022
    https://uncommondescent.com/mind/at-evolution-news-does-a-new-scientific-study-offer-evidence-of-life-after-death/#comment-769693

  31. 31
    Sir Giles says:

    Scroll, scroll, scroll.

  32. 32
    relatd says:

    There are many warnings but some ears do not hear.

    Psalm 14:1

    ‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.’

    Luke 16:31

    “He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

    The State religion in the Soviet Union was atheism. After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, religion returned.

  33. 33
    Viola Lee says:

    Post 32 by relatd appears to be in response to BA’s post about atheism, not in response to my posts about non-Biblical religions. Do I understand that correctly?

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals the Words ‘The Lamb’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC59NxpKyu4

    1 Peter 1:3
    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

    Brooke Fraser – CS Lewis (“Hope is coming for me”)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4RzmlWZ5fU

    Mandy Moore – Only Hope (A Walk To Remember)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXetsxNT9QM

    Graves Into Gardens – ft. Brandon Lake | Live | Elevation Worship
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwX1f2gYKZ4

  35. 35
    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES says:

    Dear Viola Lee

    My understanding is that Islam IS a Biblical religion. Moslems themselves regard it Biblical, calling themselves Abrahamic, as their foundation is the Old Testament. Christians have historically agreed. For example, in his Divine Comedy, Dante regarded Islam as a Christain heresy, somewhat like Arianism. That is becuase Moslems, like Arius, do not believe that Jesus is God, but they do believe that He was a great prophet. They call Him the “Gentle Prophet”. They often exchange gifts on Christmas, and believe that Mary was a virgin and that she is the highest woman in heaven.

  36. 36
    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES says:

    I beleive we are diverging far from the topic of this thread.

    In this thread, our Atheist and Agnostic friends have once again avoided discussing the scientific evidence for a belief in a non-supernatural origin of life.

    Thus I enourage them to state their position clearly on whether or not there is ANY scientific evidence that life originated without a supernatural cause..
    But nowadays, Creationism is in the catbird seat largely because of they have no case on this matter.

  37. 37
    es58 says:

    Above in this thread details are given about various cellular mechanisms/machinery including repair, etc. These are observed and still there is a demand for proof that they require design. The same people demanding such proof would fully understand that if a claim were made that the simplest of machines, eg toothpicks, screws, pins, safety pins, let alone a piece of cloth, were produced by natural processes, the burden of proof would be on the one making the claim. Absurd!

  38. 38
    Alan Fox says:

    In this thread, our Atheist and Agnostic friends have once again avoided discussing the scientific evidence for a belief in a non-supernatural origin of life.

    What scientific evidence?

  39. 39
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77 & Relatd: Where do people find significance, or hope or meaning, outside of a Biblical worldview?

    They find those things in the interactions they have on a daily basis with people they love and like and enjoy being with. They find those things in their work or play or hobbies. They find those things in various art forms they experience. They find those things just walking through the woods or climbing mountains or watching the waves crash against a beach. They find those things everywhere in life. They don’t need to be told what should be significant or meaningful or hopeful; they find out for themselves. They are not children that need to be disciplined or held to a particular moral line. Most importantly of all: they do not have to agree with you what is significant or hopeful or meaningful. You’ve spent decades on this planet and you don’t understand billions of other human beings and what they value then I think you should spend some time getting to know something about the world you live in. You should learn how to see things from other people’s point of view.

    You expect others to respect your stance but you clearly have not even bothered to make an attempt to find out what makes others tick. Why else would you ask the question you asked? The world is not black and white, it’s many, many lovely shades, like a coat of many colours. Thank goodness! Maybe you should experience some of those colours and see if they ‘suit’ you?

    After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, religion returned.

    And that’s worked well for them hasn’t it? Let’s see . . . under their new Christian tolerant regime they have supported genocide in Syria, annexed Crimea, invaded Ukraine killing thousands upon thousands of innocent men, women and children. All good then.

  40. 40
    chuckdarwin says:

    TLH/38
    My question at Comment No. 15 was specifically directed to Caspian’s Comment No. 12. To the extent that Caspian, the moderator, puts something in play, my view is that it is fair game for comment. Understanding also that implicit in every question is a comment, I am trying to find out the scope of Caspian’s claim, i.e., if the ID/biblical path is the only path to “significance” or simply one of many ways to manifest meaning, significance and hope in one’s life. If he intended the latter, then I have no problem with Caspian’s observation. If he intended the former, then VL’s Comment No. 18 is spot on…

  41. 41
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks to JVL at 39 and CD at 40 for adding some more substance to some of what motivated my post at 18.

  42. 42
    JVL says:

    Viola Lee: Thanks to JVL at 39 and CD at 40 for adding some more substance to some of what motivated my post at 18.

    🙂 I think what annoyed Relatd (in this particular case) is that you didn’t directly answer his question; you tried to get at the assumptions and attitude behind the question which, of course, he found offensive. He’ll probably find my response offensive as well. Oh well. He never worries about offending others so it would be disingenuous for him to get all worked up over some he disagrees with.

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    at 39 JVL, a Darwinian Atheist, argues, basically, that people don’t need God in order to “find significance, or hope or meaning”.

    JVL gives some examples of people, supposedly, finding “significance, or hope or meaning” all without God.

    “They find those things in the interactions they have on a daily basis with people they love and like and enjoy being with. They find those things in their work or play or hobbies. They find those things in various art forms they experience. They find those things just walking through the woods or climbing mountains or watching the waves crash against a beach. They find those things everywhere in life. They don’t need to be told what should be significant or meaningful or hopeful; they find out for themselves.”

    The trouble with JVL’s claim is that none of those things would exist without God. JVL’s worldview of Darwinian Atheism simply lacks the basis to ground any of the things he appealed to.

    For instance, “People”, i.e. humanity in general, much less “love” for other people, simply can find no grounding within his worldview Darwinian Atheism.

    People, i.e. “Man, the universal”, simply does not exist within the reductive materialistic framework of Darwinian evolution.

    Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas
    The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage
    Excerpt:,,, In Aristotelian and Thomistic thought, each particular organism belongs to a certain universal class of things. Each individual shares a particular nature—or essence—and acts according to its nature. Squirrels act squirrelly and cats catty. We know with certainty that a squirrel is a squirrel because a crucial feature of human reason is its ability to abstract the universal nature from our sense experience of particular organisms.
    Denial of True Species
    Enter Darwinism. Recall that Darwin sought to explain the origin of “species.” Yet as he pondered his theory, he realized that it destroyed species as a reality altogether. For Darwinism suggests that any matter can potentially morph into any other arrangement of matter without the aid of an organizing principle. He thought cells were like simple blobs of Jell-O, easily re-arrangeable. For Darwin, there is no immaterial, immutable form. In The Origin of Species he writes:
    “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience’s sake.”
    Statements like this should make card-carrying Thomists shudder.,,,
    The first conflict between Darwinism and Thomism, then, is the denial of true species or essences. For the Thomist, this denial is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge. As philosopher Benjamin Wiker observes in Moral Darwinism, Darwin reduced species to “mere epiphenomena of matter in motion.” What we call a “dog,” in other words, is really just an arbitrary snapshot of the way things look at present. If we take the Darwinian view, Wiker suggests, there is no species “dog” but only a collection of individuals, connected in a long chain of changing shapes, which happen to resemble each other today but will not tomorrow.
    What About Man?
    Now we see Chesterton’s point. Man, the universal, does not really exist. According to the late Stanley Jaki, Chesterton detested Darwinism because “it abolishes forms and all that goes with them, including that deepest kind of ontological form which is the immortal human soul.” And if one does not believe in universals, there can be, by extension, no human nature—only a collection of somewhat similar individuals.,,,
    https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-037-f

    What about grounding our ‘love’ of fellow humans within Darwinian atheism? Forget about it! Love, and/or morally noble altruistic behavior of any sort, is simply completely antithetical to Darwin’s “One general law” of letting “the strongest live and the weakest die”, i.e. Darwin’s ‘death as creator’ view of reality.

    “One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.”
    – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

    How Has Darwinism Negatively Impacted Society? – John G. West – January 11, 2022
    Excerpt: Death as the Creator
    A third big idea fueled by Darwin’s theory is that the engine of progress in the history of life is mass death. Instead of believing that the remarkable features of humans and other living things reflect the intelligent design of a master artist, Darwin portrayed death and destruction as our ultimate creator. As he wrote at the end of his most famous work: “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”13
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/01/how-has-darwinism-negatively-impacted-society/

    Darwin’s (falsified) predictions – altruism – Cornelius Hunter
    Conclusions
    “Darwin’s theory of evolution led him to several expectations and predictions, regarding behavior in general, and altruism in particular. We now know those predictions to be false.,,,”
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/altruism

    How about grounding “work or play or hobbies”? Can Darwinian atheism possibly ground any of those inspirational things? Well, working, playing and/or doing a hobby, all entail that some goal, and/or purpose, is trying to be achieved by someone, or by some group of people. Yet, teleological, goal-oriented,, purpose of any kind can simply find no grounding within JVL’s worldview of Darwinian Atheism.

    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/

    How about people finding “significance, or hope or meaning” in the “various art forms they experience”? Can Darwinism materialism ground the inspirational beauty we find in art? In a word, No!
    As the following video makes clear, art is merely a reflection and imitation, of the beauty that an artist finds in the world,

    The Artists – The Artists is a short film about two rival painters who fail to see the bigger picture.
    http://vimeo.com/33670490

    And Darwinian Atheists are simply at a complete loss to explain the beauty we see in nature.

    In fact, Charles Darwin himself denied the objective reality of beauty and even said that, “This doctrine, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory.”

    “The foregoing remarks lead me to say a few words on the protest lately made by some naturalists, against the utilitarian doctrine that every detail of structure has been produced for the good of its possessor. They believe that very many structures have been created for beauty in the eyes of man, or for mere variety. This doctrine, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory.”
    (Charles Darwin – 1859, p. 199)

    In short, Darwin, because of his reductive materialistic presuppositions, was forced to hold beauty to be, merely, ‘illusory’.

    Might it be too obvious to point out that, directly contrary to what Charles Darwin believed, that we live in world overflowing with ‘objectively real’ beauty?

    Beauty, Darwin & Design – video – 2019
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ax-lkRoES8

    The Biology of the Baroque – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FothcJW-Quo

  44. 44
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, the existence of ‘objectively real’ beauty turns out to be a fairly powerful argument for the existence of God.

    Beauty and the Imagination (The Argument From Beauty) – Aaron Ames – July 16th, 2017
    Excerpt: Beauty… can be appreciated only by the mind. This would be impossible, if this ‘idea’ of beauty were not found in the Mind in a more perfect form…. This consideration has readily persuaded men of ability and learning… that the original “idea” is not to be found in this sphere
    (Augustine, City of God).
    https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2017/07/beauty-imagination-aaron-ames.html

    The Reason Why God Is the Beauty We All Seek – Sept. 4, 2019
    Excerpt: God loves beauty. As Thomas Aquinas asserts, God “is beauty itself”[1] St. Anselm argues that “God must be the supreme beauty for the same reasons that He must be justice and other such qualities.”[2] As the contemporary theologian Michael Horton so aptly states in his book The Christian Faith, “God would not be God if he did not possess all his attributes in the simplicity and perfection of his essence.”[3] The reason why we gravitate toward beauty is because God created us in his image.,,,
    In a chapel sermon titled, “Can Beauty Save the World,” Albert Mohler explains,
    “The Christian worldview posits that anything pure and good finds its ultimate source in the self-existent, omnipotent God who is infinite in all his perfections. Thus the Christian worldview reminds us that the “transcendentals”—the good, the true, and the beautiful—are inseparable. Thus when Psalm 27 speaks of the beauty of the Lord, the Psalmist is also making a claim about the goodness of the Lord and the truthfulness of the Lord. While we distinguish God’s attributes from one another in order to understand them better, we must also recognize that these attributes are inseparable from one another.[19]”
    Mohler goes on to state, “Our job as Christians is to remember the difference between the beautiful and the pretty,” because pure beauty is found in goodness and truth.[20] When we gaze upon ascetically pleasing objects or witness kind deeds in this world, we are at best seeing imperfect versions of the pure beauty that can only be found in God.
    https://www.beautifulchristianlife.com/blog/reason-why-god-is-the-beauty-we-all-seek

    JVL goes on to say, people “find those things, (“significance, or hope or meaning”), just walking through the woods or climbing mountains or watching the waves crash against a beach. They find those things everywhere in life. They don’t need to be told what should be significant or meaningful or hopeful; they find out for themselves.”

    Yet, the fact that people “don’t need to be told” that those things are inspirational is proof, in and of itself, that people intuitively know that all those good and beautiful things come from God.

    You see, the ‘default’, intuitive, belief of people, including atheists, when shown beautiful landscapes in rapid succession, (before they have time to censor their reactions), is to believe that beautiful landscapes are ‘purposely made’.

    Richard Dawkins take heed: Even atheists instinctively believe in a creator says study – Mary Papenfuss – June 12, 2015
    Excerpt: 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

    So yes, I agree wholeheartedly with JVL, people ‘don’t need to be told’ that the things he listed are meaningful, beautiful, and inspirational. Yet, the reason we do find inspiration in those things is because God “spiritually hardwired” the ability to draw inspiration from those beautiful things into us.
    It is JVL himself, via his Darwinian materialism, that is, number 1, at a complete loss to explain the ‘objectively real’ existence of beauty in the first place, and number 2, much less can JVL, with his Darwinian atheism, possibly explain why we should find such deep inspiration in such beautiful things.

    James 1:17
    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

  45. 45
    Origenes says:

    Any worldview/religion that involves the end of personal existence, posits necessarily that one’s life has no intrinsic meaning. Instead, it follows that one’s life can only have meaning for (and can only be experienced by) something external to oneself — ‘society’, ‘nature’, ‘cosmos’, ‘Brahman’, or whatever.

  46. 46
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: The trouble with JVL’s claim is that none of those things would exist without God. JVL’s worldview of Darwinian Atheism simply lacks the basis to ground any of the things he appealed to. For instance, “People”, i.e. humanity in general, much less “love” for other people, simply can find no grounding within his worldview Darwinian Atheism.

    And

    What about grounding our ‘love’ of fellow humans within Darwinian atheism? Forget about it! Love, and/or morally noble altruistic behavior of any sort, is simply completely antithetical to Darwin’s “One general law” of letting “the strongest live and the weakest die”, i.e. Darwin’s ‘death as creator’ view of reality.

    All of the above (and many comments after these) are just an opinion. An opinion held by many people, especially on this forum, but an opinion nonetheless.

    Yet, the fact that people “don’t need to be told” that those things are inspirational is proof, in and of itself, that people intuitively know that all those good and beautiful things come from God.

    Of course you mean the Christian God, not just any old god from Greek or Roman or Norse or Egyptian or Hindu or Zoroastrian (to name just a few) traditions. It also, basically sideline Muslims and Jews because the Christian God is the one that supposedly sacrificed his ‘only begotten son’ (no daughters and wasn’t Adam made in God’s image?). Which means that until about 2000 years ago all the people who loved and lost, who painted and sculpted, who built astonishing buildings and structures, who gave thanks before killing animals for food, who found meaning and purpose in their lives before then were basically just deluding themselves.

    And I’m portrayed as the horrible cynic who might as well just go out and kill and maim and destroy. I feel sorry for anyone who considers themselves and their beliefs so superior to everyone else and their beliefs that the rest of the world is just wrong. In the history of the earth Christians are in the minority. And they probably will be for as long as people are still around. To have that little respect or care for other humans is just appalling. By your own standards.

  47. 47
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever JVL, the post stands on its own merits. You overt hostility towards Christianity not withstanding.

  48. 48
    Viola Lee says:

    at 45 Origenes says, “Any worldview/religion that involves the end of personal existence, posits necessarily that one’s life has no intrinsic meaning.”

    No. That is a Christian view, but is not necessarily true at all. One Eastern perspective is that our individual soul is present in this life only, and that at death it goes back to the “universal ocean” of the universal soul. Individuality has existence, and intrinsic value and meaning, during life, but it is transitory comes to an end at death.

    I’m not saying that is the way it is: I’m just saying that the Christian view is not the only one, and has no privileged position.

    This is why CD’s comment at 40 to Caspian (and implicitly to relatd) is important: is a Biblical view the only route to finding significance and meaning in life, or just one of a number of alternate views?

  49. 49
    chuckdarwin says:

    JVL/46
    JVL, take heart and remember George Bernard Shaw’s observation: “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who do not have it.”

    The “foundational basis” for everything BA77 writes, irrespective of topic is this:

    The trouble with JVL’s claim is that none of those things [that provide meaning or significance] would exist without God. (emphasis added)

    This “foundation” is a simple, but insidiously circular formulation. Everything else is pedantic window dressing–reams and reams and reams of it.

  50. 50
    Viola Lee says:

    CD writes, “This “foundation” is a simple, but insidiously circular formulation.”

    That’s an excellent line about all these worldview discussions in general. We build systems of understanding that have thoroughly embedded chosen assumptions that, due to their circular existence as both assumption and conclusion, create an internally consistent system that is nevertheless not necessarily true if the underlying assumptions are removed.

  51. 51
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: You overt hostility towards Christianity not withstanding.

    I actually have a lot of good Christian friends who don’t look down on every non-Christian on the planet. They understand that there are other points of view. They love their non-Christian friends and don’t tell them that their non-Christian love is meaningless and has no basis in reality. They don’t think they are better than everyone else.

    It’s your blatant, rude, superior attitude I deplore. In fact, I find it very un-Christian when I compare it to people like The Archbishop of Canterbury or even my local vicar.

    One of the reason some people don’t like Christians or Christianity is because of people like you who tell them they have no right to claim meaning or love or purpose or even some basic legal rights. You are part of the problem.

  52. 52
    martin_r says:

    Origenes

    Thanks for mentioning Topoisomerases.

    yes, I am aware of this molecular machines. Like DNA proofreading/repair, it is fundamental to life. Without this feature, no life.

    The existence of topoisomerases is another UNDENIABLE proof of designed cell.

    DNA supercoiling problem – it did not occur to me …. I, as an engineer, i feel ashamed … i have to say, that our Creator thought of everything … not to mention, how this supercoiling problem is being fixed. Would YOU be able to find just the right spot(s) where to cut this extremely long molecule in order to fix the supercoiling problem ?

    All these cell’s features like DNA proofreading/repair, topoisomerases, programmed cell death, various cell cycle checkpoints, etc … make Darwinists look as stupid as it gets …

    Darwinism = fake news/hoax/conspiracy.

  53. 53
    Origenes says:

    Viola Lee @

    Ori: Any worldview/religion that involves the end of personal existence, posits necessarily that one’s life has no intrinsic meaning.

    No. That is a Christian view …

    Not exclusively I would like to note.

    but is not necessarily true at all.

    I argue that it is.

    One Eastern perspective is that our individual soul is present in this life only, and that at death it goes back to the “universal ocean” of the universal soul.

    Indeed, that’s what I meant by ‘Brahman’. My point is that such a concept has no (ultimate) meaning to a person. That’s why I say “one’s life has no intrinsic meaning.” It does not matter to the person what happens after personal existence, the person is gone, it has dissolved into nature, the cosmos or into, as you call it, the “universal ocean.”

  54. 54
    chuckdarwin says:

    VL/50
    That is why I hate the term “worldview.” I’d like to wring the person’s neck that came up with it…….

  55. 55
    Viola Lee says:

    Origenes, I see you added more to 45 after I responded to it. You wrote, “Instead, it follows that one’s life can only have meaning for (and can only be experienced by) something external to oneself.”

    But that is not what intrinsic means. You also wrote, “My point is that such a concept has no (ultimate) meaning to a person. That’s why I say “one’s life has no intrinsic meaning.” It does not matter to the person what happens after personal existence, the person is gone, it has dissolved into nature, the cosmos or into, as you call it, the “universal ocean.”

    That is not what “intrinsic” means either.

    Intrinsic means “of or relating to the essential nature of a thing”. My life has intrinsic meaning in that I manifest my nature in my existence. My existence, and its intrinsic meaning and value, does not have to go on forever, or be in respect to something external to myself, to exist.

    It is one possible philosophical/religious perspective to think that it does, but not a necessary perspective.

  56. 56
    Sir Giles says:

    JVL: You’ve spent decades on this planet and you don’t understand billions of other human beings and what they value then I think you should spend some time getting to know something about the world you live in. You should learn how to see things from other people’s point of view.

    An excellent point.

    About twenty years ago I started doing extensive world travel for work. This travel, and my interactions with the people living there, made me aware that the stereotypes I didn’t even know I held were incorrect.

  57. 57
    Sir Giles says:

    @43,44: scroll, scroll, scroll.

    If BA77 keeps commenting I am going to have to start using my left thumb to prevent my right thumb from getting too bulked up.

  58. 58
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: I actually have a lot of good Christian friends who don’t look down on every non-Christian on the planet. They understand that there are other points of view. They love their non-Christian friends and don’t tell them that their non-Christian love is meaningless and has no basis in reality. They don’t think they are better than everyone else.

    And, much to BA77’s horror, there are many Christian’s who are married to people of different religions, and no religion. I happen to be in one of those marriages. Forty years and counting. BA77 would never even consider dating a non-Christian. Sad, because by having this superior and hateful attitude, he is missing out on the company of many wonderful people.

  59. 59
    bornagain77 says:

    Of supplemental note to posts 43 and 44,

    “For Darwin, non-adaptive design categories, (such as Beauty), simply did not exist.”

    The Role of Non-Adaptive Design Doctrine in Evolutionary Thought
    by Cornelius Hunter – April 2021
    Introduction Excerpt: In formulating this argument, Darwin was well aware that he had made a significant theological commitment. He had firmly staked his theory to the utilitarian doctrine that God would design a world of perfect adaptation. For Darwin, non-adaptive design categories simply did not exist. God would not design for purposes such as beauty, variety, harmony and order. If this were not so, it would deal a fatal blow to his theory:
    “The foregoing remarks lead me to say a few words on the protest lately made by some naturalists, against the utilitarian doctrine that every detail of structure has been produced for the good of its possessor. They believe that very many structures have been created for beauty in the eyes of man, or for mere variety. This doctrine, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory.”
    (Darwin 1859, p. 199)
    Here, Darwin makes it clear that he requires a strictly utilitarian, adaptive, creation/design doctrine. The non-adaptive explanations that natural theologians had advanced—such as that structures have been created for beauty in the eyes of man, for mere variety, or to delight man or the Creator (this last item was added in the sixth edition)—would be “absolutely fatal” to Darwin’s theory. In this passage Darwin makes clear that his theory is contingent on a theological claim about the mode of creation.
    https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/12/4/282/htm

    As well, it is now found that seeing beautiful things increases belief in God,

    Experiencing Awe Increases Belief in the Supernatural – November 25, 2013
    Excerpt: Valdesolo and his colleague Jesse Graham of the University of Southern California tested this prediction by having participants watch awe-inspiring scenes from BBC’s Planet Earth documentary series or neutral video clips from a news interview. Afterward, the participants were asked how much awe they felt while watching the video, and whether they believed that worldly events unfold according to some god’s or other non-human entity’s plan.
    Overall, participants who had watched the awe-inspiring video tended to believe more in supernatural control, and were more likely to believe in God when compared with the news-watching group.,,,
    https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/experiencing-awe-increases-belief-in-the-supernatural.html

    And in the interest of increasing belief in the very real God who is behind such very real beauty,,,

    Murmuration of starlings – video
    https://aeon.co/videos/one-of-the-most-wondrous-markers-of-the-end-of-the-day-is-a-murmuration-of-starlings

    Dance of The Spirits, Full HD, real-time Aurora Footage
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezobpz55EEY

    The Mountain – Inspirational timelapse video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk6_hdRtJOE

    David Gallo: Underwater astonishments – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVvn8dpSAt0

    Verse:

    Job 12: 7-10
    “But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
    or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
    or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
    or let the fish in the sea inform you.
    Which of all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
    In his hand is the life of every creature
    and the breath of all mankind.

    Francesca Battistelli – Beautiful, Beautiful (Video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbCfyZHSQbE

  60. 60
    Sir Giles says:

    Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll.

    [edit]

    Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll.

  61. 61
    Origenes says:

    Viola Lee

    That is not what “intrinsic” means either.

    Well of course not. Where do I claim that it does?

    My life has intrinsic meaning in that I manifest my nature in my existence. My existence, and its intrinsic meaning and value, does not have to go on forever, or be in respect to something external to myself, to exist.

    That is good to hear. However, my simple point is that your experience of intrinsic meaning, does not, and cannot, come from a concept that involves ending up as fertilizer, or as a faint vibration in the “eternal ocean”. Sure you can have a happy encounter with the family and experience ‘meaning’, but it is in spite of such a concept. IOW the concept does not confer meaning to your life; it does nothing to further your experience of meaning. That is the simple point I try to make here.

  62. 62
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: For Darwin, non-adaptive design categories, (such as Beauty), simply did not exist

    You live in an arid and dry land where only the select few are allowed to even contemplate the meaning of beauty or love or purpose. Outside of your alabaster citadel with it’s ramparts and meter thick walls all the non-believers are having parties, singing, playing music, making love, laughing, kidding around, getting into punchups, having an argument with their spouse, making fun of their neighbours . . . having a normal, human life.

    You keep believing what you believe and not letting most of us into the inner sanctum. I’m happy on the outside with the atheists, the gays, the lesbians, the non-Republicans, the real people. You know, the ones that generate most of the music and art and theatre and dance and joy in the world.

    All you need is love, too bad you’ve run out.

  63. 63
    Sir Giles says:

    Origenes@61, are you suggesting that without a belief in an afterlife that you can’t have meaning and hope in the life you are leading? I would argue that you are more likely to work hard at bringing meaning and hope to your life if you are not relying on an afterlife as a plan B. And if it turns out that there is an afterlife, that is just icing on the cake.

  64. 64
    Viola Lee says:

    Well, we disagree at a foundational level, Origenes. I have intrinsic meaning that comes from the nature of my existence, and the fact that I will come to an end someday doesn’t negate that.

    We just have different philosophical perspectives. I hear what you say about something that is true for you, but it is not necessarily true.

    We probably have to just leave it at that.

  65. 65
    Viola Lee says:

    re 63 to SG. Origenes is not just suggesting that, he is stating it, it seems to me, as a necessary fact: without a belief in an afterlife that you can’t have meaning and hope in the life you are leading.

  66. 66
    es58 says:

    Sir GilesDecember 11, 2022 at 10:14 am
    Scroll, scroll, scroll,…
    translation: fingers in ears, eyes shut, reciting: la la la …

  67. 67
    Origenes says:

    To put it succinctly: the belief that one will end up as fertilizer does not add meaning to one’s life. I reluctantly accept that for some it does not in any way reduce any meaning to their life. However, be that as it may, I claim that it does not add intrinsic meaning to anyone’s life.

  68. 68
    Sir Giles says:

    es58: Scroll, scroll, scroll,…
    translation: fingers in ears, eyes shut, reciting: la la la …

    Nope. Just an accurate description of what most people do when they come upon a BA77 comment.

  69. 69
    JVL says:

    Es58: translation: fingers in ears, eyes shut, reciting: la la la …

    Am I to take it that you agree with Bornagain77 in that only Christians can have any claim to understanding and having a basis for truth, beauty, compassion, love, fairness, etc? That amongst the 8 billion people who are alive now and all the millions who have already lived and died that only Christians can truly understand what meaning is? Is that correct?

  70. 70
    Sir Giles says:

    Origenes: However, be that as it may, I stick to my claim that it does not add intrinsic meaning to anyone’s life.

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting that it does. But I think it can provide a driving force to work hard to enhance the meaning to the life that you lead.

  71. 71
    JVL says:

    Origenes: To put it succinctly: the belief that one will end up as fertilizer does not add meaning to one’s life. I reluctantly accept that for some it does not in any way reduce any meaning to their life. However, be that as it may, I stick to my claim that it does not add intrinsic meaning to anyone’s life.

    Can we engage in a minor ‘what if’ with your indulgence?

    What if you find out, just before you die, that there is no god, no afterlife, no heaven. Just supposing here.

    Would you think that your whole life of being nice to people, treating people with respect (I am making some assumptions here), wanting to do good . . . would all that have been a waste because you weren’t going to heaven as a reward?

    What should motivate good and compassionate behaviour? Being told what to do or treating others the way you’d like to be treated? Do you act out of compassion or because you’re going to get something out of it?

  72. 72
    Viola Lee says:

    At 67, Origenes says, “the belief that one will end up as fertilizer does not add meaning to one’s life. I reluctantly accept that for some it does not in any way reduce any meaning to their life. However, be that as it may, I claim that it does not add intrinsic meaning to anyone’s life.”

    No, existing as a living being is what provides a foundation for meaning and purpose to life. However, some would say that returning one’s physical components back to the earth to nurture more life does add an element of meaning to death.

  73. 73
    Origenes says:

    Viola Lee

    No, existing as a living being is what provides a foundation for meaning and purpose to life.

    You keep pointing out an experience of meaning independent from worldview/religion. But this is not what’s being discussed. We are discussing the influence of worldview/religion on the experience of the meaning of life.

    … meaning of death

    Also off-topic.

  74. 74
    Viola Lee says:

    Origenes writes at 73, “You keep pointing out an experience of meaning independent from worldview/religion.”

    Not at all. Everyone’s understanding of the source of the meaning of life comes from my some philosophical perspective which, religious or not, contains some foundational assumptions. I understand that there are a variety of philosophical/religious perspectives on this topic, all of which have foundational assumptions.

    It is absolutely true that one’s “worldview/religion” influences the experience of meaning. The question that started this discussion was whether one view, a Biblical one, is the only one that can truly provide meaning.

    And my comment about death was directly in response to your comments about becoming fertilizer, so I don’t see how that it off-topic.

  75. 75
    chuckdarwin says:

    Origenes/67
    Unless you are cremated and put in a jar on the kid’s mantel next to your dog, you are going to end up as fertilizer one way or the other–that’s the one irrefutable fact that we know happens when we die….

  76. 76
    Seversky says:

    What I don’t understand is how “meaning” is only meaningful if it’s accomplishing someone else’s purpose. Christians make it sound like something profound and fulfilling to be essentially bit-part players in what amounts to their Creator’s vast reality show. They don’t even know what that purpose is.

  77. 77
    Sir Giles says:

    CD: the kid’s mantel next to your dog, you are going to end up as fertilizer one way or the other–that’s the one irrefutable fact that we know happens when we die….

    Unless you are Jesus or Lazarus.

  78. 78
    groovamos says:

    That is an incredibly narrow, parochial statement. … Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists being the major religions.

    I agree except left out of that list philosophical materialism. Which in many people ‘inspires’ (i.e. “enlivens the spirit”) evangelism as intense as any at the same time denying that which has been enlivened. Plus promulgating ‘hope’ in the inevitability of being correct, that at the end, the individual is annihilated. Which to the majority on the planet is a really weird kind of hope, a weird religion. One tried for many years by yours truly.

    What I think doesn’t matter. …It appears you don’t want to have a discussion. Oh well

    (head smack)

    No, existing as a living being is what provides a foundation for meaning and purpose to life. However, some would say that returning one’s physical components back to the earth to nurture more life does add an element of meaning to death.

    Oh. So the simple philosphical belief “I exist” can be very profound. Deep enough to drive some to searching for the source of humanity’s seeming unhappiness, suffering and metaphysical dread. Shallow enough to drive other people to commit crime and unspeakable atrocity. There is nothing like “I exist” combined with “I’m terrified of my precarious existence” that could as effectively drive a Slavic dictator to commit genocide against a neighboring much smaller Slavic nation as currently plays out.

  79. 79
    Caspian says:

    In response to VL @18 and CD @ 15 & 40:
    In this discussion about human significance, it’s important to distinguish between a person finding significance through relationships, vocation, volunteering to help a cause, etc. and an ultimate significance, if I may call it that, that is rooted in something beyond our human activities and belief system. For the former definition, you would be right to say that people of any race, culture and religion could find this type of significance, and many do so. For the latter definition of significance, one cannot attain this by anything we do — it’s a significance that we’re born with — it’s rooted in being made in the image of God, rather than being the result of mindless forces. It’s a significance that we have because we’re endowed with an immortal soul, rather than being just a collection of atoms. The design evidence we see in our cells shows that we’re more than biomolecules that think. Our beings are consistent with the biblical view that we were made for a purpose (and this purpose is shared with us in the Bible, but I’ll not fully develop it now). This significance is inconsistent with the materialistic worldview that says that nothing exists beyond the spacetime of our physical universe. This is why I said about us @12, “If designed, then we are significant, not an accidental outgrowth of natural forces.” This isn’t an exclusive claim of a religion, it’s a logical consequence of a transcendental worldview vs. a materialistic worldview (or, supernaturalism vs. naturalism). The biblical message of God and humanity adds to what God says about our significance, purpose and destiny.

  80. 80
    Seversky says:

    Or Marx was right and religion is the “opium of the people”, providing hope against hope and anesthetizing them against the pain of facing what is the bleak alternative of “Life’s a bitch and then you die!”

  81. 81
    JVL says:

    Caspian #79:

    I think you’ve summarised the Christian world view well. And I think you’ve created good, quick points to the major arguments and justifications for that view.

    While I do not share your opinion of the importance or strength of the Biblical message I appreciate you’re being clear about it.

    You’ve seen how easy it is for people ‘on your side’ to denigrate and discount those who disagree with them. You tend to not participate in many discussions following your posts. I would be interested to hear if you hold some of the same sentiments as your fellow Christian IDests who post here.

  82. 82
    Sir Giles says:

    Caspian&79, I agree with JVL in that I believe that you have captured the Christian view. And for many Christians, this belief is very comforting and I wouldn’t try to argue them out if it. The only time I take exception is when people like BA77 and Relatd claim that non-Christian’s, agnostics or atheists cannot possibly find meaning in their lives every bit as real and comforting as theirs.

  83. 83
    Origenes says:

    Sir Giles @

    The only time I take exception is when people like BA77 and Relatd claim that (…) atheists cannot possibly find meaning in their lives every bit as real and comforting as theirs.

    To be clear, do we agree that, the meaning atheists find in their lives, does not come from their belief that they will end up as fertilizer?
    A reminder:

    Ori: the belief that one will end up as fertilizer does not add meaning to one’s life.

    Sir Giles: I don’t think anyone is suggesting that it does.

  84. 84
    bornagain77 says:

    Sir Giles, “I take exception is when people like BA77 and Relatd claim that non-Christian’s, agnostics or atheists cannot possibly find meaning in their lives every bit as real and comforting as theirs.”

    I have not once in this thread commented specifically on agnostics or non-Christian’s finding meaning in their lives. Since I deal with Darwinian atheists day in and day out, I have focused exclusively on Atheistic/Darwinian naturalists.,,, And I have merely pointed out, a few times now, the blatantly obvious fact that Atheistic Naturalists cannot possibly derive any real meaning for life in a worldview that denies the entire universe has any real meaning behind its existence. It ain’t rocket science. You can’t have real meaning for life in a worldview that insists the entire universe has no real meaning behind its existence. i.e. the universe can’t give what it ain’t got!

    The best you can possibly have, as an atheist, is an ‘illusion’ of meaning for life, but never any real meaning for life. And indeed that “illusion of meaning’ is what atheists themselves have, inadvertently, admitted to in the following study,

    Study: Atheists Find Meaning In Life By Inventing Fairy Tales – Richard Weikart
    March 29, 2018
    Excerpt: However, there is a problem with this finding. The survey admitted the meaning that atheists and non-religious people found in their lives is entirely self-invented. According to the survey, they embraced the position: “Life is only meaningful if you provide the meaning yourself.”
    Thus, when religious people say non-religious people have no basis for finding meaning in life, and when non-religious people object, saying they do indeed find meaning in life, they are not talking about the same thing. If one can find meaning in life by creating one’s own meaning, then one is only “finding” the product of one’s own imagination. One has complete freedom to invent whatever meaning one wants.
    This makes “meaning” on par with myths and fairy tales. It may make the non-religious person feel good, but it has no objective existence.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/.....iry-tales/

    Again, it ain’t rocket science.

    Moreover this act of self-delusion on the part of atheists, of making up illusory meaning and purposes for their lives, apparently has an extremely limited beneficial effect for the atheist.

    As Professor Andrew Sims, former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, states, “The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally.”,,, “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life;,,”

    “I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.
    The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – preface

    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA100#v=onepage&q&f=false

    In fact, in the following studies it was found that, “those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by 55%.” and “the religiously affiliated lived 9.45 and 5.64 years longer, respectively, than the nonreligiously affiliated.”

    Can attending church really help you live longer? This study says yes – June 1, 2017
    Excerpt: Specifically, the study says those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by 55%. The Plos One journal published the “Church Attendance, Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle Aged Adults” study May 16.
    “For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/02/can-attending-church-really-help-you-live-longer-study-says-yes/364375001/

    Study: Religiously affiliated people lived “9.45 and 5.64 years longer…”
    July 1, 2018
    Excerpt: Self-reported religious service attendance has been linked with longevity. However, previous work has largely relied on self-report data and volunteer samples. Here, mention of a religious affiliation in obituaries was analyzed as an alternative measure of religiosity. In two samples (N = 505 from Des Moines, IA, and N = 1,096 from 42 U.S. cities), the religiously affiliated lived 9.45 and 5.64 years longer, respectively, than the nonreligiously affiliated. Additionally, social integration and volunteerism partially mediated the religion–longevity relation.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/study-religiously-affiliated-people-lived-religiously-affiliated-lived-9-45-and-5-64-years-longer/

    To state the obvious, those are not minor differences in longevity between believers and non-believers.

    Thus, it is readily apparent that the Atheist’s attempt to create illusory meaning and purposes for his life, minus belief in God and an afterlife, falls short in a rather dramatic fashion on both the mental and physical level.

    Frankly, just from a practical point of view, atheists ought to become Chriatians/Theists just so to have better mental health and a longer life in the here and now, regardless of the hereafter.

    I mean really, what have atheists got to lose save for the utter despair that is inherent in the nihilism of their atheism?

    Francesca Battistelli – Beautiful, Beautiful (Video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbCfyZHSQbE

  85. 85
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: For Darwin, non-adaptive design categories, (such as Beauty), simply did not exist.

    When you really think about a statement such as this it gets more and more insidious. It implies a standard or criterion that is set by someone or someones. And who might that someone or someones be?

    Well, apparently, based on the comments of Bornagain77 and Relatd and others it is held to be the Christian God. Who, we are also told, is not subject to the same laws and restrictions and limitations as us humans. But this God can dictate not only what our moral and ethical behaviour should be but also, it seems our aesthetic and emotion behaviour as well. We cannot possibly even have a solid aesthetic or moral or emotional or ethical standard because we don’t acknowledge that all these things HAVE to have come from our benevolent and loving God who created us and all the laws and standards that matter.

    Which means, of course that we cannot, without the risk of punishment:

    Love or desire anything that is not proscribed by God’s rules and laws.

    Hope or yearn for anything that is not proscribed by God’s rules and laws.

    Create or bring about anything that is not pre-approved by God’s rules and laws.

    Be attracted to who we wish that is not approved by God’s rules and laws.

    In other words: we are not allowed to exercise free will without the risk of punishment. You can do what you like but you just might burn in hell. Forever. For choosing to do something that isn’t approved of.

    And that’s free will? Really? Do what I say or spend eternity burning in agony?

    If you need the threat of hell to be a good person then you are just a bad person on a leash.

    You are not free. You are are not even a pet. You are a captive, morally, ethically, physically and spiritually. You dance to the master’s tune or you suffer eternal damnation.

    What kind of a god creates intelligent beings that are given the choice to love him or be damned? Can anyone who is a parent get behind that standard? My child can make up his own mind but if he doesn’t do what I say then he can rot forever in pain and agony. Who amongst us has ever said that to a child they brought into this world and loved and cherished and would give anything to protect and support.

    Which of you would actually cut off all contact with your child if they turned out to be homosexual? Anyone? Would you vow to never speak to them again because God told you that they are scum and evil and should not be even considered worthy of compassion?

    How many of you would choose to bend or adopt God’s rules in your own situation? Because of love.

    What’s more important: rules in a book or rules of your own heart?

  86. 86
    relatd says:

    JVL at 39,

    I got an answer… to my question? Hey, you know what rhymes with assume? Asinine. You and Viola Lee would get kicked out of the United Nations and the Diplomatic Corps for making assumptions.

    Ambassador from Christian Country: How do people people find significance and purpose outside of a Biblical worldview?

    Viola Lee: You bad, bad man. You tribalist!

    You: You don’t know NOTHING about the rest of the world because you’re a Christian!

    So instead of assuming things about me – AND MAKING ACCUSATIONS – just ask questions like a good diplomat. OK?

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, I was bombarded by “alternate lifestyles.’ I read the Marxist-Communist-Anarchist “underground newspapers.’ Buddhism and other Eastern beliefs were the new/old big thing. I had a friend who went religion/belief shopping, so I spent some time asking questions in a Krishna temple. Don’t you dare assume anything about me. If you believe people should understand each other then stop with the assumptions.

    In the late 1970s, I became friends with one of the tribal leaders of the Punk Rock scene. I went to their special hangouts, listened to them and observed their behavior.

    To me, the world is very black and white. Right and wrong are clearly defined. Believe me, I’ve seen people living otherwise. I have heard the “it’s all grey” argument before so you’re assuming I don’t know – again.

    Viola Lee thinks hiding behind ‘billions of people’ is what? A reason to actually live differently? A big excuse? Her personal desire?

    Based on the latest figures, there are 2.56 billion Christians and 1.97 Muslims. That’s over half the planet.

    Don’t be stupid about Russia, OK? Do the research. Vladimir Putin lived through most of the Cold War. He only cares about what the Soviet Union cared about: get as much as land as you can. A little background about Patriarch Kirill.

    Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk is in charge of foreign relations for the Russian Orthodox Church. ‘The metropolitan noted that Pope Francis’ comment earlier this year that the Russian patriarch should not “become Putin’s altar boy” was “unexpected” and “not useful for Christian unity.” The support the Patriarch is giving the Russian government is viewed as the wrong thing to do by Pope Francis. So your attempt to place blame on religion is misplaced.

    A reminder to all reading: The Soviet Union, the Workers’ Paradise, crashed and burned. The remaining Russian Federation, and Vladimir Putin, is trying to show that it can and will protect its “interests.”

  87. 87
    Viola Lee says:

    Origenes writes, “To be clear, do we agree that, the meaning atheists find in their lives, does not come from their belief that they will end up as fertilizer?”

    First, Origenes, let’s be clear that atheists are not necessarily materialists. I, at least, am talking about non-theistic, non-Biblical philosophical/religious views, which encompasses much more than materialism.

    Second, yes, of course, “the meaning atheists find in their lives, does not come from their belief that they will end up as fertilizer.” The meaning such people find in their lives comes the experience of how they live their lives, not from what happens after they die. The “fertilizer” part is just an acknowledgment that the span of their existence is finite and must come to an end.

  88. 88
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: And I have merely pointed out, a few times now, the blatantly obvious fact that Atheistic Naturalists cannot possibly derive any real meaning for life in a worldview that denies the entire universe has any real meaning behind its existence. It ain’t rocket science. You can’t have real meaning for life in a worldview that insists the entire universe has no real meaning behind its existence. i.e. the universe can’t give what it ain’t got!

    What do you mean by ‘real meaning’?

  89. 89
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, it is obvious that you have a pretty deep emotional hang-up towards Christianity.

    Sorry, I don’t do ’emotional hang-ups’. 🙂

  90. 90
    Viola Lee says:

    Relatd, I apologize for starting my post at 18 with the assumption that you were saying that only those with a Biblical worldview could find significance, hope, and meaning. However later (64) I did try to get some clarification. I wrote,

    Realtd, your question was “Where do people find significance, or hope or meaning, outside of a Biblical worldview?”

    My answer was “there are billions of people of non-Biblical religions who also find significance, hope, and meaning in their lives through their religious beliefs: Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists being the major religions.”

    Do you agree with my answer: that people can find significance, hope, and meaning through religions other than Biblical ones?

    Would you be willing to answer that question?

  91. 91
    JVL says:

    Relatd: I got an answer… to my question? Hey, you know what rhymes with assume? Asinine. You and Viola Lee would get kicked out of the United Nations and the Diplomatic Corps for making assumptions.

    I did try and answer your actual question. And then, after that, I tacked on some other things. Just like you do. All the time.

    You always make assumptions about what other people think. You always make assumptions about what conclusion other people will come to. You always make assumptions about how conversations will go before they actually happen.

    That blind spot you’ve got is the mote in your own eye. Maybe you should look in a dark glass until the image resolves itself a bit better.

    Oh, and by the way, the leaders of the punk movement were not tribal leaders. They were mostly middle-income kids who were bored and wanted to stir things up a bit. And, in a few years, they all calmed down and got jobs and raised families and paid taxes and got boring. So what?

    The remaining Russian Federation, and Vladimir Putin, is trying to show that it can and will protect its “interests.”

    And what do you think its interests are with regards to Ukraine?

  92. 92
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: JVL, it is obvious that you have a pretty deep emotional hang-up towards Christianity.

    So, you cannot define what you mean by ‘real meaning’? Why is that?

    Before I sent that reply I had typed out a long, argumentative post which I decided was out of order and so I excised it and replaced it with something I thought was much more significant: asking you to define your terms.

    And, as I have said many, many times before: I have a lot of good, devote Christian friends. And none of them espouse the views you embrace. I don’t have a problem with Christianity. It’s your views that I find appalling at times.

    And you know I’ve said that and you still choose to pretend that it’s me that hates Christianity. Which is incorrect.

  93. 93
    relatd says:

    JVL at 85,

    You’re no Bible scholar – at all. When God created the first man and first woman, he could have created robots. They would obey every command. But you can’t force anyone to love you, can you? So God gave them free will. The ability to choose Him or the wrong thing.

    You seem to think ‘religion limits me.’ “I want total control of my life. To do whatever I want!”

    And what does that get you? Personal pleasure – hopefully – without feelings of guilt? That’s it? Get all the fun you can because you might kick off tomorrow and you want to sample all that fun before you go? That is the friction point. There is a lawgiver. When man makes himself god, he sees nothing but death and all that pleasure he wants to experience.

    But instead of focusing on God and His laws, which are meant for the good of all people, God is rejected. He will punish sinners – those who break His laws – and I am a sinner as well. So the risk of going to Hell is real. It’s not fiction. But it disappears under the effects of all that pleasure, doesn’t it?

    Romans 2:14

    “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.”

    Romans 2:15

    “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.”

  94. 94
    JVL says:

    Relatd: So God gave them free will. The ability to choose Him or the wrong thing.

    As a loving and caring parent is that what you said to your children? Children you wanted to find their own way in the world. Children who you knew might see things differently from you. Children who you loved more than you loved yourself. Do it my way or the wrong way. Is that what you said? Is that what your dad said to you: son, there are only two ways this can happen, my way or the wrong way. You choose.

  95. 95
    relatd says:

    JVL at 94,

    “find their own way in the world.”? In any Christian household, you raise up your children to be Christians. Period. Human children are not birds who fly from the nest at 18. And when they have children, you teach them about God as a grandparent.

    I am a professional researcher who has studied many cultures, from Africa, Asia and other countries. There is a book titled The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I did not like the book but the basic idea is sound. Whether you are from Japan or China or a Native American, the qualities that make a hero are universal.

    The qualities of beauty are universal. In art. In real life. I also have an arts background. I am thoroughly familiar with the requirements for a good painting and know the basics of color theory. (My favorite book is Color Image Scale by Shigenobu Kobayashi.) At my job, I am called into the head of the graphic arts office to get my opinion on the four pencil roughs which are required by us for a book cover. Sometimes, not always, I am asked to explain my selection. My answer must be brief, detailed and accurate. It is based on years of experience.

    When instructing children in Christianity, you send them to a religious school. I was in Religion class and we went, as a class, to Church once a week. In my neighborhood, I was blessed with good role models. I liked most of my neighbors. We had a few oddballs but we were never taught to hate anyone. I understood who homosexual persons were in the early 1960s. Again, I was not taught to have negative feelings toward them or anyone else.

    The “right way” is the right way, not just for religious reasons but practical reasons. Children, as they grow, go through stages. I saw it in all the kids I knew. We knew, that as young adults, we would begin dating. Most of us would get married and have families. It was the natural, not just a religious order. Staying away from excessive drinking, from smoking, from illegal drugs, profanity and pornography were essential actions. Our good behavior was based on years of experience. Our parents had also been teenagers at one time. Self-discipline created good character. You, and your family, had a good name, a good reputation based on your actions.

    Being a Bohemian was right out, or a Beat or a Hippie. Life is too short for cheap thrills, (morally) loose women and certain other activities. Doing it right was a literally more healthy way.

    Even in my late teens, I saw what those who think differently were up to. It was no good for them or society at large. It was to be rejected. By the way, I don’t mean rejecting the people but their ‘lifestyle choices.’ I’ve known gays and have an acquaintance who went through a process and now presents as a woman. He said he was going to marry his boyfriend. I did not give him a hard time over what he chose to do.

  96. 96
    JVL says:

    Relatd: By the way, I don’t mean rejecting the people but their ‘lifestyle choices.’ I’ve known gays and have an acquaintance who went through a process and now presents as a woman. He said he was going to marry his boyfriend. I did not give him a hard time over what he chose to do.

    I’m glad you were tolerant. And I did read your entire response and I do appreciate that you took the time to give a detailed answer. It gave me a better understanding of your perspective.

    I’m not sure that you and I are that much different in how we deal with the world on a daily, practical, sensible way. I think we are very different in how we view purpose and underlying morals and ethics. But if we both agree to live by the civil laws of the countries we are in, if we both agree to mostly adopt a live-and-let-live approach, if we both stand up for the legal rights of everyone regardless of race, creed, colour, orientation, etc, etc then perhaps we don’t actually have that much that needs to be argued about.

    Perhaps we should all start by considering each other as neighbours. You don’t have to like the same food, you don’t have to like the same music, you don’t have to support the same football club (ooo, controversial I know), you don’t have to go to the same church . . . but you should be able to let them borrow your lawnmower. Not every weekend mind you, but sometimes when they really need it. I am convinced that the now absent ET and I would have been excellent neighbours even though we disagreed over many, many things. And, as I have already mentioned several times, he changed my mind on a couple of evolutionary points.

    The thing about neighbours is: you give them the time of day because they are your neighbours. And that’s a good thing.

  97. 97
    relatd says:

    JVL at 96,

    We did not all go to the same Church. Different people were not born in the U.S., including my parents. We did get along. People did illegal things but we were taught to stay away from that. In the 1950s and 1960s, legal meant the right thing to do. That was deviated away from. That action, actually, a number of bad decisions, created problems. It created what some call a “culture war.” It has nothing to do with culture but everything to do with some specific groups of people getting “permission” for their behavior. So some laws today have created permissions that are not good for society at large.

  98. 98
    relatd says:

    VL at 90,

    Your question is not a question. You have made a declaration and then ask if I agree or disagree. Something other than presenting me with a declaration would have been preferable.

  99. 99
    Viola Lee says:

    OK: Do you believe that people who believe in other non-Biblical religions can find significance, hope, and meaning through their particular religious beliefs?

  100. 100
    relatd says:

    VL at 99,

    I will assume, in this case, that you are not a Biblical person, so, here is a specific question:

    What – exactly – is the origin of your significance and meaning? What exactly? Or, Where does it come from?

  101. 101
    Viola Lee says:

    Realtd, I’m not talking about my own beliefs. I’m talking about the more general question of whether you, in your comment at 16, meant to imply that significance, hope, and meaning can only be found by those who have a Biblical belief system, or whether those of other, non-Biblical, religious belief systems can also find significance, hope, and meaning through their belief systems.

    Hence my question. In response to your post at 16: do you believe that people who believe in other non-Biblical religions can find significance, hope, and meaning through their particular religious beliefs?

  102. 102
    relatd says:

    VL at 101,

    Of course I do. However, you appear to want to only stick to declarations. That is not discussion, it is declaring something without an explanation. No one learns anything. Do you understand? The origin of significance and meaning in life remains unexplained by you.

  103. 103
    Viola Lee says:

    Good. Thanks for answering my question. Again, I apologize for thinking you meant that people couldn’t find significance, hope, and meaning outside of a Biblical worldview. As you have said, I should have asked questions about what you meant rather than jumping to a conclusion.

  104. 104
    Origenes says:

    The “problem” is that people can find significance, hope, and meaning in stuff that is clearly misguided. People were willing to do anything for the glory of the German Reich. The Incas sacrificed their children. On a lighter note, some Argentines are selling their cars in order to see Messi play in Qatar.
    I take it we will never agree on what is true meaning and what’s not. So, what is the way forward here?

  105. 105
    relatd says:

    Origenes at 104,

    The question is: How then shall we live? Just whatever we want? Or is there a reasonable answer that is good for people in general? This is not a “modern” problem. There are rules that work right now. They are based on a simple premise: This is good for you and others. This is not good for you and others.

  106. 106
    Viola Lee says:

    Realtd asks, “How then shall we live? … There are rules that work right now. They are based on a simple premise: This is good for you and others. This is not good for you and others.”

    This isn’t very helpful, because as Origenes points out, we are not going to agree about some of those rules, and we’re not going to agree about what we think is the philosophical foundation for those rules.

    So, as Origenes says, “So, what is the way forward here?”

    That’s really the question. How can we live with so many diverse perspectives? I offer that one way is to pay less attention to philosophical and religious differences—to not draw uncrossable lines in the philosophical sand—but focus on actual issues and attitudes irrespective of philosophy and religion. There will still be disagreements that may need political solutions, cultural changes, civil discourse and compromise, etc. But that will be better than ruling out members of different perspectives as tribal enemies.

  107. 107
    relatd says:

    VL at 106,

    “tribal enemies”? YOU are drawing uncrossable lines here.

  108. 108
    Viola Lee says:

    No, I said we shouldn’t see people as tribal enemies. Instead we should try to work with people even if their basic loyalties are to a different perspective.

  109. 109
    Viola Lee says:

    Hi Caspian. Thanks for your reply at 79. I got involved in responding to CD and relatd, and tried to clarify my point at 23 by writing, “My answer was that people with non-Biblical religious beliefs can find significance, hope, and meaning in their lives. Do you think that is true?”

    Let me point out that my question did not include materialism. To clarify, I was asking about perspectives that would agree that, in some ways and through some means, there is design in the world.

    But I will claim that belief in design does not necessarily imply an immortal soul, or life after death, or even some “ultimate meaning” for human beings. Those are Christian beliefs that are, of course, consistent with design but not necessarily implied by design.

    So I’d like to ask you a question similar to what I have asked realtd: Do you believe that people with various kinds of non-Biblical religious beliefs can find meaning and purpose in life, equivalent in validity according to their beliefs although different than Biblical beliefs?

  110. 110
    Alan Fox says:

    But that will be better than ruling out members of different perspectives as tribal enemies.

    Indeed. Live and let live

  111. 111
    Origenes says:

    The Paradox of Tolerance:

    Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.—In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal. [Popper]

    Are the intolerant our tribal enemies?

  112. 112
    bornagain77 says:

    At 39 JVL, a Darwinian Atheist, argued, basically, that people don’t need God in order to “find significance, or hope or meaning”. He gave several examples of people, supposedly, finding “significance, or hope or meaning” all without God.

    “They find those things in the interactions they have on a daily basis with people they love and like and enjoy being with. They find those things in their work or play or hobbies. They find those things in various art forms they experience. They find those things just walking through the woods or climbing mountains or watching the waves crash against a beach. They find those things everywhere in life. They don’t need to be told what should be significant or meaningful or hopeful; they find out for themselves.”

    Yet, as I pointed out in posts 43 and 44, The trouble with JVL’s claim is that none of those things, (i.e. “People”, ‘love’, “work, “play”, “hobbies”, “beauty in art and nature”), would exist without God. JVL’s worldview of Darwinian Atheism simply lacks the ‘ontological basis’ to ground any of the those things he appealed to in order to try to derive true meaning and purpose for his life.

    At 46, JVL hand-waved off the fact that Darwin atheism lacks the ‘ontological basis’ to ground any of those things as ‘just an opinion’. But alas for JVL, the fact that Atheistic Naturalism can’t ground ‘real’ meaning and/or purpose for life is not just an opinion but it is a fact that is repeated, ad nauseam, like some kind of religious mantra by leading atheists. Repeated, ad nauseam, by leading atheists such as the late Steven Weinberg, and the late Stephen Hawking, and also currently by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Sean Carrol, Brian Greene,, Katie Mack, and etc.. etc..,,,

    Learning to Live in Steven Weinberg’s Pointless Universe – Dan Falk on July 27, 2021
    Excerpt: “The more the universe seems comprehensible,” he (Weinberg) wrote, “the more it also seems pointless.”,,,
    The philosophy that Weinberg laid out in The First Three Minutes is now echoed in many popular physics books. In The Big Picture (2016), physicist Sean Carroll sees nothing to fear in an amoral universe. Our task, he writes, is “to make peace with a universe that doesn’t care what we do, and take pride in the fact that we care anyway.” In a similar vein, string theorist Brian Greene is adamant that it’s physics all the way down. In Until the End of Time (2020) he writes: “Particles and fields. Physical laws and initial conditions. To the depth of reality we have so far plumbed, there is no evidence for anything else.”
    As for meaning, he is firmly in the Weinberg camp: “During our brief moment in the sun, we are tasked with the noble charge of finding our own meaning.” In The End of Everything (2020), astrophysicist Katie Mack relays the existential opinions of an array of astronomers and physicists, most of whom repeat some version of the Weinberg-Carroll-Greene position: The universe doesn’t come laden with meaning; instead, you have to find your own.,,
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/learning-to-live-in-steven-weinbergs-pointless-universe/

    Again, it is simply impossible for Darwinists to derive any true meaning and purpose for their lives in an objectively meaningless and purposeless universe. The best the Darwinian atheist can hope for is to create some ‘illusion of meaning and purpose’ for their lives. i.e. an objectively meaningless and purposeless universe simply can’t give what it doesn’t have.,,, It ain’t rocket science!

    Study: Atheists Find Meaning In Life By Inventing Fairy Tales – Richard Weikart
    March 29, 2018
    Excerpt: However, there is a problem with this finding. The survey admitted the meaning that atheists and non-religious people found in their lives is entirely self-invented. According to the survey, they embraced the position: “Life is only meaningful if you provide the meaning yourself.”
    Thus, when religious people say non-religious people have no basis for finding meaning in life, and when non-religious people object, saying they do indeed find meaning in life, they are not talking about the same thing. If one can find meaning in life by creating one’s own meaning, then one is only “finding” the product of one’s own imagination. One has complete freedom to invent whatever meaning one wants.
    This makes “meaning” on par with myths and fairy tales. It may make the non-religious person feel good, but it has no objective existence.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/.....iry-tales/

    The main supposedly “scientific’ arguments that atheists have tried to use to support their false claim that the universe, and therefore our lives, are objectively meaningless and purposeless is the Copernican Principle, and/or the Principle of Mediocrity, (as well Darwinian atheists have also tried to use the false narrative of human evolution to try to undermine the Christian’s claim that out lives are meaningful and purposeful).

    Yet, contrary to what atheists, (and the vast majority of people, including Christians), believe nowadays, 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 being overturned by several other lines of powerful scientific evidence)
    March 2022
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/neil-thomas-on-evolutionary-theory-as-magical-thinking/#comment-748883

    Perhaps the best and most impressive scientific evidence to come forward to prove that our lives have far more meaning, purpose, and significance in this universe than is presupposed by atheists is the closing of the ‘freedom of choice’ loophole in quantum mechanics.

    Which is to say, instead of humans being the result of impersonal physical laws as is held by Atheistic Naturalists, in quantum mechanics we find that humans, (via their free will), are brought into the laws of nature at their most fundamental level.

    This presents quite the dilemma for atheists.

    As the late Stephen Weinberg, an atheist, put the dilemma for atheists, “In the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,”

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    In fact the late Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within.

    Yet, regardless of how Weinberg and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    In 2018, just 1 year after Weinberg wrote that article, (and before Weinberg passed away in 2021), Anton Zeilinger and company closed the ‘freedom of choice’ loophole.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: 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

    As Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    And indeed a very big part of that “very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe” is that our lives are not nearly as insignificant, meaningless, and purposeless, as atheists have falsely presupposed them to be via the Copernican principle.

    As physics professor Richard Conn Henry stated “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.”

    “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial, and have fears and agonies that are very similar to the fears and agonies that Copernicus and Galileo went through with their perturbations of society.”
    – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/quantum.enigma.html

    As much as it may hurt atheists’ feelings to know this, and as far as our best science can now tell us, we are not merely to be considered insignificant “chemical scum” as Hawking and other atheists, via the Copernican Principle, have tried to imply,

    “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.,,,”
    – Stephen Hawking – 1995 TV show, Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken,

    Hopefully atheists will soon get over the ‘sad’ fact that they are not merely to be considered ‘chemical scum’ in short order? As I asked earlier in this thread at post 84, “what have atheists got to lose save for the utter despair that is inherent in the nihilism of their atheism?”

    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.

    Supplemental note,

    When we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally held with the presupposition of ‘contingency’), 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”

    Oct. 2022 – although there will never be, (via Godel), a purely mathematical ‘theory of everything’ that bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between quantum mechanics and general relativity, all hope is not lost in finding the correct ‘theory of everything’.
    https://uncommondescent.com/cosmology/from-iai-news-how-infinity-threatens-cosmology/#comment-766384

    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.

  113. 113
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Again, it is simply impossible for Darwinists to derive any true meaning and purpose for their lives in an objectively meaningless and purposeless universe.

    What do you mean by ‘true meaning’?

    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”

    Please explain how the resurrection of Jesus ‘bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics’. The resurrection was not a mathematical event nor has it been described in mathematical terms.

  114. 114
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/112

    The trouble with JVL’s claim is that none of those things, (i.e. “People”, ‘love’, “work, “play”, “hobbies”, “beauty in art and nature”), would exist without God.

    Since you have stressed the importance of empirical support for claims, what is your empirical or experimental evidence for your claim?

    JVL’s worldview of Darwinian Atheism simply lacks the ‘ontological basis’ to ground any of the those things he appealed to in order to try to derive true meaning and purpose for his life.

    What do you understand by “ontological basis” and what it means to “ground” the things JVL referred to?

    Again, it is simply impossible for Darwinists to derive any true meaning and purpose for their lives in an objectively meaningless and purposeless universe.

    What is the difference between “meaning” and “true meaning”?

    How did your God derive His “true meaning”? If He invented a meaning for Himself, what is to prevent us doing the same?

    Yet, contrary to what atheists, (and the vast majority of people, including Christians), believe nowadays, 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 being overturned by several other lines of powerful scientific evidence)

    No, there is nothing in relativity or quantum theory or the CMBR anomalies to support any claim to a privileged status for humanity in this Universe.

    As the late Stephen Weinberg, an atheist, put the dilemma for atheists, “In the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,”

    If nothing exists until human beings observe it then what happened to the Universe before we were here to observe it? Or, to put it another way, if nothing exists until we observe it, what are we observing in the first place? And if the nature of reality depends on the observer, why do we all seem to be observing the same thing?

    Yet, regardless of how Weinberg and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    Or Christians, presumably.

  115. 115
    bornagain77 says:

    “What do you mean by ‘true meaning’?”

    I mean ‘real’, i.e. ‘not illusory’. Since truth, love, beauty, personhood, purpose, meaning, etc..,, can only be reasonably grounded in, and derived from, an ‘ontology of God”, then God alone is capable of giving ‘real’ meaning and purpose to our lives. Whereas the Darwinian atheist must hold that all meaning and purpose for our lives is ‘illusory’ since a meaningless and purposeless universe can’t possibly give what it doesn’t have, namely meaning and purpose. ,, It ain’t rocket science.

    “Please explain how the resurrection of Jesus ‘bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics’”

    In so far as the ‘incomplete’ (Godel), but ‘miraculous’ (Wigner and Einstein), mathematics that describe this universe are, rightly, held to be God’s thoughts,

    Keep It Simple – Edward Feser – 2020
    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

    In so far as the ‘incomplete’ (Godel), but ‘miraculous’ (Wigner and Einstein), mathematics that describe this universe are, rightly, held to be God’s thoughts, then God bridging the, (non-renormalizable), ‘infinite mathematical divide’ that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics readily follows, and Christ resurrection from the dead becomes a very plausible solution for the quote-unquote ‘theory of everything’. Especially considering that, as the Shroud of Turin itself testifies to, both quantum mechanics and general relativity, (i.e. gravity), were dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
    https://uncommondescent.com/cosmology/from-iai-news-how-infinity-threatens-cosmology/#comment-766384

  116. 116
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: I mean ‘real’, i.e. ‘not illusory’. Since truth, love, beauty, personhood, purpose, meaning, etc..,, can only be reasonably grounded in, and derived from, an ‘ontology of God”, then God alone is capable of giving ‘real’ meaning and purpose to our lives.

    If you were given a truth or a purpose or some such how could you determine if it were real or illusory? Something like: There are more real numbers than natural numbers but both sets are infinitely large. Or: Every even natural number greater than 2 can be written as the sum of two prime numbers. Or: Every integer greater than 5 can be written as the sum of three prime numbers. Or: Can a physical object have fractional dimension?

    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.

    None of this addresses the ‘infinite gap’ between relativity and quantum mechanics.

    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.

    So . . . how does the fact that there are different sizes of infinity tell you about the ‘divine mind’? Is the Goldbach conjecture true or false? How about Zorn’s lemma? The Riemann-Zeta hypothesis? The Axiom of Choice?

    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.

    Again, no mention of the ‘infinite gap’ between relativity and quantum mechanics.

    Especially considering that, as the Shroud of Turin itself testifies to, both quantum mechanics and general relativity, (i.e. gravity), were dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    Please give a mathematical or physics based model of Christ’s resurrection showing how it deals with relativity and quantum mechanics.

  117. 117
    bornagain77 says:

    Both Sev and JVL doth protest too much.

    In trying to refute my claim that only God can ground ‘real’ meaning and purpose for our lives, both Sev and JVL have written fairly lengthy posts trying to debunk my claim about only God being able to ground meaning and purpose. Obviously, they both hope that their posts will be taken to be rational, (even hoping they will be taken to be meaningful and purposeful), rebuttals of my claim.

    The ‘small’ problem for both Sev and JVL is that both of them are Darwinian atheists. As such, they hold to a worldview that denies that they have free will in any real and meaningful sense. In short, they are not in control of their thoughts and are thus not in control of what they are saying in their posts. In short, since they deny they have free will in a real and meaningful sense, then I have no reason to presuppose their posts to be rational, much less meaningful, or purposeful.

    Which pretty much establishes the exact point that I am making.

    (1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts.
    (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain (determinism).
    (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2)
    (4) no effect can control its cause.
    Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality.
    per Box UD

    Dec. 2022 – And in my honest opinion, this denial of agent causality, and/or free will, as a legitimate form of causation is the primary, and fatal, flaw in the Darwinists’ materialistic account of nature.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-evolution-news-for-darwinism-pregnancy-is-the-mother-of-all-chicken-and-egg-problems/#comment-771050

    Of supplemental note:

    2.) The argument from meaning
    1. If naturalism is true, no sentence has any meaning.
    2. Premise (1) has meaning.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.
    – Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

  118. 118
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: In trying to refute my claim that only God can ground ‘real’ meaning and purpose for our lives, both Sev and JVL have written fairly lengthy posts trying to debunk my claim about only God being able to ground meaning and purpose

    Mostly I just asked you some questions. If you can’t answer them then just say so.

    The ‘small’ problem for both Sev and JVL is that both of them are Darwinian atheists. As such, they hold to a worldview that denies that they have free will in any real and meaningful sense. In short, they are not in control of their thoughts and are thus not in control of what they are saying in their posts. In short, since they deny they have free will in a real and meaningful sense, then I have no reason to presuppose their posts to be rational, meaningful, or purposeful.

    But you do think we have free will and so I’m asking you questions of my own volition am I not? So, why are you not attempting to answer them?

    You can’t have it both ways. If you think I have free will then you must treat me as a rational and independent agent instead of trying to convince me that I shouldn’t see myself that way. Actually, we both see me as a rational and independent agent so that’s not actually a point of contention. Except for you to dodge answering questions.

    You can’t just run away when people push against your theology.

  119. 119
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, “You can’t have it both ways. If you think I have free will then you must treat me as a rational and independent agent”

    So you can ignore the catastrophic epistemological failure that results from the Atheistic Naturalist’s denial of free will but I can’t?

    How convenient for you.

    Luckily for me, I have the free will necessary to refuse to play such stupid, and self-serving, games with a dogmatic atheist who refuses to ever be rational when it comes to honestly questioning his atheism as a coherent worldview.

    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.’

  120. 120
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: So you can ignore the catastrophic epistemological failure that results from the Atheistic Naturalist’s denial of free will but I can’t?

    What a coward: I won’t argue with you unless you agree with my stance ahead of time. Pathetic.

    Luckily for me, I have the free will necessary to refuse to play such stupid, and self-serving, games with a dogmatic atheist who refuses to ever be rational when it comes to honestly questioning his atheism as a coherent worldview.

    You have the free will to run away from questions which arise from your statements. Again, pathetic.

    If that really is your stance then why did you respond to my earlier questions? ‘Cause they were easy? But when they got hard you had to find a reason to run away? Is that it?

    You pick and choose which questions to answer and when you choose not to answer you say that the questioner can’t possibly be rational because their world view doesn’t allow it even though your worldview insists on it!!

    Let the record show that Bornagain77 replies when he has an easy copy-and-paste answer but finds some reason to not respond when he doesn’t understand the question, in this case, about mathematics, which he does not understand. And he shouldn’t pretend that he does.

  121. 121
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @120

    What a coward: I won’t argue with you unless you agree with my stance ahead of time. Pathetic.

    It does look as if his attitude is, “it doesn’t matter if you regard yourself as a rational being or if I regard you as a rational being, because my interpretation of your worldview entails that you are not entitled to regard yourself as a rational being.”

    The upshot is that the only people whom he will countenance as rational beings are those who in his opinion are rationally entitled to regard themselves as rational beings, given his interpretation of their worldviews.

    Needless to say, this does not allow him to entertain the thought, “well, such and such is clearly a rational being and also regards themselves as one, so perhaps I was mistaken to believe their worldview does not entitle them to believe that about themselves.”

    It’s up to you if you want to continue to argue with someone who is completely wrong about what you believe and unable to acknowledge it. As for me, I’ll do so only to the extent that it’s entertaining.

  122. 122
    JVL says:

    PyrrhoManiac1: It’s up to you if you want to continue to argue with someone who is completely wrong about what you believe and unable to acknowledge it. As for me, I’ll do so only to the extent that it’s entertaining.

    Weirdly enough Bornagain77 has responded to my queries for a long time without playing what he considers a ‘get out of jail free’ card. In fact, he had just responded to a couple of my queries before he decided to flee. I’ve even called him on his lack of mathematical understanding before but he’s never just decided to blank me before because he thinks that my world view means I cannot believe I have free will. EVEN THOUGH his own view insists that I do have free will. He’s fallen down an incoherent and dark hole which he can’t dig himself out of. I think that’s why he fled. He’s got nowhere to go.

  123. 123
    Origenes says:

    The legendary John Von Neumann did important work on self-replicating systems. A towering giant in the history of mathematics and pioneer in computer science, he was interested in describing machine-like systems that could build faithful copies of themselves.

    This reminds me of my old, ignored, and forgotten ‘Argument from Self-prediction.’…

    What would it take for a machine-like system to be able to predict itself? Suppose a computer executing an algorithm that it will solve in exactly 3 hours. In order to predict beforehand that the process will take 3 hours, the computer must be able to run a (model?) copy of itself. Think of it.

    What would it take for the brain to accurately predict “Next Sunday I will do some Xmas shopping at Walmart.” Mind you, there is nothing that controls the brain top-down, there is nothing that can compel the brain to go along with Xmas shopping next Sunday; the ‘decision’ to do Xmas shopping will come up next Sunday from deep below, from the level of neurons, fermions, and bosons.
    So, it follows that the only road to accurate self-prediction for the brain is to run a model of itself that accurately simulates whatever the neurons will do until next Sunday, taking into account future environmental influences during that period, such as food & drinks … This cannot be done.
    – – – –

    1. If materialism is true, then human behavior is caused by neural events in the brain and environmental input.
    2. The brain cannot possibly predict its future behavior with any specificity.
    3. I can predict future behavior with specificity.
    Therefore,
    4. Materialism is false.

  124. 124
    JVL says:

    Origenes: I can predict future behavior with specificity.

    What level of specificity?

  125. 125
    Origenes says:

    JVL @124
    Quite specific, I suppose. For instance: “next year, 12/12/2023, 6:53 PM Greenwich Mean Time, I will be at Trafalgar Square, London; wearing blue clothing.”

  126. 126
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @115

    I mean ‘real’, i.e. ‘not illusory’. Since truth, love, beauty, personhood, purpose, meaning, etc..,, can only be reasonably grounded in, and derived from, an ‘ontology of God”, then God alone is capable of giving ‘real’ meaning and purpose to our lives. Whereas the Darwinian atheist must hold that all meaning and purpose for our lives is ‘illusory’ since a meaningless and purposeless universe can’t possibly give what it doesn’t have, namely meaning and purpose. ,, It ain’t rocket science.

    This assumption — ” truth, love, beauty, personhood, purpose, meaning, etc..,, can only be reasonably grounded in, and derived from, an ‘ontology of God” — is asserted without argument. What is asserted without argument can be dismissed without argument. Therefore, I do not need an argument in order to dismiss the assertion.

    Thus: the assertion that “truth, love, beauty, personhood, purpose, meaning, etc..,, can only be reasonably grounded in, and derived from, an ‘ontology of God” is false.

    More specifically: from the fact that the universe as a whole is without meaning and purpose, it does not follow that our lives are without meaning and purpose.

    The error here, I think, lies in the thought that one cannot rationally regard one’s own life as meaningful if one does not believe that there is a transcendent viewpoint from which one’s own live would be seen as meaningful.

    It’s as if my life only really matters if there’s a transcendent perspective on the universe as a whole and my life matters from that perspective. So, anyone who rejects a belief in such a transcendent perspective, cannot regard their own lives as really mattering — not even to themselves and their loved ones.

    I think that I just don’t really understand the idea that my life doesn’t really matter if I don’t think that there’s a transcendent perspective on the universe from which vantage-point my life can be seen to matter. As if the mattering of my life to myself and my loved ones was insufficient for it to really matter. This is baffling to me. I’m having an immense difficulty thinking myself into a frame of mind where this could even seem to be true.

  127. 127
    JVL says:

    Origenes: Quite specific, I suppose. For instance: “next year, 12/12/2023, 6:53 PM Greenwich Mean Time, I will be at Trafalgar Square, London; wearing blue clothing.”

    And you think you or someone can do that for the whole human population on the planet to the extent that you can refute materialism? Asking for a friend. Joke.

  128. 128
    Origenes says:

    JVL@ The point you are making goes over my head. Of course, I assume that you and most of the human population routinely engage in acts of self-prediction… Does “tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock I will do push-ups” and/or “see you next week, same time same place”, sound familiar?

  129. 129
    Alan Fox says:

    Quite specific, I suppose. For instance: “next year, 12/12/2023, 6:53 PM Greenwich Mean Time, I will be at Trafalgar Square, London; wearing blue clothing.”

    Only if you are spared. 🙂

  130. 130
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL: “What a coward:,,, You have the free will to run away from questions which arise from your statements.,,,”

    Arthur: “Okay, we’ll call it a draw.
    Come, Pasty!” (they “ride” away)
    Black Knight: (calling after them) “Oh! Had enough, eh? Come back and take
    what’s coming to you, you yellow bastards!! Come back here and
    take what’s coming to you! I’ll bite your legs off!”
    – Monty Python – The Black Knight – “Tis But A Scratch”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmInkxbvlCs

    🙂

  131. 131
    Viola Lee says:

    Excellent posts PM, at both 121 and 126. Both say things well that I have tried to articulate at times.

  132. 132
    jerry says:

    Thus: the assertion that “truth, love, beauty, personhood, purpose, meaning, etc..,, can only be reasonably grounded in, and derived from, an ‘ontology of God” is false

    This is absolute nonsense.

    The best that one can say is it is not proven. The belief is then not justified. So the one stating the opinion cannot justify the belief is true. It does not say the belief is false.

  133. 133
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @132

    The best that one can say is it is not proven. The belief is then not justified. So the one stating the opinion cannot verify the belief is true. It does not say the belief is false.

    If there’s no argument for this claim, then it is not irrational to reject the claim without giving an argument against it. (Corollary: if there were an argument for this claim, then rejecting the claim without responding to the argument would be irrational.)

  134. 134
    jerry says:

    If there’s no argument for this claim, then it is not irrational to reject the claim without giving an argument against it.

    This is the identical situation you argue against.

    Your assert that rejecting the claim is reasonable without any proof that what you assert is true. This does not make the asserted claim by the other person false. It just means it could be true but not justified.

    The best one can do is say to someone is that they believe something without justification. You have not proved what they believe is false or the negative is true.

    Nothing you said makes the claim by the other person false.

  135. 135
    relatd says:

    Ba77,

    It is important to tell the whole truth. Not a watered-down version of the truth. The truth has scientific and spiritual dimensions.

    1 John 1:8

    “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

    ———————————————————————

    “1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.”121′

    Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition

  136. 136
    bornagain77 says:

    PM1 claims I made no argument. He is, as usual, wrong in his claim. In posts 43 and 44 I most certainly did make arguments against JVL’s position and for my position.

    But anyways, to further validate my position.

    The Allegory of the Cave

    Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without (so far as they acknowledge) any awareness of his realm of Forms.

    In the allegory of the cave, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see.

    Such prisoners would mistake appearance for reality. They would think the things they see on the wall (the shadows) were real; they would know nothing of the real causes of the shadows.
    So when the prisoners talk, what are they talking about? If an object (a book, let us say) is carried past behind them, and it casts a shadow on the wall, and a prisoner says “I see a book,” what is he talking about?
    He thinks he is talking about a book, but he is really talking about a shadow. But he uses the word “book.” What does that refer to?

    Plato gives his answer at line (515b2). The text here has puzzled many editors, and it has been frequently emended. The translation in Grube/Reeve gets the point correctly:
    “And if they could talk to one another, don’t you think they’d suppose that the names they used applied to the things they see passing before them?”
    Plato’s point is that the prisoners would be mistaken. For they would be taking the terms in their language to refer to the shadows that pass before their eyes, rather than (as is correct, in Plato’s view) to the real things that cast the shadows.
    If a prisoner says “That’s a book” he thinks that the word “book” refers to the very thing he is looking at. But he would be wrong. He’s only looking at a shadow. The real referent of the word “book” he cannot see. To see it, he would have to turn his head around.

    Plato’s point: the general terms of our language are not “names” of the physical objects that we can see. They are actually names of things that we cannot see, things that we can only grasp with the mind.
    When the prisoners are released, they can turn their heads and see the real objects. Then they realize their error. What can we do that is analogous to turning our heads and seeing the causes of the shadows? We can come to grasp the Forms with our minds.
    Plato’s aim in the Republic is to describe what is necessary for us to achieve this reflective understanding. But even without it, it remains true that our very ability to think and to speak depends on the Forms. For the terms of the language we use get their meaning by “naming” the Forms that the objects we perceive participate in.
    The prisoners may learn what a book is by their experience with shadows of books. But they would be mistaken if they thought that the word “book” refers to something that any of them has ever seen.
    Likewise, we may acquire concepts by our perceptual experience of physical objects. But we would be mistaken if we thought that the concepts that we grasp were on the same level as the things we perceive.
    https://theoryofknowledgeanalternativeapproach.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/plato-cave.jpg

    As to “When the prisoners are released, they can turn their heads and see the real objects”,,, I hold that the ‘shadows’ that we are now experiencing of beauty, love, meaning, purpose, etc.. here in this world are merely shadowy reflections of the ‘real’ beauty, love, meaning, purpose, etc.. that we will all, hopefully, experience one day in heaven.

    To prove my point I will reference the following Near Death Experience studies which found NDEs to be ‘more real than real’, and “The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality’ and also “memories of near-death experiences are recalled as ‘‘realer” than real events or imagined events.’

    ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real,’ researcher says – Wed April 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “If you use this questionnaire … if the memory is real, it’s richer, and if the memory is recent, it’s richer,” he said.
    The coma scientists weren’t expecting what the tests revealed.
    “To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.
    The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. “The difference was so vast,” he said with a sense of astonishment.
    Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich “as though it was yesterday,” Laureys said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/.....periences/

    Characteristics of memories for near-death experiences – Lauren E. Moore, Bruce Greyson – March 2017
    Abstract: Near-death experiences are vivid, life-changing experiences occurring to people who come close to death. Because some of their features, such as enhanced cognition despite compromised brain function, challenge our understanding of the mind-brain relationship, the question arises whether near-death experiences are imagined rather than real events. We administered the Memory Characteristics Questionnaire to 122 survivors of a close brush with death who reported near-death experiences. Participants completed Memory Characteristics Questionnaires for three different memories: that of their near-death experience, that of a real event around the same time, and that of an event they had imagined around the same time. The Memory Characteristics Questionnaire score was higher for the memory of the near-death experience than for that of the real event, which in turn was higher than that of the imagined event. These data suggest that memories of near-death experiences are recalled as ‘‘realer” than real events or imagined events.
    https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/wp-content/uploads/sites/360/2017/03/NDE-85-MCQ-ConCog.pdf

    Here are a few quotes from Near Death Experiencers themselves,

    A Doctor’s Near Death Experience Inspires a New Life – video
    Quote: “It’s not like a dream. It’s like the world we are living in is a dream and it’s kind of like waking up from that.”
    Dr. Magrisso
    – per nbc chicago

    “I was in the spiritual dimension. And this spiritual dimension, this spiritual world, that’s the real world. And this spiritual man that I was seeing and perceiving, that was the real me. And I instantly knew it. The colors are brighter. The thoughts are more intense. The feelings have greater depth. They’re more real. In the spirit world instantly I knew that this is the real world.,,,”
    – The Near Death Experience of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/voak1RM-pXo?t=1655

    As to ‘beauty’ in particular, a common description of heaven in Near Death Experiences is just how ‘indescribably beautiful’ heaven is

    Near-Death Experiences: Glimpses of the Afterlife
    First-Hand Accounts of Coming Back from the Great Beyond
    Excerpt: A Place of Beauty and Love
    Descriptions of the afterlife are often of an unimaginably beautiful land of color, light, and music. ,,,
    “Suddenly I was aware of being in the most beautiful garden I’ve ever seen…I heard celestial music clearly and saw vivid colored flowers, like nothing seen on earth, gorgeous greenery and trees.”
    https://www.liveabout.com/near-death-experiences-glimpses-afterlife-4076597

    The Beauty of a Heavenly Meadow
    Excerpt: I found myself standing in an absolutely beautiful green meadow. I knew then what was going on. I knew once again who I was, that I had died. My amnesia period was over with.
    I stood there in this gorgeous meadow and I remember that the light there was different from the light here on Earth. Though it was not that brilliant white light in which I was involved, it was a more beautiful light. There was a goldenness to this light. I remember the sky was very blue. I don’t recall seeing the sun. The colors were extraordinary. The green of the meadow was fantastic. The flowers were blooming all around and they had colors that I had never seen before. I was very aware that I had never seen these colors before and I was very excited about it.
    I thought I had seen all colors. I was thrilled to death of the beauty that was incredible. In addition to the beautiful colors, I could see a soft light glowing within every living thing. It was not a light that was reflected from the outside from a source, but it was coming from the center of this flower. Just this beautiful, soft light. I think I was seeing the life inside of everything.
    https://www.near-death.com/experiences/exceptional/jayne-smith.html

    ‘I crossed over’: Survivors of near-death experiences share ‘afterlife’ stories – April 3, 2015
    Excerpt: “He said that I’ve gone as far as I can, and if I go any further, I won’t be able to turn back,” she said. “But I felt I didn’t want to turn back, because it was so beautiful. It was just incredible, because, for the first time, all the pain had gone. All the discomfort had gone. All the fear was gone. I just felt so incredible. And I felt as though I was enveloped in this feeling of just love. Unconditional love.”,,,
    https://www.today.com/health/i-crossed-over-survivors-near-death-experiences-share-afterlife-stories-t12841

    Verses:

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

    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.

    Of supplemental note to the physical reality of a higher heavenly dimension that exists above this temporal realm

    Sept. 2022 – Einstein himself may not have personally believed in life after death, (nor in a personal God), but Special Relativity itself 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/cosmology/from-iai-news-how-infinity-threatens-cosmology/#comment-765987

  137. 137
    relatd says:

    Ba77,

    No one knows the full story of what heaven will be like. True art, beauty and love, are given as gifts by the Holy Spirit. I know a number of artists and writers. Some do not know where their gifts come from. Some do. We are to use these gifts and be fruitful.

    1 Corinthians 12:7

    “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

    12:8

    “For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,”

    12:9

    “to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,”

    12:10

    “to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.”

    12:11

    “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”

  138. 138
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: But anyways, to further validate my position.

    But not to respond to the questions directed at you.

    You answered some of my queries, which was sound. And I responded with further queries. Upon which you decided that because I didn’t agree with you about the nature of free will you could then ignore me and not even attempt to answer my questions. Which, let us note, had to do with the nature of truth. But you bailed. You ran away. Even though, by your standards, I am a free agent with the ability to think for myself.

    I’m not going to forget your cowardice. Others might. Will you?

    Cut-and-paste as much as you like, running away from a question doesn’t go away.

    When you are ready to act like a mature individual and deal with the issues you have dodged then I shall stop badgering you. But if you’re going to act like a petulant teen then .. . ..

  139. 139
    JVL says:

    Relatd: No one knows the full story of what heaven will be like.

    No, of course. But if this forum is going to jettison science altogether then make sure that is clear and stated.

  140. 140
    JVL says:

    Origenes: JVL@ The point you are making goes over my head.

    I’m not surprised that you make a statement which, when queried, you cannot support or even address in a meaningful fashion.

  141. 141
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, you refuse to honestly acknowledge the catastrophic epistemological failure that is inherent in your own atheistic worldview and then you expect me to forget your stubborn refusal to be honest and act as if you are capable of being honest and forthright in your subsequent ‘questions’ past that point?

    You got me confused with somebody else. I don’t play stupid ‘chase the troll’s tail in a circle’ games.

    As far as I am concerned, I have presented my arguments clearly. But of course, given your past stubborn refusal to be honest, I don’t ever expect you, (or any of the other dogmatic atheists on UD), to accept them. It is just the nature of the beast. As far as I can tell, and for whatever severely misguided reason, you, (and other dogmatic atheists here on UD), are emotionally committed to fighting against Christianity no matter how much evidence, or reason, may be presented to you to the contrary. It truly is sad.

    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

    (Leonhard) Euler is held to be one of the greatest mathematicians in history and the greatest of the 18th century. A statement attributed to Pierre-Simon Laplace expresses Euler’s influence on mathematics: “Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all.”[4][5] Carl Friedrich Gauss remarked: “The study of Euler’s works will remain the best school for the different fields of mathematics, and nothing else can replace it.”[6]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonhard_Euler

  142. 142
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @136

    PM1 claims I made no argument. He is, as usual, wrong in his claim. In posts 43 and 44 I most certainly did make arguments against JVL’s position and for my position.

    It is mildly amusing to see you say this, since what you said in 43 and 44 had absolutely nothing to do with anything JVL has actually said here. What we find in your 43 and 44 are links to criticisms of Darwinism, but those criticisms are themselves really quite laughable and misinformed about evolutionary theory. But, we’ve been that road many a time and it would be a waste of my time to post the same links about naturalizing teleology that I’ve posted previously. I mean, what kind of person what post the same exact content over and over again?

    Plato’s allegory of the cave has been subject to much interpretation in the past few thousand years, but only on some of those interpretations is it incompatible with naturalism.

    I take Plato’s point to be not so much about what’s real as about what’s valuable, what’s really deserving of our time and attention. The prisoners in the cave compete with each other for honor, fame, and power — the person who has beheld the forms understands that those things are not truly valuable.

    I think that Plato’s right about that — but I think that Aristotle is closer to the truth when he argues that if forms were utterly transcendent in the way Plato makes them out to be, they could not do the ontological and epistemological work that they need to do. Forms need to be the structuring causes immanent in the world as we sensually encounter it.

    I recently encountered the evocative phrase that we want a philosophy that combines “the wisdom of Plato with the sanity of Aristotle.” I rather like that phrase.

  143. 143
    doubter says:

    Relatd@16

    Where do people find significance, or hope or meaning, outside of a Biblical worldview?

    A narrow fundamentalist Christian view. What about the spiritual faiths of other billions of human beings, like:

    Hinduism including Vedanta and Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and a small percentage of the population practicing Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and the Bahai Faith. And then there are many other spiritual belief systems not directly associated with world religions, such as Theosophy and the New Age movement.

    And of course the fundamentalist Christian teaching is that all these billions of people practicing their own ways of loving God are inexorably destined for Hell.

  144. 144
    relatd says:

    Doubter at 143,

    Who the heck told you that? Do you have any official statement from so-called Fundamentalist Christians?

  145. 145
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever PM1, your ‘denialism’ of evidence against Darwinian materialism is par for the course, and I, personally, think the fact that NDEs are found to be quote-unquote “‘‘realer” than real events” to be fairly powerful evidence substantiating the general point Plato was making in his allegory of the cave.

    Of related note to the blatant hypocrisy that is evident when Darwinian atheists evaluate evidence against their position,

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    We have far more observational evidence for the reality of souls than we do for the Darwinian claim that unguided material processes can generate functional information. Moreover, the transcendent nature of ‘immaterial’ information, which is the one thing that, (as every ID advocate intimately knows), unguided material processes cannot possibly explain the origin of, directly supports the transcendent nature, as well as the physical reality, of the soul:

    since Darwinian Atheists, as a foundational presupposition of their materialistic philosophy, (and not from any compelling scientific evidence mind you), deny the existence of souls, (and since the materialist’s denial of souls, (and God), has led to so much catastrophic disaster on human societies in the 20th century), then it is VERY important to ‘scientifically’ establish the existence of these ‘souls’ that are of incalculable worth, and that are equal, before God.
    https://uncommondescent.com/off-topic/what-must-we-do-when-the-foundations-are-being-destroyed/#comment-768496

    Verse:

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

  146. 146
    Caspian says:

    To JVL @81:
    You asked, “I would be interested to hear if you hold some of the same sentiments as your fellow Christian IDests who post here.”

    Thank you for your question, but I honestly don’t know. Jesus said something that’s very freeing: “Judge not, that you be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1)

  147. 147
    relatd says:

    Caspian at 146,

    “very freeing”? Like a Get Out of Jail Free card? Taking things Jesus said out of context and without the proper interpretation means making up your own version doesn’t count.

    “* [7:1] This is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, which would be hardly compatible with Mt 7:5, 6 but against passing judgment in a spirit of arrogance, forgetful of one’s own faults.”

    – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

  148. 148
    Origenes says:

    Relatd #16

    Where do people find significance, or hope or meaning, outside of a Biblical worldview?

    To me this comes across as an honest clarifying question, and I’m no Christian. I do not see any offense here and I’m surprised to learn that some ppl do.

  149. 149
    relatd says:

    Origenes at 148,

    I don’t see the harm in finding out the source of significance, hope and meaning outside of the Bible. But some people took it as a stealth/hidden/implied attack against their own beliefs and source of significance. Christians are called to explain themselves, why not others?

  150. 150
    Viola Lee says:

    Just FYI: I apologized to relatd for interpreting his remark as being an attack on other sources of signficance.

  151. 151
    Origenes says:

    Relatd

    Christians are called to explain themselves, why not others?

    Everywhere Christians are increasingly confronted with hatred. Everyone who pays attention notices what’s going on.
    – – –
    Viola Lee, thank you.

  152. 152
    relatd says:

    Origenes at 151,

    Hatred is to be expected. Anyway, I hope that here, at least, there can be some dialogue and people just getting to know each other.

  153. 153
    Origenes says:

    Relatd, here I offer a short sketch of my worldview as an attempt to answer your profound question indirectly:
    My personal concept of reality involves reincarnation. Each of us is, willingly or not, on an individual road to enlightenment. In my book, self-awareness is all-important. Morality does not have the central role it has in Christianity but is seen as an aspect of awareness. One of my credos is: ‘suffering is the announcement of awakening.’ God is a person like you and me but has reached ultimate awareness, knowledge, love, and wisdom.

  154. 154
    Seversky says:

    If reincarnation is the case then I’d like to come back as a pampered and much-loved house cat.

  155. 155
    Origenes says:

    @Seversky
    I hear you, however, your request will be denied, the trajectory is upward for all of us.

  156. 156
    bornagain77 says:

    In order to ground any ‘real’ meaning, significance, or purpose we find for our lives, a reasonable question to ask is, “might it first not be (very) helpful if the Darwinian atheist had a realistic clue, (not pipe dreams), as to where life itself actually came from?”

    Dr. Tour DISSECTS Chemistry of an ‘Expert’ on Origin of Life – Cronin, Part 02 – video (uploaded last night)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUOZh4zmrXo

    Of note:

    Artificial Intelligence + Origin of Life Prize, $10 Million USD
    Where did life and the genetic code come from?
    Excerpt: What You Must Do to Win The Prize
    You must arrange for a digital communication system to emerge or self-evolve without “cheating.” The diagram below describes the system. Without explicitly designing the system, your experiment must generate an encoder that sends digital code to a decoder. Your system needs to transmit at least five bits of information. (In other words it has to be able to represent 32 states. The genetic code supports 64.)
    You have to be able to draw an encoding and decoding table and determine whether or not the data has been transmitted successfully.
    So, for example, an RNA based origin of life experiment will be considered successful if it contains an encoder, message and decoder as described above. To our knowledge, this has never been done.
    https://www.herox.com/evolution2.0

    Is It Possible To Prove Beyond A Reasonable Doubt That Intelligence Was Required To Create Life?
    Excerpt from the OP: “Here’s the crucial question: Is this something that can be achieved by chance, physical laws, or intelligence-free material processes? The answer is decidedly NO. What’s physical cannot work out the non-physical. Only a mind can create a true code. Only a mind can conceive of and manage abstract, symbolic realities. A symbolic system has to be invented. It cannot come about in any other way.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-quora-is-it-possible-to-prove-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt-that-intelligence-was-required-to-create-life/

    Verse:

    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.

  157. 157
    Sir Giles says:

    Origenes: am
    @Seversky
    I hear you, however, your request [to be reincarnated as a cat] will be denied, the trajectory is upward for all of us

    I’m pretty sure that being reincarnated as a cat is an upward trajectory. At least according to them. 🙂

  158. 158
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: In order to ground any ‘real’ meaning, significance, or purpose we find for our lives, a reasonable question to ask is, “might it first not be (very) helpful if the Darwinian atheist had a realistic clue, (not pipe dreams), as to where life itself actually came from?”

    It might also be good to be able to determine what are ‘real’ truths and what are illusory or transient truths.

    For example: can you determine the truth (or not) of the statement “all even numbers bigger than 2 can be written as the sum of two prime numbers”. Having a methodology is good.

  159. 159
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, to point out the obvious, it is funny, and very disingenuous of you, that you, a Darwinian atheist, in order to avoid admitting the truth that you have no realistic clue how life itself could have possibly come about by naturalistic processes, (and thus, by default, honestly admitting that you have no realistic way of grounding any ‘real’ meaning, significance, or purpose we find for our lives), instead of honestly admitting that fact and honestly saying something along the line of, “Hey, since I have no realistic clue how life came about naturalistically, then I’ve got a pretty damn big problem grounding how our lives might have any ‘real’ meaning, significance, or purpose”,,, instead of honestly admitting that ‘little’ problem, as most reasonable people would have done, you instead want to divert attention from that blatantly obvious fact that you, (if you were being honest and reasonable), should just have honestly admitted to, and instead you want play ‘chase a troll’s tail in a circle’ games with finding whether or not a certain mathematical statement may be true of not.

    I’ve seen you employ this mathematical ‘diversionary tactic’ a few times now when you have been shown some insurmountable problems with your Atheistic worldview. It is sad that you would be so intellectually dishonest with yourself, and others, so as to think this shallow diversionary tactic to mathematics somehow relieves you from being honest with the facts that are sitting right in front of you.

    Moreover, as to your overall belief that mathematics is a source of, let’s say, ‘non-transient “real’ truths’. Well, I remind you, first, that your worldview of Darwinian atheism itself has no mathematical basis, and therefore, using your own line of reasoning, your Darwinian worldview fails to qualify as a “real’, “non-transient’, truth.

    Top Ten Questions and Objections to ‘Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics’ – Robert J. Marks II – June 12, 2017
    Excerpt: “There exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. Examples include electromagnetics, Newtonian mechanics, geophysics, relativity, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, optics, and many areas in biology. Those hoping to establish Darwinian evolution as a hard science with a model have either failed or inadvertently cheated. These models contain guidance mechanisms to land the airplane squarely on the target runway despite stochastic wind gusts. Not only can the guiding assistance be specifically identified in each proposed evolution model, its contribution to the success can be measured, in bits, as active information.,,,”,,, “there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/06/top-ten-questions-and-objections-to-introduction-to-evolutionary-informatics/
    Robert Jackson Marks II is an American electrical engineer. His contributions include the Zhao-Atlas-Marks (ZAM) time-frequency distribution in the field of signal processing,[1] the Cheung–Marks theorem[2] in Shannon sampling theory and the Papoulis-Marks-Cheung (PMC) approach in multidimensional sampling.[3] He was instrumental in the defining of the field of computational intelligence and co-edited the first book using computational intelligence in the title.[4][5]
    – per wikipedia

    Secondly, I remind you that Godel, via his incompleteness theorems, threw a big ole monkey wrench into your overall belief that mathematics could serve as its own source for ultimate truth.

    Kurt Godel, via his incompleteness theorems, proved that “There is a hole at the bottom of math” and that “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”., and that “Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous”

    “There is a hole at the bottom of math”
    (Godel’s incompleteness theorems) This is Math’s Fatal Flaw – 2021 video – 27:16 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/HeQX2HjkcNo?t=1636

    “Kurt Gödel halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything in his theorem that: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”. Thus, based on the position that an equation cannot prove itself, the constructs are based on assumptions some of which will be unprovable.”
    – Stephen Hawking & Leonard Miodinow, The Grand Design (2010)

    Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
    1. Validity … all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
    2. Consistency … no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
    3. Completeness … all statements made in the system are either true or false.
    The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He (Godel) summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
    Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
    Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
    http://www.answersingenesis.or...../equation#

    In short, even mathematics itself is now shown to be ‘contingent’, not ‘necessary’, in its existence, and therefore even mathematics itself is dependent on the Mind of God for its existence. Or to out it in other words, God is the ‘necessary truth’ from which all other ‘contingent truths’ derive their existence.

    Keep it Simple – Edward Feser – 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

    (Also see Einstein and Wigner on the ‘miraculous’ applicability of mathematics to the universe)

    Verse and Quotes,

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

    ‘the Word’ in John 1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also 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

  160. 160
    doubter says:

    Relatd@144

    Who the heck told you that? Do you have any official statement from so-called Fundamentalist Christians?

    There may be some disagreements in some quarters, but much of the Christian world believes that if someone doesn’t accept Jesus as Lord and Savior today—in this life—he or she will go to hell.

    This means that the majority of Christians, pastors, and ministers believe that now is the only day of salvation. (Note: this popular belief is taught only by some not all authorized holy or agreed-upon-by-ecclesiastics texts.) This popular belief means that people who don’t believe in Jesus (Yahshua) during this lifetime for any reason will be eternally tormented in the ever-burning fire of hell. Thus, historically, many missionaries and Christians assumed the responsibility to convert as many non-believers as possible. They travel around the world trying to save souls and lead them to Christ.

    “Extra ecclesiam nulla salus” is a Catholic Church teaching since at least the Fourth Lateran Council in the early thirteenth century. It means “there is no salvation outside the Church”. On the face of this teaching, it would seem that not only all non-Christians, but even non-Catholic Christians go to hell.

    From Wiki:

    The historic Protestant view of hell is expressed in the Westminster Confession (1646), a Reformed confession of faith:

    “….but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” (Chapter XXXIII, Of the Last Judgment)

    (On) the fate of the unevangelized (i.e., those who have never had an opportunity to hear the Christian gospel), those who die in infancy, and the mentally disabled: ….some Protestants agree with Augustine that people in these categories will be damned to hell for original sin, while other Protestants believe that God will make an exception in these cases.

  161. 161
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @159

    Secondly, I remind you that Godel, via his incompleteness theorems, threw a big ole monkey wrench into your overall belief that mathematics could serve as its own source for ultimate truth.

    Kurt Godel, via his incompleteness theorems, proved that “There is a hole at the bottom of math” and that “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”., and that “Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous”

    This is deeply misleading, to say the least.

    Gödel proved that if a formal system is rich enough to express the Peano axioms, then there will always be true statements about that system which cannot be proved within that system. That mean the end of Hilbert’s logicism: since first-order logic is complete, the fact that arithmetic could not be complete meant that arithmetic could not be completely translated into first-order logic.

    Hence this:

    In short, even mathematics itself is now shown to be ‘contingent’, not ‘necessary’, in its existence, and therefore even mathematics itself is dependent on the Mind of God for its existence. Or to out it in other words, God is the ‘necessary truth’ from which all other ‘contingent truths’ derive their existence.

    could be true, but whatever the argument for it, it has nothing at all to do with what Gödel proved.

    The proof that any formal system that can capture number theory will be “incomplete” — that one can always construct true statements of that system that cannot be proven by that system — does not show that mathematics depends on the Mind of God.

  162. 162
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77:

    I just lost a long post, sigh. I shall hit the high points now and try and recreate the finer details later after my dinner.

    I am happy to admit that I do not know how life began on Earth and I think most people like me are also happy to admit that. And, we shall never know for sure since we cannot go back in time and observe it actually happening. We can make some good guesses parts of which can be verified as being possible.

    You are the one who proposed that mathematics was a glimpse into the divine, into the mind of God and his ‘blueprint’. So I should think that you would be very, very interested in some real mathematical truths. Every since mathematical theorem has always been true and will always be true. That sounds like some kind of eternal or perpetual truth to me even without your theological overtones.

    But wait! You say there is a ‘hole’ in the bottom of mathematics. (Which is not true, as has been pointed out.) But you think mathematics is a window on ultimate and invariable truth?

    Perhaps you should spend more time seeing how your various statements and opinions combine together into a whole. Or is it a ‘hole’?

  163. 163
    bornagain77 says:

    So, unsurprisingly, both PM1 and JVL, being the dogmatic atheists that they are, are in ‘denialism’ about just how devastating Godel’s incompleteness is to their atheistic metaphysics.

    In taking their unsurprising ‘denialism’ apart, first off it is important to note that the very existence of ‘immaterial’ mathematics is something that is completely antithetical to Atheistic materialism,

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    Moreover, given that mathematics is profoundly immaterial in its foundation essence, then it is not surprising to learn that our ability to understand and ‘do mathematics’, is something that the reductive materialistic foundation of Darwinian evolution is at a complete loss to explain.

    In fact, in 2014, several leading evolutionary scientists jointly, and honestly, admitted that they 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

    Although JVL and PM1, being the dogmatic atheists they are, will never honestly admit it, this inability to ground the existence of ‘immaterial’ mathematics, and this inability to ground our ability to “do immaterial mathematics’, is NOT a minor problem for Atheistic/Darwinian materialism.

    As James Franklin challenged atheists, “the intellect (is) immaterial and immortal. If today’s naturalists do not wish to agree with that, there is a challenge for them. ‘Don’t tell me, show me’: build an artificial intelligence system that imitates genuine mathematical insight. There seem to be no promising plans on the drawing board.,,,”

    “the intellect (is) immaterial and immortal. If today’s naturalists do not wish to agree with that, there is a challenge for them. ‘Don’t tell me, show me’: build an artificial intelligence system that imitates genuine mathematical insight. There seem to be no promising plans on the drawing board.,,,
    – James Franklin is professor of mathematics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

    But anyways, ignoring that ‘NOT minor’ problem for them, PM1 and JVL denied that Godel’s incompleteness is devastating to atheistic materialism in general.

    They are, as usual, completely wrong in their claim.

    For instance, Godel’s incompleteness has now been extended into quantum physics and has now shown “that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour”.,,, and that “the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    In short, the microscopic descriptions of quantum mechanics will NEVER be successfully, mathematically, extended to account for the macroscopic descriptions of general relativity. Much less will Darwinists, by appealing to microscopic particles, ever be able to account for the specific macroscopic ‘form’ that any particular organism may take.

    Moreover, as if that was not already devastating enough to Atheistic/Darwinian materialists, Gregory Chaitin has now shown 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.”

    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.
    https://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/The_Limits_of_Reason_Chaitin_2006.pdf

    This presents an irremediably difficult situation for those who hope to find a purely mathematical theory of everything that makes no reference to God. As the late Steven Weinberg, an atheist, confessed to Richard Dawkins, “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 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 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 although atheists, via the late Weinberg, are, self-admittedly, are in a pretty bad ‘fix’, the Christian Theist has a ready explanation. As Bruce Gordon explains, “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.”

    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 it is not as if ID proponents do not already have sufficient reason to believe that free will must be involved in choosing among an “infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring(ing) into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them.”

    As Douglas S. Robertson explains, “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

  164. 164
    bornagain77 says:

    In fact, (as was already touched upon), modern science was born out of the belief that any mathematics that might describe this universe are to be considered ‘God’s thoughts’.

    As Johannes Kepler stated shortly after discovering the third law of planetary motion,

    “O, Almighty God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee!”
    – Johannes Kepler – book five of The Harmonies of the World (1619)

    God In Mathematics – 2016
    Jerry Bowyer – Interview with Vern Poythress
    Excerpt: The standard modern culture-war revolves around God vs. the mathematical sciences. Take your choice: Faith or physics. Then there are the voices of mutual toleration, which attempt to leave room for science among the faithful and for faith among the scientific. Poythress, though, taps into a different tradition entirely, one which is seldom heard in modern debate: That God and science are neither enemies, nor partners, but rather that God is the necessary foundation for mathematics and therefore of every science which uses it.
    The argument is that mathematical laws, in order to be properly relied upon, must have attributes which indicate an origin in God. They are true everywhere (omnipresent), true always (eternal), cannot be defied or defeated (omnipotent), and are rational and have language characteristics (which makes them personal). Omnipresent, omnipotent, eternal, personal… Sounds like God. Math is an expression of the mind of God. Sound strange? It isn’t. Modern natural science was created by people who said that they were trying to “think God’s thoughts after Him.”
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jerrybowyer/2016/04/19/where-does-math-come-from-a-mathematiciantheologian-talks-about-the-limits-of-numbers/

    And as Edward Feser explains, “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.”

    Keep It Simple – Edward Feser – 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

    And you don’t have to take Kepler, Poythress, and Feser’s word for it, Eugene Wigner, (who’s insights into quantum mechanics continue to drive breakthroughs into quantum mechanics; per A. Zeilinger), and Albert Einstein, (who needs no introduction), are both on record as to regarding it as a ‘miracle’ that math should even be applicable to the universe in the first place.

    Moreover, Wigner questioned the ability of Darwinism to produce our ‘reasoning power’ in his process of calling it a miracle. Whereas Einstein went so far as to chastise ‘professional atheists’ in his process of calling it a miracle.

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,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.
    https://www.maths.ed.ac.uk/~v1ranick/papers/wigner.pdf

    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, a miracle is considered to be the sole province of God,

    mir·a·cle
    noun
    a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

    Of course, PM1 and JVL, being the Darwinian atheists that they are, will never honestly admit to any ‘miracle’ that points toward God, yet regardless of their stubborn refusal to acknowledge the truth, I hold that we have more than sufficient reason to regard the applicability of mathematics to the universe, and our ability to understand that ‘immaterial’ math, to be nothing less than a miracle from God.

    Of supplemental note,

    Oct. 2022 – 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 a very plausible, empirically backed, reconciliation, (via the Shroud of Turin), between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/at-quanta-magazine-how-godels-proof-works/#comment-768975

    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.

  165. 165
    relatd says:

    Doubter at 160,

    Your attempt to explain this matter involves very little research. It is very important because some reading may get the wrong idea. A few references:

    https://www.catholic.com/qa/what-happens-to-those-who-die-and-do-not-believe

    https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/can-non-catholics-be-saved/

  166. 166
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @163

    Nothing in 163 shows that Godel’s incompleteness theorem entails that mathematics depends on the Mind of God.

    I don’t really care if you believe that mathematics depends on the Mind of God. You could believe that Dumbo is an avatar of Ganesha for all I care.

    I’m just pointing out that you’re making a lot of claims that have no argument, and every time this lack of argument is pointed out, you pull another Gish Gallop just like 163.

  167. 167
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: So, unsurprisingly, both PM1 and JVL, being the dogmatic atheists that they are, are in ‘denialism’ about just how devastating Godel’s incompleteness is to their atheistic metaphysics.

    Too funny. Godel’s ‘incompleteness’? You don’t understand the mathematics so you shouldn’t try and hijack it for you own narrow view.

    In taking their unsurprising ‘denialism’ apart, first off it is important to note that the very existence of ‘immaterial’ mathematics is something that is completely antithetical to Atheistic materialism,

    IN YOUR OPINION. You state all your opinions as if they were facts and then find someone who sometime said something which you think supports your statement. But, again, you don’t actually understand the mathematics. I know that because when I bring up real mathematics you either ignore it or say I’m just trying to confuse the issue. But I’m not; I’m pointing out that YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE MATHEMATICS but you think you do.

    Moreover, given that mathematics is profoundly immaterial in its foundation essence, then it is not surprising to learn that our ability to understand and ‘do mathematics’, is something that the reductive materialistic foundation of Darwinian evolution is at a complete loss to explain.

    It’s not at a complete loss to explain. You just haven’t bothered a) learning the mathematics and b) read up on why we can do mathematics without any theology.

    In fact, in 2014, several leading evolutionary scientists jointly, and honestly, admitted that they have “essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,”

    Which is not the same as saying: we shouldn’t be able to do these things without God. You always twist and distort things to the point where you think they agree with your view.

    Although JVL and PM1, being the dogmatic atheists they are, will never honestly admit it, this inability to ground the existence of ‘immaterial’ mathematics, and this inability to ground our ability to “do immaterial mathematics’, is NOT a minor problem for Atheistic/Darwinian materialism.

    It’s not a problem at all. Just because we don’t completely understand, right now, how we learned to deal with such things doesn’t mean we can’t deal with such things. Again, you don’t understand the mathematics and you don’t understand the discussions about the mathematics.

    As James Franklin challenged atheists, “the intellect (is) immaterial and immortal. If today’s naturalists do not wish to agree with that, there is a challenge for them. ‘Don’t tell me, show me’: build an artificial intelligence system that imitates genuine mathematical insight. There seem to be no promising plans on the drawing board.,,,”

    So what? Humans are a lot more complicated than any current AIs, we know that. That has nothing to do with humans being able to do higher level mathematics.

    You just go on and on and on and on.

    But you blatantly side-step two statements you made which don’t connect up: Mathematics is a window into the realm and mind of God. And there is a ‘hole’ in the bottom of mathematics. And then when I bring up some real, not even complicated, mathematical ideas you accuse me of trying to divert attention away from the real point.

    Make up your mind. IF mathematics is a sign of the divine then why aren’t you interested in all of its aspects? Why aren’t you interested in examining and checking out all of its ‘truths’? Why aren’t you interested, if it is a door to the divine, in learning how to speak the mathematical language and understand all its subtleties and beauty?

    Maybe it’s because you just aren’t able to think mathematically. Maybe you don’t like having that pointed out to you. Maybe that’s why you make contradictory statements about mathematics. Because you really don’t understand it. It’s actually all just a mystery to you. So you assume it’s magic, it’s divine, it’s supra-human.

    As Bruce Gordon explains, “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.”

    Really? Okay then, is the Axiom of Choice true or false? What about Zorn’s lemma? The Goldbach conjecture? You don’t understand any of those things do you? You throw about stuff that you think sounds profound but you actually don’t understand any of it at all.

    You think math is an aspect of the divine but you can’t speak the language of mathematics at all. Perhaps you should stop thinking you can.

    I tell you what, let’s just stick to talking about the mathematics. Do you think every even number greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers yes or no?

  168. 168
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever JVL and PMI, your usual denialisms and ad hominems notwithstanding, I’m sure unbiased readers can parse out for themselves who is being forthright and who is being disingenuous.

  169. 169
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Whatever JVL and PMI, your usual denialisms and ad hominems notwithstanding, I’m sure unbiased readers can parse out for themselves who is being forthright and who is being disingenuous.

    Too bad for you eh? You who cannot even admit he doesn’t understand all the math he posts about.

    Can you express every even integer bigger than 2 as the sum of two primes? Yes or no? It’s a big, eternal truth either way, can you even begin to speak that language?

    PS it’s not an ad hominem if it’s true. That makes it just a fact, a truth. You don’t understand the mathematics do you? And you can’t even be honest enough, humble enough, sincere enough to admit it. Your pride is more important that the truth isn’t it?

  170. 170
    Origenes says:

    Hawking seems to confirm what Bornagain is saying about Gödel’s theorem:

    Some people will be very disappointed if there is not an ultimate theory, that can be formulated as a finite number of principles. I used to belong to that camp, but I have changed my mind. I’m now glad that our search for understanding will never come to an end, and that we will always have the challenge of new discovery. Without it, we would stagnate. Gödel’s theorem ensured there would always be a job for mathematicians.

  171. 171
    Sir Giles says:

    JVL@169, referencing BA77@168, you know that you have won the argument when BA77 resorts to the “whatever” defence.

  172. 172
    Origenes says:

    JVL @Sir Giles

    You say there is a ‘hole’ in the bottom of mathematics. (Which is not true, as has been pointed out.)

    I don’t understand what is being claimed here. It’s common knowledge at this forum that Gödel’s theorem states that given a finite set of axioms, there will be theorems that are unprovable — is JVL claiming that this is “not true”? And where has this been pointed out?

  173. 173
    JVL says:

    Origenes: I don’t understand what is being claimed here. It’s common knowledge at this forum that Gödel’s theorem states that given a finite set of axioms, there will be theorems that are unprovable — is JVL claiming that this is “not true”? And where has this been pointed out?

    Read through Bornagain77‘s comments on Godel’s work in the thread above to find out. I’m not going to go through it all again just for you.

  174. 174
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, JVL et al:

    Let’s note on undecidability/ unsolvability, the widely acknowledged wider import of Godel’s two theorems:

    https://encyclopediaofmath.org/wiki/Unsolvability

    Undecidable propositions. One of the tools for constructing a mathematical theory is the axiomatic method. In the axiomatic construction of a theory, a number of its propositions are taken as initial, as axioms, and the others are obtained as consequences of them. In works by D. Hilbert and his school the concept of an axiomatic theory was made more precise as a formal system. Hilbert’s planned program of founding mathematics stipulated, in particular, the formalization of the basic branches of mathematics: arithmetic, analysis, set theory, that is, the construction of a formal system from the axioms of which one could deduce practically all mathematical theorems. However, in 1931 K. Gödel proved that every formal system of arithmetic is incomplete in the sense that one can state a proposition that cannot be proved nor disproved (i.e. prove its negation) within the system. Such propositions are called undecidable or formally undecidable in the given system. In particular, for every consistent formal system containing a sufficiently rich part of arithmetic the assertion that this system is consistent turns out to be undecidable in it (see Gödel incompleteness theorem).

    [–> if it addresses N,Z,Q,R,C,R* and operations under the 4 rules, that’s implicitly core to all further Math of relevance, riddle me this, riddle me that, kindly tell us what parts of math taken as that grand civilisational study of the logic of structure and quantity are not inextricably tied to this core.]

    The undecidability of a proposition in a given formal system indicates that it is impossible to verify its truth or falsity on the basis of only those ideas about the object of study that can be expressed in terms of the axioms and derivation rules. Often it proves possible to extend the formal system by new axioms such that certain specific undecidable propositions can be proved or disproved in the extended system.

    [–> However, the second result counts, if an axiomatisation entails all true claims, that’s because it is incoherent, and there is no frame to determine coherence, so once the system embraces the frame above, extending it cannot solve the general problem]

    The discovery of undecidable propositions in an axiomatic theory has had an important significance for the development of this theory in that it stimulates the search for new fundamental statements that could be added as axioms. [–> notice, axiomatisation of complex enough systems is now an ever open issue]

    Examples of unsolvability in elementary mathematics are geometric construction problems such as the trisection of an angle and the quadrature of the circle by means of ruler [–> more exactly, straight edge] and compasses.

    Speaking on the computation side (and note the pervasive importance of algorithms):

    https://encyclopediaofmath.org/wiki/Undecidability

    Undecidability

    The non-existence of an algorithm or the impossibility of proving or disproving a statement within a formal system. Both aspects will be considered below. The non-existence of an algorithm for settling a given problem is often referred to as the unsolvability of the problem. Sometimes the two words “undecidable” and “unsolvable” are used as synonyms. (See Unsolvability.)

    Decidability results can be obtained in all areas of mathematics. They can be based on the intuitive notion of an algorithm. A problem is shown decidable by constructing an algorithm that, after receiving the data for an instance of the problem, produces the answer to that instance. A classical example is Euclid’s algorithm for finding the greatest common divisor of two natural numbers . . . .

    It was shown already by K. Gödel that the existence of undecidable propositions is not a shortcoming of any particular formal system, but rather a property inherent in all formal systems. Such an inherently undecidable proposition is the formal statement expressing the consistency of a given [–> complex enough] formal system. Later it turned out (e.g., due to the work of G. Chaitin [a1], [a2]) that undecidable propositions are far from being rare, but that they are very frequent, often very simple, and that some of them belong to the most elementary arithmetic. It is not anymore possible to disregard undecidable propositions as exceptional singularities that are not encountered in “real mathematics” . As Chaitin puts it: “Non-linear dynamics and quantum mechanics have shown that randomness is present in nature. I believe that I have shown that it is also present in pure mathematics, in fact even in the most elementary branches of the theory of numbers” .

    Undecidable statements cannot be ignored. They are not exceptional and pathological but numerous, nearby and palpable. For any formal system, there are genuine arithmetical statements whose truth or falsity cannot be established within the system, although it seems necessary that the statement is either true or false. E.g., such a statement concerns the solvability of a given Diophantine equation. One can construct a sequence of Diophantine equations with many variables, parametrized by, say, k.

    The information contained in the solution of equations corresponding to finitely many values of the parameter k is, in general, not applicable in solving the other cases. Mathematical formal reasoning is powerless to link the different cases. Thus, this extra-ordinary parametrized Diophantine equation surpasses what can be achieved by any formal system. No method of solving the different cases is essentially better than putting directly in the axioms the results one wants to obtain!

    Hole or crack in the foundations would be colourful language, but it makes a substantial point.

    Attempts to create a perceived molehill out of the mountain that Godel exposed fail. This reminds me of the shock when India was first being surveyed for mapping, and certain longstanding mountains in the distance were suddenly recognised to be the highest in the world.

    That had always been the case, it was just that their significance was now highlighted.

    Again:

    Decidability results can be obtained in all areas of mathematics. They can be based on the intuitive notion of an algorithm. A problem is shown decidable by constructing an algorithm that, after receiving the data for an instance of the problem, produces the answer to that instance . . . .

    Such an inherently undecidable proposition is the formal statement expressing the consistency of a given [–> complex enough] formal system . . . Undecidable statements cannot be ignored. They are not exceptional and pathological but numerous, nearby and palpable. For any formal system, there are genuine arithmetical statements whose truth or falsity cannot be established within the system, although it seems necessary that the statement is either true or false.

    No, this cannot be sidelined.

    KF

  175. 175
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, note the just above; the piling on and hyperskeptical dismissiveness games fail yet again. KF

  176. 176
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: In opening remarks for his Algorithmic information theory [1987], Chaitin:

    Godel’s original proof of his incompleteness theorem is essentially the assertion that one cannot always prove that a program will fail to halt. This is equivalent to asking whether it ever produces any output. He then converts this into an arithmetical assertion. Over the years this has been improved; it follows from the work on Hilbert’s 10th problem that Godel’s theorem is equivalent to the assertion that one cannot always prove that a diophantine equation has no solutions if this is the case. In our approach to incompleteness, we shall ask whether or not a program produces an infinite amount of output rather than asking whether it produces any; this is equivalent to asking whether or not a diophantine equation has infinitely many solutions instead of asking whether or not it is solvable.
    _____________

    F/N: Britannica briefly defines: “Diophantine equation, equation involving only sums, products, and powers in which all the constants are integers and the only solutions of interest are integers. For example, 3x + 7y = 1 or x^2 – y^2 = z^3, where x, y, and z are integers. “

    In a related collection of papers, he remarks:

    God not only plays dice in quantum mechanics, but even with the whole numbers! The discovery of randomness in arithmetic is presented in my book Algorithmic Information Theory recently published by Cambridge University Press. There I show that to decide if an algebraic equation in integers has finitely or infinitely many solutions is in some cases absolutely intractable. I exhibit an infinite series of such arithmetical assertions that are random arithmetical facts, and for which it is essentially the case that the only way to prove them is to assume them as axioms. This extreme form of Godel incompleteness theorem shows that some arithmetical truths are totally impervious to reasoning.

    Mathematicians, too, duly humbled, must live by faith and not by sight!

    KF

  177. 177
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @172

    I don’t understand what is being claimed here. It’s common knowledge at this forum that Gödel’s theorem states that given a finite set of axioms, there will be theorems that are unprovable — is JVL claiming that this is “not true”? And where has this been pointed out?

    Neither JVL nor myself are taking issue with Gödel’s proofs of the first and second incompleteness theorems. We are taking issue only with bornagain77’s claims about the theological implications of those proofs. More specifically, I have taken issue with the lack of argument for those supposed theological implications.

    (In full disclosure, my grasp of mathematics and philosophy of mathematics is quite limited. I’ve read and appreciated Newman and Nagel’s book Gödel’s Proof but I haven’t read the original paper and I doubt it would benefit me if I were to try.)

  178. 178
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus @

    Origenes, note the just above; the piling on and hyperskeptical dismissiveness games fail yet again. KF

    It seems to be all that they have.
    Moreover, I cannot help but notice that Mr. JVL here tends to go off whenever a coherent argument against his preferred worldview is being presented. In posts that reek of projection, he accuses Bornagain of dishonesty and several other things (e.g. #169).
    Something quite similar happened earlier in this thread after I presented my ‘Argument from Self-prediction’ (#123). First JVL attempts to question the third premise (#124). But when his attempt turns out to be a damp squib (#125), JVL also resorts to incoherence (#127 & #128) and ad hominem attack (#140).

  179. 179
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @169

    Can you express every even integer bigger than 2 as the sum of two primes? Yes or no? It’s a big, eternal truth either way, can you even begin to speak that language?

    A bit off-topic but I think relevant to some neighboring issues: a few months ago I heard a fascinating talk by a philosopher of mathematics about Goldbach’s Conjecture. He argued that the deep problem with the Conjecture is not that we don’t know if it’s true or false, but that we don’t know what mathematics we would need to know in order to determine if it’s true or false.

    He contrasted the Conjecture with Wiles’s proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem. To proof the Theorem, Wiles had to construct a lot of mathematics first, and it took mathematicians time to examine the math, correct the mistakes, improve the foundations, and eventually conclude that Wiles’s proof (suitably corrected) was valid.

    Wiles had to figure out what we needed to know in order to construct a proof of the Theorem. No one has yet done that for the Conjecture: we don’t know what we would need to know in order to show that it’s true or that it’s false.

  180. 180
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @168

    Whatever JVL and PMI, your usual denialisms and ad hominems notwithstanding, I’m sure unbiased readers can parse out for themselves who is being forthright and who is being disingenuous.

    I don’t think you’re being disingenuous in the sense of being insincere or lacking in candor.

    I do think that you are deficient in critical thinking and basic epistemic norms — what Kairosfocus would call “Ciceronian duties of right reason.” I say that because you promote criticisms of what you call “Darwinian atheism” without taking the time to reflect on the accuracy of those criticisms or how a thoughtful, reflective naturalist might respond to those criticisms.

    And every post of yours has the same five or ten links to various articles with misunderstandings, omissions, and distortions.

    It would a full-time job to go through every one and point out each and every mistake in every article you link to. I already have a full-time job, and commenting at Uncommon Descent isn’t it.

    As it is, I’ve already gotten weary of correcting even basic mistakes you make about what I believe — such as claiming that I’m an atheist. I’m not, and I’ve said so many times, but you refuse to take notice, and I’ve just gotten tired of constantly pointing this out.

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, kindly note that I have referenced Enc Math and Chaitin. This is an issue of technical significance for math and computing, thus immediately science, but it also casts a wide worldviews penumbra as it shatters case no 1 used to push rationalism by way of a hoped for global rational axiomatic structure. That puts up front centre that we have worldview presuppositions and alternative cores at stake, what I have for simplicity called first plausibles at our faith points. KF

  182. 182
    bornagain77 says:

    Although I feel, (via Godel, see posts 159, 163, and 164, and thanks to Kairosfocus addition at posts 174 and 176), that we already have more than sufficient reason to believe that math can’t serve as its own foundation, (i.e. that math has a ‘contingent’, not ‘necessary’, existence), and to, therefore, regard the applicability of mathematics to the universe, and our ability to understand that ‘immaterial’ math, to be nothing less than a miracle from God, In order to further demonstrate, and more solidly establish, that the omniscient ‘infinite Mind of God’ must be behind any mathematics that describe this universe I will appeal to the ‘collapse of the wave function’ in quantum mechanics.

    But first it is necessary to illustrate a little background.

    In order to try to avoid the Theistic implications that are inherent in quantum wave collapse, many times atheists will appeal to the ‘Many-Worlds’ interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics. In the ‘Many-Worlds’ interpretation of quantum mechanics the reality of the wave function collapse is simply denied as being a real effect.

    Many-worlds interpretation
    Excerpt: The many-worlds interpretation (MWI) is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that asserts that the universal wavefunction is objectively real, and that there is no wave function collapse.[2]
    – per wikipedia

    Quantum mechanics – Philosophical implications
    Excerpt: Everett’s many-worlds interpretation, formulated in 1956, holds that all the possibilities described by quantum theory simultaneously occur in a multiverse composed of mostly independent parallel universes.[52] This is a consequence of removing the axiom of the collapse of the wave packet.
    – per wikipedia

    To say that the atheist’s ‘Many-Worlds’ interpretation of quantum mechanics is ‘untethered imagination run amok’ is to put it too kindly.

    Too many worlds – Philip Ball – Feb. 17, 2015
    Excerpt:,,, You measure the path of an electron, and in this world it seems to go this way, but in another world it went that way.
    That requires a parallel, identical apparatus for the electron to traverse. More – it requires a parallel you to measure it. Once begun, this process of fabrication has no end: you have to build an entire parallel universe around that one electron, identical in all respects except where the electron went. You avoid the complication of wavefunction collapse, but at the expense of making another universe.,,,
    http://aeon.co/magazine/scienc.....a-fantasy/

    Atheist Physicist Sean Carroll: An Infinite Number of Universes Is More Plausible Than God – Michael Egnor – August 2, 2017
    Excerpt: as I noted, the issue here isn’t physics or even logic.
    The issue is psychiatric. We have a highly accomplished physicist, who regards the existence of God as preposterous, asserting that the unceasing creation of infinite numbers of new universes by every atom in the cosmos at every moment is actually happening (as we speak!), and that it is a perfectly rational and sane inference. People have been prescribed anti-psychotic drugs for less.
    Now of course Carroll isn’t crazy, not in any medical way. He’s merely given his assent to a crazy ideology — atheist materialism —,,,
    What can we in the reality-based community do when an ideology — the ideology that is currently dominant in science — is not merely wrong, but delusional? I guess calling it what it is is a place to start.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/08/atheist-physicist-sean-carroll-an-infinite-number-of-universes-is-more-plausible-than-god/

    As Philip Ball further explained in 2018, MWI “destroys any credible account of what an observer can possibly be.”

    Why the Many-Worlds Interpretation Has Many Problems – Philip Ball – October 18, 2018
    Excerpt: It, (The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics), says that our unique experience as individuals is not simply a bit imperfect, a bit unreliable and fuzzy, but is a complete illusion. If we really pursue that idea, rather than pretending that it gives us quantum siblings, we find ourselves unable to say anything about anything that can be considered a meaningful truth. We are not just suspended in language; we have denied language any agency. The MWI — if taken seriously — is unthinkable.
    Its implications undermine a scientific description of the world far more seriously than do those of any of its rivals. The MWI tells you not to trust empiricism at all: Rather than imposing the observer on the scene, it destroys any credible account of what an observer can possibly be. Some Everettians insist that this is not a problem and that you should not be troubled by it. Perhaps you are not, but I am.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-the-many-worlds-interpretation-of-quantum-mechanics-has-many-problems-20181018/

    Luckily for our existence as observers, and for our sanity, wave function collapse, (and directly contrary to what atheists hold in their MWI), is now experimentally shown to be a real effect.

    As the following article states, experiments have now demonstrated “the non-local, (i.e. beyond space and time), collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function”,, “the collapse of the wave function is a real effect”,, “the instantaneous non-local, (beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected”,, and “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”,,

    Quantum experiment verifies Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – March 24, 2015
    Excerpt: An experiment,, has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein’s original conception of “spooky action at a distance” using a single particle.
    ,,Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators,, report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function.,,
    According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances,,,
    ,, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors—which measure wave-like properties—to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect,,
    This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory,, the instantaneous non-local, (beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.,,,
    “Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle,” says Professor Wiseman.
    “Einstein’s view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.
    “However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices.”
    “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-q.....tance.html

    So, regardless of how atheistic materialists may feel about it, wave function collapse is now shown to be a real effect and, as such, the MWI is now experimentally shown to a false interpretation of quantum mechanics.

    There are two things that make wave function collapse so ‘undesirable’ for atheistic materialists.

    Number one, the free will of an observer is shown to be an integral part, (although not a complete explanation), in bringing about wave function collapse.

    As Steven Weinberg succinctly explains, “the Schrödinger equation,,, It is just as deterministic as Newton’s equations of motion and gravitation”.,, “So if we regard the whole process of measurement as being governed by the equations of quantum mechanics, and these equations are perfectly deterministic, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?”,,, “In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,,”

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 2017
    Excerpt: The trouble is that in quantum mechanics the way that wave functions change with time is governed by an equation, the Schrödinger equation, that does not involve probabilities. It is just as deterministic as Newton’s equations of motion and gravitation. That is, given the wave function at any moment, the Schrödinger equation will tell you precisely what the wave function will be at any future time. There is not even the possibility of chaos, the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions that is possible in Newtonian mechanics. So if we regard the whole process of measurement as being governed by the equations of quantum mechanics, and these equations are perfectly deterministic, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?,,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    Weinberg’s statement, “these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure”, does not really capture just how devastating this is to atheistic metaphysics. What Weinberg is really saying, in essence, is that the wave function is not collapsing to its particle state until an observer chooses what to measure.

    This following experiments more fully capture just how devastating wave function collapse is to atheistic metaphysics.

    In the following delayed choice experiment with atoms it was found that, “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behaviour was brought into existence,”

    Reality Doesn’t Exist Until We Measure It, Quantum Experiment Confirms – 01 June 2015
    By Fiona Macdonald
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    Known as John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, the experiment was first proposed back in 1978 using light beams bounced by mirrors, but back then, the technology needed was pretty much impossible. Now, almost 40 years later, the Australian team has managed to recreate the experiment using helium atoms scattered by laser light.,,,
    ,,, “Quantum physics predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness,” said Roman Khakimov, a PhD student who worked on the experiment.,,,
    ,,, a future measurement was affecting the atom’s path, explained Truscott. “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behaviour was brought into existence,” he said.
    https://www.sciencealert.com/reality-doesn-t-exist-until-we-measure-it-quantum-experiment-confirms

    And in the following experiment which falsified ‘realism’, (which is the belief that an objective ‘material’ reality exists independently of our observation/measurement of it), it was found that, “Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.”

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    The Theistic implications of such experiments are fairly straightforward. As Scott Aaronson quipped, “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists,,, But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor quantum computation – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

  183. 183
    bornagain77 says:

    The second thing that makes wave function collapse so ‘undesirable’ for atheistic materialists is that prior to our choice of what to measure, which is to say prior to the collapse of the wave function, the wave function is mathematically defined as being in an infinite dimension state that requires an infinite amount of information to describe properly.

    Wave function
    Excerpt: As has been demonstrated, the set of all possible wave functions in some representation for a system constitute an in general infinite-dimensional Hilbert space.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_function#More_on_wave_functions_and_abstract_state_space
    “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.

    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

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Infinity – Max Tegmark
    Excerpt:,,, 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

    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

    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’, Edward Feser; “Keep it Simple”; 2020), that the (infinite-dimensional and infinite information) mathematics that are found to describe this universe at its most basic level really are “God’s thoughts”. Just as was originally held by the Christian founders of modern science who thought they were thinking God’s thoughts after him whenever they discovered some mathematical truth about the universe.

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

    As St. Augustine succinctly summarized the Christian’s view of mathematics, “Although the infinite series of numbers cannot be numbered, this infinity of numbers is not outside the comprehension of him “whose understanding cannot be numbered”.”

    “Every number is defined by its own character so that no number is equal to any other. They are unequal to one another and are different, and the individual numbers are finite, but as a class they are infinite. Does that mean that God does not know all numbers, because of their infinity? Does God’s knowledge extend as far as a certain sum, and end there? No one could be insane enough to say that.
    Now those philosophers who revere the authority of Plato will not despise numbers and say that they are irreverent to God’s knowledge, For Plato emphasizes that God constructed the world by use of numbers, while we have the authority of Scripture, where God is thus addressed, “You have set all things in order all things by number, measure, and weight.” And the prophet says of God, “He produces the world according to number’. And the Savior says in the Gospel, “Your hairs are all numbered”.
    Never let us doubt then that every number is known to him “whose understanding cannot be numbered”. Although the infinite series of numbers cannot be numbered, this infinity of numbers is not outside the comprehension of him “whose understanding cannot be numbered”.”
    – St. Augustine – “City of God” – 12th Book, 19th Chapter
    – Infinity: Aristotle, St. Augustine, Cantor, Gödel – video – 31:29 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/SMt2VtjMfrU?t=1889

    So again, whereas atheists are at a complete loss to explain why ‘immaterial, infinite, and eternal’ math should even be applicable to the universe in the first place, much less can they possibly explain how we, (as supposedly purely material beings), have the capacity within ourselves to understand this “immaterial, infinite, and eternal’ realm of math, I hold that we have more than sufficient, even compelling, reason to regard the ‘infinite dimensional’ mathematics that describe this universe at its most fundamental ‘quantum’ level to be the ‘immaterial, infinite, and eternal’ omniscient “thoughts of God”.

    Verses and Quotes:

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    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.

    ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also 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

  184. 184
    kairosfocus says:

    As I head out the door, I note again from Enc Math: “It is not anymore possible to disregard undecidable propositions as exceptional singularities that are not encountered in “real mathematics”” KF

  185. 185
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @181

    This is an issue of technical significance for math and computing, thus immediately science, but it also casts a wide worldviews penumbra as it shatters case no 1 used to push rationalism by way of a hoped for global rational axiomatic structure. That puts up front centre that we have worldview presuppositions and alternative cores at stake, what I have for simplicity called first plausibles at our faith points.

    I do think that the fundamental question of the Dilemma of the Criterion and the closely related Agrippa’s Trilemma are of extreme importance here.

    I disagree that “first plausibles at faith points” is the best way to resolve those problems. I think that our acceptance of first principles must itself be reasonable in order for those principles to have authority. But since those principles cannot be derived from anything else (if they were, they wouldn’t be first!), what is required is a way of thinking about reasonableness other than being logically justified by deductively valid argument or being empirically justified by induction over experiences. (It is for this reason that I think Hegel was right to identify dialectics as the science of thought that goes beyond reasoning from axioms, just as Plato says in Republic and Parmenides.)

    We could get into those issues, if you wanted.

    But if we do, I’m not at all sure that it would be relevant to consider the implications of Godel’s theorems. Those theorems show that number theory lacks “foundations” in the sense that Hilbert thought it needed. What Hilbert wanted was to show that arithmetic could be translated into a purely syntactical language, where meaningless symbols were mapped to meaningless symbols. That’s how they understood first-order logic, and what they wanted was to reduce arithmetic* to logic. Godel proved that this could not be done, because first-order logic is complete and arithmetic cannot be.

    It’s a fascinating episode in the history of mathematics, and it had massive implications for computing, as shown by Turing and by Church.

    But does it have implications for how we resolve the Dilemma of the Criterion or Agrippa’s Trilemma? Well, maybe. Yet that is precisely what would need to be argued for, not just asserted.

    * By “arithmetic” I mean any formal language rich enough to capture the axioms of arithmetic.

  186. 186
    jerry says:

    Arithmetic- the adding or subtracting of positive integers.

    That’s all it is. Now different arrangements of positive integers are extremely useful. But we forget just what arithmetic and numbers are, in reality.

    Multiplication is fast addition. Division is fast partitioning.

    The most useful thing in all elementary education is memorizing the multiplication tables up to nine.

    https://twitter.com/charlesmurray/status/1602656906413330432

    Aside: we agreed several times, that there is no such thing as infinity in the real world. Extremely useful concept for the real world but only exists in a mental abstract world used to help solve real world problems.

  187. 187
    JVL says:

    PyrrhoManiac1: But if we do, I’m not at all sure that it would be relevant to consider the implications of Godel’s theorems. Those theorems show that number theory lacks “foundations” in the sense that Hilbert thought it needed. What Hilbert wanted was to show that arithmetic could be translated into a purely syntactical language, where meaningless symbols were mapped to meaningless symbols. That’s how they understood first-order logic, and what they wanted was to reduce arithmetic* to logic. Godel proved that this could not be done, because first-order logic is complete and arithmetic cannot be.

    And, more importantly, it doesn’t mean there is a ‘black hole’ at the heart of mathematics.

    Again, every theorem ever proven was true then, is true now and always will be true. I can’t say how many PhDs in mathematics are awarded every year planet-wide but I’m betting it’s in the thousands. Every single one of those dissertations is a unique and never-before-seen bit of mathematics.

    There’s no ‘hole’; there is a robust and viable and productive system producing more and more and more mathematics every single year.

    Yes there are some notions (like the Axiom of Choice) which may, in fact be undecidable (one of the reasons it’s called an axiom, duh) but how many of you have ever even heard of it? Do you even know what area of mathematics it features in?

    If mathematics does, in fact, give a window onto the mind of God then we are getting to know that mind better and better every year.

  188. 188
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, the point is the failure of grand axiomatisation, which justifies recognising that gap. As for first plausibles, the issue is that worldviews do have finitely remote first plausibles, whether they are well framed or not. With evolutionary materialistic scientism as such an ill founded case. Comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and balance of explanatory power then apply. KF

  189. 189
    JVL says:

    Jerry: Arithmetic- the adding or subtracting of positive integers.

    Doesn’t quite encompass the fundamental theorem of arithmetic does it?

  190. 190
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, you need to have a talk with Chaitin. KF

  191. 191
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: The second thing that makes wave function collapse so ‘undesirable’ for atheistic materialists is that prior to our choice of what to measure, which is to say prior to the collapse of the wave function, the wave function is mathematically defined as being in an infinite dimension state that requires an infinite amount of information to describe properly.

    NO ATHEIST has a problem with any aspect of quantum mechanics. Not one. And yes, that is the mathematics. Every physicist, every mathematician, many chemists all know how it works. You’re just making up that it’s a problem.

    Look, it’s really clear you don’t understand the mathematics behind quantum mechanics at all. Which means it’s all magic to you. Which means you can ‘assign’ meaning or interpretations which, most likely, are not inherent in or reflected by the actual mathematics and science.

    Actually, it doesn’t take an infinite amount of information to define mathematically. That’s what modelling is all about.

    I hold that we have more than sufficient, even compelling, reason to regard the ‘infinite dimensional’ mathematics that describe this universe at its most fundamental ‘quantum’ level to be the ‘immaterial, infinite, and eternal’ omniscient “thoughts of God”.

    Well that means I understand more of the ‘thoughts of God’ than you do. Kind of funny don’t you think?

  192. 192
    jerry says:

    the fundamental theorem of arithmetic

    Is just the partition of a positive number into lesser positive numbers that add up to the number.

    It is a combination of fast addition or multiplication or/and just plain addition.

  193. 193
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: JVL, you need to have a talk with Chaitin.

    Uh huh. I’m good actually. By the way . . .

    In recent writings, he [Chaitin] defends a position known as digital philosophy. In the epistemology of mathematics, he claims that his findings in mathematical logic and algorithmic information theory show there are “mathematical facts that are true for no reason, that are true by accident”. Chaitin proposes that mathematicians must abandon any hope of proving those mathematical facts and adopt a quasi-empirical methodology.

    Still doesn’t mean there is a ‘hole’ in the centre of mathematics that you want to fill with theology.

    Also:

    Some philosophers and logicians disagree with the philosophical conclusions that Chaitin has drawn from his theorems related to what Chaitin thinks is a kind of fundamental arithmetic randomness. The logician Torkel Franzén criticized Chaitin’s interpretation of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem and the alleged explanation for it that Chaitin’s work represents.

    Anyway, you know what? Most, vast majority most, mathematicians don’t think about such things at all. There are too busy actually discovering new mathematical truths. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve watched such things happening. There is no mathematical crisis or hole. There just isn’t. You should stop saying things that aren’t true and/or are only professed by a minority of those in the field.

  194. 194
    JVL says:

    Jerry: Is just the partition of a positive number into lesser positive numbers that add up to the number.

    Oh dear, that’s not right at all. Gee Jerry, your mathematical expertise is looking pretty shaky at the moment.

    Perhaps you should actually look it up.

  195. 195
    jerry says:

    Oh dear, that’s not right at all.

    But it is right.

    Maybe you should actually look it up.

    I did and used the Wikipedia definition as the basis for my remarks. And I did get 100% correct on the GRE test for mathematics.

  196. 196
    JVL says:

    Jerry: But it is right. Maybe you should actually look it up.

    Oh dear, someone else pretending to know more that they do.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_theorem_of_arithmetic

    In mathematics, the fundamental theorem of arithmetic, also called the unique factorization theorem and prime factorization theorem, states that every integer greater than 1 can be represented uniquely as a product of prime numbers, up to the order of the factors.

    Note: not sum, product.

    This theorem generalizes to other algebraic structures, in particular to polynomial rings over a field. These structures are called unique factorization domains.

    Turns out that maybe even Euclid was aware of this BASIC result. Which Jerry didn’t know.

    Jerry is going to make some statement that multiplication is the same as addition (my prediction) but the fundamental theorem of arithmetic talks about the product of, sometimes, many prime numbers. So Jerry</b. has a) forgotten or neglected to mention the importance of primes in the theorem and b) hasn't generalised how an extended product of primes can be represented as a sum.

    Jerry has been lazy, clearly. And he clearly has not reacted as any mathematician I know would have reacted.

    I did and used the Wikipedia definition as the basis for my remarks. And I did get 100% correct on the GRE test for mathematics.

    Obviously you didn’t look it up and oooo, you got a high score on your GREs. I took them as well. Thousands of people take them every year. Why are you getting so much wrong now then?

  197. 197
    Origenes says:

    JVL: NO ATHEIST has a problem with any aspect of quantum mechanics. Not one.

    JVL doth protest too much, methinks.

  198. 198
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL makes this fairly egregious false claim, “NO ATHEIST has a problem with any aspect of quantum mechanics. Not one.”

    This is a very interesting, and egregiously false, claim for him to make, especially seeing that, in the very post that he was throwing spitballs at, I specifically referenced an article from the late Steven Weinberg, a prominent atheist, entitled “The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics” no less, that listed the many problems that he personally had with quantum mechanics.

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 2017
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    I guess JVL does not even bother to actually read my posts before starting to throw spit balls at them.

    Anyways, in spite of JVL’s egregiously false claim, atheistic materialists have fought tooth and nail, for decades now, trying to preserve ‘hidden variables’, and ‘local realism’, from being falsified. All to no avail as the 2022 Nobel prize in physics itself testifies.

    The Nobel Prize in Physics 2022 was awarded jointly to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger “for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science”
    https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/2022/press-release/

    As Daniel Garisto quipped in an article about the 2022 Nobel prize in physics, “the demise of local realism has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

    The Universe Is Not Locally Real, and the Physics Nobel Prize Winners Proved It
    Elegant experiments with entangled light have laid bare a profound mystery at the heart of reality
    – Daniel Garisto – October 6, 2022
    One of the more unsettling discoveries in the past half century is that the universe is not locally real. “Real,” meaning that objects have definite properties independent of observation—an apple can be red even when no one is looking; “local” means objects can only be influenced by their surroundings, and that any influence cannot travel faster than light. Investigations at the frontiers of quantum physics have found that these things cannot both be true. Instead, the evidence shows objects are not influenced solely by their surroundings and they may also lack definite properties prior to measurement. As Albert Einstein famously bemoaned to a friend, “Do you really believe the moon is not there when you are not looking at it?”
    This is, of course, deeply contrary to our everyday experiences. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the demise of local realism has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
    Blame for this achievement has now been laid squarely on the shoulders of three physicists: John Clauser, Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger. They equally split the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics “for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science.” (“Bell inequalities” refers to the pioneering work of the Northern Irish physicist John Stewart Bell, who laid the foundations for this year’s Physics Nobel in the early 1960s.) Colleagues agreed that the trio had it coming, deserving this reckoning for overthrowing reality as we know it. “It is fantastic news. It was long overdue,” says Sandu Popescu, a quantum physicist at the University of Bristol. “Without any doubt, the prize is well-deserved.”,,,
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-universe-is-not-locally-real-and-the-physics-nobel-prize-winners-proved-it/

    Well, I guess that since JVL, in spite of that long history of atheists clinging to hidden variables, and local realism, all to no avail, still claims that “NO ATHEIST has a problem with any aspect of quantum mechanics. Not one”, then I guess that JVL has no problem whatsoever with Anton Zeilinger stating, “information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows.” ,,, “the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: “In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    – Anton Zeilinger – Nobel Laureate 2022 – Quantum Physics
    http://www.metanexus.net/archi.....linger.pdf

    In conclusion, JVL either purposely lied, or he is woefully ignorant about the overall history of quantum mechanics, a history where atheistic materialists have clung to the now falsified presuppositions of hidden variables and local realism.

    Either way, whether he is purposely lying, or whether he is woefully ignorant, it does not bode well for him.

  199. 199
    relatd says:

    An additional comment about God’s Word.

    Isaiah 55:11

    “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

  200. 200
    Seversky says:

    2007 : WHAT ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT?

    Anton Zeilinger

    The Future Of Science

    I am optimistic about the future of science. After all, science as Mankind’s systematic endeavour of understanding Nature is only a few hundred years old. To believe that we have discovered the essentials of understanding Nature in such a short time is a sign of either arrogance or lack of fantasy. So far science is guided by the, in my eyes fallacious, Cartesian cut between res cogitans and res extensa. It is wrong to believe that the world out there exists independent of our observation. But it is equally wrong to believe that it exists only because of our observation. We have to and we will find a completely new way of looking at the world which will fully transcend our present materialistic paradigm. After all, we have learned in quantum physics that all concepts of material existence evaporate. In the end we are left with probability fields, probabilities of the results of observations. I am convinced that in science we have just started to scratch the surface. Our understanding of the world will be radically different from the understanding we have today.

    I am optimistic about the future of religion. We will learn to shed the unessential dogmas, rules, definitions, prejudices which have been collected by the religions over centuries and millennia. We will learn that they have been created out of feelings of insecurity, out of an innate need of mankind to define and understand even the undefinable and ununderstandable. I am convinced that in all major religions we will discover the essentials of what it means to be human in this world. We will succeed in convincing church leaders and religious leaders to be more audacious and to open up to other views of the world and to rely less on what they perceive to be their own access to truth.

    The present battle between science and religion will some day be seen as a battle between two positions where neither one is justified even from their own perspective. Science will never be able to prove that God does not exist and religion will learn that its essence is far deeper than ephemeral questions like whether we were created by evolution or not. I believe that some day we will arrive at a coherent view of the world which will transcend both what today we call science and what today we call religion.

    I am optimistic about the future of technology. Here too we have hardly scratched the surface. With quantum information technology, mankind for the first time is entering a field of technology which, by all we know today, has not been used by Nature in evolution. I am convinced that most of the technology of the future will be of that kind. New ideas will be created and new technologies will be invented which only could come into existence because we invented them. There is no other road to making them happen.

    I believe in the future of mankind. As long as there are children, as long as there are people who look up to the night sky in sheer wonder, as long as there is music, and poetry, and the Mona Lisa, and old monasteries, and young artists, and fledgling scientists and all the other expressions of mankind’s creativity, I will remain optimistic.

  201. 201
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @200

    That’s quite lovely. Thank you for sharing.

  202. 202
    relatd says:

    “We will learn to shed the unessential dogmas, rules, definitions, prejudices which have been collected by the religions over centuries and millennia. We will learn that they have been created out of feelings of insecurity, out of an innate need of mankind to define and understand even the undefinable and ununderstandable. I am convinced that in all major religions we will discover the essentials of what it means to be human in this world. We will succeed in convincing church leaders and religious leaders to be more audacious and to open up to other views of the world and to rely less on what they perceive to be their own access to truth.”

    And here the main problem is revealed: Man becomes God. The word of God is reshaped to fit the desires of men. The truth comes from God. He reveals it. Religious leaders don’t just believe they have access to truth through the Bible by their own will. To know the Bible is to know the will of God. It cannot be discarded. Or changed.

  203. 203
    asauber says:

    “As long as there are children”

    Well, well, well. Children considered the hope of mankind.

    Let’s abort millions in celebration.

    Sev’s “The Future of Science” post is a big joke. What a surprise.

    Andrew

  204. 204
  205. 205
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    “We will learn that they (religions) have been created out of feelings of insecurity, out of an innate need of mankind to define and understand even the undefinable and un-understandable.”
    – Zeilinger

    Although Zeilinger’s claim that all religions are, basically, merely a ‘comforting bed time story’ invented by men to try to “understand even the undefinable and un-understandable” is probably true for many of the religions of the world, Judeo-Christian Theism stands in stark contrast to that fairly simplistic ‘bed-time story’ narrative that Zeilinger believes to be true for all religions

    Zeilinger himself gives witness to fact that Judeo-Christian Theism stands in stark contrast to other world religions, and that it uniquely offers insight into the “undefinable and un-understandable”, when he himself references the beginning of John, not once, but twice (that I know of), in claiming that the fundamental ‘stuff’ of the universe is not matter and energy, but information.

    49:28 mark: “This is now my personal opinion OK. Because we cannot operationally separate the two. Whenever we talk about reality, we think about reality, we are really handling information. The two are not separable. So maybe now, this is speculative here, maybe the two are the same? Or maybe information constitutive to the universe. This reminds me of the beginning the bible of St. John which starts with “In the Beginning was the Word”.,,,
    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video
    https://youtu.be/s3ZPWW5NOrw?t=2969

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: “In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    – Anton Zeilinger – Nobel Laureate 2022 – Quantum Physics
    http://www.metanexus.net/archi.....linger.pdf

    And indeed, Zeilinger’s insight that the fundamental ‘stuff’ of the universe is not matter and energy, but information, enabled him formulate Zeilinger’s principle,

    Zeilinger’s principle
    Zeilinger’s principle states that any elementary system carries just one bit of information. This principle was put forward by Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger in 1999 and subsequently developed by him to derive several aspects of quantum mechanics. Some have reasoned that this principle, in certain ways, links thermodynamics with information theory. [1]
    http://www.eoht.info/page/Zeilinger%27s+principle

    And indeed I hold that Zeilinger’s, very ‘Judeo-Christian friendly’, insight that the fundamental ‘stuff’ of the universe is not matter and energy, but information, is what enabled him to make his fairly astonishing experimental breakthroughs in quantum mechanics that enabled him to glimpse into the quote unquote “undefinable and un-understandable”

    Anton Zeilinger
    3 Research
    3.1 Quantum teleportation
    3.2 Entanglement swapping – teleportation of entanglement
    3.3 Entanglement beyond two qubits – GHZ-states and their realizations
    3.4 Quantum communication, quantum cryptography, quantum computation
    3.5 Further novel entangled states
    3.6 Macroscopic quantum superposition
    3.7 Further fundamental tests
    3.8 Neutron interferometry
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Zeilinger#Research

    As should be needless to say, it is funny thing that a supposedly ‘comforting bed-time story’ of Judeo-Christian theism would correctly predict an ‘information theoretic’ basis for the universe. And that Zeilinger himself would happen to use a ‘information theoretic’ understanding of the universe in order to experimentally glimpse into the “undefinable and un-understandable.”

    Anyways, besides Judeo-Christian theism correctly predicting that the fundamental ‘stuff’ of the universe would information theoretic in its foundational basis, Judeo-Christian theism alone, out of all the religions of the world, also uniquely, and correctly, predicted that the entire universe had a transcendent origin.

    Via Hugh Ross, we find “out 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 Unique Cosmology of Genesis 1 Against Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian Parallels
    –by Michael G. Hasel, Gerhard F. Hasel – May 1, 2015
    Excerpt: the Genesis cosmology and the Genesis creation account come to us without rival. Nowhere in the ancient Near East or Egypt has anything similar been recorded.
    https://www.grisda.org/the-unique-cosmology-of-genesis-1

    Faith, Fact, and False Dichotomies – Austin L. Hughes – 2015
    Excerpt: Coyne issues the following challenge to his readers: “Over the years, I’ve repeatedly challenged people to give me a single verified fact about reality that came from scripture or revelation alone and then was confirmed only later by science or empirical observation.” I can think of one example, which comes from the work of St. Thomas Aquinas (whose writings Coyne badly misrepresents elsewhere in his book). Based on his exposure to Aristotle and Aristotle’s Arab commentators, Aquinas argued that it is impossible to know by reason whether or not the universe had a beginning. But he argued that Christians can conclude that the universe did have a beginning on the basis of revelation (in Genesis). In most of the period of modern science, the assumption that the universe is eternal was quietly accepted by virtually all physicists and astronomers, until the Belgian Catholic priest and physicist Georges Lemaître proposed the Big Bang theory in the 1920s. Coyne does not mention Lemaître, though he does mention the data that finally confirmed the Big Bang in the 1960s. But, if the Big Bang theory is correct, our universe did indeed have a beginning, as Aquinas argued on the basis of revelation.,,,
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....ichotomies

    Moreover from Sev’s citation, we also find that Zeilinger has been severely misled by the false warfare thesis between science and religion, and that he has also been severely misled by the pseudoscience of evolution, (a pseudoscience that, as every ID intimately knows, is relentlessly promulgated by atheists in sprite of having no experimental evidence that it can create even a single protein),

    “The present battle between science and religion will some day be seen as a battle between two positions where neither one is justified even from their own perspective. Science will never be able to prove that God does not exist and religion will learn that its essence is far deeper than ephemeral questions like whether we were created by evolution or not.,,,”
    – Zeilinger

    First, the warfare thesis between science and Christianity is simply a flat out lie that was imagined out of thin air by Darwinian atheists for polemical purposes.

    The Two Guys to Blame for the Myth of Constant Warfare between Religion and Science – February 27, 2015
    Excerpt: Timothy Larsen, a Christian historian who specializes in the nineteenth century, notes:
    The so-called “war” between faith and learning, specifically between orthodox Christian theology and science, was manufactured during the second half of the nineteenth century. It is a construct that was created for polemical purposes.
    No one deserves more blame for this stubborn myth than these two men:
    Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), the founding president of Cornell University, and
    John William Draper (1811-1882), professor of chemistry at the University of New York.
    http://www.thegospelcoalition......d-science/

    The Importance of the Warfare Thesis – Cornelius Hunter, PhD in Biophysics – July 26, 2015
    Excerpt: Historians have understood for the better part of a century now that this Warfare Thesis (between science and religion) is a false history. It was constructed by evolutionists to frame the origins debate in their favor. In fact the conflict is the exactly the opposite—it is between the metaphysical foundation of evolutionary thought and science. That metaphysical foundation of naturalism is unyielding and unbending, and it makes no sense on the science. It is the evolutionists who have a conflict between their religious beliefs and science. The Warfare Thesis is an attempt to turn the tables and turn the attention away from the obvious problems with evolutionary thought.
    Evolutionists say that their skeptics suffer from bad religion and bad science. In fact, the metaphysical foundation of naturalism is not biblical (in spite of the fact that it comes from Christians), and evolutionary theory is not scientific. Science does not indicate that the world spontaneously arose.,,,
    Clear scientific evidence for evolution? Abundant genetic and fossil evidence for evolution? Yes, the scientific evidence is clear, and the genetic and fossil evidence is abundant, but it does not support evolution. Not even remotely.
    Of course Scripture can have different interpretations. But the science leaves no such wiggle room. It does not prove, indicate or suggest that the species arose spontaneously, as a consequence of natural laws and processes. That is a metaphysical mandate (from atheists) that is in conflict with the science.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....logos.html

  206. 206
    bornagain77 says:

    Contrary to what Zeilinger has falsely been led to believe by Darwinian atheists, science and Christianity are certainly not in a battle with each other. In fact, modern science was born out of, and is still very much crucially dependent upon, Judeo-Christian 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 Bacon’s championing of inductive reasoning over and above the deductive reasoning of the ancient Greeks)
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    As Paul Davies noted, “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

    So thus, Zeilinger, in so far as actions speak louder than words, used an information-theoretic understanding of the universe to make fairly impressive ‘experimental strides’ into glimpsing into the undefinable and un-understandable”. And that information-theoretic understanding of the universe, as Zeilinger himself conceded, (at least twice), is found at the beginning of John.,,, To point out the obvious, that is either a very astonishing ‘coincidence’ or else Judeo-Christian theism has far more going for it than Zeilinger has been falsely led to believe by Darwinian atheists.

    Zeilinger also stated.

    “So far science is guided by the, in my eyes fallacious, Cartesian cut between res cogitans and res extensa. It is wrong to believe that the world out there exists independent of our observation. But it is equally wrong to believe that it exists only because of our observation.”,,

    I couldn’t agree more with Zeilinger. See post 182, i.e. “the free will of an observer is shown to be an integral part, (although not a complete explanation), in bringing about wave function collapse.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-quora-is-it-possible-to-prove-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt-that-intelligence-was-required-to-create-life/#comment-771833

    And although, as a Christian, I am very comfortable with what Zeilinger stated in that passage, how a Darwinian/Atheistic materialists could possibly find any comfort whatsoever in anything Zeilinger wrote in that passage I have no idea. That passage is simply completely antithetical to the entire foundation of Atheistic Materialism.

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  207. 207
    relatd says:

    Man tries to exalt himself above God. To correct what God said as if his mind could, in any way, be greater than God’s. It is written:

    2 Timothy 3:1

    “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.”

    3:2

    “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,”

    3:3

    “unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good,”

    3:4

    “treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,”

  208. 208
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes, 200 by Sev is nice, especially the first two paragraphs,

  209. 209
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain

    WRT quantum mechanics, do you agree with me that only aspects of reality can be said to be not real?
    Allow me to explain my point:

    When Alice measures one of her particles, she finds its spin to be either up or down. Her results are random, and yet, when she measures up, she instantly knows Bob’s corresponding particle must be down.

    For Alice the particle has no spin directionality independent from her as an observer. IOW the spin directionality is ‘not real’ [not independent of her measurement]. However, what remains ‘real’ [independent of her measurement] is that we are dealing with a spinning particle. It’s spin can be up or down but we are dealing with a (real) particle either way. Only an aspect of the particle can rightly be called “not real”, namely it’s spin direction. It cannot be measured such that it is not a particle but a pink elephant. To say that the particle as a whole is not real, let alone to say “The Universe Is Not Real”, seems provocative and without basis to me. Do you agree?

    As an aside, it should also be noted that, once the particle is measured by Alice, Bob is confronted by a particle with “real” spin. His measurement has no bearing on the direction of the spin of his particle (or am I missing something?)

  210. 210
    bornagain77 says:

    Well Origenes, I hold that ‘realism’ has been falsified at an even deeper level than what you are holding in that I hold that the particle doesn’t even exist in a particle state until the ‘infinite dimensional’ quantum wave collapses into a particle state upon our ‘free will’ decision of what to measure and/or observe.

    I think the first part of the following video is good at getting this basic point across.

    The Measurement Problem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

  211. 211
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain @
    Thank you.
    From the video:

    ” … the observer plays a key role in deciding the outcome of the quantum measurements-the answers , and the nature of reality, depends in part on the questions asked.” [Davies, Gribbin; ‘The Matter Myth’, p.307]

    “In part” seems to be in line with my point, that only aspects of reality are not real. One cannot decide to perform measurements on an electron when only photons pass the measurement device. Put another way, one cannot make “photon probabilities” collapse into an electron. Right?

    Also from the video:

    “Quantum theory thus denies the existence of a physically real world independent of its observation.” [Rosenblum, Kuttner; ‘The Quantum Enigma’, p.7]

    The first impression is that this claim goes much further than the previous one. However, it is not clear if they mean to say “partly independent.”
    If there is no physical world that is real in any way, if there is nothing independent of its observation, then it would be completely up to us what exists (what to bring into existence). Then we can decide to measure pink unicorns.
    I take it, that this is not your position. Or is it? 🙂

  212. 212
    Seversky says:

    The Problem with Quantum Measurements

    […]

    Let us then look at an actual problem, that is that we don’t know how a measurement happens in quantum mechanics. The discussion of this problem today happens largely among philosophers; physicists pay pretty much no attention to it. Why not, you ask? Because they have been told as students that the problem doesn’t exist.

    […]

    Quantum mechanics is today mostly taught in what is known as the Copenhagen Interpretation and it works as follows. Particles are described by a mathematical object called the “wave-function,” usually denoted ? (“Psi”). The wave-function is sometimes sharply peaked and looks much like a particle, sometimes it’s spread out and looks more like a wave. ? is basically the embodiment of particle-wave duality.

    The wave-function moves according to the Schrödinger equation. This equation is compatible with Einstein’s Special Relativity and it can be run both forward and backward in time. If I give you complete information about a system at any one time – ie, if I tell you the “state” of the system – you can use the Schrödinger equation to calculate the state at all earlier and all later times. This makes the Schrödinger equation what we call a “deterministic” equation.

    But the Schrödinger equation alone does not predict what we observe. If you use only the Schrödinger equation to calculate what happens when a particle interacts with a detector, you find that the two undergo a process called “decoherence.” Decoherence wipes out quantum-typical behavior, like dead-and-alive cats and such. What you have left then is a probability distribution for a measurement outcome (what is known as a “mixed state”). You have, say, a 50% chance that the particle hits the left side of the screen. And this, importantly, is not a prediction for a collection of particles or repeated measurements. We are talking about one measurement on one particle.

    The moment you measure the particle, however, you know with 100% probability what you have got; in our example you now know which side of the screen the particle is. This sudden jump of the probability is often referred to as the “collapse” of the wave-function and the Schrödinger equation does not predict it. The Copenhagen Interpretation, therefore, requires an additional assumption called the “Measurement Postulate.” The Measurement Postulate tells you that the probability of whatever you have measured must be updated to 100%.

    Now, the collapse together with the Schrödinger equation describes what we observe. But the detector is of course also made of particles and therefore itself obeys the Schrödinger equation. So if quantum mechanics is fundamental, we should be able to calculate what happens during measurement using the Schrödinger equation alone. We should not need a second postulate.

    The measurement problem, then, is that the collapse of the wave-function is incompatible with the Schrödinger equation. It isn’t merely that we do not know how to derive it from the Schrödinger equation, it’s that it actually contradicts the Schrödinger equation. The easiest way to see this is to note that the Schrödinger equation is linear while the measurement process is non-linear. This strongly suggests that the measurement is an effective description of some underlying non-linear process, something we haven’t yet figured out.

    There is another problem. As an instantaneous process, wave-function collapse doesn’t fit together with the speed of light limit in Special Relativity. This is the “spooky action” that irked Einstein so much about quantum mechanics.

    This incompatibility with Special Relativity, however, has (by assumption) no observable consequences, so you can try and convince yourself it’s philosophically permissible (and good luck with that). But the problem comes back to haunt you when you ask what happens with the mass (and energy) of a particle when its wave-function collapses. You’ll notice then that the instantaneous jump screws up General Relativity. (And for this quantum gravitational effects shouldn’t play a role, so mumbling “string theory” doesn’t help.) This issue is still unobservable in practice, all right, but now it’s observable in principle.

    One way to deal with the measurement problem is to argue that the wave-function does not describe a real object, but only encodes knowledge, and that probabilities should not be interpreted as frequencies of occurrence, but instead as statements of our confidence. This is what’s known as a “Psi-epistemic” interpretation of quantum mechanics, as opposed to the “Psi-ontic” ones in which the wave-function is a real thing.

    The trouble with Psi-epistemic interpretations is that the moment you refer to something like “knowledge” you have to tell me what you mean by “knowledge”, who or what has this “knowledge,” and how they obtain “knowledge.” Personally, I would also really like to know what this knowledge is supposedly about, but if you insist I’ll keep my mouth shut. Even so, for all we presently know, “knowledge” is not fundamental, but emergent. Referring to knowledge in the postulates of your theory, therefore, is incompatible with reductionism. This means if you like Psi-epistemic interpretations, you will have to tell me just why and when reductionism breaks down or, alternatively, tell me how to derive Psi from a more fundamental law.

    None of the existing interpretations and modifications of quantum mechanics really solve the problem, which I can go through in detail some other time. For now let me just say that either way you turn the pieces, they won’t fit together.

  213. 213
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, 193:

    >>Still doesn’t mean there is a ‘hole’ in the centre of mathematics>>

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-quora-is-it-possible-to-prove-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt-that-intelligence-was-required-to-create-life/#comment-771824 [this is 174]

    1: As I documented in 174 – 6, there was a research programme led by Hilbert that sought to frame core mathematics in a unified, axiomatised, closed comprehensive deductive whole; which was shattered by Godel’s two theorems on incompleteness, irremovable potential for incoherence and resulting irreducible complexity.

    2: This is already key, for had that programme succeeded, there would have been even more denigration of anything that did not meet the “gold standard”; that would echo the iron grip of the Euclidean axiomatic framework from the days of the Greeks.

    3: The obvious “anything” would be politically incorrect inductive reasoning and things like worldviews analysis that highlights first plausibles at finite remove and resulting faith points then comparative difficulties analysis. Where, “faith” highlights that we recognise such things on trust.

    4: That is, the infinite regress is impossible/an infeasible supertask, question begging circularity is self defeating, we have no realistic alternative but worldviews cross examined on comparative difficulties across alternative clusters of first plausibles defining various faith points, i.e. worldviews.

    5: Chaitin, as cited in 176, extends this further and just as decisively, it is not some esoteric oddity, it is closer to hand than we may want to acknowledge:

    Godel’s original proof of his incompleteness theorem is essentially the assertion that one cannot always prove that a program will fail to halt. This is equivalent to asking whether it ever produces any output. He then converts this into an arithmetical assertion. [-> Thus, the core of math pivoting on N,Z,Q,R,C,R* etc with four rule operations and extensions, and computing are implicated, thus science and any other field turning on applied mathematics**] Over the years this has been improved; it follows from the work on Hilbert’s 10th problem that Godel’s theorem is equivalent to the assertion that one cannot always prove that a diophantine equation[*] has no solutions if this is the case. In our approach to incompleteness, we shall ask whether or not a program produces an infinite amount of output rather than asking whether it produces any; this is equivalent to asking whether or not a diophantine equation has infinitely many solutions instead of asking whether or not it is solvable. [Algorithmic Information Theory, 1987]
    _____________

    * F/N: Britannica briefly defines: “Diophantine equation, equation involving only sums, products, and powers in which all the constants are integers and the only solutions of interest are integers. For example, 3x + 7y = 1 or x^2 – y^2 = z^3, where x, y, and z are integers.”

    ** For Jerry, through use of complements [think, two’s and nines], subtraction is reducible to addition, it is not just that multiplication is repeated addition and division repeated subtraction

    . . . and:

    God not only plays dice in quantum mechanics, but even with the whole numbers! The discovery of randomness in arithmetic is presented in my book Algorithmic Information Theory recently published by Cambridge University Press. There I show that to decide if an algebraic equation in integers [–> Diophantine, c.f. just above] has finitely or infinitely many solutions is in some cases absolutely intractable. I exhibit an infinite series of such arithmetical assertions that are random arithmetical facts, and for which it is essentially the case that the only way to prove them is to assume them as axioms [–> i.e. axiomatisation explodes into the transfinite]. This extreme form of Godel incompleteness theorem shows that some arithmetical truths are totally impervious to [–> axiomatised, deductive, presumably] reasoning. [Information, Randomness & Incompleteness (1987)]

    6: So, we see in the Enc of Math, cited in 174 but buried under tangential remarks across yesterday:

    https://encyclopediaofmath.org/wiki/Undecidability

    Undecidability

    The non-existence of an algorithm or the impossibility of proving or disproving a statement within a formal system. Both aspects will be considered below. The non-existence of an algorithm for settling a given problem is often referred to as the unsolvability of the problem. Sometimes the two words “undecidable” and “unsolvable” are used as synonyms. (See Unsolvability.)

    Decidability results can be obtained in all areas of mathematics. They can be based on the intuitive notion of an algorithm. A problem is shown decidable by constructing an algorithm that, after receiving the data for an instance of the problem, produces the answer to that instance. A classical example is Euclid’s algorithm for finding the greatest common divisor of two natural numbers . . . .

    It was shown already by K. Gödel that the existence of undecidable propositions is not a shortcoming of any particular formal system, but rather a property inherent in all formal systems. Such an inherently undecidable proposition is the formal statement expressing the consistency of a given [–> complex enough] formal system. Later it turned out (e.g., due to the work of G. Chaitin [a1], [a2]) that undecidable propositions are far from being rare, but that they are very frequent, often very simple, and that some of them belong to the most elementary arithmetic. It is not anymore possible to disregard undecidable propositions as exceptional singularities that are not encountered in “real mathematics” . As Chaitin puts it: “Non-linear dynamics and quantum mechanics have shown that randomness is present in nature. I believe that I have shown that it is also present in pure mathematics, in fact even in the most elementary branches of the theory of numbers” .

    Undecidable statements cannot be ignored. They are not exceptional and pathological but numerous, nearby and palpable. For any formal system, there are genuine arithmetical statements whose truth or falsity cannot be established within the system, although it seems necessary that the statement is either true or false. E.g., such a statement concerns the solvability of a given Diophantine equation. One can construct a sequence of Diophantine equations with many variables, parametrized by, say, k.

    7: Sideline and dismiss does not work, as core Mathematics is part of the logic of being, i.e. the logic of structure and quantity, which can be shown to be applicable to any possible world.

    8: Note, logic of being, here, is synonymous with Ontology, a major sub branch of Metaphysics, roughly: the philosophical [= hard, core questions], critical study of worldviews. This then exposes your resort to loaded language:

    >>that you want to fill with theology.>>

    9: Notice, your subject switch, from logic of being and worldviews analysis to what in this context is a loaded word that invites inference of “religion, not reason”? (Itself, a prejudice.)

    >>Some philosophers and logicians disagree with the philosophical conclusions that Chaitin has drawn from his theorems related to what Chaitin thinks is a kind of fundamental arithmetic randomness. The logician Torkel Franzén criticized Chaitin’s interpretation of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem and the alleged explanation for it that Chaitin’s work represents.>>

    10: Again, philosophy studies hard, fundamental questions without easy answers, on comparative difficulties. So, starting with the definition of philosophy itself, everything is disputed. The mere fact of a difference of opinion and resulting critique is indecisive. The issue is balance of merits on comparative difficulties.

    11: where, in fact, the material point is that Godel’s proofs established a fundamental result, axiomatisation for complex systems esp those involving core math cannot establish a closed, universal framework, or even that our limited frameworks are coherent and that others to Chaitin et al have shown that this is not an isolated dismissible oddity. Undecidability is a pervasive phenomenon.

    12: So, hoped for closed rationalistic, axiomatic systems are fatally flawed, are in fact impossible. This leaves the worldviews, first plausibles, faith points approach as the last man standing after the demolition derby. Comparative difficulties, self evident first truths [which, thanks to Godel we know cannot span a full orbed worldview], established facts, theses proposed as they help unify and are fruitful, etc are all on the table.

    13: In particular (and as I discussed some time ago here at UD and elsewhere) mathematical and computational systems set up abstract logic model worlds. Where, if key parts pivot on necessary entities fabric to any possible world [NZQRCR* etc is a case] then, answering Wigner, the answers are universal. In other cases, they need to be tailored to what is plausible and useful for a given world. Hence, Scientific frameworks, simulation models etc.

    14: This duly chastened framework is useful, reliable, effective, but it lends no credibility to hoped for gold standard grand rationalistic-deductive comprehensive, closed schemes.

    15: So, we all must live by worldviews, rooted in first plausibles expressing faith points, the issue is to recognise that, exercise comparative difficulties and be willing to move on as the weight of comparative difficulties shifts the balance on the scales.

    KF

  214. 214
    Origenes says:

    Seversky, Bornagain @

    One way to deal with the measurement problem is to argue that the wave-function does not describe a real object …,

    Not a real object in any way? Not independent from observation in any way? As in, “there is no object at all.” As in, “there is nothing to describe.” As in, “it totally up to us what to bring into existence by way of measurement”? As in, “what do you want to measure into existence today, a pink unicorn perhaps or something entirely different”?

    … but only encodes knowledge …

    The knowledge of us observers? There is no object, there is just our knowledge? So, if we are to decide that our knowledge is that there is no moon, no moon will be measured?

    … and that probabilities should not be interpreted as frequencies of occurrence, but instead as statements of our confidence.

    Statements of our confidence about what? About nothing real, about nothing independent from us? Statements of our confidence about our knowledge of stuff that does not exist, in any other way other than concepts in our minds?
    – – – – – – – – – –
    I must say that I will be somewhat annoyed if the general answer to my questions is: “Well of course not, that is not what we meant. Don’t take what we say so literally”. It would be tempting for me to ask “Why the sloppy language?”

  215. 215
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes “If there is no physical world that is real in any way, if there is nothing independent of its observation, then it would be completely up to us what exists (what to bring into existence). Then we can decide to measure pink unicorns.
    I take it, that this is not your position. Or is it?”

    The position that there is “no physical world that is real in any way” is, of course, not my position. Nor, of course, is Solipsism my position. I, as a Christian, obviously, hold the infinite and omniscient Mind of God, not my finite and puny mind, to be the ‘necessary’ existence upon which all other ‘contingent’ physical existences depend. i.e. my position is not that ‘physical existence’ is not ‘real’, but is that the ‘reality’ of physical existence is ‘contingent’ upon the ‘necessary’ reality of God.

    To further distance myself from solipsism, my position, as I stated in 182, is that “the free will of an observer is shown to be an integral part, (although not a complete explanation), in bringing about wave function collapse.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-quora-is-it-possible-to-prove-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt-that-intelligence-was-required-to-create-life/#comment-771833

    Perhaps I should have more clearly stated, ““the free will of an observer is shown to be an integral part,
    (although not, by any means, a complete explanation), in bringing about wave function collapse.”??

    As I went on to further explain in posts 182 and 183, I hold that it is fairly obvious that the omniscient/ominpresent Mind of God is required in order to provide a complete, and ‘causally sufficient’, explanation for the ‘collapse’ of the infinite dimensional/infinite information wave function into its particle state.

    A ‘post-collapse’ final particle state, which, via Zeilinger’s principle, is held to be “an elementary system (that) carries just one bit of information”.

    Zeilinger’s principle
    Zeilinger’s principle states that any elementary system carries just one bit of information. This principle was put forward by Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger in 1999 and subsequently developed by him to derive several aspects of quantum mechanics. Some have reasoned that this principle, in certain ways, links thermodynamics with information theory. [1]
    http://www.eoht.info/page/Zeilinger%27s+principle

    In the beginning was the bit – New Scientist?Excerpt: Zeilinger’s principle leads to the intrinsic randomness found in the quantum world. Consider the spin of an electron. Say it is measured along a vertical axis (call it the z axis) and found to be pointing up. Because one bit of information has been used to make that statement, no more information can be carried by the electron’s spin. Consequently, no information is available to predict the amounts of spin in the two horizontal directions (x and y axes), so they are of necessity entirely random. If you then measure the spin in one of these directions, there is an equal chance of its pointing right or left, forward or back. This fundamental randomness is what we call Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.?http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_.....302101.php

    Quantum physics just got less complicated – Dec. 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner,,, found that ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum ‘uncertainty principle’ in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.,,,
    “The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information,”,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-q.....cated.html

    “From that position, the so-called measurement problem . . . is not a problem but a consequence of the more fundamental role information plays in quantum physics as compared to classical physics.”
    A. Zeilinger, Rev. Mod. Phys.71, S288 (1999)

    Yet, prior to wave collapse, the particle, (in so far as a particle can be said to ‘physically’ exist as a ‘particle’ in its wave state), is held to ‘physically’ exist in an infinite dimensional/infinite information state. This ‘infinite dimensional’ wave state of the particle is held to be a ‘superposition’. A ‘superposition’ of the particle existing in all possible states. i.e. A ‘superposition’ of the particle existing in all possible positions as opposed to the particle existing in only one definite position of only one state, i.e. a particle existing in just only one position with the state of, say, spin up or spin down.

    The ‘superposition’ of the particle existing in all possible positions is, obviously, antithetical to the entire reductive materialistic foundation of Darwinian atheists, which holds that material particles are the fundamental ‘stuff’ of the universe from which everything else derives.

    But anyways to go further, this ‘superposition’ of the particle existing in all possible states has historically been held to be merely “an abstract element” and “primarily a conceptual entity”. Yet as the following articles touch upon, the ‘abstract’ and ‘conceptual’ entity of the particle existing in a ‘superposition’ wave function is now experimentally shown to be a physically real entity that can be measured prior to the ‘superposition particle’ collapsing to just one definitive position.

    Direct measurement of the quantum wavefunction – June 2011
    Excerpt: The wavefunction is the complex distribution used to completely describe a quantum system, and is central to quantum theory. But despite its fundamental role, it is typically introduced as <b<an abstract element of the theory with no explicit definition.,,, Here we show that the wavefunction can be measured directly by the sequential measurement of two complementary variables of the system. The crux of our method is that the first measurement is performed in a gentle way through weak measurement so as not to invalidate the second. The result is that the real and imaginary components of the wavefunction appear directly on our measurement apparatus. We give an experimental example by directly measuring the transverse spatial wavefunction of a single photon, a task not previously realized by any method.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....10120.html

    The final topic to be described is work aimed at the direct measurement of the quantum wavefunction. Historically, the wavefunction has often been considered to be primarily a conceptual entity that can be measured if at all using highly inefficient methods such as quantum tomography. However, Lundeen and his coworkers have recently shown [9] how by performing a “weak measurement” followed by a “strong measurement” it is possible to perform a measurement of the wavefunction in a direct and efficient manner. In recent work, my own group has demonstrated [10] that it similar methods can be used to measure directly the wavefunction of a qubit, which is the fundamental unit of information in quantum information science.
    Robert W. Boyd – The Enabling Technology for Quantum Information Science 2013 – University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
    http://www.bostonphotonics.org.....eminar=202

    As the following experiment found, (and contrary to the widespread belief that the superposition wave function was just a ‘mathematical tool’), “there’s definitely some reality to the wave function,”

    Wave function gets real in quantum experiment – February 2, 2015
    Excerpt: It underpins the whole theory of quantum mechanics, but does it exist? For nearly a century physicists have argued about whether the wave function is a real part of the world or just a mathematical tool. Now, the first experiment in years to draw a line in the quantum sand suggests we should take it seriously.
    The wave function helps predict the results of quantum experiments with incredible accuracy. But it describes a world where particles have fuzzy properties – for example, existing in two places at the same time. Erwin Schrödinger argued in 1935 that treating the wave function as a real thing leads to the perplexing situation where a cat in a box can be both dead and alive, until someone opens the box and observes it.
    Those who want an objective description of the world – one that doesn’t depend on how you’re looking at it – have two options. They can accept that the wave function is real and that the cat is both dead and alive. Or they can argue that the wave function is just a mathematical tool, which represents our lack of knowledge about the status of the poor cat, sometimes called the “epistemic interpretation”. This was the interpretation favoured by Albert Einstein, who allegedly asked, “Do you really believe the moon exists only when you look at it?”
    The trouble is, very few experiments have been performed that can rule versions of quantum mechanics in or out. Previous work that claimed to propose a way to test whether the wave function is real made a splash in the physics community but turned out to be based on improper assumptions, and no one ever ran the experiment.
    What a state
    Now, Eric Cavalcanti at the University of Sydney and Alessandro Fedrizzi at the University of Queensland, both in Australia, and their colleagues have made a measurement of the reality of the quantum wave function. Their results rule out a large class of interpretations of quantum mechanics and suggest that if there is any objective description of the world, the famous wave function is part of it: Schrödinger’s cat actually is both dead and alive.,,,
    There may still be a way to distinguish quantum states from each other that their experiment didn’t capture. But Howard Wiseman from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, says that shouldn’t weaken the results. “It’s saying there’s definitely some reality to the wave function,” he says. “You have to admit that to some extent there’s some reality to the wave function, so if you’ve gone that far, why don’t you just go the whole way?”
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....iment.html

  216. 216
    bornagain77 says:

    In fact, as referenced previously in post 182 (and in falsification of the atheist’s Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics), collapse of the ‘superposition’ wave function into a finite particle state of only one definite position, has now also been experimentally demonstrated.

    As the following article states, experiments have now demonstrated “the non-local, (i.e. beyond space and time), collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function”,, “the collapse of the wave function is a real effect”,, “the instantaneous non-local, (beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected”,, and “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”,,

    Quantum experiment verifies Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – March 24, 2015
    Excerpt: An experiment,, has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein’s original conception of “spooky action at a distance” using a single particle.
    ,,Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators,, report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function.,,
    According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances,,,
    ,, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors—which measure wave-like properties—to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect,,
    This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory,, the instantaneous non-local, (beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.,,,
    “Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle,” says Professor Wiseman.
    “Einstein’s view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.
    “However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices.”
    “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-q.....tance.html

    That a ‘superposition’ of a particle is not just some “abstract element”, “primarily a conceptual entity” and/or a “mathematical tool”, as was originally held, but is a physically real element of reality is also demonstrated by the fact that information can be encoded onto a photon while it is in its ‘superposition’ wave state.

    The following experiment, via Robert Boyd and company at the University of Rochester,
    encoded “an entire image’s worth of data into a photon, slow the image down for storage, and then retrieve the image intact.,,, As a wave, it passed through all parts of the stencil at once,,,”

    Ultra-Dense Optical Storage – on One Photon – January 2017
    Excerpt: Researchers at the University of Rochester have made an optics breakthrough that allows them to encode an entire image’s worth of data into a photon, slow the image down for storage, and then retrieve the image intact.,,, As a wave, it passed through all parts of the stencil at once,,,
    http://www.physorg.com/news88439430.html

    The ‘superposition’ particle simply does not exist as ‘particle’, in the classical sense, of having only one definite position.. And it is on this inability to ground the ‘superposition’ of a particle that the Atheist’s reductive materialistic explanations of reality crash and burn.

    As Anton Zeilinger explains in the following video,

    “We know what the particle is doing at the source when it is created. We know what it is doing at the detector when it is registered. But we do not know what it is doing in-between.”
    – Anton Zeilinger
    Prof Anton Zeilinger Shows the Double-slit Experiment – video
    http://www.dailymotion.com/vid.....iment_tech

    And as Anton Zeilinger further explains in the following video,

    “The path taken by the photon is not an element of reality. We are not allowed to talk about the photon passing through this or this slit. Neither are we allowed to say the photon passes through both slits. All this kind of language is not applicable.”
    – Anton Zeilinger
    Quantum Mechanics – Double Slit Experiment. Is anything real? (Prof. Anton Zeilinger) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayvbKafw2g0

    Considering Anton Zeilinger’s honest confessions, I consider the following verse to be very apt

    Job 38:19-20
    “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?”

    Moreover, the so called ‘measurement problem’ in quantum mechanics is really just a ‘problem for atheistic materialists in that they simply have no causal mechanism in order to adequately explain how it is possible for the ‘infinite dimensional/infinite information’ superposition wave function of a particle to collapse into a particle of having only one definite position, whereas Christians readily do have has a ‘sufficient explanation’ to explain how it is possible for a ‘infinite dimensional/infinite information’ superposition wave function to collapse into a particle of having only one definite position. Namely the infinite and omniscient Mind of God. (see posts 182 and 183).

    Clearly, to give an adequate explanation of the collapse of a ‘superposition’ particle, (a superposition particle which is mathematically defined as being is ‘infinite dimensional’ state, a state which also contains an infinite amount of information), into a finite particle of only one position, then, obviously, it is necessary to appeal to ‘something’ that has the ‘causal adequacy’ within itself to collapse a infinite ‘superposition’ particle into a finite state. And I argue that only God has the causal adequacy within Himself to explain how it is possible for an infinite ‘superposition’ particle to collapse into a finite particle of only one position.

    Quote and Verses:

    “Every number is defined by its own character so that no number is equal to any other. They are unequal to one another and are different, and the individual numbers are finite, but as a class they are infinite. Does that mean that God does not know all numbers, because of their infinity? Does God’s knowledge extend as far as a certain sum, and end there? No one could be insane enough to say that.
    Now those philosophers who revere the authority of Plato will not despise numbers and say that they are irreverent to God’s knowledge, For Plato emphasizes that God constructed the world by use of numbers, while we have the authority of Scripture, where God is thus addressed, “You have set all things in order all things by number, measure, and weight.” And the prophet says of God, “He produces the world according to number’. And the Savior says in the Gospel, “Your hairs are all numbered”.
    Never let us doubt then that every number is known to him “whose understanding cannot be numbered”. Although the infinite series of numbers cannot be numbered, this infinity of numbers is not outside the comprehension of him “whose understanding cannot be numbered”.”
    – St. Augustine – “City of God” – 12th Book, 19th Chapter
    – Infinity: Aristotle, St. Augustine, Cantor, Gödel – video – 31:29 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/SMt2VtjMfrU?t=1889

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Of supplemental note;

    Einstein’s belief that “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics” has been thoroughly, and impressively, falsified.,,,
    Nov. 2022
    https://uncommondescent.com/time/at-big-think-how-reality-is-shaped-by-the-speed-of-light/#comment-769891

  217. 217
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain @215

    The position that there is “no physical world that is real in any way” is, of course, not my position.

    So, we are in agreement here. Are you, like me, annoyed by sweeping statements, that cause nothing but unnecessary befuddlement, like:

    ”The Universe Is Not Locally Real, and the Physics Nobel Prize Winners Proved It“

    And incoherent statements by the fundamentally discombobulated Sabine Hossenfelder on which I commented in #214?

    Yet, prior to wave collapse, the particle, (in so far as a particle can be said to ‘physically’ exist as a ‘particle’ in its wave state), is held to ‘physically’ exist in an infinite dimensional/infinite information state.

    This ‘infinite dimensional’ wave state of the particle is held to be a ‘superposition’. A ‘superposition’ of the particle existing in all possible states. i.e. a ‘superposition’ of the particle existing in all possible positions as opposed to the particle existing in only one definite position of only one state, i.e. a particle existing in just only one position with the state of, say, spin up or spin down.

    Here, my questions return ….
    “The particle … [exists in a] … infinite dimensional/infinite information state” does not resonate with me at all. “Infinite” as in no boundaries whatsoever? As in, the particle can collapse as everything, and everywhere, or be nothing at all?
    When you say “all possible positions” or “all possible states” you are referring to a finite set of positions [the particle is within the boundaries of a certain area] and a finite set of states are you not? Spin is either ‘up’ or ‘down’ right? There is no infinite ways for the spin to be, right? Similarly, “all possible states” does not include the state of a pink unicorn, right? Also here there are clear boundaries to what the particle can be, right?
    If so, it would be prudent to clearly point this out.

    The ‘superposition’ of the particle existing in all possible positions is, obviously, ….

    “… the particle existing in all ITS possible positions, [which is a finite set of possibilities].”

  218. 218
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes, “The Universe Is Not Locally Real” is merely another way of saying that the physical universe is ‘contingent’ upon a ‘necessary’ ‘beyond space and time’ cause for its existence. (i.e. It is actually a confirmation of the Judeo-Christian presupposition undergirding the founding of modern science that the universe is ‘contingent’ upon God for its existence)

    “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/

    The confusion arises from the materialistic presupposition that material particles are self-existent within space-time, with no need to explain their continual existence within space time. In other words, the confusion arises from presupposing material particles to be ‘necessary’ in their existence instead of being contingent’ upon God for their existence as they actually are.

    As the following article put the present dilemma facing materialists, “We must explain space and time, (and I might add even material particles themselves), as somehow emerging from fundamentally spaceless and timeless physics.”

    Living In A Quantum World – Vlatko Vedral – 2011
    Excerpt: For instance, Columbia University physicist Brian Greene writes on the first page of his hugely successful (and otherwise excellent) book The Elegant Universe that quantum mechanics “provides a theoretical framework for understanding the universe on the smallest of scales.” Classical physics, which comprises any theory that is not quantum, including Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity, handles the largest of scales.
    Yet this convenient partitioning of the world is a myth.,,,
    Until the past decade, experimentalists had not confirmed that quantum behavior persists on a macroscopic scale. Today, however, they routinely do. These effects are more pervasive than anyone ever suspected.,,,
    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 as somehow emerging from fundamentally spaceless and timeless physics.
    http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchan.....611038.pdf

    As to “all possible states” does not include the state of a pink unicorn, right?”

    🙂 LOL

    Well in my single rational universe where God simply collapses the ‘superposition’ of the particle to a finite position, there are no ‘pink unicorns popping into existence seemingly out of nowhere. Unless, of course, there might be a rational purpose for God bringing such a creature into existence.

    Yet in the atheists’s conjectures of infinite Many Worlds and Multiverses, (which they put forth to try to avoid God), it is held that anything can, theoretically, happen for no reason whatsoever. Thus, they are not so lucky in avoiding Pink Unicorns popping into existence from seemingly nowhere

    Why Most Atheists (must) Believe in Pink Unicorns – May 2014
    Excerpt: Given an infinite amount of time, anything that is logically possible(11) will eventually happen. So, given an infinite number of universes being created in (presumably) an infinite amount of time, you are not only guaranteed to get your universe but every other possible universe. This means that every conceivable universe exists, from ones that consist of nothing but a giant black hole, to ones that are just like ours and where someone just like you is reading a blog post just like this, except it’s titled: “Why most atheists believe in blue unicorns.”
    By now I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, but I’ll say it anyway. Since we know that horses are possible, and that pink animals are possible, and that horned animals are possible, then there is no logical reason why pink unicorns are not possible entities. Ergo, if infinite universes exist, then pink unicorns must necessarily exist. For an atheist to appeal to multiverse theory to deny the need of a designer infers that he believes in that theory more than a theistically suggestive single universe. And to believe in the multiverse means that one is saddled with everything that goes with it, like pink unicorns. In fact, they not only believe in pink unicorns, but that someone just like them is riding on one at this very moment, and who believes that elephants, giraffes, and zebra are merely childish fairytales.
    Postscript
    While it may be amusing to imagine atheists riding pink unicorns, it should be noted that the belief in them does not logically invalidate atheism. There theoretically could be multiple universes and there theoretically could be pink unicorns. However, there is a more substantial problem for the atheist if he wants to believe in them and he wants to remain an atheist. Since, as I said, anything can happen in the realm of infinities, one of those possibilities is the production of a being of vast intelligence and power. Such a being would be as a god to those like us, and could perhaps breach the boundaries of the multiverse to, in fact, be a “god” to this universe. This being might even have the means to create its own universe and embody the very description of the God of Christianity (or any other religion that the atheist otherwise rejects). It seems the atheist, in affirming the multiverse in order to avoid the problem of fine-tuning, finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. The further irony is that somewhere, in the great wide world of infinities, the atheist’s doppelganger is going to war against an army of theists riding on the horns of a great pink beast known to his tribesman as “The Saddlehorn Dilemma.”
    https://pspruett.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/why-most-atheists-believe-in-pink-unicorns/

    Multiverse and the Design Argument – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: Or again, if our universe is but one member of a multiverse, then we ought to be observing highly extraordinary events, like horses’ popping into and out of existence by random collisions, or perpetual motion machines, since these are vastly more probable than all of nature’s constants and quantities’ falling by chance into the virtually infinitesimal life-permitting range. Observable universes like those strange worlds are simply much more plenteous in the ensemble of universes than worlds like ours and, therefore, ought to be observed by us if the universe were but a random member of a multiverse of worlds. Since we do not have such observations, that fact strongly disconfirms the multiverse hypothesis. On naturalism, at least, it is therefore highly probable that there is no multiverse. — Penrose puts it bluntly “these world ensemble hypothesis are worse than useless in explaining the anthropic fine-tuning of the universe”.
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....n-argument

    The End Of Materialism?
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as an explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.
    Contemporary Physics and God – Part 2 – Dr Bruce Gordon – video (25:17 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/ff_sNyGNSko?t=1517

  219. 219
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain @

    … “The Universe Is Not Locally Real” is merely another way of saying that the physical universe is ‘contingent’ upon a ‘necessary’ ‘beyond space and time’ cause for its existence.

    This idea, obviously, only makes sense for us theists. How it impacts the minds of the Sabine Hossenfelders of this world when they blurt it out, I have no clue and, frankly, I’m not sure I want to know.

  220. 220
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @213

    I’m only going to respond to the first few points, since there’s plenty to discuss right there.

    1: As I documented in 174 – 6, there was a research programme led by Hilbert that sought to frame core mathematics in a unified, axiomatised, closed comprehensive deductive whole; which was shattered by Godel’s two theorems on incompleteness, irremovable potential for incoherence and resulting irreducible complexity.

    Well, sort of. Hilbert’s program was to clarify the foundations of mathematics by proposing a set of criteria: mathematics had to be formal, complete, consistent, and decidable. Although Godel showed that arithmetic could not satisfy completeness and consistency, Hilbert’s program has not been a complete failure (see here).

    2: This is already key, for had that programme succeeded, there would have been even more denigration of anything that did not meet the “gold standard”; that would echo the iron grip of the Euclidean axiomatic framework from the days of the Greeks.

    I’m not sure about this. If Hilbert’s program had succeeded, it would have established that all of mathematics can be derived from a finite set of axioms, just as geometry itself is. But would it have done more than that? I don’t know.

    If Hilbert’s program had been fully successful (which is a difficult counterfactual to maintain, since we know now that there is no possible world in which this is the case!) it would have at best established a complete axiomatization of mathematics. It would not have established a complete axiomatization of all knowledge.

    3: The obvious “anything” would be politically incorrect inductive reasoning and things like worldviews analysis that highlights first plausibles at finite remove and resulting faith points then comparative difficulties analysis. Where, “faith” highlights that we recognise such things on trust.

    This is where our disagreement begins, I think.

    Even in purely formal domains (logic and mathematics), axiomatization is a late development that clarifies the inferential relations in what has already been discovered. (Geometry was centuries old before Euclid!)

    In substantive domains, where we are concerned with theories about the world and not just formal systems, axiomatizing a fully developed theory does not mean denigrating other ways of generating knowledge. If anything, the axioms come subsequent to experimental results, as a way of clarifying them and removing inconsistencies, contradictions, and paradoxes.

    4: That is, the infinite regress is impossible/an infeasible supertask, question begging circularity is self defeating, we have no realistic alternative but worldviews cross examined on comparative difficulties across alternative clusters of first plausibles defining various faith points, i.e. worldviews.

    And this is where the real problems begin.

    Agrippa’s Trilemma states that any putative claim to knowledge must either be derived from other clams that also depend upon it, or else justification must be endless, or else we must be dogmatists and take some claims as asserted but not defended.

    It seems that you want to impale yourself on the third horn of the Trilemma, when you refer to “faith points”: some claims must be taken on faith and not justified.

    But you are, of course, intelligent enough to realize that knowledge that relies on unreasoning faith is no knowledge at all, which is why we need to ask which set of first principles are the most reasonable ones, the ones that legitimately compel our rational assent?

    But at this point you then say that we have no choice but consider ” balance of merits on comparative difficulties” and “be willing to move on as the weight of comparative difficulties shifts the balance on the scales.”

    But what does this mean if not assessing whether the systems built upon those first principles are coherent or incoherent? And if what ultimately matters is whether the worldview is coherent, then we are now impaled on the first horn of the trilemma (circularity).

    In other words: by recognizing why impaling yourself on the third horn of the trilemma (dogmatism) is not rationally satisfactory, you seem forced to impale yourself on the third horn (circularity).

    I’d be very interested to know how you see your criteria for evaluating the rational acceptability of a worldview as avoiding all three horns of Agrippa’s Trilemma. As it is, I don’t see how your proposal to assess based on comparative difficulties is really all that different from coherence, which seems to collapse into circularity.

  221. 221
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @216

    experiments have now demonstrated “the non-local, (i.e. beyond space and time)

    “Non-local” means “not restricted to one specific space-time region”, not “transcending all of space-time”. Quantum effects are nonlocal in that what happens to one particle of an entangled pair simultaneously affects the other particle, regardless of spatial distance between them.

    This by itself does not show that the quantum realm transcends all of space-time in the same sense that classical theism supposes that God does.

  222. 222
    Origenes says:

    PM1

    … one particle of an entangled pair simultaneously affects the other particle, regardless of spatial distance between them.
    This by itself does not show that the quantum realm transcends all of space-time in the same sense that classical theism supposes that God does.

    Why not? Define the two and show how they differ fundamentally. Provide us with an argument.

  223. 223
    jerry says:

    For Jerry, through use of complements [think, two’s and nines], subtraction is reducible to addition, it is not just that multiplication is repeated addition and division repeated subtraction

    I have no idea what this comment is about.

    Are you disagreeing with my assessment of arithmetic? If you are, I fail to see what this is about. It’s beside the point as people introduce irrelevant stuff all the time here. One of which is the introduction of arithmetic.

  224. 224
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @222

    Why not? Define the two and show how they differ fundamentally. Provide us with an argument.

    Well, as I understand classical theism, God is utterly transcendent to the physical universe: He doesn’t experience the passage of time, so He doesn’t experience past, present, and future as we do. From the standpoint of eternity, all temporal moments are the same. The difference between then and now doesn’t exist for Him. And likewise, He doesn’t see the difference between distances, between here and there. (In semantic terms, I guess, one could say that He doesn’t use indexicals as we do!)

    Quantum nonlocality, as I understand it, is that what happens in one spatial region can simultaneously effect what happens in another spatial region, without any need for propagation of information from one spatial region to another.

    Those just seem like really different concepts to me.

  225. 225
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus:

    As PyrrhoManiac1 has already explained, you have (once again) interpreted some mathematical and physics events and theories in a very idiosyncratic way that seems to support your theological stance. What is particularly odd about your skewed view is that you have been told about your biases many, many, many times before but you absolutely refuse to even acknowledge that you have been ‘corrected’ many times.

    You have a strange double standard of knowledge: when you say it, it’s undeniably true but if someone disagrees with you they must have not heard you or are intentionally disagreeing because they hate God or some such.

    Until you can learn to actually discuss the academics like a real academic I’m not sure why any of us should bother to point out that your views are extremely fringe.

    PS you don’t have to ‘talk mathy’ or attempt to teach us about the mathematics; we already know.

  226. 226
    Origenes says:

    PM1 @224
    What connects the two entangled particles? Not our universe. Our universe attempts to separate them (and fails to do so). The fact that the two are connected nonetheless seems to point to the existence of a realm independent from space (and perhaps also time), capable of overriding the logic of our universe. Is this realm where God resides? We don’t know.

  227. 227
    JVL says:

    Jerry: Are you disagreeing with my assessment of arithmetic?

    Well, you did get the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic incorrect! To repeat:

    The fundamental theorem of arithmetic, also called the unique factorization theorem and prime factorization theorem, states that every integer greater than 1 can be represented uniquely as a product of prime numbers, up to the order of the factors.

    And this can be verified everywhere.

  228. 228
    Viola Lee says:

    Post 220 by PM is very interesting. I’d love to add my two cents, but have very little time.

    Briefly, I think the systems of understanding we make about areas where empirical evidence is lacking, like metaphysics and theology, we embed assumptions which create coherence via circularity, referring back to themselves as conclusions or by being used in what appears as logical arguments by appearing as accepted conclusions when they are in fact assumptions, by faith. They are ouroboritic belief systems, to perhaps coin a phrase.

  229. 229
    JVL says:

    Origenes: The fact that the two are connected nonetheless seems to point to the existence of a realm independent from space (and perhaps also time), capable of overriding the logic of our universe.

    More likely it means that there are forces or influences that we don’t fully understand or that we haven’t learned to detect or measure. It’s not a question of overriding our current ‘logic’, it’s a question of expanding our ‘logic’ to encompass new, heretofore undefined forces. Einstein didn’t overridden Newton, he took on a larger and more expansive set of data.

  230. 230
    relatd says:

    VL at 228,

    Empirical evidence requires a correct worldview, not one tainted with presuppositions. Evidence is fine but ignores another dimension – faith, and God.

    Hebrews 11:1

    “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

  231. 231
    JVL says:

    Viola Lee: ouroboritic

    Lovely! I’ve never heard the term before but knowing ouroboros I got it immediately.

  232. 232
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    I want to add something to @220 about mathematics and metaphysics.

    Every ancient Greek philosopher I know of, from Plato onward, was very clear that metaphysics could not be done in the way that mathematics was. Plato is especially clear about this: in mathematics we reason from axioms, whereas in metaphysics we search for first principles. Aristotle and everyone else followed him in this.

    The first major philosopher to argue that metaphysics should be done like mathematics was, of course, Descartes. He argued that the absence of clearly identified self-justifying axioms had prevented progress in metaphysics. But while some philosophers thought he was right about this, most didn’t. Locke, most famously, thought that the lack of progress in metaphysics was due to not emulating the inductive method of empirical science.

    Meanwhile, the whole German tradition from Kant onward explicitly rejects mathematics as a model for metaphysics, and that culminates in Hegel’s insanely ambitious project to develop a comprehensive metaphysical system with no presuppositions at all. (Over 200 years later and still no one can figure out if he succeeded!)

    My point being, I don’t think that metaphysics was ever in any danger of being made axiomatic, even if Hilbert’s program had succeeded in axiomatizing arithmetic.

    And it should be obvious that axiomatizing metaphysics, even if that were possible, would do nothing to avoid Agrippa’s Trilemma.

  233. 233
    Viola Lee says:

    Re 230. Empirical evidence is empirical evidence. Interpreting the significance of empirical evidence can involve one’s worldview.

    And belief in God is a matter of faith. Some worldviews don’t include that assumption.

  234. 234
    bornagain77 says:

    PM1 “Non-local” means “not restricted to one specific space-time region”, not “transcending all of space-time”.

    LOL, and JVL recently falsely claimed that NO ATHEIST has a problem with quantum mechanics. 🙂

    Hidden variables have been falsified six ways from Sunday,

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 28 October 2012
    Excerpt: “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,”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121028142217.htm

    Not So Real – Sheldon Lee Glashow – Oct. 2018
    Excerpt: In 1959, John Stewart Bell deduced his eponymous theorem: that no system of hidden variables can reproduce all of the consequences of quantum theory. In particular, he deduced an inequality pertinent to observations of an entangled system consisting of two separated particles. If experimental results contradicted Bell’s inequality, hidden-variable models could be ruled out. Experiments of this kind seemed difficult or impossible to carry out. But, in 1972, Alain Aspect succeeded. His results contradicted Bell’s inequality. The predictions of quantum mechanics were confirmed and the principle of local realism challenged. Ever more precise tests of Bell’s inequality and its extension by John Clauser et al. continue to be performed,14 including an experiment involving pairs of photons coming from different distant quasars. Although a few tiny loopholes may remain, all such tests to date have confirmed that quantum theory is incompatible with the existence of local hidden variables. Most physicists have accepted the failure of Einstein’s principle of local realism.
    https://inference-review.com/article/not-so-real

    “hidden variables don’t exist. If you have proved them come back with PROOF and a Nobel Prize.
    John Bell theorized that maybe the particles can signal faster than the speed of light. This is what he advocated in his interview in “The Ghost in the Atom.” But the violation of Leggett’s inequality in 2007 takes away that possibility and rules out all non-local hidden variables. Observation instantly defines what properties a particle has and if you assume they had properties before we measured them, then you need evidence, because right now there is none which is why realism is dead, and materialism dies with it.
    How does the particle know what we are going to pick so it can conform to that?”
    per Jimfit
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/quantum-physicist-david-bohm-on-why-there-cannot-be-a-theory-of-everything/#comment-662358

  235. 235
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: 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

    Nice quote mine. Clearly the point is that we do not currently have complete scientific explanations for the phenomena we observe.

    Again, Einstein’s work could be said to be outside of Newtonian space and time but it’s clearly subject to laws and predictions and not the whim of some undefined or undetected intelligence. So, our notion of space and time expand with new ‘laws’ and observations. As has been happening for centuries.

    PS: proof that you don’t even look at the links you post, that one is broken. Why, why, why should we take any of your quote-and-paste screeds seriously?

  236. 236
    Viola Lee says:

    PM’s statement has nothing to do with atheism. He made a very reasonable distinction between the theological conclusion BA wants to make and what non-locality really means. I think PM’s point could easily be made also by a theist.

    And I don’t think PM’s remark had to do with hidden variables, but the link he provides doesn’t work.

  237. 237
    bornagain77 says:

    “proof that you don’t even look at the links you post, that one is broken.”

    Which one?

  238. 238
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Which one?

    hahahhahahahaha you haven’t checked any of them! Too funny.

  239. 239
    bornagain77 says:

    They all work for me. I was going to try to help you, but alas, apparently you are just into trying to score cheap rhetorical points however you can,, Sad!

  240. 240
    relatd says:

    Ba77 at 234,

    I appreciate your posts. However, I think some scientists and theorists have this all wrong. Just because subatomic/quantum reactions cannot be seen like macro atomic reactions, i.e. solid matter, does not mean quantum effects occur in a separate realm. It does not mean a ‘separate reality’ exists. Quantum effects are understood well enough at this point to build quantum computers and to build macro tools to further study the various effects. Considering how relatively advanced this is, especially quantum cryptography, I would remind you and all reading that some of this work would be highly classified and certainly not available in the open/public literature.

  241. 241
    Viola Lee says:

    BA, when you first posted you only included the first link, which was different than it is now. Your original link didn’t work, and then you changed it.

    Your original link was https://www.quantumlah.org/highlight/121029_hidden_influences.php

    Perhaps you will acknowledge your role in this confusion.

  242. 242
    Viola Lee says:

    Also, I’ll point out that most (but not all) quantum physicists accept that there are no hidden variables: this is not an atheism vs theism issue. Second, as I said earlier, and BA didn’t respond to, PM’s remark has nothing to do with hidden variables.

  243. 243
    bornagain77 says:

    But all the links work for you now? No need to thank me. 🙂

    I think it is shining example just how eager you guys are to condemn anything I post right after I post it, even before I have a chance to do my corrections to my post in the 20 minute time window that is given to do corrections.

    And, not that I will ever get an honest answer from you, but exactly what do you think was trying to be preserved with the appeal to hidden variables?

    Of note, I have other, better, things calling me,,,, it is the Christmas season. so I’m out of here.,,, Have a good evening.

  244. 244
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: They all work for me. I was going to try to help you, but alas, apparently you are just into trying to score cheap rhetorical points however you can,, Sad!

    One of the links you initially posted was broken. That is true. That’s what I was reacting to. Shall I wait 20 minutes every time you make a post until your revision time has expired? I guess I’d better or you’re going to criticise me for criticising you for making a mistake.

  245. 245
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes the links work now, but they didn’t. Perhaps you’ll retract post 239 and your remark about cheap rhetorical tricks.

  246. 246
    jerry says:

    belief in God is a matter of faith‘

    Apparently you are unfamiliar with ID.

    Belief in a creator is very much more than faith. Equating that belief with a specific god is not justified but a creator, most definitely yes. That creator must have immense intellect and power. The creator also most assuredly made specific choices. Thus, it is possible to make some assessments of the creator based on these choices.

    The creator is consistent with the gods of several religions. Justifying a specific religion/god is way beyond the purview of ID but an extremely powerful/knowledgeable creator who makes choices is fairly obvious.

  247. 247
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry, I was responding to relatd, and about the Christian God.

  248. 248
    Sir Giles says:

    VL: Yes the links work now, but they didn’t. Perhaps you’ll retract post 239 and your remark about cheap rhetorical tricks.

    I guess we can all hope for a Christmas miracle. But I am not going to hold my breath.

  249. 249
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @228

    I think the systems of understanding we make about areas where empirical evidence is lacking, like metaphysics and theology, we embed assumptions which create coherence via circularity, referring back to themselves as conclusions or by being used in what appears as logical arguments by appearing as accepted conclusions when they are in fact assumptions, by faith. They are ouroboritic belief systems, to perhaps coin a phrase.

    I think something like that’s right. The ouroboros is a long-standing symbol of mine. (I have one tattooed on my left arm.)

    But, I would want to vary the ouroboritic image just a bit here — from a circle to a spiral, as it were.

    Instead of a circle, where the chain of inferences spills out from a fixed set of assumptions and then lends inferential support to those assumptions, imagine a process in which the inferential consequences develop to a point where they allow us to call into question – to revise, modify, or even replace — the assumptions from which we started out. That in turn would require us to revise, as needed, the inferences that unfolded from those assumptions — and eventually leading back., again, to revising those assumptions, and then again — and again — constantly modifying the whole of our worldview.

    Or, to use the metaphor of Neurath’s boat:

    We are like sailors who on the open sea must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom. Where a beam is taken away a new one must at once be put there, and for this the rest of the ship is used as support. In this way, by using the old beams and driftwood the ship can be shaped entirely anew, but only by gradual reconstruction.

    I think there’s a subtle but important difference between a worldview that engages in constant self-correction like this and a worldview that is (as it were) merely circular.

  250. 250
    vividbleau says:

    BA
    “They all work for me. I was going to try to help you, but alas, apparently you are just into trying to score cheap rhetorical points however you can,, Sad!”

    Sad and petty.

    Vivid

  251. 251
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes, a very good distinction. The first pure ouroboros is dogmatic and fixed, and the second spiralling one is the way we grow and change even if certain fundamentals stay solidly fixed. (And sometimes even the fundamentals can change.)

    But I want to make a distinction between understandings that are susceptible to empirical evidence and those that are not—understandings which involve both personal choices concerning such things as values and metaphysical beliefs which are beyond evidence. Both of which can be fixed or more changeable, but both the nature of their fixity, so to speak, and their changeability, are different in important ways.

  252. 252
    Viola Lee says:

    At 243, BA writes, “And, not that I will ever get an honest answer from you, but exactly what do you think was trying to be preserved with the appeal to hidden variables?”

    I didn’t notice that anyone in this discussion was appealing to hidden variables. Maybe I missed that – what post?

  253. 253
    Viola Lee says:

    I see that above JVL wrote: “NO ATHEIST has a problem with quantum mechanics.”

    That is wrong in the following way: every quantum physicist, atheist or not, has a problem with quantum mechanics in that everyone is in some stage of doubt about how to interpret it in connection with the nature of reality. No one really knows. On the other hand, virtually all quantum physicists are in agreement about how the math fits what we observe: hence the “shut up and calculate” response to philosophizing about it.

    BA’s response about hidden variables took off, in a characteristic fashion, from there.

  254. 254
    vividbleau says:

    VL

    Your post reminded me of this quote from Neils Bohr

    “Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum mechanics cannot possibly have understood it.” Niels Bohr

    Vivid

  255. 255
    Viola Lee says:

    Recently three people got the Nobel prize for their work in quantum mechanics, and I think all three said at some point that they really don’t understand what it means about reality. It’s a really big mystery!

  256. 256
  257. 257
    Viola Lee says:

    Relatd posts some links which illustrate my point. Totally disconnected from the atheism vs theism issue, scientists use an understanding of how quantum mechanics works, in an empirical sense, to do practical things even if they have different metaphysical views of what it all means.

  258. 258
    Origenes says:

    Viola Lee @

    … everyone is in some stage of doubt about how to interpret it in connection with the nature of reality. No one really knows. …
    … they really don’t understand what it means about reality. It’s a really big mystery!

    You make it seem like a complete blur. However quantum mechanics has clearly taught us that classical physics, that undergirds materialism and naturalism, cannot explain what’s going on, and even worse: it got reality wrong. Understandably this shocking revelation causes some worries in those worldviews.
    It is as if you and JVL don’t want to acknowledge this simple fact.

  259. 259
    relatd says:

    VL at 257,

    Practical results are all engineers in this field care about. Working out the math and other details is important but getting something built, either for research or as a finished product, is primary. Basic research is leading to working products in this field. If products for sale cannot be made, it slows research down. Investors and governments want results. Devices that work. The metaphysical aspects are important but getting something built that works reliably has been achieved, even if new discoveries are made. Once understood, these new discoveries could lead to new applications.

    However, the transition from the macro world we live in to the quantum world has direct implications to ourselves as observers. Our minds can affect the results in the quantum world. Our decision to actually measure causes a change in the possible results. We are entangled with the quantum world. A world that contains things yet to be discovered.

  260. 260
    Viola Lee says:

    Of course I recognize the dramatic difference between the prior classical physics and quantum physics: I have no idea what you think I am “not acknowledging”.

    I am aware that there are materialistic interpretations of quantum mechanics and theistic interpretations also, but there were/are materialistic and theistic interpretations of classical physics also. Quantum physics has presented us with some views radically different than the clockwork-world of Newtonian physics, but for several hundred of years proponents of that view were theists. And the “shocking revelations” of QM started 100 years, so this is not new.

    And I am not a materialist.

    So I’m not sure what the specifics of your point are.

  261. 261
    Viola Lee says:

    to realtd at 259: I agree with your first paragraph, except to point that the math is part of getting something built.

    I also agree with your second paragraph. I’ll add that there are some significant things we don’t know. First, how do quantum events work in the absence of consciousness: it doesn’t take someone watching a quantum computer to make it work. We also don’t know what consciousness is. If consciousness of an event can change the event because we “are entangled with the quantum world”, then one possibility is that consciousness is, in fact, a phenomena of the quantum world.

    As you say, there is much to be discovered.

  262. 262
    Origenes says:

    Viola Lee

    I am aware that there are materialistic interpretations of quantum mechanics …

    As I understand it, it has been confirmed (Nobel Prize included) that certain properties of particles are not independent of our measurements. Let me repeat: certain properties do not exist (are not real) before they are measured by us.
    There is no materialistic interpretation of this dependence. There cannot be one, since it is diametrically opposed to the fundamental thesis of materialism, which says that particles and their properties make up reality.

  263. 263
    Viola Lee says:

    We’ve had this discussion before, so no sense going over it again. “The fundamental thesis of materialism, which says that particles and their properties make up reality”, is outdated. New understandings of materialism would include understanding the properties of QM.

    You yourself wrote earlier, “If there is no physical world that is real in any way, if there is nothing independent of its observation, then it would be completely up to us what exists (what to bring into existence). Then we can decide to measure pink unicorns.”

    So “something” exists even if it doesn’t become real to us until measured.

    And, as I said to relatd, quantum computers work even if they are not being observed: what constitutes a “measurement” is a major problem in interpreting QM. QM mechanics doesn’t seem to require a conscious observer to function.

    So “is it or it it not materialism” is sort of a non-useful question to be asking. Do we call the “something” that exists before we measure it “material” or not? Surely not in the outdated sense, but in the sense that it is part of what constitutes physical reality, or brings about material reality, I think it’s reasonable to call it part of the material world. That doesn’t explain consciousness or it’s role in an observation, but I think at least you should perhaps recognize some of this, and quit offering the outdated “particles and their properties make up reality” statement as a definition of materialism.

  264. 264
    Origenes says:

    Viola Lee @

    “The fundamental thesis of materialism, which says that particles and their properties make up reality”, is outdated. New understandings of materialism would include understanding the properties of QM.

    Since the advent of quantum mechanics, materialists are no longer sure what the central thesis of their worldview is or what it is about. Some would call it a crisis.

  265. 265
    Alan Fox says:

    Since the advent of quantum mechanics, materialists are no longer sure what the central thesis of their worldview is or what it is about.

    How did you research the opinions of materialists? Quantum mechanics is a rarified field that I don’t understand and I bet even those who study QM for a living struggle with some of the concepts. Why is this controversial?

    I see this frequently in these comment columns from ID advocates. ‘Materialists, atheists, Darwinists are wrong, confused, uncertain, in disagreement about something therefore “Intelligent Design” is supported and my work is done.’

    Certainty is overrated.

  266. 266
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1,

    I appreciate your responding on specifics. However, additional comments are in order:

    >>sort of. Hilbert’s program was to clarify the foundations of mathematics by proposing a set of criteria: mathematics had to be formal, complete, consistent, and decidable. Although Godel showed that arithmetic could not satisfy completeness and consistency, Hilbert’s program has not been a complete failure >>

    1: Where did I say it was “a complete failure”? Nowhere, nor did I imply or invite that inference.

    2: Instead, I specified the key aspect where it was a bridge too far, giving Godel’s result and its import.

    >>I’m not sure about this. If Hilbert’s program had succeeded, it would have established that all of mathematics can be derived from a finite set of axioms, just as geometry itself is. But would it have done more than that? I don’t know. >>

    3: We both know the history of the dominance of thought by deductive schemes epitomised by Euclidean Geometry, for 2000+ years so that it was a crisis when non Euclidean geometries emerged as the 5th postulate was challenged.

    4: We both see how the irreducible complexity of mathematical reality such that core math pivoting on NZQRCR* etc — the term arithmetic does not immediately suggest how far reaching this is — cannot be axiomatised in a finite cluster of consistent axioms joined to exposure of how close at hand the problem is, has led to a whole domain of exploration on what is undecidable and its impacts not only on math but on computation.

    5: this was a moment of paradigm shift.

    >>Even in purely formal domains (logic and mathematics), axiomatization is a late development that clarifies the inferential relations in what has already been discovered. (Geometry was centuries old before Euclid!)>>

    6: True but irrelevant, side tracking and misleading, as axiomatisation, post Euclid, was the gold standard of intellectual mastery of a domain for 2,000 years.

    7: Indeed, deductive schemes overshadowed inductive reasoning and there are echoes down to today.

    >>In substantive domains, where we are concerned with theories about the world and not just formal systems, axiomatizing a fully developed theory does not mean denigrating other ways of generating knowledge.>>

    8: The issue is not strict import but history of ideas. It is indisputable that the inductive was the stepchild of logic, in an age where deduction was king, for 2,000 years.

    9: Similarly, here at UD, Ironically, I have had to highlight that axiomatisation of core math is not arbitrary, it is responsive to Mathematical facts on the ground.

    >> Agrippa’s Trilemma states that any putative claim to knowledge must either be derived from other clams that also depend upon it, or else justification must be endless, or else we must be dogmatists and take some claims as asserted but not defended. It seems that you want to impale yourself on the third horn of the Trilemma, when you refer to “faith points”: some claims must be taken on faith and not justified. >>

    10: Strawman. As we both know, I am pointing to the core challenge of argument and warrant, leading to the structure of worldviews.

    11: As noted since at least Aristotle, infinite regress is futile so we must recognise first principles that are start points. Where, likewise, question begging circularity fails as that loop is inherently fallacious . . . mere coherence is not enough.

    12: So, no, we are not “impaling [ourselves]” — loaded language — but instead recognise patterns of real world thought. Worldviews have presuppositions, first self evident truths, intuitions etc that cannot be reduced further to infinite regress. These come in clusters that need to be factually adequate and coherent, so reliable. Then we address balance on explanatory power by being neither ad hoc nor simplistic.

    13: Plainly, this is the point where one trusts some things as first givens and this includes first principles of right reason, eg 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]

    14: It is obviously self referentially absurd to try to prove first logical principles such as distinct identity and its close corollaries non contradiction and excluded middle. Just to think, speak and write we rely on this, it makes no sense to saw off the branch on which we sit.

    15: This can be summarised as our first plausibles, taken on trust and used as context, tools and first reliables of reasoning. Trust, so that dirty word applies, faith.

    16: Faith, however, contrary to the sneering attitudes of Dawkins et al, is not a synonym for irrationality, instead responsible reasoning acknowledges worldview core first plausibles and our limitations, as Locke did, anticipating today’s error of substituting the inferior commodity, [hyper-]skepticism for the true virtue, prudence:

    [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.

    17: Prudence leading to a chastened recognition of our base of reasoning and knowing with its limitations is not intellectual suicide by impalement on a horn of an extended dilemma.

    >>we need to ask which set of first principles are the most reasonable ones, the ones that legitimately compel our rational assent? But at this point you then say that we have no choice but consider ” balance of merits on comparative difficulties” and “be willing to move on as the weight of comparative difficulties shifts the balance on the scales.” But what does this mean if not assessing whether the systems built upon those first principles are coherent or incoherent?>>

    18: Further strawman caricatures.

    19: I clearly highlighted comparative difficulties as requiring a recognition that all significant worldviews options bristle with difficulties. Indeed, I pointed out that philosophy is the discipline of hard core questions without easy answers. Hence, COMPARATIVE difficulties regarding [1] factual adequacy, [2] coherence, [3] balance of explanatory power. This is not irrationalism nor is it hyperskeptical despair but a reference to prudence as guiding light.

    20: It seems you demand detailed spelling out, even as TLDR games loom. I — and the many thinkers from Aristotle on — am specifically finite, avoiding infinite regress. While coherence is important [all realities must be so together], it is not enough to avoid question begging. Factual adequacy requires reliability and as much truthfulness as can be obtained. Balance of explanatory power avoids ad hoc patchworks and what is simplistic. COMPARATIVE difficulties breaks question begging by, well, err, ah, comparing the different main sides on the matter at stake.

    21: So, your setting up and knocking over a simplistic Agrippa Trilemma strawman failed. Failed, by not attending to what was outlined on comparative difficulties.

    >>by recognizing why impaling yourself on the third horn of the trilemma (dogmatism) is not rationally satisfactory, you seem forced to impale yourself on the third horn (circularity). >>

    22: Further strawman fallacy caricatures. Dogmatism implies fallacy of closed mind, i.e. question begging, precisely what comparative difficulties addresses.

    >>I’d be very interested to know how you see your criteria for evaluating the rational acceptability of a worldview as avoiding all three horns of Agrippa’s Trilemma. As it is, I don’t see how your proposal to assess based on comparative difficulties is really all that different from coherence, which seems to collapse into circularity.>>

    22: Already outlined, drawn out in response to strawman caricatures.

    KF

  267. 267
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, I simply pointed out that, once two’s complements and nines complements are on the table, subtraction collapses into addition. This then allows us to realise that the four rules are useful summaries of main operations, with subtraction, multiplication and division as in effect close corollaries of addition as root binary operation. Indeed, A – B = C in effect can be re-interpreted as what must augment B to return A: A = C + B. However, for practical work we address all four. In design of central processing units, recognising complements allows us to simply use full adders and complements to carry out arithmetic in arithmetic and logic units. Registers with shift also are key. KF

  268. 268
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL:

    As PyrrhoManiac1 has already explained, you have (once again) interpreted some mathematical and physics events and theories in a very idiosyncratic way that seems to support your theological stance. What is particularly odd about your skewed view is that you have been told about your biases many, many, many times before but you absolutely refuse to even acknowledge that you have been ‘corrected’ many times.

    See the just above, piling on fails.

    KF

    PS, I note that idiosyncratic, clearly meant to belittle, fails. Ever since at least Aristotle, first principles have been pivotal in the world of thought. That’s probably the all time no. 1 philosopher, we should not have forgotten, say:

    https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:abo:tlg,0086,025:4:1006a

    [METAPHYSICS, 1006a] [1]. . . we have just assumed that it is impossible at once to be and not to be, and by this means we have proved that this is the most certain of all principles. Some, indeed, demand to have the law proved, but this is because they lack education1; for it shows lack of education not to know of what we should require proof, and of what we should not. For it is quite impossible that everything should have a proof; the process would go on to infinity, so that even so there would be no proof.2 If on the other hand there are some things of which no proof need be sought, they cannot say what principle they think to be more self-evident. Even in the case of this law, however, we can demonstrate the impossibility by refutation, if only our opponent makes some statement. If he makes none, it is absurd to seek for an argument against one who has no arguments of his own about anything, in so far as he has none; for such a person, in so far as he is such, is really no better than a vegetable.And I say that proof by refutation differs from simple proof in that he who attempts to prove might seem to beg the fundamental question, whereas if the discussion is provoked thus by someone else, refutation and not proof will result.The starting-point for all such discussions is not the claim that he should state that something is or is not so [20] (because this might be supposed to be a begging of the question), but that he should say something significant both to himself and to another (this is essential if any argument is to follow; for otherwise such a person cannot reason either with himself or with another);and if this is granted, demonstration will be possible, for there will be something already defined. But the person responsible is not he who demonstrates but he who acquiesces; for though he disowns reason he acquiesces to reason. Moreover, he who makes such an admission as this has admitted the truth of something apart from demonstration [so that not everything will be “so and not so”].

    Your quarrel is with Aristotle, not me or my alleged biases and dubious, novel oddities. Aristotle here more than anticipated Agrippa and frameworks of worldviews. And, the relevant history of ideas on dominance of deductive systems and the shock of the Godel result are plain. Onward, you need to substantially engage Chaitin and Enc of Math, for starters.

  269. 269
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It may save much futile back and forth if objectors were to ponder carefully the substance, contextual allusions and issues in just this brief remark by Locke in opening the batting for his Essay on Human Understanding:

    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.

    Notice the challenge to the demand for certain proof of all things? Notice, the exposure of global hyperskepticism flowing from that challenge? Ponder, say, the implicit despair in sat Descartes and his attempt to doubt everything leading to I think so I exist as to doubt is to think and one must be to think. Infer, what Locke would say of double standard, selective hyperskepticism and the rhetoric that echoes the psychology of cognitive dissonance leading to projection of perceived fault to the despised other.

    In short, my history of ideas rooted concerns are abundantly well founded and can be seen coming from philosophers of the first rank.

    Deal with the substance, rather than with Alinsky tactic personalisation and polarisation.

    KF

  270. 270
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus @266, PM1 @

    14: It is obviously self referentially absurd to try to prove first logical principles such as distinct identity and its close corollaries non contradiction and excluded middle.

    Surely the first logical principles also undergird any mathematics and any metamathematics.

    Just to think, speak and write we rely on this, it makes no sense to saw off the branch on which we sit.

    Indeed, Agrippa’s Trilemma cannot be formulated, cannot exist, without the first logical principles. So, if Agrippa were to draw a circle around the first logical principles, he will then notice that there is no outside of the circle. That is to say that he does not have the epistemic right to assume a position independent (‘outside’) of it.
    Here, any judgment necessarily depends on the truth of what one seeks to adjudicate — which is, as Kairosfocus said, “obviously self referentially absurd.”

  271. 271
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, yes, I discussed that aspect of Mathematical foundations here. You spotted where I was going next if Agrippa was to be brought up again. He too sat on the same branch as the rest of us, just to post a sentence that can be read he has to use distinct identity, he is also trying to argue on claimed facts towards a three pronged dilemma, often called a trilemma. So, he implied the first principle nature of first principles of reasoning. Such are not enough to erect a worldview, and we already saw facts being implicitly on the table. A whole raft of issues prior to there being observers to recognise facts are also on the table. We know question begging and infinite regress fail so we are left to finitely remote first plausibles defining worldviews, and comparative difficulties. Going back, Godel and those who came after him opened up a whole new world on the classic case of axiomatised deductive reasoning as gold standard, core Math. KF

  272. 272
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus @
    Thank you for the reference to your article. A few quotes and some of my thoughts:

    Thus, while bare distinct identity and coherence focused on quantities will not cause things by the inherent potential or action of such entities, they instead are logical constraints on being and are tied to what can or must be or cannot be or happens not to be.

    If I were to answer the question “What is logic about?”, my answer would be: “Being.” Although logic does not provide us with a definition of being, it tells us what something is and what it is not, in the context of its relationships to other entities.

    So, too, we may see that the abstract logic model worlds that we may construct then lead to key entities that if necessary are framework to any possible world; thus applicable to our common world.

    The relationship in being between entities, brought to light by logic & math, thus results in the framework for any possible world.

    Logic is not only about relationships in being. Logic is not severed, hanging mid-air, pointing to horizontal relationships, instead it is grounded by the crucial law of identity: A=A.
    Here, at the foundation of logic, there is no relationship between multiple entities — there is just “A”. Behold, one thing only. Here is self-grounding, self-relationship. Unity.

    Why does it speak to us? Why does it inform us?
    In my view, there can be but one answer: consciousness—self-awareness: ‘I experience I experience.’
    A=A is about “I Am that I Am.”

  273. 273
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @266

    I made no strawman caricatures of anything you said. I attempted to take you seriously and engage with you as a fellow philosopher.

    It remains really quite unclear to me how you understand the epistemic status of “first plausibles”, as you call them. (I would call them “first principles”, but what do I know?) At times you indicate that they are simply trusted, taken on faith. At other times you indicate that we need to inquire into the overall theoretical coherence and practical adequacy of the worldview that is based upon those first plausibles. So it’s not clear whether you think the rational authority of those first plausibles is itself something that can be established by inquiry or if it is simply bestowed upon those principles by taking them on trust.

    If you think (as I suspect you do) that we must critically assess the cogency of rival worldviews, then the question arises as the criteria we shall use, and the reliability and authority of those criteria. And if (again, as a I suspect) you think that something like Stoic epistemic duties are the criteria to use (as I infer from your quoting Epictetus and Cicero), then I think the following problem arises: does the Stoic give us enough to refute the Skeptic?

    I can think of the Skeptic (and here I am thinking of how Sextus Empiricus writes in Outline of Pyrrhonism) as offering two distinct responses. I prefer the second, but the first one is worth a moment’s notice.

    The first response is to go the radical route of certain Chinese and Japanese Buddhists, and just say that all assertion is folly (including of course the assertion that all assertion is folly), that we need to climb out out of the prison of conventional language entirely, and that enlightenment comes when we can attend to the transitoriness and impermanence of all things, including all thoughts and desires. One simply ceases to reason altogether.

    The second response, and I think closer to what Sextus would say, is that while the Skeptic does recognize the binding authority of epistemic rules and obligations, those rules and obligations are equally binding on the proponents of all worldviews, and so those epistemic obligations cannot help us adjudicate the conflict between rival worldviews.

  274. 274
    Viola Lee says:

    PyrrhoManiac at 273 writes,

    The first response is to go the radical route of certain Chinese and Japanese Buddhists, and just say that all assertion is folly (including of course the assertion that all assertion is folly), that we need to climb out out of the prison of conventional language entirely, and that enlightenment comes when we can attend to the transitoriness and impermanence of all things, including all thoughts and desires. One simply ceases to reason altogether.

    I like everything about this paragraph except the last sentence. One can recognize that analytic thinking is an overlay over actual experience, and thus not confuse it with what is real, and still accept it as something that human beings do naturally and spontaneously. Reasoning thinking can be useful if it’s not taken too seriously, and understood for what it is and what it is not.

    A couple of favorite quotes illustrate these: first, the Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao. Words are maps, not reality: they can invoke a deeper engagement with the experience of what is immediately present, but they cannot replace it.

    Also from the I Ching: The wise man is he who does spontaneously exactly as he would do after deep thought (or something like that). Our real understandings get embedded in our nature: we make them us and they become us, so they don’t need to be articulated in order to manifest themselves in our spontaneous action.

    Of course, sometimes the opposite is true: struggling to articulate and understand an issue or argument is the work we have to do to help it sink into our being.

    It’s all yin and yang: both sides of reasoning are necessary—articulating things with words while understanding their limitation, and understanding that both our thinking conscious self and our deeper holistic self are part of what manifests as our being.

    This is all hard to articulate, but we certainly need the Eastern view to balance the Western excessive attachment to abstract analysis and to the conscious ego.

  275. 275
    Viola Lee says:

    Oops. I messed up the quotes at 274, and it’s too lat to fix. The second indent is my comments, such as they are.

  276. 276
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: It is obviously self referentially absurd to try to prove first logical principles such as distinct identity and its close corollaries non contradiction and excluded middle. Just to think, speak and write we rely on this, it makes no sense to saw off the branch on which we sit.

    So, those are some of your axioms in your system.


    Faith, however, contrary to the sneering attitudes of Dawkins et al, is not a synonym for irrationality, instead responsible reasoning acknowledges worldview core first plausibles and our limitations, as Locke did, anticipating today’s error of substituting the inferior commodity, [hyper-]skepticism for the true virtue, prudence:

    Extremely difficult to interpret. Are you saying prudence is also one of your axioms?

    This then allows us to realise that the four rules are useful summaries of main operations, with subtraction, multiplication and division as in effect close corollaries of addition as root binary operation. Indeed, A – B = C in effect can be re-interpreted as what must augment B to return A: A = C + B. However, for practical work we address all four

    All part of Abstract Algebra. Did you ever take a course in Abstract Algebra? Rings and Fields, etc.

    Your quarrel is with Aristotle, not me or my alleged biases and dubious, novel oddities. Aristotle here more than anticipated Agrippa and frameworks of worldviews. And, the relevant history of ideas on dominance of deductive systems and the shock of the Godel result are plain. Onward, you need to substantially engage Chaitin and Enc of Math, for starters.

    I think all systems of beliefs have basic assumptions or axioms. And Godel pointed out a limitation of such systems. BUT . . .

    This did not change the basic teaching of mathematics or philosophy or physics. In fact, when I earned my MA in mathematics in the 80s we didn’t discuss Godel at all. There was and is still too much viable and active mathematics to cover as a student to spend much time on a theoretical limitation. This is my beef with your opinion: you hypothesise that the mathematical community was shaken to the core by Godel’s theorems and, on a practical and lower level this just wasn’t or isn’t the case. It hasn’t affected the teaching of undergraduate and most graduate mathematics at all. To become a working mathematician does not require knowledge of or acknowledgement of Godel’s theorems. You can ‘do’ lifetimes of mathematics without considering Godel at all.

  277. 277
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1,

    unfortunately, the gaps above speak for themselves; especially your failed attempts to use “impale[ment].”

    Perhaps, I need to add F H Bradley’s response to the Kantians, as part of further backdrop:

    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.]

    it is in this context that we can for example ponder factual adequacy issues and coherence issues, leading back to the force of Locke’s candle in us remarks.

    >>It remains really quite unclear to me how you understand the epistemic status of “first plausibles”, as you call them. (I would call them “first principles”, but what do I know?) At times you indicate that they are simply trusted, taken on faith. At other times you indicate that we need to inquire into the overall theoretical coherence and practical adequacy of the worldview that is based upon those first plausibles. So it’s not clear whether you think the rational authority of those first plausibles is itself something that can be established by inquiry or if it is simply bestowed upon those principles by taking them on trust. >>

    1: We both know that from Aristotle and Epictetus, some of the first things are self evident first principles such as the first principles of right reason, but I have explicitly highlighted that such are never enough to frame a worldview. Other things are facts of experience including facts of consciousness. Others, are postulates or presuppositions that draw their power from theoir ability to unify more or less a conception of the world, and more. All of which are doubtless familiar.

    2: I say first plausibles as they are where we start from, as we must. And I have repeatedly highlighted, these are the things that for whatever reason we trust, i.e. our point of faith. For cause, I do NOT use faith to imply blind, irrational dogmatism, something that got tossed out there as a rhetorical grenade.

    3: In short, I am thinking inductively, argument by support and inference to the least difficult grand explanation, given comparative difficulties.

    4: Thus, I am saying that worldviews come with al kinds of epistemic status, some are just folk common sense informed by the dominant ideas of a culture, others are more reflective. The strength of the plausibles depends on what they are, and on the gap between personal awareness and objective awareness of their status. That is, I am describing not prescribing.

    5: For instance, someone who has met God and been transformed in life, is in a very different position from someone who has been led down the garden path of modern hyperskepticism towards God.

    >>If you think (as I suspect you do) that we must critically assess the cogency of rival worldviews, then the question arises as the criteria we shall use, and the reliability and authority of those criteria.>>

    6: Please. You are dealing with someone who has several times explicitly addressed worldview difficulties and comparative difficulties analysis. Also, self evident first principles and other start points that are of a very different order, why this rhetorical pretence that there is a doubt on the matter?

    7: Further to which, what is so hard to figure our about saying that all major worldviews bristle with difficulties and that a key method of philosophy is comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and balance of explanatory power [neither an ad hoc patchwork nor simplistic].

    8: Let me exemplify, for cause, I hold with many others that despite its ability to dress up in a lab coat and institutional dominance, evolutionary materialistic scientism is hopelessly, multiply self referentially incoherent and self defeating.

    9: Similarly, as one who is alive because of miracles in answer to prayer, I have met God in life transforming power as have many others of my acquaintance.

    10: At a different level, as I have seen excellent reason to believe it, and as I was listening on shortwave, I have good knowledge of the fact that men landed on the Moon in July 1969. Many other matters of history are similarly credible.

    11: ||| + || –> |||||, expressed 3 + 2 = 5 is self evident, a basic mathematical fact. Extending, I have argued that NZQRCR* etc are necessary world framework structures for any possible world.

    12: You have been present when several such matters were raised above, So, I have excellent reason to hold that your “questions” or “doubts” are in fact ways to suggest strawman caricatures, as any reasonable person will recognise that degree of warrant for various claims is highly variable, and dependent on first plausibles.

    13: For that matter, you have been present when I have pointed out my view that knowledge in the first instance carries meaning based on being the common property of English speakers. So, we cannot lock it up to being dependent on vanishingly rare certainty. I have explicitly addressed weak form or sense knowledge as defeasible, warranted, credibly true [so, reliable] belief. Some few items are undeniable on pain of patent absurdity, but the bulk of real world knowledge, of day to day serious thought, history, science etc is like this. Again, the pretended ignorance of and invidious suggestions in your approach point to strawman fallacies.

    >>The first response is to go the radical route of certain Chinese and Japanese Buddhists, and just say that all assertion is folly (including of course the assertion that all assertion is folly) . . . >>

    15: Admitted self defeating incoherence and despair of language and perception, cf F H Bradley.

    >>while the Skeptic does recognize the binding authority of epistemic rules and obligations, those rules and obligations are equally binding on the proponents of all worldviews, and so those epistemic obligations cannot help us adjudicate the conflict between rival worldviews>>

    16: Again, self defeating as the rule implies and undercuts itself. Incoherence and factual failure leading to explanatory failure. Hyperskepticism, global or selective, is self defeating. Similarly, any frame that asserts, implies, suggests or invites an inference of grand delusion.

    KF

  278. 278
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, obviously, I did some algebra; BTW it is groups, rings, fields and algebras. My remark to Jerry was that one can reduce the four rules to addition [with complements], as some processor ALU’s do; this, to build back up to, it does make sense to highlight the four. Of course back in the 50s – 60s, the big issue was whether you put floating point in the CPU in hardware. Axioms are obviously cases of first principles that may be in worldviews but one’s first commitments are much broader and worldviews have a lot of the inductive in them. Prudence is a cardinal virtue and a first duty [indeed, as Cicero noted, a first, built in law antecedent to courts and parliaments], including that warrant is a criterion of knowledge; e.g. why in criminal matters Rex must prove to moral certainty beyond reasonable doubt. And yes, Regina has been retired for a while to come, as I have seen in recent bills coming across my desk. It is not an axiom, a statement asserted as a start point for a system such as Euclid’s or ZFC or those of S5 for modal logic. I did not assert or suggest that Godel overthrew Math, just a particular attitude and pattern. Of course, his result marked a paradigm shift and we all now recognise undecidables as a key insight. KF

  279. 279
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, revisiting a point. Are you aware of a thousands of years long theme of achieving deductive certainty on points of knowledge in our civilisation? Which is a root of hyperskepticism of the sort addressed by Locke? Are you aware that Euclidean Geometry was commonly taught in schools as a key to not merely mathematics of figures in the plane with some practical utility but as a paradigm example of clear, certain reasoning on axioms that are inherently clear and plausible, leading to powerful and certain results? Thus, down to my own high school level classic geometry, the gold standard of rationality? Are you aware that this was held to be in the core of High School education, part of the Math programme for basically every student (until, “New Math” took over)? Are you aware of the debates on the 5th, parallel lines postulate and how this seemed odd, leading to early C19 attempts to carry out a reductio that instead opened up non Euclidean geometries and the shock that was after 2,000 years? Are you aware of the discomfort with the first 100 years of calculus and its seeming looseness by comparison, leading to a lot of work to develop standard analysis and related areas? Are you aware of the Greek use of the paradigm and the difficult struggle for empirical sciences to emerge, with a much lower standard of warrant, per observation, hypothesis, testing and reliability? Are you aware that Hilbert’s axiomatisation intent fitted into a dominant cultural trend? That Godel’s result and onward work had a shocking impact that ran counter to the trend of thought? That, as both Enc Math and Chaitin testify, there was a trend to view the result as an oddity, which Chaitin specifically counters on the strength of onward results? Do you not therefore see that there is a significant history of ideas trend at work? That context informs my comments and my remarks are far from some religiously motivated oddities. I am thinking there is a hole in our understanding of relevant history of ideas, and that yet again I must thank the Boston Jesuits who helped me to catch some of the tail end of a 2,000+ year tradition. KF

    PS, I suspect this too is tied with the discomfort in fairly recent decades with inductive thinking and attempts to put science on a deductive frame. I call names like Popper, contrasting Feyerabend et al. Inductive logic, modern argument by support sense and especially abduction as inference to best explanation as key form have been the step child of thinking on rational, responsible warrant.

  280. 280
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I think, Greenleaf has a message for us:

    Evidence, in legal acceptation, includes all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved . . . None but mathematical truth is susceptible of that high degree of evidence, called demonstration, which excludes all possibility of error [–> Greenleaf wrote almost 100 years before Godel], and which, therefore, may reasonably be required in support of every mathematical deduction. [–> that is, his focus is on the logic of good support for in principle less than utterly certain conclusions, i.e. in the modern sense, inductive logic and reasoning in real world, momentous contexts with potentially serious consequences.]

    Matters of fact are proved by moral evidence alone; by which is meant, not only that kind of evidence which is employed on subjects connected with moral conduct, but all the evidence which is not obtained either from intuition, or from demonstration. In the ordinary affairs of life, we do not require demonstrative evidence, because it is not consistent with the nature of the subject, and to insist upon it would be unreasonable and absurd. [–> the issue of warrant to moral certainty, beyond reasonable doubt; and the contrasted absurdity of selective hyperskepticism.]

    The most that can be affirmed of such things, is, that there is no reasonable doubt concerning them. [–> moral certainty standard, and this is for the proverbial man in the Clapham bus stop, not some clever determined advocate or skeptic motivated not to see or assent to what is warranted.]

    The true question, therefore, in trials of fact, is not whether it is possible that the testimony may be false, but, whether there is sufficient probability of its truth; that is, whether the facts are shown by competent and satisfactory evidence. Things established by competent and satisfactory evidence are said to be proved. [–> pistis enters; we might as well learn the underlying classical Greek word that addresses the three levers of persuasion, pathos- ethos- logos and its extension to address worldview level warranted faith-commitment and confident trust on good grounding, through the impact of the Judaeo-Christian tradition in C1 as was energised by the 500 key witnesses.]

    By competent evidence, is meant that which the very-nature of the thing to be proved requires, as the fit and appropriate proof in the particular case, such as the production of a writing, where its contents are the subject of inquiry. By satisfactory evidence, which is sometimes called sufficient evidence, is intended that amount of proof, which ordinarily satisfies an unprejudiced mind [–> in British usage, the man in the Clapham bus stop], beyond reasonable doubt.

    The circumstances which will amount to this degree of proof can never be previously defined; the only legal [–> and responsible] test of which they are susceptible, is their sufficiency to satisfy the mind and conscience of a common man; and so to convince him, that he would venture to act upon that conviction, in matters of the highest concern and importance to his own interest.

    [= definition of moral certainty as a balanced unprejudiced judgement beyond reasonable, responsible doubt. Obviously, i/l/o wider concerns, while scientific facts as actually observed may meet this standard, scientific explanatory frameworks such as hypotheses, models, laws and theories cannot as they are necessarily provisional and in many cases have had to be materially modified, substantially re-interpreted to the point of implied modification, or outright replaced; so a modicum of prudent caution is warranted in such contexts — explanatory frameworks are empirically reliable so far on various tests, not utterly certain. Morally certain facts of observation and experience in our common world are not necessary truths.]

    [A Treatise on Evidence, Vol I, 11th edn. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1888) ch 1., sections 1 and 2. Shorter paragraphs added. (NB: Greenleaf was a founder of the modern Harvard Law School and is regarded as a founding father of the modern Anglophone school of thought on evidence, in large part on the strength of this classic work.)]

    He of course primarily wrote concerning courts, which have been paradigm examples of broader warrant with much at stake.

    I suggest, through the window of abductive inference to best explanation, such has somewhat to say to science and to critical analysis of worldviews and related issues. There is even an echo of the warrant to certainty issue, mathematics and Euclidean geometry there. For said geometry was the main example of mathematical, deductive, certain demonstration on offer.

    Notice, the paradigm referred to and the contrast on matters of court decision.

    KF

  281. 281
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, I excerpt Grabiner, in “The Centrality of Mathematics in the History of Western Thought ” as we can take it to the bank that the Dawkins mindset is at work:

    Since this is a paper in the education section, let me start
    with a classroom experience. It happened in a course in which my students
    had read some of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry. A student, a social-science
    major, said to me, “I never realized mathematics was like this. Why, it’s like
    philosophy!” That is no accident, for philosophy is like mathematics. When I
    speak of the centrality of mathematics in western thought, it is this student’s
    experience I want to recapture—to reclaim the context of mathematics from the
    hardware store with the rest of the tools and bring it back to the university. To
    do this, I will discuss some major developments in the history of ideas in which
    mathematics has played a central role.
    I do not mean that mathematics has by itself caused all these developments;
    what I do mean is that mathematics, whether causing, suggesting, or reinforcing,
    has played a key role—it has been there, at center stage . . . I wish
    to emphasize is the crucial role of mathematics in shaping views of man and
    the world held not just by scientists, but by everyone educated in the western
    tradition . . . .

    For over two thousand years, the certainty of mathematics—
    particularly of Euclidean geometry—has had to be addressed in some way by any
    theory of knowledge. Why was geometry certain? Was it because of the subject-
    matter of geometry, or because of its method? And what were the implications
    of that certainty?

    Even before Euclid’s monumental textbook, the philosopher Plato saw the
    certainty of Greek geometry—a subject which Plato called “knowledge of that
    which always is” [41, 527b]—as arising from the eternal, unchanging perfection
    of the objects of mathematics. By contrast, the objects of the physical world were
    always coming into being or passing away. The physical world changes, and is
    thus only an approximation to the higher ideal reality. The philosopher, then,
    to have his soul drawn from the changing to the real, had to study mathematics.
    Greek geometry fed Plato’s idealistic philosophy; he emphasized the study of
    Forms or Ideas transcending experience—the idea of justice, the ideal state, the
    idea of the Good . . . .

    An equally notable philosopher, who lived just before Euclid, namely Aris-
    totle, saw the success of geometry as stemming, not from perfect eternal ob-
    jects, but instead from its method (Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, I 10-11; 11-2
    (77a5, 71b ff)) [19, vol. I, Chapter IX]. The certainty of mathematics for Aristo-
    tle rested on the validity of its logical deductions from self-evident assumptions
    and clearly stated definitions. Other subjects might come to share that cer-
    tainty if they could be understood within the same logical form; Aristotle, in
    his Posterior Analytics, advocated reducing all scientific discourse to syllogisms,
    that is, to logically deduced explanations from first principles. In this tradition,
    Archimedes proved the law of the lever, not by experiments with weights, but
    from deductions à la Euclid from postulates like “equal weights balance at equal
    distances” [18, pp. 189-194].

    Isaac Newton
    called his famous three laws “Axioms, or Laws of Motion.” His Principia has a
    Euclidean structure, and the law of gravity appears as Book III, Theorems VII
    and VIII [37, pp. 13-14, pp. 414-417]. The Declaration of Independence of the
    United States is one more example of an argument whose authors tried to inspire
    faith in its certainty by using the Euclidean form. “We hold these truths to be
    self-evident…” not that all right angles are equal, but “that all men are created
    equal.” These self-evident truths include that if any government does not obey
    these postulates, “it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” The central
    section begins by saying that they will “prove” King George’s government does
    not obey them. The conclusion is “We, therefore,… declare, that these United
    Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.” (My ital-
    ics) (Jefferson’s mathematical education, by the way, was quite impressive by
    the standards of his time.)
    Thus a good part of the historical context of the common term “proof” lies
    in Euclidean geometry—which was, I remind you, a central part of western
    education.
    However, the certainty of mathematics is not limited to Euclidean geometry.
    Between the rise of Islamic culture and the eighteenth century, the paradigm
    governing mathematical research changed from a geometric one to an algebraic,
    symbolic one. In algebra even more than in the Euclidean model of reasoning, the
    method can be considered independently of the subject-matter involved. This
    view looks at the method of mathematics as finding truths by manipulating
    symbols.

    And much more.

  282. 282
    Origenes says:

    PM1 @273

    The first response is to go the radical route of certain Chinese and Japanese Buddhists, and just say that all assertion is folly (including of course the assertion that all assertion is folly), that we need to climb out out of the prison of conventional language entirely, and that enlightenment comes when we can attend to the transitoriness and impermanence of all things, including all thoughts and desires. One simply ceases to reason altogether.

    Self-defeating statements are irreparable, there seems to be a lack of awareness about that fact by some:
    *All assertion is folly*
    (1.) All assertion is folly
    (2.) “All assertion is folly” is an assertion
    from (1.) and (2.)
    (3.) “All assertion is folly” is folly …
    – – – –
    Repair attempt 1.: *all assertion is folly (including of course the assertion that all assertion is folly)* (author: PM1)
    1. all assertion is folly (including of course the assertion that all assertion is folly)
    2. “all assertion is folly” is folly
    – – – – –
    Repair attempt 2.: *all assertion is folly (except for the assertion that ‘all assertion is folly’)*.
    1. All assertion is folly
    2. “All assertion is folly” is itself an assertion but is not a folly.
    … premise (1.) and (2.) contradict each other …

    Viola Lee on PM1’s quote :

    I like everything about this paragraph except the last sentence.

    You must like self-contradictory statements.
    _ _ _ _
    The other day I pointed out that Popper’s claim “All knowledge remains conjectural” is a self-contradictory statement. Seversky responded and suggested that some easy remedy is available:

    Does Popper specifically exclude his own proposition? If not then the claim that all knowledge is conjectural can include itself without raising a contradiction.

    “Specifically exclude his own position” from a universal statement? It cannot be done. Self-contradictory statements are huge mistakes without remedy.

  283. 283
    Viola Lee says:

    Hmm. Q, I think you have missed the big point.

    Did you read the rest of my post?

  284. 284
    Viola Lee says:

    P.S. No one offered your repair #2. You made that up, without making it clear that PM (nor I) said that.

  285. 285
    Origenes says:

    VL @274 @283

    One can recognize that analytic thinking is an overlay over actual experience, and thus not confuse it with what is real, and still accept it as something that human beings do naturally and spontaneously.

    Truth is an accurate description of reality. Words refer to things and, of course, are not the things to which they refer. What do you mean by “not confuse it with what is real”? Are there persons who confuse the word/thought “apple” with the actual apple?

    Reasoning thinking can be useful if it’s not taken too seriously, and understood for what it is and what it is not.

    Can you provide an example of reasoning thinking which one should not take “too seriously”?

    A couple of favorite quotes illustrate these: first, the Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao.

    I don’t understand what this means. Is this the claim that “No true statements about the Tao can be made”? If so, that would be self-referentially contradictory.

    Words are maps, not reality: they can invoke a deeper engagement with the experience of what is immediately present, but they cannot replace it.

    Sure. But who are you arguing against? Can you name a person who suggested that the word “apple” can ‘replace’ to which it refers, namely an actual apple?

    Also from the I Ching: The wise man is he who does spontaneously exactly as he would do after deep thought (or something like that). Our real understandings get embedded in our nature: we make them us and they become us, so they don’t need to be articulated in order to manifest themselves in our spontaneous action.

    Of course, sometimes the opposite is true: struggling to articulate and understand an issue or argument is the work we have to do to help it sink into our being.

    I can agree with the above. Except for the line “sometimes the opposite is true”; I do not see any opposition with the previous.
    – – – –
    @284 Correct. Included by me in order to show that no ‘easy repair’ is available.

  286. 286
    Origenes says:

    // follow-up #285 //
    “Reasoning thinking can be useful if it’s not taken too seriously …” is a self-contradictory statement:

    (1.) Reasoning thinking must not be taken too seriously.
    (2.) “Reasoning thinking must not be taken too seriously” is itself reasoning thinking.

    From (1.) and (2.)

    (3.) The claim that “Reasoning thinking must not be taken too seriously” must not be taken too seriously.

  287. 287
    Viola Lee says:

    (3) is correct. All things in moderation. 🙂

  288. 288
    Viola Lee says:

    No one confuses a real apple with the word apple. People certain think lots of abstractions point to real things. That is a confusion.

    People also frequently think that words point to clear-cut distinctions between things when in fact those distinctions are artificial and don’t map to clear-cut lines in the real world. That is a confusion.

  289. 289
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus:

    Too many “are you aware”s. Your condescending attitude is grating as usual. And you haven’t said anything really different so . . .

  290. 290
    Viola Lee says:

    I was struck by that also: condescendingly presenting a list of things that all the mathematically literate people here know. Are you aware of that, KF?

  291. 291
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @280

    I suggest, through the window of abductive inference to best explanation, such has somewhat to say to science and to critical analysis of worldviews and related issues.

    I am all in favor of abductive inference in science and also in metaphysics. I’m in solid agreement with Charles S. Peirce that metaphysics should be less like mathematics (deduction from given axioms) and more like science (lots of overlapping, mutually supporting inferences). (His “Some Consequences of Four Incapacities” is one of my favorite philosophical essays.) Peirce thinks that we ought to reject Cartesian methodology for privileging mathematics as the paradigm of reasoning.

    But if so, what follows? If we accept Peirce’s opening gesture of making metaphysics more like science, what would that entail? In science, we test and revise our hypotheses, and are prepared to abandon them if they do not work. To adopt that same critical attitude in metaphysics is precisely to abandon first principles altogether.

    And that is why I think that Peirce gives us, for the first time in the history of Western philosophy, the overcoming of the Dilemma of the Criterion. The Dilemma of the Criterion is what must confront any form of reasoning about ultimate reality that is not dialectical.

    Josiah Royce and F. H. Bradley were consummate metaphysics – but what matters to me is less the absolute idealism for which they are known, but rather their dialectical skill in argument. Neither of them is setting up first plausibles as unquestionable presuppositions, with inferential consequences logically drawn (as we see not only in Descartes, but also the utterly brilliant and incomparable Spinoza and Leibniz).

    Even Royce’s “error exists” in ‘the argument from error’ is not a fixed point from which the lever of Archimedes is deployed (a metaphor that Descartes uses for his own foundationalism, from which consequences are deductively inferred, but a starting-point from which he dialectically unfolds a system without presuppositions.

    In other words, I think that it’s really not clear if your epistemology leans towards foundationalism or towards anti-foundationalism.

    The main problem with anti-foundationalism is that it rather easily becomes the postmodern morass that we’re familiar with from Nietzsche and those he influenced. But I think there’s a rather straightforward way to avoid the Nietzschean morass, and that’s by accepting Peirce’s idea that we don’t need foundations in metaphysics any more than we do in science: both science and metaphysics are self-correcting enterprises, in which any claim can be put in doubt, but not all at once.

  292. 292
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL [ATTN, VL], resort to personalities is a clear sign that the material point was made. And no I am not being condescending, I am replying to revisionism that has accused me of being “idiosyncratic.” Replying, by witnessing to what I saw first hand at the end of a 2,000 year tradition and tracing that tradition. At this stage, I must wonder what has been forgotten or simply erased and sidelined. KF

    PS, VL, if all of that was known by all, why was there a pretence then that such was not the case, forcing me to go back and document it as if it had to be shown from scratch?

  293. 293
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, did you see me ever identifying first plausibles, as a bloc, as unquestionable first principles? I’ll save time by saying, NO. Instead, I repeatedly identified a SMALL subset as self evident (which implies the attempt to deny is instantly absurd), having given Epictetus on core logic as a key case. Let me add, I explicitly noted such can never amount to enough to erect a full worldview. I further note that . . . following reformed epistemology forebears . . . I pointed to how worldviews bristle with difficulties [I do not bother with weltbild as the crude level] and then pointed, repeatedly to comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power. That is certainly not deductive, and I explicitly identified it as abductive, working towards the least difficult on balance. You are obviously familiar from the past with my reference to Josiah Royce, which means you should be familiar with what I have again outlined in answer to a pattern that looks rather strawmannish. On the point, error exists, such is readily seen as undeniable, as the attempted denial instantiates, it is not just an empirical point of general agreement. So, we have here a known, undeniable truth implying that truth is not an empty set and that a first truth is humbling; we must now seek means to detect and correct errors. Schemes that try to deny objective truth and knowledge, their name is legion, fail. In this context, we need not go on about Neurath’s raft model, the point is a raft or ship or spaceship or spider web has a foundation equivalent substructure that unifies and gives protective strength. My point is, we have core commitments that are finitely remote and which are firsts, facts, awarenesses, principles such as LOI-LEM-LNC, unifying explanatory constructs, things we simply pick up from experience in community. Often, unexamined and incoherent, even absurdly and patently so. The issue is to consider and to do so to find some plumbline tests. Of which LOI-LEM-LNC is a capital case, one with power to erect core mathematics. Acknowledging that architecture of thought about the world rather than pretending it does not exist or is not needed, seems to me a basic step of prudence replacing the inferior approach, hyperskepticism; which has haunted our civilisation for centuries and has landed us needlessly in a morass of futility. KF

  294. 294
    Viola Lee says:

    LOI-LEM-LN is not in doubt by anyone, I don’t think. That error exist is an obvious empirical and logical fact. What is in doubt is all the further conclusions your draw from these facts.

  295. 295
    Origenes says:

    Viola Lee @

    LOI-LEM-LN is not in doubt by anyone, I don’t think.

    Is it also not in doubt by people who say that “all assertion is folly”? And how about people who say: “reasoning thinking must not be taken too seriously”?
    Does LOI-LEM-LN relate to reality? Should we perhaps be careful not to “confuse” it with reality? Is ultimate reality (Tao!?) something which is somehow beyond the grasp of LOI-LEM-LN?
    Your position is unclear.

  296. 296
    Viola Lee says:

    Q, you have latched on to one quote that I spoke of favorably without paying any attention to anything else I wrote. No sense continuing to respond to your repetitious questioning. You aren’t interested in serious discussion with me.

  297. 297
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @283,

    Hmm. Q, I think you have missed the big point.
    Did you read the rest of my post?

    Huh? Where did I miss the big point and in what post?

    Viola @ 296

    Q, you have latched on to one quote that I spoke of favorably without paying any attention to anything else I wrote. No sense continuing to respond to your repetitious questioning. You aren’t interested in serious discussion with me.

    Again, what post are you talking about?

    Thanks,

    -Q

  298. 298
    Origenes says:

    Viola Lee @

    you have latched on to one quote that I spoke of favorably without paying any attention to anything else I wrote.

    You seem confused; see #285 and #286.

  299. 299
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes, you did respond, and I responded at 288. But 295 goes back to more questions to which I think you are not really interested in my responses. Let’s drop it.

  300. 300
    Origenes says:

    VL @

    Yes, you did respond …

    So, you were confused when you berated me for not “paying any attention to anything else” that you wrote. Apologies accepted.

    … and I responded at 288.

    Well, that was not a serious response, now was it?

    Let’s drop it.

    Absolutely, let’s do that.

  301. 301
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes, 288 was quite serious.

  302. 302
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, while I am happy to see you affirming this triad, actually, as is public knowledge many people have tried to deny LOI-LEM-LNC. Years back, here at UD and elsewhere, often in the name of relativity, quantum theory or even denial or suspension of the principle of explosion. The result is indefensible chaos. See, weak argument correctives 38 for where a response had to be made on record. KF

  303. 303
    Sir Giles says:

    JVL: Too many “are you aware”s. Your condescending attitude is grating as usual. And you haven’t said anything really different so . . .

    Are you aware that including seven “are you aware”‘s in a single response is a sure sign of condescension?

    But seriously, KF starts almost every response with phrases like “Are you aware?”, “As you full well know”, or an accusation of malevolent intent. It makes it very difficult to take him seriously. Even on the rare occasion when he may have a valid argument.

  304. 304
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, the resort to personalities is a strong sign that the objection that was responded to cannot be sustained. I find it especially significant that you set out on piling on without even acknowledging that when one is called idiosyncratic etc on a matter that should have been taken as generally known commonplace — admitted after the fact by implication of onward attempt at belittling . . . yes, telling (and justifying, as you well know or stronger as an exceptional marker of objections beyond the pale) — something is wrong. But then you have shown by sad track record what you are, or rather are not. KF

  305. 305
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems relevant to further note from as obviously pointing out that the attempted beat-down misrepresented relevant history has hit a nerve on how the quest for utter certainty with Math as gold standard, hit a snag with the Godel results:

    Even before Euclid’s monumental textbook, the philosopher Plato saw the
    certainty of Greek geometry—a subject which Plato called “knowledge of that
    which always is” [41, 527b]—as arising from the eternal, unchanging perfection
    of the objects of mathematics. By contrast, the objects of the physical world were
    always coming into being or passing away. The physical world changes, and is
    thus only an approximation to the higher ideal reality. The philosopher, then,
    to have his soul drawn from the changing to the real, had to study mathematics.
    Greek geometry fed Plato’s idealistic philosophy; he emphasized the study of
    Forms or Ideas transcending experience—the idea of justice, the ideal state, the
    idea of the Good. Plato’s views were used by philosophers within the Jewish,
    Christian, and Islamic traditions to deal with how a divine being, or souls,
    could interact with the material world [46, pp. 382-383; 51, pp. 17-40; 34,
    p. 305ff; 23, pp. 46-67] . . . When we use the common terms “certain” and “true” outside of
    mathematics, we use them in their historical context, which includes the long-
    held belief in an unchanging reality—a belief stemming historically from Plato,
    who consistently argued for it using examples from mathematics.

    She goes on, pointing to Aristotle and deduction:

    Aris-totle, saw the success of geometry as stemming, not from perfect eternal ob-
    jects, but instead from its method (Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, I 10-11; 11-2
    (77a5, 71b ff)) [19, vol. I, Chapter IX]. The certainty of mathematics for Aristo-
    tle rested on the validity of its logical deductions from self-evident assumptions
    and clearly stated definitions. Other subjects might come to share that cer-
    tainty if they could be understood within the same logical form; Aristotle, in
    his Posterior Analytics, advocated reducing all scientific discourse to syllogisms,
    that is, to logically deduced explanations from first principles. In this tradition,
    Archimedes proved the law of the lever, not by experiments with weights, but
    from deductions à la Euclid from postulates like “equal weights balance at equal
    distances” [18, pp. 189-194]. Medieval theologians tried to prove the existence
    of God in the same way. This tradition culminates in the 1675 work of Spinoza,
    Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order, with such axioms as “That which
    cannot be conceived through another must be conceived through itself,” defi-
    nitions like “By substance I understand that which is in itself and conceived
    through itself” (compare Euclid’s “A point is that which has no parts”), and
    such propositions as “God or substance consisting of infinite attributes… nec-
    essarily exists,” whose proof ends with a QED [48, pp. 41-50]. Isaac Newton
    called his famous three laws “Axioms, or Laws of Motion.” His Principia has a
    Euclidean structure, and the law of gravity appears as Book III, Theorems VII
    and VIII [37, pp. 13-14, pp. 414-417] . . . .

    Thus a good part of the historical context of the common term “proof” lies
    in Euclidean geometry—which was, I remind you, a central part of western
    education.

    The issue I pointed to is very real (notice Greenleaf’s contrast between Math and the courtroom), and the impact of the Godel theorems undermined a mindset that fed hyperskepticism. For, once we have a core of math tied to NZQRCR* etc, no finite cluster of axioms will be comprehensive and coherent, hence undecidables. Thus too, the significance of Chaitin, in showing that this is not some negligible oddity.

    The result is, Mathematics, once the flagship of deductive, axiomatic systems is now a far messier, inductively influenced whole. We trust it to be reliable as a system, we cannot prove it beyond all doubt, indeed there is a proof for that. Trust, of course, is a telling word, it is the word of the faith-walk. Reasonable, responsible faith is a reality as close as mathematics, computing and science.

    And personalise polarise Alinsky tactics — “rare” occasions that I “may have a valid point” being a clear case in point of open and unjustified contempt and plain hostility — cannot change the force of that.

    KF

  306. 306
    Alan Fox says:

    Just a bit of OT fun. Question for the more mathematically minded (than me).

    If I present you with two data points, numerical values separated by a time interval, recorded on graph paper of a suitable scale, firstly as is and then with a carefully drawn straight line from the one point to the other, have I provided you with extra information in the second scenario?

  307. 307
    Alan Fox says:

    I’d appreciate KF’s input no less than anyone else’s. I promise it is not a trick question. I have my own answer but I’m open to correction.

  308. 308
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, only, that someone has drawn a straight line connecting the two. You have not even indicated the scales (apart from one is time), linear, log etc. Issues of noise may be present inasmuch as you spoke of data. Two points in a plane may be connected by a straight line or an infinity of curves. Beyond that, one needs dynamics or at least kinematics if change with time is proposed but of course dynamics need to be justified on observed capability or body of knowledge to be of real world significance. Further to this, the meaning of the points per scale if any on the other axis may entail huge issues and complexity. KF

  309. 309
    Alan Fox says:

    I’m not supplying any further information about the two data points (other than they are the result of measuring some real phenomenon at moments in time). You could imagine the information is provided by a probe measuring a variable such as temperature, pressure or velocity, but not limited to that. The result of an opinion poll on separate occasions, say.

    Thanks for responding. Do you mind hanging on a bit for my input in case there are other responses and I don’t want to exert undue influence.

  310. 310
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, data implies observation, you have simply expanded. Beyond, we can wait. KF

  311. 311
    Viola Lee says:

    Alan, my answer is No.

  312. 312
    JVL says:

    Alan Foxy: If I present you with two data points, numerical values separated by a time interval, recorded on graph paper of a suitable scale, firstly as is and then with a carefully drawn straight line from the one point to the other, have I provided you with extra information in the second scenario?

    No except that it appears you think the data should fall into a linear pattern. If you have a good reason for making that assumption then, in some sense, you have added something not apparent in the two data points alone. If there is no reason for assuming the data should fall into a linear pattern then, in fact, you have confused the situation.

  313. 313
    Alan Fox says:

    Thanks for the succinct response, Viola.

  314. 314
    Alan Fox says:

    And thanks, JVL.
    I’ll clarify how the question arose. In another forum, I commented on a thread regarding the latest UK census showing a decline in religious belief. Almost as an afterthought, I added that the way the data was presented with straight lines through the actual results was decorative rather than informative.

    I do question whether trends can be inferred from snapshot polls and whether lines from point A to point B – straight or otherwise – tell us anything.

  315. 315
    Sir Giles says:

    JVL and VL, KF is so predictable. I made this comment:

    But seriously, KF starts almost every response with phrases like “Are you aware?”, “As you full well know”, or an accusation of malevolent intent. It makes it very difficult to take him seriously. Even on the rare occasion when he may have a valid argument.

    And his response started with an accusation of malevolent intent:

    SG, the resort to personalities is a strong sign that the objection that was responded to cannot be sustained.

    And he even threw in a “as you well know” for good measure.

  316. 316
    Sir Giles says:

    Alan@314, given the additional clarification I would say that the line does not add much because a straight line implies a linear trend, which we cannot discern from just two points in time.

    That being said, assuming that it was a properly conducted poll with a large number of randomized respondents, then we could conclude that there appears to be a trend. But without data points between the two, we would have no way of knowing if the trend was significant or just the result of the normal noise associated with the polling process.

    A better indication of a decline in religious belief would be attendance at churches and total church revenues declared on tax forms. Assuming churches are handled like other not-for-profits and charities, they may not have to pay taxes, but they are still required to submit tax returns and have publicly available audited financials.

  317. 317
    JVL says:

    Sir Giles: That being said, assuming that it was a properly conducted poll with a large number of randomized respondents, then we could conclude that there appears to be a trend. But without data points between the two, we would have no way of knowing if the trend was significant or just the result of the normal noise associated with the polling process.

    Also, if the poll was about religious affiliation then a decreasing trend would have to be asymptotic as a decreasing linear model would dip into negative values at some point.

  318. 318
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, you are now plainly projecting, as you must know that you have crossed a pretty serious line. This is the second time you have said in effect that I am a general failure at reasoning. The last time, I took up an OP to address the matter in the context of ID, to which you had no substantial support. Now, you are speaking generally [in the context of Math and deductive reasoning in our civilisation with a side order of architecture of worldviews], and I can confidently predict that again, apart from personalising, polarising, projecting, you will be unable to back up with substance. When someone keeps making false and insubstantial accusations and mischaracterisations such as “. . . on the rare occasion when he may have a valid argument,” she or he is in the end only characterising her-/him- self as one who behaves like that. Where, it is hard to conceive of you as not knowing better. You would do better to reconsider. KF

  319. 319
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, population trends, even if well sampled have limits, and trends like pie crusts are made to be broken. KF

  320. 320
    Alan Fox says:

    Good points! Thanks guys. I also wonder what sorts of things affect opinion. Perhaps Asimov was on to something with Hari Seldon’s psychohistory predictions being blown off course by inherently unpredictable events.

    How unexpected events such as changes in social infrastructure, demographic changes, wars, epidemics and other natural disasters, or a convincing second coming of Christ could impinge on the level of religious belief makes me think predicting trends in religious belief a chancy business.

  321. 321
    Sir Giles says:

    Alan, I would agree that making predictions about religious belief based on past trends is a crap shoot. But the one thing that is not contentious over the last few decades is the decline in Christian belief in the US (-90% to -60%). I find it interesting that the decline corresponds to the rise of the internet. As more information (not always accurate) becomes more easy to access, Christian belief declines. Whether this is causative or coincidence is impossible to say.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2022/09/PF_2022.09.13_religious-projections_00-01.png?w=640

  322. 322
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: you will be unable to back up with substance

    Frequently we do back up our counter arguments with substance which you dismiss or avoid. Sometimes over and over and over again.

    If you’re going to participate in a public discussion then, sometimes, you have to concede a point. You have to admit to getting something wrong. But you do so so rarely I can’t remember when was the last time it happened.

    You would do better to reconsider.

    Done that many times.

    population trends, even if well sampled have limits, and trends like pie crusts are made to be broken.

    Weird that you didn’t even try to address Alan Foxy‘s question. Why is that?

  323. 323
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On worldviews, Merriam-Webster:

    a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world especially from a specific standpoint called also weltanschauung

    As a humble point of in common reference, Wikipedia confesses:

    A worldview or world-view or Weltanschauung is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the whole of the individual’s or society’s knowledge, culture, and point of view.[1] A worldview can include natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics.[2] . . . .

    In 1911, the German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey published an essay entitled “The Types of Worldview (Weltanschauung) and their Development in Metaphysics” that became quite influential. Dilthey characterized worldviews as providing a perspective on life that encompasses the cognitive, evaluative, and volitional aspects of human experience. Although worldviews have always been expressed in literature and religion, philosophers have attempted to give them conceptual definition in their metaphysical systems. On that basis, Dilthey found it possible to distinguish three general recurring types of worldview. The first of these he called naturalism because it gives priority to the perceptual and experimental determination of what is and allows contingency to influence how we evaluate and respond to reality. Naturalism can be found in Democritus, Hobbes, Hume and many other modern philosophers. The second type of worldview is called the idealism of freedom and is represented by Plato, Descartes, Kant, and Bergson among others. It is dualistic and gives primacy to the freedom of the will. The organizational order of our world is structured by our mind and the will to know. The third type is called objective idealism and Dilthey sees it in Heraclitus, Parmenides, Spinoza, Leibniz and Hegel. In objective idealism the ideal does not hover above what is actual but inheres in it. This third type of worldview is ultimately monistic and seeks to discern the inner coherence and harmony among all things. Dilthey thought it impossible to come up with a universally valid metaphysical or systematic formulation of any of these worldviews, but regarded them as useful schema for his own more reflective kind of life philosophy. See Makkreel and Rodi, Wilhelm Dilthey, Selected Works, volume 6, 2019.

    Anthropologically, worldviews can be expressed as the “fundamental cognitive, affective, and evaluative presuppositions a group of people make about the nature of things, and which they use to order their lives.”[7]

    If it were possible to draw a map of the world on the basis of Weltanschauung,[8] it would probably be seen to cross political borders—Weltanschauung is the product of political borders and common experiences of a people from a geographical region,[8] environmental-climatic conditions, the economic resources available, socio-cultural systems, and the language family.[8] (The work of the population geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza aims to show the gene-linguistic co-evolution of people) . . . .

    One can think of a worldview as comprising a number of basic beliefs which are philosophically equivalent to the axioms of the worldview considered as a logical or consistent theory. These basic beliefs cannot, by definition, be proven (in the logical sense) within the worldview – precisely because they are axioms, and are typically argued from rather than argued for.[11] However their coherence can be explored philosophically and logically.

    If two different worldviews have sufficient common beliefs it may be possible to have a constructive dialogue between them.[12]

    On the other hand, if different worldviews are held to be basically incommensurate and irreconcilable, then the situation is one of cultural relativism and would therefore incur the standard criticisms from philosophical realists.[13][14] Additionally, religious believers might not wish to see their beliefs relativized into something that is only “true for them”.[15][16] Subjective logic is a belief-reasoning formalism where beliefs explicitly are subjectively held by individuals but where a consensus between different worldviews can be achieved.[17] . . . .

    While Leo Apostel and his followers clearly hold that individuals can construct worldviews, other writers regard worldviews as operating at a community level, or in an unconscious way. For instance, if one’s worldview is fixed by one’s language, as according to a strong version of the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, one would have to learn or invent a new language in order to construct a new worldview.

    According to Apostel,[20] a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these six elements:

    An explanation of the world
    A futurology, answering the question “Where are we heading?”
    Values, answers to ethical questions: “What should we do?”
    A praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action: “How should we attain our goals?”
    An epistemology, or theory of knowledge: “What is true and false?”
    An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own “building blocks”, its origins and construction.

    Of course, this is mainly a point of reference. For cause, I hold that axioms are very different from basic personal, social, historical and knowledge base facts, and again from self awareness, yet more from the origins and destiny story of a people group, likewise presuppositions and metaphysics postulates or laws of logic, etc. But indeed, on just considering why accept A, B. Why B, C etc we see that Agrippa et al have a half point. The half is that infinite regress and circularity are not good enough. So, we can see that we must have finitely remote first plausibles that we accept as just that, credible, defining our faith-points. The challenge of question begging leads to recognising that all worldviews bristle with difficulties and so comparative difficulties stabilises against question begging.

    Of course, the tripartite test, factual adequacy [and obviously predictive power], coherence and explanatory balance then raises a raft of onward issues. Naive views are often factually inadequate, incoherent and ad hoc or simplistic, but so are all too many sophisticated and prestigious ones. For example, evolutionary materialistic scientism is irretrievably incoherent.

    So, we need to be aware of worldviews issues and of a key root of difficulties, much of what is involved in a worldview addresses ourselves in our world in wider reality. Therefore, such are inescapably self referential, so a powerful part of the coherence test is to be aware of potential for self referential incoherence and of the linked challenges that error is possible. Eclecticism, subjectivism, emotivism, radical relativism and syncretism etc then arise as onward challenges fraught with potential for errors.

    Currently, our civilisation is deeply challenged on worldviews matters.

    They show up at UD because they lurk just under the surface of debates. For example, is objective knowledge possible? What, properly, is knowledge given common usage and usage in serious disciplines? Related, what are facts? Are there truths, can at least some truths be confidently known? Are there self evident truths? Is consciousness or self awareness self evident? Is or can it be affected by error and can we deal with the haunting skeptical fear of something like a Plato’s cave grand delusion? Do ontology, wider metaphysics, logic, epistemology, axiology [ethics and aesthetics] have significant, reliable bodies of knowledge? If so, why is there so much of radical skepticism, relativism, nihilism etc? How can our civilisation go forward, is there any reason to have hope?

    And much more.

    Coming back to the issues coming up above, from the days of the Greek Geometers to the turn of the 1930’s, mathematical, axiomatised systems and associated bodies of fact and knowledge were the gold standard for the deductive paradigm for certain knowledge. Other fields up to and including the court room and the sciences were at lesser grades, with inductive judgement deeply involved. In some aspects they could deliver moral certainty — it would be irresponsible to act as though X were false given its warrant — but this led to acid, corrosive doubt as a spectre haunting the centuries.

    Now, Godel shattered the gold standard in principle and Chaitin et al have removed any hope that his in principle results could be regarded as remote oddities. There is no finite set of axioms that are coherent and comprehensive covering domains touched by NZQRCR* and associated basic operations etc and there is no constructive procedure to generate axiomatic frames that are demonstrably coherent.

    Yes, we “all” know that . . . except for those who don’t or refuse to acknowledge the force thereof.

    Now, we may proceed to deal with what is substantial.

    KF

  324. 324
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, the relevant substance, building on further materials upthread is just above. Address it substantially and show that I am the utterly incompetent reasoner that SG . . . who you are backing up in this course of discussion . . . has asserted for a second time. I predict, you may produce disagreement but adequate warrant to reduce the above to empty words will be lacking. As for AF, I answered in the context of data points and trends rather than taking up the contentious issues of radical secularisation and dechristianisation of our civilisation and the voyage of suicidal folly we have collectively embarked on. If basic concepts such as worldviews, the quest for certainty and the like cannot be reasonably agreed I see no reason to go on to more and more toxic tangents. It is enough to note that population trends have hard limits and are made to be broken. In our case, mixing metaphors, our civilisation is headed for a cliff edge and a hard collision with realities being pretended away. KF

    PS, if you want a snapshot of my view on trends, markets, products, ideas etc look up the product life cycle model, and ask your self what sort of bell shaped impulse yields a sigmoid as cumulative effect.

  325. 325
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: Address it substantially and show that I am the utterly incompetent reasoner that SG . . . who you are backing up in this course of discussion . . . has asserted for a second time.

    As always, your tone is dismissive and condescending. You reasoning flaws have been pointed out many times; I can’t imagine that elucidating them again will bring about a different response from you.

    I predict, you may produce disagreement but adequate warrant to reduce the above to empty words will be lacking.

    The real issue is: getting you to admit anyone else has a valid point critical of you. That never seems to happen from your perspective. Hard to imagine that you could be that perfect.

    As for AF, I answered in the context of data points and trends rather than taking up the contentious issues of radical secularisation and dechristianisation of our civilisation and the voyage of suicidal folly we have collectively embarked on. If basic concepts such as worldviews, the quest for certainty and the like cannot be reasonably agreed I see no reason to go on to more and more toxic tangents.

    You failed to address the question of whether or not drawing a line through two data points adds information. You are now focused on the purported source of those data points and act as if that has become the central point when clearly it is not.

    It is enough to note that population trends have hard limits and are made to be broken.

    A blank statement which, actually, conveys nothing of substance to the conversation.

    In our case, mixing metaphors, our civilisation is headed for a cliff edge and a hard collision with realities being pretended away.

    A classic (for you) case of why you are not a good reasoner: you attempt to railroad every conversation around to your preferred topics and issues. And, given that we have all heard your view over and over and over again over the course of many years, your efforts are pointless as well as irritating.

    IF you want us to take you seriously as a scholar and an academic then you should start behaving like one starting with actually addressing the question at hand AND not trying to browbeat anyone who disagrees with you into submission or absence.

  326. 326
    Sir Giles says:

    JVL, with reference to KF’s ”civilisation is headed for a cliff edge and a hard collision with realities being pretended away.” it has been pointed out to KF multiple times, by several people, that the evidence does not support his paranoia. Infant mortality down, life expectancy up, quality of life in old age improved, racial issues improved, no longer persecuting and prosecuting homosexuals and transgendered, ready access to birth control, better opportunities for women, decreased rates of violence, etc.

    The best reason I can come up with for his doomsaying is that Christianity is on the decline and many of the persecutions permitted by the Bible are no longer acceptable by society. But that is just my opinion. He may very well have other reasons for his fears.

  327. 327
    JVL says:

    Sir Giles: The best reason I can come up with for his doomsaying is that Christianity is on the decline and many of the persecutions permitted by the Bible are no longer acceptable by society. But that is just my opinion. He may very well have other reasons for his fears.

    I think, too, that his complete inability to accept some aspects of modern culture (same-sex marriage, same-sex sex, etc) means that he has clearly fallen behind the times but, if you can’t move with the times, you end up falling back on what sound more and more like inflexible, fundamentalist views. That’s all somewhat predictable. In Kairosfocus‘s case his inability to even utter (i.e. type) certain words just make him look like someone so out of touch with the modern world as to render himself completely ineffectual when trying to deal with current events. You can’t just keep stamping your feet, insisting you’re right, that we’ve learnt very little in the last 2000 years, and expect people to take you seriously or even listen to you. Couple that with an incredibly pompous and intentionally archaic rhetorical style and . . . well . . . people start tuning out.

    You do wonder if Kairosfocus and Bornagain77 actually think that anyone really reads their posts anymore? I bet they don’t even read each others’.

  328. 328
    relatd says:

    JVL at 327,

    “modern culture”? As opposed to two moths ago? People should reject perverse lifestyles. And by reject, I don’t mean reject people, just reject the lifestyles. For the record, no one needs my permission to live how they want.

  329. 329
    JVL says:

    Relatd: People should reject perverse lifestyles.

    Perverse based on whose standard? Do you follow all the rules and injunctions in the Bible? Even the ones about not wearing clothing made from two different kinds of fabric? Or the one about not eating shellfish? Or the one about anyone who curses their parents must be killed? How do you know which laws to follow and which to reject?

  330. 330
    Sir Giles says:

    JVL@327, although we are centering on KF, he is by no means the only one with this “stuck in the past” pathology. It has been my experience that those who long for a past that never really existed ignore the fact that the only certainty in life is change. You can either try to understand and influence the change or you can rail against it. The difference between the two is that the latter is doomed to failure.

    Any time there is change, people are dragged into the future whether they like it or not.

    1) There is the hotel manager who opposed civil rights by pouring acid into a white’s only pool when black people were swimming in it.

    2) Or the bus driver that had Rosa Parks arrested for not moving to the back of the bus.

    3) Or the baker and florist who were sued for refusing to provide their services for a same sax marriage.

    4) Or the county clerk who was pilloried in the media and social media for refusing to issue a wedding licence to a same sex couple.

    5) Or the movie executive who was charged for behaviours that were previously condoned.

    6) Or the employee fired for behaviour that was previously condoned.

    All of these are extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant for those involved, but they serve an important purpose in the advancement of society.

    Although challenging, I would much rather live in modern society than in any previous decade. I was at a Christmas dinner last night for my office staff and their significant others. Two of the staff have same sex parters, who were welcomed just like anyone else would be. A couple decades ago, this would not be the case.

  331. 331
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, you are rapidly painting yourself into a corner. It is by no means “condescending” to object to repeated unjustified, unsubstantiated blanket accusations that one is a generally incompetent reasoner and to lay out one’s reasons then challenge the one making accusations to provide substance or in all reasonableness, withdraw the charge. KF

  332. 332
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On other matters regarding the course of our civilisation, it is not hard to see how we are blindly heading to disaster. As a minor sign, compare events in E Europe to those of the 1930’s. There are many other signs that need to be heeded but are unlikely to be taken seriously by those who are caught up in the tides of the times. However, we would be well advised to heed Machiavelli, whose counsel was that political disasters are like hectic fever, easy to cure at first but hard to diagnose; but when the course becomes obvious to all, it is far too late to cure. At another time, I may point out some further signs. KF

  333. 333
    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES says:

    Dear Sir Giles @ 321

    The decline of Christian belief can also be attributed to censorship and lies on the part of the Science establishment specifically and academia, government, and the media generally.

    Where in a Science publication, or media account, does one find this fact: That ALL the scientific evidence shows that life began through Divine inervention. And of course, Courts have held that it is illegal, indeed unconstiutional, to teach that fact in a public school. You got it, illegal to teach a scientific fact. And the Science establishemnt applauds

    So we are given a theory, naturalisticc abiogenesis, which is as discredited as perpetual motion or phlogiston. Instead it is presented as the truth in virtually all basic biology textbooks, without ever a mention of its problems, when the truth is that it has ZERO evidence supporting it.

    Of course some BS science to prop up Atheism is not the number 1 problem with the lies fof our intellectual establishment. Not when they tell us that it is okay to murder millions of unborn children,

  334. 334
    Sir Giles says:

    TLH: The decline of Christian belief can also be attributed to censorship and lies on the part of the Science establishment specifically and academia, government, and the media generally.

    The only thing wrong with this argument is that it does not conform to the evidence.

  335. 335
    Seversky says:

    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES/333

    The decline of Christian belief can also be attributed to censorship and lies on the part of the Science establishment specifically and academia, government, and the media generally.

    Of course, it must be a conspiracy of the all-powerful science establishment that is responsible for the decline, it couldn’t possibly be that it is being discredited by the public behavior of some of it’s most prominent figures and institutions.

    Those who can make people believe absurdities, can make people commit atrocities.

    — Voltaire

    Where in a Science publication, or media account, does one find this fact: That ALL the scientific evidence shows that life began through Divine inervention. And of course, Courts have held that it is illegal, indeed unconstiutional, to teach that fact in a public school. You got it, illegal to teach a scientific fact. And the Science establishemnt applauds

    Divine intervention in the origin of life is not taught as a scientific fact in the science classes of public schools because it has not been established as a scientific fact. It is, therefore, unconstitutional to teach it as such. Creationism has a standing invitation to present evidence in support of its claim but has failed to do so thus far. The ball is in your court.

    So we are given a theory, naturalisticc abiogenesis, which is as discredited as perpetual motion or phlogiston. Instead it is presented as the truth in virtually all basic biology textbooks, without ever a mention of its problems, when the truth is that it has ZERO evidence supporting it.

    Do you have an example of a biology text-book which presents abiogenesis as a well-established theory or scientific fact?

    Of course some BS science to prop up Atheism is not the number 1 problem with the lies fof our intellectual establishment.

    The decline in church attendance suggests it is not Atheism which needs propping up.

  336. 336
    Origenes says:

    In his new book Zombie Science, biologist Jonathan Wells asks a simple question: If the icons of evolution were just innocent textbook errors, why do so many of them still persist?
    [evolutionnews.org]

    Wells himself is something of an iconoclast, railing against the tyranny of science’s Darwin-only advocates. His first book, Icons of Evolution, became an international hit by dismantling the outdated and underwhelming “proofs” of evolution that have littered textbooks for decades. For doing so, he was attacked by Darwin’s defenders and became one of the most hated figures of the intelligent design movement.

  337. 337
    relatd says:

    JVL at 329,

    Christians are not under the law Moses wrote. And why do you divert to clothes and dietary rules which have nothing to do with the subject?

    Same-sex marriage is not equivalent to one man, one woman marriage. The complementary in heterosexual marriage means children are brought into the world. In the case of a marriage where the woman finds out she cannot have children, the complementary still exists. I have a friend who is in that situation.

    I followed the legal efforts to create SSM. It could have been done differently and achieved a similar result, but this was rejected by those involved. They wanted to be considered the same as straight married couples. However, this is not possible since the sex organs are incompatible.

  338. 338
    relatd says:

    SG at 330,

    “dragged into the future” hahahahahahahahaha

    Are you living “in the future” right now? It’s called “the present.”

    “3) Or the baker and florist who were sued for refusing to provide their services for a same sax marriage.

    “4) Or the county clerk who was pilloried in the media and social media for refusing to issue a wedding licence to a same sex couple.”

    It’s called exercising their freedom of religion.

  339. 339
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 335,

    You still haven’t gotten a clue.

    “In February 2022, the Vatican released statistics showing that in 2020 the number of Catholics in the world increased by 16 million to 1.36 billion.”

    Do the research or I will get that Mega-Sock Launcher. 

  340. 340
    Sir Giles says:

    Relatd: It’s called exercising their freedom of religion.

    No, it’s called violating anti discrimination laws.

  341. 341
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee,

    After attacking me personally, would you please respond to @297.

    Thank you,

    -Q

  342. 342
    Sir Giles says:

    Relatd: The complementary in heterosexual marriage means children are brought into the world.

    By this logic, couples who know they are infertile and couples who don’t want to have children can’t get married. I hate to break it to you, but the church does not own marriage. It is a state institution and, as such, the state can decide what it is.

    Over the years, marriage has changed. Men no longer have the right to physically discipline their wives. Women no longer have to obey their husbands.

    In fact, same sex unions were performed by the church up until the 13th century.

  343. 343
    Viola Lee says:

    Q, I think it is excessive to say that I “attacked” you. At 299 I agreed that you had responded when I had said you hadn’t, and at 300 you agreed, I think, that we should drop the discussion. Why are you bringing this back up?

  344. 344
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, you (along with far too many others) may well be exemplifying a pattern identified 2,000 years ago:

    Eph 4: 17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

    A word of caution. We must not let this slippery slope begin.

    Later, on marks of a civilisation that has lost its way.

    KF

  345. 345
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @343,

    . . . and at 300 you agreed, I think, that we should drop the discussion. Why are you bringing this back up?

    If you actually read @300, you’ll notice that it’s from Origenes, not Querius, right?

    And then if you do a search for Querius, you’ll find a conspicuous lack of any attacks from Querius directed against you, leaving me confused and protesting my innocence.

    -Q

  346. 346
    relatd says:

    SG at 342,

    I hate to break it you but God owns marriage. The importance of marriage for society in general cannot be diluted.

    “Over the years, marriage has changed. Men no longer have the right to physically discipline their wives. Women no longer have to obey their husbands.”

    Then by that sort of ‘reasoning,’ why bother getting married? The Bible is clear that husbands should love their wives. They should love and respect each other before the ceremony so that they can enter into a proper union with each other. They should be friends, enjoying each other’s company.

  347. 347
    relatd says:

    SG at 340,

    You can say what you like but their actions can and have been defended in court. All laws discriminate. All laws tell you what you can and cannot do. If they have free exercise of religion, they can do this.

  348. 348
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @344,

    I was surprised to read that the Catholic church did once sanction same-sex marriage despite the clear teachings of the Bible.

    Since Islam also accepts Torah, it’s against their teachings as well and under Shariah law, people who do this are routinely executed along with any apostate” who tries to rationalize this.

    In the meantime, it will be interesting to see whether the woke mob will ever attack Islam for their beliefs and practices.

    As a Christian, I follow the final commands given by Jesus Christ in Revelation 22:10-12. My job is clearly not to waste my time “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”

    -Q

  349. 349
    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES says:

    Dear Mr Seversky@335

    You misrepresented my statements.
    Perhaps it was because you didn’t read them carefully.

    In my statements I claimed that THIS is a fact: “ALL the scientific evidence shows that life began through Divine inervention.” If you disagree with that claim, please tell us what the contrary evidence is.

    You asked for “an example of a biology text-book which presents abiogenesis as a well-established theory or scientific fact”
    Here it is: Miller and Levine “Biology”Pearson Education, Inc 2010, pgs 553 to 555

    As a typical example of how prominent Scientists in Biology textbooks discuss the origin of life, Dr Miller makes this deceitful statement regarding the Miller Urey experiment.
    “The results were spectacular. They produced produced 21 amino acids – building blocks of proteins.”
    As Dr Miller (and his 18 senior faculty “Science Rewiewers) certainly know, the Miller Urey experiment did NOT make building blocks of proteins. Proteins are homochiral, while the amino acids that Miller and Urey were racemic. Today, 70 years after Miller and Urey, Scientists are still unable to overcome this problem. And to hide this failure from millions of students.

  350. 350
    Sir Giles says:

    KF@344, are you suggesting that I shouldn’t have invited the same sex partners of my two homosexual employees to the company’s annual Christmas dinner?

  351. 351
    Viola Lee says:

    re 345: Oh my. At 283 I typed Q, not O, but was addressing Origenes, and just now I notice that 297 was from you, not Origenes: it was he I thought I was replying to, because it didn’t even occur to me that you were part of the conversation. I have been entirely confused about who is who, and I apologize for the resulting confusion.

  352. 352
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @351,

    Thank you. Apology happily accepted.

    -Q