Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

God needs to be sciencey if we are to accept him?

arroba Email

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air advises us all as to what a scientist’s wife thinks God must do to kep is ratings high:

I can only imagine how eager you all are to redefine God in a radically new and empowering way, and your various church and temple leaders will doubtless be looking forward to the upcoming lightening of their workload. But how exactly are we to structure this new god for the 21st century? Well, Ms. Abrams has five helpful bullet points which don’t so much involve who God is, but who He can not possibly be.

These are characteristics of a God that can’t be real:

God existed before the universe.

God created the universe.

God knows everything.

God intends everything that happens.

God can choose to violate the laws of nature.

Okay then! The good news is that those five stunningly simple points will shorten the Bible considerably, particularly the Old Testament, and the kids will have a lot less material to memorize in Sunday school. But any revolutionary new product requires a solid marketing campaign and Abrams understands that you’ll need the correct pitch to make the sale on this one. In the second part of her essay, cleverly titled, “A New Way To Think About God“, she goes into the details. Here.

She begins with a simple analogy for those of you who rode the short bus and might have trouble keeping up. You see, people are sort of like ants. Ants are stupid.

You get the picture.

Curiously, Nancy Ellen Abrams’ version of God was actually invented long before historical time. See: Imagine a world of religions that naturalism might indeed be able to explain:

Although they were not materialists, our ancestors do appear to have been naturalists. They believed in gods, but gods were merely beings with considerable powers over nature. They were usually placated. But they could be promoted or demoted, flogged or booted from the community, if they failed to bring rain, for example. The same fate could befall rulers, who were often thought to have semi-divine powers.

No necessary distinction existed between gods, ghosts, rulers, magicians, plain folks, animals, plants, and inanimate objects. Gods could die like anyone else. A sense of a transcendent God who created and sympathizes with man and nature — but is not a creature like them — came later, perhaps much later. Meanwhile, men could be gods and gods could be men, the hierarchy sometimes inverted. Either men or god could become any animate or inanimate entity as well. Though, strictly speaking, there were no inanimate entities; anything might have a soul.

It is really an Old Way to Think About God. And science was burnt toast.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

Search Uncommon Descent for similar topics, under the Donate button.

Popperian you said
First, Robert Wright’s book The Evolution of God, outlines in detail how the conception of God evolved over time. For example, the idea of morality didn’t come until significantly later. In one case, tribal thunder gods were thought to become angry when people combed their hair during a rain storm or when watching dogs mate.
What you are describing is religion not God, religion is customs, laws and spirituality (at least before Christ) and depends on the geographical area. Ancient Jews for example didn't eat pork because of the diseases they had not because God said not to eat pork for no reason. All these customs aimed to survival, happiness, culture,nationalism they weren't aimless as you probably think, there was always a reason behind the creation of a religious custom. The first humans on earth followed Shamanism, Shamanism is a type of Dualism, what these people believed is that this world is matter and spirit and good people will fuse with God/Creation when they are dead, religions are different when it comes to customs but every religion speaks about good and evil, God as a Creator, the consequences of our actions, the afterlife and so on..what differs are the interpretations not the golden law. All religions speak about the same Creator since all religions exist in the same Universe. The golden rule applies to every human on earth no matter what religion he follows, because in someones religion etc is forbidden to eat pork doesn't mean that it is morally wrong, ancient Jews for example didn't eat pork because of streptococcus. Streptococcus means death for the ancient Jews therefor eating pork is morally bad. The same applies about the combed hair during a rain storm. Religious laws ended up cruel and lost their imporatance because people forgot that these laws were made to protect the people and not to opress them, they went against the heart of the Law which is "You should love your God with all your soul and you should love your neighbor as yourself".
For example if God knew how to build any organism that has, does or will exist, he could have created them in the order of most to least complex or even all at once. Yet, this is not what we observe. Or he could have created them as to appear as if they evolved, but actually did not.
That's a big straw man argument. There is one way to have living organisms and this way is the hard way, as Sagan said "If you want an apple pie you must first create the Universe", plus to that God in Christianity is open, He is the Truth, what that means is that the Creation in the eyes of humans is true and therefor we are equal in understanding with God because we are the images of God, organisms out of nowhere doesn't represent the True God but a God that hides Himself behind the Creation, that God is unreachable and denies the Truth who leads to salvation. JimFit
Popperian, Mapou actually said
First, as a Christian, I can tell you that the scriptures teach that there are many gods
So, in response to him, I quoted the scriptures used by Christians, namely the Bible, to demonstrate that it teaches that there is only one God. Yes, in the ANE, many false "gods" were worshipped. The name of one such god who is more popular than ever is mammon. That the God of the Bible refers to himself in the plural is demonstrated in the recitation of the shema, the beginning of the Decalogue (the Hebrew word is echad). Jesus talked about God as his heavenly Father, and he also mentioned the Holy Spirit. He spoke of no other. Certainly Mapou is free to believe anything he wants about his gods, limited only by his imagination.
You see them as an authoritative source of knowledge?
No. Knowledge I can learn out of a driver's license booklet. Rather, I've experienced the Bible as the authoritative source for inspired truth. Here's why: - As a historical document, it stands vindicated despite centuries of unrelenting attacks to twist, slander, and try to discredit it. The Dead Sea Scrolls among many other documents and letters, demonstrate that its textual reliability far exceeds any other manuscript of antiquity. Historical discoveries also have vindicated many formerly controversial historical events and locations. - As a prophetic document, it's proved accurate. Probably the most compelling prophecy is Daniel's prophecy of the arrival of the Messiah, his being killed, followed by the destruction of the Jerusalem and its rebuilt temple. It also foretells the re-establishment of Israel and that it will find itself standing alone as specifically named countries unite in a nearly successful attempt to destroy it once and for all. The ultimate destruction of the earth is also described. A particularly interesting event that will occur is a "star" that hits the earth named Chernobyl (in the Ukrainian language) that poisons a third of all the sources of fresh water. - As a document of wisdom, the Bible instructed, guided, and encouraged millions of people, myself included. - As an experiential document through the Holy Spirit, it's dramatically changed the lives of people from all walks of life, again, myself included. When you study it, it studies you. (: Yes, of course there are phonies. Jesus himself warned that there would be many of them. But why be a phony Christian when you can experience the amazing transformation that comes with being an authentic one? -Q Querius
of note to agent causality. IMHO, the greatest weakness in the naturalistic/materialistic philosophy is the denial of agent causality. Atheists/Materialists claim that not only is the sense of self is an illusion, but they also hold that agent causality/free will is an illusion. i.e. 'You' (whoever 'you' is in the atheistic worldview), do not decide to do anything, whether it be walking through doors or raising your hand. Dr Paul Nelson puts the atheist’s severe cognitive dissonance like this:
Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson September 24, 2014 Excerpt: Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism. If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds. MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact. “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer? Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,, You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/09/do_you_like_set090071.html
Although Dr. Nelson used the example of writing a letter, (i.e. creating functional information), so as to tie the issue into Intelligent Design, the same irrationality inherent in the materialist's worldview holds for any action that you, as a personal agent, freely choose to take. We could easily reword Dr. Nelson’s example several different ways:
You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact. You didn’t walk through the door. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact. You didn’t raise your hand. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact. You didn’t etc.. etc.. etc… Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.
You may believe it is completely insane for anyone to believe in such lunacy, (and, IMHO, you would be well justified in that belief), but that insanity is in fact the prevailing belief being taught in leading secular universities. Nancy Pearcey recently wrote a book, ‘Finding Truth’, (which I think should be required reading for every Christian student going off to college), in which she quotes many leading academics confessing they believe in such cognitive dissonance:
Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey April 23, 2015 Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way. One philosopher jokes that if people deny free will, then when ordering at a restaurant they should say, “Just bring me whatever the laws of nature have determined I will get.” An especially clear example is Galen Strawson, a philosopher who states with great bravado, “The impossibility of free will … can be proved with complete certainty.” Yet in an interview, Strawson admits that, in practice, no one accepts his deterministic view. “To be honest, I can’t really accept it myself,” he says. “I can’t really live with this fact from day to day. Can you, really?”,,, When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.” Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box. How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/04/when_evolutiona095451.html Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015 Excerpt: To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value. So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.,,, Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality. The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar094171.html
Here are a few more quotes from atheists along that same line:
“that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.” Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994 “We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.” Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor
Here is a very insightful testimony/lecture in which a former atheist finally realizes the sheer insanity of his materialistic position:
A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – 2012 talk University of Wyoming J. Budziszewski http://veritas.org/talks/professors-journey-out-nihilism-why-i-am-not-atheist/?view=presenters&speaker_id=2231 A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition. If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more. The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.” http://www.undergroundthomist.org/sites/default/files/WhyIAmNotAnAtheist.pdf
Mapou “Alleged liar and deceiver”, por favor. At any rate, I like “weaver of lies and deception” better. Twice indicted ,never convicted velikovskys
Thanks, BA77, I'll take a look at this information tomorrow. daveS
Sorry DaveS, I misquoted that interactive presuppositional apologetic website. He only claims 'logic', not math, in his demonstration. I corrected my notes. Thanks for the heads up. As to math itself, Dr. Craig used the applicability of math as a philosophical proof for God:
Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF25AA4dgGg 1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence. 2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence. 3. Therefore, God exists.
A few supplemental quotes attesting to the 'miracle' of the applicability of mathematics:
"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." Albert Einstein - Letters to Solovine - New York, Philosophical Library, 1987 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. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/MathDrama/reading/Wigner.html
As well, mathematics is shown not to be sufficient within itself but to be 'incomplete';
Kurt Gödel - Incompleteness Theorem – video https://vimeo.com/92387853 THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS - DAVID P. GOLDMAN - August 2010 Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel's critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes. http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians 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.org/articles/am/v7/n1/equation#
In related note, the universe itself is 'incomplete' and therefore also cries out for explanation. An explanation that will never be found within mathematics alone:
"Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons...fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time." Stanley Jaki - Cosmos and Creator - 1980, pg. 49 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. Neither is it the case that “nothing” is unstable, as Mr. Hawking and others maintain. Absolute nothing cannot have mathematical relationships predicated on it, not even quantum gravitational ones. 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/news/2010/oct/1/hawking-irrational-arguments/
Of related interest: Even Hawking himself at one time admitted, and apparently subsequently forgot as atheists are prone to do, that there cannot be a 'complete' mathematical theory of everything,
The nature and significance of Gödel’s incompleteness theorems - Princeton - 2006 Excerpt: ,,Stephen Hawking and Freeman Dyson, among others, have come to the conclusion that Gödel’s theorem implies that there can’t be a (mathematical) Theory of Everything.,, http://math.stanford.edu/~feferman/papers/Godel-IAS.pdf
Of supplemental note:
If we rightly allow agent causality into math, so as to '“breathes fire into the equations" and make a universe for them to describe, then a successful resolution between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity readily pops out for us that resolves the infinity problem between the two theories. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/multiverse-cosmologist-says-the-concept-of-infinity-is-ruining-physics/#comment-549912
Verse and Music:
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. Natalie Grant – Alive – music video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap2vrLCU85w
This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.
Hmm. Can you describe this accounting for the "laws" of mathematics? Is there any more to it than just an assertion that God "created" mathematics? daveS
Quote: “In evolutionary games we put truth (true perception) on the stage and it dies. And in genetic algorithms it (true perception) never gets on the stage” Donald Hoffman PhD. – Consciousness and The Interface Theory of Perception – 7:19 to 9:20 minute mark – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dqDP34a-epI#t=439 "Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face. Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules. Hawking needs God In order to deny Him." - Cornelius Hunter - Photo – http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H-kjiGN_9Fw/URkPboX5l2I/AAAAAAAAATw/yN18NZgMJ-4/s1600/rob4.jpg
Verse and Music:
Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Thrive – Casting Crowns http://myktis.com/songs/thrive/
supplemental quotes:
“The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.” Charles Darwin letter to N. D. Doedes, as cited in Bowden 1998, 273. “Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting, I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.” Charles Darwin - On the Origin Of Species - page 433 https://books.google.com/books?id=eTfRotZTXI0C&pg=PA433&lpg=PA433&dq#v=onepage&q&f=false
In response to the headline, "God needs to be sciencey if we are to accept him?", I'm surprised that none of the ID proponents have yet pointed out that science is impossible without God. This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed 'Presuppositional apologetics'. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.
Presuppositional Apologetics - easy to use interactive website http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php The Great Debate: Does God Exist? - Justin Holcomb - audio of the 1985 Greg Bahnsen debate available at the bottom of the site Excerpt: The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,, http://justinholcomb.com/2012/01/17/the-great-debate-does-god-exist/ “If you do not assume the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not assume the principles of sound reason, you have nothing to argue with. If you do not assume libertarian free will, you have no one to argue against. If you do not assume morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place.” - William J Murray Random Chaos vs. Uniformity Of Nature – Presuppositional Apologetics – video http://www.metacafe.com/w/6853139 Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description) http://vimeo.com/32145998
Exactly how is logic and reasoning to be grounded in a worldview that insists everything arose without any rhyme or reason? To presuppose that the universe can be understood through logic and reason is to presuppose that there is logic and reasoning behind the universe to be understood in the first place! The atheistic/materialistic worldview is simply completely incoherent as to providing a rational foundation for practicing science in that it presupposes there is no logic or reason behind why the universe exists. All of which explains, number one, why there were no atheists at the founding of modern science,, and which, number two, also explains why the atheistic explanations for how the universe came into being, and for how our conscious selves came into being, both wind up in epistemological failure. A few notes along that line:
Jerry Coyne on the Scientific Method and Religion – Michael Egnor – June 2011 Excerpt: The scientific method — the empirical systematic theory-based study of nature — has nothing to so with some religious inspirations — Animism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and, well, atheism. The scientific method has everything to do with Christian (and Jewish) inspiration. Judeo-Christian culture is the only culture that has given rise to organized theoretical science. Many cultures (e.g. China) have produced excellent technology and engineering, but only Christian culture has given rise to a conceptual understanding of nature. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/jerry_coyne_on_the_scientific_047431.html The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications – Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014 Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing. As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed, and as I pointed out in two of my talks at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC), science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview. http://townhall.com/columnists/calvinbeisner/2014/07/23/the-threat-to-the-scientific-method-that-explains-the-spate-of-fraudulent-science-publications-n1865201/page/full Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, and Christopher Dawson. BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010 Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science. http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/ Is Atheism Irrational? By GARY GUTTING – NY Times – February 9, 2014 Excerpt: GG: So your claim is that if materialism is true, evolution doesn’t lead to most of our beliefs being true. Plantinga: Right. In fact, given materialism and evolution, it follows that our belief-producing faculties are not reliable. Here’s why. If a belief is as likely to be false as to be true, we’d have to say the probability that any particular belief is true is about 50 percent. Now suppose we had a total of 100 independent beliefs (of course, we have many more). Remember that the probability that all of a group of beliefs are true is the multiplication of all their individual probabilities. Even if we set a fairly low bar for reliability — say, that at least two-thirds (67 percent) of our beliefs are true — our overall reliability, given materialism and evolution, is exceedingly low: something like .0004. So if you accept both materialism and evolution, you have good reason to believe that your belief-producing faculties are not reliable. But to believe that is to fall into a total skepticism, which leaves you with no reason to accept any of your beliefs (including your beliefs in materialism and evolution!). The only sensible course is to give up the claim leading to this conclusion: that both materialism and evolution are true. Maybe you can hold one or the other, but not both. So if you’re an atheist simply because you accept materialism, maintaining your atheism means you have to give up your belief that evolution is true. Another way to put it: The belief that both materialism and evolution are true is self-refuting. It shoots itself in the foot. Therefore it can’t rationally be held. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/09/is-atheism-irrational/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
Querius @10, Not only do I believe that the universe is teeming with Gods, I also believe that Yahweh is an entire civilization of Gods, billions upon billions of them. Yahweh is not called "Yahweh of hosts" just for grins and giggles. This is why he is also called Yahweh Elohim (elohim = lords or masters in Hebrew) and why, in Genesis, Yahweh Elohim said to themselves "Let US make man in OUR image.". The amazing variety of lifeforms on earth is a testimony to the fact there were many intelligent designers with different artistic styles and sense of beauty. I can quote many passages in the OT where Yahweh talks about the gods (elohim) of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Persia, etc. Yahweh is even shown to be jealous because the children of Israel chose to worship other gods. Even the ten commandments forbid Israel to worship other gods (elohim) besides Yahweh. I can pick all the verses you quoted above and go into the actual Hebrew text and prove that they do not say what you think they say. What they're really saying is that there is no master or lord greater than Yahweh. Yahweh is the big Kahuna, the first among the gods. All the other gods came after Yahweh. There is an entire menagerie of Gods out there. Yes, Yahweh is ONE (united) but this does not mean He is only one individual. The Hebrew scriptures teach us otherwise. One more thing. Catholics and others believe in a triune God. They're off by billions, IMO. One day, we humans will also become ONE with Yahweh, as Jesus said. We'll add our billions to their billions. Mapou
@Querius "The scriptures"? There are many, scriptures. You've just quoted from the Bible. Those scriptures are important, while others are not, because? You see them as an authoritative source of knowledge? Popperian
Here's what the scriptures actually say:
"To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him.” Deuteronomy 4:35 NASB
“See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39 NASB
"You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. Isaiah 43:10 NASB
"This is what the LORD says-- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6 NASB
"I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me” Isaiah 45:5 NASB
"For this is what the LORD says-- he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited-- he says: "I am the LORD, and there is no other." Isaiah 45:18 NASB
There are more. -Q Querius
Mung @8, "Alleged liar and deceiver", por favor. At any rate, I like "weaver of lies and deception" better. Mapou
Mahuna @6, First, as a Christian, I can tell you that Mapou is a liar and a deceiver. Mung
Mahuna @6, First, as a Christian, I can tell you that the scriptures teach that there are many gods: Yahweh, the gods of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Persia, Greece, Rome, etc. There were legions of them. Each nation had their own gods and Yahweh Elohim chose the houses of Israel and Judah as his wives. The others gods chose other nations to serve them. It was happening all over the world. Yep. Aliens among us. Some of them were complete a-holes too. Nowadays, the powers that be in this world see fit to teach us that it was all myths. They are lying. Second, if your spirit lives on all by itself and does not need the body, why is it still hanging to the body? Mapou
People keep confusing the very recent ideas (3000 BC?) of Polytheism with The Old Religion preserved by the shamans. 1. There is a God. God may be called by many names, but there is only 1 God. 2. God created the heavens and the earth, and people. 3. People have immortal spirits that live on after our bodies die, and our spirits will go to a place where we will be with God. 4. There isn't any Satan or any Hell. Everyone who dies goes to be with God. The rest is just marketing. The intermediate version focused on the Earth Mother, the obvious source of all new life. And it was only much later, after some genius discovered the role of males in procreation, that male Sky Gods appear. In many cases there was an active suppression of the natural, human interest in the Earth Mother by the proponents of the warrior Sky God. But when your child is sick, you want help from the Earth Mother, not some idiot throwing lightning bolts It's also useful to remember that the thing Socrates did to "corrupt the youth of Athens" was teach his students that there was only 1 God. The same is true of the Egyptians mystics/magicians: there was only 1 God, but then there were the Tales told to confuse the uninitiated. mahuna
First, Robert Wright's book The Evolution of God, outlines in detail how the conception of God evolved over time. For example, the idea of morality didn't come until significantly later. In one case, tribal thunder gods were thought to become angry when people combed their hair during a rain storm or when watching dogs mate. Second, before I could accept God, he would need to be a good explanation. What does that mean? Good explanations are hard to vary theories about how the world works, in reality. You cannot vary them without significantly reducing their ability to explain the phenomena in question. However, God is easily varied. For example, there are many different creation stories in which the cast of characters could be varied significantly, while still obtaining the same results. We can say same about God's supposed role in creating the biosphere. God does not play a hard to vary functional role, which could not be varied significantly without resulting in organisms as they are. At best, one could say "That's just what God must have wanted" For example if God knew how to build any organism that has, does or will exist, he could have created them in the order of most to least complex or even all at once. Yet, this is not what we observe. Or he could have created them as to appear as if they evolved, but actually did not. Another criticism of God is that he is an authoritative source of knowledge, which represents bad philosophy of knowledge, for reasons I've outlined elsewhere. As for science, Popper's demarcation - being falsifiable in an empirical, tentative sense - is a special case of a good explanation. Criticism, in science, takes the form of empirical observations and tests. So, no, I wouldn't say that to accept God he would need to be "sciencey." He would need to be a good explanation, which science is a specific case of. Popperian
Nancy Ellen Abrams is wife of Joel R. Primack, who is one of the creators of the theory of cold dark matter. It might interest Nancy Ellen Abrams to know that even dark matter 'conspires' to give us 'fine-tuned' evidence for God:
The Dark Matter 'conspiracy' - Apr 30, 2015 Excerpt: One of the most surprising scientific discoveries of the 20th century was that spiral galaxies, such as our own Milky Way, rotate much faster than expected, powered by an extra gravitational force of invisible 'dark matter'. Since this discovery 40 years ago, we have learned this mysterious substance, which is probably an exotic elementary particle, makes up about 85 per cent of the mass in the known Universe, leaving only 15 per cent to be the ordinary stuff encountered in our everyday lives. Dark matter is central to our understanding of how galaxies form and evolve and is ultimately one of the reasons for the existence of life on Earth – yet we know almost nothing about it. "One of the surprising findings of this study was that spiral galaxies maintain a remarkably constant rotation speed throughout their disks," Dr Cappellari said. "This means stars and dark matter conspire to redistribute themselves to produce this effect, with stars dominating in the inner regions of the galaxies, and a gradual shift in the outer regions to dark matter dominance." But the 'conspiracy' does not come out naturally from the models, and some fine-tuning is required to explain the observations. http://phys.org/news/2015-04-dark-conspiracy.html
Of related note: What is sculpting the Milky Way into its beautiful spiral shape? Scientific American refers to the 'Invisible Hand' of Dark Energy (which is fine tuned to within 1 part in 10^120).
The Universe's Invisible Hand - Christopher J. Conselice - 4 August 2014 Dark energy does more than hurry along the expansion of the universe. It also has a stranglehold on the shape and spacing of galaxies Excerpt: it now appears that dark energy may be the key link among several aspects of galaxy and cluster formation that not long ago appeared unrelated. The reason is that the formation and evolution of these systems is partially driven by interactions and mergers between galaxies, which in turn may have been driven strongly by dark energy. https://electronicdrum.wordpress.com/2007/01/30/the-universes-invisible-hand/
Verses, Painting and Music
Job 38:4-7 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Anika Kramarik Painting http://www.erdekesvilag.hu/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Akiane-Kramarik-festm%C3%A9nye.jpg Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill How Great thou Art – Standing Ovation! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLLMzr3PFgk
Ms. Abrams is playing with fire because God is about to get sciencey in a very grand way and she won't like it. Mapou
Well praise the Lord for Ms. Abrams! Where would we be without her? Deceived for the rest of our lives I guess. We are so fortunate to have her to set us straight! . . . 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. tjguy
God made a world amenable to science and creatures capable of taking advantage of it. More God. We want more. If you don't do more we wont' believe in you. Mung

Leave a Reply