Intelligent Design

Materialists Believe “The Earth Orbits the Sun” May Not Be Objectively True.

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Predictably, in response to my last post materialists (this time Rationaly’s bane and jdk) trotted out this old chestnut: “People have been wrong about morality; therefore moral truth cannot possibly be objective.”

*palm forehead*  This canard has been refuted so many times I have lost count.  I will try one more time.

RB and jdk, nearly everyone once thought that the sun orbited the earth. Now we know without the slightest doubt that just the opposite is the case.  The earth orbits the sun.  Is the fact that the earth orbits the sun objectively true?  Of course it is. Now, try to follow the logic here. It is not a difficult logical chain, but you people seem to have a hard time with it, so I will go slow.

  1.  In the past people have been nearly universally wrong about at least one objective truth (i.e., the earth orbits the sun).
  2. Therefore, the fact that people have been universally wrong about a thing does not compel the conclusion that truths about the thing in question are necessarily subjective

In philosophy-speak, you have made a category error.  You are confusing ontology with epistemology.  A thing’s being (its ontological status) is independent of  what we know or do not know about it (its epistemological status).

The earth objectively orbits the sun (ontology).  That fact was just as objectively true for the thousands of years when nearly everyone was wrong about it (epistemology).

Now, repeat after me:  The fact that people have been wrong about moral truths even for thousands of years does not compel the conclusion that morality is subjective any more than the fact that people have been wrong about astronomical truths even for thousands of years compels the conclusion that astronomy is subjective.

BTW, if you disagree, then the title of the OP becomes apropos.

61 Replies to “Materialists Believe “The Earth Orbits the Sun” May Not Be Objectively True.

  1. 1
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Barry, “Predictably, in response to my last post materialists (this time Rationaly’s bane and jdk) trotted out this old chestnut: “People have been wrong about morality; therefore moral truth cannot possibly be objective.””

    It is always easy to prove someone wrong when you claim that they are saying something that they have never said. You get D for debate But A for effort.

    RB and jdk, nearly everyone once thought that the sun orbited the earth.”

    True. But that conclusion was based on objective evidence. The sun, moon and stars traverse the sky on a daily basis. If it weren’t for a proliferation of additional objective evidence, we might still believe this. Both theories were supported by objective data, but the heliocentric theory is the one that is the best explanation of the data we have today.

    Unfortunately, objective morality currently stands where the earth centric theory currently stands. It is consistent with some of the objective data but the subjective theory remains the best explanation.

    Well, got to turn the BBQ on. Talk later.

  2. 2
    Barry Arrington says:

    RB, is the following statement true or false?

    In the past people have been nearly universally wrong about at least one objective truth (i.e., the earth orbits the sun).

    RB, does the following conclusion follow through ineluctable logic from the first statement?

    Therefore, the fact that people have been universally wrong about a thing does not compel the conclusion that truths about the thing in question are necessarily subjective.

    Prediction. RB will will either dodge and obfuscate or ignore the question altogether. Anything but deal with uncomfortable truth.

  3. 3
    Barry Arrington says:

    Barry:

    nearly everyone once thought that the sun orbited the earth.

    RB:

    True. But that conclusion was based on objective evidence.

    Again you confuse epistemology with ontology. The point is not why they were wrong about objective truth. The point is that they were in fact wrong about objective truth. Therefore, it follows that people can be wrong about objective truth and their error does not make the truth any less objective.

    Why is that so hard for you to understand? It is truly not a difficult concept to grasp if you only allow yourself to grasp it. Is it really the case that your ideological blinders prevent you from grasping even simple, easy to see, truth? That’s really sad.

    I sometimes wonder if internet anonymity is a good thing. I bet RB would not post such stupid comments under his real name.

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    Now, repeat after me: The fact that people have been wrong about moral truths even for thousands of years does not compel the conclusion that morality is subjective any more than the fact that people have been wrong about astronomical truths even for thousands of years compels the conclusion that astronomy is subjective.

    The claim “that people have been wrong about moral truths even for thousands of years” assumes that the existence of moral truths that people can be wrong about has been established. Yet this is the bone of contention between us. You are assuming that which has yet to be proven.

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    Predictably, in response to my last post materialists (this time Rationaly’s bane and jdk) trotted out this old chestnut: “People have been wrong about morality; therefore moral truth cannot possibly be objective.

    No, the argument is that moral propositions are prescriptive not descriptive. They enjoin people to behave in certain ways towards each other. They are not claims about objective reality so they are not capable of being true or false.

  6. 6
    jdk says:

    Barry writes,

    “People have been wrong about morality; therefore moral truth cannot possibly be objective.

    Please show me where I said this, because I don’t believe I did.

    The last post I wrote on this subject was,

    This is an important point: given that the historical evidence shows that what is considered moral changes over time and cultures, what mechanism can anyone offer to objectively ascertain what those objective morals might be.

    Even when X says that Y is objectively moral, or not, there is nothing X can point to to convince us that this is not just a subjective opinion X has.

    This is quite a different statement than what Barry says I said.

    So Barry says,

    Now, repeat after me: The fact that people have been wrong about moral truths even for thousands of years does not compel the conclusion that morality is subjective any more than the fact that people have been wrong about astronomical truths even for thousands of years compels the conclusion that astronomy is subjective.

    This are not analogous. There is empirical, observable evidence that led us to conclude that the earth goes around the sun. There is no comparable way to observe evidence that show that objective morals exist: that is what I said.

    It is possible objective morals exist, just as it is possible that God exists, but there is no way to ascertain whether anyone’s statements about those are “truly” objective, so the reasonable, evidence-based conclusion is that one’s opinion about the existence or specifics of objective morality is a subjective opinion.

    So, Barry, feel free to argue with me, but don’t say I said things I didn’t.

    And Barry, my real name is Jack Krebs. I’m quit being “hazel” and “aleta” because I wanted to move away from internet anonymity.

  7. 7

    ah, that explains it

  8. 8

    By the way Jack, ID concepts like irreducible complexity are indisputably true, and frankly, were deeply seated in physics and biology long before the politics. You had your chance to do something important (speak for politically-neutral science) and you didn’t seize the opportunity.

  9. 9
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Barry, “I sometimes wonder if internet anonymity is a good thing. I bet RB would not post such stupid comments under his real name.”

    Using your real name when commenting is no guarantee of not making stupid comments. Case in point:

    The point is not why they were wrong about objective truth. The point is that they were in fact wrong about objective truth.”

    Speaking of stupid comments. Are you seriously saying that why people are often wrong about objective truths is not important? Earth centric theories were wrong not due to their ability to explain what was objectively observed at the time. They were wrong because the heliocentric theory was equally good at explaining those early observations, and better at explaining the more recent observations.

    The point is that they were in fact wrong about objective truth. Therefore, it follows that people can be wrong about objective truth and their error does not make the truth any less objective.”

    True. But if that is the basis of an argument for an objective truth, rather than actual objective evidence, the rational mind will seriously question the proposal. As a wise man once said: “Why is that so hard for you to understand? It is truly not a difficult concept to grasp if you only allow yourself to grasp it. Is it really the case that your ideological blinders prevent you from grasping even simple, easy to see, truth? That’s really sad.”

    By the way. The barbecued chicken was wonderful. I hope your dinner was as good.

  10. 10
    Rationalitys bane says:

    UBP, “By the way Jack, ID concepts like irreducible complexity are indisputably true,…”

    Nobody has argued that irreducible complexity is not indisputably true. Contrary to Dawkins’ nonsense, a mouse trap missing one of its parts is not likely to kill a mouse. Where the dispute occurs is to whether a complex structure can arise through natural means without an intelligent agent.

  11. 11
    buffalo says:

    Heliocentrism is wrong. The sun is not the center of the universe. Yet again it could be. (acentrism)

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    Nobody has argued that irreducible complexity is not indisputably true.

    I just wet my pants.

  13. 13
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Barry, I apologize for calling your comment stupid. I try to be better than that.

  14. 14
    Barry Arrington says:

    RB makes progress:

    Barry:

    The point is that they were in fact wrong about objective truth. Therefore, it follows that people can be wrong about objective truth and their error does not make the truth any less objective.

    RB:

    True.

    Then he slips up:

    But if that is the basis of an argument for an objective truth, rather than actual objective evidence, the rational mind will seriously question the proposal.

    No, again, you don’t seem to understand the different between ontology and epistemology. My arguments have been entirely ontological in nature, and for some reason you believe you can counter them with arguments about epistemology. Fail.

  15. 15

    Bane,

    Nobody has argued that irreducible complexity is not indisputably true

    Irreducible complexity (IC) is a pseudoscientific argument that certain biological systems cannot evolve by successive small modifications to pre-existing functional systems through natural selection.[1] Central to the creationist concept of intelligent design, IC is rejected by the scientific community,[2] which regards intelligent design as pseudoscience … claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.”[2] — Wiki

    Perhaps you read that differently than I do. Does that page need to be changed so that the public is not misled?

    Where the dispute occurs is to whether a complex structure can arise through natural means without an intelligent agent.

    Yes, that is one of the places that disputes arise. In particular is the response by anti-IDist to the threshold of complexity required for a self-replicator capable of Darwinian evolution.

  16. 16
    Barry Arrington says:

    Seversky, I may address the issues you raise in comments 4 and 5 later; only so many materialist moles I can whack in one day. I do understand why you want to change the subject though. Your side is constantly embarrassing itself with the chestnut addressed in the OP.

    The purpose of this post is very very limited. I will put it up again.

    1. In the past people have been nearly universally wrong about at least one objective truth (i.e., the earth orbits the sun).

    2. Therefore, the fact that people have been universally wrong about a thing does not compel the conclusion that truths about the thing in question are necessarily subjective.

    I expect you to keep running away. But if you care to take a stand, you can tell us whether you agree or disagree with these two statements.

  17. 17
    jdk says:

    Irreducible complexity is a term coined by Michael Behe, who defines it as follows.

    Irreducible complexity is just a fancy phrase I use to mean a single system which is composed of several interacting parts, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to cease functioning.

    (Behe, 1996, speech delivered to the Discovery Institute)

    Note that this definition by Behe agrees with what RB said.

    Behe would later go on to say that biological IC systems cab not evolve, but that is different than just defining them as Behe did in the quote above.

    This confusion runs through a lot of ID literature, I think

    Another quote:

    In 1996, the Free Press published a book by Lehigh University biochemist and intelligent design advocate Michael Behe called Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. The book’s central thesis is that many biological systems are “irreducibly complex” at the molecular level. Behe gives the following definition of irreducible complexity:

    By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly (that is, by continuously improving the initial function, which continues to work by the same mechanism) by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional. An irreducibly complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would be a powerful challenge to Darwinian evolution. (p. 39)

    Note that the first sentence merely defines what IC is, and the second makes the claim that biological IC systems can’t evolve.

    There are other complexities here, of course, , but, again, I think RB’s statement at 10 is accurate, as he distinguishes the definition from the claim about the cause.

  18. 18
    jdk says:

    Barry, in 16 you write,

    the fact that people have been universally wrong about a thing does not compel the conclusion that truths about the thing in question are necessarily subjective.

    But in the OP you claimed that RB and I had claimed that,

    People have been wrong about morality; therefore moral truth cannot possibly be objective.

    Do you see that these two sentences say different things?

  19. 19

    jdk, the capacity to specify objects is required to organize the cell and enable open-ended Darwinian evolution. In the cell, this requires the spatial arrangement of a medium (a codon) to serve as a representation for each object (amino acid) being specified, and another arrangement of matter (an aaRS) to establish what is being represented. The system also has to be organized in a way that preserves the natural discontinuity between the representation and its referent (which is exactly what is found inside the cell). The reason nature requires this special organization of two objects is because no object in the universe inherently specifies any other object in the universe (amino acids are not specified by the surface properties of nucleotides).

    Is the specification of amino acids by the medium of DNA an IC process, or not?

  20. 20

    again *crickets*

  21. 21
    Barry Arrington says:

    Jack,

    I went back and looked. You put your first comment up at UD nearly 11 years ago on January 13, 2006. You’ve been debating in this area for a long time. It seems to be that you should be up on the issues.

    How long are you going to run away from answering Upright Biped’s simple questions?

    Doesn’t the fact that you feel compelled to run away from Upright Biped’s simple questions give you pause? If it were me, I think that would give me pause.

  22. 22
    jdk says:

    Hi Barry. Just like everyone else here, I can choose what topics I want to discuss. Just because I don’t respond to someone’s request to answer a question doesn’t mean I’m running away from it.

    I think things evolve. I think that scientists who know much more than me have explained how Behe is wrong about his ideas about what can and can not evolve, and I accept mainstream science’s position on this. I don’t have the expertise to discuss the specifics of a lot of the science at the cellular and molecular level.

    Upright Biped (and you) will just have to live with what I choose to discuss, and not. Feel free to ignore me. [For example, #18 above. 🙂 ]

    And by the way, I participated at ARN and ISCID before this, and was probably “dayton” and “evan” there, if you want to continue your research.

  23. 23
    jdk says:

    Well, this is nostalgic! 😉

    Your post on January 13, 2006: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....l-dembski/

    My Panda’s Thumb post:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....l-dembski/

    And my comment to your post:

    Hmm. Please explain how I “demanded” anything. For that matter, explain why you think I am “bent out of shape.” And I object to your saying that I called Dembski “chicken.”

    What I actually wrote was:

    “On the other hand, I do believe that they really don’t want to talk in public about the things I wanted to talk about. They want the facade of credibility for ID by setting it against evolution – against some well-know biology professor like Krishtalka, but they don’t want (and I find this ironic) to actually discuss the issue of Christianity and evolution in front of a group of Christians. What are they afraid of here?”

    I think your post would have more credibility if you didn’t exaggerate what I said.

    Also, I understand your references to the school I teach at are meant to point out the differences in credentials between Dembski and me. However, ultimately, it’s ideas and the ability to convey them that persuades people, and, credentials aside, I feel confident in my ability to discuss things at the level Dembski does. I am proud of my career as a life-long high school educator, but I assure you that my education and skills go beyond what I do during my paying day job.

    And last, given my undergraduate degree in anthropology, I actually have more science credentials than Dembski does. A lack of credentials in biology has not stopped him nor other members of the ID movement from challenging evolution.

    But thanks for reading my Panda’s Thumb post.

  24. 24

    Jack,

    ultimately, it’s ideas and the ability to convey them that persuades people, and, credentials aside, I feel confident in my ability to discuss things at the level Dembski does. I am proud of my career as a life-long high school educator, but I assure you that my education and skills go beyond what I do during my paying day job.

    Okay. Are you now saying that you are no longer in possesion of those skills? There seems to be some confusion, are you or are you not capable of defending your position? If you are, then answer the question.

    The capacity to specify objects is required to organize the cell and enable open-ended Darwinian evolution. In the cell, this requires the spatial arrangement of a medium (a codon) to serve as a representation for each object (amino acid) being specified, and another arrangement of matter (an aaRS) to establish what is being represented. The system also has to be organized in a way that preserves the natural discontinuity between the representation and its referent (which is exactly what is found inside the cell). The reason nature requires this special organization of two objects is because no object in the universe inherently specifies any other object in the universe (amino acids are not specified by the surface properties of nucleotides).

    Is the specification of amino acids by the medium of DNA an IC process, or not?

    If you do not answer that question, then Jack Krebs, a founder of the Kansas Citizens for Science, has chosen to run away from indisputable scientific observation, and thus demonstrated in perhaps the clearest way possible the very thing he accused ID of — “This is not about science and never has been.”. And let there be no mistake, the reason that Jack runs away is strictly because the observations presented to him are indeed indisputable, as well as being so deeply written into the literature.

  25. 25

    jdk, you are in a difficult situation. Why not take the opportunity to say that you’ll read up on the data. You can read von Neumann discussing the threshold of complexity required for a self-replicating system. Also you can find additional resources on the Biosemiosis.org bibliography. What is not acceptable however, is to continue pretending the evidence is not there, or blatantly ignoring it.

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    Michael Rowan-Robinson, former president of the Royal Astronomical Society, and apparently an atheist, emphasized the Copernican principle as the threshold test for modern thought, asserting that:

    “It is evident that in the post-Copernican era of human history, no well-informed and rational person can imagine that Earth occupies a unique position in the universe.”
    Michael Rowan-Robinson – (1996). Cosmology (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 62–63.

    In other words, according to Michael Rowan-Robinson, a person is not informed and/or rational if they may hold the Earth has a unique position and/or status in the universe. Yet, due to advances in our knowledge, methinks the honorable Michael Rowan-Robinson may have judged much too quickly.

    Contrary to what is popularly believed by many people today, of the earth being nothing but a insignificant speck of dust lost in a vast ocean of space (Copernican Principle), there is actually a strong case to be made for the earth, and humans themselves, being central in the universe once again.

    In fact, due to the 4-Dimensional space-time upon which General Relativity is built,,,

    In what I consider an absolutely fascinating discovery, 4-dimensional (4D) space-time was created in the Big Bang and continues to ‘expand equally in all places’:

    Where is the centre of the universe?:
    Excerpt: There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a “Big Bang” about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell.
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/.....entre.html

    Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as ‘center of the universe’ as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered ‘center of the universe’. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point can be considered central to the expansion, if that’s where you live.

    ,,, and also due to the fact that, in both General and Special Relativity, the observer is given a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements,,,

    Introduction to special relativity
    Excerpt: Einstein’s approach was based on thought experiments, calculations, and the principle of relativity, which is the notion that all physical laws should appear the same (that is, take the same basic form) to all inertial observers.,,,
    Each observer has a distinct “frame of reference” in which velocities are measured,,,,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....relativity

    The happiest thought of my life.
    Excerpt: In 1920 Einstein commented that a thought came into his mind when writing the above-mentioned paper he called it “the happiest thought of my life”:
    “The gravitational field has only a relative existence… Because for an observer freely falling from the roof of a house – at least in his immediate surroundings – there exists no gravitational field.”
    http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/.....ode85.html

    ,,, Then, as far as general relativity itself is concerned, centrality in the universe is left open for whomever is making a particular model of the universe to arbitrarily decide for themselves,,,

    How Einstein Revealed the Universe’s Strange “Nonlocality” – George Musser | Oct 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Under most circumstances, we can ignore this nonlocality. You can designate some available chunk of matter as a reference point and use it to anchor a coordinate grid. You can, to the chagrin of Santa Barbarans, take Los Angeles as the center of the universe and define every other place with respect to it. In this framework, you can go about your business in blissful ignorance of space’s fundamental inability to demarcate locations.,,
    In short, Einstein’s theory is nonlocal in a more subtle and insidious way than Newton’s theory of gravity was. Newtonian gravity acted at a distance, but at least it operated within a framework of absolute space. Einsteinian gravity has no such element of wizardry; its effects ripple through the universe at the speed of light. Yet it demolishes the framework, violating locality in what was, for Einstein, its most basic sense: the stipulation that all things have a location. General relativity confounds our intuitive picture of space as a kind of container in which material objects reside and forces us to search for an entirely new conception of place.
    http://www.scientificamerican......nlocality/

    No less than Einstein himself stated that, as far as General Relativity itself is concerned, neither the sun nor the earth has more centrality in the universe than the other does

    “Can we formulate physical laws so that they are valid for all CS [coordinate systems], not only those moving uniformly, but also those moving quite arbitrarily, relative to each other? […] The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS could be used with equal justification. The two sentences: “the sun is at rest and the earth moves” or “the sun moves and the earth is at rest” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS.”
    Einstein, A. and Infeld, L. (1938) The Evolution of Physics, p.212 (p.248 in original 1938 ed.);

    “If one rotates the shell *relative to the fixed stars* about an axis going through its center, a Coriolis force arises in the interior of the shell, *that is, the plane of a Foucault pendulum is dragged around*”
    –Albert Einstein, cited in “Gravitation”, Misner Thorne and Wheeler pp. 544-545.
    “One need not view the existence of such centrifugal forces as originating from the motion of K’ [the Earth]; one could just as well account for them as resulting from the average rotational effect of distant, detectable masses as evidenced in the vicinity of K’ [the Earth], whereby K’ [the Earth] is treated as being at rest.”
    –Albert Einstein, quoted in Hans Thirring, “On the Effect of Distant Rotating Masses in Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation”, Physikalische Zeitschrift 22, 29, 1921

    Fred Hoyle, discoverer of stellar nucleosynthesis, weighs in here:

    “The relation of the two pictures [geocentrism and geokineticism] is reduced to a mere coordinate transformation and it is the main tenet of the Einstein theory that any two ways of looking at the world which are related to each other by a coordinate transformation are entirely equivalent from a physical point of view…. Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is ‘right’ and the Ptolemaic theory ‘wrong’ in any meaningful physical sense.”
    Hoyle, Fred. Nicolaus Copernicus. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1973.

    “We know that the difference between a heliocentric theory and a geocentric theory is one of relative motion only, and that such a difference has no physical significance.”
    Sir Fred Hoyle, Astronomy and Cosmology – A Modern Course, (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman & Co.), p. 416,1975.

    George Ellis, who, along with Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking, helped extend General Relativity to show that not only energy and matter had a definite beginning in the Big Bang but that space and time also had a definite beginning in the Big Bang, weighs in here:

    “People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations… For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations… You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds… What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”
    – George Ellis – W. Wayt Gibbs, “Profile: George F. R. Ellis,” Scientific American, October 1995, Vol. 273, No.4, p. 55

    Many people say that the heliocentric model is preferred over the earth centered model because of simplicity, i.e. aka Occam’s razor, the following recent article takes issue with that claim:

    The Tyranny of Simple Explanations – Philip Ball – AUG 11, 2016
    Excerpt: Occam’s razor is often stated as an injunction not to make more assumptions than you absolutely need.,,,
    In layman’s terms, the simplest explanation is usually the best one.,,,
    But Occam’s razor is often fetishized and misapplied as a guiding beacon for scientific enquiry.,,
    The worst misuses, however, fixate on the idea that the razor can adjudicate between rival theories. I have found no single instance where it has served this purpose to settle a scientific debate. Worse still, the history of science is often distorted in attempts to argue that it has.
    Take the debate between the ancient geocentric view of the universe—in which the sun and planets move around a central Earth—and Nicolaus Copernicus’s heliocentric theory, with the Sun at the center and the Earth and other planets moving around it.,,,
    It is often claimed that, by the 16th century, this Ptolemaic model of the universe had become so laden with these epicycles that it was on the point of falling apart. Then along came the Polish astronomer with his heliocentric universe, and no more epicycles were needed. The two theories explained the same astronomical observations, but Copernicus’s was simpler, and so Occam’s razor tells us to prefer it.
    This is wrong for many reasons. First, Copernicus didn’t do away with epicycles.,,,
    In an introductory tract called the Commentariolus, published around 1514, he said he could explain the motions of the heavens with “just” 34 epicycles. Many later commentators took this to mean that the geocentric model must have needed many more than 34, but there’s no actual evidence for that. And the historian of astronomy Owen Gingerich has dismissed the common assumption that the Ptolemaic model was so epicycle-heavy that it was close to collapse. He argues that a relatively simple design was probably still in use in Copernicus’s time.,,,
    Occam’s razor was never meant for paring nature down to some beautiful, parsimonious core of truth. Because science is so difficult and messy, the allure of a philosophical tool for clearing a path or pruning the thickets is obvious. In their readiness to find spurious applications of Occam’s razor in the history of science, or to enlist, dismiss, or reshape the razor at will to shore up their preferences, scientists reveal their seduction by this vision.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/sci.....or/495332/

    In fact, Ptolemy’s model has a certain symmetrical beauty to it that is missing from the Copernican model

    Ptolemy’s model of the solar system – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpSy0Lkm3zM

    And thus, on the criteria of beauty alone, I hold Ptolemy’s model should be preferred over Copernican’s model

    ‘the only physical theories that we are willing to accept are the beautiful ones’
    Albert Einstein

    That the earth and solar system should be given privileged consideration over all other frames of reference in the universe is established by empirical evidence itself, i.e. by Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) anomalies.

    Why is the solar system cosmically aligned? BY Dragan Huterer – 2007
    The solar system seems to line up with the largest cosmic features. Is this mere coincidence or a signpost to deeper insights?
    Caption under figure on page 43:
    ODD ALIGNMENTS hide within the multipoles of the cosmic microwave background. In this combination of the quadrupole and octopole, a plane bisects the sphere between the largest warm and cool lobes. The ecliptic — the plane of Earth’s orbit projected onto the celestial sphere — is aligned parallel to the plane between the lobes.
    http://www-personal.umich.edu/.....uterer.pdf
    Here is the actual graph of the alignment from the Huterer 2007 paper (worth a thousand words):
    http://i44.servimg.com/u/f44/1.....is_o10.jpg

    What Is Evil About The Axis Of Evil? – February 17, 2015
    The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Radiation contains small temperature fluctuations.
    When these temperature fluctuations are analyzed using image processing techniques (specifically spherical harmonics), they indicate a special direction in space, or, in a sense, an axis through the universe. This axis is correlated back to us, and causes many difficulties for the current big bang and standard cosmology theories. What has been discovered is shocking.
    Two scientists, Kate Land and João Magueijo, in a paper in 2005 describing the axis, dubbed it the “Axis of Evil” because of the damage it does to current theories, and (tongue in cheek) as a response to George Bush’ Axis of Evil speech regarding Iraq, Iran and, North Korea.
    (Youtube clip on site)
    In the above video, Max Tegmark describes in a simplified way how spherical harmonics analysis decomposes the small temperature fluctuations into more averaged and spatially arranged temperature components, known as multipoles.
    The “Axis of Evil” correlates to the earth’s ecliptic and equinoxes, and this represents a very unusual and unexpected special direction in space, a direct challenge to the Copernican Principle.
    http://www.theprinciplemovie.com/evil-axis-evil/

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    At the 13:55 minute mark of this following video, Max Tegmark, an atheist, finally admits, post Planck 2013, that the CMBR anomalies do indeed line up with the earth and solar system

    “Thoughtcrime: The Conspiracy to Stop The Principle” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0eVUSDy_rO0#t=832

    Moreover besides the earth and solar system lining up with the anomalies in the Cosmic Background Radiation, Radio Astronomy now reveals a surprising rotational coincidence for Earth in relation to the quasar and radio galaxy distributions in the universe:

    Is there a violation of the Copernican principle in radio sky? – Ashok K. Singal – May 17, 2013
    Abstract: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) observations from the WMAP satellite have shown some unexpected anisotropies (directionally dependent observations), which surprisingly seem to be aligned with the eclipticcite {20,16,15}. The latest data from the Planck satellite have confirmed the presence of these anisotropiescite {17}. Here we report even larger anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies in the 3CRR catalogue, one of the oldest and most intensively studies sample of strong radio sourcescite{21,22,3}. The anisotropies lie about a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole (NCP). We can rule out at a 99.995% confidence level the hypothesis that these asymmetries are merely due to statistical fluctuations. Further, even the distribution of observed radio sizes of quasars and radio galaxies show large systematic differences between these two sky regions. The redshift distribution appear to be very similar in both regions of sky for all sources, which rules out any local effects to be the cause of these anomalies. Two pertinent questions then arise. First, why should there be such large anisotropies present in the sky distribution of some of the most distant discrete sources implying inhomogeneities in the universe at very large scales (covering a fraction of the universe)? What is intriguing even further is why such anisotropies should lie about a great circle decided purely by the orientation of earth’s rotation axis and/or the axis of its revolution around the sun? It looks as if these axes have a preferential placement in the larger scheme of things, implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which all modern cosmological theories are based upon.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.4134

    Moreover, the light coming from the CMBR is also, unexpectedly, found to be fine tuned for intelligent life like human life to discover it:

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    …the intensity of CMB depends on the photon to baryon ratio, (??b), which is the ratio of the average number of photons per unit volume of space to the average number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) per unit volume. At present this ratio is approximately a billion to one (10^9) , but it could be anywhere from one to infinity; it traces back to the degree of asymmetry in matter and anti – matter right after the beginning of the universe – for approximately every billion particles of antimatter, there was a billion and one particles of matter.,,,
    The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    It is easy to see that this prediction could have been disconfirmed. In fact, when I first made the calculations in the fall of 2011, I made a mistake and thought I had refuted this thesis since those calculations showed the intensity of the CMB maximizes at a value different than the photon – baryon ratio in our universe. So, not only does the DLO lead us to expect this ratio, but it provides an ultimate explanation for why it has this value,,, This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,
    http://home.messiah.edu/~rcoll.....osting.pdf

    And whereas in General Relativity the observer is given a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements, in quantum mechanics it is the measurement itself that gives the observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “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 behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    “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

    Quantum Enigma:Physics Encounters Consciousness – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: 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…
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-designer/

    And although both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics give the observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe, General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, none-the-less, in the much sought after ‘theory of everything’, simply ‘refuse to talk to each other’ in any attempt to unify them mathematically:

    Quantum Mechanics & Relativity – Michio Kaku – The Collapse Of Physics As We Know It ? – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1190432337636364/?type=2&theater

    Yet, as mentioned in the preceding video, the universe is not ‘schizophrenic’. That is to say, the universe operates as a cohesive whole and is not governed by different legislation in different places. Yet, the belief that the universe should operatre as a cohesive whole and be governed by a single unifying principle is a theistic presupposition. A presupposition which undergirded the birth of modern science itself.

    “Our monotheistic traditions reinforce the assumption that the universe is at root a unity, that is not governed by different legislation in different places.”
    John D. Barrow

    “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.”
    C. S. Lewis

    “The first major unification in physics was Sir Isaac Newton’s realization that the same force that caused an apple to fall at the Earth’s surface—gravity—was also responsible for holding the Moon in orbit about the Earth. This universal force would also act between the planets and the Sun, providing a common explanation for both terrestrial and astronomical phenomena.”
    https://www.learner.org/courses/physics/unit/text.html?unit=3&secNum=3

    This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; ,,, This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator, or Universal Ruler;,,,
    Sir Isaac Newton – Quoted from what many consider the most influential science book of all time, his book “Principia”

    And when the Agent causality, i.e. God, of Theists is rightly let ‘back’ into the picture of physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, (instead of the self refuting ‘blind’ causality of atheists in which atheists themselves become merely ‘neuronal illusions’), then a empirically backed unification between Quantum Theory and Relativity is readily achieved by the resurrection of Christ from death:

    Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the Theory of Everything – Centrality Concerns
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uHST2uFPQY&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=4

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram
    https://youtu.be/F-TL4QOCiis

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    Verse and Praise 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.

    “Alive” – W,Lyrics, By Natalie Grant
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AFpgzjRD44

    Supplemental notes:

    Special Relativity and General Relativity compared to Heavenly and Hellish Near Death Experiences – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbKELVHcvSI&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=1

    The Scale of The Universe – Part 2 – interactive graph
    http://htwins.net/scale2/scale.....olor=white

    The preceding interactive graph points out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which ‘just so happens’ to be directly in the exponential center of all possible sizes of our physical reality. As far as the exponential graph itself is concerned, 10^-4 is, exponentially, right in the middle of 10^-35 meters, which is the smallest possible unit of length, which is Planck length, and 10^27 meters, which is the largest possible unit of ‘observable’ length since space-time was created in the Big Bang, which is the diameter of the universe. This is very interesting for, as far as I can tell, the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions than directly in the exponential middle.
    Dr. Neil Turok comments on this strange ‘anomaly’ in the following public lecture

    The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything – Neil Turok Public Lecture – video (12:00 minute mark, we are in the exponential/geometric middle of the universe)
    https://youtu.be/f1x9lgX8GaE?t=715

  29. 29
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Barry, “

    No, again, you don’t seem to understand the different between ontology and epistemology. My arguments have been entirely ontological in nature, and for some reason you believe you can counter them with arguments about epistemology. Fail.

    Translation: Please don’t cloud the issue by using things like proper scientific methodology and objective evidence.

    Call me old fashioned, but when I am attempting to make a claim about something, I try to support it with evidence, not just opinion. I don’t always succeed, but I at least make the effort.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    BA et al:

    “People have been wrong about morality; therefore moral truth cannot possibly be objective.”

    . . . . A thing’s being (its ontological status) is independent of what we know or do not know about it (its epistemological status).

    The earth objectively orbits the sun (ontology). That fact was just as objectively true for the thousands of years when nearly everyone was wrong about it (epistemology).

    Now, repeat after me: The fact that people have been wrong about moral truths even for thousands of years does not compel the conclusion that morality is subjective any more than the fact that people have been wrong about astronomical truths even for thousands of years compels the conclusion that astronomy is subjective.

    Correct.

    Now, let us focus: “People have been wrong about morality; therefore moral truth cannot possibly be objective.”

    See how that points to objectively knowable moral truths?

    (As in; if X is an objectively knowable moral error, then it is — trivially — an objectively knowable moral truth that X is a moral error. [Of course if it is possible to be in moral error then it is possible to be in such error in believing that something, Y, perceived as moral error is actually an error. Moral knowledge is not equal to the fashionable opinions of a given day. Something our day, with the blood of hundreds of millions of aborted babies on our hands and consciences, needs to recognise.])

    KF

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    RB, scientism is self-referentially incoherent. It makes a philosophical claim that only scientific knowledge claims are significant. It is also UNDER ethics, not over it. There is such a thing as evil science. Ethical truths need to be evauated by proper rules and principles, which necessarily go beyond science. A key empirical point here is that we find ourselves inescapably under moral government, seen even in your own tone above. What sort of world frame makes sense of such moral government . . . where, might and manipulation make ‘right’ does not even make it out of the starting blocks. Evolutionary materialistic scientism necessarily ends in or at minimum opens the door to such nihilism. This has been well understood since Plato in The Laws, Bk X, 2350 years ago. KF

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: truth is that which says of what is that it is, and of what is not, that it is not. That is, accurate description of reality — an ontological matter; things as they are. Knowledge is a subsidiary matter: how do we confidently warrant claim X to be true? (There is a tendency to collapse truth into knowledge, and knowledge into “science.” This fails.) KF

  33. 33
    Rationalitys bane says:

    KF:

    RB, scientism is self-referentially incoherent.

    Then it is a good thing that I am not talking about scientism.

    There is such a thing as evil science.

    No there isn’t. Science may be used in an “evil” fashion, but there is no such thing as an “evil” science.

    Ethical truths need to be evauated by proper rules and principles, which necessarily go beyond science.

    Again, there is no such thing as an ethical truth. There are behaviours that we as a society have agreed to abide by and label them as ethical.

    A key empirical point here is that we find ourselves inescapably under moral government,…

    Again, you are making an assertion that is in dispute. If you are saying that as we grow we establish deeply entrenched beliefs and expectations of behaviour (call them morals if you want), that cause us distress if we deviate from them, or see others deviating from them, then I agree that we are under moral government. If you are saying that these moral values are objective and writ by some designer/deity, then we would disagree.The bulk of evidence simply does not support this as the best explanation of the objective facts that we see every day.

    …where, might and manipulation make ‘right’ does not even make it out of the starting blocks.

    I agree that might and manipulation don’t make right (whatever right is). But it does occasionally make the rules. but it is not a choice only between objective morality and might and manipulation make right. You completely ignore the impact of early learning, indoctrination, feedback, parental and peer interactions, etc. in the establishment of our moral assemblage.

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversly, 4 (attn RB, JDK, JC et al), re:

    The claim “that people have been wrong about moral truths even for thousands of years” assumes that the existence of moral truths that people can be wrong about has been established. Yet this is the bone of contention between us. You are assuming that which has yet to be proven.

    Nope.

    First, BA is, even trivially correct, that reality is before our ability to warrant our claims about it on whatever evidence we do or do not have in hand.

    The general issue is, reality exists, and truth accurately describes it.

    Our presence or absence of objectively grounded knowledge of it is strictly irrelevant to the matter, reality exists.

    It is also trivially true that in cases, we can describe reality as existing, thence “error exists,” which is undeniably true and knowable so schemes of thought that undermine truth and knowledge in general are all falsified at one sweep. (This includes any species of radical relativism.)

    Now, the issue properly is, are we morally governed beings — as we appear to be from how we quarrel to how we disagree to how we find ourselves compelled towards the truth and the right.

    Such a broad appearance carries with it a presumption of core truth, on pain of the consequences of its denial.

    To wit, if we were to presume this widespread pervasive phenomenon delusional, it would instantly let grand delusion loose across our life as cognitive agents, that is it would undermine even the ability to argue as here.

    So, we know on pain of instant, patent self referential absurdity that we indeed are morally governed.

    That points to sobering conclusions about the nature of reality, as the only place where OUGHT can be grounded is by its being inextricably fused into the root of reality. (This is how the IS-OUGHT gap is bridged.)

    This instantly rules out evolutionary materialism as a serious worldview, as such simply cannot ground ought. Bosons, fermions and interactions, or electrochemistry in neural networks programmed by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity are simply not under moral obligation, but instead under blind forces such as those outlined.

    Such an IS has only a very limited list of serious candidates, indeed only one: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and the reasonable service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    This may be unpalatable to many who seem to have a visceral hostility to God.

    But hostility does not change the force of the logic on the key facts.

    Facts, that seem to be habitually overlooked or even suppressed.

    So, we have very good reason to acknwledge moral truths to be well warranted, and to further see that there is a reciprocity of oughts between beings of like morally governed nature, thence we see why rights obtain to life, liberty, innocent reputation etc.

    None of this is particularly new.

    But we live in a day where it is often dismissed with visceral hostility.

    Not good.

    KF

    PS: Someone was trotting out the outdated problem of evil, and needs as a 101 to cf here on: http://nicenesystheol.blogspot.....u2_gdvsevl

  35. 35
    jdk says:

    RB writes,

    Then it is a good thing that I am not talking about scientism.

    Yes, as has been pointed out (but kf doesn’t seem to hear),we are not talking about scientism. Human beings have moral beliefs and moral concerns that arise from, among other things, innate human emotions such as love, compassion, the need to be a part of a social group, etc. There are many important things in the life of people that are not part of science. (And human beings have all sorts of other qualities such as values, preferences, etc. which are not part of scientific knowledge, also.)

    So the arguments being made here about morals are not advocating for scientism.

    And I agree with what RB says succinctly,

    Again, you are making an assertion that is in dispute [about moral government]. If you are saying that as we grow we establish deeply entrenched beliefs and expectations of behaviour (call them morals if you want), that cause us distress if we deviate from them, or see others deviating from them, then I agree that we are under moral government. If you are saying that these moral values are objective and writ by some designer/deity, then we would disagree.The bulk of evidence simply does not support this as the best explanation of the objective facts that we see every day.

  36. 36
    Rationalitys bane says:

    KF

    To wit, if we were to presume this widespread pervasive phenomenon delusional, it would instantly let grand delusion loose across our life as cognitive agents, that is it would undermine even the ability to argue as here.

    Who is suggesting that morality is delusional? Here, let me provide some definitions:

    1)a belief that is not true : a false idea.
    2)a belief that is held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.
    3) Someone who is not thinking clearly, or thinks something will happen that, in all likelyhood, will not.

    I believe that we all have deeply entrenched beliefs in what constitutes good (i.e., moral) behaviour.

    I hold these beliefs with strong convictions.
    When I think that killing and stealing and lying are wrong, I am thinking clearly and can even provide logical arguments as to why doing so will not be beneficial for me or my family in the long run.

    If this can be easily explained by subjective morality (and it can), and supported by objective evidence, where is the delusion?

  37. 37
    john_a_designer says:

    Again, you are making an assertion that is in dispute [about moral government]. If you are saying that as we grow we establish deeply entrenched beliefs and expectations of behaviour (call them morals if you want), that cause us distress if we deviate from them, or see others deviating from them, then I agree that we are under moral government. If you are saying that these moral values are objective and writ by some designer/deity, then we would disagree. The bulk of evidence simply does not support this as the best explanation of the objective facts that we see every day.

    Such a view provides no basis at all for universal human rights. Such rights are based on our moral obligation to treat our fellow human beings with dignity and respect regardless of our sentiments and feelings, not because of them. In other words, whether or not it causes us any kind of compassionate feelings or distress we are obligated to treat our fellow man a certain way. Without real and true moral obligation the very concept of human rights becomes transient, man made and therefore completely arbitrary. Unfortunately that is the way western civilization is presently moving. Our only hope is that people, who truly value freedom, wake up before it’s too late.

  38. 38
    Rationalitys bane says:

    JAD:

    Such a view provides no basis at all for universal human rights. Such rights are based on our moral obligation to treat our fellow human beings with dignity and respect regardless of our sentiments and feelings, not because of… In other words, whether or not it causes us any kind of compassionate feelings or distress we are obligated to treat our fellow man a certain way. Without real and true moral obligation the very concept of human rights becomes transient, man made and therefore completely arbitrary. Unfortunately that is the way western civilization is presently moving. Our only hope is that people, who truly value freedom, wake up before it’s too late.

    Just because something is unpleasant doesn’t make it false. Cancer is unpleasant. Malaria is unpleasant. Halitosis is unpleasant. Justin Beaber is unpleasant.

    I agree, the world would be much better if morality was objective. But since there is no evidence to support it, the best we can do is to maximize communication amongst nations and cultures in an attempt to come to common ground on human rights.

    In my opinion, and it is just opinion, we are much better off not pretending that morality is objective and live our lives knowing that we all bear responsibility for everything that we do in our lives.

  39. 39
    jdk says:

    rb writes,

    In my opinion, and it is just opinion, we are much better off not pretending that morality is objective and live our lives knowing that we all bear responsibility for everything that we do in our lives.

    Excellent statement. We would work better together, I think, at all levels up to the international level, if we didn’t divide ourselves by at least some (many) thinking they are objectively right and others are delusional.

  40. 40
    Axel says:

    ‘Excerpt: 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…’

    – Prof Richard Conn Henry

    It seems to lend weight to my conjecture that we each live in a little world of our own, all of which worlds seemingly being integrated and coordinated, spatially and temporally, i.e. to make our world, its present, past – and potentially, future, since our lives are dynamic.

  41. 41
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Axel referenced this quote:

    Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial…’

    The words I bolded above speaks volumes.

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    “The words “I” bolded above speaks volumes.”

    Exactly whom is this “I” that you are referring to in your sentence?

    I do wish you materialists/naturalists would at least be consistent in your writings towards your worldview beliefs. To avoid confusion, “You” should have instead written:

    “The words “the illusion of I” bolded above speaks volumes.”

    But then again, even being able to grasp the possibility that you may actually be a ‘neuronal illusion’ requires a perspective that is outside the material order. So in reality, it is impossible for atheists to write meaningful sentences as if agent causality did not actually exist:

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt:
    Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    Physicist George Ellis on the importance of philosophy and free will – July 27, 2014
    Excerpt: And free will?:
    Horgan: Einstein, in the following quote, seemed to doubt free will: “If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.” Do you believe in free will?
    Ellis: Yes. Einstein is perpetuating the belief that all causation is bottom up. This simply is not the case, as I can demonstrate with many examples from sociology, neuroscience, physiology, epigenetics, engineering, and physics. Furthermore if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.
    I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense. Physicists should pay attention to Aristotle’s four forms of causation – if they have the free will to decide what they are doing. If they don’t, then why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....free-will/

    Human consciousness is much more than mere brain activity, – Mark Vernon – 18 June 2011
    However, “If you think the brain is a machine then you are committed to saying that composing a sublime poem is as involuntary an activity as having an epileptic fit. …the nature of consciousness being a tremendous mystery.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....n-activity

    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

    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 (MN). 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 (the illusion of) 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.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    And although Dr. Nelson alluded to writing an e-mail, (i.e. creating information), to tie his ‘personal agent’ argument into intelligent design, Dr. Nelson’s ‘personal agent’ argument can easily be amended to any action that ‘you’, as a personal agent, choose to take:

    “You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t open the door. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t raise your hand. Physics did, and informed the illusion you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t etc.. etc.. etc… Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    The denial of agent causality by atheists is simply insane

    Atheist Philosopher Thinks “We Never Have Direct Access To Our Thoughts” – Michael Egnor July 20, 2016
    Excerpt: Materialist theories of the mind border on the insane. If a man walks into a doctor’s office and says “I never have direct access to my thoughts and I have no first person point of view,” the man will be referred to a psychiatrist and may be involuntarily hospitalized until it is established that he is not a danger to himself or others.
    If the same guy walks into the philosophy department at Duke University, he gets tenure.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....03010.html

    “The neural circuits in our brain manage the beautifully coordinated and smoothly appropriate behavior of our body. They also produce the entrancing introspective illusion that thoughts really are about stuff in the world. This powerful illusion has been with humanity since language kicked in, as we’ll see. It is the source of at least two other profound myths: that we have purposes that give our actions and lives meaning and that there is a person “in there” steering the body, so to speak.”
    [A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide To Reality, Ch.9]

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....oyne/?_r=0

    I strongly suggest watching Dr. Craig’s following presentation to get a full feel for just how insane the metaphysical naturalist’s (atheist’s) position actually is.

    Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

    1.) Argument from intentionality
    1. If naturalism is true, I cannot think about anything.
    2. I am thinking about naturalism.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    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.

    3.) The argument from truth
    1. If naturalism is true, there are no true sentences.
    2. Premise (1) is true.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    4.) The argument from moral blame and praise
    1. If naturalism is true, I am not morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for any of my actions.
    2. I am morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for some of my actions.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    5.) Argument from freedom
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not do anything freely.
    2. I am free to agree or disagree with premise (1).
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    6.) The argument from purpose
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not plan to do anything.
    2. I (Dr. Craig) planned to come to tonight’s debate.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    7.) The argument from enduring
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not endure for two moments of time.
    2. I have been sitting here for more than a minute.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    8.) The argument from personal existence
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not exist.
    2. I do exist!
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    RB, we both know and count on the fact of consciousness termed conscience as a key part of the inner life of normal people. We both know that sociopathy and psychopathy are severe disorders that are destructive. We further realise that this sense affects our whole thought life, not just on traditional moral issues but on matters of reasoning, warrant and the like; whereby we find ourselves urged to truth and right. You and your ilk consistently back away from or dodge the long known import of evolutionary materialism, that might and manipulation make “right.” The point is, if such a key and pervasive sense of being governed by and accountable to ought is false to reality then this is a grand delusion spreading across our inner life. Living in a moral Plato’s cave. This instantly would undermine our entire life of the mind. Grand delusion. KF

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, from the OP on the shaping context is evolutionary materialistic scientism. Which is exactly the well known driving force behind trying to reduce truth to knowledge. Notice, Lewontin’s blunder in his classic 1997 remark, that hoi polloi were to come to view science as “the only begetter of truth.” KF

  45. 45
    Rationalitys bane says:

    KF:

    You and your ilk consistently back away from or dodge the long known import of evolutionary materialism, that might and manipulation make “right.”

    I assume that you are referring to my ilk of delusional sociopaths and psychopaths. You obviously have no intention of seriously engaging on this issue, preferring to infer mental illness to those who disagree with you.

    But I also notice that you are dodging my “third” option, that our moral assemblage is based on some innate characteristics, early learning/indoctrination, parental and peer interactions, positive and negative feedback, etc.

    The point is, if such a key and pervasive sense of being governed by and accountable to ought is false to reality then this is a grand delusion spreading across our inner life.

    Who said that the sense of being governed by and accountable to ought was false to reality? Again, not me. Unless you are suggesting that our early observations, feedback, learning, parental and peer interactions are not based in reality. To be bluntly honest, many of the things that have proven to be distanced from reality (although entertaining and otherwise educational) were the things I learned in Sunday School and church.

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    RB, twisting words to find an offense that is not there. Above, I spoke to the exceptions to a general rule; which by definition will be just that, exceptional. Evolutionary materialism supporters and fellow travellers face the problem that their worldview foundations lack the resources to support ought. But most have functional consciences, subject to the usual provisos about errors, struggles, gaps and benumbing. For that matter, such a worldview lacks resources to support the conscious self. But that is only to show yet another way such becomes self referentially incoherent and self-falsifying. Yet another issue that is routinely ducked or dodged. KF

    PS: innate blind forces of chance and necessity, psychosocial accidents and/or conditioning are simply more detailed ways of saying, Plato’s cave delusional. Not a third option.

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Will Hawthorne warns:

    Assume (per impossibile) that atheistic naturalism [[= evolutionary materialism] is true. Assume, furthermore, that one can’t infer an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ [[the ‘is’ being in this context physicalist: matter-energy, space- time, chance and mechanical forces]. (Richard Dawkins and many other atheists should grant both of these assumptions.)

    Given our second assumption, there is no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer an ‘ought’. And given our first assumption, there is nothing that exists over and above the natural world; the natural world is all that there is. It follows logically that, for any action you care to pick, there’s no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer that one ought to refrain from performing that action.

    Add a further uncontroversial assumption: an action is permissible if and only if it’s not the case that one ought to refrain from performing that action . . . [[We see] therefore, for any action you care to pick, it’s permissible to perform that action. If you’d like, you can take this as the meat behind the slogan ‘if atheism is true, all things are permitted’.

    For example if atheism is true, every action Hitler performed was permissible. Many atheists don’t like this consequence of their worldview. But they cannot escape it and insist that they are being logical at the same time.

    Now, we all know that at least some actions are really not permissible (for example, racist actions). Since the conclusion of the argument denies this, there must be a problem somewhere in the argument. Could the argument be invalid? No. The argument has not violated a single rule of logic and all inferences were made explicit.

    Thus we are forced to deny the truth of one of the assumptions we started out with. That means we either deny atheistic naturalism or (the more intuitively appealing) principle that one can’t infer ‘ought’ from [[a material] ‘is’.

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: Plato warned 2350 years ago:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [–> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].

  49. 49
    Rationalitys bane says:

    KF:

    RB, twisting words to find an offense that is not there.

    Let me repeat the beginning of the comment that I responded to.

    RB, we both know and count on the fact of consciousness termed conscience as a key part of the inner life of normal people. We both know that sociopathy and psychopathy are severe disorders that are destructive. We further realise that this sense affects our whole thought life, not just on traditional moral issues but on matters of reasoning, warrant and the like; whereby we find ourselves urged to truth and right. You and your ilk…

    So, you refer to me and “my ilk” after a spew about delusional sociopathic psychopaths, and I am supposed to conclude that they are unrelated. If they are unrelated, why are they in the same paragraph? English grammar 101.

    Let’s be honest here. I did not twist your words. You just don’t like the logical consequences of your words. Just man-up and admit it. Even if it was unintentional, it was extremely offensive. A simple apology for a poor choice of words would suffice. I don’t expect to receive one, but it would be appreciated.

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    RB, doubling down, projecting and more. Severe disorders are almost by definition rare. (Enabling behaviours would be far more common as a problem.) I have already clarified — actually, corrected your gross error of twisting words — for reasonable responsible people. Meanwhile, the issue in the main lies ducked and dodged. Telling, but in the end quite sad. Plato’s point stands. KF

    PS: The point I made stands, the deeply disturbed are the exceptions who — because something is severely mal-formed — do not reliably sense the voice of conscience. (NB: I used psycho for the apparently congenital, socio for those damaged by life experiences. Some use the two as synonymous, and there are debates.)

    PPS: Just to remind of what is being obfuscated by the rhetoric of twisting, here is 43:

    RB, we both know and count on the fact of consciousness termed conscience as a key part of the inner life of normal people. We both know that sociopathy and psychopathy are severe disorders that are destructive. We further realise that this sense affects our whole thought life, not just on traditional moral issues but on matters of reasoning, warrant and the like; whereby we find ourselves urged to truth and right. You and your ilk consistently back away from or dodge the long known import of evolutionary materialism, that might and manipulation make “right.” The point is, if such a key and pervasive sense of being governed by and accountable to ought is false to reality then this is a grand delusion spreading across our inner life. Living in a moral Plato’s cave. This instantly would undermine our entire life of the mind. Grand delusion. KF

    The point being made is explicit, stated and follows on the context of the primary argument — warrant for the objectivity of moral government by ought and of moral truth. The attempted denial ends in self-referential incoherence by implying grand delusion.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: The original (lest it be lost in a blizzard of toxic distractors, at 34:

    Seversly, 4 (attn RB, JDK, JC et al), re:

    The claim “that people have been wrong about moral truths even for thousands of years” assumes that the existence of moral truths that people can be wrong about has been established. Yet this is the bone of contention between us. You are assuming that which has yet to be proven.

    Nope.

    First, BA is, even trivially correct, that reality is before our ability to warrant our claims about it on whatever evidence we do or do not have in hand.

    The general issue is, reality exists, and truth accurately describes it.

    Our presence or absence of objectively grounded knowledge of it is strictly irrelevant to the matter, reality exists.

    It is also trivially true that in cases, we can describe reality as existing, thence “error exists,” which is undeniably true and knowable so schemes of thought that undermine truth and knowledge in general are all falsified at one sweep. (This includes any species of radical relativism.)

    Now, the issue properly is, are we morally governed beings — as we appear to be from how we quarrel

    [–> do not overlook that the (unjustified) demand for an apology above for the crime of being wrenched out of context to set up a strawman caricature, itself exemplifies that in quarrelling we imply that we are under moral government . . . i.e. RB shreds his own case by his behaviour (unless he thinks we can be cynically manipulated, gulled or intimidated)]

    to how we disagree to how we find ourselves compelled towards the truth and the right.

    Such a broad appearance carries with it a presumption of core truth, on pain of the consequences of its denial.

    To wit, if we were to presume this widespread pervasive phenomenon delusional, it would instantly let grand delusion loose across our life as cognitive agents, that is it would undermine even the ability to argue as here.

    So, we know on pain of instant, patent self referential absurdity that we indeed are morally governed.

    That points to sobering conclusions about the nature of reality, as the only place where OUGHT can be grounded is by its being inextricably fused into the root of reality. (This is how the IS-OUGHT gap is bridged.)

    This instantly rules out evolutionary materialism as a serious worldview, as such simply cannot ground ought. Bosons, fermions and interactions, or electrochemistry in neural networks programmed by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity are simply not under moral obligation, but instead under blind forces such as those outlined.

    Such an IS has only a very limited list of serious candidates, indeed only one: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and the reasonable service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    This may be unpalatable to many who seem to have a visceral hostility to God.

    But hostility does not change the force of the logic on the key facts.

    Facts, that seem to be habitually overlooked or even suppressed.

    So, we have very good reason to acknwledge moral truths to be well warranted, and to further see that there is a reciprocity of oughts between beings of like morally governed nature, thence we see why rights obtain to life, liberty, innocent reputation etc.

    None of this is particularly new.

    But we live in a day where it is often dismissed with visceral hostility.

    Not good.

    KF

    PS: Someone was trotting out the outdated problem of evil, and needs as a 101 to cf here on: http://nicenesystheol.blogspot.....u2_gdvsevl

  52. 52
    Rationalitys bane says:

    RB:

    Let’s be honest here. I did not twist your words. You just don’t like the logical consequences of your words. Just man-up and admit it. Even if it was unintentional, it was extremely offensive. A simple apology for a poor choice of words would suffice. I don’t expect to receive one, but it would be appreciated.

    And did KF, being the upstanding, honest individual he claims to be, apologize for the unintentional inference of mental illness towards myself?

    RB, doubling down, projecting and more.

    Uh, no. He was accusational, followed by a PS, a PPS, and a PPPS. All I did was ask him to acknowledge that it was inappropriate to infer mental illness for those who disagree with him about objective morality.

    PPS: Just to remind of what is being obfuscated by the rhetoric of twisting, here is 43:…The point is, if such a key and pervasive sense of being governed by and accountable to ought is false to reality then this is a grand delusion spreading across our inner life.

    Just to remind anyone who bothers to actually read these posts, I answered KF’s challenge. In detail. And he has not responded to it. Until he does so, I don’t see any point in continuing a discussion where I provide honest responses to his questions and he responds to mine with inferences of mental illness and doubling down.

  53. 53
    Querius says:

    1. First of all, the original argument is an analogy, which is considered the strongest argument and the weakest proof. Reconsider

    “People have been wrong about morality; therefore moral truth cannot possibly be objective.”

    Have people ever been wrong about something within the realm of science? Does this impugn the scientific method in any way or it objectivity? Of course not. The statement and its permutations is nonsense.

    2. To insist that the earth orbits the sun rather than the reverse is false, and demonstrates a fundamental and profound ignorance of orbital mechanics. Both masses deform space-time and thus they orbit each other.

    3. According to current inflationary theory, the entire universe once occupied a single point. So which of the stars and planets in the universe is NOT at the center?

    -Q

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    RB, it is clear that we are morally governed and that you have tried to appeal to that above. Either that is grounded in the roots of reality or is lets loose grand delusion undermining reasoning, argument, our inner life. Thus, it must be grounded. Where, evolutionary materialistic scientism cannot, as say Hawthorne summed up. But, ethical theism does, the only worldview that does. As for your repeated twisting of words and projection of false accusations that I imply that atheists on the whole are socio-/psycho- paths, the very context in which I spoke to such as deeply disturbed exceptions to the general pattern of the testimony of conscience in our inner life suffices to show that the talking point is utterly without merit. However, it seems that the visceral hostility to God too many atheists have is often turned into trying to find ways to rhetorically taint theists. No, I do not owe you an apology for your twisting reasonably clear descriptions of rare exceptions to a dominant pattern into an imaginary accusation. Instead, in addition to addressing the merits, — with all due respect — you clearly need to read more reasonably, in context. That said, it is quite clear that you acknowledge moral government by implication of trying to quarrel and demand apologies. You need to face the grounding challenge of bridging the IS-OUGHT gap. Which, your scheme of thought simply cannot. KF

    PS: I have pointed to the core issue, only some of the time is there time to do a point by point rebuttal. Nothing above from you shows an adequate response to the core matters. As for the difference between being able to accurately describe reality and currently being able to warrant truth claims, that is almost trivial. Moral truth can exist in the face of error. And moral error, when shown to be so, implies moral truth. Where, to deny our moral governance ends in absurdity. This demands grounding.

  55. 55

    Delusional materialists. Thinking themselves wise, they became fools.

  56. 56
    Axel says:

    BA77 Your #42

    Don’t confuse Rationality’s bane, there’s a good chap. He’s made a good start in recognising that he is the bane of reason. An excellent starting point, I know you’ll agree.

  57. 57
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain77

    Bornagain77:

    Rationalitys bane: “The words “I” bolded above speaks volumes.”

    Exactly whom is this “I” that you are referring to in your sentence?

    I do wish you materialists/naturalists would at least be consistent in your writings towards your worldview beliefs. To avoid confusion, “You” should have instead written:

    “The words “the illusion of I” bolded above speaks volumes.”

    But then again, even being able to grasp the possibility that you may actually be a ‘neuronal illusion’ requires a perspective that is outside the material order.

    Pure poetry 🙂
    However there might be a minor complication. Which contenders are there for the title “The Cause Of The Bolding Of The Words”? I would put it to you that — under materialism — there is no special central position for neurons or ‘neuronal illusions’ in the causal story. Like all the players in the long causal chain — starting at the big bang, leading up to the bolded words — they simply act in compliance with the laws of nature. So, why give neurons any special attention?
    IOWs, under materialism, it makes equal sense to say e.g. “Firefox 47.0.1 bolded the words”.

  58. 58
    bornagain77 says:

    O, you are right of course, thanks for the correction, as if there were any correction possible. 🙂

  59. 59
    Seversky says:

    kairosfocus @ 34

    The claim “that people have been wrong about moral truths even for thousands of years” assumes that the existence of moral truths that people can be wrong about has been established. Yet this is the bone of contention between us. You are assuming that which has yet to be proven.

    Nope.

    First, BA is, even trivially correct, that reality is before our ability to warrant our claims about it on whatever evidence we do or do not have in hand.

    I agree, although we should note that BA77 appears to believe, based on his understanding of quantum theory, that consciousness precedes objective reality.

    The general issue is, reality exists, and truth accurately describes it.

    Essentially, yes. Although, again, it is worth noting that truth resides in our descriptions of reality and that descriptions obviously require a describer. This means, of course, no describer, no descriptions, no truth.

    Now, the issue properly is, are we morally governed beings — as we appear to be from how we quarrel to how we disagree to how we find ourselves compelled towards the truth and the right.

    I’m not clear what you mean by “moral governance”. If it means that human beings in society are bound by moral codes, that is not contentious. To me, the real question is whether this moral governance is democratic or autocratic? Is it imposed by divine command or is it constructed by and assented to by the governed?

    To wit, if we were to presume this widespread pervasive phenomenon delusional, it would instantly let grand delusion loose across our life as cognitive agents, that is it would undermine even the ability to argue as here.

    I can’t speak for other atheist/materialists but I don’t regard it as delusional but I do regard morality as subjective as I see no evidence that it exists outside human consciousness.

    That points to sobering conclusions about the nature of reality, as the only place where OUGHT can be grounded is by its being inextricably fused into the root of reality. (This is how the IS-OUGHT gap is bridged.)

    What does it mean to claim that “ought” is “inextricably fused into the root of reality”? I’m afraid you don’t bridge the IS-OUGHT gap with rhetoric.

    This instantly rules out evolutionary materialism as a serious worldview, as such simply cannot ground ought. Bosons, fermions and interactions, or electrochemistry in neural networks programmed by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity are simply not under moral obligation, but instead under blind forces such as those outlined

    I doubt that there are any materialists, being aware of the problem of the IS-OUGHT gap, who would disagree with the proposition that “ought” cannot be grounded in objective, material reality. That doesn’t preclude a materialistic worldview that includes moral injunctions that are grounded in common human needs and interests.

    Such an IS has only a very limited list of serious candidates, indeed only one: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and the reasonable service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    This may be unpalatable to many who seem to have a visceral hostility to God.

    I don’t know of any long-term atheists who are angry at or have a visceral hostility to God. It would be as irrational as hating the Dark Lord Sauron or Emperor Palpatine.

    As for that research that found that atheists were more likely to be angry at God, a closer look reveals that the anger was mostly felt by people who had been believers but were turned to atheism by some tragic and/or traumatic event in their lives. Settled, long-term atheists didn’t indicate anger towards God which is what I would expect.

    So, we have very good reason to acknwledge moral truths to be well warranted, and to further see that there is a reciprocity of oughts between beings of like morally governed nature, thence we see why rights obtain to life, liberty, innocent reputation etc.

    Moral injunctions prescribe how people ought to behave towards one another, they are not descriptions of objective reality so, by the correspondence theory of truth, they are not capable of being either true or false.

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, truth says of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not. Reality is what is. Truth is whatever accurately describes such. And, there is no inherent problem with agency (thus, mind) as root of reality. Indeed, this is our best explanation, esp in a world with moral government as an integral part of the responsible rational freedom we need just to argue seriously such as in this thread. Where, best explanation on comparative difficulties across live options, is not an arbitrary question begging assertion or blind belief. It is a reasonable, responsible view. KF

  61. 61
    BrianFraser says:

    Wow! This is quite a discussion.

    I would like to see what you folks would do with an article like “An Atom or a Nucleus?” It takes the position that the thing that has virtually all the mass of the atom, and which accounts for all the properties of the atom, is actually the atom itself, not some sort of “nucleus” of something. This goes contrary to what we have been taught for the past 100 years.

    And it illuminates again the issue of ontology vs epistemology.

    The link is http://scripturalphysics.org/4v4a/ATMORNUC.html

    If we are wrong about THAT, we could be wrong about A LOT of things, even in an objective science like physics.

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