Design inference Intelligent Design specified complexity

Steve Meyer on the logic of design detection

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This is another excerpt from Steve Meyer’s chapter in The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith: Exploring the Ultimate Questions About Life and the Cosmos (2021). He is discussing design theorist William Dembski’s Design Inference:

Dembski notes that complex sequences exhibit an irregular and improbable arrangement that defies expression by a simple rule or algorithm, whereas specification involves a match or correspondence between a physical system or sequence and an independently recognizable pattern or set of functional requirements.

By way of illustration, consider the following three sets of symbols: “nehya53nslbyw1`jejns7eopslanm46/J”

“TIME AND TIDE WAIT FOR NO MAN”

“ABABABABABABABABABABAB”

The first two sequences are complex because both defy reduction to a simple rule. Each represents a highly irregular, aperiodic, improbable sequence. The third sequence is not complex, but is instead highly ordered and repetitive. Of the two complex sequences, only the second, however, exemplifies a set of independent functional requirements — i.e., it is specified.

Steve Meyer, “The Logic of Design Detection” at Evolution News and Science Today (March 25, 2022)

That first string could possibly be a code but if we don’t know what it is a code for, it is not communication.

A great deal has been invested in not understanding something as simple and obvious as the design inference. That’s powerful evidence that it is an important insight.

The whole series here.

51 Replies to “Steve Meyer on the logic of design detection

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    The content of the sequence isn’t what matters. In cryptography as well as every other type of detective work, the PURPOSE of the sequence is what matters.

    Cryptographers get most of their results from traffic analysis. Who sent the message, who received it, and above all what happened when it was received. When the purpose of this message is known, the inner content is unnecessary.

    Other types of technicians, from telephone linemen to programmers, use ‘wiggle and watch’ constantly. The inner content of a miles-long underground cable is completely unknowable, but the impedance and impulse response can be measured precisely, and the location of a break or short can be inferred from those measurements.

    Modern digital types don’t grasp traffic analysis. They foolishly believe that encrypting their email or their bitcoin wallet protects them against censorship or theft. Nope. The thieves and the censors are traffic analysts. They can see who you are, who you connect with, and what happens when you send an email or transfer fake “value” to your wallet.

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    off topic, but design related.

    Darwinists claim, that evolution works like follows:

    It starts with a very simple ‘system’, and then the system gets more complex, by adding new parts to existing ones.

    I am an engineer and her is my experience, actually, IT IS A FACT:

    It is much easier to create new designs from scratch (mostly it is the only option) than to modify/add new parts to an existing system (unless the system wasn’t designed that way in advance). The reason for it is very simple. Most of the time, you also have to modify the existing parts, so they work flawlessly with those new parts. THAT IS THE FACT.

    Darwinists believe in miracles, when they believe that adding a new part/feature to an existing system can be added willy-nilly. Only people or biologists who never made anything can believe such absurd things.

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    and one more off topic comment:

    it is not a question whether life on Earth was design or not. The only question is, how it was done. And, it definitely wasn’t done the way – let’s mix some chemicals, in a flask, then let’s shake it a little, then heat it and little, then cool it down a little … you can’t work like that to create any complex system. It is absurd absurd absurd…

    I as an engineer, i am 100% sure, that our Creator, has some other means/methods/technologies how to work with molecules … something that hasn’t be discovered yet by scientists … something different from our commonly understood chemistry…

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    News, commenting on Meyer:

    A great deal has been invested in not understanding something as simple and obvious as the design inference. That’s powerful evidence that it is an important insight

    Indeed.

    Telling, and it points to Overton Window marginalisation of the manifest truth by powers pushing agendas locked to crooked yardstick untruths. That locks in polarisation and conflict and ultimately resorts to the indefensible to prop up power interests. In short, power backed untruth leads to or is a foundation for injustice.

    KF

  5. 5
    dogdoc says:

    The problem I have with the “design inference” is this: When we say something is “designed”, what are exactly are we saying? I presume it means that it was envisioned in the mind’s eye of a conscious being.

    Now, we know of precisely one type of thing that can design, and that is “living biological organisms”. For me there is a great mystery pondering how the complex, functional machinery of biological systems came to exist, but it’s obvious that they did not arise by the action of humans or other animals. People tend to waive their hands and mumble about “some sort of entity” or “a mind of some sort” or simply “a designer”, but none of that actually specifies what we believe could be responsible. It’s like a physicist talking about the “multiverse” – it can explain anything but nobody can say exactly what it is or how to decide if it exists.

  6. 6
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dogdoc

    The design inference will only bring us to “an intelligence” and true design would be as you say: From the mind of conscious being. But we don’t fully have that just by recognizing the design inference. We observe something that cannot be caused by blind, unintelligent nature. We know that “biological intelligence” could create something similar. But again, as you say, a biological being cannot be the cause of the origin of life, for example. So, it’s “some kind of intelligence”.
    But after that, we could still figure out something much more than what we have with a multiverse.

    We could figure out that we have, as Aristotle calls it “The first principle or primary being”. This is because of the unity of the design and consistency that we observe. Something like the Fibonacci mathematical sequence that appears in plants and animals and even non-living materials like crystals. So, this tells us that there is a unity in the design pointing to one designer.
    Many consistent patterns are found frequently in nature in a variety of places. This just tells us something about the mathematical modelling that the universe conforms to.
    So, it tells us something about the mind of the designer – highly ordered symmetry.
    Plus, just the beauty that we see all around us. For Sir Isaac Newton, the beauty of the cosmos could only have been created by a wise and intelligent designer. We could add that the designer has that interest in beautiful forms, and also makes knowledge accessible to humans since we can observe and learn about the universe in many ways and we keep uncovering new knowledge.
    There’s no reason why biological creatures on planet earth should ever be able to know anything at all about the universe. But, amazingly, we can know a lot and this tells us something about the intention of the design – that it was meant to be discovered and appreciated by humans.

  7. 7
    dogdoc says:

    SA,

    The design inference will only bring us to “an intelligence”…

    This is what I meant by the hand-waiving and vague references to “a mind of some sort”.
    We can’t really extrapolate from our experience to imagine anything at all about what “some kind of intelligence” might mean. For example, in humans and other animals, not all intelligent behavior is conscious, so we couldn’t even say that this hypothetical “intelligence” that designed biological systems would be conscious.

    We could figure out that we have, as Aristotle calls it “The first principle or primary being”. This is because of the unity of the design and consistency that we observe. Something like the Fibonacci mathematical sequence that appears in plants and animals and even non-living materials like crystals. So, this tells us that there is a unity in the design pointing to one designer.

    Well, if you look at a mosquito and an octopus it’s not clear that the same designer came up with both of those designs, right? But in any case, the problem remains: Calling something a “designer” and saying it has “intelligence” doesn’t actually specify any meaningful attributes. We can’t say if it has conscious intentions like humans do, or if it would be capable of learning French, or playing the piano, or understanding emotions, and so on.

    For Sir Isaac Newton, the beauty of the cosmos could only have been created by a wise and intelligent designer.

    Wise?

    Anyway, I think we’re approaching this question from different perspectives. I’m looking for some specific, describable thing that would account for the origin of biological systems, with independent evidence of its existence. You, on the other hand, are starting with a set of anthropomorphic assumptions. Once you assume the cause of biological complexity has human-like thoughts and emotions, you can read into any possible observation with human-like motives, such as that it has an “interest in beautiful forms”.

    Any theory of life origins has to pin down exactly what its talking about and figure out ways of testing the truth of the hypotheses. The multiverse actually has some rigorous specificity about it, but it’s useless as a theory because it can explain absolutely anything we could ever observe, so it can never be evaluated against our observations to see if it is true. Likewise a “designer” – there is nothing in the description of “an intelligence” that would be inconsistent with any possible observation, so there is no way to see if that description is of something that caused life to exist.

  8. 8
    William J Murray says:

    Dogdoc,
    Highly complex interdependent functional machinery appears to require not only intelligence to design and build, but conscious, deliberate planning directed towards a goal. That is the only known cause for such things to come into existence. That doesn’t make it the correct conclusion; but it does make it the best one and actually the only one we have available to us at this time to explain what we see in biology. At least, it’s the only one we have without entering an entirely different paradigm of causation.

    Do I personally believe some super-intelligence purposefully designed and built life? No, but I don’t base my personal beliefs on things like facts and evidence.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    DD, here we go again. on the world of life a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond where Venter et al are would be a possible explanation for what we see. on observed fine tuning, there is obviously an extra cosmic designer. BTW, this already demonstrates that we have observed actual intelligent, molecular tech design of cell based life through gene and wider molecular nanotech so this is fact not merely plausible. However, simulationism raises the progress of computing technology, then argues that there is a tendency to build simulations. Once that is there, the perception is, it is odds on that members of a cosmos would be in a sim world not a physical fully actualised world. This is related to the Boltzmann Brain challenge. A sim world is obviously designed but its designer would be a programmer who would not need to be a necessary being; though, as a proposed physical world hosting computers, the extended argument to ultimate, necessary being root of reality still applies. So, as a direct inference on tested, reliable signs to intelligently directed configuration, by itself the design inference, properly and for innocent reasons, does not infer any particular designer. As to extrapolation on our intelligence, we EXEMPLIFY, but cannot EXHAUST potential designers, so there is no good reason to confine inference from we exist as designers, to human only designers are possible — rather than, simply, designers are possible. Designers leave signs, and theism itself points to the need for a regular order of nature for miracles to stand out as signs pointing beyond that order. That we generally see a lawlike regularity does not and cannot preclude action beyond that order. KF

    PS, I do not agree with simulationism, especially as it reduces responsible, rational freedom to algorithms exhibiting dynamic-stochastic process. If we are sims, we are not rational and we can have no warrant so no knowledge including of being sims. Grand delusion in short. While indeed, we will be able to make powerful sims, it is far more credible that we are responsible, rational self-moved creatures with significant freedom than that we are part of a grand delusion consequent on being part of a sim world. Any species of grand delusion world can be rejected as absurd.

    PPS, We come to mind. For that, I point to Eng Derek Smith’s two tier controller, cybernetic loop architecture. Our minds would be seen then as supervisory controllers interacting with the brain-cns-body loop, likely through two way quantum related influences. And yes, that points to entities of a different order interacting with the physical.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Observed in the field, at Sci Am:

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/confirmed-we-live-in-a-simulation/

    Ever since the philosopher Nick Bostrom proposed in the Philosophical Quarterly that the universe and everything in it might be a simulation, there has been intense public speculation and debate about the nature of reality. Such public intellectuals as Tesla leader and prolific Twitter gadfly Elon Musk have opined about the statistical inevitability of our world being little more than cascading green code. Recent papers have built on the original hypothesis to further refine the statistical bounds of the hypothesis, arguing that the chance that we live in a simulation may be 50–50 . . . .

    To understand if we live in a simulation we need to start by looking at the fact that we already have computers running all kinds of simulations for lower level “intelligences” or algorithms. For easy visualization, we can imagine these intelligences as any nonperson characters in any video game that we play, but in essence any algorithm operating on any computing machine would qualify for our thought experiment. We don’t need the intelligence to be conscious, and we don’t need it to even be very complex, because the evidence we are looking for is “experienced” by all computer programs, simple or complex, running on all machines, slow or fast.

    All computing hardware leaves an artifact of its existence within the world of the simulation it is running. This artifact is the processor speed. If for a moment we imagine that we are a software program running on a computing machine, the only and inevitable artifact of the hardware supporting us, within our world, would be the processor speed. All other laws we would experience would be the laws of the simulation or the software we are a part of . . . .

    we have some defining features of the artifact, of course it becomes clear what the artifact manifests itself as within our universe. The artifact is manifested as the speed of light.

    Space is to our universe what numbers are to the simulated reality in any computer. Matter moving through space can simply be seen as operations happening on the variable space. If matter is moving at say 1,000 miles per second, then 1,000 miles worth of space is being transformed by a function, or operated upon every second. If there were some hardware running the simulation called “space” of which matter, energy, you, me, everything is a part, then one telltale sign of the artifact of the hardware within the simulated reality “space” would be a maximum limit on the container size for space on which one operation can be performed. Such a limit would appear in our universe as a maximum speed.

    Blissfully unaware of the self referential grand delusion.

    KF

  11. 11
    William J Murray says:

    There are some simulation theories that posit humans as avatars that represent the free will choices and decisions of “actual” people outside of the simulation who are interacting in an immersive way with the internal content of the simulation via some sort of technology. It’s not really that far-fetched; one might consider dreams another form of an immersive simulation.

    Even if the external world is non-simulated, the only way we can ever interact with it is via a simulation of that world presented to us in our personal experience. Positing external reality as having innate characteristics that are being translated into personal experience necessarily means that what we experience is an internal simulation of an external world.

    The only logical escape from experience being some form or other of simulation is if personal experience = reality. In other words, the inner world must be the real world and not a simulation of the real world.

  12. 12
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dogdoc

    This is what I meant by the hand-waiving and vague references to “a mind of some sort”.
    We can’t really extrapolate from our experience to imagine anything at all about what “some kind of intelligence” might mean.

    I made a mistake in my reply to you in moving into the philosophical ideas about the designer before you’ve made a commitment to the ID inference. It seems you don’t understand the ID proposal. ID is a scientific paradigm. It uses physical empirical science about what we can observe. The inference is built upon the idea that “intelligence is the only known source” for some of the complex, specified functional information, networks and processes we observe in the universe.
    That’s it. We know what intelligence can do. We see things in nature, like coded, functional language, that are only produced by intelligence.
    If you have some other source in mind, you’re free to propose it.
    The ID inference is falsifiable. If you can produce the information with a blind-watchmaker approach or any blind-unintelligent approach, please feel free to do it and show us the results.
    Until then, the ID inference stands.
    There’s no need to give an identity to the designer. We know it is not blind, material outputs as the source (you can prove that wrong by showing, not telling it). We know that intelligence produces the outputs (coded communication networks, irreducible engineered systems with logic-gates and repair mechanisms). The inference is “an intelligence designed it”. No hand-waving necessary.

    We can’t really extrapolate from our experience to imagine anything at all about what “some kind of intelligence” might mean.

    We already know of many kinds of intelligence. So, the phrase “some kind of intelligence” is well understood. There’s intelligence built into computers, animal intelligence, intelligence of plants and insects and human intelligence. All of those “kinds of intelligence” create designed outputs. Are beavers “conscious” when they created intelligently-designed beaver dams? It doesn’t matter for the ID inference. We know the difference between a beaver-dam and a log-jam in the stream – because one is designed by animal intelligence and is purposeful, for a purpose.

    Well, if you look at a mosquito and an octopus it’s not clear that the same designer came up with both of those designs, right?

    That would refute Darwin if true, since evolution is proposing a single blind-watchmaker designer for both.

    Calling something a “designer” and saying it has “intelligence” doesn’t actually specify any meaningful attributes.

    If it possesses intelligence, then it’s not blind-materialism. That’s the ID inference. You either accept that or refute it by showing us what blind, unintelligent nature can produce. Thus far, nobody shows anything close to what is needed. From non-living material, through random chance a self-replicating organism has to emerge. Not to mention the highly specified language of DNA code. That can’t even be done in theory, much less in the lab. It’s the monkeys typing Shakespeare.

    I’m looking for some specific, describable thing that would account for the origin of biological systems, with independent evidence of its existence. You, on the other hand, are starting with a set of anthropomorphic assumptions.

    I’m open to your alternatives. I propose blind chance and intelligent design as the options to work with. You’re thinking there’s some other alternative. What other source can produce the information in question? Where do you see evidence of this source existing? I see evidence of intelligence producing the source. Thus, the inference stands. This does not require anthropomorphism. You can propose any kind of intelligence you want. But that’s the only known source we have.

    So, it’s up to you. The ID inference is clear and can be falsified. But failing falsification, it stands as the best inference to an explanation.

  13. 13
    William J Murray says:

    What other source can produce the information in question?

    The information must have always existed in potentia or else there is no “producing” it, whether by chance or by intelligent designer. It’s not a question of producing information; it’s a question of what can take information from potential into some form of actual, and what that can be said to mean.

    What that transition can mean largely depends on ontology. To think of the information is to draw it from potential into an active mental state. The idea of “designing” something requires this.

    Under non-idealism, and under the premise of linear causation/design of physical objects, it is correct to say that after the information is taken from potential into active mental states, that information is instantiated into objects. So, you have potential->active mental state->instantiation into physical objects.

    Under idealism, however, there is no “instantiation into physical objects.” There is only the drawing of potential as information into an active mental state. The question under this ontology, however, is if deliberate design is a necessary aspect for having experiences of complex, functional things, like cars, computers, and biological nano-technology?

    If every possible designed thing already exists in full as potential information, it is not necessary for a conscious, deliberate entity to do any of the “designing.” All that is necessary is to directly access that design information, which could be directly drawn out of potential as an entirely physical experience. IOW, the physical manifestation (as experience) of a perfectly designed thing without any deliberate designing whatsoever on anyone’s part.

    Please note that from this perspective, even in the non-idealist version of reality and an “all-knowing” God, God doesn’t have to do any deliberate designing either. God would already be aware of every possible design residing in potential.

    So, nobody – not even God – is actually, under any ontology, designing anything. All we can do is find designs that already exist. In the case of humans, designs are usually teased out of the potential bit by bit; for some, like Tesla, they are capable (at times) of accessing the entire design at once. But God wouldn’t need to do any “designing” whatsoever. For God, it would just be a case of choosing what design He wanted to actualize.

  14. 14
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    For God, it would just be a case of choosing what design He wanted to actualize.

    Ok, but in shorthand one could call that “the design process”. The information exists in potentia. Then God’s will actualizes the potential – not creating from nothing but instantiating potential by making-actual. We still observe what we call “designed objects” even if everything (including random effects) emerge from pre-existing potential information.

  15. 15
    dogdoc says:

    WJM,

    Highly complex interdependent functional machinery appears to require not only intelligence to design and build, but conscious, deliberate planning directed towards a goal. That is the only known cause for such things to come into existence. That doesn’t make it the correct conclusion; but it does make it the best one and actually the only one we have available to us at this time to explain what we see in biology. At least, it’s the only one we have without entering an entirely different paradigm of causation.

    First, you assuming that consciousness is causal rather than perceptual, something that may or may not be true. While we all experience conscious deliberation when we design things, that doesn’t mean that anything capable of designing things would also experience consciousness, and this would be especially true when talking about hypothetical “designers” who do not even have a complex living brain. Again, we are certainly capable of performing complex, intelligent behaviors that require planning without conscious involvement, and we simply don’t understand consciousness in a way that would tell us whether it is a causal aspect of our thinking or simply our perception of non-conscious brain activities. You might read about the experiments of the late, brilliant Daniel Wegner to understand these questions better.

    Second, you are reifying intelligence. Intelligence is not a thing, it is a property of living things. It is not a unitary property, it is a collection of different particular abilities.

    To argue that intelligence is an independent cause, necessarily accompanied by consciousness, is a type of anthropomorphic fallacy.

  16. 16
    William J Murray says:

    Dogdoc said:

    First, you assuming that consciousness is causal rather than perceptual, something that may or may not be true.

    I’m not assuming it. I directly experience it.

    While we all experience conscious deliberation when we design things, that doesn’t mean that anything capable of designing things would also experience consciousness, and this would be especially true when talking about hypothetical “designers” who do not even have a complex living brain.

    You are apparently trying to redefine the word “design” to suit your argument. From Merriam-Webster:

    1: to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan : DEVISE, CONTRIVE
    design a system for tracking inventory
    2a: to conceive and plan out in the mind
    he designed the perfect crime
    b: to have as a purpose : INTEND
    she designed to excel in her studies
    c: to devise for a specific function or end

    Again, we are certainly capable of performing complex, intelligent behaviors that require planning without conscious involvement,

    That’s interesting. Care to provide an example?

    …and we simply don’t understand consciousness in a way that would tell us whether it is a causal aspect of our thinking or simply our perception of non-conscious brain activities.

    Unfortunately, if conscious, aware perception is caused by non-conscious brain activities, our discussion is rendered nothing more than physical process making noises and producing mental states that may or may not have any correlation whatsoever. We would both be saying and thinking whatever various lower-level processes dictated without conscious oversight, control, error-correction, value-recognition, etc. Without conscious free will as a top-down supervisory cause, we might as well just be two trees making noises caused by the wind going through our leaves.

    Second, you are reifying intelligence. Intelligence is not a thing, it is a property of living things. It is not a unitary property, it is a collection of different particular abilities.

    Properties of living things are things. Sets/collections are things. Concepts are things.

    Again, from MW, the definition of intelligence:

    (1): the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : REASON
    also : the skilled use of reason
    (2): the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (such as tests)

    Abilities are things. Abstractions are things.

    Thing, from the same source:

    1: an object or entity not precisely designated or capable of being designated
    use this thing
    2a: an inanimate object distinguished from a living being
    b: a separate and distinct individual quality, fact, idea, or usually entity
    c: the concrete entity as distinguished from its appearances
    d: a spatial entity

  17. 17
    William J Murray says:

    SA @14,

    The point is that “God,” in the ways that several here describe it and what it does, cannot be described in those terms because it’s a categorical error. God is not “designing” anything because all God can do is choose a design. The idea that God “chose” a design, much like the idea that God created (or instantiated) the universe completely, as a concept, relies on God already existing in some form of linear time (before choice, after choice, before creation, after.)

    Then we get to “where” God instantiated its design. Unless God already existed in a spatial framework, where did God create the spatial universe? Are we going to suspend logic and claim God created something from nothing? You can’t get something from nothing.

    We might string the following words together as a proposed explanation: the potential existed for an actual space-time physical universe. The problem with that is that in order for the potential for linear time to be drawn out of the potential, linear time must already exist – and by exist, I mean be actual in some way. Linear time must already be at least an active mental state of God in order for the concept of God making a choice, or creating anything, to have any non-absurd meaning.

    The idea of God creating “space” (space in the ordinary sense, meaning a place for a thing to be) is self-refuting because the thing God is creating a place for is “place” itself, or creating space for space. You can create space for a thing in already-existent space by moving things in that space around; but there’s no space to “move around” to have room for space itself. It’s the same thing as ‘creating time.” You can create a thing in a linear time sequence; you cannot create linear-time sequences themselves or else you cannot have the “before” and “after” that are necessary for the word “create” to have any meaning.

    We apply terms and sequences of words and attribute them to God, but they are clearly irrational and are categorical errors, concepts exported from the human perspective but which cannot be applied to the kind of God several people are arguing for here.

    The ground of being is potential. Potential governs what any being can do or experience, ever, anywhere, even God. Whatever “space” is, whatever “time” is, they are not things that can be “created.” That’s a nonsensical concept as far as I can tell.

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    DD,

    this caught my eye:

    First, you assuming that consciousness is causal rather than perceptual, something that may or may not be true.

    WJM is right to say we directly experience it.

    Also, if that experience is delusional, i.e. it is an epiphenomenon of underlying computation on a wetware substrate in brain-cns interfacing with body, we are in big trouble. For, a computational substrate is inherently non rational and lacks therefore rational responsible freedom. Such is a dynamic-stochastic system, driven by its architecture and programming acting on inputs (including analogue computer patch jobs). It is GIGO constrained, garbage in, garbage out. That is, it is utterly blind and indifferent, it is just processing signals as organised and programmed, with utterly no relevance to ground-consequence or judgements of cogency etc. It is inherently non rational.

    Which reduces reason, warrant, knowledge to delusion, grand delusion.

    That is self-referential and includes your suggestion as quoted.

    Reductio ad absurdum.

    We can take it as a basic principle of reasoning that what reduces to or invites or suggests grand delusion is absurd.

    Instead, a better advised view is that though we can and do err, that is already a first point of knowledge, error exists, E. Indeed, it is undeniable as ~E means it is error to assert E. Therefore knowable truth exists and truth as what accurately describes reality, its contents and states of affairs exists. As we can know we are rational, and are self moved embodied creatures who share a common world.

    I have already pointed you to Eng Derek Smith’s two tier controller cybernetic loop model. You may profit from it. See https://uncommondescent.com/atheism/reference-the-smith-model-an-architecture-for-cybernetics-and-mind-body-free-will-determinism-compatibilism-analysis/

    KF

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the singularity says a spacetime, causal-temporal-thermodynamic domain [CTThD] had a beginning and was caused, i.e. was created. A world does not come from utter non being and CTThD is inherently finite in the past even beyond a singularity e.g. quantum foam etc. That is forced by the logic of time succeeding by years and the infeasible supertask of attempted traversal of the transfinite. KF

  20. 20
    William J Murray says:

    One of the big issues when it comes to the existence of anything is infinite regress, which appears to indicate that it is necessary to have an original “causeless cause” that activates potential in some way. This is one of the primary logical arguments for a deliberate, purposeful God.

    The problem with posing a choice made by God as a backstop to infinite regression is that it just begs the question: how much time passed before God made that decision? Which brings back the intractable problem of linear time being a necessary assumption for the concept of “making a decision” to have any non-absurd meaning. If God had no beginning, then in a linear-time framework where a decision can be made, there’s an eternity of time before God made that decision. And so, we shouldn’t be here pondering the question.

    Linear time cause and effect is actually a concept that is self-refuting even if you apply an eternal causeless cause.

    Whatever is going on, it can’t be (logically speaking) linear-time cause and effect. That can be what it appears as, but it cannot be what it actually is.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, necessary thus eternal being, and not a CTThD. This is beyond our ability to grasp with familiarity but if there is a CTThD, then there is a root of reality a world zero of that order. KF

  22. 22
    William J Murray says:

    I have no idea what CTThD means.

  23. 23
    Viola Lee says:

    Good comment by WJM at 19 about it being wrong to think that linear cause-and-effect imbued time can logically be applied to the idea of an eternal god.

  24. 24
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    If God had no beginning, then in a linear-time framework where a decision can be made, there’s an eternity of time before God made that decision. And so, we shouldn’t be here pondering the question.

    God is simple, unchanging and therefore timeless. So, no time elapsed – linear time is what God created within this universe. God is the eternal now, not a being traveling in time. God is at the beginning and the end of created, linear time. So, that shouldn’t be a problem. We just need to ponder the changeless present – that’s spiritual contemplation.

    Linear time cause and effect is actually a concept that is self-refuting even if you apply an eternal causeless cause.

    An eternal, spaceless, timeless cause created the concept of time, which is a concept understandable in human terms.
    Why should human beings, created by God, have the natural capability of knowing the mind and actions of God? We came into existence out of nothing and cannot be expected to know what came before, without the light and help of God Himself anyway.

  25. 25
    dogdoc says:

    WJM,

    DD: First, you assuming that consciousness is causal rather than perceptual, something that may or may not be true.
    WJM: I’m not assuming it. I directly experience it.

    You think you do. Wegner showed experimentally that we can be fooled into believing that we are exerting conscious control when we do not, and also that we are not exerting conscious control when we actually are. And when people (including me) introspect closely, trying to perceive if conscious intent preceeds action or perceives it, it becomes apparent that the latter is true.

    Here’s a brief interview that lays out some of these ideas:
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/there-is-no-such-thing-as-conscious-thought/

    and another brief article:
    https://theconversation.com/what-if-consciousness-is-just-a-product-of-our-non-conscious-brain-107973

    And here is a more in-depth exploration:
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01924/full

    You are apparently trying to redefine the word “design” to suit your argument.

    Sorry for the confusion, I meant “to create complex form and function”. The question at hand is whether creating complex form and function is always the result of conscious intent; my position is that we do not know the answer but without the neural correlates of consciousness that we study, it may be that consciousness does not arise – even if complex form and function does.

    Again, we are certainly capable of performing complex, intelligent behaviors that require planning without conscious involvement,
    WJM: That’s interesting. Care to provide an example?

    There are so many. An obvious example is speaking: We assemble grammatical sentences – complex structures – as we converse without consciously designing them.

    Unfortunately, if conscious, aware perception is caused by non-conscious brain activities, our discussion is rendered nothing more than physical process making noises and producing mental states that may or may not have any correlation whatsoever.

    This argument is what Daniel Dennet calls “nothing but-ery”. Providing a reductionist account for some phenomena does not negate the reality of the higher-level description.

    We would both be saying and thinking whatever various lower-level processes dictated without conscious oversight, control, error-correction, value-recognition, etc. Without conscious free will as a top-down supervisory cause, we might as well just be two trees making noises caused by the wind going through our leaves.

    I think that perusing the articles I’ve linked here may actually change your thinking about this. It is not that I think science has figured out what consciousness is or what its relationship is to the contents of our experience – I think it is all really quite mysterious. But there is plenty of reason to think that our intuitive narrative of top-down conscious control is mistaken.

    Again, from MW, the definition of intelligence:
    (1): the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : REASON
    also : the skilled use of reason
    (2): the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (such as tests)

    In that case, what is the evidence that whatever caused biological systems to exist could learn, or could deal with new or trying situations? How could we test that?

  26. 26
    AnimatedDust says:

    Interesting convo, but the grammar nazi in me has to correct this: You wave hands; you don’t waive hands, DogDoc.

  27. 27
    dogdoc says:

    Animated Dust,

    Oh, well, uh… I actually meant when people forgo the opportunity to use their hands when talking. No? Okay, actually I typed this on my phone and it was that darn auto-correct! Not buying it? Oh okay, I just wrote the wrong word. Thanks for the correction 🙂

  28. 28
    William J Murray says:

    Dogdoc said:

    Providing a reductionist account for some phenomena does not negate the reality of the higher-level description.

    What do you mean by “the reality of the higher-level description?” Do you mean that an atomic account of a block of wood doesn’t change the fact it’s still a block of wood? That’s not meaningful in this conversation unless your “higher-level description” assumes the validity of your “reductionist account” when it comes to consciousness. The higher-level description you are apparently arguing against is consciousness explicitly as an uncaused, top-down supervisor of thought; the reductive account of that in the papers you refer to explicitly negate that.

    There are so many. An obvious example is speaking: We assemble grammatical sentences – complex structures – as we converse without consciously designing them.

    I don’t know if you’ve read my other comments here, but I’ve essentially laid out the argument that nobody is ever designing anything; all we can do is access designs already present in potential. Some people, like Tesla, can/could access a full design all at once without going through the process of “figuring it out.”

    I actually think we have very similar views in that conscious thought comes from a non-conscious source (I think yours may be that it comes from brain processes or states), while mine is that they come from informational potential and are interpreted & organized via various subconscious, or unconscious, filters.

    What I have found by paying close attention to my thoughts for decades is that what precedes what is usually described as a deliberate thought, be it image or inner voice, is a pre-inner-language, pre-inner-imagery intent. Such as, an intent to respond to you brings forth into my conscious mind options on how to do so. I then intend, you might say directionally, and I start accessing the design of a response and the words and grammatical structure flow – in my model, from that intentionally selected area of potential into an orderly structure, fashioned through the subconscious and unconscious filter system (something akin to deep psychological programming.)

    As a writer, I’ve certainly noticed that quite often I’m totally surprised, even astonished at what information comes into my conscious mind via this process.

    I’ve found that the translation and interpretation process can be altered intentionally. I’ve found access to information that would be hard to explain as already being “in my brain” in any format.

    It is the intent itself – pre-verbal, pre-imagery intent – that I hold as the uncaused, free will capacity to direct my mind to access areas of potential and translate that into conscious thoughts and imagery.

  29. 29
    William J Murray says:

    SA @24,
    For whatever reason, you’re reiterating the same sequences of words and phrases that I have argued are nonsensical. Why are you doing that as if it’s a response to that argument?

  30. 30
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    I attempted to show that your statement here does not follow:

    If God had no beginning, then in a linear-time framework where a decision can be made, there’s an eternity of time before God made that decision

    It’s not merely that “God has no beginning” but that God is the creator of time. So, He is timeless.
    God is not subject to time, since He created time in the eternal now.
    So, this makes your statement nonsensical.

    “Since God lives in the timeless-now, there was an eternity of time before he created time.”

    See why that doesn’t work? God is not subject to time or change. So, there’s no before or after. There’s no “eternity of time” before God created time. There’s simply the present. God does not travel through time. Human beings do, since time is the concept created by God by which we measure duration and change as finite, changeable, created beings.

  31. 31
    dogdoc says:

    WJM,

    What do you mean by “the reality of the higher-level description?” Do you mean that an atomic account of a block of wood doesn’t change the fact it’s still a block of wood?

    Yes. In the context here, reducing our thoughts, intentions, and emotions to neural activity would not render those mental terms meaningless nor show those subjective states don’t exist. NB: I am not suggesting that we are anywhere near capable of such a reduction, nor do I believe our current understanding gives any hint regarding how to begin solving the “hard problem” of consciousness by reduction.

    That’s not meaningful in this conversation unless your “higher-level description” assumes the validity of your “reductionist account” when it comes to consciousness.

    Look again – I was responding to this comment:

    WJM: Unfortunately, if conscious, aware perception is caused by non-conscious brain activities, our discussion is rendered nothing more than physical process making noises and producing mental states that may or may not have any correlation whatsoever.

    You are saying that IF conscious thought could be reduced to non-conscious brain activity THEN our mental states would not be reliable (in Alvin Plantinga’s usage of that term). This just doesn’t follow, just as it doesn’t in Plantinga’s argument against naturalism, which your argument seems to be analogous to.

    The higher-level description you are apparently arguing against is consciousness explicitly as an uncaused, top-down supervisor of thought; the reductive account of that in the papers you refer to explicitly negate that.

    I’m trying to understand this sentence here. To be clear: (1) It is true that I am arguing against the claim that consciousness is known to be “an uncaused, top-down supervisor of thought” (or action). (2) It is not true that I am arguing for any reduction of consciousness to brain activity. (3) The papers I linked to support my position (1), and I don’t believe they take an explicit stance on (2). In any case, again, I am not arguing for the possibility of such a reduction.

    I don’t know if you’ve read my other comments here, but I’ve essentially laid out the argument that nobody is ever designing anything; all we can do is access designs already present in potential. Some people, like Tesla, can/could access a full design all at once without going through the process of “figuring it out.”

    Ok, that’s interesting; I’d have to read to undestand your view.

    I actually think we have very similar views in that conscious thought comes from a non-conscious source (I think yours may be that it comes from brain processes or states), while mine is that they come from informational potential and are interpreted & organized via various subconscious, or unconscious, filters.

    Ah, I’m beginning to see what you mean. I assume you’re familiar with Roger Penrose and his “realm of Platonic logic” (or something to that effect) that our brains access via quantum gravitational mechanisms; your view seems to be a little like that.

    While all this is fascinating, we’re departing a bit from my argument. I am arguing against your claim that “Highly complex interdependent functional machinery appears to require not only intelligence to design and build, but conscious, deliberate planning directed towards a goal.”. I am arguing that for all the reasons described in the linked papers, we have no good reason to believe that whatever was responsible for the initial creation of complex form and function in biology was conscious. Even if humans are the only thing we know of that can produce such machinery, and even if humans have conscious experience, we have no reason to think some unknown, hypothetical thing (entity, process, force, whatever) would also be conscious.

    What I have found by paying close attention to my thoughts for decades is that what precedes what is usually described as a deliberate thought, be it image or inner voice, is a pre-inner-language, pre-inner-imagery intent. Such as, an intent to respond to you brings forth into my conscious mind options on how to do so. I then intend, you might say directionally, and I start accessing the design of a response and the words and grammatical structure flow – in my model, from that intentionally selected area of potential into an orderly structure, fashioned through the subconscious and unconscious filter system (something akin to deep psychological programming.)

    I understand this. Whether or not – and how – we connect these processes to neural activity, the point here is that the so-called “design inference”, which holds that a mind that experiences consciousness the way we understand it was responsible for the origin of life, is not based upon things we know about how minds work.

    As a writer, I’ve certainly noticed that quite often I’m totally surprised, even astonished at what information comes into my conscious mind via this process.

    Indeed! I had a colleague who would often say “How do I know what I think until I hear what I say?”

    I’ve found that the translation and interpretation process can be altered intentionally. I’ve found access to information that would be hard to explain as already being “in my brain” in any format.

    What do you mean? What sort of information, and how do you know it could not be encoded in your brain?

    It is the intent itself – pre-verbal, pre-imagery intent – that I hold as the uncaused, free will capacity to direct my mind to access areas of potential and translate that into conscious thoughts and imagery.

    I would understand this as your conscious experience of non-conscious processes which are preparing, at a high level of abstraction, to proceed with further imagining.

    Again, there is great mystery surrounding how brains work, how minds work, and the connection between the two. I object to those who pick one particular metaphysical speculation (usually some sort of dualist interactionism) and claim that it provides support for believing that something conscious created life, the universe, and so on.

  32. 32
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    but that God is the creator of time.

    This is a nonsensical phrase as I’ve already argued.

    God does not travel through time.

    If space and time are part of God’s eternal now, to say God created it is nonsense. Everything that has ever existed and will ever exist will always exist in God’s eternal now.

  33. 33
    William J Murray says:

    Dogdoc said:

    While all this is fascinating, we’re departing a bit from my argument. I am arguing against your claim that “Highly complex interdependent functional machinery appears to require not only intelligence to design and build, but conscious, deliberate planning directed towards a goal.”

    Well, did you not read the rest of what I said there in #8?

    That doesn’t make it the correct conclusion; but it does make it the best one and actually the only one we have available to us at this time to explain what we see in biology. At least, it’s the only one we have without entering an entirely different paradigm of causation.

    Do I personally believe some super-intelligence purposefully designed and built life? No, but I don’t base my personal beliefs on things like facts and evidence.

    This is not something I am arguing for; I just said that currently, given the evidence, it appears to be the best explanation, the only apparent explanation.

    Later in #17 I said:

    If every possible designed thing already exists in full as potential information, it is not necessary for a conscious, deliberate entity to do any of the “designing.” All that is necessary is to directly access that design information, which could be directly drawn out of potential as an entirely physical experience. IOW, the physical manifestation (as experience) of a perfectly designed thing without any deliberate designing whatsoever on anyone’s part.

    Where I say “accessing the design information,” that would be comparable, but under different ontological paradigms, to your hidden brain processes that precede conscious thought.

    What do you mean? What sort of information, and how do you know it could not be encoded in your brain?

    I didn’t say I know it could not be encoded in my brain. I said it would be hard to explain.

    For instance, when I was about six years old, I had a dream where I experienced someone teaching me how to access something I learned much later that people, especially athletes, called “the flow,” where everything around you seemed to slow down and you were in this optimal state of reaction capacity. When I woke up I remembered how to do it and could access “the flow” on demand ever since.

    Another example would be that I never had to study in school because I could take a test and just “know” what the answers were by staring at the question. This same capacity led me to be able to build a successful career and self-employed business. I could intuit how to do just about anything.

    I would understand this as your conscious experience of non-conscious processes which are preparing, at a high level of abstraction, to proceed with further imagining.

    I agree that aware consciousness is always interacting with unaware consciousness, which we call the unconscious or the subconscious. In your paradigm, the latter would be unexperienced brain states until they cause an aware experience, such as a thought. Perhaps the salient question here is: what is causing the latter (either the unaware brain states, or the subconscious/unconscious filters, as I call them?)

    This is where we get into the division between independent, top-down agency vs bottom-up processes causing every thought and aware experience, every decision and choice. I think your perspective is that the choice is made before we are even aware of it; I actually agree with you that for most people, this is 100% true. I think most people are “running on automatic,” so to speak. They might have the capacity to intervene via top-down authority, but they aren’t even aware they have that capacity.

    What I call the filters, or the habits, patterns of thought, the subconscious programming is incredibly difficult to intervene in or to exercise top-down power over. I consider most people to “be” this programming, for all intents and purposes.

    Anyway, I don’t know that any of this is anything you wish to discuss, seeing as I’m not arguing for the thing you thought I was in the beginning. Nice discussion, I appreciate it.

  34. 34
    William J Murray says:

    OH, I see, KF, you explained CTThD prior to that comment. It has nothing to do with my argument because my argument is not limited to the CTThD world.

    My argument is about how terms and phrases are being applied to “God” that logically contradict other terms and phrases used to describe that God. Such as God being changeless, yet making decisions. Such as God existing in an eternal “now” state that encompasses everything we call the “past” and “future,” yet also “creating” this world. Those are nonsensical, self-conflicting statements.

    If this world has always existed in God’s “eternal now,” God didn’t create it. It has always existed and will always exist in that eternal “now” that encompasses all of existence, past and future. God makes no decisions and doesn’t create anything from that perspective. That’s not me claiming to know what God’s perspective is; that’s me applying logic to the descriptions of God and actions attributed to God that contradict those descriptions.

    If we cannot know what it is like to be God, then stop attributing actions and characteristics to God that, when challenged because they are logically self-contradictory or nonsensical, the response is “you don’t know what it is like to be God.”

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I made the abbreviation a bit above, Causal-Temporal-Thermodynamic Domain, CTThD. That defines time at cosmological level and points to how we construct clocks and calendars. Entropy is the arrow of time. I think the cluster is important. KF

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, Changeless as to core nature, connected to maximal greatness of being, which implies key attributes to maximal compossible degree. There is much more, our world is clearly derivative and is CTThD. In this context God as author of time speaks to authorship of the CTThD. KF

  37. 37
    William J Murray says:

    KF said @36:

    WJM, Changeless as to core nature, connected to maximal greatness of being, which implies key attributes to maximal compossible degree.

    The only concept that fits that bill is potential.

    There is much more, our world is clearly derivative and is CTThD.

    That’s not clear at all, given the past 100+ years of quantum physics research.

    In this context God as author of time speaks to authorship of the CTThD.

    As I’ve already pointed out, God can’t be the “author of time” because the concept of being “an author” requires time to “author” something. It’s a nonsensical sequence of ideas.

  38. 38
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    If space and time are part of God’s eternal now, to say God created it is nonsense. Everything that has ever existed and will ever exist will always exist in God’s eternal now.

    You’re assuming that the human intellect is capable of understanding what the eternal now is, and how events like your birth into the world can be explained in that context.
    Why should we think that we are capable of understanding such things? Philosophically, we can reason that the first, principle, non-contingent being is unchanging, spaceless, timeless and absolutely infinite. Those are concepts. We have no real world experience of such a situation.
    So, on that basis, as you say even “the eternal now” is nonsense. Fullness and perfection of being, timelessness, spacelessness — all of those things are “nonsense”.
    But we shouldn’t treat them that way because doing so assumes that our human intellects have existed from all eternity and are capable of understanding all of the workings of God. We can see the conflict between a created world and an absolutely infinite, unchangeable first mover. But that’s the problem for finite minds like our own.
    Philosophy only takes us a few steps along the path.

  39. 39
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    You’re assuming that the human intellect is capable of understanding what the eternal now is, and how events like your birth into the world can be explained in that context.

    I’m assuming it because I’m assuming you’re using terms and concepts that can be understood by the human intellect. If not, what’s the point of using those terms? How do you know they even apply to what we are discussing?

    Philosophically, we can reason that the first, principle, non-contingent being is unchanging, spaceless, timeless and absolutely infinite. Those are concepts.

    No, you cannot, if you then turn around and claim that we can’t understand what those words mean in terms of being that entity.

    You and KF are trying to have your cake and eat it too; you want to apply terms as if you understand what they mean, as if they apply to God, but then when it’s pointed out that they are nonsensical and self-contradictory in relationship to each other, you then say we can’t understand it.

  40. 40
    William J Murray says:

    But we shouldn’t treat them that way because doing so assumes that our human intellects have existed from all eternity and are capable of understanding all of the workings of God.

    I treat logical contradictions as logical contradictions, whether or not the word “God” is involved. You don’t get to throw up the “God” card as if that word solves a logical contradiction.

  41. 41
    William J Murray says:

    Here’s the easy answer: from the God perspective, everything that ever exists always exists.

    It’s not that hard; it’s just inconvenient to you and KF because of your religious beliefs.

  42. 42
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    No, you cannot, if you then turn around and claim that we can’t understand what those words mean in terms of being that entity.

    There’s a difference between having a full comprehension of something and having a partial, working knowledge by analogy.
    But if you think the terms timeless, spaceless, unchangeable and eternal now – or any of the other classical philosophical definitions are “nonsense”, then just say that. There’s no sense in you using the terms for my sake. If you have other terms, then you can use and define whatever you want.
    But I bring it back to you – to claim that a creation act from the eternal now is “nonsensical” then the term “eternal now” itself should be categorized that way.
    If that’s your argument, then all we know is linear time and a finite universe and those concepts lead to “nonsensical” absurdities also.

  43. 43
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    Here’s the easy answer: from the God perspective, everything that ever exists always exists.

    It’s not that easy since you already divided up existence into potential and actualized existence. If potentials can be actualized, then it would not be true that everything exists as actuals.

  44. 44
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    You don’t get to throw up the “God” card as if that word solves a logical contradiction.

    Spacelessness is a logical contradiction in itself – it violates the law of identity, as does an absolute infinite. But that’s why we have the term “God” – it’s a transcendent concept and yes, we do get to throw that card as the first principle being, creator of the universe, the laws of physics – and creator of logic itself.

  45. 45
    William J Murray says:

    But if you think the terms timeless, spaceless, unchangeable and eternal now – or any of the other classical philosophical definitions are “nonsense”, then just say that.

    I would if that’s what I thought. What I’ve explicitly said is that when you pair those proposed attributes of God with certain activities, like “create” and “author,” it generates a logical contradiction or a nonsensical string of ideas.

    An eternal now, timeless, spaceless, entity that is the root of existence can be, it just can’t do anything.

    Which, again, is why “potential” is the best concept we have for thinking about the root of existence.

  46. 46
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    Which, again, is why “potential” is the best concept we have for thinking about the root of existence.

    I don’t have much of a problem with that. But I apologize that I missed your explanation previously, but how you explain the movement from potential to actual in the context of the eternal now?

  47. 47
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    It’s not that easy since you already divided up existence into potential and actualized existence. If potentials can be actualized, then it would not be true that everything exists as actuals.

    That’s the beauty of idealism. All potentials are actual, at least from the God perspective 🙂 Meaning, everything that can possibly occur is occurring simultaneously in the “hyper-dimensional” eternal now – again, from God’s perspective, so to speak (as if God has a perspective.)

    Which, I might add, beautifully and elegantly corresponds to what we see in quantum physics research.

  48. 48
    William J Murray says:

    I don’t have much of a problem with that. But I apologize that I missed your explanation previously, but how you explain the movement from potential to actual in the context of the eternal now?

    And that’s where consciousness, and space-time as the experiential, potential-derived reality of that consciousness, comes in.

  49. 49
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    That’s the beauty of idealism. All potentials are actual, at least from the God perspective ? Meaning, everything that can possibly occur is occurring simultaneously in the “hyper-dimensional” eternal now – again, from God’s perspective, so to speak (as if God has a perspective.)

    I’m not going to attack this as illogical since you’re using the phrases “from God’s perspective” and also “so to speak”. So, I respect that what you’re saying cannot be fully subject to strict logic. As such, it’s a philosophical perspective. It may be convincing or not, it may be of interest to someone or not. But it would not be correct to say that it’s strictly logical. Again, I don’t think one can speak about “God’s perspective” as entirely fitting the human perspective of logic. You have a “hyper-dimensional” reality that works for you.

    At the same time, as I concede with respect to your views, I’d hope you could do the same for mine.
    If I said, for example, that the move from potential to act is the creation act – then I have potentials that change to actuals. That is no more illogical from a timeless eternal now, than the idea that “all potentials are actuals”. From the human perspective, neither of those ideas are logically consistent. That which has actual existence is no longer potentially what it is. And again, if all potential is actual, then there’s no need to speak of potential. Finally, potentials can only become actual (as we understand it from the human perspective) by an existing actual.
    Cold water has the potential to boil. It cannot boil itself. It requires an actual heat-source. When applied and it reaches 212 degrees, it is no longer potentially boiling but it is actually boiling.
    Then again, as above, this is from the limits of human philosophy. Having a comprehensive understanding from God’s perspective is not possible, although as you’ve done, we can propose that God’s actions can occur in certain ways that seem reasonable to us.
    If you and anybody else who speaks about “how God does things” could accept that we can only speak with partial knowledge, that would be a good step forward in the discussions.

  50. 50
    William J Murray says:

    SA,
    I’m fully prepared to logically support everything I’ve said, and how I’ve said it. As I have done many times here in the past, if someone else has the superior argument, I’m perfectly willing to admit it.

    As far as your views, as I’ve said many times before, I’m not here to change anyone’s beliefs. If you don’t want to engage when someone criticizes your logic or some statement you make, then don’t.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, that which draws out details of God’s capability, character and action to eternal, necessary being, root of reality is not contrdictory, KF

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