Monday, July 13, 2020

Can Science really Prove The Basis of Modern Physics?

 photo European-lab-Close-to-finding-God-particle-NAN19NH-x-large.jpg






Realms Beyond


I've demonstrated in other posts,  that transcendent realms were not the original concept of supernatural. That is, however, the modern Western concept. Thus, we might as well ask, are there realms beyond our knowing, is this possible? If so, is there any possibility of our investigating them? Scientists have usually tended to assume that metaphysical assumptions about realms beyond are just out of the domain of science and can’t be investigated so they don’t bother to comment. Victor Stenger, however, wants to be able to assert that he’s disproved them so he argues that the magisteria do overlap. “There exists a widespread notion, promulgated at the higher levels of the scientific community itself, that science has nothing to say about God or the supernatural…”[1]
He sights the national academy of sciences and their position that these are non overlapping magisteria, “science is a way of knowing about the natural world. It is limited to explaining the natural world. Science can say nothing about the supernatural. Weather God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.”2 Stenger disagrees. He argues that they can study the effects of prayer so that means they can eliminate the supernatural.


Two things are wrong with Stenger’s approach. First, he doesn’t use Lourdes or any other empirical record of miracles. He’s going entirely by double blind studies which can’t control for prayer from outside the control group; that makes such studies virtually worthless. So in effect Stenger is taking the work of people who try to empirically measure what is beyond the empirical, then when it doesn’t work he says “see, there’s nothing beyond the empirical.” That proves nothing more than the fact that we can’t measure that which is beyond measuring. Secondly, he doesn’t deal with the real religious experience studies or the M scale. That means he’s not really dealing with the empirical effects of supernature. I’ve just demonstrated good reason to think that supernature Is working in nature. It’s not an alien realm outside the natural, it’s not a miracle it’s not something that sets its self apart form the daily regular workings of the world. Supernature is of God but nature is of God. God made nature and he works in nature. We can tell the two apart by the results. Now I am going to deal with the other two issues, are there realms beyond the natural? Are there evidences of a form of supernatural in the world that stand apart from the natural such that we can call them “miracles?”


Are there realms beyond the natural? Of course there can be no direct evidence, even a direct look at them would stand apart from our received version of reality and thus be suspect. The plaintive cry of the materialists that “there is no evidence for the supernatural” is fallacious to the core. How can there be evidence when any evidence that might be would automatically be suspect? Moreover, science itself gives us reason to think there might be. Quantum physics is about unseen realms, but they are the world of the extremely tiny. This is the fundamental basis of reality, what’s beneath or behind everything. They talk about “particles” but in reality they are not particles. They are not bits of stuff. They are not solid matter.3 Treating particles as points is also problematic. This is where string theory comes in.
This is where string theory comes in. In string theory fundamental particles aren't treated as zero-dimensional points. Instead they are one-dimensional vibrating strings or loops. The maths is hair-raising, and the direct evidence non-existent, but it does provide a way out of the current theoretical cul-de-sac. It even provides a route to unifying gravity with the other three fundamental forces - a problem which has baffled the best brains for decades. The problem is, you need to invoke extra dimensions to make the equations work in string-theory and its variants: 10 spacetime dimensions to be precise. Or 11 (M-theory). Or maybe 26. In any case, loads more dimensions than 4.
So where are they then? One idea is that they are right under our noses, but compacted to the quantum scale so that they are imperceptible. "Hang on a minute", you might think,"How can you ever prove the existence of something that, by definition, is impossible to perceive?" It's a fair point, and there are scientists who criticize string theory for its weak predictive power and testability. Leaving that to one side, how can you conceptualize extra dimensions?4
There is no direct evidence of these unseen realms and they may be unprovable. Why are they assumed with such confidence and yet reductionsts make the opposite assumption about spiritual realms? It’s not because the quantum universe realms are tangible or solid or material they are not. Scientists can’t really describe what they are, except that they are mathematical. In fact why can’t they be the same realms?


Then there’s the concept of the multiverse. This is not subatomic in size but beyond our space/time continuum. These would be other universes perhaps like our own, certainly the size of our own, but beyond our realm of space/time. Some scientists accept the idea that the same rules would apply in all of these universes, but some don’t.

Beyond it [our cosmic visual horizon—42 billion light years] could be many—even infinitely many—domains much like the one we see. Each has a different initial distribution of matter, but the same laws of physics operate in all. Nearly all cosmologists today (including me) accept this type of multiverse, which Max Tegmark calls “level 1.” Yet some go further. They suggest completely different kinds of universes, with different physics, different histories, maybe different numbers of spatial dimensions. Most will be sterile, although some will be teeming with life. A chief proponent of this “level 2” multiverse is Alexander Vilenkin, who paints a dramatic picture of an infinite set of universes with an infinite number of galaxies, an infinite number of planets and an infinite number of people with your name who are reading this article.5



Well there are two important things to note here. First, that neither string theory nor multiverse may ever be proved empirically. There’s a professor at Columbia named Peter Woit who writes the blog “Not Even Wrong” dedicated to showing that string theory can’t be proved.6 There is no proof for it or against it. It can’t be disproved so it can’t be proved either.7 That means the idea will be around for a long time because without disproving it they can’t get rid of it. Yet without any means of disproving it, it can’t be deemed a scientific fact. Remember it’s not about proving things it’s about disproving them. Yet science is willing to consider their possibility and takes them quite seriously. There is no empirical evidence of these things. They posit the dimensions purely as a mathematical solution so the equations work not because they have any real evidence.8


We could make the argument that we have several possibilities for other worlds and those possibilities suggest more: we have the idea of being “outside time.” There’s no proof that this is place one can actually go to, but the idea of it suggests the possibility, there’s the world of anti-matter, there are worlds in string membranes, and there are other dimensions tucked away and folded into our own. In terms of the multiverse scientists might argue that they conceive of these as “naturalistic.” They would be like our world with physical laws and hard material substances and physical things. As we have seen there are those who go further and postulate the “rules change” idea. We probably should assume the rules work the same way because its all we know. We do assume this in making God arguments such as the cosmological argument. Yet the possibility exists that there could be other realms that are not physical and not “natural” as we know that concept. The probability of that increases when we realize that these realms are beyond our space/time thus they are beyond the domain of our cause and effect, and we know as “natural.” It really all goes back to the philosophical and ideological assumption about rules. There is no way to prove it either way. Ruling out the possibility of a spiritual realm based upon the fact that we don’t live in it would be stupid. The idea that “we never see any proof of it” is basically the same thing as saying “we don’t live it so it must not exist.” Of course this field is going to be suspect, and who can blame the critics? Anyone with a penchant for the unknown can set up shop and speculate about what might be “out there.” Yet science itself offers the possibility in the form of modern physics, the only rationale for closing that off is the distaste for religion.


All that is solid melts into air



This line by Marx deals with society, social and political institutions, but in thinking about the topic of SN it suggests a very different issue. The reductionst/materialists and phsyicalists assume and often argue that there is no proof of anything not material and not ‘physical” (energy is a form of matter).  The hard tangible nature of the physical is taken as the standard for reality while the notion of something beyond our ability to dietetic is seen in a skeptical way, even though the major developments in physics are based upon it. Is the physical world as tangible and solid as we think? Science talks about “particles” and constructs models of atoms made of wooden tubes and little balls this gives us the psychological impression that the world of the very tiny is based upon little solid balls. In reality subatomic particles are not made out of little balls, nor are these ‘particles” tangible or solid. In fact we could make a strong argument that no one even knows what they are made of.


We keep talking about "particles", but this word doesn't adequately sum up the type of matter that particle physicists deal with. In physics, particles aren't usually tiny bits of stuff. When you start talking about fundamental particles like quarks that have a volume of zero, or virtual particles that have no volume and pop in and out of existence just like that, it is stretching the everyday meaning of the word "particle" a bit far. Thinking about particles as points sooner or later leads the equations up a blind alley. Understanding what is happening at the smallest scale of matter needs a new vocabulary, new maths, and very possibly new dimensions.
This is where string theory comes in. In string theory fundamental particles aren't treated as zero-dimensional points. Instead they are one-dimensional vibrating strings or loops. The maths is hair-raising, and the direct evidence non-existent, but it does provide a way out of the current theoretical cul-de-sac. It even provides a route to unifying gravity with the other three fundamental forces - a problem which has baffled the best brains for decades. The problem is, you need to invoke extra dimensions to make the equations work in string-theory and its variants: 10 spacetime dimensions to be precise. Or 11 (M-theory). Or maybe 26. In any case, loads more dimensions than 4.9
Particles are not solid; they are not very tiny chunks of solid stuff. They have no volume nor do they have the kind of stable existence we do. They “pop” in and out of existence! This is not proof for the supernatural. It might imply that the seeming solidity of “reality” is illusory. There are two kinds of subatomic particles, elementary and composite. Composite are made are made out of smaller particles. Now we hear it said that elementary particles are not made out of other particles. It’s substructure is unknown. They may or may not be made of smaller particles. That means we really don’t know what subatomic particles are made of. That means scientists are willing to believe in things they don’t understand.10 While it is not definite enough to prove anything except that we don’t know the basis of reality, it does prove that and also the possibilities for the ultimate truth of this are still wide open. To rule out “the supernatural” (by the wrong concept) on the assumption that we have no scientific proof of it is utterly arrogance and bombast. For all we know what we take to be solid unshakable reality might be nothing more than God’s day dream. Granted, there is end to the spinning of moon beams and we can talk all day about what ‘might be,’ so we need evidence and arguments to warrant the placing of confidence in propositions. We have confidence placing evidence; it doesn’t have to be scientific although some of it is. That will come in the next chapter. The point here is that there is no basis for the snide dismissal of concepts such as supernatural and supernature.







1 Victor Stenger, God and The Folly of FaithThe Incompatibility of Science and Religion. Amherst: New
York: Prometheus Books, 2012. 225.


Stenger, ibid, quoting National Academy of Sciences, Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science. Washington DC: National Academies Press, 1998, 58.


3STFC “are there other dimensions,” Large Hadron Collider. Website. Science and Facilities Council, 2012 URL: http://www.lhc.ac.uk/The%20Particle%20Detectives/Take%205/13686.aspx


ibid


George F.R. Ellis. “Does the Miltiverse Really Exist [preview]” Scientific American (July 19, 2011) On line version URL: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=does-the-multiverse-really-exist
George F.R. Ellis is Professor Emeritus in Mathematics at University of Cape Town. He’s been professor of Cosmic Physics at SISSA (Trieste)


Peter Woit, Not Even Wrong, Posted on September 18, 2012 by woi blog, URL: http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/


ibid, “Welcome to the Multiverse,” Posted on May 21, 2012 by woit


Mohsen Kermanshahi. Universal Theory. “String Theory.” Website URL:http://www.universaltheory.org/html/others/stringtheory5.htm


9 STFC ibid, op cit.


10  Giorgio Giacomelli; Maurizio Spurio Particles and Fundamental Interactions: An Introduction to Particle Physics (2nd ed.). Italy: Springer-Verlag, science and Business media, 2009, pp. 1–3.


Tuesday, July 07, 2020

A Thought in The Mind of God part 2

Image result for nebula in space


In this post I will deal mainly with two questions: (1) Is it possible that transcendent God could be "personal?" (2) How can God be Immanent and transcendent? (subtext: is this just trying to have it both ways?).I will not concern myself with proving God exists. I believe in God so I will assume God and then concern myself with understanding what I believe. There is no way to have certain knowledge in terms of the transcendent so we have to content ourselves with metaphor, everything points to meaning that we never really have.

What do I mean by "personal?" I use the phrase "concision" because because persona implies different things (see my last post on Monday). I do not necessarily mean ratiocination. Go does not need to think about things in the conventional sense yet can have personal awareness; will, volition,and understanding. I think of God as being the basis of consciousness  the source of the conscious. I don't say God has a mind I said God is mind. As such God's awareness is on a higher plane than our own. We can't understand the level of conscious  awareness at which God dwells.

There are many reasons to believe that God is "personal." I have three or four major arguments, I will name them I wont bother to discuss them at length just enough to make clear my idea:

(1) The origin of the universe requires decision making ability including indeterminacy (exhibited in fine tuning)

In other words the ability of the "creator" or whatever originating agent is responsible for reality to alter that reality as the need arises, even if that  agency is quantum interminably or is responsible or the indeterminacy.

(2) consciousness not reducible to brain chemistry.

The irreconcilability of consciousness is not proof of a transcendent consciousness it's a good reason to think there might be one.

(3) sense of the numenous--mystical experience.

The most important:
(4) Argument from temporal beginning.

This argumemt assumes that infinite causal regress is illogical [1]For this reason we must assume without God as eternal reality we start from a position of absolute nothing, not vacuum flux but real nothing since even vacuum flux must be explained, so we start with a real lack of anything. But since nothing is beyond time  there is no time, thus there could be no change, There could be no becoming since that would require something from nothing. This is a problem for atheists as well because they cannot explain how anything could come to be.[2]

In the quantum world...the world that the universe inhabited when it was less than a second old...many things work very differently. One of these is that time itself does not mean quite the same thing as it does to us in the world- at-large. Although we have no complete theory of the relevant physics, there are many indications from the mathematics that yield sound experimental results, that time itself may have ceased to have much meaning near the Big Bang event. This means that there was no 'time' as we know this concept 'before' the Big Bang. That being the case, the question of what happened before the Big Bang is now a question without any possible physical answer. The evolution of the universe has always been a process of transformation from one state to the next as the universe has expanded. At some point in this process, looking back at the Big Bang, we enter a state so removed from any that we now know, than even the laws that govern it become totally obscure to science itself. In the quantum world, we see things 'appearing' out of nothing all the time. The universe may have done the same thing. What this means to us may never be fully understood.[3]
Hawking tells us, "As we shall see, the concept of time has no meaning before the beginning of the universe. This was first pointed out by St. Augustine. ... he said that time was a property of the universe that God created, and that time did not exist before the beginning of the universe."[4]

The most reasonable answer is that universal mind can alter the rules at will. That is the only answer that makes sense given the rules we know and the assumptions we must make. Since I have argued that God is being itself, we can understand that if God is mind then mind and not energy/matter is the
basis of reality, This is what physicistAmit Goswami (U, Oregan) argues:
Amit Goswami: The current worldview has it that everything is made of matter, and everything can be reduced to the elementary particles of matter, the basic constituents—building blocks—of matter. And cause arises from the interactions of these basic building blocks or elementary particles; elementary particles make atoms, atoms make molecules, molecules make cells, and cells make brain. But all the way, the ultimate cause is always the interactions between the elementary particles. This is the belief—all cause moves from the elementary particles. This is what we call "upward causation." So in this view, what human beings—you and I—think of as our free will does not really exist. It is only an epiphenomenon or secondary phenomenon, secondary to the causal power of matter. And any causal power that we seem to be able to exert on matter is just an illusion. This is the current paradigm. [5]
The assumption is nothing can happen in a timeless void but that assumes physics, If we assume the core of reality is ran not by laws of physics but by a mind  that thinks up laws of physics then it is the imagination of mind not physics that runs things.

As to the swede question how could God possibly be in both worlds. We assume God creates time then obviously God is beyond time, But why assume that God can't stick his finger into the temporal setting? I also want to point out as Hawking documented this stuff goes back to St Augustine, I did not make it up.

It is not a matter of having it both ways it;s a matter of realizing what it would mean for God to be being itself, for mind to be the basis of reality. There are a couple of caveats: (1) Pantheism, (2)  determinism. Evangelicals are paranoid of pantheism. Any suggestion of God being in physical things is abhorrent to them. I don't know how they keep from  panic over of Eph, 4:10 "He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens in order to fill the whole universe,'" This is is not a pantheism. It's merely the realization that if God is the page upon which the line of time is drawn he is bigger than time and fills all physical reality in a couple of ways. That does not mean there's nay confusion between creature and creator. One thing it could mean is that Go is the strong force holding all reality together, that would not mean a blurred diction between creature and creator.

The deterministic question assumes that God as mind would have to be thinking about every move we make and thus predetermining what we do,that is not my concept. There are several alternatives to that idea within the range of God as mind that produces the universe out of thought, without assuming God must plan out all our thoughts or actions,  For one thing God could imagine the concept of autonomous world ran by automatic laws and humanity that evolves out of these laws then allow it to happen without having to  imagine it all. It's a matter of God thinking of the concept of autonomy. Since God doesn't need to think in terns of a series of steps or to contemplate a mental dialectic within himself.

 The bottom line on all of this is God;s transcendence, It's all beyond our understanding and all we say about is metaphor, but all we say is metaphor anyway.




Sources

[1] Joseph Hinman, "Against Inanimate Casual Regression," The Religious a priori, stationary website Christian apologetic, no date given
http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2010/08/against-infinite-causal-regress.html
(accessed 3/7/18)

[2] Joseph Hinman, "Argument from Temporal Beginning" Doxa:Christia Thoughtin The 21st Century, List of God Arguments. Stationary website, no date given, no page number given,
http://www.doxa.ws/meta_crock/Berkeley.html#temp
(accessed 3/7/18)

[3] Sten Odenwald quoted in Hinman, Ibid. original Sten Odewald, "Before The Big Bang," The Astronomy Cafe, stationary website by Odenwald, (July 2017).
http://sten.astronomycafe.net/beforebigbang/
(accessed 3/7/18)

An even stronger quote by Odenwald speakimgof theeworld beyond the Big bang:

There were, presumably, no particles of matter or even photons of light then, because these particles were born from the vacuum fluctuations in the fabric of spacetime that attended the creation of the universe. In such a world, nothing happens because all 'happenings' take place within the reference frame of time and space. The presence of a single particle in this nothingness would have instantaneously broken the perfect symmetry of this era because there would then have been a favored point in space different from all others; the point occupied by the particle. This nothingness didn't evolve either, because evolution is a time-ordered process. The introduction of time as a favored coordinate would have broken the symmetry too. It would seem that the 'Trans-Creation' state is beyond conventional description because any words we may choose to describe it are inherently laced with the conceptual baggage of time and space. Heinz Pagels reflects on this 'earliest' stage by saying, "The nothingness 'before' the creation of the universe is the most complete void we can imagine. No space, time or matter existed. It is a world without place, without duration or eternity..."

[4]Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988,8.

[5] Amit Goswami, "An Interview With Amit Goswami." TWM from Craig Hamilton What is Enlightenment.
http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~sai/goswam1.htm
(accessed 3/7/18)

notice that Goswami probably is pantheistic I am not endorsing his views,I think his initial setting up idea the basis of reality is mind as the basis is valid and I embrace that,I don't draw the same concussions from it he does.

Monday, July 06, 2020

A Thought In The Mind of God







A poster, 7th Stooge on the comment section of this blog says: "Maybe you could do a post on this Berkeleyan idea that everything's an idea in the mind o' God (if you haven't already). Having trouble wrapping my head around it."[1] The idea I've talked about is not  limited to Berkeley it has champions in Issac Newton [2] and Josiah Royce [3] as well. These versions are all a bit different but they are similar enough to share the same category, which is Ontological Idealism. There is also an epistemic idealism. They both hold that  "., they think of idealism as a position which is characterized by the claim that the universe (Moore) or whatever exists or whatever can be known to exist (Russell) is spiritual (Moore) or in some sense mental (Russell)."[4] Berkeley's version of that is his famous "to be is to be perceived," Newton's was the idea that the universe is "the sensorium of God." Mine is that reality is a thought in the mind of God.

Two major figures led the attack Agassi idealism general and this form of it in particular, Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) and G.E. Moore (1873–1958). They led the British attack and the American front was brought up by a squadron of New young pragmatists which included the father of history of ideas A.O. Lovejoy. We must not forget one of Royce's sparring partners William James who motivated a major attack. [5] 

Even though any kind of idealism is considered outmoded and disprove Russell and Moore nor nay of their cohorts ever assumed they had disproved it.

Although their attack was so influential that even more than 100 years later, any acknowledgment of idealistic tendencies is viewed in the English-speaking world with reservation, it is by no means obvious that they actually thought they had disproved idealism. On the contrary, neither Moore nor Russell claimed to have demonstrated that the universe or what exists or can be known to exist is not spiritual or mental. All that they take themselves to have shown is that there are no good philosophical (in contradistinction to, e.g., theological or psychological) arguments available to support such a claim. Moore especially is very explicit about this point. He devotes the first five pages of his famous piece from 1903, “The Refutation of Idealism,” to assuring the reader over and over that “I do not suppose that anything I shall say has the smallest tendency to prove that reality is not spiritual. … Reality may be spiritual, for all I know; and I devoutly hope it is. … It is, therefore, only with idealistic arguments that I am concerned; … I shall have proved that Idealists have no reason whatever for their conclusion” (Philosophical Studies, pp. 2 f.). And Russell in his The Problems of Philosophy (1912), in a similar vein, warns the reader, after emphasizing the strangeness of an idealistic position from a common sense point of view: “[I]f there were good reasons to regard them [viz. physical objects] as mental, we could not legitimately reject this opinion merely because it strikes us as strange” (p. 38). [6]
Ironically or James Jeans (11 September 1877 – 16 September 1946[2] supported such idealism even after it was sweped aside, which is probably why his work has been forgotten. I say ironic because he wasan atheiwst,ma scieitnisthewas amajortheit pitch mam the Dawkins of his day. Sir James Jeans wrote; "The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter... we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter."[7]
"What remains is in any case very different from the full-blooded matter and the forbidding materialism of the Victorian scientist. His objective and material universe is proved to consist of little more than constructs of our own minds. To this extent, then, modern physics has moved in the direction of philosophic idealism. Mind and matter, if not proved to be of similar nature, are at least found to be ingredients of one single system. There is no longer room for the kind of dualism which has haunted philosophy since the days of Descartes." [8]
Contemporary thinkers have begun to realize this anti-idealist assumption is nothing but a Western scientific prejudice. The two major arguments that Moore and Russell used were assumptions that one chose one of Berkey's central ideas." The first concerns Berkeley’s idealistic principle that being consists in being perceived, the second the converse claim, attributed to Bradley, that thought entails being." [9] But Neither Newton nor the modern  idealists really rely on Berkeley. Newton looked to the notion that God used the physical world as a theater of thought to explain action at a distance (Gravity--that's the truth behind newton;s theory of gravity).[10] While certain physicists who are going native so to speak use mind to explain the nature of quantum theory.


"Eugene Wigner and others have suggested that it is mind acting on matter that accounts for quantum phenomena."[11] Bernard d'Espagnat, a French theoretical physicist best known for his work on the nature of reality, wrote a paper titled The Quantum Theory and Reality. According to the paper:
"The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment."[12]
a "growing body of renegade scientists ... in recent years have ventured into the domain of the spiritual in an attempt both to interpret the seemingly inexplicable findings of their experiments and to validate their intuitions about the existence of a spiritual dimension of life. "[13] One of the major figures in this group is Amit Goswami (Author of Self Aware Universe),[14] Physicist at the University of Oregon (he;s also a member of its Institute of Theoretical Science).Goswami lays out the basic theory of this ontological idealism:
The current worldview has it that everything is made of matter, and everything can be reduced to the elementary particles of matter, the basic constituents—building blocks—of matter. And cause arises from the interactions of these basic building blocks or elementary particles; elementary particles make atoms, atoms make molecules, molecules make cells, and cells make brain. But all the way, the ultimate cause is always the interactions between the elementary particles. This is the belief—all cause moves from the elementary particles. This is what we call "upward causation." So in this view, ...our free will does not really exist. It is only an epiphenomenon ....\Now, the opposite view is that everything starts with consciousness.That is, consciousness is the ground of all being. In this view, consciousness imposes "downward causation." In other words, our free will is real. When we act in the world we really are acting with causal power. This view does not deny that matter also has causal potency—... It is the spiritual teaching. It is not just parallel. The idea that consciousness is the ground of being is the basis of all spiritual traditions, [15]
The major argumet for this view is collapsing the wave function. There must be some universal mind to collapse the wave function for the universe. Naturally I don't expect atheists to go for this and I don't know enough about quantum theory to defend it. I am not going to argue for it or try to protein, I hold it as a theoretical answer only. I am, however, going to indicate a plausibility for the argument, After all the argument was nevrer disproved,

Two basic ideas point to plausibility. (1) lack of understanding of the alternative, (2) the necessity of mind in creation. We know atoms are not little balls on sticks, but what they actually are we really don;t know, In reality subatomic particles are not made out of little balls, nor are these ‘particles” tangible or solid. In fact we could make a strong argument that no one even knows what they are made of. Do  subatomic particles really exist? In answer to this question one physics says



The short answer is we do not know. We have theories but are they right? It also comes down to word meaning. If something behaves like a particle, is it a particle? Think about this - if it isn’t, how can it behave like one? (The point is, what you are denying is what you define it as having its behaviour. A sort of circular denial.)
Your description is consistent with quantum field theory, but it is still far from clear that is true. What is an excitation? Why does the excitation not decay?
I prefer to say, we have our models, and we shall see where they take us but ultimately, we don’t know
.[16]

Right after this one there's another answer that's even more tellimg. 

Quantum Field theory (QFT) describes ‘particles’ as not being particles existent on their own, but rather as being excitations in various fields; an up quark is just some energy in the up quark field that behaves like a particle, while an electron is just an excitation in the election field that behaves as a different particle. In QFT, these particles don’t really exist as particles, but as bits of energy in fields. This also accounts for wave-particle duality as you describe, as the ‘wave’ of a ‘particle’ is just an oscillation in the field.So yes, according to Quantum Field theory, you are completely correct[17]
This does not prove anything but it gives us a dandy hint. First, what is being described is a system where theoretical constructs are accepted due to their working and definiteness into theoretical structure regardless of their empirical demonstrability. One would think that should make mocking ideas foreign to the system a little incredulous since "that is stupid because it doesn't fit my theoretical construel is a bit terse,Secondly, we also see the employment of mind understanding the workings of the system it requires a good deal of mental agility. One cant help but think there should be some employment of mind in the construct of reality not merely in the construct theory about reality. 

There are many reasons to think so. Arguments such as fine tuning and wave function can be pressed into service. I have written an argent of my own even before I had this idea that points up the necessity of mind in the working out of big bang cosmology. Years ago I made an argumnet i called Argument from Temporal Bering. This argument does depend upon big bang cosmology but it is still the standard model. 




1) Time has a begining.
2) There is no causality or sequential order beyond time.
3) Therefore, no change beyond time is possible.
4) The putative state of affairs beyond time is one of timlessness.

5) Therefore, time should never have come to be.
6) We know that time did come to be, therefore, it must have been created by something capable of writing and circumventing the rules.



7) Only mind would be capable of writing and circumventing the rules of time and eternity, therefore, eternal necessary must be the author of physical reality.[18]


This idea solves a good many theological problems such a the problem of temporal beginning. Like all God arguments it will be met with mocking and ridicule but why is vacuum flux popping into existence out of nothing for no reason any more reasonable? Mind makes a good stopping place ro final cause since it can generate matter infinitely if matter is idea, In a world governed by mind God would only be constrained by his own imagination,



Sources


[1] 7th Stooge, comment section ,"The Realization of God and Meaning in the Universe," Metacrock's Blog, (Aug 29,2017) http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-realization-of-god-and-meaning-in.html
(accessed 9/5/17)

[2]Alexander Koyré, From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe, Baltimore, Maryland Johns Hopkins press, 1957. 159-161.
Koyré,161:
Newton's physics, or, it would be better to say, Newton's natural philosophy, stands or falls with the concepts of absolute time and absolute space, the selfsame concepts for which Henry More fought his long-drawn-out and relentless battle against Descartes. Curiously enough, the Cartesian conception of the only relative, or relational, character of these and connected notions is branded by Newton as being "vulgar" and as based upon "prejudices."
Thus in the famous scholium which follows the Definitions that are placed at the very beginning of the Principia, Newton writes:9
Hitherto I have laid down the definitions of such words as are less known, and explain the sense in which I would have them to be understood in the following discourse. I do not define time, space, place, and motion as being well known to all. Only I must observe that the vulgar conceive those quantities under no other notions but from the relations they bear to sensible objects. And thence arise certain prejudices, for the removing of which, it will be convenient to distinguish them into absolute and relative, true and apparent, mathematical and common.
 Absolute, true and mathematical time and space—for Newton these qualifications are equivalent and determine
As a covaeot to my view we aware of the counter view of Patrick J. Connolly "Newton's claim just means that space is the venue in which God carries out his divine will." Intellectual History Review, 2014, vol 24, no 2 1985,180.

[3] Guyer, Paul and Horstmann, Rolf-Peter, "Idealism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2015/entries/idealism/>.
(accessed 9/5/17)

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid.

[7] Sir James Jeans, The mysterious universe, Cambridge, New york Cambridge university press. 137.

[8] Sir James Jeans addressing the British Association in 1934. in Franklin Le Van Baumer (ed.) Main Currents of Western Thought: Readings in Western European Intellectual History. Hew Haven,London: Yale University press, 1978, 703.

https://books.google.com/books?id=QmPWQyRL8nUC&pg=PA703&lpg=PA703&dq=%22What+remains+is+in+any+case+very+different+from+the+full-blooded+matter+and+the+forbidding+materialism+of+the+Victorian+scientist.+His+objective+and+material+universe+is+proved+to+consist+of+little+more+than+constructs+of+our+own+minds.&source=bl&ots=t-tReSImoF&sig=23e4-g4RZ1eYdiaZgAtm_kTyFI8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiJxZbzq43WAhXlh1QKHWiGBvYQ6AEILTAB#v=onepage&q=%22What%20remains%20is%20in%20any%20case%20very%20different%20from%20the%20full-blooded%20matter%20and%20the%20forbidding%20materialism%20of%20the%20Victorian%20scientist.%20His%20objective%20and%20material%20universe%20is%20proved%20to%20consist%20of%20little%20more%20than%20constructs%20of%20our%20own%20minds.&f=false
(accessed 9/5/17)

[9] Paul Guyer,  and Horstmann, Rolf-Peter,op cit.
sd Dscsartes anLkib eiz 

[10] G. J. Mattey,"Philosophy 22 notes Issac Newton," UC Davis Philosophy 22 Seventeenth Century Philosophy, 2001
http://hume.ucdavis.edu/mattey/phi022old/newtlec.htm
(accessed 9/5/17)

[11] Robert J. Russell, "Quantum Physics," Counter Balance, Website, no date goven
(accessed 9/5/17)

[12] Bernard d'Espagnat,, "The Quantum Theory and Reality," Scientific Amercan,1979, no month given 158-181 pdf
https://www.scientificamerican.com/media/pdf/197911_0158.pdf
(accessed 9/5/17)

[13]Craig Hamilton. "The self Aware Universe An Interview with Amit Gaswami, " TWM no date given.

14 Amit Goswami. Self Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates The Material World. New York: Peinguin Putnam inc,1993. no page indicated.

[15] Hamilton, op cit

[16]Ian Miller, "Do Sub Atomic Particles really Exist?" Quora. website (may 19 no year given)

[17] Lars Cain, Ibid.

[18] My temporal beginning argument,

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

What is Liberal Theology? p2: Albrecht Ritschl

akg-images -


Albrecht Ritschl 1822-1889

Schleiermacher is called the "father" of liberal theology, but the other foundational figure which spured the development of liberal theology in the 19th century was Albrecht Ritschl (1822-1889).German Protestant, taught theology at Bonn (1851-64) and Gottengin (1864-89). His major work translates into English as The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation (Vol. I and III, 1872 and 1900).(Columbria Encyclopedia, Barelby.com

Further works byRitschl:Instruction in the Christian Religion, (1875); Theology and Metaphysics,(1881).

Ritschl was in line with Schleiermacher's thinking, he believed religion was primary a matter of revelation and personal experince. He worked agaisnt Hegel and his ilk in ridding theology of speculative metaphysics and philosophical frameworks. This puts him in line with Schleiermacher since Hegel hated Schleiermacher (the two had been class makes in college) and Schleiermacher's feeling of utter dependence worked direct against Hegel's notions of philosophical speculation. Ritschl sees theology as practical and not speculative. He grounds his inquiry in historical criticism and history, and in the revelation of God through Jesus Christ.

With Ritschl we see three lines of theological development shaping up. The first being Schleiermacher and Ritschl with religious experince and historical criticism. The second is an indirect line running thorugh several seeming contradictory figures: Hegel,theolgoian A.E. Beidermann (1819-85), New Testament scholar F.C. Bauer (1792-1860)--Bauer taguht Ritschl but was rejected by him, Philosphers Ludwig Fuererbach (1804-72) Karl Marx (1818-83) Soren Keirkegaard (1813-55).

The third line demonstrates the way the first two began to come together toward the end of the century to produce a distinctive liberal climate for theology. This line is dominated by Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), but just began his carrer at the even end of the century. Johannes Weiss (1863-1814). William Werde (1859-1906), Martin Kahler (1835-1913) Ernst Troeltsch (1865-1923) (Troelstch would turn out to be the teacher of Paul Tillich). By the end of the century a vast aray of skeptical style theology had been produced, with theolgoians and Bible scholars more skeptical of the validity of the Bible than any atheists every thought about being.Most of what we see on the net, with skeptical boards like the Secular Web are rehashes of arguments raised by ministers and Bible scholars from this era. The emphasis was upon de-mythologizeing the Bible. Chrstainity was seen primarly as an ethical pltform, or a social organization deciated to helping society make a better world.


Liberal Theology in the 20th Century


Until the end of World War I liberal theology proceeded as it had done in the previous century. The first world war changed everything. Liberal theology had become an ivory tower pursuit with nothing to say tot he common man. Suddenly Europe found itself in a crushing war, thousands dying everyday, a whole generation slaughtered on the battle. Massive dissolutionment set in as no one found liberal theology comforting. Karl Barth arose with a new take on theology which came to be called "Neo-Orthodox." Barth was a liberal Calvinist, he understood the Bible not as the word of God but containing the word of God. He under revelation through a dialectic between the reader and the text. Thus theology was infused with divine comfort in the face of over whelming tragedy. Liberal theology responded after the war by seeking out the existential roots in Christian thought. Theology in that century, before the second world war, was dominated by two major camps, Bartian neo-Orthodoxy, and Bualtmannian existentialism (led by Rudolph Bultmann). Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr (as well as his verbose brother H. Richard) would be major champions in the existential camp. This basic division held throughout the rest of the century, but in the 1960s it began to change tremendously.

Theology in the sixties was very exciting. This was the era when liberal theology came into its own. The major event that put liberal theology front and center was the conference called "Vatican II" held in the early 60s. The Church reformed many aspects of its liturgy modernizing itself both in cosmetic appeal and theology. It adopted a position of ecumenism allowing for the salvation of those outside the catholic or even Christian camps. It took most of the Latin out of its Mass, allowed the use of native instruments such as guitar, nuns began wearing civilian clothes and so on. In the field (Latin America) even more radical steps were taken. Priests began joining revolutions and fighting for social change. Some Priests even took up arms and joined liberation forces in the mountains. The first priest to do so was Father Camillio Tores in Columbia. Out of this period a whole movement evolved known as "liberation theology." It swept through Latin America, it was a major force in the U.S. anti-war movement (the Barigan brothers, both priests went to jail for pouring blood on draft records). Martin Luther King Jr. was a liberal theologian. His doctoral dissertation was on Paul Tillich's concept of God as Being itself. The whole civil rights movement was infused with Christian participation and leadership (such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference) and this fed into the anti-war movement and contributed to the popularity of liberation theology.

Soon Feminist theology followed, just as Feminism grew out of the civil rights and anti-war movements. New calls for all kinds of theologies were going out all the time. It was a very exciting period of fement. Theology was a battle ground. The popular musical Godspell was written by a theology student at that time and was basically a musical "Gospel according to the hippies" (Godspel = Gospel). The most radical movement of all was the God is dead movement. The major leader was Frederick J.J. Altizer. He argued that God poured himself out in Hegelian dialectic, just as Christ gave up his life on the cross, the God himself poured is very life into his creation giving it (man) the ability to make his own way. The phrase "God is dead" began with Nietzsche who meant by that that modern Western culture had killed the spirit of true reverence for the good by codifying it in a hypocritical institution like the church. Altizer just turned that around into a positive act by God on man's behalf. The movement fragmented, it's core idea was never really understood, the mainstream church reacted very harshly. The net outcome was the liberal church turned its focus to the world. An armay liberal Christian social workers and sociologists went forth to serve the good of humanity, to fight in revolutions, to lead political activism, to fee the hungry and protest war and so forth. Marxism was its chief tool for social analysis.

Rather than death of God theology, the new army of socially minded Christian liberals took up process theology. This allowed them to regard God as a depersonalized ideal of Goodness and yet still be motivated by a sense of divine truth. Process theology became the spiritual force of liberal theology in the last quarter of the twentieth century, thus united it with its late nineteenth century forbearer.Process theology and Marxist analysis drove liberal theology pretty much form the 60s to the 90s. After the fall of communism, in the early 90's liberal theology turned to identity politics and postmodernism. After the Jesus seminar and 911 and the war in Irak liberal theology has moved off center stage. The decline in popularity of postmodernism and lumping in identity politics with the "pc crowd" has pushed liberal theology into the background. It has no real social focus now. Some sort of ferment is taking place, a synthesis of the emergent church idea, identity politics, posternmodernism. Some segements may have gone more into a neo conservative phase.

Sources for StudyThe best source for study would be to obtain The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology. This is the authority on modern theology. It is expensive, it comes in to major volumes. One volume is about doctrines, the other is about people. You can look up ideas by the name of the theologian that made them famous, or get a run down on the basic thoughts of the major theologians of the last few centuries, in the theologian volume. Or look up ideas such as "God" or "Bible" in the doctrine volume. This would be crucial for anyone seeking to really understand theology. Another very important book would the History of Christian Thought by Paul Tillich. These are lectures Tillich delivered somewhere and they give an excellent run down on all of Chrsitian theology form the first century to Tillich's own views.

on line resources:

Religion online.org has a very through list of topics linked on their site. Here's a source I love:
Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology, a fine collection of short essay each dedicated to a different major modern theologain:they have them all!Wisdoms Children an intelligent blog, very literate, featuring major theolgoical and liberal arts thinkers. God Web, with an excellent article on Tillich and other liberal theological issues.

Last, and very probably lest, but in the interest of getting people to stop attributing to me ideas I do not espouse, my own theological credo on Doxa.