Monday, July 31, 2006

Epistemology and Miracles

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a poster to the comment section (Anon) says:

(quoting me)"After, I say AFTER the medical guys do their thing and determine that they can't explain it naturalistically."

You're confusing "I can't find it" with "it doesn't exist".

A typical churchie mistake.



He/she is saying that I am confusing the inability to find a naturalistic explanation with the idea that there is none. But the problem with that argument is that to make it one must assert an ideological assumption that there must be one. Thus if a naturalistic assumption is not found, it only means we must keep looking, even if we must keep looking ad infinitum.

The problem is event the materialists have given up on the concept of a naturalistic cause for every effect. The Metaphysicians of modern cosmology, I mean people like Hawking who are the avant guard of materialistic thought, have abandoned the idea that the universe needs a cause. They use QM particles apparent lack of a cause (which is not even the case) to argue for a universe that doesn't need a cause. If the entire universe needs no cause why should we assume that miracles need causes?

Like a two edged sword it cuts both ways:

(1) One could argue that the lack of a physical cause means one need not search for one and thus the inability to find it means there is none and thus this is a miracle.

(2) the assumption could be made that if there is no reasont o always insist upon a cuase then the lack of a cause does not imply divine action, but merely a "strange happenstance" that has no rational explanation and requires none.

This is last explanation there is never any reason to attribute anything to a miracle. In this instance there could be a resurrection of Jesus from the dead and it would not necessarily be a miracle, but just a "wired deal."

"O look dear, that Nazerath boy is rising from the dead again, isn't that strange?"

The problem for materialists is this is not materialism. It's boarder on magic, but the leaving behind of rational law like statements of material cause and effect that govern all happenings in the universe, is not materialism it is moving away from materialism.

I have a feeling that the anonymous commentator is the old fashioned kind of materlist who assumes there is a naturalistic cause that we just cant' detect. Don't look now but that's faith. It is true there is an epistemological gap. There will always be such a gap. So we are in the realm of probability when we deal wiht miracles. Even standing in front of the risen Christ we are still dealing in terms of probability. But that should not be an argument in favor of the materialist. They cannot say "that's only probablity" since their whole philosophy is founded upon probabolistic methods, such as inductive reasoning.

If after applying every concievable medical test and using the state of the art examinations (which the Lourdes commitee does) we cannot find a naturalistic explainnation, this does not necessarily mean the case is declaired a miracle. At that pont it is handed on the the the religious examinoners, the chruchmen who will begin a doctrinal examination. That's important because miracles are contextual.

Miracles are not just any unexplained happenstance, they are specifically contextual events that occur in relation to religious belief and that draw up more deeply into further levels of belief. Since it's all probability anyway the assumption that lack of explanation means the case is less likely to be explained naturalistically, the religious context must be examined. If that checks out it is only logical to assume divine context for the event since that is the only avue of expalination left.


While Anon wants to continue assuming there is always a naturalistic cause that's far from the case. That is a statement of faith in the materialism of the past. Even modern materialists have given up that dogma.

Miracles are probabolistic and contextaul. There is always an epistemic gap that cannot be bridged between knowledge of causes and assumptions about the likelihood of cuases. To assume that there must always be a naturlisc cause is to assume that there cannot be a God or that God cannot interveen in the world. Either wayt that is an ideological assumption, it is not logic, it is not proven, it is merely an assertion of faith, the bygone faith of materialism.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"But the problem with that argument is that to make it one must assert an ideological assumption that there must be one."

BZZZZT!

The onus is upon you to show that a miracle exists. For that, you must be able to find an event that has no natural cause and prove that said event has no natural cause.

You should take some coursework in mathematics (or at least some symbolic logic...and pay special attention to predicates and quantifiers).

Anonymous said...

"I have a feeling that the anonymous commentator is the old fashioned kind of materlist"

And BZZZZZT!! again!

I am an atheist, but not a materialist.

J.L. Hinman said...

The onus is upon you to show that a miracle exists.

>>wrong. I don't have to prove anything. That's only I care enough to try and convence you. Loures doesn't exist and apologetic ministry. It exists as glorifaction for Mary.






For that, you must be able to find an event that has no natural cause and prove that said event has no natural cause.


>>>>do you not see what your founding assumption here is? Do you knot understand that your basic assumption is that all effect must have naturalistic causes? Why should we assume this?

You can't prove it, you can only impose it as a metaphysical assumption. But that metaphsyical assumption is overturned by the presumption of religious faith.

You should take some coursework in mathematics (or at least some symbolic logic...and pay special attention to predicates and quantifiers).


>>>>Is it clear to me that you knowing nothing about logic. There is no bassi in logic to impose a metaphysical assumption about casue and effect. that is your hogwash based purrly on ideology and nothing else.

see? you are saying "my ruels say this is the way it hast o be." But the ruels of loigc dong sayt hat, your ideology says it. what is ideology? Its' progaganda that's all it is. It's the ideat that one idea deterines everything and all other ideas must be filtered through the propaganda of that ideology.


like most atheists you want religious people to just assume that ideology is the norm (that means it sets the rules) without having to prove it,.this is circular reasoning.


here's a little lesson in logic. yur premise is resting upon your contlcuion, that mekes it circular.

J.L. Hinman said...

I am an atheist, but not a materialist.


>>>looks like you need to take a little course work yourself. You can't be an atheist and not be a mateialist. athist is more than jusaying there's no God. I am aware that the propagdna of modern internet atheism says atheism is nothing more than the lack of bleief in God; but is more than that.

Goliath said...

"wrong. I don't have to prove anything."

Then I thank you for the easy victory. If only the rest of you churchies would give up so easily.

"do you not see what your founding assumption here is? Do you knot understand that your basic assumption is that all effect must have naturalistic causes?"

Point out where I have made such an assumption or concede.

Frankly, I have no idea whether or not miracles exist.

"You can't prove it, you can only impose it as a metaphysical assumption."

BZZZT yet again! I have nothing to prove in this discussion.

"Is it clear to me that you knowing nothing about logic."

Oh really? I happen to have a level of academic credential that you have shown yourself incapable of obtaining. You couldn't even make it out of graduate school in a weak subject like theology. You're a joke.

"here's a little lesson in logic. yur premise is resting upon your contlcuion, that mekes it circular."

I have made no arguments in our "discussion"...I have only pointed out the laughable flaws in your reasoning.

"You can't be an atheist and not be a mateialist."

I am an atheist. I am also not a materialist. My assertions about my positions on these matters trump any of your whiny and poorly-spelled complaints to the contrary. Therefore, you are demonstrably wrong.

"athist is more than jusaying there's no God."

BZZZT! You're confusing atheism with strong atheism. Try again.

" I am aware that the propagdna of modern internet atheism says atheism is nothing more than the lack of bleief in God; but is more than that."

No, it isn't. Atheism is the lack of belief in the existence of gods. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

J.L. Hinman said...

wrong. I don't have to prove anything."

Then I thank you for the easy victory. If only the rest of you churchies would give up so easily.


this is a blog, not a message board. It's a discussion not a football game.




"do you not see what your founding assumption here is? Do you knot understand that your basic assumption is that all effects must have naturalistic causes?"



Point out where I have made such an assumption or concede.


It's inherent in your argument little one.If you argue that there must be a naturalistic effect, even if we haven't found it, after extensive looking, the assumptino is that there has to be one, don't you see that?

Frankly, I have no idea whether or not miracles exist.


So why argue? there goes your easy victory.

"You can't prove it, you can only impose it as a metaphysical assumption."

BZZZT yet again! I have nothing to prove in this discussion.



you seemed to think you had something to prove when you thgouht this was a football game. STop boing BZZZZ it's not a game show either!

"Is it clear to me that you knowing nothing about logic."

Oh really? I happen to have a level of academic credential that you have shown yourself incapable of obtaining. You couldn't even make it out of graduate school in a weak subject like theology. You're a joke.



That's a very childish remark taht on one in graduate school would make. You are not been to graduate shool. I doubt that you've been to college. Be that as it may, my Ph.D. is in history of ideas, stupid Can't you raed, its on the bio..

"here's a little lesson in logic. yur premise is resting upon your contlcuion, that mekes it circular."

I have made no arguments in our "discussion"...I have only pointed out the laughable flaws in your reasoning.



you are history. I dont' need childish sophmoric "wits" gumnig the comment section. If all you can do is posture and making in sulting remarks you are not contributing.

J.L. Hinman said...

theology would be plenty hard for you bozo