Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kid knownothing (Hindenberg) strikes again


Kid Knownothing was the guy who launched bitter unnecessary personal attacks on me just because he found something on my blog he didn't agree with. I called him "Hindenberg" (in "answering attack on my experience argument")because he was a bag of hot air (hydrogen) that exploded all over everything and bombed. I saw a blog called "Sophie's Ladder" which I do link to, and "Sophie" was agreeing with me on the issue. That was actually a better rendition than I could give, it is explained clearly and concisely.

In discussions of whether brain activity indeed causes mystical experience or whether it simply runs parallel with it, one controversial issue has been the definition of mystical experience and how one confirms it. On the one hand, Metacrock argues that 1) researchers are not confirming in their work that their subjects are indeed having religious experiences – mystical experiences should be defined by use of the M-scale and long-term effect on the subject; and 2) correlation of brain activity and experience does not prove cause. On the other hand, Kidnonothing contends that 1) the M-scale is useless because it cannot tell us about neurological function; and 2) that predictability and repeatability indicate cause. My own view is that mystical experience is confirmed only by the experiencer andfor that and other reasons, brain activity as cause of mystical experiences cannot be demonstrated.

First of all, Kidnonothing seems to miss J.L. Hinman’s (Metacrock) point when he discards the use of the M-scale. What is at issue here is whether brain / chemical activity produces religious experience (whether what we claim to be spiritual is actually physical). If one is to say that X causes Y, then one must confirm that Y has indeed occurred. Hinman argues that Y (religious experience) has NOT been confirmed in the studies he is critiquing – and the only way this can be done is through use of the M-scale and observation of long-term effects. Metacrock is asserting that to be true scientific work, researchers must scientifically document the occurrence of the mystical experience, not just take the subject’s word for it.

I find from that blog that good old Hindenberg is at it again. He's answered my arguments (so he thinks). So let's look at his come back.

The No-Nothing's Space:


In a response to my initial contentions with respect to Hood's Mysticism Scale and Joe Hinman's reliance on it, Jeff at Sophie's Ladder has taken the time to provide something of a substantial response. Here is the first part of my reply, beginning with two correction.

This is a childish slight because as good as that synopsis is, it doesn't say anything I didn't say myself in my own arguments against him. But be that as it may:

Know nothing:

First, I don't think that the m-scale is useless because it has nothing to do with neurology or cannot identify what's happening in the brain. I think that its conclusions are irrelevant to neurological research. And any criticism of such research based on a reliance on the m-scale is misguided. The m-scale has provided us with a means of giving words to what Hood, Stace and other religious psychologists call an ineffable experience. And it provides empirical data for quantitative studies on self-representation and identification (for example).

Meta: that merely confuses the issue to say that criticism of the research based upon the M scale is misguided. Of course the real criticism is based upon the Non use of the M scale! It's not the research in principle I have a problem with, it's the fact that they don't use a valid means of understanding when they produce a religious experience. He just wasn't to assume that any old idea about God qualifies as mystical experience. that is not the case and without the M scale they really have no way to prove that they produced a mystical experience. It's odd but this guy just doesn't seem to get that.


While Stace maintained that the proximate cause of the experience is irrelevant (and I agree to some extent as does Hood), we should recognize the particularly constrained aspects of the experience that researchers are trying to reveal. For example, items 3, 6, 8, 12 etc. on the scale (the items Hood identifies as "Introvertive Mysticism") deal with the a-spaciotemporality and ineffability of the "mystical experience". Item 12 on the scale says: I have had an experience in which I realized the oneness of myself with all things.

This particular sensation isn't unique to people having mystical experiences as defined by the m-scale. Astronauts have described the same sensation while leaving the Earth's atmosphere and entering space "proper". Jill Bolte Taylor described the same sensation while suffering from a stroke. Now, this is not a criticism in and of itself. But the fact that this introverted mysticism occurs outside of the "mystical experience" as described by the m-scale suggests that further study is required that goes beyond the m-scale. In fact, it also suggests that one doesn't need the m-scale to validate any particular component of its whole. And it is more than plausible that human neurology: demarcating and processing stimuli or being systematically reoriented triggers this sensation.

Meta: Here he is pulling a bait and switch. He argues that certain sensations cover on the M Scale can be found outside mystical experience then having set up the idea that we don't need the M scale because we can experience these things apart from it, then he changes over to the idea that we need further study on those qualities. Now he's ready the lower the boom and try to suggest that we don't need the M scale at all. But that doesn't follow because he hasn't proved that those are the same experiences, nor has he demonstrated that they can separated from the religious experience framework and have the same meaning apart from the theories. It's meaningless anyway since they are not being produced in connection with other things but the nature of mystical experience itself is at issue. This the same mistake the Brog study on serotonin makes. They think they can duplicate mystical experiences by using personality tests and just asserting there are similarities. But this just totally unscientific.

What if they did field trials on the new H1N1 vaccine but did not test for the type of flue the subjects had. What if they just counted all flue as the same on grounds that many of the symptoms of H1N1 are found with other kinds of flues? I wonder if Kid Know Nothing would be willing to try that vaccine on and to trust it as scientific?

Kid know nothing

Second, and this will be short, I did not assert that predictability inferred or infers cause. In fact, I made sure to highlight that certain neurological activity predictably correlate with an introvertive mysticism. And this specific sensation can be replicated by instigating this neural activity.

Meta: Where does he demonstrate this with any sort of evidence? He asserts it but he does not prove it. How does know it if he's not going by the M scale in the first place? What was the control used to determine that it was mystical experience when began comparing the symptoms?

Kid Know Nothing:

Now to my first contention: Hood has defined “mysticism” as “the enigmatic” in his unity thesis, citing the etymological development of the word “mysticism”, stemming from the Greek verb: to close to the modern incarnation of “mysterious” or “the enigmatic”. It's important to recognize that he's not referring to something “out there” or “in us” that in and of itself has some divine or special quality—outside of an introverted and extroverted universality (common core).

He's using Stace's writings to construct the categories. His construction of the three part aspect of the test is much more complex than Know Nothing would lead us to believe. But the basis for all of it is the comparison with his former study and the works of Stace. The validity of Stace as proven by the studies is what guarantees the vitrifaction of the categories.

Know Nothing:

So, I don't think a mystical experience is mystical in the sense that people like Joe use the word. And that's why I assert that there really is no way to tell if the experience is mystical to begin with.

Meta: What a stupid argument! That's just sheer sophistry. All he's saying is the terms do not line up with the etiology of the words used to depict them so therefore they are exactly accurate. So what? That has absolutely nothing to do with the issues. He could identify them by numbers if he wished. So what? People have experience 246.209 tend to have long term positive effects such as life transformation experiences, more often than those who don't! Who care's the label says? That has nothing to do with how they line up the study. That's like saying "well in double blinds you are not really blinded you can see so therefore not really double blind."

Kid Know Nothing:

I believe that there is a kind of “pseudoconflation” occurring in which the first two factors: the introvertive and extrovertive aspects) of the experience, which are a part of Stace's common core thesis, and the interpretative factor are being mashed together.

Mashed together?

The items on the scale that deal with the interpretative elements of the experience are themselves inducted into subjective language. Hood acknowledges that the interpretative factor is not intersubjective and doesn't carry over across cultures. And common sense would tell us this is true as well. To the Jew he uses “G-d”, to the Wiccan “nature”, and explicitly refers to the religious, affective and noetic subfactors (or contextualized results of the experience) as comprising the third factor in the three-factor m-scale analysis. But the third factor isn't a part of the common core, which is what the scale does validate. So the purpose of the scale is not to show that a religious experience has occurred, as Jeff writes and Joe assumes.

But the point to that that's he's over looking is that when they do take the names out the experiences are still the same. Of course they have to use the traditions in which the people live or they wont have any results. How would a Christian respond to question about "did you sense the presence of Buddha?" What would that mean? Or if you asked "did you sense the presence of X" they would say "what the heck is X?" You have to have a comparison. Once that's established then you can compare the results. The comparison shows they are all having the same kind of experiences. But that would be meaningless without first establishing what they are talking about as far s the actual people experiencing understand it.

It is to validate Stace's common core thesis and provide empirical data for and verification of Hood's unity thesis: the Jamesian view that there is little diversity among mysticisms if one focuses on experience rather than its interpretation (1). So, simply put, the mysticism scaleverifies the common core. That is, “the enigmatic” experience is experienced everywhere with little variation. But it does not validate the third factor, whether the experience is religious, noetic or affective.

He's totally missing the point again. You can't make a comparison of noetic qualities if people don't know what you are asking. The third factor validates it, not vice versa.

So, the m-scale provides us with a set of worded characteristics for the ineffable experience that Hood and Stace call mystic. Neurologists can study these characteristics freely without having to study the totality of the experience and being bogged down by whether they're truly replicating the whole experience or not. So it doesn't matter if they can't be sure if they're replicating the experience in its whole. They're trying to mimic various components of the experience and find their cause (being what the second part will deal with).

He still doesn't understand what tit's for. he thinks the point is to understand the qualities of the experience better. Its' not. Its' to determine if the experience is validly mystical, or in other words does it stack up the categories that Stace found when he studied the writings of all the major mystics. In validating Stace in previous work Hood created a situation where further validation of the experience itself is possibly by building a typology from the confirmation of the experiences in the lives of people. In other words it's an empirically tested index of what people experience in that sort of thing called "mystical." It doesn't compete with brain chemistry or studies thereof, it's a profile, it's a stack of characteristics of these sorts of people. Researchers like Borg are merely asserting that any reference to God or transcendence or spirituality is as good as any other and that this is mystical experience. But that misses the boat because there is this complex set characteristics which people have who fit the profile of a mystic have experienced. The M scale tests that, the personality study doesn't.

People who have those kinds of experiences (the argument that it's not "mystical" is so lame,but Maslow also called it "Peak" -- let's seem him argue that it's not "peak) these people are experiencing a range of things, many characteristics. To boil it down to one or two and say "well they have this and that and so does he so looked we produced in the lab because we got him to experience two things that mystics experience" is just not any kind of proof and is not any kind of scientific method.

what would it hurt to use the M Scale? If it's going to blow their study to use it maybe that means their study is no good?

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Atheism and Froms of Knowledge

To see the world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wild flower;
hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour--William Blake.

The other day there was a comment made on the comment section which was filled with childish insults and all sorts of personal crap. The poster said that I don't take my blog seriously because I don't respond to serious challenges. Actually I kicked his ass already in a previous comment section and he never answered those arguments. Instead he came back with some crap about how I fallen into clever little trap that he set. It really just amounted to mumbling a bunch of cryptic and childish insults to him that's some ultra clever trap. When I saw that "you don't take your blog seriously" I said to myself, "self, I take my blog seriously, too seriously to post this garbage and cater to this childish person's need for attention." So even though I had a whole post already done I scrapped it. But the one thing this guy said that I thought deserved a serious answer was "prove that feelings can provide any sort of knowledge." I thought that, even though based upon a misconception, deserves some answer.

The misconception is that when I talk about religious experience or "realizing God" or "feeling of utter dependence" that I'm just talking about "feelings" is ordinary sense like being happy or being sad. That is far form the case. Actually I have said repeatedly that the experience arguments don't turn on the experience themselves. That means it's no the actual "feelings" that make the argument. It's the effects of having had the experience. Before I get back to that I want make a quite but connected and relevant side trip into the issue of the atheist obsession with empirical data. This is really what's at the heart of the issue. Because the atheists have deceived themselves their brain washing of ideology that only facts can provide and knowledge and that their selective and biased reading of the "facts" constitutes a pure and unbiased understanding of "truth" in the world.

A poster on CARM who I think is a pretty good apologist (Chaplin Brad) made a fine post that I think really puts the Atheist fetish for empiricism in its place:

Poster on CARM July, 27, 2009

Chaplin Brad:

Greetings. Got a break in the schedule, so I thougth I would give us all something to chew on for a bit.

What is it, inherent in science, which makes empiricism the only viable explanatory device? Is it somehow obvious in the cosmos that empiricism is exclusive in its ability to comprehend the universe? In othre words... What OBSERVABLE data, phenomena, or laws make this assumption scientifically inevitable?[/SIZE]

If nothing can be brought forward to answer this challenge… as we should all honestly admit that there is nothing… then the assertion that empiricism is exclusively capable of describing the universe is UNSCIENTIFIC, as it is, in and of itself, NOT empirical!

How, then, do we find ourselves arguing over whether or not empiricism is adequate and exclusive, when it isn’t even empirical in it’s own right?

Of course they aren't going to take that lying down.



Science provides a POSSIBLE, yet ALSO unverifiable explanation for the physical universe. Is THAT what you mean by "works"?
You say that as if there is some other method that gets us verifiable explanations. I'd like to hear what it is.

The first atheist comment to him I find extremely interesting:


It should be obvious that science works. You're reading this on a computer, aren't you? Do you think computer engineers meditated or prayed or studied ancient religious texts to find out how semiconductors and electric circuits work? Or do you think that maybe, just maybe, we needed experiments to gain the necessary knowledge?

The thing that interests me so much about that is that when I argue that religious experience works because the transformative power it gives our lives is exactly the point of religion, the atheists say "working is not a sing of being true." Yet here this atheists is telling us that it is. Let's just take quite note of the fact that these results, gadgets and inventions, computers, electrical things, this is the atheist benchmark of truth; you have to accept hat science because you are reading this on a computer. That just proves that science supplys all truth. But wait how is that analogous to questions like "where did the universe come from, why is it here?" "where did man come from?" "Is there a purpose to life?" "Is There a God?" There's no analogous basis between the invention of products that people buy to make life more convenient and belief in God. The God sort of question is on a totally different plane than is the invention of windows vista. These are fundamentally different kinds of questions. Questions about organizing information systems electronically do not require basic existential apprehension of the universe or an understanding of the basis of reality. Computers assume one's epistemology is in place. All of science assumes epistemology is taken for granted. But science doesn't answer any epistemological questions, it only raises them. Science cannot answer any fundamental questions about how we know what we know. God is not given in sense data. We can't step outside of being or outside of our own perceptions to check them. So we have to go around the sense data.

Brad answers again:

Originally Posted by Chaplain Brad View Post
I don't need an ALTERNATIVE... I propose an ADDITION. Personal experience is also a viable determinant of truth for the individual: after all, that really is all we have anyway (empiricism not personally experienced is indeterminant as well.)

The same atheist says:

Apparently, you don't know what empiricism means. You need to look it up in the dictionary, methinks.

Actually the atheist doesn't know what empiricism means. It's a philosophical term.It's adapted from philosophy to scinece and it means personally observed data. From the Greek Epistemic, or epistome meaning "to experience."

This is just indicative of the atheist ignorance. They think they have the market cornered on truth. They think they have this fool proof thing, science, that tell all there is to know and all that's worth knowing and all you have to do stick to "facts" and reduce anything you can't answer down to where it's basically nothing, then you never have any challenges to your world view. But to carry out this program they have to brain wash themselves into accepting an Orwellian approach to knowledge and live in a fantasy world telling themselves that they are totally unbiased and totally all knowing. They adopt this totalizing view point that is basically circular reasoning.

Now we come back to "feelings." what they are calling "feelings" are actually one of the other methods of knowing once you come to the end of what scientific, empirical and factual knowledge can tell you. Their ideology does not accept additions. It cannot compete. It must be the one and only view and it must kill out all other view points. It must do this because if admits any other kind of view then the reductionist thing is blown wide open. If that happens they have to let God in.

Religious experience is not about "feelings" in the conventional sense. It's not about being happy or being sad. The arguments I made do not turn on the sensation of God's presence they turn on the effects. Just like the guy above says "you are using a computer. you must accept that science works. So you must accept that it's true." There's nothing in science that rules out God. that's bedside the point. He just said "working is a standard of truth." So, God works, therefore, we know God is real. The long term positive effects are the pay off to religion. That's working, religion works, God works! That feelings of some kind (although much deeper than just "being happy") are a side effect but they are not the main point.

When Schleiermacher speaks of "the feeling of utter dependence" he doesn't mean "O I feel so dependent! How can I do anything God telling me??" He doesn't mean "feeling" in the sense of "I am so happy." He's talking about an intuitive sense, he's talking about a sense of consciousness. He even uses a synonym, "God consciousness" instead of "feeling." So it's not an emotive sensation but an intuitive one, a phenomenological apprehension. When I say "phenomenological" I mean (in the sense that Heidegger extracted from Schleiermacher) the sense in which one allows the sense data of one's perceptions to suggest the categories of reason without burying the data under preconceived notions. The reductionists, the atheists, the scientismists file it all away int he preconceive compartments and pigeon holes of their circular reasoning and their ideology.

There is a long tradition in human knowledge that deals with feelings. The ignorance of the modernist who asks the question is astounding. The concept of religious affections did not start with Schleiermacher, although he was a major theorize of their meaning. Jonnathan Edwards embarked upon a similar path and he took his ques from the Platonic as did Schleiermacher. The notion that religious affections reveal to us the co-determinate of God in our experiences come right out Plato's myth of the cave. The Platonic theory of knowledge is at work in these assumptions, no less in mine. Of course mine is an Augustinian form of Platonism; the forms are in the mind of God. So the Augustinian version of Platonic knowledge is what god puts in us as images of him. God creates man to be a mirror of himself. So we are God finder tools. We are like spiritual giger counters. We start to click when we get near God. That clicking is the long term positive effects of God's presence upon our lives.

In my notion of "realizing God" I am not talking about feelings. I'm talking about a phenomenological apprehension. It's an understanding of one's self and one's place in the world in relation to the rest of being. Its' a realization that being contains within itself as aspect that is not mundane, that transcends our understanding and that is based upon love. The root assumption of this realization is mystical experience, and all the assumptions that take us back to the Platonic. If God exists and if he made us to commune with him then he made us to detect his presence. This is exactly what we see and it is born out by the long term positive effects; religion works. Religion does what it's supposed to do. It identifies the problem with being human (the human problematic) and it resolves it by mediation of an ultimate transformative experience. That is exactly what religion is meant to do.

This is not meant to be an all consuming system as is the scientism of the reductionists. It is not totalizing. It's open ended, it's the true form of free thought. The atheist reveal their true nature as fascists who are not free thinkers in their abhorrence of anything not of the ideology. Knowledge must be global. It can't extract or eliminate any method of reasoning. God arguments depend upon scientific data, some depend upon pure logic and nothing more, some depend upon experience and reasoned extrapolation, some depend upon everything. The is a multiplicity in God arguments. No one making God arguments is reducing the world to one ideology as are the atheists.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Materialism Vanishes part 1


This is actually an argument from my God argument list. Now if the readers remember I no longer make God arguments. This is what I am now calling "focal point" so that one can have a focus upon which to begin in the search for the realization of God. For "materialism" read "phyiscalism" as well.

I.Materialism is the antithesis of belief in God, it rules out any such belief on the grounds that a deterministic, reductionist, or mechanistic understanding of the natural world is all that is needed to explain the natural world.

II. Materialism is wrong on all these counts; it is not based upon scientific objective or "ultimate" proof, but is culturally constructed.

III.If Materialism is wrong, than the door is wide upon to possibilities of God and the Supernatural, since that is the antithesis.

IV. materialism is wrong, therefore, the door is open to the possibility of God and the supernatural.

Now this argument doesn't prove the Christian God, it could open the possibility to a supernatural without God, or a Buddhist concept of reality, but the step away form total materialism brings us closer to some sort of belief in God.

Materialism loses its ground.

This is a probabilistic justification argument; It does not seek to directly prove that God exists, but that it is rational to believe in God and that there are good reasons to. In a nut shell the argument says that the concept of materialism has been changing over the years. It has now incorporated so many idea that were once lumped in with magic, supernatural, or generally "unscientific" categories that the old concept of materialism as an objection to God belief and a refutation of religion is now obsolete. Essentially there are 10 areas:

(1) Quantum Theory (no need for cause/effect)

(2) Big bang Cosmology (realm beyond the natrual)

(3) Medicine (healing)

(4) Consciousness (invites concept of dualism)

(6) Maslow's Archetypes (universal ideas)

(7) Miracles (empirical evidence)

(8) Near Death Experiences (sceintific evidence)

(9) Esp Research (the fact that they do it)

(10) Validity of religious experience (Shrinks no longer assume pathology)

The argument turns on the basic historical fact that atheists have lost the ground upon which they dismissed God from science in the first place. In their book Lindberg and Numbers demonstrate that the moment at which this happened was when La Place said "I have no need of that hypothesis," meaning the idea that God created the universe. What he meant was that God was not needed as an explanation because we now have naturalistic cause and effect, which explains everything. But the atheist has cashed in cause and effect to over come the Big Bang.

Materialists are now willing to consider ideas like the self caused universe, Hawkings unbounded condition which removes cause completely as a consideration; or based upon quantum theory they are willing to accept the notion that causality is an illusion, that the universe could just pop up out of nothing. With that commitment they lose the ground upon which they first removed God from consideration. Now, perhaps they still do not need God as a causal explanation, but in the Religious a pirori argument, and in the innate religious instruct argument I say that belief was never predicated upon a need for explanation in the first place.

 Nevertheless, the fact still remains, the reason for dismissing God was the sufficiency of natural causation as explanation, with that gone there is no longer any grounds for dismissing consideration of God from the universe.I will argue that more than that is going. There is a paradigm shift underway which demonstrates a total change in scientific thinking in many areas and over many disciplines. That change demonstrates that the materialist concept is wrong; there is more to reality than just the material world. There are other aspects to the material world wich are non-deterministic, non-mechanistic, and which call into question the whole presupposition of excluding the supernatural from consideration.

The groundwork for understanding this shift was laid by Thomas S. Kuhn in his thoery of paradigm shifts. Kuhn's famous theory was that scientific thought works through paradigm acquisition, and that paradigms change when they can no longer absorb anomalies into the model and must account for them in some other way. This theory entails the idea that science is culturally constructed; our ideas about science are culturally rooted and our understanding of the world in a scientific fashion is rooted in culture. For this reason he thought that science is not linear cumulative progress. "scientific revolutions are here taken to be those non-cumulative developmental episodes replaced in whole or in part by a new one..." (Thomas kuhn The Structure of scientific Revolutions," (92)

"In section X we shall discover how closely the view of science as cumulating is entangled with a dominate epistemology that takes knowledge to be a construction placed directly upon raw sense data by the mind. And in section XI we shall examine the strong support provided to the same historiographical scheme by the techniques of effective science pedagogy. Nevertheless, despite the immense plausibility of that ideal image, there is increasing reason to wonder whether it can possibly be an image of science. After the pre-paradigm period the assimilation of all new theories and of almost all new sorts of phenomena has demanded the destruction of a prior paradigm and a consequent conflict between competing schools of scientific thought. Cumulative anticipation of unanticipated novelties proves to be an almost nonexistent exception to the rule of scientific development.The man who takes historic fact seriously must suspect that science does not tend toward the ideal that our image of its cumulative nature has suggested. Perhaps it is another sort of enterprise."(Ibid,94)

What all of this means is that science is not written in stone. We do not pile one fact upon another until we get to the truth. We formulate a concept of the world and we hold to it and defend it against changed until there are too many problems with it then we move to another totally different wrold view. This is what has been going on in science since the French enlightenment. Materialism replaced super naturalism and Materialists have been defending it against change all this time. Now there are too many problems, they have brought in so many ideas contrary to materialism it is not meaningful anymore; paradigm shift is immanent and has begun in many areas. This is not to say that Kuhn had anything to say about the supernatural, he was a materialist. But his theory shows us that change in the concept of materialism is on the way.

Kuhn is not alone in these observations, major scientific thinkers have questioned scientific 'pretense of objectivity' throughout the century:

This 'bigger' aspect can also be seen in Rosenberg's 'liberal naturalism' [CS:JCS:3.1.77]:

"The question of scientific objectivity becomes more compelling when one considers that doubts about the reductive paradigm are by no means new. William James (1890), Charles Sherrington (1951), Erwin Schrodinger (1944, 1958), Karl Popper and John Eccles (1977)--among others--have insisted that the reductive view is inadequate to describe reality. This is not a fringe group. They are among the most thoughtful and highly honored philosophers and scientists of the past century. How is it that their deeply held and vividly expressed views have been so widely ignored? Is it not that we need to see the world as better organized than the evidence suggests?

"Appropriately, the most ambitious chapter of this section is the final one by Willis Harman. Is the conceptual framework of science sufficiently broad to encompass the phenomenon of consciousness, he asks, or must it be somehow enlarged to fit the facts of mental reality? Attempting an answer, he considers the degree to which science can claim to be objective and to what extent it is influenced by the culture in which it is immersed. Those who disagree might pause to consider the religious perspective from which modern science has emerged.

"There is reason to suppose that the roots of our bias toward determinism lie deeper in our cultural history than many are accustomed to suppose. Indeed, it is possible that this bias may even predate modern scientific methods. In his analysis of thirteenth-century European philosophy, Henry Adams (1904) archly observed: "Saint Thomas did not allow the Deity the right to contradict himself, which is one of Man's chief pleasures." One wonders to what extent reductive science has merely replaced Thomas's God with the theory of everything."

Paradigm Shifts in last 30 years change materialist conceptions.
Quantum Theory: no cause and effect

b. Cosmology (end of cause and effect).

Physicists are now embroiled in integrating metaphysical notions into science and in atheists assume them as though they were fact. The self causing universe, something from nothing, multiple universes, all beyond the pale of scientific investigation, all assumed as totally proven facts by the materialists.

*No Physics to explian something from nothing.

John Mather, NASA's principal investigator of the cosmic background radiation's spectral curve with the COBE satellite, stated: "We have equations that describe the transformation of one thing into another, but we have no equations whatever for creating space and time. And the concept doesn't even make sense, in English. So I don't think we have words or concepts to even think about creating something from nothing. And I certainly don't know of any work that seriously would explain it when it can't even state the concept."[John Mather, interview with Fred Heeren on May 11, 1994, cited in his book Show Me God (1998), Wheeling, IL, Searchlight Publications, p. 119-120.]

That is describing the excepted theory, that the universe seems to pop up from nothing, yet physicists just accept it and assume that its possible even with no physics to explian it. That is a total paradigm shift.

*Multiverse is unscientific metaphysics.

Sten Odenwald, Gaddard, Nasa:

"yes there could be other universes out there, but they would be unobservable no matter how old our universe became...even infinitly old!! So, such universes have no meaning to science because there is no experiment we can perform to detect them."

John Mather, NASA's principal investigator of the cosmic background radiation's spectral curve with the COBE satellite, stated:
"We have equations that describe the transformation of one thing into another, but we have no equations whatever for creating space and time. And the concept doesn't even make sense, in English. So I don't think we have words or concepts to even think about creating something from nothing. And I certainly don't know of any work that seriously would explain it when it can't even state the concept."[John Mather, interview with Fred Heeren on May 11, 1994, cited in his book Show Me God (1998), Wheeling, IL, Searchlight Publications, p. 119-120.]That is describing the excepted theory, that the universe seems to pop up from nothing, yet physicists just accept it and assume that its possible even with no physics to explian it. That is a total paradigm shift. "yes there could be other universes out there, but they would be unobservable no matter how old our universe became...even infinitly old!! So, such universes have no meaning to science because there is no experiment we can perform to detect them."

Some physicists, such as Oldenwald, are aware of this, but that doesn't stop the the materalists from continuing the assumption. So if it is religious metaphysics its bad, but if its metaphysics the materialist can use it's "ok."


Medical paradigm shift *Medical Schools and Doctors accept Healing more readily.

Christian Science Monitory, Monday, Sept. 15, 1999 "Research Starts to Bridge GAp Between Prayer and Medicine.

"The growing dialogue between the disciplines of faith and medicine, was probed this past weekend at the Religion Newswriters Association's annual meeting here. Increasingly, medical institutions are exploring the role of prayer in healing. Three years ago, only three US medical schools in offered courses on spirituality and health. Today, there are 30."

This quotation is old, it's now 120 schools or so.

*Most Doctors Have experience with healing and medical opinion changing.


Larry Dossey, author of several books on the subject, says that he, like most doctors, has witnessed "miracle cures." But the quality of research on the subject varies greatly.

US TOO International, Inc.

Prostate Cancer Survivor Support Groups

US TOO Prostate Cancer Communicator Article
Volume No. 1, Issue No. 6 (January June, 1997)
Survivor's Corner - Issue 6

"I am motivated to write about the healing power of prayer because many men I talk with are not only asking questions about prostate cancer statistics but have a feeling of being depressed after being diagnosed. Some are in a quandary as to what to do if PSA rises after treatment."

"A recent article was titled, "Physicians believe in the power of prayer," and stated that 269 doctors were surveyed and 99% said they were convinced that religious belief can heal."We've seen the power of belief," said Dr. Herbert Benson, author of Timeless Healing which offers scientific evidence that faith has helped to cure medical conditions. Prayer helps and the prayers of others can help in your recovery and healing."

* Good Studies Exist, Skeptics Pick On Worst Studies. Ibid. Skeptics, [Larry Dossey] says, tend to point to the weakest studies. Good scientific method, he says however, requires the medical community to look at the best work to "see what it shows us." Dr. Dossey adds that "I'm not trying to hold prayer hostage to science. I don't think prayer needs science to validate it."

c.Consciousness--re-entry of dualism.

There is a revolution in thought about consciousness underway that may include several paradigm shifts at once. It includes an interdisciplinary mix of Philosophers, psychologists, cognitive sciences, physicists, and other disciplines. Some of the more radical theories being advanced by physicists include the notion that consciousness is Quantum, that it is located non-spacilly and non-physically. see the consciousness argument for further details. But the most exciting aspect of this controversy is the fact that it has led to a reemergence of dualism. Glenn Miller does an excellent job researching this topic, most of his evidence comes form the Journal of Consciousness Studies. He also does a good job of putting into persecutive the new dualism and its implications: :

"Now, given this turbulence, re-evaluation, and re-definition going on the field, what is the status of DUALISM?

"Well, the first thing that comes to MY mind is that 'dualism' simply changed its public relations firm and won acceptance!

Strangely enough, the way this was accomplished was simply by defining reality 'bigger'. As one allows consciousness or mind INTO 'nature' as a fundamental 'thing' itself (with causal powers), the dual-worlds were simply collapsed into one 'bigger' world that has both elements in it! Dualism (in most, but not all, senses of the term) was simply given a new name, such as "naturalistic dualism" (Chalmers) or "liberal naturalism" (Rosenberg). No one puts this as clearly as Todd Moody, in responding to someone's 'fear of dualism' [JCS:2.4.371]:

"It's true that I am not troubled by this, in part because I don't find such a sharp line of demarcation between dualistic and materialistic metaphysics in the first place. If we cannot escape the conclusion that the physical description of the world is incomplete (as Elitzur states and many others agree), the main thing is to try to find a more complete one and not worry about whether it resembles previous versions of materialism or dualism"

The New York Times,April 16, 1996Arizona Conference Grapples With Mysteries of Human ConsciousnessBy SANDRA BLAKESLEE[T] UCSON, Ariz.

"The next major group of consciousness seekers might be called modern dualists. Agreeing with the hard problem, they feel that something else is needed to explain people's subjective experiences. And they have lots of ideas about what this might be.According to Chalmers, scientists need to come up with new fundamental laws of nature. Physicists postulate that certain properties -- gravity, space-time, electromagnetism -- are basic to any understanding of the universe, he said. 'My approach is to think of conscious experience itself as a fundamental property of the universe,' he said. Thus the world has two kinds of information, one physical, one experiential. The challenge is to make theoretical connections between physical processes and conscious experience, Chalmers said.Another form of dualism involves the mysteries of quantum mechanics. Dr. Roger Penrose from the University of Oxford in England argued that consciousness is the link between the quantum world, in which a single object can exist in two places at the same time, and the so-called classical world of familiar objects where this cannot happen.Moreover, with Hameroff, he has proposed a theory that the switch from quantum to classical states occurs inside certain proteins call micro tubules. The brain's micro tubules, they argue, are ideally situated to perform this transformation, producing 'occasions of experience' that with the flow of time give rise to stream of consciousness thought.The notion came under vigorous attack."

Glenn Miller.

"It is very difficult to avoid this conclusion of 'emergent dualism' (chortle, chortle)with all the proposals floating around (reviewed above). The mind as 'immaterial'--in the sense of classical matter--is also accepted as a brute fact! Consider some of the statements and concessions (bold, my emphasis; italics, their emphasis):"

The introductory chapter in CS:TSC (p.1) opens with this statement:
"This volume begins with a series of philosophical chapters devoted mostly to the explanatory chasm between reductionist mechanisms and the subjective phenomenon of conscious experience. The chasm is do daunting that many support 'dualism', the notion that the mind is distinct from the brain and merely interacts with it."

Erich Harth, (Univ. of Syracuse, Dept. of Physics) [CS:TSC:611ff] notes that dualism is "not quite as dead as some would have us believe" (p.619), and then goes on to show that the most common objection to old-style dualism just doesn't wash [p.620]:


"Physicists, predictably [in a quantum wave probability sense, of course..;>)], are very open to this interpenetration of mind/matter: Compare the free-floating quote of noted physicist Feynman:" "Mind must be a sort of dynamical pattern, not so much founded in a neurobiological substrate as floating above it, independent of it" [cited in CS:DP:24]

Hameroff's model [CS:JCS:108] claims to be both reductionist AND dualist:

"As a model of consciousness, quantum coherence in microtubules is reductionist in that a specific molecular structure is featured as a site for consciousness. It is seemingly dualist in that the quantum realm (which is actually intrinsic to all of nature) is seen to act through microtubules."

Atmanspacher gives his view that the dual-world is just this 'bigger' one-world [JCS:1.2.168-9]:

"One of the hot topics in this respect concerns the question of whether material reality and its non-material counterpart can indeed be considered as independent from each other as the concept of Cartesian dualism assumes. The most precise and best formalized indications for a negative answer to this question can be found in quantum theory."

"Two important concepts that present evidence against any ultimate relevance of the corresponding dualism are the concepts of complexity and meaning. In addition to quantum theory, these concepts reflect tendencies to bridge the Cartesian cut from both realms, that of physics as well as that of cognitive science..."

Grush and Churchland [CS:JCS:2.1.10-29] express amazement at how many 'intellectual materials' seem to have 'strong dualist hankerings' (p.27). They talk about these 'residual dualist hankerings' as being a rather widespread phenomenon.

An interesting possible example of this is in Hodgson' book The Mind Matters. In the review of the book [JCS:2.1.93], Squires makes this comment:

"Often I find in this book that the author is almost saying that within a person there is something that is in its essence not physics, but then he realities that this is dualism, which he feels should be avoided, so he tries to escape. These escapes are unsatisfactory."

Chalmers actually refers to his position as 'naturalistic dualism' and says that it does qualify as a type of dualism, but an innocent dualism [e.g. CS:JCS:2.3.210]

McGinn notes that "recent philosophy has become accustomed to the idea of mental causation" [CS:JCS:2.3.223]

d. Psychology of Religion.

See the Religious instinct argument where I show that a whole discipline arose, transactional analysis, based upon Abraham Maslow's theories of mystical experience. Documentation on that page demonstrates that psychology no longer approaches religion as suspect, but understands it as healthy and normative for human being, and approaches unbelief as suspect. There are also studies presented showing the benefits of religion for metal health.,

3) New laws of Physics.

In the NYT Quote from Chalmers above he proposes coming up with a new law of physics to explain the basic property of nature known as "consciousness." He is not the only one to propose this, as one can see from quotations of physicists in the consciousness argument. When theorists start proposing new laws of physics one can be fairly sure that a paradigm shift is underway. This is even more the case when the new law of physics is proposed to explain something that the old paradigm had reduced practically out of existence. The old reductionist/materialist paradigm reduced consciousness to mere epiphenomenal status and located it as brain function. It is the inadequacy of this understanding which has led some scientists to call for a new law!

In the NYT Quote from Chalmers above he proposes coming up with a new law of physics to explain the basic property of nature known as "consciousness." He is not the only one to propose this, as one can see from quotations of physicists in the consciousness argument. When theorists start proposing new laws of physics one can be fairly sure that a paradigm shift is underway. This is even more the case when the new law of physics is proposed to explain something that the old paradigm had reduced practically out of existence. The old reductionist/materialist paradigm reduced consciousness to mere epiphenomenal status and located it as brain function. It is the inadequacy of this understanding which has led some scientists to call for a new law!

This is a probabilistic justification argument; It does not seek to directly prove that God exists, but that it is rational to believe in God and that there are good reasons to. The argument turns on the basic historical fact that atheists have lost the ground upon which they dismissed God from science in the first place. In their book Lindberg and Numbers demonstrate that the moment at which this happened was when La Place said "I have no need of that hypothesis," meaning the idea that God created the universe. What he meant was that God was not needed as an explaintion because we now have naturalistic cause and effect, which explains everything. But the atheist has cashed in cause and effect to over come the Big Bang. Materialists are now willing to consider ideas like the self caused universe, Hawkings unbounded condition which removes cause completely as a consideration; or based upon quantum theory they are willing to accept the notion that causality is an illusion, that the universe could just pop up out of nothing. With that commitment they lose the ground upon which they first removed God from consideration.Now perhaps they still do not need God as a causal explanation, but in the Religious a pirori argument, and in the innate religious instinct argument I say that belief was never predicated upon a need for explanation in the first palce. Nevertheless, the fact still remains, the reason for dismissing God was the sufficiency of natural causation as explanation, with that gone there is no longer any grounds for dismissing consideration of God from the universe.I will argue that more than that is going. There is a paradigm shift underway which demonstrates a total change in scientific thinking in many areas and over many disciplines. That change demonstrates that the materialist concept is wrong; there is more to reality than just the material world. There are other aspects to the material world wich are non-deterministic, non-mechanistic, and which call into question the whole presupposition of excluding the supernatural from consideration.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Atheists hide behind their er zots view of science


The other day that Runamuck guy was so shocked and outraged because he had never heard of Thomas Kuhn. Today a know nothing sent a comment saying something stupid like "only whut has been proved by science is worth thinking or know'n about." I can just imagine what that little know nothing thinks science is about. So many of these atheists think that science is fool proof unquestionable window on absolute truth and they hide behind numbers and the mystique of science to protect them from the angry god they always secretly feel is watching.

The idea that science can tell us anything the foundations of reality is insanity. To be outraged because someone sees through the facade is quite telling. Why do you think they aren't really capable of living up their ideal as "free thinkers?" Free thinking is hardly flying into hysterics becomes someone wants to read metaphysics. What they really mean by science is not knowledge of the natural world gained by systematic observations but an ideology that protects them from the pang of conscience and conviction that stab at their hearts when the thought crosses their mind that they betrayed their parents their traditions their culture and redeemer.

At first the moderns wanted to be modern. They wanted to free themselves from duty and obligation and be unfettered in their screwing. The postmoderns opened the abyss to the bottomless pit of chaos and it scared the hell out of the scientsitic types because they realized that they needed God. Chaos is too relative. They can't turn to God they've thrown him away. They turn to their counter fit god science to save them.

True science is neutral. It's not a tool for destroying religion nor is it's real function a hiding place behind numbers. Their failure to appreciate the limits of science is quite revealing because it means they don't really think scientifically. Real scientific thinking is not a barrage of slogans and ploys designed to crush the self esteem of people who like philosophy. To truly think scientifically they would have to admit to the limits of science and not seek to impose science upon other domains. The atheist ideology of science seeks to impose itself on the most private of feelings. One dares not to believe what is in the heart, but one must crush the desires of the heart to obey the facts and numbers of science. It's totalizing it seeks to control. It tells us "you cannot believe in your heart. the heart is real, feelings are not real. One must believe only what science tells it.

Of course their devotion to real science is a falsehood which obvious when we look at how they treat real science. When they are confronted with science they do not know and science that supports any Christian position they immediately declare it "that's not real science." I don't refer to creationists. when I proved that a vast body of scientific work in psychology proves religious experience is real and valid and sets up the basis for a God argument, they declared all of psychology to be false and unscientific. They actually have no respect for science at all. Because they don't know or care about science. They have fashioned a god and church in the image of science.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Supernatural Empirically Proved


I am sicking of atheists saying "there's no proof for the supernatural." Yes, there is! it is proven.

To answer this question we must know what is meant by "supernatural." Thus part I will deal with the issue of defintion and the logic of evidence, part II with actual empirical evidence.

On CARM atheist board Apostate Abe commenting on post by Occam 1/3/08

Abe says: "I was made aware of a post that Occam made back in August. He was challenged by Matt Slick to give reasons for being an atheist. He gave three reasons, and the second one was this:"

Originally Posted by Occam View Post
2) It's impossible in principle to find empirical evidence that could count as a warrant for belief in the supernatural.
Suppose tonight you look up at the sky and see that the stars have all shifted. Now, in consecutive constellations, the words "MATT SLICK, I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD." are spelled out above your house. Evidence for a supernatural intervention? Occam's razor says no. There are other, more parsimonious, explanations for this phenomenon. The kids down the block may have set up a big black tent over your house, poking holes for the stars and shining light through the holes, to give but one example. The fact is, there will always be an explanation for a given empirical phenomenon that doesn't invoke the supernatural. Even if there wasn't, you would still be perfectly justified in saying, "I don't know why it happened. Let's try to find out!" and then going to look for a natural explanation.

Is it impossible in principle? If the stars shifted would that not be good indication? This is an absurdity for several reasons, but before listing them, the major point I want to prove here is that it is easy to give empirical evidence of the Supernatural and I do it all the time. But before we can can understand this several things have to be in place:

(1) The concept of the Supernatural which most atheists reject is not the concept the Chruch teaches as Supernatural, and it is not which Christian mystics first began calling "supernature" with Dionysus the Areopoagite the 500's.

(2) If the stars shifted it would certainly be evidence of supernatural power, especially they spelled out a Biblical message; of course it would be easy to verify that the stars had actually shifted, there would be no danger of being food by children that would be quite easy to verify. The star painted tarp would be detected very quickly.

(3) The extent to which one might raise doubt as to the origin of this miracle would be the same extent to which one can doubt own existence, or the rising of the sun tomorrow.

(4) All Occam has really done here is to demonstrate the impossibility of proving anything.

That kind of sophomoric argument is not impressive. Yes we can doubt anything, has za! Is that really a reason to doubt God? This is the kind of amazing realization that fascinates philosophy 101 students when they are Freshmen.

But wait Occam is not through:

There will, I fear, be accusations that I'm irrationally, indefensibly biased against the use of the supernatural as an explanation. I will be accused of constructing this principle just for the sake of closing my eyes to any and all evidence. That simply isn't the case, and to demonstrate that it isn't I will give the basis for the argument here: my argument above is based upon the following principle: any explanation for a phenomenon that doesn't invoke violations of natural regularities will be more parsimonious than one that does. This principle is clearly valid.

Actually, this principle is clearly circular. All he's really said is "you can't prove the supernatural because its not naturalistic and so by definition it can't exist because we can only accept naturalistic concepts as existent." Where does he say? when he says anything that doesn't evoke violations of natural regularity, he's actaullyk saying Only natural regularities are valid as existent. which is the same as saying (just the reverse order of putting it) any supernatural order has to be ignored from reality a prori. Hence all he has really said is "there can't be empirical evidence of the supernatural because by definition we wont allow it!"

Thus his dictum is merely circular: there is not proof of the SN because it's excluded by the rules,and the rules exclude it because there's no proof of it. How could there be proof of it when you don't allow to begin with? Not content to just use circular reasoning, Occam argues from analogy:

Your wallet goes missing, what's more likely: fairies stole it, or there was a massive CIA conspiracy to take your lunch money? Convoluted as the second one sounds, it is the more parsimonious of the two. The fact is that there is no rational, objective criterion by which to say that an empirical event was supernaturally caused. So, we must now constrict our search for God-evidence to the realm of the a priori.

This is argument from analogy because he expects us to believe that sense this case has a parsimonious naturalism then all cases of parsimonious naturalism must be true. Of course this case is merely defend as true because we are told up front that all naturalistic causes must be more rational than supernatural regardless of how inane they are. What Occam says sounds logical to an atheist, because atheists don't think about logic, they think about opinion. They think 'O I don't believe in faeries, we know the CIA exists, even thought hey wouldn't want your lunch money that makes more sense than faeries. The total lack of evidence for faeries is a fine reason not to believe in them, that is why the CIA is a more parsimonious answer, not because its' naturalistic and faeries are supernatural. We know that the CIA exists, even though ti probably doesn't need lunch money. We don't know that faeries exist, thus they are not as logical a solution. We can't say that because fairies are less parsimonious than the CIA therefore supernatural is less parsimonious than naturalistic cause and effect. In the Charles Anne's Lungs the supernatural is more parsimonious because no natural explanation can explain how lungs can grow back over night. This is just not supposed to happen.(scroll down to "an old case but interesting--Society for Little flowers". We cannot rule out evidence of supernatural on the premise that it's not parsimonious. That is backwards reasoning. Being parsimonious is not an argument to justify evidence, the evidence is required to justify parsimony. To rule it out on the grounds that a priori SN cannot be parsimony is just to pre judge the case prior to evidence.

Just another case of atheists confusing their opinions with logic.

Now Here Apostate Abe joins the discussion:

Reading that, it makes a lot of sense, yes? You don't want to believe it, but it seems true.

Yes, the argument is true for an everyday environment that can be made sensible by modern scientific laws and explanations. But, I profess an alternative. If the gods made themselves an ordinary part of the human environment, then that is evidence for the gods. That means that no single "miracle" can ever work to prove the gods for a reasonable person. But, if I were living in one of the magical environments of The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, Genesis, Exodus or the New Testament gospels, where miracles and magical stuff happen all around and all about and all the time, then the supernatural paradigms easily supersede the naturalistic paradigm, and the gods can more easily follow.

I was watching TV, and I caught the end of the comedy film, Bewitched. The heroine, who is a powerful spell-casting witch, is in love with a TV actor played by Will Ferrell. She feels guilty that she has hidden her powers from him, and she finally professes that she is a witch. Ferrell says, "Oh, a witch, well, don't be so hard on yourself!" And she says that she can cast spells, and she attempts to prove it. She magically puts a mustache on another guy's face, she instantly puts an umbrella in Ferrell's drink, she puts an image of her face on a TV screen and makes her talk. But Ferrell is convinced only that she is a very good amateur magician. She summons a broom from nothingness, and Ferrell thinks it is a collapsible broom from her sleeve. He examines it--the grooves, he thinks, are very well hidden. And then she makes the broom fly, taking Ferrell high up to the air along with it, and he is clutching the broom for his life. He is brought down, finally convinced, and is scared sheetless. He shouts, "Have you made me pregnant? I don't wanna be pregnant!"

I figure my reaction would be similar. There can be a limit to the naturalistic explanations, and a single supernatural explanation may succeed if it becomes normal.

That's a good point, but the fact of the matter is SN does overlap with natural because the definition of Supernatural is not some alien state of affairs such that one negates the other. Atheists think Supernatural means another realm. magic, psychic powers, the stuff Harris believes in. But in fact that is not what it means. It means the power of God to raise human nature to a higher level. That power, in and of itself is of necessity manifest in the natural realm and thus has to overlap in such a way that we find material traces of it. In fact we do, before turning to that I will deal with the definition of supernatural.

See the article: * "Christianity and the Supernatural" by Eugene R. Fairweather. in New Theology No. 1 by Martin E. Marty, Dean G. Peerman

second major source: Scheeben, Mathias Joseph. Nature And Grace. trans. Cyril Vollert, ST. Louis:Herder Book

then: Willey, Basil. The Seventeenth Century Background: studies in The Thought of The Age In Relation to Poetry and Religion. London: Chatto and Windus, 1934, seventh impression, 1957.

To see a complete Bibliography look here

Author(s) of Review: Paul L. Meacham

The notion of "Supernatural" is a misnomer to begin with, because modern people construe the idea as another place, an actual location that you can go to. It's the unseen invisible world that is filled with ghosts and magic and so forth. It's in the realm where God can heaven are, we suppose. But what they don't' realize is that this is the watered down, dilapidated concept. It's not even understood well by Christians because it was destroyed in the reformation.

The term "supernatural" comes from the term "supernauturalator" or "Supernature." Dyonisus the Areogopite (around 500ad) began talking of God as the supernaturalator, meaning that God's higher nature was the telos toward which our "lower" natures were drawn. St.Augustine has spoken of Divine nature as "Supernature" or the higher form of nature, but that is speaking of nature in you, like human nature and divine nature.

In the beginning the issue was not a place, "the realm of the supernatural" but the issue was the nature inside a man. Human nature, vs. divine nature. The Sueprnatural was divine nature that drew the human up to to itself and vivified it with the power (dunimos) to live a holy life. This is the sort of thing Paul was talking about when he said "when I am weak I am strong." Or "we have this treasure in earthen vessels." The weak human nature which can't resist sin is transformed by the power of the Godly nature, through the spirit and became strong enough to resist sin, to be self sacraficing, to die for others ect ect.

This was the "supernatural" prior to the reformation. It was tied in with the sacraments and the mass. That's partly why the Protestants would rebel against it. Austine (late 300s early 400s) spoke of Christians not hating rocks and trees, in answer to the assertion that Christians didn't like nature. But the extension of the natural world as "nature" didn't come until latter. The idea of "the natural" was at first based upon the idea of human nature, of biological life, life form life, that's what the Latin natura is about.

Prior to the reformation Christian theologians did not see the supernatural as a separate reality, an invisible realm, or a place where God dwells that we can't see. After the reformation reality was bifurcated. Now there came to be two realms, and they juxtaposed to each other. The realm of Supernature, is correlated to that of Grace, and is holy and sacred, but the early realm is "natural" and bad it's myered in sin and naural urges.

But all of that represents a degraded form of thinking after going through the mill of the Protestant Catholic split. The basic split is characterized by rationalism vs feideism. The Catholics are rationalists, because they believe God is motivated by divine propose and wisdom, the Protestants were fiedeists, meaning that faith alone apart form reason because God is motived by will and sheer acceptation, the desire to prove sovereignty above all else.

The rationalistic view offered a single harmony, a harmonious reality, governed by God's reasoned nature and orchestrated in a multifarious ways. This single reality continaed a two sided nature, or a mutli-facets, but it was one harmonious reality in wich human nature was regeuvinated thorugh divine nature. But the Protestant view left Christian theology with two waring reality, that which is removed from our empirical knowledge and that in which we live.

The true Christian view of the Sueprnatural doesn't see the two realms as juxtaposed but as one reality in which the natural moves toward its' ground and end in divine nature. It is this tendency to move toward the ground and end, that produces miracles. A miracle is merely nature bending toward the higher aspect of Supernature.

but with the Protestant division between divine sovereignty, acceptation and will motivating the universe, we mistake univocity and equivocity for nature and supernature. We think nature and supernature are not alike they are at war, so difference marks the relationship of the two. But to make the Suepernatural more avaible they stress some aspect of nature and put it over against the rest of nature and pretend that makes it sueprnatuarl, this is univocity, it's the same. So will and acceptation, sovereignty, God has to prove that he is in charge, these are all aspects of univocity.

It's the natural extension of this bifurcation that sets up two realms and sees nature as "everything that exits." or "all of material reality" that sets up the atheist idea that supernatural is unnecessary and doesn't exist.

Historical Overview: SN and Rise of Science

The medieval Christian doctrine of the supernatural has long been misconstrued as a dualistic denigration of nature, opposed to scientific thinking. The concept of supernature, however, is not a dualism in the sense of denigrating nature or of pitting against each other the "alien" realms of spirit and matter. The Christian ontology of the supernatural bound together the realm of nature and the realm of Grace, immanent and transcendent, in a unity of creative wisdom and purpose, which gave theological significance to the natural world. While the doctrine of supernature was at times understood in a dualistic fashion, ultimately, the unity it offered played a positive role in the development of scientific thinking, because it made nature meaningful to the medieval mind. Its dissolution came, not because supernatural thinking opposed scientific thinking, but because culture came to value nature in a different manner, and the old valuation no longer served the purpose of scientific thinking. An understanding of the notion of supernature is essential to an understanding of the attitudes in Western culture toward nature, and to an understanding of the cultural transition to science as an epistemic authority.

The ontology of supernature assumes that the natural participates in the supernatural in an ordered relation of means and immediate ends, with reference to their ultimate ends. The supernatural is the ground and end of the natural; the realm of nature and the realm of Grace are bound up in a harmonious relation. The Ptolemaic system explained the physical lay-out of the universe, supernature explained its theological relation to God. The great chain of being separated the ranking of creatures in relation to creator. The supernatural ontology is, therefore, separate from but related to cosmologies. This ontology stands behind most forms of pre-reformation theology, and it implies an exaltation of nature, rather than denigration. This talk of two realms seems to imply a dualism, yet, it is not a metaphysical dualism, not a dualism of opposition, but as Fairweather points out, "the essential structure of the Christian faith has a real two-sidedness about it, which may at first lead the unwary into dualism, and then to resolve ... an exclusive emphasis on one or the other severed elements of a complete Christianity...such a dissolution is inevitable once we lose our awareness of that ordered relation of the human and the divine, the immanent and the transcendent, which the Gospel assumes." Yet, it is this "two-sidedness" which leads unwary historians of into dualism.

In his famous 1967 article, "The Roots of Our Ecological Crisis," Lynn White argued that the Christian belief of the Imago Dei created "a dualism of man and nature;" "man shares in God's transcendence of nature." This notion replaced pagan animism, it removed the "sacred" from the natural world, and with it, inhibitions against exploiting nature. Moreover, by the 12th century, nature became a source of revelation through natural theology. In the Latin West, where action prevailed over contemplation, natural theology ceased to be the decoding of natural symbols of the divine and became instead an attempt to understand God through discerning the operation of creation. Western technology flourished, surpassing even that of Islamic culture (although they still led in theoretical pursuits). Thus, White argues, medieval theology did allow science to grow, but at the ultimate expense of the environment.

The insights of feminist scholarship, however, suggest an even more subtle argument for the denigration of nature. Feminist theologian, Rosemary Radford Ruther, argued that there is an identification between the female and nature, the male and transcendence. Women have been disvalued historically through the association between female sexuality and the "baseness" of nature. Londa Schiebinger, calls attention to the fact that the Judeo-Christian cosmology placed women in a subordinate position. Gender was more fundamental than biological sex, and it was a cosmological principle, "...Men and women were carefully placed in the great chain of being--their positions were defined relative to plants, animals, and God." The subordination of women was predicated upon their position in nature. "Male" and "Female represented dualistic cosmological principles penetrating all of nature, principles of which sexual organs were only one aspect. One might suspect that the place of women on the great chain of being is indicative of the true status of nature itself in Christian ontology; an overt denigration of women indicates a covert denigration of nature.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The cowardly nature of atheist trolls

I have taken out language that is offensive (even to me even though I used it)> I apolgoize for making personal insults against individuals and using terms that demine people. On that same basis I rejected some comments sent in and then realized I am guilty of it too.

they had a little feeding frenzy mocking and ridiculing ideas that are way beyond their understanding. They had the fun of saying really stupid thins and showing how ignorant they are.I begin a rational exposition of why they are stupid. They insult my spelling (14 little trollish comments on it) then they run away like the little cowards they are.

What is the meaning of this? A whole generation of wastrel robots who can't think but are violently over excited and ready conduct a lynching at the slightest idea that contradicts their precious little ideological slogans.

Its' so fair to attack a dyslexic for spelling. that's like standing over the wheel chair of a person without legs and going "Run Damn! you lazy creator why can't you run??"

why would anyone want to be associated with a movement of angry violent and stupid people who can't think and have n scruples? And who are also cowards on top of it all.

Just like an old Western movie my own side as been pretty cowardly about helping. We are the majority 92% (believe in God). They are a small fringe group as small as the percentage of communists in the cold war in America (about 3%). It's time for us to stop acting like we are the fringe minority and they are the vast majority and started demanding that they show some social responsibly on the net.

Now don't get me wrong. I am not saying that makes us right. What it makes us is strong. I'm sick of their little stupid ass game paying attacks, mockery, ridicule, cowardice and stupidity. they are not strong, we are. why should we be pushed around? This has nothing to do with proving whose right. Its' about proving who is sick and tired of a band of literate no nothing pushing people around.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cowardly Bully Attempts Defense: Deabte with Runamuck


Yesterday I was taken aback to find that a cowardly troll had attacked by writings with a lot of insulting ignorant garbage and like the little cowardly bully most of the hate group atheists are, he mocked and derided ideas he doesn't understand. Nevertheless I've decided not to respond in kind but to actaully demonstrate to this miscreant why his ideas are lame and silly. So here is a post he made in response to my major post yesterday. It's posted in the comment section of my piece on Religious a priori.


If your statement is not infalsifiable, then how would one go about falsifying it?

He's talking about my piece on religious a priori. We have to clear about what can be falsified and what can't be. It might also help to understand why falsifiability is an issue. I am sure Runamuck thinks that falsifiability is some standard that scientists came to in the laws of physics. It is actaully the result of philosophy of science ( fact that atheist carm spit through their noses over if they knew about it, since they believe no good can come of philosophy of any kind, and philosophy of science is Philosophy which they hate trespassing on the land of their little tin god science). Falsification is actually the work of Karl Popper. The idea is that one can't actually prove a hypothesis but if it could not possibly be disproved then we don't need to take it seriously. So the very concept in the beginning only apply empirical things, it only applies to things that can't be proved. Hypothesis that don't need falsification would be things like "life is worth ilving." How could you prove or disprove that life is worth living? It's a totally subjective matter because it's in the eye of the beholder. To one man a life might be totally nightmarish but another might find life in the same circumstances entirely wroth it for whatever reason.

Atheists tend to think that subjective things a false and stupid a priori. Atheists fear and loath the subjective. But no one actually deny the existence of a life worth living. It can't be proved or disproved but it can't be ignored or treated as a myth. Some people find life worth living. Now belief in God is not exactly on the same level, but it's not on a level empirical things either. A statement is not nonsense just because it's not falsifiable. Atheists will often pretend that that's the case, or not pretend just they don't know anything about it. That's not what Popper said:

In contrast to positivism, which held that statements are senseless if they cannot be verified or falsified, Popper denied that lack of falsifiability makes statements meaningless. According to Popper, falsifiability is a general notion of creditability, even though he admitted that falsification is only method by which scientific theories may be formulated, criticized or refuted at all.

God is not merely another fact in the universe. Belief in God is not adding a fact to the universe. Belief in God is more like a world view. God is the basis of all reality, the ground of being, so while not given in sense data and not falsifiable, God is not an object of empirical investigation so the non falsifiability is not a minus for the rationality of belief in God. Falsifiability is not a turnstile of existence. It's not a test, or a job philosophical gate keeping to determine the reality of a thing just because it may not be falsifiable. This ignorance person runamuck is very lame to think that it is. This shows a complete lack of education in not understanding the ramifications of the concept. There are major wings of thought in the Western tradition that don't support the ideological slogans of the reductionists.

Nevertheless there are certain aspects of belief that are falsifiable. While God is not given in sense data and is not a direct object of empirical investigation, there are co-determinate of God which are empirical. A co-determinate is an aspect or a ramification of the existence of something that is indicative of that which is it's co-determinate. For example the a foot print in the snow is the co-determinate of the foot that left it there. A fingerprint is indicative of the finger that made it. If one were tacking the invisible man, you could not see the man but you could see his footprints in the snow. This is analogous for the situation with God. Not that God is invisible but is the basis of reality and thus off scale, can't be measured, not given in sense data. But aspects of belief in God can be understood as the trace of God. i talk about these in religious a priroi part 2 the continuation of the piece runamuck attacked with such ignorant rage. There is a huge body of scientific work that demonstrates the empirical validity of religious experiences. There are several arguments that can be made based upon this hug body of scientific work.

My arguments are not about proving the existence of God. They are about proving that religious belief is rationally warranted. Why is this? Because God can't be proved with empirical data, but it is more than rational to believe in God. this is because belief based upon religious experience is verifiable, falsifiable and demonstrated to be the best thing one can experience in life. I have made these arguments on this blog many many times so I wont go through that now. Just follow the links and you will see. There are hundreds of studies they prove that people who have religious experience are far better off than those who don't, their lives are changed dramatically for the better, then have long term positive effects. A great deal of scientific data demonstrates tat it's not a illusion or mental illness it's a real experience probably caused by something external not imagination or placebo. The crux of these studies is called the "M scale." It was developed by Ralph Hood Jr. of University of Tennessee Chattanooga. The M scale tells us when and whether or not one has had a valid mystical experience. It's so accepted by psychology of religion that it's become standard procedure to use it in all studies about RE. The M scale has been cross culturally verified in a a half dozen different cultures including India and Iran and others. This is a means of falsification. IF God were false if the trace of God were false (the "trace" being the experiences and their effects) they could not be validated by the M scale and the long term positive effects would not be detectable. Because the experiences are real and the effects are real and consent is about God we can assume logically that this the trace of God.

I will be happy to debate these arguments with Runamuck latter. I need to bracket that for now so we can get through the rest of his schlock.


I suggest you, instead of just reading apologia, read some A. J. Ayer. Essentially, it is meaningless to debate the subjective, because you cannot logically deduce objective truth from subjective premises.

Meta: Of course that's not insulting is it? He's just accused a Ph.D. candidate of only reading apologetic sites. But this ignorant one Dashes off the name of Ayer so proudly as though marking himself as a great thinker. I was reading Ayer when you were a gleam in the milk man's eye. Moreover I figured out what wrong with Ayer and put him down before you were crying for your mother to change your nappie. Ayer is not the hall mark of the Western tradition. He was refuted, debunked, and dismissed decades ago. You need to learn the name of and read the people who put Ayer away: Michael Polanyi,Fredrick Copleleston, Norman Malcum, and E.S. Masscal. When Polanyi pointed out that the strong principle of verification also undermined the existence of science, history and all other forms of thought then Ayer dropped downt ot he "weak principle." When he did that Msscal showed that he was only talking about his habits. So the strong principle destroyed everything and the weak principle was too weak. Ayer was discredited and considered beaten and is no longer important in philosophy. As to the statement about debating subjective things. I wasn't debating. you launched a cowardly attack on a mere article that had nothing to do with a debate. I'll never understand how these people who fancy themselves "free thinkers" are so afraid so stark staring scared to death of ideas that differ from their own.


Essentially, if you are claiming the existence of something that only truly manifests itself subjectively, you might as well be having a heated argument about which is the best type of ice cream. You can cite survey data, sales receipts, and even professional reviews, but it all depends on the individual's subjective feelings on the matter.
Meta: I noticed Runamuck was shocked to hear someone say that science is not the only fom of knowldge. IT's clear he is so badly read that he is totally unaware of major portions of Western thought, such as the axis from Schiller through Hegel to Marx, the Rationalists and Empiricists, Descartes to Locke, and the Existentialists and phenomenologists, the segment of thought from Schleiermacher through Kierkegaard, up through Brintono, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre and Derrida. This guy has clearly never read any of these people except perhaps some of the rationalists who he read as early scientists. What he's saying here is not a fact that he can back up with empirical data nd hard studies it's a slogan; it's a propagandist ideological slogan such as "the glorious five year plan," or "better dead than read," or something of that nature. He doesn't do anything to demonstrate the truth claim in the statement. The bit about ice cream not withstanding this is more telling is state of ignorance than anything else. But the fact of the is I wasn't debating anything I was just talking about ideas and I guess that's sent him into a rage. Atheists seem extremely bothered by the fact that there are people in the world, just a few left now, a merely 92% who dare to actually believe something other than believe.

The fact of the matter is while it is rather dubious to debate the existence of God (although that never stopped me form trying) it's perfectly logical to debate the co-determines because those are empirical and there's nothing subjective about the evidence. Its' empirical scientific evidence and there's not one single counter study.


And, like taste preferences, there is scientific research that is picking apart belief in the supernatural.

No there is not. I've demonstrated over and over again a vast aray of empirical evidence for the supernatural. The problem is the philosophizes change the term, they high jacked the concept and changed the term so they weren't dealing with the real concept of the Christian supernatural. No atheists has attacked that in three centuries because they don't know what it is. In their extraordinary ignorance they just don't read John of Damascus or Dionysius the Aireopegite. There is a quite a bit of empirical evidence for the Supernatural, but first you need to learn what it is.

There are evolutionary anthropologists who look at the evolution of morality;

Like what is that suppossed to prove? So moraltiyi evolves so what? I sense some how you think thts' some kind of big deal. Let us in on the secret.

anthrobotanists who look at the plants that sparked religious vision, which were once considered magical and now are known to just contain hallucinogens and dissociative chemicals.


There is no evidence that religion is the result of magic mushrooms. Even if it was that would not be a problem because there are people who support the concept enthnogens who think that magic mushrooms opens sensory receptors to God and that's just fine wtih them.


We have even determined which parts of the brain are active when someone has a "religious experience" (other than the drug-induced kind) and the chemical processes involved. The more science discovers, the less space your God of the Gaps finds hospitable.


ahahaah who was it who said there's nothing more cleched than a young man who has discovered an old idea and thinks he's the first to think of it? This notion hold no toror for me or any other believer. anyone who has done his research knows that the major researchrs in the feidld are far from believing that they have disproved religious experince. Newberg in Why God Wont Go Away tells that if God wishes to communicate with us in any way he would either have to use brain chemistry or he would have to create a whole knew communication process. We do not see the wrold directly in an unmediated state. Our brains re-write our perceptions. Empiricism is stupid in that it could not be more wrong, we do not see the world i a pure unbaised state. Our brains rewrite it for us they use brain chemistry to do it so we have to expect that God not no God. We should expect to find brain chemicals just as surely if there is a God as if there wasn't. So that doesn't prove a damn thing.

We do not find is studies claiming to create religious experience using the M scale to prove they did it. That's crucial because the M scale is the only one that has been cross culturally validated. that means the other aren't measuring mystical experience at all and they can't prove they have ever produced it. None of those those studies prove that RE originates through brain chemistry. they most they could ever prove is that either it originates nationalistically or God uses the brain chmeistry which we would have to anyway. So it doesn't prove a thing.

Newberg: Why God Wont Go Away:

A skeptic might suggest that a biological origin to all spiritual longings and experiences, including the universal human yearning to connect with something divine, could be explained as a delusion caused by the chemical misfiring of a bundle of nerve cells. But …After years of scientific study, and careful consideration of the a neurological process that has evolved to allow us humans to transcend material existence and acknowledge and connect with a deeper, more spiritual part of ourselves perceived of as an absolute, universal reality that connects us to all that is.(157-172)

Newberg again:

…Tracing spiritual experience to neurological behavior does not disprove its realness. If God does exist, for example, and if He appeared to you in some incarnation, you would have no way of experiencing His presence, except as part of a neurologically generated rendition of reality. You would need auditory processing to hear his voice, visual processing to see His face, and cognitive processing to make sense of his message. Even if he spoke to you mystically, without words, you would need cognitive functions to comprehend his meaning, and input form the brain’s emotional centers to fill you with rapture and awe. Neurology makes it clear: there is no other way for God to get into your head except through the brain’s neural pathways. Correspondingly, God cannot exist as a concept or as reality anyplace else but in your mind. In this sense, both spiritual experiences and experiences of a more ordinary material nature are made real to the mind in the very same way—through the processing powers of the brain and the cognitive functions of the mind. Whatever the ultimate nature of spiritual experience might be—weather it is in fact an actual perception of spiritual reality—or merely an interpretation of sheer neurological function—all that is meaningful in human spirituality happens in the mind. In other words, the mind is mystical by default.


As Chris Hitchins once said:

That which can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof

Arguing from subjective experience is very weak indeed.

He thinks he's going to impress me by quoting the great fools Wanna be.