Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The Causal linkage in my God argumemts

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In the comment section of Monday's post (2/6/17) our Friend  "Skepie" says "... then there's your 200 studies. You draw inferences from these that are not scientifically justified. There is no causal linkage demonstrated between God and the observed evidence seen in these studies." This is a real strong indication that he's not paying attention. First, he really needs to read Hume because no demonstration of causal link involves actually observing causality at work. All we can observe are effects,  we assume the casual nature. The assumption of cause is based upon tight correlation and the assumptive of mechanism which basically involves a correlation there as well. In fact the assumption of smoking as a cause of cancer was made iwth no idea of a mechanism 40 years before a mechanism was nailed down. What we see in science quite often is theory accepted as fact based upon explanatory power rather than any direct observational data. 

That is not to say that assumptions are not based upon observations, the correlations are derived from observation, but there is no direct observing of causality. Skepie is assuming an idea that is the old atheist circular justification of naturalism: we haven't accepted any phenomena as evidence of God so far, there there is none, there this can't be it. So there is no evidence, then any assertion of evidence is just met with the assumption: "you don't know science.  To him science is accepting his circular reasons. 

If we establish a model for acceptance of ideas in science using historical examples we can see that the inferences I am making about God and religious experiences follow the same pattern through which Neutrinos were accepted as fact. This is a God argumnet so at some point you have to break out of the circle and say "hey there's a logical reason to accept a different conclusion."

The model is this: phenomena offers a very strong correlation between two observed variables, assumed to be cause and effect, The explanation of the mechanism is the only  hypothesis standing after all others are eliminated and it explains the phenomena while fitting into a valid place in a larger accepted theoretical framework. We see this model in the history of the neutrino, I repeat my history of the particle below to show this model at work in actual science.

In my Thomas Reid argument, epistemic judgement, I establish an epistemology that I think is intuitive and natural to our actual norms, then show that the actual assumption of the divine as the ultimate cause of religious experience (ie that it is an experience of the divine) fits the criteria we use for epistemic judgement about the reality of experiences. Thus. the explanation fits   a larger accepted theoretical framework. Since we use that criteria of epistemic judgement to navigate world it;s theoretically accepted at least philosophically.

The crucial factor that Skepie keeps missing is that I never argued that i'm proving a causal link to God but that belief in God as the cause is warranted by the phenomena and it's explanation in the larger scheme. Because there is no clear proof in weighing the evidence between naturalism and God as basic assumptions I present eight tie breakers that show clearly why we should assume God given the phenomena and the overall framework and it;s fittenedness as explanation, This is similar to the history of neutrino because the particle was not observed directly for 40 years but was assumed based upon it's assumption as explication for the behavior of other particles.

The claim that the studies aren't prove a causal link between God and the experience withGod as the cause is a fair question but the answer is obvious.

(1) the noetic aspects are communicate in the experience are about God,

(2) the essence of the experience itself is almost always identified as the presence of God

(3) in a large percentage of the toke the result of the experience pis religious conversion.

(4) mystical experience is the origin of religion its why we are talking abouit God where the idea of God comes from.

While it is true that this does not prove that the experience is really an experience of God's presence it certainly provides peima facie reasom to assert that it is. So at that point we have a reason to assume it vs an equal possibility that it is they result of  brain chemistry alone. That is dispelled by the eight tie breakers.

that takes care of argument 1, the co-determinate, in that argument the studies function as a documentation for the competent of what is experience

In argumnet 2 the the argument from universal mystical consciousness. the studies function as documentation that mystical expediences are the same they world over, across faiths and cultures. The argumnet is when this happens in anthropology they assume innate origins, but the tie breakers show that we can't assume any sort of inanimate nature to the experience (religious ideas are cultural), that implies a external reality is experienced.

In argument the studies provide documentation that the exercises fit the criteria of epistemic judgement that means we are warranted i trimmings them.

In each csae these studies provide the link needed to assert cause without having to actually prove God is behind it, That's I argue warrant and not proof,

Sorry for repeating it again so soon but here is the history of the neutrino again, Hey Skepie, knowing this history of science is knowledge of science yea, history of science is knowledge of science.

History of the Neutrino: 

Timeline on Neutrinos
"History of the Neutrinos"[1]

Discovery of the radioactivity
The first car's races (70 km/h maximum!)
Problem with beta radioactivity
Between two wars, people dance the Charleston and the Boston
Pauli invents the neutrino particle
Crisis of 1929...
Fermi baptizes the neutrino and builds his theory of weak interaction
Hitler gets power in Germany
First discovery of the neutrino by an experiment nue
Riots in Budapest. Indochina. Cold war. Atmospheric tests of thermonuclear bombs.
They were talking about them and theorizing and from the 1930s they didn't have a direct proof of them until 1956. For 30 years they did not have direct proof but they still assumed they could exist. They had reason to. But I have reason to assume God exists.

Atheists have argued on this point "but we can trust the inference." I'm saying yes we can but I also make the kind of inference for God and that can be trusted too for the same reasons. That's true but it also means we can trust inferences on god arguments if they done correctly.

a more detailed account:
Neutrino History:
From what we know todaymisters Neutrinos were born around 15 billions years ago, soon after the the birth of the universe. Since this time, the universe has continuously expanded, cooled and neutrinos have made their own way. Theoretically, they are now many and constitute a cosmic background radiation whose temperature is 1.9 degree Kelvin (-271.2 degree Celsius). The other neutrinos of the universe are produced during the life of stars and the explosion of supernovae.But the idea of the neutrino came to life only in 1930, when Wolfgang PAULI tried a desperate saving operation of "the energy conservation principle". The 4th of December 1930, invited at a physicists workshop in Tubingen, he sends to his colleagues a strange letter...
In February 1932, J. Chadwick discovers the neutron, but neutrons are heavy and do not correspond to the particle imagined by Pauli.
At Solvay conference in Bruxelles, in October 1933, Pauli says, speaking about his particles:
"... their mass can not be very much more than the electron mass. In order to distinguish them from heavy neutrons, mister Fermi has proposed to name them "neutrinos". It is possible that the proper mass of neutrinos be zero... It seems to me plausible that neutrinos have a spin 1/2... We know nothing about the interaction of neutrinos with the other particles of matter and with photons: the hypothesis that they have a magnetic moment seems to me not funded at all."
In 1933, F. Perrin shows that the neutrino mass has to be very much lower than the electron mass. The same year, Anderson discovers the positron, the first seen particle of anti-matter, verifying thus the theory of P.A.M. Dirac and confirming the idea of neutrino in the minds of Pauli and Fermi. End of 1933, while Frederic Joliot-Curie discovers the beta plus radioactivity (a positron is emitted instead of an electron), Enrico Fermi takes the neutrino hypothesis and builds his theory of beta decay (weak interaction).
[ Since this time, physicists have made a lot of progress in the understanding of weak interaction and we now speak about protons and neutrons, composed of three quarks each. One of the quarks of the neutron transforms into an one, producing the emission of a W boson, which decays into an electron and an anti-neutrino ]
The neutrino quest begins, but people had to be quite reckless and persevering in those years because, as soon as 1934, Hans Bethe and Rudolf Peierls showed that the cross section (probability of interaction) between neutrinos and matter should be extremely small: billions of time smaller than the one of an electron. This particle interacts so weakly with matter that it can go through the whole earth without deviation.[2]

[1] History of the Neutrinos

 photo frontcover-v3a_zps9ebf811c.jpg 

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Eric Sotnak said...

Before causation can be reasonably inferred, correlation has to be established. So could you please identify the two variables that are correlated? It can't be "God is correlated with experiences of God" since no observations support plugging in God as the first variable.

Mike Gerow said...

But he could just say "experiences of unity", feeling of utter dependance," "experiences of depth" etc, coldn't he?

Eric Sotnak said...

In which case the conclusion would be that experiences of type A are correlated with experiences of type B. What remains to be established is a connection to something beyond the experiences.

You can't say experiences of unity are correlated with experiences of God because what is at issue is exactly whether any experiences are, in fact, experiences of God.

Joe Hinman said...

those are all good points Eric but if we really thought that we we could not say plaything or anything beyond my mind.

a couple of things that think change the landscape. First, if by "God " we mean something on the order of a particular personalty you might have a point. But if by God we mean that term to refer to a certain kind of unique experience we something have that difference from all other experiences and that concept and name has been shaped by those experiences then cn correlate them, they are that thing we sometimes have that makes our being make sense and changes our lives. There is a great tradition in the literature of religion about mystical experience as the foundation of religion.

Secondly if because those experiences we equate God with depth of being then we ha e something to correlate a priori, we have beig and we know from living that being has depth and that is defined and makes sense as a result of those experiences that is correlation in and of itself.

Eric Sotnak said...

So, let's see:

The "depth of being" is positively correlated with experiences of type x?

I'm not sure how we would go about verifying the correlation in question.

I agree that people have certain kinds of experiences that they find to be transformative and otherwise valuable. I also accept that in many of these cases the people attribute these experiences to God. But what I am questioning is the extent to which we can objectively establish the claim that God is, in fact, the cause, since I don't see how we could even go about establishing the correlation on which the causal judgment is based.

Joe Hinman said...

The "depth of being" is positively correlated with experiences of type x?

I'm not sure how we would go about verifying the correlation in question.

I agree that people have certain kinds of experiences that they find to be transformative and otherwise valuable. I also accept that in many of these cases the people attribute these experiences to God. But what I am questioning is the extent to which we can objectively establish the claim that God is, in fact, the cause, since I don't see how we could even go about establishing the correlation on which the causal judgment is based.

I said the concept of God itself comes from such experience,and that you are trying to lose the phenomena.

People who don't have these kinds of experiences are less likely to have the alleged benefits, those who do have them give them same symptoms even if they explain them differently. Among those who experiences that kind of experience they have the Salem result,I don't know why that dosen't suggest there is an external real cause,

when that happens with colors we assume there really are consistent colors,when it happens with physical objects we assume there is an external world,

Mike Gerow said...

I think you have a point that it's hard to correlate perceptual traces. So a "sense" of something, a"meaning", a depth experience is fine....but what makes it X rather than Y? Couldn't a good lawyer or good poet always come up with a good case for Y?

I mean, take some one's experiences of "unity", eg. A person might feel like such an experience has to infer some kind of "something" out there with which they have been unified. But some others might just interpret it differently, more like unity of "nothingness", maybe like a vision of pure absence or the actual lack of even a self....which is kinda how such experiences tend to seen in some Eastern traditions anyway, and even in some obscure corners of Xianity

So, will this open up a can of worms for Joe....?

Joe Hinman said...

that's why I argue warrant rather than proof, It is warranted to believe that it' an experience of the divine, The the breakers prove that.

Mike Gerow said...

Well, I thought about this and decided there's no big issue here for you, really. If people experience some kind of "ineffable otherness" that changes them, then that still needs explaining. Doesn't matter whether or not you characterize it in terms of a "presence."


But maybe your argument could use a little tweak? See the other thread....

Mike Gerow said...

Oh Joe, I stumbled on a really cool question yesterday, given by a Buddhist master to Xians as a koan:

In the well-known phrase from Paul's letters: "it is no longer who lives, but Christ who lives in me", who is the 'I' that is being talked about?

Joe Hinman said...


Cuttlebones said...

It seems to me to be somewhat circular reasoning.
We have these experiences from which we extrapolate a concept of God.
Then you claim warrant for belief in god because people have these experiences.

Also what does it mean to say that "being has depth"?

Joe Hinman said...

The experience inherently contains God content even when people are not believers and not seeking, kt's not like you set out to believe and hen use that as proof, What you are saying would be like saying it's circular to assume what you see is real.

Cuttlebones said...

Ok so not circular. I still find it kind of sketchy but maybe that's just me.

What does it mean to say "The experience inherently contains God content"? What do you include as god content?

Joe Hinman said...

In my own experience the presence of God was ingratiating from everything around me. The airm the rocks and trees even the dirt,these things were not God but they were infused with God';s presence. I had been praying others have experienced such things without having prayed without seeking god or even believing in God.