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"
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.
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
Riots in Budapest. Indochina. Cold war. Atmospheric tests of thermonuclear bombs.
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:
From what we know today, misters 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.
 History of the Neutrinos
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