Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Review and Debnucking of Lawrence Krauss's A Unvierse From Nothing.

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The closest thing to a “smoking gun” for anti-God evidence is presented by Lawrence Krauss in his book A Universe from Nothing.[1] Krauss merely argues something that every Christian apologist on message boards has been dealing with since the late 90s, that is the notion that the idea that Quantum theory means that the universe popped into existence from nothing based upon the assumption that Quantum particles do the same. This is really nothing new. When I first became aware of message boards and of the strife between atheists and theists on message boards, they were arguing about this. Yet the book has be lauded by atheists like it’s their version of the advent of Christ. Almost as quickly as it manifest it was shot down again by a philosopher. I’ll come t that in a moment. Why Krauss’s book got the glamour and not some of the physicists a decade ago who were saying the same thing I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because they didn’t write whole books about it. In any case, Krauss argues that the eternal laws of Quantum mechanics produce particles out of nothing when the instability of vacuum states causes quantum fields to shift and produce different kinds of particles.[2] This seems like it’s blessed with the aura science and thus cannot be questioned, yet a philosopher dared to question. David Albert exposed the meaning of terms in this senero and exploded the whole project.
Albert first points out that tracing the universe back to some physical property or cause is not an explanation as to why there is something rather than nothing.

What if he were in a position to announce, for instance, that the truth of the quantum-mechanical laws can be traced back to the fact that the world has some other, deeper property X? Wouldn’t we still be in a position to ask why X rather than Y? And is there a last such question? Is there some point at which the possibility of asking any further such questions somehow definitively comes to an end? How would that work? What would that be like?[3]

Secondly, moving on form that difficulty, he points out that since the enlightenment science has always assumed that at the “bottom of everything” there is “some basic, elementary, eternally persisting, concrete, physical stuff.[4] Newton had it that this “stuff” consisted of particles. At the end of the nineteenth century it was particles and electro-magnetic fields. “And what the fundamental laws of nature are about, and all the fundamental laws of nature are about, and all there is for the fundamental laws of nature to be about, insofar as physics has ever been able to imagine, is how that elementary stuff is arranged.[5] The laws don’t tell us where the elementary “stuff” came from. The laws concerning quantum mechanics are not exception. The laws do not tell us where the fields came from. Moreover, every previous theory counted particles among concrete stuff and quantum theory does not. In quantum theory particles are understood as arrangements of fields. Some arrangement correspond to certain numbers and kinds of particles, come correspond to no particles.[6] This latter arrangement, Albert tells us, is what they call “vacuum states.” According to Albert, Krauss is arguing that the laws of relativistic quantum field theories “entail that vacuum states are unstable. And that, in a nutshell, is the account he proposes of why there should be something rather than nothing.[7]
In other words because the state of no particles is “unstable” (it’s hard to keep nothing from becoming something) “nothing” blows up into something so to speak. There are problems with this account. First, we have just seen, it assume a whole set up of laws and fields with no real reason for them to be there (the fact that none of the theory explains a real “why” I’ll put off until latter). Secondly, the issue of what is meant by “nothing” is the crux of the matter. When physicists say “nothing,” they don’t mean real actual nothing as in a lack of anything at all. What they really mean is vacuum flux, that this pre existing framework of law and field and the arrangement there of the and the sporadic popping in and out of prior existing particles. As Albert says, “Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff..”[8]This is most crucial because Albert is arguing that “nothing” in terms of no particles does not mean “nothing” in terms of now fields, or no laws. Thus “nothing” doesn’t mean “nothing,” it means something for which we still must account. That really blows the whole argument because it’s not a universe from nothing, it’s a universe form something else for which we must account, and can’t. So that means it’s just a rehash of status quo. The book originally was introduced with a media splash and created a sensation. Albert taking out the argument created anther sensation. Op ed writers and bloggers began crediting Albert with victory and a sense of hoopla began.
What would a universe from true actual nothing really prove? If it could be shown that the universe just started up, something form nothing (real actual nothing) there would be no way to really demonstrate that it’s not the Christian concept of creation ex nihilo. In fact that would actually fit the qualifications for the basic Christian doctrine of creation. There would be no way to prove it one way or the other because we could never go back to the other side of nothing and demonstrate that something isn’t causing this “something from nothing.” The impression is given the hype about Krauss’s book that there is some control that screens out metaphysical causes such as God. There in fact no such control. Now of course if this were the case we could not use that as an argument to demonstrate the existence of God. If we wanted to use that as a God argument we would have to push the logic of it on the grounds that something form total actual nothing is illogical and flies in the face of every single observation we can ever make about the real world. That would not demonstrate the reality of God. It might be a good conjecture but it would still only be a conjecture. At that rate it could go ether way. Yet it’s not disproof of God either. In fact, examining the arguments made by the three atheists expositors above, none of them actually says “here is proof there is no God.” Dawkins say “almost certainly” and Stenger says God is a failed hypothesis. Krauss imitates we don’t’ need him as an explanation. Something else is going on other than disproof.
What they are really getting at is not about proof or disproof but control of knowledge. They actually want to replace epistemology with ideology. They want to shut down forms of knowledge such as philosophy and phenomenology and replace them with the atheist fortress of facts idea. This is all really saying, all three books make the argument “we have the fortress of facts and theism has no facts.” Of course “facts” in this sense mean nothing more than the information that can be controlled by atheist expositors and that supports the atheist straw God concepts. It’s a switch from a global knowledge which includes philological thinking about science as a respectable partner in learning and centers everything on their realm of discourse. Thus Dawkins reduces God to the level of a biological organism, Stenger reduces belief to the level of a scientific hypothesis (even though belief is about something totally removed form the workings of the physical world), and Krauss asserts that knowledge of the physical world is the only knowledge worth knowing. All three are reducing theological ideas to a point where they take on physical attributes and become part of the scientific domain, thus they can be controlled by scientists.
What is even more blunt and telling is Krauss who gives away the whole store in an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times:
The illusion of purpose and design is perhaps the most pervasive illusion about nature that science has to confront on a daily basis. Everywhere we look, it appears that the world was designed so that we could flourish.
The position of the Earth around the sun, the presence of organic materials and water and a warm climate — all make life on our planet possible. Yet, with perhaps 100 billion solar systems in our galaxy alone, with ubiquitous water, carbon and hydrogen, it isn't surprising that these conditions would arise somewhere. And as to the diversity of life on Earth — as Darwin described more than 150 years ago and experiments ever since have validated — natural selection in evolving life forms can establish both diversity and order without any governing plan.
As a cosmologist, a scientist who studies the origin and evolution of the universe, I am painfully aware that our illusions nonetheless reflect a deep human need to assume that the existence of the Earth, of life and of the universe and the laws that govern it require something more profound. For many, to live in a universe that may have no purpose, and no creator, is unthinkable.
But science has taught us to think the unthinkable. Because when nature is the guide — rather than a priori prejudices, hopes, fears or desires — we are forced out of our comfort zone. One by one, pillars of classical logic have fallen by the wayside as science progressed in the 20th century, from Einstein's realization that measurements of space and time were not absolute but observer-dependent, to quantum mechanics, which not only put fundamental limits on what we can empirically know but also demonstrated that elementary particles and the atoms they form are doing a million seemingly impossible things at once.[9]
Wait a minute, something’s wrong here. He’s taking a kind of thinking that is used as a tool to inform us about the workings of the physical world, and saying “because to use this tool we must assume the subject matter of the tool is all there is, that proves that’s all there is.” That proves nothing. Perhaps the subject matter of the tool is irrelevant to the consideration of concepts like “purpose” and “meaning” because these are not part of the domain in which that tool is meaningful. When the concept of the tool becomes the only form of knowledge then of course all other considerations must be put aside, by why should we allow that to happen? Actually science has not taught us “to think the unthinkable—that the universe has. No can it ever do so. To even ask the question is beyond the scope of science. To do science one must not assume purpose or meaning in the workings of the physical world, yet one need not always be doing science. This is truly what we call “ideology.” One idea fits all and all sense data must be herded into that rubric in order to be considered “valid.” It’s really ideological struggle between reductionism which seek to cut off all aspects of reality save those that can be controlled by reductionism, vs. the assumption that human aspirations are worth considering in some way other than reductionsitically. The driving force behind the fortress of facts is the assumption that only one kind of thinking can be pursued. This one idea of reductionism must control and filter all knowledge. This is nothing more than a totalitarian ideology.
Krauss really gets blunt about the ideological ramifications in interview. Ross Andersen publishes in the Atlantic an interview he had done with Krauss for another project. He entitles the article “Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete?”[10] Krauss had just come from Christopher Hitchen’s memoral service, and even he descriges as: “It was a remarkable event for a remarkable man, and I felt very fortunate to be there. I was invited to give the opening presentation in front of all of these literary figures and dignitaries of various sorts, and so I began the only way I think you can begin, and that's with music from Monty Python..”[11] Asked why the sudden public antagonism between physics and philosophy he answers:

Krauss: That's a good question. I expect it's because physics has encroached on philosophy. Philosophy used to be a field that had content, but then "natural philosophy" became physics, and physics has only continued to make inroads. Every time there's a leap in physics, it encroaches on these areas that philosophers have carefully sequestered away to themselves, and so then you have this natural resentment on the part of philosophers. This sense that somehow physicists, because they can't spell the word "philosophy," aren't justified in talking about these things, or haven't thought deeply about them---[12]

Philosophy can only have “content” in so far as it reflects the workings of the physical world? As though that’s all the content there is to have. That’s all there is to think about. Only science is about anything. But wait how is it that physics has encroached upon anything philosophy is about if philosophy a bunch of made up flights of fancy. Science was never about the meaning of life and philosophy was never about the workings of the physical world. It’s true that science used ot be called “natural philosophy” but hat was far from being the major section of philosophical thought. He seems embarrassed about not being in philosophy. He resents the idea that he can’t talk about the meaning of life. He can talk about the meaning of life he just can’t claim scientific authority to make pronouncements informing us all of the meaning of life, or lack thereof.
Here is his statement on the importance of philosophy:
Krauss: Well, yeah, I mean, look I was being provocative, as I tend to do every now and then in order to get people's attention. There are areas of philosophy that are important, but I think of them as being subsumed by other fields. In the case of descriptive philosophy you have literature or logic, which in my view is really mathematics. Formal logic is mathematics, and there are philosophers like Wittgenstein that are very mathematical, but what they're really doing is mathematics---it's not talking about things that have affected computer science, it's mathematical logic. And again, I think of the interesting work in philosophy as being subsumed by other disciplines like history, literature, and to some extent political science insofar as ethics can be said to fall under that heading. To me what philosophy does best is reflect on knowledge that's generated in other areas. [13]
He arbitrarily reduces logic to mathematics just because math is in the domain of science. We could just as easily relegate math to a subordination under philosophy on the grounds that math is based upon logic. Russell and Whitehead proved that logic is the basis of math, and since logic started as philosophy it would be more logical to put math under philosophy.[14] Besides formal logic is not mathematics. Moreover, major logicians such as Hartshorne and Plantinga who achieved authoritative status in the use of S5modal logic could, by Krausses logic, be seen as mathematicians and by extension of that association as physicists. Thus their takes on the modal argument for God must be scientific. Remarkably he actually attributes something to fields such as history and literature. He does that to parcel out philosophy. Of course this drive to end the very existence of philosophy is just a bid to take over knowledge so that one ideology prevails as the only way to think, it just happens to be the one in which Krauss is credentialed. He wants to pretend that philosophy is really just leeching off other disciplines when in reality he’s moving beyond the accepted domain of science to poach on the territory of theology, philosophy, ethics history and probably other disciplines (mathematics and logic). It’s also worth nothing that he missed the point on nothing in terms of the history of ideas. He claims it was the philosophers who re-write nothing and have constantly changed its definition when in reality it’s the philosophers who have continually defined nothing as nothing but science Newton scientists have been re-writing the meaning of the term to define it as “something.”[15]
A humorous exchange occurs when Andersen points out that philosophy offers a basis for computer science. Krauss says: “Well, you name me the philosophers that did key work for computer science; I think of John Von Neumann and other mathematicians, and---.” Andersen says: “But Bertrand Russell paved the way for Von Neumann..”
Karauss says: “But Bertrand Russell was a mathematician. I mean, he was a philosopher too and he was interested in the philosophical foundations of mathematics, but by the way, when he wrote about the philosophical foundations of mathematics, what did he do? He got it wrong.” So not only can we take him over as one of the science boys since he did math but (which would just as easily mean math is part of philosophy again) but he also got it wrong about math (yet that reflects on his philosophical side not on his math side, not real sure how that works since it would be the math side that got it wrong). Andersen remarks “Einstein got it wrong.” To which Krauss replies:
Krauss: Sure, but the difference is that scientists are really happy when they get it wrong, because it means that there's more to learn. And look, one can play semantic games, but I think that if you look at the people whose work really pushed the computer revolution from Turing to Von Neumann and, you're right, Bertrand Russell in some general way, I think you'll find it's the mathematicians who had the big impact. And logic can certainly be claimed to be a part of philosophy, but to me the content of logic is mathematical.[16]
Science guys are happen when they are proved wrong? I guess he must be ecstatic since Albert’s article? We’ll have to ask him how happy he’s been since his book was panned. It means there’s more to learn, such as the meaning of life and the value of philosophy. He admits logic is part of philosophy and Russell was into both it just eludes him that this also means philosophy is the foundation of computer science and math together that makes it the foundation of physics. Now that’s the “unthinkable” we should be taught to think. Maybe the fortress of facts is a house of cards and maybe there’s more than one form of knowledge in the universe? His answer is supercilious because a scientist being happy when he get’s it wrong doesn’t change the fact under discussion it doesn’t change the fact that scientist get it wrong just as philosophers sometimes do.
Kruass referred to Albert as “a moronic philosopher.” That doesn’t sound happy to me. Nor does it sound very acute. Albert is so moronic in fact he is not only a well thought of philosopher at Columbia he also holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics.[17] He might to reconsider his castigation of Albert when we take a deeper look at Karuss’s argumentation skills. He essentially gives away the store, and thinks he’s bested his opponents.

But I am certainly claiming a lot more than just that [something from nothing]. That it's possible to create particles from no particles is remarkable---that you can do that with impunity, without violating the conservation of energy and all that, is a remarkable thing. The fact that "nothing," namely empty space, is unstable is amazing. But I'll be the first to say that empty space as I'm describing it isn't necessarily nothing, although I will add that it was plenty good enough for Augustine and the people who wrote the Bible. For them an eternal empty void was the definition of nothing, and certainly I show that that kind of nothing ain't nothing anymore.[18]

That’s really the point Albert made and he says this as though he just doesn’t understand the opponent’s argument. He does bring up the issue of St. Augustine and creation ex-nihilo. He doesn’t seem to get that the issue cuts both ways. Yet the Christian is not something from nothing, it doesn’t post that the universe just popped into being from true absolute nothing without a cause and for no reason. He admits that his “nothing” is actually something, and something must be explained, something must have caused it. What could that something be but God? That would be the argument. He’s not answering it by throughing back the issues ex-nihilo misunderstood (minus God) then admitting that his own views leaves an origin form an unexplained “Something.” Andersen raises the prospect that he’s arguing physics with Saint Augustine (who presumably worked form Aristotelian physics thus making his view 2000 years out of date). Krauss states:

It might be more interesting than debating some of the moronic philosophersthat have written about my book. Given what we know about quantum gravity, or what we presume about quantum gravity, we know you can create space from where there was no space. And so you've got a situation where there were no particles in space, but also there was no space. That's a lot closer to "nothing."
But of course then people say that's not "nothing," because you can create something from it. They ask, justifiably, where the laws come from. And the last part of the book argues that we've been driven to this notion---a notion that I don't like---that the laws of physics themselves could be an environmental accident. On that theory, physics itself becomes an environmental science, and the laws of physics come into being when the universe comes into being. And to me that's the last nail in the coffin for "nothingness."[19]

He seems not to understand what these “moronic philosophers” are driving at. He keeps talking like he’s proved something if he shows that there is no “nothing” but in fact that’s the only way his argument would work. If no actual nothing then he has no argument at all. Then he’s just saying “the universe came from something that we can’t account for.” Implication: it might have needed God to create it. It only appears to be that God is unnecessary if things can spontaneously pop up out of true absolute nothing. Even that would not be proof since we can’t prove there really is no cause. Yet if we could prove that that would be the only real way to prove that God is not needed or not present. The real answer he has that might work is based upon pure speculation. He appeals to natural law and a supposition not in evidence that they are some kind of accident. This just puts the atheist back at square one saying “maybe there could be an alterative to God, maybe.”


[1] Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: Why There is something Rather Than Nothing. New York, NY: Free press, a division of Simon and Schuster, 2012.
[2] Ibid 189.
[3] David Albert, “On the Origin of Everything ‘a Universe form Nothing’ by Lawrence Krauss,” New York Times Sunday Book Review (March 23, 2012). On line version URL:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html visited June 20, 2012. David Albert also has a Ph.D. in theoretical phsyics.
[4] ibid.
[5] ibid
[6] ibid
[7] ibid
[8] ibid
[9] Lawrence M. Krause, “A Universe Without Purpose.” Los Angeles Times, Opinion. (April 1, 2012). On line copy URL: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-krauss-cosmology-design-universe-20120401,0,4136597.story visited 7/2/12.
[10] Ross Andersen, “Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete?” The Atlantic (April 23, 2012). Pm et 396. Online URL: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203/ visited 7/2/12.
[11] Ibid.
[12] ibid.
[13] ibid.
[14] Principia (find)
[15] find
[16] Krauss in Andersen, ibid.
[17] Massimo Pigliucci, “Lawrence Krauss Another Physicist with an Anti-Philosophy Complex,” Rationally Speaking, blog. URL: http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2012/04/lawrence-krauss-another-physicist-with.html visited 7/4/12
Massimo Pigluicci is a philosopher at City University of New York..
[18] Krauss In Andersen, ibid.
[19] ibid

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Joe: Krauss merely argues something that every Christian apologist on message boards has been dealing with since the late 90s, that is the notion that the idea that Quantum theory means that the universe popped into existence from nothing based upon the assumption that Quantum particles do the same.

The point about quantum particles popping nto existence is that it gives a precedent. We can no longer say that something cannot just pop into existence, because we know that that does happen.

That is to say, it des not support the view that the universe popped into existence, but it does refute the view that it cannot.

Joe, quoting Albert: What if he were in a position to announce, for instance, that the truth of the quantum-mechanical laws can be traced back to the fact that the world has some other, deeper property X? Wouldn’t we still be in a position to ask why X rather than Y? And is there a last such question? Is there some point at which the possibility of asking any further such questions somehow definitively comes to an end? How would that work? What would that be like?

So it is as bad as theology then. Why X rather than Y applies just as much to God.

Joe: Secondly, moving on form that difficulty, he points out that since the enlightenment science has always assumed that at the “bottom of everything” there is “some basic, elementary, eternally persisting, concrete, physical stuff.”

And theology assumes there is God. Where does God come from? There are all sorts of ways to get around there; well, we can use them for "stuff" too. It is eternal, etc.

Joe: That really blows the whole argument because it’s not a universe from nothing, it’s a universe form something else for which we must account, and can’t.

So like theology; a universe from God, but we cannot account for God.

Joe: They actually want to replace epistemology with ideology.

That is quite a claim. Sounds more like the sort of thing religion does than science, to be honest.

Pix

7th Stooge said...

But if there is a GOd answering to something like the description of the classical Western Christian tradition, then God is necessary and is characterized by aseity, which would mean that such a God would be different in kind form a universe or multiverse. Doesn't mean that there is such a God, but IF there is, then he wouldn't call for the same kind of explanation as a universe.

Anonymous said...

Then all we need do is attribute necessity and aseity to the starting condition of the universe, and we are fine. No need for an explanation for us either.

Pix

Joe Hinman said...

7th Stooge said...
But if there is a GOd answering to something like the description of the classical Western Christian tradition, then God is necessary and is characterized by aseity, which would mean that such a God would be different in kind form a universe or multiverse. Doesn't mean that there is such a God, but IF there is, then he wouldn't call for the same kind of explanation as a universe.

very good argument Jim! How do you establish the kind of explanation it requires?

Joe Hinman said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Then all we need do is attribute necessity and aseity to the starting condition of the universe, and we are fine. No need for an explanation for us either.

How do you attribute aseity to the Big Bang? By definition it is a one time event based upon becoming. that's not aseity.

Joe Hinman said...

Anonymous Anonymous (Pix:) said...
Joe: Krauss merely argues something that every Christian apologist on message boards has been dealing with since the late 90s, that is the notion that the idea that Quantum theory means that the universe popped into existence from nothing based upon the assumption that Quantum particles do the same.

Pix:The point about quantum particles popping nto existence is that it gives a precedent. We can no longer say that something cannot just pop into existence, because we know that that does happen.


sure we can because there are still prior conditions for that event. It is not like one little particle up and starts to exist; you have a structure for a universe in terms of physical law and vacuum flux.

Pix:That is to say, it des not support the view that the universe popped into existence, but it does refute the view that it cannot.

How does it do one without the other?

Joe: quoting Albert: What if he were in a position to announce, for instance, that the truth of the quantum-mechanical laws can be traced back to the fact that the world has some other, deeper property X? Wouldn’t we still be in a position to ask why X rather than Y? And is there a last such question? Is there some point at which the possibility of asking any further such questions somehow definitively comes to an end? How would that work? What would that be like?

Pix:So it is as bad as theology then. Why X rather than Y applies just as much to God.

Joe: Secondly, moving on form that difficulty, he points out that since the enlightenment science has always assumed that at the “bottom of everything” there is “some basic, elementary, eternally persisting, concrete, physical stuff.”

Pix:And theology assumes there is God. Where does God come from? There are all sorts of ways to get around there; well, we can use them for "stuff" too. It is eternal, etc.

If you understand the God concept correctly you can't ask where God came from

Joe: That really blows the whole argument because it’s not a universe from nothing, it’s a universe form something else for which we must account, and can’t.

Pix:So like theology; a universe from God, but we cannot account for God.

We Don't have to. God is Being itself we know that being is. You are not willing to accord naturalistic aspects of big bang the same kind of eternal aseity that we are God. Because you will always want science to explaimn it. I don't ask science to explain God.



Joe: They actually want to replace epistemology with ideology.

Pix:That is quite a claim. Sounds more like the sort of thing religion does than science, to be honest.

buy my new book next fall when it comes out, God, Science, and Ideology

Anonymous said...

Joe: How do you attribute aseity to the Big Bang? By definition it is a one time event based upon becoming. that's not aseity.

It is the quantum field/vacuum flux/whatever that has aseity.

Joe: sure we can because there are still prior conditions for that event. It is not like one little particle up and starts to exist; you have a structure for a universe in terms of physical law and vacuum flux.

Right, and that structure has aseity. Easy.

Joe: How does it do one without the other?

Do you understand that something might be true, without also knowing it definitely is true? It is very common in science, but almost unknown in theology.

Joe: If you understand the God concept correctly you can't ask where God came from

Sure, and if you understand the quantum field/vacuum flux/whatever concept correctly you can't ask where it came from. It is a game we can both play.

Joe: We Don't have to. God is Being itself we know that being is. You are not willing to accord naturalistic aspects of big bang the same kind of eternal aseity that we are God. Because you will always want science to explaimn it. I don't ask science to explain God.

The eternal aseity is an attribute of the quantum field/vacuum flux/whatever, which, obviously, is the ground of being.

Pix

Joe Hinman said...

Anonymous said...
Joe: How do you attribute aseity to the Big Bang? By definition it is a one time event based upon becoming. that's not aseity.

Pix:It is the quantum field/vacuum flux/whatever that has aseity.

It doesn't it is presumably dependent upon the laws of physics:

Joe: sure we can because there are still prior conditions for that event. It is not like one little particle up and starts to exist; you have a structure for a universe in terms of physical law and vacuum flux.

Pix:Right, and that structure has aseity. Easy.

Joe: How does it do one without the other?

Pix:Do you understand that something might be true, without also knowing it definitely is true? It is very common in science, but almost unknown in theology.

You can;t answer an argument on that basis,you are just asking us to have faith that atheism is true



Joe: If you understand the God concept correctly you can't ask where God came from

Pix:Sure, and if you understand the quantum field/vacuum flux/whatever concept correctly you can't ask where it came from. It is a game we can both play.

I know it sounds to you like the two concepts are at parity but they are not, they radically different kinds of things, follow the answers below

Joe: We Don't have to. God is Being itself we know that being is. You are not willing to accord naturalistic aspects of big bang the same kind of eternal aseity that we are God. Because you will always want science to explaimn it. I don't ask science to explain God.

The eternal aseity is an attribute of the quantum field/vacuum flux/whatever, which, obviously, is the ground of being.

those are not the same thing being itself the most fundamental aspect of being and the stuff yo named is contingent upon laws of physics and physical structures


the concept of God would be more fundamental than the law of Phyllis since laws require a mind



7th Stooge said...

Then all we need do is attribute necessity and aseity to the starting condition of the universe, and we are fine. No need for an explanation for us either.

But that's an ad hoc argument by stipulation. These attributes have been part of the definition of the word "God" in the Christian tradition for well over a millennium. They are the essential attributes without which it wouldn't be God. There's nothing in the concept of "physical universe" that would suggest necessity or aseity. But relax, this isn't an argument that there is such a God, only that the concept of God is different form the concept of a physical unviverse. You're just parroting Dawkins.

Joe Hinman said...

Pix:Then all we need do is attribute necessity and aseity to the starting condition of the universe, and we are fine. No need for an explanation for us either.

7:But that's an ad hoc argument by stipulation. These attributes have been part of the definition of the word "God" in the Christian tradition for well over a millennium. They are the essential attributes without which it wouldn't be God. There's nothing in the concept of "physical universe" that would suggest necessity or aseity. But relax, this isn't an argument that there is such a God, only that the concept of God is different form the concept of a physical universe. You're just parroting Dawkins.

that is an excellent answer Jim


10:02 AM

Anonymous said...

Joe: It doesn't it is presumably dependent upon the laws of physics:

Ah, right. It is the laws of physics that have aseity and are the ground of being.

Joe: You can;t answer an argument on that basis,you are just asking us to have faith that atheism is true

Of course you can. It has nothing to do with atheism, it is just establishing that the argument is wrong.

Joe: I know it sounds to you like the two concepts are at parity but they are not, they radically different kinds of things, follow the answers below

They are indeed radically different kinds of things, but that does not imply the argument applies to one and not the other. You would need to establish both that it applies to your and that it does not apply to mine.

Joe: those are not the same thing being itself the most fundamental aspect of being and the stuff yo named is contingent upon laws of physics and physical structures

My bad. I should have said the laws of physics have all this stuff.

Joe: the concept of God would be more fundamental than the law of Phyllis since laws require a mind

The old "laws require a law giver" argument? Really?

The laws of physics are very different to, saying, the laws of the USA. National laws can be changed, they can be broken, they require police and courts to maintain them.

7th: But that's an ad hoc argument by stipulation. These attributes have been part of the definition of the word "God" in the Christian tradition for well over a millennium. They are the essential attributes without which it wouldn't be God. There's nothing in the concept of "physical universe" that would suggest necessity or aseity. But relax, this isn't an argument that there is such a God, only that the concept of God is different form the concept of a physical unviverse. You're just parroting Dawkins.

We do not know what the attributes are of the laws of physics; certainly seems possible they have aseity. I cannot claim it has had that for millenia, but then we are still learninbg about the laws of physics.

Worth pointing out that that learning is based on evidence. On what basis did church tradition decide the attributes of God? I would suggest it was equally ad hoc, it happened a long time ago.

Pix

7th Stooge said...

We do not know what the attributes are of the laws of physics; certainly seems possible they have aseity. I cannot claim it has had that for millenia, but then we are still learninbg about the laws of physics.

Yes, it's possible to think of the laws of physics as having aseity, but I think that sort of goes to the point. We may or may not attribute necessity and aseity to the laws but we have to think that about God for it to be God, regardless of how the concept of God formed.

We can easily imagine universes with very different laws while still being physicaal universes. I argue that it's not so easy to think of other Gods lacking these attributes (necessity and aseity) and still being identifiable as "God."

Anonymous said...

But we can easily imagine universes without God. Not so easy to imagine a universe without any laws of physics.

Pix

7th Stooge said...

It all depends on your presuppositions. I personally find it harder to imagine Godless, purposeless universes than lawless ones. But we're talking about the concepts. If we assume physical universe on one hand and God on the other, there's nothing in the first concept that compels us to think necessity and aseity like there is in the second. Even an atheist could concede that without giving up anything. He or she could still say that that is why the concept is absurd and that nothing instantiates it in reality.

Joe Hinman said...

that's begging the question. We think we know natural laws exist. There;s real explanation as to why,

Joe Hinman said...

Pix: Worth pointing out that that learning is based on evidence. On what basis did church tradition decide the attributes of God? I would suggest it was equally ad hoc, it happened a long time ago.

Biblical Revelation is the basic source. Then agreement with Aristotle as seen by Christian philosophers, what is had hoc about it?

Joe Hinman said...

Anonymous said...
But we can easily imagine universes without God. Not so easy to imagine a universe without any laws of physics.

Pix

Modern science formulated the notion of laws of physics from taking out the personality of God and leaving the calculation of mind with power,you talk like science arrived at it;s viewpoint in one afternoon with no knowledge of religion. In reality it slowly evolved out of religious faith with help of thinkers who regarded both as truth,

The Pixie said...

7th: It all depends on your presuppositions. I personally find it harder to imagine Godless, purposeless universes than lawless ones. But we're talking about the concepts. If we assume physical universe on one hand and God on the other, there's nothing in the first concept that compels us to think necessity and aseity like there is in the second. Even an atheist could concede that without giving up anything. He or she could still say that that is why the concept is absurd and that nothing instantiates it in reality.

I think the existence of physical laws is well supported by science, where as the existence of God is not.

Please explain why we are compelled to think necessity and aseity for God.

Joe: Biblical Revelation is the basic source.

Please point to the verses in the Bible that show aseity. I suspect they will be verses about God being the creator or the first thing to exist. Just as I would say for the laws of physics.

Joe: Then agreement with Aristotle as seen by Christian philosophers, what is had hoc about it?

So what is that argument? See if you can present it without it being as ad hoc as my claim.

Joe: Modern science formulated the notion of laws of physics from taking out the personality of God and leaving the calculation of mind with power,you talk like science arrived at it;s viewpoint in one afternoon with no knowledge of religion. In reality it slowly evolved out of religious faith with help of thinkers who regarded both as truth,

Chemistry developed out of alchemy, but that does not make alchemy true. Astronomy developed out of astrology, but that does not make astrology true.

Modern science proceeds in the absence of a concept of god.

Joe Hinman said...

The Pixie said...
7th: It all depends on your presuppositions. I personally find it harder to imagine Godless, purposeless universes than lawless ones. But we're talking about the concepts. If we assume physical universe on one hand and God on the other, there's nothing in the first concept that compels us to think necessity and aseity like there is in the second. Even an atheist could concede that without giving up anything. He or she could still say that that is why the concept is absurd and that nothing instantiates it in reality.

I think the existence of physical laws is well supported by science, where as the existence of God is not.

Physical law itself is support for God

Please explain why we are compelled to think necessity and aseity for God.

a mind that thinks the laws of nature would have to be uncreated,

Joe: Biblical Revelation is the basic source.

Please point to the verses in the Bible that show aseity. I suspect they will be verses about God being the creator or the first thing to exist. Just as I would say for the laws of physics.

God tells Moses his name:"I am that I am"

Bible verses:God is eternal Bible verses – What does the Bible say?
God is eternal; therefore, every promise endures for all generations.
Heirs – “...Christ is the mediator of a new covenant [agreement], that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance...” (Hebrews 9:15).
His Son – “...He [Jesus Christ] suffered, and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:9).
Hope – “...according to his [God’s] eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:11-12).
God is eternal; therefore, all that He provides extends into eternity.
Security – “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms....” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Strength – “...The everlasting God...will not grow tired or weary...he gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:28).
Shape – “Now we know that if the earthly tent [our bodies] we live in is destroyed, we have a building [celestial body] from God, an eternal house in heaven...” (2 Corinthians 5:1).
God is eternal; therefore, His purposes for His creation remain everlasting.
Redemption – “He [Jesus] entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption...who through the eternal Spirit offered himself...” (Hebrews 9:12, 14).
Renewal – “...We are being renewed day by day...So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16, 18).
Revelation – “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners...[that] Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:15-17)

Joe Hinman said...

Joe: Then agreement with Aristotle as seen by Christian philosophers, what is had hoc about it?

So what is that argument? See if you can present it without it being as ad hoc as my claim.

that's a whole development that saw Christian philosophy of middle ages develop out of knowledge newly discovered understanding of Greeks, it's a complex deovoepemnt. the Arabs had preserved Aristotle who was forgotten in the west the Christians rediscovered him in the contact with Arabs during the crusades,


Joe: Modern science formulated the notion of laws of physics from taking out the personality of God and leaving the calculation of mind with power,you talk like science arrived at it;s viewpoint in one afternoon with no knowledge of religion. In reality it slowly evolved out of religious faith with help of thinkers who regarded both as truth,

Chemistry developed out of alchemy, but that does not make alchemy true. Astronomy developed out of astrology, but that does not make astrology true.

My point was not that God must exit because science evolved out of Christian Philosophy/ But the concept of God and various ideas that pertain to belief in God still for the basis of western thought,I think that does point up the centrality of belief as necessary and rational.

Modern science proceeds in the absence of a concept of god.

It keeps coming aback around to it,

7th Stooge said...

I think the existence of physical laws is well supported by science, where as the existence of God is not.

We seem to be having two different conversations(?)If anything, you support my point that physical laws and God are different kinds of concepts.

God isn't logically necessary but I'd argue that he is ontologically necessary in all worlds. What cannot be otherwise than it is, is necessary, and conversely what can be otherwise than it is is not necessary. There's nothing about the laws to make us think they couldn't be otherwise, so they're not necessary. Without necessity, you can't get to aseity.

7th Stooge said...

Please explain why we are compelled to think necessity and aseity for God.

Because without those, God is just a big strong being in the world, not the basis, the creator, the sufficient reason for the world. God would not be an explanation for anything, he would be an explanatory dangler, contrary to Christian, western understanding going back at least to Plato.

Joe Hinman said...

These are excellent answers Jimbo.

The Pixie said...

Joe: Physical law itself is support for God

I will accept that, but it is not convincing evidence for God. The issue here is how sure we are that something exists. I think we can be very sure the physical laws exist. Whether God exists is far more contentious.

Joe: a mind that thinks the laws of nature would have to be uncreated,

Why is that ad hoc, but saying the laws of nature would have to be uncreated is not?

Joe: God tells Moses his name:"I am that I am"

That can certainly be understood to indicate aseity, but it is hardly clear.

Interesting that Moses' mother's name means "Yahweh my glory", so God was already known by that name before God reveals it to Moses!

Joe: Bible verses:God is eternal Bible verses – What does the Bible say?

So you think eternal implies aseity? So if the laws of nature are eternal, then they have aseity.

Joe: that's a whole development that saw Christian philosophy of middle ages develop out of knowledge newly discovered understanding of Greeks, it's a complex deovoepemnt. the Arabs had preserved Aristotle who was forgotten in the west the Christians rediscovered him in the contact with Arabs during the crusades,

Okay, so what is the argument?

Joe: My point was not that God must exit because science evolved out of Christian Philosophy/ But the concept of God and various ideas that pertain to belief in God still for the basis of western thought,I think that does point up the centrality of belief as necessary and rational.

I am not sure I get what you mean. Western thought is not synonymous with modern science; they are different things, if related. And modern science has abandoned its theistic roots.

Joe: It keeps coming aback around to it,

Really? You can point to some mainstream science that uses the concept of God?

The Pixie said...

7th: We seem to be having two different conversations(?)If anything, you support my point that physical laws and God are different kinds of concepts.

That would depend on how we are categorising concepts.

But my point was that when considering the origin of the universe, the laws of nature have the advantage that they are known to exist, whereas God is not.

7th: God isn't logically necessary but I'd argue that he is ontologically necessary in all worlds. What cannot be otherwise than it is, is necessary, and conversely what can be otherwise than it is is not necessary. There's nothing about the laws to make us think they couldn't be otherwise, so they're not necessary.

What is there about God to make us think he could not be different?

One possibility here is that the physical laws of our universe are a manifestation of the underlying laws of the multiverse. The underlying laws have aseity, and cannot be different. Their manifestation, our universe, can vary.

Also, worth pointing out that we are - of necessity - comparing apples and oranges here. On the one hand we have the laws of nature, which we are increasingly understanding, and on the other hand we have God, of whom we have very little understanding. It would be wrong, I think to reject the laws of nature as the origin just because we do understand them consideraby better.

Further to that, if God "cannot be otherwise" then I would expect the nature of God to be well establish. That that is not the case indicates to me that your claim is, at best, unsupported.

7th: Without necessity, you can't get to aseity.

Talk me through that.

7th: Because without those, God is just a big strong being in the world, not the basis, the creator, the sufficient reason for the world. God would not be an explanation for anything, he would be an explanatory dangler, contrary to Christian, western understanding going back at least to Plato.

In what way is that not ad hoc? It looks to me the same as my reason for ascribing aseity to the laws of nature, except it is an older tradition.

Joe Hinman said...

The Pixie said...
Joe: Physical law itself is support for God

I will accept that, but it is not convincing evidence for God. The issue here is how sure we are that something exists. I think we can be very sure the physical laws exist. Whether God exists is far more contentious.

there is no empirical evidence, you can't observe them it's entirely a matter of abduction.

Joe: a mind that thinks the laws of nature would have to be uncreated,

Why is that ad hoc, but saying the laws of nature would have to be uncreated is not?


the ultimate creative force must be final cause (or first cause),otherwise you will have an infinite casual regression that doesn't do anyone any good.

Joe: God tells Moses his name:"I am that I am"

That can certainly be understood to indicate aseity, but it is hardly clear.

U'd like to know what's unclear about it

Interesting that Moses' mother's name means "Yahweh my glory", so God was already known by that name before God reveals it to Moses!

so? still his name. Moses was raised as Egyptian so that he didn;t know his God's name doesn't mean no one knew

Joe: Bible verses:God is eternal Bible verses – What does the Bible say?

So you think eternal implies aseity? So if the laws of nature are eternal, then they have aseity.

yes.you couldn't have aseity in a temporal existence

Joe: that's a whole development that saw Christian philosophy of middle ages develop out of knowledge newly discovered understanding of Greeks, it's a complex deovoepemnt. the Arabs had preserved Aristotle who was forgotten in the west the Christians rediscovered him in the contact with Arabs during the crusades,

Okay, so what is the argument?

I just got through telling you it's not one neat little argument but the general range of thought leading to scholasticism. One example is how Aquinas makes use of that I am that I am to contract his answer to the OA the basis of his five proofs,


Joe: My point was not that God must exist because science evolved out of Christian Philosophy/ But the concept of God and various ideas that pertain to belief in God still for the basis of western thought,I think that does point up the centrality of belief as necessary and rational.

I am not sure I get what you mean. Western thought is not synonymous with modern science; they are different things, if related. And modern science has abandoned its theistic roots.


I'm a historian of ideas, clearly you are not. Modern scientists are so ghettoized,yes Western is synonymous with modern science and modern science did evolution of Western misdeal thinking. One example.of that is Whitehead;s statement that Christian thought prepared the world for science because it made the assumption a rational God , God of reason,creates the world by rational rules that can be observed,studied and predicted, provides the basis of scientific empiricism and laws of physics

Joe: It keeps coming aback around to it,

Really? You can point to some mainstream science that uses the concept of God?

Hawking theory of everything

Joe Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said...

Theory of Everything

I've already discussed the logos of the Greeks and the use made of that concept in various ways. Kant's categories and abstract principles that regulate our understanding of everything, which corresponds to Ops to some extent or perhaps transcendental signifiers. I spoke of Paul Davies and his assertion that laws of physics have replaced God in the works of modern physicists, and in his own ideal along those lines as well. There's another aspects in which modern physics sees a TS. In principle this concept of a single elegant idea that explains everything is what science has been working toward for years. John Horgan says of Steven Weinberg, “In his 1993 book Dreams of a Final Theory, he extolled particle physics as the culmination of 'the ancient search for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principles.' He predicted that 'the convergence of explanations down to simpler and simpler principles will eventually come to an end in a final theory.'”[17] A skeptic might question the scientific veracity or the idea of a single principle that reveals explanations built into the logical structure of nature. Yet in Dreams of a Final Theory, Weinberg tells us, “this is what our science is about: the discovery of explanations built into the logical structure of nature.”[18] David Deutsch a quantum physicist at Oxford produced a constructor theory that is a framework that unites all physical theories and eliminates the impossible in hopes of finding the basic principle that explains it all.[19] The concept of uniting theories and the meta law are organizing principles. The meta-law is a transcendental signifier, so where is the TS? That's the reality in the real world that these theories point to. The physicists are talking about things like gravity. The ideas in their minds that point to the TS are impersonal forces of nature; that single structure might well point to God and the physicists would have no way of knowing it or ruling it out. We have a couple of ways. One of them is to follow the logic of the argument. Clearly the premises are not ruled out by physics.





[17]xviiJohn Horgan, “Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg Still dreams of a final Theory,” Scientific American, (May 1, 2015) Graham isa marine biologist.
Online resourse, URL http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/nobel-laureate-steven-weinberg-still-dreams-of-final-theory/ accessed 9/20/15
John Horgan was staff writter, A teacher at Stevens Institute of Technology, Horgan is the author of four books, including The End of Science, 1996, re-published with new preface 2015; and The End of War, 2012, paperback published 2014.
[18]xviiiSteven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory: Scientists Search For the Ultimate Laws of Nature. New York: Vintage, reprint edition, 1994, 10.
[19]xixZeeya Merali, ”A Meta-law to rule them all: Physicists Devise a Theory of Everything.” Scientific American, (May 26, 2014) online rfesource URL http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-meta-law-to-rule-them-all-physicists-devise-a-theory-of-everything/ accessed 9/20/15.

im-skeptical said...

Hawking's theory of everything refers to the unification of gravity with other forces of nature into a single "Grand Unified Theory". It has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH GOD. Hawking was an atheist who believed that God was not part of the story of the universe and how it came to be.

Joe Hinman said...

Hawking's theory of everything refers to the unification of gravity with other forces of nature into a single "Grand Unified Theory". It has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH GOD. Hawking was an atheist who believed that God was not part of the story of the universe and how it came to be.

wrong know nothing, There has been a great deal of discussion about the relationship o that theory (yes I know what it says) to the God concept,


MetaList on Scinece and religion

Stephen Hawking's God

In his best-selling book "A Brief History of Time", physicist Stephen Hawking claimed that when physicists find the theory he and his colleagues are looking for - a so-called "theory of everything" - then they will have seen into "the mind of God". Hawking is by no means the only scientist who has associated God with the laws of physics. Nobel laureate Leon Lederman, for example, has made a link between God and a subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson. Lederman has suggested that when physicists find this particle in their accelerators it will be like looking into the face of God. But what kind of God are these physicists talking about? Theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg suggests that in fact this is not much of a God at all. Weinberg notes that traditionally the word "God" has meant "an interested personality". But that is not what Hawking and Lederman mean. Their "god", he says, is really just "an abstract principle of order and harmony", a set of mathematical equations. Weinberg questions then why they use the word "god" at all. He makes the rather profound point that "if language is to be of any use to us, then we ought to try and preserve the meaning of words, and 'god' historically has not meant the laws of nature." The question of just what is "God" has taxed theologians for thousands of years; what Weinberg reminds us is to be wary of glib definitions.


I know he;s not saying it;s the Bible God that makes no difference. They are still playing off of the notion of God to understanding the universe

im-skeptical said...

physicist Stephen Hawking claimed that when physicists find the theory he and his colleagues are looking for - a so-called "theory of everything" - then they will have seen into "the mind of God".

- Joe, that is religionist propaganda. It was a metaphor - not to be take literally. I will grant you that numerous religionists have misinterpreted what Hawking said. But Hawking WAS an atheist. Let me tell you what Hawking later said about his statement on knowing the mind of God (NOT seeing into the mind of God):
“Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation,” he said. “What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.” Read about it here.

Joe Hinman said...

im-skeptical said...
physicist Stephen Hawking claimed that when physicists find the theory he and his colleagues are looking for - a so-called "theory of everything" - then they will have seen into "the mind of God".

- Joe, that is religionist propaganda. It was a metaphor - not to be take literally. I will grant you that numerous religionists have misinterpreted what Hawking said. But Hawking WAS an atheist. Let me tell you what Hawking later said about his statement on knowing the mind of God (NOT seeing into the mind of God):
“Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation,” he said. “What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.” Read about it here.
5:11 PM

you don't have the sliest understanding what is being said. It does not disprove my point in the least if it is a metaphor, what i say still holds. They are re fencing their theory by a God concept.


The Pixie said...

Joe: there is no empirical evidence, you can't observe them it's entirely a matter of abduction.

Nevertheless the existence of the laws of nature is very well supported and established in all science. The existence of God is not.

Pix: Why is that ad hoc, but saying the laws of nature would have to be uncreated is not?

Joe: the ultimate creative force must be final cause (or first cause),otherwise you will have an infinite casual regression that doesn't do anyone any good.

Okay. Now answer the question. Hint: Your answer would have to include a comparison between God as the creative force and the laws of nature as the creative force.

Joe: U'd like to know what's unclear about it

It can be taken to mean something else. It does not indicate God is necessarily the creator, only that that he is what he is. I can truthfully say that I am what I am. That does not imply aseity on my part.

Joe: so? still his name. Moses was raised as Egyptian so that he didn;t know his God's name doesn't mean no one knew

Some Christians claim this was when God revealed his name to mankind. If you do not hold to that, then that is fine.

Pix: So you think eternal implies aseity? So if the laws of nature are eternal, then they have aseity.

Joe: yes.you couldn't have aseity in a temporal existence

School boy error in logic there, Joe. I question if eternal implies aseity and you respond that aseity implies eternal! Tell me, if being a cat implies four legs, does four legs imply a cat?

Joe: I just got through telling you it's not one neat little argument but the general range of thought leading to scholasticism. One example is how Aquinas makes use of that I am that I am to contract his answer to the OA the basis of his five proofs,

Again, where is the argument? Link to it if it is long. Just giving me the history of it does not cut it.

Joe: I'm a historian of ideas, clearly you are not. Modern scientists are so ghettoized,yes Western is synonymous with modern science and modern science did evolution of Western misdeal thinking. One example.of that is Whitehead;s statement that Christian thought prepared the world for science because it made the assumption a rational God , God of reason,creates the world by rational rules that can be observed,studied and predicted, provides the basis of scientific empiricism and laws of physics

None of which addresses the actual point.

Pix: You can point to some mainstream science that uses the concept of God?

Joe: Hawking theory of everything

That is not mainstream science and does not use the concept of God, so fails on two counts.

Joe Hinman said...

Hay Pix love the way you alternate italicized and regular font


Joe: there is no empirical evidence, you can't observe them it's entirely a matter of abduction.

Nevertheless the existence of the laws of nature is very well supported and established in all science. The existence of God is not.

granted, but they are two different kinds of questions.Religion lauds faith science does not.

Pix: Why is that ad hoc, but saying the laws of nature would have to be uncreated is not?

I don't remember saying anything is ad hoc. I said the idea of laws of nature proceeds from assumptions about God as creator Newton for example directly understood God as the author of nature. The philosophies in the enlightened just took the personality of God out of it and turned the power of God into naturalistic forces, the laws of nature

Joe: the ultimate creative force must be final cause (or first cause),otherwise you will have an infinite casual regression that doesn't do anyone any good.

Okay. Now answer the question. Hint: Your answer would have to include a comparison between God as the creative force and the laws of nature as the creative force.

If both alternatives are ad hoc the answer is going to be ad hock.It makes more sense that the cause of natures regularity and law like poisoner would have to be more than just another inspect of nature and would be something with the ability to plan and organize such as a mind,


Joe Hinman said...

Joe: I'd like to know what's unclear about it

PixIt can be taken to mean something else. It does not indicate God is necessarily the creator, only that that he is what he is. I can truthfully say that I am what I am. That does not imply aseity on my part.

Hilarious how anesthetists misunderstand that phrase;not "I am what i am" It;s i am that I am, THAT I am, in other words: I am BECAUSE I am. I am my own cause, eternal and self sustaining


Joe: so? still his name. Moses was raised as Egyptian so that he didn;t know his God's name doesn't mean no one knew

Some Christians claim this was when God revealed his name to mankind. If you do not hold to that, then that is fine.

doesn't say just a guess

Pix: So you think eternal implies aseity? So if the laws of nature are eternal, then they have aseity.

Joe: yes.you couldn't have aseity in a temporal existence

School boy error in logic there, Joe. I question if eternal implies aseity and you respond that aseity implies eternal! Tell me, if being a cat implies four legs, does four legs imply a cat?

I didn't say eternal = aseity I said neither eternal nor aseity could be temperal.


Joe: I just got through telling you it's not one neat little argument but the general range of thought leading to scholasticism. One example is how Aquinas makes use of that I am that I am to contract his answer to the OA the basis of his five proofs,

Again, where is the argument? Link to it if it is long. Just giving me the history of it does not cut it.

Joe: I'm a historian of ideas, clearly you are not. Modern scientists are so ghettoized,yes Western is synonymous with modern science and modern science did evolution of Western misdeal thinking. One example.of that is Whitehead;s statement that Christian thought prepared the world for science because it made the assumption a rational God , God of reason,creates the world by rational rules that can be observed,studied and predicted, provides the basis of scientific empiricism and laws of physics

None of which addresses the actual point.

which was based upon misunderstanding what I said,

Pix: You can point to some mainstream science that uses the concept of God?

Joe: Hawking theory of everything

That is not mainstream science and does not use the concept of God, so fails on two counts.

yes it does

1:06 AM Delete

Joe Hinman said...

do you understand Newton;s role in science? Or Robert Boyle;'s role. Those guys patterned their understanding of nature upon their belief in God.That's why we have laws in science because they believed they were studying the handi work of the law giver.

The Pixie said...

Joe: granted, but they are two different kinds of questions.

They are two different answers. The question is, how did the universe begin?

Joe: Religion lauds faith science does not.

Sure. Religion relies on faith, and so lauds it. Scienmce rlies on evidence, and so lauds that.

Joe: I don't remember saying anything is ad hoc.

7th stooge said it (and you said it ws an excellent reply). We have been discussing it since.

Joe: I said the idea of laws of nature proceeds from assumptions about God as creator Newton for example directly understood God as the author of nature. The philosophies in the enlightened just took the personality of God out of it and turned the power of God into naturalistic forces, the laws of nature

It is said that Kekule got the structure of benzene from a dream about snakes eating their own tails. Nevertheless, benzene is not mode of snakes eating their own tails. And science no longer has a use for the concept of God.

Joe: If both alternatives are ad hoc the answer is going to be ad hock.It makes more sense that the cause of natures regularity and law like poisoner would have to be more than just another inspect of nature and would be something with the ability to plan and organize such as a mind,

What makes you say God is not an aspect of nature? I suspect it comes down to how words are defined rather than a real distinction.

Why do we need to assume the ability to plan and organize? What reason do we have for supposing there was planning and organisation behind the Big Bang?

The Pixie said...

Joe: granted, but they are two different kinds of questions.

They are two different answers. The question is, how did the universe begin?

Joe: Religion lauds faith science does not.

Sure. Religion relies on faith, and so lauds it. Science relies on evidence, and so lauds that.

Joe: I don't remember saying anything is ad hoc.

7th stooge said it (and you said it was an excellent reply). We have been discussing it since.

Joe: I said the idea of laws of nature proceeds from assumptions about God as creator Newton for example directly understood God as the author of nature. The philosophies in the enlightened just took the personality of God out of it and turned the power of God into naturalistic forces, the laws of nature

It is said that Kekule got the structure of benzene from a dream about snakes eating their own tails. Nevertheless, benzene is not mode of snakes eating their own tails. And science no longer has a use for the concept of God.

Joe: If both alternatives are ad hoc the answer is going to be ad hock.It makes more sense that the cause of natures regularity and law like poisoner would have to be more than just another inspect of nature and would be something with the ability to plan and organize such as a mind,

What makes you say God is not an aspect of nature? I suspect it comes down to how words are defined rather than a real distinction.

Why do we need to assume the ability to plan and organize? What reason do we have for supposing there was planning and organisation behind the Big Bang?

Joe Hinman said...

The Pixie said...
Joe: granted, but they are two different kinds of questions.

They are two different answers. The question is, how did the universe begin?

that doesn't help much, Because we can;t observe it happen. You are going to read in the answer you want to find vis. God Question,

Joe: Religion lauds faith science does not.

Sure. Religion relies on faith, and so lauds it. Scienmce rlies on evidence, and so lauds that.

Neither determines the veracity of the other. Science is not the only form of knowledge so evidence for God does not have to be scientific,


Joe: I don't remember saying anything is ad hoc.

Pix:7th stooge said it (and you said it ws an excellent reply). We have been discussing it since.

ok:


Joe: I said the idea of laws of nature proceeds from assumptions about God as creator Newton for example directly understood God as the author of nature. The philosophies in the enlightened just took the personality of God out of it and turned the power of God into naturalistic forces, the laws of nature

It is said that Kekule got the structure of benzene from a dream about snakes eating their own tails. Nevertheless, benzene is not mode of snakes eating their own tails. And science no longer has a use for the concept of God.

that's not analogs. My argument is not that laws of physics prove God but merely the God concept is central to human understanding


Joe: If both alternatives are ad hoc the answer is going to be ad hock.It makes more sense that the cause of natures regularity and law like nature would have to be more than just another aspect of nature and would be something with the ability to plan and organize such as a mind,

Pix:What makes you say God is not an aspect of nature? I suspect it comes down to how words are defined rather than a real distinction.

Nature is the creation, The creation can't be the source of the creator



Why do we need to assume the ability to plan and organize? What reason do we have for supposing there was planning and organisation behind the Big Bang?

Universe demonstrates evidence of having been planed: law like regularity and predictable efficiency are aspects of planning

Joe Hinman said...

Joe: granted, but they are two different kinds of questions.

PixThey are two different answers. The question is, how did the universe begin?

I think that is a problem in assuming that God is just given in answer to question about the universe,that is ad hoc but it also omits an understanding of religious tradition and sells God short.That;s a question and method designed to give the advantage to science. That assumes God id made up to answer a question about the universe. By the time humanity got around to asking such questions in the context of science belief in God was ages old.

The Pixie said...

Joe: that doesn't help much, Because we can;t observe it happen. You are going to read in the answer you want to find vis. God Question,

Not sure what your point is, given your earlier statement that I was responding to.

Joe: Neither determines the veracity of the other. Science is not the only form of knowledge so evidence for God does not have to be scientific,

And, not sure what your point is, given your earlier statement that I was responding to.

Joe: that's not analogs. My argument is not that laws of physics prove God but merely the God concept is central to human understanding

You have moved the goalposts. Originally you said:

Modern science formulated the notion of laws of physics from taking out the personality of God and leaving the calculation of mind with power,you talk like science arrived at it;s viewpoint in one afternoon with no knowledge of religion. In reality it slowly evolved out of religious faith with help of thinkers who regarded both as truth,

We were clearly talking about modern science. Since then you have at every step tried to change "Modern science" to something considerably broader, in this case "human understanding".

My claim is that the concept of God is not used in modern science, even if it was used in its roots.

That said, I question how much of human understanding has the concept of God at its centre. I reject the idea of God, but do not find my understanding to be any less than that of a theist's. Do you think Christians make better scientists than atheists do because they have the God concept? Better philosophers? Better engineers, doctors, artists, authors, social workers?

Joe: Nature is the creation, The creation can't be the source of the creator

Okay, so let us suppose a set of things, X. X is the set of all things excluding the fundamental laws of nature. Thus, the fundamental laws of nature create X.

Also consider this: There is a set Y, which is the set of all things including God. Y is the creation, and the creation cannot be the source of the creator, therefore God is not the creator.

I am not saying either of these is necessarily true, but I am saying they are analogous to what you are claiming, and if you want to say they are wrong, you need to make clear why they are wrong, and why your analogous argument is not.

Joe: Universe demonstrates evidence of having been planed: law like regularity and predictable efficiency are aspects of planning

But they are also consequents of the laws of nature. Therefore the universe demonstrate evidence of having come from the laws of nature.

7th Stooge said...

But my point was that when considering the origin of the universe, the laws of nature have the advantage that they are known to exist, whereas God is not.

Exactly, because I would argue that they're different kinds of things that ought to be thought about differently.


What is there about God to make us think he could not be different?

Philosophers have been arguing about the nature of God for millennia, so it's not as simple as arguing over the meaning of "triangle" obviously. BUt I would say that there are certain essential attributes without which the thing wouldn't be "God." Doesn't mean all the implications of these attributes have to be thoroughly understood.

One possibility here is that the physical laws of our universe are a manifestation of the underlying laws of the multiverse. The underlying laws have aseity, and cannot be different. Their manifestation, our universe, can vary.

How do the laws of the multiverse change anything fundamentally other than the scale? You're still faced with regress, bruteness, or some mind setting the laws for some set of reasons.

Also, worth pointing out that we are - of necessity - comparing apples and oranges here. On the one hand we have the laws of nature, which we are increasingly understanding, and on the other hand we have God, of whom we have very little understanding. It would be wrong, I think to reject the laws of nature as the origin just because we do understand them consideraby better.

Depends on what you mean by "origin." Only one type of "origin" that physical science can entertain.

Further to that, if God "cannot be otherwise" then I would expect the nature of God to be well establish. That that is not the case indicates to me that your claim is, at best, unsupported.

As far as these one or two essential features.

7th: Without necessity, you can't get to aseity.

Talk me through that.


Aseity means to have one's existence in, of and through oneself. I understand that to mean that such a being could not be dependent or contingent on anything else for its existence, hence necessary.

7th: Because without those, God is just a big strong being in the world, not the basis, the creator, the sufficient reason for the world. God would not be an explanation for anything, he would be an explanatory dangler, contrary to Christian, western understanding going back at least to Plato.

In what way is that not ad hoc? It looks to me the same as my reason for ascribing aseity to the laws of nature, except it is an older tradition.


Those are the attributes without which there's no concept of God, imho. They're not just things extemporaneously cobbled together for the sake of a passing argument. They are what "God" has essentially meant...

Joe Hinman said...

Aseity (from Latin a "from" and se "self", plus -ity) is the property by which a being exists in and of itself, from itself, or exists as so-and-such of and from itself.
Aseity - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aseity Sauvage, George (1907). "Aseity". Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent. Retrieved July 15, 2012.

How can there be disembodied laws just hanging about forever without the property of mind? I think there are some good reasons to assume the laws re just extensions of a law giver.

The notion of a positive law that makes things happen is not in keeping with the modern scientific understanding,

im-skeptical said...

How can there be disembodied laws just hanging about forever without the property of mind? I think there are some good reasons to assume the laws re just extensions of a law giver.

- It depends on exactly what a "law" is. The laws of physics are human conceptions of the regularity of behavior of things. Things behave the way they behave, and that doesn't require a law-giver. It is simply reality.

Joe Hinman said...

That just reinforces the confusion at the top in they science world, they are really trig to have the power of God without the will of God. Just descriptor regularity doesn't explain how it;s possible.They sell laws of physics as explanatory power.

im-skeptical said...

Just descriptor regularity doesn't explain how it;s possible.They sell laws of physics as explanatory power.
- Saying God did it doesn't explain how it's possible, either. you can't tell me HOW God makes nature work. You merely assert that he does. It just something you take on faith. Nature alone is easier to accept, because that's what we observe. That and nothing more.

Joe Hinman said...

- Saying God did it doesn't explain how it's possible, either. you can't tell me HOW God makes nature work. You merely assert that he does. It just something you take on faith. Nature alone is easier to accept, because that's what we observe. That and nothing more.

No 0ne just says"God did it." That is stupid. That;'s a lazy little atheioid excuse not to learn any theology,keep your ignorant unread head in the sand remain blind

im-skeptical said...

I don't care what religioid excuses you make. Postulating God still doesn't explain how it actually works.

Joe Hinman said...

how what actually works? The physical universe? why is that Theology's job to expo aim that? That's science's gig. Theology is about explaining God.

im-skeptical said...

Explain how God does it, Joe. How does he manipulate physical reality? And explain how it makes more sense than physical reality alone, given that physics works without God. All God does is make the picture more complicated, and unnecessarily add something that has no explanation.

Joe Hinman said...

Blogger im-skeptical said...
Explain how God does it, Joe. How does he manipulate physical reality?


By thinking about it. Reality is a thought in the mind of God.


And explain how it makes more sense than physical reality alone,


Thins need causes, basic reality behind reality, Nothing happens with out a cause, But physical world with no cause it is circular reasoning,you have no proof

given that physics works without God.

you have no proof that it does you assert it does but doesn;t make it so. God is the only logical answer to the problem of cause then there;s reason to believe,but to just assert that works because you don;t bleieve is not proof,it;s stupid.


All God does is make the picture more complicated, and unnecessarily add something that has no explanation.

It makes it more simple because you don't have an infinite regression of sub atomic particles, you don't have disembodied laws with no explanation, you just have one mind, that;s all it takes, that's reality

3:40 PM

im-skeptical said...

By thinking about it. Reality is a thought in the mind of God.
- When I think about something, it does nor magically become reality. This is fantasy, or wishful thinking, or both.

Thins need causes, basic reality behind reality, Nothing happens with out a cause, But physical world with no cause it is circular reasoning,you have no proof
- Quantum events do not need causes. The origin of the universe is a quantum event.

you have no proof that it does you assert it does but doesn;t make it so. God is the only logical answer to the problem of cause then there;s reason to believe,but to just assert that works because you don;t bleieve is not proof,it;s stupid.
- I don't just assert it. I observe it. I don't see any God (and you don't, either), and the laws of physics explain what we see without any God.

It makes it more simple because you don't have an infinite regression of sub atomic particles, you don't have disembodied laws with no explanation, you just have one mind, that;s all it takes, that's reality
- There is no infinite regression in scientific explanations. And no God, either.

Joe Hinman said...

JoeBy thinking about it. Reality is a thought in the mind of God.

skep- When I think about something, it does nor magically become reality. This is fantasy, or wishful thinking, or both.

That's because you aren't God,I am saying God is like the holodeck or the matrix and his thought makes up the world we call reality


JoeThings need causes, basic reality behind reality, Nothing happens with out a cause, But physical world with no cause it is circular reasoning,you have no proof


skep- Quantum events do not need causes. The origin of the universe is a quantum event.

no one knows that, there's every reason to think they do,they are part of systems that condition their appearance such as vacuum flux and laws of physics stop being afraid to think, conifer the data,


Joeyou have no proof that it does you assert it does but doesn;t make it so. God is the only logical answer to the problem of cause then there;s reason to believe,but to just assert that works because you don;t bleieve is not proof,it;s stupid.


- I don't just assert it. I observe it. I don't see any God

there is no observing it,Read Hume


JoeIt makes it more simple because you don't have an infinite regression of sub atomic particles, you don't have disembodied laws with no explanation, you just have one mind, that;s all it takes, that's reality




- There is no infinite regression in scientific explanations. And no God, either.


yes there is obviously they have no stopping point for sap. they keep getting smaller and smaller they have no stopping point.If they did it would make no sense because they would have to say such and such a particle just popps up out of nothing for no reason that;s supposed to be scientific?


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