Thursday, October 15, 2020

This essay has been taken down

I have problems with foot notes that require extensive repair. I will re post on monday.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Thomas Reid Argument, or from Epistemic Judgment


(1) we trust perceptions that work for us in navigating the world

(2) we juge by criteria RCS

(3) RE fits this criteria

(4 )enables navigation

(5) :. we are warranted to trust RE as indicative

*We assume reality by means of a Jugement

*we make such jugements based upon criteria

*Because RE fits the same criteria we are justfied in making the same assumption; ie that these experinces are idicative of a reality.

The criteria: If our experiences are:


Then we assume our eperience3s reflect reality.

VIII. The Thomas Reid Argument.

A. How do we Know the external world exists?

Philosophers have often expressed skepticism about the external world, the existence of other minds, and even one's own existence. Rene Descartes went so far as to build an elaborate system of rationalism to demonstrate the existence of the external world, beginning with his famous cogito, "I think, therefore, I am." Of course, he didn't really doubt his own existence. The point was to show the method of rationalism at work. Nevertheless, this basic point, that of epistemology (how we know what we know) has always plagued philosophy. It seems no one has ever really given an adequate account. But the important point here is not so much what philosophers have said but what most people do. The way we approach life on a daily basis the assumptions we make about the external world. Skeptics are fond of saying that it is irrational to believe things without proof. I would argue that they, an all of us, believe the most crucial and most basic things without any proof whosoever, and we live based upon those assumptions which are gleaned with no proof of their veracity at all!

B. Consider Thomas Reid's Common Sense Philosophy of Foundatinalism and Fallibalism.

The point of departure here is Reid's discussion of Hume and the problem of justification of the external world. This is discussed in lecture notes of a contemporary philosopher, G.J. Mattey, in his lecture notes.

1) Skepticism about the External World

Thomas Reid, Theory of Knowledge lecture notes.G.J. Mattey
Philosophy, UC Davis

"Consider the question whether we are justified in believing that a physical world exists. As David Hume pointed out, the skepticism generated by philosophical arguments is contrary to our natural inclination to believe that there are physical objects." "[T]he skeptic . . . must assent to the principle concerning the existence of body, tho' he cannot pretend by any arguments of philosophy to maintain its veracity. Nature has not left this to his choice, and has doubtless esteem'd it an affair of too great importance to be trusted to our uncertain reasonings and speculations. We may well ask, What causes induce us to believe in the existence of body?, but 'tis in vain to ask, Whether there be body or not? That is a point, which we must take for granted in all our reasoning." (A Treatise of Human Nature, Book I, Part IV, Section II) "Nonetheless, after considering the causes of our belief in the existence of body and finding them inadequate for the justification of that belief, Hume admitted to be drawn away form his orignal assumption that bodies exist. 'To be ingenuous, I feel myself at present . . . more inclin'd to repose no faith at all in my senses, or rather imagination, than to place in it such an implicit confidence,' because ''tis impossible upon any system to defend either our understanding or senses." His solution to these doubts was "carelessness and in-attention,' which divert the mind from skeptical arguments."

2) Reid's Defense of Commonsense Beliefs.

Mattey again:

"Thomas Reid, who was a later contemporary of Hume's, claimed that our beliefs in the external world are justified.'I shall take it for granted that the evidence of sense, when the proper circumstances concur, is good evidence, and a just ground of belief' (Essay on the Intellectual Powers of Man, Essay IV, Chapter XX). This evidence is different from that of reasoning from premises to a conclusion, however."

"That the evidence of sense is of a different kind, needs little proof. No man seeks a reason for believing what he sees or feels; and, if he did, it would be difficult to find one. But, though he can give no reason for believing his senses, his belief remains as firm as if it were grounded on demonstration. Many eminent philosophers, thinking it unreasonable to believe when the could not shew a reason, have laboured to furnish us with reasons for believing our senses; but their reasons are very insufficient, and will not bear examination. Other philosophers have shewn very clearly the fallacy of these reasons, and have, as they imagine, discovered invincible reasons agains this belief; but they have never been able either to shake it themselves or to convince others. The statesman continues to plod, the soldier to fight, and the merchant to export and ijmport, without being in the least moved by the demonstations that have been offered of the non-existence of those things about which they are so seriously employed. And a man may as soon by reasoning, pull the moon out of her orbit, as destroy the belief of the objects of sense." (Essay on the Intellectual Powers of Man, Essay IV, Chapter XX)

"Here Reid shows himself to have foundationalist tendencies, in the sense that our beliefs about physical objects are not justified by appeal to other beliefs. On the other hand, all he has established at this point is what Hume had already observed, that beliefs about physical objects are very hard to shake off. Hume himself admitted only to lose his faith in the senses when he was deeply immersed in skeptical reflections. But why should Reid think these deeply-held beliefs are based on "good evidence" or "a just ground?" One particularly telling observation is that a philosopher's "knowledge of what really exists, or did exist, comes by another channel [than reason], which is open to those who cannot reason. He is led to it in the dark, and knows not how he came by it" (Essay on the Intellectual Powers of Man, Essay IV, Chapter XX). Philosophers "cannot account for" this knowledge and must humbly accept it s a gift of heaven."

"If there is no philosophical account of justification of beliefs about the physical world, how could Reid claim that they are justified at all? The answer is the way in which they support common sense."

"Such original and natural judgments [based on sense-experience] are, therefore, a part of that furniture which Nature hath given to the human understanding. They are the inspiration of the Almighty, no less than our notions or simple apprehensions. They serve to direct us in the common affairs of life, where our reasoning faculty would leave us in the dark. They are part of our constitution; and all the discoveries of our reason are grounded upon them. They make up what is called the common sense of mankind; and, what is manifestly contrary to any of those first principles, is what we call absurd. (An Inquiry into the Human Mind, Chapter VII, Section 4)"

"One might say that judgments from sense-experience they are justified insofar as they justify other beliefs we have, or perhaps because they are the output of a perceptual system designed by God to convey the truth. (Of course, if the latter is what gives these beliefs their justification, the claim that we are designed in this way needs to be justified as well.)" C. In other words, We accept the existence of the external world as a matter of course merely because we perceive it.

1) Acceptance of Perceptions about the world.

But it is not merely because we percieve it that we accept it. It is because we perceive it in a particular sort of way. Because we perceive it in a regular and consistent way. This has been stated above by Reid. The common man goes on with his lot never giving a second thought to the fact that he can no more prove the veracity of the things around him than he can the existence of God or anything else in philosophy. Yet we accept it, as does the skeptic demanding his data, while we live out our lives making these assumptions all the time.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Answer: PX's Attack on Moral Argument

Pixie runs a site callled "on creationism and why it's nonsense." he attacks my moral argument:>

That;s the old version but I'll answer it any way, The new version is found:,

Px With regards to (1), I agree, but it must be noted that morality is not universal. We feel a sense of outrage when an atrocity is committed, but presumably the perpetrators do not. We can feel moral outrage at how the Romans would watch people being eating by wild animals at the circuses, but these were very popular events 2000 years ago. What people consider good and bad is not set in stone, but is part of their culture.

Answer:(1) I speak of universal pertaining to cultures and civilization not all individuals, (2) People do violate the code they know is right that's why we have guilt feelings.

This brings us to (2), I would say they are cultural or social, rather than genetic; again think about the Roman circuses or consider changing attitudes to slavery. That said, I do not think this greatly impacts his argument.

Answer: fine that does not change my point it just means I have less to answer, As I pointed out we need an answer that preserves the normative nature of moral axioms

Px:These are rules mankind has developed to allow him to work in a community. We find them moral because our culture has conditioned us to, and that works because moral cultures survive better than amoral cultures. By amoral culture I mean one where individuals are free to steal and murder within the community. The basic rights of an individual who belongs to the in-group is preserved across all cultures because that in-group gets to set the rules. The in-group does not want people stealing from them or killing them, so develop rules to protect themselves from that, and morality springs from those rules.

Answer: That does answer my point. My argument says naturalistic answers reduce morality to less than normative if it;s just social contract we can have a social contract that allows us to conduct a holocaust, Whose to say it's wrong?

In (3), Joe points out that genetic (and implicitly social and cultural) explanations fail to offer the basis of a morality - get cannot turn "is" into "ought". But why should we suppose there is such a basis? Maybe there is no moral foundation, and morality is merely what we all agree it is. How else can we explain the changes in morality between cultures?

That Contradicts Premise (1) which you already agreed to, Really that's giving me the argument

Or maybe there is an objective morality that exists in the abstract, just as geometry does. Again, should we suppose there is an "ought"?

Answer: moral axioms are not like mathematics you have to have a theory of what grounds the ought, there is no calculation involved.

With regards to (4), Joe says social contract theory (SCT) "offers only relativism that can be changed or ignored". What he fails to note is that that is what we observe! Morality does change, morality can indeed be ignored.

Answer: morality is taught by cultures and thus it will bear the stamp of a given time or place but it always has a grounding in universal ought or there is no moral basis Tat;s the gist of my argument, its in premise1 and you agreed to it,

When we get to (5), Joe seems to be saying that God (according to Christianity) is good and judging what is right and wrong. It sounds like he sees morality as separate to God. There is an objective morality, and, say slavery is objectively wrong. God, given his situation, is particular able at discerning that fact, and relaying that to mankind.

Answer: Morality is not separate, God is objective God's universal perspective gives morality it;s universal basis,

However, when we look at (6), it looks like Joe's position is the reverse of that. Now God is the "source of grounding", indicating that slavery is wrong because God says it is. It must be noted that Joe does not talk about objective morality, so he is not on the weak ground that Craig is at this point. For Joe, "Universal Moral Law" means laws that come from God, and are universal because God is universal.

Answer: to the comfrey I just got though telling you morality is based upon God they are not separate, it's God's judgment of what is right and wrong,

So how can we relate that to (5)? I guess what Joe means is that God chooses what is right or wrong. Slavery is morally wrong because God has arbitrarily decided slavery will be wrong. However, as per (5), as the creator he is adept at deciding what will be morally wrong, so he made a good choice to make slavery morally. Answer: not arbitrary it's based upon God's character

Good on what basis? Well, one that aligns with our ideas of right and wrong, i.e., what God decided would be good is what God decided would be good! Frankly, the argument make as much sense without (5) in my opinion.

Answer: It's not arbitrary it's based upon God's character which is love.

In summary, the argument comes down to:

People universally understand right and wrong (1)

Therefore there must be some underlying and fundamental morality (2)

God is the best explanation of that (3-6)

Therefore God likely exists

Answer: that is an inadequate understanding of the argument. There is a universal morality but argent is based upon the fact that approaches that don't embody God have basis for grounding of the axioms,

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Miracles, Proof, and Power

The "Counter Apologist'' (aka "the CA") has an argument designed to undermine confidence in the resurrection as proof of the veracity of the faith. Here.This piece by CA is extremely long and it's not divided by pagination or any markings to indicate where quotes are found. I will not deal with the entire argument but only deal with the crucial point.

the CA:

I am countering the resurrection argument in a very specific way, my aim is to debunk the argument as it is used specifically as a means to convert non-Christians into Christians, as well as to counter the idea that Christians remain in their faith due to any supposed strength that is in the historical argument for the resurrection of Jesus...
 "we assume that miracles are evidence for the truth of the philosophical and theological teachings of the miracle worker"

He references  1 Kings 18:

"The idea is that like god sending fire from the sky to burn a wet alter or a person rising from the dead, it would be evidence for the truth of the teachings of the miracle worker."

The CA's point actually centers around Hume'spoint:

"This was Hume’s point - testimony in principle can’t overcome our inductive experience of the world."

Now that is his most crucial statement because it's the crux of his whole point. We never see people raised from the dead so there is no basis for assuming the reports are true because the  experience of the way the world works, He does posit that experience is universal. He actually believes no one has ever seen a  miracle.

My argument is that this is true in almost all cases,[testimony can't overcome experience] with only one exception for young children getting testimony from their parents when they are too young to do anything but accept that testimony from a reliable source and treat it as knowledge. That said, in almost all cases we are right to be skeptical when someone tells us something that wildly violates our background knowledge.

Violating our background knowledge is the point. That outweighs testimony. Meaning, we have to ignore Biblical testimony of the Risen Christ because it contradicts how we know the world works. That's a standard atheist assumption. He goes a little more in:

I want to stress that this conclusion holds even if you are a mere theist, especially a “recently convinced mere theist”. After all, a god can exist but just not interfere in the physical world. Even if a god could resurrect someone, in your inductive experience of the world how many times have you witnessed god raise someone from the dead? It’s a virtual certainty that even if a god exists, it doesn’t do that.

His argument is really Hume's argument, it doesn't happen enough to trust the accounts..He tries to sell it on the premise that no one would accept it if it were not tied to a religious context:
Does my moon lunch scenario become any more plausible if I amend it to say “God transported me to the moon for lunch and then sent me back home to Earth for dinner that same day”?... If I were to try and use a defense in a murder trial that my concealed carry gun levitated out of my holster and fired on my hiking companion in the middle of the woods all to the sound of a demon taunting us, would the jury accept or reject that claim? Would you want the jury to accept that claim?

His founding accusation, "we assume that miracles are evidence for the truth of the philosophical and theological teachings of the miracle worker" yes we do assume so and it is a reasonable assumption. Given that religious histories of many faiths use miracles as part of their testimony. He really offers no reason to reject the premise.

His most basic assumption, that we never see miracles, is just plain wrong, MIracles are seen more often than most people imagine, They don;thave to be resurrections oset up the notion that impossible things happen. Thinking of resurrection, however, I have known four people who either claimed to have been risen or who met others who made that claim. The one example I will defend is that of my father. He was dead for 11 minutes. He was on the operating table.The Doctor thought he was dead. They shocked his heart so bringing him back was something medical science does do. Still he was dead and came back maybe it is not as amazing as we thought?

The doctor himself said it was a miracle. He said "I have never used the term 'mirealceofmypractice eforebuthtiswa a miracle." Certainly there was prayer. I watched the Pope's midnight mass and praed for him, I dreamed God brought him to me and told me he would be well.When I woke up the next morning I expected him to be dead. We had been told he was not expected to live through the night. My brother told me he was alive and the staff in the ICU was amazed. When I went down there the first thing they said to me was "have you heard about the miracle?" The staff was actually spreading the word "God worked a miracle here last night."

The Lady who led me to the Lord had miracles occurring in her life on a regular basis. It's not something that can turn it off but one might think so knowing her. Her name was Judy Romero. She is now with Jesus. Another example of a miracle that I witnessed: this was in the convalescent period after my father came home from the previous miracle. He was having an attack of some kind. We called EMS they had him all hooked up to their equipment and monitoring his vital signs. He was clearly in danger. My mother and brother laid hands on him and prayed; the EMS guys saw the readings change before their eyes. They were all going "what the hell is happening?" One of them was really upset. He was cying and saying "it didn't happen! It did not happen, you didn't see that!" One of them told me "he's an atheist." The EMS guys said there's nothing wrong with my father and they left but there was a hush, they were in awe. The head guy said "I've never seen anything like this." The thing is my brother was not a Christian he was very negative about Christianity. He only laid hands on our Dad with my mother to humar her. He agreed with the account  I have given. He did return to Christianity eventually.

Is there a logical difficulty with extending from the small scale exampes of God's powerimouirlives to trstin theaccountsof resrurrection? Why should there be? If God can create the universe, all universes, can create all there is,  Why can't he raise one guy from the dead? My point here is that resurrection is not beyond the scope of logical extension of the power we see God exert in  our lives.

The CA winds up accusing Christians of worshipping power. The appeal to miracle is actually appeal to the greater power.That argument is a microsom of the fawin the argument as a whole. It tries to impose upon the believer a set of assumptions most believers do not make. I assume God has all power because he created the universe and I think it would take all power to do that.I don't assume he created because I first assume he has all power. I think it's the CA who is obsessed with power.

Right makes might CA assumes that Christians believe might makes right and that is evidenced by the appeal to miracles. I think it's really that right maes might. God is being itself. Because power flows out of being itself God is the basis of power just he is the basis of being. But that being the case, God is the basis of the good because he is love. Thus it is God/s goodness that grounds reality in the creative wisdom of God.Power is but a side effect. [1]The Counter Apologist, "Countering the Resurrection Argument (Full Version)," Counter Apologist Countering Christian apologetics arguments with logic, evidence, and reason.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Morality Warrants Belief in God

Morality itself provides a rational warrant for bleief in God.


(1) The normative nature of Moral Axioms is universally Recognized.

(2) Explanations must account for the universal imperative while preserving the normative aspect.

(3) Materialist explanations cannot preserve the normative aspect because they lack a basis for moral moral judgement (they can't supply a justification for the "ought").

(4) The concept of God provides the basis for Moral Judgement since God is omniscient, just, and compassionate.

(5) Therefore,since the concept of God provides the best explaination for the normative nature of moral axioms, and since we asssume the reality of the  we  we have a warrant for beief in God as a regulartoy concept.


Even though the mores may vary, all civilizations and cultures have a strong sense of moral outrage at gross injustice and a sense of fairness and desire for the right to win out. This seems like an innate sense. The real trick is not explaining how this innate sense came to be  but explaining it in such a way that we can still take it seriously as a normative value.

Materialistic and naturalistic explanations can easily explain how the need for the moral dimension arose from naturalistic sources but they cannot explain why we should take it seriously as moral.

The Apostle Paul tells us that there is a universal moral law written upon the human heart (Rm 2:6-14). We can see evidence of this universal law throughout the world. Now social science is quick to tell us that moral codes of all cultures differ throughout the world; some are so drastically different as to allow for multiple mirages, in some cultures gambling and even cheating each other are expected, and in a few cultures there doesn't seem to be any notion of right and wrong. But we shouldn't expect that all the moral codes of the world would be uniform just because there is a moral law. The evidence of a universal law is not seen in structured belief systems but in the humanity of humans. People in all cultures have concepts of right and wrong, even though they may attach different kinds of significance to them. There are a few cultures that are actually pathological examples, but in the main most people are capable of being good, exhibit a basic human compassion, and feel moral outrage at cruelty and injustice.

It is this sense of moral outrage and the ability to empathize and to feel compassion that marks the moral law best of all. In Nicaragua in the 1980s members of the contra army fighting the Sandinistas conducted a campaign of terror to prevent the people from supporting the revolutionary government. To enforce a sense of Terror they cut off the heads of little girls and put them on polls for all to see  [1] The modern equivalent is Issis. People are also repulsed by their doings. There is something about this act, regardless of our political affiliations which fills us with anger and revulsion; we want to say it is evil. Even those who believe that we must move beyond good and evil are hard pressed not to admit this sense of outrage and revulsion, yet if they had their way we would not be able to express anything more than a matter of taste about this incident for nothing is truly evil if there is no universal moral law.

Answering objections

(1) Genetic explanations only provide an understanding of behavior, they do not offer the basis of a moral dimension (trying to turn "is" into "ought").

(2) Social contract theory offers only relativism that can be changed or ignored in the shifting sands of social necessity and politics (this is both a practical issue and a matter of meta ethical theory).

(3) matters of feeling are merely matters of taste and should be ignored as subjective (the atheist dread of the subjective).

(4) God is possessed of a loving nature that makes the good a matter of rational on the part of the creator and his status as creator means he is more than qualified to be judge to translate te good  into moral values.


[1] Noam Chomsky, Turning the Tide:U.S. Intervention in Central America, South End Press; First Edition edition (July 1, 1999)

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Restructuring of my Moral Argument for God

Dixcussion with pixie on CADRE hadled meto think I can improve my moral argent,

(1) Humans are possessed of moral motions which we find to be real and important. We cannot deny the senes of moral outrage over "evil" or the sense that one "ought" to do that which we find "good."

(2) Such moral motions can be understood as grounded in terms of behavior in our genetic endowment, but no explanation can tell us why we find them moral or how to justify them as "ought's."

(3) Genetic explanations only provide an understanding of behavior, they do not offer the basis of a moral dimension (trying to turn "is" into "ought").

(4) Social contract theory offers only relativism that can be changed or ignored in the shifting sands of social necessity and politics (this is both a practical issue and a matter meta ethical theory).

(5) In Christian understandng God is possessed of a loving nature that makes the good a matter of rationale on the part of the creator and his status as creator means he is more than qualified to be judge to translate te good into moral values.

(6) Therefore, God is the only source of grounding which works as a regulative concept for our moral axioms and at the same time actually explains the deep seated nature of moral motions. Universal Moral Law.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Why God's love is Universal Truth and Other Issues

Anonymous said... Pix: "I would love to know why he thinks God's love is a universal truth - but of course when Joe makes a "very swaggering claim" he sees no reason to support it. He is a Christian! He does not have to prove anything! It says it in the Bible, and we are all to assume the Bible is true.

God is love! That is the character of God, the image in which man is created; our ability to love is an outgrowth of God's character, God is eternal and therefore universal thus his love is universal. God's love is the principle upon which the universe was created, upon which morality is based.Those are logical extensions from basic Christian assumption.

when I complained about his assumption that Christians must prove God every time we talk about God he asserts that I am complaining about the questioning of God itself, as though Chritians can't stand for others to question their religion:

Px: Of course, when YOU are asked to support a claim about your religion it "is bull shit, unfair, and its stupid". Heaven forbid a Christian should ever have to do such a thing!And THIS is why religion is unreliable.

One would think its because it's not scientific now we find it's because Christians get tired of arguing for God every time they mention God. In fact he's ignoring the answer I gave pretending like I did not give it. Apparently pixie can't follow a simple sentence and he's always reading the worst motive into any Chritian statement.In response to the assertion that I never defend my belief in God I wrote:

Joe: Most of what i've said is about that,I've made 52 God arguments and argue many of them often. I don't have to prove God every time I talk about Him, I don;t expect you to prove science every time you ,mentioned it,

To which he responds: "Which of those arguments is PROOF?" I am having a bit of trouble seeing this, First of all I never said I can prove God,I said I don't have to prove it. He takes that as a challenge that i can prove it; He asks which of my arguments is proof? Then he says:
I seem to remember you making a big deal about ration warrants. Why would you do that if you have PROOF? You would not. The reality is that you have a variety of arguments that kind of suggest God exists. But you then magically convert them into absolute certainty because... It is religion.

"Ration Warrant" (Rational warrant") essentially means a good reason to believe something. The point I've made many times in the past is that we don't have to prove the existence of God as long as we can provide a rational warrant for belief. The problem is atheists refuse to recognize a real reason. They can never be honest about facts or about logic. I never said I do absolute proof and never denied  about rational warrant.

Now we come to an issue we have been dancing around through this whole week. Pix assumes that modern laws of physics were founded upon hypotheses that were later validated by scientific observation thus proving that only the scientific method can establish facts and prove theiries about the world.My argument was that the assumptions upon which laws were already accepted as proven when the were chosen as assumptions and thus they were not validated by science until after. That means other methods were used to select them. Pix never answers this argument instead he changes his position.

Joe: No they only base laws on established assumptions not unestablished;you are confusing the method that evolved out of science with the history of scientific thought. Scientific method had to evolve,Read the Burtt book.[2]br>
Instead of giving a rational answer he storms:"Can you actually make an argument? All you have is this insinuation, but to me it looks empty." I don't know what "insinuation" he's talking about; I made a clear argument that the basic assumptions that led to the development of the scientific method were not themselves validated by science when they were assumed. They used other methods such as logic and so might we. He takes my argument to mean that we can trust unproven methods:

"If you think Newton's laws, say, are based on an unproved assumption, say what it is. Say exactly how it is bad science. Present the reasoning." He's apparently tacked on to that misconstrued assumption that I'm saying that laws of Newton are bad science. Where he got that I do not know.

My argument is clearly that modern science is built upon assumptions that were not put in place by science since they were building blocs  that led to science.They were understood before science evolved.Thus there must be some pre scientific methods that can be trusted:

Joe: Do you really think Newton said I;m going to write some stuff and call them laws and someday someone will prove them and they will really be laws? Do you think Newton was an idiot? He did not make up bull shit then try to prove it he didn't call it laws before it was proven. You need to read Leviathan and the Air Pump.That is a book that gives us a good understanding of the process through which modern science evolved.[2]
Pix responds
"I think Newton's laws were a big part of establishing the assumption that the universe follows laws (if it was not done earlier). Newton established that at the same time as he established his laws." Good God. He thinks Newton had something to do with it. We need to contact the Smithsonian at once.Newton established  that the universe runs on laws at the the time he established his laws? Good timing, I;m going to make some laws then I'm going to establish that laws are important. if this guy really knew anything about ewton hewoudknowthahe was a Chritian,so he assumed God created laws to run the universe that had been assumed for 2000 years.
Then he mysteriously changes his position and wants to assert that he always asserted that the assumptions were proven to begin with.

After: "As long as we agree 'they make laws from proven assumptions', that is fine with me." Hey what does it matter what we say as Long as you say I'm right?

  he then cocedes:
"I do not know when they were established, but I guess before or by Newton. However - and this is important - I invented a hypothetical situation where it happened afterward. Do you see where I said 'Let us suppose'? That indicates that what follows is hypothetical." But he's still ignoring my point, Apparently he really can't follow a discussion,
He explains: "Even in the hypothetical situation in which the assumption was established later, the fact that it was established at some point means his laws are good, reliable science."
  I can see his point but there are problems. First he was not arguing hypothetically,we clearly had a dispute going about history not hypothetical.  I can see his point that it doesn't matter as long as they were validated later, but that does change his argument, because if they were validated first by other means and proven later by science that at least partially  validated  the other means as well

I want to go back to one thiung he said:"The reality is that you have a variety of arguments that kind of suggest God exists. But you then magically convert them into absolute certainty because... It is religion" I do not advance a rational process that onvert sugestions to certain nor do I advocateone, Taht rocesshas been workedin ne,I havegone fronsuggestiontocertaindduetomy own experinces of God. God is realso myxperinesof God are real. [1] [2] the Birtt book

Monday, September 14, 2020

Intelligence and Belief

A popular conception has grown up about IQ being meaningless as a measurement of intelligence. This view is held by various experts who study mind and things pertaining to it, as well as lay people. No great surprise that it is contradicted by experts who make IQ tests, It's what they do, Sure enough there's an article a friend of mine put me on to by an IQ researcher,Linda S. Gottfredson, who argues that most experts in the field see IQ as a valid predictor of intelligence and life success: "Intelligence as measured by IQ tests is the single most effective predictor known of individual performance at school and on the job. It also predicts many other aspects of well being, including a person’s chances of divorcing, dropping out of high school, being unemployed or having illegitimate children."[1]
I believe this is an example of what I call "the illusion of technique" and I understand it as an aspect of Marcuse's one-dimensional man,It is the limitation of human potential, it lends itself to exploitation, the commodification of intelligence. In the final analysis they may prove they are measuring something but not necessarily intelligence.

Researchers have tried to isolate a single factor which they call "g" that stands for "general intelligence," they claim to find it in any statistical variation the charts success and achievement.

By now the vast majority of intelligence researchers take these findings for granted. Yet in the press and in public debate, the facts are typically dismissed, downplayed or ignored. This misrepresentation reflects a clash between a deeply felt ideal and a stubborn reality. The ideal, implicit in many popular critiques of intelligence research, is that all people are born equally able and that social inequality results only from the exercise of unjust privilege. The reality is that Mother Nature is no egalitarian. People are in fact unequal in intellectual potential—and they are born that way, just as they are born with different potentials for height, physical attractiveness, artistic flair, athletic prowess and other traits. Although subsequent experience shapes this potential, no amount of social engineering can make individuals with widely divergent mental aptitudes into intellectual equals..[2]

I think it's fair to say that some people are smarter than others, I think it's fair to say that intelligence helps one in whatever one does, so that any measurement of success is probably to some extent bound up with intelligence in some way.The one major exception of course is Donald Trump who is both an idiot and highly skilled in certain ways. Yet this is still not the same as saying that IQ measures intelligence. It's also not the same as saying that if one is successful it's a measurement of being smart, necessarily. Nor is failure a measurement of stupidity.

My major reason for the view I hold really comes down to the failure of IQ testes to regard discursive reasoning or indeed reason itself, as a sign of intelligence, If you crunch numbers you are smart, if you read philosophy and don't crunch numbers you are not smart, according to the testers. But the testers are by definition number cruncher. So they are using themselves as the final standardized by which they define intelligence. Why would working mathematics be intelligence any more than discussing Hegel? Granted both involve intelligence, but is the one who works math well and can't seem to get the negation of the negation or the sublation of dialectic still smart but the Hegel scholar who doesn't excel at math less so? The lesser mathematician will have lower IQ because math figures in the test, that doesn't prove it's measuring intelligence. What it proves is that they gear the test to objective measures (you can't prove you are right about Hegel like you can math) but are they measures of intelligence? I suspect that they are really measuring a complex amalgam of things involving drive, ambition, technical profession, mathematical reasoning and intelligence. The variables are too complex to include all the psychological factors so they level it out with mathematical scores, That means mathematical ability will determine the end result.

Math is not the only problem, the view of intelligence enshrined in the test is really about cultural absorption. They are effect measuring cultural literacy. One of the major disproofs of the validity of IQ tests is a phenomenon known as the "Flynn effect." This is a disproof becuase it indicates that IQ not fixed, it rises with time and that what is being measured is actually not intelligence but cultural literacy.

Multiple studies have documented significant IQ gains over time, a phenomenon labeled the Flynn effect. Data from 20 industrialized nations show massive IQ gains over time, most notably in culturally reduced tests like the Raven's Progressive Matrices. To our knowledge, however, this is the first study to document the Flynn effect in a rural area of a developing country. Data for this project were collected during two large studies in Embu, Kenya, in 1984 and 1998. Results strongly support a Flynn effect over this 14-year period, with the most significant gains found in Raven's matrices. Previously hypothesized explanations (e.g., improved nutrition; increased environmental complexity; and family, parental, school, and methodological factors) for the Flynn effect are evaluated for their relevance in this community, and other potential factors are reviewed. The hypotheses that resonate best with our findings are those related to parents' literacy, family structure, and children's nutrition and health.[3] Flynn argues that our ancestors were not dumber. He rules out better nutrition or knowing the tests better. The bias of the test is such that a kind of technological imperialism is imposed upon the masses.

Flynn cites a hypothetical, but typical, test question: “How are rabbits and dogs alike?” Answers such as “both destroy gardens,” “both are dinner in some countries and pets in others,” or “you can use dogs to hunt rabbits” are true, but the response the IQ testers want is “both are mammals.” The question tests not knowledge of the world or of functional relationships but mastery of particular abstract concepts, which the test makers have themselves internalized as trained scientific professionals and literate intellectuals.[4]

The tests reward problem solving that reflects a bias toward the technological sort of thinking. IQ tests also reward certain problem- solving abilities—what Flynn calls “problems not solvable by mechanical application of a learned method.” He cites tests of similarities and analogies, and pattern-completion tests, such as Raven’s Progressive Matrices. In the latter, each question is a series of line drawings followed by a collection of drawings from which the test taker must pick the one that completes the sequence. When J. C. Raven developed the test in 1936, he claimed it measured the ability to discover patterns, which was for him the essence of intelligence. Raven’s test is often said (without good evidence) to suffer little or no cultural bias. Yet it is on tests of this type that the Flynn effect is strongest; gains in IQ scores of at least 5 points per decade have been seen. In the Netherlands, for decades all 18-year-old males drafted into the military were given the test, and those who took it in 1982 scored 20 points higher than those who had taken it in 1952.[5] Gottfredson tries to argue against this kind of criticism:

Some critics of intelligence research maintain that the notion of general intelligence is illusory: that no such global mental capacity exists and that apparent “intelligence” is really just a by-product of one’s opportunities to learn skills and information valued in a particular cultural context. True, the concept of intelligence and the way in which individuals are ranked according to this criterion could be social artifacts. But the fact that g is not specific to any particular domain of knowledge or mental skill suggests that g is independent of cultural content, including beliefs about what intelligence is. And tests of different social groups reveal the same continuum of general intelligence. This observation suggests either that cultures do not construct g or that they construct the same g. Both conclusions undercut the social artifact theory of intelligence. This doesn't answer the Flynn effect argument. "But the fact that g is not specific to any particular domain of knowledge or mental skill suggests that g is independent of cultural content," That does not mean that the test is not biased along the lines of thought categories such as science, g is not specific to any particular domain but if it is biased in favor of cultural literary it can fail to measure certain intelligent responses because they don't fit the categories. All cultures have cloistral categories it's going to show up in all of them,

Some have asked "if IQ tests are not predicting intelligence, or at least not fixed, unalterably, heritable standard of intelligence, what do they predict?" The Flynn effect give us one answer, cultural literacy. Another answer is academic motivation. That is not necessarily a marker for intelligence, since a bright student can be turned off from the process of learning or trying. Angela Lee Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and her team, conducted two studies; they did a meta analysis of 46 previous studies, the effect of monetary incentive's on IQ scores."...the effect of financial rewards on IQ scores increased dramatically the higher the reward: Thus rewards higher than $10 produced g values of more than 1.6 (roughly equivalent to more than 20 IQ points), whereas rewards of less than $1 were only one-tenth as effective."[6]

Duckworth's second study involved data from an earlier study, following 500 boys age 12, tested in the late 80s, they were video tapes and signs of boredom and lack of motivation were observed. The study was longitudinal, following the boys into early adulthood. There were no difference in IQ or other factors between the boys.

Duckworth's team analyzed the results of these earlier studies to see what they said about the relationship between motivation, IQ scores, and life success. By constructing a series of computer models of the data, the team found that higher motivation accounted for a significant amount of the differences in IQ scores and also in how well IQ predicted later success in life. For example, differences in motivation levels accounted for up to 84% of the differences between the boys in how many years of school they had completed or whether they had been able to find a job. On the other hand, motivation differences accounted for about only 25% of the differences in how well they had done in school as teenagers. According to the researchers, that suggests that native intelligence does still play an important role in both IQ scores and academic achievement. Nevertheless, the Duckworth team concludes that IQ tests are measuring much more than just raw intelligence--they also measure how badly subjects want to succeed both on the test and later in life. Yet Duckworth and her colleagues caution that motivation isn't everything: The lower role for motivation in academic achievement, they write, suggests that "earning a high IQ score requires high intelligence in addition to high motivation."[7]

This finding of course raises the question does this mean that those with high intelligence will score low on the test if they are not motivated? That test scores fluctuate at different times in your life would seem to be proof that IQ doesn't measure a fixed unalterable course. Take a book reviewed by NYT book review in 1998, published by Brookings Institue, the work shows that test scores between black and white narrow only a bit since 1970 but "the typical American black still scores below 75 percent of American whites on most standardized tests. On some tests the typical American black scores below more than 85 percent of whites?" Yet no genetic aspect has ever been discovered that would indicate that blacks are any less intelligent than whites. As a matter of fact when black children are raised in white homes their per-adolescent test scores rise dramatically (that also goes for mixed race children). Black adoptee test scores fall in adolescents. [8] I would actually predict that, since at that time the difference in racial make up of the family becomes more acute (I base that upon the experience of relatives). That could be a motivational issue. Moreover, the findings reported above by Nisbet shows the IQ gap bewteen blacks and whites has narrowed a lot more since 98.

--Even nonverbal IQ scores are sensitive to environmental change. Scores on nonverbal IQ tests have risen dramatically throughout the world since the 1930s. The average white scored higher on the Stanford-Binet in 1978 than 82 percent of whites who took the test in 1932. Such findings reinforce the implications of adoption studies: large environmental changes can have a large impact on test performance.

--Black-white differences in academic achievement have also narrowed throughout the twentieth century. The best trend data come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which has been testing seventeen-year-olds since 1971 and has repeated many of the same items year after year. Figure 1-2 shows that the black-white reading gap narrowed from 1.25 standard deviations in 1971 to 0.69 standard deviations in 1996. The math gap fell from 1.33 to 0.89 standard deviations. When Min-Hsiung Huang and Robert Hauser analyzed vocabulary scores for adults born between 1909 and 1969, the black-white gap also narrowed by half.[9]

Some scientists attribute the difference in IQ between men and women to motivation. Males surpass females by average of 3.6 IQ pionts, but more males decide to go to college than females. William and Mary psychologist Bruce Bracken thinks this is a good argument for linking motivation to the test score. [10]

I don't doubt that there is a general intelligence, and I can see the benefit in a concrete measure for it. That does not mean that IQ tests are that measure. We should use and put weight on reading and understanding ideas more so than on working quizzes. As long we use technique to make that measure it's going to be exploited and used to oppress.


[1] Linda S. Gottfredson, "The General Intelligence Factor," Scientific American,(no month indicated) 1998, 24-29 , 24. from the PDF version,URL: (accessed 3/14/17).

LINDA S. GOTTFREDSON is professor of educational studies at the University of Delaware

another online version here:

[2] Ibid., 24.

[3] Tamra C. Daley,et al "IQ on the Rise, the Flynn effect Rural Kenyon Children." Psychological Science: A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science. vol. 14, no. 3, (May, 2003) 215-219.on line version accessed 8/16/13

co authors include: Shannon E. Whaley2,Marian D. Sigman1,2,Michael P. Espinosa2 andCharlotte Neumann3

[4] Cosma Shalizi, "The Domestication of the Savage Mind," Book Rview of What is Intelligence, Beyond the Flynn Effect, by James Flynn, in American Scientist, Vol. 97, no. 3 (May-June, 2009) 244. on line version: accessed 8/16/13. Cosma Shalizi is an assistant professor in the statistics department at Carnegie Mellon University and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He is writing a book on the statistical analysis of complex systems models. His blog, Three-Toed Sloth, can be found at

[5] Ibid.

3,4,5 = 10,11,12

[6] Angela Duckwork in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, quoted by Balter op.cit.

[7] Ibid.

[8] New York Times book review, The Black and White Test score Gap, edited by Christopher Jenks and Meredith Philips. Washington DC: Bookings Institution Press. 1998. New York Times online accessed 8/17/13.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Jeanna Bryner,"Men Smarter than Women Scientists Claim," Live Science, sept 8, 2006. On line resource or blog: accessed 8/17/13

posted elsewhere by me a:"g whiz I used to be smart,"

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Countering Scientism

Scientism is the understanding that science is the only valid form of knowledge . It's an ideology and permeates real scientific circles. When thinkers whose understanding is colored by this ideology their defense of science against valid ordinary critique is ideological and programmed, We can always spot this kind of thinking immediately because they invulnerably see any valid criticism as an attack upon the very notion of science, This tendency to think of science as some fragile sacred truth that dare not be questioned is emblematic of ideological reverence, This attitude An example is fond in the essay by Marcel Kuntz is at the Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire Végétale, CNRS/Université Joseph Fourier/CEA/INRA in Grenoble, The essay entitled "The Postmodern assault on Science"[1]

Kuntz tells us "Postmodernist thought is being used to attack the scientific worldview and undermine scientific truths; a disturbing trend that has gone unnoticed by a majority of scientists.[2] Postmodernism undermines all truth. Kuntz wants to privilege his view as THE TRUTH! You Know I believe in truth but I don't believe science is the one and only truth,

The scientific method has been the guiding principle for investigating natural phenomena, but postmodernist thought is starting to threaten the foundations of the scientific approach. The rational, scientific view of the world has been painstakingly built over millennia to guarantee that research can have access to objective reality: the world, for science, contains real objects and is governed by physical laws that existed before our knowledge of these objects and laws. Science attempts to describe the world independently of belief by seeking universal truths, on the basis of observation, measurement and experimentation. [3] I agree with several aspects of this view point, I think science is the chief means of understanding the naturalistic workings of the wold and that it does supply a less subjective means of understanding the regularities of the law-like framework of the universe's behavior. Yet when we frame it as "objective," even though it can be called that in a relative way, we set up the validity of the Postmodern critique, it is this very swaggering claim to the one and only truth that postmodernists are reacting against. The claim that science gives us access to "objective reality" is a metaphysical claim, that is guaranteed to open up not objectivity but philosophical critique, The statement about universal truth is a dead give away. Go's love is a universal truth, There might be a realm of the forms where Universal truths are housed, for all we know.This clam impinges upon all metaphysical claims and thus is itself a metaphysical assumption,That makes it fair game for philosophy.

The postmodernist school of thought arose to question these assumptions, postulating that claims about the existence of a real world—the knowledge of which is attainable as an objective truth—have only been relevant in Western civilization since the Enlightenment. In recent decades, the movement has begun to question the validity of claims of scientific truth, whether on the basis of their belonging to larger cultural frames or through heavy criticism of the scientific method. [4] Postmodernism did not arise solely to question the assumptions of science and objective evidence, That's an unfair generalization. That's the hallmark of his whole attack because it fails to distinguish between levels of postmodern thought, it lumps all philosophical critique of science into the same pile as the most extreme Postmdoerns,

When he gets specific the first one he goes after is Thomas Kuhn. Kuhn is probably the most famous and the most legitimately accepted and admired thinker to be labeled "Postmodern." If we must label him ofrm y money i wouldlabel him Postmodern light,

Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1922–1996) is one of the most influential philosophers of science of the twentieth century, perhaps the most influential. His 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is one of the most cited academic books of all time. Kuhn's contribution to the philosophy of science marked not only a break with several key positivist doctrines, but also inaugurated a new style of philosophy of science that brought it closer to the history of science. His account of the development of science held that science enjoys periods of stable growth punctuated by revisionary revolutions. To this thesis, Kuhn added the controversial ‘incommensurability thesis’, that theories from differing periods suffer from certain deep kinds of failure of comparability.[5] "The concept of paradigm shift proposed by Thomas Kuhn in his famous book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962;),[6] has also given weight to the critics of science and of its pretension to understand reality. If science is not a gradual process of accumulation of knowledge, but rather subject to sudden “revolutions” that overwhelm outdated theories, they argue, how can one trust scientific knowledge?" (from Kuntz, Op cit)

Who are they? Who are these faceless critics of science who are out to steal reality? He imagines this rival group of knowledge preachers with their own meta narrative to sell,.That Is ideology pure and simple, It;s saying My meta narrative is true not yours,

I don't believe he has read Kuhn, Here are a couple of red flags,First, Kuhn does not say there's a sudden change, Revolutions don't have to be sudden. The metaphor there is political not temporal. In fact Kuhn;s theory states that the shift happens when the paradigm can n longer absorb anomalies that can can a long time for the anomalies to pileup. He says that for an individual researcher it can come as a sudden realization but i;ts not coming overnight in terms of what;s gonging in the field as a whole. When Kuhn says it's not a gradual accumulation of knowledge he doesn't mean these questions haven't been floating around for a long time but that scientific knowledge is not cumulative. it's not a long slow piling up of facts util we find truth. Scientific knowledge can come in an instant he's talking about regular scientific knowledge. Another red flag his rhetorical question how can one trust scientific knowledge? That is his take on Kuhn,Kuhn himself does not say that, Kunb never goes after science, He is not a science baser. He's ;not trying to foster doubt about science.

"If, as according to Kuhn, scientific revolutions are also political upheavals in scientific policy, it is easy to understand why Kuhn's theory has attracted so much attention in a period that calls into question the established political order in the Western world." [7] So here wants to make postmodernism some kind of communist-like threat to peace and civilized order, That strikes me as red Baiting, Is that a bad thing? Questioning the political order?

I find that extremely simplistic, lacking in any specificity that makes it applicable to Kuhn, Kuhn is very specific abouit how defense of a paradigm is like a topological battle. That is why he calls it the scientific revolutions because defense of the old paradigm is like a political regime defemdimg against a revolution,

Then he starts talking about the strong programme as tough Kuhn is in that movement, He was not, The strong programme is the extreme end of postmodernism that does seek to overturn all truth and all science and fits the stereotype, It was largely based in Edinburgh- with thinkers like David Bloor [8] Then he slides into talkinga about the ‘strong programme' in such as way as toconvey the impression that it; related to Kuhn, He also milables and thus castigates other thinkers such as Ian Hacking,

Several deconstructionist thinkers, such as Bruno Latour and Ian Hacking, have rejected the idea that the concepts of science can be derived from a direct interaction with natural phenomena independently of the social environment in which we think about them. The central goal of science, defining what is true and what is false, becomes meaningless they argue, as its objectivity is reduced to ‘claims' that are simply the expression of one culture—one community—among many. Thus, all systems of thought are different “constructs” of reality and all additionally have political connotations and agendas.[9]

He starts out here Identified Hacking as a deconstructionist. Hacking is certainly not a decon. Hacking says He;s a Cambridge analytic philosopher [10]He has been lauded for his scholarship. I am a big fan of His, He is clearly a major historian of sicced,[11] If he can be labeled in the postmodren vain it would be as a Faulcaultian not a Derridan, That's very different, [12] Faucult had no ax to grind against science.

The generalizations in implacable and them vs us mentality against what should be considered a valid academic quest for knowledge is indicative of the ideological basis of geneticist thinking, That gives credence to the postmodern critic of the meta narrative,


all sources acceded 5/2/17

[1] Marcel Kuntz,"The Postmodern assault on Science" EMBO Rep v.13(10); (Oct)2012URL

Kuntz is at the Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire Végétale, CNRS/Université Joseph Fourier/CEA/INRA in Grenoble,

[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.

[5] Alexander Bird,, "Thomas Kuhn", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), First published Fri Aug 13, 2004; substantive revision Thu Aug 11, 2011 URL = .

[6] Thomas Kuhn,

[7] Kuntz op coit

[8] David Bloor, "The strengths of the strong programme." Scientific rationality: The sociological turn (Springer Netherlands, 1984) pp. 75-94.

[9]Kuntz, Op cit

[10] Ian Hacking quoted in "Who Are you? The Biosocial Being Ian Hacking Ioan Davies memorioal lecture, (4/14/17) held at university of Troomnto, URL:

[11]Karen Grandy, "Ian Hacking". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2016-06-10.

[12]Thomas P. Kasulis, Robert C. Neville, John Edwin Smith The Recovery of Philosophy in America: Essays in Honor of John Edwin Smith

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Empirical Evidence of Supernatural: association between sign and signified

We can't demonstrate empirical knowledge of God to others, even if we feel we have it ourselves. But if we can correlate something that is empirical with God, the effects of God in the world then we could know by association between sign and signified that there is divine reality. Just as the fingerprint betrays the presence of the owner of the fingers that made them, or the track in the snow proves the presence of the creature that made it, so RE as the God correlate points to the presence of God in reality is the effect of the divine upon our lives. As a theological example of this principle we can draw upon the works of Schleiermacher. God is the correlate of RE as God is the correlate of the feeling of utter dependence. In Speeches on Religion to it's Cultured Dispersers he seemed to be making the simplistic argument: “I feel emotional when I pray to God so there must be a God to feel emotional about. [1] By the time He wrote his magnum opus Glaubenslehre (the Christian faith) he had developed a much more sophisticated version. He now understood these religious affections in a particular way, as a feeling of utter dependence. [2] Though critics often interpret the concept of “feeling” as an emotional response the real crux of his argument turns the utter dependence aspect. Rather than merely emotion he's identifying the feeling as indicative of a religious capacity. [3] We could think of it as a “religious instinct,” or more properly a religious consciousness.

It is from this sense of consciousness that doctrines derive their meaning, as verbalization of the sense. This sense of consciousness as part of the basis of religion offers a theoretical framework for connecting the sense of the numinous to the notion of real experience of the divine. Of course it's not a direct unmediated revelatory face to face encounter, but like the track in the snow points to a presence not directly seen. It is the original pre-theoretical consciousness...Schleiermacher believes that theoretical cognition is founded upon pre-theoretical inter subjective cognition and its life world. The latter cannot be dismissed as non-cognative for if the life world praxis is non-cognitive and invalid so is theoretical cognition..He...contends that belief in God is pre-theoretical, it is not the result of proofs and demonstration, but is conditioned solely by the modification of feeling of utter dependence. Belief in God is not acquired through intellectual acts of which the traditional proofs are examples, but rather from the thing itself, the object of religious experience..If as Shchleiermacher...says God is given to feeling in an original way this means that the feeling of utter dependence is in some sense an apparition of divine being and reality. This is not meant as an appeal to revelation but rather as a naturalistic eidetic or a priori. The feeling of utter dependence is structured by a correlation with its whence. [4]

This conclusion might be somewhat deflating for apologists, but there are two of caveats that might make it more palatable: (1) We don't have to reduce religion to just feeling or to consciousness, we don't have toally agree with Schleiermacher, we can understand doctrines and feelings as bound up with the same reaction to reality and the consciousness that obtains from sensing it. (2) we can construe the feeling as a phenomenological approach rather than a definitive commentary upon all of reality. If affections or consciousness based upon affections are primary in belief, this does not mean that arguments are of no value since people rationalize their feelings, and arguments help to clear away the clutter and clarify feelings.

Critics such as John Webster et. al. Attack this notion as a continuation of his mistake from On Religion, that Schleiermacher got the process backwards. [5] It is not feeling that produces doctrine but doctrines that produce feeling. The deep connection to affections is dismissed as his Moravian upbringing, the mark of the romanic era. “...The feeling of utter dependence, which Schleiermacher thought universal is an expression of the salient Christian virtue of humility with a particularly Protestant emphasis on the utter helplessness of man to save himself.” The argument is that Schleiermacher is just generalizing, the feeling is merely a feeling about the world from which he generalizes based upon his Christian upbringing. “All religions do not simply promote awe and connectedness to it.” [6] To the contrary, thanks to the M scale, we now know that these experiences are universal. The feeling of utter dependence is really about a sense of contingency, the radical contingency of all things, and it's great underlying unity, this equates to the sense of the meniscus and undifferentiated unity one finds in mystical experience. While Schleiermacher's feeling is not exactly mystical experience itself it is very closely related. Thus the universality found in RE supplies an answer to the criticism.

Thus the presence of the sign (the experience) informs us of the presence of the signified (God); like finger prints match the finger and thus reveal the person who made the print. The association between the divine and mystical experience is at least theoretically valid in terms of an anthropological perspective; religious experience forms the foundation upon which organized religions are built. [7] The sense of the numinous is a deep all pervasive since of love. The basic assumption made by those who have the experience is overwhelmingly that they have experience God. How can we know this to be the case without already knowing that God exists and what it is like to sense God's presence? We could set up criteria based upon the nature of religious belief. What conditions would one expectorate to prevail or what aspects would one expect to find in sensing God's presence?


(1).Life Transforming and vital in a positive life-affirming sense

(2) It would give us a sense of the transcendent and the divine.

(3) No alternate or naturalistic causality could be proven

These criteria are based upon the nature of religious belief and experience taken from all major world religions. More to the point they are derived from the works of W.T. Stace who argues that in all world religions there are certain claims about certain types of experiences that answer our most basic existential questions [8] These claims about answering the basic questions and positively affecting our lives constitute some of the most basic truth claims of world religions. If these claims are justified we should see these conditions in the criteria met. Religion in general seems to attempt to make sense of the nature of being human, to construct and then explain the Human problematic, or the human condition.. This knowledge is said to tranform the the lives of those who have such experiences. The content of the experiences themselves include a snese of the Holy, a sense of the sacred, the imparting of noetic content, these are all communicated in the texture of the experience itself. This realization accounts for criteria 1 and 2. It is only reasonable to think that the experience might be an experience of a reality involving the divine, since it indicates the validity truth claims of religion. It is equally reasonable and scientific to assume that if no counter causality found the God based conclusion is warranted. Thus, we have Criterion 3. These criteria are fulfilled by the data, and that allows us to derive the following argument from the criteria.

Argument: (1) The affects and effects of mystical experience are real in that they are measurably transformative in a positive sense.

(2)These affects cannot be reduced to naturalistic cause and affect, bogus mental states or epiphenomena (this will be seen in analysis of skeptical counter causality below).

(3)Since the affects of Mystical consciousness are independent of other explanations and the effects are real we should assume that they are genuine experiences of something transcendent of our own minds.

(4)Since mystical experience is usually experience of something, the Holy, the sacred, or some sort of greater transcendent reality we should assume that the origin of the experience is rooted in transcendent reality.

(5)Since mystical experience is usually about the divine we can assume a divine origin.

(6) Since religious symbols are culturally bound, and religious affectations are tied to such symbols, the universal nature of mystical experience implies an objective referent.

Justification for P1 “measurably transformative in a positive sense” is reflected in the findings throughout the 50 year period during which the body of researched has been collected. A huge number of studies corroborate these findings, not all of them use the M scale but they all use various measurements. Many of them use standardized measurements already in place for happiness and self actualization and other such affects. I have selected a range of studies that spans the time period. Two of the first scientifically rigorous scientific studies on the topic were Robert Wuthnow (1978) [9] and Kathleen Noble (1987) [10]Summary of their finds are as follows:


*Say their lives are more meaningful,

*think about meaning and purpose

*Know what purpose of life is Meditate more *Score higher on self-rated personal talents and capabilities

*Less likely to value material possessions, high pay, job security, fame, and having lots of friends

*Greater value on work for social change, solving social problems, helping needy

*Reflective, self aware


*integration, allocentrism, *psychological maturity,

*self-acceptance, self-worth,

*autonomy, authenticity, need for solitude,

*increased love and compassion

*Experience productive of psychological health

*Less authoritarian and dogmatic

*More assertive, imaginative, self-sufficient

*intelligent, relaxed *High ego strength,

*relationships, symbolization, values,
Lukoff and Lu (1988) conducted a literature search reflects many studies demonstrating the transforming effects of religious experience, some of them using the early version of the M scale.[11] For example Finney and Maloneyh (1985) found contemplative prayer was instrumental in improvement in psychotherapy. [12]Hood (1977) found high correlation between mystical experiences and self actualization, persons of relatively high self actualization were more likely to have had mystical experiences. [13] Other studies (not in Lukoff and Lu) include Greeley who, “found no evidence to support the orthodox belief that frequent mystic experiences or psychic experiences stem from deprivation or psychopathology. His 'mystics' were generally better educated, more successful economically, and less racist, and they were rated substantially happier on measures of psychological well-being.” [14] Sullivan, using a large quantitative base of former mental patients found that 48% identified spiritual practices as crucial to their healing and this was corroborated by those ho cared for them. [15] This is just a small sample of the studies that demonstrate the transformative aspects.

Justification for P2 cannot be reduced to naturalistic cause and effect will be dealt with mainly below in answering the argument on brain chemistry. P3 affects of Mystical consciousness are independent of other explanations and the effects are real we should assume that they are genuine experiences of something transcendent of our own minds. That they are independent of counter causality derived from 2. That they are real is derived from the measurable effects in 1. P4, experience of something: The content of the experience is about the divine, or ultimate reality. Even when the experience is interpreted by the receiver not to be about God the receiver has been known to act in ways that are consistent with belief in God. Moreover, the experiences described tend to match those described as experiences of the divine. Ergo it’s just a matter of interpretation. Secondly, the vast majority of those who have these experiences do believe they are about God. [16]

This final point about the universal nature is of particular interest, When doctrinal explanations and differences of tradition are controlled for, the experiences themselves are the same the world over. Even among atheists, those who have religious experiences respond to them in the same way that religious believers do. This might indicate that these people are all experiencing an objective reality which is external to the human brain. There is a voluminous and ancient tradition of writing about experiences by people from all over the world, who claim to have experienced the divine. Mystics and philosophers have catelogued such writings. Two of the most noteworthy examples are Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill, [17] and Teachings of the Mystics by Philosopher W.T. Stace. [18] Many other such writers have included these experiences. Thirdly, grounded in empirical evidence, the universal nature of such experiences implies a source external to the human mind. When I say “external” I mean it originates externally but is experienced internally. This includes human brain structure and brain chemistry as a conduit not that it circumvents natural processes. W.T. Stace shows that, as Ralph Hood Jr. put it, “within and eventually outside of the great faith traditions mysticism has flourished.” [19]

Stace offers five characteristics that demonstrate the commonalities to mystical experience;these are characteristics that are found universally in all cultures and in all forms of mystical experience:

The contemporary interest in the empirical research of mysticism can be traced to Stace’s (Stace, 1960) demarcation of the phenomenological characteristics of mystical experiences (Hood, 1975). In Stace’s conceptualization, mystical experiences had five characteristics (Hood, 1985, p.176): 1. The mystical experience is noetic. The person having the eerience perceives it as a valid source of knowledge and not just a subjective experience. 2. The mystical experience is ineffable, it cannot simply be described in words. 3. The mystical experience is holy. While this is the religious aspect of the experience it is not necessarily expressed in any particular theological terms. 4. The mystical experience is profound yet enjoyable and characterized by positive affect. 5. The mystical experience is paradoxical. It defies logic. Further analysis of reported mystical experiences suggests that the one essential feature of mysticism is an experience of unity (Hood, 1985). The experience of unity involves a process of ego loss and is generally expressed in one of three ways (Hood, 1 976a). The ego is absorbed into that which transcends it, or an inward process by which the ego gains pure awareness of self, or a combination of the two. [20]

The other aspect of importance to this work is the universality argument. The universality argument could be taken as a warrant for belief, but I use it here to show that there’s a reason to equate these experiences with Supernature. When Hood took out the name specific to a religious tradition (from the M scale) and just asked general questions about experience, the experiences described were the same. This indicates that what is being experienced is the same for all the people having religious experiences. This is actually the same as saying Stace’s theory was validated. If it wasn’t validated they would not describe the same experiences. The indication is that there is an objective reality all of the mystics experience. The reason is because religion is a cultural construct. If they were just describing a constructed set of expectations resulting form culture, the experiences would be conditioned by culture not transcending it. So that means Iranian Muslims experience what they think of as “Allah” and Baptists in Cleveland experience what they think of as “Jesus” in the same way. This is should not be the case if they are merely experiencing culturally conditioned constructs. The implication is that they may be experiencing an objective reality that both understand through culturally constructed filters. Thus, there is a good indication that some external reality is experienced. One would then be warranted in thinking that this external reality is God, since the content of experience and its result on people's lives correlate with the objections of God belief in general.


[1] Frederick Schleiermacher, Speeches on Religion to it's Cultured Dispersers. New York: Cambridge University Press, Trans. Riichard Crouter,1996, 24-5

[2] Frederich Achleiermacher, On The Christian Faith. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, Trans. H. R. MacKintosh and J.R.Stewart, 1986, 76-8

[3] Ibid., 124.

[4] Robert R. Williams, Schleiermacher the Theologian: Construction of the Doctrine of God. Minneapolis MN: Fortress Press, 1978, 4.

[5] John Webster, Kathryn Tanner, and Ian Torrance, ed., Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology, Oxfor:Oxford University Press, 2007, 421.

[6] Ibid.

[7] David Steindl-Rast, “The Mystical Core of Organized Religion,” Copyright © 1989 by David Steindl-Rast. Used by the Council on Spiritual Practices with permission.First appeared in ReVision, Summer 1989 12(1):11-14. Online resource, URL: (accessed 1/2/16)

[8] Stace, Mysticism and Philosophy,, op.cit., 42-44.

[9] Robert, Wuthnow,"Peak Experiences: Some Empirical Tests." Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 18 (3), (1978), 59-75.

[10]Kathleen D. Noble, ``Psychological Health and the Experience of Transcendence.'' The Counseling Psychologist, 15 (4),(1987). 601-614.

[11] Lukoff, David & Francis G. Lu (1988). ``Transpersonal psychology research review: Topic: Mystical experiences.'' Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 20 (2), 161-184.

[12]Finney and Maloneyh, “An Empirical Study of Contemplative Prayer as an Adjunct to Psychotherapy,” Journal of Psychology and Theology 13 (4) 284-90.

[13]Ralph Hood Jr., “Differential Triggering of Mysticalo Experiences As A Function O Self Actualization,” Review of Religious Research, 18, 1977, 264-70.

[14]Charles T. Tart, Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm, New York: Dutton, 1977, back in print ed. 2001, 19.

[15]W. Sullivan, “It Helps Mev Be A Wholoe Person: The Role of Spirituality Among The mentally Challeneged.” Psychological Rehabilitation Journal, 16 (1993) 125-134.

[16] Ralph Hood Jr. “The Common Core Thesis in the Study of Mysticism.” In Where God and Science Meet: How Brain and Evolutionary Studies Alter Our Understanding of Religion. Patrick Mcnamara ed. West Port CT: Prager Publications, 2006, 119-235.

[17]Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism: A study on the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual consciousness. New York: Dutton, 1911

[18]W.T. Stace, Teachings of the Mystics: Selections from the Greatest Mystics and Mystical Writers of the World. New American Library 1960. A good General overview of Stace’s understanding of mysticism is Mystical Experience Registry: Mysticism Defined by W.T. Stace. found onine at URL:

[19]Ralph Hood Jr. “The Common Core Thesis in the Study of Mysticism.”op. cit., 119-235.

[20]Robert J. Voyle, “The Impact of Mystical Experiences Upon Christian Maturity.” originally published in pdf format: Google html version here: Voyle is quoting Hood in 1985, Hood in return is speakingStace. =us&ct=clnk&cd=2&ie=UTF-8

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Nature of Truth

A poster on Cadre blog says that Christianity screwed up truth and spoiled the rich ancient heritage in modernity, as though Christianity is the historical newcomer and modernity has an ancient heritage,

The word 'truth' and its underlying concept has been so wantonly cheapened over the centuries by the christian experience as to render it meaningless. The only thing we can say is certain about religion, christianity being no exception, is as Prof David Eller, renowned anthropologist eruditely explains, "Religion is essentially social, in both senses of the word. It is an activity that humans do together; it is created, maintained, and perpetuated by human group behaviour. It is also social in the sense that it extends that sociality beyond the human world, to a (putative) realm of non-human agents who also interact with us socially." Any every religion exhibits the very same pathologies based on superstition and ignorance of how the mind works. Its been a tough nut to crack but thankfully science is slowly but inexorably shining a light into those shadowed recesses.So the question about the "Trooth™" of christianity as the 'one and only true religion', or any of the thousands of extinct and extant religions that make the identical claim, is simply enculturated mumbo-jumbo.[1]

He not only spells truth differently but gives it a registered trade mark; nothing could be more appropriate because the modern denuded concept of truth replacing the real idea of truth is a product of 1DM [2] and thus the simulacra truth of the closed realm of discourse (the product of regicide everything to consuming and producing). In his mind he thinks the issue is between fact based empirical science and pretend made up unreliability Christianity, he;s a dupe. He;s duped into that false dichotomy. The scientific model that seems so factual is not factual at all it's the streaming data. The data stream is relative and vanishing based upon the constantly shifting sands of surface level things. The mere existence of the physical is the end of the line for the stream of data. There can be no unseen reality there. Of course there is one, the subatomic level but that;s just part of the inconsistency of ideology. That unseen reality plays a crucial role in scientific theory so it;s necessary but spirit doesn't so it has go.

The Christian ideal of truth is not made up.It's the concept of unseen reality that forms the basis of reality (like the subatomic level). It is unchaining,timeless, the basis of all that is. That is the description of god, In St. Augustine's view God = truth.

Augustine, after he had experienced all the implications of ancient skepticism, gave a classical answer to the problem of the two absolutes: they coincide in the nature of truth. Veritas is presupposed in ever philosophical argument; and veritas is God. You cannot deny truth as such because you could do it only in the name of truth, thus establishing truth. And if you establish truth you affirm God. “Where I have found the truth there I have found my God, the truth itself,” Augustine says. The question of the two Ultimates is solved in such a way that the religious Ultimate is presupposed in every philosophical question, including the question of God. God is the presupposition of the question of God. This is the ontological solution of the problem of the philosophy of religion. God can never be reached if he is the object of a question and not its basis.[3]

In the ideology of scientism God must necessarily be seen as "made up"and any unseen realm not subatomic has to be made up because if surface level of relativity is all there is then there can be no unseen. So the data stream version of truth is based upon ideology of scientism, at least the science oriented version of it is.I still see it as a creature of post human era (circa 1980) and thus akin to 'Trumpism and alt truth. So even tough fundamentalism calls itself "Christian" it has forsaken the Christian conception truth and is really just another product of the same forces that produced new atheism.

Lest there be any doubt that Paplinton is in the scientism way look at his answer to my comment:

"The overwhelming evidence suggests an explanation for why christianity [and all religions for that matter] persists is not that its narrative is true per se but that it is an epiphenomenal by-product of our need to make sense of the genetic and evolutionary drivers for human behavior in the absence of modern scientific knowledge and understanding two thousand years ago that we now are so thankfully privy to." So he has to destroy the concept of truth,make sure is no concept of a grander context in which material reality plays out amid unchanging eternal verities,it has to be relative and made up. It's just epi-phenomenal not even a real phenomenon. It;s based upon the need to explaimn things,which is the only motive for any belief if scientism is your only mode of thought. Because it emulates science.

His sense of history is totally distorted, The Christian concept is closer to teh Greek, having borrowed from it. The modern scientism view narrowed from the Christian. Physicist Paul Davies recognizes that modern enlightenment conceits of laws of physics are merely the residue of the God concept with the personality taken out, French philosphes just retained the powers of God with no will to motivate them.[4] The meta-narrative of scinentisms's ideology would have us believe that only Christianity is an attempt to understand and make sense but the empirical data stream of science is facts and the truth and the true explanation. In reality it is it just another meta-narrative with a different rational but still one that attempts to understand what is beyond its understanding.

Notice he has the social scientist pronounce religion just a social institution. Like that proves that's all it is. But the social sciences (founded largely by Auguste Comte) working out of the early dialectical materialist circles of Saimt-Simon, Fuerbach, and Marx were set in the path of atheist critique from the beginning,

Classical sociological theories are theories of great scope and ambition that either were created in Europe between the early 1800s and the early 1900s or have their roots in the culture of that period. The work of such classical sociological theorists as Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, and Vilfredo Pareto was important in its time and played a central role in the subsequent development of sociology. Additionally, the ideas of these theorists continue to be relevant to sociological theory today, because contemporary sociologists read them. They have become classics because they have a wide range of application and deal with centrally important social issues. [5]

Many of those thinkers made a big thing of atheism. I was a sociology major,l competed the whole major, my BA is in sinology and communication. I got out of the field because its disregard of any view other than its grinding number crunching reductionist meta-narrative.

Most modern Theologians base their view of truth upon the correspondence theory, true of Tillich in particular.

[The idea]... that truth is a relational property involving a characteristic relation (to be specified) to some portion of reality (to be specified). This basic idea has been expressed in many ways, giving rise to an extended family of theories and, more often, theory sketches. Members of the family employ various concepts for the relevant relation (correspondence, conformity, congruence, agreement, accordance, copying, picturing, signification, representation, reference, satisfaction) and/or various concepts for the relevant portion of reality (facts, states of affairs, conditions, situations, events, objects, sequences of objects, sets, properties, tropes). The resulting multiplicity of versions and reformulations of the theory is due to a blend of substantive and terminological differences. The correspondence theory of truth is often associated with metaphysical realism. Its traditional competitors, pragmatist, as well as coherentist, verificationist, and other epistemic theories of truth, are often associated with idealism, anti-realism, or relativism. In recent years, these traditional competitors have been virtually replaced (at least from publication-space) by deflationary theories of truth and, to a lesser extent, by the identity theory (note that these new competitors are typically notassociated with anti-realism). [6]

So my notion of truth understands the data stream of science in terms of understanding the physical world but it cant communicate any reality beyond the surface which is empirical existence. Truth with a capital "T" i that which is and it includes eternal necessary being that can neither cease nor fail to be.It is beyond our understanding.

I close with an explanation of my graphic, Why do I use a scene from the Seventh Seal? BTW the mast head photo is also from the same film, the knight plays chess with death, After doing so he finally looses and he and his friends dance off into death symbolic of dying of black pleasure. Art beats science it's the perfect medium to transmit religious tough into the modern world. It's "made up" but not false.It's the symbol of a truth beyond our understanding that has to be mediated through metaphor, science is made phony when scientism pretends it can go beyond itself and explain the transcendent, that really means explicate it away.

we all play chess with death, we are all going to die,we do not know what's over the hill.But we know there is truth over the hill.

Sources [1] Paplinton, "If Christianity were True Would You Become a Christian?" Comment section, Cadre Comments.(April 22) 2017 blog. URL" (accessed April 26,2017)

[2] 1DM is "one-Dimensional Man" Herbert Marcue's concept marking the decline of Western civilization and the ultimate triumph of capitalistic market forces in producing a tantalized system of obedience. It was the ultimate in capitalism induced false consciousness arresting class struggle. The workers get hooked on false needs, they don't perceive their need to rebel

see Marcuse: Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964, 12.

[3] Paul Tillich, Theology of Culture, New York: Oxford University press,1964 12-13.

[4] Paul Davies, “Physics and The Mind of God: the Templeton Prize Address,” First Things, August 1995, on line version
URL: accessed Nov 25, 2016

[5] Paul Rtzer and Douglas J.Goodman, Classical Sociological Theory, New York: McGraw Hill 4th edition, 79.

[6] Marian David,, "The Correspondence Theory of Truth", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = . First published Fri May 10, 2002; substantive revision Thu May 28, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2020

time for the big scare

The widow of a church elder at my old church sent me a PM on facebook. It is an article about a man who has come farward (to eenagelical chruches) saying he deisged the computer chiop that will deliever the mark of the beas. So the mark is about to be unvailed. Oddly enough here it is election time agaimn The kindof fear tacktics aresudedever time. In `88 I heard a woman in a restirant sain the Michael Dukakis had ordered all or artilloary be disengaed. Think about it, candidaee Michael Dukakis one sneater oefered all our artilliary to be disengaged? In 1980 a guy at my church told us he worked for the gaint computer company tha was about to unveil the mark of the beast he was going to keep us posted. We have had 40 years of this kind of fear mongering and they pull it in every election. Back in 80 the ideas was noised about the grape vine that God is about to bring on the end times but we vote for Reagan he will give us more time. This is because Reagan would stop abortion. This is the same game played evwry four four years. A social coompact.more time to enjoy the pleasure of money in exchange for noise about the evil of abortion. Does it really Make sense that the great man of God would say nothing about this? If Trump really was the greatan of God evangelicals want us to beleive he is wouldn't he be talking aobut how imporiative it is we stop this mark of the beast? doesn't it make more sense to think that the guy in charge of the system taht produces the mark would be in on rhe mark itself?

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Prepare to leave

I cannot blog under the conditions of the new regime, looking for new blogger home.

Monday, August 10, 2020

On Break

I've lost a dear friend,Judy Romero who led me to the Lord died loast week. I will retirn to blogging next week.Her daughter gives obit, link

Monday, August 03, 2020

Argument from causal necessity

This is an argument I recently had on a atheist web site, Here"You" is the atheist AndyF2.

Dialogue with AndyF2 aka"you"

my argument

1. Something exists.
2. Whatever exists does so either because it exists eternally or because it's existence is dependent upon some prior cause or set of circumstances.
3.If all things that exist are dependent for their existnece there is no actual explanation of causes
4. Therefore, there exists at least one  eternal thing
5. The  one eternal thing is the logical explanation for all causally dependent things
6.Any eternally existing cause of all things is worthy of the appellation "God."
7. Therefore God exists.
The False Dichotomy:

YOU: "The first issue is that 2 is a false dichotomy. For example, it may be that the universe appeared spontaneous. Joe objects to this because there is no precedence for things appearing spontaneously. However, the same is also true of something existing eternally."

ME: Show me an example of anything that pops into existence out of nothing! This is a contradiction to everything we  know and suspect, That we have no example of it just underscores the logic of the case that it is a contradiction to reality; Your answer to my argument is based upon the assumption tat  all  of science is wrong.  all logic is wrong, and we everything we observe in reality is wrong,  You basically  relay on magic to oppose God.

YOU: "Of course, in Joe's head, that is quite different, because he starts from the assumption that God exists - but of course that is exactly what he is trying to prove."

ME:--No I started from the assumption that things need causes a notion you apparently have yet to grasp. But it's an assumption made by all of science as nowhere in science do we find a principle of something from nothing,

You: "The simple fact is that we have no precedents for the start of the universe; going on common experience is a bad guide here."

ME:--that doesn't mean magic is a beter guide

His second attack "something eternal."

YOU: "Joe claims anything that is eternal should be called God. but this is just Joe injecting his own idea of how the universe started. If the laws of nature are eternal, would Joe worship them? Of course not!"

Me: --This is proven in the logic of the argument, you have not even addressed the argument,

YOU: "Okay, Albert's object is valid - depending on what Krauss meant by nothing. But so what? This does not prove the universe could not appear spontaneously, only that Krauss' theory is not that, so Joe's objection fails.

Me:--You have yet to give a reason why we should believe in something from nothing Apparently your only reason is to avoid  belief in God. We never see causal popping into existence,why should we accept it? No scientist does, No theory in science proposes the universe just popped up out of nothing. There's always the assumption of a prior structure, yet i;ts never accounted for.
YOU:"Furthermore, if we allow Krauss' theory, but acknowledge the framework within which quantum mechanics might work was eternal, then we have a very real possibility for how the university began. 

Me: So you drop something from nothing? Where did the frame work come from?

YOU"Sure, we cannot explain the framework within which quantum mechanics, but Joe cannot explain God. And the framework within which quantum mechanics is FAR more parsimonious. Joe's objection fails again."

Me: Sure we both work from unknowns but God is a more logical assumption than acausal popping. Notice you never acutely addressed the logic of the argument  which proves that there must be one logical eternal necessary origin and thus this is worthy of being thought God.