Sunday, September 25, 2022

How Do we Know Which Parts of the Bible are Inspired?



On a message board an atheist named Magus asks me:

Quote: Which parts of the bible are the "true" word of god, if any? Do you believe that the bible is only a reflection of the way that the people who wrote it or do you believe god wanted it to turn out the way it did? If you believe some parts come from god and other do not, how do you determine which is which? Of course I heard these kinds of questions all the time.

Quote: Which parts of the bible are the "true" word of god, if any?

Not a matter of Parts. You can't dissect a narrative line by line and ask "what parts of this narrative are the result of the writer's genius and what parts are just banal filler?" You can criticize different aspects of course, but you can't say 'this sentence is genius and this sentence is not a product of genius." The whole narrative works together to create a solid word. Narratives communicate in many subtle ways. you can't limit the number of insights one can deduce from a work of art.

Fundamentalists look at the Bible in a certain way and atheists look at it in reaction the fundamentalist way. The basic assumption is made by both that the text of the Bible is, from the "In the Beginning" of Genesis to the "even so come quickly Lord Jesus" of Revelation as words transmitted from God to the mind of the authors. As though Moses sits down, takes pen in hand and a light shines on him and a voice in his head says (in a booming echo like way) "write write write, this is it...."In in in The the their beginning beginning beginning...." I don't think it works that way. I am willing to understand that when the prophets say "this is what the Lord says" they may be repeating word for word the exact verbiage God gave them to say, although not necessarily. But for most of the Bible I doubt that it works that way. I think people were just using the ideas that came to them as a result of their religious experiences, and as a result they used those concepts and feelings in the different ways that it occurred to them to use such material. They put their ideas of God into the stories and those who had real experiences really captured the nature of God's grace, and those who did not genuinely experience God failed to capture such things.

The real problem is the model. The model of the fundies says that God is writing a memo. The Bible is the word form "the Big man upstairs" and just like an executive writing a memo. Moses is taking dictation. But that model assumes directly handed down verbiage, it's even called "verbal plenary" meaning "all the verbiage is inspired." That's NOT the model I use. I go by a model that views the Bible as a collection of writings which are based upon human encounters with the divine. People experience God in different ways, usually beyond words; to speak about that they must call up from the deep recesses of their spirits (minds) that intangible part that produces art and literature, and they formulate into words their experiences. That means they have to load the experience into cultural constructs.

A cultural construct is an idea that is suggested by culture, by association with other people in society and the symbols and analogies and metaphors that tacitly speak to us at a level we understand but can't necessarily articulate. In the ancient world life was cheap, people were used to thinking in terms of either wiping out the other guy or being wiped out. The ancient Hebrews magnified their culture, but a romanticized view of themselves and their struggles into narrative form and used that framework to express the wordless sense of the numinous that they experienced through contact with God. The tendency to want to wipe out other people, to destroy totally every trace of their existence and lives, is part of the cultural constructs which act as a lens to give words to the writer's deep and hidden senses of God communicated through wordless sensations on the mystical level. So they build into the narrative a bunch of stuff about wiping these guys and those guys but what we need to understand is the major point being made.

For example, in the bit about the Amalekites, I'm pretty sure the bit about the infants is added in latter. I think we see real evdience in the text that it's been tweaked. But the real point is not wipe out the Amalekites nor is it that it's ok for us to wipe our enemies, the real point is to obey God. Saul didn't obey God and the incident was a downfall for him. Now it doesn't matter that the incident is this failure to wipe out the infants it could have been anything. They wrote it like that. The real point is do whatever God tells you to do. But that God is not going to tell us to wipe out our enemies and destroy their kids is pretty obvious to most of us. We can defend that description well enough to say "God did not command this." We can even put it up to religious experience. My experiences of God tells me God doesn't want this. But why did the author of that part of the Bible (presumably Samuel) think that God did tell him that? Because he's filtering the experience through his cultural constructs.

Now you might ask "but then how can we learn moral truths? Our moral understanding is not static. Our understanding evolves over time. The ancient Hebrews could not understand this was wrong because it was common place in their day. We understand the wrong of it because culture evolves. Jesus understood it was wrong. Jesus did not say "wipe out the Amalekites" he said "turn the other cheek." He even corrected the understanding of the OT generations when he said "you have heard it said an eye a tooth for a tooth, but I say to you turn the other cheek." With the Bible we do not proof text. We don't determine what to do by one verse. We use the preponderance of the evidence, meaning everything we can understand about the Bible. We don't stop there, we study and understand what others have said about it. We use the words of the saints and the great theologians as precedents and benchmarks to help us interpret. Samuel was not speaking with authority for all time in telling that story. He was not merely telling a story he heard he was putting down on paper a tradition (probably the real author was writing from Babylon in the exile--that's the most heavily redacted part of the Bible). He was putting into the work his understanding of God from his experiences as well what he had been taught. But the end result is a narrative and like all narratives it only works to accomplish its task when we try to understand it as a narrative and not force it into molds where it doesn't fit such as memo from the boss, military communique, or auto owner's manual.

It doesn't make sense to say "this is inspired and this isn't." That would be like saying "which feet of Elliot's The Wasteland are inspired and which aren't. You can't segment things in that way. We need to understand the bible as literature. It's major function is to bestow grace upon the reader. you read it to be healed to find spiritual edification and to understand God's laws. There are those who think it should be read like an instruction Manuel for a car. They seem to think it's going to tell us ever move to make in the same way that the owner's Manual tells us how to change the oil. Since the Bible is a collection of different works written over a long period of time it doesn't make sense to try and fit the whole collection into one model and understand it all in the same way.

We don't have to underst and exactly the role of inspiration nor do we need to look for the inspired parts as opposed to the banal parts. What we need to do is understand the over all preponderance of teaching and weigh that in light of what God shows us in our own lives. When we do this grace is bestowed, we are healed, we are drawn closer to God but we do not have to relate to it as if we are reading the instructions to change the oil in the car.



https://www.amazon.com/dp/0982408765 God, Science, and Ideology by Joseph Hinman is a very important book. Hinman was a PhD candidate in the UT system, his field was history of ideas and he studied the history and philosophy of science. He brings this knowledge to the critique of athye8ist ideology on the internet. Hinman summarizes 20years of arguments with atheist apologist and takes down some of the major atheists figures such as Richard Dawkins,

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Do laws imply a law giver?

In my argument from laws of nature: https://metacrock.blogspot.com/2022/09/argument-from-laws-of-nature.html I say:
Notice I said nothing about law implying a law giver. The rationale for mind is not based upon laws in the prescriptive sense. Yet there is a law like regularity in what is described as the behavior of the universe. Skeptics will argue that laws are not prescriptive but merely descriptive of how the universe works. What they describe, however, seems rather law-like. It really makes no sense to say this is merely what the universe does and yet never violates it. It just happens to be very law-like but that's a total accident, one you can run a roller coaster by. Gravity always works.

In the comments of a different post, the one on Hartshorne's modal argument

Please do not do the laws need a law giver argument. It only shows you do not understand what laws are in science. As I said before:
He doesn't read what I say. This raises a question, since avoiding the law giver idea doesn't work it doesn't matter what I say he wont read it, why otarguefraom laws to law giver?

The reason for disputing  the term "law," is because physical law are not really laws. They are not passed by any governing body. They are called laws because when Issac Newton and others came up with the idea of natural law they assumed they were established by God. Thus they are God given God is the law maker. But that would be a circular reason to argue this and the use that to prove God exists. But is there another approach?

What we call laws are not laws and according to atheist bromide (natural laws are just descriptions of the way the universe works) we can call them "tendencies." Tendencies imply a tendency maker? Well we can infer a reason that's why scientists try to explain how things work.That is why we have science, to explain how it works.

Term  tendency isn't strong enough because there is no option. Things don't just tend to fall toward the center of mass, they have to. There are no exceptions given normal conditions.Weather we go with law or find some other term is ot the issue. The issue is that efficiency and regularity that never fails implies planning and planning requires a mind,We don't have to call it law but does seem to be the product of mind.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Argument from Laws of Nature

I had such fun the last couleof weeks makimg God argumemts I just have to add another,

The folks on Secular Outpost were Always dubious of any argument from laws of nature.  The presentation that set them off and so deserved their ire was designed by Campus Crusade for Christ. [1] Yet I felt it was possible to make a valid argumemt along those lines and thus I felt like I had to try to  prove to the atheists there is a potential argument there and show my fellow Christians how to find it.

The bad argument on the Sec Outpost was purely a "god of the gaps" argument: how is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable? "The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn't have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence."[2]

The only rationale upon which the argument turns is the mystery concerning how laws work. That is a god of the gaps argument by definition, textbook. My argument begins by stating a rationale that, while it may be hard to prove, is at least not a gap in knowledge, at least not only a gap. The problem with gaps is that they close up. Yet if we can demonstrate that mind is a more solid basis for the seeming law-like regularity of the universe that night make for a better explanation.[3] The argument:

1) mind is the most efficient and dependable source of ordering we know,

(2) Random ordering is usually inefficient and the odds are against its dependability.

(3) The Universe Displays a Law-like efficiency and dependability in the workings of its natural machinations.

(4) Such efficiency and dependability is indicative of mind as an ordering principle (from 1,3), therefore, it is logical to assume mind as the best explanation for the dependability of the universe..

(5) A mind that orders the universe fits the major job description for God, Thus mind is the best explanation, assuming the choices are mind vs random chance.

Notice I said nothing about law implying a law giver. The rationale for mind is not based upon laws in the prescriptive sense. Yet there is a law like regularity in what is described as the behavior of the universe. Skeptics will argue that laws are not prescriptive but merely descriptive of how the universe works. What they describe, however, seems rather law-like. It really makes no sense to say this is merely what the universe does and yet never violates it. It just happens to be very law-like but that's a total accident, one you can run a roller coaster by. Gravity always works.

This does raise the one real sticking point, premises 1-2. Can we prove that mind is the best explanation for law-like regularity? I'm going to assume that it's pretty obvious that (P3) universe displays like-like efficiency. Also I don't think it will be such a struggle to prove 4-5 linking a mind that orders the universe with God. Therefore I wont bother to argue those here. Thus I will concern myself primarily with P's 1-2.

Certain schools of philosophy hold that an inference to the best explanation is a valid argument. That is if one amid a variety of explanations has a more significant likelihood of coming true, and is more in line with prevailing theory and serves to explain more of the data then that hypothesis can be warranted as "the best explanation,"[4] Ratzsch goes on to quote Peter Lipton: "According to Inference to the Best Explanation … [g]iven our data and our background beliefs, we infer what would if true, provide the best of the competing explanations we can generate of those data (so long as the best is good enough for us to make any inference at all)."[5]

That complexity and efficacy are indicative of mind as an organizing principle might be hard or impossible to pull off but it makes sense on one level. Through complexity and fitedness one might deduce purpose or telos, and mind might be indicted in that sense.

All the richness and diversity of matter and energy we observe today has emerged since the beginning in a long and complicated sequence of self- organizing physical processes. The laws of physics not only permit a universe to originate spontaneously, but they encourage it to organize and complexify itself to the point where conscious beings emerge who can look back on the great cosmic drama and reflect on what it all means."

...The laws that characterize our actual universe, as opposed to an infinite number of alternative possible universes, seem almost contrived-fine-tuned, some commentators have claimed-so that life and consciousness may emerge. To quote Dyson again: it is almost as if "the universe knew we were coming." I cannot prove to you that this is design, but whatever it is it is certainly very clever][6]

Now the secularist skeptic might argue evolution demonstrates an organizing principle producing great complexity and in mindless fashion, While that might be the case the problem is evolution is surely the product of the law-like regularity and not it's cause. Presumably then we need laws to make evolutionary processes work and so we have not explained anything. Even so the skeptic can always fall back on the fact that we don't have a world that we know is or is not designed by a mind to which we compare our own world. Even though P1 might make sense there is no way to prove it. Not having an undesigned universe to compare may mean that we can't prove the existence of God by the argument here advanced, It does not necessarily mean the argument is not a good one. If we forget about proof and talk about warrant: it may not be proof but it is probably the best explanation and that may warrant belief.

 In arguments of this type, superior explanatory virtues of a theory are taken as constituting decisive epistemic support for theory acceptability, warranted belief of the theory, and likely truth of the theory. There are, of course, multitudes of purported explanatory, epistemic virtues, including the incomplete list a couple paragraphs back (and lists of such have evolved over time). Assessing hypotheses in terms of such virtues is frequently contentious, depending, as it does, on perceptions of ill-defined characteristics, differences in background conceptual stances, and the like. Still, in general we frequently manage rough and ready resolutions...[7]

The argument does turn on the premise of a design argument but it could be considered more than that. Hawking ascribes the origin of the universe to the laws of physics, particularly gravity He certainly seems to indicate that they are more than just descriptions of what happens. Yet he makes no attempt to explain where these laws come from. In the sense that the mind offers a more complete explanation it could be the "best."

Stephen Hawking wrote a book, The Grand Design. in which he argued that gravity accounts for the existence of everything else:

If the total energy of the universe must always remain zero, and it costs energy to create a body, how can a whole universe be created from nothing? That is why there must be a law like gravity. Because gravity is attractive, gravitational energy is negative….Bodies such as stars or black holes cannot just appear out of nothing. But a whole universe can….Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing in the manner described in Chapter 6. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.[8]

Edger Anders discusses the problem with this approach: So gravity is God. Unfortunately the authors have no time to tell us who created gravity (earlier they rule out God because no one could explain who created him). Nor can they tell us why matter and gravity should pop out of nothing, except to argue that ‘nothing’ undergoes quantum fluctuations. However, this requires that (like gravity) the laws of quantum mechanics pre-existed the universe and that ‘nothing’ possesses the properties of normal space, which is part of the created order and cannot be its antecedent.[9]

Were I involved in a debate against a seasoned great thinker or some professional philosopher this is not the argument I  would use. I think it is a valid warrant for belief, the best explanation for law-like regularity.

Main supporting evidence: Laws of Physics,k beyond descriptoveprescroptovedochotomy

this is a chapter for a book I'm working on. It;s in three parts but supports thsi argument real well,

Supporter Material

Laws of physics: beyond prescriptive/descriptive Dichotomy

Sources

[1] Bradly Bowen, Adamson's Cru [de] Arguments for God part 1, Secular Outpost, (April 25, 2016) blog URL:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2016/04/25/adamsons-crude-arguments-for-god-part-1/ accessed April 28, 2016

[2] Marlyn Adamson, "Is There a God," Every Student, Published by Campus Crusade for Christ

On line resource, URL: http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html She sites fn 11:Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great about Christianity; (Regnery Publishing, Inc, 2007, chapter

[3] I recently posted on criteria by which to judge best explanation.

[4] Ratzsch, Del and Koperski, Jeffrey, "Teleological Arguments for God's Existence", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = ..

[5] Peter Lipton, Inference to the Best Explanation. 1st Edition. London: Routledge (1991, 58): quoted in Ratzsch, Ibid.

[6] ."Paul Davies, "Physics and the Mind o God; Templeton Award Address, First Things ON LINE URL

http://www.firstthings.com/article/1995/08/003-physics-and-the-mind-of-god-the-templeton-prize-address-24 accessed 1/1/16

Paul Davies is Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Adelaide in Australia and the twenty-fifth recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, which he received on May 3, 1995 at Westminster Abbey. His books include The Mind of God, God and New Physics, The Cosmic Blueprint, Superforce, and Other Worlds.

[7] Ratzsch, Ibid.

[8] Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design, New York: Bantum Books, 2010. 180

[9] Edgar Andres, “Review: the Grand Design,” Challies'.com, Tim Challies, on line reouce, URL:

http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/the-grand-design acessed 10/4/15 Andres is Emeritus professor University of London. Physicist and an expert on large molecules. Born 1932

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Hartshorne's Modal Argument for God' Existence


Charles Hartshorne 1897-2000


What follows is one of the most challenging subjects you will ever hear about. It is the best way to get a head ache, but I think it proves the existence of God. The problem is it requires a very specialized background to understand it. First you have to understand modal logic.

Modal Logic is so called because it turns upon the use of so called "modal operators." It's called "modal" because it is the logic of modes of being. "modes" as in what type of existence something exits in, weather it is dependent upon other things, weather it can cease or fail to exist and so forth. The modal operators are "necessity," "contingency" "impossibly," "possibility."

Necessity and contingency lie at the base of our modern understanding of cause and effect. They come from scholastic notions of logic, but the distinction between the notion our modern notions of c/e and the scholastic ones in the middle ages is not that great. The scholastic had more levels of cause, efficient cause, final cause and several others. But one could everything we have done in modern science using the scholastic ideas of c/e.

Necessity doesn't mean has to exist. It doesn't mean God is necessary to the existence of the world (except in so far as if God exists then of closure God is necessary to the world as creator--without God there would be no world).The modal argument does not begin with the assumption that God has to exist. It begins with the assumption that there is a valid distinction between necessity and contingency, which there must be.It proceeds along the lines of hypothetical consequence that obtain from different scenarios of God's existence. It concludes that is necessary. But by "necessary" it means not contingent, or not dependent upon something else for its' existence.[1]

This is often misconstrued by atheists and taken to mean the argument proceeds from God's existence as an assumed first premise. This is not the case, the first premise is either/or. Either God's existence is necessary or it is impossible. This allows for the possibility that there is no God. So the argument does not begin by "defining God into existence."

Necessity essentially not contingent, it also coneys the idea of he can;'t cease or fail to exist, stemming from his eternal nature.

Contingent means the opposite: that a thing is dependent upon a prior thing for existence, or that it could cease or fail to exist.

Impossible means logically impossible, something in the structure of the idea contradictions, such as square circles.

one of the sore spots that atheists get stuck on is the idea that God cannot be contingent. They will always leap to the conclusion that this is defining God into existence, because they don't understand the concept of God. God, by the nature of the concept, carriers certain parameters just as the existence of any human assumes humanity, or the existence of any tree assumes that the tree in question is a plant. To have to define that God is not contingent should not even come into it. The idea of God is that of eternal creator of all things. Thus God cannot cease to exits and cannot be dependent upon anything (or he wouldn't be the creator of all things). Atheists usually assume that all knowledge has to be empirical. they will argue this is defining God into existence. maybe God is contingent.

Argument:

Close to Hartshorne's version

1. God is either necessary or impossible.
2. God can be conceived without contradiction.
3. Whatever can be conceived without contradiction is not impossible.
4. God is not impossible.
5. God's existence is a necessity (from 1-4, not contingent or impossible means necessary)
6. If God is necessary, then God exists.
7. Belief in God's existence is warranted



About Hartshorne

Hartshorne Lived to be 103, at the time of his death in the Fall of 2000, he was known as "the greatest living Metaphysician." Hartshorne was one of the major forces in the "back to God" movement in Philosophy (a term coined by Christianity Today in a 1979 article. His first and greatest calim to fame is as the second most influential voice in process philosophy, along with Alfred North Whtiehead, but he is also credited as the man who brought the Ontological argument back from ignominious defeat by Kant almost two centuries earlier. Hartshorne was also a recognized authority on birdsong, and an authority on bycicles, having never driven a car a single time in his centogenerian lifespan. Hartshorne devoted the last years of life to waging a letter's to the editor campaign to advocate social issues such as medical care.

Answering the argumet that God need mot be necessary

Logic of the modal argumemt.

Fun with the Modal argumemt


Notes

[1] Most of the time philosphers define Necessity as "necessity, in logic and metaphysics, a modal property of a true proposition whereby it is not possible for the proposition to be false and of a false proposition whereby it is not possible for the proposition to be true." According to Google. There is anothersese ofnecessity menaing indepemdet existence. Hartshorne argued these senses are really one. The reason something could not cease or fail to exist is because it does dependd for existence upon anything else.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Anthropic Argument (Fine Tuning)

1 Argument from Religious experiece (codetermenate)
2 Argumemt from Transcendental signifiers(You are here)
3 The Cosmological argumemt
4 The Fine tuning argumemt (You are here)
5 Hartshorne's Modal argument


The fine tuning argument says that there are so many enstances which had things been slightly different life would not have emerged, that we must conclude that the game is fxed; there is a creative mind guiding the evolutionary development of the universe.

Our best current theories of fundamental physics are the Standard Model of elementary particle physics and the theory of general relativity. The Standard Model accounts for three of the known four fundamental forces of nature—the strong, the weak, and the electromagnetic force—while general relativity accounts for the fourth—gravity. Arguments according to which our universe is fine-tuned for life are aimed at showing that life could not have existed for the vast majority of other forms of the laws of nature, other values of the constants of nature, and other conditions in the very early universe.[1]
Examples

The following is an—incomplete—list of suggested instances of fine-tuning for life. (For popular overviews see Leslie 1989: ch. 2, Rees 2000, Davies 2006, and Lewis & Barnes 2016; for more technical ones see Hogan 2000, Uzan 2011, Barnes 2012, Adams 2019 and the contributions to Sloan et al. 2020.)[2]

The strength of gravity, when measured against the strength of electromagnetism, seems fine-tuned for life (Rees 2000: ch. 3; Uzan 2011: sect. 4; Lewis & Barnes 2016: ch. 4). If gravity had been absent or substantially weaker, galaxies, stars and planets would not have formed in the first place. Had it been only slightly weaker (and/or electromagnetism slightly stronger), main sequence stars such as the sun would have been significantly colder and would not explode in supernovae, which are the main source of many heavier elements (Carr & Rees 1979). If, in contrast, gravity had been slightly stronger, stars would have formed from smaller amounts of material, which would have meant that, inasmuch as still stable, they would have been much smaller and more short-lived (Adams 2008; Barnes 2012: sect. 4.7.1).

The strength of the strong nuclear force, when measured against that of electromagnetism, seems fine-tuned for life (Rees 2000: ch. 4; Lewis & Barnes 2016: ch. 4). Had it been stronger by more than about 50% almost all hydrogen would have been burned in the very early universe (MacDonald & Mullan 2009). Had it been weaker by a similar amount, stellar nucleosynthesis would have been much less efficient and few, if any, elements beyond hydrogen would have formed. For the production of appreciable amounts of both carbon and oxygen in stars, even much smaller deviations of the strength of the strong force from its actual value would be fatal (Hoyle et al. 1953; Barrow & Tipler 1986: 252–253; Oberhummer et al. 2000; Barnes 2012: sect. 4.7.2). The difference between the masses of the two lightest quarks—the up- and down-quark—seems fine-tuned for life (Carr & Rees 1979; Hogan 2000: sect. 4; Hogan 2007; Adams 2019: sect. 2.25). Partly, the fine-tuning of these two masses obtains relative to the strength of the weak force (Barr & Khan 2007). Changes in the difference between them have the potential to affect the stability properties of the proton and neutron, which are bound states of these quarks, or lead to a much simpler and less complex universe where bound states of quarks other than the proton and neutron dominate. Similar effects would occur if the mass of the electron, which is roughly ten times smaller than the mass difference between the down- and up-quark, would be somewhat larger in relation to that difference. There are also absolute constraints on the masses of the two lightest quarks (Adams 2019: fig. 5).
The strength of the weak force seems to be fine-tuned for life (Carr & Rees 1979). The cosmological constant characterizes the energy density of the vacuum. On theoretical grounds, outlined in Section 5 of this article, one would expect it to be larger than its actual value by an immense number of magnitudes.[3]

Many more

a source that makes the God argument based upon fine tuning, This soirce has top scientifijc credentials. (biologos--Fracis Collins):

Scientists of all worldviews agree that the physical constants of our universe and the conditions of the early universe are exquisitely fine-tuned for life. Multiple theories in physics predict that our universe may be one of very many, an idea known as the multiverse. Some Christians argue that fine-tuning is proof of God’s existence, while some atheists argue that the multiverse replaces God. Neither conclusion can be reached on the basis of science alone, because the existence of God is not a scientific question. Yet our fruitful cosmos resonates with the Christian understanding of God as the creator of a world fit for life.[4]
Answers on Multiverse The Multiverse is the idea that there is an infinite number of parallel universes. Because there is an infinite number it is not so improbable to find a life bearing universe. The more universes the greater the odds of fiding life thus this argumet is looked upon as thye defeater to the FT argument.I have 10 reasons why this is not the disproof of FT.I'll just go into a couple of them here.

I.We can never know if other universes exist or not.

One might be tempted to think that doesn't matter because the statistics indicate there must be lots of life bearing planets out there. Yet the important point is the atheists are the one's saying don't believe without empirical proof. They will challenge the believer to show "just one" fact supporting God. Yet they believe this with no empirical proof!

"yes there could be other universes out there, but they would be unobservable no matter how old our universe became...even infinitely old!! So, such universes have no meaning to science because there is no experiment we can perform to detect them." (astronomy café) [5]

Robert Koon's, philosopher Univ. Texas said,"Note how the situation has changed. Originally, atheists prided themselves on being no-nonsense empiricists, who limited their beliefs to what could be seen and measured. Now, we find ourselves in a situation in which the only alternative to belief in God is belief in an infinite number of unobservable parallel universes! You've come along way, baby!

II. Multiverse Requires Fine Tuning

Futhermore, the best mechanism for multiverses that last, actually requires fine-tuning itself. The chaotic inflationary model - which seeks to avoid fine-tuning by positing that the initial conditions vary at random over the superspace of the Higgs fields - also fine-tunes its parameters, as Earman has pointed out: "The inflationary model can succeed only by fine-tuning its parameters, and even then, relative to some natural measures on initial conditions, it may also have to fine-tune its initial conditions for inflation to work."[6]

co-author in inflationary theoryPhysicist Paul Steinhardt agrees: “The whole point of inflation was to get rid of fine-tuning – to explain features of the original big bang model that must be fine-tuned to match observations. The fact that we had to introduce one fine-tuning to remove another was worrisome. This problem has never been resolved.``[see fn for more][7] It is true they were not talking about answering the FTA for God but using FT of a sort in builig inflationary theory.  But the application it has here is that the theory of MV requires inflation, and if that theory itself requires fine tuning they can hardly balk at the concept of fine tuning. But they have no mechanism  to tune things. This puts inflationary theory in question and thus MV.

extended quote from the article:

 
Horgan: You were one of the originators of inflation theory. When and why did you start having doubts about it? Steinhardt: From the very beginning, even as I was writing my first paper on inflation in 1982, I was concerned that the inflationary picture only works if you finely tune the constants that control the inflationary period. Andy Albrecht and I (and, independently, Andrei Linde) had just discovered the way of having an extended period of inflation end in a graceful exit to a universe filled with hot matter and radiation, the paradigm for all inflationary models since. But the exit came at a cost -- fine-tuning. The whole point of inflation was to get rid of fine-tuning – to explain features of the original big bang model that must be fine-tuned to match observations. The fact that we had to introduce one fine-tuning to remove another was worrisome. This problem has never been resolved.... But my concerns really grew when I discovered that, due to quantum fluctuation effects, inflation is generically eternal and (as others soon emphasized) this would lead to a multiverse. Inflation was introduced to produce a universe that looks smooth and flat everywhere and that has features everywhere that agree with what we observe. Instead, it turns out that, due to quantum effects, inflation produces a multitude of patches (universes) that span every physically conceivable outcome (flat and curved, smooth and not smooth, isotropic and not isotropic, scale-invariant spectra and not, etc.). Our observable universe would be just one possibility out of a continuous spectrum of outcomes. So, we have not explained any feature of the universe by introducing inflation after all. We have just shifted the problem of the original big bang model (how can we explain our simple universe when there is a nearly infinite variety of possibilities that could emerge from the big bang?) to the inflationary model (how can we explain our simple universe when there is a nearly infinite variety of possibilities could emerge in a multiverse?).... I have to admit that I did not take the multiverse problem seriously at first even though I had been involved in uncovering it. I thought someone would figure out a resolution once the problem was revealed. That was 1983. I was wrong. Unfortunately, what has happened since is that all attempts to resolve the multiverse problem have failed and, in the process, it has become clear that the problem is much stickier than originally imagined. In fact, at this point, some proponents of inflation have suggested that there can be no solution. We should cease bothering to look for one. Instead, we should simply take inflation and the multiverse as fact and accept the notion that the features of the observable universe are accidental: consequences of living in this particular region of the multiverse rather than another.

To me, the accidental universe idea is scientifically meaningless because it explains nothing and predicts nothing. Also, it misses the most salient fact we have learned about large-scale structure of the universe: its extraordinary simplicity when averaged over large scales. In order to explain the one simple universe we can see, the inflationary multiverse and accidental universe hypotheses posit an infinite variety of universes with arbitrary amounts of complexity that we cannot see. Variations on the accidental universe, such as those employing the anthropic principle, do nothing to help the situation. Scientific ideas should be simple, explanatory, and predictive. The inflationary multiverse as currently understood appears to have none of those properties.[8]
My entire argumemt on religious a priori (3 pages).



Notes


[1]Simon Friederich, "Fine-Tuning", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2022 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .

[2]Ibid

[3]Ibid

[4]"What Do Fine Tuning and Multiverse say about God?" Biologos,2019 https://biologos.org/common-questions/what-do-fine-tuning-and-the-multiverse-say-about-god?gclid=Cj0KCQjw6_CYBhDjARIsABnuSzqxKBGOsLkJJ9hDYRz4aRnjFXCnilhoOu9rKwZDRa6t_LIT5CWHzh8aAqMhEALw_wcB

"BioLogos was founded by one of the top biologists in the world, Francis Collins. He led the Human Genome Project and now directs the National Institutes of Health. In 2006, he wrote the best-selling book The Language of God in which he tells his journey from atheism to Christian belief, showing that science is not in conflict with the Bible, but actually enhances faith. The outpouring of response to the book showed the need for virtual and actual meeting places to ask questions, discuss issues, and learn from the top Christian minds in the sciences and theology."

[5]Sten Odenwald, (Raytheon STX) for the NASA IMAGE/POETRY Education and Public Outreach program http://sirius-c.ncat.edu/space/Space-Weather/poetry/ask/a11215.html (accessed Jine 8.2019)

[6]John Earman. Bangs, Crunches, Wimpers, and Shrieks: Singularities and Acausalities in Relativistic Spacetimes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995., p. 156) So rather than avoid fine-tuning, the multiverse pushes it up a level.

[7]John Horgan, “Physicist slams Cosmic Theory he Helped Conceive,” Scientific American Blogs, December 1, 2014. on line, URL http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/physicist-slams-cosmic-theory-he-helped-conceive/ accessed 10/5/15. Horgan interviews Steinhardt.

[8]Ibid.



Wednesday, September 07, 2022

The Cosmological Argument for The Existence of God



List of God arguments to be presented: 1 Argument from Religious experience (codetermenate)
2 Argument from Transcendental signifiers
3 The Cosmological argument(You are here)
4 The Fine tuning argument
5 Hartshorne's Modal argument


The Argument

1. Something exists.
2. Whatever exists exists either necessarily or contingently.
3. It is impossible that only contingent things exist.
4. Therefore, there exists at least one necessary thing.
5. If there is a necessary thing, that thing is appropriately called 'God.'
6. Therefore God exists.[1]


There are many versions of the cosmological argument, this is the modal cosmological argument. One of the best known versions is the Kalam cosmological arument is the version made famous by William Lane Craig. Craig takes that argument from Arab philosophers in the middle ages.The Modal version differs in that Kalam rests upon the universe having a beginning The Modal argument doesn't make that assumption:

What distinguishes the modal cosmological argument from the kalam cosmological argument is that it is consistent with the idea that the universe has an infinite past. The kalam cosmological argument rests on the controversial claim that the universe has a beginning in time. The argument from contingency, in contrast, is consistent with the universe having existed from eternity.[2]
  One thing skeptocal critics have often pulled on me is to deny that contingencies require necessities. They have often challenged me to prove this. My Major means of proof is to show that major sources on philosophy affirm this idea.First let's define necessity and contingency.
Something is “necessary” if it could not possibly have failed to exist. The laws of mathematics are often thought to be necessary. It is plausible to say that mathematical truths such as two and two making four hold irrespective of the way that the world is. Even if the world were radically different, it seems, two and two would still make four. God, too, is often thought to be a necessary being, i.e. a being that logically could not have failed to exist.

  Something is “contingent” if it is not necessary, i.e. if it could have failed to exist. Most things seem to exist contingently. All of the human artefacts around us might not have existed; for each one of them, whoever made it might have decided not to do so. Their existence, therefore, is contingent. You and I, too, might not have existed; our respective parents might never have met, or might have decided not to have children, or might have decided to have children at a different time. Our existence, therefore, is contingent. Even the world around us seems to be contingent; the universe might have developed in such a way that none of the observable stars and planets existed at all.[3]
    There is a causal dimension to the relationship. Contingencies deend upo necessities for their existence.

      "A contingent being (a being such that if it exists, it could have not-existed or could cease to exist) exists. This contingent being has a cause of or explanation for its existence. ... Therefore, what causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must include a non-contingent (necessary) being."[4] This makes sense from the standpoint of cause and effect. All naturalistic things have causes.. Thus everything nature produces is caused and thus is contingent.Since   nature is contingent there must be a necessity that produces nature.

A major argument skeptics ask me is why does the cause have to be God? It could be some impersonal things. That doesn;t make sense because they are asserting another naturalistic thing which would be contingent so it doesn't solve the problem at all. The ultimate necessity must be eternal since it can't be caused (then it would be contingent). We can't get something from nothing. It must be eternal. It must be capable of producing all the contingencies. Thus God fits this description better than anything else we know.

Notes and Sources

[1]My argument is a great deal like Samuel Calrke's argumemt.
Samuel Clarke (1675–1729) was the most influential British metaphysician and theologian in the generation between Locke and Berkeley, and only Shaftesbury rivals him in ethics. In all three areas he was very critical of Hobbes, Spinoza, and Toland. Deeply influenced by Newton, Clarke was critical of Descartes’ metaphysics of space and body because of the experimental evidence for Newtonianian doctrines of space, the vacuum, atoms, and attraction and because he believed Descartes’ identifying body with extension and removing final causes from nature had furthered irreligion and had naturally developed into Spinozism.


Stanford Encyclopidia of Philosphy (Apr 5, 2003;substantive revision Wed Aug 22, 2018)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/clarke/
Clarke’s “Argument from Contingency”:

1. Every being that exists is either contingent or necessary.
2. Not every being can be contingent.
3. Therefore, there exists a necessary being on which the contingent beings depend.
4. A necessary being, on which all contingent things depend, is what we mean by “God”.
5. Therefore, God exists.
[2] Tim Holt, "Philoso[hy of Reliogion," www.philosophyofreligion.info website. URL:https://www.philosophyofreligion.uk/theistic-proofs/the-cosmological-argument/the-argument-from-contingency/

[3] Ibid.

[4]B Reichenbach, "Cosmological Argument," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,2004 https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument/

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Argument from Transcendental Signifiers

1 Argument from Religious experiece (codetermenate)
2 Argumemt from Transcendental signifiers(You are here)
3 The Cosmological argumemt
4 The Fine tuning argumemt
5 Hartshorne's Modal argument


1. Any rational, coherent, and meaningful view of the universe must of necessity presuppose organizing principles (Ops)

2. It is the nature of thought to organize explanatory principles under a simgle over arching principle such as logic, reason, math (This over arching principle is the TS)

3. Mind organizes sense data and thiught ito rational stirctires managed by TS.

4. Modern Thought rejects TS outright or takes out all aspects of mind. Therefore, Modern thought fails to provide a rational, coherent, and meaningful view of the universe.

5.Mind organizes thought into structures dominated by the TS

6.Concept of God unites TS with universal mind therefore offers best explanation for a view that is Rational, Coherent, and Meaningful.

In deed in Derridian thought God is the ultimate Transcendental signfier.In fact Derrida was the inspiration for this argument, Not because he would agree with it, it takes his assumptions about the TS then proves him wrong in his conclusions

OP 's make sense of the universe and explain hierarchies of conceptualization: effects need causes, conclusions are mandated by premises, meaning in language is organized by rules of grammar. (RCM (rational, coherent, and meaningful) = Hierarchical order).This premise is rooted directly in observation, a coherent view of the universe requires OPs, and observation. That a rational and coherent view requires a principle that organizes reality according to some aspect of logic or math should be obvious. That's really no different than saying to really understand things we need a logical coherent view. At this point the skeptic might assume that the argument is a design argument or that it is saying that “laws imply a law giver.” Jerome E. Bickenbach and Jackqueline M. Davis tell us that the argument “laws require a law giver” is the fallacy of equivocation.[1] Right they are, since scientists don't mean the term “laws” in the sense that early modern scientists such as Newton and Boyle meant it. They really meant a divine command that the universe must behave in a certain way. The term “law” is a hold-over from a former age. “The laws of physics, and other scientifically discovered laws of nature are principles formulated by scientists (not prescribed by lawmakers) in order to describe regularities and patterns observed in the natural world...while there may be a God this is not shown by taking the existence of laws of nature as evidence.”[2]

Whether or not physical laws are evidence of God remains to be seen, but this argument is neither design nor laws imply a law-giver. First, it's not a design argument to the extent that the inference is not drawn from design per se. Design works through either fitness, function, or the resemblance to things we know are designed. Since it does turn upon order there is overlap with design, especially the latter kind (resemblance to known design). Yet the point of inference is not taken from resemblance to known design but to the all pervasive nature of necessary to contingent order.

Secondly, the argument is not based upon the assumption laws imply a law giver. That idea assumes that physical laws are a simple list of rules mandated by a God. That concept of God is based upon the Suzerain model. The argument does not assume a set of rules but a more organic relation. The point of inference does not turn upon a set but upon one central, simple, and elegant idea that frames and grounds the metaphysical hierarchy in a single all-encumpasing first principle. Since I don't assume that scientists speak of “laws of physics” in the same way we speak of “laws of traffic” or The U.S, Code Annotated, or Black's Law Dictionary, then there is no fallacy of equivocation. How I connect physical “law” to a prescriptive sense without reducing description to prescription will be dealt with in chapter four. Above I point to grammar as an example of a TS. The skeptic might argue that grammar is just cultural, that would be wrong. First of all it doesn't have to be innate to be an example. If language is just cultural constructs ideas might still be formed in their function from logical necessity (not the actual signifiers themselves but the concepts to which they point). An example would be the logical rule A cannot be non A. That is not arbitrary, but self evident. A thing cannot be other than itself. Thus the logical law marks the fact as a road map marks geography, but like a map the two might not always line up. In that case, if grammar is a purely cultural construct, its still an example of hierarchical conceptualization. Secondly, there is a lot of good evidence that generative grammar is genetic. Children of one month old can distinguish between different phonemes in a language, such as “b” and “p.” Researchers know this by reaction of the infant to the sound. A phoneme is a unit of sound in a word. Two such studies are one by Kuhl and one by Scott, et al.[3] More on this in a subsequent chapter.

Western thought has always assumed Organizing principles that are summed up in a single first principle (an ἀρχή) which grounds any sort of meaning: the logos or the transcendental signified (TS). When I have made this argument skeptics have argued that there is nothing in science called an “organizing principle.” One opponent in particular who was a physicist was particularly exercised about my use of this term. While there is no formal term such that scientists speak of the “organizing principles” along side laws of physics or Newtonian laws, they speak of organizing principles all the time. A google search resulted in 320,000,000 results.[4] On every page of this search we see articles by cell biologists, cancer researchers, environmental biologists. Mathematicians, physicists, and so on. Yes there are also articles by crack pots, new age mystics, people with all kinds of ideas. There is even a book by a physicist who argues that the scientific thinking of the poet and dramatist Johann Wolfgang Goethe is valid in modern terms of quantum theory. He talked about organizing principles.[5] An Article in Nature entitled “Organizing principles” discusses a famous experiment in developmental biology: in 1924 carried out by Hilde Mangold, a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Hans Spemann in Freiburg. “It provided the first unambiguous evidence that cell and tissue fate can be determined by signals received from other cells…This experiment therefore demonstrated the existence of an organizer that instructs both neuralization and dorsalization, and showed that cells can adopt their developmental fate according to their position when instructed by other cells.”[6]

M.J. Bissell et. al. Discuss malignancy in breast cancer. “A considerable body of evidence now shows that cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions are essential organizing principles that help define the nature of the tissue context, and play a crucial role in regulating homeostasis and tissue specificity.”[7] All objects in nature are connected to other objects. This can be demonstrated easily enough, as William Graham makes clear in discussing “Natures Organizing Principles.”[8] He turns to ecosystems as an example. Fish in a school work by individually possessed set of common principles such that they act in unison without a leader. These are not evidences of God they are not a design argument. They merely serve to bring home the point there are organizing principles about. I know this general informal use of the term does not mean that the Ops I want to talk about exist. But it is clear there are plenty of structures that organize and guide the way things turn out we do not have an understanding of what organizes the OP. Yet modern science still seeks a logos or a TS that would bind them all together and unite them in one over arching principle. A skeptic could argue that there are self organizing structures in nature. The self organizing structure supposedly doesn't require an outside source to exist, that would defeat the principle of the necessity of organizing principles. Self organizing systems do exist, although they may not be truly self organizing. A self organizing system is one in which the organization is decentralized or distributed throughout the system. Examples include crystallization (snow flakes), swarms of bees or birds, or neural networks. There are two problems with trying to use self organizing against OP's. First, there are contradictions within the concept. self organizing is part of dynamic structures, but dynamic laws operate locally. They can't produce large structures (like a universe).[9] Moreover,

Extending the familiar notion of algorithmic complexity into the context of dynamical systems, we obtain a notion of “dynamical complexity”. A simple theorem then shows that only objects of very low dynamical complexity can self organize, so that living organisms must be of low dynamical complexity. On the other hand, symmetry considerations suggest that living organisms are highly complex, relative to the dynamical laws, due to their large size and high degree of irregularity.[10]
Secondly, the term itself (“self organizing”) is a misnomer. Systems are not organizing themselves, they are being organized by physical laws and properties. As the Johns article points out self organizing systems are limited by “dynamical laws,” thus the prior conditions under which the system emerged (physical laws) is a limit on the system. An example of physical laws limiting self organizing is entropy.[11] The Gershen and Heylighen article shows that according to the second law of thermodynamics entropy in an isolated system can only decrease, thus, “[self organizing] systems cannot be isolated: they require a constant input of matter or energy with low entropy, getting rid of the internally generated entropy through the output of heat('dissipation')..”[12] John Collier finds that, “Self-organization requires an entropy gradient that is external. But this need contain no further organization...”[13] He goes on to say that new “selves” can emerge within the system but as stated above it does depend upon external forces. The article deals with self organizing systems and questions of identity. He defines self organizing as “a process by which larger scale (macro) order is formed in a system through the promotion of fluctuations at a smaller (micro) scale via processes inherent in the system dynamics, modulated by interactions between the system and its surroundings..”[14] Apparently even his definition of the process defeats the argument that self organizing is indicative of some kind of emergence from true nothingness. Some of the questions he explores include:
1) What is the self that organizes ? 2) Why is it a self ? 3) What is it for a process to be inherent to the system dynamics ? 4) What does it mean for interactions with the surroundings to modulate rather than determine or control ? Maturana holds that there are no satisfactory answers to the first two of these questions, if for no other reason than that the self that supposedly organizes does not exist at the onset of organization. Self-organization appears to require a sort of lifting oneself by the bootstraps without having even boots at the beginning. Self-organization thus appears to be an oxymoron, or at least a misnomer. Autopoiesis is a self-producing process that presupposes an organized self (Maturana and Varela, 1992 : 43ff).[15]
Collier finds that Maturana and Varele are wrong, Autopoiesis does not explain the process of self organizing. The “new self” that emerges is changed enough to deserve the name self organizing, but it is not a process whereby a self creates itself apart from external forces.[16] Of course we need not think of God interacting with new entities as each new process comes up. Clearly there is a law-like regularity that must be set up in advance of the effects it produces. We explore that law-like regularity in chapter four (are laws of physics descriptive or prescriptive?). Suffice to say self organizing systems do not negate the necessity of a TS.

A skeptic who is a physicist pointed out to me that science doesn't recognize anything called an “organizing principle.” Yes it does, they just don't call it that. Sometimes they are called “laws of physics,” or “natural laws.” But the concept is not limited to laws. There is an organizing principle grounding and influencing anything organized. Alphabetical listings, political ideas against or for which the group needs to be organized, necessity and contingency, any principle which forms the basis for organizing something, but science recognizes this too. They are also called “causes.”

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

I have used TS and OP in a seemingly interchangeable way and this may lead one to ask “which is it?” TS is a form of OP. I usually use OP in speaking of ideas that are known to be either naturalistic, or if constructed, the notion of something no one disputes. The latter might be bigotry (most people agree it exists), or that of freedom. The former might be a more easily demonstrated idea such as cause and effect. TS is more theoretical and might be metaphysical such as justice, or the absolute soul, God, or the Buddha mind. TS is an organizing principle but I tend to use the term of more theoretical ideas, or ideas not as easily demonstrated to which some may or may not give ascent. If there is an actual TS, it organizes the organizers, the OP's. The TS tends to be the next wrung up in the metaphysical hierarchy; yet since TS organizes it is an OP.

The TS is necessary and cannot be abandoned. Even attempts to abandon it result in the adoption of new Transcendental signifiers that refer to to the perennial concept of the ultimate first principle. One example of this replacement theory is that of Derrida trying to break down ethics, the attempt leads to the establishment of a new TS for ethical paradigm, i.e., “differance.”[20] The goal of difference as the answer to hierarchy and becomes the new principle around which the ethical paradigm is structured. An example of imposing a new OP in science would be the paradigm shift. An example of imposing a new TS is the atheist abolishing God talk from her vocabulary and putting science in its place. Or Marx with the same motivation makes ideology his version of God or the TSED, the top of the metaphysical hierarchy.

Finally, TS as a term stands for the top of the metaphysical hierarchy. The actual thing at the top itself is the TSED, the object of belief to which all TS's point. In other words as transcendental signifiers point to one reality at the top, the transcendental signified. so any given transcendental signifier might be wrong, but there has to be a Transcendental Signified. The words that describe the reality may very but there is a reality there. That which is all pervasive and mutually exclusive is not necessarily part of the definition but it flows out of the nature of being the top of the metaphysical hierarchy. It is clear that for some examples of the TS it is exclusive, such as “God.” We can understand this tendency of all OP's to be summed up in and explained by the TS as hierarchical ordering, This is what I call “metaphysical hierarchy,” the TS functions as the top of the Metaphysical hierarchy. This forms a major part of the argument because the TS is the best explanation for the hierarchy.

It would be more technically correct to say postmodern thought rejects TS. But modern thought may keep TS's such as reason but doesn't allow them to be connected to mind. I use the term “modern” here to mean contemporary, no reference to the academic schools. I've already described this process. They reject God but leave in place an organizing principle in terms of laws of physics as a mindless principle that can take the place of a creator. It is impossible to do without OPs, all attempts to do so have ended in establishment of a new organizing principles: such as the Derrida and ethics examples I just go through describing (see chapter 2 for greater depth). We cannot organize without a principle of organizing. Chapter two is all about this example of Derrida and ethics. The way the OP's are summed up in TS's is hierarchical and suggests the basic reason for hierarchical ordering. Modern thought either reduces the TS to laws of physics or rejects it out right but in either case fails to unite the grounding function of the TS in such a way as to explain a coherent hierarchical ordering in the universe with an understanding of what it means to be. I don't know who invented the term “transcendental signifier,” but Derrida took it over in a sense and made it famous. It actually refers to any universal concept in human understanding. There are so many TS's because it's not limited to one notion, but also because it refers to or includes the ultimate first principle. That means it's basically about the areas of reality of which we know so little, thus there are many different ideas about it. Yet the hierarchical nature implies a single first principle. There are many different ideas, God, the life force, the over soul, the Buddha mind, being itself, but they all point to a single first principle at the top, The discussion is always about which one: reason, logic, math, God.

Derrididan background of the argument part 1

Derridian Background part 2

Because this is my own original argumemt, I invented iot, Dr. Randal Rauser Interviews me on the TS argumemt. https://randalrauser.com/2019/01/god-in-a-transcendental-signifier-a-conversation-with-joseph-hinman/


My new book God,Science, Ideology (GSI) makes the argument that New atheism is not scientific in its appraisal of God belief, but uses science ideologically. I begin with a discussion of what scientism is, the name I used to tag the atheist ideology of science as the only valid form of knowledge. I Then explore the historical development of this trend,I lay it at the feet of the French Philosophes of the French revolution.


Sources

[1] Jerome E. Bickenbach and Jackqueline M. Davis, Good Reasons for Better Arguments: An Introduction To The Sills and Values of Critical Thinking. Calgary: Broadview Press, 1996, 189.

[2]Ibid.

[3]Patricia Kuhl, “Early Language Acquisition: Cacking the Speech Code.” Nature reviews Neuroscience 5, (Nov.2004) 831-843, doi:10.1038/nrn1533. Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences and the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington,Seattle, Washington 98195, USA. See also: Sophie K Scott et al, “Categorical speech representation in human superior temporal gyrus. Is Categorical perception a fundamental property of speech perception?" Nature Neuroscience,(2010). 13: 1428-1432.

[4]Google search, organizing principles in nature,https://www.google.com/#q=organizing+principles+in+nature accessed 5/3/16

[5]Henri Bortoft, Wholeness of Nature of The Universe: Goethe’s Way Toward a Science of Conscious Participation in nature. Herdon VA:Lindisfarne Books originally published by Steiner Books,1971, 1985, re worked version 1992, 69. Henri Bortoft, (1938 – 29 December 2012) received undergraduate degree at university of Hull then did Postgraduate research at Beirbeck college. He studiedQuantum Physics with David Bohm.

[6]Barbara Marte, “Milstone 1: Organizing Principles,” Nature.Org (july 1,2004) doi:10.1038/nrn1449 URL: http://www.nature.com/milestones/development/milestones/full/milestone1.html accessed 6/3/16 Marte is senior editor Nature.

[7]viiM.J. Bissell, D.C Radisky, and A. Rizki, “The Organizing Principle:Microenvironmental Influences In The Normal amd Malignant Breast.” Pub Med, NCB, Dec;70(9-10): 2002, 537-46. on line resource URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492495 accessed 6:3/16

[8]viiiWilliam Graham, “Natures Organization Principles,” Nature’s Tangled Web: The Art, Soul, and Science of a Connected Nature. Oct. 30, 2012, Online resource.http://www.freshvista.com/2012/natures-organizing-principles/ accessed 6/3/16.

[9]ixRichard Johns, “”Self Organizations in Dynamical Systems,” Synthese, Volume 181, issue 2,( July, 2011) 255-275 Johns is in the Dpartment of Philosophy, University British Columbia.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid., 258.

[12]Carlos Gershen and Francis Heylighen, “When Can We Call A System Self Organizing?” Advances in Artificial Life, Berlin Heidelberg: Springer, Volume 2801 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2003, Gershen is from Mexico, he earned his Ph.D. from University of Burssels in interdisciplinary studies. He studies self organizing systems.

[13]John Collier, “Self Organization, Individuation, and Identity,” Revue Internationale De Philosophie, 2004/2 (n 228) 151-172, 172. John Collier is a philosopher at University of Natal. The University of Natalis in Durbin South Africa, it has now become The University of Kwazulu-Natal. Collier is from Canada, he has taught at MIT and published extensively on self organizing systems.

[14]Ibid., 151.

[15] Huberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varele, The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of HumanUnderstanding. Boston: Sambhala,, 43ff.

[16]xviCollier, “Self Organization...” op. cit.

[17] John Horgan, “Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg Still dreams of a final Theory,” Scientific American, (May 1, 2015) Graham isa marine biologist. Online resourse, URL http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/nobel-laureate-steven-weinberg-still-dreams-of-final-theory/ accessed 9/20/15 John Horgan was staff writter, A teacher at Stevens Institute of Technology, Horgan is the author of four books, including The End of Science, 1996, re-published with new preface 2015; and The End of War, 2012, paperback published 2014.

[18]Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory: Scientists Search For the Ultimate Laws of Nature. New York: Vintage, reprint edition, 1994, 10.

[19]Zeeya Merali, ”A Meta-law to rule them all: Physicists Devise a Theory of Everything.” Scientific American, (May 26, 2014) online rfesource URL http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-meta-law-to-rule-them-all-physicists-devise-a-theory-of-everything/ accessed 9/20/15.

[20]Derrida misspells “difference” for special reasons dealing with his theory “deconstruction.” Se chapter three on “the Derridian Background of the Argument.