Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Losing the phenomena of being Human

Image result for metacrock's blog

On Victor Reppert's Dangerous Idea blog we have a good example of two of the reductionist techniques for losing the phenomena. Losing the phenomena is the major strategy of reductionist in reducing alternative view points to meaningless proportions. In this sense is peak of the kind of philosophical reductionist that under girds scientism,  Losing the phenomena works like this. To show that religious experience can't be a real experience of God's presence reduce feeling to brain chemistry and brain chemistry to a totally naturalistic process, then hypercritically evaluate every aspect of the phenomenon until it appears to be totally reduced to component parts that explain it away. It's not God's presence it's misfiring of certain segments of the brain and of brain chemistry..One of the chief methods used is re-labeling another is reduction to physical aspects.

These tactics were employed by Stardusty Psyche (aka "Dusty") who has posted in comments on this blog, It began with me  discussing some  of the philosophy of science I learned in graduate school that is somewhat critical of science, to blunt the initiative of Dusty's assertions that science is all that matters and religion is crap. In order to make the point that science discovers 'truth" about the universe and religion doesn't. He asserted that physical laws such as Boyle's law are totally actuate statements about the way the universe works. Other Christians took up the challenge one in particular argued that science can't tell us about the truth of the beatitudes, it can't tell us if the poor are blessed or or if the pure in heart will see God.

One of the Christians named "Prokop" argued: "Art, history, literature, music, love, sin, beauty, purpose, meaning, patriotism, treachery, altruism, greed, prayer, contemplation, intellectual dishonesty, integrity, religion, poetry, inspiration, perseverance, repentance, redemption, faith, grief, humility, pride, saintliness, joy... I could go on, but you get the point." I am not so sure he did. Dusty says: "Indeed, I do get the point. All of those things are subject to scientific investigation and explanation through the scientific method. Why wouldn't they be? But go ahead, pick one or two you think are particularly immune to science."

Of course all of them are so immune unless you want to reduce them to their physical components. We can't prove the poor are not blessed but you make up a psychological scheme that would account for that idea. You can't subject the beatitudes to scientific analysis because you can't study the state of blessedness you can reduce it to  the brain chemistry that it takes to feel blessed then assert that this proves that;s all there is to it. Blessed doesn't just mean an advantage or being happy it;s a state of grace it signifies approval  by the higher power so the poor are blessed not because they are happy but because they have God's favor, they have God's aid. Now one might quibble with that statement one might apply Marxist analysis or some other form of analysis and dispute the truth context of that claim or even say it's propagandist,  but that is not science. Science cannot collect data on states of Grace and it can't tell us not to believe in them. It can't make judgement on values. That is what the reductionist tries to do to reduce these aspects to physical complements of brain chemistry that allow such feelings and then because it can only approach it through this avenue assert that this is all there is,
This is a good  example of  "Losing the phenomena."

Or take some of the other aspects of human spirituality that Prokop discussed above such as art,You can't analyze art qua art scientifically. To subject artistic creation to scientific analysis is to reduce to to a level where it's artistic meaning is no longer regarded; the thing that makes it art is no longer  part of the equation. Science is all pretense of objectivity and art is the enhancement of the subjective so they contradict a priori. we could examine the physical and psychological complements of an art work, that would not allow for an artistic understanding, Then the reductionist would say "see it's just this motivation with this kind of pigment" or whatever that would be assumed to sum up the components but it would only mean that the meaning of it as art is reduced to a point where it's not considered as part of the melange.

One could use science to assist the creative process but only at the expense of real science. Imagine a work where one transposes gnome data points to musical notes then plays the the human genome like a symphony. You can appreciate the music at the expense of the science or you could appreciate both in different ways but you can't make the two work together as themselves, you would either only be referring to art to analyze the physical aspects or appreciating science in a way that is not really scientific,

Dusty says "understanding the reduceability of our human experiences to the submicroscopic level only adds to the exhilaration of experiencing life and living it to the fullest." But He has not demonstrated that aspects such as art or morality are reducible to subatomic level.He has only demonstrated that one can reduce such that the value aspects are not being considered and then one is only reducing to the physical process that makes examination of value possible having exuded the value from  consideration. ,Of course they make the assertion that if there is a physical process than that's all there is. They have merely lost the phenomena.

Here another poster Legion of logic says:

How so, out of curiosity? For example, I have two young kids. To think of them as "my son and daughter" is one thing. To think of them as "colonies of multiple collections of specialized cells" doesn't quite inspire the same fuzzy feelings. To think of them as "mostly empty space in between carbon molecules" is about as devoid of charm as one could desire. It seems to me that the more one reduces things to the subatomic level, the less emotionally relatable it becomes. But the reductionist, the scientismist just thinks "the fuzzy feelings are unscientific, we want the hard cold dead emotionless  data." That is part of the pretense of objectivity, it pretends to be science but it;s really just re=valuing the vittles with a selfishness that hides behind objectivity,It's changing one value for another and labeling it science,So, unless you meant something else than how I took it, I must disagree that viewing life through the prism of subatomic reality does anything to enhance it on an experiential level,

I agree. Dusty is just regurgitating the atheist echo chamber. He's really saying there's one way to look at things, the only way is to see things in science terms and no other, When someone tries to show another way you compare it to science and then critique it for it;s scientific shortcomings,

Heavens declaring he glory of God might as well indicate the sense we get from the night sky of our own finite being juxtaposed to the infinite which is suggested the stars (whatever their retaliative distance) evokes the sense of the numinous and we sense the presence of God. Then the reductionist has to eliminate that regardless of it;s truth so they have to assert that it is some trick of the mind and take it apart and lose the phenomena.

see the discussion


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Philosophy Still Owns Science.




Lawrence M. Krauss, atheist and physicist, says:
Philosophy used to be a field that had content, but then "natural philosophy" became physics, and physics has only continued to make inroads. Every time there's a leap in physics, it encroaches on these areas that philosophers have carefully sequestered away to themselves, and so then you have this natural resentment on the part of philosophers. This sense that somehow physicists, because they can't spell the word "philosophy," aren't justified in talking about these things, or haven't thought deeply about them---
(Ross Andersen, “Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete?” The Atlantic (April 23, 2012). Pm et 396. Online URL:http://www.theatlantic.com/technolog...solete/256203/visited 7/2/12.)

problem is philosophy is still very important to scinece, and in fact any time a scientist pretends to be using scinece to examine something beyond the domain of scinece he is using philosophy More over philosophy directly informs and shapes and guides science in its understanding.

Exhibit A: Popper's Verisimilitude

Karl Popper is almost universally admired by scientists. He's the only philosopher of science who is so admired among scientist that he's almost thought of as one. Popper used philosophy to show that science doesn't' prove things. He did not use science to talk about scinece he used philosophy. His argument about verisimilitude come right out of philosophy.

He argues that one cannot confirm an abstract ideal through empirical observation. This is strictly a matter of philosophy. That forms the basis for his notions on verisimilitude.

Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London, New York:Routledge Classics, original English publication 1959 by Hutchison and co. by Routldege 1992. On line copy URL: http://www.cosmopolitanuniversity.ac...Popper1959.pdf digital copy by Cosmo oedu visited 2/6/2012, p4

Karl Popper (1902-1994) is one of the most renewed and highly respected figures in the philosophy of science. Popper was from Vienna, of Jewish origin, maintained a youthful flirtation with Marxism, and left his native land due to the rise of Nazism in the late thirties. He is considered to be among the ranks of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. Popper is highly respected by scientists in a way that most philosophers of science are not.[1]

He was also a social and political philosopher of considerable stature, a self-professed ‘critical-rationalist’, a dedicated opponent of all forms of scepticism, conventionalism, and relativism in science and in human affairs generally, a committed advocate and staunch defender of the ‘Open Society’, and an implacable critic of totalitarianism in all of its forms. One of the many remarkable features of Popper's thought is the scope of his intellectual influence. In the modern technological and highly-specialised world scientists are rarely aware of the work of philosophers; it is virtually unprecedented to find them queuing up, as they have done in Popper's case, to testify to the enormously practical beneficial impact which that philosophical work has had upon their own. But notwithstanding the fact that he wrote on even the most technical matters with consummate clarity, the scope of Popper's work is such that it is commonplace by now to find that commentators tend to deal with the epistemological, scientific and social elements of his thought as if they were quite disparate and unconnected, and thus the fundamental unity of his philosophical vision and method has to a large degree been dissipated.[2]

Unfortunately for our purposes we will only be able to skim the surface of Popper’s thoughts on the most crucial aspect of this theory of science, that science is not about proving things but about falsifying them.

Above we see [from larger article] that Dawkins, Stenger and company place their faith in the probability engineered by scientific facts. The problem is probability is not the basis upon which one chooses one theory over another, at least according to Popper. This insight forms the basis of this notion that science can give us verisimilitude not “facts.” Popper never uses the phrase “fortress of facts,” we could add that, science is not a fortress of facts. Science is not giving us “truth,” its’ giving something in place of truth, “verisimilitude.” The term verisimilar means “having the appearance of truth, or probable.” Or it can also mean “depicting realism” as in art or literature.”[3] According to Popper in choosing between two theories one more probable than the other, if one is interested I the informative content of the theory, one should choose the less probable. This is paradoxical but the reason is that probability and informative content very inversely. The higher informative content of a theory is more predictive since the more information contained in a statement the greater the number of ways the statement will turn out to fail or be proved wrong. At that rate mystical experience should be the most scientific view point. If this dictum were applied to a choice between Stenger’s atheism and belief in God mystical God belief would be more predictive and have less likelihood of being wrong because it’s based upon not speaking much about what one experiences as truth. We will see latter that this is actually the case in terms of certain kinds of religious experiences. I am not really suggesting that the two can be compared. They are two different kinds of knowledge. Even though mystical experience per se can be falsified (which will be seen in subsequent chapters) belief in God over all can’t be. The real point is that arguing that God is less probable is not a scientifically valid approach.

Thus the statements which are of special interest to the scientist are those with a high informative content and (consequentially) a low probability, which nevertheless come close to the truth. Informative content, which is in inverse proportion to probability, is in direct proportion to testability. Consequently the severity of the test to which a theory can be subjected, and by means of which it is falsified or corroborated, is all-important.[4]

Scientific criticism of theories must be piecemeal. We can’t question every aspect of a theory at once. For this reason one must accept a certain amount of background knowledge. We can’t have absolute certainty. Science is not about absolute certainty, thus rather than speak of “truth” we speak of “verisimilitude.” No single observation can be taken to falsify a theory. There is always the possibility that the observation is mistaken, or that the assumed background knowledge is faulty.[5] Uneasy with speaking of “true” theories or ideas, or that a corroborated theory is “true,” Popper asserted that a falsified theory is known to be false. He was impressed by Tarski’s 1963 reformulation of the corresponded theory of truth. That is when Popper reformulated his way of speaking to frame the concept of “truth-likeness” or “verisimilitude,” according to Thronton.[6] I wont go into all the ramifications of verisimilitude, but Popper has an extensive theory to cover the notion. Popper’s notions of verisimilitude were critixized by thinkers in the 70’s such as Miller, Tichy’(grave over the y) and Grunbaum (umlaut over the first u) brought out problems with the concept. In an attempt to repair the theory Popper backed off claims to being able to access the numerical levels of verisimilitude between two theories.[7] The resolution of this problem has not diminished the admiration for Popper or his acceptance in the world of philosophy of science. Nor is the solution settled in the direction of acceptance for the fortress of facts. Science is not closer to the fact making business just because there are problems with verisimilitude.

Exhibit B:

Philosophical roots of reductionism

Reductionism is both a philosophy and a tool in science. “Methodological reductionism” is the process of reducing phenomena to its smallest constituent parts to understand what makes it function is a method for dealing with complexities that need to broken down.(8) Then there is “philosophical reductionism” which maintains as it’s goal a philosophical and/or ideological tenet that science can explain everything:

"One form of scientific reductionism follows the belief that every single process in nature can be broken down into its constituent parts and can be described scientifically. The broadest sense of the term upholds the idea that science can be used to explain everything, and that nothing is unknowable. By looking at the individual constituent processes, scientists can gain an understanding of the whole process. For example, a reductionist believes that the complexity of the human brain is a result of complex and interacting physical processes. If scientists research and understand these underlying chemical reactions, then they can explain intelligence, emotion and all of the other human conditions. The only way to comprehend fully the sheer complexity of the human brain is to look at the individual pieces." (9)

Here we can definitely see the ideological aspects of science at work. These advocates of this certain type of reductionism believe that “everything can be explained through science.” Obviously for this to be true science has to be the most valid from of knowledge if not the only form of knowledge. Materialists, who tend to philosophical reductionists, and this includes phyisicalists, go step further and just refuse to accept as knowledge anything that can’t be quantified and pinned down by their methods. God can’t be apprehended by their methods so there must not be a God. This notion of science as the most or only valid form of knowledge is clearly ideological and stems form philosophical concerns. In the issue of reductionism we can see one of the most obvious junctures at which philosophy has clung to scientific development and is still being infused with science. Reductionism is inherently infused with philosophy.

"Reductionism encompasses a set of ontological, epistemological, and methodological claims about the relation of different scientific domains. The basic question of reduction is whether the properties, concepts, explanations, or methods from one scientific domain (typically at higher levels of organization) can be deduced from or explained by the properties, concepts, explanations, or methods from another domain of science (typically one about lower levels of organization). Reduction is germane to a variety of issues in philosophy of science, including the structure of scientific theories, the relations between different scientific disciplines, the nature of explanation, the diversity of methodology, and the very idea of theoretical progress, as well as to numerous topics in metaphysics and philosophy of mind, such as emergence, mereology, and supervenience." (19)

Reductionism goes back to the Greeks and tied to philosophy up to the development of early modern science and beyond. The Greek atomists were reductionists. They wanted to cut up reality in order to get at the basic elements. The idea of positing basic building blocks doesn’t require that one abolish other aspects of reality. Yet certain of the pre-Socratics, such as Leucpp and Democritus, began doing this.(11) The term “reductiosm” is not very old. The modern issues enter science from philosophy. Ontological reductionism was part of the dispute between nominalists and realists in the middles.(12) The major alternative to reductionism is holism. Holism also goes back to the Greeks with Aristotle. The Atomists had atoms in the void as the final explanation and Aristotle had final cause of an unmoved mover as the final cause and explanation of all harmony and unity in the world.(13) Modern science abhors teleology, the idea that everything is directed toward a goal or an end point. The teleological is the hall mark of Aristotle’s’ unmoved mover. Atoms in the void don’t require a goal; they are the end of the process. Thus science has had this atheistic bias literally since the Greeks. Likewise, theistic thinking takes on a holistic bias form the Greeks as well. Science was slow to completely turn over to the atomists and did so in stages. The bias against teleology was not adopted into biology until the middle of the nineteenth century (with Darwin and Wallace). Natural mutation and random selection have come to dominate in biology and replace any idea of purposefulness.(14) The distinction between appearance and reality is a carry over from Democritus’ claim that binary oppositions in experience, such cold and hot, sweet and sour, are really just atoms moving in void. We take this as empirically proved because we dismiss experience as subjective and go with the ‘objective measurement,’ never really considering how we are conditioned by philosophical hold over to think this way.

In both B and C we see philosophy providing the basis for science, not just a way that was useful in the days of the Greeks and is no longer but in the modern world it offers guides and the basis of methodological discussion.

Science is method. It not facts it's not lists of "proven things" it's methodology. no methodology, no scinece.

the minions of this nonsense always get themselves in trouble. look at Exhibit D where Krauss makes a fool of himself trying to take down philosophy.

Exhibit C:hilarious exchange between Krauss and Andersen (interviewer for the Atlantic)(plum my commentary).

A humorous exchange occurs when Andersen points out that philosophy offers a basis for computer science. Krauss says: “Well, you name me the philosophers that did key work for computer science; I think of John Von Neumann and other mathematicians, and---.” Andersen says: “But Bertrand Russell paved the way for Von Neumann..”

Karauss says: “But Bertrand Russell was a mathematician. I mean, he was a philosopher too and he was interested in the philosophical foundations of mathematics, but by the way, when he wrote about the philosophical foundations of mathematics, what did he do? He got it wrong.” So not only can we take him over as one of the science boys since he did math but (which would just as easily mean math is part of philosophy again) but he also got it wrong about math (yet that reflects on his philosophical side not on his math side, not real sure how that works since it would be the math side that got it wrong). Andersen remarks “Einstein got it wrong.” To which Krauss replies:

"Krauss: Sure, but the difference is that scientists are really happy when they get it wrong, because it means that there's more to learn. And look, one can play semantic games, but I think that if you look at the people whose work really pushed the computer revolution from Turing to Von Neumann and, you're right, Bertrand Russell in some general way, I think you'll find it's the mathematicians who had the big impact. And logic can certainly be claimed to be a part of philosophy, but to me the content of logic is mathematical."

Science guys are happy when they are proved wrong? I guess he must be ecstatic since Albert’s article? We’ll have to ask him how happy he’s been since his book was panned. It means there’s more to learn, such as the meaning of life and the value of philosophy. He admits logic is part of philosophy and Russell was into both it just eludes him that this also means philosophy is the foundation of computer science and math together that makes it the foundation of physics. Now that’s the “unthinkable” we should be taught to think. Maybe the fortress of facts is a house of cards and maybe there’s more than one form of knowledge in the universe? Scientists being happen when they get it wrong doesn’t change the original fact being made that there are other views than that one.
(ibid: see above the Andersen interview)

In each case we see that philosophical thinking is still making vital contributions and is both guiding scinece and correcting it.

[1] Steven Thornton, “Karl Popper,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Winter 2011 edition Edward N. Zalta Editor, URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2011/entries/popper/ vested 2/6/2012
[2] ibid
[3] Miriam-Webster. M-W.com On line version of Webster’s dictionary. URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/verisimilar?show=0&t=1328626983 visited 2/7/2012
[4] Thornton, ibid.
[5] ibid
[6] ibid
[7] ibid
(8)“Scientific Recutionsm,” website: Experiment-Resources.com. URL: http://www.experiment-resources.com/...uctionism.htmlvisited 3/13/2012
Experiemnt-reserouces.com is a site ran for educational purposes by a psychologist and other unnamed authors who work in the seicnes.
(9) Ibid.
(10)Brigandt, Ingo and Love, Alan, "Reductionism in Biology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .
(11)Richard H. Jones, Reductionism: Analysis and the Fullness of Reality. Danvers, Massachusetts: Associated University Press.2000, 37.online copy, Google books, URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=sUg...epage&q&f=true visited 3/13/2012
(12) ibid.
(13) ibid.

 photo frontcover-v3a_zps9ebf811c.jpg 

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Trump Farm

Image result for atheist watch animal farm

Since his first insane ranting as a candidate I have been trying to ascertain is Trump senile?  Insane? or Crazy like a fox?  It could be that he's both or that he i cray and his handlers are like foxes. The point is there is a method, an ulterior purpose behind the ranting. As we peal back the layers of insanity the purpose underlying looks ever more ugly and dangerous. We are starting to see a true fascism emerging, Take the nonsense allegations of voter fraud, that Hillary's popular vote only exceeded his because 3 million illegal voted for her. A massive conspiracy theory that requires an absurd level of paper trial that no one not even Trump's own lawyers think exists,
As reporters and experts immediately pointed out, Trump's belief that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally in November is at odds with what his own lawyers said in court when they challenged the recount petitions of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. "All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake," Trump's legal team argued in a brief....[1]
Yet we see the purpose imn these allegations,k as a smokescreen to justify putting up barriers to the black vote, and to other minorities. His own press secretary let the cat out of the bag: "Spicer also floated the idea that voter ID laws, which serve to suppress voter participation among minorities, young people, and the elderly, could be a solution to problems the investigation may find."[2] read more

So is it just delusion of senility, an attempt to save an aged child's brittle ego. Or was it a secret design all along? Whichever,  it is being worked into the grand design  It has no good purpose,. We can also see this fascistic streak emerging in other areas as well.At the same time there is a scandalous array of statments from the Trump Camp and Republican ogress proclamation that we should not listen to the media but only to Trump.The vilifying of the media has been a the theme inTrump's Champaign since day one.His vilification of the media constitutes a threat to freedom of press.
Less than a month before the U.S. presidential election, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued an unprecedented statement denouncing the then-Republican nominee. “[Donald] Trump has insulted and vilified the press and has made his opposition to the media a centerpiece of his campaign,” said the committee, a New York-based organization that promotes press freedom. “A Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the United States.”[3]read more
This Threat is born out by Journalists being charged with Felonies from the protest i
Washington. Six journalists were arrested and charged with riotioing because they were covering teh riots.

The charges against the journalists — Evan EngelAlexander Rubinstein, Jack Keller, Matthew HopardShay Horse and Aaron Cantu — have been denounced by organizations dedicated to press freedom. All of those arrested have denied participating in the violence.
“These felony charges are bizarre and essentially unheard of when it comes to journalists here in America who were simply doing their job,” said Suzanne Nossel, the executive director of Pen America. “They weren’t even in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were in the right place.”[4] read more
This is an extremely dangerous sign, It singles a clear war on the media,This is right out of George Orwell's Fascism by the numbers, that is his political classic Animal Farm [5] Like animal farm hes changed all the messages he gave in the early days but so gradually his supporters never noticed. now America  is paying for the wall but Mexico will pay us back. He was going to make America great again hows he;s going to make America Safe again.

Trump wants to bring back torture, he claims to know better than the generals saying torture works, The CIA says it doesn't but what do they know? Only Trump really knows.[6] Specifically he wnats to bring back water boarding.

The CIA began using waterboarding, among other interrogation processes, after the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001.Al-Qaeda figures Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were waterboarded dozens of times under CIA detention.A Senate committee concluded the technique did not provide critical intelligence, but some ex-CIA officials insisted it had provided actionable information.The technique is illegal. President Barack Obama banned torture as an interrogation technique in 2009.And late last year, an anti-torture amendment became law. It writes into the Army Field Manual that there can be no "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment".Mr Trump can rewrite the manual but the law's stipulation that there can be "no use or threat of force" cannot be waived by executive order.Paul Ryan, speaking to reporters alongside Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, emphasised the Republican position, saying that "torture is illegal and we agree with it not being legal".

This is a ploy to make the bedrock right wing of Trump support feel secure, We'll teach those old Muslim's a lesson,The issue is to torture terrorists but since he is threatening to use martial law to reduce the murder rate in Chicago [7] how long will it be before he uses torture as a mainstay of American Jurisprudence? You might thing this is a slippery slope argument, Yet Trump is known for going to extremes.His political bread a better is based upon saying the unsalable doing the undoable., Going to extremes is his trademark. He's willing to charge journalists with felonies for rioting because they telling the truth about the riot, He wants to impose martial law to force Chicago to obey the law, Why would he not torturer Americans if he's willing to torture anyone? Moreover, perhaps he wont use torture in mainstream but what would stop him f from declaring protesters rioters and using it on them to silence decent? Even if he never get's that far how closemust we come before it;s too much?


all articles accessed 1/27/17

[1] Pema Levy, "Spicer Suggests Tighter Voting Restrictions as Solution to Nonexistant Voter Fraud," Mother Jones (Jan 25, 2017)

[2] Ibid

[3] Mirren Gidda, and Zach Schonfeld, "Donald Trump's thread to Press Freedom and Why it Matters," Newsweek. (Nov 12, 2016) Online copy URL

[4]Jonah Engle Bromwich,  "Felony Charges for jornalists at Inauguration Protests Raise Fears for Press Freedom," New York Times, (jan 25,2017) URL

[5] George Orwell Animal Farm Signet; 50th Anniversary edition (1996)

[6] BBC News "Donald Trump says he believes waterboarding works" BBC US ancdc Canada online, (26 January 2017) URL: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38753000

[7] Theodore Schleifer and Joshua Berliner, "Trump says he'll Send Feds into Chicago," CNN Politics

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Non resisting non belief does not disprove God:My answer to Shallenberg

 photo chess-with-death-ii-300x216_zps7ckqdhik.jpg
The Knight (Max Von Sydow) plays chess with death
Igmar Berman's The Seventh Seal (greatest
film evervmade).

J.L. Schellenberg argues that the presence of non-resisting unbelievers disproves God.The basic concept is that if there are such non-resisting non-believers surly God would reveal himself to them because if God is all loving God would want a relationship with them. That they don't find God shows God is probably not there to show them.

So where can we go from there? Well, an argument can be developed for supposing that nonresistant nonbelief would not exist if there were a God. Let me set out the argument as clearly as possible, and then we can discuss its nature and its force.
  1. If there is a perfectly loving God, all creatures capable of explicit and positively meaningful relationship with God who have not freely shut themselves off from God are in a position to participate in such relationships--i.e., able to do so just by trying to.
  2. No one can be in a position to participate in such relationships without believing that God exists.
  3. If there is a perfectly loving God, all creatures capable of explicit and positively meaningful relationship with God who have not freely shut themselves off from God believe that God exists (from 1 and 2).
  4. It is not the case that all creatures capable of explicit and positively meaningful relationship with God who have not freely shut themselves off from God believe that God exists: there is nonresistant nonbelief; God is hidden.
  5. It is not the case that there is a perfectly loving God (from 3 and 4).
  6. If God exists, God is perfectly loving.
  7. It is not the case that God exists (from 5 and 6).[1]

He draws analogy to human relationships. After all what other means do we have to understand love but our relationships with those we love?
I am suggesting is that there is something remarkably odd about the idea that, supposing there really is a God whose love is unsurpassed perfect, such creatures should ever be unable to exercise their capacity for relationship with God--at least so long as they have not got themselves into that position through resisting the divine in the manner earlier indicated. What sense can we make of the idea that capable creatures should be open to relationship with a perfectly loving God, not resisting it at all, perhaps even longing for it, and yet not in a place where they can have such a relationship, if there really is a perfectly loving God? I suggest that if we look carefully at the matter, we will not be able to make any sense of that at all. A perfectly loving God--if those words mean anything--would, like the best human lover, ensure that meaningful contact with herself was always possible for those she loved.
Notice how our everyday use of the language of love pushes us in this direction. The perfectly loving mother or husband or brother or friend will see to it that nothing he or she does ever puts relationship out of reach for the loved one.

I have three basic arguments, but first I am going to grant that there are non resisting unbelievers. I don't really believe there are and I don't believe it can be proved. He has no crystal ball we cannot look upon the heart as God does. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Rationalizing what we do and our own nobility is one of the things Humans do best. Making such an argument is perhaps an act of resisting in and of itself. Yet I will grant for the sake of argument and take on the argument on it's own terms. Toward that end grant for argument sake there are non resisting unbelievers, I still have three responses:

(1) Human relationships are only analogy

Through our own experience  loving and being loved we have a notion of what love is. Yet we do not have a perfect notion, we have no example of perfect love save that of Christ dying on the cross. Humans do not love each other perfectly. Some times human love is standoffish we don't always act on our feelings for others. In that sense we might conclude  that God doesn't care, but that's only because we are comparing God's love to imperfect human love. The comparison of God's love to human love is only a metaphor anyway. There is no 1x1 correspondence to the effect that's God's agape should be perfectly analogous to human philos.

Human relationships are only analogous to God's love, all analogy has a"not-like" was well as a "like" dimension. Jesus himself provides the perfect role model for God's love. Using Jesus as the model God.s love is not always self explanatory. I'll deal with the issue of God's hidden presence in point three. But for now suffice to say God's love is not always obvious, that doesn't mean it is occulted or absent.

(2) Either the non resisting phase, or the non believing phase, may be temporary. 

Assuming that there are unresistant unbelievers, that does't mean they stay that way There can be times in a person's life when they are non resisting and open to God but don't find the signs stacking up in such a way that that they would find God.There will come a point at which they will either find God or begin to resist. Which to say they found God but for some reason don't want to find God. The factors in tracing that out would be enormously complex, they would different from case to case. Trying to pin down an exact profile of belief would be like profiling snowflakes. Because this argument does involve soteriological issues it takes us into point 3. But before going there I have to deal with one other issue.

The temporal answer is only a stopgap solution. The skeptic can still raise the point why doesn't God make his move, so to speak, in that short time when the unbeliever is open and not resisting? To say that the non believer begins resisting at that point is really a problem because that would indicate that he wasn't open after all. But to answer that we should have to know the complex variables that make for decision making in this area, we can't really know that. Given that caveat I think Jesus gave us a hint in the parable of the sower (Mark 4: 1-19).

The seed is the world and the type of soil or other problems that prevent the seed taking root represent things that can happen that might separate one from belief. Those include symbols for riches and cares of they world for example. None of these people are throwing away the seeds,so in that sense they are non resisters.  The seeds are taken by weeds, thrones, birds. The seeds are spread and fall where they may, then they are intercepted or negated in some way, now of course question arises why does God not prevent this? Surely if Love of God means anything he should get through to those who are not resisting him, even if the message is negated. I think he does, that is a theological issue and thus leads us to point three.

(3) God's love is not hidden but it is prehended

This point breaks down into three major issues all three of them theological. These are prhension,  salvation and theodicy, It's a theological issue because it draws upon core of theology proper, faith seeking understanding (in the classical model). The prehension issue deals with the nature of our understanding of God and it answers P2 in Shallenberg's argumemt: No one can be in a position to participate in such relationships without believing that God exists. That depends upon what relationship we are talking about. No one is going to be a great lion of God and not know it, One will not be Kierkegaard's knight of faith and not know it. One might be saved and not know it,one is being communicated to by 'God and most people don't  know it,. God is communicating through prehension: 

a. prehension

Through Whitehead's category of prehension, the nonsensory sympathetic perception of antecedent experiences, we are able to reduce several apparently very different types of relations to one fundamental type of relation. [It] explains not only memory and perception, . . . but also temporality, space, causality, enduring individuality (or substance), the mind-body relation, the subject-object relation in general, and the God-world relation. [2]
But this is at an unconscious level. However, in some people, this direct prehension of the "Holy" rises to the level of conscious experience. We generally call theses people "mystics". Now, the reason why a few people are conscious of God is not the result of God violating causal principle; some people are just able to conform to God's initial datum in greater degree than other people can. I don't kno why God seems to chose to make his presence known to some and not others But I accept that the basis of mystical experience is real,discernible, noetic and from God. I do think God is putting this out to everyone and some have a greater capacity for receiving it than others, In place of resisting God I find a lot of people want their own way, they want God to do it their way, to that extent they are not content with God's choices for them.That amounts to resisting while not resisting per se.
The experience of no one single witness is final the "the proof" but the fact that there are millions of witnesses who, in differing levels from the generally intuitive to the mystical, experience must the same thing in terms of general religious belief the argument is simply that God interacts on a human heart level, and the experiences of those who witness such interaction is strong evidence for that conclusion.

b. Salvation

If God is always speaking to us all why are we not all Christians? Because we are getting it at an instinctive or subliminal level and to understand it we have to formulate ideas based upon the impressions. Ideas have to be formed in language and thus they must be filtered through cultural constructs. That's why faiths appear so different. That's why they  reflect their cultures. Jesus was not a cultural construct he was a real guy with a history so he was the person he was and he was adapted to the culture of his day.

Christians believe that Jesus is necessary to salvation,I believe this. But it is not necessarily the case that one must know this to be saved. If one is saved it is Jesus who does the saving. it is not necessarily the case that only people who know this are saved. Since this is a theological issue we turn to the theology of St. Paul for an answer. On Mars Hill he told the Greek philosophers they knew God. He told them he came to proclaim to them what they already knew.
26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[a] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[3]
Of course we laugh at the primitive naivete of this statement.There is a deeper meaning under there, that God is interacting with people of all cultures and that different cultures are not boundaries for belief but that God is Interconnecting with each one. God is near to us all he's drawing us all. Are all saved? Paul indicates that all have the moral law written upon the heart and if we are true to that moral law we may be saved:

God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a]To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.[4]
This is not an argument that one can cease seeking or that we don't need Jesus. Jesus is truth we should keep the whole truth, We don't need to feel that those not in the Christian club are necessarily going to t to hell. The good news is we can turn to Jesus and know God this is not negated by the bad news that 60% of the world is going to hell.[5]

c. theodisy 

But then why does the truth of God seem so not obvious? It's not hidden but it's  not conspicuous.If God wished to get everyone signed up he could hold a press conference the UN building and tell the world. Obviousness there is meant to be a level of seeking.

Let's assume that God's purpose in creation is to create a Moral Universe, that is one in which free moral agents willingly choose the Good. Moral choice requires absolutely that choice be free (thus free will is necessitated). Allowance of free choices requires the risk that the chooser will make evil choices.  The possibility of evil choices is a risk God must run, thus the value of free will outweighs all other considerations, since without it there would be no moral universe and the purpose of creation would be thwarted.This leaves the atheist in the position of demanding to know why God doesn't just tell everyone that he's there, and that he requires moral behavior, and what that entails. Thus there would be no mystery and people would be much less inclined to sin.This is the point where Soteriological Drama figures into it. Argument on Soteriological Drama: No one would seek in the heart. If God was obvious in this way we would all give lip service to it and resent it. Only through searching that one internalizes the values of the search and thus loves having found. Jesus said "he who has been forgiven much loves much."

Life is a "Drama" not for the sake of entertainment, but in the sense that a dramatic tension exists between our ordinary observations of life on a daily basis, and the ultimate goals, ends and purposes for which we are on this earth.Clearly God wants us to seek on a level other than the obvious, daily, demonstrative level or he would have made the situation more plain to us. We can assume that the reason for the "big mystery" is the internalization of choices. If God appeared to the world in open objective fashion and laid down the rules, we would probably all try to follow them, but we would not want to follow them. Thus our obedience would be lip service and not from the heart. Therefore, God wants a heart felt response which is internationalized value system that comes through the search for existential answers; that search is phenomenological; introspective, internal, not amenable to ordinary demonstrative evidence.

This explains why God is not obvious even though he's not exactly hidden. No one who is seeking and not resisting is turned out or condemned even if they don't wind up in the Christian club.

Schallenberg makes a big thing out of hidden evidence. But why would God hide evidence? He did not! It's there for anyone who is willing to experience it. Speaking of that my books shows you the extend of religious experience and how it changes your life, it;s obvious that the experience is there waiting to be experienced for those who seek,

 photo frontcover-v3a_zps9ebf811c.jpg

Order from Amazon 
Ground breaking research that boosts religious arguemnts for God to a much stronger level. It makes experience arguments some of the most formidable.Empirical scientific studies demonstrate belief in God is rational, good for you, not the result of emotional instability. Ready answer for anyone who claims that belief in God is psychologically bad for you. Order from Amazon 


[1] J.L. Schellenberg, "What Divine Hiddenness Reveals, or How Weak Theistic Evidence is Strong Atheistic Proof," The Secular Web  (2008) on line resource, URL:
http://infidels.org/library/modern/john_schellenberg/hidden.html  acessed 6/20/16

[2] David Ray Griffin, "Charles Hartshorne," in David Ray Griffin, John B. Cobb, Jr., Marcus P. Ford, Pete A. Y. Gunter, and Peter Ochs, Founders of Constructive Postmodern Philosophy: Peirce, James, Bergson, Whitehead, and Hartshorne (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), p. 209. Griffin's writing in this book is quoted extensively in"Charles Hartshorne's Psychicalism".


[3] New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 byBiblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Read my essay "Why I don't beleive in Hell"

Monday, January 23, 2017

action alert for Resistance to Trump

please  respond, here's how you can participate:
Call (202) 225-0600

Press 2 to weigh in on the issue.
You'll hear a brief spiel about repealing the bill, but afterwards Press 1 to support continuing the Affordable Healthcare Act.
It takes about 1.5 minutes. It was very quick- please do it.
You can also leave a message at the end if you want (& if the system will take more VMs).
If you get "all circuits are busy" try again!
Remember, our elected officials work for us.

Answering Jason Thibodeau /s Theodesy


 Mother T

Jason Thibodeau, of Secular Outpost, goes over to Randal Rouser's blog of the same name [1] And makes his theodicy argument there/ He may consider it a from of the evidential argument. The issues is what they call skeptical theism, that is the answer :I don't know: to aim and suffering has retain consequences that can't be tolerated.  he introduces exampels and says:

 Given that such events occur, we also know that God does nothing to prevent them. The problem of evil is the problem of accounting for why God refrains from preventing such horrible events. Person P is in a position to help prevent some event, E, just in case (a) P is aware that E is occurring or will occur, (b) P has at least those capacities the exercise of which stands a reasonable chance of being sufficient to stop E’s occurring, and (c) there is no action or course of action A such that, (i) P should do A; (ii) by doing AP will be unable to stop E from occurring; and (iii) P’s failure to do A either is or will result in something equally bad or worse than E.
I will say that a person who satisfies at least (a) and (b) is situated so as to prevent E.
When we think about the obligations we have to help prevent horrible events, we should assert
(M) If a person, P, is in a position to prevent some bad event E and P does nothing to prevent E, then P has acted wrongly.
(L) If a person P is situated so as to prevent some bad event E, then the only morally sufficient reason for P to fail to prevent E is that, for P, there is some act that satisfies (i), (ii), and (iii).
If we cannot think of good reasons for why God would be justified in allowing such horrors to occur, we might be inclined to say something like the following:
Skeptical Theism: Given our inferior epistemic abilities as compared to an omniscient being such as God, it would not be surprising if there are reasons of which we are unaware that would provide God with morally sufficient grounds for permitting such horrors, perhaps even reasons that we are incapable of being aware of. For all we know there are goods that are beyond our ken the promotion or preservation of which justify God’s failing to intervene to prevent horrible events.
I think that we should be very skeptical of the possibility that such morally sufficient reasons exist. As I have argued elsewhere, given the myriad opportunities that an omnipotent being has for realizing goods, it is highly implausible to believe that there are any goods that an omnipotent being cannot realize without necessitating the occurrence of horrendous suffering (such as the suffering and death of small children accidentally left in hot cars). However, in this essay I do not want to explore how likely it is that there exist some good(s) that God cannot realize while simultaneously causing a car window to break. Instead, I want to draw our attention to some significant skeptical conclusions that we will commit ourselves to if we believe that God has morally sufficient reasons to fail to prevent the kinds of horrors I have discussed.

This argument is dependent upon  pulling your four points, I can beat your four points. I destroyed those points ,they are lies, they are  wrong.

(1) It is possible that there are morally sufficient reasons that justify God’s wanting some human being to kill several other human beings in the most agonizing way possible.

distinction between wanting their deaths and having to allow it,that distinction is the difference in god being a jerk and being wise,

(2) It is possible that there are morally sufficient reasons that justify God’s inspiring human beings to write a book that is full of falsehoods about human salvation, but which will be widely accepted as divinely inspired.

That of course depends upon your view of the Bible being true, I'm pretty sure i could defend against it,

(3) It is possible that there are morally sufficient reasons that justify God’s causing (or permitting some other being(s) to cause) many humans to falsely believe that Jesus of Nazareth died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.

you are placing that in an active from that it does not require,,my answers were better before you took them away, your protestations against Trump are hypocritical because you do not accept free speech you are not to face real argument,

(4) It is possible that there are morally sufficient reasons that justify God’s being completely unresponsive to our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, including our need to achieve salvation or any other soteriological end.

God is not completely unresponsive that's a lie, you are using the fact of pain to assert at each juncture you build into your argument a sense of wrong in terms of God;s desires and factoids that need not be there, That is not honest.

The real problem with trying to argue from pain and evil in the world to conclusions about
god for an atheists that you dot' know God. Without that first hand experience it's hard to see why one would grant God any slack But take an analogy, Suppose your father was accused of being a Nazi war criminal,(bracket the age problem). Would you really ignore the issue of your personal knowledge of your father just because you could not find compelling empirical evidence to prove who he was? Perhaps we cant blame the Nazi hunters for not accepting your words, but if they knew you would you not expect them to accept your word ore readily? This is the posiiton in which the believer finds himself..herself.

But then we can produce reasons as to why God must allow,k not want not force but allow evil, while at the same time empowering us to  fight it. That lends credence to the personal testimony as to god's motives,that can be seen in my argument about soteriological Drama (SDA).

My view is called "Soteriologiocal Drama," please read the link to the whole idea.[6] It begins with observations:

(1) The assumption that God wants a "moral universe" and that this value outweighs all others.

The idea that God wants a moral universe I take from my basic view of God and morality. Following in the footsteps of Joseph Fletcher (Situation Ethics) I assume that love is the background of the moral universe (this is also an Augustinian view). I also assume that there is a deeply ontological connection between love and Being. Axiomatically, in my view point, love is the basic impitus of Being itself. Thus, it seems reasonable to me that, if morality is an upshot of love, or if love motivates moral behavior, then the creation of a moral universe is essential. 

(2) that internal "seeking" leads to greater internalization of values than forced compliance or complaisance that would be the result of intimidation. 
That's a pretty fair assumption. We all know that people will a lot more to achieve a goal they truly beileve in than one they merely feel forced or obligated to follow but couldn't care less about. 
(3)the the drama or the big mystery is the only way to accomplish that end. 
The pursuit of the value system becomes a search of the heart for ultimate meaning,that ensures that people continue to seek it until it has been fully internalized. 
I don't think those are unreasonable assumptions, They are pretty standard.

The argument itself.

(1)God's purpose in creation: to create a Moral Universe, that is one in which free moral agents willingly choose the Good. 
(2) Moral choice requires absolutely that choice be free (thus free will is necessitated). 
(3) Allowance of free choices requires the risk that the chooser will make evil choices 
(4)The possibility of evil choices is a risk God must run, thus the value of free outweighs all other considerations, since without there would be no moral universe and the purpose of creation would be thwarted. 

This leaves the atheist in the position of demanding to know why God doesn't just tell everyone that he's there, and that he requires moral behavior, and what that entails. Thus there would be no mystery and people would be much less inclined to sin. 
This is the point where Soteriological Drama figures into it. Argument on Soteriological Drama: 

(5) Life is a "Drama" not for the sake of entertainment, but in the sense that a dramatic tension exists between our ordinary observations of life on a daily basis, and the ultiamte goals, ends and purposes for which we are on this earth. 
(6) Clearly God wants us to seek on a level other than the obvious, daily, demonstrative level or he would have made the situation more plain to us 
(7) We can assume that the reason for the "big mystery" is the internalization of choices. If God appeared to the world in open objective fashion and laid down the rules, we would probably all try to follow them, but we would not want to follow them. Thus our obedience would be lip service and not from the heart. 
(8) therefore, God wants a heart felt response which is internationalized value system that comes through the search for existential answers; that search is phenomenological; introspective, internal, not amenable to ordinary demonstrative evidence. 

In other words, we are part of a great drama and our actions and our dilemmas and our choices are all part of the way we respond to the situation as characters in a drama. 
This theory also explains why God doesn't often regenerate limbs in healing the sick. That would be a dead giveaway. God creates criteria under which healing takes place, that criteria can't negate the overall plan of a search. 
One might object that this couldn't outweigh babies dying or the horrors of war or the all the countless injustices and outrages that must be allowed and that permeate human history. It may seem at first glance that free will is petty compared to human suffering. But I am advocating free will for the sake any sort of pleasure or imagined moral victory that accrues from having free will, it's a totally pragmatic issue; that internalizing the value of the good requires that one choose to do so, and free will is essential if choice is required. Thus it is not a capricious or selfish defense of free will, not a matter of choosing our advantage or our pleasure over that of dying babies, but of choosing the key to saving the babies in the long run,and to understanding why we want to save them, and to care about saving them, and to actually choosing their saving over our own good. 

If I understand him correctly I think he's saying we know that biological organisms avoid pain and seek pleasure but we have no proof of any kind that there are moral reasons that excuse allowing pain,[7] Moreover, given the nature of biology it makes more sense to to think any kind of SN being that may have created the universe is indifferent to pain merely cause there is so much pain,

Mystical Experiece Provides both unshakable empirical evidence for the reality of God and for the love (compassion and concern) of God. This is backed by certain empirically based arguments taht I develop in my book The Trace of God.[8] This is more empirically based than  anything Draper offers. It may well constitute the evidentail aspect they seek.

From this background ai derive my founding observation:

(1) The assumption that God wants a "moral universe" and that this value outweighs all others.
The direct implication both of the transformative experience behind the observation establishes the goodness of Gd and the loving nature of God. Since that gives us a reason to believe in God we can trust that reason despite the seeming evidence to the contrary in Pain and suffering, That is a dimension with which Draper does not deal, we can know God is worthy of trust. Thus being worthy of trust we need not be necessarily certain of God';specific reasons,

Nevvertheless we can go further because we have a valid theoretical rationale,to explain God's preseasons in terms of the soteriological drama. That term means the dramna of salvation is based upon the need to seek for truth in order to internalize the values of the good. That means the search must be inviolable. So God can't clear the world of pain and suffering,If God did that there woudl be no search, None of the three counter thedocieies taht Draper answers include this facet.

this should count as PF evidence because it givs a logical rationale for god's allowance for pain while fitting into the larger framework that shows us god cares. However deep the depths of pain and evil in this would it is not gratuitous and does not outweigh my reasons for belief.,Whatever abstract logical victories Draper wins he does not ofer a final reason for abandoning belief that outweighs my PF reasons for beloief.

God is the source of our moral motions. That doesn't mean we can bring God before the bar. We have the duty to accept that God is the ultimate judge and has knowledge we don't have, it's not as thought the evil o this world is being put up a moral exemplar that we should follow.
If we have moral motions against certain actions and competitions then 
god has those same moral motions even he understands the reasons better. If we can concoct free will defenses then God can have real reasons.


[1]Jason Thibodeau, "If it’s okay for God to allow horrors, then we don’t know much about God (Part 1)," Randal Rouser (January 22, 2017) blog URL:


The actual person Rouser is an atheist who teaches teaches theology in Canada.

[2] Joseph Hinman (MTS) "why does God allow suffering part 1" Metacrock's Blog