## Sunday, October 29, 2017

### What kind of evidence is "best?" (part 1)

This is an argument to establish the nature of best evidence for making an abductive God argument, Abduction is a form of inference like deduction and induction:

Abduction or, as it is also often called, Inference to the Best Explanation is a type of inference that assigns special status to explanatory considerations. Most philosophers agree that this type of inference is frequently employed, in some form or other, both in everyday and in scientific reasoning. However, the exact form as well as the normative status of abduction are still matters of controversy.[1]

An example given by Douven: two friends have a falling out. Then they are seen jogging together. You assume they must have reconciled. This assumption is not mandated by the logic of the case. There could be any number of reasons why people who have a falling out would jog together.[2] In deductive reasoning the premises mandate the conclusions. If we know the meaning of the terms and we know the premises are true the conclusions must be true if they are logically derived. All A's are B. a is an A. Therefore, a is a B. With induction, the premises are not true by definition, but are usually derived as a matter of probability. With abduction the premises may be probable but the real warrant for inference is the explanatory power of the idea not probability per se. [3]

Explanatory power is not proof, but it is a guide to inference, as Peter Lipton tells us. According to Lipton not all induction is probability. He draws the line between deductive and inductive at the point where it is no longer impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusions false; when that's the case its deductive. Inductive is weighing probability not proof. [4] Inductive considerations arise out of in-determinism. It is because outcomes are not necessitated that we can have probability. In assessing the nature of the best explanation, Lipton finds that justification supports explanatory power because with in-determinism we can only go by likelihood. If likelihood were the only guide abduction reduces to induction, or a form of it. Rather he finds that we can't construe best as likeliest alone, but we should view abduction as a guide to inference, not as proof. He urges us to see explanatory factors as guides to illuminating likelihood rather than the other way around.[5]

To use my own examples: suppose someone argues that its not likely that the former friends are jogging together because they made up; the former friends could be jogging together so that they can insult each other. That doesn't seem believable because one hates conflict, the other is too mature. Thus that is a less likely explanation than the theory that they made up. How would likelihood work with the question of God? How to establish probability of an issue such as the reality of God, where there is an inability to produce empirical proof? Such a discussion could not help but be dominated by prior convictions. Yet if we value explanation and we have reasonable parameters for what needs explaining the explanatory power might give a clue to likelihood. This means we are still left with how to establish “best.”

Gabby and Woods offer a rule to determine explanatory power. The rule sets up a criterion of comparison between hypotheses. At least one element must be more plausible in a given hypothesis than its counter parts in competing hypotheses.[6]  They develop much more complex statistical theorems. The problem is, even though setting up criteria of comparison is a god idea, we still can't just assert the likelihood of God, or even the unlikelihood. The individual must decide the values by which to set parameters for comparison. For example if we value explanations that assume a “why” to the universe then God as explanation seems more likely. If we assume flat out there can be no why then we have already eliminated God from consideration. The problem in making a God argument is that God is not given in sense data. Thus God can't be the subject of empirical investigation. What we can do is to specify parameters and criteria that prepare us to make educated decisions about belief. In other words, we can't draw a picture of the hole in a doughnut, but we can draw the doughnut around the hole. In the case of God that means rational warrant justifies belief. Rational warrant means that a given belief is possible and plausible, thus not irrational.

The argument made in chapter one basically turns upon the hierarchical nature of organizing principles. One can argue that TS, pointing to God, is the best means of conceptualizing the hierarchical nature of reality. We can also argue other properties related to organizing are best explained by God, such the necessary and all pervasive nature of TS's. Below I will provide observations designed to focus the argument. I will also provide criteria to determine the best explanation.

We might be able to say that the best explanation would account for all the data or account for the most crucial data than other explanations. We could also stipulate that the explanation be the most simple as long as we don't confuse conceptual simplicity with absence of data, or simplicity of structure. For example when Dawkins argues that God would have to be more complex than the universe he creates, he's assuming the laws of physics apply to God.[7] He's ignoring conceptual simplicity. Most of the great apologists such as Aquinas saw God as conceptually simple.[8] In other words God is not made up of physical parts. This raises the issue of Occam's razor and parsimony. Parsimony is a principle akin to abductive reasoning used in science where direct empirical data is lacking. It was based upon Occam's razor but the two are not identical. Atheists have, on occasion, taken Occam's razor as a means of ruling God out of the equation. They either assert that God is not necessary, thus Occam's dictum about not multiplying beyond necessity applies to God, or they think Occam said take the simplest of two hypotheses. [9]

They are also confusing Occam's razor with Parsimony. Occam was a priest and he believed in God he didn't think the razor got rid of God. Moreover, what the razor really says is that we should not multiply entities beyond necessity. [10]Atheists assume that since they don't believe in God then God is not necessary. This is begging the question. They are asserting the lack of a God and using that position to deny the God arguments. It's also using the wrong idea of what necessity means in this case.

To understand what Occam was really talking about we must understand his nominalism.

three senses of nominalism:

(1) Denial of metaphysical universals: applies to Occam.

(2) reduce one's ontology to bare minimum, streamline categories: applies to Occam.

(3) Nix abstract entities, depending upon what one means; here Occam may or may not have been a nominalist in this sense. He did not believe in mathematical entities but he did believe in abstraction such as whiteness, or humanity.

Ockham removes all need for entities in seven of the ten traditional Aristotelian categories; all that remain are entities in the categories of substance and quality, and a few entities in the category of relation, which Ockham thinks are required for theological reasons pertaining to the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Eucharist, even though our natural cognitive powers would see no reason for them at all. As is to be expected, the ultimate success of Ockham's program is a matter of considerable dispute.[11] He was not getting rid of God. Occam's razor never allows us to deny what Spade calls "putative entities" which would definitely include God.[12] It merely bids us refrain from positing them without good reason. Of course our atheist friends would tell us there is no good reasons to assert God, but answering that is the point of making God arguments. In fact for Occam humans can't really know what is necessary. "For Ockham, the only truly necessary entity is God; everything else, the whole of creation, is radically contingent through and through. In short, Ockham does not accept the Principle of Sufficient Reason.."[13]This is not a contradiction because all the razor says is refrain form multiplying entities without good reason, not “rub out of existence of all concepts that can't be empirically verified.” Note that he includes God as the only truly necessary entity. Thus atheist are violating Occam's razor in trying to use it on God. Of course there is equivocation in the use of the term “necessary.” Atheists making the argument applying the razor to God speak of causal necessity while believers rest their ontological arguments upon ontological necessity.

1 Igor, Douven, "Abduction", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (Spring 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = . Accessed 8/3/15.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 Peter Lipton, Inference to The Best Explanation. New York: Routledge, International Library of Philosophy, 2nd ed.,2004, 6.
5 Ibid., 207-208.
6 Dov M. Gabby and John Woods. A Practical Logic of Cognitive Systems: Vol 2, The Reach of Abduction...Amsterdam, The Neatherlands.:Elsevier B.V., 2005, 160.
7  Ricard Dawkins. The God Delusion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st edition, 2006.
8 Thomas Aquinas, The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas Second and Revised Edition, 1920Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican ProvinceOnline Edition Copyright © 2008 by Kevin Knight Nihil Obstat. F. Innocentius Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor. Theol.Imprimatur. Edus. Canonicus Surmont, Vicarius Generalis. Westmonasterii.New Advent Catholic Encyclopidia, URL:http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1003.htm#article1 accessed 8/28/15.
9  “How to Reason: Section 8, Ocam's Razor,” God Would be An Atheist. URL:
http://www.godwouldbeanatheist.com/0reason/008occam.htmn 8, Occam's Razor,” , accessed 8/6/15
This is a website for atheism, it is not a scholarly site. In fact there is no listing of an author.. I quote it as an example of popular misconception.The site says: “Occam's Razor: in any situation offering two or more explanations, the simpler or simplestexplanationis always best.” Documentation of atheists using Occam to disprove God: Robert T. Carroll, “Occum's Razor,”The Skeptic's Dictionary. Url:http://skepdic.com/occam.html. Accessed 8/6/15

What is known as Occam's razor was a common principle in medieval philosophy and was not originated by William, but because of his frequent usage of the principle, his name has become indelibly attached to it. It is unlikely that William would appreciate what some of us have done in his name. For example, atheists often apply Occam's razor in arguing against the existence of a god on the grounds that any god is an unnecessary hypothesis. We can explain everything without assuming the extra metaphysical baggage of a divine being.
10  C.K. Brampton, "Nominalism and the Law of Parsimony." The Modern School Men, Volume 41, Issue 3, (March 1964), 273-281.
11   Paul Vincent Spade and Claude Panaccio, "William of Ockham", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Fall 2011 (substantive content change) [new author(s): Spade, Paul Vincent; Panaccio, Claude] on lin resourse
URL: http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question30.html accessed 8/18/15.
13 Ibid.

## Friday, October 27, 2017

### Fight Trump Tax scam - 4.3 Tril. cut from medicaid/care,care and education

Fight the Trump Tax Scam, it will make the super rich even more super rich, murder the poor, leave the burden om the middle class.
CALL YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS 202-224-3121: Republican Senators* at (844) 241-1141.

Help stop Trump's tax cuts for the millionaires and billionaires paid for by cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and education!
STOPTRUMPTAXCUTS.ORG

what we savedin fighting for health care will now be lost in budget,
emergency, call now the vote is in a couple of days

CALL YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS 202-224-3121: Republican Senators* at (844) 241-1141.

## Tuesday, October 24, 2017

### Christianity: Religion , or Relationship?

Over at the secular outpost Blog Bradly Bowen has announced a 10 year plan to investigate the truth of Christianity. Why do I feel that this is more like a 10 year siege? In any case he had already done one piece on "what is Christianity?" I will answer that on the CADRE blog, but this part 2 I think will be of interest to readers of this Blog.[1] Bowen argues that those who say "Christianity is not a religion but is a relationship with Jesus," are "stupid," (he uses the word. Why does he want Christianity to be a "religion" instead of a relationship? You can't disprove a relationship. He does a bait and switch  replacing religion with system, reading system as philosophical system, then it's disprovable.

I do not think there is a conflict between religion and relationship. Before I get into that let's briefly examine Bowen's case. His argument works in three basic steps: (1) He quotes Paul, "..."the mystery of our religion is great..." .(1 Timothy 3:15-16) [2] The Greek word rendered here as "religion" isεύσεβείας which the Oxford commentary renders "system:" "...the system of belief that inspires piety. [3] So now he can claim Christianity is a religion and religion means system. Then he starts using various dictionaries to define Christianity as religion

"At Cambridge Dictionaries Online, you get a single definition of 'Christianity':
--he ​Christian ​faith, a ​religion ​based on the ​belief in one ​God and on the ​teachings of ​Jesus ​Christ, as set ​forth in the ​Bible. "If we turn to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary, we get a simple definition of 'Christianity', which is similar to the above definition:
the religion that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ
What sort of a thing is 'Christianity' according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary?  It is a 'religion', not a “relationship”. "[4] He actually wrote that the dictionary says it's not a relationship but it does not say that, It only says it's a religion but it does not add "and not a relationship." That's his assumption that it can't be both. "No matter what definition of “Christianity” we look at, all definitions in respected dictionaries point to the view that “Christianity” is a RELIGION, and not a relationship." He says it a third time too (see fn4).

The assumptions he working under are used to construct a very complex andlearned straw man. He wants Christianity to be a system so he can find the one key point and destroy the system and take out all forms of belief. His reasoning is fallacious.Yes of course it's a religion. Those who say it's not are speaking of "religion" in a different sense than is Bowen or the passage he quotes from Paul. They use the term to mean empty set of rituals legalistic and lifeless, as opposed to an actual transformative phenomenological apprehension of the reality behind the system.

He quote a dictionary that says this Greek term implies a system and makes Christianity a system. He needs to line up that use of the term(religion) with the English dictionaries he uses. That wont work because the Oxford definition is contextual to that passage in Paul and Websters et al were not thinking about that passage. That does not make Christianity a system in the sense of Hegelian thought or process thought. (Process theology is a theology not a the basic "synonymous with Christian belief).

In modern theological terms religion is a social and spiritual tradition in which one is guided by thought and the experiences of others down certain paths in a way if life. All religions do three things: (1) define the human problematic. (2) provide an ultimate transformational experience that resolves the problematic; (3) mediate between the two through ritual and/or practice, through, prayer, meditation....
most liberal theologians suck at step no 2. Intellectual content will very as to the specific analysis and definitions but not the general sense of three, In that view all versions of Christianity are the same: (1) problematic = estrangement from God via sin (2) a personal relationship with Christ although content will very enormously. (3) mediation generally the same although content will very.

Bowen uses Pastoral epistles! think about it. Not by Paul, from a time when the church became more organized and ritualistic (probably early second century). So he use of a term such as may not reflect the spontaneous miracle working faith of  the early days. Paul was a theologian, I think that's why God drafted him. He was made to do theology. There is a basis for his argument in understanding Christianity as a system. Of course theology is a major part of the Christian tradition. But it's both, or all three, religion, system and relationship.. But I doubt that Paul would think of systems in our modern sense. Paul was using metaphors about running races and fighting, it was not just an intellectual exercise for him. He also quoted hymns a lot so that might indicate a more experiential or emotionally accessible understanding of faith.

Not that I don't think Christianity is a system but I don't think systems are just intellectual only. Hussel had such a system where it was grounded in philosophical analysis but one was supposed to actually experience it.In the ancient world one's theology as not just a philosophical system but it included the actual lived experiences that went with it. Like Stoicism. Stoics were really, well, you know...stoic.

His dictionary Gambit is pointless because he is not using theological dictionary; except the Oxford and it's used specifically in relation to the context the context of  isεύσεβείας (religion) in that one passage. It's not speaking of the soteriological nature of Christianity as a whole. Christianity is a religion and religion in the more positive sense employs a syst3m and fosters a relationship with God. It's not merely words on paper or disembodied ideas, it's a way of life, its a realy one lives and experiences.

The last chapter of my book the Trace of God by Joseph Hinman is about Christianity as an experienced reality and relationship with God. The whole book is about it in the last chapter I deal with lexical help also. The term used for "knowing" in NT, as in  1 John "he who loves knows God.," that word is epigenosko meaning personal experience, know it face to face.[5] that indicates relationship. Of course they don't have aterm for "relationship."

please join me in the comments, do you  think Christianity is a religion, relationship, both?

Sources

[1] Bradley Bowen What is Christianity part 1, Secular outpost, Blog URL
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2016/01/15/what-is-christianity-part-2/

[2] New Revised Standard Version).

[3]  Oxford Bible Commentary, p.1225, (emphasis added--by Bowen)

[4] Definition of Christianity from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english
- See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2016/01/15/what-is-christianity-part-2/#sthash.KFegtuYw.dpuf

[These are all his words form further definitions]

The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary also provides An even fuller set of definitions of “Christianity” can be found at Dictionary.com:1. the Christian religion, including the Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox churches.
2. Christian beliefs or practices; Christian quality or character:
Christianity mixed with pagan elements; the Christianity of Augustine’s thought.
3. a particular Christian religious system:
She followed fundamentalist Christianity.
4. the state of being a Christian.
5. Christendom.
6. conformity to the Christian religion or to its beliefs or practices.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/christianity?s=t\
[5] Strong's Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible, "Ginosko," Peabody Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 2009, word 1097.

Definitions (1), (2), and (3) support the view that Christianity is a religion and not a relationship. Definition (5) is consistent with Christianity being a religion, and does not fit well with the idea of Christianity being a relationship.

Definition (6) is similar to previous definitions we looked at from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and it is logically tied to the concept of “the Christian religion”.
Definition (4) is the ONLY definition here that could possibly be connected to the idea of having a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Many Protestants have the view that conversion to Christianity puts one into a “state” in which one has a permanently good relationship with God and Jesus Christ.  From a Catholic point of view, conversion to Christianity puts one  temporarily into a “state” in which one has a good relationship with God and Jesus Christ, but that positive “state” can be damaged or destroyed by sin, especially by serious (i.e. mortal) sins.  From a Catholic point of view, one must be in a good “state” or good relationship with God when one dies in order to obtain eternal life in heaven. - See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2016/01/15/what-is-christianity-part-2/#sthash.KFegtuYw.dpuf
- See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2016/01/15/what-is-christianity-part-2/#sthash.KFegtuYw.dpuf

However, from a Protestant point of view, one state is the result of the other state.  Accepting Christianity is both a necessary and a sufficient condition for being in a good relationship with God and Jesus Christ.  Thus because there is a relation of dependency between the “state of being a Christian” (or of accepting Christianity) and the state of being in a good relationship with God and Jesus Christ, these must be considered to be two different and distinguishable states.  Therefore, although “Christianity” in sense (4) has a causal or logical connection with having a good relationship with God and Jesus Christ, “Christianity” in sense (4) is something that is different and distinguishable from the state of having a good relationship with God and Jesus Christ.
Thus, from a Catholic point of view as well as from a common Protestant point of view “Christianity” in the sense of “the state of being a Christian” is NOT equivalent to the idea of “the state of being in a good relationship with God and Jesus Christ”.  Furthermore, for both Protestants and Catholics, their views about the connection between “the state of being a Christian” and “the state of being in a good relationship with God and Jesus Christ” is spelled out in central Christian doctrine, is spelled out in their understanding of the Christian faith or “Christianity”.  The religion or theological doctrines that they accept provide them with a point of view about the relationship between these two states.  Catholics and Protestants, obviously, have differing views about the relationship between these two states.  Therefore, from a Catholic as well as from a common Protestant point of view, “Christianity” even in sense (4) is directly connected to a religion, and only indirectly connected to a relationship.
No matter what definition of “Christianity
- See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2016/01/15/what-is-christianity-part-2/#sthash.KFegtuYw.dpuf

## Sunday, October 22, 2017

### The link between God and The Experience

I said there are several points at which we can or must produce a link between God and religious experience, this is the first and most basic link, why associate this experience (Mystical) with God?  Some atheists would have us  reduce the experience to an unrelated set of characteristics and then assert that they cant be linked to anything meaningful beyond  the mere fact of some  dead end experience. The fact is most people who have the kind of experience called  "mystical" find in that experience a notice quality that links to experience to things like the meaning of life, God, the ultimate realty, even though it is notorious hard to explain the meaning itself, We can set up a decision making paradigm that would allow us to compare the object of the experience to the object of religious concern.

God Corrolate: The co-determinate is like the Derridian trace, or like a fingerprint. It's the accompanying sign that is always found with the thing itself. In other words, like trailing the invisible man in the snow. You can't see the invisible man, but you can see his footprints, and wherever he is in the snow his prints will always follow.

We cannot produce direct observation of God, but we can find the "trace" or the co-determinate, the effects of God in the world.The only question at that point is "How do we know this is the effect, or the accompanying sign of the divine? The Correlate functions like a finger print, or track's in the snow, It;s the mark God leaves when his prances is near,No we can't demonstrate God but it is the basis upon which  discussion of God exits, This the basis of religion, the sense of the Holy is wrapped up in the expereice as the fabric of the event.

The answer is in the argument below. Here let us set out some general parameters:

We can set up criteria based upon what we would expect from encounter with the divine:

A. Life Transforming and vital in a positive life=affirming sense

B. It would give us a sense of the transcendent and the divine.

C. No alternate or naturalistic causality could be proven

These criteria are based upon the writings of the great mystics and religious thinkers of history, especially in the Christian tradition, and distilled into /theory by W.T. Stace. The theory is verified and validated by several hundred studies using various methodologies all of them published in peer reviewed journals. The following argument is based upon the findings of these studies. All of this, the studies, the methods used, Stace's theory, these studies and their methodologies are discussed in depth in The Trace of God: a Rational Warrant for Belief by Joseph Hinman, (all proceeds go to non profit) available on Amazon

Peak experience is validated through a variety of data. It is proven to be a true consciousness change. Moreover, it has powerful and postie affects which last a life time. Since it is an experience of "something" (transcendence at least if not of "God") we must conduce that there is a real external cause at work producing the experience. Rebellious experience is experience of something, something we usually call "God," thus it is logical to conclude that there really is a God to be experienced. At this stage we cannot argue that this is the God of the Bible, but that will be established on other pages. Religious experience is not merely a change in feeling or a veg indefinable sense of niceness set off by beautiful clouds or something of that nature, if that were the case it could not be life changing. That is is subjective is obvious, but that is merely subjective is belied by the fact that is and has been shared my millions of people (in fact on some level by the vast majority of people) thoughout human history.
This notion applies to the feeling of utter dependence, but it can work also with mystical expericne. In this argument I'll focuss just on mystical experience. The argument says:

*There are real affects from Mytical experience.
*These affects cannot be reduced to naturalistic cause and affect, bogus mental states or epiphenomena.
* Since the affects of Mystical consciousness are independent of other explanations we should assume that they are genuine.
*Since mystical experience is usually experience of something, the Holy, the sacred some sort of greater transcendent reality we should assume that the object is real since the affects or real, or that the affects are the result of some real higher reailty.
* The true measure of the reality of the co-determinate is the transfomrative power of the affects.

This last point of course will be hotly disputed, but the reasoning is well documented and based upon the previous two arguments. Since we have seen that religious expedience is highly efficacious in terms of its transformative effects, that it is normative and that it represents a dimension to human being that empirical reduction ism reifies and misses, we should assume that the extent to which religious experience is transformational is a measure of its efficacy. To put it simply, it works, it changes lives, why shouldn't we assume that it is the affect of something real?

Argument:

(1) Real effects come from real causes

(2) If effects are real chances are the cause is real

(3) the effects of mystical experience are real

(4) Therefore, the cause of mystical experience is real.

(5) the content of mystical experience is about the divine

(6) Since the content of ME is divine the cause must be the divine

(7) Since the cause is real and it is divine then the divine must be real.

(8) Therefore belief in the divine is warranted by ME

## Wednesday, October 18, 2017

### The Causal Link in My God Arguments (reprise)

Order from Amazon

Over on the cadre blog I posted my "evolution of the God concept" essay which I posted here recently. Of course Skeptical attacks the bits that pertain to my book.Since the book establishes a scientific basis for warranting belief it's a huge threat to his belief system. He had asserted that the mystics only fill an empty experience with preconceived theology, while I argued that they explain the experience in terms of theology but the experience itself is separate, I said  "It's the event that changes lives not the interpretation." to Which he replied:

- You have shown no causal link whatsoever. A correlation DOES NOT establish causation, and any scientist will tell you that.

In further blather he asserts: "you know nothing about causation." Here is an essay I wrote back in February which he has never answered, Let the reader be the judge as to who knows  more about causation, I will add only this: Causation in science it is mainly construed by tight correlation and mechanism. But the only way to prove you have the mechanism right is thorough tight correlation. So at the end of the day tight correlation is really the only thing that matters, assuming your theoretical ducks are in a row. After all the Surgeon general was absolutely sure smoking causes cancer but it was 45 years before he tacked on a mechanism.

I have a tight corroboration with 200 studies for and 0 against. The experience itself is one causal link. It's a definite experience and the M scale demonstrates that it is not merely a tick of the mind or a construct, there is an unexplained extricate that changes consciousnesses involved. The experience is clearly correlated with the change. There's a second point where I link the experience to God, Obviously we don't have direct evince for that or we would not need the experience as an argument for God, but God is warranted as the cause of the experience by the content of the experience and the fact that I can eliminate other forms of causality.

We are talking about warrant not proof. But in the original publication of this essay (2/8/17) the comment section was good,  I will extend that discussion on Monday. Here is the article in answer to Skepie's statements about causation.

The Causal Link In my God Arguments

In the comment section of Monday's post (2/6/17) our Friend  "Skepie" says "... then there's your 200 studies. You draw inferences from these that are not scientifically justified. There is no causal linkage demonstrated between God and the observed evidence seen in these studies." This is a real strong indication that he's not paying attention. First, he really needs to read Hume because no demonstration of causal link involves actually observing causality at work. All we can observe are effects,  we assume the casual nature. The assumption of cause is based upon tight correlation and the assumptive of mechanism which basically involves a correlation there as well. In fact the assumption of smoking as a cause of cancer was made iwth no idea of a mechanism 40 years before a mechanism was nailed down. What we see in science quite often is theory accepted as fact based upon explanatory power rather than any direct observational data.

That is not to say that assumptions are not based upon observations, the correlations are derived from observation, but there is no direct observing of causality. Skepie is assuming an idea that is the old atheist circular justification of naturalism: we haven't accepted any phenomena as evidence of God so far, there there is none, there this can't be it. So there is no evidence, then any assertion of evidence is just met with the assumption: "you don't know science.  To him science is accepting his circular reasons.

If we establish a model for acceptance of ideas in science using historical examples we can see that the inferences I am making about God and religious experiences follow the same pattern through which Neutrinos were accepted as fact. This is a God argumnet so at some point you have to break out of the circle and say "hey there's a logical reason to accept a different conclusion."

The model is this: phenomena offers a very strong correlation between two observed variables, assumed to be cause and effect, The explanation of the mechanism is the only  hypothesis standing after all others are eliminated and it explains the phenomena while fitting into a valid place in a larger accepted theoretical framework. We see this model in the history of the neutrino, I repeat my history of the particle below to show this model at work in actual science.

In my Thomas Reid argument, epistemic judgement, I establish an epistemology that I think is intuitive and natural to our actual norms, then show that the actual assumption of the divine as the ultimate cause of religious experience (ie that it is an experience of the divine) fits the criteria we use for epistemic judgement about the reality of experiences. Thus. the explanation fits   a larger accepted theoretical framework. Since we use that criteria of epistemic judgement to navigate world it;s theoretically accepted at least philosophically.

The crucial factor that Skepie keeps missing is that I never argued that i'm proving a causal link to God but that belief in God as the cause is warranted by the phenomena and it's explanation in the larger scheme. Because there is no clear proof in weighing the evidence between naturalism and God as basic assumptions I present eight tie breakers that show clearly why we should assume God given the phenomena and the overall framework and it;s fittenedness as explanation, This is similar to the history of neutrino because the particle was not observed directly for 40 years but was assumed based upon it's assumption as explication for the behavior of other particles.

The claim that the studies aren't prove a causal link between God and the experience withGod as the cause is a fair question but the answer is obvious.

(1) the noetic aspects are communicate in the experience are about God,

(2) the essence of the experience itself is almost always identified as the presence of God

(3) in a large percentage of the toke the result of the experience pis religious conversion.

(4) mystical experience is the origin of religion its why we are talking abouit God where the idea of God comes from.

While it is true that this does not prove that the experience is really an experience of God's presence it certainly provides peima facie reasom to assert that it is. So at that point we have a reason to assume it vs an equal possibility that it is they result of  brain chemistry alone. That is dispelled by the eight tie breakers.

that takes care of argument 1, the co-determinate, in that argument the studies function as a documentation for the competent of what is experience

In argumnet 2 the the argument from universal mystical consciousness. the studies function as documentation that mystical expediences are the same they world over, across faiths and cultures. The argumnet is when this happens in anthropology they assume innate origins, but the tie breakers show that we can't assume any sort of inanimate nature to the experience (religious ideas are cultural), that implies a external reality is experienced.

In argument the studies provide documentation that the exercises fit the criteria of epistemic judgement that means we are warranted i trimmings them.

In each csae these studies provide the link needed to assert cause without having to actually prove God is behind it, That's I argue warrant and not proof,

Sorry for repeating it again so soon but here is the history of the neutrino again, Hey Skepie, knowing this history of science is knowledge of science yea, history of science is knowledge of science.

History of the Neutrino:

Timeline on Neutrinos
"History of the Neutrinos"[1]

1898
The first car's races (70 km/h maximum!)
1926
Between two wars, people dance the Charleston and the Boston
1930
Pauli invents the neutrino particle
Crisis of 1929...
1933
Fermi baptizes the neutrino and builds his theory of weak interaction
Hitler gets power in Germany
1956
First discovery of the neutrino by an experiment
Riots in Budapest. Indochina. Cold war. Atmospheric tests of thermonuclear bombs.
They were talking about them and theorizing and from the 1930s they didn't have a direct proof of them until 1956. For 30 years they did not have direct proof but they still assumed they could exist. They had reason to. But I have reason to assume God exists.

Atheists have argued on this point "but we can trust the inference." I'm saying yes we can but I also make the kind of inference for God and that can be trusted too for the same reasons. That's true but it also means we can trust inferences on god arguments if they done correctly.

a more detailed account:
Neutrino History:
From what we know todaymisters Neutrinos were born around 15 billions years ago, soon after the Since this time, the universe has continuously expanded, cooled and neutrinos have made their own way. Theoretically, they are now many and constitute a cosmic background radiation whose temperature is 1.9 degree Kelvin (-271.2 degree Celsius). The other neutrinos of the universe are produced during the life of stars and the explosion of supernovae.But the idea of the neutrino came to life only in 1930, when Wolfgang PAULI tried a desperate saving operation of "the energy conservation principle". The 4th of December 1930, invited at a physicists workshop in Tubingen, he sends to his colleagues
In February 1932, J. Chadwick discovers the neutron, but neutrons are heavy and do not correspond to the particle imagined by Pauli.
At Solvay conference in Bruxelles, in October 1933, Pauli says, speaking about his particles:
"... their mass can not be very much more than the electron mass. In order to distinguish them from heavy neutrons, mister Fermi has proposed to name them "neutrinos". It is possible that the proper mass of neutrinos be zero... It seems to me plausible that neutrinos have a spin 1/2... We know nothing about the interaction of neutrinos with the other particles of matter and with photons: the hypothesis that they have a magnetic moment seems to me not funded at all."
In 1933, F. Perrin shows that the neutrino mass has to be very much lower than the electron mass. The same year, Anderson discovers the positron, the first seen particle of anti-matter, verifying thus the theory of P.A.M. Dirac and confirming the idea of neutrino in the minds of Pauli and Fermi. End of 1933, while Frederic Joliot-Curie discovers the beta plus radioactivity (a positron is emitted instead of an electron), Enrico Fermi takes the neutrino hypothesis and builds his theory of beta decay (weak interaction).
[ Since this time, physicists have made a lot of progress in the understanding of weak interaction and we now speak about protons and neutrons, composed of three quarks each. One of the quarks of the neutron transforms into an one, producing the emission of a W boson, which decays into an electron and an anti-neutrino ]
The neutrino quest begins, but people had to be quite reckless and persevering in those years because, as soon as 1934, Hans Bethe and Rudolf Peierls showed that the cross section (probability of interaction) between neutrinos and matter should be extremely small: billions of time smaller than the one of an electron. This particle interacts so weakly with matter that it can go through the whole earth without deviation.[2]

[1] History of the Neutrinos

Ground breaking research that boosts religious arguments 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

## Sunday, October 15, 2017

### Trump's War on Breathing

One continual themes since the resistance began (since Russia took over the presidency) is Trump's war on EPA. That is no joke, we can quantify how any lives Trump's lattes scheme will end. That scheme being the repeal of Major Obama era carbon emissions rules. "The Environmental Protection agency announced on Tuesday that Scott Pruitt, the Chief of the agency, had signed a measure to repeal President Barack Obama's signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants...." [1]

The Clean Air Task Force (CATF) has studied the effects of fine particle emissions from power plants since the year 2000. These are empirical scientific epidemiological studies. There are now 7,500 deaths each year from power plant emissions. [2] This may sound like a like but its actually down by 50% from the time before the Obama regs,

In 2000, 2004 and again in 2010, the Clean Air Task Force issued studies based on work by Abt Associates quantifying the deaths and other adverse health affects attributable to the fine particle air pollution resulting from power plant emissions. Using the most recent emissions data, in this 2014 study, CATF examines the continued progress towards cleaning up one of the nation's leading sources of air pollution. This latest report finds that over 7,500 deaths each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. power plants. This represents a dramatic reduction in power plant health impacts from the previous studies....Our 2004 study showed that power plant impacts exceeded 24,000 deaths a year, but by 2010 that had been reduced to roughly 13,000 deaths due to the impact that state and federal actions were beginning to have. The updated study shows that strong regulations that require stringent emission controls can have a dramatic impact in reducing air pollution across the country, saving lives, and avoiding a host of other adverse health impacts. The study also shows regrettably that some areas of the country still suffer from unnecessary levels of pollution from power plants that could be cleaned up with the application of proven emission control technologies.[3]
The 2004 study showed 24,000 deaths a year, I show above its down to 7,500, that's 17,000 lives a year saved by the regs![4] Market forces are moving us away from Coal. There is no question this will be, power plants are closing and the large industry is committed to it. Coal Fired energy in US has fallen from 51% in 2008 to 30% in 2016. [5] The market story creates a complex issue. The question becomes how much how soon, we can retard the drift away fro coal as Trump is trying to do,or we can facilitate moving to more healthy sources of energy that furnish employment.  Neither candidate in the election had the presence of mind to say that. The shift has meant 80% less sulfur dioxide, 64% less nitrogen oxide, 34% less carbon dioxide [6] For those who don't know those thing are  not good to breath.

Those who are oppose to saving lives will always argue jobs. the Trade-off, jobs vs breathing. Jobs will always win, We see this in the election. of Trump. The Koch brothers (Charles and David sons of Fred C.) and other billionaires have orchestrated a huge grass roots campaign that started long before the election,It was working overtime during Obama's toe as the rightful  president. That movement produced the bedrock of Trump's support.[7]

It involved a massive public relations campaign taking over local news broadcasting, plus across the country plus grass roots ralleys. They fomented the lie that science is undecided about climate change [8]and since climate change can't be proven to be caused by humans the greatest risk is in disturbing our wonderful life style which allows the K boys and Trump to get richer. They fostered the image among these grass roots types that science and climate change and pollution are just fancy ideas by egg heads or the cultural elite who can afford to control their so corralled"carbon foot prints, ":whatever that is" (nudge nudge).Trump's second  phase of EPA destruction has been replaced by anti-EPA people  Trump has put in charge of the agency,

The old time administrators are angry and depressed and some long time officials retired or were fired by Trump. they were then dismissed as "disgruntled" but they report the agency is being destroyed from  within,[9] "Scott Pruitt, a fierce defender of fossil fuels, is on a crusade to gut the environmental agency he now leads..They can now toast Scott Pruitt in coal country, perhaps with plastic flutes of toxic rain. Tuesday brought what New Yorker writer Jane Mayer has called the “triumph of the anti-environmental movement.” It’s a triumph you can watch on Wednesday’s installment of PBS’ Frontline." (see fn 8) [10]Pruitt was not merely a critique of the EPA he advocated eliminating it and now he has his chance.

It's not just limited to power plants, in April OP ED published "Trump's War On EPA Continues in which we said,

U.S. automakers may not have to reach fuel efficiency standards that were set during President Obama's administration, as the Environmental Protection Agency says it's reopening a review of the rules.President Trump is expected to make that announcement Wednesday in meetings with auto industry executives and workers in Michigan.In Washington, a senior White House official said the president wants to "set standards that are technologically feasible, economically feasible and allow the auto industry to grow and create jobs."The Obama-era rules stemmed from an agreement the government reached with major vehicles in the summer of 2011, setting carbon dioxide emissions targets for passenger cars and light trucks that were equivalent to the industry's fleet of achieving an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by the 2025 model year.The reopening of the rules review comes after a request from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry group that represents both domestic and foreign automakers. The group's request came last month, after the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator. [read More] [11]
Studies show the situation is even more alarming with auto emissions than with power plants. The new MIT study puts auto emission deaths at 50,000/yr [12] including powerboats and other sources it goes up to to 200,000/yr! [13]

Of course the big counter argument will always be jobs, supposedly breathing costs us jobs. There two levels of argument, the more abstract level asserts that economic efficiency equals job growth and anything that costs profits is inefficient. The pragmatic level merely asserts that clean energy cant sustain employment, both are totally wrong. Energy fro solar will employ 79 times the labor force of coal. [14] The entire renewable energy industry is more labor intensive than fissile fuel technology. Wind energy alone already employs 75,000 workers in the U.S. [15]

John Kenneth "Ken" Galbraith, in The New Industrial State, [16] tells us that the bench mark economic efficiency is not written stone but can be measured anyway we choose to measure it, We choose to measure it in terms of profit margin because those who won the means of production want it that way, They don't value human life so they do;t consider that 200,000 as anything but caldera damage. Economic efficiency could me measured in terms of our ability supply vital resources to those who need them. As log as we allow those who put profits over lives our efforts to support a vital economy will be negated, We might have jobs but those we seek to support will die of cancer caused by the jobs we do to support them. We need to endure government regulation as long as the wonders of production don't care who they kill to get richer. We need to vote in a government that will regulate pollution.

CALL YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS 202-224-3121
Republican Senators* at (844) 241-1141

Sources

[1] Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer, "E.P.A. Announces Repeal of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule," New  York Times, (OCT. 9, 2017) on line ed.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/09/climate/clean-power-plan.html?smid=fb-share
(accessed 10/11/17)

[2] Clean Air Task Force, Clean Air Task Force 114 State Street 6th Floor Boston, MA 02109