Monday, June 28, 2021

Answering 'I m Skeptical's" comments on the fine turning argument

FT only takes fitedness as a basic assumption but it does not stop there. It says we have numbers that show a life bearing universe is extremely improbable.

IAS:Two problems with the probability-based fine-tuning argument:

1 - There isn't a scientist, astrophysicist, or anyone else on this planet who actually has the information needed to make a realistic probability estimate. It's nothing more than a wild guess.

that is Bull shit, you are playing off of arguments that say there's empirical proof. That is far far cry from saying it's a wild guess. Lots of atheists scientists take the argument seriously
extended answer: Yewimply iorsthedomnettioI presentedi te ai peoce: Howard A. Smith is a lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Astronomy and a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The first result — the anthropic principle — has been accepted by physicists for 43 years. The universe, far from being a collection of random accidents, appears to be stupendously perfect and fine-tuned for life. The strengths of the four forces that operate in the universe — gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear interactions (the latter two dominate only at the level of atoms) — for example, have values critically suited for life, and were they even a few percent different, we would not be here. The most extreme example is the big bang creation: Even an infinitesimal change to its explosive expansion value would preclude life. The frequent response from physicists offers a speculative solution: an infinite number of universes — we are just living in the one with the right value. But modern philosophers such as Thomas Nagel and pioneering quantum physicists such as John Wheeler have argued instead that intelligent beings must somehow be the directed goal of such a curiously fine-tuned cosmos.
C. Scientists admit fine tuning is a problem for a naturalistic view

One of the three co-authors of inflationary theory, Andrei Linde, sketches out the problem of fine tuning that he takes very seriously. Inflationary theory was concocted to get around fine tuning.

Andrei Linde,Scientific American. Oct 97

......(1) flatness of Universe

"...flatness of space. General relativity suggests that space may be very curved, with a typical radius on the order of the Planck length, or 10^-33 centimeter. We see however, that our universe is just about flat on a scale of 10^28 centimeters, the radius of the observable part of the universe. This result of our observation differs from theoretical expectations by more than 60 orders of magnitude."

......(2) Size of Universe--Plank Density

"A similar discrepancy between theory and observations concerns the size of the universe. Cosmological examinations show that our part of the universe contains at least IO^88 elementary particles. But why is the universe so big? If one takes a universe of a typical initial size given by the Planck length and a typical initial density equal to the Planck density, then, using the standard big bang theory, one can calculate how many elementary particles such a universe might encompass. The answer is rather unexpected: the entire universe should only be large enough to accommodate just one elementary particle or at most 10 of them. it would be unable to house even a single reader of Scientiftc American, who consists of about 10^29 elementary particles. Obviously something is wrong with this theory."

......(3) Timing of expansion

"The fourth problem deals with the timing of the expansion. In its standard form, the big bang theory assumes that all parts of the universe began expanding simultaneously. But how could all the different parts of the universe synchromize the beginning of their expansion? Who gave the command?

......(4) Distribution of matter in the universe

"....there is the question about the distribution of matter in the universe. on the very large scale, matter has spread out with remarkable uniformity. Across more than 10 billion light-years, its distribution departs from perfect homogeneity by less than one part in 10,000..... One of the cornerstones of the standard cosmology was the 'cosmological principle," which asserts that the universe must be homogeneous. This assumption. however, does not help much, because the universe incorporates important deviations from homogeneity, namely. stars, galaxies and other agglomerations of matter. Tence, we must explain why the universe is

so uniform on large scales and at the same time suggest some mechanism that produces galaxies." ......(5) The "Uniqueness Problem"

"Finally, there is what I call the uniqueness problem. AIbert Einstein captured its essence when he said: "What really interests ine is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." Indeed, slight changes in the physical constants of nature could have made the universe unfold in a completeIy, different manner. ..... In some theories, compactilication can occur in billions of different ways. A few years ago it would have seemed rather meaningless to ask why space-time has four dimensions, why the gravitational constant is so small or why the proton is almost 2,000 times heavier than the electron. New developments in elementary particle physics make answering these questions crucial to understanding the construction of our world."
\\ D, Scientists confirm fine tuing while trying to eliminate it.

Now Linde is confident that the new inflationary theires will explain all of this, and indeed states that their purpose is to revolve the ambiguity with which cosmologists are forced to cope. His co-author in inflationary theory. Physicist Paul Steinhardt, had doubts about it as early as his first paper on the subject (1982). He admits that the point of the theory was to eliminate fine tuning (a major God argument), but the theory only works if one fine tunes the constants that control the inflationary period.

John Horgan, “Physicist slams Cosmic Theory he Helped Conceive,” Scientific American Blogs, December 1, 2014. on line, URL accessed 10/5/15. Horgan interviews Steinhardt. “The whole point of inflation was to get rid of fine-tuning – to explain features of the original big bang model that must be fine-tuned to match observations. The fact that we had to introduce one fine-tuning to remove another was worrisome. This problem has never been resolved."

IAS:2 - The actual probability doesn't matter, anyway. All it takes is one. One planet in all the universe that happens to be suitable to produce life as we see it - and here we are.

That is total bs and shows you don't understand the argument. One proves nothing we need to know the hit rate. The fewer examples the less probable, you are begging the question Extension

(1) If we assert that one example will do it then this unierse might as well be that example. But that is begging the question since it assumse the position he defends as a proof of itself.

(2) He assserts we have no eprocal [rppf bit he hasnomefor odeas as baocto his iew as evolution.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Interview by Randal Rauser: Hinman's Deridian argument

Rauser interviwed me and posted on his blog January 18, 2019.

Home of progressively evangelical, generously orthodox, rigorously analytic, revolutionary Christian thinking (that's what I'm aiming for anyway)

Title of interiew: "God in a Transcendental Signifier: A Conversation with Joseph Hinman" January 18, 2019.

RR: A few months ago, I published an article on “The Top Five Problems with Contemporary Christian Apologetics.” Number 5 was “Lack of Imagination”: in short, among contemporary apologists there is an inordinate focus on a small number of arguments (e.g. the Kalaam; the argument from cosmic fine-tuning) at the expense of countless underutilized arguments to say nothing of still other arguments yet to be imagined.

That’s one reason I appreciate the work of Joseph Hinman. Mr. Hinman has an MTS from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and has studied at the doctoral level at the University of Texas at Dallas. And he quite deliberately seeks to explore underexplored and wholly new avenues of argument. Consider, for example, our recent conversation on his argument for God from mystical experience.

In this article, we take up a second argument for God that Mr. Hinman has been developing, one that proceeds from what he calls transcendental signifiers.

RR: Joe, thanks for joining us for another discussion in the philosophy of religion. This time out we’re going to discuss your argument for God from transcendental signifiers. I suspect a good place to begin is with your concept of a transcendental signifier. When I first read that term I thought of C. Stephen Evans’ argument in his book Natural Signs and Knowledge of God. Evans argues that arguments for God’s existence are based on so-called “natural signs” which are non-coercive pointers to the reality of God. As such, these signs provide the intuitive appeal for various arguments for God’s existence. Is that what you mean when you refer to transcendental signifiers? Or is your concept different?

JH: You would think so, since he’s just down the road in Waco, I’m up here in Dallas. There is some commonality, in the sense that both views deal with natural theology. It may be a case of great minds thinking alike because I see many aspects that our views hold in common but my idea has nothing to do with him. I started working on my argument back in 2002 when I had just discovered internet apologetics and began arguing on message boards and blogs, and I created the Christian CADRE apologetic group. I was adapting things I had been thinking about at UTD when I was studying Derrida, This argument is rooted in my study of Derrida; I don’t think Evans deals with Derrida. At first it was just a fun way to flabbergast atheists on message boards, A couple of years ago I decided it was time to dig it out of mothballs and turn it into a real argument.

I like Evans idea of signs pointers, that is similar to my notion of what I call “deep structures of being.” Speaking only of my own argument, because I’m not sure his idea and mine are really the same, I have not read his book. My argument is based in Derridean ideas but it seeks to reverse Derrida. I ask what if Derrida is wrong and there is a transcendental signified? Then that on itself is a good reason to believe in God. Derrida’s whole program was a reaction against belief in God; the desire to tear down hierarchies because he rejected the ultimate hierarchical principle. If as he supposed reason and rationality stem from an overarching principle that forms the basis of all meaning and thus sets up the ultimate hierarchy the will of God, the reality of that hierarchy ought to mean we accept or assume the reality of God. So the ultimate reason I can give for doing so is that without it we have only the dissolution of meaning. The TS is the only way to have a rational, coherent, and meaningful view of the universe, of life, of nature.

Before going on I need to remind the reader that all of my God arguments are about rationally warranting belief not proving the existence of God.

RR: Okay, can you say more about the specifically Derridean ideas you’re engaging with and then how you seek to reverse them to, as you put it, “flabbergast atheists”? JH: Derrida’s overall project is to explicate the end of metaphysics, but not to merely explicate he also wanted to help hasten it. His major issue was the myth of presence,which begins with the Platonic theory of knowledge and sees this theme echoed throughout Western thought up into modern times. Scientific hegemony of thought is a hint of this, latest version of the myth of presence. The myth says that meaning is present in the signifiers. There is meaning in an overarching final sense and it is immediateness present to us. That was the case with belief in God or the Platonic realm, now only hinted at with science which makes all truth available through its own ruination; or with formal logic.

Western thought has always assumed a logos, a first principle that gives meaning to all ambiguity and grounds all knowledge and norms (reason, logic, mathematics, truth, God, whatever). This concept has been embodied in many different ideas; collectively Jacques Derrida calls them “transcendental signifiers” (TS). These differing notions all point to a single idea, the one thing that is necessary and universal that orders and gives meaning to all signs and signification. That is the thing signified by the words used to mark it, the transcendental signified (TS). The term G-O-D is the Transcendental signifier and the actual reality the word points to is the transcendental signified.

Humanity has been unable to find any matching candidate for this post in modern thought primarily because we gave up the idea of a logos. Gave up on a universal ordering principle. Modern science has a sort of truncated logos in the idea that empirical observations will eliminate all false hypotheses until just the truth, scientific truth. That will never happen because it cannot; science can’t render first principles in areas like ethics and morality and it can’t delve into the spiritual, the phenomenological, the existential or anything not immediately verifiable empirically. Postmodern thought has given up on the whole project. They reject the concept of truth itself and seek not to understand anything beyond their self referential language game. Yet in rejecting the concept of truth, and tearing down hierarchies, they create their transcendental signifier differance, (with an a)i. Only the concept of God fits the parameters for the TS. God offers the best explanation for hierarchical ordering, thus offers the most likely correlate for TS. Or to put it another way, mind is the missing dimension that enables the TS to unite human experience of being with understanding. That in itself should warrant belief in God.

My argument says Derrida didn’t believe in the reality of a TS and he assumed such terms just refer to empty promises. Thus the consequence of such hierarchies as are mandated by the veracious notions of a TS are oppressive and totaling, so says the upshot of Derridean thinking. Thus he seeks to tear down hierarchies.I say more power to him Those hierarchies in so far as they are oppressive should be torn down. The problem is true to his own deconstruction, Derrida contradicts himself by also stating that we can’t avoid metaphysical hierarchies and that some hierarchy is inevitable.

At that point I make my argument. Rather than tear down all hierarchy (only to have it replaced by others) let’s seek the true TS that mandates the right hierarchy (God’s Love). I argue that the missing element is mind. of course specifically the mind of God. Thus most of the arguments are oriented issues like mind and cosmos. It’s not a design argument or the CA but does reference both ideas. I have a deductive version and an abductive version.

There is much more use the link below and scroll down 11 paragraphs:

Rauser says: "That’s one reason I appreciate the work of Joseph Hinman. Mr. Hinman has an MTS from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and has studied at the doctoral level at the University of Texas at Dallas. And he quite deliberately seeks to explore underexplored and wholly new avenues of argument. Consider, for example, our recent conversation on his argument for God from mystical experience."