Sunday, August 2, 2009

Determinism


Another controversial topic is the topic concerning determinism.


I have often wondered about a naturalistic (materialistic) vs a super-naturalistic universe and it's consequences regarding belief. (I am using basic understandings of these terms when referring to them).


Naturalism or materialism to me means, that which is naturally linked together in a causal chain of happenings gradually getting smaller to the first cause. Science should be able to find the causal links eventually.


"In its broadest and strongest sense, naturalism is the metaphysical position that "nature is all there is, and all basic truths are truths of nature."[1] All things and powers commonly regarded as supernatural, for example, God, souls and witchcraft, are asserted to be nonexistent."



Supernaturalism is another higher intelligence outside of the causal chain of natural happenings.
E.G. God.


Christianity lives as if there is a God and places it's faith in supernaturalism.
On the other side of the fence is atheism which lives and believes in no-God naturalism to a lesser or greater extent.

So what is the big deal?
If atheistic naturalism is true then I ask, would it take away all free-will? What I mean by this is...I was meant to write this post and NO OTHER WAY could have happened except what is happening now. I was meant to write this post and you were predestined by cause and effect to read this post.
If there is no "outside" nature then we are all stuck in a series of causal happenings causing us to act and our "will" is a delusion. The thought you just thought was caused by the thought before and the thought you are having now was caused by the other thought you had just before.

So I am a Christian because I cannot help it and you are maybe an atheist because you cannot help it; the same applies to every person if this is true.

If so, do we NEED police? If someone murders someone else isn't it just their chemistry causing them to act? Chemistry attacking another lot of chemistry?
Is not today's world seeming to take that turn in thinking...justifying someone because they couldn't of known better? Such as when a school kid is being uncontrollable the teachers pass it off as "It was his/her upbringing" (I admit there is some truth to this but I use it to make a point).

Many Christian theists don't have a problem with this situation because they believe that people are spirit as well as body and we have an "outside nature" part to us...an image of God...a free-will.
Why do people have such enormous ability to have abstract thought and inference truths about our universe? Someone once said that man is incurably abstract.
Does this give evidence that man is special as the Bible teaches us...more than just an animal?

To read more on this subject try this link to chapter 3 entitled "The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism" in a book called "Miracles". Note: It may be helpful one day to read the whole book in context to since we miss the first two chapters but here is the third which brings out some interesting thoughts. If you disagree with a statement then don't throw away the baby with the bath water :)

"The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism"

cheers,

DB

P.S. Another slant on the thought of naturalism:

Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God."

C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity

83 comments:

  1. And if there is an all powerful creator god then he is responsible for absolutely everything that's ever happened ever.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dan,
    I don't know if you have done this by "design," or if you are merely paraphrasing "The Cardinal Difficulty with Naturalism" so as to ask so many questions in one post that it will be impossible to answer.
    I see quite a few fundamentalists out there making 4,000 word posts with more lies and flawed logic than anyone cares to deal with.

    CS Lewis is wearing his philosopher hat in CDwN.

    Philosophy always turns out to be words chasing their tails. There are the most famous questions philosophers philosophize over, as you note here, the existence of God, but, of course the questions are never answered by the philosopher. If the question could be suitably answered, it would no longer be philosophy, thus:

    "[20] I have mentioned this theory because it puts in a fairly vivid light certain conceptions which we shall have to use later on. But I am not, for my own part, assuming its truth. Those who like myself have had a philosophical rather than a scientific education find it almost impossible to believe that the scientists really mean what they seem to be saying. I cannot help thinking they mean no more than that the movements of individual units are permanently incalculable to us, not that they are in themselves random and lawless. And even if they mean the latter, a layman can hardly feel any certainty that some new scientific development may not tomorrow abolish this whole idea of a lawless Subnature. For it is the glory of science to progress. I therefore turn willingly to other ground."

    Into your post you have packed many questions and presented mysteries that can only be dealt with philosophically.

    CS Lewis was a good writer, but much of his writings leave us begging the question,
    "It follows that no account of the universe can be true I unless that account leaves it possible for our thinking to be a real insight. A theory which explained everything else in the whole universe but which made it impossible to believe that our thinking was valid, would be utterly out of court. For that theory would itself have been reached by thinking,...."

    You can see that Lewis is anti-thinking, except, for him.

    And I will explain to you why.
    Lewis is a presuppositionalist. He would not like to be called that. He is trying to prove that there can be no understanding without God, but we must presuppose there is a God. That is a circular argument and totally invalid, flawed, and fractured logic.

    Now, personally, and I believe for most reasonable folks, science and empiricism have nothing at all to say about God, but Lewis, et al would have you think that science is anti-God. That is not true, Science does not speak to the issue of God because there is no evidence in the empirical data for a God.

    In Christian theology, presuppositionalism is a school of apologetics (philosophy) that aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith and defend it against objections primarily by exposing the perceived flaws of other worldviews while the Bible, as divine revelation, is presupposed.

    Where rational people can reach the point of investigation where they may respond to a question with the simple, but honest, "I do not know," Presuppers hold to the absurd law of the excluded middle (a logical fallacy,) it has to be one way or the other, thus the only way is their way.

    Now, Danny (I have three sons, the #2 son being a "Daniel") I like reading philosophy recreationally, but I'm not going to spend my time arguing every point that Lewis tries to make because he packs a zillion words together and they all come out saying the very same thing; we cannot account for logic and reason without God. It's the same old circular argument no matter how articulate, sophist, and wordy he tries to make it.

    (cont'd)

    ReplyDelete
  3. It also seems absurd to argue with the apologetic philosophy of Lewis because he is dead and cannot answer any of the questions I may have for him. And I am certain that you are not sufficiently educated in philosophy that you would step in for him any more than I would step in for Bertrand Russell (have you read any of Russell? or do you only read those that you think support your irrational view?)

    Having said all that there is a contemporary philosopher by the name of Stephen Law who has a blog where you can challenge him and discuss presuppositionalism.
    You can search his site and read the pertinent articles and you can freely discuss your questions with Dr. Law.

    If you Google Stephen Law, the first two hits will be Stephen's website and a Wikipedia article about him.

    But I suspect that you don't want to actually discuss philosophy and it is obvious that you do not have the credentials to do justice to any actual discussion thereof.

    That also makes me question your motive to post this subject at all, other than to make it known that you have a rudimentary knowledge that CS Lewis did exist and he has long winded philosophies where he declares that we have no knowledge without presupposing God.

    I could just as well post a part of an essay by Daniel Dennet, Bertrand Russell, George Santayana, & et cetera, but I shall not because in the end it is merely philosophy.

    In conclusion, I will give us both a bit of wiggle room by pointing you to the Biologos website.
    This foundation composed of evangelical scientists who understand that, while they do have their philosophical beliefs in God, that science is valid and is instructional and important on all levels.

    The original founder of the foundation, which is sponsored by the Templeton Foundation, is Francis Collins who is an evangelical Christian and was the leader of the group that decoded the human Genome, that is, he was the leader of the Human Genome Project.

    Biologos makes a great case of how science and faith can complement one another without the seemingly endless arguing of which one is most valid.
    I suggest you at least take a look at it and pop into Stephen Law’s blog and ask him your philosophical questions.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Dale

    ReplyDelete
  4. PS
    On July 8, 2009 President Barack Obama nominated Collins to the position of Director of the National Institutes of Health.

    Ciao

    ReplyDelete
  5. You believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, God correct?

    A God that knows what will happen to everyone before they are born. This cannot be changed because then God would not know and wouldn't be omniscient. Thus what will happen in your life is already known or predestined.

    You can think of different choices, but God already knows which one you will choose. So you feel like you have freewill but it is just an illusion, as God knows everything that will happen in your life and it can't change because then God wouldn't know it and thus would not be omniscient.

    So how is the illusion of freewill any better? Especially since it means God is creating people he knows will be tortured forever.

    Btw, you are creating a bit of a straw man. Saying we have to act a certain way to stimuli. That is not correct. We are not unthinking animals who just react (well most of us). We can think and decide what course to take.

    That being said you should look into natural determinism, because there were some studies done in the 70's about this. They were conducted by Benjamin Libet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Libet). In which he showed that all thought originates from the same place as involuntary action. That subconscious mind starts to take steps toward action before our conscious mind has made the decision. What happens if we decide not to take the action is the conscious mind vetos the action. We have at best free won't not free will.

    This is easily explainable in the light of evolution. Action came before consciousness.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sorry, that should be all action comes from the same place as involuntary action, not all thought. You can read about the subject on the wiki page it is good information. It is a very interesting subject.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Daniel,

    The main problem of your post is that you are conflagratting, as that guy in your ""rationality thread, determinism with naturalism. Not only that, you are daring to define what the atheists and naturalists should believe, rather than trying to understand whether these are really the things atheists believe, or even if they SHOULD believe it.

    Imagine me doing that very thing. I start by defining what you believe to the utmost detail. I do not ask you, I take things from here and there, put a package that I can crap one way or another, orwords that should be easy to use and confound even yourself. Then proceed to attcak you from those angles that have only slightly, if at all, to do with your beliefs.

    Same thing that CS Lewis is doing. He has no idea, so he concludes his brain is the result of a random set of stuff, and he cannot truly be thinking.

    Please pay a bit of attention. Maybe you will learn a lot of things from us during this exchanges. If you do, and you keep your beliefs, maybe you will be a kind of minister who does not lie about atheism. That would be awsome.

    I will come back with better explanations. From now, you knowing that the whole thing is an elaborated straw man should suffice.

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Da Bomb,

    Try this exercise before I come back with more stuff:

    Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking.

    This would be correct. nobody designed his brain for the purpose of thinking. Something, not somebody, did. The "purpose" is a tricky word though. But let us not get distracted for now by this detail. Remember though, that I do not agree with it.

    It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought.

    Nope, quite wrong. He is forgetting the evolutionary history. Physical and chemical is not enough to make a brain, you need the historical accumulation of successful evolutionary events to lead you to have a thinking brain.

    But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true?

    Well, you got that wrong Lewis, so, no worries, you can trust your thinking to be what it is. What you are thinking here, however, is quite false. An elaborated straw-man built upon an over-emphasis on "randomness" and your incredulity that your thoughts can be based on chemical and physical reactions and still be thoughts.

    It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London.

    Nope, it is not like that. You are forgetting, again, the whole historical accumulation of successful evolutionary events, the parts that are not random in evolution.

    But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else.

    Ha! Since you have the wrong arguments to begin with, this conclusion is unwarranted. Even if we followed your thinking, even if we granted your fallacious arguments, it would follow that you cannot believe in God, or any of the arguments leading to "Godism." Atheism would not be the result of arguments, but rather, the natural state of affairs. Would it? Gods would be the result of your imperfect thinking.

    Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought:

    I do not see why not. I do not believe in God, and I am quite comfortable "believing" in thought. Thoughts I experience. Gods?

    so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God."

    Why not again?

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bath Tub,

    "And if there is an all powerful creator god then he is responsible for absolutely everything that's ever happened ever."

    Not if his desire is for all to have free will. One of the greatest ways to show love is to allow your offspring freedom to explore. I'm sure even your parents, after telling you not to do something, allowed you to do it anyway to teach you a lesson. G-d is the same way. If you follow his will, then you'll stay out of trouble. This is very simplistic and I could go into further detail but I don't want to bog the blog. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. BS,

    "You believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, God correct?"

    Yes. G-d knows all that's going to happen before it happens. You spoke of predestination. The bible doesn't speak of predestination, but predetermination. The English interpreters got that one messed up. In other words, G-d does not lead us around like puppets, but is always there when we need assistance and is able to intervene when he deems it according to his will.

    ReplyDelete
  11. GE,

    "Not only that, you are daring to define what the atheists and naturalists should believe, rather than trying to understand whether these are really the things atheists believe, or even if they SHOULD believe it."

    Honestly, it looks like he was covering all the bases and most likely wants to know where we fit in. I don't think he was trying to pigeon hole into a specific category. I could be wrong. I'm sure Dan will fill in the gaps.

    ReplyDelete
  12. GE,

    "This would be correct. nobody designed his brain for the purpose of thinking. Something, not somebody, did. The "purpose" is a tricky word though. But let us not get distracted for now by this detail. Remember though, that I do not agree with it."

    Dan said, "SUPPOSE". Try to imagine. Don't throw the hat away without trying it on. He trying to engage us in a experiment. It's like make believe, or whatever you want to call it.

    Why don't you try to follow the logic before jumping to conclusions?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dan,

    If I'm correct in my assessment of this blog entry, it is one of your best.

    Shalom,
    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  14. Quantum Mechanics refutes determinism from a naturalistic viewpoint. From a supernaturalistic viewpoint, where J-h-v-h, -l-h-m, or whatever you want to call him, is omniscient/omnipotent, then is determinism extant, even if it is inaccessible by we non-omniscient (seminiscient?) beings.

    So... Determinism is obtained if there is an omniscient being.

    As to ND's statements, however...

    One of the greatest ways to show love is to allow your offspring freedom to explore. 

    Sure, like allowing your offspring to explore the perils of freeway traffic...?

    I'm sure even your parents, after telling you not to do something, allowed you to do it anyway to teach you a lesson. 

    As I'm sure the above absurd example reminds us, this is only true for things which are otherwise unharmful, or things from which a recovery is virtually guaranteed. If a potential parent truly wants to guarantee his child's safety and well-being, he will refuse to conceive one.

    G-d is the same way. 

    Not if he is omniscient. If he is, then he wills us to do the things we do, and "free will" is mere illusion. Because of this omniscience, J-s-s, or Y-sh--, or g-d, is complicit in all that transpires, just as a parent who allows his child to handle firearms is criminally negligent if that child harms himself or another.

    If you follow his will... 

    Care to explain just how you think it possible to escape the will of an omniscient/omnipotent being? Here's a clue: It's not possible.

    ...then you'll stay out of trouble. 

    This is pure conjecture, and doesn't seem to fit even in ND's warped reality. "Trouble" seems to have found every single person to ever have followed god's will, even if we grant the absurd notion that we can escape it. Not merely modern Christians have found "trouble," but the very saints and pillars upon whom Christianity is based -- Paul, Peter, even J-s-s h-ms-lf, found ample "trouble." The only conclusion one could possibly make is that god wills trouble.

    Really, the plain fact is far simpler: If there is a god, and if the current world is an inevitable consequence of creation, then the single greatest thing such a god could have done was to not create. This is evidently the only way to guarantee that no soul -- human, alien, animal, or [former] angel -- experiences eternal torment.

    If, on the other hand, the current world is not inevitable, then the PoE obtains, and we must admit that an omniscient/omnipotent god prefers the existence of evil and suffering to the alternative -- else, again, it would have abstained from creating, or created a different world in which evil and suffering do not exist. Unless we consider ourselves to be somehow necessary -- a shameless bit of egocentrism, that -- evil and suffering clearly are not necessary.

    --
    St-n

    ReplyDelete
  15. Stan, there is one other possibility. God is evil. That explains a lot of the old testament.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is more likely that the God of the Bible is neither good or evil, just powerful. So the PoE is explained because God wouldn't be able to tell what good and evil are. Of course this is a God that is unworthy of worship too. It is more akin to a child just learning about life.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Clearly, Beams, god could be evil, or at least indifferent, but that wouldn't describe the sort of god DB and ND proclaim... half the time. As to whether any god is 'worthy' of being worshiped, well, that's patently absurd.

    Worthiness is a subjective quality, so it makes no sense to one person for another to say a thing is worthy of anything, and to have this accepted directly. Rather, every person must decide for himself what is or is not 'worthy.'

    Of course, the concept of worship is also patently absurd, as no deity powerful enough to be accurately described by the term 'deity' could possibly be concerned with the petty notion of worship, with the possible exception that such a being would prefer that no one worship anything. Even in our own limited experience, we recognize that a prattling sycophant is far less valued company than a more unpredictable, less tame companion -- generally, of course, since placing value on such a thing is naturally subjective.

    Insofar as I enjoy it when my wife "sucks up" to me, I prefer that she is an independent entity, who I can influence, perhaps, but not control. The same is fairly true of my children: I enjoy their adoration, but the moment they worship me, I'll correct the behavior, and explain why it's asinine.

    Even if a particular god is found to be "worthy" of worship by a prospective adherent, the worshiper must overcome some obstacles: the act of worship is needless sycophantery, the determination of "worth" is purely subjective, and the god in question -- if it actually exists -- couldn't possibly be interested in the worship whatsoever.

    Back to determinism, then; I do not care if the simulations I program on my computer are aware of my existence, and I do not care if they show me any appreciation whatsoever. I would not care if they sought to disparage me, and I would not complain if they denied my existence. Instead, I would observe them, proudly if they performed as intended. If they did not so perform, I'd not blame them, the programmed, but myself, the programmer. I'd halt the simulation, and correct the code, or I'd allow it to run its course, depending on the scenario, and regardless of my decision, the worst fate awaiting any such simulation would be ignorance by way of stopping the simulation and "deleting" it (where the computer simply 'forgets' where the data is stored), and/or overwriting it. In either case, the simulation does not run in an eternal state of anguish, but merely stops.

    So with determinism, the simulation is determined to run a particular way, based on the inputs and coding, which is all the direct consequence of the programmer's action. I am to blame, not the simulation, and only a wasteful programmer would leave a faulty simulation running, and unless he had unlimited storage, memory, and processing power, the more such wasteful simulations running, the less effective a programmer he can be.

    Imagine that.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi No Doubt,

    Why don't you try to follow the logic before jumping to conclusions?

    I did try to follow the logic. Now bear with me my friend. Suppose you start reading something like:

    "If God designed our brains, it follows that we all should be exactly as intelligent ..."

    or what about:

    "If God made us to his image, then we all humans should be identical ..."

    Would you think that what whenever you find a conclusion it will be correct? When you "follow the logic" you are supposed to catch the unwarranted premises. The disputable premises, the whichever. Otherwise, how could you know if the conclusion will be valid? Note that those statements look slightly correct, despite these are not really things you do believe.

    I read the whole thing and found it to be all like the first premise. All wrong, all conducive to more deception. Lewis does not describe atheism. He builds a straw-man and sets it on fire.

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey guys,

    Thankyou for your thoughts.

    I was opening up some thoughts of mine in the post...and yes Dale I have heard variations of these types of arguments but I collected them together and gave my own analogies. I was referenceing Lewis because obviously he is a philosopher and I am not an official one but I like to "think" just as you guys do :) I believe we have "thought" for a reason and we should use it to come to the best conclusions or else we go down deep holes of "nothingness" which I try to bring out in my post.

    I'll try to over view what I have seen in your comments. Dale seems to suggest that consciousness is actually free will unlike animals. I agree with him, that is why I believe that man is made in the image of God in that we are eternal, spiritual, moral.

    Yes God is omnipotent but depends to what degree you take it.
    E.G.
    The Bible tells us God cannot lie, and that His gifts are irrevocable etc.
    God is good, this is where I believe we as mankind have got our subconscious idea of "right" and "wrong".
    Man has free will and that is the way God made us...unlike a computer program. You guys can think that we are computer programs but I do not.
    Keith brought up good points about God's relation to us. The Bible says that God is not willing that any should perish. But He is good and He will punish evil doers. I think we as humans lower the standards and excuse sin unlike God. Everyone chooses their way as I brought out in a previous post.

    I think you guys are wrong about Lewis thinking science is anti-God...where did he say that?
    I think he was saying that science cannot give us all the answers and may never...so he turns to other ground. I agree with him.

    Philsophy is not "nothing", we use thinking to inference all truths. You accept unguided evolution through inferences...E.G. "Survival of the fittest, therefore it is assumed that the fittest survive". I accept God as designer through inferences.

    When I talk about what atheists believe I talk about what I think I would be forced to believe if I took that view :)

    Hope you guys found it thought provoking :) I do.

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey DB,

    I think you guys are wrong about Lewis thinking science is anti-God...where did he say that?

    I never suggested such thing. I do not see anyone here suggesting such thing. Lewis might have been such thing. But I would not know from these essays. I would think he is ignorant of science, yet again, I would not know what state of affairs was prevalent in his time. So, maybe I can't blame him for that.

    I think he was saying that science cannot give us all the answers and may never...so he turns to other ground. I agree with him.

    Science might not even be able to give us "all the answers", not just about scientific matters, but also of matters that do not concern science. Right?

    Philsophy is not "nothing", we use thinking to inference all truths.

    Yup. But I think the froggie refers (but I cannot speak for him) to the actual philosophical exercise as prevalent, whereby the thinking is done in vacuo, and thinking that whatever reference is in use is applicable even after some foundations have changed, or even when some foundations are shown to be inadequate to deal with things beyond our logic. It is also useless when dealing with scientific findings, while ignoring such scientific findings, or even their philosophies, as Lewis tries to do. he builds his philosophy by exacerbating the idea of randomness because he ignores, whether on purpose or from ignorance, what the natural evolution of a thinking brain would be.

    You accept unguided evolution through inferences...

    Not "unguided", but non-sentient. The guidance comes from selection and historical background.

    E.G. "Survival of the fittest, therefore it is assumed that the fittest survive".

    Nice try at a circle.

    I accept God as designer through inferences.

    What?

    When I talk about what atheists believe I talk about what I think I would be forced to believe if I took that view :)

    Who would force you to believe such things? If you are an atheist you are convinced that there is no gods. That is it. Whether you will be worried about philosophical questions, or scientific questions, is another story. I, for instance, have not studied anything about the Big bang beyond what was in laymen stuff long time ago. I do not have time. I remember I did not like the ideas, yet, not liking does not mean they are not true. So, I leave it alone unless necessary.

    Hope you guys found it thought provoking :) I do.

    It is. It is quite interesting to witness how these apologists build upon their ignorance, and how much more modern apologists want atheists to believe exactly as described by the older ones. Like they could not read anything written during this millennium. It is also interesting to see that Lewis was such kind of an apologist as he appears to be.

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  21. DB,

    An example I did not think of giving above. I am reading a book about whether biology needs a different kind of philosophy to that of physics and chemistry. I have not finished it.

    What I wanted to share is that part of the book describes historical philosophies arising from scientific thought. One of them determinism. It is described as once believed by some scientists, but not by many, and today not by most.

    So, when you talk to me about naturalism implying determinism, first it was in my mind like you are mixing two different things. Which you are.

    Naturalism would be the position that only the natural exists. Whether that implies determinism or not is a different philosophy (or sub-philosophy).

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  22. If the supernatural existed, wouldn't it almost by definition be natural?

    Kind of like the same way if Alternative medicine worked it would be called medicine?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Stan,

    From the bottom of my heart, I feel sorry for you. I honestly do. How can you be so cynical at such a young age?

    Also, you try so hard to engage in an inteligent way, but you fall so short. Your arguments make little or no sense and you misuse words as in the entropy discussion.

    As an example, you use omniscient to discribe
    G-d willing people to do things. Here's a link to help you understand the meaning of the words you use.

    http:\\www.dictionary.com

    It called a dictionary. I hope you find it useful. By the way, entropy in there too.

    ReplyDelete
  24. inteligent is to discribe.

    as

    pot is to kettle?

    ReplyDelete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Bath Tub,

    Truth hurts...doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  27. I guess I was far to subtle for you.

    I just thought it was hilarious that you would recommend the use of dictionary to stan while clearly not using one yourself. That's all.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dan,

    I'm sorry. As you can see, I tried to play nice. But when the first responses are full of insults to G-d, I lose what little patience this old man has. Praise G-d that you have more patience than I do.

    One additional thing. Your entry was like a mirror unto the Atheists. Their response shows they don't like their reflections. There may be hope for them after all. Remember... the first step to a cure is recognizing they have a problem. :-) LOL

    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  29. ND, your unwillingness to engage says far more than your pathetic posts. I'm still waiting for an answer regarding the Nature article you referenced, and I'm still waiting for your credentials with respect to your claim that you "teach physics"; I don't want you to think I've forgotten.

    Also, while you're trying to link to a dictionary site, you should look in it for 'inteligent' and 'discribe.' Although you won't find them as you spelled them, you should get pointed to the actual words you meant to use.

    Curiously, I was able to find No Doubt in that same dictionary. Strange.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  30. Bath Tub,

    Are you actually defending Stan use of the word?

    ReplyDelete
  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Stan,

    Once again, are you actually defending your use of the word? I'm not commenting on everyones spelling or grammar. We all make those kinds of mistakes. I'm commenting on your lack of understanding of the terms you use.

    ReplyDelete
  33. No ND I am poking fun of your use of the "words" inteligent & discribe with the word Dictionary that's all.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Actually, ND, you're avoiding any engagement with the arguments whatsoever. If you cannot wrap your head around the implication that nothing can escape the will of an omniscient/omnipotent being, if one exists, that's hardly my problem. Likewise, the reason I generally offer both 'omniscient' and 'omnipotent' in tandem is because each implies the other -- but I'd guess the logic behind that is far too complex for you.

    Continue to troll, though, if that's all you've got.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  35. Bath Tub,

    I'm sorry. I thought you were trying to deflect away from the fact that Stan has a history defining terms incorrectly.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Stan, Stan Stan,

    Let me remind you of what you said.

    "Not if he is omniscient. If he is, then he wills us to do the things we do, and "free will" is mere illusion. "

    This is the same thing you and GE did last time in the blog concerning entropy.

    Why would I want to engage in a discussion with someone that's does not have a grasp of the terms they are using?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Stan,

    By the way, I tried to be nice. You are the one who drags the discussion down into the gutter.
    This the reason why I find it hard to believe in your credentials as stated. An intelligent individual like yourself does not have to resort to insult and inuendo to get your point across. Why do it? Don't you want people to take you seriously?

    If you actually want to have a decent conversation, I would gladly engage.

    ReplyDelete
  38. No Doubt, the moment you show up with an actual statement showing that a) you know what you're talking about with respect to entropy, and b) that you are who/what you say you are (that is, that you "teach physics," and that you recognize the implication of the three items I spoke of in that Nature article), I'll give you some credit, and maybe even back off. Until then, you're a blowhard with no substance whatsoever, and if you think otherwise, go ahead and review your posts in this very thread.

    As to my statement concerning omniscience, you've got quite the knack for quote-mining, and an apparent inability to follow a discussion. We're talking about your concept of deity, remember? Unless you've been confusing omnipotence with impotence, then yes, if g*d is omniscient (as well as omnipotent), then everything is his will.

    ...or do you deny that g#d is omnipotent?

    You see, child, even if g^d isn't omnipotent, if he is nonetheless responsible for creation, and if he is omniscient, then yes, everything is still his will. Is that too complicated for you? An omniscient being has no excuse -- there is no unanticipated consequence of its actions -- so if g:d, even a 'seminipotent' g+d or a mostly impotent g=d, is omniscient and created anyway, then all that transpires is necessarily a direct result of its will, and yes, "free will" dissolves as mere illusion in such a scenario.

    Now, if you disagree, or if you find fault in my reasoning, perhaps you can point it out, rather than impishly seeking to goad me into expletive use.

    --
    St-n


    (P.S. -- Since my wit is twice that of ND, I feel it necessary to point out, to him and to all others, that I am well aware that neither 'seminiscient' nor 'seminipotent' are real terms, but I find humor in replacing the prefix with one more suitable.)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Stan,

    Are you having as much fun as I am?

    I hope you're not taking this to heart.

    I'm sorry for being so antagonistic. However, it's so much fun getting you guys mad. LOL

    I'll try to be better. ;-)

    Anyway, I got to go to bed. It's 12:36 am and I got to be at work by 6:00 am.

    G-d Bless (even if you don't believe in him) See you tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh, I'm fine, but I do resent the constant avoidance tactic you've thus far employed (in my presence on this blog, anyway).

    So you'll actually engage tomorrow, then? What about those credentials or that Nature article -- or is that too much to ask...?

    Have a good night.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  41. One of the callers on this weeks episode of The Atheist Experience wanted to talk about Free Will & Determinism, and the subject of show in General was 'God as Game Designer'. So you might enjoy watching it. Jeff Dee is always good for rants.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hey BathTub,

    "If the supernatural existed, wouldn't it almost by definition be natural?"

    Almost but not quite. I mean natural as in matter that is cause and effect based. Supernatural is outside of "nature" and is not subject to it in the same way or else it wouldn't be "super" :)

    Hello G.E.

    G.E. replied to me: "I never suggested such thing. I do not see anyone here suggesting such thing."

    I had said: "I think you guys are wrong about Lewis thinking science is anti-God...where did he say that?"
    I said that because Dale said:
    "but Lewis, et al would have you think that science is anti-God. "

    "Science might not even be able to give us "all the answers", not just about scientific matters, but also of matters that do not concern science. Right?"

    Yes, that is why philosophy is so useful :)

    "It is also useless when dealing with scientific findings, while ignoring such scientific findings, or even their philosophies, as Lewis tries to do. he builds his philosophy by exacerbating the idea of randomness because he ignores, whether on purpose or from ignorance, what the natural evolution of a thinking brain would be."

    You know that he talks about evolution as a justification at the end of the chapter and disagrees with it (although he was a theistic evolutionist I think). I agree with his stance on randomness, although I agree with you that it is not entirely random but simply unguided and purposeless. To hope to gain understanding and reliable thought regarding our universe on that premise is presumptuous. (when I refer to unguided I mean without an objective end, without a purpose/sight/will...it could go anywhere.

    "Who would force you to believe such things? If you are an atheist you are convinced that there is no gods. That is it. Whether you will be worried about philosophical questions, or scientific questions, is another story."

    No, if atheism is reasonable then it should stand up to criticism. You guys still have not answered my original question. (sorry if I missed something)

    Does atheism assume determinism as in cause and effect including cognitive activity?
    Is consciousness evidence of the supernatural which in turn is not determinism?

    I think both of these answers are "true".

    "It is quite interesting to witness how these apologists build upon their ignorance, and how much more modern apologists want atheists to believe exactly as described by the older ones. Like they could not read anything written during this millennium. It is also interesting to see that Lewis was such kind of an apologist as he appears to be."

    Because something is old does not mean it is by definition "wrong". Its' funny because I can see the opposite side to the coin your tossing me. Atheism to me ignores a great deal.

    To let you know that "informed" (you guys seem to like that word) atheists believe determinism, my friend's philosophy lecturer was a "causal determinist". Scary.

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hey Keith,

    "I'm sorry. As you can see, I tried to play nice. But when the first responses are full of insults to G-d, I lose what little patience this old man has. Praise G-d that you have more patience than I do."

    It is sad that insults are thrown and they hurt...I am sure they hurt God more than you and I. They aren't arguments but simply dodges and mockery...sad.
    Thank you to the ones that are willing to talk seriously.

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  44. Dan,
    Please humor me for a moment.

    The title of this post is Determinism.
    You then go on to crudely discuss naturalism, materialism and supernaturalism.

    So, the nature of Determinism is a rather philosophical question with different opinions from different philosophers.

    How do you define Determinism?

    ReplyDelete
  45. No Doubt- Often in error, never in doubt.

    ReplyDelete
  46. DB, I believe I answered you in my first response on this thread:

    Quantum Mechanics refutes determinism from a naturalistic viewpoint. 

    I think it obvious that cause and effect are not necessarily assumed -- in any viewpoint -- but if you think otherwise, please provide examples.

    Although consciousness and cognitive activity are potentially deterministic, QM again refutes this, leaving open the possibility that we may indeed have "free will." In order for determinism to maintain from a physics standpoint, we'd need to know the precise position and momentum of every elementary particle. Heisenberg shows us, though, that we cannot do this beyond a physical limit (ħ/2), so even if we had the wherewithal to catalog the precise positino of every particle, we'd be practically lost with respect to the momenta, and therefore unable to make the deterministic prediction.

    I suppose that the answer is two-fold, then, if you prefer:

    Atheism does admit determinism (as a possibility), but recognizes that we lack the means to achieve the knowledge necessary for it to apply (assuming there are not effects for which there is no cause). Determinism may obtain, but the knowledge necessary to use it is unattainable -- the more we know about one aspect of coupled variables (e.g. position), the less we can know about its complement (e.g. momentum). So far as we can determine (pun intended), this limit applies not only to us, but to any observer, and it says nothing to the possibility of uncaused effects.

    With conscious thought and/or cognitive activity (I'm not sure why you separate the two, except perhaps to distinguish between animalistic 'thought' and human pre-frontal thought), then, determinism is implied, but because of uncertainty we can leave a provision for "free will" and non-deterministic behavior, even for things that have no consciousness or awareness whatsoever.

    The two-slit experiment, with which you may be somewhat familiar already, shows us that if we send a single photon toward two slits, its (delocalized) waveform propagates through both slits, even though the individual photon will find a specific location on the detection screen, implying a specific (localized) path. You can tinker with this stuff on my school's simulation website (Java required; to see a single photon, choose the "Single Particles" tab across the top). You may add barriers, slits, and detectors, or play with various aspects of the simulation to your heart's (or mind's, as it were) content.

    If you do play with that simulation, I recommend placing a single detector in one of the slits (resize it to fit the slit exactly), set it to 'repeat detect' as well as 'auto-detect,' and allow the simulation to run ('rapid' and 'auto-repeat' are useful settings for the quantum ray-gun). Without the detector, or at least without its attempts at detecting, the photon's waveform utilizes both slits, producing the expected interference pattern. With the detector, actively detecting, you'll see... well, you'll occasionally see the effect called Quantum Tunneling, but mostly you'll see... I'll let you find out.

    So anyway, deteminism may be the case, but unless Heisenberg is overturned somehow, omniscience is not possible -- for us, at least -- so practically speaking determinism is not realized.

    Does that make sense?

    If determinism is a concern for you, then you should recognize, that as I said, determinism is definitely obtained if an omniscient deity -- of limited or unlimited power -- is responsible for creation.

    ReplyDelete
  47. It is sad that insults are thrown and they hurt...I am sure they hurt God more than you and I. They aren't arguments but simply dodges and mockery...sad.
    Thank you to the ones that are willing to talk seriously.
     

    I assume this is largely directed toward me, and I chuckle as a result. Just because ND agrees with you on most things does not mean he is immune to criticism with regard to his "style" here. True, I mock his use of an arbitrary symbol in place of the vowel "o" when he types "g-d," but this insults no one but ND, and even then only if he cannot see that any replacement character is silly, since 'god' is not the being's name, if even it exists.

    If you instead look through my posts and everyone else's, with the lone exception of ND's posts, you'll instead see that the only one dodging and mocking -- exclusively -- is him. I mock him, yes, but I do so while offering actual arguments. What argument has ND offered on this thread? (With his last response last night, though, perhaps his methods will change?)

    At any rate, I continue, then, to offer my position and arguments as applicable, interspersed with a mocking of ND's replacement character "reverence." In that vein, I note that it's a good thing ND doesn't speak Spanish, else he'd be stuck typing "d--s" the whole time...

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  48. Stan,

    Now that's funny. ;-)

    I only started acting that way to honestly show how you guys appear to us. It is not my nature. You can see that on my blog where I am open to civil discussion and respectful critism. You can ask Dan. However, I do have a low tolerance for intolerant, biased and self-righteous people. In my opinion, that is how you guys appear. If I have misjsudged you, please accept my honest and humble apology. Let's agree to discuss with respect for each other as human beings.

    Puede a D--s le Bendice mi amigo. :-) Made you laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  49. As for determinism, I have no problem with the basic concept if cause is provable. The main difference between us is that we believe in supernatural overtones.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hey Dale,

    My understanding of determinism:

    "Determinism is the view that every event, including human cognition, behavior, decision, and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences.[1]"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causal_determinism.

    I emphasize "prior occurances". It is a thought provoking subject :) and I am learning. I don't know about you guys but I cannot conceive of something without a cause (except God :)).

    I read this which talks a little about what Stan brought out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causal_determinism#Determinism_and_a_first_cause, look under 4.1 "Determinism, quantum mechanics, and classical physics"

    It seems that the argument against determinism is more against the idea of a calculated determinism and not against uncalcutlated determinism which still has "cause and effect" (even if the causes are random, they are still beyond our control right?...but we don't have random thoughts that I know of...see my point?)

    I hope you guys understand...it's hard to put it in words :)

    Without God and the idea of a supernatural then the causes causing us to do what we do (whether or not they are random) determine what we do and free will consciousness is imagined :) eeek scary thought.

    "If determinism is a concern for you, then you should recognize, that as I said, determinism is definitely obtained if an omniscient deity -- of limited or unlimited power -- is responsible for creation."

    No, God made us in His image. I understand this to mean that we are freewill creatures (there may be other aspects of "in His image") as the Bible tends to bring out.
    I believe our freewill is subject to God's freewill but God's freewill is subject to His character e.g. God will not predestine anyone to hell for "no reason" because He wills it, He does what is right and punishes evil doers and God haters (one in the same really).

    So God has given us a relative free will.

    If you don't mind me saying, but I think from my limited understanding that quantum physics is on the way to pointing toward the supernatural as I understand it. E.g. the ability to be two places at once :) It could open up a spiritual realm and make God look even more scientifically probable.
    (My specualtion) LOL

    cheers guys,

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  51. Let's agree to discuss with respect for each other as human beings. 

    Isn't that how I always operate? (You should see me when I'm intentionally uncivil...)

    I'll agree to discuss with respect, but respect to me includes chiding where appropriate -- so be thicker-skinned -- and humor. I'm particularly fond of poking fun at the "o" omission, but if I gain a concession out of ceasing to do so, I will.

    Puede a D--s le Bendice mi amigo. :-) Made you laugh. 

    Very nice, and yes you did. I didn't sneeze, though, so it was unnecessary.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  52. Without God and the idea of a supernatural then the causes causing us to do what we do (whether or not they are random) determine what we do and free will consciousness is imagined :) 

    Not necessarily. If determinism obtains -- which has hardly been determined (pun again intended) -- then whether there is a god or not, "free will" is illusory. My argument is that if there is an omniscient being of even limited power, who is ultimately responsible for creation, then determinism must obtain.

    But I see you sought to address that:

    No, God made us in His image. I understand this to mean that we are freewill creatures (there may be other aspects of "in His image") as the Bible tends to bring out.
    I believe our freewill is subject to God's freewill but God's freewill is subject to His character e.g. God will not predestine anyone to hell for "no reason" because He wills it, He does what is right and punishes evil doers and God haters (one in the same really).
     

    That didn't read very well, I'm afraid, but from what I gather you believe that in spite of an omniscient deity, who you also believe to be omnipotent, human "free will" is possible, and you believe this based on the biblical notion that we are created "in [god's] image." You seem also to have recognized the obvious objection, which you tried to avoid, by preempting any discussion of "predestination," but I daresay I'll raise that objection anyway.

    So God has given us a relative free will. 

    I'm not sure what you mean by "relative," here. Either we have "free will" or we do not.

    Let me provide four premises with which I should think you'd agree, and use them to illustrate my point:

    1. An omniscient god exists
    2. This god's ability to create ex nihilo is nonzero
    3. There was a time at which creation did not exist
    4. This god utilized (2) to somehow create all that is

    If you accept these premises, and so far as I'm aware they all fit exactly with Christian theology (in the case of #2, god is taken as being omnipotent), then it necessarily follows that all events which stem from the creative act -- or subsequent creative acts, as appropriate -- are absolutely deterministic.

    If anything can occur outside god's ability to perfectly predict it, then god is not omniscient.

    Thus, "free will," in a scenario with an omniscient god who prompted creation, is pure illusion.

    As you noted in your attempt at preemption, this is more troubling than a simple acceptance of Calvinist determinism: not only has god necessarily willed the vast majority of humankind to hell -- predestined -- but he had at least one other option available such that none would suffer in hell, and while this does not imply an arbitrary, for "no reason" damnation, it does directly imply malevolence.

    For what it's worth, I don't like determinism. (Who does?) I'd prefer to think that my thoughts are somehow under my control -- or, at least, my current brain-state causes me to prefer to think that my thoughts are under my control. The fact that QM leaves open the possibility -- the probability, as it were -- of non-deterministic events is therefore comforting to one such as myself, as I may freely toss my "free will" into that niche of uncertainty found in the wave-function, even if it is ultimately illusory.

    With an omniscient god who is responsible for creating all that is, however, there is ultimately no possibility of "free will" whatsoever, and this, coupled with the Christian doctrine of a populated hell, forms the basis for the biggest beef I have with Christianity.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  53. Da Bomb,

    Does atheism assume determinism as in cause and effect including cognitive activity?

    Nope. I repeat, atheism is a disbelief in gods. I repeat: that is it.

    If the atheist is convinced that only matter and/or nature exists that is on top of atheism. Atheists might have been convinced by science, or by studying the history of gods among cultures, or by noticing the many contradictions within doctrines, within the Bible (though that would just kill the idea that the Bible is "God"'s word), or even within the very definition of what a god, or God would be (as the contradictory thing about free-will and omniscience, which, Stan quite clearly describes). There are many ways towards atheism. You do not need to subscribe to a given and described philosophy to be an atheist. All you need is to doubt that there is any gods. Clear so far?

    Demanding the atheists to know and hold to a given and precisely described philosophy is nuts. It is as if I were to tell you exactly what you should believe, what exact theology and philosophy therein you should subscribe to. It is nuts. You might not even have heard of such philosophies, nor even have thought about it.

    Atheism does not have to be justified "rationally". To me the position is the easiest to conclude. I do not need arguments. All I need is to observe: do I see any gods around? Nope. Should I come with arguments that they exist? Nope. I truly cannot understand why you guys think the arguments and reason for not believing should come from us. It is like saying that we should come up with reasons not to believe any fairy tale beings exist each time someone tells us they do.

    And again, those old ideas are outdated because the writers came with their "philosophical" arguments out of building a straw-man and imposing the philosophy they think atheists HAVE TO adhere to (atheists have to believe in determinism, or else! What kind of an ass-hole says that!). And because they obviously ignored that there are many philosophies, that most humans do not read about a philosophy and decide to follow it. Not just follow it, but follow it to the letter, and be devastated if one part or another of the philosophy are broken.

    Today we have other understanding of what "naturalism" would entail (though I doubt determinism was the only one philosophy for naturalists out there even by those guys times. In my reading it stated that most atheist scientists did not jump into determinism, which makes Lewis more of an ignorant, if he could not even figure this out).

    As of me. No, I do not think you could predict everything if you knew each and every position of each and every particle.

    Is consciousness evidence of the supernatural which in turn is not determinism?

    Nope. Consciousness is not evidence of the supernatural.

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  54. No Doubt,

    So far I have not read a single argument from you. You were not able to understand the parts about entropy that I described, as zealous as you were of your basic physics examples. You could not even see the relationship between information and entropy.

    Worse, you claimed that the items in Dan's list had entropy stopped or even going backwards. I could not understand what you were saying, and looked and looked for lists, even at another Dan's blog, and found nothing.

    I finally realized that, perhaps, you meant the list of "finely-tuned" constants. I never thought this was what you meant because none of those have any dependence on entropy. Constants are, well, constants, right?

    So, no arguments so far. Just claims about atheists being angry, not knowing definitions (when you could not understand ours), and such crap. I say this in the most civilized way I can given what you deserve.

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Da Bomb,

    What do you mean insults to G#d? I did not see any. Also, please, if there was a G+d, it would not care about insults. AFter all, omni-everything ...

    G.$

    ReplyDelete
  56. St-n,

    I enjoy your posts a H-ll of a lot, they are thought provoking.

    Thanks,
    G.-.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Dan,

    Stan and GE have done a nice job at trying to show you the error of your ways.

    However, I think they are talking over your head without realizing it.
    First of all I read your rambling post with great hilarity as it represents your elementary toying around with subjects in which you have no foundation. Even the most skilled philosophers would not try to relate the disparate concepts that you mention.

    I surely hope that you are not trying to stitch together disparae concepts with the intention of obfuscation, but I fear you do and here is why.

    Theists often bring up the term determinism to try to show that we do not have free will. Yet the same theist will try to show that they do in fact have free will through their God.

    Do you think you have free will or not?

    There are as many "theories" about determinism as there are philosophers. Another word for hard determinist is Fatalism. Much philisophical satire has been written on the subject of derminism/ fatalism. One of these works is "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut. It is not a long book and I suggest you read it.

    Philosophers will be debating determinism long after you and I are gone and that is the reason I think you dabbling with obscure philosophical questions is laughable, not that I don't think that you should not explore them, but I don't recommend you try to use them in such a clumsy manner.

    You never did come out and say just what the heck you were trying to show. There is no sense in trying to be sneaky.
    I'll bet a dollar to your hole in a donut that you believe in free will. Then why argue determinism?

    I hope you are not rying to say that you have free will because you believe in a supernatural power but I do not because I don't believe in supernatural powers? Hmmmmmmm?

    Lastly, your comment:
    "If you don't mind me saying, but I think from my limited understanding that quantum physics is on the way to pointing toward the supernatural as I understand it. E.g. the ability to be two places at once :) It could open up a spiritual realm and make God look even more scientifically probable.
    (My specualtion) LOL."

    It's good that you threw in the "LOL" at the end because it shows that you know your speculation is absurd.

    Remember, when you come up with some evidence for G-d, it must be testable and falsifiable.
    A test that shows that a particle can be in two different places at he same time is not evidence for a supernatural power.

    Supernatural means esxactly what it says, Out Of Nature. You cannot test something that it not of nature. In fact the new Large Hadron Collider may show that particles pop in, and out, of existence. And you better learn a bit more quantum mechanics before you start logging on the significance of that event! :>

    Dale

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hey again,

    Stan,

    Do you guys know hwat atheist use to mean apparently...simply without God.

    If this is your guys idea of the God of the Bible that he plans all evil and causes it.
    Then you have just made me an atheist.
    I dis-believe in the god you guys dis-believe in.
    So I am "without" your imaginary god.

    I will point out your fundamental premise that is crooked.

    "If anything can occur outside god's ability to perfectly predict it, then god is not omniscient.

    Thus, "free will," in a scenario with an omniscient god who prompted creation, is pure illusion."

    You have got "predict" and "determine" mixed up. Predict means to "know", to determine means to "cause".

    The God of the bible is not your false god. The God of the Bible is "like" and I mean "like" a Leader that has formed an organisation with subjects.
    He has authority over them lawfuly. But there is an element of free will and his subjects can dis-obey.
    This is the God of the Bible.

    Dale,

    "First of all I read your rambling post with great hilarity as it represents your elementary toying around with subjects in which you have no foundation. Even the most skilled philosophers would not try to relate the disparate concepts that you mention."

    So you must have a fairly reasonable philosophical understanding to call my post "elementary toying around". I am thinking and I require you guys to think unless you want to commit intellectual suicide. Don't dodge but confront. Don't mock and say "this is rubbish" but show WHY this is rubbish.

    "Remember, when you come up with some evidence for G-d, it must be testable and falsifiable"

    No, take the best conclusions as I brought out in the previous post. You have taken the conclusion "there is no God" by ignoring the belief in a God and taking up the active belief of "no God".

    An atheist friend of mine once said "the best way to learn is to teach" :) I think there is some truth to that.

    cheers guys,

    DB

    ReplyDelete
  59. GE,

    "You were not able to understand the parts about entropy that I described, as zealous as you were of your basic physics examples. You could not even see the relationship between information and entropy."

    It's because you and I cannot agree on the definition of entropy. I believe entropy includes all of the following.

    1. It is a measure of the unusable energy compared to the usable energy within a closed thermodynamic system, otherwise the measure of the system's disorder. The problem also exists when defining a closed system.
    2. It is a property of the system's changing state that can vary directly or indirectly with any change in energy within the system. This change in energy can come from a source outside the system.
    3. The measurement of the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe or a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder to an ultimate state of inert uniformity.

    I do believe it was Stan that stated, "Can we really know if the universe is a closed system." which we agreed. We don't know. I do believe that's where we got into the heat death argument, which I agreed, cannot be proven with present data.

    This is not necessarily all of it, but it's all I can think of at the moment. I always think of something else after I post. I guess I'm getting old. A result of entropy within this closed system.

    If memory serves me correctly, you refused to agree to this as the definition of entropy. This created an impasse which resulted in an argument. Such impasse also results in no common ground on which to continue.

    I must admit that Stan did bring up, in this blog, quantum, which can throw a big ol' wrench in the middle of our understanding of entropy and other things.

    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  60. Dan,

    "You have got "predict" and "determine" mixed up. Predict means to "know", to determine means to "cause"."

    You are so correct. Unfortunately, the misunderstanding of these terms has caused so many problems within the body of Christ. I can actually understand how people, outside of the body, get the wrong idea of what "True" Christianity if all about.

    This misunderstanding leads others to believe that G-d causes everything to occur, whether good or evil, rather than knowing what is going to occur while guiding free willed people through it.

    Shalom,

    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Dan,

    "The God of the bible is not your false god."

    This is a pet peeve of mine. Everyone, outside the body of Christ, believes that since they say god, that it is G-d. A good example of this is Islam.

    Yes, Islam may state that we have common roots, but that's far from the truth. Islam clearly describes a unreliable god that can be malicious at times, unpredictable and could care less about man.

    However, G-d is reliable, predictable, loving and just. What is being described within this blog by others is Allah who is a false god.

    Shalom,
    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hey Froggie,

    "It's good that you threw in the "LOL" at the end because it shows that you know your speculation is absurd."

    Just a quick question, please. Are you implying that you fully understand Quantum?

    Thanks for your reply.

    ReplyDelete
  64. You have got "predict" and "determine" mixed up. Predict means to "know", to determine means to "cause". 

    Ummm. No, I haven't mixed anything up. Rather, you're making an understandable attempt at distancing yourself from the painful truth -- a sort of reflexive compartmentalization that forebears cognitive dissonance, if you will.

    Let's try it again:

    1. There is an omniscient god
    2. This god has some creative power
    3. There is no creation
    4. This god creates

    If god was here first, and he is omniscient, and he utilized some creative power, then "free will" is illusory, as our behavior is perfectly predicted -- determined.

    Perhaps I can ask it thusly:

    Does god know what I will do tomorrow, in every exacting detail?

    If yes, I am unable to escape god's foreknowledge, and for all intents and purposes I have already done what god predicts.

    If no, then god is not omniscient.

    As I asked ND, how exactly does one escape the will of an omniscient being who is responsible for all of creation?

    You cannot.

    Now, I'm not necessarily saying that we are not responsible for our own actions, but I am saying that if there is a god as you would describe -- an omniscient, omnipotent ex nihilo creator -- then that god is also responsible for its actions.

    One more analogy should illustrate the case nicely:

    Imagine, if you will, a parent, who has two elementary school-aged children. The parent has the children seated at a table, around which he has placed toy and replica firearms -- nerf guns, ray guns, cap guns, airsoft guns, etc. In the center of the table, he has placed a real, loaded .357 Magnum handgun.

    Now let's say this parent tells the children they may use each of the handguns on the outside of the table, and shoot one another freely with them, but that they may not, under any circumstance, use the one in the center, or they will surely die.

    Now, let's imagine the parent leaves.


    Is this parent criminally negligent if either child is harmed by the firing of the .357?

    ReplyDelete
  65. Obviously, you can see the parallel between this and the account in Genesis 2/3, but do you know the differences?

    1. The children probably know good from evil by way of the parent's instruction -- Adam and Eve did not, unless the tree so named was metaphorical [like the rest of the story].

    2. The children were both told of the pending doom if the real handgun was used -- Eve was not told directly by god, according to the story.

    3. The parent did not know what choice the children would make -- an omniscient god must know what choice Adam and Eve would make, and must know that this would result in over 90% of all humanity suffering eternal torment [if the story, and Christian theology, weren't fiction].

    4. The parent, it could be reasonably assumed, did not build the home, or the table, or any of the firearms -- god made everything, including the capacity to tell the story [if the story weren't fiction].

    5. The parent, after one or both children suffer life-threatening injury, would be held criminally responsible, even if the children are blamed for disobeying -- Christians would say the entire responsibility lies with Adam and Eve.

    6. The parent, following court proceedings, would face much harsher punishment than either child (if the children faced any punishment at all, assuming either lived through the ordeal) -- Christians would actually agree that an eternal, omnipotent, and omniscient god would suffer, but would also say that he'd be the judge, the jury, and the executioner, and that only those children who apologized for disobeying (before they died from the wound) would be exempt from punishment, which would be eternal.


    There are undoubtedly more differences which also show why the analogy holds, but I tire of them. If you cannot see that the model of deity you presume is a monster, then you truly must be blind. A god with the attributes you claim: omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence, would never create, or would always create a system in which no soul suffers eternal torment.

    The god you describe is incompatible with the theology you ascribe to it.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  66. Stan,

    "What about those credentials or that Nature article -- or is that too much to ask...?"

    I'm really sorry. You've got to remember that approximately 30 year difference between us has resulted in memory gaps. ;-) Could you please tell me what you want? It's probably obvious, but sometimes you got to hit me on the side of the head with a 2x4. That's a 50.8 X 101.6 for those outside the US. :-)

    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  67. ND:

    "You have got "predict" and "determine" mixed up. Predict means to "know", to determine means to "cause"."

    You are so correct. Unfortunately, the misunderstanding of these terms has caused so many problems within the body of Christ.
     

    Obviously, I addressed this above, and our posts crossed in cyberspace (I was composing my response as you completed yours), but I feel it necessary to belabor the point -- "predicting" and "causing" are inseparable to an omniscient ex nihilo creator. If god created everything, and knew what every outcome would be as a result of that creation, then there is only one future and it is determined. If you divorce the act of creation from the omniscience of this god, then I will happily concede that such an impotent Cassandra may exist, but I expect you would not choose this route.

    If I can escape god's omniscience, then he is not omniscient. If I cannot, then I have no "free will." If god created, is omniscient, and if there is a populated hell, it is no one's choice but god's. Such a god chose to create, with the full knowledge that over 90% of humanity would experience eternal torment.

    If you don't get that...

    This misunderstanding leads others to believe that G-d causes everything to occur, whether good or evil, rather than knowing what is going to occur while guiding free willed people through it. 

    ...then you would make the above argument, that god did cause everything to occur, and knew how it would turn out, yet there are individuals with "free will" milling around. If he knew and acted, then he is responsible. Period.


    As to your question of Froggie regarding QM, I believe it was Schrödinger himself who said, "If you think you understand Quantum Mechanics, you don't understand Quantum Mechanics." (Nope, it was Feynman, I had a 50% chance...)

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  68. Stan,

    "If god was here first, and he is omniscient, and he utilized some creative power, then "free will" is illusory, as our behavior is perfectly predicted -- determined."

    If you will, please allow me to restate this as the way I understand it. Please correct me if I'm incorrect.

    Restated:

    "If god was here first, and he is omniscient, and he utilized some creative power, then "free will" is illusory (a figment of imagination?) (, as our behavior is perfectly predicted (foretold or foreknown?) -- (thereby) determined (caused?)."

    Is this correct?

    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  69. Stan,

    Yeah...We are definately writing at the same time. I'll wait a while until the dust settles.

    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  70. Could you please tell me what you want? 

    No worries; it was buried in one or another of the older threads, when we were busy insulting one another... I'll find it.

    ...

    Ah. Here it is. I had asked the following with respect to this Nature article you had referenced:

    Please identify the "three diverse time spans" across which the Nature article you referenced describes the "digital information in genomes" as operating. 

    I'm curious because I expect the answer will not support your claim regarding DNA being digital or analog. Rather than clutter this thread, though, it'd probably be best if you answered it in its original thread. Much obliged.

    You also mentioned at one point that you "taught physics," and I wanted to know your credentials along those lines, sans personally identifying information, if that is a concern.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  71. "If god was here first, and he is omniscient, and he utilized some creative power, then "free will" is illusory (a figment of imagination?) (, as our behavior is perfectly predicted (foretold or foreknown?) -- (thereby) determined (caused?)."

    Is this correct?
     

    I don't have to like the restatement, do I?

    It looks correct, but let me try one better:

    If god is the "first cause," and also omniscient, then all subsequent events are predetermined [which precludes any notion of "free will"]. 

    Is that simpler? My argument is not against personal responsibility, but for divine responsibility -- indeed, what I view as the incontrovertible decision on god's part to condemn over 90% of humanity to eternal torment, even before any of them had been created. If every detail of my existence is known with perfect precision, before I exist, then I cannot actually have "free will," but only an illusion of same.

    Since you're patiently waiting, I'll let you have your turn while I feed my kids. If you dispute my view on "free will," though, I must warn you that I have biblical evidence in my support, but I want to see what you say, first.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  72. Stan,

    As for the article, I reference it in order to show that the scientific community not only accepts the premise of DNA being digital in nature, but is excitingly embracing it.

    I thought that you would like the comments like,

    "The discovery of the structure of DNA transformed biology profoundly, catalysing the sequencing of the human genome and engendering a new view of biology as an information science."

    Honestly, that was more for GE.

    They were definately referencing the newly discovered strutcture of DNA which has a
    "...digital nature" and are excited about, "...its complementarity, whereby one strand of the helix binds perfectly with its partner."

    They also said that "DNA has two types of digital information".

    Whether or not you agree that it is evidence of design, you've got to agree that it is an exciting new discovery.

    Keith

    PS.
    If you don't mind, I'm going to break my resonse down to smaller comments so it doesn't become laborious to read. I'm thinking that's how some of our comments are overlooked.

    ReplyDelete
  73. No DOubt,

    I did not disagree with your definition of entropy. I added necessary stuff needed to better understand it ... well, not really, I gave an example of further stuff needed to better understand it.

    But that was not the whole point. The point where we got to an impasse was that I would ask again and again which damn list you were talking about. You never told me (was it the list by the end of Daniel's--Da Bomd-- entry post?). I got tired of looking for a list where the stuff in the list went against entropy, or just flowed through it, or whichever words you used. Since the list of ""constants was no such thing, I could not have guessed that was what you meant.

    Anyway. Too much clarifying. We might get into some entropy in the future.

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  74. No Doubt,

    As for the article, I reference it in order to show that the scientific community not only accepts the premise of DNA being digital in nature, but is excitingly embracing it.

    It is a metaphor! I am a scientist. I work with DNA and protein sequences! I repeat, it is a metaphor!

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  75. GE,

    "It is a metaphor! I am a scientist. I work with DNA and protein sequences! I repeat, it is a metaphor!"

    Alright! Alright! I get it! It's a metaphor. ;-)LOL.

    Let's back up a little. Yes... I'll concede it is a metaphor. However, is it not describing how DNA acts?

    Respectfully,

    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  76. Keith,

    I am not mocking you even if it might look to you like that:

    Let's back up a little. Yes... I'll concede it is a metaphor. However, is it not describing how DNA acts?

    What do you mean exactly by "how DNA acts"? I ask because, sincerely, and with no insulting intent, I do not know where to start.

    I might not answer very soon. Lots of stuff to attend to (a few things about misbehaving DNA's and protein sequences, plus some writing of reports).

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  77. ND, I had asked about the article because of the specific point regarding the "three diverse time spans" across which it describes the "digital information in genomes" as operating. I realize most of it was intended for G.E.'s sake -- I'm hardly a biologist -- but I think an answer to that question poses a problem for your citation. I'd still like to hear your answer, but you're free to decline.

    If you don't mind, I'm going to break my resonse down to smaller comments so it doesn't become laborious to read. 

    Are you calling me long-winded? Guilty as charged. Whenever an assigned paper is given a minimum length, I ask what the maximum is, to the chagrin of my peers. What can I say? For your age, then, I will try to shorten my responses, or break them up more directly. Who says I don't respect my elders?

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  78. Stan,

    Again, I'm sorry but I can't find the reference to "three diverse time spans". I would love to try to answer the question. However, on the surface, I have no idea what they would be talking about.

    Just being honest,
    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  79. Stan and GE,

    If you guys don't mind, can we continue this tomorrow? It's almost midnight here and I'm tired. I need to get up at 6am and I need my beauty-sleep. However, if you saw my picture, you can see the beauty-sleep hasn't been working too well. ;-)

    BTW, Stan, BS Mechanical Engineering and taught at the University of Cincinnati. If you want to know more, I have no problem with specifics as long as you don't inquire into...;-)

    Goodnight

    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  80. Just being honest 

    No worries, the apology is mine. The question was meant to test your access to the full-text of the article. Clearly, you have only read the abstract, and not the complete article.

    I apologize, then, because this deceit may damage our newfound rapport.

    The reason I sought to expose you in this way is due to a common experience with Christians in blogs such as these -- in my experience, most of them begin with an answer, rather than a question, and seek out that answer, rather than attempting to arrive at it through legitimate means of questioning. In many of these cases, the Christian involved won't even bother to read his own citation, in some sort of double ignorance -- he is ignorant to the fact that he is willfully ignorant.

    In your case, I can only conclude that you sought out sources which might support your claim regarding DNA being digital (and digital implying design), but unless you've misled me, you couldn't have read the Nature article. That's not research.

    Again, then, I apologize for potentially jeopardizing our blossoming friendship, but in this instance at the least, you are dreadfully wrong. You cannot cite and/or endorse a source without both reading and understanding it first. You may be perfectly well capable of understanding that article, but not if you didn't read it.

    Just being honest 

    I expect nothing less, and offer nothing more.

    --
    Stan


    (In the realm of minute possibility, I suppose this judgment may still be premature. If so, I humbly apologize.)

    ReplyDelete
  81. Stan,

    Your analogy seems relevant but not relevant,

    "Is this parent criminally negligent if either child is harmed by the firing of the .357?"

    I'll state it clear, WE ARE NOT CHILDREN. We are responsible for our OWN actions. The God of the Bible has given us as people freewill to follow Him or not to follow Him. OUR CHOICE.

    You are trying to understand things in regard to applying a natural situation to a supernatural but clearly there are many questions that I we cannot answer. In my opinion it happens to be more (or bigger) questions for atheism that need to be answered.

    You can't conceive a "first cause" nor can I. I attribute it to the God of the Bible. You apparently attribute it to non-intelligence or else you would be living as if there were Intelligence behind our universe.

    Keith is right. The god you seem to be portraying is my understanding of a type of Allah.

    I am an atheist in regard to your god, stop flogging your god.

    ReplyDelete
  82. I'll state it clear, WE ARE NOT CHILDREN. We are responsible for our OWN actions. 

    Your god is to us (especially Adam and Eve) as a parent is to children -- except parents do not have perfect predictive power over their every detail of their children's lives. In that regard, not only are we children, but we are infants -- newborns. Adam and Eve did not know good from evil, unless you dispute the veracity of Genesis 2/3, and god's knowledge and awareness compared to theirs, like a parent to a newborn, is virtually infinite. No qualified parent would discipline his newborn, much less sentence it to death (eternal torment, remember), for placing into its mouth anything within reach. It's what newborns do. If your god didn't know this, then he's a retard. If he did, and created anyway with full knowledge that he'd be spanking a newborn forever, then he's an asshole.

    So let me make it perfectly clear to you, then, even though I've already stated this: I'm not talking about our responsibility, which is not necessarily in dispute, but about god's responsibility. No matter how you wiggle, you cannot escape the fact that the god you describe willfully created with full knowledge of what would transpire. You cannot escape the fact that if you accept the doctrine of a populated hell, your god willfully began the creative process with full knowledge that over 90% of humanity would endure eternal torment.

    What kills me, though, is that when I bring up the logically inescapable facts surrounding your beliefs, you whine that I describe not your god, but some other Theism's god, yet you admit freely (in the other thread) that my description of your god is accurate. I could add in any number of attributes or behaviors of your god as described in the bible, but it is quite unnecessary -- the list I generated is more than enough to expose the fact that an omniscient "first cause" is absolutely culpable for all subsequent events following from that "first cause."

    As I said, then, there may well be a god, but sure as hell there is not your god, as yours is logically impossible (given the attributes and doctrines I described in the other thread).

    I am an atheist in regard to your god, stop flogging your god. 

    I have no god, but I describe yours. Any sane person would consider the god you describe, if he actually recognizes the logical consequences of the attributes and doctrines assigned to your god, to be an impossible contradiction. Rather than denying that I speak of your god (has the cock crowed, Peter?), pull your fingers from your ears and identify just where the logic fails.

    You are trying to understand things in regard to applying a natural situation to a supernatural... 

    No, I'm following the logic if there is a supernatural being as you describe. Rather than follow this rabbit hole to its destination, you stop and cry because it's dark and scary. Yes, it is, but only if you think Python's rabbit lives there. If it makes you feel better, I have in my possession the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch -- and I have only to count the five items listed in the other thread (or was it three).

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  83. Stan I have answered you guys in a newer post "The God of the Bible".

    ReplyDelete