What Good Is Philosophy?

This post will annoy some of my friends, and maybe with good reason. Perhaps I have it wrong. I’m sure you’ll let me know if I do.

Christian philosophers like William Lane Craig often bring popular philosophy into the study of problems in physics and biology as if they’re making an important contribution to the scientific conversation. Offering common sense tips serves no purpose, because obviously the scientists are already aware of them. But scientists aren’t Craig’s audience. He’s posturing to ordinary people.

Pop philosophy example #1

For example, Craig has said, “Whatever begins to exist has a cause.” That follows from our everyday experience, but surely a world-class philosopher won’t be satisfied with just a platitude. He must offer something more formal to ensure that it applies beyond our everyday experience.

Nope. Craig defends it this way:

[This] step is so intuitively obvious that I think scarcely anyone could sincerely believe it to be false. I therefore think it somewhat unwise to argue in favor of it, for any proof of the principle is likely to be less obvious than the principle itself.

I guess we know that this intuitive observation is true just cuz.

Wouldn’t it be simpler as “Everything has a cause”? Craig tips his hand with the clumsy “begins to exist” qualifier. If everything has a cause, then God must have a cause, and Craig can’t have that. He wants to imagine that God has no beginning and so needs no cause, and so Craig adds the phrase to preserve his presupposition. He appeals to common sense when it suits him but ignores it when it doesn’t.

Worse, in this example, Craig’s intuition turns out to be wrong! The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics (there are other interpretations, but this one may be the most popular among physicists) says that some events at the quantum level have no cause. For example, when thorium-234 naturally decays into protactinium-234, the nucleus emits an electron. The electron wasn’t in the nucleus before, and it had no cause. The universe at the beginning of the Big Bang might have also been a cause-less quantum particle.

Craig could respond that this interpretation may be overturned. That’s right, but Craig has lost certainty in the truth of his platitude. (More in response to Craig’s Kalam Cosmological Argument here.)

Pop philosophy example #2

Another example is, “Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.” Actually, this isn’t from Craig but from a song from the film The Sound of Music. Craig’s pop philosophical version is no more profound: “Out of nothing, nothing comes.”

True to form, he vacuously defends his fundamental axiom by saying that it “is as certain as anything in philosophy and . . . no rational person sincerely doubts it.” Apparently it’s the fear of Craig calling us irrational that supports this axiom, not reason. One wonders if Dr. Craig would accept this childish argument from one of his students.

And note how he attacks his own position. If something can’t come out of nothing, how can God have created the universe out of nothing? Even more confusing, it’s not clear that God did create out of nothing. The Old Testament has different creation stories, including one where Yahweh creates the world out of the carcass of the slain chaos monster Rahab (this Combat Myth is discussed in depth here).

Pop philosophy example #3

A related challenge is Leibniz’s “Why is there something rather than nothing?” That’s a provocative question until you realize that it assumes that nothing is the default. But why would that be? That’s a bold claim that must be defended.

And why would Christians attack with this challenge when they don’t assume that nothing is the default? They assume that God is, which is yet another claim that is asserted without evidence.

In the same way that Newton challenged the common-sense axiom that an object’s natural state is to be at rest (it isn’t, and his First Law of Motion overturns this assumption), physicist Vic Stenger concludes that nothing is actually unstable and would decay into something.

Asking why there is something rather than nothing may be as irrelevant a question as Johannes Kepler asking why there are five planets. Thanks, but I think I’ll get my cosmology from the cosmologists, not from pop philosophy.

And so on

There are other empty platitudes. That an infinitely old universe is impossible since a gulf of infinitely many moments of time would be impossible to cross. That the order in our universe demands an Orderer. That there must have been a First Cause (and the rest of Aquinas’s Five Ways). And so on.

Common sense has its place, but have the humility to realize that, at the frontier of science, it’s a poor guide. If a simple platitude resolved a difficult puzzle, we wouldn’t be at the frontier of science.

When the latest discoveries offend your common sense, the problem is yours, not the science.

What’s sauce for the goose . . .

Let’s be fair. Skeptics like me also use common sense arguments—no one can rise from the dead, there are no unicorns, and so on. But these are simply starting points, initial assumptions. I’m happy to reconsider them, examine the evidence behind them, and hear evidence that my position is wrong. You say that someone has been raised from the dead? Okay, let’s see the evidence.

The same is true for the fundamental axioms of science, math, and logic. We don’t take logic’s Principle of Identity or 1 + 1 = 2 on faith; these are tested continually. Once we find a new exception, we will take steps to avoid the error.

It’s evidence vs. faith. I use evidence-based common sense starting points, while Craig uses philosophical platitudes that sound right but are sometimes simply taken on faith.

Stephen Hawking has no patience for philosophical intrusions into science. In The Grand Design, he considers mankind’s big questions (“How does the universe behave?” “Where did this all come from?” and so on):

Traditionally these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead. It has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly in physics. As a result, scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.

That may be a bit much, even for me. But bringing up pop philosophy when the topic is physics is like bringing a popgun to a gunfight.

If a thousand philosophers pontificate for their lifetimes about scientific fields in which they’re not trained, will they ever say anything true? Probably, but how do we know what is the true part? Science. Let’s cut out the middle man by just listening to science.

Concluded with some positive things to say about philosophy in part 2.

Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists
as ornithology is to birds.

— Richard Feynman

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 3/12/14.)

Photo credit: Wikimedia

 

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  • Bob Jase

    Philosophy – when you absolutely, positively need an excuse.

    • Susan

      Philosophy – when you absolutely, positively need an excuse.

      I would rearrange that to say:

      -When you absolutely, positively need an excuse, just make it… and call it philosophy.

      That doesn’t make it philosophy. But many people will be so impressed, they’ll accept it.

  • RichardSRussell

    Philosophy — like everything from fire thru firearms to firewalls — is a tool that can be put to good use or bad. Only a fool would blame a tool.

    • Ignorant Amos

      Only a fool would blame a tool.

      Or use the wrong tool for purpose…yet many a time necessity has given me no other option. Still, that doesn’t mean it is not being foolish. I guess knowing it is the difference.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Wouldn’t it be simpler as “Everything has a cause”? Craig tips his hand
    with the clumsy “begins to exist” qualifier. If everything has a cause,
    then God must have a cause, and Craig can’t have that.

    Translation: “I get to cheat, and you don’t.”

  • GubbaBumpkin

    I have no beef with philosophy. I would place the examples you present under sophistry

    Sophistry is reasoning that seems plausible on a superficial level but is actually unsound, or reasoning that is used to deceive.

    WLC and Plantinga, as trained philosophers, surely ought to be aware of the distinction.

    • Grimlock

      Question. Suppose someone presents an argument that fall under the definition of sophistry, but they genuinely believe it to be a solid argument. Are they then engaging in sophistry?

      My opinion would be that they are not. But at some level one would instead be guilty of having done a terrible job of understanding the argument.

      • Chuck Johnson

        Sophistry is in the eye of the beholder.
        Change observers, and whether it’s sophistry or not changes along with the change of observer.

        • Grimlock

          I would beg to differ. It depends on the performer. Someone who understands the modal ontological argument, yet still presents it as a solid argument in favor of god are engaging in sophistry regardless of observers.

        • Chuck Johnson

          I would beg to differ. It depends on the performer.-Grimlock

          noun: sophistry
          the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.
          a fallacious argument.

          The dictionary definition would support both an observer-based definition and a performer-based definition.

          To assert one or the other requires saying so specifically.

        • Grimlock

          I’m not sure I follow how that would support that it depends on the observer. An argument is fallacious regardless of whether the person(s) observing the argument can tell.

          Would you please elaborate?

        • Chuck Johnson

          An argument is fallacious regardless of whether the person(s) observing the argument can tell.-Grimlock

          Not to me.
          To me, “fallacious” is a judgement, and as such, depends upon the characteristics of the person who is judging.

          I do not believe in God, and I do not believe in judgements, thoughts or perceptions which are perfect and absolute.
          Human perceptions are less than perfect.

        • Grimlock

          Hmm. This might be a point of contention. I’d say that some arguments simply are fallacious, regardless of observer.

          Certainly there are cases that might be fallacious, but where we are unable to tell, but that’s another matter, I think.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Hmm. This might be a point of contention. I’d say that some arguments simply are fallacious, regardless of observer.-Grimlock

          People claim that some ideas or perceptions are objectively true or false. To me, there is always some element of subjectivity in all ideas or perceptions.

          To claim that an argument can be fallacious, regardless of observer would a false perception. This is because there can be no perceptions of falseness or validity without an actual (fallible human) observer to make that judgement.

          If, on the other hand, we call an argument “fallacious by a unanimous decision”, that can then serve as the decision.
          But eventually, a dissenter might come along.

          Also, judgements without subjectivity are impossible because it requires at least one subject (decision-making person) or the judgement can not not exist.

          Human judgements should always be regarded as less-than-perfect.

          Religionists solved the problem of perfection by referring to gods which provided perfect knowledge and wisdom. Unfortunately, such gods and such perfection are merely the inventions of fallible human beings. – – – Back to the drawing board !

        • Grimlock

          Well, yes, in a sense, everything is somewhat subjective. 1+1=2 is subjective. Every single result, even in axiomatic systems could technically be wrong. But this seems rather trivial and uninteresting to me.

          In a practical sense, many arguments, if not all, will we able to state whether they are fallacious or not, so that any reasonable person should accept it.

        • Chuck Johnson

          In a practical sense, many arguments, if not all, will we able to state
          whether they are fallacious or not, so that any reasonable person should
          accept it-Grimlock

          Yes, many arguments are easily agreed-upon and resolved.

          For more difficult problems, we should refer to the fact that person (A) has less than perfect perceptions, the English language is a less than perfect medium of information transmission, and that person (B) has less than perfect perceptions.

        • Grimlock

          Sure. But I still fail to see how this would support a definition of sophistry where it depends on the observer whether something is indeed sophistry.

        • Chuck Johnson

          This comes from the definition of sophistry.
          Some of the dictionary definitions are non-specific as to who must perceive an argument as being sophistry.

          The fact that sophistry can only be the perception of a person engaging in sophistry is not a fact, it is your own invention.

          The dictionary definition is not specific in the way that you are being specific.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Christian philosophers like William Lane Craig often bring popular philosophy into the study of problems in physics and biology as if they’re making an important contribution to the scientific conversation. Offering common sense tips serves no purpose, because obviously the scientists are already aware of them. But scientists aren’t Craig’s audience. He’s posturing to ordinary people.

    It’s worse than that. WLC counts on his audience being ignorant of science and mathematics. Anyone trained in the field of science (frequently cosmology) or mathematics (he has said a lot of stupid stuff about infinity) knows instantly that he is full of caca, and could rip his arguments to shreds. As did cosmologist Sean Carroll when they had their debate.

    • Grimlock

      The first few times I saw him bring up Hilbert’s Hotel, I genuinely couldn’t understand what he was getting at. It was obvious that there was no contradiction present. Unintuitive, sure, to a certain extent. But so what?

      • GubbaBumpkin

        He frequently substitutes the argument from incredulity for the reduction ad absurdum.

  • Grimlock

    “Out of nothing, nothing comes.”

    Can’t we take this to mean that the only thing that can be the origin of nothing, is nothing itself. Meaning that there is no state of something that can be changed into nothing.

    Definitely gonna bring that up the next time someone claims that God is necessary for sustaining stuff.

    On a more general note, my impression is that apologists cherry pick both scientific results and philosophical stuff. The more philosophy that I learn, the greater the flaws I observe in arguments for God’s existence. (Such as the moral argument.)

    • Greg G.

      They argue that the universe was caused. How can a cause acting on nothing have an effect?

      • Chuck Johnson

        They argue that the universe was caused. How can a cause acting on nothing have an effect?-Greg

        If there is nothing there, then that “cause, acting” is also not there.
        This is special pleading.
        God is obviously a part of their universe, but they pretend otherwise.

        Here is the real, empirical explanation:
        Our universe at this moment was caused by the universe that existed in the previous moment.
        And so on, backwards in time, apparently to infinity.

        Anything other than this empirical observation would be an extraordinary claim, and would thus require extraordinary evidence.

        • Grimlock

          Here is the real, empirical explanation:
          Our universe at this moment was caused by the universe that existed in the previous moment.
          And so on, backwards in time, apparently to infinity.

          That is not really an empirical observation, though, is it?

          Our empirical observations tend to stop at the limits of our observable universe. Multivers and external universes are – in the best cases – extensions of our models of empirical observations. They are certainly sensible extensions, but not themselves empirical observations.

        • Chuck Johnson

          That is not really an empirical observation, though, is it?-Grimlock

          It is an empirical observation which extends back in time considerably. The “apparently” refers to the less-than infinite observation period.

          Uniformitarianism is the principle to use when our guesswork or theorizing goes beyond what is presently observable.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism

          Another way to say this is that as soon as our direct observation is no longer possible, we should assume that the basic laws and principles of the universe remain unchanged.

          To assume otherwise would be an extraordinary claim, and that would require extraordinary evidence.

        • Grimlock

          Note that uniformitarianism deals with stuff inside the universe. Another plausible explanation than the one you propose is that all of a existence is static, but with pockets where (B theory) time is experienced locally. As such there’d be no infinite sequence ofof nested universes.

          Still, it is not an empirical observation. It is an extension of models that describe our empirical observations, and are somewhat hypothetical.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Multiverse and external universes are – in the best cases – extensions of our models of empirical observations. They are certainly sensible extensions, but not themselves empirical observations.-Grimlock

          I never use terms like multiverse or external universe.
          Instead, I refer to our universe as comprising everything, without exception.

          I refer to the “sensible extensions” that you mention as being theoretical possibilities, or imagined universes which might be possible.

        • Grimlock

          Interesting. So when you write,

          Our universe at this moment was caused by the universe that existed in the previous moment.

          You are simply referring to the current state of everything being the result of a previous state of everything?

          If so, I think I misunderstood your point.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You are simply referring to the current state of everything being the result of a previous state of everything?-Grimlock

          Exactly.
          And I can reword it to say:
          That subset of our universe which is this moment of time was caused by that subset of our universe which was the previous moment of time.

          That’s what I meant, but the wording can be confusing, so I don’t always write it all out.

        • Grimlock

          In that case I withdraw by objection. Clearly, I misunderstood your point.

      • Otto

        And since God, according to Craig, is timeless, immaterial, etc….how does something immaterial affect material?

        I would like him to explain that.

        • Greg G.

          The Greeks saw the same problem and came up with the Logos, a demiurge, to explain it. Philo tried to work that into Judaism. The epistle authors seem to have thought that way, when you see them say things are from God and through Jesus. John 1:1-18 seems to be influenced, even borrowing the term “Logos”.

        • Chuck Johnson

          But Jesus was (apparently) a material being who was affected by the immaterial God.

          Logos only fools those gullible individuals who can no longer see the paradox when additional layers of complexity are added.

        • Chuck Johnson

          The standard silly reply is that:
          Since since God is defined as being able to do anything, He can therefore do anything.

        • Otto

          Exactly.

          But then philosophy is thrown out the window. Philosophy is only useful for Craig in his arguments until its not.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          Translation: “It’s magick.”
          They will deny this, since of course miracles and magic are somehow separate things to them.

        • TheNuszAbides

          my guess is he’d try really hard to spin “God doesn’t need to explain His powarz to you”.

      • Grimlock

        So true!

        Using this, I think, is the best way to use the quantum effects argument against Kalam. The defender of Kalam wants an efficient but non-material cause. However, quantum phenomena seems to have a material but not an efficient cause*. So it seems at least as viable to say that everything that begins to exist has a material cause. Consider then these two types of premises:
        1) Everything that begins to exist has an efficient cause.
        2) Everything that begins to exist has a material cause.

        At first glance, (2) is more supported by the evidence than (1), yet the defender of Kalam must accept (1) and discard (2) using the same standards of evidence. Good luck, I say.

        I first saw this reasoning made explicit by Counter Apologist.

        *Depending on the interpretation. The Everett interpretation doesn’t lack an efficient cause, but my understanding is that it implies an actual infinite number of universes, which is problematic for the Kalam with respect to an infinite regress.

  • Lerk!

    I think (and it’s possibly the subject of your next post) that philosophy may have a place in helping us to decide what to do with certain information — “now that I know X, how should I act regarding X in relation to Y?” Philosophy could even be useful in helping scientists to develop hypotheses to test. But philosophy can’t really arrive at anything that would be considered “truth” because it does no testing, only pondering.

    Edit to say that I know next-to-nothing about philosophy, so my last statement above was the result of my own pondering and may be bullshit.

    • Chuck Johnson

      Philosophy is empirical in a half-hearted way. It makes use of things that have already been observed.
      Science is empirical in an aggressive, proactive way using experiments and observations.
      Theory and fact are inseparable.

    • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

      Well some philosophers have done tests nowadays. It’s said science never really arrives at “truth” either though (including by many scientists). All this depends on what “truth” means, itself a huge philosophical issue ironically…

      • Lerk!

        I guess scientific truth is always qualified with “as far as we can tell.”

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Yep. I’d say that’s really a good statement in general.

        • TheNuszAbides

          when the spokespeople are behaving themselves, yes. very frustrating and sad that adversaries so love to put a rhetorical spin on that to score fake points with actual (if misguided) brains.

    • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

      Lerk writes: “But philosophy can’t really arrive at anything that would be considered “truth” because it does no testing, only pondering.

      Edit to say that I know next-to-nothing about philosophy, so my last statement above was the result of my own pondering and may be bullshit.”

      I am not one to accuse people of polishing unless I can explain why. I won’t even cal it BS, but I can help and keep it very simple.

      Philosophy is very useful and it CAN be tested. Mathematics tests logic applied numerically- 1+1=2. It makes sense. It is logical and therefore intelligible.

      Observation tests logic empirically- I drop a ball and it falls (every time). Better still, I can calculate it with mathematics. It makes sense. It is even MORE intelligible than abstract mathematics because now I have something to logically cohere it with practically.

      Philosophy tests logic propositionally in the form of statements-
      ‘There is a force at work upon physical objects we call gravity.’ That statement makes sense and now the whole concept of mathematics and the ball falling is even MORE intelligible because we have expressed it philosophically and have a mental picture of the concept.

      Each of the 3 above is in essence a truth statement, and all the different tests cohere with each other. When all of them agree, we can persuade ourselves that we have science (which is a fancy
      term for ‘knowledge’). The definition of science is… ‘knowledge’.

      Where we have to be careful is in our picture thinking. Until I read Hawking in the late 80s I pictured gravity as some kind of force in the way that electromagnetism is a force. The current picture is something else entirely, with material objects more akin to a bowling ball on a bed sheet causing space to bend in 3 dimensions so that nearby objects fall toward them.

      Philosophy on its own, apart from empirical evidence or mathematical testing is what Rationalism was all about with Rene Descartes and the like. It’s not enough. I can make a perfectly logical statement that is not contradictory such as, “All unicorns have horns.” But just because it is logically consistent internally, does not make it true. It might BE true, but it cannot be true knowledge apart from empirical evidence.

      However, a philosophical statement such as, “Philosophy is dead” (Stephen hawking), can be tested and shown to be false. If philosophy is dead, then his statement is dead because it is ITSELF a philosophical statement. His proposition is contradictory. It would be like trying to prove mathematically that mathematics is invalid. Even radical geniuses make basic mistakes.

      Better still, if I said, “I cannot type a word of English”, it is logically consistent internally, but it contradicts your observation that everything I type is in English. And that is the really cool part. Not only can you falsify my philosophy by finding contradiction propositionally, but if ANY of the 3 (mathematics, proposition,
      or observation) contradict we have a problem that can be seen by logical testing. In this case it is falsified by internal logical contradiction, and confirmed further by observation.

      Philosophy most definitely CAN be tested, which is what I did for Ian Cooper as regards David Hume’s attempt to declare empirical inquiry the only valid form of testable inquiry. Hume was denying philosophy the same as Hawking, and both did so as PHILOSOPHERS.

      Hope that helps. If not, then this might…

      https://youtu.be/0wMyMmjPgLs?t=173

      • Lerk!

        “Philosophy tests logic propositionally in the form of spoken or written statements.”

        Is this always the case? If so, then my take would be that when I make an assertion, it’s simply an assertion; but it becomes philosophy when I attempt to justify it. Is that more-or-less correct?

  • Greg G.

    Asking why there is something rather than nothing may be as irrelevant a question as Johannes Kepler asking why there are five planets. Thanks, but I think I’ll get my cosmology from the cosmologists, not from pop philosophy.

    Isaac Newton stood on Kepler’s shoulders but Kepler didn’t consider Earth to be a planet at that point, apparently. Josephus described the first century menorah at the temple (Jewish Wars 5.5.5) as having seven candles to represent the seven planets but he included the sun and moon.

  • skl

    This makes one wonder if the PhD degree (Doctor of Philosophy)
    in biology, physics, astronomy, and other science fields should be changed to SD or DS.

    • Michael Neville

      Several British universities grant DSc degrees in science rather than PhDs.

  • skl

    If “science” is about “knowing” (from the Latin “scientia” for “knowledge”),
    then science seems to have philosophy as its very foundation,
    namely in the form of epistemology.

    • Joe

      Just asking questions again?

      OK, let’s try this and see how you go:

      Scientific and philosophical epistemology are not always the same. “Epistemology” is a broad term for a group of methods concerned with how to acquire knowledge.

      • Otto

        Just a bit of JAQ’ing off

    • Chuck Johnson

      . . . then science seems to have philosophy as its very foundation,. . . skl

      I can give you a practical description of what the philosophy of science is:

      Scientists use curiosity and competence to learn about the universe that we live in.
      Scientists then share their discoveries with the rest of humanity.

    • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

      I agree. Science has philosophical foundations. It was once natural philosophy, but I don’t mean historically. The very premises upon which science rests are philosophical, and some deny them.

    • Grimlock

      At some point, though, science may well explain our thought processes, which would in some sense make it more fundamental than philosophy. Which would be rather amusing.

      • TheNuszAbides

        this is why i get such a kick out of Dan Dennett’s work (and anything AI-related, tangentially), and also think it’s cute (to say the absolute least) that Sam Harris went for a philosophy degree before hitting the lab.

  • Chuck Johnson

    For example, when thorium-234 naturally
    decays into protactinium-234, the nucleus emits an electron. The
    electron wasn’t in the nucleus before, and it had no cause. -Bob

    That’s an easy one.
    The nucleus consists of matter and energy. An electron consists of matter and energy. The decay process has produced a conversion of matter and energy which resulted in an electron.

    The interesting part is that a negative charge has been produced where (seemingly) no negative charge existed.
    The implication is that physicists have some interesting and useful discoveries ahead of them concerning the conservation of charge or the origins of electrical charge.

    I just looked it up.
    A neutron is a bit heavier than a proton. Maybe a neutron has an electron as part of it.

    • Michael Neville

      A neutron is electrically neutral, hence the name. If decay of a neutron produces a negatively charged electron then shouldn’t a positively charged particle also be produced? My formal education in physics was in high school many years ago and I know enough about physics to know I don’t know much about physics.

      • Greg G.

        The neutron becomes a proton. The “234” is the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus and denotes the isotope of the element but the name of the element indicates the number of protons, which determines the number of electrons and how it interacts chemically.

    • RichardSRussell

      Charge is conserved. The negative charge of the electron is exactly balanced by the positive charge of the proton left behind. Net charge: –1+1=0.

      This conservation principle also explains why the Universe is gravitationally neutral. The potential energy of all the matter expelled from the Big Bang exactly balances the kinetic energy imparted to it at that time.

      Indeed, given that pair production of electrons and positrons is an observable phenomenon in our own world, it can be extrapolated to suggest that all the matter in existence is likewise just the result of things splitting in 2, each half carrying away exactly what’s needed to offset the other and return to the neutral zero state it had at the beginning. This is where Hawking radiation of black holes comes from (pair production right at the event horizon, one half of the pair falling into the black hole and the other half escaping).

      But the bottom line here is Bob’s point that the release of the electron from the radioactive nucleus happens spontaneously, at an unpredictable time, with no detectable cause. We can predict stochastically that a proportion of them will decay over X amount of time, but nobody has a clue as to when any particular nucleus will do it.

      • Chuck Johnson

        But the bottom line here is Bob’s point that the release of the electron from the radioactive nucleus happens spontaneously, at an unpredictable time, with no detectable cause.-Richard

        The “no detectable cause” here is caused by insufficient information.
        Randomness is a result of the ignorance or inadequate knowledge of the observer.

        When sufficient theory and data become available, the randomness evaporates, or it is at least reduced.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          When sufficient theory and data become available, the randomness evaporates, or it is at least reduced.

          No, not according to the Copenhagen interpretation. It’s not that there is an unknown cause; there is no cause.

        • adam

          It has to be Trumps tiny hands knocking off the electron.

        • Chuck Johnson

          No, not according to the Copenhagen interpretation. It’s not that there is an unknown cause; there is no cause.-Bob

          Three different versions of “an effect with no cause”:
          (A) A cause that we do presently not know of.
          (B) A cause that humans (or other beings) can never know of.
          (C) An effect that happens, and it needs no cause.

          (B) Sounds too much like religion, and I reject it.
          (C) Also sounds too much like religion, and I reject it.

          Searching for the causes of effects is a big part of what science is all about.

        • Greg G.

          It was noted long ago that, a positron is mathematically equivalent to an electron traveling backwards in time. A photon travels at light speed so time does not pass for a traveling photon. A virtual pair of an electron and a positron can be seen as an electron and traveling forward in time from the creation event of the pair and the positron traveling backwards in time from the annihilation event and a photon being the energy that creates and results from the annihilation at the same instant. For the positron, the annihilation of the electron is the creation event and the electron’s creation event is the positron’s annihilation event.

          Our perception of time is entropy driven while quantum events are not necessarily so.

          That’s my understanding from reading Richard Feynman. See “One Electron Theory” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-electron_universe

        • Chuck Johnson

          “Feynman, I know why all electrons have the same charge and the same mass” “Why?” “Because, they are all the same electron!”

          I picture Cosmo Kramer delivering that line.

        • RichardSRussell

          Searching for the causes of effects is a big part of what science is all about.

          Rejecting hypotheses because you don’t happen to like or understand them is a big part of what religion is all about.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Rejecting hypotheses because you don’t happen to like or understand them is a big part of what religion is all about.-Richard

          Pretending that you know that Chuck doesn’t like or understand the Copenhagen interpretation is pretending you know things that you don’t really know.

          This is too much like religion.

          If you want to know, ask. – – – Stop making things up.

        • RichardSRussell

          “I think it is safe to say that no one understands quantum mechanics. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, ‘But how can it be like that?’ because you will go ‘down the drain’ into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.”

          —Richard Feynman (1918-1988), American physicist

        • Chuck Johnson

          I already know how it can be like that.

          Physicists are motivated to deliver big results in their researches.
          But the scientific instruments needed to provide the required empirical evidence are not yet available.

          There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You reject stuff because of how it strikes you? Things at the frontier of science may strike you as odd simply because you’re ignorant of the facts.

          If you want to understand the Copenhagen interpretation, go look it up.

        • Chuck Johnson

          If you want to understand the Copenhagen interpretation, go look it up.-Bob

          From Wikipedia:
          “According to the Copenhagen interpretation, physical systems generally do not have definite properties prior to being measured, . . . ”

          So this means that our universe did not have any carbon in it prior to humans discovering carbon and measuring the biological effects of carbon.

          This part of “Copenhagen” is obviously in adequate.

        • TheNuszAbides

          feel free to tell Bohr and Heisenberg they were doing science wrong.

        • Chuck Johnson

          They are long gone.
          But they were wrong because all scientists are wrong.
          And all scientists are right.

          http://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm

        • epeeist

          Searching for the causes of effects is a big part of what science is all about.

          Actually it isn’t, causal explanations are not all that important in science, though I wouldn’t go as far as Bertrand Rusell:

          The law of causality, I believe, like much that passes muster among philosophers, is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Actually it isn’t, causal explanations are not all that important in science,. . . -epeeist

          I know science.
          Give me some examples of areas of science where cause-and-effect are not important.

      • Chuck Johnson

        The potential energy of all the matter expelled from the Big Bang
        exactly balances the kinetic energy imparted to it at that time.-Richard

        Well, that does not seem to be true.
        Our universe is presently expanding. It presently contains some of the kinetic energy of outward expansion that it gained from the Big Bang.

        It looks to me like the “balance of kinetic and potential energy” that you mentioned would only occur at such a time that our expanding universe might stop expanding (due to gravity), and therefore be on the verge of falling back to its own gravitational center.

        This is the way that simple harmonic oscillators work. – – They oscillate.

        • RichardSRussell

          For any given object, the sum of potential and kinetic energy is a constant. For example, if you raise a rock over your head, you have to do work, which imparts potential energy to the rock. As soon as you let it go, it starts to fall, as potential energy is converted to kinetic energy. You can read more about it here:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potential_energy

        • Chuck Johnson

          The potential energy of all the matter expelled from the Big Bang
          exactly balances the kinetic energy imparted to it at that time.-Richard

          This statement of yours is false in the way that I explained in my earlier comment to you. It is specific in a way that makes it false.

          This new statement of yours, “For any given object, the sum of potential and kinetic energy is a constant.” is too vague to be a proper explanation.

          So I will make it more specific to suit the case of the exploding universe. – – – The modified statement:

          “For an exploding universe, the sum of the gravitational potential energy (fall back to center energy) and kinetic energy (kinetic energy of outward expansion) is a constant”.

          This “modified statement” would be true for a universe which will eventually fall back to center due to gravity.

          If the universe has sufficient kinetic energy, it will reach escape velocity, and it will never fall back to center. This might be the case for our universe. I will call this an “escape velocity universe”.

          In such a universe, however, it looks like the sum of kinetic and potential energies is still a constant.

        • RichardSRussell

          In such a universe, however, it looks like the sum of kinetic and potential energies is still a constant.

          It doesn’t just look like it, it is that way. As it is for everything else where energy is transferred.

          Did you follow up on that link I sent you to the explanation of potential energy? Everything I’ve been saying is covered there.

        • Chuck Johnson

          It doesn’t just look like it, it is that way. As it is for everything else where energy is transferred.-Richard

          You are assuming that the “Big Bang Universe” is a closed system, and nothing else exists.

          When we use a simplified model of the Big Bang universe, it can have the sum of the potential and kinetic energies be a constant.
          However, influences outside of Big Bang ejection material would have an effect.

          In addition, as our universe evolves, matter is constantly being converted into energy (electromagnetic radiation). This newly-created electromagnetic radiation will increase the system’s kinetic energy.

          So again, the simple mathematical result requires a simplified model of the Big Bang universe.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Did you follow up on that link I sent you to the explanation of potential energy? Everything I’ve been saying is covered there.-Richard

          No, I already know what kinetic and potential energies are.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/ralphthewebsite Roger

    “Out of nothing, nothing comes.” I agree. But, there seems to be something now. So, if we start with “nothing” like we kind of have to do if the goal is answering the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?”, then it seems like the only possibility is that whatever we’re thinking of as “nothing” is not really the lack of all entities. It must be a “something”. If we get rid of all things that we think of as existing (space/volume, matter, energy, time, abstract concepts, laws of physics, math and logic and minds to consider this supposed lack of all), the only thing left that could be a “something” is that absolute lack of all itself. Somehow, it is a “something”.

    • Greg G.

      A perfectly stable nothingness is like a perfect circle or a perfect equilateral triangle. They can exist as concepts but not as actual things.

      Nothingness is unstable because there is nothing to make it stable. Space is negative energy for an equal amount of energy/matter. When the unstable nothingness decays into space and energy/matter, it is a zero sum event. So something can come from nothing. You not only get something, you get a place to put it at the same time, which may also come into being in the same event.

      • https://sites.google.com/site/ralphthewebsite Roger

        If there’s nothingness, there’s also nothing to make it unstable or stable. There’s no force to be stable or unstable in response to. There’s also no positive or negative energy to sum to zero.

        • Greg G.

          You are assuming that nothingness is not naturally unstable. Have you ever seen a perfect circle or a perfect nothingness?

        • http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/ EyesShiningAngrily

          Greg, similar to the author, you fail to grasp what the word nothing means. It means the absence of all existents. Only an existent can be stable or unstable.

        • Greg G.

          You are imagining a perfect nothingness which is an ideal Platonic concept like an ideal gas, a perfect circle and a perfect square. We can imagine them but they do not actually exist. A perfect circle does not have to exist in another realm for us to conceive of one.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/ralphthewebsite Roger

          I’m not assuming either instability or stability. What I said was that neither would be present in nothingness. But, it sounds like you’re assuming instability.
          Also, stability and instability are relative to some thing. What thing in nothingness is nothingness either stable or unstable towards?

        • Greg G.

          Nothingness is either stable or unstable. If it was stable, there would still be nothing. Since we can exist in a universe that appears to be made of space and energy in equal and opposite amounts, it implies that we do not live in a stable nothingness, therefore we exist in the alternative.

      • Pofarmer

        All of which describes our Universe.

  • Susan

    Philosophy is useful because you have used philosophy to hoist Craig by his own petard.

    As Richard Russel points out below, philosophy is a tool.

    That Craig relies on philosophical and scientific language to bullshit people is not a problem with a well-honed tool nor with scientific models.

    Craig is a bullshit artist who relies on the fact that most people (including me) are not experts on either subject and especially not on philosophy of science.

    One doesn’t have to be an expert on either to see Craig’s arguments for what they are.

    Bullshit with lots of fancy words.

    A little scratch at any of the surfaces shows this.

    Craig is in show business.

    • DoorknobHead

      Susan: What’s your occupation?
      Craig: Stand Up Philosopher.
      Susan: What?
      Craig: Stand Up Philosopher. I coalesce [mythical] vapors into a [non] viable and [meaningless] [mis]comprehension.
      Susan: Oh, a BULLSHIT artist.

      — sung to the tune of Mel Brooks from History of the World: Part I

  • Chuck Johnson

    Thanks, Bob for this truly excellent collection of observations.

  • https://www.jonmorgan.info Jon Morgan

    I agree with your dismissals of simplistic philosophy and common sense.
    However, I do still find this comic amusing: http://existentialcomics.com/comic/191

  • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

    I think the problem here is Craig ignoring science when it doesn’t suit him. Good philosophers don’t (emphasis on “good”). On these issues, science should certainly be taken into account. Philosophers who think it can all be done without this are wrong (assuming any exist). Scientists, however, sometimes go the opposite route (as Hawking seems to). I think that there is a balance here, ideally.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      My challenge is: What have philosophers done for me lately? First, it’s philosophers, not philosophy. Scientists could well be doing philosophy when they come up with their ideas (depending on one’s definition), and philosophy could be a useful discipline in which to train. Second, lately to acknowledge that logic and other fundamentals from centuries past are currently useful, but there is no annual top-ten list of philosophers’ greatest discoveries.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        Well, there have been some new arguments in the last decades (I’m not sure how recent you mean) against theism. I believe that you’ve repeated some here. The irony is Bob, you’re a philosopher, even if not formally trained or making your living by that. Philosophy is not like science, of course, but there have been philosophical insights which are considered very innovative (I don’t have a handy list offhand).

        • http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/ EyesShiningAngrily

          He is not a philosopher in any shape or form!

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Why not? It wasn’t an insult, since I don’t consider being a philosopher bad. Bob makes philosophical arguments constantly against religion and theism. I think he is fairly called a philosopher.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Our shared problem, I think, is what “philosophy” and “philosopher” mean.These definitions are maleable, so I’m sympathetic to your argument.

          My main points are (1) that professional philosophers, rather than scientists who put on a philosopher’s hat as needed, aren’t making discoveries and so aren’t analogous in that way to scientists and (2) some of our favorite Christian philosophers make ridiculous, childish arguments that they claim are the cutting edge of Christian philosophical scholarship.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Yes, it can be difficult. By some definitions as I mentioned before, science is philosophy. Setting that aside (though it would necessarily deal with the idea of there being no discovery in philosophy), a common definition seems to be something like “the study of knowledge, existence, reality, etc.”. I’d say your work falls into that area. Again though we see how this could overlap with science.

          Well, it seems to me “discoveries” are made (if that’s the word). I mentioned the new arguments against theism (for instance from divine hiddenness and inconsistent revelations). You’ve also made arguments against theism in the same vein. You’ll get no argument from me that very poor arguments are made, but does that discredit philosophy any more than creationism does science? I do agree philosophers aren’t wholly analogous to scientists. However, it just seems to me that science isn’t the only thing of worth. Philosophy is too, when done well.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Philosophy as done by scientists sounds great. I get it. But philosophy done by philosophers? In the past, it gave us formal logic. And today, it gives us philosophy classes, which I agree can be great training. But I’m drawing a blank at what else it’s good for. In particular, philosophers making discoveries, advances, or whatever in the way that mathematicians or scientists do–I can think of no examples.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          I don’t know what you mean by scientists doing philosophy exactly. Why is this better? I’ve given examples for advancements. However, there’s no argument from me that it isn’t the same as science (or mathematics-I don’t know). I don’t think this is necessarily a good comparison either, since what qualifies as an advance seems to be clearer in science than for philosophy.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I don’t know what you mean by scientists doing philosophy exactly.

          In a wide definition of philosophy, thinking broadly could be included. Plantinga defines it as “thinking hard” about a subject, for example.

          Why is this better?

          Scientists doing philosophy by this broad definition of philosophy produce results.

          I’ve given examples for advancements.

          You said, “for instance from divine hiddenness and inconsistent revelations.” Are these the kinds of examples you’re thinking of? I wouldn’t have called that philosophy, but I see how that’s plausible.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          In a wide definition of philosophy, thinking broadly could be included. Plantinga defines it as “thinking hard” about a subject, for example.

          I see.

          Scientists doing philosophy by this broad definition of philosophy produce results.

          Well then ideally they can work together.

          You said, “for instance from divine hiddenness and inconsistent revelations.” Are these the kinds of examples you’re thinking of? I wouldn’t have called that philosophy, but I see how that’s plausible.

          Yes, they are definitely philosophy. Look up “arguments against the existence of God”. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy has far more, bearing in mind the philosophical definition of atheism is “strong” atheism as it’s been named. http://www.iep.utm.edu/atheism/

        • Greg G.

          Philosophy majors make good bartenders, or so I have heard.

        • TheNuszAbides

          that and the price of a cup of coffee will get you a whimsical remark from a panhandler.

        • Greg G.

          The price of a cup of coffee will get you a whimsical remark from a barista majoring in philosophy.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’ll stick with the first combo; panhandler backgrounds are more open-ended.

        • Greg G.

          If you give the coffee to the panhandler, you get two for the price of one.

    • Pofarmer

      WEll, good philosophers realize that then need science, or at least empiricism, to validate their claims.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        Yes, that’s what I was trying to say. Of course, there are claims which can’t be validated scientifically or empirically. We can usually apply logic though.

  • RichardSRussell

    “The current state of knowledge can be summarized thus: In the beginning, there was nothing, which exploded.”

    —Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies (1992)

    • Greg G.

      I remember laughing out loud when I first read that. It was long before I ever read “LOL”.

  • gusbovona

    “We don’t take logic’s Principle of Identity or 1 + 1 = 2 on faith”

    Just the other day, I put one apple into a bag; then I put another apple into the bag. Lo and behold, I found out that I then had two apples in my bag.

    More confirmation for 1 + 1 = 2! Hoorah for science!

  • Scooter

    “Wouldn’t it be simpler as “Everything has a cause”?”
    Rather than “simpler”, I would suggest a more accurate phrasing would be “every effect has a cause.” Some people misunderstand the law of cause and effect-not that everything must have a cause but that every effect must have a cause because an effect by definition is that which has been produced by something outside of itself or beyond itself. This of course opens the door to consider that an eternal Being would not have to be argued that He is part of “everything.”

    “They (Christians) assume that God is, which is yet another claim that is asserted without evidence.”
    The evidence is that something rather than nothing exists. And obviously “nothing” is not a “pre-something” such as the thinking that before the Big Bang there might have been a causeless quantum particle. No, nothing is not something reduced to a minimum, it is no thing whatsoever. I understand that this is difficult or impossible for us to comprehend. Why? because “nothing” lacks reality. Similar to Descartes famous dictum, Cogito Ergo Sum, I think therefore I am, perhaps we could say, Because I am I can’t conceive of nothing. But here’s another thought, Because I think, therefore it is impossible that God does not exist. My existence and everything around me could not come from nothing. And it’s telling that the originator of Quantum theory, Max Planck understood this when he said, ” All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force… We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.” Why does he assume this? because it’s rational.

    This idea changes everything because if something exists then the idea of a self-existent Being becomes not only possible but necessary-not only a rational possibility but becomes also a rational necessity. I believe it was Thomas Aquinas who argued that if anything exists reason demands that something (or better Someone) has always existed or we could not account for the existence of anything. Now atheism argues that if Creation could be nullified then the whole concept of God can collapse. So some folks argue that if you’re trying to be rational and scientific then you must believe in a universe without God. But the atheist saying this should realize that what he is postulating is manifestly irrational and absurd. Reason demands that there be a necessary Being. So asking why there is something rather than nothing is not an irrelevant question.

    “It’s evidence vs. faith.” Really? Consider these quotes from notable scientists;
    “Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: ‘Ye must have faith.’
    Max Planck, “Where is Science Going?”, 1932

    Werner Karl Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist and one of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics who said, “Faith is the mainspring of scientific endeavor. I believe in order that I may act, I act in order that I might understand.”

    • Michael Neville

      Because I think, therefore it is impossible that God does not exist.

      I fail to understand why your consciousness has anything to do with magical sky pixies. You definitely need to justify this claim or else it’s just a non sequitur, a statement not connected in a logical or clear way to anything said before it.

      My existence and everything around me could not come from nothing.

      Your incredulity is not an argument for anything.

      • Scooter

        My consciousness as you suggest has absolutely nothing to do with what you refer to as “magical sky pixies” whatever they are. rather since my consciousness and my ability to reason all depend on the fact that life did not and could not come from nothing but requires a reasonable and reasoning origin. The contrast to this (time + chance=reality) is impossible. Neither time nor chance is a pre-cosmic phenomenon

        • MNb

          “the fact that life did not and could not come from nothing but requires a reasonable and reasoning origin.”
          Yeah – that’s what we have the field of research called abiogenesis for.

          “The contrast to this (time + chance=reality) is impossible. Neither time nor chance is a pre-cosmic phenomenon.”
          Yeah – that’s why we maintain that life came from non-life within that cosmos; some 9 billion years after the particular part of cosmos called Our Universe began to exist. You just confirmed that time + chance (though you should have added + the right circumstances in one particular place of that huge Universe that set the biochemical process in motion) totally is possible.

        • Michael Neville

          the fact that life did not and could not come from nothing but requires a reasonable and reasoning origin.

          As I said, your incredulity is not an argument for anything.

          In your “reasonable and reasoning origin” claim you’re postulating a magic sky pixie created everything. What’s your evidence that your magic sky pixie wasn’t invented by people who didn’t know where the Sun went at night?

          The contrast to this (time + chance=reality) is impossible. Neither time nor chance is a pre-cosmic phenomenon

          You really do think your incredulity is an effective argument for your magic sky pixie.

          EDIT You still haven’t explained how your consciousness comes from the magic sky pixie you worship.

        • Susan

          my ability to reason all depend on the fact that life did not and could not come from nothing but requires a reasonable and reasoning origin. </blockquote

          1) Show that anyone other than the poeple who are lying to to you claim it did.
          2) Show it couldn't.

          requires a reasonable and reasoning origin.

          Then, show that you have one.

          The contrast to this (time + chance=reality) is impossible. Neither time nor chance is a pre-cosmic phenomenon

          No. They’ve fed you a strawman and you are so incurious that you accept it.

          You don’t have a single leg to stand on.

          After all this time and after all these exchanges, that’s the best you have to offer.

        • Scooter

          My reasonable origin must be the Biblical God for 2 reasons.
          1) Only such a God as revealed in the Bible adequately grounds the physical coherence of the cosmos as we know it.
          2) God’s existence is the only coherent basis, whether acknowledged or otherwise, for rational thought and communication.
          Consequently, you Susan, as a nonbeliever, of necessity must draw on, borrow from, in fact, and I don’t mean to be rude but, intellectually steal from a biblical foundation in order to think coherently and to live sanely.. So, the secular humanist who argues that there are no ultimates must borrow from biblical premises in order to assess anything in itself right or wrong.

        • Susan

          1) Only such a God as revealed in the Bible adequately grounds the physical coherence of the cosmos as we know it.

          2) God’s existence is the only coherent basis, whether acknowledged or otherwise, for rational thought and communication

          But you haven’t defined nor supported a single bit of that. I’m asking you to.

          you Susan…. steal intellectuallly from a biblical foundation in order to think coherently and think sanely

          No. If you say I must, then you must show I must.

          Try to be more curious.

          You have supported nothing that you claim.

          Nothing.

        • Scooter

          Susan, I could go into a long dissertation but I’m not sure what that would prove to you. I’m reminded of the story of novelist Martin Amis who recounted a question that the Russian writer Yevgeni Yevtushenko asked Sir Kingsley Amis: “Is it true that you are an atheist?” Amis replied, “Yes. But its more than that. You see, I hate Him.” Far from being able to deny the existence of God, he confessed both God’s existence and his own antagonism toward Him. I read the same thing in just about all the comments on these atheist blogs-God doesn’t exist and I hate Him! However I also know that none of us whether theist or atheist can escape being the “imago Dei” -the image of God (however twisted). We can never therefore deny ultimately the One who we are made in the image of. I don’t want to get preachy but this point from Ecclesiastes 3:11 which puts a burden on us from God as it says, “He has put eternity into a man’s heart. As Augustine said, our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Him. This has been my experience.

        • Susan

          I could go into a long dissertation but I’m not sure what that would prove to you.

          You’ve spent a couple of years here now and I’ve never even seen you attempt to support the slightest thing. I would be satisfied if you attempted to do that.

          I’m not asking for a long dissertation. Just that you do better than unquestioingly repeat apologetics

          It’s simple. You made some very large claims. Support them.

          There’s nothing special about me. That shouldn’t matter.

          If the rest of your post is all you’ve got , then there is no reason to accept your very strong original claims.

          You’ve got nothing.

          Get back to us when you do.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I doubt many of the atheists around here hate God. Do you hate Zeus?

          Maybe you need to go find some god haters if you’re determined to engage with them. Not many here.

        • Scooter

          “Do you hate Zeus?”
          Well, at least you didn’t throw the nonsensical FSM at me!
          Hatred takes many forms. How would you describe the attitude of a son who despises his father and mother and rejects everything they have done for him?

        • Greg G.

          How would you describe the attitude of a son who despises his father and mother and rejects everything they have done for him?

          Jesus-like. In each of the Synoptics, Jesus is informed that his mother and brothers are outside but he rejects them, saying his sycophants are his mother and brothers. They disappear except when some who know his family recognizes Jesus.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Do you hate Zeus?”
          Well, at least you didn’t throw the nonsensical FSM at me!

          Right—I threw the nonsensical Zeus at you.

          Now answer my question and tell me what you’ve learned by your answer, if anything.

        • adam

          “How would you describe the attitude of a son who despises his father and mother and rejects everything they have done for him?”

          Your Bible describes them as worthy of death.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2ace8e66c11070f7bb1a667c1ff4f5e4dd4140269bdb88e038ae9c34cfe8e906.jpg

          Christian claim that this is ‘love’.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, at least you didn’t throw the nonsensical FSM at me!

          Too funny for words.

          Hatred takes many forms. How would you describe the attitude of a son who despises his father and mother and rejects everything they have done for him?

          Irrelevant to the question…”Do you hate Zeus?”

        • Scooter

          Amos, What is really too funny for words is the atheist’s attempt to compare God to Zeus, the FSM, a celestial teapot (dreamed up by former atheist Bertrand Russell), Santa Claus, unicorns and fairies. Why? Because our background knowledge of the universe certainly rules out absurd entities- like living sentient pasta with magical abilities.

          But what background knowledge can’t do is give us probabilities about things which are not physical so this background knowledge can’t rule out the possibility that God exists. You see, the Creator of the universe has to exist outside of the created order and is transcendent. not limited by the laws of nature, space or time. Only physical beings exist in the physical universe so it would be a circular argument to say that the physical universe can explain to us that non-physical beings can’t exist, or probably don’t exist. An honest atheist must agree that God’s existence can function as a good hypothesis and thus His existence is probable. Note too that a hypothesis must explain something. Theism claims that the universe has a personal cause so for the one who believes in God he should expect to find evidence of purpose in the universe. So what questions pop out of this? Is there evidence of purpose in the universe? Does our universe contain the type of order that agents bring about? Does it have features that a rational agent would value? I believe that God accounts for the order, why the earth has conscious living beings, why good and evil are as real and as important as electromagnetism or gravity. Further, God explains why you and I desire purpose and meaning.

        • adam

          But what background knowledge can’t do is give us probabilities about
          things which are not physical so this background knowledge can’t rule
          out the possibility that Jesus was gay

        • Scooter

          Your condition is worse than I thought.

        • adam

          So was Jesus’s

        • adam

          Why are you so afraid of a gay Jesus?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Amos, What is really too funny for words is the atheist’s attempt to compare God to Zeus, the FSM, a celestial teapot (dreamed up by former atheist Bertrand Russell), Santa Claus, unicorns and fairies any unsupported construct of the human imagination.

          There, simplified that for ya.

          Why? Because our background knowledge of the universe certainly rules out absurd entities- like living sentient pasta with magical abilities.

          Scooter….that’s the point. YahwehJesus is just another absurdity on the list. I prefer Space Ponies if I’m positing an absurdity myself.

          But what background knowledge can’t do is give us probabilities about things which are not physical so this background knowledge can’t rule out the possibility that God exists.

          If you were as smart as you think you are, and took the time and effort to learn where the concept of your god YahwehJesus originated then you’d be embarrassed and realise that the background knowledge does indeed rule out your god.

          You see, the Creator of the universe has to exist outside of the created order and is transcendent. not limited by the laws of nature, space or time. Only physical beings exist in the physical universe so it would be a circular argument to say that the physical universe can explain to us that non-physical beings can’t exist, or probably don’t exist.

          When you can demonstrate with evidence that that is not just pulled from your arsehole, and show what method you use to verify it, then come back. Otherwise it is just as unreasonable as any other god claim.

          An honest atheist must agree that God’s existence can function as a good hypothesis and thus His existence is probable.

          Scooter…which god?

          By your naive logic…An honest atheist must agree that all god’s existence can function as a good hypothesis and thus existence is probable.…which even to you must appear an untenable proposition. Go learn what atheist means.

          Let’s turn it around.

          An honest theist should admit the probability is just as sound for every supernatural claim, and if it is just as sound for all of them, then it is equally as sound for none of them. Better to say I don’t know…with the caveat that for every claim that the god hypothesis has ever been proposed…not once, never, has it ever turned out a god has been the the explanation. The batting average for gods is zero…science has done all the heavy lifting and has a perfect score to date.

          Note too that a hypothesis must explain something.

          But god hypotheses are useless, because they explain everything and nothing at the same time. And cannot be supported empirically, with any evidence whatsoever. When you, or anyone else for that matter, can do so, then we have a conversation. Got evidence?

          Theism claims that the universe has a personal cause so for the one who believes in God he should expect to find evidence of purpose in the universe. So what questions pop out of this? Is there evidence of purpose in the universe? Does our universe contain the type of order that agents bring about? Does it have features that a rational agent would value? I believe that God accounts for the order, why the earth has conscious living beings, why good and evil are as real and as important as electromagnetism or gravity. Further, God explains why you and I desire purpose and meaning.

          Blah! blah! blah! blah! blah!….I know what you claim is, I’m yet to be convinced and unfortunately you all fail miserably in demonstrating your claims veracity with anything more that wishful thinking, special pleading, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias.

          Why should your woo-woo claim have anymore weight than any other woo-woo’s claim?

          Demonstrate your claim’s veracity with evidence…show your work.

        • TheNuszAbides

          science has done all the heavy lifting and has a perfect score to date.

          eh .. it has a steadily improving score. i don’t think we’ve collectively got the stones to adjudicate a perfect score on that scale.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What a mean is that when science gets its sleeves rolled up and digs in, it never turns out that the supernatural explanation is correct…the science explanation is always, to date anyway, the correct one.

          Phenomena explained by the supernatural = zero

          Phenomena explained that have ever been investigated by the sciences = a hit every time

          Ergo, a perfect score to date…am not saying science has answered every question asked of it, but those it has, have never turned out to be not natural. At least as far as am aware anyway.

        • adam
        • Pofarmer

          Holy shit Scooter.

          How can we be made in the image of a dissembodied mind that holds the universe together?

          moron.

        • Rudy R

          He has a long, flowing white beard, don’t ya know.

        • Rudy R

          Can’t speak for the rest of the atheists, but I don’t hate [Yahweh], because I don’t believe he is real, just like I don’t hate Lord Voldemort. However, I very much dislike the Yahweh fictional character as I do Lord Voldermort.

        • Michael Neville

          I don’t even hate the imaginary Yahweh. It would be silly to hate a figment of someone else’s imagination. I’m angry about some of the things done using Yahweh or Jesus as an excuse, but that’s a different topic.

        • adam

          ” he confessed both God’s existence ”

          then he was a theist not an atheist
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7123c548a1342e2d1779d51809c0ce85d82e0551dcde5fa0f6496d68284963dd.jpg

          “We can never therefore deny ultimately the One who we are made in the image of. ”

          Sorry, I am not made in the image of an IMAGINARY character from mythology…

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7d25f4c9006df8ef1a311b0eea0580844f129c209627aa4c1313dd108978baf5.jpg

        • Rudy R

          George Carlin is my philosopher of choice!

        • adam

          One of mine as well.

        • skl

          Second try (first “Detected as Spam”).

          “I’m reminded of the story of novelist Martin Amis who recounted a
          question that the Russian writer Yevgeni Yevtushenko asked Sir Kingsley
          Amis: “Is it true that you are an atheist?” Amis replied,
          “Yes. But its more than that. You see, I hate Him.” Far from being
          able
          to deny the existence of God, he confessed both God’s existence and his
          own antagonism toward Him. I read the same thing in just about all the
          comments on these atheist blogs-God doesn’t exist and I hate Him!”

          I’m a skeptic, and so not a Christian or a religious person.
          I’m interested in things that make solid sense to me. But what you wrote
          there really struck me. Because I’ve found that many responses I receive
          to my posts here have a strand of antagonism and sarcasm. And the
          longer the interactions with other commenters here extend, the more
          likely the antagonism and sarcasm escalates into ad hominems and R-rated
          language. It’s hateful. I can’t say for certain that they hate god but
          they sure seem to hate the very idea of, or the possibility of, a god.
          They seem more anti-theist than atheist.

          By god, for that alone, they may yet turn me into a religious person! :)

        • Michael Neville

          Because I’ve found that many responses I receive to my posts here have a strand of antagonism and sarcasm. And the longer the interactions with other commenters here extend, the more likely the antagonism and sarcasm escalates into ad hominems and R-rated language. It’s hateful.

          Don’t give yourself airs. You’re not hated, you’re an annoyance. You’re sealioning us, pretending to ask questions and misinterpreting the answers you’re given.

        • skl

          “You’re not hated, you’re an annoyance. You’re sealioning
          us, pretending to ask questions and misinterpreting the answers you’re given.”

          I would think that one would be certain of another’s “sealioning”
          (which I am not) before calling the other “weasel”, “fuckwittery”, “dopey clown”, “stupid”, “disingenuous asshole.”

        • Michael Neville

          You asked me why I accepted some of what Paul wrote but not all of it. I explained that had to do with the probabilities of what he wrote. I even explained that gentiles would be more likely to convert to Christianity if the demanding, burdensome Jewish laws were relaxed, so it was highly probable that Paul would relax them. On the other hand, since resurrection would literally require a miracle, then Paul’s claims of Jesus’s resurrection would have a low probability. Your response was:

          As far as the probabilities, as I’ve said before, Christianity is based entirely on the most improbable things (e.g. walking on water, resurrection). I think they would readily admit that. I think Paul would have, too.

          That has absolutely nothing, not a fucking thing, to do with why I consider some of Paul’s writing to be probable and some to be improbable. There would appear to be one of three reasons why you wrote that non sequitur quoted above: 1. You didn’t read my argument; 2. You’re too stupid to understand my argument; or 3. You’re sealioning. You claim to have read my argument which tosses out No. 1. From other things you’ve written I don’t think you’re stupid, so No. 2 goes away. Which leaves No. 3, you’re sealioning. Considering how other people have reacted to things you’ve written in response to comments and questions, sealioning becomes more and more likely.

        • skl

          Anyone and everyone knows Christianity is based on highly unusual, highly improbable, never-before-or-after-seen occurrences. One can pick this up just from the culture or common knowledge without reading even a word of the bible. But you said certain things about Paul were true on the basis that his writings said so (I recall you quoting three different passages from his letters). I asked why you didn’t believe other things about Paul that he also wrote. I won’t argue the point any further with you. Besides, the R-rated language has reared its head again.

        • Greg G.

          Anyone and everyone knows Christianity is based on highly unusual, highly improbable, never-before-or-after-seen occurrences.

          No, it isn’t. It is based on a desperate reading of the Old Testament scriptures by people hoping for supernatural help against an earthly power.

          But you said certain things about Paul were true on the basis that his writings

          Everything Paul says about Jesus can be found in the Old Testament.

          I asked why you didn’t believe other things about Paul that he also wrote.

          I believe Paul was mostly sincere but he was superstitious and didn’t know where the sun went at night.

        • Michael Neville

          So what’s untrue about Paul relaxing Jewish religious laws? Be specific or admit that you didn’t actually read what I’ve written twice. I didn’t say that what Paul wrote was true, I said that certain things he did were probable. I also said that some things he wrote, the resurrection specifically, were not probable.

          I quoted Paul when you asked why I thought he had relaxed Jewish law. I said he did something because he wrote his justification for what he did. Is this concept too hard for the sack of bloody lard you call your brain to process?

          If you don’t like “R-rated” language then that’s your problem, not mine. If you don’t like how adults talk then go back to the kiddie table, you prudish prig. Tone trolling will win you no points on this blog.

          And I still think you’re sealioning.

        • Susan

          I would think that one would be certain of another’s “sealioning”
          (which I am not) before calling the other “weasel”,

          I didn’t call you “weasel” lightly. You earned it with your behaviour.

          “… disingenuous asshole”

          After several attempts to have honest, respectful discussions with you, your responses prompted me to say “it’s as if you’re going out of your way to be a disingenous asshole”

          Again, I didn’t do that lightly.

          I don’t take it back.

        • MR

          I’ll second it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I would think that one would be certain of another’s “sealioning” (which I am not)…

          Yeah, that’s not accurate…it is demonstrable that you were here JAQing off.

          https://cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/75246564/when-you-explain-what-sealioning-is-and-the-textbook-definition-tries-to-argue-it.jpg

          …before calling the other “weasel”, “fuckwittery”, “dopey clown”, “stupid”, “disingenuous asshole.”

          I’ll claim some of those.

          Even after it being pointed out that sealioning was what you were doing, you persisted.

          https://i.imgflip.com/1iz11r.jpg

          That is the epitome of sealioning. That’s when folk start to get pissed off with your silly games and resort to ridicule and mockery.

        • Greg G.

          They seem more anti-theist than atheist.

          How are you deriving the word “anti-theist”? If you are getting it from “anti-theism” the way “theist” comes from “theism” then you are probably right and there is nothing exclusive between that and atheism. If you are deriving “anti-theist” directly from “theist”, you are not correct.

          People respond to the posts made by commenters. If one comes in threatening fire and brimstone, they will not be taken seriously. If a person comes in presenting intelligent arguments, the response will generally be cordial. When the person misconstrues the responses repeatedly, frustration will begin. That appears to be what you are experiencing.

        • MR

          She’s not a Christian; she just plays one on TV.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Try to get an objective critique of your approach. Maybe that will help you understand why you get the reaction you do.

        • skl

          I assumed I would get an objective critique here from objective skeptics. That apparently was a faulty assumption.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          How do you know it was a faulty assumption? Just because you don’t like the pushback doesn’t mean it wasnt warranted.

        • skl

          “How do you know it was a faulty assumption?”

          Based on the evidence.
          That is, based on the substance, and especially the tone, of the responses.

        • Scooter

          Good to read a refreshing and thoughtful comment!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh ffs, I’ve seen it all now.

        • Pofarmer

          Idiocy abounds.

        • Susan

          I read the same thing in just about all the
          comments on these atheist blogs-God doesn’t exist and I hate Him!”

          Then, you’re a poor reader. Or just dishonest.

          what you said there really struck me.

          What should have struck you is that Scooter made a series of assertions for which he provides no support.

          When I asked him to support those statements, he diverted to a quote (for which I can find no context) about an atheist who “hates God” , a quote that does nothing to do with supporting his assertions.

          the
          longer the interactions with other commenters here extend, the more
          likely the antagonism and sarcasm escalates into ad hominems and R-ratedlanguage.

          I can’t say for certain that they hate god but
          they sure seem to hate the very idea of, or the possibility of, a god.

          It’s that sort of persistent dishonesty that draws the negative responses you get.

          I asked Scooter to support his assertions, he pointed at a quote that has no bearing on his assertions and you (rather than acknowledge that he hasn’t supported a single assertion) pretend that the problem isn’t that there is no support for Scooter’s claims but instead, that we hate gods and aren’t even open to the possibility.

          By god, for that alone, they may yet turn me into a religious person!

          What a shock it would be for all of us if you suddenly announced you were a christian.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That’s quite a lot wrong condensed into a small ball of tangled yarn. Well done.

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t think you get through a lifetime of that much condensed stupid.

        • TheNuszAbides

          well, it doesn’t seem like too much of Scoot’s stuff is sheer copypasta, but about 95% rings pretty parrot-y. i.e., not so much condensed as barely lodged in the memory banks, and certainly not deeply contemplated.

        • adam

          “1) Only such a God as revealed in the Bible adequately grounds the physical coherence of the cosmos as we know it.”

          “as we know it.”

          Know as YOU misunderstand it

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1e354fc7cc2b98ee33f9a417062b3d79eafde2b48cf1d653e36212bc07a77cf2.jpg

        • adam

          “2) God’s existence is the only coherent basis, whether acknowledged or otherwise, for rational thought and communication.”

          Since you can’t have rational thoughts and communication, that leaves you with insanity or stupidity in place of your ‘God’

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b85c139d187be51d3fe0c0c77bcc2e185955505da1a61a389655083966df2057.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          The story book isn’t that easy to read. That’s why very few have read it. What is easier though, is listen to the rantings of someone else who claims to have read it and to have special knowledge on the subject.

        • Michael Neville

          Only such a God as revealed in the Bible adequately grounds the physical coherence of the cosmos as we know it.

          There’s other candidates for creator gods besides your favorite deity. The Bhagavata Purana, one of the 18 Great Histories of Hinduism, attributes the creation of Maya (the power or the principle that conceals the true character of spiritual reality) to Brahma, which he creates for the sake of creation, instilling everything with both good and evil, the material and the spiritual, a beginning and an end.

          God’s existence is the only coherent basis, whether acknowledged or otherwise, for rational thought and communication.

          I think and communicate quite well without the slightest influence from a fantastic, make-believe, non-existent figment of someone else’s imagination.

          Consequently, you Susan, as a nonbeliever, of necessity must draw on, borrow from, in fact, and I don’t mean to be rude but, intellectually steal from a biblical foundation in order to think coherently and to live sanely..

          So what’s your evidence that this nonsense is anything but straight from the bovine’s rectum bullshit?

    • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

      Anybody can play the quote that physicist game:

      “All that my work has shown is that you don’t have to say that the way the universe began was the personal whim of God.” Stephen Hawking

      “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” Steven Weinberg

      “Does it mean, if you don’t understand something, and the community of physicists don’t understand it, that means God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, here’s a list of things in the past that the physicists at the time didn’t understand [and now we do understand] […]. If that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on – so just be ready for that to happen, if that’s how you want to come at the problem.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

      Unfortunately, your understanding of science hasn’t grown beyond Aristotelian Cause and Effect (4th Century BC) and medieval Aquinasian theology. At the quantum level, cause and effect is meaningless.

    • MNb

      “This of course opens the door ….”
      to recognizing events that are uncaused. Hey, guess what? That’s what Modern Physics does.

      “there might have been a causeless quantum particle”
      You rather mean quantum field – and actually several.

      1. You’ll have to argue that “God creates quantum fields” is the first event, not “quantum fields start to fluctuate”.
      2. You’ll have to accept a god playing dice.

      “Cogito Ergo Sum, I think therefore I am”

      is a non sequitur. You’ll have to establish that it’s “I” who does the thinking.

      “Because I think, therefore it is impossible that God does not exist”
      Another non-sequitur.

      “So asking why there is something rather than nothing is not an irrelevant question.”
      Agree. We atheists just add the question why that something has to be a god. Because that’s what you believe – there never was nothing, there always (whatever always means in this context) was the particular god you worship. Still you fault us for postulating that for instance quantum fields could be that something.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      What is the law of cause and effect, and how do you know it works?

      • Scooter

        Very briefly the Law of causality (or cause and effect) has been a strong argument for the existence of God. By looking at the nature and appearance of the earth which is one large effect and back to an adequate or sufficient cause, it is very plausible that the very first cause is God. Of course Aristotle argued this cosmological proof centuries ago. And Aristotle also pointed out that an eternal object doesn’t need to have a cause.
        But specifically to your point of what is the law of cause and effect? The simple definition “every effect must have a cause” is a “formal” truth. A formal statement is true because it contains in the words themselves all that is needed to recognize their truth. An example-a triangle has 3 sides which is true not only because we see that triangles indeed have 3 sides but because triangles “by definition” are 3-sided figures. The law of cause and effect contains the same kind of logical truth. How do I know it works? Experientially-even by the back and forth commenting on your blog right now. You wrote a blog (cause) and I responded (effect) here’s a challenge for you. can you provide at least one example, anywhere in the whole universe, of an uncaused effect?

        • Grimlock

          You wrote a blog (cause) and I responded (effect) here’s a challenge for you. can you provide at least one example, anywhere in the whole universe, of an uncaused effect?

          Your challenge doesn’t make sense. Instead you should ask for a phenomena that is not an effect. Then you should also explain why the obvious answer (“quantum stuff”) is invalid.

          Here’s a hint: it has a material cause, but perhaps not an efficient cause. But then, you need it to be the other way around. So a challenge back to you would be this: Can you point to an effect without a material cause?

          A second challenge to you us this. You are inductively reasoning that stuff inside of the universe has a cause. But you want to say that the universe, or all stuff, has a cause. How, pray tell, is our experience when it comes to universes coming into existence?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The simple definition “every effect must have a cause” is a “formal” truth. A formal statement is true because it contains in the words themselves all that is needed to recognize their truth.

          So you know it’s true just because it’s obvious? That’s an easy way to get burned. And in the quantum world, it doesn’t work—effects don’t necessarily have causes. Since the universe was a quantum particle, maybe it didn’t have a cause, either.

          An example-a triangle has 3 sides which is true not only because we see that triangles indeed have 3 sides but because triangles “by definition” are 3-sided figures. The law of cause and effect contains the same kind of logical truth.

          Not at all. Saying that a triangle has 3 sides because it does by definition is merely to state a tautology. You’ve informed us not at all. You’ve expended no effort. By contrast, your “law” of cause and effect is correct only due to your appeal to our common experience. And physics (yet again) shows us that experience in our middle world isn’t a reliable source of common sense in the very small or very large worlds.

          can you provide at least one example, anywhere in the whole universe, of an uncaused effect?

          Read up on the Copenhagen interpretation.

        • Otto

          Cause and effect requires time. Your argument therefore never gets off the ground, it is invalidated by its own premise.

    • Pofarmer

      This of course opens the door to consider that an eternal Being would not have to be argued that He is part of “everything.”

      If you can argue an eternal being, you can just as easily argue an eternal universe. Same difference.

      The evidence is that something rather than nothing exists.

      Except that you’re still stuck in circular question begging nonsense. That the Universe exists is evidence that the Universe exists. That’s pretty much it.

      Why? because “nothing” lacks reality.

      No, it’s that, to loosely quote Laurence Krauss “Nothing” may actually be impossible. Nothing might spontaneously create something.” Give us a “Nothing” to examine, and we can talk about it.

      My existence and everything around me could not come from nothing

      Except, once again, you’re making conclusions about things with which you have no experience. Circular nonsense.

      This idea changes everything because if something exists then the idea
      of a self-existent Being becomes not only possible but necessary-not
      only a rational possibility but becomes also a rational necessity.

      Yeah, so demonstrate how a dissembodied mind(something that’s never been witnessed) could actually produce anything. The idea of a mind behind things might be a nice placeholder to attempt to make things intelligible, but it’s not exactly rational and certainly not “necessary” by any stretch of your vivid imagination. I think that Planck assumes it because it’s the background and framework he was likely raised in.

      Reason demands that there be a necessary Being.

      See, it actually doesn’t, which is why the vast majority of professional philosophers are, wait for it, atheists.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      RE quotes from Planck and Heisenberg:

      1) Definitions of “faith” vary widely (not to mention that the two scientists you quote are not native English speakers; so either they are speaking in a secondary language, or someone else’s translation is involved)

      2) Did you notice that neither person says what they have “faith” in?

    • GubbaBumpkin

      And it’s telling that the originator of Quantum theory, Max Planck
      understood this when he said, ” All matter originates and exists only by
      virtue of a force… We must assume behind this force the existence of a
      conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.”

      Citation needed.

      Does matter originate in force, or is force a property of matter? How would you demonstrate any force in the absence of matter?

      A physicist has no business speaking about consciousness and intelligence; these are the topic of another field.

      Planck is not viewed by scientists as infallible. Because he said something does not make it so.

      • Michael Murray

        If you just stick it in google it comes up on wikiquote.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          A responsible person would have provided a link. A serious person would have checked it back to an actual publication or speech by the alleged author. We all know the famous quotation by Abraham Lincoln.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You mean the Lincoln quote, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet”? No, that one’s legit. I looked it up.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A responsible person would have provided a link.

          Believers don’t follow links, so they don’t think it is a requirement to provide one. This has driven me to be lazy when replying to believers in kind. Most of the time I will differentiate a citation by placing it in italics, even then one can tell when they haven’t bothered their arses reading the provided information. But I endeavour to link citations to those I think will be interested in the source.

          Because believers take the Kool-Aid at face value, the think all the rest of us are the same. Accepting assertions as gospel I think they call it.

          https://todayinsci.com/P/Planck_Max/PlanckMax-Quotations.htm

          It fascinates me when the godbots cite some scientific genius in support of their god claim, as if no one here understands compartmentalisation. It’s as if they think that because they are geniuses in one field, they can’t get anything wrong at all.

          I’m going to go out on a limb here and presume the godbot will be less likely to cite a genius from a competing religious background as god evidence for other gods.

          As for the counter examples… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists_in_science_and_technology ….shussssssshhh!

    • Greg G.

      I would suggest a more accurate phrasing would be “every effect has a cause.”

      That does not imply that everything is an effect. A cause acting on nothing cannot have an effect. But quantum events create pairs of particles where one is the mathematical equivalent of the other travel the opposite direction through time. The creation event (for us) of the virtual pair is the creation of the particle traveling in time with us but the annihilation of the partner of the pair and the annihilation is the creation of the reverse time traveling particle. So the virtual pair causes itself. No magic needed.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      Max Planck

      Later in life, Planck’s views on God were that of a deist.[38] For example, six months before his death a rumour started that Planck had converted to Catholicism, but when questioned what had brought him to make this step, he declared that, although he had always been deeply religious, he did not believe “in a personal God, let alone a Christian God.”[39]

    • GubbaBumpkin

      Werner Heisenberg

      On 24 March 1973, Heisenberg gave a speech before the Catholic Academy of Bavaria, accepting the Romano Guardini
      Prize. An English translation of its title is “Scientific and Religious
      Truth.” And its stated goal was “In what follows, then, we shall first
      of all deal with the unassailability and value of scientific truth, and
      then with the much wider field of religion, of which – so far as the
      Christian religion is concerned – Guardini himself has so persuasively
      written; finally – and this will be the hardest part to formulate – we
      shall speak of the relationship of the two truths.”[132]

      1) He regards scientific truth as “unassailable”
      2) He does not hold the same regard for religion
      3) He considers science and religion not to be closely related, which means that in the quote you provided, he was probably talking out his ass.

    • adam

      “Rather than “simpler”, I would suggest a more accurate phrasing would be “every effect has a cause.””

      So what’s the cause of God that allows its’ effect to create?

    • http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/ EyesShiningAngrily

      Thank God, I’ve seen a sensible post at last.

    • eric

      I would suggest a more accurate phrasing would be “every effect has a cause.”

      Rephrasing won’t change the fact that it’s an assertion. Or at best, an inductive inference that seemed reasonably well justified up until the 20th century, but which has been undermined in the past 100 years or so by new observational evidence.

      Because I think, therefore it is impossible that God does not exist. My existence and everything around me could not come from nothing

      I don’t think that last claim holds up any more. But even giving you that, it’s a big unjustified step from a prime moving principal to the Christian God.

      Skipping back up a bit:

      “nothing” is not a “pre-something” such as the thinking that before the Big Bang there might have been a causeless quantum particle. No, nothing is not something reduced to a minimum, it is no thing whatsoever.

      Are laws of physics – in this case laws of conservation – ‘things’? If yes, then they could not have existed in your primordial ‘no thing.” But this poses a problem for the Christian because the claim “something can’t come from nothing” is itself a type of law of conservation. So if such laws are things, then the rule “something can’t come from nothing” could not have been governing your no thing….and therefore, something could come out of it, because no conservation law was there to prevent such a happening. On the other hand, if we say that laws of physcs – such as conservation laws – are not ‘things’ and so could exist in a primordial nothing without making hash of the concept, then there is no need of God.

      Which, if your counting hands, means there is no need for God, period. Either you’re okay with a rule-governed nothing in which case non-God things could be the prime mover, or you say a true nothing had no rules, in which case something could come out of it because there could be no rule preventing that from happening.

      • skl

        “Are laws of physics – in this case laws of conservation – ‘things’?”

        I think that Yes, they’re things, because we not only talk about them, we observe their effects and can quantify
        them with formulas.

        “If yes, then they could not have existed in your primordial ‘no thing.””

        I think that for all practical purposes the answer is again Yes. Science knows the laws of physics
        only because of their effect on other things. If none of those other things
        were in existence to be effected, there would be no way of discerning the
        existence of laws of physics. The laws of physics would be as good as
        nonexistent.

        I think it sensible to posit that both – those other things (i.e. matter and energy) and the laws of physics that
        govern them – came into existence at the same time.

        • eric

          I think that for all practical purposes the answer is again Yes. Science knows the laws of physics
          only because of their effect on other things. If none of those other things were in existence to be effected, there would be no way of discerning the existence of laws of physics.

          That’s a dodge. The question is whether the ‘primordial nothing’ or ‘no thing’ was governed by a conservation law that states ‘something can’t come from nothing.’ Was it? Or not?

          Because if Christians are positing a primordial nothing not governed by such a law, God is unnecessary. And if they claim laws like that don’t count as things and thus could have existed primordially, then God is unnecessary.

        • skl

          “That’s a dodge. The question is whether the ‘primordial nothing’ or ‘no thing’ was governed by a conservation law that states ‘something can’t come from nothing.’ Was it? Or not?”

          I think the answer is No. That is, the ‘primordial nothing’ or ‘no thing’ was not governed by a conservation law because the conservation law is a thing and things didn’t exist.

        • eric

          Then something can come from that nothing. No God needed, because no law or principle of conservation prevents it from happening.

          Right?

        • skl

          “Then something can come from that nothing.”

          I don’t see how, barring some “miracle”.

        • eric

          That’s the argument from incredulity. I don’t care if you ‘cant see how’: without a conservation rule preventing it, it could happen. Without a law preventing it from happening, something can come from nothing.

          So which “nothing” do you want? A rule-less one where God is not necessary? Or a rule-governed one where physics rules are a substitute for God as the prime mover?

          You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t declare the primordial nothing had no rules, then say something could not come out of it. ‘Could not’ is a rule.

        • skl

          “That’s the argument from incredulity. I don’t care if you ‘cant see how’:
          without a conservation rule preventing it, it could happen.”

          Without a conservation rule preventing what? There IS nothing, and so nothing for a non-existent conservation rule to have prevented.

          “Without a law preventing it from happening, something can come from
          nothing.”

          I don’t know what you’re basing that statement on. Certainly not science. Maybe some type of philosophy.

        • Susan

          without a conservation rule preventing what?

          Preventing something coming from nothing.

          I don’t know what you’re basing that statement on. Certainly not science. Maybe some type of philosophy.

          The claim “Something can’t come from nothing.” is not based on science, either.

          It’s “some type of philosophy”.

        • Susan

          I don’t see how.

          What would constrain anything?

        • Michael Neville

          I don’t see how, barring some “miracle”.

          Your ignorance and incredulity are not good arguments.

  • eric

    Philosophy comprises a lot of different things. Ethics. Aesthetics. Studies of historical modes of thought (Greed philosophy, Confucian philosophy, Mideval philosophy, etc.) or religious arguments. Symbolic logic. Probably lots of other things too. The fraction of philosophy and philosophers that spend their time trying to claim philosophy is necessary for science is probably very small.

    I was a double major in philosophy and chemistry in college. From a practical standpoint, the philosophy courses didn’t make me much of a better scientist. Some of it probably instilled in me a healthy skepticism of human observation, thus drilling into me the importance of reproducibility and tools like blinding a test and/or confirming it with independent instruments and techniques. But that’s probably the only real impact. OTOH, I don’t think my courses in things like symbolic logic, ethics, and the like were intended to make me a better scientist. They were intended to make me a clearer thinker about logical problems and ethical dilemmas. And they did that.

    So, I’d say that philosophy is mostly useless as a science-teaching or science-practice tool. The same way a course on the history of the civil war is pretty useless as a science-teaching or science-practice tool. You want to learn how to do (e.g.) physics well, take physics lab classes. Then intern in a physics lab – there is no substitute for practicing the real thing. But I’d also say that anyone attacking philosophy because it’s useless at physics is attacking a pretty idiotic and weak straw man.

    [Edit] Craig’s claims are neither good philosophy nor good science, so don’t really bear on the question of ‘what good is philosophy’ – unless the answer to that rhetorical question is “it’s good at preventing you from making idiotic reasoning mistakes like Craig’s.” If we want to discuss Craig, we should change the order of the title to read “What is good philosophy”, and then we can answer: “not his.”

  • MNb

    To paraphrase an ancient Greek philosopher: can some philosopher give BobS a quarter? Then he finally can say that a philosopher has done something for him lately. He won’t be happy with anything else – like telling him why Paley’s Watchmaker Analogy is false or presenting any other philosophical argument he uses to criticize christianity.

    • Susan

      can some philsopher give BobS a quarter?

      To be fair, I don’t think that BobS wanrs a quarter.

      Most of us (including BobS) just want to have reasonable discussions about stuff.

      But people like WLC dominate the airwaves of the discussion (and people like Ameribear claim “metaphysics, therefore, victory! I’m right!! )

      The same way those types misrepresent what math says and what math can do and proclaim victory.

      BobS. is busy doing philsopshy (whether he knows it or not)

      And people like Ameribear and WLC say “philosophy says I’m right”.

      For this reason, Bob S. hears “philosophy”: and gets a bad smell in his nose.

      Anyway, other than the title, you wouldn’t have a problem with the article.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      As the last line notes, I have another post planned that will say some nice things about philosophy. Maybe that will improve things a bit in your mind.

  • Pofarmer

    Ex Nihlo Nihli fit (from nothing comes nothing) is a little older than the Sound of Music. Lol. It goes back to the Ancient Greeks. Sean Carroll calls it the longest running circular argument.

  • http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/ EyesShiningAngrily

    Is the author having a laugh? What is clear is that he understands absolutely *nothing* about this subject whatsoever. And, unlike him, I’m using the word “nothing” in its actual sense.

    • Otto

      And you literally offered nothing as a rebuttal….well done giving a real example of nothing.

    • Rudy R

      I second the response from Otto. Show us what you got.

    • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

      Do you have an actual critique in mind? Because you’ve basically said nothing of substance.

    • Ignorant Amos

      That’ll be that philosophical definition of “nothing” in the actual sense…aka devoid of substance…just like your comment.

      When was there nothing?

  • DoorknobHead

    PHILOSOPHY — A BRUTE CROWBAR TO LOOSEN THE MIND UP A BIT
    Isn’t philosophy, at it’s best, just a starting point that challenges preconceived notions? When is philosophy most enlightening? Isn’t it when Plato or Pluto, Socrates or a sophic-tease creates an Eureka moment within the consumer? “Wow, my perspective just opened up! That is a surprising perspective I have never considered before that seems to fit reality perfectly given the argument presented.” This gives a chance for the consumer to think, “Wow, I may have been thinking wrongly about this my whole life — I wonder what else I might be wrong about?” Yet, once this new nugget is in the toolbox of the consumer, they still have to test it against reality to see how good of a model it might be –> “Science, bitches.” Eureka! Religion may be when one stops at philosophy without testing it adequately.

    • TheNuszAbides

      aye, the stress-test is paramount!

  • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

    In it’s original usage, the word “philosophy” was a term used for the study of any body of knowledge, which is why the terminal degree for most academic professors is the PhD (Doctorate of Philosophy). The scope of what is now taught in a contemporary department of philosophy has shrunk as our body of knowledge has exponentially expanded.

    The attempt by some to pit “philosophy” against “science” is a basic misunderstanding. Science IS philosophy. It is a branch of philosophy that has advanced so far in depth and complexity, it leaves what used to be termed as “metaphysical philosophy” in the dust.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      The attempt by some to pit “philosophy” against “science” is a basic misunderstanding.

      That misunderstanding has been fed by those practicing sophistry, particularly in defense of theism. If philosophy wants to maintain a reputation as a serious endeavour, perhaps it should call out those who misuse the tools of philosophy. Otherwise they are perceived as representing the field.

  • http://secularoutpost.infidels.org/ Jeffery Jay Lowder

    I’m stuck at the second paragraph.

    1. What, precisely, is “popular philosophy”? Is that supposed to mean non-academic philosophy? You single out philosopher William Lane Craig, but. as his leading atheist critic on the Internet for the last 20 years, I think you are being massively uncharitable to him. The man is an academic philosopher and most of his work is at an academic level, not a popular (read: non-scholarly) level.

    2. Moving on, you claim that brings “popular philosophy,” whatever that means, “into the study of problems in physics and biology as if they’re making an important contribution to the scientific conversation.” It seems to me that is not only false, but obviously false. I’ve read most of the man’s work and I have never once seen him claim, imply, or otherwise suggest that he’s “making an important contribution to the scientific conversation.” That is a strawman of your own creation.

    All me to explain using one of your own examples: the kalam cosmological argument.

    Craig says that the scientific field of cosmology provides strong evidence that (i) our universe is expanding; (ii) the expansion has a beginning; and (iii) our universe has a beginning. (As an aside, I agree with him about i and ii, but consider iii unproven.) I’m fairly confident that Craig would categorize (i)-(iii) as scientific claims, not philosophical claims. Furthermore, nowhere does Craig claim that philosophy “makes an important contribution to the scientific conversation” regarding (i)-(iii).

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Thanks for your input.

      1. What, precisely, is “popular philosophy”? Is that supposed to mean non-academic philosophy?

      I mean thoughtless philosophy—something stated as common sense that really hasn’t been checked out or thought through.

      You single out philosopher William Lane Craig, but. as his leading atheist critic on the Internet for the last 20 years, I think you are being massively uncharitable to him. The man is an academic philosopher and most of his work is at an academic level, not a popular (read: non-scholarly) level.

      Yes, I am aware of and greatly appreciate your work in responding to him and trying to get him to debate.

      WLC has impressive degrees, and yet his popular work (I don’t believe I’ve read any of his scholarly work) is often pathetic (in the eyes of this admitted amateur). As these examples show, he justifies his statements with arguments that might not get a passing grade in high school. What am I missing?

      I have never once seen him claim, imply, or otherwise suggest that he’s “making an important contribution to the scientific conversation.”

      He doesn’t make arguments to the scientific community; he brings his scientific arguments to the lay population. It’s in that domain that I see him imagining making a contribution to the scientific conversation.

      Craig says that the scientific field of cosmology provides strong evidence that (i) our universe is expanding; (ii) the expansion has a beginning; and (iii) our universe has a beginning. (As an aside, I agree with him about i and ii, but consider iii unproven.)

      Also an aside: I find (ii) weak because the Big Bang, as I understand it, doesn’t point to a beginning but simply says that there’s a point beyond which you can’t go back in time with current thinking. That does suggest a beginning, but I don’t think that “the Big Bang says that the universe had a beginning” is correct.

  • Ryan M

    I’m not sure how this is a critique of the use of philosophy. The author cited a few things from William Lane Craig, Leibniz, and Aquinas. This seems less like a critique of philosophy and more like a critique of the usefulness of particular aspects of the philosophy of religion.

    When a person’s knowledge of philosophy appears to come from sparring with theists on blogs, the person is obviously not knowledgeable enough to critique the usefulness of philosophy as a discipline.

  • Fred Knight

    Great blog post! nail on the head….”pop” philosophy indeed…true philosophy is unbiased. I find it rather sickening that philosophy is being trotted out in either direction.

  • TheNuszAbides

    I think I see Hawking’s/your point, in that Philosophers as a specialized class have faded into obscurity/micro-minority, as ‘vanguard minds’ over the past 2 or 3 or 4 centuries of post-“natural philosophy”, e.g. the intensely practical disciplines of the physical sciences. once upon a time, philosophers by definition were at the top of the terrain of ideas, because proto-scientists and -technocrats still didn’t have telescopes or microscopes or particle accelerators or howitzers to play with. there was less knowledge to branch out or specialize in, so each and every philosopher could kick around and/or refine a lot of the same stuff from generation to generation. but now it’s hardly fair to expect even a polymath to develop a substantive synthesis of physics and biochemistry and genetics and probability and plain old word-gamey philosophy …
    however, i think the more recent (half-century-ish) developments in ‘science of mind’ have in a way given philosophy ‘another chance’ at achieving relevance/prominence. at the very least, ‘applied philosophy’ is a better way to carve out the rotten overkill/over-reach of PoMo/relativism, on logical grounds, than simply trashing it root and branch (as so many Sokal Hoax fanbois seem to think is essential). even more hopefully, they can re-focus on our cerebral shenanigans and get stuck back into metaethics/metaphysics. good for giving religious excuse-making a rigorous verbal smack-down or two, if nothing else … I mean, there was shit even Nietzsche didn’t have the resources to figure out, amirite?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I’m happy to see philosophers (that is, not scientists) contribute to scientific questions, I just haven’t seen examples. It’s always scientists with a philosopher’s hat on (or just scientists).

      • MR

        God-damn it, Bob, scientists aren’t allowed to think. That’s the philosopher’s job!

  • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

    That is a great and challenging read Bob.

    I have some observations. Not empirical observations mind you, but logical observations which is what philosophy is all about.

    Bob writes: “The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics (there are other interpretations, but this one may be the most popular among physicists) says that some events at the quantum level have no cause. For example, when thorium-234 naturally decays into protactinium-234, the nucleus emits an electron. The electron wasn’t in the nucleus before, and it had no cause. The universe at the beginning of the Big Bang might have also been a cause-less quantum particle.”

    Let’s take the Copenhagen interpretation seriously for the sake of argument. If we extend the interpretation to the universe as you suggested, what you are really saying is that a quantum particle existed eternally, which is another way of saying it requires no explanation or evidence.

    That suggestion is the converse of the Kalam argument. ‘Something that always existed does not require a cause.’ It smacks of ‘nature of the gaps’ convenience the same way invoking God can when not argued properly.

    Logic tells me that the reason WLC says that something cannot come into being uncaused is that it would be the antithesis of science. It would be ‘magic’. And as WLC has said, this is common sense. But it is better to explain WHY it is common sense than simply say it.

    If I accept the Copenhagen interpretation I must accept on faith that electrons pop into existence from a source we call nothing. But we can never mean by that ‘nothing’ in the strict philosophical sense. Rather, I mean that I cannot observe it empirically. It is the equivalent of what you criticized as platitude. ‘It just IS’.

    My main point is that we err when we conflate evidence for proof. We may prefer to think of the inexplicable (the magic) of our world as impersonal, as an objective natural wilderness that sees nothing, knows nothing, and expects nothing. In other words, we may wish to observe the universe from the philosophical position of, ‘It is what it is’.

    But how is that in any way superior (in evidential terms) to others who find logical grounds to believe (whether they prefer it or not, and many who DO believe it, do not prefer) that it is more tenable to observe the universe from the philosophical position of, ‘I am that I am?

    Given the startling evidential relationship between quantum effects and the observer (how can energy be both a particle and a wave?), it occurs to me that consciousness is a more logical explanation for why some effects are inexplicable in terms of empirical or mechanical causation. And that suggests to me that theism has the high ground.

    No one can prove either interpretation. We must proceed on philosophical ground, because if the Copenhagen interpretation is correct, there can BE no evidence. If the theisric interpretation is correct, we might find our evidence, but we will have to ask God for both the ‘how’ and the ‘why’s.

    I think Lennox illustrates the difficulty you’ve raised exceptionally well. Sauce for the Goose indeed! The locus of these questions seem to be in our questions (and philosophical presuppositions) regarding consciousness and energy. Empirical science cannot help us there.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IByCl_enr4A

    • epeeist

      What it is really saying is that a quantum particle existed eternally, which is another way of saying it requires no explanation or evidence.

      No it isn’t, what it is saying is that one can produce a description of the thorium-234/protactinium-234/electron system as a superposition of states each of which has a particular probability. We could write a complete description of this as:

      √p|T> + √(1-p)|P+E>

      The point being that there is nothing that tells us if and when a particular thorium nucleus will decay, it is purely stochastic.

      Given the startling evidential relationship between quantum effects (how can energy be both a particle and a wave?) and the observer,

      Several things are wrong with this, things are not both particles and waves, they are what they are. It is our conceptual schema that describe things as particles and waves.

      It is poorer analogy the deeper one looks, quantum field theory would consider “particles” as merely weak excitations of a quantum field.

      Finally, be careful when you refer to “observers”, unfortunately some pop-science leads people to believe that an “observer” is some kind of conscious entity. This is very much a minority view of those working at the foundation of quantum mechanics.

      • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

        Thank you…

        First things first. Forgive my ignorance, but what are the tags used here to create a readable quote block as you have? I need to catch up on my formatting skills.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Testing…

          This link might help ya out….

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nailed it.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          The nice thing about knowing nothing and being humble about my ignorance is that there is so much to learn. That’s hard for people who think they know everything and have papers to prove it.

          10 years ago I had tags dialed at a particularly nasty atheist forum. They’re quite valuable tools. Thanks again.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The nice thing about knowing nothing and being humble about my ignorance is that there is so much to learn.

          That’s refreshing to hear. In my experience, believers are very rarely of that position. That’s when they get stupid and start using my moniker against me as some kind of mocking tool, not realising how much of a dumbass it makes them in doing so.

          The majority of the religious think they have all the answers already, so with a few exceptions, are completely close minded. The not close minded are the ones that learn enough to realise the problems with religion and oft times give it up as a bad job.

          That’s hard for people who think they know everything and have papers to prove it.

          Of course, paper isn’t the end all and be all…plenty of very brainy folk have displayed their foolishness, but that ain’t the case here. I’ve associated, on and off, on a number of forums with epeeist for ten years now and I can’t remember an occasion when he has been wrong. That’s not to say he hasn’t, or couldn’t, be in error, but that fact would need to be demonstrated.

          Amateurs like you and I need some pretty damning counter arguments to refute someone with a doctorate. That would usually mean citing someone else with a doctorate that holds a contradictory position, and understanding the reason why. That’s a big ask for most of the more high brow disciplines. That’s why a pick ma fights, while lurk on many others.

          I think you mistake epeeist’s directness for bullying too…I’ve seen that happen before also.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          I’ve been Neo running from agents many (many) times if you’ll appreciate the analogy. I’ve gotten cocky with new revelation and thought I knew Kung Fu, only to have Morpheus kick my Arse. Repeat both of those scenarios daily for 17 years and that is why I respect my own ignorance. My name is nobody.

          I also have given up religion as a bad joke during that malaise (just like Moses and Peter and Thomas and others in case you did not notice), I am just a truck driver after all. I can’t figure these things out.

          But if Logic (Trinity) is with us and we are honest about it, new information that paints an entirely different picture emerges, and gives new life as it were. It is not a cocky and egotistical position, all that melted away in the fire of war. I am too defeated to be arrogant. And that frees the mind to see clearly. Its rather astounding actually. No fear and a second wind or an effortless ability.

          Take Doc Holiday’s character from the Hollywood version of Tombstone for example. He is fearless because he has Tuberculosis. He is already a dead man. That is the baptism. Once we are dead to self, God can work through us in orders of magnitude rarely seen.

          As for epeeist never being wrong… there’s a first time for everything. I may not know him personally, but I know his kind. I don’t mind the directness at all. I find it rather useful to tell you the truth. His ego (because of that pedigree) is his Achilles heel.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYwdzYC3uUc

        • Ignorant Amos

          Just when we were getting along so well too.

          I also have given up religion as a bad joke during that malaise (just like Moses and Peter and Thomas and others in case you did not notice),…

          Just like Moses and Peter and Thomas and others? Care to expand?

          I am just a truck driver after all.

          Even as a truck driver you should be able to understand. How would you interact with someone that hadn’t past their driving test or held a license, let alone an HGV license, erroneously giving it large about the foibles, to use a fencing term, on the discipline of cross continental truck driving and loading/off loading etiquette.

          I can’t figure these things out.

          Then why get upset when that is being pointed out?

          But if Logic (Trinity) is with us and we are honest about it, new information that paints an entirely different picture emerges, and gives new life as it were.

          There is nothing logical about the Trinity. Maybe the reason not all Christians are Trinitarian’s, and those that are, can’t explain it.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQLfgaUoQCw

          It is not a cocky and egotistical position, all that melted away in the fire of war. I am too defeated to be arrogant. And that frees the mind to see clearly. Its rather astounding actually. No fear and a second wind or an effortless ability.

          That is just incoherent woo woo…word salad is incoherent.

          Take Doc Holiday’s character from the Hollywood version of Tombstone for example. He is fearless because he has Tuberculosis. He is already a dead man.

          Was he fearless because he had TB? Can you demonstrate he was? Didn’t he have a reputation for being fearless before contracting TB? It would seem he was by some accounts.

          He was given only a few months to live when first diagnosed, but he ended up having TB for many years. Holiday’s fearlessness can just as easily be attributed to his handiness with a gun borne out of his activities as a gambling card shark.

          What about all those fearless folk that don’t have TB and thus are not already “dead men”? Where does their fearlessness come from? What about all those folk who are diagnosed with terminal illness, yet never become fearless?

          That is the baptism. Once we are dead to self, God can work through us in orders of magnitude rarely seen.

          Unsubstantiated platitudes are all very well, but they are of no consequence unless they can be demonstrated with evidence. Got evidence?

          As for epeeist never being wrong… there’s a first time for everything.

          If you read what I wrote, not what you think I wrote, you’ll discover your straw man.

          I may not know him personally, but I know his kind.

          What kind is that then?

          I don’t mind the directness at all. I find it rather useful to tell you the truth.

          So then what’s your beef here? Pointing out that you appear to not have a clue about basic physics and logic, is being direct and telling the truth. You playing the victim card is not being logical. What you need to do is demonstrate the assumption that you don’t know basic physics and logic is fallacious by showing that you do. You haven’t as far as I can see….yet.

          His ego (because of that pedigree) is his Achilles heel.

          Possibly, but you have yet to show that it is, so pah!

          In the meantime, are you suggesting that when you believe you are the holder of a pedigree in a certain field, say truck driving for example, your ego wouldn’t enter into a discussion with someone who has no pedigree in that field? I doubt it.

          There is nothing wrong with an ego that can be supported…but we should use the less controversial term of a branch in “self concept” methinks.

          Academic self-concept refers to the personal beliefs about their academic abilities or skills.

          It will only be his Achilles heel when he is faced by his academic Paris, but on that day I’ll go out on a limb and state that there will be no problem, that’s how honest scientists roll.

        • Greg G.

          There is nothing logical about the Trinity.

          Not “THE” Trinity. He is referring to Trinity, the woman in The Matrix. Don’t be disrespecting Carrie Anne Moss characters.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not “THE” Trinity. He is referring to Trinity, the woman in The Matrix.

          Ah…right…a bit cryptic. All these references to other examples of fiction in his comments…even historical fiction…is getting a bit much.

          The reference to Trinity makes even less sense…or I’m on a different wavelength and not getting it it? Always a possibility.

          Don’t be disrespecting Carrie Anne Moss characters.

          Never.

        • Greg G.

          The reference to Trinity makes even less sense…or I’m on a different wavelength and not getting it it?

          Where is james warren when you need a metaphor explained?

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          You don’t listen well at all. You read words but not the point.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Robert, it would be nice to see you make a point I could discern from amongst all the enigmatic riddles, that had some validity. So far, nothing yet, with reference to the topic at hand.

          As for not listening well at all, it seem’s like that must be catching.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, humility is a good approach. In some Christian circles, it’s in short supply.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          One can be knowledgeable and fierce, yet remain humble. We were talking about humility in a 12 step group that I co-lead this morning. Its one of those severe tests of character that is worth revisiting frequently.

          In particular we discussed false humility, which really boils down to playing the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Greg and Amos come to mind with the upvotes and amicable posturing as they circle and wait for an opportunity to strike.

          Some of us have been at this long enough to see it from a mile away. It can be used to lead them into my trap. But I make no pretense of the harmless sheep. I prefer the motto, ‘be wise as serpents and innocent as doves’

          Good to hear from you Bob. Let’s keep in touch…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIiA4SM3LEY

        • Ignorant Amos

          In particular we discussed false humility, which really boils down to playing the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Greg and Amos come to mind with the upvotes and amicable posturing as they circle and wait for an opportunity to strike.

          You are being disingenuous now, which is a form of dishonesty. Both Greg and I, hold similar view points in many areas, we’ve known each other online for a few years now, why wouldn’t we be amicable? As for upvoting, I wouldn’t read too much into that, people upvote for all manner of reasons, not least of which is to acknowledge reading a particular comment.

          If you can’t hack being a member of the out group when finding yourself in an in group environment, maybe you should think twice about engaging in the proceedings, it will get worse before it gets better with the attitude you have brought with you.

          But, since that is your stance on our interaction and you can’t handle the pace…I’ll leave ya alone.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Robert seems obsessed with debating games and rhetorical tricks. If he has something to say, I wonder that he doesn’t just let his good argument stand on its own rather than lead with all the bluster.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He’s trying to be more “sooofistykated” than his ever present blue collar will allow.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So far we know that you’re humble but that, like the lion, every once in a while you tear the shit out of everyone, just to show them who’s boss.

          Let’s see if you have compelling arguments before we grant you the title of king of the jungle.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          That is the beauty of a public setting Bob. Neither you nor I have to convince each other of anything. I would not presume to change your mind if we had a million years to hash this out.

        • MNb

          You gave some nice examples of false humility, when you tried to explain what Quantum Mechanics means for the Cosmological Argument to a physicist and a teacher physics …..
          Instead of preferring that motto you should rather try to put it into practice. Just underneath you did the exact opposite of your beloved motto, see:

          “Logic is the king of the jungle. He is a friend of mine though.”
          In the first place you don’t recognize that even this king is subject to a simple rule: if a logical conclusion contradicts the empirical data then the premisses are wrong.
          In the second place in contrast to you I’m not arrogant enough to claim that logic is a friend of mine. I’m a too simple guy to do anything but obey – and that makes a friendship impossible.

        • Luvin’ it

          Don’t forget atheists too after all by the numbers they’re waaaaaay behind theists (conservative theists at that) in terms of charity. Non religious liberals are dead last

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          1. I’m sure if you look at enough traits, you’ll find some where the theists do better than the atheists. Doesn’t surprise or bother me.

          2. And yet … this ain’t one of them. Eliminate the contributions to the church, and the theists don’t win this race, either (in the US, anyway).

        • adam

          ” That’s hard for people who think they know everything and have papers to prove it.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7e6eceefda06b08605b3653301b5e246ee7fbd6ce2a594a4e6a0d18e41ce10f5.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Like someone who thinks the scutum fidei logically explains the existence of the Trinity, when all it does is…

          [ ]… conclude that God is not God, and so the doctrine of the Trinity implies that God as well as all three persons of the Trinity violate the law of identity. One of the fundamental assumptions of conventional logic is that objects that violate the law of identity do not exist: there is no entity that is not itself. This means several things:

          If trinitarianism is true, then God does not exist, and neither do any of his three persons.

          If God exists, then by the law of noncontradiction the Trinity is a false doctrine.

          If God exists and the Trinity is true, it can mean two things:

          Logic is meaningless, because it is possible to prove anything, including the existence and the non-existence of God.

          Trinity means something else than its Christian definition.

          It requires a “special” kind of brain to hold on to beliefs like this. The exercise is reminiscent of the Orwellian “logic test” 2+2=5, which signified to the party that someone has been “broken”, since anyone capable of accepting that could accept anything. Non-mystics may experience difficulty in envisaging 1 = 3 and 3 = 1 – even though the two statements appear commutative.

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Trinity#Some_attempts_at_formal_logic

      • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

        “No it isn’t, what it is saying is that one can produce a description of the thorium-234/protactinium-234/electron system as a superposition of states each of which has a particular probability. We could write a complete description of this as:
        √p|T> + √(1-p)|P+E>
        The point being that there is nothing that tells us if and when a particular thorium nucleus will decay, it is purely stochastic.”

        But that is no different than when I interfere with your sword by cutting my own across it. You could not have mathematically predicted that your sword would stop at the point it did by studying physics. As an experienced swordsman, you might expect this angle or that, but I surprised you. You will need to ask ME why I made the move I did that violated your expectations. You predicted a win, but lost. The phenomenon of consciousness, free choice, and creativity is very much present.

        It may appear random to you, but the old saying of ‘God doesn’t play dice’ comes to mind. Science and mathematics won’t help explain conscious activity.

        “Several things are wrong with this, things are not both particles and waves, they are what they are. It is our conceptual schema that describe things as particles and waves.
        It is poorer analogy the deeper one looks, quantum field theory would consider “particles” as merely weak excitations of a quantum field.”

        I understand completely. It is exactly the same with the theological concept of the trinity. Allow me to use your own formula.

        -TheGodhead is not both Father and Son, he is who he is. It is our conceptual schema that describe those attributes as Father and Son…. Christian theology would describe the Son as merely a weak manifestation of the Godhead. And it would be a poor analogy indeed to see the Son as separate from the Father.-

        A Jastrow quote comes to mind…

        “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” -Robert Jastrow

        “Finally, be careful when you refer to “observers”, unfortunately some pop-science leads people to believe that an “observer” is some kind of conscious entity. This is very much a minority view of those working at the foundation of quantum mechanics.”

        -smile- Yes, of course. I do not wonder. Be careful epeeir. The Logos (the name John gave to Jesus) is faster than you think. And he is a very good teacher.

        Next?

        https://youtu.be/Sq-uMIZGETs?t=55

        • epeeist

          But that is no different than when I interfere with your sword by cutting my own across it.

          It is very different, your sword does not exist in a superposition of two (or more) states.

          It may appear random to you, but the old saying of ‘God doesn’t play dice’ comes to mind.

          But this has nothing to do with your god, merely Einstein claiming that quantum mechanics is an incomplete description of reality. Given that Einstein’s EPR thought experiment was shown to be false with the work of John Bell and the experiments of Alain Aspect then Einstein was wrong.

          It is exactly the same with the theological concept of the trinity.

          Nope, the trinity cannot be described using a first order boolean algebra (I have issued a challenge to others in the past to produce a logical schema for the Scutum Fidei, so far I have had no takers).

          As for Robert Jastrow, he was wrong when he said “Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment.”, for a start off science doesn’t prove anything, it provides the best current explanation for a particular set of phenomena. Secondly, our current theories break down at the Planck epoch, this being so all we can say is that the universe was in existence after this. Before this (if “before” has any meaning in this context) we cannot say.

          EDIT: As for fencing, I prefer Aaron Szilagyi:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGearEu2PlU

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          “It is very different, your sword does not exist in a superposition of two (or more) states.”

          You missed the point (or you are evading it) entirely. Where is my sword going to be when you swing yours?

          Will it cut across your own, or will I thrust it into your collar from above?

          “Nope, the trinity cannot be described using a first order boolean algebra (I have issued a challenge to others in the past to produce a logical schema for the Scutum Fidei, so far I have had no takers).”

          Boolean algeabra won’t explain why my daughter is laughing at you either. Math is not an applicable tool for everything. Does that mean she isn’t really laughing?
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBcqd3cFRDU

          “As for Robert Jastrow, he was wrong when he said “Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment.”, for a start off science doesn’t prove anything, it provides the best current explanation for a particular set of phenomena. Secondly, our current theories break down at the Planck epoch, this being so all we can say is that the universe was in existence after this. Before this (if “before” has any meaning in this context) we cannot say.”

          Think about it. Jastrow was saying the same thing YOU are, that mathematics and empirical SCIENCE cannot say.

          Asserting it as proven FACT that the universe had a beginning as he did, is no different than what YOU mean when you speak of scientific fact. All of us (you, Jastrow, and myself) ALREADY know that there are no proofs and that ‘science carries the caviat. Are you equivocating concepts on me?

          We are FORCED by our ignorance to use philosophy. And philosophy can be tested for logical contradiction the same as empirical entities. One with mathematics, and the other with propositional logic. Both rely on the same fundamental laws of logic. There is no point in questioning the validity of philosophy, because the attempt will always ITSELF be a philosophical criticism. Its like trying to demonstrate mathematically that mathematics is worthless.

          It would seem you thought you put this all to rest by slaying others in the past.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ62frK74u0

        • epeeist

          You missed the point (or you are evading it) entirely. Where is my sword going to be when you swing yours?

          In that case could you please provide me with the state vector for the situation you are describing, it would be useful if you could identify the Hermitians at the same time.

          Boolean algeabra won’t explain why my daughter is laughing at you either. But logic will.

          Classical logic is a boolean algebra. However, if you can demonstrate the logical consistency of the Scutum Fidei be my guest.

          Jastrow was saying the same thing YOU are, that mathematics and empirical SCIENCE cannot say.

          Ah, the Auguste Comte fallacy. There is of course a difference between something that is unknown and something that is unknowable. Can you actually demonstrate that the formation of the universe is unknowable?

          All of us (you, Jastrow, and myself) ALREADY know that there are no proofs

          You betray your lack of understanding of the way science works by using the word “proof”.

          ‘science carries the caviat.

          What’s a “caviat”?

          And philosophy can be tested for logical contradiction the same as empirical entities.

          But deductive logic relies on the truth of its propositions, how can one tell whether, say, “everything that begins to exist has a cause” is true or not?

          Both rely on the same fundamental laws of logic.

          Which logic, there are many (try something like Susan Haack’s The Philosophy of Logics for a non-exhaustive list)?

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_yRJOX1fppQ

          “In that case could you please provide me with the state vector for the situation you are describing, it would be useful if you could identify the Hermitians at the same time.”

          That’s your problem not mine. You’re making my point. When you are dealing with conscious entities your beloved mathematics falls apart unless I reveal my next move.

          “Classical logic is a boolean algebra. However, if you can demonstrate the logical consistency of the Scutum Fidei be my guest.”

          I know nothing about it. But that is why I do this, to learn your moves and expose them publicly when applicable. Thanks for the research tip.

          “Ah, the Auguste Comte fallacy. There is of course a difference between something that is unknown and something that is unknowable. Can you actually demonstrate that the formation of the universe is unknowable?”

          What??? I believe the universe IS knowable. There would be no point in doing science (philosophically or empirically) without the faith that it is ultimately intelligible.

          Your moving goalposts again. Not to worry, I’ve come to expect that sort of thing.

          It is not a question of wether it is knowable, but a question of What tools are necessary for different phenomenon. You are conflating categories. If you want to know why a pot of coffee is brewing thermodynamics won’t help. It is because I needed a cup of Joe.

          By forcing ALL phenomenon into your little box of mathematics, you risk whatever credibility you have as a brilliant mathematician with your obvious blunder into philosophical nonsense.

          IF the universe is the act of conscious choice for purposes and meaning DEFINED by the creator, science will not take you all the way. It will help a great deal, but you will ultimately need to ask HIM about your missing vectors.

          That does not make it unknowable epeeir. It simply makes you uncomfortable, and me too for what it’s worth. But I find I learn more by stepping out of my emotional comfort zone into real wildness. Nothing is more wild than conscious activity.

          “But deductive logic relies on the truth of its propositions, how can one tell whether, say, “everything that begins to exist has a cause” is true or not?”

          We can’t. We must accept logic as axiomatic by Faith. There is no other light for intelligibility. That is why John called him the true light.

          The REAL question is whether you are prepared to accept the alternative, that things can magically pop into existence UNCAUSED?

          Both beliefs require faith, but if you value science… choose wisely.

          “Which logic, there are many (try something like Susan Haack’s The Philosophy of Logics for a non-exhaustive list)?”

          Wow.. are you calling into question the tool you need to argue with if there is to be any difference between a fallacious and a valid argument? As I edited into my last reply (reread it), ‘who is the real Slim Sophist now?

          The law of non contradiction is all we need for this discussion. You see epeeier… I don’t have to persuade you. Persuasion is not my goal. If it were I’d be sending private messages to people like you.

          What matters is that OTHERS can see you obfuscate and evade with your games and sophistry all the while characterizing things as if it is the other way around.

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TVsNEIOXTQc

        • epeeist

          That’s your problem not mine.

          No, it’s your problem. I offer some basic physics, something you plainly have no understanding of. Rather than admit this you attempt to change the subject.

          I believe the universe IS knowable.

          Which is not what I asked, I asked whether you to demonstrate that the formation of the universe is unknowable.

          By forcing ALL phenomenon into your little box of mathematics, you risk whatever credibility you have as a brilliant mathematician with your obvious blunder into philosophical nonsense.

          Where did I do this?

          Wow.. are you calling into question the tool you need to argue with

          Off the top of my head I can point to predicate logic (first and second order), epistemic and doxastic logic, modal logics of various degrees of rigour and a variety of multi-value logics, which tool are you talking about?

          The law of non contradiction is all we need for this discussion.

          Oh, and paraconsistent logic which dispenses with the law of non-contradiction. While we are at it, there are some that don’t accept the law of excluded middle. On top of that you have one of the great logicians of the 20th century, Willard Van Orman Quine, who thought that logic was revisable.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          No, it’s your problem. I offer some basic physics, something you plainly have no understanding of. Rather than admit this you attempt to change the subject.

          You asked a complex question by conflating categories. Putting it back into proper context is not changing the subject, but exposes your error.

          Which is not what I asked, I asked whether you to demonstrate that the formation of the universe is unknowable.

          Asked whether ‘you to demonstrate’? Got a caveat for that grammar?

          Oh, and paraconsistent logic which dispenses with the law of non-contradiction. While we are at it, there are some that don’t accept the law of excluded middle. On top of that you have one of the great logicians of the 20th century, Willard Van Orman Quine, who thought that logic was revisable.

          Oh, he thought did he? Insert hearty blue collar chuckle.

          To dispense with the law of non contradiction IS the law of non contradiction. Equivocating, by changing the term contradict to dispense… will not save you.

        • epeeist

          You asked a complex question by conflating categories.

          To be blunt, I doubt whether you know what is meant by “complex question”, but hey-ho.

          Anyway, what happened was that I gave you something straight from quantum mechanics 101 which you didn’t understand and tried to cover up firstly by a ridiculous analogy and then by attempting to shift subject. Not the first time this kind of thing has happened here.

          Got a caveat for that grammar?

          So I made a mistake, I never claimed to be infallible.

          Oh, he thought did he? Insert hearty blue collar chuckle.

          So you have never heard of Quine, but given that you know nothing about philosophy this is hardly surprising.

          To dispense with the law of non contradiction IS the law of non contradiction.

          Let’s add logic to philosophy as something you nothing about.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          To be blunt, I doubt whether you know what is meant by “complex question”, but hey-ho.

          LOL, I’m counting on that very thing. Keep underestimating.

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ry9ztvh8Ac8

        • Ignorant Amos

          Robert seems to be confused on what it is philosopher’s do…

          Oh, he thought did he? Insert hearty blue collar chuckle.

          A list of some famous thinkers of the past, and the great thinkers of today. These are people who offered some new ideas and thought to help improve the situation of the world. These thinkers come from a range of different areas from science and philosophy to human rights and politics.

          http://www.biographyonline.net/people/famous/great-thinkers.html

        • epeeist

          Robert seems to be confused on what it is philosopher’s do…

          Robert seems to be suffering from a severe case of DKS, it seems to lead to bloviation and bombast.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          What’s a “caviat”?

          Haha!

          Physicist… meet blue collar truck driver… with a lot of time to think things through and listen to lectures and debates.

        • epeeist

          with a lot of time to think things through and listen to lectures and debates

          But not a lot of clue about basic physics or logic.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Feel emboldened to demonstrate that accusation as you’ve managed to find a spelling error. You’re almost home. And since I really dont like bullies I’ll help deliver you. Ask me why…

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kKK7LmywKOQ

        • Ignorant Amos

          Feel emboldened to demonstrate that accusation as you’ve managed to find a spelling error.

          As a blue collar truck driver, even one that has had a lot of time to think things through and listen to lectures and debates. It might be prudent not to get into an argument about physics and logic with someone who is an accomplished physicist that is well read and educated in the area of logic. Just saying.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Thanks for the advice. I’ve been on the receiving end of the appeal to authority many times before with my brothers. I never cared much for the fancy clothes, boots, and hat, but consider it duly noted.

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qwb3P0fuM1c

        • Ignorant Amos

          Btw, the appeal to authority isn’t a fallacy if the authority is genuine.

          Example

          ” The Pope told me that priests could turn bread and wine into Jesus’ body and blood. The Pope is not a liar. Therefore, priests really can do this.”

          Explanation: The Pope may believe what he says, and perhaps the Pope is not a liar, but the Pope is not an authority on the fact that the bread and wine are actually transformed into Jesus’ body and blood. After all, how much flesh and blood does this guy Jesus actually have to give?

          Exception: Appealing to authority is valid when the authority is actually a legitimate (debatable) authority on the facts of the argument. In the above example, if Jesus testified that this was actually happening, I guess we’d have to believe him. The above example demonstrates the kind of subtle difference in being an authority on the idea of transubstantiation vs. the actual effectiveness of transubstantiation.

          https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/21/Appeal-to-Authority

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Well aware thanks. I don’t know everything but you can dispense with the basics.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Btw, have you ever heard of something so stupid as the concept of transubstantiation? I can’t even believe people try to defend it for any protracted period of time. They must not read their bibles or take Jesus all that seriously. Not that I didn’t wrestle with it at one time, but for the love of Reason and all that is Holy, people ought to catch on at some point.

          On eating flesh and drinking blood…

          John 6:60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

          61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.

          Jesus is intentionally provoking thought and even explains that in order to understand the point they should not take it literally but figuratively. He very intentionally makes it VERY difficult. That removes the insincere quickly.

          Spirit = logic and intellect. To be spiritual is to be mindful and intellectual. Like Sheep, we need to chew and chew, and then cough it back up and chew some more. Cud is your friend.

          How badly do we want truth? Are we willing to dig down deep through many layers sand until we find bedrock?

        • Greg G.

          It seems to be a theme in the Gospel of John that Jesus is misunderstood. It is a literary technique to expand on subjects.

          In John 3, Nicodemus speaks with Jesus. Jesus tells him he must be born “from above/again” which is a pun in Greek. Nicodemus thinks he said “born again” but Jesus explains that he means “born from above”. Since the pun doesn’t work in other languages, the conversation would have been in Greek. But would a Pharisee speak with Jesus in Greek in Jerusalem? In Antiquities of the Jews 20.11.2, which would be more than twenty years after leaving Jerusalem, Josephus says “I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks, and understand the elements of the Greek language, although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own tongue, that I cannot pronounce Greek with sufficient exactness; for our nation does not encourage those that learn the languages of many nations”.

          The conversation seems to be a fictional account which puts John 3:16 in doubt.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Please, I am not interested in swallowing up my time with coincidental and circumstantial criticisms.

          I have seen such parallels before. C.S. Lewis dealt with this line of argument in his book Miracles. I see no logical reason to assume a causal link. So what if it was a pun in Greek?

          Consider the following because the same weak criticism exists here as well. I have made sure the video will start at the proper line of argument for you:

          https://youtu.be/Uv4kx2QP4UM?t=349

        • Greg G.

          So what if it was a pun in Greek?

          I notice the foreigners at work speak their first language among themselves, even when they speak English very well. A conversation between two Aramaic speakers in Jerusalem in Greek seems strange.

          The video questions how the dying/rising god could come to the Jews. I think they got it from the Suffering Servant in Isaiah. Isaiah 53 has the servant dying for sins and then intercessing for sins. They had been hoping for the Messiah to come since the mid-second century BC. They began to read Isaiah’s Suffering Servant as “a hidden mystery”. When they began to see it that way, they assumed it was being revealed to their generation which implied that the Messiah would come to their generation. That’s why Paul used the first person plural when talking about it and the third person plural for the dead who would rise when it happened. Paul says he got his gospel from the Old Testament and we can check that by seeing that everything he says about Jesus can be found in the Old Testament. He didn’t know any first century information about Jesus and he didn’t think his knowledge was inferior to the knowledge of the super-apostles, because he knew they got their information from the same text he did.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Btw, have you ever heard of something so stupid as the concept of transubstantiation? I can’t even believe people try to defend it for any protracted period of time. They must not read their bibles or take Jesus all that seriously. Not that I didn’t wrestle with it at one time, but for the love of Reason and all that is Holy, people ought to catch on at some point.

          You’d think so, but Christianity today is based on Pauline Christianity. A lot of the New Testament is counter Pauline Christianity.

          Drinking blood and eating flesh would be anathema to the Jews, but who was Paul’s audience? What was the belief’s going about at the time? Pagan perhaps? Where that sort of thing was not a problem.

          https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/robert-price-will-the-real-jesus-please-rise-part-3/id536701884?i=1000364217023&mt=2

          Greg is pointing out that a double entendre in John that doesn’t work in Aramaic, because there is no word in Aramaic equivalent to the Greek word used in the NT, anothen, that means both “again” and “from above”, ergo Jesus didn’t say it and therefore it is not historical. If it isn’t histrical, then it was made up, so what else was made up and for what reason?

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Rubbish.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Demonstrate what is rubbish and why you think it is rubbish, if you can…or don’t…the choice is yours…but rubbish ain’t a rebuttal and just saying it, only reinforces my thinking vis a vis your grievance with epeeist and the accuracy of his assessment of you abilities, to which you complain.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          I already provided the argument with the short video of C.S. Lewis’ book miracles. The historical account cannot be examined without first settling the philosophical context.

          You are begging the question Amos.

          Intentional or not, you are attempting to drag me into a debate whetein the context will assure I cannot defend my position. I have fallen prey to that before. Do I look or argue like a freshman?

          I have tried to tell you to dispense with the basic bag of tricks (or was that Greg?). It is not because I am afraid of the truth or an area of weakness. Its because its rubbish. My apologies for not explaining myself earlier.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I already provided the argument with the short video of C.S. Lewis’ book miracles.

          No, no, no….that is intellectually lazy. That is not you providing the argument, that is you punting to Lewis and wanting the rest of us to parse out what it is you have in mind. By all means, cite Lewis as a reference to support your position, but don’t think it is good form to expect me to find your point in a milieu. Pick a detail that you believe has some substance and we can go from that point.

          The historical account cannot be examined with out first settling the philosophical context.

          Ballix. The philosophy of the Christian worldviews is built on a number of historical premises. If they didn’t happen, and we know they didn’t, the whole philosophical house of cards comes tumbling down. Now granted, there are a minority of Christian worldviews for which the historical account has little impact, but those ain’t what we are talking about. Yer man John Lennox is a Christian Bible believing theist, the history appears to be central to his belief.

          You are begging the question Amos.

          Spooooiiiing!

          It is you that is begging the question…applying the fallacy properly.

          Description: Any form of argument where the conclusion is assumed in one of the premises. Many people use the phrase “begging the question” incorrectly when they use it to mean, “prompts one to ask the question”. That is NOT the correct usage. Begging the question is a form of circular reasoning.

          Apply your logic that, “The historical account cannot be examined with out first settling the philosophical context.” to other religious worldviews and then ask who is begging the question?

          If Mo didn’t ride a flying horse to get Allah’s message from Gabriel, then in what philosophical context can the historical account apply?

          If Joe Smith didn’t go and collect two golden tablets, a magic hat, and some seer stone spectacles, then no amount of philosophical context matters.

          You want to put the cart before the horse.

          The philosophical context of the Christian worldviews is dependent on which version of the historical account’s one chooses. They are numerous.

          Intentional or not, you are attempting to drag me into a debate whetein the context will assure I cannot defend my position.

          Not at all. You came here remember, the door wasn’t nailed closed when you come in, but you can’t come along and dictate how others choose to engage. If you cannot defend your position, then perhaps your position is untenable, ever thought of that?

          I have fallen prey to that before.

          Well as I’ve no idea what it is you are referring to, I can do nothing to help you out.

          Do I look or argue like a freshman?

          Do you look like one, not if your avatar is anything to go by, no. Are you acting like a freshman, so far, absolutely.

          have tried to tell you to dispense with the basic bag of tricks (or was that Greg?). It is not because I am afraid of the truth or an area of weekness. Its because its rubbish.

          What tricks? If you are not afraid of the truth, then what’s yer problem? If there is no area of weakness in you position, then what’s yer problem? You don’t get to say, “It’s because it is rubbish”, then expect those here to go alright then, I’ll pick up my ball and goo home. Robert says it, Robert believes it, that settles it. You either have to put up,or shut up.

          Would it be acceptable discourse for you if I said your position is rubbish and let that be the end of it?

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Plenty of neophytes out there for you to have your fun with. Been there done that.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett
        • MNb

          Great movie. Unfortunately you are incapable of recognizing that you represent the loser from this scene.
          Btw the scene is taken over from one of the Trinity movies. Terence Hill and Bud Spencer (the latter doesn’t participate in My Name is Nobody) were pretty big in Europe in the 1970’s.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          However, if you can demonstrate the logical consistency of the Scutum Fidei be my guest. I have issued a challenge to others in the past to produce a logical schema for the Scutum Fidei, so far I have had no takers

          So now you are challenging me with that hand?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-kDlUnj5lg

          I have never heard the term or seen the diagram that I know of, but I was relieved to find the concept very familiar. I have thought and written about this… a lot. Thanks for bringing it up.

          https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b3/Shield-Trinity-Scutum-Fidei-English.svg/853px-Shield-Trinity-Scutum-Fidei-English.svg.png

          “The Father is God”
          “The Son is God”
          “The Holy Spirit is God”
          “God is the Father”
          “God is the Son”
          “God is the Holy Spirit”
          “The Father is not the Son”
          “The Father is not the Holy Spirit”
          “The Son is not the Father”
          “The Son is not the Holy Spirit”
          “The Holy Spirit is not the Father”
          “The Holy Spirit is not the Son”

          I really like the diagram. We can see immediately why John called God the Logos as it is a diagram OF logic (not to be confused with a logic diagram).

          It will work with any logical formula but since you are an accomplished mathematician we will use basic arithmetic.

          1+2=3

          In its totality, we call that an equation, the logical expression is itself an added dimension created by uniting the other 3.

          So, put the numbers into any of the corners. We will use Father for
          1, Son for 2, and Holy Spirit for 3. Then in the center write the word equation (our 4th dimension). Now we can get back to our syllogism.

          “The 1 is equation”
          “The 2 is equation”
          “The 3 is equation”
          “Equation is the 1”
          “Equation is the 2”
          “Equation is the 3”
          “The 1 is not the 2”
          “The 1 is not the 3”
          “The 2 is not the 1”
          “The 2 is not the 3”
          “The 3 is not the 1”
          “The 3 is not the 2”

          My suspicion is that you are going to be distracted by the values of the digits in our illustration. But that is irrelevant and we must understand why.

          1 is part of the equation
          2 is part of the equation
          3 is part of the equation

          Any single digit is synonymous with equation, as is any combination of them. Not the value of the equation or the digits, but the existence of the equation itself as a whole.

          If that is not working for you, consider the following:
          Any logical expression is necessarily complex as logic does not exist apart from the uniting of particulars. Logic is the equation or God in our diagram.

          I know I know… I am not supposed to be able to articulate or comprehend the Trinity. I am supposed to say it is a great divine mystery. But it is no more mysterious than the validity and existence of logic itself. Its no more complicated than the fact is it axiomatic and self referential. I am not sure why so many churchmen think we should not ask such questions or attempt to think. So long was we follow logic very carefully, ‘not straying to the right or left’ of its (His) laws; if we meditate on those laws day and night (or over the road) we are following God if John is correct.

          The difficulty that people have with the concept of the trinity is that we tend to picture single entities as individual and give them values. The nature of Logos however (or God if you will) is as a unified whole. The unified whole IS the base identity. On some level, the son may be lesser than the father just as 1 is lesser than 2. But both are equally indispensable to the existence of the equation.

          Let me put it another way… We tend to think of atoms in the singular. But in reality the one thing is a uniting of particulars like electrons protons and neutrons. The atom represents the equation or God in the diagram.

          Humanity is a species of male and female. Which one is a human being? The answer cannot be an either/or. Like a photon that is both a particle and a wave, humanity at a minimum is not a single individual but a species consisting of male and female. Both are indispensable to the existence of humanity. Humanity represents the equation or God in the diagram.

          This is why Genesis records our name as it does. The ASV uses the original Hebrew term for mankind, and it is a unified name.

          Genesis 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. One creature, two parts, then 3, then 4, then billions.

          I don’t know about you, but I have to think that it is Logos himself breaking the glass at the beginning of this song. Sure sounds like a ‘thief in the night’ to me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu109lSozdw

        • epeeist

          So now you are challenging me with that hand?

          A mere invitation, one that I see you are either unwilling or unable to undertake.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          A mere invitation, one that I see you are either unwilling or unable to undertake.

          You want me to logically demonstrate the validity of logic?

          We don’t have to demonstrate axioms genius. We need only consider the absurdity of denying them. “The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no Logos’.”

          Why is it foolish? Because the proposition of the statement depends on Logos.

        • epeeist

          You want me to logically demonstrate the validity of logic?

          No, I want you to demonstrate the logical validity of the Scutum Fidei.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          As I already explained, the Scutum Fidei IS the schema for logical validity.

          You are asking me to prove an axiom a sophist and infantile challenge.

          Logic must be assumed valid by Faith and recognition of the absurdity of the alternative.

        • epeeist

          As I already explained, the Scutum Fidei IS the schema for logical validity.

          No, you didn’t explain, you asserted, there is a difference.

          But here you go, pick the bones out of this.

          1. G is defined as {F, S, H} (God defined as {Father,Son,Holy Spirit})

          2. F=G AND S=G AND H=G (God wholly present as Father and wholly present as Son, and wholly present as Holy Spirit)

          3. F=S=H=G (from 2, because ‘=’ is a transitive relation)

          4. G := {F, F, F} (from 1 and 3)

          5. G := {S, S, S} (from 1 and 3)

          6. G := {H, H, H} (from 1 and 3}

          7. G := [G, G, G] (from 1 and 3)

          8. G := {{F, S, H}, {F, S, H}, {F, S, H}} (from 7 and 1)

          Statements 4-8 contradict 1. and 2, in other words the idea of the trinity presented in the Scutum Fidei is contradictory and hence is false.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Fish on!

        • epeeist

          Fish on!

          So what you are saying is either that you are incapable of understanding my post or you have no rational response.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Yes well you ARE a dreamer… patience Neo. The answers are coming.

        • epeeist

          Yes well you ARE a dreamer… patience Neo. The answers are coming.

          I am fond of Douglas Walton’s works on informal logic (oh look, another kind of logic) and in particular his eponymous book on the subject.

          This contains a list of what he calls “negative persuasion rules”, included in which are:

          1. Not making a serious effort to fulfil an obligation is a bad strategy. Notable here are failures to meet a burden of proof or to defend a commitment when challenged.

          2. Trying to shift the burden of proof to the other party, or otherwise alter the burden of proof illicitly is not allowed.

          3. Purporting to carry out an internal proof by using premises that have not been conceded by the other party is not allowed.

          4. Appealing to external sources of proof with backing up your argument can be subject to objection.

          5. Failure of relevance can include providing the wrong thesis, wandering away from the point to be proved, or answering the wrong question in a dialogue.

          6. Failing to ask questions that are appropriate for a given stage of dialogue should be prohibited, along with asking questions that are inappropriate.

          7. Failing to reply appropriately to questions should not be allowed, including replies that are unduly evasive.

          8. Failing to define, clarify or justify the meaning or definition of a significant term used in an argument, in accord with standards of precision appropriate to the discussion is a violation, if the use of this term is challenged by another participant.

          I have emphasised the ones that are particularly relevant when it comes to your responses. No doubt you will sneer at Walton as you did at Quine but it’s all much of a pattern with you.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          No. What I am saying is that I am glad to see you challenge. It’s always a learning opportunity for me.

          I am not satisfied with my current understanding, nor confident that things are what they appear to be on the surface. Until I know that I know, any argument remains in development.

          My argument is lacking, but its close. I find it difficult but not utterly innefable. But in order to proceed I need criticism.

          You have provided. And though the rest of these squabbles have been fun and all, this topic is a life’s work and worthy of deliberate meditation and prayer.

          I know what it is. It’s a diagram of logic. But it also represents the mind of fellowship. It is Logos. The question and challenge is how to articulate it.

          It may turn out to be like cosmic causation. Indescribable. And I’d be okay with that relationship. It would make sense that God is at least as inefable as cosmos. I would expect him to be much more so.

          But maybe it’s just the opposite and so simple that we miss it in our arrogance.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett
        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          This was valuable criticism because it confirms my own self criticism. Not sure why you can’t just picture all that without math. Are you stupid or something?

          I’m kidding… I’m kidding. I see the value of being able to express the concepts so they are not stuck in my head. Math can work well for that, but so can philosophical propositions which is my preferred method since i do not know the definitions of many mathematical symbols. I can barely help my kids with long division. I have to remind myself LOL. As embarrassing as that is, that is how little math I have needed in my career and life. Use it or lose it they say.

          Remember what I said originally, that it was ‘my current thinking’. (you can confirm that with your emails that it was not an edit). For future reference, I edit profusely for grammar, spelling, and even additional clarity. But I never change the context or anything dicey.

          I am going to respond propositionally. Feel free to convert to math, but be prepared to educate me if needed on the symbolism. I will let you know if i don’t understand.

          I said originally that the values did not matter And If I understand you (after looking up what := means), you are giving equal measure to each individual character (F,S,H). That is my fault. It was my argument you tested. And that led to the contradictions.

          But I realized and you confirmed that they DO matter, and there is biblical support which is crucial. Jesus said that the Father is greater than I.

          I ALSO said that there is a 4th dimension created in the presence of coherence. The equation becomes a 4th entity. This I ALREADY saw, but was too lazy that evening to take the time to think it through. That is why I added a bit later (by edit) that that might be superfluous. But it was a good start for throwing it together. It was best to allow you to help me if you chose to try and dodge the main point and contextual argument. The tenability needs to be there in MY context too. And sure enough, fish on.

          I noticed you took your time. Please allow me the pleasure of doing the same. This is not a Beavis and Butthead battle of insults so common on the boards, thanks.

          Here is where the rubber meets the road and I may fail. In which case I will have to relent to the theologians of history who found the trinity mysterious in the same way that we find causation mysterious…

          G is not equal to F
          G is not equal to S
          G is not equal to S

          That is NOT what the Scutum Fedei is expressing. The values are crucial as I now see it in my new and improved but still current understanding.

          Rather, it is as I stated in my original response. G is equal to FSH But I didn’t quite put it that way did I. Rather, I used the arthimetic illustration which still holds with one caviat(sic)

          1+2=3

          “The 1 is equation”
          “The 2 is equation”
          “The 3 is equation”
          “Equation is the 1”
          “Equation is the 2”
          “Equation is the 3”
          “The 1 is not the 2”
          “The 1 is not the 3”
          “The 2 is not the 1”
          “The 2 is not the 3”
          “The 3 is not the 1”
          “The 3 is not the 2”

          ‘is the’ does not represent the same relationship as the symbol =

          All it is saying is that 1 is part of the equation just as equation is part 1, part 2, and part 3

          G =Equation

          Theologically, this implies (I hope its not heresy -wink-) that the Holy Spirit holds the highest position of value because if the Father is greater than Jesus, then Jesus cannot be the highest value. So my positioning of the symbols was wrong.

          Our difficulty will be assigning values in terms of mathematics to persons.

          What we have here is a fellowship, a family. As a whole they are God (equation). And each is part of the family, and the family is made of its parts. There is a hierarchy but also equality in that God’s very nature of wholeness depends on each of the three being present.

          AND… my favorite part, is that it is also a picture of logic, the Logos. Which means it is the foundation of…. mathematics.

          Another thought occurred to me today. What if this was is also the blueprint for consciousness? If we are made in God’s image and have a mind, body(brain), and soul, perhaps that is why we can think logically like our God; because we were made that way. If that were so, it would confirm another prediction of mine. That AI will never be built by humans. Even with the blueprint, we do not know how to assign value to persons be they minds (software) bodies (brains) or souls(combination of the two). Math can’t compute personal values.

          God left us incomplete according to the bible. That was the death. Without God himself as part of that equation in us, we are not truly conscious in the way we think we are. We will need a truck driver to educate us, who DOES have God as part of HIS equation. But I am getting WAY ahead of myself and carried away. You still have to criticize the reformulated argument.

          I told adam that he should not presume to refine me (put me in my place). But I like you epeeir. I even respect you. You have my permission to refine. If you can…

        • epeeist

          Math can work well for that, but so can philosophical propositions which is my preferred method

          The exposition is mathematical logic.

          That is NOT what the Scutum Fedei is expressing.

          Let’s try and make it simpler, here is the shield again:

          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b3/Shield-Trinity-Scutum-Fidei-English.svg/1138px-Shield-Trinity-Scutum-Fidei-English.svg.png

          Now this says “God is the father”, “God is the son”, “God is the holy spirit”. It also says “The son is not the father”, “The father is not the holy spirit” and “The son is not the holy spirit”.

          Let’s pick two from the first sentence:

          P1. God is the father
          P2. God is the son

          We also know “The son is not the father” (this is transitive, i.e. it can also be read “The father is not the son”). So we can substitute for “son” in our second proposition and we then get

          P3. God is not the father

          Which obviously contradicts P1. And since you are aware of the law of non-contradiction you can see that the Scutum cannot be correct and hence the whole logical basis of the trinity simply falls apart.

          What if this was is also the blueprint for consciousness? If we are made in God’s image and have a mind, body(brain), and soul, perhaps that is why we can think logically like our God.

          What you are describing is something like substance dualism, something that the large majority of philosophers of mind would dismiss (it is hard enough for predicate and property dualism to get a look in these days). The majority of philosophers of mind are monadic physicalists.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          1+2=3

          1 is part of the equation
          2 is part of the equation
          3 is part of the equation

          Equation has 3 parts: (as in, the atom is part nucleus)

          Equation is part 1
          Equation is part 2
          Equation is part 3

          No contradiction.

          It looks to me as if the early illustrations of the Trinity were very good considering their age. It just needed development.

        • epeeist

          1+2=3

          You are making my point for me, namely that 1+2=3 is the same as 3=1+2, namely that transitivity applies.

          Equation has 3 parts

          Amusing that you are using numbers, i.e. mathematics to try and show that the Scutum is consistent when you accuse me of conflating mathematics and logic.

          As it is this is a) an extremely poor analogy and b) doesn’t address the simple bit of predicate calculus that I set out.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Not amusing at all, the numbers are only theoretical placeholders for the actual thing, which is itself a person.

          You are making my point for me, namely that 1+2=3 is the same as 3=1+2, namely that transitivity applies.

          I will contemplate that, thank you.

        • epeeist

          Not amusing at all, the numbers are only theoretical placeholders for the actual thing, which is itself a person.

          And you further make my point for me, what you are saying is that these are simply individual entities added together, not a mereological fusion of elements.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Let me think…

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          As I reread that last reply, I already see a few difficulties, a couple of which are going to be misunderstandings, but I will await your red ink on my little paper. It helps confirm you are paying attention and also my own understanding. G’night.

        • epeeist

          As I reread that last reply, I already see a few difficulties, a couple of which are going to be misunderstandings, but I will await your red ink on my little paper.

          Well I am looking forward to an actual, substantive response but for some reason I am reminded of the White Queen:

          The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What’s a “caviat”?

          You know–when you’re putting caviar on a cracker and drop it on the cat.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Classical logic is a boolean algebra.

          Do not conflate logic with the mathematical expression of logic. Gödel rebuke you…
          Logic can manifest itself in many forms. Logicism may have been ambitious, but has not panned out.

          I think you’ll like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lecFYZHXEqY

        • epeeist

          Do not conflate logic with the mathematical expression of logic. Gödel rebuke you…

          You do realise that Gödel’s proofs relied on encoding logical forms into arithmetic..

          As for your video, I don’t actually watch videos in that the information transfer rate is far too slow. I much prefer links to things I can read.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          You do realise that Gödel’s proofs relied on encoding logical forms into arithmetic…

          And you do realize it is irrelevant other than for your dream…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy0ABjAP0TI

          As for your video, I don’t actually watch videos in that the information transfer rate is far too slow. I much prefer links to things I can read.

          Not to worry, the videos are not for you. This is not private dialog, and I do not expect you to absorb anything I bring to the table. They are for anyone else who is not so hasty with their agenda and will contemplate thoughtfully and carefully, slowly, considerately.

        • epeeist

          And you do realize it is irrelevant other than for your dream…

          I’m sorry is that supposed to be a response to me pointing out something that can be found in, say, Newman and Nagel?

          This is not private dialog, and I do not expect you to absorb anything I bring to the table.

          Oh I am happy to accept that there are more lurkers than contributors. I am equally happy for them to read both your posts and mine and to decide who is making the most sense.

          When you actually bring something to the table that I (and others here) haven’t seen many times before I’ll let you know.

        • MNb

          “Where is my sword going to be when you swing yours?”
          If all relevant variables are known at beforehand we can determine that according to Classical Physics in terms of cause and effect.
          That is not the case with atomic decay, which cannot be described by Classical Physics but can by Quantum Mechanics – in terms of probability.
          That’s why it’s a failure to use causaility in all versions of the Cosmological Argument if cause is used like physicists and WLC do.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Great! But my point to epeeir is that neither will help when dealing with a conscious entity. You’d need the mind of the sword bearer and his purposes. If you did, you might stop him from putting you to the sword.

        • MNb

          No, I do not need the mind of the sword bearer and his purpose to stop him. A laser gun will do – a weapon that works thanks to recognizing quantum mechanical probability. So your analogy fails even before it started. And it does nothing to contradict that your favourite conscious but immaterial entity (never mind that you don’t even show how that makes sense either) plays dice when we’re talking atomic decay.
          Three failures in two lines – a pretty good score.

        • Greg G.

          The Logos (the name John gave to Jesus) is faster than you think.

          John probably got the term from Philo who borrowed it from Greek philosophy. The Greeks need the demiurge, Logos, to explain how an immaterial being could interact with a material world. We can see that John and the epistle writers thought of interactions between God and people were through Jesus.

          John 1:17 (NIV)
          For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

          Acts 10:36 (NIV)
          You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

          Acts 13:38 (NIV)
          “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

          Romans 1:8 (NIV)
          First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.

          Romans 2:16 (NIV)
          This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

          Romans 5:21 (NIV)
          so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

          Romans 7:25 (NIV)
          Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

          Romans 8:2 (NIV)
          because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

          Romans 16:27 (NIV)
          to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

          2 Corinthians 1:5 (NIV)
          For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

          2 Corinthians 3:4 (NIV)
          Such confidence we have through Christ before God.

          2 Corinthians 5:18 (NIV)
          All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

          Galatians 3:14 (NIV)
          He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

          Ephesians 1:5 (NIV)
          he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—

          Philippians 1:11 (NIV)
          filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

          Titus 3:6 (NIV)
          whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,

          Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)
          Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

          Hebrews 13:21 (NIV)
          equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

          1 Peter 2:5 (NIV)
          you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

          1 Peter 4:11 (NIV)
          If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

          Jude 1:25 (NIV)
          to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Not totally sure what you are driving at, but I’ll do my best…

          John probably got the term from Philo who borrowed it from Greek philosophy. The Greeks need the demiurge, Logos, to explain how an immaterial being could interact with a material world.

          Probably?

          I have never heard that the Greeks used it (ever) to connect their gods to the world. The Greek gods were beings inside this world and would be subject to the higher order. Their gods were truly nature gods; gods of the gaps as it were. As I understand it, for the Greek stoics, Logos was the rational principle behind the universe. It also meant reason, speech, and even science itself. Correct me if need be, but I don’t know where you got that idea.

          I see no evidence that John borrowed it ad hoc. When I look at the profundity of John’s claim, I take it to be quite clear that he was intentionally personalizing what was held by the Greeks to be an abstract impersonal quality of the way nature happens to be.

          The Greeks thought of Logos as a kind of machine-like mathematics much like our modern materialists, whereas John was modifying the concept with personality and calling it a mind, the mind of God; not a nature God, but the God of nature. John is getting in behind spoken language to the language of logic itself that is required for any kind of speech be it mathematical, written, or spoken.

          John 1: 1 In the beginning was the [Logos], and the [Logos] was with God, and the [logos] was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

          I like the way John Lennox explains it. He said:

          “Here are the physicists and cosmologist describing the universe in terms of laws that are written in compressed form with mathematical symbolism. Laws describing regularities, to say nothing of the DNA in the genome and its digital code. The idea that all things came to be through the [Logos] is not some silly primitive notion. It fits perfectly with all our intuition and experience that flows out of science.”

          This short video is also very helpful to convey the concept and historical backdrop.

          https://youtu.be/E-4106tamnI?t=12

        • Greg G.

          Probably?

          I have never heard that the Greeks used it (ever) to connect their gods to the world. The Greek gods were beings inside this world and would be subject to the higher order. Their gods were truly nature gods; gods of the gaps as it were. As I understand it, for the Greek stoics, Logos was the rational principle behind the universe. It also meant reason, speech, and even science itself. Correct me if need be, but I don’t know where you got that idea.

          From http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/greek-philosopher-plato.htm

          Greek Philosopher Plato – Logos
          Logos is the Greek term meaning “the Word.” Greek philosophers like Plato used Logos not only of the spoken word but also of the unspoken word, the word still in the mind — the reason. When applied to the universe, Greeks were speaking to the rational principle that governs all things.

          A Greek philosopher named Heraclitus first used the term Logos around 600 BC to designate the divine reason or plan which coordinates the entire universe. Monotheistic Jews used Logos to refer to God, since He was the rational mind — reason — behind the creation and coordination of the universe.

          Thus, John (the author of the biblical book of John) used a very special word — Logos — that was meaningful to both the Jews and the Greeks during the first century AD.

          See also http://www.iep.utm.edu/philo/#H11

          I see no evidence that John borrowed it ad hoc. When I look at the profundity of John’s claim, I take it to be quite clear that he was intentionally personalizing what was held by the Greeks to be an abstract impersonal quality of the way nature happens to be.

          The Greeks thought of Logos as a kind of machine-like mathematics much like our modern materialists, whereas John was modifying the concept with personality and calling it a mind, the mind of God; not a nature God, but the God of nature. John is getting in behind spoken language to the language of logic itself that is required for any kind of speech be it mathematical, written, or spoken.

          John would have got it from Philo who was trying to reconcile both Greek philosophy with the Torah, not directly from the Greeks and not directly from the Old Testament, since Philo had already done it for him. Sprouls’ lecture should have recognized Philo’s link.

          We also see Philo’s writing being used a different way in the Mocking of Jesus in Mark. Compare The Works of Philo Judaeus – Flaccus, Book VI 36-39 with
          Mark 15:15-20, John 18:40-19:3,5, and Matthew 27:26-31. It appears that Mark’s account is modeled on Philo’s story. The name of the person mocked in Philo’s story is Carabbas and it immediately follows the account of Barabbas. The spelling in Greek is the same with only the first letter being different.

          Mark uses Aramaicisms and Latinisms, but he never explains the Latinisms while usually explains the Aramaic. He explains that the name “Bartimaeus” means “son of Timaeus”. He has Jesus open his Gethsemane prayer with “Abba, Father.” So when Barabbas is introduced, the alert reader will understand that he is another “Son of the Father”. This sets up the scapegoat scenario of Leviticus 16:5-22, where one goat is killed for the sins of the nation and the other is released into the wilderness. The problem is that this is for Yom Kippur, not Passover, though. It should be clear that Mark used Philo for the mocking, modified the name Carabbas, and created a couple of stories to teach his readers the name of the scapegoat.

          So the Christians were aware of Philo’s writings. The verses I quoted before show that the authors thought that God and humans interacted through Jesus. The only gospel verse with that language comes from the first 18 verses of John.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Very cool. So there was a hint of monotheistic theology in at least Heraclitus’ case. Good to know, I sit corrected. It is generally true however that the typical Greek gods were a deification of the forces within nature. But I will concede that I have taken that case on authority for the present time and I am open to valid correction. You will find a source link at the bottom.

          Well, its perfectly true that human’s interact with God via the Logos (which is Jesus, the Logos become flesh in John 1). The first time we see it is in Genesis.

          The only difference is that earlier thinkers likely did not understand as emphatically what later thinkers did. Its just like our understanding of cosmology. The early thinkers like Aristotle had the basics down, but Copernicus really opened our eyes to how it all fits together. The cool thing is that all the clues for Logos, the trinity, etc are seen clear back in the Old testament. In chapter 1 John uses Genesis 1 as his guide for pulling the threads together.

          I can’t recommend this enough for consideration and/or criticism https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/let-my-people-think/listen/the-word-of-god-in-creation-part-1-of-2-253335.html

        • Greg G.

          The only difference is that earlier thinkers likely did not understand as emphatically what later thinkers did. Its just like our understanding of cosmology. The early thinkers like Aristotle had the basics down, but Copernicus really opened our eyes to how it all fits together. The cool thing is that all the clues for Logos, the trinity, etc are seen clear back in the Old testament. In chapter 1 John uses Genesis 1 as his guide for pulling the threads together.

          That seems more like how legends grow. It is like saying the different Star Trek shows open our eyes to the future Federation. In science, ideas abound. Scientists go down lots of alleys to see which ones are blind. They test reality to rule out which theories are false. But some lead to more discoveries.

          Religion goes in all directions with nothing to hold it in check. There were so many versions of Christianity in the second, third, and fourth centuries that the emperor forced them to work out the differences. Today, there are over 45,000 denominations.

          I can’t recommend this enough for consideration and/or criticism https://www.oneplace.com/mi

          All I see is “In order to view this content, please Follow this ministry. Thanks!”

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          I suppose legends do grow in a similar fashion. My point is that real knowledge does as well. Be careful not to conflate the two, which is easy to do if we beg the question.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BboJqrW8a8U

        • Greg G.

          I suppose legends do grow in a similar fashion. My point is that real knowledge does as well. Be careful not to conflate the two, which is easy to do if we beg the question.

          That is the point I am trying to make to you. Real knowledge doesn’t require crusades, pogroms, inquisitions, and 30 year wars. Once people realized they didn’t have to account for God in their equations, that there was “no need for that hypothesis”, science and technology took off exponentially. Medicine improved dramatically when they realized that disease was not caused by supernatural forces.

          But in religion, we have creationists, “cdesign proponentsists”, and “ground of all beingists”, with none of them having a way to distinguish their gods from imagination.

          Regarding the video, it is not difficult to predict that someone will die. Given some time, believers in the book will have been rumors about the death of the person and the story that conforms best will win out whether it is the true story or not. What CSL was not aware of is that scholars would be able to identify Mark’s sources and those sources are fiction mixed with Old Testament passages that are also mostly fiction. The sources of the much of the other gospels can be identified where they are not copying from Mark and it is more of the same. The idea that the gospels are based on oral traditions has become doubtful. New Testament Narrative as Old Testament Midrash by Robert M. Price compiles the work of these scholars by chapter and verse.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Real knowledge doesn’t require Crusades? It depends on what you mean by a crusade. I guess you are unaware of how difficult the fight of the Christian astronomer Galileo was, in his attempt to overturn the science of Ptolemy and Aristotle that even the church had accepted as a result of literal interpretations of scripture.

          Copernicus was afraid to publish his work because the fight would be so intense. But the fight must be waged.

          Going forward, I am going to have to dispense with the historical mumbo jumbo you bring to the table. I am interested in logical analysis and genuine systemic contradiction or coherence. Superficial factual contradiction does not interest me any longer. They often actually demonstrate the validity of the philosophical coherence that matters most, as with eye witnesses to an accident giving apparent contradictory testimony that actually help the investigator put the picture together.

        • Greg G.

          Real knowledge doesn’t require Crusades? It depends on what you mean by a crusade.

          I mean real Crusades with violence and death.

          Copernicus didn’t publish for decades until he was on his deathbed for fear of religion. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for heresy that included saying the stars had planets circling them, as well as denying transubstantiation, the divinity of Christ, and other things. Galileo argued his case but was punished leniently because he had a personal relationship with the Pope. Despite suppression by the church, their ideas won out.

          Going forward, I am going to have to dispense with the historical mumbo jumbo you bring to the table. I am interested in logical analysis and genuine systemic contradiction or coherence. Superficial factual contradiction does not interest me any longer.

          I am addressing the historicity of the gospels and the interpretation of the epistles in light of the gospels. It is the whole core of the New Testament, not superficial contradiction. If the New Testament is superstition, wouldn’t you want to know the truth?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Going forward, I am going to have to dispense with the historical mumbo jumbo you bring to the table. I am interested in logical analysis and genuine systemic contradiction or coherence. Superficial factual contradiction does not interest me any longer. They often actually demonstrate the validity of the philosophical coherence that matters most, as with eye witnesses to an accident giving apparent contradictory testimony that actually help the investigator put the picture together.

          Whaaaa?

          All I got from that word salad is that you concur that there is mumbo jumbo that you are not interested in, but want to focus on some other mumbo jumbo you have yet to define.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          If that link does not work, just Google ‘John Lennox The Word of God in Creation part 1.” (it has 2 parts 30 minutes each).

        • Greg G.

          If that link does not work, just Google ‘John Lennox The Word of God in Creation part 1.” (it has 2 parts 30 minutes each).

          Bob did a couple of articles on Lennox. He is impressive as a scientist and a mathematician but a run-of-the-mill theologian.

          Can you sum up his arguments?

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Can you sum up his arguments?

          Sure, but it was late and I thought it might be better to get it from the horses mouth. Where were we, and what particular concepts are you interested in?

          In the past, I have had to register and join certain web pages and forums in order to read the content. Following a site is pretty easy access. This one does not fill your email with notifications. It is perfectly benign.

          Bob did a couple of articles on Lennox. He is impressive as a scientist and a mathematician but a run-of-the-mill theologian.

          HaHa… I would love to talk to Bob about it too.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Following a site is pretty easy access. This one does not fill your email with notifications. It is perfectly benign.

          It fills your email if you have requested notifications.

          As for benign, I take it you are new to Disqus?

          Coupled with the new Patheos format, you might be in for a surprise, it is turning out to be a bit of a nightmare for the regulars here.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Hmm… well for some reason I do not get Disqus notifications. At one point I had great difficulty verifying my email. I had to contact Discus and they manually verified it. I was shut out for a time and don’t know why. Relatively new yes…

        • Michael Neville

          If you type John Lennox in the “search this blog” box in the upper right hand corner of this page you’ll find several articles Bob wrote on Lennox.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Thanks I see them. ‘The Childish Faith of John Lennox.’ I’ll check that out for sure when I can. Possibly even later today. I love the man, but I have a local haunt I need to check in on.

          In the mean time here is a doozy…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6bKSlShOaI

        • Greg G.

          God actually started science, by encouraging human beings to name the animals at the beginning of Genesis and that is what we call taxonomy. –John Lennox, just after the three minute mark.

          Lennox seems to think he made a point with that claim.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2dfaf6c8f7a86725997985da595486775cbcbd3f5c1ddb2b76b37233c922460e.gif

          Adam had to start over.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6521a4bb9347fc3d2e5bc8dc0df0aecbfe9ea5ca67a71058f88f99730d12fe1d.jpg

        • Greg G.
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          We can find Lennox videos ourselves. If you can summarize his best points into a paragraph or two, that would help.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It would help a lot.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Lennox is a great example of a brilliant mind shackled by Bronze Age beliefs. They make no sense, but he will apply his formidable intellect to make them look as good as possible. Unfortunately, the bronze still comes through.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s a pity about Lennox. A fellow Ulster man with brains to burn, but whose head is fucked up with the Christian mind virus.

          Claiming to be a man of science, yet….

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdNRHKiRL60

        • Luvin’ it

          Wow have you watched his debate with Dawkins?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Does he use the same shitty arguments as he does here?

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Dawkins v Lennox debate at Oxford debate was dubbed the modern day Huxley v Wilberforce head to head.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0UIbd0eLxw

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” -Robert Jastrow

          Theologians only get anywhere by handwaving. Science only gets anywhere by evidence. See the difference? That’s why science is reliable, and theology can’t get its story straight.

        • MNb

          “It may appear random to you, but the old saying of ‘God doesn’t play dice’ comes to mind.”
          You forgot to add the equally old answer to this remark: “You shouldn’t tell God what to do and what not to do.”

          The Cosmological Argument can be reformulated without using causality or you can redefine causality in such a way that it includes undetermined events like atomic decay. But if your god one way or another can be derived from our natural reality (which is highly dubious anyway) your god plays dice according to Modern Physics (and not only according to the Copenhagen Interpretation, also like almost all other ones).

        • epeeist

          Just in case you weren’t aware of it, here is what Einstein said:

          Die Quantenmechanik ist sehr achtung-gebietend. Aber eine innere Stimme sagt mir, daß das doch nicht der wahre Jakob ist. Die
          Theorie liefert viel, aber dem Geheimnis des Alten bringt sie uns kaum näher. Jedenfalls bin ich überzeugt, daß der nicht würfelt.

          Which makes it obvious that he was referring to the completeness or otherwise of QM.

        • MNb

          No, I wasn’t aware of this quote. Einstein having received the Nobel Price for an experiment that was crucial for the development of QM and contributing to the development of the theory obviously didn’t straightforwardly reject it. However from his correspondence with Niels Bohr (where the dice quotes come from) it’s pretty obvious that Einstein didn’t like indeterminism. To make it more complicated the context also makes clear that Einstein with “God” didn’t necessarily mean the same as poor Robbie. Then again by now we are used to the intellectual dishonesty of apologists, aren’t we?

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excus.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I don’t think MNb takes the Bible as an authority.

          I’m always surprised that Christians trot out that verse as if it would be persuasive. Instead, I’ve always found it as evidence that the Bible doesn’t know what it’s talking about.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          And you always will see it that way if you bring with you a materialistic philosophy a priori. I do not wonder.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You accept as authoritative other religions’ holy books? If not, don’t wonder that I don’t either.

          Materialism isn’t the issue.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          I inquired of them. A sense of the theology was all that was required, because in two cases, materialism, and pantheism (the rough Western version) I wantedthem to be true. So I learned early how my bias can corrupt my thinking given what they promise me. And then there are the cultural and family pressures. the family pressures to conform are radical and extreme in many cultures, but not that relevant here. But you know all there is to know about societal pressure and appeals to authority Bob.

          Christianity offered nothing but a grueling diet of reality. But it is logically tenable, profoundly so, which is why you despise Lennox and wish to characterize him otherwise. Unlike the others, Christianity is not built on coercion. It is the truth, but its hard like the real world. Not easy to accept unless it is the embellished and simplified version that leaves so many people empty because it will fail to deliver their hopes and dreams of an easy life.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGjuJwc2gs4

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Christianity offered nothing but a grueling diet of reality.

          It’s a supernatural fairy tale just like all the others—no? Give me some reason to see Christianity as radically, insanely different from the other, manmade religions.

          But it is logically tenable, profoundly so, which is why you despise Lennox and wish to characterize him otherwise.

          I’m sharing my honest opinion of Lennox. Has he actually said some clever things? Then stop whining about how I characterize him and show me.

          I don’t despise him. If he truly, gullibly believes what he’s saying, that’s fine. Rather pitiable, I suppose, but he’s free to speak his mind, and I support that right.

          Unlike the others, Christianity is not built on coercion.

          Not even “believe or burn”?

          It is the truth

          Gimme the evidence.

          but its hard like the real world.

          “Believe or burn in hell” sounds pretty hard.

        • MR

          It’s a verse to keep people from thinking.

        • MNb

          Thanks for demonstrating that you reject science.
          The funny thing though is that your quote applies to yourself. It can been clearly seen that the god derived from the Cosmological Argument does play dice, so you are without excuse.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Let’s take the Copenhagen interpretation seriously for the sake of argument. What it is really saying is that a quantum particle existed eternally.

      Eternally as in forever? I don’t think it existed before the Big Bang.

      Logic tells me that the reason WLC says tha t something cannot come into being uncaused is that it would be the antithesis of science. It would be ‘magic’. And as WLC has said, this is common sense.

      And yet it happens. So much for WLC’s common sense.

      If I accept the Copenhagen interpretation I must accept on faith that electrons pop into existence from a source we call nothing.

      No faith required. And they don’t come from nothing.

      We’re not talking about what they come from; we’re talking about the cause. Or lack of cause.

      But we can never mean by that ‘nothing’ in the strict philosophical sense.

      I remember WLC mocking Krauss (I believe) for saying that the universe could come from nothing when his nothing was a quantum vacuum or the laws of physics or something else that was not strictly nothing. He mentioned the “philosopher’s nothing” (absolutely nothing).

      Uh, yeah—the philosophers don’t have much to add at the frontier of physics, but thanks for trying.

      But how is that in any way superior (in evidential terms) to others who find logical gronds to believe (whether they prefer it or not, and some do not) that it is more tenable to observe the universe from the philosophical position of, ‘I am that I am?

      Because if evidential terms are important to you, you should follow the science.

      that suggests to me that theism has the high ground.

      Since theism can’t even agree on the number of god(s) or their names, I don’t think theism has graduated from the playpen, sorry.

      • Ignorant Amos

        It can’t be demonstrated that there has been a philosophers nothing…why can’t they get it?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Your attack on philosophers makes clear that you don’t understand philosophy. QED

        • Ignorant Amos

          In all probability, yer right.

      • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

        You either cherry picked my response or started working on this reply yesterday before I made a couple edits (also yesterday) to make my original point clear. I am more than happy to assume my editing is at fault. So my apologies for any confusion.

        I am going to go back to my original response as edited starting with a quote from your article.

        Bob writes:

        “The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics (there are other interpretations, but this one may be the most popular among physicists) says that some events at the quantum level have no cause. For example, when thorium-234 naturally decays into protactinium-234, the nucleus emits an electron. The electron wasn’t in the nucleus before, and it had no cause. The universe at the beginning of the Big Bang might have also been a cause-less quantum particle.”

        Quoting myself:

        “Let’s take the Copenhagen interpretation seriously for the sake of argument. If we extend the interpretation to the universe as you suggested, what you are really saying is that a quantum particle existed eternally, which is another way of saying it requires no explanation or evidence.

        And this brings us to your current response…

        Eternally as in forever? I don’t think it existed before the Big Bang.

        You and I both understand (presumably) that the term ‘before’ is not applicable if space-time does not yet exist. Please explain how you think it DID exist. I would love to hear how you articulate causation apart from spatial and temporal relations.

        I thought I made it perfectly clear (that means intelligibly so) that the implications of the Copenhagen interpretation are far worse than our inability to articulate causation at the frontier of a beginning.

        Quoting myself:

        That suggestion is the converse of the Kalam argument. ‘Something that always existed does not require a cause.’ It smacks of ‘nature of the gaps’ convenience the same way invoking God can when not argued properly.

        If something is not preexisting eternally, are you prepared to accept that something can come into being from literal nothing? Or, when you say nothing, do you really mean that it is only nothing in terms of our inability to describe it in temporal and spatial terms?

        You have two options that I am aware of. Feel free to correct me if I am mistaken:

        1. Something can come from nothing.
        If you admit this, you can retract your assertion elsewhere that science is superior to theology because of its evidential power.

        2. Something indescribable by spatial and temporal terms exists eternally. But its much worse than that. We cannot assign character with our grammar either. We cannot assume it to be a thing by failing to be ultra objective with our language. Bias is a sneaky devil. It might be a mind.

        If you admit this (and you have no logical choice) you can now understand Robert Jastrow’s point about scientists climbing the final mountain of their ignorance, only to find a happy band of theologians waiting for them.

        Congratulations are in order. Often, objective truth is not something we really wanted to learn. It is often undesirable. But that only does away with the genetic fallacy that everyone comes to God because they are desperate or want to. In fact typically, God is the lion hunting us, Logos being ever so skilled in trapping its frightened prey.

        Don’t take me to be overstating the case. You still have an out. As always, you are free to reject it by ‘waving your hand’, the way you claim theologians do. Just impose your free power of will. Close your eyes and plug your ears in the intellectual sense.

        And yet it happens.

        What happens Bob? Things pop into existence out of nothing?

        As I said, Logic tells me that the reason WLC says that something cannot come into being uncaused is that it would be the antithesis of science. It would be ‘magic’.

        I thought you didn’t believe in magic Bob, but science?

        No faith required. And they don’t come from nothing.
        We’re not talking about what they come from; we’re talking about the cause. Or lack of cause.

        That is what I already covered, that It smacks of ‘nature of the gaps’ convenience the same way invoking God can when not argued properly.

        You cannot stand on science as an evidential platform apart from some kind of explanation. If not an empirical and mathematical explanation, at least provide a logical explanation as theology and multiverse theory does by admitting an eternal something

        I remember WLC mocking Krauss (I believe) for saying that the universe could come from nothing when his nothing was a quantum vacuum or the laws of physics or something else that was not strictly nothing. He mentioned the “philosopher’s nothing” (absolutely nothing).
        Uh, yeah—the philosophers don’t have much to add at the frontier of physics, but thanks for trying.

        Now I am confused. Earlier you denied that you inferred something eternal. Due to my poor articulation before edit?

        Btw, I find the quantum vacuum fascinating. I tend to read the first lines of Genesis (In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and void, and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters…) as a quantum vacuum. And since I interpret the light to be order and intelligibility (intellectual light as opposed to visual) God next imparts initial order with the command, “Let their be light”.

        This is of course conjecture on my part. But the coherence of it I find striking and plausible. That is especially so considering that an objective observer would be required to give definition to a quantum state, at least as some particle physicists (like John Polkinghorne) interpret quantum physics.

        Because if evidential terms are important to you, you should follow the science.

        HaHa… I’ll repeat what I said at the top of this response. “I would love to hear how you articulate causation apart from spatial and temporal relations.”

        Since theism can’t even agree on the number of god(s) or their names, I don’t think theism has graduated from the playpen, sorry.

        LOL, I did not realize that scientific thought was monolithic. How many quantum interpretations are there Bob? And how many universes in multiverse theory? What is the scientific consensus on consciousness? What is energy?

        I know you can find your own videos. If this were a private exchange I might dispense with them. You don’t have to watch them if you don’t want. Only if you wish to listen so that you can respond intelligently and not simply react. The reason I DO listen and read you carefully, is because I want to make sure I am responding, so that others who really want to understand (it only takes 1) will have something substantial to consider for themselves.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IByCl_enr4A

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You either cherry picked my response or started working on this reply yesterday before I made a couple edits

          I likely used the original version as sent to me by Disqus.

          Please explain how you think it DID exist.

          The quarks may not have existed before the Big Bang.

          I would love to hear how you articulate causation apart from spatial and temporal relations.

          My focus has been on QM rejecting the need for a cause.

          If something is not preexisting eternally, are you prepared to accept that something can come into being from literal nothing?

          Why? Is that the option we’re left with?

          I think I’ll let the experts tell me that.

          If you admit this, you can retract your assertion elsewhere that science is superior to theology because of its evidential power.

          Science delivers. What has theology taught us about reality? I can think of nothing.

          What happens Bob? Things pop into existence out of nothing?

          Uh, no. Things come into existence without a cause.

          As I said, Logic tells me that the reason WLC says that something cannot come into being uncaused is that it would be the antithesis of science. It would be ‘magic’.

          Haven’t we been over this? WLC is wrong.

          Btw, I find the quantum vacuum fascinating. I tend to read the first lines of Genesis (In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and void, and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters…) as a quantum vacuum.

          Why would you do that except to shoehorn your unevidenced religious preconceptions into science so you can say, “Oh, yeah—I knew that”?

          We’ve learned zero science from the Bible. Kinda of a shame that God couldn’t put a few things in there to help us out. Like a recipe for soap, for example.

          “Since theism can’t even agree on the number of god(s) or their names, I don’t think theism has graduated from the playpen, sorry.”
          LOL, I did not realize that scientific thought was monolithic. How many quantum interpretations are there Bob? And how many universes in multiverse theory? What is the scientific consensus on consciousness? What is energy?

          Make your point clearly. I don’t have the patience to figure out what clever thing you’re trying to say.

          I know you can find your own videos.

          I don’t object to including videos; I’m just saying that if there’s a gem of an argument in here, I’m not going to waste more time with Lennox to find it. Share it with us, if it’s there.

        • https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-lockett/is-god-primitive-and-unjust-a-matter-of-life-and-death/10153903284877400 Robert Lockett

          I am satisfied with this response because of the contrast it creates between us, thanks.

      • MR

        No faith required.

        I was pondering the faith thing this morning. I had a dear friend who had a rare form of cancer. Prayed for God to heal her. She flew out regularly to California for special cancer treatments and did everything the doctor recommended. She changed her environment, exercised regularly, eliminated stress, completely changed her diet and lifestyle. Praise the Lord, she was pronounced cancer free after a few years! God got the glory, of course, even if the doctors did all the work. One of my takeaways was:

        She had faith in God, but she trusted the doctors more.

  • Grigori Schmidt

    Everything that begins to exist has the cause

    So we can divide things into two sets:
    1)Things that begin to exist
    2)Things that do not begin to exist

    If there is only one thing in the set 2 (God) it is same as postulating God: everything that begins to exist, except God, has the cause. So it is begging the question
    ===

    Why there is something rather than nothing?

    Because there is only one way for “Nothing” to exist, but innumerable ways for something to exist, so even according to Theory of Probabilities, there is a bigger chance for something rather than for nothing

    • Ignorant Amos

      When was there ever nothing?

      • Grigori Schmidt

        I will answer “Yes”. Because if there was no “Nothing” then word “something” becomes meaningless. If something exists then nothing has to exist

        • Ignorant Amos

          So when was there ever nothing?

        • Grigori Schmidt

          I do not know. Maybe simultaneously with something

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don’t be ridiculous.

          Give me an example of nothing?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw9z6VYaUcg

        • Grigori Schmidt

          I have nothing to give as an example

        • Ignorant Amos

          I know

        • Bob Jase

          Isn’t it amazing that believers argue that “something can’t come from nothing” is evidence for god when, even if that was an valid explaination, it would show that something came from something else, not from nothing?

        • epeeist

          If something exists then nothing has to exist

          Existence is not a predicate.

        • Grigori Schmidt

          Why not? If there is no “nothing” so how can we talk about “something”?

        • epeeist

          Why not?

          Because a predicate is a property of an object, thus:

          ∃xPx – there is an x with property P

          If an object is a bundle of properties then what does it mean if we say that x does not have the property of existence? What objects do not possess the property?

        • Ignorant Amos

          No “nothing” must be something…}8O)~

        • Greg G.

          You have that backwards. If there was never a something, then “nothing” is meaningless.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I believe Krauss and/or Stenger have argued that nothing is unstable and so will eventually decay into something.