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Playing The Apologist


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Good people, Antlerman has commented that we have not seen a good debate between some noble Christian and ourselves in a good while. I thought that I might try my hand at playing the apologist. I’m going to take you guys on. And I intend to win for the benefit of all.

 

My premise is very simple. I posit that what you mistakenly call “causality” I rightfully call God. The mistake is, that many of you noble atheists depersonify causality. And if that wasn’t bad enough, you go even further in that you say that causality can be understood in purely mechanistic terms. That is a huge No-No.

 

You see, we reside in only one universe. We are not presented with a multitude of realities, but rather only one. This in essence provides causality with an identity.

 

Everything is entailed. Even the future is entailed. Sun Tzu said that every battle was won or lost before it began. This hints at what some might call destiny. This in essence provides causality with will and purpose.

 

Causality has a grain. Some have called this grain Natural Law. Causality has a pattern, a weave and a weft, if you will. To the extent that our reality has discernable parts, events, features, or properties all of these things stand in relation to one another. This is an acknowledgment of causality’s relations.

 

So seeing that causality has identity, will, and relations it is more accurate than not for me to recognize the persona of causality and call it God.

 

Q.E.D.

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You can label causality "god" if you like. I have a cat I label Patches. There are no holes in her hide that I've sewn up or anything, that's just what I chose to label her.

 

The only problem with labelling something with a word comes when you try to make the something live up to other possibilities implied by your label.

 

It would be as wrong for me to expect my cat to wear little squares of colored fabric on her fur, as it would be for you to expect causality to embody traits others generally attribute to the label "god".

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It would be as wrong for me to expect my cat to wear little squares of colored fabric on her fur, as it would be for you to expect causality to embody traits others generally attribute to the label "god".

I fail to see the relevance of your analogy noble White Raven. You have not addressed my arguments but rather side stepped them in my opinion.

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Causality is God...

 

Hmmm... so it's 'God' that prevents my potting the 8 ball before I've hit the cue ball?

 

On would consider it logical that, if god is the guardian of the arrow of time, it would be consistent at all scales and locations. It's been established that relativistic travel changes measured time, so why does God alter the speed of one second per second dependent when you are in a gravity field and how fast one is going? Also, why does causality stop working at the quantum level? The combinatorial side is pretty strict but time at that level is at best described as 'granular'... almost corpuscular, where events may occur in the sequence A-B-C-D... or A-BC-D or even AD-B-C-... the '-' indicating a sequence... causality stops being reliable... Maybe the dice roll where not even God can see?

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It would be as wrong for me to expect my cat to wear little squares of colored fabric on her fur, as it would be for you to expect causality to embody traits others generally attribute to the label "god".

I fail to see the relevance of your analogy noble White Raven. You have not addressed my arguments but rather side stepped them in my opinion.

 

 

This was your argument:

 

I posit that what you mistakenly call “causality” I rightfully call God. The mistake is, that many of you noble atheists depersonify causality.

 

And I say you can label causality anything you like, but expecting causality to live up to the label is expecting too much. You claim atheists depersonify causality and call that a "mistake". You choose to personify causality. How is this not equally a "mistake"? How is this the correct way to view causality? What evidence do you have that causality has a personality or any other trait one could clearly recognize as person, or person-like to justify implying that causality is a "who"?

 

Provide meat for this argument.

 

 

::on a side note, if causality were a who, I don't think the name god would be the right one to apply. I think the name would have to be Murphy::

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Maybe the dice roll where not even God can see?

God does not play dice. - Albert Einstein

 

I don't do fancy physics Gramps.

 

You claim atheists depersonify causality and call that a "mistake". You choose to personify causality. How is this not equally a "mistake"? How is this the correct way to view causality? What evidence do you have that causality has a personality or any other trait one could clearly recognize as person, or person-like to justify implying that causality is a "who"?

 

As I have argued, just as any "who" or persona has identity, will, and relations so too does causality. And you are right in that it matters not what label we use for this persona. "Murphy", or "Murdoch" will suffice as well as "God".

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By invoking 'Causality' you invoked Physics...

 

And I'd counter your Einstein comment by a passage by Hawking

 

Einstein was very unhappy about this apparent randomness in nature. His views were summed up in his famous phrase, 'God does not play dice'. He seemed to have felt that the uncertainty was only provisional: but that there was an underlying reality, in which particles would have well defined positions and speeds, and would evolve according to deterministic laws, in the spirit of Laplace. This reality might be known to God, but the quantum nature of light would prevent us seeing it, except through a glass darkly.

 

Einstein's view was what would now be called, a hidden variable theory. Hidden variable theories might seem to be the most obvious way to incorporate the Uncertainty Principle into physics. They form the basis of the mental picture of the universe, held by many scientists, and almost all philosophers of science. But these hidden variable theories are wrong. The British physicist, John Bell, who died recently, devised an experimental test that would distinguish hidden variable theories. When the experiment was carried out carefully, the results were inconsistent with hidden variables. Thus it seems that even God is bound by the Uncertainty Principle, and can not know both the position, and the speed, of a particle. So God does play dice with the universe. All the evidence points to him being an inveterate gambler, who throws the dice on every possible occasion.

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By invoking 'Causality' you invoked Physics...

Perhaps, and perhaps not. By "causality" I am intending to mean "entailment in the ambience." Few people would argue that the various events in our world are entirely unrelated to one another. In other words, if we were to ask, "why this event?" then we would expect there to be a multitude of answers.

 

If causality does not exist then science is meaningless.

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By invoking 'Causality' you invoked Physics...

Perhaps, and perhaps not. By "causality" I am intending to mean "entailment in the ambience." Few people would argue that the various events in our world are entirely unrelated to one another. In other words, if we were to ask, "why this event?" then we would expect there to be a multitude of answers.

 

If causality does not exist then science is meaningless.

 

"entailment in the ambience." Pardon? What exactly do you think that gibberish means?

 

Entailment is a predicate logic term, means something like A is wholly a subset of B, or if A is true it requires B to be true. Thus B is a presupposition of A

 

Ambience - n. particular atmosphere of a place.

 

So explain.

 

And causality exists, but it appears to be a function of dimension and is far from an invariant quantity.

 

I'm beginning to think, based on " Few people would argue that the various events in our world are entirely unrelated to one another." you're trying to invoke Jungian Synchronicity, where a bottle of beer being knocked off a fire escape Brooklyn is linked to a bear market in price of Pork Belly futures in Vienna...

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Good people, Antlerman has commented that we have not seen a good debate between some noble Christian and ourselves in a good while. I thought that I might try my hand at playing the apologist. I’m going to take you guys on.

Did I feel my half-Vulcan, half-Wookie ears burning? Scanning across this heady debate, after two and a half mojito's all I can say is, godditit. That's right goddidit. Carry on. :beer:

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Ah, you guys are great. I can see that this thread is not likely to go very far. I can tell you, from the other side you guys make formidable opponents.

 

You know one thing that I’ve learned from this is really how arrogant some apologists must be to think that they can come here and reconvert you guys. I would never try that sort of thing for real.

 

I find myself forced to capitulate. You guys are just too much for me.

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Hmm... I think I want to take a shot at this. If god is omniscient, then whether or not quantum fluctuations can be shown to be an ordered occurrence, and even if god can't perfectly detect each one prior to it's occurrence, his ability to predict them would necessarily be %100. This due to the vastness of his unlearned knowledge of universe-building, and his being present before the establishment of the universe (however that might have been accomplished). By definition, god's omniscience precludes a universe with variables that even he (she, it, them...whatever) can't know. In fact, that would perfectly (if I'm not completely insane) explain human responsibility for sin in a world where our creator knows everything.

 

Or I could just be talkin' completely out my ass here.

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Ah, you guys are great. I can see that this thread is not likely to go very far. I can tell you, from the other side you guys make formidable opponents.

 

You know one thing that I’ve learned from this is really how arrogant some apologists must be to think that they can come here and reconvert you guys. I would never try that sort of thing for real.

 

I find myself forced to capitulate. You guys are just too much for me.

I hope the levity hasn't put you off... I was doing my best to counter the points...

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Hmm... I think I want to take a shot at this. If god is omniscient, then whether or not quantum fluctuations can be shown to be an ordered occurrence, and even if god can't perfectly detect each one prior to it's occurrence, his ability to predict them would necessarily be %100. This due to the vastness of his unlearned knowledge of universe-building, and his being present before the establishment of the universe (however that might have been accomplished). By definition, god's omniscience precludes a universe with variables that even he (she, it, them...whatever) can't know. In fact, that would perfectly (if I'm not completely insane) explain human responsibility for sin in a world where our creator knows everything.

 

Or I could just be talkin' completely out my ass here.

I think you may have either disproved and omniscient and omnipotent God, or you've proved the New Thought movement has validity... I'm not sure which.

 

It's the question can God create an object he cannot move... if the answer is 'yes' then God isn't all powerful since he can't move it, if he can't make it, then he's not all powerful since he can't...

 

Unless on subscribes to the Doctor Manhattan style god, who knows exactly what's coming, but does his best to pretend he doesn't...

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No Gramps, the levity doesn’t put me off. It’s just that I am having a difficult time arguing a position that I do not believe in. I guess I would have done poorly on the debate team. In addition, I don’t know everything. I am still trying to grasp some very fundamental concepts.

 

We must not forget that people can have private definitions for things. By ambience I intend to mean everything that is non-self. I guess that I could have used the term environment instead of ambience.

 

On the subject of entailment, I am still trying to figure out what constitutes “entailment.” I think that you are correct in that if the set A is a subset of the set B and an element of A is given then it is necessarily an element of B.

 

In my own mind, I am having a difficult time knowing if “This entails that” means “This requires that” or “This makes that necessary.” Am I making sense? Let me turn to someone who strikes me as an authority on the subject, theoretical biologist Robert Rosen...

 

“It was, of course, Aristotle who associated the notion of entailment between phenomena with the question “why?” and answered it with a “because.” Indeed the pair consisting of the question “why A?” and the answer “because B” precisely asserts an entailment of A by B, and hence, an explanation of B in terms of A. In this way, entailment relations between phenomena are subsumed under the general framework of causality. To the extent that science is the study of entailment relations between phenomena, Aristotle correctly identified science with the study of “the why of things” and scientific explanation with the elucidation of causal sequences.”

 

I didn’t expect that this conversation would swing in this direction. But I do like the fact that this is providing me with an opportunity to hone my understanding. Thanks Gramps.

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The problem is that biology seems to be pretty Newtonian in a lot of ways, certainly in the way it's modelled... I've not yet read Rosen (it's on my 'To Be Read' pile), yet most systems seem to involve critical dynamical systems; for example blood clotting... to little and the organism bleeds out, too much and a single bruise would kill the organism at its circulatory system clogged... thus there is a critical damping of the systems...

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The problem is that biology seems to be pretty Newtonian in a lot of ways, certainly in the way it's modelled... I've not yet read Rosen (it's on my 'To Be Read' pile), yet most systems seem to involve critical dynamical systems

I am very much looking forward to your analysis of Rosen. He does not seem to argue that use of dynamic systems as modeling tools should be halted. But he does say that they are incomplete and that the alternative in biology should be "relational." He says that the essence of organism is organization. And organization can be impressed upon or realized in a wide variety of materials.

 

In addition, he argues that organization is a pattern of entailment. And as such requires the use of relational models (non-Newtonian) which are capable of capturing these patterns.

 

I still have a lot to learn. I want to understand organisms.

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Some of the Wolfram stuff around finite cellular automata (sort of simple models of biological systems) may help

 

One of the creationist arguments for ID is blood clotting... thing is, it's not surprising that we see "fine tuned" coagulation... if we didn't we'd see nothing since we'd never have got this far...

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Some of the Wolfram stuff around finite cellular automata (sort of simple models of biological systems) may help

Yes I've looked into Wolfram. I even heard him speak at a convention that I went to. He was not as arrogant as I was expecting.

 

He seems to labor under the assumption that the universe is a computer. I'm not sure at all if that assumption is correct.

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Problem with Wolfram is that he often mistakes the map for the territory...

Precisely Gramps. The model is not the natural system being modeled.

 

A word is a finger that points to the moon. The finger itself is not the moon.

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