Where the **** was Paul?

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:33 pm

captain howdy wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:42 pm
But notice—-in the case of the Turing test, you at least have written communication to go by, but you describe a God encounter as not even having that to go by—it’s just some kind of sense you get of being in the presence of an intelligent being like you’re in a seance of sorts. So this puts you in a similar position to the character in the novel, only when faced with the question of am I in contact with a machine or a man you answer “3. A supernatural agent”. I do thank both you and Og3 (and the other believers too) for trying to give me a sense of what such an experience is like the but the logic of it all escapes me. If it’s difficult enough under controlled conditions to be sure of just what or who you’re in remote contact with then you must be able to see how much more uncertainty is introduced by changing starting conditions from “controlled” (Turing test) to uncontrolled and then adding a whole new element of reality as of yet unconfirmed—the supernatural—into things. Your uncertainty about the nature of who you are in contact with goes way up, I would think. IOW, I would think the same underlying uncertainty at work in the ex. of a Turing test would be amplified enormously in your case (not even written communication to go by).
The Turing test really works on two levels. On one level it is highly controlled in setting up its initial conditions, but then it relies on human intuition to decide what is personal but because of the conditions it creates it entangles that intuition with elements of inference. The results are a bit mixed in that there are AI programs that can pass the test but there are human beings that fail it. I think it is approaching this from wrong end. There is an aspect of interpersonal relationships that is non-verbal and non-inferential, a place where self meets self. Martin Buber distinguishes this from these relations based on the partial perceptions of, among other things, logical inference, which he calls I-It relations, and calls this type of encounter an I-thou relationship. In this type of relationship we encounter the other and are transformed, we do not infer the other for to infer is to remain outside the other. Where we encounter God we are not inferring him from an experience but encountering him in that experience.
Moonwood the Hare wrote: I would think there would have to be some corresponding switch in the human mind and belief and disbelief does not seem to work in that kind of binary way.
Such trifles are of little concern to the omnipotent/omniscient. When one of the agents in the relationship has those attributes it throws a spanner into things. People need a switch such as you describe? No problem; he already installed it standard equipment, all humans would have it already. Etc.
Like a lot of arguments about what God could or should do, this one assumes that things could be exactly the same even if they were completely different. Omnipotence and omniscience are tricky concepts but most theologians seem to agree that they mean God can do or know anything that it is possible to do or know. There may be a sense in which, out of any relationship with creation, absolutely anything is open to God, but the act of creation itself must limit possibilities. Imagine God is going to create a world and he creates just one thing about that world, the thing he creates is the law of non-contradiction. As soon as that law is there, then certain possibilities are excluded. Now God cannot create something that both is and is not the case because that is excluded by the law he has just created. And as God goes on creating things more and more possibilities must be excluded. Now a human mind is a complex system and I simply do not see how the kind of switch you imagine could be incorporated into that system without radically changing the nature of that system. This would seem to me to be a possibility excluded by what has already been created.
Moonwood the Hare wrote: Yes I would think that too and had not meant to suggest otherwise.
But this has implications. Ugly implications. If Christian doctrine re: hell is true, and if the escape from this involves interaction with an omnipotent being that knows how to contact us but frequently doesn’t seem to then something is seriously seriously wrong with this picture.
Because the onus is more with God does not seem to me to imply that God is the only factor involved. From the human side there could be barriers of various kinds. If as Buber implies every encounter with God is also an encounter with the self this implies that there can be resistance not only at an intentional level but also in the Freudian sense; at several levels people may not want or be able to undertake that encounter with self. An encounter with God may facilitate a shattering of the ego, or an alienation from treasured feelings - called the Dark Night of the Soul. Hence the tradition tells us these things may not happen until we are ready for them. In the Eastern Church hell is seen as being in God's presence when one is not adapted to that.
Moonwood the Hare wrote: I think we are in agreement then. The claim God exists is one we can reason about but not one that can be decided by reason.
This is not to say however we cannot rule out certain depictions of God by dint of reason. Ex: Some believers depict God as being both perfectly just and omnibenevolent but these seem mutually contradictory at least if the idea of benevolence includes forgiveness for wrongdoing while “perfectly just” requires punishment for wrongdoing.
Yes but in this case the apparent contradiction stems in part from an accident of the English language where justice and righteousness are seen as different things and righteousness can include mercy where justice can't. in scripture righteousness does not include the idea of having to punish or withhold mercy. So for example we are told that when Joseph found Mary to be pregnant he decided to divorce her quietly rather than punishing her, and it says he did this because he was just.
All of the examples you gave have the common thread of existence—
exist

1Have objective reality or being.
‘dossiers existed on almost everyone of prominence’
‘there existed no organization to cope with espionage.’

1.1 Occur or be found, especially in a particular place or situation.
‘two conflicting stereotypes of housework exist in popular thinking’

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/exist
IOW All of the examples you presented have one thing in common: They're all real.
They are not all real in anything remotely like the same way. All you have done is replace one indefinite term 'exist' with another 'real'.
The aphorism Carl Sagan popularized is admittedly imprecise. When I use the term 'extraordinary claim' I mean that for it to be true would mean that much of what we think we know about reality is not true. Your example of the dinosaur in the driveway would upend a great deal of what we thought we knew about paleontology so it is an extraordinary claim. A leprechaun in the driveway instead would be even more extraordinary due to its introduction of the idea that reality hides a layer we could call the supernatural where magical rules override the known laws of nature and beings unseen by us reside and drunkenly screw with us.
You are still not recognizing that judgements about what is or is not extraordinary derive from specific social contexts. Here you talk of what 'we' think about reality. But this 'we' would have to be a particular group of people in a particular context. A statement can be regarded as extraordinary by a particular group if it contradicts that group's knowledge base. This means as I said that the extraordinaryness is a property of the reaction to the claim not the claim itself.
You and I are drawing two different conclusions from the lack of available evidence supporting the existence of God. You say the lack of evidence means that the claim God exists is not an empirical claim. However your own scripture disagrees with this--
Romans 1:20--

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse
I Conclude that the lack of evidence means that the existence of God is an empirical claim but it is an empirical claim that has failed. You conclude that the lack of available evidence indicates the claim is not empirical. How do you tell the difference?
I think you are misunderstanding the idiom being used here. In Biblical symbolism, as often in English usage, see in this kind of context means understand or perceive. It is talking about knowing by experience.
Moonwood the Hare wrote: No. I suggested doing it because it is more consistent with a skeptical outlook. Rationalistic modernism was being questioned almost as soon as its basic outlines were being formulated and there is now a vast body of criticism of this approach. Some of its fiercest critics, such as Wittgenstein or Feyerabend have been atheists and many of its early advocates such as Descartes were Christians.
Hmmm. Look at these numbers, Moon. I'm sure you're aware of the 2013 PhilPapers survey of contemporary philosophers.--

https://philpapers.org/archive/BOUWDP
God: atheism 72.8%; theism 14.6%; other 12.6%

Metaphilosophy: naturalism 49.8%; non-naturalism 25.9%; other 24.3%
Atheism >70% among contemporary philosophers, philosophical naturalism ~50%. My views at least on those two questions seems to be aligned with those of a large chunk of the philosophers surveyed.
You seem to have misunderstood me. I was not suggesting that Christianity was more consistent with a skeptical outlook than naturalism but that a personalist approach to epistemology is more consistent with a skeptical outlook than a rationalist approach. If rationalism were true, and correct reasoning lead to truth regardless of personal factors, then these figures would be very different. There would be something close to 100% agreement on metaphilosophy among those trained in the correct use of reason.
Interesting exchange. I note with some interest that our thinking seems to run along parallel lines in places.
Quite possibly.

captain howdy
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by captain howdy » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:03 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:There may be a sense in which, out of any relationship with creation, absolutely anything is open to God, but the act of creation itself must limit possibilities. Imagine God is going to create a world and he creates just one thing about that world, the thing he creates is the law of non-contradiction. As soon as that law is there, then certain possibilities are excluded. Now God cannot create something that both is and is not the case because that is excluded by the law he has just created. And as God goes on creating things more and more possibilities must be excluded. Now a human mind is a complex system and I simply do not see how the kind of switch you imagine could be incorporated into that system without radically changing the nature of that system. This would seem to me to be a possibility excluded by what has already been created.
This doesn't work. In this world which God created, which operates according to rules and laws God himself put into place, is it possible to walk on water? How about change water into wine with a word? Or raise the dead? As far as I am aware it is impossible to do any of those things and yet according to your own scriptures Jesus of Nazareth did them all.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:Because the onus is more with God does not seem to me to imply that God is the only factor involved. From the human side there could be barriers of various kinds. If as Buber implies every encounter with God is also an encounter with the self this implies that there can be resistance not only at an intentional level but also in the Freudian sense; at several levels people may not want or be able to undertake that encounter with self. An encounter with God may facilitate a shattering of the ego, or an alienation from treasured feelings - called the Dark Night of the Soul. Hence the tradition tells us these things may not happen until we are ready for them. In the Eastern Church hell is seen as being in God's presence when one is not adapted to that.
The question isn't where the onus to maintain a relationship with God lies, it's where the onus to initiate a relationship with God lies. The onus to initiate a relationship doesn't rest primarily with God, it rests exclusively with God. A God such as Christians proclaim can easily initiate contact with me but I have no idea how to contact him. God hasn't done his part to initiate contact so under current conditions a relationship of any kind at all isn't just difficult, it's impossible.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:IOW All of the examples you presented have one thing in common: They're all real.
They are not all real in anything remotely like the same way. All you have done is replace one indefinite term 'exist' with another 'real'.
In your own words, what do these two statements mean--

1. A red car in the driveway exists.
2. Prejudice exists.

What do they have in common, do you think? We spend about 70% of our time quibbling over terms, you and I.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:The aphorism Carl Sagan popularized is admittedly imprecise. When I use the term 'extraordinary claim' I mean that for it to be true would mean that much of what we think we know about reality is not true. Your example of the dinosaur in the driveway would upend a great deal of what we thought we knew about paleontology so it is an extraordinary claim. A leprechaun in the driveway instead would be even more extraordinary due to its introduction of the idea that reality hides a layer we could call the supernatural where magical rules override the known laws of nature and beings unseen by us reside and drunkenly screw with us.
You are still not recognizing that judgements about what is or is not extraordinary derive from specific social contexts. Here you talk of what 'we' think about reality. But this 'we' would have to be a particular group of people in a particular context. A statement can be regarded as extraordinary by a particular group if it contradicts that group's knowledge base. This means as I said that the extraordinaryness is a property of the reaction to the claim not the claim itself.
No no, it's a fair objection. To say something is extraordinary means it is extraordinary relative to something else. The way I was using the term the claim "there is a pterodactyl in the driveway " could be considered extraordinary relative to our current understanding of paleontology. Likewise, the claim there is a leprechaun (or other supernatural agent) in the driveway is an even more extraordinary claim relative to our understanding of how the physical world works, since for the claim to be true would require that the supernatural also be real, which would in turn invalidate much of what we thought we knew about reality. If you say there's a red car in the driveway a glance is probably all the verification you need. Change "car" to "leprechaun" and further, more exhaustive verification is appropriate. I think that's all the phrase "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" means.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:You and I are drawing two different conclusions from the lack of available evidence supporting the existence of God. You say the lack of evidence means that the claim God exists is not an empirical claim. However your own scripture disagrees with this--
Romans 1:20--

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse
I Conclude that the lack of evidence means that the existence of God is an empirical claim but it is an empirical claim that has failed. You conclude that the lack of available evidence indicates the claim is not empirical. How do you tell the difference?
I think you are misunderstanding the idiom being used here. In Biblical symbolism, as often in English usage, see in this kind of context means understand or perceive. It is talking about knowing by experience.
I posed an excellent question to you and you seem to have sidestepped it---
I Conclude that the lack of evidence means that the existence of God is an empirical claim but it is an empirical claim that has failed. You conclude that the lack of available evidence indicates the claim is not empirical. How do you tell the difference?
If there is no evidence to support the truth of an existential claim, does that mean the claim is not an empirical claim or does it merely mean that it is a failed empirical claim---and how do you tell the difference? The author of Romans is saying that the product of God's handiwork--nature--can be examined and the result of that examination will be an experience such as you describe. God's handiwork---nature---serves as evidence so persuasively that once it is examined all are without excuse. The question of God's existence is an empirical claim according to scripture itself.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:Atheism >70% among contemporary philosophers, philosophical naturalism ~50%. My views at least on those two questions seems to be aligned with those of a large chunk of the philosophers surveyed.
You seem to have misunderstood me. I was not suggesting that Christianity was more consistent with a skeptical outlook than naturalism but that a personalist approach to epistemology is more consistent with a skeptical outlook than a rationalist approach. If rationalism were true, and correct reasoning lead to truth regardless of personal factors, then these figures would be very different. There would be something close to 100% agreement on metaphilosophy among those trained in the correct use of reason.
When rationalism is contrasted to something else the contrast is usually between rationalism and empiricism. Here's a link on that; I'm just throwing it out there for anyone interested. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rati ... mpiricism/ Send me an article on the rationalist/personalist dichotomy if you have one; thanks.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:38 pm

captain howdy wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:03 pm
Moonwood the Hare wrote:There may be a sense in which, out of any relationship with creation, absolutely anything is open to God, but the act of creation itself must limit possibilities. Imagine God is going to create a world and he creates just one thing about that world, the thing he creates is the law of non-contradiction. As soon as that law is there, then certain possibilities are excluded. Now God cannot create something that both is and is not the case because that is excluded by the law he has just created. And as God goes on creating things more and more possibilities must be excluded. Now a human mind is a complex system and I simply do not see how the kind of switch you imagine could be incorporated into that system without radically changing the nature of that system. This would seem to me to be a possibility excluded by what has already been created.
This doesn't work. In this world which God created, which operates according to rules and laws God himself put into place, is it possible to walk on water? How about change water into wine with a word? Or raise the dead? As far as I am aware it is impossible to do any of those things and yet according to your own scriptures Jesus of Nazareth did them all.
Good question.

From a naturalist perspective such things are not possible from a Christian perspective they are possible. The reason they are possible is because God as an agent can act into creation without breaking its laws. C S Lewis gives the following illustration. The laws of arithmetic decree 2 + 2 = 4.So if I put 2 coins in the draw on Monday and add 2 more on Wednesday there must be 4 there on Friday. Unless someone takes two out on Thursday. The laws of arithmetic remain the same even though what they predict does not happen because an agent has intervened. But this does not mean actions, particularly within complex systems, do not exclude possibilities. So yes to God acting into the human mind or into the world, no to that meaning everything then becomes possible.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:Because the onus is more with God does not seem to me to imply that God is the only factor involved. From the human side there could be barriers of various kinds. If as Buber implies every encounter with God is also an encounter with the self this implies that there can be resistance not only at an intentional level but also in the Freudian sense; at several levels people may not want or be able to undertake that encounter with self. An encounter with God may facilitate a shattering of the ego, or an alienation from treasured feelings - called the Dark Night of the Soul. Hence the tradition tells us these things may not happen until we are ready for them. In the Eastern Church hell is seen as being in God's presence when one is not adapted to that.
The question isn't where the onus to maintain a relationship with God lies, it's where the onus to initiate a relationship with God lies. The onus to initiate a relationship doesn't rest primarily with God, it rests exclusively with God. A God such as Christians proclaim can easily initiate contact with me but I have no idea how to contact him. God hasn't done his part to initiate contact so under current conditions a relationship of any kind at all isn't just difficult, it's impossible.
God could initiate contact in many different ways. Me suggesting you read one of the gospels could be just that. But you are insisting this initiating action must take a particular form.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:IOW All of the examples you presented have one thing in common: They're all real.
They are not all real in anything remotely like the same way. All you have done is replace one indefinite term 'exist' with another 'real'.
In your own words, what do these two statements mean--

1. A red car in the driveway exists.
2. Prejudice exists.

What do they have in common, do you think? We spend about 70% of our time quibbling over terms, you and I.
Well in the first case we mean it exists as a physical reality which can be detected through the senses. In the second case we mean that some people have performed certain actions with certain motives and that these motives may be partly or wholly hidden from the people in question. Obviously these two things do not exist in the same way. There have been huge arguments in the press recently about whether Jeremy Corbyn has a particular prejudice, whether he is antisemitic. You can look at the facts and argue this backwards and forwards and explore his motives but this prejudice is never going to be there in the same way a car in the drive is.
No no, it's a fair objection. To say something is extraordinary means it is extraordinary relative to something else. The way I was using the term the claim "there is a pterodactyl in the driveway " could be considered extraordinary relative to our current understanding of paleontology. Likewise, the claim there is a leprechaun (or other supernatural agent) in the driveway is an even more extraordinary claim relative to our understanding of how the physical world works, since for the claim to be true would require that the supernatural also be real, which would in turn invalidate much of what we thought we knew about reality. If you say there's a red car in the driveway a glance is probably all the verification you need. Change "car" to "leprechaun" and further, more exhaustive verification is appropriate. I think that's all the phrase "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" means.
You are still using this undefined 'we'. There are people who believe in things like leprechauns and you can't wish these people out of existence by talking of what 'we' all understand. I can see that these things are extraordinary in relation to a particular interpretation of science. I would also think that with the pterodactyl there is more of a problem than with the leprechaun because this is something we know about through that science, for many people the leprechaun can simply exist alongside the science. It is certainly true that if the supernatural were real it would invalidate many of your ideas about reality but if a person claimed there was a leprechaun in the drive rather than immediately going into overdrive with empirical verification I would suggest first of all trying to determine what he meant. There may not be any method for verifying the thing he means.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:You and I are drawing two different conclusions from the lack of available evidence supporting the existence of God. You say the lack of evidence means that the claim God exists is not an empirical claim. However your own scripture disagrees with this--



I Conclude that the lack of evidence means that the existence of God is an empirical claim but it is an empirical claim that has failed. You conclude that the lack of available evidence indicates the claim is not empirical. How do you tell the difference?
I think you are misunderstanding the idiom being used here. In Biblical symbolism, as often in English usage, see in this kind of context means understand or perceive. It is talking about knowing by experience.
I posed an excellent question to you and you seem to have sidestepped it---
I Conclude that the lack of evidence means that the existence of God is an empirical claim but it is an empirical claim that has failed. You conclude that the lack of available evidence indicates the claim is not empirical. How do you tell the difference?
If there is no evidence to support the truth of an existential claim, does that mean the claim is not an empirical claim or does it merely mean that it is a failed empirical claim---and how do you tell the difference? The author of Romans is saying that the product of God's handiwork--nature--can be examined and the result of that examination will be an experience such as you describe. God's handiwork---nature---serves as evidence so persuasively that once it is examined all are without excuse. The question of God's existence is an empirical claim according to scripture itself.
You are assuming, I think, that because the word 'see' is used and because we are talking of something known through the senses this must entail an empirical claim. But I think not. For example if I said, 'If you look at Botticelli's Birth of Venus you will see it is a beautiful painting,' I would not be making an empirical claim. What I would be saying is that the painting would trigger a response in you. In the same way if I put three sticks in front of you and they are the same length I can use them to show the axiom of equals is true in this case, but this may also trigger the intuition that the axiom is always true. If that happens you will see (=understand) far more than you 'see'.
When rationalism is contrasted to something else the contrast is usually between rationalism and empiricism. Here's a link on that; I'm just throwing it out there for anyone interested. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rati ... mpiricism/ Send me an article on the rationalist/personalist dichotomy if you have one; thanks.
No, I don't. Rationalism in this sense would encompass empiricism, the term positivism is sometimes used. Karl Popper is usually classed as a rationalist in the sense I am using the word here but he was a critic of at least one form of positivism (that of the Vienna School). Michael Polanyi is a personalist. He offers an alternative approach to knowledge which recognizes a personal or commitment dimension in knowing. The wikipedia entry on Polany gives a good idea of how this works.

captain howdy
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by captain howdy » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:41 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:
Moonwood the Hare wrote:There may be a sense in which, out of any relationship with creation, absolutely anything is open to God, but the act of creation itself must limit possibilities. Imagine God is going to create a world and he creates just one thing about that world, the thing he creates is the law of non-contradiction. As soon as that law is there, then certain possibilities are excluded. Now God cannot create something that both is and is not the case because that is excluded by the law he has just created. And as God goes on creating things more and more possibilities must be excluded. Now a human mind is a complex system and I simply do not see how the kind of switch you imagine could be incorporated into that system without radically changing the nature of that system. This would seem to me to be a possibility excluded by what has already been created.
This doesn't work. In this world which God created, which operates according to rules and laws God himself put into place, is it possible to walk on water? How about change water into wine with a word? Or raise the dead? As far as I am aware it is impossible to do any of those things and yet according to your own scriptures Jesus of Nazareth did them all.
Good question.

From a naturalist perspective such things are not possible from a Christian perspective they are possible.
Perspective's got nothing to do with this; we're weighing the question whether God is somehow constrained by laws he himself launched at startup. You're arguing he is, I'm providing counter-examples in scripture that invalidate every single word of your case.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:The reason they are possible is because God as an agent can act into creation without breaking its laws. C S Lewis gives the following illustration. The laws of arithmetic decree 2 + 2 = 4.So if I put 2 coins in the draw on Monday and add 2 more on Wednesday there must be 4 there on Friday. Unless someone takes two out on Thursday. The laws of arithmetic remain the same even though what they predict does not happen because an agent has intervened. But this does not mean actions, particularly within complex systems, do not exclude possibilities. So yes to God acting into the human mind or into the world, no to that meaning everything then becomes possible.
Objection, "act into" is ad hoc through and through....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hoc_hypothesis. Sorry, Moon I'm not trying to be mister negativity here, but---
In science and philosophy, an ad hoc hypothesis is a hypothesis added to a theory in order to save it from being falsified. Often, ad hoc hypothesizing is employed to compensate for anomalies not anticipated by the theory in its unmodified form.
You included a separate and previously unacknowledged mechanism of divine action---"acting into"---only after I cited three counter-examples that invalidated your point that God is somehow constrained by the laws of nature he set into motion at creation. Hell, you've argued with me often enough. You must have known I'd hit you with this before you even finished typing. God is no more constrained from revealing his miraculous self right here and now than he was when he walked on water two thousand years ago. This is not a winning argument for you.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:The question isn't where the onus to maintain a relationship with God lies, it's where the onus to initiate a relationship with God lies. The onus to initiate a relationship doesn't rest primarily with God, it rests exclusively with God. A God such as Christians proclaim can easily initiate contact with me but I have no idea how to contact him. God hasn't done his part to initiate contact so under current conditions a relationship of any kind at all isn't just difficult, it's impossible.
God could initiate contact in many different ways. Me suggesting you read one of the gospels could be just that. But you are insisting this initiating action must take a particular form.
Well, no you suggesting I read one of the gospels absolutely could not be just that. God initiating contact is just that, God contacting me. You telling me to go read the Bible in lieu of is just that---you initiating contact. And you initiating contact is most definitely not the same as the Almighty doing it. Note that this is still true even if God himself told you every single word of what to say---it's still you initiating contact and not God.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:No no, it's a fair objection. To say something is extraordinary means it is extraordinary relative to something else. The way I was using the term the claim "there is a pterodactyl in the driveway " could be considered extraordinary relative to our current understanding of paleontology. Likewise, the claim there is a leprechaun (or other supernatural agent) in the driveway is an even more extraordinary claim relative to our understanding of how the physical world works, since for the claim to be true would require that the supernatural also be real, which would in turn invalidate much of what we thought we knew about reality. If you say there's a red car in the driveway a glance is probably all the verification you need. Change "car" to "leprechaun" and further, more exhaustive verification is appropriate. I think that's all the phrase "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" means.
You are still using this undefined 'we'. There are people who believe in things like leprechauns and you can't wish these people out of existence by talking of what 'we' all understand. I can see that these things are extraordinary in relation to a particular interpretation of science. I would also think that with the pterodactyl there is more of a problem than with the leprechaun because this is something we know about through that science, for many people the leprechaun can simply exist alongside the science. It is certainly true that if the supernatural were real it would invalidate many of your ideas about reality but if a person claimed there was a leprechaun in the drive rather than immediately going into overdrive with empirical verification I would suggest first of all trying to determine what he meant. There may not be any method for verifying the thing he means.
In the case of the pterodactyl in the driveway the "we" refers to paleontologists. Not sure why we're even arguing this one. You seem to have agreed that a claim can indeed be viewed as extraordinary when viewed against a particular group's database. I'm just providing a specific example.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:I think you are misunderstanding the idiom being used here. In Biblical symbolism, as often in English usage, see in this kind of context means understand or perceive. It is talking about knowing by experience.
It is talking about knowing by experience after examining the evidence of his handiworks. Moon, do you believe there is evidence for the existence of God? Does the church make such a claim?

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:48 pm

captain howdy wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:41 am
Perspective's got nothing to do with this; we're weighing the question whether God is somehow constrained by laws he himself launched at startup. You're arguing he is, I'm providing counter-examples in scripture that invalidate every single word of your case.
What you seem to be arguing is that if God ever acts in such a way that the outcome is not what would have happened had events been allowed to take their natural course then God cannot in any way be constrained by laws he has created. Now it seems me this does not follow, the keyword is somehow: God could be constrained in some ways and not others. In fact scripture often talks of God voluntarily submitting to laws he is created, making what scripture calls a covenant. But scripture also talks as if God's actions have consequences which entail limitations. So Jesus says 'I would have gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks but you would not.' It assumes something in creation can put a limit on God's actions.
Objection, "act into" is ad hoc through and through....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hoc_hypothesis. Sorry, Moon I'm not trying to be mister negativity here, but---
In science and philosophy, an ad hoc hypothesis is a hypothesis added to a theory in order to save it from being falsified. Often, ad hoc hypothesizing is employed to compensate for anomalies not anticipated by the theory in its unmodified form.
You included a separate and previously unacknowledged mechanism of divine action---"acting into"---only after I cited three counter-examples that invalidated your point that God is somehow constrained by the laws of nature he set into motion at creation. Hell, you've argued with me often enough. You must have known I'd hit you with this before you even finished typing. God is no more constrained from revealing his miraculous self right here and now than he was when he walked on water two thousand years ago. This is not a winning argument for you.
I am familiar with the concept of an ad hoc hypothesis. The problem is this. When someone develops a scientific theory, the theory aims to be comprehensive in its domain and if evens then happen that do not fit the theory then it is generally agreed the theory should not be modified by an ad hoc hypothesis. However not every presentation of an idea has to aim and being comprehensive and you cannot expect every brief statement to contain every concept you may later want to draw on. What makes this different to an ad hoc hypothesis is whether or not something along the lines now proposed is implicit in what was stated earlier. I would say the idea of God acting into creation and its laws is implicit in the concept of God as an agent which is assumed everywhere in scripture and Christian tradition.
Well, no you suggesting I read one of the gospels absolutely could not be just that. God initiating contact is just that, God contacting me. You telling me to go read the Bible in lieu of is just that---you initiating contact. And you initiating contact is most definitely not the same as the Almighty doing it. Note that this is still true even if God himself told you every single word of what to say---it's still you initiating contact and not God.
imagine you have a row of dominoes set up so that they fall onto each other and the last one to fall trips a light switch. What you are saying is a bit like saying an agent could only initiate the tripping of the switch by not touching the dominoes. But an initiating action could happen anywhere along the train of causality.
In the case of the pterodactyl in the driveway the "we" refers to paleontologists. Not sure why we're even arguing this one. You seem to have agreed that a claim can indeed be viewed as extraordinary when viewed against a particular group's database. I'm just providing a specific example.
Neither you nor I are paleontologists so the 'we' would have to include both the paleontologists and people who accept their conclusions. A claim can be extraordinary in relation to a shared personal decision by a group. In the case of the leprechaun the whole picture changes and his presence is much less problematic. People think supernatural ideas cause massive problems for science but they don't they cause massive problems for scientists who are also ontological materialists. The pterodactyl is more problematic because this is something we only know about through science and we also know where according tothat science it ought to be.
It is talking about knowing by experience after examining the evidence of his handiworks. Moon, do you believe there is evidence for the existence of God? Does the church make such a claim?
Evidence and especially evidentialist epistemology are modern developments. Once these ideas had been introduced some Christians tried to adapt Christian apologetics to fit this approach. The kind of experience Paul is talking about comes through reflection on creation but it is not evidence for God as a hypothesis.

captain howdy
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:48 am

Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by captain howdy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:50 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:48 pm
captain howdy wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:41 am
Perspective's got nothing to do with this; we're weighing the question whether God is somehow constrained by laws he himself launched at startup. You're arguing he is, I'm providing counter-examples in scripture that invalidate every single word of your case.
What you seem to be arguing is that if God ever acts in such a way that the outcome is not what would have happened had events been allowed to take their natural course then God cannot in any way be constrained by laws he has created. Now it seems me this does not follow, the keyword is somehow: God could be constrained in some ways and not others.
All I’m saying here is that scripture does not support the claim that God is constrained by his own laws.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:In fact scripture often talks of God voluntarily submitting to laws he is created, making what scripture calls a covenant. But scripture also talks as if God's actions have consequences which entail limitations. So Jesus says 'I would have gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks but you would not.' It assumes something in creation can put a limit on God's actions.
1 Thess 4:
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Now that’s what I call gathering your chicks.

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:…You included a separate and previously unacknowledged mechanism of divine action---"acting into"---only after I cited three counter-examples that invalidated your point that God is somehow constrained by the laws of nature he set into motion at creation. Hell, you've argued with me often enough. You must have known I'd hit you with this before you even finished typing. God is no more constrained from revealing his miraculous self right here and now than he was when he walked on water two thousand years ago. This is not a winning argument for you.
I am familiar with the concept of an ad hoc hypothesis. The problem is this. When someone develops a scientific theory, the theory aims to be comprehensive in its domain and if evens then happen that do not fit the theory then it is generally agreed the theory should not be modified by an ad hoc hypothesis. However not every presentation of an idea has to aim and being comprehensive and you cannot expect every brief statement to contain every concept you may later want to draw on. What makes this different to an ad hoc hypothesis is whether or not something along the lines now proposed is implicit in what was stated earlier. I would say the idea of God acting into creation and its laws is implicit in the concept of God as an agent which is assumed everywhere in scripture and Christian tradition.
You seem to be trying to argue that God is constrained by his own laws and then you provide a mysterious new mechanism of divine action—-acting into—-that allows him to do the opposite, walk on water for instance. The logic escapes me
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:Well, no you suggesting I read one of the gospels absolutely could not be just that. God initiating contact is just that, God contacting me. You telling me to go read the Bible in lieu of is just that---you initiating contact. And you initiating contact is most definitely not the same as the Almighty doing it. Note that this is still true even if God himself told you every single word of what to say---it's still you initiating contact and not God.
imagine you have a row of dominoes set up so that they fall onto each other and the last one to fall trips a light switch. What you are saying is a bit like saying an agent could only initiate the tripping of the switch by not touching the dominoes. But an initiating action could happen anywhere along the train of causality.
The idea that there is an entity from another dimension that wants to contact me is highly implausible, so ask yourself: who would be more persuasive; you or God himself? If God has a crucial message regarding my soul why would he “play telephone” as it were and have a flawed error-prone human deliver it in corrupted form when he could deliver this crucial message with 100% accuracy and clarity himself?

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:In the case of the pterodactyl in the driveway the "we" refers to paleontologists. Not sure why we're even arguing this one. You seem to have agreed that a claim can indeed be viewed as extraordinary when viewed against a particular group's database. I'm just providing a specific example.
Neither you nor I are paleontologists so the 'we' would have to include both the paleontologists and people who accept their conclusions. A claim can be extraordinary in relation to a shared personal decision by a group. In the case of the leprechaun the whole picture changes and his presence is much less problematic. People think supernatural ideas cause massive problems for science but they don't they cause massive problems for scientists who are also ontological materialists. The pterodactyl is more problematic because this is something we only know about through science and we also know where according tothat science it ought to be.
Scientists draw a sharp distinction between philosophical and methodological naturalism. They can explain it better than me http://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/ ... ralism.htm
Methodological Naturalism vs
Ontological or Philosophical Naturalism

Excerpted from http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articl ... 4_2003.asp
by Lawrence Lerner

It is standard intelligent design creationist jargon to deliberatly confuse and misuse the terms ontological (philosophical) naturalism and methodological naturalism. The former is the view that nothing supernatural exists - a point which may engender heated debate among theologians and philosophers but is irrelevant to the pursuit of science.

Methodological naturalism is not a "doctrine" but an essential aspect of the methodology of science, the study of the natural universe. If one believes that natural laws and theories based on them will not suffice to solve the problems attacked by scientists - that supernatural and thus nonscientific principles must be invoked from time to time - then one cannot have the confidence in scientific methodology that is prerequisite to doing science. The spectacular successes over four centuries of science based on methodological naturalism cannot be gainsaid. On the other hand, a scientist who, when stumped, invokes a supernatural cause for a phenomenon he or she is investigating is guaranteed that no scientific understanding of the problem will ensue.

Here is an example. Let us imagine a geocentrist astronomer in the era of Newton. Newton uses his dynamics to account for the perturbation of the elliptical orbit of Mars around the Sun due to the gravitational influence of Jupiter, and cranks out numbers that are quickly verified by astronomical observation. The entire exercise makes no sense to the geocentrist, who (a) on the basis of the central importance of mankind in the eyes of God, does not grant the ellipticity of the orbit of Mars around the Sun but insists that the Earth be the center of the universe; (b) insists that the orbits of the planets (and the Sun) are guided by angels. The intelligent design creationist arguments may be couched more subtly and elusively than this geocentric view, but they are of the same kind.

As for the phraseology, "not designed," there is here a slipping around the need to define the term "design." Living things certainly have organs and systems that are best described in terms of Aristotle's "final cause" - that is, the function which their form enables them to accomplish. But design can mean either of two things. It can mean the form itself, without reference to the way that the form came to be. No one doubts that the wings of birds are admirably designed to the function of flight, in this sense of design. What the intelligent design creationists are after, however, is the other meaning of design - the end-product of the work of a designer. Intelligent design creationists often hide the essentially theological nature of this meaning by insisting that the designer might have been some space aliens and not the God of their scriptures. But they do not maintain this position when addressing sympathetic church groups of their own or similar persuasion.
I am not a scientist, but I can point out that people who are scientists would have serious problems with the reality of leprechauns. Once you allow the magical as an explanation it’s anything goes.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
captain howdy wrote:It is talking about knowing by experience after examining the evidence of his handiworks. Moon, do you believe there is evidence for the existence of God? Does the church make such a claim?
Evidence and especially evidentialist epistemology are modernt was a simple question developments. Once these ideas had been introduced some Christians tried to adapt Christian apologetics to fit this approach. The kind of experience Paul is talking about comes through reflection on creation but it is not evidence for God as a hypothesis.
That was a simple yes or no question. Do you as a Christian believe there is evidence for the existence of God? Because if you do then it would seem that you yourself believe the question of God’s existence is empirical.

Claire
Posts: 1155
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:25 am

Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Claire » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:10 pm

captain howdy wrote:He could just flip a switch in some celestial control board and my disbelief would vanish. Why the hide-and-seek? Souls are at stake here, why the games? Still—nothing. And as I pointed out earlier, he can find me waaay easier than I can find him, so the onus to start a relationship lies more with him than with me, I would think.
So, because you didn't experience what and when you wanted, you just concluded God doesn't or can't exist, and therefore you don't expect anything to happen, yet demand God come to you, and do all the work, if He does exist. Do you find that impatient, arrogant, entitled, and lazy on your part?

You don't know what you desire won't ever happen. So, why conclude He doesn't or can't exist? And, even if God manifests and speaks audibly to you, there's still the possibility you could choose to doubt your experience -- God isn't going to force you to have Faith. If you don't doubt, contemplate what Jesus said to His apostle Thomas,

"You believe now because you have seen. But, blessed are those who will believe in Me without having seen! Which reward shall I have to give them, if I have to reward you, who's faith has been assisted by the power of seeing!"

User avatar
Moonwood the Hare
Posts: 282
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:35 pm

captain howdy wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:50 am
Scientists draw a sharp distinction between philosophical and methodological naturalism. They can explain it better than me http://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/ ... ralism.htm
Methodological Naturalism vs
Ontological or Philosophical Naturalism

Excerpted from http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articl ... 4_2003.asp
by Lawrence Lerner

It is standard intelligent design creationist jargon to deliberatly confuse and misuse the terms ontological (philosophical) naturalism and methodological naturalism. The former is the view that nothing supernatural exists - a point which may engender heated debate among theologians and philosophers but is irrelevant to the pursuit of science.

Methodological naturalism is not a "doctrine" but an essential aspect of the methodology of science, the study of the natural universe. If one believes that natural laws and theories based on them will not suffice to solve the problems attacked by scientists - that supernatural and thus nonscientific principles must be invoked from time to time - then one cannot have the confidence in scientific methodology that is prerequisite to doing science. The spectacular successes over four centuries of science based on methodological naturalism cannot be gainsaid. On the other hand, a scientist who, when stumped, invokes a supernatural cause for a phenomenon he or she is investigating is guaranteed that no scientific understanding of the problem will ensue.

Here is an example. Let us imagine a geocentrist astronomer in the era of Newton. Newton uses his dynamics to account for the perturbation of the elliptical orbit of Mars around the Sun due to the gravitational influence of Jupiter, and cranks out numbers that are quickly verified by astronomical observation. The entire exercise makes no sense to the geocentrist, who (a) on the basis of the central importance of mankind in the eyes of God, does not grant the ellipticity of the orbit of Mars around the Sun but insists that the Earth be the center of the universe; (b) insists that the orbits of the planets (and the Sun) are guided by angels. The intelligent design creationist arguments may be couched more subtly and elusively than this geocentric view, but they are of the same kind.

As for the phraseology, "not designed," there is here a slipping around the need to define the term "design." Living things certainly have organs and systems that are best described in terms of Aristotle's "final cause" - that is, the function which their form enables them to accomplish. But design can mean either of two things. It can mean the form itself, without reference to the way that the form came to be. No one doubts that the wings of birds are admirably designed to the function of flight, in this sense of design. What the intelligent design creationists are after, however, is the other meaning of design - the end-product of the work of a designer. Intelligent design creationists often hide the essentially theological nature of this meaning by insisting that the designer might have been some space aliens and not the God of their scriptures. But they do not maintain this position when addressing sympathetic church groups of their own or similar persuasion.
I am not a scientist, but I can point out that people who are scientists would have serious problems with the reality of leprechauns. Once you allow the magical as an explanation it’s anything goes.
I thought this was really interesting. I agree about methodological naturalism not implying ontological naturalism. That leaves open the possibility that certain things are outside the remit of natural science. But the history is way off beam. Instead of looking at the facts these guys make up an imaginary history. The writers are saying the geocentrists were relying on theological or metaphysical arguments while heliocentrists were using what we would now recognise as valid science but that is untrue. The heliocentrists had a lot of science on their side and brought very good scientific arguments against the views of Galileo and Copernicus which they called the Pythagorean view. As far as they were concerned Copernicus and Galileo were trying to revive an outdated theory, based on scant evidence and dubious new techniques. They did use metaphysical and theological arguiments but so did the Heliocentrists. Kepler's work is rife with this and so is Newton. So Newton supports the case for Heliocentrism with interpreations of the temple in Jerusalema and the pyramid at Gaza for example. What is more he thinks his calculations do not exactly fit the observed planetary motions but says God steps in now and then to put the planets right. This is introducing the supernatural into science but was very far from guaranteeing that no scientific understanding of the problem ensued. Later Laplace was able to show that Newton's theories did fit the facts and was challenged for not showing how God intervened in the way Newton had said and he replied 'I have no need of that hypothesis'. Not that he found no need at all for God; he was a believing Catholic, but he did not need to use God in his theory in that way.

Another thing that was going on at the time was a paradigm shift in scientific methodology. Medieval science tended to use a lot of teleology in physics. So objects were seen as moving to towards the earth which was their natural place of rest. Get rid of geocentrism and suddenly you have no explanation for gravity. Newton hoped that eventually there would be this kind of teleological explanation but he says regarding this 'Hypothesis non fingo' = "I have no hypothesis". He has a description of what gravity does but not why it does this in terms of purposes. Physics is happy enough without that kind of teleology, although in biology scientists still make use of teleological explanations (with an understanding these could be reduced to causal explanations via evolutionary history). So for example if you want to explain the circulation of the blood, why is it doing this or that are good questions.

So now you have this bunch of people, the intelligent design advocates who want to see a similar paradigm shift in methodology. As happened in the case of the shift in Newton's day scientist have trouble recognising this as science. Could this shift take hold. I don't think the problem with it is so much that is tries to smuggle in supernaturalism as that it does not seem to produce fruitful research. Once you have said some feature of the natural world is intelligently designed there does not seem to be anywhere to go with that whereas if you try to figure out how it got there by natural processes research seems to flourish. But the whole ideas of intelligent design is not one I find very interesting.

As for Leprechauns I would think they could quite happily exist alongside science but they are not likely to be part of any scientific explanation. You don't have to decide whether leprechauns exist in order to do science.

Rian
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Rian » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:14 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:38 pm
In the Eastern Church hell is seen as being in God's presence when one is not adapted to that.
Reminds me of C.S. Lewis' interesting book The Great Divorce.

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