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September 28, 2011

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"Empirically based logic"

I couldn't believe my hearing based eyesight when I read that. It made me doubt all my inference based senses.

Logic is not empirically based. It is the other way around. First logic is deemed to be 'relevant,' and 'constant' and 'reflective of reality' and 'accessible' to our minds. It is accepted as "a-priori" and "properly basic."

Empiricism can be evaluated because logic precedes empiricism. For one has to have logic to derive from empirical observations to even deduce that logic is "logical."

In the Christian worldview, logic find good grounding in the first cause. Because the first cause if logical and is an intelligent agent, we find reason to believe the universe is viable to logical treatment and the laws governing the universe are logical and uniform.

Time magazine has hit bottom and now they've started digging.

Two things.

1- She should have a conversation with John Polkinghorne,who literally wrote a book on Quantum Physics, and is now an Anglican Priest. Let's see if he agrees.

2- As for praying rather than acting, it reminds me of an old Jewish story I heard once. God was asked what he what he was going to do to to take care of all the evil in the world. The response was "I sent you."

Thanks for this well written article Melinda. I thought it interesting that Dr. Randall’s definition of religious influences on the world - “unseen, imperceptible influences that is unbridgeable by logical thought” sounded like a good definition of evolution. Ironically, it was Rick Perry’s insight that evolutionary theory “has some gaps” that initiated this article in Time.

Hi Trent, I was also reminded of a pithy saying regarding the relationship between praying and action. It goes like this:

"When a farmer prays for a good crop, God expects him to say amen with a hoe!"

"Christianity has always considered itself to be a knowledge tradition."

Not only that, but it also criticizes opposing worldviews of men as foolish. They are suppressing the truth, not honestly searching for it. The "emperical" world should declare the glory of the Creator if science is done right, not disqualify even the possibility of a non material entity.

"They are suppressing the truth, not honestly searching for it."

One example that I can think of from the Physics world (which I will use as I don't know Biology other than a few courses I took)is that sometimes, if you listen, you will hear that the reason that the God hypothesis isn't followed is not because it is ruled out, but for another reason.

Hawking, I hear, is of the philosophy that if you have two models to explain something, and neither have been shown false, and they both give the same results there is no difference between them. Neither one is more real than the other. This comes to play in QM as there are several formulations that all give you the same answer but some are harder to calculate with. In this case, you just use the interpretation that makes the calculation easier, as it is just as valid as any other interpretation. I have heard physicists say, Hawking included, that they choose the naturalistic explanation because it is more interesting.

Physicist, the ones I have met and read, have tendancy to like to speculate. They like to play "What if" games. What if the world had antigravity, for example. What would that mean? What would we expect to see? How would that change other things? Naturally a lot of SF fans.

If you say God did it, then all you are left with is how? If you take the naturalistic point of view, there are numerous pathways to explore. They like to work out puzzles, and this line of thinking brings up a lot more puzzles for them to follow and scrutize and discuss. If we are right about God, eventually all roads will lead back simply to a description about How.

The issue, particularly in the mainstream media, is that most people have such a poor understanding of science that it is hard to seperate scientific thought experiments and scientifically based philosphical positions from actual science. Folks like Dawkins don't help when they don't make a distinction and simply present the philosphical position they based on their understanding of the science as science itself.

At least that is the impression I get, for what it's worth.

I thought Hawking was of the philosophy that "philosophy is dead." :-)

He wouldn't likely see this as a philosophical position, although it is. The minute you interpret the data, to derive meaning, you are doing philosophy.

Does anyone remember when SF used to try to warn us against scientism? Welcome to the future.

What does SF stand for?

Science Fiction. All the way back to Brave New World,and before, which I am slowly finding the time to get through.

Lots of warnings about the "mad" scientist who's only moral compass was what science tells him should be done, and the danger of government's beaurocratically agreeing and implimenting it.

Apparently no one listens.

"unseen, imperceptible influences that is unbridgeable by logical thought”

As someone has already noted, logic is unseen and imperceptible. In fact, because it is neither it is not subject to the flux and tumult of the material universe.

In fact, and ironically, logic does not seem to be subject to time, whether it is the magazine or that which we finite beings traverse.

As soon as I saw Lisa Randall's piece in TIME magazine, I sensed the need for a reasoned response to her tragically fallacious reasoning, the kind which continues to mislead so many.

Thanks for providing a good one. I still plan to write one of my own, but you have encouraged me significantly. Carry on.

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