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September 24, 2013

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Believing in Imaginary Time, and not actual time, because of the necessary implications Time has on one's materialism, is lazy. Telling us that all is but a Con being played upon the thing we call mind by the blind hand of Indifference and therein giving Time the same diagnosis as is given to all else, Pan-Psychosis, is lazy.

Even silly.

The Time and Tenses we perceive, the ought-not we perceive as evil hits us in the face, the every-thing we perceive, are all Imaginary, but a Con being played upon mind by Indifference. Time is not real. This passing-of-days is not real. That ought-not in Child Sacrifice is not real. -Tis but a Con and we are but the slave of the music being played by Indifference.


That's lazy, even soft, mentation in fear of necessary truth running in any direction necessary, lest the Self be forced to confront a necessary end of itself there inside of love's sacrifice.

It will be Self and not Other.

That is just bad thinking all around.

And, on necessity, loveless.

"It's real, every bit of this stuff is real - thus, on necessity, God."

That is stoic, costly, brave thinking.

"It's pan-psychosis, none of this is real ....thus no-god."

That is frightened, easy, cheap, even lazy, pontification.

A possible prelude to all this discussion on all appeals of God in action reduced to intellectual laziness must be grounded in the role of science. To the point, the question revolves around what science can do and what it shall do.

To the first point, we must remember that science is the acceptable methodology that guides all human inquiry, the methods of hypothesis, experimentation, theory, validation of findings, etc. And oh what we have sought in this quest. I think of the issue of the genre of science fiction. What Jules Verne imagined coming to actuality. This leads to the quandary if all that we conceive and try to bring to fruition is truly possible. There are submarines, travel to the moon, and rapid global transportation. But then again, we have stories of time travel, inter-galactic travel, and traveling via Star Trekesque transporters (I still recall seeing that first episode and hearing how freaky that appeared to my classmates. "Do you really want to go into one of those and have your molecules scattered?"). We live in an age of attractive scientific advancements, and have this carte blanche aspect of science accomplishing it all. This is the seedlings of future disillusionment. Science must work towards the understanding of what is ontologically possible in the realm of science. It is well within the possible for the New York Jets to win the Super Bowl. It is not so for the New York Mets. Science has to get its Jets and Mets straight.

As to what science shall do remains to be seen. Krauss is correct in one respect in praising the wonders of science. Science can be exciting as we go from one discovery to the next. But what is the driving force, to find the cure or to renounce our dependency on God? In one way, science can't be the only game in town. Other disciplines, probably less attractive than science, offer insights and discoveries, be they philosophy, history, theology, ethics, et. al. When we reduce to laziness any attempt to allow a "God did it," we fail to understand that science allows us the glimpse into the world that God created. Science examines the clockwork mechanism of the universe, but can't touch the clockmaker.

Thus the question, if the universe is by divine fiat, what would the role of science be?

Once again, the silly dichotomy of natural/metaphysical. Just because something "natural" occurs does not mean that God is not responsible for it. I guess what is meant that God is not involved in natural day to day processes, and only does supernatural stuff. That is deism, not creational monotheism.

I think Dr. Mitch Stokes has an excellent concise response to the kind of challenge Dr. Krauss raised in that debate:

"To be sure, invoking God as the direct cause of, say, the origin of life WOULD be to stop science from pursuing that issue further. But even if this left nothing more for scientists to discover about life's beginnings, how would that be a strike against such an explanation? Wouldn't knowing that God didn't use secondary causes to create life but created it directly be a legitimate part of science, part of our knowledge of the universe? - The important question, then, is not whether science has its limits or stopping points, but where they are. Any explanation or theory is a science stopper if it satisfies our curiosity. Evolution is a science stopper in that sense. Scientists are constantly looking for science stoppers in the form of true explanations. They will stop looking for an explanation once they believe they have one."
~Dr. Mitch Stokes "A Shot of Faith to the Head"

The atheists love to build the strawman to knock down. Few believers outside of maybe the Amish community shun science and preach against science. God did it all and it is our charge to rule over it. That includes discovering how He created and how people can advance society by manipulating His great creation.

If he believes that saying "God did it" stops all intellectual inquiry, then Krauss has never read any actual theology or the work of Christians who work in the sciences.

Sadly, this strawman nonsense typified Krauss' approach to all three discussions. He was not there to have a mature conversation and engage with Craig's ideas, he was there to play with a toy buzzer, take rhetorical cheap shots, and sigh and roll his eyes and flop his hands when WLC said something to which Krauss did not have a snappy comeback.

Can you explain why proposing God as the cause of a particular thing is not necessarily an illegitimate move?

If God is the cause, then it's not illegitimate to propose that he is the cause. That begs the epistemological question, however. If we know from elsewhere that God exists, then it is reasonable to consider whether he caused something to happen directly (supernaturally) or indirectly (naturally). If we know from elsewhere that God does not exist, then it is reasonable to consider only natural causes.

Questioning the legitimacy of the consideration, therefore, is intended to bring into doubt the unspoken presupposition of God's existence without actually addressing the source of the presupposition. Krauss' comment is therefore fallacious, begging the question and employing ad hominem.

Can you give an example of a situation where applying Krauss's philosophy (as stated above) might actually lead a person away from the truth?

I'm saddened to hear of Krauss' divorce last year. I have no intentions on making light of it and confess my ignorance of the particulars. In general, I know that developing and maintaining a marriage cannot work based on pure naturalistic philosophy. In fact, I doubt anyone could easily stay in a relationship devoid of relational devotion. That kind of devotion isn't found in naturalism proper. I suppose an argument can be made that unfounded devotion evolved in order that our species could survive. Ask anyone if unfounded devotion isn't satisfying for the purpose of developing relationships. The foundation for such devotion goes beyond rank survival.

Can you succinctly state a better philosophy of how to discover truth?

This is the epistmological question. If we ask about the existence of God, the question of how we know he exists can be applied equally to how we know he does not exist. In other words, the truly agnostic inquiry is a better starting point than the atheistic inquiry because it takes into consideration that God might exist where the atheistic inquiry a priori eliminates any theistic causes. Although the theistic inquiry a priori holds to an ultimate theistic cause, theists make a distinction between direct and indirect causation. Therefore, natural processes are always a possibility. So there's very little difference scientifically between theistic and truly agnostic scientific investigation.

But the question is broader than simply analyzing evidence scientifically. If God exists then there is well the possibility that he may communicate directly with his creation. Among Christians we call this revelation. A book of known revelation has been compiled over a very long time that we call the Bible. There is significant evidence to tell us that this is the communication from God. Among believers today, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who tells us to look for this revelation and delights in how it reveals our hidden nature to us as well how it reveals God's nature to us in that light.

Now, can this be proven to a non-believer. No. But when a non-believer honestly considers the possibility, then he or she is open to the direction of the Holy Spirit. And I would say that such honesty is a result of the Holy Spirit's regeneration, but I understand that fellow believers differ on this.

Has Krauss accurately characterized the position of people who say God has caused certain things in this universe (including the universe itself)?

No. Vis, "But it is intellectually lazy to just stop asking questions..." I agree that it is intellectually lazy to just stop asking questions. However, Christians don't stop asking questions simply by being Christians. In fact, questioning the world around us is part of trusting God to supply reasonable answers, even natural ones.

Lazy?

Ah, yes. We just sit back and say, “God did it - pass the chips”. How hard is one obligated to work to find the correct answers to questions? As if all atheists have done ‘the hard work’ required by Kraus. Everyone knows this is silly.

I don’t know any Christian that prioritizes laziness over truth as it relates to these questions. "I would be an atheist if it was such hard work!" I guess all the Christians that Kraus knows are lazy? Does anyone (atheists included) believe that?

If a person pours over all sorts of literature for years and comes to the conclusion that, “God did it” – is that also laziness? Kraus would say yes. Kraus doesn’t know the definition of the word laziness.

On the flip side, I can’t count how many times I’ve heard an atheist say, “We just don’t know.” Now if I were uncharitable, I could call that laziness. But I don’t.

Yes, it is intellectually lazy to stop asking questions, but is science able to tell us that there is no God or that an intelligent agent was not involved in creation? No, science can never do that!

Is it not also intellectually lazy to stop asking questions about how God may have been the primary cause of the laws, materials, and information that science measures and exploits? Yes, it’s just as intellectually lazy to surrender our pursuit of the primary cause of the laws, materials, and information now, especially given that “There’s a lot we don’t know about the universe—a lot more we don’t know than we do.”

If the glorious beauty and mathematical order (design) of the universe, including our galaxy, solar system, planet earth & moon, ecology, economy, and our very own bodies, minds and intellect are the effects of merely fortuitous chance events, then it is an even greater miracle to believe in - than the proposition that a designer had to be involved.

Since the pursuit of philosophical truth is blocked by Krauss's dogmatic adherence to his belief in scientism (oxymoronically suicidal), then it should be buried.

The dogmatic adherence to belief in scientism helps scientists like Krauss remove morality and ethics from their pursuit of truth. They seek to suppress the truth and make themselves into gods who worship the creation rather than the Creator.

Atheist: There is not a single shred of evidence that God exists!

Theist: What would count as evidence for the existence of God?

Atheist: Something that cannot be explained without reference to God. If we can explain a phenomenon without reference to God, then by Ockham's Razor, that phenomenon cannot be evidence for God.

Theist: OK. It seems to me that phenomenon-X cannot be explained without reference to God.

Atheist: Well, now you're just being lazy!

Saying "God did it" answers the "who"/"what" questions. It does very little to answer the "how" and "why". Science and study are relevent there and a gift of God to allow us to know some of the "how"s and "why"s through science.

It's fine if God did it, but what scientists want to know is whether we can do it too.

Suppose God created the universe - can we create our own little universes inside our own artificial black holes?

Suppose God created life - can we create new life ourselves, just using simple chemicals?

Suppose God gave us our immortal souls with moral obligations - can we create robots that are conscious and moral in their own right?

I think "lazy" is the wrong word, but if people are so awed by God's power that we shy away from using that power ourselves, then it does show a certain lack of initiative. We need to get off our knees and get to work.

What's stopping us? Is it fear? Do we imagine that it's sacrilegious? I'm sure there are various Bible verses where God ordered us to take charge of things and use our human powers to their fullest extent possible. Maybe it's hubris - or maybe it's gumption.

But it is intellectually lazy to just stop asking questions and stop looking for physical explanations and just say, “God did it.” That’s lazy.

Two points: first, it's about as lazy as saying "An accident did it."

Second, the implications contained in this challenge don't follow. Saying "God did it" doesn't equal "stop asking questions" and "stop looking for physical explanations," so it's a bit disingenuous to assume that saying "God did it" equals "laziness," however one might define that.

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