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July 25, 2016

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I don't get the analogy between the car and the universe.

Can somebody explain why it is so good?

The argument is parallel unless and until the Non-Theist successfully argues that the universe is a brute fact.

From another thread:

Non Theist: You say God’s existence, though not caused by another, is explained by his essence. Is that a brute fact?

Christian/Theist: No. A brute fact has no explanation. God does have an explanation: his nature, which is to exist.

You then asked if that statement is a brute fact.

The answer would again be no.

It is the conclusion of a philosophical argument. “That God's essence is to exist is not simply a claim. It is a proof. Specifically, ch. 2 at http://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles1.htm#22 of Contra gentiles.

As for the attempts to push through the assertion that the universe is a brute fact, it just exists inexplicably, well, first of all, there is no scientific evidence for it, at all (how can science even measure it?), and, secondly, there are many attempts out there to look at and they all fail miserably.

It's not the intent here to hash that out. Rather, the intent is simply to point out where the Non-Theist must go (the inexplicable brute fact) as he ignores the painfully improbable (via back ground information, etc.) story streaming from the epicenter of Big Bang cosmology to the bitter ends of a universe with the minded observer (frame of reference, PSR, and so on).

As for the fallacy of composition: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/12/hume-cosmological-arguments-and-fallacy.html

In "The God Delusion," Dawkins frames the question this way: "I shall suggest that the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other." This is the basis for asking what percentage-sure a person is that God exists.

It's a powerful argument and a trick: how sure is sure enough? What's your evidence? Why wouldn't you answer such a simple question the same way that you answer every other important question--- through science (i.e. human observation)?

I think that framing the argument this way unduly puts aside certain claims by Christians (and perhaps, other deists) that give a coherent formation for the thought that "I believe God is real even though I haven't seen it proven scientifically."

If atheists think that the dearth of scientific evidence for God is a non-starter for Christian or deist doctrine, then why is there so much material against Christian doctrine's details and against the influence of religious people in history?

I think it's because atheists are aware that people whose minds aren't made up on these points are willing to weigh evidence on various tracks at the same time. And a person who jumps into one camp or another, I think, is not usually making the decision in priority order but because of something particularly powerful for the person. Thus we have Satan, who knows God, but rejects God in his pride.

If lack of evidence for God is accepted as a non-starter for Christian faith, then the atheist position has achieved an initial advantage by defining the rules. I think this is Dawkins' purpose in suggesting that the existence of God be treated as a scientific hypothesis: as soon as a person accepts this suggestion, they have already granted Dawkins the advantage, both because we know that God isn't visible to science and because Dawkins undercuts all other reasons to believe by saying, "that's nice, but God doesn't exist, does he?"

For their part, I don't see atheists upholding this logical priority, either. Otherwise, I would expect to see the writings quietly withdrawn that try to show "Christians don't know the truth about God" and "religion is bad." As it is, atheists and apologists alike are attempting to sway the unconvinced by all three tacks: God exists / doesn't exist, Christianity is good / bad, God is good / bad. But atheists are attempting an arm-bar maneuver by convincing some people that the second and third kinds of reasons don't matter if there's some percentage by which you're not certain God exists.

The argument is parallel unless and until the Non-Theist successfully argues that the universe is a brute fact.

I don't see why it must be successfully argued

Why is it insufficient just to point out the possibility that something, other than the god of the claim, has always existed?

After all, the claim in view is that the universe is 100% certainly not a brute fact and the burden sits with that claim.

______________________________

A brute fact has no explanation. God does have an explanation: his nature, which is to exist.

Oh yeah? lol


As one who won't offer, nor respond to, logical progressions nor scientific evidence with respect to contingency, your lol suits you well RonH.

God having a nature assumes his existence which is what you are trying to argue for.

That is one way to explain my lol.

What 'logical progressions' and 'scientific evidence' are you referring to?

The same ones you aren't discussing in your non-discussion of the brute fact universe.

RonH,

Since you equate "assumptions" with composites of logical progressions and scientific evidence and simply count it all nonsense, there is, first, this: lol

Secondly, see, oh, let's pick one of hundreds....say... the thread at strange notions dot com for the OP titled "5 Reasons The Universe Can't Merely Be A Brute Fact" by Karlo Broussard.

As stated by another:

You stated earlier, "Feel free to point me in the direction of evidence for a non-materialistic view that is not simply a thought experiment."

What [we are] giving is *arguments*. That you do not grasp them, much less refute them is your problem. Calling them “thought experiments” as if somehow it disqualifies them is sheer intellectual dishonesty.

“Thought experiments” embody *arguments*. Einstein very famously grounded both the special and the general theories of relativity in thought experiments.

At this point, this is beyond ridiculous....

Lastly,

Please take up your non-discussion of your absent logical progressions with someone else, someone who doesn't mind wasting time.


The threads are long-ish, but still, "....Sean Carroll's anticipated new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself..." has a few threads ongoing now (July 2016) by Brandon Vogt who has several Posts / OP's (and interesting threads) on the topic as it ties into the question of the universe as a brute fact. Again over at strange notions dot com.

"Brute fact" sounds to me like the "slap in the face" argument against universal skepticism.

"If I don't exist, and you don't exist, then..." *slap*

There's a brute there, who you kinda need to deal with however much you would like him to go away and leave you and your solipsism alone. Who is the brute of the brute fact of the Big Bang? I'm trivializing all the work about brute facts, but that's what it deserves: trivialization.

http://www.skepticsfieldguide.net/2006/05/philosophical-skepticism-vs-pragmatic.html

A brief excerpt:

Quote:

Parfit appears to sympathize with the “Brute Fact View” according to which the universe simply exists without explanation, and that’s that. The claim here is not that there *is* an explanation but that we don’t and even can’t *know* what it is. It is rather that there is no explanation at all, no intelligibility, rhyme or reason to why this universe exists rather than another or rather than nothing at all. This is, of course, implicitly to deny the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR), according to which everything does have an explanation, whether or not we can always discover what that explanation is. I’ve defended PSR and criticized the Brute Fact View in several places, such as in Scholastic Metaphysics....

Parfit describes and defends the Brute Fact View in the following passage:

"[On] the Brute Fact View… we should not expect reality to have very special features, such as being maximal, or best, or having very simple laws, or including God. In much the largest range of the global possibilities, there would exist an arbitrary set of messily complicated worlds. That is what, with a random selection, we should expect. It is unclear whether ours is one such world.

The Brute Fact View may seem hard to understand. It may seem baffling how reality could be even randomly selected. What kind of process could select whether time had no beginning, or whether anything ever exists? But this is not a real problem. It is logically necessary that one global possibility obtains. There is no conceivable alternative. Since it is necessary that one possibility obtains, it is necessary that it be settled which obtains. Even without any kind of process, logic ensures that a selection is made. There is no need for hidden machinery.

If reality were randomly selected, it would not be mysterious how the selection is made. It would be in one sense inexplicable why the Universe is as it is. But this would be no more puzzling than the random movement of a particle. If a particle can simply happen to move as it does, it could simply happen that reality is as it is. Randomness may even be *less* puzzling at the level of the whole Universe, since we know that facts at this level could not have been caused."

Parfit’s argument here seems to me highly implausible and problematic. For one thing.......

End quote.

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2016/02/parfit-on-brute-facts.html


What 'logical progressions' and 'scientific evidence' are you referring to?

Posted by: RonH | July 25, 2016 at 10:33 AM

The same ones you aren't discussing in your non-discussion of the brute fact universe.

Posted by: scbrownlhrm | July 25, 2016 at 10:39 AM

Not the kind of answer I was looking for.
Could I please have a list instead.
____________________________________________________

God does have an explanation: his nature, which is to exist.

Posted by: scbrownlhrm | July 25, 2016 at 07:12 AM

God having a nature assumes his existence which is what you are trying to argue for.

Posted by: RonH | July 25, 2016 at 10:33 AM

RonH,

See the 500++ comments /essays linked to.

It's a list.

It was there before you just asked for one.

But you didn't recognize it.

Just as you didn't recognize the difference between [1] logical progressions based on reasoning and science in those 500++ comments / essays linked to and [2] "lol"

So, again,

Quote:

You stated earlier, "Feel free to point me in the direction of evidence for a non-materialistic view that is not simply a thought experiment."

What [we are] giving is *arguments*. That you do not grasp them, much less refute them is your problem. Calling them “thought experiments” as if somehow it disqualifies them is sheer intellectual dishonesty.

“Thought experiments” embody *arguments*. Einstein very famously grounded both the special and the general theories of relativity in thought experiments.

At this point, this is beyond ridiculous...."

End quote.

Give it up RonH.

From the get-go you've equated that [1] to your [2] as I provided links in my very first comment, and, in your first, you chose not to engage them, but to simply equate them to "lol".

That merits you no meaningful response.

Which is what you're getting.

And will the next time.


If you won't give me a list, will you give me one?

If you can't read linked items, I can't help you.

But you can.

You just don't.

"lol" is about all you're interested in.

You blew it from the get-go RonH.

Ain't happening.

Just pick one.

What part of "Ain't happening" do you not, well, "recognize"?

Or, you could address this:
_________________________________


God does have an explanation: his nature, which is to exist.

Posted by: scbrownlhrm | July 25, 2016 at 07:12 AM
God having a nature assumes his existence which is what you are trying to argue for.

Posted by: RonH | July 25, 2016 at 10:33 AM

RonH,

There's always the dictionary. a.i.n.t. And so on....

I think there's some online too. I'd link a few, but....

See the 500++ comments /essays linked to.

No, I think there's plenty of material in the OP to discuss.

....a...i....n...t....

OK, scbrownlhrm is done. Fine


I still don't get the analogy between the car and the universe.

scbrownlhrm made a start, but didn't really reply to what I said above at July 25, 2016 at 09:56 AM.


Anyone else?

>> I still don't get the analogy between the car and the universe.

Honestly, ronh, neither did I, other than to set up the enigma.

A Mercedes (with personalized vanity plates, no less) is found in your garage. Similarities to John Wisdom's Garden Problem.

Two suggestions, both seem like far stretches. I didn't follow this as well, but understand that the matter of origins is basically either from something or nothing. The more complicated a system, the likelihood of something is more feasible.

Perhaps it can be expressed in this argument:

1. In matters of origin, if there is no scientific explanation that is complete and comprehensive, one should be open to a supernatural explanation.
2. There is no scientific explanation that is complete and comprehensive.
3. Therefore, one should be open to a supernatural explanation.

A clumsy argument, which is countered in the second premise with a "yet".

This is my simplification of what Greg stated, which might be useful. And, maybe, seeing that scbrownlhrm won't talk to you, maybe he could grace me with his analysis.

We could hope.

DGF,

Blessings and Hope aside (I was tempted to go there) I really have no idea what Non-Theism's "autonomous nature" looks like, or even could look like.

And neither do Non-Theists.

The definitions of God and of god arrive on scene.

Probability cannot even be entertained until such definitions are agreed upon by all parties involved.

Probability equations void of causal language.

I don't know what that looks like, or even could look like.

And neither do Non-Theists.

Science void of causal language.

I don't know what that looks like, or even could look like.

And neither do Non-Theists.

Whence probability?


"Is the Passage of Time Real or Just an Illusion?" by Brandon Vogt is about the 5th in a series over the last 3 weeks or so discussing Sean Carroll's new book, "The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself" at Strange Notions Dot Com. The first in the series (sort of) was Broussard's "Five Reasons Why The Universe Can't Merely Be A Brute Fact".

Causality is a constant target of Carroll as he, like more and more Non-Theists of late, seeks to expunge causality from "reality". He also seeks to retain causal language as a "useful (not true) story".

Whatever that means.

It can't be stressed enough that the threads / comment boxes in this series are rich, as hedges get further unpacked.

Speaking of probability, Vogt's review ends with this:

"But once again, as is the case with other applications of his "poetic naturalism," we're left with a contradiction. Causality is either a real feature of reality, or it's not. What Carroll essentially proposes is that at a fundamental level it's not, because the B-theory is true and thus the passage of time is illusory. Yet if that's the case, it wouldn't be accurate to use causal language in *any* situation. At best, such language would create a useful fiction; at worst it would be delusory. In the next post we'll explore Sean Carroll's take on Bayes’ Theorem of probability."

Whence probability?

In the library, under useful untrue fiction. Whatever useful and untrue and fiction "mean".

Speaking of meaning, well...... whatever probability "means".

Emergentism, if one wades through the threads, becomes illusory. Breuer asks about "....causality not existing at level N but existing at level N + 1, and then how the two levels differ such that causality can exist at the higher level but not the lower? Because if his ontology cannot actually allow this, then I think the ultimate result will be the erosion of causation."

It seems causality can exist at higher "levels" of but "one" reality. How? In useful untrue stories.

Or something.

On the "probability" of *God* / *god* ........

Was temporal becoming real prior to the evolution of, becoming of, neurons?

What about after?

What is the probability of Ford Edges if there is no temporal becoming?

If final causes?

Even better: If tooth and claw is laced through (from the epicenter of BB Cosmology upward) with both Good and Good-minus-something, and if final causes too, how can we ever avoid Eden's ontic-landscape?

Scripture predicted timelessness at some ontic-seam somewhere. Scripture predicts lots of things at said ontic-seams.

A brief look at the coherence amid the B-theory of time, Divine foreknowledge, freedom, and causation:

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/does-the-B-theory-of-time-exclude-human-freedom

This analysis *does* find ontic seamlessness assuming dualism and the irreducible self vis-a-vis causation and a fundamental nature (lest we confuse impersonal vs. personal determinism) and also affirms the validity of the concerns expressed elsewhere by Breuer and J.hillclimber:

As Breuer asks,

"Do you know of anywhere where Carroll talks about causality not existing at level N but existing at level N + 1, and then how the two levels differ such that causality can exist at the higher level but not the lower? Because if his ontology cannot actually allow this, then I think the ultimate result will be the erosion of causation."

Carroll *wants* to claim *actuality* of causation at level N + 1, but he seems (no pun intended) to merely beg the question.

Jim (hillclimber) asked elsewhere:

1. I can't see how the lower-level description could be "always more complete". If, as he readily admits, the lower level vocabularies don't describe the higher level phenomena, then that lower level language is every bit as incomplete as the higher level descriptions are with respect to lower-level phenomena. It clearly would be incorrect to say that zooming in with your camera will always give you a more complete idea of what is going on, but zooming out will always result in less complete photojournalism. Why would it be any different with our verbal descriptions of reality?

2. The idea that the lower level descriptions can be used to "derive the higher level descriptions" seems completely at odds with his own admonition not to "mix up vocabularies". He says: It’s only when you start asking “what effect do my feelings have on my protons and neutrons?” that you start getting syntax errors. Fine, I guess, but if that's a category error, then why is it not also a category error to ask "what effect do protons and neutrons have on my feelings"? For that matter, I thought he was arguing that causes play no role in the language of fundamental physics, so it would seem to be out of bounds to ask how protons and neutrons can have *effect* on anything (unless, perhaps, protons and neutrons are not "fundamental enough" (exactly how fundamental does the scope of inquiry need to be for causal language to become unnecessary?))

3. Re: "the right way to think about things". He seems to deny this option himself when he later says that it is a mistake "to take the hierarchy of levels too seriously, with some on top and some on the bottom... I would suggest that a better mental image would feature a parallelism of levels with sideways relations between them...if we can successfully speak of its properties and outcomes without ever making reference to the any other descriptions (as is certainly true for fluids) — then this description is just as “real” and “literally true” as any others". To which I say: great, but if these really are parallel ways of talking about the world, then let's stop talking about one way being more right, or more fundamental, than another."

Many reasons why neither theory of time rescues the Non-Theist begin to emerge.

Oddly, the B-Theory may lead to, not illusion, but, given no (irreducibly actual) "becoming of" neurons we find no (irreducibly actual) "evolution of" neurons, and hence ours is not "an" illusion, but rather an illusion of an illusion, itself too an illusion of an illusion, itself too.... ad infinitum. An infinite regress of another sort (perhaps). The problem of the irreducible nature which we term the Self comes into play on a few levels, among other problems.

The B theory finds coherence, as Craig pointed out, but, once again, it needs the Theist's means and ends to survive.

Interestingly, as Vogt and others have already pointed out, an eternal universe is not what rescues the Non-Theist, for those reasons and more:

The universe, *however* physics and scientific cosmology end up describing it -- even if it turned out to be a universe without a temporal beginning, even if it is a four-dimensional block universe, even if Hawking’s closed universe model turned out to be correct, even if we should really think in terms of a multiverse rather than a single universe -- will, the Aristotelian argues, necessarily exhibit just these features (potentialities needing actualization, composition, contingency, etc.). And thus it will, as a matter of metaphysical necessity, require a cause outside it. And only that which is pure actuality devoid of potentiality, only what is utterly simple or non-composite, only something whose essence or nature just is existence itself, only what is therefore in no way contingent but utterly necessary -- only *that*, the classical theist maintains, could in principle be the ultimate terminus of explanation, whatever the specific scientific details turn out to be." (http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/07/carroll-on-laws-and-causation.html?m=1)

Staying within the theme of Vogt's series reviewing Sean Carroll's new book, "The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself" at Strange Notions Dot Com (July 2016), we come to the context of causation and Bayes' via the entry in the series titled, "The Power and Danger of Bayes' Theorem".


The probability of God vs. *god*?


I really have no idea what Non-Theism's "autonomous nature" looks like, or even could look like. And neither do Non-Theists. The definitions of God and of god arrive on scene. “Probability” cannot even be entertained until such definitions are agreed upon by all parties involved.

Probability equations void of causal language. I don't know what that looks like, or even could look like. And neither do Non-Theists. Science void of causal language. I don't know what that looks like, or even could look like. And neither do Non-Theists.

On Carroll’s own terms the question on the probability of *God* vs. *god* (“...reality’s wellspring of being….”) reduces to calculations expunged of causal language. Which is absurd given that the whole of physics, of reality’s fundamental nature, is one seamless continuum. Nothing “adds” to the fundamental nature of reality. Unless one wishes to posit this:

The nature of all things, of all levels, of what nature is constantly without ceasing, from its wellspring of (non ?) causation and being upward, *doing*, was once upon a time [Reality] and, then, something new was added, and the nature of reality, what nature is constantly (perhaps even timelessly) *doing*, what she always *is*, from here wellspring upward, became [Reality + 1].

That has to be earned.

Merely rearranging the fundamental nature of reality and stacking slices of it upon one another in network after network does not “change” (any) reality’s fundamental nature. Some have pointed out “having one’s cake and eating it to….”. The phrase question begging comes to mind.

L. Breuer expressed it this way: “Do you know of anywhere where Carroll talks about causality not existing at level N but existing at level N + 1, and then how the two levels differ such that causality can exist at the higher level but not the lower? Because if his ontology cannot actually allow this, then I think the ultimate result will be the erosion of causation.”

Elsewhere Jim(hillclimber) asked, “The idea that the lower level descriptions can be used to "derive the higher level descriptions" seems completely at odds with his own admonition not to "mix up vocabularies". He says: It’s only when you start asking “what effect do my feelings have on my protons and neutrons?” that you start getting syntax errors. Fine, I guess, but if that's a category error, then why is it not also a category error to ask "what effect do protons and neutrons have on my feelings"? For that matter, I thought he was arguing that causes play no role in the language of fundamental physics, so it would seem to be out of bounds to ask how protons and neutrons can have effect on anything (unless, perhaps, protons and neutrons are not "fundamental enough" (exactly how fundamental does the scope of inquiry need to be for causal language to become unnecessary?))”

L. Breuer points out the vacuity of “weak vs. strong” emergentism” as well: “You might want to modify your discussion of emergence to castigate 'weak emergence', which does not have some of the key properties of 'strong emergence'. One way to think of this difference is to consider whether 'rationality' is a real thing, or just a sort of approximation of ultimately impersonal forces doing their truth-agnostic thing. Only on strong emergence can 'rationality' be a real thing, with real causal powers.”

Or, as Non-Theists often hedge here, “How real is real?” and “It depends on what you mean by real”.

An excerpt from a thread (in the series) starts here:

Non-Theist: "My point—which I stand by—is that I do not think we should assume Brandon has correctly interpreted Sean Carroll's views on the nature of time."

Reply: If it looks like a duck, moves like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck, and we're justified in treating it as a duck until there is a reason not to. Pragmatically treating it as a duck is not the same thing as assuming on a metaphysical level that it's necessarily a duck.

Non-Theist: "Stepping back and looking at Brandon's post as a whole, he asks if the passage of time is real or just an illusion. Carroll says it is real—as I understand him—but Brandon seems to maintain that whatever Carroll says, he can't really mean it, and so Carroll's real position is that time is illusory."

Reply: Actually, I suspect that Brandon dislikes the principle of "it's real if it is useful", which we see at play in Carroll's writing: "Personally I think that the whole issue is being framed in a slightly misleading way. (Indeed, this mistaken framing caused me to believe at first that Lee and I were in agreement, until his book actually came out.) The stance of Maudlin and Smolin and others isn’t merely that time is “real,” in the sense that it exists and plays a useful role in how we talk about the world. They want to say something more: that the passage of time is real. That is, that time is more than simply a label on different moments in the history of the universe, all of which are independently pretty much equal. They want to attribute “reality” to the idea of the universe coming into being, moment by moment. (The Reality of Time)”.

More reason to doubt Carroll's way of thinking about what is 'real' comes from his Free Will Is as Real as Baseball. Given the extensive discussion in the previous blog post in this series, I think it's fair to say that Carroll means that free will is driven by impersonal forces, not personal ones. Surely one can be justified in questioning whether free will is therefore 'real'.

End excerpt.

Since having a cake and eating a cake is impossible, I don't know what calculating the probability of *god* using bracketed [useful illusions] in one's equations looks like, or even could look like.

Non-Theisms’ road to *god* is thus littered with the scorched and decomposed, and ultimately dead, remains of causal language. But then whence the "probability" "equations" of *god*?

I don't say that lightly. But we're seeing it more and more as Non-Theists confront that inevitable ontological seam. From Hologram to Illusion to Absurdity, one thing is clear: On Non-Theism, at some ontological seam somewhere in our race to reality’s fundamental facts, to *god*, causal language must go.


Bayes’, Evil, and Evidence:


In staying within the narrow theme under review (Bayes’ etc…) perhaps (perhaps not?) the following approach would be appropriate:

At each step of the way we have to take care to allow clarity on terms. *God* (“...reality’s wellspring of being….”) on Christianity is not void of causality (causal language applies) in the sense that we speak of the proverbial uncaused cause, and so on. Whereas, on Non-Theism questions of probabilities relative to *god* (“...reality’s wellspring of being….”) reduce to calculations expunged of causal language.

Given that we are forced to take the Non-Theist at his word and proceed with calculating the probability of *God* vs. *god* using numerators and denominators void of causal language, is the brutally undeniable reality of irreducible evil evidence for *God* or for *god*?

[Useful Untrue Stories] are, we find, even on Carroll’s terms, void of causal powers as he too (wisely) avoids (or seems to avoid it so far) the obvious overreach of any appeal to strong emergentism. L. Breuer points out the vacuity of “weak vs. strong” emergentism” as well: “You might want to modify your discussion of emergence to castigate 'weak emergence', which does not have some of the key properties of 'strong emergence'. One way to think of this difference is to consider whether 'rationality' is a real thing, or just a sort of approximation of ultimately impersonal forces doing their truth-agnostic thing. Only on strong emergence can 'rationality' be a real thing, with real causal powers.”

Being careful not to mix up vocabularies (Carroll’s terms), and recalling the fact that that which *is* [Reality] void of causality (causal language does not apply) finds no seamless ontological path into that which *is* [Reality + 1] soaked through with causation (causal language applies), and taking care not to mix our vocabularies, we come to the following with respect to evil, god, and God: Are we speaking of (actual) evil and does it entail (actual) causation? Or will we have to dive all over again into the following two quotes (context and definitions) from elsewhere:

“Do you know of anywhere where Carroll talks about causality not existing at level N but existing at level N + 1, and then how the two levels differ such that causality can exist at the higher level but not the lower? Because if his ontology cannot actually allow this, then I think the ultimate result will be the erosion of causation.” (Breuer)

“The idea that the lower level descriptions can be used to "derive the higher level descriptions" seems completely at odds with his own admonition not to "mix up vocabularies". He says: It’s only when you start asking “what effect do my feelings have on my protons and neutrons?” that you start getting syntax errors. Fine, I guess, but if that's a category error, then why is it not also a category error to ask "what effect do protons and neutrons have on my feelings"? For that matter, I thought he was arguing that causes play no role in the language of fundamental physics, so it would seem to be out of bounds to ask how protons and neutrons can have effect on anything (unless, perhaps, protons and neutrons are not "fundamental enough" (exactly how fundamental does the scope of inquiry need to be for causal language to become unnecessary?))” (Jim(hillclimber)

Given that *God* on Christianity rejects “Occasionalism” (on causation), we find a coherent ontology which subsumes (without contradiction) the issue under review (evil) and (for completeness) also has ample room for differentiation of impersonal vs. personal causality. Bayes’ could (in principle) do some (actual) “work”, as it were.

Whereas, should we force the proverbial “ontological collision” of [1] (actual) evil entailing (actual) causation and [2] *god*, then we must both form all of our probability equations void of causal language and we must redefine “evil” to one of Carroll’s “domains” in which evil itself, and all our rage with it, suffers a fall into some sort of Bayesian vocabulary of [Useful Untrue Stories].

Finally:

[1] Probability equations void of causal language. I don’t know what that looks like, or even could look like. And neither does the Non-Theist.

[2] Evil void of causal language. I don’t know what that looks like, or even could look like. And neither does the Non-Theist.

[3] The Non-Theist’s race to *god* entails the following: all causal language must go.

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