Discussion in 'Religion' started by Xmo1, May 5, 2018.
If you see it in everything, why not? What is God to you?
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God is the bowl of oatmeal and butter I will be eating this morning.
But how is "I don't know, therefore physicalistic materialism!" really all that different?
I think that science is very useful (the best thing we have) for telling us what sort of perceptible (directly perceived or inferred) contents nature seems to consist of, how that material is distributed and organized, how it has been observed in the past to behave. (Our expectations about how it will behave in the future are more speculative.)
But science is less useful for telling us why reality exists at all, what kind of being the principles that seemingly govern realty have, where those principles originated or why they take the form they do. That's metaphysics. Science doesn't replace metaphysics, but it certainly provides it with additional things to consider.
And science seems to have rather little to tell us about ethics and beauty, about what we should want for ourselves, for our fellow humans and for the future.
Religion speaks to those latter issues directly, albeit in mythical language. (In terms of traditional stories as opposed to philosophical/scientific-style analysis and argument.)
In God's design you find it along side an eternal presence of suffering.
If your loved one was hit by a car, your saying you wouldn't phone an ambulance? Since that would be interfering in God's way of letting your loved one experience pain so as to better appreciate the bliss of heaven.
A baby born with severe deformity and dying within minutes of birth is also learning that its pain is in order for it to appreciate bliss?? Are hospitals the devil's work?
There are lots of unknowns in science, but that doesn't mean you jump on the supernatural wagon to 'explain' them. If your first model fails, that's tough.
Why do stars explode?
Are hospitals the devil's work? I suppose it depends on how you view them.
Yes, it's different.
Simplistically, it comes down to Occam's Razor.
There are an infinite number of things that could go in that blank space, if one were fanciful:
"I don't know, therefore God."
"I don't know, therefore unicorns."
"I don't know, therefore magic pixie dust."
The only one that makes any logical sense is:
"I don't know, therefore only what I can gather evidence for, until such time as new evidence is forthcoming."
Is that your way of saying you don't know why God lets a new born baby die of pain minutes after birth? But, you said you have to experience suffering to know what bliss is. The concept of Bliss and suffering is God's.
Well, your view of pain is that it's God's way of letting us appreciate Bliss. So, hospitals doing their best to stop people's pain, is opposed to the work of God.
What about that call for an ambulance? Would you make it for a suffering loved one and go against the will of your God?
I saw a TV show once where somebody died of smallpox and one of the characters said, "I thought smallpox was extinct." I remember thinking at the time that the good or bad of extinction is in the eye of the beholder. If smallpox was cute and cuddly like pandas, we'd have a quandary.
As the publisher's blurb for Elliott Sober's Ockham's Razors: A User's Manual (2015, Cambridge University Press) says:
"It is obvious that simpler theories are beautiful and easy to understand; the hard problem is to figure out why the simplicity of a theory should be relevant to saying what the world is like."
Besides that difficult problem which seems to exist at the intersection of science, metaphysics, logic and epistemology, there's obviously the danger of over-simplification.
If parsimony is the goal, then "God did it!" would seem to be the best explanation for everything. Just hypothesize one kind of explanatory entity, and one kind of explanation (miraculous) instead of all of physics' particles and forces and equations, or biology's evolutionary histories and genomics. Much simpler.
Typically speaking, science seems to be kind of the antithesis of "Ockham's razor". It complicates things tremendously and invents no end of new explanatory entities.
I personally think that what's needed here is better understanding of what explanations are, how they function and what they are trying to accomplish.
True. I agree with that.
Which does suggest that when we are considering the deepest and most fundamental metaphysical questions, a leap to physicalistic materialism might be just as unjustified as a leap to God.
Again I agree. If we don't know, the only thing we are really justified in saying is "I don't know".
Obviously we can suggest hypotheses and try to think of ways that they might be tested, verified or otherwise justified. In the case of the metaphysical problems, it's hard to see how that would even be possible. (Those are problems that we don't yet know how to answer.) But our tossing out speculative hypotheses doesn't justify our claiming that we already have the answers.
One of the things that annoys me about many of the popular science titles that one finds on bookstore shelves is that they consist of scientists (typically theoretical physicists) throwing out speculations and trying to convince their lay readers that those speculations are definitive answers to some of the deepest and most long-standing questions.
The OP... ''Universe created by God''
Yes, God created smallpox for a reason, it's those damn medical people going against the work of God.
As long as you understand science is just about changing models ( I think you know what a model is?) you don't have to get annoyed.
The will of God is beyond our control. We can no longer control our heart beat than we can control life. Agreed? If a meteor were to hit the Earth tomorrow, what could we do about it?
How can I deny what we both know is true? Pain and suffering exists. You seem to have a problem accepting this. Just like pleasure and happiness exist, there is also the opposite. Both pass with time.
OP ''Universe created by God''
I want to know how deep your belief in God is...That's why I would like you to answer the following... Pain is God's work, would you go against the work of God and call an ambulance for a loved one who is suffering?
Pain is the work of God, as is everything in the universe. Yes, if I saw someone in pain, I would try to ease their suffering if it were within my abilities. That does not mean I have the power to end all suffering, because it is a natural phenomena, just like death. Do you accept that?
Some of those faces turn up on toast
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Except that it isn't simpler; it raises more questions than it answers.
Handwaving something as Goddidit is not the same as explaining something.
It is useless as a predictive theory.
I can predict what hydrogen and molybdenum will do when brought together - despite never having tried it - by turning to the science of chemistry.
I can't turn to God for answers of what it will do. As a theory, it is utterly unpredictive.
This is easily subsumed by the concession that God gave us free will.
If I were experimenting with ants, and I wanted to observe their natural behavior, I might put obstacles in their path and let them sort it out. I would not punish the ones who found solutions to my obstacles. They would be doing what I want them to do, not going against my will.
These assumptions you mention raise various questions, such as:
If the observed motions are not governed entirely by gravity, what else is affecting them? We know of only four fundamental forces in nature, two of which do not operate on the scale of stars and galaxies. We also know that matter tends to be electrically neutral overall. That leaves only gravity or some fifth, undiscovered force.
Even if we are underestimating the mass of luminous stuff, is it really plausible that we're underestimating it's mass such that it's true mass is about 10 times larger than what we think? Because that's the scale of the effect we're talking about with dark matter.
If gravity can be caused by something other than mass, we still need that something to be there to make the gravity we see in galaxy rotation curves. And besides, what else could make gravity, that could explain things?
My understanding is that machos are not considered a serious possibility any more by astrophysicists, but I could be wrong.
Not just stars. Also certain types of supernovae. The possible physics of a supernova is actually quite constrained. In a lot of ways, stars and supernovae are simple objects. The chances that we are quite wrong about their physics are small, I think.
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