Philosophy

Physicists Trying To Show God Not Necessary Prove God Is Necessary

There must be a reason that 2i + 2i = 4i, an unobservable number, as all numbers are, but as is most obvious in numbers like i = sqrt(-1).

There must be a reason why there are not just an infinity, but infinities, of numbers between 0 and 1.

There must be a reason logic tells us we cannot conclude with certainty “Jane loves foreign wars” if we accept “Most professors love foreign wars and Jane is a professor”. There must be a reason we can know truth and know falsity.

There must be a reason the fine-structure constant α equals e^2/(2*ε_0ch), and that e the elementary charge equals 1.602176634 x 10-19, just as there must be a reason c, the speed of light, and h, the Planck constant take the values they do.

There must be a reason that something exists rather than nothing. Where nothing includes the absence of all things, including numbers, logic, thought.

The Way Things Are must have a reason why they are the way they are, and are not some other way. Things have to have a creation, which requires a Creator. This is God.

The Things I mean are the foundations of the world. And the world is all that there is.

Some say not world but universe, a fine word, but nervous physicists have corrupted its meaning while attempting to bypass the requirement of a Creator. It’s never clear whether they mean all that there is or this one tiny “universe” in an infinite sea of “universes.”

I was reminded of all this in a review of Stephen Meyer’s new book Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe.

The review states that the fine-structure constant’s

value is close to 1/137. If it were slightly different—closer to, say, 1/138—elemental carbon could not form in our universe. Life as we know it could not exist. But no theory predicts the value of the fine-structure constant. It doesn’t have to be what it is: it just happens to be precisely situated in the narrow sliver of values amenable to life. And the fine-structure constant is only one of many constants which appear minutely tuned to support life.

It continues:

The materialist’s usual explanation for our universe’s 12 perfectly tuned constants is that there exists an infinite or nearly-infinite number of universes, each one exhibiting a different combination of values for these constants. We happen to find ourselves in a universe where the constants just happen to allow the existence of our sort of life—not because of any Grand Designer, but merely because life as we know it could evolve only in a universe where the values of the constants just happen to be so aligned. We cannot observe other universes. So no experiment—even in principle—can provide evidence to refute or confirm the multiple-universe hypothesis.

Meyer, the review states, “finds such appeals to imagined and unobservable worlds unscientific”, mentioning Ockham’s razor.

Yet whether or no these other “universes” are scientific, which is to say measurable, they do not obviate God. There still has to be a reason why our “universe” is how it is; how it was picked. And there still has to be a reason for the picking; and reasons why picking exists, and how picking works.

There has to be a reason why the multiverse, if it really exists, is the way it is. If fine-structure constants are in some available set and some cause picks one for each new universe, there has to be a reason this is so.

Cosmologist “Alexander Vilenkin,” the review continues,

has proposed that a process called “quantum tunneling” from superspace into a real universe can produce space and time, matter and energy. But such tunneling must be governed by laws that are in existence “even prior to the universe itself,” Vilenkin has written. He continues: “The laws are expressed in the form of mathematical equations. If the medium of mathematics is the mind, does this mean that mind should predate the universe?” Vilenkin never answers his own question. As his silence implies, scientists are hesitant to embrace, or even to mention, what Meyer considers the best explanation for our current observations: the God hypothesis.

We can answer it: yes, the mind must come before the equations. Something has to think the equations, they cannot think themselves into existence. And then, if these are the true equations that describe the causes operating in the world, something has to breathe life into them. There must be an act of creation.

This must be God, and, as the quotation goes, there can be only one. For if there were more than one, each responsible for separate domains, there must then exist a reason above them that accounts for separation of duties, why this god does thought and this one quantum tunneling.

You can keep going, adding higher organizational levels, manager gods in charge of worker gods, and director gods in charge of manager gods, but you can’t go on forever. There must be One Final Source. And this must be God.

Science only speaks about causes of things it can measure. It cannot say how the things that can be measured, or their causes, came into being.

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Categories: Philosophy

64 replies »

  1. I think that in the future, perhaps a very distant one, thinkers will say of our time that our “scientists” practiced divination, claiming to be able to divine the truth by worshiping mathematics and statistics.

  2. “There must be a reason that something exists rather than nothing. Where nothing includes the absence of all things, including numbers, logic, thought.”

    THIS is what I come to every time. There always has to be a point or layer where there is nothing…and what could cause something to come from that?

  3. I have spent my adult life working in math and engineering – everywhere I look in nature I see design. A hummingbird is much more maneuverable than any flying device made by man – so it’s design is superior to all man made designs – if the less complex man made machines MUST be designed and built – so too for the hummingbird. There MUST be a designer – God.
    The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens. Proverbs 3:19

  4. There must be a reason that 2i + 2i = 4i

    It’s pretty much the same reason why the Declaration of Independence starts: “we the people”. They are both manufactured.

    our universe’s 12 perfectly tuned constants

    Is the particular configuration a requirement for life or did lid evolve into the current set?

  5. A tiny car drives up, doors open and a dozen clowns, maybe more, spill out and start clowning around. One of them pulls an enormous blackboard out of the tiny car, sets it up, goes back to the car and, searching, tosses out a crazy pile of clothing until finding a white lab coat, puts it on, further digging produces a white fright wig, puts it on, goes to the blackboard looking like Harpo Einstein, picks up a chalk — the whole time the rest of the clowns are creating clown chaos, tumbling, pratfalls, changing tires on clown car for four square spares they pull out of the trunk, et cetera — picks up a chalk and writes, with some difficulty as clowns are moving the board, an equation:

    (0 X 0) – 0 = (0 / 0) + 0

    …gestures proudly at this brilliance as the other clowns clap, hi-fiving, mooning the “professor”, etc., then gives a sharp whistle and the clowns furiously repack the car, stuffing in clothes, blackboard, and themselves then driving crazily away on square wheels, honking.

  6. Isn’t it interesting how those numbers 3, 6, and 12 keep entering the conversation and
    we have a 360 degree circle, a 60 minute clock, and a 12 hour day. It was the Sumerians
    who gave us the hexagesimal counting system based on the joints of our four fingers minus
    the thumb. They of course had 12 pagan gods formed from chaos by a conscious primordial
    serpent swallowing it’s tail. In the bible a second serpent ‘chaos’ who dwelled in the abyss
    called Leviathan. A 360 degree serpent, the expression as above so below, and 12
    apostles who followed, it’s all Mat and math.

    Sumerian Serpent
    http://cojs.org/sumerian_serpent/

  7. Experts of science always need big numbers to prove their is no God. Man is the way he is because of the billions and billions of years of evolution. Our universe exists in this perfect condition to support life as we know it because there must be billions and billions of universes that are a little different. Perhaps our universe evolved from billions and billions of prior universes over trillions and trillions of years! Most thinking people recognize the absurdity of it all, but the Expert scientists will always cling to their one in 100 billion chance of being right, and will always believe that minute chance is actually a certainty.

  8. “There must be One Final Source. And this must be God.”

    The matter that I have grappled with in my life is not this one. It is: On a cosmic and theological level, why must there be a beginning or an end, a first or last, a start or finish? Perhaps the assumption that these must exist is simply an interpretation of reality determined by our own limited earthly senses. Maybe there just “is” and always “was”, without beginning or end. Maybe we are looking at the shadows of Plato’c cave.

    To date I have not been able refute either premise: “In the beginning …” or “There was no beginning …”. This is a challenge quite apart from establishing the existence of God, or the Divine Creator.

  9. All the first cause stuff makes sense. The much harder part for me (that sometimes I still get nagging doubts on) always has been the incarnation. Philosophers can go on about causes all day long, but you need faith in the saving power of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, otherwise Christianity is just Judaism or Islam (or even the Native Americans’ “great spirit” animism).

  10. Actually, it’s just turtles all the way down (…would make as much sense), but keep livin’ in your fantasy world of causes and necessities if it brings you solace….

  11. This is the Nature/Nurture dilemma. We can’t quite get away from it. I can’t quite tell you that nature is not the primary driver and I can’t quite tell you that Nurture is not the primary driver.

    I start using lots of NOTS when I get into these situations because that is sort of how science works. You get an idea of how the world works and then you spend the rest of eternity trying to prove that you are WRONG. But that is where approximation starts and statistics inserts its head into the tent and “Hey, I can help you with that…” Before you know it p-values exist.

    As much as I agree now that p-values should be despised, I can’t quite get myself to completely grind them out. But I only keep them somewhere around for the purposes of being able to say “NO, when I stepped on the crack in the sidewalk, I did not cause an Elephant in Africa to stumble!” I have great confidence in saying that.

    I don’t have great confidence in saying “I didn’t get a vaccine and that will prevent me from having myopathy problems”. The “solution” mimicked the “problem”. Now I am vaccilating from “everything is fine” to “shit, was that a heart attack I just had!” (NO IT WASN’T, at he same time I am only 3.5 weeks out of the doom). I know unvaccinated folks who had complications that seem to have been from the doom 4 weeks out from the onset. They ended up in the hospital needing some drugs. I also know vaccinated folks who have ended up in the hospital with similar issues.

    Uncertainty is the rule.

  12. “There must be a reason that something exists rather than nothing.”

    Not so. That is a metaphysical *assumption* – not a ‘must’ with no alternative.

    Some-thing may *always* have existed. That is my intuition, and was when I was a young child; and has been the intuition of countless humans before me. Indeed, it seems to be the natural and spontaneous assumption of Men – if the surviving tribal hunter gatherers were a guide.

    It is not irrational nor incoherent to assume that something always existed. But holding that assumption has different consequences from assuming other things. It doesn’t fit with your metaphysical Christian theology, for example – but there are others.

    (The question of which assumption is true, or most-true, is another matter.)

  13. Incitements to riot:

    1 – the “God Hypothesis” falls to the obvious question: where did God come from?

    2 – the idea that the universe is precisely calibrated for our kind of life puts the cart before the horse. We evolved in the universe as it is. Were it structured differently, we’d be different and think those values magical.

    3 – there are no laws of physics, math, or logic. We call our models for the underlying processes “laws” because that word fits the way we want to see this stuff. In reality d=vt describes but does not govern the relations involved. That’s both why it fails for for extremal v, t, and d, and why almost all of the “laws” of physics start to look increasingly like distinct models for special cases as the research evolves.

    One of the wonders of our age is that we know so much – and yet, next to nothing. In number theory, for example, we now have millions of bits of knowledge the Greeks didn’t have, but yet no know more about the nature and reality of numbers than Euclid did.

    4 – as for Meyer et al, well.. check out one of my wilder speculations – https://winface.com/node/12 – completely outside my field, but, I think (hope?) defensible.

  14. the “God Hypothesis” falls to the obvious question: where did God come from?

    This has literally been addressed for thousands of years.

    If everything needs a cause, then everything must be an infinite regress of causes. But since causation requires something actual, and there is no actual start to such an infinite regress, this is impossible. Therefore there must be at least one thing that is necessary in the sense of requiring no cause. And that’s what God is. Further argument can be used to show that there can be no more than one such necessary being, and that the unique necessary being must have so much in common with what we call God that it must be God. For more details see the summary against modern thought, posted here on most Saturdays.

    the idea that the universe is precisely calibrated for our kind of life puts the cart before the horse. We evolved in the universe as it is. Were it structured differently, we’d be different and think those values magical.

    The issue with anthropic principles is not that changes to the fine tuning constants would prevent us specifically but that changes to the fine tuning constants would prevent anything that even remotely resembles what we call “life.” To say “oh, but if they were different a different type of life would have shown up anyway” requires one of two things: 1.) a faith that the universe is required to create life (and if you reject God, where is that faith coming from?) 2.) a shell game where you define “life” to be whatever happens to be around in the universe.

    there are no laws of physics, math, or logic. We call our models for the underlying processes “laws” because that word fits the way we want to see this stuff. In reality d=vt describes but does not govern the relations involved. That’s both why it fails for for extremal v, t, and d, and why almost all of the “laws” of physics start to look increasingly like distinct models for special cases as the research evolves.

    If there are no scientific laws then there are no regularities to the universe which can be studied by science. Hence science is pointless. The universe having laws is axiomatic for the study of science, without such laws the universe could just as easily be random and meaningless so that no experiment at any specific point of time would have any bearing on any other point of time.

    This of course does not prevent us from mistakenly believing in the wrong laws, or oversimplifying things (either for ease of calculation or because we are working in specific situations where the simplifications are valid.)

    But to claim that mathematics and logic do not have “laws” is even dumber. If you really believe that you cannot have any coherent description of truth whatsoever, which makes your argument self refuting. (I.e. you can’t have a coherent argument that proves that arguments in general are incoherent.)

    Atheists really are willing to believe whatever nonsense they have to, as long as they can avoid thinking about God.

  15. I never saw the “things work out the way they did because we are just one of millions, billions or infinitely many universe and got lucky” as very compelling. It just pushes the explanation up one level about how the multiverse formed the way that it did.

    This becomes more apparent when its defenders try to explain things by way of analogy. For example, I’ve heard someone defend the argument by saying “Suppose that you saw someone correctly predict the flip of a coin 20 times in a row. You would think that he had the power to predict the future, or that he was controlling the outcome of the flip. But imagine that he was part of tournament where over a million people competed with each other to predict a coin flip (so that in each flip one person says “heads” and the other says “tails”, and every time someone was wrong that person was eliminated. Then there would be over a million people who did not get that many correct predictions, but since someone wins each prediction there would be one person who won all of them. But that doesn’t make it amazing that this person in particular won.”

    Think about what that argument really does. It takes something that we have seen, i.e. someone correctly calling 20 flips, and then posits literally over a million extra entities and a very specific set of rules that they are following. For example if each coin flip was only predicted by one person, rather than two people where one takes heads and the other takes tails, then there is no longer any guarantee of a win on any flip and it still is pretty impressive to have 20 in a row correct. But if this really is analogous to the fine tuning situation, we haven’t seen any of these other entities or rules. They are a completely ad hoc creation to make what we have seen seem less impressive.

    It is difficult enough to even imagine one additional universe. I consider that to be a more “extraordinary” claim than believing in God by several orders of magnitude. But what argument do we have for such things? Just that they are needed to prevent us from believing in God, and maybe some very questionable interpretations of statistics. But even if we do believe in multiple universes, why must they allow for all possibilities? Just as in the coin flip example if everyone flipped independently it would still be impressive to see someone with 20 wins, if it was incredibly unlikely for each universe to produce the conditions of our own universe, then it would still be impressive for such a universe to show up. The argument only really works with insanely high number of alternate universes, which just makes the claim more incredibly extraordinary, or by positing that the multiverse works in such a way that all possibilities must occur somewhere. But in that second case, what is causing that law that all possibilities exist? That forces a structure on the multiverse which is even more implausible than the fine tuning constants.

    So nothing is actually resolved.

  16. “…something has to breathe life into them. There must be an act of creation.”

    Amen!

    And something must design them, or something must design the forces that shape them into the forms they take.

    Listening to atheists, or evolution cultists describe God’s creations–animals, plants, galaxies, DNA, molecules, air, water, life, etc, etc–notice how they can NOT avoid admitting the reality of design (and therefore of a designer), even if it’s only through their unconscious word choice as they describe a fascinating and beautiful life form. They’ll inevitably slip in “design”, or “chose”, or “developed,” in their description, as if the nautilus consciously decided to spiral its shell into a complicated pattern.

    Yes, it’s clear to anyone who cares to grapple with reality that there “must be an act of creation,” and that the Creator is intelligent. Slime and amino acids don’t accidentally transform into the purposefully complicated and wonderful ecosystem in which we live.

  17. Now I don’t want to harry you but..

    1 – Yes, there have been centuries of argument about god’s origins, but the causeless cause is a cop-out akin to a magical hand wave or hawking a time compression cycle version of the wheeler multiverse. The causeless event simply cannot exist – what exists almost everywhere and everywhen is a stream of events whose causes we don’t understand and, generally, can’t even enumerate. If there’s a God, then that God came from somewhere, somewhen, or something.

    2 – let me rephrase: if the universe had evolved with different constants and intelligence had evolved within it, then that intelligence would consider that universe’s constants miraculous. Note, in this, “the universe” – there is no multi-verse.

    3 – I think you misread my comment: “We call our models for the underlying processes “laws” because that word fits the way we want to see this stuff. In reality d=vt describes but does not govern the relations involved.”

    That’s “describes” not “governs”. the idea that laws govern things requires a lawmaker and an enforcement regime. As we study reality we develop improved descriptions, many of which have predictive power, but we do not find laws.

    4 – For more you may want to read “2.4 God and Information in Reality and Belief” on my telearb.net site . This explains why the multi-verse cannot exist.

  18. I’ve already explained to you why a necessary being is, well, necessary and how a necessary being requires no cause.

    What you are doing is equivalent to claiming that all numbers are rational, and then after hearing why the square root of two must be irrational claiming that this is a cop out because all numbers are rational. That is, you’re begging the question.

    2 and 3 also do not address anything I’ve said. If your claim is that if the universe had been different then different intelligent life would have evolved in it, then you believe that intelligent life would necessarily develop in any universe. Note that this directly contradicts your idea that there are no laws in the universe.

    And on that point saying that laws “describe” rather than “govern” the universe doesn’t help you out. If there are no regular laws to the universe, then there are no regularities that can be “described.” You are still confusing laws that we propose in our theories with the laws actually governing the universe. We can certainly be mistaken about what the laws are, but if there are no laws whatsoever then there is nothing to “describe” using science, and it would be impossible for them to have “predictive power.” Again, the problem is magnified if you not only deny laws of the universe, but also of logic and mathematics.

    The only reason that you do not see how badly you are missing the point is that you have a vague sense that if you were to think otherwise than you do you would have to admit that God could exist, and you can’t have that.

  19. Try this Truth on for size Not only does the one and only Living God exist, there are Three Persons in Him, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each of which is wholly, completely God, and yet there is only the One Living God.
    God bless, C-Marie

  20. Kent

    Maybe that’s why there was so much consternation with the Lab Leak Theory?

    It meant it was designed rather than sprang up from nothing.

  21. Intersting that Vilenkin doesn’t answer the question. Here is a contrast between two scientists from two different eras talking about something similar:

    Stephen Hawking: “This means one can get rid of the problem of time having a beginning, in a similar way in which we got rid of the edge of the world. Suppose the beginning of the universe was like the South Pole of the earth, with degrees of latitude playing the role of time. The universe would start as a point at the South Pole. As one moves north, the circles of constant latitude, representing the size of the universe, would expand. To ask what happened before the beginning of the universe would become a meaningless question, because there is nothing south of the South Pole.” (http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-origin-of-the-universe.html)

    James Jeans:

    “The universe now becomes a finite picture whose dimensions are a certain amount of space and a certain amount of time; the protons and electrons are the streaks of paint which define the picture against its space-time background. Traveling as far back in time as we can, brings us not to the creation of the picture, but to its edge; the creation of the picture lies as much outside the picture as the artist is outside his canvas. On this view, discussing the creation of the universe in terms of time and space is like trying to discover the artist and the action of painting, by going to the edge of the canvas. This brings us very near to those philosophical systems which regard the universe as a thought in the mind of its Creator, thereby reducing all discussion of material creation to futility.”

    (https://infogalactic.com/info/James_Hopwood_Jeans)

  22. Robin, the reason there must be a beginning is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The universe is still “wound up”, and it has not suffered a heat death. So, there must have been a beginning… either that, or the 2nd Law must have been ‘reversed’ in the past (which makes no sense to us, and is, in any event, contrary to observable science). Of course, a Beginning is also inconsistent with observable science, because of the 1st Law of thermodynamics. So, either way, our existence violates the laws of thermodynamics. So, was that by some natural process? If so, it takes faith to believe such a thing. Instead, God has told us what He did, and He is then obviously outside the laws of physics (which makes sense, since He created them).

  23. Great post Doc – I meant to note that in my previous post – but as some high powered Catholic writer once noted: “If a thing is worth doing – it’s worth doing badly.” – Belloc?, Chesterton?, Hemingway? von Neumann? Briggs? My memory is failing as I get older 🙂

  24. One of you is arguing as a scientist, the other as a philosopher. Only the order t tool gets the answer

  25. There must be One Final Source. And this must be God.

    What created God? You’ve made an exception to your internal logical consistency. This is the fallacy of special pleading. The correct answer to ‘what ultimately created everything’ is: we know we don’t know that answer yet, and we’re not going to fill the corners of sea charts where we haven’t visited yet with monsters from our imagination. The Frequentists’ Platonic cave of infinite-sized distributions from which reality is merely a sampling doesn’t exist, either.

  26. We still have intelectualists who claim that the ultimate answer is “turtles all the way down” because the alternative “uncaused first cause” is unacceptable, to paraphrase that infamous eugenicist Julian Huxley, who also said something like “it’s time for the product of Evolution to take over the process of Evolution”. My guess is that a “Great Reset” to a “New World Order” is exactly what the “Synagogue of Enlightenments” would order to usurp and bring down a greater Plan; if that were possible.

    There is still a plethora of clever dicks who try to deceive and disorientate ordinary people by grandiose assertions that we don’t need God anymore because we have proclaimed that Nothing is relentlessly turning itself into Everything for no Purpose (no first cause, no final cause). Such clever dicks are stuck in 1960’s version of “enlightenment” and might as well be parading the streets with a Nietzschean sandwich board proclaiming GOD IS DEAD!

    Now, come on, you blardy galahs, even if you accept Aesop’s pile of tortoises, every tortoise below must be stronger than the one(s) above; it’s childishly simple commonsense; why the hell would an infinitely strong tortoise at the bottom of an infinite pile need any of the tortoise above? It’s a simple illustration of the commonsense that everyone has intuitively until they have to go to school and be “reprogrammed” to accept that it is Caesar (contemporarily Caesar is demolatry) that defines reality.

    An infinite regression of causes must regress to an infinite cause if we accept that an effect cannot be greater than its cause(s). The only alternative is that something that does not exist is made to exist by something that does not have the power to do so. Effectively; something that does not exist erupts out of something “inferior” with no reasonable justification or evidence to suggest that such a thing is even remotely possible.

  27. I remember being in a laser safety class at University of Toronto. I’m in industry, but everyone else in the class was a PhD doing research. The professor was demonstrating the construction and working of the eye.
    I couldn’t resist. I volunteered that it was almost like it was designed that way.
    The prof smiled, but every other attendee looked like they had never considered that, but were now doing so.
    No arguments.

  28. Ed Bonderenka,

    ‘I volunteered that it was almost like [the eye] was designed that way.’

    Did the design specifications include the need for most people to wear glasses, or was that an oversight?

  29. Roy W Spencer,

    ‘Robin, the reason there must be a beginning is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.’

    This isn’t necessarily true. The second law of thermodynamics only applies to closed systems, and we don’t know if the universe is a closed system.

  30. “12” perfectly-tuned constants.

    Twelve.

    No, that’s not a significant number with any meaning anywhere. Nope.

  31. Discussions of the first way with atheists have convinced me that most atheists are not only incapable of understanding basic logic, but that they are even incapable of basic reading comprehension.

    It doesn’t matter how many times you say “this is why there must be an uncaused cause, and this is why it must be God.” The response is always “but you’re contradicting your earlier claim that everything has a cause” even though in none of these discussions was it ever claimed that everything has a cause.

  32. God can’t be proven anything, since if that were so then proof of God’s existence would entail.
    Since even at my latest reading of the gospels it wasn’t God’s will to “prove” but to instil hope and faith in those who would listen or take note.
    So, Faith is called faith for a reason and that is what Jesus appealed to.

    If it were certain? the universe and the world would be a very different place and it wouldn’t necessarily be for the better. Mankind would behave even worse.
    Christianity is a mystery in its deepest sense.

    What a person can know in their heart or mind is not what others “know” to a point of proof.
    It is hope and faith which leads the spirit to better things.
    Certainty does the opposite.

  33. The virtue of faith is necessary because we cannot be sure about every thing.

    But we can be sure about some things.

    For example, we cannot reasonably doubt the truth of the Pythagorean Theorem in Euclidean Geometry, once the framework of Euclidean Geometry is established and the theorem is demonstrated. No faith needed.

    In real life we cannot reasonably doubt things like our own existence. It may be possible to have a sliver of doubt about things like whether other people exist or whether the computer we are writing at is really a computer. But there is so much overwhelming evidence for such things that only a true philosophical skeptic would claim any significant amount of doubt. Again, no faith is required.

    But since God is beyond our rational understanding (though the fact of His existence is not) we require faith to truly understand His love for us and His promises. On a more Earthly level, it might be impossible to believe with absolute certainty that your wife loves you, but faith can have you believe it nevertheless.

    In short faith is necessary in our world because there are certain things we cannot know. But when we can know them it is better when we do know them.

  34. Faith is certain knowledge of that which you can’t know any other way. The axioms upon which science rests are thus taken as true by faith, one way or another. Embedded within a mutable physical universe, and with our bodies also being mutable; there are things we can not know with certainty using empirical methods. Man does not live by bread (chemicals) alone. Man also lives by faith. Key is what do you put your faith in. Do you put it in He That Is? If so, you can only do this via His Only Begotten Son. You have free will. Thus, you can reject reality, but you can’t reject the consequences of doing so.

  35. Faith, Hope, and Love. In the archaic sense, which St. Paul used, Hope means the absolute confidence and trust, that what is not seen, and has been revealed, is. So, Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the complete confidence and trust, that things hoped for, are, though they remain unseen. Only the Faith of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is perfect Faith, so we who are His, believe Him, for He knows whereof He spoke and taught. See John 10: 36.

    Why do those who do not believe that the Living God is, even show any interest in the Faith life of those who do know that He is? The answer is that the Living God Who is Love, works continually to awaken the unbelievers to Himself, until the time that He takes them from the earth. He will have done His Fathering, His Saving, His Teaching, to the full, and those who still reject Him, will then know the Truth, but it will be too late for salvation.
    Believe Jesus, now!
    God bless, C-Marie

  36. hmm, faith isn’t certain,
    How you a person feels is another matter

    Fatih is trust or even assumption in absence of certainty
    Trust is informed by experience
    Without trust , love is not unconditional
    without hope there is no faith

    Spiritual Hope, like other forms, springs from a hear that is transfigured by the knowledge of the presence of God.
    Where knowledge is clearly intended to mean something personal, not of the kind acquired iBooks.

    Paul’s knowledge was different from our own and differs in the same way as each person is unique.
    Hope, trust, faith, go missing when religious argument turns bad.

  37. To paraphrase Sean Carrol, fine tuning is actually evidence against God, because God could create life in any universe, but naturalism could only create life in a fine tuned universe. It doesn’t make sense that God could create the entire universe from nothing, but is then unable to produce life within it unless it is arranged just so.

  38. Swordfish brings up the If I Were God Fallacy.

    If I were God, here’s how I’d design the universe. The universe isn’t that way; therefore, God doesn’t exist.

    Well, it convinces some.

  39. Rudolph Harrier,

    It doesn’t matter how many times you say “this is why there must be an uncaused cause, and this is why it must be God.” The response is always “but you’re contradicting your earlier claim that everything has a cause” even though in none of these discussions was it ever claimed that everything has a cause.

    You’re contradicting your earlier claim that everything has a cause! But seriously, if everything doesn’t have a cause, then we can simply say that the universe doesn’t have a cause and invoke Occam’s razor to dispense with God and his angelic minions.

  40. If you accept that there must be an uncaused cause, the discussion becomes “what sorts of features are necessary for an uncaused cause?” The discussion takes time (and indeed if one is interested in the details, the long running “Summary Against Modern Thought” series of posts do go into it.) But in any case the starting point of the chain of reasoning is that for something to be the first cause of an essentially ordered series, it must be itself without change. From there we can establish that it would be eternal, lacking in potentiality, unique, simple, etc.

    Since the universe obviously does change, it can’t be the first cause.

    The only real way to salvage things and claim that the universe can take the place of God is to deny the existence of causal series. This is the approach some atheists have made by claiming that certain things, like the universe, are just “brute facts” that exist just because they exist and for which no explanation is possible even in principle. This essentially allows one to arbitrarily end any causal series at any point, and thus deny the existence of a first mover. But it is a dangerous move since there is no real criteria for what makes a “brute fact” other than “whatever needs to be one so that I don’t have to believe in God.” And once you’ve done that, why not just allow anything to be a brute fact? But doing so would make science impossible since you’ve allowed causation to be thrown out arbitrarily. If you claim that brute facts are impossible when we start researching things through science, that would be actual special pleading.

  41. As for the “fine tuning is AKSHUALLY evidence against God,” it’s a particularly lame “If I were God” fallacy. The argument is that somehow these disprove God because if God didn’t set them up the way He did, then there would be no life. But, He did. So what’s the problem?

    swordfish is talking about the situation as if it were possible that God would make a mistake when setting up the fine tuning, and so it would be “more responsible” or something for God to have allowed a wider variety of constants that would allow for the creation of life. But since God is God, there was never any possibility of Him making a mistake so that doesn’t make any sense. And since the constants are constant, it’s not like they’re going to lead to a failure down the line.

    At least when people say something like “If I were God I would make it so that I didn’t have to go to work” there is an actual end that wasn’t reached (just a dumb one that God has no need to care about.) swordfish’s argument is basically “If I were God I would have made it so that the universe could sustain life.”

  42. Something has always existed and then that something is a someone who revealed Himself to those who thought that something has always existed and He told those people that they were wrong by identifying His own self as existence itself; that is, it is He, God, who always existed not rocks and plants and penguins (the earth it not a planet).

    The hunters gathers, who had been created by God and who drowned them as punishment for being f-ups on a grand scale, were proven wrong as the idea of a God who punishes folks for f’n up , had never included God in their all-we-see-and-know-has-always existed cosmology.

    That’s science, baby.

  43. The “if I was God” fallacy is invoked when anybody talks about God.

    Some just don’t want to admit it.

  44. Adam was the most intelligent man ever created and it has been downhill ever since which is so true that evil had to pretend that there has been an ascent of man via the Devil’s doctrine of evolution- ever more intelligent etc -when precisely the opposite is true.

    Life on earth has been the descent of man and man fears judgement which is why man freaks out about things like climate change.

    Sensible men understand that every singe day angels gather at the four corners of the earth ready to destroy it at the command of God and then they are told to strike or not.

    Apocalypse 7 [1] After these things, I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that they should not blow upon the earth, nor upon the sea, nor on any tree. [2] And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, [3] Saying: Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads</I.

    Today us men skated. What about tomorrow?

    Do you want to live like real men or spend your lives pretending fantasies about existence are true?

    It's up to you

  45. Speaking of going downhill all the way from Adam, Sanford’s book, “Genetic Entropy” is an excellent refutation of the hypothesis of evolution. Very readable as well.

  46. I volunteered that it was almost like [the eye] was designed that way.

    With the blood vessels located in front of the light receptors? The octopus eye gets this detail correct.

    the starting point of the chain of reasoning is that for something to be the first cause of an essentially ordered series, it must be itself without change

    The actual starting point is assuming it is valid to introduce an inconsistency. After which logic is broken and the “argument” is merely a dominance challenge using instinctual firmware inherited from the great apes.

  47. When it comes to the eye, it’s all very simple.

    A few sightless organisms were splashing around in a warm tide pool one decade and began to speculate about how cool it would be to see what was going on around them and so they chose to spend the next several million of years slowly developing the eye.

    When their descendants finally did have a functioning eye, what they saw shocked them.

    They saw huge animals who told them they had spent scores of centuries on land but had decided – Ta hell with this – and spent hunnerts of centuries developing blow holes to replace their lungs and they entered the waters and became whales.

    Now that belief in the faith of evolution has died, what next?

  48. Briggs,

    Swordfish brings up the If I Were God Fallacy. If I were God, here’s how I’d design the universe. The universe isn’t that way; therefore, God doesn’t exist.

    Briggs/Meyer brings up the If I Were God Fallacy. If I were God, I’d design the universe to be fine tuned. The universe appears fine tuned; therefore, God does exist.

    The point is, fine tuning is what we’d expect to see if the universe is natural, so it can’t be evidence for God.

  49. Rudolph Harrier,

    As for the “fine tuning is AKSHUALLY evidence against God,” it’s a particularly lame “If I were God” fallacy. The argument is that somehow these disprove God because if God didn’t set them up the way He did, then there would be no life. But, He did. So what’s the problem?

    That isn’t the argument at all. The argument – put in a different way, as you didn’t seem to understand the first way – is: A universe in which life only just manages to exist by random accident is what we’d expect nature to produce, not what we’d expect a God to produce. Conversely, if human life existed miraculously in a universe *without* fine tuning, that would be evidence for God.

    And it isn’t an ‘if I were God fallacy’ to say ‘God could produce life in any universe’, as that’s simply a straightforward implication of the claim that God is omnipotent.

  50. Rudolph Harrier,

    If you accept that there must be an uncaused cause, the discussion becomes “what sorts of features are necessary for an uncaused cause?”

    I don’t know if there’s an ‘uncaused cause’, but if there is one, a giant disembodied mind that’s made of three parts; hates gay people, and has very specific instructions on how its temples should be decorated, isn’t the first thing that springs to mind.

  51. Science only speaks about causes of things it can measure. It cannot say how the things that CANNOT be measured, or their causes, came into being.

    Proofreading matters.

  52. Anonymous,

    The actual starting point is assuming it is valid to introduce an inconsistency. After which logic is broken and the “argument” is merely a dominance challenge using instinctual firmware inherited from the great apes.

    LOL +1

  53. Fr. John Rickert, FSSP, Ph.D.,

    Speaking of going downhill all the way from Adam, Sanford’s book, “Genetic Entropy” is an excellent refutation of the hypothesis of evolution. Very readable as well.

    Evolution hasn’t been refuted, and isn’t an hypothesis – as someone with a Ph.D should know. Hypothetically, if it were true that life can neither form nor diversify without supernatural intervention, then it would appear that the fine tuning argument would be refuted. As, it wouldn’t make sense to claim that constants of nature had to be fine tuned to a zillion decimal places in order for life *not* to form without further supernatural shenanigans.

  54. It was said by someone that “logic is broken”. The galah that made that statement did not offer any indication as to what it (logic) meant… I am getting very incensed with the irrational pontifications of the idiots who assume and propagate the notion that Nothing is relentlessly turning itself into Everything without cause or purpose.

    Logic can’t be “broken”… it’s not “stuff” that can be bent, twisted, or “broken”.

    I’m old and tired. God haters on one side and “God botherers” on the other. Presently, it seems that the God haters are running the show.

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