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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Grand Illusion and Grand Delusion - Taking a Styx to the concepts of Hawking

So who are you? Are we not all the same? Yes, we are all born the same. What choices do we make? Are you fooling yourself? Do you think you can get away with it?

The 1996 version of Styx was much like the same group my wife saw live back in the early days when they were playing venues around Chicago and just getting started.  But by 1996 they were remarkably famous and successful.   Like a lot of such bands, they were pretty good at asking questions and making statements, leaving the listener to find the answer.   Perhaps the most famous "looking for an answer" band of the 1960's and 70's (and forward) were the Moody Blues.

I am not sure of each member's worldview, but definitely John Lodge is a Christian, has been for many years and his influence from a Christian worldview leaks into the songs of the group.   The 1991 "Keys to the Kingdom" sometimes sounds like it was inspired by reading the Psalms and Proverbs with the MB's own particular twist. Try listening to "Say what you mean, mean what you say" sometime. 

Anyone who spends any time at all being concerned with the meaning of life must carefully consider all aspects of the questions, for if indeed there are eternal and supernatural aspects to existence and that this existence is not the greater reality you have a responsibility to discern the truth and you will not be entirely satisfied until you have made the effort.   If you truly believe that Atheistic Darwinist theology is superior to Christianity, I invite you to read a post by SFT on Atheist Mythology after reading my blogpost today.   I will remind you at the end of this blogpost, you will not want to miss it!

Stephen Hawking, self-styled King of Science, has published a book that ScientistForTruth has carefully read and reviewed.  Hawking thinks he has "the answer" and so the Buy The Truth website presented a three part review which was authored by ScientistForTruth in parts one, two and three and appears below in entirety with grateful thanks to the author.  You will need to go to his website to comment on his blog and the individual links are above, plus his website is on my links list.   For your consideration:

Hawking’s Grand Delusion (Part I)

Stephen Hawking 'speaks' once again 'ex cathedra'

We consider the 2010 book The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow (screenwriter for Star Trek: the Next Generation), but first we must lay some groundwork. For ease of digestion this post is split into three parts, the first two parts being introductory.

Intelligent Design and the limits of science

To start with, here’s an old chestnut: is ‘Intelligent Design’ a scientific hypothesis? Well, it is a hypothesis, and a most intelligent hypothesis, held by the brightest of minds for thousands of years, that something with the appearance of design (which even atheists admit) is actually designed. Whether or not it is true, it cannot be denied except by the most churlish that the inference is a reasonable one. However, if we deliberately limit the term ‘scientific’ to natural science, wherein scientific hypotheses have natural explanations exclusively in terms of natural phenomena from within the natural world itself – a closed system where there is no external causation, or where at the very least external causation is beyond the scope of scientific explanation – then according to this definition intelligent design cannot be a scientific hypothesis.

But so what? All this means is that science is deliberately limited in explanation, and deliberately so limited by definition. Primary causation is not only outside but also incomprehensible to scientific enquiry, so primary causation, even if true, cannot offer a ‘scientific’ explanation. Without access to the designer’s original plan, as it were, where could the hypothesis of intelligent design take us from a ‘scientific’ perspective? It has no explanatory power, no predictive capability, no falsifiability within the self-defined and self-limiting ‘scientific’ realm. As an example, if I tell you in all truth that the jet engine was designed by Frank Whittle, what does that fact tell you about the jet engine other than that it was designed by Frank Whittle?

This really is no big deal. It’s no different in principle from saying that ‘internal mail’ is post that travels exclusively within a company, or ‘inland mail’ is post that travels exclusively within a country. None of these concepts and definitions precludes the possibility that mail can come into a company or a country from outside. Just as the term internal/inland comports a limiting definition when applied to mail, so the term ‘scientific’ comports a limiting definition when qualifying a hypothesis.

Of course, it would be wholly illogical to suggest that because invoking a divine creator is not a ‘scientific’ explanation then there is no creator and no primary causation. That would be a fundamental fallacy, like saying that because invoking the concept of international mail is beyond the scope of inland mail then there can’t be mail from other countries or mail systems in other countries, so you can’t have international mail. A divine creative act is by definition not a scientific explanation, nor should a ‘scientific’ explanation be sought (or accepted) if we know (or believe) that creation was by primary causation – any scientific explanation proffered will by definition be wrong. To use the analogy again, if we know or have reason to believe that some mail is international it will be wrong to insist and define that all mail in circulation within a country must be inland mail. A creative act of bringing the universe into being is by definition a cause from outside the universe that is beyond the reach of scientific enquiry and the methods of natural science. But philosophy and theology can go further than science, into the realm of metaphysics. Science chooses to shut itself inside its closed box.

Hawking’s Grand Delusion (Part II)

Hows, Whys, Wherefores, and Miserable Refuges

Woman teaching geometry, from Adelard's translation of Euclid

[See Part I for introduction]

Adelard of Bath (or Athelhard, AD 1080-1160) is sometimes known as the first English scientist. In his classic work Natural Questions he states:
"I will detract nothing from God; for whatever is, is from him and by him; yet not even this is said vaguely and without due care, as we must listen to the very limits of human knowledge: only where this utterly breaks down, should we refer things to God."
In common with Christians down through the ages, Adelard sought natural answers to natural questions as far as such studies could be taken. Natural Questions is a dialogue between Adelard and his nephew in which he asks, ‘Why is there a rainbow in the heavens?’ His nephew replies that it is a sign of God’s promise not to flood the entire earth again. Adelard says
"Of course that’s what God said and of course God put the rainbow there, but that doesn’t explain the rainbow. That is an example of a miserable refuge from a real philosophic explanation…I know God did it! But that’s not natural philosophy [i.e. science], that’s theology."
Although Adelard makes an important distinction, he is rather too hard on his nephew. After all, he didn’t ask how (i.e. by what means) there is a rainbow in the heavens, which would have elicited the naturalistic physical explanation he is evidently looking for, but why (i.e. for what purpose), which implies motive and design. There is the greatest of difference between a ‘how’ and a ‘why’ question, for example ‘how’ and ‘why’ a person was murdered. At its simplest, the joke ‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’ has a very different answer from the question ‘How did the chicken cross the road?’ Or, we might ask how Joseph became prime minister in Egypt, and rehearse all the steps in that process (all in the providence of God, if we wish to add such). But if we ask why Joseph became prime minister in Egypt we have a ready answer that relates to purpose in Genesis:
"And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."
But we commonly use the concept of law to explain things and answer ‘why’ questions, thus investing the concept of law with a power that it does not have. This is rather disingenuous, and itself a miserable refuge from a proper explanation. We lazily invoke the concept of law to describe the behaviour of physical bodies: but that is all it is, a description, not an explanation. We talk about laws ‘governing’ and entities ‘obeying’ them and being ‘subject’ to them, but this is just so much anthropomorphic talk. We can’t properly use a description of behaviour or inherent properties of matter in a way that has explanatory power or purpose. As an example, if we ask how (by what means) two massive bodies gravitationally attract there is still no accepted answer in physics of the underlying mechanism at the present time. If we ask why two bodies attract we are inclined to answer in the context of law: there is a universal law of gravitation that defines the attraction between massive bodies at a certain separation; these separated bodies have mass and so are subject to this law; therefore they will attract by such and such amount. But this ‘law’ is merely a description of what we have observed for other bodies, so we impose it universally by a process of induction. It does not properly answer the Why question but supplies a fig leaf to pretend to cover the nakedness of our lack of knowledge.

If we ask the question ‘How does this jet engine work?’, we can give a very detailed explanation of all the parts of the engine and the physics. But if we ask ‘Why does this jet engine work?’ we must answer in terms of apparent or real design, for example ‘because fuel and air are introduced in the right proportion for combustion, and ignited in a chamber that allows for the emergence of the hot gasses of combustion in one direction only’. Or I could invent and invoke a law of jet engines, a ‘Whittle’s Law of Jet Engines’ that ‘all machines that conform to this, that and the other of Whittle’s design principles will perform as a jet engine’. This machine conforms to Whittle’s Law, so this machine will work as a jet engine. From this example we can see that invoking Whittle’s Law as an explanation of why this particular machine operates as a jet engine is not a proper answer to the question ‘Why does this jet engine work?’ It is, in fact, another one of those ‘miserable refuges’ that Adelard spoke about.

Science can answer why questions only in a limited capacity at the microscopic level by inferring function. So, for example, if a working jet engine had mysteriously dropped out of the sky in the 1920s (before the jet engine was invented), science could have attempted an answer to the question ‘Why is this pipe on this engine?’ The answer would be one of function or design, e.g. to carry fuel to the injection nozzles. And the question ‘How is this jet engine built’ could be answered through disassembly and making meticulous drawings and plans. Medical science has been doing the same with another ‘given’, the human body, for thousands of years, and has still not exhausted the questions – what is this organ for? Or nowadays, what is this gene for? And increasingly it can answer the question ‘how is the human body built?’ But science can never answer questions such as ‘Why was this jet engine built?’ or ‘Why does the human body appear in its present form?’

Isaac Newton was criticized in his lifetime because he sought to formulate general ‘physical laws’ whilst being unable to explain what was causing the phenomena to which he applied the laws. The idea that there could be attraction between bodies millions of miles apart and separated by empty space was considered to be rather ‘occult’ in his day, especially as he could proffer no physical explanation. Even in our day we do not understand what causes gravity. Likewise, in Fourier’s day there was a conflict concerning the nature of heat – whether it due to a substance called caloric, or due to motion of atoms. Fourier said that it was irrelevant – he was able to develop an excellent mathematical description/model of heat flow without knowing what heat was. All this goes to show that science, engineering and mathematics can make progress instrumentally even when there is gross uncertainty, and a total absence of explanatory power, about underlying reality. So-called ‘natural laws’, or mathematical concepts and models, should never, ever be confused with the underlying reality of the fabric of this universe. This seems to be a confusion made by Stephen Hawking, who we learn was early in life bored of actually studying the natural world, and spent the rest of his life dreaming about mathematical models which might or might not have anything to do with reality at all.

Let Adelard have the last word:
"If we turn our backs on the amazing rational beauty of the universe we live in, we should indeed deserve to be driven therefrom, like a guest unappreciative of the house into which he has been received."

Hawking’s Grand Delusion (Part III)

The Fool, in his own words
[Read Part I and Part II for background]

Stephen Hawking is doubtless a very intelligent man, but in his most recent book The Grand Design (surely a title that is supposed to be ironic) he has shown that even the most intelligent of scientists can write like a fool, and this monograph will become a classic for that very reason. He followed up his inanities in an interview on Larry King Live on September 10, 2010. It is now evident to all (if anyone was hitherto in any doubt) that Hawking’s brilliance is in a very narrow field indeed, apart from which he gropes and stumbles like a drunken man. Early in his book he announces
"Philosophy is dead. It has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly in physics. As a result scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge."
As William Lane Craig has remarked, such a verdict is
"not merely condescending, but also…outrageously na├»ve. The man who claims to have no need of philosophy is the one most apt to be fooled by it."
Indeed, Hawking and his sidekick Mlodinow proceed to show just how ignorant they are of philosophy, theology, the philosophy of science, the history of philosophy, the history of science, and general science itself. In the Larry King Live show Hawking was asked who his hero was, and why, to which he responded:
"Galileo, the first modern scientist who realized the importance of observation."
Well, you can have who you like as your hero, of course, but the historical claim about Galileo is utter rot. He couldn’t hold a candle to the likes of Kepler, for one. Galileo was a second-rate scientist in the main, who continued to his dying day to deny gravitational force as constraining bodies to rotate around the sun, clinging to an Aristotelian idea that celestial bodies ‘naturally’ moved in ‘perfect’ circles because they were not acted upon by a centripetal force, and he refused to accept Kepler’s careful observations and tabulated data that planets were subject to gravitational pull and moved in ellipses. He likewise refused to believe that the sun and moon caused the tides, as Kepler showed, because he denied extraterrestrial gravity. Apart from his last work, under house arrest, on mechanics, the myth of Galileo’s supposed greatness is the deliberate invention of atheists, communists and other anti-Christians, who have cunningly warped history since the nineteenth century to promote a ‘conflict thesis’. Mighty interesting that Hawking, who has built his reputation on pushing cosmic gravity into the absurd, without observational corroboration, should have as his hero one who denied extraterrestrial gravity and who often espoused dogma over meticulous observation.

But if philosophy is dead, it is dead only in the mind of Stephen Hawking, where it was delivered stillborn, or smothered at birth. As someone has said, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And if ‘scientific’ conjecture is all Hawking has by way of explanation, it does the crudest of jobs, riding roughshod over and mangling all understanding, rationality and logic, so that he ends up making puerile statements unworthy of an intelligent man. Just as, by definition, ‘Intelligent Design’ is not a scientific hypothesis because it deals with causes outside the realm on natural science, likewise a physical explanation cannot be an explanation for a metaphysical problem.

For example, Hawking states
"Spontaneous creation is the reason [why] there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist."
What an utterly crass statement. There are effectively three deep questions here:

Why is there something rather than nothing?
Why does this universe exist?
Why does mankind exist?

Note that these are ‘why’ questions, which can only be answered by invoking purpose (as in theology, and Intelligent Design) or at the very least function. There is no sloppy mistake here – on the Larry King Live show King attempts some clarification between the ‘how’ and the ‘why’:
"One of your colleagues out of Cambridge says that science provides us with a narrative as to how existence may happen [the 'how'], but theology addresses the meaning of the narrative [the 'why']. How do you respond to that?"
Hawking responded:
"The scientific account is complete. Theology is unnecessary."
That’s clear, then. Hawking really is claiming to answer the ‘why’ questions. In his previous book, A Brief History of Time, he had mentioned these ultimate ‘why’ questions and concluded the work with the words
"Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God."
All very tongue-in-cheek: there was a cynical reason for including the reference to God, as he later admitted:
"In the proof stage I nearly cut the last sentence in the book… Had I done so, the sales might have been halved."
Prof. Jacob Bekenstein, a leading theoretical physicist, whose work on black hole thermodynamics influenced Hawking, declared
"He is a known atheist, from the time I first met him in the 1970s…His care is very expensive, so he lives from his books and other projects. It’s not hard for him to get attention and publish."
Now he is just playing to the atheist gallery to keep the revenue stream flowing, as Richard Dawkins did with The God Delusion.

But, having explicitly eliminated God and theology from his purview to please his atheist constituency, Hawking’s answer to all three questions is just another ‘miserable refuge’ – spontaneous creation. An uncaused cause. And that is supposed to be the ‘ultimate triumph of human reason’?!! Creation, of course, implies a creator, and the uncaused cause has traditionally been identified with deity, but Hawking will have none of that. As a native English writer, he could have chosen the more neutral term ‘spontaneous generation’; but as an atheist he delights in purloining words from the vocabulary of theists, such as ‘creation’. Not only is this creation spontaneous, but the universe creates itself – it is its own creator, self-creating, self-organizing. Its purpose and function and meaning is to create itself.

Hawking thus denies the necessity for primary causation:
"It is not necessary to invoke God to…set the universe going"
No, the universe brought itself into existence because that’s the sort of thing universes do all the time. Stuck for a physical and scientific explanation for a finite universe with a defined stating point in time (as Hawking holds), then the universe has to be the cause of itself. This brings us back to where we started in Part I. If you insist on a scientific explanation for an event that is caused by primary causation, or for which a scientific explanation cannot be found, then you will end up with a very silly one, as Hawking’s hypothesis exemplifies. He would have done better to keep his inanities to himself, but he makes himself a laughingstock by parading this nonsense so publicly. Richard Dawkins thinks that just as he himself pretends to have eliminated God from biology, so Hawking has delivered the coup de grace and eliminated God from physics as well. Indeed not, though – all he has done is make the atheist position look ever more ridiculous and untenable.
So, let’s try to apply a How question, which should be more amenable to science – how could the universe possibly create itself ex nihilo?
"Because there is a law of gravity, the universe can and will create itself out of nothing."
"Gravity and quantum theory cause universes to be created spontaneously out of nothing" [Larry King Live show]
Note carefully: the universe does not come into existence contingently, but it necessarily and infallibly comes into existence ex nihilo because of the ‘law of gravity’. Quantum theory ’causes’ universes to be created spontaneously. Note also that Hawking appears to be saying that it is gravity itself that causes the spontaneous generation, for which gravity would have to be a property of pre-existent material, which by definition cannot exist. Charitably, we must surely take it that he means the ‘theory’ or ‘law’ of gravity itself, but who knows? What an amazing ‘Just So’, Porquoi story. All part and parcel of atheist mythology, as we’ve come to expect.

Asked by Larry King
"You write that because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Will you tell me how that law came into existence?"
Hawking answers
"Gravity is a consequence of “M” theory, which is the only possible unified theory."
To assert that gravity, a property, is a consequence of a theory is plain nutty. And don’t fail to spot the ultimate unscientific hubris: that M-theory, a speculative unfalsifiable and untestable string theory is ‘the only possible unified theory’. History is littered with such stupid claims by scientists to have attained the ultimate and only possible theory. M-Theory is nothing more than a candidate for a unified theory, and these string theories are in a state of flux all the time.

There are breathtaking logical fallacies here. Firstly, Hawking is effectively saying that the law of gravity applies when there is ‘nothing’; that X creates X; and that ‘nothing’ becomes something. But a physical law is not a physical thing, it is merely a description of properties and behaviours of something that already exists. Laws have no power over anything, they do not control, regulate, create, explain or cause. They produce no events, they merely describe patterns to which events conform; they have no causative or sustaining power. No snooker balls ever moved on green baize because of Newton’s laws of motion or as a consequence of any theories, their motion has only ever been described in accordance with Newton’s laws and physical theories. And for causation one would have to look elsewhere.

But there can be no laws of motion without motion, no laws of gravity without gravity etc because the laws are merely the descriptions of the properties of the things themselves. ‘Laws of nature’ do not have any real and independent existence apart from the properties and phenomena they describe – except in the mind of God, which Hawking now disavows.

Now, a law describing a property that is uninstantiated (i.e. no examples found) is known as a vacuous law, and we can all make up any number of them covering the properties of things that do not exist, and never be able to prove whether such laws do or don’t apply because there are no examples to examine. Quite apart from the fact that you can’t have physical laws if you have ‘nothing’, physical laws don’t and can’t do anything with ‘something’, never mind with ‘nothing’. Hawking has the whole thing round the wrong way: physical laws don’t make things happen, or ensure that things happen, or prevent things from happening: they are merely abstract descriptions of the things that actually do happen.

But Hawking thinks that there exist not only this universe of ours, which appears to be designed, and which is in fact extremely fine-tuned, but many other universes as well:
"Our universe and its laws appear to have a design that…is tailor-made to support us…That is not easily explained and raises the natural question of why it is that way… The discovery relatively recently of the extreme fine-tuning of so many of the laws of nature could lead at least some of us back to the old idea that this grand design is the work of some grand designer….That is not the answer of modern science…our universe seems to be one of many, each with different laws."
Oh, here we go again, just as with Richard Dawkins, that tired old despicable ‘multiverse’ argument and the anthropic principle get trotted out, that miserable refuge that if there are trillions upon trillions of universes with all sorts of different laws, surely one of them is going to come up trumps as a good one, like the one we are in. That atheistic admixture of Micawberism and the best of all possible worlds of Dr Pangloss. As Hawking stated on Larry King Live:
"Our presence selects out from this vast array only these universes that are compatible with our existence."
‘Our presence’ selects some universes fitted to our existence! But as theoretical physicist John Polkinghorne has noted:
"Let us recognise these speculations for what they are. They are not physics, but in the strictest sense, metaphysics. There is no purely scientific reason to believe in an ensemble of universes. By construction these other worlds are unknowable by us."
There’s not a shred of evidence for such a multiverse, anyway, so when Hawkins says that our universe ‘seems to be one of many’ he is, of course, lying. And how does he suppose these multiple universes come into existence?
"“M” theory predicts that a great many universes were created out of nothing…multiple universes arise naturally from physical law. They are a prediction of science."
Oh yes, of course, I forgot, they are spontaneously created from ‘physical law’. They just pop into existence by spontaneous creation all the time because that’s what universes do. So, it’s worth asking the question, what is this almighty ‘physical law’ that genders these imagined quadrillions of universes? Is it a physical thing? No, it is not, it is an entirely abstract concept about the physical: it is not matter or energy, you cannot measure it, contain it, or transport it, it exerts no force; it creates nothing, sustains nothing, determines nothing; you can’t increase it or decrease it, have more of it or less or it. It is not an entity that can be studied (no branch of science studies entities called ‘laws’; ‘laws’ are the convenient fictions we construct to describe patterns of behaviour of the physical things that we do actually study). ‘Physical law’ is not a physical thing at all, any more than environmental law is an environment, or property law is a property, and therefore it cannot be invoked as a scientific explanation.

Hawking foolishly believes that there are well nigh an infinite number of universes that have arisen ‘naturally’ from this abstraction he calls ‘physical law’. This is a huge category error – it is like saying that the law of marriage naturally begets children, or Gresham’s Law of economics naturally produces money. To invoke a ‘law of nature’, some kind of eternal and unchangeable non-corporeal and non-physical entity, as an explanation for the existence of the universe is not a scientific hypothesis. It is, to quote Adelard of Bath “an example of a miserable refuge from a real philosophic explanation”. Sure, it is a fanciful hypothesis, an atheist myth, but there is a better known name for an eternal and unchangeable non-corporeal and non-physical entity which created the whole universe from nothing:
"I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me…I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things…Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?…I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded…For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else."
Given the hypothesis that Almighty God created the universe ex nihilo with a purpose, or the alternative hypothesis that something abstract, impersonal, immaterial, and impotent, which cannot control or regulate, and which has no causative or sustaining power is the reason for the emergence of the universe ex nihilo as some kind of cosmic accident or necessity, I don’t think there’s much competition. Hawking is now firmly in the camp of those for whom it is said that they
"became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools"
We should cease being in awe of this increasingly silly man. If Hawking is so deluded as to think that scientists are now the torchbearers in the discovery of truth, then as a supposed exemplar of modern science we can see that he has certainly soon stumbled and dropped the torch he snatched, and, with this latest publication, torched his own reputation to boot.

ScientistForTruth is the author of the Hawking three part review.  His website again?  Buy The Truth
It appears that there is no need for God if we have Hawking, according to Hawking.  As he is so concerned about "hawking" his books, even writing about his foolish worldview may gain him a few more sales.  But if you buy the book, don't buy the Atheistic Theology within!

As promised, I give you Atheist Mythology by ScientistForTruth.   Go and see!

I came to this conclusion, that atheists run away from the fact that atheism is a religion/belief system/worldview rather than a fact.   To copy my own comment:

"Atheism is a worldview. To say atheism is without beliefs is to render all atheists unconscious (not saying that would be a bad thing)! Atheists believe that there is no God and therefore they are forced to be either naturalistic materialists, in which matter and blind chance get credit for the existence of all things, or they believe there is no actual existence and that we are but a dream. Did I miss something in between?

Here is an atheist quiz:
1) There is a God or gods
2) There is no God and there are no gods
3) There is no way to know whether there is a God or gods.

Did you answer with number 1? You are not an atheist.
Did you answer with number 2? This is a belief. If this belief is foundational to your view of the world (and it must be) then it is your belief or religion.
Did you answer with number 3? Then you are lazy. Examine the evidence and come up with an opinion, for pete’s sake!

ScientistForTruth makes some compelling arguments and I am quite sure he would be willing to address opponents on evidential grounds or on level philosophical ground. Too often trolls wander in with comments and make ridiculous claims like “I do not have a belief system.” The only possible way that is true, as I said, is to be unconscious.

(Just so you know, SFT moderates his comments thread and doesn't go down rabbit trails.  I allow you to go down them but I don't promise to follow them.   If you are going to post a comment on his blog bring your best stuff or he'll simply ignore it).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Did you answer with number 1? You are not an atheist.
Did you answer with number 2? This is a belief. If this belief is foundational to your view of the world (and it must be) then it is your belief or religion.
Did you answer with number 3? Then you are lazy. Examine the evidence and come up with an opinion, for pete’s sake!"

Number 3 also happens to be correct, and not incompatible with 1 and 2.

"Too often trolls wander in with comments and make ridiculous claims like “I do not have a belief system.” The only possible way that is true, as I said, is to be unconscious."

Do you really think any commenter here ever said "I do not have a belief system"? How easily those lies roll off your Christian tongue. I doubt Jesus would be impressed.

Everyone has a worldview, but that doesn't buy you your own facts. And it's also why religious worldviews are (and have to be) kept outside of science, due to science's focus on the "how", as is nicely presented in the early part of the articles you pasted above.