RE: Defense of Theism pt 1

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Tue Jun 21 2005 - 21:24:07 EDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: George Murphy []
> Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 3:12 PM
> Others will have to speak for themselves but I don't think most here are
> opposed to concord (or perhaps consonance) between science & religion.
> Where you have met disagreement (from me & others) is about whether
> scripture must be read in scientifically &/or historically concordist
> ways.

But at the very basis of it all is the need for a concord between reality
and how we read "In the Beginning God created the Heavens and the earth".
If that does not concord as true history, then all else is self-deception.
And, once you go there, why stop unless one has to. After all a miraculous
God can have a talking snake and human-swallowing whales if HE decides to,
not if we decide to allow him to.

> At this point it's not adequate to "broadly define" the universe. In fact
> you don't seem to define it at all. If (as some would say) the universe
> is
> everything that exists, does it include God? Angels? Why or why not? If
> not, what is it? Do you mean "the physical universe?" If there are
> parallel worlds of one sort or another, do they form a single universe or
> are there multiple universes? Later on you speak as if "the vacuum" &
> "inflatons" were something different from the universe. Why?

I do appreciate pointing out I need to define the word 'universe' I did
mean the physical universe. As to the multiverse, I will get to that in my
next post which I imagine will make some cringe.

> As with "universe," you haven't defined what you mean at this stage by
> "God." (& why the singular? Do we rule polytheism out from the start?)

God can be anything. I use the term as it is because even in polytheistic
religions you usually have the first God, like Kronos, actually do the
creating and the other gods are created later--like Athena sprung from Zeus'

> &
> with your emphasis on "existence," is it obvious that we want to talk
> about
> "existing"? That suggests that God is one entity alongside of, or perhaps
> above, others, but having the same ontological status. That is why
> Tillich,
> e.g., argued that God is not "a being" but "the ground of being" or, in a
> sense, existence itself ("deus est esse").

This one at this point I think is a bit pedantic given that I cited Hawking
and his use of the word which gives context.

> Sure - you have to give Hawking some math which is assumed to possess some
> reality for him to get started.

At least we agree here.

> Don't overemphasize the tensorial character of the math. A tensor is an
> entity with certain transformation properties. There are other possible
> math structures for universes.

Ok, thanks. I didn't really think I was emphasizing the tensor part as much
as the fact that complex math is required. But the point is not the precise
form of the math but the fact that complex math which takes years of study
to understand is required at the origin of our universe.

> Even waiving the question of whether or not math has any reality if
> there's
> no one (including God) to think it, there is also the question that
> Hawking
> posed, "What puts the fire in the equations?" I.e., there are math
> structures for a lot of possible universes, like pure Newtonian particles
> in
> Euclidean space or finite arithmetics, that don't (as far as we know!)
> exist
> in the way that our universe does. Why not? Of course that's just the
> issue of contingency that you stated above.

But the more fundamental question is why should there be math at all? Aren't
there a lot more possibilities for universes lacking any mathematics than
for those that actually use the rule of law? I am not sure how to conceive
of such an entity but it doesn't seem to me that there is some law that all
universes must use mathematical laws. If there is, where is this law
enshrined? :-)

> I agree with your statements here about the vacuum & inflatons but, as I
> noted earlier, they should simply be considered aspects of the universe.
> Specifically, a quantum vacuum is a particular state of a given field. If
> the field isn't given then it's meaningless to talk about its vacuum
> state.
> It's like asking "What's the solution of?"

Which solution is exactly my point in the whole post. What IS the solution
of? Nothingness, utter nothingness doesn't even belong as the object of
that sentence because it is less than 'nothingness'.

> At least some atheists would respond as Bertrand Russell did: "The world
> as
> a whole just is, that's all. We start there." Of course that dodges the
> question but we all have to do that at some point because we all have to
> assume something if we're going to open our mopuths.

And once again, my point with the post. I wrote this on a forum where I had
gotten very tired of being looked down upon by atheists for my theist views.
They tend to like to use me, as the reformed drunk on the evangelists stage,
but discount me as that addle-headed guy who believes in God and creation
still. I wrote it to point out that the atheist has to posit God-like
properties to something.

> Here again you would need to define "God-like powers." I gather that you
> mean "the ability to cause things (including one's own self) to exist."

You seem to be the only one who doesn't understand what I mean, given that I
listed them over and over in the post.

> I don't consider appealing to the idea of God as an answer to the question
> "Why does anything exist" to be a GoG response. The "gap" here is really
> a
> boundary rather than a gap between two sets of phenomena that can each be
> explained scientifically.

In the thread where I posted this originally (on that other forum), I got
hit over and over that this was a god-of the gaps argument. I decided not
to fight it. In that post, I had said basically what you did but, it was a
distraction from my main point that atheism is at heard a view that makes
Physics/logic/whatever into a God, but they don't worship him.

> The rest of your post gets into an area that we've often debated. I think
> you're wrong about it but don't want to distract you from developing your
> "Defense" of theism. I'll be interested to see how you get from theism
> (which together with 50c may get you a cup of coffee at McD's if you're
> old
> enough) to Christianity.

That hopefully will be in the next post, which I think will cause you to
produce copious quantities of vomitus. :-) I hope to defend the traits of
God which christians have. While it won't take you all the way to the
cross--which is your starting place, I think it can take us quite a way
Received on Tue Jun 21 21:27:42 2005

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