Re: [asa] Re:{asa]intervention

From: David Clounch <david.clounch@gmail.com>
Date: Sat Mar 07 2009 - 21:31:34 EST

George,

I'm very glad that you recognize this. Of course recognizing it as a
possibility isn't the same thing as taking any sort of position on it. I've
noticed when I've talked about it people have called me a creationist. I
always thought that was unfair and garbage.

The proposed phenomena may leave us with the headache induced by a knowledge
gap if we are ultimately never able to tell if the events are
indistinguishable from natural. I think we just dont yet know if we can
ever know.

Thanks,
Dave

On Sat, Mar 7, 2009 at 7:40 PM, George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com> wrote:

> Terry -
>
> Yes, God could "intervene" in ways that are undetectable & thus remain
> hidden." That's what the proposals that God acts to collapse wave packets
> amount to.
> This is in a sense "intervention" & not simply cooperation with natural
> processes because as far as we can tell there are no natural processes
> which
> produce specific eigenstates when a measurement is made. If God isn't
> cooperating with natural processes then he's doing it directly, & if all
> wave packet collapses are caused in this way then God is doing everything
> directly.
>
> Shalom
> George
> http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm<http://home.roadrunner.com/%7Escitheologyglm>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Terry M. Gray" <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
> To: "ASA" <asa@calvin.edu>
> Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 6:39 PM
> Subject: Re: [asa] intervention
>
>
> > George,
> >
> > I don't really understand why "intervention" is contrary to
> "hiddenness".
> > What if God "intervenes" in ways that is indistinguishable from
> "nature"?
> > And, indeed, his "intervention" is moment by moment. I'm not sure I like
>
> > the word "intervention" here but it makes the point. And this does not
> > necessarily imply that God directly causes everything. And furthermore,
> I
> > don't really need to come up with a physical explanation of how this
> > works, i.e. appealing to some aspect of quantum mechanics.
> >
> > (And, yes, this is faith/theological claim and not a scientific one.)
> >
> > TG
> >
> > On Mar 6, 2009, at 10:43 AM, George Murphy wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>
> >> Bill -
> >>
> >> The best answer I can give to your closing question is that breaking &
> >> violating physical laws seems inconsistent with the character of the
> God
> >> revealed in Christ - in particular, with the hiddenness of God and the
> >> divine self-limitation in the fundamental revelatory eevnt of the
> cross.
> >> http://www..asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2001/PSCF3-01Murphy.html<http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2001/PSCF3-01Murphy.html>is one article in
> >> which I've argued this. I would quickly add, however, (a) that this
> >> does not rule out all miracles (though it does mean that the only
> >> phenomena we call miracles shoul;d be ones that are beyond the
> >> capacities of creatures) & (b) as I noted in my earlier post, Goedel's
> >> theorem suggests that there are limits on the comprehensiveness of any
> >> system of physical laws.
> >>
> >> Shalom
> >> George
> >> http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm<http://home.roadrunner.com/%7Escitheologyglm>
> >>
> >> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bill Powers" <wjp@swcp.com>
> >> To: "George Murphy" <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
> >> Cc: "ASA list" <asa@calvin.edu>
> >> Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 12:28 PM
> >> Subject: Re: [asa] intervention
> >>
> >>
> >> George:
> >>
> >> I believe tht Nicholas Saunders in his book on Divine Action argues
> that
> >> non-interventionist divine action does not appear promising presuming
> >> a realist construal of modern physics.
> >>
> >> Saunders never really addresses interventionist divine action. Why
> >> object to interventionist divine action? Even if physical law is
> >> equivalent to a physical necessity in this world (something I don't
> know
> >> how we'd know), why prohibit divine breaking and violation of those
> >> laws?
> >>
> >> bill powers
> >>
> >> On Fri, 6 Mar 2009, George Murphy wrote:
> >>
> >>> Since there's been discussion here of the idea of "intervention," it
> >>> may be helpful to say something about a good-sized (33 pp) article by
> >>> Alvin Plantinga that appeared in the November issue of Theology and
> >>> Science. The title is "What is 'Intervention'?"I think someone on the
> >>> list mentioned this previously but I've just gotten around to reading
> >>> it. He notes that many theologians & especially those involved in the
>
> >>> "Divine Action Project" object to the idea of divine "intervention" &
> >>> adopt what he calls "hands-off theology." Plantinga then does several
>
> >>> things which are, IMO, of uneven quality.
> >>>
> >>> 1) He argues at some length that classical physics does not rule out
> >>> the possibility that something which is not predicted by the laws of
> >>> physics could take place. A number of historical distinctions are
> made
> >>> here & he presents a formal proof of his claim, the point of all being
>
> >>> that the laws of classical physics themselves do not require that the
> >>> world be a closed system. This is really quite obvious & the
> extensive
> >>> discussion is overkill. Nor do I think that a great deal is added by
> >>> his discussion of quantum theory. If classical physics doesn't rule
> >>> out intervention then a fortiori quantum physics doesn't either.
> >>>
> >>> Missing here is any discussion of the implications of Godel's theorem
> -
> >>> i.e., that it may not be possible for any system of physical laws to
> >>> describe all phenomena.
> >>>
> >>> 2) Plantinga then examines the philosophical & theological objections
>
> >>> that have been presented againt divine intervention, miracles, &c.
> >>> Most of these are in the category of philosophical theism & Plantinga,
>
> >>> I think, shows them to be not very substantial. But he does not
> >>> consider distinctively Christian arguments to the effect that the
> >>> character of the God revealed in Jesus Christ suggests that such
> events
> >>> be at least kept to a minimum.
> >>>
> >>> 3) Then Plantinga gets to he title question. Can we define events as
>
> >>> "interventional" in a unique way - i.e., distinguish unambiguously
> >>> between interventions and "normal" events. It isn't as simple as one
> >>> might think. The obvious way of doing this is to say that if God
> causes
> >>> an event E to occur at time t2 which the laws of nature (i.e., the
> true
> >>> laws, not just our approximations to them) together with the initial
> >>> conditions at t1 < t2 wouldn't have predicted then E is an
> >>> intervention. But as Plantinga points out, this would also imply that
>
> >>> God's preservation of an entity created in such an intervation at all
> >>> times t > t2 would also have to be counted as interventions, which we
> >>> don't want to do. I think this is correct and that it's probably very
>
> >>> difficult to specify precisely whether a given event is an
> >>> "intervention." The best we can do in the above case is to say
> >>> something like "Intervention occurred at some point in the interval t1
>
> >>> < t =< t2 (where the latter =< means "less than or equals). & that
> >>> seems to me to be adequate.
> >>>
> >>> 4) Finally he argues for some version of what he calls DCC, "divine
> >>> collapse causation," in connection with the idea that God acts by
> >>> causing the collapse of the wave function. I think this is a
> >>> promising idea but there are some problems with it - in particular, it
>
> >>> may amount to just reintroducing the idea that God does everything in
> >>> the world directly, as in Barbour's "classic" model of divine action.
> >>> Plantinga suggests that human beings, created in the image of God,
> have
> >>> a similar (though of course much more limited) ability to influence
> >>> what happens. That doesn't seem to me to get at the heart of the
> >>> problem.
> >>>
> >>> Shalom
> >>> George
> >>> http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm<http://home.roadrunner.com/%7Escitheologyglm>
> >>
> >>
> >> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
> >> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> >
> > ________________
> > Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
> > Computer Support Scientist
> > Chemistry Department
> > Colorado State University
> > Fort Collins, CO 80523
> > (o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
> >
> >
> >
> > To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
> > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> Shalom
> George
> http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm<http://home.roadrunner.com/%7Escitheologyglm>
>

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Received on Sat Mar 7 21:34:23 2009

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