Re: [asa] Musing on entropy, chaos, and omniscience

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Mon May 25 2009 - 12:20:37 EDT

Re the first para - I don't see how this would necessarily be any
violation. If Creation was "not" a "moment before" Creation, then all
that is required is that Creation is "seeded" with something transformed
from another plane of reality (in which God is a "resident"), a plane
other than our space-time, energy/matter constrained existence which a
moment ago didn't exist. But presumeably, God did exist. Ex-nihilo is
our construct, bearing the implication that our existence is the only
existence. Don't we hope that's not the case? Moreover, in Jewish
thought (as I understand it), Creation was more an organization and
shaping (and naming) event (from non empty-set "chaos") than literally

JimA [Friend of ASA]

Merv Bitikofer wrote:
> Indeed! and that any creation (or beginning point) ex-nihilo would be
> a violation of just about every law of conservation would seem to be
> the elephant in the room here. These philosophies take aim at a god
> that very few, if any, Christians ever claim.
> I also thought a recent public radio interview bordered on the
> ridiculous. The findings of some researchers were discussed that were
> purporting to show some correlation between prayer and the health of
> the pray-er. No biggie here --and it wasn't for them either; they
> were happy to concede the mechanism of mind-body links or the power of
> positive thinking. But then it got more dicey around the question of
> the effects of the prayer *on others*. Some had apparently researched
> and concluded that if the pray-er was personally close to the
> prayer-recipient, that there still was a positive correlation through
> some entirely unknown mechanism (they actually speculated about
> string-theory or quantum connections & such). But on prayer for the
> health recovery of a complete stranger ---here the conclusions were
> "clear": NO correlation (or in some cases people even got worse
> --which would seem to contradict the preceding conclusion and
> everything else they said, suggesting faulty research.) And their
> reasoning was straightforward on this: there could be no possible
> mechanism for such prayer to work. Which again, if they were taking
> aim at Christian spirituality (what else motivates such "studies" here
> in the west), then they missed the elephant in the room --and that is
> that Christians don't generally direct their prayers to or at the
> person in need. Prayers go to God (or maybe some saint). And God
> presumably may or may not grant the request. In which case no
> Christian would expect a causal mechanism to be found --and even the
> lack of correlation of results when praying for strangers would
> probably only be marginally troubling for some Christians. Others
> here have already pointed out the trouble with "putting God to the
> test".
> I really liked the exchange in "Bruce Almighty" in which God
> personally asks the protagonist what he wants: to which the Jim Carey
> character, after some serious and sanctimonious thought replies:
> peace on earth. And God replied: that's a great prayer .........
> if you're Ms. America. Now tell me what you REALLY want. Then the
> protagonist gives a more heart-felt plea regarding his own girl-friend
> situation, and God replies to the effect ----- now THAT'S a prayer.
> --Merv
> p.s. another profound line in that movie ran something like this:
> Jim Carey (who is allowed to play God for a day in a big city) asks
> the real God: "How can I make my girlfriend love me if I'm not
> allowed to violate her freewill in any way?"
> To which God replies: "If you figure that one out, then please tell
> me --I would really like to know."
> dfsiemensjr wrote:
>> The problem noted parallels one from Jaegwon Kim, a philosopher, who
>> argued that there cannot be a God because he would have to interact with
>> the world and it would show up in mass-energy calculations. The guy did
>> not realize that a Creator, not being physical, would not be bound by
>> physical restrictions.
>> This leads me to a couple questions: Would Kim's argument not run afoul
>> of the mass-energy needs of the Big Bang? How would the perpetual need
>> for more energy for new universes impact the multiverse notion?
>> Dave (ASA)
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Received on Mon May 25 12:21:33 2009

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