A Letter to a Believer In Response to a Believer on The Existence of God Article

A Letter to a Believer

In Response to a Believer on The Existence of God Article

In my article on the existence of God, I surely was not trying to support fundamentalist creationism.  I was simply trying to show what I feel is a self-evident truth.  Self-evident truth is a truth that is evident, without any proof or argument to all men and can be experienced by our senses and known by our reason.  It is not a truth that can only be known by a priestly class of scientists who have some ‘secret knowledge’.  I am not a scientist, but I believe I have a good grasp on what can, and cannot be known by humans.

Evolution

You asked me what I believe about evolution.  From what I am able to observe, evolution as development is self-evident.  We can see it happening.  However, Darwin’s theory of evolution is not self-evident and he makes assumptions about the development of life which can never be proven by science, such as evolution being non-directed.  I believe that some intellectuals of modern science, as far as evolution is concerned, have claimed to know far too much and have especially over-spoken on their knowledge of  primitive earth[1].  If there is a discrepancy between science and faith it is not found in reality but in both sides over-speaking their position.

I believe that any explanation of existence must start with God-man together.  The problem with many scientists is that they want to explain everything by the dash.  They then define the dash as naturalistic evolution, which seems to be a radical form of reductionism.  I do not have a problem with studying the dash; the problem comes in when some intellectuals make it the whole show and attempt to explain  the embodiment of all existence by it.  This is like trying to define a car wholly by watching it being built on the assembly line and totally ignoring the designers, engineers and planners who worked on it before one bolt or screw was turned.  If we were to watch a car on the assembly line without considering its origin, i.e. the planners, designers and engineers, you would not even know its purpose.  You would have to sit around and theorize why it was built and what purpose it serves.  You might come to the conclusion that it has no purpose and decide to destroy it or regard it as worthless[2].  This seems to be similar to our situation today when science is trying to explain mankind and being befuddled on every turn.

Going back to my illustration of the assembly line, because no designers or testers are visible on the assembly line, we are told by those who manage the factory that we should presume that they do not exist. In fact, we are told that we should not even look for, or inquire about them because one of the laws of the factory says that you must not ask about them, since asking about them might bias your study of the car on the assembly line.  We are also told that the  method to understanding the car, is for us to study the nuts and bolts that hold the car together and that this will ultimately give us a complete understanding of the car.  What nonsense.

The Circle of Life

In my analogy of the circle of life I was attempting to depict the unequivocal whole of life, which I believe to points to a first cause.  In the Orient, life is understood to be a great circle.  We in the west see it as a linear line ascending gradually from the lesser to the higher, like an escalator being a perfect example.  We view life this way because we have interpreted evolution as directed and progressive.  That is, moving toward a goal.  However, Darwin and neo-Darwinian do not agree with this  image of an escalator as a symbol for their theory of evolution.  Evolution in Darwin’s mind and in the mind of many of his disciples is chaotic, undirected and unpredictable, which in my thinking puts it outside of the realm of science.  You cannot analyze something that is chaotic and unpredictable.  How can you apply the scientific method to such a phenomenon?  Does God throw dice?

However, in the circle of life we see progression or growth, then declension, and finally the circle ending with death, which points to a beginning and an end.  If we were to form a picture of the movement of life based on what we see in real history you would have a series of circles, which depict the circle of life moving into eternity on a horizontal line.  You could make each progressive circle larger denoting progress, but that might be debatable, depending on one’s definition of progress and how much you believe in the concept.  In the East, scientists are not as obsessed with the concept of progress or evolution as those in the West are, and they are much more inclined to question some theories of evolution.  Oriental cultures are older cultures, which have had many ups and downs and no longer get too excited about the ups (progress).

In contrast, those in the West seem to be obsessed with only one part of the equation of this circle of life (evolution or growth) which is why they depict existence as an ascending line and not a circle. They are actually taking the portion of the circle which we could call growth or ascension, and making it the whole circle.  This is a great example of dissecting the whole and then making one of the parts, the whole. This is the ultimate form of radical reductionism.  For example, in theology, the church has done the same thing to the gospel in making the death of Christ, which is a part of the atonement, the whole atonement.  Therefore, the resurrection has been eclipsed and even removed from the concept of the atonement, and reduced to a once a year celebration.  One could write a book on the reductionism of western science and theology.

I have been working on a book entitled “In Christ.” It is about the expression “In Christ” that is found in the New Testament 160 times. In the first chapter of the book, I analyze the reason for the disuse of the expression and people’s lack of understanding of it today. One reason for its neglect is reductionism; it was just too big of a concept for the western mind. The expression was dissected and then lost among the pieces. The same reductionism has been applied to just about everything in the west, including man himself. This reductionism has increased with specialization, which has created a new form of ignorance.

The Chain of Descent and Ascent

My purpose in giving a chain of descent and ascent, “…in the real world we see the lesser coming from the greater, the seed from the tree, the boy from the man, the machine from the human.”, was to demonstrate that evolution is not the ruling principle of nature.

When Henry Ford  built his first car, he knew what he was making, the car did not evolve from a screw or nut. It came from the mind of Henry. The screw and the nut already existed, which also came from someone’s consciousness, and Henry just incorporated them in his total equation.  However, the automobile cannot be totally be defined by only studying the screws or the nuts. It must be defined by the completed product.  After, it was created by a consciousness (Henry’s mind); it then evolved, or developed, into what we have today. If you put wings on it, it becomes something else and we start all over again with a new creation, just as it began in the mind of the Wright brothers. They used existing parts to make the whole.

God may have done something like that in creating higher life forms, from things that worked well with simple life forms. Remember in the begin God started with star-dust and made everything, including man. When a builder builds a house, he has a plan of what that house will be when completed. He has in his mind a completed house even before  the first nail is hammered. The house comes from the mind of the builder or architect who is greater than the house. The lesser from the greater is the ruling principle, not evolution. Evolution might have a minor effect on the construction time or phase of the house. However, it is not the end all and does not explain the existence of the house. It would make little difference, whether the construction phase (evolution) was fast or slow. It’s fast from God’s point of view, but slow from mans.

Therefore, I always begin my thinking with God for he is the Alpha and the Omega through whom all things exist and have their being. Where else could one start their thinking and reasoning? I believe this consciousness, which we call God, created the spiritual realm (unseen) and physical realm (seen) and for all we know they may be made of the same stuff, the spiritual (unseen matter) and physical (seen matter).  This view goes beyond dualism and gives three categories of existence.  (1) Absolute Consciousness would be the totally other or God.  (2) The spiritual would be the unseen dimension (heavens) where the angels dwell along with  unseen  things and stuff, which we have little knowledge of at this time.  If it is matter, it might be what some call dark matter or dark energy.  (3) The seen or visible world would be physical matter.  These categories could correspond to The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.  The Father would represent total consciousness; the Son or Logos as matter, both seen and unseen, and the Spirit as force or energy.  This would be a semi-monist view, which could be accepted by theologians and some scientists who have a will to believe, yet are having a hard time putting the pieces together.  In this view, everything inside the universe would be made of the same stuff and leave God outside of it as creator and yet, creating it and coming into it, through the Logos.  In this, the Son would be the coming together of Spirit and matter.  Of course, there are people on both sides of the issue,  who would reject this view.

Progress

It was the humanists of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment which made progress and evolution the ruling principles by which modern man viewed just about everything.  Men of the Enlightenment had tremendous faith that human reason and initiatives would usher in a golden age or utopia.  Man would do what God could not do, i.e. create heaven on earth.  This belief caused them to have a fixation on growth and development, which still dominates Western culture to this day.  This focus on growth caused them to be somewhat blind to the fact that evolution or development is only one of the principles at work in the creation.

As stated above, I believe that all laws or principles, first took place in the mind of God in the beginning and then they are being worked out in what we humans call space-time.  A part of this working out is what science calls evolution.  To science, this working out is the whole show and therein lies their error, i.e. makes a part the whole.  If there is a ruling principle, I believe that it is death and not evolution.  Death has the final word and is reflected by the law of thermodynamics[3].  However, in the resurrection it seems to be Gods plan to redeem the creation. In essence, the resurrection would nullify the principle of death and turn it into life.  As for Christians, they believe that this new life from God has already entered the creation in the person of Christ and has been demonstrated in his resurrection.

Making evolution the ruling principle in the universe is like making the falling part in the story of Humpty Dumpty the whole story.  However, the story begins with him setting on a wall and ends with him smashing into pieces when he hits the ground and then the failed attempt of all the king’s men to put him back together again.  Not everything that is made or created evolves.  Some sit upon the wall for a time; some do not even make it to the wall, however, in the end-all fall and break into pieces.  The Second Law of Thermodynamics, i.e. everything is running down and dying, is not only a natural law, but it is also a biblical one.  (Note Rom 5:12).  Like Humpty Dumpty, we are falling down.  Time-space as we know it is like a movie of Humpty Dumpty’s fall run in slow motion.  It can only be called progress or growth (both are metaphors denoting up), in a very limited sense.  The ruling principle is death (down).  The progress that we seem to be experiencing now is nothing but a small bump in the fabric of the universe.  We see it as progress because we have trained ourselves to ignore where Humpty Dumpty started and his end.  All we see is him suspended in midair and we conveniently ignore that he is falling and will break into pieces.

When we talk about Humpty Dumpty falling down; down is a metaphor for death.  It depicts the loss of higher ground.  The only way up is resurrection, which becomes a metaphor for up only after you hit bottom.  In the resurrection, God will put Humpty Dumpty back together and back on the wall.  Jesus came down into this darkness to bring us up into the light.  He descended that we might ascend with him into an existence which has as its ruling principle, life.  In Christ, everything is up.

The concept of progress (up) was emphasized by the humanists of the enlightenment to replace the concept of heaven (up).  It is an Illusionary concept[4], which is absolutely needed by a secular or atheistic culture, for without it the culture would sink into despair and nihilism.  Of course, as the illusion of progress fades, which it must because it is not real, we will see Western culture slip into nihilism.  During the Renaissance and the Enlightenment when the West was experiencing growth in its economy and science, it was easy to believe in unlimited progress, because that was what the West was experiencing.  During this period the concept of declension (down) was set aside and totally ignored and still is today by many.  This denial of declension reaches its pinnacle in the denial of death itself.[5]  This blindness to declension is one of the things which has led Western culture to the edge of the abyss, and not one of us has escaped its influence. The blind faith in progress is the philosophical source of liberalism, communism and progressivism of all flavors.  It leads to a blind faith in mankind, which in the end means, the government.  It is also the chief source and foundation of humanism and utopianism.  All this comes from focusing on one part of the whole instead of the sum of the whole.  People that adopt this view have one eye shut and cannot see the whole picture.  All they see is Humpty Dumpty falling which strangely they see as progress.  Of course, this is fine if you’re whole life is about the study of falling.

However, the great myth of endless progress is now being questioned by a large number of thinkers and with its demise, we will probably see a revival of much true faith and a lot of atheism coupled with nihilism.  If the majorities choose atheism and nihilism, we will also see the resurrection of true Darwinism.  Darwin’s theory of evolution was really never accepted by the majority, for it was filtered through the concept of progress, which actually made it something other than true Darwinism.  In viewing Darwinism through the concept of progressive evolution (escalator) the sting was taken out the theory, for with directed and progressive evolution, man could accept evolution and still retain his dignity and meaning.  This adjusted form of Darwin’s theory (directed evolution) was accepted without any evidence because people’s thinking was already shaped by the concept of progress and some form of evolution was the only alternative to creationism.  This thinking remains today for three reasons (1) our blind faith in the metaphorical concept of progress.  (2) There is still no other naturalistic explanation of existence other than some form of Darwinian evolution.  However, true Darwinism still remains too much of a bitter pill for most to swallow, but the only pill for atheists.  (3) If you take non-directed evolution or Darwinism away from the naturalist, they have no other way to support their views intellectually.  Therefore, atheists will continual to believe in Darwinism even if science was to prove it false.  The scientists who are first atheists and then scientists will continue to propagate Darwinism because it is the foundation of their belief system no matter what science says.

I have noticed in my reading that the old edifice of progressive evolution is beginning to tip and is slowly being replaced by true Darwinism[6].  This movement toward Darwinism is not so much coming from an increase in scientific knowledge as an increase in atheism.  If this happens, the symbolic tree of life will have to be changed to resemble a bush growing in every direction without any impulse or direction up, which would support a pure atheistic theory, with no room for intelligent design or direction.  If accepted, it seems that science would have to drop the concept of constant progress from the ideal of evolution and adapt some kind of chaos theory. This would eventually change the culture’s view of progress and evolution. However, the chaos theory does reflect increasingly our overall cultural thinking at the present, which is moving toward chaos, atheism and nihilism. At the moment, it is hard to know if science is leading or whether the culture is leading science.  Time will tell.

Culture, History and Science

It does seem that many scientific theories have the propensity to reflect the culture at the time of their creation.  When the culture was progressing and knowledge was thought to be absolute, science seemed to reflect these concepts and values.  Now that things are less certain and the culture is falling into disorder and declension, science seems to be reflecting it with the Chaos theory.  This may be just my imagination, but it seems clear to me at this moment that culture and history push science and not the other way around.  From this, I must conclude, that much of science has a cultural  bias, which should be included in any analysis of its theories.  There is little doubt in my mind that much of what is called science is socially created and has less to do with reality then the way we are thinking at the time of its invention.  Of course, science, will say that society is changed by their theories, which is partially true.  However, new theories are created because the old ones no longer fit the culture.  Based on these conclusions I believe we are on the edge of a paradigm change that will sweep away many of the existing theories.

The more I study science the more skeptical I become.  I think humans in general pretend to know more than they actually do.  We tend to accept the pretenders in their pretensions because it makes us feel secure, believing that at least someone understands the mess.  This creates the illusion that we are somehow in control.  I guess that makes us all liars to some degree and intellectually dishonest.

An example of what I am talking about is global warming.  The majority of scientific organizations have endorsed the theory with little evidence, which could not truly be called science.  Many endorsed it not because of the evidence, but because they were presupposed to do so because of their ideology.  I think if you were to look at the theory of evolution and its history, you would find the same kind of thing to some degree.  One difference is that Darwin’s evolution was a financial plus for everyone and fit nicely into the capitalistic system.  On the other hand, global warming only benefited a certain group of people, who so far are not powerful enough to impose their beliefs on the majority.  Darwin also was skillful in using the right metaphors, which were taken from a common experience and pointed to something that everyone could see going on in the barnyard and in society.  That being growth and progress.  In contrast, the global warming crowd used a concept that was foreign to most people, i.e. global warming.  The average person could not see it or experience it, which made it hard to believe.  This is the reason they changed the metaphor to climate change.  Warming can be experience and judged by everyone; however, only scientists can discuss climate.

Science and Picture Thinking

Now, I am not saying that I do not believe in evolution to some degree or for that matter, climate change, but personally I do not believe there is enough true science to support any dogmatic position on either.  I definitely am not a creationist, which believes in a young earth.  However, their picture thinking may be as close or closer to the truth then the present evolutionist, whose picture thinking can only be totally fabricated in their imaginations, for no one was there to witness what they say happened, which Gee points out repeatedly in his book “Deep Time.”  Much of the same thing could be said about physics.  Most of the theories in physics can only be explained mathematically.  The minute you turn them into picture thinking you embrace falsehood.  This is the same in theology, when you form an image of God in your mind you have committed idolatry and have embraced error, for God cannot be imaged.  The Scriptures explain God, like math explains reality.  The scriptures can only explain God in a narrow, limited, veiled way.  Paul said, “We see through a glass darkly.”  The same could be said about math.  As theology has always been guilty of saying too much about God, today science is guilty of saying too much about reality, at least some scientists.

Most popular science writers must write in such a way that it helps the average person to visualize reality.  In doing this, they cannot but help to distort and veil reality.  The human mind cannot image the unseen world of science any better than it can visualize the unseen world of the Bible, i.e. heaven.  These popular authors have to try to use metaphors similar to religion to bridge the gap between the visible and invisible[7].  However, much of the population believes their metaphors to be literal; this is misleading and can only lead to misunderstanding.  Even Stephen Hawkins talks about visualizing the big bang, what nonsense.  There is a Chinese proverb that says,  “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”  I think we have plenty of the latter.

[1] Note Henry Gee’s “Deep Time”.

[2] This seems to be the place that modern atheistic science is taking us.

[3] The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that in a closed system all energy is equalizing, which points to the fact that in our discussion that everything is dying.

[4] The chief tenet of the Enlightenment is that the growth of knowledge is the key to human emancipation. No true believer in the Enlightenment would ever question that article of faith. Yet faith in progress through the growth of knowledge is itself irrational. Gray, John. “Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions” (Kindle Locations 238-239). Granta Publications. Kindle Edition.

[5] “The Denial of Death” by Ernest Becket.

[6] Secular educators are cautious about teaching non-directed evolution for fear of the backlash from the community and in particular the religious community.  However, as the next generation of the walking death dead take the place of the present generation we will see a larger push for non-directed evolution and the atheism, which accompany it.

[7] Note “Physics as Metaphor” by Roger S. Jones. University of Minnesota Press.

A Short letter to a Materialist

A Short letter to a Materialist

  I have often had materialists[1] tell me that” there is nothing in nature that requires a supernatural explanation per say. My reply to that is, I might as well say there is nothing in nature which requires a scientific explanation[2]. Nature has no requirement to understand her.  You can put any  interpretation on her; you wish and she will not protest a bit.  Moreover, who says that everyone must look at nature or anything else through the narrow lens of our present human knowledge and the way some atheistic scientists constructed reality?[3] Their whole narrative is based on the assumption that there is no God, which they cannot prove any more than the theist can prove the existence of God. Both start from an assumption and then build a whole world view around that assumption[4]. One big difference is that the believer can still be open-minded enough to do science in his world view while the atheistic scientists are total blind by their materialism to anything outside of their narrow way of looking at things.

Read very carefully the below quote. It is extremely telling about people assumptions and the power they have over a person and groups of people. You also see there a man who I would say is a true believer in science-ism, although a weak form of it, because he knows much of it is false. However, he does admit that his faith is based upon an assumption that materialism is true.

“Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural.  We take the side of science in  spite of the patent absurdity  of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, to materialism.  It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our   prior adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated.  Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door.”[5] 

[1] A materialist is a person which believes that everything is made up of matter and denies the existence of spirit. Thus denying the supernatural.

[2] Read my article “Rocks on The Ground” http://wp.me/p5pJxI-lTw  at lyleduell.me

[3] I feel no intellectual compulsion to view all of life from a materialistic point of view. When you force reality into a closed ideological system as materialism you will surely distort reality. I also have chosen not to believe in Materialism for pragmatic reasons and my mind is closed to it. As William James would say “I am dead to it”. There is simply no life in that world view.

[4] If scientists that are believers and scientists that are atheist wish to argue and fight about the existence of God that’s fine but both sides must admit that they are debating as philosophers and not a scientist.

[5] Richard Leonine, “Billions and Billions of Demons”, New York Review of Books 44, no. 1 (January 9,1997) 28-32 . Lewontin teaches biology at Harvard.

 

 

 

Michio Kaku: Is God a Mathematician?

One of the most respected scientists of today says he has found evidence of the action of a force “that governs everything.”

The theoretical physicist Michio Kaku claims to have developed a theory that might point to the existence of God. The information has created a great stir in the scientific community because Kaku is considered one of the most important scientists of our times, one of the creators and developers of the revolutionary String Theory which is highly respected throughout the world.

To to come to his conclusions, the physicist made use of what he calls “primitive semi – radius tachyons “.

Tachyons are theoretical particles capable to “unstick ” the Universe matter or vacuum space between matter particles, leaving everything free from the influences of the surrounding universe.

After conducting the tests, Kaku came to the conclusion that we live in a “Matrix”.

“I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence”, he affirmed. “Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore.”

“To me it is clear that we exists in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.”

 

An Argument from Size

An Argument from Size

Once I had an atheist tell me that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.  Now, this may or may not be true, but it does demonstrate something about a number of atheists that I know.  It demonstrates  the inconsistency in their thinking for they say they cannot believe in a God  that they cannot see, for which they point out that there is no scientific evidence. And yet they believe that it is likely that there are alien life forms in the universe, which they have not seen nor do they have any evidence for their existence. I’ll grant that this may change at any time, however, for now it is the truth based on current knowledge.

They say the reasons for their readiness to accept alien life forms are based on the size of the cosmos and probability[1].  However, does not size and probability leave the door open as well to the existence of a God in the vast universe?  Therefore, to make a dogmatic statement that there is no God is  neither reasonable nor logical, or at best inconsistent.  The universe is so vast one would have to be everywhere at the same time and know everything there is to know to make the statement “There is no God.”  The only proper statement that can be made about Gods existence would be, “I am skeptical of it” or “I don’t know.”  However, if one is a skeptic he would have to be skeptical of his  skepticism. This would simply mean that when everything is said on the issue, he would have to confess that he is an agnostic.

Part of the problem with their size argument resides in their concept of God.  As a matter of fact, the size argument tells us more than anything else about the picture thinking of the atheist. It tells us that they have a corporal image of God in their minds. In other words, God is a big man or spaghetti monster somewhere up in heaven, which of course would making him pretty large to have created a universe that is so vast.  Of course, this is similar to the picture thinking of a small child, who may equate God with Santa Claus or a bearded man sitting on a throne in some distant heaven.  It is little wonder for many atheists that a flying tea-pot or a flying spaghetti monster are their favorite metaphor for God.

This is keeping with and explains the fact that I’ve had a number of atheists claim that they rejected God when they were children.  The truth is that most mature people reject the image of God that they had when they were children, replacing it with an adult concept of the deity[2].  In fact, the Scriptures tell us that we should not have any image of God in our minds for God cannot be imaged. Any image of God that a human has in their minds is an image of an idol.

Here is where more strangeness comes in to the mix. Atheists claim that their position of denying the existence of God is not a faith or even a belief, as though theirs was some kind of neutral position, like that of the agnostic.  If a person were to make the statement that they did not believe in alien life forms and in the same breath propound that his statement was not a belief, we would think them mad.  Yet, the atheist seems to think such claims are the mark of genius.  In other words, it is a dogma that cannot be proven, but at the same time it is not a dogma.  What it seems to be to me is either a claim of infinite intelligence on the part of atheist, or a personal faith similar to a religious faith, but it cannot be a non-belief.  That borders on nonsense.

Of course, if you infer that their belief, or whatever it is, resembles a religious faith they go ballistic. Yet their movement is organized like a religion, it has its evangelists like a religion and it has apologists like a religion, it even has a salvation message like religion.  It is saving the world from religion, but of course it is not a religion[3].

Nevertheless, the atheists have a burden of proof to prove why they can go beyond the claims of agnosticism, to atheism.  This burden of proof is not owed to Christians or believers in God, but to reason itself.  There is not enough evidence for anyone to postulate that there is no God, and to insist that they have evidence to prove their claims, border on insanity[4].

The atheist, in order to be intellectually honest, must admit that their claims are based on faith similar to those of religion.  It is here where the believer stands on a higher ground than the atheist, for he knows and confesses that his belief is ultimately based on faith, though it is faith that is not without reason or evidence.  The atheist refuses to face the fact that his unbelief is based on a supposition because to do so would destroy the illusion that his belief is based on reason alone.

One thing that science has done for us, it has given us knowledge of the vastness of the universe. In doing this, it has demonstrated how very little we know about anything.  If we were to put all knowledge into a container that encompasses everything that there is to know about the universe, how much of that knowledge do you think humanity now has?  Would you say, 1% or maybe 5%?  I think if you were to say 1% your answer would demonstrate that you have a good imagination.  Human beings are mere  infants in a vast universe which is infinitely big and infinitely small; which means that no one can claim absolute knowledge based on rationalism.

In the end the size of the universe does not prove or disprove the existence of God.  It does tell us that if you choose to believe in God, your God must be big enough to accommodate the size of the universe.  Of course the problem with most atheists, and most believers, is that their God is too small to begin with.  It is not hard to deny the existence of a small God as the atheist has done, nor is it hard to avoid the commandments of a small God, which most believers have done.  Humanity tends to shrink their gods to fit their intellect and their appetite.

[1] The readiness of so many atheists to believe pseudoscience, is evidence of the inconsistency in their use of reason and basing their beliefs only on evidence. They seem to have a great imagination except when it comes to things spiritual. They have a burden of proof in explaining their inconsistencies. Could it just be simply old bias.

[2] Most mature believers believe that God is pure consciousness or personality diffused throughout time and space or that he is totally other and is beyond man’s ability to form an image of him.

[3] Many atheists refuse to look at the word religion as a broad concept resulting in a narrowly defined definition of religion as organized religion. Of course this is done because of their awareness that their movement has many marks of a religion. In fact arguing over the semantics of the term religion is proof in itself that their thinking has reached the point of being a religion.

[4] Only few make this claim.

Dogma?

“Man can be defined as an animal that makes dogmas.  As he piles doctrine on doctrine and conclusion on conclusion in the formation of some tremendous scheme of philosophy and religion, he is, in the only legitimate sense of which the expression is capable, becoming more and more human.  When he drops one doctrine after another in a refined skepticism, when he declines to tie himself to a system, when he says that he has outgrown definitions, when he says that he disbelieves in finality,  when, in his own imagination, he sits as God, holding no form of creed but contemplating all, then he is by that very process sinking slowly backwards into the vagueness of the vagrant animals and the unconsciousness of the grass.  Trees have no dogmas. Turnips are singularly broad-minded” C.K. Chesterton.

The world is filled with ideas, and many of those ideas could be classified as dogmas.  Now, a dogma is an idea that has hardened to a point that is no longer thought about but just accepted on authority.  The word dogma is not used as much today, this may be because it sounds too religious for a secular age, which itself has accepted the dogma of secularism.  However, we do have a word or idea that is very close to it.  It is the word presumption.  A presumption is an idea that we take for granted without much thought or for the most part, without any or little thought.

In view of the above it is a self-event truth that all men have and live by dogma to some degree. One thing that can be said about the religious man is that he has accepted parts of his faith as dogma while the secular man is still in a state of denial, believing he is living by reason alone or in some neutral zone free of presumption or dogma.  He has reached the unconsciousness of grass and he glories in it calling it tolerance or enlightenment.

Of course, there are some men who have very little dogma.  Some of these folks fancied themselves as skeptics.  Skeptics claim not to live by or believe dogma according to their dogma. The only dogma that they can believe is the dogma of skepticism.  According to them, you must doubt everything except skepticism.  Then you have the agnostics who believe nothing because they believe that it is impossible to be certain about the truth.  Of course, they are certain agnosticism is true.  We should not leave out the relativist which believes everything and nothing, and that everyone is right except the person that believes others are wrong.  Of course, they believe that the skeptics, and the agnostics are right.  The only person that they do not agree with is the dogmatist.  They do not seem to like people who think they know something which is true.

Out of all of the above, the relativist is the one most likely to be tossed about by every wind of teaching that comes along, for they lack a foundation of truth by which to judge any new ideas.  As it has been said, “a man who believes nothing will believe anything.”  In fact, the relativist really does not believe in objective truth. What they believe in, is personal truth, i.e. truth is what you believe.  What makes it true is that you believe it.  Most of these folks belong to the same cult, the cult of personal opinion.

The relativist are also the most likely to become fanatical and completely out of balance. Many  progressive folks fall within this group always moving forward without knowing which direction is forward; always seeing a cause to give their meaningless life purpose.  To me, the really progressive person is the one that when traveling in a direction that is not working turns around and goes in a different direction, like back.  Of course, if you are a relativist you don’t know which way is back.

It may be time for all of us to ask some serious questions about some of our new dogmas.  Question like, are they really taking us forward or are they simply getting us deeper into the woods.  So, deep that we will never find our way out.  Why not try putting some of your dogmas, or the lack of it to the test?  Start with your religious assumptions using the Bible as an objective standard to judge your ideas.  You do not have to believe it, but simply use it as a source of information to compare your personal dogma with.  You also might try the same exercise politically with the Constitution and other founding documents.  In doing this you might find these source documents truly refreshing and challenging.

 

Does Reason have Anything to do with Evolution?

Does Reason have Anything to do with Evolution?

The true naturalist, as Darwin, has got to say no to this question.  They’re closed system of naturalism says that reason or intelligent design can have nothing to do with evolution.  For if they were to say yes, it would allow the camel to get his noise in the tent.  However, this leads to another question, if reason or intelligence really has nothing to do with evolution.  How could evolution give birth to reason?[1]  What about when reason gets into the  evolution process by the practice of select breeding?  So, we could say that reason is involved in some evolution because human intelligence is directing the evolution of some species through selective breeding.  What about when scientists messing with genes and manipulating them, could you call that intelligent design?  Reason, directing or influenced evolution.

If human reason can tinker with genes and evolution why is it so far-fetched that super reason can be tinkering with it, designing it and directing it to achieve his goals?  There is only one reason for denying this hypothesis, that being a predisposition of science toward materialism and atheism.  This predisposition, being a built in bias in science toward metaphysics, came out of its attempt to distinguish itself from philosophy.

Richard Lewontin (evolutionary geneticist), hints at this predisposition and bias when he says “[The public] take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.” [2]

“So the moral of the story told by a historian of science is at once simple and endlessly complex. Knowledge without prejudice is not possible and neither is social life. Prejudice can be selectively managed and disciplined but it cannot be eliminated. We have to pick out those prejudices that we find intolerable and oppose them as vigorously as we can with whatever resources we can. But we are going to have to do so without a rational master”[3]

It does seem from the above the following things, (1) many in the scientific community have a presupposition bias towards intelligent design in evolution. (2) Intelligent design has been practiced in the barnyard and in the laboratory for centuries. (3) The hypothesis that the processes of evolution or at least aspects of it are controlled by a super intelligence is not contrary to observation and true science. Intelligence has been observed influencing evolution. (4) Many arguments against intelligent design is grounded more in materialistic philosophy than authentic science.

[1] They use reason to explain how evolution created reason and reason to explain evolution. Is this not based on the presupposition that reason can be trusted, which in turn is based on the supposition that a mindless process could create a rational process. Can these suppositions be supported scientifically? Evolutionist will say that nature gave birth to reason through the process of natural selection. However, natural selection presupposes that there is something to select from. If there was no reason in nature how could it be selected by natural selection?

[2] “Billions and Billions of Demons,” page 31 quoted in Never Pure by Shapin, Steven

[3] Shapin, Steven (2010-07-24). Never Pure (p.46, 56). Johns Hopkins University Press. Kindle Edition.

 

Francis Bacon “Of Atheism”.

The following essay was written by Francis Bacon in his book “Meditations Sacrae”. Bacon is accredited for introducing the scientific method into natural philosophy. The last paragraph of the article makes it worth reading.  

OF ATHEISM.

“The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.”

First, it is to be noted, that the Scripture saith, “The fool hath said in his heart, and not thought in his heart;” that is to say, he doth not so fully think it in judgment, as he hath a good will to be of that belief; for seeing it makes not for him that there should be a God, he doth seek by all means accordingly to persuade and resolve himself, and studies to affirm, prove, and verify it to himself as some theme or position: all which labour, notwithstanding that sparkle of our creation light, whereby men acknowledge a Deity burneth still within; and in vain doth he strive utterly to alienate it or put it out, so that it is out of the corruption of his heart and will, and not out of the natural apprehension of his brain and conceit, that he doth set down his opinion, as the comical poet saith, “Then came my mind to be of mine opinion,” as if himself and his mind had been two divers things; therefore the atheist hath rather said, and held it in his heart, than thought or believed in his heart that there is no God; secondly, it is to be observed, that he hath said in his heart, and not spoken it with his mouth. But again you shall note, that this smothering of this persuasion within the heart cometh to pass for fear of government and of speech amongst men; for, as he saith, “To deny God in a public argument were much, but in a familiar conference were current enough:” for if this bridle were removed, there is no heresy which would contend more to spread and multiply, and disseminate itself abroad, than atheism: neither shall you see those men which are drenched in this frenzy of mind to breathe almost any thing else, or to inculcate even without occasion any thing more than speech tending to atheism, as may appear in Lucrecius the epicure, who makes of his invectives against religion as it were a burden or verse of return to all his other discourses; the reason seems to be, for that the atheist not relying sufficiently upon himself, floating in mind and unsatisfied, and enduring within many faintings, and as it were fails of his opinion, desires by other men’s opinions agreeing with his, to be recovered and brought again; for it is a true saying, “Whoso laboureth earnestly to prove an opinion to another, himself distrusts it:” thirdly, it is a fool that hath so said in his heart, which is most true; not only in respect that he hath no taste in those things which are supernatural and divine; but in respect of human and civil wisdom: for first of all, if you mark the wits and dispositions which are inclined to atheism, you shall find them light, scoffing, impudent, and vain; briefly of such a constitution as is most contrary to wisdom and moral gravity.

Secondly, amongst statesmen and politics, those which have been of greatest depths and compass, and of largest and most universal understanding, have not only in cunning made their profit in seeming religious to the people, but in truth have been touched with an inward sense of the knowledge of Deity, as they which you shall evermore note to have attributed much to fortune and providence.

Contrariwise, those who ascribed all things to their own cunning and practices, and to the immediate, and apparent causes, and as the prophet saith, “Have sacrificed to their own nets,” have been always but petty counterfeit statesman, and not capable of the greatest actions.

Lastly, this I dare affirm in knowledge of nature, that a little natural philosophy, and the first entrance into it, doth dispose the opinion to atheism; but on the other side, much natural philosophy and wading deep into it, will bring about men’s minds to religion; wherefore atheism every way seems to be combined with folly and ignorance, seeing nothing can can be more justly allotted to be the saying of fools than this, “There is no God”

 

A Skeptics Takes a Look at Science Part II

A Skeptics Takes a Look at Science

Part II

Personal Observations on Science as Salvation

 

Let me share with some personal observations that I hope will help the true believers to put science in proper perceptive.

  1. It seems from my point of view that much of modern science is no longer based on observation and experimentation, but rather on metaphysical cues, e.g. string theory.  Cues that they spend an inordinate amount time and money chasing, trying to convince us  that they are truthful. Why?  Then there is the huge amount of money spent proofing things that are supposedly already proven. An example is their constant chasing for the missing links of Darwinian’s evolution.  If Darwin’s evolution is a fact why are they sill chasing the evidence as though their life depends on it?  If they have overwhelming evidence like they claim, why keep looking for more? This seem to be a case where their behaves or action do not square with their words or beliefs. I was taught when studying counseling  not to believe what people said but to watch their action to know the truth of what the belief. Of course, scientist may be trying to falsify the theory, but how can you falsify a fact? The truth is that you cannot falsify facts. The problem with many scientist is that they really think their theories are facts. When a theory becomes fact, it is no longer science but something else. It can be religion, philosophy or history  but it cannot be science. Much of Darwinian evolution can never be a fact or even a good scientific theory, because the scientific method cannot be applied to it. Note Gee’s book “Deep Time”. Of course you can change the definition of science,  which I believe is not to far off. The age of proving things with empirical evidence is just about over and when happen the age of science will be over.
  2. In general the scientific community claims the higher ground of being free of bias. This belief is absolutely not true. There is no human being that is free of bias much less a community of human beings . All human knowledge is tainted by ideology and the spirit of the age. The best that any community can do is to be aware of the problem and try their best to avoid biases, which comes from ideology and undetected presuppositions.  The scientific method was created to overcome subjectivism of every kind, but to an increasing degree these fundamental principles are being set aside. For those who have either forgotten or have abandoned the scientific method: (1) Make observations on some area of interest. (2) Create a theory that explains those observations (3)Make predictions based on that theory (4) Run experiments and make new observations to test the predictions (5) If the predictions prove wrong (that is, the new observations do not match the predictions) go to step two. (6) If the predictions prove correct, go to step three.

The basic presumption of the scientific community is atheistic[1], which in itself is a bias. You could say the scientific community is “no gods land” for many who practice science.   One of the basic law of the community is “You cannot use God to explain natural causes.” Therefore, the community actual imposes a presupposition or a dogma on its members.   If you violate this dogma you will be expelled or excommunicated from the community. Taken to  extremes this unwritten law can blind science to a world of possibilities. Fortunately , not all scientist take it to the extreme.

I once asked a scientist about this and he told me that the law was put in place to distinguish natural philosophy from natural science.  His explanation sound logical until I began to think about it. He never did explained to me how a man who was a believer in a God could practice science without deny his most basic beliefs?  And why should a believer have to do science as an atheist?  Cannot a believer do experiments and observations as well as an atheist? Is not atheism based on a metaphysical philosophy of materialism that has nothing to do with science? Why the inconsistency? Why not push atheism out of science? William James the father of American pragmatism said this about the neutrality rule of modern science which in essence is a will to atheism. “I, therefore, for one cannot see my way to accepting the agnostic rules for truth-seeking, or willfully agree to keep my willing nature out of the game.  I cannot do so for this plain reason, that a rule of thinking which would absolutely prevent me from acknowledging certain kinds of truth if those kinds of truth were really there, would be an irrational rule.  That for me is the long and short of the formal logic of the situation, no matter what  the kinds of truth might materially be (The Will to Believe).

Another scientist told me that they had to leave God out of science because to bring the idea of God in would hurt the scientific enterprise because people would appeal to what he referred to as the “God of the gaps”. What he was saying is that if you bring God in to science people would stop looking for answer to the gaps or problems with a theory and in turn would just make an appeal to God. My response was, what do you do now without the god of the gaps? His answer was, we assume that when our knowledge increases that we will be able to fill the gaps. At first I thought this was a fair answer and then I came to realize that it was the only answer. However, this answer is not without problems. The problem is that it bias the scientist toward filling in the gaps at any cost, for it easier to fill gaps than to falsify and create new theories or simply to say we do not know. It is also the same answer which a theologian could use to explain the gaps in theology. However, if this argument was used by theologian it would not be accepted by many scientist as a satisfactory answer. Why should we accept it for them.

  1.  I question a of lot of science because many scientist are fundamentalist, which take metaphors literally and therefore distort them and the reality that they point to . For example  many of them must exalt nature to the place of a metaphysical absolute or embrace chaos. Most cannot embrace chaos so they must put their faith in some cosmic order, which they call nature. Because of their dogma that you cannot appeal to a God, they must refer to the cosmic order with a different symbol than god.  They choose the symbol of nature, which they believe is  “the hold show[2]” that directs and control all things, i.e. their absolute. Thus, nature is used as a symbol that replace the concept of God.  For this reason scientists could accept nature as god or even a god within nature, e.g. man or some alien life form, but they cannot tolerate a God that is over or outside of nature, which created nature as the God of the Bible. The hold show must be the alp and omega or nothing.  The hold show must be the eternal one. Of course, nature being a metaphor of a large  unseen system is itself a creation of the mind of man and is used as a metaphor to express a metaphysical concept which science need to keep from slipping into chaos. How can you do science if there are no laws of nature governing the universe? And how can you have laws without a law-maker? Well, you have nature where the laws are simple there without begin or end. Sound a lot like God. Could we be playing the game, keep the concept, but change the name of the symbol for it?
  1. It also seem the older the discipline of science gets the more it resembles a religion or an ideology. It seem to have its holy men that you dare not question like Darwin, Freud, and even Max. Of course, Freud and Max have fallen from grace. However, there was a time when to question these pillars of the faith you would be brand a heretic and  be excommunicated  form the community.  Science as religion also has its apologist and its evangelist who guard and propagate the faith[3]. Scientism says you cannot believe in a heaven and be rational, but you can believe in a universe with 11 dimensions and be a genius. In other words, you cannot believe in a two story building (heaven and earth) but you can believe in a 11 story skyscraper as long as God did not make it.

One scientist told me that science is not like religion because it is self-correcting.  However, the Christian religion has had from the begin prophets that have call the faithful to change and reform. What would you call the reformation, but a self correction?

  1. It is also obvious that a large number of scientist has been brought under the influence of the ruling class and its money, if not directly, indirectly by the placing of grant money with those that will see things the way the oligarchy see them. Of course, this is the exactly the same thing that happen to the church during the dark ages. We have examples of this happing in science were science was directed by the German Nazis and in Russian by the communist. In Russian, science was direct not only by the scientific method but by the ideology of materialism and the state. They even had a church they called “the church of scientific Atheism”. It is truly amazing to see how money and power controls and directs the march of science, but what is more amazing is the fact that so few see it.
  1. Many who have placed their faith in science base it on the continuous progress of the discipline. They believe that science will continue to progress at its present rate or its past rate. They fail to see that there are limits to human knowledge and that already the number of large discoveries are dwindling. Many of the so-called new discoveries are really the development and refining of things already know. We could say that the discipline of science has picked all the low fruit off the tree of scientific knowledge. The outcome is that it will become harder and harder and cost more and more to pick the higher fruit. It is very likely that we will reach a omega point where human knowledge will reach its end.[4]

You might say that all of this is very pessimistic about science. However, I disagree, it is not pessimistic but realistic. For when we are talking about science we are talking about human knowledge and human knowledge is finite, which means it has limits and is often filled with Gaps and errors which will never be filled or corrected. The belief in unlimited progress is an illusion that denies our finiteness. This illusion in the end will unravel much of the progress that we have made and take us into an abyss of human arrogance.

[1] Richard Lewontin (evolutionary geneticist), “[The public] take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.” “Billions and Billions of Demons,” p. 31.

[2] That is everything that is, which means that there cannot be anything outside of her or above her. Sounds a little like God. Some are using the word universe instead of nature as the ultimate reality.

[3] Neil DeGrasse is an example of an apologist and evangelist for atheistic science.

[4] Many scholars feel that physics as we know it as the queen of science has reached its end. The science of biology will probably be the heir to the throne at least for a short time. However, it to will come to its end.