Why Do We Trust Ancient Texts as Accurate?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Devils' Advocate, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. hoghead1

    hoghead1 Member

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    In the "early" Whitehead, there was no mention of God. This is largely the pre-1925 Whitehead. In the biggy, "Process and Reality," God is introduced to explain creativity and also the meaningfulness of life. Between about 1020 and 1929, Whitehead kept expanding his system. In his "Concept of Nature', circa 1920, he is purely interested in rethinking what science is, period, no metaphysics, no God, etc. Then, in 1925, he publishes "Religion in the Making." See, no he has moved into religion. And then finally the grand slam finale, "Process and Reality," where he presents his full-blown metaphysics.
    I'm still puzzled why you would call process a dualistic metaphysic. The way I use the term "dualism" is to denote a metaphysical system where God and creation stand over and against one another. You have a temporal-material world of time and change, and then you have the divine, God, a wholly simple, immaterial, immutable world. God and the universe are like two circles sitting beside one another. As such, it seems God and the world are but parts of a larger whole which includes them and then transcends either one of them. What do you call this whole? Meta-God? In process, it is very different. The universe is ontologically part of the being of God. I like Hartshorne's metaphor that the universe is the body of God. In process, there is only one circle, God.
    I'm sorry, but I just don't follow you about prayer. In process, God enjoys a direct, immediate empathic response to any and all creaturely feeling. That, to me, is the most solid reason I could think of for praying. Could you clarify a bit more here, please?
     
  2. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon everything is in pencil

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    I do not consider this a problem. The questions of 'why' beyond the objective observable relationships between the brain and the mind in science are philosophical and theological questions. It is ok that you want to go beyond science, but you cannot use science to go beyond science.

    The brain is the brain, clearly explainable by science in the relationship with the mind. In fact research is expanding the knowledge of this relationship more and more with time. Of course, cells are alive, and yes cells respond to stimulus and this can be measured and quantified by science.

    The primary predictability I am referring to in science is the predictability of the nature of our physical existence. For the examples I gave in the previous posts.

    Are you going beyond science when you consider the psychological? Psychology is one of the branches of science. I think you need to find another word here.

    Again, going beyond science is fine. I believe in God, but I do not use science to go beyond science.

    I never said predictions of the future are facts. I am mainly referring the predictability of the nature of our physical existence as predictabie.

    Anecdotal without references. No meaning concerning my referring to weather predictions. Of course weather predictions are not facts. I never said they were. I did say that weather predictions are increasing in accuracy due to modern computer models that take into considerations 'chaos theory.'

    [/quote] I challenge anyone who says the future is fully predictable to go to Los Vegas and win every time at gambling. [/quote]

    Nonsense not related to the discussion. Though professional gamblers do use math and science to greatly increase the probability of their wining at Las Vegas. Let us get away from this nonsense of the future being 'fully predictable.'

    The above is far to anecdotal for me to give an intelligent response. It "seems" is a personal observation. Your assertion of continual 'creativity' is another personal observation beyond science that does not help your case.
     
  3. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon everything is in pencil

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    This argument for; "God is essential, however, to explain creativity, complex structure, and guarantee the meaningfulness of life, among other things." represents the Intelligent Design (ID) argument, which has failed miserably in the vain efforts by the Discovery Institute to provide an objective science based argument. The problem is essentially that the complexity of the physical nature of our existence is adequately explained by science. Explaining 'creativity' and 'guarantee the meaningfulness of life,' represent philosophical and theological questions that cannot be addressed in Methodological Naturalism. Again it is ok to go beyond science, but science cannot be misused to go beyond science.
     
  4. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon everything is in pencil

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    One particular disagreement here; I do not believe dualism denotes '. . . where God and Creation stand over and against one another.' There are different metaphysical concepts defined as 'dualism,' but I believe in this case it simply means God is a separate entity from Creation, and I would not consider it a 'process.' It is apparent that you believe in a form of monism.

    I have a new word to describe the relationship between between God and Creation as compathy or 'compathetic.' I consider empathy a more human relationship on a scale of; sympathetic>empathetic>compathetic.

    Compathy is the ideal intimate compassionate relationship which humans may comprehend through Revelation but not attain perfectly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  5. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon everything is in pencil

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    Whitehead's principle of relativity amounts to a priori assumption that God(s) exist in any of his logical argument, and no I do not accept Whitehead's principle of relativity.

    In the disagreement between Einstein and Whitehead I side with Einstein. Whitehead takes the metaphysical leap concerning relativity that may be valid if you accept Whitehead's theological assumptions, but it is not necessarily true. The essay Whitehead's Principle of Relativity by Ronald Desmont gives a good description of the difference in the interpretation of the difference in their views. Whitehead did make contributions in math and science, but nonetheless one must accept his metaphysical assumptions to fully accept his 'Principle of Relativity.'

     
  6. Stevegp

    Stevegp Member

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    Terms like dualism and monism need to be unpacked to be understandable. This gets pretty convoluted fast. This is why I prefer to think about distinctions. To me its seems clear that there are pretty strong ontic like distinctions in process thought. One way to approach this is to talk about divine action. The metaphor of the body is an apt one. In the body there are many "aspects" but one whole. While a cell may have a "life" of its own, there is constant interactive interplay with other aspects and the whole itself. The neurological, hormonal, and other systems systems cause direct actionable effects between the parts and the whole. In process thought the relationships in the body (the universe is the body of God) are different:

    From the Standford encyclopedia:

    Now "lure" is very different from direct action as seen in the human body. The brain doesn't lure a cell to do something. It makes changes that physically effect the cell.

    To use another metaphor of parent/child. A parent might try to "lure" or influence a child along some beneficial path, but if that fails they step in and take direct action for the child's benefit.

    Empathy is good but empathy alone has efficacious limitations. We may empathize with someone's plight but without direct action to alleviate it, little may be accomplished.

    So to reiterate it seems to me the addicted process adherent's prayer would be something like "God, I'm having so much trouble kicking my habit. Please lure me stronger so I may change". Can you give me an example of what a prayer of petition would be like in process theology?

    To see that there is a problem with petitionary prayer here's an abstract from an article on the process site. I don't want to pay to read the article but it supports the idea that petitionary prayer is an issue. If anyone knows what the author is suggesting, I'd like to hear it.

     
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  7. hoghead1

    hoghead1 Member

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    Well, you certainly have given me a lot to think about. Let's start with prayer. Maybe I'm a dummy, but I still don't see the problem. I don't know who the above author was. I do know more than con conservative critic has attacked process without a full understanding of what is the latter claims. IN process, God empathizes with us, true; however, as you point out, that does not mean God necessarily agrees with everything. One could pray for a million dollars to land in his living room, too. If God agrees with the request, then God will provide some sort of solution. I don't know why someone says it's just change in the subject. When you pray, you are asking God to change something he or she is doing. In process, you can't have a change in us and no change in God, in any situation.

    Einstein vs. Whitehead on relativity isn't exactly what I had in mind when I refer to his principle of relativity. Whitehead and Einstein got into a fight over whether there were warps in the space-time continuum. Whitehead felt the continuum is flat, uniform, no bending of time and space. time for everything. OK, forget that. In PR, the principle of relativity claims that nothing exists in isolation, that every entity exerts an influence on every other. That is a different story. That's what I'm talking about.

    Yes, we do lure our bodies. Try sometime forcing your body to do something it doesn't want to. Also, much happens in our bodies that does not fully express our fill. such as illness.


    Whitehead contends that genuine creativity denotes the rise of the improbable, the light that never was on land or sea, whereas statistically probability, based on what has been the case, assumes the future will duplicate the past and present. So, I don't follow you when you say I've made a personal observation here that should be disregarded.

    When you are speaking of God being a separate entity from creation, I am not sure what your point is. Are you saying this is your view, or the process view? If you meant he latter, then I have problems, because all entities are more fully in God than they are in themselves. Entities are ontologically part of the being of God.

    Could you provide some specific examples of predictable chaos? I'm not following you here. Just what are you claiming can be predicted 100 percent? Also, I seem to recall the Einstein's laws of gravity don't hold at the subatomic level. That's one example of a law not holding everywhere. Furthermore, science deals with truth in terms of probabilities, not absolutes. That is especially true in quantum physics, last time I looked.

    I understand that psychology studies the brain and has a grasp on how it operates. That does not address my question as to how mindless entities could ever form a mind.

    The modern field of psychology is not prepared at all to deal with panpsychism. If I appear to be using science to go beyond science, that is why I am so doing. Whitehead stresses that this is an exercise in speculative metaphysics. He says it is like an airplane ride. You start with the facts an then take off into speculation.

    Sorry, I'm writing so disjunctly, but I didn't have the time to do a more systematic job.






    Anyhow, enjoyed your comments. Hope to hear from you again.
     
  8. hoghead1

    hoghead1 Member

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    P.S. I tried to answer both Steveqp and Shuny together. Let me know if this worked.
     
  9. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon everything is in pencil

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    You cannot separate Whitehead's relativity theory concerning warps in space-time continuum and his metaphysics proposal concerning the principle of relativity. Whitehead and Einstein meet in 1921, and discussed these difference and Einstein's response to Whitehead.

    The highlighted is a proposal rewording Intelligent Design, which is an untenable view that cannot be falsified scientifically. In a discussion or argument such as this anecdotal personal observations do not carry any weight.

     
  10. hoghead1

    hoghead1 Member

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    Yes, you can separate the principle of relativity, as per PR, from the principle of relativity, as per curvature of space. The former, which is what I am interested in, states that nothing exists in isolation, that relationships constitute the "essences" of things. Whether s[ace is curved or not curved has nothing to do with this.
    Also, throughout you keep referring to "personal, anecdotal" claims. I gather you mean speculative metaphysics. OK, fine. That's what I am doing. Science informs me, but the scientific method does not dictate the way in which I work. There are other "courts" to try cases in other than science. Furthermore, philosophical positions such as ID are not without some degree of testing. For example, can you show me an example where throwing paint on canvas would yield a Mona Lisa? If I throw the parts of a watch off teh Empire State Bu9ilding, I seriously doubt they would all land and make up a watch. When the hard data, the math is run here, the probability of such things happening is absolutely nil. Also, I find it interesting that science, on one hand, says that complex order need not have an intelligent designer behind it; but, on the other, turns right around and want all kinds of money dumped in to SETI, where a few organized beeps would be seen as proof of intelligent life.

    Also, it would be helpful if you would tone down some of your rhetoric and personal attacks on me. I have a very solid background in science and also the philosophy of science. I have an M.S. in clinical psychology. So I don't put up with any condescending nonsense from you are any one else. I just wonder what your background is in science.
     
  11. Stevegp

    Stevegp Member

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    I've heard this before but something just dawned on me. Folks like Dawkins claim that there is no intention (i.e. design) involved in evolution. Now I don't know if he (or others) specifically makes this as a scientific claim, but if they do then it would need to be falsifiable to be scientific. How would they do that? It would seem that they (or someone else) would have to explore design theory and then scientifically show it to be true or false. But if design theory is not falsifiable then their claim could not be considered scientific either.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  12. hoghead1

    hoghead1 Member

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    Dawkins and others stress that there is no direction to the evolutionary process. I disagree. When I look at the hard data, it seems there is a very definite movement from the lest sensitive and most simple to the more complex and sensitive. The tend is always upward, toward more beauty. Survival of the fittest isn't the goal, beauty is. Also, the hard data tells me that the more complex an organism, the more brain or mind it needs. Now, if it is really true that complex organizations do not require any mind, then why do we have a brain, why aren't we just mindless bodies running around? Modern science has moved us from seeing the universe as a machine to seeing the universe as an organism. Now the universe would be the most complex organism there is. Hence, the universes must have the most advanced brain there is, i.e., God. So I think ID is based on solid scientific evidence.
    Much is being made in these discussion as to what is science and what isn't. It needs to be recognized that science is not the sole determiner of truth. The fact that something is no scientifically verifiable has nothing to do with its validity. For example, science rests on many philosophical concepts which cannot be scientifically tested. One is causality. Three is no way to scientifically verify this exists, as we have no sensory experience of causality. The other is that the gateway to truth is through the senses and sensory observation. Well, the brain is continuous with the rest of the body, and the rest of the body with the rest of the world, so I think it a mistake to assume all pathways to reality are confined to the senses. Actually, all conscious, sensory experience rests on unconscious, purely affective experience. I think that emotion is our basic connection to reality.
     
  13. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon everything is in pencil

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    Yes, this is Dawkins view. My view is that ID or intention cannot be falsified by science, because science is neutral to claims of 'intention.'

    The proposal of 'Intelligent Design (ID)' is a non sequitur as far as being able to falsify the concept as a scientific theory. A large part of ID focuses on the belief that complexity is not possible or highly improbable without a 'Designer.' The main problem is scientific methods for that problem cannot prove a negative proposition. Sometimes ID proponents base their claim on the fact that some kinds of complexity have not yet explained by the current scientific knowledge. On the other hand, science is progressively explaining most forms of complexity as arising from natural evolution. and it is likely that progressively all forms of complexity will be eventually be adequately explained to result from natural processes.

    The other issue is ID is philosophical/theological question, and Methodological Naturalism cannot falsify nor address questions that cannot be objectively based on physical evidence.

    God is a Creator not a design engineer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  14. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon everything is in pencil

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    I believe that Whitehead' proposal is more involved, and included both together. Nonetheless both were rejected by Einstein, and they are untenable based on the evidence.

    Your misinterpreting my posts as 'attacks' on you. I am attacking the ID philosophy, and objecting that other philosophical/theological claims like Whitehead's PR proposals can be supported by science.

    I have BS and an MS in soil science, geology, and environmental science.
     
  15. Stevegp

    Stevegp Member

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    I hadn't thought about this before but there could be a issue in the use of methodological naturalism itself. Now as a method I don't see a problem (i.e. not considering intentional causes). But scientists would have to be careful about scientific claims. They would have to ban the use of the term "natural" entirely from their scientific claims since that wouldn't be falsifiable.

    This would also mean that causal claims of ID proponents and those of non-ID proponents would be on equal footing. Under the putative scientific method neither would be considered scientific.
     
  16. hoghead1

    hoghead1 Member

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    Untenable based on what evidence, Shuny? If there is one thing we have learned from modern science, it is how deeply interconnected and interrelated everything is.
    Where is your evidence that Einstein every read PR or discussed relativity in that sense with Whitehead?
    You are objecting that certain philosophical/theological claims can be supported by science? Why should they be, in the first place? We're in a different court here. I've told you that several times already.
    Thanks for sharing your scientific background. Question is: Are you aware science is not the only test or court for truth? Are you aware that fields like theology and philosophy take a different approach and deal with different subject matter?
    Also, when you dwell on something not being scientifically falsifiable, what about common, recurrent experience? Generally, our experience has been that all complex order requires an ordering mind. You don't just throw paint at a canvas and get a Mona Lisa, or throw parts of a watch around and get a watch. You claimed earlier that panpsychist couldn't be falsified. Well, why did it ever crop up? One of the reasons is that there is no hard-and-fast dividing line between the living and the nonliving. that's based on solid, common experience. Now, if we'd have found some definite dividing line, then that would be another story, but our experience discloses that is not going to happen.
     
  17. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    This kind of statement is spurious. The pieces that make up a watch have no ability to assemble themselves.
     
  18. hoghead1

    hoghead1 Member

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    That's my point. Unless some intelligent mind acts on them, we have no watch. That's a major example of the fact that all complex order requires an ordering mind.
     
  19. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon everything is in pencil

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    Nature, Natural as in Natural Laws is not a problem in science by definition. They are simply words that describe what is objectively falsifiable in the Physical Existence.

    Actually every time a theory or hypothesis is objectively falsified it is tested as to whether it fits the natural scheme of our physical existence.

    True! Science does not address the question; ID versus no ID, because it cannot be falsified, and science remain neutral either way.
     
  20. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Not quite. A watch needs an ordering mind because the pieces of a watch cannot do anything on their own. Molecules can do stuff on their own. It is part of the natural function of what they do. They combine, they intermix, they build, they become more complicated. As they can do this on their own, there is no need for an ordering mind to do it for them.
     
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