Friday, January 15, 2010

41 arguments for God

Aquinas was a piker. A redated post.

10 comments:

Dan'l said...

...and he doesn't even mention Borges's argument from ornithology.

Anonymous said...

Victor, following on from our earlier discussion of the Kalam argument, I notice here that "DOXA", in his third argument ("Fire in the equations"), takes a stab at defining "cause and effect" in the context of naturalism:

"1) Naturalists assume necessity of naturlaistic [sic] cause and effect (from empirical observation).

[Definition of naturalism from Flew. Quote from Whitehead on "physical causation" without definitions.]

"http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/gr/public/qg_qc.html Cambridge Relativity and Quantum Gravity. 1996, University of Cambridge The physical laws that govern the universe prescribe how an initial state evolves with time. In classical physics, if the initial state of a system is specified exactly then the subsequent motion will be completely predictable."

This is the only sense that I am aware of in which "cause" is rigorously defined in modern physics: the "cause" of a current physical state is its initial state (or, in more mathematical language, the "cause" of the solution of a differential equation is the initial conditions).

In the light of this clarification, one possible rendering of the Kalam argument is:

1. All solutions of differential equations of a certain type X have initial conditions.
2. The universe is accurately described by the solution of a differential equation of type X.
3. Therefore the universe has initial conditions.

The conclusion is not exactly overwhelming. (And the truth of premise 2 is debatable.) It is hardly surprising then that defenders of the Kalam argument are reluctant to express the argument in the language of modern physics.

J.L. Hinman said...

I don't like the Kalam version, that's why I don't use it. As for definition of cause, I think naturalists have mixed up about cause since LaPlace.

J.L. Hinman said...

btw my name is not "Doxa" its' Joe Hinman aka "Metacrock" on the net.

Bilbo said...

42

Victor Reppert said...

Yes, they increased it to 42.

Bilbo said...

Isn't that the answer to the meaning of the universe?

Bilbo said...

BTW, Dan'l, was that Victor Borge?

Metacrock said...

btw my name is not "Doxa" its' Joe Hinman aka "Metacrock" on the net.

December 07, 2008 10:27 AM
Delete
Blogger Bilbo said...

42

January 15, 2010 4:17 PM
Blogger Victor Reppert said...

Yes, they increased it to 42.

January 15, 2010 4:35 PM
Blogger Bilbo said...

Isn't that the answer to the meaning of the universe?

January 15, 2010 6:26 PM


(1) there is no "they" it's just me. I had 42. I didn't' add one I just got the number wrong by mistake the first time.

Yes it is because of the joke in Hitchhiker's guide that I became obsessed with making 42 arguments for God. Now I have them so they are the question to the answer 42.

Metacrock said...

Victor, following on from our earlier discussion of the Kalam argument, I notice here that "DOXA", in his third argument ("Fire in the equations"), takes a stab at defining "cause and effect" in the context of naturalism:

"1) Naturalists assume necessity of naturlaistic [sic] cause and effect (from empirical observation).

[Definition of naturalism from Flew. Quote from Whitehead on "physical causation" without definitions.]

as I said my name is not Doxa. I began with reading Laplace so it's rooted in an outmoded understand in of physics but one which saw the formation of modern atheism.

also rooted in Whitehead and Flew.

nowhere do I defend Kalam