Tuesday, June 15, 2021

A Jewish Scientist Defends His Faith--and uses the argument from reason

 Benjamin Fain was a Russian Jewish scientist, a dissident who worked for the welfare of Soviet Jewry. He wrote three books: Creation Ex Nihilo, (2007), Law and Providence (2011), and the Poverty of Secularism (2013). He has an interesting discussion in Creation Ex Nihilo of J. B. S. Haldane, whom crossed swords with Lewis, but whom Lewis quotes in the third chapter of Miracles. 

If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason for supposing that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. (Possible Worlds, 1927). 

But he changed his mind in 1954 in "I Repent an Error." 

Fain explains: The objection to his original explanation can be phrased as follows: computers act in accordance with the laws of physics, and despite this they can act in accordance with the laws of logic. The human mind can be represented by the brain, which we can compare to the computer. It is simultaneously a physical and a logical being. Out of this comes the completely materialistic explanation of the mind, or the self.

But Fain criticizes this rebuttal claiming rightly that adherence to logic is not internal to the computer itself. In the last analysis, if materialism is true, then physical laws, not logical laws, determine behavior. 

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