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 Deist Answer to Absurdity

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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Thu May 08, 2008 12:13 am

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I suspect that Atheists and Existentialists would say that the burden is upon believers-in-God to justify their assumption that the universe has some ultimate meaning and purpose beyond the individual ideas of ordinary humans.

I, on the other hand, contend that it us up to a person making a contention to prove the contention.

Thus if I say there is a God, it is up to me to prove it.

If I say there is no God, it is up to me to prove it.

Also to the atheist or existentialist, they cannot answer why or how we are here.

So if I say we are here because God is a first cause they can, indeed, successfully argue that I can't prove that contention.

BUT!!!!

They cannot prove their own contention, which is the opposite, simply that we exist without a first cause.

The corollary to this is that the imperfections such as 100,000 Porteguese Catholics dying on a CAtholic holy day, is neither here nor there.

Of course our universe is imperfect. As you point out, nature giveth but nature also taketh.

To this we must also add free will. People excercising their own free will can help us, people can also harm us.

This is not absurdity.

To a deist this is simple reality.

For instance, the 100,000 portugese catholics dying in an earthquake on a CAtholic holy day. This may be absurd to a Catholic who believes in an intervening God.

But to a deist who does not believe in an intervening God, but does believe in plate tectonics, this is most certainly NOT absurd, even while it IS tragic.

The 100,000 dead in Burma. It can all be logically explained. It's part nature (i.e. a cyclone hit) and part human (i.e., available technology, in particular radar, not employed in a forecast network in the country, as well as the typically flimsy contstruction of the buildings).

Thus I have proven that the atheist contention of absurdity is itself absurd because it contends that anything would be absurd other than the state of complete perfection.

So I would contend that an atheist would contend that the only logical state of existence should be complete perfection.

Any other state is "absurd."

And that I cannot agree with.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Thu May 08, 2008 1:34 pm

Helium wrote:


Also to the atheist or existentialist, they cannot answer why or how we are here.


For instance, the 100,000 portugese catholics dying in an earthquake on a CAtholic holy day. This may be absurd to a Catholic who believes in an intervening God.

But to a deist who does not believe in an intervening God, but does believe in plate tectonics, this is most certainly NOT absurd, even while it IS tragic.

Thus I have proven that the atheist contention of absurdity is itself absurd because it contends that anything would be absurd other than the state of complete perfection.

So I would contend that an atheist would contend that the only logical state of existence should be complete perfection.
.

Actually, the Existentialists do answer the "why & how" questions---to their own satisfaction---by accepting as a fact of life that "why & how" questions are absurd; since there is no empirical evidence of a deity to provide the ultimate answers. Apparently, they do not see the existence of the physical world as evidence for the existence of a metaphysical First Cause. Basically, unlike Deists, they do not accept Philosophical / Metaphysical arguments as convincing evidence for the existence of anything. That's why I am developing an argument to prove---to my own satisfaction---that Meta-Physics is just as "real" as Physics.

To an Existentialist, belief in a non-intervening God is equivalent to believing in no God. What difference does such a God make to us? To them, such a faith is absurd. So again Deists must come-up with a rational answer to the "what difference" question.

Obviously, the God that western Atheists don't believe-in is the God-is Good, God-is-Love, God-is-Omnipotent deity of the Abrahamic traditions. But they would still classify the God-is-Good/Evil, God-is-Love/Hate, God-is-Omnipotent/Apathetic deity of Deism as absurd.

It's not the Atheist who contends that "the only logical state of existence should be complete perfection". Their contention is that we have no reason to expect perfection from an absurd, accidental world. But I have come to view the "absurdities" of the world as ironically meaningful and intentional. That's why I feel challenged to develop a comprehensive, science-based worldview that answers all of these quandries in a manner that requires a bare minimum of blind faith. Imperfect, yes; absurd, no.
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Fri May 09, 2008 12:18 am

Well I guess atheists can refrain from questioning why and how we are here, I suppose, if that's what they want to do!
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Fri May 09, 2008 1:21 am

I'm kind of in agreement with you on "the Omega Point". I see the universe as the opposite of the fall from Eden. Instead of everything being "perfect" at the beginning and becoming more chaotic. I see the universe as starting at maximum chaos and evolving towards perfection. Since the universe appears to be going in this direction, I see purpose and the universe doesn't seem absurd. If the universe was going in no direction at all and everything always stayed the same then it would seem absurd to me. I believe the universe is following a plan. I don't believe the universe just happened to end up this way by accident but everything happens for a reason.

So, to answer your original question of how do I reconcile the presence of Evil and the absence of Justice with their hypothesis of a teleological Designer? Well, if the universe lacked evil our lives would be pointless and absurd. If God did everything for us, solved all problems, and provided for everything that we need then there would be nothing for us to do. God only does what is necessary and we have the responsibility to do the rest. Instead of God making paradise for us, he wants us to build paradise for ourselves. He is like a father that sends his child out into the world hoping that his child will live a good life and make him proud. People appreciate things more that they worked for than what is just given to them. We must work for paradise to appreciate it. In conclusion, God creating Heaven is just as absurd as him creating Hell because a place of total goodness is just as pointless as a place of total evil. Our universe is the perfect mix of both worlds.
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Sat May 10, 2008 2:09 am

Yeah, I hear you on the garden of eden.

That's a neat story to interpret.

I remember as a young 'un the litereal translation is that we were in some perfect existence until the whole snake/apple thing.

But yeah I agree with you that there was no eden.

Actually there are other ways to interpret that story so it doesn't seem so wrong. One is simply the acquision of self conciousness or awareness, that set us apart from instinctual action. It might make sense interpreted in that light.

One cautionary note though.

I do agree with you that life on earth seems to be evolving towards more complexity.

But I was reading a fascinating article in March Scientific American that the very long range future of the universe is actually very stark.

The real short of it is our local cluster of galaxies led by Adromeda will merge into one. At some point, say 100 billion years from now, all of the other billions of galaxies will actually be long out of our event horizon.

The article actually raised a juicy conundrum that scientists of that age will have to speculate on the universe without any knowldege that we now have such as the red shift of other galaxies and the radiation signature of the beginning of the universe. All that will be out of the event horizon.

The future scientists of 100 billion years unless their particularly smart might conclude that the local super cluster galazy IS the universe. Wow, man. Mind blowing. Also the eventual fate of the the local super cluster is to all end up as a black hole.

Hardly the perfect script.

But certainly a juicy script!
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Mon May 12, 2008 1:40 pm

I imagine by then we will be so godlike that maybe there would be nothing more for scientist to discover and/or we would be able to solve that problem. So, it maybe a perfect script.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Mon May 12, 2008 11:29 pm

Yeah, god's not giving away the ending.

We wait with baited breath lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Tue May 13, 2008 12:40 pm

Helium wrote:
Yeah, god's not giving away the ending.

We wait with baited breath lol!

I agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Fri May 16, 2008 2:16 am

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Actually, the Existentialists do answer the "why & how" questions---to their own satisfaction---by accepting as a fact of life that "why & how" questions are absurd
Ooops, an adendum response.

How can asking why we are here, why the universe is here, why there is existence. How can that be absurd? That's so idiotic, I don't think it deserves a response.

I'm sorry Gnomon, I stick to my guns. I know it's not your argument. But if the atheists believe my above question is absurd, they have to tell me why it's absurd. Until then, I don't have to prove why the questino should stand. It's just such an obvious question.

I mean, if an atheist discovered 2 million dollars in the bank account, do you not think they would wonder where it came from.

Well don't you think it's the least bit intruiging why we are here. Please convey my concerns to them in your conversations.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Fri May 16, 2008 2:45 am

Not all Existentialists are, or were, Atheists. Kierkegaard, for example, was a rabid Protestant.

Existentialism isn't really a philosophy, or even a belief - just a preoccupation with the absurdity, and miraculousness, of existence.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Fri May 16, 2008 7:41 pm

This is a proposed new entry in my Intelligent Evolution glossary. I'm not sure it will make sense to anyone but me. And it may be seen as a biased depiction of the scientific view. "Anthropic" seems to be related to the "absurdity" topic, so I put it here for objective analysis. Any suggestions for improvement will be welcomed.


ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE
A Man-oriented law of nature. ~ Evidence from many different fields of science supports the astounding realization that we live in a surprisingly finely-tuned, bio-friendly, and mind-inclined universe. Since divine design is not an orthodox axiom of modern science, scientists have been trying for years to devise an alternative mechanical (i.e. non-teleological) answer to the obvious question raised by the "appearance" of rational design: how can life and mind arise from random (i.e. irrational) processes? The most common answer today is the Multiverse Theory: that we inhabit just one of myriad worlds in an eternal and infinite regression of evolutionary experiments in world-making. Most of these "other worlds" are un-inhabitable for various reasons. So our universe is just the lucky winner in a cosmic jackpot, where our accidental awakening to consciousness reveals that this is the only place to be, if we want to live and think. Most of those alternative realities are losers in the life lottery. ~ The various Multiverse hypotheses cannot be considered scientific theories though, since we have no way to test or falsify them except via pure reasoning. So the plurality of God hypotheses are on the same footing with M theory, as non-empirical, philosophical conjectures. Hence your choice between the teleological theories and the illogical theories comes down to a matter of taste---or faith. Which makes more sense to you: life-from-life & mind-from-mind, or life & mind from eternal chaos & conflict? Which do you prefer to believe, Man is an accident, or a design? ~ See Front-Loaded Design.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Sat May 17, 2008 12:19 am

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just a preoccupation with the absurdity, and miraculousness, of existence.

Okay, I guess I can relate to that. Thanks Uriah.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Mon May 19, 2008 2:47 am

Gnomon wrote:
This is a proposed new entry in my Intelligent Evolution glossary. I'm not sure it will make sense to anyone but me. And it may be seen as a biased depiction of the scientific view. "Anthropic" seems to be related to the "absurdity" topic, so I put it here for objective analysis. Any suggestions for improvement will be welcomed.


ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE
A Man-oriented law of nature. ~ Evidence from many different fields of science supports the astounding realization that we live in a surprisingly finely-tuned, bio-friendly, and mind-inclined universe. Since divine design is not an orthodox axiom of modern science, scientists have been trying for years to devise an alternative mechanical (i.e. non-teleological) answer to the obvious question raised by the "appearance" of rational design: how can life and mind arise from random (i.e. irrational) processes? The most common answer today is the Multiverse Theory: that we inhabit just one of myriad worlds in an eternal and infinite regression of evolutionary experiments in world-making. Most of these "other worlds" are un-inhabitable for various reasons. So our universe is just the lucky winner in a cosmic jackpot, where our accidental awakening to consciousness reveals that this is the only place to be, if we want to live and think. Most of those alternative realities are losers in the life lottery. ~ The various Multiverse hypotheses cannot be considered scientific theories though, since we have no way to test or falsify them except via pure reasoning. So the plurality of God hypotheses are on the same footing with M theory, as non-empirical, philosophical conjectures. Hence your choice between the teleological theories and the illogical theories comes down to a matter of taste---or faith. Which makes more sense to you: life-from-life & mind-from-mind, or life & mind from eternal chaos & conflict? Which do you prefer to believe, Man is an accident, or a design? ~ See Front-Loaded Design.

It makes perfect sense to me but it sounds more like a definition for biocentric than anthropic.

Something I would like to add is that a person who believes in the multiverse has more faith than someone who believes in God. Someone who believes we are the result of an infinite amount of universes has the same amount of faith as someone who believes we are the result of an infinite amount of gods. The mulitverse is a multigod.

Also, you can make the argument that the multiverse was designed because it would appear to be a cosmic slot machine. Instead of comparing God to a watch maker you could compare him to a slot machine maker.

Also, using the multiverse argument seems like the unbeliever is admitting that the believer's arguments are valid. It's like they are saying,"You are right! The universe does appear to be designed by God, BUT MAYBE there is an infintie amount of universes that don't appear this way."
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Mon May 19, 2008 11:53 pm

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Which do you prefer to believe, Man is an accident, or a design?

Well man is a completely random occurrence.

But increasing complexity which would include increasing sentience, in my opionion, would fit your equation.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Tue May 20, 2008 1:37 pm

Schizophretard wrote:

It makes perfect sense to me but it sounds more like a definition for biocentric than anthropic.

.

Also, using the multiverse argument seems like the unbeliever is admitting that the believer's arguments are valid. It's like they are saying,"You are right! The universe does appear to be designed by God, BUT MAYBE there is an infintie amount of universes that don't appear this way."

The scientists who coined the term "Anthropic" may not have been defending the biblical creation story, but they were probably assuming that homo sapiens is the current pinnacle of biological evolution. Until evidence to the contrary arises, I'll have to go along with them: at this moment in time, the epitome of Biocentric evolution is Mankind.

The Multiverse argument does seem to be an end run around the "appearance" of design. But that may be a justifiable move in view of the evidence of "poor design". What we need is a way to reconcile the idea of divine design with the obvious examples of less-than-optimal execution by evolution. More on that later.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Tue May 20, 2008 1:39 pm

Helium wrote:
Quote :
Which do you prefer to believe, Man is an accident, or a design?

Well man is a completely random occurrence.

But increasing complexity which would include increasing sentience, in my opionion, would fit your equation.

I believe Man is a little bit of both.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Tue May 20, 2008 3:31 pm

Helium wrote:

Well man is a completely random occurrence.

Actually the evolutionary process that has resulted in the human species of animal is not "completely random". Randomness by itself accomplishes nothing---it's just the background noise of the universe. But random events combined with "natural selection" have steered evolution in the direction of increasing complexity of inter-relating entities. And the human brain is currently the single most complex physical system ever found in the universe.

Selection is the part of evolution that gives the appearance of intentional design. A designing engineer sets parameters (specifications) for selection of components that are incorporated into the production of the final product. Presumably a divine designer would also specify certain defining parameters to ensure the perfection of the final product. Early scientists discovered regularities in nature that reminded them of royal decrees. So they called them Natural Laws. And they assumed that the lawgiver was Jehovah of the Bible.

As a Deist, I no longer accept the mythical deities of the scriptures literally. But I still haven't found an acceptable non-divine work-around for the mysterious forces of nature that seem to work together toward some ill-defined future goal. The arrow of evolution appears to be pointing in the direction of complexity and "intellity"---if not toward Humanity. So I infer that the source of the forces and directionality of evolution is similar in some ways to the commanding or dancing or dreaming deities of traditional religions.

But the question remains, why would a designer allow irrational randomness to creep into the creative process? The Intelligent Design theory has no good answer for the imperfections of the product, except to blame it on human error. But again, why would an omniscient designer create humans who could so easily be gulled into wrecking God's perfect design?

~~~to be continued~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Tue May 20, 2008 11:18 pm

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But the question remains, why would a designer allow irrational randomness to creep into the creative process?

Tell that to the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

I think the notion of the massive extinction events on the earth support my contention that while increasing complexity and increasing sentience might in fact be inevitable, given a decent chance, that the occurrence of the mass extinctions throughout earth's history pretty well lead to the conclusion that the existence of any particular species is if not a random occurence than a chance occurrence.

Proof of that is that if aliens stopped on earth 100 millions ago, do you think they would place their bets on the little mammals scurrying to keep from underfoot of the big dinosaurs.

Perhaps they might conclude that the mammallian structure was the most sophisticated with warm bloodedness. But there's no way they could predict the human race back then.

Mammal's rise is thought to be due to a pure chance event of a onece an eon meteor strike.

And human's rise of intelligence might be the chance of receding forests in which we had to make a go on the savannah, or something like that. All chance, if not randomness.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Wed May 21, 2008 1:41 pm

Gnomon wrote:

But the question remains, why would a designer allow irrational randomness to creep into the creative process? The Intelligent Design theory has no good answer for the imperfections of the product, except to blame it on human error. But again, why would an omniscient designer create humans who could so easily be gulled into wrecking God's perfect design?

~~~to be continued~~~

~~~ conjecture continued~~~

S.J. Gould believed that evolution is a rambling, non-directional process "guided" only by Luck. He concluded that, if you could rewind the evolution record and run the "tape" again, the result would be completely different. And I agree that the "random walk" of evolution would follow its own unpredictable path.

Yet again, the randomness of nature is not pure. It is "contaminated" with laws, and principles, and constants, which serve to limit the freedom of stochastic actions to a particular sub-set of options. It's as if Thomas Jefferson told Lewis & Clark, "you can go anywhere you want, as long as the general direction is West".

In my god-hypothesis, the Creator of evolution designed it to freely explore a broad range of alternatives, "as long as the general direction is Intelligence". And the path to Intelligence must pass through certain logical stages of physical organization: physics, chemistry, biology, brain, etc.

If the Designer's intent is to create a free-thinking intelligence, then it seems that the creative process itself must be able to operate on auto-pilot. Such a pioneering, exploring, evolutionary system would have an element of Randomness for spontaneity, and a core of Lawfulness for accuracy.

By analogy to a radio signal, generic, un-guided energy is the random, meaningless, background hum upon which the design information is superimposed to produce the creative power we sometimes call the Will of God. Most scientists, so far, have focused on analyzing the randomized "carrier wave", because the superimposed design data is encoded in such a way that proper interpretation requires a high level of Intelligence.

~~~to be conjectured~~~


Last edited by Gnomon on Thu May 22, 2008 3:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Wed May 21, 2008 11:42 pm

~~~ conjecture continued~~~


Creation Theory (CT) is based on an ancient understanding of how things are designed from scratch. It uses the metaphor of a powerful wizard conjuring-up something from nothing by saying a few magic words. It’s usually called the “God” hypothesis. Magical thinking is the rule.

Evolution Theory (ET) is based on Darwin's concept of the un-planned, un-directed, emergence of living creatures from non-living matter by an essentially random process of trial and error. It refers to the vague progressive tendency of evolution as the function of a mysterious, impersonal agency called Natural Selection. Some call this the "Blind-Watchmaker" theory. Reason and Logic are not required in this scenario.

Intelligent Design
(ID) theory seems to be based on a19th century notion of the design process. It implies a direct, linear, mechanical engineering approach to creation. This is often called the “Watchmaker” hypothesis. Classical Logic is the Law.

Intelligent Evolution
(IE) is a theory*** based on a 21st century concept of a more round-about creative process. It follows the flow of information from the initial metaphysical idea to the final physical manifestation of the original formal cause. You might call IE the “In-Former” hypothesis. Fuzzy Logic sets the general parameters.

Unlike CT and ID, for IE theory Randomness is an essential component of the design process. It constantly generates options and alternatives to be chosen by the program of yes/no logic gates Darwin called "Natural Selection". Together, they manage to create novelties that come closer-and-closer, over many generations, to the designer’s intended end-state. But they do it without any direct intervention by the “Intender”. A crude example of such a process is “Evolutionary Informatics” in computer simulations of biological evolution.

[url] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_informatics[/url]

***my personal theory. Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Thu May 22, 2008 9:24 am

I guess I'm somewhere between ET and IE because I think that the "designer" in the IE theory is itself an emergent process.

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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Thu May 22, 2008 11:06 am

It strikes me that IE is very similar to the ideas of many ancients, and just about all indigenous, non-technological, peoples who still live today.

The Pygmy of the Congo (Whom are, based on Mitochondrial DNA analysis, the oldest people on the earth) believe that the earth is a "child" of the sky. Or the Australian Aboriginal belief in the Dreamtime where we, quite literally, as still engaged in the process of creation.

I've often noticed a philosophical complexity, and wisdom, in the beliefs of seeming "stone-age" indigenous tribes that has, until very recently, been historically absent in the Western religio-cultural schema.

It's the same kind of message that Carlos Castaneda was driving at via the Yaqui Shaman Don Juan - who may or may not have been a real person, but his message was a kind of distilled version of this indigenous, indwelling, spirituality.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Thu May 22, 2008 1:03 pm

Aaron wrote:
I guess I'm somewhere between ET and IE because I think that the "designer" in the IE theory is itself an emergent process.

That raises the old chicken & egg question: which came first, the design or the designer? Since I am a designer by profession, I have difficulty imagining how the process would work in reverse.

However, if I ignore the chicken sh*t, the idea of God self-creating has a sort of perverse appeal. It reminds me of the Escher picture of hands drawing themselves. The bottom line is "I just don't know for sure". But the designer designing is my story, for now, and I'm sticking to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Thu May 22, 2008 1:05 pm

In regards to the chicken and egg question I would say both and neither.

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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Thu May 22, 2008 1:20 pm

Helium wrote:
Quote :
But the question remains, why would a designer allow irrational randomness to creep into the creative process?

Tell that to the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

I think the notion of the massive extinction events on the earth support my contention that while increasing complexity and increasing sentience might in fact be inevitable, given a decent chance, that the occurrence of the mass extinctions throughout earth's history pretty well lead to the conclusion that the existence of any particular species is if not a random occurence than a chance occurrence.

Proof of that is that if aliens stopped on earth 100 millions ago, do you think they would place their bets on the little mammals scurrying to keep from underfoot of the big dinosaurs.

Perhaps they might conclude that the mammallian structure was the most sophisticated with warm bloodedness. But there's no way they could predict the human race back then.

Mammal's rise is thought to be due to a pure chance event of a onece an eon meteor strike.

And human's rise of intelligence might be the chance of receding forests in which we had to make a go on the savannah, or something like that. All chance, if not randomness.


If the dinosaurs didn't become extinct then they would probably be the ones to evolve intelligence. So, They may not of placed their bets on mammals but they still would of placed their bets on intelligence emerging on Earth somewhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Deist Answer to Absurdity   Thu May 22, 2008 1:24 pm

Gnomon wrote:
Aaron wrote:
I guess I'm somewhere between ET and IE because I think that the "designer" in the IE theory is itself an emergent process.

That raises the old chicken & egg question: which came first, the design or the designer? Since I am a designer by profession, I have difficulty imagining how the process would work in reverse.

However, if I ignore the chicken sh*t, the idea of God self-creating has a sort of perverse appeal. It reminds me of the Escher picture of hands drawing themselves. The bottom line is "I just don't know for sure". But the designer designing is my story, for now, and I'm sticking to it.

I believe the idea of self creating is illogical. To create yourself you must first exist and if you exist then you didn't create yourself.
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