Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby patrick » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:44 am

I've noticed a lot of atheists have a disinterest or distrust of philosophy. I think everyone can acknowledge that science has a philosophy which underpins it, but perhaps many see philosophy as largely stating the obvious.

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby Philip » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:17 am

Patrick: I've noticed a lot of atheists have a disinterest or distrust of philosophy. I think everyone can acknowledge that science has a philosophy which underpins it, but perhaps many see philosophy as largely stating the obvious.


A few dictionary definitions of philosophy:

"A particular set of ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life, etc."

"The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline."

One's philosophy is basically an assemblage of one's perceived truths as to how things actually are and how they came to be. Atheists, agnostics, deists, theists of every stripe, and Christians ALL have a basic philosophy through how they believe things are/how they came to be, and how they should live their life according to their own philosophical beliefs.

Perhaps why some atheists distrust philosophy is because, as they believe that there is no God or intelligent cause for all that exists, they must eventually accept and understand that there HAD to be something that pre-existed life and the universe that was ETERNAL! Why, because NOTHING comes from nothing, and everything was caused by or derived from some prior thing. ALL scientific study and analysis is predicated upon those facts. Science is the study of causes and effects - made possible, not by constant RANDOMNESS, but by the incredible consistency and precision functionality and interactively so of all that exists. And what IS random STILL operates withing locked parameters as to what is possible for it. Scientific analysis would be impossible and pointless without these facts. Science overwhelming postulates that ALL physical matter, in fact everything that physically exists, once did not, and mere moments later, burst into existence with incredible power, functionality and design. At the Big Bang, what came into existence displayed the precise opposite characteristics of randomness, as things that "popped" into physical existence did so with marvelous, breathtaking design and functionality. The "Big Bang" term falsely communicates the idea of a random, chaotic burst of energy driving random things - which scientists overwhelmingly state much the opposite of.

So, INFORMED atheists have one HUGE problem: They assert there is no God, and yet they know science asserts all physical matter, energy, and every building block of the universe that once did not exist, HAD to have come from some source, as they instantly came into physical existence with awesome design and function. Yes, there was a point of singularity from which all things burst. So, where did the singularity come from???!!! Where did its potential and astoundingly revealed stupendous design, energy and marvelously functioning designs come from? Do random, NON-INTELLIGENT, pre-existing, NON-physical things (however you might describe the origins of Singularity), have the capability of self-assembling and gaining intelligence, recognizing advantages, strategize, learn how to intricately design, to brilliantly interact, and are able to accumulate the immense energy required to empower such stupendous designs of physical things instantly bursting into physical reality with such precision, on such an enormous scale???!!! So the non-physical became physical, exhibited extraordinary design, function and unfathomable precision in how all of these things INSTANTLY operated - essentially, atheists much believe that things operating with great intelligence and immense power (things we can scarcely today understand the bare bones function of, today) can happen WITHOUT an intelligent cause or without SOMETHING having been eternal from it all to come from. That the non-physical became both physical and INSTANTLY with incalculable power, revealing insane, incomprehensible complexity, design and functionality, means that the atheist cannot rely on simply saying, "Yes, B through Z just happens to exist as it does" - because basic logic dictates that there MUST have been, HAD to have been, an "A" for ANYTHING to exist, much less things revealing massive intelligence and power.

And for atheists, as they know that "B through Z" must have had an origin, and as they also should realize NO science can reveal or know that - WHATEVER "A" was - "It" had to pre-exist all that ever existed, AND so "It" also HAD to be ETERNAL! Patrick, do you not realize that the Source of all things HAD to be ETERNAL? Why? Because NOTHING can create itself. It has to either be created or derived by or from some OTHER source. As, obviously, there would be nothing existing to create that first source.

So, the atheist must confront the above, knowing that whatever "A" - the Cause that pre-existed all - was - had to be eternal and that this could be a variety of things - whether a god, gods, the Christian God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, or whatever other entities. The honest atheist must also recognize that WHATEVER "A" was, it had to have been extremely intelligent - beyond all we know - and unbelievably powerful. Why? Because that the things that came into existence at the very moment of the Big Bang displayed these amazing characteristics.

As there is no PHYSICAL or SCIENTIFIC explanation or analysis that can reveal the source ("A") of the universe, that leads the thinking atheist to contemplate the philosophical possibilities of that source, AND to recognize that, NO MATTER WHAT THEY BELIEVE, or what you are I might believe about "It," that Source was/IS whatever it is - or WHO it is - and that the truth of THAT identity does not change because A) we may not like the implications of what that Source might mean for us, or B) that we don't believe "It" to be possible, or C) whatever other identity we might like to assert that Source to be - none of that changes the truth of what/Who that source was/IS. Because, HISTORICALLY, at the beginning of time/The Big Bang, SOMETHING or Some Entity is responsible for the Big Bang and all we know. And NOTHING ANY man or group believes will change what the Identity of that Source was/IS!

So, as the atheist ultimately must realize that nothing physically known - or otherwise known or speculated upon - can be PROVEN to be the Source that all things came from - and realizing there HAD to have been such a source - leads them to philosophical musings as to what that Source might be and what characteristics it has. But that three things about that source are undeniable: That Originating Source was Eternal, Supremely Intelligent (beyond all we can grasp), and indescribably Powerful! And, again, one's belief won't change what or Whom that Source actually was/IS!

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby Kenny » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:23 am

patrick wrote:I've noticed a lot of atheists have a disinterest or distrust of philosophy. I think everyone can acknowledge that science has a philosophy which underpins it, but perhaps many see philosophy as largely stating the obvious.

This is interesting. I've never heard of atheists having a distrust of philosophy. Who are these atheists you speak of? Is it Dawkins, and some of the other known atheists often mentioned here or are they just atheists you personally have met or known?

Ken

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby Kenny » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:31 am

Philip wrote:
Patrick: I've noticed a lot of atheists have a disinterest or distrust of philosophy. I think everyone can acknowledge that science has a philosophy which underpins it, but perhaps many see philosophy as largely stating the obvious.


A few dictionary definitions of philosophy:

"A particular set of ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life, etc."

"The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline."

One's philosophy is basically an assemblage of one's perceived truths as to how things actually are and how they came to be. Atheists, agnostics, deists, theists of every stripe, and Christians ALL have a basic philosophy through how they believe things are/how they came to be, and how they should live their life according to their own philosophical beliefs.

Perhaps why some atheists distrust philosophy is because, as they believe that there is no God or intelligent cause for all that exists, they must eventually accept and understand that there HAD to be something that pre-existed life and the universe that was ETERNAL! Why, because NOTHING comes from nothing, and everything was caused by or derived from some prior thing. ALL scientific study and analysis is predicated upon those facts. Science is the study of causes and effects - made possible, not by constant RANDOMNESS, but by the incredible consistency and precision functionality and interactively so of all that exists. And what IS random STILL operates withing locked parameters as to what is possible for it. Scientific analysis would be impossible and pointless without these facts. Science overwhelming postulates that ALL physical matter, in fact everything that physically exists, once did not, and mere moments later, burst into existence with incredible power, functionality and design. At the Big Bang, what came into existence displayed the precise opposite characteristics of randomness, as things that "popped" into physical existence did so with marvelous, breathtaking design and functionality. The "Big Bang" term falsely communicates the idea of a random, chaotic burst of energy driving random things - which scientists overwhelmingly state much the opposite of.

So, INFORMED atheists have one HUGE problem: They assert there is no God, and yet they know science asserts all physical matter, energy, and every building block of the universe that once did not exist, HAD to have come from some source, as they instantly came into physical existence with awesome design and function. Yes, there was a point of singularity from which all things burst. So, where did the singularity come from???!!! Where did its potential and astoundingly revealed stupendous design, energy and marvelously functioning designs come from? Do random, NON-INTELLIGENT, pre-existing, NON-physical things (however you might describe the origins of Singularity), have the capability of self-assembling and gaining intelligence, recognizing advantages, strategize, learn how to intricately design, to brilliantly interact, and are able to accumulate the immense energy required to empower such stupendous designs of physical things instantly bursting into physical reality with such precision, on such an enormous scale???!!! So the non-physical became physical, exhibited extraordinary design, function and unfathomable precision in how all of these things INSTANTLY operated - essentially, atheists much believe that things operating with great intelligence and immense power (things we can scarcely today understand the bare bones function of, today) can happen WITHOUT an intelligent cause or without SOMETHING having been eternal from it all to come from. That the non-physical became both physical and INSTANTLY with incalculable power, revealing insane, incomprehensible complexity, design and functionality, means that the atheist cannot rely on simply saying, "Yes, B through Z just happens to exist as it does" - because basic logic dictates that there MUST have been, HAD to have been, an "A" for ANYTHING to exist, much less things revealing massive intelligence and power.

And for atheists, as they know that "B through Z" must have had an origin, and as they also should realize NO science can reveal or know that - WHATEVER "A" was - "It" had to pre-exist all that ever existed, AND so "It" also HAD to be ETERNAL! Patrick, do you not realize that the Source of all things HAD to be ETERNAL? Why? Because NOTHING can create itself. It has to either be created or derived by or from some OTHER source. As, obviously, there would be nothing existing to create that first source.

So, the atheist must confront the above, knowing that whatever "A" - the Cause that pre-existed all - was - had to be eternal and that this could be a variety of things - whether a god, gods, the Christian God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, or whatever other entities. The honest atheist must also recognize that WHATEVER "A" was, it had to have been extremely intelligent - beyond all we know - and unbelievably powerful. Why? Because that the things that came into existence at the very moment of the Big Bang displayed these amazing characteristics.

As there is no PHYSICAL or SCIENTIFIC explanation or analysis that can reveal the source ("A") of the universe, that leads the thinking atheist to contemplate the philosophical possibilities of that source, AND to recognize that, NO MATTER WHAT THEY BELIEVE, or what you are I might believe about "It," that Source was/IS whatever it is - or WHO it is - and that the truth of THAT identity does not change because A) we may not like the implications of what that Source might mean for us, or B) that we don't believe "It" to be possible, or C) whatever other identity we might like to assert that Source to be - none of that changes the truth of what/Who that source was/IS. Because, HISTORICALLY, at the beginning of time/The Big Bang, SOMETHING or Some Entity is responsible for the Big Bang and all we know. And NOTHING ANY man or group believes will change what the Identity of that Source was/IS!

So, as the atheist ultimately must realize that nothing physically known - or otherwise known or speculated upon - can be PROVEN to be the Source that all things came from - and realizing there HAD to have been such a source - leads them to philosophical musings as to what that Source might be and what characteristics it has. But that three things about that source are undeniable: That Originating Source was Eternal, Supremely Intelligent (beyond all we can grasp), and indescribably Powerful! And, again, one's belief won't change what or Whom that Source actually was/IS!

You seem to be making a lot of claims that you attribute to science, that isn't claimed by science, and you seem to make a bunch of assumptions about Atheists that does not apply to atheists.

Ken

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby Kurieuo » Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:26 pm

Kenny wrote:
patrick wrote:I've noticed a lot of atheists have a disinterest or distrust of philosophy. I think everyone can acknowledge that science has a philosophy which underpins it, but perhaps many see philosophy as largely stating the obvious.

This is interesting. I've never heard of atheists having a distrust of philosophy. Who are these atheists you speak of? Is it Dawkins, and some of the other known atheists often mentioned here or are they just atheists you personally have met or known?

Ken

Don't like talking about her without her being here, but Audie was one. Stephen Hawking is another.
And true, many of the Positive Atheist crowd or on the Scientism bandwagon consider philosophy nothing.
Really I think many just don't understand what it is, picture people rubbing their navels contemplating meaningless questions.
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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby Philip » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:26 pm

Ken: You seem to be making a lot of claims that you attribute to science, that isn't claimed by science


Please explain - this should be interesting!

Ken: and you seem to make a bunch of assumptions about Atheists that does not apply to atheists.


Again, please explain! Name just ONE false thing. Excepting perhaps that some might believe SOMETHING was/is eternal. But do they believe that "something" has intelligence? Was such intelligence blindly and randomly accumulated? Do tell!

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby Kenny » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:28 pm

Kurieuo wrote:
Kenny wrote:
patrick wrote:I've noticed a lot of atheists have a disinterest or distrust of philosophy. I think everyone can acknowledge that science has a philosophy which underpins it, but perhaps many see philosophy as largely stating the obvious.

This is interesting. I've never heard of atheists having a distrust of philosophy. Who are these atheists you speak of? Is it Dawkins, and some of the other known atheists often mentioned here or are they just atheists you personally have met or known?

Ken

Don't like talking about her without her being here, but Audie was one. Stephen Hawking is another.
And true, many of the Positive Atheist crowd or on the Scientism bandwagon consider philosophy nothing.
Really I think many just don't understand what it is, picture people rubbing their navels contemplating meaningless questions.

Thanks for answering the question.

Ken

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby Kenny » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:31 pm

Philip wrote:
Ken: You seem to be making a lot of claims that you attribute to science, that isn't claimed by science


Please explain - this should be interesting!

Ken: and you seem to make a bunch of assumptions about Atheists that does not apply to atheists.


Again, please explain! Name just ONE false thing. Excepting perhaps that some might believe SOMETHING was/is eternal. But do they believe that "something" has intelligence? Was such intelligence blindly and randomly accumulated? Do tell!




Philip
Science overwhelming postulates that ALL physical matter, in fact everything that physically exists, once did not, and mere moments later, burst into existence with incredible power,

Reply
Science does not claim a point in history when nothing existed. Science goes as far back as the Big bang, and even that starts with a singularity. Prior to the Big Bang? They don’t claim to know.

Philip
So, INFORMED atheists have one HUGE problem: They assert there is no God, and yet they know science asserts all physical matter, energy, and every building block of the universe that once did not exist, HAD to have come from some source, as they instantly came into physical existence with awesome design and function.

Reply
Here you seem to suggest if someone doesn’t believe theistic claims, they are required to believe scientific claims. Consider the possibility the same skepticism applied to theism is also applied to science.

Philip
And for atheists, as they know that "B through Z" must have had an origin, and as they also should realize NO science can reveal or know that - WHATEVER "A" was - "It" had to pre-exist all that ever existed, AND so "It" also HAD to be ETERNAL! Patrick, do you not realize that the Source of all things HAD to be ETERNAL? Why? Because NOTHING can create itself. It has to either be created or derived by or from some OTHER source. As, obviously, there would be nothing existing to create that first source.


Reply
Going by your analogy, whatever “A” is, it doesn’t have to be singular, it could be multiple, and it doesn’t have to be intelligent, or conscious.


Philip
So, the atheist must confront the above, knowing that whatever "A" - the Cause that pre-existed all - was - had to be eternal and that this could be a variety of things - whether a god, gods, the Christian God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, or whatever other entities. The honest atheist must also recognize that WHATEVER "A" was, it had to have been extremely intelligent - beyond all we know - and unbelievably powerful. Why? Because that the things that came into existence at the very moment of the Big Bang displayed these amazing characteristics.

Reply
Here you seem to be saying; “we haven’t observed “X” happening, only “Y” therefore, “X” is impossible. I disagree; observing “Y” happen is only evidence that “Y” happens; it isn’t proof that “X” cannot happen.

Ken

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby Philip » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:09 pm

Ken: Science does not claim a point in history when nothing existed. Science goes as far back as the Big bang, and even that starts with a singularity. Prior to the Big Bang? They don’t claim to know.


Let's see: Alexander Vilenkin, Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University, a theoretical physicist who has been working in the field of cosmology for 25 years, has written over 150 papers. He introduced the idea of quantum creation of the universe from a quantum vacuum. His work in cosmic strings has been pivotal: "The universe had a distinct beginning"— though he can’t pinpoint the time. After 35 years of looking backward, he says, he’s "found that before our universe there was nothing, nothing at all, not even time itself."

Philip: So, INFORMED atheists have one HUGE problem: They assert there is no God, and yet they know science asserts all physical matter, energy, and every building block of the universe that once did not exist, HAD to have come from some source, as they instantly came into physical existence with awesome design and function.


Ken: Here you seem to suggest if someone doesn’t believe theistic claims, they are required to believe scientific claims. Consider the possibility the same skepticism applied to theism is also applied to science.


Ken, that is a meaningless statement! NO one believes that the things that make up the universe did not have a source! Do YOU???!!! Do you believe ANYTHING can come from nothing? What? Name just one thing! You can't! And HOW? If so, that's a baseless metaphysical belief! Typically, scientists who are not theists believe that something most certainly DID pre-date the universe, AND that the ultimate source of things had to always exist. That doesn't meant they claim to know WHAT that thing was, but pure logic dictates that NOTHING comes from NOTHING, and that SOMETHING had to be eternal!

Philip: And for atheists, as they know that "B through Z" must have had an origin, and as they also should realize NO science can reveal or know that - WHATEVER "A" was - "It" had to pre-exist all that ever existed, AND so "It" also HAD to be ETERNAL! Patrick, do you not realize that the Source of all things HAD to be ETERNAL? Why? Because NOTHING can create itself. It has to either be created or derived by or from some OTHER source. As, obviously, there would be nothing existing to create that first source.


Ken: Going by your analogy, whatever “A” is, it doesn’t have to be singular, it could be multiple, and it doesn’t have to be intelligent, or conscious.


No, a logical possibility is that "A" could have been multiples of something. But that it also HAD to first be eternal/uncreated and that it HAD to be vastly intelligence is obvious. Rocks left in the backyard for billions of years don't eventually develop the ability to do calculus! NON-intelligent things don't assemble themselves, configure, design, recognize possibilities of associations, strategize, etc. Non-intelligent things only have random, blind possibilities. And the energy they have runs down. They just ARE! To believe that random, unliving, things of pure matter, randomly, and given immense periods of time, developed stupendous abilities, to design a universe we scarcely can understand - well, I guess one can convince themselves of anything. But one thing is certain, it is not a belief based upon ANY observations. It is a baseless belief that something unproven could do what is considered staggeringly impossible, even on just a few basic levels - and much less for a necessarily interdependent and necessarily massively complex, and comprehensively interactive and vast array of systems of wonders design and functions we know so little about. This also means blind random things were able to gather and obtain massive power, somehow gained the ability to utilize it, with phenomenal precision. This is illogical metaphysics, to believe any amount of time and blind, random, and non-living things could produce such!

Philip
So, the atheist must confront the above, knowing that whatever "A" - the Cause that pre-existed all - was - had to be eternal and that this could be a variety of things - whether a god, gods, the Christian God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, or whatever other entities. The honest atheist must also recognize that WHATEVER "A" was, it had to have been extremely intelligent - beyond all we know - and unbelievably powerful. Why? Because that the things that came into existence at the very moment of the Big Bang displayed these amazing characteristics.


Ken: Here you seem to be saying; “we haven’t observed “X” happening, only “Y” therefore, “X” is impossible. I disagree; observing “Y” happen is only evidence that “Y” happens; it isn’t proof that “X” cannot happen.


So, Ken, are you asserting that it might be possible that something can come into existence uncaused, or that isn't derivative from some pre-existing source???!!! Do you not realize that ONLY an eternal thing can self exist? As a thing cannot SELF create, then it is either eternal or had some source. This is logic 101. To believe otherwise is to deny basic logic - scientific, intuitive and otherwise!

Ken, you fail to admit that something astonishingly powerful and intelligent, which HAD to be eternal, produced our universe of massive, unfathomable complexity, astonishing designs, and incredible range of intricate functionalities! You can argue all day long about WHAT that source might have been, but what you deny is basic logic necessary to the origins of ALL existing things, when you assert explanations ONLY found in metaphysics, well, what is a person to think?

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby patrick » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:54 pm

Kenny wrote:
patrick wrote:I've noticed a lot of atheists have a disinterest or distrust of philosophy. I think everyone can acknowledge that science has a philosophy which underpins it, but perhaps many see philosophy as largely stating the obvious.

This is interesting. I've never heard of atheists having a distrust of philosophy. Who are these atheists you speak of? Is it Dawkins, and some of the other known atheists often mentioned here or are they just atheists you personally have met or known?

Ken


Both, though I'd emphasize they have "disinterest OR distrust." I really don't know which it is. And of course there are a lot of Christians who have a similar attitude. I just asked in case it struck a chord with anyone.

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:09 am

Here, on this board, you won't find a distrust of philosophy amongst Christians. However, I've listened to various respected Christian pastors in the early 20th century, of the Evangelical type, and many are very skeptical of philosophy. Such will never lead one to Christ, and their concerns are valid. Sadly, many Christians discarded philosophical reason altogether and I reckon are more of a mess because of it.

They just disrespected the "wisdom of men", whether that was philosophy or modern science, and look at their own foolish cult-like beliefs and offerings they replaced it with. People, like William Lane Craig, are an exception and not the norm; yet thanks to people like him and other apologists, Christianity is very much I think at the forefront of philosophy, thinking logically and rationally, just like many prominent Christian thinkers in the distant past. Mind you, Catholicism has a sustained track record I suppose, I'm more referring to the Evangelical contingent like the Christians on this board kind of hail from.

On the back of that, now many Atheists and non-believers feel threatened. Don't know how to respond, but they know it's not true, God doesn't exist, because to think otherwise is just stupid. You need "faith" to believe in God and the like, right? Who needs faith, I believe in "science and reason" (really they mean they believe in their opinion, and believe their opinion is backed by science and reason). So then, this "philosophy" that many Christians online seem to fuss about in their arguments and presenting evidence for God's existence, pfft! Please. Philosophy schmilosophy. Been around millennia and doesn't give us any answers. Science does, is much more practical and relevant.

People just don't like that which they feel threatened by. That many strongly reject God also reject philosophy, disparage it and put it down, says to me they feel threatened by such. Which you know, I guess we Christians should take a great satisfaction in. ;) They're like sawing of the branch of logic and reason while still sitting on it, like many something Christians who did so around a century or so ago.

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby JustThinking » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:54 pm

For many years I was an avid reader of philosophy; however, several years ago we met some Christians who who had been ensnared in aberrant thinking. As we tried to graciously listen to how they got to the places they were at, my wife picked up a theme...once this thread was recognized and we began pulling on it we found it at the bottom of all heresy that has plagued the Church over the centuries.

We saw a well worn path into the spiritual swamp that always started with a Bible verse and then the same words over and over....we call this errant thinking "IOSTRs" (I.e., It Only Stands To Reason). Thus a verse is quoted and then the speaker will then say "since Scripture says this or that, then "it only stands to reason" that such and such (which can't be supported in Scripture is posited as "truth"). We found this propensity within our own "camp" also.

As I went back and read many "theologians" I found this problem endemic.
Once we step outside the Word of God we are navigating in the sin cursed realm of man's thoughts which is susceptible to being drawn away into personal desires, denominational pressures and argumentative posturing as men argue one sin cursed fallen man's idea against another's.

Once we became cognizant of this philosophy that was masquerading as theology we have been able to sort out many areas that once caused consternation within ourselves and certainly with others.

So if you find a temptation to read a Bible verse and then use an IOSTR to leap out and build a monument to yourself and your "sarx" stop and remember what Paul said..."within me dwells no good thing".

The Roman Church and even Luther are the biggest purveyors of IOSTRs; consequently, there is much there that needs to be jettisoned from our hermenutic since we have no support "in" the Word of God.

I also found that the writings of mere men were drawing me away from God Himself. It got so bad that if there was a book on an end table by some great philosopher / theologian and the living Word of God next to it I was finding that I was gravitating to what sin cursed men like me had to say instead of the creator of this universe and lover of my soul...this was low grade idolatry...sin for sure.

Today I immerse my mind in the word of God alone, other than some historical context and the Word has now again become the cool spring water for my soul as it was before slipping away and being more impressed with clay pots than the potter Himself... shame on me.

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby Kenny » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:52 pm

Ken: Science does not claim a point in history when nothing existed. Science goes as far back as the Big bang, and even that starts with a singularity. Prior to the Big Bang? They don’t claim to know.


Philip wrote:Let's see: Alexander Vilenkin, Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University, a theoretical physicist who has been working in the field of cosmology for 25 years, has written over 150 papers. He introduced the idea of quantum creation of the universe from a quantum vacuum. His work in cosmic strings has been pivotal: "The universe had a distinct beginning"— though he can’t pinpoint the time. After 35 years of looking backward, he says, he’s "found that before our universe there was nothing, nothing at all, not even time itself."


I’ve searched several sites about Alexander Vilenkin and I haven’t been able to find any quote from him about a point in history when nothing existed at all. Perhaps you can provide a link where he is quoted as saying this.

Philip: So, INFORMED atheists have one HUGE problem: They assert there is no God, and yet they know science asserts all physical matter, energy, and every building block of the universe that once did not exist, HAD to have come from some source, as they instantly came into physical existence with awesome design and function.


Ken: Here you seem to suggest if someone doesn’t believe theistic claims, they are required to believe scientific claims. Consider the possibility the same skepticism applied to theism is also applied to science.


Philip wrote:Ken, that is a meaningless statement! NO one believes that the things that make up the universe did not have a source! Do YOU???!!! Do you believe ANYTHING can come from nothing? What? Name just one thing! You can't! And HOW? If so, that's a baseless metaphysical belief! Typically, scientists who are not theists believe that something most certainly DID pre-date the universe, AND that the ultimate source of things had to always exist. That doesn't meant they claim to know WHAT that thing was, but pure logic dictates that NOTHING comes from NOTHING, and that SOMETHING had to be eternal!


Everything you just said had nothing to do with the point I’ve made. In case you forgot, I said
“Don’t assume because an atheist doesn’t believe theistic claims that they are automatically going to accept all scientific claims. The same skepticism applied to theism can also be applied to science as well.”
That is the only point I was making. I said nothing about something coming from nothing, something predating the Universe, and all that other noise you bringing into the picture. Now if you want to ask that question, find; but don’t do it in the context of responding to a claim I’ve made; first things first.

Philip: And for atheists, as they know that "B through Z" must have had an origin, and as they also should realize NO science can reveal or know that - WHATEVER "A" was - "It" had to pre-exist all that ever existed, AND so "It" also HAD to be ETERNAL! Patrick, do you not realize that the Source of all things HAD to be ETERNAL? Why? Because NOTHING can create itself. It has to either be created or derived by or from some OTHER source. As, obviously, there would be nothing existing to create that first source.


Ken: Going by your analogy, whatever “A” is, it doesn’t have to be singular, it could be multiple, and it doesn’t have to be intelligent, or conscious.


Philip wrote:No, a logical possibility is that "A" could have been multiples of something. But that it also HAD to first be eternal/uncreated and that it HAD to be vastly intelligence is obvious. Rocks left in the backyard for billions of years don't eventually develop the ability to do calculus! NON-intelligent things don't assemble themselves, configure, design, recognize possibilities of associations, strategize, etc. Non-intelligent things only have random, blind possibilities. And the energy they have runs down. They just ARE! To believe that random, unliving, things of pure matter, randomly, and given immense periods of time, developed stupendous abilities, to design a universe we scarcely can understand - well, I guess one can convince themselves of anything. But one thing is certain, it is not a belief based upon ANY observations. It is a baseless belief that something unproven could do what is considered staggeringly impossible, even on just a few basic levels - and much less for a necessarily interdependent and necessarily massively complex, and comprehensively interactive and vast array of systems of wonders design and functions we know so little about. This also means blind random things were able to gather and obtain massive power, somehow gained the ability to utilize it, with phenomenal precision. This is illogical metaphysics, to believe any amount of time and blind, random, and non-living things could produce such!


An unintelligent sperm and an unintelligent egg can come together and produce the most brilliant mind known in the Universe; happens all the time. Now I know the sperm and egg comes from an intelligent source, but how do you know multiple other non intelligent things can’t come together and produce something that evolves into something intelligent? As I said before, just because we haven’t observed “A” happening doesn’t mean it can’t.

Philip
So, the atheist must confront the above, knowing that whatever "A" - the Cause that pre-existed all - was - had to be eternal and that this could be a variety of things - whether a god, gods, the Christian God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, or whatever other entities. The honest atheist must also recognize that WHATEVER "A" was, it had to have been extremely intelligent - beyond all we know - and unbelievably powerful. Why? Because that the things that came into existence at the very moment of the Big Bang displayed these amazing characteristics.


Ken: Here you seem to be saying; “we haven’t observed “X” happening, only “Y” therefore, “X” is impossible. I disagree; observing “Y” happen is only evidence that “Y” happens; it isn’t proof that “X” cannot happen.


Philip wrote:So, Ken, are you asserting that it might be possible that something can come into existence uncaused, or that isn't derivative from some pre-existing source???!!! Do you not realize that ONLY an eternal thing can self exist? As a thing cannot SELF create, then it is either eternal or had some source. This is logic 101. To believe otherwise is to deny basic logic - scientific, intuitive and otherwise!
[/quote]

I believe it is the first law of thermodynamics that states energy cannot be neither created nor destroyed, it only changes forms.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... destroyed/

And of course energy can be converted to mass and visa versa

http://www.jick.net/~jess/hr/skept/EMC2/node9.html

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby RickD » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:28 pm

Kenny,

Regarding Alexander Vilenkin, this may be of interest to you.
http://sites.tufts.edu/physics/files/2013/09/vilenkin_article_8_29_13.pdf

FYI,

I simply googled the quote that Philip posted above, and this link came up.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Is philosophy worthwhile? Does it just state the obvious?

Postby Philip » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:40 am

Ken: Everything you just said had nothing to do with the point I’ve made. In case you forgot, I said
“Don’t assume because an atheist doesn’t believe theistic claims that they are automatically going to accept all scientific claims. The same skepticism applied to theism can also be applied to science as well.”
That is the only point I was making.


Ken, which basically means that you do not base your beliefs on anything other than the whims of your own desires. You apparently don't like the scientific implications of something prior to the universe that is eternal, and you don't like the theistic ones either - and neither did Einstein as he was forced to realize his "steady state" ideas were wrong. And for you to believe that non-intelligent, random things can assemble themselves, eventually producing astounding, unfathomable brilliance in complexity, design, functionality, AND that these individually so systems and things must perfectly interact likewise, shows me that you are willing to believe the absurd, the impossible, and that you do so without a shred of evidence. You also do so without a shred of basic logic or common sense!

Ken, I would say your basic problem is that you simply refuse to believe, basically, because you don't want to. AND you expect some unreasonable level of evidence perfectly packaged ONLY as YOU would find personally (though NOT intellectually) acceptable. And that means that ANY evidences that are supportive of God are automatically rejected. That's because you have your thinking switch set to reject all evidences you don't like the implications of - and as to whether those implications are derived from science or theology.

These things even Einstein understood well: The universe had a beginning. It had a beginner that was unfathomably powerful and intelligent. Its marvelous configurations and functionalities are DESIGNED by a superior intelligence. Yet, he did not accept that the God of the Bible was that Beginner. He refused belief in a relational God who had come to earth as a man.

And yet, as there was and is a Creator/Designer who made things with such breath-taking specificity, on such a scale, as He obviously produced the most intelligent creature (by FAR) on the planet, along with having left nothing to pure chance (as EVERYTHING on earth has locked parameters), does it make any sense that He created only ONE creature with such a mind and ability to understand and communicate, without He Himself communicating with that creature???!!! You see, to believe that a Superior Intelligence Who created with such detailed specifics, it makes no sense that man or the capabilities of which he was given is a mere accident. So, it stands to reason that this Creator would have interacted with man. So, what are the evidences of that? I say they are plenty AND powerful!

While the range of THEORIZED possibilities for the cause of all things is wide, their realistic, NECESSARY attributes are the same: That thing must be eternal, all powerful, immensely (beyond our understandings) intelligent. That is, collectively, what all of the evidences point to. Those entirely necessary attributes are basic logic. While the IDENTITY of that Cause is reasonably debatable, the unavoidable key attributes of "it" are NOT! And whether or not one believes it so, the attributes of the God of the Bible perfectly fits the key, necessary attributes of the Cause of the universe. This is also undeniable. Lastly, whatever the cause actually was/is, what we theorize or believe about it won't change what it actually is! The important question is: If you are WRONG about God, does it truly matter? As if the Bible is correct, EVERYTHING about that question matters immensely, and eternally!


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