Metaphysics Are Necessary

Note:  To anyone who is still reading my blog, thanks for sticking with me.  I was sick, hospital sick, and I was in no mood to finish this post.  Now that I’m back in action…here it goes.

It’s been an adventure using presuppositional apologetics these last two months or so.  I keep finding new arguments that atheists use against it, arguments I haven’t heard before.  Some arguments are based on a true understanding of the atheistic and Christian worldview while others are based on ignorance or irrationality.  What follows is of the latter.

First, let’s define some terms.  I might have already gone over these in previous post but redudancy is useful here.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines empiricism as:

1.  The view that experience, especially of the senses, is the only source of knowledge. 

2.  Employment of empirical methods, as in science.

They also define metaphysics as: 

1.  The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.

What atheists, and more specifically naturalists, are want to do, is to ignore that metaphysics exists at all, or that it is a pointless philosophical endeavor.  Instead believing that empiricism is the only route to which we can gain knowledge of anything.  It’s literally an anti-metaphysical bias.  This works well because then the atheist can ignore any metaphysical questions surrounding their worldview, and any metaphysical inconsistencies.  There are several problems with ignoring metaphysics . . .

The Epistemological Method is Not Neutral

Let’s define EpistemologyThe branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity.

What the atheist is basically saying is that the epistemology of modern science (indeed the modern, educated man!) is that only empiricism is the path to knowledge.  Meaning that only through our sense experience, the scientific method, and the rational reasoning that follows gains us true knowledge. 

Assuming the ultimacy of the human mind is NOT a neutral position!  The Christian position is that God’s self-existence and plan, as well as self-contained self-knowledge, is the presupposition of all created existence and knowledge.  In that case, all human knowledge should be self-consciously subordinated to that plan.  More importantly to this article, both the naturalistic presupposition and the Christian one, are metaphysical positions; both “examine the nature of reality.”

Metaphysics is Necessary to Epistemology

As I’ve argued before, worldviews are systems of presuppositions.  Since they are systems, they include metaphysics and epistemology.  You can’t extract epistemology and empiricism from your worldview and ignore metaphysics without being irrational and willfully ignorant.  How can they be divorced from each other when metaphysics “examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value”? These things necessarily affect what and how we know things. 

You cannot yank out your theory of knowledge from your theory of reality.  Your theory of knowledge RESTS UPON your theory of reality.  Without metaphysics, both your epistemology, and the empiricism that goes with it, would be floating in space with nothing underneath it.

For Example . . .

Like I said, this post was inspired by an atheist who made an argument riddled with anti-metaphysical bias.  This particular atheist is Freidenker85 over at Obsessed With Reality.  I would like to respond to some of things he stated as an example of anti-metaphysical bias and the irrationality that follows it.

Throughout your entire reply, you have simply ignored the fact that I do NOT believe in universal uniformity . . .I do believe that there’s uniformity in the space close to us and on earth because this has been exhibited.

You assume that uniformity has been shown in the “space close to us”, whatever that phrase means.  In order for this to be true you must have tested every square inch of the “space close to us” to find if acts the same way across the board.  This has not been done nor is it possible.

More than that, this “space close to us” uniformity is an argument of your own construction formed because you see the danger of my argument.  It is illogical to think that the universe would some how sustain a uniform “space close to us” while everything around us swarms in a chaotic, disorderly cosmos.  If you believe in the uniformity of the “space close to us”, then you believe in universal uniformity.  I’m sorry, there is just no way around it.  There is either universal uniformity or zero uniformity.  There is no middle ground.

 I PERSONALLY do not have any presupposition that it’s just the same as it is in our solar system as it is in some solar system on the edge of the universe, where things could just as well all be blue, fluffy and somehow shaped like elephants.

But even if I give you this “space close to us” stuff, you are begging the question.  Where did the universal uniformity in the “space close to us” come from?  Your belief that the “space close to us” is uniform is a metaphysical one!

Consistency is assumed because we use our past knowledge of consistency to induce it on the future.

As you’ve already stated, you’re new to this stuff so I’ll be kind here.  The statement above is a circular statement.  It can be sufficiently rewritten as “Consistency has happened in the past, so therefore, in the future, we assume nature to be like the past.”  This doesn’t follow.  That’s ok, and like you say, we have to make this circular assumption, and the assumption of induction, to do science.  That’s what we’re discussion.  You’re randomly occuring universe cannot explain why you assume that induction is valid.  “It is because it is” is not an answer.

We don’t have the comfort of your faith in an absolute God.

True, you don’t.  For this discussion, it also leaves you without explanations or reasons for your assumptions of induction and uniformity.  You must believe them with blind faith.

I thought you said that the existence of God is a metaphysical (and metaphysical alone) question: how can there be empirical evidence for God at the same time? Don’t YOU see the inconsistency there?

Yea, an individual’s theistic or non-theistic assumption is a metaphysical belief.  Therefore, there can be no absolute empirical evidence to dis-prove or prove this belief.  However, that does not exclude there being empirical evidence that suggests or points to God.  But, if I gave you fine-tuning evidence for God, you’d have an anti-fine tuning argument/evidence against God, based on your presupposition that He doesn’t exist.  That is why I’m attacking your basic assumptions in uniformity and asking you to explain them without God, which you have not done.

It’s an interesting metaphysical discussion, and I’d like to hear all sides of the story (since this is a somewhat subjective matter) – but really, in a scientific framestructure, I have no idea how the universe started, and I don’t see a scientific reason to attribute its creation to a metaphysical God. A metaphysical reason might be nice, good, and proper. It’s just not scientific, and thus will never be good enough for me.

See, this is your anti-metaphysical bias at full force, and I think a misunderstanding about what metaphysics is, which hopefully I cleared up earlier in this post.  You admit you have no metaphysical reason to assume nature is uniform because “I have no idea how the universe started . . .” yet you will still trust empiricism that is based on this uniformity you can’t explain.  This is illogical and inconsistent.  Having empirical evidence while being unable to explain how and why we can trust that evidence is not good enough for me.  I’ve got the whole package, you must blindly follow empiricism, literally ignoring your massive metaphysical problem.

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10 Comments on “Metaphysics Are Necessary”

  1. freidenker85 Says:

    Hi Eric, thank you for your lengthy reply. Let’s get to it, shall we?

    “More than that, this “space close to us” uniformity is an argument of your own construction formed because you see the danger of my argument. It is illogical to think that the universe would some how sustain a uniform “space close to us” while everything around us swarms in a chaotic, disorderly cosmos. If you believe in the uniformity of the “space close to us”, then you believe in universal uniformity”

    Um, yeah, it IS an argument of my own construciton. I, unlike you, do NOT try to represent all atheists, or even atheists at all. Only myself, Freidenker, the atheist.

    It’s also extremely bizarre that you point out that it’s illogical to believe in “near uniformity” without believing in “far uniformity” while also doing ample work to fight against the “belief of induction”. So if this is the way you want to dance it, let’s take your lead:

    According to your logic, in order for me to believe in “close uniformity”, I would have to test every square inch of the near universe. Actually, that’s wrong. I would have to test every infinitesemally small region of space in the near universe. Including the infinite amount of little spaces existing between my nose and my eyes. According to your logic, somewhere in between them, there’s zero gravity. In any case, I’ll divert the fire you point out to my anti-metaphysical misdemeanor by rephrasing myself in a way that might clear me of that charge:

    I believe in the close uniformity of all the spaces in the universe that have been tested. As far as I’m concerned, I have no idea what happens in some uncharted part of the earth that GPS sattelite information cannot access. Yes, I do USE induction – but there’s a difference between using induction and knowing something happened for a fact. Using induction is something I do because it’s been countlessly affrimed to lead to accurate results – but as far as my claim to near uniformity? Grab it and throw it out the window. I don’t need to subscribe to any non-evidence based faiths to accrue credence to this one. As far as the charges for non-evidence based beliefs, other than correctly “blaming me” for making the impossibly-to-be-proven assumption of induction, haven’t done anything.

    “If you believe in the uniformity of the “space close to us”, then you believe in universal uniformity. I’m sorry, there is just no way around it. There is either universal uniformity or zero uniformity. There is no middle ground.”

    Interesting. That’s also if you assume that I required some kind of non-evidence based faith to believe in a uniform close-space. I actually don’t find it too difficult to think up of a chaotic far universe, I can think up everything I want to. The onus of proof is upon you and me to point out that it’s anything otherwise.

    So now, naturally, I’m incapable and also unwilling to believe that everything that hasn’t reached my microscope is totally unpredictable (not to mention that this is the definition of paranoia, no thanks) – but induction, even courageous induction (not based on much) is still evidence-based. I can’t see the metaphysical crime there, Eric.

    “But even if I give you this “space close to us” stuff, you are begging the question. Where did the universal uniformity in the “space close to us” come from? Your belief that the “space close to us” is uniform is a metaphysical one!”

    It’s sad how far you’re reaching with one odd premise. I’ll skip denying it with argument hereof. Again, I did NOT say I know where this uniformity came out of. I think I rather clearly implied that i do not venture into things I do not know of, cannot probe or cannot, even in principle, investigate. This is a humility, of course, that I can only aspire to, but that was my argument. I don’t know why you keep insisting otherwise. You could just skip this whole “you are just as faithful as I am” stuff. Obviously, if I’m using only evidence as a source for my induction and you, in some cases, don’t, then we have some SERIOUS difference (be it metaphysical, call it as you will) in our worldviews.

    “As you’ve already stated, you’re new to this stuff so I’ll be kind here. The statement above is a circular statement. It can be sufficiently rewritten as “Consistency has happened in the past, so therefore, in the future, we assume nature to be like the past.” This doesn’t follow. That’s ok, and like you say, we have to make this circular assumption, and the assumption of induction, to do science. That’s what we’re discussion. You’re randomly occuring universe cannot explain why you assume that induction is valid. “It is because it is” is not an answer.”

    Um, yeah, duh. Of course it’s a circular argument. In fact, let me make it even worse for myself – Let’s say I’m using induction because I’m guessing. I’m pulling this whole “induction thing works” straight out of nowhere. Didn’t I point out that scientific hypotheses are of a similar nature? You get to check out the universe a bit, and then try some wacky, untested guess to see if it works. This circular argument, I’m afraid, is the basis of all science, and actually, everything that we know. Without it, well, we don’t know squat.

    It is because it is is not an answer. True. It is an assumption that science makes to exist. Only after this assumption is made can answers even be formulated. In a world without it, there are no possible answers, as it follows that if consistency is not assumed, then everything that you might say could be totally disregarded because it’ll mean nothing a nano-second afterwards.

    ” We don’t have the comfort of your faith in an absolute God.

    True, you don’t. For this discussion, it also leaves you without explanations or reasons for your assumptions of induction and uniformity. You must believe them with blind faith.”

    Let’s see… Your blind faith in a god that gives you uniformity and induction … on blind faith –

    is different than my “blind faith” in them without that god because…?

    I don’t see how positing some God is any help. You said it yourself, positing God is metaphysical. So, how is positing these things (metaphysical they are) without God any different?

    “Yea, an individual’s theistic or non-theistic assumption is a metaphysical belief. Therefore, there can be no absolute empirical evidence to dis-prove or prove this belief. However, that does not exclude there being empirical evidence that suggests or points to God.”

    Money quote. How can I prove a disbelief? No, seriously, tell me. I don’t HAVE any faith in the absence of God. I simply LACK a faith in the existence of one. How can I possibly prove this lack of faith? Other than saying that i possess it, that is? How can you do anything to prove the non-existence of magic wombats? The question itself is absurd. I don’t need to provide evidence for my absence of belief, it is you who needs to provide evidence for your positive belief. At least in science. I was talking about empirical evidence – pointing out to some God creature or other caught on tape/film/audio/whatever doing things like, say, create universes. This seems a harsh demand out of theism? Well, tough. Science has no mercy.

    I was talking about THAT kind of empirical evidence. Not something you can easily shoehorn to Thor. So you shoehorn it to Jesus or his Father. But why? Where’s the empirical support for this credit?

    Let me further emphasize that I think I made it clear that I don’t have a presupposition that God does not exist. In fact, my gut instinct tells me, and continues to tell me after years of atheism, that God DOES exist. However, it’s my eyes that tell me otherwise, or, to prevent further confusion – the lack of anything that comes to my eyes.

    My choice not to believe is a compromise I make to everything supernatural that I’ve ever been introduced to – Pandora, Zeus, Allah… Even space aliens, who somehow pass for natural beings

    I’m willing to guess that it’s exactly the case with you regarding the abovementioned things. You simply make an exception out of God because of… Well, I don’t know. If you said so, I didn’t get it or must have missed it.
    :

    I don’t believe in any of those things because no one that’s identified themselves as any of these characters, including your particular brand of God, ever turned up to be specifically assayed. You can induce what’s going on to the universe on everything you can think of. That’s why it’s irresponsible to induce it on ANYTHING without seeing that very same thing doing anything remotely like creating matter out of the vaccuum, or whatever it is that you accrue to God’s doing.

    It may not fit to Christian mythology, but it’s strictly within scientific restraints. You’ve failed to supply me (or I failed to notice) with any reasons why God should be an exception.

    ” It’s an interesting metaphysical discussion, and I’d like to hear all sides of the story (since this is a somewhat subjective matter) – but really, in a scientific framestructure, I have no idea how the universe started, and I don’t see a scientific reason to attribute its creation to a metaphysical God. A metaphysical reason might be nice, good, and proper. It’s just not scientific, and thus will never be good enough for me.

    See, this is your anti-metaphysical bias at full force, and I think a misunderstanding about what metaphysics is, which hopefully I cleared up earlier in this post. You admit you have no metaphysical reason to assume nature is uniform because “I have no idea how the universe started . . .” yet you will still trust empiricism that is based on this uniformity you can’t explain. This is illogical and inconsistent. Having empirical evidence while being unable to explain how and why we can trust that evidence is not good enough for me. I’ve got the whole package, you must blindly follow empiricism, literally ignoring your massive metaphysical problem.”

    Okay, thanks for giving me a nice, succint definition for metaphysics:

    “1. The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.”

    Goody. I sometimes make the metaphysical assumption of induction and consistency. Actually, I can’t help this assumption. It’s built-in. This, at face-value, is a problem – because I can’t explain this intuitive assumption. But neither you nor I can help ourselves. This is not an argument supporting induction, because there is nothing empirical to support induction – but it is a firm statement that’s saying that I’m anti-metaphysical is absolute rubbish. I’m all pro-metaphysics if I make metaphysical assumptions, according to your definition, without even being able to help it. The only thing I’m “anti-” of is “anti-gullibility” – exactly against the kind of characteristic required to allow super-heroes like God to exist without empirical evidence of Him, specifically, appearing.

    You give me a lot of philosophical lip on why it follows logically from the universe that a creator in it exists (which gets even worser if you try to shoehorn the bible into pointing out that this creator must be Jesus or his Father) – but you fail to give me any reason based on my cannot-be-helped-metaphysical-assumption to believe in him.

    Actually, after thoroughly reading your very lengthy reply, you haven’t pointed out, in no where whatsoever, what is the metaphysical reason you believe in your God, or in any gods, whatsoever. I would greatly appreciate if you pinpoint to this reason, or to anywhere you’ve written of this reason, in the beginning of any reply – since this might clarify our lack of mutual understanding.

  2. forknowledge Says:

    I’ve got the whole package, you must blindly follow empiricism, literally ignoring your massive metaphysical problem.

    I’ve got the whole package? If I may, a package being ‘whole’ is somewhat less impressive when several components of that package are empty.

  3. freidenker85 Says:

    Oh boy, I actually WROTE the word “worser”. I can’t say it’s because my native tongue is Hebrew (I’m Israeli, former Jew) – I make horrible mistakes in it too 🙂

  4. freidenker85 Says:

    forknowledge – I was referring to Eric’s ability to use induction and empirical reasoning. If he’s got that, then he’s just fine regaring these two (in my case only) components of reality-based thinking. I do agree that having completely useless extra baggage as a basis for this kind of reality-based thinking (even if it wasn’t contradictory, as it is, to such thinking) is pointless, at best.

  5. forknowledge Says:

    I was actually quoting a line from the last paragraph of the original post, not your reply. It just showed up after yours.

    (And I’d be relieved if ‘worser’ was the worst spelling mistake I ever made!)

  6. Eric Kemp Says:

    forknowledge

    “I’ve got the whole package? If I may, a package being ‘whole’ is somewhat less impressive when several components of that package are empty.”

    Well obviously, I don’t think I’m lacking in the empirical evidence department. When I say, “the whole package” I’m including empiricism. If you bear with me, my next post will be an empirical argument and we can discuss accordingly.

  7. forknowledge Says:

    Now you’re talking! Let’s see if you can fill a few of those gaps with something a bit more substantial.

  8. Eric Kemp Says:

    freidenker85

    “Hi Eric, thank you for your lengthy reply. Let’s get to it, shall we?”

    Generally I attempt to give opposing arguments their due respect. Let’s!

    “Um, yeah, it IS an argument of my own construciton. I, unlike you, do NOT try to represent all atheists, or even atheists at all. Only myself, Freidenker, the atheist.”

    As I cannot address every individual opinion in a post, I must research what the common position is and argue that. If someone disagrees, as you have, then we will discuss accordingly. I wouldn’t expect you to act like an expert in the field, and as such you can only represent yourself. However, immediately giving your opinion the status of “valid” just because it is your opinion does not lead to rational discussion.

    “Including the infinite amount of little spaces existing between my nose and my eyes. According to your logic, somewhere in between them, there’s zero gravity.”

    I am merely pointing out the semantics of claiming the word “know”. In order to “know” that nature is uniform we would have to test as you say. However, that isn’t to say that I believe that there is zero gravity between your nose and your eyes. Notice how I used the word “believe” there. I believe nature is uniform because I cannot “know” it. The question then becomes WHY I believe that nature is uniform. That is what we are discussing. My assertion is that atheists have no REASON for believing nature is uniform.

    “I believe in the close uniformity of all the spaces in the universe that have been tested.”

    So, in other words, an exteremely miniscule percentage of a massive whole?

    “Yes, I do USE induction – but there’s a difference between using induction and knowing something happened for a fact.”

    Of course, we all use induction. We have to, we have no choice. Why question is, why do we think we CAN use induction? Because of our belief in the uniformity of nature.

    “Using induction is something I do because it’s been countlessly affrimed to lead to accurate results.”

    You don’t use induction because it’s been proven, since proving something about the future is impossible. You use induction because you have no choice if you want to continue to do find science viable.

    “That’s also if you assume that I required some kind of non-evidence based faith to believe in a uniform close-space. I actually don’t find it too difficult to think up of a chaotic far universe, I can think up everything I want to.”

    See, now you’re just backpedaling. Just because you imagine something doesn’t make it a logical, useful argument. But if you were to fully imagine this chaotic universe, you would then be forced to imagine that science is a pointless endeavor. Repeating your assertion that the “space near us” is uniform without an explanation of why, without out any accounting for your belief that “somehow” uniformity can be violated some where else. You are basically saying “It is because it is”. This makes sense to you?

    “The onus of proof is upon you and me to point out that it’s anything otherwise.”

    No, no. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim to have no faith and then claim the onus of proof is on me. You are the one making absolute “I don’t need faith” statements. So far, all you’ve done, is just imagine scenarios in which you don’t need faith in absolute uniformity and attempt to pass them off as viable arguments.

    “but induction, even courageous induction (not based on much) is still evidence-based. I can’t see the metaphysical crime there, Eric.”

    Ok, I’ll show it to you. You have committed two: 1. There is no crime in trusting induction. I do the same. However, the crime comes when you you say you “know” induction is valid. When you deny the faith involved. 2. When you have no reason for having faith in induction. A universe that is able to have chaotic parts of it cannot be trusted to have uniform parts at all. To believe otherwise is irrational and just ignoring the problem.

    “I did NOT say I know where this uniformity came out of.”

    I never said you know where uniformity came from. In fact I know you don’t. Only the Christian can know where uniformity came from. As you have done, the atheist can only say “It is because it is”.

    “I think I rather clearly implied that i do not venture into things I do not know of, cannot probe or cannot, even in principle, investigate.”

    I want to clearly show you the inconsistency here. I will use one phenomena as an example, but there are many more. You cannot, even in principle, investigate the beginning of life. It happened in the unobservable, untestable and unfalsifiable past. You cannot possibly empirically investigate how the beginning could have come about. You have no idea of knowing the conditions 4.5 billion years ago and therefore you cannot recreate them. And yet, you believe that God was not needed. You believe that somehowe, life formed itself. It seems that you don’t venture into things you cannot investigate when it suits your argument, and do so when you must in order to deny God. This is an anti-supernatural bias and a naturalistic presupposition at it’s most blatant.

    “is different than my “blind faith” in them without that god because…?”

    God is an all-powerful, all-knowing sentient Being. He is able to explain our faith in induction and uniformity by having formed the Universe in this way. Your answer of “It is because it is” is not an explanation or a reason.

    “I don’t HAVE any faith in the absence of God. I simply LACK a faith in the existence of one.”

    Same exact thing, worded in a different way. I actually agree with you that we can’t “prove” a faith or a lack thereof, that was my point.

    “I don’t need to provide evidence for my absence of belief, it is you who needs to provide evidence for your positive belief.”

    You must realize how old and ridiculous this argument is. For example, if I was to say “Well I have a lack of belief in evolution, it is you who need to provide evidence for your belief in evolution.” You probe me by asking “What is your reason for not believing in evolution” and I repeat, “Nope, the onus of proof is on you”. Don’t you see how unphilosophical, unscientific, and irrational that is? It doesn’t matter how true it is that I need to provide evidence for God (which of course I believe I have), that doesn’t absolve you from needed a reason for your non-belief.

    But I am providing evidence for God. I’m going to give you some research to do. What I’m using is called the trancendental argument for God’s existence. The way I’m using it, it goes something like this. “The atheistic explanation of the universe “pure chance” can’t account for uniformity, only God can, yet here we are, in a uniform universe. Therefore God exists.”

    “So you shoehorn it to Jesus or his Father. But why? Where’s the empirical support for this credit? ”

    You have this objection to theism because you are ignoring your own “shoehorned” beliefs. You “shoehorn” the beginning of the universe and the beginning of life to “somehow naturalism did it without God”; being unable to catch the beginning of life on tape and all.

    “You simply make an exception out of God because of… Well, I don’t know. If you said so, I didn’t get it or must have missed it.”

    Yup, I have a God presupposition. But this presupposition allows me to explain uniformity and induction, while your non-God worldview doesn’t allow you to do this. You are stuck with “It is because it is”.

    “Actually, after thoroughly reading your very lengthy reply, you haven’t pointed out, in no where whatsoever, what is the metaphysical reason you believe in your God, or in any gods, whatsoever.”

    I apologize if I haven’t been clear in this so I’ll try to be as clear as possible. I’ll restate the transcendental argument in a different way. In a pure chance begat universe, we would not be able to trust science in any way. If the universe was truly brought about by chance, uniformity would not exist, nor would absolute logic laws (Law of Identity, Law of Non-contradiction, Law of Excluded Middle) that we utilize to make every day decisions (chance cannot create order by itself). Without these absolute, and universal, logical laws we would not be able to get out of bed in the morning. And yet, we are able to trust uniformity and to make decisions based on these logical laws. Our ability to do so is only explained through the Christian God. My case for why Elohim specifically, is made in my post “Why the Christian God?” so I won’t repeat it here.

  9. Eric Kemp Says:

    Btw, “more worser” is completely acceptable English in my book!

  10. freidenker85 Says:

    Hi Eric, thank you for our thorough reply. Since this discussion is getting kinda messy, I’m going to try focusing on fewer topics while replying, and yes, omit any regard for some of your arguments.

    First of all, let’s agree on a few things! 🙂

    “So, in other words, an exteremely miniscule percentage of a massive whole?”

    Yep, exactly. Actually, even more so: considering the fact that the space between my nose and my eyes is infinite, then, strictly speaking, (considering some elementary high math) – the percentage “aspires” to zero. (There’s probably a term for it in English. I’m afraid I learnt math in Hebrew, so I’m probably giving a bad translation here)

    “You don’t use induction because it’s been proven, since proving something about the future is impossible. You use induction because you have no choice if you want to continue to do find science viable.”

    Right again, but let’s broaden the term “science” a bit, shall we? Like I pointed out in my reply – if you didn’t believe in induction or consistency, it would be completely impossible to have any rational discussion AT ALL. If you do not naturally assume the past to be a credible source of information about the future, then anything you may say cannot be regarded as any evidence that you actually said it, still think the same way, or.. well, just thinking of a world without induction requires so much fuzzy logic, it makes my head spin.

    So if the question is “why we use induction” and my answer is “just because” and your answer is “God made me to” – I think that in the real world, the explanations are two of a kind. I use a parsimonious approach to knowledge and I gather that if there’s no causal link between anything I see or know about and the reason I am the way I am, then I do not posit any specified reason for this behavior. It would be better to rephrase my argument as “I don’t know” and not as “because I do.” – and that will be a lot more accurate.

    See, the problem I have with your explanation is that in the real world, making your assumption that a God-being made you “accept induction” or whatnot is completely the same as saying that you have no idea: You will use induction whether you believe in God or not – simply because that’s your nature, and the nature of most sane people on earth. You admitted it yourself, and still, whether or not there is evidence for God or any god for that matter, you still don’t need him as an explanation for something that happens all the time. If you know your parents gave birth to you, then you don’t need God to explain how you were made, and you don’t need God to explain something that you’d do perfectly well without knowing a thing about Him.

    So I’ll ask again: why do you need to posit an invisible creature that you couldn’t possibly understand in order of which to explain things that you do naturally even without doing so?

    “Ok, I’ll show it to you. You have committed two: 1. There is no crime in trusting induction. I do the same. However, the crime comes when you you say you “know” induction is valid. When you deny the faith involved. ”

    Interesting. Let’s look at the first charge: You say I “know” induction is valid – I’m not saying that I know it, I simply say I cannot help myself but using it. You don’t prove rational thought, you simply discover it, eventually. Not only that, if I hadn’t assumed it to be true after being well aware of the abstractions we humans give to these innate behavioral traits – then nothing I’d say, know or think I know about the universe’d make sense. It is, actually, impossible to live without this “assumption” – so, well, that kinda makes the whole discussion of whether or not induction is an “assumption” kinda fuzzy.

    “2. When you have no reason for having faith in induction. A universe that is able to have chaotic parts of it cannot be trusted to have uniform parts at all. To believe otherwise is irrational and just ignoring the problem.””

    I don’t get it – why not? ‘chaotic’ is merely an abstract terming meaning “stuff I can’t predict”. There’s stuff I can’t predict right here on earth. I know for a full fact that I can’t predict most of the universe, and I still know of uniformity or order or – call it what you like. I think it’d be ‘irrational’, more than ever, to continue discussing this vein before we both agree on a definition of chaos and order – because either you’re talking about something completely different, or you’re insisting on some principle for a reason I do not comprehend.

    “You must realize how old and ridiculous this argument is. For example, if I was to say “Well I have a lack of belief in evolution, it is you who need to provide evidence for your belief in evolution.” You probe me by asking “What is your reason for not believing in evolution””

    Well, trust me on this issue: if you ask me to provide you evidence for evolution, that’s 100% NOT what I’d say. I don’t use metaphysics/logic to answer questions about the real world – I use the tons of evidence I’m aware of/ went to classes and studied of/read about. If I ever do that, then our discussion would be on the same ground – but that’s not what we’re doing, right? We’re talking metaphysics here, so… we can’t use real-world phenomena to base our arguments about – we can only use abstract logic.

    But I digress. You were kind enough to state your argument precisely in the form of “the trancendental (sic) argument for God’s existence”. I’m not sure what exactly I need to research here, so prey tell me what’s missing besides the argument itself. Let’s bring it under the microscope:

    ““The atheistic explanation of the universe “pure chance” can’t account for uniformity, only God can, yet here we are, in a uniform universe. Therefore God exists.””

    Again with the straw people. Enough! I’ve spent paragraphs writing on what “chance” is and let me state this for emphasis: “pure chance” is a meaningless term. There’s no point in even talking about “chance” without a rigid statistical frame – so your argument regarding my belief is not only ridded with the straw-man fallacy, it’s also moot. If you’re using a term useful only in statistics and use God as one of the cases possible for the reason why the universe maybe uniform (assuming it is), then you’re doing some seriously bad statistics. Your argument uses only one possible non-explanation out of an infinite amount of other non-explanations. If we used “chance” in the rigor this term deserves – then the “chance” of God allowing the uniformity of the universe is practically zero when regarding anything else that’s invisible and can be conveniently posited as an explanation.

    The thing about statistics is that it’s rather pointless to use it for anything outside the real world – except in the study and research of math. If you use this tool happily while disregarding what makes or doesn’t make a sample – it becomes meaningless as your use of the term “pure chance”.

    For the umpteenth time – saying “I don’t know” does not equate “pure chance”. I’ve never heard of any scientist, atheist or not, who said he’s got it 100% sure that the big bang model is a 100% accurate description of the beginning of the cosmos, or even of something that occured after its beginning.

    I am sure, though, that saying “I don’t know” does not equate an unlearned assumption for “pure chance” – a term, as I’ve said, which is completely meaningless unless it means exactly the same thing.

    “So you shoehorn it to Jesus or his Father. But why? Where’s the empirical support for this credit? ”

    You have this objection to theism because you are ignoring your own “shoehorned” beliefs. You “shoehorn” the beginning of the universe and the beginning of life to “somehow naturalism did it without God”; being unable to catch the beginning of life on tape and all.”

    You’re not only sidestepping, you’re also projecting. Please answer the question.

    Why Jesus and/or his Father? What’s wrong with Yehuva alone? I was born and raised in Israel, to non-orthodox Jewish parents. I learnt in elementary schol, as part of the compulsary curriculum, that Yehuva Tsva’ot created the heavens and the earth. Since not one of my teacher mentioned any Jesus guy, I don’t see why this Yehuva creature is any worse a candidate than Jesus.

    Moreover, what’s wrong with Thor? Or Isis? Or Ba’al or Molech? These are Gods I learnt about… Some of them are even Gods my ancient ancestors (the Israelites) believed in while also believing in Yehuva! (I know it goes “Jahova” in English, but since I’m talking about the Jewish god, then I’m using the original pronunciation of the word)

    “In a pure chance begat universe, we would not be able to trust science in any way. If the universe was truly brought about by chance, uniformity would not exist”

    This is bit of a rehash of the “meaningless pure chance term argument”, but you are pointing out to something new here: the big money’s in “if the universe was truly brought about by chance” – whatever ‘chance’ may be, in this case, there’s no possible way you could know, even in principle, whether ‘chance’ could create a uniform or non-uniform world. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying you can’t know you’re right.

    Moreover, if you’re still using the term “chance” in the same meaningless way (as anything other than euphamism for “don’t know”) – then this argument is just as meaningless.

    “that we utilize to make every day decisions (chance cannot create order by itself)”

    Well, actually, that’s not true (given the accepted value of “chance” I learnt of in college and read about in textbooks). For certain values (I’m saying this because so far you haven’t used any clear definitions for “chance” and “order” besides an apparently subjective one) of “chance” and “order” – chance gives rise to order all the time. It’s not only an observed reality in biology (randomly operating social bacterial operate in non-random ways when placed together) – it is also a trivial fact in genetic algorithms that randomly operating elements can produce ordered structures. I have a close friend and a slightly “less close friend” who’ve personally used this principle either in professional programming (the close friend) or in academics. The close friend, by the way, emphasized that using such “chaos-to-order” algorithms is useful when dealing with open-ended problems… Which is just a different way of saying “a problem we have simply no idea how to predict its solution”.

    Rings a bell? The universe is a good problem. I bet my friend can’t solve that with C++, though. I persist in saying “I don’t know, and neither do you”. It’s more accurate than you accruing “I know/believe it was a cosmic fluke” or whatnot to me.


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