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The Atheist Perversion of Reality
April 5, 2009 | Jean F. Drew

Posted on 04/05/2009 8:10:35 PM PDT by betty boop

The Atheist Perversion of Reality
By Jean F. Drew

Atheism we have always had with us it seems. Going back in time, what was formerly a mere trickle of a stream has in the modern era become a raging torrent. Karl Marx’s gnostic revolt, a paradigm and methodology of atheism, has arguably been the main source feeding that stream in post-modern times.

What do we mean by “gnostic revolt?” Following Eric Voëgelin’s suggestions, our definition here will be: a refusal to accept the human condition, manifesting as a revolt against the Great Hierarchy of Being, the most basic description of the spiritual order of universal reality.

The Great Hierarchy is comprised of four partners: God–Man–World–Society, in their mutually dynamic relations. Arguably all the great world religions incorporate the idea of this hierarchy. It is particularly evident in Judaism and Christianity. One might even say that God’s great revelation to us in the Holy Bible takes this hierarchy and the relations of its partners as its main subject matter. It has also been of great interest to philosophers going back to pre-Socratic times — and evidently even to “anti-philosophers” such as Karl Marx.

In effect, Marx’s anti-philosophy abolishes the Great Hierarchy of Being by focusing attention mainly on the God and Man partners. The World and Society partners are subsidiary to that, and strangely fused: World is simply the total field of human social action, which in turn translates into historical societal forms.

Our principal source regarding the Marxist atheist position is Marx’s doctoral dissertation of 1840–1841. From it, we can deduce his thinking about the Man partner as follows:

(1) The movement of the intellect in man’s consciousness is the ultimate source of all knowledge of the universe. A human self-consciousness is the supreme divinity.

(2) “Faith and the life of the spirit are expressly excluded as an independent source of order in the soul.”

(3) There must be a revolt against “religion,” because it recognizes the existence of a realissimum beyond human consciousness. Marx cannot make man’s self-consciousness “ultimate” if this condition exists.

(4) The logos is not a transcendental spirit descending into man, but the true essence of man that can only be developed and expressed by means of social action in the process of world history. That is, the logos is “immanent” in man himself. Indeed, it must be, if God is abolished. And with God, reason itself is abolished as well: To place the logos in man is to make man the measure of all things. To do so ineluctably leads to the relativization of truth, and to a distorted picture of reality.

(5) “The true essence of man, his divine self-consciousness, is present in the world as the ferment that drives history forward in a meaningful manner.” God is not Lord of history, the Alpha and Omega; man is.

As Voëgelin concluded, “The Marxian spiritual disease … consists in the self-divinization and self-salvation of man; the intramundane logos of human consciousness is substituted for the transcendental logos…. [This] must be understood as the revolt of immanent consciousness against the spiritual order of the world.”

How Marx Bumps Off God
So much for Marx’s revolt. As you can see, it requires the death of God. Marx’s point of theocidal departure takes its further impetus from Ludwig von Feuerbach’s theory that God is an imaginary construction of the human mind, to which is attributed man’s highest values, “his highest thoughts and purest feelings.”

In short, Feuerbach inverts the very idea of the imago Dei — that man is created in the image of God. God is, rather, created by man, in man’s own image — God is only the illusory projection of a subjective human consciousness, a mere reflection of that consciousness and nothing more.

From this Feuerbach deduced that God is really only the projected “essence of man”; and from this, Feuerbach concluded that “the great turning point of history will come when ‘man becomes conscious that the only God of man is man himself.’”

For Marx, so far so good. But Marx didn’t stop there: For Feuerbach said that the “isolated” individual is the creator of the religious illusion, while Marx insisted that the individual has no particular “human essence” by which he could be identified as an isolated individual in the first place. For Marx, the individual in reality is only the sum total of his social actions and relationships: Human subjectivity has been “objectified.” Not only God is gone, but man as a spiritual center, as a soul, is gone, too.

Marx believed that God and all gods have existed only in the measure that they are experienced as “a real force” in the life of man. If gods are imagined as real, then they can be effective as such a force — despite the “fact” that they are not really real. For Marx, it is only in terms of this imaginary efficacy that God or gods can be said to “exist” at all.

Here’s the beautiful thing from Marx’s point of view: Deny that God or the gods can be efficacious as real forces in the life of man — on the grounds that they are the fictitious products of human imagination and nothing more — and you have effectively killed God.

This insight goes to the heart of atheism. In effect, Marx’s prescription boils down to the idea that the atheist can rid himself and the world at large of God simply by denying His efficacy, the only possible “real” basis of His existence. Evidently the atheist expects that, by his subjective act of will, he somehow actually makes God objectively unreal. It’s a kind of magic trick: The “Presto-Changeo!” that makes God “disappear.”

Note that, if God can be gotten rid of by a stratagem like this, so can any other aspect of reality that the atheist dislikes. In effect, the cognitive center which — strangely — has no “human essence” has the power of eliminating whatever sectors of objective reality it wants to, evidently in full expectation that reality itself will allow itself to be “reduced” and “edited down” to the “size” of the atheist’s distorted — and may we add relentlessly imaginary? — conception.

To agree with Marx on this — that the movement of the intellect in man’s “divine” consciousness is the ultimate source of all knowledge of the universe — is to agree that human thought determines the actual structure of reality.

Instead of being a part of and participant in reality, the atheist claims the power to create it as if he himself were transcendent to, or standing outside or “beyond” reality. As if he himself were the creator god.

This type of selective operation goes a long way towards explaining the fanatical hostility of many Darwinists today regarding any idea of design or hierarchy in Nature — which, by the way, have always been directly observable by human beings who have their eyes (and minds) open. What it all boils down to seems to be: If we don’t like something, then it simply doesn’t exist.

We call the products of such selective operations second realities. They are called this because they are attempts to displace and finally eliminate the First Reality of which the Great Hierarchy of Being — God–Man–World–Society — is the paradigmatic core.

First Reality has served as the unifying conceptual foundation of Western culture and civilization for the past two millennia at least. What better way to destroy that culture and civilization than an all-out attack on the Great Hierarchy of Being?

Thus we see how the gnosis (“wisdom”) of the atheist — in this particular case, Marx — becomes the new criterion by which all operations in (the severely reduced and deformed) external reality are to be conducted, understood, and judged.

Conclusion
Marx is the self-proclaimed Paraclete of an a-borning utopia in which man will be “saved” by being reduced to essentially nothing. With God “gone,” man, as we denizens of First Reality know him, disappears also.

But whatever is left of him becomes a tool for social action. He becomes putty in the hands of whatever self-selected, self-proclaimed Paraclete seeking to promote his favored Second Reality du jour (usually for his own personal benefit) manages to stride onto the public stage and command an audience.

Such a charmed person blesses himself with the power to change human society and history forever, to bring about man’s self-salvation in a New Eden — an earthly utopia— by purely human means.

Of course, there’s a catch: As that great denizen of First Reality, Sir Thomas More, eminently recognized, the translation into English of the New Latin word “utopia” is: No-place.

In short, human beings can conjure up alternative realities all day long. But that doesn't mean that they can make them “stick.” Reality proceeds according to its own laws, which are divine in origin, and so cannot be displaced by human desire or volition, individually or collectively.

And yet the Marxian expectation argues otherwise.

Out of such fantastic, idiotic, specifically Marxian/atheist foolishness have great revolutions been made. And probably will continue to be made — so long as psychopaths hold the keys to the asylum.

Note:
All quotations from Eric Voëgelin’s article, “Gnostic Socialism: Marx,” in: The Collected Works of Eric Voëgelin, Volume 26 — History of Political Ideas: Crisis and the Apocalypse of Man. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1999.

©2009 Jean F. Drew

April 4, 2009


TOPICS: Current Events; General Discusssion; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: atheism; atheists; culture; jeandrew; jeanfdrew; marx; reality; voegelin
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To: LeGrande; mrjesse; Fichori; TXnMA
You have come to this discussion a little late and I don't want to get bogged down in Galilean inertial frames.

The discussion of inertial frames applies to Lorentz transformations as well, which, like Galilean transformations, are linear. The transformations for rotational frames are not, which is why a rotating frame is not inertial.

The initial statement that I made was that an objects apparent position is not identical to its actual position at any given instant in time, primarily due to the speed of light. In other words when we see the Sun we see where it was apx 8 and a half minutes ago.

Do you agree or disagree with that statement?

If I answer this then will you do me the courtesy of answering the quesions that I posed in my previous post? If you demand that I answer your questions but you refuse to answer mine then I don't see any use in continuing this discussion, nor will I respond to you again unless and until you show the courtesy to reciprocate. If you choose not to then my post stands, and I have no reason not to be content with that.

Now, I answer that there are two statements there.

1) "The initial statement that I made was that an objects apparent position is not identical to its actual position at any given instant in time, primarily due to the speed of light."
I agree if you insert the word "necessarily" before the word "identical". However, there are certainly cases where an object's apparent position can coincide with its actual position, the case of a stationary object WRT an observer in an inertial frame being the trivial example. Here is another example:
2) "In other words when we see the Sun we see where it was apx 8 and a half minutes ago."
This is true, of course. But the crux of the matter here is: Where was the sun 8.5 minutes ago? Was it where we see it now or was it where we saw it 8.5 minutes ago, 2 degrees behind where we see it now? The former is the correct answer because the apparent motion is due not to the Sun revolving around us, but due to our rotation, and as I've tried to make clear already, these are not relative. If you would argue that they are, then kindly address the questions from my previous post.

MrJesse is quit adamant that the actual position is the same as the apparent position, except for a little parallax that I taught him about.

And he is correct (although we should take into accout refraction due to the atmosphere as well, but that's a different story). In your Earth/Pluto thought experiment you will not get 102 degrees difference from parallax, not even close. The correction for parallax will be miniscule. Nor will you get even close to 2 degrees due to parallax in 8.5 minutes considering the position of the Sun as seen from the surface of the Earth.

But since we are discussing rotating frames (which for some reason you seem to think are inertial) let's keep our thought experiments focused on that. Or better yet, do a real experiment and see for yourself the difference between spinning and orbiting. And keep those questions from my previous post in mind when you do. :)

751 posted on 06/14/2009 3:22:43 AM PDT by Zero Sum
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To: Zero Sum; LeGrande; mrjesse; Fichori; TXnMA
2) "In other words when we see the Sun we see where it was apx 8 and a half minutes ago."

This is true, of course. But the crux of the matter here is: Where was the sun 8.5 minutes ago? Was it where we see it now or was it where we saw it 8.5 minutes ago, 2 degrees behind where we see it now? The former is the correct answer because the apparent motion is due not to the Sun revolving around us, but due to our rotation, and as I've tried to make clear already, these are not relative.

And of course I left out the most important part (although I had alluded to it above) that the Sun is in the same place now that it was 8.5 minutes ago, which is where we see it now.

752 posted on 06/14/2009 3:35:51 AM PDT by Zero Sum
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To: Zero Sum; LeGrande; mrjesse; Fichori; TXnMA
OK, now that I'm awake, let me clean up my answer to #2, which in post 751 reads very badly and completely misses the point I was trying to make.
2) "In other words when we see the Sun we see where it was apx 8 and a half minutes ago."
This is true, of course. But the Sun is in the same place that it was 8.5 minutes ago, which is where we see it. This is because the apparent motion is due not to the Sun revolving around us, but to our rotation, and these are not relative.

That we see the Sun where it was 8.5 minutes ago would of course be true whether we were rotating or whether the Sun were orbiting us, but in the former case the Sun is where we see it while in the latter case the Sun is 2 degrees ahead of where we see it. These situations are not equivalent.

Now, if we want to hit the Sun with our "LASER", we must aim at where the Sun will be 8.5 minutes from now: In the former case we would aim at where we see the Sun, while in the latter case we would need to lead the Sun by 4 degrees (not 2) from where we see it. Again, the situations are not equivalent.

753 posted on 06/14/2009 4:40:32 AM PDT by Zero Sum
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To: Hank Kerchief
Ahhh, okay. I didn't go back that far, lol.

I was just reading about that. If I remember correctly, keeping the Sabbath is for the Jewish people (Old Testament), not Christians (Old & New Testament).

I'm no Bible scholar. I wish I knew more than what I do know, but I'm getting there.

I will try to find out why that is. Although I do think it had to do with Jesus Christ (Christianity), which took place in the New Testament.

754 posted on 06/14/2009 7:43:55 AM PDT by NoGrayZone (All aboard the 1st Annual Free Republic National Tea Party Convention 9/11-9/12. Be there!!!)
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To: LeGrande; betty boop; xzins; TXnMA; MHGinTN
Even the many worlds theory agrees that the wave function collapses. The other universe just had a different result.

Actually the dispute continues as to whether the wave function collapse is a physical phenomenon or whether it is just an epiphenomenon.

Certainly the observer in effect helps determine the outcome, but the observer doesn't change the basic principles by the observation.

What you mean by "basic principles" is not self-evident.

If you mean an observation by an observer "in" space/time cannot change the structure of space/time, physical laws and constants - I'd say that is probably true.

If you mean an observation by an observer "in" space/time cannot change the world (collapse a wave function whether actual or epiphenomenal) - I'd say that is probably not true.

Of course, there are a few scientists and philosophers who believe the observer's observation creates "reality" per se. To me that is taking the view that "a tree falling in the forest does not make a sound if no one is there to hear it" to an extreme.

Besides I disagree, the falling tree does make a sound even if no one is there to hear it. And I point to the sound waves in the cosmic microwave background radiation as evidence that sound occurred at the moment light (photons) came into existence even though there was no one "in" space/time to hear it.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. - Genesis 1:3

To God be the glory!

755 posted on 06/14/2009 7:54:09 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Zero Sum; LeGrande; mrjesse; Fichori; TXnMA
This is true, of course. But the Sun is in the same place that it was 8.5 minutes ago, which is where we see it. This is because the apparent motion is due not to the Sun revolving around us, but to our rotation, and these are not relative.

I wish you guys would use something other than the solar system as an example because we do have some Freepers that would take the above statement literally, e.g. that the universe moves around the sun and space/time is fixed.

The sun is not stationary in the universe. Indeed, nothing is.

Our solar system is orbiting the Milky Way galaxy at a speed of 486,000 miles per hour. And on top of that, space/time itself is expanding.

The Newtonian physics being described here should be seen as local with respect to the universe.

Or to put it another way, coordinates for non-inertial frames are usually transformed to inertial frames when speaking of the cosmos in order to avoid fictitious forces which are nevertheless handy when dealing with physics on earth.

756 posted on 06/14/2009 8:38:22 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Zero Sum; mrjesse; Fichori; TXnMA
This is true, of course. But the Sun is in the same place that it was 8.5 minutes ago, which is where we see it. This is because the apparent motion is due not to the Sun revolving around us, but to our rotation, and these are not relative.

You are correct Zero Sum. I mistakenly thought they were relative, your explanation of the inertial-noninertial frames is what did it for me. That and when I tried to shoot your LAZER at the sun and make both frames equivalent. They aren't.

Mrjesse and Fichori you were essentially correct too and I would like to apologize for cavalierly dismissing your arguments and I would like to thank you both for your persistence in helping to show me my error : )

This is a very good day. I have been humbled a little bit and I have learned a couple of valuable lessons : )

757 posted on 06/14/2009 9:41:06 AM PDT by LeGrande (I once heard a smart man say that you can’t reason someone out of something that they didn’t reaso)
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To: Alamo-Girl
Actually the dispute continues as to whether the wave function collapse is a physical phenomenon or whether it is just an epiphenomenon.

Yes And I can quote wiki too : ) "Decoherence does not generate actual wave function collapse. It only provides an explanation for the appearance of wavefunction collapse. The quantum nature of the system is simply "leaked" into the environment. A total superposition of the universal wavefunction still occurs, but its ultimate fate remains an interpretational issue."

If you mean an observation by an observer "in" space/time cannot change the structure of space/time, physical laws and constants - I'd say that is probably true.

Agreed

If you mean an observation by an observer "in" space/time cannot change the world (collapse a wave function whether actual or epiphenomenal) - I'd say that is probably not true.

Our observations collapse the wave function.

Besides I disagree, the falling tree does make a sound even if no one is there to hear it. And I point to the sound waves in the cosmic microwave background radiation as evidence that sound occurred at the moment light (photons) came into existence even though there was no one "in" space/time to hear it.

I agree too. I don't think the moon disappears when I am not looking at it : )

I think the crux of our disagreement boils down to I think that the observer can determine the outcome of the wavefunction collapse. In other words if the experimenter is looking for wave properties that is what he can get, or if he is looking for particle properties he can get that too. The experimenter can't get both at the same time though, it is a choice that the experimenter makes.

It was explained to me this way. If you reach into a black box with a fork, you will pull out ice cubes and if you reach into the black box with a spoon you will pull out water. The choice between a spoon or a fork determines what comes out of the black box.

758 posted on 06/14/2009 10:39:34 AM PDT by LeGrande (I once heard a smart man say that you can’t reason someone out of something that they didn’t reaso)
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To: LeGrande; betty boop
Our observations collapse the wave function.

Everett's many-world theory disagrees with you.

I think the crux of our disagreement boils down to I think that the observer can determine the outcome of the wavefunction collapse. In other words if the experimenter is looking for wave properties that is what he can get, or if he is looking for particle properties he can get that too. The experimenter can't get both at the same time though, it is a choice that the experimenter makes.

It was explained to me this way. If you reach into a black box with a fork, you will pull out ice cubes and if you reach into the black box with a spoon you will pull out water. The choice between a spoon or a fork determines what comes out of the black box.

That is a good metaphor for wave/particle duality.

However, the "observer problem" goes far beyond wave/particle duality.

759 posted on 06/14/2009 11:29:23 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl; mrjesse
“I wish you guys would use something other than the solar system as an example because we do have some Freepers that would take the above statement literally, e.g. that the universe moves around the sun and space/time is fixed.

The sun is not stationary in the universe. Indeed, nothing is.”
[excerpt]
The Sun's transverse velocity as observed from any object in our solar system is very small.

For the sake of simplification, we refer to it as stationary and disregard the minimal effects of barycentric wobble...

“And on top of that, space/time itself is expanding.” [excerpt]
You know I'm gonna ask you do demonstrate that claim ;-)


760 posted on 06/14/2009 12:23:08 PM PDT by Fichori
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To: Alamo-Girl
However, the "observer problem" goes far beyond wave/particle duality.

Yes but the metaphor applies to all of the dualities. The wave/particle duality just happens to be one of the easier ones to illustrate. The observers choices and even the experiment itself determine in large part what type of results we will get.

You seem to be trying to go beyond the results of the experiments. As far as I know, that is unknown territory : ) If you know of a way to test the many worlds theory, or string theory, etc. that would be great. Better yet it would be nice to unify Relativity and QM that would answer a ton of questions.

I tend to agree with the emergent properties theories though and don't think we are going to unify everything. For example ice, water and vapor are the same molecule but they each have distinct characteristics depending on the phase change.

761 posted on 06/14/2009 3:03:46 PM PDT by LeGrande (I once heard a smart man say that you can’t reason someone out of something that they didn’t reaso)
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To: Hank Kerchief; Alamo-Girl; LeGrande; allmendream; metmom; hosepipe; xzins
The only thing I say is that the fact some knowledge is uncertain does not mean all knowledge is uncertain. There is a difference.

Give me one example of knowledge that you consider certain (other than "death" and "taxes" — LOL!), and then tell me how you know it's certain; i.e., What is the basis or criterion on which your "certainty" rests?

Did you have a chance to find the link re: the uncertainty principle that you offered to share with me?

762 posted on 06/14/2009 3:55:49 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: LeGrande
Hmm, I gather fractal is a division of sorts?

No, it is a mathematical object. As such, it is not subject to considerations of energy, time, position, or momentum.

763 posted on 06/14/2009 4:50:32 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: betty boop

“Give me one example of knowledge that you consider certain (other than “death” and “taxes” — LOL!), and then tell me how you know it’s certain; i.e., What is the basis or criterion on which your “certainty” rests?”

I can give you hundreds of examples, but for starters:

Heavier than air human flight is possible is certainly known. Until the Wright brothers proved it, academics and “scientists” were writing “scholarly” papers proving it was impossible.

How about anesthesia. Not possible and “evil” according to a number of religious people. I believe the truth that anesthesia is not only possible, but practiced regularly has been proven by experience.

Another is wireless communication. I think that has been proven beyond doubt. Don’t you? It was certainly doubted before Tesla (and Marconi, though Tesla is now given the well deserved credit for first having demonstrated it).

There are no end of things we know with certainty. As for how I know them, if anyone does not know them it is because they suffer some kind of extreme retardation or are in some other way mentally deficient.

Here are some examples of why the “uncertainty” principle is in doubt:

The Uncertainty Principle Is Untenable
http://theoryandscience.icaap.org/content/vol004.002/13_letter_gong.html

http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/p08b.htm

The Dark Age of the Uncertainty Principle
http://knol.google.com/k/claes-johnson/the-dark-age-of-the-uncertainty/yvfu3xg7d7wt/69#

Why Schrödinger Hated His Equation
http://knol.google.com/k/claes-johnson/why-schrdinger-hated-his-equation/yvfu3xg7d7wt/38#

It amazes me that some people believe nothing is certain, and base it on their credulity about the “uncertainty” principle. If nothing is certain, how can the uncertainty principle be certain.

By the way, I’m not trying to convince you, just answering your questions. Have a pleasant evening, friend. I know it’s eveing for you, since I live in N.H.

Hank


764 posted on 06/14/2009 5:37:00 PM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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To: Hank Kerchief; Alamo-Girl; LeGrande; allmendream; metmom; hosepipe; xzins
[That] Heavier than air human flight is possible is certainly known. Etc.

You give me examples, but not the "how" involved.

That's not an evasion. I'll "guess" at the "how" since you didn't disclose it: Newtonian mechanics predicts heavier-than-air flight is possible, and this has been confirmed by repeated observations.

Yet Newtonian mechanics itself is not universally "exact" in all situations such that its predictions can be expected to be 100% correct all the time. In our 4D world, it's "good enuf for scratch" in applications involving mechanical systems. There is, however, an emerging skepticism regarding its universal applicability, especially to such important questions as consciousness and life itself.

But without universality, it can afford no certainty. The only "certainty" regarding heavier-than-air flight ultimately rests, not on the Newtonian formalism, but on consensus in observation. Which ultimately puts the burden of proof on the reliability and trustworthiness of human perception. How trustworthy is that? It may be "good enuf for scratch," but that is not sufficient to establish certainty.

How certain can we really be that our perceptions of the world actually directly and truthfully "map" to the world external to our own minds? Both Hume and Kant pointed out that this is something human beings simply cannot know. So if observation (perception) is your standand criterion for establishing "certainty," that criterion rests on something which is fundamentally unknowable in principle, simply because there is no way for us to ascertain how close a match there is between the manner in which we perceive and the object that we perceive. We take it on faith that there is a match, and that it is strong enough to constitute useful knowledge of the world. But "strong enough" and "certainty" are clearly not the same things.

IOW, we could say that most of the time, perception gets it right. But that is hardly enough to assert complete certainty.

765 posted on 06/14/2009 6:33:34 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: Alamo-Girl
Our solar system is orbiting the Milky Way galaxy at a speed of 486,000 miles per hour. And on top of that, space/time itself is expanding.

To the extent that these might affect the apparent motion of the Sun as viewed from the Earth at all, the effect is negligible compared to the apparent motion of the Sun due to the Earth's rotation. For the purposes of our thought experiment, we can consider the Sun to be stationary WRT an inertial frame.

766 posted on 06/14/2009 6:53:24 PM PDT by Zero Sum
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To: LeGrande
This is a very good day. I have been humbled a little bit and I have learned a couple of valuable lessons : )

It is always a good day when we are humbled. Humility is something in which I am sorely lacking and for which I need to remember to pray every day.

God bless.

767 posted on 06/14/2009 6:55:48 PM PDT by Zero Sum
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To: betty boop

“You give me examples, but not the “how” involved.”

The “how” has nothing to do with Newton. And it has nothing to do with repeated observations. The how has to do only with the fact that it’s been done, and it only needed to be done once.

Do you have any doubts at all that heavier than air human flight is possible?

That’s the certaintly.

Have you ever seen a plane flying. Be honest; do you doubt it was really flying?

I think you are desparate to make knowledge uncertain. I cannot imagine why, but I think it is very dangerous. Why would you object to certainty in knowledge? Certainty in knowledge doesn’t mean you know everything, or even most things, it only means there are some things you can be absolutely certain about. If that were not the case, you would really know nothing.

Hank


768 posted on 06/14/2009 7:11:31 PM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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To: Fichori
me: “And on top of that, space/time itself is expanding.” [excerpt]

you: You know I'm gonna ask you do demonstrate that claim ;-)

Do you seriously disagree with astronomical measurements since the 1960's?

769 posted on 06/14/2009 10:01:00 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: LeGrande; betty boop
You seem to be trying to go beyond the results of the experiments. As far as I know, that is unknown territory : )

The "observer problem" affects areas of knowledge which you, as an atheist, evidently reject on principle that your "reality" is only that which is physical.


770 posted on 06/14/2009 10:05:37 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Zero Sum; Fichori; betty boop; TXnMA
To the extent that these might affect the apparent motion of the Sun as viewed from the Earth at all, the effect is negligible compared to the apparent motion of the Sun due to the Earth's rotation. For the purposes of our thought experiment, we can consider the Sun to be stationary WRT an inertial frame.

Newtonian physics works quite nicely within our solar system, but when we examine the universe, Special and General Relativity are necessary. Ditto at the quantum level, Quantum Mechanics or Quantum Field Theory is necessary.

IOW, one may postulate the Sun as a hypothetically stationary object for his thought experiment and the math will work. He may transform coordinates.

But CMB measurements from the 1960's forward confirm that the Sun is not stationary. Nothing in the universe is stationary. Space/time itself is expanding.

771 posted on 06/14/2009 10:16:17 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl; Zero Sum; Fichori; TXnMA; logos; CottShop; metmom; hosepipe; xzins
...one may postulate the Sun as a hypothetically stationary object for his thought experiment....

But Zero Sum's postulation would not "entail" that the Sun must "agree" to stand still, so to accommodate his/her thought experiment.

So what's the point of the thought experiment?

As it stands, it has no "stationary object," no anchor or criterion according to which its phenomena can be compared and judged. JMHO FWIW

772 posted on 06/15/2009 12:44:16 AM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: LeGrande; Alamo-Girl; Hank Kerchief; CottShop; GodGunsGuts; hosepipe; logos; xzins
You seem to be trying to go beyond the results of the experiments.

Good grief, man!!! Doesn't one have to "go beyond the results of experiments", if one wants to understand one's world and one's place in it?

I mean, think about it: No experiment ever designs itself. Yet at the same time, the source of the experimental design is itself undetectable by experimental means. Does this prove there is no source?

773 posted on 06/15/2009 12:51:55 AM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: Hank Kerchief; Alamo-Girl; LeGrande
The how has to do only with the fact that it’s been done, and it only needed to be done once.

And you'd stake a future on such flimsy grounds??? Done, but only once???

I may be a dim-witted, knuckle-dragging Christian, but I have to tell you: I require more substantial evidence than "done, but only once." We call that a "datum." It has no meaning whatever in isolation.

774 posted on 06/15/2009 12:58:09 AM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: Hank Kerchief; Alamo-Girl; LeGrande; xzins; TXnMA; logos; metmom; hosepipe
I think you are desparate to make knowledge uncertain. I cannot imagine why, but I think it is very dangerous. Why would you object to certainty in knowledge?

I'm trying to decoct your statement. Thought I'm not entirely certain of its meaning, I'll take my best stab at answering.

On the one hand, I am perfectly comfortable with the uncertainty of knowledge. It just reminds me that nothing is complete without God.

On the other hand, I have no objection in principle to the "certainty of knowledge." I just don't think it's possible, given that the human mind is finite.

Thus the assertion of "certain knowledge" is a pure abstraction to me, for it has no basis in actual reality that I can tell. The "empirical approach" demonstrates that the typical human situation involves having to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty. This is seemingly the universal human condition.

And thus on the basis of observation and experience, I have no reason to believe that "the certainty of knowledge" is even possible.

775 posted on 06/15/2009 1:15:33 AM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: Alamo-Girl
The "observer problem" affects areas of knowledge which you, as an atheist, evidently reject on principle that your "reality" is only that which is physical.

Well, lets take your Many Worlds theory. Do you really believe that an infinite number of universes are coming into existence every moment?

Or do you believe the more plausible theory that wave functions collapse?

776 posted on 06/15/2009 5:45:33 AM PDT by LeGrande (I once heard a smart man say that you can’t reason someone out of something that they didn’t reaso)
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To: betty boop; Hank Kerchief; Alamo-Girl; xzins; TXnMA; logos; metmom; hosepipe
Hank, yes we 'know' certain things. We know for a fact that birds can fly, that it rains, etc. etc. Anything that can be observed and even things that can't be directly observed can be known.

The problem is how precisely do we actually know and that is where the uncertainty comes in. If someone gives you a pound of Gold and a pound of rice. I think that I can confidently say that the pound of rice will be accurate to within an ounce and that the pound of Gold will be an accurate measurement within tenths of Grams. The problem is that we don't have a precise measurement of mass, we can only measure it to 10 digits, give or take a few.

It turns out that there is a level of uncertainty to everything, nothing can be known to an arbitrarily precise number. It turns out that things like Plank's constant set an absolute limit on what can be known. It is a very, very small limit I will grant you, but a lot of very small uncertainties do add up : )

777 posted on 06/15/2009 6:05:46 AM PDT by LeGrande (I once heard a smart man say that you can’t reason someone out of something that they didn’t reaso)
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To: betty boop; Zero Sum
Thank you so much for your insights, dearest sister in Christ!

As it stands, it has no "stationary object," no anchor or criterion according to which its phenomena can be compared and judged.

Indeed. And my objection is that the solar system should not be used to make points concerning Newtonian physics because neither the sun nor the earth nor indeed anything in the universe is stationary - and using the solar system can be misread as authentication to believe in geocentricity as merely a choice of coordinates.

Merry go rounds work as well and the point is easily made that the earth is revolving while the merry go round is spinning, that Newtonian physics are local with reference to the universe - non inertial frames invoke so called "fictitious forces."

778 posted on 06/15/2009 7:11:29 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
I mean, think about it: No experiment ever designs itself. Yet at the same time, the source of the experimental design is itself undetectable by experimental means. Does this prove there is no source?

Excellent example, dearest sister in Christ!

779 posted on 06/15/2009 7:14:22 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
"And you'd stake a future on such flimsy grounds??? Done, but only once???"

"In the beginning..." ...a datum? ;-)

780 posted on 06/15/2009 7:22:19 AM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...!!)
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To: LeGrande; betty boop
The many-worlds theory is Everett's, not mine. It is a bizarre consequence of quantum decoherence.

As Penrose noted (paraphrased) we need a new kind of physics, like quantum mechanics, Newtonian physics and Relativity - something that translates between them.

Meanwhile, I keep an open mind to geometric physics and theories of relativity and cosmology (Wesson, Vafa, Fineman, Tegmark et al).

In my view Everett's theory is nearly as untestable as last Thursday-ism, that "all that there is" was created last Thursday.

My bias on such theories would be that of Einstein's, i.e. his dream to transmute the base wood of matter to the pure marble of geometry.

781 posted on 06/15/2009 7:27:45 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
In my view Everett's theory is nearly as untestable as last Thursday-ism, that "all that there is" was created last Thursday.

Yep and about the same testability as the God theory : )

As Penrose noted (paraphrased) we need a new kind of physics, like quantum mechanics, Newtonian physics and Relativity - something that translates between them.

Like I said before, there seems to be an emergent properties principle like a phase change that occurs. QM doesn't seem to play by the same rules that Relativity plays by. There doesn't have to be anything that translates between them.

782 posted on 06/15/2009 9:31:50 AM PDT by LeGrande (I once heard a smart man say that you can’t reason someone out of something that they didn’t reaso)
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To: TXnMA; Alamo-Girl
"In the beginning..." ...a datum? ;-)

Obviously I was not referring to God TXnMA. I was speaking of the constraints on human knowledge and how one tries to deal with them.

783 posted on 06/15/2009 9:36:37 AM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: LeGrande; Alamo-Girl; Hank Kerchief; xzins; TXnMA; logos; metmom; hosepipe
It turns out that there is a level of uncertainty to everything, nothing can be known to an arbitrarily precise number. It turns out that things like Plank's constant set an absolute limit on what can be known. It is a very, very small limit I will grant you, but a lot of very small uncertainties do add up : )

Agreed LeGrande. And very well put! Thank you ever so much for your observation!

784 posted on 06/15/2009 9:41:26 AM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: LeGrande; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; Hank Kerchief; xzins; TXnMA; logos; metmom
[ It is a very, very small limit I will grant you, but a lot of very small uncertainties do add up ]

It might not be possible for a human brain to grasp the totallity of reality..
Five senses and logic displayed by human language could be inhibited..
Science fiction MUST be logical to the human mind, reality need not be logical at all..

Human arrogance could challenge that though..

785 posted on 06/15/2009 12:06:16 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: hosepipe; Alamo-Girl; LeGrande; Hank Kerchief; xzins; TXnMA; logos; metmom
Fascinating insights, dear hosepipe!

Personally, I doubt the human brain has the capacity to grasp the totality of reality. Thus we see "as if through a glass, darkly."

786 posted on 06/15/2009 12:30:28 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: betty boop
[ Thus we see "as if through a glass, darkly." ]

Human science could really be just technical gossip..
Tale bearing about what appears to be so... about what is, and what isn't..
What is sometimes isn't and what isn't sometimes is..

Human scientists may be like two old people discussing the neigborhood.. over a fence..
You know, busybodies overlooking whats really important.. fixed on what isn't..

787 posted on 06/15/2009 1:44:14 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: betty boop

“I may be a dim-witted, knuckle-dragging Christian, but I have to tell you: I require more substantial evidence than “done, but only once.” We call that a “datum.” It has no meaning whatever in isolation.”

Nothing happens in isolation. Everything has a context.

How many times do you have to burn yourself before you’ll be convinced the fire is hot?

How many atomic bombs must be exploded before you’ll be convince nuclear energy is possible.

Hank


788 posted on 06/15/2009 3:05:22 PM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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To: betty boop

“On the one hand, I am perfectly comfortable with the uncertainty of knowledge. It just reminds me that nothing is complete without God.”

“And thus on the basis of observation and experience, I have no reason to believe that ‘the certainty of knowledge’ is even possible.

But, since the certainty of knowledge is not possible, your “knowledge” that there is God must be uncertain and you are therefore basing your source of comfort regarding uncertainty on something you cannot be certain exists, else...

You really do believe you can be certain about something. Right!

Hank


789 posted on 06/15/2009 3:09:33 PM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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To: LeGrande

“It turns out that there is a level of uncertainty to everything, nothing can be known to an arbitrarily precise number.”

You are confusing measurement (an arbitrary mathematical exercise) with counting, which is always certain and absolute. Only discrete existents can be counted. If I want to know how many eggs I have left in the carton, I simply open the carton and count them. If I count six, I know I have six eggs, absolutely and with no uncertainty.

Measurement can never be certain because the units are not discrete existents, but some arbitrary “unit of measure,” which whatever you are measuring may or may not be dimensionally commensurable with. With measurement, it is always, “as precise as needed.”

Within that limit, however, it is real and certain knowledge. Certain enough to be able to perform eye surgery or fly men to the moon.

Hank


790 posted on 06/15/2009 3:19:02 PM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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To: betty boop; LeGrande

“but a lot of very small uncertainties do add up”

In the sciences, uncertainty decreases with the number of repeateable experiments, in other words, uncertainties deminish by the inverse ration of the number of repititions.

Imprecisions can add up (as happens in cumputers), but not uncertainties.

If you think uncertainties can “add up,” can you give an example of how that would happen?

Hank


791 posted on 06/15/2009 3:24:44 PM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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To: Hank Kerchief; Alamo-Girl; hosepipe; metmom; xzins; TXnMA
But, since the certainty of knowledge is not possible, your “knowledge” that there is God must be uncertain and you are therefore basing your source of comfort regarding uncertainty on something you cannot be certain exists, else...

My "'knowledge' that there is God" rests on faith, not on reason. What is received in faith is not "uncertain." Nor is it unreasonable. In fact, it turns out that reason itself ultimately rests on faith in God.

As René Descartes put it, the idea of God is the prior condition in the human mind for the possibility of any other idea, even that of the ego itself. (You can follow his reasoning in the Meditations.)

Which observation evidently inspired Voltaire's rather waggish remark of a generation later, "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to create him."

Descartes argued that the idea of God is built into our very souls — it is the evidence of the imago Dei of our created nature. It's there, in-built as it were, whether we acknowledge God or not.

But denial of this can be costly, psychologically and arguably intellectually.

And now you're really gonna yell at me! :^) LOLOL!

792 posted on 06/15/2009 3:42:49 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: betty boop

Voltaire’s———————Do dat be Jean Marie Arouet ???—LOL..


793 posted on 06/15/2009 3:47:45 PM PDT by litehaus (A memory tooooo long)
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To: litehaus

Dat be the guy!!! LOL!


794 posted on 06/15/2009 3:54:50 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: betty boop

“And now you’re really gonna yell at me!”

Well, I’m not sure that I should not be insulted, though it is very hard to do that. I don’t yell, ever. And I’m not trying to convince you of anything.

I do have one question. What is the basis of your faith. I mean, it did not simply pop into you head one day to believe in God. What ever suggested to you that there is a God?

I’ll be fair and tell you where this is going. Before you can have faith in anything, you must first have knowledge, and lots of it, such as how to read, and and how to understand a language, and what heaps of words mean. After all, if you have faith in God, you must know what you mean by the word, and you had to know that before you could believe in Him, wouldn’t you?

Did you know the words knowledge and understanding appear in the Bible more the three times more often than faith and believe, in all their Greek and Hebrew forms?

(If I had time, I’d show you that what you call faith, just simply believing without evidence, is actually condemned in the Bible, which teaches that one should be faithful in believing what they know through the God-given ability to “understand” the truth by the God-given ability to “reason.”)

See, I did not yell at you.

Hank


795 posted on 06/15/2009 4:40:27 PM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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To: Hank Kerchief; Alamo-Girl; xzins; hosepipe; metmom
Before you can have faith in anything, you must first have knowledge, and lots of it, such as how to read, and and how to understand a language, and what heaps of words mean. After all, if you have faith in God, you must know what you mean by the word, and you had to know that before you could believe in Him, wouldn’t you?

I did have knowledge — a very young child's knowledge, based on what I could see in the world all around me. I used to love to explore Nature — the woods and fields and farms near my home. I had a favorite childhood hangout — a little pond in a clearing in the woods that was inhabited by a bullfrog. I used to love to go there. I'd just sit there with my friend the frog, and think and wonder. To me, that place simply had an aura of holiness and peace about it. It was kind of a little chapel in the forest....

Even as I child, I "knew" that the obvious order I was seeing in the world could not have been accidental. Don't ask me how a child can understand such things. The only way I could answer that question would likely not appeal to you. But here goes — it harkens back to what I've already said. There is something seemingly in-built in human nature itself that just naturally "knows" about God, almost as if this awareness was "programmed" into our individual human nature. It will speak to us if we let it.

Anyhoot, I knew God was there, and this long, long before I formally became a Christian. (I was not permitted to receive religious instruction as a child, because my Dad — a Deist — thought of religious instruction as brainwashing.) My "periagoge" or "born-again" experience came much, much later. That's when things got really "personal." But God Himself has always been there; I could see Him revealed in the order of the natural world and all the things in it. The astonishing symmetry of the patterns on the back of of a humble black beetle to me screamed, "look at what God did!" I could feel His Presence....

I can't explain it any better than that. So I'm sorry if this does not satisfy you.

796 posted on 06/15/2009 5:10:04 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: Hank Kerchief

p.s.: I called the little pond in the clearing The Watering Hole. And I named my friend the frog Freddie. :^) At that time, I was maybe six or seven years old....


797 posted on 06/15/2009 5:21:19 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: Hank Kerchief; betty boop
[ Before you can have faith in anything, you must first have knowledge ]

The more knowledge... the less faith is needed..
Less knowledge requires more faith..

No knowledge at all requires ALL faith..
Faith is the currency in the economy of God..

What you have faith in..... is an asset or a liability..
We all are accountants.. Some are laundering Gods currency..
Others are investors..

798 posted on 06/15/2009 6:49:43 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: betty boop

“I can’t explain it any better than that. So I’m sorry if this does not satisfy you.”

Please do not worry about satisfying my interest. You’ve explained yourself very well. I’m very tired now, but will respond to this tomorrow in a way I think you will find interesting, but perhaps not, my knowledge of the future is, as all men’s are (except the vile Al Gore) always uncertain.

Hank


799 posted on 06/15/2009 7:26:39 PM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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To: hosepipe

“No knowledge at all requires ALL faith..”

Nope. All faith requires knowledge of that which one has faith in, however spurious that knowledge might be.

I understand your point, but even “faith” is impossible without knowledge—which human nature requires always.

Hank


800 posted on 06/15/2009 7:31:32 PM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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