Re: Hypostases (was: Natural Order & Belief)

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 12:07:04 +0100

Le 29-nov.-06, à 05:57, Tom Caylor a écrit :
> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Le 24-nov.-06, à 10:03, Tom Caylor a écrit :
>>> Have you read Francis Schaeffer's trilogy of books: The God Who Is
>>> There, Escape From Reason, and He Is There And He Is Not Silent. He
>>> talks about the consequences of the belief in the uniformity of
>>> natural
>>> causes in a closed system.
>> No. But if you want to send a little summary, please do.
>> If by uniformity of natural causes in a closed system you mean
>> something describable by a total computable function, I can understand
>> the point (but recall I don't assume neither the notion of Nature nor
>> of Cause). Now, the computerland is closed for diagonalization "only".
>> That is something quite different, making computerland much open than
>> anything describable by total computable functions.
>> Bruno
> There is no way that I can give a little summary, but I'll try anyway.
> I think this will also go towards addressing Stathis' allusion to
> faith.
> One thing Schaeffer did was remind us that the assumptions of nature
> and cause were foundational to modern science. We have to assume that
> there is a nature to reality in order to study it and use our reason to
> make sense of it. Reality has to "make sense" inherently, i.e. it has
> to have an order to it, in order for us to "make sense" of it. Our
> reason (rationality) makes use of antithesis, to induce cause and
> effect. Perhaps nature and cause do not appear as formal assumptions
> in comp, but do you not make use of a belief in them in the process of
> thinking and talking about comp, and surely in the process of
> empirically verifying/falsifying it?
> Schaeffer maintained that the basis for antithesis is not that it was
> an invention of Aristotle or anyone, but that the basis for antithesis
> is reality itself, based on the God who is there (as opposed to not
> being there).
I agree with this a priori. At this stage making a difference between
reality, nature and god seems to me to be 1004 fallacies. In order to
have the motivation for doing science you have to believe in some
> The existence of the personal God answers the questions:
> 1) Why is there something rather than nothing? i.e. the question of
> the origin of the form of the universe, why does it "make sense"? What
> is the basis for the nature of reality and beauty?
Here I disagree. The "existence of God" does not explain why is there
something rather than nothing. It could be a promise for such an
explanation but using "god" or "reality" as an explanation does not
work, indeed such belief are related to faith.
There is a difference between believing or trusting God, and using
badly the God notion for explaining genuine problem away.
> 2) Why is man the way he/she is? Why is man able to have language and
> do science, and make sense of the world? Why is man able to love and
> figure out what is right? What is the basis for meaning? What is the
> basis for mind? How can persons know one another?
> 3) Why is man able to know anything, and know that he knows what he
> knows? What is the basis for truth? What is truth?
Here the comp hyp provides genuine answers including testable
predictions. Of course the comp hyp presuppose a reality (number's
reality, truth about numbers). Then it can explain why we have to have
some faith in numbers in the sense that we cannot explain numbers from
something simpler.
> However, from the birth of modern science, we have taken a journey to
> dispense with any kind of faith
Let us define "faith" by belief in unproved or unprovable truth. The
idea that science dispense with faith is a myth. A lot of physicists
have faith in a primitive physical reality (I lost *that* faith unless
you enlarge the sense of "physics").
> and try to be exhaustive in our
> automony and control. Ironically we have abandoned rationality
> (including antithesis),
I agree. We have abandoned rationality in "theology" (the science of
the fundamental reality whatever it is, say) since a long time, and
this made us partially abandoning rationality in the study of nature,
appearances, etc. as well.
For some reason many "scientist" just abandon the scientific attitude
when they talk in fields in which they are not expert, instead of
remaining silent. And this is doubly true when the field in which they
are not expert is related to fundamental question.
> and we have abandoned ourselves to ourselves.
That is a poetical way to put the things, but remember that if we are
machine there are at least about 2 * 8 utterly different (and
interacting, sometimes conflicting) sense for "ourselves", some
including notions of faith. So some care is needed here.
> We are lost in a silent sea of meaningless 0's and 1's, and man is a
> machine.
??? You talk like if you were subscribing to some pre-godelian
reductionist conception of machine (like so many "materialist").
> This is why I said that when we put ourselves at the center of our
> worldview, it is a prison.
OK for that analogy.
You add:
> I want to be clear that it isn't modern science that is to blame, but
> the abandonment of faith (being certain of what we do not see). It
> isn't that there's something unique to this time in history either.
> This has happened multiple times in history. Now we are seeing perhaps
> a backlash from man as a machine, in lots of different ways e.g.
> postmodernism, fundamentalism... But if there is a God who is there
> and is not silent, then faith takes on a different meaning. Faith in
> and of itself does not do the trick. It has to be faith in a real
> reality, a true truth.
I agree (with the proviso that I suppose that by "machine" you talk
about the old pregodelian conception of (non universal) machine.
We don't know what universal machine are capable of, and I don't see
why a present "God" would abandon them. I hope you can harbor some
doubt about the proposition that machine are stupid, lack subjective
phenomenality, etc.
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Received on Wed Nov 29 2006 - 06:07:51 PST

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