RE: Hypostases (was: Natural Order & Belief)

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 22:46:16 +1100

Tom Caylor writes:
> > > 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.
> 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?
Who said nature has to make sense? We make sense of it to the extent that it
is ordered, but it goes:
we can make sense of nature, therefore it must be ordered,
nature must be ordered, therefore we should be able to make sense of it.
You didn't exactly say the latter, I know, but my assumption is that the universe
doesn't care in the slightest what I think or what happens to me, which is not
something theists are generally comfortable with.
> 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). 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?
> 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?
The first two questions are difficult, but they apply to God as much as the universe,
despite ontological argument trickery whereby God is just defined as existing necessarily
(Gaunilo's answer to Anselm was that you can also just define a "perfect island" as an
island which exists necessarily, and therefore cannot not exist).
The other questions are easy: blind evolution made us this way.
> However, from the birth of modern science, we have taken a journey to
> dispense with any kind of faith and try to be exhaustive in our
> automony and control. Ironically we have abandoned rationality
> (including antithesis), and we have abandoned ourselves to ourselves.
> We are lost in a silent sea of meaningless 0's and 1's, and man is a
> machine.
> This is why I said that when we put ourselves at the center of our
> worldview, it is a prison.
Er, science is usually taken as more concerned with rationality than religion and
less anthropocentric than religion. Turning it around seems more a rhetorical ploy
than a defensible position.
Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Wed Nov 29 2006 - 06:46:33 PST

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