Re: Hypostases (was: Natural Order & Belief)

From: Tom Caylor <>
Date: Sun, 03 Dec 2006 23:08:58 -0800

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Tom Caylor writes:
> > 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,
> not,
> 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.

So you understand my point: Reality does not have to make sense (in the
grand non-scheme of Everthing), but it does.

> > 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.

The word "blind" here is a statement of faith in impersonality. I
would paraphrase Brent Meeker and ask, "Why does 'blind' have to be the
default?" My response to Bruno addresses the assumption of

> > 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

Science has to take rationality by faith. Without a personal God both
science and religion are anthropocentric because in such a
configuration there is no one else besides us.


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Received on Mon Dec 04 2006 - 02:09:21 PST

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