God vs The Multiverse

Click here for God vs The Multiverse: a rational argument for the Existence of One God who intelligently designed one universe.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 20: Monotheism)

The following video is the first part of a discussion between two of the most prominent atheistic scientists, Richard Dawkins and Steven Weinberg.  (Their questions against God start at about the 6:30 mark.)  In this post, we will address Dawkins' question of "Who designed the complex intelligent designer?".  This same argument was made by the philosopher and skeptic David Hume in his questions on the argument from design.

We will also address Weinberg's question of "Why is God this way rather than some other way?". Meaning, if we infer an Intelligent Designer and have a specific meaning of the word 'God', we are still left with the mystery of explaining why a different formulation of God is not a satisfactory explanation for the fine tuning and order in the universe.  What have we even gained by saying 'God', when God Himself needs an explanation for why He is the way He is?!  (In the next post, we will address Weinberg's other objection that the term 'God' is an empty concept with no meaning.)


Dawkins' main attack against the explanation of an Intelligent Designer is that 'God' is no explanation at all, for it merely pushes the question back to who designed the designer.  Now, we have to explain God, so the explanation hasn't really helped.  Dawkins says that God would have to be a highly complex entity in order to do the things we are saying He does, like ordaining the laws of physics, setting the constants just right, and ordering the initial conditions of the big bang.

The underling flaw with this question lies in a straw man notion of God as some super complex intelligence (a plurality having many interconnected parts).  You almost get the feeling that Dawkins is imagining a really huge brain or an über computer.  He is makes a category mistake by comparing human intelligence which is rooted in a complex physical brain (or alternatively for simulation hypothesis lovers, a super duper complex computer) that exists as a part of the physical universe in space-time, to the One Simple Necessary Existence which created the universe itself, and Exists separately from space-time.

Abraham's concept of One Simple God is an entirely different idea than a highly complex entity.  God has no complexity that needs to be designed; no parts that need to be ordered; no quantities that need to be fine tuned.   Abraham's God is not a fine tuned quantitative equation with ordered parts related by an equals sign.  Abraham's God is Absolutely Simple.

Abraham's great discovery was that from the utmost simplicity comes the greatest complexity.  From the Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence comes a complex universe with many parts and quantities that are subject to design, order, and fine tuning.  There is no sense in applying those terms (design, order, and fine tuning) to a Simple Existence with no complexity, parts, or quantities.

In fact, this very question of who designed the complex designer leads directly to the conclusion that God is Absolutely Simple.  If we were to posit a complex and ordered designer to explain the many complex and ordered existences that we observe, we would surely be committing a logical fallacy.  Since we maintain that ordered complexity demands a simpler explanation that designed it, then we would have to logically maintain that something even simpler must have designed any complex and ordered designer (like a big brain).  This regress can not go on ad infinitum, and can only logically terminate in One Simple Necessary Existence with no complexity whatsoever.  Only with this conception of God does it become meaningless to ask further, "Who designed the Designer?".

This conception of an Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence directly leads to Abraham's conclusion of monotheism, that there is only one Absolutely Simple God.  It is impossible that there should be two beings whose essences are absolutely simple necessary existence.  The reasoning for this is as follows: Either these two gods are perfectly identical with each other, or there is something in at least one god that differentiates it from the other god.

If there was nothing that distinguished the two gods, then there is no sense in saying they are two, just like it makes no sense to say there are two identical laws of gravity.  If two things are perfectly identical, with nothing to distinguish them (shape, color, space, time, etc.), then they are not two things, but are rather one and the same thing.

If one of the gods (god A) would have some accident (in addition to their shared common essence of absolute simplicity) that differentiated it from the other god (god B), then god A would be complex as it has two parts (the common essence that they both share, and the additional accident that distinguishes the two beings).  god A would not be an Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence, and we are then left with only one God whose essence is Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence.

This also answers Weinberg's question of "Why is God this way rather than some other way?".  There are not two logical ways that One Simple Necessary Existence can be.  That question only makes sense if a god has any complexity whatsoever (Dawkins' god).  Then we could ask why he couldn't be ordered in a different way.  If god had some quantities, then we could ask why his number couldn't be different.  However, this question is senseless in reference to the God of Abraham.

The main concept of Abraham's discovery of monotheism is that God is simple in the negative sense; that He has no parts or complexity whatsoever.  Therefore, there can only be One Simple God.  The idea of One is also most clearly comprehended in a negative sense:  The God of Abraham is not two, nor is He infinite.  Abraham's God is Real, but His Reality is qualitatively different from every other being whose existence is contingent on Him.

The core idea of monotheism is that there is One Simple Necessary Existence which causes all the ordered complexity in the universe.  One means not two.  Simple means not complex.  Necessary means not contingent.  Existence means not a figment of our imagination (like other false gods who are not real, but are mere products of human fantasy).

Any other belief system which maintains that there is only one complex god (i.e, the sun, a transhuman, or any other physical entity) is not truly monotheistic.  It can be more properly described as a polytheistic belief system, whose number of complex gods happens to be one.  True monotheism is not merely about the number of gods, but is rather Abraham's unique concept of a Unique God: One Simple Necessary Existence.

67 comments:

  1. > The underling flaw with this question lies in a straw man notion of God as some super complex intelligence (a plurality having many interconnected parts). You almost get the feeling that Dawkins is imagining a really huge brain or an über computer. He is makes a category mistake by comparing human intelligence which is rooted in a complex physical brain (or alternatively for simulation hypothesis lovers, a super duper complex computer) that exists as a part of the physical universe in space-time, to the One Simple Necessary Existence which created the universe itself, and Exists separately from space-time.

    > Abraham's concept of One Simple God is an entirely different idea than a highly complex entity. God has no complexity that needs to be designed; no parts that need to be ordered; no quantities that need to be fine tuned. Abraham's God is not a fine tuned quantitative equation with ordered parts related by an equals sign. Abraham's God is Absolutely Simple.

    Yes, the underlying assumption in their thinking is that notion of god is complex and will also require an explanation. You can call it a flaw if you show that a "perfectly simple existence" as you describe it can coherently "know everything" (a notion you must ultimately defend if you hold by non-Ralbagian Judaism), or at least "know enough to teleologically design the universe" (sufficient for "Intelligent Designer" deism). I find the notion incoherent, because any definition of knowedge (that I know) entails modeling the known, at least on an abstract level, making the "knower" at least as complex. I have never heard this explained without resorting to "but it's non-physical!". Honestly this sounds like magic cognitive stopsign to me, because once you declare something nonphysical, and say "abstract" three times, you cannot apparently ask logical questions about it. The fact that the brain is physical and complex does not mean that if you remove the word "physical" everything becomes simple.

    The incoherence argument was much used (appropriately) by the Jewish philosophers to argue against the trinity, BTW.

    So maybe it's a flaw, but perhaps the scientists were giving the idea the biggest benefit of the doubt they could, and only argued with a notion they found at the very least coherent. I think the burden is on you to show that the notion is plausible, the discussion going on in post 19 has not seemed to shed the light on this to my satisfaction.

    Dr_Manhattan

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    1. Are you asking, "How could the God of Abraham (One Simple Necessary Existence) possibly be the Intelligent Designer? Doesn't saying that God is Intelligent necessarily imply complexity in His Absolutely Simple Essence? Calling an Absolutely Simple Existence "Intelligent" is nothing other that a contradiction in term! You might as well say 3=1, and admit to believing in that which absurd!"

      Have we formulated your question correctly?

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    2. Pretty much, without the unnecessary reference to "god of Abraham", unless you're translating my mention of "all-knowing god of Judaism" that way.

      Dr_Manhattan

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    3. We're using the term 'God of Abraham' to refer to the One Simple Necessary Existence that intelligently designed the universe. It is true that the God of Abraham is identical with the God of Judaism who gave the Torah to Abraham's descendants at Mt. Sinai around 400 years after Abraham's discovery of the concept. Nevertheless, the philosophical knowledge of One Simple Necessary Existence that intelligently designed the universe is not contingent on the revelation at Sinai, and it is for that reason we call Him the God of Abraham in these posts.

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    4. Your question is an excellent question which we will address at length in the next post.

      The main questions we are seeking to answer in this post are:
      1) Who designed God?
      2) Why is God this way rather than some other way?

      Do you understand why these questions are inapplicable with regards an Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence with no complexity?

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    5. > We're using the term 'God of Abraham'...

      Ok. When I mentioned "god of judaism" is to distinguish the all-knowing version of the idea vs. abstract knowledge version of Aristotle, Gershonides etc. I have no objection to the term, though you're probably doing yourself a disservice introducing a(n unproven, which is irrelevant to this discussion) historical term in leiu of a precise philosophical one.

      > Your question is an excellent question which we will address at length in the next post.

      Ok, I guess I'll wait till the next post... Though this is aleady a wide open discussion on post 19 **on complexity** which includes my stated hope of "please not be another we'll address it in post #192819". I guess I can wait till 21.

      >The main questions we are seeking to answer in this post are:
      >1) Who designed God?
      >2) Why is God this way rather than some other way?

      Acknowledge message received (meaning I understand what you're saying, not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing and not seeing a reason to discuss it right here).

      Dr_Manhattan

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    6. We are saying the God of Abraham because we are not proving Divine Providence. The concept of the God of Judaism who gave the Torah at Mt. Sinai implies Providence, which is why we are not using that term here.

      You are currently engaged in a very abstract discussion with Yaakov on post 19, which we are staying out of. While we are certainly interested to understand how Yaakov explains the matter, we think there is a less abstract explanation to what we mean when we say that the God of Abraham intelligently designed the universe.

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    7. > We are saying the God of Abraham because we are not proving Divine Providence. The concept of the God of Judaism who gave the Torah at Mt. Sinai implies Providence, which is why we are not using that term here.

      I will suggest that this is pretty confusing, since Abraham experienced a lot of Providence according to the Bible, so people will not know what you're talking about. Also, crucially, our knowledge of "Abraham" depends on Mt. Sinai events, so you could see the problem.

      Dr_Manhattan

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    8. We suggest you reread the posts if you are confused about whether we are discussing Providence.

      When you write a proof for your monkey god using rule 110 to make universes, you can call him anything you like.

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    9. Just FYI I did not actually mean to piss you off *this time*. I thought I was being constructive.

      Dr_Manhattan

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    10. RAZ/REF, it seems that the crux of the issue here is that Dr_Manhattan finds it impossible to accept the concept that there is any other method to have knowledge other than which exists in the human condition. Any argument to say that God's knowledge must be different because one accepts the idea of an Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence, is anathema to him. One has to begin with accepting the argument that God is an Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence. Once that is established as fact, then we have to proceed to explain how this Existence's knowledge differs from any other being that is a complex existence. However, Dr_M is proceeding in the opposite direction. He is saying that since the only knowledge he knows of is in the human condition, God's knowledge must be the same. If so, God cannot be a simple existence; because the fact that he has knowledge makes him complex...Do you agree with this analysis of his position?

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    11. Jeff, I'm suggesting any definition of knowledge be presented that can be called absolutely simple. It doesn't have to be human. It doesn't have to be neural networks, or transistors, or first-order logic. You pick. Or RAZ/REF. Whoever.

      What I am saying that calling something "different" is not saying anything at all. It's seems a cognitive stop-sign "stop asking questions", requiring suspension of disbelief, similar to the Christian claim that 3=1, because god can do anything or whatever.

      Absolutely Simple Necessary existence is not an "anathema" to me. I with this ASNE(+some actual caring about humans) actually existed. I just don't think it does and have to deal with the reality of that conclusion. One of the reasons I don't think it exists is *because* I have never seen a coherent definition if such a thing. So you sort of got the causality of my beliefs backwards.

      Dr_Manhattan

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    12. Jeff, I disagree with your dismissal of Dr_Manhattan's question. He may be stating it stronger than it is but it's definitely a good question.

      If two logical arguments have led to two conclusions (Necessary Simple Existence + Intelligence) it needs to be shown a fair reasoning for both to exist in one thing. I don't see it as a strong disproof such as the trinity which relies upon a clear absurdity but it is a very strong shayla that at least requires a fair rationale.

      If, for example, I were to somehow prove non-complex intelligence to be impossible, we would KNOW that one of our proofs (either intelligent design or necessary existence) must be wrong. Dr_Manhattan is not assuming this proof, but giving his empirical evidence a bit more weight than it deserves. Though, let's not kid ourselves, empirical evidence deserves strong consideration.

      It's not a knock-out question, but it's a strong one that deserves an answer.

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    13. The only way you're going to be able to answer it is by showing that He cannot be ignorant.

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    14. Michael, I hear your point. But ANYTHING that exists in the one necessary existence is going to be different than anything else we can possibly imagine. The trinity is different, as you said, because it is a logical impossibility. This is something else. We are saying that God is a different being than any other because he is the simplest necessary existence. If we want to posit anything else with regards to that being (e.g., intelligence), it will have to exist in a way which does not violate the simplicity of His existence. As such, we are positing something that does not exist in any other being in the universe. This is what we talk about when we say that God's knowledge isa part of his essence. I don't know that, at this point, any of us are capable of going beyond this idea. So, in essence, it's not Necessary Simple Existence "+" Intelligence. Intelligence is part of the essence here. I have no idea how to conceive of such an idea, but it is the only way to posit that God has knowledge. As Rafi said, if you can show that He is not ignorant, then this is the only possible way it can be. If anyone can go further than this, I'd be willing to listen.

      Dr_M, I did not wish to be dismissive, just trying to figure out how you arrived at your conclusions. Thanks for clarifying.

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    15. Jeff,
      Right. That's why I see it as a strong Shayla. One doesn't NEED to answer it since we are dealing with a thing that is definitively unlike anything we've actually experienced. But the fact that EVERYTHING we've ever experienced functions differently makes it harder to accept. It's not strictly NECESSARY to answer the question, but it'd make the conclusion more palatable to have a logical justification for the conclusion.

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    16. "But the fact that EVERYTHING we've ever experienced functions differently makes it harder to accept."

      It only is harder to accept than His Existence because I suspect you assume His Existence is like ours. The truth is that when we say Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence that last term is equally as mysterious and unknown to us as saying that He is Intelligent. In other words you and Dr_M should be asking the same question on His Existence as you are on His Knowledge. Everything that we observe that exists in the natural world exists in a contingent fashion. We don't observe any independent existences, therefore it is absurd to say that He is an independent existence!

      The answer is that when we recognize or detect His Existence, we simultaneously recognize that we cannot truly know His nature because He and His Existence are One and we and our existences are complex. We can detect the existence of an Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence but that is it. We don't know what it means to say He Exists except that it appears impossible that He does not. So to in reference to His Intelligence or His Knowledge - we observe from the natural world that this Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence has caused tremendous order and has embedded the universe with deep, abstract wisdom. And yet while we recognize and suspect that there is a great intelligence behind this order, we at the very same moment realize that it is impossible that His Intelligence is of our kind. He and His Intelligence are One. It is part and parcel of the concept of an Absolute Unity that when we say He is Intelligent we mean we observe what He caused to be ordered and filled with deep wisdom, not that He possesses human knowledge.

      That is the intelligibility of the concept of Yichud Hashem, in my opinion. When we say He Exists, we mean He is not contingent. When we say He is Intelligent, we mean He cannot be ignorant because what He caused indicates otherwise.

      So to respond to something Dr_M said earlier - it is not a magic stop sign saying "it's different" and now you cannot ask any questions. It is that our minds are capable of recognizing the existence of an Absolute Unity but simultaneously we realize we cannot know anything of His Essence because any way for us to know it would destroy the coherence of the idea. It is not because the concept is incoherent that we cannot know it, but it is because it is coherent that we cannot know it. The coherency of Absolute Unity suggests Fundamental Simple Existence and simultaneously essentially outside of direct human knowledge.

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    17. >Absolutely Simple Necessary existence is not an "anathema" to me. I with this ASNE(+some actual caring about humans) actually existed. I just don't think it does and have to deal with the reality of that conclusion. ...

      Dr_Manhattan

      I'm assuming you meant "I wish" ('s' and 't' are not even close)... So to read it again- you with this Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence actually exist(ed?). Interesting.. Is it that you couldn't even bring yourself to say you wish he exists? Or is that His Existence can't be greater than yours (maybe a monkey god would be ok)? Or both?

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    18. No need to psychologize, it doesn't add anything to the substance of the discussion at hand. It would be better to refrain from opening that door.

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    19. We have to be careful before applying the Rambam's philosophy unthinkingly. While he speaks at length in the guide of the perplexed book 3 chapters 20-21 about how God's knowledge is different (in order to answer how God has knowledge of particulars).
      He also had an idea (book 1 chapter 68) about how knowledge works in general, which views all knowledge (including our own) as being one with the thing known (Knower=knowledge=thing known). This idea seems different from our modern conception of knowledge, . Dr_manhattans question is what idea of knowledge is it that could be absolutely simple since, according to Dr_m, the modern view of knowledge is that knowledge is of relationships and not abstract "forms". I believe he is asking everyone to present either scientific support for an Aristotelian idea of knowledge or to present another definition of knowledge which is not definitively plural (like knowledge of relationships) since if knowledge is definitively plural, there is a contradiction (like the trinity).

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    20. Dr_Manhattan,
      do you have a problem with the Rambam's definition of knowledge, since it would seem to satisfy your requirement of knowledge which is not complex.

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    21. > Dr_Manhattan, do you have a problem with the Rambam's definition of knowledge, since it would seem to satisfy your requirement of knowledge which is not complex.

      Yaakov - I'm assuming you're talking about the above-mentioned idea from the Guide 1:68.

      I have several issues with that as an answer to the current problem. First I'm not sure about the "oneness" part of the "oneness of the perceiver and the perceived" - both philosophically (not clear how it's motivated, and seems very much Aristotelian epistemology stuff) and empirically - we have some knowledge about what is going on in the brain when a person thinks of a "tree" and it appears to be activation of a network of related concepts, rather than some "abstract concept". Also I think I mentioned I don't believe in "free-floating essences" of things except for perhaps the laws of nature... Last thing, I'm guessing that you think "oneness of the perceiver" sort of pushes the complexity out to the perceived, thereby answering the question, but this also would imply plurality when complex objects are perceived. These Aristotelian concepts are admittedly vague/confusing, either because I don't get them or because they don't make sense.

      Dr_Manhattan

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    22. I actually was referring to the other chapters mentioned discussing God's knowledge. (which is based on the principle of negative knowledge and is the basis of post 21)
      In terms of the idea from 1:68, I don't think the Rambam held by free floating essences, which is the basis of his formulation of knowledge. the equation of yodeah,Yaduah and Deah implies that there is no "free floating" knowledge "out there", rather knowledge is always in a mind. the network of related 'concepts' when we think of a tree, is part of what the rambam classifies as the imaginative faculty, in other words, the idea that all of our knowledge emerges in a brain which is fundamentally animal, and therefore emerges through physical representations as a vehicle of actually understanding the wisdom in the universe's design
      (Since the human mind gains understanding of the universe, the universe must actually be based on knowledge (be it the God of Avraham, Aristotle or Spinoza).)

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    23. My fellow Dr_Freud, it's highly probable that you're some portion of RAZ/REF, who just can't get enough of repeating "monkey god". If it's not you, I will require a swear.

      Dr_Manhattan

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    24. We can't speak for Dr_Freud, but we imagine that Sigmund Freud might refer you to this link to help clear up your confusion:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

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    25. My good fellow Dr_Manhattan, I am sorry to disappoint you but I am just an active but silent reader that couldnt pass up this second telling slip (see part 16 where you "mad" your decision against God- but not against a monkey god:) I hoped even you would appreciate your slip since you declared your interest in psychology..

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    26. 'Dr' freud
      Your psychological 'insights' are not very helpful. As I am sure you know it is impossible to analyze someone else's slips with any accuracy, since analysis must emerge from their associations.

      Gaining clarity in our knowledge of God is a difficult pursuit, and we would prefer if you directed your intelligence to assisting us in that pursuit.
      Thank you in advance

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    27. > My good fellow Dr_Manhattan, I am sorry to disappoint you but I am just an active but silent reader that couldnt pass up this second telling slip (see part 16 where you "mad" your decision against God- but not against a monkey god:) I hoped even you would appreciate your slip since you declared your interest in psychology..

      My Dear Doctor Freud. While I respect your genius in (partially) discovering and popularizing the idea of uncoscious mental processes, I think you took a rather large slip after than and engaged in "hard pseudoscience", giving up the best tools the scientific method had to offer. This is why while at one point your name was next to Einstein, but after things got sorted out you will be remembered for peanist envy.

      > We can't speak for Dr_Freud, but we imagine that Sigmund Freud might refer you to this link to help clear up your confusion:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

      Dear R&R, of course you can't speak for Doctor Freud, since you're two people and I sense that (perhaps) one of you might not be above doing something like this. Dr_Freud's speedy response in the middle of a large thread could be evidence for this, since few people subscribe to every comment. I'll take your word for it if you give it though.

      > we imagine that Sigmund Freud might refer you to this link to help clear up your confusion:
      > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

      If you're implying that I anonymously posted as Dr_Freud, I think you're doing Freud wrong.

      Dr_Manhattan

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    28. We're implying that your speculations that we have suddenly decided in post 20 to start responding to you under a pseudonym, is based upon a psychological defense mechanism called "projection". For more information about why you might be doing this, see:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transference

      We agree with Yaakov, that Dr_Freud's attacks against you do not add to the development of the concepts of the post. We think it is best for you to ignore an anonymous heckler, and at the very least, we would appreciate if you would leave us out of your therapy session with him.

      We think you are out of line in accusing us based on your speculations. Nevertheless, to put your mind at ease, we did not post as Dr_Freud, not one of us, and not both of us.

      We think this too is serving you as a distraction from the essential ideas of the proof for the God of Abraham. Please restrict your comments to genuine questions of substance on the proof itself.

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    29. And that is still(!!) not a simple denial I requested. I'm bored of this nevertheless, moving right along.

      Dr_Manhattan

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    30. >My Dear Doctor Freud. While I respect your genius in (partially) discovering and popularizing the idea of uncoscious mental processes, I think you took a rather large slip after than and engaged in "hard pseudoscience", giving up the best tools the scientific method had to offer. This is why while at one point your name was next to Einstein, but after things got sorted out you will be remembered for peanist envy.

      My Good Bloke Dr_ Manhattan. While you have apparently rejected much of the psychoanalytic theory, I suspect that you agree that there is meaning behind slips (otherwise why be so defensive?). If so, as your analyst I advise you to honestly think into the 2 slips I pointed out. Additionally, I am uncertain if your "peanist envy" instead of penis envy was another slip or a bad joke(?) but if so, you can add it to your list...
      With this I bid you adieu. I agree with the other bloggers that while I believe it's important for others (and you) to see your motivations, your personal issues are a distraction from the point of the blog.

      "Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise."
      SIGMUND FREUD, letter to Wilhelm Fliess, Oct. 15, 1897

      "Look into the depths of your own soul and learn first to know yourself, then you will understand why this illness was bound to come upon you and perhaps you will thenceforth avoid falling ill."

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    31. My Dear Dr Freud, I am going to tell you a joke (and end our conversation at that).

      Actually, the joke is one originally told by you!

      There was a brandy drinker whose indulgence impaired his hearing. On the advise from his doctor the fellow refrained from brandy and regained his hearing; but he nevertheless returned to drinking brandy. When his doctor remonstrated with the man, he responded that "nothing he heard while refraining from brandy was as good as the brandy".

      The second punchline, due to Frank Cioffe is
      "For many, Freud is that Brandy."

      (This does not necessarily reflect my opinion of all of Freud's work, but I'll end the digression there)

      Dr_Manhattan

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  2. Agreed. But, again, we are dealing with further abstractions in metaphysics and at this time, none of us, I believe, are equipped to go any further...If this does not suffice for Dr_Manhattan, I understand. But to equate this with 3=1 is just preposterous.

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    1. Michael, Jeff,
      > One doesn't NEED to answer it since we are dealing with a thing that is definitively unlike anything we've actually experienced. But the fact that EVERYTHING we've ever experienced functions differently makes it harder to accept. It's not strictly NECESSARY to answer the question, but it'd make the conclusion more palatable to have a logical justification for the conclusion.

      > Agreed. But, again, we are dealing with further abstractions in metaphysics and at this time, none of us, I believe, are equipped to go any further...If this does not suffice for Dr_Manhattan, I understand. But to equate this with 3=1 is just preposterous.

      "different", "unlike anything else" still seem like cognitive stopsigns. Of course we agree that 3=1 is preposterous... But what if a Christian starts saying "well, of course it works, we're talking about the Holy Trinity here! It's way abstract, way beyond your understanding. There is just nothing like the Holy Trinity. Your logic is failing because it's just too abstract". You have to decide whether your feeling of preposterous in one case stems from logic or from upbringing, frankly. So anyway, for me the question stands, I'm waiting for RAZ/REF's next post to see how they deal with it.

      Dr_Manhattan

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    2. You are wrong here. 3=1 is a contradiction, an existence which has no parts is not. If you think into the concept of an Absolute Unity you will see that it is not a contradiction, but the knowledge of Its Essence defies human understanding because of how our knowledge operates. Namely, we know by breaking down parts and seeing the whole , seeing the relationship of the parts to the whole, etc. But if there is an existence which is not contingent and has no parts, it is beyond the ability of our minds. Structurally, we cannot understand it. Not because we have stopped trying, but because it is not within our capacity as a human mind. And it is different than logically impossible because the very idea of an Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence is that if that thing didn't exist it would be impossible for anything else to exist! You gotta think into it more and stop associating it with whatever you were raised with.

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  3. Dr_Manhattan

    If you can't see the difference between an absurdity and a new idea, you won't see the subtle difference between the two questions.

    1=3 is fundamentally absurd.

    There is no absurdity in a perfectly simple thing having intelligence.

    If you happen to think that a perfectly simple thing having intelligence is actually absurd, I'd be very interested to hear your argument.

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  4. Shalom everyone. I found this series because of my interest in Bostrom's Simulation Hypothesis (a search about it got me to Part 15). This turned out to be a rather long introductory posting: please bear with it!

    I'm very happy to have found this series - have been looking for something like this for a long time: a well thought out comparison of the G vs no G (i.e. MV) outlooks, from a Torah POV. Thank you RAZ/REF for doing it, and thank you Michael Zoldan, Rafi, Yaacov, etc, and especially Dr_M for extensive commenting and challenging (thanks, Doc, for not copping out earlier when certain people suggested it!).

    Before really commenting on this or any other particular part, a (very) little about me. Secular many yrs, BT many yrs, YLS (Yored L'Shaylah) a few yrs ago. Boro frum, tocho fry. Would like to be BT again because of religious wife, kids and status quo, but just can't bring myself there after all I've seen in my skeptical investigations. Letter to My Rabbi, Hitchens zt"l, Dawkins and other's videos and books, new secular and secularist friends, Simulation Hypothesis, etc.

    This series is the first thing that makes me have somewhat real 2nd thoughts. So I took R&Rs advice and went back to read the series from the beginning, including all comments (not b'iyun 1st time thru, and no videos yet). I'm now only up to Part 13 (besides Part 15 that brought me here). But I see that more parts just keep coming out (about 2/wk), and after a week or two (or more, i.e. p4, 11, 15), commentors move on to newer posts.

    I'm happy to be here while it's actually in progress, but feel way behind. So I've decided to join in, but don't know exactly how. Should I go back and comment on (much) earlier Parts? I would only want to do that if people (not just R&R) would respond there. Should I start here where everybody is? But I have questions on what came before. I'm a little stuck, bein hachomot.

    B'kitzur, my current position is this: MV sounds pretty crazy, but God still sounds even crazier. Before saying more about that, I realize that I should read Part 19 and 20. Does apparent fine tuning in the Universe necessarily imply an Intelligent Designer? And even if so, is that necessarily the God of the Jews? Is God necessarily Good? Doesn't seem like it, with all of the natural evil around (I noticed a thread about that with Dr. M).

    BTW, Stenger responded to Barnes' criticism of him (haven't read it yet - should post this in P4, or in your Stenger comment in P3):

    Defending The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning - Victor J. Stenger, January 28, 2012

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1202/1202.4359.pdf

    (continued in next comment...)

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  5. (continued from previous comment.)

    I was very impressed with a couple (among many) of points so far:

    1. That if fine tuning implies God, then the burden of proof is on those who deny God, not the other way around (R&R).

    2. Since most people aren't smart enough to follow a discussion like this, it seems unreasonable for God to demand that we know Him in this intellectual way (D_M).

    Procedural question 1: is there an RSS type feed that will inform me of new comments so I don't have to check all of the parts every so often? Is that what the Follow By Email option is for?

    Procedural question 2: You obviously have all of the Parts prepared, or at least planned. How many more are there in Stage 3? Are their posting dates fixed, or can they be delayed if intense discussions start happening in various posts?

    Procedural comment: as someone mentioned, it's very frustrating not to be able to identify the different anonymii. Couldn't you at least number them, based on their ip addresses?

    Lastly, this: Are you, RAZ/REF, open to the possibility that you're wrong about God being the only viable option? I would like to think that skeptics like myself and D_M are open to being persuaded (perhaps albeit reluctantly at this point) by good arguments. Are you similarly open? Seems doubtful to me, which would be your loss, not the loss of those who were persuaded otherwise, but failed to persuade you.

    Let's even say that you're right about the failure of the Multiverse Theory: what if there's something else better than that, that does away with the need to resort to God? You'll probably respond that sure you would consider that - but that's probably assuming that you can find flaws in that like you claim to have found in MV. But what if another alternative really is more reasonable, as you yourselves define reasonableness (can't recall where that definition is right now)?

    To end off on a light note: can't help noticing how similar "Ref and Raz" are to the "Rif and Rosh". And what about the Rambam? Maybe (D)R_M? Although the interaction between you three is more like the Ra'avad (DM) against the Rambam (R&R). Rishonim incarnations? Just noticing.

    I think that that's enough for a 1st comment!


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    1. 1) Welcome Ron. I'm here for the full show, Spaghetti Monster willing.

      2) I can guarantee I'm not a reincarnation of the Rambam (though I'm flattered). I honestly think he would've turned fry way before me, due to being several deviations higher from average IQ than me :-p (sorry audience).

      3) About MV in general, you can make arguments against it (as RAZ/REF are attempting) but "crazy" might be the wrong intuition to go by - our textbook physics would make many a Newton get vertigo (without preparation). I actually think Rambam had a good intuition about it, he certainly thought that the world perceived by the wise is very very different from the average person. At least I got that impression.

      4) Thanks for the Strenger paper, looks interesting.

      Dr_Manhattan

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    2. 1) Ramen!

      2) You misread it - you're (k'ilu) the Ra'avad - the critic. Yes, you should apologize to audience for that one.

      3) I didn't mean literally crazy. How about unreasonable? Or how about "weird", as said by the scientist at the end of the Rees "Are We Real?" video from Part 15 regarding recent scientific theory offerings?

      4) Let us know - I'm still trying to catch up here!

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    3. Welcome Ron,
      maybe RAZ/REF could create a question post which will serve as a place for ongoing discussion about earlier posts (so that we don't have to check all earlier posts to see if anyone commented)

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    4. Thanks for the welcome.

      It would probably be better to go back to the original post - especially for people like me coming to the series later.

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    5. Welcome to the blog, Ron. We're overjoyed by reaching new people genuinely interested in pursuing reality. It has caused us to reflect on the new medium of the internet that this proof is being conveyed through.

      We think there is a unique opportunity for laypersons to gain first hand knowledge of some of the great wisdom in the creation, as it has been revealed by modern science. We hope that a dedicated reader will have many avenues for learning physics that were never possible before the internet.

      We believe that watching the videos will greatly enhance your understanding of the issues, as we generally only embed videos from the top scientists in the world. In addition, by watching the videos, reading the articles, and some of the wiki links, you will gain first hand knowledge that we are not exaggerating the problem of fine tuning, or the fact that top physicists really believe in a theory as ridiculous as the multiverse.

      Please feel free to leave a comment on any old post, as we see every comment. The five most recent comments are posted in the top right hand corner of the page. We can't guarantee that our current readers will decide to engage in discussion there, but future readers (which we hope will be many) will certainly see your points as they make their way through the posts.

      We think it is essential that you go through the proof in order. While each stage can be understood in isolation to a certain degree, it does not make sense to read the inter-stage posts out of order. You need to read 18, 19, before 20. It might be frustrating not to be current, but ultimately you seem more interested in genuine knowledge than a temporary emotional thrill.

      We are clear in the introduction (and throughout these posts), that we are not seeking to prove Divine Providence, nor are we interested in debating it in these posts. We believe the issue serves as a distraction from the real issue of God's Existence. There is an order of knowledge. Only after you have a solid foundation, can you begin to build.

      Out of consideration for future readers, please keep the relevant comments to the appropriate posts. You can post the Stenger question on post 4. We'll answer there.

      'Follow by email' will only get you the newest post, after we post it. We don't know if there is a better way to get new comments besides the last 5 in the top of the page.

      We're planning around 8 more posts for this series. The last one will summarize the proof with a focus on stage three. You can use the summary posts of stage 1 and 2 to post general questions against each particular stage, and the final summary post can be a place where everyone can post their questions and comments about the proof as a whole.

      See post 17 for how we know there isn't a qualitatively different approach possible to answer the problem of fine tuning that we haven't considered.

      Lastly, we are only interested in believing in a Real God. We don't believe in blind faith as a viable method of arriving at the truth. We can not express enough our appreciation to our readers for the excellent questions and arguments they have presented throughout these posts. We have tried our best to present the other side's arguments openly, and we are always open to good arguments about why we are wrong.

      We have been wrong before, and we will be wrong again. The point of this proof is to allow our readers to freely choose for themselves whether they have a genuine conviction that the God of Abraham Exists or not. We hope readers are not relying upon us to decide this for them.

      Welcome to the proof, Ron.

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    6. Well, I am truly honored to have inspired such a courteous and inviting response from you both. Thank you. (Maybe you want to add something like it to Part 1?)

      Yes, I do appreciate being exposed to science and philosophy issues that I was hitherto unaware of, especially via the site and video links. Particularly Wiki (I suggest that you also read those articles in full! ; ) ). Now that I'm "in", I do plan to access those links.

      I will comment on old posts, hoping that current commentors will respond. But maybe Yaacov's idea is a good one - to have a general page for comments on inactive posts.

      As I mentioned, I'm reviewing old posts, and am now up to #15, which is what I read when I first got here. I have to decide if I should go back and look at all the links now also, and/or comment in each post. I might both do that and start with the currently active posts also. Am almost up to #17 that you emphasized. That should be essential and interesting - you seem to think that there is no way out of the fine-tuning problem. We shall see.

      You say that you are "not seeking to prove Divine Providence", but you do assume that the Creator "God of Abraham" is also the Torah giving God of Moses. Someone asked you to do a series on Torah miSinai - I think that that would be good (if we all get past this G/MV one!).

      > We don't know if there is a better way to get new comments besides the last 5 in the top of the page.

      It would be very helpful to set up a Comment Feed that would email comments to those of us who want them. This seems to be how to do it: go to Blogspot/Blogger homepage, click Help, then click Change your site's feed settings. Here's the link:

      http://support.google.com/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=42662&ctx=cb&src=cb&cbid=-ogoyhprf9vch

      Seems like the appropriate setting is Per-Post Comment Feeds, Full or Short. Please set that up. Thank you. You might want to do Blog Posts Feed also, although I think that everyone here is already checking for new posts.

      8 more posts? That'l take about 4 weeks at current rate. That's good - gives me some breathing room!

      (continued in next comment...)

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    7. There is a link which says "subscribe by email" at the bottom of the comments section. I hit this link for every new post and every comment is thereafter emailed to me.

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    8. Even though we do believe based on the historical proof of Sinai, that the God of Abraham gave the Torah at Mt Sinai to Abraham's descendants, we are not trying to prove that here. You can find an article which goes through the proof at:

      http://www.mesora.org/torahfromsinai.html

      You can discuss the issue further at http://www.mesora.org where the Rabbi who runs that site is always ready to answer genuinely motivated questions.

      Abraham discovered God through scientific investigation into the observable universe and proper philosophical reasoning. Only after he recognized his Creator did God communicate with him.

      Abraham was the first person to recognize the One Simple Necessary Existence who he called the Master of the universe. This is why this idea of God has been attributed to Abraham's credit by thinkers throughout the ages (as well as billions of people currently alive today).

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    9. Thanks for that idea, Michael - I'll check that out. Yes, that is the RSS feed. I wonder why there isn't the usual RSS icon on the top of the page.

      Delete
  6. (continued from last comment)

    > we are only interested in believing in a Real God. We don't believe in blind faith as a viable method of arriving at the truth.

    But, as DM pointed out, not everyone has the mental capacity to go beyond blind faith. One must know God to the best of their ability, which might not be much. The, or at least one of the ikarim of Torah is "tzadik b'emunato yichyeh". When it comes down to it, faith, even a blind one that is challenged by reason, is the last resort. You may end up having to resort to that - who knows?

    > We have tried our best to present the other side's arguments openly,

    I do hope that you don't - and won't - delete or alter on topic comments that bother you too much. You don't seem to think that there will be any...

    > and we are always open to good arguments about why we are wrong.

    Even to the point of abandoning your Torah derech?

    > Welcome to the proof, Ron.

    Thanks. And welcome to some more challenges, R&R. I'm looking forward to putting a lot of (not Dark) energy into this.

    BTW, is that alright to call you R&R or even shorter, RR? Easier to type, and also doesn't favor one of you over the other. Unless you are sometimes RAZ/REF and other times REF/RAZ, just like sometimes Moshe is first and other times Aharon is (l'havdil, of course!).

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    1. We think that often the claim of being too stupid to know that God exists, is a poor excuse that people use to justify their emotional resistances to knowing God. In any event, if someone thinks they are still too stupid to know God, even after putting in the proper time and dedicated effort which such a subject rightfully deserves, there is little we could do for them, as they are probably too stupid to understand any arguments we present over why their excuse is just an excuse. For that reason, we spend little time on foolish objections like that to this proof.

      On a related point, the doctrine of absolute blind faith is even more ridiculous than the multiverse. In fact, that doctrine actually supports the multiverse, as any fool can simply profess blind faith in the multiverse, and there is no logical argument you can use to contradict him, as he believes based on blind faith, not on reason.

      Abraham did not believe in God based on blind faith. The Torah that God gave to his descendants does not advocate blind faith. We believe you are misunderstanding the verse you quoted, but we don't want to go too far afield.

      The doctrine of blind faith is internally contradictory, as a person can simply have blind faith that blind faith is wrong. Of course, you can get out of the problem by having blind faith in that which is absurd. The absurdities never end.

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    2. Ron, I think you are misunderstanding the pasuk “Tzadik beemunato yichyeh”, unfortunately many religious leaders teach false ideas about Torah and encourage blind faith (due to Christian influence) and one of the big problems in modern Jewish education is the complete lack of teaching Navi. If we actually study the verse in context it is clear that it is not referning to blind faith, but rather living life humbly and not taking security in the political powers of Bavel. It is saying that while Bavel will be destroyed by Persia, those Jews who maintained a rational basis for their action (not taking irrational security in Nevuchadnetar) will survive and be successful under the Persian rule.

      Chazal in makkot derived from this a more general principle of Torah, namely that the Torah’s objective is to guide people in living a life guided by conviction in rationality and not living a life guided by blind fantasy.

      We must be careful in translating Pesukim, since unfortunately, much of our understanding of Hebrew comes from the Christian translations. If we look at the Rishonim (for example in the Sefer hashorashim of Radak, and Rishonim throughout Tanach) we find that Emunah does NOT mean blind faith, but rather conviction. Which any reasonable person realizes must be based on reason. a first step in learning Torah must be a reawakening of the meaning of the language based upon an understanding of the fundamentals (e.g. the 13 ikkarim) (this unfortunately is lost even among many orthodox Jews.and Rabbis)

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    3. Yaacov: maybe not only "blind" faith, but at the end of the day, after a person tries to find a rational basis and can't (even if others think he can and should already), the last resort IS rationless faith. Even if that's not the main definition, it must be included in the definition.

      You say that "any reasonable person realizes" that "conviction...must be based on reason". Again, ideally based on perhaps, but not exclusively. I can have conviction based on mesorah also, or promise of reward, etc.

      Are you talking about the Rambam's "ani ma'amin" ikarim? I'm not sure that all of those are achieved thru reason. How, for example, is believing in the Moshiach's coming reasonable? Or that God is incorporable (bodyless)?

      OK - I don't think we need to dwell on this. Thanks for the comment.

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    4. RR: A claim of stupidity is often a poor excuse at justification, but not always. "Proper time and dedicated effort", even if possible, is not always practical for everyone. You seem to assume that all an open-minded person has to do is read and properly consider all of this series' parts, and they'll emerge (or be strengthened as) a believer.

      I, who really want to find out and think I might have a chance now here (one way or the other) can hardly find the time - I've already lost sleep over it (should be sleeping now, in fact). Besides the actual posts, what about all of the comments, and videos and literary links? Do you realize how much time and effort that takes? Hard for a working person (you and Dr_M seem to be fortunate exceptions). Besides the recommended videos, there must be over 100 links in this series.

      I started reading Barnes' 76 page critique of Stenger's FoFT book today. I'm a smart guy - Mensa, actually - but especially without a scientific backround, I couldn't understand most of it. I haven't even read the book yet, which is supposed to be for the layperson. I did read Stenger's response that I posted in Part 4 - how am I supposed to be able to judge whether any of those three writings are valid or not? You have doctoral and bachelor's degrees in Math and Physics, and you still don't feel qualified (and others agree)!

      Before modern science bombarded us with all of this info, how were our searching ancestors supposed to come to emunah through reason?

      Any fool can simply profess blind faith in anything - both multiverse and God included. Multiverse Theory seems to me to be absurd. So does the idea of God.

      Not everyone is open to logical argument, and what is a logical argument to one isn't to someone else.

      Many people justify existing beliefs instead of really challenging them.

      I admit that I may not fully understand this or any other pasuk. Let's come back in from outfield, shall we? : )

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    5. Ron
      I will not dwell on the issue, but I think you misunderstood me, and I want what I said clear (which you can disagree with, if you so choose). I was not saying that all conviction must be based on first hand knowledge. Mesora is also a rational conviction based on the experience of Sinai (a discussion of this is not within the scope of the blog, but I am willing to discuss it via email listed on my blogger profile if you are interested when you have time). Similarly, reward is a motivation, but why am I motivated by this reward (as opposed to Christian, Muslim, spaghetti monster etc.) I must have a rational basis of conviction otherwise I can only answer "because I was raised with it" which isn't a good reason(since christians etc. were born into their beliefs).
      Our searching ancestors pursued God through their incomplete (which ours is also) knowledge of science.

      A person who is unable to seek God through science is definitely able to rationally rely on mesora, the point of Rambam, Rabbenu Bachya etc. is that to the degree of ability a person must pursue this knowledge, but they clearly recognize that the majority of people cannot achieve this.

      On a side note, if you are interested in the ani maamin's you should see them in the original (those printed in the siddur are poor summaries) in the Rambam's introduction to Perek Chelek. (If you can find the Kapach translation, he has an important comment about the meaning of the arabic word, commonly translated as 'emunah' (based on the Rambam in the moreh))

      lastly, this is a long term pursuit, please don't harm yourself with lack of sleep, the posts will still be here in months and years. Understanding God through science is a lifetime pursuit, allow it to take the necessary time.

      I also read this piece on mensa years back and found it interesting, please do not take it as a criticism of you personally, since from the fact you are here I suspect that the criticism he makes does not apply to you (and possibly not to most mensa members). http://www.sourcetext.com/grammarian/gift-of-fire/05.htm

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  7. Welcome aboard, Ron. You sound like an intelligent and interesting person. I am interested to get your input and to hear your comments.

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  8. At least I sound that way ; ). OK - let's start inputing then:

    I already mentioned this in my 1st comment, about Barnes' article critical of Stenger's fallacy of fine tuning argument, and that unbeknownst to those here, Prof. Stenger actually wrote a rebuttal to Barnes' article early this year. As per RR's request, I'm posting it in Part 4: Initial Conditions, where the discussion takes place (even though it's also mentioned in comments in Part 3: The Solution). I actually have but have not read Stenger's book, nor Barnes' nor Stenger's articles. But I'm putting the info there - let's see if it stimulates discussion (if so, maybe I'll even read them, too!).

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    1. Pretty convincing argument, especially considering all of this scientists are not theists (?atheists)...Can't say I am qualified to comment on the exact science of the arguments both ways, but those are a whole bunch of widely respected scientists that disagree with Stenger...

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  9. I have given Dr Manhattans question some thought in the past and found an answer I consider satisfactory. G-d's oneness implies his essence, will, and knowledge are one and necessary. Therefore, his knowledge that something exists is the same as his desire it exists. You see something like this in the premises of kalam, though they formulate it differently. In this framework, it is not necessary for there to be a feedback where Hashem's knowledge is contingent on reality but rather it is necessary alongside, and identical with, his creative will. For example, he knows a rock exists because he wills a rock to exist. He doesn't require "confirmation."

    ShamanSTK

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    1. Welcome to the blog, ShamanSTK. You are proposing an interesting and abstract answer for the problem. We think that many ancient philosophers had similar approaches.

      However, we thought that there was a simpler and more direct answer which we gave in the next post. We hope you find it helpful.

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    2. Thanks! I've been following it from the beginning, and I've found it very interesting. I've found it a very interesting approach, halfway between the approaches of Saadia and the Rambam with updated science. I've always felt that MN 1:73-75 could use a post quantum reevaluation and I feel you've done a great job.

      It does a great job of explaining his simplicity. Saadia points out the fallacy that the dualists, or the trinitarians, (and now the atheists) posit that the 'attributes' of G-d imply complexity. While the next post does a fantastic job of explaining how complexity is impossible, and a break down of his essence is impossible, and therefore his essence is unknowable, Dr Manhattan's problem is that it side steps the problem. Which it does to an extent. It jumps right to the end without addressing how the oneness is the G-d we believe in with the capacity for justice, knowledge, wisdom, and a continuing relationship with his creation. His objection can be summarized as "this oneness idea is interesting, but it's not G-d. G-d is complex if he is to be a G-d." The purpose of my post was to explain how his 'attributes' can be collapsed into the unity while preserving their function. While G-d's essence remains unknowable, i.e. how this will functions, it avoids his objection that we are simply jamming more essences and functions into the unity slot, as per his objection that we are simply restating 3=1.

      ShamanSTK

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    3. We also think the argument that "god must be very complex" is a straw man argument. However, we don't think it is necessary to "collapse" God's attributes into his Essence. As we explain in the next post, what we really mean when we talk about God's positive attributes is a descriptions of His ways and that which results from His actions.

      This too has support from many philosophers and is much easier for the mind to comprehend than saying "everything is One", which is a very abstract idea that can not be easily comprehended by the mind; even though it is certainly not the contradiction that results from maintaining complexity in the essence of that which is Absolutely Simple.

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  10. Here's why a god with knowledge must have complexity:

    Suppose you've committed a sin and god remembers that. God now has a memory of you doing it. It makes no difference how he stores the memory, there's still something about god that's different to what it would have been had you not committed the sin.

    It's not just human sin, every bit of information about reality that happens to be one way but could have been another adds another bit of complexity to god, if he 'knows' that information.

    If god had a choice, or choices, in creating this world or in other things, and he remembers those choices, then he is different to what he would have been had he chosen differently.

    A very large number of these bits of information, makes god very complex, irregardless of how many physical parts his brain has.

    - Ashmedai

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    1. You are viewing God's knowledge essentially like ours (see next post). You are also making a mistake of viewing God as temporal

      As a metaphor to show the flaw in your claim (this is not to show how God Knows(since we cannot know that), but just to show that each particular you know is not a separate bit of information) When you know a scientific principle you know all things which are expressions of this principle hence you have compressed the knowledge into fewer bits of information, knowing the fundamental from which everything emanates is to know everything implicitly.

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    2. Once you say that all the complexity of the universe across all of time and space can be 'known' to god in an extremely simple form, you no longer need a god, because we could just as well say that the universe itself is fundamentally extremely simple, and the complexity we perceive (due to the way out brain works) is actually implicit in and emanating from that simplicity.

      -Ashmedai

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    3. First of all, I am not saying that is how God knows it, as mentioned by RAZREF God's knowledge is a metaphor but we cannot know how He knows. My point was to serve as intuitive metaphor. To show that knowledge does not have the complexity of all details that it knows .

      Second of all (to address your question), the point of the fine tuning argument is that the simple form is precisely tuned to be suitable for the development of complexity, hence it reveals 'intelligent' design. The universe is fundamentally simple, but its simple laws are highly contingent since there is no fundamental reason they should be so finely tuned. The question of complexity and design are distinct.

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    4. It doesn't matter how god would do it, as long as you agree to the concept. Perhaps the way the universe works fundamentally is also beyond what we can comprehend, and so you can't question that or draw conclusions about it and how it came about.

      Your second point argues strongly that god must have a creator, as how could something so absolutely simple as god exhibit such complex, perfect, and powerful behaviour unless someone extremely intelligent designed it.

      -Ashmedai

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    5. Have you read the posts and comments? You seem to be making similar errors to Dr Manhattan.
      The fact that we don't know how the universe works completely doesnt mean we have no knowledge, getting the best understanding we can is the basis of science. According to current science we should accept a designer or the multiverse, once we reject the multiverse accepting a designer is the logical conclusion.
      The fact that we don't know God's essence or how something absolutely simple provides order doesnt change the deduction that seeing the universe the finetuning points to a fine tuner and that the fine tuner must be "One Simple Necessary Existence which causes all the ordered complexity in the universe". As shown in the series of posts. Stop trying to anthropormorphize God.
      The key point is the fine tuning of the constants, the simple laws of nature are quantified through a set of constants which there is no scientific explanation for, ie from the standpoint of the laws they could be different and if they were more then minimally different there would not be a complex universe. We must explain why these constants are the way they are. On the other hand the creator does not have any unexplained constants since the creator as an absolutely simple existence can not be other than He is, hence we do not need to propose a designer (note that is also the meaning of necessary existence (which was demonstrated and explained in the post), He could not be other than He is)


      as the blog authors explained:
      "This also answers Weinberg's question of "Why is God this way rather than some other way?". There are not two logical ways that One Simple Necessary Existence can be. That question only makes sense if a god has any complexity whatsoever (Dawkins' god). Then we could ask why he couldn't be ordered in a different way. If god had some quantities, then we could ask why his number couldn't be different. However, this question is senseless in reference to the God of Abraham."


      Since it seems you aren't even bothering to read the posts carefully I doubt further discussion will be useful until you start asking questions which have not already been addressed in the blog post. In your mind is there any argument which could convince you or have you already made up your mind? You can take the last word if you want but I probably wont respond since from your comments it seems that you aren't honestly trying to understand.
      -king solomon

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In the words of Agur bin-Yakeh: "We welcome all comments, questions, contributions, and critiques - but if you insist on posting anonymously, PLEASE use a pseudonym rather than posting as "Anonymous," since this makes it much easier to carry on a normal discussion. Thank you!"