The case for a non-interventionist God

The case for a non-interventionist God

Postby Bill » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:19 pm

While in discussion with others elsewhere, I was presented with this case:

    For science to work, there has to be predictability in the universe.
    If the universe ran purely by luck and chance, science would never be successful
    Science is successful
    Therefore the universe does not run by chance.
    If the universe does not run by chance, it has to be ordered.
    You cannot create order out of chaos.
    If the universe has not been created out of chaos, it was created in some other manner
    The only other possible manner is that it was created by a Supreme Being or other force that can create universes.
    A Supreme Being, or other force that can create a universe, is known as a God
    God exists.


This argument sort of fits the reasonable agnostic notion that it is possible for a non-interventionist God to exist on the grounds that no case has been made to prove one does not exist.

But that is not enough. Is the above case sound enough to lead to a belief in a non-interventionist God?

My own view is that the premise "The only other possible manner is that it was created by a Supreme Being or other force that can create universes." may be an example of the fallacy of bifurcation: but for that to be so, there has to be at least one other rational alternative to how a predictable universe gets created.

Any thoughts?
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Re: The case for a non-interventionist God

Postby romansh » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:46 pm

This is interesting Bill
Let me parse the argument and please excuse me, I have a few glasses of Canadian Malbec inside me.
    For science to work, there has to be predictability in the universe.
    If the universe ran purely by luck and chance, science would never be successful

Not exactly true. Here your proponent does not have a firm grasp of chance and luck. Your proponent is using an everyday concept of chance/luck where there is no cause. A role of a dice (die) on a flat surface will almost certainly give a number between one and six. In an everyday sense it is chance that determines the score. The process is deterministic by and large. Though some may invoke quantum phenomena in the rolling of the dice. Either way the proponent is hinging her/his argument imperfect replicability.
    Science is successful
    Therefore the universe does not run by chance.
    If the universe does not run by chance, it has to be ordered.
    You cannot create order out of chaos.

This last line is deeply suspect. ie your proponent should look up chaos theory on the wiki page.
    If the universe has not been created out of chaos, it was created in some other manner
    The only other possible manner is that it was created by a Supreme Being or other force that can create universes.

The only possible manner really? There is some neat footwork here Supreme being or some other force? The other force might be the inherent instability of a vacuum?
    A Supreme Being, or other force that can create a universe, is known as a God

If we desire to call quantum phenomena God, then fair enough.
    God exists.

Yep quantum phenomena exist.
This argument sort of fits the reasonable agnostic notion that it is possible for a non-interventionist God to exist on the grounds that no case has been made to prove one does not exist.

But that is not enough. Is the above case sound enough to lead to a belief in a non-interventionist God?

No, while we [agnostics] cannot dismiss a deistic god(s) [imo], there are arguably simpler arguments for the existence of a universe.
My own view is that the premise "The only other possible manner is that it was created by a Supreme Being or other force that can create universes." may be an example of the fallacy of bifurcation: but for that to be so, there has to be at least one other rational alternative to how a predictable universe gets created.

Any thoughts?

A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krause or An Elegant Universe by Brian Greene?
Now some might argue the nothings in our cosmology are not true nothing. But then why should a 'true' nothing be our default?
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Re: The case for a non-interventionist God

Postby gilnv » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:52 am

Bill wrote:
    For science to work, there has to be predictability in the universe.
    If the universe ran purely by luck and chance, science would never be successful
    Science is successful
    Therefore the universe does not run by chance.
    If the universe does not run by chance, it has to be ordered.
    You cannot create order out of chaos.
    If the universe has not been created out of chaos, it was created in some other manner
    The only other possible manner is that it was created by a Supreme Being or other force that can create universes.
    A Supreme Being, or other force that can create a universe, is known as a God
    God exists.


My own view is that the premise "The only other possible manner is that it was created by a Supreme Being or other force that can create universes." may be an example of the fallacy of bifurcation: but for that to be so, there has to be at least one other rational alternative to how a predictable universe gets created.
Any thoughts?


I do notice the 'bifurcation' problem (implying that there are only two possible answers and that if one of those isn't possible the other is implied to be correct).
Nevertheless, the discussion presents great viewpoints.

For me, the question of a 'beginning' has always been the most impossible question. Logic, science, and religion can never answer the question of 'what was at the beginning' because that begs the legitimate question of 'what was there before'.

I know we have mentioned possible viewpoints for answering the 'beginning' or 'how did it all start' question, but no serious attempts at an answer were ever taken seriously by us or anyone else. The 'big bang' or 'God always lived and created the beginning' is usually avoided when any indepth discussion happens anywhere.
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Re: The case for a non-interventionist God

Postby Dissily Mordentroge » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:49 pm

Bifurcation can blind to other (peculiar?) possibilities. Suppose a creator/God/advanced intelligence ( insert your preferred term) experienced their omniscience as making everything into an infinite past and infinite future known. So boring a state could lead to committing an act of cosmic suicide ( the Big Bang?) simply in order to give birth to the unpredictable. . We're still left with the impossibility of proof and questions of how to define 'random' and 'chance' but at least we might spend some time wondering if the Christian myth of the crucifixion is trying to tell us something.
On the other hand I'm inclined to suggest some questions are so absurdly unanswerable we may a well not waste our time trying to answer them.
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Re: The case for a non-interventionist God

Postby whateverist » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:07 am

Dissily Mordentroge wrote:On the other hand I'm inclined to suggest some questions are so absurdly unanswerable we may a well not waste our time trying to answer them.



Amen. One such question would be to ask what are the necessary conditions for science to work. Another: what can we deduce from the fact there is something rather than nothing. Any argument for the existence of a 'god' based on such feeble foundations deserve to be ignored. This is especially problematic when used to define as necessary something as poorly defined as a 'god'.
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Re: The case for a non-interventionist God

Postby romansh » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:58 pm

whateverist wrote: Another: what can we deduce from the fact there is something rather than nothing.

Slightly off topic, we could be asking why isn't there nothing as opposed to something?

Or phrased another way why is our default position nothing?
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Re: The case for a non-interventionist God

Postby Bill » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:27 am

Somethings tend to occupy less space than nothings. Nothing is everywhere that something is not, and is therefore more ginormous by huge factor. If all the nothing was removed from the average human being, the resulting mass would be about the size of a small tin tack (but still weigh the same as the original full scale human).

If you have lots and lots of A, and limited amounts of B, it seems natural the A is the default.
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Re: The case for a non-interventionist God

Postby romansh » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:30 pm

Nothing by definition takes up no space whatsoever.

Space is not nothing. It is space.
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Re: The case for a non-interventionist God

Postby Bill » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:39 am

Empty space is space that contains nothing. Or, if you will, space is full of nothingness.

I might have an odd definition of "nothing" - the absence of something But from a pragmatical point of view it does explain why there is more empty space than filled space in an efficient manner, and then on to why empty space is the default.
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Re: The case for a non-interventionist God

Postby romansh » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:50 am

Bill wrote:Empty space is space that contains nothing. Or, if you will, space is full of nothingness.

I might have an odd definition of "nothing" - the absence of something But from a pragmatical point of view it does explain why there is more empty space than filled space in an efficient manner, and then on to why empty space is the default.


Theists give the likes of Krauss and Hawkins a hard time when they explain how our universe can pop into existence from nothing (supposedly empty space). They [the theists] claim that is not a true nothing where virtual particles are popping in and out of existence all the time. Krauss retorts that is the real 'nothing' and he is not dealing with some imaginary nothing. And yet things like the Casimir effect provide some evidence for these virtual phenomena.

Do our three dimensions and time go away in space (empty or otherwise)?

Simon Blackburn's question remains ... why is nothing our default position?
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