Showing posts with label epistomology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label epistomology. Show all posts

Friday, July 10, 2009


Beliefnet Community > Thread :
...we perceive the world causally because it is in our nature (material make up and our experience of consciousness) to perceive it causally.
It may be time to take this part of our nature out from under the rug and see if it is still useful. The post hoc, propter hoc fallacy has probably caused more trouble in science, religion, and life than any other mistake we commonly make. Something happens and the first thing we ask is “Why?” Then we grab the first plausible why we can find and go back into our stupor thinking that we have the answer. When rocks, and spears were social mediators this probably made sense. But in a modern world where nuanced responses to stimuli are necessary the simple causal answer may not even be correct let alone useful. I have learned that jumping to conclusions is normally jumping into hot water, and that rational consideration is normally the best solution to any important decision. And that the initial causal response is usually incorrect.

Especially in science I find the causal assumption to be a pervasive source of error. How many times do we see respected journal articles with a zillion graphs showing correlation, and the inevitable therefore the cause is.... Yet another 95% certainty of error.

Contingent things, Causes and Gods.

Beliefnet Community > Thread - :
Reason and rationality dictate that any contingent thing must (by necessity) have a cause for its being. Therefore in order for anything to exist, there must be something which does exist that requires no cause--and is the cause of everything that is by nature contingent. That is why we say that this non-contingent something has a super-nature or super-being. It is 'super' (beyond) because-unlike us---it does not necessitate a cause for its existence or being.

Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. Either everything is a contingent thing and must have a cause, or there are non-contingent things that have no causes and must be considered unknowable. We can not say that the non-contingent thing has a super nature, we cannot speculate about its nature at all. Nor can we speculate that a non-contingent thing can have any effect at all on contingent things.

Available evidence indicates that if there is a non-contingent thing called God, God has no effect at all on contingent things which exist in the world. We can trace contingent things in the real world at least conceptually, but with falsifiable in theory evidence to the Big Inflation and perhaps beyond, that began the observable contingent universe, with no need for a non-contingent anything to cause any of it. This does not of course prove that the non-contingent thing called by some God does not exist. It just indicates that a non-contingent thing is not necessary for an explanation of the observable universe. And that therefore some other argument for God is going to be needed if the existence of God is going to be asserted.

I am not arguing that God does not exist, just that God is not a cause of a contingent effect. If for example God is present in a congregation of believers, and a believer prays for some assistance there is no way to assign the resulting assistance, if any, to the God or to some other cause perhaps increased mental clarity due to the prayer.