Animation script - for comments please

December 17, 2015

Here's a short animation script - for comments please.

Some suppose reality is divided by a veil. On this side of the veil is the natural, observable world. Beyond the veil lies another realm - of ghosts and spirits, angels and demons, and of course gods. These beings are supposed to inhabit an unobservable, supernatural realm that science can't touch.

So how do we know such beings are there? Some believe special people - psychics, say, or gurus - can glimpse, if only dimly, through the veil. They can see what's on the other side. Spiritualists claim they can talk to our dead relatives who have 'passed over' to the other side.

Still,  while ghosts, angels, and gods aren't observable, that doesn't mean they can't be scientifically investigated.

After all, subatomic particles, such as electrons, aren't observable. Yet they can be scientifically investigated.

How? Well, there are certain things we should expect to observe if electrons exist, and shouldn't expect otherwise. Experimental results can give us good evidence that electrons exist, despite the fact that no one has ever seen an electron.

The distant past of this planet is also unobservable. Yet we can reasonably rule out beliefs about its past, such as the ludicrous Biblical view that god made the entire universe just 6,000 years ago. There's overwhelming evidence the Earth is much older than that.

And can't we also know, just by looking around us, that the world is not the creation of an all-powerful and all-evil god? Surely we can. The world would surely look much more horrific if it were created by an evil god. We may not know why the universe exists, but we can be confident, given what we can observe, that it's not creation of such a demonic being.

The faithful sometimes say, 'There are more things in heaven and Earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy'. No doubt there are. Still, while we may not know why the universe exists, we can reasonably rule some answers out.

We can reasonably rule out a god that created the universe six thousand years ago. And we can reasonably rule out an all-powerful, all-evil god.

So perhaps we can reasonably rule out an all-powerful, all-good God, too?

Comments:

#1 cornell (Guest) on Thursday December 17, 2015 at 12:07pm

The post assumes that there is even a supernatural vs. Natural distinction to begin with.

There are a few problems here

For one what does it mean to be “supernatural”? 

If universals existed as abstract objects would they be “supernatural” because as far as I know, they haven’t been confirmed by science


With that being said

Why can’t some necessary rational mind exist and yet be natural at the same time?

Breaking down the attributes of “rationality” and “necessity” I don’t see why either of these properties aren’t natural.

#2 Philip Rand (Guest) on Thursday December 17, 2015 at 4:15pm

Dr Law…

Could you please explain to me why
the world would surely look much more horrific if it were created by an evil god?

Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to answer the question…

Not because you wish to ignore me…but, rather because you can’t do it…

#3 cornell (Guest) on Thursday December 17, 2015 at 8:08pm

I don’t think it possible either Philip

As a Cartesian rationalist myself I am reminded of a POSSIBLE creator that is more powerful than the Cartesian Demon.

An evil god could just mess around with our perceptions and ultimately deceive us to the point where it doesn’t look like one exists and then BAM once we die or once humanity reaches a point where the deceiver god wants to show itself we are all screwed…which means that there is absolutely no way to evil god by empirical means.

If this is the god that exists then oh well…Theism is still true and Atheism is false.  If I am being deceived by a an evil deceiver god then there is nothing to be ashamed of as I am just underpowered compared to this being as is everyone else.

I think that you can only refute Theism whether the deity is an evil God, balanced God or good God a priori and so far no has come even close.

Theism is just too tough to take down…

#4 cornell (Guest) on Thursday December 17, 2015 at 8:11pm

eh, wishing this blog format had an edit button.

I meant to say this in the 3rd paragraph.

which means that there is absolutely no way to *DISPROVE* an evil god by empirical means

#5 Philip Rand (Guest) on Thursday December 17, 2015 at 10:18pm

Cornell… actually this evil god idea is quite interesting… I have done some work on the issue, using computer programme simulation…I even gave Dr Koepsell (another CFI chappy) direction on how to set up an evil god model (he even thanked me on this blog).

I have just completed another one for somebody who is also looking at this evil god thing… however, his model is much more sophisticated than Dr Law’s… actually it is the best one I have seen around…

The evil god thesis is an interesting question and results in a very interesting, I would say even paradoxical result when you fully analyse it…

However, Dr Law’s conclusions are way too imponderable…

He simply is saying:

1/ The world is not evil enough for an evil god to exist. (Empirically proved)

2/ The world is not good enough for a good god to exist.(Empirically proved)

Therefore, neither exist…that is all his conclusion amounts to…because we have just the right amount of evil and good in the world to make the existence of any god empirically not possible, (Empirically proved).

What is funny, is that he accepts that he does not know why the physics constants are fine-tuned for life… which amounts to the same “goldilocks” reasoning he is using to know that a god does not exist, i.e. the amount of suffering and pleasure in the world are fine-tuned in such a manner to preclude the existence of any creator.

#6 Philip Rand (Guest) on Friday December 18, 2015 at 12:29am

You see Cornell… the problem with this supernatural/natural divide is that really you have to look at it in a quantum mechanics fashion…

Suppose you want to know the number of particles in your house. You go around the house and find three particles in the dining room, five under the bed, eight in a kitchen cabinet, and so on.

Now add them up…

The problem then arises that the sum will not be the total number of particles. 

That number in quantum mechanics is a property of the house as a whole… to determine it, you would have to measure the whole house in one go, rather than room by room.

This is one of the problems that has to be overcome when looking at this evil/good god thingy, i.e. you have to find a method that allows one to quantify the entire evil/good space in the entire universe in one go… not in a piece meal fashion…doing that will lead to an imponderable result…and only a computer simulation will allow one to do this…

This is what is wrong with all these “prayer” experiments… the affect you are looking for could only be measured if one could do the impossible and measure the total prayer system in one go… not in dribs and drabs… this will lead to inconclusive results as the blur in the measurement is too great…

#7 cornell (Guest) on Friday December 18, 2015 at 6:56am

Good points, the whole one go could be the end result.

I just think that we should get rid of this supernatural vs natural distinction altogether, I don’t think the word was even used until the 16th century, but I could be wrong.

#8 cornell (Guest) on Friday December 18, 2015 at 7:00am

“However, Dr Law’s conclusions are way too imponderable…

He simply is saying:

1/ The world is not evil enough for an evil god to exist. (Empirically proved)

2/ The world is not good enough for a good god to exist.(Empirically proved)

Therefore, neither exist…”


Yeah he still works of an a priori justification of what the world should look like if an evil or good God exists and THEN he looks at the world empirically.

The problem is how he came to know what the world should look like before he looks at it.

He also rules out a third option…a balanced God, sort of like a ying yang.

#9 Jazzharmonica on Friday December 18, 2015 at 7:58am

How timely your blog today.  Today the catholic church cannonized mother teresa.  Praying to dead people for miracles just in time for the holidays I presume. Meantime, i cannot quite imagine your veil.  To do so gives credence to the side where no evidence exists.  I can imagine the electron. It is there and all the other incredible but natural places the answers will lay.

#10 Spirillum (Guest) on Friday December 18, 2015 at 9:14am

I think the script could be an effective illustration of the disparity with which we demand supporting evidence of scientific theories but reject the same sort of critical thought when it comes to theism. We accept extraordinary theories of unobservable phenomenon only in the face of extraordinary evidence. Armed with a demand for evidence, one could certainly reasonably dismiss religious claims.

It’s an important message.

#11 DougEBarr on Friday December 18, 2015 at 10:32am

http://thelastwhy.ca/poems/2006/9/26/god.html

#12 Tony Lloyd (Guest) on Monday December 21, 2015 at 8:53am

Maybe switch “atoms” for “electrons”. I think Einstein’s argument for atoms could be animated.  For water to move pollen about there’d need to be “bits” of water moving differently from other “bits” in order to set up a differential impetus on the pollen to move it. If the structure of water were smooth and undifferentiated we wouldn’t have those “bits”.

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