Posts tagged ‘metaphysics’

August 1st, 2013

Transcript and Thoughts on My Debate with Justin Schieber

by Max Andrews

Over the last month or two I’ve been working on a written/audio debate with Justin Schieber of Reasonable Doubts. The topic of the debate was “Does the Christian God Exist?” I imagine the debate may have been released earlier had it not been for my delayed responses due to health issues and moving out of our house and preparing to embark on our move to Scotland. I have apologized to Mr. Schieber concerning this and I extend apologies to the readers and listeners.

I was actually expecting much stronger arguments from Mr. Schieber. Two arguments were off topic and the other one was a far metaphysical and modal stretch. You’ll be able to read his arguments in full but here are my thoughts :

June 24th, 2013

Q&A 28: The Multiverse, Many Worlds, and the Problem of Evil

by Max Andrews

Question:

Hey Max,
This was a great idea to start this Q&A section!  I have a question regarding the Problem of Evil that I have been working on for a couple months now.  I haven’t yet found an intellectually satisfying answer, but hopefully through you, God will provide one.  (I almost didn’t want to ask it because I enjoy the “chase” as Christ reveals Himself to me through the process!)
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June 9th, 2013

The Philosophy of Science Directory

by Max Andrews

This is a compilation of posts, which focus on the philosophy of science. These posts will cover a broad spectrum within the philosophy of science ranging from multiverse scenarios, scientific theory, epistemology, and metaphysics.

  1. MA Philosophy Thesis: “The Fine-Tuning of Nomic Behavior in Multiverse Scenarios”
  2. Natural Law and Scientific Explanation
  3. Science and Efficient Causation
  4. Which Comes First, Philosophy or Science?
  5. The Postulates of Special Relativity
  6. There’s No Such Thing as Creation Science–There’s Just Science
  7. Time Travel and Bilking Arguments
  8. “It’s Just a Theory”–What’s a Scientific Theory?
  9. Exceptions to a Finite Universe
  10. Teleology in Science
  11. Duhemian Science
  12. The Relationship Between Philosophy and Science
  13. The History of the Multiverse and the Philosophy of Science
  14. Where’s the Line of Demarcation Between Science and Pseudoscience?
  15. Miracles and the Modern Worldview
  16. Mass-Density Link Simpliciter
  17. Scientific Nihilism
  18. Q&A 10: The Problem of Defining Science
  19. Q&A 6: Scientism and Inference to the Best Explanation
  20. The Quantum Universe and the Universal Wave Function
  21. The History and Macro-Ontology of the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Physics
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June 8th, 2013

Understanding the Two Natures of Jesus

by Max Andrews

Reduplicated predication, in the Christological sense, is a means of understanding the relationship between the natures of Jesus Christ.  When Scripture attributes human qualities to Jesus they must be predicated to his human nature.  Likewise, when Scripture attributes divine qualities to Jesus they must be predicated to his divine nature.

With this notion, we may be able to solve the issue of predicates to the Person.  The predicate property of the person is with respect to one nature (i.e. ignorance with humanity and omniscience with divinity—hunger and fatigue with humanity, necessity with divinity).

But now there is a problem.  Once we apply this to Jesus, such predicates like omniscience and ignorance, and impeccability and humanity seem to be incompatible.  It poses a problem with limitations.  Is this irremediable?  I don’t believe so.

May 26th, 2013

A Missing Argument from March’s Debate

by Max Andrews

In preparation for my debate this past March I went through my opponents blog to find relevant arguments he may use. (He didn’t use any I had expected. Instead, he just did the scatter-gun approach by putting little, ineffective arguments out there hoping they’d stick instead of presenting a few robust, substantive arguments.) I found this argument on the impossibility of God from omniscience and omnipotence. I expected this because these are the types of arguments atheists should be using. In order to demonstrate a universal negative one must demonstrate that the referent is impossible or logically incoherent; that is, since contradictions are the only things that cannot obtain. To much misfortune, the argument was not presented. If it had been presented the debate would have been much more substantive. (To watch the debate for yourself, watch it here. Don’t take my word for it.)

April 26th, 2013

Natural Law and Scientific Explanation

by Max Andrews

In the eighteenth century David Hume held that the relation of cause and effect obtains only when one or more laws subsume the related events—that is, cover them as cases or instances of the operation of the law.[1]  This method and criticism of causality deprived science of any valid foundation in necessary connections obtaining between actual events and of leaving it with nothing more reliable than habits of mind rooted in association.  Hume’s mode of inquiry was one in which questions yield results that are not entirely new, giving rise to knowledge that can only be derived by an inferential process from what was already known.  Humean regularities and constant connections cannot be reduced to scientific explanations. If scientific explanation is causal explanation, and causation is law-governed sequence, then it follows that scientific explanations require laws.  However, a problem with this (i.e. the ideal gas law: PV=nRT) is that instead of making things clearer, it threatens to involve the analysis of scientific explanation in a thicket of “metaphysical” issues that several philosophers and positivists sought to avoid.[2]   Scientific explanation requires a causal explanation, which requires a law-governed explanation.

April 10th, 2013

Q&A 18: The Metaphysics of Time and the Kalam Argument

by Max Andrews

Question:

Hi Max,I watched  a  debate between Phil  Fernandes  v  Jeffrey  Lowder. Lowder  rebuts   the cosmological argument saying that  indeed   it   is   only   in space and time  that  whatever begins to exist must have a cause,  but  that  out of the realm of space and time we do not know. He therefore argues that the universe is just there. About the beginning of the universe, Lowder says that naturalists who believe in the big bang model do not believe that the universe popped out of nothing. They believe that there was no time at which the universe did not exist, and there is no place the universe came from. On naturalism, the universe just is, and that’s  all. Secondly, there is no reason to believe that the universe had a cause.  He says the argument that everything that begins to exist (in space and time) is correct. However, when the universe came to exist, it was not in space and time. The origin of the universe is the very origin of space and time itself.Similarly, Peter  Millican in his debate with Craig asked Bill, where the evidence was  that whatever  begins to exist must have a cause. All we have in the universe are rearrangements of already existing  materials. I do not recall if Craig answered this argument directly.What are  your thoughts on the above arguments?

Kind regards,

Jimmy

April 5th, 2013

A Note on the Problem of Divine Action

by Max Andrews

The Newtonian system depicted a deterministic universe but it was not causally closed.  Newtonian mechanics in conjunction with the Laplacian causally closed universe entails problems for divine immanence. Because of Einstein’s relativity the Newtonian and Laplacian models have been abandoned.  The present discussion of how God interacts with the world has shifted to quantum mechanics. There are over a dozen interpretations, which mathematically describe the quantum world.  Objections from the principle of conservation are moot in an Einsteinian universe because it is not causally closed.  Even so, certain quantum interpretations reject the principle of conservation such as the Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber (GRW) interpretation.  In a theistic context, GRW makes sense of external causes having an ontological link to the physical world without violating conservation.[1]

April 3rd, 2013

Liberty University Debate Video

by Max Andrews

A debate between Max Andrews from Liberty University and Dan Linford from Virginia Tech on the topic “Does God Exist?”

Filmed on the campus of Liberty University, March 28, 2013.

Sponsored by the Liberty University chapter of Ratio Christi, the Phi Sigma Tau Honor Society, and the Philosophy Department of Liberty University.

March 11th, 2013

Q&A 14: Why Don’t the Laws of Nature Evolve?

by Max Andrews

Question:

Hey, Max.

I’ve just started reading Rupert Sheldrake’s The Science Delusion: Freeing The Spirit Of Enquiry and came across three questions about the laws of nature.

In Chapter 3, Sheldrake begins by saying:
“Most scientists take it for granted that the laws of nature are fixed.”
He then leads on to this question:
“If everything else evolves, why don’t the laws of nature evolve along with nature?”
The argument that he advances in the chapter involves something he calls ‘habits’, which are “a kind of memory inherent in nature”. (From what I understand, he has also advanced this within a theory of ‘morphic resonance’ in his other published works.) Putting aside his case for these ‘habits’, three questions that he poses to materialists at the end of the chapter caught my eye:
1) If the laws of nature existed before the Big Bang, and governed the Big Bang from its first instant, where were they?
2) If the laws and constants of nature all came into being at the moment of the Big Bang, how does the universe remember them? Where are they ‘imprinted’?
3) How do you know that the laws of nature are fixed and not evolutionary?
Although I can hear the materialists cry that these questions are not even wrong, I wondered what you thought about them.
Best Wishes,
Mark Hawker (UK)
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