Evolution of The God Concept part 2


,,,,The assumption that humans are projecting their own attributes is no more supported by the facts than the idea of progressive revelation. It could just be that our conceptions of God have to grow as our understanding of reality grows. How could Stone Age people start out understanding God in terms of quantum theory or transcendence in relation to the space/time continuum? As our understanding has grown our conceptions of God have become more grandiose, they have kept pace with our understanding of the nature of the universe. How could it be otherwise? We can’t understand what we have never experienced or that to which we have never been exposed. New psychological research has indicated that children don’t have to understand God’s attributes by first understanding human attributes, but become able to distinguish between different kinds of agents at an early age (six).[1] We might still limit our understanding to our own experience of mind, yet as thinkers we are capable of conceptualizing beyond our own experience. This is born out by research which shows that people often have two understandings of God that conflict, especially in relation to ceremonial uses, they can anthropomorphize when explaining belief but recite doctrines they don’t understand when called upon to state beliefs.[2] That research pertains to Christian children but research has shown the same disparity with Hindus.[3] The real argument against the projection theory has to be the data discussed in the chapter on supernatural, the “m scale” studies by Hood that show universal nature of religious experience. If the concept of God is just the result of psychology how could it be that psychology is universal to all cultures and all times? It is true that the human mind is universal to humans, but it’s also the case that religion is thought of as a cultural phenomenon. The projection idea would be more than just a universal aspect of the human mind it would have to be the product of culture as well because it’s tied to specific cultural ideas of God. Yet all the mystics are having the same experiences regardless of their doctrine.

            Moreover, a positive transformative effect is tied to the experiences that indicates that something more fundamental than just cultural constructs is at work.

Examples of transformative effects

Sullivan (1993) (large qualitative study) the study concludes that spiritual beliefs and practices were identified as essential to the success of 48% of the informants interviewed.[4]  A study by Loretta Do Rozario of the religious practices of the disabled and those in chronic pain, the study demonstrates that religious (“mystical,” or “peak” experience) not only enables the subjects to cope with the trials of the challenges but also provides a since of growth even flourishing in the face of adversity.[5] The study methodology is known as “hermeneutic Phenomenology” it uses both intensive interviews and biographical essays. The Wuthnow study used questionnaires and the sample included 1000 people in San Francisco and Oakland. He asked them about experience of the transcendent, 68% of those experiencing within a year said life is very meaningful. While 46% of those whose experiences were more than a year old answered this way, that life was very meaningful. 82% of those experiencing within a year found they felt they knew the purpose of life, and 72% whose experiences were more than a year old. Only 18% and 21% respectively of those who had not had such experiences felt they cold say the same things.[6]

            Naturalistic assumptions about religion theorized that it was an explanation for natural phenomena, these assumptions are  linked to magical thinking because they assume it’s primitive and superstitious. But that is a misconception.  Its real origin is found in the actual experiences and their transformative effects. The transformative effects are what links religious orientation with a concept of God. The sense of exercising God or “the divine” with the transformational effects has to be more than just projecting anthropomorphism since it takes us beyond our understanding and into a realm that we can’t even express; yet the noetic qualities of the experience that impart meaning and significance to the events indicate that something real and larger than ourselves has been experienced. If we are projecting human qualities we have at least found, through religion, a way that those qualities connect us to some inherent meaning in life. It’s more likely that this is something beyond ourselves. The sense that the power is beyond us is often part of the experience. This is a basic aspect of the definition of spirituality.[7]

            Over the last forty years or so the idea of a brain chemistry solution to the concept of God has become fashionable. Scientific research demonstrates a connection between the concept of God and certain aspects of brain function. This has led many to theorize a totally naturalistic origin for the God concept.[8] Contrary to wishful thinking along these lines the association between thoughts about God and certain kinds of brain function is no proof that the concept of God originates totally within the brain as a side effect of brain chemistry. First, since we now understand that brain chemistry has to play a role in the communication process there should not be surprise that we find this association between God concept and brain chemistry. We find the same association between any two ideas. This is not proof that the idea of God is purely a side effect of brain chemistry any more than it is a proof that the ideas of mathematics are purely the result of brain chemistry. Secondly, the notion probably stems from the assumption of skeptics that God is supernatural and brain chemistry is natural and never the twain shall meet. As we have seen in chapter 10 (on supernatural) that term was coined to describe an experience which is toughly a part of naturalistic life. Supernatural describes mystical experience, which we know is a very real experience.

            The idea that ties mystical experoemce to brain chemistry are disproof of supernatural assumes that religious experience is seen as a miracle or something that  is wholly removed form naturalistic functions. This is merely a fallacy. As we discussed in chapter 10 (on supernatural) God created the natural, God is present in the natural, God is able to use the natural. The idea that the concept of God grows out of an accident or misfiring of brain wiring is merely a fallacious assumption. The probability is totally against any kind of “misfire” producing such an astounding sense of personal growth and transformation of life. Andrew Newberg and Eugene D’Aquili, after many years of research, specifically rejected that assumption; Newberg cited the realization of religious experience as a reality that connects us to the ultimate.[9] “the mind is mystical by default.”[10] What he means by that is that the same physical processes that carry messages from the body to the brain and make reality meaningful to us would have to be involved regardless of the reality of the external causes. God would have to use the chemical processes of our brains to communicate with us, and if God is real than that is what made us. The view point that sees religious experience and belief as genetic adaptation is really missing the point about the nature of evolution. As Lee Kirkpatrick points out the simpler concept is the more evolved. Rather than evolving an elaborate structure such as religious experience to deal with anxiety, why would the human brain not just evolve an efficient and simple mechanism for coping with stress?[11]

            There is also an argument to be made that the relation between brain chemistry and God concept is a good justification for belief in the reality of God. The basis for a hard wired God concept need not be evidence of a “God gene.” It could also be the result of a combination of genes working together (Spandrels), either way the odds are against it happening by total accident. That in itself is a good indication of some pre planning on the part of nature or something behind nature. Again the universality argument comes into play. We can’t assume the universal nature of cultural constructs. It would have to be genetic. The problem is evolution and genes can’t really provide for the content of ideas. They couldn’t really account for the universality of the God concept. Some skeptics have been known to argue that universal behaviors are genetic.[12] These pertain to things like men finding symmetrical faces and women’s figures are more attractive. Those are not the content of ideas, they are just behaviors. That’s instinct not idea. The universality of the God concept draws upon the content of the idea not just a behavior:

In Western Religions and In Hinduism, the higher Being has been called “God.”

In all theistic religions God is perceived as the ultimate, externality (transcendent), the ultimate internality, (immanent), and sometimes both simultaneously. Often, God is not perceived simply as a higher being but in many ways has been described as the ground or substance of all being. Thus, God is not only the higher being but also a state of higher being or ultimate reality. In fact, in the mystical tradition of the Western religions, the goal of the practice of meditation is to become intensely united with God and in so doing to become, in a sense, a part of ultimate reality involving release from the cycle of birth and death.[13]

The content of the ideas is what is universal, as well as the experiences (see chapter six—Hood’s argument and data). The way we as a species experience things can’t be genetically heritable especially when that experience has given rise to the content of an idea. That would be like positing the notion of innate ideas, which was supposed to be abandoned in the enlightenment. Innate ideas are assumed to be planted by God and are seen as the old religious way of looking at things. Innate ideas were assailed and dispatched by John Locke, in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding.[14]
            God was not invented by man and then evolves as a fictional concept, but God reveals divine presence to humans in progressive stages of revelation; our knowledge of God is ever deeper as people continue to seek the infinite. We can see the current result of this progressive revelation in the high state to which the concept of God had developed. The theological concepts we propose, sheer guess work in relation to the actual truth of the Holy, are evolved to a high stage of understanding regardless of their origin around the time of St. Augustine (354-430). The basic concept is that of transcendent reality that form the basis of reality as a whole, being itself, the ground of being. The basic attributes of the concept include eternal (timeless), necessary (meaning not contingent—not dependent upon any prior conditions or causes for its being) the ground of being. The secret to the continuing modernity of this concept is that it is no longer a concept about a guy; it’s an equation. It can’t be a maybe it has to be either a certainty or impossibility. There’s no reason why it should be impossible so it must be a certainty. The real kicker is it’s not about a magnified man or a jumped up state of being human, but with great powers added; it’s about a category. That’s what “being itself” or “ground of being” refers to. God is not another guy, God is not one of many others like itself, God is a whole category of being, a category that functions as the basis of all actuality. God might be likened unto the Hegelian dialectic, a form of logic that works by point counter point rather than a linear progression. In fact one of the major schools of thought about revelation (Barth, Bultmann) saw Biblical revelation as a dialectic between reader and the text.[15]

            This high level of philosophical development in the concept of God has culminated in several major theological ways of understanding God. Of course there’s the Tillich view of God as being itself, or ground of being, that understands God as a category of reality rather than an individual. Then process theology (Alfred North Whitehead), based upon the Hegelian concept of progressive revelation already discussed, this view sees God as di polar; in the potential realm God is unchanging because God is the basis of all potential, in the consequent realm God is moving into concrete being by evolving with creation. What God is doing in that state is bringing into and out of existence actual entities (that’s something like sub atomic particles). This doesn’t see God as stable static unchanging reality as a “society of occasions” like a movie made up of individual moments or frames but played fast creates a totally different illusion that of a moving picture show. Process theology is always unrated in its popularity. It is the most popular modern liberal alternative in terms of understanding God. It also spawned a popularized version called “open theology.”  Then there’s  Jurgen Moltmann’s notion of God working backwards from the future. That doesn’t really deal so much with the nature of God as with his orientation toward the future. The idea is not that time is running backwards but only that God’s position in time is to regard the horizon of the future and understand reality from there back (in other words, God is beyond time he can afford to pick his persective). Thus man is constantly moving toward a future horizon that he never actually achieves, but is already there drawing us on.

            These views are only guesses; the reality is beyond our understanding. That’s the secret of God’s success; he’s not only real but inexhaustible. Our best ideas about his nature are inadequate, yet they are modern they are keeping pace with our scientific understanding. We can use quantum theory to understand aspects of God. For example the notion that the energy in the big bang is created in the expansion, it is not eternal, that can be understood by reference to quantum theory which would suspend the Newtonian laws at the singularity. Thus, no conservation of energy, so energy can be created. Or the Trinity might be better understood if we understood if we understood wave/particle duality. Yet these are ideas are bound to some day be lost to history and seem old fashioned. The theologies that spin off of them will no doubt pass out of fashion. Whatever comes into fashion will include a God concept and it will keep pace with human advancement. This is not because man is reinventing a concept he made up, but because there is continually more of God to discover. It’s the actual personal experiential discovery that is the secret to God’s success. There’s always more to be experienced in the each moment, in each life, in each generation.



Sources


[1] J. L. Barrett,  R.A. Richert, , A. Driesenga,  “God's beliefs versus mother's: The development of nonhuman agent concepts.”  Child Development, 72(1), (2001).  50-65
[2] J.L.  Barrett, F.C.  Keil, “Conceptualizing a Nonnatural Entity: Anthropomorphism in God Concepts.” Cognitive Psychology, 31(3), (1996). 219-247.
[3] J.L. Barrett, “Cognitive constraints on Hindu concepts of the divine,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37(4), (1998). 608-619.
[4] W. Sullivan, “It helps me to be a whole person”: “The role of spirituality among the mentally challenged”. Psychological Rehabilitation Journal. 16 , (1993),125-134.
[5] Loretta Do Rozario, “Spirituality in the lives of People with Disability and Chronic Illness: A Creative Paradigm of Wholeness and Reconstitution,” Disability and Rehabilitation, An International Multi-Disciplinary Journal, 19 (1997) 423-427.
[6] Robert Wuthnow, “Peak Experiences: Some Empirical Tests,” Journal of Humanistic Psychology, (18) 3 (1978) 66, see also 176-177
[7] K. Krishna Mohan, “Spirituality and well being, an overview,” The following article is based on a presentation made during the Second International Conference on Integral Psychology,
held at Pondicherry (India), 4-7 January 2001. The text has been published in:
Cornelissen, Matthijs (Ed.) (2001) Consciousness and Its Transformation. Pondicherry: SAICE.
Avaivble on-line through website of Indian Psychology Institute. On-line resource. URL:
Mohan defines spirutality in terms of “experiencing a numinous quality, knowing unity of the visible and invisible, having an internalized relationship between the individual and the Divine, encountering limitless love, and moving towards personal wholeness” which accords with mystical experience in terms of the M scale. He sites: (Canda, 1995; Gaje-Fling & McCarthy, 1996; Decker, 1993; King et al., 1995; Wulff, 1996). That is also in harmony  with Hood’s understanding of mystical experience, (see chapter six, on  supernatural).
[8] Matthew Alper, The God Part of the Brain, Naperville Illanois: Soucebook inc, originally published in 1996 by Rough Press, 2006, 11.
[9] Andrew NewbergWhy God Won’t God AwayBrain Science and the Biology of Belief. (New York, Ballentine Books), 2001, 157-172.
[10] Ibid., 37
[11] Lee A. Kirkpatrick, “Religion is not An Adaptation.” Where God and Science Meet Vol I: Evolution, Genes and The Religious Brain. Westport: Praeger Publishers,  Patrick McNamara ed. 2006, 173.
[12] Anders Rassmussen, “Universal Human Behavior”Anders Rassmussen Blog, Friday, December 39, 2006.
URL:    http://rasmussenanders.blogspot.com/2006/12/universal-human-behaviors.html
[13] Eugene d’Aquili and Andrew B. Newberg, The Mystical Mind: Probing the Biology of Religious Experince. Copywright by the estate of Eugene d’Aquili and Anderw Newberg.1999. 3.
[14] John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, Great Books in Philosophy series, 12.
[15] Avery Dulles, Models of Revelation. Maryknoll New York:Orbis Books, Reprint edition, 1992,  84.

Comments

im-skeptical said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said…
Here's a serious question: You talk about the universal aspect of the mystical experience, and you talk of the religious content of the experience. But even Hood disagrees with your claims. "This experience of self-loss and of a sense of ultimate unity is found both within the major faith traditions where it is given a specific religious interpretation and outside of institutional religion where it is associated with spirituality." [Hood, Mystical, Religious, and Spiritual Experiences] What is universal about mystical experience is not its religious content. Doesn't that blow your thesis?
Joe Hinman said…
im-skeptical said...
Here's a serious question: You talk about the universal aspect of the mystical experience, and you talk of the religious content of the experience. But even Hood disagrees with your claims.

that is Hood's claim that;s where i got it

"This experience of self-loss and of a sense of ultimate unity is found both within the major faith traditions where it is given a specific religious interpretation and outside of institutional religion where it is associated with spirituality." [Hood, Mystical, Religious, and Spiritual Experiences] What is universal about mystical experience is not its religious content. Doesn't that blow your thesis?

10/16/2017 12:24:00 PM Delete

that backs the argunment it says it;s foud in al traditions,so it's inkversal
im-skeptical said…
that backs the argunment it says it;s foud in al traditions,so it's inkversal

- Fine. You don't have to engage with mu objection. Not that you ever did.
Joe Hinman said…
you statement "What is universal about mystical experience is not its religious content. Doesn't that blow your thesis?"

the whole of chapter 9 is about that question(in the book) you are confused because you expect Christians to say "we are the only one's that are right," you can;t understand explanations that don't match your script, If it doesn't conform to your stereotypes you don't get it,

the experiences are the same the names are different and then the explanations are given according to the tradition that still shows there is an objective reality being experienced, by all. Un the book I talk about not basing doctrine on the experience, there are other things to be considered in choosing the tradition, this experience get's us in the door,
im-skeptical said…
the experiences are the same the names are different and then the explanations are given according to the tradition that still shows there is an objective reality being experienced

The experiences have some characteristics that are common among them.
The interpretation of the experience varies widely, according to culture and beliefs.
It is NOT an experience of objective reality. It is purely subjective.
The religious aspect of it is not at all universal.
Yet your argument claims that it is the religious content of the experience that assures us it caused by "the divine".
Joe Hinman said…
The experiences have some characteristics that are common among them.
The interpretation of the experience varies widely, according to culture and beliefs.
It is NOT an experience of objective reality. It is purely subjective.


total bullshit!! if the experiences are the same who cares how different the
interpretation? the interpretation is not the event.



The religious aspect of it is not at all universal.

the core of the experience invokes religious understanding, the event is about religion but the interpretation is not given in the event,


Yet your argument claims that it is the religious content of the experience that assures us it caused by "the divine".

the religious content is prior to the interp it;score to the event,
Joe Hinman said…
It's the event that changes lives not the interpretation,
im-skeptical said…
total bullshit!! if the experiences are the same who cares how different the
interpretation? the interpretation is not the event.

- The ONLY reason you have to claim any kind of religious content is that SOME people interpret it as a religious experience.


the core of the experience invokes religious understanding, the event is about religion but the interpretation is not given in the event
- The core of the experience is described by Maslow and others. It is not fundamentally religious. Even Hood admits that.


the religious content is prior to the interp it;score to the event
- There is no basis in evidence to make this claim.


It's the event that changes lives not the interpretation
- You have shown no causal link whatsoever. A correlation DOES NOT establish causation, and any scientist will tell you that. But all you have shown is that people who have these experiences also have positive outcomes in their lives. Psychologists tend to think there is a certain kind of psychological attitude (not fundamentally religious) that causes BOTH the outcomes and the experience.
Joe Hinman said…
m-skeptical said...
total bullshit!! if the experiences are the same who cares how different the
interpretation? the interpretation is not the event.

- The ONLY reason you have to claim any kind of religious content is that SOME people interpret it as a religious experience.

The vast majority do, its very rare that anyone doesn't, even then Hood found that they react the sane way. Those who refuse to connect it to God still connect it to the meaning of life and act as though they discovered something crucial.


the core of the experience invokes religious understanding, the event is about religion but the interpretation is not given in the event


- The core of the experience is described by Maslow and others. It is not fundamentally religious. Even Hood admits that.

that's nonsense, Maslow says it's religious, He says "the atheist and the releigous person can walk down the road together a long way. You did not read his book on peak experience, he's very sympathetic to religion.

you also don't know what religious means,I am willing to bet, You probably think it means belief in God per se,



the religious content is prior to the interp it;score to the event


- There is no basis in evidence to make this claim.

sure as hell is, because it's in the experience itself, the experience is of all pervasive presence of love that explains the meaning of reality that is generic description of God. that's what the term means. Most people who study mystical experience think it's the basis for religion it's why we have religion.Even when people who can't stand God and hate religion have the experience and they refuse to say it's about God they still agree it's about the meaning of life,

I am dealing separately with the last one because it's invovled,



Joe Hinman said…
It's the event that changes lives not the interpretation

- You have shown no causal link whatsoever. A correlation DOES NOT establish causation, and any scientist will tell you that.

Nonsense, I show several causal links at different points, You have not been clear as to exactly what point and casual link you mean,Link to what?

But all you have shown is that people who have these experiences also have positive outcomes in their lives.

False. I also show that most of them become result religious as a result of the experience. Or, if they were already they identify the experience with their faith. But they don't always just ratify a theological outlook they already hold because quite often the experiences contradict their theology. Half are children and have no theological ax to grind.


Psychologists tend to think there is a certain kind of psychological attitude (not fundamentally religious) that causes BOTH the outcomes and the experience.

First of all there is no consensus in psychology and no personality type that they think determines it,all kinds of peopel have such experiences.
Joe Hinman said…
I will expand this answer into a blog piece on Metacrock's blog tomorrow of Thursday.
im-skeptical said…
I will expand this answer into a blog piece on Metacrock's blog tomorrow of Thursday.

- You already made a post on this very topic. And I already debunked it. You know nothing at all about causation from a scientific perspective.

This whole thing is just going in circles. You make unscientific or just plain untrue claims - I call them out - rinse - repeat.
Joe Hinman said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said…

Skeptical runs away from debating me.He always refers to his empty rhetoric as though he's "debunked" my arguments, when in reality he can't answer the simplest ones just look at the posts above.

I say:"most of them become religious as a result of the experience. Or, if they were already they identify the experience with their faith. But they don't always just ratify a theological outlook they already hold because quite often the experiences contradict their theology. Half are children and have no theological ax to grind."

He makes no answer for any of that,His only response is:"I already debunked it all," Read his stuff you will find every time IO am there explaining why it doesn't touch my previous arguments.

He tried to assert that there is a consensus in psychology about the cause i said "no consensus in psychology and no personality type that they think determines it,all kinds of people have such experiences."

No answer he falls back on previous arguments in which he previously didn't answer my arguments, he always asserts he's beaten it before all the while running away from debate in a fair contest by real debate rules with evidence required.


He refuses to debate on a level playing field with rules where he would have to extend his arguments and document his assertions with real expert opinion and studies.the 1x1 board is waiting for you, he reuses to go because he knows he can;t make good on his bold talk!






Joe Hinman said…
you need to read my answer to you on Metacorck's blog where i demonstrate how much more I know about causation than you do.

HERE
im-skeptical said…
Like I said, Joe, you made that post, and I debunked it HERE.

I gave you a whole list if posts where I have addressed your unscientific claims, and you have completely ignored most of them. And now you're making the false claim that I'm not willing to debate. Go ahead and reply to those posts, but just keep your ad hominems to yourself. If you want a level playing field, fine. I won't impose a lot of stupid rules on what you can say and how many times you are allowed to speak, like the rules you are trying to impose on me. And I won't delete your comments, the way you sometimes do with mine. Level playing field, my ass.
Joe Hinman said…
m-skeptical said...
Like I said, Joe, you made that post, and I debunked it HERE.

I gave you a whole list if posts where I have addressed your unscientific claims, and you have completely ignored most of them. And now you're making the false claim that I'm not willing to debate.

you have not signed up on the 1x1 board it would be stupid and useless to just repeat the nonsense of the past and let you drone on and on call it a debate,no we have to go by rules. I National Forensic league.


Go ahead and reply to those posts, but just keep your ad hominems to yourself.


none of those exercises in misapprehension address the issues I discussion the piece I link to above, until you answer that you have answered nothing,

If you want a level playing field, fine. I won't impose a lot of stupid rules on what you can say and how many times you are allowed to speak, like the rules you are trying to impose on me. And I won't delete your comments, the way you sometimes do with mine. Level playing field, my ass.

the rules don't control what you say but they do prevent you from the games you play the deception you practice, so you have to face the arguments you cant answer you don't get to lie and pretend you did answer the.

Joe Hinman said…
if there is a debate we always refer to as a benchmark. If he just gets to spout a bucnch of junk I dont have time to answer and it;s not relevant he can always claim that as victory like he;s doing now, a debate would give us a benchmark.

Notice he's not answering the post on metacrock;s blog.
im-skeptical said…
I National Forensic league.

- And you want to pretend that this is school, because that's the only thing you know. I got my degrees long ago, and I left academia behind for a professional career in the real world, where success is based on using real scientific knowledge, and making things work - not on contriving fanciful arguments about God that are completely divorced from reality.

Notice he's not answering the post on metacrock;s blog.

- Joe, we all notice that you have no answer for the issues I raised when I addressed your post. Instead, you just ignore it, and pretend that I am the one with no response. This is so typical of your style of argumentation, and it is a big part of the reason I don't want to debate under your agenda and your rules.

Like WL Craig, you tend to swamp your opponent with too many issues to be reasonably addressed under the rules of the debate (often by reaching into your bag of long-winded articles that you have already prepared). In the starting post of your proposed "debate", you did just that. There are too many issues to cover adequately within the format and the rules you have set up. And then if your opponent fails to adequately address some point that is not at the heart of the matter, or because he put his efforts into addressing other important points, you will declare victory on the basis that he is not responsive. That is how WLC approaches debates.

You want to require academic references for everything in the debate. But I'm not in school anymore, and I don't live in an ivory tower, so I don't have access to academic resources. Meanwhile, you have spent years compiling your articles in pursuit of a degree that you will never obtain. All you have to do is pull up those articles, and you have everything at your fingertips. And I can't even read most of those references because they aren't available to me. And if I could read them, it would take months just to read and absorb all that material. So how do you expect me to respond? This is what you call a level playing field?

On the other hand, if I raise an issue of your misunderstanding of science, you blow it off, because you have some reference that says otherwise (or you think it does). Very often, you find some article that you don't even understand, and you cite it, when it doesn't even support your point, but you don't get that. Or you find some off-the-wall author who touts your own view, but you ignore the more scientific view, because that off-the-wall guy says what you want to hear. And you just pretend that's the final word on the matter. Once again, how do I respond to that? I can try to educate you in real science, but your reply is "I have the citation. You have nothing."

Oh, and you insist that I must address you as "my worthy opponent", which is enough to make me gag. Why shouldn't I be able to address you in my customary manner? No, I'm not playing your school game with you. I'm much more interested in a real discussion, where truth matters - not scoring points based more on form than on substance. If that's what you care about, go back to your academic forensics club, and debate with some school kid.
im-skeptical said…
One more comment on your "Causal Link" post:

You say "Causation in science it is mainly construed by tight correlation and mechanism. But the only way to prove you have the mechanism right is thorough tight correlation. So at the end of the day tight correlation is really the only thing that matters, assuming your theoretical ducks are in a row."

This is what you said the first time around, and it is bullshit. Mechanism is essential in showing causation, and you can't just dismiss the whole thing as another case of correlation. That is so ignorant, it hardly merits a response. But correlation without a mechanism does NOTHING to establish a causal link. And this is what I've been trying to tell you. In your article, you cite people who say that mechanism is important, and then you completely gloss over that part of the equation. Why? because in your studies, there is no causal mechanism. It's just correlation. And therefore, God did it.

Joe Hinman said…
im-skeptical said...
I National Forensic league.

- And you want to pretend that this is school, because that's the only thing you know.

without rules it's not a dialectical process it's just logamonchy. You never have to face the inadequacy of your arguments,

I got my degrees long ago, and I left academia behind for a professional career in the real world, where success is based on using real scientific knowledge, and making things work - not on contriving fanciful arguments about God that are completely divorced from reality.

that is utter bull shit, the so called "real world" put money font and center. When you establish money as the rule science goes out the window. I worked in market research for many years. I know first hand what little respect the business world has for science.

Notice he's not answering the post on metacrock;s blog.

- Joe, we all notice that you have no answer for the issues I raised when I addressed your post. Instead, you just ignore it, and pretend that I am the one with no response. This is so typical of your style of argumentation, and it is a big part of the reason I don't want to debate under your agenda and your rules.

you are never answered the specific way I use the studies in by three garnets,you have never responded to the specifics of the argument from epistemic judgement, even after posting today you did not deal with the major issue of proving causality without correlation.

this is why we need debate because you are just too adept at middling the issues and hiding behind previous arguments confusing issues,sending dead arguments back in,these are the halo marks of what we used to call "greasy debate."


Joe Hinman said…
Like WL Craig, you tend to swamp your opponent with too many issues to be reasonably addressed under the rules of the debate (often by reaching into your bag of long-winded articles that you have already prepared).

Debating by rules makes handling lots of issues easier,
You are really saying you need the confusion of informality to hide behind because you can't carry many arguments,




In the starting post of your proposed "debate", you did just that. There are too many issues to cover adequately within the format and the rules you have set up.

you don't know that because we weren't debating by those rules.

And then if your opponent fails to adequately address some point that is not at the heart of the matter, or because he put his efforts into addressing other important points, you will declare victory on the basis that he is not responsive. That is how WLC approaches debates.

you hide from the heart of the matter, like over on Meta's you did not attempt to prove cause without coloration that is the issue, you avoided the issue and padded your hand with nosecone about how bad I am.

You want to require academic references for everything in the debate. But I'm not in school anymore, and I don't live in an ivory tower, so I don't have access to academic resources.

you did not develop good habits of argumentation while you were there, you should bed documenting your work all the tine,that's fundamental to good argument;where I COME FORM WE CALL that being UNEDUCATED, I'm out of school I don't have to prove my opinions will not cut it,documentation = proof, or verisimilitude.

Meanwhile, you have spent years compiling your articles in pursuit of a degree that you will never obtain.

that's why I know more than you. you really just saying you can't handle a real argument.




All you have to do is pull up those articles, and you have everything at your fingertips. And I can't even read most of those references because they aren't available to me. And if I could read them, it would take months just to read and absorb all that material. So how do you expect me to respond? This is what you call a level playing field?

one would think you would get the point ,I have experts in the field you don't stop trying to make as though atheists are so smart and Christians are idiots,

Joe Hinman said…
On the other hand, if I raise an issue of your misunderstanding of science, you blow it off, because you have some reference that says otherwise (or you think it does).

Because you want general science knowledge to make you worthy and being worthy/ you are worthy but you have to tailor it to the argument,


Very often, you find some article that you don't even understand, and you cite it, when it doesn't even support your point,

no you assert that if you don't understand how it fits, you can't follow an argument you already admitted that, I never site stuff I don't understand,

but you don't get that. Or you find some off-the-wall author who touts your own view, but you ignore the more scientific view, because that off-the-wall guy says what you want to hear. And you just pretend that's the final word on the matter. Once again, how do I respond to that? I can try to educate you in real science, but your reply is "I have the citation. You have nothing."

that is juvenile, you define anyone you have not herd of as "off the wall," you are making a great case for not being well read.

Oh, and you insist that I must address you as "my worthy opponent", which is enough to make me gag.

LOL ;-) a joke, it might remind us not to drop insults.


Why shouldn't I be able to address you in my customary manner?

you mean you are so ignorant and stupid?"


No, I'm not playing your school game with you. I'm much more interested in a real discussion, where truth matters - not scoring points based more on form than on substance. If that's what you care about, go back to your academic forensics club, and debate with some school kid.

seriously just the rule about first one to insult forfits is enough.
Joe Hinman said…

One more comment on your "Causal Link" post:

You say "Causation in science it is mainly construed by tight correlation and mechanism. But the only way to prove you have the mechanism right is thorough tight correlation. So at the end of the day tight correlation is really the only thing that matters, assuming your theoretical ducks are in a row."

This is what you said the first time around, and it is bullshit. Mechanism is essential in showing causation,

that's what I said you have to have both

and you can't just dismiss the whole thing as another case of correlation. That is so ignorant, it hardly merits a response.

I didn't say that, I did not say just dismiss the mechanism. That's what having theoretical ducks ina row means, you have to have both.

But correlation without a mechanism does NOTHING to establish a causal link.

Obviously not the way the surgeon general looks at it.


And this is what I've been trying to tell you. In your article, you cite people who say that mechanism is important, and then you completely gloss over that part of the equation. Why? because in your studies, there is no causal mechanism. It's just correlation. And therefore, God did it.

my point is not that mechanism is unimportant it;s that you cant establish one for your alternate cause. We are not going to have scientific rigor in understanding a mechanism for ME,but we don't require that because we are not doing science so warrant is enough.
im-skeptical said…
You never have to face the inadequacy of your arguments
- My professional work is not based on arguments. It's based in the reality of wow things work in this world. That's something you have never faced.

When you establish money as the rule science goes out the window
- I didn't say anything about money. I'm talking about separating reality from theistic fantasy.

even after posting today you did not deal with the major issue of proving causality without correlation.
- You are the one who keeps harping about proof, not me. I have said many times that science isn't about proof. But it is about establishing reasonable justification for belief based on evidence.

this is why we need debate ...
- No, it's why you need to shut up and listen to something that challenges your beliefs for once in your life.

You are really saying you need the confusion of informality to hide behind because you can't carry many arguments,
- No. I prefer the clarity of discussing one issue at a time, and exploring it fully, rather than diverting to another topic every time you find yourself at a loss.

you don't know that because we weren't debating by those rules.
- What are you talking about? YOU laid out the rules.

like over on Meta's you did not attempt to prove cause without coloration that is the issue, you avoided the issue and padded your hand with nosecone about how bad I am.
- You don't understand what I said, even after I spelled out for you. I did NOT attempt to prove cause without coloration. I called YOU out for attempting to prove cause without any causal mechanism.

where I COME FORM WE CALL that being UNEDUCATED
- Joe, I happen to have more formal education than you. And where I come from, they call people like you insufferable snobs.

that's why I know more than you. you really just saying you can't handle a real argument.
- No, Joe. You have spent years pretending that you have discovered some magnificent secret, but it's just pseudoscience.

im-skeptical said…
Because you want general science knowledge to make you worthy and being worthy/ you are worthy but you have to tailor it to the argument
- You don't understand the articles you cite. You once cited an article by a physicist that said particles are made up of other particles, and because you didn't understand it, you tried to argue that even fundamental particles are made up of smaller ones. You don't have a clue, but you pretend that because you can cite an article, you can't be challenged.

no you assert that if you don't understand how it fits, you can't follow an argument you already admitted that, I never site stuff I don't understand
- It happens all the time. You don't even understand half the stuff you cite in your own book.

you define anyone you have not herd of as "off the wall," you are making a great case for not being well read.
- When they espouse an opinion that is not in keeping with established science (like Davies natural teleology, for example), I call it off-the-wall.

that's what I said you have to have both [correlation and mechanism]
- And then you completely write off mechanism as nothing more than correlation, and ignore it altogether from that point on.

I did not say just dismiss the mechanism. That's what having theoretical ducks ina row means, you have to have both.
- You don't have any ducks in a row. Where is the causal mechanism in your thesis?

Obviously not the way the surgeon general looks at it.
- There you go again. You take a superficial view of the history and the science. Yes, causal mechanism IS essential.

my point is not that mechanism is unimportant it;s that you cant establish one for your alternate cause. We are not going to have scientific rigor in understanding a mechanism for ME,but we don't require that because we are not doing science so warrant is enough.
- Fine. Then be honest and admit that your thesis is NOT based on empirical evidence or science.
Joe Hinman said…
m-skeptical said...
You never have to face the inadequacy of your arguments
- My professional work is not based on arguments. It's based in the reality of wow things work in this world. That's something you have never faced.

Anti intellectual ,you don't have a job in which you know there';s no God,you are trying to establish yourself as an authority s you eliminate thinking that would be critical of your ideology.

You are the one who keeps harping about proof, not me. I have said many times that science isn't about proof. But it is about establishing reasonable justification for belief based on evidence.

you have to prove your arguments the claims you make
im-skeptical said…
Anti intellectual ,you don't have a job in which you know there';s no God,you are trying to establish yourself as an authority s you eliminate thinking that would be critical of your ideology.

- You should be working in a movie theater. You are the world's best projectionist.


you have to prove your arguments the claims you make

- I am not here to make claims. I am here to shed a little light on yours.
Joe Hinman said…
im-skeptical said...
Anti intellectual ,you don't have a job in which you know there';s no God,you are trying to establish yourself as an authority s you eliminate thinking that would be critical of your ideology.

- You should be working in a movie theater. You are the world's best projectionist.

points for cleaver comeback, no points for answering the argument,


you have to prove your arguments the claims you make

- I am not here to make claims. I am here to shed a little light on yours.

that is BS when you say I don;t have a link to God from the experiences that;s a calim.
any criticism you make of religion is a claim.
Jamie Robertson said…
Obviously not the way the surgeon general looks at it

Joe, what are you referring to here? And do you have a link to explain it? (I live outside the USA)
im-skeptical said…
that is BS when you say I don;t have a link to God from the experiences that;s a calim. any criticism you make of religion is a claim.
- That's what they all say.

Believer: God exists.
Skeptic: I don't believe it. I don't see the evidence, and you haven't provided it.
Believer: You're making a claim that you need to prove.
Skeptic: Whatever, dude.
Joe Hinman said…
Jamie Robertson said...
Obviously not the way the surgeon general looks at it

Joe, what are you referring to here? And do you have a link to explain it? (I live outside the USA)

I document it in the book. The point is we can use correlations to assume causation if the collation is strong enough the mechanism is theologically sound. The surgeon general example is a scientific example,I am not saying we doing a scientific argument but if science is willing to accept it then there should be no complaint. the proof of that assertion is that the Surgeon general ruled that smoking causeway caner 45 years before they knew the mechanism,based upon the correlation alone.

I document that in the book, you can google it if you wish,
Joe Hinman said…
that is BS when you say I don;t have a link to God from the experiences that;s a calim. any criticism you make of religion is a claim.
- That's what they all say.

Ask Eric. got to sec outpost and ask Ryan M,it's a matter of logic,

Believer: God exists.
Skeptic: I don't believe it. I don't see the evidence, and you haven't provided it.
Believer: You're making a claim that you need to prove

you constantly go beyond saying:"I don't see it,:If if that's all you said that would be fine,

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