Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Apologetics & Philosophy


Aims of apologetics - Subjective vs Objective Certainty - Doubts

OT clothes - mixed wools

Bodily secretions menstruation not misogynist- birth / death / life ; breast milk no curse

Hitchens - Unfalsifiability, Moral argument (everyone has morals you do not need God for them)

Hume on Miracles - Analogical knowledge (natural vs supernatural), why not inference to best explanation, we do have sufficient evidence, a priori leaving out the possibility of miracles, ignoring the possibility of rare events, unable to change scientific paradigms if "stuck on laws"

Simple explanation of the Problem of Induction and Presupposition of the Uniformity of Nature: http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2012/10/problem-of-induction-explained-simply.html

1. Tour of Philosophy
a. Rational vs Irrational Problem
b. Rationalism vs Empiricism
c. Definition of terms (ontology, epistemology, rationalism, empiricism)
d. Review of logical fallacies (i.e. begging the question)

Empiricism - Idea that all knowledge is through the senses (self-referential absurd and is contra rationalism and realism

Religion is subject to human reason (why is this so?)

God is limited to the noumenal world (how can he know this about the noumenal world?)

Science is the proper realm of the phenomenal world (why? how does he know this? can you have transcendent scientific laws here?)

Nihilism - hopelessness after the loss of values due to God's death. Not a good place to be. Annihilation of all meaning. The ubermensch will lead us away from this.

Ubermensch those who will be the leaders after Western Civilization collapses. Humanities next evolution? His values will lead (b/c Judeo-Christian value / foundation is gone.)

There is not "ought" only "will" ie the Will to power

The parable of the Mad Man shows that the mad man knew that God is dead and that we killed him, but he was too early in his time, but he (Nietzsche knew the consequences that would come).

Transvaluation of all values - When values lose their meaning

Slave and Master morality. People born as sheeps or wolves and thus we have a biological basis of our morality that is each one has their own set of morality. Jesus representing the sheep and the string the wolves.

Nietzsche looked down on those who used religion and government. He ubermensch are those few individuals who does not need them.

Nazi's and Nietzsche: Nazi's believed in nationalism, collectivism, socialism, strength, authoritarianism, and irrationality/passion.

Kuhn "Structure of Scientific Revolutions"
Researchers rarely break out of their rule set
Paradigm shifts are not orderly
Scientists have metaphysical and methodological commitments
Shared paradigms do not mean shared rules and that there is priority of paradigms, over rules,
and normal science
Without any awareness of trouble, it was immediately fitted to one of the conceptual categories prepared by prior experience (eg when looking at a 4 of hearts that are black and calling them spades or seeing them as red)
Need anomalies to start paradigm changes
After paradigm changes, one's personal investment, career, and capital investments, make it difficult to break paradigms. What Kuhn calls "immense restriction."
There were those who suspected Geocentrism (eg Aristarchus) or relativism, but there was no crisis to propel the controversy
Scientists either 1)The old paradigm handles the crisis 2) Leaves the answer for later 3) leave one paradigm for another
"Once a first paradigm through which to view nature has been found, there is no such thing as research in the absence of any paradigm. To reject one paradigm without simultaneously substituting another is to reject science itself."
Usually, someone young or new to the field makes these changes
Recourse to philosophy is  a sign of a paradigm's break down.
Paradigms are necessarily circular and are used for persuasion, but if you "refuse to step into the circle" they will not be.
There are no scientifically or empirically neutral systems of language or concepts
Karl Popper's belief in falsification falls short because an emergency of an anomaly or falsifying instance doesn't readily kill paradigms. 
There are competitions between paradigms that cannot be resolved by proofs because they cannot make contact with each other's viewpoints. There even questions that applies to one system that cannot be asked in the other (ie curved space)
Old terms and concepts are borrowed from an old to new paradigm, but with "new" meanings causing confusion. 
People "see different things" and live in "different worlds." They have "incommensurable viewpoints"
Older scientist, who have been in the paradigm longer, offer more resistance. If they do not covert while everyone else has, they may no longer be called a "scientist."
In the crisis era, new and old paradigms both have problems.
"There must also be a basis, though it need be neither rational nor ultimately correct, for faith in the particular candidate chosen."
Scientific revolutions are special, in the sense that a small specialized community gets to define the paradigms and not heads of state or the general populace.

"They cannot, that is, resort to a neutral language which both use in the same way and which is adequate to the statement of both their theories or even of both those theories’ empirical consequences."
People have a lot in common, thus you just need "translators" between different worldviews.

"Scientific knowledge, like language, is intrinsically the common property of a group or else nothing at all. To understand it we shall need to know the special characteristics of the groups that create and use it."

Structuralism vs Post-Structuralism (primer: http://www.shmoop.com/poststructuralism/)

Structuralism is the idea that society is based on structures / grand metanarratives  such as democracy, Marxism, God, etc. Post-structuralism, as a philosophy of postmodernism, rejects any metanarratives or "structures" of society. The theory is based heavily on theories of language (reality being formed by language)

Levi-Strauss and Saussure saw language or words deriving its meaning from [the structure of and in relation to] other words.

2. Christian Philosophy
"For most people translation is a threatening process, and it is entirely foreign to normal
a. Biblical Epistemology
b. Basic beliefs, foundationalism, coherentism
c. The Great Debate - Preconditions of knowledge and experience

"The atheist worldview cannot account for the laws of logic [science or morality]. Cannot account for any universal or abstract entities, for that matter. Cannot account for the uniformity of nature, and, therefore, cannot account for the successes of science. Nor can the atheist universe give us universal and absolute laws of morality."

Bacon “A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”

Problem of neutrality

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s:  “Earth needs a virtual country: #Rationalia, with a one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence.”

3. Differing Views of Apologetic Methods

4. Classic Problems
a. Resurrection
b. Validity of the Bible
c. Problem of Evil

5. Folk Problems
a. Mixing of wools
b. OT God (angry) vs NT God (loving)
c. All religions same path
d. What about the dinosaurs?
e. What about the flood?

5. Philosophical Problems
a. Can miracles exist?
b. Knowability of God
c. Postmodernism and Relativism
d. How can laws of logic, science, and uniformity exist? How can universal, unchaining, abstract, invariant, and immaterial laws/things exist?

Hume, as an empiricist, destroyed the notion of uniformity. If one holds onto the scientific method, one is a de facto empiricist.

Relativism and Postmodernism

Richard Rorty "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature"  - "the notion of knowledge as accuracy of representation [of the world] would not have suggested itself" per Feinberg "we bring our language with us" to interpret the world and we are all member of a "linguistic community"

William Van Orman Quine in his "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" notes that "The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most causal matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man made-made fabric..." Per Feinberg, there isn't enough experience from evidence for us to confirm right and wrong or if our perspective on the world is right or wrong.

From Feinberg quoting Jared Hiebert in his "Shaping Evangelical Theology." "Knowledge and reality are not absolute, ordered and objective but are constructed. We create the world in which we live by forming our own concepts of reality, truth, and knowledge.

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