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Posted by Harvey on January 26, 2002 01:20:57 UTC

Hi Luis,

***H: >>>"I so much don't want to believe in a Tooth Fairy that it would make extremely uneasy with the world if I knew that I should someday meet that Fairy." L: I guess you and I don't think in the same way. Were I to ever meet the Tooth Fairy, and learn that the Tooth Fairy is all-knowing and all-powerful, then I think he/she/it would instinctively understand and appreciate my previous position on his/her/its existence. I don't think any true God would punish someone for not believing in his/her/its existence, as I see absolutely nothing inherently detrimental in the simple act of doubting god's existence.***

Who said anything about punishment? I wouldn't want the universe to have a Tooth Fairy emerge out from under my pillow. Such a world is creepy and precarious.

In terms of believing in God to please him, etc, this is not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that a belief in God is almost necessary in being able to better understand the nature of the universe.

***H: "But, you feel the same way about photons, isn't that what your disagreement with Alex was all about (you emphasized to Alex how you cannot see photons), right?" L: Wrong. Go back and read our discussions again. I do not doubt there is something to the photon, I just question the assumption that it fits into an analogy of the electron-esque particle/wave model. There is no real deductive proof of the photon as wave or particle. Of course I believe there is a phenomenon we call the photon, but it is bad science (in my opinion) to assume so much about its manifestation without any direct proof.***

Luis, physicists don't make up particles to make the day go by faster. If you can't accept the level of proof of the photon's existence which is backed up with tons and tons of evidence then how in the heck are you going to extract the subtle nuances apparent in the universe to realize that there is a God? Before I would even attempt to argue that there is a God with you, I would rather spend that time arguing with you that there are photons. The reason is that someone who doesn't believe in photons probably is not going to believe in anything that they cannot directly experience. There's literally tons and tons of evidence for a photon's existence, but you have to infer the photon's existence from this evidence. This seems to be an area that I should address first before showing that an inference to God's existence is also necessary.

***H:"What science supports the ontological existence of anything?" L: Exactly. You seem to understand this point, but in your previous post you suggested there is scientific evidence for the existence of God. Science observes, then labels. That's just about as far from ontology as one can get! In your prior complaint you demand that science reverse this process, then go about its business as usual. Label something as "God," then go look for it. Once that thing is found, affirm "god"'s existence. If that's not circular, I don't know what is.***

There is a difference between supporting the existence of and providing evidence of. The former means that you can draw an unescapable conclusion based on the evidence. The latter means that you can be led to believe based on the evidence.

Science doesn't just observe and then label. Science observes, tries to explain, tests, etc. The modelling process doesn't have any step that verifies the ontological existence of something. We can infer the ontological existence of something from the model, but this is outside the science and leads into the philosophy of science. In the case of God, science can infer that there is an order underlying the cosmos, but science cannot confirm that is really order. That 'order' could be a result of contingency for all we know.

***H: "Can you agree that we should discuss the existence of God within the philosophical view and not strictly as a scientific issue?" L: Absolutely. As I have indicated above, I see science and ontology as opposites (uh-oh! aren't we in a "God and Science" forum?). In other words, any discussion of "God" is automatically ontological.***

What about biological evolution and cosmology. Are those fields ontologically true, or merely true as a valid model to describe our observations (fossils, etc). By the latter I mean to ask what you believe about those theories? In other words, do you believe that we evolved as a species from simple organisms naturally as per the description of the evolutionary model? [or do you think this model can't begin to represent what really happened?]

The reason I ask is because your view of science leads to an ontological view of the world in one area of scientific belief and is limited to merely epistemological beliefs in another. I'm curious as to how you can switch back and forth as you do (i.e., assuming that you do treat evolution as ontological truth which I think is a valid assumption).

Warm regards, Harv

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