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  1. #61
    IncGamers Member Dondrei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peregrine
    Except that occam's razor says nothing about simplcity. It says you never include extra factors in your explanation that aren't required. If you accept that evolution happens, you have two theories:

    1) Evolution happens, as observed.

    2) Evolution happens, as observed, and an omnipotent deity guides it.

    The extra item in #2 is not supported by the observed facts, and so occam's razor removes it. Until evidence is found to support including it (and the bible doesn't count as valid scientific evidence), theory #1 is the best one.
    Occam's razor only applies when two theories are equally predictive. If 1) and 2) are equally predictive, then Occam's razor eliminates 2), and evidence is irrelevant. If they really are equally predictive then evidence for one is always just as much evidence for the other. If 1) and 2) are not equally predictive then Occam's razor doesn't come into it, it's a different issue.




  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by dondrei
    Occam's razor only applies when two theories are equally predictive. If 1) and 2) are equally predictive, then Occam's razor eliminates 2), and evidence is irrelevant. If they really are equally predictive then evidence for one is always just as much evidence for the other. If 1) and 2) are not equally predictive then Occam's razor doesn't come into it, it's a different issue.
    Which is pretty much saying the same thing. The evidence is relevant because it's what determines whether they're equally predictive. As the evidence is now, both evolution and ID are equally predictive (no real surprise, since ID is essentially 'evolution + god'). So until new evidence is found to make evolution lose that equality, the extra factor of god is eliminated.




  3. #63
    IncGamers Member Stevinator's Avatar
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    ID /= evolution + god.

    Those who support ID usually do NOT think evolution happened, unless they're trying to get it crammed into school curriculum. From my experience, they usually are merely creationists who say evolution could not have happened.




  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttershug
    you change in mid-sentence. first you say religion, then you say anything.
    There are alternatives to religion. Ones that don't depend on believing stories.
    To use an OTF cliche, read my sentence again sir. I do in fact change in midsentence because if I didn't I'd just have a string of repeating sounds. Technical points aside I'll reiterate my point.

    I ask why you think religion should be unchanging because anything practiced by people (and this does in fact include religion) is going to change. I could have said religion practiced by people was going to change, but not only would that be useless but also redundant. I was trying to drive at the unstable nature of humanity and how, through humanity's changes it causes its institutions and societies to change along with it, an example of this would be religion.

    You go on to tell me a nice story about why you shouldn't believe a particular religion and a good reason for having good foundations for personal beliefs. But I'm going to be very anal and technical here, all you did was tell me a story that has no apparent value in answering my question, all it does is restate your views in terms of a story. I'll ask again, what religion do you practice as nearly every major religion has had to change in some point in time? This would cause the religion to be invalidated according to your logic as it is 'no longer worth following' which would cause one of two things to happen

    1) You cast aside your religion, whatever it may be
    or
    2) You concede that a religion capable of change is not useless

    I'm not asking if religion is the only answer, or if it is even a good answer, I'm asking if you follow a religion of any kind and if it has ever, in its history of existence changed in any way shape or form.




  5. #65
    IncGamers Member Dondrei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    dondrei:

    I never said it would solve all problems, but it would definitely solve the problem surrounding intelligent design. Religious schools could teach that Creation came about because of intelligent design, atheistic schools could teach that Creation is just the result of happenstance, and other schools could ignore the “original cause” question completely.
    Actually, you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    There is a simple solution that would solve this problem and many others. Get the Government out of the education field and privatize our schools.
    "This problem and many others"? And by "Get the Government out of the education field and privatize our schools" you're clearly saying that all public schools should be shut down and the Government should have nothing to do with education. Surely you wouldn't suggest such drastic action to solve quibbling like ID; there must be much broader and more fundamental problems which you think privatisation would completely solve. You seem to have drastically reduced the scope of your radical proposal.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    The examples abound? Show me some and I’ll bet that they are not really monopolies as most people interpret that phrase or that they are only monopolies due to the support of the Government.
    Just to take the most obvious example, how about Microsoft? Are you going to tell me that their practical monopoly on operating systems is all the fault of the government?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    So you’re saying that the people in Australia who send their children to private schools are so stupid that they are willing to pay extra to receive a inferior education? And you’re also saying the Government with the always-present burden of compromise and the usual requirement for a one-size-fits all type of answer has come up with the best educational practices while the various private schools that must assuredly differentiate between themselves with different educational programs have all “screwed the pooch”? Forgive me if I am not persuaded by your personal experiences.
    Of course not. The trouble is that the quality of the education is measured in the short term. Parents see the high end of year exam marks and assume that the private school is teaching their kids well. They are in for a nasty shock when they get to university. I'm not saying that public schools have a superior form of education either (far from it, they are usually a shambles); it is simply that those who manage to get to university through the public school system generally had to do it all on their own - God knows their school was little help to them. Whereas the private school kids get their place at uni through extensive hand-holding and exam coaching which gets them great marks on the final exam but is useless in preparing them for further study (or real life for that matter).

    One of the fatal flaws in the classical idea that everyone acting in their own best interests results ultimately in the best outcome for everyone is that people are often mistaken about what is in their best interest. And their short term best interests often compromise their long term best interests.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    That’s definitely not the case here in the United States. Private schools (K thru 12) receive very little help from the Government. If you send your kid to private school here you pay for it all on your own.

    A question for you. What is preventing a group of teachers who believe like you do from starting their own school? It seems like you could take the money from the Government and undercut the other private schools by charging only a minimal amount directly to the parents and make a killing. You get rich and the children get a better education.
    Nothing, to my knowledge. The fact that it doesn't happen is either indicative of the sluggishness of market forces or that running a school is a more difficult enterprise than it first appears. In any case, I don't think any schools have a serious demand problems. The private ones in particular are usually full to capacity, which makes competition fairly unnecessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    Society has determined that children need proper sustenance. The Government issues food stamps that allow a parent to purchase free food products from any number of Free Market food outlets. This makes the user part of the Free Market. It is still worth his effort to get the best value for his dollar and since he can use these stamps in numerous places the stores are pressured through competition to satisfy his needs. If the user doesn’t like the service, price, or quality of Store A he can go to store B.

    A school voucher program is similar to a food stamp program. The parent receives a voucher for X amount of dollars that he can use at the school of his choice. If he is not satisfied with the quality of education at School A, he can remove his child and send him to School B. This puts pressure on School A to meet the needs of the parent.
    I don't really see the point of that. Parents can send their kids to any public school they like already.




  6. #66
    IncGamers Member KillerAim's Avatar
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    maccool
    If you're going to play the Devil's advocate, give the Devil his due and don't be a goof about it by saying that a scientific argument is not logical. That's just silly. And patently wrong.
    That would be silly if I had said what you think I said. However, what I said was that you cannot disprove ID arguments using science since their premise is undisprovable. Science will never be able to prove that God doesn’t exist the same way it will never be able to prove that a personal God exists. To combat ID arguments you are left with logic sans science.

    . . .

    zarikdon:
    Einstein believed in the existence of an organizing principle for the universe, by which he meant that the laws of nature (the universe) ought to be orderly and beautiful, but it's an interpretative stretch to say that Einstein believed it was due to "design" or "intelligent design," whatever that means. Einstein's God, or abstract principle, was a distant and extremely mysterious thing, and to describe it as "intelligent" or "designing" is to ascribe human qualities to it that are not necessarily proper. Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you mean, however, because of how loosely we use the phrase "intelligent design" today.
    Einstein saw the order in the universe and saw that as evidence of a God. The second quote I cited from him states that pretty clearly. He refers to this being as having “superior reasoning power”, so I feel my use of the word “intelligent” is apt. However, I admit that I am using the term “intelligent design” in its broadest interpretation; that is, that some being at some time or times in our history guided Creation in some way or ways.

    As to your Einstein quote, please note his use of the following phrase “I do not believe in a personal God”. This is why I cited his first quote. Formal religion is built around the concept of a personal God who interferes in everyday life and whose desires can be interpreted by mankind through such things as prayer and revelation. Deists like Einstein reject this concept.

    . . .

    Cloud_Walker:
    Actually, that's wrong because all ID is is an attack on the current science, i.e., evolution. It makes no scientific argument of its own, yet its proponents claim it to be scientific. The mere existence of evolution, i.e., science, refutes ID.
    That’s just completely wrong. ID advocates do not reject evolution, they embrace it. They just believe that evolution itself is the result of a superior being’s involvement. As somebody said in this thread, ID = evolution + God.

    This whole brouhaha has been caused because some ID believers have taken this belief one step further and said that there is scientific evidence that supports this belief in intelligent design. This is where non-ID believers and many ID believers like myself disagree with them.

    Even further, Spinoza's god is synonymous with the universe
    .
    The belief in God as the universe can be defined as pantheism. However, Einstein rejected that belief, so that is why most people consider him a deist.
    I'm not an atheist, and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations.
    . . .

    Peregrine:
    Whether it's from a printed book or not, that belief in intelligent design is coming directly from a belief in god, not a purely rational look at the evidence.
    So now you’re changing your argument and defining it in even broader terms?

    First you say that all arguments for ID come from religious texts. When I said, “nonsense” and asked for some proof you changed the argument to -- all arguments for ID come from religious beliefs that are taken from religion texts. When I again said, “nonsense” and cited that there have been many religious societies that have a belief in ID without having any religious texts, you now change your argument to -- all ID arguments are based on a belief in God.

    But even with this wiggling around, you’re still wrong. There are people like Einstein who believe that the order in the Universe serves as evidence of intelligent design. The idea that there is a mechanism that allows a species to adapt to changes in its environment is evidence of this order. Therefore, rather than taking a belief in God and manipulating it to work with evolution, the mere existence of evolution at all indicates to some that there is a “god”.

    Quote Originally Posted by ”Einstein’
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
    . . .

    dondrei:
    there must be much broader and more fundamental problems which you think privatisation [of education] would completely solve.
    Yep. I’ll list a few.
    • Parents disagree with level of sex education that should be given to their children and at what age should this instruction begin.
    • Some people believe in the tried-and-true method of learning basic concepts such as the times tables by memorization while others believe in only teaching the concepts behind them.
    • Some people feel that schools should only concentrate on core courses such as reading, writing, and arithmetic while others believe that schools should also teach students about such things as social interaction skills and diversity.
    • Some people feel that differences between students such as class ranking and GPA’s lead to low self esteem for some students and; therefore, these types of differentiation between students should be discouraged. Others believe that school should emulate real life and these differences should be published as a recognition for the ones on top and as goals for all other students.
    • Some feel that there is too much emphasis on sports while others don’t.
    • Some believe in learning to read using phonics while others believe in the “whole word” method.
    • Some people believe that the learning of English for foreign speaking students should be gradual while others believe in the full emersion method.
    • Some people believe that it is possible to teach students without emphasizing the ethical aspects of life while others believe that teaching history, science, etc., without dealing with issues of morality is incomplete.
    • Some parents believe in corporate punishment while others do not.
    • Some believe that a school with a strict code of conduct is necessary in order to focus on teaching while others believe that such a code stifles individuality and creativity.
    • And, as a person whose intellect I respect said, some people believe in teaching to the test while others believe in teaching how to learn rather than just teaching a lot of facts and figures.
    In any of these situations, the Free Market allows the parent could choose the school that best reflects his desires for his children.

    Just to take the most obvious example, how about Microsoft? Are you going to tell me that their practical monopoly on operating systems is all the fault of the government?
    Microsoft is an example of what many economists call a technical monopoly. This is a company who owns a very large market share due to their technological and economic advantages. Wal-Mart also falls into this category. Free Market Economists do not consider a technical monopoly to be true monopoly because their market share would change drastically if they stopped meeting the needs of the consumers.

    A good indicator of whether or not a monopoly is harmful is to track which parties complain about the company’s practices. If it’s the consumer, then it harmful, if it’s the industry then most likely it’s not. In Microsoft’s case the Stock Market tumbled as soon as the decision was reached. That is a good sign that the people in the know (investors) realized that the Court deciding that Microsoft was a monopoly was not good for the Economy. As to which party complained, 240 distinguished economists signed an open letter to the Court that said in part:
    Consumers did not ask for these antitrust actions - rival business firms did. Consumers of high technology have enjoyed falling prices, expanding outputs, and a breathtaking array of new products and innovations. High technology markets are among the most dynamic and competitive in the world, and it is a tribute to open markets and entrepreneurial genius that American firms lead in so many of these industries. But, these same developments place heavy pressures on rival businesses, which must keep pace or lose their competitive races. Rivals can legitimately respond by improving their own products or by lowering prices. Increasingly, however, some firms have sought to handicap their rivals’ races by turning to the government for protection… Many of these cases are based on speculation about some vaguely specified consumer harm in some unspecified future, and many of the proposed interventions will weaken successful U.S. firms and impede their competitiveness abroad
    . . .

    One of the fatal flaws in the classical idea that everyone acting in their own best interests results ultimately in the best outcome for everyone is that people are often mistaken about what is in their best interest. And their short term best interests often compromise their long term best interests.
    Obviously, not all people will make the right decision all the time for themselves or their children. But the only alternative is to have someone else make it for them. No matter what problems arise due to mistakes being made by individuals, they pale in comparison to when one group makes decisions for everyone else. At least only the individual and his family has to live with the consequences of his mistake. If the person who makes the decision does it for everyone, he punishes all if he makes a mistake

    In any case, I don't think any schools have a serious demand problems. The private ones in particular are usually full to capacity, which makes competition fairly unnecessary.
    Now that situation stinks of a monopoly. It sounds like there must be some restrictions on starting a new school, something like a strenuous and costly in time and money curriculum review by a government panel or some education “experts”. Restricting entrance of new businesses into an industry is the classic sign of a coercive monopoly.

    I don't really see the point of that. Parents can send their kids to any public school they like already.
    Not in the United States. In the vast majority of cases, you go to the school assigned to cover your neighborhood. Your only option are to move or to go to a private school which ends up with you paying twice for your child’s education; once through taxes and once directly to the school. That so many parents take that option to pay twice for the education of their children says a lot about the quality our public school system.




  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    Peregrine:

    So now you’re changing your argument and defining it in even broader terms?
    Only because you insist on nitpicking the difference between 'religious texts' and 'religious beliefs'.

    First you say that all arguments for ID come from religious texts. When I said, “nonsense” and asked for some proof you changed the argument to -- all arguments for ID come from religious beliefs that are taken from religion texts.
    Would you please stop nitpicking my exact wording? You know perfectly well that the content of my argument is the same whether I say "religious texts" or "religious beliefs". The only reason I changed it was because you attempted to disprove my argument by claiming that because I said "religious texts", a religion that is passed on orally is not included.

    When I again said, “nonsense” and cited that there have been many religious societies that have a belief in ID without having any religious texts, you now change your argument to -- all ID arguments are based on a belief in God.
    Again with the nitpicking. The fact that those societies didn't write down their beliefs in formal texts does not invalidate the point of my argument. If you really want to make a point, please explain how formal writing and unwritten beliefs are so fundamentally different that they can't be substituted in my argument without changing its meaning.


    But even with this wiggling around, you’re still wrong. There are people like Einstein who believe that the order in the Universe serves as evidence of intelligent design.
    Do you even know what order IS, in a scientific context? Pure order is defined as a perfect crystal at absolute zero, NOT the universe as it exists right now. Life is extremely disordered and chaotic.

    The idea that there is a mechanism that allows a species to adapt to changes in its environment is evidence of this order.
    It's not evidence of order at all. If anything, it's evidence of disorder, since the mechanism for evolution is accumulated errors in genetic reproduction. Evolution's mechanism is entirely based on randomness and disorder.

    Therefore, rather than taking a belief in God and manipulating it to work with evolution, the mere existence of evolution at all indicates to some that there is a “god”.
    Which means what exactly? People consider lots of stupid things to indicate there's a god.




  8. #68
    IncGamers Member Dondrei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    dondrei:

    Yep. I’ll list a few.

    *snip*

    In any of these situations, the Free Market allows the parent could choose the school that best reflects his desires for his children.
    I think you have some good points there but I think much of that goes on already, at least here in Australia. I've known lots of people who have switched public schools because they aren't satisfied with one thing or another, many of them you've listed. There may be an argument for emphasising consumer choice and making what each school offers more transparent, but I don't think we need to take the drastic action of privatising all schools to achieve that.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    Some parents believe in corporate punishment while others do not.
    This one is interesting for two reasons. One, the amusing malapropism "corporate punishment". You mean "corporal", meaning "bodily". What would corporate punishment be, reducing the kid's stock price? Two, the fact that as far as I know corporal punishment is illegal, at least here in Australia. Frankly I find the idea of schools administering physical punishment to other peoples' children (with or without their consent) repugnant. And I'm not one of those people who objects to parents spanking their kids.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    Microsoft is an example of what many economists call a technical monopoly. This is a company who owns a very large market share due to their technological and economic advantages. Wal-Mart also falls into this category. Free Market Economists do not consider a technical monopoly to be true monopoly because their market share would change drastically if they stopped meeting the needs of the consumers.
    My god, what a bunch of meretricious excuse-making. They got their monopoly fair and square, so it isn't a problem? That's ideological blindness, plain and simple. And Microsoft controls the needs of its consumers, that's the power of a monopoly (example: removing backwards compatibility of their software to force expensive updates, or releasing games only on the XBox when they were destined for PC release, eg Halo). "Their market share would change drastically if they stopped meeting the needs of the consumers"? More specious reasoning I can scarcely imagine. It's essentially saying that if a company with a monopoly attempts to abuse that power the magical market forces will instantly ride to the rescue. A monopoly can't defeat market forces because a monopoly can't defeat market forces. I don't think that you're stupid enough to really believe this. You're sheltering behind it as an ideological convenience.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    A good indicator of whether or not a monopoly is harmful is to track which parties complain about the company’s practices. If it’s the consumer, then it harmful, if it’s the industry then most likely it’s not. In Microsoft’s case the Stock Market tumbled as soon as the decision was reached. That is a good sign that the people in the know (investors) realized that the Court deciding that Microsoft was a monopoly was not good for the Economy. As to which party complained, 240 distinguished economists signed an open letter to the Court that said in part:
    Oh, please. Of course investors and shareholders always know exactly what's best for the economy, and what's best for the economy is always best for the consumer. Don't be ridiculous. Next you'll be telling me that the recent behaviour of the music industry is all for the benefit of the consumer.

    Customers don't complain about Microsoft products because by and large they have no experience of superior products (because they have a practical monopoly on operating systems) or because they have this insane idea planted into their heads that it's normal for a computer to crash five times while performing a simple task like writing a document. Microsoft leans heavily on the average consumer's utter ignorance of anything computer-related (eg the piles of money made on the Y2K sham). How else do you explain people constantly paying hundreds of dollars to "upgrade" their operating system to a new one that has more bugs and vulnerabilities, hogs more resources, and has no new features?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    Obviously, not all people will make the right decision all the time for themselves or their children. But the only alternative is to have someone else make it for them. No matter what problems arise due to mistakes being made by individuals, they pale in comparison to when one group makes decisions for everyone else. At least only the individual and his family has to live with the consequences of his mistake. If the person who makes the decision does it for everyone, he punishes all if he makes a mistake
    I'm not trying to take the opposite extreme ideological position to you, and say we should destroy the free market and let the government run our lives. I'm saying that you're overly enamoured of your end of the spectrum and you need to take a more realistic look at the limitations of free market thinking. We need to find an effective balance between the two, not to go haring off on blind ideological crusades. For either side.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    Now that situation stinks of a monopoly. It sounds like there must be some restrictions on starting a new school, something like a strenuous and costly in time and money curriculum review by a government panel or some education “experts”. Restricting entrance of new businesses into an industry is the classic sign of a coercive monopoly.
    That may be true, I can't be sure. But I doubt it - it seems more likely that the control on demand occurred naturally. The demand for good schools (or at least, what people think are good schools) outweighs the supply. In fact, I suspect that the demand for any kind of school outweighs supply. Not much point in competing for students when you're always full anyway. Why this is I'm not sure. I know that there is always a shortage of teachers - and a critical shortage of good teachers.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    Not in the United States. In the vast majority of cases, you go to the school assigned to cover your neighborhood. Your only option are to move or to go to a private school which ends up with you paying twice for your child’s education; once through taxes and once directly to the school. That so many parents take that option to pay twice for the education of their children says a lot about the quality our public school system.
    The same is true here, but surely you aren't trying to say that parents are forced to go to their local school? Of course everyone by default enrolls their children in the nearest one, but if they feel strongly that it doesn't meet their needs they can look for a better one. If that's not possible then you definitely have a problem there.




  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    That’s just completely wrong. ID advocates do not reject evolution, they embrace it. They just believe that evolution itself is the result of a superior being’s involvement. As somebody said in this thread, ID = evolution + God.
    I never said they rejected evolution. I said they attack evolution. The man mostly responsible for advocating ID is Michael Behe, and he does it by attacking supposed flaws in the theory of evolution (irreducible complexity) that don't exist. In fact, the title of the book he does this in is called "Darwin's Black Box." Further, Behe is a scientist himself and used evidence and (flawed) logical conjecture to make his argument. ID is refuted scientifically. Read this article for proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    The belief in God as the universe can be defined as pantheism. However, Einstein rejected that belief...
    Ummm... let's see. Einstein believes in Spinoza's god per that famous quote of him that you provided in this thread. Spinoza's god is the universe per, well, Spinoza. Call it pantheism or don't call it pantheism because you say Einstein rejected it (have you provided evidence for that claim?), it most certainly is not deism.




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    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAim
    Einstein saw the order in the universe and saw that as evidence of a God. The second quote I cited from him states that pretty clearly. He refers to this being as having “superior reasoning power”, so I feel my use of the word “intelligent” is apt. However, I admit that I am using the term “intelligent design” in its broadest interpretation; that is, that some being at some time or times in our history guided Creation in some way or ways.

    As to your Einstein quote, please note his use of the following phrase “I do not believe in a personal God”. This is why I cited his first quote. Formal religion is built around the concept of a personal God who interferes in everyday life and whose desires can be interpreted by mankind through such things as prayer and revelation. Deists like Einstein reject this concept.
    You'll get no disagreement from me that Einstein was most definitely not a theist, thus the comments on not believing in a personal god. But I personally think that Einstein's position is somewhere between deism and pantheism, and that your take, while similar to Einstein's, is actually different. Einstein never identified himself as a deist, and I read his quote on pantheism (which you quoted below to Cloud_Walker) as tentative disagreement, not strong disagreement. The identification with Spinoza's god is what I think clinches it, as Spinoza's god is definitely "less theist" than than the deist god, though we generally agree, as has been mentioned, Spinoza's god is essentially pantheist. Thus, the only resolution I can think of is that he was somewhere between the pantheist view and the deist view. This makes sense to me in light of the fact that everytime Einstein chooses to talk about god, he prefers to do so in a way that very strongly emphasizes the laws of nature. More so, I think, than a typical deist might. I also suspect, however, that this is merely Einstein trying to stake a slightly unique or rebellious position, in a typically Einsteinian way, and thus avoid labelling.

    But aside from speculating on Einstein's personal opinions, my objection is to the notion that the presence of a specific order in our universe signals that it must have been designed by some superior force. "Design," in any case, being impossible for us to comprehend since the very notions of space and time are created along with the universe. It's the idea that, seeing as how you've already assumed that all we can "know" is what we can observe within our universe, you try to infer the existence of something beyond it. It's not that the inference is bad logic, it's that the very attempt to infer makes no sense. Perhaps it's God, or perhaps it's some sort of abstract string theory brane, or perhaps it's a giant turtle, but if you accept the idea that all we can know is constrained by observation and the laws of nature, then extending it to encompass a deist view requires additional assumptions. Which is fine if that's what you prefer, but I would point out that those assumptions are necessary.

    This is not as extreme a position as you might think, however, and I can draw an example from is believed to be currently very well-understood physics. Every physicist knows how to "do" quantum mechanics, in the sense that it can be used as a tool to make predictions about nature. However, there are a variety of different "interpretations" (to use a colloquialism) as to the machinery that makes quantum mechanics work. This is still an active field of work, but it is certainly possible that many of these different interpretations are observationally indistinguishable (though many hope that to not be the case). If these interpretations are all equally "good," how do we decide what is "real?" Do they all occur? Does one occur and not the other? And what does any of this mean? I regard the extrapolation of a deist God from scientific order in the same way. For the most part, physicists have accepted the strangeness and wonder of quantum mechanics as simply a feature of the universe. It "is," and that's the way of things. Reality as defined at the level of what is observably distinguishable. Similarly, it is with the same attitude that I view the existence of god.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Hi Cloud_Walker! I saw your earlier post from a different thread, but I've been swamped with work lately and forgot to respond. Hope things are well.




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