Monday, September 30, 2013

Imposing Our Values Upon God and Science

  photo Ross_zps2f2f4acb.jpg
Lee D. Ross, Stanford Psychology Dept.

Two studies seem to suggest that Christians project their own social values onto God. Nicholas Epley fins that:

People often reason egocentrically about others’ beliefs, using
their own beliefs as an inductive guide. Correlational, experimen-
tal, and neuroimaging evidence suggests that people may be even
more egocentric when reasoning about a religious agent’s beliefs
(e.g., God). In both nationally representative and more local sam-
ples, people’s own beliefs on important social and ethical issues
beliefs than with estimates of other people’s beliefs (Studies 1–4).
Manipulating people’s beliefs similarly influenced estimates of
God’s beliefs but did not as consistently influence estimates of
other people’s beliefs (Studies 5 and 6). A final neuroimaging study
demonstrated a clear convergence in neural activity when reason-
ing about one’s own beliefs and God’s beliefs, but clear diver-
gences when reasoning about another person’s beliefs (Study 7).
In particular, reasoning about God’s beliefs activated areas asso-
ciated with self-referential thinking more so than did reasoning
about another person’s beliefs. Believers commonly use inferences
about God’s beliefs as a moral compass, but that compass appears
especially dependent on one’s own existing beliefs.[1]
 The other is by Lee D. Ross

The present study explores the dramatic projection of one’s own views onto those of Jesus among conservative and liberal American Christians. In a large-scale survey, the relevant views that each group attributed to a contemporary Jesus differed almost as much as their own views. Despite such dissonance-reducing projection, however, conservatives acknowledged the relevant discrepancy with regard to “fellowship” issues (e.g., taxation to reduce economic inequality and treatment of immigrants) and liberals acknowledged the relevant discrepancy with regard to “morality” issues (e.g., abortion and gay marriage). However, conservatives also claimed that a contemporary Jesus would be even more conservative than themselves on the former issues whereas liberals claimed that Jesus would be even more liberal than themselves on the latter issues. Further reducing potential dissonance, liberal and conservative Christians differed markedly in the types of issues they claimed to be more central to their faith. A concluding discussion considers the relationship between individual motivational processes and more social processes that may underlie the present findings, as well as implications for contemporary social and political conflict. [2]

This has led some atheists on message boards to advance these studies as proof of the illogical nature of Christianity. It reinforces the atheist's idea that if God did exist it would be impossible to understand what he wants. "So why should atheists (or anyone, for that matter) take theists seriously when theists talk about what God is like, what God wants, what God commands, etc., if theist's are just unconsciously using God as a sound-board for their own positions?."[3]

These studies are put over as a disproof of the veracity of Christian thought, but in reality they are nothing of the kind. They are actually making good points (not that I have evaluated their validity as studies). These are not points that undo the validity of Christian belief, far from it, they are points I've thought about deeply since the Reagan era. I think these are things God wants us to think about. We should understand that we have a tendency to project our social projects and our prejudices and our cultural constructs on to God. We should ask "how can we know the difference?" The problem is the atheists make assumptions about the ultimate inability to know God, from a position of unbelief. Thus they sometimes blind themselves to the prospect that we can know God. We can understand the distinction between our own ideas and what God wants. We can know God and we can Know what God wants. Before going into that I want to make another argument: it doesn't invalidate Christianity in any way becuase it's certainly not unique to Christianity. It's very much in line with the sort of thing that marks humans as human. In every walk of life, in all politics, atheist are no exception, it's an occupational hazard of being human.

The second researcher mentioned above, Lee Ross,  has another study that was conviently over looked. That study says that Objectivity is not a human characteristic and we all project our things onto others no matter who we are or what our world view.

Important asymmetries between self-perception and social perception arise from the simple fact that other people’s actions, judgments, and priorities sometimes differ from one’s own. This leads people not only to make more dispositional inferences about others than about themselves (E. E. Jones & R. E. Nisbett, 1972) but also to see others as more susceptible to a host of cognitive and motivational biases. Although this blind spot regarding one’s own biases may serve familiar self-enhancement motives, it is also a
product of the phenomenological stance of naive realism.It is exacerbated, furthermore, by people’s tendency to attach greater credence to their own introspections about potential influences on judgment and behavior than they attach to similar introspections by others. The authors review evidence, new and old, of this asymmetry and its underlying causes and discuss its relation to other psychological phenomena and to interpersonal and intergroup conflict.[4]
The Ross article quotes, right after the abstract:
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye but
considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
—Matthew 7:3 (King James Version)
The atheist stock in trade is objectivity. They like to employ the fortress of facts idea that they have the big pile of facts and objective thinking and religion is just subjective nonsense with no facts behind it. In fact, humans research according to their biases and objectivity is an illusion. The same criticisms being made of Christianity can also be made of atheism or any other "ism" or any other view point. In fact while this is put over as the triumph of scinece over Christianity it's actually good example of atheists imposing their own views upon scinece. Those who evoke these first two studies without being aware of Ross's second study are merely employing the fortress of facts strategy. Rather than seeking to ask himself "are we doing this ourselves" they are content to assume it's only Christians and thus fall prey to the same idea.

The more insightful theological types are very aware of the metaphorical and analogical nature of all religious language. God is beyond our understanding. We can't discuss directly what we get from religious experience because we get it at a subliminal level. We can only relate to it and discuss it when we filter it through cultural constructs. That's what give each tradition it's won unique character.

It's not less true of secular philosophy or ethics. We are imposing culturally constructed values on scinece. The book Leviathan and the Air Pump by Shapin and Shaffer proved this is the case in the making of modern scinece. All the brave talk about "objectivity" is just so much crap. we are not objective. Look at how afraid the atheists have been to read my studies. not one study have their read. they refused to look at Hood's chapter (Put it up 147 times 2 people looked at it one of them admitted he didn't understand it and the other claimed she did but she didn't). Objectivity on the part of humans is a joke and a propaganda device. Shapin and Shaffer prove that science is based upon political space.

Ross writes:

This familiar biblical quotation describes an age-old double
standard in the way people perceive themselves versus their peers.
We suspect that people not only are subject to this double standard
but also are inclined to believe that their peers are more subject to
it than they are themselves. In the present article, we argue that
people readily detect or infer a wide variety of biases in others
while denying such biases in themselves. We place this argument
in the larger context of theory and research on the relationship
between self-perception and social perception. In particular, the
ideas we advance can be seen as an extension of Jones and
Nisbett’s (1972) conceptual analysis of divergent actor– observer
attributions, with the focus of our analysis shifting from judgments
about traits to judgments about biase. [5]
Of course we as Christians We should be not only self aware but also self critical. We should have the guts and honesty to be brutal enough with ourselves to say "is this really what god wants or is it just me?" How do we know what God wants? Of cousre there is no magic assurance that we get it right. That's the whole point of  Grace. We seek to please God in our hearts and whatever is in the gap or the short coming is covered by God's grace. There's no great mystery about how to know God's will.We have to learn the teachings of Jesus and keep to understand them in terms of general principles then apply those principles to our own context, heuristically, culturally, personally. Where that becomes hard is where it gets int the way of our personal expectations and biases. It's not prejudice that stands in the way of following God but our expectations, what we personally want the way we have it all "cracked up." That's where applying the principles becomes difficult. James 4:3 tells us: "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." As the quote above reveals we need to put ourselves in the other guys shoes more often.

The only real "cure" requires diligence and strength but it is to spend time in prayer. The time we spend with God, imbibing of the divine presence and learning to know what is really God from what we want is the difference between maturity and immaturity.


[1]Nicholas Epley, et al, "Believer's estimates of God's beliefs are more egocentric than estimates of other people's beliefs." PDF
accessed 9/9/13
[2]Lee D. Ross, et al, "How Christians Reconcile thier Personal Political Views and Teachings of their faith: Projection as a means of dissonance of Reduction." PDF, Department of Pschology Standford University.
accessed 9/9/13
[3] A poster on a message board. accessed 9/9/13
[4] Lee D. Ross, Thomas Gilvoich. "Objetivity is in the Eye of the Beholder: Divergent Perceptions of Bias In Self Verus Others. " PDF  accessed 9/9/13.
Thomas Gilvoich is at Cornell University.
[5] Ibid.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Answer to Austin Cline: Kind God Makes You Kind

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 Dancing over the hill with death from Bergman's Seventh Seal

On the CADRE blog to today BK argues with atheist pundit Austin Cline who says that cruel people choose a cruel God. He's quoting Bertrand Russell. BK says:

If I understand this argument (which isn’t really so much an argument as an assertion), Cline believes that non-belief in God allows the Atheist to be kind. Yet, his paragraph on kindness does not really support this idea. He apparently agrees with Bertrand Russell’s statement (which I believe to be nonsense) that, “Men tend to have the beliefs that suit their passions. Cruel men believe in a cruel god and use their belief to excuse cruelty. Only kindly men believe in a kindly god, and they would be kindly in any case.”(CADRE comments, "Does Atheism Promote Kindness?" June 19th, 2013).

I basically agree with you BK but there are a couple of things I want to add.

The statement by Russell was not original.When I was at Agape Force in the East Texas Branch (their golden age: Keith Green and Second chapter of Acts lived next door) they had us read an old 19th book by some evangelist, can't remember the name, called "Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation." He argued the very same thing. He was saying that pagan religions do this. That's why violent people like the Thugees had Kali goddess of evil as their goddess. That's really a misunderstanding of Kali and of Indian culture.

In any case I don't think that atheism frees one to be kind, but makes it "cool" to be cruel. Look at the rationalizations for using mockery and ridicule--we have to stop stupid ideas so it's ok to hurt people because its so important they emulate our brilliant ideas. Atheist guru Keith Parsons say:

I am. I ain’t a Christian. I don’t turn the other cheek or love my enemies or pray for those that say mean things about atheists.

What justifies ridicule? The ridiculous deserves to be ridiculed. Well, we should spare the innocent ridiculousness of those who cannot help it–the genuinely, pathetically dimwitted or uneducated. But pernicious, aggressive ridiculousness by smart, educated people who are attempting to foist their ridiculousness on the rest of us–that richly deserves ridicule. Those who attempt to use the power of the state to cram their fatuous, hateful ideology down the throats of everyone else–by having creationism taught in the public schools, say–are contemptible and fully deserving of contemptuous laughter. I heard Lewis Black do a terrific rant on creationism. Priceless.
Ah, yes the soul of kindness.

We need to use empirical study to compare populations. Cline's statement, no surprise, is anecdotal. The empirical facts show that religious people are much less likely to depressed or mentally ill. Of those religious people who are depressed or mentally ill or have low self esteem it's more likely to be those with a  negative God image.

It is true that Christians can have a negative view of God. A huge body of empirical study shows that those who do have low self esteem. That is not limited to atheists but is true of atheists as well.

I notice that atheists are quite likely to mock the idea of "happiness" when they attack the religious experience studies. As though happiness is just nothing at all we don't even need it. Then we find Cline using it as an inducement to become an atheist. You will be happier, of course if Christianity makes you happier then happiness is something we don't need. The empirical facts are that studies show religion makes one happier, like it or not.

Kind God Makes you Kind

Those have religious experiences, especially those labeled "mystical" tend to be more socially conscious and kinder than those who don't have such experiences.

State of Unitive Consciousness
"Furthermore, Greeley found no evidence to support the orthodox belief that frequent mystic experiences or psychic experiences stem from deprivation or psychopathology. His ''mystics'' were generally better educated, more successful economically, and less racist, and they were rated substantially happier on measures of psychological well-being. "
A major aspect of mystical experience is an overwhelming all pervasive sense of love and being loved. We should take this as the sense of God's love, thus loving God makes you kind.

Religion and Happiness

by Michael E. Nielsen, PhD

Many people expect religion to bring them happiness. Does this actually seem to be the case? Are religious people happier than nonreligious people? And if so, why might this be?

Researchers have been intrigued by such questions. Most studies have simply asked people how happy they are, although studies also may use scales that try to measure happiness more subtly than that. In general, researchers who have a large sample of people in their study tend to limit their measurement of happiness to just one or two questions, and researchers who have fewer numbers of people use several items or scales to measure happiness.

What do they find? In a nutshell, they find that people who are involved in religion also report greater levels of happiness than do those who are not religious. For example, one study involved over 160,000 people in Europe. Among weekly churchgoers, 85% reported being "very satisfied" with life, but this number reduced to 77% among those who never went to church (Inglehart, 1990). This kind of pattern is typical -- religious involvement is associated with modest increases in happiness

Religion is the most powerful Factor in well being.

Poloma and Pendelton The Faith Factor: An Annotated Bibliography of Systematic Reviews And Clinical Research on Spiritual Subjects Vol. II, David B. Larson M.D., Natiional Institute for Health Research Dec. 1993, p. 3290.


"The authors found that religious satisfaction was the most powerful predictor of existential well being. The degree to which an individual felt close to God was the most important factor in terms of existential well-being. While frequency of prayer contributed to general life satisfaction and personal happiness. As a result of their study the authors concluded that it would be important to look at a combination of religious items, including prayer, relationship with God, and other measures of religious experience to begin to adequately clarify the associations of religious commitment with general well-being."
Recent Empirical Studies Prove Religious Believers have less depression, mental illness lower Divorce rate, ect.

J. Gartner, D.B. Allen, The Faith Factor: An Annotated Bibliography of Systematic Reviews And Clinical Research on Spiritual Subjects Vol. II, David B. Larson M.D., National Institute for Health Research Dec. 1993, p. 3090


"The Reviews identified 10 areas of clinical status in which research has demonstrated benefits of religious commitment: (1) Depression, (2) Suicide, (3) Delinquency, (4) Mortality, (5) Alcohol use (6) Drug use, (7) Well-being, (8) Divorce and marital satisfaction, (9) Physical Health Status, and (10) Mental health outcome studies....The authors underscored the need for additional longitudinal studies featuring health outcomes. Although there were few, such studies tended to show mental health benefit. Similarly, in the case of teh few longevity or mortality outcome studies, the benefit was in favor of those who attended least 70% of the time, increased religious commitment was associated with improved coping and protection from problems."

[The authors conducted a literature search of over 2000 publications to glean the current state of empirical study data in areas of Spirituality and health]

2) Shrinks assume religious experience Normative.
Dr. Jorge W.F. Amaro, Ph.D., Head psychology dept. Sao Paulo


a) Unbeliever is the Sick Soul

"A non spiritualized person is a sick person, even if she doesn't show any symptom described by traditional medicine. The supernatural and the sacredness result from an elaboration on the function of omnipotence by the mind and can be found both in atheist and religious people. It is an existential function in humankind and the uses each one makes of it will be the measure for one's understanding."

b. psychotheraputic discipline re-evalutes Frued's criticism of religion



"Nowadays there are many who do not agree with the notion that religious behavior a priori implies a neurotic state to be decoded and eliminated by analysis (exorcism). That reductionism based on the first works by Freud is currently under review. The psychotherapist should be limited to observing the uses their clients make of the representations of the image of God in their subjective world, that is, the uses of the function of omnipotence. Among the several authors that subscribe to this position are Odilon de Mello Franco (12), .... W. R. Bion (2), one of the most notable contemporary psychoanalysts, ..."

[sources sited by Amaro BION, W. R. Atenção e interpretação (Attention and interpretation). Rio de Janeiro: Imago, 1973.

MELLO FRANCO, O. de. Religious experience and psychoanalysis: from man-as-god to man-with-god. Int. J. of Psychoanalysis (1998) 79,]

c) This relationship is so strong it led to the creation of a whole discipline in psychology; transactionalism

Neilson on Maslow


"One outgrowth of Maslow's work is what has become known as Transpersonal Psychology, in which the focus is on the spiritual well-being of individuals, and values are advocated steadfastly. Transpersonal psychologists seek to blend Eastern religion (Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.) or Western (Christian, Jewish or Moslem) mysticism with a form of modern psychology. Frequently, the transpersonal psychologist rejects psychology's adoption of various scientific methods used in the natural sciences."
"The influence of the transpersonal movement remains small, but there is evidence that it is growing. I suspect that most psychologists would agree with Maslow that much of psychology -- including the psychology of religion -- needs an improved theoretical foundation."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Debuncking the Atheist Fortress of Facts.

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This is part of a larger framework that includes the theories of Thomas Kuhn and argues that science is a social construct. That part of it will be saved for another time. This section, although long is answering an argument that I see atheist touting all the time. They always deny it but it's unmistakably there. 

I am doing it backwards. Yesterday I did part 2 as an addendum to the three observations so here is part 1.

 Section one documents that there such an attitude among atheists and gives some preliminary arguments. Section 2 shows the truly unscientific nature of the attitude.
Nowhere is the arrogance of humanity more apparent than in the many tendencies to treat God as a big man in the sky and try to subject him to scientific analysis. This is a move that most thinkers of the previous century would have laughed themselves silly over. One cannot second guess the nature of the divine by insisting that God operates under rules like a biological organism? Richard Dawkins is a major purveyor of this view but Victor Stinger is even more so. Stinger, in his God the Failed Hypothesis[1] is the genius who stated the "who created God" thing, one of the hallmarks of atheist ignorance. The method is super simple. Stinger does mess not with trying to probe the heavens or reaching beyond our tiny little sample of reality on this dust mote, he does it the "obvious way" by creating a straw man argument for God then knocking it down. The straw man is based upon a selective understanding guaranteed to denude belief of a factual basis and to load a pile of facts in the unbelieving camp so as to create the impression that atheism is a choice based upon the full brunt of scientific fact, and religious belief has nothing going for it but ignorance and superstition. This tactic I call the “fortress of facts.” The fortress of facts is something atheists deny vehemently but it’s obvious in almost every argument they make. Most scientifically inclined observers know that science is not merely the accumulation of a pile of facts. Science is not about proving facts or manufacturing a pile of facts so much as it is about testing hypothesis in a systematic fashion. Science is more about disproving than about proving. There are aspects of reality that beyond the ability of science to disprove. God is one of these. Yet, even though atheists will deny the words “fortress of facts” if we observe the way they argument this is undeniable consequence of their logic and their approach.
Science and the “God Hypothesis.”
The whole idea of referring to God as an hypothesis in the first place is an attempt to classify the God concept under the rubric of scientific domain. If God is an hypothesis then he’s something science can dispute, because science is about testing hypothesis. Of course the notion weather or not God can be so classified is a theological question and must be answered theologians. Since atheist denuded theology of any valid content (through sheer mocking and ridicule) then there’s no one to respond who atheists wont mock and ridicule. Thus truth by stipulation is written into the atheist ideology. This overall move turns upon the fortress of facts idea because a hypothesis without fact can’t be maintained. Thus while denying up front that they think about science in this manner we can see the fortress of facts as the basic assumption in the over all atheist approach to belief. We see the fortress of facts at work in the writings of Singer:

says Victor Stenger in "God: The Failed Hypothesis." The book is subtitled, "How science shows that God does not exist." Chapter by chapter, the author shows that the existence of God would suggest certain realities in the world that would be verifiable by scientific inquiry. But the data don't support these would-be realities, thereby providing evidence that no God exists.
Stenger, retired professor of Philosophy at University of Colorado and of Physics and Astronomy at University of Hawaii, is successful in this line of reasoning because of his clearly stated definition that he is not just talking about any kind of god, but specifically the capital-g God of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition.[2]
We can see the assumption of the fortress of facts in Skeptic Magazine article reviewing[3] Stinger’s book: “conspicuous by his Absence.” "Stinger lays out the evidence from cosmology, particle physics and quantum mechanics showing that the universe appears exactly as it should if there is no creator." This is a factual approach. The facts show God doesn’t exist because if he did things would be different. To show this we use our tremendous fact finding potential in science.
How does he reckon it should if there is no God? He constructs his own fundamentalist driven version of what God would be like. Of course he has no knowledge of that. It's really a disproof of the atheist big nightmare of the fundamentalist concept of God, in other words, a straw man argument not a real disproof of anything valid. Beyond that, which is a deal breaker--because how you set up the inquiry in the first place determines everything-- there are other criticisms. For example his take on the issue of prayer studies. This is also proof of the "fortress of facts" concept which I am always pointing out that atheist ideology teaches. No atheist has of yet accepted the notion when I point it but it's clear that they argue from it all the time. The idea science gives them a big pile of facts but we believers have no facts. The facts are going to tell us if we can believe in God or not, of course the facts are only facts if they are “scientific” (ie in this case that means if they work against belief in God).
For instance, he tackles the question of the efficacy of prayer, in which the followers of these faiths fervently believe. If God exists, he argues, prayers could be shown to have been answered, using verifiable, replicable studies. And indeed, such studies have been conducted, with universally negative results. (Some studies, which supposedly yielded positive results, used flawed methodology and thus the conclusion is dismissible.) "If prayer were as important as it is taken to be by Jews, Christians and Muslims, its positive effects should be obvious and measurable," Stenger concludes. "They are not. It does not appear - based on the scientific evidence - that a God exists who answers prayers in any significant, observable way."[4]
Here again we have the same idea at work, science gives us a fortress of facts that religion can’t match, never mind the fact that we have selected which facts are important to observe and what assumptions about God set up the facts we want to select. For example consider the flip flop that has happened in regard to these prayer studies. Back in the day when they were being done (late 80s, early 90s) they were big news the atheists were on defensive grasping at whatever straws they could to answer, since they had no counter studies and counter data. One of the major arguments they used to make on every message board, every blog, ever news group where this was debated was that you can’t control for outside prayer. The defenders of the studies, such as Dr. Byrd and Dr. Harris did their own straw-clutching to answer this argument about control. Since that time, however, thing have turned around. A study with the largest data base was done that showed very little or no difference in the two groups. The atheists have gone ape making the argument that “prayer is disproved.” The study detractors (now the theists) argue “you can’t control for outside prayer, the argument atheists used to make. The atheists say “O sure you can.” When I point out that they used to make this argument themselves many of them have said “no atheist ever argued that.” How quickly we forget. I remember. I have the article. Gary P Posner did argue it:
The most striking flaw in this study's methodology is one forthrightly acknowledged by Byrd. "It was assumed that some of the patients in both groups would be prayed for by people not associated with the study; this was not controlled for ... Therefore, 'pure' groups were not attained in this study." In other words, the focus of the study - prayer - was "not controlled for," except that three to seven intercessors were assigned to pray daily for each patient in the IP group, and none was assigned to the controls. Thus, although unlikely, it is nevertheless theoretically possible that the control group received as many prayers as did the IP group, if not more.
If "intercessory prayer" was not controlled, except that each IP patient was assumed to have received somewhere between X+3 and X+7 prayers daily, as opposed to X+0 for the control patients, what are we to conclude? That God is conditioned in a Pavlovian manner to automatically respond to the side with the greater number of troops, even though the assigned intercessors had no emotional ties to their patients, and even though the IP patients were otherwise no more worthy of healing as a group than were the controls? Does God not know that the side with fewer troops is in just as much need of assistance? Where is the evidence of his omniscience and compassion?
And what can be said about the evidence for God's omnipotence? It is true, assuming that Byrd's data are valid, that in the IP group, 5 percent fewer patients needed diuretics, 7 percent fewer needed antibiotics, 6 percent fewer needed respiratory intubation and/or ventilation, 6 percent fewer developed congestive heart failure, 5 percent fewer developed pneumonia, and 5 percent fewer suffered cardiopulmonary arrest. But no significant differences were found among the other twenty categories, including mortality, despite explicit prayers "for prevention of ... death." And, reports Byrd, "Even though for [the six seemingly significant] variables the P values were less than .05, they could not be considered statistically significant because of the large number of variables examined. I used two methods to overcome this statistical limitation ... [the] severity score, and multivariant [sic] analysis" (emphasis added).[5]
So what happens if we say Posner was right? These studies don’t measure the truth of prayer because you can’t control for outside prayer? The study that shows no difference is meaningless. Of course the atheists will say but the theist still has no facts to back prayer. Of course they are just selecting the facts that support there view. There are facts that back prayer but they are ignored because they counter the ideological assumptions of naturalism. That will be dealt with in subsequent chapters.
The assumptions that Stenger has to make to make his straw man work is that God is exactly as he wants him to be. The reviewer at Simply Einstein (ibid) defends him against the charge of straw man.
The logical purist may object that one can't "prove a negative," that one can no more disprove God than disprove the existence of Santa Claus or an invisible unicorn in the backyard. But the fact that most people do believe in God while rejecting the latter two is part of the point. Given no real reason to believe in Santa Claus or invisible unicorns, people reject such beliefs. Yet they hold tenaciously not only to belief in their God, but specifically to the tenets that their religion teaches about him. It is really these tenets that Stinger is addressing. By showing that they are wrong, like the efficacy of prayer or the notion that God fine-tuned the universe specifically for the sake of existence of humanity, the author demonstrates that belief in God is equally unfounded.[6]
Yet this is not much of a defense. The so called "tenets" are self selected to be one's he picks out that he thinks he can beat. No religious creed or Bible passage commands us to believe on the basis of the fine tuning argument. No scientific argument can disprove the notion that God has fine tuned the universe to bear life. The only thing science can prove about fine tuning is that we can't prove it. On the other hand far greater scientists than Stinger say his arguments against fine tuning are not so good. The person answering mail for John Polkinghorne’s website (formerly physicist at Cambridge second only to Hawking, who retired to be a Christian minister) says:
Stenger did some marginally useful scientific work but his claims are far too dogmatic. As for his suggestion that Anthropic Fine tuning is a non-problem because of his simplistic program MonkeyGod that purports to simulate universes and “show” that anthropic universes are commonplace, I know of no serious cosmologist who takes this seriously. Martin Rees’s “Just Six Numbers” is a good guide to the real science.[7]
Polkinghorne himself says: “I have read several of the books expressing the current outburst of militant atheism, but not the two you mention. My impression is that they are polemical rather than presenting reasoned arguments of a truth-seeking kind, and that they largely depend upon attacking caricature distortions of religious belief.”[8]
Others find the straw man to be Stenger's usual method:
Stinger—a retired physicist who is leveraging his scientific background to try to discredit anything and everything that smacks of spirituality—doesn’t respect his intellectual opponents enough to get their positions right; in some instances he appears to deliberately misrepresent their views; and, most important, his own reasoning is characterized by unremitting carelessness. Moreover, there is a method to his carelessness—it enables him to systematically avoid addressing the tough arguments of his opponents. Hence we find him frequently setting up a straw man by misrepresenting the debate as a simple matter of science and reason versus superstition. Once having defined this as the issue, all he needs to do is assume the attitude of an outraged scientist and heap on the ridicule. But if he had done his homework and taken the trouble to really understand the science and logic supporting quantum spirituality, he would have discovered that it is harder to dismiss than he had imagined. Indeed, the more carefully—and yes, critically—one considers the issues, the more one finds quantum spirituality to
be eminently worthy of serious consideration, as a plausible and measured approach to the most long-standing and intractable questions at the basis of science.[9]
Stenger doesn't deal with what I consider to be the major God arguments, the ground of being stuff of Tillich and Schleiermacher. Like most of the cult of atheism he's in thrall to his own version of science which is laced with metaphysics. Like most of them they think they are being scientific and philosophical when they denounce philosophy and theology and talk about how science is the only form of knowledge, and then they are bringing ontology in through the back door to put fiber into their world view. Stenger's straw man making is standard procedure for the new atheist. They are always spitting out some line with a dashing air of how theology is stupid so they don't have to read it. They know it's stupid even though they haven't read any. The whole point of showing they haven't read is usually because they are getting the ideas wrong but they never seem to care.
The fortress of facts concept is seen in the works of the high priest of New Atheism, Richard Dawkins.
An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: "I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.[10]
Intellectually “fulfilled atheist” is code for “we have the facts.” What he’s clearly saying is that it was unsatisfying when we didn’t have the facts, God is still be rejected even though he has no real reason for it, but it’s not satisfying. The only thing that makes it satisfying is when we get a pile of facts. That’s because of the explanatory value. He makes it quite clear this is his motive reason for saying these things that he’s after is expletory power and what constitutes an explanation is a scientifically verifiable fact that can’t be disputed.
An even clearer example:

-Faith, being belief that isn't based on evidence, is the principal vice of any religion. And who, looking at Northern Ireland or the Middle East, can be confident that the brain virus of faith is not exceedingly dangerous? One of the stories told to the young Muslim suicide bombers is that martyrdom is the quickest way to heaven — and not just heaven but a special part of heaven where they will receive their special reward of 72 virgin brides. It occurs to me that our best hope may be to provide a kind of "spiritual arms control": send in specially trained theologians to deescalate the going rate in virgins.[11]
As juxtaposed to the next paragraph:
Well, science is not religion and it doesn't just come down to faith. Although it has many of religion's virtues, it has none of its vices. Science is based upon verifiable evidence. Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops. Why else would Christians wax critical of doubting Thomas? The other apostles are held up to us as exemplars of virtue because faith was enough for them. Doubting Thomas, on the other hand, required evidence. Perhaps he should be the patron saint of scientists.[12]
The implication is we have the facts, that are why we understand the world. Further implication is that the world is only the surface level of physical workings. The first paragraph is clearly arguing from guilt by association. It’s asserting that if there are some brutal dangerous religious people they must be that way because of religion; therefore all religious people are potentially that way. If a Christian apologist for example were to talk about the Nazis and how their scientifically engaged members conducted inhumane experiments on Jews in concentrating camps, and tried to drawn conclusions about the dangerous nature of science based upon that association, the atheists would set up a howl. It would not take the atheist long to see the fallacy of guilt by association in that case. Never mind that, and let’s also skim over the fact that he’s using a straw man version of faith tailored to make it seem more stupid. While faith per se is not based upon facts there’s nothing in the nature of faith that causes one to ignore facts. He tried to incriminate the joy of discovery which is he hardly in a position to critique since he’s never experienced and can’t understand it. That sense of joy has nothing to do with ignoring facts. For me part of that joy came form the realization that my faith is backed by facts. The more important point is that he’s placing the tailored example of no facts along side the self selected example of fact finding to create the sense of the skeptic haing a huge pile of pile of fact that confirms his world view while in fac the believe purposely rejects having facts. That is a perfect example of the fortress of facts mentality.
While it is anecdotal, evidence from the popular level shows, to some extent, the effects of this kid of thinking upon the rank and file of the atheist movement. There’s a popular website by one of the troops called “God is Imaginary.” It’s far from special, just run of the mill message board sloganeering and propaganda. It does express the fortress of facts mentality clearly.
“God is imaginary: Proof no 11, notice that there is no scientific evidence.”
"There is no scientific evidence indicating that God exists. We all know that. For example:
• God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth.
• None of Jesus' "miracles" left any physical evidence either. (see this page)
• God has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone.
• The resurrected Jesus has never appeared to anyone. (see this page)
• The Bible we have is provably incorrect and is obviously the work of primitive men rather than God. (see this page)
• When we analyze prayer with statistics, we find no evidence that God is "answering prayers." (see this page)
• Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust and AIDS occur without any response from God.
• And so on…
Let's agree that there is no empirical evidence showing that God exists.
If you think about it as a rational person, this lack of evidence is startling. There is not one bit of empirical evidence indicating that today's "God", nor any other contemporary god, nor any god of the past, exists. In addition we know that:
1. If we had scientific proof of God's existence, we would talk about the "science of God" rather than "faith in God".
2. If we had scientific proof of God's existence, the study of God would be a scientific endeavor rather than a theological one.
3. If we had scientific proof of God's existence, all religious people would be aligning on the God that had been scientifically proven to exist. Instead there are thousands of gods and religions.
The reason for this lack of evidence is easy for any unbiased observer to see. The reason why there is no empirical evidence for God is because God is imaginary."[13]
The major thrust of that bit of flim flam is that “we” (our side) we have all the facts in a great big pile and they don’t have a single one. Most thinking atheists and most scientifically minded atheists put it in terms of “explanatory power.” Appeal to God doesn’t explain the world as well as does science. That’s a more sophisticated version of the fortress of facts. Dawkins has a variation on this argument.
Unfortunately, Dawkins pushes envelope too far. He tries to turn the simple desire to know into a moral virtue in order to make it seem that science is more moral than religion:
Humans have a great hunger for explanation. It may be one of the main reasons why humanity so universally has religion, since religions do aspire to provide explanations. We come to our individual consciousness in a mysterious universe and long to understand it. Most religions offer a cosmology and a biology, a theory of life, a theory of origins, and reasons for existence. In doing so, they demonstrate that religion is, in a sense, science; it's just bad science. Don't fall for the argument that religion and science operate on separate dimensions and are concerned with quite separate sorts of questions. Religions have historically always attempted to answer the questions that properly belong to science. Thus religions should not be allowed now to retreat away from the ground upon which they have traditionally attempted to fight. They do offer both a cosmology and a biology; however, in both cases it is false.[14]
He’s saying that religion is trespassing upon questions of science, yet he doesn’t even bother to point out that religion was there first. Just because people in the prehistoric and ancient worlds mixed religious and scientific explanations—not having developed science religion was all they had to fall back on—doesn’t mean that’s the reason religion came to exist. As science has developed there is no reason why religious people can use it to understand questions that fall into he overlap between the two domains. The questions he’s discussing are overlap questions and modern thinking religious people have used to science to help answer them. In making this point he asserts that science is the fact giving endeavor while religion is content to have faith and do without facts. Of course that’s not a good description of most modern thinking religious people.
Dawkins wants us to think in terms of the fortress of facts, nothing provides scientific facts like science does. Of course he’s not mentioning the fact that it’s only one kind of explanation. There are facets to the question about the origin of life than just the physical workings of evolution. There are questions people have asked for thousands of years that science is not prepared to answer. There are questions that science is not allowed to answer because they are out of its domain. These are questions about the meaning of the life, the reason why life is, and the ultimate “destiny” (for want of a better word) of humans. These are things science can’t tell us they are the reasons religion exits. So the kinds of facts that religion provides the uses for faith are in a different area than those provided by science. The nature of the atheist view point is self selected to focus only upon the kinds of facts that science provides and it offers a biased, fallacious and inaccurate view of religious thinking. It also provides a distorted understanding of what science is. Science is not a pile of facts. Science is not even about fact making. Science is about hypothesis testing; it’s not about proving facts but testing for verification and falsifying premises. The overall “big picture” painted by science is a lot more dependent upon they a particular culture views life than it is the demonstration f a pile of facts.
Not only is this notion of science as a big pile of facts that guarantees an accurate understanding of reality a view that most scientists don’t take to the understanding of science, it’s specifically contradicted by the vast majority of historians and philosophers of science. While there is a great of contradiction between philosophers of science, the one thing they all agree on is that this fortress of facts idea is nonsense. First let’s turn to two major philosophers of science, Karl Popper and Thomas S. Kuhn. These two are destined to be linked since they had a major showdown to so speak over Kuhn’s theory, in the early to mid 60s. In that day Kuhn was thought to have won, his views went on to define philosophy of science for about three decades. I suspect that in this day popper is more popular and is probably now thought to have won. In reality, however, I think talk of who won is foolish because no only is the field still evolving but it’s diversifying and moving away form both, so neither of them won really. There is coming to be a plurality of models. Before going into that I’m going to examine Popper first, then Kuhn. What all of this evolving plurality agrees upon is that science is too complex and problematic to be regarded as anything like a fortress of facts!

[1] Victor J. Stenger, God: The Failed Hypothesis:How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2007.
[2] Jerry Petersen, Simply Einstein, Review “Victor J. Stinger, God the Failed Hypothesis.” Online web page:
[4] Petersen, ibid.
[5] Secular web
Gary P. Posner, “God in the ICU? A Criticique of San Franscisco Hospital Study of Intercessory prayer and Healing.” Originally published in Free Inquiry spring 1990, Secular Web URL
[6] Petersen,ibid
[7] John Polikinghorne’s staff, formerly on Polikinghorne’s official website, now Star Course, “Polikinghorne Q and A, Stenger and Hitchens. On line reseruce: URL visited Summer 2011.last visited Jan 2 2012.
[8] Polkinghorne,ibid

[9] David Sharf, “Pseudo Science and Stenger’s Quantum gods: Mistaken, Misinformed, and Misleading.” NeuroQuantology, Vol 8, No 1 (2010), online copy URL: visited Jan 2 2012 Sharf received his Ph.D. in 1986 from Johns Hopkins University, in the philosophy of physics. The title of his dissertation was: Quantum Mechanics and the Program for the Unity of Science

[10] Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker. Why The Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design. New York: W.W. Norton & Company,inc. 2004, 6.
[11] Richard Dawkins, “Is Science a Religion,” The Humanist: A Magazine of Critical inquiry and Social Concern, Jan-feb 1997, on line copy URL:
visited Feb 2, 2012
[12] ibid
[13] “God is Imaginary” Example no 11 no scientific evidence URL:
visited 1/30/2012
[14] Dawkins, ibid.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Three Facts About the Atheist Fortress of Facts

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On the CARM the atheists are using the fortress of facts again. The fortress  of facts is a rhetorical strategy used by atheist, a type of argument. We have this big pile of facts and there is not even one fact that supports Christianity. Even though every time I bring it up a huge percentage of atheists say "O we don't do this. we never say this." I can show about a half dozen instances where it is used on the board just today.

"what was God thinking" as a thread is rife what this notion.

Fortress of facts = science is a big pile of facts all them support materialism so theism is proved and there' no facts at all to prove God.

Here's the problems with it:

(1) scientific facts self selected by atheist to reflect ideology.

They are all facts that are purposely selected to reflect the atheist views. When facts that support religious views are brought up their status s scientific is immediately put in question so that it appears there are no facts that don't support atheist view.

such as 200 empirical studies from academic journals showing that religious expedience results in transformational effects and this immediately denounced without ever having read a single study.

(2) Atheist Begg the question where gaps of knowledge are concerned

God is beyond the nature of our observations, as of cousre he must be becuase he's the basis of all reality. So this is what I would expect from a world created by God, that God would be too big too see and beyond our understanding so that we have to seek truth through a variety of means.

atheists seek to reduce knowledge to one source, science, when they imagine they can control so that they can route all knowledge their their ideology and thus create the illusion of no evidence for God.

Thus they beg the question where there are gaps in knowledge and assume the gap is filled with naturalistic reality becuase that's their assumption. What this amounts to is laughing away the notions of God beyond our understanding as though this is always an excuse not to offer proof when in reality they are using their question begging techniques to cover up the proof.

(3) The use of doubt as proof

Most atheist have only one argument but it has a variety of forms. that argument is form incredulity. I refuse to bleieve, therefore, it can't be true.

The major upshot of this argument is that they use doubt as proof. The fill the gaps of knowledge with the assumption that becuase they doubt they have disproved belief. Thus the wield doubt as a fact and all postie information they interpret as concrete proofs of this principle.

this was part 2 of dealing with the fortress of facts, that's why the FN begin with 15.

In reality all these done is beg the question.

Not Facts but Verisimilitude:
Karl Popper (1902-1994) is one of the most renewed and highly respected figures in the philosophy of science. Popper was from Vienna, of Jewish origin, maintained a youthful flirtation with Marxism, and left his native land due to the rise of Nazism in the late thirties. He is considered to be among the ranks of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. Popper is highly respected by scientists in a way that most philosophers of science are not.[15]

He was also a social and political philosopher of considerable stature, a self-professed ‘critical-rationalist’, a dedicated opponent of all forms of scepticism, conventionalism, and relativism in science and in human affairs generally, a committed advocate and staunch defender of the ‘Open Society’, and an implacable critic of totalitarianism in all of its forms. One of the many remarkable features of Popper's thought is the scope of his intellectual influence. In the modern technological and highly-specialised world scientists are rarely aware of the work of philosophers; it is virtually unprecedented to find them queuing up, as they have done in Popper's case, to testify to the enormously practical beneficial impact which that philosophical work has had upon their own. But notwithstanding the fact that he wrote on even the most technical matters with consummate clarity, the scope of Popper's work is such that it is commonplace by now to find that commentators tend to deal with the epistemological, scientific and social elements of his thought as if they were quite disparate and unconnected, and thus the fundamental unity of his philosophical vision and method has to a large degree been dissipated.[16]

Unfortunately for our purposes we will only be able to skim the surface of Popper’s thoughts on the most crucial aspect of this theory of science, that science is not about proving things but about falsifying them.
Above we see that Dawkins, Stenger and company place their faith in the probability engineered by scientific facts. The problem is probability is not the basis upon which one chooses one theory over another, at least according to Popper. This insight forms the basis of this notion that science can give us verisimilitude not “facts.” Popper never uses the phrase “fortress of facts,” we could add that, science is not a fortress of facts. Science is not giving us “truth,” its’ giving something in place of truth, “verisimilitude.” The term verisimilar means “having the appearance of truth, or probable.” Or it can also mean “depicting realism” as in art or literature.”[17] According to Popper in choosing between two theories one more probable than the other, if one is interested I the informative content of the theory, one should choose the less probable. This is paradoxical but the reason is that probability and informative content very inversely. The higher informative content of a theory is more predictive since the more information contained in a statement the greater the number of ways the statement will turn out to fail or be proved wrong. At that rate mystical experience should be the most scientific view point. If this dictum were applied to a choice between Stenger’s atheism and belief in God mystical God belief would be more predictive and have less likelihood of being wrong because it’s based upon not speaking much about what one experiences as truth. We will see latter that this is actually the case in terms of certain kinds of religious experiences. I am not really suggesting that the two can be compared. They are two different kinds of knowledge. Even though mystical experience per se can be falsified (which will be seen in subsequent chapters) belief in God over all can’t be. The real point is that arguing that God is less probable is not a scientifically valid approach.

Thus the statements which are of special interest to the scientist are those with a high informative content and (consequentially) a low probability, which nevertheless come close to the truth. Informative content, which is in inverse proportion to probability, is in direct proportion to testability. Consequently the severity of the test to which a theory can be subjected, and by means of which it is falsified or corroborated, is all-important.[18]

Scientific criticism of theories must be piecemeal. We can’t question every aspect of a theory at once. For this reason one must accept a certain amount of background knowledge. We can’t have absolute certainty. Science is not about absolute certainty, thus rather than speak of “truth” we speak of “verisimilitude.” No single observation can be taken to falsify a theory. There is always the possibility that the observation is mistaken, or that the assumed background knowledge is faulty.[19] Uneasy with speaking of “true” theories or ideas, or that a corroborated theory is “true,” Popper asserted that a falsified theory is known to be false. He was impressed by Tarski’s 1963 reformulation of the corresponded theory of truth. That is when Popper reformulated his way of speaking to frame the concept of “truth-likeness” or “verisimilitude,” according to Thronton.[20] I wont go into all the ramifications of verisimilitude, but Popper has an extensive theory to cover the notion. Popper’s notions of verisimilitude were critixized by thinkers in the 70’s such as Miller, Tichy’(grave over the y) and Grunbaum (umlaut over the first u) brought out problems with the concept. In an attempt to repair the theory Popper backed off claims to being able to access the numerical levels of verisimilitude between two theories.[21] The resolution of this problem has not diminished the admiration for Popper or his acceptance in the world of philosophy of science. Nor is the solution settled in the direction of acceptance for the fortress of facts. Science is not closer to the fact making business just because there are problems with verisimilitude.
Science doesn’t prove but Falsifies
The aspect of Popper’s theory for which he is best known is probably the idea of falsification. In 1959 He published the Logic of Scientific Discovery in which he rigorously and painstakingly demonstrated why science can’t prove but can only disprove, or falsify. Popper begins by observing that science uses inductive methods and thus is thought to be marked and defined by this approach. By the use of the inductive approach science moves from “particular statements,” such as the result of an experiment, to universal statements such as an hypothesis or theories. Yet, Popper observes, the fallacy of this kind of reasoning has always been known. Regardless of how many times we observe white swans “this does not justify the conclusion that all swans are white.”[22] He points out this is the problem of universal statements, which can’t be grounded in experience because experience is not universal, at least not human experience. One might observe this is also a problem of empirical observation. Some argue that we can know universal statements to be true by experience; this is only true if the experiences are universal as well. Such experience can only be a singular statement. This puts it in the same category with the original problem so it can’t do any better.[23] The only way to resolve the problem of induction, Popper argues, is to establish a principle of induction. Such a principle would be a statement by which we could put inductive inferences into logically acceptable form. He tells us that upholders of the need for such a principle would say that without science can’t provide truth or falsehood of its theories.[24]
The principle can’t be a purely logical statement such as tautology or a prori reasoning, if it could there would be no problem of induction. This means it must be a synthetic statement, empirically derived. Then he asked “how can we justify statement on rational grounds?” [25] After all he’s just demonstrated that an empirical statement can’t be the basis of a universal principle. Then to conclude that there must be a universal principle of logic that justifies induction knowing that it ahs to be an empirical statement, just opens up the problem again. He points out that Reichenbach[26] would point that such the principle of induction is accepted by all of science.[27] Against Reinchenback he sties Hume.[28] Popper glosses over Kant’s attempt at a prori justification of syetnic a priori statements.[29] In the end Popper disparages finding a solution and determines that induction is not the hallmark of science. Popper argues that truth alludes science since it’s only real ability is to produce probability. Probability and not truth is what science can produce. “…but scientific statements can only attain continuous degrees of probability whose unattainable upper and lower limits are truth and falsity’.”[30] He goes on to argue against probability as a measure of inductive logic.[31] Then he’s going to argue for an approach he calls “deductive method of testing.. In this case he argues that an hypothesis can only be empirically tested and only after it has been advanced. [32]
What has been established so far is enough to destroy the fortress of facts of idea. The defeat of a principle of induction as a means of understanding truth is primary defeat for the idea that science is going about establishing a big pile of facts. What all of this is driving at of course is the idea that science is not so much the process of fact discovery as it is the process of elimination of bad idea taken as fact. Science doesn’t prove facts it disproves hypotheses.. Falsifying theories is the real business of science. It’s the comparison to theory in terms of what is left after falsification has been done that makes for a seeming ‘truth-likeness,’ or verisimilitude. Falsification is a branch of what Popper calls “Demarcation.” This issue refers to the domain or the territory of the scientists work. Induction does not mark out the proper demarcation. The criticism he is answering in discussing demarcation is that removing induction removes for science it’s most important distinction from metaphysical speculation. He states that this is precisely his reason for rejecting induction because “it does not provide a suitable distinguishing mark of the empirical non metaphysical character of a theoretical system,”[33] this is what he calls “demarcation.” 
Popper writes with reference to positivistic philosophers as the sort of umpires of scientific mythology. He was a philosopher and the project of the positivists was to “clear away the clutter” (in the words of A.J. Ayer) for science so it could get on with it’s work. Positivistic philosophers were the janitors of science. Positivists had developed the credo that “meaningful statements” (statements of empirical science) must be statements that are “fully decided.” That is to say, they had to be both falsifiable and verifiable. The requirement for verifiable is really a requirement similar to the notion of proving facts, or truth. Verifiability is not the same thing as facticiy or proof it’s easy to see how psychologically it reinforces th sense that science is about proving things. He quotes several positivists in reinforcing this idea: Thus Schlick says: “. . . a genuine statement must be capable of conclusive verification” Waismann says, “If there is no possible way to determine whether a statement is true then that statement has no meaning whatsoever. For the meaning of a statement is the method of its verification.”[34] Yet Popper disagrees with them. He writes that there is no such thing as induction. He discusses particular statements which are verified by experience just opens up the same issues he launched in the beginning one cannot derive universal statements from experience. “Therefore, theories are never theories are never empirically verifiable. He argues that the only way to deal with the demarcation problem is to admit statements that are not empirically verified.[35]

But I shall certainly admit a system as empirical or scientific only if it
is capable of being tested by experience. These considerations suggest
that not the verifiability but the falsifiability of a system is to be taken as a
criterion of demarcation. In other words: I shall not require of a
Scientific system that it shall be capable of being singled out, once and
for all, in a positive sense; but I shall require that its logical form shall
be such that it can be singled out, by means of empirical tests, in a
negative sense: it must be possible for an empirical scientific system to be refuted by experience.[36]

What this means in relation to the “fortress of facts” idea is that it transgresses upon the domain of science. Compiling a fortress of facts is beyond the scope of science and also denudes science of it’s domain.
He deals with the objection that science is supposed to give us positive knowledge and to reduce it to a system of falsification only negates its major purpose. He deals with this by saying this criticism carries little weight since the amount of positive information is greater the more likely it is to clash. The reason being laws of nature get more done the more they act as a limit on possibility, in other words, he puts it, “not for nothing do we call the laws of nature laws. They more they prohibit the more they say.”[37]

[15] Steven Thornton, “Karl Popper,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Winter 2011 edition Edward N. Zalta Editor, URL: vested 2/6/2012
[16] ibid
[17] Miriam-Webster. On line version of Webster’s dictionary. URL: visited 2/7/2012
[18] Thornton, ibid.
[19] ibid
[20] ibid
[21] ibid
[22] Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London, New York:Routledge Classics, original English publication 1959 by Hutchison and co. by Routldege 1992. On line copy URL: digital copy by Cosmo oedu visited 2/6/2012, p4
[23] ibid
[24] ibid
[25] ibid, 5
[26] Hans Reinchenbach (1891-1953) German philosopher, attended Einstein’s lectures and contributed to work on Quantum Mechanics. He fled Germany to escape Hitler wound up teaching at UCLA.
[27] Popper, ibid, referece to , H. Reichenbach, Erkenntnis 1, 1930, p. 186 (cf. also pp. 64 f.). Cf. the penultimate paragraph of Russell’s chapter xii, on Hume, in his History of Western Philosophy, 1946,
p. 699.
[28] ibid, Popper, 5
[29] ibid, 6
[30] ibid 6
[31] ibid, 7
[32] ibid
[33] ibid 11
[34] ibid, 17, references to Schlick, Naturwissenschaften 19, 1931, p. 150. and Waismann, Erkenntnis 1, 1903, p. 229.
[35] Ibid 18
[36] ibid
[37] ibid, 19 the quotation about laws is found on p 19 but the over all argument is developed over sections 31-46 spanning pages 95-133.