Controversy of the Universe Login to Kupika  or  Create a new account 

This diary entry is written by ‹✖[[AntisocialButterfly]]✖›. ( View all entries )
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Controversy of the UniverseCategory: Thoughts.
Wednesday, 6 June 2012
07:35:19 PM (GMT)
Almost everyone has some sort of opinion or speculation about the universe and existence and life and humanity. For example, I believe that the Earth, the universe and the existence of "life" are all around six thousand years old. A person's opinions or beliefs on these subjects are part of their world view. A world view is like the lens a person looks through when observing and evaluating information and other people's ideas. For example, if your world view is a Naturalistic one, and you believe that the world is some 4.5 billion years old, then you would conclude that my world view, that the Earth is only some six thousand years old, is incorrect. World views can be incorrect. For example, let's say a young child and her parents are watching a magician preform a "magic" act. The parents watch the magician make a woman disappear. Because, in their world view, they know that it is impossible for a person to simply vanish, they won't even consider the idea that the trick is real. Instead, they will begin to speculate on how the magician might have performed the trick; a trap door, perhaps. But the child, being younger, will have a different world view. She may not know that it is impossible for a person to simply vanish. She might believe the trick is real, because her world view is ignorant. A world view is inescapable. Our world views consists of our most basic assumptions and presuppositions about reality. Out most foundational axioms can not be proved by something else (otherwise they would not be the most foundational), yet we hold them to be unquestionable. We use these assumptions (often without realizing it) to help us interpret what we observe in the world. We cannot avoid this; without a number of foundational presuppositions about reality we could not make sense of anything. Here are a few assumptions that a typical person might include in his or her world view: 1.) I exist. 2.) There is a reality beyond myself. 3.) I have senses which I can use to observe and explore that reality. 4.) There are laws of logic. 5.) I can use the laws of logic to draw accurate conclusions about the universe. Most people would hold to the above assumptions (and many others as well, of course). We cannot actually prove them without making other assumptions, and yet we could not function without them. Imagine you see a small rock on the side of the road and you decide to pick it up. You have assumed quite a lot in this small action; you must have reasoned that (1) you exist --- otherwise you couldn't pick up the rock. You assume that there is a rock --- it is a part of (2) a reality beyond yourself. You have concluded that the image passed on to your brain by your eyes in an accurate representation of reality (3). You have used logic to draw the conclusion (5) that you can pick up the rock; this also means you have presupposed that there are laws of logic (4). These assumptions are automatic; we don't even have to think about them. Yet, without them we could not know that it is possible to pick up that rock. There presuppositions (and others) constitute a person's world view. Clearly, a world view is essential in order to know anything about the universe. But how can we be sure that our world view is accurate? Is there any reason to think that our most basic assumptions about reality are correct? Although most people would agree on the five assumptions listed above, many people disagree on other very foundational ideas. These include the existence of God, the nature of truth, the origin of the universe, the origin of life, morality, etc. When people disagree on their most bases assumptions, how do we determine who has the most accurate world view? Some world views cannot be entirely correct because they are internally inconsistent. Consider the beliefs of a materialist. Such a person believes that all things are physical; nothing immaterial exists. The materialist uses reason and the laws of logic to support his beliefs, but he does so inconsistently. In his view, there can be no laws of logic since they do not exist physically. There is no place in the universe where you can "see" the laws of the logic; they are intangible and thus cannot exist according to the materialists' professed beliefs. His reasoning is self-refuting. An evolutionist who believes that all life is merely an accidental by-product of chemicals, mutations, and natural selection has an internal inconsistency. Such a person must (by his own professed beliefs) accept that the human brain has developed accidentally. So why should we trust the brain's conclusions? We have no reason to accept assumption (5) in the list if evolution is true. The evolutionist world view is therefore internally inconsistent. The evolutionist accepts assumption (5) to support his world view which does not comport with assumption (5). The evolutionist might respond that natural selection has guided the brain so that it can determine the truth. There is no reason to assume that that is true, because it does not logically follow that survival value equates with the ability to determine truth. Actually, some incorrect beliefs might have survival value. For example, the belief that is it morally acceptable to do whatever I want (lie, steal, murder, etc.) as long as it increased my chances of survival. Many world views lead to conclusions which are incompatible with the behavior of the persons who profess them. For example, a naturalist has no basses for an absolute moral standard, and yet most naturalists would hold to a moral standard, and would be outrages if someone else were to violate it. If the universe is merely an accident, then what is the basis for right and wrong? What distinguishes a good action from an evil one in the naturalist's view? For example, most naturalists would believe that murder is wrong. But why should they? By a naturalist's own assumptions, a human being is merely an accident of the universe. Why should one accident eliminating another be considered wrong? The naturalist can make up an arbitrary standard for morality (perhaps morality is the determined by majority opinion, or inborn "feelings") but has no absolute basis for one. He also has no basis for imposing his mere opinion or right and wrong on others. Only a creation-based world view allows for the existence of absolute morality. If there is a Creator to whom we owe our existence, then that Creator can set the standards. Often, when people observe someone else's world view that is inconsistent with their own, they attempt to use their own world view to disprove the other. He might argue that his world view is accurate because it can explain the scientific evidence, but all world views can do that --- that's what they're for. External evidence can never prove or disprove a person's world view in an absolute sense. The reason is simple: evidence is always interpreted through the lens of that person's world view. The evidence doesn't speak for itself towards one world view or another. It's the interpretation that is significant, and the interpretation is bound to be compatible with the world view that produced it. This is inevitable. For example, we know that comets cannot last millions of years, and thus their existence supports the biblical age of the solar system. Does this refute the naturalist's world view (which claims the age of the solar system to be about 4.5 billion years)? The naturalist would say, "Of course not. It simply means that there must be an as-of-yet undiscovered Oort cloud, or genuine Kuiper Belt with numerous actual comet-sized objects, which produces new comets to replace the ones that decay." The naturalist has proposed an additional hypothesis which brings the evidence into line with his world view. Both creationists and evolutionists can do this with any evidence. Therefore external evidence that is contrary to the expectations of a world view cannot strictly disprove that world view, because one can always add on additional auxiliary supporting conjectures to bring the evidence into line. For example... Centuries ago, there was a widely accepted belief called "geocentrism." (This idea states that the sun and all the planets revolve around the Earth.) The geocentric model was strongly promoted by the Greek astronomer Claudius Ptolemy. Today we believe the heliocentric model (that the planets, including Earth, orbit the sun). You might suppose that it would be easy to distinguish the real and the false between these two models, simply by watching how the planets move, examining the evidence. The motions of the planets in the night sky are fully compatible with heliocentrism. The planets, including Earth, do appear to orbit the sun. Such motions were well known in ancient times, but Ptolemy was able to explain these motions within the geocentric framework by adding supplementary assumptions. Ptolemy postulated that each planet orbits in a little circle which orbits a larger circle centered on the earth. The little circles are called "epicycles" and the larger circle is the "deferent". In his view, planets orbit the Earth in a spirograph, making little circles which move along a larger circle. Amazingly, Ptolemy's geocentric model of the solar system is able to predict the positions of the planets with a fair degree of accuracy, despite the fact that is is wrong. By carefully adjusting the size of the epicycles and the speed at which the planets circumnavigate them, the observations can be explained within a geocentric framework. Of course, the heliocentric model can also accurately predict the position of planets. Both models can explain the evidence and correctly predict future observations. The difference is that the heliocentric model is far simpler. It does not require any epicycles at all, and this is the lesson: the incorrect model required additional assumptions and adjustments to make it fit the facts. The correct model did not. My world view includes, among other things, the belief that God exists and that He created the universe, life, and existence itself, because this is what I have found requires the least additional assumptions. It's the only concept that stands on its own, without needing anything else to make it plausible. Everything within the universe points toward a Creator, and everything declares His power and majesty. Any questions?
Last edited: 6 June 2012

JanePandas says:   6 June 2012   116847  
‹✖[[AntisocialButterfly]]✖› says:   6 June 2012   697616  

Uhm. What? 
Peter_Piper says:   6 June 2012   916576  
I wanted to read this but due to my mild colour blindness I could not
even see the writing. ):
‹✖[[AntisocialButterfly]]✖› says:   6 June 2012   835325  

Copy and paste 
Xima writes:   7 June 2012   646662  
It means too long, didn't read.

...Or highlight. 8D

Basically...Everything contradicts itself? Is that what you were
concluding? :o
‹✖[[AntisocialButterfly]]✖› says:   7 June 2012   850710  

Uhm, no. that's not what I was concluding..˘  
‹✖[[AntisocialButterfly]]✖› says:   7 June 2012   179761  

Did you even read this? I was "concluding" that it's pointless for
people to try to use "evidence" to support their world view because
all world views have the same evidence, it is only how they interpret
it that matters. 
Xima writes:   8 June 2012   612974  
Oh...Sorry about that. : [
Yeah, I read it. That's how I interpret it. But thanks for
clearing it up! : ]  
‹<♬>Minnie♥Melody<♬>› sings :   8 June 2012   837563  
This is beautiful.


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