Friday, 16 July 2010

The Principle Of Parsimony

Parsimony is the axiom that the simplist explanation, with the fewest entities/assumptions, is usually the correct explanation.

This principle is usually mis-applied by atheists, to rule out the existence of God. So if they establish a natural causation they then believe that God is not necessary. Here is an example of such an argument;

" The bad weather was caused by low pressure, there is not a need for more causes, such as invisible pixies guiding the clouds into position. "

While this argument does have merit, as is obvious from the example, when you apply the argument to God, it is a mis-application. This is because, in this universe, there aren't always merely material or physical causes.

An example of this is motivational cause.

When somebody is murdered, there are physical causes, such as the means of weapon used, but there was also a motivation behind the killing. Perhaps the cause of the killing was revenge, or anger. This is not a physical cause, but a motivational cause, as someone was motivated to kill someone else by what they were feeling in their heart.

So now here is another example of Parsimony when it is incorrectly applied to God's existence;

" We don't need to understand why the person was murdered, we just have to establish who did it. "

As you can see, there is now a clear flaw in this reasoning because it is not necessarily unimportant as to whether there are OTHER causes.

So the atheist seems to assume that causes are mutually exclusive, or that there is only relevance to material causation, and there is an assumption that because natural processes don't require God, that He is then irrelevant or He is not needed. But as you can see, there may well be no universe at all, if God was not motivated to create it.

Even the weather can have a purpose, the rain brings water to give to the plants, etc....this might be God's motivational cause.

So for me, the atheist's use of Occam's razor, is usually a misunderstanding on their part.

So the principle of parsimony, while a useful axiom to rule out excessive entities and poor arguments, actually has nothing to do with God's existence, or his reasons and motivations. One scripture says; "My thoughts are higher than your thoughts, and my ways are higher than your ways". (paraphrase).

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Science and God

The "god of the gaps" fallacy, is when instead of scientific explanations, the gaps in knowledge are filled with, "God did it", answers. For example;

"The lightning struck him, it was therefore the god of lightning that was responsible".

Often evolutionists will say that Intelligent Design, a belief in creation, is this kind of fallacy.

The problem with saying this is that is presupposes that there can't be an intelligent agency involved in the creation of designs. Even evolutionists admit there is design, they simply reject that it follows that there is therefore a designer, even though it is logical.

Yes, God did it, and although this is not a satisfactory intellectual conclusion if you simply state it, just as "Einstein did it", in regards to one of his papers, is not satsifying, digging deeper reveals that how and why He did it, is very complex. The actual form of our position is as follows;

We observe P to be designed, (Z).
Designs (Z) require a designer. (X)

P is designed therefore requires X.

A comparative analogy might be;

We observe a sculpture to be sculptured, therefore there was a sculpturer.

The reasoning for why a designer follows from design, are logical reasons, so the premises are strong, because the more sophisticated a design is the more it requires a designer because contingencies are best solved given the element of thought. So we know that the argument from design is not merely an appeal to gaps in knowledge, but is rather based upon knowledge.

Explaining design and how God does it is not simple. An example is DNA alone, and the subject of information. It involves code, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics, simply to describe how DNA is information. A so called "simple" cell in your body synthesizes one million chemical compounds every second. The cell is like a factory with a brain, that can reject specific components it does not require. The evolutionist would have to show that random occurrences, and a simple selection process, are more clever than a thoughtful designer, and better answer for designs. Which is akin to stating that a puzzle stands a better chance of solving itself.

Even though it is apparent that a designer follows design, the design itself can be explained scientifically, without using natural philosophies such as evolution. Evolution can not even explain how a clever contingency could be possible given a specific design problem, the answer is always the same, the formula of Time/Chance/Selection, which is not a specific answer to a specific design problem. It is a blanket-solution that gives a general answer but does not address the specifics of a particular problem.

It is self-evident that thoughts are represented within the design. The designer is inherently displayed within the designs.