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January 15, 2019 | 25 Comments

Science Without God Is Incomplete

Either God exists or He does not.

If He does not, then science does not matter. Nothing does. Anything anybody does is mere prejudice, whim. There is no good, there is no evil. There is no point in doing science, or in anything else.

Of course, you can claim that science is necessary (we’re still assuming God does not exist), but that is, like, your opinion, man. To quote a higher authority. My opinion is that it doesn’t matter. You may say that your opinion (joined with many others) outweighs mine, which is surely true. More people agree with you. But that “truth” is determined by vote is not itself true. Not that that matters. Nothing does.

It does not matter if everybody starves, or no one does. It does not matter if we make no new invention, or all old ones are destroyed. You may say that saving lives is the very purpose of science, but that is just so much hot air. All existence means nothing. The universe, since God is not there, is all there is, and the universe is nothing. It doesn’t feel remorse or pity—or any emotion. It does not even not care that you exist. It can’t care, one way or the other, since there is nothing there to care.

Any findings made by science—to use the most technical and terse word—are bullshit. So is this opinion, and so is your opinion. So is everything.

Do I make myself clear?

You say the economy should be high. I say, why? High or low, what’s the difference? You’ll be dead and gone and forgotten soon. See ya.

You say mass starvation is bad. I say, to whom? People live, people die. What possible difference can it make (now) or how? Let them die. Let them live. It’s only molecules bouncing back and forth acting according to deterministic rules. You technically don’t even exist. Only electrons and some other who-gives-a-damn particles do.

You say you don’t like pain? I say, stuff it, Nancy. Like the man said, Without God, everything is permitted. Maybe I like giving you pain. And I’m bigger than you, and way meaner. That you don’t like pain doesn’t mean squat. It’s just another opinion. Pain is just nerve impulses, or whatever, which are meaningless. And the universe can’t even not care.

If you or everybody dies in great pain tomorrow, so what? What’s the big deal?

There is no deal. There is nothing. If God doesn’t exist.

Now suppose God exists (the God of Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, and the other greatest minds of all time). Therefore a science that does not account for this most important, fundamental, crucial, consequential fact is at best a weak science, a lacking science, a science filled with holes. A science that pretends not to see its base, or that suddenly feigns deafness when hearing “God”, is, in a word, incomplete.

This applies as strongly from the hard sciences as all the way down to those who dwell in the intellectual slums of academia.

Physics is operating only one leg suspended in space if it can’t answer what is happening at base, because that base must be supported by pillars designed by God, or by God Himself. Scientists are increasingly starting to realize the role metaphysics must play if any future work is to progress. If physics doesn’t meet metaphysics, it dies or becomes desultory.

The so-called mind-body “problem”—why qualia? what is intellect?—cannot be solved without references to what it means to have a mind, and that science by itself cannot provide. Not if that way is determined to ignore God. Which, you will remember, we are now assuming for the sake of argument, exists.

Why are people the way they are? How reliant is their intellect, which is non-material, on the body, which is? Psychology without God will never solve their fundamental puzzles either, not if they ignore the reason there is a reason for psychology. And this includes the evolutionary psychology beloved of reactionaries and (curiously) so-called scientific atheists.

There will never be such a thing as “hard” AI—not without the cooperation of God. For the kind of thinking that leads to thinking like us needs God.

All materialism is a dead end, if God exists. All so-called “ultimate” answers will be failures, frauds, and fallacies.

If God exists, and science says He doesn’t, that science must fail eventually.

January 14, 2019 | 8 Comments

Pick A Random Number From 1-10

I’m picking a number between 1-10. What is the probability of you guessing it correctly?

It doesn’t exist. No probability exists.

“C’mon, Briggs. It’s one outta ten. Don’t play games.”

Well, the whole setup is a game. But ignoring that, no. It’s not “one outta ten”. It’s not anything.

“What BS. It’s ten percent. Anybody can see that. What kind of statistician are you, anyway?”

Well, I’m the Statistician to the Stars!, so I have that going for me. Still, I insist. There is no probability.

“Do I really have to do this? Look, you coulda picked 1, you coulda picked 2, and so on up to 10. That’s 10 choices. That makes one outta ten.”

Nope. Tell you what. Have a go a guessing and I’ll prove that you’re wrong.

“Funny man. Okay, I read most people pick 7, so I’ll say 7.”

Nope.

“Fine: 6.”

Nuh uh.

“This is getting tedious. 1? 2? 3? 4? 5?”

Keep going.

“8? 9? 10?”

None of those.

“Bull! It has to be. You’re reminding me why I stopped reading you.”

My number was 6.3.

“What!? Hold on. You didn’t say anything about fractions. Always cheating.”

You’re misinformed. I’ll repeat what I said: I’m picking a number between 1-10. Last I checked. 6.3 is between 1-10. You didn’t get it, and you got the probability wrong, too.

“I see what you did there. You’re trying to say that all probability is conditional, and if you don’t specify the conditions, you can’t have a probability.”

That’s right.

“And part of those conditions was the meaning of the words ‘I’m picking a number between 1-10.'”

Yep.

“I assumed an integer as one of my premises, and you defined it as any number. Meaning the words and grammar of any probability problem matter.”

They always do.

“Funny man. Hang on. You said 6.3, so I assume you could have picked any number, any real number. Right?”

Right.

“But there’s an infinite number of those numbers! If that’s what you meant, then there’s no probability of you picking. How could you even pick if you had to first select from an uncountable number of numbers?”

Good question. I can’t, not if I’m presented with an uncountable number from which I have to select one. I don’t even know how to define “picking one” when the number of numbers is so huge I don’t even know how to comprehend them all, except by the fiction of pointing to a symbol.

“Ha! Hoist meet petard.”

I blush.

“Wait, though. You did pick one.”

I did.

“Meaning you had to have some mechanism for picking. Meaning you couldn’t have been picking from some hugely impossible uncountable number, but from some smaller set.”

That follows.

“There’s no way I could have known what that set was, or the mechanism of picking was.”

True.

“Best I could do was to suppose your behavior was similar to other people’s. I could’ve used that as a premise, and then deduced a probability from that.”

That’s it, all right. Which is what you did when you guessed 7.

“But you, you have to be different. Funny man. So you have to pick a non-integer, just to be a funny man.”

My jokes are world famous.

“Yeah, sure. But there was no way I could’ve guessed exactly what you were going to do. And even if I did, I’d have no way of knowing how many digits you were going to throw out.”

Very true.

“Which means there was no way I could really deduce a quantitative probability—not unless I accepted premises which were too concrete.”

That’s because not all probability is quantifiable. That’s what the man said in this award-eligible book. That not everything has a number is a hard equation to swallow for some, growing up as they do, devoted to scientism. Still, it’s true. The only proof there is that everything has a number is hope.

As in so many things, Thomas Berger has the best thing to say about our obsession with numbers. Here’s Jack Crabb, returning to the company of whites after having lived with plains Indians for many years (start of Chapter 8).

That’s the kind of thing you find out when you go back to civilization: what date it is and time of day, how many mile from Fort Leavenworth and how much the sutlers is getting for tobacco there, how many beers Flanagan drunk and how many times Hoffmann did it with a harlot. Numbers, numbers, I had forgot how important they was.

As important as they are, they are not the most important things. Quality triumphs over quantity.

January 12, 2019 | 6 Comments

This Week In Doom — It-Must-Be-Progressed Edition

Item Scientific communism

“I Survived Communism — Are You Ready For Your Turn?”

By Zuzana Janosova Den Boer

“It was scientifically proven that communism is the only social-economic system providing the masses with justice and equality — 100% of scientists agree on this. The topic is not up for debate!”, so proclaimed my professor during one of his lectures on the subject ‘scientific communism’, while the country of Czechoslovakia was still under communist control. I was reminded of his blustery pronouncement the first time I encountered the spurious claim that “a consensus of 97% of scientists agree global warming is man-made.” Most people don’t question scientific statements because they think they are facts. They do not understand that scientific statements must always be challenged, because Science is not about ‘consensus’; ideology is.

We are reminded, too. About that spurious 97%, this peer-reviewed (and therefore guaranteed in its purity) paper. What interests us is not global warming, but the shrieking method of control, always signaled by the shouting of “there is no debate!” The shouting is necessary, because, of course, there are things not subject to debate that nobody would shout about. These are awfully few in number: for instance, we need not debate the person who says aloud and in earnest “I cannot speak”.

It’s the shouting that indicates the subject which must not be debated rests at best on tenuous grounds, or at worst that it is known to be false but politically desirable. If global warming were not political, nobody except for a handful of unknown scientists would care, say, about eddies in the Pacific. But that it is, we must all care and we must not disagree with the chain that connects any event to global-warming-of-doom, even if that chain is obviously forged of wet crepe paper.

Item Church Asked to Remove First Commandment By Chinese Official in Henan

An official inspected the church thoroughly, stopped in front of the pulpit, and pointed to one of the Ten Commandments displayed on the wall. “This must be removed,” he said. After hearing such comment, the government officials immediately wiped off the Commandment.

People from the church strongly opposed the removal of “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” commandment.

We don’t know if this act was state policy or the results of zealousness on the part of the party official. In any case, the instincts of this petty bureaucrat are sound. The religion of man has a jealous god, and it will admit of no higher authority than Reason.

Item Irish health minister to introduce legislation making organ donation automatic without permission

Ireland’s health minister plans to introduce legislation making organ donation in the republic automatic.

“It is my goal to make organ donation the norm in Ireland when people pass away in circumstances in which donation is a possibility,” said Simon Harris, who aggressively and ultimately successfully campaigned for the legalization of abortion in Ireland.

The proposed legislation will allow people to forgo organ donation only if they opt out in advance. If family members don’t want a dead relative’s organs harvested, they will be able to stop it from occurring, according to DublinLive.

“While this has taken a lot longer than anticipated, I will bring forward proposals to ensure 2019 is the year we introduce an opt-out organ donation register,” said Harris. “I hope the introduction of an opt-out system encourages people to discuss their wishes with loved ones.”

If the legislation is passed, Ireland will join Wales and England in presuming consent for organ donation unless someone has opted out. Similar measures have been proposed in Scotland.

As utilitarianism and neo-paganism replaces Christianity, the more the future will resemble Logan’s Run. You may not be ready to die, but, seriously, you’re not really contributing much to society in the shape you’re in, and this younger person sure could use your liver. Why not act altruistically and renew?

By presumption, the British state owns your body, not you. And they have the right to take and do what they like with what is theirs. They generously allow you to opt out. For now.

Item It must be progressed

Well that didn’t take long. Legislation to impose exclusion zones to prevent obstruction and harassment is due this month. It must be progressed. #ItsTime #SheDecides

This is a tweet from the Executive Director of Amnesty International. He presents as evidence for “exclusion zones” to a this fellow says, an organization that once fought against locking people up for dissension now advocates locking people up for dissension.

This is no surprise. What struck me was O’Gorman’s phrase “It must be progressed.” This is as good a candidate as any for a slogan all on the left might embrace.

January 11, 2019 | 5 Comments

The Atlantic Wants Help In Creating A New Holiday. Let’s Help!

The Atlantic, the magazine that thinks well of itself, wants to create a new holiday, the old ones having grown stale.

With that in mind: We’re in search of a new holiday. And we’re hoping for your help in creating it. Maybe, for example, there should be, sometime in the dark days of winter, a National Stress-Bake Day. Or maybe February would be a little more festive were Galentine’s Day to be converted from a sitcomic treasure into a more broadly celebrated holiday. A beloved local tradition that deserves more widespread recognition? Weird Family Stories Day? Get Back in Touch Day? Resolution Revision Day? Turn Off the Internet Day?

They’re taking suggestions, which can be entered at this link. Here’s my entry (which I made using my real name and address, typos and all): The Feast of Baal.

All entries must be completed by today, the 11th, so hurry and get yours in.