Search This Blog

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sauce for the goose

Victor Reppert: Sauce for the goose --
Perhaps I can pose the question concerning the multiverse and ECREE this way. Look, if people consistently denied the probabilistic relevance of the multiverse in all contexts, that would be one thing. They could say "Regardless of the multiverse, we have to look at what is probable in the world as we experience it. but in fact, the multiverse theory is used to mitigate the initial improbability of a finely-tuned universe without a designer." But, if you can help yourself to the multiverse to blunt the effect of the fine-tuning argument, can't you also use the multiverse theory to blunt the effect of the initial improbability argument against miracles such as the Resurrection.
The "ECREE" to which Mr Reppert refers is that bogus, anti-reason, anti-logic, hypocritical, self-serving, selectively employed "principle" enunciated by Carl Sagan, and immediately latched upon by the self-proclaimed Epitomés of Reason (*) everywhere (who, while they are willfully irrational, are not wholly stupid): "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Victor Reppert: "Perhaps I can pose the question concerning the multiverse and ECREE this way ..."

By definition, human beings will never have, and can never have, "scientific evidence" of any "other universe", much less of a "multiverse". By definition, any evidence that is asserted to be of some "other universe" is just more facualy-claims about *this* universe, which is the only one to which we can ever have "scientific" access.

While he's far too "nice", or at any rate, far too much the academic, to come right out and bluntly say it like a man, what Mr Reppert is getting at in the above post is the intellectual dishonesty -- that is, the hypocrisy with respect to reason -- that undergirds *all* deployment of the "ECREE" pseudo-principle. (**)

Victor Reppert: "But, if you can help yourself to the multiverse to blunt the effect of the fine-tuning argument, can't you also use the multiverse theory to blunt the effect of the initial improbability argument against miracles such as the Resurrection[?]"

I have discussed this previously, in the 'Science!' and Miracles ... and Skepticism! thread. Here is that same Carl Sagan, making "extraordinary claims" -- sans *any* evidence, whatsoever -- and expecting you simpy to believe them because they are 'Science!':
From The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

"Consider this claim: as I walk along, time -as measured by my wristwatch or my ageing process -slows down. Also, I shrink in the direction of motion. Also, I get more massive. Who has ever witnessed such a thing? It's easy to dismiss it out of hand. Here's another: matter and antimatter are all the time, throughout the universe, being created from nothing. Here's a third: once in a very great while, your car will spontaneously ooze through the brick wall of your garage and be found the next morning on the street. They're all absurd! But the first is a statement of special relativity, and the other two are consequences of quantum mechanics (vacuum fluctuations and barrier tunnelling,* they're called). Like it or not, that's the way the world is. If you insist it's ridiculous, you'll be forever closed to some of the major findings on the rules that govern the Universe.

*The average waiting time per stochastic ooze is much longer than the age of the Universe since the Big Bang. But, however improbable, in principle it might happen tomorrow."
As I have previously said concerning Sagan's 'Science!':
And, sometimes, iron axeheads which have flown off their handles and fallen into a pond or river float to the surface. [This is a reference to a miracle of the prophet Elisha, as recorded in II Kings 6:1-7] And, sometimes, the dead bodies of persons who really and truly are dead, rise back to life. [This is a reference to a number of resurrections recorded in both Old and New Testaments, including that of Jesus the Christ.]

So, given what 'scientistes' believe and assert about the nature of reality, how can their denial of, and refusal to believe, any of the miracles recorded in the Bible be anything other than selective hyper-skepticism, which is to say, intellectual dishonesty?

(*) Even Bob Prokop, who consistently employs this "principle" to protect his leftism from rational examination, understands that the entire point of "ECREE" is to protect God-denial and materialism/naturalism from rational examination: "In my experience, ECREE is simply another way for skeptics to say, "Whatever you say, and no matter what evidence you submit, there is no way in the world you will ever get me to change my already made up mind.""

(**) Concerning the "ECREE" assertion of a pseudo-principle -- Even if it were not offered hypocritically, it is false in itself: the simple truth is that just as with "ordinary claims", "extraordinary claims" -- whatever "ordinary" and "extraordinary" are supposed to mean -- require only appropriate evidence.


Bedarz Iliaci said...

Regarding quantum cosmology, I never understood how the wave function of the Entire Universe made any sense (and I have background in Physics).
The quantum mechanics was formulated (and is still introduced) as the description of a system that is interacting with a measuring device.

But when your system is the entire universe, what possible measuring device could you conceive of? And the mind that is supposed to collapse the wavefunction?. Prof Stephen Barr (in private correspondence) suggested to me that the conscious actors that exist in the universe could be thought of as effecting the wavefunction collapse, even though their material bodies are to be fully described by the universal wavefunction!.

It hardly seems coherent to me (and it is still a single universe!).
I asked Prof Barr how much credence we should put on the speculations of quantum cosmology but he did not respond.

Ilíon said...

Bedarz Iliaci, welcome to my dusty little corner of the internet.

Your posts prompts a few observations and/or questions on my part ... of which I hope to make a separate post this weekend (*).

(*) Currently, I really only have internet access on the weekends, when I'm home. The few minutes here at work, during lunch or before the day starts, aren't enough to really do much.