Re: virus: Saints

Casper K. Clausen (
Wed, 3 Dec 1997 08:41:44 +0100 (MET)

On Tue, 2 Dec 1997, Marie Foster wrote:

> What proof do you have that there is no *greater power than us*?

There is none, but since there is also no proof to the contrary, we're
left with two choices: Faith and Occam. I (and apparently Sodom as well)
find Occam much more compelling.

> Just how big do you think we are? Our entire universe may just be
> a lab experiment in some kind of college somewhere... Give it a break.

It might, and it might not. We have no evidence one way or the other, so
the point is moot. This is a little like wondering what was before the Big
Bang. That doesn't matter, because the Bang is in effect an event horizon;
we can never observe anything from beyond it, and nothing from beyond it
can have influenced our universe (except, perhaps, by having instigated
the Bang).

Similarly, speculations about higher powers, us being part of an
experiment or our universe being an atom in some immense superstructure
are not very interesting in the long run. Granted, we may _some day_ find
some sort of evidence (even circumstantial) that either of these theories
hold true. Then we can revise our understanding of the world. Not sooner.

> Look, when it was proved that the earth was not the center of the
> universe, minds had to change. The atheist can become stuck in their
> blindness just as bad as a theist.

Certainly, and even more so than most theists. Many atheists will scoff at
anything put forth by a theist, not even stopping to consider what
possible merits the statement could have.

Blind atheists are much worse than blind theists, precisely because they
defend their position the way they do (usually with more-or-less vague
references to scientific proof); yet they hypocritically refuse to employ
the very tools they claim to base their understanding on when confronted
with a statement not their liking, resorting instead to the kind of
rejection they argue against. Such people deserve no respect.

The bottom line, however, is this: Only science can offer consistent,
reproducible validations of the theories on which it is based. Until
theism of any sort can do the same, only one choice of explanation is open
to me: Science.

You may argue that these are unfair conditions - after all, the idea of
reproducible experiments _originated_ with science, so it has a head
start. This is sort of a valid argument, it would seem, but on closer
examination it appears not to hold.

You see, I am completely unable to find an argument for not requiring your
world description of choice to be consistent (and, indeed, consisting only
of theories which can be reproducibly validated). Even animals require
reproducibility: A cow, for instance, will usually attempt to conquer an
electric fence twice. Once to discover the undesirable shock it gives, and
_once more_ to examine whether the effect is consistent and reproducible.

If you can argue against requiring reproducibility, I'd be very interested
to hear it. And I'll be listening with an open mind.


-------Casper Kvan Clausen------ | 'Ah, Warmark, everything that passes
----------<>---------- | unattempted is impossible.'
Lokal 544 |
I do not speak for DMI, just me. | - Lord Mhoram, Son of Variol.