Apr 15, 2016

Numbers Prove God

Jay Dyer from Jay's Analysis wrote this article and it's compelling.  While I would not agree with all of his philosophical assumptions, it's still good stuff.  See what you think...

The Divine is the highest of Infinities.
The Divine is the highest of Infinities.

By: Jay Dyer

When considering the question of “proofs” for the existence of God, the history of argumentation has often been lacking.  The dialectical relationship of the empirical/materialist tradition debating with the idealist/Platonic tradition is a perennial feature of the history of western philosophy.  Modern “New Atheists,” for example, are eager to pounce on flaws in the so-called “classical proofs,” as if these were the b-all, end-all of the question of rational certainty for the divine.

The chief problems with the “classical proofs” are that: 1) They do not prove what they set out to prove insofar as they are (classically) based on an empirical theological method that stems primarily from Aquinas, 2) The arguments themselves are non sequitur, where the starting points of the proofs do not logically necessitate the conclusions, and 3) The philosophical and theological assumptions implicit in the arguments are not consistent with the theological beliefs about God in the biblical system.  These three majors flaws have led to centuries of debates that were often fruitless and have allowed overly confident pseudo-philosophers and “scientists” to presume that these matters are bound up with medieval superstitions that were heroically suppressed and refuted by the rationalists of the Enlightenment era.

Ironically, this narrative itself is a modern mythos presented by the “New Atheists” and the average run-of-the-mill academicians.  The modern materialist apologists are themselves buried in a faux dialectic that ignores, suppresses and misses the real issues at hand.   It should also be remembered that ancient and medieval thinkers had not asked questions that would later be raised, and in particular, I’m thinking of more foundational philosophical questions that never entered the mind of the medieval man.  Areas of philosophy and physics that developed in the modern world, like subatomic research, phenomenology and linguistic and semiotic research were not within their purview (obviously).

With such being the case, we can assess that the classical proofs are not necessarily terrible, but flawed due to the fact that they were posited with certain presuppositions.  But what happens when, over time, philosophy and science (and theology) questions those assumptions, and asks how do we make sense of these principles themselves.   For example, all medieval thinkers utilized Ancient Greek principles of logic and geometry.   Numbers, logic, and geometric forms were assumed to be the case: It never entered Roger Bacon’s or Photios of Constantinople’s mind to ask, “How is it possible for logic and numbers to be.”

In other words, the medieval mind didn’t consider things from a meta perspective.  There is logic, but what about metalogic?  Logic functions, but is there a higher level logic to logic?  What are the necessary conditions for the possibility of logic to be at all?  One could probably trace out a deeper connection between the artistic forms that were created in different periods and the development of 3d perspectivalism on a 2d surface, compared with the philosophical and scientific questions that began to be asked in that period.  Were the developments in optics and the study of light influential on the Renaissance portrayal of 3d perspectives?  I’m sure they were.   However, it had not entered the mind of medieval man to think in meta or transcendental categories.

It is true that ancient and medieval man posited transcendental arguments: Aristotle presents one for the law of non-contradiction, as well as filling out a more specific consideration of the different categories, which do match up in certain ways to Kant’s categories, so it’s not correct to say the medievals had no idea of what a “transcendental” was, or what a transcendental kind of argument was.   It is correct to say they did not consider the various sciences and arts from the perspective of how they are possible – what the necessary conditions for the possibility of those things to be were.  When the secular scientistic revolution occurred asking a lot of these questions, western Theism marched confidently along professing the same old, tired arguments that were unprepared to meet the level of questioning the revolutionaries were asking.  Western theology was ill-equipped due to its own assumptions about God’s existence being strictly the same as His essence, Actus Purus, an absolutely simple monad, with all human predicates equalling the divine ousia itself.

Read the rest of this article at -  https://jaysanalysis.com/2013/10/26/numbers-prove-god/