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Everything posted by Theophilus

  1. Theophilus added a topic in History and Philosophy of Science   

    Benefits of Relativity
    I mean this as a legitimate question; I'm no trying to start an argument. What have been the practical (non-theoretical) effects, of  Relativity Theory (Special or General), i.e. are lines shorter at the supermarket; do we have better gas mileage; are airline schedules more reliable?
    • 3 replies
  2. Theophilus added a question in Help   

    Socratic Method
    I posted this to Hugo, but I'll accept answers from others.
    Is it possible to practice the "Socratic method" in teaching without accepting Socrates theory of knowledge?
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  3. Theophilus added a comment on a blog entry A Prayer   

    Hear the voice of the Lord;"Be still and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth!"Psalm 46:10
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  4. Theophilus added a comment on a blog entry A Prayer   

    Well, I find that humans are anything but reticent, declaring virtually any kind of thought, word or action as being expressive of love (perhaps you are too young to remember the "summer of love" of San Francisco fame).From the Christian point of view, i.e. the Biblical, soteriological point of view, there is no mystery (though there is much confusion) about the nature of love. The statement "God is love" is not a reflexive proposition, e.g. "love is God." Since what we can know of God is found in his self-revelation given its fullest expression in the life and work of Christ ("the image of the invisible God"), we understand that the love of God is nothing else but Christ himself.Christians (and non-believers) who look for some motivation of affection in the creator for his creation are led into theological error. John 3:16 is often cited in this regard: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, etc" where the word "so" is taken as an expression of the intensity of God's love motivating him to "give." Consulting a Greek lexicon reveals that "so" means "thus" or "in this way" (t is "so" used in several verses). So, a true reading of the verse would be "for in this way God loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, etc." This meaning is consistent with the context of the preceding verses. With God, there is no motivation apart from action; what God wills, he does.Thus, the Christian who would manifest the love of God, should not concern himself with how he feels about his "neighbor," but how he treats him, e.g. the "good" Samaratin.Finally, God does not possess, or rather is not possessed of, isolated emotions, e.g., love, hate, affection, wrath. Unlike his creatures, he does not express different feelings at different times. His actions are at all times reflective of his unified character. So, his blessings AND curses are an expression of his perfect righteousness, justness and holiness in a particular situation. We do not curse one another, not because we are all equally worthy, but because we are all equally unworthy.
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  5. Theophilus added a post in a topic Does God Exist?   

    Questions regarding the "non-existence" of God (the correct term, I believe) can only be framed from within a worldview that has first demonstrated its own epistemological sufficiency, including the appropriateness of the standard of proof being urged.

    Thus, empiricism has no standard of proof by which to test the existence of an immaterial entity.

    So, how about specifying your epistemological frame of referrence?
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  6. Theophilus added a post in a topic "Missing Link Found?"   

    Bricks have a habit of crumbling under pressure.
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  7. Theophilus added a post in a topic Does God Exist?   

    There are none.
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  8. Theophilus added a post in a topic Does God Exist?   

    Have you read Van Til?
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  9. Theophilus added a post in a topic Ultimate Personal Goal in life?   

    Why wait until your parents and children are gone?
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  10. Theophilus added a post in a topic Janes blunder   

    I guess this was just an overflowing of the frustration I'm experiencing seeing Richard Dawkins, et al, making their naive claims of "evidence" based knowledge every time I glance at U Tube.

    I find it hard to believe that such "reputable" scientists can be unaquainted with the general philosophical problems related to Empiricism, e.g. David Hume, as well as the more specific issues relating to scienc, ala Karl Popper.
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  11. Theophilus added a post in a topic Janes blunder   

    I'm sorry, I thought the problem was self-evident, i.e. "instruments" are merely an extension of the human sensory apparatus and, thus, do not escape the problems of Empiricist epistemology.
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  12. Theophilus added a post in a topic Janes blunder   

    I have to confess to having typed this from a PDF file.
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  13. Theophilus added a topic in Explore   

    Janes blunder
    The following is from the 1942 edition of James Janes "Physics and Philosophy," chapter 2, How do we Know?

    "In the period we have been considering, science claimed only one source of knowledge of the facts and objects of the ourter worlk, namely the impressions they make on the mind through the medium of the senses. Yet the untrustworthiness of the senses had been one of the commonplaces of philosophy from Greek times on, and if the same facts and objects of the outer world mad different impressions on different minds, where did science stant?"

    "These difficulties are non-existent to the modern physicist, who can trust his instruments to give absolutely objective and unbiased information,..."

    How could a man with such unquestionable understanding of philosophic issues make such an astonishingly simple mistake?
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  14. Theophilus added a post in a topic The Christian Trinity   

    I have a terrible habit of unintentionally hijacking threads (I am also, for reasons I don't understand, something of a thread killer). I'll try not to do that here, but a couple of observations on the nature of the Bible.

    The Bible is not an evangelistic tract. It (its various parts) was written by believers to believers to give an historical and theological context for the things they had already believed and to confirm their faith.

    The Pentatuch was written for the Hebrews (not Jews) who had just been liberated from Egypt; the Gospels were written to believers, most of whom had not encountered Jesus during his earthly life.

    The Bible, contrary to many apologists, does not, nor does it attempt to "prove" anything. The "proof," e.g. the resurrection, are only meaningful within a covenantal, prophetic context.

    The doctrine of the trinity (the Triune God) is a theological construct which attempts to relate the Bible's clear affirmation of One God, while at the same time ascribing the activities and attributes of God to three distinct persons.
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  15. Theophilus added a post in a topic Help: Difficult passages   

    Perhaps you're looking for more than is really here (yes, I understand the irony).
    There are two types of optical illusions:
    1. Those which are merely different ways of looking at an image, e.g. the wine glass/faces image. Neither is "correct."
    2. Those which occur when the observer misinterprets (mis-perceives) what he is actually seeing. One day while driving on the freeway, I observed an illuminated billboard that was displaying a series of brite green fractal images. On closer examination, however, I realized I was actually "seeing" the sun reflecting off palm fronds waving in front of the black background of the sign.

    So, in the second case, there was no "illusion ... with regard to the (actual thing)", but a misinterpretation on the part of the observer.
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  16. Theophilus added a post in a topic Introductory Material for Philosophy of Physics   

    I remember reading somewhere that "philosophy is the history of philosophy." I suppose it could (and should) be argued that "science is the history of science."
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  17. Theophilus added a post in a topic The Christian Trinity   

    You conclusion is, at least in part, based on a misunderstanding occasioned by confusion of terms. We are accustomed to speak of "Jesus Christ" as if we were pronouncing a name like Hugo Holbling. In fact, the term Christ is a title, "Annointed One" or, more properly, "The Annointed One" - corresponding to the Hebrew Messiah.

    So, Jesus as the incarnate eternal Son, was the Annointed One. Annointed by God to be the Savior of his people ("you shall call him Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins").

    Your conclusion that "the Bible is not the literal truth" assumes that you have a standard for identifying "the" truth. This raises the larger question involved in the present discussion, the nagging, but indespensible question of epistemology. The doctrine of the Trinity, like all Christian theology, cannot be evaluated from outside the idea of revelation in which it is founded.

    The doctrine of the Trinity does not prove the truth of revelation, God's self-disclosure and can only be derived if one first accepts the authority of scripture. So, objections to the doctrine by those who reject revelation at the outset of their reasoning is not problematic for the Christian.
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  18. Theophilus added a post in a topic Ending the Iraq War   

    Beyond the strategic and tactical issues involved in terminating our unnecessary and unjustified (redundant?) assault on a non-belligerent, autonomous nation-state, there are, for us Americans, significant Constitutional questions that must be addressed if we are to avoid similar future tragedies.

    Resolving these issues will, of course, entail a debate about the "nature" of our Constitution; whether it is a "static" political document granting only those powers specifically enumerated in the text, or whether it is a "living," evolving document, the interpretation of which must adapt to the viscisitudes of the times.

    Under the first "approach," only Congress has the power (and responsibility) to declare war, something clearly not done in the present case. Only under such a declaration does the President become Commander in Chief.

    The problem with the second approach is that it is self-destructive. It is only under a "strict" construction of the text, i.e. the government derives its power from the Constitution, that an evolving argument can be made - the President must be the President in order to claim "extraordinary" powers. Under a genuinely living interpretation, someone besides the President could claim Presidential powers.

    I have a quote from Mark Twain regarding the Spanish American war that is relevant to the argument over our withdrawl from Iraq. He characterizes the sentiment of those who supported continued involvement as "Though the war be wrong, we be in it; we cannot retire without dishonor," and then observes, "why, not even a burglar could have said that better."
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  19. Theophilus added a post in a topic Free will, rehashed.   

    Do we have a choice?
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  20. Theophilus added a post in a topic Strings, falsifiers and ruling on design   

    This article argues that teaching ID or other "creationist ideas" will undermine science and lead to the loss of technological leadership in the US.
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  21. Theophilus added a post in a topic Falsificationism falsified   

    Although it probably has nothing to do with the current discussion, this is an interesting sketch of Popper and politics

    There's also a link to a note Popper wrote on this matter
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  22. Theophilus added a post in a topic Falsificationism falsified   

  23. Theophilus added a post in a topic Strings, falsifiers and ruling on design   

    As a Christian, I subscribe neither to ID, not Scientific Creationism, since both reject Special Revelation, i.e., the bible, as necessary to a correct interpretation of the natural order.

    To be more precise, he should have said "you can't leave the Creator out of the picture." Of course, empiricism has no foundation for including or excluding the creator.

    A more relevant question might be what constitutes a "fact" and on what basis is any theory ever taught as having been proven.
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  24. Theophilus added a topic in History and Philosophy of Science   

    Legitimate citation?
    I found the following "quote" from Karl Popper in the book Christian Apologetics, by Norman L. Geisler: "Now in view of the prediction of the resurrection, the event is given special confirming significance. Karl Popper argued that whenever a 'risky prediction' is fulfilled, it counts as confirmation of the hypothesis which comes with it." p 347.

    The reference is to Popper's Conjectures and Fefutations which can be viewed here, and the actual quote is, I believe, "(2) Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions;that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory-an event which would have refuted the theory."

    It strikes me that Popper would repudiate Geisler's application of his statement.

    Any opinions?
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