Putting it All Together

Jesus_Mosaic_by_Mizun0hThough more will probably be added, I think enough has been said to demonstrate that there is more to reality than the physical particles and complex arrangements of physical particles that science studies. But, if we accept that naturalism fails, we still need to ask ourselves what else reality may hold.

Or, more simply, we know that there is something “out there”, so what is it? Tying together several of the past discussions here, we see:

1. Much, if not all, of our mental lives would be included.

2. We know that the ultimate cause of physical reality (i.e. either the cause of the big bang or the cause of the multiverse if it exists) also lies outside the bounds of science.

3. If one accepts the reality of moral truth (as most all who are not beholden to naturalism do), then these, too, would be included.

4. We also see the order of the universe, which cannot itself be accounted for by science (which simply assumes it).

Looking at this list, many will find it hard not to conclude that the explanation for all these curious facts of reality is a single, transcendent God. The suggestion, at least, strikes me as a far more elegant way to account for the facts than any alternative on offer.

And there are many alternatives, most of them complex and inelegant mixes of various conflicting theories. When all is said and done, it seems that the overwhelming response to this is either to agree, or to assert that we simply don’t know (and apparently should avoid reaching a conclusion or looking into the matter).

But simply to ignore the pertinent questions and reasoning will not do. Rather, the rational person will accept the most plausible choice as a guide to reality. What is not rational is to insist that, until theism can be proved absolutely, we should live out our days as if naturalism is true.

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15 responses to “Putting it All Together

  • Alexander

    “But, if we accept that naturalism fails, we still need to ask ourselves what else reality may hold.”

    Why should we accept that? You haven’t convinced anyone not already believing in your tract that there is anything outside the constraints of naturalism, you only hold up belief and assumption as an answer to a what-if scenario.

    1. What is it about our mental lives that are “out there”, beyond scientific discovery? I can’t think of anything except dualism, which a lot of people reject.

    2. Why is the cause of the known universe outside of scientific discovery? In fact, a heck of a lot of current cosmology is on exactly that.

    3. Moral truths is a subjective set of rules. What you mean is probably absolute moral laws beyond the anthropic and/or evolutionary principle. And even there, why isn’t that available for scientific discovery? Philosophers seem to haven’t received your memo yet.

    4. What order? Are we talking about the definitions for laws of nature as a substitute for a god?

    “Looking at this list […]”

    … I see a biased list of things that are asserted without resistance nor debate, and gives room for conclusions only rooted in the bias of the author. But your list isn’t absolutely true. Your list isn’t even agreed upon by people who otherwise agree with your conclusions. In fact, I reject it right now; the constraints you define within it are fuzzy and flakey at worst, and there’s lots of good debates out there about where we should draw the line, how to define things to reach agreement for disagreement and so forth.

    For example, your first point; what is it mental states cannot explain? What is it about conscious reality that escapes the mapping of the brain, or eludes testing? As far as I can tell the only thing is that you believe in a soul that retains when the brain dies (and there’s a ton of discussion we can have about the nature of said brain containing a soul, but maybe some other time); without the soul, what is there to dispute in regards to science figuring out “the mind”?

    “What is not rational is to insist that, until theism can be proved absolutely, we should live out our days as if naturalism is true.”

    Are there any tenants of theism that are supported by actual evidence? (unless you define “evidence” terribly loosely, of course)

    • Debilis

      Yes, “if” we reject naturalism. A contingent statement will require that one accept the antecedent in order to have force.

      1. Dualism is the idea that our minds are “out there”. So, no by definition, there is no non-dualist position to that end. But this is not a point against dualism.

      2. This is not true. There is a great deal of metaphysical speculation on the part of cosmologists to that end. Personally, I find it fascinating, and love reading on it. But none of it, even if true, explains the origin of all physical reality. And, if it did, it would be outside the purview of science.

      3. What you are calling “absolute moral laws beyond the anthropic and/or evolutionary principle” is most certainly outside of what science investigates. Simply asking the question and insisting that “philosophers haven’t received my memo” is not an argument. Rather, I can’t personally think of a philosopher that would disagree with me on that point (even Ayer would agree). To which philosophers were you referring?

      4. Check the link for details. I was talking about the fact that nature is consistent enough that science is effective (a la Hume’s problem of induction).

      I completely agree that not everyone will agree with me. But, given that people disagree about nearly everything, this doesn’t strike me as terribly relevant. Simply calling my view “flaky” does not refute it. Rather, there needs to be given specific reasons why I am wrong on a given point.

      Getting to that:
      The notion of Qualia is the first thing that comes to mind, but even consciousness and reason themselves are unexplained by brain states. Simply showing correlation is not enough. This is a well known problem in the philosophy of mind.

      But accusations of biased thinking are not an argument (or, rather, would be a fallacious argument). For instance, Thomas Nagel (the Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, respected philosopher of mind, and a confirmed atheist) happens to agree with me on this point. Nor is it enough simply to declare that the only reason one would think this is belief in a soul. Nagel aside, even I don’t happen to believe in a soul in anything like the typical use of the term–so it is hard not to feel that this accusation falls flat.

      But I’m glad you asked the question about “evidence”, and even raised the issue about definition. I find that this word is very often abused in debates over theism. If you aren’t defining the term “very loosely”, then it is of no consequence.

      Theism is a metaphysical position, to demand evidence (defined in a tightly scientific way) would be irrelevant. Evidence (defined loosely enough to incorporate metaphysical considerations) would be too loose to impress most anyone currently demanding evidence for theism.

      So, if you can give me a definition of evidence which you think is appropriate, I’ll be happy to let you know if I have any evidence which meets those standards. But, thus far, I’ve not encountered any support for a secular weltanschauung that would stand up to higher standards of evidence than theism.

      • Alexander

        On 2. You are avoiding the question; why is the origin of the universe outside of scientific discovery? I pointed to cosmology, where indeed both the standard model and string theory gives some evidence to both the inflation of the current universe (and implications of such), as well as anachronistic multiverse theory based on evidence in quantum state field experiments (backed by experimentations on the microwave background radiation maps, and the manipulation of quantum states, like quantum tunnelling). All of this is evidence and speculation on the origin of the known universe, and there’s a little evidence for the multiverse as well. None of this is beyond science. It’s only beyond it if you decide you don’t like it to be so, which science will ignore very quickly. 🙂

        On 3.; “insisting that “philosophers haven’t received my memo” is not an argument”

        I was merely pointing out that philosophers are doing science; logic, deduction, induction, argument, premises, analysis, math, probabilities, axioms, definitions … it’s science. It’s science of thinking.

        “even consciousness and reason themselves are unexplained by brain states”

        That depends on the definition of “consciousness” (of which there are many) “reason” (of which there are many) and “brain states” (again, of which there are many). It’s also depending on what you mean by them being explained. If blood fills certain regions, certain neurons spark, given ligaments are reacting, and neural pruning takes place in a given pattern based on the previous state (x% for grey matter, y% for white), then you need to define what “explanation” means outside of that. More contextual mental models triggering this one? Or … something else? Something mysterious and outside the natural world? Because if the latter, it’s no longer science, as I think we agree on. Me and most scientists in the field of neuroscience don’t see the need for this extra dimension to explain what is going on, and it feels close to “god of the gaps” more than any rational argument?

        “But accusations of biased thinking are not an argument”

        It’s a warning that your science could be bad. This is the main reason peer-review exists; to stop bias in its track, and ruin good science.

        “Theism is a metaphysical position, to demand evidence (defined in a tightly scientific way) would be irrelevant”

        Irrelevant? I hope you meant “difficult” or, at worst, “impossible”, because it definitely is relevant.

        “Evidence (defined loosely enough to incorporate metaphysical considerations) would be too loose to impress most anyone currently demanding evidence for theism”

        Yes, we agree; evidence in science is defined tightly in order to get to some agreement on what we regard as evidence. That’s how we can agree to things.

        If you define “evidence” to include any odd idea, then your position is equally strong as any other idea that also could be part of it. For example, some religious people will look at the earth and claim it to be evidence for creation. Because, you know, it’s here! It was obviously created! Problem is that it then is also evidence for a number of competing religious models who also see the earth as evidence for their – often directly competing and contradictory – model. What you need to do is to find some evidence that a) incorporate what you believe, and b) exclude beliefs you don’t hold. (You should look up “the outsider test for faith” for one example of such)

        “So, if you can give me a definition of evidence which you think is appropriate, I’ll be happy to let you know if I have any evidence which meets those standards”

        Ok, give me something empirical.

    • Debilis

      2. Yes, the big bang is well supported by science. No, the multiverse is not. The background radiation has shown no such backing (I don’t know where you heard that, but send me a link if you’d like me to look that over). And the manipulation of quantum states presumes the universe, it does not explain its origin.

      3. Philosophers are not doing “science of thinking” unless we are using the most fast and dirty definition of science I’ve encountered.

      If, however, we are going to define science this loosely, then the traditional arguments for God’s existence are scientific–and there is scientific evidence for God.

      This is a near-constant issue for me. The accordion use of the word science: to cover nearly all areas of thought when defending the idea that all facts are scientific, but to contract it when claiming that science hasn’t found evidence for God.

      So, no philosophy does not use the scientific method–but it is no less valid a field of study for that.

      No, my statement that consciousness and reason are unexplained by brain states does not depend on definitions any more than every statement does.

      The subjective, first person perspective that we all have cannot be accounted for by analysis of the physical properties of the brain. This is the classic mind-body problem acknowledged by philosophers of mind. This is true whether or not “most neuroscientists” are bothered by the problem. This is likely because fixing it is the job of philosophers–not scientists.

      You say you agree that evidence is defined tightly in science, but I’d like that definition. Would it allow that philosophers are producing scientific evidence (if so, I’ll agree that they are doing “science of thinking”)? Would it allow for things which are not mathematically describable (if so, I’ll agree that qualia can be investigated by science)?

      But, if it does allow these things, I would hardly call that a tight definition. In fact, I really want to tighten up our definition of “science”, as it appears to be shifting around a bit. I’d been referring only to the study of the physical universe using the scientific method.

      This would seem to fit some of your statements about science, but not others. Which definition are you using–or would like us to use?

      But, I appreciate the stipulation that evidence must be empirical. The main reaction I have to that is to point out that the question of God is not an empirical subject. To say that “there is no empirical evidence for the non-empirical” seems to fall flat.

      Some would say there is such evidence (such as the origin of empirical reality), but that seems a minor point. Really, if we start with the demand that the only evidence which will be accepted is empirical, is it really any wonder that we’re left rejecting the non-empirical?

      Much of philosophy, too, is non-empirical. The conclusions reached there, or even mathematical conclusions, would be unsupported by evidence by this definition.

      • Alexander

        On 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_flow Also, even if something presumes the universe, it is still evidence for a priori states of said universe. That’s how modeling works.

        On3. “If, however, we are going to define science this loosely”

        It’s not a very loose definition. Philosophy is where science started, and what we today call Science used to be “Natural philosophy.” The main problem philosophy has is in evidence, however there’s plenty of philosophers out there who are starting to incorporate empiricism in their thinking.

        “So, no philosophy does not use the scientific method”

        Again, some do, some don’t. Some use some scientific methods, others don’t. The problem with the field isn’t what can be done, or is done at the best tip of it, but the traditional breadth of it. A reminder, though, that I never claimed that philosophy is hardcore science, only that it fits within the broad umbrella of “science” (which is why you find it in serious universities still).

        “The subjective, first person perspective that we all have cannot be accounted for by analysis of the physical properties of the brain”

        Again, you assert this, but what is the evidence for this being true? I’ve pointed to consciousness as a ream of brain states, blood access, neuronal prunings and triggers, and at some point you have to explain what outside of that you mean isn’t accounted for. Are we back to “the perception of the color red”? Because there’s tons of neuroscience that can tell you quite a lot about the brain states of “redness”, even if they to divert from person to person. What is that thing you say is unaccounted for?

        “Would it allow that philosophers are producing scientific evidence (if so, I’ll agree that they are doing “science of thinking”)? Would it allow for things which are not mathematically describable (if so, I’ll agree that qualia can be investigated by science)?”

        Sure, why not? Why can’t a philosopher find evidence? What I think you mean here is empiric evidence, that philosophers don’t work within empiricism. Partially true, but people like Dennett and Wilkins operate within biological empiricism for much of their work, so there’s no one answer to block it out.

        On the other hand, I’m not sure what’s not mathematically describable. Anything can be, even your god or things that don’t exist. I think you must be thinking of something else?

        “I’d been referring only to the study of the physical universe using the scientific method.”

        So have I, so we’re good to go.

        “the question of God is not an empirical subject”

        Hmm, possibly, but, eh, no I don’t agree. Miracles are most often depicted as your god reaching into our natural world and suspending it for some reason or another. This is testable. This is empirical evidence. Bleeding statues, moving objects, audible sounds, visual signs … plenty of stuff that’s perfectly open to empirical investigation.

        “Much of philosophy, too, is non-empirical”

        Indeed, however there’s a growing realisation within philosophy circles that without it, or at least a deep grounding in it, it’s going to be a dying art. Bayesian theory is already making some dramatic headway into various corners of deep thinking, all for the better.

    • Debilis

      2. I had thought you were talking about Dark Flow. Yes, it is interesting. Yes, it could potentially reveal some amazing things (including sister universes). However, the tests thus far have been inconclusive.

      3. Saying that “philosophy is where science started” equates to “philosophy is part of science” does indeed require a loose definition.

      Yes, I’m aware of natural philosophy, but I feel that saying “I started as a baby” is different from saying “I am a baby”. Philosophy is not science for similar reasons.

      “‘So, no philosophy does not use the scientific method’
      Again, some do, some don’t. Some use some scientific methods, others don’t.”

      Unless you are arguing that the relevant area of philosophy (metaphysics) uses the scientific method, then this is simply a moot point (even if I agreed).

      That being the case, are you arguing this?

      “it fits within the broad umbrella of “science” (which is why you find it in serious universities still)”
      Is anything taught in university science, then?

      With an umbrella this broad, I can offer “scientific” evidence for nearly anything.

      “‘The subjective, first person perspective that we all have cannot be accounted for by analysis of the physical properties of the brain’
      Again, you assert this, but what is the evidence for this being true?”

      The fact that it has been metaphysically shown that mental events are not physical events. Reason, for instance, is not simply a pattern of electro-chemical reactions following the blind laws of nature if it is to be rightly considered reason.
      The same would be the case with value, which you have insisted science does not study.

      This has been shown again and again. But, I’m not sure if you are opening the umbrella of science wide enough that this would be considered “science”. If so, it is scientific. If not, we need to accept that there are fields other than science.

      “I’ve pointed to consciousness as a ream of brain states”
      I would simply reply in the same fashion. I feel that you’ve asserted this, but I’ve not been given an a reason to believe it.

      “Are we back to “the perception of the color red”?”
      Yes. The black-and-white-room thought experiment is a good one to note.

      “Why can’t a philosopher find evidence? What I think you mean here is empiric evidence, that philosophers don’t work within empiricism.”
      I mean that they don’t only work within empiricism.
      This being the case, I see no reason to insist that all evidence for the mind (or God) be empirical.
      And, if you agree that there are fields of study which are not bound by the empirical, this would support much of my position.

      “I’m not sure what’s not mathematically describable. Anything can be, even your god or things that don’t exist.”
      It is hard to see how qualia are mathematically describable. Nor is the potency of God, or any number of his traits definable mathematical terms.
      There is rather a list, actually, but I’ll not get into that.

      “’I’d been referring only to the study of the physical universe using the scientific method.’
      So have I, so we’re good to go.”

      Now I’m a bit confused. I had thought you were claiming that science is a large enough umbrella to incorporate philosophy–even those areas that don’t investigate the physical.
      Have I misunderstood?

      “’the question of God is not an empirical subject’
      Hmm, possibly, but, eh, no I don’t agree. Miracles are most often depicted as your god reaching into our natural world and suspending it for some reason or another.

      The question of miracles is interesting (and, I would say, deeply mischaracterized here), but it is not synonymous with the question of God.
      No, the question of God is not an empirical subject. Raising miracles does not refute this point.

      “’Much of philosophy, too, is non-empirical’
      Indeed, however there’s a growing realisation within philosophy circles that without it, or at least a deep grounding in it, it’s going to be a dying art.”

      Even were this true (which I don’t think is the case) it doesn’t follow that, because a field of study is being abandoned, it is not a legitimate field of study.

      Are you suggesting that those areas of philosophy which are non-empirical are not legitimate areas of study? On what grounds?

      “Bayesian theory is already making some dramatic headway into various corners of deep thinking, all for the better.”
      I’m not sure I would equate Bayesian theory with empiricism, as this seems to be doing. Nor would I equate “there’s more focus on the empirical” with “the non-empirical doesn’t exist”, which is what would need to be done for this to counter my basic stance.

      • Alexander

        Hi, still trying to keep things shorter;

        “It is hard to see how qualia are mathematically describable”

        But why not? (Here’s one: “q is qualia” … I know, I know, but remember that math is a symbolic language of logic constructs, and anything can be talked about … which was my original point here) You need to explain how qualia cannot be an emerging property of a complex system.

        “I feel that you’ve asserted this, but I’ve not been given an a reason to believe it.”

        Hmm. Do you disagree that traffic in the brain creates a host of various thoughts and experiences? Is there something that we’re missing while scanning the brain while performing tasks or thinking about certain things that when it looks like it’s purported to a specific region and certain patterns for certain things, these are, what, illusions and false data? If someone’s got a magnet stimulating a certain spot on the brain and they react with a certain emotional reaction, surely we can say that that emotional state was caused by the magnetic stimulation. And when we venture down the road of scanning and mapping the brain, we are gathering empiric evidence for how it works.

        So, the step after this is where you need to discern one emergent property in the brain (ie. qualia) from some other property (say, the feeling of distrust). Because all of neuroscience creates piles of empirical evidence for how the brain works – even those bits we think are concrete but turns out to be fuzzy – and this is, well, good evidence the brain is a physical organ that responds very well to physicalities to create emergent properties.

        So, if a magnet is stimulating your “god spot” (a particular spot on the brain) to give you feelings of “spiritual emotions” or “inner connection” to the point of them being statistically important, surely the conclusion must be that your spiritual feelings are, at least, manipulable by external physical means, yes?

        “because a field of study is being abandoned, it is not a legitimate field of study”

        Can you really point to any field of study that has been abandoned that somehow still is a valid field of study? Or are you defining “valid” in some “it was important in historical terms” kinda way? I can’t think of any field of study that has been abandoned as still valid; there’s a reason it was abandoned, yes?

        “Are you suggesting that those areas of philosophy which are non-empirical are not legitimate areas of study? On what grounds?”

        Results we can test. Relevance to our lives.

        “I’m not sure I would equate Bayesian theory with empiricism”

        Of course not; it’s probability theory, extremely handy when you’ve got a *lack* of empirical evidence. That’s was my whole point. 🙂

    • Debilis

      I’m working on trimming as well. Let’s see how I do:

      I’m not opposed to the idea that qualia are emergent. I’m only opposed to the idea that they are reducible to the system in question.

      As they are not mathematically describable, it seems reasonable that they would not be.

      Do you disagree that traffic in the brain creates a host of various thoughts and experiences?
      Yes, unless we are adopting an unorthodox definition of “brain” (i.e. hylomorphic dualism).

      I believe that we are “missing” those elements which are not subject to empirical investigation. Science does not look for those elements, as it relies solely on empirical evidence.

      But I agree that the brain responds to physical states. I simply think there is more going on in it than the empirical.

      Can you really point to any field of study that has been abandoned that somehow still is a valid field of study?
      I personally feel that there are many areas of philosophy which have been abandoned in spite of their validity. Most pertinently, the Aristotelian concepts of causation was once a rather large field that was largely abandoned after the rise of modern philosophy.

      “Are you suggesting that those areas of philosophy which are non-empirical are not legitimate areas of study? On what grounds?”
      Results we can test. Relevance to our lives.
      Questions of meaning are definitely relevant to our lives. And saying “results we can test” is simply saying that these are not empirical. It would be circular to use this as a reason to think that the non-empirical does not exist.

      Of course not; it’s probability theory, extremely handy when you’ve got a *lack* of empirical evidence.
      I’m fine with the use of it. It’s only hard-edged empiricism that I reject.

      Okay, I think that went very well (for me) in terms of keeping it short.

      Saved you some eye-strain, I hope.

      • Alexander

        “I’m not opposed to the idea that qualia are emergent. I’m only opposed to the idea that they are reducible to the system in question.”

        Um, that’s kinda the definition of an emergent property; it’s something new that comes out of something old, without adding anything to the old system. Two rivers of white and black water meet, and an emergent property of the new river is patterns of gray, white and black water. Or an emergent property of water, cold temperatures and undefined free particles are complex snowflakes. It’s basically something complex arising from simple means, like sand ripple patterns from sand, wind and aerodynamics.

        “the Aristotelian concepts of causation was once a rather large field that was largely abandoned after the rise of modern philosophy”

        Used to be big, but abandoned because, well, better and more refined models came about. Even in classic philosophy is the concept of causation rather different to the original Aristotelian. Are you saying this evolution of thought is wrong in some way, that the original model is more apt, more correct, better to use?

        “Questions of meaning are definitely relevant to our lives. And saying “results we can test” is simply saying that these are not empirical.”

        Yeah, we keep coming back to that one, don’t we? 🙂 Hopefully I’ve given that some more meat, but in science we try to make the lofty concrete, we try to make the intuitive more empirical, we convert from one type of data to another (keeping the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle and Quantum indeterminacy firmly in cheek; we mustn’t forget data lost in translation as well as levels of precision vs. scale when dealing with our data). Converting philosophical meaning into empirical data is not as hard as you seem to think it is.

        “It’s only hard-edged empiricism that I reject”

        What’s that?

    • Debilis

      If you are using this definition, then I would indeed reject the concept that mind is simply emergent.

      Used to be big, but abandoned because, well, better and more refined models came about.
      I don’t remember anyone ever showing that the competing models were any “better and more refined”, as opposed to being simply more convenient for the purposes people had in the early modern era.

      I don’t see how science makes the metaphysical empirical. I see how it investigates things that people previously lacked hard data on (and were therefore stuck with guessing).

      But, by “metaphysical”, I don’t mean empirical things that haven’t yet been investigated, but things that are not discernible through the senses at all.

      • Alexander

        “But, by “metaphysical”, I don’t mean empirical things that haven’t yet been investigated, but things that are not discernible through the senses at all.”

        Then how on earth can you even claim it exists?!

    • Debilis

      I’ve given several arguments against materialism. Moreover, this seems rather like asking “how can you prove that the universe isn’t all an illusion?”. We have experience of the non-physical.

      I simply don’t accept the (self-contradictory) idea that we should dismiss anything that is not discernible through the senses.

  • misunderstoodranter

    You state some very strong words in your article – that ‘we know that is something “out there”, so what is it?’

    I want to ask you how you know, what you know, and how you know what you know to be true?

    Only when you can do this can you propose to demonstrate what you know to others in a meaningful way – that will make your ‘faith’ in god be justified beyond my child’s faith in Santa.

    You also state that the what we (society) already knows about the origins of the universe and existence is out of the bounds of science; this is factually incorrect, we simply do not know and should be not muddled with ‘we will never know’.

    You mention a ‘moral truth’ – I am not sure what you mean by this, as morals are subjective – they are personal and adjusted to the perspective that an individual finds themselves in. In a normal situation, most sane people would agree that the killing of a person would be immoral – but take those same people to a battle field, or an island with limited resources, and their morals would almost certainly change very quickly.

    Finally, you imply that some element of theism has been proven – therefore it must be valid, but what you are failing to realise is that not one word of theism has been proven – not in the literal sense. And here is the problem, the scientific principles that have built our modern world have volumes of evidence to support their conclusions. Science is not a ‘belief’ it is a method of inquiry, if an experiment fails it disproves the scientific hypothesis no matter how strongly the scientist believes that they might be right. Religion on the other hand is purely based on faith, there is no evidence for religion because if there was we would all believe in god just as much as we all believe in gravity.

    • Debilis

      Greetings!

      “I want to ask you how you know, what you know, and how you know what you know to be true?”

      That would be answered by the post and the linked posts. You can follow them to get a short discussion of each of the points I reference here.

      “we simply do not know and should be not muddled with ‘we will never know’”

      I agree. Nor did I mean “we will never know”; I meant “this is outside the purview of science”. We may come to learn it–in fact, this is exactly what I was driving toward in the discussion. But science studies only the physical, the origin of the physical is not a question it is designed to answer.

      Yes, one can reject moral truth through moral subjectivism; I even made reference to this in my article. But I don’t see that claiming that different situations call for different actions is an argument against objective morality.

      I’m not sure what you mean by ‘proven’ in you last paragraph. I think there are better reasons to think that theism is true than to think metaphysical naturalism is true. That was the topic of my discussion. Simply claiming that religion is “simply based on faith” completely ignores the reasons I gave. Rather, one needs to give show that metaphysical naturalism is more plausible than theism if one wants to argue against my position here.

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