Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

The Anthropic Principle …

The other day I posted that I believe that there is more tautological evidence for the existence of God than for existence of Anthropogenic Global Warming. The fundamental collection of observations supporting this position is referred to as the “Anthropic Principle”.  Be warned. This polemic comes down to: “he said, she said” … who you “choose” to believe depends upon what you “need” to be “true” in your philosophy.

Now, in logic, a tautology is a formula that is true in every possible interpretation.  A tautology is a very inconvenient thing, the existence of same being the main reasons why logic, mathematics, and rational thinking for general consumption have been abandoned and suppressed by the Progressive “Brights”.

This “problem” also accounts for why the teaching of math and logic (except for potential “Baby Brights”)  has been virtually abandoned in the majority of “public” schools in favour of “Social Studies”.  It just wouldn’t do for the “baby zombies” to up and start thinking logically now, would it? Math and Logic are also relatively “hard” as they deal with equations, and formulae, and hard numbers and rules and things like that, as opposed to social opinion which is “soft” and can be anything you want – whatever!

Most of what the High Priests of the First Reformed Church of Environmentalism present as “truth” requires the duplicitous ignoring of salient facts or manipulation and outright distortion of statistics in a continuous attempt to force claimed reality to agree with their pet theory du jour or  favourite policy “De Jure”.

If they fail in that attempt then they can always fall back on the ever unctuous fawning media to cloud the field and present lies as truth (CBC?). The drooling audience are rather less than critical in their appreciation of truth as long as their favourite bread and circus is reliably provided for, and they will vote for anyone who promises them more “stuff”.

However, mathematics, the Queen of Sciences, has no place for, no “tolerance” for,  bureaucrats, and ministers, and talking heads, and media personalities. It takes and makes no account of policy, or rights, or ignoring inconvenient facts, or egos, or political correctness, or magical beliefs, or government grants, or politics, or subjective BS.

Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) said, “The universe cannot be read until we have learned the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and the letters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word. Without these, one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth.”

Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777–1855) referred to mathematics as “the Queen of the Sciences”.

Benjamin Peirce (1809–1880) called mathematics “the science that draws necessary conclusions”.

David Hilbert (1862-1943) said of mathematics: “We are not speaking here of arbitrariness in any sense. Mathematics is not like a game whose tasks are determined by arbitrarily stipulated rules. Rather, it is a conceptual system possessing internal necessity that can only be so and by no means otherwise.”

Albert Einstein (1879–1955) in answering a question about math and reality, stated that “as far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”

This previous recitation of names and quotes is what is called by some an “Appeal to Authority” in an attempt to give my “personal opinion” more respectability and veracity than it might otherwise command.

This useful technique is employed every day by myriad snake oil salesmen in positions of authority (government wonks and academics) everywhere who fear someone might question their opinion as they translate it into policy to force us to do what they think is best.

One good example is “Canada’s Food Guide” … purporting to be guidelines for “healthy eating”.  Try to find even the slightest shred of real scientific “evidence” based on replicable double blind peer reviewed studies.  Good luck with that. There aren’t any. All “smoke and mirrors” and “bureaucratic opinion” disguised as “Social Policy”.

“Canada’s Food Guide” is essentially the same as Agriculture Canada’s guide for fattening hogs for market. I guess it made sense at the time  to the junior policy wonks who wrote it up. Why re-invent the wheel? No one higher up would be checking too closely anyway, right?

In day to day practice Appeal to Authority commonly relies upon laziness and preoccupation with other “more important” stuff, on the part of the audience, to be effective. They (the Brights) do it to drain millions from the public purse and build their competing silos and petty empires. I do it to illustrate a point. Believe me, there is no gain associated with blogging.  Call me a cynic.

Cynicism is an attitude or state of mind characterized by a general distrust of others’ motives believing that humans are selfish by nature, ruled by emotion, and heavily influenced by the same primitive instincts that helped humans survive in the wild before agriculture and civilization became established.

Decades ago, as a jurisdictional representative at the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, I was “invited” to rubber stamp an approved paper (at our annual conference) for the basis of new “policy initiatives”. Which rubber stamp I was reluctant to give. Call me a cynic.

Reluctant, because, on visiting the list of references and footnotes, it was obvious that almost the entire list was drawn from one “approved” study and the remaining references were without exception all one trick ponies intended to obscure the fact that the “approved” policy paper was drawn in its entirety from one source. So much for “scientific consensus”! Call me a cynic.

Every time I read the catch phrase “scientific consensus” I remember this conference. I was the subject of an intense lobbying effort for a couple of days by the presenters of the “approved” paper. In the end they wrote me off as an ignorant hick from fly-over country without any academic credentials or credibility. Call me a cynic.

Nonetheless, my peers took heart, and the rubber stamp never materialized, and the paper never went forward at that conference. The policy wonks probably just ignored the rules and wrote their policy anyway. This is normal daily conduct in the halls of government. Who would ever know? Call me a cynic.

So, anyway, onwards and (hopefully) upwards. Math and logic are all about precision and drawing necessary conclusions based on the data. One simply cannot chuck out the data you don’t like, nor the conclusions you disagree with, simply because they happen to point in a different direction than you thought they would when you came up with your latest answer to the world’s problems.

Unless of course your daily bread and butter depends totally on supporting the Big Lie, in which case anything goes, including your soul. Integrity and truth is for suckers and also-rans.

In astrophysics and cosmology, the anthropic principle (from Greek anthropos, meaning “human”) is the philosophical consideration that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious and sapient life that observes it.

Some proponents of the anthropic principle reason that it explains why the universe has the age and the fundamental physical constants necessary to accommodate conscious life. As a result, they believe it is unremarkable that the universe’s fundamental constants happen to fall within the narrow range thought to be compatible with life.

The strong anthropic principle (SAP) as explained by John D. Barrow and Frank Tipler (whose text I used in university physics classes decades ago) states that this is all the case because the universe is compelled, in some sense, to eventually have conscious and sapient life emerge within it.

Another way of putting it is that the  “anthropic principle” in cosmology, holds, tautologically (again, in logic, a tautology is a formula that is true in every possible interpretation),  that the structure or “design” of the universe must be compatible with the existence of the conscious sapient creatures who observe it from within. (We would be they.)

1pct_1(FULL DISCLOSURE:  I have a personal interest in finding evidence of intelligence elsewhere in the universe since there is so little evidence on earth. My little island of technology on the faceless plain is among the top 1% in average credit with the famous SETI@home distributed computation SETI project at Berkley. I’ve been running SETI@home almost since it was first developed. I run BOINC on my network and engage in the SETI and BITCOIN number crunching projects.)

While it would be “really cool” to hear from ET,  I believe the chances of success are vanishingly small. Still …

Over the last few decades we have come to understand that life on earth absolutely depends on such an extraordinary number of extremely fine conditions, operating together at levels of coincidence that so stretch the odds, that the chance of finding another inhabited planet — even within something so large as our universe in space and time — is inconsiderably remote.

Or to put this another way, it appears dead obvious that the purpose of the universe was to make us possible. It would follow that our lives must be in some strange way — beyond any passing subjective enthusiasm — worth living. For, Someone went to a lot of trouble to put us here.






“May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”

The Inner Struggle

Atheists Don’t Really Exist…

Watched a fascinating program on the satellite this AM. Fascinating for me at least, and fascinating because I have always wondered in my limited way about the impossibility of any human being understanding the BEING of God. I always come up against the dog in the library analogy and eventually succumb to an overwhelming sense of the futility of trying to understand.

Anyway, this was a part of a series delivered by Fr. Robert Barron. In it, Fr. Barron addresses the common misconceptions about the nature of God that lead so many who worship at the altar of science to deny God exists. According to Fr. Barron, the atheist critique hinges on their mistaken understanding of God as “the supreme instance of the category of being.” Citing St. Thomas Aquinas, Barron argues that this is exactly what God is not. Rather God is ipsum esse subsitens, that is, the subsistent act of being itself.

“The sciences in principle cannot eliminate God, because God is not some phenomena in the world.” Scientists and those who consider themselves atheists confine themselves to the material realm which is measurable and testable and are rightly proud of all that has been achieved in that realm, but even the most obstinate materialist cannot help but hear the echoes of truths from beyond the particular and contingent.

As Fr. Barron says: “We are constantly struck by the contingency of things (their coming into being and their passing away), but we also have a deep sense of their rootedness in BEING. That’s God. The non-contingent ground of Being.”

Then browsing the comments at another site … Crisis Magazine … I come across this one from a self proclaimed atheist addressing theists:

“If my mind were made up, I might not be here, but I have compassion for the less fortunate, such as yourself. I feel sorry for you and would like to help you overcome the binders that disfigure your spirit. And where have I attacked believers? Pointing out your hubris, your unchristian behaviour, your desire to control and dominate others is merely holding a mirror to your arrogance in the hope of letting you see who you really are. As I said, I pity you. I would save you, if I could. But you (we believers) have already closed your mind to truth, live, and justice.”

This echoes a common position adopted by people I know, some of whom I consider friends, when we are discussing our beliefs and why we hold them. We never seem to ever be able to actually “discuss” anything … never any real answer to any Thomist positions on the existence of God. It always degenerates into ad-hominum. Why are atheists so afraid? Why do they always almost immediately slide into attacking those with other views?

In another part of the same magazine web site I come across this:

“Confirmation bias is the tendency to ascribe greater significance to information that supports our pre-existing theories and lesser significance to information that contradicts those theories. We often do this subconsciously. For example you get a new car, and now you notice that same type of car on the road with a much greater frequency than you had noticed before. But though confirmation bias generally refers to the inclusion or exclusion of data, there are other ways we can shoehorn the obvious to make it fit within our world view.”

So I have a new concept to add to the others I have learned from discussions my atheist friends.

  • Confirmation Bias
  • Psychological Projection
  • Transference

These three concepts go a long way towards explaining the underlying “logic”  of the progressive position.







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