A Brief Review of The Babadook
1 day ago
It is trivially true that we don't necessarily have to know how the causal entity could work; it doesn't have to be a rigorously established theory, for example. But in the case of the God-concept, you aren't even able to articulate a hypothesis of God's causal mechanisms, precisely because you aren't able to articulate a concept of God in unequivocal terms. It's not simply a matter of God's causal mechanisms being "not clear", but rather a fundamental problem with the confused and ambiguous semantics underpinning the God-concept itself. You have no prayer (excuse the pun) of even theoretically explaining how God can causally interact with the universe or even do anything at all because you can't state in unambiguous, unequivocal terms what God even is in the first place.
What you're stuck with, as a theist, is an unexplainable, unobservable entity whose actions can neither be coherently described nor predicted that nonetheless has causal influence over and/or within the observable universe. That is exactly what magical thinking is: "the attribution of causal or synchronistic relationships between actions and events which seemingly cannot be justified by reason and observation." [Wiki]
In other words, you've posited an entity whose properties are so ambiguous that no argument or observation could ever be used to falsify a claim that X effect was caused by the entity. You've posited a being that always explains everything, and therefore explains nothing.
Earth needs a virtual country: #Rationalia, with a one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) June 29, 2016
“Scientism” is the belief that all we need to solve the world’s problems is – you guessed it – science. People sometimes use the phrase “rational thinking”, but it amounts to the same thing. If only people would drop religion and all their other prejudices, we could use logic to fix everything.
Strong scientism: the view that science alone can render truth about the world and realityWeak scientism: the view that science is the most reliable method to render truth about the world and reality, but one among many methods that can render truth.
Scientists have observed homosexual behavior in 471 animal species--167 species of mammals, 132 species of birds, 32 species of reptiles and amphibians, 15 species of fishes, and 125 species of insects and other invertebrates (Bagemihl 1999, 673). Scientists have also observed that same-sex pairs have successfully reared young in at least 20 species. In some cases, one or both partners are the biological parent(s) of the young they raise together. In other cases, the partners adopt and care for young without being the biological parents (Bagemihl 1999, 23-26). Moreover, in some cases, the same-sex couples seem to be more successful in their parenting than opposite-sex parents.
We also now know that homosexuality is biologically natural in that it arises through the interaction of many biological factors in the early development of fetuses and children--genes and sex hormones shape the body and the brain in early life so that people are naturally predisposed to become heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual. Monozygotic (identical) twins are more concordant in their sexual orientation than dizygotic (fraternal) twins, which clearly shows a genetic contribution to homosexuality That the concordance between monozygotic twins is about 50% suggests that while there is a genetic influence, there are also other biological factors involved. And while there is no single "gay gene," there are probably many different genes interacting with one another in various ways that influence sexual orientation (Poiani 2010, 55-96). Explaining the biology of animal homosexuality requires a complex multicausal model (Poiani 2010, 401-425).
For Plato, a circle, or a right triangle, were ideal forms, definable mathematically but never realized in practice. A circle drawn in the sand was an imperfect approximation to the ideal Platonic circle hanging in some abstract space. That works for geometric shapes like circles, but essentialism has been applied to living things, and Ernst Mayr blamed this for humanity’s late discovery of evolution — as late as the 19th century. If, like Aristotle, you treat all flesh-and-blood rabbits as imperfect approximations to an ideal Platonic rabbit, it won’t occur to you that rabbits might have evolved from a non-rabbit ancestor and might evolve into a non-rabbit descendant. If you think, following the dictionary definition of essentialism, that the essence of rabbitness is “prior to” the existence of rabbits (whatever “prior to” might mean, and that’s a nonsense in itself), evolution is not an idea that will spring readily to your mind, and you may resist when somebody else suggests it.