What Is Physics?

A Defence of Classical Theism

Author: Nigel Cundy

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN: 9781974401659


Page: 720

View: 6193

The modern world-view is very much shaped by the scientific revolution of the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. However, the science behind Newtonian-based physics, and its daughters, has been shown to be wrong. Almost every philosophical assumption behind the mechanistic philosophy that inspired Galileo, Newton and their successors through to Maxwell, and even Einstein's classical theory of relativity, has been shown to be wrong by the experimental success of quantum field theory in the latter part of the twentieth and early twenty first centuries. Key philosophical principles, which underlie much of contemporary thought, such as nominalism, empiricism, determinism and the enlightenment views on causality are also undermined.The scientific revolution was accompanied by an unremitting criticism of classical philosophy. However, much of that criticism was based on the premise that physics is fundamentally mechanistic, an assumption we now know to be incorrect. So how well does that criticism measure up against today's science? The critical arguments are far weaker than they are often claimed to be.So what if we compare contemporary physics against classical philosophy? Classical philosophy is not unscathed, but it survives the encounter. Key classical concepts such as formal and final causality, potentiality and actuality, and the principle of (classical) causality have (when not misunderstood as the renaissance and early modern thinkers tended to do) direct analogues in quantum field theory. While it requires modification, and needs to be given a secure mathematical and geometrical foundation, the philosophy of the high medieval scholastics provides a far better basis for a philosophy of quantum physics than the various modern philosophies.The medieval philosophers showed rigorously that the premises behind classical philosophy logically imply classical monotheism. So how well do those arguments stand up when compared against modern physics, and how successful are the modern objections to those arguments? Again, the classical philosophers fare better than their later critics. For example, much of the modern criticism of the classical arguments attacks the form of causality used by the Greek, Islamic and medieval European philosophers. In the light of the mechanistic pre-twentieth century physics, such attacks seemed plausible, and were used to avoid the force of the medieval arguments. But quantum indeterminacy undermines the alternative enlightenment visions of causality (or visions of its absence), leaving only the classical version surviving. The conservation of four momentum, derived from the secure principle of locality at the foundation of quantum field theory, demands the classical principle of substance causality.In classical theism, God is not only an uncreatable creator of the universe, but actively sustains it at every moment. Physics is thus seen as a description of how God upholds and constantly guides matter. Scientific explanations are not a rival to theological explanations, but a part of the theological explanation. If this picture is correct, then how would our knowledge of God relate to our knowledge of physics? The rationality of God implies that nature can be described abstractly, and understood through reason, mathematics and probability. God's free will implies that it is impossible to predict the future with certainty, but only ascribe a certain likelihood to each outcome. God's transcendence of space and time and equal relationship to every particle in the universe enforces certain local symmetries on the physical description. But these are among the foundational principles used to construct quantum field theory. Thus it is possible to reason from the existence of God to the existence of a universe which closely (or identically) resembles the universe we live in.Modern thinkers have frequently claimed that science, reason and religious beliefs are in conflict. Those claims need reexamining.

God and Necessity

A Defense of Classical Theism

Author: Stephen E. Parrish

Publisher: University Press of Amer


Category: Religion

Page: 321

View: 3585

God and Necessity: A Defense of Classical Theism argues that the God of classical theism exists and could not fail to exist. The book begins with the definition of key terms and analysis of the concepts of God and necessity. Extended examinations of the ontological, cosmological, and teleological arguments are given. The last chapters give an extended exposition and defense of the transcendental argument for God's existence. It is shown that rival accounts of the existence of universe, the Brute Fact and the Necessary Universe theories completely fail, while Necessary Deity, the concept of God existing in all possible worlds, succeeds. Only the latter can account for reality as it is, and can account for knowledge and justification.

Heart of the Living God

Love, Free Will, Foreknowledge, and Heaven / A Theology on the Treasure of Love

Author: Michael G. Maness

Publisher: AuthorHouse

ISBN: 1418400254

Category: Religion

Page: 728

View: 4037

Maness asks us to “tie up our sneakers, for we are going to have some fun as we hike into the Grand Canyon of Love. Love is the treasure of life. It is Love all the way. Nothing else really matters outside of Love. Best of all, our Love will only get better in heaven.” The treasured ability to have loving relationships is God’s gift to us in our Imago Dei—the image of God we all share. Likewise, what we know of Love this side of heaven is but a dusty image of what God experiences. “I want to get personally involved,” says Maness. “Can we have a free-will relationship with anyone, even God, if all of what we do and think is settled? I don’t think so. Love is greater than that, and I shall prove that, and that is indeed a Grand Canyon.” Manes brings some of the brain-splitting complexities of this to light with good humor, introduces dynamic foreknowledge, and challenges Classical Theism’s avoidance of Love. And he exposes some foul play in the process. That’s the first half of the book. For those wanting to strike out on their own (wanting to see more of the depth and diversity of the Grand Canyon), the second half contains reviews of about 60 major authors, a 4,000+ Abysmal Bibliography, and a huge index to just about everything in the book. Maness has thrown a gauntlet before the Classical Theists. So ... tie up your sneakers and take a hike with Michael G. Maness as he walks with you into the Grand Canyon. see more at www.PreciousHeart.net

Classical Apologetics

A Rational Defense of the Christian Faith and a Critique of Presuppositional Apologetics

Author: Robert Charles Sproul,John Henry Gerstner,Arthur Lindsley

Publisher: Zondervan

ISBN: 0310449510

Category: Religion

Page: 364

View: 660

Must a person accept Christianity on faith alone, or is there a reasoned defense for being a Christian? The authors of this book hold that Christianity is eminently reasonable. The primacy of the mind in the Christian faith can be affirmed without denying the importance of the heart. This book embraces reason without rationalism, personal love without personalism, faith without fideism is our capacity to love Him. The book is divided into three parts. Section I is a prolegomenon dealing with the problems and methods of apologetics. Section II develops the theistic proofs and authority of Scripture. Section III is given over to a critique of presuppositionalism in apologetics, particularly with reference to the thought of Cornelius Van Til. Classical Apologetics will help the thoughtful Christian understand his or her faith better, and it will provide more solid grounds for sharing this faith with others.

Free Will and Classical Theism

The Significance of Freedom in Perfect Being Theology

Author: Hugh J. McCann

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190611219

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 6533

The articles in the present collection deal with the religious dimension of the problem of free will. All of the papers also have implications for broader philosophical and theological issues, and will thus be of interest to a wide variety of scholars, both religious and secular. Together they provide a historical and contemporary overview of problems in the theology of freedom, together with recent work by some important philosophers in the field aimed at resolving those problems. The chapters are divided into four sections. The first addresses central issues about the nature of free will and how free will relates to theological topics such as theological fatalism and the problem of evil. The second section focuses on historical debates about free will and theism, but with an eye toward how those historical discussions can be brought into discussion with contemporary debates. The third section aims to address and understand divine freedom, while the final section explores implications of the doctrine of divine omnicausality.

God and the New Physics

Author: P. C. W. Davies,Paul Davies

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0671528068

Category: Science

Page: 255

View: 3464

Argues that the discoveries of twentieth-century physics--relativity and the quantum theory--demand a radical reformulation of the fundamentals of reality and a way of thinking, that is closer to mysticism than materialism

Belief in God in an Age of Science

Author: John Polkinghorne

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300174101

Category: Religion

Page: 258

View: 4317

John Polkinghorne is a major figure in today’s debates over the compatibility of science and religion. Internationally known as both a theoretical physicist and a theologian—the only ordained member of the Royal Society—Polkinghorne brings unique qualifications to his inquiry into the possibilities of believing in God in an age of science. In this thought-provoking book, the author focuses on the collegiality between science and theology, contending that these "intellectual cousins" are both concerned with interpreted experience and with the quest for truth about reality. He argues eloquently that scientific and theological inquiries are parallel. The book begins with a discussion of what belief in God can mean in our times. Polkinghorne explores a new natural theology and emphasizes the importance of moral and aesthetic experience and the human intuition of value and hope. In other chapters, he compares science’s struggle to understand the nature of light with Christian theology’s struggle to understand the nature of Christ. He addresses the question, Does God act in the physical world? And he extends his ideas about the role of chaos theory, surveys the prospects for future dialogue between scientific and theological thinkers, and defends a critical realist understanding of the activities of both disciplines. Polkinghorne concludes with a consideration of the nature of mathematical truths and the links between the complementary realities of physical and mental experience.

New Proofs for the Existence of God

Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy

Author: Robert J. Spitzer

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 0802863833

Category: Religion

Page: 319

View: 2894

Responding to contemporary popular atheism, Robert J. Spitzer's New Proofs for the Existence of God examines the considerable evidence for God and creation that has come to light from physics and philosophy during the last forty years. An expert in diverse areas, including theology, physics, metaphysics, and ethics, Spitzer offers in this text the most contemporary, complete, and integrated approach to rational theism currently available. "Skepticism about the possibility of proving the existence of God often relies on data from modern science. In this splendid new book Father Robert Spitzer explores the implications of the latest discoveries in big bang cosmology, string theory, quantum physics, and the ontology of time to craft a series of convincing philosophical arguments. To paraphrase a popular commercial, this is not your father's old 'natural theology' textbook ù it's a gripping and compelling account of the best current arguments for theism."ùJoseph W. Koterski, S.J., Foidham University "A most original and insightful case for the existence of God.... Fr. Spitzer's new proofs pose a serious and compelling challenge to the unconscious hegemony of naturalism in the worlds of both philosophy and the sciences."ùFrancis J. Beckwith, Baylor University "Rare is the theologian who keeps abreast of the latest developments in fundamental physics, and even rarer the one who can discuss them with the theological and philosophical sophistication that Fr. Spitzer displays in this book. A challenging and original work."ùStephen M. Barr, University of Delaware, author of Modern Physics and Ancient Faith

God and Contemporary Science

Author: Philip Clayton

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 9780802844606

Category: Religion

Page: 274

View: 5484

It is widely believed that contemporary science has ruled out divine action in the world. Arguing that theology can and must respond to this challenge, Philip Clayton surveys the available biblical and philosophical resources. Recent work in cosmology, quantum physics, and the brain sciences offers exciting new openings for a theology of divine action. If Christian theism is to make use of these opportunities, says Clayton, it must place a greater stress on divine immanence. In response to this challenge, Clayton defends the doctrine of panentheism, the view that the world is in some sense "within" God although God also transcends the world. God and Contemporary Science offers the first book-length defense of panentheism as a viable option within traditional Christian theology. Clayton first defends a "postfoundationalist" model of theology that is concerned more with the coherence of Christian belief than with rational obligation or proof. He makes the case that the Old and New Testament theologies do not stand opposed to panentheism but actually support it at a number of points. He then outlines the philosophical strengths of a panentheistic view of God's relation to the world and God's activity in the world. The remainder of the book applies this theological position to recent scientific developments: theories of the origin of the universe; quantum mechanics, or the physics of the very small; the debate about miracles; and neuroscientific theories of human thought.

A Universe from Nothing

Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

Author: Lawrence M. Krauss

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451624476

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 7573

Bestselling author and acclaimed physicist Lawrence Krauss offers a paradigm-shifting view of how everything that exists came to be in the first place. “Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing?” One of the few prominent scientists today to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With a new preface about the significance of the discovery of the Higgs particle, A Universe from Nothing uses Krauss’s characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations to take us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end. Provocative, challenging, and delightfully readable, this is a game-changing look at the most basic underpinning of existence and a powerful antidote to outmoded philosophical, religious, and scientific thinking.

Conjectures and Refutations

The Growth of Scientific Knowledge

Author: Karl Popper

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135971374

Category: Philosophy

Page: 608

View: 1194

Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.

Einstein and Religion

Physics and Theology

Author: Max Jammer

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400840872

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 2805

The philosophy of religion and the quest for spiritual truth preoccupied Albert Einstein--so much that it has been said "one might suspect he was a disguised theologian." Nevertheless, the literature on the life and work of Einstein, extensive as it is, does not provide an adequate account of his religious conception and sentiments. Only fragmentarily known, Einstein's ideas about religion have been often distorted both by atheists and by religious groups eager to claim him as one of their own. But what exactly was Einstein's religious credo? In this fascinating book, the distinguished physicist and philosopher Max Jammer offers an unbiased and well-documented answer to this question. The book begins with a discussion of Einstein's childhood religious education and the religious atmosphere--or its absence--among his family and friends. It then reconstructs, step by step, the intellectual development that led Einstein to the conceptions of a cosmic religion and an impersonal God, akin to "the God of Spinoza." Jammer explores Einstein's writings and lectures on religion and its role in society, and how far they have been accepted by the general public and by professional theologians like Paul Tillich or Frederick Ferré. He also analyzes the precise meaning of Einstein's famous dictum "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind," and why this statement can serve as an epitome of Einstein's philosophy of religion. The last chapter deals with the controversial question of whether Einstein's scientific work, and in particular his theory of relativity, has theologically significant implications, a problem important for those who are interested in the relation between science and religion. Both thought-provoking and engaging, this book aims to introduce readers, without proselytizing, to Einstein's religion.

Where the Conflict Really Lies

Science, Religion, and Naturalism

Author: Alvin Plantinga

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199812101

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 9941

In this long-awaited book, pre-eminent analytical philosopher Alvin Plantinga argues that the conflict between science and theistic religion is actually superficial, and that at a deeper level they are in concord.

The Mind of God

Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning

Author: Paul Davies

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780141037660

Category: Religion and science

Page: 254

View: 7639

Paul Davies' The Mind of God is a scientific search for the meaning of the universe. Ranging across the cosmos, Davies explores the origin of the universe, the laws of nature, mathematics, the beginning and end of everything. Ultimately, he seeks to provide a glimpse the meaning of it all. This is a book no inquisitive mind can do without.

Creator God, Evolving World

Author: Cynthia S. W. Crysdale,Neil Ormerod

Publisher: Fortress Press

ISBN: 1451426437

Category: Religion

Page: 168

View: 9103

Cynthia Crysdale and Neil Ormerod here present a robust theology of God in light of supposed tensions between Christian belief and evolutionary science. Those who pit faith in an almighty and unchanging God over against a world in which chance is operative have it wrong on several accounts, they insist. Creator God, Evolving World clarifies a number of confused assumptions in an effort to redeem chance as an intelligible force interacting with stable patterns in nature. A proper conception of probabilities and regularities in the world's unfolding reveals neither random chaos nor a predetermined blueprint but a view of the universe as the fruit of both chance and necessity. By clarifying terms often used imprecisely in both scientific and theological discourse, the authors make the case that the role of chance in evolution neither mitigates God's radical otherness from creation nor challenges the efficacy of God's providence in the world.

God Without the Supernatural

A Defense of Scientific Theism

Author: Peter Forrest

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801432552

Category: Religion

Page: 256

View: 6057

"Peter Forrest expounds a program of best-explanation apologetics. He contends that since the existence of God would provide the best possible explanation of various facts, those facts support theism. Among the facts cited are the suitability of the universe for life, the regularity of the universe, the human capacity for intellectual progress, the experience of a moral order, and various forms of beauty. The beauty that interests Forrest as evidence for the existence of God includes sensuous beauty; the beauty of the natural order, as revealed by the sciences; and the beauty of necessity discovered by mathematicians." "In addressing the need for an adequate motive for creation, Forrest conjectures that God created the universe for embodied persons not for their life on earth alone but also for an afterlife. Forrest acknowledges the speculative nature of such an account. He suggests that philosophical speculation is also required to defend theism against the charge that it is too extravagant a hypothesis to be warranted. Providing a speculative defense against the argument from evil, he explains how such speculations can be used to support best-explanation arguments without the conclusions themselves being rendered purely speculative."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved