iSoul Time has three dimensions

Science is conditional

Science is indifferent to metaphysics. This is seen in the break between science and philosophy in the 19th century, and before that in the rejection of metaphysics by early scientists such as Newton. Don’t expect any metaphysical arguments from a scientist.

The model science since classical times has been mathematics. The geometry of Euclid has been seen as the ideal for all the sciences. It is a model of conditional, systematic knowledge.

Euclid begins by considering definitions and axioms that are sufficiently simple and self-evident that everyone or almost everyone would easily accept them at least provisionally. Through logical argument and inference the reader is led step-by-step to see the derivation of propositions acceptable to common experience. Then new propositions are derived that are either not obvious or counter-intuitive.

In the end a magnificent deductive system has been built that reflects inductive experience. But is it true? Not necessarily. The whole system is conditional on the truth of the definitions and axioms. Within science it is adopted as a convention. Whether or not it is true is not part of any science. (Whether metaphysics itself is a science is another matter.)

The history of science shows the indifference of science to metaphysics, though the success of science led many to accept it as metaphysically true. The most famous case is the geocentric-heliocentric controversy at the time of Galilei. Ptolemy had adopted geocentrism for his astronomy, whereas Copernicus had showed the advantages of heliocentrism. Galilei went beyond Copernicus and promoted a metaphysical heliocentrism, which led him into conflicts.

Geocentrism, heliocentrism, or the current astronomy with no universal center are all conditions that scientists are free to adopt for the purposes of science. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Whether any of them represent reality is a metaphysical issue, not a scientific issue. Science is indifferent to such metaphysical questions.

TH Huxley famously said “Agnosticism is of the essence of science …”. He should have meant that science is indifferent, not necessarily agnostic.  But he went on, “It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe.” Tying science to belief or the lack of belief ties science to metaphysics. This was a mistake.

We all have our metaphysical notions but these should at most provide motivation for doing science or trying a particular line of research. Metaphysical notions, not matter how much commonly accepted, are not part of science. Science is conditional.

Other posts on science and metaphysics are here, here, and here.

The Bible and science

The Bible is unconditionally, unreservedly true. However, the Bible does not contain all truth. And the Bible does not meet every degree of precision. No book or set of books does.

Is the Bible scientifically true? The Bible is better than scientifically true. The Bible is true without qualification. As for science, insofar as science is true, it does not contradict the Bible.

The Bible emphasizes intensional truth. While the Bible does contain some extensions – quantities, places in space and time – the focus is on the meaning and significance of places, people, and actions. In contrast, science is extensional.

Is all of the Bible true? Yes. The Bible has been tried over centuries and peoples, and found true. It has also been misunderstood and misapplied but that is another matter. In any case, our standard of truth is not higher than the Bible, so we are not in a position to judge the Bible against a higher standard.

Some accepted scientific theories seem to contradict the Bible. But the Bible is about reality. Science is completely conditional, and depends on a metaphysics to assert truth about reality. So it is only with a particular metaphysics that science can be said to contradict the Bible. In that case, the metaphysics is false in some respect.

The best metaphysics is one that is based on the Bible. The metaphysics of the Bible is a neglected subject. Roger E. Olson has written an introduction excerpted here.

Coordinate transformations

Coordinate Transformations with t

r = space coordinate, t = time coordinate, v = velocity, u = pace

 

Galileian transformation

speed: = rvt and t′ = t,         pace: = rt/u and t′ = t.

Co-Galileian transformation

speed: = tr/v and r′ = r,       pace: = tur and r′ = r.

 

Light:   c := speed of light,        ç := pace of light.

speed: r = ct or r/c = t and r′ = ct′, or r′/c = t′,

pace:  çr = t or r = t/ç and çr′ = t′ or r′ = t′/ç.

 

Lorentz transformation

speed: γ = (1 – v2/c2)–1/2 with r′ = γ (r − vt) and t′ = γ (trv/c²),

pace:  γ = (1 – ç2/u2)–1/2 with r′γ (rt/u) and t′γ (trç²/u),

which applies only if |v| < |c| or |u| > |ç|.

 

Co-Lorentz transformation

speed: λ = (1 − c2/v2)–1/2 with t′λ (t − r/v) and r′λ (rt (c2/v)),

pace:  λ = (1 – u2/ç2)–1/2 with t′λ (tur) and r′ λ (rt (u/ç²)),

which applies only if |v| > |c| or |u| < |ç|.

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Contraries and contradictories

Propositions are contrary if they cannot both be true (though they both may be false). Propositions are contradictory when the truth of one implies the falsity of the other, and conversely.

Two properties are contraries if their intersection is null and their union is a whole. A merism is a rhetorical combination of two contrary terms that refers to an entirety. E.g., “young and old” refers to everyone.

The privation of a property is the contradictory opposite property, as disease is the privation of health (Aristotle Metaphysics Z 7.1032b3-5). St. Augustine argued that evil is the privation of good. There can be good without evil, but not evil without good.

A negation presupposes an affirmation but an affirmation doesn’t presuppose a negation. There must be something to negate for negation to have an effect. Contraries presuppose one another. E.g., there is no young without old, no up without down.

In symbolic logic, contradictories are represented by contrary symbols. The closest to representing contradictories is to represent the positive as unmarked and the privation as marked. This is what the Laws of Form does.

See also here and here.

Manliness

Harvey C. Mansfield wrote the book Manliness (Yale University Press, 2007) which is about manliness in the gender-neutral society. The author is a professor of government at Harvard University so the book is concerned with manliness in its social setting. The book is an intellectual tour de force that seeks a place for manliness in contemporary society. And the conclusion strikes just the right note.

What follows are some excerpts from this book:

Manliness seeks and welcomes drama and prefers times of war, conflict, and risk. Manliness brings change or restores order at moments when routine is not enough, when the plan fails, when the whole idea of rational control by modern science develops leaks. p.ix

Manliness is below the gentleman, since many manly men are coarse and rude, but I believe it is also above him in the unfamiliar uncelebrated manliness of the philosopher. p.xii

The gentleman, however, is an embarrassment to the gender-neutral society. p.5

How is it possible that men will let women do men’s work but no reciprocate and do women’s work when women are perfectly willing to let them do it — when women even invite them to do it? The answer is that men look down on women’s work. They look down on it not because they think it is dirty or boring or insignificant, which is often true of men’s work; they look down on it because it is women’s. p.7-8

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Synchronic and diachronic time

Synchrony or diatopy means 3D space with simultaneous events in order of increasing time. Space-time is synchronic or diatopic.

Diachrony means 3D time with simulocuous events in order of decreasing distance. Time-space is diachronic.

Chronicles and histories are diachronic. Models and theories are synchronic or diatopic.

Knowledge of the distances between objects is important in order to understand their motions. Knowledge of the modal durations between subjects is important in order to understand their movements. In history travel time matters more than travel distance. In science travel distance matters more than travel time.

For the study of history, 3D time is more significant then 3D space. What matters more is not the distance between places, but the transit time. The reason is that time is the measure of effort to go from one place to another.

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Three racisms

A previous post on racism is here.

This is a big picture, philosophical look at racism or racisms (as in Francisco Bethencourt’s Racisms: From the Crusades to the Twentieth Century, Princeton University Press, 2014). It is also historical, although that is incidental to the philosophical progression.

Racism means treating people differently (e.g., negatively) depending on their race. Here races are understood as varieties of the human species (or kind), which are often associated with ethnic and cultural characteristics. Racism is wrong in an ethical sense. However, taking ethnic and cultural characteristics into account is acceptable as a social grace or for effective communication.

Realist racism is based on the doctrine that different races are different in kind, not merely in degree. So the various associations with race are considered as characteristic of the natural or created kinds. That implies there is nothing one can do to change these characteristics. If a race is considered slaves by nature (barbarians to the ancient Greeks), then that is what they always were and always will be. From this position an equality of races makes no more sense that an equality of apples and oranges.

Eugenic racism is the doctrine based on evolutionary biology in which races are different population groups, which could interbreed to form new races or be kept separate and maintain divergent traits. In evolutionary biology a single-race population might even become a new species. Because of the evolutionary descent from primitive organisms, it is possible that different races might be earlier or later in the evolutionary tree. This is taken as a justification by eugenic racists that breeding practices applied to animals should be applied to humans as well, in order to purify or perfect a racial group.

Identity racism is based on the doctrine that different racial identities (including related ethnicities and cultures) should be allowed to flourish on their own to ensure their development without interference. Identity racism supports race consciousness and race politics. The relation between races may be viewed as egalitarian or not. What matters is that independent racial development must be maintained for the sake of civil rights and social justice. Today non-egalitarian identity racism is widely condemned, but egalitarian identity racism is not widely recognized for its own racism.

The Western ideal has been individual development, apart from race. An ideal of collective development might also be different from race. In any case, we should focus beyond race to the development of our individuality and common humanity.

Past, present, and future

This continues the post on the Arrow of tense.

Past, present, and future are characteristics of time. But they are also characteristics of places, of things, or events, etc.

Yesterday was in the past, today is in the present, and tomorrow is in the future.

Past places are remembered, present places are experienced, and future places are imagined.

Some things were in the past, some things are in the present, and some things will be in the future.

Some events happened in the past, some events are happening in the present, and some events will be happening in the future.

So past, present, and future are not time itself. They are characteristics that apply to various things.

Past, present, and future are tenses, which refer to order, not time per se. One can order events, experiences, objects, places, and periods of time in various ways. One can study which order is the right physical order.

And time has order. But order is not time.

Time is duration.

New terms for 3D time

This post highlights several recent terms or definitions added to the glossary above.

The distance is the metric of space, the shortest length between two points in space. Similarly, the distime is the metric of time, the shortest duration between two points in time.

A timeline is a linear ordering of events by distime from or to a reference event. A locusline is a linear ordering of events by distance from or to a reference event.

A clock shows the present instant in the local timeline. An odologe (o′∙do∙loje) is an app or device that shows the present point in the current locusline.

Instantaneous events occur in an instant of time. Punctaneous events occur in a point of space.

Simultaneous events occur at the same time. Simulocus events occur at the same place.

Synchronous motions are parallel in time, as in having the same period. From Greek syn+chron+ous. Symmacronous motions are parallel in space, as in having the same orbit. From Greek sym+macron+ous.

Pseudo-length is measured by time and expressed as length, as with multiplying time by the free-flow speed. Pseudo-duration is measured by length and expressed as time, as with multiplying length by the free-flow pace.

Inertia (linear) is the resistance of an object to any change in its state of motion. Facilia (linear) is the nonresistance of a subject to a change in its state of movement.

Atheist illiteracy

Antony Flew was a leading atheist who came to the conclusion that God exists. What changed his mind? “The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological and not chemical. The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins’ comical effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a ‘lucky chance.’ If that’s the best argument you have, then the game is over.” (How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind)

Robert Hutchinson writes: “Recently, I’ve begun to systematically record all of the debates on the Existence of God that I can lay my hands on and listen to them at my leisure, usually while driving.

In the process, I made a shocking discovery. It turns out that the atheists are really, really good at insults but are actually quite poor debaters. The atheists insult Christianity, Judaism and religion generally with a nastiness that is almost breathtaking. They belittle. They demean. They insinuate. But the one thing they don’t do is offer intelligent arguments that disprove the existence of God.

In fact, they don’t actually reason at all.

Reasoning, after all, is a systematic questioning of assumptions… a marshaling of evidence… a critical examination of arguments. It is not, primarily, name-calling. When I first started watching these debates, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I assumed the atheists would eventually put forward logical arguments that the Theists would be hard pressed to answer. What I wasn’t prepared for was that the atheists didn’t really marshal salient arguments at all: they merely sneered.”

Michael Egnor writes: “When I was becoming a Christian, I secretly feared reading debates about God’s existence. I feared that my growing faith would be shattered by some obvious logical flaw in theist arguments. I began to read, with trepidation, Christian vs. atheist debates (my first was Does God Exist? The Great Debate. by J.P. Moreland, Kai Nielsen and others).

I was astonished. The atheist arguments, rather than presenting formidable challenges to belief in God, were.. pitiful. The Christian arguments were well-structured logical demonstrations, basically rigorous extensions of common sense. The atheist arguments were tangential, ad hoc, absurd (‘the universe caused itself’, ‘everything came from nothing’). The best the atheists could do is play semantic games. In Does God Exist, the most capable atheist philosopher, Kai Nielsen, merely argued that ‘God’ was undefinable, and therefore arguments for His existence were nonsensical. That’s the best he could do.

As I’ve studied the arguments, my disdain for atheist arguments has grown exponentially. None of the New Atheist ‘intellectuals’ has presented an argument against God’s existence that would get a passing grade in a freshman philosophy course.

Bottom line: read good philosophers like Feser and Craig and Moreland, and you’ll see that reason and logic are Christian virtues, not atheist virtues. Atheist illiteracy on even rudimentary philosophical issues is astonishing.”