Saturday, May 22, 2021

Paul Sutter - How a weird theory of gravity could break cause-and-effect

 New research shows that gravity can travel faster than the speed of light, which breaks the relationship between cause and effect. 

However, new research has found a critical flaw in modified gravity theories: They allow for effects to occur without causes and for information to travel faster than the speed of light.

Paul Sutter - How a weird theory of gravity could break cause-and-effect


Peter Pan said...

Time to check Einstein's grave to see if he's still there.

Ahmed Fares said...

How a weird theory of gravity could break cause-and-effect

Causality does not and cannot exist. This is because of continuous creation. There is no causal glue to bind events together.

Oliver Crisp summarizes [Jonathan] Edwards's view: "God creates the world out of nothing, whereupon it momentarily ceases to exist, to be replaced by a facsimile that has incremental differences built into it to account for what appear to be motion and change across time. This, in turn, is annihilated, or ceases to exist, and is replaced by another facsimile world ... and so on."

From Wikipedia about Edwards:

Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was an American revivalist preacher, philosopher, and Congregationalist Protestant theologian. Edwards is widely regarded as one of America's most important and original philosophical theologians.

More on Edwards here:

Jonathan Edwards and Occasionalism

Reformed theology is often associated with a divine determinism, in which God ordains everything, and human freedom is claimed to be consistent with this. This biblically informed approach safeguards absolute divine sovereignty over all creatures while protecting human moral responsibility. In early modern theology the question of divine causation loomed large in light of Newton’s mechanical philosophy and the pantheism of writers like Spinoza. Some fended off these worries with occasionalism, claiming that human actions were merely occasions of divine action. Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) took occasionalism to be a correlate of his uncompromising doctrine of divine sovereignty, ultimately making God the moral and causal explanation of all events—even those that are evil.

As for occasionalism:

Occasionalism (Latin occasio) is the metaphysical theory which maintains that finite things have no efficient causality of their own, but that whatever happens in the world is caused by God, creatures being merely the occasions of the Divine activity. The occasion is that which by its presence brings about the action of the efficient cause. This it can do as final cause by alluring the efficiency, cause to act, or as secondary efficient cause by impelling the primary cause to do what would otherwise be left undone. Occasionalism was foreshadowed in Greek philosophy in the doctrine of the Stoics who regarded God as pervading nature and determining the actions of all beings through the fundamental instinct of self-preservation. It appeared openly in the Arabian thought of the Middle Ages (cf. Stein, II, 193-245 infra); but its full development is found only in modern philosophy, as an outgrowth of the Cartesian doctrine of the relation between body and mind. According to Descartes the essence of the soul is thought, and the essence of the body extension. Body and soul therefore have nothing in common. How then do they interact? Descartes himself tried to solve this problem by attributing to the soul the power of directing the movements of the body. But this idea conflicted with the doctrine involved in his denial of any immediate interaction between body and mind. The first step toward a solution was taken by Johannes Clauberg (1625-65). According to him all the phenomena of the outside world are modes of motion and are caused by God. When therefore the mind seems to have acted upon the outside world, it is a pure delusion. The soul, however, can cause its own mental processes, which have nothing in common with matter and its modes of action. Matter, on the other hand, cannot act upon mind. The presence of certain changes in the bodily organism is the occasion whereupon the soul produces the corresponding ideas at this particular time rather than any other. To the soul Clauberg also attributes the power of influencing by means of the will the movements of the body. The Occasionalism of Clauberg is different from that of later members of the school; with him the soul is the cause which is occasioned to act-with the others it is God.

Andrew Anderson said...

If you spent as much time actually reading the Bible, and taking it seriously, rather than what OTHERS, with historical axes to grind, have interpreted it to mean, you'd probably be a Christian by now, Ahmed - or at least understand what you oppose.

Btw, since the Bible denies that God knows all (e.g. He doesn't completely understand the human heart, cf. Jeremiah 17:9-10) it follows that He does not cause all either.

Also, ascribing to God what He has not revealed in the Bible is not praise but is bearing false witness.

Ahmed Fares said...

Further to my comment, Yoda yet again.

The Jewel of the Nile is a 1985 American action-adventure romantic comedy film directed by Lewis Teague and produced by Michael Douglas, who also starred in the lead role, and reunites with co-stars Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito all reprising their roles. It is the sequel to the 1984 action-adventure romantic comedy film Romancing the Stone.

In the movie Romancing the Stone, the stone was an emerald, which is of course green. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Back to The Jewel of The Nile:

Joan soon discovers that Omar is a brutal dictator rather than the enlightened ruler he claimed will unite the Arab world. In the palace jail, Joan encounters Al-Julhara (Avner Eisenberg), a holy man who is, in fact, the "Jewel of the Nile" and whom Omar fears. Al-Julhara tells Joan that Omar plans to declare himself ruler of all of the Arab world at a ceremony in the city of Kadir.

Realizing that Al-Julhara is the only one who can stop Omar, Joan decides to escort him to Kadir herself. The pair escape and find Jack, and they flee into the desert in Omar's hi-jacked F-16 fighter jet. Ralph is captured by Tarak's rebel Sufi tribe who are sworn to protect the Jewel so he can fulfill his people's destiny.

"Al-Julhara" is a reference to the Arabic "Al-Jawhar", "jawhar" means "jewel" in Arabic and is the word used by Muslim philosophers to refer to "essence" when speaking about "essence" and "accidents" in Aristotelian and Muslim philosophy.

The "jewel" here is a reference to the philosopher's stone, that ingredient which effects the alchemical transmutation of base metals into gold, i.e., spiritual alchemy.

The Jewel of the Nile

Romancing the Stone

Ahmed Fares said...


Did you read all the gospels or only the ones the Church told you to read? And why did they stop at four?

(bold mine)

In the earliest Christian movement, there were actually many different writings circulated, and many traditions about the sayings of Jesus. Some of the leaders were concerned to say, "Well, which of these writings can be read in church? Which are the right ones? Which are the best ones?" And Irenaeus, the leader of a church in France in about the year 170, declared that "The heretics boast that they have many more gospels than there really are. But really they don't have any gospels that aren't full of blasphemy. There actually are only four authentic gospels. And this is obviously true because there are four corners of the universe and there are four principal winds, and therefore there can be only four gospels that are authentic. These, besides, are written by Jesus' true followers."

Sorry, but that argument didn't convince me.

But even if this was true, why those four gospels and not some other four? Me, I'm partial to the Gospel of Thomas, among others.

Also, did you know that Tertullian called Paul the "apostle of the heretics"? Some Christians gloss over that by saying that he meant that the "heretics", and by "heretics" he means "gnostics", were using Paul for their own ends.

Me, I disagree. I think Paul was a gnostic and that Tertullian was actually attacking him as such. What's your read on that, Andrew?

Others say that Paul corrupted the original Christianity. That's a more serious charge.

Personally, I'm more interested in pre-Pauline Christianity. I've read that there was an early battle in Christianity between two groups, and that calling Thomas the "doubting Thomas" was an attempt to discredit him by the followers of that other group.

More on Paul here by Elaine Pagels:

The Gnostic Paul is a book by Elaine Pagels, a scholar of gnosticism and professor of religion at Princeton University. In the work, Pagels considers each of the non-pastoral Pauline epistles, and questions about their authorship. The core of the book examines how the Pauline epistles were read by 2nd century Valentinian gnostics and demonstrates that Paul could be considered a proto-gnostic as well as a proto-Catholic.

Her treatment involves reading the Pauline corpus as being dual layered between a pneumatic, esoteric Christianity and a psychic, exoteric Christianity.

Ahmed Fares said...

Here's some more on that early Christian battle:

Gospel of John aims to discredit evangel Thomas, scholar says

In the Gospel of John, Thomas is the clueless one. He's the disciple who puzzles over Jesus' words at the Last Supper, the absent one who is chided by Christ because of his doubts about the resurrection.

In fact, John's portrayal of Thomas is so unflattering, it suggests an intense power struggle between two camps of Jesus' followers, religious historian Elaine Pagels told a standing-room-only crowd Jan. 26 in Cubberley Auditorium. Despite a broken ankle, the best-selling author made several appearances at Stanford last week as the Humanities Center's 2004 Harry Camp Memorial Lecturer.

Pagels, a Princeton scholar who did her undergraduate and master's work at Stanford in the mid-1960s, came to national prominence in 1979 with her award-winning book The Gnostic Gospels, an analysis of 52 ancient papyrus manuscripts that were found hidden in an earthenware jar in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945. Among them was a text of 114 "secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded."

This Gospel of Thomas -- which may have been written within a few decades after Jesus' death -- apparently circulated freely among Christians for hundreds of years. Then, in 367, Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, declared that it and numerous other "secret illegitimate books" were heretical and therefore should not be included in the official New Testament canon.

In her latest best-selling book, Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, Pagels argues that whoever wrote the Gospel of John clearly was familiar with this Gospel of Thomas -- and thoroughly detested it. "What you're seeing when you read [John and Thomas] together is an intense, contentious ... I guess you could call it a conversation, but really it's more like an argument between different groups of the followers of Jesus," Pagels told her rapt Stanford listeners. "What they're arguing about is the question: Who is Jesus and what is the good news about him?"

Certain passages in the Gospel of Thomas, for example, suggest that all humans have within themselves the source of their own salvation.


Ahmed Fares said...

Elaine Pagels (see the pic further down in the article).

Former U.S. President Barack Obama awards Elaine Pagels the 2015 National Humanities Medal during a ceremony at the White House in 2016 in Washington D.C.

A well-deserved medal I would add.

Matt Franko said...

“ suggest that all humans have within themselves the source of their own salvation.”

Well if we do it aint via Socrates...

Ahmed Paul’s teachings were ignored/corrupted by Platonistic philosophers who formed the Catholic Church..

Also if Thomas “gospel” (non scriptural term) was another account of Jesus life remember again that Jesus only here for “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” in figurative scriptural terms...

Paul went to Greece/Rome... Paul used didactic methodology not Socrates dialogic methodology which the church adopted..

So the church is full of dialogic synthesis... like the “deficit dove” position... doesn’t work...

Tom Hickey said...

The Economic Times — Opinion
God Finds US Funny
Kishore Asthana