NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 53

NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 53:

Prior to excerpting the Ramana Maharshi disciple, Master Nome in the text below we continue the series: Fine-Tuned Universe , the premise that a small change in several of the dimensionless fundamental physical constants would make the Universe incapable of Life.

Fine-Tuned Universe 33:

[In the unreal reflection called the “Universe”, a product of an unreal Mind, even there, Infinite Intelligence is evident and inspiring.]

“Who Designed God?” Objection

Perhaps the most common objection that atheists raise to the argument from design is that postulating the existence of God does not solve the problem of design, but merely transfers it up one level to the question, “Who or what designed God?”  The eighteenth-century philosopher David Hume hinted at this objection:

For aught we can know a priori, matter may contain the source or spring of order originally within itself, as well as mind does; and there is no more difficulty conceiving that the several elements, from an internal unknown cause, may fall into the most exquisite arrangement, than to conceive that their ideas, in the great universal mind, from a like unknown cause, fall into that arrangement.

A host of atheist philosophers and thinkers, such as J. L. Mackie, Graham Oppy, J. J. C. Smart, Richard Dawkins, & Colin McGinn have also repeated this objection.  For example, J. J. C. Smart claims that:

If we postulate God in addition to the created universe we increase the complexity of our hypothesis.  We have all the complexity of the universe itself, and we have in addition the at least equal complexity of God.  (The designer of an artifact must be at least as complex as the designed artifact.)

As an objection to the Fine-Tuning argument, it is flawed on several grounds.  To begin, this objection would arise only if either the Theistic hypothesis were constructed solely to explain the Fine-Tuning, without any independent motivation for believing it, or one considered these other motivations as data & then justified the Theistic hypothesis by claiming that it is the best explanation of all the data.  However, it is not that Theism is the best explanation of all the data, but only that given the Fine-Tuning evidence, an amazing LPU Life Permitting Universe strongly confirms Theism.

We are not to treating the other motivations for Theism like data, which we then combine with the Fine-Tuning evidence to infer to the best explanation. Many theists have claimed that for most people at least, belief in God is grounded in a fundamental intuition regarding the existence of God, an intuition relevantly similar to moral intuitions.  If this is right, then we are not treating the existence of God like a scientific hypothesis that needs to be justified by some form of inference to the best explanation.  That is like trying to justify moral belief by reference to the findings of the Natural Sciences.  Theism is a basic & distinctive mode of human thought & activity.  Thus, in analogy to ethical intuitions, faith should be considered a mode of knowing, not just a mere leap of belief under insufficient evidence.

The religious mode of knowing or justification involved in faith, therefore, should not be treated as providing data for an inference to the best explanation, but rather analogous to ethical intuitions, or even intuitions regarding virtues.  Everything else being equal, simpler theories are more likely to be true or empirically adequate than complex theories. Clearly, one cannot ground our belief in these virtues in an inference to the best explanation, since all such inferences presuppose the virtues. Our knowledge of God is based on religious experience.  It is relevantly analogous to our knowledge of the material world, which they claim is not justified by appeal to an inference to the best explanation.

If we do not treat these other motivations for Theism as part of a body of data for which we employ the strategy of inference to the best explanation, then the “who designed God” objection largely evaporates.  The existence of God is not a hypothesis that is being offered as the best explanation of the structure of the Universe, & hence it is not relevant whether or not God is an explanatorily better (e.g., simpler), ultimate explanation than the Universe itself. Nonetheless, via the restricted version of the likelihood principle, the various features of the Universe can be seen as providing confirming evidence for the existence of God.  One advantage of this way of viewing the situation is that it largely reconciles the views of those who stress a need for faith in coming to believe in God & those who stress reason.  They each play a complementary role.

Consider the following analogy. Suppose that in the year 2050, extraterrestrials visit earth, & we find that they share the same fundamental ethical beliefs as we do – e.g., that it is wrong to torture others for no compelling ethical reason.  Further, suppose that we were able to show that it is very unlikely that such an agreement would occur under ethical anti-realism – for example, because we have good reason to believe both that unguided naturalistic evolution would not produce these beliefs & that ethical anti-realism is not compatible with viable, alternative explanations of human beings based on Design (such as Theism). Finally, suppose we could show that it is not unlikely for this agreement to occur under ethical realism.  The discovery that these aliens shared the same ethical beliefs as we do would therefore confirm ethical Realism, even though we would not believe ethical Realism because it provided the best explanation of some set of phenomena.  In fact it would decisively tip the balance in favor of ethical Realism.  The evidence of Fine-Tuning does the same for Theism.

Some more selected verses from the Ramana Maharshi disciple Master Nome:

All the efforts involving mis-identification within the Mind & all the superimposition of experience upon the Self produce only Illusion & not anything real.  The Illusion is that of limitation by Form; the Illusion of being a Body, or at a location; the Illusion of perishability; the Illusion of the belief that something destructive of Bliss can exist; the Illusion of differentiation or division into parts, & of connection with actions & their results. The Self is actually allpervading & space-like, imperishable. The Self is the eternal Bliss itself, Siva, un-differentiated & un-divided, partless, actionless, & free of all  karma.

The infinite Self is only one, & nothing other than the Self can belong to the Self.  Therefore the Mind cannot belong to the Self. The Self is ever unattached & cannot belong to anything else.  Therefore the Self is unaffected by anything done by the Mind.  When attachment is present, even as the notion of possession, the possessor, as it were is possessed by the possession.  Since the Self is unattached to all, including the Mind, the Self is possessed by none & is not affected by any.  If one becomes detached from all things & to one’s own thoughts in the Mind, he finds that what he has reached was the real Self all along.  Since there cannot exist a Mind that is something other than the Self which is Infinite & Non-Dual, the Mind cannot have, in Reality, any activity or its results.

Freedom from the Mind is freedom from the fear of loss of Happiness & from the fear of ceasing to exist. This Freedom from desires & the grief of concomitant with desires.  Thus, one who knows the Self, free from the Mind, is truly happy. & is solely That which is the same in all beings.

The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through:  

www.jpstiga.com/

http://jstiga.wixsite.com/nonduality/

or with Caps-sensitive:

http://sdrv.ms.YPOgkX/

Duplicates (but with graphics) have been available on:

http://www.blogger.com     as  “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:

http://being-as-consciousness.blogspot.com/

[But from now on, they will be different & still usually daily.]

There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.”   the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome Ajata Vada

for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see:  www.ajatavada.com/

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