|The purpose of these pages is to outline my personal philosophy
on a wide range of topics. However, a number of pages are now out of date.
Quotes and bits
|These essays go in order, the first one is needed background for everything that comes after it.
What is truth?
The next three essays deal mostly with Christianity.
Faith and evidence
Personal Experience and Testimony
|The next few essays cover some key results from science that are philosophically relavant.
A digression - Truth revisited.
The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics and Empiricism
Evolution and the argument from design
Artificial intelligence, philosophy of mind and systems theory
|This next section discusses more theological and philosophical implications of the scientific results discussed in the last essays.
An argument for the existance of God
Ethical Monotheism and Panentheism
Is morality based on God?
Why be good?
What things are good?
Tools for good.
|A brief summary of the above
Absolute knowledge is impossible, but highly probable knowledge can be achieved by observation and reason. At the same time I reject subjectivism and relativism.
It may be that neither the existence nor the non-existence of Truth and Good are arguable on the basis of evidence and reason. Faith in the existence of Truth and Good may then be justified on other grounds such as optimism.
The universe may or may not be infinite in space, and infinite in time. Big-bangs may serve as punctuation marks. Also, on the largest scale we have access to; the universe seems infinitely interconnected and infinitely complex.
Simple physical laws may be enough to exactly describe the workings of individual pieces in a complex system. But the whole system may have properties that can not be predicted from simple fundamental laws. These are known as emergent properties. Human thought is an emergent property of our complex brains. Thoughts are events in time that relate objects in space to each other. Meaning lies in the relationship between things, and not the things themselves. Meaning increases exponentially as the number of things related to each other increases.
DNA, brains and information sytems are all repositories of information or knowledge. Evolution, human development, and societal progress are parts of a universal progression towards ever greater freedom and knowledge. Together freedom and knowledge are freewill.
Freewill is a fundamental shared human experience, and its existence must be accepted as a just as fundamental of a starting point for our understanding, as our observations of the universe. If a material universe can produce creatures with freewill such as ourselves, then freewill must also be a fundamental property of that universe. From this, we can argue for the existance of an infinite mind or at least an infinite choice maker.
As knowledge of Truth must be based on observation and reason, so knowledge of Good must ultimately be based on observable consequences of actions and reason. It may be motivated by trust, and compassion, and it both requires and strives for freedom and knowledge.
Freedom and Knowledge are candidates for things of fundamental universal value, of which our human values are a subset. Together freedom and knowledge are freewill. Thus, no good is possible without them. A candidate for a universal definition of good is, "Freedom and Knowledge employed creatively to produce more of the same."
Practicing virtues is a way to make goodness a habit with oneself, and the narrative is a powerful tool for invoking goodness in others.
It is neither merely in the "eye of the beholder", nor an inherent property of objects. Rather in is more a kin to a relation, or a process than it is to and object or a property. When humans find something beautiful, the beauty is in the relation between them and the object, as well as in the relations inherent in the object. Beauty may be a useful analogy when thinking about the Good.
The Inductive principle is valid.
Or - Experience can lead to predictions that are probably accurate.
Natural orderings exist.
While all linguistic categories may be human constructions, and we need not assume that there are natural kinds, it is useful to take the existance of natural orderings as axiomatic.
Objective reality exists.
We have Freewill.
Or is this an observation we make of ourselves? Although we can argue for this principle, it should be axiomatic
Good exists and by definition we should choose it.