If it is, then it will be

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If it is, then it will be

Postby Lausten » Thu May 17, 2012 3:35 pm

I'm researching the history of scientific discovery and happened on a deGrasse-Tyson youtube called "The erosion of progress by religion" which led me to a Professor's website that talks about Imam Hamid Al-Ghazali, the guy who single handedly killed the scientific movement in Baghdad in 1100. He provides a chapter from "The Essence of Islamic Philosophy". In it he gives a brief explanation of Reichenbach's argument for why assuming inductive reasoning works is the best choice.

1. Either nature is uniform or it is not.
2. If nature is uniform, scientific induction will be successful.
3. If nature is not uniform, then no method will be successful.
4. Therefore, if any method of induction will be successful, then scientific induction will be

The Christian response to #3 would be, well prayer works. From the chapter:

Reichenbach said: “ Suppose that in a completely chaotic universe, some method, call it method
X, were successful. Then there is still at least one outstanding uniformity in nature: the uniformity
of method X’s success. And scientific induction would discover that uniformity. That is, if
method X is successful on the whole, if it gives us true predictions most of the time, then sooner
or later the statement "Method X has been reliable in the past" will be true, and the following
argument would be judged inductively strong by scientific inductive logic:
Method X has been reliable in the past.
Method X will be reliable in the future.
Thus, if method X is successful, scientific induction will also be successful.”

That part gets a little more complicated, and your back to the game of pointing out that thousands of Christians have predicted the end of the world and been wrong or Christian nations have fallen or slavery was wrong or whatever, but you've got a foundation to come back to.

I might add a setup for this; It is impossible to know everything. Science does not claim to. Religion also tells you that you don't, "you can't know the mind of God", "He works in mysterious ways", etc. so atheists and theists are on equal ground. If a theist claims to know all, it is blasphemy. If an atheist claims it, well, he's just a dickhead.

So, how do you determine things? You can go to the Bible, but most people use some reasoning, or you can figure out a system....
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