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In: Sider T. Oppy G. Paul L. In: Helen B. Plantinga A. In: Davidson M. In: Van Peter I. Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp 98— Google Scholar. Pruss Alexander R. In: William C. Pruss, Alexander R. Conjunctions, disjunctions, and Lewisian semantics for counterfactuals. Ramachandran M. A Case for the Existence of God. Everitt - The Non-Existence of God. On the Logic of Existence and Denotation. Existence and God. Recommend Documents. On the Nature and Existence of God There has been in recent years a plethora of defenses of theism from analytical philosophers such as Plantinga, Swinbur Arguments for the existence of God have t Arguments for the existence of God have Ganssle David M.
Your name. A is a word only if there is a space on either side of it. If we take it that the keyboard has thirty characters the twenty-six letters and other symbols , then the likelihood of getting a one-letter word is 30 times 30 times 30, which is 27, The likelihood of a getting a one-letter word is one chance out of 27, Schroeder then applied the probabilities to the sonnet analogy. He continued: All the sonnets are the same length. What you end up with is 26 multi- plied by itself times — or 26 to the th power.
Or, in other words, in base 10, 10 to the th. Ten to the 8oth is i with 80 zeros after it. Ten to the th is 1 with zeros after it. If you took the entire universe and converted it to computer chips — forget the monkeys — each one weighing a millionth of a gram and had each com- puter chip able to spin out trials at, say, a mil- lion times a second; if you turn the entire universe into these microcomputer chips and these chips were spinning a million times a second [produc- ing] random letters, the number of trials you would get since the beginning of time would be 10 to the 90th trials.
It would be off again by a factor of 10 to the th. You will never get a sonnet by chance. The universe would have to be 10 to the th times larger. Yet the world just thinks the monkeys can do it every time. One prominent instance of such discussions is the exchanges I have had with the scientist Richard Dawkins. Although I commended his atheist works, I have always been a critic of his selfish-gene school of thought. In my book Darwinian Evolution, I pointed out that natural selection does not positively produce anything.
It only eliminates, or tends to eliminate, whatever is not com- petitive. A variation does not need to bestow any actual competitive advantage in order to avoid elimination; it is sufficient that it does not burden its owner with any com- petitive disadvantage. To choose a rather silly illustration, suppose I have useless wings tucked away under my suit coat, wings that are too weak to lift my frame off the ground. Useless as they are, these wings do not enable me to escape predators or gather food.
In his works, Morris offers as the results of zoological illumination what amounts to a systematic denial of all that is most pecu- liar to our species contemplated as a biological phenom- enon. He ignores or explains away the obvious differences between human beings and other species.
For Dawkins, the main means for producing human behavior is to attribute to genes char- acteristics that can significantly be attributed only to per- sons. Then, after insisting that we are all the choiceless creatures of our genes, he infers that we cannot help but 8o THERE IS A GOD share the unlovely personal characteristics of those all- controlling monads.
Genes, of course, can be neither selfish nor unselfish any more than they or any other nonconscious entities can engage in competition or make selections. But in fact none of it is true — or even faintly sensible. Genes, as we have seen, do not and cannot necessitate our conduct. Nor are they capable of the calculation and understanding required to plot a course of either ruthless selfishness or sacrificial compassion. I am more than twice that age now, and although I have changed my position on the existence of God, I hope my defense of atheism and debates with theists and others indicate my enduring interest in the questions of theology and my will- ingness to continue exploring various answers.
Analysts and psychologists can make of this what they will, but the impetus for me is still what it has always been: the pursuit of valid arguments with true conclusions. I hope I can play with as much passion and principle as I always have in the next part of the book, as I lay out my present position and the body of evidence that led me to affirm it. Imagine that a satellite phone is washed ashore on a remote island inhabited by a tribe that has never had contact with modern civilization. The natives play with the numbers on the dial pad and hear dif- ferent voices upon hitting certain sequences.
Some of the cleverer natives, the scientists of the tribe, assemble an exact replica and hit the numbers again. They hear the voices again. The conclusion seems obvious to them. This particular combination of crystals and metals and chemicals produces what seems like human voices, and this means that the voices are simply properties of the device.
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But the tribal sage summons the scientists for a dis- cussion. Ide has thought long and hard on the matter and has reached the following conclusion: the voices coming through the instrument must be coming from people like 85 86 THERE IS A GOD themselves, people who are living and conscious although speaking in another language. Perhaps further study along these lines could lead to a greater understanding of the world beyond their island. A Copernician leap may thus be prevented by a thousand Ptolemaic epi- cycles.
And in this, it seems to me, lies the peculiar danger, the endemic evil, of dogmatic atheism. Of course, this is no more sign that they are either rational or arguments.