If the physical universe that we see, smell, hear, feel and taste is all that exists, how can we account for the fact we all have thoughts and emotions that are just as “real” to us as any of our senses?
This might initially seem like an odd question, but in fact it “points” to one of the most important questions any human being can ever ponder: If the non-material (i.e. thinking, consciousness) is as real as our five material senses (which can be explained merely by physical factors), how do we explain the origin and ultimate significance of the non-material?
J. Warner Wallace, NBC “Dateline’s” cold-case detective, addresses this issue in chapter five of his superb book “God’s Crime Scene.” There he observes this:
What is “beauty?” Is it really just “in the eye of the beholder?” One happy, contented person’s beautiful blue sky is nothing more than another depressed, lonely individual’s empty, meaningless expanse of … whatever?
This may seem like a trite question to begin with, but, if you think about it carefully, something extremely important is illustrated by the fact that people disagree on what is and is not beautiful. That’s what this brief, thought-provoking video is about.
Dr. Sean McDowell is a professor of apologetics at Biola University and, with his father Josh, co-author of the latest edition of “More Than A Carpenter,” the classic presentation of evidence for the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Enjoy!
“The first question smart gamblers ask is, ‘What are the odds?’ There’s good reason for it; playing the odds gives them the best chance at winning.
“However, the odds for many things we see in our universe coming into existence without any intelligent input or intentionality are so mind-numbingly improbable it requires an irrational dose of blind faith to even consider them.
“How mind-numbing, you ask? I’ll give just one brief example. Take living cells and the biological proteins that compose them. If we consider just one simple living cell consisting of only 250 short proteins, and those 250 proteins each consist of only 150 amino acids (they can consist of up to 30,000 amino acids), the odds that these 37,500 amino acids (250 proteins X 150 amino acids) could all arrange themselves into a sequence where the cell could actually function is only one chance in 10 to the 41,000th (that’s a one followed by 41,000 zeros.
“That’s a lethal problem for atheism. Even if the universe were 14 billion years old (that’s the oldest estimate even the most ardent atheists give it), there hasn’t been nearly enough time for 10 to the 41,000th attempts at anything. Not by a long shot! And that’s only one example out of countless others we could offer.” — Tom Hammond, What Time Is Purple, pps 16-17
Philosopher Kenneth Samples gives the answer AND poses a huge question about chance and design
“Advancements in science, technology, and medicine over the last century or so have benefitted virtually all people. Scientific progress has lengthened human life spans and improved quality of life.
“These great strides prompt a provocative question: Why does science work? That is, why is the scientific enterprise so effective in delivering critical, reliable information about the natural world that can inform and benefit humankind?
“I have posed this question to many scientists I’ve met through the years. The answer I usually hear is something along this line: ‘It just does. Science is unique. It works.’
I think the reason that most scientists struggle to tell me exactly why science works is … Go here for the answer.
When Stephen Hawking wrote his best-selling “A Brief History of Time” in his quest to do away with God, the renowned Cambridge mathematician had to invent a second kind of time, which he called “imaginary” time.
The imaginary time was a necessary posit because Hawking knew that if there is the time we know of as part, present and future, then there must be a beginning of time and that means in turn there must be a creator of time. But that creator is exactly what Hawking wanted to do away with.
Dr. Hugh Ross is an astro-physicist, not a mathematician, but he and Hawking both wrote best-sellers on multiple aspects of the God question. Ross also is the founder of Reasons To Believe (RTB), an excellent apologetics think tank with an emphasis on relating faith and science.
“That God created the time dimension of the universe implies that he could create other time dimensions. Therefore, God could operate within as many time dimensions as he chooses,” Ross writes today on the RTB web site. If you have time — no, not a joke — I heartily encourage you to give a read to Ross on God and time.
If the material universe is all there is, where do our non-material minds come from?
“If I asked you to close your eyes and think of an imaginary car and encouraged you to envision anything you could imagine related to that car, the resulting vehicle would exist solely in your mind.
“If you are sufficiently creative, your imaginary vehicle would be like no other car on the planet, and only you would know precisely how it looks. Without referencing a physical car external to your body, you imagined the shape, color and textures of the vehicle; it exists only in your conscious thoughts.
“This particular car is not the result of optical input from your eyes. Your brain isn’t referencing optical data from an object in the room. Neurophysiologists cannot open your physical brain and locate the car, its shape or its properties.
“These characteristics cannot be accessed by surgeons sifting through the gray matter of your brain, and even though neurologists may be able to pinpoint a location within the brain where neurological activity correlates with a thought or sensation, this only confirms a casual relationship between two separate things and fails to identify one as the other.
“While physical states can be publicly known, mental states are only privately known. This characteristic of the mind is not shared with the brain; the properties of the brain and the mind are not identical.”
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Good morning, it’s Sunday, September 8, 2019. Wrap your mind around this:
“According to dictionary.com, truth is the true or actual state of a matter, or, a proven or verified principle or statement. If truth is proven and verified, it is absolute, not relative.
“Think about it: if truth is relative, why should our kids go to school? If they can just decide their own truth, then what is the point of learning math, science, or history? Without objective, absolute, truth, nothing they learn in school is relevant to anyone except the person teaching it.
“Our entire civilization is run by the objective truth of numbers. We count on numbers for finances, temperature, speed, time, grades, taxes, etc. If we didn’t agree on a set of objective truths about numbers, our society could not function.
“Truth, by its very nature is exclusive. If something is true, it means that contradictory statements are necessarily false. Nobody doubts this when it comes to the hard sciences; people believe that the statement ‘gravity exists’ is objectively true, and that the statement “gravity does not exist” is objectively false. But, when it comes to religion and world-views, people have no problem saying ‘Christianity may be true for you, but it’s not true for me.’” — Kim Kurtz, from her book, “Pouring In: Tipping the Scales in Favor of a Personal Passionate and Permanent Faith in the Next Generation.”