The COSMOLOGICAL BOX

The (COSMOLOGICAL) BOX of REALITY – “Open” or “Closed”?

What is the ultimate nature of the cosmos we live in?

Our world views are our individual perspectives on life, existence and “reality”.  Our world views  are the “glasses” through which we see “reality”.

Picture the Cosmos as “BOX”.

Is the cosmos “OPEN” or “CLOSED”?

“OPEN”means “The Box”is or can be “ORDERED”from the “OUTSIDE”

“CLOSED” means it is ORDERED from the INSIDE.

“OPEN” means there is a reality or existence BEYOND the BOX

“CLOSED” means there is NOTHING OUTSIDE the BOX

OPEN means EXTERNAL causation and creation– the Box REQUIRES OUTSIDE EXPLANATION.  How did the Box get there?

CLOSED means INTERNAL causation – the Box EXPLAINS ITSELF

REALITY” (COSMOLOGY: Content & Cause)

WHAT’s REALLY REAL”?  What is the COSMOS MADE OF WHAT CAUSED IT?

PHYSICAL “MATTER” OR“TRANSCENDENT” SPIRIT ?  

 

METAPHYSICAL “GOD”  OR  MATERIAL NATURE ?

RANDOM OR PURPOSED?  ACCIDENTAL or DESIGNED?

OPEN” ? ORDERED from WITHOUT  ORCLOSED” ?   ORDERED from  WITHIN

The UNexamined lifeis not worthliving.“ – Socrates

“For any of us to be fully conscious intellectually, we should not only be able to detect the world view of others but be aware of our own why it is ours and why in light of so many options we think it is TRUE.”  

JAMES W. SIRE first PUBLISHED “The UNIVERSE NEXT DOOR” in 1976

REALITY

(COSMOLOGY: Content& Cause)

PHYSICAL MATTER OR Transcendent SPIRIT?   

RANDOM (accidental) OR PURPOSED (Designed)? 

OPEN OR CLOSED? – ORDERED from OUTSIDE or INSIDE? 

 

An “OPEN” Universe (Theism):

The Theistic worldview maintains that GOD is the sourceof all “reality. God is “primary” – all else is “secondary”. GOD is both SOURCE of (“BEGINNING”) and TRANSCENDENT (“BEYOND”) over “reality”.   God initiated “reality”.  God is the “alpha” (beginning) and the “omega” (end).

 

 

“Reality[s]” is DUAL – DEPENDENT on God’s “being”, yet God created a “reality[s]” INDEPENDENT of his being.  DUAL–  both physical“nature” and “MATTER” and metaphysical “SPIRIT” that “transcends” matter.  

God created the physical universe, a universe created  with “PURPOSE”.   The cosmos is NOT “ACCIDENTAL”.   A universe “DESIGNED” (not “accidental”) God created the cosmos with “UNIFORMITY” of natural causes in an “OPEN” system.  Uniformity means it was not created to be chaotic or “random”.  An “open” universe that is NOT ENTIRELY “PROGRAMMED” – God and humanity CAN “REORDER” it from the “OUTSIDE”.  The course of the world’s operation is open to reordering from the outside

A theistic worldview implies “LESS” comes from “MORE”

 

“Nature” is derived from a “supernatural” source.  A theistic God has certain “traits” – infinite and personal, transcendent and immanent, omniscient, sovereign and good, personality” and “will” capable of “transcending” the physicalenvironment and cosmos.  To a theist, “intelligence” and “DESIGN” are TRAITS and EVIDENCE of a “CREATOR”In 1691, Boyle published  The Christian Virtuoso explained that the study and dominion of nature is a duty given to man by God.

LIFE itself is a “GIFT” from GOD; humanity is it’s creation.

 

Human “freedom” and individual will are part of the “drama” of human history

 

History is SOURCED in God, yet humanity is also “SEPARATE” from God

The revelation of God’s design over history involved a “chosen” people for REVELATION a “chosen people” meant to REVEAL GOD’s PLAN FOR HUMAN HISTORY

 

Judeo-Christian Theism see history “closed” by “judgment” and a new age inaugurated BEYOND this time or age PRIOR to that new age.  Time is irreversible and is “confined” in space.

Theism believes everything stems from  GodThe universe is “charged with the grandeur of God” (Gerard Manley Hopkins) 

God is both the transcendent and foundational reference point of the universe.  God EXPLAINS BOTH physical and metaphysical (“philosophical”) universe.  The “NATURAL” is  BEST EXPLAINED by the “SUPERNATURAL”.  The answers to life’s questions are DEPENDENT on God.  

A “CREATOR” EXPLAINS its “CREATION”.

 

A theistic worldview implies “LESS”  comes  from “MORE”  

A “CLOSED” Universe (Materialism):

The “Universe Next Door” by James Sire: Chapter 4 – The SILENCE of FINITE SPACE:

NATURALISM  Cosmological “reality” is rooted in  NATURE

   

PHYSICAL matter is ALL there is. physical matter is all that matters (cosmologically speaking.). 

A metaphysical “god” does not exist

  

The cosmos itself is “eternal”.  Carl Sagan declared, “The universe is all that is or EVER WAS or ever WILL BE” 

 

Offray de la Metrie – “In the WHOLE UNIVERSE there is but a SINGLE  SUBSTANCE with various MODIFICATION”.  ”Matter” is all that “matters”.  The cosmos is ultimately one thing, WITHOUT any relation to anything “BEYOND”.  The cosmos existed long before humanity. Structured or chaotic cosmos, determined by unchangable law or subject to chance, it makes no difference.   The cosmos simply is.

 The cosmos exists as a uniformity of cause and effect in a  CLOSED system. 

Reality is “ORDERED” from the “INSIDE”

The UNIVERSE is “CLOSED” – not open to ordering from the “outside”, not “open” to a “transcendent” god or humanity

 

“NATURE” IS GOD

A theist thinks “LESS” DERIVED from “MORE”, explains the “INSIDE” from the “OUTSIDE”

 

REALITY is SELF-EXPLANATORY

Naturalists claim “MORE” DERIVE [s] from “LESS”.   “Reality” is “SIMPLE” resulting in “COMPLEX”.  “Reality” is material“ simplicity” creating material“complexity”.  David Jobling: “We see the universeas a continuity of space, time and matter, held together  FROM WITHIN”.  The universe is a uniform, CLOSED system of material cause and effect.

”Reality” is CONFINED to the “laws” of “matter” that exist in nature”Reality” is simply the material processes of matter, nature RE-ORDERING NATURE; “LIKE” EFFECTING “LIKE”.  Nature explains nature.


SUPERNATURAL” TRANSCENDENCE IS RULED OUT.  There is NO “OUTSIDE” or “OTHER” needed to explain cosmological reality.  The super-natural is IMPOSSIBLE and DOES NOT EXIST.  

NOTHING exists except matter and its movements and modifications.

 

If a theist claims, “In the beginning was the WORD, God’s mode of “creation”, a Naturalist would counter, In the beginning was MATTER.   This is where life’s “reality” begins and ends.

Imagine cosmological “reality” is a BOXTheists claim the “box” of “reality” is “open” to re-ordering from the outside (“god”).  Naturalism claims the “box” of “reality” is “CLOSED” – ordered from the “inside” (“matter”)“Reality” is essentially a “material machine”.  EVERYTHING (even “god” and/or “humanity”) is derived from and ends up MATTER.

 

The MATERIAL universe, governed by natural laws and chance, is the ultimate and only reality anything not quantifiable by science does not truly exist.  There  CANNOT be a “supernatural”  purpose to the universe

NATURAL LAWS and RANDOM CHANCE COMBINED to create the “reality” of the cosmos.

ALL apparently non-material substances, such as “MIND” or “CONSCIOUSNESS”, are explained as modifications of MATTER.  

 

Naturalism REJECTS ALL concepts of  any “supernatural” reality and “duality”.  Naturalists believe there is NO tangible and/or rational PROOF for the existence of God.  ALL religious endeavor is a WASTE of time and energy, since there is NO EVIDENCE of God.

Humanism is “a modern, nontheistic, rationalist movement that holds that man is capable of self-fulfillment, ethical conduct, etc., without recourse to super-naturalism” (Webster’s New World Dictionary

ALL so-called PARANORMAL or PSYCHIC PHENOMENA are “QUAKERY” and SUPERSTITION.  There is NO SUCH THING as the “SOUL”; DEATH of the BODY is DEATH of the MIND – there is NO RE-INCARNATION or AFTER-LIFE

TRADITIONAL religions and faiths are FALSE doctrines, OPPRESSIVE and lead their followers toward IGNORANCE, BIGOTRY and DOGMATISM.  Freud described the theist world view as “IMMATURE”, a DENIAL of modern, scientific “FACTS” and “REALITY”.   

Freud described theist “FAIRY TALES” and supernatural “WISHFUL THINKING” denying empirical, scientific observation of material nature.  Naturalists are SKEPTICAL of and challenge orthodox religions and all attempts to explain the world in supernatural terms.

 William Barrett: “Man, the microcosm, is JUST ANOTHER MACHINE WITHIN the universal machine that is the cosmos.”

Humanity is made up of “MATTER” and NOTHING ELSE

When the matter that makes up an individual becomes disorganized at death, that person disappears. Death is extinctionof personality and individuality.  ernest hagel: “human destiny [is] an EPISODE BETWEEN TWO OBLIVIONS.”  The preservationand enhancement of the human species is our ultimate concern.  Biological reproduction of life prevents extinction.

SECULAR (non-religious) HUMANISM (human-centered reality & value) the term SECULAR (this worldly) distinguishes itself from THEISTIC (otherworldly0 HUMANISM is “a modern, NON-THEISTIC, RATIONALIST movement that holds that MAN is CAPABLE of SELF-FULFILLMENT, ethical conduct, etc., WITHOUT recourse to SUPERNATURALISM”(Webster’s New World Dictionary

Secular humanism evolved out of 18th-century rejection of revealed Christianity and the emergence of modern science and free thought. Is HUMAN REASON “GOD” and SCIENCE non-theistic “THEOLOGY” ? modern secular humanists condemn and refute all assertions of divine or paranormal phenomena as having no basis in fact or “reality”.

A “closed” universe explains itself (from “within”).  The universe is the RANDOM “ACCIDENT” of MATTER and “NATURE’.  The universe is ultimately “finite” matter.  Nothing escapes or exists outside this “finite”, a material “fact” of reality.  Naturalism assumes the universe is “closed” or self-contained.  Naturalism assumes  NOTHING BEYOND” matter – “god” OR “spirit”

Cosmic casuality is “evolutionary” – “LESS” (SIMPLE) explains “MORE” (COMPLEX).

Naturalism is “REDUCTIONIST” – “MORE” (COMPLEX) is ALWAYS derived from “LESS” (simple)

Matter has “EVOLVED”, but ultimately “DEVOLVES” back to it’s MATERIALISM essence

“Randomness” EXCLUDES the POSSIBILITY of SUPERNATURAL “DESIGN”

 

THEISTS ARGUE the OPPOSITE “FINITE” is the PRODUCT of an “INFINITE” SOURCE

 

ANYTHING “METAPHYSICAL” is SIMPLY DERIVED and EXPLAINED from the “PHYSICAL

SCIENCE (physics observed) and “SCIENT-ISM” (Meta-physical opinions) 

Does the material universe EXPLAIN ITSELF?

Does RANDOM CHANCE adequately account for the COMPLEXITY of the universe?

What are the mathematical odds of matter randomly combining into cosmological complexity ?

a TORNADO BLOWING THROUGH a JUNKYARD and ASSEMBLING a JUMBO JET?

What are the MATHEMATICAL ODDS of an EYE BALL randomly“self -assembling”?

Where do we observe INANIMATEMATTER CHANGING INTO “ANIMATE” MATTER ???

Naturalism claims to be “EMPIRICAL” – based on OBSERVATION 

HOW do we KNOW that “reality” is simply “material”?  Is “reality” simply the evolutionary “re-arrangement” of physical matter ?

 

 ”INTELLIGENCE” and “DESIGN” in the universe are OBSERVABLE, even“OBVIOUS”.  We observe ”complex” things as the products of complex “design”.  What’s the SOURCE of apparent “intelligence” and “design” in the universe ? Do naturalists assume that “design” means no “designer”? 

 

Are NATURALISTIC  ASSUMPTIONS a form of “BLIND FAITH” and/or “MYTHOLOGY”?

Did random chance combined with the “laws” of nature produce the cosmos?

The “chaos” of randomness COMBINED with never changing “laws” led to cosmic “evolution”

How do we know physical “matter” is all that exists ?

 Is “reality” entirely OBSERVABLE or “empirical”?  If our five senses cannot detect physical matter, does that mean something does not exist???   

Are there LIMITATIONS to human EMPIRICAL knowledge and science?

“SCIENCE” (observation) becomes “SCIEN-TISM” (opinion)

Is naturalistic materialism an intellectual “strait-jacket” narrowly defining and constraining “reality” ???

How do we know that “mind” and “consciousness” are simply manifestations of physical matter?

 

HOW CAN ONE “PROVE” the UNIVERSE is “CLOSED”?

If one is “subjectively” locked inside the “box” of material cosmos, how can one say with “objective” certainty there is nothing outside the “box”?

IF “reality” is ultimately random matter, why should we trust with certaintya human brain created through a meaningless process ??? 

Why TRUST a “reasoned” deduction from brain  “matter” that’s a product of a random, meaningless universe ???

Why trust random “thoughts” from brain “tissue”constructed from “meaningless” matter?  Are “thoughts” and “consciousness” from “mind” simply “matter”?  

Is material “meaningless- ness” a PARASITE on meaning???  Any “purpose” in the universe ultimately has no purpose ?  

Is Naturalism a “religion” of NIHILISMNOTHING (except physical matter) MATTERS?

Do naturalists make physical “MATTER” into “GOD”, creating a SECULAR “RELIGION” of “NATURE” WORSHIP ???

Other than material “natural” processes, there is NO MEANING to the universe except in the context of a naturalist material universe.  Humanity, morality, “mind”, knowledge and history has no ultimate meaning.

 Is naturalism (and any worldview) based upon  META-PHYSICS (philosophy), SPECULATIONS and/or ”OPINIONS“ that go BEYOND observation of the physical world ???    Since we can not produce empirical proof, “physics” (science) becomes“meta-physics”.  (philosophy)  Physical “matter” is allthat matters; anything and everything else “devolves”  from/to that “fact”All “reality” is simply “finite” matter – is that a “closet” metaphysical (philosophical) assumption?

Is naturalism “open” or “closed” minded?  How exactly did ”nature”result in evolutionary  “progress” to the “reality” we experience today?  “Science” led to the discovery of facts that allow humanity to  determine “reality”.

Is naturalistic materialism an intellectual “strait-jacket” narrowly defining and constraining “reality”???

Does “science” really point towards theistic “intelligent design” that QUESTIONS NATURALISM ?

SCIENCE (Physics) and SCIENTISM (Meta-physics)

WORLD VIEWS – “THEISM vs NATURALISM-materialism”

HUSTON SMITH was a U.C. Berkeley Professor of World Religions and author of the book “WHY RELIGION MATTERS 

 

Smith: “World views are [EMPIRICALLY] UN-provable

Do materialists have a “truthful” or complete view of reality? …

Can materialists empirically PROVE that the universe is “CLOSED” ?

at what point do materialist claims go from physical(cosmology) to metaphysical(meta – “beyond”, i.e. philosophy)  This reality question [is] the heart of the question between the traditional and modern worldviews.” 

In a “closed” universe, “nature” explains  itself.  EVERYTHING is SELF-CONTAINED WITHIN a “BOX” of “REALITY”

But how do we KNOW this “worldview” of a self-contained “closed” box comprising of only “matter” is true ???

Smith: “There are ideas that are worth pondering as we decide which outlook [worldview] we want to live by.  Can SOMETHING derive from NOTHING?  Can a STREAM RUN HIGHER than it’s SOURCE?

Intuitively, neither seems likely,  but the scientific view requires affirmative [yes] answers to those questions – “life from non-life, sentience from insentience, intelligence from  what lacks it” ..

Darwin’s simple to complex “naturalism”   vs.    Theistic complex to simple hierarchy

In a naturalistic worldview, CAUSATION proceeds UPWARD from simple to complex …

In a  theistic worldview, causation proceeds DOWNWARDfrom “superior” to “inferior” …

 

Ken Wilbur describes a [theistic] worldview “so overwhelmingly widespread, it is either the single greatest intellectual ERROR ever to appear in human history, an error so colossally widespread as to literally stagger the mind OR the MOST ACCURATE REFLECTION of REALITY to have appeared.

Smith: The “metaphysical moral”: “True or not, the traditional world view is TRANSPARENTLY INTELLIGIBLE.  A theist says there is a “reality” that “TRANSCENDS” nature and human history.  Humanity is BEST EXPLAINED from the “ultimate” perspective of “The Creator.”  This view of reality conforms most closely to the FULL RANGE of human intuitions, … is consonant with the complete complement of human sensibilities.  It is the visions philosophers have dreamed, mystics have seen, and prophets have enunciated.”

 WHO or WHAT is “BEHIND  the door” ??? 

Does a theistic worldview “explain” humanity,  leaving space for the “mystery” (the unexplainable) of the cosmos and humanity ???  odoes a naturalistic, materialistic “closed” universe adequately explain the cosmos and human condition?

 Is God a figment of our imagination –  or  are we a figment of his (or her’s) ???

It comes down to philosophical (“metaphysical”) worldviews –  “there is no backing away from the conclusion … that world views are[empirically]unprovable.” Smith: “Science has discovered NOTHING in the way of objective FACTS that counts AGAINST traditional [religion].”The traditional worldview can incorporate EVERYTHING that science has discovered without a ripple”

Like the medieval church imposing it’s theistic worldview on “science” in the past, does “scientific materialism” do the same to the “theists” today ?  Is one an intellectual “heretic” for questioning the “fact” of evolution ???

Huston Smith contrasts truly EMPIRICAL science and what he calls “SCIENTISM” … scientism” is a “CLOSET” philosophy of MATERIALISM that is a “TUNNEL” of intellectual NIHILISM

Smith describes materialism as “a single-storied worldwhere there is no transcendence.” (a “closed” universe)

“the scientific worldview … necessarily DEAD ENDS in QUESTION that have NO ANSWERS.”

DECEPTIVE … BUT TRUE (Perception vs Reality)

But how do we KNOW that there is a God ?  What evidence do we have to “prove” God’s existence?  Even theistic “prophets” admit to and question an “INVISIBLE” GOD THAT“HIDES” HIMSELF. Isaiah 45:15 – “Truly you are a God that HIDE yourself, O God of Israel” Isaiah 8:17 ”And I will wait for Jehovah, who HIDE His face from the house of Jacob”. 

Is THEISM a case of “WISHFUL THINKING”, ancient MYTH and/or FAIRY TALES lacking “reality”?  Is God a figment of humanity’s imagination?

 

Is NATURALISM a case of “ILLUSION”, a MODERN MYTHOLOGY of PSEUDO-science that PRETENDS to EXPLAINhuman origins and “creation”, “issues” which are still an “UNSOLVED MYSTERIES”?

OUR VIEWS and PERSPECTIVES are DETERMINED by OUR WORLD VIEWS

IS the COSMOLOGICAL BOX “OPEN” OR “CLOSED”?

The UNexamined lifeis not worthliving.“ – Socrates

“For any of us to be fully conscious intellectually, we should not only be able to detect the world view of others but be aware of our own why it is ours and why in light of so many options we think it is TRUE.”  

JAMES W. SIRE first PUBLISHED “The UNIVERSE NEXT DOOR” in 1976