Author Topic: The Church and Descartes and other scientists?  (Read 235 times)

GPRW

The Church and Descartes and other scientists?
« on: December 29, 2017, 03:43:29 PM »
I have read a thread about the Thomistic critique on Cartesianism a few weeks ago, and I have always been wondering his more technical, scientific writings also contain heretical/immoral teachings? For instance, did the Church criticize and counter-argue the Cartesian Coordinate System and Newtonian Laws?

As far as what I have heard, the criticisms from the Church are philosophical, and I am just wondering about the technical part.
 

GPRW

Re: The Church and Descartes and other scientists?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 03:53:09 PM »
One traditional Catholic Priest I talked to had went to MIT, and, in an email long ago (and I will of course send him another email on some other areas), he said sub-disciplines like Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory (he also said it is a rather mis-named theory) are not contrary to the Catholic Faith at all. However, he also warned me that many so-called modern "Physics" are not Physics at all but (rather cheap) Philosophy, aimed to deceive us.

Does anyone have any take on this?
 
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Mithrandylan

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Re: The Church and Descartes and other scientists?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 04:51:51 PM »
That priest is definitely right.

I'm not aware of any materials that very directly engage the subversive philosophy advanced through/by physicists, but it's something Ed Feser mentions with some frequency. Here is one such blog entry, and there are many others: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/causality-and-radioactive-decay.html?m=1
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Rubecorks

Re: The Church and Descartes and other scientists?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 05:13:51 PM »
Particularly for atheists and agnostics, mathematics and science is their god. One of the lies of physics/mathematics that gives science a mystical feel to it, is the lie that the "infinite" exists in nature. They imply that by teaching that space can be infinitely divided. They also present the absurdity that the basic "point" in geometry has no size, but when put side-by-side will add to a distance. They keep this up, giving the feel that there is an unlimited world at our fingertips. This charade is probably the result of an unintentional bias caused by the fact that man has a spiritual soul and needs the infinite....the "infinite" is only an attribute of God, not the material world. The truth is, there is a smallest possible size, which entails that "analog" does not exist in nature. I believe it was Max Planck who started to get rid of the infinite from mathematics. Wikipedia makes this comment about Planck units: "Planck units may sometimes be semi-humorously referred to by physicists as "God's units"."

We can all do an easy and instant experiment at home which proves with metaphysical certitude that space cannot be infinitely divided, even though mathematics hypothetically shows that numbers can.



 
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GPRW

Re: The Church and Descartes and other scientists?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 08:43:14 PM »
Particularly for atheists and agnostics, mathematics and science is their god. One of the lies of physics/mathematics that gives science a mystical feel to it, is the lie that the "infinite" exists in nature. They imply that by teaching that space can be infinitely divided. They also present the absurdity that the basic "point" in geometry has no size, but when put side-by-side will add to a distance. They keep this up, giving the feel that there is an unlimited world at our fingertips. This charade is probably the result of an unintentional bias caused by the fact that man has a spiritual soul and needs the infinite....the "infinite" is only an attribute of God, not the material world. The truth is, there is a smallest possible size, which entails that "analog" does not exist in nature. I believe it was Max Planck who started to get rid of the infinite from mathematics. Wikipedia makes this comment about Planck units: "Planck units may sometimes be semi-humorously referred to by physicists as "God's units"."

We can all do an easy and instant experiment at home which proves with metaphysical certitude that space cannot be infinitely divided, even though mathematics hypothetically shows that numbers can.

This can be viewed as another version of Zeno's Paradox, the physical version of it. Aristotle dealt with the Arrow Paradox, a variant of Zeno's Paradox: "If you throw an arrow, since it is motionless in any instant, it never moves". The paradox is solved by Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas who both commented that time is not made up of instants and magnitude is not made up of points. (Physica, Lib VI, Pars 9; Commentaria in Physica, Lib VI, 861.) Actually, a line is an infinite set of points,

Or think in this way. If points have dimension, then (1) either if there is no other coordinate within a point, then if you put it on a line (so that it can represent a number), there must be some numbers cannot be found on that line, and this applies to plane, cube, etc (2) or if it encompasses a range of coordinates, then you can infinitely apply the same principle to all coordinates as "starting points" and then you will get sets of coordinates after sets of coordinates.

For your objection/assertion that space cannot be infinitely divided, I am not sure what to say. But a line, plane, cube, etc are abstract, mathematical objects, with their locations represented by numbers in the form of coordinates, and they are not physical. For two points A and B on line CD, as long as they are not geometrically identical, there always exists a positive real number E is such that |A-B|>E, until they become one, identical point. And I believe this applies to physical space.

For infinity, you have to sub-distinguish. There is partial infinity (partially infinite) and absolute infinity (absolutely infinite). God has the attribute of absolute infinity, and only He has such attribute. However, other objects can have partial infinity. For instance, our souls have infinity of duration/time, for the souls are immortal. Similarly, space or universe can also be infinite, for it is within God and God is infinite regarding externality (though I am not sure if space is/can be infinite, since I have no advanced Physics training).
 

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Re: The Church and Descartes and other scientists?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2017, 08:45:09 AM »
That priest is definitely right.

I'm not aware of any materials that very directly engage the subversive philosophy advanced through/by physicists, but it's something Ed Feser mentions with some frequency. Here is one such blog entry, and there are many others: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/causality-and-radioactive-decay.html?m=1

GPRW,

This one is probably a bit more pointed at your specific interest: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/07/carroll-on-laws-and-causation.html?m=1

Also, in it, he recommends his book called Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction

I would second the recommendation. I've not read the whole book but he does go into the philosophy of physicists in it.
I wear it for a memorable honor,
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GPRW

Re: The Church and Descartes and other scientists?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 08:49:52 AM »
That priest is definitely right.

I'm not aware of any materials that very directly engage the subversive philosophy advanced through/by physicists, but it's something Ed Feser mentions with some frequency. Here is one such blog entry, and there are many others: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/causality-and-radioactive-decay.html?m=1

GPRW,

This one is probably a bit more pointed at your specific interest: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/07/carroll-on-laws-and-causation.html?m=1

Also, in it, he recommends his book called Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction

I would second the recommendation. I've not read the whole book but he does go into the philosophy of physicists in it.

Thank you very much. I just marked it and is reading it now. I also saw one of the articles it linked to, quite short, talks about physicists should stop saying silly things about Philosophy, which I wholeheartedly agree. This is indeed an issue among modern physicists.
 
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Re: The Church and Descartes and other scientists?
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2017, 09:05:29 AM »
I'm a huge fan of Feser. He's taken it upon himself to do an enormous amount of heavy lifting for Scholasticism in the twenty first century.  He frequently engages the philosophical fallacies and non-sequiturs of scientism proponents.
I wear it for a memorable honor,
For I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.
 

Rubecorks

Re: The Church and Descartes and other scientists?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2017, 10:19:27 AM »
Particularly for atheists and agnostics, mathematics and science is their god. One of the lies of physics/mathematics that gives science a mystical feel to it, is the lie that the "infinite" exists in nature. They imply that by teaching that space can be infinitely divided. They also present the absurdity that the basic "point" in geometry has no size, but when put side-by-side will add to a distance. They keep this up, giving the feel that there is an unlimited world at our fingertips. This charade is probably the result of an unintentional bias caused by the fact that man has a spiritual soul and needs the infinite....the "infinite" is only an attribute of God, not the material world. The truth is, there is a smallest possible size, which entails that "analog" does not exist in nature. I believe it was Max Planck who started to get rid of the infinite from mathematics. Wikipedia makes this comment about Planck units: "Planck units may sometimes be semi-humorously referred to by physicists as "God's units"."

We can all do an easy and instant experiment at home which proves with metaphysical certitude that space cannot be infinitely divided, even though mathematics hypothetically shows that numbers can.

This can be viewed as another version of Zeno's Paradox, the physical version of it. Aristotle dealt with the Arrow Paradox, a variant of Zeno's Paradox: "If you throw an arrow, since it is motionless in any instant, it never moves". The paradox is solved by Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas who both commented that time is not made up of instants and magnitude is not made up of points. (Physica, Lib VI, Pars 9; Commentaria in Physica, Lib VI, 861.) Actually, a line is an infinite set of points,

Or think in this way. If points have dimension, then (1) either if there is no other coordinate within a point, then if you put it on a line (so that it can represent a number), there must be some numbers cannot be found on that line, and this applies to plane, cube, etc (2) or if it encompasses a range of coordinates, then you can infinitely apply the same principle to all coordinates as "starting points" and then you will get sets of coordinates after sets of coordinates.

For your objection/assertion that space cannot be infinitely divided, I am not sure what to say. But a line, plane, cube, etc are abstract, mathematical objects, with their locations represented by numbers in the form of coordinates, and they are not physical. For two points A and B on line CD, as long as they are not geometrically identical, there always exists a positive real number E is such that |A-B|>E, until they become one, identical point. And I believe this applies to physical space.

For infinity, you have to sub-distinguish. There is partial infinity (partially infinite) and absolute infinity (absolutely infinite). God has the attribute of absolute infinity, and only He has such attribute. However, other objects can have partial infinity. For instance, our souls have infinity of duration/time, for the souls are immortal. Similarly, space or universe can also be infinite, for it is within God and God is infinite regarding externality (though I am not sure if space is/can be infinite, since I have no advanced Physics training).

I am aware of Zeno.

If speculation (a theory) is disproved by demonstration, then it is not longer a theory but a falsity.

At the drop of a hat, literally, it is proven that distance cannot be infinitely divided.

There comes a point where there is "the smallest unit of distance" and it cannot be divided. Reality is digital, not analog. Think of the pixels that comprise a computer monitor. Motion appears smooth (analog) but it is actually digital.

This means that a "point" must have the smallest possible size. It is absurd to say that a point has no size (zero) and then to proceed to claim that 0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0 can equal something other than zero.

This also entails that the value of pi, while so-called "irrational" speculatively, is in reality a rational value, because there is no such thing as infinitely small beyond the decimal point. Reality is nothing but RATIONAL.

 

GPRW

Re: The Church and Descartes and other scientists?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2017, 11:21:20 AM »
Particularly for atheists and agnostics, mathematics and science is their god. One of the lies of physics/mathematics that gives science a mystical feel to it, is the lie that the "infinite" exists in nature. They imply that by teaching that space can be infinitely divided. They also present the absurdity that the basic "point" in geometry has no size, but when put side-by-side will add to a distance. They keep this up, giving the feel that there is an unlimited world at our fingertips. This charade is probably the result of an unintentional bias caused by the fact that man has a spiritual soul and needs the infinite....the "infinite" is only an attribute of God, not the material world. The truth is, there is a smallest possible size, which entails that "analog" does not exist in nature. I believe it was Max Planck who started to get rid of the infinite from mathematics. Wikipedia makes this comment about Planck units: "Planck units may sometimes be semi-humorously referred to by physicists as "God's units"."

We can all do an easy and instant experiment at home which proves with metaphysical certitude that space cannot be infinitely divided, even though mathematics hypothetically shows that numbers can.

This can be viewed as another version of Zeno's Paradox, the physical version of it. Aristotle dealt with the Arrow Paradox, a variant of Zeno's Paradox: "If you throw an arrow, since it is motionless in any instant, it never moves". The paradox is solved by Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas who both commented that time is not made up of instants and magnitude is not made up of points. (Physica, Lib VI, Pars 9; Commentaria in Physica, Lib VI, 861.) Actually, a line is an infinite set of points,

Or think in this way. If points have dimension, then (1) either if there is no other coordinate within a point, then if you put it on a line (so that it can represent a number), there must be some numbers cannot be found on that line, and this applies to plane, cube, etc (2) or if it encompasses a range of coordinates, then you can infinitely apply the same principle to all coordinates as "starting points" and then you will get sets of coordinates after sets of coordinates.

For your objection/assertion that space cannot be infinitely divided, I am not sure what to say. But a line, plane, cube, etc are abstract, mathematical objects, with their locations represented by numbers in the form of coordinates, and they are not physical. For two points A and B on line CD, as long as they are not geometrically identical, there always exists a positive real number E is such that |A-B|>E, until they become one, identical point. And I believe this applies to physical space.

For infinity, you have to sub-distinguish. There is partial infinity (partially infinite) and absolute infinity (absolutely infinite). God has the attribute of absolute infinity, and only He has such attribute. However, other objects can have partial infinity. For instance, our souls have infinity of duration/time, for the souls are immortal. Similarly, space or universe can also be infinite, for it is within God and God is infinite regarding externality (though I am not sure if space is/can be infinite, since I have no advanced Physics training).

I am aware of Zeno.

If speculation (a theory) is disproved by demonstration, then it is not longer a theory but a falsity.

At the drop of a hat, literally, it is proven that distance cannot be infinitely divided.

There comes a point where there is "the smallest unit of distance" and it cannot be divided. Reality is digital, not analog. Think of the pixels that comprise a computer monitor. Motion appears smooth (analog) but it is actually digital.

This means that a "point" must have the smallest possible size. It is absurd to say that a point has no size (zero) and then to proceed to claim that 0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0 can equal something other than zero.

This also entails that the value of pi, while so-called "irrational" speculatively, is in reality a rational value, because there is no such thing as infinitely small beyond the decimal point. Reality is nothing but RATIONAL.
First of all, both Aristotle and Aquinas believed in the notions of motions and points. They all refuted the Zeno's Paradox and its variants by clarifying that motions do not make up time and points do not make up magnitude, nor do modern scientists say this. What you really did not get is what the lines, planes, surfaces, etc are. They are not the ways of counting points; they are ways of counting the size of a relative unit. For example, you assign a certain length as one unit, then you find a line to have the length of five units. It has nothing to do with counting the points. The points on the line are measures of position.

The dropping hat problem can be explained by the answers to Arrow Paradox (unless I understood in some different ways you intended, since you did not specify what you were specifically talking about on this) which I have already mentioned before.

Also, rational or irrational has nothing to do with your so-called "reality". It is about whether you can express a number in the form of p/q, with p and q being integers. If you can find such an expression, it is rational. Otherwise, it is irrational.