Friday, March 20, 2009

More on d'Espagnat ...

... Gordon McCabe offers ome useful explanation: Templeton Prize won by epistemic structural realist.

... and here's a link to the New Scientist piece Gordon links to: Concept of 'hypercosmic God' wins Templeton Prize.

I happen to believe that drawing any spiritual conclusions from quantum mechanics is an unfounded leap in logic ...
It would be nice to know why she happens to "believe" that. Perhaps it "comes down to good old-fashioned faith," which is what she says the notion "that spirituality is a viable means to access" "a partially unknowable reality beneath reality" comes down to. It would also be useful if she made clear what she means when she uses the term faith.
D'Espagnat's veiled God, on the other hand, is partially – but still fundamentally – unknowable. And for precisely this reason, it would be nonsensical to paint it with the figure of a personal God or attribute to it specific concerns or commandments. The "veiled reality", then, can in no way help Christians or Muslims or Jews or anyone else rationalise their specific beliefs.
Again, it would be nice to explain why it is nonsensical to think of a "partially – but still fundamentally – unknowable" God in personal terms. Ms. Gefter should take a look at The Cloud of Unknowing and look up the word apophatic. Moreover, since the concept of deity is one of the "specific beliefs" of Christians, Muslims and Jews, it is hard to see why d'Espagnat's views "can in no way help" then to explicitate rationally that belief (rationalise seems a poor choice of words).


  1. I don’t know what spiritual component the Templeton winner may have had, from what I read his is an impersonal God.

    Interestingly cosmology generally, with its theory of multiverses -- all possible universes exist -- provides an argument, somewhat like the old ontological argument, for a non impersonal God.

    1) Multiverses -- the set of all possible universes -- exist.

    2) Each multiverse is different from the other as to the arrangement of matter, time, space, etc.

    3) In the set of all possible universes there exists a universe where a personal God (the God of the Bible) exists, where Christ rose from the dead, and where Christ was God.

    4) That God of the Bible is omnipotent.

    5) So if there is one such universe, with an omnipotent God, there is a set of all universes with an omnipotent God, as an omnipotent God can operate across boundaries of matter, time, space, etc.

    6) A personal God exists in our universe as we exist in one of the set of all universes.


  2. Very good, Joe.If indeed all possible universes exist, there must be one with an omnipotent, omniscient God, who, as you say, being omnipotent and omniscient would have access to all the others. To refute that, I suspect one would have to prove that such a God is not possible, which I don't think one could.It certainly ups the ante for the atheist who has prove, not that God does not exist, but that God cannot possibly exist.