In my opinion, math does a great job describing the laws of physics. But the laws are our understanding of the consistences that nature displays. But the cause of the consistencies transcends our understanding. We, in my opinion, do not know the intrinsic nature of the laws.
Please do not miss, in my opinion. Please do not miss–I do not know is implied in all that I write.
The individuals that posted already are bringing in religion and theology. I love theology and am a practicing Catholic (Mom said I needed lots of practice) but here I am looking at it from a philosophical point of view. Their ideas are beautiful. They are giving answers, and I thank them for that.
Forgive me for saying and I mean no disrespect but, you seem to be looking for sophisticated lofty answers to your questions. Perhaps the more similar real answer your looking for answer lies within your Catholic Faith. Start with the Book of Genesis for example.
You should realize that God does not operate the way Human rational does.
“Logos” of ancient Greece,
Ideas of Plato,
laws of nature,
Seems far more similar to me to give honorable credit to God and His charge over His angels being the ones who have charge and supernatural powers of running the universe.
Just a thought.
I have just completed four readings of the the Pope’s book “In the Beginning…”
It was the fourth reading that help to see that Plato to Hegel missed the idea that math, ideas and the like do not run the universe.
Don’t laugh, I read and reread Augustine’s “Literal Interpretation on Genesis,” I wore out my yellow highlighter and filled several notebooks–honestly. I read second half of the “City of God” and all of his other works on Creation.
Now all of this was done over several years–I do have a family and a job.
I think that this is really fundamental. What runs the universe is analogous to reason, but transcends reason by a jillion degrees. As one of the posters on here taught me through a book “Where Math Comes From” (or something like that), Math is filled with metaphor–WOW! If we all die today–math is gone. If math is gone, so too logic, reasoning and common sense. Math describes the observations–like I am 170 pounds, six feet. But that tells me nothing of the nature of Jim Baur, of a human being.
The Pope says that the literal meaning of Genesis 1-3 is:
Creation by God!
The Original sin is to doubt His loving Covenant.
That the Creation demythologized the pagan stories, fears and culture.
The numbers that run the covenant are seven and ten.
The placing of the Seven Days are the Sabbath–sign of God’s Loving Covenant.
The Lord says “Let there be” Ten times, and thus reminds us of the Ten Words/Commandments.
The placing of the light to rule the day and the one to rule the night does away with two more gods.
The numbers of Pythagoras, the Ideas of Plato, the Logos of Ancient Greece, the Math of Galileo, the Reason of Hegel do not run the universe.
Oh, according to our Bible–God’s Word Created and runs the universe!
Oh, these are my opinions and thoughts. I am actually looking for ideas just like the ones that you gave—THANKS!!!
Sorry about going on and on about the the Pope’s book!
I think we all, both believers and non-believers, need some clarification as to what it means to “run the universe”.
I’m assuming you’re not talking about the creation of the universe, since an item can exist without its creator maintaining it.
Are you talking about maintaining the universe? Do you mean that if God decided to leave the physical realm that the universe would somehow collapse? While those for and against the existence of God disagree, I think it’s safe to say that we would agree that if there is an all powerful God he’d be able to create a mechanically driven universe that does not require his constant oversight. Once God creates the nuclear strong force, gravity, etc he doesn’t need to eternally push it to keep it going.
I know you said that you were looking for philisophical answers, but that doesn’t mean that there are any. Besides gut feeling, what makes you think that the physical universe isn’t mechanically driven?
I used the word “run” in the sense that some scientists and philosophers in history seem to say or imply that math or reason “run” the universe.
I was using run in the the sense makes it go now. As a believing Christian, I would yell there was a creation and God still governs the spiritual, psychological and physical world.
I hold, whether incorrectly or not, that from a purely philosophical and scientific point of view that something superior to reason, math and similar ideas runs it all. I think it is analogous to reason, similar but also jillion times superior to our reasoning abilities.
If I am correct, it is really fundamentally important–for philosophy, science and religions.
I don’t think you can assume that created items of this universe will necessarily exist without God’s willing them to continue. We walk away from things and expect them to be there when we get back to them, but the generalization to God and things may not apply.
Some philosophers say that it is greater that something persists without the maker maintaining it and I agree that God could do this, but is it really the greatest? I think he could choose to make things less than selfsustaining if it suited his purposes better. Thus, we are making a judgement of things being better if they are selfsustaining that in the wisdom of God is not the greatest choice.
I further suggest that a purely “mechanical” universe is not suffient to his purpose. One that is consistant and as stable as we observe it is has merit, but there is more to it than just mechanical.
Most of the reasons why this is known to be possible are in the revelations God has provided his Church and many people want to disprove the existance of God and these revelations, but continue to fail to do so.