Why the World Makes Sense

An Essay By Hannah D. // 5/14/2014

Philosophers, who love to see paradoxes in things that the rest of us take for granted, have long realized that in order for the world to make sense, there must be a connection between unity and mechanics. There has to be a way to explain why the laws and absolutes and concepts of the universe (unity) connect to the particulars of our everyday life (diversity).

Consider dogs, for example. When I say Dog, we all have similar images pop into our heads – four legged furry creatures that wag their tails, pant and bark. I have seen many dogs in my life, but these are different, philosophically, from the idea Dog. I’ve met Fluffy and Fido and Fleabag, but the Dog as an idea is something that exists in my head. Why does it pertain to reality?

This can be extrapolated to subjects of a more profound importance. I see apples fall (particulars) and know of the concept called gravity (unity). I feel sorry for people who get hurt (mechanics, particulars) and know of something called compassion (unity, absolutes). Philosophically, how do I explain the world around me with abstract, universal concepts? According to Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer, only the Trinity in Scripture can account for it. God, being Three, is diverse; but He is also One, so He has perfect unity.

To be honest this took a great deal of time to read over and over again in order for me to understand. What eventually made it click, however, was a physics lesson.

In it, the professor said something to the effect of this: In physics, we have a lot of different ways to express the same physical quantity. For example, the force exerted on an object moving in a circle is equal to:

m(v^2)/r

Where m=mass, v=velocity and r=the radius of the object’s circular path.

Then, perhaps, we could look at gravitational force:

GMm/(r^2)

Where G is a universal constant, M=mass of the first object, m=mass of the second object, and r=the radius between them. In physics, we can set these equations equal to each other to discover something like the mass of Saturn or Mars:

m(v^2)/r=GMm/(r^2)

But take a look again at these two equations. Both are equal to the same value of force (they have perfect unity) but they are different in how they are set up, in what they represent (they have perfect diversity). There are different expressions for centripetal force and frictional force and the force of a spring and the tension in a rope and gravitational force - but they are all Force. Right here, in the language of science, in what describes all sorts of motion from the planets’ orbits to cars speeding around racetracks, is the very nature of God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but still entirely One. His nature is built into His creation, as its language, as the way it operates.

The unity of the laws that govern our world (be it in morality, science or logic) connect to the details that run our everyday lives. You can’t, philosophically, explain diversity with one god (like Allah) or unity with many gods (like the gods of Ancient Egypt), and you can't explain either with no god at all.

And that is why the Bible, and not any other of the world's religions, can explain reality and the world around us - through the Triune God who created it.

Comments

I enjoyed reading this.

I enjoyed reading this. Except when I got to this line "...however, was a physics lesson."
I groaned inwardly. I had just finished dealing with physics this morning, and it's not my most favourite subject :)
But, anywho, I kept reading. I love how you explain everything thoroughly but simply, making it understandable for people like me.
Very nice job!

Maddi | Thu, 05/29/2014

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

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