The Problems of Beginning & Justification – are hardly fatal

One can read Godel & the End of the Universe by Professor S.W.Hawking here.

I first listened to Professor Hawking’s lecture as differently entitled: “Gödel and the end of physics

Audio available here.

When listening to Hawking, it seemed I’d encountered his conclusion, many years before, in Jesuit Father Stanley Jaki‘s 1966 “The Relevance of Physics.”

Fr Jaki responded to Hawking in an article rather snarkily called “A Late Awakening

Alon Amit wrote an ANGRY rebuttal. Ironically, it included: It’s possible we won’t find one because the theory will inevitably contain a plethora of hand-tuned parameters that “can’t be explained from first principles.”

If Amit’s right regarding “nonsensical conclusions from Gödel’s Theorems,” it seems he was nevertheless missing the obvious point regarding those first principles that both Jaki & Hawking properly intuited: Münchhausen trilemma

But Sextus Empiricus c.160 had already beat’em all to that insight!

Peter Suber has written the best & most accessible discussion of this whole “Problem of Beginning

It’s a lesson every aspiring (or world-renowned) physicist or metaphysician must learn.

Still, neither Tarski nor Gödel should be facilely applied.

The take-away is NOT that the radical skeptics win the day or that postmodernism offers a system rather than a mere critique. Instead, justification requires both speculative & practical reason, a robustly participatory taste & see approach to Truth!

See: Natural Theology & Natural Law -however otherwise weak, at least- defeat Nihilism