Perceptions on Reflections

While reading a book by Clifford A. Pickover called The Physics Devotional, a quote reminded me of the importance of reflecting. Pickover wrote about something that Arnold Arons said about physics. Of Arons, Pickover (2015) wrote:

There is a kind of symbolic relationship here between law and theory. A theory becomes more and more respected and powerful the more phenomena that can be derived from it, and the law describing these phenomena becomes more meaningful and useful if it can be made part of a theory. Thus, Newton’s theory of universal gravitation gained greatly in stature because it enabled one to derive the laws that govern the moon’s motion, known by empirical rules since the days of the Babylonian observers. (p. 8)

Within computer science, for instance, the programmer or software developer goes through the process of designing, creating, testing, and debugging a software or system application. This is how a program becomes made. However, the question of why a program does good or bad is commonly expressed with the notion that truth is a matter of pleasure; that is supposed as a fine replacement for the objective balance. For reference, the United States of America, which produces litigation, confirms that scientifically analytical laws follow propositions. Bo Brinkman and Alton F. Sanders distributed information about the classical popularizer of pleasure as truth, John Stuart Mill. Brinkman and Sanders (2013) claimed, “Laws governing free speech in the United States today are generally consistent with Mill’s view. However, the issue of free speech is not settled” (p. 245). For computer science solutions, optimizing code might not always be the simplest or most effective way for building a successful product, but documentation can guide that process. Therefore, the reader may look to an objective source of ethical documentation about people for an understanding of why a particular software is good or bad.

Among scholars, theology is considered the queen of the sciences; it is a responsibility and a gift. The Book of James (KJV) says, “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons” (2:1). This is a prohibition on favoritism for an ethic of fairness for the Jew and the Gentile. Thomas Aquinas theological first way of proving a Creator supports this. Ellen T. Charry wrote that Aquinas (2000) explained,

For it is only when acted upon by the first cause that the intermediate causes will produce the change: if the hand does not move the stick, the stick will not move anything else. Hence one is bound to arrive at some first cause of change not itself being changed by anything, and this is what everybody understands by God. (p. 32)

Thomas Aquinas perceived that the initial state is the origin of the continuum. With a final point, Archimedes would call this a summation. Regardless of the origin, considering the final point as the end of history, Hegel (1956) argued that “The History of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of freedom” (p. 19). The Bible challenges that by conserving a story throughout history. The Almighty, spoken on behalf of by the prophet Isaiah (KJV), said, “And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? And the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them” (Is 44:7). The progress that Hegel mentioned leaves behind truths perceived as irrational for the evolution of validity. Thus, when documenting computer applications, agreement with Hegel would require abandoning whatever causes errors in usefulness according to rationality. However, mainstream physicists who discuss quantum mechanics usually agree that human reason is not always sufficient for understanding the world. The Nazis, for example, were rational in that they had a goal in mind that they thought would be useful to them: creating a master race by destroying the Jews. Therefore, when Arons mentioned that law may be derived from theory, this is in agreement with the mathematical sciences, but it did not embed the assumptions into human perception; empirical observations were considered a stepping stone towards the highest understanding. Therefore, documentation should be valued for what it can help beyond the code. Further, analytically oriented computer scientists should be raised up by reflecting on the big picture when developing applications because doing so provides more contextual understanding.

In the coming weeks, I will work on more courses related to computer science and information systems. That said, there are alternative worldviews in this pluralistic nation that I live among as an American. While that is the case, I do think that I should stay focused on what is straight ahead that is reckoned for me. There may be chronological parameters that allow for people meeting in the middle. Seeking true exegesis for studying the perceptions of others is what I think is the way. Thus, I hope that my comments provide such opportunities over time.

References

Brinkman, W. J., & Sanders, A. F. (2013). Ethics in a Computing Culture. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Charry, E. T., & Aquinas, T. (2000). Inquiring after God by Means of Scientific Study. In Inquiring after God: Classic and Contemporary readings (p. 32). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Hegel, G. W. (1956). The Philosophy of History.

Pickover, C. A. (2015). The Physics Devotional: Celebrating the Wisdom and Beauty of Physics.

An Application of Epistemic Proof for the Teleological View

Today, the Christian Broadcasting Network reported about a perceived issue related to a comment that Republican Party Chairman, Reince Priebus, said about President-elect Donald Trump. Priebus (2016) asserted, “Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King” (CBN News). Some became enraged and claimed the press release stated by Priebus as about Trump (2016). As we will see, there are competing views related to this situation that may be the right framework for understanding the Biblical Scriptures followed then by other messages in turn. In relation to the exegetical process of accepting data, hermeneutics for informative purposes, and applying it to contemporary issues, there are two opposing approaches to this. One approach that many claim is identifying a single piece of the Bible as representative of the entire Bible, or microscopic view. For example, people with the microscopic view and perhaps the most recent wave of feminist theology in contemporary times might say that the Apostle Paul’s first Epistle to Timothy contains a sexist theme. The Apostle Paul (KJV) said, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim 2:12). In and of itself, this Scriptural verse shows the fallen state of man, male and female; there is inequality in education thus in every level of society. However, the Biblical Scriptures are a collection of books with collective truth that is relevant to this verse. One such verse is the Psalm (KJV), “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” (19:8). This may be cross-referenced with the Psalm, “The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times” (12:6).

For the first mentioned Psalm, the reader might relate to the sun coming up day after day, increasing the health of the person who is exposed to it and waking him up. Similarly, the second mentioned Psalm describes that the reality of the Word of the Most High is shown through understanding the history of these messages that is the precedent for each message. When looking at the second chapter, verse 12 of Paul’s Epistle to Timothy, we may thus look to previous Biblical Scriptures. For example, Esther the queen informed the king Ahasuerus about the plot that advisor to the king, Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, had for destroying the Jews because Mordecai, another Jew, did not treat Haman with reverence because the faith of Israel, despite being dispersed, was not fully assimilated into other societies (Est 3:1-6, 7:1-6). The Matthew Henry Commentary states, “The religion of a Jew forbade him to give honours to any mortal man which savoured of idolatry, especially to so wicked a man as Haman” (Henry). The precept that Esther, a woman, taught a man, and in doing so preserved the Most High’s children by implicitly doing His work contradicts the microscopic view, but not Paul’s Epistle.

In contemporary Christian theology on marriage, Richard J. Foster shared insights. Foster said, “Marriage that is Christian is covenantal. A covenant is a promise – a pledge of love, loyalty, and faithfulness. A covenant involves continuity – the sense of a common future to look forward to and a history to look back on together” (Charry, 2000, p. 148). Therefore, man and woman work together with neither lording himself or herself over the other. The concept of covenant may be derived from this and applied to contemporary issues. This is the teleological view for approaching the Biblical Scriptures integrated into the exegetical process. Thus, the reader may look to other aspects of history related to Trump’s situation so that a true understanding may be perceived. In recent times, a common disagreement that is not so new is about honoring the birth of Christ on a single day of the Gregorian calendar year. Therefore, when John Weaver, a leading aide to Ohio Governor John Kasich expressed hatred towards this comment (CBN News), I think that this was interpreted as a man lording himself over the people who he is elected for so that he may serve. However, Gregg Birnbaum and Kevin Liptak reported on CNN that Trump recently spoke about reasserting the relevance of December the twenty-fifth as a special day for the world and Christianity should be celebrated rather than judged (CNN, 2016). Therefore, in accepting historical details as a union of intervals, interpreting them for personal understanding, and applying them to contemporary issues, the teleological view of reality is probably more tenable than the microscopic view might first appear.

References

Birnbaum, G., Liptak, K., & CNN. (2016, June 25). Trump, fist raised, wishes all a Merry Christmas – CNNPolitics.com. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/25/politics/trump-christmas-tweet/index.html

Charry, E. T. (2000). Inquiring after God: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Oxford, MA: Blackwell.

CBN News. (2016, December 26). RNC Press Release On Christ’s Birth Offends Top Political Aide | CBN.com. Retrieved from http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2016/december/rnc-press-release-on-christs-birth-offends-top-political-aide

Henry, M. (n.d.). Esther 3:6 Commentaries. Retrieved from http://biblehub.com/esther/3-6.htm

Reflections on 2016

Over the course of 2016, I learned about various topics related to natural and transcendent aspects of existence, and I think that reflecting on them is important for understanding why I should continue on my academic journey. Since January, I received admission to Regent University, and I call myself a Regent: someone who represents a ruler before He returns. This ruler is who I believe will be called “Faithful and True” (KJV, Revelation 19:11). Starting from that belief, understanding all truths related to the Biblical Scriptures and therefore all man might be achieved. This is only in the context of man’s understanding, for the Father said that man’s ways are not his ways (Is 55:8). For example, microeconomics might be commonly thought of as a “dry science,” but it comes alive when noticed in the Biblical Scriptures. Information Systems contextually affect every part of contemporary society, and the ethical relevance related to those who would guide or control people with them might result in efficient results if the epistemological structures that the faiths of the people conceptualizing and engineering the science and its applications are built on are understood.

Besides that, computer science has theories, but without a constant standard, values may progress while many vulnerable groups who I think are marginalized people remain those who will not have the opportunity because the best in us would not be represented over time. Next, theories about data relate to information. The Bible says that “Word of the Most High pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit” (He 4:12). For the lives of people, I think that strengthening hermeneutical understanding for exegetical results is the best way that data may be utilized. Although there is the notion that pleasure should be maximized as an evolution of lasting happiness, the most widely respected nation-state in contemporary history holds, among other truths believed self-evident, that the pursuit of happiness is granted to all men by our Creator (US 1776). People may argue the details, but I agree with the contemporary view that teleological theology helps understand the context of data more than derivations to a point alone may seem. Hence, integrating faith with reason builds general relatability to what is important: the transcendent standard of morality and people who may work with His concept of right and wrong even if without a direct relationship with the Son of Man.

While ethical understanding has relevance to isolated groups, there is strength in greater numbers that morality may persuade. When volunteering for a video game website, for example, I realized that the niche ethical code of conduct that people accepted for membership was a bubble that reflected reality in an exponential form, so subjects quickly gained and lost relevance, but the moral principles related to it are inversely conserved over time with a slow rate of change in understanding. I think that experience is a sign that knowledge is and will increase, but wisdom remains an outcome of looking outside ourselves for guidance and reflection. Furthermore, mathematical understanding comes at the cost of time and effort, but the reward is a refined theological understanding of the sovereign who created the world and is blessed from everlasting to everlasting (Gen 1:1, Ps 41:13).

In Parallel and Distributive Programming, the superiority of relatively larger datasets being handled by a distributed set of nodes in comparison to the superiority of handling relatively smaller datasets faster with shared memory is relevant for understanding the logic of people seeking moral and ethical understanding of the world and what is beyond it. This is because the Tower of Babel, for instance, was built with a people speaking one language, a relatively smaller dataset than what languages exist, today, and they might have reached heaven had it not been for the Most High’s intervention (Gen 11:1-9). In contrast, people are reaching towards the heavens in a distributed way over the course of thousands of years with man eventually stepping foot on the moon itself with common ambitions in popular culture and in government-funded programs beyond the earth’s orbit.

With these courses, I do think that the most important aspect of my education is ethical understanding related to how scientific theory and application might benefit the common man in a way better than pleasure can provide that would be recognized as victory. In the light that right beliefs shine in the world, the engineering applications of the world may benefit all of us who accept the responsibility that understanding what truth, goodness, and beauty are require in us. Biblically-based education provides the opportunity for that.

Purpose-Driven Human-Computer Interaction

Within the years past of the second millennium AD, there is a discussion about the predicted future of human-computer interaction in dialogues related to computing technology. In a fictional science fiction video game concentrating on cybernetic augmentations in society, Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal, 2011), an article is given called Nano-Augmentation – Pipedream, or Theory for the Future. The fictional article in the game asserts:

In the decade to come, the enhanced beings — post humans who are our progeny– will look at the mechanical devices we rudely bolted on to our living flesh or buried inside our grey matter, and they will mock us for our crudity. They will look upon what we have made with the same curiosity, the same disinterest, as the pilot of the veetol helicopter would look upon an ox-cart. (2011)

The premise of this story is not an aberration of the world, but rather a checkpoint on the path towards human-computer interconnectivity. Ray Bradbury wrote about the slights people would perceive in an environment essentially saturated in computing technologies that surveil society. Bradbury (1953) wrote that the self-described murderer of technology said, “I’m the vanguard of the small public which is tired of the noise and being taken advantage of and pushed around and yelled at, every moment music, every moment in touch with some voice somewhere” (p. 299).  In contemporary times, the field of engineering solution discussed by a wide domain of computer science including cyber security is called The Internet of Things. A writer for the Journal of Engineering (2014) said, “Slowly shaping the market in embedded security or the testing and auditing of IoT applications prior to launch are the first steps in providing a trustworthy base: Arrayent, Hewlett-Packard, Microchip, NXP Semiconductors, Sonatype, and Wind River.” Therefore, major participants for the future of human-computer interaction consider this field relevant enough that it is invested in for the purpose of embedding computing systems into human lives, but forward presentations do not discuss the strength of the flank that ushers in the legality of human-computer interaction. Although the truth of innovation being followed by litigation may be thought of as an avoidable practice, the relevance of confronting the exponential growth of technology with the notion that the rest of its users is part of the human psyche.

Statista, an organization that provides scholarly communities with facts and statistics explained the origin of the Internet of Things (IoT). Statista stated, “In 1999, British technologist Kevin Ashton came up with the term Internet of Things (IoT) to define a network that not only connects people, but also the objects around them” (Web 1). What Kevin Ashton labeled, Ray Bradbury expressed as something that would result in slights harming people attributable to societal misconceptions about the benefits of relying on normalized science and technology without inner sanity and outward care for results that benefit the common man. The question that follows naturally depends on the historical and Biblical truth (KJV) that “That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Mat 12:36). Therefore, the reader might ask what benefit is scientific understanding and technological connectivity if it does not result in the advancement of humanity in a moral sense. The notion that the Deus Ex: Human Revolution presents related to curiosity and mockery as a result of progress is a focus of this because the strength of character does not necessarily evolve, so to speak, with, what in this case may be sarcastically called, character displacement of technological adaptation. Having said that, value may be found by accepting that the big picture of scientific advancement and technological innovation is justified through correct faith applied for the common man, male and female. This is so that he may be offered a hand up and understand that the machinery that augments the person extending it will be a beautiful instance of equipping him with the mental tools for giving him an active voice in society.

References

ABI research; internet of things is cybersecurity’s next frontier, according to ABI research. (2014). Journal of Engineering, 718.

Bradbury, R. (1953). The Murderer.

Nano-Augmentation – Pipedream, or Theory for the Future [Deus Ex: Human Revolution]. Montreal, Canada: Eidos Montreal.

Web 1. Statista. (n.d.). Internet of Things – Statistics & Facts. Retrieved December 21, 2016.

Epistemology and Information on the Internet

A practice that is relevant to the development of views is finding citable sources. However, what constitutes a citable source is predicated on the notion that a source is trustworthy.

In contemporary times, one of the most relevant topics related to developing views is how we accept what we consider useful for dissemination, and the Internet is related to that. Bo Brinkman and Alton F. Sanders (2013) said, “Epistemology, roughly speaking, studies the nature of knowledge and how we know what we know” (p. 211). A practice that is relevant to the development of views is finding citable sources. However, what constitutes a citable source is predicated on the notion that a source is trustworthy. Brinkman and Sanders mentioned that the start of the age of Enlightenment began societal dependence on singular experts who apply reason and construct knowledge (p. 211). Although this is the progress of history from a secular perspective and is valid as a concept of reason, it is a position apart from the grace of the Most High. We may look to the ancient philosophy, that of science, also relevant for an understanding of how Biblical truths are germane. In paraphrasing, Stephen Law (2007) said,

Scientists construct theories they believe are confirmed by what they observe. Such confirmation, however, comes in degrees. A theory might be very slightly confirmed by a piece of evidence, or it might be very strongly confirmed. One question we might ask about confirmation is: what makes one theory more strongly confirmed than the next? (170)

For Biblical truths, I think that individuals and people may rely on trust. The strongest argument that a skeptic could say against trusting the Biblical Scriptures is that no sense of self or self-concept may be trusted; all of reality could be a hologram for a single brain interfacing with a computer while placed in a vat. However, the notion that nothing is real therefore nothing is permitted is an induction of an induction, and doing so is a failure to build a general or specific argument based on the character of an individual person or people related to an action or series of actions. Without the acknowledgment of differentiated character, there can be no general brain in a vat. Without a general commanding character, there can be no multiple brains in vats. The notion that a computer could represent human ideals as well as human immorality and unethical behavior as an unconstructed leader that could be known in human terms separates the skeptic’s argument from a brain in a vat controlled by a computer from the essential resulting position that is a computer that is co-dependent on the brain because the best that the computer could be is another level of creation. There must be an ultimate level of truth by the skeptic’s own method of exhaustion. As Thomas Aquinas said of the highest level of existence that must be apart from reality, et-hoc-dicimus-deum: “And this we call God.” (Charry, 2000, p. 33). In proposing this position as the basis of trust, I think that sources that seek truth may be trusted.

When reviewing reports from one source or another on a single issue and there are contradictory reports, that may be an indicator of some unseen truth that may be derived or, on the other side of the mathematical axis of logic, induced. Although there is a contemporary notion that a truth is merely a fact, Biblical truths are facts that apply to all of mankind, male and female. Different people saying the exact same thing about an event implies that there is one source thus different people saying different things about an event implies that there are multiple sources and is more trustworthy than a single source. A Biblical truth that is relevant to this discussion is a verse from Mosaic Law. The Book of Deuteronomy (KJV) says, “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established” (19:15). Therefore, even with two or more sources, if these so-called sources have a single source for themselves linking them all together, two separate sources are more historically credible in a way that truths may be respected and understood.

With that said, the Internet offers access to much data on the internet, but in my experience, there are relatively few major sources of information. The vertical honor or prestige that is apparent is elevated from the base of horizontal honor that is introductory recognition. For the purpose of keeping the freedoms of speech and equal protections led by the United States, alternative sources or news should probably be acknowledged in a truthful way. Going against that is an attack on the integrity of character that Internet news sources have respect for apart from mere consistency. Rather than only consistency, the integrity of character that I speak of is the consistency of doing right things. Without that kind of integrity, any notion of doing the right thing is coated by the subject of seeking an end that results in maximum good for a particular group of people rather than what benefits man in common. As a Christian American, I believe that those who lack in basic necessities such as knowledge need truths that may help enrich characters so even if money is tight, people may rejoice in the blessings that they do have or will have with hard work.

Even though the epistemology that people may take for granted can be useful in a variety of disciplines, I think that there are issues with contemporary perspectives related to the development of views about contemporary issues. There is a useful application for the skeptic’s strongest position and that is the recognition that computer that the brain in a vat is attached to would ultimately be a part of creation as well, so assuming the highest existence as beyond reality that is thus supernatural is more tenable. Having said that, distinguishing truths that apply to all men, male and female, may help recognize fact from fiction for the purpose of developing information relevant for dissemination on the Internet.

References

Brinkman, W. J., & Sanders, A. F. (2013). Ethics in a Computing Culture. Boston, MA.

Charry, E. T. (2000). Inquiring after God: Classic and contemporary readings. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Law, S. (2012). Philosophy.

 

Reflections of Previous Semesters, and Thoughts on Moving Forward

Since January to August, my course schedule has been steady every week except for a couple times when there was a week break during or after the semesters, and more is here. During the Spring and Summer 2016 semesters at Regent University, I experienced an introduction to 8-week accelerated courses. They were very challenging with a promise of gaining knowledge of how I may approach various fields with Biblical thinking. In-depth studies of Christian theology was the start of my journey at Regent after transferring from a local public college. It was the first time that I had ever sat down and read the works of leaders of Christian thought throughout history from St. Anselm to Thomas Aquinas about arguments for the existence of God, and to topics such as friendship, art, and marriage from Biblically-based perspectives both from centuries in the past to our contemporaries such as Aelred of Rievaulx, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Richard J. Foster. I learned the significance of the superior quality of Biblical prophecy with research into Jesus the Christ’s life on earth. Old Testament studies further built on these understandings.

After that, I faced testing with the understanding of this Biblical foundation in the form of applied dialogues in every course from Microeconomics to Introduction to Programming, and from Making of the Christian Leader to Operating Systems. Each course required rapid integration of faith with the study of reason. With these completed, I became accustomed to this eight-week format.

After a business week and a couple weekends for a break between semesters, Fall classes began, this Monday, the 22nd. Interestingly, I enrolled in a Calculus III course for my program that is fifteen weeks in duration. I say so because the study time was estimated for about the same amount of time as the eight-week courses; there is the same study challenge as an eight-week course, but that duration is doubled. Calculus being the study of infinity is a relevant topic for the integration of the Biblical Scriptures. As one of the Psalmists wrote, “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (NIV, Ps 103:17). According to Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton, the relevance of this chapter is related to the agenda of the editor of the Psalms. About what its purpose is, Hill and Walton said, “Critical discussion of God’s forgiving the sins of the nation” (Hill & Walton, 2009, p. 429). The Psalms verse and Hill and Walton stated that God Almighty grants his servants blessings of mercy that are collectively grace. This may be interpreted as the privilege of understanding His justice and infinite wisdom, though that does not mean God, himself, is understood beyond his character. Even when Immanuel walked the earth, God the Father reigned in heaven thus his character is known in the flesh, but his infinite Spirit is not fully known. I think that this may apply to Calculus III well as the concept of infinity may be known, but true infinity is not. It is an appealing dichotomy that may be studied for the purpose of growing in true faith for we all assume something as the basis for our worldviews. While this truth about humanity persists, the study of conceptual theory should continue in my view. Having said that, I have more courses this semester.

In general, my other courses are computer science topics, and they are Database Fundamentals, Ethics for Computer Science, and Distributed and Parallel Programming. Each of these eight-week courses required for my major are what interest me. In particular, the research that may equip me with a purpose-driven education is appealing, and I believe that this is the right path for me. Having said that, as these three eight-week courses are accelerated, I chose them two at a time at most. Towards the halfway completed date of the Fall semester, Database Fundamentals has completion as part of its scheduling whereas the remaining two have the beginning of their scheduled coursework for students. While this is work for me, I believe that any truths that I learn from these courses come from God, so I receive blessings then He receives glory. Therefore, my goal in this study consists of working for God Almighty.

Bibliography

Hill, A. E., & Walton, J. H. (2009). A Survey of the Old Testament (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI, MI: Zondervan Pub. House.