A causality thought experiment
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12-05-2011, 07:05 PM
A causality thought experiment
After several months avoiding it for fear that my brain would turn to mush like my mom used to warn me tv would do to me, I stumbled on conservapedia again. Specifically, I stumbled on their article on atheism. Needless to say, the most flawed sections of their flawed article were the ones stating evidence for the christian god, and that atheists were responsible for more people dying than the god of the bible, who, as Buddy_Christ has shown us, liked him said death. Their teleological argument is terrible, they name drop the ontological argument, then link to one that was provided in the Dark Ages...and refuted in the Dark Ages. They talk about a bunch of crap, but the one that got me thinking this time was the cosmological argument:
Quote:Cosmological argument: Every event in our universe necessarily has a cause. However, it is impossible that there should be an unending chain of causes going back. Therefore, there necessarily must be a cause distinct from the universe as we know it which is capable of causing all things and is itself uncaused. Atheism denies that that first cause is God.
I think it is ridiculously flawed to say that it is impossible for there to be an unending chain of causes. Especially when they don't give me any proof they know the cause. Oh wait, they do. Gawd. But they don't prove him. Or at least, not as well as any decent apologetic I've ever heard, this conservapedia is less convincing than a lot of the other numbskulls out there.

So I have a thought. I don't think it's impossible for there to be an unending chain, it's just a nausea-inducing thought. My thought experiment is, can you imagine an unending chain of causes to our universe? Why or why not?

My answer on the quick is this: I can imagine it. Sort of. The breadth and scope of the raw power and energy, time, etc is so awe-inducing, to think of the infinite regress of matter or time or whatever is ridiculous. Imagining it makes it possible in principle, therefore not logically and deductively impossible.

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12-05-2011, 10:40 PM
RE: A causality thought experiment
Big bang... Universe expands...
Expansion slows down...
universe collapse...
big crunch...
big bang...
etc...etc...

Besides... their argument for the existence of a God is called "special pleading"
Everything had a cause except God (my god to be specific). Those people just cant wrap their head around terms like "infinite and endless" en so on; they mix it up with "really large" or "very big"

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13-05-2011, 01:56 AM
 
RE: A causality thought experiment
(12-05-2011 07:05 PM)cfhmagnet Wrote:  So I have a thought. I don't think it's impossible for there to be an unending chain, it's just a nausea-inducing thought. My thought experiment is, can you imagine an unending chain of causes to our universe? Why or why not?

Many hypotheses like that has been made, like The_observer said; the oscillating universe theory. There's also the multiverse, infinite inflation etc.

I think the biggest flaw in the logic of those who use the 'everything must have a cause and the chain of causes can't be infinite' argument is to apply their logic to the universe and existence as a whole. Infinity might be hard to grasp, but so are many things we know for a fact. Like the curving of the fabric of spacetime, wave particle duality, virtual particles popping in and out of existence (vacuum polarization), quantum tunneling and so on. It is unreasonable to think that the universe itself must follow the logic we derive from this middle-world we come from (between the galaxies and the elementary particles), especially when we know of so many phenomena that doesn't.
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13-05-2011, 05:50 AM
RE: A causality thought experiment
(12-05-2011 10:40 PM)The_observer Wrote:  Besides... their argument for the existence of a God is called "special pleading"
Everything had a cause except God (my god to be specific). Those people just cant wrap their head around terms like "infinite and endless" en so on; they mix it up with "really large" or "very big"
That (special pleading) drives me nuts man. It is useful in that it trips up those who aren't used to debate. It is ridiculous how many people think that everything has to have a reason, but they never stopped to ask whether or not their reason needed a reason, they just took it on faith.

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13-05-2011, 10:12 AM
RE: A causality thought experiment
In a way, it's obvious that religious people can't wrap their heads around concepts such as the infinite or the endless. If they could, they would understand that eternal life is hell, whether you're burning or not.

Not that, y'know, I can wrap my head around those concepts either. They're just...too big, too much.

For God so loved the world that he arranged for everyone to both have free will and to suffer the terrible consequences of making the wrong choice. Kind of a dick move, God.
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14-05-2011, 12:38 AM
RE: A causality thought experiment
http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?t...pologetics

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?t...pologetics

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

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14-05-2011, 01:17 PM
RE: A causality thought experiment
(13-05-2011 10:12 AM)Bezo Wrote:  In a way, it's obvious that religious people can't wrap their heads around concepts such as the infinite or the endless. If they could, they would understand that eternal life is hell, whether you're burning or not.
So true.

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14-05-2011, 03:04 PM
RE: A causality thought experiment
(13-05-2011 10:12 AM)Bezo Wrote:  Not that, y'know, I can wrap my head around those concepts either. They're just...too big, too much.
You know... You're touching the core there...
Infinite and endless... They're not sizes... They're concepts...

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15-05-2011, 09:56 AM
RE: A causality thought experiment
I can't wrap my head around them, but I can acknowledge that just because I can't doesn't mean they can't be so. Humans have instincts about the words around them, a basic understanding of the world built into us. This is so we can understand how to utilize the world around us in the short term, not so that we understanding instinctively how the universe works. Just because concepts are hard to understand, or even impossible to grasp in their entirety, doesn't mean they are automatically wrong. With all we know of the world today, how many "impossible" things are in fact.

Like something I learned in Calculus class the other day; A shape that has a finite volume, but infinite surface area. It's theoretical, sure, but concept still exists and can be mathematically shown. I have no idea if an infinite regress is possible. To my understanding time didn't exist until the Big Bang, but we as a species really need to stop being so closed to such ideas as an infinite regress.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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15-05-2011, 01:17 PM
RE: A causality thought experiment
When thinking of infinite, It helps to think about a circle...

An other nice thing...
Imagine flat-world. Then imagine flat-world on a sphere. If I a was a flatworlder walking on the sphere I would have the feeling that I could walk infinitely. I have no concept of the third dimension. This is a nice example of "Infinite" while it is still understandable.
/*off topic/
I Cant help but feel that our time-plane is something flatlandish as well...
/off topic*/


It's more awesome then we can understand out there...

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