Belief versus reality
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27-10-2017, 08:15 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(27-10-2017 04:53 AM)unfogged Wrote:  You've stated repeatedly that you accept theism for rational reasons and that this "essentially ordered" bullshit is the only thing you've given as a reason. That is a "first cause" argument and you don't have to use those words explicitly for others to use them in describing their understanding of your argument.

Yes, it's the only thing I've given so far. I didn't know this forum required a dissertation before entering into dialogue. There are more than one reasons I am a theist. Understanding essential ordering is one of those reasons.

If you understand the category of "first cause" arguments the way you do, fine, you got me, a single "first cause" argument is one of the several reasons which contribute to my philosophical theism... but it isn't the sole argument.

I get that you have spoken with a lot of theists who drop one of those arguments (poorly) and then, poof, THEREFORE GOD! You won't see me do that.

Quote:I've already responded that I do not equate them except where I dismiss both for similar reasons so that's a strawman. If you have more arguments for theism then present them. So far the only one you've offered is the essential cause and since it fails I have to assume that you don't actually have any rational basis for theism.

I meant equating arguments regarding essential ordering with "first cause" arguments.

As for answering your demand to present more arguments... I won't. You are not showing me a lot of good will in trying to understand my position. Guess what... a single argument, even when from the essentially ordered perspective, does not argue for theism. The version of the argument that I happen to like the most doesn't even argue for an essential cause. So, if you actually care about anything I have to say, it might help trying to avoid projecting your past experiences with theists onto this one.
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27-10-2017, 08:29 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(27-10-2017 04:58 AM)unfogged Wrote:  0+0+0=0

Multiple arguments that don't conclude theism don't get you anywhere.

Some arguments which don't conclude theism conclude other things. Those other things, are greater than 0. They may not add up to theism, but then they don't add up to 0 either.

Quote:
Quote:I claimed to know some things through faith, and other, different things through reason. Do you see that as a contradiction?

You also claimed that you do not know things by faith. You are either a troll or one deeply confused individual.

Yes. Lol. If I claim to know 'x' by faith, and I claim to know 'z' by reason, then:

I "do not know 'z' by faith" (hint: I know 'z' by reason and not faith). It seems pretty clear and simple to me.

Quote:I will repeat again that I do not accept that you can KNOW anything through faith. You can BELIEVE through faith but that is completely worthless.

And I will repeat again:
(23-10-2017 07:53 AM)Ignorant Wrote:  If you don't think believing something by faith is any sort of knowledge, that is fine. I won't demand that you accept that.
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27-10-2017, 08:31 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(27-10-2017 05:06 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(27-10-2017 04:33 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Quarks, protons, neutrons, atoms, molecules, cells, materials, organisms, etc. can all exist simultaneously, and yet quarks are "first" (i.e., most fundamental) in the sense that is relative to this argument.

That's a good way to put it.

IMO the argument fails for reasons very akin to the failure of the classic temporal first cause. It assumes that existence requires some underlying "thing" to manifest it, but whatever that thing is, it doesn't need the same help to exist. If there is something that doesn't require this kind of cause then why can't that something just be the universe? If everything requires this additional backdrop then why doesn't "god"? It is just an argument from ignorance and special pleading.

I'm not sure myself that the argument succeeds, but here is the gist of it:

1. Every contingent thing requires a cause (note that this doesn't say "everything" -- only every contingent thing). Material things are inherently contingent, so if there is a first cause (something that does not itself require a cause), it must be immaterial.

2. We must therefore have either an infinite regress of causes, or a first cause.

3. This is the part that I don't fully "get" (either the claim is spurious, or I'm failing to understand it fully): the proponents of this argument claim that there is no logical problem with an infinite series of temporal causes (strung out in time), but that an infinite regression of "essential" causes (e.g., my quark model) is logically impossible. I have to admit that I don't see at the moment why this must be true.

Because of 2 and 3, there must be a first cause. Because of 1, that first cause (or brute fact, if you will) cannot be the universe, or quarks, or anything material. Therefore "God". Further arguments establish that this "God" must have at least some of the attributes generally supposed by the major theistic religions (although you can't get to any specific God this way -- that requires revelation and/or faith).

#2 seems obvious to me. #1 seems at least plausible, although I'm not entirely convinced by it. #3 is the sticker for me. I can see the difference between a temporally ordered sequence and an efficiently ordered sequence. At the moment, I'm not sure I see why one can be infinite and not the other, but I'm willing to admit that this might be a deficiency in my understanding rather than in the argument.
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27-10-2017, 08:35 AM (This post was last modified: 27-10-2017 08:43 AM by Free.)
RE: Belief versus reality
(27-10-2017 04:40 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(26-10-2017 07:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  Logical arguments without evidence to support their applicability are empty.

I've never seen any "evidence" that there are infinitely many prime numbers -- only a logical argument. Yet it's as true as anything is, and has applications (to encryption, for example).

ETA: Likewise for complex numbers (never seen any evidence for those either) and electrical engineering.

Yet the very same logical reasoning used in the example of prime numbers expressed in the quote above allows us to understand that we can actually know something without conclusive evidence. Although we will never prove the assertion that prime numbers continue infinitely, the mere application of basic reasoning provides us with the knowledge that they will.

And it requires no great leap of reasoning to understand that since we can know that prime numbers continue infinitely, it only follows that by necessity they also continue eternally.

Therefore, we can demonstrate the existence of both infinity and eternity without the need of conclusive evidence, which is an impossibility. Notwithstanding, because we can demonstrate infinity and eternity as an existence, to me at least it is illogical to conclude that the universe could be finite, or ever have a first cause, because something such as the infinity and eternal existence of prime numbers could not be true in a finite and linear universe.

So now we have two logical examples of infinity and eternity in existence via the conservation of energy, and the existence of eternity and infinity in respect to prime numbers.

In my view, this evidence trumps all first cause arguments.

It didn't come to be, it simply didn't come at all. Yet there it is, existing.

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27-10-2017, 08:45 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(27-10-2017 05:06 AM)unfogged Wrote:  It assumes that existence requires some underlying "thing" to manifest it, but whatever that thing is, it doesn't need the same help to exist.

The underlying premises are actually:

1) An infinity of essential conditions cannot be simultaneously fulfilled (i.e. all at once).
2) Some things have essential conditions for their existence.

If those premises is true. Then the number of essential conditions for any given conditional thing is finite. If they are finite, then there is a "most" fundamental condition (whatever the hell it is).
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27-10-2017, 08:47 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
double post during edit: my bad
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27-10-2017, 08:52 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
All of these words and still no actual deity to show for them?

Pony up, sonny.

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

Alouette, je te plumerai.
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27-10-2017, 08:53 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(27-10-2017 08:45 AM)Ignorant Wrote:  
(27-10-2017 05:06 AM)unfogged Wrote:  It assumes that existence requires some underlying "thing" to manifest it, but whatever that thing is, it doesn't need the same help to exist.

The underlying premises are actually:

1) An infinity of essential conditions cannot be simultaneously fulfilled (i.e. all at once).

They can if the universe is infinite and eternal. Everything that is possible would therefore be in existence somewhere in an infinite and eternal universe.


Quote:[2) Some things have essential conditions for their existence.

If those premises is true. Then the number of essential conditions for any given conditional thing is finite. If they are finite, then there is a "most" fundamental condition (whatever the hell it is).

Again, if the universe is infinite and eternal everything that is possible would therefore be in existence somewhere in an infinite and eternal universe.

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27-10-2017, 08:54 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(27-10-2017 08:45 AM)Ignorant Wrote:  
(27-10-2017 05:06 AM)unfogged Wrote:  It assumes that existence requires some underlying "thing" to manifest it, but whatever that thing is, it doesn't need the same help to exist.

The underlying premises are actually:

1) An infinity of essential conditions cannot be simultaneously fulfilled (i.e. all at once).
2) Some things have essential conditions for their existence.

If those premises is true. Then the number of essential conditions for any given conditional thing is finite. If they are finite, then there is a "most" fundamental condition (whatever the hell it is).

Your #1 sounds like another way of stating my #3 (a few posts up from this one). But I'm still not quite seeing why the statement must be true.
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27-10-2017, 09:03 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(27-10-2017 08:54 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(27-10-2017 08:45 AM)Ignorant Wrote:  The underlying premises are actually:

1) An infinity of essential conditions cannot be simultaneously fulfilled (i.e. all at once).
2) Some things have essential conditions for their existence.

If those premises is true. Then the number of essential conditions for any given conditional thing is finite. If they are finite, then there is a "most" fundamental condition (whatever the hell it is).

Your #1 sounds like another way of stating my #3 (a few posts up from this one). But I'm still not quite seeing why the statement must be true.

#1 requires demonstration of its own (i.e. it is not self-evident). I was merely trying to help by drawing out the premises the argument actually uses.
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