God is...a very specific nothing?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
26-09-2016, 02:02 PM (This post was last modified: 26-09-2016 05:19 PM by Grasshopper.)
RE: God is...a very specific nothing?
(26-09-2016 01:54 PM)Impulse Wrote:  
(26-09-2016 01:14 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I agree with your second point, but the first one isn't quite fair, because the argument as usually phrased is a bit subtler than that. They don't say that everything must have a cause -- they say that every contingent thing must have a cause, and since there can't be an infinite regress of causation (either temporal or logical), there must be a "first cause" which is not contingent -- i.e., it is necessary. I still don't buy the argument (Who says every contingent thing must have a cause? And who says there can't be an infinite regress of causation?), but the refutation isn't as simple as your first point implies.
I never heard that one before, but I hold to my argument. Either everything must have a cause or there are exceptions. Adding the word contingent translates to the first cause being an exception because it isn't contingent, by definition. But, if the first cause is an exception, then it doesn't have to be caused. That means it's possible for something not to have a cause. There is nothing in this logic that rules out multiple "first" (without contingency) causes each having their own contingent offspring. There could literally be millions, billions, or more. Pretty soon, it becomes almost pointless to even be discussing caused vs. not caused. But regardless, none of it leads to "god", whatever that is.

Believe it or not, they actually have a follow-up argument that proves (in their eyes) that the first cause must be unique, among other things. However, I don't remember exactly how this argument goes, and Bertrand Russell has pointed out that Aristotle's cosmological argument (basically the granddaddy of all the others) concludes that there are either 47 or 55 gods -- so the "uniqueness" argument is not conclusive.

In any case, I find none of their arguments convincing. I was just pointing out that "What caused the first cause?" doesn't quite refute their argument, because they are not incompetent enough to make the claim that everything has a cause. That would be a non-starter.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2016, 02:05 PM
RE: God is...a very specific nothing?
(26-09-2016 01:53 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I've never seen anyone present a cosmological argument claiming that everything must have a cause.

I've seen the "begins to exist" line on this forum - I vaguely think it's due to that bastion of Christian bullshit, William Lane Craig. To me it appears that this modification is solely motivated by the fact that "everything that exists has a cause" is too easily shown to be a load of crap. I mean what the fuck does "begins to exist" even mean?

Is there a definition for contingent that I'm not aware of? AFAIK Contingent = "dependent upon" right? So they are saying "everything that is dependent on a cause, has a cause. The universe is dependent on a cause. God is the cause of the universe. God is not dependent on a cause". How this makes a logical argument is beyond me?

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2016, 02:08 PM
RE: God is...a very specific nothing?
(26-09-2016 10:27 AM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  So a theist I'm talking to is claiming that God MUST exist, as he is the only option other than

a. The universe came from nothing(everything must have a cause)
or
b. The universe has always existed(which he's still trying to prove as impossible on the grounds that if time was infinite we could never get here because we would have to have traversed an infinite past)

And then he goes on to say that a First Cause is exempt from these rules because it is outside time and space. Dimensionless, timeless, simple, indivisible. When I try to tell him that doesn't make much sense, he just tells me to imagine it, and then when I say I can't, he says that my imagination is at fault and HE can imagine it. That I need to "work on my imagination".

Now it seems to me like that description is just another way of saying 'nothing at all', and then calling it God. Thinking up a supposed solution to a problem without providing any evidence that it is the correct solution and then conveniently exempting it from the rules that were already set up. Would this be an accurate assessment?

That's a good one. But ......a god that "must" exist, is *subject* to the laws of Reality, (thus could not be the creator of the very Reality it finds itself). That god "found itself" (already) embedded (of necessity) into the fabric of Reality. A god thus embedded could not be the creator of the very Reality it finds itself. A god that "exists" (always) did not embrace "non-existence" (which also has to be there all long, as long as a god that exists ... thus Reality ALWAYS was larger and more complex than a god that exists, and Reality remains unexplained.

As you said, that god is just a "bit" too specific. Laugh out load .. Laugh out load .. Tongue
They'll have to get up earlier ta fool us. Doh.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2016, 02:28 PM (This post was last modified: 27-09-2016 08:27 AM by Grasshopper.)
RE: God is...a very specific nothing?
(26-09-2016 02:05 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(26-09-2016 01:53 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I've never seen anyone present a cosmological argument claiming that everything must have a cause.

I've seen the "begins to exist" line on this forum - I vaguely think it's due to that bastion of Christian bullshit, William Lane Craig. To me it appears that this modification is solely motivated by the fact that "everything that exists has a cause" is too easily shown to be a load of crap. I mean what the fuck does "begins to exist" even mean?

Is there a definition for contingent that I'm not aware of? AFAIK Contingent = "dependent upon" right? So they are saying "everything that is dependent on a cause, has a cause. The universe is dependent on a cause. God is the cause of the universe. God is not dependent on a cause". How this makes a logical argument is beyond me?

It's not quite that simple. Your definition of "contingent" would make the statement "every contingent thing must have a cause" a tautology rather than an axiom. The way I've always heard a contingent thing defined as something that exists, but could have not existed, as opposed to a necessary thing, which must exist. This dichotomy can be applied to events as well as things (just replace "exist" with "happen").

There are also (at least) two different cosmological arguments. The standard one is the one that claims that every contingent thing must have a cause. Note that this one is non-temporal. It does not necessarily refer to things that happen sequentially, as in "Event A happened, and that caused event B to happen". It is more in the nature of an underlying ground, such as your skeleton being the "cause" of your body's ability to support itself. In this view, the "first cause" (i.e., God), is sustaining (i.e., "causing") the existence of everything right now, at this moment (and every moment). If God ceases that activity even for an instant, the whole universe goes "poof". That's what the standard cosmological argument says. It makes no claims about things beginning to exist. St. Thomas Aquinas (who used this argument) didn't have a problem with an eternally existing universe. He just thought and argued that it required God to sustain its existence.

The other argument is the Kalam cosmological argument. This is the one that talks about things "beginning to exist". It is a temporal argument that deals with our more familiar notion of causation. You are right, WLC likes to use it, but he didn't originate it. I believe the Muslims did, many many years ago.

Anyway, if you want to refute these arguments (and I think it is possible to refute them), you have to refute them on their own terms. Neither argument claims that everything must have a cause. That, as I said in another post, would be a non-starter and very easy to refute.

One example that I might use to refute a cosmological argument is radioactive decay. I think it is pretty universally agreed by physicists that, in any sample of a radioactive substance, a certain percentage of the atoms are guaranteed to decay in a given time, but that it is absolutely unpredictable which specific atoms will do this. For any given atom, whether and when it decays is truly random, and is "uncaused". It just happens. Yet it is a contingent event. This would appear to refute the notion that every contingent event requires a cause. I'm no physicist, but I've been told that it's not just that we don't know the cause -- there literally isn't one. If that's true, so much for the standard cosmological argument (or maybe it's the Kalam argument, since this is a temporal cause that doesn't exist -- but it would seem to refute one of them).
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2016, 02:30 PM
RE: God is...a very specific nothing?
Simply ask him to show that the energy of the universe didn't exist at some point in the past.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2016, 02:39 PM
RE: God is...a very specific nothing?
(26-09-2016 02:28 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  One example that I might use to refute a cosmological argument is radioactive decay. I think it is pretty universally agreed by physicists that, in any sample of a radioactive substance, a certain percentage of the atoms are guaranteed to decay in a given time, but that it is absolutely unpredictable which specific atoms will do this. For any given atom, whether and when it decays is truly random, and is "uncaused". It just happens. Yet it is a contingent event. This would appear to refute the notion that every contingent event requires a cause. I'm no physicist, but I've been told that it's not just that we don't know the cause -- there literally isn't one. If that's true, so much for the standard cosmological argument (or maybe it's the Kalam argument, since this is a temporal cause that doesn't exist -- but it would seem to refute one of them).

I thought philosophical arguments like Kalaam spent most of their time divorced from physical reality anyway? Like, what's to prevent the idiots claiming that the specific atom that does decay has a caused decay, you just can't see it? Or indeed that God is causing that atom to decay? It's all word games IMO.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2016, 02:56 PM
RE: God is...a very specific nothing?
(26-09-2016 02:39 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(26-09-2016 02:28 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  One example that I might use to refute a cosmological argument is radioactive decay. I think it is pretty universally agreed by physicists that, in any sample of a radioactive substance, a certain percentage of the atoms are guaranteed to decay in a given time, but that it is absolutely unpredictable which specific atoms will do this. For any given atom, whether and when it decays is truly random, and is "uncaused". It just happens. Yet it is a contingent event. This would appear to refute the notion that every contingent event requires a cause. I'm no physicist, but I've been told that it's not just that we don't know the cause -- there literally isn't one. If that's true, so much for the standard cosmological argument (or maybe it's the Kalam argument, since this is a temporal cause that doesn't exist -- but it would seem to refute one of them).

I thought philosophical arguments like Kalaam spent most of their time divorced from physical reality anyway? Like, what's to prevent the idiots claiming that the specific atom that does decay has a caused decay, you just can't see it? Or indeed that God is causing that atom to decay? It's all word games IMO.

Certain philosophical schools (logical positivism, linguistic analysis, etc.) claim that most philosophical arguments (and all metaphysical arguments) are just word games, and that most philosophical problems are either illusory or insoluble. However, this seems defeatist to me. I prefer Karl Popper's view that "... there are still some who do believe that philosophy can pose genuine problems about things, and who therefore still hope to get these problems discussed ..." (from the Preface to the 1st edition of The Logic of Scientific Discovery).

However, it's debatable whether "Does God exist?" is such a problem. Personally, I believe that this question cannot be answered either affirmatively or negatively by philosophical argument. If God exists (and if his/her/its existence matters), we'll find out when we die. More likely, we'll just cease to exist when we die, and the question goes away naturally. Smile
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2016, 03:17 PM
RE: God is...a very specific nothing?
I like Popper. Fuck word games and philosophers though. Contingent fucks.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2016, 04:41 PM
RE: God is...a very specific nothing?
Those who have a belief in a god literally believe in nothing. The moral ground is like that of an earthquake.

"Are you in favor of genocide ?"
"Well. No of course not, unless god does it, then its ok"

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Rahn127's post
26-09-2016, 05:05 PM
RE: God is...a very specific nothing?
Your theist opponent is just using a flawed God of the gaps argument and his imagination is extremely limited to a comical degree. To first suppose the universe had a cause or was "created" at some point is dismissing any other scenario that could possibly exist. We would have to assume it wasn't accidentally made or simply a reaction of certain chemicals mixing together after being exposed to high heat and exploding, no intelligence necessary for that to happen by the way.

Even if you are to agree that the universe had a creator and that must be true (which is totally doesn't) you can fill the gap with anything and any event you wish. You could say a wizard living in another dimension where magic exists created our universe inside of an ever expanding clear balloon and travels around the countryside showing it off and charging a fee to take a look at it. Maybe we are a dream or a simulation game or just one of many parallel universes created to appease the whims of a child ruler of a planet in another galaxy.

Of course considering the nearly limitless imaginations every human is born with literally any creation scenario that can be made up out of thin air could be plausible if the only thing we need is a blank space to fill. If there is no actual evidence for the wizard I just made up than why should anyone accept that is the cause for our existence? There isn't any and there is no reason to accept the made up God creators either.

The next time a theist says you're imagination is faulty just make up any creation scenario on the spot and ask them to disprove it, if they can't just tell them to be more logical and reasonable. What is most likely to be true, a made up scenario with no evidence or a scientific theory based on research and facts? It's not imagination that is required in this scenario, it's honest intellectual inquiry.

[Image: sagansig_zps6vhbql6m.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes SitaSky's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: