"God is self-existent"
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
07-04-2015, 05:47 AM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2015 05:50 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: "God is self-existent"
(06-04-2015 09:20 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(04-04-2015 08:12 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  1. Let C be a creation model of the universe. Say that C = G + M where G is a god and M is a creation mechanism. Let C' = M. If God has a mechanism to create the universe then a mechanism exists to create the universe, and god is not required.
2. Let C' be a creation model of the universe. Say that C' = M. Let C = G + M. If a mechanism exists to create the universe, then it is possible to assume that a god directed the mechanism.
The whole argument is an intellectual dead end, and if you think you have any kind of gotcha argument going such as "but what about conversation of energy?" then I'm sorry to tell you that your argument isn't sound. If God has a mechanism to create the universe then a mechanism exists to create the universe. No god needed.

Quote:For a closed system that behaves like ones we have experience with and has a simple temporal dimension the energy of the system at time t0 is equal to the energy of the system at time tn, for any n.
Here's where I take exception to this--the statement above is tantamount to saying, "Yes, we believe the Law of Conservation always applies in this universe--unless it didn't--because if it always applies there are gaps we're uncomfortable with--and we don't want theists sticking their ideas in those gaps."
I could as easily state that "6 plus 6 equals 12 always and forever, as far as we know, except when it doesn't or hasn't."

It's more like saying: Time progresses at a constant rate for all observers, unless you are considering relativistic effects.

Note that the equation I stated above does not consider relativistic effects and is simplified even from what we know for the audience and the purpose of this discussion. In reality there is no simple concept of time even in this universe. There is no such thing as simultaneity for all observers. Precise formulations exist that deal with this but there is little point trying to be precise when what we are dealing with are broad philosophical questions about how the universe may have begun.

Science ends where our experience ends. That is its nature. We use existing laws to make predictions beyond our current knowledge, not with the certainty they will hold but with the certainty that we'll learn something by discovering whether or not they hold. We don't know what laws hold across the t0 of this universe. We don't know whether there is anything before the t0 of this universe for laws to hold across. There are a multitude of natural explanations for the origin of the universe. Most but not all assume the law holds. Our best predictions in the past have been based on our existing knowledge, so it's not stupid to think that conservation of energy will hold... but it's not crazy to consider the alternative either. Sometimes the bet a scientist makes is that our current knowledge will not be predictive in a given experiment. It is those experiments that prove our "law" wrong that are the most interesting. It is those experiments that prove our equation wrong that advance science.

What I see is you ignoring the elephant in the room here, which is your own claim of the creation of the universe. If your claim is possible then a comparable natural creation is possible. You seem uninterested in addressing this however. Instead you only cover your ears and pretend not to hear that which I have repeated over and over in this thread: There is no conflict between a natural beginning to this universe and conservation of energy, no matter how much you want it be true. I have pointed out several basic models that comply with conservation of energy, therefore your argument remains pointless. Your assertions are only serving to show a lack of interest in this subject. As a student you are not on track at this stage to achieve a passing grade for this subject. You must apply yourself to the course material.

Before I answer further posts to this thread please deal with the following:
1. Q says that conservation of energy must hold across the t0 of this universe
2. Q says that there is a t(-1) for conservation of energy to hold across. That is: E(t(-1)) = E(t(0))
Where does Q say E(t(-1)) came from? Let's say that
3. Q says the energy comes from God.
Either:
4a. Conservation of energy does not hold across the t0 of God, or
4b. There is no t(-1) for conservation of energy to hold across
right? How does Q escape special pleading if heading down this path? Why must the universe have the properties that t(-1) exists and that conservation of energy holds between t(-1) and t0, but not God?

Does God escape the conservation of energy problem by never having a beginning? In which case why not conclude that the universe escapes the conservation of energy problem by not having a beginning?
Does God escape the problem by having a beginning before which there was no time? In which case why not conclude that the universe has a beginning before which there was no time?
Does God escape the problem by violating conservation of energy? In which case why not conclude that the universe before the big bang violated conservation of energy?
These are not easy questions. Cosmology brings us face to face with the deepest mysteries, questions that were once treated only in religion and myth.

You can't prove god through special pleading. This is an intellectual dead end. If you think you have a gotcha argument here you do not. But take heart! there is no gotcha in the other direction either. Can't the discussion move into more fertile ground? Is this the paucity of debate we are reduced to?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Hafnof's post
13-04-2015, 01:52 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(07-04-2015 05:47 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(06-04-2015 09:20 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Here's where I take exception to this--the statement above is tantamount to saying, "Yes, we believe the Law of Conservation always applies in this universe--unless it didn't--because if it always applies there are gaps we're uncomfortable with--and we don't want theists sticking their ideas in those gaps."
I could as easily state that "6 plus 6 equals 12 always and forever, as far as we know, except when it doesn't or hasn't."

It's more like saying: Time progresses at a constant rate for all observers, unless you are considering relativistic effects.

Note that the equation I stated above does not consider relativistic effects and is simplified even from what we know for the audience and the purpose of this discussion. In reality there is no simple concept of time even in this universe. There is no such thing as simultaneity for all observers. Precise formulations exist that deal with this but there is little point trying to be precise when what we are dealing with are broad philosophical questions about how the universe may have begun.

Science ends where our experience ends. That is its nature. We use existing laws to make predictions beyond our current knowledge, not with the certainty they will hold but with the certainty that we'll learn something by discovering whether or not they hold. We don't know what laws hold across the t0 of this universe. We don't know whether there is anything before the t0 of this universe for laws to hold across. There are a multitude of natural explanations for the origin of the universe. Most but not all assume the law holds. Our best predictions in the past have been based on our existing knowledge, so it's not stupid to think that conservation of energy will hold... but it's not crazy to consider the alternative either. Sometimes the bet a scientist makes is that our current knowledge will not be predictive in a given experiment. It is those experiments that prove our "law" wrong that are the most interesting. It is those experiments that prove our equation wrong that advance science.

What I see is you ignoring the elephant in the room here, which is your own claim of the creation of the universe. If your claim is possible then a comparable natural creation is possible. You seem uninterested in addressing this however. Instead you only cover your ears and pretend not to hear that which I have repeated over and over in this thread: There is no conflict between a natural beginning to this universe and conservation of energy, no matter how much you want it be true. I have pointed out several basic models that comply with conservation of energy, therefore your argument remains pointless. Your assertions are only serving to show a lack of interest in this subject. As a student you are not on track at this stage to achieve a passing grade for this subject. You must apply yourself to the course material.

Before I answer further posts to this thread please deal with the following:
1. Q says that conservation of energy must hold across the t0 of this universe
2. Q says that there is a t(-1) for conservation of energy to hold across. That is: E(t(-1)) = E(t(0))
Where does Q say E(t(-1)) came from? Let's say that
3. Q says the energy comes from God.
Either:
4a. Conservation of energy does not hold across the t0 of God, or
4b. There is no t(-1) for conservation of energy to hold across
right? How does Q escape special pleading if heading down this path? Why must the universe have the properties that t(-1) exists and that conservation of energy holds between t(-1) and t0, but not God?

Does God escape the conservation of energy problem by never having a beginning? In which case why not conclude that the universe escapes the conservation of energy problem by not having a beginning?
Does God escape the problem by having a beginning before which there was no time? In which case why not conclude that the universe has a beginning before which there was no time?
Does God escape the problem by violating conservation of energy? In which case why not conclude that the universe before the big bang violated conservation of energy?
These are not easy questions. Cosmology brings us face to face with the deepest mysteries, questions that were once treated only in religion and myth.

You can't prove god through special pleading. This is an intellectual dead end. If you think you have a gotcha argument here you do not. But take heart! there is no gotcha in the other direction either. Can't the discussion move into more fertile ground? Is this the paucity of debate we are reduced to?

You may feel these are not easy questions but you are prompting further questions! For example, you wrote:

Quote:Does God escape the problem by violating conservation of energy? In which case why not conclude that the universe before the big bang violated conservation of energy?

Fine. So--what caused the universe to move from a disorderly state to an orderly state, a designed state where the Law may no longer be violated?

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
13-04-2015, 04:07 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
Water vapor to ice you have chaos then order. Both are operating under the same set of physical laws.

Do you understand what is happening in this situation ?

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
13-04-2015, 04:23 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(13-04-2015 01:52 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Fine. So--what caused the universe to move from a disorderly state to an orderly state, a designed state where the Law may no longer be violated?

That is so utterly wrong.

The universe is not in an orderly state.

You seem to misunderstand what a physical law is. (Hint: there is no need of a law giver.)

There is no reason to believe the universe is designed.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
13-04-2015, 04:29 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(13-04-2015 01:52 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Fine. So--what caused the universe to move from a disorderly state to an orderly state, a designed state where the Law may no longer be violated?

Order arises spontaneously in this universe.
It's not 'designed". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

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
[+] 1 user Likes Bucky Ball's post
13-04-2015, 06:45 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(13-04-2015 04:29 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(13-04-2015 01:52 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Fine. So--what caused the universe to move from a disorderly state to an orderly state, a designed state where the Law may no longer be violated?

Order arises spontaneously in this universe.
It's not 'designed". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

When nature decides to go all orderly on your sorry ass you best get the fuck outta the way.



There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-04-2015, 05:24 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(13-04-2015 01:52 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote:Does God escape the problem by violating conservation of energy? In which case why not conclude that the universe before the big bang violated conservation of energy?

Fine. So--what caused the universe to move from a disorderly state to an orderly state, a designed state where the Law may no longer be violated?

What caused god to move from a disorderly state to an orderly state?
If you conclude that god was never in a disorderly state then why not conclude that the universe was never in a disorderly state?
If you conclude that god was able to move from a disorderly state to an orderly state why not conclude that the universe was able to move from a disorderly state?

Why are you doggedly trying to push this argument? Does your faith hang from this hook? Are you afraid to let this string break? Again, there is no argument for either side here.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-04-2015, 01:21 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(14-04-2015 05:24 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(13-04-2015 01:52 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Fine. So--what caused the universe to move from a disorderly state to an orderly state, a designed state where the Law may no longer be violated?

What caused god to move from a disorderly state to an orderly state?
If you conclude that god was never in a disorderly state then why not conclude that the universe was never in a disorderly state?
If you conclude that god was able to move from a disorderly state to an orderly state why not conclude that the universe was able to move from a disorderly state?

Why are you doggedly trying to push this argument? Does your faith hang from this hook? Are you afraid to let this string break? Again, there is no argument for either side here.

Your argument is unsound, and I say that respectfully. An orderly demolitions expert may create an explosion, even control it (such as detonating a terrorist's explosive in a safe environment/container).

I can understand your reasoning that the Law was not in effect at Big Bang time. Let's call the stuff that was poured into this space/time to make current matter "fluge" (rhymes with Scrooge). I just made that term up.

Where did the fluge come from? If the fluge is eternal, we must allow for the possibility that other things are eternal, and that human minds may undergo some type of metempsychosis and move to another place--for what remains of eternity future.

No, my argument for Jesus Christ doesn't hang on this point.

My problem is--and if you were open to seeing my point of view I'd say you were more open-minded (although you earn your five stars on this site and seem pretty open-minded to me already!)--that you are asking me to accept your premise... is this your premise?

"Q, admittedly the inviolate Law of Matter and Energy had to have been violated in past time. Otherwise we wouldn't exist now. I don't know what force violated this Law, nor when it was violated, other than to postulate that this universe-wide occurrence had some unknown catalyst, and that such catalyst could not possibly have had any aspects of design nor intelligence."

What if I were to say that I short-changed you as your cashier because the inviolate Base 10 number system wasn't always inviolate and isn't now? What if I told you that an unknown catalyst short-changed you at the grocery store and etc.?

We can take your analogy further, you know. We can alter "There are no miracles seen today" to "Sure, God did miracles in the past. The Law has changed." Then I can say, "I don't know why God doesn't do a miracle for you now, but I'm sorry, I'm unwilling to put God or rationalism into that gap right now." Then--and I've seen this on TTA all over the place--there are very angry, even nasty, shouts of "No fair!" and "Cop out!"

Looking for a level playing field.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-04-2015, 10:48 AM (This post was last modified: 16-04-2015 11:00 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: "God is self-existent"
I'm relieved that the cosmological argument is not a cornerstone of your faith. I'm reluctant to push to hard on deeply held beliefs. I think people need time to process arguments that contradict well-rehearsed and deeply-ingrained ways of thinking about the world.

Let me see if I can bite off a few pieces of your response here.

Catalyst is the wrong word. It specifically implies something helping a particular process along. All we can do is establish that there must be a mechanism for creation. We can't know whether there is agency involved or not based on any cosmological argument. The cosmological argument if accepted gets us to "the universe began somehow". It doesn't take us any further than that so our answer beyond that point has to be "I don't know. Let's find out". But in considering alternative models we can't automatically exclude one class of solutions for a particular reason then fail to exclude a different class for which that same reason applies. If you argue that you have excluded natural causes but have failed to apply your argument to a creator then your logic is flawed. If I argue that I have excluded a god but have failed to apply my argument to natural causes then my logic is flawed. All we have here is a level playing field. There is no way for either of us to make ground.

You say that my argument is unsound but you don't specifically address where and how my argument is unsound (or which argument you're referring to exactly). That makes it difficult to respond appropriately. You seem to be alluding to the second law of thermodynamics when you bring up the demolitions expert, but if that is what you are referring to then I think you are misunderstanding the equation.

In a closed system of demolitions expert + explosives the total entropy when the demolitions expert pulls the pin will increase. In laymans terms the post-explosion environment will be less orderly than the pre-explosion environment. If you are suggesting an analogy of god as the demolitions expert and the early universe as the explosive device then this would result in a high entropy universe.

But let's look at a case where entropy decreases: That is an open system with energy input from somewhere else. The sun/earth system is a good example. As a whole the combined system's entropy increases but the entropy of earth does not necessarily increase, as it has a flow of energy from the sun. In short, if you pump a lot of energy into a system you can keep its entropy low or reduce its entropy.

So we could assume either:
1. That second law of thermodynamics did not apply for some reason to the creation of the universe, or
2. That the universe already had low entropy, or
3. That the universe was an open system in to which was dumped a great deal of energy.

Any of those options could be plausible, and any could be divided into categories that either have or do not have a creator-god built into the model. There is no ground to be made on either side. This is a level playing field.

You say that you can understand my reasoning that the equation was not in effect across the horizon of the big bang, but I think you misunderstand me to say this. I am not reasoning that one option or a different option might or must be correct. I am summarising all immediately apparent options and restating that no option we have at our disposal brings us any closer to deciding whether or not a god was involved in the process. No argument about which law may or may not hold across this horizon solves the question of whether the cause of the universe is natural or intentional, or indeed whether "cause" is a meaningful term in this context.

The only thing we can say with confidence is that the universe exists and that a horizon exists past which we cannot presently see any may never be able to see, and at that horizon the universe was in a hot dense state. No amount of reasoning would have gotten us to that point without evidence to guide our understanding, and no evidence exists to guide our understanding further at this time. At this time there is no clear reason to think that a fluge exists. If we are to assume that the fluge exists and is eternal, why not save a set and assume the universe is eternal?

Quote:"Q, admittedly the inviolate Law of Matter and Energy had to have been violated in past time. Otherwise we wouldn't exist now. I don't know what force violated this Law, nor when it was violated, other than to postulate that this universe-wide occurrence had some unknown catalyst, and that such catalyst could not possibly have had any aspects of design nor intelligence."
No, this is certainly not my premise.
- We have no information in front of us that would let us decide whether the equation of conservation of energy has been violated or not. Models exist for which the law is violated, and models exist for which the law is not violated
- Weren't we just talking about the second law of thermodynamics? Why are we talking about conservation of energy now? In either case models exist that do or do not violate each and every equation that we use to predict the behaviour of our universe. It would be nice to think those equations are universal rather than local to our universe so we look kindly on models that preserve our predictive power but we can't be sure because we can't see outside of our universe at this time.
- Models exist with and without a catalyst. There is no firm reason that I am aware of to exclude models without a catalyst.
- I have many many many many many times in this thread in posts you have directly replied to categorically not ruled out intelligence or creator-gods or other options. Nothing in the cosmological argument leads me to think that intelligence or creator gods or other options exist, nor are they ruled out. There is no ground to be made following the cosmological argument. It is an intellectual dead end. It proves nothing and means nothing. All it achieves is to rehearse the prejudices of those who argue it.

Premise 1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause - not self-evident. A ruler has a beginning and end in space but no cause in space. Why can't a universe have a beginning and an end in time but no cause in time?
- Counter-model: The universe doesn't have a beginning, so much as an "edge" in time. It is not eternal. It doesn't stretch forever in time. Just to a certain point in time and no further. The big bang exists as a horizon in time that may or may not correspond to that edge.
- Counter-model: God doesn't have a beginning, so much as an "edge" in time. He is not eternal. He doesn't stretch forever in time. Just to a certain point in time and no further. The big bang was caused by God at a time of his choosing.
Premise 2: The universe began to exist - not self-evident. The big bang exists as a horizon in time but the universe extends further back in time than the early universe we can investigate. It may extend back infinitely.
- Counter-model: The universe is eternal, having no edge in time. The big bang exists as a horizon within that infinite time
- Counter-model: God is eternal, having no edge in time. The big bang was caused by God at a time of his choosing.
Therefore: The universe has a cause - This may or may not be true. It may or may not be eternal, and it may or may not be a cause. Evidence will sort these questions out, not metaphysical inquiry.

For the moment our best answer is "I don't know". This is an intellectual dead end until such time as evidence exists for us to examine. Maybe there is an intelligent god-creator, maybe the universe just 'is'. We can't tell. We can't make ground on this question. There is no basis here for me to convince you of anything, or for you to convince me of anything. The cosmological argument does not advance our knowledge and is not something to reasonably hang belief or disbelief from.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Hafnof's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: