Help! (First Cause)
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11-09-2016, 09:03 PM
Help! (First Cause)
Okay. So my father's been trying to convince me of Christianity by the First Cause argument. I know there are problems with this argument, but I'm not a great debater and I keep getting turned around and it's really starting to mess with me.

So here's the thing I want to start: What do you think, must there be a prime mover? Why or why not? The argument I'm hearing is that either the universe started or it didn't. There can't be an infinite regress so there has to be something outside of time and space that began those things, that didn't have a cause because it never began to be. How would you recommend I deal with this? I apologize for any incoherence in the post, as it's very late at night and I wanted to get this typed out before I went to bed. Big Grin

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11-09-2016, 09:11 PM
RE: Help! (First Cause)
Welcome to the forums.

I'll let somebody else answer your questions.
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11-09-2016, 09:12 PM
RE: Help! (First Cause)
The first cause? Why does it have to be the christian god? what about any one of the other thousands of gods that man invented, or maybe one they did not?
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11-09-2016, 09:15 PM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2016 09:40 PM by DLJ.)
RE: Help! (First Cause)
Welcome to TTA.

My first thought ... even if there was a prime movement, why does that equate to a prime mover?

Inserting some extra infinite inexplicability at the start just moves the start back one step (infinite regress) ... which may be what happened but to add complexity (a mind / consciousness) is just silly.

But it does demonstrate a human's desire for teleology.

See Douglas Adams' puddle theory.

Big Grin

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11-09-2016, 09:53 PM
RE: Help! (First Cause)
Hello! Big Grin

At work.

1) What is wrong with "We/I don't know?"

2) If, as they say, there was 'Nothing' and said deity then made everything. What did they (Said deity ) make 'Everything' out of?

Just some thoughts for now.

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11-09-2016, 10:15 PM
RE: Help! (First Cause)
My take on it is fairly simple given one fact. That fact is that "nothing" cannot exist. By the very definition of itself, nothing is merely a word describing a concept used to juxtapose the concept of existence. We have existence, so to me it's obvious that it has always been that way, in one shape or form.

The phrase "came from nothing" drives me absolutely crazy. Of course the universe came from something...something that existed before the universe as we know it did. Some other arrangement of matter or energy that wasn't this one.

Now you can speculate all you need to about what form this existence had before it was this universe, but logic tells me that it wasn't "nothing". It couldn't have been. Nothing doesn't exist, and never has.

Existence is a mindfuck, but it's pretty cool. I hate to spoil it by whitewashing it with the idea that it all spontaneously came from a god that was obviously limited by the same emotional and intellectual problems that humans are prone to having...

That would just be sad.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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12-09-2016, 02:22 AM
RE: Help! (First Cause)
#1 first cause is afallacy of "special pleading"
If every thing has a cause, then "first cause" also has to have one Sleepy

#2 "first cause" could also be a "universe creating pixie" that ceases to exist after having created the universe. It has only one purpose and can only do one thing: Create universes. It is not even conscious. Its a much simpler explanation than "god". This "theory" has as much credibility as "god. Ask him how (methodology!) he wants to proceed and find out what is true (correct answer btw: "science"). According to occams razor your explanation (universe creating pixie) is more simple and thus to be prefered over "god".
If he is going to argue that "god" is a simple explanation, it is not! It is "simple" in terms of intellectual lazyness to claim "goddidit" but the entity "god" has to be infinitely complex if it should be omni-anything. Smartass

#3 "First cause" is a philosophical argument. If he really wants to find out about whats real or not, he has to apply science. Sitting back and just hinking hard never ever has lead to new discoveries, at least not to ones that could be verified. So unless he is dong science along with his philosophy, its just going to be mental masturbation.

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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12-09-2016, 04:42 AM
RE: Help! (First Cause)
Let's state the argument simply.

a. Everything that exists has a cause.
b. The Universe has a cause.
c. God is the cause of the universe.
d. (Usually left out) God has no cause.

Ask him, if everything that exists has a cause, does God have a cause? And if God has a cause, then isn't he less that what caused him? And if he doesn't have a cause, then ipso facto by axiom (a), God does not exist Smile

Also if God can be exempted from having a cause then (a) is violated, so why can't the universe be exempted from having a cause and drop the God requirement?

There's a more subtle argument which goes as follows:
1. What is a "cause"?
2. What is the justification for axiom (a) above? Why should I believe that everything that exists has a cause? And why should I be so arrogant as to believe that this assumption about the entire universe of which I am part of a tiny portion, is true.

There's an even more subtle argument that goes as follows:
1. A cause must logically precede an effect.
2. Who knows what the fuck happens to time outside the universe? If time is a property of the universe does it even make logical sense to talk of a time when the universe didn't exist?

For bonus points:
1. What is existence?

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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.
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12-09-2016, 04:56 AM
RE: Help! (First Cause)
Thank you for the welcome! Smile Very helpful replies, sorry to jump right into the deep end. xD

I swear I can get talked in circles and backed into corners so easily by the kind of reasoning that tends to get thrown around in these debates. I see what you mean about special pleading. If the problem is that there has to be a beginning to prevent infinite regress yet everything has to have a cause, creating a "causeless first cause" would be more or less just a huge cop-out, and doesn't solve the problem. It would just mean we don't know how to solve the problem due to lack of evidence.

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12-09-2016, 05:08 AM
RE: Help! (First Cause)
What was the "first cause" of the God who is the "first cause"?
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