How can the universe be uncaused?
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22-08-2012, 06:12 PM
RE: How can the universe be uncaused?
(22-08-2012 03:39 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  Again, just to remind everyone. This thread is about what you believe is the origin of the universe. I gave you my beliefs just to give a context to the question and just a quick background of my beliefs. This is why I haven't responded to those of you have posted criticisms of my view. I came to learn. Those that have posted relevant posts, I will watch the videos and come back with questions.

I have suspended the decision on what theory best describes the beginning of the universe.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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22-08-2012, 07:00 PM
RE: How can the universe be uncaused?
(22-08-2012 06:12 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  
(22-08-2012 03:39 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  Again, just to remind everyone. This thread is about what you believe is the origin of the universe. I gave you my beliefs just to give a context to the question and just a quick background of my beliefs. This is why I haven't responded to those of you have posted criticisms of my view. I came to learn. Those that have posted relevant posts, I will watch the videos and come back with questions.

I have suspended the decision on what theory best describes the beginning of the universe.

That's a relief. Drinking Beverage

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-08-2012, 09:17 PM
RE: How can the universe be uncaused?
I personally have no problem thinking and/or believing that the energy from which the universe arose has just always been. Maybe it's because I was raised southern baptist so, the concept of eternity and infinity into the past (as it applied to the concept of God) is comfortable and can easily be shifted to that which we know exists.
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22-08-2012, 09:50 PM
RE: How can the universe be uncaused?
Kudos on still hanging around and keeping emotion out of it. Most theists are either so overwhelmed by the bombardment of questions or offended by the subtle insults that they leave after one post.

As far as the First Cause counterarguments, here's the section from Ironchariots.

As far as "what do I believe?" I have a mathematical mind, and so I'm inclined to see the universe as a function with limits. The elements/numbers inside the function are bound to follow the limitations and laws, but the function itself, the lawgiver, is unaffected. And so we (the numbers) believe the universe needs a cause, because that's all we know. We have limited minds in a limited existence, bound by laws, and can't conceive of an existence outside of the function and its limits.

Now I realize that theists try to turn this to meet their beliefs. "God" is the lawgiver, "God" is unaffected," and our minds are too limited to see "God." But that doesn't make any sense. You can clearly see that we are part of the universe and its laws of nature and physics. We aren't part of a metaphysical deity with human emotions. We are part of the universe.

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22-08-2012, 09:56 PM
RE: How can the universe be uncaused?
(22-08-2012 09:50 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  We aren't part of a metaphysical deity with human emotions. We are part of the universe.

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;D No, but seriously. It get's you thinking about how stars had to die so we could live.

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23-08-2012, 04:03 AM
RE: How can the universe be uncaused?
(22-08-2012 02:39 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  I view this thread as an opportunity for an interactive education on my part. I believe that the universe must be caused by something that is not part of the physical universe because the universe (the result) cannot be its own cause. It's logically impossible. Yet I am interested on how you would explain the universe came to be and why something that is not part of the physical universe is unnecessary. My responses will primarily consist of questions, so this thread is focused primarily on the atheistic explanations for the origin of the universe. Thus I will not respond to critiques theistic beliefs regarding the origin of the universe as am I only interested in how you came to your conclusions about the origins of the universe. Let the education begin.

TrueReason, your question suggests that you have very little scientific education, which I guess is not surprising given your intention to "study" a supernatural field. For about 100 years now, since the first insights into a field called quantum mechanics, we (science) have been uncovering physical phenomena that don't "make sense logically" - or said another way - that are counter to our physical intuition. That's because the quantum effects are not observable on the scale that human beings can detect with our senses. Yet they are mathematically predictable and have been observed repeatedly in experiments that demonstrate that they are real. You use these "logically impossible" sciences every time you use a computer or laser or GPS and many other devices. But the greatest minds in science will, in a logical sense, say that they are completely baffled by quantum effects. So to sit there and say " 'splain it to me if yer so smart" is, and please excuse my frankness, breathtakingly ignorant.

So you have a choice to make - you can either go back to your bronze age "Book o' Myths" and curse me for pointing out your shortcomings, or you can begin a process of claiming your inheritance, which is to gain the knowledge that science has gathered, but was denied to you through whatever flawed educational institutions you've managed to attend. For starters, you might try reading or watching the "Fabric of the Cosmos" book/videos. The videos were produced by PBS and are available on YouTube for free.
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23-08-2012, 10:39 AM
RE: How can the universe be uncaused?
It doesn't matter how the universe started. It's OK to say we don't know. We know a fair bit, scientifically speaking, about what happened very soon after the beginning. We don't know what the beginning was, what caused it, or even whether it needs a cause.

Still, without going into these mechanics at all we can debunk the OP. Let's state your understanding true reason:
1. "I believe that the universe must be caused by something that is not part of the physical universe because the universe (the result) cannot be its own cause."
2. You believe that God is the cause of the universe (I hope I'm not extrapolating too much myself here)

But... if this is true then why is it true? Why must the universe have a cause? It seems that if the universe has to have a cause then God needs to have a cause. Does he not? If God does not need a cause then it seems the universe does not need a cause. Does it?

Let's take the Kalam syllogism here:
1. Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
2. The universe has a beginning of its existence;
Therefore:
3. The universe has a cause of its existence.

(1) is not clearly true. The universe's beginning isn't necessarily some neat transition from one state of being to another state of being. As soon as you start throwing around terms like "singularity" and start to recognise that both space and time have been expanding from this early universe the whole notion of causality is not necessarily solid ground that we can stand upon.
(2) Beginning is very crude terminology here, and we don't have an accurate enough model of what the universe is simultaneously at the relativistic and quantum levels to describe the very beginning of the universe, although once it gets going then our maths starts to work
(3) Even if we grant that the universe has a cause, there is no reason to think that necessarily a conscious being was the cause. There's a big difference between "our universe is just one of many in a boiling ocean of universe-forming stuff" and "A god who is made of universe-forming stuff decided to create a vast universe. He let it cool for 9 billion years, and out popped a planet of rock and air and water. Creatures evolved on that planet for further billions of years until finally one particular people group among one particular species of this particular planet arose. These 'Israelites' and their intellectual descendants the 'Christians' were the reason that the universe was created. All of the rest of the universe will be destroyed soon, and most of the members of this particular species will be copied into special eternal bodies so they can be tortured forever for not believing this is how it happened."

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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23-08-2012, 10:40 AM
RE: How can the universe be uncaused?
I don't think we'll be hearing anything more from TrueReason. No

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23-08-2012, 11:19 AM
RE: How can the universe be uncaused?
(23-08-2012 10:40 AM)Chas Wrote:  I don't think we'll be hearing anything more from TrueReason. No

I think you are right... Drinking Beverage

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23-08-2012, 11:51 AM
RE: How can the universe be uncaused?
I think it's difficult to think about the existence of anything. Why does something exist ?
It seems more natural to me that there should be nothing. Nothing is understandable. It's simple and constant
I can easily picture nothing for all time. Simple oblivion and it makes sense to me that this is all there should be.
But this isn't our world. Our world is the opposite of nothing. We are something and if you can imagine nothing for all time, then you must also imagine something for all time.
The idea that something has always existed, that it never began, it simply always was, is a difficult idea to grasp. It's counter intuitive to how we live our lives.
We are born. We exist for a time and then we die. We see the beginning and ends of so many things WITHIN our universe that grasping a concept of "always" is hard.

It just struck me what the word "always" can mean - ALL WAYS - all things possible, all paths possible, wave, particle, everything, every choice made or not made becomes reality.

I don't know why this universe exists. I don't know the nature of some base line, virtual particle boiling brew of forces, fields and words that describe what I can't.
All I know is that in every instance when people thought a god was responsible for something, we found out the real cause of it and it was natural. It was physics.
We have grown to understand the universe and as we did, gods became smaller and smaller, to the point of only being a concept in our own minds. Simple wishful thinking.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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