The REAL Unmoved mover argument; can you challenge the it?
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02-09-2015, 08:15 AM
RE: The REAL Unmoved mover argument; can you challenge the it?
(02-09-2015 05:35 AM)Waves Wrote:  Hey, this is OP. There are interesting answers here Smile
I will answer this by grouping the answer by point. Tell me if I didn't answer (indirectly) to an important post of the thread if you feel I have forgotten one of them. Wink

Remember that the argument is not about a chain of events, back in time, relating to a first event; but to a chain of dependencies (here and now) that must depend on something not dependent on anything further. See this as a battery, or a source of energy from which all are dependent.

About Me

(01-09-2015 05:59 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  A big part of me is suspicious of the OP as it isnt the first time we have had an errant theist stumble into our forum pretending to be an atheist, and asking us to dismantle someone else's argument....they usually expose themselves pretty quickly.....like perhaps in his post #2...but we shall see...finished my homework and have about 20 mins to waste before getting ready for duty tomorrow, let me go peek at this "new spin" on the first causal fallacy.

I assure you I am being honest. I am not a theist playing the non-believer card to persuade or anything. It is true that I registered to discuss this argument. But it is because I came across this argument; and because I am not that educated about theistic claim (I only know the common arguments) and/or that smart, I wanted to hear other people's opinion on it.

But I'm seeking for really strong refutations, and I feel I need to play the devil's advocate for some reasons: first to be assured that the claims are properly addressed to the argument and not to a false interpretation of it (contrary to what someone said here, it is not like the kalam) and second to assure myself that the argument is really flawed. I mean, if by putting myself in the apologetic's shoes I am unable to properly defend the argument, it will offer me a kind of guarantee that the argument is not viable (it's more of a psychological thing). The more I'm painstaking at defending the First Way, the more I will be convinced by his flaws if there are shown to me.

As I said in my first message, give me your best shots and don't hesitate to demolish what I say. Thumbsup

About the Watchmaker argument


(01-09-2015 06:19 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  "this forms a chain of dependence operating RIGHT NOW...IN THE PRESENT"..."remove any element of the chain, and water wont freeze"....

geezus this is just sad, did a 10yo come up with this? Another presentation of irreducible complexity....the old watchmaker yarn. I will dismantle this hogwash now:

This is not a teleological argument. I think the watchmaker analogy is unrelated because the reasoning of the argument is not about design but about the relation and dependency of potency/act. The "remove any element of the chain, and water won't freeze" is about the chain of dependency.

(01-09-2015 06:19 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  oh lets see what else they posit...

then they babble on about how a chain of events cannot be infinite...and show a picture of a really long paintbrush and say a long paintbrush cannot paint by itself, and there MUST be a hand holding the brush *gasp*

buahahahahahahahahahahhahaaa oh Holy Norrg this is priceless. Was this shit on facebook or something?

wait for it....wait for it....and this "something"...this "force" must be...*Key dramatic music* god. Dodgy

You are going to have to do better than this theism 101 basic level bullshit that has been solidly refuted time and time again....what else you got?

See the second link in my first message defending the premises (claiming why there can't be an infinite chain or why the first element is god(-like)) or my second post.

Misconceptions about this version of the first way


(01-09-2015 05:54 PM)Free Wrote:  2. The argument is a "First Cause" argument. There is no direct conclusive evidence of a first cause even in the current Big Bang model, let alone anything that could be attributed to any god.

3. The argument assumes an origin to existence. There is no evidence that existence- the universe- ever had an origin.

Misconception : The argument is an argument that something must have triggered the Big Bang


Most people who hear the phrase "cosmological argument" immediately assume that this argument concerns the beginning of the universe, or what triggered the Big Bang. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The argument that the universe had a beginning is popularly known as the "Kalam cosmological argument," and is originally attributed to al-Ghazli, being recently popularized by modern Christian apologists such as William Lane Craig.

First of all, one extremely important point is that Thomas Aquinas did not think of causes as preceding events, but rather as a dependency relationship. So his argument concerns a series of dependency relationships stretching, not back in time to the first event, but "down" to the most fundamental, or most real, aspect of reality in the present. The phrase "first cause" should be thought of as being first in logical (or hierarchical) order, not first in time. Quarks, for example, are logically prior to atoms, even if atoms have always existed. Virtual particles may lack a preceding event that causes them to come into existence, but they do not lack a logically prior dependency in the form of an unstable energy field. If there is no unstable energy field, there are no virtual particles. Therefore, virtual particles are caused by the unstable energy field.

Second of all, Aquinas explicitly devotes an entire chapter to refuting the "Kalam cosmological argument," which can be read in Book II Chapter 38 of Summa Contra Gentiles, wherein he calls the Kalam argument "ineffectual" and advises against using it.

Finally, to nail home the point, Aquinas didn't think it could be proven that the universe had a beginning, as he himself says:
"By faith alone do we hold, and by no demonstration can it be proved, that the world did not always exist..." - Summa Theologica I.46

"The most efficacious way to prove that God exists is on the supposition that the world is eternal." - Summa Contra Gentiles I.13

Misconception : The argument is an argument that the universe has a cause


The term "cosmological argument" refers not to a single argument but to a family of related arguments. There are roughly fifteen such arguments associated with famous philosophers through the centuries, and of these, only a few say that the universe must have a cause. The most famous one is the "Kalam cosmological argument," which is the argument that the universe had a beginning and so therefore must have had a cause. Even though this is one of the more popular arguments on the Internet, it is somewhat of an anomaly in the history of cosmological arguments, as most of them don't try to argue that the universe must have had a cause. And this includes Aquinas. Aquinas' argument begins with any object that is changing, and reasons from this single object to an unchangeable cause.

About the attributes of God and equating the first element with God



(01-09-2015 03:02 PM)epronovost Wrote:  Did you just try to convince people that an intelligent being of all good made of nothing, composed of nothing exist outside time and space? That's a textbook definition of non-existing in my opinion.

(01-09-2015 05:54 PM)Free Wrote:  1. It is a "God of the Gaps" argument. X happens, therefore Y occurs, therefore God. The problem is that there is no evidence of any god, and no evidence of any possible god intervening in the chain.

(01-09-2015 08:09 PM)Banjo Wrote:  God of the gaps. It is always god of the gaps!

(01-09-2015 03:35 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  First off, "everyone" does not understand that to be god. Secondly, as I already stated, if the religious fail to grasp something, then they believe it must be un-graspable and, therefore, an act of god.

And, as epronovost noted above, the concessions required to build this version of god within the confines allowed by reason mean that god can be made of nothing and cannot exist in any way that would require anything that we can observe or measure. Which, for all practical purposes, means he only exists as a philosophical solution in the consciousness of men. In which case, he will surely cease to exist the moment we stop thinking about him.

The characteristics Aquinas attributes to God are deduced from the idea that God is the first mover and thus immutable:

Stating aquinas (http://dhspriory.org/thomas/Compendium.htm#4 )

We clearly infer from this that God, who moves all things, must Himself be immovable. If He, being the first mover, were Himself moved, He would have to be moved either by Himself or by another. He cannot be moved by another, for then there would have to be some mover prior to Him, which is against the very idea of a first mover. If He is moved by Himself, this can be conceived in two ways: either that He is mover and moved according to the same respect, or that He is a mover according to one aspect of Him and is moved according to another aspect. The first of these alternatives is ruled out. For everything that is moved is, to that extent, in potency, and whatever moves is in act. Therefore if God is both mover and moved according to the same respect, He has to be in potency and in act according to the same respect, which is impossible. The second alternative is likewise out of the question. If one part were moving and another were moved, there would be no first mover Himself as such, but only by reason of that part of Him which moves. But what is per se is prior to that which is not per se. Hence there cannot be a first mover at all, if this perfection is attributed to a being by reason of a part of that being. Accordingly the first mover must be altogether immovable.

Among things that are moved and that also move, the following may also be considered. All motion is observed to proceed from something immobile, that is, from something that is not moved according to the particular species of motion in question, Thus we see that alterations and generations and corruptions occurring in lower bodies are reduced, as to their first mover, to a heavenly body that is not moved according to this species of motion, since it is incapable of being generated, and is incorruptible and unalterable. Therefore the first principle of all motion must be absolutely immobile.




(01-09-2015 07:57 PM)natachan Wrote:  And did I notice a few words like "omnipotence" and "omniscience" try to sneak in there? And this logically impossible thing is also guilty of special pleading with not needing an explanation (I saw them try to sneak "eternal" in there) which everything else is said to need.

Explanations were provided. Can you explain why it is logically impossible?

About Infinity

(01-09-2015 05:54 PM)Free Wrote:  2. The argument is a "First Cause" argument. There is no direct conclusive evidence of a first cause even in the current Big Bang model, let alone anything that could be attributed to any god.

3. Even the Big Bang theory falls victim to the infinite regression problem ie; what came before the Big Bang? And what came before that, and before that, and so on.

(01-09-2015 04:45 PM)OddGamer Wrote:  One problem all of this has is the very unintuitive nature of infinity. Hilbert's Hotel demonstrates this. In an infinite causal chain you'd never reach a point where something uncaused happens, some ultimate inert point, since at any point there is always another point prior to it to cause the point you're worried about. We can't even think sensibly about any of this. Suppose that the universe is cyclical, infinitely so. The natural question is to ask what caused the first cycle, but this is a contradiction. There is no first cycle, because any cycle you pick always has a prior cycle. To see this, consider what it means to ask what the last cycle in an infinite series of cycles would be. This makes no sense, since for any point there's always more to come. That's the nature of infinity, and it mocks our natural understanding of things which is based on beginnings and endings which don't occur in trans-finite series.

(01-09-2015 03:35 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  Wait... isn't this self-contradiction?

The argument is about dependency and not chronological causality. Not the same thing. This point of the second link sums what my second post said.

Misconception : Aquinas didn't consider that an infinity may be possible after all


This is related to the above misconception, in that it assumes Aquinas is arguing for a chain of events, back in time, to the first event. But instead he is arguing that a chain of dependencies here and now must depend on something not dependent on anything further. This is difficult to explain briefly, but he distinguishes between two causal series:

An "accidentally ordered causal series." This is a series in which each element is an isolated cause of an effect. The stock illustration is that of a man who has an offspring, who can eventually grow up an have his own offspring. The source of the next effect comes wholly from the next element in the series. Aquinas allows that this type of series could stretch to infinity. For example, a child has parents, who themselves have parents, and so on back in time to infinity. There is no need for a first set of parents.

An "essentially ordered causal series." This is a series in which each element is wholly derivative from all previous members. The stock illustration is that of a hand moving a stick moving a rock. The stick's ability to move the rock is entirely derivative from the hand; the stick has no ability to move the rock on its own, and derives that ability entirely from the hand. Since its causal ability is entirely derivative, there must be something from which that ability is derived. If the stick was pushed by another stick which was pushed by another stick in an infinitely long chain of sticks, there would be no hand and therefore no source of motion for the stick to derive its ability to move the rock.

So Aquinas' rejection of an infinite essentially ordered series is not related to any rejection of a "mathematical" infinity, or even an infinity as such, but only to a rejection of a derivative element not being derivative of anything. If there is nothing its causal ability is derivative from, then it is not derivative. But it is derivative. Therefore there is something from which it is derived.

Hilbert's Hotel don't apply here, not the same chain.

To the question : "Why couldn't the first mover be something that's unmoved, but also has potentials which just aren't being actualized?",


A theist can answer by: "The answer comes from multiple other arguments and context in which this argument is embedded. For example, the argument is ultimately arguing for something that is at the root of reality, and therefore the most fundamental thing that exists. If something consists of sub-principles, or is composite in some way, then it cannot be the most fundamental thing there is since parts are more fundamental than the whole. So something that is a composite of act and potency cannot be the most fundamental thing. You can also look at other similar arguments, such as those from Avicenna, which is kind of a version of Aquinas' First Way. Avicenna's argument is roughly that things in which essence (identity) is not identical to existence cannot account for their own existence, and so their existence must be grounded in something outside themselves, which must trace to something whose essence is identical to its existenece. That is, existence itself. I.e., existence, or actuality."

About causality, act and potency

(01-09-2015 06:47 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  The argument presupposes causality is "actual" or "real" and not a figment of our collective imagination we impose on reality to enable us to make sense of what the fuck is "actually" going on. At least that's what I'd open with.

Can you develop please?

The core idea of the argument is that God is "battery-like", a source of dependency and not the first of a chain of a chronological chain of events. And Something that does not exist (yet) cannot bring itself into existence.


(01-09-2015 07:57 PM)natachan Wrote:  I read the argument, and the second I saw the word "potential ice" I facepalmed. So hard.

This relies upon the assumption that there are intended outcomes. I puts in place distinctions that are not real. And it makes assumptions that don't pan out.

Can you develop please? Why the distinction is not real?

(01-09-2015 05:54 PM)Free Wrote:  4. The argument assumes that potentiality creates actuality. The reality is that nothing is ever created, as everything is constantly in a state of eternal flux as matter and energy change from one form to another in an endless pattern of recycling.

(01-09-2015 03:32 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  And it fails because it does not recognize that water, which is potentially ice, is still actually water, and can thus act on other potentials.


Let's take a thing (water for example), It has an actual form (ex: form 1: liquid) that can change to another form (ex: form 2 : solid) which is potential. To change from one form to another (even if nothing is created and that it remains water) or, to be precise, to actualize one thing (liquid -> solid), the argument says it need something already actual; an actualizer. This concept doesn't contrary the idea of an infinite universe.

(01-09-2015 03:32 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  The argument, as formulated in your imgur link, states that the "chain" cannot be infinitely long, because an infinite number of "inert members" cannot do anything. It fails because, in reality, causality is not a chain. It is a web made of uncountable overlapping chains which share members between them, and none of those members are inert.

The argument boils down to "causality exists, and therefore a wizard is doing it". It is not particularly compelling.

Can you develop this please?

Do you pretend that things can move by themselves? Or that motion need no cause at all? Or something else?

Nope.

1. It's an argument for 1st Cause.
2. It's a God of the Gaps argument.
3. It assumes an origin without evidence.

It's fallacious and flat out incorrect.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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02-09-2015, 08:26 AM
RE: The REAL Unmoved mover argument; can you challenge the it?
(02-09-2015 08:12 AM)Free Wrote:  
(01-09-2015 09:53 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Are you like related to psikeyhackr? ... nah, I'm just fuckin' with you Free. I like you. But you probably shouldn't post about mathematics.

But ... I am not speaking of the math. The math is fine, given the premise it must work with.

However, the premise regarding infinity is incorrect.

It gives infinity a starting point of 1. Infinity has no beginning just like it has no end. It has no dimension whatsoever. It's not a "thing."

Yes, but you're wrong.
(well - not so much wrong, as ignorant...)

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02-09-2015, 08:28 AM
RE: The REAL Unmoved mover argument; can you challenge the it?
(02-09-2015 08:26 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(02-09-2015 08:12 AM)Free Wrote:  But ... I am not speaking of the math. The math is fine, given the premise it must work with.

However, the premise regarding infinity is incorrect.

It gives infinity a starting point of 1. Infinity has no beginning just like it has no end. It has no dimension whatsoever. It's not a "thing."

Yes, but you're wrong.
(well - not so much wrong, as ignorant...)

Explain why.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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02-09-2015, 08:31 AM
RE: The REAL Unmoved mover argument; can you challenge the it?
(02-09-2015 05:35 AM)Waves Wrote:  -wrote a bunch of stuff responding to everybody else-

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Nobody wants to talk with the crazy ol' prophet dude.
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02-09-2015, 09:21 AM (This post was last modified: 02-09-2015 11:35 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The REAL Unmoved mover argument; can you challenge the it?
(02-09-2015 05:35 AM)Waves Wrote:  Hey, this is OP. There are interesting answers here Smile
I will answer this by grouping the answer by point. Tell me if I didn't answer (indirectly) to an important post of the thread if you feel I have forgotten one of them. Wink

Remember that the argument is not about a chain of events, back in time, relating to a first event; but to a chain of dependencies (here and now) that must depend on something not dependent on anything further. See this as a battery, or a source of energy from which all are dependent.

About Me

(01-09-2015 05:59 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  A big part of me is suspicious of the OP as it isnt the first time we have had an errant theist stumble into our forum pretending to be an atheist, and asking us to dismantle someone else's argument....they usually expose themselves pretty quickly.....like perhaps in his post #2...but we shall see...finished my homework and have about 20 mins to waste before getting ready for duty tomorrow, let me go peek at this "new spin" on the first causal fallacy.

I assure you I am being honest. I am not a theist playing the non-believer card to persuade or anything. It is true that I registered to discuss this argument. But it is because I came across this argument; and because I am not that educated about theistic claim (I only know the common arguments) and/or that smart, I wanted to hear other people's opinion on it.

But I'm seeking for really strong refutations, and I feel I need to play the devil's advocate for some reasons: first to be assured that the claims are properly addressed to the argument and not to a false interpretation of it (contrary to what someone said here, it is not like the kalam) and second to assure myself that the argument is really flawed. I mean, if by putting myself in the apologetic's shoes I am unable to properly defend the argument, it will offer me a kind of guarantee that the argument is not viable (it's more of a psychological thing). The more I'm painstaking at defending the First Way, the more I will be convinced by his flaws if there are shown to me.

As I said in my first message, give me your best shots and don't hesitate to demolish what I say. Thumbsup

About the Watchmaker argument


(01-09-2015 06:19 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  "this forms a chain of dependence operating RIGHT NOW...IN THE PRESENT"..."remove any element of the chain, and water wont freeze"....

geezus this is just sad, did a 10yo come up with this? Another presentation of irreducible complexity....the old watchmaker yarn. I will dismantle this hogwash now:

This is not a teleological argument. I think the watchmaker analogy is unrelated because the reasoning of the argument is not about design but about the relation and dependency of potency/act. The "remove any element of the chain, and water won't freeze" is about the chain of dependency.

(01-09-2015 06:19 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  oh lets see what else they posit...

then they babble on about how a chain of events cannot be infinite...and show a picture of a really long paintbrush and say a long paintbrush cannot paint by itself, and there MUST be a hand holding the brush *gasp*

buahahahahahahahahahahhahaaa oh Holy Norrg this is priceless. Was this shit on facebook or something?

wait for it....wait for it....and this "something"...this "force" must be...*Key dramatic music* god. Dodgy

You are going to have to do better than this theism 101 basic level bullshit that has been solidly refuted time and time again....what else you got?

See the second link in my first message defending the premises (claiming why there can't be an infinite chain or why the first element is god(-like)) or my second post.

Misconceptions about this version of the first way


(01-09-2015 05:54 PM)Free Wrote:  2. The argument is a "First Cause" argument. There is no direct conclusive evidence of a first cause even in the current Big Bang model, let alone anything that could be attributed to any god.

3. The argument assumes an origin to existence. There is no evidence that existence- the universe- ever had an origin.

Misconception : The argument is an argument that something must have triggered the Big Bang


Most people who hear the phrase "cosmological argument" immediately assume that this argument concerns the beginning of the universe, or what triggered the Big Bang. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The argument that the universe had a beginning is popularly known as the "Kalam cosmological argument," and is originally attributed to al-Ghazli, being recently popularized by modern Christian apologists such as William Lane Craig.

First of all, one extremely important point is that Thomas Aquinas did not think of causes as preceding events, but rather as a dependency relationship. So his argument concerns a series of dependency relationships stretching, not back in time to the first event, but "down" to the most fundamental, or most real, aspect of reality in the present. The phrase "first cause" should be thought of as being first in logical (or hierarchical) order, not first in time. Quarks, for example, are logically prior to atoms, even if atoms have always existed. Virtual particles may lack a preceding event that causes them to come into existence, but they do not lack a logically prior dependency in the form of an unstable energy field. If there is no unstable energy field, there are no virtual particles. Therefore, virtual particles are caused by the unstable energy field.

Second of all, Aquinas explicitly devotes an entire chapter to refuting the "Kalam cosmological argument," which can be read in Book II Chapter 38 of Summa Contra Gentiles, wherein he calls the Kalam argument "ineffectual" and advises against using it.

Finally, to nail home the point, Aquinas didn't think it could be proven that the universe had a beginning, as he himself says:
"By faith alone do we hold, and by no demonstration can it be proved, that the world did not always exist..." - Summa Theologica I.46

"The most efficacious way to prove that God exists is on the supposition that the world is eternal." - Summa Contra Gentiles I.13

Misconception : The argument is an argument that the universe has a cause


The term "cosmological argument" refers not to a single argument but to a family of related arguments. There are roughly fifteen such arguments associated with famous philosophers through the centuries, and of these, only a few say that the universe must have a cause. The most famous one is the "Kalam cosmological argument," which is the argument that the universe had a beginning and so therefore must have had a cause. Even though this is one of the more popular arguments on the Internet, it is somewhat of an anomaly in the history of cosmological arguments, as most of them don't try to argue that the universe must have had a cause. And this includes Aquinas. Aquinas' argument begins with any object that is changing, and reasons from this single object to an unchangeable cause.

About the attributes of God and equating the first element with God



(01-09-2015 03:02 PM)epronovost Wrote:  Did you just try to convince people that an intelligent being of all good made of nothing, composed of nothing exist outside time and space? That's a textbook definition of non-existing in my opinion.

(01-09-2015 05:54 PM)Free Wrote:  1. It is a "God of the Gaps" argument. X happens, therefore Y occurs, therefore God. The problem is that there is no evidence of any god, and no evidence of any possible god intervening in the chain.

(01-09-2015 08:09 PM)Banjo Wrote:  God of the gaps. It is always god of the gaps!

(01-09-2015 03:35 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  First off, "everyone" does not understand that to be god. Secondly, as I already stated, if the religious fail to grasp something, then they believe it must be un-graspable and, therefore, an act of god.

And, as epronovost noted above, the concessions required to build this version of god within the confines allowed by reason mean that god can be made of nothing and cannot exist in any way that would require anything that we can observe or measure. Which, for all practical purposes, means he only exists as a philosophical solution in the consciousness of men. In which case, he will surely cease to exist the moment we stop thinking about him.

The characteristics Aquinas attributes to God are deduced from the idea that God is the first mover and thus immutable:

Stating aquinas (http://dhspriory.org/thomas/Compendium.htm#4 )

We clearly infer from this that God, who moves all things, must Himself be immovable. If He, being the first mover, were Himself moved, He would have to be moved either by Himself or by another. He cannot be moved by another, for then there would have to be some mover prior to Him, which is against the very idea of a first mover. If He is moved by Himself, this can be conceived in two ways: either that He is mover and moved according to the same respect, or that He is a mover according to one aspect of Him and is moved according to another aspect. The first of these alternatives is ruled out. For everything that is moved is, to that extent, in potency, and whatever moves is in act. Therefore if God is both mover and moved according to the same respect, He has to be in potency and in act according to the same respect, which is impossible. The second alternative is likewise out of the question. If one part were moving and another were moved, there would be no first mover Himself as such, but only by reason of that part of Him which moves. But what is per se is prior to that which is not per se. Hence there cannot be a first mover at all, if this perfection is attributed to a being by reason of a part of that being. Accordingly the first mover must be altogether immovable.

Among things that are moved and that also move, the following may also be considered. All motion is observed to proceed from something immobile, that is, from something that is not moved according to the particular species of motion in question, Thus we see that alterations and generations and corruptions occurring in lower bodies are reduced, as to their first mover, to a heavenly body that is not moved according to this species of motion, since it is incapable of being generated, and is incorruptible and unalterable. Therefore the first principle of all motion must be absolutely immobile.




(01-09-2015 07:57 PM)natachan Wrote:  And did I notice a few words like "omnipotence" and "omniscience" try to sneak in there? And this logically impossible thing is also guilty of special pleading with not needing an explanation (I saw them try to sneak "eternal" in there) which everything else is said to need.

Explanations were provided. Can you explain why it is logically impossible?

About Infinity

(01-09-2015 05:54 PM)Free Wrote:  2. The argument is a "First Cause" argument. There is no direct conclusive evidence of a first cause even in the current Big Bang model, let alone anything that could be attributed to any god.

3. Even the Big Bang theory falls victim to the infinite regression problem ie; what came before the Big Bang? And what came before that, and before that, and so on.

(01-09-2015 04:45 PM)OddGamer Wrote:  One problem all of this has is the very unintuitive nature of infinity. Hilbert's Hotel demonstrates this. In an infinite causal chain you'd never reach a point where something uncaused happens, some ultimate inert point, since at any point there is always another point prior to it to cause the point you're worried about. We can't even think sensibly about any of this. Suppose that the universe is cyclical, infinitely so. The natural question is to ask what caused the first cycle, but this is a contradiction. There is no first cycle, because any cycle you pick always has a prior cycle. To see this, consider what it means to ask what the last cycle in an infinite series of cycles would be. This makes no sense, since for any point there's always more to come. That's the nature of infinity, and it mocks our natural understanding of things which is based on beginnings and endings which don't occur in trans-finite series.

(01-09-2015 03:35 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  Wait... isn't this self-contradiction?

The argument is about dependency and not chronological causality. Not the same thing. This point of the second link sums what my second post said.

Misconception : Aquinas didn't consider that an infinity may be possible after all


This is related to the above misconception, in that it assumes Aquinas is arguing for a chain of events, back in time, to the first event. But instead he is arguing that a chain of dependencies here and now must depend on something not dependent on anything further. This is difficult to explain briefly, but he distinguishes between two causal series:

An "accidentally ordered causal series." This is a series in which each element is an isolated cause of an effect. The stock illustration is that of a man who has an offspring, who can eventually grow up an have his own offspring. The source of the next effect comes wholly from the next element in the series. Aquinas allows that this type of series could stretch to infinity. For example, a child has parents, who themselves have parents, and so on back in time to infinity. There is no need for a first set of parents.

An "essentially ordered causal series." This is a series in which each element is wholly derivative from all previous members. The stock illustration is that of a hand moving a stick moving a rock. The stick's ability to move the rock is entirely derivative from the hand; the stick has no ability to move the rock on its own, and derives that ability entirely from the hand. Since its causal ability is entirely derivative, there must be something from which that ability is derived. If the stick was pushed by another stick which was pushed by another stick in an infinitely long chain of sticks, there would be no hand and therefore no source of motion for the stick to derive its ability to move the rock.

So Aquinas' rejection of an infinite essentially ordered series is not related to any rejection of a "mathematical" infinity, or even an infinity as such, but only to a rejection of a derivative element not being derivative of anything. If there is nothing its causal ability is derivative from, then it is not derivative. But it is derivative. Therefore there is something from which it is derived.

Hilbert's Hotel don't apply here, not the same chain.

To the question : "Why couldn't the first mover be something that's unmoved, but also has potentials which just aren't being actualized?",


A theist can answer by: "The answer comes from multiple other arguments and context in which this argument is embedded. For example, the argument is ultimately arguing for something that is at the root of reality, and therefore the most fundamental thing that exists. If something consists of sub-principles, or is composite in some way, then it cannot be the most fundamental thing there is since parts are more fundamental than the whole. So something that is a composite of act and potency cannot be the most fundamental thing. You can also look at other similar arguments, such as those from Avicenna, which is kind of a version of Aquinas' First Way. Avicenna's argument is roughly that things in which essence (identity) is not identical to existence cannot account for their own existence, and so their existence must be grounded in something outside themselves, which must trace to something whose essence is identical to its existenece. That is, existence itself. I.e., existence, or actuality."

About causality, act and potency

(01-09-2015 06:47 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  The argument presupposes causality is "actual" or "real" and not a figment of our collective imagination we impose on reality to enable us to make sense of what the fuck is "actually" going on. At least that's what I'd open with.

Can you develop please?

The core idea of the argument is that God is "battery-like", a source of dependency and not the first of a chain of a chronological chain of events. And Something that does not exist (yet) cannot bring itself into existence.


(01-09-2015 07:57 PM)natachan Wrote:  I read the argument, and the second I saw the word "potential ice" I facepalmed. So hard.

This relies upon the assumption that there are intended outcomes. I puts in place distinctions that are not real. And it makes assumptions that don't pan out.

Can you develop please? Why the distinction is not real?

(01-09-2015 05:54 PM)Free Wrote:  4. The argument assumes that potentiality creates actuality. The reality is that nothing is ever created, as everything is constantly in a state of eternal flux as matter and energy change from one form to another in an endless pattern of recycling.

(01-09-2015 03:32 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  And it fails because it does not recognize that water, which is potentially ice, is still actually water, and can thus act on other potentials.


Let's take a thing (water for example), It has an actual form (ex: form 1: liquid) that can change to another form (ex: form 2 : solid) which is potential. To change from one form to another (even if nothing is created and that it remains water) or, to be precise, to actualize one thing (liquid -> solid), the argument says it need something already actual; an actualizer. This concept doesn't contrary the idea of an infinite universe.

(01-09-2015 03:32 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  The argument, as formulated in your imgur link, states that the "chain" cannot be infinitely long, because an infinite number of "inert members" cannot do anything. It fails because, in reality, causality is not a chain. It is a web made of uncountable overlapping chains which share members between them, and none of those members are inert.

The argument boils down to "causality exists, and therefore a wizard is doing it". It is not particularly compelling.

Can you develop this please?

Do you pretend that things can move by themselves? Or that motion need no cause at all? Or something else?

Watch the debate between Sean Carroll and WLC. You cannot assume that what you observe in this universe AFTER it's development, applies to anything else, in any other state/condition, or external to it.

"Back" - "down", all the same. Spatial/temporal. Meh.

Examine the "priors" (assumptions) of Aquinas. They're all bullshit.
A "chain of dependence" requires :
a. TIME already extant to decide to create, then to do the act. (I thought you'd be smart enough to figure that out by my "pure act" comment. Apparently you aren't).
Spacetime was NOT extant, so the whole argument is moot.
b. Where did Cauality come from ? Causality (as a principle) had to "be caused", and is also moot for the very same reason,
UNLESS the god they are talking about is not really the creator of ALL of Reality, and found itself existing in conditions it HAD to make use of. (THAT is no god.)

Hint :
A god that "exists" does not *not exist*. Therefore, a god that "exists" is embedded in a larger Reality it could not have had a hand in shaping.

What god are they talking about ? (Oh, of course, the Jebus god and his father....who are child's-play to refute.)

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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02-09-2015, 09:23 AM
RE: The REAL Unmoved mover argument; can you challenge the it?
What is ice? It is a label that we slap onto a certain thermodynamic state of water molecules. A rose is simply a linguistic label that we place onto an arbitrary arrangement of carbon atoms. Water does not "become" ice in the way they are implying. The amount of energy that it contains simply decreases and at some point we call that ice. A seed simply rearranges carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen and at some point we decide to call it a rose. The only thing that changes in this universe is simply the arrangement and concentration of matter and energy. It happens without the need of a cosmic creator to rearrange and concentrate these things, but by the action of natural laws that are clearly understood.

I know the author is attempting to set up a "what triggered the Big Bang" question, and the answer is still we don't know. Perhaps nothing. Perhaps the universe is uncaused and eternal itself. Why not? This is an area where we simply don't know, and giving a reasoned answer is a shot in the dark. To even have a basic idea about it requires a good working knowledge of mathematics and physics that most people simply don't have.

I'll get to the issues I have with their specific idea about God later, I got class.
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02-09-2015, 09:45 AM
RE: The REAL Unmoved mover argument; can you challenge the it?
(02-09-2015 06:16 AM)epronovost Wrote:  Misconception 1. Omnipotence, Omniscience, eternal and unmoving are all trait that refer to infinity. Aquinas might not have believed in infinity but his solution to the problem was to create an infinite being that cannot exist by definition. «Surprisingly» it was the thing he wa praying to before he started to produce any that kind of argument.

Misconception 2: The Big Bang theory explain the beginning of the observable universe not of the entire cosmos, potential other universes or even if the universe existed prior to that in another state. Yo can refer to Free's mention of a cyclical universe that stretch back for eternally and was always there.

1. But the argument states and argues (demonstrates?) that there is a need for a prime actualizer and thus, unmoved. I stated Aquinas explaining why the First mover must be immovable.

See pages 97 to 99 (2 pages if we take out the annotations) from this paper: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwXeYDO...view?pli=1

2. I don't think it refutes the argument, but if I am Wrong can you explain why ?

(02-09-2015 07:33 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Semantics in my opinion....argument for a first cause, or argument for chain of potency/act is same game, different name. Overall the argument's purpose is identical, to establish causal, whether a chain, or first...and then the coy assertion that this first causal, or sequence of "chain of dependence" requires design, and a creator is without proof, or even sound logic. Understanding that which is in motion was set into motion is fundamental....positing the motion activator just has to be some magical unseen being is an exercise of neurological flatulence. Switching up the game by presenting "chain of dependence" may sway those who fail at observing the real world around them, or who routinely subscribe to transcendental magical beings as the answers to things we don't know but it is still childish.

IF there was the Earth, the sun, the moon and a few stars to "light up the sky" then at least the creator story would deserve closer inspection and consideration, but the universe doesn't reflect a "chain of dependency" but rather a shotgun affect of randomized chance and circumstance which resulted in life after billions of dice rolls failed over billions of years. It is easy to point to something now and say, wow, that couldn't happen without a designer, a creator...a "god"...but that is looking at things backwards. Watchmaker.

It comes down to this.....there is no one who knows the answer to the wonder of life....we have some pretty good hypothesis and theory on it, based on what we can observe of the world and universe around us, but no one knows. Anyone who claims to know is lying. Is it possible a god exists? Sure, "anything" is possible. It is possible Norrg the great creator who presides inside hollow Neptune exists too, but that is highly doubtful. Is existence of a god probable? no. Not based on what we can observe thus far. So the game of sequence of causals, or dependency of potency/act is a exercise in philosophical musing of little consequence or validity.

It sounds sexy to paint the picture, but one has to remember it all comes down to a sale job....present information in a specific manner while nodding ones head in affirmation, and exercising word games to draw those gullible enough into a scenario that sounds legit...if one suspends logic, reason, knowledge and intellect.

No no no, this is not exactly the same argument disguised by obscure semantics. See Misconception 1 and 2 from my post in page 5 explaining why this isn't your usual cosmological argument. The phrase "first cause" should be thought of as being first in logical (or hierarchical) order, not first in time.

The argument goes by this:

1) There are potential and actual things:

a) Potentiality: An existing object is potentially many other ways. A coffee cup is potentially spilled on the floor. A rock is potentially scrawled with graffiti. An acorn is potentially an oak tree. The concept of "potentiality" can be seen in the modern principle of "disposition." A flammable liquid has a disposition to catch fire, but not a disposition to turn into puppies. Even if it never catches fire, its disposition was always to catch fire and never to turn into puppies. Or alternatively (if you insist), the liquid is potentially on fire and potentially puppies or potentially anything else you might imagine. The concept works either way, although Aristotle would argue that a disposition is rooted in the type of thing it is, rather than just any disposition at all. This distinction, however, is unimportant for present purposes.

b) Actual: "Actual" is just another name for "real" or "existent." A flammable liquid changes to "on fire" when its disposition to be on fire because an actuality.

c) Change = potentials becoming actual
So change can occur, because things have a potential or disposition to be different than they are now. A change is when that disposition becomes real.

2) A potential can only be actualized by something already actual
(see my post in page 2)

3) An essentially ordered chain of dependency must have a primary element
(see my post in page 5)

4) The primary element must be purely actual (see my post in page 5).

5) Because it must be purely actual, we can deduce some property to god. But I think the most important property is that Aquinas deduce that the First Mover must be intelligent, a mind. (see my post in page 2).

If you want concrete examples:

- Quarks, for example, are logically prior to atoms, even if atoms have always existed.

- Virtual particles may lack a preceding event that causes them to come into existence, but they do not lack a logically prior dependency in the form of an unstable energy field. If there is no unstable energy field, there are no virtual particles. Therefore, virtual particles are caused by the unstable energy field.

- Lake Tahoe's existence is actualized by gravity (keeping it in the ground), warm air (keeping it liquid), atmospheric pressure, etc. But warm air's potential to exist is actualized by the Sun. The Sun's potential to give off warm air is actualized by its nuclear reactions. The Sun's nuclear reactions is actualized by the Sun's own gravity pulling it in on itself. The Sun's gravity is actualized by its mass. Which is actualized by the Higgs particle.


(02-09-2015 07:59 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(02-09-2015 05:35 AM)Waves Wrote:  Let's take a thing (water for example), It has an actual form (ex: form 1: liquid) that can change to another form (ex: form 2 : solid) which is potential. To change from one form to another (even if nothing is created and that it remains water) or, to be precise, to actualize one thing (liquid -> solid), the argument says it need something already actual; an actualizer. This concept doesn't contrary the idea of an infinite universe.

I hate philosophy, so I'm staying out of it, and I definitely didn't want to reply to that wall-of-spam from the OP (at least, not until GwoG had a chance to crack them on the head), but I have to remark on the above:

What. The. Actual. Fuck!?

That's not even word salad; that's the ingredients for salad laid out on the table, with a few still in the pantry and refrigerator.

Water doesn't have "forms", it has states, based entirely on the temperature (and therefore the speed) at which the molecules are moving, which exceeds (or doesn't) the binding effect of the atomic forces at work between the molecules. In the sense that the temperature of hydrogen atoms seems to have had extreme importance in the early universe, as things cooled to the point light could travel through the vacuum and electrons could attach (fourth state, plasma, was left out, there), et cetera, this is a valid point about the universe's function.

None of that has anything to do with the First Mover, or whatever we're calling it now, except in the sense that we can speculate as to whether such a FM (the FSM?) set the atomic forces to the levels we find in our universe so that we could evolve here this way, but that's speculation of the weakest order, and useless. As GwoG says, if you reduce "God" down to that level, it's just as likely to be Norrg as Jehovah as the FSM and is theologically useless as a concept unless you project your particular definition onto that First Mover idea.

It is not an argument for the validation of a specific religion, but for an intelligent entity. See my answer to goodwithoutgod in this post just above.

(02-09-2015 08:15 AM)Free Wrote:  Nope.

1. It's an argument for 1st Cause.
2. It's a God of the Gaps argument.
3. It assumes an origin without evidence.

It's fallacious and flat out incorrect.

Since I think I answered your three points in my precedent post (why it is not an argument of causality like Kalam, why it is told that the chain of dependency must stop somewhere and why Aquinas think the First Mover is god), can you develop your objections please?

(02-09-2015 08:31 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(02-09-2015 05:35 AM)Waves Wrote:  -wrote a bunch of stuff responding to everybody else-

Nobody wants to talk with the crazy ol' prophet dude.
#foreveralone Sadcryface2

Sorry, I forgot you Sad

I will remedy to this injustice:

(01-09-2015 05:50 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(01-09-2015 08:40 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  The argument defeats itself. Big Grin

I'm sure the educated around here could give it a more formal thrashing, but anybody wants to try that with me is likely to convert to Gwynnite. Thumbsup

To clarify this original statement, the prophet in me simplifies the whole thing thus:
God is animus.
All life, all animation, is driven by God. Thus the argument becomes God quarreling with himself. And from previous experience, yer standard evangelical cannot run his neck about God like I can about my Gwynnies. Heart

Can you explain me why the argument defeat itself and why "the argument becomes God quarreling with himself" please? I don't understand your post Undecided

(02-09-2015 09:21 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Watch the debate between Sean Carroll and WLC. You cannot assume that what you observe in this universe AFTER it's development, applies to anything else, in any other state/condition, or external to it.

"Back" - "down", all the same. Spatial/temporal. Meh.

Examine the "priors" (assumptions) of Aquinas. They're all bullshit.

Could you develop more your answer please? It seems interesting.

Also, could you send me a link to the debate please?.

(02-09-2015 09:23 AM)natachan Wrote:  What is ice? It is a label that we slap onto a certain thermodynamic state of water molecules. A rose is simply a linguistic label that we place onto an arbitrary arrangement of carbon atoms. Water does not "become" ice in the way they are implying. The amount of energy that it contains simply decreases and at some point we call that ice. A seed simply rearranges carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen and at some point we decide to call it a rose. The only thing that changes in this universe is simply the arrangement and concentration of matter and energy. It happens without the need of a cosmic creator to rearrange and concentrate these things, but by the action of natural laws that are clearly understood.

But, couldn't I say that the passage from one arrangement to another is the process of actualization? One arrangement is "actual" (ex: liquid water) and another is potential (ex: solid water), and to have a change = potential becoming actual (liquid becoming solid even if it remains water) we need another actualized thing. It doesn't seem like the reasoning behind of the argument is refuted Undecided

(02-09-2015 09:23 AM)natachan Wrote:  I know the author is attempting to set up a "what triggered the Big Bang" question, and the answer is still we don't know. Perhaps nothing. Perhaps the universe is uncaused and eternal itself. Why not? This is an area where we simply don't know, and giving a reasoned answer is a shot in the dark. To even have a basic idea about it requires a good working knowledge of mathematics and physics that most people simply don't have.

As I said in page 5, It is not an argument that something must have triggered the Big Bang neither an argument that the universe has a cause.
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02-09-2015, 10:28 AM
RE: The REAL Unmoved mover argument; can you challenge the it?
(02-09-2015 05:35 AM)Waves Wrote:  he is arguing that a chain of dependencies here and now must depend on something not dependent on anything further

Doesn't dependency imply chronology? Otherwise, you will need to explain how an effect could be caused by or dependent upon something that hasn't happened/existed prior the effect?

I just wanted to let you know that I love you even though you aren't naked right now. Heart
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02-09-2015, 10:55 AM
RE: The REAL Unmoved mover argument; can you challenge the it?
(02-09-2015 09:45 AM)Waves Wrote:  Can you explain me why the argument defeat itself and why "the argument becomes God quarreling with himself" please? I don't understand your post. Undecided

The same thing that compels you to seek a refutation to the argument is the same thing that compels us to offer that refutation is the same thing that compels the theist to offer the argument in the first place.

In the terms of the argument, of course. Wink

With knowledge, language, empathy, and understanding, it is as if we each keep some of our concepts in each others pockets. The problem we have now is that we don't have Aquinas's pockets. We no longer have the context of the culture where everybody believed god to be self-evident. This in itself indicates that the conclusion of god's omni existence is erroneous.

The pockets we do have are science and reason and experimental evidence. This thing here that I click on to communicate to you way da fuq over there is the real miracle. We know where computers come from, where technology comes from, these are the pockets we're picking now. In essence we got here by removing the identity term from every variable as extraneous - which it is.

When the theist presents this argument for the existence of god he overlooks the fact that god is already within him compelling him to present the argument. When the atheist refutes the argument, he does so without the presence of god. If each one is right within the context of their own conceptual framework, the conclusion to be drawn by the observer is that god does not exist.

Simple. Thumbsup

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02-09-2015, 11:05 AM
RE: The REAL Unmoved mover argument; can you challenge the it?
Badly restating an argument doesn't make it any more true.

The language of "potential", "actual", etc is physically illiterate. Things can't "be" potential. "Potential" isn't a thing. It's an attribute at best if we try to re-express it in physically coherent terms. Badly reifying interaction and emergence and calling it God isn't compelling. The arguments about infinity are mathematically illiterate, but they don't even matter - the causality we observe and the framework in which it occurs are one and the same: the observable universe. Contingent understandings do not apply beyond the situations in which they were derived.

In real science, we make guesses about what might happen under different circumstances, and then we test them to see if we're right.
(theology is much easier to do - just blindly assert whatever you like and call it a day)

Any claim to apply a (usually ignorant and intuitive) understanding of reality (ie, causality, or emergence) to conditions beyond the observable universe is the holy grail of special pleading.

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