The first cause argument
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24-04-2017, 10:46 AM
The first cause argument
Okay guys, I was arguing with a couple of believers in a facebook page and they brought up the first cause argument or whatever you wanna call it.
The thing is, this certain person clearly had no knowledge about science and basically copy pasted the argument with details.
To my dismise, I have no real knowledge either, I'm just a simple atheist, I don't go around researching too much.
However these people were getting on my nerves and regardless of my lack of knowledge it still made no sense.
I can't really rebute the following claim at all, I am just lost in words because of the claims being made in the name of science.
I'll use the google translator since we were speaking our native language, I'll try my best to fix the translator errors:


"1. The Law of Cause and Effect. This law of science states that every cause has its effect and every effect has its cause. This law is the basis of all science. As such, this law has a relation to the origin of the heavens and the earth. In fact, scientists agree that the universe has not always existed, that it had a beginning at some point in time.

The theory of relativity, which is almost universally accepted among scientists, has certain implications for this Law of Cause and Effect. One is that the universe, defined as time, space, matter and physical energy, had a beginning, that is, it is not eternal. And it is through Einstein's equations that scientists can trace the development of the universe back to its own origin, back to what is called the "singularity event," when it actually came into existence. Science has already proven that the universe actually had a beginning. This means that if the universe had a starting point in history, then obviously it began to exist, and it must have a cause for its existence.

Therefore, if the universe needs a cause to come into existence, then that cause must be beyond the universe - which is time, space, matter, and physical energy. This cause must be something like what Christians call "God." Even Richard Dawkins, probably the most prominent advocate of atheism in our time, admitted in a Time magazine article that "there may be something incredibly large, incomprehensible, and beyond our present understanding." Yes, and that's God!"


Now, I would say that this first cause argument is just a gun without ammunition, no evidence, just a suggestion, right?
How can we claim that the universe had to come to existence? Why isn't that rule applied to god? How do we know that "beyond" the universe isn't something else that does require even more causations? It seems to me that thinking about stuff beyond space and time is abstract and non sensical even more ridiculous to add the first cause argument or any other argument to that abstraction.
Then this person tried to use science to back up and to my little knowledge I would say that science has never claimed such a thing, I would say, this is not a science thing to claim.
How would I respond to the said text?
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24-04-2017, 11:40 AM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2017 11:59 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The first cause argument
(24-04-2017 10:46 AM)Torment Wrote:  "1. The Law of Cause and Effect. This law of science states that every cause has its effect and every effect has its cause. This law is the basis of all science. As such, this law has a relation to the origin of the heavens and the earth. In fact, scientists agree that the universe has not always existed, that it had a beginning at some point in time.

Nope.
The basis of science is the scientific method. Observations and evidence are needed.

There are many things wrong with this "argument".
Assuming they are right, it's an argument for *a* cause, not "first cause". An omnipotent deity could have put into operation a system that makes random universes.

No one knows at this point, what happened at the Big Bang. Nothing can be said about it, or why it happened. Causality (the law of cause and effect) as far as we know, is a property of this universe. It may or may not be applicable to what would have been apart from this universe. At this point 95 % of this universe is unknown, (Dark Energy and Dark Matter), so saying anything about it's general structure and properties is premature. If the properties of energy are that at some point it "coalesces" and explodes into universes, then the cause would have been internal. We have far too little information to conclude anything at this point AND science knows that at a singularity, the laws of science break down, so ... so sad, too bad. They lose.

Quote:The theory of relativity, which is almost universally accepted among scientists, has certain implications for this Law of Cause and Effect.

That's simply a flat out lie. It does not. They're trying to lie for Jebus. Lying for Jebus is still lying. Relativity says NOTHING about cause and effect. They're trying to sound "smart". They're really stupid.

"Therefore, if the universe needs a cause to come into existence, then that cause must be beyond the universe - "

They can stop right there. "beyond" is a spatial concept. There is no beyond where there is no space.

The Christian god (Yahweh) came from Babylonian mythology. He's not special. LOL

Quote:How would I respond to the said text?

Christians need faith to be saved. If science proves their god, and that's why they believe, they's a goin' ta hell. Science does not support their crap, but since their faith is weak, they gotta go with something. Tongue

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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24-04-2017, 11:40 AM
RE: The first cause argument
(24-04-2017 10:46 AM)Torment Wrote:  "1. The Law of Cause and Effect. This law of science states that every cause has its effect and every effect has its cause. This law is the basis of all science. As such, this law has a relation to the origin of the heavens and the earth. In fact, scientists agree that the universe has not always existed, that it had a beginning at some point in time.

Nope, that's wrong, something CAN come from nothing:

Virtual particle

And the universe is replete with phenomenon that has no cause:

Radioactive Decay

Also, the Dawkins quote is probably here:

Something pretty mysterious had to give rise to the origin of the universe.


If they're so enamored with Dawkins, then maybe this quote would appeal to them:

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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24-04-2017, 11:55 AM
RE: The first cause argument
(24-04-2017 10:46 AM)Torment Wrote:  Okay guys, I was arguing with a couple of believers in a facebook page and they brought up the first cause argument or whatever you wanna call it.

The first cause or cosmological argument is a classic "God of the gaps" argument, where you use God as an "explanation" for whatever we don't understand. Another word for that is an argument from ignorance. Scientists do not know what, if anything, happened before the big bang. They don't even know that nothing existed before the big bang, which is an assumption the argument makes.

In any case, the first cause argument is irrelevant to Christians unless they can show that their particular God was responsible. Considering the natural evils, self-organization, and evolution of the universe itself -- which scientists do understand quite well -- we can tell that just wasn't so.
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24-04-2017, 12:00 PM
RE: The first cause argument
This is also an unfalsifiable claim. How can I tell apart a reality that had a cause from one that didn't? If there's no way to tell (and there isn't, currently) then it's just an assumption. And as you said, arguments are not evidence. Especially utterly broken ones like this.

Trying to force everything to have a cause just ends up with infinite regression. This isn't a logical problem, if that did happen to be the case, but it is a problem for "God". The theist must invoke special pleading and deny their own premise to try and stop the chain. If certain things are exempt from needing a cause, then our reality may be one of them.

And of course... a "cause" is not an intelligence cause, nor is an intelligence cause a "God", whatever that even means.

And... I don't give a shit anyway. So what if our reality was caused? It makes no practical difference.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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24-04-2017, 12:02 PM
RE: The first cause argument
(24-04-2017 11:55 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(24-04-2017 10:46 AM)Torment Wrote:  Okay guys, I was arguing with a couple of believers in a facebook page and they brought up the first cause argument or whatever you wanna call it.

The first cause or cosmological argument is a classic "God of the gaps" argument, where you use God as an "explanation" for whatever we don't understand. Another word for that is an argument from ignorance. Scientists do not know what, if anything, happened before the big bang. They don't even know that nothing existed before the big bang, which is an assumption the argument makes.

In any case, the first cause argument is irrelevant to Christians unless they can show that their particular God was responsible. Considering the natural evils, self-organization, and evolution of the universe itself -- which scientists do understand quite well -- we can tell that just wasn't so.

It's also a classic argument from incredulity : "I just don't see how that could have happened without *insert deity name* my god(s)."

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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24-04-2017, 12:07 PM
RE: The first cause argument
This is also equivocating. Scientific "laws" are just models. Science doesn't get to tell reality how to behave. It reacts to it, trying to predict it as best it can. This is not the same as any actual laws of reality that there may be. Of course our goal is to try and move our models as close to these laws as possible.

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24-04-2017, 12:08 PM
RE: The first cause argument
(24-04-2017 12:00 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Trying to force everything to have a cause just ends up with infinite regression.

And if you want to invoke William of Occam's Razor, then the less complicated explanation is the more likely. A universe that exists with no cause is less complicated than a universe that was created by some entity that itself has no cause.
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24-04-2017, 12:25 PM
RE: The first cause argument
Wow, I was not expecting those well constructed replies that fast lol
You guys sure have a nice mental agility, gotta admit that.

I knew it could only be bulls**t, I would still like to research those topics you guys brought up, althought I believe you right of the bat I don't wanna be accused to believe by faith lol
Anyway, thanks for your time guys, I really appreciate it.
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24-04-2017, 12:31 PM
RE: The first cause argument
There is no "law of cause and effect". Ask the guy where he got this from.

Cause and effect has nothing to do with relativity. Ask the guy what it should have to do with it. He has no clue about relativity.

If there was indeed a law of cause and effect, why does it not apply to his (made up) god? He is engaged in special pleading.

It has been said at nauseum that, once time -and space- doesnt exist anymore (going back in time to the big bang), his arguments of "being outside of space and time" are meaningless, like in "being north of the north pole". There is no meaningful definition of "before time" or "outside space". Ask him to present a consistent hypothesis for this to make sense (which is not entirely pulled out of his ass). He wont have one.

Even if there had to be some "cause" to the universe. Why is it a being? why his partcular god and nothing else?

"Science has already proven that the universe actually had a beginning". Nope it has shown that at a certain point in (space)time our equations break down and relativity and quantum mechanics are showing different results, they arent consistent with each other anymore.

The argumemt of first cause appeals to common sense, logic and intuition, but we already know that the universe is counter intuitive.

Even Richard Dawkins, probably the most prominent advocate of atheism in our time, admitted in a Time magazine article that "there may be something incredibly large, incomprehensible, and beyond our present understanding." Yes, and that's God!" -> If its beyond our understanding its (per fucking definition!) I.DONT.FUCKING.KNOW Or maybe it was a universe creating pixie? How do we decide?

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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