What if God is a provable phenomenon?
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24-01-2014, 08:37 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
Right.
If science should test and confirm the existence of some god, that entity necessarily is part of our universe. Therefore it can't possibly have created it.
This means a creator god can't possibly be proven from the inside.

If one, inside the universe were proven to exist, we'd recognize and acknowledge the evidence for its existence, as we do other such natural phenomenom. Which would make said entity the same as a hurricane, black hole or nebula, and, as we worship no hurricane, black hole or nebula (no reason why anyone should), we wouldn't worship this entity.

The existence or inexistence of a creator outside of our universe is inconsequential and only interesting as an intellectual construct. It doesn't affect how the universe works and it's impossible for us to get in contact with it or it to interract with us. At least not in a way that modifies how the universe behaves. So even if it exists, there's no perceptible difference with it not existing.

As for the cosmological argument, some of its assumptions don't currently have a scientific ground, annoying as that might be. And yes, only the assumed creator assumedly capable of escaping infinite regress is special pleading. It's pretty much saying infinite regress doesn't impact it because you don't want it to.
But first of, on what scientific basis do you assume that everything requires a cause? Whether or not it's the case is not known.
Second, even though infinite regress gives me a migraine as well, because it's not comfortable doesn't mean it's not exactly how our current universe came to exist. Of course, this isn't elegant, but «because I like it better» isn't an argument.

And now an itchy, uncomfortable question: assuming the divine creator postulate is a sound scientific hypothesis, what are the events or discoveries that would falsify it? In order to make it to a theory, it requires to be falsifiable by events, distinct from models assuming no creator.
In addition, what differentiates the universe by a creator from one without? In other words, what predictions, impossible in a godless model does the godly universe allow?
I'd take a distinctive trademark found on every single atom and particule as a proof some creator exists. We may, some day, photograph more than shadows of atoms.
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24-01-2014, 09:38 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
LFA,

I truly appreciate the effort you are putting into this, even if you are trying to resurrect the tired and contrived Kalam cosmological argument. Dan Barker has successfully refuted this (as has Iron Chariots, Richard Dawkins and plenty of others).

Here's a link to Barker's refutation: http://infidels.org/library/modern/dan_b...amity.html

You think you've dealt with the special pleading, but in fact you actually reinforce it with the second line of the syllogism. When you say "the universe began to exist" you are making a huge presupposition, and that is at the crux of Barker's refutation. The new wording ("begins to exist") twists/tweaks the weak cosmological argument to try to avoid the infinite regress, and then special pleads and begs the question of saying the creator exists outside this syllogism.

Ultimately, if you read Barker, you will see you are using circular logic and the Kalam is self-refuting because in the end your creator has to be included in your "begins to exist" word salad, and if he began to exist, something must have created him, and we are back to an infinite regress.

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24-01-2014, 10:12 PM (This post was last modified: 24-01-2014 10:30 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
GOD is easily provable.

If 'G' then 'O'
If 'G' & 'O' then 'GO'
If 'GO' & 'D' then 'GOD'.
GO GOD!
Q.motherfucking.E.D. bitches, I gotz da proofz. Tongue

The "validity" of an argument can be determined algorithmically and is a necessary but clearly not sufficient condition for a compelling argument. The "soundness" of the premises of a valid argument is the only thing in question. ... And that's where shit kinda just sorta hits the motherfucking fan.

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25-01-2014, 12:01 AM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(24-01-2014 08:08 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Still trying to do an end run around your obligation to the burden of proof, I see, LFA.

One of Tourette's Chimp's less grammatical sentences. Simple idea not making it to Tourette's Chimps keyboard:

"LFA, you are still trying to avoid the burden of proof that you bear."

Tourette's Chimp is not articulate.

Quote:And it's clear that you are NOT "looking for answers", but simply trolling the same bullshit cosmo/first cause bullshit shell games we have seen ten gazillion times here.

Tourette's Chimp does not assume good faith. Naughty Tourette's Chimp.
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25-01-2014, 04:21 AM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(25-01-2014 12:01 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(24-01-2014 08:08 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Still trying to do an end run around your obligation to the burden of proof, I see, LFA.

One of Tourette's Chimp's less grammatical sentences. Simple idea not making it to Tourette's Chimps keyboard:

"LFA, you are still trying to avoid the burden of proof that you bear."

Tourette's Chimp is not articulate.

Quote:And it's clear that you are NOT "looking for answers", but simply trolling the same bullshit cosmo/first cause bullshit shell games we have seen ten gazillion times here.

Tourette's Chimp does not assume good faith. Naughty Tourette's Chimp.
See, Chippy, this is exactly what Dom was talking about. You know fully well how Taqiyya is going to respond to such a condescending and provocative post and yet you decided to post it anyway.

Why don't you put him back on ignore, as announced, and be done with it?

Nothing good can come of this childish quarreling and you know it. In the worst case scenario, you are punishing others with your actions because this thread will likely end up being moved to The Colosseum.

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25-01-2014, 08:47 AM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(23-01-2014 04:47 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  @RobbyPants, as I mentioned above, the cosmological argument shows that a 'creator' is necessary. Cjlr didn't want me to refer to it as God, but the name is irrelevant, so I can refer to God as the 'creator fleem' if you would prefer. The real difference as I understand it between your fleems and God, is the idea of whether it is a single creator or multiple fleemish creators. To that, I would invoke occam's razor for the proposition that a single creator would make more sense than multiple creators. That doesn't mean that there couldn't have been multiple creators, just that it is more likely to have one 'causeless cause' than multiple.

I answered you here, in the other thread, where you re-posted your response.


(24-01-2014 03:08 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  With respect to "asserting", I'm not sure I understand why you keep insisting that the argument "asserts" a creator's existence instead of "showing", "demonstrating" or "proving" a creator's existence. I looked it up to be sure, but "asserting" merely means to state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully. If I just wanted to assert something I wouldn't need an argument at all. If you disagree with the argument then focus on the argument, I'm not sure why the language is important.

Because, in your first thread on the matter, I already told you that all you've proven is that everything we've observed thus far has had a cause. You haven't observed the start of the universe, so you don't know if it had a cause or not. You're assuming you need to find a creator in the first place, and then claiming after the fact that you did.

You haven't demonstrated that the universe couldn't simply "be eternal", or whatever quality it is that God has that renders him immune to this same level of scrutiny.

We're calling you out on your baseless assumptions.
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25-01-2014, 03:46 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(24-01-2014 03:08 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  @cjlr, you are going to have to help me with this statement, "That doesn't follow. Literary analysis presupposes the existence of literature. There are no counterexamples to the universe." I'm not sure I understand what you are getting at.

Literary analysis is fundamentally comparative. We can't compare the universe. Thus the analogy is not particularly sound...

(24-01-2014 03:08 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I don't agree that the gist of the thread is to take a scientific view. I mean, yeah, that's where I started 8 pages ago, but no one has discussed my original question for many pages, lol.

Provable phenomenon cannot be interpreted any other way.

(24-01-2014 03:08 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  You come back to "predictive utility" a fair amount. IMHO you are focusing too much on the scientific perspective. From a scientific perspective, you may very well be right. The existence of a creator may not be predictive with respect to other things at all. You probably have to go much farther along the train of thought to determine that for sure (ie. if you get to the point of a creator who created the universe purposefully what are the implications of that?). While the question may end up having no scientific predictive utility, it does have philosophical utility when considering other questions like morality which are outside of the realm of science.

And now you've just introduced another assertion re: morality...

You said provable phenomenon. That is only meaningful in a scientific context.

(24-01-2014 03:08 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I guess the bigger question that I would have for you is: if the answer to the question of "whether a creator exists" is a useless question from your perspective, why have you taken so much time out of your life arguing about it with me? Why bother being on an atheist website at all? Shouldn't you be on a scientific website discussing things that have predictive utility? While your point may be correct, your actions seem to betray that you don't believe it.

Well that's unbecomingly fatuous, lookingforanswers.

One might as well ask why any of us are wasting our time here, when there are starving homeless children.

I post whatever shit I want, thanks. If that includes a philosophical examination of the nature of deistic hypothesis, all well and good.

But in case you need the reminder:
(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  What if God is a provable phenomenon, but science just hasn't developed to the point that it can prove it?
Note your use of the word 'science'. I thus felt entitled to frame some of my comments from just such a scientific perspective.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  With respect to "asserting", I'm not sure I understand why you keep insisting that the argument "asserts" a creator's existence instead of "showing", "demonstrating" or "proving" a creator's existence. I looked it up to be sure, but "asserting" merely means to state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully. If I just wanted to assert something I wouldn't need an argument at all. If you disagree with the argument then focus on the argument, I'm not sure why the language is important.

Because there's no proof of any of the premises of the cosmological argument, and thus it is a trivial exercise in definition-based deductions.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  As for the existence of an infinite universe, I'm pretty sure I've already responded to that multiple times (either on this thread or the other one). You can also take a listen to the William Lane Craig video I referenced as it explains the problems with the infinite universe theory better than I can.

William Lane Craig is not worth your time.
(nor mine. nor anyone's)

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  And, "Why does the universe require a creator but a creator does not?" is not a valid question. You still don't seem to have understood my point on that one. I'm not sure I can explain it to you, but I'll try one more time.

Fiat definitions aren't going to get you out of that hole, friend.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I get that you don't agree with the cosmological argument, but imagine that it is correct (because we can't discuss the attributes of a creator if we don't at least assume the existence of one for argument's sake). A simple form of the argument can be stated as follows:

Part #1
Premise #1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
Premise #2. The universe began to exist
Therefore, the universe had to have a cause

Part #2
Premise #1. The universe had to have a cause
Premise #2. An infinite regress of causes and effects is impossible
Therefore, there had to be a first cause which did not require a cause.

Now, there are other forms of the argument, but let's deal with this one.

Sure. Let's.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  If you want to attack this argument you can either disagree with one of the premises or the logic in moving from the premises to the conclusion. Now, you can question any of the premises here, but the logic in moving from each of those premises to the conclusion seems pretty impossible to question.

So, if the argument concludes with the existence of a "first cause" then the question of "what caused the first cause" becomes nonsensical. The fact that "a creator doesn't need a creator" is not a premise of the argument. The conclusion of the argument is that a "first cause" is necessary.

Yes. So far, so good.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Now, the analysis to this point of the argument only establishes the existence of a "first cause" with the only known qualities being that the "first cause" created the universe in some manner and does not require a cause in and of itself.

Assuming causality to apply as we understand it is already a massive presumption for the sake of argument. So there's that.

But sure. We note at this point that nothing regarding the putative 'first cause' is known.

In other words: we cannot even go so far as to conclude "creator", based on the argument given.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  We can go on further in the analysis to see what other qualities the "first cause" may have...

All of which is pure speculation, but sure.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  ... but for the purpose of what we were discussing that's as far as I need to go. Asking "what caused the first cause" is nonsensical because the "first cause" doesn't require a cause...if it did it wouldn't be a "first cause". If you then want to say "well how do we know there was a first cause" I would refer you back to the premises and conclusion up above. You can go after the argument by trying to knock out any of the premises it stands upon, but if you get to the point where you are talking about a "first cause" or a "creator" then the question just doesn't make any sense. You can wonder about how it is possible for such a first cause to exist, but if you accept the premises and the logic then you can't argue that a first cause doesn't exist.

And you still haven't demonstrated how you leap from "first cause" to "creator".

Do you understand this distinction?

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I would also go back to your "utility" point and ask you: If we establish that a "first cause" creator does exist, what is the utility of asking the question "why it exists?". The questions of "why" and "how" don't really change anything about the creator, nor do they have any predictive quality. Just some food for thought.

No, indeed.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Also, when I say I can't comprehend the nature of a creator God it isn't to say that I don't think I can know some aspects about one. I don't understand for the life of me the inner workings of a cell phone, but I do know how to use one. In a similar way, I don't claim to be able to understand everything about an infinite creator being, but I do believe that I understand some things (hopefully enough).

And those who comprehend contradictory nature?

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  First of all, the first cause would have to be immaterial, or be able to exist in an immaterial state in the sense that we understand materiality to mean. In that sense, material things are a part of this universe, but a creator must be able to exist outside the universe because he/it created the universe.

Mere assertion.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Also, the creator is uncaused and therefore must have existed for an infinite amount of time before the existence of the universe (if the concept of time actually makes sense before the existence of the universe).

It doesn't - so such an assertion isn't even meaningful.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  he universe was created a finite time ago, so the question becomes: What changed such that the "first cause" created the universe? The "first cause" was there for infinity before creating the universe, so what changed to cause it to create the universe? The answer seems to have to be that the "first cause" is a "free agent", in other words, something that could choose to create or not create.

An assertion to end all assertions.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  If the "first cause" was not a free agent then there is no reason for it to have created the universe a finite time ago, as opposed to creating the universe an infinite number of different finite times ago.

Assertion - and ludicrously unwarranted personification to boot!

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  The problem with "non-agent creation" is that it doesn't solve the infinite regress problem.

But it does.

By definition. So that much is the same...

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  If the creator is a particle or any other sort of non-agent, then there is no explanation for why it would be sitting there for an infinite amount of time and then spontaneously create a universe.

Time is a property of the universe. No universe, no time. Also: that's pure assertion.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  You would need something to change, essentially requiring another cause...not a cause to create the "first cause" but a cause for the "first cause" to act and create the universe. The "agency" solution solves this problem because an "agent" can spontaneously decide to do something at any time.

Pareidolia writ cosmic.

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  At this point, you may also be able to see how Occam's Razor would then come into play. If your "first cause" requires another cause to create the universe, then where did that cause come from? Was it also eternal? In which case, why did it cause the first cause to do something at a spontaneous point in time. What was the cause of that? It creates another infinite regress. Occam's Razor isn't about limiting qualitative complexity, it is about limiting numerical complexity.

... no? Not at all?

(16-01-2014 09:13 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  So, it is a good reason to prefer the solution of one eternal first cause as opposed to multiple first causes, but it is not a good reason to reject the idea of a singular first cause that happens to have details that seem to be complex. Also, for Occam's Razor to work you have to have an alternate theory that is just as good.

Once again, just because he/it is an "agent" and can make spontaneous decisions does not necessarily mean that he/it has the qualities which any modern religion ascribes to him/it. But, I do think that this analysis is the only logical explanation to the problem. If you disagree, feel free to put forward a different hypothesis.

Honest question:
what do you actually believe?

What with the repeated use of 'God' and personal pronouns ("he", eh?), the references to William Lane Craig of all bad sources...

If deism's the full extent of it I'll eat my hat.

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25-01-2014, 04:47 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(24-01-2014 09:38 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  LFA,

I truly appreciate the effort you are putting into this, even if you are trying to resurrect the tired and contrived Kalam cosmological argument. Dan Barker has successfully refuted this (as has Iron Chariots, Richard Dawkins and plenty of others).

Here's a link to Barker's refutation: http://infidels.org/library/modern/dan_b...amity.html

You think you've dealt with the special pleading, but in fact you actually reinforce it with the second line of the syllogism. When you say "the universe began to exist" you are making a huge presupposition, and that is at the crux of Barker's refutation. The new wording ("begins to exist") twists/tweaks the weak cosmological argument to try to avoid the infinite regress, and then special pleads and begs the question of saying the creator exists outside this syllogism.

Ultimately, if you read Barker, you will see you are using circular logic and the Kalam is self-refuting because in the end your creator has to be included in your "begins to exist" word salad, and if he began to exist, something must have created him, and we are back to an infinite regress.

Dawkins actually doesn't refute anything. I happen to actually be listening to "The God Delusion" right now and I just finished listening to Dawkins discuss the cosmological argument. He actually doesn't counter the argument (unless he returns to it later in the book, I suppose), he simply says that the argument doesn't prove many of the qualities normally associated with God such as omnipotence, omniscience, listening to prayers, etc. He is right, the cosmological argument doesn't do that, but it isn't meant to prove the existence of an interventionist God. Just the proof of a creator.

Dawkins does seem more than happy, though, to pick off a bunch of rather weak and often ridiculous proofs of God's existence, so I did find it awfully funny how he basically just didn't even try to refute the cosmological argument.

As for Barker, I took a read through and I'm surprised that you would find that convincing.

On the first part of his point, the questioning of the premise "everything that begins to exist has a cause" in the manner he does is just silly. His first point essentially boils down to this statement:

If God is the only object allowed in NBE, then BE is merely a mask for the Creator, and the premise "everything that begins to exist has a cause" is equivalent to "everything except God has a cause."

Basically, what he is doing here is jumping to the end of the argument and saying that he disagrees with the conclusion. He seems to be saying that the logic of moving from the first premise to the end of the argument is so straight-forward that the premise has to be wrong because it proves God.

If you want to question the premise by saying that there is something that begins to exist without a cause, then fine. If you can demonstrate some reason why that premise is false or more likely to be false than true (or I'll even give it to you if you can show it is equally as likely to be false than true) then fine, but you can't logically attack a premise because it leads to a conclusion with which you don't agree. That is exactly what Barker has done.

The rest of his argument is just a wordy way of saying the same tired argument that I have already addressed "who caused God" or "what caused God to decide to make the universe" which might as well be the same question.

In addition, he also makes a pretty fundamental error in his analysis. He says that Kalam's statement that "an actual infinity cannot exist in reality," shoots his argument in the foot, essentially because God is infinite and therefore can't exist in reality (I know those weren't his exact words, I'm paraphrasing). Perhaps, the issue is that he should be rephrasing Kalam's statement to this: "an actual infinity cannot exist in the universe" or "an actual infinity cannot exist in our reality". In that case, as long as the premise holds that "an actual infinity cannot exist in the universe" then it just reinforces the cosmological argument, because it then requires a creator who is capable of existing independent of our universe.
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25-01-2014, 05:15 PM (This post was last modified: 25-01-2014 05:39 PM by WillHopp.)
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
Sorry man (or woman, don't want to assume), you are just special pleading again. And he systematically shows why the creator ultimately fits neatly back into the standard cosmological argument. If you want to plead your way into a creator outside time and reality then we can plead a particle into that same realm. You can't have your special pleading and eat it too.

As for Dawkins, he just calls it what it is, an argument from personal incredulity, which is what the Kalam really is without the lipstick. Dawkins' scholarship in this area is much more than the God Delusion.

Regardless, in the end, you are saying we don't know so god did it, and that is textbook God of the Gaps.

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25-01-2014, 06:54 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
Did I already post this?




As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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