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Argument for God
Posted: 14 August 2010 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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bettervalue - 14 August 2010 11:53 AM
Occam. - 14 August 2010 11:52 AM

I’m curious why any of our members are even wasting their time responding to such a primitive argument. I’ve seen far more intelligent, although fallacious, arguments for the existence of a mythical creator.  One cannot substitute verbose rambling for clear, succinct logic.  If you go through that long, silly article and delete all of the extraneous and repetitive words, you’ll see the reasoning errors yourself.

Occam

Well just humour me then and point them out, please. smile

Don’t be silly.  You are a grown up.  Do your own thinking.  I don’t have time to waste spoon feeding you.

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Axegrrl - 14 August 2010 11:54 AM

Again, from the article:

“How then do we demonstrate the truth of the proposition ‘Everything which begins to exist must have a cause’? Is it by accepting this to be a self-evident axiom not in need of being proven, or is it done by surveying the particulars of the principle, i.e. by way of induction, or by way of some other method? We say, it is indeed a self-evident truth.”

`
The problem here, imo, is the phrase “which begins to exist”.  It may be valid to apply this to our universe, but we do not know that our universe is ‘all’ that exists or has existed.  Because we have no knowledge about what was ‘before’ the big bang, we can’t just assume what we want about it.

Saying that the universe “began to exist” at one point doesn’t contradict the possibility of the event being one in a long cycle of events, as I proferred earlier.

`

No assumption is necessary - whatever came out of existence into existence would require a cause that is not contingent. This is established via the premises.

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Occam. - 14 August 2010 12:05 PM
bettervalue - 14 August 2010 11:53 AM
Occam. - 14 August 2010 11:52 AM

I’m curious why any of our members are even wasting their time responding to such a primitive argument. I’ve seen far more intelligent, although fallacious, arguments for the existence of a mythical creator.  One cannot substitute verbose rambling for clear, succinct logic.  If you go through that long, silly article and delete all of the extraneous and repetitive words, you’ll see the reasoning errors yourself.

Occam

Well just humour me then and point them out, please. smile

Don’t be silly.  You are a grown up.  Do your own thinking.  I don’t have time to waste spoon feeding you.

Occam

No but you have plenty of time for idle rhetoric and condescension no doubt. I thought the Christian forums were bad. Talk about dogmatic.

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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bettervalue - 14 August 2010 08:24 AM

Ok so lets try this again and hopefully this post won’t be deleted.

Below is an expanded version of the cosmological argument with anticipated rebuttals. Can people please read and reply with their objections which I will try to address.

http://deoband.org/2010/03/aqida/allah-and-his-attributes/clearest-rational-argument-for-the-existence-of-a-creator/

Thanks.

This is known as the “cosmological argument” and it is completely unsound.

Premise 2 is false because it is possible that something exist without a cause. We know it is possible, because anything actual is possible, and actual things exist without causes. E.g., in quantum mechanics, vacuum fluctuations and virtual particles come into existence without cause. Further, radioactive decay of a given atom occurs randomly and without cause.

This is the problem with doing armchair physics, or with doing armchair metaphysics without knowing enough science: often times our imaginations are too poor to embrace reality.

Premise 5 is false because causes may only be contingent. The universe could be everlasting or could have had an unexplained, random origin.

Premise 6 is misleading because a necessarily existent being need not be God. It could be an abstractum like the numbers or the laws of nature. The numbers and the laws of nature are of no religious importance. They do not demand prayer, they do not judge people after death, indeed they do not require that there be “souls” that exist after death, and they certainly do not write religious texts. So even were we to overlook the other falsehoods of this proof, it would not establish what it purports to establish.

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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bettervalue - 14 August 2010 12:05 PM

No assumption is necessary - whatever came out of existence into existence would require a cause that is not contingent. This is established via the premises.


`
The bolded part is the premise that you haven’t proven.

The possibility that there was no ‘coming into existence’ but merely fluctuating states is still just as plausible as ‘God did it’.

 

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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dougsmith - 14 August 2010 12:17 PM
bettervalue - 14 August 2010 08:24 AM

Ok so lets try this again and hopefully this post won’t be deleted.

Below is an expanded version of the cosmological argument with anticipated rebuttals. Can people please read and reply with their objections which I will try to address.

http://deoband.org/2010/03/aqida/allah-and-his-attributes/clearest-rational-argument-for-the-existence-of-a-creator/

Thanks.

This is known as the “cosmological argument” and it is completely unsound.

Premise 2 is false because it is possible that something exist without a cause. We know it is possible, because anything actual is possible, and actual things exist without causes. E.g., in quantum mechanics, vacuum fluctuations and virtual particles come into existence without cause. Further, radioactive decay of a given atom occurs randomly and without cause.

This is the problem with doing armchair physics, or with doing armchair metaphysics without knowing enough science: often times our imaginations are too poor to embrace reality.

Premise 5 is false because causes may only be contingent. The universe could be everlasting or could have had an unexplained, random origin.

Premise 6 is misleading because a necessarily existent being need not be God. It could be an abstractum like the numbers or the laws of nature. The numbers and the laws of nature are of no religious importance. They do not demand prayer, they do not judge people after death, indeed they do not require that there be “souls” that exist after death, and they certainly do not write religious texts. So even were we to overlook the other falsehoods of this proof, it would not establish what it purports to establish.

Thanks for your response Doug. However in regards to premise 2, how can you prove they have no cause?
Do you agree with (in regards to the contingent) - “with respect to the very nature of such a thing, both existence and non-existence are equal” ? and:
“Whenever any contingent being [or attribute, act, event] leaves the realm of non-existence and becomes existent [such as the movement of my hand, subsequent to it being stationary in my lap] , it will necessarily need to be on account of some external cause preferring its existence over its non-existence.” ?

If everything is contingent do we not end up with an infinite regression?

Will address premise 6 after you respond. Thanks.

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Axegrrl - 14 August 2010 12:25 PM
bettervalue - 14 August 2010 12:05 PM

No assumption is necessary - whatever came out of existence into existence would require a cause that is not contingent. This is established via the premises.


`
The bolded part is the premise that you haven’t proven.

The possibility that there was no ‘coming into existence’ but merely fluctuating states is still just as plausible as ‘God did it’.

 

`

How so? The ‘god did it’ argument terminates the regression, the constant fluctuating state requires it. Do you not agree with the absurdity of the infinite regress?

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Occam. - 14 August 2010 11:52 AM

I’m curious why any of our members are even wasting their time responding to such a primitive argument. I’ve seen far more intelligent, although fallacious, arguments for the existence of a mythical creator.  One cannot substitute verbose rambling for clear, succinct logic.  If you go through that long, silly article and delete all of the extraneous and repetitive words, you’ll see the reasoning errors yourself.

Occam

Because the person is approaching the conversation civilly, and as such, deserves a civil response.

IMHO.

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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dougsmith - 14 August 2010 12:17 PM

This is the problem with doing armchair physics, or with doing armchair metaphysics without knowing enough science: often times our imaginations are too poor to embrace reality.


`
Not to mention the fact that reality often proves to go against what we intuitively feel to be true.

 

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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bettervalue - 14 August 2010 12:32 PM

How so? The ‘god did it’ argument terminates the regression, the constant fluctuating state requires it. Do you not agree with the absurdity of the infinite regress?

No, it does not terminate the logical regression of what began creation.  What created God?  A bigger god?  What created that one?

The correct logical approach to such a paradox is not to appeal to God; it’s to simply accept that the paradox likely means that the answer is ultimately unknowable.  The same logical fallacy led the Romans to assume that Vulcan created lightning.

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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bettervalue - 14 August 2010 12:27 PM

Thanks for your response Doug. However in regards to premise 2, how can you prove they have no cause?

I believe that in quantum mechanics, there is no room for a cause (otherwise known as a “hidden variable”), which is to say that the conclusion has been proven as well as anything in science.

As for the general thrust of your question, it is up to you to demonstrate the soundness of the premises, since you put forward the argument. My point is that premise 2 is false on its face. If you think otherwise, it’s up to you to show it.

bettervalue - 14 August 2010 12:27 PM

Do you agree with (in regards to the contingent) - “with respect to the very nature of such a thing, both existence and non-existence are equal” ? and:
“Whenever any contingent being [or attribute, act, event] leaves the realm of non-existence and becomes existent [such as the movement of my hand, subsequent to it being stationary in my lap] , it will necessarily need to be on account of some external cause preferring its existence over its non-existence.” ?

No, that strikes me as sheer nonsense. Existence and nonexistence are not qualities of things. When they come to be, things do not “leave the realm of nonexistence” as though not to exist was to be in some dark room somewhere.

bettervalue - 14 August 2010 12:27 PM

If everything is contingent do we not end up with an infinite regression?

As I say, either we end up with an everlasting universe (or set of nested universes), or we end up with a first event (e.g., the Big Bang) that itself has no cause and no explanation.

Either of those is possible.

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Axegrrl - 14 August 2010 12:33 PM
dougsmith - 14 August 2010 12:17 PM

This is the problem with doing armchair physics, or with doing armchair metaphysics without knowing enough science: often times our imaginations are too poor to embrace reality.

Not to mention the fact that reality often proves to go against what we intuitively feel to be true.

Right, exactly. For example, Einsteinian relativity is very strange stuff. Indeed, Kant believed that he had intuitive proof that spacetime was Euclidean. Turns out, Kant’s intuitions were overly primitive; Einstein proved him wrong. And Kant was no slouch as an intuitive thinker.

Of course compared to relativity, quantum mechanics are even weirder.

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 14 August 2010 12:36 PM
bettervalue - 14 August 2010 12:32 PM

How so? The ‘god did it’ argument terminates the regression, the constant fluctuating state requires it. Do you not agree with the absurdity of the infinite regress?

No, it does not terminate the logical regression of what began creation.  What created God?  A bigger god?  What created that one?

The correct logical approach to such a paradox is not to appeal to God; it’s to simply accept that the paradox likely means that the answer is ultimately unknowable.  The same logical fallacy led the Romans to assume that Vulcan created lightning.

that’s the point - the necessary ‘being’ would “need to be free of all of the properties which led to the glaring absurdities discussed”

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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bettervalue - 14 August 2010 12:40 PM
TromboneAndrew - 14 August 2010 12:36 PM
bettervalue - 14 August 2010 12:32 PM

How so? The ‘god did it’ argument terminates the regression, the constant fluctuating state requires it. Do you not agree with the absurdity of the infinite regress?

No, it does not terminate the logical regression of what began creation.  What created God?  A bigger god?  What created that one?

The correct logical approach to such a paradox is not to appeal to God; it’s to simply accept that the paradox likely means that the answer is ultimately unknowable.  The same logical fallacy led the Romans to assume that Vulcan created lightning.

that’s the point - the necessary ‘being’ would “need to be free of all of the properties which led to the glaring absurdities discussed”

But you can’t get rid of those properties simply by invoking God.  They remain.

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Posted: 14 August 2010 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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bettervalue - 14 August 2010 12:32 PM

The ‘god did it’ argument terminates the regression, the constant fluctuating state requires it. Do you not agree with the absurdity of the infinite regress?


`
You can’t just say (as the article does) “This Entity can not have a beginning for its existence. Otherwise He too would need a cause [or Creator]” as though that’s some kind of evidence for ‘God’s’ existence.  You can’t define something into existence ~ you can’t say “hmm, the explanation for this must have qualities a, b and c, therefore I can conclude that the entity I’m defending has those qualities”

Materialist explanations are kind of ‘shackled’ by the fact that they are restricted to demonstrable evidence ~ ‘God’ answers have no such restrictions.  Imagine how easy it would be to invent a Superhero that could explain anything and everything for us!  You could simply give that entity whatever attributes or powers that are necessary to fill the gap you’re trying to fill.

And that’s precisely what you (and the article) are doing.


`

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