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mattbballman
January 8th, 2002, 10:06 PM
Alright, my last thread sort of ran into a dead end so what I'm going to do, is take what I think to be a valid argument for the existence of God and take to as far as I can until someone refutes it.
AND WHEN SOMEONE(IF SOMEONE) REFUTES IT, I WILL BE HONEST AND ADMITT MY DEFEAT.

I just want to bring this point up first before I state the arguement.
-The minute you think I'm not answering you objections correctly or misunderstanding you I want you to tell me right away so we can stay on the right track. Thanks!

Ok . . . Here we go!

This is the traditional formulation . . .

Premise 1:Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
Premise 2:The universe began to exist.
Premise 3:Therefore the universe has a cause.

My goal is not to prove the CHRISTIAN GOD per se, but some ONTOLOGICALLY TRANSCENDANT being that would be enough to disprove atheism.
After we prove that there is some transcendant causeless being (IF we prove that) then we'll move to arguments for the PERSONALITY of this cause.

Ross
January 9th, 2002, 08:03 AM
Mattbballman,

First, let me start by saying that I believe that God is real. I hold this belief to be true for several lines of evidence, which we needn't go into now.

This being said, let's look at your proof.

>>Premise 1:Whatever begins to exist has a cause.<<
This is certainly true in our everyday experience, but does it have to be true for universes? I'm not sure. This is a question for cosmologists and physicists, not philosophers.

>>Premise 2:The universe began to exist.<<
Based on recent work by Hawkins, this may not be true in the sense that we'd like to use the phrase "began to exist".

>>Premise 3:Therefore the universe has a cause. <<
If Premises 1 and 2 are correct, this certainly follows. But a "cause for the universe" is not necessarily equivalent to a "Creator of the universe".

Thus, the most you can claim from your argument is that the universe had a cause. I do not find this a compelling proof for the reality of God.

Ross

mattbballman
January 9th, 2002, 08:49 AM
Thanx for responding . . .


Originally posted by Ross
>>Premise 1:Whatever begins to exist has a cause.<<
This is certainly true in our everyday experience, but does it have to be true for universes? I'm not sure. This is a question for cosmologists and physicists, not philosophers.

The astrophysical and cosmological evidence indicates that the universe began to exist in a great explosion called the "Big Bang" 15 billion years ago. Physical space and time were created in that event, as well as all the matter and energy in the universe. Therefore, as the Cambridge astronomer Fred Hoyle points out, the Big Bang Theory requires the creation of the universe from nothing. This is because if you go back in time, you reach a point, at which, the universe was shrunk down to nothing at all. Thus, what the Big Bang model requires is that the universe began to exist and was created out of nothing. A proponent of the Big Bang theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that the universe came from nothing by nothing. But surely that doesn't make sense. Out of nothing, nothing comes. So why does the universe exist instead of just nothing? Where did it come from? There must have been a cause which brought the universe into being. So from the Big Bang theory we can see that the universe had a beginning, and logically, nothing can begin without a beginner. So I think that premise still stands.

Originally posted by Ross

>>Premise 2:The universe began to exist.<<
Based on recent work by Hawkins, this may not be true in the sense that we'd like to use the phrase "began to exist".

You'll have to be more specific on which Hawkins work your talking about. I've looked at all of them and they aren't as convincing as the evidence for the Big Bang theory.

Originally posted by Ross

>>Premise 3:Therefore the universe has a cause. <<
If Premises 1 and 2 are correct, this certainly follows. But a "cause for the universe" is not necessarily equivalent to a "Creator of the universe".

I'm using the word cause here simply to mean something that produces something else, and in terms of which that other thing, called the effect, can be explained. Whether it's an efficient cause or material cause is simply left out of account. So I'm not specifying in the first premise what kind of cause it has to be, but simply that there must be a cause. Now I would also say that we do have something of an analogy with creation out of nothing in our own mental ability to create thoughts in our minds, thought–worlds, fantasies. Now this is an analogy, perhaps, with God's creating the universe. Now don't misunderstand me; I'm not saying that we're all just dreams in the mind of God or something. But I think it does provide something of an analogy of the idea of creating out of nothing. And finally, I would point out that the Big Bang model of the origin of the universe posits the origin of the universe without a material cause. So even in the Big Bang theory you have no material cause of the origin of the universe. But I'm maintaining that you must at least have an efficient cause to bring it into being, even if there is no material cause.

Originally posted by Ross

Thus, the most you can claim from your argument is that the universe had a cause. I do not find this a compelling proof for the reality of God.

Ross

It deductively follows from a cause of space and time that the cause must be timeless and spaceless. Therefore it cannot be anything physical and material that transcends time and space. It must be changeless. And I would argue that it must be personal because otherwise you cannot explain how a temporal effect can originate from an impersonal, timeless cause.

From the very nature of the case, as the cause of space and time, this cause must be an uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial being of unimaginable power which created the universe.

Evangelion
January 9th, 2002, 09:06 AM
It is impossible to construct an axiomatic proof for the existence of God.

I tried it myself on a number of occasions while I was a uni student.

:)

o2bwise
January 9th, 2002, 11:09 AM
Hi Evangelion,

What do you mean by an axiomatic proof?

What would you mean by a proof that is not axiomatic?

Tony

mattbballman
January 9th, 2002, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by Evangelion
It is impossible to construct an axiomatic proof for the existence of God.

I tried it myself on a number of occasions while I was a uni student.

:)

In order to disagree with the argument you either have to show an invalidity in the logic, or you have to show that one of the premises is false and apart from that the conclusion follows because this is a DEDUCTIVE arguments. That means that if the premises are true then the conclusion nessicarily follows. And there was a transcendant causless cause.

juliod
January 9th, 2002, 12:58 PM
First let me say I agree with Ross' analysis. Instead of accepting statements 1 and 2, I might say "There may be things which exist and were not caused" and "The universe may or may not have begun to exist."

But here's my real problem:


"Premise 3:Therefore the universe has a cause."

"some ONTOLOGICALLY TRANSCENDANT being"


If the "transcendant being" is the only possible cause then the argument is not substantial. If becomes roughly:

1) The universe had a cause.
2) God is the cause.
3) Therefore god created the universe.

Which is the same as the old "God created the universe because the universe was created by god."

If "god" is not the only possible cause then the argument doesn't advance us any distance.

Finally, it is funny to talk about a cause. I would say "Everything that begins to exist has multiple causes." I can't readily think of anything that does not have several contributing and interconnected causes. Few things, if any, in the real world result from a single, lone, unified cause.

Is this an argument for polytheism?

DanZ

mattbballman
January 9th, 2002, 02:34 PM
juliod says, "Finally, it is funny to talk about a cause. I would say "Everything that begins to exist has multiple causes." I can't readily think of anything that does not have several contributing and interconnected causes. Few things, if any, in the real world result from a single, lone, unified cause."

You agree with, it seems, that whatever begins to exist has a cause.
And that the universe began to exist.

But you say, "Why only one cause?"

I would simply appeal to "Occam's Razor" which says that you do not postulate causes beyond necessity. One cause is enough. That suffices to explain the data.

juliod
January 9th, 2002, 07:04 PM
You agree with, it seems, that whatever begins to exist has a cause.
No. I should have said that everything that is caused has multiple causes.

I consider it up in the air if everything has a cause.


I would simply appeal to "Occam's Razor" which says that you do not postulate causes beyond necessity. One cause is enough. That suffices to explain the data.
No no no. The usual situation is that multiple causes are required. You can't start a fire with only paper. You need fuel, oxygen, and an ignition source.

Heavier-than-air flight requires an atmosphere, gravity, a lifting surface, and forward movement. All those things are necessary causes of the movement of an airplane. Remove one, and "flight" is not caused.

Can you think of anything that doesn't have multiple causes? I can't.

DanZ

mattbballman
January 9th, 2002, 08:13 PM
It seems as though, in the process of refuting me, you refuted your own position. For polytheism isn't the same as atheism.

Juliod says, "I consider it up in the air if everything has a cause." I think is so intuitively obvious that scarcely anybody could sincerely deny that it is false. David Hume himself agreed that this principle is true. In a letter to John Stewart dated February, 1754, Hume wrote, "But allow me to tell you that I never asserted so absurd a Propostion as that anything might arise without cause: I only maintain’d, that our Certainty of the Falshood of that Proposition proceeded neither from Intuition nor Demonstration; but from another Source." Hume didn't think that you could prove the causal principle, but he certainly believed in it. In fact, he thought that the denial of that principle was simply absurd. Similarly, as is well known, Kant held the principle "Every event has a cause" to be a synthetic a priori principle; that is, it's an informative proposition characterized by both universality and necessity. Only Kant’s implausible and perhaps incoherent restriction of the categories to phenomena alone prevented him from holding that this principle applied to reality. So, as I say, it seems to me that this first premise is intuitively obvious, and even detractors of theistic arguments such as Hume and Kant themselves admit it's true.

I still think, from the very nature of the case as being the cause of THE UNIVERSE, there could only be ONE cause.
Since the cause has to be uncaused, beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, and enormously powerful and intelligent.
From these attributes, I would assess that the polytheistic hypothesis is untennable. For there can't be more than one unlimited existence as such. More than the Most is not possible. Such a Cause us pure Act or Actuality, an Act that is unlimited and unique. Only actuality as conjoined with potency is limited, such as is found in contigent beings. To differ, one being would have to lack some characteristic found in the other.

But any being that lacked some characteristic of existence wouldn't be an unlimited, perfect existence.

In other words, two infinite beings can't differ in their potentiality, since they have no potentiality; they're pure actuality. And they can't differ in their actuality, since actualality as such doesn't differ from actuality as such.

Hence, they must be identical. There can be only ONE unlimited Cause of all limited existence.
Therefore I've shown the polytheistic theory to be impossible in light of the attribtes the cause has to possess in being the first-cause of space, time, and matter in being the creator of the universe.

Juliod says, "The usual situation is that multiple causes are required. You can't start a fire with only paper. You need fuel, oxygen, and an ignition source."

Yes, the MATERIAL cause would have to probably be fuel, oxygen, and an ignition source, but "Occam's Razor" would apply to the EFFICIENT cause, in that a PERSONAL cause was THERE to START fire. And using "Occam's Razor" we would only need one EFFICIENT cause, thus eliminating polytheism.

On a final note even if polytheism did become the reigning worldview, it would be enough to point out the falsity of atheism.

Jaltus
January 9th, 2002, 09:33 PM
Actually, this is more of the cosmological argument, not the Kalam CA.

Try reading William Lane Craig's formulation since it is by far the most sophisticated and well-defended version to date.

mattbballman
January 9th, 2002, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by Jaltus
Actually, this is more of the cosmological argument, not the Kalam CA.

Try reading William Lane Craig's formulation since it is by far the most sophisticated and well-defended version to date.

I've read Craig's book " the kalam cosmological argument" and his precise premises were:

1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause
2: The universe began to exist
3: Therefore, the universe has a cause

This is the Kalam Cosmological Arguement in which I'm defending.

Jaltus
January 9th, 2002, 09:47 PM
Hmm, I thought he had a much more nuanced approach. Maybe I need to reread my apologetics books, hehe.

Zarathustra
January 9th, 2002, 10:32 PM
The only difference between the First Cause argument and Kaleem's Cosmological argument as asserted by Craig, is that Craig simply asserts that God is outside the realm of universal law, which prohibits him from being subject to the first cause theory. Basically Craig is just making up solutions to solve the obvious problem of the First Cause argument.

mattbballman
January 9th, 2002, 11:11 PM
Explain what you by "outside the universal law"

Zarathustra
January 9th, 2002, 11:32 PM
Everything in the universe is subject to certain natural laws. The problem with the First Cause argument is that it applies to God as well. It is only logical to ask who created God, but the Kalam argument starts by saying that everything in the universe except God is subject to these laws and therefore God can not be held to the same logic. This of course is nothing more than a theistic cop out.

mattbballman
January 10th, 2002, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by Zarathustra
Everything in the universe is subject to certain natural laws. The problem with the First Cause argument is that it applies to God as well. It is only logical to ask who created God, but the Kalam argument starts by saying that everything in the universe except God is subject to these laws and therefore God can not be held to the same logic. This of course is nothing more than a theistic cop out.

I disagree with:
1.The first-cause arguement makes God subject to certian natural laws.
2.The fact that you don't understand what the kalam argument is saying about God and his relationship to the universe.

Explaination of disagreements.
1. First, the First Cause Argument. I don't see how your conclusion follows that God would be subject to certain natural laws.

It seems you assume that this argument states that "EVERYTHING needs a cause." If this is were true it would follow that one should never stop seeking a cause, even for God. But the First-Cause Arguement doesn't state that EVERYTHING needs a cause, but that every FINITE, CONTINGENT BEING has a cause."

In this way there is no contradiction between the First Cause, which is not contingent, and the principle of causality, which holds that all finite beings need a cause

One arrives at an infinite and necessary being, there is no need to seek a further cause,. A necessary being explains (grounds) it's own existence. It exists because it must exist. It cannot not exist. Only what CAN not exist (namely, contigent beings) needs an explaination. To ask of a necessary being why it exists is like asking why necessity must be necessary, or why cirles must be round.

2. Zarathustra thinks it is a "theistic cop out" to everything in the universe except God is subject to these laws and therefore God can not be held to the same logic.

I would just say that this is a misunderstanding, because God isn't IN the uninverse as Zarathustra alleged. He transcends the universe.

I would also say that you misread the 1st premise although it is pretty close to the original meaning I would say let's stick to what it actually says. I'm not saying everything IN the universe has cause (although I tend to agree with that). What my premise stated was that whatever BEGAN TO EXIST has a cause. The insight that lies at the root of Premise 1 is that being cannot come from nonbeing, something cannot come from nothing.

God, since he never began to exist, wouldn't require a cause, for he never came into being. THIS IS NOT SPECIAL PLEADING or a "theistic coppout", since this is exactly what the atheist has always claimed about the UNIVERSE: that it is eternal and uncaused.

The problem is with the evidence there is with premise 2: The unverse began to exist that can be supported with evidence from Big bang cosmology and Thermodynamics, and also philosophical evidences for the non-existence of an actual infinite, and the impossibility of traversing an actual infinite.

-I think, off the subject, I've seen nothing wrong with the First Cause Arguement.
-And there's nothing wrong with stating God never had a beginning from the very nature of being the cause of the universe(which had a biginnning) and God(who doesn't have a beginning because He never began to exist.

Zarathustra
January 10th, 2002, 12:38 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by mattbballman


I disagree with:
1.The first-cause arguement makes God subject to certian natural laws.
2.The fact that you don't understand what the kalam argument is saying about God and his relationship to the universe.

::snore::snore::snore:: - oh are you talking? Sorry.

Explaination of disagreements.
1. First, the First Cause Argument. I don't see how your conclusion follows that God would be subject to certain natural laws.

Why don't you see it? We are talking about a god that you Christians claim exists within this universe. Why wouldn't he be subject to those laws as every other thing within the universe is subject? If he exists outside this universe then he's irrelevant to anything within this universe.

It seems you assume that this argument states that "EVERYTHING needs a cause." If this is were true it would follow that one should never stop seeking a cause, even for God. But the First-Cause Arguement doesn't state that EVERYTHING needs a cause, but that every FINITE, CONTINGENT BEING has a cause."

In this way there is no contradiction between the First Cause, which is not contingent, and the principle of causality, which holds that all finite beings need a cause

Yes I'm familiar with the cop out. You claim everything needs a cause except God. It's nice when you have a theory where you can just make up the rules as you go along.

One arrives at an infinite and necessary being, there is no need to seek a further cause,.

Why not?

A necessary being explains (grounds) it's own existence. It exists because it must exist. It cannot not exist. Only what CAN not exist (namely, contigent beings) needs an explaination. To ask of a necessary being why it exists is like asking why necessity must be necessary, or why cirles must be round.

Wow, fantastic doublespeak! Have you been taking lessons from Maelstrom? Nothing you just said makes one bit of sense.

2. Zarathustra thinks it is a "theistic cop out" to everything in the universe except God is subject to these laws and therefore God can not be held to the same logic.

I would just say that this is a misunderstanding, because God isn't IN the uninverse as Zarathustra alleged. He transcends the universe.

Oh, how clever of him. Then he is irrelevent to anything in our universe. BTW, do you have any evidence of this trancendent god? Nevermind. I already know the answer.

I would also say that you misread the 1st premise although it is pretty close to the original meaning I would say let's stick to what it actually says. I'm not saying everything IN the universe has cause (although I tend to agree with that). What my premise stated was that whatever BEGAN TO EXIST has a cause.


Yes and you start by begging the question that God did not begin to exist yet you show no evidence of such a thing.

The insight that lies at the root of Premise 1 is that being cannot come from nonbeing, something cannot come from nothing.

Prove it.

God, since he never began to exist, wouldn't require a cause, for he never came into being.

You are simply defining God as you choose to define him. How do you know he never began to exist?

THIS IS NOT SPECIAL PLEADING or a "theistic coppout", since this is exactly what the atheist has always claimed about the UNIVERSE: that it is eternal and uncaused.

It's not what any atheist has ever claimed about God. See the problem with your logic yet?

-And there's nothing wrong with stating God never had a beginning from the very nature of being the cause of the universe(which had a biginnning) and God(who doesn't have a beginning because He never began to exist.

BUZZZ! Wrong Junior. There is everything wrong with creating a god in your own mind who fits your definition solely so you can bypass legitmate objections to your argument.

Before you go any further, what you need to do is prove that a God exists who has always existed. This is the sole thing you need to concentrate upon because unless you can prove this, then everything else you say has no basis.

Evangelion
January 10th, 2002, 05:57 AM
O2 wrote:


What do you mean by an axiomatic proof?

An axiom is a self-evident truth. Many Christians fall into the trap of assuming that an argument for the existence of God can be constructed by grabbing a handful of principles which appear to be axiomatic, and liking them with the words "IF..." and "THEN..."

This is an amusing exercise in self-delusion, and I will admit that it can help to pass a long weekend, but as a theological argument it fails to advance the Christian cause.


What would you mean by a proof that is not axiomatic?

Doctrinal interpretations are a fine example. Think of the various "totally clear" passages which Trinitarians use to "prove conclusively" that Jesus is God. Trinitarians believe that these passages speak for themselves - that they present us with irrefutable evidence for the alleged deity of Christ.

In short - Trinitarians view these passages as axiomatic proofs.

But are they really...?

I think you know the answer... ;)


Mattbballman wrote:


In order to disagree with the argument you either have to show an invalidity in the logic

There's certainly an inconsistency in the logic of the argument, that's for sure.

You jump from the concept of "necessary causation" to "necessarily uncaused being" with absolutely no justification for either one.


or you have to show that one of the premises is false

No, all I have to do is show that one of the premises is unproved.

And as it turns out, no less than two of them are.


and apart from that the conclusion follows because this is a DEDUCTIVE arguments.

A deductive argument that is predicated on a priori assumptions.

Hmmm... call me "Captain Incredulous", but I don't find it particularly convincing.


That means that if the premises are true

The moment you confess that the question of "IF..." is problematic, you effectively disembowel your own argument.

Nice work there. ;)


then the conclusion nessicarily follows.

How long do you expect to wait for your "THEN..." to arrive? I'm guessing it will happen just as soon as you've eliminated the "IF..." ;)


And there was a transcendant causless cause.

Nothing like a bit of rhetoric to unclog the credulity cells, eh! :p


So now that all of the screaming is over, what we find is...

...your philosophical "proof for the existence of God" turns out to be great on paper, but unworkable in practice. This is nothing new. The First Cause argument (no matter which form you employ) only finds merit within the confines of a pre-established theological paradigm. It's totally useless anywhere else.

But don't be discouraged. After all, if Anselm of Canterbury couldn't do it, how can a mere layman hope to succeed?

:)

Ross
January 10th, 2002, 06:55 AM
Matt,

Just a general question. Why are you so intent in trying to prove the existence of God? There are so many things to discuss.

If we accept that God exists: What is the nature of this God (i.e., is God personal, etc.)? Does God act in the world? If God does act in the world, how? That is, how does non-material interact with material? In what sense is God omnipotent and omniscient?

Maybe we can move on.

Ross

o2bwise
January 10th, 2002, 07:21 AM
Hi Evangelion,

Say, by the way, I quoted a couple posts of yours that endeavored to shoot down the Saul/Mithraism contention. I placed them in another forum. If you'd like to know where, just let me know. (I did credit you, of course!)

OK, I asked you about a proof that was not axiomatic and you wrote:

Doctrinal interpretations are a fine example.

Correct me if I am wrong, but...

I believe you are implying:

1) Doctrinal interpretation is not axiomatic.

2) Doctrinal interpretation is a fine example of proving the existence of God.

How so?

God Bless...

Tony

Evangelion
January 10th, 2002, 07:38 AM
Hi Tony.

You wrote:


I quoted a couple posts of yours that endeavored to shoot down the Saul/Mithraism contention. I placed them in another forum. If you'd like to know where, just let me know. (I did credit you, of course!)

Thanks, I'm flattered! Yes, please send me the URL of that forum, via the T.O.L. "Private Message" system. I might start posting there myself. :)


Correct me if I am wrong, but...

I believe you are implying:

1) Doctrinal interpretation is not axiomatic.

Exactly. That is precisely why it is referred to as an interpretation. Sure, everyone wants to claim that their doctrine is the only correct one - that's perfectly understandable. But the very fact that there are so many interpretations, merely proves that they are founded upon evidence, rather than axiomatic proof.

Can you see what I'm saying here?


2) Doctrinal interpretation is a fine example of proving the existence of God.

No, that's not what I'm saying.

If anything, I'm saying the exact opposite.

:)

mattbballman
January 10th, 2002, 09:57 AM
WOW!! It seems like your real ticked at something.
Your posts are filled with unecessary SARCASM.
So, if you want to be a jerk, I"ll be jerk.


Originally posted by Zarathustra

::snore::snore::snore:: - oh are you talking? Sorry.

WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? I THOUGHT WE WERE HAVING AN INTELLIGENT conversation, but if you want to start acting like that then, because of you, this is gonna turn ugly.



Originally posted by Zarathustra

Why don't you see it? We are talking about a god that you Christians claim exists within this universe. Why wouldn't he be subject to those laws as every other thing within the universe is subject? If he exists outside this universe then he's irrelevant to anything within this universe.

FIRST, We christians don't claim God exists WITHIN the unverse so I have no idea where the heck that idea came from.
-He would be subject to those laws if He was within the universe, but he's not. LET ME EXPLAIN.
Even though you probably won't read it.

READ THIS!!!!!!!! I stated that this cause, from the NATURE of the case, must be:
UNCAUSED: Because the universe is finite and you can't have an infinite regress of causes.
TIMELESS: in the complete absence of change, time does not exist, and the Creator is changeless.
CHANGLESS: An infinite temporal regress of changes cannot exist.
IMMATERIAL: Whatever is material involves change on the atomic and molecular levels, but the Creator is changeless.
SPACELESS: Whatever is immaterial and timeless cannot be spatial, and the Creator is immaterial and timeless.
The Creator is ENORMOUSLY POWERFUL: He brought the universe into being out of nothing.
The Creator is ENORMOUSLY INTELLIGENT:The initial conditions of the universe involve incomprehensible fine-tuning that points to intelligent design.

Let me say it again ok . . . listening. . .ok here I go . . . ready . . .
Therefore, an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists, who sans creation is "beginningless," changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, and enormously powerful and intelligent.


Originally posted by Zarathustra

Yes I'm familiar with the cop out. You claim everything needs a cause except God. It's nice when you have a theory where you can just make up the rules as you go along.

I'm beginning to sort of see that YOUR cop out is always of accusing me of copping out.

This is NOT a cop out. AND I'M not making up any rules, following rules.

Did you read why God doesn't need a cause, or did you read that little part in my post and say, "OH MY GOSH, He said it alread, God doesn't need a cause! I won't finish reading WHY He has a cause, and I'll make fun of mattbballman of copping out. . . . ok good idea, here I go . . ."
STUPID STUPID

Because of what I've alread said, if the cause of the universe truely is:
UNCAUSED: Because the universe is finite and you can't have an infinite regress of causes.
TIMELESS: in the complete absence of change, time does not exist, and the Creator is changeless.
CHANGLESS: An infinite temporal regress of changes cannot exist.
IMMATERIAL: Whatever is material involves change on the atomic and molecular levels, but the Creator is changeless.
SPACELESS: Whatever is immaterial and timeless cannot be spatial, and the Creator is immaterial and timeless.

Then this is where the buck stops. You don't ask for a cause for the FIRST, see that word, FIRST CAUSE why because it must be from being the cause of space, time, and matter:
UNCAUSED: Because the universe is finite and you can't have an infinite regress of causes.
TIMELESS: in the complete absence of change, time does not exist, and the Creator is changeless.
CHANGLESS: An infinite temporal regress of changes cannot exist.
IMMATERIAL: Whatever is material involves change on the atomic and molecular levels, but the Creator is changeless.
SPACELESS: Whatever is immaterial and timeless cannot be spatial, and the Creator is immaterial and timeless.


Originally posted by Zarathustra

Why not?

Alright, we know what contingent means, and NECESSARY is the opposite namely, "noncontigent." The meaning of these terms are derived from their relationship to what is dependent on them. And these meanings are twofold: First, ther terms NECESSARY and INFINITE are negative.
Necessary means "non-contingent". Infinite means "not finite". We know what these limitations mean from experience, and, by contrast, we know that God doesn't have any of them. A negative term doesn't denote a negative attibute. It is not the affirmation of nothing; rather, it's the negation of all CONTINGENCY and LIMITATION in the FIRST CAUSE. The positive content of what God is derives from the causal principle. He is ACTUALITY because he causes all actuality. He is BEING because He is the cause of all being.

As Cause of all being his being can't be caused. As the Ground of all contigent being, he must be Necessary (noncontingent) being.


Originally posted by Zarathustra

Wow, fantastic doublespeak! Have you been taking lessons from Maelstrom? Nothing you just said makes one bit of sense.

Look above at what I just posted.
1st sentence your sarcastic.
2nd. You insult me
3rd. You say that I make so sense as sarcastically as you possibly can.

incredable


Originally posted by Zarathustra

Oh, how clever of him. Then he is irrelevent to anything in our universe. BTW, do you have any evidence of this trancendent god? Nevermind. I already know the answer.

This wouldn't be irrelevent because without God there would be no universe, I'm begging the question of God's existence, I'm showing that God would still be relevent to the universe if he wasn't in the universe, but transcendant to it.

Remember: Everything in the universe changes.
By being the cause of the unverse the cause mustbe
CHANGLESS:An infinite temporal regress of changes
cannot exist.


Originally posted by Zarathustra

Yes and you start by begging the question that God did not begin to exist yet you show no evidence of such a thing.

Because it's self-evident.
Let me reduce "whatever begins to exist has a cause" to "every effect has a cause" samething different words.

In this form the principle of causality is analytically SELF-EVIDENT, since by EFFECT is meant what is caused and by a CAUSE is meant what pruduces the effect. Hence, the predicate is reducible to the subject. It is like saying, "Every triangle has 3 sides."

All contingent beings need a cause, for a contingent being is something that exists but that might, under other circumstances, not exist. Since it has the poosiblility not to exist, it doesn't account for its own existence. In itelf, there is no reason why it exists. Once it was nonbeing, but nonbeing can't cause anything. Being can only be caused by being. Only something can produce something.


Originally posted by Zarathustra

You are simply defining God as you choose to define him. How do you know he never began to exist?

No I'm not, from the nature of the case, this cause being the cause of all space, time, and matter this cause must be:
UNCAUSED: Because the universe is finite and you can't have an infinite regress of causes.
TIMELESS: in the complete absence of change, time does not exist, and the Creator is changeless.
CHANGLESS: An infinite temporal regress of changes cannot exist.
IMMATERIAL: Whatever is material involves change on the atomic and molecular levels, but the Creator is changeless.
SPACELESS: Whatever is immaterial and timeless cannot be spatial, and the Creator is immaterial and timeless.
The Creator is ENORMOUSLY POWERFUL: He brought the universe into being out of nothing.
The Creator is ENORMOUSLY INTELLIGENT:The initial conditions of the universe involve incomprehensible fine-tuning that points to intelligent design.



Originally posted by Zarathustra

It's not what any atheist has ever claimed about God. See the problem with your logic yet?

No, point it out and I'll deal with it.

mattbballman
January 10th, 2002, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by Ross
Matt,

Just a general question. Why are you so intent in trying to prove the existence of God? There are so many things to discuss.

If we accept that God exists: What is the nature of this God (i.e., is God personal, etc.)? Does God act in the world? If God does act in the world, how? That is, how does non-material interact with material? In what sense is God omnipotent and omniscient?

Maybe we can move on.

Ross

I just want to take this arguement far enought disprove athiesm. Personal or non-personal it would still disprove atheism.

-My motive isn't really to prove God's existence, but take what I think is a valid argument, the KCA as far as it goes until it fails.

When it fails and I see that the atheist has disproven it, I'll move on.

But until I see that, I'm going to defend it.

As far as nature goes, I put forth the requirement of a cause that caused space, time, and matter in a previous post, here they are again:
UNCAUSED: Because the universe is finite and you can't have an infinite regress of causes.
TIMELESS: in the complete absence of change, time does not exist, and the Creator is changeless.
CHANGLESS: An infinite temporal regress of changes cannot exist.
IMMATERIAL: Whatever is material involves change on the atomic and molecular levels, but the Creator is changeless.
SPACELESS: Whatever is immaterial and timeless cannot be spatial, and the Creator is immaterial and timeless.
The Creator is ENORMOUSLY POWERFUL: He brought the universe into being out of nothing.
The Creator is ENORMOUSLY INTELLIGENT:The initial conditions of the universe involve incomprehensible fine-tuning that points to intelligent design.

I don't really think the we should move if we have VALID arguement for God's existence, but if it's proven INVALID I'll move on.

;)

mattbballman
January 10th, 2002, 10:13 AM
Evangelion:

One question:"You jump from the concept of "necessary causation" to "necessarily uncaused being" with absolutely no justification for either one."

Can you point out where I did this and explain what you mean by it.

Thanx alot . . .
:cool:

Zarathustra
January 10th, 2002, 10:45 AM
Matt I apologize for the sarcasm, but you keep repeating the same thing over and over again without ever proving your premises to be true.

You need to first prove the existance of a creator who is outside of time. That's where you need to start. You can not just create him in your mind for the sake of your argument. So I'll wait for you to prove this creator to be true.

Evangelion
January 10th, 2002, 11:17 AM
Mattballman, you wrote:


One question:"You jump from the concept of "necessary causation" to "necessarily uncaused being" with absolutely no justification for either one."

Can you point out where I did this and explain what you mean by it.

No worries. :)

I was referring to the three premises on which your entire argument is based:


Premise 1:Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
Premise 2:The universe began to exist.
Premise 3:Therefore the universe has a cause.

Well...

Even if we accept Premise 1 (for the sake of the argument), we don't have any need for a Creator, much less God Himself.
Even if we accept Premise 2 (for the sake of the argument), we don't have any need for a Creator, much less God Himself.
Even if we accept Premise 3 (for the sake of the argument), we don't have any need for a Creator, much less God Himself.

In fact, I could use those three premises to "prove" that the universe is self-caused - and it would make a lot more sense, too!

Your options, therefore, are somewhat limited:

Apply Occam's Razor and you will see that your three premises necessarily add up to an argument for a self-caused universe.
Unfortunately, this eliminates the necessity of God's existence, which is precisely what you're attempting to prove.

Follow the example of Leibniz by dropping Premise 1 and arguing for the necessary existence of the universe.
Unfortunately, all this does is to remove the word "God" from your original argument and replace it with the word "universe."

Either way, you've (a) lost your original argument, and (b) sent yourself right back to the beginning again.

:)

mattbballman
January 10th, 2002, 11:22 AM
Yea, I'm sorry too.

The reason this creater has to be timeless is because it created time.

Let me restate what I said in my last post to you:
The Creator is changeless. An infinite temporal regress of changes cannot exist.
The Creator is immaterial. Whatever is material involves change on the atomic and molecular levels, but the Creator is changeless.
The Creator is timeless. In the complete absence of change, time does not exist, and the Creator is changeless.
The Creator is spaceless. Whatever is immaterial and timeless cannot be spatial, and the Creator is immaterial and timeless

You see whatever is IN the universe is changing and IN time.
But since it created all time, space, and matter at the big bang the CHANGLESSNESS, IMMATERIALNESS, TIMELESSNESS, AND SPACELESSNESS apply to this cause.

Therefore God must be OUTSIDE or must TRANSCENDANT space and time, becasue He's the cause of it.

Tell me if this helped .. . :cool:

mattbballman
January 10th, 2002, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by Evangelion
Mattballman, you wrote:

In fact, I could use those three premises to "prove" that the universe is self-caused - and it would make a lot more sense, too!

I don't really see how anything that is self-caused can make any sense because that fact that self-causation introduces to us a contradiction.

For something to create itself, remember now the SOMETHING(the universe) does not exist, now it's called upon to create itself. Well how can it create itself, if IT itself doesn't exist.
It would have to BE before it IS.
That is it must BE and NOT BE at the same time and in the same relationship which clearly voilates the law of noncontradiction.

So if you hold to self-causation and apply that to the universe in light of the big bang theory you must believe that the . . . universe came from nothing and by nothing. But surely that doesn't make sense! Out of nothing, nothing comes. So why does the universe exist instead of just nothing? Where did it come from? There must have been a cause which brought the universe into being.


Originally posted by Evangelion

Follow the example of Leibniz by dropping Premise 1 and arguing for the necessary existence of the universe.
Unfortunately, all this does is to remove the word "God" from your original argument and replace it with the word "universe."
[/list]
:)

But the universes FINITENESS has been established through SCIENTIFIC and PHILOSOPHICAL evedences.

Scientific:
-Big Bang Theory
1. Second Law of Thermodynamics
2. The Expansion of the Galaxies
3. The Background radiation Echo

Pholosophical:
-The impossibility of there existing an ACTUAL infinite
-The impossibility of traversing an ACTUAL infinite even if it did exist.

So, through these evidences, the universe is to have a beginning.
If it had a beginning then it had a beginner which is God.
It couldn't have began itself since we see the contradictory nature of self-causation.

Thanx for you comments . . .;)

juliod
January 10th, 2002, 01:03 PM
The Creator is changeless.
The Creator is immaterial.
The Creator is timeless.
The Creator is spaceless.
You do realize, don't you, that these are the key attributes of things that don't exist?

Why believe in such a thing, if it has these properties, and gives no other evidence of it's existance?

DanZ

o2bwise
January 10th, 2002, 01:21 PM
Hi juliod,

Three things for me:

1) Damascus Road experiences.

2) I think love is the most important thing. I don't think that can be proven to exist either.

3) The complexity of beings like ourselves. I just don't see evolution as plausible. I do believe there is ample evidence of intelligent design and thus an intelligent Designer.

I appreciate that the above do not qualify for you.

mattbballman
January 10th, 2002, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by juliod

You do realize, don't you, that these are the key attributes of things that don't exist?

Why believe in such a thing, if it has these properties, and gives no other evidence of it's existance?

DanZ

What I'm saying is if:
1. The universe had a beginning and
2. Whatever begins to exist has a cause and
3. The universe is the collection of all space, time, and matter then
4. Then the cause of that space, time, and matter has got to be independent of space, time, and matter so
5. The attributes of this cause and from the very nature of the case, as the cause of space and time, this cause must be an uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial being of unimaginable power which created the universe. Moreover, I would argue, it must also be personal. For how else could a timeless cause give rise to a temporal effect like the universe?

If the cause were an impersonal set of necessary and sufficient conditions, then the cause could never exist without the effect. If the cause were timelessly present, then the effect would be timelessly present as well. The only way for the cause to be timeless and the effect to begin in time is for the cause to be a personal agent who freely chooses to create an effect in time without any prior determining conditions.

Thus, we are brought, not merely to a transcendent cause of the universe, but to its Personal Creator.

So I don't think that if these premises are true namely:
Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
The universe began to exist
Then there is a cause of the universe and when I describe the attribtes of this cause and giving you the attributes of a cause that has to exist or there would be no universe.:)

juliod
January 10th, 2002, 07:29 PM
You might as well give up this line of argument. Even a lot of theists don't like it. As for me, it appeals not at all. It depends on too many things that I am not willing to concede. And even accepting them for the sake of argument doesn't really lead to a good case.

I mean, you are going all the way back to the begining of the universe to make your case. Isn't "god" supposed to be a little more proximate than that?

DanZ

mattbballman
January 10th, 2002, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by juliod
You might as well give up this line of argument. Even a lot of theists don't like it. As for me, it appeals not at all. It depends on too many things that I am not willing to concede. And even accepting them for the sake of argument doesn't really lead to a good case.

I mean, you are going all the way back to the begining of the universe to make your case. Isn't "god" supposed to be a little more proximate than that?

DanZ

1.why aren't you willing to concede and
2.which premises aren't you condeding
3.if you don't mind, point you the places where it
doesn't make a good case and
4.What's wrong with going to the beginning of the
universe and
5.what do you mean by "proximate."

juliod
January 10th, 2002, 08:57 PM
1.why aren't you willing to concede and 2.which premises aren't you condeding

1) That the universe began to exist.

Consider this statement: "There was no time in which the universe did not exist."

2) That everything must have a cause.

It seems a reasonable statement, but if you are going to use it to prove god, you should have some formal proof that it is true.


3.if you don't mind, point you the places where it doesn't make a good case and
Everywhere. I don't think anyone realy likes that argument.


4.What's wrong with going to the beginning of the universe and
It's the god-of-the-gaps argument. God can only exist in those places where human inquiry has not reached. Imagine that sometime we come up with a good theory of the universe [P]prior[/B] to the big bang. You'll have to back-up your argument, and start talking about the cause-of-the-cause of the big bang.


5.what do you mean by "proximate."
"Close." Most theists believe there is proof of god available much closer and more immediate than 15 billion years ago. What can I see, touch, or experience that is evidence for god? That is what an atheist wants to know.

DanZ

Jaltus
January 10th, 2002, 09:34 PM
The only way to know God by experience is to experience God, but if an atheist did experience God, they would write it off as another occurance that must have a naturalistic cause.

Asking to experience something that is invisible and immaterial is like asking to pay $5 for a ride to the moon: you know it is not going to happen.

By the way, people who are asking mattbballman to prove that there is a creator, or an uncaused cause, that is the point of the argument. It seems like you are arguing against the conclusion without arguing against the premises first. Of course, I may be misreading that.

Zarathustra
January 10th, 2002, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by Jaltus
The only way to know God by experience is to experience God, but if an atheist did experience God, they would write it off as another occurance that must have a naturalistic cause.



What makes something non-naturalistic? If a god did exist, wouldn't it be natural? What makes a god supernatural?

mattbballman
January 10th, 2002, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by juliod

1) That the universe began to exist.

Consider this statement: "There was no time in which the universe did not exist."

2) That everything must have a cause.

It seems a reasonable statement, but if you are going to use it to prove god, you should have some formal proof that it is true.

1. Look, this is just a word game. To say it has always existed in time on that view means that at every time in the past that there is, the universe has existed. Granted; but it hasn't always existed in the sense that time is infinite in the past. There was definitely a beginning, and the universe came into existence out of nothing. And that cries out for an explanation, an explanation in a being that is uncaused, transcends time and space, and brought the universe into being.

2. Remember, though, I didn't say EVERYTHING NEEDS A CAUSE, or else God would need a cause.
I said everything that BEGINS TO EXIST has a cause.

It's rooted in the metaphysical intuition that something cannot come out of nothing. Out of nothing, nothing comes. And to me that surely is evident when you think about it. If there is absolutely nothing—no space, no time, no energy, no matter—then something cannot just come out of nothing. At least, it seems to me that the premise is far more plausible than its opposite.


Originally posted by juliod

Everywhere. I don't think anyone realy likes that argument.

But do you think it's enough to disprove an arguement just by saying nobody likes it.

I mean, what would you think of me if, after ever arguement you posted I said, "Oh, but I don't really like that."

Originally posted by juliod

It's the god-of-the-gaps argument. God can only exist in those places where human inquiry has not reached. Imagine that sometime we come up with a good theory of the universe [P]prior to the big bang. You'll have to back-up your argument, and start talking about the cause-of-the-cause of the big bang. [/B]

The Big Bang provides empirical confirmation of that philosophical conclusion already reached. But I must say I find it rather hypocritical when you use FOR EXAMPLE the theory of biological evolution to try to trash the design argument and Christian belief in a Designer and a Creator, but then the minute that science begins to confirm the Christian hypothesis through the Big Bang theory, all of a sudden we hear these grave intonations about how uncertain the model is, how we cannot trust its predictions for the future, and so forth. If you do that then that's simply talking out of both sides of your mouth. The fact is that on your view, the atheist must reject the Big Bang theory, which is the paradigm model of modern cosmology, in order to sustain his atheism. Now if you are an atheist, I think that ought to shake you up. That should make you very, very sober, I think, about what your world view is committing you to. By contrast, the Christian view, which predicted the origin of the universe long before it was ever discovered empirically, makes sense out of the origin of the universe and explains why it exists -- none of this hocus-pocus about something coming into being out of nothing without a cause.

Originally posted by juliod

"Close." Most theists believe there is proof of god available much closer and more immediate than 15 billion years ago. What can I see, touch, or experience that is evidence for god? That is what an atheist wants to know.
DanZ

Unfortunatley what most believe doesn't necessarily make truth, it might make you feel better but that's not where the evidence points.

The fact that you can see, touch, and experience things in the universe call you to raise questions like: Where the universe came from? Why everything exists instead of just nothing at all? Well, typically, atheists have said that the universe is just eternal, and that's all.

But Big Bang cosmology invalidates that by empirically judging the finite nature of the things we see, touch, and experience and giving a reason for why these things exist in the first place. And the universe being all space, time, and matter this cause must be an uncaused changeless, timeless, and immaterial being which created the universe.

Jaltus
January 10th, 2002, 10:47 PM
What makes something non-naturalistic? If a god did exist, wouldn't it be natural? What makes a god supernatural?

Something non-naturalistic is something that cannot be described by natural causes, such as someone dying and coming back a month later, or a person who could actually fly, or the Cub's winning the World Series, you know, things that cannot really happen.

Ok, maybe the Cubs could win the series, but I doubt it.

God is supernatural because He is above nature. Think of it this way, whatever created nature (assuming it is created or at least not self-caused for the sake of this argument) is something that cannot be contained by nature, and thus "supernatural," in at least one sense.

Evangelion
January 10th, 2002, 10:51 PM
Thus far, it is obvious that you have been unable to prove the necessity of an uncaused being - much less God Himself.

For me, that's the key issue here.

You wrote:


I don't really see how anything that is self-caused can make any sense because that fact that self-causation introduces to us a contradiction.

For something to create itself, remember now the SOMETHING(the universe) does not exist, now it's called upon to create itself. Well how can it create itself, if IT itself doesn't exist. It would have to BE before it IS. That is it must BE and NOT BE at the same time and in the same relationship which clearly voilates the law of noncontradiction.

So if you hold to self-causation and apply that to the universe in light of the big bang theory you must believe that the . . . universe came from nothing and by nothing. But surely that doesn't make sense! Out of nothing, nothing comes. So why does the universe exist instead of just nothing? Where did it come from? There must have been a cause which brought the universe into being.

You have forgotten that this argument relies on the assumption of Premise 1 - and you not yet established that Premise 1 is valid. It is certainly not self-evident, nor can it be deduced from any self-evident proposition. This means that we have no reason to believe that it is true.

Ultimately, therefore, you are merely assuming Premise 1 to be true - which in turn, means that your argument is founded on an unproven premise. That is precisely why the version of the First Cause argument that you have presented here, is (a) not axiomatic (although this was clearly your original intention), and (b) self-refuting.

:)


But the universes FINITENESS has been established through SCIENTIFIC and PHILOSOPHICAL evedences.

*Snip*

No, what has been established is that the current arrangement of the universe is finite. You have made the classic mistake of confusing the origins of structure with the origins of matter. This is a problem that your argument fails to address.

If you dig around a little, you will find that some of the more sophisticated cosmological arguments (such as those employed by Hawking and Davies) begin with the existence of something, which in the case of Hawking is "space-time." In fact, a strong argument can be made for the idea that it is impossible for nothing to exist, and that from that which existed, came the universe we know today.

Modern science also supports the idea that matter can be self creating. The uncertainty principle implies that particles can come into existence for short periods of time even when there is not enough energy to create them. In effect, they are created from uncertainties in energy. One could say that they briefly "borrow" the energy required for their creation, and then, a short time later, they pay the "debt" back and disappear again. Since these particles do not have a permanent existence, they are called virtual particles.

For another perspective, try looking at the "rubber band" cosmological model, which makes particular reference to the constant expansion of the universe - and yes, it is now obvious that the universe is expanding.

Under this model, the universe began with a Big Bang, and will eventually collapse with a Big Crunch, in which all matter is compressed into a lone singularity. Fortunately, the very forces responsible for the Crunch will ultimately result in a new Bang... and so the cycle repeats itself.

At the end of the day, you have to realise that the Big Bang singularity is the simplest possible thing; it has zero spatial dimensions (it is pointlike), zero temporal dimensions (it is instantaneous) and is governed by zero laws.

Once again, Occam's Razor supports the atheist cosmological model.

:)


PS. This will have to be my final post, because I am going on holiday tonight. I shall be driving to Adelaide - a distance of 2800 kilometres - and I won't have Internet access for the entire duration of my stay, which is roughly three weeks.

Zarathustra
January 10th, 2002, 11:12 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jaltus


Something non-naturalistic is something that cannot be described by natural causes, such as someone dying and coming back a month later, or a person who could actually fly, or the Cub's winning the World Series, you know, things that cannot really happen.

So God can't really happen.

Jaltus
January 10th, 2002, 11:48 PM
Yes, God cannot happen, He just is.

Hence His name, I AM.

Zarathustra
January 10th, 2002, 11:50 PM
Originally posted by Jaltus
Yes, God cannot happen, He just is.

Hence His name, I AM.

Brilliant.

mattbballman
January 11th, 2002, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by Evangelion
In fact, a strong argument can be made for the idea that it is impossible for nothing to exist, and that from that which existed, came the universe we know today.

I also agree that it is impossible for nothing to have existed, because, in effect, there would be nothing now.

When you say "FROM THAT WHICH EXISTED", I would question the NATURE and the ONTOLOGICAL status of that "that" and it would be close or even identical with the nature and ontological status of God.

Originally posted by Evangelion

Modern science also supports the idea that matter can be self creating. The uncertainty principle implies that particles can come into existence for short periods of time even when there is not enough energy to create them. In effect, they are created from uncertainties in energy. One could say that they briefly "borrow" the energy required for their creation, and then, a short time later, they pay the "debt" back and disappear again. Since these particles do not have a permanent existence, they are called virtual particles.

A great many physicists today are quite idssatisfied with this view of subatomic physics and are exploring deterministic theories such as "uncertainty principle".

1.Even according to the traditional, indeterministic interpretation, particles don't come into being out of nothing. They arisee as spontaneous fluctuations of the energy contained in the subatomic vacuum; they do no come from nothing.
2.This can be applied to the origin of the universe out of a primordial vacuum. I just don't think you understand that a sea of fluctuating energy endowed with a rich structure and subject to physical laws is FAR from nothing. There is no basis in ordinary quantum theory for the claim that the universe itself is uncaused, much less for the claim that it sprang into being uncaused from literally nothing.
3. Also the principle of uncertianty doesn't say there is no cause of the events, but simply that one can't predict the course of a given particle.
Not the principle of UNCAUSUALITY, but the the principle of UNPREDICTIBILITY. The principle of causality affirms that there is a cause, even if don't know precisley what that cause is.

So I think that principle fails and things don't come into being unless caused, and things don't cause themselves to exist for this leads to a contradiction.

Originally posted by Evangelion

For another perspective, try looking at the "rubber band" cosmological model, which makes particular reference to the constant expansion of the universe - and yes, it is now obvious that the universe is expanding.
Under this model, the universe began with a Big Bang, and will eventually collapse with a Big Crunch, in which all matter is compressed into a lone singularity. Fortunately, the very forces responsible for the Crunch will ultimately result in a new Bang... and so the cycle repeats itself.

Yes, I've heard of this. However, big bang proponents like myself not that ther is NO EVIDENCE to support this view. I t is unlikely that there is enough matter in the universe to make the expanding universe collapse even ONCE.

Even if enough matter to cause to rebound, there is good reason to hold that it would not rebound forever!
For according to the well established second law of thermodynamics, EACH succeeding rebound would have less explosive energy than the previous until eventually the universe would not rebound again. Like a bouncing ball, it would finally peter out, showing that it is not eternal. The rebound hyposthesis is based on the FALLACIOUS premise that the universe is 100 percent efficient, which it is not. Usable energy is lost in every process.

So the big ban theory still holds, thus calling upon a cause that banged the bang of creation.

So I see no good reason to believe that the big bang is false and there fore a God that caused it into being.

mattbballman
January 11th, 2002, 12:37 AM
I had also forgotten to respond to this:


Originally posted by Evangelion
You have forgotten that this argument relies on the assumption of Premise 1 - and you not yet established that Premise 1 is valid. It is certainly not self-evident, nor can it be deduced from any self-evident proposition. This means that we have no reason to believe that it is true. Ultimately, therefore, you are merely assuming Premise 1 to be true - which in turn, means that your argument is founded on an unproven premise. That is precisely why the version of the First Cause argument that you have presented here, is (a) not axiomatic (although this was clearly your original intention), and (b) self-refuting.

Well, it's rooted in the metaphysical intuition that something cannot come out of nothing. Out of nothing, nothing comes. And to me that surely is evident when you think about it. If there is absolutely nothing—no space, no time, no energy, no matter—then something cannot just come out of nothing. At least, it seems to me that the premise is far more plausible than its opposite.

Jaltus
January 11th, 2002, 11:06 AM
As one with background in HE physics, I'd like to make a short response...well, short for me.

I agree that there are some particles that "pop" into existence, but they are on borrowed energy, not non-existent. Again, they may have causes, we just do not necessarily know what they are yet. Remember, HE physics is still a very open book, it is constantly being rewritten with each new discovery, which is what makes it fun.

Arguing non-causation from this example is problematic, then, since it is very much unproven that this phenomena is uncaused.

The "big crunch" argument is actually not a good one. There is an expansion rate of the universe at which the universe will forever expand, but with less and less velocity. It will never actually stop, thereby circumventing the big bang. This is known as the Omega One theory (sorry, but I no longer have the journal this came from as I read this years ago at my undergrad physics library, and I am now a few states away from there).

Anyway, dark matter is what is posited to bring the universes mass up high enough in order to keep this expansion going forever. Dark matter has been discovered, but we are still not sure if there is enough or even too much of it. Too much and we could possibly keep expanding forever, not necessarily at a slowing rate.

mattbballman
January 13th, 2002, 09:41 PM
UPDATE!!!!!!!!!:

Objections to Premise 1:
Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
1. Quantum Mechanics- Have proven to be useless
(from lack of response).
2. Premise is not proven or self-evident- But this
isn't true, reduced to self-evident when
defined as being rooted in the principle
that something can't come from nothing(which
hasn't been disputed).
3. Might be true in everyday experience BUT NOT
when it comes to the universe- Big Bang gave
finiteness to universe, so before the universe
there was nothing, but out of nothing, nothing
comes, so their must have been a cause.
4.But what caused God- Not EVERYTHING needs a
cause, but WHATEVER BEGINS TO EXIST has a cause.
a)This is special pleading- NOT special
pleading, since this is what atheist say
about the universe( but has been called
into question due to scientific and
philosophical evidences stated.
b)Also, God doesn't need a cause, due to the
very nature of being the cause of all
space, time, and matter. This cause must
be uncaused, spaceless, timeless, and
immaterial.

So this stands, so far . . .

Objections to Premise 2:
The universe began to exist.
1. Why only one cause- a.)my goal was to disprove
athiesm so even if we do get more than one
cause it would be enough to disprove what
the athiest thinks about there being no cause.
b.)"Occam's Razor" which says that you do not postulate causes beyond necessity. One cause is enough. That suffices to explain the data.
-objection to Occam's Razor due to the usual situation is that multiple causes are required.- MATERIAL cause would have to probably be fuel, oxygen, and an ignition
source, but "Occam's Razor" would apply to the EFFICIENT cause, in that a PERSONAL cause was THERE to START fire. And using "Occam's Razor" we would only need one EFFICIENT cause.
2. No evidence- I gave scientific and philosophical
3. God's In the the universe, so if the universe
began to exist, then God began to exist- We don't claim God exists WITHIN the unverse.
4. Irrelevent- wouldn't be irrelevent because without God there would be no universe, I'm
begging the question of God's existence, I'm showing that God would still be relevent to the universe if he wasn't in the universe, but transcendant to it.
5. The universe was self-caused- self-causation introduces to us a contradiction. Even if true, then the universe came from nothing and by nothing. But surely that doesn't make sense! Out of nothing, nothing comes. So why does the universe exist instead of just nothing?
6.Consider this statement: "There was no time in which the universe did not exist."- Just a word game. Time is not infinite in the past.
7.I don't like that- But do you think it's enough to disprove an arguement just by saying nobody likes it.
8.god-of-the-gaps argument- a.)Big Bang provides empirical confirmation of that philosophical conclusion already reached. b.)hypocritical.
9.atheist wants to know What can I see, touch, or experience that is evidence for god?- The fact that you can see, touch, and experience things in the universe call you to raise questions like: Where the universe came from? Why everything exists instead of just nothing at all? Well, typically, atheists have said that the universe is just eternal, and that's all. But Big Bang cosmology invalidates that by empirically judging the finite nature of the things we see, touch, and experience and giving a reason for why these things exist in the first place.
10. What about a Big Crunch- not a 100 percent efficient and not enough matter in the universe, and contrary to the second law of thermodymanics.

Objections to Premise 3:
The universe has a cause:
1."cause for the universe" is not necessarily equivalent to a "Creator of the universe"- I'm using the word cause here simply to mean something that produces something else, and in terms of which that other thing, called the effect, can be explained.
2.Cause is not God- From the very nature of the case, as the cause of space and time, this cause must be an uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial being of unimaginable power which created the universe.
3.not personal- a.) irrevelent, still disproves
atheism. b.)how else could a timeless cause give rise to a temporal effect like the universe? If the cause were an impersonal set of necessary and sufficient conditions, then the cause could never exist without the effect. If the cause were timelessly present, then the effect would be timelessly present as well. The only way for the cause to be timeless and the effect to begin in time is for the cause to be a personal agent who freely chooses to create an effect in time without any prior determining conditions.
4.cause in the universe- God must be OUTSIDE or must TRANSCENDANT space and time, becasue He's the cause of it.
5.not "God, but a "that"- question the NATURE and the ONTOLOGICAL status of that "that" and it would be close or even identical with the nature and ontological status of God.


First, I argued that God is required by the origin of the universe. We saw that whatever begins to exist has a cause; the universe began to exist; and, therefore, there must be a transcendent, personal cause of the universe.

I think what we have got are good reasons, a good suggestive pointer, to the existence of God as the creator we have not got any good reason to give up our my believing God created the universe and become an atheist.So I am simply not reluctant to adopt atheism. I don't see any good reason to embrace atheism in light of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. It seems to me that it is more plausible to be a theist.

Thanks . . .

Nathon Detroit
January 13th, 2002, 09:54 PM
Matt, great thread, I read it all!