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  1. #11  
    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Well, that doesnt really help much... all that does is leave you with some nebulous conception of some undefined force... could just as easily be impersonal and non-cognizant as it could be anything else.

    It still doesnt really work anyhow, because that first-cause argument relies on the assumption that everything that exists must have a cause, but then requires us to make a special exception for your concept of god.... just because. It refutes itself.
    From a logical standpoint every effect must have a cause, but a cause need not be the product of a previous effect. Logically it doesn't refute itself because it isn't self contradictory. A cause can not be the cause of itself. That is self contradictory. It would in effect be both cause and effect in the same relationship. This is not possible, logically speaking. However logic is not broken by saying that a cause may not itself have a cause, only effects require a cause.

    If you validate the truthfulness of the above statement then you can have a God that does not have a creator. It doesn't violate the rules of logic and is not a self referencing contradiction.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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  2. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    From a logical standpoint every effect must have a cause, but a cause need not be the product of a previous effect. Logically it doesn't refute itself because it isn't self contradictory. A cause can not be the cause of itself. That is self contradictory. It would in effect be both cause and effect in the same relationship. This is not possible, logically speaking. However logic is not broken by saying that a cause may not itself have a cause, only effects require a cause.

    If you validate the truthfulness of the above statement then you can have a God that does not have a creator. It doesn't violate the rules of logic and is not a self referencing contradiction.
    It refutes itself, because the point of the first cause argument is to be a proof of god. The argument tries to assert that god is the only option for a uncaused cause, but then opens the door for just about any something to be the uncaused cause... and this whole god idea becomes just one of many possibilities, but no more plausible or likely than any of them.
    Last edited by wilbur; 11-19-2008 at 11:19 AM.
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  3. #13  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    Einstein believed in God, so did Galileo. Both believed that scientific inquiry was a search for God in it's own way, by discovering the laws of the universe God created.
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  4. #14  
    There's a very good DVD out about this very subject that you might find interestin. It's title is The Privileged Planet


    Synopsis For centuries scientists and philosophers have marveled at an eerie coincidence. Mathematics, a creation of human reason, can predict the nature of the universe, a fact physicist Eugene Wigner referred to as the "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the physical sciences." In the last three decades astronomers and cosmologists have noticed another, seemingly unrelated, mystery. Contrary to all expectations, the laws of physics seem precisely "fine-tuned" for the existence of complex life.
    <snip>

    For some reason our Earthly location is extraordinarily well suited to allow us to peer into the heavens and discover its secrets.
    <snip>

    Elsewhere, you might learn that Earth and its local environment provide a delicate, and probably exceedingly rare, cradle for complex life. But there's another, even more startling, fact, described in The Privileged Planet: those same rare conditions that produce a habitable planet-that allow for the existence of complex observers like ourselves-also provide the best overall place for observing. What does this mean?
    <snip>
    At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that news is not something that happens to other people. ~ Robert Heinlein

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  5. #15  
    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    It refutes itself, because the point of the first cause argument is to be a proof of god. The argument tries to assert that god is the only option for a uncaused cause, but then opens the door for just about any something to be the uncaused cause... and this whole god idea becomes just one of many possibilities, but no more plausible or likely than any of them.
    The point of any arguement is to prove something. So because the argument happens to point to the existence of God, you deem it invalid? The point of the infinite universe argument was to negate the need for a creator God. So was that argument logically invalid as well?

    When the uncaused cause (we'll call Him prime cause) argument is invoked it is used in concurrence with the fact that the universe appears to have been tweeked in order to allow life to form. If the prime cause effects the creation of a universe that appears designed. We assume that the prime cause is intelligent because the effect shows signs of intelligent construction. The problem you have is that you view all these arguments and points as individual explanations that need to be disputed instead of viewing them as a coherent collection of clues that point to the conclusion of a Creator God/Prime Cause.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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  6. #16  
    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    Einstein believed in God, so did Galileo. Both believed that scientific inquiry was a search for God in it's own way, by discovering the laws of the universe God created.

    Einstein was a deist, Galileo was a theist. There is a big difference in the two views.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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  7. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21 View Post
    There's a very good DVD out about this very subject that you might find interestin. It's title is The Privileged Planet
    Also read Paul Davies, The Mind of God. Davies is a theortical physicist who, when he looked at the way the universe was constructed and how there were so many links in the chain of events that lead to the creation of life, concluded that the most probable answer was that the universe was designed. For the universe to be designed, he said, it would need a designer.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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  8. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    The point of any arguement is to prove something. So because the argument happens to point to the existence of God, you deem it invalid? The point of the infinite universe argument was to negate the need for a creator God. So was that argument logically invalid as well?
    The point of the first-cause syllogisms to show that there is one reasonable possibility and all other possibilities are implausible. But it does just the opposite. It allows anything to be possible, and just ensures that we call what ever thing or event preceded the universe as god, arbitrarily.

    When the uncaused cause (we'll call Him prime cause) argument is invoked it is used in concurrence with the fact that the universe appears to have been tweeked in order to allow life to form. If the prime cause effects the creation of a universe that appears designed. We assume that the prime cause is intelligent because the effect shows signs of intelligent construction. The problem you have is that you view all these arguments and points as individual explanations that need to be disputed instead of viewing them as a coherent collection of clues that point to the conclusion of a Creator God/Prime Cause.
    One of the biggest problems with the design argument is this similar to the first cause argument... if something exists, we can rightly say the universe must have been fine tuned for its existence. Instead of narrowing the possibilities, it leaves the door open wide for any of them to be true. There sure are a hell of a lot more stars in the universe than humans... so we can say the universe was fine tuned for stars, while we are simply a necessary a side effect. Maybe it was fine tuned for dung beetles... The fine tuning argument works equally well for any object or concept that exists in this universe... therefore it provides evidence equally well for anything we can imagine. It's only through our own arrogance that we assume its all about us.

    Any possible universe has a range of possibilities for entities that can exist within it. Existence of any of those entities within that universe would be proof that the universe was designed with them in mind according to the design argument... therefore any possible universe would lead you to the same conclusion... that it was designed... the actual value of the constants matters little in this regard.. we can actually leave the whole fine-tuning bit out of it, and reduce the entire fine tuning argument to a simple statement that says 'since things exist, there is a god'. Not a very strong argument.

    You could even toy around with it a bit and say the universe is fine tuned for suffering and death, and infer that any God who created it is pleased by suffering, pain and destruction. We can then infer that good and righteousness only exist in order for perfect gratuitous pain and loss to be fully realized or some such thing. Even our intellects are of a special design, so that we could fully comprehend suffering that befalls us... a necessity for achievement of perfect suffering. This evil god is just as plausible as your own using the fine tuning and first cause arguments. So if one wants to be especially generous.. the most certainty the first cause and fine tuning argument can get you to is some form of weak deism.
    Last edited by wilbur; 11-20-2008 at 12:21 AM.
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