Quinque Viae

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Quinque Viae

I have a question regarding Aquinas' five proofs for God's existence. Could you please point out the logical fallacy in the first three proofs (which I believe to be slightly reworded cosmological arguments, maybe he thought three wasn't a big enough number??).

 

The Argument of the Unmoved Mover

"The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God."

The Argument of the First Cause

"The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God."

The Argument from Contingency

"The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God."

 

 

 

Also regarding his fourth proof:

The Argument from Degree

"The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But 'more' and 'less' are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God."

 

It was said that Aquinas critiqued the ontological argument during his lifetime, yet this fourth proof would seem to be exactly that, the ontological argument. Could anyone clear this up??

 

The fifth and final proof is just a teleological argument, already smashed to pieces by evolution, so I don't need help with that one, just the others.

 

Thanks in advance,

OhMan.

 


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 I am not a specialist in

 I am not a specialist in anti-theo logic, but let me try the first that come to my mind:

#1.  First Newton's law.

#2.  The concept of infinity. For quite a while infinity is a pretty well defined concept.

#3.  The mass/energy conservation laws + the concept of infinity.

 


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Quote:THOMAS AQUINAS, THE

Quote:

THOMAS AQUINAS, THE FIVE PROOFS, AND HOW HE GOT IT WRONG

The five “proofs” asserted by Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century don’t prove anything, and are easily — though I hesitate to say so, given his eminence — exposed as vacuous. The first three are just different ways of saying the same thing, and they can be considered together. All involve an infinite regress — the answer to a question raises a prior question, and so on ad infinitum.


1 The Unmoved Mover

Nothing moves without a prior mover. This leads us to an infinite regress, from which the only escape is God. Something had to make the first move, and that something we call God.


2 The Uncaused Cause

Nothing is caused by itself. Every effect has a prior cause, and again we are pushed back into infinite regress. This has to be terminated by a first cause, which we call God.


3 The Cosmological Argument

There must have been a time when no physical things existed. But, since physical things exist now, there must have been something non-physical to bring them into existence, and that something we call God.

All three of these arguments rely upon the idea of an infinite regress and invoke God to terminate it. They make the entirely unwarranted assumption that God himself is immune to the regress. Even if we allow the dubious luxury of arbitrarily conjuring up a terminator to an infinite regress and giving it a name, simply because we need one, there is absolutely no reason to endow that terminator with any of the properties normally ascribed to God; omnipotence, omniscience, goodness, creativity of design, to say nothing of such human attributes as listening to prayers, forgiving sins and reading innermost thoughts.

Edward Lear’s Nonsense Recipe for Crumboblious Cutlets invites us to “Procure some strips of beef, and having cut them into the smallest possible pieces, proceed to cut them still smaller, eight or perhaps nine times.” Some regresses do reach a natural terminator. Scientists used to wonder what would happen if you could dissect, say, gold into the smallest possible pieces. Why shouldn’t you cut one of those pieces in half and produce an even smaller smidgin of gold? The regress in this case is decisively terminated by the atom. The smallest possible piece of gold is a nucleus consisting of exactly 79 protons and a slightly larger number of neutrons, surrounded by a swarm of 79 electrons. If you “cut” gold any further than the level of the single atom, whatever else you get it is not gold. The atom provides a natural terminator to the Crumboblious Cutlets type of regress. It is by no means clear that God provides a natural terminator to the regresses of Aquinas.

from 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/article618796.ece


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Could someone please offer a

Could someone please offer a logical refutation to the fourth proof? And is the fourth proof actually an ontological argument, or something else?

 

The God Delusion merely ridicules the fourth argument and doesn't really explain very well why it is invalid.


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OhMan wrote:Could someone

OhMan wrote:

Could someone please offer a logical refutation to the fourth proof? And is the fourth proof actually an ontological argument, or something else?

 

The God Delusion merely ridicules the fourth argument and doesn't really explain very well why it is invalid.

"Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God."

 

First, fire is not the maximum heat and it is NOT the cause of all hot things.  

Second, this argument resembles the argument #1 about motion.

Third, if we take this argument that EVERYTHING has its cause, then what is the cause for God?  If God is excluded from this logic, then this argument is not a logical argument anymore.  Case's closed.

Last, I have not read God Delusion.  Is it a good one?

 


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God delusion is awesome. You

God delusion is awesome. You should read it!!

 

What exactly is the maximum of heat??

 

But surely there must be a first cause (it's another thing to say this first cause is YHWH)? I thought infinite causal loops are illogical by their very nature?


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OhMan wrote:God delusion is

OhMan wrote:

God delusion is awesome. You should read it!!

 

What exactly is the maximum of heat??

 

But surely there must be a first cause (it's another thing to say this first cause is YHWH)? I thought infinite causal loops are illogical by their very nature?

I believe the z-machine created the hottest temperature recorded 1.8 million degrees Celsius and no fire was involved. I can't really explain how it works, perhaps one of the science freaks around here can.  I don't think we can say that is the "maximum" temperature. 

http://www.sandia.gov/z-machine/

 


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100percentAtheist wrote: I

100percentAtheist wrote:

 I am not a specialist in anti-theo logic, but let me try the first that come to my mind:

#1.  First Newton's law.

Newton's first law states that an object that is at rest or moving along a straight line will stay at rest or continue moving unless a force is applied to it.  This is strictly referring to locomotion, or a change in spatial location.

"Motion" in philosophy has a broader meaning.  It refers to any transition between potentiality and actuality.  The way Aristotle and Aquinas understand "motion", then, is not just in reference to locomotion, but in reference to all change.  For example, both of them would refer to the changing of the seasons as "motion".

Aquinas' argument is that nothing can actualize its own potentiality because nothing can give itself that which it does not have.  In the example, wood is potentially hot, but in order to realize this in actuality, the quality of being hot must be given by the fire.  Granted, Aquinas had a primitive understanding of thermodynamics, but the ideas still apply in modern physics; something cannot give thermal energy to itself, rather, the thermal energy must be transferred to it.

Aside from that, I do not see how Newton's first law is anything but supportive of Aquinas' position.  Newton clearly implies that something cannot change spatial location unless a force is applied to it.

Quote:
#2.  The concept of infinity. For quite a while infinity is a pretty well defined concept.

Even if "infinity" was well defined, that does not mean that it somehow maps itself perfectly onto the universe.  Actual numerical infinities are impossible, though it is possible for us to apply mathematics without any defined limit.  But in non-mental reality, if you continued to deposit $1 into your bank account without end, never would the balance on your bank account be infinity, because as William Lane Craig argues, you cannot arrive at an infinite through successive addition.

Aquinas is arguing that in reality, all effects have causes, since causation is the production of an effect, by definition.  It is self-evident that effects cannot be the cause of themselves.  As such, all effects will have, as a precondition to their being, multiple prior causes.  If the chain of causation is without beginning, then the conditions for being will not be met.  As a precondition to being, there must be a first cause.

Quote:
#3.  The mass/energy conservation laws + the concept of infinity.

You argue like Richard Dawkins.  In The God Delusion, he presents the arguments in the most simplified form that he can think of and then addresses them in a soundbyte. 

The law of conservation of energy only applies in isolated systems.  It does not tell us whether or not those systems have an origin.  I continually see atheists make this mistake, including the owner of this website who not only confused the third law of thermodynamics with the first law, but misrepresented what the law actually states, which is not that energy is eternal, but that in an isolated system, the change in energy equals the difference between the heat added and the work done.  The law of conservation of energy is a corollary of this and it only applies to the isolated system, but not necessarily to the cosmos.

The concept of infinity is just that; a concept.  I really do not see how that argues in favor of your position.

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 1 Gravity moves things

 1 Gravity moves things simply by existing. What is more likely, gravity existing or god?

 2 Gravity causes things simply by existing. What is more likely, gravity existing or god?

 3 "There must have been a time when no physical things existed."

Why? What basis is there for saying there was a time no physical things existed? Are there more physical things today than there were thousands of years ago? Are there fewer? Is it more likely that physical material simply exists or that a complex god capable of building everything simply exists?

 


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OhMan wrote:God delusion is

OhMan wrote:

God delusion is awesome. You should read it!!

 

What exactly is the maximum of heat??

 

But surely there must be a first cause (it's another thing to say this first cause is YHWH)? I thought infinite causal loops are illogical by their very nature?

 

In physics, heat is the transfer of energy from one body or system to another through thermal contact.  Temperature is the measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles of a body or system.  So then we move on to the 2nd law of thermodynamics where the transfer of energy between bodies or systems is always a loss - that is, the transfer is never perfect and some energy is always dissipated.  And so when you have a fire and you put something on it to cook, the fire is a little less hot and dinner gets hot - though not as hot as the fire.  Heating has occurred, the 2LOT has been satisfied, and we all get to eat.

If you want a first cause, you could stick with the inherent kinetic energy of the atomic particles of any body or system.

The maximum of heat is something Aquinas must have made up to try to explicate his point.  I have never heard the term used any where else.

Disclaimer: I am not one of the physics dudes, so if I got any of this not quite correct, I am relying on one of them to set me straight.  <hint>

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cj wrote:OhMan wrote:God

cj wrote:

OhMan wrote:

God delusion is awesome. You should read it!!

 

What exactly is the maximum of heat??

 

But surely there must be a first cause (it's another thing to say this first cause is YHWH)? I thought infinite causal loops are illogical by their very nature?

 

In physics, heat is the transfer of energy from one body or system to another through thermal contact.  Temperature is the measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles of a body or system.  So then we move on to the 2nd law of thermodynamics where the transfer of energy between bodies or systems is always a loss - that is, the transfer is never perfect and some energy is always dissipated.  And so when you have a fire and you put something on it to cook, the fire is a little less hot and dinner gets hot - though not as hot as the fire.  Heating has occurred, the 2LOT has been satisfied, and we all get to eat.

If you want a first cause, you could stick with the inherent kinetic energy of the atomic particles of any body or system.

The maximum of heat is something Aquinas must have made up to try to explicate his point.  I have never heard the term used any where else.

Disclaimer: I am not one of the physics dudes, so if I got any of this not quite correct, I am relying on one of them to set me straight.  <hint>

 

Ok.

Technically, heat is energy; heat is not temperature.  Heat can perfectly be transfered between two bodies without contact.  The examples of radiative heat transfer include your induction stove and sun heating the Earth's surface.  Even more "confusing" and interesting, heat can be transfered WITHOUT change in temperature.  This happens when the energy received by an object as a result of the heat transfer is spent on doing some work, such as mechanical work or electrical work. 

 

Temperature is the measure of the potential of any object to give up heat.   Temperature has the minimum, 0 Kelvins, but it has no maximum since whenever you find or create the hottest object, you will be always perfectly allowed to find or create another one that is even hotter.

 

Aquinas simply screwed up his argument by going in the wrong direction.  If I were Aquinas, I would chose natural minima, such as 1) parameters of elementary particles; 2) the zero-entropy state of the universe etc.   The problem here though is that a god is often perceived as something big not small and there clearly will be no room for god at the zero-entropy state universe.   

 


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

Aquinas simply screwed up his argument by going in the wrong direction.  If I were Aquinas, I would chose natural minima, such as 1) parameters of elementary particles; 2) the zero-entropy state of the universe etc.   The problem here though is that a god is often perceived as something big not small and there clearly will be no room for god at the zero-entropy state universe. 

He simply made a factual error, based on the natural science of his day.  He could not have discussed concepts of modern physics because he did not live in modernity, he lived in the Middle Ages. 

The argument itself is saying that existing things in our universe have limited degrees of perfection.  However, degrees of perfection cannot exist unless there is an ultimate standard of perfection.  The ultimate standard of perfection must be set by something which is absolutely perfect and thus the manifestation of perfection in limited degrees is caused by that which is absolutely perfect.  This is a corollary of the principle that nothing can give itself that which it does not have. 

Aquinas uses fire as a (bad) analogy.  If fire is the greatest heat, then all lesser instances of heat must be caused by fire.  But fire itself is not perfect on the level of being, so take the principle one step further to being itself and you can reason to the most perfect being.

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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:The

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

The argument itself is saying that existing things in our universe have limited degrees of perfection.  However, degrees of perfection cannot exist unless there is an ultimate standard of perfection.  The ultimate standard of perfection must be set by something which is absolutely perfect and thus the manifestation of perfection in limited degrees is caused by that which is absolutely perfect.  This is a corollary of the principle that nothing can give itself that which it does not have. 

Aquinas uses fire as a (bad) analogy.  If fire is the greatest heat, then all lesser instances of heat must be caused by fire.  But fire itself is not perfect on the level of being, so take the principle one step further to being itself and you can reason to the most perfect being.

 

Yeah, I meant to say something about this and then I got a tied up in my lousy interpretation of physics.

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder.  I may say this vista of the falls is the most perfect example of earthly natural beauty, someone else may say this vista of the Grand Canyon is the most perfect example.  So running around talking about the perfect perfect makes no sense - as no one is going to agree on it.  Not even god/s/dess - I think people's concepts of god/s/dess suck.  And I can't imagine a "perfect" being I would want to be in the same universe with.  Since a perfect god/s/dess is apparently a relative concept, not an absolute, I would say perfection in the universe is not limited in degree, but relative to one's ideals. 

edit: It might be fun to be in a universe with less than perfect god/s/dess - Dionysus, anyone?

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First of all, thank you for

First of all, thank you for sharing your view.

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

Newton's first law states that an object that is at rest or moving along a straight line will stay at rest or continue moving unless a force is applied to it.  This is strictly referring to locomotion, or a change in spatial location.

"Motion" in philosophy has a broader meaning.  It refers to any transition between potentiality and actuality.  The way Aristotle and Aquinas understand "motion", then, is not just in reference to locomotion, but in reference to all change.  For example, both of them would refer to the changing of the seasons as "motion".

Aquinas' argument is that nothing can actualize its own potentiality because nothing can give itself that which it does not have.  In the example, wood is potentially hot, but in order to realize this in actuality, the quality of being hot must be given by the fire.  Granted, Aquinas had a primitive understanding of thermodynamics, but the ideas still apply in modern physics; something cannot give thermal energy to itself, rather, the thermal energy must be transferred to it.

Aside from that, I do not see how Newton's first law is anything but supportive of Aquinas' position.  Newton clearly implies that something cannot change spatial location unless a force is applied to it.

In other words, Newton's law states that anything can be in perpetual motion in the absence of forces.  I find this quite contradictory to what Aquinas claimed.  Actually, your example of the seasonal changes is a perfect illustration of changes that are virtually perpetual and do NOT require any intervention of external forces.  

Aquinas clearly liked that fire argument, and I agree with you that his knowledge of thermodynamics may not be good.  But I am surprised that Aquinas used so limited imagination in his arguments.  For example, he knew that human's body is hotter than say cold water.  So, where is fire? Who made human hot? 

Also, in modern physics, for a good one hundred years, there is a solid understanding that the energy of an object (even for a closed system) can be converted between several forms of energy including thermal energy.  This means that object DO give their thermal energy to themselves without the heat exchange with external objects.   If you do not believe me, you can figure it out yourself.  Open the hood of your car, find your car's battery, take a big wrench and put it on the battery in a way to connect + and - contacts.  If your wrench is thick enough, in the next moment, you will observe how CHEMICAL energy of the battery is transfered into THERMAL energy. 

 

Quote:

Even if "infinity" was well defined, that does not mean that it somehow maps itself perfectly onto the universe.  Actual numerical infinities are impossible, though it is possible for us to apply mathematics without any defined limit.  But in non-mental reality, if you continued to deposit $1 into your bank account without end, never would the balance on your bank account be infinity, because as William Lane Craig argues, you cannot arrive at an infinite through successive addition.

Aquinas is arguing that in reality, all effects have causes, since causation is the production of an effect, by definition.  It is self-evident that effects cannot be the cause of themselves.  As such, all effects will have, as a precondition to their being, multiple prior causes.  If the chain of causation is without beginning, then the conditions for being will not be met.  As a precondition to being, there must be a first cause.

 

First, Mr. Craig will almost certainly have an infinite number of dollars if he collects them over infinitely long time, that is, eternity in which he claims he believes.  Smiling

Infinities are working mathematical concepts. I agree with you that it is likely impossible to find an infinite NUMBER of objects.  In description of real objects, however, infinities are extremely important.  Have you heard of space-filling curves?

"As a precondition to being, there must be a first cause."  What is the cause of the first cause?  If you or Aquinas claim to apply logic, then THIS "all effects will have, as a precondition to their being" is in direct logical contradiction to THIS "As a precondition to being, there must be a first cause."

 

Quote:

You argue like Richard Dawkins.  In The God Delusion, he presents the arguments in the most simplified form that he can think of and then addresses them in a soundbyte. 

The law of conservation of energy only applies in isolated systems.  It does not tell us whether or not those systems have an origin.  I continually see atheists make this mistake, including the owner of this website who not only confused the third law of thermodynamics with the first law, but misrepresented what the law actually states, which is not that energy is eternal, but that in an isolated system, the change in energy equals the difference between the heat added and the work done.  The law of conservation of energy is a corollary of this and it only applies to the isolated system, but not necessarily to the cosmos.

The concept of infinity is just that; a concept.  I really do not see how that argues in favor of your position.

Perhaps, it should be a compliment since I have never read Dawkins.  

The laws of conservation of energy and mass always apply everywhere.  If you involve an external energy or mass you must include it in the description of a system.  Actually, the conservation laws are in some respect close to Aquinas arguments that nothing appears or disappears without a trace. 

Again, do you want it or not, but the conservation laws always work.  If you notice, that there is a problem with the conservation of energy, it means that you did not include something into consideration.  Energy does NOT come from nowhere.  It think that if you can prove otherwise, you can line up for the Nobel Prize.

Aquinas makes a simple mistake that if something is "not to be" like wood burn to ashes, then the same can happen to the universe and it can disappear.  The problem with this is that heat released from burning does not "disappear" but it is transfered to, say, another tree that grows a bit faster due to this extra hit (I am exaggerating here of course).   Energy cannot be destroyed.  Aquinas did not know this, but I thought that since Aquinas we learned something, did we?

 


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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:He

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

He simply made a factual error, based on the natural science of his day.  He could not have discussed concepts of modern physics because he did not live in modernity, he lived in the Middle Ages. 

The argument itself is saying that existing things in our universe have limited degrees of perfection.  However, degrees of perfection cannot exist unless there is an ultimate standard of perfection.  The ultimate standard of perfection must be set by something which is absolutely perfect and thus the manifestation of perfection in limited degrees is caused by that which is absolutely perfect.  This is a corollary of the principle that nothing can give itself that which it does not have. 

Aquinas uses fire as a (bad) analogy.  If fire is the greatest heat, then all lesser instances of heat must be caused by fire.  But fire itself is not perfect on the level of being, so take the principle one step further to being itself and you can reason to the most perfect being.

 

I am confused.  If perfection is defined as an extremum, then the only possible one according to Aquinas must be the one that would correspond to a non-existing universe.  I have heard of this somewhere.  This goes like this.  God is perfect, he created universe, things are changing in the universe, the more changes the further we are from the perfection (this is the third law of thermodynamics, in fact), to be closer to God we have to minimize the changes and work hard to undo them, ultimately we need to destroy the universe.   Do you see any problem with this logic???

For a believer, there are basically three choices:

1) God as a perfect being created the universe which moves away from perfection and God and it will never go back. So f&*$ God and let's have a party.

2) God as a perfect being created the universe which moves away from perfection and God, but we can try to return it back to God.  So f$%# us, let's nuke all.

3) God as a perfect being created the universe which moves away from perfection, but since God works in miraculous ways we can return to the perfect state (perhaps an eternal afterlife in God's place).

 

The problem with Aquinas' arguments is that I see nothing in them to support #3, which is probably the most accepted version of the universe by christians. 

 

 


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cj wrote:Perfection is in

cj wrote:

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder.

I didn't read past this sentence, as it was clear from reading that one sentence that you do not get the argument nor have you done your homework on the usage of the word "perfect" in metaphysics.

So, I don't know how long that post took you to make, but you've wasted your time because I am not even going to read it.

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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:cj

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

cj wrote:

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder.

I didn't read past this sentence, as it was clear from reading that one sentence that you do not get the argument nor have you done your homework on the usage of the word "perfect" in metaphysics.

So, I don't know how long that post took you to make, but you've wasted your time because I am not even going to read it.

 

But for some undisclosed reason you bothered to answer.  

Also, I spend some time trying to figure out any special meaning of word "perfect" in metaphysics, and I could not...  Did you mean perfect and imperfect duties according to Kant?  Please enlighten us. 

Thanks.

 

 

 


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100percentAtheist wrote:In

100percentAtheist wrote:

In other words, Newton's law states that anything can be in perpetual motion in the absence of forces.  I find this quite contradictory to what Aquinas claimed.  Actually, your example of the seasonal changes is a perfect illustration of changes that are virtually perpetual and do NOT require any intervention of external forces.  

Again, you are conflating Aquinas' understanding of motion as change with Newton's understanding of motion as locomotion.  Locomotion requires force.  Aquinas was not talking about locomotion, he was talking about all change in general.  Of course the changing of the seasons does not require force; the seasons are not changing spatial location.  They are changing in a completely differently way.  A force is a vector quantity.

Where is the inconsistency between Aquinas and Newton here?  I'm not quite seeing it.

Quote:
Aquinas clearly liked that fire argument, and I agree with you that his knowledge of thermodynamics may not be good.  But I am surprised that Aquinas used so limited imagination in his arguments.  For example, he knew that human's body is hotter than say cold water.  So, where is fire? Who made human hot? 

He was saying that we can only know limited heat if there is an absolute heat, which he believed fire to be.  It was just an analogy.  It was written in a completely different time and it was also translated from another language.  His examples may come off better in Latin.

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Also, in modern physics, for a good one hundred years, there is a solid understanding that the energy of an object (even for a closed system) can be converted between several forms of energy including thermal energy.  This means that object DO give their thermal energy to themselves without the heat exchange with external objects. 

As far as I know, energy cannot be converted without a converter.  For example, if I have a grand piano sitting atop my 3rd floor apartment, it is loaded with potential energy.  In order for that potential energy to become kinetic energy, I have to push that piano out of my window.  So the transfer did not happen vacuously with no sufficient reason. 

Quote:
If you do not believe me, you can figure it out yourself.  Open the hood of your car, find your car's battery, take a big wrench and put it on the battery in a way to connect + and - contacts.  If your wrench is thick enough, in the next moment, you will observe how CHEMICAL energy of the battery is transfered into THERMAL energy. 

Even in that example, the change did not come about on its own.  It required a third party.

Quote:
First, Mr. Craig will almost certainly have an infinite number of dollars if he collects them over infinitely long time, that is, eternity in which he claims he believes.  Smiling

He wouldn't because you cannot arrive at an infinite through successive addition, even if time is without end.  For every $1 that is deposited, the total balance will be a finite value.

Quote:
Infinities are working mathematical concepts. I agree with you that it is likely impossible to find an infinite NUMBER of objects.  In description of real objects, however, infinities are extremely important.  Have you heard of space-filling curves?

I have a passing knowledge on General Relativity, but no, I have never heard of that.  What is it?

Quote:
"As a precondition to being, there must be a first cause."  What is the cause of the first cause?  If you or Aquinas claim to apply logic, then THIS "all effects will have, as a precondition to their being" is in direct logical contradiction to THIS "As a precondition to being, there must be a first cause."

The law of causality is the tautological statement, "All effects have a cause."  The first cause is not an effect.  The second cause would be an effect in addition to a cause.

Quote:
Perhaps, it should be a compliment since I have never read Dawkins.  

The laws of conservation of energy and mass always apply everywhere.  If you involve an external energy or mass you must include it in the description of a system.  Actually, the conservation laws are in some respect close to Aquinas arguments that nothing appears or disappears without a trace. 

You do not know that the laws apply everywhere but even if they did, no physicist has ever proven the universe to be an open system.  They have speculated, but it has never been proven.  As it stands, we have better reason to believe that it is an isolated system. As far as I know, the universe expanded from a point of infinite density, which is a point of nothingness.

Quote:
Again, do you want it or not, but the conservation laws always work.  If you notice, that there is a problem with the conservation of energy, it means that you did not include something into consideration.  Energy does NOT come from nowhere.  It think that if you can prove otherwise, you can line up for the Nobel Prize.

I don't find it to be a problem.  I'm just saying that you cannot use the law to prove that energy is eternal.  The law does not say that.

Quote:
Aquinas makes a simple mistake that if something is "not to be" like wood burn to ashes, then the same can happen to the universe and it can disappear.  The problem with this is that heat released from burning does not "disappear" but it is transfered to, say, another tree that grows a bit faster due to this extra hit (I am exaggerating here of course).   Energy cannot be destroyed.  Aquinas did not know this, but I thought that since Aquinas we learned something, did we?

As far as we know, the sum total of energy in the universe has remained constant.  Whether or not the sum total can be destroyed is an open question.  All we can conclude is that based on the evidence so far, either the total amount of energy remains fixed or energy does not exist at all ("0" is not an actual quantity that can predicated of a physical thing).

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100percentAtheist wrote:But

100percentAtheist wrote:

But for some undisclosed reason you bothered to answer.  

Also, I spend some time trying to figure out any special meaning of word "perfect" in metaphysics, and I could not...  Did you mean perfect and imperfect duties according to Kant?  Please enlighten us. 

Thanks.


In my response, I was trying to make light of the fact that, much like Atheistextremist, cj is just an aggressive atheist (an "aggratheist", if you will) who does nothing but make assertions and mock other people's beliefs while failing to justify her own.  I refuse to deal with such people other than offering a response to explain why I refuse to deal with such people.  My hope would be that atheists such as cj and Atheistextremist actually do their homework and understand the theist perspective from the theist's point of view, instead of continually projecting and making assertions and mocking.  The sad thing is, cj is an elderly lady and I would have expected her to show a lot more maturity than that.  It just makes me sad that someone can live so long and learn so very little.

None of this applies to you, of course.  You seem like an intelligent atheist, so I'll answer you.

In Metaphysics, a "perfection" is a positive attribute.  It's any have as opposed to a have-not.  For example, I have a particular IQ, which means I have a limited perfection of intelligence.  Or I have a physical body, which gives me a limited perfection of presence.  Or I have a particular talent, or limited perfection of potency. 

In everyday parlance, "perfection" refers to something which people enjoy, like eating a pizza or taking a vacation to the Bahamas.  This has nothing to do with the word in Metaphysics talk.  Here's a quote from Christopher Hughes in On a Complex Theory for a Simple God

"[Aquinas] offers the following analogy:  Something may be white, without having whiteness 'according to its full power,' because, due to some defect, it receives whiteness not according to its full power.  In such a case it will have a limited or imperfect sort of whiteness, which has some but not all the perfection or power that belongs to whiteness (page 26)."

 

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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:Where

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

Where is the inconsistency between Aquinas and Newton here?  I'm not quite seeing it.

Aquinas: "It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion"

Newton: "Every body will persist in its state of rest or of uniform motion (constant velocity) in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it."

So, this means that motion does not require any force (or "potentiality&quotEye-wink.  From this, there is no need for a "mover".

 

Quote:

As far as I know, energy cannot be converted without a converter.  For example, if I have a grand piano sitting atop my 3rd floor apartment, it is loaded with potential energy.  In order for that potential energy to become kinetic energy, I have to push that piano out of my window.  So the transfer did not happen vacuously with no sufficient reason. 

I wonder, what would be a reason for you to throw a piano out of a window?  Smiling

Seriously, chemical reactions, fusion, and nuclear decay work pretty well without a "converter". 

If you wait long enough time, all air in your room can move to one side of the room and you will die.  

In the same way, potential energy of molecular bonds can eventually (purely statistically, without a converter, if you like) be released as say light in the luminescence process.  In some materials realization of this potentiality into the effect takes seconds in others trillions of years.

The "effects" are often inherently built-in "potentiality" and do not require a third party.

Quote:

Quote:
First, Mr. Craig will almost certainly have an infinite number of dollars if he collects them over infinitely long time, that is, eternity in which he claims he believes.  Smiling

He wouldn't because you cannot arrive at an infinite through successive addition, even if time is without end.  For every $1 that is deposited, the total balance will be a finite value.

No matter how many times you or anyone else says that "you cannot arrive at an infinite through successive addition", it will not become true even for a high-school student.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_(mathematics)

As an example, you can take any non-convergent sum.  

Quote:

Quote:
Infinities are working mathematical concepts. I agree with you that it is likely impossible to find an infinite NUMBER of objects.  In description of real objects, however, infinities are extremely important.  Have you heard of space-filling curves?

I have a passing knowledge on General Relativity, but no, I have never heard of that.  What is it?

It's basically a way to represent a 2D object using a single 1D object. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-filling_curve

Quote:
Quote:
"As a precondition to being, there must be a first cause."  What is the cause of the first cause?  If you or Aquinas claim to apply logic, then THIS "all effects will have, as a precondition to their being" is in direct logical contradiction to THIS "As a precondition to being, there must be a first cause."

The law of causality is the tautological statement, "All effects have a cause."  The first cause is not an effect.  The second cause would be an effect in addition to a cause. 

My simple question is WHY?  Give a LOGICAL explanation for this please.

Quote:

You do not know that the laws apply everywhere but even if they did, no physicist has ever proven the universe to be an open system.  They have speculated, but it has never been proven.  As it stands, we have better reason to believe that it is an isolated system. As far as I know, the universe expanded from a point of infinite density, which is a point of nothingness.

I don't find it to be a problem.  I'm just saying that you cannot use the law to prove that energy is eternal.  The law does not say that.

As far as we know, the sum total of energy in the universe has remained constant.  Whether or not the sum total can be destroyed is an open question.  All we can conclude is that based on the evidence so far, either the total amount of energy remains fixed or energy does not exist at all ("0" is not an actual quantity that can predicated of a physical thing).

All these are ok to think about and discuss, but I do not see where in all of these Aquinas finds the necessity for god.

 


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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

"[Aquinas] offers the following analogy:  Something may be white, without having whiteness 'according to its full power,' because, due to some defect, it receives whiteness not according to its full power.  In such a case it will have a limited or imperfect sort of whiteness, which has some but not all the perfection or power that belongs to whiteness (page 26)."

I really doubt you fully understand what it means. Smiling

But ok, if we take this as a definition, then believers are imperfect case of nonbelievers for that they are not receiving the full power of knowledge. Smiling  I don't think this is what you meant, and I do think better of casual believers.

 

 


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100percentAtheist wrote:

Aquinas: "It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion"

Newton: "Every body will persist in its state of rest or of uniform motion (constant velocity) in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it."

So, this means that motion does not require any force (or "potentiality&quotEye-wink.  From this, there is no need for a "mover".

?

Newton says that it does need a force, unless you say that something was just moving for all eternity.

Quote:
I wonder, what would be a reason for you to throw a piano out of a window?  Smiling

Seriously, chemical reactions, fusion, and nuclear decay work pretty well without a "converter". 

If you wait long enough time, all air in your room can move to one side of the room and you will die.  

In the same way, potential energy of molecular bonds can eventually (purely statistically, without a converter, if you like) be released as say light in the luminescence process.  In some materials realization of this potentiality into the effect takes seconds in others trillions of years.

The "effects" are often inherently built-in "potentiality" and do not require a third party.

Aquinas' point is that these things do not just happen for no reason.  Change cannot occur without the action of something outside of the thing that is changing.  The force of Aquinas' argument is in the principle of sufficient reason. 

I'd like to comment further on what you are saying, but I know too little about chemistry and physics.

Quote:
No matter how many times you or anyone else says that "you cannot arrive at an infinite through successive addition", it will not become true even for a high-school student.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_(mathematics)

As an example, you can take any non-convergent sum.  

You are talking about the conceptual world of mathematics.  I'm talking about non-mental reality.  Mathematical principles are abstract ideas.  In mathematics, we have perfect circles, perfect triangles, infinite series, etc.  None of these exist outside of our minds nor is any of this based on our observation of the universe. 

Dr. Norm Geisler, who follows Craig's argument, addresses this directly:

"Some say infinite numbers can exist, so why can't infinite days?  Because there is a difference between an abstract infinite series and a concrete one.  The one is purely theoretical, the other is actual.  Mathematically, we can conceive of an infinite number of days, but actually we could never count or live an infinite number of days (I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, p. 91)."

Quote:
My simple question is WHY?  Give a LOGICAL explanation for this please.

(A) The law of causality is that all effects have a cause.

(B) Since the law stipulates that only effects have a cause, the law will allow things to exist without a cause, so long as they are not an effect.

(C) If the first cause exists, then it cannot be an effect, since it is, by definition, the first cause.

(D) If the first cause is an effect, then the first cause had to have a cause, which means that there was a cause before the first cause.  But that's a contradiction and therefore must be false.

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100percentAtheist wrote:

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

"[Aquinas] offers the following analogy:  Something may be white, without having whiteness 'according to its full power,' because, due to some defect, it receives whiteness not according to its full power.  In such a case it will have a limited or imperfect sort of whiteness, which has some but not all the perfection or power that belongs to whiteness (page 26)."

I really doubt you fully understand what it means. Smiling

I just explained what it means.  Did you already have an answer to your question when you asked it?

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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

"[Aquinas] offers the following analogy:  Something may be white, without having whiteness 'according to its full power,' because, due to some defect, it receives whiteness not according to its full power.  In such a case it will have a limited or imperfect sort of whiteness, which has some but not all the perfection or power that belongs to whiteness (page 26)."

I really doubt you fully understand what it means. Smiling

I just explained what it means.  Did you already have an answer to your question when you asked it?

 

Of course, not.  First, I thought of perfection as something similar to a mathematically perfect circle, but you offered a completely different definition that does nothing with materialistic world.

 

 


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Meaning_Of_Life wrote: In

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

 


In my response, I was trying to make light of the fact that, much like Atheistextremist, cj is just an aggressive atheist (an "aggratheist", if you will) who does nothing but make assertions and mock other people's beliefs while failing to justify her own.  I refuse to deal with such people other than offering a response to explain why I refuse to deal with such people.  My hope would be that atheists such as cj and Atheistextremist actually do their homework and understand the theist perspective from the theist's point of view, instead of continually projecting and making assertions and mocking.  The sad thing is, cj is an elderly lady and I would have expected her to show a lot more maturity than that.  It just makes me sad that someone can live so long and learn so very little.

 

. I thought the point CJ had was quite legitimate. Basically CJ was making the argument that "perfection" in a quantitative sense doesn't exist. You might not agree but you don't have to be insulting about it. I have had the good fortune of seeing a lot of beautiful things in this world but I certainly can't imagine true perfection. And beauty is certainly subjective. 

I suppose my questions are only because I am an "aggressive atheist" too and I'm sure you will refuse to deal with me. If we don't correctly understand the theist point of view maybe it is because what you are describing makes no sense. Granted Aquinas was limited by his times understanding of science but that doesn't change the fact that heat can come from many different sources. It doesn't change that physical things could exist without god. It doesn't change that change can occur without god to start it. Ironically, your argument that the seasons are the type of change that Aquinas was talking about opposed to physical motion just proves that some magical sky daddy wasn't necessary to start it. The seasons occur regularly with predictability and do not require someone to start them or push them to keep them going.

And to repeat my question from before how do we know there was a time that no physical objects existed? Where is your evidence? Scientists can show evidence that physical objects existed long before the 6000 years the earth supposedly existed according to the bible. So how do we know there was ever a time without physical objects?

Furthermore, Aquinas believes that something had to start motion and automatically plugs "god" in as the one who must have started it. First of all it is ridiculous to say "since you can't explain what did x it must have been god". People used to believe god directly caused rain because we couldn't explain it. In other words, even if science can't explain it now doesn't mean god is the answer. It simply means we don't know. And there is a lot we don't know. 

Second, I pointed out a force that causes motion simply by existing without an outside force. Gravity. So maybe the god Aquinas was looking for is simply gravity. And I'm not about to bow down and worship it. Then again, I am an aggressive atheist so you should probably ignore me. 

 


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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:You

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

You are talking about the conceptual world of mathematics.  I'm talking about non-mental reality.  Mathematical principles are abstract ideas.  In mathematics, we have perfect circles, perfect triangles, infinite series, etc.  None of these exist outside of our minds nor is any of this based on our observation of the universe. 

Dr. Norm Geisler, who follows Craig's argument, addresses this directly:

"Some say infinite numbers can exist, so why can't infinite days?  Because there is a difference between an abstract infinite series and a concrete one.  The one is purely theoretical, the other is actual.  Mathematically, we can conceive of an infinite number of days, but actually we could never count or live an infinite number of days (I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, p. 91)."

Now I am totally confused.  Are you (and Dr. Geisler) a materialist???

This is a dangerous philosophical path for someone claiming to be a theist because there are no such things as gods in "non-mental reality".  If someone wants to understand god this can be done exclusively through purely mental exercises for a very simple reason that he is outside the world of physics laws, that is, he is outside the "non-mental reality".

If you or someone else starts to SELECTIVELY chose which laws of "mental" logic can and which cannot be applied arguing that those which he/she claims to be non-applicable law are such just because that are "mental" logic laws, this path with bring you anywhere you want. 

This way, I can simply say that the concept of "perfect whiteness" is wrong because of ... now I have several paths:

1) no one has ever seen perfect whiteness, so it does not exist.

2) white color exist in our imagination only (proven fact), so there is no such thing as perfect whiteness.

 


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Meaning_Of_Life wrote: In

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

 

In my response, I was trying to make light of the fact that, much like Atheistextremist, cj is just an aggressive atheist (an "aggratheist", if you will) who does nothing but make assertions and mock other people's beliefs while failing to justify her own.  I refuse to deal with such people other than offering a response to explain why I refuse to deal with such people. 

 

If that is what you think, then I understand why you don't respond.  However, I did not intend my post to be taken that way.  I was explaining my concept of perfect and why it didn't jive with your concept of perfect.  I am not and have never pretended to be philosophically inclined.  But non-answers will never persuade me to change my attitude. 

I don't see how a person can come up with a justification for an opinion in a post on the internet.  Opinions are a combination of facts, life experiences, and personal prejudices.  This is true for everyone - you, me, ae, 100%, etc.  To explicate the entire justification for my position that perfection is relative would take a lot longer than a couple of paragraphs - and I wouldn't expect you or anyone else to read it.

 

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

My hope would be that atheists such as cj and Atheistextremist actually do their homework and understand the theist perspective from the theist's point of view, instead of continually projecting and making assertions and mocking.  The sad thing is, cj is an elderly lady and I would have expected her to show a lot more maturity than that.  It just makes me sad that someone can live so long and learn so very little.

 

"Elderly" - just wait until you are 55+.  Tell me about elderly then.  And shall we discuss your fake crocodile tears over my supposed lack of learning?

 

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

None of this applies to you, of course.  You seem like an intelligent atheist, so I'll answer you.

In Metaphysics, a "perfection" is a positive attribute.  It's any have as opposed to a have-not.  For example, I have a particular IQ, which means I have a limited perfection of intelligence.  Or I have a physical body, which gives me a limited perfection of presence.  Or I have a particular talent, or limited perfection of potency. 

In everyday parlance, "perfection" refers to something which people enjoy, like eating a pizza or taking a vacation to the Bahamas.  This has nothing to do with the word in Metaphysics talk.  Here's a quote from Christopher Hughes in On a Complex Theory for a Simple God

"[Aquinas] offers the following analogy:  Something may be white, without having whiteness 'according to its full power,' because, due to some defect, it receives whiteness not according to its full power.  In such a case it will have a limited or imperfect sort of whiteness, which has some but not all the perfection or power that belongs to whiteness (page 26)."

 

 

I really don't understand this.

"In Metaphysics, a "perfection" is a positive attribute.  It's any have as opposed to a have-not.  For example, I have a particular IQ, which means I have a limited perfection of intelligence."

 

If perfection is a positive attribute, why don't you have a perfect intelligence?  You have intelligence, therefore you have the attribute, therefore you have it perfectly.  Right?  There is nothing in the first sentence to imply gradations of a particular attribute, just the possession of said attribute.

 

Again, I am asking, not mocking.  If you can explain it better, I'll listen - I may still not agree with you, but that still isn't mocking.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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"(A) The law of causality is

"(A) The law of causality is that all effects have a cause.

(B) Since the law stipulates that only effects have a cause, the law will allow things to exist without a cause, so long as they are not an effect.

(C) If the first cause exists, then it cannot be an effect, since it is, by definition, the first cause.

(D) If the first cause is an effect, then the first cause had to have a cause, which means that there was a cause before the first cause.  But that's a contradiction and therefore must be false."

 

OK, that I can see is a logical argument, bravo!!!! Now I have to attack two things:

1. As per B, what is the logical reasoning for not having multiple "causes", that is, multiple things that do not require effects. Why is it there must only be one? AkA. quantum physics says there is shit like this that is happening ALL the time, things that don't have any "movers", virtual particles, which just come into existence and then leave again, etc.

 

2. What stipulates that a first cause has to be INTELLIGENT, and not something basic (much like our origin from micro-organisms). Why does a first cause have to be omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnietc. etc. etc.

If you can answer those two questions rationally I will be hugely impressed and immediately convert to Christianity!

 

 

More questions:

IS Aquinas' fourth proof an ontological argument? Yes or no? I am asking because Aquinas apparently critized ontological arguments during his time, yet his fourth proof appears to be just that.

If his fourth proof is NOT an ontological argument, could someone kindly explain the difference between the two? They seem exactly the same.

 

Thank you for your time, I am enjoying this productive discussion.


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100percentAtheist wrote:This

100percentAtheist wrote:

This way, I can simply say that the concept of "perfect whiteness" is wrong because of ... now I have several paths:

1) no one has ever seen perfect whiteness, so it does not exist.

2) white color exist in our imagination only (proven fact), so there is no such thing as perfect whiteness.

I have a scientific question I don't know if you will be able to answer but maybe someone can. I can see how perfect whiteness can't be seen because white light is actually made of colors when put through a prism. What about perfect blackness? It is possible to 100% block out all light. So is there a scientifically provable "perfect blackness"?

Doesn't really make the theists argument any better, I'm just curious. 


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Beyond Saving wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

This way, I can simply say that the concept of "perfect whiteness" is wrong because of ... now I have several paths:

1) no one has ever seen perfect whiteness, so it does not exist.

2) white color exist in our imagination only (proven fact), so there is no such thing as perfect whiteness.

I have a scientific question I don't know if you will be able to answer but maybe someone can. I can see how perfect whiteness can't be seen because white light is actually made of colors when put through a prism. What about perfect blackness? It is possible to 100% block out all light. So is there a scientifically provable "perfect blackness"?

Doesn't really make the theists argument any better, I'm just curious. 

 

Black is the lack of all colors of light or it is a combination of all pigments such that no light is absorbed by the resultant color.  So black dye would be the combination of pigments.  A totally blacked out room would be the lack of all colors of light.

White is a light that stimulates all three types of color sensitive cone cells close to equally with a high brightness compared to the surroundings.

So "perfect" whiteness or blackness is theoretically possible.  Though I'm willing to bet people would be willing to argue over whether or not it has been achieved.

I once took a tour of some dry caves near Tucson.  At one point in the tour when we were well underground and many twists and turns from the entrance, they turned off all the lights.  I would say that was perfect blackness.  Very disorienting as I had no visual reference points for "up" and "down".  They warned us the lights were going off before we took the tour - didn't want any phobics, I guess.  But the statement - "we will turn off the lights down there" - does not prepare you for the actuality.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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100percentAtheist wrote:Now

100percentAtheist wrote:

Now I am totally confused.  Are you (and Dr. Geisler) a materialist???

This is a dangerous philosophical path for someone claiming to be a theist because there are no such things as gods in "non-mental reality".  If someone wants to understand god this can be done exclusively through purely mental exercises for a very simple reason that he is outside the world of physics laws, that is, he is outside the "non-mental reality".

If you or someone else starts to SELECTIVELY chose which laws of "mental" logic can and which cannot be applied arguing that those which he/she claims to be non-applicable law are such just because that are "mental" logic laws, this path with bring you anywhere you want. 

This way, I can simply say that the concept of "perfect whiteness" is wrong because of ... now I have several paths:

1) no one has ever seen perfect whiteness, so it does not exist.

2) white color exist in our imagination only (proven fact), so there is no such thing as perfect whiteness.

No, I'm not a materialist.  Otherwise, I would believe that God is a material being, which would be a contradiction. 

I recommend checking out the thread in the Philosophy/Psychology section where I debate this issue with another intelligent atheist.  We discuss whether or not the existence of something can be known when the inference is not justified in sense experience.  Obviously, I argue in the affirmative.

Mathematical statements do not apply to non-mental reality because they are not meant to.  When a mathematician says that "2 + 2 = 4", s/he is not claiming that there is a number 4 which exists in some location in the universe.  It is true that 2 + 2 = 4, but it is equally true that a physical object is not equal to any particular number.  For example, you may believe that if you put two pairs of rocks together, then you get four rocks.  That's actually incorrect because none of the rocks are identical to the numbers that you are counting in your head.  The rock that you counted as "1" is not actually identical to the number "1".  If you remove intelligent minds from the picture, then you do not have mathematics at all.  There are potentially an infinite amount of numbers, yes.  But there cannot actually be an infinite number of things.

The God concept is referring to a being who is self-expressing in action and stands in causal relationships.  This is not in any way similar to the abstract ideas of mathematics.  Numbers do not act nor do they cause anything.

Aquinas' argument from degree seems to be based on Plato's theory of ideas, in which he holds that universals such as "white" or "cat" are abstract entities which encompass what it means to be perfectly white or a perfect cat, but that the manifestations of these qualities in the material world are always less than perfect.  As such, we've never seen true whiteness or a real cat, we've only applied those categories to physical things in the same way we apply mathematics to physical things.

As far as I can tell, Aquinas is not arguing explicitly in favor of Plato's position (though I could be wrong on this), he is just borrowing from Plato so that he can use an analogy.  Accordingly, God must exist because we witness being in limited perfection and limited perfection cannot exist unless there is an absolute standard given by a being who is absolutely perfect. 

By the way, I'm not saying that I agree with the argument.  I'm just trying to help people understand it.

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I don't know what exactly it

I don't know what exactly it means for a proof to be "ontological," so I don't know if the fourth would fall into that category.  However, I can point out very clearly where the fourth argument fails.

 

7 is greater than 3.  This fact is not dependent on the idea that 7 is closer to some greatest number than 3.  In fact, 7 is greater than 3 even though there is no maximum number.  Similarly, temperature is unlimited in the sense that there is no hottest possible temperature.  Despite this, it is entirely reasonable to say that the sun is hotter than the moon.

So basically the fourth argument ends up assuming the existence of the very maximum it tires to prove, rather than actually deriving this maximum from the existence of inequalities.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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Here is a classic

Here is a classic ontological argument:

  1. Whatever I clearly and distinctly perceive to be contained in the idea of something is true of that thing.
  2. I clearly and distinctly perceive that necessary existence is contained in the idea of God.
  3. Therefore, God exists.

Seems pretty silly, let me ridicule it's flawed logic with satire:

  1. Whatever I clearly and distinctly perceive to be contained in the idea of something is true of that thing.
  2. I clearly and distinctly perceive that necessary existence is contained in the idea of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
  3. Therefore, Flying Spaghetti Monster exists.

 

 

Aquinas' 4th proof seems to be along these same lines, though claiming that God is perfect because we can envision a perfect thing...

If I can envision someone who is particularly annoying (take any Bible-Basher), could I not say that a being that is the epitome of annoyance exists? Is that not what Aquinas' 4th proof is actually saying??

 

Can any theist respond to this, and respond to my two questions in my previous post? Please?

 

Also can someone tell me what the official names of each of the 5 proofs are? Wikipedia says this:

The Argument of the Unmoved Mover  |

The Argument of the First Cause           |------ these all appear to be differently worded cosmological arguments, like fillers lol.

The Argument from Contingency           |

The Argument from Degree               ------ this appears to be an ontological argument

The Teleological Argument              ----- teleological argument refuted by evolution, we do not need a greater thing to make a lesser thing...

 


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

This way, I can simply say that the concept of "perfect whiteness" is wrong because of ... now I have several paths:

1) no one has ever seen perfect whiteness, so it does not exist.

2) white color exist in our imagination only (proven fact), so there is no such thing as perfect whiteness.

I have a scientific question I don't know if you will be able to answer but maybe someone can. I can see how perfect whiteness can't be seen because white light is actually made of colors when put through a prism. What about perfect blackness? It is possible to 100% block out all light. So is there a scientifically provable "perfect blackness"?

Doesn't really make the theists argument any better, I'm just curious. 

 

1) Colors are purely imaginary attributes of light.  They depend on the way how our brain interprets the light of different wavelength.  It is not hard to trick brain. This is why color mixing works (blue and yellow will give you green).  Different colors are usually assigned to different light wavelengths, but this classification is somewhat tentative.  Perhaps you know people who can't tell between red and green. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blindness

 

2)  "Pure" white is the light of multiple wavelength, ideally a continuous spectrum of all visible wavelengths.  The problem is that the spectral sensitivity of the eye of different people can be different.  This means that if one sees "pure" white in the physically perfect white light, another person may see gray. 

3) Perfect blackness is much easier.  Perfect black is the absolute absence of light.  At this step it will be convenient to recall that light can be presented as particles, photons.  So, if there are no photon reaching your eye, there is a complete blackness.  Blocking all visible light is very easy.  Blocking short wavelength light (up to gamma rays) is harder, but perfectly doable with lead.  Blocking long wavelength light (infrared) is more tricky because ALL objects above the absolute zero temperature will tend to radiate in infrared.

 

Also, look at Benham's top.  You can make it yourself (just print any one you can find and glue it to a cardboard), install on a small motor or fan and have fun with "colors".  If you can change the speed of the motor, you can get the maximum fun.  Smiling http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham's_top

 


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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:As far

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

As far as I can tell, Aquinas is not arguing explicitly in favor of Plato's position (though I could be wrong on this), he is just borrowing from Plato so that he can use an analogy.  Accordingly, God must exist because we witness being in limited perfection and limited perfection cannot exist unless there is an absolute standard given by a being who is absolutely perfect. 

By the way, I'm not saying that I agree with the argument.  I'm just trying to help people understand it.

 

I understand this argument along with its fallacy.  If you can build a comparative series, the existence of this series does NOT tell anything about the existence of extrema.  The series can be limited (number of people on Earth), unlimited (the number of digit in Pi number), or limited from one side (temperature).  This means, I'm sorry to say this,  that "witnessing being in limited perfection" does not connect logically to "limited perfection cannot exist unless there is an absolute standard" in any way.  

 

 

 


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OhMan wrote:I have a

OhMan wrote:

I have a question regarding Aquinas' five proofs for God's existence. Could you please point out the logical fallacy in the first three proofs (which I believe to be slightly reworded cosmological arguments, maybe he thought three wasn't a big enough number??).

All four of the arguments are a sort of cosmological arguments, even the fourth one (sort of) as it starts from a general observation and works backwards in the same manner as the other three do. An ontological argument starts with a definition and and attempts to show that it is necessarily true.

The arguments themselves seem to be logically valid, but not necessarily sound for a number of reasons:

1.) They don't prove the existence of a god per se. Aquinas cheats, calling whatever the conclusion of his arguments "god". It could be any number of entities, even some physical entities that are being discovered in science. This is a sort of non-sequitor.

2.) Largely the reason given for a necessary first of any sort is to avoid infinite regress. Some have postulated that infinite regress is possible or that causal loops are possible, and on these grounds cosmological arguments fail. (This is not a fallacy per se, it just shows that one of the premises is untrue.)

3.) Effects are not always caused, as this has been demonstrated in physics. There is no reason to think that effects must have a cause then. (Again this is not a fallacy per se, it just shows that one of the premises is untrue.)

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Meaning_Of_Life

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

Quote:
My simple question is WHY?  Give a LOGICAL explanation for this please.

(A) The law of causality is that all effects have a cause.

(B) Since the law stipulates that only effects have a cause, the law will allow things to exist without a cause, so long as they are not an effect.

(C) If the first cause exists, then it cannot be an effect, since it is, by definition, the first cause.

(D) If the first cause is an effect, then the first cause had to have a cause, which means that there was a cause before the first cause.  But that's a contradiction and therefore must be false.

 

All you are saying is that "the first cause is not an effect if it exists".  Well, it is just a hypothesis that has no logical background.  In this sense, this argument clearly proves the existence of God just because someone said so and not because of any logic. 

My personally favorable counter-argument to any first cause argument is this:

The cause for chicken is egg, the cause for egg is chicken.  The circle is closed, the existence of the first cause is proven to be false.  ... well, unless you call for Darwin and involve evolution.  Smiling

 

 


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OhMan wrote:God delusion is

OhMan wrote:

God delusion is awesome. You should read it!!

 

What exactly is the maximum of heat??

 

But surely there must be a first cause (it's another thing to say this first cause is YHWH)? I thought infinite causal loops are illogical by their very nature?

 

1)  "the maximum heat" = bullshit.

Heat is the amount of thermal energy (measured in Joules) transfered between two objects in the process of so-called heat exchange.   If objects are isolated from the rest of the universe and there is no work done on or by this objects, then this heat exchange process results in the corresponding changes of objects' energy, which translates into the changes in objects' temperatures according to equipartition theorem U = 0.5*f*k*T, where temperature is measured in Kelvins.

2) I do not see why there MUST be a first cause and why the infinite loops are illogical? Chicken-Egg-Chicken-Egg-Chiechen-Egg-Chricheon-Ego-Chrishean-Ego-Christhon-Egdo-Christos-God... yeh you right never mind. Smiling

 

 


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Meaning_Of_Life

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

Mathematical statements do not apply to non-mental reality because they are not meant to.  When a mathematician says that "2 + 2 = 4", s/he is not claiming that there is a number 4 which exists in some location in the universe.  It is true that 2 + 2 = 4, but it is equally true that a physical object is not equal to any particular number.  For example, you may believe that if you put two pairs of rocks together, then you get four rocks.  That's actually incorrect because none of the rocks are identical to the numbers that you are counting in your head.  The rock that you counted as "1" is not actually identical to the number "1".  If you remove intelligent minds from the picture, then you do not have mathematics at all.  There are potentially an infinite amount of numbers, yes.  But there cannot actually be an infinite number of things.

The rock reference was to an example I gave in the aforementioned discussion...I was supposing one could discover mathematics one way or another through empirical means, and there was no need to give a special ontological category to such things. The notion that 4 pebbles is incorrect because it is not identical to the notion in my head then is irrelevant. I also countered by suggesting I have never, at least to me knowledge, learned mathematics any other way than empirically.

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

Aquinas' argument from degree seems to be based on Plato's theory of ideas, in which he holds that universals such as "white" or "cat" are abstract entities which encompass what it means to be perfectly white or a perfect cat, but that the manifestations of these qualities in the material world are always less than perfect.  As such, we've never seen true whiteness or a real cat, we've only applied those categories to physical things in the same way we apply mathematics to physical things.

Platonic forms largely, so it seems, result in question begging. Blah.

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

As far as I can tell, Aquinas is not arguing explicitly in favor of Plato's position (though I could be wrong on this), he is just borrowing from Plato so that he can use an analogy.  Accordingly, God must exist because we witness being in limited perfection and limited perfection cannot exist unless there is an absolute standard given by a being who is absolutely perfect. 

By the way, I'm not saying that I agree with the argument.  I'm just trying to help people understand it.

I don't feel that Aquinas was trying to prove the existence of a god in his Five Ways, so when the arguments are levered to such, I think they fail. He was using them to show that it is rational to believe in a god through his five ways.

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100percentAtheist wrote:2) I

100percentAtheist wrote:

2) I do not see why there MUST be a first cause and why the infinite loops are illogical? Chicken-Egg-Chicken-Egg-Chiechen-Egg-Chricheon-Ego-Chrishean-Ego-Christhon-Egdo-Christos-God... yeh you right never mind. Smiling

I find the answer to this age old question at an Asian restaurant. They had the "Sweet and Source Chicken" on the menu.

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Huh I don't understand the

Huh I don't understand the age old question has been well and truly answered by evolution.

There was a chicken type animal, it produced offspring that have the exact genetic makeup we now know as a chicken, and laid the egg. So the egg came first.

If we say chicken or the egg I presume we are talking about todays chicken, so it would have to be the egg that came first. The "chicken" that laid the egg wasn't a chicken as we know it, but of a species of bird very close to todays chicken. If you aren't satisfied you can follow that chain all the way back to the micro-organisms, and then to the origin of life (for which we aren't 100% sure what that is).

 

Same with cutting something smaller and smaller, we have that infinite regress terminated by atoms. Say you are cutting up gold, when you get to the atomic level, with protons, nuetrons, electrons, whatever you "cut" (remove an electron/proton/neutron) from the atom then, the end result is not gold.

 

These are both adequate destroyers of an infinite regress. A God solution does nothing but further the question...

since all existence proceeds from the linearity of time (certain quantum results not withstanding.), there must be a progression of events. However, since all intervening events before the event of life, are and were non-sentient, there does not exist a necessity that the initializing event be sentient. Therefore, it does not stand that an intelligence was necessary to the creation of the universe or that of life since it proceeds naturally from the universe. In other words there is not a necessary condition for God to exist prior to or subsequent to the creation of the universe. As to what caused or initiated the initial event, that is still being studied and researched. Current theory does not indicate with certainty what that might be.

 


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Quote:These are both

Quote:
These are both adequate destroyers of an infinite regress. A God solution does nothing but further the question...

Quote:
since all existence proceeds from the linearity of time (certain quantum results not withstanding.),

unsubstantiated presupposition. 

Quote:
there must be a progression of events. However, since all intervening events before the event of life, are and were non-sentient, there does not exist a necessity that the initializing event be sentient.

that rather depends on whether you can show that logos was unnecessary 

Quote:
Therefore, it does not stand that an intelligence was necessary to the creation of the universe or that of life since it proceeds naturally from the universe.

no it doesn't - codes don't self-generate. 

Quote:
In other words there is not a necessary condition for God to exist prior to or subsequent to the creation of the universe.
that's done and dusted then!

 

Quote:
As to what caused or initiated the initial event, that is still being studied and researched. Current theory does not indicate with certainty what that might be.

oh dear!........well , whatever it's gonna be, it's gonna be a causeless cause!

 

 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


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"unsubstantiated

"unsubstantiated presupposition."

How about you back up your two word psuedo-argument with some facts??

 

 

"that rather depends on whether you can show that logos was unnecessary "

You have to show that logos even exists, you fool.

 

 

"no it doesn't - codes don't self-generate."

unsubstantiated presupposition. I presume by codes you mean the four laws of the universe, electromagnetism, gravitation, strong & weak nuclear force

if you are talking about DNA, well evolution just raped you hard, no lube

 

 

"oh dear!........well , whatever it's gonna be, it's gonna be a causeless cause!"

unsubstantiated presupposition. causal chains are still a possibility. Also of note, causality may well have been meaningless "before" the Big Bang. Our world is also still being affected by causeless causes, just ask any physicist, or have a peek in the quantum physics department. Hopefully your brain explodes.

 

 

Your minimalist pseudo-logic was barely worth my response, how about you come back with even a basic understanding of logic, and stop wasting everyones time. Thanks.


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OhMan wrote:"unsubstantiated

OhMan wrote:

"unsubstantiated presupposition."

Quote:
How about you back up your two word psuedo-argument with some facts??

 

you made the assertion........you back it.

 

 

Quote:
"that rather depends on whether you can show that logos was unnecessary "

You have to show that logos even exists, you fool.

 

non sequiter.......either it's necessary or it isn't. The question of whether it's available is irrelevant.

 

 

Quote:
"no it doesn't - codes don't self-generate."

unsubstantiated presupposition. I presume by codes you mean the four laws of the universe, electromagnetism, gravitation, strong & weak nuclear force

if you are talking about DNA, well evolution just raped you hard, no lube

yep, you exude rationality........assume evolution to prove evolution.......give me a break!

 

 

Quote:
"oh dear!........well , whatever it's gonna be, it's gonna be a causeless cause!"

unsubstantiated presupposition. causal chains are still a possibility. Also of note, causality may well have been meaningless "before" the Big Bang.

BB = unsubstantiatd presupposition. 

Quote:
Our world is also still being affected by causeless causes, just ask any physicist, or have a peek in the quantum physics department. Hopefully your brain explodes.

 

no physicist worth his salt would make this assertion.........it denies the laws of physics......are you shrink-wrapped?

 

 

Quote:
Your minimalist pseudo-logic was barely worth my response, how about you come back with even a basic understanding of logic, and stop wasting everyones time. Thanks.

ah.......a  relativist even with regard to logic eh?!.......backing off already?

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


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Ok so let me get this

Ok so let me get this straight. You deny both the Big Bang and evolution.... and don't understand the laws of physics

Yeah I'm no longer talking to you, you pseudo-intellectual.

 

How about you disconnect your computer, stop using vehicular transportation, and try 'flying' from the top of a building. Since you have such a blatant disregard for the facts derived from the scientific method.

 

Ugh, what absolute scum.


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:I don't

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

I don't feel that Aquinas was trying to prove the existence of a god in his Five Ways, so when the arguments are levered to such, I think they fail. He was using them to show that it is rational to believe in a god through his five ways.

That is always the force of teleological arguments; to show that it takes more faith not to believe in God.  That's how it worked in the Middle Ages and that's how it works now with arguments today such as the argument from the Anthropic Principle or specified complexity.  The problem is that they do not conclusively prove that God exists.

However, I find Aquinas' cosmological argument to be iron-clad and it is represented well by apologists such as William Lane Craig.

 

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OhMan wrote:"(A) The law of

OhMan wrote:

OK, that I can see is a logical argument, bravo!!!! Now I have to attack two things:

1. As per B, what is the logical reasoning for not having multiple "causes", that is, multiple things that do not require effects. Why is it there must only be one? AkA. quantum physics says there is shit like this that is happening ALL the time, things that don't have any "movers", virtual particles, which just come into existence and then leave again, etc.

Just so you are aware, this will get really esoteric.

If there is a first cause, then it would produce, as an effect, everything else that there is.  This means that the first cause must be qualitatively greater than all of its effects because nothing can give itself that which it does not have.  As such, a first cause cannot lack anything because incompleteness can only be accounted for insofar that something has not been given, which can only apply to effects because the qualities of effects are given by their causes.  Therefore, the first cause would be an ontologically complete being.  If there were multiple first causes, then you would have multiple ontologically complete beings.  But since they all have the same attributes, it would follow that they are actually the same being (per Leibniz' law of identity).  Therefore, there could not be more than one first cause.

You'll probably object on the following grounds:

(1) It is not true that all causes must be qualitatively greater than their effects, as this is disproven by evolution.

Answer:  Under the evolutionary model of the universe, you do not actually have one thing causing something that is qualitatively greater.  As per the law of conservation of energy, which necessitates the existence of matter, the total amount matter in the universe remains fixed.  As such, you do not have new elements emerging out of nothing.  You have the actions of one thing, combined with that of other existing things, producing an effect which, in comparison to all of the causal forces at work, is qualitatively less great than the sum total of its causes.  Norris Clarke gives a good summation of this in his book The One and the Many, p. 252-53: "Where then would be the adequate causality for the production of new, more complex entitie with new properties?  Not in the individual elements taken in isolation, but in the combined  presence of many sets of active potentialities with their power of combining with each other.  The sufficient reason would reside in the whole existing set of individuals with their active potentialities for combining together, which are built into their very natures, as though they were precisely constituted in view of their combinations with others to produce something new."

(2) Quantum physicists have shown that not everything has a cause.

Answer:  Causation has been reinterpreted by scientists to mean predictability according to law.  In quantum physics, they are unable to predict the positions of particles, but, as far I can tell, they are not saying that elementary particles pop into existence without a cause, they are saying that the behavior of such entities is better explained using a non-causal system, just as they concede that it is better to deal with quantum physics using trivalent logic instead of classical logic.  The main point is, physicists are not claiming that the particles are not produced as an effect by some cause, they are saying that they are not caused according to a definition of "causality" which includes predictability.  This is foreign to "causality" as understood in metaphysics, which simply means, active production of an effect

Quote:
2. What stipulates that a first cause has to be INTELLIGENT, and not something basic (much like our origin from micro-organisms). Why does a first cause have to be omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnietc. etc. etc.

See above:  The first cause must be qualitatively greater than its effects.  As such, it cannot be incomplete in any way.  If it did not have omni-characteristics, then it would be incomplete.  You could also argue this point in a different way:  A first cause would be self-existent, which is to say, that its existence would not be conditioned by anything other than itself.  This must be the case because otherwise, you would have a first cause existing in some finite mode of being and not some other, which, as the first cause, would have to be chosen by this being itself.  But no being can choose its own modality.  The first cause, then, must be infinite in perfection.

Quote:
If you can answer those two questions rationally I will be hugely impressed and immediately convert to Christianity!

This trades on your own subjective standards of what it means to be rational and I doubt any answer that I give will be allowed under your standard.  Anyway, I can't make you convert to Christianity.  Only the Holy Spirit can do that.

Quote:
IS Aquinas' fourth proof an ontological argument? Yes or no? I am asking because Aquinas apparently critized ontological arguments during his time, yet his fourth proof appears to be just that.

If his fourth proof is NOT an ontological argument, could someone kindly explain the difference between the two? They seem exactly the same.

No.  As far as I know, Aquinas rejected the ontological argument.  The difference is that the ontological argument is an a priori argument, meaning that we do not determine whether or not the premises are true by observing the world.  Aquinas' arguments require us to do the opposite and then reason, based on our observation, back to God.

 

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OhMan wrote:OK, that I can

OhMan wrote:

OK, that I can see is a logical argument, bravo!!!! Now I have to attack two things:

1. As per B, what is the logical reasoning for not having multiple "causes", that is, multiple things that do not require effects. Why is it there must only be one? AkA. quantum physics says there is shit like this that is happening ALL the time, things that don't have any "movers", virtual particles, which just come into existence and then leave again, etc.

 

2. What stipulates that a first cause has to be INTELLIGENT, and not something basic (much like our origin from micro-organisms). Why does a first cause have to be omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnietc. etc. etc.

If you can answer those two questions rationally I will be hugely impressed and immediately convert to Christianity!

 

1. In B, I do not see where it says that for each effect there is one and only one cause.  Particles are things that need no cause, but the effect of particle creation requires a cause according to A.

2.  If the first cause or causes exist to make the first effect then it does not really matter how many causes are there.  There is really just one single attempt to make the very first effect.  If it is screwed, then the whole universe will be screwed.  It is like a statistical probability to randomly bring atoms together to make a Karl Zeiss microscope.  Obviously, you need an intellect and a good plan to make this whole thing (universe) work from the first effect.

 

When is your baptizing party?

  


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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:That

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

That is always the force of teleological arguments; to show that it takes more faith not to believe in God. 

How does it take faith to not believe in a god? A person who has never heard about god does not believe in a god and has no faith thereunto. If the arguments are fallacious, then basing faith on such things makes the faith for belief in a god even greater.

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

That's how it worked in the Middle Ages and that's how it works now with arguments today such as the argument from the Anthropic Principle or specified complexity.  The problem is that they do not conclusively prove that God exists.

I think they have a lot more problem than that... Teleological arguments tend to create is-ought problems all over the place. When those who use them attempt to show how this is not the case, I think they end up question begging....

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

However, I find Aquinas' cosmological argument to be iron-clad and it is represented well by apologists such as William Lane Craig.

Craig uses the Kalam variety which is different from Aquinas' arguments. Aquinas attempts to avoid the supposed absurdity of infinite regress while Craig attempt to show the absurdity of an actual infinite, which I think is a fundamental difference in the two. I think Craig would concede potential infinities (which is really what Aquinas is getting at) but not an actual infinity.

WLC argument seems ironclad to a casual listener. He's methodical and logical in his approach, and often makes the opposition look disorganized and ignorant in debates. But having studied some physics and read his arguments and how he uses cosmology, I think he is (a) selective in the data he uses to substantiate is argument, and (b) misrepresents or misunderstands the data he's using.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:This

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

This means that the first cause must be qualitatively greater than all of its effects because nothing can give itself that which it does not have. 

Why is this necessarily true? The first event only has to be ontologically equal to all subsequent events. The first event occurs then is gone...

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

As such, a first cause cannot lack anything because incompleteness can only be accounted for insofar that something has not been given, which can only apply to effects because the qualities of effects are given by their causes.  Therefore, the first cause would be an ontologically complete being.  If there were multiple first causes, then you would have multiple ontologically complete beings.  But since they all have the same attributes, it would follow that they are actually the same being (per Leibniz' law of identity).  Therefore, there could not be more than one first cause.

Leibniz' law only works for discrete finite units. Any sort of ontologically infinite entity can divide such that product entities identical to the original.

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

(2) Quantum physicists have shown that not everything has a cause.

Causation has been reinterpreted by scientists to mean predictability according to law.  In quantum physics, they are unable to predict the positions of particles, but, as far I can tell, they are not saying that elementary particles pop into existence without a cause, they are saying that the behavior of such entities is better explained using a non-causal system, just as they concede that it is better to deal with quantum physics using trivalent logic instead of classical logic.  The main point is, physicists are not claiming that the particles are not produced as an effect by some cause, they are saying that they are not caused according to a definition of "causality" which includes predictability.  This is foreign to "causality" as understood in metaphysics, which simply means, active production of an effect

The unpredictability of particles creates averages that appear to be "laws". Causality in metaphysics should be concerned with this, particularly those who are concerned about cosmology in reference to dieties because there are known natural phenomenon that begin to exist with no prior event. Saying this is "foreign" seems to be an appeal to tradition: that is the metaphysical understanding of causality is based on a classical understanding of physics rather than a modern one. With this in mind, if the understanding of physics change, so should one's understanding of causality.

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freeminer wrote:Quote:Our

freeminer wrote:

Quote:
Our world is also still being affected by causeless causes, just ask any physicist, or have a peek in the quantum physics department. Hopefully your brain explodes.
 

no physicist worth his salt would make this assertion.........it denies the laws of physics......are you shrink-wrapped?

And here comes "any physicist".  

There are probabilistic and deterministic events.   Probabilistic events often  do not require a cause, while deterministic events are determined by a cause.  Examples: 1) The cause for an electron to occupy the energy level of 5.3 electronvolt.  None.  Even more, the probability of this event is ZERO.  2)  The probability to meet an alive dinosaur on 5th Ave. in NYC.  It is 50%!!!  You will meet it or not meet it, it's 50/50.  Deterministically, it is ZERO.

 

So, both of you are right and wrong.  Kill yourself and see if afterlife exists.