Christianity in a nutshell

dmiclock
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Christianity in a nutshell

Hello All,

I wanted to thank you all for the opportunity to partake in some of the discussions recently, and I would be remiss if I didn't take an opportunity to spread God's Word. So I ask you to please lend me your eyes and your mind for just a few minutes and read below:

God created this universe and everything in it, including each one of us. Because He wanted to, and He could.

We were created with free will, a conscience that convicts us, and the law written on each of our hearts.

We were created to seek Him and reach out for Him - though He is not far from any of us.

Sin entered the world via our free will, and as such so did death, dissease, aging, etc..

God hates sin.

God is Just, and as such must punish those who break His laws.

God Loves all of us, even though we're all sinners.

When we choose to sin, we reject God and show contempt for all He has given us.

God calls us to repent from our sins and put our trust in Him. This means more and more, we strive to sin less and less.
As a result we become better people, not perfect people.

Jesus came to preach the Gospel, and take the punishment that each one of us deserves for our sins.
The wages of sin is death.

Christianity is different in the respect that all other religions are "Work Righteous" meaning that the more good things one does, the better the chances he/she goes to heaven. We get heaven not because we're good people, but because we're wretched sinners who accept the fact that our sins are paid in full for through the blood of Jesus.

It may not make sense to yo, and you may not like it, but....
Have a Merry Christmas.

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of His covenant.


StMichael
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[quot Quote: I ask what

[quot

Quote:

I ask what existed before god created the universe and you say "Nothing". Surely there was your god. God must have existed if he was to create. Being as that god is infinite would it not be that god created the universe from god, instead of ex nihilo? After all 'nothing' didn't exist, god did?

Yes, God does exist before the universe. He is logically prior to it. The term creation "ex nihilo" merely means that nothing existed exterior to God which God used as matter from which He created the universe. It was purely His action in willing it that it came into existence.

Quote:

Exactly my point. The same applies to nothing coming from nothing. Show me pure nothingness and show me nothing coming from it. The statement that 'something can not come from nothing' is a baseless assertion. There is no reason to believe this to be true.

First, the burden of proof is on your end to show me how something can come from nothing.

Further, it is a contradiction in terms. X cannot be equal to ~X in the same respect at the same time.

Quote:

This is another baseless assertion. Show me something that can go in and out of existence that is caused or uncaused.

A statue is caused. It comes into existence as a statue, distinctly.

Quote:

The statue can no longer be a statue, but the 'stuff' of the statue cannot cease to exist. Everything that exists within the universe has existed inside the universe for as long as the universe has existed. It may have changed form from time to time, but the 'stuff' itself has existed.

Matter itself changes and is corrupted into various forms. The things in the universe come into being, not absolutely, but in a supposit. Substance of things changes from one thing into another. The statue becomes a pile of rubble becomes a house and so on. It is not a necessarily existing thing. Further, as matter, it is in potency (as it can be divided) and hence cannot exist as its own logical cause. It would be prior to itself logically, which is impossible.

 

Quote:

The fact is that just because we believe these statements to apply within the universe, there is no rational reason to believe they apply to the universe itself. This whole first cause argument is based in statements that we have no good reason to believe are true.

We must accept them because they are logically necessary if we want to posit that the universe exists now. Otherwise, we would have to admit that the universe does not exist, which is absurd.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote:My

StMichael wrote:
My thoughts do not exist as matter. My ideas are universal. Matter is not universal. Whiteness exists in a white object, but whiteness is not identical with the white object. The same is true of number; one dog is not a different number from one apple. My knowing ability is the same way. It deals with immaterial things and hence is immaterial. However, it is not a material organ for the three reasons: it has the ability to know all material bodies (which, if it were material, could only know some types of bodies), it knows more intelligible things better (which is contrary with a material sense organ, which senses more intense sensations less), and lastly my intellect knows universals which are never found in matter. Thus, my intellect does not depend on matter for its existence.

Mind refers to the collective aspects of intellect and consciousness which are manifest in some combination of thought, perception, emotion, will and imagination.

Intellect is related to the physical abilities of the brain which is conscious.

Does "matter" have experiences?  Or does "life/mind"?  How about memories?  Does matter experience memories?  Or is that mind too?  How about creativity?  Curiosity?  Does matter solve problems and seek beauty and crave understanding?  How about self-preservation?  Does matter act to preserve its forms?  Why does a body readily decompose the minute the mind/life no longer "lives" in it?  I know all about evolution... don't miss the point here.  What kind of thing ever pushes and pulls on systems of matter for its own purposes?  What kind of thing has to find and share a word for a concept like "purpose"?

I would have thought that contrasting "observer" with "observable" would have clarified this basic distinction long ago.  A distinction in "kind," which to a monist boils down to a vast difference in "degree."  Kind or degree of what?  What is the substance of reality?  Well, whatever it is, it includes mind. 

From what I hear, and from what I've experienced, it seems the only known way to truly merge the observer/observable is through a mystical/spiritual experience... like being "able to see the mirror and the reflection and their unity, all at the same time." (thanks, Breath).  Materialist claims that "it shall someday be clear that mind IS only a product of the brain" are missing the essence of the distinction.  There's a way out for them, but "matter" has to change its meaning.  By the way, the terms mystical and spiritual convey a useful meaning too... nothing else comes close.  So please try to refrain from letting them trigger vigorous anti-religious sentiment.  It does not apply here.
 
When we speak of matter, we mean one kind of thing.  When we speak of "I," we mean another kind of thing.  A thing that holds all "beliefs and knowledge" about any and all other kinds of things (and itself!), whether those other things are material or immaterial.  For all those other things, we say "my...", as in "my brain" and "my nerves" and "my hand," or even "my memories" and "my hopes."  We even say, "my mind" (itself!).  My self.  With apparent boundaries.  For some reason.  For now.   

Once you've grasped the distinction, and realized that no matter how perfectly we ascertain the correlations between an observable brain and an observer mind, the crucial part of the distinction remains... there are a few options.

You can choose to believe that a mental entity is still somehow reducible to a physical entity (this is called "matter of the gaps&quotEye-wink, OR that physical entities are somehow reducible to mental entities (but this requires the concept of a shared continuum of life/mind, like Max Planck's Mind), OR that both are somehow reducible to something far more complicated than either (at least as big as Mind), and yet quite flexible in expression (having at least all possible qualities of everything we can possibly experience, physical or mental, now or much much later in animal evolution).  I "opt" for "option" 2 or 3.  There are probably even more options, but they only get wilder still. 
 
I am now "being" a wee little critter limited by my bodily form/interface to experiencing 4 dimensions of this particular universe.  Wooo wooo Eye-wink   But the fact remains.  When exactly did human animals decide that our present intellectual and experiential (sensory) limitations were limitations on the sum total of reality?  Not likely.

Otherwise, it means absolutely nothing, to absolutely no one.  If matter itself can "know meaning," then matter must be made of mindstuff too.  May-haps... per-be.

StMichael wrote:
We are not speaking of local motion, where that is true.

To move something else is to move yourself, because every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, there can be no unmoved mover.

There may be an infinite regress of causes, and there may be uncaused events. Neither posibility is very palatable, but one or the other has to be true. But unless one of those posibilities can be ruled out, we can't conclude that the other is true. Saying, "I don't like infinite regress, so there must be a first cause," is not a stronger argument than saying the opposite.

StMichael wrote:
I understand the idea of the Casimir effect. But it is not something arising from nothing. Space is an existence substance from which come the fluctuations. The nature of space/time causes these fluctuations. Something cannot come from nothing. Space is an existent “something.”

The creation of virtual pairs of particles does not violate the law of
conservation of mass-energy because these enigmatic quntum flux's only exist for brief periods of time, much less than the Planck time, 10^(-43) sec. There is a temporary suspension-violation of the law of conservation of mass-energy, but this violation occurs within the timescale of the uncertainty principle, DxDp >= hbar/2, and thus, has no impact on the observed macroscopic laws. The quantum vacuum is the ground state of energy for the Universe, the lowest possible level. It
allows for the "Casimir effect" and Hawking radiation.

The basic point concerning Hawking radiation, is that the idea of
"vacuum" and also the notion of particles loses their meaning in the presence of a dynamic quantum background. Incoming modes of the quantum field are redshifted while propagating through the collapsing geometry, which is why the quantum state of the outgoing modes is different. The incoming state is a vacuum state while the outgoing state contains particles.

The negative energy flux decreases the mass of the black hole, and becomes equivalent to a positive energy flux of Hawking radiation at infinity.

It seems that the vacuum expectation value of the energy-momentum of the quantum field is negative near the horizon, analogous to a flux of negative energy into the hole and gives the heuristic basis for the the pictorial interpretation of the black hole radiation, explained as one particle of a virtual pair falling into the black hole, and enabling the other partner to become real and escape to infinity, allowing it to be observed as Hawking radiation.

Temperature T, is constant on a body in thermal equilibrium and the surface gravity k, is constant on the horizon of a black hole. The area of the horizon is related to the measure of its entropy S.

dE = TdS - pdV + (mu)dN

dE = (kc^2)dA/(8piG) + (omega)dJ - (phi)dq

dS >= 0

dA >= 0

A temperature of absolute zero cannot be reached.

A surface gravity of zero cannot be reached.

Unruh's law:
Accelerating observers see themselves as bathed in a gas of hot
photons, with temperature proportional to their acceleration.


Space can be hypothesized as a type of conductor, yet not a type of "medium", lest we revive the "lumeniferous ether".

e is the permittivity of free space and u is the permeability of free
space, epsilon and mu respectively.

E = mc^2

c^2 = 1/(eu)

E/m = 1/(eu)

The ratio of ([total energy]/mass) = 1/(eu)

(eu) would of course remain "ivariant" while observing from inertial reference frames but the E and m values would individually vary, yet vary in tandem producing a constant "c"
or 1/(eu) .

1/(eu) = (Ds/Dt)^2 , Ds and Dt would also vary in tandem, depending upon relative velocity.

Ds/(eu)^(1/2) = Dt

It seems that the permittivity and permeability of free space would not change, thus the "curvature" of space-time is independent of the conductivity of electromagnetism in space.

The controversial physicist Lee Smolin, wrote this interesting idea in the book:

"Three Roads to Quantum Gravity"

StMichael wrote:
Didn’t I just say that “nothing exists” is a contradiction? What is the point of writing the symbolic logic? YOU were the one who advocated that the something that exists is really not in existence.

Yeah, I'm not sure what to think about absolute nothingness anymore; my brain once screwed around with and thrust into consciousness a crazy idea on the subject, adequately crazy that I haven't been able to rule it out.

Absolute nothingness is seen to be impossible, a logical contradiction, so nothingness was never the case to begin with and thus the universe/multiverse could not have been created ex nihilo. Of course, doesn't this line of reasoning rely on the very laws of logic which would fail to describe, "contain", or be "contained" within the state of absolute nothingness in the first place?

It's initially tempting, because of the strangeness of the subject and the lack of any sensible way to talk about it, to start asking whether capital-N Nothingness would be "deterministic" or "non-deterministic", but either of those would be attributing properties to something which doesn't have any properties at all. How do you discuss something which lacks any and all properties? Could you even say that Nothingness has the "property" of having no properties?

Anyway, it seems to be the case that the laws of logic wouldn't govern Nothingness, since if they did, the aforementioned laws themselves would still be said to exist, which wouldn't really be absolute nothingness. What happens at that point? Well, sans laws of logic, I guess anything could, and would, necessarily happen, and yet not happen, all at once. Odd, but this would also allow for the sudden ex nihilo creation of our known laws of logic and the reality they govern.

The current understanding of cosmology suggests that the multiverse features a near-infinite number of universes in which every logical possibility takes place, but it looks to be that if there had ever been Nothingness, the immediate everything-and-nothing-going-on-at-once would entail a multi-multiverse in which what we would understand as logical impossibilities would also all take place in some unrecognizably warped universes, along with all logical possibilities in our known universes.

I don't mean this as a challenge: I'd really like for someone to shoot down this silly and uncomfortable idea, if you please. Of course, not merely by virtue of its absurdity, because it's obviously the most ridiculous concept (un)imaginable, but actually find a way to rationally rule it out entirely. Naturally, just because things could have theoretically popped up out of Nothing like this doesn't necessarily mean that they must have, but that's hardly good enough to rule it out.


For myself, I'd like to be convinced that the laws of logic are merely a description of how things appear to work, rather than a prescription of how things will necessarily work. That's my Obi-wan Kenobi right now, and he's my only hope, heh.

As the instantiation of all possibilities and impossibilities somewhere in some tract of Existence implies the reality of a vengeful, hateful, sadistic psychopath of a god devilering sentient beings into an eternity of torment in "Hell", presumably featuring levels of pain which only an all-powerful god can inflict, I really don't care for this hypothesis. Somebody kill it.

StMichael wrote:
Then why did YOU say that things could exist outside of the universe? It’s your point that you criticize, not mine! If you post something and don’t know what it says, don’t attack me as if I held your position.

The universe is all there is. There's no such thing of outside the universe. A god without timespace is absurd.

you admit this is a philosophical view that makes the most sense to you. And I can see where Relativity helps us to better understand using a 'block view' where all events, past present and future, coexist within a single 4D spacetime. But to take this tool of understanding literally means all arrangements of matter and energy from the big bang to the present and all possible arrangements of matter to come coexist in equal standing, each to be considered equally real is just to mind boggling to get my mind around. Where does all the energy and matter from the BB to the ultimate future come from so that the past, present, and future can sustain this equally real coexistence? Coexisting in the sense that one can jump backwards or forward within a space/time continuum and actually see and measure the arrangement of matter and energy of those times. Given the means, it implies time jumps are actually possible.

When I look at a galaxy a billion light years away, I consider the light that hits my eyes as old news, since I feel confident that the galaxy has changed position in 1 billion years. From your view I would have to accept that the light hitting my eyes is just as current and real as wherever that galaxy might be now. Unbelievable. Then again, who knows, your view might be the answer to all the missing dark energy and dark matter.

StMichael wrote:
Stop just quoting things aimlessly. Unless it contradicts my arguments, it is useless. I OWN the “Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene. In fact, I find it rather persuasive argument for the existence of God. But that is beside the point.M-theory has nothing in contradiction with a proof that God exists. First, this theory is highly speculative, as superstring theory is unproven (and, so far, there is no known way to verify its claims).Second, there is no way to prove the universe is eternal, or that it is not. Third, even an eternal universe would require God as the Prime Mover. The reason is because the universe still depends for its existence on a necessary being, a Prime Mover, a First Cause. It has nothing to do with temporal priority. God just needs to be logically prior to the universe. This, however, could happen that God created the universe from eternity, according to logical possibility (this would be contrary to Revelation, but that does not factor in here). There is no way to prove that the universe began to exist in time, or that it existed from eternity. However, this also does not prove that the universe is immutable. For the universe’s motions are still possible (they fade away and come into being; they do not constantly exist). It is an article of faith that the universe came to exist and it cannot be proven naturally that the universe came into existence whether in time or from eternity. But it does not negate the fact that God is logically prior to the universe and necessary for its existence.

In Michio Kaku's Book, Hyperspace, he details many fascinating concepts about space, hyperspace, and theoretical physics.  I'm sure there are more recent works, but this is the book that came out right before Stargate (the movie), and Sliders (in the first episode, Quinn Mallory is asleep with Michio Kaku's Hyperspace covering his face).  This is the book that really popularized wormholes.

There are theoretical physicists out there who believe they have worked out how to create functional, stable wormholes.  Some of these proposed wormholes could potentially allow travel through time.  Steven Hawking's view of wormholes potentially includes travel between universes.

They've worked out the math for warping space-time, but can't do so today for a few reasons.  First, the energy required to test this is far beyond what mankind is capable of producing today.  Second, some of the theories require "exotic matter" which doesn't seem to break any laws of physics, but which scientists don't know how to produce at this time.  Third, there may be practical issues that prevent the experiment from being feasible (will the radiation output of the wormhole prevent the wormhole, or make it too dangerous).  Fourth, it might destroy the researchers, research facility, Earth, Universe, Multi-Verse, or something.  Ripping holes in space-time sounds like risky business.

StMichael wrote:
I argue this above. But we do know that God is logically necessarily prior to the universe’s existence.

The cosmological argument is supposed to deal with where everything came from, not just where some things came from. Only if universe, means "everything that exists," is it appropriate to discuss where the universe came from in a cosmological argument. Otherwise, we aren't dealing with ultimate origins. If universe, only means "some stuff, but not everything," it is not of interest. The origin of that kind of universe is at best a midpoint, not an ultimate origin.

But even that kind of universe (a partaverse, as opposed to an allaverse) has lots of contents, its causes could be myriad. Different parts of the universe could have been caused by different uncaused causes. So this version of the cosmological argument, even if it worked, could in no way suggest a single uncaused first cause.

The only way a first cause proponent might defeat this problem would be to define universe, as, "everything but the single uncaused first cause." But that would be arbitrary and self-serving, and would make the argument circular: the conclusion would be the same as the premise, so nothing would be proved.

StMichael wrote:
The Scriptures are not the source of our knowledge about the specifics of how the universe came about. They indicate merely the priority of God in logical order to the universe, that it is created, and they indicate (on faith) that the universe came into existence in time. We must admit that God exists as logically necessary for the universe to exist.

I am not moved by your motion.

What about the movers not in motion?
Couldn't there be an infinite regression of things moved by movers not in motion?

Why would an infinite regression be impossible?

StMichael wrote:
I never made the claim that “everything” needs a cause. I made the claim that the universe needs a cause. There needs to be at least one cause that does not have a cause; this is my only point. God is the uncaused cause. The universe cannot suffice because it is in motion, it is not a necessary existence (because it has motion – everything in it changes and passes in and out of being), and it cannot be its own efficient cause.

To make the reason clear, I'll employ a conversation Beavis and Butthead may have had one day about dogs:

Beavis: Hey Butthead, did you know that there are hairless dogs?
Butthead: You dumbass, Beavis, there aren't any hairless dogs.
Beavis: Yeah there are. I think they have them in Mexico or something.
Butthead: No Beavis, there are no hairless dogs. See, I know, because my dog Pantera has hair. And, you know... he's a dog. And he has hair.
Beavis: Oh yeah.

And.... scene.

You see the problem in the logic? You can't counter the claim, "Some A are B," with, "Some A are not B."

That said, the Casimir Effect itself may have a cause, (you've gotta bring the two plates close together,) but the quantum fluctuations that bring it about do not.

StMichael wrote:
God is a logical necessity for the universe’s existence. Further, God is not complex at all. God is not “complex” in the first sense because He possesses no parts or divisions at all. God is not hard to posit, in the second sense of “complicated,” because we know that His existence is necessary.

A God is anything one wishes it to be.

If God must be responsible for the creation of our universe because of its complexity, then who is responsible for creating the Creator because of His complexity?

IF this is true: (IF Complex, THEN Designed)
THEN, this is true: (IF God=Complex, THEN God=Designed)

If you have to start adding post-hoc "exception clauses" for God in order to make the statement "IF Complex, THEN Designed" true, then perhaps the "IF Complex, THEN Designed" theistic logic isn't such a good foundation.

StMichael wrote:
We know what God is first by natural reason. We can ascertain, as I demonstrated elsewhere MANY times, that He is likewise omnipotent, omniscient, ect. Anything else that proceeds from what we know about God a priori cannot come from natural reason, because we cannot naturally know what God is in Himself from His effects. The source for this knowledge is Revelation – God has to tell us Himself. Christianity does not merely posit that the Old Testament tells us about God (which I would, of course, argue is true), but primarily posits that God became man in Palestine in ~1 AD. We get most knowledge of what God is in Himself from Christ (who was God). This is where we get the distinct truth beyond natural reason that God is Trinity. The Old Testament tends to tell mostly truths that are not beyond natural reason, in that it does not properly reveal a great deal. God’s revelation to man in the Old Testament is a promise of the Messiah, and gives prophecies about His coming and so forth. Other truths contained therein are expositions of the natural law or truths which would predispose people to Christ’s coming. The Gospels, on the other hand, tell us very directly about God as He is in Himself and of Christ, His only-begotten Son. It gives very clearly doctrine necessary for salvation and enables understanding of those things said in a hidden way in the Old Testament.It is not people muddling through things the best they could, nor were they “primitive” people. On a side note, I rather find such a highly dismissive attitude unjustified. People were not stupid because they were less advanced than us. People back then had just as much, or more, common sense than we do now. I never discount where the Greek or the Romans discovered truth. I never discount Hindus who discovered truth about the universe. I don’t discount atheists as stupid because they are “less advanced” than I am. People have a natural ability to discover the truth and people are not naturally stupid. It’s something akin to “ageism.”
It think a better analogy, as I remember from my Bible School when I was but a young'in, would be of an triangle—the three angles represent the three beings, that are separate yet part of the same object, the triangle.

However, it would be most instructive to remember why there is the Doctrine of the Trinity. The Trinity is never defined in the Bible, but instead it was created around AD 300, to settle a dispute on whether Christ, being God’s begotten Son, would have at one point not existed, so he could be begotten by God, and whether Christ was created by God, and so inferior to God.

So to make a long story short, the idea of Trinity is central to the idea of Christianity merely because one group of bishops outvoted another group of bishops.

StMichael wrote:
And?You still haven’t explained how this could contradict my argument.

Let's put this in perspective. There is a pretty complete understanding of physics, a consensus view among the vast majority of physicists, called the Standard Model. This model describes everything we see around us, from the tinyest constituents of matter and forces, up through atoms, molecules, proteins, life, weather, stars, giant molecular cloud complexes, star clusters, globular clusters, mini-galaxies, galaxies, giant galaxies, to clusters and superclusters of galaxies. It describes the universe when it was well under a microsecond old, and consistently describes everything that has happened since, including all of those things I mentioned. All of it. Every single bit. No questions, no doubts. No dispute. And if you're accepting evolution (and by the way, I see no conflict- all that is necessary is that you accept that the Bible is not literally true, even though this seems to be a big step for some folks we have over here in the US) then you're accepting all that, too.

Now, that means that what we don't know about is what happened before the first millionth of a second; everything for the thirteen some-odd billion years after that we have all figured out. You with me here? So it's kind of like saying that we don't know where you came from because we can't track that exact path of that exact spermatozooan to that precise egg. You with me here?

So now we're past that, I also have to tell you that we have a pretty strong theory about what happened during that first millionth of a second, too- it's called "inflation." It was originally a joke reference to economic inflation, which was going on at the time. Basically what it says is that the universe entered a state in which it expanded exponentially- that is, faster and faster- until it blew up what was then the size of a grapefruit to the size of everything we can see for thirteen billion light years in every direction away from us. Then, after everything had expanded like that, the field that was making it do that decayed- and you can imagine how much energy such a field had to have contained. So when it decayed, it dumped all its energy into space- and when that happened, it all turned into energy and matter, and it was very very hot and very very dense. So then things continued to expand, but at a very leisurely pace compared to the inflation that went before. And surprisingly enough, we find that there are several characteristics of the universe that we can't account for any other way, with one recent and not very well-developed exception, something called the "colliding branes model." But this exception isn't very well developed yet, and it's very very constrained- there's a pretty good chance we'll find something that will eliminate it in the next few years.

So now what we realize is that the Big Bang theory isn't really a theory of the actual origin of the universe, it's just a theory about how the universe was when it was a millionth of a second old. And there was something before that, called the "Inflationary universe theory." So now we're suspicious: is this the theory of the actual origin of the universe?

Good question! The answer is, "no." In fact, we don't have enough information to make a theory of the actual origin of the universe; we have a couple of conjectures (educated guesses) that, if we can find a way to get some evidence for or against them, we might be able to promote into hypotheses, that eventually we might be able to gather enough evidence for to promote into theories. The "colliding branes" idea actually says that the universe is infinite in time, and that it never had a beginning, just these colliding branes every so often that winds up in another Big Bang.

But not too long after the invention of the Inflationary Universe Scenario, someone came up with a way that that inflationary field could come about from a vacuum fluctuation in something called a "de Sitter space." Such a space is completely empty, and in fact might not even have space or time dimensions they way we understand them. So this de Sitter space really is much more like "truly nothing" than anything we have now, even empty space. And this looks very, very much like a description of creation ex nihilo, truly from nothing, with nothing coming before. Not even time or space.

This de Sitter space should still be there, but we can't see it past our dimensions. It might be eternal, or there might be some creation event associated with it, too; and in fact, there might be other universes embedded in this de Sitter space, but we'd have no way to get to them; the laws of physics as we know them prolly wouldn't exist in such a space, so if we tried to "cross over" to another universe, we'd prolly die. In fact, we might completely cease to exist- or we might form vacuum flucuation kernels that might start other universes, and maybe even damage or destroy ours.

But nobody's figured a way to check, so this is all just a conjecture; but it's a good guess, given what we know right now. We'll continue to gather more information, and there are even a few ideas floating around about some evidence we might see soon from an instrument called LIGO at the U of W, and a new piece of equipment at CERN called the LHC that might give us a look into some new energy ranges that will take us a bit deeper into that first millionth of a second of the universe's existence. So the story's not all told yet; but it's getting there. Stay tuned.

StMichael wrote:
And? Infinite time or an eternal universe does not contradict that God is logically necessary for its existence.

It does.

Past Infinity <- ... <- T-2 <- T-1 <- T0 -> T+1 -> T+2 -> ... -> Infinity Future

By this concept/principle inre time/the continuum of time, the universe [space/time/physics—m/e] is infinite in duration.

Thus space is infinite in volume/size and in duration/time.

StMichael wrote:
And? What does this have to do with ANYTHING I SAID AT ALL? I know that there are bad Catholics; it is not news.

Your comment is not actually relevant to either.

It is of course logically false for an atheist to claim that God has done anything, since no-one can logically believe that something which they believe does not exist can have the power to act.

Whatever 'red herrings' you may produce, the simple fact is that neither christianity (nor even 'Catholics&#39Eye-wink have been responsible for most of the deaths in war and mass murders over the last 100 years or so. The 'honour' for that belongs firmly to atheists irrespective of any excuse they might make, although I cannot believe that Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Pol Pot would appeal to any supposed biblical authority (although I do accept that someone with a very muddled view of 'destiny' like Hitler just might!)

So as not to be accused of avoiding the issue raised however, I shall comment on your point.

You seem to be saying that biblical scripture implies that if God allows someone to be in charge, they can do whatever they choose and that is God's fault and not theirs. They are in effect not personally accountable for their actions, because God has given them the potential to act in this manner by allowing them to have their personal power.

Apart form any logical falsehood in such a proposition, it is not what either Old or New Testament teaches. What is actually taught is that you should obey God (and his law) first and that providing that that is not contravened you should obey human leaders. This means that if you are a christian you have to use the free will given to you to decide what to do in difficult circumstances, where you cannot possibly obey both human leaders and God's laws. Note that judgment and scale of response also have to be used (God did not give us those powers for nothing). For instance you do not start riots for minor matters with all the associated damage and risk of injury(nor even burn down abortion clinics however seriously wrong you might believe abortion to be) as the 'treatment' may well be at least as great an infringement of Godly prinicples as 'the disease'. At the other end of the scale, you may however have to go to war against those who would commit genocide either internally or externally to the society in which you live.

By allowing free will, God does permit a limited amount of evil to be perpetrated by people for a period. One logically implies the other. If you were not to permit any evil to take place you would have to remove the ability for people to choose to do it, by taking away their free will and creating automata.

It is interesting to note that (despite all the odds) Hitler did not succeed and ended as a demoralised physical wreck who committed suicide, although still bringing appalling consequences to his fellow Germans for years afterwards. Both Stalin and Pol Pot are now almost universally despised even by (or perhaps particularly by) their own people. Pol Pot died from a heart attack and lack of medical care whilst the cause of Stalin's death is controversial and many believe he was murdered. In China Mao Tse Tung died of a heart attack, as a broken man having failed to achieve his desire for both China and the rest of the world. China now is very critical of Mao and is undoing most of his legacy very rapidly.

The biblical view is that those who stand fast for what is right (and therefore of God) against what is wrong (and therefore what is against God) will prevail ultimately. This may mean standing against civil authorities if those authorities are themselves seriously against what is right. Those who stand for right may succeed within their lifetime or not. There are some recent examples such as Nelson Mandela against apartheid South Africa (in his lifetime) or such as Martin Luther King and black civil rights in the USA (after his murder). Another way to look at this is that God does not condone evil but knowing it will happen, uses it to His own purposes.

I believe that one of the reasons human beings love stories like 'The Lord of the Rings' is that the concept of evil prevailing for a period but then ultimately being overturned by good (usually with the assistance of very ordinary type people - even children) is because this reflects the much greater epic story of real life and is therefore programmed into us as a form of inate knowledge (although we can as always suppress our knowledge of it or pretend it is something else).

StMichael wrote:
I dislike it when you play the sophist and turn around to advocate the exact opposite position. So now, religion is no longer dangerous because it makes people guilty. Rather, religion is dangerous because it makes people not guilty. Wow. But, in answer (b/c I’m a nice guy who takes objections seriously), what impact does that have on my religion if some people take advantage of others? I’m sure there are at least some atheist fare-mongers of different sorts. It’s not a unique argument. Also, God gave us brains to differentiate credible faith from incredible faith. Lastly, the amount of people like this seems highly overestimated. I tend to not suspect people’s motives, even while I believe they are wrong. People can be perfectly sincere in this regard.

But there is a serious problem with this. Religion ramps up disparities of all sorts. Many very wealth people are wealthy partly as a result of their membership in churches. They may actually believe in the religion and get wealthier at the same time. Causality is possibly not provable, but what is open to examination is the content of their religious beliefs.
Looking through the holy books which were all written at a time when society was more or less primative we find God setting certain men above other men. When you actually believe you are the chosen one or one of the chosen ones, and you live in extravagant comfort and all seems well to you year after year, you believe with a bit more conviction. It slips the mind that your comfort is always at the expense of the lesser members of your society. Wealthy people so often actually believe it is their place and duty to separate the wealth from the workers who produce it for themselves.

The fairy tales in the books they claim to believe in seem to allow for their actions. The laws allow it. The people allow it. When they go into confessional, they don't even regard their greatest transgressions against their fellow men as sins, hence as Jesus suggested, we see very few camels threading through the eyes of needles. It all seems so set in stone. It is a frustration to live with predatory capitalism supported by religion.

The message of holy scriptures is that one is forgiven his sins and that this forgiveness is the key to eternally dwelling in paradise. For wealthy Christians, this means more of the same in material terms. The man who finds himself on the bottom of the dogpile reads the scriptures and only imagines. He knows it has to be better than what he has, and he is going nowhere in this life...well on to the next. So he keeps his place.

If the holy story content were different then society would be different. Just suppose the story said that God has only one thing in mind for ALL humans after death...eternal damnation and torture. We are his to process and slaughter like pigs in the slaughter house and we all know NO PIG IN A SLAUGHTER HOUSE IS CHOSEN for anything other than the quality of their meat. Now we are all in this together with an industrious god who hates humans. How differently would we treat each other?

StMichael wrote:
All extant evidence points directly the OTHER way. Catholicism is the most ancient and orthodoxy the true Christianity. The Apostles themselves battled the heretics and schismatics in their time; the primitive Gnostics, for instance, were combated by Saint John the Apostle. The earliest saints, directly under the tutelage of the apostles themselves, (whose writings we possess) combated these heretics and schismatics in the same vehement terms. The heretics were divorced from any relation to the historical Christ and His Apostles; it was for this reason that Ignatius of Antioch relates that it is easy to tell which is the true Church from how related they are to the Apostles (by apostolic succession). Further, the Catholic Church was not late at all, for the same reasons.

I was brought up in mainstream Protestant churches (Methodist and Presbyterian), and we were taught that Catholicism is a form of Christianity. I was also taught that Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses were cults. Now I lump them all together as Christians in that they believe, in some way, that Jesus Christ is "Lord" (whatever that means). Some are mainstream, and some are not, but, to me, they all fall under the umbrella of Christianity.

So to answer the question in the title of the original post, Catholicism is a subset of Christianity.

StMichael wrote:
HAHA! This is silly in a way that is beyond words. Read Euseubius’ History of the Church. While having been written on the advent of Constantine’s decree (Euseubius having lived before it was released), it is clear that the Christians of that time period were not oppressed by Constantine. The Christians, the Catholics, merely emerged from hiding. During the persecutions of the Romans, the Christians possessed the same beliefs as after the persecutions. Also, the Catholic Church assumed MANY pagan feast days or native devotions, so to speak, baptizing them (such as the December 25th date for Christmas – coming from a pagan holiday -, which was previously celebrated in the East on January 6th, which date is now Epiphany). It is not news. We, however, were not derived from Mithranism and we do not accept pagan religious doctrines. In the end of this discussion I point you to the Malankara Catholics, or the Thomas Christians. These were Christians in India who were evangelized by Saint Thomas the Apostle (“Doubting” Thomas). They existed for 16 centuries without interference from outside Christians. They never existed in the Roman Empire (I also point to the Ethiopian and Ge’ez Catholics, who also did not). However, when we discovered them, they believed identically what was believed in orthodox Catholicism in the West. In fact, they all initially accepted papal supremacy as true Christian doctrine (all initially joined into communion with the Pope; it was by a bad turn of events that some split off later, but most of this is being healed today; and even if they never accepted direct papal supremacy, they accepted everything else). They were not Gnostics, nor were they Protestants. They were Catholics.

Most of these associations come from Papias via Eusebius, however even Ehrman doubts the reliability of these claims. Papias described a gospel the Gospel of Matthew as only a collection of Jesus' sayings. Was Papias referring to the version of Matthew we have today or was he referring to another sayings gospel which has since been lost. Papias' testimony is so unreliable and we don't have any of his writings except through Eusebius' quotations, that are questionable in and of themself.

For instance, did the now Catholic Euseubius quote Papias as saying that Mark was Peter's student to give some sort of Papal authority to the older synoptic Gospel?

StMichael wrote:
While I don’t think the Protestants are right, I think you paint the picture falsely. The earliest Protestants thought the Church to be merely in a state of corruption, so that many of its doctrines or practices were accretions of a later age. Further, the Protestants were not stupid. They did not consider that the entire faith was corrupt, and so they held on to what they thought was “primitive” Christian doctrine. Most of what they held “primitive” Christian doctrine, however, was clearly contradicted by historical evidence (known less clearly at the time; indisputable now).

I have, at least, to choose which hell I want to escape. The wager is no help in this situation. There are a few thousands christian denominations that offer hell for nonbelievers, so the risk is very high, and it is very unlikely to make the correct decision.
StMichael wrote:
Well, have fun rationally justifying your paganism/pantheism.

It is really very hard for me to believe that an intelligent adult believes that there are unicorns. I don't mean sculptures of unicorns; I don't mean paintings of unicorns; I don't mean unicorn-ideas. I mean real live unicorns. I recognize that you did not invent the term, "unicorn" but I fail to see how that is an argument for the existence of unicorns. Is it your view that because there is the term "unicorn" and you did not invent it, that there are, therefore, unicorns? Why? Could there not be a term "unicorn" without there being unicorns? Would you say that because there is the term, "mermaid" (and you did not invent that term) that there must be mermaids. Why should the fact that there is a term mean that there must be something corresponding to the term? I really don't know what you mean by saying that the enviroment "gave" you the attributes of the unicorn. Do you mean, perhaps, that you, at one time learned from reading (or such) that some people (perhaps) believed there were such animal, and those animals were supposed to have certain attributes? But why should that mean there really are unicorns with those attributes? The origin of the belief in fantastic creatures can be explained in many other ways than that such creatures really exist. The belief, for instance, in mermaids, with the attibute of a lovely maiden with a fishtail has been traced to the misperception of certain sea animals, like the manatee. Not by there really being mermaids. The least plausible explanation for the concept of unicorn is that there are unicorns. Just as the least plausible explanation for the concept of Santa Claus is that there is a Santa; and the least plausible explanation for the concept of the Easter Bunny is that there is an Easter Bunny. Why should you think that the most plausible explanation for your concept of unicorn is that there are unicorns prancing around?

I read that you are a science writer. Then you must know that it is a good idea that when you seek an explanation for some phenomena (like your having the concept of unicorn) it is probably not wise to choose the least plausible explanation. Or, do you think there is but one explanation for why you have the concept of unicorn? Namely, there are unicorns?

You say unicorn exist, but are not real. Could you explain the distinction between exist and real to me. Is it like, fake diamonds exist, but are not real diamonds; or fake pearls exist, but are not real pearls? Could you mean that fake unicorns exist, but are not real unicorns. But what is a fake unicorn? I have never heard that expression, but on analogy with my previous example of real and fake in the case of pearls and diamonds, a fake unicorn would be something that looks sort of like a unicorn, that a drunk might misperceive as a unicorn, but which is not a unicorn. But since you are the one who tells me that unicorns exist, but are not real, you'd better be the one that explains what you are saying.

Actually, the term "exist" is a common term in English, like the term "table" or the term "lamp", and, so, has a common ordinary meaning, and is not precarious at all. It simply means, having attributes. (That is why there are no unicorns; there is nothing that has the attributes that unicorns are said to have) But, I agree, that people who think that the term "exist" is some kind of "superterm" that doesn't have an ordinary meaning (like "lamp&quotEye-wink like philosophers, are apt to invent some extremely odd meaning for it. By the way, exactly the same is true of the word "real". "Real" means in English, not fake, or sometimes, not imaginary. So when you say that unicorns are real, is that what you are saying- that they are not fake, and not imaginary. If that is what you are saying (and that is how the term "real" is used) then can you support the contention that unicorns are neither fake nor are they imaginary?

StMichael wrote:
Again, not a first cause. A necessary being needs to exist for eternal moons to exist.

When universe = space/time/physics [matter/energy—m/e], and space is considered to be a volume, describable by x + i

wherein

x = radius [finite radius] of a finite volume, an x-volume
i = radius [infinite radius] of an infinite volume, an i-volume, which surrounds any and all finite x-volumes

... and ...

finite = having physical/mathematical limits
infinite = having no physical/mathematical limits

... and ...

the extrapolation principle = what is observed at local/finite scalar levels can be assumed to exist at all other scalar levels until disconfirming cases are observed

... then the volume of space = i-volume and is therefore infinite in size—having no physical/mathematical limits.

All other concepts of space are therefore irrational/nonsense.

Inre Physics—Matter/Energy

A closed matter/energy [m/e] system has the following characteristics:

1. M/E cannot be added (where would the additional m/e come from?).
2. M/E cannot be removed (where would the removed m/e go?).
3. The total m/e is a constant (because no m/e can be added/removed).
4. The m/e can be changed in form [m->e {m = e/c2} or e->m {e = mc2}] but never destroyed (where would the destroyed m/e go?), therefore the m/e is indestructible/conserved.

The m/e of the universe is a closed m/e system because it has the following characteristics:

1. M/E cannot be added (where would the additional m/e come from?).
2. M/E cannot be removed (where would the removed m/e go?).
3. The total of the universal m/e is a constant (because no m/e can be added/removed).
4. The m/e can be changed in form [m->e {m = e/c2} or e->m {e = mc2}] but never destroyed (where would the destroyed m/e go?), therefore the m/e is indestructible/conserved.

Because there is/can be only one i-volume inre space, and all the matter/energy of the universe must fit within the i-volume, there are no parallel universes and no multiple universes.

Inre Time:

Time = The measurement of the occurrences of events by the use of durations called time-intervals.

When time-intervals are equal—they are invariable/never vary, they generate a timemap/timeline, a history, and a continuum of time.

StMichael wrote:
The program does not exist in the chip. The program is information. The information only exists in the chip as the chip has signs which have information in relation to us. I would argue, however, that the program is in the physical world in the sense that the immaterial form of the program exists dependent upon the matter in order to exist. But the concept of the program is still immaterial, even if it depends on matter.

Software and Hardware are both unquestionably physical; very rigidly physical in fact.

Again, what are your thoughts on AI? Careful, it's a trick question as I'm sure you've noted.

StMichael wrote:
Or not. The mind uses the brain, but is not necessarily dependent upon it. This is clear from the proofs I offered earlier.

I find this all a bit muddled and even contradictory, but interesting nonetheless.

The first quote above leads to an observation of where God came from.  God and the supernatural was invented as an answer to the "why" questions A_t posed, and other such "why" and "where from?"  questions.  God and the supernatural have hung around at least in part because many people still require some sort of answer to those questions.  As A_t himself said, "The reason a supernatural causes is invoked is due to the limitations of a so-called natural cause."  Where we lack solid explanations, God is invoked by some to fill in the gaps.

Many of the more straightforward questions to which supernatural explanations were once the answer (such as where thunder and lightning came from, and where does disease come from) have been answered.  Note that "Where did the diversity of life come from?" has also been thoroughly answered, though the question of how life originated is still open.

In other words, "the limitations of a so-called natural cause", for which supernatural causes are invoked to explain by some, has been steadily shrinking.  Most everyday things are now well-explained naturally.  What the supernaturalists are left with now are invoking their supernatural causes for "ultimate origins" such as the origin of life and the universe, or for invented "limitations" such as "irreducible complexity."

A_t is absolutely right when he says that "the undisputed fact of nature’s existence provides no reason or explanation for its existence", and when he poses the question "on what grounds does reality owe us an explanation?"

The problem lies in posing the "why" questions in the first place.  Why are we here?  There's no "why" answer in particular - it's just a brute fact that we are.  If we weren't here, we couldn't ask that question.  There is no other answer to that "why" question.  (This question might be better put as "how did we/the universe come to be?", which is how science approaches it).

And, because we are here, and because we've evolved complex brains, we've come up with a bunch of "why" questions.  We're a curious lot.  We've been able to answer a lot of such questions, and are inventive enough to make up answers for what we can't (as of yet) answer.  "God/the supernatural" is one of the answers we've invented.  But, as I mentioned, the domain of questions for which God/the supernatural is useful or necessary (to some) at all as an "answer" has been steadily shrinking.  It's more like a placeholder than an answer, a guess rather than an actual explanation, and invoking "God" actually raises more questions than it answers.  For example, if "God" is posed as the answer for "why are we here?", then it raises the question as to "why is God here?"

Summary: the best explanation as to where God came from is that we invented it.  There's considerable evidence from history as to how god-belief came about and evolved over time.  There's no solid evidence supporting the belief that God invented us - only various myths (including myths such as "irreducible complexity", BTW), which are explainable by my answer as to "where God came from" - we invented the myths.  And the gaps in our understanding for which the God-myth is a convenient and imaginative filler are steadily shrinking.  I wonder what will happen as more and more of them are filled in.

StMichael wrote:
Catholics are not stupid; we know that people get drunk and that retarded people exist. The mind does not get drunk, the body does. The chemicals that exist in the brain are interfered with and the mind cannot use the body in the same way it did before. As material things are the objects of human thought, we must use them in order to think about something. So, if you hurt the means of knowledge, knowing is impeded.

We have evidence of the brain. We don't have evidence of a "mind" other than as an abstract concept generated by us to describe an ineffable self-referential quality of perception. Why assume that it is the "mind" that commands the brain without some sort of evidence?

Once again, you are the one making the assertions, so back them up.

StMichael wrote:
I never argued that the mind existed from evolution. Further, matter exists in the real world, apart from our concept of it.

I have a couple of questions for all of you big-bang skeptics:
Have you studied the big bang model? If so, in how much depth? What predictions do you think it makes, and which of these are confirmed or refuted? What evidence supports or refutes them?
Have any of you done the math, worked out the equations, or done any sort of work on the subject?

If you have not done these things, but yet you're criticizing the big bang theory, you're in a pitch black room, throwing rocks at a black cat which may or may not be in there. You don't even know what the hell you're criticizing, much less what may or may not be wrong with them.

I certainly haven't done all of them. I am, appearantly, familiar with more of the evidence for the big bang than you are (do the words "quark-gluon plasma" mean anything to you? They do to me.), but I am still not even an amateur (which implies more familiarity with the subject than I would describe myself as having), just a biology major with some interest in, if little understanding of, physics. I could not criticize the big bang theory for the life of me.

However, there are people who spend their lives doing just that. We call them "physicists" (yes, far from all physicists do this, but there are many who do). They understand how to do the math, they know (some of)what to look for, and how to investigate it (or how to learn how to investigate it, anyhow). They tell me, and have explained why to the best of my current capacity to understand, why they have confidence in the theory up until the point at which it breaks down. I can look on www.sciencedaily.com and see many articles about various predictions of the big bang (and other related theories) being tested and confirmed in particle accelerators, by satellites, and by observing the 13.7 billion light-year radius observable universe.

Am I skeptical of its complete, 100% accuracy? Sure, just as I am of theories I understand better; I know there is some room for error, and probably much we haven't even imagined yet, and that the theory will likely have to be modified or replaced some day (but, if it is replaced, the new theory will predict EXACTLY THE SAME RESULTS for everything we have observed up until now, which indicates that the big bang theory is, at least, mostly dead-on). But that doesn't mean we can't be confident in the results in areas that are bracketed by observations of that time, space, or similar conditions.

As an analogy to evolution, there are things we may not know about yet; perhaps some of the RNA in a cell contributes more to inheritance or evolution than we presently realize. But, if and when we learn such, that will change some of the details of the theory, not suddenly indicate that life didn't evolve.

StMichael wrote:
This argument does not follow.

Whatever...
StMichael wrote:
So we agree?

No.
StMichael wrote:
And what does this have to do with anything?If you are referring to the mind, the mind is the substantial form of the human being. I am my action. The perfect whole involves matter, but my substantial form is just my soul. The mind is not just a part; my mind is me.

No, you'll need to answer the question of what is "mind" without brain ???
StMichael wrote:
And? What does this have to do with anything?

If the word is determinate, if from state S1 of the universe we can calulate s2 in the future, Laplaces demon knows the future and fee will is impossible. Determinate here is opposite of free will. If the universe is determinate, and god can be a Laplacian demon, we have no free will.

This came out of the rebirth of atomism. Long ago, atomist Epicurus was disturbed by  ideas that the Universe, being made of atoms mechanicall rebounding off each other implied a determinate Universe. He declared that atoms from time swerved randomly. This broke up strict Laplacian determinism and kapt free will alive. He was derided for his obvious ad hocism by others, mainly Stoics.

But quantum physics does come to Epicurus's rescue. Things do swerve in a fashion.

You can take a cylinder of gas and calculate pressure and temperature and know exactly what your collection of atoms are doing. You cannot say what an individual atom will be doing 24 hours from now. Its determinate but not really to us. Maybe to a demon?

Quantum effects likewise allow a determinate word of laws of phsyics and chemistry we can use, but destroys strict detemination, its literally impossible even in theory to know the exact nature of the universe at state S2. Nor is it a case of hiddeen varuiabe we just do not know like our cylinder of gas.

The disproval of the Bell inequaiity theorum shows no hidden variables exist.

So all these quantum effects give us an Epicurus swerve that break hard determination. The butterfly effect takes care of the rest.

We can have laws that tell us how a galaxy forms and acts, but not which star will form wih a planet that will have intelligent life an a man named John Smith living at 1456 South Main in Houston, Texas.

That level of determinancy is forever broken.

Laplaces's demon is dead. Epicurus would dance a happy jig if he knew.

StMichael wrote:
The idea might be found in matter, but it exists in the mind in an immaterial manner. The mind itself and its process of understanding is immaterial (and hence does not need matter to exist)

First, "material" explanations are not needed. By "mechanism" I mean at least an explanation or train of reasoning explaining how "X" (free will, thought, valid induction etc.) could be so. One needn't posit materialism to realize such questions exist in a world view such as yours. As long as you have causation in any realm, material or "spiritual" you are stuck with logical consequences. (And if you retreat to uncaused all over the place, you undermine your reasoning elsewhere).

Remember my posts earlier about free will? I pointed out how your world view has you inhabiting the same world as I do. That, unless you reject the findings of all science, you have to accept your body and brain are made up of the same atoms/chemistry/gene controls etc. as any other human being's body. All those have pointed consequences for your free will in this universe...along with all the "causes" within your life that have led to your being in X mental state at Y time. You either ignore these problems and admit your world view doesn't reconcile them with your purported free will, or you just ignore them and admit yet another area in which your world view is impotent or vacuous. The more areas in which we find you saying "I don't have an explanation...in my world view I don't have to explain this" the more your world view is shown as vacuous and incapable of handling inconvenient details and questions.

Essentially your case always boils down to ignoring inconvenient details and special pleading. Not unexpected when one uses magical mysteries in place of reasoning and explanation. But, it does illuminate the weakness and underlying impotence of your world view.

StMichael wrote:
God is willing and able to prevent evil. He does not will evil in a primary sense. In a secondary sense, He wills free will and thus allows evil to exist to a limited extent. However, evil will eventually be destroyed in God’s wisdom. For now, God allows evil to exist to bring about a greater good.

Like i said on the other thread...

Is he busy? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he somewhere else? Then he is not omnipresent.
Is he ignorant that I made the request? Then he is not omniscient.

All such excuses implies that a supposedly limitless God has limitations.

StMichael wrote:
First, it depends on your definition of “lift.” As an immaterial entity, God cannot “lift” with arms and legs. God, I suppose, could make a rock and make it levitate. But this is irrelevant. In the end, this problem involves a contradiction. You are defining the terms: “Can God do something He cannot do.” It just sounds like “Can X = Y,” where the real question is: “Can X = ~X” which is of course impossible.

God cannot be omnipotent and omniscient at the same time. If God is omniscient, then He knows everything that He will do, and thus cannot change what He will do without knowing about what He will do. If God decides to create a tree, then changes His mind, God will forsee that He will change his mind. Thus, God does not have the power to change his mind. (this also contradicts God having free will) But if God were omnipotent, He could have this power. Therefore God cannot be omniscient, omnipotent, and have free will at the same time.

Omnipotence is logically impossible, as per the stone analogy. Ya know, God cannot both create an unliftable stone and be able to lift it, since if God lifts it, it is no longer unliftable, and if God can't lift it, then God is not omnipotent since there is something He cannot do.

God is supposedly omnipresent (meaning everywhere at once) yet Christians contend that God is not present in hell. If God were omnipresent, then God would also be in hell. But since God is not in hell, you can't call Him truly omnipresent.

God is also perfect in every way. Therefore, God would not have a need to create the universe and everything in it. God would already have everything He needs. God would also not have a want to create a universe, since a want means that something is lacking. So yeah, if God were truly perfect, we wouldn't be here.

God supposedly loves everyone infinitely. Yet there are some that go to hell, according to the Christian belief. If God were both all loving and all powerful, there would be no one in hell, since God could prevent people from going to hell, being all powerful.

God supposedly knows everything. Yet God created Satan. God would have known that Satan would become evil and betray God. So why would an all-knowing God create Satan in the first place (or even have a want or need to create Satan)? Furthermore, since God is supposed to love us so much, why would He create an evil deity that causes suffering and evil?

God is supposedly atemporal as well. If God were truly timeless, the phrase "God created everything in 7 days" would be meaningless, since days are a time period. Everything that has ever and will ever happen happens at once to God.

God is supposedly intangible as well. If He were intangible, and cannot be detected in any way, then how can anyone hope to prove God's existence? The Bible is not evidence for God in itself. If the Bible were evidence, then so would every single written piece of material. I guess that would mean that all the supposedly 'fictional" characters exist as well. Say, is that Harry Potter over there? The Christian way is to just have faith, which means that they have to believe in something that is not known to be true., and is therefore irrelevant.

And now, my favorite one. Christians often say that their God is beyond logic as a defense to all these points. Now, if God were truly beyond logic, then there would be no way for humans to be able to describe, or even know about. Christians attempt to attribute qualities to God, but that is an act that requires logic. Even giving Him the name "God" is a logical act. If God were beyond logic, then He would have no qualities describable by man. (If anyone tries to tell you that God is beyond logic, challenge them to describe God without using logic. As soon as they say a word, stop them, since using words is a logical action.)

Some contend that God is equal to logic, and is within logical bounds, yet I have clearly demonstrated that not to be so. Furthermore, that would make something equal to God, and therefore, God alone would not be the highest thing in the universe.

And don't let any of them try the "God is within logical bounds" trick. Obviously that would put something, logic, higher than God.


In conclusion, the Christian God is indeed highly illogical, and irrelevant to believe in, therefore, god is imaginary = non-existent.

StMichael wrote:
And?Do we agree?God causes free will to exist (and hence all its decision), but does not negate free will’s ability to freely choose.

Depends how you define Omnipotence and Free Will and what point of view you are arguing.

If you take Omnipotence literally, then its omnipotence, meaning can do anything, no limits. But that obviously leads to the classic contradiction of doing something that can't be done, ie - the rock routine. So apologetics slip in the 'logically possible' exception instead of simply just abandoning the flawed concept altogether.

If you take Free Will literally, it means just that, unfettered, uninfluenced ability to choose what one will. Again, this is a flawed concept, there is no such thing as Free Will, because everything influences everything else. In the xian bible reality, god supposedly gives humans free will, but threatens to whack them if they don't choose what god wants. That is not free will, that's a sadistic game. Like the old saying goes, if you love something, set it free and if it loves you it will return of its own free accord and you truly will know it wants to be with you. Probably because whatever you have to offer is better than whatever else is available but maybe because it loves you. But having a shotgun ready to blast it if it looks like it might keep on going is only going to tell you it doesn't like being blasted out of the sky. Free Will is non-existent and just another apologetic ruse to explain a non-existent being they want to believe in and/or give an excuse for the appalling nature reported of that being and why it doesn't show its face any more.

StMichael wrote:
How about a unicorn?

Because "nonexistence exists" is obscure, philosophese, and incomprehensible without a lot of interpretation, but what I wrote is clear, not philosophese, and comprehensible straight away.

However, I am not persuaded that you really do mean what I mean. I just mean that there are concepts without objects. Or terms without referents. The concept exists, but what it is a concepts of does not. The term exist, but what it purports to refer to, does not. You, on the other hand keep issuing the challenge to name what does not exist. I can do that easily. Unicorns do not exist. Mermaids do not exist. (In other words, the term "unicorn" does not have a referent, and the term "mermaid" does not have a referent). But I don't think you would issue that challenge if you understood what I mean when I interpret the obscure, "nonexistence does not exist". Since it is so easy to name what does not exist.

StMichael wrote:
And this is the definition of truth: conformity of the intellect to reality. Same thing.Nevertheless, I don’t see the relevance.

The mind cannot be separated from reality but reality can be separated form minds. Reality does not need minds. Minds need reality.
StMichael wrote:
No cause is necessary or required. I am not arguing absolutely everything needs a cause. I am merely positing that there is required one cause without a further cause.

Logic has nothing to do with it; and the scientific method indicates that you are wrong.

Total Initial Energy = Total Final Energy.

That line above should be enough to convinve that the energy that became the universe has always existed and will always exist.

There cant be energy showing up here and dissapearing over there.

Sure we can have matter and anti-matter pairs showing up here and there, but they surely obey that sentence since their energy isnt created nor doesnt it cease to exist.

Simple quantum fluctuations.

Also, defining time as a dimension is a precipitation, since time is relative to mass, or as i rather see it, relative to the ammount of caos. It is an illusory concept caused by movement, or rather the workings of entrophy.

If we take time as a dimension, and take the universe to have began to exist in a violation of the principle of conservation of energy, we will come to the conslusion that time didnt exist before the universe.

If there is no movement, there is no change in entrophy, and no change in time. It wouldnt be measurable.

Why do people use QM to disqualify causality? Because we may not know everything doesnt mean things dont obey a cause and effect. The probability if photons averaging out to be observed somewhere does hold true, but saying that they end up where they do because they are being measured is just making up stuff. The probability of a photon hitting a place instead of another is a result from the unknown charachteristics of its mechanics before it left an atom, and it goes on backwards as it will go on forward. If causality were to break down (trully, not due our unability to observe), the principle of conservation of energy would be destroyed, and nothing would be impossible.

Thus we come back to the universe itself. Using Occam's Razor, we can slash cut made up ideas that were created to try to explain the universe that are not required. A god creating the universe begs to what created god and icreases the complexity of the existance of the universe. We can disqualify it. Same for multiverses and everything outside of our boundaries of observation and induction. If we simply say the universe seems to have been created in a Big Bang, but we are unable to determine its origin (and therefore destiny), we can assume, for sake of simplicity, that the energy in the univere has always existed in one form or another and will continue to do so. This idea, as of now, is unable to establish what caused the universe to be what is like now, but all the degrees of knowledge remain the minimum necessary to explain things.

I dont know would fit very nice. And assuming the most conservative theories helps furhter by reducing speculation and promoting concentration of effort on thinking up theories that explain and predict reality as we can observe. Inventing supre branes to explain the energy we see could only be fruitful if it produced results that could at least be mathematically consistent. Since we we dont know many things, there is a high degree of uncertainty regarding the origins of the universe and calculating superbranes and multiverses is a simple waste of time and energy. Inventin a god that is infinte, again, only adds an unnecessary degree of complexity that doesnt help determine anything at all, and so must be discarded too. Inventing causes to explain the effects observe doesnt fit with science.

StMichael wrote:
I think that is too limited a use of the word “natural.” What is the nature of thing? A nature is that which determines what a thing is. Its “quiddity,” to use the Aristotelian term. A natural action, for instance, would be an action proceeding from what it is properly; not accidental. A material thing’s natural action would be in keeping with its nature as a material entity. Unicorns act according to their unicorn natural when they act naturally. God is supernatural because He is above our nature, not because He is beyond His own nature. The term supernatural only designates “above” the natural. His power or knowledge, for example, is above ours (as possible in general, not just my knowledge), and hence “supernatural.”

This would rule out a priori any belief in supernatural. If there is physical evidence of a supernatural event then it ceases to be supernatural.
StMichael wrote:
God just knows and acts eternally in a perfect manner. He does not exist in time, so there is no movement in His will. His will is eternally fixed in a perfect manner. God, in a manner of speaking, has already made/is constantly acting on all His “decisions.” There is no deliberation in God, because there is no need.

Does a god made of nothing make sence to you ?
StMichael wrote:
I know that I am thinking. No problem.

Critical thinking is discouraged/not taught
StMichael wrote:
We might not know from our own minds what other people think. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot. That is what speech and body language indicates to us.

Languages has evovled as a result of people being separated form each other and evolving divergent forms. There are several factors that influence this.

In older days - before writing was invented, and in particular fonetic writing - words that was perhaps similar originally diverged simply by people living away from each others. We see exactly the same happening every day around us - first they start out as variant forms, then dialects etc etc. According to the biblical view, american and english should have been identical if it weren't for some tower of babel consturct or other divine intervention to ensure that they differred. Yet, they are similar enough that an american has in general no problem understanding a brittish and vice versa so as a means of defeating communication it would be pointless.

In scandinavia people originally spoke the same language in sweden, denmark and finland and before that it was the same language as in northern germany. The scandinavian languages evolved away from northern germany and became a separate language. Then in mideval times education improved and we got states that started schools and teaching people the national language. Thus, in sweden they learned swedish and if you happened to grow up in Norway you learned Danish at the time (Norway was under danish rule). However, people near the border between norway and sweden spoke more or less the same language. However, as a result of the schooling influence their spelling and grammar diverged and followed the national forms rather than the dialectal forms that was similar on both side of the border. In the 19th century Norway experienced a growing nationalism and people wanted to re-establish "norwegian" as they recognized the language spoken in the cities to be heavily influenced by danish. Thus, Ivar Aasen went around rural areas and gathered words and grammatical rules and from this created a language called "landsmaal" or (national language). To counter this move, people in the cities who wanted to keep their forms created a language they called "riskmaal" (national language) which was originally essentially very close to danish but still distinct from it.

When translated to english the names for both languages becomes "national language" and that was because "land" = country while "rike" is also a word for "country" with each their separate etymology where "risk" is similar to the german word "reich" and "land" is similar to many other germanic language's word as the english word for "land&quotEye-wink. The word land also have a double meaning in that it can also mean "rural area" as opposed to "urban area" and I guess that was also intentional.

However, even those two langauges has evolved. The landsmaal evolved into "nynorsk" (new norwegian) while riskmaal has evolved into "bokmaal" (book language) and both langauges and forms are used in Norway today. That is why a passport in norway has both the name "Norge" (bokmaal for norway) and "Noreg" (nynorsk for Norway) written on it. In addition we also have sami language which is spoken by the sami people in Norway and that language is completely different as it is not even a germanic language but belong to the same language family as finnish and hungarian.

Yet a modern theory as to how and why languages evolves has no problem to explain it. There are many processes that occur that causes language to change over time. You see it every day. The slang today is different from how it was 50 years ago. or even 20 years ago. That is language in evolution as you watch!

StMichael wrote:
It is not a self telling my mind to think. The mind is thinking happening.

I do not know about any god(s); I do not believe in god(s).

I only know what I can experience or imagine, and I can never know for sure if my experiences or imaginations indicate any real or permanent truth. Therefore, as this is all I really have to grasp the nature of reality, to navigate through it if you will, and since we all have our own different ways of navigating reality, I tend to trust my own methods more than others.

Ok, so you asked about evidence, but would evidence that convinces me also convince you too? Who knows, but with that caveat here goes. You say that old memories are erased and only the highlights are kept. Ok, well that seems convenient and reasonable, probably describes the common experience, but how to account for those rare moments when long forgotten memories are triggered and return with a great amount of detail? I think that all our memories are kept (somewhere).

How can we be sure if what is recalled is an actual memory that belongs to us, or simply made up on the fly causing the sensation of an actual memory? Take a moment to consider this question very carefully; because it does not apply only to old memories, it applies to recent memories of last week, last night, two hours ago, five minutes ago, one second ago, etc, etc. If some demon were putting memories into our minds that did not belong to us, would we know the difference?

The problem is more than memory recall; we also need to know if we are recalling our own memories or if it is something else. The reason I mention this is a phenomenon called past life regression. It is similar to ordinary hypnotic regression, in fact, was discovered during clinical hypnotic regressions where the patient, who was expected to recall a period of childhood, regressed even farther to a past life. Now, you might be skeptical, as you should be, but whether past lives are real or not, it is the extraordinary degree of detail that is recalled that might be of some interest to you, since you said that the detail is erased. So, the question is, if this is not an actual past life regression, then whose memories are being recalled? It has been reported that some of these patients can even speak a foreign language, which they cannot ordinarily do. Unless these psychologists are intentionally risking their reputations to pull a hoax, then we might consider their research as evidence of memories that cannot possibly be stored in the brain.

Here is another experience that you may have never had, but I have many times. It happens on the cusp of sleep where I begin to recall past dreams. Usually, the dreams are the strange ones, the ones I never recall during ordinary waking consciousness. I know, it does not prove anything, but it does bulk up the quantity of memories that must be accounted for, if memory is truly stored in the brain.

StMichael wrote:
Free will indicates that the agent acts naturally, not violently. It indicates lack of external coercion. It does not affect internal “natural coercion.” My will moves my own will.

Isn't consciousness, therefore mind, really a potentiality of physical material and energy? Matter can be arranged in various forms - as matter is constructed into physical objects that reflect a brain and energy is used to alter the brain in specific manners we achieve consciousness. This is no different from arranging matter in a specific manner - supplying energy and achieving the internet.

As for determinism - quantum theory would appear to make determinism very difficult. Things can still be calculated in probabilistic ways but the ability to acquire exactly the same results with exactly the same sets of preconditions may depend on the scale of assessment and the level of precision inherent to the assessment.

As for freewill - our experience is not the subject of or the creator of the workings of the brain - it is the workings of the brain. The nondeterministic variability of the variables that are required to result in thought means we are not controlled and not in control - we simply are!

StMichael wrote:
You paint my argument as “d,” but I do not accept that we are merely robots operating according to mysterious souls. Except that there is a fifth option. The fifth option is this: the mind is the form of the body. I am a body and a soul together. My soul is the acting of my body. My mind can exist apart from my body, but it is not properly the whole “me.” My body is truly mine. It is “this” person who knows, not a universal soul, or something else. My mind knows by means of my senses. This is called hylomorphism.

I was talking about Anselm of Canturbury of course, 1033-1109. I can't believe you've never heard of him.

Concerning Aristotle, I never claimed that Aristotle was totally unknown or unstudied in the early middle ages, only that he was much neglected. Those philosophers did know of Aristotle and his philosophy; they simply didn't agree with it to any great extent, although most came to accept hylomorphism and they did credit Aristotle with setting up the framework for logical argumentation.

Concerning Albertus Magnus, yes, he was an aristotelean to the core. So was Aquinas. Starting with these men, aristoteleanism started to emerge in Europe. This also corresponds to the establishment of the Dominican order, a highly aristotelean order. But you're forgetting that their views were not widely well-regarded by the Franciscans, by the rest of the Church, by other philosophers, or by anyone else, for a long time. You seem to think that once Aquinas hits the scene, all of a sudden all the scholars in Europe became aristoteleans. Not so. Aristotelean philosophy would still take a while to percolate through Europe, starting (as I've said before) with hylomorphism and gradually moving on to other nominalist views. You mention that the university in Paris started teaching Aristotle in 1255, but you ignore (and in an earlier post, downplay) the condemnation of 1277, which condemned "radical aristoteleanism" including many of Aquinas's doctrines. On another thread, I've said that you tend to count the hits and forget the misses, and it sure seems you're stilll doing it.

On to other matters: I don't make the claim that philosophy would have turned to aristoteleanism immediately and naturally in the early middle ages without Christianity. All I'm claiming is that it might have. The possibility would have been there. With Christianity on the scene, with its early obsessive drive toward neoplatonist ideals, the possibility was not there. I want to stay away from claims along the lines of "History would have been different if..." because such claims are totally impossible to establish. I'm taling about possibilities only. There's no certainty that European paganism would have become dominant instead of some other religion like Islam. If Islam dominatated, we would have had aristoteleanism a lot sooner. It's also by no means clear that paganism would have remained wholly neoplatonic - Christian philosophers evenually went aristotelean, so why wouldn't pagan ones? These are the kind of asumptions that I won't make any claims about, because they're just too slippery. But I maintain that the only thing holding back the advance toward scientific thinking in the early middle ages was the obsessive drive by Christian philosophers toward neoplatonic ideals.

StMichael wrote:
No evidence for… what? My phrase initially was: But that does not mean that we would not eventually arrive at a first cause. It could have been, but that universe depended on something else, ect., back to the First Cause. “That's a lot of maybes, and maybes do not a proof, make.” The First Cause is logically necessary, regardless of whatever things come in the middle.

You've pointed out some valid flaws which I had realised after I posted my argument and gone to bed (tossing and turning).

Perhaps I should have phrased it like this:

A) Scientific knowledge is incomplete - this we all know

B) The problem with logical methodology is that we generally fail to account for every possible assumption that may flaw our argument. We are required to simplify the model for the practical purposes of debate and we cannot include assumptions that we do not no about (duh!)

The Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser shows us that we often make the following assumption:

A "cause" in the past results in an "effect" in the future.

When indeed it has been observed that a "cause" in the future can influence an "effect" in the past.

My point is not to debate how this example might affect our average argument here at RRS, but rather to illustrate that we are only working with a part of the formula, an incomplete model. It is here that logic is flawed.
In essence this might just be a qualification for premise A.

C) There exist certain "Life Sciences" such as Heremtics, Alchemy and Esoterica which claim to have knowedge of aspects of the Universe not currently wholly quantifiable by the hard sciences, concepts such as God, demons, angels, the human soul, reincarnation etc.

The reason that the Hermetic sciences do not contain any "hard" proveable evidence is because like psychology their subject matter cannot currently be exactly quantified or qualified and reduced to specific formulae. Any "hard" aspects that were historically part of the Hermetic sciences have either developed into hard science or been absorbed by it. This is not to say that hard sciences do not contain an element of "softness" / "fuzziness" due to hypothetical areas, but the underlying data on which these hypotheses is based is pretty much "hard evidence". It is logical that any "hard evidence" would fall under the ambit of the hard sciences and therefore anything with "hard data" in Hermetics would be claimed as the ambit of hard science.

To illustrate, the 4 states of matter (solid, liquid, gas, plasma) which were originally based on the 4 elements of alchemy (earth, water, air, fire) currently fall under the ambit of the hard sciences. (This however does not exclude them from the domain of Alchemy.)

D) Many religions exist that also claim to account for concepts that are currently not wholly proveable / disproveable by the hard sciences.

Okay so due to A and B it is foolish to discount C or D (will substantiate this further on). D, while perhaps a somewhat "practical" model is fraught with contradictions and tends to lack scientific method (except perhaps for a few exceptions). C is a more viable model for investigation in the modern western world since it is literally the forefather of modern science and indeed invented many aspects of the scientific method - it is closer to modern science. (For example, a Magician keeps a Magickal diary to assess cause and effect relationships with any magickal workings.)

One reason why it might be foolish to discount C or D is history. We have seen that aspects that fall under the domain of C have come to be adopted by modern science (both hard and soft) and that Alchemists and Hermeticists, critical thinkers were directly responsible for the development of science.

Another small example might be the fact that ancient Greek philosophers theorised that matter was composed of elementary "particles". Though the math might have been wrong at the time, and certainly not responsible for such a hypothesis, it would have been counterintuitive for this theory to have developed by chance without some sort of mystical "observation" or insight. (though I admit not wholly impossible).

I also find it interesting and I might be wrong here, but I think that the fourth state of matter (plasma) was only relatively recently discovered - whereas the 4 elements were positied thousands of years ago. Bear in mind that the 4th element Fire does not literally mean fire, but is rather a category of classification as Earth relates to solid, Water to liquid. Air also seems a bit counterintuitive but I don't know exactly what facilities they had back in those days to percieve gasseous states so I may be wrong.

Another reason not to discount C or D is one of practicality. I used the example earlier of the Khoi San hunting rituals. An observeable cause-effect relationship exists for the Khoi San where successful hunts are partly dependant on successful ritual enactments. The exact mechanics of this are irrlevant. The effect however is vital to the Khoi San's survival. As with modern ceremonial Magick, the desired effect is the import thing not the exact mechanics in scientific terms although a lot of theories are currently going around. A Magician confirms the effects of his magical workings through a magical diary. Although this cause-effect relationship cannot be demonstrated scientifically (yet), it can be observed subjectively and many aspects of hermetics can be validated via general consensus. Unfortunately this means that the only way to verify this information is to pretty much become practically involved in such workings. If someone is not willing to make this investment then so be it. I have no "hard evidence" to offer.

StMichael wrote:
And? This isn’t an argument, so I don’t know how to respond…

Brainwashing 101
StMichael wrote:
In heaven one has free will. But suffering cannot exist in heaven because heaven is the perfect possession of the Good. I’m not sure precisely what you are asking/saying. My answer to…what?

In later Christianity heaven and the throne of god were out beyond the Ptolemaic outer celestial star sphere.

Ptolemy's system was accepted by the Christian intellectuals from the late Roman period through the middle ages, and some refused to give it up even after Kepler and Newton ! This is what was taught in the universities and in the abbeys. Ptolemy's system is really a refinement of Aristotle's cosmology as I understand it.

Wiki has an article about ptolemy's celestial system with a little diagram of it but for some reason the enlarge button is no working. [URL="http://www.egodeath.com/ptolemaiccosmology.htm"]This Link[/URL] tells about it and there is a diagram a few pgdn's down the page.

Basically, the Ptolemaic system has a spherical earth at the center of the cosmos, with the sun, moon, planets and stars (order like moon, fast planets, sun, slow planets and stars) fixed on concentric spheres that rotate around the earth. (the objects themselves also rotate in small epicycles, etc)

Out beyond the outermost star celestial sphere is where the levels of heaven start and their god(s) lived out there and that is supposedly wher eheaven was. The Ptolemaic system is also what is being referenced in Dante's Divine Comedy,(in the Paradisio part of course).

It is clear that the Ptolomeic system is not really compatible with the Genesis 1 model, and some, like Augustine, simply interpreted Gen 1 metaphorically. Others seem to have resolved contradictions between the genesis model and Ptolemy's.(Just like biblical literalists today somehow resolve it with modern cosmology, I guess).

So, my guess would be that Christians pretty much believed that heaven, or the kingdom of heaven was up in the sky somewhere.  In one of the NT gospels, Jesus is portrayed as  "ascending" up into heaven.

As I remember,  the apocalpse of John of Patmos (or "Revelation" as some Bibles call it) has a scene where god peels back the firmament and stars fall to earth.  In that scene, I think the author thinks of the earth as being like a terrarium with a cover, and with one of their gods (god or Jesus) peeling away the firmament. (think of it like you were sitting in a covered stadium and a giant tore off the top).  This model is more in line with the genesis firmament and the "circle of the earth". In that passage, I always thought of it like the circle of the earth was a reference to the outer layer of the firmament.

An omniscient God cannot have free will either, as He cannot act differently to what He knows He will do. Which, I suppose, implies that an omniscient God and the totality of existence is immutable.

StMichael wrote:
Ok… how does that point argue anything?

Next.
StMichael wrote:
But this is not my argument. An actual infinite number of efficient causes cannot exist because then no effects would exist. It requires one uncaused cause. Further, I never claimed that I meant an infinite number of “things” but of efficient causes.Further, the last premise (UniversePlus has no beginning) is a logical fallacy. You illegitimately apply the part to the whole. The universe depends on God to begin to exist, but God does not begin to exist.
for all real non-zero numbers: m
m/0 is undefined (no solution because no two real non-zero numbers can be multiplied together to yeild zero)
0/0 has infinite solutions (any real number can be multiplied by zero to yeild zero)
0 x infinity=0 (any number multiplied by zero equals zero)
Therefore "Infinite Power" proof is incorrect
StMichael wrote:
It merely indicates that God never used any pre-existing “thing” to create the universe out of. It does not mean that He made nothing something, again. I agree that “nothing” does not exist. StMichael wrote:And I am not claiming that you ought to accept that God exists based on faith. I am claiming that you ought to accept that God exists based on reason alone. You can know that God exists without faith, and it is knowledge. Further, faith is a type of knowledge. It is not "anti-knowledge" (as such a thing cannot exist). Faith has justifications and reasons, but they are different than purely natural inquiry (like science or physics or philosophy). Faith believes that a proposition is true because God has revealed it (and God cannot decieve, nor can He be decieved). Faith accepts some thing as true because of the authority that reveals it is trustworthy. Thus, it has a rational justification.I have a special book that explains a lot of things. Would you please believe in my special book? It says its true, and it will be true if you believe it. In fact, if you believe it enough, you will be able to fly and will become really rich and popular and be able to cure diseases. So its important to believe it, so please believe it. We need people who can fly and are rich and popular and can cure everybody who is sick. No, I would not because you offer no evidence that believing your book would make me fly. If, however, you began to fly and cure diseases, I would believe that, reasonably, I would fly and cure diseases if I believed your book.On a last note, this is an improper analogy on a lot of levels. We do not claim that people ought to believe the Scriptures because “it says its true and it will be true if you believe it.” We believe the Scriptures because God’s authority was made manifest through miracles and prophecies which attest to the truth of what is written in the Scriptures. Also, it has nothing to do with believing in the Scriptures enough – we never promise to all Catholics the ability to work miracles. It is a special gift of grace from God. Lastly, we never advocate that we need people who can work miracles. Miracles are a special thing God performs in certain instances; they are not ordinary and it would make no sense to advocate them because God does not solve all problems in the world by miracles.
The point is that God could easily do additional things that would convince more people to become Christians. Many humans are much more convinced by tangible evidence than they are by spiritual evidence. Jesus supposedly used lots of tangible evidence. Consider the following Scriptures:

Matthew 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the Miracles which he did.

John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these Miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

John 6:2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his Miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

John 10:37-38 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

In the preceding Scriptures, Jesus’ Miracles confirmed his words. His words did not confirm his Miracles.

There are also a number of other Miracles that the texts say that Jesus performed. The texts also say that Jesus performed many Miracles that were not recorded.

Even after the Holy Spirit came to the church, in the NIV, Acts 14:3 says “So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.” The KJV translates “miraculous signs and wonder” are “miracles”. The texts say elsewhere in the book of Acts that some of those Miracles were tangible Miracles.

Today, people still place great emphasis upon good physical health. Christian doctors are trying to prevent and cure all diseases. There is much rejoicing by everyone when a cure or prevention is found for a disease. I am not aware that any Christians consider trying to prevent and cure all diseases to be counterproductive. Healing people is a good thing. God should do more of it. ANY supposedly supernatural being who showed and healed all of the sick people in the world would immediately attract a large following, and could easily found what would quickly become the largest religion in the world if he wanted to.

It all gets down to trust. Without more information that I have at this time, I will not trust any being who says that killing people is wrong, but hypocritically kills people himself, who makes people blind, deaf, and dumb, reference Exodus 4:11, punishes people for sins that their grandparents committed, reference Exodus 20:5, told Jews to kill any Jew who kills a Jew, but told Jews to only punish a Jew who kills a slave, reference the Old Testament, killed Ananias and Saphira over money, reference the New Testament, kills people with hurricanes, including some of his most devout and faithful followers, and babies, and innocent animals, allowed hundreds of millions and frequently distributes tangible benefits to those who are not in greatest need, while frequently withholding tangible benefits from those who are in greatest need, giving many people the impression that God indiscriminately distributes tangible benefits without any regard whatsoever for a person’s worldview.

Trust must be EARNED, not merely DECLARED in ancient texts. The simple truth is that there is not any particular tangible blessing that a Christian can expect to receive from God. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Christians have died of starvation. Would you call food a necessity of life?

The actions and allowances of the God of the Bible indicate that if he exists, at best, he is bi-polar and mentally incompetent. No mentally competent being helps AND kills people, including some of his most devout followers, and babies, and innocent animals.

Do you have excellent evidence that God told the truth when he (supposedly) said that Christians will go to heaven? Luke 10:25-28 say "And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live." Logically, a commitment like that would not be possible without excellent evidence that it is much more probable that God is not a liar than that he is a liar. You do not have anywhere near that kind of evidence. If God is a liar, if he is omnipotent and omniscient, it would be impossible for anyone to discover that he is a liar with a reasonable degree of certainty if he did not want anyone to know that he is a liar. One of the perks of being omnipotent and omniscient is that you can accomplish whatever you wish to accomplish. You believe the powerful good and evil supernatural beings exist. If they do exist, your problem is that you do not know which group is most powerful, which group tells the truth, and which groups tell lies.

Regardless of what heaven is, or how a person gets there, there is not sufficient evidence that the Bible tells the truth about heaven, and about a lot of other issues that I could bring up.

If the God of the Bible exists, he might have answers to a lot of questions that rational minded and fair minded people would accept, but based upon the information that we now have, rational minded and fair minded people have only two choices, to conclude that the God of the Bible does not exist, or that if he does exist, his character is suspect, and he must be rejected.
StMichael wrote:
The evidence is the miracles that Christ and His Church perform to show that they are from God.

Well, if God has provided an amputee with a new arm or leg, I have failed to see it, AND SO HAVE YOU, and apparently everyone else in the world as far as ALL world media sources are aware. World media are in all countries, you know, and they make their money by reporting news that is interesting to people. According to the New Testament, the Pharisees acknowledged that Jesus has supernatural powers, but they claimed that his powers came from Beelzebub. So, both sides acknowledged that Jesus had supernatural powers. Today, both sides do not acknowledge that God has supernatural powers, either because God does not exist, or because God does not wish to reveal his supernatural powers to both sides. It is a question of intent. If it is God’s intent to clearly demonstrate that he has abilities that are far beyond the abilities of humans, he could easily prove that by showing up and creating a large building in New York City in front of the world media and an audience of one million people. Almost everyone in the world would agree that at least one being in the universe has abilities that are far beyond the abilities of humans. That would not prove that that being was a God, or specifically the God of the Bible, but at least we would have a lot more to go on regarding the possible existence of a God than we do now.

It is my position that no being has the right to punish people who would accept him if they knew that he exists. Some skeptics find the Gospel message to be appealing, and they would accept it if they had better evidence that God exists. If Jesus returned to earth and healed all of the sick people in the world, just like Christian doctors are trying to do, surely some people would become Christians who were not previously convinced. This makes sense because modern magicians would not have any trouble at all going to some remote jungle regions in the world and convincing at least some of the natives that they had supernatural powers, and were Gods. If the magicians were able to heal all of the sick natives, that would make it even easier for them to convince the natives to worship them as Gods.

Humans have always placed great importance on good physical health, and if ANY being showed up and healed all of the sick people in the world, people all over the world would rejoice with few if any exceptions. If ANY being showed up and healed all of the sick people in the world, if he started a new religion, it would probably quickly become the largest religion in human history.

Humans typically appreciate beings who are concerned with their spiritual AND tangible needs. God is concerned with humans’ tangible needs only to the point of frequently distributing tangible benefits to those who ARE NOT in greatest need, while frequently withholding tangible benefits from those who ARE in greatest need. This indicates that God does not exist, that he is apathetic and inconsistent about humans’ tangible needs, or that he has gone out of his way to make it look to many people that tangible benefits are distributed entirely according to the laws of physics.

Many non-Christians are wonderful, loving people. It would be out of character for them to reject any human or God who was able to demonstrate that he is loving. Actions are a much better indicator of a person’s heart than beliefs are. The same goes for a God. The Bible is just words. Actions are much more convincing than words are. We must compare what copies of copies of ancient Bible manuscripts say with the world that we live in today. If the Bible is true, then there ought to be plenty of TANGIBLE confirmations that it is true. What tangible confirmations do you have that a loving God is consistently active in the world today? What tangible benefit can you ask God for and expect to receive? If God does not exist, then it is to be expected that the only benefits that would be available to believers would be subjective spiritual/emotional benefits. If he does exist, and if he is loving, it is to be expected that he would be compassionate about our spiritual needs AND our tangible needs.

There is more than enough evidence for people to reject God pending the disclosure of more evidence than we have today. There are not any known reasons why God’s refusal to provide us with more information than we have today benefits him or mankind in any way.

Do you have excellent evidence that God told the truth when he (supposedly) said that Christians will go to heaven? Luke 10:25-28 say "And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live." Logically, a commitment like that would not be possible without excellent evidence that it is much more probable that God is not a liar than that he is a liar. You do not have anywhere near that kind of evidence. If God is a liar, if he is omnipotent and omniscient, it would be impossible for anyone to discover that he is a liar with a reasonable degree of certainty if he did not want anyone to know that he is a liar. One of the perks of being omnipotent and omniscient is that you can accomplish whatever you wish to accomplish. You believe the powerful good and evil supernatural beings exist. If they do exist, your problem is that you do not know which group is most powerful, which group tells the truth, and which groups tell lies.

StMichael wrote:
Albert Einstein never existed.

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. -Letter to an atheist (1954) as quoted in Albert Einstein: The Human Side (1981) edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman
StMichael wrote:
Then it must follow, according to your logic, George Washington never existed. Faith happens all the time, as you yourself point out, but there is rational and irrational faith. Catholic religious faith is rational because it moves from evidence of God’s Revelation (miracles) to accepting the Revelation. It is not “blind” (which, however, is the case in Islam and some Protestantism).

But I also think that since "everything that exists" is called "reality", then if something exists it must be real (and vice-versa). I think that is consistent and supported as well.

Who wouldn't agree with that? And, of course, if I think that everything that exists is called "a poached egg" (and vice-versa) then I think that if something exists then it must be a poached egg.

The question is whether it is true that everything that exists is a poached egg (and vice-versa).

And the question is whether everything that exists is reality and (vice-versa) whatever I think.

So, now, I gave several counter-examples to the view that exists and reality are the same thing. I pointed out that mirages exist, but they are not real. And that toy trucks exist, but toy trucks are not real. Now, if you think that existence and reality are the same, then how do you account for my counter-examples. Or do you just ignore them, In which case, of course, I could just ignore any cases in which you showed me it was not true that if something exists it is a poached egg.

Where does the dictionary say that words refer to meanings? Have you a sensible citation? That would mean, of course, that the word, "the Eiffel Tower" referred to a meaning, rather than to the Eiffel Tower. Which dictionary substantiates that nonsense? And how does the fact that we can always ask what a word means, mean that words refer to meanings? What is the argument for that? Here is another counter-example. The term, "the first president of the United States" means, "the first chief executive of the United States" but guess what (or who) that word refers to. Right. It is George Washington! So, the meaning of "the first president of the United States" remains the same. whoever that refers to. Suppose that John Adams had been chosen as the first president (as he might have been) then "the first president of The United States" would have referred to John Adams, but the meaning of "the first president of the United States" would have been exactly the same as it is when that term refers to George Washington.

Therefore, since the meaning of "the first president of the US" remains the same, but the person who is the first president of the US might have been one of several people, how could the meaning be the same as the referent?

Now, there is an argument against your theory. Have you a reply?

StMichael wrote:
Faith is not accepting without evidence. Faith is accepting that a proposition is true, on authority. The trustworthiness of the authority determines the certainty of the belief. With God, the belief is supremely credible and hence most certain knowledge

1. The known facts to not support the religious claims made by believers.

2. The known facts flatly contradict many of the religious claims made by believers.

3. Believers cannot produce evidence to support their belief. Instead, they rely on tradition, authority, and blind faith. That which is proffered as evidence is simply an exercise in question begging (circular reasoning).

4. Believers cannot provide a satisfactory explanation as to why anyone should accept their beliefs over those of others with contradictory beliefs, even though both sets of beliefs are equally supported by the evidence, or lack thereof.

5. As an explanation of a "first cause" or origin of all things, god, even in the general sense, is no more persuasive and supported by no more evidence than any other random explanation, including the explanation that there simply is no first cause.

StMichael wrote:
Calm down. I mean in the sense that these two things correspond to different levels of knowledge. I can know that God exists by my natural reason, while I must believe in the Trinity (I actually could believe that God exists, but that is irrelevant).

''MUST'' is like wishing santa to give you gifts. Smiling

. Trinity is composed of three different persons: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit.

2. Is logically possible for God to play chess with Jesus (under the tree of knowledge)

3. If any of them wins, Trinity becomes ilogical (the law of noncontradiction) : Trinity wins (T) and Trinity wins (F) at the same time.

C: Trinity is logical inconsistent and thus it does not exist, a logical impossibility.

Koya,

Here is another problem.

When God makes a move and Jesus does not, this means that the Trintiy is making a move and is not making a move in the same time. Again, logical inconsistency

Trinity is a logical incoherent concept. Because it entails three different persons or entities as being one. 3 = 1

StMichael wrote:
There are Three Persons in one God, not Three Persons in one person. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. It is a mystery beyond human comprehension, but that is not to say it is logically inconsistent. The procession of the Son from the Father, for example, is not procession in a material sense. It is like intellectual emanation of an word being spoken (which is how St. John refers to Christ). The word proceeds from the speaker, but remains with him. Or, for example, when we understand a thing, it unites us more closely to the thing being understood. This is the sort of procession that exists between the Persons in the Trinity, where as they proceed, they are most perfectly in union with one another. It does not imply a contradiction, but is a mystery in the manner of life in God; the manner of that life that exists in God is incomprehensible to us.

Again i can use the law of non-contradiction against your god on the case of trinity & non-trinity because you said that there are 3 in 1 & not 3 in 1.

the Trinity does not exist simultaneously, but in chronological order. First came God the Father, and did his creation bit; He doesn't seem to be around any more. Then came the Son,-he came to a sticky end; then came the Holy Ghost,-and he seems to have gone as soon as he came.

Oh, trivial, my dear sir, trivial. Early Christian apologists didn't have the benefit of modern science (or old analogies) to go on. Their claim - three persons, but one nature, is easily understood.

Consider a photon: depending on the circumstances, it behaves like a wave. Or like a particle. Sometimes God behaves like a Father, sometimes like a Son, and sometimes like a Holy Spirit. The problem is the simple inadequacy of the language to deal with "God".

Alternatively, think of a God as a specialized case of "fuzzy logic" - rather than having binary persons, God has trinary persons - and given QM, we have a perfect analogy: that poor, unfortunate feline, who is both alive and dead simultaneously. God is simultaneously "Father", "Son", and "Holy Ghost."

I seriously think that modern science offers better and far more comprehensible analogies than poor Augustine had access to. And that worries me.

StMichael wrote:
Except that I never made the ontological argument. Ever.My argument from necessary and possible being does not assume God exists. Things exist in the world. These things are not necessarily existing because they change, going in and out of being. Hence, at least one necessary being exists. If there are more necessary beings, each would depend on another which was necessary to it. But this cannot go on into infinity because there cannot be an infinity of efficient causes. Hence, only one purely necessary being exists, which is God.

The mathmatical symbol for 'infinity' refers to the mathematical definition of infinity - a number so large as to be considered infinite in size.... This would only include bananas (etc.) if it referred to an infinite number of bananas (etc.).

So, in response to your supposition, I would say no, you are not supposed to understand such inclusions.

But I'm trying to be logical here and logic is notoriously arguable in all sorts of directions.

a) God does not exist or b) God does exist.

If God does not exist, we don't need to worry about this.

If God does exist, then let's prove that he doesn't.

Let's say it's a widely accepted fact that God is infinite. He has no beginning and no end.

If infinity has no beginning and no end, then infinity must include everything that exists (and maybe a few things that don't).

If there are things in existence that are Not God, then infinity must include Not God.

If God is infinite, then God must be everything that infinity is.

Thus, if God exists, God is Not God.

StMichael wrote:
You assume possibility to mean “the absolute ability for a thing to be or not to be.” I mean possibility in the sense that a thing “may go out of existence, or come into existence – is not logically necessary.”The first step does not make sense either, as a necessary being only can exist necessarily; the only other choice is that it does not exist.The second part about possible worlds makes the error I pointed out above – possibility in the sense that the world’s existence is not necessary. The critique of (1) makes no sense. How does it beg the question to say that a necessary being necessarily exists? I agree this does not demonstrate that such a being exists, if that is what you mean. But I am not arguing the ontological argument.

Existence is identity. Everything that exists is within existence (the universe), and everything that is is something specific. In other words, it has limitations and essential defining characteristics. Non-entities are non-existents. We shouldn't waste time talking about pure abstractions with no tie to existence. existence=the universe=reality. There is no super-reality divorced from this one.
StMichael wrote:
Thank you, but I think you underestimate the average “theist.” Most probably don’t appear on this forum except the crazy ones (like myself J )

1. The Bible is riddled with internal contradictions.
2. The Bible is riddled with statements that contradict external reality.
3. The Bible contains numerous morally-repugnant doctrines.
4. Even Christians can't agree on what it all means (30,000+ Christian denominations).
5. Those Christians who adhere most closely to Biblical tenets are intolerant ignoramuses who seek to suppress scientific progress and human rights.
6. No evidence that the "first cause" (if any) is an intelligent being.
7. No other phenomenon that appears to require a supernatural intelligence.
8. No known intelligence that is not a product of evolution (or a construct of such, e.g. a computer).
9. Many religions: hopeless confusion among theists regarding what "God" is, or wants.
10. Widespread use of factually-incorrect claims, unsupported assertions, and logical fallacies by theists: if all the arguments for God are so inept, it seems unlikely that such a thing exists.
StMichael wrote:
This has to do with…what? My judgments are rational, not emotional. Emotion is part of being human, but not part of an argument based on logic.

Children have experiential evidence of Santa Claus. You know, the myth where Santa Claus lands on their roof with reindeer and a sled, slides down the chimney and leaves them presents under the tree.

Now to your experiential evidence of God. Do you surmise God or do you know God? How long will you avoid this question?

An emotional state caused by the specific activity of a material object, is a material effect. Emotional states exist, but not in the absence of some material which creates them. Hate does not exist anywhere except as an emotional state.

StMichael wrote:
I believe and understand that I am actually performing an act that does God honor. No real imagination involved.

To say that Santa exists as a word, as a series of stories, etc. is true if that means that Santa exists only as a word, only as a series of stories, etc. But Santa exists only as a word does not imply that Santa exists. In fact, X exists only as a Y, implies that X does not exist. For to say that Santa exists only as a word is to say that the word "Santa" exists, but that Santa does not exist. And, remember, that if Santa exists only as a word, or only as a series of stories, pretty much the juice is drained out of "Santa exists" since the Santa who exists only as a word, or who exists only as a series of stories, does not deliver Christmas presents, since words don't deliver Christmas presents, and neither do series of stories deliver Christmas presents. So, don't go around telling little boys and girls that Santa exists, when you don't meant that a jolly old elf goes around delivering Christmas presents. It isn't nice to fool nice little girls and boys. It's mean!

Now, the expression "Santa Claus exists" means, "There is a jolly old elf who lives at the North Pole, and who distributes Christmas presents, exists" But the expression, "The word "Santa Claus exists" does not imply that previous expression, does it. And "There is a series of stories mentioning Santa Claus" does not imply that expression about the jolly old elf either. Does it. Therefore, that the word "Santa" exists, and that a series of stories mentioning Santa exists, does not imply that Santa exists. And if the term "only" is placed before "the word 'Santa'" in that expression, and if the term "only" is place before the term "a series of stories" in the second expression, then those two expressions will imply that Santa does not exist.

The question is whether you want to leave out the word "only". Do you want, that is, to say not only that the word "Santa" exists, but also that Santa exist? And do you want to say that not only do those series of stories exist, but that also, Santa exists?

If you want to put in the word only, then you are saying that only the word exists, but Santa doesn't, and that only the series of stories exists, but Santa doesn't. But if you leave out the word "only" then you are saying that not only does the word 'Santa" exist, but Santa exists. And you are saying that not only does the series of stories exist, but Santa exists. And, in that case, you are admitting that to say the word "Santa" exists or that a series of stories exists, doesn't mean or imply there is a Santa. In either case, you are admitting that "Santa exists" is different from saying that the word "Santa" exists.

Look, everyone agrees that the word, "Santa" exists. And everyone agrees about the stories. But no one over the age of 4 agrees that Santa exists. And saying that Santa exists "in a way" doesn't rescue the situation, because to exist in a way is not to exist in the way that people mean it when they say that Santa exists (or doesn't exist). When people say that Santa doesn't exist, you know full well what they mean. They don't mean that the word doesn't exist, or that the series of stories doesn't exist. So to tell them that Santa does exist (but in a way) is like a used-car salesman telling prospective buyers that although the great car advertised in the newspaper has "just been sold" and "you can't have it", not to worry, "I have something nearly as good for you" which turns out to be a much inferior version of what was advertised. That tactic is called, "bait-and-switch", and is expected of used-car salesmen. But not of philosophers.

StMichael wrote:
????????????Where did this come from? Last time, you agreed that God is a spirit. Now we’re on the opposite track. We have already proven that God exists and that He does not have a body (and is hence a spirit). This is the same to say that He is a subsistent immaterial substance (like the human soul).

And supposedly this god creates souls, which somehow, are attached to our physical bodies and minds and are part of the heart of our very existence. Then again,along with our bodies, our minds, our acts, our inclinations, god must have created these souls. But he also must have created them in relationship to our physical body and its created acts, acts created by god to the smallest details. It is the soul that allegedly is damned or saved and lives for ever, or some such, but again, all acts of ours are created by omnigenesis to the smallest quark so god either also creates a corresponding soul, damned or saved in parallel. Or maybe not, who can tell with such an incoherent chaotic, senseless, irrational system?

The doctrine of souls, confusing enough as is, now becomes impossible to explain in any fashion. It makes no sense in a physical world that is determinate to the most exacting omnigenesistic manner, how does a soul fit into that world?

With omnigenesis all bets are off, all supposed knowledge is impossible and incoherent to extremes.

StMichael wrote:
We know of Him from His nature as First Cause (on a natural level). If He is First Cause, He cannot have matter because matter is a type of potentiality/potency/limitation.

Because god is made of nothing, therefore he does not exist.

If the universe is, say, 5 billion years old and infinite, with innumerable solar systems becoming and unbecoming; if the life-forms on this planet are innumerable ephemera with neither metapurpose nor teleology nor "meaning" for any so called "higher being", there's really very little probability that anything matters "ultimately". an ecosystemic component (wasp, worm, parasite ...) could be said to matter for that ecosystem (pollenator, aerobic agent , bacterial vector ...), but the ecosystem probably doesn't matter for the multiverse as a whole: it's an effect of combinations of conditions. humans - destructive parasites whose activities are important only to themselves - don't matter, ultimately, either. although an ecosystem which supports them might be integral to their continued persistence, they do not matter to it at all, excepting their (exploitative, destructive, but otherwise superfluous) effects on its disintegration or continuity (after the fact of their disruption to it). to humans many things could be said to "matter", but if nothing matters to an individual, then nothing matters to that individual regardless of what "should" matter. if something matters to an individual, then something matters to them (philosophically, psychologically, aesthetically ...). it could be damaging for the individual or the culture to behave as though something does or doesn't matter when it really doesn't or when it does. it's probably as dangerous for the individual or culture to not know how to determine what matters to it, but ultimately: "pffft ..." where are you trying to go with your "argument"(sic.) ? endorsing hypocrisy doesn't seem very wise, (eventhough hypocrisy is all that most people can amount to). things don’t matter to people because they should, but because they do if such is the case.

StMichael wrote:
The mind is the same thing as the “soul” or the “spirit.”

Because MIND includes something that is MATTER, like the BRAIN and NERVOUS SYSTEM, and also a part that is ABSTRACT, the thoughts themselves.
A brain is something material, and it IS part of the mind, because without a brain there is no mind.

So can you really say "Matter is matter and NOT mind"? I think not.

And without matter there is no mind. Note that I am not being reductivist here but I am saying that consciousness does not precede existence.

StMichael wrote:
Right now, I am thinking about your response. My spirit designates my thinking ability, and my body is typing with its fingers. My spirit is not extrinsic, but it is a very definite part of who I am. The reference to a spirit an extrinsic is merely a designation that the spirit continues to exist without the body.

Spirits
- feelings or mood with regard to exaltation or depression: low spirits; good spirits.
- excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigor, courage, firmness of intent, etc.; mettle: That's the spirit!
- temper or disposition: meek in spirit.
- an individual as characterized by a given attitude, disposition, character, action, etc.: A few brave spirits remained to face the danger.
- the dominant tendency or character of anything: the spirit of the age.
- vigorous sense of membership in a group: college spirit.
- the general meaning or intent of a statement, document, etc. (opposed to letter): the spirit of the law.
- Chemistry. the essence or active principle of a substance as extracted in liquid form, esp. by distillation.
StMichael wrote:
Apparently gratuitous picture of the limbic system? And what is “Overcomer” supposed to mean?You agreed earlier that the brain is not equal to the mind. What are we talking about? It’s like talking with a schizophrenic who keeps switching between personalities. Stick to your original positions.


Schizophrenics are (or can be) normal members of society when on their meds. When they feel better, as they should while being treated, they should still stay on their meds. When they go off without a doctors consent, they are nutty.

I know people who are just fine when they take their meds. You wouldn't even know unless they told you their condition. On the flip side, I've seen families ruined because people go of their medication prematurely.

StMichael wrote:
No. Not directly. God did not want death to come into the world. Original sin and human freedom chose evil and it brought with it the loss of grace and natural death. God uses death now that it exists to bring about a greater good.

If we assume we were given free will at the moment of our creation, then that means that we possessed free will before we had knowlege of good and evil, and therefore it is proven true that free will can exist in the absense of evil (contrary to what Christians claim).

If we did not have free will before the apple, then there are two problems that come out of that. For one, that means that our choice to eat the fruit was not a choice. But disregarding that, let's say for the sake of arguement we did not have "true" free will until we ate the fruit. Assuming that, there is still the problem of why we were punished for that, when free will is supposed to have been a gift. That's like handing someone a present then punching them in the face for taking it from you. It does not make sense, then, that God would punish us for something he presumably was giving us out of the goodness of his heart. It also implies that God did not intend for us to have free will (the OOG concept makes this even more complicated).

StMichael wrote:
Nothing. No need to be coy, either. Nothing existed before God because God is the cause of all other things. One must posit one purely necessary being. The necessary being has those characteristics by which we refer when we say, “God,” such as the cause of all things, omnipotence, ect. Further, Christians purely identify their God with this First/Ultimate Cause.

Where did I say in my post that I actually believed in an uncaused universe? I'm content to allow the evidence to lead me wherever the truth may lie. In the absence of compelling evidence I think the strongest arguments thus far can be made in favor of an uncaused universe, but it doesn't mean that I actually "believe" the universe is uncaused. As has been pointed out by many others, there are a veritable plethora of possible explanations for a caused universe without resorting to pre-technology superstitions.

It is possible to have an opinion about something that cannot be fully understood. This opinion might be based on the best evidence one has available. This does not constitute faith.

My personal definition of "faith" is "A belief that influences one to behave in a manner differently from the way one would behave if the belief was not present." Back when I was a fundie preacher I often parroted the phrase that "faith is a belief that leads to action".

If you happen to have faith in the Judaeo-Christian god you might be influenced by such faith to sacrifice personal ambitions, opportunities, money, time, etc., on the alter of such a god. You might be influenced to evangelize others in an attempt to save their souls from hell. You might be inclined to vote differently in order to ensure that the political process and legislation favors your particular brand of religion.

My opinion that perhaps the universe is uncaused does not influence me to change any of the abovementioned behaviors in any way. Any of hundreds of possible causes for the universe, if proved one day, would not cause me to change the way I live or behave. Unless, of course, such cause turns out to be a vengeful, wrathful creator god who is bent on taking vengeance on those who do not know or obey it.

StMichael wrote:
Show me pure nothingness and show me something that comes into existence without any existing thing beforehand. Space counts as a being; if it exists in space/time, it has preexisting being.

God is pure nothingness.

Universe = Infinite
Universe = No Beginning + No Ending = Always Was & Always Will Be
Universe = No Space (or Room) Before or Outside or Beyond Space/No Time Before Time/No Physics Before Physics

A plane is a spacetime, that means he didn't create X,Y & T. A plane is certainly a metric space (and therefore a topological space), and if you consider it as a complete set of 2-dimensional position vectors, it's a vector space too.

As Stephen Hawkins said: Space-time (t,x,y,z), into f() = E.t x E.s ; where E is energy, t is time, s is space where m is materialized. E.t and E.s are scalar products whereas f() is a vector product, counted, you. If you examine f() closely you will find the warping dictated by GR when the Hamiltonian is constructed, in this sense f() is identical to GR without the energy being taken as the functional operands.

However, counted, you, back to your conjecture, the fixed frame expansion maps intuitively into your 2nd dimension singularity. The fixed frame expansion means when the so-called singularity undulates it has a fixed frame of expansion since the singularity looks the same from all dimensions/perspectives. In keeping with the observed behaviour of sunlight, it expands the photon wave quanta Q, nQ, across the dimension it intersects.

So god did not create dimension. Timespace is required him to create. The poor dummy men in that picture is useless.
[P1] If the theory of gravity were in fact true we would all have condensed into an infinitely small singularity
[P2] We have not condensed into an infinitely small singularity
[C.] God does not exist
If you have time you must have space already also. If you have space and time you have vacuum and therefore get virtual particles, i.e. you have energy and given proper conditions some of that energy must be in the form of matter. If you have matter and energy in space and time you already have a universe. It is like God sitting for himself suddenly thinking "I want to create a universe" and then he open his eyes only to find that the universe is there already - nothing left for him to create. The mere presence of time enforces that there is a universe there already. As long as time has existed, the universe has always been there.

Consequently, God cannot have created the universe.

StMichael wrote:
Everything that can go in and out of existence has a cause. The statue is a statue today, but it can cease to exist as a statue tomorrow. Thus, it depends on something else to bring it into existence. If there were only such “possible” (as in “not necessary”) existences, then, there was a time at which nothing would exist. Then there would be nothing existing now, but this is absurd. Hence, a necessarily existing being is necessary to posit that things exist now.

Well that depends on how one looks at it. If one looks at a circular (topologically) chain, then no origin of it is apparent in a sense.

In another sense, of course, one can view the origin not as something within the chain, but as what brought the chain about. A blacksmith perhaps. And one can then ponder the origin of the hypothetical blacksmith, the origin of that, and so on.

Until one gets to the point where one cannot explain the origins any more, and is left with either infinite regress, or invoking some sort of anologue of autocatalysis, or, among other possibilities, perhaps some all wise, all loving, all benificent creator who is somehow uncaused, and who manages to brilliantly create the world in a way such that innocent kids die before they can come to avoid eternal damnation by going through some some sort of shamanistic ritual because they inherit, and die of, some sort of sexually transmitable disease that their father caught as a result of being buggered by a priest while a child.

Now - why is infinite regress impossible?

StMichael wrote:
PS - Please post shorter and more condense points so I can answer them. I repeated quite a lot in the above.

If it's not science, it's bullshit.
StMichael wrote:
Yes, God does exist before the universe. He is logically prior to it. The term creation "ex nihilo" merely means that nothing existed exterior to God which God used as matter from which He created the universe. It was purely His action in willing it that it came into existence.

But using "God" as an answer to "how can something come from Nothing"? only results in the question "How can God come from nothing"? without actually providing any mechanisms or evidence or measurable phenomenon or explanatory theories or verifiable predictions .It thus gets us no further forward and explains nothing at all.
StMichael wrote:
First, the burden of proof is on your end to show me how something can come from nothing.

Further, it is a contradiction in terms. X cannot be equal to ~X in the same respect at the same time.


First, by "universe", do you mean the observable universe, or the cosmos?

Second, by "cause", do you mean something that led to something else, or a being that actively participated in making something?

Third, by "faith", do you mean beleiving in something that has no evidence, or believing in something because of the evidence?

I'd like to clarify that last one a bit. I have "faith" that the sun will come up tomorrow. Why? Because it has come up 11,000+ times in my life. It has failed to come up precisely 0 times. I have seen the sun and I have seen it come up. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on the sun coming up tomorrow. It's possible that it won't, but it ain't friggin' likely.

However, I do not have "faith" in supernatural entities of any kind. Why? Because I have not experienced any, nor do I even have a meaningful description to go by if I were to encounter one.

Lastly, saying that the explanation of the physical has its source in the non-physical is actually not an explanation, at all. Unless you can explain how the non-physical produced the physical, you cannot show that the non-physical produced the physical.

After all, if god (a non-physical being) made the universe (a physical thing) what did he/she/they/it make the universe out of?

StMichael wrote:
A statue is caused. It comes into existence as a statue, distinctly.

To exist is to exist as something. God is made of nothing.... therefore he's non-existent.
StMichael wrote:
We must accept them because they are logically necessary if we want to posit that the universe exists now. Otherwise, we would have to admit that the universe does not exist, which is absurd.

As far as "models and hypotheses", yes, some models and hypotheses have been proposed as to how the universe may have come about. Look into the ekpyrotic model (involving string theory and branes) for one example. I'm sure you're aware of that.

As for evidence, there is evidence that there was a big bang, but what evidence should we expect to find of anything before that?

IMO, your two propositions are a false dichotomy in that they leave out what I consider a third "proposition":

Proposition three: We don't know, and we quite possibly will never know with any confidence, what the ultimate origin of the universe was.

Of course, there are other "propositions" that you overlook as well, probably more than I list here:

Proposition Four: The universe and sentient life came into existence through two or more Creators (commonly referred to as gods (pantheism)) who caused the universe to exist and have been monkeying around with things ever since.

Proposition Five: The universe came into existence through an impersonal Creator (commonly referred to as a deistic God) who caused the universe to exist, and then went about her merry way. She'd be surprised to find that there are things crawling around in there now.

Proposition Six: The universe came into existence through a "personal" Creator (commonly referred to as "God&quotEye-wink who caused the universe to exist (without much design or plan) and then sat back to watch what happened.

Proposition Seven: The universe came into existence through a "personal" Creator (commonly referred to as "God&quotEye-wink who caused the universe to exist (without much design or plan), planted the seed of life when the universe was ripe, and then sat back to watch what happened.

Proposition Eight: An initial creator of some sort created some "mindless processes" and let them run on their own. Lo and behold, one of them went and created the universe!

Proposition Nine: An intelligent creator in another universe, a creator that is not a "God" but a normal, physical being, cooked up our universe in a lab.

Proposition Ten: An intelligent creator, maybe a "God" of one sort or another, created another universe, possibly with plans and designs, and a side effect was that some quantum event in that universe kick-started our universe. Maybe that creator has discovered our universe, maybe not.

Proposition Eleven: The universe is not "real" - it's but a dream in the mind of some being or other, a program running in some supercomputer, etc.

Proposition Twelve: The "universe" and whatever was before this universe always was and perhaps always will be. There was no initial "creation" and therefore there was no creator or "mindless creative process".

And so on.

And this list doesn't even address the countless names and concepts of "God" that could be used to fill in the term "God" in your Proposition One.

And I suppose I should mention that worthwhile question: "If the universe requires a creator, and that creator is God, who or what created God?"

If you reply that "God always was", then you're claiming that something can always be; therefore, the universe (or whatever "unintelligent process" created it) could always be. If you claim "God does not require a creator or cause", then you're claiming some things don't require creators or causes, and therefore the universe does not necessarily require a creator or cause.

StMichael wrote:
Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

"Charles Darwin is great, Charles Darwin is good.
And we thank him for our food.
By Charles Darwin's hands we all are fed.
Thank you, Charles Darwin, for daily bread.
Charles Darwin is great and Charles Darwin is good.
And we thank Charles Darwin for our food.

Thank you for the world so sweet.
Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you for the birds that sing.
Thank you, Charles Darwin, for everything.

Charles Darwin loves me, this I know.
For the Origin of Species tells me so.
Little ones to him belong.
They are weak but he is strong.
Yes, Charles Darwin loves me.
Yes, Charles Darwin loves me.
Yes, Charles Darwin loves me.
The Origin of Species tells me so."

In science Smiling

God had no time to create time.


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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:
Yes, God does exist before the universe. He is logically prior to it. The term creation "ex nihilo" merely means that nothing existed exterior to God which God used as matter from which He created the universe. It was purely His action in willing it that it came into existence.

Then it is incorrect to state that from your religion's doctrine god created the universe from nothing. So what does god's action, which he used to create the universe, consist of?

StMichael wrote:
First, the burden of proof is on your end to show me how something can come from nothing.

Further, it is a contradiction in terms. X cannot be equal to ~X in the same respect at the same time.

No, you are incorrect. There is no burden of proof on me to show anything. I am not claiming something can come from nothing. I am merely stating the obvious fact that to make any claim about 'nothing' is to make a claim that we have no reason to believe to be true.

Further, you are again incorrect. You are stating a claim that is based in a space/time environment. There is no contradiction. See the bolded words above.

StMichael wrote:
A statue is caused. It comes into existence as a statue, distinctly.

Which is not to say anything came into existence in any way relevant to the discussion.

Stmichael wrote:
Matter itself changes and is corrupted into various forms. The things in the universe come into being, not absolutely, but in a supposit. Substance of things changes from one thing into another. The statue becomes a pile of rubble becomes a house and so on. It is not a necessarily existing thing. Further, as matter, it is in potency (as it can be divided) and hence cannot exist as its own logical cause. It would be prior to itself logically, which is impossible.

Nothing goes in or out of existence that we know of. Saying that things change form by cause within the universe is not relevant. And again something being prior to itself is only something one would consider in a space/time environment.


StMichael wrote:
We must accept them because they are logically necessary if we want to posit that the universe exists now. Otherwise, we would have to admit that the universe does not exist, which is absurd.

I have seen you provide no proof for this statement.

It boils down to placing god at the extent of man's knowledge. That is all you are doing here. It has been done for millennia, but it is by no means a rational, nor a reasoned, means by which to come to any conclusion.

I would also like to say that I find it odd that you seem able to utilize the concepts of outside of space and time just fine when it benefits your god, but when it comes to the fact that you can no longer use space/time related contradictions to support your fallacious arguments the concept suddenly seems beyond you. It reeks of intellectual dishonesty. I, however, do not believe that you are being intentionally dishonest (otherwise, I would no longer be bothering to converse with you). I believe that it is honestly born of a desire to believe that is so strong that you will ignore what it is necessary to ignore to leave your beliefs unmarred. I only challenge you to open your mind and be honest in your discussions. If you truly feel you are, then so be it. Carry on.

 


“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


StMichael
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Quote:  Mind refers to the

Quote:
 Mind refers to the collective aspects of intellect and consciousness which are manifest in some combination of thought, perception, emotion, will and imagination.Intellect is related to the physical abilities of the brain which is conscious.
Okay, no evidence. And this contradicts your later claims. Copy-paste much? I am going to stop talking to your if all you do is copy paste pages and pages of crap.  
Quote:
Does "matter" have experiences?  Or does "life/mind"?  How about memories?  Does matter experience memories?  Or is that mind too?  How about creativity?  Curiosity?  Does matter solve problems and seek beauty and crave understanding?  How about self-preservation?  Does matter act to preserve its forms?  Why does a body readily decompose the minute the mind/life no longer "lives" in it?  I know all about evolution... don't miss the point here.  What kind of thing ever pushes and pulls on systems of matter for its own purposes?  What kind of thing has to find and share a word for a concept like "purpose"?I would have thought that contrasting "observer" with "observable" would have clarified this basic distinction long ago.  A distinction in "kind," which to a monist boils down to a vast difference in "degree."  Kind or degree of what?  What is the substance of reality?  Well, whatever it is, it includes mind.  From what I hear, and from what I've experienced, it seems the only known way to truly merge the observer/observable is through a mystical/spiritual experience... like being "able to see the mirror and the reflection and their unity, all at the same time." (thanks, Breath).  Materialist claims that "it shall someday be clear that mind IS only a product of the brain" are missing the essence of the distinction.  There's a way out for them, but "matter" has to change its meaning.  By the way, the terms mystical and spiritual convey a useful meaning too... nothing else comes close.  So please try to refrain from letting them trigger vigorous anti-religious sentiment.  It does not apply here.
Matter cannot be equal to spiritual substance, otherwise it loses all meaning. Also, if you merely move on basis of spiritual experiences without evidence, I cannot reason with you. It is called “blind faith.”
 
Quote:

I am now "being" a wee little critter limited by my bodily form/interface to experiencing 4 dimensions of this particular universe.  Wooo wooo    But the fact remains.  When exactly did human animals decide that our present intellectual and experiential (sensory) limitations were limitations on the sum total of reality?  Not likely.
Otherwise, it means absolutely nothing, to absolutely no one.  If matter itself can "know meaning," then matter must be made of mindstuff too.  May-haps... per-be.
This is entirely and totally irrelevant to the discussion.   
Quote:
To move something else is to move yourself, because every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, there can be no unmoved mover.
Only in material space and if God is a body, which He cannot be if motion is to exist.
Quote:
There may be an infinite regress of causes, and there may be uncaused events. Neither posibility is very palatable, but one or the other has to be true. But unless one of those posibilities can be ruled out, we can't conclude that the other is true. Saying, "I don't like infinite regress, so there must be a first cause," is not a stronger argument than saying the opposite.
I don’t “dislike” the fact the an infinite regress cannot exist; it’s logically impossible. If no first cause exists, no further effects exist. If no first mover provides motion, nothing can be in motion. StMichael wrote:Didn’t I just say that “nothing exists” is a contradiction? What is the point of writing the symbolic logic? YOU were the one who advocated that the something that exists is really not in existence.  
Quote:
Absolute nothingness is seen to be impossible, a logical contradiction, so nothingness was never the case to begin with and thus the universe/multiverse could not have been created ex nihilo.
The universe was created ex nihilo because it was not made from any preexisting material, not because nothing existed. God is the cause, and hence existed as its cause. 
Quote:
 Anyway, it seems to be the case that the laws of logic wouldn't govern Nothingness, since if they did, the aforementioned laws themselves would still be said to exist, which wouldn't really be absolute nothingness. What happens at that point? Well, sans laws of logic, I guess anything could, and would, necessarily happen, and yet not happen, all at once. Odd, but this would also allow for the sudden ex nihilo creation of our known laws of logic and the reality they govern.
No, it would not. Nothingness is not the same as chaos. Nothingness cannot produce anything at all. No being exists in pure nothingness. We use the term to refer to an absence of being, not a presence of any sort.
Quote:
The current understanding of cosmology suggests that the multiverse features a near-infinite number of universes in which every logical possibility takes place, but it looks to be that if there had ever been Nothingness, the immediate everything-and-nothing-going-on-at-once would entail a multi-multiverse in which what we would understand as logical impossibilities would also all take place in some unrecognizably warped universes, along with all logical possibilities in our known universes.
No, only logically possible actions would occur (if we assume multiverse theory).Copy-paste much?
Quote:
As the instantiation of all possibilities and impossibilities somewhere in some tract of Existence implies the reality of a vengeful, hateful, sadistic psychopath of a god devilering sentient beings into an eternity of torment in "Hell", presumably featuring levels of pain which only an all-powerful god can inflict, I really don't care for this hypothesis. Somebody kill it.

Except that we’ve already addressed this. Copy-paste much? You know what, I give up. There is no further point. If you just want to act schizophrenic and change positions and copy-paste swarths of words, it's not worth my time. Have a nice life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On to people who are not totally insane:

 

Quote:
Then it is incorrect to state that from your religion's doctrine god created the universe from nothing. So what does god's action, which he used to create the universe, consist of?
God did not use any preexisting material to create the universe. It would be true, then, that God created the universe from nothing. God’s own act of existence is the foundation for the existence of individual created things, as they gain their being from Him.  StMichael wrote:First, the burden of proof is on your end to show me how something can come from nothing. Further, it is a contradiction in terms. X cannot be equal to ~X in the same respect at the same time.
Quote:
No, you are incorrect. There is no burden of proof on me to show anything. I am not claiming something can come from nothing. I am merely stating the obvious fact that to make any claim about 'nothing' is to make a claim that we have no reason to believe to be true.
You are making a claim that something can come from nothing, which is clearly contrary to reason. You have to back up your assertion. Further, nothing, by definition, cannot produce anything; it is a contradiction.  
Quote:
Further, you are again incorrect. You are stating a claim that is based in a space/time environment. There is no contradiction. See the bolded words above.
 It has nothing to do with space/time. It equally applies outside of time that thing cannot be equal to not that thing in the same respect. 
Quote:
 Which is not to say anything came into existence in any way relevant to the discussion.
Yes it is. How is it irrelevant? 
Quote:
 Nothing goes in or out of existence that we know of. Saying that things change form by cause within the universe is not relevant. And again something being prior to itself is only something one would consider in a space/time environment.
Things, however, change. This is all that is needed. Their particular existence is destroyed and created. Further, space/time doesn’t apply to issues of logical priority. A thing can logically be prior to something, but they coexist together as cause and effect. 
Quote:
 I would also like to say that I find it odd that you seem able to utilize the concepts of outside of space and time just fine when it benefits your god, but when it comes to the fact that you can no longer use space/time related contradictions to support your fallacious arguments the concept suddenly seems beyond you.
I do not use space/time in a contradictory way, nor does it invalidate my arguments.  

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote:Okay, no

StMichael wrote:
Okay, no evidence. And this contradicts your later claims. Copy-paste much? I am going to stop talking to your if all you do is copy paste pages and pages of crap.
Argumentum ad ignorantum !


Copy paste Where ?

StMichael wrote:
Matter cannot be equal to spiritual substance, otherwise it loses all meaning. Also, if you merely move on basis of spiritual experiences without evidence, I cannot reason with you. It is called “blind faith.”

The overall picture suggests that the nature of a spiritual experience is determined the content of ones consciousness. Hindu's have spiritual experiences of Krishna, Vishnu, et al. While Christians have a 'personal' relationship with Jesus. Who is right?
StMichael wrote:
This is entirely and totally irrelevant to the discussion.

Cool.
StMichael wrote:
Only in material space and if God is a body, which He cannot be if motion is to exist.

One may have a reasonable and legitimate hope of overcoming an obstacle based on good probability of it happening. That is not faith.

Or one may have an high expectation of overcoming an obstacle without the benefit of evidence, and very poor odds of it actually happening. That is faith.

StMichael wrote:
I don’t “dislike” the fact the an infinite regress cannot exist; it’s logically impossible. If no first cause exists, no further effects exist. If no first mover provides motion, nothing can be in motion. StMichael wrote:Didn’t I just say that “nothing exists” is a contradiction? What is the point of writing the symbolic logic? YOU were the one who advocated that the something that exists is really not in existence.

All motion is relative. Everything is stopped relative to things with the same velocity, and moving relative to all other things.
StMichael wrote:
The universe was created ex nihilo because it was not made from any preexisting material, not because nothing existed. God is the cause, and hence existed as its cause.

A parrot created god.
StMichael wrote:
No, it would not. Nothingness is not the same as chaos. Nothingness cannot produce anything at all. No being exists in pure nothingness. We use the term to refer to an absence of being, not a presence of any sort.

Well, as time did not exist "before" that, there was no "before" and so the claim that there would have to be "Nihilo" "prior" to time is non-sensical. So no, there is no requirement that there would have to be any "nihilo" before that.
StMichael wrote:
No, only logically possible actions would occur (if we assume multiverse theory).Copy-paste much?

At all time, time exist.
StMichael wrote:
Except that we’ve already addressed this. Copy-paste much? You know what, I give up. There is no further point. If you just want to act schizophrenic and change positions and copy-paste swarths of words, it's not worth my time. Have a nice life.

Are you accusing me because you cannot answer my answers ? nice copy and paste job you have done there:

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1002.htm

You are the parrot here. Not me.

"To be truly open-minded is to the accept the possibility that you may be wrong. - R. Finley, Sr.

God had no time to create time.


triften
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I'm problably stepping into

I'm problably stepping into something but, I do have a few questions here:

StMichael wrote:

The first cause is uncaused by any other cause. It is in a state of pure act, without any potency. An infinite chain of efficent causes/movers is impossible.

Am I mis-understanding the definition of "potency" or did you just say that "the First Cause has no ability to affect things"?

StMichael wrote:

God foreknows all future events and personal choices, but this does not necessitate that they are unfree. God's will is the source of our freedom. God wills absolutely and antecedently: absolutely, God wills every particular thing to happen the way it ought to happen and in this sense He wills that our free decisions can happen (in order for them to exist); antecedently, He wills that our evil moral decision ought not to happen, as He does not want us to sin. But these two wills are very different, and the first does not impose necessity upon the willed (other than the necessity that their wills are free, as their freedom depends on God willing them to be so).

Doesn't saying "we have free will because an omniscient god wills it to be so" sound like "an omnipotent god can make a rock he can't lift"?

-Triften

 


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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:
On to people who are not totally insane:[/quote]

I appreciate that vote of confidence, unwarranted as it may be.

StMichael wrote:
God did not use any preexisting material to create the universe. It would be true, then, that God created the universe from nothing. God’s own act of existence is the foundation for the existence of individual created things, as they gain their being from Him.

Of course he didn't use pre-existing material. There was no material. There was only god. But there wasn't nothing, because god's existence makes it impossible for there to be nothing. By the way, does god consist of anything or is he nothing?

 

StMichael wrote:
You are making a claim that something can come from nothing, which is clearly contrary to reason. You have to back up your assertion. Further, nothing, by definition, cannot produce anything; it is a contradiction.

I repeat, I am not making the claim that something can come from nothing. I am making the claim that the claim you make, that 'something can not come from nothing', is a statement we have no reason to believe is true. You may think it to conform to reason but you have no reason to think this. It is simply what you think and nothing more.

To say "nothing, by definition, can not produce anything; it is a contradiction" is not to show it as a contradiction. It is a baseless assertion. You, nor anyone else, has any reason to believe your assertion to be true. Show me how you come to the conclusion that nothing (this includes an absence of space and time) can not produce anything. If you think the statement is axiomatic, you are wrong.

StMichael wrote:
It has nothing to do with space/time. It equally applies outside of time that thing cannot be equal to not that thing in the same respect.


You removed time. Now, as you have this written, explain to me why you think the contradiction applies to the universe.

StMichael wrote:
Yes it is. How is it irrelevant?

Because what constitutes the statue (space, time, matter, energy) was already in existence and does not cease to exist. Are you saying that what constitutes the universe (space, time, matter, energy) was already in existence? If not, irrelevant.

Again, nothing goes in or out of existence that we know of. Saying that things change form by cause within the universe is not relevant. And again something being prior to itself is only something one would consider in a space/time environment.

StMichael wrote:
Things, however, change. This is all that is needed. Their particular existence is destroyed and created. Further, space/time doesn’t apply to issues of logical priority. A thing can logically be prior to something, but they coexist together as cause and effect.

No, it is not all that is needed because with the universe we are not speaking of something changing forms. Nothing is created nor destroyed in the case of the statue. Statue is just a term to describe pre-existing matter that has been re-arranged in space/time. With the universe we are speaking of something coming into existence. There is no reason to believe this can not happen uncaused.

As for logical priority, give me an example and show how it relates to the topic without using any time references.

StMichael wrote:
I do not use space/time in a contradictory way, nor does it invalidate my arguments.

Your argument invalidates itself as it is based on faulty premises.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Quote: Am I

Quote:

Am I mis-understanding the definition of "potency" or did you just say that "the First Cause has no ability to affect things"?

Potency is here being used in the Aristotelian sense: a privation of being or perfection. For example, a piece of wood is potentially on fire, but not actually so.

Quote:

Doesn't saying "we have free will because an omniscient god wills it to be so" sound like "an omnipotent god can make a rock he can't lift"?

I don't see a contradiction. God sustains the will in existence by definition, otherwise it does not exist. He wills that our will is free. This is how free will can truly exist freely.

On a sidenote, God cannot make a rock He cannot lift for precisely the reason that it is a contradiction (in the sense that the terms are basically loaded - "can God do an action that is impossible?&quotEye-wink.

 

Quote:

There was only god. But there wasn't nothing, because god's existence makes it impossible for there to be nothing. By the way, does god consist of anything or is he nothing?

Yes, God is something. Thus, creation is ex nihilo only in the sense of external to God. However, God does not consist of any material. He did not "form" Himself into something else. God exists, but is utterly simple without parts as a purely immaterial entity. In fact, He is existence existing - "I am who am."

Quote:

To say "nothing, by definition, can not produce anything; it is a contradiction" is not to show it as a contradiction. It is a baseless assertion. You, nor anyone else, has any reason to believe your assertion to be true. Show me how you come to the conclusion that nothing (this includes an absence of space and time) can not produce anything. If you think the statement is axiomatic, you are wrong.

It is axiomatic. It is a logical contradiction and contrary to the first law of logic to say that something is and is not. This is equivalent to saying that something can come from nothing. There is no way to "prove" this because it is self-evident. If you do not accept this, there can be no sense of "proving" anything because every other logical argument cannot proceed. If we cannot accept that being exists, we cannot accept anything further.

Quote:

You removed time. Now, as you have this written, explain to me why you think the contradiction applies to the universe.

A weasel cannot both be a weasel and not a weasel in the same respect. I cannot exist and not exist in the same respect. It is the primary truth from which we deduce all things. There is no proof for it; it is the first law of logic.

Quote:

 

Because what constitutes the statue (space, time, matter, energy) was already in existence and does not cease to exist. Are you saying that what constitutes the universe (space, time, matter, energy) was already in existence? If not, irrelevant.

This is true. I agree entirely. The matter of the statue does not cease to exist. However, the statue ceases to exist. The statue is corruptible. The fact that its matter does not change is irrelevant. The fact that the thing itself changes is proof that it is in motion and hence relies on an unmoved mover. Matter is that in which change occurs, it is not an agent of change. If it is in motion, it requires a mover. The ultimate Prime Mover is God.

Quote:

And again something being prior to itself is only something one would consider in a space/time environment.

No it is not. Logical priority does not require either time or space. My idea of a an animal is logically prior to that of a racoon. Even in material things, heat is logically prior to fire. Mass is logically prior to gravity. But this does not necessitate temporal priority. Look at quantum mechanics where cause follows effect in temporal priority.

 

Quote:

No, it is not all that is needed because with the universe we are not speaking of something changing forms. Nothing is created nor destroyed in the case of the statue. Statue is just a term to describe pre-existing matter that has been re-arranged in space/time. With the universe we are speaking of something coming into existence. There is no reason to believe this can not happen uncaused.

It has nothing to do with coming into existence absolutely speaking. When we speak of human creation, we create a statue. But this is not creation ex nihilo. Yes, this is mutually agreed. But we do not need to prove that things go in and out of existence absolutely speaking. All that is necessary is that things are changing and possible beings in this sense. They depend on other things for their act/motion. Thus, these things do not exist absolutely speaking. Matter itself is purely potency, a subject of change, and not an agent of change. Hence, it requires the Prime Mover or the Uncaused Cause.

Finally, nothing does not exist. Something cannot come from nothing. It is a truth that cannot be denied.

 

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:

Yes, God is something. Thus, creation is ex nihilo only in the sense of external to God. However, God does not consist of any material. He did not "form" Himself into something else. God exists, but is utterly simple without parts as a purely immaterial entity. In fact, He is existence existing - "I am who am."

 

How can there be an external to god if god is all there is? There was only god therefor nothing could be external to god, especially since external implies space.

Even though god is immaterial, if he can be said to exist, then he must have some property of existence. Can you explain any property of god's existence?

What does existence existing mean? If I go to a dictionary and look up existence and existing it is clear that this sentence says that god is either the state of existing actually existing, or something that exists actually existing. The latter says nothing more than god exists, so I can only assume this is not what you meant. If it was it is a ridiculous way to say such a thing and a pointless statement to make in this discussion. This leaves me to default to the other option. So, what does it mean to be the state of existing actually existing? Well, the state of existing is existing, so again, you have basically said god exists. Can you see why this makes me doubt if you actually understand what you say?

As for the god quote, I expect it to be followed by "and that's all that I am. Toot, toot", then spinach consumption. It doesn't particularly cast this god as the greatest of intellects, if you know what I mean. He may want to consider passing these soundbites by someone in PR before actually putting them out there.

StMichael wrote:
It is axiomatic. It is a logical contradiction and contrary to the first law of logic to say that something is and is not.

It has nothing to do with saying something is and is not. You have stated that something can not come from nothing. The two statements are in no way related.

To state that something must come from nothing is just as true as your statement that something can not come from nothing. There is simply no way you can make the statement in any rational way.

Explain how you think the first law of logic applies.

StMichael wrote:
This is equivalent to saying that something can come from nothing.

No, actually its not. Came from, or come from, puts things in an order that can not exist without space/time.

StMichael wrote:
If you do not accept this, there can be no sense of "proving" anything because every other logical argument cannot proceed. If we cannot accept that being exists, we cannot accept anything further.

No one is denying that being exists. That has nothing to do with your statement that something can not come from nothing.

StMichael wrote:
A weasel cannot both be a weasel and not a weasel in the same respect. I cannot exist and not exist in the same respect. It is the primary truth from which we deduce all things. There is no proof for it; it is the first law of logic.

Sure you can, you can exist today and not tomorrow. Weasel, likewise. Its that pesky time thing.

But even that is not important. The universe need not exist and not exist. It needs only to exist. Since there is no time without the universe, before the universe is non-sensical. The universe exists. Not at the same time that there is nothing. Not in the same space that there is nothing. Simply, The universe exists. There is no contradiction in this.

 

StMichael wrote:
This is true. I agree entirely. The matter of the statue does not cease to exist. However, the statue ceases to exist. The statue is corruptible. The fact that its matter does not change is irrelevant. The fact that the thing itself changes is proof that it is in motion and hence relies on an unmoved mover. Matter is that in which change occurs, it is not an agent of change. If it is in motion, it requires a mover. The ultimate Prime Mover is God.

But you are discussing matter changing. The universe is not matter. You are discussing things changing. The universe is not a thing. The universe is all things. It is all matter. It does not exist as a component of itself. 

There is no good reason to believe the universe needs a cause.


StMichael wrote:
No it is not. Logical priority does not require either time or space. My idea of a an animal is logically prior to that of a racoon. Even in material things, heat is logically prior to fire. Mass is logically prior to gravity. But this does not necessitate temporal priority.

And as I asked, how does this relate to the topic of the universe needing a cause? A cause is not logically prior to the universe in any way I can see.

 

Stmichael wrote:
Look at quantum mechanics where cause follows effect in temporal priority.

How is this relevant to discussing whether or not for something to be prior to something else requires time? I think you got de-railed there. We are talking about a having a relationship to time, not the order within time.


StMichael wrote:
It has nothing to do with coming into existence absolutely speaking. When we speak of human creation, we create a statue. But this is not creation ex nihilo. Yes, this is mutually agreed. But we do not need to prove that things go in and out of existence absolutely speaking.

Yes, we do.

StMichael wrote:
All that is necessary is that things are changing and possible beings in this sense. They depend on other things for their act/motion. Thus, these things do not exist absolutely speaking. Matter itself is purely potency, a subject of change, and not an agent of change. Hence, it requires the Prime Mover or the Uncaused Cause.

True of things within the universe. There is no reason to believe this to be true of the universe, itself.

StMichael wrote:
Finally, nothing does not exist.

That I can agree with.

StMichael wrote:
Something cannot come from nothing. It is a truth that cannot be denied.

I think you are thinking of there being nothing and then being something, but this is, of course, impossible. ( for one thing this would require time).

Besides, to even classify the universe as existing is something of a misnomer. To put it more accurately, the universe contains all that exists, and all that has existed, for all of time.

Your statement 'something can not come from nothing' can not be considered a true statement because of the fact that it is a statement that only makes sense within the confines of the universe. Nothing does not exist, nor is it possible for nothing to exist, except in the sense that we use it inside the universe, the sense in which it means only space and time. Hence, there is the universe.

Anything else you say on the matter is simply putting god where your mind can't go.    

 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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God does not need worship

God does not need worship at all. Worship, in a sense, is the ultimate happiness. This is because the perfect happiness of the human person can only exist united to God in the Beatific Vision. Worship is to our benefit, not God's.

While a sin is finite in the act committed by turning to a created good, it is infinite in regard to the Good itself which it turns away from. Thus, it merits an eternal and a finite punishment (the latter is the rationale of indulgences and purgatory). Further, sin is the punishment in itself because it turns away from the ultimate source of happiness. It can never attain the God it shuns which is the only place it can find perfect happiness. The perfect unhappiness it feels eternally after this turning away (in the seperation of the soul from the body after death) is hell.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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God doesn't need worship?

God doesn't need worship? Why then is worship so demanded by so many xians and xian churches?

Worship is the ultimate happiness? Funny, why are so many xians so unhappy?

Can you define the perfect happiness of the human person? Is it the same as ultimate happiness? Or is perfect happiness better? Or maybe ultimate happiness really is the ultimate?

Only problem with Beatific Vision is you have to die first. Some deal. So what is this Vision? How does it work?

You have such a complicated vision, all on faith. All on the word of an old book. Do you have any evidence of any of this?


Anything at all?

StMichael wrote:
God does not need worship at all.
Stop the presses and tear down the churches, StMichael has spoken! I'll grant that the idea of a perfect being needing worship is nonsensical and if I want that I'll go watch the latest episode of Stargate but... if god doesn't need worship he shouldn't need belief either.
StMichael wrote:
This is because the perfect happiness of the human person can only exist united to God in the Beatific Vision. Worship is to our benefit, not God's.

Let's see if I've got what it means to worship god: Feel bad about yourself because you don't measure up to the contradictory and impossible standards set by a collection of writers with an agenda who died thousands of years ago. I'll pass.
StMichael wrote:
The perfect unhappiness it feels eternally after this turning away (in the seperation of the soul from the body after death) is hell.
That's your idea of hell? Turning your face away from God?

Obviously you've never been to Auschwitz. Or Darfur. Or Rwanda. Or... do I need to go on?

Pick up a copy of "Night" by Ellie Weisel. Read it; it's a short book. Then, get a clue.
---
Actually, I think the common Christian idea of spending eternity praising god would be hell. Give me the fire and brimstone or oblivion, the sheep can keep the mutual ass-kissing society.

StMichael wrote:
Worship, in a sense, is the ultimate happiness.
Like taking drugs ? Maybe for you. But we're not all subs.

Some of us are happiest when laughing, or making others laugh; when helping others to succeed at difficult trials; when building things of value that other people will find useful and appealing.

Just because your sense of self is inadequate to find happiness as a single, finite individual doesn't mean the rest of us are the same.

StMichael wrote:
On to people who are not totally insane
You realy think im insane ?

However, it sounds more like a state rather than an entity. So, this "god" is just a state of an existence?

One question though. Have any evidence to back this stuff up?

What does all this as to do with Vessel post ?

God had no time to create time.


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Technically I'm a sub, but I

Technically I'm a sub, but I don't find worship as happiness. Laughing out loud


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StMichael wrote:

I agree with the original poster that a (Christian or other omnimax) god does not need worship, god already has everything, he is everything. How can he possibly want or need anything? By definition, he cannot lose, cannot fail, if he needed something, that would imply that something was missing from him. Of course to me this needs to be taken to a next step, does god need my money? Does he need me to go to church? Does he need me to convince others that he exists? To me the answer is no, again because by definition he doesn't exist or cannot need.

All of these things are either needs of the churches, or needs of the induhviduals participating in the activities. Churches need money, to get it they ask for tithes and justify the request with god. Induhviduals need something to believe in so they worship a pie in the sky. Induhviduals need to belong so they join churches full of like minded induhviduals.

StMichael wrote:
the perfect happiness of the human person can only exist united to God in the Beatific Vision

Seeing children smile = happiness.
Good conversation = happiness
Doing an interesting job = happiness
Good sex = happiness.
Having lots of friends = happiness
Getting to travel to interesting places = happiness
Being financially secure = happiness

All of these things make me perfectly happy. But I appear not to be "united to God in the Beatific Vision". Hmmm....
StMichael wrote:
My thoughts do not exist as matter. My ideas are universal. Matter is not universal. Whiteness exists in a white object, but whiteness is not identical with the white object. The same is true of number; one dog is not a different number from one apple. My knowing ability is the same way. It deals with immaterial things and hence is immaterial. However, it is not a material organ for the three reasons: it has the ability to know all material bodies (which, if it were material, could only know some types of bodies), it knows more intelligible things better (which is contrary with a material sense organ, which senses more intense sensations less), and lastly my intellect knows universals which are never found in matter. Thus, my intellect does not depend on matter for its existence.
So, you still exist without your body and brain, right? And how would you go about proving this?

God had no time to create time.


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Quote: God doesn't need

Quote:
God doesn't need worship? Why then is worship so demanded by so many xians and xian churches?

Worship is required by men, not by God. It unites man to God, which is the ultimate goal of humanity and their perfect happiness.

Quote:

Worship is the ultimate happiness? Funny, why are so many xians so unhappy?

That is unproven. We also do not mean material happiness, but final and ultimate happiness in the vision of God.

Quote:

Can you define the perfect happiness of the human person? Is it the same as ultimate happiness? Or is perfect happiness better? Or maybe ultimate happiness really is the ultimate?

They are the same. Perfect happiness is happiness considered under the aspect that it lacks nothing, whereas ultimate happiness is happiness considered in so far as it is the ultimate end of human life.

Quote:

Only problem with Beatific Vision is you have to die first. Some deal. So what is this Vision? How does it work?

The Beatific Vision is the direct and unmediated "seeing" of the human intellect of God's essence. God Himself gives grace to the soul, whereby God shows the soul Himself.

Quote:

You have such a complicated vision, all on faith. All on the word of an old book. Do you have any evidence of any of this?

That this is the ultimate end of humankind is a thing that can be proven according to human reason, not just on faith.

 The perfection of the human intellect is to know the causes of things as they are in themselves. The ultimate cause of the universe is God. Hence, the ultimate perfection of the intellect is to know the First Cause as He is in Himself. The same is true in terms of man's will, which desires the Good itself infinitely, which cannot be satisfied by finite material goods. Hence, its perfection exists in God alone as the source of Good itself.

 

Quote:

Let's see if I've got what it means to worship god: Feel bad about yourself because you don't measure up to the contradictory and impossible standards set by a collection of writers with an agenda who died thousands of years ago. I'll pass.

No, worshipping God is to share in the grace of sharing in God's own life, as shown by the testimony of human reason operating naturally and God revealing. The way to attain this perfect happiness is to be baptized and to have faith in and love God (which is itself the source from which happiness springs). I wouldn't pass it up.

Quote:

 

That's your idea of hell? Turning your face away from God?

Obviously you've never been to Auschwitz. Or Darfur. Or Rwanda. Or... do I need to go on?

I don't see what these places have to do with it. The bodies of those tortured in the concentration camps were tortured merely in time and on a finite level. The torture of not seeing God is infinitely painful.

Quote:

Actually, I think the common Christian idea of spending eternity praising god would be hell. Give me the fire and brimstone or oblivion, the sheep can keep the mutual ass-kissing society.

Well, that is not a rationally-founded statement. It is your rejection of something you refuse to try to understand.


Quote:

Like taking drugs ? Maybe for you. But we're not all subs.

These are merely finite goods. God is infinitely Good as Good itself. Only He can satisfy the human heart. Anything else leads us away from happiness, though it may provide temporary pleasure.

Quote:

You realy think im insane ?

You have acted pretty schizophrenic in the past, just copy-pasting things you found somewhere else, or advocating contrary positions. I call that insanity. Otherwise, you just aren't listening to me or taking me seriously at all, which is good enough reason to ignore you in the future.

Quote:

However, it sounds more like a state rather than an entity. So, this "god" is just a state of an existence?

No, God is His act of existing. He is an entity whose nature is to exist.

Quote:

One question though. Have any evidence to back this stuff up?

Yes. Do you?

 

Quote:

StMichael wrote:
My thoughts do not exist as matter. My ideas are universal. Matter is not universal. Whiteness exists in a white object, but whiteness is not identical with the white object. The same is true of number; one dog is not a different number from one apple. My knowing ability is the same way. It deals with immaterial things and hence is immaterial. However, it is not a material organ for the three reasons: it has the ability to know all material bodies (which, if it were material, could only know some types of bodies), it knows more intelligible things better (which is contrary with a material sense organ, which senses more intense sensations less), and lastly my intellect knows universals which are never found in matter. Thus, my intellect does not depend on matter for its existence.

 

So, you still exist without your body and brain, right? And how would you go about proving this?

Read the post. I do.

 

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael

StMichael wrote:

Quote:

Am I mis-understanding the definition of "potency" or did you just say that "the First Cause has no ability to affect things"?

Potency is here being used in the Aristotelian sense: a privation of being or perfection. For example, a piece of wood is potentially on fire, but not actually so.

Okay. Thanks for the definition. With my lack of knowledge of Aristotle, I shall return to the sidelines of that portion of the discussion. Meanwhile...

StMichael wrote:

Quote:

Doesn't saying "we have free will because an omniscient god wills it to be so" sound like "an omnipotent god can make a rock he can't lift"?

I don't see a contradiction. God sustains the will in existence by definition, otherwise it does not exist. He wills that our will is free. This is how free will can truly exist freely.

On a sidenote, God cannot make a rock He cannot lift for precisely the reason that it is a contradiction (in the sense that the terms are basically loaded - "can God do an action that is impossible?&quotEye-wink.

Can a god, who is omniscient, allow me to do something he hasn't foreseen?

If so, then, by definition, he is no longer omniscient.

If not, then there is no free will and my actions are predetermined.

-Triften


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StMichael wrote:Worship is

First, to equate "god" with happiness is to equate god to only one side of a relative reality. Such reality has TWO sides to it, BY NECESSITY.

You might feel the high of that relative happiness, but sooner or later there is a down side to it. That is what St. Teresa of Avila referred to in her "Noche oscura del alma" (Dark night of the soul).
She could feel "elevated" for a while but then she would have her dark "lows"...

Why is that? Because such is the nature of life! The process of evolution does not follow a straight upward line. It is a wavy line, with peaks and valleys. Your god can NEVER be just one side of it, happiness or unhappiness.
If anything it would have to be BOTH, and TRUE happiness comes from the fulfillment of EMBRACING the TOTALITY of life, not just one aspect.

You as a theist and I as an atheist, both, should embrace the totality of life, because in either state there is growth and because we both understand that it takes two (sides) to tango...

StMichael wrote:
Worship is required by men, not by God. It unites man to God, which is the ultimate goal of humanity and their perfect happiness.
I agree about the "Worship is required by men, not by God." because there's no god to require it. I don't agree with the notion that unification with a non-existent entity is the ultimate goal of humanity. It would seem an awful lot of folks disagree with you as well.

Define perfect happiness. For me its nothing to do with some silly imaginary being cooked by some Bronze Age herders.

StMichael wrote:
That is unproven. We also do not mean material happiness, but final and ultimate happiness in the vision of God.
Ah, proof! I don't need any proof, proofs are for mathematics, they are meaningless in reality. But I suppose you mean supporting evidence, which is great, I am glad you mentioned it, I was just about to myself. Evidence will do. Empirical evidence, falsifiable, repeatable evidence. Got any?
StMichael wrote:
They are the same. Perfect happiness is happiness considered under the aspect that it lacks nothing, whereas ultimate happiness is happiness considered in so far as it is the ultimate end of human life.
The ultimate end of human life is death. That statement has very substantial evidence supporting it. Do your statements have any supporting evidence?
StMichael wrote:
The Beatific Vision is the direct and unmediated "seeing" of the human intellect of God's essence. God Himself gives grace to the soul, whereby God shows the soul Himself.
Could you explain that better? For one thing, what is god's essence? Why should 'seeing' it be cause for anything?
Do you have any supporting evidence for this god's essence? Do you have any supporting evidence for this soul thing? Finally, do you have any supporting evidence for this god?
StMichael wrote:
That this is the ultimate end of humankind is a thing that can be proven according to human reason, not just on faith.
Have at it. As stated above, I am not necessarily after any proof, proofs are for maths. But whatever you have, let's see it.
StMichael wrote:
The perfection of the human intellect is to know the causes of things as they are in themselves. The ultimate cause of the universe is God. Hence, the ultimate perfection of the intellect is to know the First Cause as He is in Himself. The same is true in terms of man's will, which desires the Good itself infinitely, which cannot be satisfied by finite material goods. Hence, its perfection exists in God alone as the source of Good itself.
The first sentence doesn't mean anything.
Do you have any supporting evidence for the first claim in the second sentence?
Desires the good itself infinitely? Explain this.
Do you have any supporting evidence for this claim?
Who or what is the "its" that's perfection exists in this god you postulate?
Again, your sentences are impressive sounding but they don't really say anything. Have you any supporting evidence for any of these claims?
StMichael wrote:
No, worshipping God is to share in the grace of sharing in God's own life, as shown by the testimony of human reason operating naturally and God revealing. The way to attain this perfect happiness is to be baptized and to have faith in and love God (which is itself the source from which happiness springs). I wouldn't pass it up.
What "testimony of human reason"? Again, the sentences sound good but are nonsensical.
How does pouring water on your head and saying some words make any difference? Have you supporting evidence?
Obviously you wouldn't pass it up. Me? I'll pass. Just as I pass on 99.9% of the offers on TV, in various media, spam and otherwise. I try not to be a patsy.
StMichael wrote:
I don't see what these places have to do with it. The bodies of those tortured in the concentration camps were tortured merely in time and on a finite level. The torture of not seeing God is infinitely painful.
Hmm, I haven't been bothered by not seeing your god. Do you have any supporting evidence for any of this?
StMichael wrote:
Well, that is not a rationally-founded statement. It is your rejection of something you refuse to try to understand.
Why isn't is a rationally founded statement? Can you support your contention? Do you have any supporting evidence? Have you considered the possibility there is nothing to understand?
StMichael wrote:
These are merely finite goods. God is infinitely Good as Good itself. Only He can satisfy the human heart. Anything else leads us away from happiness, though it may provide temporary pleasure.
And you know this how?
StMichael wrote:
You have acted pretty schizophrenic in the past, just copy-pasting things you found somewhere else, or advocating contrary positions. I call that insanity. Otherwise, you just aren't listening to me or taking me seriously at all, which is good enough reason to ignore you in the future.
I couldn't find the reference you were responding to here. Can you provide links please ?
StMichael wrote:
No, God is His act of existing. He is an entity whose nature is to exist.
Have you supporting evidence of this?
StMichael wrote:
Yes. Do you?
You made the statements, you made the claims, its up to you to support them. You indicate you have said supporting evidence, so, show us what you have. If its as good as you seem to think, you should turn some heads around.
StMichael wrote:
The ultimate cause of the universe is God.
Here we go again. How do you know this? Must the universe have an ultimate cause? Or should i also need to repeat my self ? Ill do a resume for you.

The first cause argument is invalid for these reasons:


- conservation of energy (a first cause violates this)
- it's based on a category error (the idea that the universe itself is the same as something contained within it)
- an infinite regress is coherent
- rooted in special pleading
- equivocation; the 'first cause' god does not resemble the 'jesus saves' god in any way shape or form and need not even be sentient
- failure to address why there can not be multiple equal 'first causes'
- universe creators can not be defined into existence.
- treating time as if it were independent of the universe

StMichael wrote:
...perfect happiness of the human person can only exist united to God in the Beatific Vision.

Here it is:
Beatific Vision: The immediate knowledge of God which angelic spirits and souls of the just enjoy in Heaven.
In this case, in order to see this 'vision', you have to be physically dead. And that renders you no longer human.

Psalm 84:2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yet one must be deceased to find the LIVING God. How moronic...I mean....ironic.

What else do I see? Ah...
Deuteronomy 16:11 And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there. Now this sounds like required worship.

Well, we definitely can NOT worship any other gods:
Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Deuteronomy 6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

Deuteronomy 12:5-6
5: But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
6: And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:

Well, let us see what Jesus says:
Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Here are things NOT to worship:
Deuteronomy 4:19  And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

StMichael wrote:
Worship is to our benefit, not God's.
Imagine, if you will, no one worshiping God. What would God think when humanity comes to an end and no one shows up in Heaven?
StMichael wrote:
Worship is required by men, not by God. It unites man to God, which is the ultimate goal of humanity and their perfect happiness.
I think you mean that some men need others to think that they need to worship God so that these men can collect offerings and tithes, tax free, from those who never achieved 'perfect happiness'.
StMichael wrote:
The bodies of those tortured in the concentration camps were tortured merely in time and on a finite level. The torture of not seeing God is infinitely painful.

This statement is insensitive. Disgustingly so. To be perfectly honest, I do not understand why such a statement. Why does the RRS disallow calling people names, but allow people to post this repugnant filth? How can one be expected to reasonably respond to a person who says, in effect, "You rape/torture victims are such whiners!" What possible rational response is adequate?
StMichael wrote:
Otherwise, you just aren't listening to me or taking me seriously at all, which is good enough reason to ignore you in the future.

I listened to you. I took you seriously.

God had no time to create time.


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Quote: Can a god, who is

Quote:

Can a god, who is omniscient, allow me to do something he hasn't foreseen?

If so, then, by definition, he is no longer omniscient.

If not, then there is no free will and my actions are predetermined.

Well, it is a contradiction in terms to say that "God allows me to do something He has not foreseen," because, of course, if God knew that you were going to do something, it would happen/have already happened to God in eternity. God's foreknowledge of our free acts does not make them any less free. It is His will that our decisions are free that makes them free in the first place. But He, again, doesn't determine our decisions even though He knows what they are before we make them in time.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:

Well, it is a contradiction in terms to say that "God allows me to do something He has not foreseen," because, of course, if God knew that you were going to do something, it would happen/have already happened to God in eternity. God's foreknowledge of our free acts does not make them any less free. It is His will that our decisions are free that makes them free in the first place. But He, again, doesn't determine our decisions even though He knows what they are before we make them in time.

So, God can create the universe, our psyches/souls/etc.  as he sees fit, knowing everything that's going to happen, and we can still make our own decisions?

Also, how can we have freedom to act in the face of the ultimate coercion: follow my rules or suffer forever?

-Triften


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Quote: So, God can create

Quote:
So, God can create the universe, our psyches/souls/etc.  as he sees fit, knowing everything that's going to happen, and we can still make our own decisions?

Yes. He wills that we are free. Our acts are thus voluntary. He does not determine them, even though He causes them to exist.

Quote:

Also, how can we have freedom to act in the face of the ultimate coercion: follow my rules or suffer forever?

Well, we do have freedom to pursue the good according to our free will regardless of whether this is true or not. Hence, an atheist is possible.

I would also point out that God does not act like this. Happiness = having God, Unhappiness (Hell) = not having God.

 

 

 

Quote:

First, to equate "god" with happiness is to equate god to only one side of a relative reality. Such reality has TWO sides to it, BY NECESSITY.

No it does not. Unhappiness exists, but God is not both happiness and unhappiness. There is no necessary reason why I ought to place them together. God is the perfect Good, not the perfect evil (it wouldn't make any sense anyway if you equated both of any of these sorts of pairs because it would be a contradiction).

Quote:

You might feel the high of that relative happiness, but sooner or later there is a down side to it. That is what St. Teresa of Avila referred to in her "Noche oscura del alma" (Dark night of the soul).
She could feel "elevated" for a while but then she would have her dark "lows"...

Stop misinterpreting Saint Teresa. She was speaking of something totally different. And perfect happiness is not something found in this life.

Quote:

Why is that? Because such is the nature of life! The process of evolution does not follow a straight upward line. It is a wavy line, with peaks and valleys. Your god can NEVER be just one side of it, happiness or unhappiness.

We naturally desire the good. Not a good, like water. We desire the Good, infinitely considered. The only thing that can answer this desire is God.

Quote:

I agree about the "Worship is required by men, not by God." because there's no god to require it. I don't agree with the notion that unification with a non-existent entity is the ultimate goal of humanity. It would seem an awful lot of folks disagree with you as well.

And? If people are wrong, what impact would that have on my position? Bandwagon fallacy.

Quote:

Define perfect happiness. For me its nothing to do with some silly imaginary being cooked by some Bronze Age herders.

Perfect happiness is perfect possession of the Good.

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Ah, proof! I don't need any proof, proofs are for mathematics, they are meaningless in reality.

Tell a mathematician that.

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  Empirical evidence, falsifiable, repeatable evidence. Got any?

What falsifiable, empirical, repeatable evidence do you have that I ought to present falsifiable, empirical, repeatable  evidence?

Things that fall under logical necessity, like God, cannot be proven by "empirical" evidence (assuming that means what I think it does), but that does not mean that the statement is false, any more than 2+2=4 is false.

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The ultimate end of human life is death. That statement has very substantial evidence supporting it. Do your statements have any supporting evidence?

That is a superficial interpretation of the meaning of "end." I would agree with you that man does die at the term of his life. However, this is not the goal of human existence. Man does not live solely to die. Man exists to possess the good. To know it and to have it forever.

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Could you explain that better? For one thing, what is god's essence?

An essence is "what a thing is."

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Why should 'seeing' it be cause for anything?

Our knowing of it (intellectual vision) fulfills our purpose in life - to be happy.

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Do you have any supporting evidence for this god's essence?

From the nature of the Prime Mover, He must be pure act without any potency. Any division is a potency. No division thus exists in God. God does not, thence, have a division between what He is and how He is - His essence and existence are identical.

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Do you have any supporting evidence for this soul thing?

You have a mind which is obviously alive. That is a soul.

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Finally, do you have any supporting evidence for this god?

From motion, as I have explained earlier. In sum, we clearly see that things in the world are in motion. What is in motion needs to be moved. Eventually we need to arrive at an unmoved mover. This mover is God.

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The first sentence doesn't mean anything.

The human mind is perfected in knowing causes. Its ultimate perfection is to know the First Cause.

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Do you have any supporting evidence for the first claim in the second sentence?

The Prime Mover must exist, logically speaking. It is the First Cause.

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Desires the good itself infinitely? Explain this.

We desire goodness itself, not a good apple. I may want an apple, but I want the goodness of the apple itself (such as its delicious taste), not the apple. Our desire for the good itself is infinite, because we desire the perfect good forever. We want to be happy for all time. I point to drug users and hedonists.

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Who or what is the "its" that's perfection exists in this god you postulate?

The will.

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What "testimony of human reason"?

 

 No, the testimony of [a] human reason operating naturally and [b] human reason as knowing through Revelation. It testifies to the fact that perfect happiness lies in union with God. Worship unites the person worshipping with God. Hence, worship is perfect happiness.

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How does pouring water on your head and saying some words make any difference? Have you supporting evidence?

 The evidence would be from Revelation, because it is a purely supernatural action. It grants me sanctifying grace when I am baptized, so that God makes me into His adopted son and fills me with His life, washing away all sin.


 

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Hmm, I haven't been bothered by not seeing your god. Do you have any supporting evidence for any of this?

Which part? You aren't even sticking to the same points anymore.

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Why isn't is a rationally founded statement?

You said that "praising God would be hell in itself." You gave no reason for it and purely contended that you found it so. You have no reason why this would be the case and found your reason purely on your emotional feelings about the issue. That is irrational.

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And you know this how?

Which part? A material good is obviously limited because a material body is by definition limited.

God is infinite Good because He is Goodness itself.

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Have you supporting evidence of this?

From the fact that God is pure act, He has no division in Him. Hence, there is no division between what He is and how He is. Hence, His essence is His existence.

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The first cause argument is invalid for these reasons:

- conservation of energy (a first cause violates this)

Conservation of energy only has to do with matter and energy in the universe, not with the cause of existence of the matter and energy in the first place.

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- it's based on a category error (the idea that the universe itself is the same as something contained within it)

The universe is composed of material bodies in motion. As the entire universe is in motion, so does it require a mover. This unmoved mover is God.

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- an infinite regress is coherent

An absolute infinite regress of efficent causes or of motion is incoherent. Every thing that is in motion is only in motion is so far as something else moves it. If there is no first motion, no motion can exist now (which is absurd, as motion clearly exists). Hence, a Prime Mover exists.

Quote:

- rooted in special pleading

There is no special pleading. I never said "everything has to have a cause" or "everything is in motion." I merely point out that the things within the observable universe are in motion. If they are in motion, they ultimately require an unmoved mover, otherwise their motion would not exist.

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- equivocation; the 'first cause' god does not resemble the 'jesus saves' god in any way shape or form and need not even be sentient

First, this point is irrelevant as I merely need to show that a God exists. Second, this "cause of all things" and "ruler of all things" is precisely what is meant by the term "god." Third, the Christian religion defines its God as being the First Cause; the equivocation on my part does not need to occur because the religion already does it. Finally, the being itself is sentient, as can be proven later (we should address the question at hand before we move off into another discussion).

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- failure to address why there can not be multiple equal 'first causes'

Each first cause would be the same thing. And, because there is no matter in the first cause, they would be the identical same One thing without any individuation. This also follows from the fact that the First Cause is pure act without potency.

 

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- universe creators can not be defined into existence.

I never define it into existence. Ever.

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- treating time as if it were independent of the universe

Time is an attribute of bodies and other things which are in motion. It only, thus, applies to the universe. Further, I never make a claim that time is independent of the universe. Which is why God is eternal, because He is outside of time and the universe.

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Here it is:
Beatific Vision: The immediate knowledge of God which angelic spirits and souls of the just enjoy in Heaven.
In this case, in order to see this 'vision', you have to be physically dead. And that renders you no longer human.

No it does not. A human soul is human. A human mind is human. If the mind can see God, there is no contradiction to the fact that I can see God.

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Deuteronomy 16:11 And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there. Now this sounds like required worship....

And?

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Imagine, if you will, no one worshiping God. What would God think when humanity comes to an end and no one shows up in Heaven?

He would be very sad (figuratively speaking, of course; His happiness would still be perfect).

It never says that God requires worship for His own perfection or happiness. Anywhere.

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I think you mean that some men need others to think that they need to worship God so that these men can collect offerings and tithes, tax free, from those who never achieved 'perfect happiness'.

Perfect happiness is never achieved in this life, so it has nothing to do with it. Also, just because there are evil theists does not mean that the religion is false.

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This statement is insensitive. Disgustingly so. To be perfectly honest, I do not understand why such a statement. Why does the RRS disallow calling people names, but allow people to post this repugnant filth? How can one be expected to reasonably respond to a person who says, in effect, "You rape/torture victims are such whiners!" What possible rational response is adequate?

It is not insensitive at all. At their deaths, their torture stopped. This does not downplay their torture, but merely acknowledges a fact. But the torture of never seeing God will never end, in comparison.

 

 

 

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How can there be an external to god if god is all there is?

Yes, this is correct. There is nothing outside of God before He creates.

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Even though god is immaterial, if he can be said to exist, then he must have some property of existence. Can you explain any property of god's existence?

That He exists. He exists also in relation to our created universe as a cause to an effect. We can likewise speak about Him by an analogy from created things, because He is a cause. Therefore, He is the exemplar of every perfection that exists in created being.

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What does existence existing mean?

God is pure and infinite being. He is. This is His essence: "I am who am." He is a being that exists, but whose act of existence is what He is. This flows from His nature as Prime Mover/First Cause because He is pure actuality.

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To state that something must come from nothing is just as true as your statement that something can not come from nothing. There is simply no way you can make the statement in any rational way.

Explain how you think the first law of logic applies.

Because if you say that something can come from nothing, this is to say that nothing is. Nothing is equal to something. This violates logic. Nothing, by definition, cannot be something.

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 No, actually its not. Came from, or come from, puts things in an order that can not exist without space/time.

Space/time is an existing entity. It is not nothing.

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No one is denying that being exists. That has nothing to do with your statement that something can not come from nothing.

Yes it does. If something can come from nothing, being does not exist. Being would then be equivalent to nothingness.

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Sure you can, you can exist today and not tomorrow. Weasel, likewise. Its that pesky time thing.

"In the same respect" - this includes time. Further, looking at this, it requires necessary being to cause the existence of possible beings (I can exist and not exist). Some being must then exist necessarily. But in these necessary beings, there cannot be an infinite regress because then no thing would exist. Hence, a Necessary Being must exist. This is God.

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But even that is not important. The universe need not exist and not exist. It needs only to exist. Since there is no time without the universe, before the universe is non-sensical. The universe exists. Not at the same time that there is nothing. Not in the same space that there is nothing. Simply, The universe exists.

The universe changes and is not the same. Things within the universe go in and out of existence. It is not a necessarily existing being. Further, it requires a mover in order for any change to exist in the universe. If there is no Prime Mover or Necessary Being, the universe could not exist.

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But you are discussing matter changing. The universe is not matter. You are discussing things changing. The universe is not a thing. The universe is all things. It is all matter. It does not exist as a component of itself. 

There is no good reason to believe the universe needs a cause.

How is the universe not changing? A material body, of necessity, is in motion and in a constant state of change (at the very least assuming temporal change). The universe itself is matter.

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And as I asked, how does this relate to the topic of the universe needing a cause? A cause is not logically prior to the universe in any way I can see.

Because you said that my cause had to exist in time. Causation is not merely temporal.

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How is this relevant to discussing whether or not for something to be prior to something else requires time? I think you got de-railed there. We are talking about a having a relationship to time, not the order within time.

YOU brought it up.

Further, the universe cannot be its own cause because it would be logically prior to itself, which is impossible (such as a fire being hot and not hot at the same time in the same respect).

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Yes, we do.

The comet you see hurtling past the earth is not a necessary being - it can be destroyed. My liver does not possess necessary existence, as it can go out of existence. The sun could explode and be destroyed. Therefore, there is some necessarily existing thing that sustains these in existence. But every necessary existence depends on another or does not. We cannot regress forever with necessary beings, because then there would be no being at all. Therefore, we must conclude that there is one necessarily existing thing that exists due to its own nature. This is God.

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True of things within the universe. There is no reason to believe this to be true of the universe, itself.

The whole is equivalent to the sum of its parts.

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Your statement 'something can not come from nothing' can not be considered a true statement because of the fact that it is a statement that only makes sense within the confines of the universe. Nothing does not exist, nor is it possible for nothing to exist, except in the sense that we use it inside the universe, the sense in which it means only space and time. Hence, there is the universe.

But this does not mean anything. You then readily admit that something cannot come from nothing. Then my argument follows. If something cannot come from nothing, it requires a Prime Mover, God.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

    

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


Pikachu
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StMichael wrote:Yes. He

StMichael wrote:
Yes. He wills that we are free. Our acts are thus voluntary. He does not determine them, even though He causes them to exist.
If he causes them and if he knows in advance what they will be, all the fancy words you care to use won't change the fact that we're not really making a choice. Choice implies at least two possible outcomes. If God knows in advance that out of A, B and C I will choose C, there is no way I can choose anything but C, whether I think I made the choice or not.
StMichael wrote:
Well, we do have freedom to pursue the good according to our free will regardless of whether this is true or not. Hence, an atheist is possible.
Thank you for acknowledging that we exist. In return, we promise to tell the Black Helicopter squad to leave you alone for the rest of the day.
StMichael wrote:
I would also point out that God does not act like this. Happiness = having God, Unhappiness (Hell) = not having God.
Ipse dixit
StMichael wrote:
God is the perfect Good, not the perfect evil (it wouldn't make any sense anyway if you equated both of any of these sorts of pairs because it would be a contradiction).
Your Bible would disagree. Try reading Isaiah 45:7.
StMichael wrote:
We naturally desire the good. Not a good, like water. We desire the Good, infinitely considered. The only thing that can answer this desire is God.
Ipse dixit
StMichael wrote:
And? If people are wrong, what impact would that have on my position? Bandwagon fallacy.
Maybe it will force you to consider the fact that you've been asserting a lot of things without actually demonstrating that they're true.
StMichael wrote:
Perfect happiness is perfect possession of the Good.
Great, now define the Good and explain why you feel it needs to be capitalized.
StMichael wrote:
What falsifiable, empirical, repeatable evidence do you have that I ought to present falsifiable, empirical, repeatable evidence?
I'll type the following slowly so you get it: You make a claim, you back it up with evidence. That's called Burden of Proof.
StMichael wrote:
Things that fall under logical necessity, like God, cannot be proven by "empirical" evidence (assuming that means what I think it does), but that does not mean that the statement is false, any more than 2+2=4 is false.
You see, you're assuming God is logically necessary in order to argue that God exists. That doesn't wash.
StMichael wrote:
That is a superficial interpretation of the meaning of "end."
No, it's a pretty accurate one. Until you can prove that there is something that survives death (prepare your acceptance speech for when you get your Nobel Prize) then the statement stands.
StMichael wrote:
I would agree with you that man does die at the term of his life. However, this is not the goal of human existence. Man does not live solely to die. Man exists to possess the good. To know it and to have it forever.
Ipse dixit
StMichael wrote:
An essence is "what a thing is."
[sarcasm]God is God. Gee, that clarifies everything.[/sarcasm]

  • P1. If God is God, then God is not something.
  • P2. Therefore, God is nothing.
  • C2. God cannot exist.
    StMichael wrote:
    The Prime Mover must exist, logically speaking. It is the First Cause.
    Special pleading.
    StMichael wrote:
    The evidence would be from Revelation, because it is a purely supernatural action. It grants me sanctifying grace when I am baptized, so that God makes me into His adopted son and fills me with His life, washing away all sin.
    So... you admit that you don't have anything that actually qualifies as 'evidence' given the commonly accepted meaning of the term.
    StMichael wrote:
    God is infinite Good because He is Goodness itself.
    I get tired of saying this but Ipse dixit.
    StMichael wrote:
    And?
    You opened by stating that God does not require worship. Please pay attention.
    StMichael wrote:
    Yes, this is correct. There is nothing outside of God before He creates.
  • Which entails a "before creation" which entails time (btw, I'm a presentist).

    So, if there was nothing other than God before he created (and God has existed from everlasting in that state) but there is now something other than God, why did he change from having the universe as nothing more than a mental concept to having an actually existing mind.

    "Inside" God meant "inside his mind" (as an idea). Outside of God meant, "outside of God's mind" (as more than an idea).

    StMichael wrote:
    But this does not mean anything. You then readily admit that something cannot come from nothing. Then my argument follows. If something cannot come from nothing, it requires a Prime Mover, God.
    Nothing can come forth into existence un-caused. Everything has a cause, even your god.
    StMichael wrote:

    Further, sin is the punishment in itself because it turns away from the ultimate source of happiness. It can never attain the God it shuns which is the only place it can find perfect happiness. The perfect unhappiness it feels eternally after this turning away (in the seperation of the soul from the body after death) is hell.
    I may note that this mollycoddle idea of hell is a very modern invention, because even some of the most fundy Christians are a bit uncomfortable with their fellow human beings burning for all eternity.

    How they do reconcile this version with the bible is beyond me.

    God had no time to create time.


    Vessel
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    I have very little time


    I have very little time today so I may be short.

    StMichael wrote:
    Yes, this is correct. There is nothing outside of God before He creates.

    Before?

    StMichael wrote:
    That He exists. He exists also in relation to our created universe as a cause to an effect. We can likewise speak about Him by an analogy from created things, because He is a cause. Therefore, He is the exemplar of every perfection that exists in created being.

    Perfection does not exist. It is not a concept that has any true application. What is perfection? We can't say perfection is god and god is perfection because then we have said nothing, just like when you say god is existence existing. That kind of babble is pointless.

    StMichael wrote:
    God is pure and infinite being. He is. This is His essence: "I am who am." He is a being that exists, but whose act of existence is what He is. This flows from His nature as Prime Mover/First Cause because He is pure actuality.

    You have said nothing more than god exists again. It should only take two words, not fourty six, and I realize you think this to be true without even wasting two words on it.

    So, as I thought, existence existing is utterly meaningless babble. Stop that, it makes you lose any credibility.

    StMichael wrote:
    Because if you say that something can come from nothing, this is to say that nothing is. Nothing is equal to something. This violates logic. Nothing, by definition, cannot be something.

    No one has said that nothing is equal to something. I have merely pointed out that the statement something can not come from nothing is not a statement that is self evidently true. For this statment to be self evidently true nothing would need some properties by which we could know it, we would also have to be able to understand terms such as 'come from' as it could pertain to nothing.

    StMichael wrote:
    Space/time is an existing entity. It is not nothing.

    Not quite sure what this means in the context of being a response to what I said. I even went back and re-read and still couldn't figure it out. Where did I claim or imply space/time was nothing?

    StMichael wrote:
    Yes it does. If something can come from nothing, being does not exist. Being would then be equivalent to nothingness.

    No one has said something can come from nothing.

    StMichael wrote:
    "In the same respect" - this includes time.

    If you meant that to include time then you why did you drop 'at the same time' from the end when I pointed out the flaw in the analogy? Try to stay honest.

    Stmichael wrote:
    Further, looking at this, it requires necessary being to cause the existence of possible beings (I can exist and not exist). Some being must then exist necessarily. But in these necessary beings, there cannot be an infinite regress because then no thing would exist. Hence, a Necessary Being must exist. This is God.

    So you say, but I have yet to see any reason for this to be true as it pertains to the universe. It is a unique circumstance that can not be known simply by looking at circumstances within the universe.This is not matter/energy changing forms within space/time but matter/energy coming into existence without space/time. No similarities are implicit. (To go further, I don't even see any reason to think everything needs a cause within the universe, but that is another topic.)

    StMichael wrote:
    The universe changes and is not the same.

    In what manner?

    StMichael wrote:
    Things within the universe go in and out of existence.

    This is not a known fact. Things change form. Things may go in and out of existence with vacuum fluctuations, but that isn't necessarilly what's happening. If it is what's happening, it is very likely uncaused. The vacuum fluctuation does not cause the particles to appear and destruct, but it is the particles appearing and destructing. The vacuum itself does not cause the particles to appear either.

    StMichael wrote:
    It is not a necessarily existing being.

    Why is the universe not a necessary existing being?

    StMichael wrote:
    Further, it requires a mover in order for any change to exist in the universe.

    In the universe, maybe (as I said, another topic). For the universe itself, well, that is your unfounded assertion.

    StMichael wrote:
    If there is no Prime Mover or Necessary Being, the universe could not exist.

    That's the unfounded assertion.

     


    StMichael wrote:
    How is the universe not changing? A material body, of necessity, is in motion and in a constant state of change (at the very least assuming temporal change). The universe itself is matter.

    The universe is neither a material body nor matter.


    StMichael wrote:
    Because you said that my cause had to exist in time. Causation is not merely temporal.

    Actually, I hadn't said that , but yes, time is necesssary for cause and effect. Okay, now I've said it. What I said earlier was that your contradiction waas time dependent.

    StMichael wrote:
    YOU brought it up.

    No, I didn't. Go back and look for me making any mention of such an occurence. But, before you think that tha says anything about cause and effect or change beiong non-temporal realize that is not a valid conclusion for the occurence you reference. This occurs within a space/time environment. Direction in time is what is relevant in that situation.

    StMichael wrote:
    Further, the universe cannot be its own cause because it would be logically prior to itself, which is impossible (such as a fire being hot and not hot at the same time in the same respect).

    The universe would not need to be prior to itself in any way. There would be no time, you could not illustrate the logically prior contradiction you seemed sure existed, there is no way being prior pertains at all.


    StMichael wrote:
    The comet you see hurtling past the earth is not a necessary being - it can be destroyed. My liver does not possess necessary existence, as it can go out of existence. The sun could explode and be destroyed. Therefore, there is some necessarily existing thing that sustains these in existence.

    The matter/energy that comprises these things could not go out of existence. These things would still exist, just in a different form.

    StMichael wrote:
    But every necessary existence depends on another or does not. We cannot regress forever with necessary beings, because then there would be no being at all.

    I'm sure this is going to open up another topic, but there is a flaw in your reasoning for thinking an infinite regress is impossible. The problem is that an infinite regress removes the necessity of a necessary being (first cause), so to say that we can not regress forever with 'necessary beings' has nothing to do with an infinite regress. We are actually regressing forever with beings none of which are necessary (or first). The problem you find with infinite regress is only a problem if you require a necessary being (first cause) so to say that you can't have an infinite regress because you require a first cause is circular.

    StMichael wrote:
    Therefore, we must conclude that there is one necessarily existing thing that exists due to its own nature. This is God.

    Apparently not.

    StMichael wrote:
    The whole is equivalent to the sum of its parts.

    That is true of a thing. The universe is not a thing, it is the set of all things.

    StMichael wrote:
    But this does not mean anything. You then readily admit that something cannot come from nothing. Then my argument follows. If something cannot come from nothing, it requires a Prime Mover, God.

    No prime mover is required. You have yet to show any truth in the statement something can not come from nothing. You have yet to show any need for a cause, first or otherwise. I'm not supplying a counter explanation, I am simply showing the fault in your argument. The universe has contained everything for all of time, that is all one can say. You are simply putting god where at the point where your mind loses its ability to reason. That's where god has always lived, it is just a lot further away than it used to be. He moves a lot.


    “Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


    ShaunPhilly
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    Vessel wrote: No prime

    Vessel wrote:

    No prime mover is required. You have yet to show any truth in the statement something can not come from nothing. You have yet to show any need for a cause, first or otherwise. I'm not supplying a counter explanation, I am simply showing the fault in your argument.

    The part about not proposing a counter argument is important.  Often times in conversation, even with our esteemed saint, the issue is painted as a conflict between ideas--in this case Catholicism (or some interpretation of it) and there being no God.

    But I think it's fair to say that while many people here who align with the RRS argue taht God in nonsensical, not conforming to logic, or simply nonexistent would primarily answer that the evidence presented for God's existence (or God's necessity, as Michael says) is simply insufficient for many of our acceptance.

    There have been more than a few times I remember Michael saying things about how all we have is battling assertions, and some reply that it is Michael's assertions taht are simply being challenged.  Vessel here said it succinctly, and I just wanted to comment on it with some kudos.

    Further, when Vessel says something like the following;

    Quote:
    The universe has contained everything for all of time, that is all one can say.

    I read it as a proposition, possibly of belief as well, but in this conext it is more like another logical possibility that implies that Michael's assertion of God's necessity due to the need for a prime mover is not, in fact, settled.

    St. Michael, you claim it is a logical necessity to have a prime mover to start motion.  I won't reiterate the points made above (and elsewhere), but will say that what we are trying to do it present other logically possible explanations.  Whether they have scientific credibility, evidence, etc is important but not critical because all that matters is that they are at least as logically possible as your proposal. 

    If there is more thna one logically possible explanation for something, then none of them are logicaly necessary without further argumentation.  You, Michael, have not given sufficient argumentation for your claim, and I reject it along with others here.

    Vessel wrote:
    You are simply putting god where at the point where your mind loses its ability to reason. That's where god has always lived, it is just a lot further away than it used to be. He moves a lot.

    Yes.  The more we know about the universe, te less God has historically been asserted to explain.  It's been a slow and steady progression from gods explaining thunder, lightning, and storms to God simply being the prime mover.  This philosophical "god" is the result of people in ancient times realizing that we can explain everything else naturally.  And even if such a God exists, it still does not get close to the God of the Bible.

    Your credulity towards teh Bible over other myths is, well, fascinating.

    Shaun 

     

     

     

    I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


    Pikachu
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    Afaik, the Universe is all

    Afaik, the Universe is all moving, nothing ever stands completely still.

    If there was a Big Bang from which the Universe expanded, from which did it expand?

    So if the Newton law states that for every reaction there is an equal an opposite reaction, did something do the very opposite of expanding?
    What do you call that?

    Nothing?

    So the Universe is all moving and Nothing is unmoved.

    And how did the interaction start out?

    Was there a beginning?

    Newton law also states that every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

    The Universe as a whole is in a uniform motion, it always moves, nothing ever stands still, this was accompanied with an equal an opposite reaction, that Nothing is unmoved.

    If we agree that the interaction started, what external force was applied?

    StMicheal wrote:
    The act itself is an entity. God is existence existing. God is.
    That only presumes that there is a "before" time. There was none. Everything is present to God as one eternal "now." He created the universe from all eternity.
    So, for a couple of hundred gogoolplex years, your god was just hanging around, totally alone and then one day, he decided to create a universe so incredibly huge and filled with the most amazing objects you can imagine and in an insignificant arm of a small and unimportant galaxy, a bleak yellow star was created and on a chunk of rock, this god created some animals? For what purpose and do you really want us to believe in this?
    StMicheal wrote:
    Everything has a mover, therefore God exists.
    Does anyone else see the same fallacy being repeated over and over and over again in this thread?

    Everything has a mover, therefore God exists.

    NO!  Categorically false.  Do not ever state this fallacy again.  Ever.

    Got it?

    God had no time to create time.


    Vessel
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    ShaunPhilly wrote: ...in


    ShaunPhilly wrote:
    ...in this conext it is more like another logical possibility that implies that Michael's assertion of God's necessity due to the need for a prime mover is not, in fact, settled.

    St. Michael, you claim it is a logical necessity to have a prime mover to start motion. I won't reiterate the points made above (and elsewhere), but will say that what we are trying to do it present other logically possible explanations. Whether they have scientific credibility, evidence, etc is important but not critical because all that matters is that they are at least as logically possible as your proposal.

    If there is more thna one logically possible explanation for something, then none of them are logicaly necessary without further argumentation. You, Michael, have not given sufficient argumentation for your claim, and I reject it along with others here.

    Thanks for that, you said it very well and it is precisely what I have been trying to demonstrate. I feel no need to offer forth my own assertions as to how the universe came to be, only to illustrate that there are other possibilities, and that his assertions are not logically necessary as he seems to think them to be. The first cause argument is based in assertions which are based in the familiar and then taken to a conclusion. They are not, in any sense, logical necessities. 


    “Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


    StMichael
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    Let's cut down to the main

    Let's cut down to the main points.

    The Prime Mover Argument

    Why God Exists

    There are things in motion, as our senses clearly tell us. Things are in motion because something moved them. That mover itself is either in motion or not. If that mover is not in motion, our point is gained, because that mover is unmoved and hence we must posit this unmoved being which moves all others and which is called God. If it is in motion, we cannot proceed infinitely, but must eventually arrive at some universal prime mover, which we call God.

    The reason we cannot proceed infinitely in movers can be proven three ways:

    [1] If among movers and things moved we proceed to infinity, all these things must be bodies - coporeal entities. But every body that moves some thing is itself moved while moving it. Therefore, all these infinite bodies are moved when moving some thing. But one of them, being finite, is moved in a finite time. Therefore, all these infinites are moved in a finite time. This, however, is a contradiction. Hence, it is impossible that an actual infinity of movers can exist.

    [1.a] Furthermore, it is impossible for an infinite to move in a finite time. This is because the moved and the thing moved must exist simultaneously. But bodies cannot be simultaneous except by continuity or congruity. Now, as has been proven, all these movers and things moved are bodies and thus most constitute a single congruity or continuity as a sort of single mobile. In this way, one infinite is moved in finite time. This, however, is impossible.

    [2] If there is a series of ordered motions, where a mover moves a moved thing, and so on, it is necessarily a fact that if one removes the first motion, the subsequent motion ceases. This is because the first motion is the cause of motion in the others. If the order of causation was infinite, it possesses no first mover. Hence, no subsequent motion can exist.

    [3] That which is in motion is only moved in so far as something moves it. Thus, a log is potentially hot but not actually so until it is set on fire. But, if there were no first mover, all things would be merely instrumental movers. They will thence be moved movers and there will be no motion because there is no first mover. Hence, no motion would exist, which is impossible.

     

     Let's temporarily ignore ALL other considerations, and proceed from what we can or can not agree on at the most fundamental level. Let's ignore the fact that I have not yet shown why this mover is God. Let's ignore all that and evalute the argument itself.

    It has nothing to do with logical possibility, as it proves with certainity that no motion is possible without a first mover. It is not merely reasonable to conclude that God exists (as if my hand is hot and on the stove, so it is reasonable to conclude that the stove is on), but it is certain (there is no possibility that error enters in to the consideration because all premises follow in a deductive manner). It is hence a logically certain conclusion.

     

    Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

    StMichael 

    Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


    ShaunPhilly
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    Or perhaps motion is an

    Or perhaps motion is an intrinsic quality of matter/energy, and thus matter cannot not move.

    This is not the same as saying objects, which are made of matter, must move, but that the energy and particles that make them up are always in motion, necessarily.  Thus, no prime mover is ever required if motion is necessary.  AGain, you are pushing back the cause one step, and arguing for a special plead.

    If this were so, then we don't need an explanation for motion but for existence.  And again, perhaps existence itself is necessary. I know the special plead is really tempting there, but you should resist that temptaton.

    lead us not into temptation... 

     Shaun

    I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


    StMichael
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    Quote: Or perhaps motion

    Quote:

    Or perhaps motion is an intrinsic quality of matter/energy, and thus matter cannot not move.

    This is not the same as saying objects, which are made of matter, must move, but that the energy and particles that make them up are always in motion, necessarily.  Thus, no prime mover is ever required if motion is necessary.  AGain, you are pushing back the cause one step, and arguing for a special plead.

     

    Frankly, you do not explain what you mean here. It makes no sense.

    If you mean, "maybe matter moves itself," this is impossible because nothing can be self-moved.

    Everything is moved by another for these reasons

    [1] If something is self-moved, it must have its principle for motion in itself, otherwise it would be moved by another. Furthermore, it must be primarily moved (not moved by any other thing at all). It must then be moved by reason of itself, not by a part of itself, as an animal is by its feet. A self-moved being must also have parts, for whatever is moved is divisible (as can easily be proven).

    [1.a] This quickly breaks down, because that which is moved by itself must be primarily moved. But then if, while primarily moved, one part were at rest and another part in it were moved, the whole would not be moved. But nothing that is at rest because something else is at rest is moved by itself; for that being whose rest follows the rest of another must have its motion follow on the motion of another. Thus, it cannot be moved by itself.

    [2] Also, whatever is moved accidentally (not by a substance) is moved by something other than itself. What is moved by violence, then, is not moved by itself. Nor are beings moved by themselves which are moved by their nature from movement within, as the case is with animals and living things. Nor is this true of being such as heavy and light bodies which are moved by nature. For these are moved by their generating cause or cause removing impediments (such as gravity or inertia). As things are either self-moved or moved accidentally, but whatever is moved by itself is moved either violently or by nature. And if by nature either through itself, as an animal, or not through itself, as in the case of heavy and light bodies. Therefore, everything is moved by another as proven by induction. 

    [3] Lastly, a thing cannot be in act and potency as regards the same thing. But everything that is moved, as such, is in potency. For motion is "the act of something in potency in as much as it is in potency." That which moves is thus in as such in act, for nothing acts according as it is in act. Therefore, with respect to the same motion, nothing is both mover and moved. Therefore, nothing can move itself.

     

    Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

    StMichael

    Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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    This is exactly why I was

    This is exactly why I was hesitant to mention the problem with the reasoning behind your claim that an infinite regress was impossible. It is an unnecessary sidetrack to the point and one that I personally could care less about. (I see no evidence that there is any true infinite therefor I have no desire to argue for the possibility of an infinite regress).

    We should not let that sidetrack us, however, from the fact that there is no reason to believe that there is any need for a first mover. This is what we need before we even begin to worry about deciding if an infinite regress is possible. 

    First we need to decide what the universe is supposed to be in motion as compared to. Being as that motion is relative, in order to say the universe is in motion we need to be able to contrast it to something which is not in motion. What do we use for that reference point?

    Next, we need to illustrate that everything in motion needs a mover.

    And we need to illustrate that this applies to the universe the same as it does to things.

    Let's start with that and see where we get.

    “Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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    StMichael wrote:Tell a

    StMichael wrote:
    Tell a mathematician that.
    Not looking for 'proof', proofs are for maths. Maths are not real though they can provide insight into aspects of reality. Supporting evidence, however, will do nicely. The more, the better. The more direct, the better. The more from independent sources the better. And ... the less conflicting evidence, which there will surely be, the better. Actually its not a matter of better or worse, but more of validation or invalidation. Validating data will support the hypothesis, invalidating evidence will cast doubt on the hypothesis and hopefully lead to better hypotheses to use in the future.

    Its not so much a matter of disproving gods and the supernatural as it is a matter of showing relevance. If something is to be relevant, it needs to have effect in the natural world. It has to make a difference, somehow change the natural world. If it does that, that change, that difference is natural and can be measured and analyzed. From such the nature of whatever it is can be deduced and established with some certainty, subject of course to whatever new information comes forward which would lead to either confirmation of the current thinking on the matter or perhaps change it entirely and generate a new set of thinking on the matter. In any case, the event and its cause are natural. They can be sensed, measured, analyzed. If there is no natural effect then, of course, we could not sense it, measure it and analyze it, but also there would be no purpose in doing so because it has no effect. In other words, its irrelevant.

    With that which is relevant, the more measurements, the more analysis, the better models we can build that simulate the reality. These models serve to help us understand the phenomena and allow us to predict what will happen under varying circumstances. A recent excellent example was the finding of Tiktaalik in northern Canada. They used the model of evolution and known fossils to identify the time period and type of rock to find the specimen. From other fossils they knew generally what it would look like. They looked for where such rock from that time period would be exposed and went there. They looked for what they figured it would look like. They found it. Success!

    For the supernatural, there aren't any events that can be measured and analyzed. When someone points to an event that is supposedly caused by the supernatural and it turns out there are effects which can be measured and analyzed which then result in finding the natural cause or causes, oh my, no supernatural involved. This happens every time science seriously focuses on such claims. Then the claims go away. Knowledge replaces superstition and belief.

    That's not to say science, empirical evidence and rational thought have solved every mystery there is, but they left the typical believer's mysteries behind a long time ago. And they may not have all the answers, but they have a lot more and better answers for the questions. And they have the ability to recognize error and self-correct. Which why errors are not fatal. Our models of reality are constantly being updated, revised and improved.

    StMichael wrote:
    God is, by definition, the first cause. He has no ulterior cause and is necessary to posit any subsequent causes.
    If so, then I strongly recommend Richard Dawkins book "The God Delusion". Dawkins has a very strong argument from complexity agaisnt defining by fiat a diety to fill the role of the first cause. You can find Dawkins' argument in chapter four of "The God Delusion".
    [url=http://www.amazon.com/God-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0618680004/sr=8-1/qid=1169153153/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/105-4169387-1821201?ie=UTF8&s=books]here[/url]

    The God of classical theism would be so complex as to be extremely improbable as a feature of the possibility of existence. Hence, a first cause, if it ever existed, would more likely be something simple such as a quantum fluctuation of sufficent mass to start the inflationary field prior to the hot big bang. See Quintin Smith's essay on Hawking's Wave Function of the Universe.

    [url=http://www.qsmithwmu.com/why_stephen_hawking's_cosmology_precludes_a_creator.htm]Here[/url]
    [url=http://www.qsmithwmu.com/stephen_hawking's_cosmology_and_theism_(1994).htm]Here[/url]
    However, Smith's other work details intriguing possibilites along the lines of Lee Smolin's Bouncing Black Hole and Cosmological Natural Selection hypothesis. Here

    So it would seem that Dawkins is on to something as Occam's Razor would cut away the extreme complexity of a creator diety as such a concept fails the parisamony test.  Additionally, Smith has clearly made a strong case for the impossiblilty of divine cause in the following. Here

    I hope all readers will find these thoughts of use in the quest for truth.

    StMichael wrote:
    But i haven't seen any better argument for god other than aquinas
    Richard Dawkins shows how and why Aquinas' arguments fail in chapter three of "The God Delusion".

    Here

    Aquinas' argument is this:

        1. Everything is caused by something other than itself
        2. Therefore the universe was caused by something other than itself.
        3. The string of causes cannot be infinitely long.
        4. If the string of causes cannot be infinitely long, there must be a first cause.
        5. Therefore, there must be a first cause, namely god.

    The most telling criticism of this argument is that it is self-refuting. If everything has a cause other than itself, then god must have a cause other than himself. But if god has a cause other than himself, he cannot be the first cause. So if the first premise is true, the conclusion must be false.

    To save the argument, the first premise could be amended to read:

        1'. Everything except god has a cause other than itself.

    But if we're willing to admit the existence of uncaused things, why not just admit that the universe is uncaused and cut out the middleman? David Hume wondered the same thing:

        But if we stop, and go no farther, why go so far? Why not stop at the material world? ... By supposing it to contain the principle of its order within itself, we really assert it to be god; and the sooner we arrive at that Divine Being, so much the better. When you go one step beyond the mundane system, you only excite an inquisitive humor, which it is impossible ever to satisfy. 

    David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, ed. Norman Kemp Smith (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merril, 1947), pp. 161-62.

    StMicheal wrote:
    - conservation of energy (a first cause violates this)
    Conservation of energy only has to do with matter and energy in the universe, not with the cause of existence of the matter and energy in the first place.
    Sorry, but the creation/destruction of matter/energy is exactly what conservation of energy addresses. All you are doing is arguing conservation of energy is not really a physical law, with no actual observations to back up your claim.
    StMicheal wrote:
    - it's based on a category error (the idea that the universe itself is the same as something contained within it)
    The universe is composed of material bodies in motion. As the entire universe is in motion, so does it require a mover. This unmoved mover is God.
    The universe contains material bodies in motion. It is not composed of them. We don't know what it's fundamentally composed of. We already observe that the behavior of the smallest things we can observe is not the same as "bodies in motion". This argument is invalid at the quantum level, and so there is certainly no reason to assume it becomes valid again at whatever the fundamental level of reality happens to be. Aquinas can be forgiven for not being aware of modern science, but those who wish to propogate his arguments today are held to todays standards.
    StMicheal wrote:
    - an infinite regress is coherent
    An absolute infinite regress of efficent causes or of motion is incoherent. Every thing that is in motion is only in motion is so far as something else moves it. If there is no first motion, no motion can exist now (which is absurd, as motion clearly exists). Hence, a Prime Mover exists.
    All you did is reassert that a "first motion" is required to explain the existence of motion. You did not explain why an infinite regress is incoherent. You have not explained why absolute nonmotion should be the default state of reality.
    StMicheal wrote:
    - rooted in special pleading
    There is no special pleading. I never said "everything has to have a cause" or "everything is in motion." I merely point out that the things within the observable universe are in motion. If they are in motion, they ultimately require an unmoved mover, otherwise their motion would not exist.
    It is special pleading, because you have not explained why an unmoved mover is needed. All you've done is summarily reject the idea of an infinite regress. Even worse, you have failed to explain how the "unmoved mover" can cause things to move without moving. This is complete nonsense. You've created a paradox through your assumptions and rather than consider that those assumptions might be wrong, you prefer to claim that perfectly coherent concepts, such as an infinite regress, are incoherent, and instead invoke what amounts to magic to fix it all.
    StMicheal wrote:
    - equivocation; the 'first cause' god does not resemble the 'jesus saves' god in any way shape or form and need not even be sentient
    First, this point is irrelevant as I merely need to show that a God exists.
    The definition of "god" is critical to any argument attempting to show the existence of a god. A god that does nothing except be the prime mover and is not even sentient is not what anyone on this planet means by the word "god". This is clearly an attempt to equivocate - to get people to buy into a totally new definition for the word "god", and once they agree to it, revert back to some other definition. This entire exercise is an attempt to define Jesus into deity, and we all know it.
    StMicheal wrote:
    - failure to address why there can not be multiple equal 'first causes'
    Each first cause would be the same thing. And, because there is no matter in the first cause, they would be the identical same One thing without any individuation. This also follows from the fact that the First Cause is pure act without potency.
    So here we see the equivocation already. God is "pure act" without potency (whatever that's supposed to mean). Methinks he becomes a 1st century man-god born of a virgin who sends herds of pigs to suicide and raises himself from death later in the argument. Is he still without potency at that point in the argument?
    StMicheal wrote:
    - universe creators can not be defined into existence.
    I never define it into existence. Ever.
    At least we agree that you haven't defined one into existence, but you've certainly tried to. Something to the effect of "the unmoved mover is unmoving by definition" is not the same as explaining how "unmoved mover" is a valid concept. It isn't enough simply to create a definition and then refer to it. You have to explain why the default state of reality is nonmotion rather than motion, and then you have to explain how something that doesn't move nevertheless causes other things to move.
    StMicheal wrote:
    ... Which is why God is eternal, because He is outside of time and the universe.
    Agreed. There are no gods in this universe.

    God had no time to create time.


    Pikachu
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    StMicheal wrote:Let's cut

    StMicheal wrote:
    Let's cut down to the main points...Things are in motion because something moved them.
    False !

    "Things" are effected by forces (that need not be sentient) and thus are in motion.

    Now proceed with your syllogism.

    You, like others, keep equivocating the verb "to move" with the proper noun "Mover," which is not justified. Please cease doing so. There is no necessity for a mover to be sentient or any kind of being whatsoever. Your argument is refuted with my paradox: Argumentum contra conscius primoris causa

    1. Time is required for Change.
    2. A Decision is a Change.
    3. Decisions require Time.
    4. Consciousness can't let one make a decision without Time.
    5. Consciousness requires Time.
    6. God is Conscious.
    7. God requires Time.
    8. God can't be the cause of Time if God requires Time.
    9. God isn't the cause of Time.
    10. God isn't The First Cause.
    11. If God isn't The Conscious First Cause then God doesn't exist.
    12. God doesn't exist.

    God had no time to create time.


    ShaunPhilly
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    StMichael wrote:

    StMichael wrote:

    Frankly, you do not explain what you mean here. It makes no sense.

    If you mean, "maybe matter moves itself," this is impossible because nothing can be self-moved.

    Why not? All you've said is that;

    X is impossible because X is impossible.

    We are used to looking at things in what Dawkins calls the "middle world." What he means is that we see things larger than the sub-atomic and smaller than the galactic. Therefore, the properties that come into play in the very small and very large go against our intuitions; we don't intuit QM or Cosmological forces as easily as billiard balls and rocks.  This makes sense because our perceptive faculties evolved while having to avoid thrown sticks and rocks, not quantum forces and fluctuations.

    You are using an understanding of the interactions of stuff in this "middle world" to extrapolate rules for all of reality. You cannot apply a rule like "a stick does not thow itself" or "when a rock lifts off the ground, it is because something lifted it" to the fact that motion might be completely uncaused at the quantum level.

    Perhaps it was these uncaused quantum fluctuations that initiated the Big Bang, and the subsequent energy initiated the current trajectories (and resultant trajectories) of the matter that were thrown into the creation of space-time as we know it.

    And perhaps these uncaused actions at this level help continue to continuously affect the world in ways we don't quite understand yet.

    But to simply dismiss, out-of-hand, that things are not self-moved is very telling of still deriving a philosophical argument based on very old understanding of physics. You might have been able to roll that one over onto Newton, but we aren't buying that today.

    That's what I was referring to some time back when I said that Catholic institutions are stopping their intellectual progress around the enlightenment. Many theists make reference to current research, but when they argue philosophically they often refer to an out-dated understanding of how the universe is known to work.  This notion of nothing being self-caused has not been demonstrated for all of reality, even if it does cohere with our instinctual knowledge of how the world functions.

    Shaun

     

    I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


    StMichael
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    Quote:   ...Validating

    Quote:
     

    ...Validating data will support the hypothesis, invalidating evidence will cast doubt on the hypothesis and hopefully lead to better hypotheses to use in the future.

    There ya go. Validating evidence. Things are in motion and changing all around you. Try to deny it and see how far you go.

    Quote:

    It has to make a difference, somehow change the natural world. If it does that, that change, that difference is natural and can be measured and analyzed.

    Things are in motion. Effect on the natural world. Try to deny that things are changing and in motion.

    Quote:

    Quote:
     Knowledge replaces superstition and belief.

    Scientific knowledge cannot replace a great deal. Ethics is a non-scientific but entirely meaningful science. The same goes with mathematics or logic or literature or philosophy in general. Further, superstition [not equal to] belief.

    Quote:

    If so, then I strongly recommend Richard Dawkins book "The God Delusion". Dawkins has a very strong argument from complexity agaisnt defining by fiat a diety to fill the role of the first cause. You can find Dawkins' argument in chapter four of "The God Delusion".

    I really don't care about Dawkins and I've read his silly nonsense, including his latest. Dawkins treats a matter very superficially, to say the least. His book is all straw men and lacks substance. Even in common estimation among a good deal of scientific atheists, Dawkins is not fair nor is he well thought-out.

    This is even more silly in your response, because I never make an argument from complexity. First cause has nothing to do with complexity. And I am not even defending the first cause here; I am defending the unmoved mover.

     

    Quote:

    The God of classical theism would be so complex as to be extremely improbable as a feature of the possibility of existence.

    Complexity has nothing to do with it, again.

    Further, this is exactly the opposite case. God is supremely simple in His composition, without any division or parts. There is no complexity at all in Him, just to anticipate such nonsense. We will see this later if we talk about the characteristics of the Prime Mover.

    Quote:
     

    Hence, a first cause, if it ever existed, would more likely be something simple such as a quantum fluctuation of sufficent mass to start the inflationary field prior to the hot big bang.

    Except that these are not unmoved movers. They would have to be either unmoved movers or self-moved. They are in motion. Hence, they would have to be self-moved, which is impossible (as shown in my previous posts).

    Only an unmoved mover satisfies the requirement.

     

    Quote:

    Aquinas' argument is this:

        1. Everything is caused by something other than itself
        2. Therefore the universe was caused by something other than itself.
        3. The string of causes cannot be infinitely long.
        4. If the string of causes cannot be infinitely long, there must be a first cause.
        5. Therefore, there must be a first cause, namely god.

    Except it isn't. I will quote Aquinas' very phrase in the First Cause argument (not to say there are FIVE ways, not just 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." (ST, I, Q. 2, A. 3).  

    I point out a lack of any statement like, "everything must have a cause." This would be easily seen as contradictory and totally arbitrary to say the least. This is just more evidence that you don't read anything I write and that you work off your own preconceptions about everything.

    Quote:
    But if we're willing to admit the existence of uncaused things, why not just admit that the universe is uncaused and cut out the middleman?

    Working from the proof I AM advocating from motion, the universe is not a sufficent mover because it is in motion and hence would have to be self-mover or moved by another. As the first is impossible, it must be moved by another. This is God.

    Working from the proof I am not advocating right now, the argument still fails. And for a similar reason. The universe has an order of cause in it. The universe is not an self-caused (efficent cause of itself) being. Hence, it must be caused by another. This is God.

    Quote:

        Sorry, but the creation/destruction of matter/energy is exactly what conservation of energy addresses. All you are doing is arguing conservation of energy is not really a physical law, with no actual observations to back up your claim.

    Conservation of energy is a physical law. It does not apply when we are speaking of the source of existence or cause of energy in general, because this is a non-physical question. Even if the energy existed forever, it nevertheless requires a cause and a Prime Mover for the reasons listed above.

    Quote:

    The universe contains material bodies in motion. It is not composed of them.

    If the universe contains material bodies in motion, something is moving. Something cannot be in motion without a mover. This mover cannot be anything in motion in the universe. Nor can it be anything material body (because what is a material mover is in motion, aka modern physics). So, there nevertheless needs to be an Prime Mover.

     

    Quote:

    All you did is reassert that a "first motion" is required to explain the existence of motion. You did not explain why an infinite regress is incoherent. You have not explained why absolute nonmotion should be the default state of reality.

    An infinite regress in motion is impossible for the reasons I gave. I could repost them again, but I'm sure you would just as easily non-chalantly ignore them again.

    Quote:

    Even worse, you have failed to explain how the "unmoved mover" can cause things to move without moving.

    Regardless, we, at this point, do not need to show how it does such, we merely need to prove that it does.

    Quote:

    The definition of "god" is critical to any argument attempting to show the existence of a god. A god that does nothing except be the prime mover and is not even sentient is not what anyone on this planet means by the word "god".

    Oh contraire! The Prime Mover is sentient. But that is an issue for another day.

     

    Quote:

    So here we see the equivocation already. God is "pure act" without potency (whatever that's supposed to mean).

    He is the unmoved mover. He is unmoved [no potency from being moved by anything else] but only moves [causes other things to be in act and is constantly itself in act].

    Quote:
     

    Methinks he becomes a 1st century man-god born of a virgin who sends herds of pigs to suicide and raises himself from death later in the argument. Is he still without potency at that point in the argument?

    We are not there yet. So I suppose you'll just have to WAIT AND SEE! [ooooh, the suspense...]

    Quote:

    At least we agree that you haven't defined one into existence, but you've certainly tried to.

    HAHA! I have not.

     

    Quote:

    X is impossible because X is impossible.

    So I see I post in vain. Just ignore everything below that when I prove it.

    Quote:

    We are used to looking at things in what Dawkins calls the "middle world." ....

     

    Except that we are not on the level of intuition at all. We are on the level of logical argument which proceeds in a certain manner.

    Quote:

    ...the fact that motion might be completely uncaused at the quantum level...

     

    Things in motion at the quantum level are not self-moved nor are they unmoved. Hence, it is moved by something else. (for instance, the quantum fluctuations themselves change in time and they fluctuate, and hence are in motion - they are neither self-moved nor are they unmoved; hence, they require a mover).

    Quote:

    That's what I was referring to some time back when I said that Catholic institutions are stopping their intellectual progress around the enlightenment.

    Don't be such a spoil-sport just because you can't answer a simple argument.

    Quote:

     This notion of nothing being self-caused has not been demonstrated for all of reality, even if it does cohere with our instinctual knowledge of how the world functions.

    It has nothing to do with instinct or intuition. It is absolutely and utterly applicable in every manner of how the universe functions. It is logically necessary. As logically necessary as saying that a thing cannot be and not be in the same respect in the same way. Applies everywhere for all time. No instinct needed. Further, just examine your statement carefully. If instinct is all the knowledge you think you can have, I see no reason why anyone ought to care about "knowledge/science" or pursue a campaign against theists. But let's not get off the main track here.

     

    Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

    StMichael

     

    Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


    Pikachu
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    This is the most blatant

    This is the most blatant case of special pleading imaginable.  If everything requires a cause then GOD requires a cause, unless GOD doesn't exist.  Again, just because infinite regress seems unreasonable doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  The most reasonable explanation is that the universe, which we can demonstrate exists has always existed in some form.

    Question:  What was the first thing God ever did?

    Answer: Without time God didn't have time to think time.  It's just that simple.

    StMicheal wrote:
    ...
    Something cannot be in motion without a mover.
    ...
    Even if the energy existed forever, it nevertheless requires a cause and a Prime Mover for the reasons listed above.
    ...

    An infinite regress in motion is impossible for the reasons I gave.
    ...

    ...and on it goes. You keep claiming an infinite regress is impossible, and you keep claiming you've already explained why. But you haven't explained anything at all. All you've done is present a sophomoric circular argument filled with assumptions and unsubstantiated assertions, based on pre-scientic thinking while totally ignoring everything that's been learned in the past 800 years.

    Actual infinities have been proven to be actually possible through rigorous mathematical proofs. You keep denying the coherency of an actual infinity (infinite regress in this case), and provide nothing of substance to back up your assertion.

    This is less productive than talking to dirt.

    StMicheal wrote:
    Except it isn't. I will quote Aquinas' very phrase in the First Cause argument (not to say there are FIVE ways, not just 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." (ST, I, Q. 2, A. 3).
    I compared theists who invoke Aquinas' fallacies to a dog's lack of object permanence, not to a dog. You see, theists don't care that an argument isn't sound or has been defeated, because such things as "proof" and "evidence" have no meaning to a theist. Quite the opposite in fact (hence the absurdity of "Faith&quotEye-wink. They only invoke such dead arguments to pretend that the mere existence of the argument itself is sufficient to state such things as, "There are many arguments for the existence of God."

    See what I mean? There are many arguments for a geocentric universe. None of them any damn good that haven't been roundly defeated for centuries, but what does that matter to the geocentrist wishing to justify and/or proselytize their belief that the Earth is the center of the universe?

    No, that is Aquinas' concillatory, apologetic attemtp to end run Aristotle by qualifying the "first cause" argument. See, Aristotle's syllogism does not obtain a necessary god either, so instead of doing the proper, intellectually honest thing, Aquinas (and many other cult members like him) decided to try and force a square into a round hole by shifting the conditional.

    StMichael wrote:
    I point out a lack of any statement like, "everything must have a cause." This would be easily seen as contradictory and totally arbitrary to say the least. This is just more evidence that you don't read anything I write and that you work off your own preconceptions about everything.
    Aquinas promoters have recently been pushing the antiquated prime mover argument again. There is one aspect of the argument that does not ever get addressed in a coherent noncircular way, which is the claim that an infinite regress is impossible. No-one, since Aristotle first pushed the basic argument that Aquinas ripped off, has ever explained why an infinite regress is impossible.

    So Aquinas promoters, here's your chance to explain why an infinite regress is impossible independent of the rest of the prime mover argument.

    I claim it is a perfectly infinite regress is a perfectly coherent concept and so there is no need for gods to explain away a paradox.

    Further, I claim the past is not actual in the present. In the present, the past is potential, just as in the present, the future is potential rather than actual.

    So an infinite regress does not even require an actual infinity, but merely a potential infinity.

    None of the rest of your argument has any merit until you first prove that an infinite regress is impossible.

    StMichael wrote:
    Except that these are not unmoved movers. They would have to be either unmoved movers or self-moved. They are in motion. Hence, they would have to be self-moved, which is impossible (as shown in my previous posts).

    Only an unmoved mover satisfies the requirement.

    "God" is a meaningless, arbitrarily defined, imaginary, ineffable being (meaning it can't be defined, in contradiction to everything necessary)?

    The choices we have on the table are, "Either the universe has no beginning or else it does." There is no "God" to posit, since the universe is usually defined as "all there is," because that's what the evidence suggests.

    There is no evidence suggesting anything at all about an imaginary ineffable being; there is only the terrified projections of human arrogance/fear demanding there be a "higher" idealized human being creator, so that our suffering has an ultimate purpose. That's called self-delusional wishfulfillment and has no place at all when discussing the origin of the actual.

    You want to discuss the origin of human mythological constructs, then by all means, let's talk Odin, Zeuss, Rah, Yahweh, Allah, Jesus, Mythras, Venus, Saturn, Mars, Medusa, Apollo...stop me when you're bored....?

    StMicheal wrote:
    Frankly, you do not explain what you mean here.
    It is self explanatory, but I'll try to make it clearer. The fallacy of these kinds of arguments is one of equivocation; "mover" (i.e., a force causing movement) gets magically turned into "Mover" (i.e., a sentient being that effects movement).
    StMicheal wrote:
    If you mean, "maybe matter moves itself,"
    I do not. I mean (as I believe I previously stated in this thread) forces of nature such as gravity.
    StMicheal wrote:
    this is impossible because nothing can be self-moved.
    I can Laughing out loud
    StMicheal wrote:
    Everything is moved by another for these reasons
    Replace the word "another" with "a force" and you've got it. Clear now?
    StMicheal wrote:
    HAHA! I have not.
    Busted ! :D
    StMichael wrote:
    Everything is moved by another for these reasons
    Think of the entire, unbound universe, with nothing in it except a single particle. Is it moving?
    StMichael wrote:
    infinite regress is impossible
    Let me try to help you with infinities.
    1. Start with a line of fixed length (ab).
    2. Divide it in half, and use the 1st half as a new line of fixed length (a'b' = ab/2). rename a'b' as ab.
    Repeat steps 1 and 2 forever. This is infinite regress (to the infinitesimal). Now, reverse the process, starting with line ab, then doubling its length each time instead of halving. This is infinite regress (to the infinite).

    Does "god is infinite" still make any sense to you? (it shouldn't)

    StMichael wrote:
    Things that fall under logical necessity, like God
    Ahem,"god" does not qualify for logical necessity!

    You christians crack me up,its a shame that you wont have a consciousness after death to realize how wrong you were......that would be priceless.HaHa

    StMichael wrote:
    What falsifiable, empirical, repeatable evidence do you have that I ought to present falsifiable, empirical, repeatable evidence? Things that fall under logical necessity, like God, cannot be proven by "empirical" evidence (assuming that means what I think it does), but that does not mean that the statement is false, any more than 2+2=4 is false.
    2+2=4 is provable though,your god is NOT! You cannot compare 2+2=4 with god,god is a theory,and an absurd one at that.god is not excused from having to be proved!

    God had no time to create time.


    MattShizzle
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    Actually "God" doesn't come

    Actually "God" doesn't come anywhere close to theory status - at least in the scientific sense. Barely even a hypothesis.

    Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


    chaospump
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    St Michael

    St Michael -

    Congratulations on your canonization; I had missed the news.

    Could happen to anyone; perhaps that's why you missed the news that Galileo overturned the Aristotelian concept of motion over 500 years ago.

    You remember him, right? The guy that the Catholic church, ours in Christ, and displaying their Eternal Wisdom, confined to house arrest and threatened with torture for daring to claim that the Earth orbits the Sun?

    A few other thinkers you may not be very familiar with, such as Bacon, and Mill, and Hume, and Kant, and Russell, along with many others, have all contributed more than we ever could on a discussion board toward demolishing Aquinas' so-called "proofs."

    If you wish to convince anyone, maybe you should address the centuries-old destructions of the "proofs" emerging from Scholasticism - a philosophical methodology rooted firmly in the error-ridden pastiche of Aristotelian physics and logic.

    All of the faith and prayer in the world

    All of your dumb show and circuses

    You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

    The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

    -Randy Newman


    StMichael
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    Quote: This is the most

    Quote:

    This is the most blatant case of special pleading imaginable.  If everything requires a cause then GOD requires a cause, unless GOD doesn't exist.

    The problem in your argument is that you're arguing against a straw man. I never argue that everything requires a cause.

    Quote:
    Again, just because infinite regress seems unreasonable doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    It is not just merely improbable, but logically impossible to posit an infinite regress of motion and movers. In which case, it cannot happen.   

    Quote:
    The most reasonable explanation is that the universe, which we can demonstrate exists has always existed in some form.

    Even if it had, it still requires that an unmoved mover was needed to sustain the universe's motion in existence. 

     

    Quote:

    Question:  What was the first thing God ever did?

    Answer: Without time God didn't have time to think time.  It's just that simple.

    This is a childish response and lacks depth. God exists outside of time, so the category does not apply to Him. Get over it.

     

     

     

    Quote:


    ...and on it goes. You keep claiming an infinite regress is impossible, and you keep claiming you've already explained why. But you haven't explained anything at all. All you've done is present a sophomoric circular argument filled with assumptions and unsubstantiated assertions, based on pre-scientic thinking while totally ignoring everything that's been learned in the past 800 years.

    Show me why my logic is flawed. Where specifically my argument violates logic.

    Quote:
     

    Actual infinities have been proven to be actually possible through rigorous mathematical proofs. You keep denying the coherency of an actual infinity (infinite regress in this case), and provide nothing of substance to back up your assertion.

    You are confusing "actual infinites" in terms of sets of rational numbers, and the like, which do exist by mathematical proof. However, mathematics has never and has not deduced that actually infinite quantities or the like actually and physically exist in nature. Further, I already gave my response to why an infinite regress was impossible. Go read the three points that prove this.

    Quote:
     

    This is less productive than talking to dirt.

    At least dirt listens to me...

    Quote:

     I compared theists who invoke Aquinas' fallacies to a dog's lack of object permanence, not to a dog. You see, theists don't care that an argument isn't sound or has been defeated, because such things as "proof" and "evidence" have no meaning to a theist. Quite the opposite in fact (hence the absurdity of "Faith"Eye-wink. They only invoke such dead arguments to pretend that the mere existence of the argument itself is sufficient to state such things as, "There are many arguments for the existence of God."

    OK, but this is an assertion. You have not gotten anywhere by speaking of my faith being absurd. If my argument is false, point to a specific instance where it violates the rules of logic. Otherwise, own up.

    Quote:
     

    No, that is Aquinas' concillatory, apologetic attemtp to end run Aristotle by qualifying the "first cause" argument. See, Aristotle's syllogism does not obtain a necessary god either, so instead of doing the proper, intellectually honest thing, Aquinas (and many other cult members like him) decided to try and force a square into a round hole by shifting the conditional.

    That is silly. Aristotle saw the necessity of God and explicated it in his Metaphysics, book XII. Read it before you spout nonsense.

     

    Quote:

      No-one, since Aristotle first pushed the basic argument that Aquinas ripped off, has ever explained why an infinite regress is impossible.

    Don't make me repost the arguments. You need to ANSWER them before you claim that it is unproven.

     

    Quote:

    Further, I claim the past is not actual in the present. In the present, the past is potential, just as in the present, the future is potential rather than actual.

    This is entirely true. This proves...what? You later make a leap that this merely makes the argument require a "possible" infinity, whatever you mean by that, but I see no reason why such should follow. You clearly introduce a term that was not in the premise into the conclusion. 

     

    Quote:


    "God" is a meaningless, arbitrarily defined, imaginary, ineffable being (meaning it can't be defined, in contradiction to everything necessary)?

    You may believe this with your whole heart, but it doesn't make it true. You need to offer an argument.

     

    Quote:

    It is self explanatory, but I'll try to make it clearer. The fallacy of these kinds of arguments is one of equivocation; "mover" (i.e., a force causing movement) gets magically turned into "Mover" (i.e., a sentient being that effects movement).

    We have not proven why the mover is sentient, but we need at this point only to prove that the mover exists. Sentience comes later in the logical course of the argument.

     

    Quote:

    I do not. I mean (as I believe I previously stated in this thread) forces of nature such as gravity.

    And what does that have to do with it at all?

     

    Quote:


    Replace the word "another" with "a force" and you've got it. Clear now?

    A force is a mover. But it is not unmoved because it is in motion.

     

    Quote:

    Think of the entire, unbound universe, with nothing in it except a single particle. Is it moving?

    Yes, time. The particle is changing - in motion.

     

    Quote:

     

    1. Start with a line of fixed length (ab).
    2. Divide it in half, and use the 1st half as a new line of fixed length (a'b' = ab/2). rename a'b' as ab.

    Repeat steps 1 and 2 forever. This is infinite regress (to the infinitesimal). Now, reverse the process, starting with line ab, then doubling its length each time instead of halving. This is infinite regress (to the infinite).

    This is called a possible infinity. Aristotle solved this problem from Zeno; read the Physics (which is where I believe the proof is found). Further, it does not apply to motion and movers at all. This is about infinite distance.  

    Quote:
     

    Does "god is infinite" still make any sense to you? (it shouldn't)

    Yes, but this has nothing to do with it.

     

     

    Quote:

    Could happen to anyone; perhaps that's why you missed the news that Galileo overturned the Aristotelian concept of motion over 500 years ago.

    He did nothing of the sort.

    Quote:
     

    A few other thinkers you may not be very familiar with, such as Bacon, and Mill, and Hume, and Kant, and Russell, along with many others, have all contributed more than we ever could on a discussion board toward demolishing Aquinas' so-called "proofs."

    It's funny you quote these folks, as Kant and Bacon were both believers in God. From Sir Roger Bacon's essays on atheism: "...a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion...."

    Further, this is not an argument against my case.

     

    Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

    StMichael 

    Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


    BobSpence
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    A few comments:

    A few comments:

    1.

    Place two objects of finite mass in free space at some reasonable distance apart, taking care that you make sure they are as motionless as possible with respect to any reference frame you like before you release them.

    They will start moving toward each other at an accelerating rate of acceleration, due to the 'law of gravitation', whatever you may want to call the underlying physical property of our Universe that law describes. As they get closer together, the mutual attraction between them will increase as the inverse square of the separation between their centers of mass.

    What is the 'intelligent mover' here??

    2.

    Re 'infinite regression' and chains of causes.

    We know that causes can be 'less' in various ways than what they 'cause'.

    What 'causes' the human child? Are a sperm and an egg more sentient or more powerful than and adult human being?

    At the very least, causes must be no 'greater' on average that what they cause, otherwise all chains of cause and effect would lead to progressively smaller effects until they decayed to virtually nothing, so ultimately the Universe would subside into a static corpse.

    Now imagine a cause-effect chain where each cause reqiored half the energy to 'act', and that action took half the time, of the next action. If the final 'act' took one second and took one joule of energy, the whole infinite regression would take two seconds and 'consume' two joules of energy. Hardly an impossibility.

    The infinity here is an artifact of how we have chosen to define each discrete 'cause'. But nevertheless, there is nothingl ogically impossible about such a scenario, where an argument implies an 'infinite' regress. Depending on the nature of the process, no infinite actual physical quantities may be involved.

    There is also the case of a cause-effect chain which loops back to trigger an earlier 'cause', and so becomes indefinitely self-sustaining, after some initial cause-effect-sequence triggered the loop.

    A key point to understand this is that in the real world, there are rarely, if ever, entirely discreet , finite, and clearly identifiable 'cause' entities, instead there is a continuum of process which may often change as it progresses. We, in our effort to understand a process, will sub-divide it into what we perceive as distinct stages, steps, or more elementary components. This is ultimately just like the example of hypothetically subdividing a line.

    Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

    "Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

    The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

    From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


    Pikachu
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    StMichael wrote:Show me

    StMichael wrote:
    Show me why my logic is flawed. Where specifically my argument violates logic.
    I have repeatedly.
    StMichael wrote:
    OK, but this is an assertion.
    Based on my experience in the seven odd years of philosophy study (this thread included) as well as in real life.
    StMichael wrote:
    You have not gotten anywhere by speaking of my faith being absurd. If my argument is false, point to a specific instance where it violates the rules of logic.
    Equivocation and special pleading.
    StMichael wrote:
    You may believe this with your whole heart,
    It's not a matter of belief. Define God.
    StMichael wrote:
    We have not proven why the mover is sentient, but we need at this point only to prove that the mover exists.
    You've just slipped in the sleight of hand preparation for equivocation.
    StMichael wrote:
    Sentience comes later in the logical course of the argument.
    Only through equivocation of terms, which is a fallacy.
    StMichael wrote:
    And what does that have to do with it at all?
    You cannot demonstrate why the "first mover" isn't a natural force; you cannot demonstrate that the "first mover" is necessarily sentient.

    How many times must it be repeated before you concede? Don't bother, it's rhetorical.

    StMichael wrote:
    A force is a mover.
    End of discussion then.
    StMichael wrote:
    But it is not unmoved because it is in motion.
    What is in motion?
    StMichael wrote:
    Yes, time. The particle is changing - in motion.
    Though not my point, how do you know? How do you know that isn't just your perception of unique events; your pattern making where none actually exists?
    StMichael wrote:
    Don't make me repost the arguments. You need to ANSWER them before you claim that it is unproven.
    You haven't posted any argument even once. You've merely used more words to impart the exact same assumption over and over, and keep calling the expanded circular description of the same concept an argument.

    All you have to do, is provide a disproof of the possibility of an infinite regress, that does not start by assuming the past as finite in some way. You haven't done that, nor can you. You can't do it, because actual infinities have been rigorously proven mathematically to be possible.

    The entire prime mover argument (and numerous others similar to it) is contingient upon this disproof. Everything else you have to say about a prime mover argument is a complete waste of time until you provide a real proof, and not something to the effect of "the past can't be infinite, because then it would be infinite".

    StMichael wrote:
    This is called a possible infinity. Aristotle solved this problem from Zeno; read the Physics (which is where I believe the proof is found). Further, it does not apply to motion and movers at all. This is about infinite distance.
    Zeno's paradox. That has nothing to do with an infinite regress, and is self refuting anyway. 

    We know that the hare can catch up with the tortoise by direct experience, so we know something is wrong with the claim that it can not. 

    The fact that the hare can catch up, and even pass the tortoise, is proof that an actual infiity is not only possible, but actual - if we accept all the assumptions of the paradox (which we probably don't).  An actual infinity is the only way to resolve the paradox in classical terms.

    StMichael wrote:
    God exists outside of time
    Contemplate this god existing "before" or "outside of time" and then creating time.

    If there is no time, how could he make the decision that he will make time? Making a decision is an act and has to take place IN TIME so without time how could you decide to make time?

    God "outside of time" is just bunk. Nothing can be "outside of time" or "outside of space". It is a time and a place that doesn't exist period.

    God had no time to create time.


    Pikachu
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    I agree with BobSpence1

    I agree with BobSpence1 here And i will strength up his argument. Smiling

    Has anyone yet noticed that if an actual infinity is impossible, no infinite god can exist? God, if he exists, must be an actual infinity, so any argument using the premise that actual infinities cannot exist makes any argument for god worthless, because if it is true it has just blown god out of the water.

    I do not know if actual infinities are possible or not, and if there were any, we couldn't prove them to exist anyway. I'm too inclined to think that actual infinities cannot exist, but I won't put arguments forth in favour of it, I can live with the claim that they do exist and I will handle in my arguments for or against god both cases, namely, that it is possible or impossible. So, be prepared to use both premises in your arguments. Most of the time it won't do any harm.

    If actual infinities can exist, it is logically possible that the universe (or a the multiverse - can't discount that either) exists for an infinite amount of time.

    If actual infinities cannot exist, god cannot exist, and we are pretty much finished with god (that is, with an infinite god, or a god that knows everything).

    If actual infinities can exist, than all theistic arguments must claim that

    1. the universe cannot be an actual infinity,
    2. but god can be an actual infinity.
    But any argument against 1. can be used as an argument against god, so the theist must contradict himself. Notice that any cosmological argument is based on the assumption that some possible state of affair (uncaused existence, order, existence out of nothing, fine tuning etc.) cannot exist, but must be true for god, leading to a contradiction every time, because any argument against that state of affair is an argument against that god, too. This leads us to the notion that there cannot be a successful cosmological argument for the existence of god anyway.

    So if an infinite regress is indeed possible, there is no logical need to postulate a god, and if an infinite regress is impossible, than god cannot exist.

    God had no time to create time.


    StMichael
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    On the first point, a

    On the first point, a natural force of attraction between two objects does not satisfy. The reason being that such attraction exists because of these objects exist inside of space and time. Without space, time, or mass, such objects would not attract. Hence, their motion is caused and put into motion by a mover - namely, the force resulting from their accidents in space and time. However, this force cannot be considered to be anything more than an intermediary mover. It is merely an accident of space itself and the masses of the objects which bends space. Space, as modern science tells us, is an actually existing entity with properties of its own. Likewise, quantum mechanics shows that, at the basic level, space time is a real fabric of reality that possesses its own structure and composition. The movement of space time itself is not accounted for. It is a mover of objects, but it likewise is in motion. It is either self-moved, or unmoved, or moved by another. As it is not unmoved (because it is in motion itself) nor self-moved (as this is impossible), it requires a mover exterior to it. Time itself likewise gives motion to things as they move through time, becoming always actual in one place in time (present) and potential in another (past and future). Any change in the potency and actuality of a thing is "motion."

    Further, the intellgence of the mover is posited at the Prime Mover, not the intermediary movers such as space and time.  

     In the second place, in an infinite regress, we are not speaking directly about causation, but among an infinite regress in motion, which is a different subject. I would, however, agree with you when you say:

    Quote:

    At the very least, causes must be no 'greater' on average that what they cause, otherwise all chains of cause and effect would lead to progressively smaller effects until they decayed to virtually nothing, so ultimately the Universe would subside into a static corpse.

    The cause must, yes, bear a likeness to its effect.  

    Finally, I ask you read your own words here:

    Quote:

    Now imagine a cause-effect chain where each cause reqiored half the energy to 'act', and that action took half the time, of the next action. If the final 'act' took one second and took one joule of energy, the whole infinite regression would take two seconds and 'consume' two joules of energy. Hardly an impossibility.

    The infinity here is an artifact of how we have chosen to define each discrete 'cause'. But nevertheless, there is nothingl ogically impossible about such a scenario, where an argument implies an 'infinite' regress. Depending on the nature of the process, no infinite actual physical quantities may be involved.

    There is no actually infinite regress in this case, because there is required at least the initial act which cost 2 joules of energy (presuming that is the accurate measure of the initial action). There can be no final act if there is no initial act. That is all that is being claimed. There can be many potential divisions in what we term actors, so much that such a division is potentially infinite, but it nevertheless requires a Prime Mover or first "efficent cause" in order to give the reaction/movement any energy at all. If there was no initial movement, there is no subsequent movement. This last statement is all that is needed to prove that a Prime Mover exists.

     

     

    Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

    StMichael 

     

     

    Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


    StMichael
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    Ugh... God is not an actual

    Ugh... God is not an actual infinite quantity of anything. Infinity in God refers to His nature as being unlimited by any division or boundary. He is immaterial, and is thus infinite. He is also infinite in the scope and extent of His power, which extends over all created beings.

    Also, "actual infinites" does not refer to physically existent things in an actually infinite quantity.

     

    Quote:

    Only through equivocation of terms, which is a fallacy.

    And what exactly have I done to equivocate, pray tell? I haven't even proven that God thinks yet.

     

    Quote:

    The fact that the hare can catch up, and even pass the tortoise, is proof that an actual infiity is not only possible, but actual - if we accept all the assumptions of the paradox (which we probably don't).  An actual infinity is the only way to resolve the paradox in classical terms.

    Stop being so silly. You are apply terms where they do not make sense. The whole point of Zeno's paradox is that he claims that an actually infinite distance exists, which is why the hare cannot catch the turtle. The infinity is merely possible in the distance, but not actualized. If the infinity was actualized, the hare CANNOT pass the tortise - that's the point of the paradox in the first place.

     

    Quote:

    If there is no time, how could he make the decision that he will make time? Making a decision is an act and has to take place IN TIME so without time how could you decide to make time?

    Because God does not make decisions temporally. His decisions are part of His nature, as is His will. His decisions are made in eternity without any deliberation and FROM ETERNITY. But we are not even at this point yet, so it doesn't matter. All we need to prove right now is that an unmoved mover must exist.

     

    Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

    StMichael 

    Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


    Pikachu
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    StMichael wrote:I haven't

    StMichael wrote:
    If there was no initial movement, there is no subsequent movement. This last statement is all that is needed to prove that a Prime Mover exists.
    But cannot prove that a Prime Mover is a sentient being who "initiated" said alleged movement on purpose and once again we're at the question.

    We can grant all day long that a Prime Mover exists, but if you cannot demonstrate why that Prime Mover must necessarily be a sentient being, who gives a flying rat's ass?

    Demonstrate directly that a Prime Mover must necessarily be a sentient being. Don't go round and round the question to imply it through equivocation of terms, prove that a Prime Mover must necessarily be a sentient being, or concede the argument.

    In your mind (in the theist mind) the Prime Mover must be a god, but that's not proving it, nor demonstrating why it must be a god that's assuming the conclusion and working backwards, which is not allowed. 

    Here, I'll start you by granting for the sake of argument that there must be a Prime Mover:

      P1: The Prime Mover must necessarily be _______________.
      P2: _________________ must necessarily be a god.
      C1: Therefore, the Prime Mover must necessarily be a god.
    You fill in the blanks coherently to make P1 and P2 valid and then we can get to establishing that said god is necessarily the Christian god (or Muslim god, or Jewish god, or Hindu god, etc).
    StMichael wrote:
    I haven't even proven that God thinks yet.
    Before Time God Did not Have Time To Decide To Create Time.
    StMichael wrote:
    Stop being so silly. You are apply terms where they do not make sense. The whole point of Zeno's paradox is that he claims that an actually infinite distance exists, which is why the hare cannot catch the turtle. The infinity is merely possible in the distance, but not actualized. If the infinity was actualized, the hare CANNOT pass the tortise - that's the point of the paradox in the first place.
    This is just a slight rewrite of the original problem of achilles and the turtle.

    Achilles runs 10 times faster than the turtle can walk, so to be fair we allow the turtle to start 100 meters ahead of Achilles. So, Achilles speed up the 100 meters only to find that the turtle is 10 meters ahead. Ok, so he speed up the 10 meters only to find that he still didn't catch up with the turtle, she is now 1 meter ahead. Ok. He runs that meter, but, alas! The turtle is ahead by 0.1 meters! Ok, he run that stretch fast but the turtle is ahead by 1 cm! Darn it, he can never catch up with the turtle!

    Of course, he does catch up with the turtle, we all know that. So, although it sounds logical and reasonable, there is a fundamental flaw here. The flaw is of course that it isn't logically correct, it isn't mathematically correct. It is flat out wrong. Achilles will catch up with the turtle on exactly 111.11111111111111.... meters or 1000/9 exactly. From then on he will be ahead and speed away.

    Yes, there is another half point but that half point is half distance away, you will reach it in half the time it takes you to reach the full distance given that you walk with the same speed.

    The ancient greeks didn't understand this completely - especially not the philosophers. Those who worked with math and in particular those who came after the greek - the hellenistic culture, they understood it quite well and found even rules for simple integration or specifically the area under the parabola which was found to be a cubic equation (involving x times x times x). They understood infinite sequences quite well, yet the greek philosophers did not and so they made the wrong conclusion.

    If anything it proves that ancient philosophers were on the whole rather clueless and we shouldn't worry too much about their conclusions whenever they do not coincide with our own. There is absolutely no reason to think that they were right and we are wrong, it is far more likely that it is the other way around. For example they thought that emotions was centered in the heart while the intellect was in the head. From where did they get that silly idea? I have no idea, perhaps because you feel your heart pounding when you are scared or in love or otherwise in an emotional state but that has to do with hormones and not with emotions being centered in your heart.

    StMichael wrote:
    Because God does not make decisions temporally. His decisions are part of His nature, as is His will. His decisions are made in eternity without any deliberation and FROM ETERNITY. But we are not even at this point yet, so it doesn't matter. All we need to prove right now is that an unmoved mover must exist.
    If God Doesn’t Change When Making A Decision Then No Decision Was Really Made.

    God had no time to create time.


    BobSpence
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    If you start with an

    If you start with an initial state of motionless masses in space - with NOTHING moving at that point of time, not even space, then motion will SPONTANEOUSLY start as they start moving towards each other.

    In fact, IT WOULD REQUIRE ACTIVE INTERVENTION TO STOP THEM MOVING!!!!!!

    When are you gonna admit you do not have a valid argument here???

    Zeno's paradox was not seen as leading to an infinite distance. You clearly misundertood it, as Pikachu shows.

    My example impiies that the initial 'cause' was infinitesimal, taking an infinitesimal time, leading ultimately to a last stage cause taking 1 second, the TOTAL adding up to 2 seconds, so you mis-understood that as well, but I may not have expressed it clearly enough for someone OBVIOUSLY iacking REAL understanding of modern science...

    This is getting beyond a joke. <Blasphemous obscenity deleted>

    You are welcome to wallow in your ignorant 'faith', and UN-wisdom... 

    Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

    "Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

    The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

    From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


    BobSpence
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    Pikachu, seems like you lean

    Pikachu, seems like you lean somewhat toward my attitude to philosophers, especially the older ones.Tongue out

    Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

    "Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

    The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

    From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


    Pikachu
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    BobSpence1 wrote:Pikachu,

    BobSpence1 wrote:
    Pikachu, seems like you lean somewhat toward my attitude to philosophers, especially the older ones.Tongue out
    I will have no choice but to detroy St.Michael's prime mover argument once and for all. The prime mover argument is from Aristotle's "Metaphysics'. Mover is a very, very bad and very misleading word. Returning to the "Prime Mover" we just can see that there are - if you want to postulate a god for the explanation of movement - at minimum two logical fallacies involved.

    The first claim to postulate a god as a prime mover is that the universe cannot move on its own, because some energy or a force is necessary for that. This moves the "explanation one step back: The universe cannot move on its own, so god must have started it to move. But any argument of any kind that you can bring forth to support this conclusion can be made into an argument against god. The universe moves, and it needs some energy for this to happen. This, so is claimed, cannot come from the universe itself. But god as an explanation fails, because we now must ask how it comes that god has the ability to start the universe to move. If you say that "it just happens so", this is no explanation, it is no better than if I claim that "it just happens that the universe can move on its own". The difference is only that we know the universe to exist and we know that it moves. We do not know if god exists, because that is just what the argument should show, and not something that we presuppose.

    In both cases - the universe moves on its own, god made it move - we still have no explanation. So we cannot claim that one is a better explanation than the other, because we have no explanation at all. What the theist is trying to say is, that it is impossible for the universe to move on its own, but that it is possible for god to create motion all on his own. So what he really claims is that it is impossible for something (= the universe) to have the ability to start motion and that it must be the case that something (= god) has the ability to start motion. This is a contradiction. From this contradiction comes the conclusion that god must be the prime mover - a contradiction is always logically wrong, and from wrong or contradicting premises any conclusion can be drawn, even that there must be a god (or the opposite).

    So in effect the argument cancels itself out.

    To obscure this, most of the time another fallacy is added, the fallacy of the stolen concept. Logic is used to come to the conclusion that god exists, and because the logic up to now is false, this conclusion does not follow. And because any argument brought forth to support the view that the universe cannot move on its own can be used against god as a prime mover, there is logic granted to come to the conclusion that the universe cannot move on its own, and than it is claimed that god instead can, because the logical rules do not apply to him. But you can't use logic to show that something exists that you can't apply logic to. Either you can apply logic to god or you can't, and in the latter case no logical argument can succeed to prove the existence of this god. The concept of logic is first applied to god and that later stolen, to make any argument that has been brought forth against the ability for the universe to move on its own cannot be applied to god any more. But, in fact, this kills any argument for god, this is just obscured by some mumbo-jumbo.

    A third fallacy is most of the time thrown in to claim that "because any movement in the universe has a cause" the movement of the universe itself must have a cause, too (fallacy of composition). This does not follow.

    If A causes B to move, both belong to the set of existing things. It is logically impossible that the set of all existing moving things has a cause for its motion.   It is movement that causes movement. For A to cause B to move, A must move and must exist, so it is part of the set of all things that exist and move. Whatever you add to explain the movement, must move, and therefore belongs to the set. If it does not belong to the set, it neither moves nor is a cause of movement. Notice that you can add infinite elements to the set of all moving existing causes of motion, and still cannot come to anything that explains the motion, because for something to explain that motion it must exist, move, and cause movement, so that it belongs to the set of all existing, moving things that can cause other things to move. And no infinite regression is of any help in this case. From which the conclusion follows that nothing has caused existence or movement. Nothing has given the ability to god that he exists and can cause movement. Nothing has given the universe the ability to exist and move and cause movement. Its the same nothing in both cases.

    Its just nothing, that is, no prime mover can exist (because "nothing" does not exist). The one reason that people still assume that there is a god is that they cannot imagine that existence or movement can exist uncaused. But lack of imagination is not an argument at all. But the theist has nothing more to offer.

    God had no time to create time.


    StMichael
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    Quote: In your mind (in

    Quote:
    In your mind (in the theist mind) the Prime Mover must be a god, but that's not proving it, nor demonstrating why it must be a god that's assuming the conclusion and working backwards, which is not allowed.

    You are so biased it's not even funny. Further, I make no such statement. I merely claimed to show that the Prime Mover was God, but I wanted to consider correctly the argument that He exists before I prove that He has knowledge and understanding. It is merely to follow the logical order of things.

     

    Quote:

    Demonstrate directly that a Prime Mover must necessarily be a sentient being. Don't go round and round the question to imply it through equivocation of terms, prove that a Prime Mover must necessarily be a sentient being, or concede the argument.

    Well, you conceded the Prime Mover argument (which you challenge later). Assuming the Prime Mover exists, He is, as we have said, pure act. He must be an unmoved mover. Hence, He is not in potency to any other thing. He must be purely in act. But such a state requires Him to be without any division, as such division would be a potency - a part. Even a division between essence and existence would imply such a potency. However, the Prime Mover, as pure act, cannot have any parts, otherwise it would be in potency to itself.

    Also, He cannot be in potency to any other thing, even in the order of existence. If He is not His own existence, He cannot be the Prime Mover, as He would be dependent on another for His act of existence.

    Thus, it must be conceded that God does not have an division, and hence no composition whatsoever between matter and form or essence and existence, but is supremely simple and without division.

    As such, God must be supremely immaterial because He is divorced from all matter. But knowledge is more and more knowable as it is more and more immaterial, reaching a kind of infinity. In God, therefore, the most immaterial thing, there must be the most knowability and knowledge in God.

    Further, God Himself must have an intellectual life because what is alive is clearly that which moves itself. The more perfectly one moves oneself, the more perfect that life is. But some life moves itself without an internal form, but according to the exterior disposition acting upon it (like plants). Other life has a higher movement where the living thing takes in other forms (like animals). However, this is inhibited by its lack of being able to determine its own end. But the most perfect moving would be to move ones self toward a definite end. This is intelligent life. Our intellect might will some things over another and some less voluntarily, but the most perfect intellect would be that whose knowing is His own substance, only determined by Himself. Such is God, and thus He must possess intellect of the most supreme kind that is always in act.

     

    Quote:
     

    ....

     

    Yes, there is another half point but that half point is half distance away, you will reach it in half the time it takes you to reach the full distance given that you walk with the same speed.

    The fact that the time is divisible as well is Aristotle's point as well. However, he likewise divides the realm into actual and possibly  infinite distance as well as time. It could be possibly divided into an infinite, but it is not actually so. Hence, I can move the meter.

    Quote:
     

    The ancient greeks didn't understand this completely - especially not the philosophers.

    Except that they solved it before you. And their philosophers were mathematicians, very often.

    Quote:
     

     

    If anything it proves that ancient philosophers were on the whole rather clueless and we shouldn't worry too much about their conclusions whenever they do not coincide with our own. There is absolutely no reason to think that they were right and we are wrong, it is far more likely that it is the other way around. For example they thought that emotions was centered in the heart...

    This is a fallacy of association. "They thought X, which is wrong, so they must be wrong on Y."  

     

    Quote:

    If God Doesn’t Change When Making A Decision Then No Decision Was Really Made.

    Yep, then God makes no "decisions" according to your definition. God eternally wills something, without deliberation.

     

     

    Quote:

    If you start with an initial state of motionless masses in space - with NOTHING moving at that point of time, not even space, then motion will SPONTANEOUSLY start as they start moving towards each other.

    But you are presuming that these motionless masses exist in space, or even in the first place at all. But to exist in space and to have dimension and to be subject to a force of gravity is to be in motion, even in so far as they move in time. As in motion, they cannot be the first mover, but the first mover must be prior to them.

     

    Quote:

     

    The first claim to postulate a god as a prime mover is that the universe cannot move on its own, because some energy or a force is necessary for that....The universe moves, and it needs some energy for this to happen. This, so is claimed, cannot come from the universe itself. But god as an explanation fails, because we now must ask how it comes that god has the ability to start the universe to move. If you say that "it just happens so", this is no explanation, it is no better than if I claim that "it just happens that the universe can move on its own". The difference is only that we know the universe to exist and we know that it moves. We do not know if god exists, because that is just what the argument should show, and not something that we presuppose.

    This is misleading on a number of levels. My argument does claim that motion requires a mover; this much is clear. However, it does not claim that motion must proceed infinitely backwards to movers. The universe cannot provide this motion just "because," but for the reason that the universe is itself moving. If it is moving, it cannot be the source of its own motion, but must be moved by another. This is because self-moved movers are logically impossible. So, if the universe is in motion, it cannot be an unmoved mover. Thus, we still need to postulate an unmoved mover, prior to all others, and this is God. 

     

    Quote:
    What the theist is trying to say is, that it is impossible for the universe to move on its own, but that it is possible for god to create motion all on his own. So what he really claims is that it is impossible for something (= the universe) to have the ability to start motion and that it must be the case that something (= god) has the ability to start motion. This is a contradiction.

    God does not move Himself. You are committing a fallacy of equivocation. You move from the fact that no self-moved mover exists to claim this contradicts God's ability to move others. But God is not claimed to be self-moved, but to be the unmoved mover. So the argument doesn't hold.

     

    Quote:

    ...there is logic granted to come to the conclusion that the universe cannot move on its own, and than it is claimed that god instead can, because the logical rules do not apply to him.

    Except that logic does apply to God. So, the argument fails. 

    Quote:
     

    A third fallacy is most of the time thrown in to claim that "because any movement in the universe has a cause" the movement of the universe itself must have a cause, too (fallacy of composition). This does not follow.

    It is not a fallacy of composition. The whole is the sum of its parts. All things in the universe are in motion, so the universe is in motion. There is no invalid inference in my claim.

     

     

    Quote:
    Whatever you add to explain the movement, must move, and therefore belongs to the set. If it does not belong to the set, it neither moves nor is a cause of movement.

    Only in a physical sense. But, I would point out, if there is no first mover, no motion exists at all in the set.

    Quote:
    From which the conclusion follows that nothing has caused existence or movement. Nothing has given the ability to god that he exists and can cause movement. Nothing has given the universe the ability to exist and move and cause movement. Its the same nothing in both cases.

    ? Are we now claiming that all things are nothing? It is a logical contradiction to claim that something came from nothing, as this violates clearly the first principle of logic.

    Quote:

    But the theist has nothing more to offer.

    Coming to the conclusion that things move because of nothing and then committing equivocation fallacies and being dismissive of other people's claims "a priori" is not the best, either.

     

     Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

    StMichael 

     

    Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


    Pikachu
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    Ok, I propose this. 

    StMichael
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    Quote: STMichael wrote:

    Quote:


    STMichael wrote:
    Assuming the Prime Mover exists, He is,

    NO! You cannot say the Prime Mover is a He or a She or even an It, unless and until you can demonstrate why the Prime Mover must necessarily be a He or a She or an It. "Mover" does not necessarily mean a sentient Mover, let alone a gender specific sentient Mover. A Prime Mover can just as easily be a natural force having nothing to do with any kind of preconceived purpose, let alone sentience.

    I'ts called (if you haven't gotten it yet) "equivocation of terms" and it's a fallacy, which means: NOT ALLOWED.

    Please let us all know that you understand this.

    Capitalizing the verb to turn it into a proper noun is not allowed. Clear?

    I call it God because it can be proven to be such, not because it has already been proven such. However, if that is what you mean, there was no equivocation because I was not trying to prove anything from the term that I used. I merely called it God, which I think is really even fair at this stage assuming that by "God" we mean the "cause of all things."

     

    Quote:

    Decisions require Time so there couldn't have been a decision to create Time/The Universe.

    God, then, does no such thing.

    God merely thinks and wills eternally without "making" a decision or deliberating.

     

    Quote:


    No, what needs to be proven is that in infinite regress is impossible. Something you keep claiming to have done, yet have not actually done. The entire infantile prime mover nonargument depends on that proof.

    Actually, I went to find where I showed this in this forum, and it seems that you were right in that I had not given my reasons why an infinite regress of movers was impossible in this forum. 

     I quote myself from another forum:

    The reason we cannot proceed infinitely in movers can be proven three ways:

    [1] If among movers and things moved we proceed to infinity, all these things must be bodies - coporeal entities. But every body that moves some thing is itself moved while moving it. Therefore, all these infinite bodies are moved when moving some thing. But one of them, being finite, is moved in a finite time. Therefore, all these infinites are moved in a finite time. This, however, is a contradiction. Hence, it is impossible that an actual infinity of movers can exist.

    [1.a] Furthermore, it is impossible for an infinite to move in a finite time. This is because the moved and the thing moved must exist simultaneously. But bodies cannot be simultaneous except by continuity or congruity. Now, as has been proven, all these movers and things moved are bodies and thus most constitute a single congruity or continuity as a sort of single mobile. In this way, one infinite is moved in finite time. This, however, is impossible.

    [2] If there is a series of ordered motions, where a mover moves a moved thing, and so on, it is necessarily a fact that if one removes the first motion, the subsequent motion ceases. This is because the first motion is the cause of motion in the others. If the order of causation was infinite, it possesses no first mover. Hence, no subsequent motion can exist.

    [3] That which is in motion is only moved in so far as something moves it. Thus, a log is potentially hot but not actually so until it is set on fire. But, if there were no first mover, all things would be merely instrumental movers. They will thence be moved movers and there will be no motion because there is no first mover. Hence, no motion would exist, which is impossible.

     

     

    Quote:

     

    StMichael wrote:
    Further, God Himself must have an intellectual life because what is alive is clearly that which moves itself. The more perfectly one moves oneself, the more perfect that life is. But some life moves itself without an internal form, but according to the exterior disposition acting upon it (like plants). Other life has a higher movement where the living thing takes in other forms (like animals). However, this is inhibited by its lack of being able to determine its own end. But the most perfect moving would be to move ones self toward a definite end. This is intelligent life. Our intellect might will some things over another and some less voluntarily, but the most perfect intellect would be that whose knowing is His own substance, only determined by Himself. Such is God, and thus He must possess intellect of the most supreme kind that is always in act blah...blah...blah...

    Can you put this in syllogistic form? Smiling

    P1: "To be alive" is to be able to move oneself, in some manner of speaking.

    P2: The more perfect life is, the more perfectly a thing moves itself.

    P3: Intellectual life is a self-motion that determines the mover's end.

    C1: The most perfect life would be an intellectual life that thinks  its own substance as an end.

    P4: But God is pure act and His own principle of motion - moving Himself toward Himself as an end.

    C2: Therefore, God has the most perfect intellectual life, moving Himself toward His own substance as His end. 

     Also,

    P1: Potency is imperfection

    P2: But God, as pure act, is without potency.

    C1: Therefore, God is without imperfection and wholly possessing every perfection.

    P3: Knowing is a perfection.

    C2: God possesses the ability to know.

    P4: God cannot depend on another for His act of knowing.

    C3: Therefore, God's knowledge is identical with His substance.

     

     

    Quote:

     

    This is the fallacy of composition. If everything in the universe moves, than the universe itself does not need to move at all. If the universe is the set of all things, than it cannot move relative to anything else. So the universe is not moving and is the prime unmoved mover. Of course, everything in the universe moves, because every part of it moves relative to any other part.

    That makes no sense. You are the only one who might be committing the fallacy of composition here. The universe cannot be its own source of motion, as nothing can be self-moved. The universe is further in motion, as is clear from the motion of things, of which the universe is composed. It cannot move relative to anything outside of the universe, but it still is in motion and changing. For example, it changes and is in motion in time.

    Quote:
     


    That is why I referred to "A causes B to move". A "Mover" is a something that causes another thing to move. It is not necessarily that A moves on its own, because every movement is relative to any other movement. Say you have two billiard balls, A and B, and you shoot A against B. What you observe is that A moves, hits B, stops moving and B starts to move. You observe this because your referential coordinate system is the earth (or the table). If you make B the referential coordinate system, B does not move at all, what you observe is that A moves towards B, hits, and starts moving backwards. So B does not move in any way, just A and the rest of the universe moves in relation to an unmoved B.

    Both views are completely equivalent. The choice of an referential coordinate system is completely arbitrarily, you just cannot say that any coordinate system is privileged (that's what Einsteins relativity theory is all about). So everything can be seen as not moving, depending on your arbitrarily choice of a referential coordinate system. In fact, relativity theory blows any "unmoved mover" argument completely out of the water.

    No, because those things remain in motion because they remain changing in at least more than one way. One way they are in motion is through time. Another is through natural motion of atoms. Even if they are the reference to our coordinate system, other things still act upon them, such as the ball hitting it. They are still changing. I would also argue that they remain in motion, even if we use them as the reference for a coordinate system. 

    None of these could be the unmoved mover, likewise, because they are all acted upon by other forces and are changing, which is a form of motion.  

    Quote:
    You still have to concede that the universe does not move in relation to anything (given that no other universe exists), so there you have your unmoved mover.

    First, the universe changes, and is thus in motion. 

    Second, you are assuming the universe is a uniform entity. Even if there is no absolute point of reference, things remain in motion even relatively.

     

    Quote:

    That is just the fallacy of composition. Again, the same argument applies: If all in the set of all things moves relative to one another (and this is all what motion is about), the set of all things does not move, because there is nothing to which you can say it has a relative movement.

    The whole set is not moving only if you assume it is a uniform set. Otherwise, the set is still in motion, but only relatively.

     

    Quote:

    I do not claim that everything is nothing. I just claim that nothing that exists (or the set of all things that exist) can have an existing origin. That is just the same as to claim that it comes from nothing. And the first principle of logic is not violated in any way.

     

    Yes it is. Something cannot be and not be in the same way in the same respect. You violate that when you claim that something can come from nothing.

    Quote:
     

     The only difference between you and me is, that I claim that the universe (or the multiverse) does not have an origin, and you must claim that god does not have an origin. If something does not have an origin, it comes from nothing, and an infinite regress does not help in any way, because still there cannot be an origin to all. So yes, ultimatively everything that exists does not have an origin - or came from nothing.

    I never said that everything has to have an origin. I said that every thing in motion must have an mover. The universe is moving and changing and hence cannot be the ultimate source of that motion. Only an unmoved mover can satisfy.

     

    Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

    StMichael 

    Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


    triften
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    I quote you, quoting

    I quote you, quoting yourself in another forum:

    StMichael wrote:

    I quote myself from another forum:

    The reason we cannot proceed infinitely in movers can be proven three ways:

    [1] If among movers and things moved we proceed to infinity, all these things must be bodies - coporeal entities. But every body that moves some thing is itself moved while moving it. Therefore, all these infinite bodies are moved when moving some thing. But one of them, being finite, is moved in a finite time. Therefore, all these infinites are moved in a finite time. This, however, is a contradiction. Hence, it is impossible that an actual infinity of movers can exist.

    Didn't you agree earlier that space itself can act on things (gravity, vaccuum energy phenomena)? Space itself is a body, a corporeal entity?

    Also, you seem to be assuming the premise of finite time. (I may have missed some point where finite time was assumed.) I don't think that claim/premise has been made.

    I'll wait for your response since the rest of your argument depends on assuming finite time.

    -Triften


    StMichael
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    It does not assume finite

    It does not assume finite time.

    Also, yes I believe science seems to show that space is a real entity, with qualities that probably render it a body. For this reason, we can bend space/time with gravitational fields and so forth. Newer quantum mechanics likewise seems to indicate that space has a structure to it that renders it a real entity.

    But, even without the science assumed, space is an entity, or not absolute nothing. This, I suppose, is really all that I advocate.  

     

    Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

    StMichael 

    Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.