So Far

Dylan
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So Far

My information so far has concluded that most atheists will give me this answer to the question on whether they think the universe is infinite or finite:

"I don't know, but let's find out." - Darth Josh

Others, like Schema, hold a more positive view for the infinite. So the conclusion is basically a mystery, but a mystery that leans toward the infinite.

I have another question. Do you believe this next statement to be true?:

Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

Now, this statement is virtually accepted by everyone, but I want to know what the people at RRS think.

Yet again, I only need one answer unless you have differing views.

Thank you.


Yiab
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I do not believe this

I do not believe this statement to be meaningful at all.

Once again, I can't speak for anyone else (and I'm fairly certain I'm in the vast minority on this issue) but I don't believe that "begin", "exist" and "cause" are sufficiently well-defined to apply universally and unconditionally. There are definitions which work quite well in restricted contexts (such as the macroscopic universe as we understand it today), but I don't believe that those same definitions apply on the microscopic level or to the early universe (or perhaps even in the far future near the potential end of the universe).

Essentially, I might agree to that statement in some contexts and disagree with it in others, so you'll need to decide on context before I can give my answer. 


Hambydammit
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This is a loaded

This is a loaded question.

The intended formula goes like this:

1) Atheist: No, every effect does not need a cause.

Theist: That is an unfounded statement, because you can't give an example of an effect without a cause.

2) Atheist: Yes, every effect has a cause.

Theist: See, god exists.

 

The reasons this is flawed:

1) this assumes that everything has a beginning.  As far as cosmologists can tell, this is not necessarily a given.  Matter and energy, although they may not have always existed in their present forms (in fact, they probably haven't) it is quite possible that some form of "matter/energy" has always existed.  The question of "why" is completely separate from the question of "if."  

2) IF everything has a cause, THEN god has to have a cause, and we're still stuck in an endless loop of causality.  Sticking an infinite being into an endless loop to create finality is, well... kind of stupid.

3) IF God doesn't need a cause, THEN matter doesn't need a cause.  (yes, I skipped a step in the proof.  Sue me.  It's a valid proof.)

4) IF matter doesn't need a cause, THEN god is not necessary

5) IF god is unnecessary, and unprovable, THEN it's likely he doesn't exist.

 Now, to answer your question more directly:

I think that everything that is an EFFECT has a CAUSE.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Dylan
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Thank you Hambydammit and

Thank you Hambydammit and Yiab. On to my next thread where I explain the purpose of my questions from So Far and Quick Question.

P.S. I understand why you guys think my two questions are meaningless. But don't worry, I have a reason for them.


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These questions could be

These questions could be posed by a mystisist or Scientologist or Kaballah supporter or defender of ID and it still amounts to dodging claims of magic and hokus pokus.

How did the universe get to this state is a lagit question. What state was it before the big bang. Again, lagit question. However, whatever we dont know about the origins or processes of the universe does not constitute the justification of Superman vs Kriptonite claims.

Whatever future discoveries through scientific method that yeilds new data will not make talking donkeys or spirit sperm real. It wont make Scientology credible any more than claims of 72 virgins.

The questions you pose in the original post will not justify claims of miracles or magic. I am not fooled by the attempts of theists to use philosophy or psudo science to distract people from fictionaly fairy tale claims writen by goat herders. 

 

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Yiab
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Dylan wrote: Thank you

Dylan wrote:

Thank you Hambydammit and Yiab. On to my next thread where I explain the purpose of my questions from So Far and Quick Question.

P.S. I understand why you guys think my two questions are meaningless. But don't worry, I have a reason for them.

 

No, I'm quite aware that you are asking these questions towards a purpose, but I don't believe that this particular question is semantically sound.

If you'd like, I can point you towards the last thread where I took part in an argument on the "ontological proof of god" to give you some idea of what my arguments are likely to be in this case as well. 


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Nope, do not believe in

Nope, do not believe in that. Most things come from multiple sources and to complex to have one significant cause. If you believe that everything came from a cuase then you have to ask, what caused the cause?

"Those who think they know don't know. Those that know they don't know, know."


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I wasn't even considering

I wasn't even considering the option of multiple causes, as that seems kind of extraneous.  Obviously more complex systems have more than a "cause."

In fact, if a complex being such as god were to exist, it would sort of make sense that it would have quite a few contributing factors, or causes, if you like.

Just to throw in my two cents, I'm guessing my answer to the next thread is going to be on the lines of, "No, you're not using the same definitions.  I said I believe every effect has a cause.  This is part of the definition.  What you're saying doesn't follow from that."

 We'll see.   I admit I'm kind of interested to see if he throws in any kind of wrinkle we haven't heard before.  My bet is no.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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This is the beginning of

This is the beginning of William Lane Craig's Kalam argument.

I deal with the kalam argument here

Shaun

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Dylan
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Technically, it isn't

Technically, it isn't William Lane Craig's argument. Its been used for years.

But that isn't what I was getting at, anyway.


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Never heard this question

Never heard this question before, so my answer is not solid, but I would lean towards no, not everything needs a cause (ie. I do not believe a cause is neccesarry for 'time&#39Eye-wink.

I am interested in where this is heading though.


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Dylan wrote: I have another

Dylan wrote:
I have another question. Do you believe this next statement to be true?: Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

Now, this statement is virtually accepted by everyone, but I want to know what the people at RRS think.

Yet again, I only need one answer unless you have differing views.


It all depends on what context you're using the word "cause".  Is it in the context of of "cause and effect", or more in the context of a principle or goal?  Personally I see this question and it instantly makes me think catch-22 where the asker specifically leaves the question generalised and once the respondant gives one answer the original asker then twists the response to the other meaning of the word in a way to falsly befuddle and win.

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I think the term "infinite"

I think the term "infinite" is nonsense.

Nothing ever begins to exist, it only changes form such that we call it something else.  

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I would agree with "whatever

I would agree with "whatever begins to exist has a cause" if you define cause as merely an event or action.

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Dylan wrote: I have

Dylan wrote:

I have another question. Do you believe this next statement to be true?: Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

That's a big negative from me.  5 moments from now (moment being an arbitrary length of time) will begin to exist, but will not have been caused by the 4th moment from now, but simply by the passage of time into the 5th moment.  No action need be taken for the 5th moment to exist.  One could argue that it was infact the movement through time that caused the 5th moment to begin, but then one strips away intention from the causality.

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Dylan wrote: My

Dylan wrote:

My information so far has concluded that most atheists will give me this answer to the question on whether they think the universe is infinite or finite:

"I don't know, but let's find out." - Darth Josh

Others, like Schema, hold a more positive view for the infinite. So the conclusion is basically a mystery, but a mystery that leans toward the infinite.

I have another question. Do you believe this next statement to be true?: Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

Now, this statement is virtually accepted by everyone, but I want to know what the people at RRS think.

Yet again, I only need one answer unless you have differing views.

Thank you.

As to whether or not the Universe is infinite: It is, yet only because it is "everything" in this universe. When it expands, "infinity" expands with it.

I'm going to echo Hamby's sentiments for the rest. 


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Dylan wrote: My

Dylan wrote:


My information so far has concluded that most atheists will give me this answer to the question on whether they think the universe is infinite or finite:

"I don't know, but let's find out." - Darth Josh

Others, like Schema, hold a more positive view for the infinite. So the conclusion is basically a mystery, but a mystery that leans toward the infinite.

I have another question. Do you believe this next statement to be true?: Whatever begins to exist has a cause.


    Yes and no.  On the large scale the universe does seem to appear that way, and our minds have evolved to comprehend things that way.  However, the universe on the small scale doesn't.  In fact, the universe on the small scale is about as bizarre, and apperently impossible as it could get.  We do see things, quite literally, being created, and anihalated seemingly without cause.

    A good example for this is particles of energy (photons) becomming two seperate particles of matter and anti-matter, and then colliding with each other, anihalating themselves and becoming a photon again.  All without cause, and we can see it happen.  Stephen Hawking theorized that if one of these events happens at the very edge of the event-horizon of a black-hole, one of the particles will fall in, and the other will escape.  When astronomers looked for this "Hawking Radiaton", they indeed found it.

    It is tempting to try to think about the universe, and apply the laws of nature as our minds have evolved to understand them.  But our minds have evolved to only understand a microscopic amount of the laws of the universe, that is why we need things like physics, astronomy, and the natural sciences to guide us to a true understanding of the cosmos.  And unfortunately, physics don't allow for the existence needs a cause argument.  The universe is just too plain weird for it.