The Concept of a "First Cause"

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The Concept of a "First Cause"

Good day my R.R.S. friends. I was wondering if you all could indulge me with a rehash of why there need not be a first cause in the explanation of the universe's creation?

I find that in many of the creationist books I have read (which sad to say hasn't been that many so far) one of their pride and joy arguments is the "first cause" argument. I find it appealing, but I know that many here have rejected it quite regularly. If you may be so kind as to lay out your rejections of it, using preferably sound explanations, I would greatly appreciate your input.

Oh and for those who don't know or haven't heard the first cause argument it essentially is the following:

1. There are cause and effect relations in the universe. (ie on Earth)

2. Therefore, there must have been a first cause to start the causal relation chain of events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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One objection is that this

One objection is that this line of thinking leads to an infinite regression problem. If everything needs a cause, what caused the "First Cause"? And what caused that cause, et al, ad infinitum. If you say nothing caused the First Cause, this is simply special pleading and now you have to explain why the First Cause gets exempted from the logical rules that govern the rest of the universe.

Another objection is that we simply haven't observed anything that requires that the universe have a first cause. No theory depends on it. In fact, all evidence at this time points to the matter and energy that makes up this universe simply existing for all the time that there has been. 

A third objection is that quantum mechanics does seem to allow for "causeless" events. I don't pretend to understand that.

And finally, even if we accept all the arguements for a First Cause, we are still no closer to finding God since nothing about this idea necessarily supports any particular theist claim about the nature of God. The Bible doesn't say "God kicked the universe and got it moving." The Bible says God created everything in seven days, 6,000 years ago. 

 

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Alright, I'm beginning to

Alright, I'm beginning to see the problem now. Regress. I hate regresses. I remember when I was kid asking "Who created God?" It sounds like what you're saying is "Who/What caused the First Cause?"

Interesting...Keep em comin guys.

 

 [Note:The first cause argument isn't one I personally have made up my mind about. It seem pervasive, but I want to hear the objections first. All im asking, really, is to not associate this argument as one of my personal beliefs.]

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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I'm no physicist, but I'd

I'm no physicist, but I'd assume the question is what the evidence tells us, and what we can extrapolate. As far as I know, there's no scientific reason the "god" question is on the table. It's wishful thinking to suppose there's anything but silence on whether "god" exists, from an evidentiary standpoint. Being that we have little reason to entertain the question in the first place, do we have justification to call "god" a "first cause," "prime mover," "or necessary being?" Well, why would we do such a thing? It's just an unsupported piece of kludge; a hypothetical idea with no real properties. It answers the question the same way drawing windows on a box turns it into a house.


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Eloquent quote at the end

Eloquent quote at the end of your reply magilum, I like it.

So you see a problem with presuming God to be the "First Cause."

Essentially, there is no need for the First cause to be God as we understand it. Interesting and duly noted.

How about if we leave out the association of the First cause with God? What would your objections to the idea of a First cause now entail? Would they be any different?

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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Well, there's the infinite

Well, there's the infinite regression thing mentioned previously: that works for me. Aside from that, do we have the data to even speculate about events prior to the theoretical "big bang?" I really don't know. Do we have reason to assume there was, at some point, "nothing," or that this universe is the first and only? I don't know. "First cause," seems to imply our universe can be traced to an absolute beginning, rather than being somewhere in a middle. Is it justified?


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The pleading of these

The pleading of these Christian apologists in laymens terms is Cheerleading. It is not an search, on their part for an answer that goes where it goes regardless. Christian apologists are seeking to prop up their ancient myth.

I am quite sure Muslims think the first cause was Allah. Yet you dont buy their holy book as evidence of a first cause anymore than they buy a bible as a first cause.

In either case neither ever consider that  a "what"(sequence of events)" lead to what we know today rather than a magical "who".

It never occurs that a "what" and not a "who" is where humanity will find better answers as to the universe.

The idea of a disimbodied brain in the cosmos is absurd. Whatever happened before the big bang is natural, not super natural, and certainly not the stuff of ancient comic books. 


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Brian37 wrote: The

Brian37 wrote:

The pleading of these Christian apologists in laymens terms is Cheerleading. It is not an search, on their part for an answer that goes where it goes regardless. Christian apologists are seeking to prop up their ancient myth.

I am quite sure Muslims think the first cause was Allah. Yet you dont buy their holy book as evidence of a first cause anymore than they buy a bible as a first cause.

In either case neither ever consider that a "what"(sequence of events)" lead to what we know today rather than a magical "who".

It never occurs that a "what" and not a "who" is where humanity will find better answers as to the universe.

The idea of a disimbodied brain in the cosmos is absurd. Whatever happened before the big bang is natural, not super natural, and certainly not the stuff of ancient comic books.


 

Isn't that the regress problem though, Brian. A disembodied cosmos ~ strange, a disembodied mind containing the cosmos ~ even stranger... postulating even greater disembodiment each step beyond ~ regression going to infinity.

 It's like the more you look out there the more you look into a mirror reflecting a mirror. If your whole world to you is the image in one of those mirrors infinite regress is all you see, it is absurd. But perhaps if your were to hypothesise that what you are looking at is the image in one mirror, it would follow that the regress is broken by looking at the mirrors, instead of the images in them. 

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Eloise wrote: It's like

Eloise wrote:

It's like the more you look out there the more you look into a mirror reflecting a mirror. If your whole world to you is the image in one of those mirrors infinite regress is all you see, it is absurd. But perhaps if your were to hypothesise that what you are looking at is the image in one mirror, it would follow that the regress is broken by looking at the mirrors, instead of the images in them.

Thank you Eloise for that that stellar example of flawed theist thinking. First you make the completely flawed and irrelevant analogy between the infinite regress problem and mirrors, then you offer some burble about looking at the mirror instead of the image as if that's supposed to sound profound.

Why not just say what you mean instead of cloaking everything in bad analogies and delphic mystery?  

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Tilberian wrote: Eloise

Tilberian wrote:
Eloise wrote:

It's like the more you look out there the more you look into a mirror reflecting a mirror. If your whole world to you is the image in one of those mirrors infinite regress is all you see, it is absurd. But perhaps if your were to hypothesise that what you are looking at is the image in one mirror, it would follow that the regress is broken by looking at the mirrors, instead of the images in them.

Thank you Eloise for that that stellar example of flawed theist thinking. First you make the completely flawed and irrelevant analogy between the infinite regress problem and mirrors, then you offer some burble about looking at the mirror instead of the image as if that's supposed to sound profound.

Why not just say what you mean instead of cloaking everything in bad analogies and delphic mystery?

I did say what I meant.

Why is the analogy flawed?  

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Causes seem to be

Causes seem to be temporal.
To say that X caused Y will likely mean that X came before Y.
So whether there is a first cause all depends on whether there is a first moment in time. If time had a beginning then the first event was the first cause. (but that event would be a happening within spacetime, not an external cause - so it would be the first event of the universe rather than the cause of it)

Alternatively, time is infinite so there is an infinite chain of causes.
Although time having a beginning is extremely counter-intuitive, it wouldn't be the first weird result to come out of cosmology!


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Eloise wrote: I did say

Eloise wrote:

I did say what I meant.

Why is the analogy flawed?

You said what you meant? OK then, uh, what mirror? Where is there a mirror? No one here is talking about mirrors, why are you?

The infinite regression problem has nothing to do with mirrors and is in no way like the apparent infinite regression that we see when we place two mirrors in front of one another. That is why the analogy is false. 

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Tilberian wrote: Eloise

Tilberian wrote:
Eloise wrote:

I did say what I meant.

Why is the analogy flawed?

You said what you meant? OK then, uh, what mirror? Where is there a mirror? No one here is talking about mirrors, why are you?

 

Interestingly enough there is a metaphorical mirror which accurately helps to describe our current, albeit confusing, understanding of the existence of matter. It's called antimatter, but it is also referred to as mirror matter. 

 

 

Tilberian wrote:

The infinite regression problem has nothing to do with mirrors and is in no way like the apparent infinite regression that we see when we place two mirrors in front of one another. That is why the analogy is false.

I think it is relevant in the context I used, which was specifically, only seeing the images in the mirror. Imagine you do not know the mirrors are there. This is equivalent to not knowing of any first cause. So if you are assuming a first cause exists but what you are looking at, to find it, looks like (<-- Key to the analogy) infinite regression , its pretty logical to assume that you are looking in the wrong place for the cause.

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Eloise

Eloise wrote:

Interestingly enough there is a metaphorical mirror which accurately helps to describe our current, albeit confusing, understanding of the existence of matter. It's called antimatter, but it is also referred to as mirror matter.

Antimatter is not a mirror. It shares no characteristics with a mirror. It is simply subatomic particles with the opposite spin. If you are using mirrors as a metaphor for antimatter, your metaphor is off base. 

 

Eloise wrote:

I think it is relevant in the context I used, which was specifically, only seeing the images in the mirror. Imagine you do not know the mirrors are there. This is equivalent to not knowing of any first cause. So if you are assuming a first cause exists but what you are looking at, to find it, looks like (<-- Key to the analogy) infinite regression , its pretty logical to assume that you are looking in the wrong place for the cause.

I'm tiring of these riddles. Why don't you just tell me where the "first cause" is hiding and why it doesn't need a cause itself?

 

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Tilberian wrote: I'm

Tilberian wrote:

I'm tiring of these riddles. Why don't you just tell me where the "first cause" is hiding and why it doesn't need a cause itself?

 

 

Tilberian, I never once claimed to be riddling where the first cause was hiding. I told you, already, what I said is what I meant.  Whatever you presume it must mean because a Theist is saying it is irrelevant. 

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jread wrote: Good day my

jread wrote:

Good day my R.R.S. friends. I was wondering if you all could indulge me with a rehash of why there need not be a first cause in the explanation of the universe's creation?

 

Why not just go to a libary?

Anway:

 

According to Penn State physicist Lee Smolin, there are three possible ways to decribe the nature of a singularity, not just one:

* [A] There is still a first moment in time, even when quantum mechanics is taken into consideration.

* The singularity is eliminated by some quantum mechanical effect. As a result, when we run the clock back, the universe does not reach a state of infinite density. Something else happens when the universe reaches some very high density that allows time to continue indefinitely into the past.

* [C] Something new and strange and quantum mechanical happens to time, which is neither possibility A or B. For example, perhaps we reach a state where it is no longer appropriate to think that reality is composed of a series of moments that follow each other in a progression, one after another. In this case there is perhaps no singularity, but it may also not make sense to ask what happened before the universe was extremely dense.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mark_vuletic/bigbang.html

One particular explanation of the third option: The theory of Stephen Hawkings holds that the universe is finite, but boundless, without any "beginning point" http://www.lfrieling.com/univers.html

"In his best selling book, A Brief History of Time, Professor Hawking suggests that in order for the "Big Bang" to work, the mathematics requires that the condition of the Universe at the beginning must have been finite and boundless. There must have been no edges, or points of discontinuity. Without this assumption, the laws of physics could not be used to explain the activity and state of affairs in the first moments of the creation of the Universe. By assuming that the Universe was and is finite, yet boundless, physicists are able to avoid the problems created by discontinuities."

In Hawkings "Universe in a Nutshell" he furthers this argument, by hold that a universe that his finite but boundless has no beginning or end point, and no need for a creator. Hawkings himself declared that this point would not possess any 'special' status. It would be akin to any other point in a circle - or more accurately, a globe. Hawkings states rather plainly that his model proposes a boundless, yet finite universe - without any special points in space or time. He covers this in Universe in a Nutshell.

Another third scenario option: Brane Theory

The Myth of the Beginning of Time String theory suggests that the big bang was not the origin of the universe but simply the outcome of a preexisting state By Gabriele Veneziano

 

 

Can I ask how you intend to debate this issue when you've just conceded that you are ignorant of the very basics of the discussion? 

 

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jread wrote: 1. There are

jread wrote:

1. There are cause and effect relations in the universe. (ie on Earth)

2. Therefore, there must have been a first cause to start the causal relation chain of events.

1) Hydrogen and oxygen are gasses

2) Therefore, H2O must be a gas.

Do you see the error now?

It's called a fallacy of  composition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Strafio wrote: Causes seem

Strafio wrote:
Causes seem to be temporal. To say that X caused Y will likely mean that X came before Y. So whether there is a first cause all depends on whether there is a first moment in time. If time had a beginning then the first event was the first cause. (but that event would be a happening within spacetime, not an external cause - so it would be the first event of the universe rather than the cause of it) Alternatively, time is infinite so there is an infinite chain of causes. Although time having a beginning is extremely counter-intuitive, it wouldn't be the first weird result to come out of cosmology!

 

Precisely. "First cause" arguments are based on an erroneous extrapolation from rules created by men concerning the workings of events within the cosmos, to the cosmos itself.

 Can our theist friends at least sit in the same room with a cosmology text before attempting to debate these issues? 

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todangst wrote:   Can I

todangst wrote:

 

Can I ask how you intend to debate this issue when you've just conceded that you are ignorant of the very basics of the discussion?

 

 

Can I ask you where I said I wanted to debate? Your error is called putting words and/or intentions into someone's mouth. 

Your tact (or lack there of) in answering this question was rather dissapointing. I was merely asking a question and you make every effort to make it seem like you are replying to an acusation.

If I can't pose questions in this forum that provide a check on my logical/philosophical thoughts then I am sorry for doing so.  

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Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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Take it easy on Jread,

Take it easy on Jread, Chris. He's not one of the nutters.


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The universe had a

The universe had a beginning, that is clear.  We all know the universe began at the big-bang.  The problem, however, is that when we look at the physics and mathematics of black holes, they break down.  Since the universe was created by a singularity (an point packed with infinite mass...same as a black hole), since the physics break down, cause and effect break down.  As Stephen Hawking has said, there is no need to ask what happened before the big bang, for it has no effect on the universe.  This is like asking for use to divorce time from space...it cannot be down.  To ask for an "absolute time" is nonsense...since time is universe dependant.  Thus, contrary to inuition, it is not contradictory to say "time had a beginning."

 

Even if it was coherent to ask what caused the universe (which it isn't) we cannot deduce any of the traditional monotheistic properties from the argument.  For all we know, our universe is a baby universe that was spewed forth by some parent universe.  On what grounds are we to suppose that God is the cause, as opposed to a parent universe?

 

Also, as togangst pointed out, it suffers from the fallacy of composition.  Just because we see causation WITHIN the universe, doesn't mean it makes sense to ask what caused the universe itself.  This is like saying "well, all the parts of a bike are light...therefore, the whole bike is light." 

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jread wrote:todangst

jread wrote:
todangst wrote:

 

Can I ask how you intend to debate this issue when you've just conceded that you are ignorant of the very basics of the discussion?

 

 

Can I ask you where I said I wanted to debate?

If that's the case, then you have no need to get upset. 

 
Quote:

Your error is called putting words and/or intentions into someone's mouth.

Right, it's a crazy thought, thinking someone on a debate board might want to debate. 

Quote:

Your tact (or lack there of) in answering this question was rather dissapointing.

Oh, dear me. I do hope that somehow, given enough years and enough therapy, you'll find some way to get over this grevious wound. I am so sorry to have dissapointed you!

Get well soon! 

 

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The problem with

The problem with philosophers is their tendency to live in the past.  They use ancient intuitions as masks for a authentic arguments.  All philosophers, before commenting on anything empirical, ought to consult science first.  Failing to do this, ought to get them laughed out of academia. 

There is no reason why we should still have to listen to "first cause" arguments, or dualistic nonsense.  Consult physics, then consult neuroscience and cognitive science.  Is it really that hard for Philosophers to get up from their arm chair and do some authentic research?  probably not...lets hear the next dualistic argument and intuition pump...

*I am a philosopher...I don't hate philosophy, but philosophers piss me off alot of times* 

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Chaoslord2004 wrote: The

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

The problem with philosophers is their tendency to live in the past.

That's unfortunate, given Will Durant's sense that the best value of a philosopher is his ability to think forward, just out of the range of current science.

Quote:
 

There is no reason why we should still have to listen to "first cause" arguments, or dualistic nonsense. Consult physics, then consult neuroscience and cognitive science. Is it really that hard for Philosophers to get up from their arm chair and do some authentic research? probably not...lets hear the next dualistic argument and intuition pump...

Ha!

Quote:
 

*I am a philosopher...I don't hate philosophy, but philosophers piss me off alot of times*

Wasn't it Nietzsche who said that the role of philosophers is to prove all other philosphers fools? 

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todangst wrote: That's

todangst wrote:
That's unfortunate, given Will Durant's sense that the best value of a philosopher is his ability to think forward, just out of the range of current science.

Ideally, this is what metaphysics ought to be.  Metaphysics, ought to be the reasonable speculation into reality.  Hence, we look at what physics has taught us, but dig further.  Within time, physics will either confirm or disconfirm these speculations.  This is what good philosophy does.  Or, metaphysics should further deduce concequences of various scientific theories.  This is a very useful function.  Philosophers have the tools of logic to do this, that physicists might not care about.

Sometimes metaphysics deals with questions that science cannot answer...such as personal identity over time...or possible world ontology.

 

todangst wrote:
Wasn't it Nietzsche who said that the role of philosophers is to prove all other philosphers fools?

Hopefully that will be me... 

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Tilberian wrote: A third

Tilberian wrote:
A third objection is that quantum mechanics does seem to allow for "causeless" events. I don't pretend to understand that.

Quantum mechanics allows for what I believe are called zero-point fluctuations or quantum fluctuatons.  The point is that  particles and anti-particles or either energy or matter can appear and disappear in an interstellar vacuum due to the chaotic and random nature of spacetime at the quantum level. 

The end result is that it is entirely possible with our current knowledge of quantum theory to postulate that something can indeed come from nothing.

Of course, this is if you don't hold the oscillating universe idea (big bang - universe expands - universe cools - gravity begins to take over - universe collapses - big bag - repeat) or the Membrane theories of Super String Theory that say there are many big bangs caused by the collisions of membranes in a hyper dimentional universe. 

Quote:
And finally, even if we accept all the arguements for a First Cause, we are still no closer to finding God since nothing about this idea necessarily supports any particular theist claim about the nature of God. The Bible doesn't say "God kicked the universe and got it moving." The Bible says God created everything in seven days, 6,000 years ago.

Actually, it doesn't say that at all.  There is NO MENTION of the age of the universe in the bible AT ALL that I can find in the Bible.

The 6000 years and the less known or excepted 10,000 year "ideas" are the by product of Archbishop Ussher who basically added up the ages of all the patriarchs of the hebrew bible (using the Septuagint adds more years to the age of the universe and for reasons I'll talk about in a second that's why the Greek is rejected in favor of the Hebrew.) and came up with the "born on date" of the universe at Sunday, October 23rd of 4004 b.c.e.

Then the fundies will quote the idea that a day is a thousand years to the lord and since the lord created the universe in 6 days, then they make an illogical leap to the idea that if the Universe was created in six days, then it will last six days.  This is why the Fundies tend to reject the greek Septuagint in favor of the Hebrew because the addition of an additional 1500 years wold break the six day / Six thousand year circle.

What's really funny is that at nightfall, on october 23rd, 1997, exactly 6000 years had passed...

The whole idea of young earth creationism a flawed because they base the "theory" on the bible, while the bible itself does not say any of the things that the "theory" says it does.

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jread wrote:

jread wrote:

If I can't pose questions in this forum that provide a check on my logical/philosophical thoughts then I am sorry for doing so.

Hey Jread, I see you've come across a couple of disappointing ends on the forums recently, I hope that it hasn't squashed all your enthusiasm for the questions.

I don't know if it will help you, but I'll go on with my wierd HFA hermit philosophy anyhow it's at least drawing some of the fire, right? Eye-wink Anyway, here goes; lock and load everyone:

Stratfio mentions space time, in a sense, as the canvas everything is 'happening' within. Naturally I agree. And I think it's an excellent starting point for futhering my analogy.

So just for an exercise I'll assume Space-Time is the surface of one mirror. That works. Infinite Cause and effect is visualised on the metric of Spacetime. The regression visualised on the mirror surface.

So if Space time is the surface of a mirror on which infinite regression is an image, then inducting the other half of the analogy a second mirror exists as an inverted space time metric.

AND if space time is the surface of mirrors, then space and time are in analogy, the properties of a mirror surface.

Lets introduce that a mirror has basically two general properties::

Reflectiveness (temporal)

Constancy (deterministic)

 

And those are actually easy to assign with similitude :

Space ~ the Constant property of a mirror surface,

Time ~ the Reflective property of a mirror surface.

 

In two mirrors, facing each other the constant property of one becomes the reflective property of the other. So then the image of the second mirror which appears in the first mirror is the inverted form of the first mirror.


Time ~ is the constant/deterministic property

Space ~ is the reflective/temporal property

 

So if causal regression is analogous to two facing mirrors, then spacetime is analagous to a mirror surface. And if the above are both true then the image of the second mirror surface should have an equivalent analogy of space time in inverted image on the first mirror.... furthermore that image of the second mirror should have an equivalent image in the second mirror, which should then exist as another equivalent image in spacetime.. additionally, there should exist a mathematically determinable degree between the constant and temporal properties of each mirror which limits the ability to determine the exactness of one or the other. (if you line up the mirrors perfectly you can't see the constant boundary, if you move them side to side you lose the temporal view but gain more accuracy in terms of the constant boundary.)

Not that you care or anything whether the analogy may actually be true, right? But there you have the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

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Eloise wrote: jread

Eloise wrote:
jread wrote:

If I can't pose questions in this forum that provide a check on my logical/philosophical thoughts then I am sorry for doing so.

Hey Jread, I see you've come across a couple of disappointing ends on the forums recently,

Actually, he went out of his way to be insulted. I provided him with in depth answers researched from reading several texts in cosmology.

He didn't have a word to say about that. 

 

 

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Books on atheism.


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todangst wrote: jread

todangst wrote:
jread wrote:
todangst wrote:

 

Can I ask how you intend to debate this issue when you've just conceded that you are ignorant of the very basics of the discussion?

 

 

Can I ask you where I said I wanted to debate?

If that's the case, then you have no need to get upset.

Quote:

Your error is called putting words and/or intentions into someone's mouth.

Right, it's a crazy thought, thinking someone on a debate board might want to debate.

Quote:

Your tact (or lack there of) in answering this question was rather dissapointing.

Oh, dear me. I do hope that somehow, given enough years and enough therapy, you'll find some way to get over this grevious wound. I am so sorry to have dissapointed you!

Get well soon!

 

 

Todangst, you have been so blinded by your arrogance and short sightedness that you fail to realize that this is not a debate exclusive forum. It's really interesting that the person who this forum is named after would not know what this forum is used for. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a 'discussion forum' include a multitude of interactions, not just debating? By the look of the topics posted on this forum, it sure doesn't seem like every post is involving a debate. If you wanted a debate only forum, shouldn't you put a 'debate only forum' description under the forum's title?

Like I said earlier, if I wanted to debate wouldn't I have made some sort of claim or argument? I don't believe asking a question and admiting my ignorance on the specific aspect of the doctrine of cause and effect would be deemed a claim or an argument. Yes, I presented the argument, but only for those who weren't sure what I was refering to in my question.

Your antagonistic attitude to try and belittle me and make me feel weak were quite amusing. I hope you get a great sense of empowerment by trying to lord over 'your' forum with an attitude with that of ressembling a spoiled child. Your replies were fit for a school yard bully trying to pick on the new kid at recess.

 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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Todangst, I think jread's

Todangst, I think jread's sincere. If you need a theist to go wolverine on, I won't name any names, but cough*Cory*cough.


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magilum wrote: Todangst, I

magilum wrote:
Todangst, I think jread's sincere. If you need a theist to go wolverine on, I won't name any names, but cough*Cory*cough.

Or visit ajay over in Trollville.

Actually Eloise just poked her head up with a nice set of completely non sequiteur analogies that it might be fun to tear into. I've already dealt with them elsewhere, so I'll leave it to others.

Jread and Todangst please kiss and make up. Jread, you are naughty if you haven't read cosmology links that Todangst has given you. Todangst, my previous discussions with Jread suggest that we can give him the benefit of the doubt - for now. He's actually been arguing with theists on other threads over their lies about atheists, so his heart is in the right place. Jread, look a Chaoslord's posts. They will give you the answer to the question you posed about First Cause.

I'm Canadian so you must all bow to my awesome peacemaking abilities.

 

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Eloise wrote: Stratfio

Eloise wrote:

Stratfio mentions space time, in a sense, as the canvas everything is 'happening' within. Naturally I agree. And I think it's an excellent starting point for futhering my analogy.

So just for an exercise I'll assume Space-Time is the surface of one mirror. That works. Infinite Cause and effect is visualised on the metric of Spacetime. The regression visualised on the mirror surface.

So if Space time is the surface of a mirror on which infinite regression is an image, then inducting the other half of the analogy a second mirror exists as an inverted space time metric.

AND if space time is the surface of mirrors, then space and time are in analogy, the properties of a mirror surface.

Lets introduce that a mirror has basically two general properties::

Reflectiveness (temporal)

Constancy (deterministic)

 

And those are actually easy to assign with similitude :

Space ~ the Constant property of a mirror surface,

Time ~ the Reflective property of a mirror surface.

 

In two mirrors, facing each other the constant property of one becomes the reflective property of the other. So then the image of the second mirror which appears in the first mirror is the inverted form of the first mirror.

Time ~ is the constant/deterministic property

Space ~ is the reflective/temporal property

 

So if causal regression is analogous to two facing mirrors, then spacetime is analagous to a mirror surface. And if the above are both true then the image of the second mirror surface should have an equivalent analogy of space time in inverted image on the first mirror.... furthermore that image of the second mirror should have an equivalent image in the second mirror, which should then exist as another equivalent image in spacetime.. additionally, there should exist a mathematically determinable degree between the constant and temporal properties of each mirror which limits the ability to determine the exactness of one or the other. (if you line up the mirrors perfectly you can't see the constant boundary, if you move them side to side you lose the temporal view but gain more accuracy in terms of the constant boundary.)

I don't think I'am following your whole twin mirror symposium... 

Eloise wrote:
But there you have the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

How does your twin mirror example have anything to do with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle?  Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states that by trying to measure a quantum event, one changes it...hence, the more precise we try and measure a quantom particles position, we change it.  This is due to the wave/particle duality.  In order to measure a particles position, light photons are bounced off of it, and from the direction the light goes, the position is calculated.  However, in doing this, one is changing the position of the particle.  This is weird, so let me use an analogy:

Imagine that the only way to measure the position of a pool ball was to hit it with another pool ball and see which direction it went.  In doing this, the initial position of the first pool ball would be changed.  In essence, this is the uncertianty principle.

*my explanation may be lacking...I am open to revisions...I am not a physicist*

 

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Chaoslord2004

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

 

How does your twin mirror example have anything to do with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle? Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states that by trying to measure a quantum event, one changes it...hence, the more precise we try and measure a quantom particles position, we change it. This is due to the wave/particle duality. In order to measure a particles position, light photons are bounced off of it, and from the direction the light goes, the position is calculated. However, in doing this, one is changing the position of the particle. This is weird, so let me use an analogy:

Imagine that the only way to measure the position of a pool ball was to hit it with another pool ball and see which direction it went. In doing this, the initial position of the first pool ball would be changed. In essence, this is the uncertianty principle.

*my explanation may be lacking...I am open to revisions...I am not a physicist*

 

 

No, it has to do with collapsing the probaility wave. If I have an electron zipping along space It travels in waves of probability. By observing this I collapse the wave. However, since I am measuring it's position, the probability wave collapse into a sharp spike wave function, and I can determine it's position. However, since the wave collapse in the short spike, I cannot determine it's change in position (also known as velocity). Now if I measure it's speed, the wave collapses like a sin wave. The wave is spread out and I can easily determine it's change of position. However, since the wave is so spread out, I cannot pin the electron to a certain position.

 

That is the physics behind the principle. 


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Chaoslord2004

Chaoslord2004 wrote:
Eloise wrote:

Stratfio mentions space time, in a sense, as the canvas everything is 'happening' within. Naturally I agree. And I think it's an excellent starting point for futhering my analogy.

So just for an exercise I'll assume Space-Time is the surface of one mirror. That works. Infinite Cause and effect is visualised on the metric of Spacetime. The regression visualised on the mirror surface.

So if Space time is the surface of a mirror on which infinite regression is an image, then inducting the other half of the analogy a second mirror exists as an inverted space time metric.

AND if space time is the surface of mirrors, then space and time are in analogy, the properties of a mirror surface.

Lets introduce that a mirror has basically two general properties::

Reflectiveness (temporal)

Constancy (deterministic)

 

And those are actually easy to assign with similitude :

Space ~ the Constant property of a mirror surface,

Time ~ the Reflective property of a mirror surface.

 

In two mirrors, facing each other the constant property of one becomes the reflective property of the other. So then the image of the second mirror which appears in the first mirror is the inverted form of the first mirror.

Time ~ is the constant/deterministic property

Space ~ is the reflective/temporal property

 

So if causal regression is analogous to two facing mirrors, then spacetime is analagous to a mirror surface. And if the above are both true then the image of the second mirror surface should have an equivalent analogy of space time in inverted image on the first mirror.... furthermore that image of the second mirror should have an equivalent image in the second mirror, which should then exist as another equivalent image in spacetime.. additionally, there should exist a mathematically determinable degree between the constant and temporal properties of each mirror which limits the ability to determine the exactness of one or the other. (if you line up the mirrors perfectly you can't see the constant boundary, if you move them side to side you lose the temporal view but gain more accuracy in terms of the constant boundary.)

I don't think I'am following your whole twin mirror symposium...

Quote:
Eloise wrote:
But there you have the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

How does your twin mirror example have anything to do with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle? Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states that by trying to measure a quantum event, one changes it...hence, the more precise we try and measure a quantom particles position, we change it. This is due to the wave/particle duality. In order to measure a particles position, light photons are bounced off of it, and from the direction the light goes, the position is calculated. However, in doing this, one is changing the position of the particle. This is weird, so let me use an analogy:

Imagine that the only way to measure the position of a pool ball was to hit it with another pool ball and see which direction it went. In doing this, the initial position of the first pool ball would be changed. In essence, this is the uncertianty principle.

*my explanation may be lacking...I am open to revisions...I am not a physicist*

Hi ChaosLord,

The Uncertainty principle applies to all complex conjugates, it was derived pretty much from the basic model of a wave. The wave has both frequency and aperture, so due to wave particle duality both determine the state of a particle together. In a wave when you pin down the aperture you are having to ignore the frequency and vice versa, and any set of complex conjugates observable in space time will be determined at least dualistically by this factor which Heisenberg calculated lower bound for (I think correct me if I am wrong). Anyhow, the reason I mention that is there is a relation over the set of complex conjugates which relates them back to the temporal vs the constant property in terms of measuring a wave. I know my logic in comparing a mirror to those two properties isn't classically scientific, but I do think it's very cool how the analogy continues to hold at so deep a point.

The analogy of aperture and frequency goes like this, imagine you are taking a snapshot with your camera of something travelling in waves, and you want to capture it in a single position, then you zoom in closer and closer to it's position until you can clearly see that, but in having done so you have cut out of your focus the bumps of the wave which it is travelling along, since you can not see those clearly you can't really say how fast it's travelling along them because you can't estimate the size of one of those bumps when they are fuzzy, if you did want to take a snap of how fast it was going you'd have to zoom out from it so it becomes a blur in the shape of the wave bump, you'd accurately capture an image of the wave bump but you couldn't be sure where the thing was on it.

By this analogy while you are capturing it in it's position you actually do have a measurement of the bump, your camera is following the bump while it chases the subject. That analogy matches up with the mirrors idea, but do either have any counterpart in reality? I'm not sure scientifically, and I won't say anymore, you can probably guess the rest from my avatar badge. Innocent

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jread wrote: Good day my

jread wrote:

Good day my R.R.S. friends. I was wondering if you all could indulge me with a rehash of why there need not be a first cause in the explanation of the universe's creation?

I find that in many of the creationist books I have read (which sad to say hasn't been that many so far) one of their pride and joy arguments is the "first cause" argument. I find it appealing, but I know that many here have rejected it quite regularly. If you may be so kind as to lay out your rejections of it, using preferably sound explanations, I would greatly appreciate your input.

Oh and for those who don't know or haven't heard the first cause argument it essentially is the following:

1. There are cause and effect relations in the universe. (ie on Earth)

2. Therefore, there must have been a first cause to start the causal relation chain of events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I find the biggest problem with this is that there is a jump between one and two. That there are cause and effect relationships in the universe doesn't mean that the universe itself is caused or an effect. Jumping from 1 to 2 with this in mind doesn't make sense.
Another objection I have is that this completely ignores the properties of matter and energy in the first place. If taking into account the law of conservation; that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed; implying that matter and energy has always existed in some form or another, then interactions between them are predetermined by their very existance and the forces of nature(gravity, magnetism, etc) acting upon them. All causes could be traced back to existance itself. And if existance itself needs a cause, god is as subject to it as anything.

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Eloise

Eloise wrote:
Chaoslord2004 wrote:
Eloise wrote:

Stratfio mentions space time, in a sense, as the canvas everything is 'happening' within. Naturally I agree. And I think it's an excellent starting point for futhering my analogy.

So just for an exercise I'll assume Space-Time is the surface of one mirror. That works. Infinite Cause and effect is visualised on the metric of Spacetime. The regression visualised on the mirror surface.

So if Space time is the surface of a mirror on which infinite regression is an image, then inducting the other half of the analogy a second mirror exists as an inverted space time metric.

AND if space time is the surface of mirrors, then space and time are in analogy, the properties of a mirror surface.

Lets introduce that a mirror has basically two general properties::

Reflectiveness (temporal)

Constancy (deterministic)

 

And those are actually easy to assign with similitude :

Space ~ the Constant property of a mirror surface,

Time ~ the Reflective property of a mirror surface.

 

In two mirrors, facing each other the constant property of one becomes the reflective property of the other. So then the image of the second mirror which appears in the first mirror is the inverted form of the first mirror.

Time ~ is the constant/deterministic property

Space ~ is the reflective/temporal property

 

So if causal regression is analogous to two facing mirrors, then spacetime is analagous to a mirror surface. And if the above are both true then the image of the second mirror surface should have an equivalent analogy of space time in inverted image on the first mirror.... furthermore that image of the second mirror should have an equivalent image in the second mirror, which should then exist as another equivalent image in spacetime.. additionally, there should exist a mathematically determinable degree between the constant and temporal properties of each mirror which limits the ability to determine the exactness of one or the other. (if you line up the mirrors perfectly you can't see the constant boundary, if you move them side to side you lose the temporal view but gain more accuracy in terms of the constant boundary.)

I don't think I'am following your whole twin mirror symposium...

Quote:
Eloise wrote:
But there you have the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

How does your twin mirror example have anything to do with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle? Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states that by trying to measure a quantum event, one changes it...hence, the more precise we try and measure a quantom particles position, we change it. This is due to the wave/particle duality. In order to measure a particles position, light photons are bounced off of it, and from the direction the light goes, the position is calculated. However, in doing this, one is changing the position of the particle. This is weird, so let me use an analogy:

Imagine that the only way to measure the position of a pool ball was to hit it with another pool ball and see which direction it went. In doing this, the initial position of the first pool ball would be changed. In essence, this is the uncertianty principle.

*my explanation may be lacking...I am open to revisions...I am not a physicist*

Hi ChaosLord,

The Uncertainty principle applies to all complex conjugates, it was derived pretty much from the basic model of a wave. The wave has both frequency and aperture, so due to wave particle duality both determine the state of a particle together. In a wave when you pin down the aperture you are having to ignore the frequency and vice versa, and any set of complex conjugates observable in space time will be determined at least dualistically by this factor which Heisenberg calculated lower bound for (I think correct me if I am wrong). Anyhow, the reason I mention that is there is a relation over the set of complex conjugates which relates them back to the temporal vs the constant property in terms of measuring a wave. I know my logic in comparing a mirror to those two properties isn't classically scientific, but I do think it's very cool how the analogy continues to hold at so deep a point.

The analogy of aperture and frequency goes like this, imagine you are taking a snapshot with your camera of something travelling in waves, and you want to capture it in a single position, then you zoom in closer and closer to it's position until you can clearly see that, but in having done so you have cut out of your focus the bumps of the wave which it is travelling along, since you can not see those clearly you can't really say how fast it's travelling along them because you can't estimate the size of one of those bumps when they are fuzzy, if you did want to take a snap of how fast it was going you'd have to zoom out from it so it becomes a blur in the shape of the wave bump, you'd accurately capture an image of the wave bump but you couldn't be sure where the thing was on it.

By this analogy while you are capturing it in it's position you actually do have a measurement of the bump, your camera is following the bump while it chases the subject. That analogy matches up with the mirrors idea, but do either have any counterpart in reality? I'm not sure scientifically, and I won't say anymore, you can probably guess the rest from my avatar badge. Innocent

Alright, but this has absolutly no baring on the Cosmological Argument.  Its interesting, but is nevertheless a red herring.

 

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Vastet wrote: I find the

Vastet wrote:
I find the biggest problem with this is that there is a jump between one and two.

My biggest problem is that the argument is invalid...as stated.  You cannot infer 2 from 1.  Once again, take my example of the bike.  The argument has the exact same structure as this one:

1.  Every piece of my bike is light

2.  Therefore, my whole bike is light.

 

Its the fallacy of composition.  It doesn't follow that the properties of a simple trasfer to a complex.  An even better example is as follows:

1.  Hydrogen gas isn't flammible by itself

2.  Oxygen gas isn't flammible by itself 

3.  Therefore, a balloon full of oxygen and hydrogen isn't flammible.

See the flaw?

 

Vastet wrote:
If taking into account the law of conservation; that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed; implying that matter and energy has always existed in some form or another

 This is controversal.  Look up "The Information Paradox."  This is an interesting problem developed by Stephen Hawking.  What the information paradox states, is that matter that goes into a black hole is lost forever...in other words, it goes out of existence.  If the mathematical models are correct, then a very fundemental law of physics needs to be amended.  If Hawking is correct, conservation must be rejected.

Now, recently Hawking has come up with a controversal solution to this problem.  In a paper presented in 2003 (I think) he argued that the matter was not really lost in the black hole, but was transported to another universe devoid of black holes.

Perhaps this is correct, but it needs to be empirically varified.  It is an interesting idea, and I want to accept it, but the evidence is lacking. 

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Chaoslord2004

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I find the biggest problem with this is that there is a jump between one and two.

My biggest problem is that the argument is invalid...as stated. You cannot infer 2 from 1. Once again, take my example of the bike. The argument has the exact same structure as this one:

1. Every piece of my bike is light

2. Therefore, my whole bike is light.

LOL the second time I've read this bike example Chaoslord, I've though that by light you meant 'light' as in 'quanta' instead of light weightedness.

 

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

Vastet wrote:
If taking into account the law of conservation; that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed; implying that matter and energy has always existed in some form or another

This is controversal. Look up "The Information Paradox." This is an interesting problem developed by Stephen Hawking. What the information paradox states, is that matter that goes into a black hole is lost forever...in other words, it goes out of existence. If the mathematical models are correct, then a very fundemental law of physics needs to be amended. If Hawking is correct, conservation must be rejected.

Now, recently Hawking has come up with a controversal solution to this problem. In a paper presented in 2003 (I think) he argued that the matter was not really lost in the black hole, but was transported to another universe devoid of black holes.

Perhaps this is correct, but it needs to be empirically varified. It is an interesting idea, and I want to accept it, but the evidence is lacking.

I'm glad you brought up the information paradox. Do we even know what Black Holes are beyond a necessary result of relativity, to be deciding if they have hair or not? I personally think we don't know them quite that well, and perhaps they were just insulted by our baldness slight. Okay just kidding, no Red Herrings I promise.

The information paradox is I think, equally possibly a missing piece of information theory, it doesn't necessarily have to break physical law to be resolved. They are differently formulated sciences but I think, of the two, information theory is the most likely to be incomplete on this issue. JMHO. In information theory we have a similar situation to the Newton theory of time vs Einstein, Information theory asks for cumulative bits of yes/no information, which adds up to there is more information in two pages of a book than in one page of a book. Conversely, quantum particles don't adhere to that concept, in this case there can be twice as much information in one quantum page as there is in two classical pages of the same book, but you can ignore the extra quantum information to look at the page classically, well in fact by some estimations the very act of looking equates to ignoring, but I don't fully buy that line because first you have to reconcile how one classic page can equal many quantum pages and to me that suggests inherently that quantum information looks just like classical information. On the lower end of the scale zero classical information should have a corresponding quantum void to it that doesn't necessary mean it's void of quantum information, but rather only says that it is quantum information that looks like a classical void. Quantum information that looks like fifty bits of classical information isn't 50 bit of quantum, and so 0 bits of classical information isn't 0 bit of quantum either. For me the problem lies in the yes/no boolean algebra, quantum has yes/yes/yes/yes.... states, is this merely some quantum equivocation? what if it is not? What if it literally means red = 1 = dirt = a high F? .... if it does, we go back to the mirrors IMO.

 

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Chaoslord2004

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I find the biggest problem with this is that there is a jump between one and two.

My biggest problem is that the argument is invalid...as stated.  You cannot infer 2 from 1.  Once again, take my example of the bike.  The argument has the exact same structure as this one:

1.  Every piece of my bike is light

2.  Therefore, my whole bike is light.

 

Its the fallacy of composition.  It doesn't follow that the properties of a simple trasfer to a complex.  An even better example is as follows:

1.  Hydrogen gas isn't flammible by itself

2.  Oxygen gas isn't flammible by itself 

3.  Therefore, a balloon full of oxygen and hydrogen isn't flammible.

See the flaw?

Yes, but I think that it suffers more than just from the fallacy of composition. It begs the question of existance being an effect.

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

 

Vastet wrote:
If taking into account the law of conservation; that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed; implying that matter and energy has always existed in some form or another

 This is controversal.  Look up "The Information Paradox."  This is an interesting problem developed by Stephen Hawking.  What the information paradox states, is that matter that goes into a black hole is lost forever...in other words, it goes out of existence.  If the mathematical models are correct, then a very fundemental law of physics needs to be amended.  If Hawking is correct, conservation must be rejected.

Now, recently Hawking has come up with a controversal solution to this problem.  In a paper presented in 2003 (I think) he argued that the matter was not really lost in the black hole, but was transported to another universe devoid of black holes.

Perhaps this is correct, but it needs to be empirically varified.  It is an interesting idea, and I want to accept it, but the evidence is lacking. 

The whole concept of the information paradox hasn't even been confirmed as an actual problem yet to my knowledge. I think it's a bit premature to assume that a solution exists, let alone that there is a problem to solve. It could be that everything which falls into a black hole isn't obliterated. Perhaps it gets emitted as dark energy alongside hawking radiation. Or transported to another universe as Hawking said. Or maybe I'm talking out my ass without knowing it.

Either way, the average theist isn't well versed enough in science to be able to argue the point. Sticking out tongue

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