Reasonable Faith Forums

Archived => Kalam Cosmological Argument => Topic started by: UnreasonableFaith on November 13, 2016, 04:33:57 pm

Title: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 13, 2016, 04:33:57 pm
Where it is?

Can you please link some paper which proves it?

I mean seriously,without it KCA is just typical god of the gaps argument.

"Once again science can't explain something. Therefore we're going to say that goddidit! Nevermind we tried it for centuries and always failed"

Really, you can't just say that because we don't have the answer, goddidit is somehow correct by default. That's now how it works. I can just say that all our reality is a matrix and aliens who did it live in perfectly explained, eternal universe. For multiple reasons it's much better expalation than "goddidit".

So I'm asking: Where is any scientific evidence that disembodied, immaterial, timeless, powerful, inteligent mind created our universe?
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on November 13, 2016, 09:28:08 pm
No, this is not a god of the gaps.


Craig has responded to this tired and cliched criticism over and over. The KCA is a deductive argument--if the premises are true, the conclusion is true. It's not relying on a "gap" or "not knowing" something. It doesn't matter if you don't like it, don't think it's explanatory etc. All that matters is if the premises are more plausible than their negations.

The only laziness shown here is by the atheists, who think repeating epigrams and forum-tropes constitutes any sort of argument.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 14, 2016, 06:57:39 am
No, I just gave more plausible alternative.

I think multidimensional eternal creators of universes are more likely than disembodied, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient, spaceless, timeless minds. Therefore belief in god is irrational.

Also

P1. Everything that begins has material cause
P2. Universe begins to exist
C. Therefore universe has material cause

How can material cause be material and immaterial at the same time? Or maybe you're going to still argue that we ever observed creation ex nihilo? That's boring.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: hatsoff on November 14, 2016, 05:20:59 pm
Where it is?

Can you please link some paper which proves it?

I mean seriously,without it KCA is just typical god of the gaps argument.

"Once again science can't explain something. Therefore we're going to say that goddidit! Nevermind we tried it for centuries and always failed"

Really, you can't just say that because we don't have the answer, goddidit is somehow correct by default. That's now how it works. I can just say that all our reality is a matrix and aliens who did it live in perfectly explained, eternal universe. For multiple reasons it's much better expalation than "goddidit".

So I'm asking: Where is any scientific evidence that disembodied, immaterial, timeless, powerful, inteligent mind created our universe?

The KCA is not a god of the gaps argument.  It does not say that the god hypothesis is "correct by default."

I am curious, did you ever get around to actually reading any version of the KCA (e.g. in Reasonable Faith or Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology), or are you still going by the youtube video you saw?  I really think you should take time to read the argument.  You might also want to see what professional philosophers who are atheists have to say in response to it.  You will notice, among other things, that none of them accuses Craig of arguing god-of-the-gaps.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: Atheist in Louisiana on November 14, 2016, 06:02:30 pm
I've never viewed the Kalam as a god-of-the-gaps type argument.  Heck, it doesn't even argue for a god.  It argues for a "prime mover" or "first cause" and then essentially, just boldly asserts that this thing is the god of *insert arguer's religion here*.  The part you seem to be objecting to is the assertion that this cause is an immaterial, timeless mind, and that this mind is god.  That objection is certainly a strong one.  There is no evidence to show that the cause of the universe (assuming that there is one) would be anything even remotely similar to that.

That being said, the Kalam has many more problems than just that. 
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 14, 2016, 07:09:53 pm

The KCA is not a god of the gaps argument.  It does not say that the god hypothesis is "correct by default."

I am curious, did you ever get around to actually reading any version of the KCA (e.g. in Reasonable Faith or Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology), or are you still going by the youtube video you saw?  I really think you should take time to read the argument.  You might also want to see what professional philosophers who are atheists have to say in response to it.  You will notice, among other things, that none of them accuses Craig of arguing god-of-the-gaps.

Apparently not even WLC knows the version of KCA you refer to because he always uses the one I discuss here and in other topics.

My objection from first post regards last step of the argument.

Universe has a cause
This cause must be a powerful, immaterial, spaceless, timeless, mind.

Why it must be such an object? Because I can't imagine otherwise. Concededly science proves over and over that our intuitions fail miserably when applied to hardcore physics, yet who cares, this time it's going to work. No science indicates such explanation, but I don't mind.

To me it sounds quite like a god of the gaps or something similar.

But anyway it's probably the least important objection on my list.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: hatsoff on November 14, 2016, 07:46:25 pm

The KCA is not a god of the gaps argument.  It does not say that the god hypothesis is "correct by default."

I am curious, did you ever get around to actually reading any version of the KCA (e.g. in Reasonable Faith or Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology), or are you still going by the youtube video you saw?  I really think you should take time to read the argument.  You might also want to see what professional philosophers who are atheists have to say in response to it.  You will notice, among other things, that none of them accuses Craig of arguing god-of-the-gaps.

Apparently not even WLC knows the version of KCA you refer to because he always uses the one I discuss here and in other topics.

WLC wrote the versions in Reasonable Faith and in Blackwell.  These are fairly lengthy, at 45 and 101 pages, respectively.  If you prefer not to read something that long, he gives a simplified version in Chapter 4 of On Guard which is only 27 double-spaced pages long.

The last time I spoke with you, you said you were getting your information from this video (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/kalam).  That's fine---it's not an inaccurate video---but it is only an introduction giving a brief outline of the Kalam's main points.  For the rest of the Kalam argument, you will have to do some reading.  I'm sorry, but there's just no way around that.

And until you decide to actually do that reading, your ignorance of the argument is going to be plainly obvious to anyone who has done the reading.

Quote
My objection from first post regards last step of the argument.

Universe has a cause
This cause must be a powerful, immaterial, spaceless, timeless, mind.

Why it must be such an object?

You wouldn't be asking this if you had read what WLC wrote on the subject.  See, for example, Reasonable Faith pp152-154, Blackwell pp191-194, or On Guard pp99-100.  Your question above is answered in any and all of those three places.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: hatsoff on November 14, 2016, 08:08:47 pm
An even more simplified version than found in On Guard is available online here (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/popular-articles-the-kalam-cosmological-argument).  He answers your question above as follows:

What properties must this cause of the universe possess? This cause must be itself uncaused because we’ve seen that an infinite series of causes is impossible. It is therefore the Uncaused First Cause. It must transcend space and time, since it created space and time. Therefore, it must be immaterial and non-physical. It must be unimaginably powerful, since it created all matter and energy.

Finally, Ghazali argued that this Uncaused First Cause must also be a personal being. It’s the only way to explain how an eternal cause can produce an effect with a beginning like the universe.

Here’s the problem: If a cause is sufficient to produce its effect, then if the cause is there, the effect must be there, too. For example, the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0 degrees Celsius. If the temperature has been below 0 degrees from eternity, then any water around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to begin to freeze just a finite time ago. Now the cause of the universe is permanently there, since it is timeless. So why isn’t the universe permanently there as well? Why did the universe come into being only 14 billion years ago? Why isn’t it as permanent as its cause?

Ghazali maintained that the answer to this problem is that the First Cause must be a personal being endowed with freedom of the will. His creating the universe is a free act which is independent of any prior determining conditions. So his act of creating can be something spontaneous and new. Freedom of the will enables one to get an effect with a beginning from a permanent, timeless cause. Thus, we are brought not merely to a transcendent cause of the universe but to its Personal Creator.

This is admittedly hard for us to imagine. But one way to think about it is to envision God existing alone without the universe as changeless and timeless. His free act of creation is a temporal event simultaneous with the universe’s coming into being. Therefore, God enters into time when He creates the universe. God is thus timeless without the universe and in time with the universe.

Ghazali’s cosmological argument thus gives us powerful grounds for believing in the existence of a beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, changeless, immaterial, enormously powerful, Personal Creator of the universe.


Let me add that the above quotation is only *part* of his defense for the first cause being timeless/spaceless/immaterial/personal/powerful.  For the rest of WLC's defense of these properties, you'll have to read the more comprehensive versions in Reasonable Faith or Blackwell.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on November 14, 2016, 11:00:36 pm
  It argues for a "prime mover" or "first cause" and then essentially, just boldly asserts that this thing is the god of *insert arguer's religion here*. 


It doesn't do this. A frequently touted strawman.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 15, 2016, 04:34:41 am
I don't think this excerpt answers anything.

Once again:

No evidence, no observation, no scientific theory, not even hypothesis which says it's the case. If anything, we have every reason to think it's impossible. Only "My logic tells me that's how it works". Why it must be a mind? Because I can't imagine other mechanism. Because it's obvious that the beginning of physical reality must be something we are all very familiar with and no surprise can happen.

This is totally god of the gaps.

And remember, people use KCA to convince others that believe in god is reasonable and not only that but it's so obvious that god exists, that it makes all sense to submit your life to this god.

Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: Supermonkey92 on November 15, 2016, 06:42:34 am
I don't think this excerpt answers anything.

Once again:

No evidence, no observation, no scientific theory, not even hypothesis which says it's the case. If anything, we have every reason to think it's impossible. Only "My logic tells me that's how it works". Why it must be a mind? Because I can't imagine other mechanism. Because it's obvious that the beginning of physical reality must be something we are all very familiar with and no surprise can happen.

This is totally god of the gaps.

And remember, people use KCA to convince others that believe in god is reasonable and not only that but it's so obvious that god exists, that it makes all sense to submit your life to this god.

You should really read Craig's essay from the Blackwell Companion. There is no excuse, commonsenseatheism has linked a free pdf.

Its such a shame when tired, strawman attacks are consistently thrown at Kalam, and when objections that have repeatedly been dealt with are so popular.

The Kalam is a philosophical argument, and a deductive one to boot. There is no place for observation, scientific theory or hypothesis because they are used inductively. This is a deductive argument. If the premises are true then the conclusion follows neccessarily. To assert that you must have scientific evidence, hypothesis or observations in order to believe something is scientism which is demonstrably false because it is self refuting. So calling for a scientific theory for the deduction that the cause of the universe is a mind is irrelevant. This isnt a scientific argument. If you have a problem with the argument for a mind, give one.

Again, please read Craig's essay. He even has many free on this website. He argues that the cause must be timesless and spaceless because time and space came into existence. Have a problem? Point it out. The next step is to think of the candidates for an immaterial cause. The only two options he thinks are on the table are abstract objects or minds. Dont think they exhaust all the options? Provide another one.

The argument ia not a God of the gaps, precisely because it reasons what we do know about science rather than what we dont know.

Craig doesnt think tye Kalam gets you to a religion. This is a straw man.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 15, 2016, 08:05:18 am
The fact you can label it as deductive argument doesn't mean it somehow magically becomes a sound argument. Why should I accept that only mind meets Craig's criterion?

Few hundreds years ago people would argue that only intelligence can create intelligence, therefore intelligent creator must exist. Now apologists argue that only minds can creates universes.

I don't have to propose any better explanation to be unconvinced by this one. Again, not long ago people would say "give us better explanation than intelligent designer or be quiet"

And please don't say that Kalam has anything to do with science. It's indefensible position. if anything, it's one big abuse of science. To my knowledge science doesn't say disembodied, immaterial, uncaused, spaceless, timeless minds are possible and it definitely doesn't say that one was tinkering with creation of our universe. But I discuss it in other topics.

Also:

"You want some actual evidence to confirm this claim? What an awful scientism!"
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: Supermonkey92 on November 15, 2016, 11:26:26 am
I recommend a community philosophy class that focuses on logic. In fact, you may be able to find some youtube videos. Please learn what a deductive argument is and the. difference between logically valid and true. Most importantly tje distinction between rhetoric and argument, which was what your last post was! With a smidge of emotion.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: Atheist in Louisiana on November 15, 2016, 02:52:25 pm
  It argues for a "prime mover" or "first cause" and then essentially, just boldly asserts that this thing is the god of *insert arguer's religion here*. 


It doesn't do this. A frequently touted strawman.

It does do that, despite your unfortunate misunderstandings of it.  It is not a straw man to say that the argument does what it does.  If you'd like to look at the argument in more detail, feel free to start a thread about it.  I'd be happy to completely deconstruct the Kalam (in any of its forms) and tear it apart bit by bit.  Perhaps you could entitle the thread "AiL's attempt to kill Kalam".  It would be cute.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on November 15, 2016, 06:17:10 pm
  It argues for a "prime mover" or "first cause" and then essentially, just boldly asserts that this thing is the god of *insert arguer's religion here*. 


It doesn't do this. A frequently touted strawman.

It does do that, despite your unfortunate misunderstandings of it.  It is not a straw man to say that the argument does what it does.  If you'd like to look at the argument in more detail, feel free to start a thread about it.  I'd be happy to completely deconstruct the Kalam (in any of its forms) and tear it apart bit by bit.  Perhaps you could entitle the thread "AiL's attempt to kill Kalam".  It would be cute.


No, the argument does not "insert" any particular abrahamic deity. It is two premises leading to a conclusion, and the conclusion derives a few theologically significant properties. That is all it proves, which isn't too much but of great philosophical significance.



Unless, of course, you can quote Craig as saying this proves the Christian God over Muslim God, for example. Barring any quote, ill expect a retraction of the statement.


As of now, it looks to me like the unfortunately common arrogant overconfidence we've come to expect from atheists.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 16, 2016, 05:04:01 am


No, the argument does not "insert" any particular abrahamic deity. It is two premises leading to a conclusion, and the conclusion derives a few theologically significant properties. That is all it proves, which isn't too much but of great philosophical significance.


Unless, of course, you can quote Craig as saying this proves the Christian God over Muslim God, for example. Barring any quote, ill expect a retraction of the statement.


As of now, it looks to me like the unfortunately common arrogant overconfidence we've come to expect from atheists.

So basically you argue that it's not another version of first mover because it doesn't use any particular mover, only a generic deistic god? It doesn't sound like a great rebuttal.

Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on November 17, 2016, 03:27:51 am


No, the argument does not "insert" any particular abrahamic deity. It is two premises leading to a conclusion, and the conclusion derives a few theologically significant properties. That is all it proves, which isn't too much but of great philosophical significance.


Unless, of course, you can quote Craig as saying this proves the Christian God over Muslim God, for example. Barring any quote, ill expect a retraction of the statement.


As of now, it looks to me like the unfortunately common arrogant overconfidence we've come to expect from atheists.

So basically you argue that it's not another version of first mover because it doesn't use any particular mover, only a generic deistic god? It doesn't sound like a great rebuttal.


It's an exercise in metaphysics, not revealed theology. It aims to reach a conclusion that is philosophical in nature, albeit one sufficient to refute atheism.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 17, 2016, 06:48:38 am

It's an exercise in metaphysics, not revealed theology. It aims to reach a conclusion that is philosophical in nature, albeit one sufficient to refute atheism.

But how does it confirms your statement that it's not another variation of first mover argument?

KCA indeed refutes atheism. Let me give another argument which refutes atheism:

P1. Atheism is false or 2+2=5
P2. 2+2=/=5
C. Atheism is false

:D
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: Supermonkey92 on November 17, 2016, 12:24:37 pm
Again, some basic philosophy would actually help here. There is a difference between a logically valid and true argument
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 17, 2016, 12:58:02 pm
Again, some basic philosophy would actually help here. There is a difference between a logically valid and true argument

I would use a word "sound" instead of "true" but generally I agree. However in this topic I'm generous and I grant that all premises of KCA are true, and that this cause must be immaterial and timeless. Even then I don't see any other explanation for why it must be a mind other than assertions that only minds can do it.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on December 04, 2016, 10:59:03 pm
He gives an argument for why the cause must be personal-he rules out an impersonal cause.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: bruce culver on February 01, 2017, 05:47:24 pm
Immaterial, timeless mind is IMO a terrible explanation for the existence of the universe.

First of all it goes against the best scientific theories of what mind is, i.e., a product of the activity of physical brains. Of course, this is not proof that immaterial mind is impossible, but it does put the burden of proof on those who say that such a thing as immaterial mind is even possible, let alone the cause of the existence of the physical universe. There is nothing in our experience that would suggest that minds can cause material things to exist anyway.

Secondly, the idea of timeless mind is incoherent. That is, the essence of mind is thought, and thought is a process, and processes are time dependent. This means the concept of mind is an essentially time dependent concept and hence "timeless mind" is an incoherent concept.

At the very least, "immaterial, timeless mind" is a very mysterious concept. Admittedly a universe that seems to have popped into existence out of nothing is mysterious also, and the counter that the universe didn't pop out of anything and has always existed is a bit mysterious, too. However, suggesting one mystery in an an attempt to explain another is unparsimonious. Therefore, eternal (not sempiternal), uncaused universe theory should be preferred on the basis of Occam's razor.  Of course, that's a rule of thumb, not a law, but it does put the burden of proof on the one arguing for needlessly pushing the mystery back a step.

My view is that the universe itself, as a whole, is most likely eternal and uncaused. It bears it's reason for it's existence within itself, and the fact that it has a beginning in time is simply a metaphysical necessity based on the impossibility of an infinite regress of temporal moments (see my thread "Is the beginning of the universe metaphysically necessary?")
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on February 02, 2017, 12:43:00 am
None of that matters--Craig makes pure deductive arguments.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: bruce culver on February 02, 2017, 05:55:25 am
None of that matters--Craig makes pure deductive arguments.

Of course it all matters because even though the Kalam is a deductive argument, its premises are not. The idea that everything that begins to exist has a cause is an inductive inference and given that the beginning of the universe is a beginning like no other in our experience, it is dubious.

But more to the point of my last post, the part where he argues for the cause being an immaterial, timeless mind is not a part of syllogism per se. The syllogism IF sound, and I'm dubious, would only prove a cause. It does not prove that the cause is what Craig is saying it must be.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on February 02, 2017, 07:10:24 am
Craig performs a conceptual analysis of what the cause of the universe must be like. This is pure deduction--ruling out the negations.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: bruce culver on February 02, 2017, 07:46:27 am
Craig performs a conceptual analysis of what the cause of the universe must be like. This is pure deduction--ruling out the negations.

No it's not. He does not offer any deductive argument for the cause of the universe being a timeless, immaterial mind. He simply asserts that it must be so, or at least that is what he does in all of his debates. If he gives a deductive argument for it, I'd like to see it.

Also, you seem argue as if you think that a deductive argument is automatically a sound argument. It's like all you have to do is say, "It's a deductive argument" and then we have to accept that the conclusion is true.

I also have a problem with WLC's argument that you can accept the conclusion of a deductive argument if you find the premises to be more likely than their negations.  I disagree. First of all it's kind of hinckey to just intuitively assign a likelihood to premises that must in actuality be either true (probability 1) or false (probability 0). Yes, you can think of it in terms of confidence levels, but that is pretty subjective, making the whole enterprise questionable. Frankly, I wouldn't accept the conclusion of any deductive argument unless I was nearly certain of both premises. Certainly your confidence level can be no higher than your confidence in the least certain of your premises. And I'm not at all convinced that it doesn't make more sense to multiply you confidence levels. For example if I assigned a confidence of .8 to both of my premises, I should only have a .64 confidence in my conclusion. In science conclusions are usually not considered acceptable at anything below .95 confidence.

Frankly, I think anybody who thinks they can be even close to certain of the existence of God based on the Kalam argument is not thinking very clearly.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on February 08, 2017, 08:34:17 pm
In his live debates he may not set out a formal deduction, but you can see he still reasons like this.

He rules out the negation--thus necessitating the conclusion e.g

The cause of the universe is either temporal or timeless.

The cause of the universe is not temporal (contradictory)

Therefore, the universe cause is timeless.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: bruce culver on February 08, 2017, 09:24:09 pm
In his live debates he may not set out a formal deduction, but you can see he still reasons like this.

He rules out the negation--thus necessitating the conclusion e.g

The cause of the universe is either temporal or timeless.

The cause of the universe is not temporal (contradictory)

Therefore, the universe cause is timeless.

Why would it be a contradiction for the cause of the universe to be temporal? I mean it sort of makes sense to me  if you think of the universe as including time and space and whatever created the universe also created time and space, but I'm not sure that is the only possibility. I'd probably accept that as most likely, but not certain.

But, of course, I believe the universe is uncaused, so....
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on February 20, 2017, 01:16:25 am
In his live debates he may not set out a formal deduction, but you can see he still reasons like this.

He rules out the negation--thus necessitating the conclusion e.g

The cause of the universe is either temporal or timeless.

The cause of the universe is not temporal (contradictory)

Therefore, the universe cause is timeless.

Why would it be a contradiction for the cause of the universe to be temporal? I mean it sort of makes sense to me  if you think of the universe as including time and space and whatever created the universe also created time and space, but I'm not sure that is the only possibility. I'd probably accept that as most likely, but not certain.

But, of course, I believe the universe is uncaused, so....

Whatever created the first event couldn't be condtioned by time. I think tied into this is the personal nature of the cause as well, since the only way the counterfactual scenario where the universe doesn't exist, and the cause exists sans the universe, is if the cause is personal. That is the only ontological condition where the cause and effect can be counterfactually disentangled.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: aleph naught on February 20, 2017, 09:52:01 am
Whatever [caused] the first event couldn't be condtioned by time. I think tied into this is the personal nature of the cause as well, since the only way the counterfactual scenario where the universe doesn't exist, and the cause exists sans the universe, is if the cause is personal. That is the only ontological condition where the cause and effect can be counterfactually disentangled.

That leap from cause to creator is where I think the argument is at its weakest. So Craig points out that the causal relationship here must be object-event causation. But why think the object must be a person? He seems to assume that persons are the only sort of thing that can stand in that sort of relationship, but why should anyone think that?

Edit: In fact, to motivate agent causation in the first place as a form of LFW, don't incompatibilists have to point to examples of impersonal objects standing in object-event causal relationships? If object-event causation must be unique to persons, then it is a very queer sort of causation that we have no reason to believe in other than a very roundabout argument from LFW. That's a very tenuous thing to base the Kalam on.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on February 23, 2017, 05:59:27 am
The term Creator is derived from considering the fact the cause of time is an instance of ontological creation. Time, the universe is caused to be without the assumption of any antecedent metaphysical scheme or potency in anything else. Not even the potency for the existence of the universe predates its coming to be--there is nothing or nowhere for that potency to be itself, to be adduced out of something else (which is every instance of causation we see in mutable, changeable reality)
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: bruce culver on March 27, 2017, 09:24:17 pm
The term Creator is derived from considering the fact the cause of time is an instance of ontological creation. Time, the universe is caused to be without the assumption of any antecedent metaphysical scheme or potency in anything else. Not even the potency for the existence of the universe predates its coming to be--there is nothing or nowhere for that potency to be itself, to be adduced out of something else (which is every instance of causation we see in mutable, changeable reality)

Not sure i get what you are saying, but why does time have to have a cause? If time is a property of the universe and the universe is uncaused, then time is uncaused also. Even if time does not prove to be fundamental, it's still conceivable that it is an emergent property of a timeless physical universe. This attempt to bring personality into the picture seems heavily forced to me. Especially given the fact that the only experience we have of personality is associated with the existence of sentient beings. What reason is there to even think that timeless/immaterial person is a coherent concept?
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on March 30, 2017, 10:35:07 pm
Actually your objection here is just an objection to p2.


If there is a state of affairs where the universe exists timelessly, this is a violation of begins to exist and the universe is precluded.


I don't think this option is conceptually plausible or supported by evidence. Read Jim Sinclairs posts on this --he has an account here. Really good and thoughtful stuff.


Besides, I think the universe being both timeless and temporal like this causes incoherency issues--namely that this seems to imply that the universe would just be timeless per se, and what you call 'the cause' is just a deeper structural level of the universe grounding it--but no coherent way of talking about a logical and conceptual separation between the universe and its cause.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: bruce culver on March 31, 2017, 07:27:29 pm
Actually your objection here is just an objection to p2.


If there is a state of affairs where the universe exists timelessly, this is a violation of begins to exist and the universe is precluded.


I don't think this option is conceptually plausible or supported by evidence. Read Jim Sinclairs posts on this --he has an account here. Really good and thoughtful stuff.


Besides, I think the universe being both timeless and temporal like this causes incoherency issues--namely that this seems to imply that the universe would just be timeless per se, and what you call 'the cause' is just a deeper structural level of the universe grounding it--but no coherent way of talking about a logical and conceptual separation between the universe and its cause.

Well, you may be right on this point, but it seems a bit off the topic. I was responding to the argument generally not in the context of my argument against premise 1 of the KCA but the KCA in general as it relates to Dr. Craig's arguments that the supposed cause of the universe must be a timeless, immaterial person/mind, and the my sense of the questionable coherence of that idea.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: stuartr on April 03, 2017, 08:04:27 am
"Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?" the OP asked.

As long as you accept the view of the universe supported by science, then in no way will it be possible for anyone to prove the existence of such a "mind", or God, because every avenue is closed by the very definition of that "mind". Consequently, if the existence of such a "mind" is unproven, then there can be no evidence for any assertion that it is responsible for the creation of said universe.

But, what if science is mistaken? What if there were a realisation of Copernican proportions?

The OP asked for evidence, a link to some paper that provides it. I have just read an account that turns science on its head and provides just the evidence needed. The writer has produced a gentle, occasionally amusing, but always cogent and compelling argument that, in my view, constitutes the only possible evidence for or proof of an immaterial, timeless mind and it's role in the creation of our universe. This account fully satisfies the OP's request, but also answers the perennial question on the lips of millions: Does God exist?

I refer back to "The OP asked for evidence, a link to some paper" and on this basis alone I recommend Googling 'My God: Welcome To The Reality' by James Harvey.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: nswoll on February 28, 2018, 07:46:28 pm
 If one assumes our universe came into existence due to the "death" of the previous universe than the entire premise of "timeless, personal,  immaterial" completely falls apart.  And this assumption is much more plausible than a god.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: lucious on March 18, 2018, 08:05:12 am
That would put the discussion back within the scope of premise 2.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: SpalatinRengriss on April 08, 2018, 01:56:22 am
Where it is?

Can you please link some paper which proves it?

I mean seriously,without it KCA is just typical god of the gaps argument.

"Once again science can't explain something. Therefore we're going to say that goddidit! Nevermind we tried it for centuries and always failed"

Really, you can't just say that because we don't have the answer, goddidit is somehow correct by default. That's now how it works. I can just say that all our reality is a matrix and aliens who did it live in perfectly explained, eternal universe. For multiple reasons it's much better expalation than "goddidit".

So I'm asking: Where is any scientific evidence that disembodied, immaterial, timeless, powerful, inteligent mind created our universe?

I think a better question would be: why do you think there must be scientific evidence of the existence of a disembodied, immaterial, timeless, powerful and intelligent mind to accept the conclusion? What is your justification? (do you have some academic bibliography that stipulate that or is your subjetive preference?) Science works with physical reality, and the inferred cause is non-physical, so your question is similar to asking:

Why i don't find evidence in favor of atheism with my metal detector? Well, because metal detectors are not made for that. You are using the wrong tool.

What you should look for are good deductive, abductive and inductive reasons in favor of that. And there are several.

Now, do not forget that the kalam is a deduction that proves the existence of immaterial minds. You do not need to prove that there are immaterial minds before the kalam (only that these are metaphysical possibilities, so that they are legitimate candidates), the kalam proves it (that is their conclusion).
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: Pieter on April 27, 2018, 10:29:16 am

I think a better question would be: why do you think there must be scientific evidence of the existence of a disembodied, immaterial, timeless, powerful and intelligent mind to accept the conclusion? What is your justification? (do you have some academic bibliography that stipulate that or is your subjetive preference?) Science works with physical reality, and the inferred cause is non-physical,

Good point. I was thinking: Can you prove scientifically that there must always be scientific evidence for anything? What lab experiment can you do to prove that only scientific evidence is valid or shows truth?
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: Pieter on April 27, 2018, 11:04:51 am
Whatever [caused] the first event couldn't be condtioned by time. I think tied into this is the personal nature of the cause as well, since the only way the counterfactual scenario where the universe doesn't exist, and the cause exists sans the universe, is if the cause is personal. That is the only ontological condition where the cause and effect can be counterfactually disentangled.

That leap from cause to creator is where I think the argument is at its weakest. So Craig points out that the causal relationship here must be object-event causation. But why think the object must be a person? He seems to assume that persons are the only sort of thing that can stand in that sort of relationship, but why should anyone think that?

Edit: In fact, to motivate agent causation in the first place as a form of LFW, don't incompatibilists have to point to examples of impersonal objects standing in object-event causal relationships? If object-event causation must be unique to persons, then it is a very queer sort of causation that we have no reason to believe in other than a very roundabout argument from LFW. That's a very tenuous thing to base the Kalam on.

Why this object-event causation must be personal? The way I see it is that an impersonal cause has its explanation externally. A personal cause has its explanation internally, i,e. is self-initiating by an act of will based on reason. An impersonal cause without an external explanation has no explanation at all.

I find Aquinas' explanation quite helpful. A stick can either be potentially on fire or actually on fire. The explanation why it may be on fire is external, i.e. set on fire by another stick for example.
A person raising her arm does not have an external explanation, but an internal one, i.e. she has a reason to raise her arm and decides freely to do it.

Of course, a deterministic mind cannot be the case as this would have an external explanation (its actions are determined by natural forces outside itself). Therefore, the mind we are talking about must possess libertarian freewill. You can't get much more personal than that :)
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: Tom Paine on July 14, 2019, 07:59:02 am
Whatever [caused] the first event couldn't be condtioned by time. I think tied into this is the personal nature of the cause as well, since the only way the counterfactual scenario where the universe doesn't exist, and the cause exists sans the universe, is if the cause is personal. That is the only ontological condition where the cause and effect can be counterfactually disentangled.

That leap from cause to creator is where I think the argument is at its weakest. So Craig points out that the causal relationship here must be object-event causation. But why think the object must be a person? He seems to assume that persons are the only sort of thing that can stand in that sort of relationship, but why should anyone think that?

Edit: In fact, to motivate agent causation in the first place as a form of LFW, don't incompatibilists have to point to examples of impersonal objects standing in object-event causal relationships? If object-event causation must be unique to persons, then it is a very queer sort of causation that we have no reason to believe in other than a very roundabout argument from LFW. That's a very tenuous thing to base the Kalam on.

Why this object-event causation must be personal? The way I see it is that an impersonal cause has its explanation externally. A personal cause has its explanation internally, i,e. is self-initiating by an act of will based on reason. An impersonal cause without an external explanation has no explanation at all.

I find Aquinas' explanation quite helpful. A stick can either be potentially on fire or actually on fire. The explanation why it may be on fire is external, i.e. set on fire by another stick for example.
A person raising her arm does not have an external explanation, but an internal one, i.e. she has a reason to raise her arm and decides freely to do it.

Of course, a deterministic mind cannot be the case as this would have an external explanation (its actions are determined by natural forces outside itself). Therefore, the mind we are talking about must possess libertarian freewill. You can't get much more personal than that :)

The problem is libertarian free will is implausible. Or least I don't see any way how it could work.

1. A decision is either a determined or undetermined event(law of excluded middle)
2. Events that are undetermined are random  (If you disagree, give an example of a non random but undetermined event)
3. A decision is either determined or random (from 1&2)
4. A determined event is not a freely chosen event, because the causal chain necessarily stretches back beyond anything the choosing agent can control.
5. An undetermined event is not a freely chosen event. (This seems self-evident)
6. A decision is not a freely chosen event.

Where does this argument go wrong? In order for the causal chain for an event to be initiated within a sentient being the initiation of that causal chain would have to be itself uncaused. That's just trivially true.  Uncaused causes are not contingent, which means they are necessary in the ontological sense.

Hmmm. OK, I think i see that there is an ontological sense of "necessity." However, i would argue that most of the time the term is being used it is being used in an epistemic sense and this causes all kinds of confusion in arguments over ontology, IMO.  It seems the ontological sense just mean not contingent, and or uncaused.

I'm not sure how to argue for it, but it seems to me that there can be only one uncaused cause and that would be the first cause, everything else must be contingent upon that, unless of course quantum, or some other sort of indeterminacy exists, but I fail to see how that helps the case for LFW.

So, how do imagine LFW works?

I mean I agree that the proximal cause of any of our decisions is some kind of faculty proper to ourselves. However, tha does not make the decisions made undetermined. The decisions are determined by the circumstance pertinent to the decision and the nature or character of the faculty involved. However, what determined the nature and/or character of that faculty. It's not self-determined. It's determined by causal chain that necessarily reaches back to the first cause.

So again, how do you make sense of the concept of LFW? Nobody so far has ever given me an adequate explanation.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: jayceeii on July 20, 2019, 01:50:39 pm
The problem is libertarian free will is implausible. Or least I don't see any way how it could work.

1. A decision is either a determined or undetermined event(law of excluded middle)
2. Events that are undetermined are random  (If you disagree, give an example of a non random but undetermined event)
3. A decision is either determined or random (from 1&2)
4. A determined event is not a freely chosen event, because the causal chain necessarily stretches back beyond anything the choosing agent can control.
5. An undetermined event is not a freely chosen event. (This seems self-evident)
6. A decision is not a freely chosen event.

Where does this argument go wrong? In order for the causal chain for an event to be initiated within a sentient being the initiation of that causal chain would have to be itself uncaused. That's just trivially true.  Uncaused causes are not contingent, which means they are necessary in the ontological sense.

Hmmm. OK, I think i see that there is an ontological sense of "necessity." However, i would argue that most of the time the term is being used it is being used in an epistemic sense and this causes all kinds of confusion in arguments over ontology, IMO.  It seems the ontological sense just mean not contingent, and or uncaused.

I'm not sure how to argue for it, but it seems to me that there can be only one uncaused cause and that would be the first cause, everything else must be contingent upon that, unless of course quantum, or some other sort of indeterminacy exists, but I fail to see how that helps the case for LFW.

So, how do imagine LFW works?

I mean I agree that the proximal cause of any of our decisions is some kind of faculty proper to ourselves. However, tha does not make the decisions made undetermined. The decisions are determined by the circumstance pertinent to the decision and the nature or character of the faculty involved. However, what determined the nature and/or character of that faculty. It's not self-determined. It's determined by causal chain that necessarily reaches back to the first cause.

So again, how do you make sense of the concept of LFW? Nobody so far has ever given me an adequate explanation.
This is one of the most important questions, and it hasn’t been addressed in religion before now. The reason it hasn’t been addressed is that to fully understand the question and its answer requires self-awareness as created soul. Though Christians, for instance, recite in their liturgies that God made them, in fact they remain in deep rebellion against the Creator. One sign of this is that they have outlawed the appearance of more prophets.

The reason the question and answer cannot be understood without self-awareness as spirit, is that one has to know what one is, in essence, before statements about what one is can be comprehended. If you talk about the soul to one who has not seen the soul, he thinks about a bag of gas or perhaps a chart he saw on a Hindu website (Christians have no theories about the soul). Furthermore, those who are not aware of the soul are not fully self-determining, their lives dictated by the push and pull of the senses. They are not free.

Presuming someone with self-awareness reads this (which may not be possible on this world), the question resolves to whether God can make a fully self-determining entity. Another way to put the question is whether the entity could do things and not find God smiling knowingly, saying, “I knew you’d do that.” The question goes to a high level, because in a way it might seem good that God could predict all that could or would be done. To find the Maker smiling that you had done the good He intended, might be gratifying or fulfilling. The trouble is that the entity is not different from a machine.

The question can then be put, whether it is possible to truly be God’s friend. Has God made friends, or machines? A friend cannot be predicted, where a machine can be. It can be added here that without contact with God, the creatures have no way of knowing directly whether God knew all that they could or would do. The Christians theorize that the Lord has contact with God, and if so then He knows whether He is truly free, and may be able to state the case of the creatures too. Between themselves, the creatures cannot predict one another except in general ways, yet this has no bearing on the relation to God.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: Tom Paine on July 26, 2019, 07:30:29 pm
The problem is libertarian free will is implausible. Or least I don't see any way how it could work.

1. A decision is either a determined or undetermined event(law of excluded middle)
2. Events that are undetermined are random  (If you disagree, give an example of a non random but undetermined event)
3. A decision is either determined or random (from 1&2)
4. A determined event is not a freely chosen event, because the causal chain necessarily stretches back beyond anything the choosing agent can control.
5. An undetermined event is not a freely chosen event. (This seems self-evident)
6. A decision is not a freely chosen event.

Where does this argument go wrong? In order for the causal chain for an event to be initiated within a sentient being the initiation of that causal chain would have to be itself uncaused. That's just trivially true.  Uncaused causes are not contingent, which means they are necessary in the ontological sense.

Hmmm. OK, I think i see that there is an ontological sense of "necessity." However, i would argue that most of the time the term is being used it is being used in an epistemic sense and this causes all kinds of confusion in arguments over ontology, IMO.  It seems the ontological sense just mean not contingent, and or uncaused.

I'm not sure how to argue for it, but it seems to me that there can be only one uncaused cause and that would be the first cause, everything else must be contingent upon that, unless of course quantum, or some other sort of indeterminacy exists, but I fail to see how that helps the case for LFW.

So, how do imagine LFW works?

I mean I agree that the proximal cause of any of our decisions is some kind of faculty proper to ourselves. However, tha does not make the decisions made undetermined. The decisions are determined by the circumstance pertinent to the decision and the nature or character of the faculty involved. However, what determined the nature and/or character of that faculty. It's not self-determined. It's determined by causal chain that necessarily reaches back to the first cause.

So again, how do you make sense of the concept of LFW? Nobody so far has ever given me an adequate explanation.
This is one of the most important questions, and it hasn’t been addressed in religion before now. The reason it hasn’t been addressed is that to fully understand the question and its answer requires self-awareness as created soul. Though Christians, for instance, recite in their liturgies that God made them, in fact they remain in deep rebellion against the Creator. One sign of this is that they have outlawed the appearance of more prophets.

The reason the question and answer cannot be understood without self-awareness as spirit, is that one has to know what one is, in essence, before statements about what one is can be comprehended. If you talk about the soul to one who has not seen the soul, he thinks about a bag of gas or perhaps a chart he saw on a Hindu website (Christians have no theories about the soul). Furthermore, those who are not aware of the soul are not fully self-determining, their lives dictated by the push and pull of the senses. They are not free.

Presuming someone with self-awareness reads this (which may not be possible on this world), the question resolves to whether God can make a fully self-determining entity. Another way to put the question is whether the entity could do things and not find God smiling knowingly, saying, “I knew you’d do that.” The question goes to a high level, because in a way it might seem good that God could predict all that could or would be done. To find the Maker smiling that you had done the good He intended, might be gratifying or fulfilling. The trouble is that the entity is not different from a machine.

The question can then be put, whether it is possible to truly be God’s friend. Has God made friends, or machines? A friend cannot be predicted, where a machine can be. It can be added here that without contact with God, the creatures have no way of knowing directly whether God knew all that they could or would do. The Christians theorize that the Lord has contact with God, and if so then He knows whether He is truly free, and may be able to state the case of the creatures too. Between themselves, the creatures cannot predict one another except in general ways, yet this has no bearing on the relation to God.

Sorry, I don't see how any of that actually addressed the issue of whether LFW is a coherent concept. It seems you are saying it is a mystery that can only be solved through divine revelation. OK, but I don't believe in divine revelation and I also do not believe in LFW. If God ever chooses to reveal the mystery of LFW to me, then I will be glad to consider it, but until then it seems mere speculation that it may exist in some mysterious way. OK, but that doesn't in any way increase my confidence that it does actually exist.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: jayceeii on August 30, 2019, 12:13:27 pm
The problem is libertarian free will is implausible. Or least I don't see any way how it could work.

1. A decision is either a determined or undetermined event(law of excluded middle)
2. Events that are undetermined are random  (If you disagree, give an example of a non random but undetermined event)
3. A decision is either determined or random (from 1&2)
4. A determined event is not a freely chosen event, because the causal chain necessarily stretches back beyond anything the choosing agent can control.
5. An undetermined event is not a freely chosen event. (This seems self-evident)
6. A decision is not a freely chosen event.

Where does this argument go wrong? In order for the causal chain for an event to be initiated within a sentient being the initiation of that causal chain would have to be itself uncaused. That's just trivially true.  Uncaused causes are not contingent, which means they are necessary in the ontological sense.

Hmmm. OK, I think i see that there is an ontological sense of "necessity." However, i would argue that most of the time the term is being used it is being used in an epistemic sense and this causes all kinds of confusion in arguments over ontology, IMO.  It seems the ontological sense just mean not contingent, and or uncaused.

I'm not sure how to argue for it, but it seems to me that there can be only one uncaused cause and that would be the first cause, everything else must be contingent upon that, unless of course quantum, or some other sort of indeterminacy exists, but I fail to see how that helps the case for LFW.

So, how do imagine LFW works?

I mean I agree that the proximal cause of any of our decisions is some kind of faculty proper to ourselves. However, tha does not make the decisions made undetermined. The decisions are determined by the circumstance pertinent to the decision and the nature or character of the faculty involved. However, what determined the nature and/or character of that faculty. It's not self-determined. It's determined by causal chain that necessarily reaches back to the first cause.

So again, how do you make sense of the concept of LFW? Nobody so far has ever given me an adequate explanation.
This is one of the most important questions, and it hasn’t been addressed in religion before now. The reason it hasn’t been addressed is that to fully understand the question and its answer requires self-awareness as created soul. Though Christians, for instance, recite in their liturgies that God made them, in fact they remain in deep rebellion against the Creator. One sign of this is that they have outlawed the appearance of more prophets.

The reason the question and answer cannot be understood without self-awareness as spirit, is that one has to know what one is, in essence, before statements about what one is can be comprehended. If you talk about the soul to one who has not seen the soul, he thinks about a bag of gas or perhaps a chart he saw on a Hindu website (Christians have no theories about the soul). Furthermore, those who are not aware of the soul are not fully self-determining, their lives dictated by the push and pull of the senses. They are not free.

Presuming someone with self-awareness reads this (which may not be possible on this world), the question resolves to whether God can make a fully self-determining entity. Another way to put the question is whether the entity could do things and not find God smiling knowingly, saying, “I knew you’d do that.” The question goes to a high level, because in a way it might seem good that God could predict all that could or would be done. To find the Maker smiling that you had done the good He intended, might be gratifying or fulfilling. The trouble is that the entity is not different from a machine.

The question can then be put, whether it is possible to truly be God’s friend. Has God made friends, or machines? A friend cannot be predicted, where a machine can be. It can be added here that without contact with God, the creatures have no way of knowing directly whether God knew all that they could or would do. The Christians theorize that the Lord has contact with God, and if so then He knows whether He is truly free, and may be able to state the case of the creatures too. Between themselves, the creatures cannot predict one another except in general ways, yet this has no bearing on the relation to God.

Sorry, I don't see how any of that actually addressed the issue of whether LFW is a coherent concept. It seems you are saying it is a mystery that can only be solved through divine revelation. OK, but I don't believe in divine revelation and I also do not believe in LFW. If God ever chooses to reveal the mystery of LFW to me, then I will be glad to consider it, but until then it seems mere speculation that it may exist in some mysterious way. OK, but that doesn't in any way increase my confidence that it does actually exist.
tp: Sorry, I don't see how any of that actually addressed the issue of whether LFW is a coherent concept.

jc: It appears your attention span is short, unaccustomed to the establishing of a context in discourse. I begin to answer the question only by the third paragraph, but it appears you read only the first two before replying. Or, as I related, you are not self-aware as spirit, therefore the mind cannot really confront the question, confusing itself with the body and senses. LFW stands for liberterian free will. Asking whether God can make a fully self-determining entity, is a solid approach to the issue. I believe that He can, but I have not seen evidence of one on Earth yet, a possible explanation of your confusion. 

tp: It seems you are saying it is a mystery that can only be solved through divine revelation.

jc: This is a jaundiced and inaccurate rendition of my text, more evidence yours is a mind rooted in the senses. You haven’t asked how a soul becomes self-aware; nor do you care.

tp: OK, but I don't believe in divine revelation and I also do not believe in LFW.

jc: I also don’t believe in lfw among the creatures, and you fit into the pattern perfectly. Of course you can’t know what God knows, without a revelation from God. But if you had self-awareness, it would be a strong theory and a hope. You’d know exactly how your mind operates and you’d know whether you feel free from the senses, and you’d also know there is at least a chance God won’t guess all that you can do. I can offer this evidence, when a lion (or a philosopher) attacks, there is a lot of slobbering and specific growls and teeth-gnashing, that it’s pointless to predict. Animals are free to be animals.

tp: If God ever chooses to reveal the mystery of LFW to me, then I will be glad to consider it, but until then it seems mere speculation that it may exist in some mysterious way. OK, but that doesn't in any way increase my confidence that it does actually exist.

jc: The true freedom is to do what the pure will dictates, regardless of sense influence. Religion has typically couched this in terms of freedom from the pursuit of pleasure, but the full measure has not been explicated, nor any examples of the end-state shown. It’s clear this longing to know about freedom is a surface affair with you, not a deep passion. So this is evidence you are not free. The senses still hold you under their spell, and someone who is not free cannot understand what freedom is. Just follow the route everyone else is following, get a cell phone and feel smug satisfaction from technology.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: Tom Paine on September 23, 2019, 05:31:20 pm
The problem is libertarian free will is implausible. Or least I don't see any way how it could work.

1. A decision is either a determined or undetermined event(law of excluded middle)
2. Events that are undetermined are random  (If you disagree, give an example of a non random but undetermined event)
3. A decision is either determined or random (from 1&2)
4. A determined event is not a freely chosen event, because the causal chain necessarily stretches back beyond anything the choosing agent can control.
5. An undetermined event is not a freely chosen event. (This seems self-evident)
6. A decision is not a freely chosen event.

Where does this argument go wrong? In order for the causal chain for an event to be initiated within a sentient being the initiation of that causal chain would have to be itself uncaused. That's just trivially true.  Uncaused causes are not contingent, which means they are necessary in the ontological sense.

Hmmm. OK, I think i see that there is an ontological sense of "necessity." However, i would argue that most of the time the term is being used it is being used in an epistemic sense and this causes all kinds of confusion in arguments over ontology, IMO.  It seems the ontological sense just mean not contingent, and or uncaused.

I'm not sure how to argue for it, but it seems to me that there can be only one uncaused cause and that would be the first cause, everything else must be contingent upon that, unless of course quantum, or some other sort of indeterminacy exists, but I fail to see how that helps the case for LFW.

So, how do imagine LFW works?

I mean I agree that the proximal cause of any of our decisions is some kind of faculty proper to ourselves. However, tha does not make the decisions made undetermined. The decisions are determined by the circumstance pertinent to the decision and the nature or character of the faculty involved. However, what determined the nature and/or character of that faculty. It's not self-determined. It's determined by causal chain that necessarily reaches back to the first cause.

So again, how do you make sense of the concept of LFW? Nobody so far has ever given me an adequate explanation.
This is one of the most important questions, and it hasn’t been addressed in religion before now. The reason it hasn’t been addressed is that to fully understand the question and its answer requires self-awareness as created soul. Though Christians, for instance, recite in their liturgies that God made them, in fact they remain in deep rebellion against the Creator. One sign of this is that they have outlawed the appearance of more prophets.

The reason the question and answer cannot be understood without self-awareness as spirit, is that one has to know what one is, in essence, before statements about what one is can be comprehended. If you talk about the soul to one who has not seen the soul, he thinks about a bag of gas or perhaps a chart he saw on a Hindu website (Christians have no theories about the soul). Furthermore, those who are not aware of the soul are not fully self-determining, their lives dictated by the push and pull of the senses. They are not free.

Presuming someone with self-awareness reads this (which may not be possible on this world), the question resolves to whether God can make a fully self-determining entity. Another way to put the question is whether the entity could do things and not find God smiling knowingly, saying, “I knew you’d do that.” The question goes to a high level, because in a way it might seem good that God could predict all that could or would be done. To find the Maker smiling that you had done the good He intended, might be gratifying or fulfilling. The trouble is that the entity is not different from a machine.

The question can then be put, whether it is possible to truly be God’s friend. Has God made friends, or machines? A friend cannot be predicted, where a machine can be. It can be added here that without contact with God, the creatures have no way of knowing directly whether God knew all that they could or would do. The Christians theorize that the Lord has contact with God, and if so then He knows whether He is truly free, and may be able to state the case of the creatures too. Between themselves, the creatures cannot predict one another except in general ways, yet this has no bearing on the relation to God.

Sorry, I don't see how any of that actually addressed the issue of whether LFW is a coherent concept. It seems you are saying it is a mystery that can only be solved through divine revelation. OK, but I don't believe in divine revelation and I also do not believe in LFW. If God ever chooses to reveal the mystery of LFW to me, then I will be glad to consider it, but until then it seems mere speculation that it may exist in some mysterious way. OK, but that doesn't in any way increase my confidence that it does actually exist.
tp: Sorry, I don't see how any of that actually addressed the issue of whether LFW is a coherent concept.

jc: It appears your attention span is short, unaccustomed to the establishing of a context in discourse. I begin to answer the question only by the third paragraph, but it appears you read only the first two before replying. Or, as I related, you are not self-aware as spirit, therefore the mind cannot really confront the question, confusing itself with the body and senses. LFW stands for liberterian free will. Asking whether God can make a fully self-determining entity, is a solid approach to the issue. I believe that He can, but I have not seen evidence of one on Earth yet, a possible explanation of your confusion. 

tp: It seems you are saying it is a mystery that can only be solved through divine revelation.

jc: This is a jaundiced and inaccurate rendition of my text, more evidence yours is a mind rooted in the senses. You haven’t asked how a soul becomes self-aware; nor do you care.

tp: OK, but I don't believe in divine revelation and I also do not believe in LFW.

jc: I also don’t believe in lfw among the creatures, and you fit into the pattern perfectly. Of course you can’t know what God knows, without a revelation from God. But if you had self-awareness, it would be a strong theory and a hope. You’d know exactly how your mind operates and you’d know whether you feel free from the senses, and you’d also know there is at least a chance God won’t guess all that you can do. I can offer this evidence, when a lion (or a philosopher) attacks, there is a lot of slobbering and specific growls and teeth-gnashing, that it’s pointless to predict. Animals are free to be animals.

tp: If God ever chooses to reveal the mystery of LFW to me, then I will be glad to consider it, but until then it seems mere speculation that it may exist in some mysterious way. OK, but that doesn't in any way increase my confidence that it does actually exist.

jc: The true freedom is to do what the pure will dictates, regardless of sense influence. Religion has typically couched this in terms of freedom from the pursuit of pleasure, but the full measure has not been explicated, nor any examples of the end-state shown. It’s clear this longing to know about freedom is a surface affair with you, not a deep passion. So this is evidence you are not free. The senses still hold you under their spell, and someone who is not free cannot understand what freedom is. Just follow the route everyone else is following, get a cell phone and feel smug satisfaction from technology.


Sorry I'm not as enlightened as you are, I guess.  I can't understand how LFW is possible because I'm not self-aware. Or, it could be the LFW is just an illusion. Sorry, but that's what I think because nobody has ever given me a coherent explanation of how such a thing is even possible.
Title: Re: Where is the evidence that an immaterial, timeless, mind created universe?
Post by: jayceeii on September 24, 2019, 09:17:30 am
Sorry I'm not as enlightened as you are, I guess.  I can't understand how LFW is possible because I'm not self-aware. Or, it could be the LFW is just an illusion. Sorry, but that's what I think because nobody has ever given me a coherent explanation of how such a thing is even possible.
tp: Sorry I'm not as enlightened as you are, I guess.

jc: I don’t claim enlightenment. In general one knows that one is free when motives are found that are free from sensate reward. But this has to be all sensate reward, including the hidden motives men follow, such as the martyrs and missionaries who conceive of a heavenly reward, as Jesus actually (and somewhat confoundedly), encouraged. It’s best proved in everyday labor for the sake of the neighbor’s joy, that exists nowhere on Earth. Everywhere you turn today money or some type of renown is the reward that people seek.

tp: I can't understand how LFW is possible because I'm not self-aware.

jc: This is the deep and tragic trouble of the souls, that look outward but never inward. It’s a matter of development. The skills for the mind to know itself are difficult to master.

tp: Or, it could be the LFW is just an illusion.

jc: If so you toss all hope for humans out the window, that the souls can never rise to self-awareness, remaining mostly inchoate blobs or “fusty nuts” of spirit, as Blake said.

tp: Sorry, but that's what I think because nobody has ever given me a coherent explanation of how such a thing is even possible.

jc: The religions are missing almost ALL coherent explanations or instruction! These were not really intended either to guide or to save, only to establish early civilization. We need demonstrations more than explanations, but there’s nowhere to practice selfless life.