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Leibnizian Cosmological Argument / Re: Flaws in Craig's argument.
« on: December 05, 2017, 08:12:48 pm »
Thank you mods for putting up my topic. I would like to add that the topic was meant as a reply to this thread:

But accidentally I created a new topic. But we can keep up the discussion here because anyway these are new points. Thanks. 

Leibnizian Cosmological Argument / Flaws in Craig's argument.
« on: November 30, 2017, 09:19:59 pm »
I. as a theist, also think that Craig's argument here is flawed.

First of all, just because we can conceive of something, it doesn't mean that the thing is not necessary, but contingent. Say a coin, it must have a heads and a tails. I can conceive of just the heads part in my head. Doesn't mean that it's possible in reality. Furthermore, I can also conceive of a universe without god, but with each quark being necessary. Doesn't mean that God is not necessary.

Let me copy paste Craig's argument
"think about your desk. Could your desk have been made of ice? Notice that I’m not asking if you could have had an ice desk in the place of your wooden desk that had the same size and structure. Rather I’m asking if your very desk, the one made of wood, if that desk could have been made of ice. The answer is obviously, no. The ice desk would be a different desk, not the same desk."

It's a bit confusing. First of all, if my desk would be made out of ice, it would be hella cold. Clearly it wouldn't be the same table. But craig's real point is a bit subtler than that. He is saying that if I had another table exactly like mines, but made out of different quarks, it'd be a different table. Confused? Wait for a second and we'll try to go deeper. But first, let me point out that Craig does have something different to say:

"It seems crazy to think that each and every quark in the universe exists by a necessity of its own nature so that there couldn’t have been fewer quarks or there couldn’t have been more quarks or different quarks. This is the only collection of quarks that could possibly have existed. That seems crazy."

Indeed, it would be a bit arbitrary if there aren't more quarks or less quarks in existence. But that, although logically ugly, doesn't mean that it CAN'T be true that there are, say, X amount of quarks in existence. But if there's only one immaterial god, it seems simpler, so it should be a kind of hint that god makes more sense. But that is just an intuitive analysis, not a logical argument. And, after all, the atheist can simply say that there is an actually infinite amount of quarks in existence. Seems more nice that way. (But then again, Craig would say that that's impossible.)

Let's keep on going:
"A universe which is made up of different quarks would not be the same universe even if all of those quarks were arranged in exactly the same way so that the same macroscopic objects existed, it would be a different universe because it is made up of a different collection of quarks."
This is questionable. What would be the difference? That's like saying, hey, look at your computer. It could have changed right now to a different computer, but it looks exactly the same. Well, clearly that's not plausible. For something to be different than something else, it must have different properties. Even if the only difference is spacial location. Using leibinz's law of identity here. More on this in a while, tho. Let's continue.

"Somebody might object at this point – wait a minute, they might say, the matter in my body is completely recycled every several years so that the molecules or the particles that I have in my body today are not the ones that I had, say, when I was a little boy and yet I am the same person. I remain identical even though all of the matter in my body is completely recirculated and there is none of the particles in my body now that used to be there. So they might say analogously a universe could be identical across different possible worlds even though it is made up of a wholly different collection of quarks. I think these two situations are not analogous though. The crucial dis-analogy is that the different between possible worlds does not involve any kind of intrinsic change. There is no enduring subject which undergoes a change from one state to another, whereas in my body there is an enduring subject that goes through intrinsic change."

Again, this argument seems a bit flawed. But even so, it's a bit of a red herring. IMO. Let's go away with the matter in my body analogy, because it complicates the discussion with free will and souls and so on. Let's imagine I have a painting, let's say mona lisa. Now, DaVinci could have made the painting from a different kind of paint. When he went to the store to buy the paint, there were many identical paints at his disposal. There were many tubes out of the same colours of paint. He just randomely selected some tubes- probably the ones closer to the front, or just some at random without even thinking about it. It's like if I go to the store to buy a computer. A toshiba computer of such-and-such a brand, and of such-and-such a price. Does it matter which computer I pick? No, they're all the same computer. The only difference is in terms of SPACE, that is, one of them is here, another one is there.

Now, you could say, "but the computer is contingent on the parts, so it's not necessary". True. But the parts- the quarks- are all exactly the same.

Now, imagine that I go to bed tonight, and a thief comes into my house and steals my computer. And while I am sleeping, an angel replaces my computer with another one that is exactly like the one that the thief stole. Does it make a difference? You could say that it is true that the new computer was given by an angel and the old one wasn't. But the difference seems to be merely symbolic. It's just a difference in terms of the past, not in terms of the present. Imagine I have a computer that can't age. Does it make a difference weather the computer is 5 years old or 500? Doesn't seem like it.

If time does not constitute a difference, then space doesn't make a difference either. Why are two equal particles IN THE SAME PLACE different from each other? Think about it. They would be different quarks, yet they would be in EXACTLY the same place, and would look EXACTLY the same. But, for two objects to be different, according to the law of identity, they must have some characteristics that make them different. Otherwise, they are the same object. You might just as well say that I am not one person,  but five different people, it's just that we all look exactly the same, so you can't possibly tell us apart.

In craig's example of the ice, at least ice is different than wood. But we're talking about two equal universes, made out of "different" quarks. But to ALL intents and purposes, they are the same thing. They're not even quarks in a difference place (that would be another argument), but in the same place. An atheist can say that determinism is true, therefore, it seems like this universe exists necessarily.

The argument seems flawed, or is it my interpretation of it?

Now, Craig can claim, what if it's strings instead of quarks? But we can also ask, well, god is made out of spirit, right? Well, why can't it be a different spirit? It would be the same god, made out of a different spirit. So, god does not exist necessarily. 

I think that the best approach is to just say that the fundamental particles like quarks are ALSO composites. But composites of what? They have no size nor weight, some say. Weird, right? I read this. But, wikipedia does say it has mass, so that's contradicting. But in either case, they must have SOMETHING. Wikipedia: "Quarks have various intrinsic properties, including electric charge, mass, color charge, and spin." So, they're composites of these properties.

Look up on the "strange notions" website the "unconditioned reality" proof.

But, unfortunately to me, it seems like we must ditch Craig's argument here. :( Or am I the one not understanding it correctly?

Let me know what you think.... maybe we can save leibinz's argument. Craig says that no respectable person tries to say that the fundamental particles exist necessarily, but I just think that it's a reasonably good objection. Craig is an amazing philosopher tho, I am sure that he has the answers to the problems we are talking about here, or maybe we simply aren't understanding it well. Whatever. Let me know what you think.


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