Ducksauce wrote: [after looking up cavil]C'mon Harvey, join that forum! Don't make me use the junior high treatment on you. Seriously, I think you could contribute. There's a Harvey and a Harvey4 already (though they don't post)..."Harvey1" is all yours. And that thread is still very active; it would be cool if you jumped in. Especially since I sense I'm about to take a beating.
Ducksauce wrote: What you mean you actually joined? I was just kidding; those guys will eat you alive!!!
Funny guy. I responded to a couple of posts, but so far no response as far as I know. I was actually surprised to read a lot of sophisticated answers so far. My problem with those kind of sites is that I get so easily annoyed by dogmatic types.
Ducksauce wrote: I'm slightly involved in an online discussion; the OP went something like this:- there cannot be an infinite regression of causes- therefore there must be an uncaused cause- that UC existed eternally- since the UC was in an initial state, and then went into a state of creating (without being externally caused, by definition), that strongly implies a decision was made and that the UC is a consciousnessBasic cosmo argument. So the question I have is, if there cannot be an infinite regression of causes, then why can there be infinite time for the UC to exist in prior to the initial creation event? Whether the units are "causes" or "seconds", isn't an actual infinite impossible? WLC says God existed "timelessly" prior to creation, then in time afterwards. This seems ad hoc to me. If time is the dimension in which cause & effect takes place, then how could He have done anything?
I would think if its infinite then there would be no beginning or end.
james b wrote: Hi Duck,You're right. It's not an easy one.Personally, as I say, I find the idea of God bring the universe (including time itself) into existence at t=0 the most convincing option.The possibility of causes and effects being simultaneous isn't, as far as I know, particularly contraversial. In fact, there are people out there who argue that causes and effects are always simultaneous -- and, when you think about it, this notion has an intuitive appeal to it. A commonly given example is that of a man lying on an airbed or something like that. The cause (the man's lying on the bed) is ongoing, and is simultaneous with its effect (the bed's being depressed) -- even if the man's been lying on the bed since eternity past.So the idea of simultaneous causation isn't unfeasible.Moreover, I think to say that causes need to work 'in time' in some way is a dubious starting point, since once you've established that the universe's history isn't infinite (which can be done in a number of ways), what you've effectively done is establish that time itself had a beginning. And, if time had a beginning, it surely needs a cause (or why would it 'begin'? Why wouldn't time have always existed?).In other words, to restrict causes and effects to being 'in time' rules out the idea of time having a beginning -- which runs contrary to the implications of the best evidence we have. And to dismiss the implications of the evidence on the basis of a restrictive definition of causation seems wrong-headed to me. If our definition of causation can't accommodate the universe's being caused, then let's change our definition of causation!