Paradox

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Everything that has a beginning....
« on: December 03, 2012, 09:01:21 pm »
How can eternity even be possible?  Three problems I have with the concept of eternity:

First, even Craig recognizes that infinity is only an idea, and that it exists nowhere in reality.  One possible objection is that infinity does not exist in *this* reality.  But if not in this reality, then which one?  What is real beyond reality?  If it cannot be observed, then is it not only as likely as an infinite number of universes?

Second, everything that has a beginning, has an end.  I do believe this is a Buddhist quote, and it's observable.  Things are born, things die.  What reason is there to think that humans are the exception?  Why believe that we will live on after we die?  Or is it supposed to be a new birth in a spiritual realm?  But even then, we would have a beginning.

Lastly, how is a god (which is presumably outside of time and thus eternal) able to speak into existence a universe?  At what point in its infinite past did it make the decision to create something?  Does this not make an appeal to an infinite regression of past events?

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Lion IRC

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 09:27:11 pm »
Welcome to the forum.  :)

The eternal can't transcend itself. It is maximal.
eg. God.

But I think you mis-read or mis-heard or mis-understood if you think nothing eternal exists in reality.

God is real. God is eternal. God can permanently create and/or destroy and there's nothing metaphysically problematic about that as far as I can tell.

Atheist philosopher Arif Ahmed (who debated Mr Craig) has no problem with the eternal.

He says its as simple as one thing happens after the next ad infinitum and thats as good an insight into eternal infinity as any.

God can just keep on creating forever if He wants.
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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 09:29:02 pm »
...besides, it the eternal can't exist, whats the ALTERNATIVE?
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Paradox

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 10:29:20 pm »
If it's true that Arif Ahmed has no problem with infinity in this realm, then I suppose that removes the problem of where the universe came from.  Of course, it also says that God is possible, however unnecessary.  As far as an alternative to infinity, I suppose I'm tempted to say a finite reality.  As hard as it may be to realize, I think atheists and theists are on equal grounds here.

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 12:28:23 am »
Yes, its a nil-all-draw I guess.
Eternal First Cause or eternal uncaused universe.
But I think its fair to say a personal cause provides a more satisfying explanation. And one which matches better with our real world experience (evidence) that things often do have intentional causes.

IOW we ask how questions AND WHY QUESTIONS.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 12:31:29 am by Lion IReniC »
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John M

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 12:31:22 am »
Quote
Second, everything that has a beginning, has an end.

Why believe this?  I don't think everything that has a beginning necessarily has to have an end. In fact, I believe science theorizes otherwise. For example, contemporary cosmology teaches that the universe is (probably) infinite into the future (there are theories that indicate the universe is finite in the future, but I believe most cosmologists would believe that the universe is forever expanding infinitely into the future - and evidence is showing that that expansion is accelerating, not slowing down). So it appears that probably the universe will not collapse on itself - it won't have an "end." Sure, all life in this universe (billions of years from now) will cease (heat death) but the universe in this maximum entropy state will still exist. At least, many cosmologists have theorized this to be the case.

Quote
Lastly, how is a god (which is presumably outside of time and thus eternal) able to speak into existence a universe?  At what point in its infinite past did it make the decision to create something?  Does this not make an appeal to an infinite regression of past events?

This does not appeal to an infinite regression of past events because, under Dr. Craig's proposal, God sans creation (that is, prior to God creating the universe) was timeless and changeless - there isn't an infinite number of past events. He had a "timeless desire to create." In other words, he always intended to create and 13.7 billion years ago (if you believe in Big Bang Cosmology) God, as a free-willed agent, put that into action. At t=0, he created the universe and entered into time at that moment.

Dr. Craig discusses this in Existence of God (part 13). I would read that to see if it answers some of your questions.

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Hobbes

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 03:31:34 am »
The eternal can't transcend itself. It is maximal.

Okay... I hate to be annoying here, but... why? What says that it can't? What says that 'The eternal' even exists? Just saying that there's a cap on something doesn't make it so, especially with something we, by definition, know nothing about.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 03:39:04 am by Hobbes »

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 03:34:21 am »
...besides, it the eternal can't exist, whats the ALTERNATIVE?

Well there's the real question, eh? You can't just say "What if you're wrong?" just because you can't comprehend anything else. You're using Pascal's Wager and a quick google search will let you know all of the issues with THAT particular argument.

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 03:38:32 am »
But I think its fair to say a personal cause provides a more satisfying explanation. And one which matches better with our real world experience (evidence) that things often do have intentional causes.

Finally, whether or not something is 'satisfying' has no effect on whether or not it is true. And I'm slightly confused as to your final argument there, is that the watchmaker? Everything that has been 'made' has a 'maker?' If so, that has also been debated into the ground, feel free to take a look around the internet for that one as well.

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Lion IRC

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 12:42:00 pm »
The eternal can't transcend itself. It is maximal.

Okay... I hate to be annoying here, but... why? What says that it can't? What says that 'The eternal' even exists? Just saying that there's a cap on something doesn't make it so, especially with something we, by definition, know nothing about.

Annoying? Why would your problem be annoying to anyone but you?

I am saying there is NO CAP (limit) on the perpetual/infinite/eternal/omnipotent.

What you are doing is asking why cant a circle have four sides or three 90 degree angles?

Here, lets start small-scale. Why can't the word atheist mean someone who believes in God?
Think on that and get back to me.

HINT - stay away from Google. It'll mess with your head. (Atheists rule the internet - Cult of Dusty)
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 12:44:35 pm by Lion IReniC »
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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 12:47:31 pm »
...besides, it the eternal can't exist, whats the ALTERNATIVE?

Well there's the real question, eh? You can't just say "What if you're wrong?" just because you can't comprehend anything else.

No. Thats just a rhetorical question. A koan, if you like.
I notice you struggled with it. LOL

I actually CAN comprehend the idea of painless, senseless oblivion/non-entity.
Coz it's in the bible.  ;D

You're using Pascal's Wager and a quick google search will let you know all of the issues with THAT particular argument.

Relax. I am not using Pascals Wager. Nor would I. I dont even like it. It's cheap and nasty - intended for intellectually lazy and ignorant folk.

But I think its fair to say a personal cause provides a more satisfying explanation. And one which matches better with our real world experience (evidence) that things often do have intentional causes.

Finally, whether or not something is 'satisfying' has no effect on whether or not it is true. And I'm slightly confused as to your final argument there, is that the watchmaker? Everything that has been 'made' has a 'maker?' If so, that has also been debated into the ground, feel free to take a look around the internet for that one as well.

Please read closely.
''its fair to say...''   If you find me claiming that "it is mandatory to say" then you can hook into me.

''a more satisfying explanation..."  Where in here do you see me making the claim that it is true? People (like you) are most welcome to have bizarre alternative explanations if you like. WAIT! I just noticed....you didnt even mention what your alternative explanation was? (See what I mean when I say more satisfying?)

''[an explanation] which matches better with our real world experience (evidence) that things often do have intentional causes...''  I'm sorry, I dont understand what you mean by the reference to ''watchmaker'' and I dont like being told that I need to compensate for YOUR lack of substance by running off and asking Google to fill in the gaps. I formally assert that we have evidence of things which are the result of intentional cause. Are you challenging that assertion? Wanna put your money where your mouth is?
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Hobbes

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 08:39:40 pm »
The eternal can't transcend itself. It is maximal.

Okay... I hate to be annoying here, but... why? What says that it can't? What says that 'The eternal' even exists? Just saying that there's a cap on something doesn't make it so, especially with something we, by definition, know nothing about.

Annoying? Why would your problem be annoying to anyone but you?

I am saying there is NO CAP (limit) on the perpetual/infinite/eternal/omnipotent.

What you are doing is asking why cant a circle have four sides or three 90 degree angles?

Here, lets start small-scale. Why can't the word atheist mean someone who believes in God?
Think on that and get back to me.

HINT - stay away from Google. It'll mess with your head. (Atheists rule the internet - Cult of Dusty)

My mistake, it seemed as though you were implying that there was a cap because of your usage of "maximal."
I don't *think* I was asking why a circle can't have four sides, so I apologize if that's how it was conveyed, and as far as why the word 'atheist' doesn't mean someone who believes in god is because that's the meaning we've attached to the word. Just as polytheism means a belief in many gods, monotheism is the belief in one god, and atheism is the non-belief in any gods. Also, I see nothing wrong with using google, as long as whatever one finds has provability and good sources that one could look up outside of the internet, if one so chose. I don't believe atheists rule the internet. Take this forum, for example.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 09:14:47 pm by Hobbes »

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 09:07:26 pm »
...besides, it the eternal can't exist, whats the ALTERNATIVE?

Well there's the real question, eh? You can't just say "What if you're wrong?" just because you can't comprehend anything else.

No. Thats just a rhetorical question. A koan, if you like.
I notice you struggled with it. LOL

I actually CAN comprehend the idea of painless, senseless oblivion/non-entity.
Coz it's in the bible.  ;D

You're using Pascal's Wager and a quick google search will let you know all of the issues with THAT particular argument.

Relax. I am not using Pascals Wager. Nor would I. I dont even like it. It's cheap and nasty - intended for intellectually lazy and ignorant folk.

But I think its fair to say a personal cause provides a more satisfying explanation. And one which matches better with our real world experience (evidence) that things often do have intentional causes.

Finally, whether or not something is 'satisfying' has no effect on whether or not it is true. And I'm slightly confused as to your final argument there, is that the watchmaker? Everything that has been 'made' has a 'maker?' If so, that has also been debated into the ground, feel free to take a look around the internet for that one as well.

Please read closely.
''its fair to say...''   If you find me claiming that "it is mandatory to say" then you can hook into me.

''a more satisfying explanation..."  Where in here do you see me making the claim that it is true? People (like you) are most welcome to have bizarre alternative explanations if you like. WAIT! I just noticed....you didnt even mention what your alternative explanation was? (See what I mean when I say more satisfying?)

''[an explanation] which matches better with our real world experience (evidence) that things often do have intentional causes...''  I'm sorry, I dont understand what you mean by the reference to ''watchmaker'' and I dont like being told that I need to compensate for YOUR lack of substance by running off and asking Google to fill in the gaps. I formally assert that we have evidence of things which are the result of intentional cause. Are you challenging that assertion? Wanna put your money where your mouth is?

Fair enough - let's see here.
I don't believe I struggled with the question, nor did I think it was rhetorical - the 'but if not God, what?' question is something that happens a lot, and I don't think it's a fair question. Just because we can't answer something (though we have our theories) doesn't mean that we jump to the idea of a god -- that's not convincing. The two things are unrelated. Lack of knowledge does not give evidence for a higher power, it only gives evidence to a lack of knowledge. I apologize for accusing you of using Pascals Wager, that's just what form the question seemed to be taking.

Also, I apologize for referencing google so much. It seemed to me that you were making arguments that have already been made before, and if there's one thing that's most infuriating on both sides, I'm sure, it's the repetition that is involved in arguments like this. Many of us use arguments that have already been argued, and it seems like a waste of everyone's time to have to go through each and every single detail.

When you said "it's fair to say," that's still an assertion, and I was simply replying to it. I wasn't attacking you for saying it was mandatory, I was simply responding to the assertion.

As far as your assertion of cause-effect, of course we have evidence of that. I can't deny that, it happens every day. However, it seems a leap to most atheists to say "I see cause and effect in my every day life. The universe must have been caused, therefore god." It's just not good enough evidence. Hell, it isn't really evidence at all.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 09:27:15 pm by Hobbes »

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Lion IRC

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2012, 09:09:22 pm »
...I don't believe atheists rule the internet. Take this forum, for example.

Me either. If I was an atheist, I'd be embarrassed to claim ''rulership'' of the internet.

Quote
...the price we pay for the internet's open democracy is the rubbish it contains...

...its content has to be audited for reliability, and a system of classification introduced...

...Without such expert monitoring, the internet will increasingly be a problem rather than a boon, and limited in educational value..

Lots of "dross" on the internet Mr Grayling?

Take it up with the "owners"
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Hobbes

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Re: Everything that has a beginning....
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2012, 09:17:04 pm »
...I don't believe atheists rule the internet. Take this forum, for example.
Me either. If I was an atheist, I'd be embarrassed to claim ''rulership'' of the internet.

Were we doing that to begin with?