Ruffen

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Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« on: July 22, 2013, 04:20:59 pm »
Hello, I'm new here. I've been watching some videos of William Lane Craig's argument against Lawrence Krauss' explanation of how a universe could arise from nothing.

Lane Craig counters this by saying that causality is a fundamental law, and absolutely everything must have a cause (except for God's existence apparently).

But if absolutely everything physical that happens must have a previous cause (which is the reason for concluding that the existence of the Universe must have a previous cause), every action I do, every word I say or write, everything that I have ever done or will ever do, is just an effect due to some earlier cause?

If so - can we then say that humans have free will? Wouldn't that mean a direct violation of the principle of causation if my arm can move without an unbroken chain of causality going back to the beginning of time?

If not - once one concludes that human actions do not need a previous physical reason, how can causality be used as an argument that the Universe could not have come into existence without a cause?

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Maxximiliann

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 05:52:45 pm »
Hello, I'm new here. I've been watching some videos of William Lane Craig's argument against Lawrence Krauss' explanation of how a universe could arise from nothing.

Lane Craig counters this by saying that causality is a fundamental law, and absolutely everything must have a cause (except for God's existence apparently).

But if absolutely everything physical that happens must have a previous cause (which is the reason for concluding that the existence of the Universe must have a previous cause), every action I do, every word I say or write, everything that I have ever done or will ever do, is just an effect due to some earlier cause?

If so - can we then say that humans have free will? Wouldn't that mean a direct violation of the principle of causation if my arm can move without an unbroken chain of causality going back to the beginning of time?

If not - once one concludes that human actions do not need a previous physical reason, how can causality be used as an argument that the Universe could not have come into existence without a cause?
Hiya Ruffen! Good to meet you! :)

First off, a clarification, if I may:

(1) Everything that exists has an objective explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
(A) If atheism is true, the universe has no objective explanation of its existence.
(B) If the universe has an objective explanation of its existence then atheism is false.


(2) The universe exists.
(3) The space-time universe does not exist out of the necessity of it’s own nature for it did not exist until 13.70 billion years ago.
(4) Therefore, the space-time universe exists because of an external cause.


(5) The external cause of the universe must necessarily be a beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being.
(6) A beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being is the definition of God.
(7) Therefore, the objective explanation of the universe's existence is God.


This is the argument being advanced.


Moving on to your question on free will, it appears you're misapprehending how free will works. To borrow from the brainchild of Harry Frankfurt, "so long as a person’s choice is causally undetermined, it is a free choice even if he is unable to choose the opposite of that choice.


Imagine a man with electrodes secretly implanted in his brain who is presented with the choice of doing A or B. The electrodes are inactive so long as the man chooses A; but if he were going to choose B, then the electrodes would switch on and force him to choose A. If the electrodes fire, causing him to choose A, his choice of A is clearly not a free choice. But suppose that the man really wants to do A and chooses of his own volition. In that case his choosing A is entirely free, even though the man is literally unable to choose B, since the electrodes do not function at all and so have no effect on his choice of A. What makes his choice free is the absence of any causally determining factors of his choosing A.


In other words, a limitation in the range of choices is not the same as having no choice at all. If A, B, and C are good choices, and D, E, and F are evil choices, one’s inability to choose D, E, or F does not negate the fact that he can choose A, B, or C.”


When you go to an Italian restaurant, they may only serve 12 out of 150 possible Italian dishes. The fact that you cannot choose 138 of those dishes does not negate the fact that you can choose any one of the 12 options before you. Likewise, God’s expectation that man act morally does not mean man lacks freedom of will. Hence, God is justified in expecting mankind to do good and punishing those who abuse their limited free will to do evil.
May the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory . . . give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him." -Ephesians 1:17

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Ruffen

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 07:59:23 pm »
Hiya Ruffen! Good to meet you! :)

First off, a clarification, if I may:

(1) Everything that exists has an objective explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
(A) If atheism is true, the universe has no objective explanation of its existence.
(B) If the universe has an objective explanation of its existence then atheism is false.


(2) The universe exists.
(3) The space-time universe does not exist out of the necessity of it’s own nature for it did not exist until 13.70 billion years ago.
(4) Therefore, the space-time universe exists because of an external cause.


(5) The external cause of the universe must necessarily be a beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being.
(6) A beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being is the definition of God.
(7) Therefore, the objective explanation of the universe's existence is God.


This is the argument being advanced.

Thank you for the welcome. :) I see multiple fallacies in that argument (for example if the Universe must have had an external cause, there is no reason to automatically assume that this cause must be a personal being).

But onto the topic of free will. I do see that I have had a slightly simplified impression of what William Lane Craig's concept of causality is about.

But is it then so that evil is a direct and unavoidable consequence of us having free will?

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Maxximiliann

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2013, 10:15:55 pm »
Hiya Ruffen! Good to meet you! :)

First off, a clarification, if I may:

(1) Everything that exists has an objective explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
(A) If atheism is true, the universe has no objective explanation of its existence.
(B) If the universe has an objective explanation of its existence then atheism is false.


(2) The universe exists.
(3) The space-time universe does not exist out of the necessity of it’s own nature for it did not exist until 13.70 billion years ago.
(4) Therefore, the space-time universe exists because of an external cause.


(5) The external cause of the universe must necessarily be a beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being.
(6) A beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being is the definition of God.
(7) Therefore, the objective explanation of the universe's existence is God.


This is the argument being advanced.

Thank you for the welcome. :) I see multiple fallacies in that argument (for example if the Universe must have had an external cause, there is no reason to automatically assume that this cause must be a personal being).
My pleasure! :)

Moving on to the issues you raise, allow me to fill in the gaps. “Ex nihilo nihil fit.” In other words, something can't come from nothing. (Not Hawking’s mendacious pseudo-definition of “nothing” but the concept that describes the absence of anything; the state of nonexistence.) If it could, why doesn't everything or anything? Why aren't dinosaurs, for instance, popping out of thin air, devouring everyone in sight? Why aren't we afraid of elephants suddenly popping into existence and crushing us as they fall from the sky? If nothing can in fact produce something why would it discriminate? Conspicuously, then, such an argument is laid bare as nothing more than fallacious special pleading.


Furthermore, from the whole of human experience, knowledge, wisdom, empiricism and discovery we’ve distilled other self-evident, irrefragable truths such as:


- A posteriori causality
- Being does not arise from nonbeing
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause
- Information does not spring from chaos
- Fine-tuning does not emanate from randomness




Given these unshakable abecedarian truths, the natural questions that follow are, “Where did the universe come from 13.70 billion years ago?” and “What caused it to come into existence in the first place?” Whatever this cause is, it must possess certain requisite properties.


Therefore -


(1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
(2) The space-time universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago.
(3) Therefore, the space-time universe has a cause.


(4) The cause of the universe is a transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being.
(5) A transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being is the definition of God.
(6) Therefore, God caused the universe to exist 13.70 billion years ago.




Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the premisses of this elegant syllogism. First and foremost, this cause must itself be uncaused. Why? Because an infinite regress of causes has no basis in reality; it can’t be turtles all the way down. (Lookup “Hilbert's Grand Hotel” if you're interested in a more in-depth analysis)


Second, this uncaused cause must transcend space-time because it itself created space-time. It is therefore, spaceless.


Third, since this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause. Why? Because physical things exist only in space – they have dimensions.


Fourth, this uncaused cause must necessarily also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn't exist in space-time.


Fifth, it must also be changeless. As I'm sure you're well aware, all matter exists in a state of constant flux. This is especially apparent at the atomic level. Since this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not subject to the same forces that affect matter, therefore, it is unchanging.


Sixth, this uncaused cause is obviously unimaginably powerful, if not omnipotent, for it brought matter, energy, space and time into existence completely on its own.


So, to sum up, whatever it is that caused the universe to come into existence 13.70 billion years ago it must be beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging and omnipotent.






But we're not done for there are two more properties of this uncaused cause that we can deduce from what we observe of the universe. Before we get to these, though, we first need to take a closer look at cause and effect. Here's what I mean: if a cause is sufficient to produce it's effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak; you can't have one without the other.


Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.”


The issue is, if we have in fact a timeless, transcendent cause why isn't the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless, transcendent cause actually brought the universe into being, why hasn't the universe always been? How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we've also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless.


The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.


Last but not least, this  beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent being must also be unimaginably good. Why? Suppose we concede for the sake of argument that he’s evil. Since this being is evil, that implies he fails to discharge his moral obligations. But where do those come from? How can this evil being have duties to perform which he is violating? Who forbids him to do the wrong things that he does? Immediately, we see that such an evil being cannot be supreme: there must be a being who is even higher than this evil being and is the source of the moral obligations which he chooses to shirk, a being which is absolute goodness himself. As such, there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful, all good and all loving; One who is the very paradigm of good.


So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13.70 billion years ago that is beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving.


This is the very definition - of God :)
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But is it then so that evil is a direct and unavoidable consequence of us having free will?

Not at all. Christ was tested to the death, yet, he never sucummbed to a single act of evil. This is why he's held up as the model for all to follow. (1 Peter 2:21)
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 10:19:00 pm by Maxximiliann »
May the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory . . . give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him." -Ephesians 1:17

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Ruffen

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 01:44:42 pm »
Furthermore, from the whole of human experience, knowledge, wisdom, empiricism and discovery we’ve distilled other self-evident, irrefragable truths such as:

- A posteriori causality
- Being does not arise from nonbeing
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause
- Information does not spring from chaos
- Fine-tuning does not emanate from randomness

Human experience and common sense is useless when talking about cutting edge science. Relativity (with time dilation and length contraction) does not make sense. Quantum physics definitely does not make sens. But they are both true.

However the "mechanism" that gave rise to the Universe works, I can almost certainly promise you that it will not adhere to "common sense" or "human experience, knowledge, wisdom, empiricism and discovery" anno 2013. If it is ever discovered it will be weird. People will say that "now science has lost its marbles" and call the theory crazy.

And what's then the odds of bronze-age peasants by luck getting everything right about the aspects of a being that caused the Universe?

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Maxximiliann

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2013, 10:42:07 am »
Human experience and common sense is useless when talking about cutting edge science. Relativity (with time dilation and length contraction) does not make sense. Quantum physics definitely does not make sens.
They make sense to me. For example, if the speed of light is constant with respect to all observers that necessarily means time and distance are relative to the observer.


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And what's then the odds of bronze-age peasants by luck getting everything right about the aspects of a being that caused the Universe?
0.00% but, then again, who says there was any luck involved?  :)
This is evidence of the Bible's preternatural origins and clear proof of God's necessary existence.



May the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory . . . give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him." -Ephesians 1:17

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ginobli2311

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 06:47:54 pm »
Both sides clearly think it is truly impossible to have nothing.  Otherwise...nothing would be all there is.  One side says God explains why there is anything at all.  The other side invokes more scientific reasonings like an eternal multiverse...etc.  Both explanations are essentially talking the same language.  The language of we all have no clue why there is something rather than nothing.

I find it ignorant for people to claim impossibilities though.  And I find that the theist is the one to often do this.  I hear that something can't come from absolute nothing.  How do you know that?  Have you ever taken the time to think about what it would do to your ideas if you knew that it was impossible to have absolute nothing?  If one thing science and the universe should have taught us...is that we know so little and that logic and reasoning are poor tools for understanding the cosmos.

No person ever born could have come up with quantum mechanics without evidence and experimentation.  The concept itself defies human logic and reasoning.

I think at this time in human history...it is fair to say that something outside our current knowledge of the universe is out there.  Whether that is God or something in nature we don't know about yet...who knows.  I just know we should all keep an open mind and not fall victim to the "God of the gaps" argument.  Which is what the theist is doing when they say things like..."nothing comes from nothing"...etc.  We simply don't know enough yet to make such statements.

As for the objective or absolute morality.  I don't find this argument convincing nor rather meaningful.  Craig says that he believe there is an objective right and wrong and you only get that with God.  Totally agree...without someone setting the rules...there is no absolute morality.  There is only subjective morality from the human perspective.  While that may seem unpleasant...it simply might be true.  As humans we find the rape of an innocent girl wrong, but that is simply as humans.  Someone setting the rules might think differently...

And this is where Craig loses me.  He claims that the argument of evil doesn't hold up because we don't know God's plan.  It may be that only in this universe can the most souls come to know and love God and thus reach eternal salvation.  Here is the problem with that;

Craig essentially invokes the notion of the ends justify the means.  He's arguing that God is justified in creating a world in which such evil exists because in the end the highest number of souls will be saved.  So then there is no objective morality in the sense Craig claims.  Because on that worldview...the Holocaust might serve a greater good and would no be objectively wrong.  If, due to the Holocaust, 1 billion souls end up being saved....then the murder of 100 million justifies it.  Because God is outside time and space and can see the whole picture...he created a universe in which he knew the Holocaust would happen every time.  So either the ends justify the means, or Craig loses his stance on an absolute morality.  Therefore, even with God...Craig has no basis to claim something as objectively right or wrong.  Because on that view...we just simply have no idea how many people each action in the world will end up leading people to God. 

Which begs the question.  Is it objectively moral to create a universe in which the Holocaust is going to happen?  If yes, then the ends justify the means and the objective morality Craig speaks of is not valid in my opinion.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 06:52:50 pm by ginobli2311 »

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Maxximiliann

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2013, 09:18:26 pm »
I just know we should all keep an open mind and not fall victim to the "God of the gaps" argument.  Which is what the theist is doing when they say things like..."nothing comes from nothing"...etc.
Please explain how "the absence of anything" produces something.



Now mind you, I'm not positing a so-called "God of the gaps," to explain gaps in our scientific knowledge. Rather, my argument is based upon the best of what we do know in science. The premise that the universe began to exist is not a religious declaration nor a theological one. You can find that statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported, as we've seen, by the vast majority of cosmologists today.


So I'm simply saying that the best scientific evidence we have today supports the truth of that premise. And from that, the rest of the deductive argument follows. So in no way is this an appeal to ignorance, to try to punt to God to explain what we don't understand. It is a natural conclusion from the logical validity of the preceding premisses. In other words, it's simple, mundane logic.


As Physicist and Mathematician James Clerk Maxwell put it, “Science is incompetent to reason upon the creation of matter itself out of nothing. We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created.”


Waitaminute! No natural process caused our spacetime universe to come into existence 13.70 billion years ago?


If the universe didn't come from nothing, where did the subatomic singularity which birthed our space-time universe come from?


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And this is where Craig loses me

In order for your conclusion to be rational you need to prove there is no good reason God might have for temporarily permitting suffering in the world. Can you?



May the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory . . . give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him." -Ephesians 1:17

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ginobli2311

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2013, 08:19:24 am »
I will try to explain this as best I can.  I don't have to prove anything.  I am not stating a certainty like you are.  You need to prove how it is impossible for the absence of anything is possible to even exist to begin with.  Please explain how you know that it is possible to have the type of "nothing" you are talking about. 

It seems to me that before something like relativity or quantum mechanics...somebody in your place could have said it is impossible for time to be relative and that two things can't be in the same place at the same time...etc.

My answer is simple.  I have no idea.  It's an honest answer.  We simply don't know what the first cause was or if there even is one.  What I do know, is that claiming that God is outside time and space...and eternal...leaves open the possibility that something else could be outside time and space and be eternal.  And the statement that it must be a conscious mind is not based on any evidence at all.  So it's a point that holds no water.

You are absolutely using the God of the gaps.  We don't have enough information to claim what you do.  I'm not debating whether or not our universe began to exist.  I don't think we know enough to empirically claim such, but I'll gladly concede that for this conversation.  I'm asking you on what basis are you claiming to know that something else doesn't exist out there in the cosmos that is eternal and has the power to create our universe?  You call that potential God.  I might call it an eternal cosmic energy that is outside of time and space.  Krauss calls it the eternal multiverse.

On what basis do you claim to know that it is possible to have absolute nothing?  You can't settle things like the beginning of our universe with word play.  It's not a philosophical issue.  It's a scientific one...or I should say that it is way too early to abandon science in favor of the supernatural.  Have we learned nothing from history?  Physics is so young...it hasn't had it's Darwin.  Maybe it never will, but going from our ignorance of how the our universe came into being to..."it must be God"...is a slippery slope argument at best.

I struggle to see how you can't see the crazy logic.  You keep asking what caused this and what caused that.  Yet would then answer that God is without cause if asked the same question.  So again...on what basis do you claim to know that God is without cause, but some type of immaterial energy outside of time and space can't be?  The notion that the cause of the material world must be a mind is just not well founded.

As to the point about suffering.  You actually make my point for me.  You are just spitting out what Craig says and again it holds no water.  If God temporarily allows suffering for a good reason...then the objective morality that Craig talks about does not exist.  Again...then any action that leads to the result God wants is deemed moral.  This is simply an argument for the "ends justify the means"...so on no basis can Craig call rape or the Holocaust objectively wrong...even with invoking God.  I totally agree that if God exists...whatever God says is right...is right.  But that really isn't what Craig is arguing.  He's saying that there are certain objective or absolute rights and wrongs...and he uses the rape of a child as an example of being objectively wrong.  But on his worldview...if that rape were to lead to the most souls finding God and being saved...then it is no longer objectively wrong.  Because if it were...then God would be in the wrong for allowing such action because God created a universe in which objectively immoral acts would always happen.  Which begs the question...is it moral to create a universe in which rape will not only happen, but happen every single day?  I totally agree that God might have good reason to allow rape, but then there is no objective morality in the sense Craig is talking about.  It would all be about the end game.  If a rape leads 1,000 souls to salvation while a lack of rape only led to 100 saved souls...is it objectively wrong?  Seems to me that Craig is simply using a human subjectivity to judge and that is comical considering he accuses others of having no right to call something right or wrong. 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 08:27:37 am by ginobli2311 »

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Maxximiliann

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2013, 09:36:00 pm »
And the statement that it must be a conscious mind is not based on any evidence at all.


Here's the crux of the matter: if a cause is sufficient to produce it's effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak; you can't have one without the other.


Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.”


The issue is, if we have in fact a timeless, transcendent cause why isn't the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless, transcendent cause actually brought the universe into being, why hasn't the universe always been? How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we've also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless.


The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.


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I'm asking you on what basis are you claiming to know that something else doesn't exist out there in the cosmos that is eternal and has the power to create our universe?
The Creator of the universe has explained he is the sole cause for our existence and the existence of the universe. How has he communicated this? Through the Bible.


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Because if it were...then God would be in the wrong for allowing such action because God created a universe in which objectively immoral acts would always happen.
I'm sorry but your contention is an argumentum reductio ad absurdum fallacy. Here's why.



May the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory . . . give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him." -Ephesians 1:17

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ginobli2311

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2013, 08:14:55 am »
I'm sorry, but you have no basis to make those claims.  You simply have no idea or evidence to support that something eternal must be transcendent.  And you also have no basis to make the statement..."it is possible to have absolute nothing"

So you are left with an argument that holds no water.  You are unfortunately falling victim to what many religious people do...you are pretending to know things you can't possibly know.  These things can't be solved with words.  They are scientific questions.

Again.  Please tell me how you know that it is even possible in reality to have the "absolute nothing" that you speak of? 

Also, if time did not exist before it came into existence.  Then I think part of your argument falls apart.  There essentially isn't a before the Big Bang...because before implies time.  If time does not exist...how can you have a sequence of events?  I feel like you run up against the same problem with God. 

My point is that there is just way too much mystery surrounding the origins of the cosmos to make any claims.  And certainly going to a mind outside of time and space isn't solving the issue.  What evidence do you have to make a claim that a mind can exist without a physical brain to ground it? 

And I don't follow how using the Bible is any evidence at all about creation.  When backed into a corner about how you know there isn't something else out there that gave rise to what we call our universe...you respond with.."because God said so in the Bible"...do you really believe this is an appropriate response?  The answer, of course, is that you don't know.  You have no clue.  Just like me.  We, as humans, simply don't know at this point...and that is okay.  I just really struggle to grasp how you think claiming the Bible to be the word of God should be accepted as a valid argument.  I would never say the cause of the universe could not be God...that is absurd.  But you seem to say that God must be the cause of the universe.  I don't want to speak for you.  So if you could address this point.  Are you saying that through your research and education and study that you have come to the conclusion that you find it more probable that God created the universe?  Or are you saying that through the above that you are claiming certainty that God created the universe?  I think the distinction between the two is important.

Let me be clear.  I'm not even really on a side in these debates.  I am simply against anyone pretending to know things they can't possibly know.  I would call myself an agnostic that leans slightly toward atheism.  However, you really must check yourself when you start making empirical claims about things you simply can't possibly know...and then using your holy book as evidence takes it to another level.  All I have to say (not saying I believe this) is that I don't take the Bible to be the word of God.  And that destroys the argument from Bible in one sentence.  You see?  I could come back and say I have a holy book that states that it is impossible to have absolute nothing and that something has always existed in nature and it is that something that created the event of the Big Bang.  In no way is your ancient text more important than any other.  You are just biased.

You miss my point about the objective morality.  The point was not about God allowing suffering.  I even stated that God might have good reason to allow suffering.  My issue is that Craig's response to the argument of evil negates his stance on objective morality.  Craig argues that God has sufficient reason to allow suffering...therefore claiming that it is actually moral in the end to create a universe in which this much suffering will happen because it will lead the most possible souls to heaven or salvation.

So please follow this logic through.  If that creation of a universe full of suffering is a moral act because it leads the maximum number of souls to salvation...then any action in that universe that leads the maximum number of souls to salvation is also a moral act.  Therefore...on no worldview or basis can Craig claim that it is objectively wrong to rape an innocent girl without knowing the end game impact of such action.  Again...if the rape of an innocent girl leads to 1,000 souls being saved and the non rape of said girl leads to only 100 saved souls...on what basis is that action said to be wrong?  Certainly not on the worldview of Craig or you...you both just got done arguing that God has sufficient reason to allow evil on the basis that this is the best universe to get the most people to salvation.  That is the true logical fallacy I'm sorry to say. 

Again.  I'm not using this inconsistency in you and Craig's thinking as proof that God does not exist.  I'm saying that you and Craig have no basis to claim the objective morality you do.  Lets try it this way.  Lets agree that God exists.  Let's also agree that because God exists...there is an absolute morality or objective morality because God is outside time and space and all powerful and all knowing...so anything he says is right...is right.  Ok...so we would all totally agree so far.  So then to explain the problem of evil...Craig states;

"We are not in a good position to assess the probability of whether God has morally sufficient reasons for the evils that occur"..."In order to achieve His ends, God may have to put up with certain evils along the way. Evils which appear pointless to us within our limited framework may be seen to have been justly permitted within God’s wider framework"

So how on what basis are you claiming something to be objectively wrong?  Craig goes on to state that he knows an absolute morality exists because he feels it deep down.  Sorry, that isn't enough.  In fact, that claim in and of itself jumps from the absolute or objective to the subjective.  Even if every human felt that it was wrong to kill a dog...that would not make it objectively wrong.  That would make it subjectively wrong from a humans viewpoint.  He wants to say that the rape of an innocent girl is wrong no matter what.  Why?  If that action leads to the most souls knowing God...then how can it be wrong on his worldview?  He just justified the problem of evil with "the ends justify the means"


You can't explain away the argument of evil by means of the end justifies the means...and then call any action right or wrong without knowing the end result.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 04:47:36 pm by ginobli2311 »

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Maxximiliann

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2013, 10:36:17 pm »
I'm sorry, but you have no basis to make those claims.  You simply have no idea or evidence to support that something eternal must be transcendent. 

“Ex nihilo nihil fit.” In other words, something can't come from nothing. (Not Hawking’s mendacious pseudo-definition of “nothing” but the concept that describes the absence of anything; the state of nonexistence.) If it could, why doesn't everything or anything? Why aren't dinosaurs, for instance, popping out of thin air, devouring everyone in sight? Why aren't we afraid of elephants suddenly popping into existence and crushing us as they fall from the sky? If nothing can in fact produce something why would it discriminate? Conspicuously, then, such an argument is laid bare as nothing more than fallacious special pleading.


Furthermore, from the whole of human experience, knowledge, wisdom, empiricism and discovery we’ve distilled other self-evident, irrefragable truths such as:


- A posteriori causality
- Being does not arise from nonbeing
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause
- Information does not spring from chaos
- Fine-tuning does not emanate from randomness




Given these unshakable abecedarian truths, the natural questions that follow are, “Where did the universe come from 13.70 billion years ago?” and “What caused it to come into existence in the first place?” Whatever this cause is, it must possess certain requisite properties.


Therefore -


(1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
(2) The space-time universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago.
(3) Therefore, the space-time universe has a cause.


(4) The cause of the universe is a transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being.
(5) A transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being is the definition of God.
(6) Therefore, God caused the universe to exist 13.70 billion years ago.




Now, let’s perlustrate each of the premisses of this elegant syllogism. First and foremost, this cause must itself be uncaused. Why? Because an infinite regress of causes has no basis in reality; it can’t be turtles all the way down. (Lookup “Hilbert's Grand Hotel” if you're interested in a more in-depth analysis.)


Second, this uncaused cause must transcend space-time because it itself created space-time. It is therefore, spaceless.


Third, since this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause. Why? Because physical things exist only in space – they have dimensions.


Fourth, this uncaused cause must necessarily also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn't exist in space-time.


Fifth, it must also be changeless. As I'm sure you're well aware, all matter exists in a state of constant flux. This is especially apparent at the atomic level. Since this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not subject to the same forces that affect matter, therefore, it is unchanging.


Sixth, this uncaused cause is obviously unimaginably powerful, if not omnipotent, for it brought matter, energy, space and time into existence completely on its own.


So, to sum up, whatever it is that caused the universe to come into existence 13.70 billion years ago it must be beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging and omnipotent.






But we're not done for there are two more properties of this uncaused cause that we can deduce from what we observe of the universe. Before we get to these, though, we first need to take a closer look at cause and effect. Here's what I mean: if a cause is sufficient to produce it's effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak; you can't have one without the other.


Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.”


The issue is, if we have in fact a timeless, transcendent cause why isn't the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless, transcendent cause actually brought the universe into being, why hasn't the universe always been? How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we've also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless.


The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.


Last but not least, this  beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent being must also be unimaginably good. Why? Suppose we concede for the sake of argument that he’s evil. Since this being is evil, that implies he fails to discharge his moral obligations. But where do those come from? How can this evil being have duties to perform which he is violating? Who forbids him to do the wrong things that he does? Immediately, we see that such an evil being cannot be supreme: there must be a being who is even higher than this evil being and is the source of the moral obligations which he chooses to shirk, a being which is absolute goodness himself. As such, there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful, all good and all loving; One who is the very paradigm of good.


So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13.70 billion years ago that is beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving.


This is the very definition - of God :)

May the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory . . . give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him." -Ephesians 1:17

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Maxximiliann

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2013, 10:43:47 pm »
do you really believe this is an appropriate response?
Given all the available evidence that firmly buttress it, why not?


Quote
If that creation of a universe full of suffering is a moral act because it leads the maximum number of souls to salvation...then any action in that universe that leads the maximum number of souls to salvation is also a moral act.
That is not the argument I've presented, therefore, I have nothing to say on the matter.



May the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory . . . give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him." -Ephesians 1:17

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ginobli2311

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 06:53:37 am »
I'm sorry, but you have no basis to make those claims.  You simply have no idea or evidence to support that something eternal must be transcendent. 

“Ex nihilo nihil fit.” In other words, something can't come from nothing. (Not Hawking’s mendacious pseudo-definition of “nothing” but the concept that describes the absence of anything; the state of nonexistence.) If it could, why doesn't everything or anything? Why aren't dinosaurs, for instance, popping out of thin air, devouring everyone in sight? Why aren't we afraid of elephants suddenly popping into existence and crushing us as they fall from the sky? If nothing can in fact produce something why would it discriminate? Conspicuously, then, such an argument is laid bare as nothing more than fallacious special pleading.


Furthermore, from the whole of human experience, knowledge, wisdom, empiricism and discovery we’ve distilled other self-evident, irrefragable truths such as:


- A posteriori causality
- Being does not arise from nonbeing
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause
- Information does not spring from chaos
- Fine-tuning does not emanate from randomness




Given these unshakable abecedarian truths, the natural questions that follow are, “Where did the universe come from 13.70 billion years ago?” and “What caused it to come into existence in the first place?” Whatever this cause is, it must possess certain requisite properties.


Therefore -


(1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
(2) The space-time universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago.
(3) Therefore, the space-time universe has a cause.


(4) The cause of the universe is a transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being.
(5) A transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being is the definition of God.
(6) Therefore, God caused the universe to exist 13.70 billion years ago.




Now, let’s perlustrate each of the premisses of this elegant syllogism. First and foremost, this cause must itself be uncaused. Why? Because an infinite regress of causes has no basis in reality; it can’t be turtles all the way down. (Lookup “Hilbert's Grand Hotel” if you're interested in a more in-depth analysis.)


Second, this uncaused cause must transcend space-time because it itself created space-time. It is therefore, spaceless.


Third, since this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause. Why? Because physical things exist only in space – they have dimensions.


Fourth, this uncaused cause must necessarily also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn't exist in space-time.


Fifth, it must also be changeless. As I'm sure you're well aware, all matter exists in a state of constant flux. This is especially apparent at the atomic level. Since this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not subject to the same forces that affect matter, therefore, it is unchanging.


Sixth, this uncaused cause is obviously unimaginably powerful, if not omnipotent, for it brought matter, energy, space and time into existence completely on its own.


So, to sum up, whatever it is that caused the universe to come into existence 13.70 billion years ago it must be beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging and omnipotent.






But we're not done for there are two more properties of this uncaused cause that we can deduce from what we observe of the universe. Before we get to these, though, we first need to take a closer look at cause and effect. Here's what I mean: if a cause is sufficient to produce it's effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak; you can't have one without the other.


Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.”


The issue is, if we have in fact a timeless, transcendent cause why isn't the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless, transcendent cause actually brought the universe into being, why hasn't the universe always been? How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we've also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless.


The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.


Last but not least, this  beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent being must also be unimaginably good. Why? Suppose we concede for the sake of argument that he’s evil. Since this being is evil, that implies he fails to discharge his moral obligations. But where do those come from? How can this evil being have duties to perform which he is violating? Who forbids him to do the wrong things that he does? Immediately, we see that such an evil being cannot be supreme: there must be a being who is even higher than this evil being and is the source of the moral obligations which he chooses to shirk, a being which is absolute goodness himself. As such, there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful, all good and all loving; One who is the very paradigm of good.


So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13.70 billion years ago that is beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving.


This is the very definition - of God :)

Well.  We will just have to disagree.  I do not accept the premises...as I explained before.  Again...how do you know that absolute nothing is even possible?  You don't...therefore you can't make virtually every claim you do.  You have no evidence that a mind can exist without a brain.  You have no evidence for virtually anything you say actually.  Which is the problem when stating absolutes...you simply don't know.

Like I said before, that is okay.  Neither do I.

I like the Cosmological Argument, but we have to grant things in the premises that we simply don't know yet.  And actually have good reason to be very skeptical of.  If we grant those things you need to make your argument?  I very much find it logical and rational and supported by evidence.  So I don't want to come off as if I don't agree with very much of what you say.  My point is that you/me/we don't have sufficient reason to accept the premises and because of that...can't draw the many conclusions you do.

What is your stance on objective morality?  Do you agree with Craig?

You disputed my stance earlier...now you aren't I guess.  Craig explains the argument of evil away by saying God might have good reason to allow such suffering to get a desired end result.  Which I thought you said you agreed with.  Again, I totally agree with Craig here.  I don't think evil is evidence against God actually like many do.  I think it is perfectly reasonable for evil to exist with God.  My stance is that Craig's explanation of God being moral in creating the universe because it leads the most people to know him...negates his stance on absolute/objective morality.

I again agree here with Craig that if God exists...so does an absolute morality.  But...because ultimately any action can be good or bad on his "the ends justify the means" worldview...nobody can judge an action without knowing the end result on the worldview that Craig proposes.  Therefore he has no right on his worldview to call the rape of an innocent girl objectively wrong because he doesn't know the end result.  By his very own words..."the ends justify the means"

Take a look at this quote from Craig.  This might illustrate my point a little better;

"The brutal murder of an innocent man or a child’s dying of leukemia could produce a sort of ripple effect through history such that God’s morally sufficient reason for permitting it might not emerge until centuries later and perhaps in another land."

Do you see my point that this quote illustrates?  If God is morally right to allow the brutal murder of an innocent man because it creates a greater good in the end...then how is it objectively wrong for such an action to take place?  It's simply not on Craig's worldview and he contradicts himself here by jumping back into his human subjectivity when he claims that we all know some actions are just wrong.  That feeling is the very definition of human subjectivity.  I totally agree that some actions are just wrong from a human perspective, but that doesn't make them objectively wrong.  Especially on Craig's worldview in which he proposes God's moral reasons for permitting such actions.


No, the Bible is not supported by the evidence well enough to use..."because it says so in the Bible" as a valid argument.  That is absurd.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 07:50:39 am by ginobli2311 »

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Maxximiliann

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Re: Does free will exist in William Lane Craig's universe?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 03:55:45 pm »
I do not accept the premises...as I explained before.  Again...how do you know that absolute nothing is even possible? 
Which, if any, of the premises presented is false or implausible?


Quote
What is your stance on objective morality?

(1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
(2) Evil exists.
(3) Therefore, objective moral values and duties do exist.
(4) Therefore, God exists.
(5) Therefore, God is the locus of all objective moral values and duties.


In other words, as Dostoevsky once mused, "If there is no God, everything is permitted."


Quote
No, the Bible is not supported by the evidence well enough to use
Argumentum ad lapidem. You’ve done nothing to dispel the arguments presented nor the facts that support them.
May the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory . . . give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him." -Ephesians 1:17