Rob Heusdens

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Re: Understanding my lecture notes - Dawkins asks 'Who made God?'
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2014, 05:55:14 am »
Dawkins is a biologist. He is talking about things he is not specialized. His question assumes that God must be made by someone and he never gives any arguments to support his claim.

Dawkins does not assume that. The point he tries to make is to say that when your logic insists that the total universe must have a cause, you can not at once break that same logic and say that the cause of the universe is somehow god, and (by special pleading) require that god does not have to have a cause for it's existence. Since, if you have that point of view (if you allow for existing things/entities which don't need a cause for their existence), you could already eliminate that the universe must have a cause, and leave it as that.

Why invent something outside of that, if ultimately the result is the same: some 'thing' is uncaused. The universe has no cause because it is not even a 'thing'. It doesn't exist like other 'things' in the universe, for which there are other things, which thus have objective relations between each other. The universe is the total ensemble of all 'things' and so it has nothing outside itself.

So the principle you arive at, that there must be some 'thing' that has no cause of it's own, is correct, but that principle is not an entity (i.e. 'God')  but simply must apply for the universe itself. While any part of the universe can have and must have a cause for it's existence, that doesn't apply for the whole ensemble.

That is something the theists simply never get.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 06:00:20 am by Rob Heusdens »

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Rob Heusdens

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Re: Understanding my lecture notes - Dawkins asks 'Who made God?'
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2014, 06:09:13 am »
If you ask to borrow a book from me and I say I do not have it but I have a friend that will let me borrow it, and that friend says the same to another friend, and on and on, then it is true that you will never get the book therefore infinite regress is implausible.

1)   By definition, every dependant thing needs something to depend on
2)   The universe (the sum total of dependant things), is a dependant thing
3)   Therefore, the universe needs something to depend upon (i.e. God)

I know no other un-caused caused that is backed up by archaeology and scripture - 5600 new testaments which is more than any other historical secular or other religious writings. Without sounding rude (I do not mean to be rude), does primordial cosmic "chaos" have this with millions of believers across the globe? Thomas Aquinas: If God exists, then He can’t have been created – but the same thing can’t be said of the universe…
even

Your logic makes no sense. The universe as a whole does not depend on anything outside of itself, since if that were the case, that should already have been included in your definition of the whole universe, and you simply didn't apply the definition well enough.

You must simply get rid of the idea that the universe is a 'thing' - it is not. A thing in the universe has other things outside of itself, and therefore has objective relations which realities outside of itself. Therefore such a 'thing' can be said to be objectively related, there are objective relations. Amongst them, material causes for the existence of that 'thing'.

Such does not apply any longer for the whole ensemble of 'things' which we call 'the universe'. All 'things' all causal and objective relations only exist within that totality, and so it is meaningless to think of causes outside of that. As soon as you do, you are no longer thinking about the concept of 'universe' as the totality of all existing things, all of reality, but of something else.

And as a further note, please step outside of other notions of 'universe' in which 'universe' doesn't  mean the whole, because in many literature today the word 'universe' is used in different contexts in which it no longer means the totality, the whole, or all of reality. Which causes some confusion.

[ In "object-oriented programming jargon" we could say that the name "universe" is overloaded ]

« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 06:17:01 am by Rob Heusdens »

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Rob Heusdens

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Re: Understanding my lecture notes - Dawkins asks 'Who made God?'
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2014, 09:21:27 am »
"If every explanation needs an explanation, then talking about anything being the cause of something else will lead to infinite regress."
Not if God was the cause for something and God is not caused therefore the regress stops there.

You could already say that the whole of reality, the universe, doesn't have a cause, and since everything exists in the universe, there is no cause outside of the universe. Causes only exist inside the universe. The universe doesn't have an outside.

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joppe

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Re: Understanding my lecture notes - Dawkins asks 'Who made God?'
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2014, 03:09:41 pm »
Dawkins does not assume that. The point he tries to make is to say that when your logic insists that the total universe must have a cause, you can not at once break that same logic and say that the cause of the universe is somehow god, and (by special pleading) require that god does not have to have a cause for it's existence.

He is assuming that. The point I tried to make is that if the universe did have a beginning then it must have a cause. So what Dawkins has to prove is that God (assuming He exists) must have cause in order for Dawkins question to even be valid.
Saying you 'merely lack belief' in God while arguing for naturalism is the same as saying you 'don't have a political opinion' while praising a political party.

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Rob Heusdens

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Re: Understanding my lecture notes - Dawkins asks 'Who made God?'
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2014, 04:39:30 pm »

He is assuming that. The point I tried to make is that if the universe did have a beginning then it must have a cause. So what Dawkins has to prove is that God (assuming He exists) must have cause in order for Dawkins question to even be valid.

Physicists like Hawking have for a time entertained the idea that the universe could have had a beginningless begin in the analogous way as the the first moment of time is like the northpole on the globe, so in a configuration in which time when going backwards in time and moving closer to the beginning becomes more spacelike, and it would be nonsensical to ask what comes before the beginning (it would be like asking what is north of the northpole).

It would be - according to Hawking - a beginningless begin and therefore also causeless begin.

The only difference with Craig is that Craig insists we must give such an universe an external 'effective' cause, but that 'cause' exists in no space, time or any physical substance, is thus only something in the mind, a personal agent that 'created' the universe at will. The effective universe would however be the same, and in no physical determinable way (or for that matter, in any real way) different then the universe of Hawkings. The difference also between Craig's universe and Hawkings universe is a difference that amounts to nothing.

In my point of view - after 'constructing' the idea of the universe as the 'totality of everything' - there is no room to say that the universe has a cause because the universe has nothing external to it, it is selfsufficient and contains within itself al the material casuses for it's being. Such a universe thus does not need to have a cause and is causeless. And the only way I can think of it is if the universe is eternal and infinite in spacetime. So without beginning or end and without limit in the bounds of spacetime and material content, with the exception though that there can't be an infinite mount of 'stuff'' (energy) in a finite space, so there is no 'singularity'.

Now, after expanding on that, back to the Dawkins question 'Who made God?' - the reasoning that goes on beyond normal (i.e. physical causation) to ponder that the universe itself must somehow have a cause, is some weird thought. Because the thought origininates from a thinker who him or herself exists within an existing world, and takes parts in the causality of things. To bring up a thought that abstracts from that chain of causation, and so-to-say looks beyond that, is to say that an observer point of view would be possible for some mind, that exists beyond matter,space and time. To do that, you first have to eliminate yourself from the causal chain of things, which is the way in which you exist and the way in which you can have a mind and thoughts.

The point I am making thus is that you can not abstract yourself from that and look beyond the chain of causality, outiside of the world so to say, because you would have to first nulify yourself so to speak.

These kind of thoughts, in which the mind abstracts from the world and of itself, is nothing else as alienated thought (and most of philosophy and religion can be exposed as having such a form of alienation). So the creation of the idea of God then is nothing else as (human) mind alienating and abstracting from itself.

Which is thus merely saying that the idea of God is nothing else as self-alienation of the mind. The mind itself is however a real process, that exists within space, time and matter, and could not exist beyond that.






« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 05:15:25 pm by Rob Heusdens »

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Jon S

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Re: Understanding my lecture notes - Dawkins asks 'Who made God?'
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2014, 05:12:27 pm »
Obviously there is a form of the argument that does fall pray to Dawkins' logic. 

So lets say your argument is:

1) everything that exists had a cause
2) the universe began to exist
3) the cause of the universe must be god.

This is a bad argument (among other reasons) because then there's the question "What is the cause of God."

So what any first cause argument has to do is define a set of things that must have a cause, and that set must include the universe and exclude God.  If the distinction fails, the argument fails.

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Rob Heusdens

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Re: Understanding my lecture notes - Dawkins asks 'Who made God?'
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2014, 05:38:45 pm »
Obviously there is a form of the argument that does fall pray to Dawkins' logic. 

So lets say your argument is:

1) everything that exists had a cause
2) the universe began to exist
3) the cause of the universe must be god.

This is a bad argument (among other reasons) because then there's the question "What is the cause of God."

So what any first cause argument has to do is define a set of things that must have a cause, and that set must include the universe and exclude God.  If the distinction fails, the argument fails.

Yep.

But that will always have to entertain some 'special pleading' in order to make the invented entity (i.e. 'god') immune from the same logic that invents it.

You could ponder for instance as follows: we know that there is a universe that contains numerous things (objects, entities) which are physical and they all are contingent, and thus must have effective causes that explain their existence.
Now, that would cause then immediately some past eternal chain of causation. Appying some 'special logic' that that can't be the case (*), one comes up with an invented being that would form the first cause without itself having a need of a cause. If that being would need a cause, it would be useless, since we would not get rid then of the past eternal chain of causation, one horrifies.

However, the proper definition of the universe is that it contains every possible existing physical reality within the same spacetime. (other disconnected physical realities, are then understood as not being part of the universe, since there is even in principle no possible way of that affecting our reality in any meaningfull way, so we can safely reject this hypothetical option).

Hence you can not think of anything that exists outside of the universe, according to that definition.
Of course, if one restricts the definition of universe to observable universe, that may not be true. Most cosmologists assume that outside of the cosmological horizon there is more universe.

Therefore there is no (outside) cause for the existence of the universe, because all physical causes exist within the universe.
To pose or assume some 'outside' (unphysical) 'effective' cause, is merely an unneccasary construction, since the universe all ready is self contained, all causes are already there within the universe, and no outside 'causes' are needed in such a case.
That however also implies that the universe is past eternal and infinite in space and time. (**)
However, there can not be an accumulation of an infinite amount of matter or energy within a finite spacetime. That would imply an 'actual infinite'. Infinity of space and/or time does not imply actual infinities.

Note:
(*) The logic that a past eternal chain of events would involve 'actual infinities'. However this argument can be proven false. The infinite past eternal time line does not involve actual infinities (since these moments of time do not occur 'at the same moment' and are therefore not 'actual' but sequential, and any measurement of duratiion always yield a finite measure, hence no logical contradiction occurs).
(**) Acc. to our current understanding of the cosmos and physical theory, such is not excluded from being possible, Only some models may be excluded based on the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorema, which says that a region of spacetime that was on average always expanding, cannot have a past eternal geodesic (i.e. it would have a begin in time). So there are ways to go around that, or the theorema might be disproven or reformulated based on some future more complete understanding of quantum, gravity.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 05:50:07 pm by Rob Heusdens »

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Re: Understanding my lecture notes - Dawkins asks 'Who made God?'
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2018, 03:19:17 pm »
Is it REALLY "absurd" to accept that a God created the Universe and us? It is not necessarily impossible logically. What IS absurd is if one maintains a Speciesistic attitude toward forms of L/life beyond our own--such that all other life which might exist OUGHT to be similar to ours. That is being Humancentric--a type of prejudice added in recent decades to the growing List of those FORBIDDEN in today's political climate.

As for the Infinite Regression objection, is it an "absurdity"  that prevents one from accepting God Exists?  Not necessarily. 

What if Infinite Regression does not function as it appears? What if it actually proved to be what might be termed "infinite self-regress"? In other words, what if instead of the process of Infinite Regression being separate from God, where the Being is but one more traveller in the Rabbit Hole, what if it is a fundamental Component of God, where It IS the Rabbit Hole? In this interpretation, God serves as Its own Effect and Cause.  Yes, an Entity whose Existence is made possible by a Feedback Loop.

The first Component: Reason. God causes things to exist or cease to exist for a Reason.  Logically, even Reason itself exists for a Reason.  That is, the Ability to Reason exists for a Reason.  So, from whence does it come? It is the product of another Component:  Mind.  But, even this Component exists for a  Reason. What is that Reason? To generate Thoughts which lead to Actions. (Most basically:  Want vs. Not Want, to Create, to Maintain, or to Damage, or Destroy.) Thus, we see that, ultimately, God's Existence is made possible by a perpetually symbiotic relationship between Reason and Mind, in which Each is a Cause for and Effect of the Other.  The existence of all else which might be logically possible is dependent upon this.

Finally, as for it being "absurd" to think God can bring Mattergy into Existence by an Act of Will, how does the one making this claim know?  Obviously, it would be entirety possible--if God were a psychokinetic Being.  Just because we cannot do so, why would It not be able to?  To believe God cannot because we cannot exposes you to the risk, again, of being guilty of the prejudice of Speciesism.

It is time to grow out of that.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 12:37:50 pm by Jeff.Reinharcz »

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Lttlwing16

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Re: Understanding my lecture notes - Dawkins asks 'Who made God?'
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2018, 09:01:38 pm »
If you ask to borrow a book from me and I say I do not have it but I have a friend that will let me borrow it, and that friend says the same to another friend, and on and on, then it is true that you will never get the book therefore infinite regress is implausible.

1)   By definition, every dependant thing needs something to depend on
2)   The universe (the sum total of dependant things), is a dependant thing
3)   Therefore, the universe needs something to depend upon (i.e. God)

I know no other un-caused caused that is backed up by archaeology and scripture - 5600 new testaments which is more than any other historical secular or other religious writings. Without sounding rude (I do not mean to be rude), does primordial cosmic "chaos" have this with millions of believers across the globe? Thomas Aquinas: If God exists, then He can’t have been created – but the same thing can’t be said of the universe…
even

The universe 'depends' on the existence of matter. Matter is eternal and not created or destroyed,

God is dependent on human consciousness. Without the believer there is no belief.

Matter is primary to consciousness. The brain acts before our consciousness graps it.

According to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, if the universe (all matter, time and space) is spontaneous (which is widely accepted) and eternal, it would have achieved thermal equilibrium long ago, and there would be a steady state. This is not observed, thus it follows, the universe is not eternal. Since the universe is not eternal, it is contingent. God exists "by necessity" of a contingent reality according to Leibniz.