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Emuse

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Omnipotence
« on: May 22, 2015, 08:04:02 am »
For any being B, even if it is metaphysically possible for B to possess a property under some circumstance C it is still metaphysically impossible for B to possess P necessarily if there is some set of circumstances C1 in the actual world and in which B can exist and in which it is metaphysically impossible for B to possess P.   As an illustration of this, let us take John.  If John is in the circumstances of being 25 years old then it is metaphysically possible for him to be father.  However, there is another set of circumstances when he is two years old when it is metaphysically impossible for him to be a father (there is no possible world in which John is two years old and a father).   So, if there is a set of circumstances where it is possible for John to be father and a set of circumstances where it is impossible for John to be a father then it is impossible for John to possess the property "fatherhood" necessarily.

Now let us assume that Kalam goes through and that some entity E caused the universe.  Dr. Craig argues that the type of entity capable of causing a universe must be supremely powerful which suggests in context that the ability to cause universes is sufficient for omnipotence.  So we have, "For any E, if E is omnipotent then it is metaphysically possible for E to cause a universe".   But as we have seen above, this is very vague and doesn't allow us to assume arbitrarily that E possesses omnipotence necessarily just because it is metaphysically possible for it to cause a universe under some set of circumstances.  To be accurate we would need to say, "For any E, E is omnipotent in circumstance C if it is metaphysically possible for E to cause a universe in circumstance C".   But before we can conclude that E possesses omnipotence necessarily (and is therefore maximally great and therefore, God)  we must rule out the possibility that there is another set of circumstances C1 in the actual world where it is metaphysically impossible for E to cause a universe.   Assuming that E can possess omnipotence in all circumstances under which it exists just because it can possess omnipotence under some circumstance C in which it exists is as fallacious as concluding that it is possible for John to be a father under all circumstances in which he exists just because it is possible for him to be a father when he is 25.

According to Dr. Craig, there are two sets of circumstances in the actual world under which E can exist.  They are ...

C. E can exist temporally with a universe in the actual world.
C1. E can exist timelessly sans a universe in the actual world.

Under circumstance C, E is omnipotent because E exists in causal relationship to the universe under those circumstances so in those circumstances it is metaphysically possible for E to cause a universe.  But E can only possess omnipotence necessarily if it is metaphysically possible for E to cause a universe under circumstance C1.  The trouble is, it isn't!  Given the following ...

P1. If X has a timeless cause then X is a timeless effect.
P2. The universe is a temporal effect.
C. Therefore, the universe has a temporal cause.

From the above, it is metaphysically necessary that the cause of the universe must be temporal and it follows from this that it is metaphysically impossible for a timeless entity to cause a universe.  So, under circumstance C1 it is metaphysically impossible for E to cause a universe!  From this, even if E can be omnipotent under circumstance C it is metaphysically impossible for E to possess omnipotence under circumstance C1 and so it is impossible for E to possess omnipotence necessarily.  In conclusion, it is logically impossible for E to be maximally great and therefore, God even if all of the above goes through unchallenged.




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Lawlessone777

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2015, 08:15:15 am »
P1 begs a pretty huge question. I'd like to see how you equate a timeless cause with only being capable of producing a timeless effect given the inclusion of intelligence. This logic is precisely the argument theists use to note the cause of the universe must, therefore, be intelligent.
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Emuse

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2015, 08:25:08 am »
P1 begs a pretty huge question.

The support was given.

C. E exists temporally with a universe.
C1. E exists atemporally sans a universe.

These are the only two possibilities under Dr. Craig's schema.  In all possible worlds, E is not a cause of the universe in circumstance C1.  So by definition, it is metaphysically impossible for E to be the cause of a universe under C1.  "It is metaphysically impossible for X to be the cause of Y under C1" is the logical equivalent to "X is incapable of being the cause of Y under C1".  So there's no question begging at all.  Support was given.  By definition, to say that it is metaphysically possible for X cause Y in circumstance C is to say there is a possible world in which X is the cause of Y in circumstance C.  If there is no possible world in which X is the cause of Y in circumstance C then it is metaphysically impossible for X to cause Y in circumstance C which is the same as saying that X is incapable of doing it in those circumstances.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 08:48:24 am by Emuse »

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Lawlessone777

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2015, 08:48:35 am »
See this is why I'm not a fan of formal logic, you can include a lot of confusion in your arguments.

There's a few things I've noted from your argument I want to underline:
Quote
Under circumstance C, E is omnipotent because E exists in causal relationship to the universe under those circumstances so in those circumstances it is metaphysically possible for E to cause a universe.

You're equating Craig's argument that the cause of the universe is omnipotent because it caused the universe when in reality Craig doesn't argue for omnipotence as necessary for causing a universe, but rather simply "extreme power". Omnipotence is not included in the necessary properties of the cause of the universe in the Kalam.

Also your two options are not true:

Quote
C. E exists temporally with a universe.
C1. E exists atemporally sans a universe.

C is incorrect, the actual argument entails that the cause of the universe be a-temporal, however operate in temporal relationship with the universe.

In essence you're trying to argue that because causing the universe is the necessary explanation for omnipotence any entity which does not cause a universe is, therefore, not omnipotent and so cannot cause a universe. This logic is fallacious for a variety of reasons:

1. Causal relationships do not effect the ontological properties of the cause, only the effect.
2. All causal properties pre-exist the effect and so an omnipotent being can pre-exist the universe a-temporally, AND can still cause the universe.

Also:

Quote
"It is metaphysically impossible for X to be the cause of Y under C1" is the logical equivalent to "X is incapable of being the cause of Y under C1".  So there's no question begging at all.  Support was given.

This is also incorrect. You didn't show that it was metaphysically impossible for X to be the cause of Y under C1, you asserted it under the false guise that the causal relationship was a requirement for omnipotence.

Secondly those two are not the same. Metaphysical impossibility and logical causal relationship cannot be said to be "close enough".
God willed both to reveal himself to man, and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith.(so) the proofs of God's existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason.

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aegis

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2015, 08:53:33 am »
P1 begs a pretty huge question.

The support was given.

C. E exists temporally with a universe.
C1. E exists atemporally sans a universe.

These are the only two possibilities under Dr. Craig's schema.  In all possible worlds, E is not a cause of the universe in circumstance C1.  So by definition, it is metaphysically impossible for E to be the cause of a universe under C1.  "It is metaphysically impossible for X to be the cause of Y under C1" is the logical equivalent to "X is incapable of being the cause of Y under C1".  So there's no question begging at all.  Support was given.

It is metaphysically impossible for E to be the cause of a universe under C1 because C1 is a circumstance in which a universe does not exist (and thus cannot be caused). There is no universe for God to be the cause of in C1. How can you be the cause of an effect when the effect has not happened?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 09:17:35 am by cspace »
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Emuse

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2015, 09:11:19 am »
See this is why I'm not a fan of formal logic, you can include a lot of confusion in your arguments.

Are you a fan of formal logic when those formal arguments prima facie seem to prove God?  Or is it just formal arguments that support atheism which you don't like?  After all, you made the claim that arguments are evidence and stand until refuted in your other thread ....

Arguments and evidence are the same thing. An argument is simply a summary of why the evidence proves what the apologist believes it proves. So the complaint still remains.

In fact, your whole thread there is supporting the use of formal argumentation!  What did you say ...

- One is that to say one is unconvinced is not to say that the argument is invalid because an argument is shown invalid when defeaters are presented (thus the debater appeals to 1), instead the debater is referencing not the lack of evidence the argument holds, but rather how appealing that argument is to them. And how appealing something is, and whether it is true, are two totally separate categories.

... immediately followed by "This is why I don't like formal logic".  Seriously?

Quote
You're equating Craig's argument that the cause of the universe is omnipotent because it caused the universe when in reality Craig doesn't argue for omnipotence as necessary for causing a universe, but rather simply "extreme power". Omnipotence is not included in the necessary properties of the cause of the universe in the Kalam.

This is a trivial objection if an inability to cause a universe precludes omnipotence to the effect ...

P1. For any X, if it is metaphysically impossible for X to cause a universe then X is not omnipotent.
P2. It is metaphysically impossible for me to cause a universe.
C. Therefore, I am not omnipotent.

If you agree with P1 and P2 then you haven't defeated the argument because we still have ...

P1. For any X, if it metaphysically impossible for X to cause a universe in circumstance C then X is not omnipotent in circumstance C.

Quote
Also your two options are not true:

Well, you need to take that up with Dr. Craig.  It is his position I'm assessing and those are his claims.

Quote
In essence you're trying to argue that because causing the universe is the necessary explanation for omnipotence any entity which does not cause a universe is, therefore, not omnipotent and so cannot cause a universe.

That is not what my argument says at all.  My argument says that in order for an entity to be omnipotent in a situation, it must be possible for it to cause a universe in that situation ... not that it must do so.  You'are confusing what it is possible for a being to do in a scenario with what it actually does in a scenario.

Quote
1. Causal relationships do not effect the ontological properties of the cause, only the effect.

This is simply wrong.  Because a necessary being doesn't cause a universe in all possible worlds even theists agree that "cause of the universe" is a contingent / accidental property of a necessary being.  And you are begging the question wildly because it is Craig himself who argues that God becomes temporal with a universe and says that timelessness is not one of God's essential properties.

Quote
This is also incorrect. You didn't show that it was metaphysically impossible for X to be the cause of Y under C1, you asserted it under the false guise that the causal relationship was a requirement for omnipotence.

Given ...

1. E exists timelessly sans a universe.
2. E exists temporally with a universe.

Are the only two positions God can take in the actual world under Craig's schema, it follows from this that there is no possible world in which E is the cause of a universe in situation 2.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 09:13:45 am by Emuse »

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Emuse

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2015, 09:17:49 am »
It is metaphysically impossible for E to be the cause of a universe under C1 because C1 is a circumstance in which a universe does not exist (and thus cannot be caused). There is no universe for God to be the cause of in C1.

You're confusing what's true in a world with what's true across worlds.  It impossible for E to be the cause of a universe under C1 because there is no possible world in which E is the cause of a universe under C1.  It's not because of what is true in a particular world.

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aegis

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2015, 09:21:38 am »
It is metaphysically impossible for E to be the cause of a universe under C1 because C1 is a circumstance in which a universe does not exist (and thus cannot be caused). There is no universe for God to be the cause of in C1.

You're confusing what's true in a world with what's true across worlds.  It impossible for E to be the cause of a universe under C1 because there is no possible world in which E is the cause of a universe under C1.  It's not because of what is true in a particular world.

There is no possible world in which E is the cause of a universe under C1 because C1 describes non-universe circumstances (the words: 'sans a universe') in all possible worlds. C1 would not be C1 if there was a universe.

'in order for an entity to be omnipotent in a situation, it must be possible for it to cause a universe in that situation'

It's not reasonable to expect God to be the cause of a universe *without universes as effects for God to have caused*. God is still omnipotent under C1, he just hasn't *exercised* his omnipotence to create a universe. Is it possible for him to exercise his omnipotence to create a universe? Yes, but it would immediately change from C1 to different circumstances with the first universe creation event. Having omnipotence and exercising it are very different things.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 09:48:25 am by cspace »
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Bertuzzi

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2015, 09:57:10 am »
This falls back to the question of simultaneous causation. Craig actually holds:

(1*)  If X has an impersonal timeless cause then X is timeless.

Also note that if you hold (1) (and ex nihilo nihil fit) you can't hold that the universe began to exist. I see no reason to hold (1) over (1*). And obviously if you accept (1*) (and ex nihilo nihil fit) you've got pretty good reason to think the cause of the beginning of the universe is personal.
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ParaclitosLogos

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2015, 02:32:56 pm »
For any being B, even if it is metaphysically possible for B to possess a property under some circumstance C it is still metaphysically impossible for B to possess P necessarily if there is some set of circumstances C1 in the actual world and in which B can exist and in which it is metaphysically impossible for B to possess P.   As an illustration of this, let us take John.  If John is in the circumstances of being 25 years old then it is metaphysically possible for him to be father.  However, there is another set of circumstances when he is two years old when it is metaphysically impossible for him to be a father (there is no possible world in which John is two years old and a father).   So, if there is a set of circumstances where it is possible for John to be father and a set of circumstances where it is impossible for John to be a father then it is impossible for John to possess the property "fatherhood" necessarily.

Now let us assume that Kalam goes through and that some entity E caused the universe.  Dr. Craig argues that the type of entity capable of causing a universe must be supremely powerful which suggests in context that the ability to cause universes is sufficient for omnipotence.  So we have, "For any E, if E is omnipotent then it is metaphysically possible for E to cause a universe".   But as we have seen above, this is very vague and doesn't allow us to assume arbitrarily that E possesses omnipotence necessarily just because it is metaphysically possible for it to cause a universe under some set of circumstances.  To be accurate we would need to say, "For any E, E is omnipotent in circumstance C if it is metaphysically possible for E to cause a universe in circumstance C".   But before we can conclude that E possesses omnipotence necessarily (and is therefore maximally great and therefore, God)  we must rule out the possibility that there is another set of circumstances C1 in the actual world where it is metaphysically impossible for E to cause a universe.   Assuming that E can possess omnipotence in all circumstances under which it exists just because it can possess omnipotence under some circumstance C in which it exists is as fallacious as concluding that it is possible for John to be a father under all circumstances in which he exists just because it is possible for him to be a father when he is 25.

According to Dr. Craig, there are two sets of circumstances in the actual world under which E can exist.  They are ...

C. E can exist temporally with a universe in the actual world.
C1. E can exist timelessly sans a universe in the actual world.

Under circumstance C, E is omnipotent because E exists in causal relationship to the universe under those circumstances so in those circumstances it is metaphysically possible for E to cause a universe.  But E can only possess omnipotence necessarily if it is metaphysically possible for E to cause a universe under circumstance C1.  The trouble is, it isn't!  Given the following ...

P1. If X has a timeless cause then X is a timeless effect.
P2. The universe is a temporal effect.
C. Therefore, the universe has a temporal cause.

From the above, it is metaphysically necessary that the cause of the universe must be temporal and it follows from this that it is metaphysically impossible for a timeless entity to cause a universe.  So, under circumstance C1 it is metaphysically impossible for E to cause a universe!  From this, even if E can be omnipotent under circumstance C it is metaphysically impossible for E to possess omnipotence under circumstance C1 and so it is impossible for E to possess omnipotence necessarily.  In conclusion, it is logically impossible for E to be maximally great and therefore, God even if all of the above goes through unchallenged.

I see you are making advances in your understanding. Very good.

There is nothing obviously (metaphysically) impossible of God creating the universe, time and coming into time, simultaneously at the very 1st time event.

If God brings about time-enters in time-creates the universe at that 1st time event,

God is in time, creates the universe in time, there is No contradiction.

And you would be hard pressed to show any, if you formalized it.

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belorg

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2015, 02:47:29 pm »

I see you are making advances in your understanding. Very good.

There is nothing obviously (metaphysically) impossible of God creating the universe, time and coming into time, simultaneously at the very 1st time event.

If God brings about time-enters in time-creates the universe at that 1st time event,

God is in time, creates the universe in time, there is No contradiction.

And you would be hard pressed to show any, if you formalized it.

According to Craig, God, while being timeless, simultaneously creates time. That means that the God's atemporal state exists simultaneous with his temporal state.
Maybe you don't think that is acontradiction, but it surely sounds contradictory to me.

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ParaclitosLogos

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2015, 02:49:12 pm »
Quote from: Time and Eternity pg. 236 - William Lane Craig
"It seems to me therefore, that it is not only coherent but also plausible that God existing changelessly alone without the universe is timeless and that he enters time at the momentof creation in virtue of his real relation to the temporal universe."
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 04:53:47 pm by ontologicalme »

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Booger

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2015, 04:35:04 pm »
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FNB - Former non-believer

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2015, 09:41:19 pm »
Didn't read the whole post but +1 because I like that you labored to formulate your view with logical precision.

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Emuse

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Re: Omnipotence
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2015, 03:47:46 am »
It is metaphysically impossible for E to be the cause of a universe under C1 because C1 is a circumstance in which a universe does not exist (and thus cannot be caused).


This still confuses what is true in a world with what is true across all worlds.  It is as though you're treating all possible worlds as a world in an attempt overcome the problem?  "E isn't the cause of the universe under C1 because there is no universe" is trivially true in some possible worlds.  But this doesn't tell us whether there is no universe because it is impossible for E to produce a universe under those circumstances or for some other reason.  If E doesn't produce a universe under C1 in all possible worlds then it is because it is impossible for E to produce a universe under those conditions, by definition.

Quote
There is no universe for God to be the cause of in C1. How can you be the cause of an effect when the effect has not happened?

Let's go back to my previous example.  Let's say John is not a father at 25 in some possible world W.  This is either because it is impossible for John to be a 25 year old father or for some other reason.  If John isn't a father at age 25 in all worlds that he exists then the reason that he is not a father at 25 in W is because it is impossible.

If God doesn't exist timelessly with a universe in some possible world then either this is because it is impossible or for some other reason.  If God exists timelessly without a universe in all possible worlds then the reason he doesn't exist timelessly with a universe in the actual world is because it is impossible.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 03:50:18 am by Emuse »