Existence of God

Kalam Cosmological Argument

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chrisoz

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The absurdity of infinity
« on: July 24, 2018, 11:33:48 pm »
I've heard it argued in the context of the kalam argument, that Infinity cannot exist as an actual thing because of a) the absurdities it entails and b) you can't traverse an infinity of moments to come to the present - you'd still be infinity in the past.

However doesn't this cause problems for our assertion that God is infinite?

I'm not sure what to make of this, or if it's even an issue.

Have a great week all :)

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lucious

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Re: The absurdity of infinity
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2018, 10:16:45 am »
The arguments against infinity concern infinite sets.

The problem is that an infinite set is simply inconstructable and results in logically contradictory scenarios. Infinity is also problematic when applied to time as it entails Tristram Shandy paradoxes.


Why God is not refuted by these arguments is because God is not a set, nor is he constructed or constructable, nor does he exist through time. To say that God is infinite is to say that God is omnipotent and metaphysically simply or non-composite, since anything which was in any way complex would be bounded in its act of being or existence by something.

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hatsoff

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Re: The absurdity of infinity
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2018, 05:35:08 pm »
I've heard it argued in the context of the kalam argument, that Infinity cannot exist as an actual thing because of a) the absurdities it entails and b) you can't traverse an infinity of moments to come to the present - you'd still be infinity in the past.

However doesn't this cause problems for our assertion that God is infinite?

I'm not sure what to make of this, or if it's even an issue.

Have a great week all :)

Craig argues a couple of things about infinites.  First, he claims that an infinite collection of objects cannot exist. Now, I should mention briefly that Craig is not altogether clear on what makes an infinite collection of objects.  For instance, he seems to think that a collection of past moments constitutes an actually-existing infinite collection, which is hard to square with any reasonable notion of what it means for something to be an existing object.  But whatever you make of infinite collections, it's safe to say that God is not it.

Second, he claims that time cannot extend infinitely into the past.  This is a problem if you think that God has existed for an infinite amount of time, but Craig does not believe this.  Rather, he believes that God has existed only for a finite amount of time, i.e. for precisely as long as the universe has existed.  Although, I guess one is free to believe that God has existed for a little bit longer than the universe---just not for an infinite amount of time. Of course, this does create other problems for the Kalam, namely that it means God began to exist and hence must have a cause.  However, it is not a problem for the alleged nonexistence of infinite collections.

Of course, Craig's arguments against the above sorts of infinites are woefully confused, and so none of this is really a problem for the existence of God.  (The existence of God does have a lot of other problems, though.)
In preparation for the upcoming holiday, I shall eat a licorice-flavored Cadbury creme egg every six hours until Easter.

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Re: The absurdity of infinity
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2018, 02:56:02 pm »
Regarding Chris Oz' "The Absurdity of Infinity," I will say that it is not infinity that is absurd, but rather certain individuals' treatment or interpretations of it.

The problem is that we finite entities, who tend to rush to judgment (and often firstly toward the negative), are inclined more often than not to base our interpretations of other states, situations, and standards by our own--in this case, infinity.

Now, infinity is not a quantity, but a characteristic of quantity--namely, limitliness.  Mathematicians have found that numerous sets of numbers may possess this characteristic.  Further, you can use the number of them as values within a mathematical expression to arrive at a result.

Mathematicians have shown how zero is an infinite set of naughts. It represents nonexistence. Nothing can be added to, subtracted from, or multiplied or divided by something nonexistent.

Pi and e are found to contain an infinite number of digits. The first determines the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of every circular form in the Universe.  The second is critical to all logarithms in the Cosmos.

Turns out, further, an infinite set of infinite numbers exist. We don't yet know why so.

It doesn't make infinity, as Mr. Oz insinuates, "absurd," as in silly or ridiculous.  Instead, infinity fills us with endless curiosity and ever reduces us to a state of Awe.

The more we explore it, the more we will learn about the Universe we inhabit--and, indeed, about Existence itself.

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Re: The absurdity of infinity
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 06:33:31 pm »
God would know every number, they would exist in his mind, Therefore if God exists, an actual infinity exists (the concept of “1”, the concept of “2” and on to infinity). How would the Kalam advocate dodge this?

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lucious

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Re: The absurdity of infinity
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2018, 01:14:14 am »
God would know every number, they would exist in his mind, Therefore if God exists, an actual infinity exists (the concept of “1”, the concept of “2” and on to infinity). How would the Kalam advocate dodge this?


This presumes God's knowledge is particular and discursive, as opposed to a simple, timeless intuition. God's knowledge is identical to his own being.

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jayceeii

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Re: The absurdity of infinity
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 09:08:53 am »
Invoking the concept of infinity with respect to God only reveals the mind is incapable of forming ideas about what is beyond its comprehension, for this is where the real God is to be found. If the idea of infinity is failing for you, the question is whether you can awaken other regions of ideation besides this undiscriminating concept, that could never apply to real entities. Importantly, you’d want to know how God’s ways might differ from your conclusions in all the minutia of daily living, so that like Eckhart said, you’d begin to takes steps beyond your creaturely nature. Unfortunately religion is utterly devoid of this.