Existence of God

Kalam Cosmological Argument

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jayceeii

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No Bridge to Causes
« on: October 19, 2018, 01:17:12 pm »
The first proposition of the Kalam, “Whatever begins to exist has a cause,” cannot be proved to apply to what is unknowable and unmeasurable, such as the atomic realm, whose exact constituents physics has yet to prove. The scientists asserting matter could come out of nothing, are on just as firm ground as religionists who demand there be a cause, because the nature of this realm including its origins, is an impenetrable mystery.

Let us suppose that the religionists are correct, and there is a cause. They still have not spoken meaningfully, because they don’t know the original “stuff” of which atoms are made, the way that they were made, or how the whole thing is stabilized and maintained. All they can do is wave their hands and say, “God did it, we don’t know how and couldn’t understand how even were it explained.” There’s been a lot of hand waving like this but just think, the equation E = mc^2 at least approximates the tremendous feat, whereby God somehow packed incredible energy into tiny particles and it remains stable.

Unless you really know what is happening “down there,” you don’t know if God is doing it or there may be some hidden natural miracle allowing a “big bang.” And our minds are accustomed to dealing with the material plane “at large,” although we’re told in fact everything around us is mostly space. We can only approach through physical analogies, but here those analogies don’t apply. The minds on Earth aren’t the kinds of minds, that can know these kinds of things. All the Kalam does is point to God, presuming He does.

Again, the flaw in the Kalam is in presuming there is something we can know, which applies to origin events on the subatomic realm. Instead we’re confronted with an inexplicable mystery as to why anything exists at all, including ourselves, where we have no insights into the processes required, just the ability to acknowledge “something happened.” You have to know the kinds of things that can be done, before you can say more than that something was done. Human minds can’t see the causes that are required.

Yet again, to say, “The universe had a cause,” is not meaningful when the mind issuing the statement has no idea about the nature of the possible causes. You’ve seen causes around yourself, but you haven’t seen what could cause an atom to form or to remain stable. All you can say is, “We think someone was there, and did something,” but since you don’t know what causes an atom, it may have been something else, including spontaneous appearance in an early universe, creating the laws of physics as they appeared. There is no bridge between a human’s idea of cause, and the universe’s origin.

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lucious

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Re: No Bridge to Causes
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2018, 07:55:59 am »
Anyone who affirms something begins to exist without a cause is on no ground at all.

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jayceeii

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Re: No Bridge to Causes
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2018, 10:51:23 am »
Anyone who affirms something begins to exist without a cause is on no ground at all.

Actually those who state that atoms came into existence with a cause, are also on no ground at all.

I've thought of an analogy to illustrate this. It's like trying to describe color to a blind man. You can see red and green, but he lacks the necessary organs of perception. If you try to describe red and green to him, there are no terms to use that can form a bridge to his experience. If he hears about red and green, he may start speaking meaninglessly, perhaps from pride, as if he knows, but those who have seen red and green know that he is in over his head.

Similarly the Creator, forming atoms, is using powers and wielding material that are beyond any organ of human or angelic perception or action. He can reassure you that He has made matter. Perhaps over vast time the process could be observed in telescopes. Yet a man or an angel trying to talk about the creation of matter can at best wave his hands, like a blind man trying to talk about red and green. Nothing in your mind qualifies you to speak of this.

Perhaps you are right to say, "God made it." But you haven't spoken meaningfully, because you don't know what "made" could possibly mean in this case. You can't do similarly, and because you can't you don't really know what was done. You only know the causes that you can achieve yourself. There is no bridge for you, to understand causes God wields. It's even likely Jesus would be stumped here, because even if the Invisible God or "Father" achieves the creation of matter, navigating from the body Jesus sees only macro causes. So the Kalam Cosmological Argument assumes more authority than the Lord; who would be able to see it is mere hand waving.

This is the major flaw in all arguments about the origins of the universe, the minds giving the arguments can never gain real insight into the process. All you can say is that it wasn't there, but then it was, and yet the astronomers are on just as solid ground at this point, to posit things simply appeared. No one knows, on this Earth, what is happening in atomic regions, or what can happen there.

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lucious

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Re: No Bridge to Causes
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2018, 08:35:12 am »
But there is no more special metaphysics in the creation of an atom than there is in me sitting here, now.


All of creation is creation ex nihilo, there is something special or exempt or subject to some sort of "other" causation. I don't need to know how God causes either, I can know that it happens, and that is enough for a metaphysical argument.

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jayceeii

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Re: No Bridge to Causes
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2018, 11:34:46 am »
But there is no more special metaphysics in the creation of an atom than there is in me sitting here, now.


All of creation is creation ex nihilo, there is something special or exempt or subject to some sort of "other" causation. I don't need to know how God causes either, I can know that it happens, and that is enough for a metaphysical argument.

You don’t know that it happens in a particular way, until you know how it happens. Perhaps it can be proved that it could not happen the way the physicists propose, but it would take more physics to prove this. It’s upon you here to explain to us the exact nature of the bridge you see, between the macro causes of sitting in a chair, and the ultra-micro causes in the atomic realm. Physics has proved this realm is mysterious, and may not answer to macro laws, particularly at the moment it appeared. I reassert there’s no bridge.

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lucious

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Re: No Bridge to Causes
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2018, 09:35:09 am »
But it doesn't prove there is acausality, as in, something appears from literally nothing.

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jayceeii

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Re: No Bridge to Causes
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 08:40:15 am »
But it doesn't prove there is acausality, as in, something appears from literally nothing.

That wasn’t my claim. I am saying neither knows. As a theist you also don't succeed, trying to prove there is not acausality. Only more physics could do this, a deepening of the science that has shown us the causes our minds can interpret through the senses, are unrelated to causes at the atomic scale. Again, what we need from you is the bridge you see, from pushing your chair around the floor, to the way atoms might have been formed. You’re an authority on pushing a chair. But you won’t have a chair or legs, on that scale. I think physics has killed this branch of theology, finding things beyond the mind’s reach.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 08:52:09 am by jayceeii »

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lucious

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Re: No Bridge to Causes
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2018, 12:45:29 am »
I don't need to prove not-acausality, that is a perfectly reasonable and safe first principle.

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jayceeii

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Re: No Bridge to Causes
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2018, 07:56:43 am »
I don't need to prove not-acausality, that is a perfectly reasonable and safe first principle.
So we’re at a place where I state, “There is no bridge,” and you say, “There is a bridge,” but you cannot even begin to explain to me the nature of this bridge that you see privately. You accept as an axiom, something to which I say physics has brought legitimate doubt because the events on the atomic plane are unrelated to events our minds can comprehend through the senses, as we think about causes. I guess importantly we have established this is an axiom for you, and you’ve no proof for it at all. This could be interpreted also as a place you’ve decided does not deserve attention, in the heat of an argument where you only want to appear the winner, while ignoring the truth. It’s easy to say, “I don’t care about this,” but it also might reveal a lack of discrimination. So I’d again ask, please try to give explicit reasons why you’re willing to accept this axiom. Can you give analogies from daily life? Is it something you learned in a science class?

Thinking about this some more, it appears to be a case where you are asserting raw faith, adding nothing to it through theological argument. The physicists have vast reams of math behind them, math that has been very successful in describing the universe, that suggests atoms originally did appear out of nothing. You seem only to have a hunch, that you are unable to justify. If you could, you’d make all the physicists believers overnight.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 03:55:09 pm by jayceeii »

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eclipse

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Re: No Bridge to Causes
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2018, 07:55:37 pm »
"that suggests atoms originally did appear out of nothing" — my understanding is that they qualify the word nothing to actually not be nothing, but vacuum energy or something like fluctuations in the quantum foam, or some such statement. Then the question becomes, where did that vacuum energy / quantum foam come from? What caused those fluctuations? Even Klauss's book "something from nothing", when read carefully, becomes "something from something".

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jayceeii

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Re: No Bridge to Causes
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2018, 08:50:53 am »
"that suggests atoms originally did appear out of nothing" — my understanding is that they qualify the word nothing to actually not be nothing, but vacuum energy or something like fluctuations in the quantum foam, or some such statement. Then the question becomes, where did that vacuum energy / quantum foam come from? What caused those fluctuations? Even Klauss's book "something from nothing", when read carefully, becomes "something from something".
No one knows, and it certainly cannot be deduced from an armchair. All arguments of God’s existence from causation have to fail, because the nature of the causes of creation is not known by imagination or by science. Theology as it has been practiced has complexity, but not weight, and this is why it fails to convince the masses, including educated scientists. The sad part is the theologians themselves are unable to draw their arguments down to first principles and core assumptions. It’s sad because to know the limitations of one’s own mind, is surely a vital part of knowledge. In general it’s been a game of intimidation, where the truth is set aside. A hurricane too has force and power, but what does it build? And if the theologians build a bridge to God, what happens then? They cannot share His power, wisdom or bliss. All they could gain, is what God decrees.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 09:01:48 am by jayceeii »