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Iapetus

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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #60 on: August 04, 2020, 04:12:55 pm »
Reply to Harvey:

Thankyou for your recent, very brief, explanations.  I am grateful for them but it took such a struggle that I have lost enthusiasm for the argument.

However, given that I have finally gleaned from you a definition of your God, it seems a shame not to explore some of the ideas which may be drawn from it.

God: A necessary being that always existed and is ontically prior to the universe (or multiverse even if time is past infinite). Such a being is all-powerful (omnipotent in a certain sense ), all-knowing (omniscient), all-present (omnipresent), all-good (omnibenevolent). These terms would need further description to be fully explicated.

I understand that it is what you believe but I would like to know if it is something which reason could or should lead others to believe.

A necessary being that has always existed.  How do you know? Do you have evidence for this? I am not trying to be difficult for the sake of it because I want to know more about your idea of God in relation to the universe.

If I define the universe as, ‘everything’, then does God become a subset of the universe?  If the universe is everything, then multiverses would also become a subset of the universe.

If that is the case, then do you think the universe becomes ‘necessary’?

If you allow for God to have always existed, then could we not allow that the universe has always existed?  You appear to indicate the possibility of this when you refer to “… or multiverse even if time is past infinite.”  If so, then God cannot be ‘ontically prior’.

If God has always existed and the universe has always existed, then God could not have created the universe.

In other words, you need the universe to have been created in order to justify your view.  But it does not necessarily follow that what you need is what you get.

I shall leave the all-powerful and so on claims for now so that is does not get too unwieldy.

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Harvey

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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #61 on: August 04, 2020, 05:45:39 pm »
A necessary being that has always existed.  How do you know? Do you have evidence for this?

So, as I stated, an ontic bedrock is the ultimate set of facts that make up the ontology of the world. As a necessitarian theist I hold that God is both meyaphysically necessary and the ontic bedrock of the world. No other ontic bedrock is possible because whatever else could substitute for God would in fact require God to exist. Thus:

1) God is metaphysically necessary.
2) God is the ontic bedrock [OB] of reality.
3) Thus, God is a necessary being that always existed.

3 follows from 1 & 2. The evidence for 1 is that something must exist as an OB and thus this requirement means that existence qua existence cannot not be the case, hence this referent (existence qua existence) is necessary. God is first and foremost defined as this referent (Yahweh literally means "I am"). The other properties of God are very much tied to his nature of existing which as I said is necessary. 2 also refers to this existence qua existence reference which is ontically prior to everything else that there is.

Quote from: lapetus
If I define the universe as, ‘everything’, then does God become a subset of the universe?  If the universe is everything, then multiverses would also become a subset of the universe.

If you mean every referable having an identity then God is a subset of this non-physical definition of "universe." And, agreed, a multiverse is a subset of this definition of "universe."

Quote from: lapetus
If that is the case, then do you think the universe becomes ‘necessary’?

Using that non-standard definition of "universe" then yes that part of it that refers to God would surely be necessary.

Quote from: lapetus
If you allow for God to have always existed, then could we not allow that the universe has always existed?

If we use that non-standard definition of universe then yes it is also necessary. Be careful not to switch back to use the standard definition, though.

Quote from: lapetus
You appear to indicate the possibility of this when you refer to “… or multiverse even if time is past infinite.”  If so, then God cannot be ‘ontically prior’.

He cannot be ontically prior in a diachronic sense (well, if we accept a beginning that exists an infinite duration ago then this is not necessarily true), but assuming there are no beginnings an infinite duration ago then he cannot be ontically prior to a multiverse having an infinite past.  However, God could be ontically prior to the multiverse in a synchronic sense.

Quote from: lapetus
If God has always existed and the universe has always existed, then God could not have created the universe.

He could if his act of creation is not a temporal one. For example, in special relativity a photon experiences its entire lifetime at once. If a photon that lived forever in the past and future and were to effect a charged particle an infinite duration ago (and thereby creating a "new" particle) as a carrier of the electromagnetic force, then for all eternity the photon has created that new particle that also is past infinite and future infinite. This is just a physical description of how it is possible. If God creates a universe having an infinite past maybe (at most) only a few philosophers think of God as temporal in the way a photon is temporal.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 05:50:32 pm by Harvey »

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Iapetus

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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #62 on: August 05, 2020, 12:00:14 pm »
Reply to Harvey:

“So, as I stated, an ontic bedrock is the ultimate set of facts that make up the ontology of the world. As a necessitarian theist I hold that God is both meyaphysically necessary and the ontic bedrock of the world. No other ontic bedrock is possible because whatever else could substitute for God would in fact require God to exist“.

Firstly, amongst your ‘ultimate set of facts’, you have not demonstrated that God is a fact.  If the universe has always existed – which we are unable to prove or disprove – then God is not ‘metaphysically necessary’.  The ‘ontic bedrock’ becomes the things which make up the universe.  The difference is that we can demonstrate that such things exist.

I asked you, ”How do you know? Do you have evidence for this?”  You have not let me know.  So your ‘God is metaphysically necessary’ is not demonstrable and is thus simply an assertion.

I understand that as your belief but my question is, why do you expect me to believe that?

“If you mean every referable having an identity then God is a subset of this non-physical definition of "universe." And, agreed, a multiverse is a subset of this definition of ‘universe.’“

I didn’t mention ‘non-physical’.  If the universe is everything and God is a subset of the universe, then I need you to tell me if God is a thing.  If you think that God is not a thing, then I would like you to tell me, in that context, what God is.

“Using that non-standard definition of "universe" then yes that part of it that refers to God would surely be necessary“.

I don’t know what you mean by ‘non-standard’.  The universe has frequently been described as ‘everything that exists’.  I have read a modification in a recent post which reads, ‘everything that exists or has ever existed’.  Craig has used the formulation, ‘everything that exists has a cause’, which begs the obvious question, ‘Does God exist’?  I said nothing about ‘that part of it that refers to God’.   

“If we use that non-standard definition of universe then yes it is also necessary. Be careful not to switch back to use the standard definition, though“.

No, I am not talking about ‘also necessary’.  If the universe is defined as ‘everything’ or ‘everything that exists’ – which is certainly not non-standard -  then that leaves you to demonstrate that God exists.  And that God is a thing.  In either case, the universe is necessary and God becomes a subset of the universe.  But the difference is that we are both able to demonstrate that the universe exists.

To my suggestion that God cannot be ‘ontically prior’:

“He cannot be ontically prior in a diachronic sense (well, if we accept a beginning that exists an infinite duration ago then this is not necessarily true), but assuming there are no beginnings an infinite duration ago then he cannot be ontically prior to a multiverse having an infinite past.  However, God could be ontically prior to the multiverse in a synchronic sense“.

I am trying to translate that into something which means something useful to me.  It sounds as if you are saying that He cannot be prior but that He could be prior to multiverses.  I am not interested in that, in a synchronic sense or in any other way.  I am asking, if the universe includes everything, and God is a thing, then do you accept that God cannot be ‘ontically prior’?

I asked you to respond to my statement that if God has always existed and the universe has always existed, then God could not have created the universe.  This is your response:

“He could if his act of creation is not a temporal one“. Your attempt at an analogy refers to particles within the universe and, therefore, a subset of the universe.  If it is not temporal then what is it?  If you assert that God exists outside of time – whatever that means – and I assert that the universe exists in time and outside of time, then God is still a subset of the universe if God is a thing.

You are free to believe your claim, but do you think that provides a sound enough argument for me to believe that?

“If God creates a universe having an infinite past maybe (at most) only a few philosophers think of God as temporal in the way a photon is temporal“.

If you want to talk about something which has always existed being created in a non-temporal way and convince me that this makes any sense, then please make your appeals to those philosophers and report back.

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Harvey

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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #63 on: August 05, 2020, 04:05:13 pm »
Firstly, amongst your ‘ultimate set of facts’, you have not demonstrated that God is a fact.  If the universe has always existed – which we are unable to prove or disprove – then God is not ‘metaphysically necessary’.  The ‘ontic bedrock’ becomes the things which make up the universe.  The difference is that we can demonstrate that such things exist.

But, how can a physical universe exist temporally in the past without a cause? No one is necessarily saying God existed an infinite time ago which is why I said in my last post that philosophers don't think of God as temporal like a photon is temporal when creating the universe.

Quote from: lapetus
I asked you, ”How do you know? Do you have evidence for this?”  You have not let me know.  So your ‘God is metaphysically necessary’ is not demonstrable and is thus simply an assertion.

I did answer this. See my argument 1-3 and my justification for 1.

Quote from: lapetus
I didn’t mention ‘non-physical’.  If the universe is everything and God is a subset of the universe, then I need you to tell me if God is a thing.  If you think that God is not a thing, then I would like you to tell me, in that context, what God is.

A thing can be physical or it can be a non-physical referent that is fundamental. But, we don't need to have people tell us what a fundamental object like God is. To be fundamental is to be not composite. One only needs to provide that fundamental thing's properties. God is not a physical thing  (e.g., made up of atoms or quarks) and I already gave to you his main properties.

Quote from: lapetus
I don’t know what you mean by ‘non-standard’.  The universe has frequently been described as ‘everything that exists’.

People mean different concepts by "everything that exists." A physicalist generally means every physical thing that exists. Thus, the universe means "all physical stuff that exists." I think this is what most people mean by the term universe, altough that is recently becoming what they mean by multiverse (but let's stick with the standard meaning to be "all physical stuff that exists" and the non-standard meaning to be "all referents that exist.").

Quote from: lapetus
‘Does God exist’?  I said nothing about ‘that part of it that refers to God’. 

Yes, God exists but if we use the non-standard definition of universe then all of the physical things that exist are not necessary since they come from the non-physical things and could fail to exist.

Quote from: lapetus
If the universe is defined as ‘everything’ or ‘everything that exists’ – which is certainly not non-standard

I disagree. You'll rarely pick up an article that includes mathematical objects as "things that exist inside the universe" even though many people think of mathematical objects as things that exist. Most people think that if such objects exist at all then they are not part of our universe. So, let's agree to disagree on this point.

Quote from: lapetus
...then that leaves you to demonstrate that God exists.  And that God is a thing.  In either case, the universe is necessary and God becomes a subset of the universe.  But the difference is that we are both able to demonstrate that the universe exists.

Here you're equivocating on 'things" as I thought would happen. If non-physical referents (like mathematical objects) are treated as things, then it's important to understand that no physical thing can physically show their existence since they are non-physical. We can only infer their existence from how the physical world is structured and how it requires us to include non-physical referents to account for physical reality.

Quote from: lapetus
...if the universe includes everything, and God is a thing, then do you accept that God cannot be ‘ontically prior’?

God is ontically prior to "every thing (either physical or non-physical referents) that came into being. He is the only distinguishable referent that did not come into being. He is not ontically prior to himself, so in that non-standard sense of universe he is not ontically prior to every referent that makes up the universe.

Quote from: lapetus
Your attempt at an analogy refers to particles within the universe and, therefore, a subset of the universe.  If it is not temporal then what is it?  If you assert that God exists outside of time – whatever that means – and I assert that the universe exists in time and outside of time, then God is still a subset of the universe if God is a thing.

You said: "You appear to indicate the possibility of this when you refer to '… or multiverse even if time is past infinite'.”  A multiverse is a subset of your non-standard universe term. God could eternally will the infinite past multiverse into being in a synchronic sense. If we're talking about your non-standard universe term, then God cannot will it into being (at least those referents that refer to him) since then he would be willing his own self into existence.

Quote from: lapetus
You are free to believe your claim, but do you think that provides a sound enough argument for me to believe that?

I think so. I think you ought to believe in God. It would give your life more meaning and hope.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 04:09:16 pm by Harvey »

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Iapetus

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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #64 on: August 06, 2020, 11:47:15 am »
Reply to Harvey:

“No one is necessarily saying God existed an infinite time ago …”
 
Why do you have to resort to such contortions?

Part of your own definition of God is that he “always existed“.  Does ‘always’ mean infinite time or not?  I don’t need to quibble in any case.  If you want to use ‘always’ instead of ‘infinite’, then that is fine by me. I will then claim that the universe could have always existed.
 
“… which is why I said in my last post that philosophers don't think of God as temporal like a photon is temporal when creating the universe.“

Of course not, because they are unable to demonstrate God’s existence and they have to find a hidden spot for him/her/it somewhere.

I asked you to demonstrate that God exists. You tried these three statements:
1) God is metaphysically necessary.
2) God is the ontic bedrock [OB] of reality.
3) Thus, God is a necessary being that always existed

Regarding the first of those statements;  that is not a demonstration in any shape or form. It is an assertion with no evidence, particularly since you have not demonstrated God’s ‘ontic priority’.  According to the first sentence of the Stanford Encyclopaedia, “It is not easy to say what metaphysics is.”  You betcha.  So each time you use the term, you had better be prepared to explain how the term has improved your argument because, to me, it has not done so. 

You then asserted that “God is the ontic bedrock of reality”.  That is not a demonstration of anything.  It is your perception.  Your belief.  Nothing more.  If ontic means relating to ‘real as opposed to phenomenal existence’, then I want your argument to relate to real existence, not phenomenal existence.  It is also, incidentally, a tautology; you are referring to the real bedrock of reality.  Which really doesn’t say much.

Your third is a further reminder that you believe that God has always existed. No demonstration, no explanation of how you know.

“A thing can be physical or it can be a non-physical referent that is fundamental. But, we don't need to have people tell us what a fundamental object like God is. To be fundamental is to be not composite. One only needs to provide that fundamental thing's properties. God is not a physical thing  (e.g., made up of atoms or quarks) … “

How is this anything more than word salad?  You have not explained ‘non-physical referent’.  You have provided no example. You have tried to explain what fundamental means – as if that is of some significance – and you have referred to God as a fundamental object.  But that is, once more, simply an assertion.  How many more of these are you going to provide?  You have said that God is an object but is not a physical thing.  So please tell me more about how you think God is a non-physical thing.  Yes, I can provide an example; God as a figment of your imagination.

”… and I already gave to you his main properties.“

I notice that, once more, you didn’t have the decency to remind me.  You expect me to go back and search for them.  Which I did.  Is this what you mean?

”all-powerful (omnipotent in a certain sense ), all-knowing (omniscient), all-present (omnipresent), all-good (omnibenevolent). These terms would need further description to be fully explicated”.

If I asked a child to describe an impressive fish that she had seen in a pond, she might say, “huge”.  How huge?  “Really really huge (in a certain sense)”.  Was it a good fish?  “Yes, it was a really good fish”.

Is this the level of discussion to which we are reduced?

Let’s add in William Lane Craig's description from his contrived corollary to his Kalam argument:

“beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful“.

Which tells us a great deal about what he, she or it is not, but precious little about what he, she or it is.  Then in the following paragraph, he adds, “infinitely powerful”, even though the first statement of the first subset of his Kalam argument is “An actual infinite cannot exist“.

Evidence?  Demonstration?  You asked me a question a few posts ago.  Let me return it to you:

“If distant galaxies were arranged as pixels on a page that spelled out John 1:1-2 you would still hold to naturalism being the only metaphysically possible answer for the world?”

If you know anything useful about your God, then why has He not arranged the galaxies in such a way?

“People mean different concepts by "everything that exists." A physicalist generally means every physical thing that exists. Thus, the universe means "all physical stuff that exists." I think this is what most people mean by the term universe, altough that is recently becoming what they mean by multiverse (but let's stick with the standard meaning to be "all physical stuff that exists" and the non-standard meaning to be "all referents that exist."). “

You are wriggling and you know it.  The universe contains thoughts, dreams and emotions.  It contains space.  It contains spacetime.  I would like you to tell me what you think it does not contain.  And ‘God’ is not, in itself, an answer.  Is there a realm outside of the universe?  If so, can you describe it?

"Here you're equivocating on 'things" as I thought would happen. If non-physical referents (like mathematical objects) are treated as things, then it's important to understand that no physical thing can physically show their existence since they are non-physical. We can only infer their existence from how the physical world is structured and how it requires us to include non-physical referents to account for physical reality."

There is absolutely no equivocation.  ‘Non-physical referents’ and even ‘things’ with ‘inferred existence’ exist within the confines of the universe.  If you think they are elsewhere, then tell me where.

“I think you ought to believe in God. It would give your life more meaning and hope.“

I asked you if you thought I should believe in God on the basis of what has been discussed.  Yours is a patronizing response based on something else entirely and with no understanding of my personal motivations and hopes.

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Harvey

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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #65 on: August 06, 2020, 01:57:56 pm »
Why do you have to resort to such contortions?Part of your own definition of God is that he “always existed“.  Does ‘always’ mean infinite time or not?

As you know philosophical theism in Western Europe predates metaphysical naturalism and atheism, and this notion of time having a beginning predates both naturalism and atheism. So nothing is being contorted. Maybe I was not clear as to this.

Quote from: lapetus
I don’t need to quibble in any case.  If you want to use ‘always’ instead of ‘infinite’, then that is fine by me. I will then claim that the universe could have always existed.

"Always" just means that for anything that exists in time t, that God existed for that time. If the flow of time itself had a beginning then God always existed ontically prior to the beginning of this flow of time.
 
Quote from: lapetus
Of course not, because they are unable to demonstrate God’s existence and they have to find a hidden spot for him/her/it somewhere.

No, as I mentioned, the physical does not have direct access to the non-physical so we have to infer God's existence from the philosophical problems inherent in a naturalist-physicalist worldview. Philosophical theism mainly stems from this attempt to have a better understanding of the world.

Quote from: lapetus
I asked you to demonstrate that God exists. You tried these three statements:
1) God is metaphysically necessary.
2) God is the ontic bedrock [OB] of reality.
3) Thus, God is a necessary being that always existed

Regarding the first of those statements;  that is not a demonstration in any shape or form. It is an assertion with no evidence, particularly since you have not demonstrated God’s ‘ontic priority’.  According to the first sentence of the Stanford Encyclopaedia, “It is not easy to say what metaphysics is.”  You betcha.  So each time you use the term, you had better be prepared to explain how the term has improved your argument because, to me, it has not done so. 

You didn't respond to my justification for 1 other than saying "It is an assertion with no evidence," Why do you say that something must exist is not necessary? Surely we can agree that if there were nothing that this referent would itself count as "something"? Right? It's not a blind assertion. So please respond to that argument so that I can respond to your reasons to reject 1.

Quote from: lapetus
You then asserted that “God is the ontic bedrock of reality”.  That is not a demonstration of anything.  It is your perception.  Your belief.  Nothing more.

Again, please address my justification for 2. Are you denying an ontic bedrock in principle or are you saying that theists cannot define God as an ontic bedrock in their ontology? Surely naturalists can define the ontic bedrock as a naturalist ontology brute fact, correct? So why can't theists do the same?

Quote from: lapetus
It is also, incidentally, a tautology; you are referring to the real bedrock of reality.  Which really doesn’t say much.

Why? When a naturalist states the ontic bedrock is a natural state they don't mean there is proof of this. They mean that if naturalism is a real world phenomenon then it must be a naturalist thing. Similarly, if God is a real thing, we theists mean that whatever is ontically prior to all else (i.e., our ontic bedrock) then by definition this must be God. Otherwise God would just be an added evolved feature of the natural world and he wouldn't be "God." He would just be an advanced evolved being like our human descendants might eventually become over a few million years assuming our species survives and continues to make advances (perhaps making our own universes, etc.). That wouldn't be God.

Quote from: lapetus
Your third is a further reminder that you believe that God has always existed. No demonstration, no explanation of how you know.

It's a valid argument and the comclusion is true if the premises are true.

Quote from: lapetus
How is this anything more than word salad?  You have not explained ‘non-physical referent’.  You have provided no example.

I did. I gave you an example of a mathematical object. I also mentioned that God is not made of atoms or quarks, etc.

Quote from: lapetus
You have tried to explain what fundamental means – as if that is of some significance – and you have referred to God as a fundamental object.  But that is, once more, simply an assertion.

It's an assertion to say God is fundamental (not composite) but it is not an assertion to say that a fundamental structure does not require a compositional structure. If it had such a structure then it wouldn't be fundamental.

Quote from: lapetus
So please tell me more about how you think God is a non-physical thing.  Yes, I can provide an example; God as a figment of your imagination.

That's unfair and based on your own prejudices. .

Quote from: lapetus
I notice that, once more, you didn’t have the decency to remind me.

Decency? C'mon lapetus be nice.

Quote from: lapetus
Is this the level of discussion to which we are reduced?

It's a common definition in philosophical parlance. I'm not sure why you keep being shocked as if you just heard this definition.

Quote from: lapetus
If you know anything useful about your God, then why has He not arranged the galaxies in such a way?

We don't know for sure but there's no reason to think the Almighty is limited to making only one type of universe. This one seems nice. Many of us raise families, experience good tasting food, enjoy the presence of friends, etc. There's no reason to not create such a world. But, if you're asking for my philosophical view which is not fully based on evidence, our universe appears to be based on symmetry laws that seem to translate into some pretty strict conservation laws. Violating energy conservation, for example, seems to be physically impossible on a classical scale. Perhaps the Creator has decided, for a particular reason, to make a universe that conforms to these symmetry laws and is only able to influence events by restricting spontaneous symmetry breaking events to reach some end goal. If he could achieve his goals with such limited action then this might be a "best possible world" based on methodological naturalism. I like this viewpoint because it explains the kind of universe we see where many of the laws and fine-tuned constants seem to be teleologically directed as per the topic of this thread.
 
Quote from: lapetus
You are wriggling and you know it.

C'mon lapetus. Be nice. I could argue that you're wiggling but I want to have a nice discussion and not poking at you which only makes the discussion turn sour.

Quote from: lapetus
The universe contains thoughts, dreams and emotions.  It contains space.  It contains spacetime.  I would like you to tell me what you think it does not contain.

The physical universe (switching back to a standard definition) doesn't contain the laws that made it come into being. It doesn't contain the mathematics that appear to determine what is physically possible. It doesn't contain the principles that underlay physical theory (e.g., that we can't go back into the past and prevent our father ever being born). It doesn't contain many philosophical notions such identity, spacetime structure, information, constant values being fine-tuned, etc.

Quote from: lapetus
And ‘God’ is not, in itself, an answer.  Is there a realm outside of the universe?  If so, can you describe it?

No, but even cosmologists say that the universe expands but don't feel they need to give an account as to what it expands into. Obviously there's more than spacetime if space can expand and not expand into "something."

Quote from: lapetus
There is absolutely no equivocation.  ‘Non-physical referents’ and even ‘things’ with ‘inferred existence’ exist within the confines of the universe.  If you think they are elsewhere, then tell me where.

Like I said, this is very non-standard. Here's Stanford Philosophical Encyclopedia on platonism:

Quote
Platonism is the view that there exist such things as abstract objects — where an abstract object is an object that does not exist in space or time and which is therefore entirely non-physical and non-mental.

This is the standard view that some referents exist outside of the physical universe.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 02:10:44 pm by Harvey »

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Iapetus

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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #66 on: August 07, 2020, 04:14:51 am »
Reply to Harvey:

I need to try constantly to rationalize the conversation in such a way that it does not become too unwieldy.

I shall skim over your various references to philosophic views which echo your own because, or course, they exist.  There are plenty of philosophers who believe in God and who have attempted to justify their claims.  And plenty of others who have adopted contrary views.

I have stated on several occasions that you have presented unjustified claims.  Certainly no concrete (ontic?) evidence.  No demonstrations.  Just assertions. So I shall address, word by word, what I think is the crux of the issue.

“You didn't respond to my justification for 1 other than saying "It is an assertion with no evidence, ... So please respond to that argument so that I can respond to your reasons to reject 1“.

This is the section to which I believe you are referring:   

“The evidence for 1 is that something must exist as an OB and thus this requirement means that existence qua existence cannot not be the case, hence this referent (existence qua existence) is necessary. God is first and foremost defined as this referent (Yahweh literally means "I am"). The other properties of God are very much tied to his nature of existing which as I said is necessary. 2 also refers to this existence qua existence reference which is ontically prior to everything else that there is “.

“1. God is metaphysically necessary”. My understanding of this is that if we examine existence and types of existence – what is here and what is it like – then God must necessarily exist.

Your explanation of this is as follows; “Something must exist as an ontic bedrock …”

I interpret this as meaning that something must provide a real – not just ‘phenomenal’ – basis for something-or-other (belief?) …

“… and thus this requirement means that existence qua existence cannot not be the case, hence this referent (existence qua existence) is necessary“.

… and thus ( ?) this requirement (something is a basis?) that existence in the capacity or character of existence cannot not (?!) be the case, hence existence in the capacity or character of existence must necessarily exist.

I am trying really hard but I am floundering.  So this is what I make of it so far; there is a real – not ‘phenomenal’ – basis for existence, which means that existence must exist.

“God is first and foremost defined as this referent (Yahweh literally means "I am")“.

You have already mentioned existence as the referent but now you have claimed the same thing for God.  Which, as far as I can see, means that you are stating, as a claim which you have not justified, that God equals existence or the other way round because another word means “I am”.

“The other properties of God are very much tied to his nature of existing which as I said is necessary “

The other (?) properties of God are very much tied to his ‘nature of existing’ (unexplained) which as I said is a required state of affairs.  As I said. Stated.  Asserted. Not explained.

“2 (God is the ontic bedrock [OB] of reality) also refers to this existence qua existence reference which is ontically prior to everything else that there is“.

‘God is the real bedrock of reality’ also refers to this existence in the capacity or character of existence which occurs, in reality, prior to everything else.

So as far as I can discern you have stated that we need a sound basis (ontic bedrock) for belief.  I tend to agree with that.  The next bit defeats me.  You seem to be saying that existence must, necessarily, exist.  If I have got this wrong, then please explain yourself more effectively.  You then asserted, with no further explanation, that God is the same thing as existence or equivalent to – in a real sense and not just a ‘phenomenal’ one – and that his ‘nature of existing ’ is tied to the fact that he must necessarily exist.

If you think that such an assemblage of words amounts to any sort of ‘explanation’, let alone ‘demonstration’ or ‘evidence’, then we are so far apart that there is no point in us continuing.  You have demonstrated my reluctance to accept such unjustified assertions.

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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #67 on: August 07, 2020, 07:26:23 am »
I am trying really hard but I am floundering.

You're doing an excellent job so far up to this point (assuming we are understanding each other).

Quote from: lapetus
You have already mentioned existence as the referent but now you have claimed the same thing for God.  Which, as far as I can see, means that you are stating, as a claim which you have not justified, that God equals existence or the other way round because another word means “I am”. . . The other (?) properties of God are very much tied to his ‘nature of existing’ (unexplained) which as I said is a required state of affairs.

If something is fundamental all we can do is point to it (create an indexical) and then ascribe to that "thing" a set of properties. What we cannot possibly do is say "what it is" because as discussed a fundamental thing is not composite. In case of God, my idexical is that He is a self-existent thing that I point to by pointing out that it is ontologically necessary that something must exist in terms of ontology (not just epistemology -- "as far as we know"). Rather, the one thing we can say about reality is that some referent had to be.

Okay, as a naive theist I come along and say (perhaps ignorantly) "well sir, that ontic thing of something that had to exist is what I and many of my theist friends call God." I realize the naturalist thinks "what you call God could be a natural referent and have absolutely none of the properties that you are ascribing to what I think is just the core of naturalism." Ah, but there is a difference. I am ascribing necessity to this referent but the naturalist is ascribing contingency to a brute fact set of conditons to this ontic bedrock. My referent is the ontic fact that if that which the naturalist refers didn't exist (which would be nothingness of some sort) then this nothingness (deplete of properties) would still be or have a referent. We are still talking about something which may or may not have any of the God properties I have ascribed. But, and this is key, I have justified it being metaphysically necessary. Now, of course, the natural can say that I haven't justified its necessity since it might just be a contingent brute fact. To this I say that I am justified in asserting necessity because had this ontic bedrock been a contingent brute fact then it is a terrible hypothesis. Such a brute fact to bring about a "just so" universe (having enough structure to become galaxies, enough structure to allow for quantum gravity, etc.) is preposterous. It's a Goldilocks ontic bedrock since it lacks the simplicity of nothingness (which as a contingent brute fact it could fail to exist) or the extreme details such as Sean Carroll's Wave Function ontology which includes our discussion as part of this ontic bedrock. It's completely arbitrary the amount of structure being presupposed for that ontic bedrock. So, I totally think I am justified saying that none of brute fact ontologies are correct and a much simpler and far more reasonable ontology is to say that existence itself is necessary and that we theists often call this referent: "God." This notion of "existence itself" or "existence qua existence" or "self-existence" or "ground of being" (it has been known by various nomenclatures) is a meta concept that refers not just to what exists as an ontic bedrock but why there is anything at all. I'm saying this meta referent is itself a referent and, in actuality, it cannot not exist since existence as a concept is interwoven with this referent. We can call this meta referent as G if you prefer (until the other associated properties are justified), but in such a case this G is metaphysically necessary and this G is the ontic bedrock, thus G always existed.

Quote from: lapetus
If you think that such an assemblage of words amounts to any sort of ‘explanation’, let alone ‘demonstration’ or ‘evidence’, then we are so far apart that there is no point in us continuing.  You have demonstrated my reluctance to accept such unjustified assertions.

My argument is that the naturalist ontic bedrock is both contingent and often a Goldilock's brute fact which is not justifiable. In case of Sean Carroll's ontology it is not a Goldilock's ontology at all since as part of that ontology we are "now" having this discussion -- and not just once but an infinite times right "now" and an infinite times "in the past" and an infinite times "in the future." See here. I don't think this view is at all tenable. But, in fairness to Sean, naturalism cannot provide a good solution as to why any "just so" brute fact exists. I believe theism has justified God's existence via metaphysical necessity, as it has done throughout the ages. Naturalists came about mostly because they stopped studying metaphysics and just assumed it was unimportant to developing an ontology which I completely disagree with.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 07:34:52 am by Harvey »

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Mammal

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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #68 on: August 07, 2020, 09:02:10 am »
It's a Goldilocks ontic bedrock since it lacks the simplicity of nothingness (which as a contingent brute fact it could fail to exist) or the extreme details such as Sean Carroll's Wave Function ontology which includes our discussion as part of this ontic bedrock.
..In case of Sean Carroll's ontology it is not a Goldilock's ontology at all since as part of that ontology we are "now" having this discussion -- and not just once but an infinite times right "now" and an infinite times "in the past" and an infinite times "in the future." See here. I don't think this view is at all tenable. But, in fairness to Sean, naturalism cannot provide a good solution as to why any "just so" brute fact exists.
In the interview Carroll mentions the possibility of an evolving wave function (more than once) and nothing about infinite repeats either (not in this interview). You have to get into more details about what he proposes as you are misrepresenting him here. He has a very specific set of explanatory hypotheses of how SOA's might have evolved.
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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #69 on: August 07, 2020, 09:16:09 am »
In the interview Carroll mentions the possibility of an evolving wave function (more than once) and nothing about infinite repeats either (not in this interview). You have to get into more details about what he proposes as you are misrepresenting him here. He has a very specific set of explanatory hypotheses of how SOA's might have evolved.

Sean believes in eternal inflation and Everett's many worlds. He's also a B-theorist. Hence, eternal inflation suggests that there are an infinite number of regions where the parameters of our universe and everything happening "now" are being repeated an infinite number of times and will be repeated an infinite number of times in the future. He has stated an infinite past cosmology but it's not clear if he still believes that. However, there are also an infinite number of Everett copies of us in every universe as well. And, as a B-theorist he believes that there is no tensed view of these events so the universal wave function has these features as just one all-encompassing "now." Your next post is part of this "now" or ontic bedrock. There's no cause or reason for it. Just like the infinite copies of "you" existing in the B-timeline they are all going to say the same thing (well, a larger infinite number might say something different but an infinite number will say the same things). This is all for no reason or cause.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 09:22:51 am by Harvey »

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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #70 on: August 07, 2020, 09:36:44 am »
Sean believes in eternal inflation and Everett's many worlds. He's also a B-theorist. Hence, eternal inflation suggests that there are an infinite number of regions where the parameters of our universe and everything happening "now" are being repeated an infinite number of times and will be repeated an infinite number of times in the future. He has stated an infinite past cosmology but it's not clear if he still believes that. However, there are also an infinite number of Everett copies of us in every universe as well. And, as a B-theorist he believes that there is no tensed view of these events so the universal wave function has these features as just one all-encompassing "now." Your next post is part of this "now" or ontic bedrock. There's no cause or reason for it. Just like the infinite copies of "you" existing in the B-timeline they are all going to say the same thing (well, a larger infinite number might say something different but an infinite number will say the same things). This is all for no reason or cause.
What you have just done was to impose your understanding of some other views and merged it with what you think his views might be and not necessarily conveying all of his views accurately. You could be attacking a straw man.
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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #71 on: August 07, 2020, 10:16:27 am »
What you have just done was to impose your understanding of some other views and merged it with what you think his views might be and not necessarily conveying all of his views accurately. You could be attacking a straw man.

I have quotes from Carroll for each of these positions.

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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #72 on: August 07, 2020, 10:36:42 am »
^ That whole caboodle is not his view. Full stop. And let me not divert the current discussion any further.
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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #73 on: August 07, 2020, 11:45:28 am »
^ That whole caboodle is not his view. Full stop. And let me not divert the current discussion any further.

You're mistaken. These are his views:

1) Many Worlds.
2) Eternal inflation
3) B-theory and eternalism
4) Past infinite being possibly probable.

If we combine these claims with the universal wave function being all there is, being contingent, being tenseless and eternal, including many worlds, having eternal inflation, and being past infinite then the whole Shebang is completely contingent and having this discussion as part of that ontic bedrock existing without explanation.


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Re: Teleology in the World
« Reply #74 on: August 07, 2020, 12:53:49 pm »
^ So you keep on saying..only not true..and obviously in some instances contradictory.

Look, Carroll presented his "shebang" to the experts at Cern recently where he connected the dots between his various papers. Why not look it up?

In short:

A fundamental quantum SOA (that in itself might have evolved from some core aspects);
A (quantum computational) SOA leading up to cosmic inflation;
An explanation for a holographic universe along the lines of string theory (Maldacena & Co) and quantum gravity;
Everett's MWI according to entangled states of affairs within a (evolving) quantum wave scenario. (This might not be part of said presentation, but contained in two significant blog articles of which you might have referenced one).

Keep in mind that he offers multiple conceptual schemes that he admits to be feasible. It goes without saying that one cannot put such concepts together indiscriminately.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 01:29:17 pm by Mammal »
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