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Ontological PHYSICAL necessity?

phantom
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12/9/2012 8:37:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So we can logically infer without much doubt that physical existence is logically necessary. If it were contingent, nothing would exist because contingent things require an external cause and if physical existence were contingent, there would be nothing to cause it. Keep in mind, there could be necessary laws of logic while being nothing physically necessary. And if the laws of logic caused something to be, that would be equivalent to it being necessary, so it wouldn't count as an external cause. So some physical existence is necessary but the huge question is why and what? There seems no reason to believe matter itself should be necessary or anything else that is physical. We can easily conceive of the law that A cannot be both equal and not equal to itself is necessary just like the law of non-contradiction and basic mathematical principles. But none of those are physical. I can't conceive of anything physical at all I could say must be necessary.........except God, a maximally great being. Now I'm an atheist so I don't believe in God nor have I at any time held any strong convictions over the ontological arguments even when I was a theist. But this really has got me thinking. There seems to be absolutely no physical thing that is arguably necessary besides a maximally great being. Why on earth does something exist rather than nothing? Perhaps I'm partially committing the God of the gaps fallacy, but God seems to be the only explanation. All other things physical seem like they should be contingent. I can't think of anything physical that you could argue as necessary except for God and there must be something. It would also explain the existence of all these contingent things. Even if we were to conceive of something physical that is necessary that wasn't God, we'd still need to explain why every thing else that is contingent exists. A maximally great being could do so because he could create it ex-deo or ex-nihilo. That last point is more minor though. The main point is, the only explanation for physical existence is that something physical is necessary. It would be inconceivable to say all physical things are contingent. If that were the case, there would be no physical existence because it must exist either by an external or internal cause. If it were contingent, there would be no external cause so it must be be necessary. But then how can we say anything physical is necessary? I can easily conceive of a state of being where matter does not exist. Only God seems to fit the bill, a very profound conclusion if it is sound.

Maybe I'm missing something or there are big holes in my reasoning but I've been thinking about this for the past few days and I have to say I feel mind fvcked. I can't get past it but I feel like God is too simple, improbable and just quick an answer. No idea. I'd like to believe it's a valid argument but I feel someone's going to come on here and refute it easily, shattering all my hopes that it might be true.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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12/13/2012 4:44:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
Nothing exists = existence of non existence
That's a contradiction.

****************************************

At 12/9/2012 8:37:46 PM, phantom wrote:
So we can logically infer without much doubt that physical existence is logically necessary.
I concur. However, I don't see the need to qualify existence with "physical".

If it were contingent, nothing would exist because contingent things require an external cause and if physical existence were contingent, there would be nothing to cause it.
(1) You said "nothing would exist" and this is a contradiction because it means the "existence of non existence" = "exist not exist".

(2) Existence (no need to qualify with "physical") is not contingent upon anything.

Keep in mind, there could be necessary laws of logic while being nothing physically necessary.
Please elaborate. Use examples.

And if the laws of logic caused something to be, that would be equivalent to it being necessary, so it wouldn't count as an external cause. So some physical existence is necessary but the huge question is why and what?
Physical existence as opposed to what, non-physical existence? Please elaborate.

There seems no reason to believe matter itself should be necessary or anything else that is physical.
We have plenty of reasons to believe that; some reasons you've already posted and there are others like empirical reasons.

We can easily conceive of the law that A cannot be both equal and not equal to itself is necessary just like the law of non-contradiction and basic mathematical principles.
Well that's because you've simple stated the same law twice: "A cannot be both equal and not equal to itself" IS the law of non contradiction.

But none of those are physical.
Oh contraire mon freire! These CAN BE abstractions of the physical. For example, take a pencil in your hand and we shall call it A. That pencil cannot be both pencil A and not pencil A; ergo, it is indeed a physical law.

I can't conceive of anything physical at all I could say must be necessary.........except God, a maximally great being.
I can.

Now I'm an atheist so I don't believe in God nor have I at any time held any strong convictions over the ontological arguments even when I was a theist.
I'm sorry to hear that.

But this really has got me thinking. There seems to be absolutely no physical thing that is arguably necessary besides a maximally great being.
(1) Apart from things CONTINGENT upon the physical, what else is there BUT the physical? Please show empirical evidence for this.

(2) If there is indeed things other than the physical and that are NOT contingent upopn the physical, why would a maximally great being "be only" or "be limited to" the physical?

Why on earth does something exist rather than nothing?
Because there is no other alternative BUT existence: the "existence of nothing" is a contradiction.

Perhaps I'm partially committing the God of the gaps fallacy, but God seems to be the only explanation.
Take it from a theist: God's certainly not the only explanation.

All other things physical seem like they should be contingent. I can't think of anything physical that you could argue as necessary except for God and there must be something. It would also explain the existence of all these contingent things. Even if we were to conceive of something physical that is necessary that wasn't God, we'd still need to explain why every thing else that is contingent exists.
You are in "confusion" because you have faulty assumptions; remove them and you will be cleansed!

A maximally great being could do so because he could create it ex-deo or ex-nihilo.
Maximally great being or not, creation ex nihilo is not a possibility. Creation ex nihilo is a contradiction in meaning.

That last point is more minor though. The main point is, the only explanation for physical existence is that something physical is necessary. It would be inconceivable to say all physical things are contingent. If that were the case, there would be no physical existence because it must exist either by an external or internal cause. If it were contingent, there would be no external cause so it must be be necessary. But then how can we say anything physical is necessary?
Again, you are in turmoil because you have accepted faulty premises.

I can easily conceive of a state of being where matter does not exist. Only God seems to fit the bill, a very profound conclusion if it is sound.
One's imagination is not a measure of possibility. Just because you can imagine something to be so, does not mean that it can be so. There is no "magical" aspect of conception that guarantees things to be true; otherwise, we'd be perfect beings never to make mistakes of conception.

Maybe I'm missing something or there are big holes in my reasoning but I've been thinking about this for the past few days and I have to say I feel mind fvcked.
Yes and yes (to "missing something" and "big holes in my reasoning".)

I can't get past it but I feel like God is too simple, improbable and just quick an answer. No idea. I'd like to believe it's a valid argument but I feel someone's going to come on here and refute it easily, shattering all my hopes that it might be true.
Are you sure that you're an atheist? If you are, you certainly must be an agnostic-atheist. Not so bad as I am an agnostic-theist.

On an aside note, why did you not continue to respond in the "skepticism" forum (aka Even if rejection of certainty was paradoxica)?
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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12/13/2012 4:49:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 4:44:25 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
Nothing exists = existence of non existence
That's a contradiction.

Existence is an ambiguous word, that's very much open to abuse of interpretation. Existence of nonexistence is think is one such example.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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12/13/2012 5:00:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 4:49:31 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:44:25 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
Nothing exists = existence of non existence
That's a contradiction.

Existence is an ambiguous word, that's very much open to abuse of interpretation. Existence of nonexistence is think is one such example.
And of course you did NOTHING to disambiguate, so we are back at square one!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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12/13/2012 5:04:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 5:00:50 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:49:31 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:44:25 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
Nothing exists = existence of non existence
That's a contradiction.

Existence is an ambiguous word, that's very much open to abuse of interpretation. Existence of nonexistence is think is one such example.
And of course you did NOTHING to disambiguate, so we are back at square one!
Matter of fact, you've further obfuscated!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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12/13/2012 5:09:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 5:00:50 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:49:31 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:44:25 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
Nothing exists = existence of non existence
That's a contradiction.

Existence is an ambiguous word, that's very much open to abuse of interpretation. Existence of nonexistence is think is one such example.
And of course you did NOTHING to disambiguate, so we are back at square one!

Well I'm not a mind reader. I'm not sure what exactly FREEDO meant when he said nothing exists. Perhaps he meant existence in the sense of occupying physical space...or existence in the sense of having presence in some possible world...or existence in the sense of truth.

I was simply pointing out that it isn't a sustainable rebuttal to say that non-existence exists, given that the statement is exploiting the different subtle interpretations, such that it appears less contradictory. The first clause "non-existence" uses existence in the "presence" or "occupying space" sense....then the other clause "exists" uses existence in the sense of the state of truth.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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12/13/2012 5:19:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 4:49:31 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:44:25 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
Nothing exists = existence of non existence
That's a contradiction.

Existence is an ambiguous word, that's very much open to abuse of interpretation. Existence of nonexistence is think is one such example.

The Fool: Its because its so simple that its hard for many to grasps, you are looking for more then what it IS.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
stubs
Posts: 1,887
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12/13/2012 5:21:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 4:44:25 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
Nothing exists = existence of non existence
That's a contradiction.


Usually I have seen people saying "not anything" instead of "nothing" to get around that.
It all comes down to semantics anyways so who cares haha
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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12/13/2012 5:27:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 5:19:40 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:49:31 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:44:25 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
Nothing exists = existence of non existence
That's a contradiction.

Existence is an ambiguous word, that's very much open to abuse of interpretation. Existence of nonexistence is think is one such example.



The Fool: Its because its so simple that its hard for many to grasps, you are looking for more then what it IS.

Nothing personal tF, but philosophy that purports its own obscurity in defense of its apparent incoherence, is often in fact incoherent. There must be sound and definite meaning in the words that you say, which you can precisely communicate to another; otherwise the correctness of it is only a self-induced delusion.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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12/13/2012 5:32:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 5:09:43 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/13/2012 5:00:50 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:49:31 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:44:25 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
Nothing exists = existence of non existence
That's a contradiction.

Existence is an ambiguous word, that's very much open to abuse of interpretation. Existence of nonexistence is think is one such example.
And of course you did NOTHING to disambiguate, so we are back at square one!
Well I'm not a mind reader. I'm not sure what exactly FREEDO meant when he said nothing exists.
Neither am I, but this isn't about what he meant but rather what he wrote.

Perhaps he meant existence in the sense of occupying physical space...
Physical existence, as opposed to what?

...or existence in the sense of having presence in some possible world...
Physical presence as opposed to what?

...or existence in the sense of truth.
Elaborate.

I was simply pointing out that it isn't a sustainable rebuttal to say that non-existence exists, given that the statement is exploiting the different subtle interpretations, such that it appears less contradictory.
(1) I'm not saying that, I'm saying that FREEDO is saying that.

(2) I added no qualifiers to "existence"; it's easy enough to understand on its own.

The first clause "non-existence" uses existence in the "presence" or "occupying space" sense....then the other clause "exists" uses existence in the sense of the state of truth.
The state of truth is either true or false; "exist" doesn't come into play.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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12/13/2012 5:39:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 5:21:04 PM, stubs wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:44:25 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
Nothing exists = existence of non existence
That's a contradiction.
Usually I have seen people saying "not anything" instead of "nothing" to get around that.
That doesn't get around anything, because the objection is not one of words but rather reason. "Not anything exists" is logically equivalent to "nothing exists" and it therefore suffers from the same failure in reasoning. If it is not logically equivalent, then it is another point altogether and thus a non sequitur.

It all comes down to semantics anyways so who cares haha
This is a problem in reasoning not semantics.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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12/13/2012 5:39:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The Fool: Ontology is Garbage Philosophy. The Fool Throws that sophism in the ever Dead pit of Ideologist Reasoning. Let those mystics have it, the need it. The Love it.

YOU LOVE IT!
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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12/13/2012 5:47:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 5:39:12 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
The Fool: Ontology is Garbage Philosophy. The Fool Throws that sophism in the ever Dead pit of Ideologist Reasoning. Let those mystics have it, the need it. The Love it.

YOU LOVE IT!
Well, for once I concur with you Fool!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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12/13/2012 6:17:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 5:27:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/13/2012 5:19:40 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:49:31 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/13/2012 4:44:25 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
Nothing exists = existence of non existence
That's a contradiction.

Existence is an ambiguous word, that's very much open to abuse of interpretation. Existence of nonexistence is think is one such example.



The Fool: Its because its so simple that its hard for many to grasps, you are looking for more then what it IS.

Nothing personal tF, but philosophy that purports its own obscurity in defense of its apparent incoherence, is often in fact incoherent.

Ike: There must be sound and definite meaning in the words that you say, which you can precisely communicate to another; otherwise the correctness of it is only a self-induced delusion. And I base this of absolutely Nothing.

The Fool: As appose to what?

philosophy that purports its own obscurity in defense of its apparent incoherence, is often in fact incoherent. And I base this of absolutely Nothing.

The Fool: Its usually me with the bad, grammar, and I give high POF, (principle of charity)
I was actually interested in what you had to say. Because you usually just run away. But seriously without running away, can you clarify the first sentence.

Ike: There must be sound and definite meaning in the words that you say, which you can precisely communicate to another; otherwise the correctness of it is only a self-induced delusion. And I base this of absolutely Nothing.

The Fool: If what you say is true, Then we could never learn anything new from anybody, Language could never be learned, let alone begin to be a form of communication, at all.

For everything obscure when you don't understand it.

How have you accounting for knowing the difference when it is that very same concept you don"t' understand? Votes, ideology!! You sound like a nihilist, of a Clown bearish sort. You claim to know what is Not when what is not is not there to know.

For if you are confuse about something, then ask question, don't give answers. Save it for your Ideo-buddies. They like that.

" philosophy that purports its own obscurity in defense of its apparent incoherence, is often in fact incoherent. And I base this of absolutely Nothing.

The Fool: This was awesome.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
philochristos
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12/13/2012 7:17:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.

This could be interpreted in at least two ways:

1. "Nothing" is something that exists.

2. There isn't anything that exists.

If Freedo means 1, then that's a self-contradiction since to exist means to have properties, and "nothing" is the absence of properties. So, to say that 'nothing' is something that exists is to say that something which has no properties does has properties.

If Freedo means 2, then it's obviously false because I at least exist.

Freedo, why don't you just tell us what you meant so we can stop arguing about it?
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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12/13/2012 7:41:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 8:37:46 PM, phantom wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something or there are big holes in my reasoning but I've been thinking about this for the past few days and I have to say I feel mind fvcked.

What you're describing is basically the argument from contingency, and it's one of the reasons I believe in God. The only thing that puzzled me was why you thought something physical must be necessary, and why you lumped God in with physical things. Since you contrasted it with the laws of logic and math, I'm guessing that by "physical," you mean "concrete," and you were contrasting that with "abstract." In that case, I agree with you. God is concrete, but I don't think God is physical, and I don't think anything physical can be necessary. If everything physical is contingent, then something non-physical must be necessary. But it can't be something abstract like the laws of logic since abstract entities don't have causal powers. They aren't substances. Only something concrete (i.e. a substance) can have causal powers, and something must be necessary that is concrete to explain why everything physical exists since everything physical is contingent.

I don't think this argument says a whole lot about "God," though, and I can see why a person might think it's a "god of the gaps" argument since there aren't enough properties you can infer about it to justify calling it "God." All you can really say about it is that it's a non-physical necessary being that brought all of physical reality into existence. You would have to use additional arguments to squeeze any other properties out of it, like personhood. Personhood is a biggie. If you could establish that it's a person, then I think you'd be justified in calling it a god.

I don't know why people are so opposed to the idea that the physical universe may not be all that exists. Reality is a very strange thing. Even when we look at ordinary matter and energy, it has very strange properties (think of the double slit experiment). But besides matter, there's also anti-matter, which is completely different than what we usually experience. M-theory and string theory predict that there are extra dimensions (11, I think), and that's hard to even conceive of. Why not, in additional to the physical, the non-physical, too?

I mean, we have this habit as humans of assuming that all we can experience is all there must be. We used to think our own solar system was all there was. Then, later we realized there was a whole galaxy, and that's all there was. Now, we know there's a whole universe full of gallaxies, and we're beginning to postulate a multiverse full of universes. Well, why not the non-physical? I can understand not wanting to positively assert or believe there's a non-physical realm of being without evidence, but what I don't understand is how anybody can rule it out and positively assert that there is no such realm just because we have no access to it.

And, personally, I think there are good arguments against the notion that the physical realm is all there is, and this argument from contingency is one of them. There's also various arguments from minds, like the argument from reason, the evolutionary argument against naturalism, the argument from intentional action, and the argument from identity.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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12/13/2012 7:46:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Just to add one more strange thing about reality, it follows from the law of excluded middle that either time is finite in the past, or time is infinite in the past. But if you really think about it, both scenarios are very strange, so there's no escaping the strangeness of reality.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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12/14/2012 9:49:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 7:17:11 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.

This could be interpreted in at least two ways:

1. "Nothing" is something that exists.

The Fool: Yes Freedo is one of the wisest among the DDO Elite So you know what That Means.. As a fool, I recommend that you watch his every word. There is more to him then meets THE EYE.


2. There isn't anything that exists.

If Freedo means 1, then that's a self-contradiction since to exist means to have properties, and "nothing" is the absence of properties. So, to say that 'nothing' is something that exists is to say that something which has no properties does has properties.

The Fool: yes this is about as Sound As it gets. I have been trying to figure his Coded messages for so long, I can't believe that you figure that out.

If Freedo means 2, then it's obviously false because I at least exist.

Freedo, why don't you just tell us what you meant so we can stop arguing about it?

The Fool: SHhh. Be careful what you say to him. HE KNOWS!
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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12/14/2012 9:51:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 7:46:37 PM, philochristos wrote:
Just to add one more strange thing about reality, it follows from the law of excluded middle that either time is finite in the past, or time is infinite in the past. But if you really think about it, both scenarios are very strange, so there's no escaping the strangeness of reality.

The Fool: You are a great Philosopher. I like your style .That get in, and get-er done style.

HE KNOWS!
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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12/14/2012 9:52:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 7:41:53 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:37:46 PM, phantom wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something or there are big holes in my reasoning but I've been thinking about this for the past few days and I have to say I feel mind fvcked.

What you're describing is basically the argument from contingency, and it's one of the reasons I believe in God. The only thing that puzzled me was why you thought something physical must be necessary, and why you lumped God in with physical things. Since you contrasted it with the laws of logic and math, I'm guessing that by "physical," you mean "concrete," and you were contrasting that with "abstract." In that case, I agree with you. God is concrete, but I don't think God is physical, and I don't think anything physical can be necessary. If everything physical is contingent, then something non-physical must be necessary. But it can't be something abstract like the laws of logic since abstract entities don't have causal powers. They aren't substances. Only something concrete (i.e. a substance) can have causal powers, and something must be necessary that is concrete to explain why everything physical exists since everything physical is contingent.

I don't think this argument says a whole lot about "God," though, and I can see why a person might think it's a "god of the gaps" argument since there aren't enough properties you can infer about it to justify calling it "God." All you can really say about it is that it's a non-physical necessary being that brought all of physical reality into existence. You would have to use additional arguments to squeeze any other properties out of it, like personhood. Personhood is a biggie. If you could establish that it's a person, then I think you'd be justified in calling it a god.

I don't know why people are so opposed to the idea that the physical universe may not be all that exists. Reality is a very strange thing. Even when we look at ordinary matter and energy, it has very strange properties (think of the double slit experiment). But besides matter, there's also anti-matter, which is completely different than what we usually experience. M-theory and string theory predict that there are extra dimensions (11, I think), and that's hard to even conceive of. Why not, in additional to the physical, the non-physical, too?

I mean, we have this habit as humans of assuming that all we can experience is all there must be. We used to think our own solar system was all there was. Then, later we realized there was a whole galaxy, and that's all there was. Now, we know there's a whole universe full of gallaxies, and we're beginning to postulate a multiverse full of universes. Well, why not the non-physical? I can understand not wanting to positively assert or believe there's a non-physical realm of being without evidence, but what I don't understand is how anybody can rule it out and positively assert that there is no such realm just because we have no access to it.

And, personally, I think there are good arguments against the notion that the physical realm is all there is, and this argument from contingency is one of them. There's also various arguments from minds, like the argument from reason, the evolutionary argument against naturalism, the argument from intentional action, and the argument from identity.

The Fool: He knows!

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list,
Checking it twice;
Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

With little tin horns and little toy drums
Rooty toot toots and rummy tum tums
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake
Goodness sake

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming
Santa Claus is coming
Santa Claus is coming to town

(Coming to town)
Santa's a busy man he has no time to play
He's got millions of stockings to fill on Christmas day
(Santa Claus is coming to town)
(Coming to town)
(Santa Claus is coming to town)
(Coming to town)
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
tBoonePickens
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12/14/2012 10:44:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 7:17:11 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
This could be interpreted in at least two ways:

1. "Nothing" is something that exists.

2. There isn't anything that exists.

If Freedo means 1, then that's a self-contradiction since to exist means to have properties, and "nothing" is the absence of properties. So, to say that 'nothing' is something that exists is to say that something which has no properties does has properties.
Yes. Simply put: "nothing" is itself a contradictory concept. You can see that from your own explanation.

If Freedo means 2, then it's obviously false because I at least exist.

Freedo, why don't you just tell us what you meant so we can stop arguing about it?
Agreed as well.

Just to add one more strange thing about reality, it follows from the law of excluded middle that either time is finite in the past, or time is infinite in the past. But if you really think about it, both scenarios are very strange, so there's no escaping the strangeness of reality.
Time cannot be infinite in the past otherwise we would never have gotten to this time. The whole concept of infinite regression is flawed...actually the whole concept of infinity is flawed!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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12/16/2012 9:19:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 10:44:42 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/13/2012 7:17:11 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
This could be interpreted in at least two ways:

1. "Nothing" is something that exists.

2. There isn't anything that exists.

If Freedo means 1, then that's a self-contradiction since to exist means to have properties, and "nothing" is the absence of properties. So, to say that 'nothing' is something that exists is to say that something which has no properties does has properties.
Yes. Simply put: "nothing" is itself a contradictory concept. You can see that from your own explanation.

If Freedo means 2, then it's obviously false because I at least exist.

Freedo, why don't you just tell us what you meant so we can stop arguing about it?
Agreed as well.

Just to add one more strange thing about reality, it follows from the law of excluded middle that either time is finite in the past, or time is infinite in the past. But if you really think about it, both scenarios are very strange, so there's no escaping the strangeness of reality.
Time cannot be infinite in the past otherwise we would never have gotten to this time. The whole concept of infinite regression is flawed...actually the whole concept of infinity is flawed!

The Fool: Change is eternal, time is just a MEASURE of change, for the absolute is in constant flux. Time is not change , but a standardized rate of change we use to compare speed. Time depends on at least three dimension, that is the difference between the rate of change between to changing Things.

It is evident when we time how fast a runner is, we are not changing how fast he is running. The concept of time is logically dependent on change not the other way around. For one is already and the other is a measure of it.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
StreetLogician
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12/16/2012 3:23:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 8:37:46 PM, phantom wrote:
So we can logically infer without much doubt that physical existence is logically necessary. If it were contingent, nothing would exist because contingent things require an external cause and if physical existence were contingent, there would be nothing to cause it. Keep in mind, there could be necessary laws of logic while being nothing physically necessary. And if the laws of logic caused something to be, that would be equivalent to it being necessary, so it wouldn't count as an external cause. So some physical existence is necessary but the huge question is why and what?

I think atheists are almost, but not as bad as theists in overestimating their understanding of existence and causality.

At 12/9/2012 8:37:46 PM, phantom wrote:
There seems no reason to believe matter itself should be necessary or anything else that is physical. We can easily conceive of the law that A cannot be both equal and not equal to itself is necessary just like the law of non-contradiction and basic mathematical principles. But none of those are physical. I can't conceive of anything physical at all I could say must be necessary.........except God, a maximally great being. Now I'm an atheist so I don't believe in God nor have I at any time held any strong convictions over the ontological arguments even when I was a theist. But this really has got me thinking. There seems to be absolutely no physical thing that is arguably necessary besides a maximally great being. Why on earth does something exist rather than nothing? Perhaps I'm partially committing the God of the gaps fallacy, but God seems to be the only explanation. All other things physical seem like they should be contingent.

I don't see god as any more necessary than the singularity of the Big Bang. If you like we can have a friendly debate about that.

At 12/9/2012 8:37:46 PM, phantom wrote:
I can't think of anything physical that you could argue as necessary except for God and there must be something. It would also explain the existence of all these contingent things. Even if we were to conceive of something physical that is necessary that wasn't God, we'd still need to explain why every thing else that is contingent exists. A maximally great being could do so because he could create it ex-deo or ex-nihilo. That last point is more minor though. The main point is, the only explanation for physical existence is that something physical is necessary. It would be inconceivable to say all physical things are contingent. If that were the case, there would be no physical existence because it must exist either by an external or internal cause. If it were contingent, there would be no external cause so it must be be necessary. But then how can we say anything physical is necessary? I can easily conceive of a state of being where matter does not exist. Only God seems to fit the bill, a very profound conclusion if it is sound.

Maybe I'm missing something or there are big holes in my reasoning but I've been thinking about this for the past few days and I have to say I feel mind fvcked. I can't get past it but I feel like God is too simple, improbable and just quick an answer. No idea. I'd like to believe it's a valid argument but I feel someone's going to come on here and refute it easily, shattering all my hopes that it might be true.

Given our understanding of existence, nil, that there could have been nothing seems reasonable, but it maybe that that is our ignorance speaking.
Sidewalker
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12/17/2012 6:48:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 10:44:42 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/13/2012 7:17:11 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/9/2012 8:58:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Nothing exists.
This could be interpreted in at least two ways:

1. "Nothing" is something that exists.

2. There isn't anything that exists.

If Freedo means 1, then that's a self-contradiction since to exist means to have properties, and "nothing" is the absence of properties. So, to say that 'nothing' is something that exists is to say that something which has no properties does has properties.
Yes. Simply put: "nothing" is itself a contradictory concept. You can see that from your own explanation.

If Freedo means 2, then it's obviously false because I at least exist.

Freedo, why don't you just tell us what you meant so we can stop arguing about it?
Agreed as well.

Just to add one more strange thing about reality, it follows from the law of excluded middle that either time is finite in the past, or time is infinite in the past. But if you really think about it, both scenarios are very strange, so there's no escaping the strangeness of reality.
Time cannot be infinite in the past otherwise we would never have gotten to this time. The whole concept of infinite regression is flawed...actually the whole concept of infinity is flawed!

I think "nothing" and "infinity" are necessary cognitive concepts in the sense that fundamentally we think in a series of binary oppositions. You can't have a left without a right or an up without a down, the concept of "nothing" is cognitively transactional with the concept of "something" for instance, so for "something" to have meaning, there needs to be a corresponding mental concept of "nothing".

Granting ontological status to consciousness and recognizing that it is the primary reality from which we can think about anything, the first cause argument is one that, conceptually at least, isn"t really about whether there was an initial state of "nothing" from which "something" emerged. It is only "solved" in recognition of that fact that they are not mutually exclusive concepts that need to be ordered in time, they are mutually sustaining, reciprocal in their true nature, and therefore they necessarily emerged together. Our mind thinks of them as basically separate from each other but in reality they constitute a whole.

I'm something of a student of cosmogonic myths and I've recognized that almost all cosmogonic myths begin with some reference to an undifferentiated realm, like a watery abyss or some other kind of chaotic state that is formless and empty; it's always a transcendent or "unthinkable" state, so to speak. From that undifferentiated realm the universe always emerges as a result of a series of binary oppositions being separated out of the chaotic state, light and dark, matter and space, etc. I think this is necessarily so, we cannot conceptualize anything without these foundational binary oppositions and any explanation of how reality came about will necessarily address it in those conceptual terms. In the end, "nothing" is a necessary reality in order for there to be "something", and the concept of "infinite" is necessary for "finite" thought.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
mattrodstrom
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12/17/2012 11:41:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 8:37:46 PM, phantom wrote:
So we can logically infer without much doubt that physical existence is logically necessary.

If it were contingent, nothing would exist because contingent things require an external cause and if physical existence were contingent, there would be nothing to cause it.

Sure, Given that we presume that physical reality exists at all that is ;)

A more straightforward way of showing it (given that presumption) is simply identifying that the idea that something causes another thing is the idea that that Other thing follows necessarily from the particular aspects of the first...

Heavily armored humvees cause small arms projectiles to richochet off... Their richocheting directly follows from the nature of the heavily armored humvees...

Because of the particular nature of the first condition, the result (due to the nature of the first condition) necessarily follows... This is what we mean by "cause and effect"

so.. if Physical Reality was caused it Directly/Necessarily follows that which 'caused' it...
Because that's what 'caused' means.

Even if you were to say physical reality was caused by God's willing it to... then that's saying it Necessarily follows b/c of god's willing it to.. it's coming to be is intimately related to the condition of God's willing, such that it unerringly followed it, given the existing conditions.

Then, I suppose the question would become how far does 'cause and effect' go...
is God's will Necessarily Caused by his good/all perfect nature? or does he magically escape from our notions of cause and effect?
(also, I suppose lots of people give the Wills of people a Free-ride when it comes to linking them to cause and effect.. kind of suggesting that 'choice' happens outside it's domain... though even they admit that people's choices can be "influenced" they just won't admit that they're "caused".. Kind of a wishy-washy, in-between, magical relation)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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12/17/2012 12:12:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
eh, really though you start with an unsupported dichotomy between necessary and contingent...
Not showing that things must fall into one or the other category.

For myself, I believe that our conceptions of things and how they're related is dependent upon the assumptions of particular, definite, natures.. and the idea that these natures relate in particular definite ways... having effects which follow forth from the natures at hand.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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12/17/2012 4:20:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/16/2012 9:19:08 AM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 12/14/2012 10:44:42 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Time cannot be infinite in the past otherwise we would never have gotten to this time. The whole concept of infinite regression is flawed...actually the whole concept of infinity is flawed!
The Fool: Change is eternal, time is just a MEASURE of change, for the absolute is in constant flux.
(1) Change is not eternal because there cannot always be the possibility for change. Once the Universe reaches the Omega state, there is no more possibility for change.

(2) Time IS indeed change, just like length is a measure of distance, etc.

Time is not change , but a standardized rate of change we use to compare speed.
That is incorrect, again. Time is indeed change and the standardized rate of change is called the SECOND in SI units.

"The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom." NIST

Speed is a relationship between distance and time, namely: speed = distance/time.

Time depends on at least three dimension, that is the difference between the rate of change between to changing Things.
This is completely incorrect, as usual for The Fool. Time is dependent only on itself: if there is change, then time is progressing; if there is no change, then time is not progressing. On the other hand, we have Spacetime which IS dependent on 4 dimensions: 3 spacial and 1 temporal.

It is evident when we time how fast a runner is, we are not changing how fast he is running.
That's correct, and I have not said otherwise. BTW, equivocating the verb time and the noun time is not helping your case.

The concept of time is logically dependent on change not the other way around. For one is already and the other is a measure of it.
That is incorrect because time and change are equivalent and you have NOT shown otherwise. Just as length is a measure of distance, length and distance are equivalent. In the cases of length, width, and height these are all equivalent to distances with implied directions; however, they are nonetheless DISTANCES.

***************************************

At 12/17/2012 6:48:19 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
I think "nothing" and "infinity" are necessary cognitive concepts in the sense that fundamentally we think in a series of binary oppositions. You can't have a left without a right or an up without a down, the concept of "nothing" is cognitively transactional with the concept of "something" for instance, so for "something" to have meaning, there needs to be a corresponding mental concept of "nothing".
I agree with your assessment of our "binary" way of thinking. It seems that there's up/down, left/right, good/bad, etc. It seems that we can always have X and it's negation, but as you know that's not always the case because there are things that cannot be negated.

The case of "nothing" is of particular interest because we use the term "nothing" in everyday speak and we can often use it correctly. For example, when we use "zero" or "nothing" in reference to "some thing" in particular, then we are using it correctly.
Q: How many apples to you have in the bag?
A: Zero/None.

This answer's fine because there are "no/zero/none" apples in the bag. We are negating the presence of apples ONLY not negating EVERYTHING. It is only when we are attempting to use "nothing" to mean the negation of ALL THINGS that we arrive at error or contradiction.

The case for infinity (ie never ending) is slightly more complex. Fundamentally, infinity is claiming that "it never ends / it never becomes / it is never certain"; but is that even really a claim? No, not really and so it isn't really knowledge. We can use the concept of mathematical infinity for many applications; however, this concept is axiomatically built into the mathematical system along with many exceptions and limitations.

Granting ontological status to consciousness and recognizing that it is the primary reality from which we can think about anything, the first cause argument is one that, conceptually at least, isn't really about whether there was an initial state of "nothing" from which "something" emerged.
How could I grant ontological status to consciousness if I believe consciousness to be contingent upon something?

It is only "solved" in recognition of that fact that they are not mutually exclusive concepts that need to be ordered in time, they are mutually sustaining, reciprocal in their true nature, and therefore they necessarily emerged together. Our mind thinks of them as basically separate from each other but in reality they constitute a whole.
I understand your position BUT I cannot accept it because:

(A) I CANNOT conceive of why the physical would REQUIRE the non-physical.

(B) I CAN conceive of why the non-physical would REQUIRE the physical.

I would like to believe that because it would make it easier to reconcile with my theism, but alas I cannot.

I'm something of a student of cosmogonic myths and I've recognized that almost all cosmogonic myths begin with some reference to an undifferentiated realm, like a watery abyss or some other kind of chaotic state that is formless and empty; it's always a transcendent or "unthinkable" state, so to speak. From that undifferentiated realm the universe always emerges as a result of a series of binary oppositions being separated out of the chaotic state, light and dark, matter and space, etc. I think this is necessarily so, we cannot conceptualize anything without these foundational binary oppositions and any explanation of how reality came about will necessarily address it in those conceptual terms. In the end, "nothing" is a necessary reality in order for there to be "something", and the concept of "infinite" is necessary for "finite" thought.
I can see that in cosmogonic myths, but I disagree with them because i believe them to be foundationally in contradiction: they claim an Alpha State that is a "chaotic state that is formless and empty", "transcendent or unthinkable state", etc. Instead, I think of the Alpha state as an extreme state of the Universe beyond which there are no further possibilities. This is the initial state, the Alpha State, the beginning, the Uncaused Initial State. This is the state at which the things in the Universe are maxed out: mass, energy, temperature, density, etc., are all at their extremes. It is the most ordered the Universe can possibly be in the Alpha direction: there's no further possible state than this extreme. One can think of it as the starting point of a game of checkers: all reds on one side and all blacks on the other. The checker board's initial state is a Grouping Order extreme for which there is no possible state more ordered (in the Grouping Order direction of course.) We see this happened to matter when we take matter and add heat to it to the point where it becomes plasma: it breaks into its constituent particles (protons clump together and away from electrons which clump together) more and more resembling the early Universe, the Alpha extreme.

I think of the Omega State as an "undifferentiated realm" beyond which there are no further possibilities. This is the state at which everything is spread out everywhere, so much so that there is no more distinction: ALL is ONE and ONE is ALL. At the Omega State, time has ended because there is no change because there is only one thing: the seamless undifferentiated universe! We can observe this in matter when we cool it down to the point where individual atoms begin to loose their individuality and instead function as 1 atom. We see this in a Bose-Einstein Condensate.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Sidewalker
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12/19/2012 7:10:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 6:48:19 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
I think "nothing" and "infinity" are necessary cognitive concepts in the sense that fundamentally we think in a series of binary oppositions. You can't have a left without a right or an up without a down, the concept of "nothing" is cognitively transactional with the concept of "something" for instance, so for "something" to have meaning, there needs to be a corresponding mental concept of "nothing".
I agree with your assessment of our "binary" way of thinking. It seems that there's up/down, left/right, good/bad, etc. It seems that we can always have X and it's negation, but as you know that's not always the case because there are things that cannot be negated.

I"m not sure that is the case, for us to even conceive of a thing we must have a corresponding conception of what it is not. The definition of a word implies two mutually sustaining components, what it means and what it doesn"t mean. I"d also say that "negation" is the wrong word to use in this context, up doesn"t "negate" down, up and down are two aspects of one conceptual reality, they compliment rather than negate.

The case of "nothing" is of particular interest because we use the term "nothing" in everyday speak and we can often use it correctly. For example, when we use "zero" or "nothing" in reference to "some thing" in particular, then we are using it correctly.
Q: How many apples to you have in the bag?
A: Zero/None.

This answer's fine because there are "no/zero/none" apples in the bag. We are negating the presence of apples ONLY not negating EVERYTHING. It is only when we are attempting to use "nothing" to mean the negation of ALL THINGS that we arrive at error or contradiction.

Cognitively, nothing is necessarily opposed to everything, to conceive of ALL THINGS we must have a opposing conception of "NO THINGS".

The case for infinity (ie never ending) is slightly more complex. Fundamentally, infinity is claiming that "it never ends / it never becomes / it is never certain"; but is that even really a claim? No, not really and so it isn't really knowledge. We can use the concept of mathematical infinity for many applications; however, this concept is axiomatically built into the mathematical system along with many exceptions and limitations.

I don"t understand how you can say "it isn't really knowledge", it"s a concept that explicates other concepts, the fact that you don"t believe that any physical thing has infinite as an attribute doesn"t mean that the concept doesn"t have pragmatic value or eliminate it as a component of knowledge.

Granting ontological status to consciousness and recognizing that it is the primary reality from which we can think about anything, the first cause argument is one that, conceptually at least, isn't really about whether there was an initial state of "nothing" from which "something" emerged.
How could I grant ontological status to consciousness if I believe consciousness to be contingent upon something?

Easy peasy, you only have to acknowledge that consciousness exists, which is one of those undeniable, can"t be "negated" things you already mention. Accepting the existence of consciousness gives it ontological status. Where we part in understanding is that I think it is a fundamental component of reality that can"t be reduced to something simpler, such as spacetime, mass and charge in physics. We both agree that consciousness exists or we wouldn"t be having this discussion, your argument is that physical processes in the brain give rise to subjective experience, my argument is that conscious experience can"t be reduced to completely physical processes. The primary difference is that my argument is one of those things you mentioned that can"t be negated :)

It is only "solved" in recognition of that fact that they are not mutually exclusive concepts that need to be ordered in time, they are mutually sustaining, reciprocal in their true nature, and therefore they necessarily emerged together. Our mind thinks of them as basically separate from each other but in reality they constitute a whole.
I understand your position BUT I cannot accept it because:

(A) I CANNOT conceive of why the physical would REQUIRE the non-physical.

(B) I CAN conceive of why the non-physical would REQUIRE the physical.

I would like to believe that because it would make it easier to reconcile with my theism, but alas I cannot.

I thought you were a supposed to be a Bohmian kind of guy, but not so much I think. Your argument doesn"t reconcile with your Bohmian Mechanics either, it completely rejects the foundational concepts behind Bohm"s implicate and explicate order as well as the manner in which he extended his theory into the realm of thought and consciousness. To use Bohm"s term, your argument is an example of "sustained incoherence" in thought :)

I'm something of a student of cosmogonic myths and I've recognized that almost all cosmogonic myths begin with some reference to an undifferentiated realm, like a watery abyss or some other kind of chaotic state that is formless and empty; it's always a transcendent or "unthinkable" state, so to speak. From that undifferentiated realm the universe always emerges as a result of a series of binary oppositions being separated out of the chaotic state, light and dark, matter and space, etc. I think this is necessarily so, we cannot conceptualize anything without these foundational binary oppositions and any explanation of how reality came about will necessarily address it in those conceptual terms. In the end, "nothing" is a necessary reality in order for there to be "something", and the concept of "infinite" is necessary for "finite" thought.
I can see that in cosmogonic myths, but I disagree with them because i believe them to be foundationally in contradiction: they claim an Alpha State that is a "chaotic state that is formless and empty", "transcendent or unthinkable state", etc. Instead, I think of the Alpha state as an extreme state of the Universe beyond which there are no further possibilities. This is the initial state, the Alpha State, the beginning, the Uncaused Initial State. This is the state at which the things in the Universe are maxed out: mass, energy, temperature, density, etc., are all at their extremes. It is the most ordered the Universe can possibly be in the Alpha direction: there's no further possible state than this extreme. One can think of it as the starting point of a game of checkers: all reds on one side and all blacks on the other. The checker board's initial state is a Grouping Order extreme for which there is no possible state more ordered (in the Grouping Order direction of course.) We see this happened to matter when we take matter and add heat to it to the point where it becomes plasma: it breaks into its constituent particles (protons clump together and away from electrons which clump together) more and more resembling the early Universe, the Alpha extreme.

I"d have to say that the difference between the two are complementary aspects of one and the same state, perhaps it can be said that the cosmogonic myth"s are using language and understanding available at the time to reference the implicate order from which the explicate order becomes manifest, your alpha state is referencing the explicate order which is a manifestation of that implicate order. In the implicate order there is no alpha state, the implicate order sustains the simultaneous occurrence of the Alpha and Omega, so to speak.

...continued.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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12/19/2012 7:22:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 4:20:34 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 12/17/2012 6:48:19 AM, Sidewalker wrote:

continued...

I think of the Omega State as an "undifferentiated realm" beyond which there are no further possibilities. This is the state at which everything is spread out everywhere, so much so that there is no more distinction: ALL is ONE and ONE is ALL. At the Omega State, time has ended because there is no change because there is only one thing: the seamless undifferentiated universe! We can observe this in matter when we cool it down to the point where individual atoms begin to loose their individuality and instead function as 1 atom. We see this in a Bose-Einstein Condensate.

According to Bohm the Alpha State is not a localizable event, in the implicate order the Alpha State would be an implicit part of a single holomovement in which the Alpha State is connected to the Omega State and all other states in between.

"The new form of insight can perhaps best be called Undivided Wholeness in Flowing Movement. This view implies that flow is in some sense prior to that of the "things" that can be seen to form and dissolve in this flow." " David Bohm
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater