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The Cosmological Argument

ClassicRobert
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4/9/2014 11:04:30 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I saw this in the opinions section.

http://www.debate.org...

Do you think that the cosmological argument is a valid defense for a creator?
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Rational_Thinker9119
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4/9/2014 11:33:27 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 11:04:30 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
I saw this in the opinions section.

http://www.debate.org...

Do you think that the cosmological argument is a valid defense for a creator?

Well, the Kalam Cosmological Argument isn't really that convincing because it rests on a controversial theory of time (the A-Theory of time). There are other reasons, but that one is the strongest for me.
Sswdwm
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4/9/2014 11:35:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 11:04:30 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
I saw this in the opinions section.

http://www.debate.org...

Do you think that the cosmological argument is a valid defense for a creator?

Probably objectively one of the worst arguments for God, but works well in real time debate format since the argument is simple to understand and appeals well to intuition.
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dylancatlow
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4/9/2014 11:44:27 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 11:04:30 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
I saw this in the opinions section.

http://www.debate.org...

Do you think that the cosmological argument is a valid defense for a creator?

It's incomplete and therefore unconvincing. But its basic premise is correct.
TrustmeImlying
Posts: 5
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4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/9/2014 11:55:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

No it is not. You just straw-manned the heck out of the argument... No theist would accept P1.


In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

No theist would accept the argument you posted anyway. Straw-man..


The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/9/2014 11:56:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.

So ya, the argument as you presented it is one that no theist would accept.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,071
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4/9/2014 12:34:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.

Bullsh*t. Tell me one theistic thinker that has EVER defended that. (And no, mega-Church Pastor Bob doesn't count)
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zmikecuber
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4/9/2014 12:35:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 11:04:30 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
I saw this in the opinions section.

http://www.debate.org...

Do you think that the cosmological argument is a valid defense for a creator?

Which cosmological argument? Aquinas First way? Second Way? Third Way? The Kalam Cosmological argument? The Leibnizian cosmological argument? Avicenna's cosmological argument? What about Platonic type cosmological arguments?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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4/9/2014 12:36:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 11:55:19 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

No it is not. You just straw-manned the heck out of the argument... No theist would accept P1.


In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

No theist would accept the argument you posted anyway. Straw-man..


No theist defends that argument. It's just a made-up straw man.


The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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4/9/2014 12:36:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 11:35:37 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 4/9/2014 11:04:30 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
I saw this in the opinions section.

http://www.debate.org...

Do you think that the cosmological argument is a valid defense for a creator?

Probably objectively one of the worst arguments for God, but works well in real time debate format since the argument is simple to understand and appeals well to intuition.

You mean the Kalam cosmological argument?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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4/9/2014 12:37:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com...

You're welcome, everyone, lol ;P
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Sswdwm
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4/9/2014 12:54:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 12:37:27 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com...

You're welcome, everyone, lol ;P

Looking at it now
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The most basic living cell was Intelligently Designed:
http://www.debate.org...

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http://www.debate.org...
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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4/9/2014 1:01:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 12:34:38 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.

Bullsh*t. Tell me one theistic thinker that has EVER defended that. (And no, mega-Church Pastor Bob doesn't count)

I'm looking at your link right now, but this is how I've seen every theist and non theist alike explain this argument.
zmikecuber
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4/9/2014 1:14:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 1:01:13 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 12:34:38 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.

Bullsh*t. Tell me one theistic thinker that has EVER defended that. (And no, mega-Church Pastor Bob doesn't count)

I'm looking at your link right now, but this is how I've seen every theist and non theist alike explain this argument.

Well then they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Aristotle is usually credited with the cosmological argument, and he thought the past was eternal.

Aquinas also made huge advances with his versions of it, and he argued that the only way we could know the past wasn't eternal was through faith... So in theory, he thought it was perfectly possible for the past to be eternal.

The Kalam Cosmological argument is the only argument that has anything to do with time.

And none of the cosmological arguments ever say that "Everything has a cause."
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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4/9/2014 1:20:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 1:14:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:01:13 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 12:34:38 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.

Bullsh*t. Tell me one theistic thinker that has EVER defended that. (And no, mega-Church Pastor Bob doesn't count)

I'm looking at your link right now, but this is how I've seen every theist and non theist alike explain this argument.

Well then they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Aristotle is usually credited with the cosmological argument, and he thought the past was eternal.

Aquinas also made huge advances with his versions of it, and he argued that the only way we could know the past wasn't eternal was through faith... So in theory, he thought it was perfectly possible for the past to be eternal.

The Kalam Cosmological argument is the only argument that has anything to do with time.

And none of the cosmological arguments ever say that "Everything has a cause."

Aquinas first way is as follows.

The First Way: Argument from Motion
1.
Our senses prove that some things are in motion.

2.
Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.

3.
Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.

4.
Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).

5.
Therefore nothing can move itself.

6.
Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else.

7.
The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.

8.
Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

This seems like an argument for a first cause. What am I misunderstanding?
TrustmeImlying
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4/9/2014 1:24:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
No it is not. You just straw-manned the heck out of the argument... No theist would accept P1.

No theist would accept the argument you posted anyway. Straw-man..

I definitely wasn't claiming this was any opponents arguments, I was writing it the way I understood it to be. If this is incorrect, as I stated originally, please correct me. I don't mind being shot down, but I'd prefer to learn from it!
zmikecuber
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4/9/2014 1:32:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 1:20:01 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:14:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:01:13 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 12:34:38 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.

Bullsh*t. Tell me one theistic thinker that has EVER defended that. (And no, mega-Church Pastor Bob doesn't count)

I'm looking at your link right now, but this is how I've seen every theist and non theist alike explain this argument.

Well then they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Aristotle is usually credited with the cosmological argument, and he thought the past was eternal.

Aquinas also made huge advances with his versions of it, and he argued that the only way we could know the past wasn't eternal was through faith... So in theory, he thought it was perfectly possible for the past to be eternal.

The Kalam Cosmological argument is the only argument that has anything to do with time.

And none of the cosmological arguments ever say that "Everything has a cause."

Aquinas first way is as follows.

The First Way: Argument from Motion
1.
Our senses prove that some things are in motion.

2.
Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.

3.
Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.

4.
Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).

5.
Therefore nothing can move itself.

6.
Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else.

7.
The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.

8.
Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.


This seems like an argument for a first cause. What am I misunderstanding?

Yes, but you're misunderstand what he means by "first". He means first in a hierachy of movers.

That's why he gives the example of a man pushing a stick pushing a rock. It's called a per se causal series in which the members only move inasmuch as they are moved.

So "first" doesn't mean "back in time" but rather it means "highest on the totem pole." And this ends up being that which is pure actuality, and doesnt have any potencies.

Also the idea is that whatever potency that is actualized is actualized by another. This is nowhere near saying "everything has a cause".
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/9/2014 1:33:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 1:24:25 PM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
No it is not. You just straw-manned the heck out of the argument... No theist would accept P1.

No theist would accept the argument you posted anyway. Straw-man..

I definitely wasn't claiming this was any opponents arguments, I was writing it the way I understood it to be. If this is incorrect, as I stated originally, please correct me. I don't mind being shot down, but I'd prefer to learn from it!

Well, the two main versions are this:

P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause
P2: The universe began to exist
C: The universe has a cause

or something like:

P1: Everything that exists has an explanation, either in an external cause or the necessity of its own nature
P2: The universe exists
P3: The universe has an explanation, either an external cause of the necessity of its own nature
P4: The universe does not have a necessary nature
C: The universe has an explanation in an external cause
zmikecuber
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4/9/2014 1:34:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 1:24:25 PM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
No it is not. You just straw-manned the heck out of the argument... No theist would accept P1.

No theist would accept the argument you posted anyway. Straw-man..

I definitely wasn't claiming this was any opponents arguments, I was writing it the way I understood it to be. If this is incorrect, as I stated originally, please correct me. I don't mind being shot down, but I'd prefer to learn from it!

Most cosmological arguments say "All of X have a cause." Like "Whatever begins to exist has a cause prior to it" or "Whatever is compound of essence and existence has a conserving cause". Then the regress can't be infinite, so you get to something in which essence and existence are identical. Aka, pure subsistent being. So not everything has a cause, just contingent things.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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4/9/2014 1:40:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 1:32:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:20:01 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:14:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:01:13 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 12:34:38 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.

Bullsh*t. Tell me one theistic thinker that has EVER defended that. (And no, mega-Church Pastor Bob doesn't count)

I'm looking at your link right now, but this is how I've seen every theist and non theist alike explain this argument.

Well then they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Aristotle is usually credited with the cosmological argument, and he thought the past was eternal.

Aquinas also made huge advances with his versions of it, and he argued that the only way we could know the past wasn't eternal was through faith... So in theory, he thought it was perfectly possible for the past to be eternal.

The Kalam Cosmological argument is the only argument that has anything to do with time.

And none of the cosmological arguments ever say that "Everything has a cause."

Aquinas first way is as follows.

The First Way: Argument from Motion
1.
Our senses prove that some things are in motion.

2.
Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.

3.
Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.

4.
Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).

5.
Therefore nothing can move itself.

6.
Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else.

7.
The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.

8.
Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.


This seems like an argument for a first cause. What am I misunderstanding?

Yes, but you're misunderstand what he means by "first". He means first in a hierachy of movers.

That's why he gives the example of a man pushing a stick pushing a rock. It's called a per se causal series in which the members only move inasmuch as they are moved.

So "first" doesn't mean "back in time" but rather it means "highest on the totem pole." And this ends up being that which is pure actuality, and doesnt have any potencies.

Also the idea is that whatever potency that is actualized is actualized by another. This is nowhere near saying "everything has a cause".

ok, I'm going to give the argument a chance and try to understand it.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,071
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4/9/2014 1:43:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 1:40:01 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:32:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:20:01 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:14:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:01:13 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 12:34:38 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.

Bullsh*t. Tell me one theistic thinker that has EVER defended that. (And no, mega-Church Pastor Bob doesn't count)

I'm looking at your link right now, but this is how I've seen every theist and non theist alike explain this argument.

Well then they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Aristotle is usually credited with the cosmological argument, and he thought the past was eternal.

Aquinas also made huge advances with his versions of it, and he argued that the only way we could know the past wasn't eternal was through faith... So in theory, he thought it was perfectly possible for the past to be eternal.

The Kalam Cosmological argument is the only argument that has anything to do with time.

And none of the cosmological arguments ever say that "Everything has a cause."

Aquinas first way is as follows.

The First Way: Argument from Motion
1.
Our senses prove that some things are in motion.

2.
Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.

3.
Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.

4.
Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).

5.
Therefore nothing can move itself.

6.
Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else.

7.
The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.

8.
Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.


This seems like an argument for a first cause. What am I misunderstanding?

Yes, but you're misunderstand what he means by "first". He means first in a hierachy of movers.

That's why he gives the example of a man pushing a stick pushing a rock. It's called a per se causal series in which the members only move inasmuch as they are moved.

So "first" doesn't mean "back in time" but rather it means "highest on the totem pole." And this ends up being that which is pure actuality, and doesnt have any potencies.

Also the idea is that whatever potency that is actualized is actualized by another. This is nowhere near saying "everything has a cause".

ok, I'm going to give the argument a chance and try to understand it.

You can find his expanded version int he Summa Contra Gentiles. All he argues it for is that there is that which is pure actuality. Then he goes on to argue at length that whatever is pure actuality must have certain qualities, such as being intelligent, timeless, perfect, immaterial, all powerful, etc. etc.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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4/9/2014 1:49:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 1:43:47 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:40:01 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:32:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:20:01 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:14:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:01:13 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 12:34:38 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.

Bullsh*t. Tell me one theistic thinker that has EVER defended that. (And no, mega-Church Pastor Bob doesn't count)

I'm looking at your link right now, but this is how I've seen every theist and non theist alike explain this argument.

Well then they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Aristotle is usually credited with the cosmological argument, and he thought the past was eternal.

Aquinas also made huge advances with his versions of it, and he argued that the only way we could know the past wasn't eternal was through faith... So in theory, he thought it was perfectly possible for the past to be eternal.

The Kalam Cosmological argument is the only argument that has anything to do with time.

And none of the cosmological arguments ever say that "Everything has a cause."

Aquinas first way is as follows.

The First Way: Argument from Motion
1.
Our senses prove that some things are in motion.

2.
Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.

3.
Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.

4.
Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).

5.
Therefore nothing can move itself.

6.
Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else.

7.
The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.

8.
Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.


This seems like an argument for a first cause. What am I misunderstanding?

Yes, but you're misunderstand what he means by "first". He means first in a hierachy of movers.

That's why he gives the example of a man pushing a stick pushing a rock. It's called a per se causal series in which the members only move inasmuch as they are moved.

So "first" doesn't mean "back in time" but rather it means "highest on the totem pole." And this ends up being that which is pure actuality, and doesnt have any potencies.

Also the idea is that whatever potency that is actualized is actualized by another. This is nowhere near saying "everything has a cause".

ok, I'm going to give the argument a chance and try to understand it.

You can find his expanded version int he Summa Contra Gentiles. All he argues it for is that there is that which is pure actuality. Then he goes on to argue at length that whatever is pure actuality must have certain qualities, such as being intelligent, timeless, perfect, immaterial, all powerful, etc. etc.

thank you
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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4/9/2014 1:54:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 1:43:47 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:40:01 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:32:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:20:01 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:14:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:01:13 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 12:34:38 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.

Bullsh*t. Tell me one theistic thinker that has EVER defended that. (And no, mega-Church Pastor Bob doesn't count)

I'm looking at your link right now, but this is how I've seen every theist and non theist alike explain this argument.

Well then they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Aristotle is usually credited with the cosmological argument, and he thought the past was eternal.

Aquinas also made huge advances with his versions of it, and he argued that the only way we could know the past wasn't eternal was through faith... So in theory, he thought it was perfectly possible for the past to be eternal.

The Kalam Cosmological argument is the only argument that has anything to do with time.

And none of the cosmological arguments ever say that "Everything has a cause."

Aquinas first way is as follows.

The First Way: Argument from Motion
1.
Our senses prove that some things are in motion.

2.
Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.

3.
Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.

4.
Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).

5.
Therefore nothing can move itself.

6.
Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else.

7.
The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.

8.
Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.


This seems like an argument for a first cause. What am I misunderstanding?

Yes, but you're misunderstand what he means by "first". He means first in a hierachy of movers.

That's why he gives the example of a man pushing a stick pushing a rock. It's called a per se causal series in which the members only move inasmuch as they are moved.

So "first" doesn't mean "back in time" but rather it means "highest on the totem pole." And this ends up being that which is pure actuality, and doesnt have any potencies.

Also the idea is that whatever potency that is actualized is actualized by another. This is nowhere near saying "everything has a cause".

ok, I'm going to give the argument a chance and try to understand it.

You can find his expanded version int he Summa Contra Gentiles. All he argues it for is that there is that which is pure actuality. Then he goes on to argue at length that whatever is pure actuality must have certain qualities, such as being intelligent, timeless, perfect, immaterial, all powerful, etc. etc.

It's not like I have to understand the argument to defeat it anyway.

http://www.debate.org...
TrustmeImlying
Posts: 5
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4/9/2014 1:57:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Most cosmological arguments say "All of X have a cause." Like "Whatever begins to exist has a cause prior to it" or "Whatever is compound of essence and existence has a conserving cause". Then the regress can't be infinite, so you get to something in which essence and existence are identical. Aka, pure subsistent being. So not everything has a cause, just contingent things.

Excellent, so getting back to the initial question, do you think that ANY of the variations of the cosmological argument that you find legitimate lend proof the existence of a creator? Or is it simply an exercise in philosophy to suggest where the universe may have come from?
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,071
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4/9/2014 1:58:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 1:54:21 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:43:47 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:40:01 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:32:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:20:01 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:14:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:01:13 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/9/2014 12:34:38 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 11:46:49 AM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
It seems to me that this argument is a good amount of presupposition, with portions of special pleading and just a hint of false dichotomy.

The concept goes like this:

1. Everything that exists must have a cause
2. Following a long enough regress, eventually you'll reach the first initial cause
3. This cause is outside of the requirements for causation
4. God is the only thing that could exist without causation
5. Therefor, God created the universe

(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the basic underlying premise)

In the first and second statement lies a contradiction. If everything must have a cause, than there can be no first cause. If not everything needs a cause, the argument is entirely invalid to prove the existence of God.

The third statement is both misleading and special pleading, as we have no way of knowing any initial causes for the universe, whether infinite or not. And suggests that everything must follow a natural order except for God, who needs to be outside the rules for the theory to stand on it's own.

The fourth is downright unfalsifiable, and close-minded. As there are many who may claim that their respective gods were, in fact, the first. And others who claim no supernatural entity was even required to initiate the process.

And the fifth funnels us into a false dichotomy, where the ONLY options available to us are:

A) A universe that was created by the Christian God under supernatural circumstances.

B) A universe that couldn't exist (under the flawed logic of the cosmological argument) without the desire of an intelligent creator.

The theory says nothing on the existence of any god or supernatural being. But suggesting that it's proof of any god is fallacious and deceitful, as it's been shot down many times and stands against our logic and our understanding of the universe.

Bullsh*t. Tell me one theistic thinker that has EVER defended that. (And no, mega-Church Pastor Bob doesn't count)

I'm looking at your link right now, but this is how I've seen every theist and non theist alike explain this argument.

Well then they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Aristotle is usually credited with the cosmological argument, and he thought the past was eternal.

Aquinas also made huge advances with his versions of it, and he argued that the only way we could know the past wasn't eternal was through faith... So in theory, he thought it was perfectly possible for the past to be eternal.

The Kalam Cosmological argument is the only argument that has anything to do with time.

And none of the cosmological arguments ever say that "Everything has a cause."

Aquinas first way is as follows.

The First Way: Argument from Motion
1.
Our senses prove that some things are in motion.

2.
Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.

3.
Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.

4.
Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).

5.
Therefore nothing can move itself.

6.
Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else.

7.
The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.

8.
Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.


This seems like an argument for a first cause. What am I misunderstanding?

Yes, but you're misunderstand what he means by "first". He means first in a hierachy of movers.

That's why he gives the example of a man pushing a stick pushing a rock. It's called a per se causal series in which the members only move inasmuch as they are moved.

So "first" doesn't mean "back in time" but rather it means "highest on the totem pole." And this ends up being that which is pure actuality, and doesnt have any potencies.

Also the idea is that whatever potency that is actualized is actualized by another. This is nowhere near saying "everything has a cause".

ok, I'm going to give the argument a chance and try to understand it.

You can find his expanded version int he Summa Contra Gentiles. All he argues it for is that there is that which is pure actuality. Then he goes on to argue at length that whatever is pure actuality must have certain qualities, such as being intelligent, timeless, perfect, immaterial, all powerful, etc. etc.

It's not like I have to understand the argument to defeat it anyway.

http://www.debate.org...

Lol true. ;) I debated him on the same topic... you could read some pretty good objections to it there (not to toot my own horn).
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,071
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4/9/2014 2:01:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 1:57:40 PM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
Most cosmological arguments say "All of X have a cause." Like "Whatever begins to exist has a cause prior to it" or "Whatever is compound of essence and existence has a conserving cause". Then the regress can't be infinite, so you get to something in which essence and existence are identical. Aka, pure subsistent being. So not everything has a cause, just contingent things.

Excellent, so getting back to the initial question, do you think that ANY of the variations of the cosmological argument that you find legitimate lend proof the existence of a creator? Or is it simply an exercise in philosophy to suggest where the universe may have come from?

Hmm... well they definitely try to show a creator, but in my opinion it's a pretty huge task, and requires setting up a metaphysical framework. So they MIGHT work, but they're not easy to use in debates exactly, and I think there are some arguments which are easier to use and stronger.

I have mixed feelings on the cosmological arguments....
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Sswdwm
Posts: 1,398
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4/9/2014 2:45:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 2:01:05 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:57:40 PM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
Most cosmological arguments say "All of X have a cause." Like "Whatever begins to exist has a cause prior to it" or "Whatever is compound of essence and existence has a conserving cause". Then the regress can't be infinite, so you get to something in which essence and existence are identical. Aka, pure subsistent being. So not everything has a cause, just contingent things.

Excellent, so getting back to the initial question, do you think that ANY of the variations of the cosmological argument that you find legitimate lend proof the existence of a creator? Or is it simply an exercise in philosophy to suggest where the universe may have come from?

Hmm... well they definitely try to show a creator, but in my opinion it's a pretty huge task, and requires setting up a metaphysical framework. So they MIGHT work, but they're not easy to use in debates exactly, and I think there are some arguments which are easier to use and stronger.

I have mixed feelings on the cosmological arguments....

Hence my 'So what?' argument to the conclusion of such arguments (usually the universe is caused)
Resolved: the Zombie Apocalypse Will Happen
http://www.debate.org...

The most basic living cell was Intelligently Designed:
http://www.debate.org...

God most likely exists:
http://www.debate.org...
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/9/2014 2:51:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 2:45:51 PM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 4/9/2014 2:01:05 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 4/9/2014 1:57:40 PM, TrustmeImlying wrote:
Most cosmological arguments say "All of X have a cause." Like "Whatever begins to exist has a cause prior to it" or "Whatever is compound of essence and existence has a conserving cause". Then the regress can't be infinite, so you get to something in which essence and existence are identical. Aka, pure subsistent being. So not everything has a cause, just contingent things.

Excellent, so getting back to the initial question, do you think that ANY of the variations of the cosmological argument that you find legitimate lend proof the existence of a creator? Or is it simply an exercise in philosophy to suggest where the universe may have come from?

Hmm... well they definitely try to show a creator, but in my opinion it's a pretty huge task, and requires setting up a metaphysical framework. So they MIGHT work, but they're not easy to use in debates exactly, and I think there are some arguments which are easier to use and stronger.

I have mixed feelings on the cosmological arguments....

Hence my 'So what?' argument to the conclusion of such arguments (usually the universe is caused)

Well, there are arguments attempting to show that the cause must be personal, or a mind. I think they fail, but it's not like theists just leave it at "the universe has a God, therefore, God". There are actual arguments...