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The Argument From Change

PeacefulChaos
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7/30/2014 4:16:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I just have a quick question on the argument from change and the cosmological argument (or first cause argument).

Both are similar in that they point toward an origin of the universe - of everything physical as we know it. One focuses on motion, and how there must be an unmoved mover. The other focuses on causation, and how there must be a first cause that was not caused by something else.

Why are these arguments rejected? Now, I don't mean in the context of proving God exists. I realize that people will argue that, by the argument's own logic, God should have a cause, too. Alternatively, people will argue that just because there is a first cause, it doesn't necessarily have to be God (or your God, for that matter).

Suppose that someone offered these arguments as proof that there was an origin to everything else (not necessarily God, simply an unknown origin). In this context, what is there to reject from these arguments? What premises are false and how are they false?

Thanks in advance.
zmikecuber
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7/30/2014 7:36:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 4:16:35 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
I just have a quick question on the argument from change and the cosmological argument (or first cause argument).

Both are similar in that they point toward an origin of the universe - of everything physical as we know it. One focuses on motion, and how there must be an unmoved mover. The other focuses on causation, and how there must be a first cause that was not caused by something else.


No. They are completely different and have nothing to do with one another. The unmoved mover has absolutely NOTHING to do with the beginning of the universe.

Why are these arguments rejected? Now, I don't mean in the context of proving God exists. I realize that people will argue that, by the argument's own logic, God should have a cause, too. Alternatively, people will argue that just because there is a first cause, it doesn't necessarily have to be God (or your God, for that matter).


Because most atheists don't accept the principle of causality. That no potential can actualize itself.

Suppose that someone offered these arguments as proof that there was an origin to everything else (not necessarily God, simply an unknown origin). In this context, what is there to reject from these arguments? What premises are false and how are they false?

Thanks in advance.

Most atheists would reject the principle of causality, or even the impossibility of an infinite regress.
"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."
PeacefulChaos
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7/30/2014 8:01:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 7:36:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:


No. They are completely different and have nothing to do with one another. The unmoved mover has absolutely NOTHING to do with the beginning of the universe.

You are correct in that the unmoved mover has nothing to do with the beginning of the universe. My apologies for stating this incorrectly in the OP.

I meant they are similar in a different respect. That they both have a similar mentality of causation. Let me explain.

In the argument from motion, it is argued that nothing can move itself, so something else had to move it, and something else had to move that. And that. But it cannot go on to infinity, as the argument goes, so there has to be an unmoved mover.

Similarly, in the first cause argument, it argues that everything has a cause. So whatever caused that had a cause, and so on. The same logic then proceeds to apply, concluding that there is an uncaused causer.


Most atheists would reject the principle of causality, or even the impossibility of an infinite regress.

I realize this, but what arguments are there for this point of view? In a world with time, how is an infinite regress possible?
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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7/30/2014 9:13:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 8:01:43 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 7/30/2014 7:36:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:


No. They are completely different and have nothing to do with one another. The unmoved mover has absolutely NOTHING to do with the beginning of the universe.

You are correct in that the unmoved mover has nothing to do with the beginning of the universe. My apologies for stating this incorrectly in the OP.


It's a common misunderstanding actually. The unmoved mover doesn't even require the existence of time.

I meant they are similar in a different respect. That they both have a similar mentality of causation. Let me explain.


Yes, they both rely on some sort of cause/effect principle.

In the argument from motion, it is argued that nothing can move itself, so something else had to move it, and something else had to move that. And that. But it cannot go on to infinity, as the argument goes, so there has to be an unmoved mover.


I'd like to note that the unmoved mover isn't the one that "sets the domino off" back in time so to speak. It's the spring that constantly is turning the gears.

Similarly, in the first cause argument, it argues that everything has a cause. So whatever caused that had a cause, and so on. The same logic then proceeds to apply, concluding that there is an uncaused causer.


Not to be hard on you, but this is a misrepresentation of the cosmological argument. There is literally no philosopher who has ever argued that "everything has a cause." It's always... "Contingent things have a cause" or "Whatever begins to exist has a cause" etc.


Most atheists would reject the principle of causality, or even the impossibility of an infinite regress.

I realize this, but what arguments are there for this point of view? In a world with time, how is an infinite regress possible?

Well the burden of proof is on the one pushing for the cosmological argument. If it's even possible for something to exist without a cause, then the argument doesn't work.

Also, it would be on the theist to show that an infinite regress is impossible. Otherwise it remains something which could potentially be true.
"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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7/30/2014 9:25:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 9:13:35 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 7/30/2014 8:01:43 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 7/30/2014 7:36:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:


No. They are completely different and have nothing to do with one another. The unmoved mover has absolutely NOTHING to do with the beginning of the universe.

You are correct in that the unmoved mover has nothing to do with the beginning of the universe. My apologies for stating this incorrectly in the OP.


It's a common misunderstanding actually. The unmoved mover doesn't even require the existence of time.

That strikes me as odd. The idea of something being "moved" presupposes temporal becoming. Nothing can "move" without time; everything just exists statically.


I meant they are similar in a different respect. That they both have a similar mentality of causation. Let me explain.


Yes, they both rely on some sort of cause/effect principle.

In the argument from motion, it is argued that nothing can move itself, so something else had to move it, and something else had to move that. And that. But it cannot go on to infinity, as the argument goes, so there has to be an unmoved mover.


I'd like to note that the unmoved mover isn't the one that "sets the domino off" back in time so to speak. It's the spring that constantly is turning the gears.

Similarly, in the first cause argument, it argues that everything has a cause. So whatever caused that had a cause, and so on. The same logic then proceeds to apply, concluding that there is an uncaused causer.


Not to be hard on you, but this is a misrepresentation of the cosmological argument. There is literally no philosopher who has ever argued that "everything has a cause." It's always... "Contingent things have a cause" or "Whatever begins to exist has a cause" etc.


Most atheists would reject the principle of causality, or even the impossibility of an infinite regress.

I realize this, but what arguments are there for this point of view? In a world with time, how is an infinite regress possible?

Well the burden of proof is on the one pushing for the cosmological argument. If it's even possible for something to exist without a cause, then the argument doesn't work.

Also, it would be on the theist to show that an infinite regress is impossible. Otherwise it remains something which could potentially be true.
PeacefulChaos
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7/30/2014 9:26:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 9:13:35 PM, zmikecuber wrote:


I'd like to note that the unmoved mover isn't the one that "sets the domino off" back in time so to speak. It's the spring that constantly is turning the gears.

I was under the impression that the first conclusion of the argument of motion was that there was a first mover. How does this mean that the first mover is constantly turning the gears?


Not to be hard on you, but this is a misrepresentation of the cosmological argument. There is literally no philosopher who has ever argued that "everything has a cause." It's always... "Contingent things have a cause" or "Whatever begins to exist has a cause" etc

It's clear you know what I mean by "everything has a cause." I paraphrased it for the sole purpose of not having to repeat it verbatim.


Well the burden of proof is on the one pushing for the cosmological argument. If it's even possible for something to exist without a cause, then the argument doesn't work.

Also, it would be on the theist to show that an infinite regress is impossible. Otherwise it remains something which could potentially be true.

You stated the possibility of an infinite regression. How could we have reached this stage, then? By that, I mean how could we have reached this stage of motion or existence, if there were an infinite amount before us with no beginning? We could have never reached this moment, could we?

It's not that I disagree with infinite regression. It's just something I don't understand very well. Then again, no one can wrap their heads around it.
zmikecuber
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7/30/2014 9:27:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 9:25:16 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/30/2014 9:13:35 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 7/30/2014 8:01:43 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 7/30/2014 7:36:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:


No. They are completely different and have nothing to do with one another. The unmoved mover has absolutely NOTHING to do with the beginning of the universe.

You are correct in that the unmoved mover has nothing to do with the beginning of the universe. My apologies for stating this incorrectly in the OP.


It's a common misunderstanding actually. The unmoved mover doesn't even require the existence of time.

That strikes me as odd. The idea of something being "moved" presupposes temporal becoming. Nothing can "move" without time; everything just exists statically.


I may have misspoke. I meant that all one needs is a causal series of changers to get to an unmoved mover, even if the changers aren't changing...


I meant they are similar in a different respect. That they both have a similar mentality of causation. Let me explain.


Yes, they both rely on some sort of cause/effect principle.

In the argument from motion, it is argued that nothing can move itself, so something else had to move it, and something else had to move that. And that. But it cannot go on to infinity, as the argument goes, so there has to be an unmoved mover.


I'd like to note that the unmoved mover isn't the one that "sets the domino off" back in time so to speak. It's the spring that constantly is turning the gears.

Similarly, in the first cause argument, it argues that everything has a cause. So whatever caused that had a cause, and so on. The same logic then proceeds to apply, concluding that there is an uncaused causer.


Not to be hard on you, but this is a misrepresentation of the cosmological argument. There is literally no philosopher who has ever argued that "everything has a cause." It's always... "Contingent things have a cause" or "Whatever begins to exist has a cause" etc.


Most atheists would reject the principle of causality, or even the impossibility of an infinite regress.

I realize this, but what arguments are there for this point of view? In a world with time, how is an infinite regress possible?

Well the burden of proof is on the one pushing for the cosmological argument. If it's even possible for something to exist without a cause, then the argument doesn't work.

Also, it would be on the theist to show that an infinite regress is impossible. Otherwise it remains something which could potentially be true.
"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
Posts: 9,054
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7/30/2014 9:29:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 9:27:23 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 7/30/2014 9:25:16 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/30/2014 9:13:35 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 7/30/2014 8:01:43 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 7/30/2014 7:36:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:


No. They are completely different and have nothing to do with one another. The unmoved mover has absolutely NOTHING to do with the beginning of the universe.

You are correct in that the unmoved mover has nothing to do with the beginning of the universe. My apologies for stating this incorrectly in the OP.


It's a common misunderstanding actually. The unmoved mover doesn't even require the existence of time.

That strikes me as odd. The idea of something being "moved" presupposes temporal becoming. Nothing can "move" without time; everything just exists statically.


I may have misspoke. I meant that all one needs is a causal series of changers to get to an unmoved mover, even if the changers aren't changing...

Changers not changing? That seems contradictory. Change clearly supposes temporal becoming by the way...



I meant they are similar in a different respect. That they both have a similar mentality of causation. Let me explain.


Yes, they both rely on some sort of cause/effect principle.

In the argument from motion, it is argued that nothing can move itself, so something else had to move it, and something else had to move that. And that. But it cannot go on to infinity, as the argument goes, so there has to be an unmoved mover.


I'd like to note that the unmoved mover isn't the one that "sets the domino off" back in time so to speak. It's the spring that constantly is turning the gears.

Similarly, in the first cause argument, it argues that everything has a cause. So whatever caused that had a cause, and so on. The same logic then proceeds to apply, concluding that there is an uncaused causer.


Not to be hard on you, but this is a misrepresentation of the cosmological argument. There is literally no philosopher who has ever argued that "everything has a cause." It's always... "Contingent things have a cause" or "Whatever begins to exist has a cause" etc.


Most atheists would reject the principle of causality, or even the impossibility of an infinite regress.

I realize this, but what arguments are there for this point of view? In a world with time, how is an infinite regress possible?

Well the burden of proof is on the one pushing for the cosmological argument. If it's even possible for something to exist without a cause, then the argument doesn't work.

Also, it would be on the theist to show that an infinite regress is impossible. Otherwise it remains something which could potentially be true.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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7/30/2014 9:30:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 9:29:21 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/30/2014 9:27:23 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 7/30/2014 9:25:16 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/30/2014 9:13:35 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 7/30/2014 8:01:43 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 7/30/2014 7:36:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:


No. They are completely different and have nothing to do with one another. The unmoved mover has absolutely NOTHING to do with the beginning of the universe.

You are correct in that the unmoved mover has nothing to do with the beginning of the universe. My apologies for stating this incorrectly in the OP.


It's a common misunderstanding actually. The unmoved mover doesn't even require the existence of time.

That strikes me as odd. The idea of something being "moved" presupposes temporal becoming. Nothing can "move" without time; everything just exists statically.


I may have misspoke. I meant that all one needs is a causal series of changers to get to an unmoved mover, even if the changers aren't changing...

Changers not changing? That seems contradictory. Change clearly supposes temporal becoming by the way...


Nevermind, I think you're right.



I meant they are similar in a different respect. That they both have a similar mentality of causation. Let me explain.


Yes, they both rely on some sort of cause/effect principle.

In the argument from motion, it is argued that nothing can move itself, so something else had to move it, and something else had to move that. And that. But it cannot go on to infinity, as the argument goes, so there has to be an unmoved mover.


I'd like to note that the unmoved mover isn't the one that "sets the domino off" back in time so to speak. It's the spring that constantly is turning the gears.

Similarly, in the first cause argument, it argues that everything has a cause. So whatever caused that had a cause, and so on. The same logic then proceeds to apply, concluding that there is an uncaused causer.


Not to be hard on you, but this is a misrepresentation of the cosmological argument. There is literally no philosopher who has ever argued that "everything has a cause." It's always... "Contingent things have a cause" or "Whatever begins to exist has a cause" etc.


Most atheists would reject the principle of causality, or even the impossibility of an infinite regress.

I realize this, but what arguments are there for this point of view? In a world with time, how is an infinite regress possible?

Well the burden of proof is on the one pushing for the cosmological argument. If it's even possible for something to exist without a cause, then the argument doesn't work.

Also, it would be on the theist to show that an infinite regress is impossible. Otherwise it remains something which could potentially be true.
"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
Posts: 9,054
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7/30/2014 9:58:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 4:16:35 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
I just have a quick question on the argument from change and the cosmological argument (or first cause argument).

Both are similar in that they point toward an origin of the universe - of everything physical as we know it. One focuses on motion, and how there must be an unmoved mover.

Motion presupposes temporal becoming. B-Theory (the theory more philosophers of time adhere to than A-Theory), entails no temporal becoming. Ergo, no motion.

The other focuses on causation, and how there must be a first cause that was not caused by something else.

The first cause argument would say that everything that comes into being has a cause. However, something "coming into being" requires temporal becoming. Ergo, if B-Theory is true (or any timeless ontology);nothing comes into being. Even if there was a finite sized block universe but with no temporal becoming; no first cause argument would work. Even William Lane Craig (proposer of the Kalam Cosmological Argument) concedes this.


Why are these arguments rejected? Now, I don't mean in the context of proving God exists. I realize that people will argue that, by the argument's own logic, God should have a cause, too.

Well, there are certain stipulations that don't apply to the concept of God here. Such as, everything that "comes into being" or "begins to exist", or is "contingent" has a cause. But these don't apply to God, as he would be necessarily existing and never began to exist. God wouldn't need a cause, at least not according to the arguments you mentioned.

Alternatively, people will argue that just because there is a first cause, it doesn't necessarily have to be God (or your God, for that matter).

True.


Suppose that someone offered these arguments as proof that there was an origin to everything else (not necessarily God, simply an unknown origin). In this context, what is there to reject from these arguments? What premises are false and how are they false?

Thanks in advance.
PeacefulChaos
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7/30/2014 10:04:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 9:58:17 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Motion presupposes temporal becoming. B-Theory (the theory more philosophers of time adhere to than A-Theory), entails no temporal becoming. Ergo, no motion.

I'll be honest and say these are new terms to me (B vs. A-Theory). Is A-theory the view that there is time, and the world isn't static so there can be temporal becoming? B-Theory sounds very much like Parmenides's view of reality, which I don't necessarily disagree with ...

I also often see the words "temporal becoming." What is the difference between simply becoming and temporal becoming?


The first cause argument would say that everything that comes into being has a cause. However, something "coming into being" requires temporal becoming. Ergo, if B-Theory is true (or any timeless ontology);nothing comes into being. Even if there was a finite sized block universe but with no temporal becoming; no first cause argument would work. Even William Lane Craig (proposer of the Kalam Cosmological Argument) concedes this.

Okay.


Well, there are certain stipulations that don't apply to the concept of God here. Such as, everything that "comes into being" or "begins to exist", or is "contingent" has a cause. But these don't apply to God, as he would be necessarily existing and never began to exist. God wouldn't need a cause, at least not according to the arguments you mentioned.

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who realized this.