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Quentin Smith: clueless

dylancatlow
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10/2/2014 2:51:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Here's the interview I will be critiquing: https://www.youtube.com...

Point 1: God is inconceivable.

Quentin, in effect, assumes that in order for something to be conceivable, it must have a purely physical basis. But this is absurd on its face. Gravity, for instance, is an abstract (non-physical) syntax or "rule" to which matter conforms. Clearly we can conceive of it despite the fact that "gravity" is inconceivable as a state. Since God is omnipresent, his "physical presence" is obviously the entire physical world. The concept of God amounts to a conception of reality as God i.e., a description of reality conforming to the properties (i.e., rules) assigned to God. In other words, God is a description of really in the same sense that physical laws are.

Point 2: The reason that the universe exists is because the previous state caused it to exist, and the reason that that state exists is because its previous state caused it to exist, etc.

Since the universe by definition contains everything that exists, it would necessarily coincide with the infinite regress in question. Since he posits no cause external to this regress, the universe still lacks a cause. In addition, this fails to account for the universe because within this infinite regress, it would be impossible to identity a "cause" that is not itself in need of explanation. Since all the causes would be based on other causes, we could never really get to the bottom of it, and the universe still "just exists". In other words, you couldn't point to any cause of the universe and pretend you're finished, for that would merely invite yet another explanation ad infinitum. An infinite regress precludes the possibility for true explanation. Obviously, an explanation for the universe's existence can only be sought through a self-explaining description of reality.

Point 3: Since God is omnipotent - since whatever he wills is necessarily brought about - he couldn't have caused the universe, because an effect doesn't logically follow from its cause.

The relationship between cause (God) and effect (our universe) cannot be known a priori. Just because whatever God wills is necessarily brought about doesn't mean what has been brought about follows a priori from this fact.
dylancatlow
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10/2/2014 3:42:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
His argument that God couldn't have caused the universe because there's no "first moment" of the universe to cause fails because it's based on the notion of a continuum (a unified extensible whole with one or more distance parameters that can be infinitely subdivided in such a way that any two distinct points are separated by an infinite number of intermediate points). This is because it's impossible to truly define any point along a continuum without introducing a limit (and a continuum is meaningless if the points of which it consists are undefinable), in which God would have something definite to cause in the beginning,.
dylancatlow
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10/2/2014 5:38:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/2/2014 3:42:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
His argument that God couldn't have caused the universe because there's no "first moment" of the universe to cause fails because it's based on the notion of a continuum (a unified extensible whole with one or more distance parameters that can be infinitely subdivided in such a way that any two distinct points are separated by an infinite number of intermediate points). This is because it's impossible to truly define any point along a continuum without introducing a limit (and a continuum is meaningless if the points of which it consists are undefinable), in which God would have something definite to cause in the beginning,.

*in which case...
Sargon
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10/2/2014 7:59:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Your criticism isn't very clear. For one, there is no way to discern what you mean when you state that gravity is a syntax. The word "syntax" has a variety of meanings depending on the context, including the fields of logic, linguistics, and computer science, and the definition is not constant throughout each field. You'll have to clarify what you mean by syntax in order for anyone to evaluate your claim that gravity is a syntax. You'll also have to define what you mean by "abstract'. The traditional philosophical definition of an abstract entity is an entity with no causal powers, but you can't be using this definition, because gravity has a causal effect on the universe (anyone who denies this should step on a scale). Furthermore, you'll have to clarify what you mean when you say that gravity is a "rule/syntax [to which] matter conforms". If you're going to use the language of physics, then you must be incredibly precise, and a personification is not very precise. One can speak of atoms "sharing" or "fighting over" electrons in chemistry, but this is obviously just a tool for helping students understand chemistry, and the real chemists are interesting in a precise physical description of what "sharing" and "fighting over' mean. Similarly, talking about "matter conforming" is a superficial personification that requires a deeper description. The reader is also left uninformed as to what you mean by "state", and a precise definition of what you mean by this term would be incredibly useful for evaluating your criticism. You should also face the issue of differing operational definitions. When one speaks of "god", they could be referring to a myriad of things, as everyone has their own definition of "god" (or shares a definition of "god" with other people). I sincerely doubt that Quentin Smith has read the CTMU, and I sincerely doubt that he is talking about god in the sense that you've defined it in the OP.

Smith's argument is based on the Humean principle that to explain the parts is to explain the whole. One may disagree with this assertion (I personally have not read any of the literature on this principle, so please don't attempt to challenge me on it), but given this principle, Smith does not need to posit an external cause in order to explain the universe. This is why it is advisable to read an academic's journal publications before calling him clueless based on a popular TV interview; His journal articles address these kinds of issues explicitly, while he does not do so in a television format.

I'm not sure what you mean when you suggest that a continuum might not exist. Are we talking about the real line, topology, set theory, or order theory here? Again, your criticism is ambiguous at critical points.

Conclusion: I can't say that your points are true or false, because your arguments aren't clear enough to be addressed.
dylancatlow
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10/2/2014 10:32:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/2/2014 7:59:42 PM, Sargon wrote:
Your criticism isn't very clear. For one, there is no way to discern what you mean when you state that gravity is a syntax. The word "syntax" has a variety of meanings depending on the context, including the fields of logic, linguistics, and computer science, and the definition is not constant throughout each field.

Yes, but all of those meanings share a common intersect. Each merely restricts the context to which the concept is applied. "Syntax" essentially means rules of structure.

You'll have to clarify what you mean by syntax in order for anyone to evaluate your claim that gravity is a syntax. You'll also have to define what you mean by "abstract'. The traditional philosophical definition of an abstract entity is an entity with no causal powers, but you can't be using this definition, because gravity has a causal effect on the universe (anyone who denies this should step on a scale).

Uh, according to which dictionary? "Abstract" is a relative term denoting something that is not directly perceptible. In this case, it means metaphysical.

Furthermore, you'll have to clarify what you mean when you say that gravity is a "rule/syntax [to which] matter conforms". If you're going to use the language of physics, then you must be incredibly precise, and a personification is not very precise.

A "rule" is a general concept which means "restrictions on possible structure". I didn't "personify" anything.

I sincerely doubt that Quentin Smith has read the CTMU, and I sincerely doubt that he is talking about god in the sense that you've defined it in the OP.

The only meaningful difference I can think of is the distinction he may make between God and the universe.

Smith's argument is based on the Humean principle that to explain the parts is to explain the whole. One may disagree with this assertion (I personally have not read any of the literature on this principle, so please don't attempt to challenge me on it), but given this principle, Smith does not need to posit an external cause in order to explain the universe.

The point is that appealing to an infinite number of (ultimately) unexplained explanations does not amount to an explanation for any state of the universe. That is, if X causes Y, then the explanation of X is directly relevant to Y's explanation as well (Y can be said to exist "because" of whatever causes X).

This is why it is advisable to read an academic's journal publications before calling him clueless based on a popular TV interview; His journal articles address these kinds of issues explicitly, while he does not do so in a television format.

I'm not sure what you mean when you suggest that a continuum might not exist. Are we talking about the real line, topology, set theory, or order theory here? Again, your criticism is ambiguous at critical points.


I'm saying that time cannot be infinitely subdivided.

Conclusion: I can't say that your points are true or false, because your arguments aren't clear enough to be addressed.
Sargon
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10/2/2014 11:20:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/2/2014 10:32:08 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Yes, but all of those meanings share a common intersect. Each merely restricts the context to which the concept is applied. "Syntax" essentially means rules of structure.

What I gather from this is that you're using a definition of "syntax" which applies to all of the fields, which is helpful for my understanding of your OP. By "rule of structure", do you mean rules governing the configuration of an entity? For example, a rule of structure of water would be that water is configured with two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen, with a polar covalent bond. Am I understanding this correctly? (I'm not trying to rule out rules of configuration for non-physical entities. I'd just like to use that as an example because it makes sense to me.)

Uh, according to which dictionary?

The traditional philosophical definition of abstract entities is that they lack causal power, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

"Abstract" is a relative term

I understand that; I didn't claim that there's only one definition of abstract. I was just noting that I can't take the meaning of "abstract" in your OP to mean the same thing as the conventional use of "abstract".

denoting something that is not directly perceptible. In this case, it means metaphysical.

How is gravity not directly perceptible and metaphysical? I'm asking for clarification, because if you're saying what I think you're saying, then this statement is rather absurd.

The only meaningful difference I can think of is the distinction he may make between God and the universe.

That's probably the difference, then. Smith is a naturalistic pantheist, so there are aspects of the CTMU that Smith could find himself agreeing with (e.g. identifying god with the universe).

The point is that appealing to an infinite number of (ultimately) unexplained explanations does not amount to an explanation for any state of the universe. That is, if X causes Y, then the explanation of X is directly relevant to Y's explanation as well (Y can be said to exist "because" of whatever causes X).

Cauchy surfaces.

I'm saying that time cannot be infinitely subdivided.

I don't know if his thesis requires that.
dylancatlow
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10/3/2014 12:17:21 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/2/2014 11:20:11 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 10/2/2014 10:32:08 PM, dylancatlow wrote:


How is gravity not directly perceptible and metaphysical? I'm asking for clarification, because if you're saying what I think you're saying, then this statement is rather absurd.


The effects of gravity are obviously perceptible, but matter merely expresses gravity. We cannot observe the rule itself, merely its application to physical entities. I'll get to your other points tomorrow.
sdavio
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10/3/2014 4:09:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
"God is a description."

A description is a comparison, and you cannot coherently posit an "all-encompassing comparison" because there is nothing to compare to. Therefore it is a literally and by-definition useless description because it provides exactly zero explanatory power whatsoever.

"Obviously, an explanation for the universe's existence can only be sought through a self-explaining description of reality."

Explain: "make (an idea or situation) clear to someone by describing it in more detail or revealing relevant facts."

A description cannot provide 'additional' information further than it itself provides. This means it cannot be "self-explaining" because it is limited to itself.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
zmikecuber
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10/3/2014 10:59:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/2/2014 2:51:22 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Here's the interview I will be critiquing: https://www.youtube.com...

Point 1: God is inconceivable.

Quentin, in effect, assumes that in order for something to be conceivable, it must have a purely physical basis. But this is absurd on its face. Gravity, for instance, is an abstract (non-physical) syntax or "rule" to which matter conforms. Clearly we can conceive of it despite the fact that "gravity" is inconceivable as a state. Since God is omnipresent, his "physical presence" is obviously the entire physical world. The concept of God amounts to a conception of reality as God i.e., a description of reality conforming to the properties (i.e., rules) assigned to God. In other words, God is a description of really in the same sense that physical laws are.

Point 2: The reason that the universe exists is because the previous state caused it to exist, and the reason that that state exists is because its previous state caused it to exist, etc.

Since the universe by definition contains everything that exists, it would necessarily coincide with the infinite regress in question. Since he posits no cause external to this regress, the universe still lacks a cause. In addition, this fails to account for the universe because within this infinite regress, it would be impossible to identity a "cause" that is not itself in need of explanation. Since all the causes would be based on other causes, we could never really get to the bottom of it, and the universe still "just exists". In other words, you couldn't point to any cause of the universe and pretend you're finished, for that would merely invite yet another explanation ad infinitum. An infinite regress precludes the possibility for true explanation. Obviously, an explanation for the universe's existence can only be sought through a self-explaining description of reality.

Point 3: Since God is omnipotent - since whatever he wills is necessarily brought about - he couldn't have caused the universe, because an effect doesn't logically follow from its cause.

The relationship between cause (God) and effect (our universe) cannot be known a priori. Just because whatever God wills is necessarily brought about doesn't mean what has been brought about follows a priori from this fact.

*sigh*. Why does every atheist think the "cosmological" argument is 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."
dylancatlow
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10/3/2014 12:31:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 4:09:09 AM, sdavio wrote:
"God is a description."

A description is a comparison, and you cannot coherently posit an "all-encompassing comparison" because there is nothing to compare to. Therefore it is a literally and by-definition useless description because it provides exactly zero explanatory power whatsoever.

I recognize the need to set reality apart from its logical negation in order for its description to be meaningful. Accordingly, I define reality in juxtaposition to UBT, an ultimate ancestral medium lacking informational distinctions. Strictly speaking, it does not exist, which is precisely what gives existence its definition, as its definition is defined on the exclusion of "non-reality".

"Obviously, an explanation for the universe's existence can only be sought through a self-explaining description of reality."

Explain: "make (an idea or situation) clear to someone by describing it in more detail or revealing relevant facts."

A description cannot provide 'additional' information further than it itself provides. This means it cannot be "self-explaining" because it is limited to itself.

But if it's self-explaining, then "limited to itself" poses no problem. If this seems circular, that's because it is.
dylancatlow
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10/3/2014 2:23:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/2/2014 11:20:11 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 10/2/2014 10:32:08 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Yes, but all of those meanings share a common intersect. Each merely restricts the context to which the concept is applied. "Syntax" essentially means rules of structure.

What I gather from this is that you're using a definition of "syntax" which applies to all of the fields, which is helpful for my understanding of your OP. By "rule of structure", do you mean rules governing the configuration of an entity? For example, a rule of structure of water would be that water is configured with two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen, with a polar covalent bond. Am I understanding this correctly? (I'm not trying to rule out rules of configuration for non-physical entities. I'd just like to use that as an example because it makes sense to me.)

Not exactly. You've merely given a definition of "water". Syntax is basically how the components of water are able to position themselves relative to other parts such that we can point to X structure and call it "water" i.e., how water (that which we refer to) is able to define itself intrinsically.

Uh, according to which dictionary?

The traditional philosophical definition of abstract entities is that they lack causal power, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

That's a very silly definition then, considering that "no causal powers" is merely a supposed implication of its definitive properties.


"Abstract" is a relative term

I understand that; I didn't claim that there's only one definition of abstract. I was just noting that I can't take the meaning of "abstract" in your OP to mean the same thing as the conventional use of "abstract".

denoting something that is not directly perceptible. In this case, it means metaphysical.

How is gravity not directly perceptible and metaphysical? I'm asking for clarification, because if you're saying what I think you're saying, then this statement is rather absurd.

The only meaningful difference I can think of is the distinction he may make between God and the universe.

That's probably the difference, then. Smith is a naturalistic pantheist, so there are aspects of the CTMU that Smith could find himself agreeing with (e.g. identifying god with the universe).

The point is that appealing to an infinite number of (ultimately) unexplained explanations does not amount to an explanation for any state of the universe. That is, if X causes Y, then the explanation of X is directly relevant to Y's explanation as well (Y can be said to exist "because" of whatever causes X).

Cauchy surfaces.


How do Cauchy surfaces help this problem? How does appealing to previous states of the universe help to explain the present moment if those states are not explained, or if its explanations are not explained, etc. You can't explain even a single moment of the universe by appealing to states that are themselves in need of explanation ad infinitum.

I'm saying that time cannot be infinitely subdivided.

I don't know if his thesis requires that.

http://youtu.be...
dylancatlow
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10/3/2014 3:39:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/2/2014 11:20:11 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 10/2/2014 10:32:08 PM, dylancatlow wrote:


The point is that appealing to an infinite number of (ultimately) unexplained explanations does not amount to an explanation for any state of the universe. That is, if X causes Y, then the explanation of X is directly relevant to Y's explanation as well (Y can be said to exist "because" of whatever causes X).

Cauchy surfaces.


Langan: E.g., consider an explanation to the effect that "birds can fly because they have wings". Without an explanation of atmospheric resistance, this explanation is incomplete; it contains no explanation of why or how wings enable flight, merely relying on the assumption that they do. Therefore, while it is true as far as it goes, it leaves out crucial supporting knowledge and cannot stand alone.

Proof: an explanation amounts to saying X exists (cause), so Y also exists (effect). Therefore, if something is not an explanation of something else, its existence should be irrelevant to the existence of the other. Now consider the following causal chain: A causes B causes C. If A were truly not part of C's explanation, then its non-existence should not affect the existence of C. But since A causes B which causes C, if it didn't exist, C wouldn't either. Thus, no state of the universe would be fully explained within an infinite causal regress, in which case the universe would ultimately "just exist".
Envisage
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10/3/2014 4:14:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 10:59:56 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 10/2/2014 2:51:22 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Here's the interview I will be critiquing: https://www.youtube.com...

Point 1: God is inconceivable.

Quentin, in effect, assumes that in order for something to be conceivable, it must have a purely physical basis. But this is absurd on its face. Gravity, for instance, is an abstract (non-physical) syntax or "rule" to which matter conforms. Clearly we can conceive of it despite the fact that "gravity" is inconceivable as a state. Since God is omnipresent, his "physical presence" is obviously the entire physical world. The concept of God amounts to a conception of reality as God i.e., a description of reality conforming to the properties (i.e., rules) assigned to God. In other words, God is a description of really in the same sense that physical laws are.

Point 2: The reason that the universe exists is because the previous state caused it to exist, and the reason that that state exists is because its previous state caused it to exist, etc.

Since the universe by definition contains everything that exists, it would necessarily coincide with the infinite regress in question. Since he posits no cause external to this regress, the universe still lacks a cause. In addition, this fails to account for the universe because within this infinite regress, it would be impossible to identity a "cause" that is not itself in need of explanation. Since all the causes would be based on other causes, we could never really get to the bottom of it, and the universe still "just exists". In other words, you couldn't point to any cause of the universe and pretend you're finished, for that would merely invite yet another explanation ad infinitum. An infinite regress precludes the possibility for true explanation. Obviously, an explanation for the universe's existence can only be sought through a self-explaining description of reality.

Point 3: Since God is omnipotent - since whatever he wills is necessarily brought about - he couldn't have caused the universe, because an effect doesn't logically follow from its cause.

The relationship between cause (God) and effect (our universe) cannot be known a priori. Just because whatever God wills is necessarily brought about doesn't mean what has been brought about follows a priori from this fact.

*sigh*. Why does every atheist think the "cosmological" argument is the Kalam cosmological argument.....

It doesn't help when theists say *The* Cosmological argument either, considering there are many cosmological arguments.
Rational_Thinker9119
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10/3/2014 4:59:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 10:59:56 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 10/2/2014 2:51:22 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Here's the interview I will be critiquing: https://www.youtube.com...

Point 1: God is inconceivable.

Quentin, in effect, assumes that in order for something to be conceivable, it must have a purely physical basis. But this is absurd on its face. Gravity, for instance, is an abstract (non-physical) syntax or "rule" to which matter conforms. Clearly we can conceive of it despite the fact that "gravity" is inconceivable as a state. Since God is omnipresent, his "physical presence" is obviously the entire physical world. The concept of God amounts to a conception of reality as God i.e., a description of reality conforming to the properties (i.e., rules) assigned to God. In other words, God is a description of really in the same sense that physical laws are.

Point 2: The reason that the universe exists is because the previous state caused it to exist, and the reason that that state exists is because its previous state caused it to exist, etc.

Since the universe by definition contains everything that exists, it would necessarily coincide with the infinite regress in question. Since he posits no cause external to this regress, the universe still lacks a cause. In addition, this fails to account for the universe because within this infinite regress, it would be impossible to identity a "cause" that is not itself in need of explanation. Since all the causes would be based on other causes, we could never really get to the bottom of it, and the universe still "just exists". In other words, you couldn't point to any cause of the universe and pretend you're finished, for that would merely invite yet another explanation ad infinitum. An infinite regress precludes the possibility for true explanation. Obviously, an explanation for the universe's existence can only be sought through a self-explaining description of reality.

Point 3: Since God is omnipotent - since whatever he wills is necessarily brought about - he couldn't have caused the universe, because an effect doesn't logically follow from its cause.

The relationship between cause (God) and effect (our universe) cannot be known a priori. Just because whatever God wills is necessarily brought about doesn't mean what has been brought about follows a priori from this fact.

*sigh*. Why does every atheist think the "cosmological" argument is the Kalam cosmological argument.....

Come on, you know the answer lol It is the most popular one, by far. So when people hear "cosmological argument" the automatically attribute it to the Kalam.
zmikecuber
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10/3/2014 5:11:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 4:59:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 10/3/2014 10:59:56 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 10/2/2014 2:51:22 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Here's the interview I will be critiquing: https://www.youtube.com...

Point 1: God is inconceivable.

Quentin, in effect, assumes that in order for something to be conceivable, it must have a purely physical basis. But this is absurd on its face. Gravity, for instance, is an abstract (non-physical) syntax or "rule" to which matter conforms. Clearly we can conceive of it despite the fact that "gravity" is inconceivable as a state. Since God is omnipresent, his "physical presence" is obviously the entire physical world. The concept of God amounts to a conception of reality as God i.e., a description of reality conforming to the properties (i.e., rules) assigned to God. In other words, God is a description of really in the same sense that physical laws are.

Point 2: The reason that the universe exists is because the previous state caused it to exist, and the reason that that state exists is because its previous state caused it to exist, etc.

Since the universe by definition contains everything that exists, it would necessarily coincide with the infinite regress in question. Since he posits no cause external to this regress, the universe still lacks a cause. In addition, this fails to account for the universe because within this infinite regress, it would be impossible to identity a "cause" that is not itself in need of explanation. Since all the causes would be based on other causes, we could never really get to the bottom of it, and the universe still "just exists". In other words, you couldn't point to any cause of the universe and pretend you're finished, for that would merely invite yet another explanation ad infinitum. An infinite regress precludes the possibility for true explanation. Obviously, an explanation for the universe's existence can only be sought through a self-explaining description of reality.

Point 3: Since God is omnipotent - since whatever he wills is necessarily brought about - he couldn't have caused the universe, because an effect doesn't logically follow from its cause.

The relationship between cause (God) and effect (our universe) cannot be known a priori. Just because whatever God wills is necessarily brought about doesn't mean what has been brought about follows a priori from this fact.

*sigh*. Why does every atheist think the "cosmological" argument is the Kalam cosmological argument.....

Come on, you know the answer lol It is the most popular one, by far. So when people hear "cosmological argument" the automatically attribute it to the Kalam.

Perhaps. But even before it was popular, people misinterpreted the cosmological argument. Bertrand Russell even was clueless about it.

But ever since WLC, the KCA has gained popularity.
"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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10/3/2014 5:12:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 4:14:23 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/3/2014 10:59:56 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 10/2/2014 2:51:22 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Here's the interview I will be critiquing: https://www.youtube.com...

Point 1: God is inconceivable.

Quentin, in effect, assumes that in order for something to be conceivable, it must have a purely physical basis. But this is absurd on its face. Gravity, for instance, is an abstract (non-physical) syntax or "rule" to which matter conforms. Clearly we can conceive of it despite the fact that "gravity" is inconceivable as a state. Since God is omnipresent, his "physical presence" is obviously the entire physical world. The concept of God amounts to a conception of reality as God i.e., a description of reality conforming to the properties (i.e., rules) assigned to God. In other words, God is a description of really in the same sense that physical laws are.

Point 2: The reason that the universe exists is because the previous state caused it to exist, and the reason that that state exists is because its previous state caused it to exist, etc.

Since the universe by definition contains everything that exists, it would necessarily coincide with the infinite regress in question. Since he posits no cause external to this regress, the universe still lacks a cause. In addition, this fails to account for the universe because within this infinite regress, it would be impossible to identity a "cause" that is not itself in need of explanation. Since all the causes would be based on other causes, we could never really get to the bottom of it, and the universe still "just exists". In other words, you couldn't point to any cause of the universe and pretend you're finished, for that would merely invite yet another explanation ad infinitum. An infinite regress precludes the possibility for true explanation. Obviously, an explanation for the universe's existence can only be sought through a self-explaining description of reality.

Point 3: Since God is omnipotent - since whatever he wills is necessarily brought about - he couldn't have caused the universe, because an effect doesn't logically follow from its cause.

The relationship between cause (God) and effect (our universe) cannot be known a priori. Just because whatever God wills is necessarily brought about doesn't mean what has been brought about follows a priori from this fact.

*sigh*. Why does every atheist think the "cosmological" argument is the Kalam cosmological argument.....

It doesn't help when theists say *The* Cosmological argument either, considering there are many cosmological arguments.

That's true. But the KCA is the only one that has to do with the beginning 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."
Sargon
Posts: 524
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10/3/2014 5:16:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 10:59:56 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 10/2/2014 2:51:22 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Here's the interview I will be critiquing: https://www.youtube.com...

Point 1: God is inconceivable.

Quentin, in effect, assumes that in order for something to be conceivable, it must have a purely physical basis. But this is absurd on its face. Gravity, for instance, is an abstract (non-physical) syntax or "rule" to which matter conforms. Clearly we can conceive of it despite the fact that "gravity" is inconceivable as a state. Since God is omnipresent, his "physical presence" is obviously the entire physical world. The concept of God amounts to a conception of reality as God i.e., a description of reality conforming to the properties (i.e., rules) assigned to God. In other words, God is a description of really in the same sense that physical laws are.

Point 2: The reason that the universe exists is because the previous state caused it to exist, and the reason that that state exists is because its previous state caused it to exist, etc.

Since the universe by definition contains everything that exists, it would necessarily coincide with the infinite regress in question. Since he posits no cause external to this regress, the universe still lacks a cause. In addition, this fails to account for the universe because within this infinite regress, it would be impossible to identity a "cause" that is not itself in need of explanation. Since all the causes would be based on other causes, we could never really get to the bottom of it, and the universe still "just exists". In other words, you couldn't point to any cause of the universe and pretend you're finished, for that would merely invite yet another explanation ad infinitum. An infinite regress precludes the possibility for true explanation. Obviously, an explanation for the universe's existence can only be sought through a self-explaining description of reality.

Point 3: Since God is omnipotent - since whatever he wills is necessarily brought about - he couldn't have caused the universe, because an effect doesn't logically follow from its cause.

The relationship between cause (God) and effect (our universe) cannot be known a priori. Just because whatever God wills is necessarily brought about doesn't mean what has been brought about follows a priori from this fact.

*sigh*. Why does every atheist think the "cosmological" argument is the Kalam cosmological argument.....

Or maybe he just doesn't feel like saying "Kalam" every time. Yeah, maybe that's a more plausible notion than the idea that a professor of philosophy thinks they're all the same.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,077
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10/3/2014 5:17:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 5:16:06 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 10/3/2014 10:59:56 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 10/2/2014 2:51:22 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Here's the interview I will be critiquing: https://www.youtube.com...

Point 1: God is inconceivable.

Quentin, in effect, assumes that in order for something to be conceivable, it must have a purely physical basis. But this is absurd on its face. Gravity, for instance, is an abstract (non-physical) syntax or "rule" to which matter conforms. Clearly we can conceive of it despite the fact that "gravity" is inconceivable as a state. Since God is omnipresent, his "physical presence" is obviously the entire physical world. The concept of God amounts to a conception of reality as God i.e., a description of reality conforming to the properties (i.e., rules) assigned to God. In other words, God is a description of really in the same sense that physical laws are.

Point 2: The reason that the universe exists is because the previous state caused it to exist, and the reason that that state exists is because its previous state caused it to exist, etc.

Since the universe by definition contains everything that exists, it would necessarily coincide with the infinite regress in question. Since he posits no cause external to this regress, the universe still lacks a cause. In addition, this fails to account for the universe because within this infinite regress, it would be impossible to identity a "cause" that is not itself in need of explanation. Since all the causes would be based on other causes, we could never really get to the bottom of it, and the universe still "just exists". In other words, you couldn't point to any cause of the universe and pretend you're finished, for that would merely invite yet another explanation ad infinitum. An infinite regress precludes the possibility for true explanation. Obviously, an explanation for the universe's existence can only be sought through a self-explaining description of reality.

Point 3: Since God is omnipotent - since whatever he wills is necessarily brought about - he couldn't have caused the universe, because an effect doesn't logically follow from its cause.

The relationship between cause (God) and effect (our universe) cannot be known a priori. Just because whatever God wills is necessarily brought about doesn't mean what has been brought about follows a priori from this fact.

*sigh*. Why does every atheist think the "cosmological" argument is the Kalam cosmological argument.....

Or maybe he just doesn't feel like saying "Kalam" every time. Yeah, maybe that's a more plausible notion than the idea that a professor of philosophy thinks they're all the same.

Not really. I can show you numerous examples of people who think the cosmological argument is the KCA. No... Aquinas didn't argue the KCA. No... Leibniz didn't argue the KCA....
"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."
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,243
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10/3/2014 5:47:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Quentin makes the argument that omniscience cannot coexist with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. This is false, for Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle has nothing to do with the limits of knowledge. Rather, it merely points to the fact that reality does not define itself distributively above a certain level of precision, leaving its configuration intentionally incomplete to be fully determined by sentient agents. Thus, the "uncertainty" amounts to potential, and the collapse of a wave function amounts to an actualization of some of this potential. God's knowledge would therefore remain comprehensive, because the "uncertainty" relates to potential yet to be actualized (defined). Indeed, any such knowledge would correspond to nothing real.This is the sense in which reality can described as self-configuring.