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Sean Carroll's Self-Contained Cosmologies

Sower4GS
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6/27/2013 11:16:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/27/2013 11:08:29 PM, Kairos wrote:


I don't got that kinda change on the clock, what is that picture show about?
Kairos
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6/27/2013 11:36:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/27/2013 11:16:09 PM, Sower4GS wrote:
At 6/27/2013 11:08:29 PM, Kairos wrote:


I don't got that kinda change on the clock, what is that picture show about?

Not sure what you're asking friend.
Sower4GS
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6/28/2013 12:05:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/27/2013 11:36:37 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/27/2013 11:16:09 PM, Sower4GS wrote:
At 6/27/2013 11:08:29 PM, Kairos wrote:


I don't got that kinda change on the clock, what is that picture show about?

Not sure what you're asking friend.
What is the movie about, I was short on time. Looking for Israelite sheep.
Rational_Thinker9119
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6/28/2013 9:59:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The God theory is crap because of its track record. Natural causes win over supernatural causes when we look at history, and how many times people used to think the supernatural played a role. Unless the theist is crying wolf with regards to life and the universe this time, there is no reason to take it seriously.
Rational_Thinker9119
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6/28/2013 10:26:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Carrol makes a point that I make all the time. Even if everything that begins to exist within the universe has a causal explanation, it would not mean that the universe did. Also, the idea of trying to back up causality a priori is laughable, as we only know of causality from experience.
Kairos
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6/28/2013 3:37:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 12:05:47 AM, Sower4GS wrote:
At 6/27/2013 11:36:37 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/27/2013 11:16:09 PM, Sower4GS wrote:
At 6/27/2013 11:08:29 PM, Kairos wrote:


I don't got that kinda change on the clock, what is that picture show about?

Not sure what you're asking friend.
What is the movie about, I was short on time. Looking for Israelite sheep.

Israelite sheep?

... See Rational Thinker's quasi synopsis.. basically Carroll argues for a self-contained description of the universe, which would render God superfluous.
Kairos
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6/28/2013 3:47:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 9:59:50 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The God theory is crap because of its track record. Natural causes win over supernatural causes when we look at history, and how many times people used to think the supernatural played a role. Unless the theist is crying wolf with regards to life and the universe this time, there is no reason to take it seriously.

Yes but don't arguments based in "track records" tend to be a bit dicey though?

What do you mean by crying wolf?
Rational_Thinker9119
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6/28/2013 3:52:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 3:47:22 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 9:59:50 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The God theory is crap because of its track record. Natural causes win over supernatural causes when we look at history, and how many times people used to think the supernatural played a role. Unless the theist is crying wolf with regards to life and the universe this time, there is no reason to take it seriously.

Yes but don't arguments based in "track records" tend to be a bit dicey though?

Yes, it is dicey. However, it is still a good guide. For example, the sun has a good track record of coming up tomorrow, so we can conclude that the sun will probably come up tomorrow. It might not, but I am willing to bet on it.


What do you mean by crying wolf?
Kairos
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6/28/2013 5:08:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 3:52:16 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 3:47:22 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 9:59:50 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The God theory is crap because of its track record. Natural causes win over supernatural causes when we look at history, and how many times people used to think the supernatural played a role. Unless the theist is crying wolf with regards to life and the universe this time, there is no reason to take it seriously.

Yes but don't arguments based in "track records" tend to be a bit dicey though?

Yes, it is dicey. However, it is still a good guide. For example, the sun has a good track record of coming up tomorrow, so we can conclude that the sun will probably come up tomorrow. It might not, but I am willing to bet on it.

Is the past success of naturalistic explanations good enough (as good as the sun's reliability) to conclude that future explanations will be naturalistic as well?

... I think so, but not because of the success of past naturalistic explanations. In fact I think that the theist would have no problem at all with Carroll's proposal of a self-contained description of the cosmos.


What do you mean by crying wolf?
Kairos
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6/28/2013 5:13:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 10:26:22 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Carrol makes a point that I make all the time. Even if everything that begins to exist within the universe has a causal explanation, it would not mean that the universe did. Also, the idea of trying to back up causality a priori is laughable, as we only know of causality from experience.

That's an interesting view, what is it that makes you think that everything we know of about causality is known through a posteriori experience?
bladerunner060
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6/28/2013 5:14:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:13:04 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 10:26:22 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Carrol makes a point that I make all the time. Even if everything that begins to exist within the universe has a causal explanation, it would not mean that the universe did. Also, the idea of trying to back up causality a priori is laughable, as we only know of causality from experience.

That's an interesting view, what is it that makes you think that everything we know of about causality is known through a posteriori experience?

What would lead you, a priori, to conclude causality?
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Kairos
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6/28/2013 5:29:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:14:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:13:04 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 10:26:22 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Carrol makes a point that I make all the time. Even if everything that begins to exist within the universe has a causal explanation, it would not mean that the universe did. Also, the idea of trying to back up causality a priori is laughable, as we only know of causality from experience.

That's an interesting view, what is it that makes you think that everything we know of about causality is known through a posteriori experience?

What would lead you, a priori, to conclude causality?

I've heard several theist arguments.. Pruss has a few
bladerunner060
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6/28/2013 5:33:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:29:30 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:14:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:13:04 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 10:26:22 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Carrol makes a point that I make all the time. Even if everything that begins to exist within the universe has a causal explanation, it would not mean that the universe did. Also, the idea of trying to back up causality a priori is laughable, as we only know of causality from experience.

That's an interesting view, what is it that makes you think that everything we know of about causality is known through a posteriori experience?

What would lead you, a priori, to conclude causality?

I've heard several theist arguments.. Pruss has a few

I'm not familiar with his arguments towards a priori. Do you know it?

Because everything that I can think of that would lead one to a conclusion of causality is experiential, and therefore a posteriori.
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Kairos
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6/28/2013 5:37:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:14:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:13:04 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 10:26:22 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Carrol makes a point that I make all the time. Even if everything that begins to exist within the universe has a causal explanation, it would not mean that the universe did. Also, the idea of trying to back up causality a priori is laughable, as we only know of causality from experience.

That's an interesting view, what is it that makes you think that everything we know of about causality is known through a posteriori experience?

What would lead you, a priori, to conclude causality?

I remember once when in a logic class, the teacher laughing at me when I asked about the a priori reasoning for why..

There are many a priori arguments, it seems to me though that can enjoy support. Take for instance Proof by contradiction, otherwise known as an indirect proof (IP) in logic. Or we often say that "we can prove it by a reductio" meaning you argue a proof that reduces the alternative to absurdity, a reductio ad absurdum, as it were.

Also, Pruss put forth a modal argument in his section of the Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology..

There are many ways to prove something a priori.
Kairos
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6/28/2013 5:38:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:33:04 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:29:30 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:14:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:13:04 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 10:26:22 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Carrol makes a point that I make all the time. Even if everything that begins to exist within the universe has a causal explanation, it would not mean that the universe did. Also, the idea of trying to back up causality a priori is laughable, as we only know of causality from experience.

That's an interesting view, what is it that makes you think that everything we know of about causality is known through a posteriori experience?

What would lead you, a priori, to conclude causality?

I've heard several theist arguments.. Pruss has a few

I'm not familiar with his arguments towards a priori. Do you know it?

Because everything that I can think of that would lead one to a conclusion of causality is experiential, and therefore a posteriori.

Uh oh, is that a priori reasoning?
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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6/28/2013 5:46:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:38:24 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:33:04 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:29:30 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:14:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:13:04 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 10:26:22 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Carrol makes a point that I make all the time. Even if everything that begins to exist within the universe has a causal explanation, it would not mean that the universe did. Also, the idea of trying to back up causality a priori is laughable, as we only know of causality from experience.

That's an interesting view, what is it that makes you think that everything we know of about causality is known through a posteriori experience?

What would lead you, a priori, to conclude causality?

I've heard several theist arguments.. Pruss has a few

I'm not familiar with his arguments towards a priori. Do you know it?

Because everything that I can think of that would lead one to a conclusion of causality is experiential, and therefore a posteriori.

Uh oh, is that a priori reasoning?

No. It's a posteriori, in that I was talking about arguments I'd heard. And, I suppose, that I a priori had no case without a posteriori reasoning.

I believe that while one can, a priori, consider causality or "think it up", one cannot assert it as true based purely on a priori reasoning.
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Kairos
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6/28/2013 5:49:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:46:17 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:38:24 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:33:04 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:29:30 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:14:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:13:04 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 10:26:22 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Carrol makes a point that I make all the time. Even if everything that begins to exist within the universe has a causal explanation, it would not mean that the universe did. Also, the idea of trying to back up causality a priori is laughable, as we only know of causality from experience.

That's an interesting view, what is it that makes you think that everything we know of about causality is known through a posteriori experience?

What would lead you, a priori, to conclude causality?

I've heard several theist arguments.. Pruss has a few

I'm not familiar with his arguments towards a priori. Do you know it?

Because everything that I can think of that would lead one to a conclusion of causality is experiential, and therefore a posteriori.

Uh oh, is that a priori reasoning?

No. It's a posteriori, in that I was talking about arguments I'd heard. And, I suppose, that I a priori had no case without a posteriori reasoning.

Which arguments? .. Also, how is it that one would know a posteriori reasoning is a reliable guide to reality? At least more so than a posteriori?

I believe that while one can, a priori, consider causality or "think it up", one cannot assert it as true based purely on a priori reasoning.

Why not?
Kairos
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6/28/2013 5:54:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In fact I don't even think that the initial premise of certain cosmological arguments even rely on a posteriori reasoning. But it's fully a priori in the form of IP, indirect proof, or a reductio.

Are you familiar with IP's?
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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6/28/2013 5:56:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:49:24 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:46:17 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:38:24 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:33:04 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:29:30 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:14:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:13:04 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 10:26:22 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Carrol makes a point that I make all the time. Even if everything that begins to exist within the universe has a causal explanation, it would not mean that the universe did. Also, the idea of trying to back up causality a priori is laughable, as we only know of causality from experience.

That's an interesting view, what is it that makes you think that everything we know of about causality is known through a posteriori experience?

What would lead you, a priori, to conclude causality?

I've heard several theist arguments.. Pruss has a few

I'm not familiar with his arguments towards a priori. Do you know it?

Because everything that I can think of that would lead one to a conclusion of causality is experiential, and therefore a posteriori.

Uh oh, is that a priori reasoning?

No. It's a posteriori, in that I was talking about arguments I'd heard. And, I suppose, that I a priori had no case without a posteriori reasoning.

Which arguments? .. Also, how is it that one would know a posteriori reasoning is a reliable guide to reality? At least more so than a posteriori?

All arguments for causality I've seen rely on a posteriori reasoning. Which is why I asked about the one you mentioned.

As to your second question, I don't understand it. A priori reasoning is extremely limited. Very few arguments rely solely on a priori reasoning. Instead, they accept certain premises as true (ones often gotten a posteriori), and from there can reach a conclusion which can be said to be "a priori". However, an analysis of that conclusion will generally reveal that at least some a posteriori reasoning was required.


I believe that while one can, a priori, consider causality or "think it up", one cannot assert it as true based purely on a priori reasoning.

Why not?

Because I can't think of one, and I haven't been shown one. I am perfectly willing to accept a valid argument if I'm shown one, I'm just under the impression it doesn't exist. Please, though, if you've got one, lay it out.
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popculturepooka
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6/28/2013 5:57:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:54:42 PM, Kairos wrote:
In fact I don't even think that the initial premise of certain cosmological arguments even rely on a posteriori reasoning. But it's fully a priori in the form of IP, indirect proof, or a reductio.

Are you familiar with IP's?

I think pretty much all cosmological arguments are a posteriori.
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Kairos
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6/28/2013 5:58:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
http://courses.ucsd.edu...

See after the replacement rules.. IP is commonly used in cosmological arguments. Then supported by the claim that the causal premise enjoys no empiricle defeater in experience.
Kairos
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6/28/2013 5:58:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:57:56 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:54:42 PM, Kairos wrote:
In fact I don't even think that the initial premise of certain cosmological arguments even rely on a posteriori reasoning. But it's fully a priori in the form of IP, indirect proof, or a reductio.

Are you familiar with IP's?

I think pretty much all cosmological arguments are a posteriori.

How so?
popculturepooka
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6/28/2013 6:00:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:58:26 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:57:56 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:54:42 PM, Kairos wrote:
In fact I don't even think that the initial premise of certain cosmological arguments even rely on a posteriori reasoning. But it's fully a priori in the form of IP, indirect proof, or a reductio.

Are you familiar with IP's?

I think pretty much all cosmological arguments are a posteriori.

How so?

Nevermind, I read your post wrong.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
bladerunner060
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6/28/2013 6:06:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:58:05 PM, Kairos wrote:
http://courses.ucsd.edu...

See after the replacement rules.. IP is commonly used in cosmological arguments. Then supported by the claim that the causal premise enjoys no empiricle defeater in experience.

Yes, I'm familiar with indirect proofs, thank you. Showing their existence =/= actually making a case, though. Causality is not necessarily universally true. Therefore the indirect proof fails. For it to work you have to show that causality cannot be untrue.

Further, I reject the claim that the casual premise definitely enjoys no empirical defeater; advances in physics have shown events with no direct causation, and there is significant potential for more.
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Kairos
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6/28/2013 6:13:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 5:56:47 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:


Which arguments? .. Also, how is it that one would know a posteriori reasoning is a reliable guide to reality? At least more so than a posteriori?

All arguments for causality I've seen rely on a posteriori reasoning. Which is why I asked about the one you mentioned.

I mentioned two that aren't.. and that's just by memory, an IP by Craig and a modal one by Pruss. Oh and I just thought of a third, Koons has a fun argument too.. his is a but hard to follow though.


As to your second question, I don't understand it. A priori reasoning is extremely limited. Very few arguments rely solely on a priori reasoning.

Yes, but it's great when you discover one!

Instead, they accept certain premises as true (ones often gotten a posteriori), and from there can reach a conclusion which can be said to be "a priori".

I don't see that's the case for the three defenders I mentioned. Maybe someone's doing a bad job at representing these cosmological arguments? I'm familiar with the Humean objection to the causal premise, really only the new atheists press this objection nowadays.

However, an analysis of that conclusion will generally reveal that at least some a posteriori reasoning was required.

Again, not really the case for those three defenders I mentioned.



I believe that while one can, a priori, consider causality or "think it up", one cannot assert it as true based purely on a priori reasoning.

Why not?

Because I can't think of one, and I haven't been shown one. I am perfectly willing to accept a valid argument if I'm shown one, I'm just under the impression it doesn't exist. Please, though, if you've got one, lay it out.

First there's an indirect proof that Craig uses in his work, the kalam cosmological argument, then there's Pruss' modal argument in the Blackwell Companion to Natural theology, then Rob Koon's "New Kalam" has another a priori argument in his work.

Are you familiar with Craig, to start with?
bladerunner060
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6/28/2013 6:23:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 6:13:21 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:56:47 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:


Which arguments? .. Also, how is it that one would know a posteriori reasoning is a reliable guide to reality? At least more so than a posteriori?

All arguments for causality I've seen rely on a posteriori reasoning. Which is why I asked about the one you mentioned.

I mentioned two that aren't.. and that's just by memory, an IP by Craig and a modal one by Pruss. Oh and I just thought of a third, Koons has a fun argument too.. his is a but hard to follow though.

Not to be a jerk, but just mentioning a philosopher's name is not giving the proof. Do you have a link? I've asked a couple of times, now, for the argument...



As to your second question, I don't understand it. A priori reasoning is extremely limited. Very few arguments rely solely on a priori reasoning.

Yes, but it's great when you discover one!

I agree!


Instead, they accept certain premises as true (ones often gotten a posteriori), and from there can reach a conclusion which can be said to be "a priori".

I don't see that's the case for the three defenders I mentioned. Maybe someone's doing a bad job at representing these cosmological arguments? I'm familiar with the Humean objection to the causal premise, really only the new atheists press this objection nowadays.

Okay, so I'm claiming an absence...can't show you an absence. But you're claiming that there are decent arguments which don't require any a posteriori reasoning. I'm perfectlyw illign to be convinced...but I have to see the argument in order for that to occur.


However, an analysis of that conclusion will generally reveal that at least some a posteriori reasoning was required.

Again, not really the case for those three defenders I mentioned.

Seriously.




I believe that while one can, a priori, consider causality or "think it up", one cannot assert it as true based purely on a priori reasoning.

Why not?

Because I can't think of one, and I haven't been shown one. I am perfectly willing to accept a valid argument if I'm shown one, I'm just under the impression it doesn't exist. Please, though, if you've got one, lay it out.

First there's an indirect proof that Craig uses in his work, the kalam cosmological argument,

The KCA is not an a priori argument. It's based off of "intuition", which is not reason, and Craig's argument for its lack of defeater.

William Lane Craig is also one of the worst and most dishonest philosophers I know of offhand.

then there's Pruss' modal argument in the Blackwell Companion to Natural theology, then Rob Koon's "New Kalam" has another a priori argument in his work.

Are you familiar with Craig, to start with?

I am familiar with him. He's a dishonest hack, and his "philosophy" is, frankly, garbage which is a poor representation of Christian thought. There are multiple writers on here, let alone elsewhere, who do a better job than anything I've ever seen him produce. In public debate, he continually appeals to emotion to sway audiences, and his best "support" is that his premises are "intuitively true".

Perhaps somewhere he has had something of value to say, but I find it unlikely based on what I do know about him.
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Kairos
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6/28/2013 6:27:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 6:06:55 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:58:05 PM, Kairos wrote:
http://courses.ucsd.edu...

See after the replacement rules.. IP is commonly used in cosmological arguments. Then supported by the claim that the causal premise enjoys no empiricle defeater in experience.

Yes, I'm familiar with indirect proofs, thank you. Showing their existence =/= actually making a case, though.

Oh I'm not here to make the case for whether or not these arguments are convincing or not, that would be saved for a debate, I think some are good, others are somewhat hard to follow. Rather I think my point was that the causal premises of cosmological arguments are (and have been) a priori. Whether we think they're convincing or not I don't think was part of our discussion, but it can be! :-)

Causality is not necessarily universally true. Therefore the indirect proof fails. For it to work you have to show that causality cannot be untrue.

Ok now we're getting into the support for the a priori reasoning, but are you satisfied that there is in fact a priori arguments for the causal premise rather than just a posteriori reasoning?


Further, I reject the claim that the casual premise definitely enjoys no empirical defeater; advances in physics have shown events with no direct causation, and there is significant potential for more.

I know of that objection and would advise against it, it's the most flaky. For instance, Weinberg (1982) disputes whether virtual particles even exist and nor is there a consensus that subatomic events are even uncaused on the Copenhagen interpretation (this is the interpretation responsible for this objection; it meets with dissatisfaction, as Cushing [1994, "98] argues, thereby leading physicists to explore the far more numerous deterministic theories like Bohmian mechanics or Many Worlds theories). Quantum cosmologists are also wary of the Copenhagen interpretation because it would require an immaterial observer to collapse the wavefunction of the universe.

But leaving the controversy aside, even on the quantum theory the objector would bespeak, the particles are not uncaused, but instead originate as a fluctuation of the vacuum energy that has many physical laws and structure in space, which isn"t what is meant by the word; nothing. Even in principle I don't think we could affirm uncaused quantum events, for their experimental setup yield probabilistic emissions. Sure these events don"t yet have a best known cause, nevertheless they still have a cause enough - regardless of the interpretation, and this is all that is required for the Causal Principle.
Kairos
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6/28/2013 6:29:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 6:00:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:58:26 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:57:56 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:54:42 PM, Kairos wrote:
In fact I don't even think that the initial premise of certain cosmological arguments even rely on a posteriori reasoning. But it's fully a priori in the form of IP, indirect proof, or a reductio.

Are you familiar with IP's?

I think pretty much all cosmological arguments are a posteriori.

How so?

Nevermind, I read your post wrong.

Ah
bladerunner060
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6/28/2013 6:38:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/28/2013 6:27:21 PM, Kairos wrote:
At 6/28/2013 6:06:55 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/28/2013 5:58:05 PM, Kairos wrote:
http://courses.ucsd.edu...

See after the replacement rules.. IP is commonly used in cosmological arguments. Then supported by the claim that the causal premise enjoys no empiricle defeater in experience.

Yes, I'm familiar with indirect proofs, thank you. Showing their existence =/= actually making a case, though.

Oh I'm not here to make the case for whether or not these arguments are convincing or not, that would be saved for a debate, I think some are good, others are somewhat hard to follow. Rather I think my point was that the causal premises of cosmological arguments are (and have been) a priori. Whether we think they're convincing or not I don't think was part of our discussion, but it can be! :-)

Just to be clear, we're talking the concept of causality, not the first cause concept, right? Because, for example, the KCA realies on causality, but is making a first cause argument, not defending causality.


Causality is not necessarily universally true. Therefore the indirect proof fails. For it to work you have to show that causality cannot be untrue.


Ok now we're getting into the support for the a priori reasoning, but are you satisfied that there is in fact a priori arguments for the causal premise rather than just a posteriori reasoning?

But if the support for this a priori reasoning is, itself, a posteriori, then I wouldn't really call it a truly a priori argument, was my point.

Further, I reject the claim that the casual premise definitely enjoys no empirical defeater; advances in physics have shown events with no direct causation, and there is significant potential for more.

I know of that objection and would advise against it, it's the most flaky. For instance, Weinberg (1982) disputes whether virtual particles even exist and nor is there a consensus that subatomic events are even uncaused on the Copenhagen interpretation (this is the interpretation responsible for this objection; it meets with dissatisfaction, as Cushing [1994, "98] argues, thereby leading physicists to explore the far more numerous deterministic theories like Bohmian mechanics or Many Worlds theories). Quantum cosmologists are also wary of the Copenhagen interpretation because it would require an immaterial observer to collapse the wavefunction of the universe.

Well, not all of those objections are necessarily valid. However, the problem here is that for the premise to become unaccepted, I don't have to show it as untrue, simply show that we don't know that it is true.


But leaving the controversy aside, even on the quantum theory the objector would bespeak, the particles are not uncaused, but instead originate as a fluctuation of the vacuum energy that has many physical laws and structure in space, which isn"t what is meant by the word; nothing. Even in principle I don't think we could affirm uncaused quantum events, for their experimental setup yield probabilistic emissions. Sure these events don"t yet have a best known cause, nevertheless they still have a cause enough - regardless of the interpretation, and this is all that is required for the Causal Principle.

At a certain point, though, you get to a concept where the lack of cause is, itself a cause. At which point you've eroded causality enough that it's no longer a support for the necessity of God.

The debate over the word nothing is an interesting one, however, there doesn't have to have ever been "nothing" (in fact, according to most theists, there wasn't ever truly "nothing"). That God exists outside of time/space and is eternal isn't much different as a final solution than that the quantum foam which makes up vacuum fluctuations exists outside time/space and is eternal.
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