Author Topic: The Uncaused Cause  (Read 4958 times)

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Offline Truth OT

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The Uncaused Cause
« on: September 19, 2011, 10:03:17 AM »
Many, of which I am included, have made the declaration that because there is existence, then that means that there must be or have been a cause that was uncaused. This idea of an uncaused cause has directed people's attention to theology and endless debate about the existence and nature of God. The idea of a god being this uncause cause requires a leap of faith that assumes that that uncaused cause acted with purpose, was sentient, was in many ways, with the exception of the physical, existing in the image and likeness of man.

What I have slowly come to realize is that there is no hard evidence reason to come to such a conclusion other than wishful thinking. What makes more sense as it relates to the idea of there being an uncaused cause, is that that cause is in fact simply, ENERGY. 

Energy seems to be the one think that may in fact possess the "godlike" quality of being from everlasting to everlasting in that as far as we know, it is neither created or destroyed; It simply exists in various forms.

Offline BaalServant

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 10:33:33 AM »
Calling reality god isn't going to make any god real.

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Offline Truth OT

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2011, 10:47:50 AM »
Calling reality god isn't going to make any god real.

O.......K...........?????

Offline plethora

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2011, 10:58:12 AM »
No.

First of all, you are basically expressing a PantheistWiki position which is ridiculous. The universe has a name, it's called the universe. No need to give it a loaded label like "god" in a lame attempt to endow it with some sort of 'godlike' personality.

Second, you are assuming that absolutely everything in the universe has a cause and effect and that it must have had a single uncaused cause as a starting point. This is completely untrue. There are an unimaginable amount of uncaused events happening in the universe all the time. Events that are completely random.

Atom DecayWiki is a prime example. Another one is the random popping in and out of existence of virtual particlesWiki in the empty space between the quarks inside regular particles. The uncertainty principleWiki points out the random and unpredictable behavior of individual particles, such as photons, given certain scenarios.

So uncaused events are rampant across the universe and they are all independent of each other. You're not telling me that each of of these is a god now are you?

Besides, the known universe began with a spacetime singularityWiki which is not just "energy" but a point where various measurements are infinite and do not require coordinates. Infinite temperature, infinite density, infinite gravity, etc ... all in one 'place', so to speak.

So to claim the universe began with an uncaused cause made of nothing but "energy" is incorrect.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 11:00:04 AM by plethora »
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Offline Aaron123

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 11:10:25 AM »
What I have slowly come to realize is that there is no hard evidence reason to come to such a conclusion other than wishful thinking. What makes more sense as it relates to the idea of there being an uncaused cause, is that that cause is in fact simply, ENERGY. 

Energy seems to be the one think that may in fact possess the "godlike" quality of being from everlasting to everlasting in that as far as we know, it is neither created or destroyed; It simply exists in various forms.

I want to be sure I understand this right.

Are you trying to say that energy=god?

If so, would that mean, for example, that a rocket uses god-power to get into space?
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Offline One Above All

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 11:14:30 AM »
I want to be sure I understand this right.

Are you trying to say that energy=god?

If so, would that mean, for example, that a rocket uses god-power to get into space?

Just another question regarding Aaron123's point: So stars create "more" god? Since, you know, they convert their own mass into energy
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 11:16:40 AM »
I want to be sure I understand this right.

Are you trying to say that energy=god?

If so, would that mean, for example, that a rocket uses god-power to get into space?

No, I am not trying to say that energy is in fact God, no pantheism here. All I am saying is that if the idea of an uncaused cause is in fact a good one, then what makes the most sense is that energy is in fact the uncaused cause and trying to define or deify energy as being a sentient entity is in fact NOT backed by anything we have observed and been able to understand.

Offline plethora

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2011, 11:27:17 AM »
^^^ Okay. Referring back to my earlier post, 'energy' is not the uncaused cause that the universe began with. The singularity was more complex than that and there are uncaused causes all the time. So the OP is still wrong.
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Offline Nick

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2011, 11:49:28 AM »
So when I say my prayers tonight I should address them to ENERGY?  Is God that rabbit that beats that drum?
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Offline Omen

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2011, 11:52:52 AM »
If I define a tea cup as god, its still a tea cup.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 12:04:48 PM »
^^^ Okay. Referring back to my earlier post, 'energy' is not the uncaused cause that the universe began with. The singularity was more complex than that and there are uncaused causes all the time. So the OP is still wrong.

What is the singularity that you are referring to?

Is it not the accepted idea amongst scientists that there was an infinately dense collection of energy that exploded in what was the birth of our cosmos? If that is the case then wouldn't energy be the "parent" that caused and pre-existed our universe?

Offline plethora

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2011, 03:40:07 AM »
What is the singularity that you are referring to?

Is it not the accepted idea amongst scientists that there was an infinately dense collection of energy that exploded in what was the birth of our cosmos?

Truth OT ... I did add several wiki hyperlinks to my post for you to actually click on if you were not familiar with a particular piece of science I was referring to. See reply #3.

Notice how the words 'spacetime singularity' are actually a wiki-link?

Besides, the known universe began with a spacetime singularityWiki which is not just "energy" but a point where various measurements are infinite and do not require coordinates. Infinite temperature, infinite density, infinite gravity, etc ... all in one 'place', so to speak.

So to claim the universe began with an uncaused cause made of nothing but "energy" is incorrect.

All you have to do it drag your pointer to the link, left click and then read. You'll find that the singularity is not described merely as 'energy' by scientists.

The universe did not literally 'explode' into existence ... it wasn't an actual 'bang'. It went from being a stable singularity to suddenly expanding very rapidly.  It was during this expansion that spacetime began and matter was created, among other things.

The singularity was an infinitely dense, infinitely hot thing that occupied no space and no time. Science only takes us as far back as the planck epochWiki (notice my wiki-link) which is 10-43 seconds after the big bang began. Relativity literally breaks down trying to go backwards beyond that point.

To describe the singularity as 'energy' is at most a simplistic analogy. Energy actually has measurable properties that do not apply in the singularity that was present before prior to the rapid expansion of the universe.

Quote
If that is the case then wouldn't energy be the "parent" that caused and pre-existed our universe?

No. The singularity was the universe. It went from that state, to a state of expansion and will continue to go on to other states in the far future. So the singularity and the current universe are one and the same thing... only in different states.

Sure, the singularity was the initial state... the beginning, if you will. But to refer to it as a "parent" is not only a bad analogy but another shameless attempt at personifying something that does not warrant being personified.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 03:43:29 AM by plethora »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2011, 06:01:53 AM »
Guys.....we may be perhaps jumping at shadows here?

Truth is saying....."there seems as if there is an uncaused cause - but there is no reason to assume it was in any way sentient, deliberate, or anything other than mindless operation of physical laws".  He goes on to say that any step from "uncaused cause" to "anthropomorphised god" is nothing more than wishful thinking.

And, he is right.

We are, perhaps, too used to believers trying to "sneak in" their god by getting us to agree little inconsequential points that allow them the dramatic reveal of "their" god as the net result.  OF course, it never has the effect they want because the little points that we may agree are never fully fleshed out and always turn out to be slightly differently in the "reveal" than what we agreed.

Where was I?

Oh yes.....maybe Truth IS trying to build up to such a reveal.  But it is equally likely that he has in fact taken the first step towards ditching his god, with the realisation that perhaps - just perhaps - there really IS no evidence for it?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 07:55:42 AM »
Good post, Anfauglir.  I was wondering what happened to our collective reading skillz around here.

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Offline plethora

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2011, 08:34:48 AM »
Truth OT has built a reputation. It took time to build and it'll take time to reverse.
... but at least I think I addressed the OP thoroughly.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2011, 08:52:03 AM »
Sure, he has a reputation.  So do I, so does everyone else here.

But let's not forget that someone's 'reputation' shouldn't be an excuse not to carefully consider what they actually say, instead of reading additional subtext into it that they didn't say.

As far as "uncaused causes" go, I think the reason they bother people is because people are used to the causal universe, where everything that happens has a reason it happened, even if it's one we don't actually understand at the time.  And there's no telling if there is an actual cause or not for things like virtual particles, since we don't understand them particularly well.  We're still in the very early stages of the science that explains such things in a way that lets us use them, so the most I think anyone can say is that we don't see any actual cause of such things.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2011, 09:45:42 AM »
The universe did not literally 'explode' into existence ... it wasn't an actual 'bang'. It went from being a stable singularity to suddenly expanding very rapidly.  It was during this expansion that spacetime began and matter was created, among other things.

The singularity was an infinitely dense, infinitely hot thing that occupied no space and no time. Science only takes us as far back as the planck epochWiki (notice my wiki-link) which is 10-43 seconds after the big bang began. Relativity literally breaks down trying to go backwards beyond that point.

To describe the singularity as 'energy' is at most a simplistic analogy. Energy actually has measurable properties that do not apply in the singularity that was present before prior to the rapid expansion of the universe.

Your attempt to address the OP sounded like more of a point of the finger at someone you deem as a stupid, God-believing, mouth breather, that has to have a foolish and hidden agenda which involves trying to convert someone to Jesus.
Don't know how I was able to do it, but I somehow managed to do some pointing and clicking and here's part of the page you recommended:

Quote
the physics of the Planck epoch are unclear, and the exact manner in which the fundamental forces were unified, and how they came to be separate entities, is still poorly understood. Three of the four forces have been successfully integrated in a common framework, but gravity remains problematic. If quantum effects are ignored, the universe starts from a singularity with an infinite density. This conclusion could change when quantum gravity is taken into account.

and also this, from wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_singularity

Quote
According to a naive interpretation of general relativity that ignores quantum mechanics, the initial state of the universe, at the beginning of the Big Bang, was a singularity. Both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics break down in describing the Big Bang, but in general QM does not permit particles to inhabit a space smaller than their wavelengths. Another type of singularity predicted by general relativity is inside a black hole: any star collapsing beyond a certain point (the Schwarzschild radius) would form a black hole, inside which a singularity (covered by an event horizon) would be formed, as all the matter would flow into a certain point (or a circular line, if the black hole is rotating). This is again according to General Relativity without Quantum Mechanics, which forbids wavelike particles entering a space smaller than their wavelength. These hypothetical singularities are also known as curvature singularities.

   To describe the singularity at all (especially in a definative manner) seems to be problematic because as far as we know, it only existed theoretically and if science is able to combine quantum mechanics with relativistic gravity, we may have to abandon the idea of the universe starting from a singularity with an infinite density (hello string theory).

You are correct that describing that which preexisted the expansion of the universe as being energy as being a simplistic description. However, to get any more technical at this point may in fact be pointless because we aren't equiped with the knowledge to do so with any reasonable degree of certainty. Based on what can be theorized we are left with the assumption that energy did in fact exist BEFORE TIME and was present in the form of a theoretically immeasurably dense THING.

Offline plethora

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2011, 10:09:20 AM »
Sure, he has a reputation.  So do I, so does everyone else here.

But let's not forget that someone's 'reputation' shouldn't be an excuse not to carefully consider what they actually say, instead of reading additional subtext into it that they didn't say.

Alright, I'll tone it down... but I don't think I have unjust cause to be wary about a hidden agenda when I see statements personifying that which existed 'before' the universe's rapid expansion as "godlike" and as a "parent".
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Offline plethora

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2011, 10:20:23 AM »
Your attempt to address the OP sounded like more of a point of the finger at someone you deem as a stupid, God-believing, mouth breather, that has to have a foolish and hidden agenda which involves trying to convert someone to Jesus.

Okay. Maybe I overreacted. But describing the initial state of the universe as "godlike" and as a "parent" ... and knowing you are a theist ... you can see why I had a knee-jerk reaction.

I'll tone it down.

Quote
You are correct that describing that which preexisted the expansion of the universe as being energy as being a simplistic description. However, to get any more technical at this point may in fact be pointless because we aren't equiped with the knowledge to do so with any reasonable degree of certainty.

I fully agree with the above statement. So it's probably best not to call it anything but the theorized initial state of the universe.

We do not know if it is uncaused, we do not know what it was exactly. So to call it "energy" and describe it as "godlike" or a "parent cause" just loads it with descriptive baggage it doesn't need.
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Offline Omen

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2011, 10:21:21 AM »
But let's not forget that someone's 'reputation' shouldn't be an excuse not to carefully consider what they actually say, instead of reading additional subtext into it that they didn't say.

I completely disagree, if your behavior is such that you consistently exhibit dishonesty then you are insuring that you are socially isolated and do not deserve nuanced consideration in the future.  This condition only changes when someone takes responsibility for their actions and you are only enabling further bad behavior by not holding them accountable at all times, regardless if it happened in the past or not.  In fact this is one thing that fundamentalist use to their advantage by listing an endless stream of nonsensical talking points or assertions without support.  They may sound 'good', but rarely survive beyond a cursory examination of the topic.  However, by the time that occurs they have already moved on to another list of nonsensical talking points.
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Offline Babdah

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2011, 10:22:34 AM »
Many, of which I am included, have made the declaration that because there is existence, then that means that there must be or have been a cause that was uncaused. This idea of an uncaused cause has directed people's attention to theology and endless debate about the existence and nature of God. The idea of a god being this uncause cause requires a leap of faith that assumes that that uncaused cause acted with purpose, was sentient, was in many ways, with the exception of the physical, existing in the image and likeness of man.

What I have slowly come to realize is that there is no hard evidence reason to come to such a conclusion other than wishful thinking. What makes more sense as it relates to the idea of there being an uncaused cause, is that that cause is in fact simply, ENERGY. 

Energy seems to be the one think that may in fact possess the "godlike" quality of being from everlasting to everlasting in that as far as we know, it is neither created or destroyed; It simply exists in various forms.

Sounds like a failed attempt to hold onto something that does not exist and just can not let go. Kind of like when an animal dies and no one wants to replace it with a new one yet. Just let go and be free it is so much better on this side...
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2011, 11:45:57 AM »
Alright, I'll tone it down... but I don't think I have unjust cause to be wary about a hidden agenda when I see statements personifying that which existed 'before' the universe's rapid expansion as "godlike" and as a "parent".
That's fair.  All I was trying to suggest is that it's worth taking a step back sometimes and making sure that you've got the right of it.

Offline velkyn

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2011, 12:19:04 PM »
Alright, I'll tone it down... but I don't think I have unjust cause to be wary about a hidden agenda when I see statements personifying that which existed 'before' the universe's rapid expansion as "godlike" and as a "parent".

I'd add to this, isn't TOT the one who is claiming that God has a plan?  Can "energy" have a plan?  I can understand the caution and the reasons why the OP may be harmless but it seems rather strange with what we've seen in the past.   
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Offline screwtape

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2011, 01:34:17 PM »
I completely disagree, if your behavior is such that you consistently exhibit dishonesty then you are insuring that you are socially isolated and do not deserve nuanced consideration in the future.  This condition only changes when someone takes responsibility for their actions and you are only enabling further bad behavior by not holding them accountable at all times, regardless if it happened in the past or not.  In fact this is one thing that fundamentalist use to their advantage by listing an endless stream of nonsensical talking points or assertions without support.  They may sound 'good', but rarely survive beyond a cursory examination of the topic.  However, by the time that occurs they have already moved on to another list of nonsensical talking points.

You and several others were lazy in your reading of TOT's post.   That is easy to do if you do not read his post carefully.  His post has all the stereotype words you would expect to see from someone trying to relabel nature "god".  The first read through I made the same mistake.  But I read it again and saw what he was saying.

Your response was not to what he actually said, but to what you assumed he would say. The only person responsible for that is you.  Instead of saying, "oh shit, I totally missed that, sorry," like you should, you are trying to blame him for it.  If honesty - especially intellectually honesty - is as important to you as you always say it is, then take responsibility for your actions.  It is not his fault you and others skimmed his post and wrote responses to your own imaginations.

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Offline Truth OT

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2011, 01:45:17 PM »
Alright, I'll tone it down... but I don't think I have unjust cause to be wary about a hidden agenda when I see statements personifying that which existed 'before' the universe's rapid expansion as "godlike" and as a "parent".

I'd add to this, isn't TOT the one who is claiming that God has a plan?  Can "energy" have a plan?  I can understand the caution and the reasons why the OP may be harmless but it seems rather strange with what we've seen in the past.

To be clear, ToT does not know A) if there is a God or B) whether God, if there is one has a plan or not. Tot's contention is that if there is a God that created man and placed him in an environment where "falling" was the likely outcome, then obviously God would have had to have man's fall as a part of His plan.

Offline Omen

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2011, 01:52:24 PM »
. Tot's contention is that if there is a God that created man and placed him in an environment where "falling" was the likely outcome, then obviously God would have had to have man's fall as a part of His plan.

Then your God created suffering for no other purpose than to create suffering.

Logic would render the suggestion that any plan 'requires' suffering to be not only inescapably unnecessary, but contradictory because of your God's ability to do anything.  Leaving only the possibility that your god created us to suffer for the purpose of suffering.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2011, 02:03:16 PM »
. Tot's contention is that if there is a God that created man and placed him in an environment where "falling" was the likely outcome, then obviously God would have had to have man's fall as a part of His plan.

Then your God created suffering for no other purpose than to create suffering.

Logic would render the suggestion that any plan 'requires' suffering to be not only inescapably unnecessary, but contradictory because of your God's ability to do anything.  Leaving only the possibility that your god created us to suffer for the purpose of suffering.

Mr. Provacator, why not refrain from going at it in this thread especially if you wish to structure your contention on something that admittedly is a what/if - if/then scenario?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2011, 02:03:48 PM »
I completely disagree, if your behavior is such that you consistently exhibit dishonesty then you are insuring that you are socially isolated and do not deserve nuanced consideration in the future.  This condition only changes when someone takes responsibility for their actions and you are only enabling further bad behavior by not holding them accountable at all times, regardless if it happened in the past or not.  In fact this is one thing that fundamentalist use to their advantage by listing an endless stream of nonsensical talking points or assertions without support.  They may sound 'good', but rarely survive beyond a cursory examination of the topic.  However, by the time that occurs they have already moved on to another list of nonsensical talking points.
I certainly wasn't suggesting that someone shouldn't be held accountable for their behavior.  But it works both ways; if I want to hold someone accountable for their behavior, I have the responsibility to make sure I'm understanding their behavior properly, and not making unwarranted assumptions about it.  Because the easiest way for me to destroy my own credibility is to make those assumptions and then refuse to correct them if/when it turns out I was wrong.

Offline Omen

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Re: The Uncaused Cause
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2011, 02:10:40 PM »
. Tot's contention is that if there is a God that created man and placed him in an environment where "falling" was the likely outcome, then obviously God would have had to have man's fall as a part of His plan.

Then your God created suffering for no other purpose than to create suffering.

Logic would render the suggestion that any plan 'requires' suffering to be not only inescapably unnecessary, but contradictory because of your God's ability to do anything.  Leaving only the possibility that your god created us to suffer for the purpose of suffering.

especially if you wish to structure your contention on something that admittedly is a what/if - if/then scenario?

Actually, the burden would be on you to demonstrate other possibilities, but thanks for the non-response. Here, have a smite for obfuscating.

I described the only possible logical outcome.  You can't insert a new plan, because no plan has requirements that predicate a god's ability to have the same goal with or without them.  However, you HAVE to rationalize suffering, because you have no choice having accepted something as true without any reason to do so and purely at the whim of your own presuppositions.  What I've done is taken your rationalization and presented it to you in terms you probably emotionally disagree with.  You don't want to admit that that in the scenario you described the god you claim only creates suffering for the purpose of suffering.

You can redefine god, but that renders god moot.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 02:12:54 PM by Omen »
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me