Author Topic: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread  (Read 831 times)

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Offline screwtape

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OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« on: April 01, 2014, 08:01:20 PM »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 03:45:15 AM »
PhilosoB uses the argument:

1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence
2. If the universe has an explanation, that explanation is God.
3. The universe exists.
4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1 and 3)
5. Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God. (from 2 and 4)

and regards that argument as being valid and logical.

What happens, I wonder, if we replace "universe" with "god"?

1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence
2. If god has an explanation, that explanation is ??????.
3. The universe exists.
4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1 and 3)
5. Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God. (from 2 and 4)

Unless there is a coherent answer for (2), it invalidates the premise of (1).  If the premise of (1) "Everything that exists has an explanation ", then the argument does NOT always hold, and we can discount it as an argument to prove god as necessary for the universe.

IMHO, of course.  But unless the ?????? can be filled in here (and, in turn, the follow-on argument for the ?????), then the argument is NOT logically valid in its construction, and MUST allow that SOME things that exist do NOT have an explanation.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Online jdawg70

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2014, 11:25:02 AM »
Well, you see, Anfauglir -

Quote
Premise 2 would appear to be the easiest premise to discount but with some expansion, it too becomes more plausible than its contradiction. Denying the antecedent would be to accept that the universe is without an explanation. Of course, we look for explanations for everything other object within the universe. It would be arbitrary to exclude the universe from this criteria.

It's not arbitrary to exclude god from this criteria.  Because reasons.  Hey squirrel!!!!!!!!
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
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Online One Above All

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2014, 11:42:51 AM »
I just showed how his argument is fallacy-ridden. Hopefully for him, he'll be able to provide evidence for his claims from now on and avoid fallacies.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 03:35:27 PM »
I just showed how his argument is fallacy-ridden. Hopefully for him, he'll be able to provide evidence for his claims from now on and avoid fallacies.

Um, yeahhhhhhhh.....That's not going to happen.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Online One Above All

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 03:43:52 PM »
Um, yeahhhhhhhh.....That's not going to happen.

I noticed. You can't provide evidence that's not there.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2014, 02:46:11 AM »
Why can the universe not itself be the reason for its existence?  Clearly SOME things must exist without a previous thing being there to cause them (aka god), so why not the universe?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Nam

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2014, 02:59:03 AM »
Bm.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2014, 03:06:18 AM »
What is god necessary for?

The observable universe began to e x  p   a    n     d, not began to exist 14 billion years ago.

Can evidence be provided for a mind that can exist unembodied? If so, how does that mind manage to manifest something into existence without the use of external implements?
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Offline PhilosoB

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2014, 03:20:17 PM »
Why can the universe not itself be the reason for its existence?  Clearly SOME things must exist without a previous thing being there to cause them (aka god), so why not the universe?

I appreciate the fact that you have understood the need for a necessarily existing explanation. However, a necessarily existing universe has philosophical and scientific difficulties. Briefly, increasing scientific discoveries continue to confirm that the universe is not eternal but had a definite beginning, and thus cannot be a necessarily existing entity.

Further, a necessarily existing universe without a beginning presents metaphysical absurdities. One such example is:

1. If the universe has existed from infinite past, the universe would have experienced heat death.

2. The universe has not experience heat death

3. Therefore, the universe has not existed from infinite past.

The absurdity lies in the universe having an infinite past which would imply there has been an infinite amount of time to permit all past events to take place which would include the heat death of the universe. This, obviously, has not happened, so a necessarily existing universe is extremely unlikely.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2014, 04:32:59 PM »
No, PhilosoB, the absurdity is in the false dichotomy of only addressing two options.  Why could the universe not be cyclical?  Why is infinite regress not allowable?  Why is "God" necessary and therefore exempt from infinite regress?  Why are other explanations not even mentioned, let alone considered?

And probably most important of all, why are you ignoring the fact that logic by itself is insufficient to explain anything?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2014, 06:05:43 PM »
The problem with using logic to prove things is that it relies on thought experiments.  But thought experiments alone are not sufficient to truly prove something.  The mere fact that someone cannot conceive of a way to disprove a thought experiment doesn't make it true.  For example, nobody could logically disprove Aristotle's contention that there were four fundamental elements, that everything consisted of various proportions of these four elements, and that their observed characteristics were based on their elemental properties.  His ideas were consistent with observed reality, but that did not make them true.  That's a major potential pitfall of relying on logic; no logical proposition is any more valid than the premises it is based on.

Also, the laws of logic are not proven.  They are axiomatic.  We accept them in order to have a basis for logic, but they have not been proven true.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2014, 06:12:46 PM »
The problem with using logic to prove things is that it relies on thought experiments.  But thought experiments alone are not sufficient to truly prove something.  The mere fact that someone cannot conceive of a way to disprove a thought experiment doesn't make it true.  For example, nobody could logically disprove Aristotle's contention that there were four fundamental elements, that everything consisted of various proportions of these four elements, and that their observed characteristics were based on their elemental properties.  His ideas were consistent with observed reality, but that did not make them true.  That's a major potential pitfall of relying on logic; no logical proposition is any more valid than the premises it is based on.

Also, the laws of logic are not proven.  They are axiomatic.  We accept them in order to have a basis for logic, but they have not been proven true.

The rules of logic were made to find FLAWS in an argument. I.E. A disproof. It is not about a proof, it is about pointing out a flaw in reasoning. You can use logic to arrive to an incorrect conclusion if you premises are flawed, or you can arrive to a correct conclusion by using bad logic. It is not dissimilar to science and math. But the only way to put any trust a conclusion is if it was arrived to fallacy free. If later information overturns a premise, you are now dealing with "ignoring the counterevidence" fallacy, which makes the conclusion less trustworthy.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline PhilosoB

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2014, 06:51:14 PM »
Just simple answers as a careful reading of the debate will reveal more comprehensive answers to most of these questions.

No, PhilosoB, the absurdity is in the false dichotomy of only addressing two options.
If this is a repeat of OAA claim between abstract objects and unembodied minds, please see my response in debate. Otherwise elaboration is required.

Why could the universe not be cyclical?
Science supports a definite beginning to the universe and even, if cyclical, the conservation of entropy through the cycles prevents the cycles from occurring from an infinite past thus requiring a beginning.


Why is infinite regress not allowable?
Because this would not explain why any contingent exists in the first place.


Why is "God" necessary and therefore exempt from infinite regress?
I have demonstrated the need for some form of necessary entity to explain the existence of contingent entities. It may be premature or confusing to call this necessary entity 'God' at this point, but the necessary explanation does have many of the same attributes.


  Why are other explanations not even mentioned, let alone considered?
Please tell me which ones I have missed. Remember, this argument only shows us what kind of properties are required in an explanation for contingent entities. Using these requirements, we can rule out explanations that do not qualify. Further, all explanations will have the property of either contingency or non-contingency (necessity) as per the law of excluded middle.


And probably most important of all, why are you ignoring the fact that logic by itself is insufficient to explain anything?
So 1. If logic alone is used to explain any fact, then a fact is not sufficiently explained.
     2. Logic alone is used to explain a fact
     3. Therefore, a fact is not sufficiently explained.

Please explain the validity of this logical argument. Remember, logic alone is, apparently, not sufficient.

I would agree with the statement that logic cannot prove all things but it is sufficient for some things.

The rules of logic are properly basic. The law of non-contradiction, for example, does not have need additional evidence or beliefs in order to confirm the truth of this law of logic. They are axioms, as you say; they are basic, self-evident principles the truth of which cannot be denied without using the very laws that you are attempting to refute.


Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2014, 07:19:56 PM »
As the volunteer moderator, let me make a few suggestions:

One Above All: You might try a few things:
1- Talk about why you think his logic isn't logical, so to speak. Why it doesn't apply in this case. Or what it would take to make it apply. Simply attacking it doesn't seem to be enough. 
2-  Discuss alternative explanations that don't require an unembodied mind/first actor
3-  Speaking of unembodied minds, you might ask for a little clarification. Is he talking of other dimensions?
4.  He is overlooking some of the possibilities put forth by physicists, such as infinite universes. This is nothing that we can prove, but it is alluded to by recent discoveries. That is just one possibility.

PhilosophB, you have, in the discussion thread, accepted that logic cannot prove all things. Do you have non-logic based reasons along this same line to think that a god is involved? Why do you think that the power/force/whatever that created the universe is your god? What is the connection? Is it more than an assumption?

From my innocent-bystander and atheistic point of view, nobody has enough information to win this argument. It is speculation, through and through. The parameters used by PhilosophB could be much different and still sound, and be, logical. And logic may not apply outside of our universe either. In which case, whatever began it may be beyond human comprehension. We may not even be able to name it.

If scientists threw up their hands and said "We give up, science can't find an answer, we'll have to turn to logic", would everyone turn to PhilosophB's line of reasoning, or are there other logical constructs that could also be used?

 
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2014, 08:06:11 PM »
If this is a repeat of OAA claim between abstract objects and unembodied minds, please see my response in debate. Otherwise elaboration is required.
You have basically simplified the question into "either the universe is necessary and does not need an explanation, or it is contingent and requires a necessary explanation".  Then you effectively ruled out the former, and declared 'God' was the "necessary explanation".  So, in effect, you have created a dichotomy, when in fact there are many other possible answers.

Quote from: PhilosoB
Science supports a definite beginning to the universe and even, if cyclical, the conservation of entropy through the cycles prevents the cycles from occurring from an infinite past thus requiring a beginning.
What science shows is that there's a point at which the universe was arbitrarily small and arbitrarily hot, not that it had a beginning.  Furthermore, I have never heard of this "conservation of entropy" that you talk about.  I've heard of the conservation of energy, but they are not the same thing.  Do you perhaps mean the second law of thermodynamics?  Even if that's the case, the second law does not make an infinite or cyclical past impossible, because the second law has to do with entropy in an isolated system.  If the universe is not isolated (for example, if black holes ultimately act as 'drains' into another universe-space, as some scientists have argued), then there is no reason that entropy in the next universe-space could not be substantially less than it is here, because much of the entropy of this universe-space would stay here rather than being pulled through.  There's other possibilities as well.

Quote from: PhilosoB
Because this would not explain why any contingent exists in the first place.
Perhaps, but 'God' doesn't explain why any contingent exists either.  'God' is simply a placeholder, an attempt to avoid admitting that you don't know what the explanation might be.  In order to show that something explains something else, you must show how it does so, and not merely by saying that it's necessary, because that does not give it any explanatory power.

Quote from: PhilosoB
I have demonstrated the need for some form of necessary entity to explain the existence of contingent entities. It may be premature or confusing to call this necessary entity 'God' at this point, but the necessary explanation does have many of the same attributes.
Demonstrating that something seems necessary (to you) in no way shows that it is necessary, or that it is not actually contingent on something else instead.  That's why declaring that something is a "necessary entity" doesn't really work, because you have no way of knowing if it actually is one.  Godel's incompleteness theorems apply here just as well as they do in math.  You may be able to declare that there must be a necessary, unexplainable thing in order to explain the universe, but that in no way means that it actually is unexplainable.

Quote from: PhilosoB
Please tell me which ones I have missed. Remember, this argument only shows us what kind of properties are required in an explanation for contingent entities. Using these requirements, we can rule out explanations that do not qualify. Further, all explanations will have the property of either contingency or non-contingency (necessity) as per the law of excluded middle.
What makes you think that the only non-contingent explanation is necessity?  Just because all explanations must have the property of either contingency or non-contingency, it does not follow that non-contingent is synonymous with necessary.  You have declared it so, but that's all you've done; you've made it part of your premise.

Quote from: PhilosoB
So 1. If logic alone is used to explain any fact, then a fact is not sufficiently explained.
     2. Logic alone is used to explain a fact
     3. Therefore, a fact is not sufficiently explained.

Please explain the validity of this logical argument. Remember, logic alone is, apparently, not sufficient.
It's very easy, actually.  You must use something besides logic to explain a fact.

Quote from: PhilosoB
I would agree with the statement that logic cannot prove all things but it is sufficient for some things.
I do not agree that logic is sufficient by itself to explain anything.  Indeed, if it were not for the axioms of logic, logic could not explain anything, because those axioms form the basis of logic.  So even a basic logical argument requires you to accept the axioms of logic, because if you do not, you've destroyed the basis for making the argument in the first place.

Quote from: PhilosoB
The rules of logic are properly basic. The law of non-contradiction, for example, does not have need additional evidence or beliefs in order to confirm the truth of this law of logic. They are axioms, as you say; they are basic, self-evident principles the truth of which cannot be denied without using the very laws that you are attempting to refute.
Granted, but that is the entire point.  You cannot have logic at all without accepting things as true that you cannot prove logically.  Therefore, logic is not sufficient to prove anything by itself, because it requires you to accept things that cannot be proven with logic in order to form the basis of proving things with logic.

In short, I am not trying to refute the laws of logic.  I am trying to show that you cannot use logic by itself to prove anything, because in order to use logic, you must accept certain things as true that are outside of logic and cannot be proven by logic.  You cannot logically show that the laws of logic are true, because logic is based on those three laws, and in order to prove that they are true using logic, you must commit the fallacy of circular logic - assuming the consequent.  You can only accept them as self-evidently true.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2014, 05:03:56 AM »
PhilosoB, if I replace "universe" with "god" in the first two lines of your argument, can you fill in the blank?

If you can not, does that not suggest that the framework of the argument is NOT solid?

1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence
2. If god has an explanation, that explanation is ??????.

Unless there is a coherent answer for (2), it invalidates the premise of (1).  If the premise of (1) "Everything that exists has an explanation ", then the argument does NOT always hold, and we can discount it as an argument to prove god as necessary for the universe.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Hatter23

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2014, 07:34:09 AM »


If scientists threw up their hands and said "We give up, science can't find an answer, we'll have to turn to logic", would everyone turn to PhilosophB's line of reasoning, or are there other logical constructs that could also be used?

While we can use logic to discount particular answers as illogical conclusions, any positive claim cannot be solved by logic alone. Ultimately, Occam's Razor/Begging the Question/Appeal to Ignorance/Special Pleading will be invoked...thus destroying any "logic alone' argument.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline PhilosoB

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2014, 11:30:05 AM »
Thank you for an engaging reply. Working from a common basis of self-evident laws of logic,  I will address the issues related to the topic of this commentary thread. I have grouped your responses together as they seemed closely related. If there is a specific point that you made that I have overlook, let me know.

You have basically simplified the question into "either the universe is necessary and does not need an explanation, or it is contingent and requires a necessary explanation".  Then you effectively ruled out the former, and declared 'God' was the "necessary explanation".  So, in effect, you have created a dichotomy, when in fact there are many other possible answers.

Quote from: jaimehlers
Why is infinite regress not allowable?
Quote from: PhilosoB
Because this would not explain why any contingent exists in the first place.

Perhaps, but 'God' doesn't explain why any contingent exists either.  'God' is simply a placeholder, an attempt to avoid admitting that you don't know what the explanation might be.  In order to show that something explains something else, you must show how it does so, and not merely by saying that it's necessary, because that does not give it any explanatory power.

Demonstrating that something seems necessary (to you) in no way shows that it is necessary, or that it is not actually contingent on something else instead.  That's why declaring that something is a "necessary entity" doesn't really work, because you have no way of knowing if it actually is one.  Godel's incompleteness theorems apply here just as well as they do in math.  You may be able to declare that there must be a necessary, unexplainable thing in order to explain the universe, but that in no way means that it actually is unexplainable.

What makes you think that the only non-contingent explanation is necessity?  Just because all explanations must have the property of either contingency or non-contingency, it does not follow that non-contingent is synonymous with necessary.  You have declared it so, but that's all you've done; you've made it part of your premise.

The only correction I see to your summary is that necessity is an explanation. If something exists necessarily, this means that it could not possibly not exist. Any need for further explanation, misunderstands the property of necessity.

You seemed to tacitly agree that infinite regress is a problem that should be avoided. However, your requirements for a valid explanation falls right back into that issue. If I ask why the water is boiling on the stove, you could explain it by talking about the activity of rapidly moving molecules or electrons. But such an explanation would, by your definition, be unsatisfactory, as now you would also have to explain every facet of the molecules and then every facet of energy and then every aspect of physical laws, and then...ad infinitum (to say nothing of a personal explanation for why the kettle is boiling i.e. you wanted to make tea). Under your standard, nothing could be considered an explanation until every piece of knowledge about everything was known.

However, in practice, when I ask why the kettle is boiling, and you say you are making tea, that is a perfectly valid and acceptable explanation. Or an explanation by way of a comprehensive, even if incomplete, detailing of molecules and energy will suffice. As I mentioned, if using the name 'God' is premature or confusing at this point, disregard it. We are still left with an explanation, whatever it might be, that will, in the very least, require the property of necessity.

Regarding necessity, this would seem to be a logically deduced requirement that in order to avoid an infinite regress, the explanation for why any thing contingent exists at all would have the property of necessity. If necessity is not synonymous with non-contingency, please provide a third option between contingency and necessity as no philosophical paper that I have read provides one.

As an example, the Stanford Encyclopedia for Philosophy:
"...4. What causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must either be solely other contingent beings or include a non-contingent (necessary) being. ...
....Premise 4 is true by virtue of the Principle of Excluded Middle: what explains the existence of the contingent being either are solely other contingent beings or includes a non-contingent (necessary) being." http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument/#


Quote from: PhilosoB
Science supports a definite beginning to the universe and even, if cyclical, the conservation of entropy through the cycles prevents the cycles from occurring from an infinite past thus requiring a beginning.
What science shows is that there's a point at which the universe was arbitrarily small and arbitrarily hot, not that it had a beginning.  Furthermore, I have never heard of this "conservation of entropy" that you talk about.  I've heard of the conservation of energy, but they are not the same thing.  Do you perhaps mean the second law of thermodynamics?  Even if that's the case, the second law does not make an infinite or cyclical past impossible, because the second law has to do with entropy in an isolated system.  If the universe is not isolated (for example, if black holes ultimately act as 'drains' into another universe-space, as some scientists have argued), then there is no reason that entropy in the next universe-space could not be substantially less than it is here, because much of the entropy of this universe-space would stay here rather than being pulled through.  There's other possibilities as well.

I was referring to the second law of thermodynamics. For any system to which this law applies (such as ours), an infinite past becomes extremely unlikely as it would allow an infinite amount of time which would allow an infinite amount of entropy to build. Since we are not in such a state, the universe could not have existed from infinite past but rather had a definite beginning.

Black hole universes, as theorized, attempts to get around the implications of the second law of thermodynamics. However, even if postulated by scientists, this is not an observable or scientifically verifiable theory. Further it seems that even Stephen Hawking in not in favor of this theory:
   "Hawking also dismisses his previous suggestion that the information might have leaked into a different "Baby" universe. "The information remains firmly in our universe," he told the conference. "I am sorry to disappoint science fiction fans, but if information is preserved, there is no possibility of using black holes to travel to other universes. If you jump into a black hole, your mass energy will be returned to our universe, but in a mangled form which contains the information about what you were like, but in an unrecognisable state." http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2004/jul/22/hawking-loses-black-hole-bet

I agree that there exists many logically possibilities for why the universe exists. However, it is important to make a distinction between logical possibility and epistemic possibility.

Logical possibility would allow any idea that is not logically contradictory to be consider rational. Under this criteria, the idea that we are brains in a vat of a mad scientist producing the illusion of reality and the idea that the universe is an actual reality in which persons exist are both equal rationally justified. This would, as you can see, invalidate knowledge of any kind, or perhaps, it would allow any logically consistent idea to count as knowledge. In either case, what would be the point of this discussion?

Epistemic possibility says something might be rational if there are good reasons to accept it as true, not merely the absence of logical contradiction. While we logically might be brains in a vat, there are no good reasons to think this is actually the case. Alternatively, there are good reasons to believe that our the universe does exist.

So while there are an infinite amount of logical possibilities that explain the appearance of the universe, not every possibility is epistemically possible. This point of logical and epistemic possibilities may not be an issue between yourself and I, but it seems to be pervasive in many posts on this forum. Skepticism can be a healthy and necessary pathway to knowledge; however, if we remain skeptical of any knowledge claim until all logical possibilities are exclude, knowledge becomes impossible, which is an absurdity.

Offline PhilosoB

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2014, 12:37:36 PM »
PhilosoB, if I replace "universe" with "god" in the first two lines of your argument, can you fill in the blank?

If you can not, does that not suggest that the framework of the argument is NOT solid?

1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence
2. If god has an explanation, that explanation is ??????.

Unless there is a coherent answer for (2), it invalidates the premise of (1).  If the premise of (1) "Everything that exists has an explanation ", then the argument does NOT always hold, and we can discount it as an argument to prove god as necessary for the universe.

In Premise #1, I mention that an explanation for anything in question can take two forms: either in an external source or in the necessary nature of the thing in question. Since, as I have argued, the universe does not exist necessarily, this requires an explanation from an external source.

Regarding 'god',  it is commonly agreed, as a matter of definition, that if god were to exist, he would exist necessarily. If god did not exist necessarily, then his existence would be explained by an external source. Thus, god would be dependent on something else greater than himself for existence. This new explanation would then be god.

Notice that this is not defining god into existence, it is simply setting a definition by which we can understand what is meant when we say 'god' just as we do with, say, unicorns. Unicorns are, by definition, a horse-like creature with one horn emanating from the head. By giving this description, it in no way implies that an unicorn actually exists. However, if you a came across a horse-like creature that had a horn on its head, you could say you have found what appears, at least initially, to be a unicorn; That is, to say, it possesses some required attributes of unicorns. Alternatively, simply finding a horse-like creature without a horn, it could be reasonably assumed that you have not found a unicorn.

Likewise, god has the attribute of necessity. So if we come across something that exists necessarily, it can, at least provisionally, be called god. Certainly, further investigation would be required to confirm or deny this discovery. It is through these prior attributes that we can start to classify discoveries. This argument is not for the word 'god'. This argument demonstrates that an explanation exists that has the property of necessity. The title of this explanation is not so important at his point.

So if god exists necessarily, his explanation is the property of necessity. This fulfills my first premise.

 1. Everything that exists has any explanation, either in an external source or in the necessary of its nature
 2. If god exists, that explanation is in the necessity of his nature.

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2014, 01:10:16 PM »
Thank you for an engaging reply. Working from a common basis of self-evident laws of logic,  I will address the issues related to the topic of this commentary thread. I have grouped your responses together as they seemed closely related. If there is a specific point that you made that I have overlook, let me know.

You have basically simplified the question into "either the universe is necessary and does not need an explanation, or it is contingent and requires a necessary explanation".  Then you effectively ruled out the former, and declared 'God' was the "necessary explanation".  So, in effect, you have created a dichotomy, when in fact there are many other possible answers.

Quote from: jaimehlers
Why is infinite regress not allowable?
Quote from: PhilosoB
Because this would not explain why any contingent exists in the first place.

Perhaps, but 'God' doesn't explain why any contingent exists either.  'God' is simply a placeholder, an attempt to avoid admitting that you don't know what the explanation might be.  In order to show that something explains something else, you must show how it does so, and not merely by saying that it's necessary, because that does not give it any explanatory power.

Demonstrating that something seems necessary (to you) in no way shows that it is necessary, or that it is not actually contingent on something else instead.  That's why declaring that something is a "necessary entity" doesn't really work, because you have no way of knowing if it actually is one.  Godel's incompleteness theorems apply here just as well as they do in math.  You may be able to declare that there must be a necessary, unexplainable thing in order to explain the universe, but that in no way means that it actually is unexplainable.

What makes you think that the only non-contingent explanation is necessity?  Just because all explanations must have the property of either contingency or non-contingency, it does not follow that non-contingent is synonymous with necessary.  You have declared it so, but that's all you've done; you've made it part of your premise.

The only correction I see to your summary is that necessity is an explanation. If something exists necessarily, this means that it could not possibly not exist. Any need for further explanation, misunderstands the property of necessity.

You seemed to tacitly agree that infinite regress is a problem that should be avoided. However, your requirements for a valid explanation falls right back into that issue. If I ask why the water is boiling on the stove, you could explain it by talking about the activity of rapidly moving molecules or electrons. But such an explanation would, by your definition, be unsatisfactory, as now you would also have to explain every facet of the molecules and then every facet of energy and then every aspect of physical laws, and then...ad infinitum (to say nothing of a personal explanation for why the kettle is boiling i.e. you wanted to make tea). Under your standard, nothing could be considered an explanation until every piece of knowledge about everything was known.

However, in practice, when I ask why the kettle is boiling, and you say you are making tea, that is a perfectly valid and acceptable explanation. Or an explanation by way of a comprehensive, even if incomplete, detailing of molecules and energy will suffice. As I mentioned, if using the name 'God' is premature or confusing at this point, disregard it. We are still left with an explanation, whatever it might be, that will, in the very least, require the property of necessity.

Regarding necessity, this would seem to be a logically deduced requirement that in order to avoid an infinite regress, the explanation for why any thing contingent exists at all would have the property of necessity. If necessity is not synonymous with non-contingency, please provide a third option between contingency and necessity as no philosophical paper that I have read provides one.

As an example, the Stanford Encyclopedia for Philosophy:
"...4. What causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must either be solely other contingent beings or include a non-contingent (necessary) being. ...
....Premise 4 is true by virtue of the Principle of Excluded Middle: what explains the existence of the contingent being either are solely other contingent beings or includes a non-contingent (necessary) being." http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument/#


Quote from: PhilosoB
Science supports a definite beginning to the universe and even, if cyclical, the conservation of entropy through the cycles prevents the cycles from occurring from an infinite past thus requiring a beginning.
What science shows is that there's a point at which the universe was arbitrarily small and arbitrarily hot, not that it had a beginning.  Furthermore, I have never heard of this "conservation of entropy" that you talk about.  I've heard of the conservation of energy, but they are not the same thing.  Do you perhaps mean the second law of thermodynamics?  Even if that's the case, the second law does not make an infinite or cyclical past impossible, because the second law has to do with entropy in an isolated system.  If the universe is not isolated (for example, if black holes ultimately act as 'drains' into another universe-space, as some scientists have argued), then there is no reason that entropy in the next universe-space could not be substantially less than it is here, because much of the entropy of this universe-space would stay here rather than being pulled through.  There's other possibilities as well.

I was referring to the second law of thermodynamics. For any system to which this law applies (such as ours), an infinite past becomes extremely unlikely as it would allow an infinite amount of time which would allow an infinite amount of entropy to build. Since we are not in such a state, the universe could not have existed from infinite past but rather had a definite beginning.

Black hole universes, as theorized, attempts to get around the implications of the second law of thermodynamics. However, even if postulated by scientists, this is not an observable or scientifically verifiable theory. Further it seems that even Stephen Hawking in not in favor of this theory:
   "Hawking also dismisses his previous suggestion that the information might have leaked into a different "Baby" universe. "The information remains firmly in our universe," he told the conference. "I am sorry to disappoint science fiction fans, but if information is preserved, there is no possibility of using black holes to travel to other universes. If you jump into a black hole, your mass energy will be returned to our universe, but in a mangled form which contains the information about what you were like, but in an unrecognisable state." http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2004/jul/22/hawking-loses-black-hole-bet

I agree that there exists many logically possibilities for why the universe exists. However, it is important to make a distinction between logical possibility and epistemic possibility.

Logical possibility would allow any idea that is not logically contradictory to be consider rational. Under this criteria, the idea that we are brains in a vat of a mad scientist producing the illusion of reality and the idea that the universe is an actual reality in which persons exist are both equal rationally justified. This would, as you can see, invalidate knowledge of any kind, or perhaps, it would allow any logically consistent idea to count as knowledge. In either case, what would be the point of this discussion?

Epistemic possibility says something might be rational if there are good reasons to accept it as true, not merely the absence of logical contradiction. While we logically might be brains in a vat, there are no good reasons to think this is actually the case. Alternatively, there are good reasons to believe that our the universe does exist.

So while there are an infinite amount of logical possibilities that explain the appearance of the universe, not every possibility is epistemically possible. This point of logical and epistemic possibilities may not be an issue between yourself and I, but it seems to be pervasive in many posts on this forum. Skepticism can be a healthy and necessary pathway to knowledge; however, if we remain skeptical of any knowledge claim until all logical possibilities are exclude, knowledge becomes impossible, which is an absurdity.

Unnecessary and non contingent. (The best modern explanation of the universe.)

One of the problems with black hole universes is entropy. As you say, entropy means the past cannot be eternal in a non perfect universe. You should tell this to Dominic.

Eternal contingency. You have missed the possibility that the universe can renew itself perfectly, in an eternal loop of contingent universes. (Most earlier scientific explanations were like this.)

The past cannot be eternal in a perfect universe either or for an unchanging being. Time itself would not be stable, apart from time loops, the main problem would be that the universe or being would cease to exist permanently whenever time reversed.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 01:13:44 PM by Foxy Freedom »
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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2014, 02:04:27 PM »
1- Talk about why you think his logic isn't logical, so to speak. Why it doesn't apply in this case. Or what it would take to make it apply. Simply attacking it doesn't seem to be enough. 
2-  Discuss alternative explanations that don't require an unembodied mind/first actor
3-  Speaking of unembodied minds, you might ask for a little clarification. Is he talking of other dimensions?
4.  He is overlooking some of the possibilities put forth by physicists, such as infinite universes. This is nothing that we can prove, but it is alluded to by recent discoveries. That is just one possibility.

1 - I have done that. Anyone who's taken a single look at the definition of "fallacy" knows that they mean your argument is unsound. It is not logical.
2 - I will do that.
3 - I don't need to hear the concept to know that it's BS. Note that I asked for evidence. One of the three or so rules we both agreed to was to not make unsupported assertions. Therefore, until he puts up, I will dismiss all claims as I would do any theist's.
4 - I mentioned the fact that, while it is true that 0=0, 1-1=0 as well. I mentioned this in response to his claim that change cannot come from within a system. He dismissed it with no counterargument. I can only imagine why.
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Offline PhilosoB

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2014, 03:29:02 PM »
1- Talk about why you think his logic isn't logical, so to speak. Why it doesn't apply in this case. Or what it would take to make it apply. Simply attacking it doesn't seem to be enough. 
2-  Discuss alternative explanations that don't require an unembodied mind/first actor
3-  Speaking of unembodied minds, you might ask for a little clarification. Is he talking of other dimensions?
4.  He is overlooking some of the possibilities put forth by physicists, such as infinite universes. This is nothing that we can prove, but it is alluded to by recent discoveries. That is just one possibility.

1 - I have done that. Anyone who's taken a single look at the definition of "fallacy" knows that they mean your argument is unsound. It is not logical.
If a fallacy exists, you still have to make an argument for it or, at least, explain why you think the fallacy exists. Declaring "Fallacy!" does not mean there is a fallacy anymore than declaring "Bankruptcy!" makes you bankrupt.




2 - I will do that.

I look forward to it


3 - I don't need to hear the concept to know that it's BS. Note that I asked for evidence. One of the three or so rules we both agreed to was to not make unsupported assertions. Therefore, until he puts up, I will dismiss all claims as I would do any theist's.

A priori rejection - Settling arguments since ... whenever I say they're settled.

Also, define evidence for me. I don't know what kind of evidence you want unless you tell me. Of course, maybe that is your strategy.

4 - I mentioned the fact that, while it is true that 0=0, 1-1=0 as well. I mentioned this in response to his claim that change cannot come from within a system. He dismissed it with no counterargument. I can only imagine why.

I am not sure where I said anything about change not occurring within a system, but I suppose its easier to create your own premise and then knock it down.

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2014, 05:05:06 PM »
PhilosoB, I'll get back to you tomorrow (my time). I have some homework to do that I have to email until midnight, as well as a test tomorrow.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2014, 08:40:49 PM »
Phil, OAA,

This isn't a demand or official directive.  Just a friendly observation.  If the thread reserved for commentary of your debate has more debate in it than your actual debate, something is wrong.
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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2014, 08:53:04 PM »
I agree. Just waiting for a substantive response from OAA. To this point, the posts in the commentary have been more engaging.

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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2014, 08:36:38 PM »
The Russel/Copelston Debate on Contingency and The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdicTfFygnU


No Creator Need Apply: A Reply to Roy Abraham Varghese (2006)

Keith M. Parsons

http://infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/varghese.html

"It appears, therefore, that the choice between theism and atheism boils down to a choice between ultimate brute facts--God or the most basic features, whatever they might be, of the physical cosmos [global universe]. I have argued in this paper that the choice of God is not intellectually compelling, that it is entirely rational and reasonable to see the universe as needing no cause and capable of existing with no metaphysical support. The universe, insofar as it is explicable, is explicable in naturalistic terms. No logical or metaphysical principle, at least none mentioned by Varghese, requires that the world have a creator."
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 09:01:19 PM by median »
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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2014, 11:16:02 AM »
If the thread reserved for commentary of your debate has more debate in it than your actual debate, something is wrong.

Maybe boredom.

Incidentally, I think the usual premise of proving that something created, or didn't create the universe is flawed, because God may still exist, even if the universe can create itself.

If the universe is cyclic, then God may have been created in the first cycle. That is to say, if this was the first cycle, it's not impossible that evolved life could master it, and transcend the end of it, in order to supervise or modify the next cycles.

Also, if God exists, we may still be in a context which doesn't matter to him, and we may be right to act like atheists.

I don't think that deducing the existence or not, of a transcendent power, using chip-logic tells us much. Furthermore, I don't think that our current observations of the universe tell us anything about what sort of God there is, or what he does, unless there is empirical evidence of a God in this world.

If the debate needs to persist, then it should use empirical evidence of the effects of God on Earth.


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Re: OAA & PhilosoB debate the existence of god commentary thread
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2014, 01:41:20 PM »
Phil, OAA,

This isn't a demand or official directive.  Just a friendly observation.  If the thread reserved for commentary of your debate has more debate in it than your actual debate, something is wrong.


How do you debate when there has been no evidence put forth and all the arguments have fallacies that you've pointed out, yet those same arguments keep being sent out?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.