Author Topic: God's First Cause  (Read 1120 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11106
  • Darwins +291/-37
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2014, 04:14:37 PM »
Folks rarely actually address dloubet's points, but because they're generally very good points.

FTFY.
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.

Online Jag

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1861
  • Darwins +196/-7
  • Gender: Female
  • Official WWGHA Harpy, Ex-rosary squad
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2014, 06:22:58 PM »
Quote from: Azdgari
Everything else that happens seems to be.  Supposing that the cause is a super-person is an arrogant stretch, but I suppose it could qualify as an example of something's ultimate beginning.

The first cause argument doesn't state that the cause is a super person, only that we need to posit an uncaused cause.   

The title of this thread is "God's First Cause" so the "super-person" is clearly indicated as the matter under discussion.

The first line of the OP asks Does Biblegod know how he came to be? <--- We're even discussing a specific described God - the one from the bible.
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline natlegend

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1658
  • Darwins +66/-0
  • Polyatheist
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2014, 08:55:41 PM »
When did atheism begin? That's easy. Atheism began at the exact same time the first god-belief did. No, wait... in fact, atheism was around before god(s), because the natural-born state is one of disbelief.

Hence, atheism is older than god(s). Interestingly, I'd hazard to say that atheism was originally uncaused.[1]
 1. Would that be fair to say?
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Online One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11106
  • Darwins +291/-37
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2014, 08:58:52 PM »
Interestingly, I'd hazard to say that atheism was originally uncaused.[1]
 1. Would that be fair to say?

That depends. If you just mean non-belief without even understanding what non-belief is, then it's as old as our brains. If you mean "informed" non-belief, then it appeared as soon as we were able to question things; that is, when we became sentient. It appeared because we had become sentient. You can't question things without the ability to question things.
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.

Online jaimehlers

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5046
  • Darwins +578/-18
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2014, 09:15:41 PM »
The only people I can think of that might have said that Yahweh came into existence are the Mormons and maybe the Gnostics, but you didn't direct your question at them, you said specifically "biblegod", which I can only interperate as "God, as described in the bible". And the bible clearly describes a god who did not come into existence but always existed.
No, it describes a god who created the heavens and the earth.  It in no way indicates that said god always existed; just that said god existed "in the beginning".

Offline natlegend

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1658
  • Darwins +66/-0
  • Polyatheist
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2014, 11:35:15 PM »
Interestingly, I'd hazard to say that atheism was originally uncaused.[1]
 1. Would that be fair to say?

That depends. If you just mean non-belief without even understanding what non-belief is, then it's as old as our brains. If you mean "informed" non-belief, then it appeared as soon as we were able to question things; that is, when we became sentient. It appeared because we had become sentient. You can't question things without the ability to question things.

Interesting. Sooooo... you reckon you can't 'not-believe' in something until you've heard of it first? That would mean that humans aren't naturally born atheist.

That's a tricky one, and something I've never thought of. But a tad off-topic I guess. Would make a great thread though I reckon, "Is it possible to not-believe in something you have never heard of?"
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Offline Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12410
  • Darwins +289/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2014, 11:44:06 PM »
^^ The difference is between "not believing" and "disbelieving".  Logically, everything can be described as either X or not-X, with not-X often encompassing vastly more situations than X.  A mind necessarily either believes or does not believe in something.  But disbelief means actual rejection of an idea.  For that to happen, the idea has to first be presented.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline natlegend

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1658
  • Darwins +66/-0
  • Polyatheist
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2014, 01:04:26 AM »
So someone can only be an atheist if they actively 'disbelieve' in god(s)? That sounds like I have to make an... effort... to disbelieve.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Offline Philosopher_at_large

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 681
  • Darwins +18/-2
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2014, 01:34:51 AM »
The only people I can think of that might have said that Yahweh came into existence are the Mormons and maybe the Gnostics, but you didn't direct your question at them, you said specifically "biblegod", which I can only interperate as "God, as described in the bible". And the bible clearly describes a god who did not come into existence but always existed.
No, it describes a god who created the heavens and the earth.  It in no way indicates that said god always existed; just that said god existed "in the beginning".

It also describes a god that is "The alpha and the Omega" and who describes him self as "I am that I am".
"A moral philosophy that is fact based should be based upon the facts about human nature and nothing else." - Mortimer J. Adler

Online eh!

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1916
  • Darwins +82/-35
  • Gender: Male
  • jimmy hendrix is jesus
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2014, 01:37:10 AM »
So you can't disbelieve in something unless you first believe it. ie criterion for not believing presupposes that you believe a priori.




when people say cause in this thread is sentient implied cause.implied.
Signature goes here...

Online eh!

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1916
  • Darwins +82/-35
  • Gender: Male
  • jimmy hendrix is jesus
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2014, 01:38:43 AM »
What does alpha / omega actually mean.


what does i am that i am actually mean??
Signature goes here...

Offline Philosopher_at_large

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 681
  • Darwins +18/-2
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #40 on: June 18, 2014, 01:48:14 AM »
The first cause argument doesn't state that the cause is a super person, only that we need to posit an uncaused cause.

Quote from: Azdgari
Depends on the first-cause argument in question.  In my experience, the motivation for positing such an argument is almost always in order to insert one's cultural super-person (ie. a deity) as that uncaused cause.

Any attempt to do that is fallacious. Arguing that the universe came into existence and thus requires an immaterial cause is not the same as arguing that a deity was the cause.

I might need you to restate the question, I don't think I understood it.

Quote from: Azdgari I am asking you to establish that [i
beginning to exist[/i] is a meaningful concept for humans to impose on the universe or anything within it.  There is no evidence of it in nature.  Even virtual particles are a change that occurs to a piece of space, and their net energy generated is zero.  One thing changing into another is the only thing that humans have ever been able to observe, as far as I know.  Do you know differently?  And citing the Big Bang or something similar would be circular reasoning.

You asked two different questions here.

1. Weather "beginning to exist" is a meaningful concept for human beings, which it is. and,

2. Weather "Beginning to exist" actually occurs in nature. which it does..... sort of.

Everything that we see around us is an effect requiring a cause, but the same might not apply (and, I think, doesn't apply) to that which those effects are made of. I did not exist before I was conceived but that which I am made of did.

The question yet to be answered is weather or not the big bang was an effect. The jury is out on that, but there is some reason to think that the answer is no.


And I think that not knowing what causes a thing is a very bad reason to posit a deity to explain it.

Quote from: Azdgari So [i
you[/i] don't posit a deity as the "first cause".  Cool.

It depends on weather the cosmos requires a cause. I like to avoid begging the question and so I'm more comfortable assuming that the cosmos is eternal and everlasting, did not come into existence and will not pass away.

I find that hard to accept considering that scientists and cosmologists are currently trying to discover such a cause.

Quote from: Azdgari
Is that really what they're trying to do?

To discover what happened at the instant of the big bang? Yes, they are.

By the same token as we don't run up against a problem, give up, and say "We don't know so God must have done it", I don't think we ought to run up against a problem, give up and say "We don't know so there must not be a cause".

Quote from: Azdgari
Who has ever advocated that?  I for one advocate continuing to research, rather than to proclaim some discovered or undiscovered cause as the "first" one and leave it at that.

I couldn't agree more.
"A moral philosophy that is fact based should be based upon the facts about human nature and nothing else." - Mortimer J. Adler

Offline Philosopher_at_large

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 681
  • Darwins +18/-2
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #41 on: June 18, 2014, 01:52:49 AM »
What does alpha / omega actually mean.


what does i am that i am actually mean??

It may be more helpful for you to do a google search and answer your own question.
"A moral philosophy that is fact based should be based upon the facts about human nature and nothing else." - Mortimer J. Adler

Online eh!

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1916
  • Darwins +82/-35
  • Gender: Male
  • jimmy hendrix is jesus
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #42 on: June 18, 2014, 01:54:00 AM »
What does it mean to you......dodging??
Signature goes here...

Offline Philosopher_at_large

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 681
  • Darwins +18/-2
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #43 on: June 18, 2014, 02:02:50 AM »
What does it mean to you......dodging??
It doesn't really matter what it means to me, it only matters what the people who wrote it meant. 

"I am that I am" basically meant "I always am" or "I always was" depending on the translation.
"A moral philosophy that is fact based should be based upon the facts about human nature and nothing else." - Mortimer J. Adler

Online eh!

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1916
  • Darwins +82/-35
  • Gender: Male
  • jimmy hendrix is jesus
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2014, 02:05:50 AM »
I think in a conversation it is important to know what the other person is talking about with abstract context specific words/phrases... you disagree?

 Alpha and omega in non self referential terms actually means.....?
Signature goes here...

Online bertatberts

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1444
  • Darwins +52/-8
  • Gender: Male
  • Humanists. Not perfect. Not forgiven. Responsible.
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #45 on: June 18, 2014, 02:54:13 AM »
So someone can only be an atheist if they actively 'disbelieve' in god(s)? That sounds like I have to make an... effort... to disbelieve.
However you are right in your previous posts. you don't have to make any effort at all, because atheism is simply the lack of belief, disbelief doesn't come into it.
Disbelief has a priori of belief, lacking belief has no such priori.
You need to have a belief in a thing before you can actively deny it.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline natlegend

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1658
  • Darwins +66/-0
  • Polyatheist
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #46 on: June 18, 2014, 04:45:52 AM »
^^^ So would you agree that the natural state of newborn humans is an atheist one?
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Online One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11106
  • Darwins +291/-37
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #47 on: June 18, 2014, 05:37:56 AM »
So someone can only be an atheist if they actively 'disbelieve' in god(s)? That sounds like I have to make an... effort... to disbelieve.

No. What (I think) Azdgari is saying is that atheism requires considering the idea, and then rejecting it, for whatever reason (usually logical ones, but not always).
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.

Online bertatberts

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1444
  • Darwins +52/-8
  • Gender: Male
  • Humanists. Not perfect. Not forgiven. Responsible.
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #48 on: June 18, 2014, 05:46:01 AM »
^^^ So would you agree that the natural state of newborn humans is an atheist one?
Yes! As they have no belief in deities.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline Mrjason

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1330
  • Darwins +97/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #49 on: June 18, 2014, 05:59:23 AM »
^^^ So would you agree that the natural state of newborn humans is an atheist one?
Yes! As they have no belief in deities.

It's difficult to tell what they think.

Observing them newborn humans appear totally reliant on a being other than themselves and trust this creature implicitly, calling out to this being to alleviate their suffering in times of need.

Online bertatberts

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1444
  • Darwins +52/-8
  • Gender: Male
  • Humanists. Not perfect. Not forgiven. Responsible.
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #50 on: June 18, 2014, 06:32:03 AM »
^^^ So would you agree that the natural state of newborn humans is an atheist one?
Yes! As they have no belief in deities.

It's difficult to tell what they think.

Observing them newborn humans appear totally reliant on a being other than themselves and trust this creature implicitly, calling out to this being to alleviate their suffering in times of need.
I never said they thought about it, I simply said they lack belief in a god. Do you think they are born with a belief then? Or any belief at all?
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline Mrjason

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1330
  • Darwins +97/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #51 on: June 18, 2014, 06:36:57 AM »
^^^ So would you agree that the natural state of newborn humans is an atheist one?
Yes! As they have no belief in deities.

It's difficult to tell what they think.

Observing them newborn humans appear totally reliant on a being other than themselves and trust this creature implicitly, calling out to this being to alleviate their suffering in times of need.
I never said they thought about it, I simply said they lack belief in a god. Do you think they are born with a belief then? Or any belief at all?

No, i think they are born with a biological imperative at first but through experiential learning convert this to a faculty for belief.

On a side note my siblings and I still capitalise The Mother in texts and email.

Online bertatberts

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1444
  • Darwins +52/-8
  • Gender: Male
  • Humanists. Not perfect. Not forgiven. Responsible.
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #52 on: June 18, 2014, 07:11:50 AM »
A biological imperative to be or do what? Children become self aware around 18 months, and are able to discern for themselves (make unbiased decisions) around 12 years. The only reason they " believe " in anything prior to that is if they are inculcated or indoctrinated.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline Mrjason

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1330
  • Darwins +97/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #53 on: June 18, 2014, 07:36:07 AM »
A biological imperative to be or do what? Children become self aware around 18 months, and are able to discern for themselves (make unbiased decisions) around 12 years. The only reason they " believe " in anything prior to that is if they are inculcated or indoctrinated.

A biological imperative to continue their existence. What else would it mean?
An 18 month olds self-awareness is different to an adults, take their understanding of the concept of death for example.
"Believe" is quite vague. Does a baby believe it will be fed/changed etc if it cries? I think so.
Is this belief based on experience? I think so.

I find it difficult to say that a newborn is an atheist as it isn't capable of understanding theism. If you can say that the default position of things that can not understand theism is atheism you can apply that to everything other than adult humans.
My cat is an atheist and so is Proxima Centauri.

I guess I just don't like the term, it suggests something is lacking and in a negative sense.

Online bertatberts

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1444
  • Darwins +52/-8
  • Gender: Male
  • Humanists. Not perfect. Not forgiven. Responsible.
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #54 on: June 18, 2014, 08:21:08 AM »
A biological imperative to be or do what? Children become self aware around 18 months, and are able to discern for themselves (make unbiased decisions) around 12 years. The only reason they " believe " in anything prior to that is if they are inculcated or indoctrinated.

A biological imperative to continue their existence. What else would it mean?
Ok! I misunderstood.
Quote from: Mrjason
"Believe" is quite vague. Does a baby believe it will be fed/changed etc if it cries? I think so.
Is this belief based on experience? I think so
Here I think you're mixing belief with knowledge.

Quote from: Mrjason
I find it difficult to say that a newborn is an atheist as it isn't capable of understanding theism. If you can say that the default position of things that can not understand theism is atheism you can apply that to everything other than adult humans.
My cat is an atheist and so is Proxima Centauri.
Exactly! They all have no belief, they all lack belief in a god. which is atheist, in the technical sense. And that is all the term atheist means.

Quote from: Mrjason
I guess I just don't like the term, it suggests something is lacking and in a negative sense.
The term atheist is a negative term, it is not something we so much are, it is something we are from a theist perspective. I'm an atheist, however I don't label myself that way. I label myself a humanist.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline Mrjason

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1330
  • Darwins +97/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #55 on: June 18, 2014, 08:38:48 AM »
A biological imperative to continue their existence. What else would it mean?
Ok! I misunderstood.

Fair enough, maybe i wasn't clear.

Quote from: Mrjason
"Believe" is quite vague. Does a baby believe it will be fed/changed etc if it cries? I think so.
Is this belief based on experience? I think so
Here I think you're mixing belief with knowledge.

Is it knowledge?

Quote from: Mrjason
I find it difficult to say that a newborn is an atheist as it isn't capable of understanding theism. If you can say that the default position of things that can not understand theism is atheism you can apply that to everything other than adult humans.
My cat is an atheist and so is Proxima Centauri.
Exactly! They all have no belief, they all lack belief in a god. which is atheist, in the technical sense. And that is all the term atheist means.

I'm really not sure about this. As you say below, atheist is a negative term and for a negative to be applied there must be an alternative, a positive.
Are stones anemic?

Quote from: Mrjason
I guess I just don't like the term, it suggests something is lacking and in a negative sense.
The term atheist is a negative term, it is not something we so much are, it is something we are from a theist perspective. I'm an atheist, however I don't label myself that way. I label myself a humanist.

Excactly, by saying that newborns are atheist you are shifting the emphasis of what is normal to a theist perspective.


Offline Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12410
  • Darwins +289/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #56 on: June 18, 2014, 08:50:25 AM »
Any attempt to do that is fallacious. Arguing that the universe came into existence and thus requires an immaterial cause is not the same as arguing that a deity was the cause.

Immaterial?  That's a rash assumption.  Kind of like saying it was "supernatural".  I am very ware of that fallacious reasoning, and can't think of another discussion of this topic I've been in where the other person wasn't arguing for a deity.  Are you sure you're not motivated similarly?

You asked two different questions here.

1. Weather "beginning to exist" is a meaningful concept for human beings, which it is. and,

That is not at all what I asked.  If I had cut off that sentence after the word "humans" then it would be, but I did not cut off my sentence at that point.

2. Weather "Beginning to exist" actually occurs in nature. which it does..... sort of.

Nope.  In no way does "Beginning to exist" occur in nature.  It occurs in our language about nature.  "Beginning to exist" is a totally alien concept in nature.  Which brings up the question of why it's our go-to explantion for anything at all.

Everything that we see around us is an effect requiring a cause, but the same might not apply (and, I think, doesn't apply) to that which those effects are made of. I did not exist before I was conceived but that which I am made of did.

The idea of "you" is an arbitrary, human-created distinction.  It began to exist in the minds of humans, not in nature.  Nature doesn't care what you call it.

The question yet to be answered is weather or not the big bang was an effect. The jury is out on that, but there is some reason to think that the answer is no.

Is that reason a physical one, or one that relies on our human biases, like your "I began to exist" thing?

It depends on weather the cosmos requires a cause. I like to avoid begging the question and so I'm more comfortable assuming that the cosmos is eternal and everlasting, did not come into existence and will not pass away.

Again:  What does it even mean that something comes into existence?  Why do we consider the idea meaningful?  It's not in evidence anywhere in our surroundings; it is a product of our biases and language, of symbols and labels.

To discover what happened at the instant of the big bang? Yes, they are.

That is not what you said.  You said they were doing this:

Quote
But, my point here was in answer to the question of why God is said to be causeless. The answer is, because scientists and philosophers in the past who proceeded from he assumption that the world is an effect, needed to posit a cause that was its self uncaused to keep their brains from hurting.

And trying to discover "such a cause".  They aren't trying to discover a first-cause.  They are trying to discover a cause - at least, the responsible ones are.  Big difference in terms of assumptions being brought to the table.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12410
  • Darwins +289/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: God's First Cause
« Reply #57 on: June 18, 2014, 08:52:36 AM »
So someone can only be an atheist if they actively 'disbelieve' in god(s)? That sounds like I have to make an... effort... to disbelieve.

I never mentioned effort.  Why bring it up now?
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.