The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

For the love of the pursuit of knowledge

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
John J. Bannan
Under Probation
Posts: 283
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:22 pm

The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

Post #1

Post by John J. Bannan »

THE FOURTEEN COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

By John J. Bannan (5/24/2020)

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. God is the creator of the cosmos. The cosmological arguments prove the existence of God by demonstrating the necessity of a Creator for the cosmos. The cosmological arguments offer good reason through circumstantial evidence taken from the nature of the cosmos itself to believe in God. The following is a listing and explanation of all the known cosmological arguments for the existence of God:

I. THE DICHOTOMY OF EXISTENCE
(BY JOHN J. BANNAN)
The dichotomy of existence proves the existence of God by demonstrating the necessity of an uncaused Creator with the power to create any or all of the infinite potentials for physical reality to the fullest extent logically possible under everythingness. In terms of the uncaused, there are only two possibilities. The first is the uncaused reason for the existence of all physical reality. The second is the uncaused absence of any reality called absolute nothingness. These two are mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive of all logical possibilities forming an abstract metaphysical dichotomy of existence. Because each side of the dichotomy is uncaused, there can be no cause for either of the two being real. Rather, one side is real and the other is not real without reason or necessity. Moreover, an uncaused thing does not have parts, because it would otherwise be caused by those parts. Because an uncaused thing does not have parts, an uncaused thing cannot be destroyed because destruction demands the disassociation of parts. As a result, the side of the dichotomy that is real can never be destroyed, and the other side that is not real can never become real.

Because physical reality can differ in the most minute way logically possible from another potential physical reality, there is no good reason to believe that the uncaused reason for the existence of all physical reality could not also create that potential physical reality. Because this uncaused reason can create this potential physical reality, then it can also create another potential physical reality differing from the former potential physical reality in the most minute way logically possible. Repeating this ad infinitum, this uncaused reason must be capable of creating any or all of the infinite logically possible physical realities called everythingness. Because potential physical realities can be created, there must be a reason for the existence of physical reality and the creation of any or all infinite potential physical realities. This reason must be uncaused, because the creation of any or all physical realities is contingent on this reason which leaves this reason without anything else to cause it.

Because the creation of less than everything that is logically possible is itself a logical possibility falling within everythingness, then this uncaused reason must necessarily be able to decide what to create out of the infinite possibilities for physical reality. This uncaused reason must have knowledge of all the infinite potentials for physical reality, the power to create any or all of these potentials, and a presence to control, sustain, alter or destroy any such creation. Moreover, this uncaused reason must have the greatest decision-making ability logically possible in order to be able to create up to the fullest extent of everythingness. We call this uncaused real side of the dichotomy of existence God.

II. THE FIRST CAUSE ARGUMENT
(BY ST. THOMAS AQUINAS)
The first cause argument proves the existence of God by demonstrating that all causes and effects in the cosmos must ultimately derive from a very first cause we call God. In the cosmos, we observe that for every cause, there is an effect. We also observe that every effect is itself a cause for a subsequent effect. Like a line of falling dominos, the first falling domino causes the fall of the second domino, and the second falling domino causes the fall of the third domino. The cosmos unfolds as a series of causes and effects over time.

Because an infinite regress in time of causes and effects is impossible, there must be a very first cause of the cosmic series of causes and effects. We observe that cause and effect in the cosmos follows an order where A causes B, and B causes C, whether the intermediate cause B is only a single cause or several causes. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there is no cause A, there will be no ultimate cause C, nor any intermediate cause B. But, if an infinite regress in time of causes and effects were possible, there would not be a first cause, and so neither would there be an ultimate cause, nor any intermediate cause. Therefore, the existence of the series of causes and effects over time in the cosmos necessitates a very first cause for the beginning of the series.

The very first cause in the beginning of the cosmic series of causes and effects over time must not itself be caused. If it were caused, then regress would continue backward in time infinitely, which is impossible. Moreover, the very first cause cannot be self-created. It is impossible for a thing to cause itself, because it would have to exist prior to itself. Therefore, the very first cause must itself be uncaused. We call this uncaused first cause God.

Because God is uncaused, God cannot be made of parts. A thing that is made of parts is caused by those parts. God being uncaused cannot Himself be caused by parts. We call this principle that God is not made of parts – divine simplicity. Divine simplicity is a mystery, because we cannot imagine a thing without parts. However, because we know a very first cause is necessary for the cosmos to be created, and we know that this very first cause cannot be made of parts, we know that divine simplicity is real. An ancient classical philosophical truth known as “ex nihilo nihil fit” states that nothing comes from nothing – or that you can’t get something from nothing. Because nothingness cannot create the cosmos, an uncaused very first cause of the cosmos is necessary to which we give the name God.

III. THE FIRST ORDER ARGUMENT
(BY JOHN J. BANNAN)
The first order argument proves the existence of God by demonstrating that the cosmos must have had an initial order created by an uncaused orderless cause we call God. We observe from the cosmos that everything has an order. This order is the relative position or arrangement of things in physical reality at any given moment in time. We observe that this order is caused by an antecedent order, and that this antecedent order is caused by an earlier antecedent order. Because an infinite regress in time of antecedent orders is impossible, there must be a very first order.

We observe that order in the cosmos follows a pattern where order A causes order B, and order B causes order C, whether the intermediate order B is only a single order or a series of consecutive orders. Now to take away order A is to take away order B. Therefore, if there is no order A, there will be no ultimate order C, nor any intermediate order B. But, if an infinite regress in time of consecutive orders were possible, there would not be a first order, and so neither would there be an ultimate order, nor any intermediate order. Therefore, the existence of the series of consecutive orders over time in the cosmos necessitates a very first order for the beginning of the series. This first order requires an orderless cause, because a first order cannot come from nothing. A cause without order is a cause without parts, and therefore must be uncaused because otherwise its parts would be its cause. Because all physical realities possess an order, this orderless cause cannot be any sort of physical reality. We call this uncaused orderless immaterial cause of first order God.

IV. THE BEGINNINGLESS TIME PARADOX
(BY JOHN J. BANNAN)
The beginningless time paradox proves the existence of God by demonstrating that the beginning of time itself must have an uncaused timeless cause we call God. If time in the cosmos had no beginning, then there would be an infinity of prior moments in time before the arrival of the present moment. An infinity of prior moments of time could never be fully traversed, because there would always be a prior moment in time that had not yet been traversed because infinity is unending. If all prior moments in time are not fully traversed, then paradoxically the present moment in time could never arrive. Because the present moment in time does arrive, then time in the cosmos must have had a beginning. Because time must have had a beginning, then time must have been caused to begin from something besides nothing because nothing cannot cause anything.

The cause of the beginning of time not having time for its own cause must therefore be uncaused. Moreover, the cause of time itself cannot be something subject to time, because the existence of anything subject to time is contingent on the existence of time. The beginning of time itself cannot have a physical explanation, because all physical explanations would be subject to time. Accordingly, there must be an uncaused immaterial explanation for the beginning of time itself we call God.

V. THE BEGINNINGLESS CAUSATION PARADOX
(BY JOHN J. BANNAN)
The beginningless causation paradox proves the existence of God by demonstrating that the beginning of causation itself must have an uncaused immaterial cause we call God. If causation in the cosmos had no beginning, then there would be an infinite regression of causation exhausting all possible causes. However, if causation were infinite, then causation could not become exhausted. Therefore, causation cannot be infinite, but must have had a beginning.

The cause of the beginning of causation not having a cause for its own beginning must therefore be uncaused. The beginning of causation itself cannot be a physical explanation, because all physical explanations would be caused. Accordingly, there must be an uncaused immaterial cause for the beginning of causation we call God.

VI. THE PRIME MOVER ARGUMENT
(BY ST. THOMAS AQUINAS)
The prime mover argument proves the existence of God by demonstrating that all motion in the cosmos must ultimately be derived from an unmoved mover we call God. We observe that in the cosmos some things are in motion. Now whatever is moved is moved by another. Things move when potential for motion becomes actual motion. Only an actual motion can convert a potential for motion into an actual motion. Nothing can be in both potentiality and actuality in the same respect simultaneously. If both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another respect. Therefore, nothing can move itself.

Each thing in motion is moved by something else. If that by which it is moved be itself moved, then this also needs to be moved by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go onto infinity, because then there would be no first mover. Without a first mover, there would be no movement at all, because all subsequent movers move only inasmuch that they are moved by the first mover. For example, the staff moves only because it is moved by the hand. Therefore, it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, moved by no other; and this we call God.

VII. THE NECESSARY BEING ARGUMENT
(BY ST. THOMAS AQUINAS)
The necessary being argument proves the existence of God by demonstrating that there must be some being we call God that exists out of His own necessity in order for contingent beings to exist in the cosmos. We observe that in the cosmos things come and go into being called contingent beings. Every being is a contingent being, because objects in the cosmos come into being and pass away. Indeed, it is possible for those objects to exist or for those objects not to exist at any given time. For each contingent being, there is a time it does not exist. Therefore, it is impossible for these always to exist. Consequently, there could have been a time when no things existed.

If there were a time when no things existed, there would have been nothing to bring the currently existing contingent beings into existence. Therefore, nothing would be in existence now. Such an absurd result undermines the assumption that all beings are contingent. Therefore, not every being is a contingent being. There must be some being which exists of its own necessity, and does not receive its existence from another being, but rather causes them. We call this necessary being God.

VIII. THE ARGUMENT FROM COMPOSITE PARTS
(BY JOHN J. BANNAN)
The argument from composite parts proves the existence of God by demonstrating that an uncaused singular non-composite we call God is necessary for the existence of all composites in the cosmos. We observe from the cosmos that all composites are caused by their parts. Causation itself is the formation of a composite from parts in physical reality. The cosmos itself is a composite made of parts consisting of each moment in time with its physical reality. We also observe that composites themselves are made of composites. However, a composite cannot be made without parts, and because more than one part is a composite, a single part which causes all composites must be real because composites cannot come from nothing. That single part which causes all composites must be an uncaused non-composite, because parts would otherwise cause it to be a composite. Because all physical reality forms a composite with spacetime, then the single uncaused non-composite cannot be any sort of physical reality. We call this single uncaused immaterial non-composite God.

IX. THE ARGUMENT FROM TIME
(BY JOHN J. BANNAN)
The argument from time proves the existence of God by demonstrating that the existence of time requires an uncaused timeless cause we call God. Time is the creation, destruction and re-creation of physical reality at the smallest scale at relative rates. Because nothing comes from nothing, the cause of time cannot be nothing. Rather, the cause of time must have a cause outside of time. This cause of time must also remember the prior order, placement and time flow of physical reality in order to re-create physical reality at every moment in time. This cause of time not having time for its own cause must therefore be uncaused. However, the cause of time itself cannot be something subject to time, because the existence of anything subject to time is contingent on the existence of time. There are no physical explanations for the beginning of time itself, because all physical explanations would be subject to time. We call this uncaused timeless immaterial cause of time God.

X. THE KALAM COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
(BY WILLIAM LANE CRAIG)
The Kalam cosmological argument proves the existence of God by demonstrating that the cosmos had a beginning caused by a personal agent that transcends spacetime we call God. We observe from the cosmos that everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence. The cosmos began to exist. Therefore, the cosmos has a cause for its existence. The cosmos began to exist, because an actual infinite cannot exist. A beginningless temporal series of events is an actual infinite. Therefore, a beginningless temporal series of events cannot exist.

Actual infinities that neither increase or decrease in the number of members they contain would result in absurd consequences, if they were to exist in reality. For example, a library with an infinite number of books would not be reduced in size at all by the removal of a specific number of books (short of all of them). Or, before the present event could occur the event immediately prior to it would have to occur. But, before that event could occur, the event immediately prior to it would have to occur; and so on ad infinitum. One gets driven back and back into the infinite past, making it impossible for any event to occur. Thus, if the series of past events were beginningless, the present event could not have occurred, which is absurd.

The collection of historical events is formed by successively adding events, one following another. The events are not temporally simultaneous, but occur over a period of time as the series continues to acquire new members. Even if an actual infinite were possible, it could not be realized by successive addition. In adding to the series, no matter how much this is done, even to infinity, the series remains finite and only potentially infinite. One can neither count to nor traverse the infinite.

If something has a finite past, its existence has a cause. The cosmos has a finite past. Therefore, the cosmos has a cause of its existence. Because spacetime originated with the cosmos and therefore has a finite past, the cause of the existence of the cosmos must transcend spacetime. Because the cause of the cosmos’ existence transcends spacetime, no scientific explanation in terms of physical laws can provide a causal account of the origin of the cosmos. Because no scientific explanation can provide a causal account of the origin of the cosmos, then the cause must be a personal agent. If the cause were an eternal, nonpersonal, mechanically operating set of conditions, then the cosmos would exist from eternity. Because the cosmos has not existed from eternity, the cause must be a personal agent we call God who chooses freely to create an effect in time.

XI. THE ARGUMENT FROM SUFFICIENT REASON
(BY GOTTFRIED LEIBNIZ)
The argument from sufficient reason proves the existence of God by demonstrating that an explanation for the existence of the cosmos is necessary, which must be a transcendent God who has within His own nature the necessity of existence. We observe from the cosmos that there must be an explanation, or sufficient reason, for anything that exists. The explanation for whatever exists must lie either in the necessity of its own nature or in a cause external to itself. A sufficient reason for the existence of the cosmos cannot be another contingent thing (and on into infinity), because to explain the existence of any contingent thing by another contingent thing lacks a sufficient reason why any contingent thing exists. The explanation of the existence of the cosmos must lie in a transcendent God, because the cosmos does not have within its own nature the necessity of existence and God does.

XII. THE ARGUMENT FROM ABDUCTION
(BY JOHN J. BANNAN)
The argument from abduction demonstrates that something must be uncaused and the best explanation is an uncaused metaphysical reality we call God. We observe that in the cosmos something has got to be uncaused, otherwise there would be nothing. It is impossible that physical reality is uncaused. Any aspect of physical reality claimed to be uncaused can be eliminated as impossible or ultimately caused, including but not limited to infinite regress, actual infinities, self-creation, time travel, eternality in time, timelessness, and acausal physics. Therefore, the best explanation that remains is an uncaused metaphysical reality we call God.

XIII. THE ARGUMENT FROM GRADATION OF BEING
(BY ST. THOMAS AQUINAS)
The argument from gradation of being proves the existence of God by demonstrating that the existence of all things requires as their cause a maximum being we call God. We observe from the cosmos that there is a gradation to be found in physical reality. Some physical things are better or worse than others. Predications of degree require reference to the uttermost case. For example, a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest. The maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus. Therefore, there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection. We call this God.

XIV. THE ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN
(BY ST. THOMAS AQUINAS)
The argument from design proves the existence of God by demonstrating that non-intelligent natural things must be directed in their purposes by a supernatural intelligent being we call God. We observe from the cosmos that natural bodies work toward some goal, and do not do so by chance. Most natural things lack knowledge. But, as an arrow reaches its target because it is directed by an archer, what lacks intelligence achieves goals by being directed by something intelligent. Therefore, some intelligent being is real by whom all natural things are directed to their end. We call this intelligent being God.

User avatar
bluegreenearth
Guru
Posts: 1878
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Has thanked: 653 times
Been thanked: 462 times

Re: The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

Post #41

Post by bluegreenearth »

The Tanager wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:24 am
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:51 amAlright. I'll grant, for the sake of the argument, that a non-spatio-temporal quantum field can be considered separate from the universe.
Okay, so do you see further problems with premises 1-3 that you want to discuss before moving on to premise 4?
You may proceed to premise 4, but I reserve the right to be smarter later if I've overlooked something.

User avatar
bluegreenearth
Guru
Posts: 1878
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Has thanked: 653 times
Been thanked: 462 times

Re: The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

Post #42

Post by bluegreenearth »

The Tanager wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:24 am
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:51 amAlright. I'll grant, for the sake of the argument, that a non-spatio-temporal quantum field can be considered separate from the universe.
Okay, so do you see further problems with premises 1-3 that you want to discuss before moving on to premise 4?
You may proceed to premise 4, but I reserve the right to be smarter later if I've overlooked something.

User avatar
The Tanager
Prodigy
Posts: 3207
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 11:08 am
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

Post #43

Post by The Tanager »

bluegreenearth wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:43 pmYou may proceed to premise 4, but I reserve the right to be smarter later if I've overlooked something.
Of course. I would also appreciate you sharing it so that I don't overlook anything in my own considerations.

4. If the universe has a cause, then an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists, who sans the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, and enormously powerful.
bluegreenearth wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:34 amNext, they consider the possibility that the footprint was made by an unknown species. They may not know precisely what this new species of animal might be but could speculate based on the properties of the footprint. After measuring the size, shape, and depth of the footprint, the scientists predict that they will discover a new species of rodent in the area with a foot that matches this print. After some time, they finally observe the animal and discover their prediction was correct.
That's what the theists are doing. They are saying the cause needs certain characteristics. They then say this matches a being that fits other lines of reasoning which we have traditionally called God. As to the hypothetical immaterial quantum field the key characteristic that would seem to rule it out as a candidate is that the cause of spatio-temporal matter needs to be personal. Here are the arguments Craig offers in favor of this characteristic:

*Note that I am looking at these anew with the proposed immaterial quantum state (although I'm not entirely sure what that entails), so I'm not claiming (at least at the moment) that it obviously fails these arguments.

Argument 1

There are two types of causal explanation: scientific (in terms of laws and initial conditions) and personal (agents and their volitions). A first state of spatio-temporal matter cannot have a scientific explanation because there is nothing physical before it. It cannot be accounted for in terms of laws operating on initial conditions. Therefore, it can only be accounted for in terms of an agent and his volitions, a personal explanation.

Argument 2

The personhood of the First Cause is powerfully suggested by the other properties argued for (which we could go over, if you wish). The seemingly only two candidate concepts that can be described as immaterial, beginningless, uncaused, timeless, and spaceless are abstract objects and an unembodied mind. But abstract objects are not involved in causal relations. Therefore, the cause of spatio-temporal matter must be an unembodied mind.

Argument 3

Only personal, free agency can account for a first temporal effect from a changeless cause. If the necessary and sufficient conditions for the production of the effect are eternal, then the effect would be eternal. How can all the causal conditions sufficient for the production of the effect be changelessly existent and yet the effect not also be existent along with the cause. How could the cause exist without the effect? The best way out of this dilemma is agent causation. In this, the agent freely brings about some event in the absence of prior determining conditions, initiating new effects by choice. In agent causation, the agent-cause could be eternal and the effect temporal.

Okay, so a lot to go through, but I'm interested in your initial thoughts, which will help me to look at these arguments with fresh eyes.

User avatar
bluegreenearth
Guru
Posts: 1878
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Has thanked: 653 times
Been thanked: 462 times

Re: The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

Post #44

Post by bluegreenearth »

The Tanager wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:26 am4. If the universe has a cause, then an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists, who sans the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, and enormously powerful.
bluegreenearth wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:34 amNext, they consider the possibility that the footprint was made by an unknown species. They may not know precisely what this new species of animal might be but could speculate based on the properties of the footprint. After measuring the size, shape, and depth of the footprint, the scientists predict that they will discover a new species of rodent in the area with a foot that matches this print. After some time, they finally observe the animal and discover their prediction was correct.
That's what the theists are doing. They are saying the cause needs certain characteristics. They then say this matches a being that fits other lines of reasoning which we have traditionally called God.
That is not analogous. The wildlife biologist is building upon existing knowledge of an animal category containing a variety of species that have already been demonstrated to exist and using that information to make a testable prediction about a new species within that same animal category. Theists are imagining a type of cause that has never been demonstrated to exist or make a testable prediction.
The Tanager wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:26 amAs to the hypothetical immaterial quantum field the key characteristic that would seem to rule it out as a candidate is that the cause of spatio-temporal matter needs to be personal. Here are the arguments Craig offers in favor of this characteristic:

*Note that I am looking at these anew with the proposed immaterial quantum state (although I'm not entirely sure what that entails), so I'm not claiming (at least at the moment) that it obviously fails these arguments.

Argument 1

There are two types of causal explanation: scientific (in terms of laws and initial conditions) and personal (agents and their volitions). A first state of spatio-temporal matter cannot have a scientific explanation because there is nothing physical before it. It cannot be accounted for in terms of laws operating on initial conditions. Therefore, it can only be accounted for in terms of an agent and his volitions, a personal explanation.
A non-spatio-temporal quantum state as an initial condition is a possible scientific explanation that does not require anything physical before it.
The Tanager wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:26 amArgument 2

The personhood of the First Cause is powerfully suggested by the other properties argued for (which we could go over, if you wish). The seemingly only two candidate concepts that can be described as immaterial, beginningless, uncaused, timeless, and spaceless are abstract objects and an unembodied mind. But abstract objects are not involved in causal relations. Therefore, the cause of spatio-temporal matter must be an unembodied mind.
A non-spatio-temporal quantum state seems to qualify as immaterial, beginningless, uncaused, timeless, and spaceless.
The Tanager wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:26 amArgument 3

Only personal, free agency can account for a first temporal effect from a changeless cause. If the necessary and sufficient conditions for the production of the effect are eternal, then the effect would be eternal. How can all the causal conditions sufficient for the production of the effect be changelessly existent and yet the effect not also be existent along with the cause. How could the cause exist without the effect? The best way out of this dilemma is agent causation. In this, the agent freely brings about some event in the absence of prior determining conditions, initiating new effects by choice. In agent causation, the agent-cause could be eternal and the effect temporal.

Okay, so a lot to go through, but I'm interested in your initial thoughts, which will help me to look at these arguments with fresh eyes.
A non-spatio-temporal quantum state could experience a random fluctuation that produces a first temporal effect. As for the effect being eternal, it is my understanding that the heat death of the universe does not mean it will no longer exist. It is possible for the universe to continue existing in that post heat death state for an eternity as far I understand it.

FYI - It might be a few days before I am able to respond to any reply you have to this post.

User avatar
The Tanager
Prodigy
Posts: 3207
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 11:08 am
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

Post #45

Post by The Tanager »

bluegreenearth wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:36 am
That's what the theists are doing. They are saying the cause needs certain characteristics. They then say this matches a being that fits other lines of reasoning which we have traditionally called God.
That is not analogous. The wildlife biologist is building upon existing knowledge of an animal category containing a variety of species that have already been demonstrated to exist and using that information to make a testable prediction about a new species within that same animal category. Theists are imagining a type of cause that has never been demonstrated to exist or make a testable prediction.
I was claiming it was analogous (not identical) in this way:

The biologist in your scenario sees that the data does not fit any known existent being and hypothesizes, from that data, that a being with characteristics X, Y, and Z would need to exist. They later gain physical corroboration of their hypothesis (which is good but not necessary to rationally believe in such a being). One could perhaps be helped by existing knowledge of animals of a similar type, although that could also artificially limit one's search, ruling out characteristics that one may not want to.

The theist sees the data of the cause of spatio-temporal matter, sees that it does not fit any known existent being and hypothesizes, from that data, that a being with characteristics X, Y, and Z would need to exist. Theists also point to corroboration of certain characteristics from other lines of argument (which would be good but not necessary to rationally believe in such a being).

Argument 1: Scientific or Causal Explanations
bluegreenearth wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:36 amA non-spatio-temporal quantum state as an initial condition is a possible scientific explanation that does not require anything physical before it.
Isn't science the study of the physical world? Scientific explanations are inherently physical. That's why I've wondered what a non-spatio-temporal quantum state even means; if it's even a logical concept (by definition).

Argument 2: Abstract Object or Unembodied Mind
bluegreenearth wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:36 amA non-spatio-temporal quantum state seems to qualify as immaterial, beginningless, uncaused, timeless, and spaceless.
But is it an abstract object, an unembodied mind, or is the argument a false dilemma?

Argument 3: Eternal cause/Temporal effect
bluegreenearth wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:36 amA non-spatio-temporal quantum state could experience a random fluctuation that produces a first temporal effect. As for the effect being eternal, it is my understanding that the heat death of the universe does not mean it will no longer exist. It is possible for the universe to continue existing in that post heat death state for an eternity as far I understand it.
I think eternity here means having no beginning, whether or not it has any end. This scenario would put the fluctuation universe as a temporal effect. One question I'd have is why think a non-spatio state without any agency could cause physical things to happen. But I also think how something works is a different question from if it works. The larger question I'd have here is that while this scenario is logically possible, how probable is it? That these fluctuations are random is but one possible interpretation of quantum physics. Why should we think this is how non-material quantum states work?

User avatar
bluegreenearth
Guru
Posts: 1878
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Has thanked: 653 times
Been thanked: 462 times

Re: The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

Post #46

Post by bluegreenearth »

The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:06 pmI was claiming it was analogous (not identical) in this way:

The biologist in your scenario sees that the data does not fit any known existent being and hypothesizes, from that data, that a being with characteristics X, Y, and Z would need to exist. They later gain physical corroboration of their hypothesis (which is good but not necessary to rationally believe in such a being). One could perhaps be helped by existing knowledge of animals of a similar type, although that could also artificially limit one's search, ruling out characteristics that one may not want to.
The biologist may see that the data does not fit any known "species" but does see where the data at least corresponds to a known group or class of animals. While this existing knowledge limits the search, this limitation is a moot point because it is not until the animal is actually observed that the biologist claims to know its identity.
The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:06 pmThe theist sees the data of the cause of spatio-temporal matter, sees that it does not fit any known existent being and hypothesizes, from that data, that a being with characteristics X, Y, and Z would need to exist. Theists also point to corroboration of certain characteristics from other lines of argument (which would be good but not necessary to rationally believe in such a being).
There is no "data of the cause" because the physics breaks down before any cause can be identified. So, I'm not sure how you are justifying the claim that the cause has to be consistent with characteristics X, Y, and Z.
The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:06 pmArgument 1: Scientific or Causal Explanations

Isn't science the study of the physical world? Scientific explanations are inherently physical. That's why I've wondered what a non-spatio-temporal quantum state even means; if it's even a logical concept (by definition).
I'm not presenting a scientific argument, though, it expands upon known scientific facts.

Incidentally, I'm not sure what an omniscient and omnipotent mind that exists outside of space-time even means and not sure if it's even a logical concept either. So, your objection applies to your own claim as well.
The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:06 pmArgument 2: Abstract Object or Unembodied Mind
bluegreenearth wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:36 amA non-spatio-temporal quantum state seems to qualify as immaterial, beginningless, uncaused, timeless, and spaceless.
But is it an abstract object, an unembodied mind, or is the argument a false dilemma?
I think you are presenting a false dilemma because, as far as I understand it, a non-spatio-temporal quantum field would exist in the same state as an unembodied mind but without being a conscious.
bluegreenearth wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:36 amArgument 3: Eternal cause/Temporal effect
bluegreenearth wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:36 amA non-spatio-temporal quantum state could experience a random fluctuation that produces a first temporal effect. As for the effect being eternal, it is my understanding that the heat death of the universe does not mean it will no longer exist. It is possible for the universe to continue existing in that post heat death state for an eternity as far I understand it.
I think eternity here means having no beginning, whether or not it has any end. This scenario would put the fluctuation universe as a temporal effect. One question I'd have is why think a non-spatio state without any agency could cause physical things to happen. But I also think how something works is a different question from if it works. The larger question I'd have here is that while this scenario is logically possible, how probable is it? That these fluctuations are random is but one possible interpretation of quantum physics. Why should we think this is how non-material quantum states work?
Well, since this isn't a scientific argument, it isn't any more necessary to know how a non-material quantum state could possibly work than it is necessary to know how an unembodied mind could possibly work. As for calculating the probability, it wouldn't be of any use because neither claim is falsifiable at this point. Regardless of whatever the probability might be for each, the one with the highest probability could still be false while the one with the lowest probably could still be true or they could both be false. Therefore, the only thing a probability calculation will do is encourage confirmation bias. However, inductive reasoning would suggest the cause to be something less complex than an omniscient and omnipotent mind given the fact that all previous unsolved mysteries in the universe turned out to be caused by something simpler than that. However, it would be fallacious to claim the cause would have to be something simple. This is why I remain agnostic about the cause.

User avatar
The Tanager
Prodigy
Posts: 3207
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 11:08 am
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

Post #47

Post by The Tanager »

bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:47 pmThe biologist may see that the data does not fit any known "species" but does see where the data at least corresponds to a known group or class of animals. While this existing knowledge limits the search, this limitation is a moot point because it is not until the animal is actually observed that the biologist claims to know its identity.
Even without the physical observation, the scientist is more rational in thinking a new "species" exists and left this evidence, even if they don't know all the details about the unseen being.
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:47 pmThere is no "data of the cause" because the physics breaks down before any cause can be identified. So, I'm not sure how you are justifying the claim that the cause has to be consistent with characteristics X, Y, and Z.
I shouldn't have said the "data of the cause". What I mean is that we see the existence of spatio-temporal matter, we have certain laws of logic, we have the concept of causation, that kind of data. That our current scientific understanding breaks down before the Big Bang doesn't speak against that data.


Argument 1: Scientific or Causal Explanations
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:47 pm
A non-spatio-temporal quantum state as an initial condition is a possible scientific explanation that does not require anything physical before it.
Isn't science the study of the physical world? Scientific explanations are inherently physical. That's why I've wondered what a non-spatio-temporal quantum state even means; if it's even a logical concept (by definition).
I'm not presenting a scientific argument, though, it expands upon known scientific facts.
Perhaps you are using terms more loosely or I'm using them incorrectly. How is a non-spatio-temporal state a possible scientific explanation when science is the study of physical things? Scientific explanations are physical laws and physical initial conditions needed for physical things to interact, change, etc. The non spatio-temporal quantum state is not a physical anything.
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:47 pmIncidentally, I'm not sure what an omniscient and omnipotent mind that exists outside of space-time even means and not sure if it's even a logical concept either. So, your objection applies to your own claim as well.
It's not the same. (These are quick definitions I'm jotting down to keep us moving, but they can be corrected if they need to)

Your proposed claim: A scientific (having to do with physical things) non-spatio-temporal (i.e., non-scientific) quantum state. It seems to be scientific and non-scientific, but perhaps those terms equivocate here.

My proposed claim:

I didn't say anything about the entity necessarily being omniscient or omnipotent.

Mind = having consciousness, knowledge, will, sentience, etc.
Outside of space = not consisting of matter
Outside of time = not experiencing reality as a movement from past to present to future

Which one is illogical? If you agree that all three, separately are logical (even if non-existent), then how do they contradict each other?


Argument 2: Abstract Object or Unembodied Mind
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:47 pmI think you are presenting a false dilemma because, as far as I understand it, a non-spatio-temporal quantum field would exist in the same state as an unembodied mind but without being a conscious.
An unembodied mind that isn't conscious is nothing. That's like saying something exists in the same state as a married thing without being married. Immaterial, etc. beings that are unconscious sound like what we call abstract beings like numbers. What distinguishes this proposed quantum state from being an abstract object?


Argument 3: Eternal cause/Temporal effect
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:47 pmHowever, inductive reasoning would suggest the cause to be something less complex than an omniscient and omnipotent mind given the fact that all previous unsolved mysteries in the universe turned out to be caused by something simpler than that.
While I'm not so sure about that, this argument says nothing about the cause being omniscient and omnipotent.
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:47 pmAs for calculating the probability, it wouldn't be of any use because neither claim is falsifiable at this point. Regardless of whatever the probability might be for each, the one with the highest probability could still be false while the one with the lowest probably could still be true or they could both be false. Therefore, the only thing a probability calculation will do is encourage confirmation bias.
I'm not advocating coming up with figures. These claims are theoretically falsifiable, but I might be missing your point there. I happily admit these conclusions aren't certain. Hardly any belief we hold is (perhaps pure mathematics is?). Yet we still hold those uncertain beliefs over others. I think it is perfectly rational to do so, while always being willing to change one's mind should reason take you elsewhere. I'm not sure how that encourages confirmation bias.

Logical possibility, alone, is not enough to rationally counter what we experience about things like causality and agency/non-agency. I seek reasons to turn the tide. I don't see good reasons to believe quantum physics overturns these things. But I'm open to seeing them.

User avatar
bluegreenearth
Guru
Posts: 1878
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Has thanked: 653 times
Been thanked: 462 times

Re: The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

Post #48

Post by bluegreenearth »

The Tanager wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:06 pmArgument 1: Scientific or Causal Explanations
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:47 pm
A non-spatio-temporal quantum state as an initial condition is a possible scientific explanation that does not require anything physical before it.
Isn't science the study of the physical world? Scientific explanations are inherently physical. That's why I've wondered what a non-spatio-temporal quantum state even means; if it's even a logical concept (by definition).
I'm not presenting a scientific argument, though, it expands upon known scientific facts.
Perhaps you are using terms more loosely or I'm using them incorrectly. How is a non-spatio-temporal state a possible scientific explanation when science is the study of physical things? Scientific explanations are physical laws and physical initial conditions needed for physical things to interact, change, etc. The non spatio-temporal quantum state is not a physical anything.
Science is a method for acquiring a functional knowledge base. The study of physical things is called Physics which uses the scientific method to try and acquire knowledge about the physical universe. However, as I previously indicated, a non-spatio-temporal state is not a scientific explanation but a speculation that extends beyond traditional Physics. As such, it is not strictly bound to the known physical laws any more than an unembodied mind is bound to anything scientific.
The Tanager wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:06 pm
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:47 pmIncidentally, I'm not sure what an omniscient and omnipotent mind that exists outside of space-time even means and not sure if it's even a logical concept either. So, your objection applies to your own claim as well.
It's not the same. (These are quick definitions I'm jotting down to keep us moving, but they can be corrected if they need to)

Your proposed claim: A scientific (having to do with physical things) non-spatio-temporal (i.e., non-scientific) quantum state. It seems to be scientific and non-scientific, but perhaps those terms equivocate here.
As I previously stated, a non-spatio-temporal quantum state is not a scientific explanation because it involves speculating above and beyond what is limited by the scientific method.
The Tanager wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:06 pmMy proposed claim:

I didn't say anything about the entity necessarily being omniscient or omnipotent.

Mind = having consciousness, knowledge, will, sentience, etc.
Outside of space = not consisting of matter
Outside of time = not experiencing reality as a movement from past to present to future

Which one is illogical? If you agree that all three, separately are logical (even if non-existent), then how do they contradict each other?
The concept of a "mind" seems to require it to have a temporal existence because a coherent train of conscious thought from a mind requires a temporal sequence. Without a temporal sequence, there is no such thing as a coherent train of conscious thought. It would seem to be impossible for logical thought to occur without linear time to enable the step by step progression required to complete a logical thought. This would be like smashing all the syllogisms and the conclusion of the Kalam into an incomprehensible alphabet soup because every component of every individual syllogism and the conclusion would have to exist as a simultaneous thought without any progressive steps to order them into a coherent argument.
The Tanager wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:06 pmArgument 2: Abstract Object or Unembodied Mind
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:47 pmI think you are presenting a false dilemma because, as far as I understand it, a non-spatio-temporal quantum field would exist in the same state as an unembodied mind but without being a conscious.
An unembodied mind that isn't conscious is nothing. That's like saying something exists in the same state as a married thing without being married. Immaterial, etc. beings that are unconscious sound like what we call abstract beings like numbers. What distinguishes this proposed quantum state from being an abstract object?
That may be true for an unembodied mind because consciousness is entailed in its definition, but a non-spatio-temporal quantum state does not entail consciousness in its definition because it is simpler than an unembodied mind. A non-spatio-temporal quantum state is not an abstract object either because it can exist outside a mind where abstract objects cannot. Therefore, a non-spatio-temporal quantum state can exist as neither a mind nor an abstract object but as its own thing.
The Tanager wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:06 pmArgument 3: Eternal cause/Temporal effect
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:47 pmHowever, inductive reasoning would suggest the cause to be something less complex than an omniscient and omnipotent mind given the fact that all previous unsolved mysteries in the universe turned out to be caused by something simpler than that.
While I'm not so sure about that, this argument says nothing about the cause being omniscient and omnipotent.
Fair enough. However, a non-spatio-temporal quantum state would still be simpler than an unembodied conscious mind.
The Tanager wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:06 pmLogical possibility, alone, is not enough to rationally counter what we experience about things like causality and agency/non-agency. I seek reasons to turn the tide. I don't see good reasons to believe quantum physics overturns these things. But I'm open to seeing them.
What we experience in our observed reality is all confined within the boundaries of the universe, but Dr. Craig's version of the Kalam is attempting to describe something that potentially exists outside the boundaries of the reality we observe. Therefore, what good reason do we have to believe any proposed explanation for the cause of the universe is more plausible than another imagined explanation given those limitations and restrictions? In the end, what all this comes down to is a willingness to arbitrarily place your faith in one particular unfalsifiable explanation over every other unfalsifiable explanation. I don't have a problem with people who simply claim to have faith that an unembodied mind caused the universe. I just don't understand the audacity of some theists who claim to have a better justification for believing an unembodied mind caused the universe than the consensus of professional experts in the fields of Physics, Astronomy, and Cosmology who understand this stuff far better than anyone else yet remain agnostic about the cause of the universe. Seriously, does Dr. Craig really think he knows something those experts don't?

User avatar
The Tanager
Prodigy
Posts: 3207
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 11:08 am
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

Post #49

Post by The Tanager »

bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmScience is a method for acquiring a functional knowledge base. The study of physical things is called Physics which uses the scientific method to try and acquire knowledge about the physical universe.
All of the natural sciences study physical things. Physics is one branch of that.

Argument 1: Scientific or Personal Explanations
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmHowever, as I previously indicated, a non-spatio-temporal state is not a scientific explanation but a speculation that extends beyond traditional Physics. As such, it is not strictly bound to the known physical laws any more than an unembodied mind is bound to anything scientific.
The argument says that we know of two kinds of explanations: scientific and personal. It's logically possible that a third kind of explanation exists, but is there evidence that gives us reason to seriously consider it?
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmThe concept of a "mind" seems to require it to have a temporal existence because a coherent train of conscious thought from a mind requires a temporal sequence. Without a temporal sequence, there is no such thing as a coherent train of conscious thought. It would seem to be impossible for logical thought to occur without linear time to enable the step by step progression required to complete a logical thought. This would be like smashing all the syllogisms and the conclusion of the Kalam into an incomprehensible alphabet soup because every component of every individual syllogism and the conclusion would have to exist as a simultaneous thought without any progressive steps to order them into a coherent argument.
I don't see why this is the case. Logic is not time-dependent; the truths are always there. One would see the whole picture including any components, logically prior and logically after parts, etc. Temporal beings need time to complete a logical thought, but non-temporal beings, if they exist, wouldn't.


Argument 2: Abstract Object or Unembodied Mind
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmThat may be true for an unembodied mind because consciousness is entailed in its definition, but a non-spatio-temporal quantum state does not entail consciousness in its definition because it is simpler than an unembodied mind. A non-spatio-temporal quantum state is not an abstract object either because it can exist outside a mind where abstract objects cannot. Therefore, a non-spatio-temporal quantum state can exist as neither a mind nor an abstract object but as its own thing.
Why do you think abstract objects cannot exist outside the mind?


Argument 3: Eternal cause/Temporal effect
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmFair enough. However, a non-spatio-temporal quantum state would still be simpler than an unembodied conscious mind.
Here was the argument (in a premise-conclusion form):

P1. If the changeless cause can account for a first temporal effect (i.e., the universe), then it must do so through agent causation.
P2. The non-spatio-temporal quantum state does not account for the universe through agent causation.
C. Therefore, the non-spatio-temporal quantum state is not the changeless cause of the universe.

I don't see how the quantum state being less complex changes this.
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmWhat we experience in our observed reality is all confined within the boundaries of the universe, but Dr. Craig's version of the Kalam is attempting to describe something that potentially exists outside the boundaries of the reality we observe. Therefore, what good reason do we have to believe any proposed explanation for the cause of the universe is more plausible than another imagined explanation given those limitations and restrictions? In the end, what all this comes down to is a willingness to arbitrarily place your faith in one particular unfalsifiable explanation over every other unfalsifiable explanation.
There is some explanation that must fit the evidence. Whether the candidates are "imaginary" (i.e., unproven by other means) is irrelevant. How we get one explanation over the other is through logic applied to the evidences. That is not arbitrarily placing one's faith in one explanation (falsifiable or not) over another.
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmI don't have a problem with people who simply claim to have faith that an unembodied mind caused the universe.
I do, if you mean what many people mean by "faith".
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmI just don't understand the audacity of some theists who claim to have a better justification for believing an unembodied mind caused the universe than the consensus of professional experts in the fields of Physics, Astronomy, and Cosmology who understand this stuff far better than anyone else yet remain agnostic about the cause of the universe. Seriously, does Dr. Craig really think he knows something those experts don't?
While those scientists are excellent scientists, they often aren't trained in philosophy and often are bad philosophers. When the discussion is scientific, I'll trust them over non-scientists like Craig. When the discussion is philosophical (and here it is), then I'm not going to trust them. I'm also not going to just trust Craig. I'm going to look at the arguments.

User avatar
bluegreenearth
Guru
Posts: 1878
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Has thanked: 653 times
Been thanked: 462 times

Re: The Fourteen Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God

Post #50

Post by bluegreenearth »

The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:51 pmAll of the natural sciences study physical things. Physics is one branch of that.
Regardless, science is the method those disciplines use to acquire knowledge.
The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:51 pmArgument 1: Scientific or Personal Explanations

The argument says that we know of two kinds of explanations: scientific and personal. It's logically possible that a third kind of explanation exists, but is there evidence that gives us reason to seriously consider it?
I'm not particularly concerned with how the non-spatio-temporal quantum state explanation is classified as long as it is logically possible.
The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:51 pm
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmThe concept of a "mind" seems to require it to have a temporal existence because a coherent train of conscious thought from a mind requires a temporal sequence. Without a temporal sequence, there is no such thing as a coherent train of conscious thought. It would seem to be impossible for logical thought to occur without linear time to enable the step by step progression required to complete a logical thought. This would be like smashing all the syllogisms and the conclusion of the Kalam into an incomprehensible alphabet soup because every component of every individual syllogism and the conclusion would have to exist as a simultaneous thought without any progressive steps to order them into a coherent argument.
I don't see why this is the case. Logic is not time-dependent; the truths are always there. One would see the whole picture including any components, logically prior and logically after parts, etc. Temporal beings need time to complete a logical thought, but non-temporal beings, if they exist, wouldn't.
If logic is not time-dependent, then the law of non-contradiction would not apply because something that does not exist in one moment and then begins to exist in the next moment would both exist and not exist when observed from a timeless state.
The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:51 pmArgument 2: Abstract Object or Unembodied Mind
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmThat may be true for an unembodied mind because consciousness is entailed in its definition, but a non-spatio-temporal quantum state does not entail consciousness in its definition because it is simpler than an unembodied mind. A non-spatio-temporal quantum state is not an abstract object either because it can exist outside a mind where abstract objects cannot. Therefore, a non-spatio-temporal quantum state can exist as neither a mind nor an abstract object but as its own thing.
Why do you think abstract objects cannot exist outside the mind?
It is true by definition. Abstract objects are defined as things that only exist as ideas inside the minds of sentient beings. Until abstract objects can be demonstrated to exist outside the mind, what would be a justified reason to believe they can?
The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:51 pmArgument 3: Eternal cause/Temporal effect[/b]
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmFair enough. However, a non-spatio-temporal quantum state would still be simpler than an unembodied conscious mind.
Here was the argument (in a premise-conclusion form):

P1. If the changeless cause can account for a first temporal effect (i.e., the universe), then it must do so through agent causation.
P2. The non-spatio-temporal quantum state does not account for the universe through agent causation.
C. Therefore, the non-spatio-temporal quantum state is not the changeless cause of the universe.

I don't see how the quantum state being less complex changes this.
What is the justification for presuming a changeless cause must be an agent?
What is the justification for presuming a non-spatio-temporal quantum state cannot cause the universe?
The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:51 pm
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmWhat we experience in our observed reality is all confined within the boundaries of the universe, but Dr. Craig's version of the Kalam is attempting to describe something that potentially exists outside the boundaries of the reality we observe. Therefore, what good reason do we have to believe any proposed explanation for the cause of the universe is more plausible than another imagined explanation given those limitations and restrictions? In the end, what all this comes down to is a willingness to arbitrarily place your faith in one particular unfalsifiable explanation over every other unfalsifiable explanation.
There is some explanation that must fit the evidence. Whether the candidates are "imaginary" (i.e., unproven by other means) is irrelevant. How we get one explanation over the other is through logic applied to the evidences. That is not arbitrarily placing one's faith in one explanation (falsifiable or not) over another.
The problem is that both an unembodied mind and a non-spatio-temporal quantum state both serve as explanations for the universe because they both claim to fit the evidence.
The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:51 pm
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmI don't have a problem with people who simply claim to have faith that an unembodied mind caused the universe.
I do, if you mean what many people mean by "faith".
In this case, I mean "faith" is the act of placing unjustified trust in one unfalsifiable logical explanation over any other equally unfalsfiable logical explanation for some arbitrary or biased reason.
The Tanager wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:51 pm
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:45 pmI just don't understand the audacity of some theists who claim to have a better justification for believing an unembodied mind caused the universe than the consensus of professional experts in the fields of Physics, Astronomy, and Cosmology who understand this stuff far better than anyone else yet remain agnostic about the cause of the universe. Seriously, does Dr. Craig really think he knows something those experts don't?
While those scientists are excellent scientists, they often aren't trained in philosophy and often are bad philosophers. When the discussion is scientific, I'll trust them over non-scientists like Craig. When the discussion is philosophical (and here it is), then I'm not going to trust them. I'm also not going to just trust Craig. I'm going to look at the arguments.
The problem with purely philosophical arguments is that they can never demonstrate the existence of anything in reality. Therefore, it is a category error to presume a philosophical argument is sufficient to demonstrate the "real" cause of the universe.

Post Reply