God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

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God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

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Post by We_Are_VENOM »

.

First off, by "universe", I mean all physical reality govern by natural law. This would include universes that we know/don’t know about.

1. If God does not exist, then the universe is past eternal.

Justification: We know that the universe exist, and if there is no transcendent supernatural cause, then either

A. the universe either popped into being, uncaused, out of nothing.
B. OR, it has existed for eternity.

I think we can safely remove posit A from the equation (unless there is someone who thinks it is a plausible explanation).

Let’s focus on posit B.

Based on posit B, we need not provide any naturalistic explanation as to the cause of our universe, considering the fact that the term “universe” applies (as mentioned earlier) to all physical reality, which means that any naturalistic explanation one provides is already accounted for as “eternal”.

And if God does not exist, then physical reality (the universe) is all there is, and thus must be eternal.

2. If the universe is not past eternal, then God exists.

Justification: If the universe (all physical reality) is NOT eternal, then it had a beginning.

Since natural law (mother nature) cannot logically be used to explain the origin of its own domain, then an external, supernatural cause is necessary.

If “nature” had a beginning, one cannot logically use nature to explain the origin of nature, and to do so is fallacious.

So, where nature stops, supernatural begins.

3. The universe is not past eternal.

Justification: If the universe is past eternal, then the causal chain of events (cause and effect) within the universe is infinite. But this is impossible, because infinity cannot be traversed or “reached”.

If the past is eternal, that would mean that there are an infinite amount of “days” which lead to today. But in order for us to have “arrived” to today, an infinite amount of days would have to be traversed (one by one), which is impossible, because infinite cannot be “reached”.

Consider thought analogy..

Sandman analogy: Imagine there is a man who is standing above a bottomless hole. By “bottomless”, of course if one was to fall into the hole, he would fall forever and ever and ever.

Now, imagine the man is surrounded by an infinite amount of sand, which is at his disposal.

Imagine if the man has been shoveling sand into this hole for an infinite amount of time (he never began shoveling, or he never stopped shoveling, he has been shoveling forever).

Imagine if the man’s plan was to shovel sand into the hole until he successfully filled the sand from the bottom, all the way to the top of the hole.

How long will it take him to accomplish this? Will he ever accomplish this task? No. Why? Because the sand is bottomless, so no matter how fast he shoveled, or how long he shoveled, the sand will never reach the top.

So lets put it all together…

The sand falling: Represents time travel, and the trajectory of the sand falling south of the top represents time traveling into the past, which is synonymous with past eternity.

The man shoveling: Represents the “present”, as the man is presently shoveling without halt. This is synonymous with our present causal reality. We are presently in a state of constant change, without halt.

Conclusion: If the sand cannot reach the bottom of the hole (because of no boundary/foundation) and it can’t be filled from the bottom-up to the present (man), then how, if there is no past boundary to precedent days, how could we have possibly reached the present day…if there is/was no beginning foundation (day).

However, lets say a gazillion miles down the hole, there is a foundation…then the hole will be filled in a finite amount of time, and it will be filled from the bottom-up.

But ONLY if there is a foundation.

Likewise, we can only reach today if and ONLY IF there is a beginning point of reference, a foundation in the distant past.

4. Therefore, an Uncaused Cause (UCC) must exist: As explained, infinite regression is impossible, so an uncaused cause is absolutely necessary.

This UCC cannot logically be a product of any precedent cause or conditions, thus, it exists necessarily (supplementing the Modal Ontological Argument).

This UCC cannot logically depend on any external entity for it’s existence (supplementing the Modal Ontological Argument).

This UCC is the foundation for any/everything which began to exist, which included by not limited to all physical reality…but mainly, the universe an everything in it.

This UCC would also have to have free will, which explains why the universe began at X point instead of Y point...and the reason is; it began at that point because that is when the UCC decided it should begin...and only a being with free will can decide to do anything.

This UCC would have to have the power to create from nothing (as there was no preexisting physical matter to create from, before it was created).

So, based on the truth value of the argument, what can we conclude of the UCC?

1. It is a supernatural, metaphysically necessary being
2. A being of whom has existed for eternity and can never cease existing
3. A being with the greatest power imaginable (being able to create from nothing)
4. A being with free will, thus, a being with a mind

This being in question is what theists have traditionally recognized as God. God exists.

In closing, I predict the whole "well, based on your argument, God cannot be infinite".

My response to that for now is; first admit the validity of the presented argument, and THEN we will discuss why the objection raised doesn't apply to God.
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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

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Post by Paul of Tarsus »

We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm 3. The universe is not past eternal.

Justification: If the universe is past eternal, then the causal chain of events (cause and effect) within the universe is infinite. But this is impossible, because infinity cannot be traversed or “reached”.

If the past is eternal, that would mean that there are an infinite amount of “days” which lead to today. But in order for us to have “arrived” to today, an infinite amount of days would have to be traversed (one by one), which is impossible, because infinite cannot be “reached”.
While it is true that infinity cannot be attained, it is incorrect to say that an infinite past reaches infinity. An infinite past increases without bound which is to say there is logically no upper limit to the number of days that we can at least imagine going back into the past. No matter how many days we go back, we can always go back one more day before that time.

I believe that another assumption your argument makes here is that there is an infinite amount of time between two points in time. So it posits that there is no way to traverse an infinite number of days to get to the present. This assumption is incorrect. Between any two points in time there is a finite number of days, not an infinite number of days. So to say that the universe always existed is not to say that there was some point in time an infinite amount of time ago. There is no such point and there can be no such point.

Another way to see that this argument is not logically valid is to ask ourselves what is the maximal number of days we can go back into the past. If the past is not and cannot be infinite, then the number of days possible into the past must be finite. Well, what is that finite number? A million days? A billion days? If the limit of possible days into the past is L, then what logically makes L + 1 impossible? As I explain above, if we go back L days, then we can add one more day to go back L + 1 days.

Anyway, here's the number line we all should have learned in school. It's a very handy and illuminating mathematical model of time. Let the present be zero on the line, the future be the positive numbers to the right of zero, and the past be the negative numbers to the left pf zero. Any point on the line is some time in the past, the present, or the future. There are an infinite number of points on the line going back or forward from that point. The number line shows us how time can be infinite into the past, and we have no problem representing the present at zero.

Image

Now, I'm not saying that the cosmos is infinitely old, or at least the observable cosmos is not infinitely old. We know from cosmology that the universe we see is about 13 billion years old. So there is a physical reason rather than a logical reason to see that the universe cannot be infinitely old.

Personally, I think there is something that explains the existence of our cosmos that we do not yet know from observation. That something I call "God." I'm not sure if this God is personal and has thoughts and intentions and intervenes in the world, but it's a definite possibility.

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

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Post by We_Are_VENOM »

Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:39 pm
While it is true that infinity cannot be attained, it is incorrect to say that an infinite past reaches infinity.
You are contradicting yourself, sir.

First, you admit that infinity cannot be attained....while in the same sentence implying that infinity past can reach infinity future.

If infinity past can reach infinity future...then infinity is being "attained".
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:39 pm I believe that another assumption your argument makes here is that there is an infinite amount of time between two points in time.
If there is no past boundary, then there is an infinite amount of time between two points in time.

There is literally an infinite amount of days between every single day, which is exactly why the present day will never arrive, and that is the point.

Now obviously, since I believe there is a past boundary, I realize that there is in fact only a finite amount of time between two points...and this is the point that I am arguing for, and not against.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:39 pm So it posits that there is no way to traverse an infinite number of days to get to the present. This assumption is incorrect. Between any two points in time there is a finite number of days, not an infinite number of days.
This is false. Remember, I am arguing AGAINST infinite regression. If there is no past boundary and there are an finite number of days as you claim, then please enlighten me as to how many finite number of days there are.

The answer you provide should be a finite number, so go ahead...tell me.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:39 pm So to say that the universe always existed is not to say that there was some point in time an infinite amount of time ago. There is no such point and there can be no such point.
Then how do we have a "present" point? We only have a present point based precedent past points.

To say that the universe has always existed is to say that there were an infinite amount of days which lead to today...but you can't traverse every single precedent day and successfully arrive at today.

It is illogical and can't happen.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:39 pm Another way to see that this argument is not logically valid is to ask ourselves what is the maximal number of days we can go back into the past. If the past is not and cannot be infinite, then the number of days possible into the past must be finite. Well, what is that finite number? A million days? A billion days?
You mention below that the age of the universe is about 13 billion years. Since there are 365 days in a year...

365 x 13,000,000,000 = 4,745,000,000,000 <----whatever this number is, is how many days the universe has existed.

And I agree with you, the number of days possible into the past is finite...only because there is a past boundary. If there is no past boundary, then calculating anything is possible.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:39 pm Anyway, here's the number line we all should have learned in school. It's a very handy and illuminating mathematical model of time. Let the present be zero on the line, the future be the positive numbers to the right of zero, and the past be the negative numbers to the left pf zero. Any point on the line is some time in the past, the present, or the future. There are an infinite number of points on the line going back or forward from that point. The number line shows us how time can be infinite into the past, and we have no problem representing the present at zero.

Image
The number line is cool, but the interpretation is flawed.

Here is your task; using the negative side of the number line (since the past represents negative), I want you to count all of the negative numbers on the timeline, with the last number counted being 0.

Let me know when you've completed counting all of the numbers. Also, please tell me the largest number counted in the negative number "set".

Go right ahead. I will wait.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:39 pm
Personally, I think there is something that explains the existence of our cosmos that we do not yet know from observation. That something I call "God." I'm not sure if this God is personal and has thoughts and intentions and intervenes in the world, but it's a definite possibility.
I've already given reasons why the God is personal, and since you failed to address those reasons, the presented argument stands as valid and sound.
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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

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Post by benchwarmer »

We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm .

First off, by "universe", I mean all physical reality govern by natural law. This would include universes that we know/don’t know about.
This is an unfortunate word choice because "universe" already has a known meaning. However, I guess we will run with it for this argument and have to constantly preface our actual, observable universe with a qualifier.
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm 1. If God does not exist, then the universe is past eternal.

Justification: We know that the universe exist, and if there is no transcendent supernatural cause, then either

A. the universe either popped into being, uncaused, out of nothing.
B. OR, it has existed for eternity.
This is also problematic. I assume by 'eternity' you mean ALL possible conditions including when time as we know it is 'active' (i.e. since the beginning of our observable actual physical universe) and any possible previous states whatever our actual physical universe may have come from. In other words, one possible explanation is that our current actual physical universe (sigh..... I'm gonna call this APU from now on) manifested from this energy and is currently expanding outwards. Eventually our APU may start contracting again (thanks gravity) until all the matter in it is sucked back down to a single point - picture one final black hole that ultimately consumes everything in our APU. At that point the matter/energy has to have gone somewhere and it may again manifest a new APU with it's own time line. In between these cycles, time as we currently understand it would not exist since time is a property of our APU.

Sorry, that was a long winded way of asking, what exactly do you mean by "eternity"? This argument as posed is already using 2 terms which don't really cover the entire problem space.
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm I think we can safely remove posit A from the equation (unless there is someone who thinks it is a plausible explanation).
Using YOUR definition of universe, maybe. However, I point to the following to potentially hurt your (collective) brains:

Quantum foam:
https://www.fnal.gov/pub/today/archive/ ... dmore.html
Empty space isn't empty.

On the face of it, empty space should be ?well? empty. If you take a container, pump all the air out of it, shield it from electric fields and plop it in the deepest of intergalactic space to get it away from gravitational fields, that container should contain absolutely nothing. Nada. Zip.

However, that's not what happens. At the quantum scale, space is a writhing, frantic, ever-changing foam, with particles popping into existence and disappearing in the wink of an eye. This is not just a theoretical idea—it's confirmed.
So I'm not sure we can rule out A, but let's continue.
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm Let’s focus on posit B.

Based on posit B, we need not provide any naturalistic explanation as to the cause of our universe, considering the fact that the term “universe” applies (as mentioned earlier) to all physical reality, which means that any naturalistic explanation one provides is already accounted for as “eternal”.

And if God does not exist, then physical reality (the universe) is all there is, and thus must be eternal.
Depends somewhat on your definition of eternal as above, but let's continue.
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm 2. If the universe is not past eternal, then God exists.

Justification: If the universe (all physical reality) is NOT eternal, then it had a beginning.

Since natural law (mother nature) cannot logically be used to explain the origin of its own domain, then an external, supernatural cause is necessary.

If “nature” had a beginning, one cannot logically use nature to explain the origin of nature, and to do so is fallacious.

So, where nature stops, supernatural begins.
How do you define God? This is not a properly formed premise. At best you can say, if it is required for something outside of "the universe" <your definition> to have created it, then there must be something to have created it. However, this does not rule out multiple creative entities nor does it point to any sort of intelligence behind the creation. Perhaps some unknown to us process of some 'thing' is randomly popping out energy fields that can then manifest APUs.

In other words, we have to be very careful with our words here or you start defining your desired outcome into your premises and render the argument useless.
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm 3. The universe is not past eternal.

Justification: If the universe is past eternal, then the causal chain of events (cause and effect) within the universe is infinite. But this is impossible, because infinity cannot be traversed or “reached”.

If the past is eternal, that would mean that there are an infinite amount of “days” which lead to today. But in order for us to have “arrived” to today, an infinite amount of days would have to be traversed (one by one), which is impossible, because infinite cannot be “reached”.
Well, this is interesting. I wonder if you realize you are also making your personal, intelligent God impossible with this premise? If it decided one day to create the APU (it's in the Bible) then it must have reached that moment while also having an infinite number of previous moments before it. Anyway, let's see where this goes. I imagine some special pleading is about to happen.
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm Consider thought analogy..

Sandman analogy: Imagine there is a man who is standing above a bottomless hole. By “bottomless”, of course if one was to fall into the hole, he would fall forever and ever and ever.

Now, imagine the man is surrounded by an infinite amount of sand, which is at his disposal.

Imagine if the man has been shoveling sand into this hole for an infinite amount of time (he never began shoveling, or he never stopped shoveling, he has been shoveling forever).

Imagine if the man’s plan was to shovel sand into the hole until he successfully filled the sand from the bottom, all the way to the top of the hole.

How long will it take him to accomplish this? Will he ever accomplish this task? No. Why? Because the sand is bottomless, so no matter how fast he shoveled, or how long he shoveled, the sand will never reach the top.

So lets put it all together…

The sand falling: Represents time travel, and the trajectory of the sand falling south of the top represents time traveling into the past, which is synonymous with past eternity.

The man shoveling: Represents the “present”, as the man is presently shoveling without halt. This is synonymous with our present causal reality. We are presently in a state of constant change, without halt.

Conclusion: If the sand cannot reach the bottom of the hole (because of no boundary/foundation) and it can’t be filled from the bottom-up to the present (man), then how, if there is no past boundary to precedent days, how could we have possibly reached the present day…if there is/was no beginning foundation (day).

However, lets say a gazillion miles down the hole, there is a foundation…then the hole will be filled in a finite amount of time, and it will be filled from the bottom-up.

But ONLY if there is a foundation.

Likewise, we can only reach today if and ONLY IF there is a beginning point of reference, a foundation in the distant past.
And now we start to see the issue with this argument. OUR timeline had a beginning with our APU. After all, out timeline is a property of our space/time continuum in our APU. However, it's not inconceivable that there was NO time for a given state of whatever began expanding as our APU. Or this 'thing' has it's own timeline while in a state that is not our APU. In other words, this 'thing' may be constantly manifesting itself as an APU until that APU contracts back to the initial condition and then repeats the process over and over.
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm 4. Therefore, an Uncaused Cause (UCC) must exist: As explained, infinite regression is impossible, so an uncaused cause is absolutely necessary.

This UCC cannot logically be a product of any precedent cause or conditions, thus, it exists necessarily (supplementing the Modal Ontological Argument).
We've shown the MOA is rife with issues, so bringing up here is not helping your argument.
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm This UCC cannot logically depend on any external entity for it’s existence (supplementing the Modal Ontological Argument).

This UCC is the foundation for any/everything which began to exist, which included by not limited to all physical reality…but mainly, the universe an everything in it.

This UCC would also have to have free will, which explains why the universe began at X point instead of Y point...and the reason is; it began at that point because that is when the UCC decided it should begin...and only a being with free will can decide to do anything.
And here it is. The special pleading I mentioned above. Your UCC has free will to decide if and when to create an APU, but is somehow free of the constraints of your infinite regress problem you brought up above. How did it possibly arrive at the point in it's decision making process to create an APU if it is eternally making decisions? You've just destroyed your own argument.
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm This UCC would have to have the power to create from nothing (as there was no preexisting physical matter to create from, before it was created).

So, based on the truth value of the argument, what can we conclude of the UCC?

1. It is a supernatural, metaphysically necessary being
2. A being of whom has existed for eternity and can never cease existing
2 is shown false by your own argument, thus this conclusion can go no further.
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm 3. A being with the greatest power imaginable (being able to create from nothing)
4. A being with free will, thus, a being with a mind

This being in question is what theists have traditionally recognized as God. God exists.

In closing, I predict the whole "well, based on your argument, God cannot be infinite".
Very perceptive, why did you not address that right from the beginning then? You can see one of the fatal flaws in this reasoning, but decided not to point out specifically the special pleading fallacy right in the opening argument?
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm My response to that for now is; first admit the validity of the presented argument, and THEN we will discuss why the objection raised doesn't apply to God.
Issues with argument posted above. No such admission from me. Perhaps start over including the FULL argument from the start. Trying to tap dance the special pleading in afterwards is like trying to plug the titanic with some chewing gum.
Last edited by benchwarmer on Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

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Post by Paul of Tarsus »

We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 1:44 am
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:39 pm
While it is true that infinity cannot be attained, it is incorrect to say that an infinite past reaches infinity.
You are contradicting yourself, sir.

First, you admit that infinity cannot be attained....while in the same sentence implying that infinity past can reach infinity future.
I never meant to imply that "infinity past can reach infinity future" because like I just gone stating, infinity by definition can never be reached. There is no upper bound to infinity. So the latter part of my sentence is simply an example of the principle I stated in the first part of the statement. There is no contradiction.
And I agree with you, the number of days possible into the past is finite...only because there is a past boundary. If there is no past boundary, then calculating anything is possible.
We only appear to agree that there is in the physical cosmos a finite number of days into the past. However, we still seem to disagree as to the past being potentially finite or infinite. You claim that the past cannot be infinite, so you have the burden of logically demonstrating that there is an upper bound to how old the universe is.
The number line is cool...
The number line is a lot more than cool; it's a very important tool used in mathematics to model sets of numbers and infinity. It perfectly models linear time which is what we are discussing.
Here is your task; using the negative side of the number line (since the past represents negative), I want you to count all of the negative numbers on the timeline, with the last number counted being 0.

Let me know when you've completed counting all of the numbers. Also, please tell me the largest number counted in the negative number "set".

Go right ahead. I will wait.
It is impossible to count an infinite number of days, of course, and I would be wrong to say that I can. I'm not sure how my inability to count an infinite number of days into the past means that there cannot be an infinite number of days into the past. Is that what you're arguing?

With all dur respect, it appears that you misunderstand the idea of infinity and the underlying mathematics. I'm very familiar with such a misunderstanding because I know that some Christian apologists make the same errors you have made in the OP when they argue that the cosmos cannot be infinitely old.

So my main point is that no matter how old we can say that the universe might be, we can always add one more day to make it even older. So it can then be infinitely old.

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

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Post by We_Are_VENOM »

benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am This is an unfortunate word choice because "universe" already has a known meaning. However, I guess we will run with it for this argument and have to constantly preface our actual, observable universe with a qualifier.
Nonsense. The meaning of "universe" is all physical reality.

Other physical realities are "other universes", but they are still under the umbrella of "physical realities".

I don't understand why you are making a fuss about this..but some people just like to argue for the sake of arguing, apparently.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am This is also problematic. I assume by 'eternity' you mean ALL possible conditions including when time as we know it is 'active' (i.e. since the beginning of our observable actual physical universe) and any possible previous states whatever our actual physical universe may have come from.
No. By "eternity", I mean an existence with no beginning or end.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am In other words, one possible explanation is that our current actual physical universe (sigh..... I'm gonna call this APU from now on) manifested from this energy and is currently expanding outwards. Eventually our APU may start contracting again (thanks gravity) until all the matter in it is sucked back down to a single point - picture one final black hole that ultimately consumes everything in our APU. At that point the matter/energy has to have gone somewhere and it may again manifest a new APU with it's own time line. In between these cycles, time as we currently understand it would not exist since time is a property of our APU.
*Sigh* I saw this coming miles away and did my best to avoid it in the first paragraph of the first justification...but of course, in great efforts to avoid the outcome of the argument, it still managed to slip through.

SMH.

I said, "based on posit B, we need not provide any naturalistic explanation as to the cause of our universe, considering the fact that the term “universe” applies (as mentioned earlier) to all physical reality, which means that any naturalistic explanation one provides is already accounted for as “eternal”.

External physical causes and the mere physics of the universe is irrelevant to the argument...so irrelevant that to focus on it instead of the actual argument is a complete waste of time and will eventually become a red herring once it is continued to be harped upon.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am Sorry, that was a long winded way of asking, what exactly do you mean by "eternity"? This argument as posed is already using 2 terms which don't really cover the entire problem space.
See above.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am Using YOUR definition of universe, maybe. However, I point to the following to potentially hurt your (collective) brains:

Quantum foam:
https://www.fnal.gov/pub/today/archive/ ... dmore.html

Empty space isn't empty.

On the face of it, empty space should be ?well? empty. If you take a container, pump all the air out of it, shield it from electric fields and plop it in the deepest of intergalactic space to get it away from gravitational fields, that container should contain absolutely nothing. Nada. Zip.

However, that's not what happens. At the quantum scale, space is a writhing, frantic, ever-changing foam, with particles popping into existence and disappearing in the wink of an eye. This is not just a theoretical idea—it's confirmed.
Actually, the hurt is more towards you, not me. I'm cool...because..

1. There are at least 10 different interpretations of quantum physics, and not all of them are indeterministic, as the copenhagen interpretation you are positing here.

2. You said yourself that something has to happen in order for these particles to "pop into existence"...and even though I don't buy that notion for one minute, but even if I did; there is an underlying cause to the particles manifesting.....which isn't the case for the universe, where there were no predeterministic causes....and even if you think there were, you run in to even more philosophical problems with that notion than you actually need at this point.

So, lets not go there and kill the "anything explanation, no matter how ridiculous, is more satisfying than the "G" word" noise.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am So I'm not sure we can rule out A, but let's continue.
I am positive we can rule it out, but yes...lets continue.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am How do you define God? This is not a properly formed premise.
Never mind the fact that God was actually defined in the latter part of the argument, but God is not meat to be defined here...the conclusion at this point was that a supernatural cause is necessary.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am At best you can say, if it is required for something outside of "the universe" <your definition> to have created it, then there must be something to have created it. However, this does not rule out multiple creative entities nor does it point to any sort of intelligence behind the creation. Perhaps some unknown to us process of some 'thing' is randomly popping out energy fields that can then manifest APUs.
Again, the identity of God is not meant to be disclosed...the argument isn't meant to answer the question of "which" god or what "god".

And again, the "random popping of energy fields" are themselves subject to the "infinite regression" argument...the same thing applies to them. They are not exempt and cannot be logically used as an adequate explanation for anything.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am In other words, we have to be very careful with our words here or you start defining your desired outcome into your premises and render the argument useless.
LOL. No, YOU have to be careful that you don't posit any explanation that is also subject to logic and reasoning.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am Well, this is interesting. I wonder if you realize you are also making your personal, intelligent God impossible with this premise? If it decided one day to create the APU (it's in the Bible) then it must have reached that moment while also having an infinite number of previous moments before it. Anyway, let's see where this goes. I imagine some special pleading is about to happen.
First off, I will repeat what I said at the latter part of the argument..

"In closing, I predict the whole "well, based on your argument, God cannot be infinite".

My response to that for now is; first admit the validity of the presented argument, and THEN we will discuss why the objection raised doesn't apply to God."


I actually predicted this would happen, because it never fails.

Second, when you say "also", you are admitting that the argumentation is valid and are therefore trying to project the inevitable conclusion back to god.

Fair assessment?
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am And now we start to see the issue with this argument. OUR timeline had a beginning with our APU.
After all, out timeline is a property of our space/time continuum in our APU.
I agree.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am However, it's not inconceivable that there was NO time for a given state of whatever began expanding as our APU. Or this 'thing' has it's own timeline while in a state that is not our APU. In other words, this 'thing' may be constantly manifesting itself as an APU until that APU contracts back to the initial condition and then repeats the process over and over.
LOL. First off, you keep talking about this "contracting" stuff, which sounds as if you are positing the "dead and gone" oscillating theory, which was proven to be an inaccurate depiction of our APU with the discover of the cosmic background radiation.

Second, even if it were true and specifically based on the reasoning of the argument, these contractions and expansions couldn't have been going on forever and ever...based on the validity of the argument.

So based on both science AND philosophy, we can safely negate your scenarios.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am We've shown the MOA is rife with issues, so bringing up here is not helping your argument.
We all have our opinions, don't we?

And besides, no matter how much I think one argument supplements the other...the fact of the matter is, they are independent arguments so the negation of one is not the negation of the other.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am And here it is. The special pleading I mentioned above. Your UCC has free will to decide if and when to create an APU, but is somehow free of the constraints of your infinite regress problem you brought up above. How did it possibly arrive at the point in it's decision making process to create an APU if it is eternally making decisions? You've just destroyed your own argument.

2 is shown false by your own argument, thus this conclusion can go no further.
"In closing, I predict the whole "well, based on your argument, God cannot be infinite".

My response to that for now is; first admit the validity of the presented argument, and THEN we will discuss why the objection raised doesn't apply to God".

benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am Very perceptive, why did you not address that right from the beginning then? You can see one of the fatal flaws in this reasoning, but decided not to point out specifically the special pleading fallacy right in the opening argument?
There is a method to the madness.
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:13 am
Issues with argument posted above. No such admission from me. Perhaps start over including the FULL argument from the start. Trying to tap dance the special pleading in afterwards is like trying to plug the titanic with some chewing gum.
Ahhh, yes; unwarranted cockiness and pats on the back.
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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #7

Post by Diagoras »

Long(ish) post follows. I see on refreshing the page that benchwarmer has already introduced some of the technical points I’m making into the debate. So for anyone following along who considers them already sufficiently dealt with - apologies.
First off, by "universe", I mean all physical reality govern by natural law.
Since observation supports the idea that the ‘natural’ (physical) laws apply equally throughout the universe, I broadly agree with the definition of ‘universe’ as presented.
This would include universes that we know/don’t know about.
Are you making a distinction here between the ‘observable universe’ (known) and the parts of the universe further away than 13.6 billion light years (which we can’t see)? Or is the distinction between ‘this’ universe and any other ‘parallel’ universes that we cannot access?

The difference is important because we cannot assume that parallel universes (if they exist) must necessarily follow the same physical laws as ‘our’ universe.
A. the universe either popped into being, uncaused, out of nothing.
B. OR, it has existed for eternity.

I think we can safely remove posit A from the equation (unless there is someone who thinks it is a plausible explanation).
In your case ‘A’, you have added a couple of conditions which weaken the argument. If you’d simply presented it as ‘A: the universe has a beginning’, then we should agree that cases A and B are the only logical alternatives. As written, what’s to prevent cases where the universe popped into being but caused by something else (e.g. an event spilling over from another universe, alien technology, etc)?

That ‘simplified Case A’ is a position supported by an impressive body of scientific observation: the universe did have a beginning, commonly called the Big Bang.

If anything, inductive reasoning would lead us to reject your Case B as being an unsupported position.

Delving deeper into your original ‘A’, there’s another ill-defined condition which is problematic: ‘nothing’ is a tricky concept that might not mean precisely the same to philosophers as it does to scientists. Before the theory of quantum physics was developed, empty space was deemed to be ‘nothing’, but today it is recognised as consisting of ‘virtual particles’ by virtue of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Paul Dirac was the mathematician who developed much of the theory, later confirmed by very precise measurements of hydrogen’s emission spectrum that predicted its fine structure. The renowned Richard Feynman wrote a paper in 1949 “A Theory of Positrons” which built on Dirac’s work and showed how you might indeed get ‘something from nothing’.

This still falls far short of a ‘plausible explanation’ of how the universe could begin from ‘nothing’, but the point here is that we cannot ‘safely’ discard it as an explanation simply because we don’t know how it happened. That would be to commit the classic logical fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam: arguing that your conclusion must be true, because there is no evidence against it.

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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #8

Post by Miles »

We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:15 pm .

First off, by "universe", I mean all physical reality govern by natural law. This would include universes that we know/don’t know about.

1. If God does not exist, then the universe is past eternal.
What does "past eternal" mean? Beyond eternal?
Justification: We know that the universe exist, and if there is no transcendent supernatural cause, then either

A. the universe either popped into being, uncaused, out of nothing.
B. OR, it has existed for eternity.

I think we can safely remove posit A from the equation (unless there is someone who thinks it is a plausible explanation).
Not at all. I can imagine the universe forming out of multiverses, or perhaps single universe, existing in another dimension. Therefore, it need not have an eternal past at all. So your B. does not exist as a necessary "OR" at all. This is commonly known as the False Dilemma Fallacy.

And in as much as neither justifications (premises, if you will) mentions god, it is logically impossible to derive any conclusion about god. Even conditionals ("if . . . ") about god aren't allowed.

Let’s focus on posit B.

Based on posit B, we need not provide any naturalistic explanation as to the cause of our universe, considering the fact that the term “universe” applies (as mentioned earlier) to all physical reality, which means that any naturalistic explanation one provides is already accounted for as “eternal”.

And if God does not exist, then physical reality (the universe) is all there is, and thus must be eternal.
Why? Why does the existence of an eternal universe depend on the nonexistence of god?

I can see where this isn't going so I'm getting off at the next stop.


Have a good day.


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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #9

Post by We_Are_VENOM »

Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:10 am
I never meant to imply that "infinity past can reach infinity future" because like I just gone stating, infinity by definition can never be reached. There is no upper bound to infinity. So the latter part of my sentence is simply an example of the principle I stated in the first part of the statement. There is no contradiction.
Unfortunately for you, the contradiction remains.

You stated that, according to your timeline, that 0 represents the present. Well, if we've reached the present moment (0), after traversing all of the negative numbers on the timeline, then we've reached infinity.

Why? Because the totality of all of the negative numbers on the timeline is an infinite amount (of negative numbers). So, infinity has been reached after all.

Sure, we can always add more too it, but that doesn't negate the fact that we were already there. But to be honest, we were never there...but this is your scenario, not mines.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:10 am
We only appear to agree that there is in the physical cosmos a finite number of days into the past. However, we still seem to disagree as to the past being potentially finite or infinite. You claim that the past cannot be infinite, so you have the burden of logically demonstrating that there is an upper bound to how old the universe is.
Wait a sec, so on one hand..

1. We appear to agree that there is in the physical cosmos a finite number of days into the past.
2. However, we still seem to disagree as to the past being potentially finite or infinite

Um, if there is only a finite number of days into the past, doesn't that mean that the past is finite?

Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:10 am The number line is a lot more than cool; it's a very important tool used in mathematics to model sets of numbers and infinity. It perfectly models linear time which is what we are discussing.
Ok, you got me. The timeline is "more than cool". My bad lol.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:10 am
It is impossible to count an infinite number of days, of course, and I would be wrong to say that I can. I'm not sure how my inability to count an infinite number of days into the past means that there cannot be an infinite number of days into the past. Is that what you're arguing?

With all dur respect, it appears that you misunderstand the idea of infinity and the underlying mathematics. I'm very familiar with such a misunderstanding because I know that some Christian apologists make the same errors you have made in the OP when they argue that the cosmos cannot be infinitely old.

So my main point is that no matter how old we can say that the universe might be, we can always add one more day to make it even older. So it can then be infinitely old.
Mr. Paul, with all due respect, your logic as it pertains to this subject is all out of wack. You just admitted that "it is impossible to count an infinite number of days".

Yet, you are maintaining that an infinite amount of days (of the past) have been traversed/counted in order to arrive at the present day.

If you admit that you can't count an infinite amount of days, then how can you therefore entertain the idea that an infinite amount of days can be traversed to arrive at today?

Huh??
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Re: God Must Exist: Infinite Regression is Impossible

Post #10

Post by We_Are_VENOM »

Miles wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:30 pm
What does "past eternal" mean? Beyond eternal?
Past eternal means: A past with no beginning. Past eternity...a past with no boundary.
Miles wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:30 pm Not at all. I can imagine the universe forming out of multiverses, or perhaps single universe, existing in another dimension. Therefore, it need not have an eternal past at all. So your B. does not exist as a necessary "OR" at all. This is commonly known as the False Dilemma Fallacy.
Ummm not so fast. I already covered any physical scenario that you can think of, when I stated that "universe" means all physical reality....regardless of whether we know about these speculative physical realities or we don't.

I had successfully predicted that, of course, in true naturalistic fashion, you guys were going to come at me with all of these speculative cosmological models, such as multiverses or high dimensions (and even the oscillating model that benchwarmer posited).

This was predictable. So I tried to nip that stuff it in the bud in the beginning of the argument, with the hopes that you guys would get the hint.

But apparently, as you've just demonstrated, it didn't work.

However, it doesn't matter anyway, because the argument that I am presenting is a philosophical argument...so the argument isn't dependent upon your physical description/scenario of the universe...as it applies to ALL things, even the supernatural and God himself.

So you can bring whatever fancy cosmological model you want, the argument doesn't care. Nor do I.
Miles wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:30 pm And in as much as neither justifications (premises, if you will) mentions god, it is logically impossible to derive any conclusion about god. Even conditionals ("if . . . ") about god aren't allowed.
Actually, conclusions about God was derived in the very latter part of the argument.

Miles wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:30 pm Why? Why does the existence of an eternal universe depend on the nonexistence of god?

I can see where this isn't going so I'm getting off at the next stop.


Have a good day.


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Cool. So if you are "getting off", I don't expect to hear any more from you as it pertains to this thread.
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