[Knobbyboy88] Monotheistic religions and Time

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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Patrick Degan » 2010-01-04 08:30pm

Knobbyboy88 wrote:
Which allows the existence of a non-causal universe... how, exactly?


Why is there a universe? If the universe simply created itself, or if an eternal cycle of "big bangs" and "big crunches" have simply been perpetuating themselves forever without a God as some string theorists propose (please correct me if my understanding of the subject matter is skewed), you are still left with the question of "why." Aside from a God, what could have "caused" such a universe?

If you accept what many atheists propose (simply that the universe is a sufficient condition in and of itself for its own existence and therefore needs no cause), you are going to have to accept the notion of a universe which is non-causal in origin.


In a word, bullshit. Whether the Universe is self-creating or has always been in existence, these two conditions not only negate any recourse to the God hypothesis for explanation but also do not demonstrate a non-causal Universe. Furthermore, Big Bang Theory does not propose that the Universe sprung from non-causality, a concept which is absurd on its face.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Knobbyboy88 » 2010-01-04 08:32pm

You're a fucking idiot. You do not need to provide a reason for the universe to exist because it obviously exists.


Did I ever deny that it exists? The real question is "why" it exists and "how" this came to be the case.

Simply throwing your hands up in the air and saying "I dunno but it sure as Hell wasn't God" is all well and good, but don't pretend like its any kind of Earth shattering truism or revelation.

It did not need to "poof" itself into existence: it simply always existed.

Your argument relies upon the assumption that there was a time when the universe did not exist


Once again, from a logical standpoint, these kinds of concepts are intrinsically non-causal and therefore an absolute bitch to justify logically.

In a word, bullshit. Whether the Universe is self-creating or has always been in existence, these two conditions not only negate any recourse to the God hypothesis for explanation but also do not demonstrate a non-causal Universe. Furthermore, Big Bang Theory does not propose that the Universe sprung from non-causality, a concept which is absurd on its face.


No offense Deagan, but what are you on about? Wong basically just freely admitted that it is his view that the universe is both non-causal and has always existed.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Patrick Degan » 2010-01-04 09:02pm

Knobbyboy88 wrote:
In a word, bullshit. Whether the Universe is self-creating or has always been in existence, these two conditions not only negate any recourse to the God hypothesis for explanation but also do not demonstrate a non-causal Universe. Furthermore, Big Bang Theory does not propose that the Universe sprung from non-causality, a concept which is absurd on its face.


No offense Deagan, but what are you on about? Wong basically just freely admitted that it is his view that the universe is both non-causal and has always existed.


Your usage of non-causality in this argument has been your attempt to rebut the Infinite Regress objection to the idea of a God outside of spacetime which "created" our Universe. To wit:

Not necessarily. We are causal beings who inhabit a causal universe and experience time linearly. Obviously, the concept of a non-causal being is going to be rather difficult to fathom. However, the fact that something may be hard to wrap your head around does not necessarily mean that such a condition cannot necessarily exist.


I asked you then to demonstrate such a universe and you've essentially been tapdancing around the question. Your attempt to reinterpret Mike does not aid your case at all: even if the Universe has always existed, so has cause-and-effect.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Darth Wong » 2010-01-04 09:11pm

Knobbyboy88 wrote:
You're a fucking idiot. You do not need to provide a reason for the universe to exist because it obviously exists.

Did I ever deny that it exists? The real question is "why" it exists and "how" this came to be the case.

Wrong, asshole. You claimed that its existence and God's existence are equally problematic. That is manifestly untrue, because the universe's existence is a fact, while God's existence is a meaningless statement which is not even properly defined, much less supported by any kind of evidence or logic. Moreover, you are assuming that it needs a reason to exist. You have failed to show why this is so.

Simply throwing your hands up in the air and saying "I dunno but it sure as Hell wasn't God" is all well and good, but don't pretend like its any kind of Earth shattering truism or revelation.

You are still ignoring the point, moron. You have utterly failed to show that the universe requires a reason to exist. Therefore, you have no right to act as if I am "throwing my hands up in the air" by failing to show what that reason is.

It did not need to "poof" itself into existence: it simply always existed.

Your argument relies upon the assumption that there was a time when the universe did not exist

Once again, from a logical standpoint, these kinds of concepts are intrinsically non-causal and therefore an absolute bitch to justify logically.

No they aren't. You're just being an idiot and refusing to accept that you are inventing an unnecessary dilemma. There is nothing non-causal about the idea that the universe simply exists for all time. If its existence were an event, then there must have been a time when the universe did not exist. Since there is no such time, then there is no "existence event" at all, and hence no need to generate a reason for that event.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Darth Wong » 2010-01-04 09:17pm

Patrick Degan wrote:
Knobbyboy88 wrote:No offense Deagan, but what are you on about? Wong basically just freely admitted that it is his view that the universe is both non-causal and has always existed.

Your usage of non-causality in this argument has been your attempt to rebut the Infinite Regress objection to the idea of a God outside of spacetime which "created" our Universe. To wit:
Not necessarily. We are causal beings who inhabit a causal universe and experience time linearly. Obviously, the concept of a non-causal being is going to be rather difficult to fathom. However, the fact that something may be hard to wrap your head around does not necessarily mean that such a condition cannot necessarily exist.

I asked you then to demonstrate such a universe and you've essentially been tapdancing around the question. Your attempt to reinterpret Mike does not aid your case at all: even if the Universe has always existed, so has cause-and-effect.

Knobgobbler is labouring under the delusion that if I say the universe needs no reason to exist, then it is "non-causal". He doesn't seem to understand the difference between saying "there is no event, hence nothing which requires a cause" and saying "events can happen without a cause", because he is so incredibly slow-witted that even after several repetitions, the idea that the universe literally exists for all time is simply beyond his mental grasp.

Asking when the universe "poofed" into existence is like asking when electromagnetism "poofed" into existence. It is part of the nature of reality, not an event. There is no reason to believe that there was no electromagnetism and then suddenly, "poof", there was. Somehow, despite repeated attempts to explain this to him, Knobgobbler insists on ignoring this and pretending that I am dodging the question of when and how and why this event occurred.

He has also completely backed away from his idiotic statement that the eternal existence of the universe and the eternal existence of God are equally "problematic" theories.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Knobbyboy88 » 2010-01-04 09:32pm

That is manifestly untrue, because the universe's existence is a fact, while God's existence is a meaningless statement which is not even properly defined


Once again, no one is questioning that the universe exists. What we are debating here is how this came to be. By claiming not only that the universe has no originating cause but that it is in and of itself sufficient condition for its own existence, you are essentially delegating characteristics which were once attributed to God to the psychical universe.

This flies in the face of Deagan's comment about everything in our universe requiring a prerequisite cause.

Moreover, you are assuming that it needs a reason to exist. You have failed to show why this is so.


According to Deagan's original argument and simple common sense, everything "needs" a reason to exist. If not for the universe and everything within it, you and I would not exist. Everything we know of in our material universe has prerequisite conditions which must first be met in order for it to exist, and therefore, by simple inference, it can be reasoned that so should the universe.

This was my original point. Deagan's whole "then who created God" condition is essentially meaningless as an atheist worldview requires you accept the notion of a non-causal universe which basically shares all of God's archetypal characteristics to begin with.


You have utterly failed to show that the universe requires a reason to exist.


Once again, everything in existence requires a reason to exist, and therefore it can be reasonably inferred that the universe does as well. By implying that the universe does not, (which is once again a characteristic traditionally applied to God alone) you have basically gone against this inference.

There is nothing non-causal about the idea that the universe simply exists for all time.


If there is something "non-causal" about God existing for all time with no beginning and no end (as Deagan seems to imply), then there is sure as Hell something "non-causal" about the universe doing the same.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Darth Wong » 2010-01-04 09:41pm

Knobbyboy88 wrote:Once again, no one is questioning that the universe exists. What we are debating here is how this came to be.

For the umpteenth time, it did not "come to be". There was no time when it did not exist, you stupid asshole. How many times do you need to be beaten over the head with this before you acknowledge it? I grow tired of the way you simply ignore this point.

By claiming not only that the universe has no originating cause but that it is in and of itself sufficient condition for its own existence, you are essentially delegating characteristics which were once attributed to God to the psychical universe.

I don't give a shit whether some medieval philosopher has tried to attribute eternal existence to God in the past. It doesn't change the fact that the universe does appear to have this characteristic. Your pathetic attempts to equate the universe and God fall apart in the face of the fact that the universe does indisputably exist, while God does not.

According to Deagan's original argument and simple common sense, everything "needs" a reason to exist.

I don't care what you believe Patrick is arguing (BTW, you're wrong as usual because he is merely showing what happens if one follows your idiotic reasoning to its futile conclusion; he is not agreeing that existence requires an external cause), and I certainly don't care what you think "common sense" is. Nothing needs a reason to exist; it is events which require reasons, not existence. In fact, the First Law of Thermodynamics states quite clearly that the amount of matter and energy is constant over time, so no quantity of mass/energy in this universe requires a reason to exist. It is only the events which led to its current configuration which require explanation.

If not for the universe and everything within it, you and I would not exist. Everything we know of in our material universe has prerequisite conditions which must first be met in order for it to exist, and therefore, by simple inference, it can be reasoned that so should the universe.

Like a classically egotistical Christian, you think the universe is all about you. You are confusing universal existence with your own personal sense of psychic existence, since your mind is apparently too small to grasp the distinction. The mass/energy of your body has always existed, for all time. Reasons and causes were required in order to assemble it into its current configuration, not for it to exist at all.

This was my original point.

You don't have a point; you have an assumption, which you have desperately tried to prove by attributing it to Patrick Degan and then to "common sense", thus proving that you have no real way of arguing for it.

Once again, everything in existence requires a reason to exist, and therefore it can be reasonably inferred that the universe does as well. By implying that the universe does not, (which is once again a characteristic traditionally applied to God alone) you have basically gone against this inference.

Wrong. Once again, you are simply too stupid to recognize the difference between existence and configuration. Your matter/energy is eternal. Your stupidity, however, is not. It was born with you and it will someday die with you.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Knobbyboy88 » 2010-01-04 09:53pm

it did not "come to be". There was no time when it did not exist, you stupid asshole.


And you can prove this....How exactly? In fact, the Big Bang and Big Crunch theories would essentially seem to directly contradict such a statement.

How are you quantifying "existence" here? Are you measuring it as starting with the Big Bang and the advent of the material universe, or as something more grandiose?

Your pathetic attempts to equate the universe and God fall apart in the face of the fact that the universe does indisputably exist, while God does not.


Once again, no one's denying that the universe exists. I am taking issue with your claims on the nature of the universe. Your claims are all inferences which cannot be verified empirically.

This brings me back to my original claim on available views of the universe.

A) The universe exists...just because it does and it needs no cause.

or

B) The universe exists because God created it and God needs no cause.

After a fashion, both are inferences, and neither is empirically testable. Simply saying, "the universe exists, so there" is hardly proof for its infinite existence.

Nothing needs a reason to exist; it is events which require reasons, not existence.


Tomato/tomata. Those "events" would count as prerequisite "causes." Why nit pick the painfully obvious?

You don't have a point; you have an assumption,


As do you.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Darth Wong » 2010-01-04 10:00pm

Knobbyboy88 wrote:
it did not "come to be". There was no time when it did not exist, you stupid asshole.

And you can prove this....How exactly? In fact, the Big Bang and Big Crunch theories would essentially seem to directly contradict such a statement.

Wrong, imbecile. Nothing about the Big Bang theory requires a time when the universe did not exist. I already pointed out earlier that time itself is an aspect of the universe; to imagine time without the universe is like imagining music without sound. If you don't understand anything at all about cosmology (and it's painfully obvious that you don't), then you should admit that this is way over your head. But you're clearly too much of an arrogant dipshit to do that.

How are you quantifying "existence" here? Are you measuring it as starting with the Big Bang and the advent of the material universe, or as something more grandiose?

Go buy a dictionary, fucktard. Existence is a state, not a quantity.

Your pathetic attempts to equate the universe and God fall apart in the face of the fact that the universe does indisputably exist, while God does not.

Once again, no one's denying that the universe exists. I am taking issue with your claims on the nature of the universe. Your claims are all inferences which cannot be verified empirically.

Stop dodging the point, asshole. You keep saying that the existence of the universe and the existence of God are equally problematic. They are not.

This brings me back to my original claim on available views of the universe.

A) The universe exists...just because it does and it needs no cause.
or
B) The universe exists because God created it and God needs no cause.

After a fashion, both are inferences, and neither is empirically testable. Simply saying, "the universe exists, so there" is hardly proof for its infinite existence.

Wrong. The first is an observation, devoid of speculation. The second is speculation, devoid of observation.

Nothing needs a reason to exist; it is events which require reasons, not existence.

Tomato/tomata. Those "events" would count as prerequisite "causes." Why nit pick the painfully obvious?

It is not a nitpick to distinguish between aspects of reality and specific events, you moron. That's like saying that electromagnetism requires a "cause" because your breakfast required a cause.

You don't have a point; you have an assumption,

As do you.

Wrong; your problem is that you have so little understanding of science that you don't understand the arguments I'm making.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Knobbyboy88 » 2010-01-04 10:15pm

Wrong, imbecile. Nothing about the Big Bang theory requires a time when the universe did not exist. I already pointed out earlier that time itself is an aspect of the universe; to imagine time without the universe is like imagining music without sound.


Then it would appear that we are not talking about the same thing. I freely admit that I am merely a layman where scientific issues are concerned, and so my I am taking a much more philosophical approach to this issue. On the other hand, you seem to be taking a far more literalist approach.

I meant the word in a much more abstract sense.


You keep saying that the existence of the universe and the existence of God are equally problematic.


Frankly, the existence of the universe is problematic from a philosophical perspective. Your, "well because I cannot explain the existence of the universe I'm going to conclude that it must have always existed and I'm therefore going to gerrymander my definition of the word to the point where this must be the case" stance on this issue is hardly definitive.

You still cannot explain the "how" or "why" of the case at hand. You have instead opted to simply ignore them.

The first is an observation


No, the first is an inference derived from observation. Saying that the universe exists and that it necessarily must have always existed are hardly the same thing.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Darth Wong » 2010-01-04 11:05pm

Knobbyboy88 wrote:
Wrong, imbecile. Nothing about the Big Bang theory requires a time when the universe did not exist. I already pointed out earlier that time itself is an aspect of the universe; to imagine time without the universe is like imagining music without sound.

Then it would appear that we are not talking about the same thing. I freely admit that I am merely a layman where scientific issues are concerned, and so my I am taking a much more philosophical approach to this issue. On the other hand, you seem to be taking a far more literalist approach.

A far more "literalist" approach to a scientific theory like the Big Bang, which can only be correctly interpreted in a literal sense? Now you're obviously just getting desperate. You don't know jack shit about cosmology, and you're obviously in way over your little head.

I meant the word in a much more abstract sense.

You mean "vague", so that you can weasel out of ever admitting you're wrong.

You keep saying that the existence of the universe and the existence of God are equally problematic.

Frankly, the existence of the universe is problematic from a philosophical perspective.

Explain, without relying on something as laughable as "common sense" to support your premises, as you did last time.

Your, "well because I cannot explain the existence of the universe I'm going to conclude that it must have always existed and I'm therefore going to gerrymander my definition of the word to the point where this must be the case" stance on this issue is hardly definitive.

"Gerrymander my definition of the word"? You're a dishonest little shit. There is a correct definition of the universe in cosmology. If you don't know what it is, then admit that you are not qualified to have this discussion. Don't pretend that I'm playing games by using it, asshole.

You still cannot explain the "how" or "why" of the case at hand. You have instead opted to simply ignore them.

You are still assuming that made-up problems require an explanation. The First Law of Thermodynamics in fact explicitly states that the quantity of mass/energy is constant over time. Why do you think the laws of physics predicts that the mass/energy of the universe would "poof" into existence at any time, never mind demanding an explanation of this event which never happened?

Stop accusing me of running away from your demand for an explanation of an event that never happened, you lying little shitweasel.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Knobbyboy88 » 2010-01-05 12:08am

A far more "literalist" approach to a scientific theory like the Big Bang, which can only be correctly interpreted in a literal sense?


No, a far more "literalist" approach to such subjective issues as "existence" and "time." You seem to quite literally equate "time" with nothing else but "time space." That wasn't the way I was using the word.

If you are going to define "time" as only quantifying what can be said to have existed within the confines of the "space time continuum" which was created alongside the universe during the Big Bang, then you are of course correct. Nothing can exist "in time"(as you seem to define the word) which predates the Big Bang, and therefore, there was never a "time" when the physical universe "did not exist." Afterall, "space time" is dependent on the physical universe for its own existence. However, this wasn't the meaning of either word I was using.

First off, "Cosmology" wasn't even on my mind when I started here, so you can just go ahead and drop that idea completely. When I say "time," I mean "time" in the layman's sense of the word. Likewise, when I make reference to the "universe," I do not mean only what was created in the Big Bang, but everything which can be said to exist in its entirety. Whether or not this is technically "correct" according to the anal-retentive standards of some specialized school of scholastic inquiry is frankly inconsequential to me. I tend more towards the Liberal Arts, rather than Math/Science side of the spectrum, and as such, I deal in concepts, not exact terminology.

Honestly, why does it seem to be the case that whenever I get into any kind of protracted debate on this forum in particular, I find out roughly halfway through the debate that myself and my opponents are either utilizing drastically different vocabularies or are simply operating on completely different levels? It is rather frustrating. :wink:

Explain, without relying on something as laughable as "common sense" to support your premises, as you did last time.


Once again, everything in the universe has a prerequisite cause ("event," "necessary condition," whatever). As such, it would be reasonable to infer that the processes which go into the workings of the "universe," and therefore make up the universe as a whole, have hence undiscovered prerequisites as well. Science continues to discover and regress through these various processes which went into the creation and function of our universe (atoms, "strings," "Big Bangs," higher dimensional planes smacking together, ecta, ecta). However, it still lacks any kind of definitive answer as to just "why," exactly, any of these indivudal pieces of the puzzle that form our "universe" exist at all.


This is where my original point comes into play.

A) According to the atheist perspective, the universe simply exists...because it does. They cannot discover a "why" and so they go out of their way to either ignore this question or downplay its importance through some kind of cop out while instead focusing on the internal mechanics or "how" of the system instead.

B) The alternative viewpoint, which has largely fallen out of "vogue" in our modern day and age, holds that there must have been some force behind the creation of the universe, and this might have possibly been a "God" of sorts.

Neither explanation works well from a philosophical point of view. "How" so far has of yet to answer "why," and it shows no signs of rectifying this fundamental failing any time soon. Whereas the second option presents a whole plethera of problems of which I am sure that you are well aware.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Darth Ruinus » 2010-01-05 12:54am

Knobbyboy88 wrote:First off, "Cosmology" wasn't even on my mind when I started here, so you can just go ahead and drop that idea completely. When I say "time," I mean "time" in the layman's sense of the word. Likewise, when I make reference to the "universe," I do not mean only what was created in the Big Bang, but everything which can be said to exist in its entirety. Whether or not this is technically "correct" according to the anal-retentive standards of some specialized school of scholastic inquiry is frankly inconsequential to me. I tend more towards the Liberal Arts, rather than Math/Science side of the spectrum, and as such, I deal in concepts, not exact terminology.


So, basically, you don't care if your argument has no backing in reality?

A) According to the atheist perspective, the universe simply exists...because it does. They cannot discover a "why" and so they go out of their way to either ignore this question or downplay its importance through some kind of cop out while instead focusing on the internal mechanics or "how" of the system instead.


What they've been trying to tell you is that the Universe doesn't have a "why". It's not a cop out to say "I don't need to answer that question, because that question is fundamentally flawed."

B) The alternative viewpoint, which has largely fallen out of "vogue" in our modern day and age, holds that there must have been some force behind the creation of the universe, and this might have possibly been a "God" of sorts.


It fell out of vogue because it has no backing in reality, and is only supported by fantasy.

Neither explanation works well from a philosophical point of view.


How does A fail philosophically if it is real?
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Knobbyboy88 » 2010-01-05 01:16am

So, basically, you don't care if your argument has no backing in reality?


Basically, I don't "care" if the people I'm arguing against are so hung up on lingo and jargon that they allow it to get in the way of actual debate. I'm not an astro-physicist, so sue me. I never claimed to be. The fact that my opponent assumed that I would speak or think like one in a debate about philosophy and theology for some odd reason is really beyond my control.

What they've been trying to tell you is that the Universe doesn't have a "why". It's not a cop out to say "I don't need to answer that question, because that question is fundamentally flawed."


And this is the point that you all have been missing: "According to whom?" Simply declaring something to be true hardly makes it so. The best that can really be offered where this question is concerned is a dismissive, "I don't really care about that question," or a lot of strangely religious rhetoric about universes which have simply "always existed."

This of course begs the question; if the universe can exist without cause and in and of its own volution, why couldn't a deity?

How does A fail philosophically if it is real?


Because you can't prove it to be real for one. You are simply making inferences based upon available data like the rest of us.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Patrick Degan » 2010-01-05 01:46am

Knobbyboy88 wrote:According to Deagan's original argument and simple common sense, everything "needs" a reason to exist. If not for the universe and everything within it, you and I would not exist. Everything we know of in our material universe has prerequisite conditions which must first be met in order for it to exist, and therefore, by simple inference, it can be reasoned that so should the universe.

This was my original point. Deagan's whole "then who created God" condition is essentially meaningless as an atheist worldview requires you accept the notion of a non-causal universe which basically shares all of God's archetypal characteristics to begin with.


Excuse me, asshole, but that was NOT my original argument at all. I will not let you get away with lying about what I say in this thread.

My point was this:

Which leads inevitably to the question "What created God?" and thence to Infinite Regress, which is logically meaningless. And if you try the dodge that God always existed, this leads to the inevitable counter that this is the same as saying the Universe always existed. A difference which makes no difference is no difference and also is logically meaningless. Either way, the very concept of God is logically meaningless.


IN RESPONSE TO THE OP WHICH POSITED THE NECESSARY EXISTENCE OF A GOD OUTSIDE OF SPACE AND TIME TO HAVE CREATED THE UNIVERSE. That does not imply a "reason" to existence, which is unnecessary to explain the natural world. Expanded upon by this point:

Whether the Universe is self-creating or has always been in existence, these two conditions not only negate any recourse to the God hypothesis for explanation but also do not demonstrate a non-causal Universe. Furthermore, Big Bang Theory does not propose that the Universe sprung from non-causality, a concept which is absurd on its face.


You're the one who's currently twisting himself in knots over the "why" question. Feel free to do so and be prepared to defend that point. But do not attempt to distort my arguments, asshole.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Surlethe » 2010-01-05 12:24pm

Darth Ruinus wrote:
Knobbyboy88 wrote:First off, "Cosmology" wasn't even on my mind when I started here, so you can just go ahead and drop that idea completely. When I say "time," I mean "time" in the layman's sense of the word. Likewise, when I make reference to the "universe," I do not mean only what was created in the Big Bang, but everything which can be said to exist in its entirety. Whether or not this is technically "correct" according to the anal-retentive standards of some specialized school of scholastic inquiry is frankly inconsequential to me. I tend more towards the Liberal Arts, rather than Math/Science side of the spectrum, and as such, I deal in concepts, not exact terminology.


So, basically, you don't care if your argument has no backing in reality?

A) According to the atheist perspective, the universe simply exists...because it does. They cannot discover a "why" and so they go out of their way to either ignore this question or downplay its importance through some kind of cop out while instead focusing on the internal mechanics or "how" of the system instead.


What they've been trying to tell you is that the Universe doesn't have a "why". It's not a cop out to say "I don't need to answer that question, because that question is fundamentally flawed."

B) The alternative viewpoint, which has largely fallen out of "vogue" in our modern day and age, holds that there must have been some force behind the creation of the universe, and this might have possibly been a "God" of sorts.


It fell out of vogue because it has no backing in reality, and is only supported by fantasy.

Neither explanation works well from a philosophical point of view.


How does A fail philosophically if it is real?

Back the fuck off. You don't need to restate other peoples' arguments for them, and it's hard enough to debate three people at once without dealing with a dogpile.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Rye » 2010-01-05 12:48pm

Knobbyboy88 wrote:First off, "Cosmology" wasn't even on my mind when I started here, so you can just go ahead and drop that idea completely. When I say "time," I mean "time" in the layman's sense of the word. Likewise, when I make reference to the "universe," I do not mean only what was created in the Big Bang, but everything which can be said to exist in its entirety. Whether or not this is technically "correct" according to the anal-retentive standards of some specialized school of scholastic inquiry is frankly inconsequential to me. I tend more towards the Liberal Arts, rather than Math/Science side of the spectrum, and as such, I deal in concepts, not exact terminology.


As the representative of the Liberal Arts from the antitheistic position, I'm going to have to point out that your own inadequacies (and their basis in the core untruths of the indefensible) don't absolve you of your errors, or even make your argument decent, even if we accept them.

Once again, everything in the universe has a prerequisite cause ("event," "necessary condition," whatever). As such, it would be reasonable to infer that the processes which go into the workings of the "universe," and therefore make up the universe as a whole, have hence undiscovered prerequisites as well.


So you're a calvinist determinist, I guess? Now, QM presents a problem to this view, since down on those scales, things get odd and become probabilistic rather than strict causality.

Science continues to discover and regress through these various processes which went into the creation and function of our universe (atoms, "strings," "Big Bangs," higher dimensional planes smacking together, ecta, ecta). However, it still lacks any kind of definitive answer as to just "why," exactly, any of these indivudal pieces of the puzzle that form our "universe" exist at all.


Of course. "Why" is a silly value-laden anthropomorphic question that the universe is at no requirement to answer. The concept of "why" comes from our newtonian concept of causality; how we're going to use something, not any inherent purpose or driving force. A spade has no purpose beyond the values we put into it. If humanity disappeared, there'd be nothing distinguishing it from anything else in the environment.

A) According to the atheist perspective, the universe simply exists...because it does. They cannot discover a "why" and so they go out of their way to either ignore this question or downplay its importance through some kind of cop out while instead focusing on the internal mechanics or "how" of the system instead.


Hubris and assumption demands why, not reality.

B) The alternative viewpoint, which has largely fallen out of "vogue" in our modern day and age, holds that there must have been some force behind the creation of the universe, and this might have possibly been a "God" of sorts.


You have confused a cause with an intent. "Why?" refers to intent as well as cause and assumes an anthropomorphic factor.

Neither explanation works well from a philosophical point of view. "How" so far has of yet to answer "why," and it shows no signs of rectifying this fundamental failing any time soon. Whereas the second option presents a whole plethera of problems of which I am sure that you are well aware.


Actually, the first works fine unless you want to invite infinite regress, in which case, that is the third option. If you want to avoid infinite regress, you have to have an area where normal causality does not apply, and thus you have your answer; causality doesn't always apply and some things can just exist. There can't be a reason that existence itself exists, because existence is immune to causality, because existence needs to exist before causality has meaning. If you admit that some things just exist, where do gods come in?
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Surlethe » 2010-01-05 01:05pm

Rye, you lay off too.

Is everybody catching this? NO DOGPILING. Knobbyboy is debating Mike, Degan, Kuroneko, and (a little bit) Simon_Jester, and that is plenty. The debate is not open for new participants unless they want to take Knobbyboy's side.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2010-01-05 01:13pm

Ah, shit. No dogpiling? Okay.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Knobbyboy88 » 2010-01-05 08:22pm

Without the ability to provide that answer, we are not justified in calling the question incoherent simply because we don't care about providing an answer.


Exactly. This was my primary problem with Wong's argument. It certainly represents a viewpoint which could conceivably be defended as being a reasonable position, but he has not provided any real logical or philosophical grounds which support that it necessarily must be the only solution to the problem possible.

As such, it constitutes very little other than a simple inference which he seems to be unable to "prove" in any definitive manner.

I freely admit that my own position runs into many of the same problems, but this is exactly why I was arguing that both were problematic to begin with.

First, if it is possible to give a cause for the existence of any particular part of the universe, then since this already involves the laws of nature, asking for a cause of "the universe" really is nothing more than an account of all its parts and their arrangement, as claimed. But that's not very interesting, since it avoids the core of the matter...


No one is denying that the workings of the universe are important. However, understanding "how" every cog or gear in an automobile engine works to ultimately drive the process of combustion hardly gives you an idea of "why" the thing exists to begin with or "why" the principles at play function the way they do.

Additionally, there is also the problem of regression. What if it truly is not infinite? The farthest anyone has been able to regress so far (as far as I know) is the theory that the Big Bang originated from some kind of collision between higher dimensional planes.

Where did these dimensional planes come from? Where did the phenomena which caused these planes come from? We may find that we eventually reach the point where further regression is essentially impossible.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Simon_Jester » 2010-01-05 11:38pm

It is truly not my intent to dogpile Knobbyboy. However, I think it's worth stating some of these arguments calmly and in short form, because that makes it much easier to reply to them, if any reply is possible.

Knobbyboy88 wrote:Exactly. This was my primary problem with Wong's argument. It certainly represents a viewpoint which could conceivably be defended as being a reasonable position, but he has not provided any real logical or philosophical grounds which support that it necessarily must be the only solution to the problem possible.
Thing is, "there's no need to explain why the universe exists" is not merely defensible, it is highly defensible. To the point where attacking anything on the grounds that it fails to explain why the universe exists is a really bad argument. And where implying that an otherwise faulty theory's weaknesses can be cancelled out by the "strength" of having an explanation for why the universe exists is likewise a bad argument.

From a logical standpoint, not explaining why the universe exists is a much smaller failure than not explaining the reality of the universe, or vastly multiplying entities unnecessarily.

After all, while "why does the universe exist?" is a philosophically coherent question, that doesn't guarantee that it must have an answer, let alone that anyone should be expected to produce the answer.

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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Darth Wong » 2010-01-06 11:14pm

Knobbyboy88 wrote:
A far more "literalist" approach to a scientific theory like the Big Bang, which can only be correctly interpreted in a literal sense?

No, a far more "literalist" approach to such subjective issues as "existence" and "time." You seem to quite literally equate "time" with nothing else but "time space." That wasn't the way I was using the word.

I am correctly using the word. You are not.

If you are going to define "time" as only quantifying what can be said to have existed within the confines of the "space time continuum" which was created alongside the universe during the Big Bang, then you are of course correct. Nothing can exist "in time"(as you seem to define the word) which predates the Big Bang, and therefore, there was never a "time" when the physical universe "did not exist." Afterall, "space time" is dependent on the physical universe for its own existence. However, this wasn't the meaning of either word I was using.

In other words, you are manufacturing your own undefined made-up cosmology as you go along, ignoring the real one, and trying to pretend that this bullshit is acceptable because you don't know anything.

First off, "Cosmology" wasn't even on my mind when I started here, so you can just go ahead and drop that idea completely. When I say "time," I mean "time" in the layman's sense of the word.

Fuck you. We're talking about cosmology whether you admit it or not. This is like someone saying that he wants to discuss mathematics but he wants to use his own made-up definitions of numbers and operations.

Likewise, when I make reference to the "universe," I do not mean only what was created in the Big Bang, but everything which can be said to exist in its entirety. Whether or not this is technically "correct" according to the anal-retentive standards of some specialized school of scholastic inquiry is frankly inconsequential to me. I tend more towards the Liberal Arts, rather than Math/Science side of the spectrum, and as such, I deal in concepts, not exact terminology.

You're an idiot. Real concepts must be defined precisely, or else they are useful for nothing more than vague meaningless handwaving.

Honestly, why does it seem to be the case that whenever I get into any kind of protracted debate on this forum in particular, I find out roughly halfway through the debate that myself and my opponents are either utilizing drastically different vocabularies or are simply operating on completely different levels? It is rather frustrating. :wink:

Yes, we are operating on different levels. I am educated, and you are not. That is why you do not know how to have a proper discussion. I have been correcting your horrendous misconceptions about the nature of space, time, and existence, while you have been complaining that my corrections contradict your ignorant subjective impressions of the subject.

Explain, without relying on something as laughable as "common sense" to support your premises, as you did last time.

Once again, everything in the universe has a prerequisite cause ("event," "necessary condition," whatever).

Prove it.

A) According to the atheist perspective, the universe simply exists...because it does.

It exists because it has been observed to exist. Your initial premise (that existence itself requires a cause) is completely unjustified, which is why you keep repeating it a priori.

They cannot discover a "why" and so they go out of their way to either ignore this question or downplay its importance through some kind of cop out while instead focusing on the internal mechanics or "how" of the system instead.

Christians cannot answer "why" either. Why does God exist?

B) The alternative viewpoint, which has largely fallen out of "vogue" in our modern day and age, holds that there must have been some force behind the creation of the universe, and this might have possibly been a "God" of sorts.

This viewpoint is self-contradictory. You are saying that everything requires a cause, even existence itself, then you make a blatant exception for God. I say that existence itself does not require a cause, and no special exceptions are required. That is why I took pains to point out to you that what you think of as your personal existence is not the actual existence of your mass/energy, but rather, its current configuration. My position is consistent. Yours is not.

Neither explanation works well from a philosophical point of view. "How" so far has of yet to answer "why," and it shows no signs of rectifying this fundamental failing any time soon. Whereas the second option presents a whole plethera of problems of which I am sure that you are well aware.

Bullshit. The first option is superior in every way.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Knobbyboy88 » 2010-01-07 12:57am

I am correctly using the word. You are not.

In other words, you are manufacturing your own undefined made-up cosmology as you go along, ignoring the real one, and trying to pretend that this bullshit is acceptable because you don't know anything.


Uhhh...No, we simply seem to be addressing completely different concepts. Your insistence on only thinking about the issue of "existence" in such strict literalist terms actually only illustrates what I was talking about before. You have fully emersed yourself in the "how" to the point of completely shutting yourself off to even entertaining the possibility of a "why."

There is technically nothing wrong with this.

However, as Simon Jester has already pointed out, it is hardly bullet proof from a philosophical perspective. It is simply one way of looking at the problem presented by the existence of the universe. You can rant and rage all you want, it won't change the fact that you can't really "prove" that your way is the only way possible.

Yes, we are operating on different levels. I am educated, and you are not.


What on earth are you talking about? I've already pointed out that you technically aren't wrong. You have simply made the mistake of assuming that what are essentially subjective concepts; "time" and "existence," can ONLY be viewed in an objective manner.

You are essentially arguing strictly scientific "Cosmology." If I had actually challenged cosmology in some fashion, this might be a valid strategy. However, I have not. In fact, I have been dealing strictly in philosophy this entire debate.


Christians cannot answer "why" either. Why does God exist?


Did I ever say that we could? I never said that I was right and you were wrong. I simply pointed out that both positions share inherent weaknesses.

"Why does God exist?" I dunno...Why does the universe? You say that it doesn't need a cause? Okay, why doesn't it? Aside from simply stating the obvious by basically saying "well, it's here ain't it," you have so far been unable to answer this question.

Bullshit. The first option is superior in every way.


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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Darth Wong » 2010-01-07 09:32am

Knobbyboy88 wrote:Uhhh...No, we simply seem to be addressing completely different concepts. Your insistence on only thinking about the issue of "existence" in such strict literalist terms actually only illustrates what I was talking about before. You have fully emersed yourself in the "how" to the point of completely shutting yourself off to even entertaining the possibility of a "why."

Wrong. You are totally misrepresenting my argument. I've pointed out that your position contains a logical inconsistency, while mine does not.

However, as Simon Jester has already pointed out, it is hardly bullet proof from a philosophical perspective.

Nothing is bulletproof. However, I have shown how your position contains a built-in logical inconsistency, while mine does not. That makes mine superior. I have also pointed out that your harping on "why" is a complete red-herring, since it conveys no advantage to either side. Do you know what a red herring is?

You can rant and rage all you want, it won't change the fact that you can't really "prove" that your way is the only way possible.

I don't have to. I only have to prove that it is logically superior, and I have done so: yours contains a logical inconsistency. of course, I notice that in your reply, you conveniently snipped out the part where I explained that logical inconsistency.

What on earth are you talking about? I've already pointed out that you technically aren't wrong. You have simply made the mistake of assuming that what are essentially subjective concepts; "time" and "existence," can ONLY be viewed in an objective manner.

Time and existence are objective concepts. You only think they're subjective because you don't understand what the fuck you're talking about.

You are essentially arguing strictly scientific "Cosmology." If I had actually challenged cosmology in some fashion, this might be a valid strategy. However, I have not. In fact, I have been dealing strictly in philosophy this entire debate.

Again, wrong. You are talking about cosmology: the nature and history of the universe. The fact that you ignore everything we already know about cosmology doesn't change that fact. For the second time, this is like trying to discuss mathematics while rejecting all known mathematics.

Did I ever say that we could? I never said that I was right and you were wrong. I simply pointed out that both positions share inherent weaknesses.

No, you claimed that, but the only "weakness" you can find for the scientific position is the fact that it doesn't explain why the universe exists. This is not a weakness since omniscience is not a valid expectation for a theory.

I grow weary of your evasive bullshit. In your next reply, I expect that you will answer the part of my previous post which you snipped out, regarding the fact that your position contains a logical inconsistency (this is the same argument which Patrick Degan tried to make in different form, and which you horribly misinterpreted). I also expect you to address the fact that your harping on "why" is a red-herring since it confers no advantage to either argument, not to mention Occam's Razor which I mentioned before and which you (again) chose to ignore. And how about the fact that you keep saying existence requires an external cause as if this is an established fact, despite being repeatedly challenged to back it up and never answering that challenge?

I have humoured you up till now by treating you as if you have been honestly remiss, but I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that you are being deliberately dishonest. You seem to think I have been "raging" against you. Trust me, when you finally run out of rope and really piss me off, this discussion will end.
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Re: Monotheistic religions and Time

Postby Knobbyboy88 » 2010-01-07 05:42pm

Wrong. You are totally misrepresenting my argument. I've pointed out that your position contains a logical inconsistency, while mine does not.


As Simon as been pointing out to Kuroneko for at least a page and a half, there is no logical inconsistency inherent to asking "why" the universe exists.

However, I have shown how your position contains a built-in logical inconsistency, while mine does not.


Once again, no. Apart from simply repeating the same overly demonstrative declarations over and over again, you haven't really "proven" much of anything.

This has been my point all along. You are attempting to draw an absolute where none can really be proven to exist.

Time and existence are objective concepts.


No, they most certainly are not. The very fact that we are having this discussion proves otherwise.

Once again, why your strictly literalist interpretations of these concepts may not be technically wrong from a scientific point of view, they are hardly the only interpretations possible.

If you want us to believe that ONLY a literalist cosmological interpretation of "time" and "existence" can be correct, you are going to have to PROVE that this is the case. You can't simply declare it to be so and expect everyone else in the world to simply fall in line.

You are talking about cosmology: the nature and history of the universe.


I am talking about philosophical questions which science and cosmology have either failed to answer or chosen to purposely ignore.

What you are doing here would be akin to trying to explain the question "what is love" in strictly biological terms. Sure, you might, technically be able to get away with it by spinning enough jargon, but in the end, you'd really just be missing the point by a major margin and going needlessly out of your way in the process.

I also expect you to address the fact that your harping on "why" is a red-herring since it confers no advantage to either argument, not to mention Occam's Razor which I mentioned before and which you (again) chose to ignore.


As Simon has been pointing out for quite a while now, there is no "red herring." The fact that "why" might not be necessary to answer the question of "how" does not mean that it is logically inconsistent to ask if such a question exists.

My only point here has been to say that we don't really know for sure whether a "why" could exist, and that, therefore, the modern secularist practice of simply downplaying or avoiding the question entirely is logically and philosophically problematic.

If a "why" does not exist, then we have missed nothing. However, if it turns out that a "why" does exist to supplement the "how," we run the risk of simply throwing up a wall of willful ignorance against a discovery which could prove vital to understanding the universe in its entirety (regardless of whether this 'why' turns out to be a deity or something far more mundane).

It is not enough to simply delcare that something is "irrelevant" or does not "exist." You have to PROVE that this is the case if you want to end all debate on the matter. So far, no one has done so.
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