The Cosmological Argument

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The Cosmological Argument

Postby von Rivers » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:55 am

Everything hitherto existent had a cause that was insistent,
And the immense and incalculable universe once became,
So they conclude, with no surprise, a cause gave the universe size,
But here what many will apprise, implies a further claim.
‘God loves you,’ they include, ‘and at heaven you ought to aim’ -
Preparing for a Christian shame.

Ah, not for ages have I read such faulty premises in a thread,
And ignorance they do spread by setting fallacy aflame.
Surely you would like to learn – from the argument of our concern
What support we can discern – discern the line to blame.
To William Lane Craig is owed the argument’s acclaim.
That clumsy hack I will defame.

For what we require to see is some such reason to agree,
With Craig – though vague is the argument’s opening claim;
‘It should be clear’, was all he said, thinking that would hold its stead
‘Intuitive in your head’, and that was all he would proclaim –
‘Intuitively obvious’, is all that supports the opening claim; -
That is all, and pretty lame.

Presently we must recognize; that things we often visualize,
Like tigers, tables, rabbits, or similar things that we could name,
At one time began to exist; and so for others that do persist,
And so for others we could list, listing whatever once became,
But the universe is not a ‘thing’ – that’s the point that they disclaim; -
Logically a set is just a frame.

It is a point that gives me pause, to think all ‘things’ must have a cause,
When the universe is not a ‘thing’, but the ‘set’ of all we can name;
The Room of rooms may have no source, no start or end on its course,
No beginning to endorse without Craig’s error there to blame.
The error that the ‘set’ obeys the rules of what it does frame.
An error is here to blame.

And so from here we must acquit, the error we cannot permit,
And wonder why God’s creation ex nihilo is a better fit.
‘It’s not,’ I say, with no lament, it’s on a par for our consent;
Not more deserving of assent, but comparable all the same –
Material cause, or efficient cause, lacking all the same.
And this is where I end the game.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby BerkeleysRazor » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:20 am

So, basically, your problem is the intuitiveness of the opening claim.
But the problem is that people don't pay attention to something that cannot be named.
As we all know, what cannot be named carries no intuition.
So you would have us accept that in which we cannot be in position.
Cogitors Fundamental Postulate: "The mind imposes an arbitrary framework called "reality", which is quite independent of what the senses report."

Ancient Mentat Conundrum: "At last, after our long journey, we have reached the beginning."

First Law of a Mentat: "A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it."

Berkeley's Razor: "all [unthinking things] are ruled out except those which are perceived."
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby James S Saint » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:52 am

I must assume you seek no counter to that strawman of yours,
Fore upon finding its true resolve, you would be left with no cures.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby von Rivers » Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:18 pm

James S Saint wrote:I must assume you seek no counter to that strawman of yours,
Fore upon finding its true resolve, you would be left with no cures.

Who are you talking to?
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby James S Saint » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:26 pm

von Rivers wrote:
James S Saint wrote:I must assume you seek no counter to that strawman of yours,
Fore upon finding its true resolve, you would be left with no cures.

Who are you talking to?

Ewe.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby von Rivers » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:37 pm

James S Saint wrote:
von Rivers wrote:
James S Saint wrote:I must assume you seek no counter to that strawman of yours,
Fore upon finding its true resolve, you would be left with no cures.

Who are you talking to?

Ewe.


What strawman did you attempt to coherently talk about?
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby Mr Reasonable » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:39 pm

Chickens and eggs don't just spring into existence.
You see...a pimp's love is very different from that of a square.
Dating a stripper is like eating a noisy bag of chips in church. Everyone looks at you in disgust, but deep down they want some too.

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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby James S Saint » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:09 pm

von Rivers wrote:
James S Saint wrote:
von Rivers wrote:Who are you talking to?

Ewe.


What strawman did you attempt to coherently talk about?

Wiki wrote:By simply denying that an efficient first cause is problematic, being easily explained as the creative action of an omnipotent God, medieval theologians re-purposed and enhanced Aristotle's argument, as if the intention had been to prove God's existence.

The idea of God being someone who kick-started the universe is a strawman. Not only was it not what any more ancient scripture had really said, but was an idea that Aristotle was arguing against.

First Cause = first in the timeline = the strawman
First Cause = primary, most fundamental principle = the actual "God" of the scriptures (and of Aristotle).
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby von Rivers » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:11 pm

James S Saint wrote:The idea of God being someone who kick-started the universe is a strawman. Not only was it not what any more ancient scripture had really said, but was an idea that Aristotle was arguing against.


Here's the medieval cosmological argument, and the one that William Lane Craig adopts:

P1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2. The universe began to exist.
C. Therefore, the universe was caused.

I took issue with the first premise. Needn't be anything about god. That is all. Have fun.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:29 pm

James S Saint wrote:The idea of God being someone who kick-started the universe is a strawman. Not only was it not what any more ancient scripture had really said, but was an idea that Aristotle was arguing against.


How do you know, were you there? Let's face it, the cosmological argument eventually devolves into one or another rendition of, "it's turtles all the way down". And then after that more turtles still. Figuratively speaking as it were.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby James S Saint » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:33 pm

von Rivers wrote:
James S Saint wrote:The idea of God being someone who kick-started the universe is a strawman. Not only was it not what any more ancient scripture had really said, but was an idea that Aristotle was arguing against.


Here's the medieval cosmological argument, and the one that William Lane Craig adopts:

P1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2. The universe began to exist.
C. Therefore, the universe was caused.

I took issue with the first premise. Needn't be anything about god. That is all. Have fun.

The second premise was the issue, not the first.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby James S Saint » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:35 pm

iambiguous wrote:
James S Saint wrote:The idea of God being someone who kick-started the universe is a strawman. Not only was it not what any more ancient scripture had really said, but was an idea that Aristotle was arguing against.


How do you know, were you there?

How do you know that there was a world war? Were You there?

iambiguous wrote:Let's face it, the cosmological argument eventually devolves into one or another rendition of, "it's turtles all the way down".

Only to those who are not aware of the strawman at the party.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby von Rivers » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:38 pm

James S Saint wrote:The second premise was the issue, not the first.

As I said very explicitly in the OP, the first premise was the issue. Nothing else. And that's clear from the OP. Perhaps you could read it again, more carefully.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby Moreno » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:48 pm

von Rivers wrote:The error that the ‘set’ obeys the rules of what it does frame.
An error is here to blame.
Very well done, the whole poem that is. Holds a consistant tone, which is actually rather mild almost World weary (or slightly withering), and that's not Always easy to do in verse.
Anyway I took this one part of the set vs. members issue, nicely handled also, and it seem to me it implies an eternal universe, or?
Myself, I've often been skeptical about deduction in regards to things at the edge of our knowledge, and in general I Think it is often misused. That said, I Think one can deduce that if there is no cause for the universe it is eternal. Not because we know what rules apply to sets, but because of the members - given what you seem to accept, that members have causes.
Hm, though on second thought if the set can cause it's members to exist, once it is in existence, then one can't deduce this.......
Must mull.
Third thought, if the set can cause it's members, this would seem to make the set something more than the sum of its members. Or things can cause themselves.
Last edited by Moreno on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby James S Saint » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:56 pm

von Rivers wrote:
James S Saint wrote:The second premise was the issue, not the first.

As I said very explicitly in the OP, the first premise was the issue. Nothing else. And that's clear from the OP. Perhaps you could read it again, more carefully.

And as I said, the first wasn't the issue, but the second. The first is merely an alluring strawman.
Perhaps you could read more carefully the reasoning that I gave.
Last edited by James S Saint on Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Posts: 25976
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:57 pm

James S Saint wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
James S Saint wrote:The idea of God being someone who kick-started the universe is a strawman. Not only was it not what any more ancient scripture had really said, but was an idea that Aristotle was arguing against.


How do you know, were you there?

How do you know that there was a world war? Were You there?


That's true of course. But then there are lots of folks who were. My father for example. Folks who can attest to its existence. And don't even get started on the mountains of empirical evidence out there. Of course one can always fall back on the idea that nothing really exist at all except what we happen to think [believe] does. So even though I was a soldier in the Vietnam war, it may not have actually happened at all. I merely think that I was a soldier in it.

But I am reasonably certain that none of us were there when the cosmos [existence] began. And though there does exist much empirical evidence that can be made to line up with what most physicists now construe to be the laws of nature [going back to what most call the big bang], no one is able to say definitively what the ontological truth is. Well, other than those who claim that by accepting the definitions and the meanings they give to the words they use in their arguments we have.

iambiguous wrote:Let's face it, the cosmological argument eventually devolves into one or another rendition of, "it's turtles all the way down".


James S Saint wrote:Only to those who are not aware of the strawman at the party.


Okay, for some, maybe I should have said, "it's my argument all the way down".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby von Rivers » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:25 am

Moreno wrote:Very well done, the whole poem that is. Holds a consistant tone, which is actually rather mild almost World weary (or slightly withering), and that's not Always easy to do in verse.
Thanks. It needs some fine tuning. Some of the lines are inconsistent in the number of syllabus, or meter, or whatever it is that poets go by. Some of the rhymes could be cleaner, and better. I tried to copy the rhyme structure of Poe's The Raven, which I think has a hypnotic and lyrical feel.

Anyway I took this one part of the set vs. members issue, nicely handled also, and it seem to me it implies an eternal universe, or?
I think I have an aesthetic bias toward an eternal universe, one that expands and contracts, or pulses. Something like the cosmology of an eternal recurrence of the same. It's not intuitively obvious to me that you can't have a loop in causation. An eternal loop. It's also not intuitively obvious to me that there has to be a first cause, just because.

That said, I Think one can deduce that if there is no cause for the universe it is eternal. Not because we know what rules apply to sets, but because of the members - given what you seem to accept, that members have causes.
Hm, though on second thought if the set can cause it's members to exist, once it is in existence, then one can't deduce this.......
Must mull.
Third thought, if the set can cause it's members, this would seem to make the set something more than the sum of its members. Or things can cause themselves.

I don't think I'd be on-board with the idea that the set of 'all things' can cause any particular 'thing'.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby Moreno » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:46 am

von Rivers wrote:I think I have an aesthetic bias toward an eternal universe, one that expands and contracts, or pulses. Something like the cosmology of an eternal recurrence of the same. It's not intuitively obvious to me that you can't have a loop in causation. An eternal loop. It's also not intuitively obvious to me that there has to be a first cause, just because.
So that would be a kind of 'yes'. As far as the first cause - I Think that seems intuitively false to me - and some of the things I consider intuitively true or possible are pretty damn weird. Not that the fact that my intuition is wide ranging is evidence of sométhing. It would seem to me, in any case, that there was a possibility, even Before that first cause. And that's something.

I don't think I'd be on-board with the idea that the set of 'all things' can cause any particular 'thing'.

It bothers me. I can see something being more than the sum of its parts, but to say it caused all of its parts seems like something other than an emergent property - which 'greater than the sum of its parts' seems like a way of saying. The parts seems to cause the emergent properties or at least exist prior to them.

though this is all the kind of speculative deduction I am skeptical about. I mean, I doubt I would have come up with some of quantum mechanics, in fact I would likely have ruled some of it out via deduction.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby Helandhighwater » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:03 am

James S Saint wrote:
von Rivers wrote:
James S Saint wrote:The idea of God being someone who kick-started the universe is a strawman. Not only was it not what any more ancient scripture had really said, but was an idea that Aristotle was arguing against.


Here's the medieval cosmological argument, and the one that William Lane Craig adopts:

P1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2. The universe began to exist.
C. Therefore, the universe was caused.

I took issue with the first premise. Needn't be anything about god. That is all. Have fun.

The second premise was the issue, not the first.


P1 and p2 are axioms that cannot be justified logically actually.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby Uccisore » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:07 am

I think it's perfectly fine to say that some things that exist don't have causes, and to build a model/philosophy of the universe around that. And then some other people say that everything that begins to exist does have a cause, and they build a model/philosophy of the universe around that. The people in the middle try to figure out which model makes more sense, and which one describes the universe they see around them.
Is it a shame that there's no argument that everything that begins to exist has a cause? Sort of. It really does seem to have a high intuitive value for most of us. Nobody attempting to understand the universe, religiously, philosophically, or scientifically, is encountering things and assuming they can be for no reason.
If you do deny the intuitive value of P1, though, there's simplicity to consider too. We all know that some things that begin to exist have a cause. Heck, I think I could go so far as to say that everything we've ever heard of that begins to exist has a cause. That in itself is a pretty damn strong inductive case that all things that begin to exist have causes, and it's the premise we ought to prefer in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Could it be otherwise? Sure. But the burden of proof is going to be on somebody that wants to claim there are things beginning to exist for no reason out there somewhere.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby von Rivers » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:05 pm

Uccisore wrote:Is it a shame that there's no argument that everything that begins to exist has a cause? Sort of. It really does seem to have a high intuitive value for most of us. Nobody attempting to understand the universe, religiously, philosophically, or scientifically, is encountering things and assuming they can be for no reason.
Every single one of them is. Every. single. one.
Religious people have god; God's just there, chilling, always. Philosophers have laws of logic; just there, chilling, always have been. Even scientists may have areas that aren't open to question or exploration, like external world realism as a base assumption.

If you do deny the intuitive value of P1, though, there's simplicity to consider too. We all know that some things that begin to exist have a cause. Heck, I think I could go so far as to say that everything we've ever heard of that begins to exist has a cause. That in itself is a pretty damn strong inductive case that all things that begin to exist have causes, and it's the premise we ought to prefer in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Could it be otherwise? Sure. But the burden of proof is going to be on somebody that wants to claim there are things beginning to exist for no reason out there somewhere.

To your point, it's really not. Nothing that you can point to is anything like the universe. You can't build an inductive argument from X-class of things and then apply it to Y-class of things, when there's no connection. They are different in kind. And that's because----here's the point of the argument----the universe is not a 'thing', which the argument requires we treat it as. Logically speaking, the universe is the set of all things.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby James S Saint » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:55 pm

The idea that "nothing brought it about" (aka "uncaused") is an absurd notion given by those who either cannot think or simply don't want to. If anything in the universe is uncaused, then the entire universe is completely unpredictable and thus all thought is completely pointless and Science is completely meaningless. A cause is merely a description of the necessary state in order to bring about a particular effect. If you can get the effect without regard to the prior state, the effect can and will show up anywhere at any time without regard to size, shape, interval, or anything. The entire universe would be pure chaos with no discernible entities within it. There would be no universe nor you to be talking about it.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Posts: 25976
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby von Rivers » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:04 pm

James S Saint wrote:The idea that "nothing brought it about" (aka "uncaused") is an absurd notion given by those who either cannot think or simply don't want to. If anything in the universe is uncaused, then the entire universe is completely unpredictable and thus all thought is completely pointless and Science is completely meaningless.
Yeesssss, of course... why didn't I think of that!


A cause is merely a description of the necessary state in order to bring about a particular effect. If you can get the effect without regard to the prior state, the effect can and will show up anywhere at any time without regard to size, shape, interval, or anything. The entire universe would be pure chaos with no discernible entities within it. There would be no universe nor you to be talking about it.

I'm afraid that's wrong. Every sentence. Let me know if there's one in particular you want to discuss.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby James S Saint » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:26 pm

von Rivers wrote:
A cause is merely a description of the necessary state in order to bring about a particular effect. If you can get the effect without regard to the prior state, the effect can and will show up anywhere at any time without regard to size, shape, interval, or anything. The entire universe would be pure chaos with no discernible entities within it. There would be no universe nor you to be talking about it.

I'm afraid that's wrong. Every sentence. Let me know if there's one in particular you want to discuss.

Do you mean that you want to discuss your mistakes in assessment? Well, okay.

I'll give you that the first statement uses the word "cause" in the rhetorical sense (due to a prior discussion I was having), but in this sense (to be pedantic) should really have referred to the prior state rather than the description of that state. But that falls into the category of "you know what I meant".
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: The Cosmological Argument

Postby von Rivers » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:43 pm

James S Saint wrote:A cause is merely a description of the necessary state in order to bring about a particular effect....I'll give you that the first statement uses the word "cause" in the rhetorical sense (due to a prior discussion I was having), but in this sense (to be pedantic) should really have referred to the prior state rather than the description of that state. But that falls into the category of "you know what I meant".


1. A cause is not a description.
2. A cause needn't have necessitated its effect.
3. A cause is not a state, it's a particular thing, or combination of things.

All of these points are analytical; that is, true just by the concept 'cause', and not in need of any further justification.
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