How can we be at this moment in time without time have been started at some point?
What are premises #1 and #2, and where did you get that quote?
This fellow has an interesting way of looking at it.
Theistic ontologists define God as necessary existence (or supreme being). Given the premise that it is possible for God to exist, it can be proven that His existence is both necessary and actual.
I fail to see how this argument implies any sort of consciousness must be at work.
Just because water doesn’t tend to spontaneously increase its temperature and melt doesn’t mean there are no spontaneous changes in nature.
A particle that has existed since the formation of the universe can spontaneously decay. Wether this happens or not is random, governed by the laws of probability. So there is no reason to think that a spontaneous change in something that has always been the same is evidence of an intelligence at work.
Also, I hate to harp on one particular line of the quote, but . . .
“A man who has been sitting for eternity can will to stand up”??? What the hell does that mean? Show me a man who has been sitting for eternity? There’s no such thing, so how can we comment on what he is or isn’t capable of doing. If a man could somehow have existed at the dawn of time, and could somehow have survived sitting in place from then until now (both absurd claims), then surely his muscles would have atrophied to the point where he could no longer stand. Why would he even have muscles? Muscles evolved over millions of years due to natural selection. Why would there even be any need for them in a man who spent all eternity sitting?
So this one very contrived and unrealistic example doesn’t even successfully prove that conscious thought has the power to change something that has always been the same. And even if it did, that wouldn’t prove that conscious thought is the only thing that can effect such a change. His whole argument seems to hinge on that unjustified claim.
Sorry to rant, but this seems like a guy spouting a bunch of B.S. to justify a conclusion he’s determined to believe regardless of where logical reasoning takes him. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with believing in God – I believe in God myself – but to try to convince people that logic demands the existence of God when your true reason for believing in Him is faith seems dishonest and wrong to me.
I wouldn’t be so harsh if it was something you (the original poster) said, because I’m not trying to force this into the pit, but since it’s just a quote and you made no claim to agree or disagree I hope I can express my opinion frankly without insulting anyone here.
I’d dispute both premises 1 and 2. Uncaused events do happen, and there is no law against them. Second, while our visible universe has a beginning, it is possible that a metauniverse does not have a beginning.
But given them, my question is what is the impact knowing that some sort of deity started the universe? This deity might be a deistic one, who has no contact with his creation. It might be the personal god of another world altogether. We can be pretty sure that it isn’t the god of any earth religion, since they all got the creation story wrong. So, given that you are correct, the best you can do is have a happy feeling that it all has a cause, but not even a purpose, and you certainly can’t go around advertising any special knowledge of the characteristics or desires of this god.
Not that you did - but what’s the point of a creator of whom nothing else is known?
You do not know that. The assertion is epistemically dubious. The collapse of an electron’s orbit has no apparent cause as far as you know. I’m not defending the cited premise, but merely attacking the logical fallacy you’ve used to rebut it. A modern scientist saying that a photon emission is uncaused sounds like an alchemist. The correct assertion is, there are events (if you know of any others) for which no cause is known.
Isn’t there an experiement called the Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser that proves cause can follow effect?
Off to google.
Here is an article on DCQE. It is over my head.
I assume, however, that you acknowledge there is also no proof that an event can’t occur without a cause. Yet this seems to be assumed by the quotation in the original post. Or at least, he assumes that an event can’t occur without a cause unless that cause is a choice made by an intelligent being. This to me seems to be a totally unjustified assumption.
It looks to me like any other premise from induction. But I don’t see anything about any claim of sentience:
For me, the metaphysical problem the premise faces is the audiatur et altera pars that existence began. That is not previously asserted, and might be suspect.
Isn’t the problem with postulating a God as a causative agent a case of special pleading? Possibily even an appeal to ignorance (aka, what created the universe? I dunno, _____ did)?
Also, if God ‘caused’ the universe, when did God do it? How can you cause time to begin without being part of time?
AFAIK-The Big Bang need not have an ultimate cause. It tells us what happened to the singularity after it began expanding. The singularity, for all we know, might have existed eternally-the only difference being the form of the singularity.
Again though, in my mind, this brings up some of the same problems as appealing to God.
Special pleading is usually an appeal to pity. And appeal to ignorance usually means that an assertion is held to be true because it has not been proved false (or else false because it hasn’t been proved true). But there can be a problem with positing God as a causative agent if there might be other causes as well. That would be a fallacy of false dilemma.
What the assumption referenced by the OP is doing is assuming a priori that uncaused events do not occur. No proof is given by reference to physical law or anything else. It is a reasonable working hypothesis, except that it has apparently been falsified by observed events which are apparently uncaused. If we are basing an argument on this, the proponent of this argument either must find a cause of the apparently uncaused event or show that uncaused events can happen through a better argument than “common sense”. I’m not saying that I have proved they do happen, just that it is a weak premise.
However, since whether our universe had a cause or not is probably unknowable (even if we assume that uncaused events do happen, this does not prove that the creation of the universe is one) I’m more interested in what we can say about god given only that there was a creator.
And quoting John won’t hack it.
That is exactly what I said: “For me, the metaphysical problem the premise faces is the audiatur et altera pars that existence began. That is not previously asserted, and might be suspect.”
I have not quoted John. Is it possible that you have confused me with someone else?
-Maybe time has no beginning.
-Maybe there was no physical reality to time in an early universal epoch.
-Maybe the creation of universes is a spontaneous process. If the matter/energy of the universe is equal to the gravitational potential of the universe, then its existence does not violate the law of conservation of energy, and it could literally have arisen out of nothing. “Ultimate free lunch” and all that.
I think the fact that there is evidentially-supported reason to doubt the necessity of a causitive agent says quite a lot in and of itself.
And typically whatever is the cause is identified with god, but no other characteristics of this thing can be derived from it being the cause.
For many people the argument seems to be:
The first cause proves there is a god (small g, creator)
My religion involves a God who created the universe.
The existence of a god implies the existence of a God.
The fallacy is similar, I think, to the strong atheist fallacy of claiming that disproof of God implies the falsification of any god.
What about this:
(The bold is mine of course)
This certainly sounds to me like he is claiming there must be a conscious mind at work. And this is the claim I find to be unjustified.