Does Our Creator Have A Creator Itself?

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  • #26
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harvey1 said:
A material universe is by definition causeless since its existence is dependent on brute fact.

I don't understand what youre saying here. Please explain it more clearly.

harvey1 said:
A self-creating universe is no exception since an infinite time ago the universe still existed, hence it never was created, it just always existed - therefore, even a self-creating universe existed without cause. This means that there exists an infinite collection of 'past moments' that were uncaused, which contradicts our notion of causation as being something that is linked to the previous actions (and not something that always existed). Thus, a material universe without God is non-sensical.

You presuppose time exists outside the scope of the universe, which has no basis. It's easier to think of it as a four dimensional object, 3 of space and 1 of time, that was simply created, or popped into existence. Note that I use the past tense "created" or "popped" not because the universe was created at a specific point in time in the past, but because it is here now. It is a flaw of our language which arises because our conception of things requires something that exists now to have been created in the past. This logic is misleading when applied to the universe, since every object we can conceive exists and interacts completely within it.

harvey1 said:
Since any logico-mathematical law is a deduction from its axioms, the axioms are 'true'. If something is inherently 'true', this requires there to be a conceptual structure that provides meaning to the term 'true'. This meaning of truth requires for their to be intelligence and consciousness since axiomatic truths are language based, and language requires intelligence and consciousness to exist. Therefore, God is synonymous with the existing of truth (and logic).

There are no "true" laws of physics. We assume laws are true because they have always turned out to be verified by experiment, but this does not constitute a logical proof. Your assumption that truth requires consciousness is again presupposing your conclusion there is a god. It is logically possible for a universe to exist where there are truths (eg., gravity is an attractive force) but not conscious beings or gods to derive and appreciate them. If you disagree with this, please explain your reasoning instead of just reciting your opinion.
 
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  • #27
From your statement, it sounds as if you're calling god a biological being. I don't believe god is a biological being, but something beyond our comprehension.

Before pondering on the topic of god being created, you need to gather all of your beliefs and filter them with logic.
 
  • #28
Les Sleeth
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CeeAnne said:
Logically speaking, god is an assumption. Most religion is based on the assumption that god exists.

Without in-depth research into what is behind the claims about God, it is also an assumption to say God is only an assumption. (Hint: religion is not the best place to look for what might make sense about the idea of God.)
 
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  • #29
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If God had a creator and was still considered God, then would that not make something as simple as a mother giving birth the God of the offspring.

The question would then have to be asked does the creator of the creator have a creator and the creator's, creator's, creator's, creater, etc.

Nobody knows who/what God truly is, and as far as I am concerned the path that religion takes is misconstrued and molded to best serve their needs. To say that religions have not benefitted from the concept of a single Father to every being would be quite the understatement.

If God is a biological being then it is quite possible that It has a creator. But for all we know God could just be the son/daughter/whatever of some other creator and there may be many Universes similar to our own that are "watched" by one of these creators.
If God is not a biological being, It still could be created but it may not actually be a "living" thing.

On the other hand the concept of God may just be created by humans themselves as an answer to all of life's problems. Understanding is a driving force in the human race and God definately simplifies the ability to understand when concepts are all delegated to an all-powerful being.
 
  • #30
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If the universe is in caos which i cannot prove (but it's possible if there is an ether), the intelligence of the beings in the universe should be constant. Life should be pointless kind of and gods should come and go but if they create eachother i don't know! I wouldn't think so.
 
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  • #31
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Religionists support the religion. At best, god is a pseudoscience. In a addition to pseudoscience having the uncanny ability to explain everything, the difference between a science and pseudoscience is that scientific statements can be proved wrong and pseudoscientific statements cannot. By this definition, you will find that a surprising number of seemingly scientific assertions - perhaps even many in which you devoutly believe - are complete nonsense. Rather surprisingly this is not to assert that all pseudoscientific claims are untrue. Some of them may be true, but you can never know this, so they are not entitled to claim the cast-iron assurance and reliance that you can have, and place, in scientific facts.
 
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  • #32
Les Sleeth
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CeeAnne said:
Religionists support the religion. At best, god is a pseudoscience. In a addition to pseudoscience having the uncanny ability to explain everything, the difference between a science and pseudoscience is that scientific statements can be proved wrong and pseudoscientific statements cannot. By this definition, you will find that a surprising number of seemingly scientific assertions - perhaps even many in which you devoutly believe - are complete nonsense. Rather surprisingly this is not to assert that all pseudoscientific claims are untrue. Some of them may be true, but you can never know this, so they are not entitled to claim the cast-iron assurance and reliance that you can have, and place, in scientific facts.

I don't know if you are responding to my comment to you, but this response assumes you are.

You are right to say religionists support religion; I assume when you say "god is a pseudoscience" you mean that some of the explanations the religious sometimes give have elements of science woven into non-scientific beliefs. I have heard a lot of that, and little of it makes sense.

However not all opinions about God are equal. What people do is look at religions and think that is all there is to the claim (that God exists), but it isn't. Personally I have no use for religion, and never have. But I became interested in if there were any experiences that people have had which could be a logical basis for thinking there is, let's say, "something more" (i.e., like some sort of consciousness that's part of the universe?), which is less apparent than the physcial world which we've become so adept at studying.

You might not realize it but your statement about pseudoscience contains an epistomological assumption about what produces knowledge. You seem to imply that only science reveals reality to us, and in philosophy that belief is sometimes referred to as scientism.

Now, what makes science work? It is the requirement that sense data confirm one's hypotheses. Without sense experience, science would be just another speculative philosophy. The senses are "avenues" linking the extenal world to internal consciousness where experience occurs. While the senses provide information, it is experience that causes knowing. Further, if experience is internal, almost like the "heart" of consciousness, we can conclude that senses and experience are two different things (sensory deprivation devices seem to confirm this).

Okay, here's where it gets interesting. There is a 3000 year old history of people who have practiced withdrawing from the senses to experience pure consciousness. Some, like the Buddha, seemed to have achieved a new ability with consciousness called enlightenment, and part of that new ability was the perception of "something more." I've studied the history of the enlightenment experience extensively, and I am convinced it is the main origin of the God concept that inspired the major religions. I emphasized "main" because there obviously have been superstitious concepts of "gods," and lots of other imagined stuff.

My point is, it is not a valid assumption, at least before you look at the evidence I've described, that science is the ONLY avenue to knowledge. Senses are used in science, and that is why science is only good for studying external reality. If that inner experience is what it takes to find out if there is "something more," then plainly science isn't going to tell us anything about it. And if inner experience is what it takes to see why people have said there is a God, then anyone wanting to fairly evaluate their claims is going to have to develop that skill.
 
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  • #33
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CeeAnne said:
Religionists support the religion. At best, god is a pseudoscience. In a addition to pseudoscience having the uncanny ability to explain everything, the difference between a science and pseudoscience is that scientific statements can be proved wrong and pseudoscientific statements cannot. By this definition, you will find that a surprising number of seemingly scientific assertions - perhaps even many in which you devoutly believe - are complete nonsense. Rather surprisingly this is not to assert that all pseudoscientific claims are untrue. Some of them may be true, but you can never know this, so they are not entitled to claim the cast-iron assurance and reliance that you can have, and place, in scientific facts.

No, this is incorrect. Religionists for the most part do not think they are engaging in science with their advocating the necessity of God. Science is, strictly speaking, a methodological approach to providing knowledge about the world that is pragmatically successful in manipulating and understanding natural phenomena. Scientific theories may or may not be 'true', but regardless, the main justification is not truth or approximate truth, their main justification is their usefulness in prediction and coherent explanations about the phenomena in question.

Religionists take a step back from trying to explain natural phenomena, and instead, the questions are much more philosophical in nature. For example, is there meaning to our lives? Can humans live beyond death? Is there a purpose for the universe? Is the universe designed for life? Is there a designer?

True, religionists take definite stances on these issues, but it is not a scientific stance (for the most part). Science cannot answer these questions because there are no observables to make any theoretical predictions about them. So, any attempt to answer these questions is neither scientific or pseudoscientific, they are merely unscientific.

But, there's nothing wrong with religionists to pursue these issues, since science is mainly a methodology based on its own philosophical justifications. To say that religionists are not entitled to justify their beliefs with philosophical justifications is not much different than saying that science is also not justified in making its own philosophical justifications. To be rational, a religionist can make a argument that is philosophical in nature as long as they make it rationally. This is why science is really outside the scope of religion (for the most part), and religion is outside the scope of science (for the most part). If either strays into the other domain, then religion must choose to make a scientific argument (or be made a pseudoscience - eg special creationism), or science must choose to make a philosophical argument (which as another poster mentioned, is no longer science per se, but is scientism, materialism, etc).
 
  • #34
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harvey1 said:
A material universe is by definition causeless since its existence is dependent on brute fact.
StatusX said:
I don't understand what youre saying here. Please explain it more clearly.
.

I should say, a materialist view of the universe is by definition causeless since material things exist without there being an explanation for a material universe.


harvey1 said:
A self-creating universe is no exception since an infinite time ago the universe still existed, hence it never was created, it just always existed - therefore, even a self-creating universe existed without cause. This means that there exists an infinite collection of 'past moments' that were uncaused, which contradicts our notion of causation as being something that is linked to the previous actions (and not something that always existed). Thus, a material universe without God is non-sensical.
StatusX said:
You presuppose time exists outside the scope of the universe, which has no basis. It's easier to think of it as a four dimensional object, 3 of space and 1 of time, that was simply created, or popped into existence. Note that I use the past tense "created" or "popped" not because the universe was created at a specific point in time in the past, but because it is here now. It is a flaw of our language which arises because our conception of things requires something that exists now to have been created in the past. This logic is misleading when applied to the universe, since every object we can conceive exists and interacts completely within it.

Okay, let's view our universe as 3+1 dimensional object. The 3+1 dimensional object exists without cause. Each event in that 3+1 dimensional object is causeless (since the object as a whole exists without a cause, each individual component of that object exists without a cause). This contradicts the appearance of causation present in our universe and its history. For example, your post is 'causeless' (i.e., not connected to what happen before since there is no 'before' in a 3+1 self-existing object), and my posting this reply to your post is also 'causeless' for the same reason. This contradicts the obvious fact that you posted because you were posting a reply to my post, and I am posting this because of your reply. If the universe were a causeless 3+1 dimensional object, then you would not expect such a thing.

harvey1 said:
Since any logico-mathematical law is a deduction from its axioms, the axioms are 'true'. If something is inherently 'true', this requires there to be a conceptual structure that provides meaning to the term 'true'. This meaning of truth requires for their to be intelligence and consciousness since axiomatic truths are language based, and language requires intelligence and consciousness to exist. Therefore, God is synonymous with the existing of truth (and logic).
StatusX said:
There are no "true" laws of physics. We assume laws are true because they have always turned out to be verified by experiment, but this does not constitute a logical proof.

There are laws of physics that are possibly 'true' (i.e., they are dependent on there being some inherent truths to the Universe). For example, there is work in the foundations of physics (e.g., symmetry) that show how the laws of physics can be derived from a simple set of assumptions. These approaches don't prove that the laws of physics are true, but they show a relationship exists between complex laws of physical phenomena, simple assumptions that these foundation attempts demonstrate. So, it is not as simple as having a whole collection of physical descriptions and on some whim saying that there is something 'true' that underlies these descriptions. It's much more than that. Due to the philosophical nature of such attempts, it's probably not possible to ever conclude this issue. There will always exist a philosophical argument which can open the door.

StatusX said:
Your assumption that truth requires consciousness is again presupposing your conclusion there is a god. It is logically possible for a universe to exist where there are truths (eg., gravity is an attractive force) but not conscious beings or gods to derive and appreciate them. If you disagree with this, please explain your reasoning instead of just reciting your opinion.

How does supposing there is truth that exists presume a God exists? I suppose truth exists because it is difficult to eliminate this possibility, and the other possibility (i.e., no truth exists, just matter in some primitive composition of it), presents real difficulties with regard to the causal history of our universe (as mentioned above). Truth, as we understand it, is language based, and therefore truth requires comprehension. If truth exists, it would appear that comprehension does as well (i.e., Mind exists). Hence, God.

As for your argument that you can have truths without comprehension, I think you are ignoring the full implication of truth having an ontological existence. Yes, "gravity is an attractive force" might be 'true', but this is not necessarily an ontologically existing truth. For example, "all birds that landed on my yard today are blue" is not necessary an ontological truth of the Universe. It might be that the next bird that lands on my yard is red.

When you talk about ontological truth, this is an entirely different issue. You have to ask what makes a particular ontological truth a truth of the Universe. To this you have to look for the correlation between the ontological statement and the state of affairs that exist (or possibly can exist), and that's the aspect of ontological truth that requires for there to be Mind. Mind must exist to equate a statement with a state of affairs (or possible state of affairs). If no such mind exists, then you cannot say there is a relationship between the ontological statement and state of affairs, in which case you cannot have an ontological truth.

As I alluded to above, an ontological truth becomes necessary to consider when we ask the foundation questions of our universe. If causality exists, then it does so because of some logico-causal order to the world, and this implies ontological truth. If you can dismiss causality as a mirage, then perhaps you can dismiss ontological truth as a fantasy, but then you run into all the problems that a causal world can provide a straightforward solution (e.g., why you disagree with my posts).
 
  • #35
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Gosh, you know, there's a awful lot of noise in that which we term mind. Mind, like life and weather is an emergent system. The brain seems a sort of processor with parallel input and lots of internal interaction or feedback. I view the feedback as the control mechanism and the associated feedback delay as consciousness. It seems to function somewhat and seems very cause-and-effect. I like that in a brain. Pretty much all it knows is right there. It doesn't receive strange messages from faroff people or places and politely doesn't broadcast them. It doesn't come up with valid answers to the universe out of the blue. It's mostly hormonally motivated and consequently a complete mess logically. So, when it develops nice little filters like physics and maths which help determine what really is and help to somewhat organise its self-awareness and perception of the surroundings, this brain likes that and wants more. The god and higher levels concepts are filters, too, I suppose, and although they probably work similarly, I'll take the maths.
 
  • #36
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CeeAnne said:
Gosh, you know, there's a awful lot of noise in that which we term mind. Mind, like life and weather is an emergent system. The brain seems a sort of processor with parallel input and lots of internal interaction or feedback. I view the feedback as the control mechanism and the associated feedback delay as consciousness. It seems to function somewhat and seems very cause-and-effect. I like that in a brain. Pretty much all it knows is right there. It doesn't receive strange messages from faroff people or places and politely doesn't broadcast them. It doesn't come up with valid answers to the universe out of the blue. It's mostly hormonally motivated and consequently a complete mess logically. So, when it develops nice little filters like physics and maths which help determine what really is and help to somewhat organise its self-awareness and perception of the surroundings, this brain likes that and wants more. The god and higher levels concepts are filters, too, I suppose, and although they probably work similarly, I'll take the maths.

You can take the maths (and internets too), but you are confusing epistemology with ontology. As far as the complete mess of the human brain, it's all we have to reason about the world, and the beginning of that reasoning process is philosophy, not science. It's no coincidence that philosophy was discovered before modern science, and it's also no coincidence that it was a philosophically aware culture that discovered science. You need the right philosophical background for scientific awareness to take root.
 
  • #37
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harvey1 said:
You can take the maths (and internets too), but you are confusing epistemology with ontology. As far as the complete mess of the human brain, it's all we have to reason about the world, and the beginning of that reasoning process is philosophy, not science. It's no coincidence that philosophy was discovered before modern science, and it's also no coincidence that it was a philosophically aware culture that discovered science. You need the right philosophical background for scientific awareness to take root.

The brain is not a mess, as neuroligists are discovering, and that's where to began, rather than with philospophy, which tells us nothing it hasn't already assumed.

And if philosophy was discovered before modern science, so was astrology discovered before modern astronomy, and mythology before philosophy!
 
  • #38
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harvey1 said:
Truth, as we understand it, is language based, and therefore truth requires comprehension. If truth exists, it would appear that comprehension does as well (i.e., Mind exists). Hence, God.

I completley disagree with this, how does intellegence or comprehension lead to the existance of god.
 
  • #39
Les Sleeth
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AeroFunk said:
I completley disagree with this, how does intellegence or comprehension lead to the existance of god.

You are right, it doesn't. It's rationalistic meandering where the assumptions relied on are deemed "self-evident" and therefore not necessary to be properly supported with facts. And I don't believe this statement by harvey1 is accurate either, "Truth, as we understand it, is language based, and therefore truth requires comprehension." It's the "we" part that isn't accurate because I don't think most thinkers today see truth that way. It isn't just language . . . it is a combination of reality, experience, and language.

The correspondence concept of truth fits better with what we know. There we recognize there is reality apart from our comprehension of it; we accept that we can experience that reality, and that in a healthy conscious our experience is a close facsimile to what reality is like; we represent what we experience with concepts, and concepts are represented in communication with words. A truth, then, is a concept that corresponds as closely as possible to the way reality is. I'd say there is a second part to this too, which is that we are best able to achieve correspondence when we experience what we are talking about. That is the basis of empiricism, and I believe we need experience to achieve proper corresponding concepts about God too.

Of course, none of that answers the question of if our creator has a creator. I'll cast my vote and say yes, that some set of utterly basic conditions contain the potential to cause consciousness to originage accidentally, and the creator evolved from such a happenstance eons ago.
 
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  • #40
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selfAdjoint said:
The brain is not a mess, as neuroligists are discovering, and that's where to began, rather than with philospophy, which tells us nothing it hasn't already assumed.

And if philosophy was discovered before modern science, so was astrology discovered before modern astronomy, and mythology before philosophy!

Science, or natural philosophy, grew out of metaphysics (from Aristotle). To suggest that it was a coincidence that science was taught within the context of philosophy is not accurate at all. It was the philosophical thought which drove 13th century European philosophers to depart from Aristotles views on necessity, which led them to think in terms of probable arguments. That opened the door to think in terms of empirical means to test theories for their truth value.

While experimentation seems perfectly obvious to our 21st century minds, such was not the case for the majority of humans prior to the 13th century. Philosophy was able break through the conceptual hurdles that were in the way of that thought. The brains of humans living 100,000 years ago were probably very similar to our own, so you can't say modern brains were the answer to discovering science. It took philosophy and, lucky for us, a skepticism of Aristotlean philosophy caused by Christian thinkers who were never 100% comfortable with the 'pagan' philosopher (hence, they were allowed and even forced to think outside the box).
 
  • #41
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AeroFunk said:
I completley disagree with this, how does intellegence or comprehension lead to the existance of god.

If truth exists, then as I said, truth implies comprehension. That is, X=Y is true if and only if X obtains, and Y obtains, and they obtain in the same context, etc, etc. Now, if there is no Mind that comprehends X=Y, etc, then how can there be an ontological truth to this effect? There cannot be. The statement that is supposed to be true has absolutely no meaning unless it interpreted by a comprehensive Mind and known by comprehensive Mind to be true.

Now, use whatever term you want for Mind. You can call it the Mind of Truth and say that's not God. I really don't care. To my way of thinking, it is God.
 
  • #42
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Les Sleeth said:
You are right, it doesn't. It's rationalistic meandering where the assumptions relied on are deemed "self-evident" and therefore not necessary to be properly supported with facts.

I don't take for granted that any assumption is self-evident. I think they are justified and I'm prepared to justify them to anyone.

Les Sleeth said:
And I don't believe this statement by harvey1 is accurate either, "Truth, as we understand it, is language based, and therefore truth requires comprehension." It's the "we" part that isn't accurate because I don't think most thinkers today see truth that way. It isn't just language . . . it is a combination of reality, experience, and language.

I agree, theories of truth are a combination of reality and language, but 'language based' does not mean that truth is only language, and I didn't say it did.

Les Sleeth said:
The correspondence concept of truth fits better with what we know. There we recognize there is reality apart from our comprehension of it; we accept that we can experience that reality, and that in a healthy conscious our experience is a close facsimile to what reality is like; we represent what we experience with concepts, and concepts are represented in communication with words. A truth, then, is a concept that corresponds as closely as possible to the way reality is. I'd say there is a second part to this too, which is that we are best able to achieve correspondence when we experience what we are talking about. That is the basis of empiricism, and I believe we need experience to achieve proper corresponding concepts about God too.

I have no real disagreement with this. Actually, it has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. I'm talking about truth as an ontological structure, not as a human based concept that we encounter anytime we say something is true. When talking about the theoretical structure as an ontological one, this is when the area of comprehension and mind are interwoven.

Les Sleeth said:
Of course, none of that answers the question of if our creator has a creator. I'll cast my vote and say yes, that some set of utterly basic conditions contain the potential to cause consciousness to originage accidentally, and the creator evolved from such a happenstance eons ago.

Well, if truth is a theoretical structure, it makes little sense to ask whether there exists another theoretical structure which makes that structure 'true'. No matter the ontology, you sooner or later must come to a point to where you must say that the ontology in question is a primitive. For me, it makes sense to draw that line at the beginning of reasoning, which is a logico-causal-truth structure that is comprehensive of those things. There's no need to find a creator of this place, because you've reached home.
 
  • #43
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harvey1 said:
Science, or natural philosophy, grew out of metaphysics (from Aristotle). To suggest that it was a coincidence that science was taught within the context of philosophy is not accurate at all. It was the philosophical thought which drove 13th century European philosophers to depart from Aristotles views on necessity, which led them to think in terms of probable arguments. That opened the door to think in terms of empirical means to test theories for their truth value.

While experimentation seems perfectly obvious to our 21st century minds, such was not the case for the majority of humans prior to the 13th century. Philosophy was able break through the conceptual hurdles that were in the way of that thought. The brains of humans living 100,000 years ago were probably very similar to our own, so you can't say modern brains were the answer to discovering science. It took philosophy and, lucky for us, a skepticism of Aristotlean philosophy caused by Christian thinkers who were never 100% comfortable with the 'pagan' philosopher (hence, they were allowed and even forced to think outside the box).

The idea that Galileo was inspired by Ockam or Buridan lacks any documentary backing as far as I know, and is unlikely on the face of it. The medieval post-Aristotelians were mostly forgotten in the sixteenth century having been discretely suppressed by the late scholastics, who were Galileo's enemies. And while experiments were done in the middle ages, by the likes of Roger Bacon and Petrus Peregrinus, they weren't done by these closeted category-choppers. (I speak as a great admirer of both Ockam and Buridan, by the way).
 
  • #44
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harvey1 said:
Okay, let's view our universe as 3+1 dimensional object. The 3+1 dimensional object exists without cause. Each event in that 3+1 dimensional object is causeless (since the object as a whole exists without a cause, each individual component of that object exists without a cause).
This doesn't follow. Cause is something that, like time, is completely contained within our universe. In fact, causation is not a meaningul concept in the absense of time. So just because our universe doesn't have a cause doesn't mean none of the events inside it have a cause.

This contradicts the appearance of causation present in our universe and its history. For example, your post is 'causeless' (i.e., not connected to what happen before since there is no 'before' in a 3+1 self-existing object), and my posting this reply to your post is also 'causeless' for the same reason. This contradicts the obvious fact that you posted because you were posting a reply to my post, and I am posting this because of your reply. If the universe were a causeless 3+1 dimensional object, then you would not expect such a thing.
My reply can be traced back to events earlier in my life which gave me my opinions, and all of these events can be traced back further and further to tiny fluctuations in the structure of matter and energy in the universe nanoseconds after the big bang. The big bang, or whatever you believe to be the earliest point in time, does not need a cause, because there was no causation before this point, because there was no "before this point."

How does supposing there is truth that exists presume a God exists? I suppose truth exists because it is difficult to eliminate this possibility, and the other possibility (i.e., no truth exists, just matter in some primitive composition of it), presents real difficulties with regard to the causal history of our universe (as mentioned above). Truth, as we understand it, is language based, and therefore truth requires comprehension. If truth exists, it would appear that comprehension does as well (i.e., Mind exists). Hence, God.
I'm not sure what you mean by "truth." You say that in the absense of truth there would just be "matter in some primitive composition of it." This does not make sense to me. For one thing, I don't see how the removal of an abstract human idea such as truth could affect the physical universe, and futhermore, wouldn't the statement "Matter is in a primitive composition" be a true one in this alternate world(although again, I don't see whats different about it)? Your basic argument seems to be that since we can make true statements about the universe, and only a conscious being could make such statements, there must be a god. Neither of the steps in this deduction are logically plausible.

As for your argument that you can have truths without comprehension, I think you are ignoring the full implication of truth having an ontological existence. Yes, "gravity is an attractive force" might be 'true', but this is not necessarily an ontologically existing truth. For example, "all birds that landed on my yard today are blue" is not necessary an ontological truth of the Universe. It might be that the next bird that lands on my yard is red.

When you talk about ontological truth, this is an entirely different issue. You have to ask what makes a particular ontological truth a truth of the Universe. To this you have to look for the correlation between the ontological statement and the state of affairs that exist (or possibly can exist), and that's the aspect of ontological truth that requires for there to be Mind. Mind must exist to equate a statement with a state of affairs (or possible state of affairs). If no such mind exists, then you cannot say there is a relationship between the ontological statement and state of affairs, in which case you cannot have an ontological truth.

A mind is not necessary for an ontological truth. The statement "there is a planet on the other side of the galaxy with an active volcano" has a definite ontological truth value, but no conscious being (that we know of) knows it. If you are arguing a god is necessary so that all such statements can be known, then you are, like I said in the last post, presupposing a god must exist for truth to exist.
 
  • #45
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selfAdjoint said:
The idea that Galileo was inspired by Ockam or Buridan lacks any documentary backing as far as I know, and is unlikely on the face of it. The medieval post-Aristotelians were mostly forgotten in the sixteenth century having been discretely suppressed by the late scholastics, who were Galileo's enemies. And while experiments were done in the middle ages, by the likes of Roger Bacon and Petrus Peregrinus, they weren't done by these closeted category-choppers. (I speak as a great admirer of both Ockam and Buridan, by the way).

Maybe forgotten, but not without having set the stage for those who were to follow. Galileo was not born in a vacuum, afterall

I think the key issue here is that medieval post-Aristotelian philosophy led to the emergence of natural philosophy as a separate branch of philosophy. Whether they were largely forgotten is not relevant since the ones that followed were able to develop theories in a context which they initiated. Had they not initiated that branch of philosophy, I think it's likely that Europe would have not developed science.
 
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harvey1 said:
Okay, let's view our universe as 3+1 dimensional object. The 3+1 dimensional object exists without cause. Each event in that 3+1 dimensional object is causeless (since the object as a whole exists without a cause, each individual component of that object exists without a cause).
StatusX said:
This doesn't follow. Cause is something that, like time, is completely contained within our universe. In fact, causation is not a meaningul concept in the absense of time. So just because our universe doesn't have a cause doesn't mean none of the events inside it have a cause.

You have a 3+1 dimensional object, you are saying that its existence has nothing to do with whether it was caused or not? Is this structure not your primitive? If so, then it is uncaused. If it is not your primitive, then what is your primitive?

By the way, causation and time are not as intertwined as you suggest. In a 3+1 dimensional universe, such a universe could be a baby universe to a universe having many more spatial and temporal dimensions. Also, a quantum theory might require that the classical 'arrow of time' is an emergent property of our universe, with quantum phenomena being the causal structure to this temporal property of the universe.

StatusX said:
My reply can be traced back to events earlier in my life which gave me my opinions, and all of these events can be traced back further and further to tiny fluctuations in the structure of matter and energy in the universe nanoseconds after the big bang. The big bang, or whatever you believe to be the earliest point in time, does not need a cause, because there was no causation before this point, because there was no "before this point."

A temporally finite uncaused beginning is a little different story than a temporally infinite uncaused beginning, but if there is no zero time, then Zeno's infinitestimal paradox seems like it would be a problem for you. That is, you never have an earliest moment in time since you can always get closer to 'zero time' by scaling down from seconds to milliseconds to microseconds to nanoseconds to attoseconds, etc. In that case, there is no first event unless you are prepared to say the first event was an infinitestimal, in which case the whole 3+1 timeline must be considered a collection of infinitestimal moments. In that case, all of these infinitestimal moments are uncaused, not just the first moment.

StatusX said:
I'm not sure what you mean by "truth."

When I say ontological truth exists, I mean that there is a conceptual structure that exists which provides justification for certain axioms to exist, some of which instantiate the universe to exist. So, for example, let's say that Noether's symmetry arguments are axioms that instantiated the universe (speculatively speaking). Then, the symmetry axioms are said to exist because they are true. This conceptual structure called truth exists. It has certain properties that are interwoven with this structure. For example, Tarski's concept of satisfaction might be one of these interwoven properties. Perhaps coherence is another interwoven properties (i.e., some kind of ontological logic).

StatusX said:
You say that in the absense of truth there would just be "matter in some primitive composition of it." This does not make sense to me. For one thing, I don't see how the removal of an abstract human idea such as truth could affect the physical universe,

If looking at truth as an ontological structure, then humans have nothing to do with truth. Our only task is to identify it, if possible, but nothing in an ontological theory of truth means that humans have the ability to recognize or determine truth values of a statement.

StatusX said:
and futhermore, wouldn't the statement "Matter is in a primitive composition" be a true one in this alternate world(although again, I don't see whats different about it)?

The difference in the way you use the term 'truth' and the way that I use it in an ontological sense is that truth is an emergent property in a materialist worldview, whereas in an ontological view of truth, it is a primitive.

StatusX said:
Your basic argument seems to be that since we can make true statements about the universe, and only a conscious being could make such statements, there must be a god. Neither of the steps in this deduction are logically plausible.

No. Our ability to make statements (true or otherwise) has nothing to do with there being a God. My argument is that if ontological truth exists (i.e., as a conceptual structure: my primitive), then as an ontological structure it contains language which connects somehow to a state of affairs (i.e., truth is about something). Since only mind can connect language to a state of affairs, presupposing ontological truth also presupposes the existence of God.

[
StatusX said:
A mind is not necessary for an ontological truth. The statement "there is a planet on the other side of the galaxy with an active volcano" has a definite ontological truth value, but no conscious being (that we know of) knows it. If you are arguing a god is necessary so that all such statements can be known, then you are, like I said in the last post, presupposing a god must exist for truth to exist.

I don't want to confuse our terms. By using the term 'ontology' I don't mean emergent features - I mean something that actually exists on its own, not dependent on something else for its existence. Bugs Bunny has an ontological truth value (i.e., there is a context which Bugs Bunny exists), but Bugs Bunny is an emergent truth value. Bugs depends on Hollywood, technology and human imagination to exist.

A planet on the other side of the galaxy with an active volcano can be true, but its truth depends on humans to organize material structures in terms of planets, galaxies, and volcanos. So, it does not necessarily qualify as an ontological truth value according to my definition.

Now, when I say that there is ontological truth to substantiate the state of affairs that exist, I have no idea what level this is happening. It might be as simple as verifying logico-mathematical axioms are indeed true in the universes which they are true for, and from there the whole universe results, or, it might be a complex modal language which sustains the universe from one moment to the next moment. It might even define the objects in our universe (e.g., valid wavefunctions). I have no clue. But, the main reason to believe such an ontological truth structure exists is because of causality. The causal chain of the universe is preserved by saying that causal relationships exist (e.g., the universe is a result of logico-mathematical statements, etc).

I see the materialist perspective either unable or inefficient to address the causal nature of the universe, whereas at a minimum, a logico-mathematical order preserves causality and makes sense of the causal events that we see daily.
 
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Answer said:
where did god come from? he couldnt have created himself? so is it possible for our own god to have a god himself, or is it like a never ending chain of gods?? It's just confusing for me, give me your opinions.

yes, human beings....
 
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Forum cannot answer these questions for you. You must walk the line. No knowlege is free for nothing in life is free. There is a fee for all things. To understand the truth you must pay with you time and your effort and your spirit. You have the ability for it is in all humans. It surrounds them. When I was 23 I saw the almighty and when I was 27 I figured out gravity and the connection between God and matter. If you want these answers you must pay a price. Are you ready to pay that price? The price is honesty with yourself. If you can do this even for just a moment you will have your answer and in that moment the answer to any question may be answered.
 
  • #49
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Harvey1

I find your argument intriguing but at the moment it seems to me that you are muddling the ontological with the epistemilogical. Are you saying that 'truth' exists in an ontological sense? Surely only statements can have a truth value. I'm struggling to see how what is can be either true or false.

To put it another way, 'true' and 'false' are relative properties belonging to theorems in some formal system. As such truth and falsity can never be absolute properties of 'things'. To say that theorem x is true is simply to say that within some formal system theorem x is consistent with the axioms. It will be false within some other set of differently axiomatised systems.

However what you say about causation makes sense to me. If we want to argue that the universe is caused then we are forced to accept an infinite regression of causes, which makes little sense. However if we say that it is uncaused then its existence makes little sense. Hence the causation question is 'metaphysical', i.e. both answers to it contradict human reason. My preference is for Chuang-Tsu's 'causeless cause'.
 
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Canute said:
I find your argument intriguing but at the moment it seems to me that you are muddling the ontological with the epistemilogical. Are you saying that 'truth' exists in an ontological sense? Surely only statements can have a truth value. I'm struggling to see how what is can be either true or false.

Yes, I agree, only statements can have truth value. But, to clarify, I'm saying that certain modal statements actually 'exist' and those modal statements are evaluated for their truth or falsity. For example, axioms of mathematics might actually exist, and those modal statements are evaluated based on some theoretical conception of truth that is a primitive to the world (e.g., cohesion).

Canute said:
To put it another way, 'true' and 'false' are relative properties belonging to theorems in some formal system. As such truth and falsity can never be absolute properties of 'things'. To say that theorem x is true is simply to say that within some formal system theorem x is consistent with the axioms. It will be false within some other set of differently axiomatised systems.

I have no problem with the relative nature of truth (e.g., conflicting formal systems). Modal statements are determined to be true based on the axioms of the formal system they belong. So, for example, if a theorem deduced from the axioms of classical logic is in conflict with a theorem deduced from some fuzzy logic, this does not necessarily bring down the whole house of cards. Rather, there might exist 'firewalls' that exist between divergent logics which keep such paradoxes contained to certain modal regions.

Canute said:
However what you say about causation makes sense to me. If we want to argue that the universe is caused then we are forced to accept an infinite regression of causes, which makes little sense. However if we say that it is uncaused then its existence makes little sense. Hence the causation question is 'metaphysical', i.e. both answers to it contradict human reason. My preference is for Chuang-Tsu's 'causeless cause'.

This reminds me of the kid in the backseat of a car saying "are we there yet?". Just when you answer the question they ask it again, and again, and again. This is all that infinite regression of causation amounts to if truth has an ontological structure. That is, what is the cause of truth amounts to "are we there yet?". The answer is very simple. Truth is a primitive. By asking what causes truth, you are asking it in the very context of assuming truth exists, hence the reason for the question.

I have no problem if a materialist says that 'matter exists' as a primitive. They can even say that asking why it exists is to assume matter exists in the first place (such reasoning is not out of the question). However, a materialist still must give account as to why things happen as if they are caused by people, evolution, scientific laws, etc. What I tried to demonstrate with my arguments is that a materialist origin to the world (whether finite or infinite) does not preserve causality in anything remotely sensitive to our experiences.

Such is not the case with a modal ontology such as what I described. Causality is part of the modal structure of the world, and that structure is imbued onto the material world by some kind of complex formal system that exists 'above us'. Such a modal world not only allows real causal relations to exist, it also explains why our world conforms to natural law. Natural law is merely an approximation of these modalities that exist, and we are just bright enough to understand them and probe deeper into their fundamental nature, which not coincidentally, look mathematical.
 

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