Author Topic: "Is Faith In God Reasonable?" - streaming NOW!  (Read 17692 times)

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Offline Ħ

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"Is Faith In God Reasonable?" - streaming NOW!
« on: January 29, 2013, 11:09:42 AM »
"Is Faith In God Reasonable?"


Taking the affirmative is Dr. William Lane Craig, prominent philosopher of religion and time, one of America's top Christian apologists. On the other side is Dr. Alex Rosenberg, a naturalist philosopher of Duke University. Craig has been in his fair share of debates where his opponent is clearly uninformed or unprepared, but it's always good when he goes against another philosopher who understands logical argumentation and philosophical concepts and can debate on that level.


It is available for streaming at https://live.biola.edu/. It will take place 7:00-9:30pm EST on Friday, February 1, and 7:00-9:30pm PST for delayed feed.


I've honestly spent so many hours watching so many of these debates that I can tell when it's going to be good, and this one is going to be good.


What's interesting is the topic of the debate...it is not "Does God exist?" but rather "Is faith in God reasonable?" I wonder how that will affect how each person presents his arguments. A few months ago, there was a debate on "Is Belief In God A Delusion?" which is obviously not identical to the question of whether God actually exists or not. Clearly an agnostic and even an atheist could take the affirmative and say that theists are not literally delusional.


Anyway, thought this might interest some of you!


 :corn
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 07:50:22 PM by Ħ »
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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That could actually be an interesting discussion, if only because the believers could safely say at the end "yeah, we know it's not reasonable or rational, but hey that's why we call it faith". That way it wouldn't come to the usual turf war.
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Offline KevShmev

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That could actually be an interesting discussion, if only because the believers could safely say at the end "yeah, we know it's not reasonable or rational, but hey that's why we call it faith". That way it wouldn't come to the usual turf war.

Oh.  So, believers supposedly admit to be unreasonable and irrational?  Nice.  Thanks for your contribution once again. :\

Offline Ħ

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That could actually be an interesting discussion, if only because the believers could safely say at the end "yeah, we know it's not reasonable or rational, but hey that's why we call it faith". That way it wouldn't come to the usual turf war.
But that's not the debate. The affirmative is saying that faith in God is reasonable.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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That could actually be an interesting discussion, if only because the believers could safely say at the end "yeah, we know it's not reasonable or rational, but hey that's why we call it faith". That way it wouldn't come to the usual turf war.

Oh.  So, believers supposedly admit to be unreasonable and irrational?  Nice.  Thanks for your contribution once again. :\

Isn't that the very purpose of "faith"? That inexplicable leap of logic?
The Bible makes a ton of claims that have been verifiably proven to be erroneous. At this point, I would say if you want to believe in God you need to put in that ounce of "leap of faith". That, by definition, IMHO, makes it "unreasonable" in the sense of "not a stance to be arrived at by pure reason".
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Offline KevShmev

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That could actually be an interesting discussion, if only because the believers could safely say at the end "yeah, we know it's not reasonable or rational, but hey that's why we call it faith". That way it wouldn't come to the usual turf war.

Oh.  So, believers supposedly admit to be unreasonable and irrational?  Nice.  Thanks for your contribution once again. :\

Isn't that the very purpose of "faith"? That inexplicable leap of logic?
The Bible makes a ton of claims that have been verifiably proven to be erroneous. At this point, I would say if you want to believe in God you need to put in that ounce of "leap of faith". That, by definition, IMHO, makes it "unreasonable" in the sense of "not a stance to be arrived at by pure reason".

If that is YOUR opinion, that is fine, but you saying that believers would say, "yeah, we know it's not reasonable or rational, but hey that's why we call it faith," implies that you think that even we think we are being unreasonable and irrational, which quite frankly is insulting.

Offline Perpetual Change

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Though I consider myself a Christian, my quick answer to the question would be "Yes", followed by, "And there's no way of using reason to demonstrate the existance of the Christian God".

Rumby's got it. Faith's not about reasonably demonstrating the "proof" that God exists, and wants you to live a certain way. Faith, to me, is about demonstrating through action the way you believe God calls on you to act and, in a way, making real the consequences of the Christian message incarnate through daily life.

I suppose that's why I don't get along with many other Christians. The minute a meet a fellow Christian trying to rationally "prove" something is also the minute I tune out, and in general I'd say those Christians are spending an awful lot of time on demonstrating something completely auxilary to what God calls us to do. 

Offline Ħ

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That could actually be an interesting discussion, if only because the believers could safely say at the end "yeah, we know it's not reasonable or rational, but hey that's why we call it faith". That way it wouldn't come to the usual turf war.

Oh.  So, believers supposedly admit to be unreasonable and irrational?  Nice.  Thanks for your contribution once again. :\

Isn't that the very purpose of "faith"? That inexplicable leap of logic?
Unfortunately, this is a poorly understood definition of faith by believers and unbelievers alike. Faith is trust - that will be the working definition used in the debate, anyway. You have faith in your dentist to install a crown correctly. You have faith in your car that it won't spontaneously shut down in the middle of the road. You have faith in God that he will save you from sin. Of course, faith in God presumes belief in the existence of God - that leaves open the option of a person believing in God but not having faith in Him.

Quote
The Bible makes a ton of claims that have been verifiably proven to be erroneous. At this point, I would say if you want to believe in God you need to put in that ounce of "leap of faith". That, by definition, IMHO, makes it "unreasonable" in the sense of "not a stance to be arrived at by pure reason".
Well, that's what the debate will cover. If you follow reason, will you arrive at the gates of theism or atheism? And let me say this - even if the Bible is erroneous, that doesn't suddenly nullify other arguments for the existence of God, or even for the resurrection of Jesus. Indeed, Biblical inerrancy has been abandoned by many people who consider themselves Christian.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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That could actually be an interesting discussion, if only because the believers could safely say at the end "yeah, we know it's not reasonable or rational, but hey that's why we call it faith". That way it wouldn't come to the usual turf war.

Oh.  So, believers supposedly admit to be unreasonable and irrational?  Nice.  Thanks for your contribution once again. :\

Isn't that the very purpose of "faith"? That inexplicable leap of logic?
The Bible makes a ton of claims that have been verifiably proven to be erroneous. At this point, I would say if you want to believe in God you need to put in that ounce of "leap of faith". That, by definition, IMHO, makes it "unreasonable" in the sense of "not a stance to be arrived at by pure reason".

If that is YOUR opinion, that is fine, but you saying that believers would say, "yeah, we know it's not reasonable or rational, but hey that's why we call it faith," implies that you think that even we think we are being unreasonable and irrational, which quite frankly is insulting.

Dude:  :chill

My stance is that I respect believers in what I perceive to be a stance that can not be explained by reason.
We've had discussions up the wazoo in this forum about how much can rationally justify the belief in God. Let me cut to the chase, it has invariably ended in believers saying "Well, from this point on I just take that leap of faith". And that is fine. I just don't think one should pretend that you can sit down with pen and paper and rationally arrive at the existence of God. Scores of believers have tried for millenia, and all of them have failed.
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Offline KevShmev

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Rumby's got it. 

Again, I am not arguing with his right to believe what he wants.  I respect that.  But it is clear that he does not respect our right to believe what we want, as demonstrated by his implication that not only does he think we are irrational and unreasonable, but that we ourselves think it as well.  It is insulting and disrespectful, since he is trying to tell us how we feel, almost like saying, "Believers deep down know they are full of it, but prefer to live in ignorance rather than be reasonable and rational."

And I don't need to chill.  I am perfectly calm with my responses.

Offline Perpetual Change

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Kev, I get where you're coming from, and I know you don't like words put in your mouth. But, I have to say that nothing harmed my faith that God is alive in the world more than Christians attempting to demonstrate God's existance through reason.

Offline Ħ

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Let me cut to the chase, it has invariably ended in believers saying "Well, from this point on I just take that leap of faith".
No it hasn't. I haven't done that. Bosk hasn't done that. Probably others, too.

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And that is fine. I just don't think one should pretend that you can sit down with pen and paper and rationally arrive at the existence of God. Scores of believers have tried for millenia, and all of them have failed.
At the height of verificationism and logical positivism, more than 50 years ago, there were no professed Christian philosophers in the university. Now, it's up to a third - and this rising trend has been recognized by prominent atheist philosophers like Quentin Smith. The debate has literally been revived over the past few decades. Antiquated arguments have been refurbished (such as Leibniz's contingency argument), rediscovered (the Kalam cosmological argument), and new ones have been proposed (the argument from Jesus' resurrection from the dead). The debate has gone on forever, but it has gained significant ground in recent developments. Generation X has seen the virtual abandonment of the logical problem of evil as an argument for atheism. You shouldn't so quickly consign yourself to saying that since we are still having this debate, theism must be false.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline theseoafs

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I've honestly spent so many hours watching so many of these debates

Yeah, me too, and honestly I'm not a very big fan of Dr. Craig. Nevertheless, if I'm free this night, I'll probably throw the debate on.  Thanks for sharing, H.

Offline rumborak

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H, When you bring stuff up like the Kalam principle, I just have to ask, what are we arguing for/against? First Cause, or God? I do remember when we discussed this last time that you, H, conveniently conflated the two. I have no problem saying one can rationally arrive at the belief for a First Cause. That is very different from a belief in God.
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Offline Ħ

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H, When you bring stuff up like the Kalam principle, I just have to ask, what are we arguing for/against? First Cause, or God? I do remember when we discussed this last time that you, H, conveniently conflated the two. I have no problem saying one can rationally arrive at the belief for a First Cause. That is very different from a belief in God.
I think you are mixing two arguments. The First Cause was Aristotle's argument that there must be an original cause that started the long string of causality, and that the First Cause is, in effect, uncaused. I think that Aristotle's argument is a good one, but it doesn't necessitate God. I prefer to use Leibniz's argument from contingency and Craig's Kalam cosmological argument, which are far more effective at determining what the First Cause actually is.


EDIT: To answer your question more directly, the Kalam cosmological argument is an argument for God, who has the property of being uncaused.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 12:02:05 PM by Ħ »
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Offline rumborak

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I don't think so. Kalam can only argue for something uncaused. That could be the First Cause, a green unicorn, or the Eternal Grandma. While God's definition includes the uncausedness, you can't go

"A is a subset of B" + "A is true" => "B is true"

That would logically wrong. Because I could otherwise argue for the existence of just about anything, as long as I include uncausedness in its definition.
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Offline Ħ

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I don't think so. Kalam can only argue for something uncaused.

Are you unfamiliar with the ramifications of the Kalam argument if it is successful?

It primarily shows that the universe has a cause, but it also shows that the cause of the universe must be:
-transcendent (outside the universe, because it couldn't be in the universe and subsequently create the universe)
-timeless and spaceless (because time and space began with the universe)
-powerful (created matter/energy out of no matter/energy)
-personal, or a free agent (because if the cause was impersonal and timeless, then the universe would have existed from infinity past)

That's far more than Aristotle's First Cause ever was!



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That could be the First Cause,
Yes.
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a green unicorn,
A green unicorn is a material object, and thus could not be outside the universe.
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the Eternal Grandma.
A grandma is a material object as well.


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While God's definition includes the uncausedness, you can't go


"A is a subset of B" + "A is true" => "B is true"


That would logically wrong. Because I could otherwise argue for the existence of just about anything, as long as I include uncausedness in its definition.
Correct, but no one is overextending their definitions here. We're merely committed to the cause being the cause of the universe, and the implications of that.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 02:43:13 PM by Ħ »
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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Sorry, maybe there's an overloading in terminology. I'm talking Prime Mover really.

But, you are heavily, heavily overreaching in the conclusions that can be drawn from Kalam. The only thing one can draw are "there is something uncaused". That whole transcendentness etc. does not follow from that. At all.
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Offline Ħ

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Sorry, maybe there's an overloading in terminology. I'm talking Prime Mover really.

But, you are heavily, heavily overreaching in the conclusions that can be drawn from Kalam. The only thing one can draw are "there is something uncaused". That whole transcendentness etc. does not follow from that. At all.
"Transcendent" means "outside the universe". Which is completely entailed by being the cause of the universe. You can't 1) be in the universe and 2) cause the universe to begin existing. That's a contradiction.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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Transcendent usually means a lot more things.

You can't 1) be in the universe and 2) cause the universe to begin existing. That's a contradiction.

Lol. Didn't God come down to Moses and talk to him? Didn't Jesus come down to Earth as a human?
Besides, who are you to say the green unicorn didn't exist outside time? What makes your God special against the green unicorn in terms of rational argument for/against?
My definition of "green unicorn" includes uncausedness and outside-timeness. Does mean it is reasonable for me to believe in it?

Bottom line is, yes, you can possibly use the Kalam to argue for a First Cause, a Prime Mover. That is not the same as God. God is a lot more things that are not rationally derivable.
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Offline Ħ

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Transcendent usually means a lot more things.
In philosophy of religion, "transcendent" is understood to mean the definition that I provided.
Quote
You can't 1) be in the universe and 2) cause the universe to begin existing. That's a contradiction.

Lol. Didn't God come down to Moses and talk to him? Didn't Jesus come down to Earth as a human?
At best, you would be proving that the Bible is erroneous, and that the Bible authors were simply wrong about Him coming to earth. But that doesn't disprove God. Regardless, I think you can harmonize the Bible's description with the nonphysical understanding of God -

1) God's communications to Moses, John, Abraham, etc. are theophanies. They are visions created by God. But God doesn't literally have arms, legs, face, etc. He has no physical parts.
2) Jesus was both man and God, and thus expressed both the properties of man and God. As a man, he had a body, but nothing about his body is divine.


Both 1) and 2) are taught in the Bible, by the way.

Quote
Besides, who are you to say the green unicorn didn't exist outside time? What makes your God special against the green unicorn in terms of rational argument for/against?
My definition of "green unicorn" includes uncausedness and outside-timeness. Does mean it is reasonable for me to believe in it?
An immaterial green unicorn? That sounds like a contradiction in terms. You have to have physical parts to express the property of greenness. And unicorns have horns, which are physical objects.

Quote
Bottom line is, yes, you can possibly use the Kalam to argue for a First Cause, a Prime Mover. That is not the same as God. God is a lot more things that are not rationally derivable.
Certainly, it doesn't prove every single facet of God. It doesn't prove that He is the Christian God, for example, or if He even cares about human beings. But it does prove those properties I bulleted out earlier. The Kalam cosmological argument is compatible with Christianity, Islam, deism, etc.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 01:05:16 PM by Ħ »
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Offline rumborak

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It is interesting that while your God is allowed to be all kinds of implicit contradictions (can communicate directly with material beings, but is not in this universe etc., his own fleshy embodiment on Earth still means he's outside of it), you don't allow any of it for anything else, like green unicorns.
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Offline rumborak

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BTW, the basic premise of the Kalam argument, that nothing can come from nothing, is majorly put into question by modern physics. So, Kalam is certainly not the shoe-in it claims to be.
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Offline theseoafs

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BTW, the basic premise of the Kalam argument, that nothing can come from nothing, is majorly put into question by modern physics. So, Kalam is certainly not the shoe-in it claims to be.

Yep. Unfortunately, what I've noticed is that arguments for the existence of God that attempt to draw from physics usually ignore the parts of physics that don't suit their needs.

Offline Ħ

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It is interesting that while your God is allowed to be all kinds of implicit contradictions (can communicate directly with material beings, but is not in this universe etc., his own fleshy embodiment on Earth still means he's outside of it), you don't allow any of it for anything else, like green unicorns.
The Christian God is one such being that can be the Kalam's cause of the universe, but I'm happy to concede that the Kalam doesn't necessitate the Christian God. It does allow for other gods. For example, Allah. Or a deist creator of the universe. But it doesn't allow for green unicorns, because a green unicorn is physical - the cause of the universe needs to be nonphysical.


BTW, the basic premise of the Kalam argument, that nothing can come from nothing, is majorly put into question by modern physics. So, Kalam is certainly not the shoe-in it claims to be.
What you are attacking is Premise 1: "Whatever begins to exist has a cause."


Nothing can come from nothing, and this is not refuted at all by modern physics. No accepted model of physics allows for the spontaneous creation of something out of literally nothing. You may be thinking of virtual particles in the quantum vacuum - but the quantum vacuum is not literally nothing! The quantum vacuum, while matterless, is chock-full of rapid energy fluctuations which give rise to these particles. Unfortunately, many pop science magazines will express this phenomenon as something coming from nothing...but it's not really nothing (i.e. no thing). Prominent philosopher of science David Albert shot down Lawrence Krauss's book A Universe From Nothing for this very reason.


Out of nothing, nothing comes, and nothing in modern physics seems to indicate the contrary.
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Offline rumborak

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But it doesn't allow for green unicorns, because a green unicorn is physical - the cause of the universe needs to be nonphysical.

Because..... ?
We know zilch about what it takes to generate a universe. I find it rather shortsighted to say something inside a universe couldn't create a universe.

Quote
Nothing can come from nothing, and this is not refuted at all by modern physics. No accepted model of physics allows for the spontaneous creation of something out of literally nothing. You may be thinking of virtual particles in the quantum vacuum - but the quantum vacuum is not literally nothing! The quantum vacuum, while matterless, is chock-full of rapid energy fluctuations which give rise to these particles. Unfortunately, many pop science magazines will express this phenomenon as something coming from nothing...but it's not really nothing (i.e. no thing).

So, what makes you think there can be a "nothing" in the first place? If physics teaches us anything, it is that absolute lack of something is an unnatural and unstable state to be in. The more we try to deprive something of its contents, the more it fills it with noise.
The Kalam argument rests on the totally whimsical axiom that "nothing" is the default state for something to be in. Physics points to the opposite.
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It is interesting that while your God is allowed to be all kinds of implicit contradictions (can communicate directly with material beings, but is not in this universe etc., his own fleshy embodiment on Earth still means he's outside of it), you don't allow any of it for anything else, like green unicorns.
The Christian God is one such being that can be the Kalam's cause of the universe, but I'm happy to concede that the Kalam doesn't necessitate the Christian God. It does allow for other gods. For example, Allah. Or a deist creator of the universe. But it doesn't allow for green unicorns, because a green unicorn is physical - the cause of the universe needs to be nonphysical.

For my own clarification: if the green unicorn was said to be merely a physical manifestation of a nonphysical entity, would that be acceptable? 

We know zilch about what it takes to generate a universe. I find it rather shortsighted to say something inside a universe couldn't create a universe.

Quite frankly, this makes no sense to me.  You can't build a house from inside a house.  If you're inside the house, the house is already there, and therefore you're not building it.  To build a house, you have to be there before the house, and therefore must exist independently from the house. 

You can't create something that already exists.   If you're inside of the universe, the universe already exists, and therefore you cannot create it. 
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 02:07:28 PM by Jaffa »
Sincerely,
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Offline Ħ

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But it doesn't allow for green unicorns, because a green unicorn is physical - the cause of the universe needs to be nonphysical.

Because..... ?
We know zilch about what it takes to generate a universe. I find it rather shortsighted to say something inside a universe couldn't create a universe.
We don't know "zilch".

1) We know that the Big Bang marked the beginning of both space and time. We therefore know that whatever is not a part of the universe is not a part of space and time.
2) Being physical requires a space to be physical in, so whatever is not a part of space is nonphysical.
3) We know that something can't create itself, because that would require the existence of itself in the first place.

Quote
So, what makes you think there can be a "nothing" in the first place? If physics teaches us anything, it is that absolute lack of something is an unnatural and unstable state to be in. The more we try to deprive something of its contents, the more it fills it with noise.
The Kalam argument rests on the totally whimsical axiom that "nothing" is the default state for something to be in. Physics points to the opposite.
I don't see why the nonexistence of the universe is logically impossible. And the Kalam doesn't rest on the axiom that "nothing is the default state of things". It only rests on the axiom that "whatever begins to exist has a cause."
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It is interesting that while your God is allowed to be all kinds of implicit contradictions (can communicate directly with material beings, but is not in this universe etc., his own fleshy embodiment on Earth still means he's outside of it), you don't allow any of it for anything else, like green unicorns.
The Christian God is one such being that can be the Kalam's cause of the universe, but I'm happy to concede that the Kalam doesn't necessitate the Christian God. It does allow for other gods. For example, Allah. Or a deist creator of the universe. But it doesn't allow for green unicorns, because a green unicorn is physical - the cause of the universe needs to be nonphysical.

For my own clarification: if the green unicorn was said to be merely a physical manifestation of a nonphysical entity, would that be acceptable? 
If you wanted to say that subsequent to the beginning of the world, the creator of universe manifested itself in the form of a green unicorn, that would be perfectly coherent with the Kalam's cause. Just as long as it has those properties I outlined earlier, it falls into the set of possible options.
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Offline Scheavo

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The problem with these debates is everyone has their own definition their going with, and so it's a large part talking past each other. Basically, the argument seems to  boil down to:

The religious folk point to science not being able to explain everything. This is true.

The science folk don't admit to be able to explain everything, but then ask if it's reasonable given this lack to conclude something specific. I'd say this is also true, within the confines of what is meant by reasonable.

So both are making valid points, but they're not actually having a discussion with each other. That's my take on it, at least.

Offline rumborak

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Why is it so hard to imagine that indeed the existence of things is the natural state of being? Again, one of the things physics actually struggles to explain is why the beginning of the universe was so uniform. Uniformity is mathematically the least likely configuration, and thus one should rather assume that things are bubbling and frothing at random.

I dunno. I just have the impression you guys are on the one hand arguing with ginormous concepts ("out of time", "uncaused"), but on the other hand are very locked down on other possibilities, to me it seems because they might diminish your stance.

To go back to the original question, having thrown all these meta-terms around that nobody can explain even in the slightest (what does it mean for something to be a cause of something else when there is no time to order cause and effect by? What is "outside the universe"?), I don't think it is reasonable to assume the existence of God. "Fanciful" is the more appropriate term in my book.
"I liked when Myung looked like a women's figure skating champion."

Offline Jaffa

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I don't think it is reasonable to assume the existence of God. "Fanciful" is the more appropriate term in my book.

I'm shocked. 

Why is it so hard to imagine that indeed the existence of things is the natural state of being?

Personally, I find that very easy to imagine.  But that doesn't rule out the possibility of God.  If existence is the natural state of being, that doesn't mean everything naturally exists, it just means something naturally exists.  And that something could very possibly be God. 
Sincerely,
Jaffa

Offline rumborak

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If being is the natural way of things, the question for a prime mover becomes irrelevant. It would be like looking for the beginning of a circle.
So, sure, you could still muse about a God, but the existence of the universe would no longer demand a key aspect of God.
"I liked when Myung looked like a women's figure skating champion."

Offline Ħ

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Why is it so hard to imagine that indeed the existence of things is the natural state of being? Again, one of the things physics actually struggles to explain is why the beginning of the universe was so uniform. Uniformity is mathematically the least likely configuration, and thus one should rather assume that things are bubbling and frothing at random.
No one is talking about the "natural" or "default" state of being. Indeed, I don't think there is a "default" state of being. Look, we are talking about whether or not things can begin to exist uncaused out of nothing. Physics contributes nothing that suggests that something can come out of nothing. That is a fact. Read David Albert's article.

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I dunno. I just have the impression you guys are on the one hand arguing with ginormous concepts ("out of time", "uncaused"), but on the other hand are very locked down on other possibilities, to me it seems because they might diminish your stance.
I've been open to the cause of the universe as a being that manifests itself as a green unicorn subsequent to creation. I wouldn't call that "locked down". Nevertheless, my personal openness and closedness in no way affects the argument - it is what it is, and if true, it has major implications which I've been reserved and careful about stating.

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To go back to the original question, having thrown all these meta-terms around that nobody can explain even in the slightest (what does it mean for something to be a cause of something else when there is no time to order cause and effect by? What is "outside the universe"?), I don't think it is reasonable to assume the existence of God. "Fanciful" is the more appropriate term in my book.
I hope you watch the debate and see that these are real questions that people struggle to find an honest answer to. I hope you're not so quick to judge people as fanciful cherry-picking wishful thinkers.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline Jaffa

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If being is the natural way of things, the question for a prime mover becomes irrelevant. It would be like looking for the beginning of a circle.
So, sure, you could still muse about a God, but the existence of the universe would no longer demand a key aspect of God.

So if 'being' was not the natural way of things, then the universe would demand a key aspect of God? 
Sincerely,
Jaffa