1. Joined
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    27 Apr '14 19:261 edit
    You know:

    1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
    2. The universe began to exist
    3. Therefore the universe has a cause

    What's wrong with this argument?
  2. Standard membersonship
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    27 Apr '14 19:29
    Originally posted by C Hess
    You know:

    1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
    2. The universe began to exist
    3. Therefore the universe has a cause

    What's wrong with this argument?
    Tell us.
  3. Joined
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    27 Apr '14 19:30
    Originally posted by C Hess
    You know:

    1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
    2. The universe began to exist
    3. Therefore the universe has a cause

    What's wrong with this argument?
    Sounds like Orc mischief.
  4. Joined
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    27 Apr '14 19:312 edits
    Originally posted by sonship
    Tell us.
    No, I seriously don't see anything wrong with this argument, and I
    desperately need to find something wrong with it. The only thing I can think
    of is that maybe not every beginning is causal, but I have no idea how to
    argue that, so I hoped maybe some atheist friends might have something.

    Or, maybe it's causal but the cause doesn't have to be some kind of
    intelligence, maybe?

    Yeah, I'm gonna go with the latter one.
  5. Standard membersonship
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    27 Apr '14 19:423 edits
    Originally posted by C Hess
    No, I seriously don't see anything wrong with this argument, and I
    desperately need to find something wrong with it. The only thing I can think
    of is that maybe not every beginning is causal, but I have no idea how to
    argue that, so I hoped maybe some atheist friends might have something.

    Or, maybe it's causal but the cause doesn't have to be some kind of intelligence, maybe?
    Why do you "desperately need to find something wrong with it" ?

    If you like the science enterprise I would think that you would find the argument science friendly.
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    27 Apr '14 19:45
    Originally posted by sonship
    If you like the science enterprise I would think you would find the argument science friendly.
    Interesting, why do you think that?
  7. Standard membersonship
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    27 Apr '14 19:46
    Originally posted by C Hess
    Interesting, why do you think that?
    Science is all about finding out causes for things.

    If we start to believe that things begin to exist with no cause that would do damage to the scientific enterprise.
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    27 Apr '14 19:482 edits
    Originally posted by C Hess
    You know:

    1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
    2. The universe began to exist
    3. Therefore the universe has a cause

    What's wrong with this argument?
    I think part of the problem is with premise 1. If you look up 'Quantum Vacuum', it has been discovered that particles can pop into existence with no cause at all. So premise 1 is wrong and therefore 3 does not necessarily follow. However, my understanding of this is flakey at best. If you rephrase the question in a science-forum-friendly form and post it there you may get a more coherent and rigorous answer.

    Also, even if 3 did follow, it says nothing at all about what such a cause would be. It certainly does not imply it is any kind of intelligence or any god who might be interested in our worship or able to offer us any kind of afterlife.

    --- Penguin
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    27 Apr '14 19:52
    Originally posted by sonship
    Science is all about finding out causes for things.

    If we start to believe that things begin to exist with no cause that would do damage to the scientific enterprise.
    Oh! Right, I absolutely agree, you can't have something begin to exist
    without some kind of cause, which is why I have a problem with the
    argument. The problem is that whatever caused the beginning, has to itself
    have been caused. And that could just go on for infinity, until my head
    explodes.

    And I like my head just fine.
  10. Joined
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    27 Apr '14 19:58
    Originally posted by Penguin
    I think part of the problem is with premise 1. If you look up 'Quantum Vacuum', it has been discovered that particles can pop into existence with no cause at all. So premise 1 is wrong and therefore 3 does not necessarily follow. However, my understanding of this is flakey at best. If you rephrase the question in a science-forum-friendly form and post it the ...[text shortened]... who might be interested in our worship or able to offer us any kind of afterlife.

    --- Penguin
    Particles can pop into existence with no cause at all, or there's no cause that we
    can detect? If particles can pop into existence with no cause at all, then that's it!

    {Running over to the science forum}
  11. Joined
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    27 Apr '14 21:18
    Originally posted by C Hess
    You know:

    1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
    2. The universe began to exist
    3. Therefore the universe has a cause

    What's wrong with this argument?
    Well I object to premise 1 and 2.

    There are events with no known cause, and a subset of those that current
    theory says probably do have no cause.
    And while we cannot say for certain that all events do not have some underlying
    cause, we also cannot say for certain that they do.
    Thus premise 1 is asserting as fact that which is not known to be true and
    is most likely not true.

    Similarly the Universe may or may not have a beginning [the visible universe we
    can see almost certainly did, but that says nothing about the possibility or indeed
    probability of their being a wider universe out there we cannot see]
    we just
    currently don't know.

    Given thus that neither premise 1 or 2 is known to be true, and may very well not
    be true. We cannot rely on any conclusion reached from those two premises.


    You also missed out he most important bit of the argument which is even more flawed...

    Where they attempt to stick god in as the cause.
  12. Subscribermoonbus
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    27 Apr '14 21:461 edit
    Originally posted by C Hess
    You know:

    1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
    2. The universe began to exist
    3. Therefore the universe has a cause

    What's wrong with this argument?
    Initially, nothing seems wrong with it; it looks impregnable But "the cause of the universe" is not equivalent to "the God of Scripture"; not unless you already accept the Biblical account of God AS the creator of the universe. If you don't already, then this argument wouldn't do the trick, because the cause of the universe could, logically, be a blind Law of Physics or an evil demon or sheer chance or something else (see next paragraph). It requires an additional argument to show that the cause of the universe is one and the same as the God of Scripture exclusively and not any of the other logically possible causes.

    In the Greek pantheon, although Zeus was almighty, he was not the creator of the universe. The universe was created out of Mother Night (or Chaos), and almighty Zeus came later. Zeus was eternal in future time, but he had a beginning. It would therefore require another argument to establish that the God of Scripture was not (self-)created at some time subsequent to the creation of the universe. Again, if you already accept the Biblical account, you don't need any argument for this; but if you don't already accept the Biblical account of God as having had no beginning (as Zeus did), then the argument you cited above won't do the trick. There are too are many logical gaps between that argument and the God of Scripture.

    It is interesting to note that, for the Hebrews, the concept of "almightiness" included the concept of "having had no beginning", whereas for the Greeks it included only "limitless power (including the power to persist forward in time)." or the Greeks, having had a beginning was no diminution of limitless power.

    Bear in mind that Buddhism does not accept the second premise. Neither does Buddhism deny the second premise. In Buddhism, the beginning of the universe is undefined.

    One might also dispute the conjunction of the first two premises on the grounds that the universe is not a "thing" and that causes apply only to things within the universe, not to the whole universe. Just as time applies only to events within the universe, not to the whole universe. There is no such thing as "before the universe" just as there is no such thing as a point more northerly than the North Pole. Analogously, there is no such thing as "a cause of the universe;" causes occur only within the universe. "The universe began to exist" is as nonsensical as "a point more northerly than the North Pole."

    Furthermore,... an event may have multiple causes. This complicates the argument you cited by orders of magnitude, for it introduces the logic of "necessary and sufficient conditions" (technical terms in logic; google that, if uncertain).

    ASSUMING one had produced all the additional arguments noted above: a) that the "cause of the universe" is identical with "the God of Scripture"; b) that the God Scripture had no beginning; c) that the concept of cause applies to the whole universe; d) that the universe had a beginning (i.e., that the concept of time applies to the whole universe)... one would NOW have to add the following logical qualifiers:

    In order to prove that the God Scripture was the cause of the universe, one would have to prove either:

    e) that the universe had only one cause and that God was both the necessary AND sufficient cause, excluding all other possible multiple causes;

    or e' ) that the God of Scripture constituted all of the multiple causes of the universe, again both necessary AND sufficient. If any necessary cause could be shown to be NOT identical with the God of Scripture, the whole chain of arguments would have been fruitless.

    There are, therefore, upon closer inspection, multiple chinks in the logical armor. Conclusion: logic is inadequate to the task of proving either the weak conclusion that the universe had a cause, or the strong conclusion that God is/was the creator of the universe.
  13. Standard membersonship
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    28 Apr '14 06:231 edit
    Originally posted by Penguin
    I think part of the problem is with premise 1. If you look up 'Quantum Vacuum', it has been discovered that particles can pop into existence with no cause at all. So premise 1 is wrong and therefore 3 does not necessarily follow. However, my understanding of this is flakey at best. If you rephrase the question in a science-forum-friendly form and post it the ...[text shortened]... who might be interested in our worship or able to offer us any kind of afterlife.

    --- Penguin
    Since a "Quantum Vacuum" is something in the universe, any popping in and out of existence in a this manner would not be the universe beginning to exist.
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    28 Apr '14 06:43
    Originally posted by C Hess
    1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
    ...
    What's wrong with this argument?
    What's wrong with this is #1.

    As we are in the spiritual forum I would say: god is the countercase.

    If we were in the Science forum I would say: this is not proven to be true.
  15. Standard membersonship
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    28 Apr '14 06:511 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    What's wrong with this is #1.

    As we are in the spiritual forum I would say: god is the countercase.

    If we were in the Science forum I would say: this is not proven to be true.
    Spiritual Forum reply:
    God by definition of most thiests or philosophers did not begin to exist.

    Any of other reply including this one:
    Can you prove something began to exist with no cause ?
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