1. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Mar '07 01:31
    Ok so here's another way of looking at the issue of nothing zzzzzzz.....

    Whether you are a Something from Nothinger or into eternity one thing is common to both.

    1) There must be at least one "thing" in existence that is uncaused and totally non-reliant on anything else. (either the universe , God whatever)

    Now if, you don't agree with 1) go and find another thread.

    still here...?

    Ok , here's my problem. Let's say that the universe (via a singularity or something) "emerged" from nothing. This is to say that to say what came before it or what caused it is a meaningless question because nothing caused it.

    Now , have a think about what this implies. An entity has the ability to exist all by itself in a totally non-reliant way. It can "bring itself" into existence not because it is forced to by another cause or another reason , but simply because it does , with no explanation or causal relationship with anything preceeding it. This entity must be free of determinism because it is not determined by anything else. It can exist of it's own power , it needs no why or any other thing to help it. It just does it. There is no why to it's beginning because to ask why would imply a cause. One cannot ask how? Because to ask "how?" would be to refer to some mechanism or cause that makes this thing do what it does (namely exist as opposed to not exist). This entity has the ability to "create itself" if you like from zilch.

    Take a few moments just to contemplate what an incredible thing this is.

    So back to my problem. My feeling is that somehow to have a "beginning" seems a bit at odds with such an entity. I mean if this is what is a the heart of the universe I would be fully expecting the universe to go on and on forever. There is no reason why it shouldn't. Why would something that can exist in it's own right in such a completely non-dependent way ever go away? Surely , even if it were annihilated it could just "will" itself into existence again. So if it will exist forever , why can't it also HAVE existed forever? It shouldn't be a problem.

    After a while I start to think that if there is no reason for this thing to "go away" (because it relies not on something else to give it power or energy) then I wonder why did it "bother" having a beginning in the first place? A beginning seems so suggestive of something that has a cause of some sort!! This entity has no cause. Why would it not just have no beginning at all and no end and just always exist , eternally.

    If you really think about it , it's a bit like imagining Bill Gates having to borrow someone's laptop. Why would he need to?

    Are really saying that something uncaused has to hang around for eons of nothingness , waiting in the wings for the right "moment" (beginning) or conditions? What's it playing at? It's uncaused and non -self reliant but seems to behave very much like an "event" of some sort. It's like superman having a dodgy hip , it makes you wonder what's going on.
  2. Melbourne, Australia
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    07 Mar '07 02:01
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Ok so here's another way of looking at the issue of nothing zzzzzzz.....

    Whether you are a Something from Nothinger or into eternity one thing is common to both.

    1) There must be at least one "thing" in existence that is uncaused and totally non-reliant on anything else. (either the universe , God whatever)

    Now if, you don't agree with 1) go ...[text shortened]... having a dodgy hip , it makes you wonder what's going on.
    Interesting thoughts.
    Two points I'd like to make:

    1. You have to be very careful about inserting words/terms such as 'will', 'create itself', and 'go away' in the context of a universe. We are talking - from a scientific perspective at least - about a thing rather than a life form. Some of your terms suggest direction or consciousness.

    2. I've mentioned this before a couple of times. But there are explanations for the creation of the universe that requires no 'first cause'. Many of these relate to virtual particle creation, vacuum fluctuations and zero point energy (amongst other things.) These explanations are highly speculative and would not be ones we should pin anything definitive on, but they highlight a couple of things: a, we have explanations other than supernatural causes; and b, our everyday notions of cause and effect are not necessarily the best ones to rely on in considering these things.

    Our ancestors used gods as an explanatory device because they were relatively simply, made sense to them, and could be easily described and transmitted via the early human oral traditions.
    We have the remnants of their cultures deeply embedded in our own but struggling against the onslaught of a newer way of explaining things - via science.
  3. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    07 Mar '07 02:05
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Ok so here's another way of looking at the issue of nothing zzzzzzz.....

    Whether you are a Something from Nothinger or into eternity one thing is common to both.

    1) There must be at least one "thing" in existence that is uncaused and totally non-reliant on anything else. (either the universe , God whatever)

    Now if, you don't agree with 1) go ...[text shortened]... having a dodgy hip , it makes you wonder what's going on.
    You need to stop anthropomorphizing everything.
  4. Subscriberno1marauder
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    07 Mar '07 05:58
    You constantly demand that everything must have a cause then contradict yourself by postulating a thing which has none. Has it ever occurred to you that you are in the wrong religion i.e. that there are faiths which resolve the non-causation issue by simply postulating that the universe itself is an emanation from a "force" ( not an anthromorphic one like you insist on)?

    Brahman is "one and without a second" - ekamevadvitiyam. The second part of the phrase ("and without a second"😉, qualifying the first ("one"😉 is important; for what it means is that Brahman is not one in the sense that ............ the God of the monotheist is one. In such a case there is a perceiver of oneness - which implies duality. When the non-duality of Brahman is completely realized, there is absolutely no consciousness of subject and object; the distinction between perceiver and perceived is annihilated and they become one.

    Swami Nikhilananda, Introduction to The Upanishads, pp. 34-35

    AND:

    Brahman is not the Creator of the universe in the sense that a potter is a creator of a pot ................. It has not sprung from anything and nothing has sprung from It.

    p. 33

    Simply the universe and everything in it is a manifestation of Brahman. One can consider that in modern Big Bang theory, all the energy that is contained in the universe was contained in the singularity - which is by definition timeless. We have never seen any energy created and never will. In this view, the universe was not created at all; its present form is simply one that has different attributes than it's initial one. But the universe itself has an unchanging reality which pervades it, an eternal Unity.
  5. Cape Town
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    07 Mar '07 06:39
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    1) There must be at least one "thing" in existence that is uncaused and totally non-reliant on anything else. (either the universe , God whatever)

    2)Ok , here's my problem. Let's say that the universe (via a singularity or something) "emerged" from nothing. This is to say that to say what came before it or what caused it is a meaningless question because nothing caused it.
    I have taken the liberty of numbering one of your points as 2).

    You start with 1) and then go one with 2) as if it was equivalent to 1) which it is not.
    An uncaused entity does not in any way require there to be an "emergence" or a "before". So although I generally agree with 1), I strongly disagree with 2) as it is bordering on an S from N claim.
  6. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Mar '07 19:03
    Originally posted by amannion
    Interesting thoughts.
    Two points I'd like to make:

    1. You have to be very careful about inserting words/terms such as 'will', 'create itself', and 'go away' in the context of a universe. We are talking - from a scientific perspective at least - about a thing rather than a life form. Some of your terms suggest direction or consciousness.

    2. I've ment ...[text shortened]... ut struggling against the onslaught of a newer way of explaining things - via science.
    But there are explanations for the creation of the universe that requires no 'first cause'. AMANION

    However , an uncaused entity of some sort is still required. Something uncaused is required to exist. One could posit that the whole universe is one big first cause or is just uncaused but it would still be quite amazing. Most science talks about a singularity , so maybe the singularity is the first cause . One could certainly say that the entire universe rests on the back of the "first cause" of the big bang.
  7. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Mar '07 19:25
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I have taken the liberty of numbering one of your points as 2).

    You start with 1) and then go one with 2) as if it was equivalent to 1) which it is not.
    An uncaused entity does not in any way require there to be an "emergence" or a "before". So although I generally agree with 1), I strongly disagree with 2) as it is bordering on an S from N claim.
    Yes , but as usual you are too caught up in the language issues to see the overall point.
  8. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Mar '07 19:28
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    You constantly demand that everything must have a cause then contradict yourself by postulating a thing which has none. Has it ever occurred to you that you are in the wrong religion i.e. that there are faiths which resolve the non-causation issue by simply postulating that the universe itself is an emanation from a "force" ( not an anthromorphic one lik ...[text shortened]... But the universe itself has an unchanging reality which pervades it, an eternal Unity.
    i.e. that there are faiths which resolve the non-causation issue by simply postulating that the universe itself is an emanation from a "force"MARAUDER

    What a silly thing to say ?! The causation problem is solved by postulating that the universe emanates from a force? So what caused the force? You have simply dug one hole to fill another. The force would have to be uncaused.
  9. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Mar '07 19:29
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    You need to stop anthropomorphizing everything.
    You need to start addressing the issue I am raising rather than picking holes and procrastinating.
  10. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Mar '07 19:32
    Originally posted by amannion
    Interesting thoughts.
    Two points I'd like to make:

    1. You have to be very careful about inserting words/terms such as 'will', 'create itself', and 'go away' in the context of a universe. We are talking - from a scientific perspective at least - about a thing rather than a life form. Some of your terms suggest direction or consciousness.

    2. I've ment ...[text shortened]... ut struggling against the onslaught of a newer way of explaining things - via science.
    1. You have to be very careful about inserting words/terms such as 'will', 'create itself', and 'go away' in the context of a universe. We are talking - from a scientific perspective at least - about a thing rather than a life form. Some of your terms suggest direction or consciousness. AMMANION

    I realised this as I was writing it but it seemed to flow better like this. I have personalised the entity somewhat but I know exactly what you are saying. I think the jist of what I am saying still holds though.
  11. Melbourne, Australia
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    07 Mar '07 21:38
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    But there are explanations for the creation of the universe that requires no 'first cause'. AMANION

    However , an uncaused entity of some sort is still required. Something uncaused is required to exist. One could posit that the whole universe is one big first cause or is just uncaused but it would still be quite amazing. Most science talks about a si ...[text shortened]... rtainly say that the entire universe rests on the back of the "first cause" of the big bang.
    Yes, I see what you're saying. You're probably right.
    I guess one 'out' if you like is the notion that our universe is one of many in a multiverse. This allows a return to the more scientifically satisfying infinite universe of the 19th century.
    If the multiverse is infinite in extent - time and space (or their extra-universe analogues) - with localised universes appearing out of this, then there is no requirement for a first cause or a first entity. It has always been.
    Of course, for us humans, this is immensely unsatisfying.
    But then, maybe the universe hasn't 'been built' to satisfy us ...
  12. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Mar '07 21:57
    Originally posted by amannion
    Yes, I see what you're saying. You're probably right.
    I guess one 'out' if you like is the notion that our universe is one of many in a multiverse. This allows a return to the more scientifically satisfying infinite universe of the 19th century.
    If the multiverse is infinite in extent - time and space (or their extra-universe analogues) - with localised u ...[text shortened]... mensely unsatisfying.
    But then, maybe the universe hasn't 'been built' to satisfy us ...
    If the multiverse is infinite in extent - time and space (or their extra-universe analogues) - with localised universes appearing out of this, then there is no requirement for a first cause or a first entity. It has always been.
    Of course, for us humans, this is immensely unsatisfying.
    But then, maybe the universe hasn't 'been built' to satisfy us ...
    AMMANION

    However it still matters not. You can posit a multiverse that has always been (eternal) or S from N (an effect without a cause) or an uncaused cause (God) or whatever else.

    It's not the "first cause" bit that's exciting it's the UNCAUSED nature of this entity or force or multiverse that is exciting.

    I don't find it unsatisfying at all. It's full of awe wonder and mystery really. It places the ultimate question beyond rational expalanation. Once you realise the logical inevitability of uncaused existence then it changes the way you look at life.
  13. Melbourne, Australia
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    07 Mar '07 22:091 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    If the multiverse is infinite in extent - time and space (or their extra-universe analogues) - with localised universes appearing out of this, then there is no requirement for a first cause or a first entity. It has always been.
    Of course, for us humans, this is immensely unsatisfying.
    But then, maybe the universe hasn't 'been built' to satisfy us ogical inevitability of uncaused existence then it changes the way you look at life.
    I agree with your sense of wonder.
    But I think your notion that it 'places the ultimate question beyond rational explanation' is a bit of a leap. You may be right, but I'm not so sure.
    Science has an amazing way of developing techniques to understand what were previously imponderable areas.

    Does it really change the way you look at life?
    It doesn't for me. We're talking about events so far removed from the everyday that while they have intellectual interest for me, they mean nothing for my view of the world or of life on it.
  14. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Mar '07 22:40
    Originally posted by amannion
    I agree with your sense of wonder.
    But I think your notion that it 'places the ultimate question beyond rational explanation' is a bit of a leap. You may be right, but I'm not so sure.
    Science has an amazing way of developing techniques to understand what were previously imponderable areas.

    Does it really change the way you look at life?
    It doesn't fo ...[text shortened]... intellectual interest for me, they mean nothing for my view of the world or of life on it.
    Science has an amazing way of developing techniques to understand what were previously imponderable areas. AMMANION

    But all science can ever do is keep scraping back the layers of life to explain phenomenon in terms of other phenomenon. What happens when you get to the final layer and there's nothing underneath ? How does one understand something if there is only itself to understand? What reason might it have to exist if it needs no reason or cause? All one could do is just appreciate (and worship?)
  15. Hmmm . . .
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    07 Mar '07 22:43
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    i.e. that there are faiths which resolve the non-causation issue by simply postulating that the universe itself is an emanation from a "force"MARAUDER

    What a silly thing to say ?! The causation problem is solved by postulating that the universe emanates from a force? So what caused the force? You have simply dug one hole to fill another. The force would have to be uncaused.
    He has done nothing of the kind. Brahman does not stand “outside” of anything—Brahman is the whole of everything (including things, forces, dimensions, etc.), the one without a second. All forms emanate, and are manifest, within. Emanation, manifestation, causation—these are in the nature of Brahman. The forms are not separate from the whole—just as a wave is not separate from the ocean, or the figure from the ground. “It is they, and they are it.” One totality, of which all is.

    It is our habit of dualizing everything—this-that, us-them, universe-God—that causes the illusion wherein we seek to posit some being beyond all being. Brahman is “All-Being.”
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