1. Illinois
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    28 Jun '07 21:575 edits
    Infinite regress is not a problem posed primarily by theists, but is a problem posed by Nature itself and its natural law.

    If we trace phenomena backwards, we delineate a history of cause and effect. How far back do you go? If you have no first cause, then you are stuck with an infinite regress.

    Atheists are fond of saying, "there is no reason to think that a creator might exist," and simply ignore the problem posed by the natural law of cause and effect. Tell me, how is that not disingenuous?

    Furthermore, the typical atheist's question, "who created god?", shows either an inability or a refusal to conceptualize an eternal, self-existent God. No doubt, the majority of intelligent people are able to recognize that the absurd god of infinite regress is not the only possibility, so I have to conclude that that absurd god of infinite regress is merely a convenient strawman for the atheist.

    -----------------------

    Thomas Aquinas' first-cause argument:

    1. Every thing is caused.
    2. Therefore the universe is caused.
    3. The string of causes cannot be infinitely long.
    4. If the string of causes cannot be infinitely long, there must be a first cause.
    5. Therefore, there must be a first cause, namely god

    Instead of being self-refuting, Aquinas' argument simply underscores the eternal, self-existent nature of God, via the absurdity of infinite regress.

    -----------------------

    If God manages to be self-existent, why can't the universe? -- pawnokeyhole

    If the universe can differ from itself in any way (evolve), then it cannot be self-existent. Only an immutable being can be self-existent. Why? Because change implies incompleteness. A self-existent reality is by definition complete in and of itself. Therefore, since the universe evolves, it cannot be self-existent.

    Why does that stop the underlying stuff of the universe from being self-existent? -- pawnokeyhole

    If you are positing 'underlying stuff' to the universe, you will be taking us back in time almost one hundred years, before Einstein entered the scene. Einstein proved that matter, energy and gravity are seamlessly interwoven as one whole (the time-space continuum), while the prevailing theory had formerly been that all phenomena existed within a universal medium called, 'ether'. The ether gave the universe its self-existence.

    Thanks to Einstein, today we know that the 'underlying stuff' of the universe are just molecules, atoms, electrons, quarks, and (possibly) multiple dimensional strings, etc.; all of which are mutable and contingent. That is, their existence has a starting point (i.e. the Big Bang).

    A self-existent reality has no starting point.
  2. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    28 Jun '07 22:07
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    Infinite regress is not a problem posed primarily by theists, but is a problem posed by Nature itself and its natural law.

    If we trace phenomena backwards, we delineate a history of cause and effect. How far back do you go? If you have no first cause, then you are stuck with an infinite regress.

    Atheists are fond of saying, "there is no reason to t ...[text shortened]... rting point (i.e. the Big Bang).

    A self-existent reality has no starting point.
    Anybody who cites any argument of Aquinas as being exemplary of valid reasoning ought to be embarrassed. His arguments are among the most frequently refuted in textbooks on elementary critical thinking. To cite Aquinas is like wearing a T-shirt to a debate that says "I don't have any idea what I'm talking about."

    You don't really think the cited argument is sound, do you?
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    28 Jun '07 22:17
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Anybody who cites any argument of Aquinas as being exemplary of valid reasoning ought to be embarrassed. His arguments are among the most frequently refuted in textbooks on elementary critical thinking. To cite Aquinas is like wearing a T-shirt to a debate that says "I don't have any idea what I'm talking about."

    You don't really think the cited argument is sound, do you?
    Do you have a problem with inifinite regress?
  4. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    28 Jun '07 22:17
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    Infinite regress is not a history of cause and effect. How far back do you regress an inability or a refusal to conceptualize an eternal, self-existent God. No doubt, the strawman is caused.
    How do you like this...

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/theodore_schick/bigbang.html
  5. Standard memberNemesio
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    28 Jun '07 22:18
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    1. Every thing is caused.
    2. Therefore the universe is caused.
    3. The string of causes cannot be infinitely long.
    4. If the string of causes cannot be infinitely long, there must be a first cause.
    5. Therefore, there must be a first cause, namely god
    5 is in contradiciton with 1, unless God is not a 'thing.' If God is not a
    'thing' then what is the definition of a 'thing' that isn't question begging.

    3 is question begging.

    Nemesio
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    28 Jun '07 22:181 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Anybody who cites any argument of Aquinas as being exemplary of valid reasoning ought to be embarrassed. His arguments are among the most frequently refuted in textbooks on elementary critical thinking. To cite Aquinas is like wearing a T-shirt to a debate that says "I don't have any idea what I'm talking about."

    You don't really think the cited argument is sound, do you?
    This post is an example of reading much in pholosphy. It makes you feel like you know everything, while it seems you don't know as much as you think!!!!!!

    Not every one here is a pholospher, and not every one read all textbooks.
  7. Standard memberNemesio
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    28 Jun '07 22:19
    Originally posted by ahosyney
    This post is an example of reading much in pholosphy. It makes you feel like you know everything, while it seems you don't know as much as you think!!!!!!
    If he is wrong, then it should be simple to demonstrate it. Otherwise,
    you're just saying 'I think you're wrong' just like he is.

    Nemesio
  8. Illinois
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    28 Jun '07 22:21
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Anybody who cites any argument of Aquinas as being exemplary of valid reasoning ought to be embarrassed. His arguments are among the most frequently refuted in textbooks on elementary critical thinking. To cite Aquinas is like wearing a T-shirt to a debate that says "I don't have any idea what I'm talking about."

    You don't really think the cited argument is sound, do you?
    I'm sure there are plenty of refutations for Aquinas' arguments. Let's here 'em!

    Foremost, I am interested in discussing here everything having to do with infinite regress/first cause. If you have any thing relevant to add, by all means, share your knowledge.
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    28 Jun '07 22:251 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    If he is wrong, then it should be simple to demonstrate it. Otherwise,
    you're just saying 'I think you're wrong' just like he is.

    Nemesio
    I didn't say he is wrong. All what I want to say his post give the impression that I don't have a chance to make any argument with him. Wow he has already read all textbooks in critical thinking , what a man like me who believe that GOD exists can do...🙄

    Should I read every textbook to make a discussion about GOD existance before I get smashed with a post like this...
  10. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    28 Jun '07 22:26
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    I'm sure there are plenty of refutations for Aquinas' arguments. Let's here 'em!

    Foremost, I am interested in discussing here everything having to do with infinite regress/first cause. If you have any thing relevant to add, by all means, share your knowledge.
    Let's us begin here, at the first premise you posit.

    Premise 1: Every thing is caused.


    The following is a valid argument utilizing your own premise.

    Every thing is caused.
    Hence, God is caused.


    Do you agree that this is a valid argument?
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    28 Jun '07 22:271 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Let's us begin here, at the first premise you posit.

    Premise 1: Every thing is caused.


    The following is a valid argument utilizing your own premise.

    Every thing is caused.
    Hence, God is caused.


    Do you agree that this is a valid argument?
    No,

    Because GOD is not part of the universe so he is not a thing.
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    28 Jun '07 22:32
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    Infinite regress is not a problem posed primarily by theists, but is a problem posed by Nature itself and its natural law.

    If we trace phenomena backwards, we delineate a history of cause and effect. How far back do you go? If you have no first cause, then you are stuck with an infinite regress.

    Atheists are fond of saying, "there is no reason to t ...[text shortened]... rting point (i.e. the Big Bang).

    A self-existent reality has no starting point.
    I'm sorry, where does 'namely god' come from? Even ignoring any arguments against theism, (theism as in the philosophy and not as solely a belief in 'God'😉 no have no reason to name this 'being' god. You don't know it is a being, that its aware, that it has any sence of morality or that it cares or knows about your existance. This argument has no real basis in spirituality, because it can't even attempt to support the god of any religion.

    The question 'who created god' can't be so dismissed. From your perspective all you have even tried to prove was that some 'thing' created the universe. This tells us nothing of the thing and therefore tells us nothing of its own creation or lack of creation. To just assume that it is a being who was begotton makes little sence.

    All this said, the philosophy of theism and cause and effect comes down to a few assuptions that really can't be considered fact. You assume that in a universe where the only fundamental truth is that of cause and effect, that something must exist outside or before the universe which is not subject to the laws of this universe, and therefore requires no cause. All of this is still imaginary. Its equally easy to say that yes, prehaps there is some kind of god like fundamental constant that required no cause, but how do we know this constant is not just energy itself? Nothing in this universe exists exept from that which was contained in the singularity that lead to the big bang. So the only thing we know exists is energy. You could assume that whatever caused the big bang was also energy.

    But the fact that time and space only came into existance with the start of the big bang makes the whole concept of outside the singularity impossible to concieve. So is it sensible to make any assuptions? Probably not. Prehaps we will find more evidence to help us understand the origins of the universe and prehaps we won't. Assuming the existance of god is just as useless as any guess work.
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    28 Jun '07 22:32
    Why does every one who don't belive in GOD assume that the GOD some believe in is part of the universe and try to apply the rules, laws , and end even human morals onto him?
  14. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    28 Jun '07 22:33
    Originally posted by ahosyney
    This post is an example of reading much in pholosphy. It makes you feel like you know everything, while it seems you don't know as much as you think!!!!!!

    Not every one here is a pholospher, and not every one read all textbooks.
    The refutation of the Aquinas argument is hardly an exercise in advanced philosophy. Seriously. Do you think that the premises are true, and the the conclusion follows necessarily from them?
  15. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    28 Jun '07 22:34
    Originally posted by ahosyney
    No,

    Because GOD is not part of the universe so he is not a thing.
    Well, then (2) does not follow from (1), since the universe is not part of the universe.
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