1. Standard memberDarfius
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    31 Mar '05 08:561 edit
    Bertrand Russel (1872-1970) in his work, Why I Am Not A Christian writes:Quote:

    I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill's autobiography and there I found this sentence: "My father taught me that the question, 'Who made me?' cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question, 'Who made God?' That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause.


    Many have raised this as an argument against believing in God, however we would respond that asking, "Who made God?" is based on an unsound and even fallacious premise. This premise is, "Everything that exists has a cause for its existence." The burden of proof for accepting such reasoning would tend to lie with those who use it as an objection against a belief in God. To this burden some have asserted that everything that exists in the world around us has a beginning, and therefore it is contrary against everything we know to say something would not have a beginning. As such, the burden of proof gets shifted onto those who would challenge the assumption of everything having a cause.

    Firstly, it is perhaps important to recognise that those who point to the physical world for proof of everything having a cause, push their argument into a strawman. This is because if a person points to the physical world for evidence of their claim that everything has a cause, then they have to arbitrarily equate God to the order of a created and finite thing to say He also has a cause. Such a "God" is certainly not the one proclaimed by Christianity, and nor does it appear to be the one advocated by other major theistic religions such as Judaism and Islam. Rather the Christian conception of God is one who is beyond the physical realm, and beyond the beginning of time. So a skeptic who points to the physical world for proof that everything has a cause (including 'God'😉, simply refutes and dismisses a god of their own devising.

    Yet, there are further problems than this. The assumption that "Everything has a cause for its existence," either leads to absurdities or to a conclusion that refutes itself (depending on which way you look at it). For example, if something causes something else to exist, which causes something else to exist, which in turn causes something else to exist, and so on—this suggests a passage of time exists. Yet if time exists, then according to this assumption time must have a cause for its existence. However, if time had a cause for its existence, and that cause had a cause and so on, then time gets pushed beyond its existence to an earlier time. Such reasoning simply leads to absurdities, and so ought to be rejected. On the other hand, if it is claimed that time itself is eternal and so doesn't need a cause, then one has to agree that the assumption of everything having a cause is wrong and so should be rejected.

    In order to avoid the fallacies inherent in such an assumption, we believe the most one can logically assume about causation is that "Everything which begins to exist, has a cause for its existence." Once this premise is accepted, the argument that God must have a cause disappears. It only follows that God may have a cause. Yet, God within Christianity is believed to have no beginning, and as we have logically deduced, God does not necessarily need a cause in order to exist. This doctrine surrounding God and the logic involved is not new, but has been around for centuries. This is evidenced by the fact a Latin word was designated to represent the very property of absolute independence and self-existence (Aseity), a quality Christians assign only to God.

    http://discussions.godandscience.org/about58.html
  2. Donationbbarr
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    31 Mar '05 09:451 edit
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Bertrand Russel (1872-1970) in his work, Why I Am Not A Christian writes:Quote:

    I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause ...[text shortened]... only to God.

    http://discussions.godandscience.org/about58.html
    Such reasoning also shows that no cosmological argument can be presented in support of theism, as the atheist may reply that whatever principle justifies the claim that God was not caused also justifies the claim that the universe was not caused.
  3. Standard memberDarfius
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    31 Mar '05 09:51
    Originally posted by bbarr
    Such reasoning also shows that no cosmological argument can be presented in support of theism, as the atheist may reply that whatever principle justifies the claim that God was not caused also justifies the claim that the universe was not caused.
    Was the singularity composed of the spiritual?
  4. Donationbbarr
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    31 Mar '05 10:00
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Was the singularity composed of the spiritual?
    Are atheists committed to the existence of an original singularity?
  5. Standard memberDarfius
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    31 Mar '05 10:03
    Originally posted by bbarr
    Are atheists committed to the existence of an original singularity?
    Do you mean you doubt the veracity of the Big Bang event or that the singularity was one of many?

    No atheist I know doubts the Big Bang, and to postulate infinite singularities without having access to them is more ridiculous than postulating God.
  6. Donationbbarr
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    31 Mar '05 10:09
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Do you mean you doubt the veracity of the Big Bang event or that the singularity was one of many?

    No atheist I know doubts the Big Bang, and to postulate infinite singularities without having access to them is more ridiculous than postulating God.
    You need to meet more atheists. No philosophically sophisticated atheist I know thinks that the universe appeared ex nihilo. You seem to be confusing scientism with atheism. The point I'm making is that the cosmological argument, tradtionally presented in favor of theism, is a horrible argument for the reasons mentioned in your cut and paste job above. If God doesn't have to have a cause, then the universe as a whole doesn't have to have a cause.
  7. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    31 Mar '05 11:02
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Do you mean you doubt the veracity of the Big Bang event or that the singularity was one of many?

    No atheist I know doubts the Big Bang, and to postulate infinite singularities without having access to them is more ridiculous than postulating God.
    I doubt the Big Bang.

    to postulate infinite singularities without having access to them is more ridiculous than postulating God

    I disagree.
  8. Standard memberWheely
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    31 Mar '05 11:38
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Do you mean you doubt the veracity of the Big Bang event or that the singularity was one of many?

    No atheist I know doubts the Big Bang, and to postulate infinite singularities without having access to them is more ridiculous than postulating God.
    The big bang sounds like the flat earth to me. Everything behaves as if the earth is flat, it looks flat, things don't seem to roll off it, it feels flat, it is so obviously flat that the earth must be flat. It's only when you learn more that it stops being flat.

    Of course, I like the idea of a universe that has always existed and will always exist so perhaps I want the big bang theory to fail.
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    31 Mar '05 13:25
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Do you mean you doubt the veracity of the Big Bang event or that the singularity was one of many?

    No atheist I know doubts the Big Bang, and to postulate infinite singularities without having access to them is more ridiculous than postulating God.
    Atheism as I have said countless times before is not a presupposition on other beliefs, the Big Bang included. It is a denial of the existence of god, based on a lack of evidence. I am not sure what the origins of the universe were, I am not a physicist or mathematician and have done no study on the origins of the universe other than what my free time and text books permit me, you are, I suspect, in exactly the same boat here. But I can still claim to be an atheist whether I make a decision on my views of the origins of the universe or not. As Bennett says, you are confusing scientism and atheism.
  10. Standard memberDarfius
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    31 Mar '05 21:12
    Originally posted by bbarr
    You need to meet more atheists. No philosophically sophisticated atheist I know thinks that the universe appeared ex nihilo. You seem to be confusing scientism with atheism. The point I'm making is that the cosmological argument, tradtionally presented in favor of theism, is a horrible argument for the reasons mentioned in your cut and paste job above. If ...[text shortened]... God doesn't have to have a cause, then the universe as a whole doesn't have to have a cause.
    Perhaps you should explain what you mean by "universe as a whole".
  11. Standard memberDarfius
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    31 Mar '05 21:17
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I doubt the Big Bang.

    [b]to postulate infinite singularities without having access to them is more ridiculous than postulating God


    I disagree.[/b]
    I doubt the Big Bang.

    Really? So you doubt the Theory of Relativity? And background radiation in the universe causing a temperature above absolute 0? And red shift?

    Do you doubt the Big Bang for scientific or philisophical reasons?

    to postulate infinite singularities without having access to them is more ridiculous than postulating God

    I disagree.


    How? That is an infinite regress of causes, while God needs no cause.
  12. Standard memberDarfius
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    31 Mar '05 21:19
    Originally posted by Starrman
    Atheism as I have said countless times before is not a presupposition on other beliefs, the Big Bang included. It is a denial of the existence of god, based on a lack of evidence. I am not sure what the origins of the universe were, I am not a physicist or mathematician and have done no study on the origins of the universe other than what my free time and ...[text shortened]... the origins of the universe or not. As Bennett says, you are confusing scientism and atheism.
    You can claim to be an atheist even with no theory of how the universe came to be to counter God?

    So in other words, you deny God's existence based on purely personal reasons?
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    31 Mar '05 21:31
    Originally posted by Darfius
    You can claim to be an atheist even with no theory of how the universe came to be to counter God?

    So in other words, you deny God's existence based on purely personal reasons?
    As I have said, not only in my post above, but also in debate with you in other threads several times; specifically the one where you agreed to my definition of atheism, Atheism is a denial based on a [/b]lack of evidence[/b], not on any other reason, personal or otherwise. When evidence is provided that proves god's existence I will happily admit I am wrong.

    The term Atheist has nothing to do with the various theories on the creation of the universe, save the possibility of god being involved in them as it precludes the belief in this god.

    So in other words, yes I can claim to be an atheist with no opinion on the origins how the universe came to be. I deny god for one reason and one reason only that there is no emprical proof that he exists, none, not one bit. You can counter claims with the possibilities of his existence based on what ifs and why nots, but the matter of fact is there is no data to support your positive claim. My claim is not reliant on anything other than the lack of proof. No personal reasons are involved whatsoever.

    My atheism is not to spite you Darfius and I am tired of fighting with you, time and again you fail to read what I have written and pay attention to what I am saying. You believe in something for which there is no proof, I am not willing to do so. What in my stance could possibly suggest what you have written above?
  14. Donationbbarr
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    01 Apr '05 00:31
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Perhaps you should explain what you mean by "universe as a whole".
    'Universe as a whole'(def): Everything that is the case; that other than which there is nothing.
  15. Donationbbarr
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    01 Apr '05 00:34
    Originally posted by Darfius
    You can claim to be an atheist even with no theory of how the universe came to be to counter God?

    So in other words, you deny God's existence based on purely personal reasons?
    The point, again (and hopefully for the last time), is that the atheist doesn't need an account of how the universe 'came to be', because he can claim the universe has always been. The theist rejects the assertion that everything must have a cause. The atheist can reject the same assertion. The theist claims that God has always been. The atheist can claim that the universe has always been. The positions of each, at least regarding the cosmological argument, are perfectly symmetrical.
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