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Switch to Forum Live View Hatcher's Proof of the Existence of God
3 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 3:50AM #51
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,901

Dear All,


Since many of you are understandably strangers to formal logic, it will obviously take time to fully understand the language of Hatcher's proof. I kindly urge you to acquaint yourself further with the language before offering bold commentary that does not really address the proof (while no doubt you think you are addressing the proof). Until you do the homework necessary, it is proving increasingly uneconomical for me to re-clarify the terms of the proof to every new poster. New posters are kindly adviced to take some trouble to carefully read and re-read the initial proof as well as the rest of the thread before posing your otherwise valuable questions and criticisms. You will find that many of the questions have already been answered by either Hatcher or in the ensuing discussion.


Owing to the reasons explained in the foregoing, I will now restrict all further responses to the select few posters that have proven their understanding of Hatcher's language, and to comments on the substance that, in my view, have not been properly addressed as yet. I hope nobody will take this personally. My intention is only to keep the discussion focused and my personal time well-managed.


With kind regards,


LilWabbit


 

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 7:30AM #52
Blü
Posts: 25,058

Lilwabbit


Cripes!  I turn my back for a second and there's five yards of post to catch up on.  I'll do that later.  Meanwhile -


1.

Hatcher says self-creation is B → B (B is the cause of B).

In other words, BLHS starts to exist instantaneously (in the identical durationless point in time) with its effect BRHS.  Thus (says the statement) an uncaused B (BLHS) then causes itself (BRSH). 


However, once you have BLHS, there's nothing left to do, because BLHS ≡ BRSH.

So the correct statement is, B is uncaused, no?

2.

In A → B, must the cause exist earlier in time than the effect?

If the cause and the effect can be simultaneous, how do we tell -

(a) that a cause-and-effect occurrence happened at all, and

(b) which element is the cause and which is the effect?

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 8:16AM #53
Eudaimonist
Posts: 2,036

Oct 3, 2011 -- 3:38AM, Lilwabbit wrote:

Post #17: To repeat, I, neither Hatcher, have not stated that a cause must precede its effect in time.



I didn't think either of you did.


Neither have we inferred any such fallacy.



It's not a fallacy.  Any change takes place over time.  No change is instantaneous.  Since causality is an explanation for change, some non-zero elapsed time is necessary to speak of the effect.


Do you know of any change that takes place in zero time, without violating the Law of Non-Contradiction?


Like the joint-puffing hippie would blurt in utter awe: "That's radical, man!" ;)


 


eudaimonia,


Mark

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 8:17AM #54
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,901

Howdy Blü,


Great to have you back.


Oct 3, 2011 -- 7:30AM, Blü wrote:


Lilwabbit


Cripes!  I turn my back for a second and there's five yards of post to catch up on.  I'll do that later.



I think some of your points were already addressed in the five yards of post that you need to scramble through. :)


Oct 3, 2011 -- 7:30AM, Blü wrote:


Hatcher says self-creation is B → B (B is the cause of B).



Correct, but he only identifies one entity G (member of V) that is necessarily self-caused and explains why its logically impossible for there to be others, provided we accept his premises.

Oct 3, 2011 -- 7:30AM, Blü wrote:


In other words, BLHS starts to exist in the identical durationless point in time as its effect BRHS.  Thus (says the statement) an uncaused B (BLHS) then causes itself (BRSH). 


However, once you have BLHS, there's nothing left to do, because BLHS ≡ BRSH.

So the correct statement is, B is uncaused, no?



You are still mixing the predicate of time into Hatcher's concept of causation which is more generic than that. There is no "point in time" at which G "starts" to exist as G is regarded as the very cause of time along with all the other phenomena within V. G precedes time, causally. In the words of another philosopher, there are two kinds of pre-existence: pre-existence in time and essential pre-existence. G represents essential pre-existence. So do the physical laws in relation to the phenomena they affect. Hatcher's schematic (in his own words) is consistent with almost any kind of imaginable universe, including a universe consisting of an infinitely descending chain of events in time. There need not be a first cause of a linear causal chain for there to be a first cause of the entire causal chain, infinite though such a chain may be. In the words of Bahá'u'lláh himself (the founder of the Bahá'í Faith to which both Hatcher and I belong):


"Creation has neither beginning nor end, and none hath ever unravelled its mystery.... The world of existence is contingent, inasmuch as it is preceded by a cause, while essential pre-existence hath ever been, and shall remain, confined to God, magnified be His glory. This statement is being made lest one be inclined to conclude from the earlier assertion, namely that creation hath no beginning and no end, that it is pre-existent. True and essential pre-existence is exclusively reserved to God, while the pre-existence of the world is secondary and relative." (revealed in Arabic in the year 1858, "Tabernacle of Unity")


In other words, Bahá'u'lláh anticipates the intellectual confusion that arises when the universe is regarded as beginningless while still preceded by a First Cause, God. He explains both assertions to be true and, indeed, logically the simultaneity of both assertions is unproblematic if a hierarchy of existence (levels of existence) is postulated. A hierarchy of existence is logically implicit in Hatcher's proof since V (all existing entities) would have to consist of time and space among the entities caused by G. Hence, G is independent of time while time is dependent on G. The Bahá'í position sharply disagrees with the Christian position of a creation ex nihilo in time. The universe has always existed and will always exist. Yet, it is created. In the Bahá'í theology God is the unknowable absolute that transcends all human concepts, even the most extraordinary ones such as "infinity" or "eternity" which are ultimately mere projections of human imagination. All of these are mere created attributes, mere mental imageries. Bahá'u'lláh asserts that even the notion of God's "eternity" does not describe God positively but represents a mere "creation" for us humans to imagine His greatness, no matter how inadequately:


"O Son of Man! My eternity is My creation, I have created it for thee." (Arabic Hidden Words)

Indeed, if God be ever accepted by an atheist, the only logical and meaningful concept of God is something along these lines. By stating this I am not assuming anyone to accept it.


With kind regards,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 8:42AM #55
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,901

Oct 3, 2011 -- 8:16AM, Eudaimonist wrote:


Oct 3, 2011 -- 3:38AM, Lilwabbit wrote:

Post #17: To repeat, I, neither Hatcher, have not stated that a cause must precede its effect in time.



I didn't think either of you did.


Neither have we inferred any such fallacy.



It's not a fallacy.  Any change takes place over time.  No change is instantaneous.  Since causality is an explanation for change, some non-zero elapsed time is necessary to speak of the effect.


Do you know of any change that takes place in zero time, without violating the Law of Non-Contradiction?



Perhaps it should be noted at this juncture that causality does not logically necessarily imply "change". It implies an "effect". Sometimes the effect is that nothing changes. For example most physical laws affect the universe without time-delay. They apply to physical phenomena without delay while the physical phenomena themselves may be events within spacetime.


With kind regards,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 9:39AM #56
Blü
Posts: 25,058

Lilwabbit


There is no "point in time" at which G "starts" to exist as G is regarded as the very cause of time along with all the other phenomena within V. G precedes time, causally.


If time didn't exist in whatever place or state G was existing in, then G couldn't change - and unless G changed, G couldn't cause anything, no?

Hatcher says his argument should be acceptable to materialists, as I understand it, so the views of Bahá'u'lláh, however otherwise estimable, don't really cut it here. 


So how does Hatcher explain change without time, and how does he know?




Have you also dealt with point 2? -


In A → B, must the cause exist earlier in time than the effect?

If the cause and the effect can be simultaneous, how do we tell -

(a) that a cause-and-effect occurrence happened at all, and

(b) which element is the cause and which is the effect?


Grateful if you can refer me to the answer.


And if you answered the earlier question about the nature of G, given that G is physical but can't be a system, grateful if you can refer me to that answer too.

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 10:49AM #57
F1fan
Posts: 11,621

Oct 3, 2011 -- 8:42AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Perhaps it should be noted at this juncture that causality does not logically necessarily imply "change". It implies an "effect". Sometimes the effect is that nothing changes. For example most physical laws affect the universe without time-delay. They apply to physical phenomena without delay while the physical phenomena themselves may be events within spacetime.



But this only seems to apply to pre-existing phenomenon.  In this proof it is suggesting or implying that A exists and B is created.  The "effect" implied in this proof is creation, not a relationship of existing entities/phenomenon.  If there is no time how can we distinguish a state of A existing before B, and A causing B?  If both exist simultaneously then we should be referring to this as AB.  That would imply a self-cause as well.


However, to say both exist "simultaneously" implies a moment in time, yet if A causes B, and there is no time to account for, how do we account for a cause or change?  The proof still claims a change.  How is A to be distinguished from B at all?  How is there to be a "cause" when the word itself implies time in the context of the proof?  A may cause B without a time delay but this implies a time before and a time after.

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 11:04AM #58
redshifted
Posts: 2,283

Oct 3, 2011 -- 3:50AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Owing to the reasons explained in the foregoing, I will now restrict all further responses to the select few posters that have proven their understanding of Hatcher's language, and to comments on the substance that, in my view, have not been properly addressed as yet. I hope nobody will take this personally. My intention is only to keep the discussion focused and my personal time well-managed.




No worries. Maybe you could be so kind to get back to the rest of us if/when you can express the "proof" in plain words. You wouldn't want to restrict such an important discovery to the elite few, would you?

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 11:09AM #59
mountain_man
Posts: 39,651

Oct 3, 2011 -- 2:08AM, Lilwabbit wrote:

I've read it only too many times to conclude with certainty that Hatcher's proof is something quite different. Read Hatcher's proof and if you can't understand something (as you repeatedly betray), read it more carefully or ask someone.


Sure, the wording is different but the premise and conclusion are the same; a creator god being the first cause.


Hatcher already did.


No, he did not prove anything. He claimed to have proof, but I, and others here much smarter than I, found quite a few flaws with his "proof."


Hatcher does not appeal to the classical Cosmological Argument. This is one of the many strengths of his argument. ....


There are no strengths in his argument. No, he doesn't appeal to the CLASSICAL CA, but uses it none the less.


The title of the thread....


You made a bizarre claim that Hatcher did not set out to prove a god exists or that his argument had nothing to do with proving a god exists. Then you asked me to prove it.



Hatcher just did.


No, he did not, not even close. And leave out the personal attacks, they just make YOU look bad.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 11:12AM #60
Eudaimonist
Posts: 2,036

Oct 3, 2011 -- 11:04AM, redshifted wrote:

No worries. Maybe you could be so kind to get back to the rest of us if/when you can express the "proof" in plain words. You wouldn't want to restrict such an important discovery to the elite few, would you?




I second this request!  Any "proof" of this sort can usefully have a plain worded explanation for the sake of improved communication.  It really should have had this to begin with.


 


eudaimonia,


Mark

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