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Switch to Forum Live View Faith IS Substance; Faith IS Evidence
2 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 5:36PM #41
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Thanks Cap

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2012 - 2:00PM #42
Thetanager
Posts: 1,224

Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Once in existence, however, we do not require anyone to keep us in existence. I previous posts, it seems that you were saying that we did require someone/thing to maintain our existence.



I'm not sure I agree. We certainly don't rely only on ourselves to remain in existence (and therefore who I am and that I am are still valid distinctions of thought). It could be that our essence or what-ness is simply given concrete existence until one of various forces (external or internal) takes it from us. I'm going to need to think through this possible assumption in my previous post some more.


Pushing that aside for the moment, we still need an uncaused cause at the beginning of the existence of possible beings...me, you, everything else in the universe. There are still lines of reasoning that say this cause still seems to be personal. Because that seems to be the only way a temporal effect could arise from an eternal cause. If the cause were a mechanical set of necessary and sufficient conditions existing from eternity, it would seem the effect would also exist from eternity. For instance, frozen water. If the cause is the temperature being below zero and this cause is eternal, so is the effect. Any water present would have been frozen from eternity. But what about a man sitting from eternity? As a personal agent, he can choose to stand, thereby causing a temporal effect as an eternal cause.


Now, if what you are arguing is that there will always be possible alternate explanations from looking at the same pieces of evidence or that each religious world view has certain unprovable foundational points or that each world view will require some uncertainties, then I think I agree with you. Every world view (including atheism, scientism, religions, etc.) looks at the evidence with incomplete tools. But religious worldviews do look at evidence, use logic rationally, and can make plausible cases for their beliefs. And other views can challenge certain parts of different views.


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


I don't see the dichotomy between the two that you seem to. One is just the objective reality, and one is the perception of that reality by conscious beings.



In talking about essence, "what I am," I am not talking about the perception of that reality by conscious beings. I'm making a distinction within an objective reality alone (regardless of other conscious beings). The distinction is between "what I am" and "that I am."


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


When man discovered that the solar system was just one of billions of stars in a vast galaxy, it became a leap of faith that the being that brought the hole thing into existence did so for him.



I never said I thought God brought the whole thing into existence for humans.


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Was there a first cause for the universe? Sure.


Was there a first cause for life on this planet? Sure.


Were they the same? It seems unlikely that they were



Why does it seem unlikely to you?


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


The size and scope of the universe is such that one is unable to believe in the monotheistic version of a triple omni creator deity that is also an anthropomorphic personal deity.



How does the size and scope of the universe rule out a monotheistic Creator that is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent? How does it rule out a personal deity? And what do you mean by anthropomorphic? That a monotheistic God is human like, or that humans describe such a deity in human terms?

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2012 - 10:13AM #43
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Once in existence, however, we do not require anyone to keep us in existence. I previous posts, it seems that you were saying that we did require someone/thing to maintain our existence.



I'm not sure I agree. We certainly don't rely only on ourselves to remain in existence.....




I just need to interject here.  It almost seems like you are expressing a statement that you equate with a truism here.  In my opinion that is one of the reasons why dialogue is so hard between theists of various stripes and even non-theists.  Everyone operates under some assumptions.  We have to do so in order to function in daily life. 


I do not operate under that particular assumption.  When you state that "we certainly don't rely only on ourselves to remain in existence", the first thought that crosses my mind is "then who, and what evidence do you have for this?". 






Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


Pushing that aside for the moment, we still need an uncaused cause at the beginning of the existence of possible beings...me, you, everything else in the universe.




The universe.  The known universe, consists of all known things.  Hence if there was something that caused the universe, it likely had to be outside of what we consider "all known things".  That does not mean that it, by necessity, had to be "uncaused", just unknown.  Unknown means a lot of different possibilities.  Unknown also means that all of the different possibilities actually have a much better chance at being wrong, than they do at being right.  Especially the more fantastic the stories become. 



Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:

If the cause were a mechanical set of necessary and sufficient conditions existing from eternity, it would seem the effect would also exist from eternity. For instance, frozen water. If the cause is the temperature being below zero and this cause is eternal, so is the effect. Any water present would have been frozen from eternity. But what about a man sitting from eternity? As a personal agent, he can choose to stand, thereby causing a temporal effect as an eternal cause.




Eternity?  What?  I'm not expressing the idea of eternal here. 


Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:

But religious worldviews do look at evidence, use logic rationally, and can make plausible cases for their beliefs. And other views can challenge certain parts of different views.




My disagreement comes from the idea that religious worldviews look at the evidence and draw their beliefs from them.  I do not deny that they can make cases for their beliefs and rationally explain them, using certain points of evidence that seem to substantiate their beliefs (especially to them, or other adherents).  I have a coffee mug on my desk.  I can logically assume that it was made.  I cannot logically assume that it was made by a man named George wearing a yellow hat that likes summer sausage sandwiches with big slices of onion on them.  


Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


 


In talking about essence, "what I am," I am not talking about the perception of that reality by conscious beings. I'm making a distinction within an objective reality alone (regardless of other conscious beings). The distinction is between "what I am" and "that I am."




I don't see a distinction between the two. 


Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


When man discovered that the solar system was just one of billions of stars in a vast galaxy, it became a leap of faith that the being that brought the hole thing into existence did so for him.



I never said I thought God brought the whole thing into existence for humans.




Yes, but do you think it? 


Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Was there a first cause for the universe? Sure.


Was there a first cause for life on this planet? Sure.


Were they the same? It seems unlikely that they were



Why does it seem unlikely to you?




Because the size and scope of the universe vastly dwarfs this planet.  Enough to make it unrealistic to think so. 


Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


The size and scope of the universe is such that one is unable to believe in the monotheistic version of a triple omni creator deity that is also an anthropomorphic personal deity.



How does the size and scope of the universe rule out a monotheistic Creator that is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent? How does it rule out a personal deity? And what do you mean by anthropomorphic? That a monotheistic God is human like, or that humans describe such a deity in human terms?





When one is knowledgeable of the size and scope of the universe, how can one assume an omni omni creator deity that is also a anthropomorphic, anthropocentric (man like, and man centered) personal deity?  If one does not assume an anthropomorphic, anthropocentric personal deity, how can one be Christian?



all

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 9:22AM #44
Thetanager
Posts: 1,224

Apr 12, 2012 -- 10:13AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


I do not operate under that particular assumption. When you state that "we certainly don't rely only on ourselves to remain in existence", the first thought that crosses my mind is "then who, and what evidence do you have for this?"



There what I meant was that our existence can be taken away from us by external forces, like by another human being. I was only making the point that we don't have total control over our existence.


Apr 12, 2012 -- 10:13AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


The universe. The known universe, consists of all known things. Hence if there was something that caused the universe, it likely had to be outside of what we consider "all known things". That does not mean that it, by necessity, had to be "uncaused", just unknown. Unknown means a lot of different possibilities. Unknown also means that all of the different possibilities actually have a much better chance at being wrong, than they do at being right.



That was not my line of reasoning, though. I was pointing back to what I had already said about the existence of possible beings who do not cause their own existence. Nor could an infinite chain of possible beings be the ultimate answer for our existence...the first cause. Even going back chronologically, there is a need for an uncaused being who simply has existence as part of what they are in order to give it to us possible beings.


Apr 12, 2012 -- 10:13AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Eternity? What? I'm not expressing the idea of eternal here.



It goes back to what I was saying about us being possible existences and needing something "outside" that system to account for our existence as possible beings. If we are to say the "first cause" is not possible, it seems it is eternal. Otherwise there was a time when it did not exist or a time when it will not exist...but that is what a possible existence is and we are back in the infinite chain. That's where I got it being eternal from.


Apr 12, 2012 -- 10:13AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


I don't see a distinction between the two



I think this was about "what I am" and "that I am." You agreed to this distinction earlier in our discussion. It's the distinction between what it means to be a human being and actually existing. It's the distinction between horse-ness and there actually being a horse.


Apr 12, 2012 -- 10:13AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Yes, but do you think it?



I'm not sure how to include your quotes of my words that prompt this response of yours. I haven't quite figured out the multi-quote reply tool, but I also haven't really tried. But, to answer the question, I do not think God brought the whole thing into existence for humans. Christianity, as I know it, teaches that God brought the universe (which includes humans) into existence for his glory, to create something beautiful and good because that is just who he is. It spills out of his essence, so to speak.


Apr 12, 2012 -- 10:13AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Because the size and scope of the universe vastly dwarfs this planet. Enough to make it unrealistic to think so.



I'm not following the logic here. The universe is big and had a first cause. Life on this planet (a later part of this universe) had a first cause. Just because life on this planet is a small part (at least spatially) in this big universe, it is likely these first causes are different? For this to make more sense, it seems, you would need to have some idea of what type of properties are likely for these types of first causes and why it is likely that they are different. What do you see those properties needing to be?


Apr 12, 2012 -- 10:13AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


When one is knowledgeable of the size and scope of the universe, how can one assume an omni omni creator deity that is also a anthropomorphic, anthropocentric (man like, and man centered) personal deity? If one does not assume an anthropomorphic, anthropocentric personal deity, how can one be Christian?



It seems your problem is more with the man-like and man-centered part, right? Because it seems obvious that a being with unlimited knowledge and unlimited power could create a universe in the vastness that ours is. Of course, perhaps you also have a problem with the Christian notion of God being unlimited in his goodness, but I'll touch on what you've already brought up.


Just because humans talk about God in anthropomorphic terms, does not mean God is man like. Christianity, it seems to me, really says that God is distinct from us...wholly other. Christians believe we are made in God's image, so we are actually saying that we are God-like in our human sort of way. To take that further, I think that means that the trees are God-like in their own tree sort of way. The universe shares/reflects aspects of God and his character in different ways. As humans we talk about God in ways we can understand and relate to: that is, anthropomorphically.


I agree with you that some Christians act like God is made in their image and centered on humans, but I don't know that this is what Christianity really teaches. It's the other way round. I think God is personal with all of the universe. But humans seem to have a special place in the known universe. We are a one of a kind species (as far as we know and in spite of how vast the universe is). If God exists and God is personal, of course he would be personal with us in a special kind of way. But if there are other creatures like us in rationality and whatnot, this doesn't mean God isn't personal with them in a similar way.


So, I don't see anything illogical about a vast universe created by an tri-omni being that is personal and deeply interested in what goes on in that universe, no matter how big the universe is. I also don't see anything illogical about this vast creator being concerned with what is happening with us and interacting with us (and still be concerned with the rest of the universe). This does not mean that God is anthropocentric to the detriment of the rest of the universe.


I'm not saying the vastness of the universe requires the Christian view of God, just that it certainly doesn't seem to rule it out.  The two are not logically incompatible.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 11:02AM #45
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,444

Apr 12, 2012 -- 10:13AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Once in existence, however, we do not require anyone to keep us in existence. I previous posts, it seems that you were saying that we did require someone/thing to maintain our existence.



I'm not sure I agree. We certainly don't rely only on ourselves to remain in existence.....




I just need to interject here.  It almost seems like you are expressing a statement that you equate with a truism here.  In my opinion that is one of the reasons why dialogue is so hard between theists of various stripes and even non-theists.  Everyone operates under some assumptions.  We have to do so in order to function in daily life. 


I do not operate under that particular assumption.  When you state that "we certainly don't rely only on ourselves to remain in existence", the first thought that crosses my mind is "then who, and what evidence do you have for this?". 






Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


Pushing that aside for the moment, we still need an uncaused cause at the beginning of the existence of possible beings...me, you, everything else in the universe.




The universe.  The known universe, consists of all known things.  Hence if there was something that caused the universe, it likely had to be outside of what we consider "all known things".  That does not mean that it, by necessity, had to be "uncaused", just unknown.  Unknown means a lot of different possibilities.  Unknown also means that all of the different possibilities actually have a much better chance at being wrong, than they do at being right.  Especially the more fantastic the stories become. 



Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:

If the cause were a mechanical set of necessary and sufficient conditions existing from eternity, it would seem the effect would also exist from eternity. For instance, frozen water. If the cause is the temperature being below zero and this cause is eternal, so is the effect. Any water present would have been frozen from eternity. But what about a man sitting from eternity? As a personal agent, he can choose to stand, thereby causing a temporal effect as an eternal cause.




Eternity?  What?  I'm not expressing the idea of eternal here. 


Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:

But religious worldviews do look at evidence, use logic rationally, and can make plausible cases for their beliefs. And other views can challenge certain parts of different views.




My disagreement comes from the idea that religious worldviews look at the evidence and draw their beliefs from them.  I do not deny that they can make cases for their beliefs and rationally explain them, using certain points of evidence that seem to substantiate their beliefs (especially to them, or other adherents).  I have a coffee mug on my desk.  I can logically assume that it was made.  I cannot logically assume that it was made by a man named George wearing a yellow hat that likes summer sausage sandwiches with big slices of onion on them.  


Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


 


In talking about essence, "what I am," I am not talking about the perception of that reality by conscious beings. I'm making a distinction within an objective reality alone (regardless of other conscious beings). The distinction is between "what I am" and "that I am."




I don't see a distinction between the two. 


Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


When man discovered that the solar system was just one of billions of stars in a vast galaxy, it became a leap of faith that the being that brought the hole thing into existence did so for him.



I never said I thought God brought the whole thing into existence for humans.




Yes, but do you think it? 


Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Was there a first cause for the universe? Sure.


Was there a first cause for life on this planet? Sure.


Were they the same? It seems unlikely that they were



Why does it seem unlikely to you?




Because the size and scope of the universe vastly dwarfs this planet.  Enough to make it unrealistic to think so. 


Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:00PM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:57PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


The size and scope of the universe is such that one is unable to believe in the monotheistic version of a triple omni creator deity that is also an anthropomorphic personal deity.



How does the size and scope of the universe rule out a monotheistic Creator that is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent? How does it rule out a personal deity? And what do you mean by anthropomorphic? That a monotheistic God is human like, or that humans describe such a deity in human terms?





When one is knowledgeable of the size and scope of the universe, how can one assume an omni omni creator deity that is also a anthropomorphic, anthropocentric (man like, and man centered) personal deity?  If one does not assume an anthropomorphic, anthropocentric personal deity, how can one be Christian?



all



I believe that it is a truism that we are dependent. We live off resources provided by nature. Nature sustains us, we do not sustain nature.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 12:01PM #46
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Apr 13, 2012 -- 9:22AM, Thetanager wrote:


There what I meant was that our existence can be taken away from us by external forces, like by another human being. I was only making the point that we don't have total control over our existence.




I would not say that because our existence can be taken away from us by external forces, that we rely on another to continue our existence.  From my vantage point, I feel you are making distinctions were I don't see any, but combining concepts that I see as different. 


Apr 13, 2012 -- 9:22AM, Thetanager wrote:


That was not my line of reasoning, though. I was pointing back to what I had already said about the existence of possible beings who do not cause their own existence. Nor could an infinite chain of possible beings be the ultimate answer for our existence...the first cause. Even going back chronologically, there is a need for an uncaused being who simply has existence as part of what they are in order to give it to us possible beings.




I'm not sure what else I can say but I don't agree.  There is no evidence for an "uncaused" being.  Such a thing has no evidence for it, just supposition on the part of those that assert it "needs to". 


Apr 13, 2012 -- 9:22AM, Thetanager wrote:


It goes back to what I was saying about us being possible existences and needing something "outside" that system to account for our existence as possible beings. If we are to say the "first cause" is not possible, it seems it is eternal. Otherwise there was a time when it did not exist or a time when it will not exist...but that is what a possible existence is and we are back in the infinite chain. That's where I got it being eternal from.




Remember that with everything I say, I am referring to the fact that the universe is old, but not eternal.  That we do not know how or why it started.  We have no frame of reference. 


Apr 13, 2012 -- 9:22AM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 12, 2012 -- 10:13AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


I don't see a distinction between the two



I think this was about "what I am" and "that I am." You agreed to this distinction earlier in our discussion. It's the distinction between what it means to be a human being and actually existing. It's the distinction between horse-ness and there actually being a horse.




I agreed to that when I felt you were alluding to the difference between reality and perception.  I do not agree to it now that I realize that you are referring to the difference between "what I am" and "that I am".  That is just two different descriptions of the same thing. 


Apr 13, 2012 -- 9:22AM, Thetanager wrote:


I'm not sure how to include your quotes of my words that prompt this response of yours. I haven't quite figured out the multi-quote reply tool, but I also haven't really tried. But, to answer the question, I do not think God brought the whole thing into existence for humans. Christianity, as I know it, teaches that God brought the universe (which includes humans) into existence for his glory, to create something beautiful and good because that is just who he is. It spills out of his essence, so to speak.




The only think I can know of Christianity, not being a Christian myself, is that which is related by others.  As I can only know of any other belief not my own from others.  What you seem to be describing is more similar to deism than it is Christianity.  Christianity focuses around a messianic figure and all that entails.  Not that he poofed a universe into existence for the sake of poofing a universe into existence. 


Apr 13, 2012 -- 9:22AM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 12, 2012 -- 10:13AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Because the size and scope of the universe vastly dwarfs this planet. Enough to make it unrealistic to think so.



I'm not following the logic here. The universe is big and had a first cause. Life on this planet (a later part of this universe) had a first cause. Just because life on this planet is a small part (at least spatially) in this big universe, it is likely these first causes are different? For this to make more sense, it seems, you would need to have some idea of what type of properties are likely for these types of first causes and why it is likely that they are different. What do you see those properties needing to be?




A pop can is made in a factory.  A 777 is made in a factory, do they have the same makers?  Does it make sense to not only assume, but assert so? 


But ok, you want to look at these properties and say why it is likely that they are different. 


One is size.  Don't just look at what I posted.  Look it up.  The whole of the earth is much larger than a grain of sand.  Yet the size difference between the earth and the observable universe is much greater than that. 


Another is age.  The universe is almost 9 billion years older than the earth.  Almost twice the age of the earth. 



Aside from the fact that if you are making the claim that they are the same, it is up to you to show me why you think they are the same.  This is just my reasoning why a blind assertion that they are the same is fallacious. 




Apr 13, 2012 -- 9:22AM, Thetanager wrote:


It seems your problem is more with the man-like and man-centered part, right?



Your language seems to indicate that you feel that this is a topic that I am having difficulty understanding.  It is not.  I understand the concept just fine.  I disagree with it. 





Apr 13, 2012 -- 9:22AM, Thetanager wrote:

But humans seem to have a special place in the known universe.



I disagree.  We are narcissistic.  We are anthropocentric.  That does not mean anything or one else is. 


Apr 13, 2012 -- 9:22AM, Thetanager wrote:


If God exists and God is personal, of course he would be personal with us in a special kind of way.




As typical in regards to my discussions with Christians, you are assuming things 6 steps down the story line when the players have not been agreed upon yet. 


Apr 13, 2012 -- 9:22AM, Thetanager wrote:


So, I don't see anything illogical about a vast universe created by an tri-omni being that is personal and deeply interested in what goes on in that universe, no matter how big the universe is.



My friend, you have not promoted a logical train of thought about it yet, just asserted that it is.  What started off as a possibly interesting discussion, is turning out to be the same as everything else that has come by. 


At one point we were discussing how theists allegedly use evidence to support their claims.  Supposition is not evidence.  Saying that something "could be" is not evidence.  I see my analogy to the coffee mug fell on deaf ears. 





Apr 13, 2012 -- 9:22AM, Thetanager wrote:


I'm not saying the vastness of the universe requires the Christian view of God, just that it certainly doesn't seem to rule it out.  The two are not logically incompatible.





There is a difference between being logically incompatible, and being justified by the evidence. 



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2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 12:05PM #47
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Apr 13, 2012 -- 11:02AM, williejhonlo wrote:


 I believe that it is a truism that we are dependent. We live off resources provided by nature. Nature sustains us, we do not sustain nature.






"Nature" is a description of a perception and has not been established as a force either conscious or not, with or without a will and intent. 


It is believed to be many different things, but many different cultures.  It is unlikely that we will obtain concensus on what, if anything it is, and it's introduction only serves to muddy the waters. 



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2 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 3:26PM #48
Thetanager
Posts: 1,224

Apr 13, 2012 -- 12:01PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Your language seems to indicate that you feel that this is a topic that I am having difficulty understanding. It is not. I understand the concept just fine. I disagree with it.



Apr 13, 2012 -- 12:01PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:

My friend, you have not promoted a logical train of thought about it yet, just asserted that it is. What started off as a possibly interesting discussion, is turning out to be the same as everything else that has come by.


At one point we were discussing how theists allegedly use evidence to support their claims. Supposition is not evidence. Saying that something "could be" is not evidence. I see my analogy to the coffee mug fell on deaf ears.



All,


I have loved this discussion and found it greatly interesting. I hope it doesn't end up like so many between those of different belief systems. I know there have been tons of Christians that treat those of other faiths like crap in discussions like this rather than like fellow human beings trying to understand the world. I apologize for my own imperfect use of language in this discussion. But if any language seems to be demeaning of your intelligence or anything like that I assure you that is not my intention, I am simply trying to be as clear as possible in sharing my thoughts to minimize misunderstandings.


I think we are both misunderstanding each other's points at times, none moreso than the other. I think this is normal with communication from two different viewpoints. I have greatly appreciated how you have stayed in it with me and sought deeper understanding. I think it has helped me to see my position and your position more deeply and I think I can still gain in understanding of the nuances of your position and your challenges to my position if you wish to go further.


If you do, I think there are at least three different things going on in our discussion here. Let me know if you are seeing it the same way. And feel free to drop any part or all of our discussion if you wish.


I'll present them in separate posts (framed somewhat by your last responses):


1. How theists allegedly use evidence to support their claims. This includes my assertions about an uncaused cause.


2. You made some assertions about the incompatibility of the Christian view of God and the vastness of the universe.


3. The Christian view of God's purpose in creating the universe in general and humans in particular.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 3:28PM #49
Thetanager
Posts: 1,224

1. How theists allegedly use evidence to support their claims:


My intent in going down the path I went was to get a concrete example we could look at. Perhaps a different example, like Jesus' resurrection, would have served us better, but honestly I was not trying to make a defense specifically for the Christian worldview, but rather for theism in general. We can always switch examples, if you like. But I offered what is called the vertical cosmological argument which looks at our own remaining-in-existence and argues towards an uncaused first cause (and further details of such a cause). We reached a spot where you uncovered a possible assumption in my argument. I said I needed to think more about that. But to respond to some lingering questions/comments in this section:


Apr 13, 2012 -- 12:01PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


I would not say that because our existence can be taken away from us by external forces, that we rely on another to continue our existence.



I would not say that either and am sorry for any language that seemed like I was making that connection.


Apr 13, 2012 -- 12:01PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


I do not agree to it now that I realize that you are referring to the difference between "what I am" and "that I am". That is just two different descriptions of the same thing.



But this is why I don't think it is two different descriptions of the same concept. What is a horse? We have that concept as humans. If humans all died, but horses lived on, wouldn't there still be "horse-ness"...that which makes them not humans, but horses [their body type, lack of rationality, wildness, whatever]? This seems to show me that the "what I am" is distinct from others' perception of the being.


Now, if all horses died, but humans lived on, wouldn't there still be a concept of "horse-ness" that we would know? This seems to show me that the "what I am" is distinct from the "that I am." The "what" of a horse would still be a concept even though horses would no longer exist.


Surely you can disagree, but if you do, please tell me where exactly you disagree with my above reasoning...simply for my benefit if nothing else.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 3:31PM #50
Thetanager
Posts: 1,224

So, in regards to looking at evidence theists use, we then moved to something more like the kalam cosmological argument which looks for the first cause of this universe of possible beings (and I do agree with you that the universe is not eternal).


Apr 13, 2012 -- 12:01PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


I'm not sure what else I can say but I don't agree. There is no evidence for an "uncaused" being. Such a thing has no evidence for it, just supposition on the part of those that assert it "needs to".



Here is my argument.  Perhaps I am still missing where you think this argument breaks down.    And I don't mean to imply that you are not understanding it, I'm just making sure my thought process is clear. You agreed that we were possible beings, because we do not give ourselves existence and we don't have to exist. So we are ultimately caused by another being.  I see 3 logical options to the cause of that being that causes our existence:


1. self-caused (which is impossible to do, for an agent must exist already to cause existence)
2. caused by another (which we must get beyond since an infinite regress of possible beings as causes doesn't make sense: the system would have never got off the ground)
3. uncaused. (which seems to be the only option left and there is not anything inherently illogical about such a being)


If (and only if...I'm not trying to jump 6 steps ahead here) this logic is sound we then move in to see if we can see anything else (IF its eternal, personal, etc.) that can be said about the cause logically.

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