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Switch to Forum Live View Faith IS Substance; Faith IS Evidence
2 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2012 - 11:08PM #71
Thetanager
Posts: 1,224

Apr 16, 2012 -- 6:04PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


My assertion is that there is no reason to think that the first cause of life on earth is the same as the first cause of the universe. Do you disagree with this statement?



I haven't really tackled the issue from this angle, so I'm not sure if I agree or not.  Are you saying you don't assert the positive side of your claim here?  That there are reasons to think the first causes are different?  Would you disagree with someone who asserted that they see no reason to think that the first cause of life on earth is different from the first cause of the universe?

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 9:19AM #72
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Apr 16, 2012 -- 10:52PM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 16, 2012 -- 5:05PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


You don't see what I am getting at?


I'm not arguing against a "uncaused cause" persay for the eventual reduction of the line of logic. I am saying that we do not know that it is this universe. We cannot say that an uncaused cause caused this universe, or that what did cause this universe was uncaused. We do not know if this is the first universe, 17th universe, 500th universe, or 200 trillionth universe.



But that is the whole point of my argument...an uncaused cause at the eventual reduction of the line of logic, whether this is the only universe or the 200 trillionth one. I don't see the point in speculating about possible previous universes. Even if they exist, the argument doesn't change, there is only more steps in the middle of the line of logic. The first cause of existence as we see it in the evidence (our own existence) must be an uncaused cause, given the four options you mention. Unknown possible previous universes is not evidence, but mere speculation and their possible existence does not counter my argument if that speculation just happens to fit reality.





You don't see the point in speculating about possible previous universes, but are willing to speculate about this one? 


We are actually almost in agreement here.  I just take it one step further.  I don't see the point in speculating about the origin of this universe.  Whether the first universe, or the 200 trillionth universe,we can't know.  Is the universe caused by an uncaused cause?  Is it caused by natural events?  We don't know.  We must judge the universe as an isolated event, just as we must judge an individual coin flip as an isolated event, but that doesn't mean that it was special.  When not knowing the origin, we have no way of determining that it is unique. 


Apr 16, 2012 -- 10:52PM, Thetanager wrote:


That is what I mean in saying the "known" universe, what we can observe and know about the universe right now, not speculations about a possible multi-verse, alien life forms and all that.  I'm going on the evidence we can see before us, not speculations.




How much of the universe do you feel we know well enough to make judgements off? 




Apr 16, 2012 -- 5:05PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Could a horse be anything other than a horse?



Of course not. But I'm missing the counter-ness of this to my argument for a distinction of essence/existence.





Because, if "that it is" and "what it is" are different ideas, a horse could be other than a horse.  If they are intertwinned, and one cannot exist without the other, a horse can not be anything other than a horse. 





Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 9:46AM #73
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Apr 16, 2012 -- 11:08PM, Thetanager wrote:


Apr 16, 2012 -- 6:04PM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


My assertion is that there is no reason to think that the first cause of life on earth is the same as the first cause of the universe. Do you disagree with this statement?



I haven't really tackled the issue from this angle, so I'm not sure if I agree or not.  Are you saying you don't assert the positive side of your claim here?



Not in this discussion as of now, no. 


Apr 16, 2012 -- 11:08PM, Thetanager wrote:


  That there are reasons to think the first causes are different?




What is your default state? 


I guess I've had enough scientific training that I automatically assume the null hypothesis until proven otherwise.  The null hypothesis is always that there is no relationship between the groups compared. 



There is no reason to think they are the same, and one can trace the origins of the belief that they are the same.  I paraphrased this in an earlier post.  As long as there is no reason to think that they are the same, there is no reason to believe that they are. 


Another thing I'm thinking of is our use of different terms to describe what I think is the same thing.  The "known" universe and the "observable" universe.  In my opinion, the actual known universe doesn't even extend outside of the solar system.  In this understanding, saying we are the only form of intelligent life in the "known" universe is akin to holding up a grain of sand, and saying that because no ants are on it, there are no ants.  It is important to know how much we actually know. 




Apr 16, 2012 -- 11:08PM, Thetanager wrote:


  Would you disagree with someone who asserted that they see no reason to think that the first cause of life on earth is different from the first cause of the universe?





Not an issue that has ever come up.  I may disagree with them.  I take counterpoints in discussions all the time as an intellectual exercise. 


My actual side is one of polytheism here, and unknown as to the universe itself.  I don't know if the same cause exists for the Earth as the universe, but, being polytheist already, I don't have a vested interest in it. 



all

Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 10:39AM #74
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,776

Forgive me for barging in, but I don't even understand the need for a first cause of the Universe. Why does it matter?

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 10:49AM #75
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Apr 17, 2012 -- 10:39AM, mainecaptain wrote:


Forgive me for barging in, but I don't even understand the need for a first cause of the Universe. Why does it matter?





As in, affecting us and our daily life?  Not at all. 

Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 12:39PM #76
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,776

Apr 17, 2012 -- 10:49AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Apr 17, 2012 -- 10:39AM, mainecaptain wrote:


Forgive me for barging in, but I don't even understand the need for a first cause of the Universe. Why does it matter?





As in, affecting us and our daily life?  Not at all. 




That is my feeling as well. Please don't get me wrong. I find science fascinating. And I love astronomy. And from that stand point I would not mind knowing how it all began. But from a theological one, it really does not matter to me.


This endless hunger monotheists, and Christians in particular seem to have about their first "uncaused cause" makes no sense, unless their faith depends on such.


A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 11:33PM #77
Thetanager
Posts: 1,224

Apr 17, 2012 -- 9:19AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Is the universe caused by an uncaused cause? Is it caused by natural events? We don't know.



Nor does it matter for my argument. I should not have talked about it as the cause of this universe, since you've been talking about possible other universes that we can't rule out. The uncaused cause I'm logically arguing to is the cause of whatever exists (if that is just our universe, that is what I'm talking about...if there was a previous universe, that universe is what I am talking about and so on).


Apr 17, 2012 -- 9:19AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


How much of the universe do you feel we know well enough to make judgements off?



I think you are right in our agreement on the "known" and "observable" terms we are using about the universe. But, I think we should make judgments off of whatever info we have...not the info we don't have. If all we know is the piece of sand, then we should judge it likely that there are no ants. Once new info comes in, we adjust that claim. There is no reason to adjust the claim before the new info comes in. Now, I do agree with acknowledging that our knowledge is limited. What we know can be tempered by our limitations, but we shouldn't be paralyzed by it.


Apr 17, 2012 -- 9:19AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Because, if "that it is" and "what it is" are different ideas, a horse could be other than a horse. If they are intertwinned, and one cannot exist without the other, a horse can not be anything other than a horse.



First, what would it be, if not a horse?


Second, these concepts can exist without the other (that is my argument, that is what it means for them to be distinct).  I can think of "horse-ness" without having an actual living horse in front of me.  I can think of existence without any notion of "horse-ness."  But that doesn't mean these are just in my head, for they come out of observing a real thing (they are aspects of that reality).  The realit(ies) these concepts come from require both aspects to "intertwine" or there is no real existing thing of which I can then conceptualize.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 11:46PM #78
Thetanager
Posts: 1,224

Apr 17, 2012 -- 9:46AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


What is your default state?


I guess I've had enough scientific training that I automatically assume the null hypothesis until proven otherwise. The null hypothesis is always that there is no relationship between the groups compared.


There is no reason to think they are the same, and one can trace the origins of the belief that they are the same. I paraphrased this in an earlier post. As long as there is no reason to think that they are the same, there is no reason to believe that they are.



Why should we have a default state? Isn't that just making an assumption? Wouldn't your logic here also work for the other side? There is no reason to think they are different (you are only defaulting to just assuming they are). As long as there is no reason to think that they are different, there is no reason to believe that they are.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 11:47PM #79
Thetanager
Posts: 1,224

Apr 17, 2012 -- 12:39PM, mainecaptain wrote:


Apr 17, 2012 -- 10:49AM, allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:


Apr 17, 2012 -- 10:39AM, mainecaptain wrote:


Forgive me for barging in, but I don't even understand the need for a first cause of the Universe. Why does it matter?



As in, affecting us and our daily life? Not at all.



That is my feeling as well. Please don't get me wrong. I find science fascinating. And I love astronomy. And from that stand point I would not mind knowing how it all began. But from a theological one, it really does not matter to me.


This endless hunger monotheists, and Christians in particular seem to have about their first "uncaused cause" makes no sense, unless their faith depends on such.



I don't mind the barging in at all. And I agree that we (Christians included) can certainly get by in life without thinking about the first cause in these ways. But remember I brought it up in the context of my claim that theists do not just assume everything they believe, but that we can and do try to understand reality based on evidences and logic. This was one concrete example of such attempts.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 10:04PM #80
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Apr 17, 2012 -- 11:33PM, Thetanager wrote:


Nor does it matter for my argument. I should not have talked about it as the cause of this universe, since you've been talking about possible other universes that we can't rule out. The uncaused cause I'm logically arguing to is the cause of whatever exists (if that is just our universe, that is what I'm talking about...if there was a previous universe, that universe is what I am talking about and so on).




Then one must wonder, really, how far is it relevant?  Pretty much what I was getting at in a previous post.  At some point, as the scope increases, it becomes irrelevant. 


In my book, what really concerns us, instead of if there was a first cause for the universe, is the immediate area.  The solar system.  Nam, et all, have a pretty good case.  Lets face it, we're relying on extrapolation from a few things that really don't make sense to us any other way.  Not a good thing to base an argument off of.  My beliefs, and I hope your beliefs have a basis other than that.  By Loki's goat tether, we're both theists and we can't gather enough agreement between each other to form a coherent argument. 


No, by reducing the argument as far out as we are, it becomes inconsequential.  Who cares who, or even if something created the universe.  My concern is more local, and brother, local is a whole different ball of wax. 



Apr 17, 2012 -- 11:33PM, Thetanager wrote:


I think you are right in our agreement on the "known" and "observable" terms we are using about the universe. But, I think we should make judgments off of whatever info we have...not the info we don't have. If all we know is the piece of sand, then we should judge it likely that there are no ants. Once new info comes in, we adjust that claim. There is no reason to adjust the claim before the new info comes in. Now, I do agree with acknowledging that our knowledge is limited. What we know can be tempered by our limitations, but we shouldn't be paralyzed by it.




Ah, but if we say there are no ants, based off of the one little grain of sand that we know of, we are as much making a judgement from ignorance as if we said that we know there are ants out there, we just have to look for them.  What we should be is knowledgeable of our own ignorance, and not say whether there are ants or not. 


Apr 17, 2012 -- 11:33PM, Thetanager wrote:


First, what would it be, if not a horse?




A dog, a potato, a desk, a vending machine, anything.  If that it is a horse, and what is a horse are separate concepts, anything can be what a horse is, and a horse can be what anything else is. 


Apr 17, 2012 -- 11:33PM, Thetanager wrote:


Second, these concepts can exist without the other (that is my argument, that is what it means for them to be distinct).  I can think of "horse-ness" without having an actual living horse in front of me.  I can think of existence without any notion of "horse-ness."  But that doesn't mean these are just in my head, for they come out of observing a real thing (they are aspects of that reality).  The realit(ies) these concepts come from require both aspects to "intertwine" or there is no real existing thing of which I can then conceptualize.




And we are back to the tree falling in the forest.  If there is no one to perceive the horse-ness, does it really exist? 

Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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