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What Caused God?


R. S. Martin
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What he fails to understand is that "God" as the eternal concept (like math) is unconscious and not a being, while "God" as a being, is a different form of existing. A being is consciousness, and thought is a temporal property in itself, and hence a conscious being must have a cause, since he's temporal. If God thinks, when did he start thinking? Does God think from eternity to eternity? We're getting into the same problems Craig is using against the idea of an infinite universe. The same paradoxes start to apply to "infinite/eternal thinking" as a process which can not build on a previous idea, which builds on a previous idea, which builds on a previous idea... ad infinitum. The first thought must be the first cause of all God's thinking, hence the first cause of God's thinking was a non-thinking entity. While the non-conscious non-being, eternal concept of the things that just are, does not think. There is NO evidence for a supernatural eternal being or consciousness, however, it is logical to conceive an eternal existence of (non-thinking) things as such. If there is a heaven and hell, then there are multiple universes, which leads to the possibility of many more, or infinite number of universes. If God exists, no one can say how many universes God created. Also we can not say for sure that God didn't create a middleman which then created the Universe, and the Bible call that the "wind" or the spirit. After all, the Bible claims the supernatural realm was created before our universe, so we are not the result of the first event, there must have been events before ours. From all this I can only say, if the "philosophical God" exists, he is not the same as the Christian.

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Skeptic said: I love how he thinks he sounds so intelligent.

 

Maybe it's just me, but I am always struck by how scornful he sounds when he talks. I always get the feeling he is saying with his tone of voice, "This is so evident that only the very stupid wouldn't get it." :shrug:

 

Last night on the internet I saw that one month ago William Lane Craig debated "Does God Matter" with a Canadian atheist whom I heard speak last summer and very highly respect right here in the university just a ten minute bus ride away from where I live--AND I DIDN'T KNOW IT.

 

I've been hankering for a face to face meeting with the man for months. And now he's right here on MY turf and I don't know it. I might not have had the courage to actually go up to him and shake his hand but I could have heard him in person as opposed to relying on technology.

 

Anyway, if he's in real life the way he is in the online debates that I've watched, then talking face to face with him is no better than the technology-based stuff. He would never ever consider your (Hans) argument about consciousness. He would twist it out of recognition and THEN blast that harmless strawman to bits.

 

And puff out his chest at his achievement and his fans would congratulate him at his intellectual prowess. Oh the wiles of the slippery serpent. In some cultures, the serpent symbolizes the phallus. Well, that is what one often sees these guys flaunting, a newly coined female PhD informed me some time ago.

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Well, I'm getting second best. I posted on his forums asking whether the debate was online anywhere for free. Here is

.
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I wrote a really short post because I was tired LOL. But that's pretty much what I was trying to say in my sleep-deprived way: that he was being arrogant and acting like he knew it all and anyone who would even think to ask the question was stupid. I agree that it's just the way he thinks of skeptics: we're stupid and we're looking over obvious things and he's right and everyone should listen to him.

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Anyway, if he's in real life the way he is in the online debates that I've watched, then talking face to face with him is no better than the technology-based stuff. He would never ever consider your (Hans) argument about consciousness. He would twist it out of recognition and THEN blast that harmless strawman to bits.

 

And puff out his chest at his achievement and his fans would congratulate him at his intellectual prowess. Oh the wiles of the slippery serpent. In some cultures, the serpent symbolizes the phallus. Well, that is what one often sees these guys flaunting, a newly coined female PhD informed me some time ago.

Would this make William Lane Craig a sophist? Quoted from Wikipedia
A sophism is taken as a specious argument used for deceiving someone. It might be crafted to seem logical while actually being wrong, or it might use difficult words and complicated sentences to intimidate the audience into agreeing, or it might appeal to the audience's prejudices and emotions rather than logic, i.e. raising doubts towards the one asserting, rather than his assertion. The goal of a sophism is often to make the audience believe the writer or speaker to be smarter than he or she actually is, e.g., accusing another of sophistry for using persuasion techniques.
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I thought sophist was a kind of philosophy. I'm not too familiar with philosophical terms. But your description of using deception is right on.

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The guy is arrogant, and wishes to gloss over the arguments of atheists by generalizing them and not giving specific details to back up his argument: such as the assumption that this Creator exists. Where is the physical evidence?

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Where is the physical evidence?

 

Can you have physical evidence for a purportedly non-physical being?

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Can you have physical evidence for a purportedly non-physical being?
How could you deny the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?! Don't you know he loves you?! You must not have had been touched by his noodley appendix! Just have faith! Ramen!
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Nothing caused God. God exists outside of time and is therefore eternal. Glory!

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Hans:

 

ow ow! OWWW!! Metaphysical headache time! Good points though. The thing that really is hard for us as temporal creatures is limitless ideas like infinity and eternity. The idea that the cosmos has always existed is a tough one to handle since we're so used to the idea that everything has a beginning.

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Nothing caused God. God exists outside of time and is therefore eternal. Glory!

 

Naah, he ages backwards like Benjamin Button. This of course explains the old testament, since Yahweh was acting like a spoiled three year old. :lmao:

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ow ow! OWWW!! Metaphysical headache time! Good points though. The thing that really is hard for us as temporal creatures is limitless ideas like infinity and eternity. The idea that the cosmos has always existed is a tough one to handle since we're so used to the idea that everything has a beginning.

I just need to make a point, Cosmos did have a beginning, it is not eternal back in time, since Big Bang seems to have happened, but the Multiverse (if it exists) did not come out of Big Bang. Rather Big Bang, and our Universe came from the Multiverse. But of course, there are yet other ways it could be explained too, like the Ekpyrotic universe. But you're right, we are finite beings, and we have difficulties in understanding the infinite.

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Where is the physical evidence?

 

Can you have physical evidence for a purportedly non-physical being?

 

I'd say yes. If the being has any effect on the natural world then there should be some evidence - like gravity or magnetism. If it has no effect on the natural world then it might as well not exist; it is totally impotent, and certainly is not the Xtian God.

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Where is the physical evidence?

 

Can you have physical evidence for a purportedly non-physical being?

 

I'd say yes. If the being has any effect on the natural world then there should be some evidence - like gravity or magnetism. If it has no effect on the natural world then it might as well not exist; it is totally impotent, and certainly is not the Xtian God.

 

We are of one mind, Wizened Sage. All the so-called "evidence" that has yet turned up for the existence of a supernatural being has natural explanations. The problem of Christians is so severe that theologian-philosophers like William Lane Craig and scientists like Michael Behe with doctorates from reputable schools have to repudiate scientific evidence, or suppress the information, to make their religious claims. Behe went so far as to say under oath that his definition of science would allow the teaching of astrology in science classrooms. This occurred at the Dover Trial re ID in Pennsylvania, Nov. 2005. I can provide sources if anyone wants them.

 

Then there are Christians like Kenneth R. Miller who are excellent scientists so far as their job description goes. But they vilify atheists in the exact same way as do the William Lane Craigs and Michael Behes of the world. They will attack their own colleagues. I know because, after watching a number of lectures given by him, I contacted Miller with some challenging questions and he directed me to some of his personal interchanges with atheists on the internet.

 

Here's the question I put to him:

My main question is: When you apply the scientific method to God’s existence, how can you choose whether or not to believe in God any more than you can choose whether or not to believe in evolution or ID?

That was taken from a direct quote from one of his lectures. He did not answer but directed me to some online stuff as follows:

  • Here is his response to the question: Does science make belief in God obsolete? (You have to scroll down to his entry; title: Of course not.)
  • Here Christopher Hitchens and Miller debate the issue.

Some execepts from his essay that I fear feed ID and creationist beliefs but he refuses to take responsibility:

  1. But science itself employs a kind of faith.... Science is built upon a faith that the world is understandable.... It also holds, as an article of scientific faith, that such exploration is worth the trouble....
  2. God is the reason for nature, the explanation of why things are. He is the answer to existence, not part of existence itself.

And here are stereotypical strawman views of why atheists don't accept his god and how the theist position is infinitely more intelligent, etc.:

  1. The categorical mistake of the atheist is to assume that God is natural.... By making God an ordinary part of the natural world, and failing to find Him there, they conclude that He does not exist.
  2. There is great naiveté in the assumption that our presence in the universe is self-explanatory, and does not require an answer. Many who reject God imply that reasons for the existence of an orderly natural world are not to be sought. The laws of nature exist simply because they are, or because we find ourselves in one of countless "multiverses" in which ours happens to be hospitable to life. No need to ask why this should be so, or inquire as to the mechanism that generates so many worlds. The curiosity of the theist who embraces science is greater, not less, because he seeks an explanation that is deeper than science can provide, an explanation that includes science, but then seeks the ultimate reason why the logic of science should work so well. The hypothesis of God comes not from a rejection of science, but from a penetrating curiosity that asks why science is even possible, and why the laws of nature exist for us to discover.

Note that he puts "multiverse" in quotes. I watched a number of his lectures. I don't claim to fully understand all the scientific jargon but I am of the impression that he rejects the theory of panspermia and multiverses out of hand. And the only reason I can see for him doing so is because it takes away God's position in his ideology. All he is doing is moving the line one step back from what William Lane Craig and Michael Behe are doing. Craig and Behe accept the Big Bang; they just don't accept natural selection because they think allowing for natural selection takes away God's place. Miller faults them severely for not accepting natural selection and he's right in doing so. But he's a hypocrite never-the-less.

 

I think the reason this hits me so hard in the gut is that I know what a huge step Craig and Behe are taking in accepting the Big Bang. Anyone over the age of fifty should know that. Behe, Craig, and Miller are all over age 55. I just checked birthdates in wikipedia.

 

Now let's that this one step further. Earlier today I was reading an article about something that happened back in the 1500s. This one extremely liberal minded theologian actually had a pocket watch. The guy had the presumption to play God! All other people knew when it was day or night, summer or winter, simply by opening their eyes. This man, on the other hand.... You get the picture. It had been a gift from the city fathers for some great deed, and it was the world's highest technology. It had a single hand and was accurate to the half hour. The guy's name was Melanchthon, for those of you who are familiar with church history. One of the others in the story was Martin Luther.

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What he fails to understand is that "God" as the eternal concept (like math) is unconscious and not a being, while "God" as a being, is a different form of existing. A being is consciousness, and thought is a temporal property in itself, and hence a conscious being must have a cause, since he's temporal. If God thinks, when did he start thinking? Does God think from eternity to eternity? We're getting into the same problems Craig is using against the idea of an infinite universe.

Notice how Craig uses "timeless" and "eternal" interchangeably. This is the basis for his error. While it's true that something eternal cannot exist within time, he fails to consider that time itself can exist within something that is eternal. Craig tries desperately to insist that the universe exists in time, but this is a laughable category error.

 

Time exists within the universe, Dr. Craig. Get a new argument.

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Notice how Craig uses "timeless" and "eternal" interchangeably. This is the basis for his error. While it's true that something eternal cannot exist within time, he fails to consider that time itself can exist within something that is eternal. Craig tries desperately to insist that the universe exists in time, but this is a laughable category error.

Good point. I don't think they really have thought about what time is that deeply. They use it as a catch-phrase without considering that we live in a world with relative time. Time moves one way, that is true (except for certain particles which are believed to move backwards in time, and some experiments where they have send light backwards in time), but in general, there isn't one absolute time, but a combination of relationships which culminates to my personal experience of time. And consciousness, awareness, thought, is by definition reliant on time. Hence a conscious God must be within a framework of time.

 

Time exists within the universe, Dr. Craig. Get a new argument.

Yes, our time does exist within this universe. But if there are other universes, they would have their own arrows of time.

 

The Bible say one day is like thousand years to God, so after all is said and done, God is described as a temporal being in the Bible, in a separate time-line. The God of the philosopher is not the God of the Bible. But their blinded by faith.

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Hans:

 

ow ow! OWWW!! Metaphysical headache time! Good points though. The thing that really is hard for us as temporal creatures is limitless ideas like infinity and eternity. The idea that the cosmos has always existed is a tough one to handle since we're so used to the idea that everything has a beginning.

 

Tab, I wish your sig would replicate onto the quote. It's so very fitting for this thread. So utterly fitting. I had to look twice to be sure it wasn't part of the post.

 

"Mataphysical headache." Hmmm. I like the term. I wonder what Dr. Craig will say next time I go see him--yes that is the name of my own family doctor though his first name is not William and he does not live in the United States--if I tell him that I have a "Metaphysical Headache," instead of a migraine headache. I was literally down with a headache much of yesterday. I'm sure it had just a tiny little bit to do with watching the clowning Dr. William Craig so long the other night. :scratch:

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God was born when the earth was created, that is where life comes from. If I have to have a physical god in my life, then the earth is my god. I can prove it is here, I can feel it, and I can see her in action creating more life and that life creates more life. And, I can interact with this Mother Earth, to some extent by hunting for what I need to live on for food and she provides my shelter, and water to drink. I don't even have to pray to Mother Earth for her to provide for me. She doesn't talk to me but the wind that blows across her face can put me to sleep at night, cool me off when it is hot, and when she throws a fit weather wise, I can see that in the air too. When she gets mad, holy cow head for the cellar!

 

What does the xtian god do to prove he exists? Nothing, just according to xtians, he is ready to answer prayer. Boy Howdy! So, what does the xtian god have to offer? Nothing but air for prayer, no food, no water. Zip. But we are supposed to believe in him and especially the words of xtians or some other twit that god does exist and he will kill us all if we do not believe in him? Mother Earth has proven herself, what does an invisible one have to offer when he send his minions to do his dirty work for him? To really prove himself, god has people write books about him using someone else's name to legitimize their forgeries. They use the names of mythological animals and blame all of humanity's woes upon two young kids making their first mistake in life, and all of this is over a piece of fruit and a talking snake. Christians expect the rest of the world to believe God exists from a book with this kind of stuff in it? The Christian's only proof god exists is from what is written in this age-old rag of doom and gloom. There is much more evidence the Earth is alive, or a Goddess, than the one the Christians try to prove.

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Good point. I don't think they really have thought about what time is that deeply. They use it as a catch-phrase without considering that we live in a world with relative time. Time moves one way, that is true (except for certain particles which are believed to move backwards in time, and some experiments where they have send light backwards in time), but in general, there isn't one absolute time, but a combination of relationships which culminates to my personal experience of time. And consciousness, awareness, thought, is by definition reliant on time. Hence a conscious God must be within a framework of time.

 

I don't know if I've got the brains to understand this but I wonder if you'd be willing to try and illustrate it so I could visualize what it would look like if particles moved back in time. What would it be like? How would we know that it's earlier if it really happened after the first incident? The closest I can come is back in the mid-60s when I was in Grade 2 or 3 in public school we were shown a movie on a projector and reel. After it was over, they showed it rewinding. All the things happened backwards. I had never seen a movie before and it took me a very long time--maybe years--to figure out what had actually happened.

 

The scene that really boggled my mind was of firemen sliding UP the pole from one floor to the other. They did it very skillfully and swiftly. In a sense, that movie went back in time, yet it didn't because we saw the beginning AFTER we saw the end. So it's all just a matter of how we view things and how we say it. Because of our concept that things happen in a certain sequence, the plot of the movie had to occur in a certain sequence and the tape had to unwind and rewind in a certain sequence.

 

Were it not for that concept of a set sequence, the school could have just returned the tape as it was and the next class could have watched it as we had returned it. They could have been entertained by the moving images for an hour or two and sent it back to the library. It would not have mattered that every other class saw the moving images in a different order.

 

Somehow, I think you're talking about things on a totally different level.

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