'Everything that exists has no cause' is not the equivalent of 'everything that 
begins to exist has no cause'. No beginning is stated or implied. I said 
nothing about 'begins'. I was talking about existence without time. The 
eternity of space and things but no time. Like a still photograph, frozen 
being. Have you ever heard the Zen koan 'show me your original face before your 
parents were born'? As far as my experience is concerned, I have always 
existed. The body that gives me eyes seems to have had prior causes. The raw 
components of the body were fashioned in the hearts of collapsing starts 
billions of years ago. The protons in my body, if science is correct, are 13.5 
billion years old. I certainly feel that old sometimes. So every aspect of my 
sense of 'self' is old or timeless, older than my parents as you appear to 
imaging them. 

 Presumably you have heard various statements on FFL about pure being, 
transcendental consciousness, and eternity, you know, beyond life and death. 
Even though such statements are a bit shy of the truth, they are representative 
of certain kinds of experiences people have when they practice meditation many 
times a day for long periods of time. One has experiences that subjectively are 

 The idea of eternity comes from these kinds of experiences. But if the mind is 
not really clear about these sorts of experiences it interprets eternity as 
endless time. If we take a scientific perspective, there is no timelessness in 
observing the world, though we think we know that if you travel at the speed of 
light, there would be timelessness. However only photons travel at the speed of 
light in a vacuum, other particles and hence all other matter cannot be 
accelerated to the velocity of light because it would take an infinite amount 
of energy.

 You still have not really made any significant mention of the Kalam argument. 
I think Curtis is right that you do not grasp these things very well. Among 
statements about the world and life I have my favourites, but I do not regard 
them as true. I particularly do not regard the Kalam argument as true.

 Curtis already demolished your position and you have not responded to him. You 
are out of your league with Curtis, as I think I would be. Here is part of an 
argument by Dan Barker about the Kalam, what do you think?

 Of course, if you live "outside of time," whatever that means, then you don't 
need a beginning in time. A transcendent being, living Theists regularly talk 
about a place "beyond" the universe, a transcendent realm where God exists 
"outside of time."


 ". . . the universe has a cause. This conclusion ought to stagger us, to fill 
us with awe, for it means that the universe was brought into existence by 
something which is greater than and beyond it."


 Of course, if you live "outside of time," whatever that means, then you don't 
need a beginning in time. A transcendent being, living "beyond" nature, is 
conveniently exempt from the limitations of natural law, and all complaints 
that God himself must have had a cause or a designer (using the same natural 
reasoning that tries to call for his existence) can be dismissed by theists who 
insist that God is outside the loop, unaffected by natural causality, beyond 


 Yet theists continue to describe this "timeless" being in temporal terms. 
Phrases such as "God decided to create the universe" are taken by us mere 
mortals to be analogous to such natural phrases as "Annie Laurie decided to 
bake a pie." If such phrases are not equal or analogous to normal human 
language, and if they are not redefined coherently, then they are useless. We 
may as well say "God blopwaddled to scrumpwitch the universe."


 The word "create" is a transitive verb. We have no experience of transitive 
verbs operating outside of time (how could we?), so when we hear such a word, 
we must picture it the only way we can: a subject acts on an object. 
Considering the point at which an action is committed, there must be an 
antecedent state "during" which the action is not committed, and this would be 
true either in or out of time.


 To say that "God created time" is not comprehensible to us. But if he did it 
anyway, in spite of our lack of imagination, then it couldn't have happened 
"after" the decision to commit it, because there was no "before." However, we 
might still imagine the act of creation as "following" the decision to create. 
Or, to avoid temporal terms, the creating succeeds the deciding in the logical 
order. (In logic we say that a conclusion "follows," though we do not mean this 
happens in space or time. Craig writes that "the origin of the universe is 
causally prior to the Big Bang, though not temporally prior to the Big Bang."


 Either in or out of time, the decision of a personal agency to commit an 
action happens antecedent to the action itself. Even if the deciding and the 
acting happened simultaneously, it would still not be true that the acting was 
antecedent to the deciding. Imagine God saying, "Oh, look! I just created a 
universe. Now I'd better decide to do it."


 This means that there must exist a series of antecedent causal events in the 
mind of a time-transcendent creator, if such a being exists. Since the Kalam 
argument claims that "an actual infinity cannot exist in reality," it shoots 
itself in the foot: although Kalam deals with temporal succession, the same 
logic applies to non-temporal antecedent events, if such things are a part of 
reality. If the series were infinite, then God never could have traversed the 
totality of his own antecedent mental causes to arrive at his decision to say 
"Let there be light." Therefore, sticking with Kalam, there must have been a 
"first antecedent" in the mind of an actual God, which means that God "began" 
to exist.

I believe you are evading the very argument you brought us here; you have 
assumed it is true, but you do not seem to be able to elaborate on it, only 
repeat it in its simplest form, which only states the universe has a cause, it 
does not say anything about what that cause might be. It could be Fred the 
janitor who began to exist the universe, and then he entered his own creation 
to sweep the floors, you know, to keep it tidy because of us humans. 

 At any rate, what do you have to say about Barker's criticism of the Kalam 
(and that is only part of his criticism)?

 As for me, I still do not know what 'begins to exist' means in this context. 
In terms of refashioning matter into a new form, I think I probably have an 
idea, but that is not begining to exist in an essential sense. I think of 
things existing or not, but not beginning to exist. I tend to think of forms 
being fashioned from other forms, so an auto-mobile for example, is simply a 
rehash of auto-mobile parts, which are then a rehash of raw materials such as 
aluminium and iron and plastic (which is a rehash of oil). So your explanation 
could be illuminating. I have been waiting with bated breath for your 
explanation, but I do not have an infinite attention span, and so far I do not 
think you know what you are talking about.


---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <jr_esq@...> wrote :


 After a long introduction to your reasoning, you state that:  "I tend to 
prefer 'everything that exists has no cause'. Everything is just there. That is 
my position."

 IMO, you're statement is the same as saying "everything that begins to exist 
has no cause".  But, in either case, your statement becomes problematic.   
Essentially, you're saying that you came into existence in this world without 
the involvement of your mother and father.  That is contrary to the natural way 
human beings are born.  How is that possible?



---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <anartaxius@...> wrote :

 I don't know what it means, explain it to me, as you seem to know what it 
means. That NASA sent Curiosity to Mars is not logically connected to your 
statement that 'it appears that humans know can understand the meaning of 
"begins to exist". You may have connected it in your mind, but not in the post. 

 In the link I provided, there are some criticisms of the Kalam argument, but 
you have still not read them apparently.

 For me some things exist. Other things do not. 'Begins to exist' seems 
redundant. How does that work? What are the steps between non-existence and 
existence? I have no clue. I suspect you do not either, but I am willing to 
hear you out on this. You need to explain your position.

 My position is this:

 There is an essential value of existence. All things that exist have this 
essential value. We can say there are things that do not exist but this is 
meaningless as the essential value of existence is missing and therefore there 
are no such things. We cannot know of them because they are not.

 Curiosity exists and is on Mars. It exists because someone had a thought, and 
then manipulated the extant universe to correspond to the thought. Where did 
the thought come from? It appeared in someone's brain, how did it arise? There 
was (we assume) prior activity in the person's brain before the thought arose. 
Was it just a refashioning of previous neural events, or a spontaneous outlier 
from out of nowhere? Everything Curiosity is made of was fashioned from 
previously existing matter, already part of the currently extant universe. 
Basically it is a sophisticated auto-mobile, but all its parts previously 
existed in another form so can we really say it came into being, when its 
components already had being?

 The argument you seem to be proposing does not involve refashioning, so that 
was not a good analogy. You need to explain your argument to me. What 
specifically does 'begins to exist' mean in your context?

 What is the difference in saying 'everything that exists has a cause' compared 
to 'everything that begins to exist has a cause'? I tend to prefer 'everything 
that exists has no cause'. Everything is just there. That is my position. I am 
not sure you have a position, other than you want people to accept the Kalam 

---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <jr_esq@...> wrote :


 Are you saying that the human mind would not be able to fathom the meaning of 
"begins to exist"?  If that is so, how is it possible for you to begin and end 
a project at work or at home?

 But we know that NASA has been able to send the Curiosity rover to Mars which 
is a very high technological feat.  So,  it appears that humans know can 
understand the meaning of "begins to exist".  If not, NASA would not have been 
able to send the rover to Mars.

 I believe you're avoiding the question by claiming that you don't know what 
statement 1 of the KCA means.  In other words, you're being disingenuous.  Or, 
that you're pulling a Curtis on us.

---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <anartaxius@...> wrote :

 x exists x does not exist

 I do not know what the phrase 'begins to exist' means, especially in regard to 
the universe as a whole. If x were an auto-mobile, perhaps one could say that 
when it was partially assembled, it began to exist, but all the components of 
that were manufactured prior to that and merely gathered together with welds, 
bolts, and glue. And those parts had precursors, ad infinitum (almost) to the 
beginning of the universe, before which we have no knowledge, and in fact we 
have only induction as to regard the early universe. And induction is logically 

 The link I gave in the previous post did do some analysis why the Kalam 
argument is flawed, apparently you did not read it. Here it is again: 
Cosmological Kalamity 
 Cosmological Kalamity 
http://infidels.org/library/modern/dan_barker/kalamity.html Home » Library » 
Modern » Dan Barker »   Cosmological Kalamity Dan Barker "Daddy, if God made 
everything, who made God?" my daughter Kristi asked me, when she was five years 

 View on infidels.org 
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 I do not know how the universe began.
 I do not know what 'begins to exist' means in this context, can you fill in 
some detail?
 If this were science, all I would have to do is wait for your demonstration of 
the truth of the argument, but as it seems no one knows, I doubt this would be 
forthcoming. As Curtis pointed out, proving a negative is impossible. It is a 
time waster. In science one simply ignores those who do not show up with 
evidence for their claims and thus science ('to know' is the meaning of the 
word) only works with people who actively produce results.

 For all I know the Kalam argument might be accidentally true, but essentially 
I just find it unconvincing. If god is un-caused, then god did not begin to 
exist, and if god did not begin to exist, he cannot exist. The word everything 
would seem to include what is called god, other wise, the first sentence 
includes a false concept. We would have not 'everything that begins to exist 
has a cause', and then we would have a number of possible things that were 
un-caused. For example, Zeus, the king of the gods, a step higher in divinity 
than the other gods, of which perhaps your god is one of those lesser ones.

 I can say on the basis of experience, that the universe was re-created this 
morning when I woke up. It was recreated again this morning and this evening 
when I came out of meditation after a timeless spell (I am not saying what sort 
of meditation was happening or not). I am un-caused, and therefore I must not 
be beginning to exist, and therefore I am not the universe, but seeing the 
universe seemed to emerge from what I am, I must be a creator of some sort. So 
if this happens with me, what am I? I must be more than a human form and mind, 
being able to contain all this.

 Since in my own estimation, I seem to have created the universe, where does 
that leave your argument? If the universe has a cause, how do you determine 
what that cause is or is not? Simply stating that the universe has a cause does 
not reveal the nature of the cause. It could be a quantum fluctuation in a 
multi-verse continuum. With multi-verses, maybe some have gods, and some do 
not. Maybe some are created by farts in a hyper-cosmic digestive system.


 You have also not mentioned the argument that the universe has no cause. 
Suppose we say, that in spite of all appearances, the universe has no cause at 
all. It was a spontaneous event that had no priors; that would mean that all 
the stuff in the universe ultimately had no cause either, the stuff within 
would have prior events but ultimately could not be traced back to a primal 
cause. Accidental existence. Perhaps we are all part of an unwanted pregnancy.
 Curtis is actually much better at this kind of reasoning than I am. I think he 
just wanted you to provide a positive example of the stipulation you made, 
something he could work with. A philosopher needs an argument, and needs to be 
able to state the other person's position accurately so they can look for a 
weakness in definition of terms and logic. You need to provide that. Otherwise 
you are not worth his time. He might as well waste his time with a 
Bible-thumping preacher from Hicksville. His time would be better spent 
teaching kids critical thinking. I can tell you when I was young in school, 
this is a skill that was not taught. America is a nation of idiots and climbing 
out of that pit of un-reason is no easy task. To be fair, had I ever remained 
in Greece, I doubt I would have fared better, though there are more 
opportunities for causes way back at the beginning of our place in the scheme 
of things:

 Greek gods prepare for comeback 
 Greek gods prepare for comeback 
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/05/greece It has taken almost 2,000 
years, but those who worship the 12 gods of ancient Greece have finally 
triumphed. An Athens court has ordered that the adulation of...

 View on www.theguardian.com http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/05/greece
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---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <jr_esq@...> wrote :


 I have asked Curtis about his support or evidence for disagreeing with the 
statements in the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  But he just gave me a lot of 
song and dance about his opinions without providing the evidence for his 
arguments.  Can you give us a solid argument with evidence and support why the 
statements in the KCA have a flaw?

 Let's take the KCA which states:

 Everything that begins to exist has a cause; The universe began to exist; 
Therefore: The universe has a cause. Do you agree with statement 1 or not?  If 
not, please give us your reasons for disagreeing.





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