On 10/20/2014 11:43 PM, jr_...@yahoo.com [FairfieldLife] wrote:


I'm flabbergasted at the statements you just said. In the physical existence of human beings here on earth, everyone has to have a mother and a father. Were you not created by your father's sperm that impregnated your mother's egg? Didn't she carry you in her womb for 9 months before you were born here on earth?

I'll give you my thoughts about Barker's ideas. But I'm taking the KCA argument one at a time which starts with statement 1. Your statements are so astonishing that we need more clarification about your thoughts and logic.

Everyone in the forum is invited to participate in this discussion to ask Xeno about his revelations regarding his physical existence.
/Everyone on this forum seems to believe in causation - that for every event there is a cause. The question is if everything that happens has a cause, is there a first cause? This is probably one of the first essay assignments in any Philosophy 101 class at a community college. //
//Everyone knows that Aristotle defines change and motion by first concluding that everything that has a beginning and an end would have to have a first cause or principle. His argument for before and after must have an antecedent state following Parmenides statement: "nothing comes from nothing."

Aristotle concluded that if the cosmos had a beginning it would require a first cause, an unmoved mover, in order to support change./

/Where is Robin when we need him?/

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

'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 timeless.

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 time.

        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 argument.

    ---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 invalid.

    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
    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 old.
    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 meditationafter 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

    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

    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

    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

    image <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/05/greece>
    Greek gods prepare for comeback
    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
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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:

     1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause;
     2. The universe began to exist;


     3. 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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