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?/

/>
/On 10/21/2014 9:56 AM, curtisdeltabl...@yahoo.com [FairfieldLife] wrote:
>


    M: Robin didn't understand the problems with unfounded assertions
    either, he was fond of making them himself. If he did he would
    have seen through Aquinas' stated presumptions instead of being so
    enamored with them. In our daily life we conflate "that's logical"
    with "that's true" because the former requires another outside
    verification for its veracity. Garbage in, garbage out in logical
    syllogisms. In our daily life we rarely take the trouble to be so
    careful.

    The classical philosophers have two things working against them.
    They were blind to their own presumptive statements that had not
    been proven, and then were overfond of the logical conclusions
    they derived from them. The whole history of philosophy was spent
    cleaning up many of their confusions.

    The second problem they had in such discussions is their lack of
    exposure to the non intuitive wold physics and astro-geo-physics
    has revealed far beyond the range of our senses. A world where the
    rules for macro objects are sometimes ignored and that we are very
    poorly prepared to speculate about. It takes physicists years of
    deep study and advanced math to meaningfully deal with concepts so
    far from our natural experience.

    Now that we know about this level of matter, universal claims like
    "Everything that comes to exist has a cause." are ridiculous as an
unchallenged first principle.
>
/It's only normal for average people to assume that there is a reason for things to happen - events seem to follow causes; they don't just happen for no reason, by luck or fortune. Almost everyone assumes causation because it is so logical to the human experience: human excrement always flows downstream; gravity sucks.//There are no chance events./
>

    Turns out quantum events don't follow this rule that seems so
    obvious to our natural senses. But even without knowing about
    quantum events we have learned that such universals are unwise.
    The Greeks were much more confident about how their world was. We
    have been humbled by getting our intellectual asses kicked by the
    growth of scientific knowledge beyond the range of our senses.

>
/Beyond the range of our senses is the transcendental field of consciousness. There is no consciousness other than consciousness, or not.//

My position, and the position of most transcendentalists, is that we infer that consciousness is the ultimate reality and we accept that inference is a valid means of knowledge. Thoughts and ideas, not being material objects, cannot be perceived; they can only be inferred.//
//
//Mere perception is often found to be untrue. We perceive the earth as being flat but it is almost round. We perceive the earth as static but it is moving around the sun. We perceive the disc of the sun and think it is small, yet it is much larger that the earth.//
//
//We infer that consciousness is the ultimate reality and not caused by a combination of material properties. We further infer the validity of consciousness because we ARE conscious and we are self-conscious. To refuse the validity of inference is to refuse to think or discuss. All thoughts, all discussions, all doctrines, all affirmations, and all denials, all proofs and disproofs are made possible by inference./
>


    Resorting to religious arguments using syllogisms are disingenuous
for modern people.
>
/Maybe we should explain this to Barry since he seems only to be able to copy and paste cartoons./
>

    They trot these out to make their beliefs seem more carefully
    thought out. If they are probed from the perspective of their
    epistemology, these arguments are not really why they believe in
    their idea of God. They believe it for other reasons that they
    believe they can shield with the pretense of rationality. They
    want their real reasons for belief to be beyond scrutiny. I
    guarantee you that this argument is not even on he belief web John
    has built for himself so he can believe in God. It isn't even a
    branch on that tree. He thought it would be a useful stick to poke
    at non believers and it failed because he doesn't understand it
    himself, it just sounded authoritative.

>
/Non sequitur. Discussing the //KCA is a lot more rational and interesting than discussing Barry's belief in an individual soul-monad that reincarnates in the Tibetan Bardo because of karma./
>


    I think all the God beliefs base on scripture are idiotic because
    it requires someone to assume that God had a hand in writing an
    obviously human produced work of literature. That people entertain
    this notion today is beyond me, but it causes many problems in
    this world. I consider it a very dangerous wrong belief that
    someone has a book from God with details about our lives. (Like
    kill the infidels, or God gave us this land.)

>
Non sequitur.
>


    I am most sympathetic to the mystical experience claims for the
    existence for God having had enough experiences of my own to
    understand how compelling they are. I no longer believe that the
    actual existence of a God is the best explanation for these
    experiences, but I could certainly be wrong and might be proven
    wrong some day.

>
/Maybe we should ask Barry to explain his contradictory beliefs in Buddhas, karma, and reincarnation. If there is no soul-monad, what is it that reincarnates? And why would an individual soul "reincarnate" based on karma? If we could understand Barry's cognitive dissonance, maybe we could find out why he insists on holding beliefs or opinions he in fact does not hold. The real question is why is he engaging in the same behavior or activity for which he criticizes others? Go figure./
>


    But not today.

>


    >

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

        Xeno,

        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
        <mailto:FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com>, <anartaxius@...>
        <mailto: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
        <mailto:FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com>, <jr_esq@...>
        <mailto:jr_esq@...> wrote :

        Xeno,

        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
        <mailto:FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com>, <anartaxius@...>
        <mailto: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
        <http://infidels.org/library/modern/dan_barker/kalamity.html>


                
        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 old.
                
        View on infidels.org
        <http://infidels.org/library/modern/dan_barker/kalamity.html>
                
        Preview by Yahoo


        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

        (Message over 64 KB, truncated)



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