I enjoyed your response till you went "its all about Barry" on my ass Richard.
I am not on board with your use of the term inference and its validity in gaining knowledge on its own. It is one of the pieces of the epistemological puzzle and fraught with issues. Nor do I accept that the claim of consciousness as the ultimate reality was inferred from anything. I think someone taught you that this was true. I ain't necessarily so IMO. It is certainly a long way from a self evident truth from experience. And what is wrong with non sequitur outside a formal argument? That is what gives juice to our interactions. Trying to restrict everything to only what logically follows is a buzz kill man. I hope you will throw in as many non sequiturs into our conversation as you can come up with. I'll take something new and tangential over more of the same any day. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <punditster@...> wrote : 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, curtisdeltablues@... mailto:curtisdeltablues@... [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: