From: "curtisdeltabl...@yahoo.com [FairfieldLife]" 
<FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com>

To: FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com 
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 7:54 PM
Subject: Re: [FairfieldLife] Re: Belief in God is a form of mental illness
 


  
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. 



"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation"  
- Herman Melville


---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@... [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, <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 :
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>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, <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:
 
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