Your points are excellent.  It's good that you reminded us of Aristotle's idea 
regarding the first cause and principle.  But it appears that there are some 
people here who will disagree with you on this point.

---In, <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 
 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 

 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 

 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.

<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 
 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.
<jr_esq@...> mailto: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?

<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:

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