---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <fleetwood_macncheese@...> wrote :
This is a lot of airy talk, though telling. My concern after having read it, is, I feel it was written by someone who takes less than complete responsibility for their life, and their personal thoughts and actions. Taking this line, of the strong possibility of random action, so seriously, as you do, would make it a very convenient excuse to use, whenever things have not gone according to your liking, in your life - The "who knew?!" excuse. In this thread I have not mentioned random action, you have added that in (perhaps from other threads in which I mentioned it, as in quantum mechanics there is a certain percentage of randomness in particle events). As for responsibility, I live my life, I have thoughts but I do not normally have thoughts about my thoughts or thoughts of responsibility, though I have definite responsibilities and I do have to act to keep things from falling apart. I am not even sure what taking responsibility for my life means — you are enlightened, you must experience how automatically life runs on, and adding a conceptual layer trying to re-impose egoistic control over an autonomous process seems incredibly redundant and unnecessary. I unpacked a radiant heater last night, and it failed to work out of the box. I am going to take it back to the store where I bought it. Now, if I take responsibility for my life, should I do something different? I have taxes to pay this month and business personal property inventory forms to turn in this month. If I take responsibility for my life should I do something different than pay the taxes and turn in the inventory forms to the local city government? I have a client for which I do certain things, should I do something different than showing up on time and doing those things on those days I have contracted with the client in order to be taking more responsibility for my life? I also am working today. This particular post sat on my screen in the background for some 6 hours until I could finish off a couple of sentences because I was working on a publication. I am responding to you but I have no responsibility to do so. This thread, or rather this portion of this thread is about the beginning portion Kalam argument which is an airy argument about ultimate beginnings. What do you think of the argument? I do not think it solves the problem it intends to solve, it is a stand-in for facts not in evidence. It could also be an stand-in for facts in evidence but whose interpretation is open to question, e.g., cosmic microwave background radiation which is currently explained by big bang theories, multiverse theories but for which solid proof and a clear understanding of the known facts is really lacking. And finally why do you have 'concern' that it was written by someone with x, y, and z characteristics (x, y, and z are variables standing in for your comments)? We have concerns when something does not fit into our world view the way we would like, otherwise why would a concern arise? Everything went fine today, except for that heater. ============================= ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <anartaxius@...> wrote : You seem to be just trolling. Do you practice TM? I was talking about things that spiritual practices advertise they can bring into one's awareness. These things are private, you cannot prove you have these kinds of experiences. My body has a mother and father, my awareness does not, the essential value of my existence does not. That really is not important since it is true for everyone (except Barry, every rule has an exception. In the handbook of universe fabrication it states on line 203,409,000 subheading B that there must be one individual in any given universe for which truth is a non entity) As for statement 1 of the Kalam argument, I would say it is indeterminate that it is true or not. What is the evidence that it is true? 1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause a. How has it been established that this is true? b. How is this statement different from 'everything that exists has a cause'? That word, 'begins' is the setup to introduce a concept like god, because believers think of god as an uncaused intelligence that causes other things to 'begin to exist' although how that is accomplished is beyond me. It is a failed attempt to get around the problem of infinite regression of causes so the uncaused cause idea seems more respectable, which it is not. However in the statement below, we have Fred, an uncaused cause who was the cause of the beginning of the existence of god. 1. Fred, who never began (i.e., Fred is eternal), was the cause of the beginning of existence of god. How do you prove it is not true? (By the way the Epistles of Fred are the source of this knowledge, which was revealed to mankind via His special emissaries . Fred is known in the spiritual trade as the Godmaker.) Anything that is beyond the pale of proof is indeterminate as far as knowledge. There are two kinds of proof, one is observation coordinated between groups, which is the way science works, and law enforcement works. The other is personal private experience but this version of proof cannot be observed by others. The results of meditation fall into this category, it is a scaled down version of science but lacks shareability. The best you can do in this case is tell someone about your experiences and hope they are interested enough to try it out for themselves. But in real science, you share observations and ideas with other minds, and see if those other minds can replicate what you did. Metaphysics is the study of ideas that have no physical observations and therefore there are no shareable proofs as to the reality of metaphysical statements. Because there are no proofs, arguments like the Kalam argument have arisen in the attempt to convince people that certain ideas that have no proof, no evidence, no observable reality, could be true. These argument tend to have a serious logical flaw, and if they are true they are trivial tautologies (examples: a = a, a cat is a cat, all things are all things), that is, circular arguments which tend to be the basic religious argument for why we are here: 'God is God, so there, believe it or else!' To return to the first statement in the Kalam argument, I have no reason to suppose that that first statement is true. You apparently think it is true. Why? If you are flabbergasted at what I said previously, you are clearly unaware of the nature of human imagination, and human nature in general, and the great variability of possible human experiences. 'The founder of a religion must be able to turn water into wine -- cure with a word the blind and lame, and raise with a simple touch the dead to life. It was necessary for him to demonstrate to the satisfaction of his barbarian disciple, that he was superior to nature. In times of ignorance this was easy to do. The credulity of the savage was almost boundless. To him the marvelous was the beautiful, the mysterious was the sublime. Consequently, every religion has for its foundation a miracle -- that is to say, a violation of nature -- that is to say, a falsehood.' 'No one, in the world's whole history, ever attempted to substantiate a truth by a miracle. Truth scorns the assistance of a miracle. Nothing but falsehood ever attested itself by signs and wonders. No miracle ever was performed, and no sane man ever thought he had performed one, and until one is performed, there can be no evidence of the existence of any power superior to, and independent of, nature.' -- Robert Ingersoll, 1872 ================================== ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <jr_esq@...> wrote : Xeno, 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. ---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: 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 : 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, <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 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 meditation after 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 this. 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 system. 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 pregnancy. 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 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/05/greece http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/05/greece Greek gods prepare for comeback http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/05/greece 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 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/05/greece Preview by Yahoo ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <jr_esq@...> wrote : Xeno, 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: Everything that begins to exist has a cause; The universe began to exist; Therefore: The universe has a cause. Do you agree with statement 1 or not? If not, please give us your reasons for disagreeing.