On 10/21/2014 1:57 PM, jr_...@yahoo.com [FairfieldLife] wrote:


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.
/So far everyone seems to agree that we are conscious beings and that causality is the relation between an event and a second event in which the second event is a consequence of the first. The disagreement seems about the notion a first cause.

Nobody seems to want to talk about Barry's beliefs in reincarnation and levitation, for which there is no physical evidence.//It looks like everyone is very interested in metaphysics, but not very interested in physics or logic. Go figure. /

---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
    //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

            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 :


            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:

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