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iplaw

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« on: July 24, 2006, 03:29:49 PM »
I borrow a bit of my answer from another debate where Imran Aijaz was debating the Kalam argument.  The Kalam argument is a logical outworking of the original uncaused/caused argument.  I only state this as you will see the term mentioned and I didn't want there to be any confusion.

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Why couldn't the first/uncaused cause be the universe and not God?
Because that assertion fails the "infinite regress of causes" portion of the argument and the law of non-contradiction holds that both assertions cannot be correct simultaneously.  

FYI, the main source of debate about infinite regress now centers around highly complex mathematical theorems.  Skeptics are having to resort to some interesting if not dubious mathematical and mental gymnastics to debate infinite regress.  The arguments are too detailed and convoluted for me to retain an interest in that specific debate any longer.

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Surely, if God gets a free ticket and doesn't need a creator, the same could be argued about the universe itself.


Ah, but who created God? "It is quite arbitrary to insist that the Big Bang in turn needs a cause--God--but that God doesn't." Not at all. In my opening statement, I gave reasons why an infinite regress of causes is not a viable option. And if this is true, the existence of a first cause is an inescapable ontological necessity. The naive "Who made God?" objection does not work for a number of reasons.

First, it presupposes that God is a created being. But this is logically impossible if one agrees that God is the first cause of the universe. It follows analytically that no cause could possibly precede a first cause.

Second, if postulating the existence of God explains the existence of our universe, it does not follow that we have not accounted for why the cosmos exists, even though God's existence may have no explanation.

Third, the objection, once again, is ad hoc, because whether God has a cause is a different question from whether the universe has one. Certainly, if God began to exist, then He has a cause for His existence, but this has absolutely no bearing on whether the universe has a transcendent cause for its existence. Of course, I hold that God is uncaused because He is the first cause of the universe, and is therefore, by definition, without a cause.

Finally, the "Who made God?" objection rests on a categorical fallacy. What is true of God is not necessarily true of the universe. It does not follow that atheists can say the universe is uncaused if I hold that God is uncaused. This position would only be arbitrary if I claimed that everything has a cause and then claimed that God does not have a cause. Since I do not claim this, we have yet another straw man knocked down.


If Aquinas' metaphysical arguments were so easily debunked by asking the simple question "Where did God come from" I don't think we would be discussing Aquinas and his arguments so many centuries later.  I think we will find that a rebuttal of his arguments are not coveniently that simple.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by iplaw »

donkeyhoty

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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2006, 03:49:32 AM »
That really isn't much of an argument, if you switch the words Universe and God you get the same weak argument for a different concept, thusly:

In my opening statement, I gave reasons why an infinite regress of causes is not a viable option. And if this is true, the existence of a first cause is an inescapable ontological necessity. The naive "Who made THE UNIVERSE?" objection does not work for a number of reasons.

First, it presupposes that THE UNIVERSE is a created being. But this is logically impossible if one agrees that THE UNIVERSE is the first cause. It follows analytically that no cause could possibly precede a first cause.

Second, if postulating the existence of THE UNIVERSE explains the existence of GOD, it does not follow that we have not accounted for why GOD exists, even though THE UNIVERSE'S existence may have no explanation.

Third, the objection, once again, is ad hoc, because whether THE UNIVERSE has a cause is a different question from whether GOD has one. Certainly, if THE UNIVERSE began to exist, then IT has a cause for ITS existence, but this has absolutely no bearing on whether GOD has a transcendent cause for its existence. Of course, I hold that THE UNIVERSE is uncaused because IT is the first cause, and is therefore, by definition, without a cause.

Finally, the "Who made THE UNIVERSE?" objection rests on a categorical fallacy. What is true of THE UNIVERSE is not necessarily true of GOD. It does not follow that theists can say GOD is uncaused if I hold that THE UNIVERSE is uncaused. This position would only be arbitrary if I claimed that everything has a cause and then claimed that THE UNIVERSE does not have a cause. Since I do not claim this, we have yet another straw man knocked down.


So, now the straw man that has fallen is God and not the Universe, case closed, let's all go get some ice cream.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by donkeyhoty »
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