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Ntech
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Ntech
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Shepherd

@Hahiha @Doombreed
Of our Knowledge of the Existence of a God
(John Locke, Concerning Human Understanding: Chapter X, pages 349 – 351)
(Articles I – VI, VIII)

I. We are capable of knowing certainly that there is a God. Though God has given us no innate ideas of Himself,; though He has stamped no original characters on our minds, wherein we may read His being; yet having furnished us with those faculties our minds are endowed with, He hath not left Himself without witness: since we have sense, perception, and reason, and cannot want a clear proof of Him, as long as we carry ourselves about us...

II. For man knows that he himself exists. I think it is beyond question, that man has a clear idea of his own being; he knows certainly that he exists, and that he is something. He that can doubt whether he be anything or no, I speak not to; no more than I would argue with pure nothing, or endeavor to convince a nonentity that it were something. If any one pretends to be so skeptical as to deny his own existence, (for really to doubt of it is manifestly impossible,) let him for me enjoy his beloved happiness of being nothing, until hunger or some other pain convince him of the contrary. This, then, I think I may take for a truth, which every one’s certain knowledge assures him of, beyond the liberty of doubting, viz. That he is something that actually exists. [Note well the meaning of “actually,” that is, something that is actual vs. that which does not exist.]

III. He knows also that nothing cannot produce a being; therefore something must have existed from eternity. In the next place, man knows, by an intuitive certainty, that bare nothing can no more produce any real being, than it can be equal to two right angles. If a man knows not that nonentity, or the absence of all being, cannot be equal to two right angles, it is impossible he should know any demonstration in Euclid. If, therefore, we know there is some real being, and that nonentity cannot produce any real being, it is an evident demonstration, that from eternity there has been something; since what was not from eternity had a beginning; and what had a beginning must be produced by something else.

IV. And that eternal Being must be most powerful. Next, it is evident, that what had its being and beginning from another, must also have all that which is in and belongs to its being from another too. All the powers it has must be owing to and received from the same source. This eternal source, then, of all being must also be the source and origin of all power; and so this eternal Being must also be the most powerful.

V. And most knowing. Again, a man finds in himself perception and knowledge. We have then got one step further; and we are certain now that there is not only some being, but some knowing, intelligent being in the world. There was a time, then, where was no knowing being and when knowledge began to be; or else there has been also a knowing being from eternity.

If it be said, there was a time when no being had any knowledge, when that eternal being was void of understanding; I reply, that then it was impossible there should ever have been any knowledge: it being as impossible that things wholly void of knowledge, and operating blindly, and without any perception, should produce a knowing being, as it is impossible that a triangle should make itself three angles bigger than two right ones. For it is as repugnant to the idea of senseless matter, that it should put into itself sense, perception, and knowledge, as it is repugnant to the idea of a triangle, that it should put into itself greater angles than two right ones.

VI. And therefore God. Thus, from the consideration of ourselves, and what we infallibly find in our own constitutions, our reason leads us to the knowledge of this certain and evident truth, – That there is an eternal, most powerful, and most knowing Being; which whether any one will please to call God, it matters not. The thing is evident; and from this idea duly considered, will easily be deduced all those other attributes, which we ought to ascribe to this eternal Being.

If, nevertheless, any one should be found so senselessly arrogant, as to suppose man alone knowing and wise, but yet the product of mere ignorance and chance; and that all the rest of the universe acted only by that blind haphazard; I shall leave him that very rational and emphatical rebuke of Tully (1. ii. De Leg.), to be considered at his leisure: “What can be more sillily arrogant and mis-becoming, than for a man to think that he has a mind and understanding in him, but yet in all the universe beside there is no such thing? Or that those things, which with the utmost stretch of his reason he can scarce comprehend, should be moved and managed without any reason at all?” Quid est enim verius, quam neminem esse oportere tam stulte arrogantem, ut in se mentem et rationem putet inesse, in caelo mundoque non putet? Aut ea quae vic summa ingenii [ingenī] ratione comprehendat, nulla ratione moveri puter?

From what has been said, it is plain to me we have a more certain knowledge of the existence of a God, than of anything our senses have not immediately discovered to us. Nay, I presume I may say, that we more certainly know that there is a God, than that there is anything else without us. When I say we know, I mean there is such a knowledge within our reach which we cannot miss, if we will but apply our minds to that…

VIII. Recapitulation – something from eternity. There is no truth more evident than that something must be from eternity. I never yet heard of any one so unreasonable, or that could suppose so manifest a contradiction, as a time wherein there was perfectly nothing. This being of all absurdities the greatest, to imagine that pure nothing, the perfect negation and absence of all beings [Id est, the complete absence of actualities], should ever produce any real existence. [Id est, actualities have potential, where there is no actualities there is no potential, nor can there ever be.]

Of God – His Existence
(Benedict de Spinoza, Ethics, Part I)

DEFINITIONS

1. BY CAUSE of itself, I understand that, [a Being] whose essence involves existence; or that, [a Being] whose nature cannot be conceived unless existing.

2. That thing is called FINITE in its own kind (in suo genere) which can be limited by another thing of the same nature. For example, a body is called finite, because we [may] always conceive another which is greater. So a thought is limited by another thought; but a body is not limited by a thought, not a thought by a body.

3. BY SUBSTANCE, I understand that which is in itself and is conceived through itself; in other words, that, the conception of which does not need the conception of another thing from which it must be formed.

4. BY ATTRIBUTE, I understand that which the intellect perceives of substance, as if constituting its essence [constituting the essence of a substance, not the intellect].

5. BY MODE, I understand the affections of substance, or that which is in another thing through which also it is conceived.

6. BY GOD, I understand Being absolutely infinite, that is to say, [a] substance consisting of infinite attributes, each one of which expresses eternal and infinite essence.

Explanation. I say absolutely infinite but not infinite in its own kind (in suo genere); for of whatever is infinite only in its own kind (in suo genere), we can deny infinite attributes; but to the essence of that which is absolutely infinite pertains whatever expresses essence and involves no negation.

7. That thing is called FREE which exists from the necessity of its own nature alone, and is determined to action by itself alone. That thing, on the other hand, is called necessary, or rather compelled, which by another is determined to existence and action in a fixed and prescribed manner.

8. BY ETERNITY, I understand existence itself, so far as it is conceived necessarily to follow from the definition alone of the eternal thing.

Explanation. For such existence, like the essence of the thing, is conceived as an eternal truth. It cannot therefore be explained by duration or time, even if the duration be conceived without beginning or end.

AXIOMS

1. Everything which is, is either in itself or in another.

2. That which cannot be conceived through another must be conceived through itself.

3. From a given determinate cause an effect necessarily follows; and, on the other hand, if no determinate cause be given, it is impossible that an effect can follow.

4. The knowledge (cognitio) of an effect depends upon and involves the knowledge of the cause.

5. Those things which have nothing mutually in common with one another cannot through one another be mutually understood, that is to say, the conception of the other. [A blind man cannot understand the sense of sight merely through the sense of hearing; nor can a deaf man understand the sense of hearing merely through the sense of sight.]

6. A true idea must agree with that of which it is the idea (*** suo ideato).

7. The essence of that thing which can be conceived as not existing does not involve existence.

PROPOSITIONS

PROPOSITION 1. Substance is by its nature prior to its affections.
DEMONSTRATION. This is evident from Definitions 3 and 5. [That is to say, nothing can have no affections.]

PROPOSITION 2. Two substances having different attributes have nothing in common with one another.
DEMONSTRATION. This is also evident from Definition 3. For each substance must be in itself and must be conceived through itself, that is to say, the conception of one does not involve the conception of the other. [That is to say, if two substances – which are wholly independent of each other – have different attributes, it is self evident that they share nothing in common – the opposite of proper – with each other.] Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 3. If two things have nothing in common with one another, one cannot be the cause of the other.
DEMONSTRATION. If they have nothing mutually common with one another, they cannot (Axiom 5) through one another be mutually understood, and therefore (Axiom 4) one cannot be the cause of the other. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 4.Two or more distinct things are distinguished from one another, either by the difference of the attributes of the substances, or by the difference of their affections.
DEMONSTRATION. Everything which is, is either in itself or in another (Axiom 1), that is to say (Definitions 3 & 5), outside the intellect there is nothing but substances and their affections. There is nothing therefore outside the intellect by which a number of things can be distinguished one from another, but substances or (which is the same thing by Definition 4) their attributes and their affections. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 5. In nature there cannot be two or more substances of the same nature or attribute.
DEMONSTRATION. If there were two or more distinct substances, they must be distinguished one from the other by difference of attributes or difference of affections (Proposition 4). If they are distinguished only by difference of attributes, it will be granted that there is but one substance of the same attribute. But if they are distinguished by difference of affections, since substance is prior by nature to its affections (Proposition 1), the affections therefore being placed on one side, and the substance being considered in itself, or, in other words, (Definition 3 and Axiom 6), truly considered, it cannot be conceived as distinguished from another substance, that is to say (Proposition 4), there cannot be two or more substances, but only one possessing the same nature or attribute. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 6.One substance cannot be produced by another substance.
DEMONSTRATION. There cannot in nature be two substances of the same attribute (Proposition 5), that is to say (Proposition 2), two which have anything in common with one another. And therefore (Proposition 3) one [substance] cannot be the cause of the other, that is to say, one [substance] cannot be produced by the other [substance]. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 7. It pertains to the nature of substance to exist.
DEMONSTRATION. There is nothing by which substance can be produced (Proposition 6). It will therefore be the cause of itself, that is to say (Definition 1), its essence necessarily involves existence, or in other words it pertains to its nature to exist. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 8. Every substance is necessarily infinite.
DEMONSTRATION. Substance which has only one attribute cannot exist except as one substance (Proposition 6), and to the nature of this one substance it pertains to exist (Proposition 7). It must therefore from its nature exist as finite or infinite. But it cannot exist as finite substance, for (Definition 2) it must (if finite) be limited by another substance of the same nature, which also must necessarily exist (Proposition 7), and therefore would be two substances of the same attribute, which is absurd (Proposition 5). It exists therefore as infinite substance. Q.E.D.

Scholium 1. Since finiteness is in truth partly negation, and infinitude absolute affirmation of existence of some kind, it follows from Proposition 7 alone that all substance must be infinite.

Scholium 2. I fully expect that those who judge things confusedly, and who have not been accustomed to cognise things through their first causes, will find it difficult to comprehend the demonstration of the 7th Proposition, since they do not distinguish between the modifications of substances and substances themselves, and are ignorant of the manner in which things are produced.
Hence it comes to pass that they erroneously ascribe to substances a beginning like that which they see belongs to natural things; for those who are ignorant of the true causes of things confound every thing, and without any mental repugnance represent trees speaking like men, or imagine that men are made out of stones as well as begotten from seed, and that all forms can be changed one into the other. So also those who confound human nature with the divine, readily attribute to God human affects, especially so long as they are ignorant of the manner in which affects are produced in the mind. But if men would attend to the nature of substance, they could not entertain a single doubt of the truth of Proposition 7; indeed this proposition would be considered by all to be axiomatic, and reckoned among common notions.
For by “substance” would be understood that which is in itself and is conceived through itself, or, in other words, that, the knowledge of which does not need the knowledge of another thing.
But by “modifications” would be understood those things which are in another thing – those things, the conception of which is formed from the conception of the thing in which they are. Hence we can have true ideas of non-existent modifications, since although they may not actually exist outside the intellect, their essence nevertheless is so comprehended in something else, that they may be conceived through it.
But the truth of substances is not outside the intellect unless in the substances themselves, because they are conceived through themselves.
If any one, therefore, were to say that he possessed a clear and distinct, that is to say, a true idea of substance, and that he nevertheless doubted whether such a substance exists, he would forsooth be in the same position as if he were to say that he had a true idea and nevertheless doubted whether or not it was false (as is evident to any one who pays a little attention).
Similarly, if any one were to affirm that substance is created, he would affirm at the same time that a false idea had become true, and this is a greater absurdity than can be conceived.
It is therefore necessary to admit that, the existence of substance, like its essence, is an eternal truth.
Hence a demonstration (which I have thought worth while to append) by a different method is possible, showing that there are not to substances possessing the same nature.
But in order to prove this methodically it is to be noted: 1. That the true definition of any one thing neither involves nor expresses anything except the nature of the thing defined. From which it follows, 2. That a definition does not involve or express any certain number of individuals, since it expresses nothing but the nature of the thing defined. For example, the definition of a triangle expresses nothing but the simple nature of a triangle, and not any certain number of triangles. 3. It is to be observed that of every existing thing there is some certain cause by reason of which it exists. 4. Finally, it is to be observed that this cause, by reason of which a thing exists, must either be contained in the nature itself and definition of the existing thing (simply because it pertains to the nature of the thing to exist), or it must exist outside the thing.
This being granted, it follows that if a certain number of individuals exist in nature, there must necessarily be a cause why those individuals, and neither more nor fewer, exist.
If, for example, there are twenty men in existence (whom, for the sake of greater clearness, I suppose existing at the same time, and that no others existed before them), it will not be sufficient, in order that we may give a reason why twenty men exist, to give a cause for human nature generally; but it will be necessary, in addition, to give a reason why neither more nor fewer than twenty exist, since, as we have already observed, under the third head, there must necessarily be a cause why each exists.
But this cause (as we have shown under the second and third heads) cannot be contained in human nature itself, since the true definition of a man does not involve the number twenty, and therefore (by the fourth head) the cause why these twenty men exist, and consequently the cause of why each exists, must necessarily lie outside each one; and therefore we must conclude generally that whenever it is possible for several individuals of the same nature to exist, there must necessarily be an external cause for their existence.
Since now it pertains to the nature of substance to exist (as we have shown in this Scholium), its definition must involve necessary existence, and consequently from its definition alone its existence must be concluded.
But from its definition (as we have already shown under the second and third heads) the existence of more substances than one cannot be deduced.
It follows, therefore, from this definition necessarily that there cannot be two substances possessing the same nature.

PROPOSITION 9. The more reality or being a thing possesses, the more attributes belong to it.
DEMONSTRATION. This is evident from Definition 4. [For as attributes constitute a thing’s essence to the intellect, the more “essence” a thing has, a corresponding number of attributes is perceived by the intellect.]

PROPOSITION 10. Each attribute of a substance must be conceived through itself.
DEMONSTRATION. For an attribute is that which the intellect perceives of substance, as if constituting its essence (Definition 4), and therefore (Definition 3) it must be conceived through itself. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 11. God, or substance consisting of infinite attributes, each one of which expresses eternal and infinite essence, necessarily exists.
DEMONSTRATION. If this be denied, conceive, if it is possible that God does not exist. Then it follows (Axiom 7) that His essence does not involve existence. But this (Proposition 7) is absurd. Therefore God necessarily exists. Q.E.D.

Another proof. For the existence or non-existence of everything there must be a reason or cause. For example, if a triangle exists, there must be a reason or cause why it exists; and if it does not exist, there must be a reason or cause which hinders its existence or which negates it.
But this reason or cause must either be contained in the nature of the thing or lie outside it. For example, the nature of the thing itself shows the reason why a square circle does not exist, the reason being that a square circle involves a contradiction. And the reason, on the other hand, why substance involves existence (see Proposition 7).
But the reason why a circle or triangle exists or does not exist is not drawn from their nature, but from the order of corporeal nature generally; for from that it must follow, either that a triangle necessarily exists, or that is impossible for it to exist. But this is self evident.
Therefore it follows that if there be no cause nor reason which hinders a thing from existing, it exists necessarily. If, therefore, there be no reason nor cause which hinders God from existence, or which negates His existence, we must conclude absolutely that He exists.
But if there be such a reason or cause, it must be either be in the nature itself of God or must lie outside it, that is to say, in another substance of another nature. For if the reason lay in a substance of the same nature, the existence of God would by this very fact admitted.
But substance possessing another nature could have nothing in common with God (Proposition 2), and therefore could not give Him existence nor negate it.
Since, therefore, the reason or cause which could negate the divine existence cannot be outside the divine nature, it will necessarily, supposing that the divine nature does not exist, be in His Nature itself, which would therefore involve a contradiction.
But to affirm this of the Being absolutely infinite and consummately perfect is absurd. Therefore neither in God nor outside God is there any cause or reason which can negate His existence, and therefore God necessarily exists. Q.E.D.

Another proof. Inability to exist is impotence, and, on the other hand, ability to exist is power, as is self-evident. If, therefore, there is nothing which necessarily exists excepting things finite, it follows that things finite are more powerful than the absolutely infinite Being, and this (as is self evident) is absurd; therefore either nothing exists or Being absolutely infinite also necessarily exists.
But we ourselves exist, either in ourselves or in something else which necessarily exists (Axiom 1 & Proposition 7). Therefore the Being absolutely infinite, that is to say (Definition 6), God, necessarily exists. Q.E.D.

Scholium. In this last demonstration I wished to prove the existence of God a posteriori, in order that the demonstration be the more easily understood, and not because the existence of God does not follow a priori from the same grounds.
For since ability to exist is power, it follows that the more reality belongs to the nature of anything, the greater is the power for existence it derives from itself; and it also follows, therefore, that the Being absolutely infinite, or God, has from Himself an absolutely infinite power of existence, and that He therefore necessarily exists.
Many persons, nevertheless, will perhaps not be able easily to see the force of this demonstration, because they have been accustomed to contemplate those things alone which flow from external causes, and they see also that those things which are quickly produced from these causes, that is to say, which easily exist, easily perish, whilst, on the other hand, they adjudge those things to be more difficult to produce, that is to say, not so easy to bring into existence, to which they conceive more properties pertain.
In order that these prejudices may be removed, I do not need here to show in what respect this saying, “What is quickly made perishes,” is true, nor to inquire whether, looking at the whole of nature, all things are or are not equally easy.
But this only it will be sufficient for me to observe, that I do not speak of things which are produced by external causes, but that I speak of substances alone which (Proposition 6) can be produced by no external cause.
For whatever perfection or reality those things may have which are produced by external causes, whether they consist of many parts or of few, they owe it all to the virtue of an external cause alone and not from their own.
On the other hand, whatever perfection substance has is due to no external cause.
Therefore its existence must follow from its nature alone, and is therefore nothing else than its essence.
Perfection consequently does not prevent the existence of a thing, but establishes it; imperfection, on the other hand, prevents existence, and so of no existence can we be more sure than of the existence of the Being absolutely infinite or perfect, that is to say, God.
For since His essence shuts out all imperfection and involves absolute perfection, for this very reason all cause of doubt concerning His existence is taken away, and the highest certainty concerning it is given, – a truth which I trust will be evident to any one who bestows only moderate attention.

  • 180 Replies
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke

Yet it is potential, because it could exist as a combination of matter which exists.
I'm not sure why you would even try to support that, but let's see what it does for your argument:
We'll assume for now that, as you said, a non-existent thing is a potential thing; something that could exist, but currently doesn't.
Now, it should be clear that I cannot prove that there is no such thing as a god. I'd even go so far as to say that there is currently no irrefutable proof of there being no god; that is, no such proof exists.
If we apply this to the major premise, we arrive at the conclusion that "irrefutable proof of there being no god" is a thing that could exist. It is potential, and therefore not impossible.
But a possible untruth is not a necessary truth, so there's no way for that premise to hold true without defeating your main argument (not that it would make a difference).

Nothing can cause itself, yet, the sustaining principle is not caused, therefore, it is not an exception.
He didn't say it was. He said that it is not a necessary conclusion from your premise, and rightly so.

You forgot to include &quotre-existent" before "matter."
No, in fact, I didn't. That was never a requirement. Objects don't need to preceed the matter that comprises them, because that would be nonsensical.

We do not debate the toast itself, but that which constitutes it. One is physics, the other, metaphysics.
No, it's entirely physics. Matter itself is physical; it is permanent. Matter is not a magic spell that blinks out of existence the moment a wizard stops waving his hands at it, however much you would like to believe otherwise.

That ceases to be logical when we consider that consistency is not a property in the essence of a thing, else, change would be impossible.
Now you're just conflating consistency with absolute stasis, but you know those are not the same thing.

My premise is that everything we can perceive needs an external cause, which necessarily proves the existence of God.
1 No, that's your conclusion. It can't prove itself. Only the first clause counts as a premise.
2 Your premise is only useful if it's defendable, and I have yet to see you actually defend it. All you do is loop back to "things can't cause themselves" as though it were indisputably impossible for anything to be uncaused.
3 Some things needing external cause doesn't support the existence of any god or god-like entity. It just means that those things are causally consistent without saying anything about any of the things we don't perceive.
HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Regent

Yet it is potential, because it could exist as a combination of matter which exists.

To add to the above, I don't think that definition of potential has much meaning, because all it states is that technically, everything is potential, but it doesn't say anything about whether or not it'll ever be actual or not. So it doesn't really say anything.

To me, something has (note the present tense) potential only if it has the ability to develop that potential. If it doesn't have the ability to develop a potential, it won't ever fulfill that potential, which therefore becomes utterly irrelevant. Only then has the term 'potential' real meaning.

So sure, if you want you can define potentiality as "everything that does not exist", I'm just saying it doesn't help your argument because it doesn't have meaning.

Nothing can cause itself, yet, the sustaining principle is not caused, therefore, it is not an exception.

FishPreferred already covered what little was to say about this ^^
Ntech
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Ntech
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Shepherd

@FishPreferred


No, in fact, I didn't. That was never a requirement. Objects don't need to preceed the matter that comprises them, because that would be nonsensical.

An object -- as defined as a group of matter -- does not exist if its matter doesn't exist either.


No, it's entirely physics. Matter itself is physical; it is permanent. Matter is not a magic spell that blinks out of existence the moment a wizard stops waving his hands at it, however much you would like to believe otherwise.

Firstly, you are the only one who ever referred to "magic." Moreover, your idea of reality is more "magical" than is mine, for, you believe in an eternal physical plane which exists now, and tomorrow (already), whose past is still existent also, yet, we cannot see, touch, or hear this actual tomorrow (nor past, for that matter).

Secondly, matter has to exist before it can constitute the universe; All matter is potential; That which is potential cannot cause its actualization; Matter exists now but not tomorrow for it could cease to be; Therefore if matter continues to exist another actualized it.


Now you're just conflating consistency with absolute stasis, but you know those are not the same thing.

If a thing exists, and exists the next second, for there is no reason for it not to exist, why then should it exist in a different way, if it exists the next second? For it exists in the next second as it does now, else, if it existed in a different way the next second, it would exist in that way now. Therefore, change would be impossible, according to your view.


2 Your premise is only useful if it's defendable, and I have yet to see you actually defend it. All you do is loop back to "things can't cause themselves" as though it were indisputably impossible for anything to be uncaused.

That is our main point of contention. You hold that there is that which doesn't need to be caused, as if I have to prove that potentials cannot actualize themselves.

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke

An object -- as defined as a group of matter -- does not exist if its matter doesn't exist either.
Which is irrelevant, because objects made of matter do exist.

Firstly, you are the only one who ever referred to "magic."
Because that's all you're describing; an inexplicable process that supposedly operates on principles not bounded by reality.

Moreover, your idea of reality is more "magical" than is mine, for, you believe in an eternal physical plane which exists now, and tomorrow (already), whose past is still existent also, yet, we cannot see, touch, or hear this actual tomorrow (nor past, for that matter).
No, this is just your present tense gimmick again. Also, good job discrediting all imperceptible things, including God.

Secondly, matter has to exist before it can constitute the universe; [...]
No, it doesn't. If it exists, it exists in the universe and is automatically a constituent of the universe. Otherwise, where would it even be existing?

All matter is potential; That which is potential cannot cause its actualization; Matter exists now but not tomorrow for it could cease to be; [...]
There you go again, reasserting the same thing without ever supporting it.

If a thing exists, and exists the next second, for there is no reason for it not to exist, why then should it exist in a different way, if it exists the next second?
Because the evolved state is what follows naturally from the existing state. For that matter, why shouldn't it?

For it exists in the next second as it does now, else, if it existed in a different way the next second, it would exist in that way now.
Why? That makes no sense at all. A ship doesn't only exist on the condition that the captain doesn't wash his hair. Again, these nonsensical conclusions are yours and yours alone. None of them follow logically from any view I've ever expressed.

You hold that there is that which doesn't need to be caused, as if I have to prove that potentials cannot actualize themselves.
No, not even remotely, and that's what I've been telling you. Nobody has to prove that things can't cause themselves. You simply can't justify your argument with that because it's a false dichotomy. Also, it's you that holds that there is that which doesn't need to be caused. You just seem to forget all about it whenever you aren't directly relying on it for God.
lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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Farmer

You simply can't justify your argument with that because it's a false dichotomy.
While I agree that he can't use that to justify his argument, can you explain how it is a false dichotomy?
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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Duke

While I agree that he can't use that to justify his argument, can you explain how it is a false dichotomy?
He's relying on the assumption that everything is either caused by itself (A) or caused by something else (B). This wouldn't normally be an issue, but his main argument is for something that is not caused by itself or by something else (C). Since he can't reject C, he has to ignore it whenever he tries to say "not B therefore A".
lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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Farmer

That makes perfect sense. Thanks

Ntech
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Ntech
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Shepherd

@FishPreferred

Which is irrelevant, because objects made of matter do exist.

Exactly the point, my friend. And we know that those objects do not exist the next second, which means that something other than them actualizes their existence if they continue to exist.

not bounded by reality.

Of course. It is the foundation of reality, hence, it cannot exist within that which it creates.

If it exists, it exists in the universe and is automatically a constituent of the universe.

I say "before" in the sense that you seem to take for granted that matter exists, without a cause.

There you go again, reasserting the same thing without ever supporting it.

My proof is that the future is not actual. I'm baffled as how that isn't proof that matter's continued existence is potential.

Because the evolved state is what follows naturally from the existing state.

Yes, apparently so. However, you stated that a thing's future existence is not potential, thus, it already exists the same way it did, thus, it cannot, according to you, exist in a different state.

Why? That makes no sense at all.
Exactly. By the way, I was in that sentence pointing out what follows from your premise that things' future existence is not potential; I wasn't stating my own position.

He's relying on the assumption that everything is either caused by itself (A) or caused by something else (B). This wouldn't normally be an issue, but his main argument is for something that is not caused by itself or by something else (C). Since he can't reject C, he has to ignore it whenever he tries to say "not B therefore A".

Everything that moves from potence to actuality (everything in the world) has to be actualized by another. My main argument is not that "something that is not caused by itself or by something else," but something that doesn't have to be caused -- not an exception, by the very fact that it does not move from potence to actuality, the sole eternal substance which exists now, in the future, and in the past simultaneously.

Therefore,

(A) It is apparent that nothing can cause itself to move from potence to actuality.
(i) And everything, evidenced in the universe, does not exist the next second, for, if they did, then change would be impossible for the very possibility of change is not actualized --
the same object instead actual continuously if, as the fallacy holds, "a thing is actual the next second" because it is that thing, and not a changed version, that, according to the fallacy, exists.
(B) Therefore, if something exists, and continues to exist, this points to a Sustinant Principle who is eternal, that is, whose future existence is actual; in more simple terms,
who knows no time.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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@Ntech

My proof is that the future is not actual. I'm baffled as how that isn't proof that matter's continued existence is potential.

It isn't proof because the sentence "the future is not actual" means nothing. While you seem to superficially agree that the future does not exist, you nonetheless ascribe a quality to it: "not actual", sometimes you also say " potential". You then apply that same quality to everything that would exist in that future, and use that argument to say that the actual and the potential matter cannot be the same thing and therefore need to be 'sustained'.
The biggest issue with your argument is that you try to explain existence by defining non-existence. It seems obvious to me why this wouldn't work: you cannot make any inference about reality by ascribing qualities to things that do not even exist.

Additionally, you are attempting to either compare two different points in time from the same perspective, or the same point in time from different perspectives. None of which makes sense, and none of which has ever been claimed by any of us apart from you. In more concrete words: I agree, matter does not exist the next second, because that would imply that matter existed simultaneously in the present and the future, which is obviously untrue (because the future and the next second do not exist in the present). But matter will exist the next second, because the next second will be the present and actuality (= existence) is bound to the present, not to any singular point in time.
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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Duke

And we know that those objects do not exist the next second, [...]
No, you just assume that and absolutely refuse to acknowledge that no one agrees with you.

I say "before" in the sense that you seem to take for granted that matter exists, without a cause.
Because paralogical superbeings existing without a cause just makes so much more sense, right? The existence of matter is not an event, but an attribute of the universe. Your Sustinant Principle is neither.

My proof is that the future is not actual.
No, that's your assertion. It cannot prove itself.

However, you stated that a thing's future existence is not potential, [...]
Yes ...

[...] thus, it already exists the same way it did, thus, it cannot, according to you, exist in a different state.
Only according to you, because only you fail to recognize that an object with consistent attributes does not need to be static in all of its attributes.

By the way, I was in that sentence pointing out what follows from your premise that things' future existence is not potential; I wasn't stating my own position.
No, you were doing what you normally do; dismissing my premise because it doesn't comply with your own premises that have already been disputed. It's like when a flat-earther says the planet can't be an orb because that would make everything in Australia upside down. The problem is with your resoning, not mine.

Everything that moves from potence to actuality (everything in the world) has to be actualized by another.
No, it doesn't.

My main argument is not that "something that is not caused by itself or by something else," but something that doesn't have to be caused -- not an exception, by the very fact that it does not move from potence to actuality, [...]
1 If it "doesn't have to be caused", and thus isn't, then of course it is not caused by itself or by something else.
2 If it "doesn't have to be caused", but is anyway, then it isn't a prime mover.
3 If there is anything that "doesn't have to be caused", then it is necessarily true that not everything has to be caused by something else.

[...] the sole eternal substance which exists now, in the future, and in the past simultaneously.
Oh, so what you are actually saying is that it exists now, that it exists tomorrow (already), and that its past is still existent also, even though we cannot see, touch, or hear it? My, what an entirely reasonable non-magical idea that is in no way an exception to anything you've already asserted.

the same object instead actual continuously if, as the fallacy holds, "a thing is actual the next second" because it is that thing, and not a changed version, that, according to the fallacy, exists.
As near as I can tell, what you are trying to say here is that your opponent's statement is a fallacy just because you say it is, but that might be a grammatical error.

(B) Therefore, if something exists, and continues to exist, this points to a Sustinant Principle who is eternal, that is, whose future existence is actual; in more simple terms,
who knows no time.
As a matter of fact, it doesn't.
Ntech
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Ntech
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Shepherd

@HahiHa

While you seem to superficially agree that the future does not exist, you nonetheless ascribe a quality to it: "not actual", sometimes you also say " potential". You then apply that same quality to everything that would exist in that future, and use that argument to say that the actual and the potential matter cannot be the same thing and therefore need to be 'sustained'.

I read your post as stating that I ascribe qualities to the in-existent whereby I use that as material to base my argument on.

However, I do not ascribe a quality to the future; I deem all things that do not exist &quototential." I do not say they exist, they do not. That which exists cannot also at the
same time be potential (defined above). I elaborate below.

That which does not exist cannot cause itself to exist, therefore, if that which did not exist exists, then another caused it. The hot-dog covered in ketchup cannot cause itself to exist, therefore, if a hot-dog exists without ketchup one moment, and the next moment it exists in the state of having ketchup, then it did not cause this, but another.

@FishPreferred

It cannot prove itself.

That the future does not exist is apparent, a basic tenet of reason. For the future to exist would violate the principle of non-contradiction, a basic foundation of any system of reason.

Only according to you, because only you fail to recognize that an object with consistent attributes does not need to be static in all of its attributes.

The static attribute of existence, which you apply to objects, necessarily requires omni-presence/omni-existence. Which of course is absurd.

No, it doesn't.

Yes. For that which doesn't exist can't exist unless it is caused by another.

1 If it "doesn't have to be caused", and thus isn't, then of course it is not caused by itself or by something else.

Yet I never said that God didn't exist. If He didn't exist, another would have to cause Him. But He exists, for if He didn't, nothing would exist.

2 If it "doesn't have to be caused", but is anyway, then it isn't a prime mover.

Being caused is not necessary unless that which needs to be caused is non-existent.

3 If there is anything that "doesn't have to be caused", then it is necessarily true that not everything has to be caused by something else.

True. However, everything evidenced to us has to be caused. The only reason for their existence is logically God.

Oh, so what you are actually saying is that it exists now, that it exists tomorrow (already), and that its past is still existent also, even though we cannot see, touch, or hear it? My, what an entirely reasonable non-magical idea that is in no way an exception to anything you've already asserted.

Correct. I say that it is not non-existent, in all modes of existence/time.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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@Ntech

However, I do not ascribe a quality to the future; I deem all things that do not exist " potential." I do not say they exist, they do not. That which exists cannot also at the same time be potential (defined above).

You said that before, and I already objected that "all things that do not exist" doesn't mean anything. "All things that do not exist" is literally "nothing". "Nothing" cannot be proof of anything! Therefore since you do claim that "nothing" proves your principle, you must necessarily be attributing some kind of quality to it.

That which does not exist cannot cause itself to exist, therefore, if that which did not exist exists, then another caused it.

There it is. See? That which does not exist, does not exist, point. Using your example, the hotdog with ketchup is the same hotdog without ketchup, but altered by time because someone put ketchup on it. It did not cause itself, yet both the hotdog and the ketchup existed before. Matter was merely redistributed. You claim that some mysterious force willed the hotdog with ketchup into existence, and that the hotdog without ketchup ceased to exist, is an outlandish claim that has no supporting evidence whatsoever. It was no mysterious force that willed the prepared hotdog into existence, it was just some person putting already existing condiment on already existing food.
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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Duke

[...] if a hot-dog exists without ketchup one moment, and the next moment it exists in the state of having ketchup, then it did not cause this, but another.
Yes, this specific conditional is true. To generalize the state of a hot-dog to everything that ever was would still be inordinately ridiculous.

That the future does not exist is apparent, a basic tenet of reason.
No, it isn't, which is why claiming as much is all you've been able to do.

For the future to exist would violate the principle of non-contradiction, a basic foundation of any system of reason.
1 No, it wouldn't.
2 IRONY OVERLOAD

The static attribute of existence, which you apply to objects, necessarily requires omni-presence/omni-existence.
1 Why would it require omnipresense? That has nothing to do with any of this.
2 I never applied static existence to any object. You've just been conflating consistency with absolute stasis, as I have already pointed out. Granted, I had assumed at the time that you understood the difference between the two, but if that is not the case, allow me to explain.

If an object, such as a car, accelerates at a steady rate, like 10m/s^2, its position and speed are consistent; they do change, but the change is proportional to the acceleration and is always calculable. This is what I'm telling you.
If we were to take your straw man seriously, we'd be saying that the car can never move and will simply hang in space forever independent of the earth's rotation. This is what you seem to believe I'm telling you.

Yes. For that which doesn't exist can't exist unless it is caused by another.
This isn't about what doesn't exist. It's about "everything in the world", which, I think you'll agree, does exist.

Yet I never said that God didn't exist.
"God does not exist, [...]"
-Ntech, 05/03/2019

If He didn't exist, another would have to cause Him. But He exists, for if He didn't, nothing would exist.
No, that's what you were supposed to be proving this entire time, yet you still haven't managed to prove anything.

Being caused is not necessary unless that which needs to be caused is non-existent.
In which case, the universe and all fundamental constituents of everything in it do not need to be caused.

True. However, everything evidenced to us has to be caused. The only reason for their existence is logically God.
No. As I said, only events are caused and only aggregates are created. God is not a logical reason for anything.

Correct. I say that it is not non-existent, in all modes of existence/time.
Modes of existence/time that you keep insisting do not even exist themselves, so you'd better have a very good explanation of how that would work.
Ntech
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Ntech
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Shepherd

I feel that to better tackle this problem, I shall have to better explain myself.

DEFINITIONS:

*Movement: The movement from potentiality to actuality
*Potentiality: When we say a thing is potentially A, we mean that it can be actually so.
*Actuality: That which is so.
*Change: A substance, comprised of both matter and form, which is the bearer of qualities
which successively become actually so. This is how change occurs.
*Matter: Evident. That, for instance, which goes into the building of a house.
*Form: That by which matter is characterized.
*Substance: The union of both matter and form. The underlying thing. Examples of substances: Atoms, which possess qualities and characteristics, which like any substance accounts for change.

STATEMENTS:

1. Evident to the senses is MOTION. [That which does not exist (POTENTIALS) become so ( MOVEMENT)]

2. That which is so (ACTUALITIES) POTENTIALLY continues to be so. For that which is so can in fact continue to be so.

3. Conversely, that which is so is potentially so in a different way (it may CHANGE).

4. That which is POTENTIAL cannot be its own efficient cause, that is, that which in fact could be so, cannot, since it is not so, be so. [This does not refer to that which is so, but that POTENTIAL of continuing to be so, which is not so.]

5. Thus, since we are so, a Thing must be so of which it is so (an eternal Thing) and for which it is so eternally: an eternal SUBSTANCE. For, without this eternal substance to cause us (and all that is so) to be so, nothing could be so. That Thing men call God.

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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Duke

*Movement: The movement from potentiality to actuality
That definition is circular.

*Potentiality: When we say a thing is potentially A, we mean that it can be actually so.
*Actuality: That which is so.
Then, movement (as you've defined it) is not something that ever happens. Things do not go from "can be" to "is", because "can be" isn't a state independent of "is".

*Change: A substance, comprised of both matter and form, which is the bearer of qualities
which successively become actually so. This is how change occurs.
No, it isn't. Change is not a substance; it's an abstract term for the tendency of things to have time-dependent attributes.

1. Evident to the senses is MOTION. [That which does not exist (POTENTIALS) become so ( MOVEMENT)]
Incorrect. The motion you've defined is not evident in any way. It is not something that can happen.

5. Thus, since we are so, a Thing must be so of which it is so (an eternal Thing) and for which it is so eternally: an eternal SUBSTANCE. For, without this eternal substance to cause us (and all that is so) to be so, nothing could be so. That Thing men call God.
1 No, they don't.
2 That which is so cannot be the cause of itself being so. Therefore, if nothing could be so without God, God isn't so.
3 So!
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