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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
Moegreche
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Duke

Time is not a physical constant.

The examples given in the Wiki article are unvarying measurements, like the speed of light. I would contrast this with, for example, the speed of my car, which varies over time. So when you say that time doesn't vary, I take issue with it. What I would want to say is that, while our perception of time varies, that time itself doesn't vary. But I'm not even sure what that means.

Here's the only argument I can give that can gesture at what I'm talking about. The age of our observable universe is 13.772 billion years old. And, while the age of the universe is going to change, the 'yardstick' along which it's measured (i.e. time itself) is constant. I suppose we could backtrack and just say that what we're talking about here is a measurement based on how long it takes for a random rock in the universe to orbit its star (i.e. one Earth year). But even in that reduction, I'm still talking about 'how long it takes', which is still time. So I feel like there's still something there that we're talking about that's immutable.

I have no idea how the above helps or hurts any of the arguments on offer here, though

Ntech
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@Moegreche


I have no idea how the above helps or hurts any of the arguments on offer here, though

Lol. I can't 🤔 of how it would hurt mine 😆
HahiHa
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It's not immediately relevant. All I am saying concerning article III is that I object the assumption of eternity, and the example of time I used to show that intuition is not always right. It's possible that saying time varies may not be accurate, considering that time is the fourth dimension of space-time (so it's a dimension, not a constant). But the fact remains that time is relative depending on gravity and the relative velocity between observer and observed object, while the speed of light is constant in all cases. Which is not intuitive, which was my point. Also, since Locke mentioned Euclid: Euclidean space is an assumption of classical mechanics that is only true on our relatively small, local space; on the scale of the universe, space-time is very much non-Euclidean.

Doombreed
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lol I was wondering why I got tagged. Anyway, carry on you all xD

FishPreferred
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Duke

1. Time begun when the physical universe began. Time began when motion was created.
Well, no. Time isn't technically capable of beginning due to the simple fact that there is not any point before the existence of time.

Time measurement consists of counting the repetitions of any recurring phenomenon (that is, MOTION)(emphasis mine) and possibly subdividing the interval between repetitions."
So?

He used Euclid as an example, because back in his day, every learned man knew Euclid's propositions. Thus, if one did not acknowledge that nothing cannot produce something, one did not have common sense coming from the knowledge of Euclid.
No, he made a shoddy comparison to present his unsupported premise as though it were as sound as one of Euclid's mathematical proofs; something which simply isn't the case.

1. Moe agreed that in the Aristotlean sense, something cannot be the efficient cause of itself.
Okay. So?
Ntech
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Ntech
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@Hahiha


It's not immediately relevant. All I am saying concerning article III is that I object the assumption of eternity, and the example of time I used to show that intuition is not always right. It's possible that saying time varies may not be accurate, considering that time is the fourth dimension of space-time (so it's a dimension, not a constant). But the fact remains that time is relative depending on gravity and the relative velocity between observer and observed object, while the speed of light is constant in all cases. Which is not intuitive, which was my point. Also, since Locke mentioned Euclid: Euclidean space is an assumption of classical mechanics that is only true on our relatively small, local space; on the scale of the universe, space-time is very much non-Euclidean.

You're right, time began to exist. But from eternity, I take Locke to mean from the beginning of time.

However, the reference to Euclid had nothing to do with "eternity," but with how nothing cannot produce something.

@FishPreferred


Well, no. Time isn't technically capable of beginning due to the simple fact that there is not any point before the existence of time.

As time is the measurement of recurrent phenomenon, the lack of phenomenon nullifies the existence of time.


So?

Thus, something cannot cause itself. I was using this on a sidenote because Doom stated that something could cause itself, as a result of Einstein's Relativity, an illogical statement which I here refuted.


Okay. So?

This again is a reference to Doom, which I believe was his last objection to the Thomistic proof from motion, which we will not discuss here.
Doombreed
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Just one question. Why are you responding to me here, when I haven't taken part in the discussion?

HahiHa
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@Ntech

You're right, time began to exist. But from eternity, I take Locke to mean from the beginning of time.

The definition of eternity normally precludes any beginning or end. But I think we're losing the thread of the discussion. The exact definition of eternity is not relevant to Locke's argument, I believe. Rather, his main point in article III is that there has never been a moment where there was simply nothing at all, and I think we're agreed on that. I propose we move on to IV.

However, the reference to Euclid had nothing to do with "eternity," but with how nothing cannot produce something.

No, not really. That was just an analogy he used for something that is so logical you couldn't reasonably doubt it. He could (and should) have left out Euclid entirely and it wouldn't have had any impact on his argument, other than make it less sneering.
FishPreferred
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Duke

As time is the measurement of recurrent phenomenon, the lack of phenomenon nullifies the existence of time.
No. That, as McCarthy stated, is the measurement of time. That isn't the same as time itself.

Thus, something cannot cause itself. I was using this on a sidenote because Doom stated that something could cause itself, as a result of Einstein's Relativity, an illogical statement which I here refuted.
And as something so clearly cannot cause itself, God is left in a singularly difficult position: If He is to be the creator of the universe, He must perform an act of creation, but God has nothing to cause Him to act because He is alone and unchanging in a timeless void where no phenomena exist. Therefore, God creating the universe is illogical.

This again is a reference to Doom, which I believe was his last objection to the Thomistic proof from motion, which we will not discuss here.
Then could you maybe stop bringing up irrelevant points that you aren't even willing to discuss? I pointed out already that you have given no support for things only existing if created by other things, which is a much bigger problem for your argument.

Also, I'd appreciate if you'd do something to support your claim that consciousness can't arise from material things.
HahiHa
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Thus, something cannot cause itself.

This makes sense on the level of classical physics, where we assume a strict chain of cause and effect. However, I see two caveats:

- physics (including (space-)time) as we know it likely didn't apply to the singularity - the entirety of space-time condensed into a single point - which expanded into the universe we now know; and

- quantum mechanics.
Ntech
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@Doombreed


Just one question. Why are you responding to me here, when I haven't taken part in the discussion?

Because @Hahiha wanted an explanation. If I did not give one, he would say I'm getting off-topic.

@Hahiha


I propose we move on to IV.

Ok.

@FishPreferred


No. That, as McCarthy stated, is the measurement of time. That isn't the same as time itself.

Time is motion. Without things in motion time does not exist.


And as something so clearly cannot cause itself, God is left in a singularly difficult position: If He is to be the creator of the universe, He must perform an act of creation, but God has nothing to cause Him to act because He is alone and unchanging in a timeless void where no phenomena exist. Therefore, God creating the universe is illogical.

Exactly, according to your understanding of God. But God does not act, in the sense that to act implies imperfection -- the movement from one state to another.

God Exists, He is Existence itself. We do not exist, we merely subsist -- subsistence is movement, whereas existence is unchanging being, not motion nor action.


Also, I'd appreciate if you'd do something to support your claim that consciousness can't arise from material things.

A product owes its existence and all that belongs to it from its respective cause(s). This is a basic axiom of biology, Natural Selection. A mutation chooses from predetermined properties, it does not spontaneously generate a new characteristic. Thus, if something lacks the characteristic of consciousness, it cannot cause it.

Quantum mechanics works with objects in motion, but does not apply to how they got in motion.

Doombreed
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@Ntech

Then why was my name mentioned as part of an explanation to someone else, when I wasn't part of this discussion until you called me out?

In other words, how can you be answering to HahiHa by mentioning me by name and responding to what I said in the chat some days ago? Completely out of context no less?

You just want the final say don't you? That does not make you any less wrong.

HahiHa
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https://s14-eu5.startpage.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=http%3A%2F%2Ft0.gstatic.com%2Fimages%3Fq%3Dtbn%3AANd9GcQ8SDTIO7MjKv8XykU_xCG8g63j5yXS8xooNrV2AoVfmhgdOppMOA&sp=941bd76e5121e99dc0c618bcf1e590b8&anticache=724303

A product owes its existence and all that belongs to it from its respective cause(s).

The universe was basically a hot ball of plasma for almost 400'000 years, and even after that mostly consisted of helium and hydrogen. By your argument, the world as it exists today should be impossible.

This is a basic axiom of biology, Natural Selection. A mutation chooses from predetermined properties, it does not spontaneously generate a new characteristic. Thus, if something lacks the characteristic of consciousness, it cannot cause it.

Nope. The only way you could make such a claim is by making use of extreme cherry-picking and misconstruing of biological phenomena. Trust me on this.

Quantum mechanics works with objects in motion, but does not apply to how they got in motion.

I suppose it's your choice if you want to ignore the research on quantum mechanics, but don't simply make claims like "it doesn't apply to my argument". If you're not confident arguing about that, just drop the matter and focus on other aspects. That's perfectly fine. You won't be able to "argue away" the fact that research on quantum mechanics is bringing up intriguing results about the nature of physics and causality.
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke

Time is motion. Without things in motion time does not exist.
No, motion is motion. You may as well say that space is a yardstick.

Exactly, according to your understanding of God. But God does not act, in the sense that to act implies imperfection -- the movement from one state to another.
1 Special pleading.
2 Sidestepping your equivocation of the word "motion", if God does not act, God does not create. God is an inert whatsit that does not do, think, or feel.

God Exists, He is Existence itself. We do not exist, we merely subsist -- subsistence is movement, whereas existence is unchanging being, not motion nor action.
1 Quaint but meaningless.
2 Existence is not a thing that exists. It's the quality shared by all things that exist. Therefore, if God = Existence, God is not existant.

A product owes its existence and all that belongs to it from its respective cause(s).
In the sense that the cause is required for that to happen, yes. So?

This is a basic axiom of biology, Natural Selection. A mutation chooses from predetermined properties, it does not spontaneously generate a new characteristic.
That's creationist nonsense. Mutations are limited only by the range of chemical interactions available to all combinations of amino acids. They aren't just turning the settings on and off.

Thus, if something lacks the characteristic of consciousness, it cannot cause it.
By that reasoning, if something lacks the characteristic of being fictional, it cannot produce anything that is fictional. Therefore, a) God is fictional, b) nothing is fictional, or c) your reasoning is flawed.

Quantum mechanics works with objects in motion, but does not apply to how they got in motion.
1 By what grounds?
2 What are you even trying to say with this?
Ntech
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Ntech
258 posts
Shepherd

@Doombreed


@Ntech

Then why was my name mentioned as part of an explanation to someone else, when I wasn't part of this discussion until you called me out?

In other words, how can you be answering to HahiHa by mentioning me by name and responding to what I said in the chat some days ago? Completely out of context no less?

You just want the final say don't you? That does not make you any less wrong.


I beg your pardon.

@Hahiha


The universe was basically a hot ball of plasma for almost 400'000 years, and even after that mostly consisted of helium and hydrogen. By your argument, the world as it exists today should be impossible.

Yet that plasma and hydrogen could have caused what exists today.


Nope. The only way you could make such a claim is by making use of extreme cherry-picking and misconstruing of biological phenomena. Trust me on this.

What I said is relevant -- cognition is a characteristic. Natural Selection applies to characteristics.


I suppose it's your choice if you want to ignore the research on quantum mechanics, but don't simply make claims like "it doesn't apply to my argument". If you're not confident arguing about that, just drop the matter and focus on other aspects. That's perfectly fine. You won't be able to "argue away" the fact that research on quantum mechanics is bringing up intriguing results about the nature of physics and causality.

I am just pointing out that it is called quantum mechanics, not quantum causation. Besides that, the nature of causality is not altered nor can things be observed about it from apparent causes --> effects apparent, because we cannot definitely say that this cause -- and this alone -- cause that reaction -- and that alone. To do so would require a zero percent margin of error, quite impossible with the scientific means of observation today.

@FishPreferred


No, motion is motion. You may as well say that space is a yardstick.

If we measure time by a recurrent phenomenon, then it must be time that produces that phenomenon's motion, or at least influences it.


1 Special pleading.

Proof: For if God were in motion -- and one cannot be the efficient cause of oneself -- then God would not be the first mover, thus, a thing that is in motion is not God. God is not in motion, He Is Act itself. That is, He does not move from inaction to action, but Is Action itself.Quod Erat Demonstrandum.


2 Sidestepping your equivocation of the word "motion", if God does not act, God does not create. God is an inert whatsit that does not do, think, or feel.

God does not act, for He Is Action -- God does not move from inaction to action, He just Is. He does not move from not-thinking to thinking, but Knows.


1 Quaint but meaningless.
2 Existence is not a thing that exists. It's the quality shared by all things that exist. Therefore, if God = Existence, God is not existant.

In response to (2), we subsist, only God exists. For we do not exist, but subsist, in that our "existence," (which is not fit to be called that) depends on motion, but His does not.


In the sense that the cause is required for that to happen, yes. So?

Thus, since a thing that is intelligent owes intelligent to its respective cause(s), one of them must be intelligent too. Thus, the first mover is intelligent.


That's creationist nonsense. Mutations are limited only by the range of chemical interactions available to all combinations of amino acids. They aren't just turning the settings on and off.

And those chemical interactions characterize one mutation from another. Either a characteristic is present or it's not.


By that reasoning, if something lacks the characteristic of being fictional, it cannot produce anything that is fictional. Therefore, a) God is fictional, b) nothing is fictional, or c) your reasoning is flawed.

Quoting you, characteristics are limited -- and produced -- by "chemical interaction." I do not believe that "fiction" is a chemical interaction known to man. Your reasoning is flawed.


1 By what grounds?
2 What are you even trying to say with this?

2. That quantum mechanics does not apply to causuality.

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