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God As Grounding Cause
#21
RE: God As Grounding Cause
(May 24, 2018 at 2:00 am)robvalue Wrote: Why can't all of reality have popped into existence for no reason at all? Or does "no reason" itself qualify as a cause?

Why can't there be an infinite regression of causes?

(Claims that things can't happen because they don't make sense to us is not sufficient; reality does not require us to understand it. Neither does it have to globally conform to models based on our local observations.)

Why can't 2 + 2 be equal to 5?
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#22
RE: God As Grounding Cause
Depends on who you ask, but one camp says it cant because we assert it to be so - not much help for the god proposition, and the other because we don;t observe that to be the case - not much help for the caused universe proposition.

Sour little pickle, aint it?
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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#23
RE: God As Grounding Cause
(May 24, 2018 at 11:42 am)datc Wrote:
(May 24, 2018 at 2:00 am)robvalue Wrote: Why can't all of reality have popped into existence for no reason at all? Or does "no reason" itself qualify as a cause?

Why can't there be an infinite regression of causes?

(Claims that things can't happen because they don't make sense to us is not sufficient; reality does not require us to understand it. Neither does it have to globally conform to models based on our local observations.)

Why can't 2 + 2 be equal to 5?

No reason. We assign meaning to the symbols. Whether or not the system you come up with is of any practical use is another matter.

Are you going to answer my questions?

(May 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm)Khemikal Wrote: Depends on who you ask, but one camp says it cant because we assert it to be so - not much help for the god proposition, and the other because we don;t observe that to be the case - not much help for the caused universe proposition.

Sour little pickle, aint it?

Sure, his question wasn't very specific, so if we assume we're dealing with standard maths, then it can't be because we say it can't be. We have total control over what the symbols mean and how they function. This is completely different to trying to model reality. We don't get to tell reality how to behave.
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#24
RE: God As Grounding Cause
(May 24, 2018 at 12:32 pm)robvalue Wrote: Sure, his question wasn't very specific, so if we assume we're dealing with standard maths, then it can't be because we say it can't be. We have total control over what the symbols mean and how they function. This is completely different to trying to model reality. We don't get to tell reality how to behave.

Be nice if could though, amiright?  Our asserted laws imply that causality is bidirectional in time.  If our assertions made reality behave that way then none of us would ever have past mistakes to fix, lol.  

Meanwhile, irl, we realize that the rules we make for systems don;t always apply one for one outside of those systems themselves....much to apologists chagrin.  

Or....in less boring terms...if wishes were horses we'd ride together.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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#25
RE: God As Grounding Cause
Things would be way better. I'd fix all of god's mistakes for starters Wink

Of course, someone could say that my objections can't happen because the assumptions made for the argument make them impossible. But that just pushes the problem back, since it needs to be established that the argument actually reflects reality in some way. This is the problem with trying to sidestep the scientific method and packing your conclusions into your premises.
Feel free to send me a private message.
Please visit my website here! It's got lots of information about atheism/theism and support for new atheists.

Index of useful threads and discussions
Index of my best videos
Quickstart guide to the forum
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#26
RE: God As Grounding Cause
See, you;re a credit to mankind.  I;d just not have had that chilidog...it;s wreaking havoc on my stomach right now.   

The amusing bit about people who claim that our assertions can;t do this or that is that they are, themselves..claiming that our assertions -can- do this or that..namely, prevent other peoples assertions from doing this or that. That's why we generally appeal to something other than assertion. Gotta break the cycle. Wink
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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#27
RE: God As Grounding Cause
(May 24, 2018 at 2:00 am)robvalue Wrote: Why can't all of reality have popped into existence for no reason at all? Or does "no reason" itself qualify as a cause?

Why can't there be an infinite regression of causes?

(Claims that things can't happen because they don't make sense to us is not sufficient; reality does not require us to understand it. Neither does it have to globally conform to models based on our local observations.)

Therefore, we must accept that things that don't make any sense, i.e., that are unintelligible like an infinite regress of causes, can happen?

Why not believe any absurdity you decide to come up with?
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#28
RE: God As Grounding Cause
Unintelligible is not a synonym for impossible.  Nor is your lack of imagination a synonym for absurdity.  

That;s ignoring the very real possibility of you being fundamentally wrong about both items above.

I understand, though. Infinite regress robs us of an ability to reach some terminus, some conclusion. That;s why we don;t refer to it when trying to ascertain cause. That doesn;t mean that infinite regress is impossible..only massively inconvenient to ascertaining cause by our preferred means. Uncaused causes, first causes, grounding causes..in the singular or plural, are rhetorical objects meant to paper over the limits of a system we've defined.

Not observations on the nature of reality or the universe.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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#29
RE: God As Grounding Cause
(May 24, 2018 at 12:32 pm)robvalue Wrote: No reason. We assign meaning to the symbols. Whether or not the system you come up with is of any practical use is another matter.

Good luck trying to get your bank to assign a different meaning to the numbers on your credit card statements. Or maybe you'd like to argue that the laws of physics are linguistic conventions while stepping out of a 12th story window.
"Anyone who believes the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. I live on the twenty-first floor." - Alan Sokal
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#30
RE: God As Grounding Cause
The laws of physics are based upon observations - and they;re provisional.  If you're imagining that theres a "law of no infinite regress"...what possible observation might that be based on?
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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