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Author Topic:   God caused or uncaused?
Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3745 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 1 of 297 (415758)
08-11-2007 11:03 PM


In a previous thread, Behe Bit It (Michael Behe on "The Colbert Report") we did drift off into a relevant issue; that of the uncaused nature of God as many, such as myself, maintain. I think the questions surrounding the issue are worthy of discussion. Mark24 as well as PaulK had some questions and assertions: Particularly whether there can be an infinite regress of causes.

Mark24 writes: www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=35&t=182&m=67#67 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=35&t=182&m=67#67">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=35&t=182&m=67#67

God can't be the ultimate reality, he must've been designed. And so begins the infinate regression.

This is your problem, you can't be consistent about your own design inference, it must therefore be rejected.

Mark, the folowing is from Merriam-Websters: http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/god

Main Entry: 1god
Pronunciation: 'gäd also 'god
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German got god
1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind

Reality in total is all that can be. Even if it is infinite and eternal, there is still nothing larger than everything (I do not mean everything in the pantheist sense. And that's really another topic if there is such a thing).

Everything which has a beginning has a cause. God did not have a beginning, therefore He does not need a cause.

Everything designed has a designer. God was not designed, therfore He does not need a designer.

He is the Alpha and the Omega; both beginning and end.

Unless I am mistaken, if there is one distinction between the pantheist view and the Christian, it is that reality is living and conscious (ie. God); a sentient and sovereign being as opposed to a simply material or natural existence that is void of any feeling or conscious thinking capacity.

I don't know if this is the proper forum for this discussion...


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by pbee, posted 08-12-2007 12:32 AM Rob has responded
 Message 4 by sidelined, posted 08-12-2007 1:05 AM Rob has responded
 Message 8 by mike the wiz, posted 08-12-2007 1:52 PM Rob has responded
 Message 21 by mark24, posted 08-14-2007 12:58 PM Rob has responded

  
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3867
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Message 2 of 297 (415767)
08-12-2007 12:25 AM


Bypassed PNT forum - Oh well, moved to "Faith and Belief"
Thread moved here from the Creation/Evolution In The News forum.

No judgment passed, one way or the other, on this topics merit as a new topic. It, however, di need to get out of the "In the News" forum. It should have been started in "Proposed New Topics".

Adminnemooseus

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Added post move comments.


  
pbee
Member (Idle past 3924 days)
Posts: 339
Joined: 06-20-2007


Message 3 of 297 (415770)
08-12-2007 12:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rob
08-11-2007 11:03 PM


quote:
whether there can be an infinite regress of causes

Wouldn't this be 'an infinite regression of causes?' it is not quite clear what issue the initial post is after. Forgive me for sounding like a simpleton, but could you throw out a bone(one line question) with a question mark attached to it?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rob, posted 08-11-2007 11:03 PM Rob has responded

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sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 297 (415772)
08-12-2007 1:05 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rob
08-11-2007 11:03 PM


Rob

God did not have a beginning, therefore He does not need a cause.

I have replied to this before. How can something that had no beginning be said to exist? Since you claim God never began then the obvious consequence is that he does not exist for the simple fact that by this definition {no beginning} he neverbegan to exist.

You have simply traded one difficulty for another Rob.

He is the Alpha and the Omega; both beginning and end.

You do realize that this contradicts your statement that God had no beginning nor end don't you?

Edited by sidelined, : No reason given.


"The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss."

Thomas Carlyle


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rob, posted 08-11-2007 11:03 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
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Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3745 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 5 of 297 (415775)
08-12-2007 1:47 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by sidelined
08-12-2007 1:05 AM


Sidelined:
How can something that had no beginning be said to exist? Since you claim God never began then the obvious consequence is that he does not exist for the simple fact that by this definition {no beginning} he never began to exist.

It, or He, always was...

...and that is the point of the 'alpha and omega' sections of scripture. IThey ring more of transcending time entirely, than of being inside of it, and under it's laws.

In fact, a very great difficulty I had in grasping the logic of the Biblical message for many years, was because of my oww propensity to examine the details through the lens of time.

You ask how something that had no begining can exist, but let's ask the same thing in spacial terms (rather than in terms of time) about our material universe.

Where is it's beginning?

Since it has none, it does not exist.

It simpy doesn't follow...

Eternity is really not that difficult a thing to grasp in terms of time. It is no different than infinity in terms of space.

What you are asking is akin to asking 'what is outside of the universe'?

The question is nonsense in material terms.


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Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3745 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 6 of 297 (415776)
08-12-2007 1:47 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by pbee
08-12-2007 12:32 AM


pbee:
'an infinite regression of causes?'

Yes, I suppose so...


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Phat
Member
Posts: 11146
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 7 of 297 (415816)
08-12-2007 10:00 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by sidelined
08-12-2007 1:05 AM


Original Thoughts
sidelined writes:

How can something that had no beginning be said to exist?

Are you saying that there is no such thing as an original thought?

I see two possibilities:

  • God exists, and foreknew us long before we even had the ability to think, imagine, question, or create our ideas about God.

    or

  • Humans made the whole idea of God up.

    Either way, there had to have been an origin. An original thought had to have come from one of the two scenarios I mention. Right?


    This message is a reply to:
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  • mike the wiz
    Member (Idle past 29 days)
    Posts: 4617
    From: u.k
    Joined: 05-24-2003


    Message 8 of 297 (415840)
    08-12-2007 1:52 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Rob
    08-11-2007 11:03 PM


    Hi Rob.

    My position is that I believe God is the first mover.

    I think God is un-caused, and always existed.

    For me this solves the problem. For me, the real infinite regression is that of things being continually caused. Then you have the question, "what caused the first cause".

    With God you don't need an answer - because his eternal existence solves that problem.

    I suppose if there's no God, there could be infinite regression, but why? Isn't it a contradiction in terms? If everything needs a cause, then how can it be infinite?

    Well, just my quick thoughts on the matter.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Rob, posted 08-11-2007 11:03 PM Rob has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 9 by Rob, posted 08-12-2007 5:09 PM mike the wiz has responded
     Message 10 by crashfrog, posted 08-12-2007 5:18 PM mike the wiz has responded

    Rob 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 3745 days)
    Posts: 2297
    Joined: 06-01-2006


    Message 9 of 297 (415862)
    08-12-2007 5:09 PM
    Reply to: Message 8 by mike the wiz
    08-12-2007 1:52 PM


    infinite regression of causes illogical...
    Mike the wiz:
    I suppose if there's no God, there could be infinite regression, but why? Isn't it a contradiction in terms? If everything needs a cause, then how can it be infinite?

    Well... Hmm... Ummm... Yes, I think your point is valid. Somehow I missed that...

    If only that which has a beginning (finite) needs a cause, then yes, that which has no beginning (or end) does not by definition. So an infinite regression of causes is by default a mute and self destructive concept. As you said, it is a contradiction in terms.

    It's another example of how important the meaning of words is. by their very definition, we make sense out of otherwise metaphysical gibberish.

    That's why your a wiz Mike, in spite of your humility ;). Face it man... you've got the gift.

    Some of these things are easy to miss if we're not careful...


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 8 by mike the wiz, posted 08-12-2007 1:52 PM mike the wiz has responded

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    crashfrog
    Inactive Member


    Message 10 of 297 (415864)
    08-12-2007 5:18 PM
    Reply to: Message 8 by mike the wiz
    08-12-2007 1:52 PM


    My position is that I believe God is the first mover.

    I think God is un-caused, and always existed.

    For me this solves the problem. For me, the real infinite regression is that of things being continually caused. Then you have the question, "what caused the first cause".

    An infinite series of caused events, though, would be itself uncaused; therefore you'd need no "first cause." An an infinite uncaused series is no less logical than an infinite uncaused God. Plus, it solves the problem of "if God is required as a prime mover, then how come there's no God?"


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 8 by mike the wiz, posted 08-12-2007 1:52 PM mike the wiz has responded

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    AnswersInGenitals
    Member
    Posts: 496
    Joined: 07-20-2006


    Message 11 of 297 (415871)
    08-12-2007 5:51 PM


    Why we keep coming back to this question.
    One familiar object that has no beginning or end is a circle. What if time were a giant circle? We are only consciously aware of existing at one point on that circle and have a memory (whatever that might be physiologically) of only a very small arc of that circle. God, on the other hand, exists at all points of that circle and is always consciously aware of all those points. This gets us away from having to worry about infinities, regressions, causes, and basically looking like we no ideal what we are trying to say. From our point of view, he seems to exist out of time simply because he exists at all time. The real challenge of this concept is who do we support and supply arms to when ethnic war breaks out between the circularismists and the ellipsismists.
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    mike the wiz
    Member (Idle past 29 days)
    Posts: 4617
    From: u.k
    Joined: 05-24-2003


    Message 12 of 297 (415995)
    08-13-2007 9:30 AM
    Reply to: Message 9 by Rob
    08-12-2007 5:09 PM


    Re: infinite regression of causes illogical...
    That's why your a wiz Mike, in spite of your humility . Face it man... you've got the gift.

    My irrefutability has be noted. :)

    ...I am thinking philosophically aswell - are there usually reasons for things? What is the reason for everything/anything?

    To me, it's obvious in the function of the universe, and Aristotle's causes. Formal cause, final cause, etc...

    It seems that everything must be put down to coincidence. But that in itself becomes vacuous, as it is reduced to a none-answer.


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    mike the wiz
    Member (Idle past 29 days)
    Posts: 4617
    From: u.k
    Joined: 05-24-2003


    Message 13 of 297 (415996)
    08-13-2007 9:33 AM
    Reply to: Message 10 by crashfrog
    08-12-2007 5:18 PM


    For me personally, God satisfies the question, because he answers a great many problems for me. If he doesn't answer your problems, fair enough, but for me, I believe he is the best answer put forward, even if entirely unproven.
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    Rob 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 3745 days)
    Posts: 2297
    Joined: 06-01-2006


    Message 14 of 297 (416005)
    08-13-2007 10:10 AM
    Reply to: Message 11 by AnswersInGenitals
    08-12-2007 5:51 PM


    Re: Why we keep coming back to this question.
    AIG:
    One familiar object that has no beginning or end is a circle.

    A circle is a finite geometrical shape.

    AIG:

    What if time were a giant circle? We are only consciously aware of existing at one point on that circle and have a memory (whatever that might be physiologically) of only a very small arc of that circle. God, on the other hand, exists at all points of that circle and is always consciously aware of all those points. This gets us away from having to worry about infinities, regressions, causes, and basically looking like we no ideal what we are trying to say. From our point of view, he seems to exist out of time simply because he exists at all time.

    Your phrase, 'all time'... seems to put eternity in a box (or circle as you say).

    It's a good way to hint at an answer and may help us to understand God, but it cannot be the actual answer.

    God existed before time, and will exist after time. I think it would be right to say that time is the illusion, not eternity.

    Time is relative, eternity is absolute. I think God gives us time so that we may have the choice to live in the real eternal sense.

    What is being 'relatively alive' worth anyway? We all have that now, and it isn't very inspiring or satisfying. This life only hints at the real thing.

    C.S. Lewis gave a simmilar illustration to yours, but not about time but God himself. He said that if our life is a line on a sheet, then God would be the whole page. But even then he cautiously reminds us that it is only meant to help, it cannot capture the infinite nature of God. God is not a page, He is a book. And even then we're dealing with only one chapter of His reality that relates to this particular part of the story as he relates to us. In the end, there is no end.

    So the solution is not finality of any kind in terms of God, but only in the concept of hell. So, hell may be circular, but not God.

    AIG:

    The real challenge of this concept is who do we support and supply arms to when ethnic war breaks out between the circularismists and the ellipsismists.

    Very funny :rolleyes:


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    ICANT
    Member (Idle past 10 days)
    Posts: 5878
    From: SSC
    Joined: 03-12-2007


    Message 15 of 297 (416008)
    08-13-2007 10:27 AM
    Reply to: Message 13 by mike the wiz
    08-13-2007 9:33 AM


    Re-Answer
    mike the wiz writes:

    I believe he is the best answer put forward, even if entirely unproven.

    But He is only unproven to those (unbelivers) who have not met Him face to face.

    Psal 90:2 (KJV) Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

    I think the psalmist put it in proper words.

    God is from everlasting to everlasting.


    "John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 13 by mike the wiz, posted 08-13-2007 9:33 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

      
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