This Is A Conversation I Had On A Question I Posted.

Reply by maxximiliann Dec 19th, 2012 at 4:28PM
Quentin Smith, a philosopher of science at the University of Western Michigan puts it best when he explicates, "It belongs analytically to the concept of the cosmological singularity that it is not the effect of prior physical events. The definition of a singularity entails that it is impossible to extend the spacetime manifold beyond the singularity. This effectively rules out the idea that the singularity is the effect of some prior natural process." ("Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology") This creates the necessity for there to exist a first uncaused-cause for something cannot come from nothing. I've also explained that this first uncaused efficient cause must also, by necessity, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, unchanging, omnipotent and personal. As it turns out, such is the very definition of God.
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Reply by james422 Dec 26th, 2012 at 8:29AM
So, if you subscribe to the notion that the universe has a cause and is not itself a timeless and transcendent thing, why does this supposed god not have to follow those same rules? What made it?
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Reply by maxximiliann Dec 26th, 2012 at 8:48AM
Ever hear of Hilbert's Grand Hotel?
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Reply by james422 Dec 28th, 2012 at 10:45AM
The idea of infinity being able to contain infinity yet still have infinite space. Right?
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Reply by maxximiliann Dec 28th, 2012 at 6:37PM
Uhhh, the other "Hilbert's Grand Hotel", lol :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2W2vduP22Q His paradox demonstrates how an infinite regress of causes is completely absurd and has no basis in the real world. As such, whatever caused the universe to come into existence 13.70 billion years ago, it itself **must** be uncaused. It is necessarily self-existent: http://bit.ly/SSsy8x.
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Reply by james422 Jan 4th, 2013 at 7:27AM
The observed laws of physics seem to allow for the universe to be recursive, but science hasn't found an answer yet. Personally I think that last time I blew my nose I created the universe and will stone to death anyone who disagrees.
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 4th, 2013 at 1:11PM
As I’m sure you’re well aware, a contracting universe won't generate the proper “bounce” characteristics as it transitions from a contraction to an expansion. Baum-Frampton is a non-starter because they haven’t figured out how to have zero average growth along geodesics given the asymmetry in the expansion and contraction phase of their model. More importantly, they only considered a subset of the full reality they propose. The Aguirre-Gratton model tries to avoid this problem entirely by reversing the arrow of time at the boundary. But if you do this, then the mirror universe on the other side of the BVG boundary in no sense represents a past out of which our current universe evolved. Thus our universe would begin-to-exist. Withal, the Aguirre-Gratton model is not even suggested by its authors to be a model of our universe! Rather, they hope that it can serves a springboard for the birth of our universe through some other physical process. Clearly, then, the absolute beginning of our universe remains inescapable.
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Reply by james422 Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:25AM
I've got a question - are you familiar with the idea, growing in popularity, that time is itself encompassed by the universe as a function thereof?
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:45AM
You mean space-time? Yeah I'm familiar with the notion of space-time.
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Reply by james422 Jan 8th, 2013 at 7:12AM
Ok then, you are familiar with the concept that there is no 'when' prior to the big bang. That the beginning of everything really is the beginning of even beginnings. While there is the scientifically necessary room for doubt, even if the beginning had a cause why must that cause be anything but mechanical? What exactly is the evidence for intent, consciousness, and design?
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:43PM
Your conclusion follows if and only if we equate time with physical measures of time. This reductionistic view is clearly wrong. A sequence of mental events alone is sufficient to generate relations of earlier and later, wholly in the absence of any physical events. So there could be a time at which God created the initial cosmological singularity, even if that moment is not in physical time. Even if God is timeless sans creation, His creating the universe can be simultaneous with the cosmic singularity. Such an appeal to metaphysics is not illicit because Hawking makes the metaphysical claim that God cannot create the universe because the singularity is not in physical time, a reductionistic move which no theist should accept. In any case, even if we do accept this reductionistic move, all that follows is that God did not create the universe at a time. We can still say that God’s creating the universe was coincident with the singularity (that is, they occur together at the boundary of spacetime), and by creating the singularity God created the universe.
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:45PM
Here's why. If a cause is sufficient to produce it's effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak. You can't have one without the other. Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.” (http://bit.ly/WQtgZY) The issue is, if we have in fact a timeless, transcendent cause why isn't the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless, transcendent cause actually caused the universe, why hasn't the universe always been around? How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we've also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless. The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.
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Reply by james422 Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:44PM
Had a chuckle at being told that theists can't accept 'reductionist views'
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Reply by james422 Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:57PM
You're dodging - why does the cause of this or any universe have to be a consciousness? You're very good at burying your leaps of faith in reams of textbook data, but the leap is still there. You have several assumptions going to make your hypothesis sound plausible: 1: That the universe cannot be its own cause. Currently there is not enough data about the origins of our universe to say for sure if that is true or not, but some preeminent physicists (such as Hawking) are beginning to say that the idea of a self-causing universe is not outlandish. 2:That the cause of the universe must be eternal. In the same vein as your ice illustration that is like saying that the footballer who heads the ball is forever and always doing so and will never cease to be a footballer heading a ball. Another analogy would be that the same spark that starts a fire must forever be present for the fire to burn. Its nonsensical. 3: Again the leap from the hypothesis that the universe's cause is an eternal something separate to the statement that such a cause "must" be an aware being of free will without any such explanation as to why that is. Runner Up/Bonus: That the complexity of the aforementioned entity doesn't need to follow any rules that have been assigned to the universe. I hope that makes it easier to explain your hypothesis.
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 10th, 2013 at 10:35AM
Here’s why it needs to be a consciousness: If a cause is sufficient to produce it's effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak. You can't have one without the other. Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.” (http://bit.ly/WQtgZY) The issue is, if we have in fact a timeless, transcendent cause why isn't the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless, transcendent cause actually caused the universe, why hasn't the universe always been around? How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we've also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless. The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 10th, 2013 at 10:37AM
The premiss that the universe began to exist is not a religious statement nor a theological one. You can find this statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported by the vast majority of cosmologists today. The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, clearly states that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater one must have a ** finite beginning **. I'm not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself refute beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube while proving that our universe had to have a finite beginning. As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176) Moreover, Quentin Smith, a philosopher of science at the University of Western Michigan reinforces this further when he states, "It belongs analytically to the concept of the cosmological singularity that it is not the effect of prior physical events. The definition of a singularity entails that it is impossible to extend the spacetime manifold beyond the singularity. This effectively rules out the idea that the singularity is the effect of some prior natural process." ("Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology") As such, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe. It's just more atheistic folderol and wishful thinking.
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 10th, 2013 at 10:41AM
“Ex nihilo nihil fit”. In other words, something can't come from nothing. (Not Hawking’s pseudo-definition of “nothing” but the concept that describes the absence of anything; the state of nonexistence.) If it could, why doesn't everything or anything? Why aren't dinosaurs, for instance, popping out of thin air, devouring everyone in sight? Why aren't we afraid of elephants suddenly popping into existence in the sky and crushing us as we walked down the street? If nothing can in fact produce something why would it discriminate? In the end, such an argument is nothing more than special pleading. Since something can't come from nothing, then the natural questions that follow are, “Where did the universe come from 13.70 billion years ago?” and “What caused it to come into existence in the first place?” Whatever this cause is, it must possess certain necessary properties in order for it to be the cause of the physical space-time universe.
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 10th, 2013 at 10:41AM
Now, let’s take a closer look at this. First and foremost, this cause must itself be uncaused. Why? Because an infinite regress of causes is impossible. (Lookup “Hilbert's Grand Hotel” if you're interested in a more in-depth analysis.) Second, this uncaused cause must transcend space-time because it itself created space-time. It is therefore, spaceless. Third, since this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause. Why? Because physical things exist only in space – they have dimensions. Fourth, this uncaused cause must necessarily also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn't exist in space-time.
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 10th, 2013 at 10:42AM
Fifth, it must also be changeless. As I'm sure you're well aware, all matter exists in a state of constant flux. This is especially apparent at the atomic level. Since this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not subject to the same forces that affect matter, therefore, it is unchanging. Sixth, this uncaused cause is obviously unimaginably powerful, if not omnipotent, for it brought matter, energy, space and time into existence completely on its own. Last but not least, this beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent being must also be unimaginably good. Why? Suppose we concede for the sake of argument that he’s evil. Since this being is evil, that implies he fails to discharge his moral obligations. But where do those come from? How can this evil being have duties to perform which he is violating? Who forbids him to do the wrong things that he does? Immediately, we see that such an evil being cannot be supreme: there must be a being who is even higher than this evil being and is the source of the moral obligations which he chooses to shirk, a being which is absolute goodness himself. As such, there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful, all good and all loving; One who is the very paradigm of good. So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13.70 billion years ago that is beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving. This is the very definition - of God :)
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Reply by james422 Jan 10th, 2013 at 12:43PM
And the idea that the universe was rather created by a universally old, beginning-less, eternal conscious individual is not folderol or wishful thinking because... why?
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Reply by james422 Jan 10th, 2013 at 12:51PM
You are making the same leaps while using even more text to try and cover them. Assuming for the sake of argument that the universe is disqualified from being its own progenitor, and assuming that the root cause therefore postulated cannot be measured in physical terms, why exactly is it that this root cause must be something that possesses awareness (for what would there be for it to be aware of prior to the universe? Your 'cause' is formless and undefinable after all), desires, and intent? If something intends to do something instead of just automatically being that thing that means it has to be able to preconceive of that something. In the absence of time your progenitor can't therefore 'intend' anything. Why is it that this ultimate (and possibly unknowable, though I certainly hope not) originator can't be a purely mechanical process? Why is it that the big bang, for instance, can't just be only the big bang, an eternal kickoff origin for all energy in the universe? . . Futhermore, what does all this have to do with intelligent design as opposed to evolution?
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Reply by james422 Jan 10th, 2013 at 12:53PM
You are very, very good at cutting and pasting arguments but not very good at formulating your own, methinks. Either that or you teach at Oral Roberts...
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 10th, 2013 at 3:12PM
It's not because my argument is based upon the best of what we do know in science. The premise that the universe began to exist is not a religious statement nor a theological one. You can find that statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported, as we've seen, and the vast majority of cosmologists today. So I'm simply saying that the best scientific evidence we have today supports the truth of that premise. And from that, the rest of the deductive argument follows. So in no way is this an appeal to ignorance, to try to punt to God to explain what we don't understand. It is a natural conclusion from the logical validity of the preceding premisses. In other words, it's simple, mundane logic.
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Reply by james422 Jan 10th, 2013 at 3:19PM
Not trying to say that the universe didn't begin, I just want you to clarify why you think the big bang requires a superbeing with self awareness. A designer.
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 10th, 2013 at 3:17PM
How can the necessary and efficient cause of the universe be eternal but its effect (the space-time universe) commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we've also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless. The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.
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Reply by james422 Jan 10th, 2013 at 3:19PM
You are repeating yourself again, saying the same exact thing I asked for clarification on. Why does this postulated beginning require free will?
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Reply by maxximiliann Jan 10th, 2013 at 3:19PM
“Ex nihilo nihil fit” means that evolution can't even get started. Being does not arise from non-being.
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Reply by james422 Jan 10th, 2013 at 3:19PM
Things do change over generations as a direct result of environmental influence, so clearly evolution happens and since it happens - from micro to macro: observe new antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria on the micro end and the shortening of elephant tusks from one generation to the next (since elephants who have smaller or no tusks have a greater survival rate in a world full of ivory harvesters, thereby propagating that particular tendency throughout the gene pool) on the macro end. Since evolution is in fact occurring your model - that it can't work because there are questions regarding the exact nature of the big bang - does not work. Therefore I am forced to discount it as flawed and clearly incorrect (or at least extremely incomplete) and move on.
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TL;DR - Max says that the cause of things absolutely must be an eternal creator but neglects to say why that is the case. Arguments ensue.
james422 james422
26-30, M
3 Responses Jan 10, 2013

Timewave Zero.

Hmm...somehow reading all that - intresting as it is on a certain level - did not cause any Mental Attraction Response (MAR) within my organism in this here space time continoum (STC)...
I did learn a few new words and concepts in English, though...:-)

I think the acronyms may be redundant here

Thanks for making me feel less-than lol :D

Its a little long, yeah.

Not so much long as over my head ;)