Sunday Assembly: a church for unbelievers

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
Proinsias
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Re: Sunday Assembly: a church for unbelievers

#31

Post by Proinsias » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:47 am

Kurieuo wrote:I think these are good points, though I never knew Dawkins would accept any semblance of God when pushed (have you got a quote?).
I last heard him mention it in the interview you posted a few weeks ago with him & John Lennox, just around here:
http://youtu.be/J0UIbd0eLxw?t=37m24s
Byblos wrote:The reason The Judeo-Christian God IS the ultimate force that can ever be conceived of is because, well, by definition, he is the greatest force that can ever be conceived of. Is that a circular argument? I don't think so. Go back to the necessary and contingent being argument. A necessary being is timeless, changeless, immaterial, omnipotent, omniscient, lacking absolutely nothing, who is existence, and on whom everything else depends. From Aquinas' first argument of motion this necessary being didn't just spark creation and sat back and watched it develop, He absolutely sustains it every second and of every minute of every hour. Does that sound like a deistic God to you? At a minimum one can claim that a deistic god lacks love, which is the exact antithesis of the God of the Bible, the greatest 'force' that can every be.
Deism & theism comes in many flavours. I can conceive of a more deistic God which is absolutely substantial to our experience as much as I can concieve of a more Christian God of love and knowledge. I think there is a distinction to be made between a God who lacks love or knowledge and a God who is painted as beyond such distinctions. Both are optional imo when considering either a God who sets things in motion or a God on whom everything depends.

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Re: Sunday Assembly: a church for unbelievers

#32

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:02 am

Proinsias wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:I think these are good points, though I never knew Dawkins would accept any semblance of God when pushed (have you got a quote?).
I last heard him mention it in the interview you posted a few weeks ago with him & John Lennox, just around here:
http://youtu.be/J0UIbd0eLxw?t=37m24s
Oh, someone watched a video I posted. :clap: I thought they just got ignored.

Paraphrasing, Dawkins actually says, "you could possibly convince me..." of such an impersonal God...

Not that I wouldn't welcome such a shift on Dawkins part, but the keyword is obviously "possibly". Someone could possibly convince me of Atheism... a less than .000000000000000000000000000001% possibility.

If Dawkins ever seriously came to accept a deistic form of God, then Byblos read my own mind with his comments.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Sunday Assembly: a church for unbelievers

#33

Post by Byblos » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:46 am

Thadeyus wrote:
Byblos wrote:This last one precludes the existence of any other first cause(s), once again, by definition, since if there were two of them then one must be lacking something the other possesses, for if that weren't the case they'd be identical and therefore one and the same. Since the first cause lacks absolutely nothing there can be one and only one first cause (again, by definition).
Okay...I get now that 'First Cause' is meaning 'An action' or 'The process of doing something'
Although correct, it's more than a process of doing something, it is actually the process of causing something. Cause and effect go hand-in-hand. And in the case of the first cause, well, it is pretty much self-explanatory as the first cause which itself must be uncaused (again, for nothing can cause itself and to avoid the incoherent infinite regress).
Thadeyus wrote:
Byblos wrote:There are other attributes but I want to emphasize one about intent, having the will to create. On that, if there were more than one uncaused first cause, both with intent (will to create or not), this would lead to nihilism since they both can have contradictory wills (one to create and the other to not create). This again, proves there can be one and only one uncaused first cause.


Now...as for the 'Intent to create'......Isn't this a "Place for the action to reside"?
And where do you think (the potential for) actions 'reside' (particularly the 'first' kind), other than in the will, that is.
Thadeyus wrote:
Byblos wrote:So as you can see, there's absolutely nothing inconsistent about the notion of one un-caused cause. It is what reason dictates. The inconsistency (the incoherence) is with any other notion.
I see. So...because we have but one obsereved reality, hence the regression to 'One starting event'. ( I type such to show understanding.)
Not at all. It is not from our 'observed reality' that that we surmise these absolute truths, it is from any reality. Universal truths do exist and we can know what they are. If that weren't the case then our cognitive faculties cannot be reliable, and if that's the case we might as well just go home and stop talking, writing books, doing science of any kind including medicine and astrophysics. No, we do these things because we expect a certain consistency in reality and that consistency leads to certain irrefutable conclusions, one of which is the law of non-contradiction without which, again, reality would be utterly incoherent.
Thadeyus wrote:So...the statement might come down to "For there to be a creation act....There must be a will for said creation act to happen...
So far so good.
Thadeyus wrote:Hence, within the space already defined as (Outside, perfect, etc) These are the properties of said will."

Or am I thinking wrongly again?
And here's where you lost me. What does it mean "within the space already defined ..."? Who defined this limitation? I certainly didn't. On the contrary, all along I've been saying the first uncaused cause, by definition, must be unbound, and this is applicable in any reality if you wish (although for me it would be incoherent to speak of more than one reality, what does that even mean). It must be timeless and changeless (to create time, hence change), immaterial (to create matter), lacking nothing, and most importantly, possessing the will to create (otherwise nothing can be kick-started).
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Sunday Assembly: a church for unbelievers

#34

Post by Thadeyus » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:28 am

Okay...starting at the bottom and working my way up.
Byblos wrote:And here's where you lost me. What does it mean "within the space already defined ..."? Who defined this limitation? I certainly didn't. On the contrary, all along I've been saying the first uncaused cause, by definition, must be unbound, and this is applicable in any reality if you wish (although for me it would be incoherent to speak of more than one reality, what does that even mean). It must be timeless and changeless (to create time, hence change), immaterial (to create matter), lacking nothing, and most importantly, possessing the will to create (otherwise nothing can be kick-started).
The space as defined. Not 'limited'. Never mentioned limits. Was just commenting on the qualities = "First uncaused cause, by definition, must be unbound, and this is applicable in any reality if you wish .... It must be timeless and changeless ..., immaterial ..., lacking nothing, and most importantly, possessing the will to create ...."

You've effectively defined the 'space'/'What came before' our reality with that information/statement. Right? I use the little ' thingies, since...well it's not actually space...it's something else. Kind of something that can be defined...but not really grasped/fully understood.

Though, again, I must comment on not understanding the last part => "Most importantly, possessing the will to create."

Why? There are a great many things which have (And are) coming into existence now without the 'Will to create' helping them manifest.

Will work my ay up replying when I have more time, some time in the future. :)

Much cheers to all.

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Re: Sunday Assembly: a church for unbelievers

#35

Post by Byblos » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:05 am

Thadeyus wrote:Okay...starting at the bottom and working my way up.
Byblos wrote:And here's where you lost me. What does it mean "within the space already defined ..."? Who defined this limitation? I certainly didn't. On the contrary, all along I've been saying the first uncaused cause, by definition, must be unbound, and this is applicable in any reality if you wish (although for me it would be incoherent to speak of more than one reality, what does that even mean). It must be timeless and changeless (to create time, hence change), immaterial (to create matter), lacking nothing, and most importantly, possessing the will to create (otherwise nothing can be kick-started).
The space as defined. Not 'limited'. Never mentioned limits. Was just commenting on the qualities = "First uncaused cause, by definition, must be unbound, and this is applicable in any reality if you wish .... It must be timeless and changeless ..., immaterial ..., lacking nothing, and most importantly, possessing the will to create ...."

You've effectively defined the 'space'/'What came before' our reality with that information/statement. Right? I use the little ' thingies, since...well it's not actually space...it's something else. Kind of something that can be defined...but not really grasped/fully understood.
Fine, I will try to work within your definitions.
Thadeyus wrote:Though, again, I must comment on not understanding the last part => "Most importantly, possessing the will to create."

Why? There are a great many things which have (And are) coming into existence now without the 'Will to create' helping them manifest.
Give me an example of an effect without a cause then we'll take it from there.
Thadeyus wrote:Will work my ay up replying when I have more time, some time in the future. :)

Much cheers to all.
No problem.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Sunday Assembly: a church for unbelievers

#36

Post by Thadeyus » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:13 am

Byblos wrote:[Fine, I will try to work within your definitions.
Huh? They are you definitions... Not mine.
Byblos wrote:
Thadeyus wrote:Though, again, I must comment on not understanding the last part => "Most importantly, possessing the will to create."

Why? There are a great many things which have (And are) coming into existence now without the 'Will to create' helping them manifest.
Give me an example of an effect without a cause then we'll take it from there.
Again... there's been a gap some where between us.

You said
Byblos wrote:And most importantly, possessing the will to create (otherwise nothing can be kick-started).
And I asked 'Why?' As in => "Why? There are a great many things which have (And are) coming into existence now without the 'Will to create' helping them manifest."

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Re: Sunday Assembly: a church for unbelievers

#37

Post by Byblos » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:50 am

Thadeyus wrote:
Byblos wrote:[Fine, I will try to work within your definitions.
Huh? They are you definitions... Not mine.
Lol, okay but you rewrote them for your understanding, not mine.
Thadeyus wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Thadeyus wrote:Though, again, I must comment on not understanding the last part => "Most importantly, possessing the will to create."

Why? There are a great many things which have (And are) coming into existence now without the 'Will to create' helping them manifest.
Give me an example of an effect without a cause then we'll take it from there.
Again... there's been a gap some where between us.

You said
Byblos wrote:And most importantly, possessing the will to create (otherwise nothing can be kick-started).
And I asked 'Why?' As in => "Why? There are a great many things which have (And are) coming into existence now without the 'Will to create' helping them manifest."
Thad, the 'will to create' is, at a minimum, required for the initial creation, without which nothing gets created. Let me try to redefine my (initial) 2 points to include a more general description of reality. But before I even do that, let me offer a few definitions and if you agree with them (I hope that you do) then we can continue:

- There is only reality (granted there might be things unknown or even undiscoverable about it)
- The law of non-contradiction applies at all times (A cannot be ^A at the same time and in the same respect)
- Matter: all that physical reality is made of including all the laws that interact with it (i.e. space-time, the big bang, any posited mutli-verse, vacuums, quantum fields, strings, M-branes, etc. etc)

Given the above, physical reality can be described as follows:

A) Either matter (and all that it entails) was created
or
B) Matter always existed (in some form)

On A) it is rather simple, either it came about uncaused (effect without a cause, incoherent) or it came about through an uncaused cause (coherent). This is the first causation argument.

On B) Either it was moved by nothing (again, incoherent), or it was moved by a prime mover (who is unmoved, coherent). This is the prime mover argument (from Aquinas' first way, not just the initial motion but any motion, that's why it applies to an eternal universe).

Going back to your question, I did not say everything that comes into existence must have been created by a will. I said every effect must have a cause, and the initial conditions are such that without a will to create or to move (an uncaused cause) nothing can happen. Once things are created or are set in motion (first cause) then it follows that every subsequent effect must have a cause.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Sunday Assembly: a church for unbelievers

#38

Post by Thadeyus » Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:43 am

Okay... I've kind of lost the original post where I started at the bottom... But we're seemingly going great guns here so lets keep on chugging. :)
Byblos wrote:But before I even do that, let me offer a few definitions and if you agree with them (I hope that you do) then we can continue:
Yup, sweet.
Byblos wrote:- There is only reality (granted there might be things unknown or even undiscoverable about it)
Yup...agree/am on board with this. Of course, there might be other realities on the other side of the rabbit/black/white holes etc but for now, one is all we can poke.
Byblos wrote:- The law of non-contradiction applies at all times (A cannot be ^A at the same time and in the same respect)
*Nods* Yeah, okay I'm good with this as well. (Though the quantum weirdness of 'uncertainty' is something which, while I don't understand, seems to be lurking around inder the carpet. ;) )
Byblos wrote:- Matter: all that physical reality is made of including all the laws that interact with it (i.e. space-time, the big bang, any posited mutli-verse, vacuums, quantum fields, strings, M-branes, etc. etc)
Um...did something get cut off or edited out? Are you meaning that "Reality is real"? Not quite sure here.... But then the sentence doesn't seem finished. y:-?
Byblos wrote:Given the above, physical reality can be described as follows:

A) Either matter (and all that it entails) was created
or
B) Matter always existed (in some form)

On A) it is rather simple, either it came about uncaused (effect without a cause, incoherent) or it came about through an uncaused cause (coherent). This is the first causation argument.

On B) Either it was moved by nothing (again, incoherent), or it was moved by a prime mover (who is unmoved, coherent). This is the prime mover argument (from Aquinas' first way, not just the initial motion but any motion, that's why it applies to an eternal universe).
Right...So with the above points/descriptions and what we know about what we know... We can say that (A) is the most correct point/description/comment and now we just have to par down which one of the two variables attached. :)
Byblos wrote:Going back to your question, I did not say everything that comes into existence must have been created by a will. I said every effect must have a cause, and the initial conditions are such that without a will to create or to move (an uncaused cause) nothing can happen. Once things are created or are set in motion (first cause) then it follows that every subsequent effect must have a cause.
Um... okay...trying to get my head around this one. So...you're not saying that existence was created by will... You're saying that there must have been a will to create and everything follows through from that?

*Checks to see if their mental 'floaties' are holding up and whether Thad needs to paddle harder...* ;)

Much cheers to all.

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Re: Sunday Assembly: a church for unbelievers

#39

Post by TheArtfulDodger » Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:17 pm

Thadeyus wrote:
And I asked 'Why?' As in => "Why? There are a great many things which have (And are) coming into existence now without the 'Will to create' helping them manifest."

He was only referring to the first cause. The first cause, by definition, is outside of time and space. Possessing a will allows for this cause to exist independently of the universe in the sense that it can choose whether or not to create. Without a will, the cause could only create simply due to its very nature, which is timeless and unchanging, meaning that it cannot exist without creating. Thus the beginning of our universe (creation) would mark the beginning of the first cause's existence. This contradicts the premise that the first cause exists outside of time and space, so the first cause must possess a will.

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Re: Sunday Assembly: a church for unbelievers

#40

Post by Thadeyus » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:44 pm

TheArtfulDodger wrote:He was only referring to the first cause. The first cause, by definition, is outside of time and space. Possessing a will allows for this cause to exist independently of the universe in the sense that it can choose whether or not to create. Without a will, the cause could only create simply due to its very nature, which is timeless and unchanging, meaning that it cannot exist without creating. Thus the beginning of our universe (creation) would mark the beginning of the first cause's existence. This contradicts the premise that the first cause exists outside of time and space, so the first cause must possess a will.
*Reads quote*

Um...Nope, not quite getting this...

*Ponders some more*

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