• Philosophim
    2k
    A while back I wrote an argument that a "first cause" was logically necessary. https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/12098/a-first-cause-is-logically-necessary/p1 After much debate, I am satisfied that the argument successfully stands. With this concluded, I wanted to add what this means for origin theories of our universe.

    What does it mean to be a "first cause"?

    a. A first cause is an uncaused existence, that then enters into causality.

    Once a thing exists, it can interact with whatever is around it, and follows the rules of its own existence.

    b. There are no limitations or rules that necessitate what a first cause must be.

    Rules and limitations are created through causality. If something has no prior reason for its being, then there is no reason why it should, or should not be what it is.

    What can we conclude about reality if a first cause is logically necessary?

    a. While it is possible only one first cause happened, there is no reason that there should be any limitation on the number of first causes, or that first causes cannot happen today.

    This necessarily follows from the rule that there are no limitations as to what a first cause can be.

    b. Proving if a particular parcel of existence is a first cause may be impossible.

    If there are no limitations on what a first cause can be, then a particle with velocity could have popped into existence. If we traced causality back to this first cause particle, we would see it had velocity at its origin. That would cause us to try to find what caused the particle to have velocity. We may very well believe it is another existence that caused the velocity of the particle, when the reality is it was uncaused.

    Where does this leave the idea of a God?

    It is possible that there is a first cause that could have a power over existence we do not fully understand. But it is also possible that this is not the case. Further, because there is no reason why there should only be one first cause, there is no reason there cannot be other first causes, thus other Gods, or other alternatives such as particles that simply appeared.

    Can we use the idea that a first cause is logically necessary to prove there is a God?

    1. We cannot prove any one thing is a first cause.
    2. There is no logical limitation that only one thing can be a first cause.

    So while we can state it is possible for a God to be a first cause, so could any other possible thing we imagine. As such, a God as a first cause is not logically necessary, only a logical plausibility.

    Does this argument deny that God can exist?

    No. All the current philosophical arguments for there necessarily being a God can no longer stand. This does not mean a God is not a logical impossibility. While we likely cannot find what the first causes are in our universe, we can prove causes exist. If a God exists, and interacts with humanity today, there should be evidence for it, like the evidence of any other causality.

    So what would it take to prove a God exists now?

    The argument for a God must be done through evidence. The only thing which can be logically concluded is that a God is a possibility among many others. This means there is nothing different about a God from any other existence. One must find evidence of a God, and that evidence must necessarily lead to a God opposed to another possible alternative.
  • SpaceDweller
    474

    I like your breakdown.
    While it is possible only one first cause happened, there is no reason that there should be any limitation on the number of first causes, or that first causes cannot happen today.
    ---
    Further, because there is no reason why there should only be one first cause, there is no reason there cannot be other first causes, thus other Gods, or other alternatives such as particles that simply appeared.
    Philosophim
    It appears you base this upon virtual particles, because there are "gazilions" of virtual particles in the universe one may think there are gazilions first causes happening all the time.
    Otherwise multiple first causes make no sense to me, isn't "first" cause suppose to mean literary "first" rather than one of many.
    If there are multiple first causes then they are surely not first.
    How do you explain multiple first causes?

    This necessarily follows from the rule that there are no limitations as to what a first cause can be.

    b. Proving if a particular parcel of existence is a first cause may be impossible.

    If there are no limitations on what a first cause can be, then a particle with velocity could have popped into existence. If we traced causality back to this first cause particle, we would see it had velocity at its origin. That would cause us to try to find what caused the particle to have velocity. We may very well believe it is another existence that caused the velocity of the particle, when the reality is it was uncaused.
    Philosophim

    another existence, leads to infinity.

    If a God exists, and interacts with humanity today, there should be evidence for it, like the evidence of any other causality.Philosophim
    If God is supernatural being, then how is it possible to present any kind of evidence to non supernatural beings?
    Only if God is not supernatural it makes sense to search for evidence.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    It appears you base this upon virtual particles, because there are "gazilions" of virtual particles in the universe one may think there are gazilions first causes happening all the time.SpaceDweller

    I actually don't. Its interesting that virtual particles aligns with the logic, but I made this philosophical argument based on the premises, not on the outcome.

    Otherwise multiple first causes make no sense to me, isn't "first" cause suppose to mean literary "first" rather than one of many.SpaceDweller

    A first cause is something which has no prior cause for its existence. So for example, a particle could appear right now, then wink out of existence. After all, there's nothing to entail a first cause would continue to exist for any length of time either. You can't say, "That's can't happen," because that would entail there is some prior causality that would prevent this from happening.

    However, when that particle appears, if it impacts something else that already exists, the first cause particle is the reason why the other particle acted a particular way. Essentially go up the chain of any examined causality, and you will eventually get to the point where a first cause is involved. That does not mean other chains of causality cannot exist separately from each other. A first cause on Pluto will not likely affect a first cause on Earth.

    another existence, leads to infinity.SpaceDweller

    I did not understand what you meant by this, could you explain?

    If God is supernatural being, then how is it possible to present any kind of evidence to non supernatural beings?
    Only if God is not supernatural it makes sense to search for evidence.
    SpaceDweller

    If a God created the universe as it is today, then that means a God can interact with the world. The term "supernatural" is a descriptor when we don't know how the God did it. If a God created it, then it interacted and caused it. Therefore there should be evidence.

    If you disagree with this, please clearly define what you mean by supernatural.
  • SpaceDweller
    474

    if there is possibility for multiple first causes, and possibility for them to happen even today, that doesn't get rid of question, which of these first causes was very first.
    I think it's important to know very first cause because that's what matters for universe coming into existence.
    there may be first causes happening all the time, but what caused creation, it must have been only one cause.

    I did not understand what you meant by this, could you explain?Philosophim

    you said "We may very well believe it is another existence that caused the velocity of the particle, when the reality is it was uncaused"
    if it's another existence then within another existence must have been first cause, and if it was then what is that another existence and what was first cause of it.
    it may be yet another existence, and so on... leads to infinity

    If a God created the universe as it is today, then that means a God can interact with the world. The term "supernatural" is a descriptor when we don't know how the God did it. If a God created it, then it interacted and caused it. Therefore there should be evidence.Philosophim

    I think of supernatural as something that does not exist in this reality, ie. it can't be touched, seen, smelled or observed.
    it exists in another reality to which we have no access.
  • Haglund
    802
    So for example, a particle could appear right now, then wink out of existence.Philosophim

    That can't happen. That's why the universe is eternal.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    So for example, a particle could appear right now, then wink out of existence.
    — Philosophim

    That can't happen. That's why the universe is eternal.
    Haglund

    But if you believe a God could just happen, then logically, this could happen as well. If you state it can't happen, then you state a God can't just happen either. I don't think that's what you want.

    Even if you state the universe is eternal, there's the question of what caused it be eternal. If it the answer is, "It simply is", then the universe also simply just happened to exist eternally without any prior cause. Meaning you've described another situation in which is God is not necessary to explain the universe's origins.
  • Haglund
    802
    But if you believe a God could just happen, then logically, this could happen as wellPhilosophim

    There you God me! But gods are wise. They have creation power. Particles don't.

    The particles can be eternal and still created by gods. I think.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    if there is possibility for multiple first causes, and possibility for them to happen even today, that doesn't get rid of question, which of these first causes was very first.SpaceDweller

    I don't think that's a question we can answer. And it may not have an answer. It could have been one or several first causes happened at the same time. It could be that multiple first causes had causal chains that blended into each other.

    I think it's important to know very first cause because that's what matters for universe coming into existence.
    there may be first causes happening all the time, but what caused creation, it must have been only one cause.
    SpaceDweller

    No, logically it does not only need one first cause. You can prove this to yourself. Answer why it is necessary that only one first cause created the universe. Whatever you come up with, I'm going to say, "But a first cause has no limitations on what it can be, you've put a limitation on what it can be. Therefore its not a first cause."

    you said "We may very well believe it is another existence that caused the velocity of the particle, when the reality is it was uncaused"
    if it's another existence then within another existence must have been first cause, and if it was then what is that another existence and what was first cause of it.
    it may be yet another existence, and so on... leads to infinity
    SpaceDweller

    No, I mean there is an actual end. There is a point in which there is no prior causality. We may misinterpret that there is, but there actually isn't if we're examining the logic of what a first cause would entail.

    I think of supernatural as something that does not exist in this reality, ie. it can't be touched, seen, smelled or observed.
    it exists in another reality to which we have no access.
    SpaceDweller

    Then it could not cause this universe. To cause something, there must be an interaction of some sort. Even then, it still doesn't change the point. Lets say that the first cause of our universe was supernatural. It doesn't mean it has to be a God. We could have supernatural particles that created the universe, then exited it. Possibility does not mean logical necessity. To prove logical necessity, you'll need evidence.
  • Haglund
    802
    But if you believe a God could just happen,Philosophim

    Well, I don't believe this. They just exist forever. What can be one of the reasons for their creation. Eternal intelligence stands on another level than eternal particles. They fall in different categories, so to speak.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    But gods are wise. They have creation power. Particles don't.

    The particles can be eternal and still created by gods. I think.
    Haglund

    I never said particles necessarily had creation power. I'm just noting that a first cause can logically be anything.

    If something is eternal, meaning its always been around, by definition it can't be created right? That would entail that it one point it wasn't around, which would mean its not actually eternal.
  • Haglund
    802
    If something is eternal, meaning its always been around, by definition it can't be created right?Philosophim

    That's the question most difficult. You would say no, as they were always there, like the gods. But since gods have created the universe in heavenly image, they must have had a way to create particles eternally in the past. Or maybe created all of spacetime at once. And then put in the particles to follow the lines.
  • 180 Proof
    13.8k
    What does it mean to be a "first cause"?Philosophim
    "A first cause" is merely an imaginary construct.

    What can we conclude about reality if a first cause is logically necessary?
    One might conclude that reality – its physical laws – do not prohibit a system of logic (or computational model) which entails "a first cause".

    Where does this leave the idea of a God?
    Depends on the type of "god". Mostly, "the idea" is fictional (or merely a logical construct) like "first cause".

    Can we use the idea that a first cause is logically necessary to prove there is a God?
    No. Only, perhaps, that a "God" is an imaginary construct like a "first cause".

    Does this argument deny that God can exist?
    One seems to have nothing to do with other.

    So what would it take to prove a God exists now?
    Define "God" and then provide or indicate unique evidences (e.g. changes only it causes to the natural world) which are entailed by it's predicates.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    What does it mean to be a "first cause"?
    — Philosophim
    "A first cause" is merely an imaginary construct.
    180 Proof

    No, I don't think so. Mind demonstrating why it is? That's in the other post. This OP assumes a person has accepted the conclusions of the original post I referenced.

    What can we conclude about reality if a first cause is logically necessary?
    One might conclude that reality – its physical laws – do not prohibit a system of logic which entails "a first cause".
    180 Proof

    Correct. And if reality cannot prove that system of logic incorrect, then it is concurrent with reality.

    Where does this leave the idea of a God?
    Depends on the type of "god". Mostly, "the idea" is fictional (or merely a logical construct) like "first cause".
    180 Proof

    This is just addressing the general philosophical idea of a God as a creator of rest of reality. All that would be noted is that there could be being that formed without prior cause which had the power to do so. There are no implications to any specific religion, morality, or any capabilities of this being beyond this basic defintion.

    Does this argument deny that God can exist?
    One seems to have nothing to do with other.
    180 Proof

    I'll post it again then.

    No. All the current philosophical arguments for there necessarily being a God can no longer stand. This does not mean a God is not a logical impossibility. While we likely cannot find what the first causes are in our universe, we can prove causes exist. If a God exists, and interacts with humanity today, there should be evidence for it, like the evidence of any other causality.Philosophim

    So what would it take to prove a God exists now?
    Define "God" and then provide or indicate unique evidences (e.g. changes only it causes to the natural world) which are entailed by it's predicates.
    180 Proof

    That's what I conclude, I think we're in agreement. The point here is, the argument I've presented eliminates the alternative philosophical arguments for God as a necessary existence that I am aware of.
  • Gregory
    4.6k


    If the world is eternal, each member previous to another is the first cause and it is time that holds all these first not-first members together
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    The argument for a God must be done through evidence. The only thing which can be logically concluded is that a God is a possibility among many others. This means there is nothing different about a God from any other existence. One must find evidence of a God, and that evidence must necessarily lead to a God opposed to another possible alternative.Philosophim
    Ancient people probably had no concept of an eternal or self-existent First Cause. Their polytheistic gods were merely names for invisible natural features of the world -- weather gods, sun gods, earth gods -- that seemed to control things that people depended upon for their livelihood, and which seemed to behave temperamentally, as-if they were living intelligent agents. Today, we have more control over Nature, hence not so dependent upon those mysterious natural forces.

    So, we give them impersonal technical names -- like Energy, Force, Natural Laws -- and rest assured that those labels mean that we understand them. Yet, modern scientists may know more about what causal "Energy" does, but nothing about what it is essentially. For example, Energy is defined as the "ability", or "power" to cause change, but those attributes also pertain to human agents. So, it's easy to see why the ancients pictured their gods in human or animal form.

    The Monotheistic notion of deity was a later development in the science-myths of early civilizations. That all-encompassing concept was probably a reaction to philosophical critiques of polytheism, as recorded in the Hebrew & Hindu Scriptures. If the deity is a formless spirit, not in physical form, most of the practical objections, such as "where's the evidence?" could be ignored. In the apocryphal chapter 14 of the book of Daniel, the hero proved empirically that the idol of Baal (Bel) was not actually eating the food offered to him. Yet, Daniel's non-physical god, with no need for food, was immune to such negative evidence. Ironically, his own Hebrew culture's tribal-god fore-runner also demanded food sacrifices. But, the scriptures say He survived a god-competition cook-off, by consuming the offerings to other gods with divine fire.

    Therefore, a physical god as defined in the OP is indeed subject to empirical testing. Yet, the monotheistic definition of God can only be evaluated via logical philosophical argument. And modern science has nothing to say about such meta-physical (non-physical) existence. So, depending on your assessment of the logical evidence, you can believe it or not. However, there is "another possible alternative". Actually, several possibilities. For example, the First Cause postulated by Plato & Aristotle was not presented as a human, but as an eternal logical principle of causation & organization. As such, the only evidence for that kind of governing principle is logical consistency : e.g. an evolutionary sequence either has a first instance or it is eternal.

    The current cosmological model implies that our world is not eternal or self-existent, so it's not its own Cause. Instead, the scientific evidence indicates that the universe is contingent upon some a priori Cause, existing before the Big Bang. You could say that the Singularity itself is the Prime Cause of space-time, hence a creator God. But, it's just an abstract mathematical concept, so is it worthy of the label "god". Or should we look beyond that dimensionless dot of Potential, for an ultimate timeless-spaceless Creative Cause of our own contingent Existence? :cool:


    GOD OF THE DEAD PORTRAYED AS JACKAL MAN (scavenger of dead bodies)
    Anubis-egyptian-god.jpg
  • Philosophim
    2k
    Therefore, a physical god as defined in the OP is indeed subject to empirical testing. Yet, the monotheistic definition of God can only be evaluated via logical philosophical argument.Gnomon

    Which is fine. But it cannot be concluded via philosophical argument that such a God is logically necessary any more.

    The current cosmological model implies that our world is not eternal or self-existent, so it's not its own Cause.Gnomon

    The OP that I site I prove that at least one first cause is logically necessary. As such, that means our universe is ultimately explained by those first causes. Regardless of what science postulates, this claim still stands.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    Therefore, a physical god as defined in the OP is indeed subject to empirical testing. Yet, the monotheistic definition of God can only be evaluated via logical philosophical argument. — Gnomon
    Which is fine. But it cannot be concluded via philosophical argument that such a God is logically necessary any more.
    Philosophim
    That's a strange assertion coming from "Philosophim" (those who love wisdom?). If a logical necessity cannot be derived via philosophical argument, how else could such a conclusion be reached : by fantasy? An "ultimate principle", such as Plato's Logos and Judaism's Singular Deity, is obviously not an empirical observation, but a hypothetical speculation based on the premise that a contingent causal world (subject to dead-end Entropy) must logically have an initial cause. And, in order to explain a finite chain-of-causation, it must have a definite beginning. And that First Cause must be acausal, hence uncreated, or merely a link in an eternal regression of causation. So, what is your "any more" that makes logical evidence un-necessary?

    How else could we "evaluate" such a conjecture, except via rational analysis of the deductive process? Plato & Aristotle offered no physical (quanta) evidence to support their proposed fundamental (qualia) "Principle". Basically, all we can say about any such hypothesis (proposed explanation) is that it either makes sense or not ; it's believable or not. However, the "sense" depends on the definition. The OP definitively omits all non-empirical evidence, such as logical inference. So, "case closed" by definition. But most theologians & philosophers would feel discriminated against by such an exclusionary construction of the question. However, if a philosophical First Cause or Eternal Deity is taken as a "principle", it is inherently exempted from scientific proof. Which leaves us two options : evaluate the logic of the principle, or use force to compel agreement to its authority. :nerd:


    Logical Necessity :
    1. When something is logically necessary, it is true by definition
    2. a being whose non-existence is a logical impossibility, and which therefore exists either timeless or eternally in all possible worlds
    ___Wiki

    Monotheism :
    Theists believe that reality's ultimate principle is God—an omnipotent, omniscient, goodness that is the creative ground of everything other than itself ___ https://plato.stanford.edu/plato.stanford.edu

    Principle :
    Principles are ideas based on scientific rules and laws that are generally accepted by scientists. They are fundamental truths that are the foundation for other studies. Principles are qualitative.
    They aren't really rules that can be written down with mathematical symbols. They are more like guiding ideas that scientists use to make predictions and develop new laws. . . .
    A law describes an event, but it does not explain why the event happens. Laws describe relationships, specific situations, and conditions. This is different from a principle, which tells us why and how things happen.

    https://www.expii.com/t/scientific-principle-definition-examples-10310

    PS___The Cause (impetus) of an ongoing chain-of-causation is necessarily prior-to & external-to the chain, yes? Hence, the First Cause question entails an Exogenous (originating from outside) Force, no?
  • Haglund
    802
    PS___The Cause (impetus) of an ongoing chain-of-causation is necessarily prior-to & external-to the chain, yes? Hence, the First Cause question entails an Exogenous (originating from outside) Force, no?Gnomon

    What if the chain is infinitely long or closed? Ìf all prior causes are endogenous?
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    What if the chain is infinitely long or closed? Ìf all prior causes are endogenous?Haglund
    That open-ended chain seems to be the assumption of Multiverse & Many Worlds proponents. But it mandates an endless regression of Causes, with no answer to the Origin question. Empirical & Pragmatic scientists might be satisfied with such an evasive answer, but Mathematical & Theoretical scientists tend to abhor infinities in their theses.

    However, some speculative Philosophers & Cosmologists & Theologians seem comfortable with (or resigned to) Eternal Ellipsis ("God" or "First Cause" or "Multiverse" or "Many Worlds" ; insert your label "here") as a logical answer to ultimate questions about a proximate world. Apparently, for Plato the "First Cause" was an eternal Principle, which served as a stand-in for all those elliptical dots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :sad:

    "Time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live."
    ___Albert Einstein

    Cyclic Universe :
    these early attempts failed because of the cyclic problem: according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy can only increase
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclic_model

    TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN
    Turtle%20Tower.jpg
  • Haglund
    802
    That open-ended chain seems to be the assumption of Multiverse & Many Worlds proponents.Gnomon

    Each world has a beginning if parallel. Infinite serial don't seem to need entropy increase when passing from one to a next universe. If one universe has accelerated away to infinity and all energy is gone, the situation is like it started again, and "BANG!", it starts again. Like a Russian Doll episode.

    Penrose's cyclic universe is a nice picture, and a serial "killer" as well, but dark energy isn't explained. And photons can't be the cause of a new origin.

    Time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live."
    ___Albert Einstein
    Gnomon

    It are conditions in which we live. Not modes of thinking which we project but the world projected into us.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    If a logical necessity cannot be derived via philosophical argument, how else could such a conclusion be reached : by fantasy?Gnomon

    Yes. The point is that I see no philosophical argument at this time that can argue for God's logical necessity anymore. Feel free to try, but for the one's I am familiar with, they are all negated by the argument I've made.

    The OP definitively omits all non-empirical evidence, such as logical inference. So, "case closed" by definition.Gnomon

    If you would like to logically infer God, that is fine. But I cannot think of a philosophical argument that can necessitate God's existence any longer. Meaning we can state, "If a God existed, perhaps X would happen." But one cannot philosophically claim God is a necessary existence for creation to exist.

    PS___The Cause (impetus) of an ongoing chain-of-causation is necessarily prior-to & external-to the chain, yes? Hence, the First Cause question entails an Exogenous (originating from outside) Force, no?Gnomon

    No. The first cause requires no external prior-to. It is explained by its own existence, and nothing prior. If a first cause required an external prior causality, it wouldn't be a first cause. Feel free to refer to the link in the OP for the original argument for the proof.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    What if the chain is infinitely long or closed? Ìf all prior causes are endogenous?Haglund

    Finite or infinite is irrelevant. In the case of an infinite chain of causality (if this is possible) there is still the question of why there is an infinite chain of causality versus finite. The end result is the same. "It is, because this is how it exists". There is nothing prior to explain its existence.
  • Haglund
    802


    But how can thermodynamic time emerge? There gotta be a different kind of time kicking it of.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    But how can thermodynamic time emerge? There gotta be a different kind of time kicking it of.Haglund

    Then there would need to be a different kind of time kicking THAT off. Then we would need a different... you get it.

    A first cause needs nothing prior. The reason for its existence is, "It is." There's no other reason. Inevitably in any chain of causality you will arrive at a first cause. There will be no prior reason for its being. There will be no limitations prior to its being. It simply happened. There does not have to be anything prior, and in fact, logically cannot.
  • Haglund
    802
    Then there would need to be a different kind of time kicking THAT off. Then we would need a different... you get it.Philosophim

    Thermodynamic time is a different time as the time setting it off. A cyclic time, say. Before real particles were realized ( the emergence of TD time) there were only virtual ones, as TD time had not taken off yet. Virtual particles oscillate in time (TD time wasn't there yet, so this was an inherent fluctuation). This is an eternal fluctuation, also happening in vacuum. But how can this have gotten into existence? Just "not being there and then being there"?
  • Philosophim
    2k
    Thermodynamic time is a different time as the time setting it off.Haglund

    Again, it doesn't matter. If Y is what we're looking at, and its explained by a X, Y is not a first cause. A first cause is when a Y is not explained by a prior X. And the only answer as to why the Y exists, is "It just is".

    A cyclic time, say. Before real particles were realized ( the emergence of TD time) there were only virtual ones, as TD time had not taken off yet. Virtual particles oscillate in time (TD time wasn't there yet, so this was an inherent fluctuation). This is an eternal fluctuation, also happening in vacuum.Haglund

    All of this is irrelevant. Is all of this explained by something prior, or is it a first cause?

    But how can this have gotten into existence? Just "not being there and then being there"?Haglund

    There is no prior reason why it gained existence. The reason why it exists, is because it does. If 2 seconds prior nothing was there, and then something appeared into existence without a prior cause, then it would be. As a first cause is logically necessary, this is what happens. No matter the desire that there be something prior, there is not. And because there is nothing prior, there are no rules or restrictions that state Y must, or could not be a particular thing. Of course, once Y exists, it has its own rules, but there are no rules or limitations that state Y must, or must not have been.
  • Nickolasgaspar
    1k
    A while back I wrote an argument that a "first cause" was logically necessary. https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/12098/a-first-cause-is-logically-necessary/p1 After much debate, I am satisfied that the argument successfully stands. With this concluded, I wanted to add what this means for origin theories of our universe.Philosophim

    -As I pointed out, you don't have enough data to assume non existence. After all Non existence is not a state of being so it is irrational to even assume it in your effort to introduce the supernatural.
    Again this is not a Philosophical Topic. This is a theological one.
  • Nickolasgaspar
    1k
    a. A first cause is an uncaused existence, that then enters into causality.Philosophim
    -Can you demonstrate the possibility of such an existence?
    -Can you demonstrate that an always existing Cosmic field needs such a concept?

    Once a thing exists, it can interact with whatever is around it, and follows the rules of its own existence.Philosophim
    -Correct but Since our current indications (Cosmic quantum fluctuations) and logic (non existence not being a state) point to something existing eternally...why making up a first cause?

    b. There are no limitations or rules that necessitate what a first cause must be.Philosophim
    -Yes that is a common characteristic among explanations invoking "magic". No data...no limitations.
    Its like Phlogiston, MIasma, Philosopher's Stone, Orgone Energy ...all over again.
    As I said this is NOT a topic for a philosophical discussion.
    Its more of having people pointing out to you your fallacies and gaps in reasoning.


    What can we conclude about reality if a first cause is logically necessary?Philosophim
    -Nothing, because Necessity NEEDS to be demonstrated objectively, not assumed logically. Logic is not an adequate way to argue for Necessary and Sufficient of metaphysical mechanisms of reality (ontology). We have made so many many mistakes in the past but some of us insist in the same tactics.

    a. While it is possible only one first cause happened, there is no reason that there should be any limitation on the number of first causes, or that first causes cannot happen today.Philosophim
    If we ignore all the fallacies and problems, there is one reason to limit adding up things in a "magical" cause...and that is Parsimony.

    This necessarily follows from the rule that there are no limitations as to what a first cause can be.Philosophim
    -Correct, as I said Unfalsifiable claims can not be tested as possible or impossible mainly because they carry no limitations. Vague concepts have zero characteristic to evaluate. They are absolute declarations posing as Panacea for all mysteries.
    Again this is not philosophy.

    b. Proving if a particular parcel of existence is a first cause may be impossible.Philosophim
    -Not only that. Our current picture of the cosmos dismiss the necessity...and obviously the sufficiency of a first cause.

    If there are no limitations on what a first cause can be, then a particle with velocity could have popped into existence.Philosophim
    -If you design an answer without limitations then....there aren't any. Now we know particles pop in and out of existence all the time and we can observe them by viewing the affect they have on the particles of our universe.
    When you use scientific knowledge to argue about your cosmology (particle with velocity) I suggest to accept all the epistemology and avoid cherry picking aspects that suit a specific narrative. Facts are facts and should be respected as a whole.

    If we traced causality back to this first cause particle, we would see it had velocity at its origin. That would cause us to try to find what caused the particle to have velocity. We may very well believe it is another existence that caused the velocity of the particle, when the reality is it was uncaused.Philosophim
    Our current physics and QM point to an area, not a singular point, that would make the role of a "first particle" relevant to this discussion. Now this is way in the Metaphysical realm so any conclusion beyond this point will be, by definition pseudo philosophical/scientific.

    Where does this leave the idea of a God?

    It is possible that there is a first cause that could have a power over existence we do not fully understand. But it is also possible that this is not the case. Further, because there is no reason why there should only be one first cause, there is no reason there cannot be other first causes, thus other Gods, or other alternatives such as particles that simply appeared.
    Philosophim
    -Why use the word god when most of the people believing in this concept don't recognize the narrative you are placing it in and what happened to Parsimony? Answering Mysteries with mysteries is not philosophy.
    Again that huge jump from "a particle" to a god playing pool with it can only be a subject of a pseudo philosophical narrative.


    Can we use the idea that a first cause is logically necessary to prove there is a God?

    1. We cannot prove any one thing is a first cause.
    2. There is no logical limitation that only one thing can be a first cause.

    So while we can state it is possible for a God to be a first cause, so could any other possible thing we imagine. As such, a God as a first cause is not logically necessary, only a logical plausibility.
    Philosophim

    -Well plausibility implies probability...and that is a mathematical and statistical concept.
    I would like to know how you arrived to that conclusion without any verified cases of "gods creating universes" and "universes created NOt from a god". How on earth can you even talk about plausibilities when you don't even know whether a god is possible to begin with.
    Its Alchemy and chemical transmutation all over again. People wasted time and money for the "plausibility" of producing gold from lead when chemical transmutation isn't even possible!!!

    Why our "Philosophers" fail to learn basic things from the errors of the past and what it means to talk about plausibility without first demonstrating possibility?

    Does this argument deny that God can exist?

    No. All the current philosophical arguments for there necessarily being a God can no longer stand. This does not mean a God is not a logical impossibility. While we likely cannot find what the first causes are in our universe, we can prove causes exist. If a God exists, and interacts with humanity today, there should be evidence for it, like the evidence of any other causality.
    Philosophim
    -Sloppy transition. I don't know why you connect the unfounded plausibility of a god with an argument against his existence!
    Again Possibility and impossibility of an existential claim needs to be demonstrated objectively not assumed logically.

    -"While we likely cannot find what the first causes are in our universe, we can prove causes exist."
    -Causes exist.....that doesn't mean that a first cause was not a routine natural cosmic one(change in its energetic state) or the cause of our universe (this universe itself) was the first one in the cosmic history.
    -" If a God exists, and interacts with humanity today, there should be evidence for it, like the evidence of any other causality"
    -Just because you include sentences about the universe and sentences about god in the same paragraph that doesn't mean that those are premises of the same argument...just saying.


    The argument for a God must be done through evidence. The only thing which can be logically concluded is that a God is a possibility among many others. TPhilosophim

    -We are in agreement with the first statements. Objective evidence are necessary for every existential claim.
    Your second statement is problematic. Possibility ALSO demands objective evidence. You can not just declare something to be possible without previous verified examples of its possibility to exist.

    One must find evidence of a God, and that evidence must necessarily lead to a God opposed to another possible alternativePhilosophim
    -Sure, but I don't know how good it will be to explain a made up "necessity" (first cause) since our facts point to existence being a necessary state for the cosmos.(empirically and logically).,
  • Philosophim
    2k
    As I pointed out, you don't have enough data to assume non existence.Nickolasgaspar

    Agreed, but you don't have enough data to assume that non-existence cannot be either. Space is assumed in everything we measure. What you're proposing is an ether, which has not been proven either.

    After all Non existence is not a state of being so it is irrational to even assume it in your effort to introduce the supernatural.Nickolasgaspar

    No, non-existence would be a lack of being. The opposite of the state of being. I am not introducing the supernatural here, other people are. If you believe a first cause is supernatural, I'm noting it is a natural logical necessity.

    Again this is not a Philosophical Topic. This is a theological one.Nickolasgaspar

    No, it is not a theological one. This is the philosophical topic of what we can logically conclude if at least one first cause is a necessary logical requirement. Origin stories are often tied in with a philosophical God, of which I use here. This is in no way theological, as I am not attributing to any one theology in this discussion.

    a. A first cause is an uncaused existence, that then enters into causality.
    — Philosophim
    -Can you demonstrate the possibility of such an existence?
    -Can you demonstrate that an always existing Cosmic field needs such a concept?
    Nickolasgaspar

    See here for the proof. https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/12098/a-first-cause-is-logically-necessary/p1 This topic assumes you agree with the proof. If you do not agree with the proof, feel free to put your response there and I'll discuss. This topic is intended with the idea that you accept a first cause is logically necessary.

    And yes to both. If a cosmic field always existed, what caused it to always exist? The answer is, "It just is". It is a first cause, and needs no prior causality for the explanation of its existence.

    Once a thing exists, it can interact with whatever is around it, and follows the rules of its own existence.
    — Philosophim
    -Correct but Since our current indications (Cosmic quantum fluctuations) and logic (non existence not being a state) point to something existing eternally...why making up a first cause?
    Nickolasgaspar

    If something exists eternally, then it is not caused by anything prior. That itself would be a first cause. And again, your denial of non-existence is not logical, only a belief.

    b. There are no limitations or rules that necessitate what a first cause must be.
    — Philosophim
    -Yes that is a common characteristic among explanations invoking "magic". No data...no limitations.
    Its like Phlogiston, MIasma, Philosopher's Stone, Orgone Energy ...all over again.
    As I said this is NOT a topic for a philosophical discussion.
    Its more of having people pointing out to you your fallacies and gaps in reasoning.
    Nickolasgaspar

    Did you read and understand the entire OP? I think your thinking I'm making a claim that I'm not. This is a common problem among atheists who think I'm making an argument for God. Please do not let your emotions prevent you from reading and understanding the entire topic. Read the referenced topic if you believe it is illogical for me to conclude a first cause is logically necessary.

    What can we conclude about reality if a first cause is logically necessary?
    — Philosophim
    -Nothing, because Necessity NEEDS to be demonstrated objectively, not assumed logically. Logic is not an adequate way to argue for Necessary and Sufficient of metaphysical mechanisms of reality (ontology). We have made so many many mistakes in the past but some of us insist in the same tactics.
    Nickolasgaspar

    Logical necessity is demonstrated with abstract logic. Existential necessity is demonstrated objectively. I am not claiming a first cause is existentially necessary, but logically necessary. What we logically conclude may not exist when tested, I think that is a given all can agree on. If you want to understand why I conclude a first cause is logically necessary, again, reference the OP where I go over that logic.

    You need to explain why my poi
    a. While it is possible only one first cause happened, there is no reason that there should be any limitation on the number of first causes, or that first causes cannot happen today.
    — Philosophim
    If we ignore all the fallacies and problems, there is one reason to limit adding up things in a "magical" cause...and that is Parsimony.
    Nickolasgaspar

    The idea I presented is the most simple and necessary explanation. You can't just claim I'm not using Occum's Razor here, please explain why you believe there cannot be more than one first cause under the logic I presented?

    This necessarily follows from the rule that there are no limitations as to what a first cause can be.
    — Philosophim
    -Correct, as I said Unfalsifiable claims can not be tested as possible or impossible mainly because they carry no limitations. Vague concepts have zero characteristic to evaluate. They are absolute declarations posing as Panacea for all mysteries.
    Again this is not philosophy.
    Nickolasgaspar

    The falsifiability of any one thing that is claimed as a first cause, is that it has something prior that caused it. The falsifiability of a thing that is claimed to have a prior cause, is that it does not. All I noted is that while there are falsifiable states, for some, it may be impossible to test. That is not due to a lack of falsifiability, it is due to a lack of information and testing capability. Concluding our limitations in the ability to test something is a fine and valid point in logic and science.

    -If you design an answer without limitations then....there aren't any. Now we know particles pop in and out of existence all the time and we can observe them by viewing the affect they have on the particles of our universe.
    When you use scientific knowledge to argue about your cosmology (particle with velocity) I suggest to accept all the epistemology and avoid cherry picking aspects that suit a specific narrative. Facts are facts and should be respected as a whole.
    Nickolasgaspar

    This argument was not done with scientific knowledge. This was simply the logical consequence of examining what a first cause would entail. Stop lecturing. You are making a lot of assumptions and mistakes by not understanding the argument. Seek to understand first please, then feel free to critique.

    The rest of your points irrelevant, because you are making points without understanding the argument. Once you examine the referenced OP (and possibly comment there) and demonstrate that you also understand the OP of this argument, then we'll see if the rest of your points even need to be addressed.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    Yes. The point is that I see no philosophical argument at this time that can argue for God's logical necessity anymore. Feel free to try, but for the one's I am familiar with, they are all negated by the argument I've made.Philosophim
    The Catholic Scholastics were arguing in favor of their bible-god : paradoxically, both a timeless abstract concept, and a historical personality acting in space-time. But Plato & Aristotle were reasoning to the conclusion that there must be a Necessary Being in order to explain the existence of all contingent & dependent beings. It was a Logical argument, not a scientific demonstration. So, the later expansion of human scientific knowledge did not answer the philosophical question of "why something instead of nothing". The modern Big Bang theory has given substance to what was just an intuition in ancient times : the contingency (dependence) of our space-time existence on a priori causation.

    Moreover, the definition of "existence" is different for Scientists (physical observation) and Philosophers (meta-physical prerequisite). The verb "to be" refers to a future state that follows from "becoming". So, the Necessary Being is supposed to be the meta-physical Cause of becoming into physical being. It's a tricky distinction that would only appeal to speculative philosophers, and not to pragmatic scientists. Which is why our modern knowledge of physical reality still does not "negate" the ancient intuition that a First Cause is necessary to explain the observed chain of causation in which new forms always emerge from old forms. For Plato, his ultimate Form is not an actual thing, but the Potential for all things.

    Plato & Aristotle did not believe in magic or serendipity, so they reasoned that human existence was not due to Chance or Accident, but to a pre-existing Cause. They didn't refer to that dynamic causal power as "god" though, because the gods of their time were merely super-humans with limited powers. Instead, they used more abstract terms, such as "Form", or "Logos" or "First Cause", or "Potential" to describe concepts that are beyond human experience, but amenable to human reasoning & imagination. Their logical-god was not Real, but Ideal; not Actual but Potential. :smile:


    Entelechy : realization of potential

    Contingency : A possibility; something which may or may not happen ; not necessary

    Potential & Actual :
    These concepts, in modified forms, remained very important into the Middle Ages, influencing the development of medieval theology in several ways. In modern times the dichotomy has gradually lost importance, as understandings of nature and deity have changed. However the terminology has also been adapted to new uses, as is most obvious in words like energy and dynamic.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentiality_and_actuality#Entelecheia_in_modern_philosophy_and_biology
    Note -- Physicists assume that Energy (causal power) has always existed, of necessity.

    Necessary Being :
    Many have thought that if God exists necessarily, there is a sound ontological argument for God’s existence, or that if there is a sound ontological argument for God’s existence, God exists necessarily. But both claims are false. Some have used philosophical views of the nature of necessity – for example, that all necessity is conventional, a matter of how we choose to use words – to challenge God’s necessary existence. But the theories which best support these challenges have fallen from favour, and in fact, even if one accepts the theories, the challenges fail.
    https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/necessary-being/v-1
    Note -- Since Plato & Aristotle seem to have invented the notion of Logical Necessity, it was not a convention for them. But their definitions have since become conventional for philosophers, along with many other fundamental concepts of Inductive & Deductive reasoning. They are now conventional, because they are necessary for philosophical purposes.
  • Nickolasgaspar
    1k
    Agreed, but you don't have enough data to assume that non-existence cannot be either. Space is assumed in everything we measure. What you're proposing is an ether, which has not been proven either.Philosophim
    -Well read again what you wrote. "non-existence cannot be either." You literary put "non existence" and "be" in the same sentence. If we are talking about any type or state of being then we are not talking about non being (non existence).
    "Space" is not assumed. Its is a quantifiable phenomenon in reality. (things don't exist all at the same spatial location).
    I don't know what "proven" means to you but we Objectively verify spatial qualities in everything around us every single time we interact with them. Any existential claim SHOULD be demonstrable by the same standards we use to verify spatial qualities in things in existence.

    No, non-existence would be a lack of being. The opposite of the state of being. I am not introducing the supernatural here, other people are. If you believe a first cause is supernatural, I'm noting it is a natural logical necessity.Philosophim
    -This is exactly what I pointed out in your first comment....you can not state that non existence is a state of being because its the lack of being.
    Well god is a supernatural "first cause". But again for first cause to be a logical necessity, it needs the facts to make it necessary. As far as we can tell, its unnecessary since a state of being is the only state that it can "be".

    No, it is not a theological one. This is the philosophical topic of what we can logically conclude if at least one first cause is a necessary logical requirement. Origin stories are often tied in with a philosophical God, of which I use here. This is in no way theological, as I am not attributing to any one theology in this discussion.Philosophim
    -To be precise its only a theological when you assume the supernatural to be real and to play the role of the first cause.
    The problem is bigger because our current facts do not justify such a discussion on a first cause. So we are dealing with a pseudo philosophical, begging the question fallacy that is in direct conflict with current knowledge about the state of the cosmos and Logic.

    See here for the proof. https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/12098/a-first-cause-is-logically-necessary/p1 This topic assumes you agree with the proof. If you do not agree with the proof, feel free to put your response there and I'll discuss. This topic is intended with the idea that you accept a first cause is logically necessary.Philosophim
    -I asked you how can you prove these claims and you point me to a topic with the condition that I need to accept what you need to prove!!!!
    Its not reasonable to demand from others to assume what you NEED to demonstrate objectively to be true. That's circular reasoning....

    And yes to both. If a cosmic field always existed, what caused it to always exist? The answer is, "It just is". It is a first cause, and needs no prior causality for the explanation of its existence.Philosophim
    -The answer is We don't know and we can not assume or draw an conclusions from something we can not investigate. If something exists for ever, (a quantum noise with fluctuations) it doesn't demand a first cause. What it needs a first case is processes that rise from those fluctuations and their build ups, like our universe.

    If something exists eternally, then it is not caused by anything prior. That itself would be a first cause. And again, your denial of non-existence is not logical, only a belief.Philosophim

    -Correct an eternal energetic cosmos needs no first cause to exist. It isn't a first cause...its the cause of existence in general.
    Now I don't deny non existence. I point out the nonsensical claim of non existence as state of "being". I don't know what " non existence existing prior of existence" even means...and I don't pretend to know.
    Can you elaborate?
    I don't know why this sounds logical to you!


    This is a common problem among atheists who think I'm making an argument for God. Please do not let your emotions prevent you from reading and understanding the entire topic. Read the referenced topic if you believe it is illogical for me to conclude a first cause is logically necessary.Philosophim
    -Since I addressed every single paragraph you already know that I read and understood the entire topic. Again I am only pointing out that The god hypothesis can not be consider plausible if one first demonstrates it to be possible. The examples I gave show this problem with other "philosophical artifacts" that were believed to be plausible explanations but turned out to be impossible or at least u necessary.

    Logical necessity is demonstrated with abstract logic. Existential necessity is demonstrated objectively. I am not claiming a first cause is existentially necessary, but logically necessary.Philosophim

    And this is what forces us in to errors. Existence is demonstrated objectively through verifying Necessity and Sufficiency. The concept of first cause or god are neither necessary or sufficient plus our current knowledge render them irrelevant at best.
    -" I am not claiming a first cause is existentially necessary, but logically necessary."
    -Sure and I point out to you that our current scientific facts render that claim illogical since an eternal cosmos solves the problem created by the statement " non existence existing before existence" plus it is in agreement with what we measure in the cosmic background.

    What we logically conclude may not exist when tested, I think that is a given all can agree on. If you want to understand why I conclude a first cause is logically necessary, again, reference the OP where I go over that logic.Philosophim
    -The problem is that by using logic independent of available facts, we can conclude at anything we want , based on our biases and predispositions.
    But as have stated again and again you have a huge problem with "non existence...existing" and an other problem with a cosmic energetic background existing parallel to our universe that renders "first cause" irrelevant at best...or a begging the question at worst.
    Nothing in your argument is in agreement with logic or available facts so I don't know why you insist that its "logically necessary".

    The idea I presented is the most simple and necessary explanation. You can't just claim I'm not using Occum's Razor here, please explain why you believe there cannot be more than one first cause under the logic I presented?Philosophim
    -You have a bigger problem because our current facts do not demand a first cause for the state of existence. You multiply entities that are unecessary to explain existence.

    The falsifiability of any one thing that is claimed as a first cause, is that it has something prior that caused it.Philosophim
    -I am not sure you understand what it means for a claim to be falsifiable. You need to present a way that we can test and objectively falsify your metaphysical claim on first cause.

    All I noted is that while there are falsifiable states, for some, it may be impossible to test. That is not due to a lack of falsifiability, it is due to a lack of information and testing capability. Concluding our limitations in the ability to test something is a fine and valid point in logic and science.Philosophim
    -Yes...those are the reasons why your claim is UNFALSIFIABLE! Again I am not sure you fully understand this criterion.

    This argument was not done with scientific knowledge. This was simply the logical consequence of examining what a first cause would entail.Philosophim

    -this is why I pointed out that that the arguments is pseudo philosophical....because it excluded the second most important step in any philosophical inquiry....that is Knowledge/Science/Physika.

    -"Stop lecturing."
    -I will answer ...No, I will try to see the huge problem in your reasoning and why an unnecessary artifacts is not logically necessary


    You are making a lot of assumptions and mistakes by not understanding the argument. Seek to understand first please, then feel free to critiquePhilosophim

    I fully understand the argument and I stress out why it is a pseudo philosophical one.
    Its lack Epistemic value, Up to date scientific information, weird concepts (non existence existing before existence) etc.

    The rest of your points irrelevant, because you are making points without understanding the argument. Once you examine the referenced OP (and possibly comment there) and demonstrate that you also understand the OP of this argument, then we'll see if the rest of your points even need to be addressed.Philosophim
    -You are dodging the most important critique of your arguments and this is why your reply was so problematic. I hope this points help you understand the gaps in your reasoning and why this is NOT a philosophical topic.
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