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THEISM vs. OBJECTIVISM

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heretic
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So now we're back to the fact that we don't know everything there is to possibly know about existence and in your opinion that leaves room for a creator. Now it is incumbent upon you to bring forth the evidence.

That is exactly what I have been doing all along.

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What science did you consult?

I'm no expert on the subject, but it is my understanding that after a star's hydrogen burning sequence, it goes through a helium burning process which forms a carbon and oxygen core. A massive star will then go through several more burning sequences, creating several additional elements, on its way to becoming a supernova. Photodisintegration also occurs, causing elements within the star, under extreme pressure, to disintegrate into protons and other basic particles. Such a star ultimately explodes and sends its material into space. From this supernova remnant many elements are formed. And since hydrogen is the most common and most basic element, I think it is a good bet to assume that the supernova remnant forms a lot of hydrogen atoms.

Again, I'm not an expert on this subject, so maybe I got something wrong.

Hydrogen, from which the stars and the universe get their energy, is converted to helium and once all the hydrogen of a star is converted (used up), it dies. Now dead stars or their remnants may rejuvinate because they are in contact with interstellar matter that has hydrogen and this enables the evolution of new stars. It does not say that the oxygen or carbon atoms become hydrogen again ad infinitum. The fact is that an oscillating or steady state universe is not possible given the updated findings of science at this juncture. On the other hand, the universe is 75% hydrogen and 25% helium, and is only 13 billion years old, which do not speak very well for an eternal universe, but for a universe that has a beginning. This is corroborated by the findings of Friedman and Hubble in what is now known as the Big Bang Theory, which Stephen Hawking said "smacks of divine intervention" because it proves somehow that the universe is temporal and contingent, something which atheists, like John Maddox, hate to admit.

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Your mind is a mental existent. Your concepts, your ideas, your dreams, your memories, your fantasies, they are all mental existents. They exist because you have a brain that produces and sustains a mind--your mind. You can observe the products of your mind by thinking and introspecting. If you take the time to sit down and think, the contents of your mind should be clear enough to you. Ask yourself a question and pay attention to what pops into your head. That is a mental existent.

They exists in my mind, and some of them only in my mind and not outside of my mind or in reality. Yes, I know that. I was more interested with those that exist inside of the mind and also outside of the mind or in reality, like human nature or human consciousness or the forms of Aristotle that exist in reality but they also only exist in particular things as the essence of things.

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Hydrogen, from which the stars and the universe get their energy, is converted to helium and once all the hydrogen of a star is converted (used up), it dies.

I'm pretty sure this statement is false. Depending on the size of the star it will then start fusing helium, and it does not die as soon as the Hydrogen runs out.

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Hydrogen, from which the stars and the universe get their energy, is converted to helium and once all the hydrogen of a star is converted (used up), it dies. Now dead stars or their remnants may rejuvinate because they are in contact with interstellar matter that has hydrogen and this enables the evolution of new stars. It does not say that the oxygen or carbon atoms become hydrogen again ad infinitum.

First of all, I guess I need to re-emphasize the fact that the "universe" is not an actual object that requires energy. And second, did you read the NASA articles I linked to previously? Do you realize that hydrogen burning still occurs in the shell around the helium core during helium burning?

By the time a large star explodes it has several layers of elements all burning up. And the outer layers still contain both hydrogen and helium. So, it is not even true that a star converts all of its hydrogen to helium before it dies. There are massive outer shells of hydrogen and helium even when a star supernovas. At least, that is my understanding from the scientific articles that I have read and linked to.

Also, do you have an answer to the photodisintegration of elements in stars? Or, are you going to ignore that part of the article?

In any case, your buddy Stephen Hawking doesn't even agree with your view of stars:

Some of the early stars would have been more massive than our Sun. They would have been hotter than the Sun, and would have burnt the original hydrogen and helium, into heavier elements, such as carbon, oxygen, and iron. This could have taken only a few hundred million years. After that, some of the stars would have exploded as supernovas, and scattered the heavy elements back into space, to form the raw material for later generations of stars.

Not that I agree with Hawking's Big Bang Theory (I don't), but even he recognizes the several burning sequences of large stars and how supernovas send raw material back into space for the creation of new stars.

The universe is 75% hydrogen and 25% helium, and is only 13 billion years old, which do not speak very well for an eternal universe, but for a universe that has a beginning. This is corroborated by the findings of Friedman and Hubble in what is now known as the Big Bang Theory, which Stephen Hawking said "smacks of divine intervention" because it proves somehow that the universe is temporal and contingent, something which atheists, like John Maddox, hate to admit.

Because I no longer inherently trust your ability to accurately state other people's views, I actually read what Hawking said about the beginning of the universe at his website. If you read this, you'll see that he doesn't seem to agree with you:

At this time, the Big Bang, all the matter in the universe, would have been on top of itself. The density would have been infinite. It would have been what is called, a singularity. At a singularity, all the laws of physics would have broken down. This means that the state of the universe, after the Big Bang, will not depend on anything that may have happened before, because the deterministic laws that govern the universe will break down in the Big Bang. The universe will evolve from the Big Bang, completely independently of what it was like before. Even the amount of matter in the universe, can be different to what it was before the Big Bang, as the Law of Conservation of Matter, will break down at the Big Bang.

Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory, and say that time began at the Big Bang. Events before the Big Bang, are simply not defined, because there's no way one could measure what happened at them. This kind of beginning to the universe, and of time itself, is very different to the beginnings that had been considered earlier. These had to be imposed on the universe by some external agency. There is no dynamical reason why the motion of bodies in the solar system can not be extrapolated back in time, far beyond four thousand and four BC, the date for the creation of the universe, according to the book of Genesis. Thus it would require the direct intervention of God, if the universe began at that date. By contrast, the Big Bang is a beginning that is required by the dynamical laws that govern the universe. It is therefore intrinsic to the universe, and is not imposed on it from outside.

Here Hawking seems to be saying that there were probably events before the Big Bang, but we can't know anything about them because at such a singularity all natural laws break down and become irrelevant, so there's no way of determining what happened before the Big Bang. He also seems to be saying that the Big Bang was a wholly natural and expected event which does not require a divine explanation. No God is necessary to explain the beginning of the universe if you subscribe to the Big Bang Theory, because such a beginning is "required by the dynamical laws that govern the universe."

I also came across this Hawking quote which doesn't look good for your position:

What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary. [stephen W. Hawking, Der Spiegel, 1989]

Now, I'd be happy to consider any evidence you provide to support your view of stars and your view of Hawking's view. But so far you have offered nothing substantial to work with. Even your partial quote of Hawking is taken out of context. I found the entire sentence online and he was saying that: "Many people do not like the idea that time has a beginning, probably because it smacks of divine intervention." But as we have seen, his point is that such an objection to the Big Bang is misplaced, because God is unnecessary to explain the Big Bang.

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They exists in my mind, and some of them only in my mind and not outside of my mind or in reality. Yes, I know that. I was more interested with those that exist inside of the mind and also outside of the mind or in reality, like human nature or human consciousness or the forms of Aristotle that exist in reality but they also only exist in particular things as the essence of things.

Mental existents do not exist outside of the mind. If you are interested in the Objectivist view of concepts, I suggest that you read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. It appears that you subscribe to some form of intrinsicism, and I'm not interested in discussing that now. This thread is supposed to be about your argument for theism, but I still have not heard a solution to the problem of creation ex nihilo.

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First of all, I guess I need to re-emphasize the fact that the "universe" is not an actual object that requires energy. And second, did you read the NASA articles I linked to previously? Do you realize that hydrogen burning still occurs in the shell around the helium core during helium burning?

I did not say that the universe is an actual object that requires energy. I said that the universe is principally made up of hydrogen and helium, which means that these two elements exist in abundance in the universe.

In layman's language, the burning process converts the hydrogen to helium, and for as long as there is hydrogen remaining, there is a possibility that stars would evolve because hydrogen fuel stars.

By the time a large star explodes it has several layers of elements all burning up. And the outer layers still contain both hydrogen and helium. So, it is not even true that a star converts all of its hydrogen to helium before it dies. There are massive outer shells of hydrogen and helium even when a star supernovas. At least, that is my understanding from the scientific articles that I have read and linked to.
You are referring to the outer leyer where hydrogen still remains, while its core of hydrogen fuel has all been used up or converted to helium and to carbon or oxygen, but no where in the science books does it say that this helium is converetd back into hydrogen in an eternal oscillation.

Astrophysicists agree that once a star exhausts its supply of hydrogen at its core, the core collapses until nuclear reactions begin that convert helium into carbon and oxygen. Outer layers of these stars continue to convert hydrogen into helium. After a star exhausts its supply of nuclear fuel, its core collapses until either the star achieves a stable configuration, with its internal pressure counteracting gravity as it cools to zero temperature, or the star collapses to a black hole. This core collapse is generally accompanied with the expulsion of the outer layers of the star, because the amount of gravitational energy released in the collapse provides a pressure that more than counteracts the gravitational forces on the outer layers. A moderately-sized star, for instance, a star the size of the Sun, collapses to a stable star, called a degenerate dwarf, that is roughly the radius of Earth. The core of a larger star collapse to a radius of about 15km. This releases tremendous amounts of energy, leading to a supernova explosion that drives the remainder of the star way. The remnant star left behind is a neutron star. If a star is large enough, its core collapses to a black hole. What happens when this occurs is very speculative.

Again I go back to the lack of certainty on these matters.

Also, do you have an answer to the photodisintegration of elements in stars? Or, are you going to ignore that part of the article?

In any case, your buddy Stephen Hawking doesn't even agree with your view of stars:

Not that I agree with Hawking's Big Bang Theory (I don't), but even he recognizes the several burning sequences of large stars and how supernovas send raw material back into space for the creation of new stars.

Photodisintegration is the breakdown of elements because of heat, especially in the core of stars. So what does that tell you, aside from the temporality of the elements?

If you want to argue with Dr. Hawking, be my guest. As far as I am concerned, he is allied with you guys because he believes that God is not necessary in the evolution of the universe. As we shall subsequently see.

Because I no longer inherently trust your ability to accurately state other people's views, I actually read what Hawking said about the beginning of the universe at his website. If you read this, you'll see that he doesn't seem to agree with you:

Here Hawking seems to be saying that there were probably events before the Big Bang, but we can't know anything about them because at such a singularity all natural laws break down and become irrelevant, so there's no way of determining what happened before the Big Bang. He also seems to be saying that the Big Bang was a wholly natural and expected event which does not require a divine explanation. No God is necessary to explain the beginning of the universe if you subscribe to the Big Bang Theory, because such a beginning is "required by the dynamical laws that govern the universe."

I also came across this Hawking quote which doesn't look good for your position:

Now, I'd be happy to consider any evidence you provide to support your view of stars and your view of Hawking's view. But so far you have offered nothing substantial to work with. Even your partial quote of Hawking is taken out of context. I found the entire sentence online and he was saying that: "Many people do not like the idea that time has a beginning, probably because it smacks of divine intervention." But as we have seen, his point is that such an objection to the Big Bang is misplaced, because God is unnecessary to explain the Big Bang.

Im sorry to say that you misinterpreted me. The Big Bang Theory, Hawking's version of which you dont agree with, points to the fact that the universe had a beginning and is not eternal or actually infinite in duration. In fact, the age of the universe is billions of years old. If that does not speak of a beginning then I don't not know what does. Many people, like you, do not like the idea that time had a beginning because it betokens the existence of the necessary being whose divine intervetion created the universe, the beginning of which is the start of time. The Big Bang was only the beginning, now what happened prior to this Big Bang we can't know anything about them because "at such a singularity all natural laws break down and become irrelevant, so there's no way of determining what happened before the Big Bang."

This is why I argue that the necessary being is impliedly non-contingent, which means that this entity is necessarily eternal and spiritual, and is therefore outside of time and above matter and therefore cannot be proved in a laboratory or in an observatory the way we prove that salt is made up of sodium and chloride, or that stars are composed of hydrogen and helium.

I did not quote Hawking to prove that he believes in God. I quoted him to make the point that he voices out the resentment of some people for beginnings precisely because it "smacks of divine intervetion".

However, physicists agree that the universe is temporal. For example, they say that if the universe were infinite, the amount of light falling on the earth would also be infinite assuming an approximately uniform density of galaxies throughout the universe. The reason for this is that the volume of the universe increases 8-fold with doubling of distance, while the decrease of light is only 4-fold with the doubling of the distance. The result is that the amount of light falling in the earth would double every time the size of the universe is doubled. Therefore, if the universe were infinite, we would not expect the sky to be dark at night. Since the night sky is dark, we know that the universe could not be infinite.

In other words, to use an analogy, if water were falling forever in a bucket, that bucket would have been full by now or a long, long time ago.

My thesis remains, that philosophically and scientifically speaking, there seems to be reasonable doubt and an impossibility of the maintenance of absolute proof for an eternal universe, and these would prevent us from dismissing arbitrarily the likelihood for the existence of a necessary being.

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Photodisintegration is the breakdown of elements because of heat, especially in the core of stars. So what does that tell you, aside from the temporality of the elements?

It tells me that these elements can be broken down into their parts: protons, neutrons, electrons, neutrinos, etc. And when the supernova blasts these particles back out into space, they eventually come back together to form new elements, such as hydrogen and helium.

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It tells me that these elements can be broken down into their parts: protons, neutrons, electrons, neutrinos, etc. And when the supernova blasts these particles back out into space, they eventually come back together to form new elements, such as hydrogen and helium.

Hydrogen is converted to helium, and helium would be fused into heavier elements, and carbon and then iron are considered to be the two steps in which this happens. What is produced are heavier elements, like uranium. There is no process that produces hydrogen nuclei, because the hydrogen nucleus is a proton only and hydrogen is not a compound, like water, where hydrogen could be separated from oxygen through electrolysis. Thus, if the univere were infinite or eternal, then all of its hydrogen would have been coverted already. Not only that, following the Second Law of Thermodynamics, everything would be at the same temperature and heat dead. The order that we have in the cosmos at this juncture following the Big Bang, which started the presently expanding universe, which is in the process of accelerating and not collapsing, would be in a state of unhinhabitable chaos. The elements are not eternal, which is a mark of their contingency.

William Lane Craig, in his debate with atheist Mossimo Pigliucci at the University of Tennessee in 1995, stated that if "the universe is eternal and never had a beginning, that means that the number of past events in the history of the universe is infinite. But mathematicians recognize that the idea of an actually infinite number of things leads to self-contradictions. For example, what is infinity minus infinity? Well, mathematically, you get self-contradictory answers. This shows that infinity is just an idea in your mind, not something that exists in reality." He even quotes mathematician David Hilbert who said that the "infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea."

The fact is the universe had a beginning. This is evidenced by the Big Bang Theory, which points to the fact that the universe was born, is about 14 to 20 billion-years old, and is continuously expanding and not infinitely oscillating. Besides, if the universe were eternal, then it would have converted all of its hydrogen fuel, would have succumbed to heat death, and would have been in a state of uninhabitable disorder already.

I therefore conclude that everything is contingent and had a beginning, and since everything that is contingent and had a beginning did not merely come from nothing, it follows that everything that is contingent and had a beginning came from something that is naturally necessary and actually eternal.

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The fact is the universe had a beginning.
The fact is that the universe did not have a beginning, and that the notion is logically contradictory. Time is an aspect of existence, and "beginning" is a time relation between events. There is no time independent of existence, and no time which existed before existence (that is self-evident). A "beginning" compares an event or state with some prior event or state, so "beginning" is logically dependent on time (which is dependent on existence).
This is evidenced by the Big Bang Theory, which points to the fact that the universe was born, is about 14 to 20 billion-years old, and is continuously expanding and not infinitely oscillating.
No, that is not what the Big Bang Theory shows. Your argument is based on the false assumption that time exists without existence and is infinitely instantiated backwards and forwards
I therefore conclude that everything is contingent and had a beginning, and since everything that is contingent and had a beginning did not merely come from nothing, it follows that everything that is contingent and had a beginning came from something that is naturally necessary and actually eternal.
Since the concept "contingent", as you are using it, is invalid, this is a non sequitur. Existence is not contingent, it is necessary ("Existence" is a logical prerequisite to the concept "necessary"). Since existence has no beginning and existence is naturally necessary, need not, cannot, and does not come from anything.
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... everything is contingent and had a beginning, and since everything that is contingent and had a beginning did not merely come from nothing, it follows that everything that is contingent and had a beginning came from something that is naturally necessary and actually eternal.
If there must have been something eternal, then that refutes the idea that infinity (as you use it [see David's post above for more on 'time' and infinity]) is impossible, it refutes the idea that everything is contingent. By postulating the conclusion that something eternal exists (within the context of the meaning you use for eternal), you are refuting your own premise that everything is contingent. With those two refuted, you're back to square one. Logically, your entire hypothesis amounts to this:

There must be something that is unchanging and indestructible.

If that's your entire hypothesis, with no other implication, then what of it? One day we find that things are composed of atoms, then we find that atoms are not the unchangeable, indestructible things we thought they were, but are -- in turn -- composed of other things. Going on this way, perhaps one day we will come to the conclusion that there is something that really cannot be broken down further. That's a fair hypothesis, given the limits of current knowledge. What of it, though? Does it have any implications about any human action? Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that all matter can be broken down into XX, whichn is something that does not break down further. Now what?

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There is no process that produces hydrogen nuclei, because the hydrogen nucleus is a proton only and hydrogen is not a compound, like water, where hydrogen could be separated from oxygen through electrolysis.

Hydrogen is actually one proton and one electron. So, in order to produce hydrogen, these two particles must be combined. It is not a compound like water, but it is an element which needs some putting together in nature.

I did some quick online research on hydrogen, and I learned that hydrogen is created in nature by several different microorganisms, as well as the process of anaerobic metabolism, among other processes.

If the univere were infinite or eternal . . .

Infinite and eternal are not the same thing. The universe is eternal, meaning that existence has always existed. And the universe is finite, meaning that it has a certain amount of matter that has always existed in some form. Nobody here, to my knowledge, is arguing that the universe is infinite.

You have also been attacking the position that helium is converted back into hydrogen. But nobody is arguing that one, either. I am merely pointing out to you how hydrogen is (in the case of microorganisms, anaerobic metabolism, etc.) and might be (in the case of photodisintegration, supernovae, etc.) created naturally.

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If there must have been something eternal, then that refutes the idea that infinity (as you use it [see David's post above for more on 'time' and infinity]) is impossible, it refutes the idea that everything is contingent. By postulating the conclusion that something eternal exists (within the context of the meaning you use for eternal), you are refuting your own premise that everything is contingent. With those two refuted, you're back to square one. Logically, your entire hypothesis amounts to this:

There must be something that is unchanging and indestructible.

If that's your entire hypothesis, with no other implication, then what of it? One day we find that things are composed of atoms, then we find that atoms are not the unchangeable, indestructible things we thought they were, but are -- in turn -- composed of other things. Going on this way, perhaps one day we will come to the conclusion that there is something that really cannot be broken down further. That's a fair hypothesis, given the limits of current knowledge. What of it, though? Does it have any implications about any human action? Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that all matter can be broken down into XX, whichn is something that does not break down further. Now what?

Are your assumptions as good as mine or better than mine? The fact is that the universe was born, is about 14 to 20 billion-years old, and is continuously expanding and not infinitely oscillating. Besides, if the universe were eternal, then it would have converted all of its hydrogen fuel, would have succumbed to heat death, and would have been in a state of uninhabitable disorder already. So, where would youy like to begin given the limits of current knowledge?

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Hydrogen is actually one proton and one electron. So, in order to produce hydrogen, these two particles must be combined. It is not a compound like water, but it is an element which needs some putting together in nature.

I did some quick online research on hydrogen, and I learned that hydrogen is created in nature by several different microorganisms, as well as the process of anaerobic metabolism, among other processes.

Infinite and eternal are not the same thing. The universe is eternal, meaning that existence has always existed. And the universe is finite, meaning that it has a certain amount of matter that has always existed in some form. Nobody here, to my knowledge, is arguing that the universe is infinite.

You have also been attacking the position that helium is converted back into hydrogen. But nobody is arguing that one, either. I am merely pointing out to you how hydrogen is (in the case of microorganisms, anaerobic metabolism, etc.) and might be (in the case of photodisintegration, supernovae, etc.) created naturally.

The temporality and suceptibility of hydrogen to decomposition speaks for its contingency, and I don't think so microorganisms pre-existed hydrogen to be the origin of this element.

The universe is eternal, meaning that existence has always existed. And the universe is finite, meaning that it has a certain amount of matter that has always existed in some form?

I surely would like to see how that hypothesis could be verified/falsified, and what kind of matter is that, which has always existed in some form. Are you talking about the prime matter posited by Aristotel? Are you talking about quarks or strings or dark matter/energy? What is the nature of this matter? Matter is eternal? More like materialism to me!

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Infinite and eternal are not the same thing. The universe is eternal, meaning that existence has always existed. And the universe is finite, meaning that it has a certain amount of matter that has always existed in some form. Nobody here, to my knowledge, is arguing that the universe is infinite.

Eternal means infinite in duration. Eternity is subsumed in the concept of infinity. Immense means infinite in expansion. Likewise, immensity is subsumed in the concept of infinity. I was using infinity in the context of eternity.

Existence has always existed? Existence is a condition of something that exists. If a certain apple exists, it is said to have existence. The question is, what is that thing that has always existed or has eternal existence? I have yet to see such a thing in nature.

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You're not addressing the question.

Are you saying that nothing can be "eternal"? Are you saying that everything is "contingent"?

If so, then that's that. You're arguing against any conception of 'god'.

You misunderstood my posposition. My contention is that the whole of material reality is contingent and finite, and since the whole of material reality that is contingent and finite did not come from nothing, it follows that the whole of material reality that is contingent and finite came from something that is naturally necessary and actually infinite.

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The fact is that the universe did not have a beginning, and that the notion is logically contradictory. Time is an aspect of existence, and "beginning" is a time relation between events. There is no time independent of existence, and no time which existed before existence (that is self-evident). A "beginning" compares an event or state with some prior event or state, so "beginning" is logically dependent on time (which is dependent on existence).

Time started when things began to exist. I would want to see you contradict the scientific fact that the universe was born, is about 14 to 20 billion-years old, and is continuously expanding and not infinitely oscillating. Besides, if the universe were eternal, then it would have converted all of its hydrogen fuel, would have succumbed to heat death, and would have been in a state of uninhabitable disorder already.

No, that is not what the Big Bang Theory shows. Your argument is based on the false assumption that time exists without existence and is infinitely instantiated backwards and forwardsSince the concept "contingent", as you are using it, is invalid, this is a non sequitur.
Something is contingent if it is dependent on something for its existence. It may or may not have existed. What is your concept of contingency?

Existence is not contingent, it is necessary ("Existence" is a logical prerequisite to the concept "necessary"). Since existence has no beginning and existence is naturally necessary, need not, cannot, and does not come from anything.

Something is necessary if it is not dependent on anything for its existence, and it is impossible for it not to exist. Your logic and notions in your mind are useless if they do not jive with objective reality. We must first know the nature of objective reality before we make mental constructs about it. The fact is that the universe had a beginning and is billions of years old. Where is your scientific evidence that would contradict the objective reality of the age of the universe and all the other scientific facts I have just presented?

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I would want to see you contradict the scientific fact that the universe was born, is about 14 to 20 billion-years old, and is continuously expanding and not infinitely oscillating.
The universe was not born, we don't know how long the universe has existed, it is continuously expanding, and may or may not continue to do so.
Besides, if the universe were eternal, then it would have converted all of its hydrogen fuel, would have succumbed to heat death, and would have been in a state of uninhabitable disorder already.
Scientifically false and you don't seem to get the concept of time. There are no actual infinities existence -- you seem to be predicating your argument on the erroneous idea of a universe extending infinitely far back in time.
Something is contingent if it is dependent on something for its existence.
I think you might have missed the point that "contingent" is an anti-concept. It's a primacy of consciousness notion. What you are looking for is causation, not contingency. This positron interacting with that electron causes photons to exist. Now in that sense, existence is not causes. Causation is an aspect of existence -- it presupposes existence.
We must first know the nature of objective reality before we make mental constructs about it.
But existence exists, whether or not there is any consciousness that grasps that fact.
The fact is that the universe had a beginning and is billions of years old.
The fact is that the universe had no beginning. In addition, the Big Bang theory does not purport that the universe cam into existence with that event. The Big Bang theory refers to a particular phase of the universe, the "expanding" phase that we are now in. All versions of the Big Bang Theory hold that there was immensely hot and dense "stuff", which was the universe, and which then expanded suddenly. You are engaging in a well-known religious twisting of the scientific facts. Show me even one credible scientific article that concludes that there is scientific evidence for the Big Bang having created the universe. Xarchiv is full of good science and is free to the public.
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The universe was not born, we don't know how long the universe has existed, it is continuously expanding, and may or may not continue to do so.

There are a lot of unknowns here in this statement. I am still looking for the eternally existing matter that you wish to posit to arrive at the conclusion that the universe does not need God. The fact is that the universe is about 14-20 billion years old. That is the age of the universe unless you want to rewrite our science books.

Scientifically false and you don't seem to get the concept of time. There are no actual infinities existence -- you seem to be predicating your argument on the erroneous idea of a universe extending infinitely far back in time.
I am not sure I got you here. How can I be predicating my "argument on the erroneous idea of a universe extending infinitely far back in time" when I believe that the universe began to exist, and this beginning is the start of time.

I think you might have missed the point that "contingent" is an anti-concept. It's a primacy of consciousness notion. What you are looking for is causation, not contingency. This positron interacting with that electron causes photons to exist. Now in that sense, existence is not causes. Causation is an aspect of existence -- it presupposes existence.But existence exists, whether or not there is any consciousness that grasps that fact.

Contingency has a very simple definition in the dictionary, which someone defined in a previous post. Because of the contingency of material reality, it is in need of a cause since something cannot come from nothing. Causation is an activity between a cause and an effect. Everything that begins to exist, the universe, for example, must have a cause. Of course, something that exists (effect) presupposes something that exists before it (cause). Causes exist. Can you think of something that exists that has no cause? For me only the necessary being has no cause precisely because it is necessary. How about you?

The fact is that the universe had no beginning. In addition, the Big Bang theory does not purport that the universe cam into existence with that event. The Big Bang theory refers to a particular phase of the universe, the "expanding" phase that we are now in. All versions of the Big Bang Theory hold that there was immensely hot and dense "stuff", which was the universe, and which then expanded suddenly. You are engaging in a well-known religious twisting of the scientific facts. Show me even one credible scientific article that concludes that there is scientific evidence for the Big Bang having created the universe. Xarchiv is full of good science and is free to the public.

I am still waiting for your scientific proof and evidence that the universe has no beginning. As far as I am concerned, the universe has an measurable age and this bespeaks of its beginning.

You mentioned an "expanding phase" of the universe. What are the other phases? What are the phases before that and after that?

The Big Bang Theory holds that there was immensely hot and dense "stuff", which was the universe, and which then expanded suddenly. I agree. Still I ask the basic questions: Where did this stuff come from? What is it made off? How did it become the stuff from which the universe came. Is it the presumably the eternal stuff of matter? Is this a hypothessis or is it a fact? How do we know these?

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I am still looking for the eternally existing matter that you wish to posit to arrive at the conclusion that the universe does not need God.
If you're looking for the matter that is the universe, it's a plain as the nose on your face. If you're hopping for some kind of existence-external notion of "eternality", you'll have to provide the evidence for that, and before yo do, yo'll have to how that it is even a meaningful concept.
The fact is that the universe is about 14-20 billion years old. That is the age of the universe unless you want to rewrite our science books.
Are you complaining about the quality of popular science text books? Not unreasonably so. But the fact is that the universe is not 14-20 billion years old. The big Bang apparently happened that far ago. Why do you think that proves anything?
How can I be predicating my "argument on the erroneous idea of a universe extending infinitely far back in time" when I believe that the universe began to exist, and this beginning is the start of time.
Then is it now your position that there was no time before the beginning of the universe, and that therefore the notion "beginning of the universe" is meaningless?
Contingency has a very simple definition in the dictionary, which someone defined in a previous post. Because of the contingency of material reality, it is in need of a cause since something cannot come from nothing.
This is false, because while a specific existent may be contingent, the universe is necessary. You've slipped into the fallacy of composition. I have freewill; it does not follow that the universe has free will. My computer or that rock "did not have to exist", because existence does not by itself entail my computer or that rock. Existence does entail itself. The premise (existence exists) cannot be true with the conclusion (existence exists) being false.
Everything that begins to exist, the universe, for example, must have a cause.
If the universe began to exist, I wold agree. Since the universe at no time "began to exist", then your conclusion is false.
Can you think of something that exists that has no cause?
Hmmm. Lessee.. O, I know. Existence. Existence is a the fundamental primary.
I am still waiting for your scientific proof and evidence that the universe has no beginning.
And I'm waiting for your scientific evidence that the universe did not exist before the Big Bang. Please stop invoking science without actually invoking any science.
As far as I am concerned, the universe has an measurable age and this bespeaks of its beginning.
As far as I am concerned, the universe has no measurable age, which bespeaks of the fact that questions about the age of the universe are silly. We can speak of the time since the Big Bang, for example. BTW, what is the relationship between "1 second" now, and "1 second", a trillionth of a nanosecond after the Big Bang?
Where did this stuff come from?
Where did god come from? Edited by DavidOdden
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That is the question a religionistreligionist cannot answer.
Of course. The thing is, the argument is framed to look like a step in logic, and hinges on the term "material". It goes:

  • Everything that has a materialcontingentThereforent
  • Therefore something else -- something immaterial -- must have created it.

The term "material" is smuggled into the first proposition, though it actually has absolutely no meaning. For instance, if I were to drop the "contingent" idea and state a different proposition thus: Everything that has a material aspect is made up of XYZ particles. The underlined clause is meaningless, it adds nothing to the statement: "Everything is made up of XYZ particles".

The only context in which it could have meaning, is if one assumes a prior proposition: There are things that have a material aspect and those that do not. In other words, one has to hypothesize the existence of the "God-particle" in order to argue for the existence of the "God-particle".

Separately, other than being circular, the entire argument is futile. Even if one were to assume the existence of a "God-particle", it has nothing to do with any action we would take now or ever. So, it all amounts to an academic exercise even if Heretic proves his point. The problem with all such attempts to argue toward the existence of some sort of nebulous God-force, is that one is thereby postulating a God-force which has no relevance to human life. Only a God like the Christian, Muslim, etc. god has any meaning to human life, because they say things that are relevant to action.

If one ditches those Gods in embarassment, and turn to a "God-force" type thingy, then one turns to a meaningless God. Faced with such a meaningless God-force, one is then forced to start a whole new set of hypotheses. For instance, one might say: the force somehow impacts human minds, because after all it had the power to create us. Then, to combat total subjectivity where everyone does what they feel like and attribute it to God-force, one hypothesizes about revelation and about it coming to some and not to others. And so on and so forth, one build baseless hypothesis upon baseless hypothesis, until one arrives at some set of priestly people who have some type of special radio in their brains that can tune in on the right frequency and tell the rest of us what to do. We then take their word for it, and that is called "faith". Oh! What a tangled web we weave!

Anyway, the argument has reached a point where previous points are simply being re-stated in different words. I'm bored, so, I'm out!

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