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Thread: Problems and Questions in Atheism

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    Problems and Questions in Atheism

    The aims of this thread.

    The following thread is devoted to posing questions and problems in atheism.

    Problems and Questions Posed.

    Theism means concludes to God does exist, which is known through reason, whereby God is -

    1 the unmoved mover
    2 the uncaused cause
    3 the unperfected perfector
    4 the unordered orderer
    5 the necessary being
    6 the universal cause of being
    7 the prime being and therefore the supreme being.

    Atheism concludes to God does not exist. Therefore in accord with point 2 above, atheism either

    1) affirms the existence of an uncaused cause, which is understood not to be God or

    2) denies the existence of the uncaused cause, and thereby denies the existence of God as the uncaused cause.

    Theism concludes that the uncaused cause, is pure act, without potency, which is God. In other words, God is act without limit, or infinite act.

    Scenario 1- If atheism affirms the existence of the uncaused cause.

    If atheism affirms the existence of the uncaused cause, but denies the uncaused cause is God, then we have the following statements that atheism requires to be true.

    1. An uncaused cause composed of act and potency exists as the prime act. - T
    2. God does not exist. – T
    3. Therefore the uncaused cause is not God. - T
    4. The uncaused cause that exists is a limited act. - T
    5. The uncaused cause is limited by potency. - T
    6. Therefore uncaused cause is composed of potency and act. – T

    However, the following arguments show lines 1 to 6 are false. The lines showing where lines 2-6 are false are given in brackets, for example (2), (3) and so on.

    God is pure act.
    But atheism concludes that God does not exist.
    Therefore pure act (which is act without potency) does not exist.
    Therefore everything that exists is composed of potency and act.

    Yet what is composed of potency and act is caused by another.
    For potency causes potency, and act, act, which are then diverse causes.
    Yet when potency and act are found united in a thing, the unity is not caused by the diversity of potency and act, but by another cause of the unity.
    But what is caused by another is not an uncaused cause.
    Therefore an uncaused cause which is limited does not exist. (4)
    Consequently, an uncaused cause which is unlimited, does exist.

    What is unlimited is pure act.
    As the unlimited act exists, then the being which is pure act, exists.
    As pure act exists, then God exists. (2)

    As pure act is act without potency, pure act us unreceptive.
    What is unreceptive is ontologically prior to all.
    What is ontologically prior to all is uncaused.
    What is uncaused and pure act is being.
    As being causes being then pure act causes being.
    What causes being is a cause.
    Therefore pure act is the uncaused cause. (3)

    Furthermore, potency is the cause of a limit of act.
    Act is the cause of the act.
    Therefore what is limited is in act from act and in limit from potency.
    Therefore a limited thing is composed of act and potency.

    According to atheism and theism an uncaused cause exists.
    If the uncaused cause is limited, then the uncaused cause is composed of act and potency.
    Yet what is composed of potency and act is caused by another.
    For potency and act are diverse causes within a thing found united.
    And what are from themselves diverse and yet found united are from themselves not the cause of unity, but diversity.
    Therefore a thing with metaphysical parts of act and potency is caused by another cause as the cause of the unity of potency and act.
    Therefore an uncaused cause, which is limited by potency, is a caused cause.
    (Which implies according to atheism, that an uncaused cause is not the prime act). (1)

    Yet what is both an uncaused cause and a caused cause is ontologically both A and not A.
    And what is both A and not A is ontologically absurd, for a thing is always one with itself and not the negation of itself.
    Therefore a limited, uncaused cause is both logically and ontologically false. (1 and 4)
    As the statements 1) The uncaused cause is limited by potency, and 2) an uncaused cause is composed of potency and act, follow from the false statement, the uncaused cause that exists is a limited act (4), then (5) and (6) are also false.

    Therefore statements (1)-(6) above as required by atheism to be true are all false.
    Therefore if atheism requires the uncaused cause to be limited, then atheism is false.

    1. An uncaused cause composed of act and potency exists as the prime act. - F
    2. God does not exist. – F
    3. Therefore the uncaused cause is not God. - F
    4. The uncaused cause that exists is then a limited act. - F
    5. The uncaused cause is limited by potency. - F
    6. Therefore uncaused cause is composed of potency and act. – F

    Question – If atheism affirms the existence of the uncaused cause, how can atheism be true if lines 1-6 are all false?

    Scenario 2- If atheism denies the existence of the uncaused cause.

    Alternatively, if atheism denies the existence of the uncaused cause, then atheism affirms only the existence of caused causes. A cause is defined as that which has a positive influence according to the being of another. An effect is defined as that which is positively influenced by the being of another.

    A series of caused causes without an uncaused cause can be either –

    1 Circular, such as A causes B causes C causes A. But such as series is inadequate to explain causation, for the same inadequacy is exists in each member of the series, making the series an ontological fiction.

    2 An infinite series of causes acting now,such as A causes B causes C etc. This series in an ontological series whereby each member of the series acts now, to be caused and to cause another. But this series has no end, for each cause is a caused cause. This series is also inadequate to explain causation as each member of the series has the same deficiency of cause. For each member is dependent upon another member for a positive influence regarding the being of another, when each member of the series has the same deficiency in be. As the same deficiency exists in each member, then no member is a cause in the series.

    Question – If atheism affirms either a circular causation, or an infinite series, how does atheism resolve the problematic nature of such series exposed above?

    If it is objected that an infinite series of causes acting now can and does actually exist, then 1) such a series is infinite which concludes to a series with an infinite be, which is very close to the prime being of theism (which has an infinite being). Therefore atheism must posit a being very much like the prime, infinite being of theism to explain causation. In effect, atheism must posit a quasi-god, to explain causation. In doing so, atheism requires the existence of a false god in the place of the prime cause to explain causation. The infinite series of causes acting now is false for the reason stated above and also suffers from the problem of 1) its own contingency and 2) any lack of empirical or experiential evidence in its support, and 3) any superior explanatory value over the prime being of theism.

    Question – If atheism denies the existence of the uncaused cause, how goes atheism explain the consequence of having to posit a problematic, quasi theism as exposed above?

    And 2 - Atheism means the prime cause does not exist, but then consequently an infinite series of secondary causes do exist. The infinite series of secondary causes is itself self-causing, which is analogous to the prime cause of theism, which is self-causing. Therefore atheism denies the existence of the uncaused cause, but posits the existence of self-sustaining series of caused causes. Therefore atheism requires a quasi-prime cause to account for causation, analogous to the real prime cause of theism. Atheism is therefore quasi theistic to have any explanatory value. But to be quasi theistic is not atheistic. Therefore atheism is self-contradictory.

    Question – If atheism denies the existence of the uncaused cause, how goes atheism explain the consequence of having to posit a problematic, quasi theism as exposed above?

    And 3 Atheism requires an infinite series of caused causes, wherever there is a secondary causes acting now. For atheism requires that no cause be uncaused. Therefore because there are many causes acting now, there must be many infinite series of causes acting now. Therefore atheism requires many series with infinite being, which infers a form of quasi polytheism. Why? Theism concludes to one God who is infinite being. Polytheism concludes to many gods with each god having much being (or infinite being). As atheism requires many large beings to account for causation, atheism concludes to a quasi-polytheism. But quasi polytheism is not atheism, therefore atheism is self-contradictory.

    Question – If atheism denies the existence of the uncaused cause, how goes atheism explain the consequence of having to posit a problematic, quasi polytheism as exposed above?

    Atheism and the problems associated with the denial of the Necessary Being.

    Theism affirms the existence of God as the necessary being, therefore atheism denies the existence of the necessary being and concludes that every thing that exists is a contingent being. The following problems flow from this atheistic position.

    1) A contingent being does not have being from itself, but is from the nature of contingent being, dependent in be upon another being. The contingent being must therefore be either

    A) dependent upon another contingent being and so on, ad infinitum. Such a series cannot exist as each member of the series has the same lack of be.

    Or

    B) not dependent upon another and therefore have being for itself. But to have being from itself is only found in the necessary being, which nature is to be. And the being which has an identity of essence and being is God as concluded by theism.

    If the atheist insists that the infinite series does exist, then the above same problems found in the theme of causation also exist for the problem of contingency, namely that atheism concludes to the contingent quasi god with an infinite being and contingent polytheism required to explain the existence of contingent beings.

    Question – If atheism denies the existence of the necessary being, how are the problems exposed above resolved?

    If the atheism insists contingent beings exist from themselves, then atheism concludes to both -

    A) A contradiction concerning the nature of a contingent being, which both cannot exist from itself and is said by atheism to exist from itself. A contingent thing cannot exist from itself as being is the prime perfection, which actualizes the thing. The being of the contingent thing must therefore be caused by another cause prior to the being of the contingent thing, which is itself being. The being which causes the being of contingent things is God, who is both being by nature and the universal cause of being.

    B) A mindless superstition which posits a cause within all contingent beings to self-cause existence, even though existence is the prime perfection of things and therefore cannot be self-caused by things which have, or participate in existence. All being in all things within the universe becomes an inexplicable, irrational, brute fact, which is not explainable within atheism.

    Question – If atheism insists contingent beings exist from themselves, how does atheism resolve the above problems?

    The problems associated with the denial of the Necessary Being and the contingency of the universe.

    Atheism denies the existence of the prime and therefore the supreme being. Yet the universe exists. The universe has very much being and is therefore a candidate for the supreme being. Pantheism concludes to the universe as the supreme being and atheism denies pantheism. The following problems arise for atheism when the existence of the universe is admitted.

    The universe is either the prime being or not.

    A) If the universe is the prime being, then it is self-caused. What is self-caused is an uncaused cause. But atheism must deny the existence of the uncaused cause (see arguments presented above); therefore atheism requires the existence of another cause outside the universe and so on. Therefore atheism cannot posit the existence of the self-causing universe without positing another, independent cause acting outside, or diverse from the universe.

    Furthermore, if the universe is the prime being, then the universe is the prime being, composed of potency and act. Such is an error as shown above.

    Or, B) the universe is not the prime being, and then atheism cannot posit the existence of the self-causing universe. Therefore atheism concludes the universe must be caused by another cause, distinct from the universe.

    Therefore, atheism requires that because the universe exists, then a cause distinct from the universe must also exist to cause the universe and thereby save the conclusion of atheism, namely that all causes are caused causes. But the cause distinct from the universe is also caused and so on. Therefore atheism concludes to an infinite series of caused causes, which is a quasi-god which sustains the universe. Such a god has never been proven to exist and even if it does exist, contradicts atheism, which concludes to God does not exist.

    Question – If atheism proposes that the universe exists, how does atheism account for the existence of the universe?

    If atheism does not admit to the existence of the universe, how does atheism account for the existence of anything at all?

    If atheism cannot account for the existence of anything at all, isn’t atheism anti scientific, and irrational? Please explain.

    Further problems associated with the contingency of the universe.

    1) The universe is either contingent or necessary. If contingent, then from the nature of contingency, it is dependent upon the necessary, which is God. If the universe is necessary, then the universe is the prime being, and therefore God. Either way, if the universe exists, either pantheism is true, or another species of theism is true, and atheism is excluded.

    To account for the existence of anything requires an account of the existence of the contingent. Another way of saying this is that things which have limited being, participate in being, rather than exist from the nature of the thing. That which is had by participation is had through cause and not from essence. For example the man sees by participating in the act of sight. Therefore sight is caused by the eye. The man exists by participating in the act of being. Therefore the man’s existence is caused by the cause of being, which is that which is being and therefore the universal cause of being (God).

    Question – If atheism proposes to explain the existence of the universe how does it do so by explaining the distinction of being had by participation and essence as exposed above?

    2) The universe is either the prime being and therefore pantheism is true, or the secondary being, and therefore dependent upon another cause (another form of theism) for its existence. Therefore for atheism to posit the existence of the universe, atheism must conclude to a species of theism. In other words, to account for the universe, atheism must posit the universe is either self-contained regarding being, and therefore concludes to pantheism, or is not self-contained and therefore concludes to another being, which is greater than the universe, which is the supreme being. Such a being is either the true god of theism or the false pseudo god of atheism. Either way, if the universe exists, atheism concludes to a form of theism. If the universe exists, then atheism is always false. The universe exists, therefore atheism is always false.

    Question – If atheism accounts for the existence of the universe, how does it do so without concluding to a form of theism?

    3) Atheism denies the existence of the supreme being. Yet the universe exists. The universe is either supreme or not. If it is, then pantheism is true. If not then there is a being greater than the universe which is God. Either way, if the universe exists, then the supreme being exists, contrary to the conclusion of atheism. The universe exists, then the supreme being exists and atheism is always false.

    Question – If atheism asserts the universes existence is true, how is atheism also true, in opposition to the problem exposed above?

    4) If the universe exists then atheism must conclude to a form of theism to account for being, or a form of mindless superstition. As atheism denies theism, then it concludes to mindless superstition, therefore atheism is equivalent to mindless superstition. As a denial of theism or the affirmation of mindless superstition are always false, then atheism is always false.

    If the universe exists then a form of theism follows as demonstrated above. If the forms of theism are denied, then atheism concludes to a power within things that exist, which is not explainable through reason. To posit such power in things is superstition. Therefore atheism is superstitious. What is superstitious is contrary to reason and always false. Therefore atheism is false.

    Question – If atheism posits the existence of the universe, with all the problems exposed above, how does atheism avoid being superstitious?

    5) If atheism affirms the existence of the universe, then atheism must conclude to a cause of the universe. That cause of the universe is a being, which is prime. The prime is either a false god of a false species of theism, such as pantheism, polytheism, or monism, etc as exposed in arguments given above. Yet all forms of false theism, presuppose the only true species of theism, namely monotheism. Therefore, if atheism proposes to account for the existence of the universe, atheism must proximately conclude to a false species of theism, which in turn ultimately concludes to the only true species of theism, in monotheism.

    Question – If atheism posits the existence of the universe, how is atheism not always false by always concluding to a prime cause, which is only really prime, when accounted for by monotheism?

    6) 5) If atheism affirms the existence of the universe, then it must A) affirm the existence of a prime being, or B) not. If affirm, then atheism concludes to monotheism, which concludes to atheism as false. If atheism denies the prime beings existence, then atheism concludes to the prime being is a non being. Atheism then seeks to account for the existence of the universe whereby the ultimate cause of the universe is nothing. Therefore atheism concludes to the ultimate being is nothing, and all being comes from nothing. Such a conclusion is self evidently absurd and a denial of the absurdity leads to a blind faith in the superstitious power of nothing to cause everything.

    Question – If atheism posits the existence of the universe, whereby the prime being is really nothing, how does atheism avoid the absurd conclusion of all power in the universe is ultimately derived from the non power of nothing?

    Other Problems for Atheism –

    The problem of affirming and denying the prime and secondary being.

    1) Atheism denies the existence of the prime being. Therefore atheism affirms the existence of only secondary beings. But to be a secondary being, infers the being is dependent with regard to being upon another being. This means atheism affirms the existence of secondary beings, 1) which are really the prime being, which concludes to theism, or 2) are accounted for through dependence upon the prime being, which is theism. Either way, if a thing exists, atheism concludes to theism, if atheism claims to have any explanatory power concerning the existence of anything. As such, atheism is self-defeating and therefore always false.

    The problem of the self contradictory conclusion regarding the denial of the necessary being

    2) Atheism says the necessary being does not exist. Atheism means the necessary being, which has a nature which is being, does not be. This means atheism concludes to – the being which must be, does not be. Such a conclusion is self-contradictory. What is self contradictory is false. As atheism is self contradictory, atheism is false.

    The problem of the denial of God as the universal cause of being

    3) Atheism concludes to no universal cause of being, for theism concludes that God is the prime, universal cause of being, which is denied by atheism. If there is no universal cause of being, then all being is only caused specifically, by each specific thing that exists. Therefore according to atheism, when a thing is in act, the thing causes itself to exist. But, as being is the prime perfection in things, then the being of the thing must be caused by

    A) Another being which is itself being according to nature, for only being causes being. This other being is God, who is both ontologically prior to creatures and the universal cause of being. As atheism denies the existence of the prime being, which is ontologically prior to creatures, the being of creatures cannot be caused by God.

    Or

    B) The thing itself. As a cause has being, and the thing has being, for a thing to cause itself means the thing is a cause which is ontologically prior to itself. Such ontological priority means the thing must cause itself before it is in act. Therefore, both 1) the cause must exist before the thing exists, and 2) yet the thing must exist prior to its cause of being to provide the being of the cause of the thing. Such convoluted need for causation prior to the thing existing and the thing existing prior to its own cause of its existence indicates the atheistic need for specific things to cause their own existence is ontologically impossible.

    Atheism is very problematic. In fact it seems atheism has no explanatory value and is also absurd. We shall see how the atheists answer the problems and questions posed above. I doubt there will be any compelling answers at all.

    JM
    Last edited by JohnMartin; 06-19-2016 at 07:08 AM.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    Theism means concludes to God does exist, which is known through reason, whereby God is -

    1 the unmoved mover
    2 the uncaused cause
    3 the unperfected perfector
    4 the unordered orderer
    5 the necessary being
    6 the universal cause of being
    7 the prime being and therefore the supreme being.
    Reason is the use of arguments to reach conclusions. Every argument rests on certain assumptions. I don't accept all of the the assumptions on which arguments for the existence of any of these 7 entities must rest.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    Atheism is very problematic. In fact it seems atheism has no explanatory value
    Atheism is not offered as an explanation for anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    I doubt there will be any compelling answers at all.
    If an answer has to change your mind in order to be compelling, then your doubt is probably justified.

  3. Amen The Pixie amen'd this post.
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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    Reason is the use of arguments to reach conclusions. Every argument rests on certain assumptions. I don't accept all of the the assumptions on which arguments for the existence of any of these 7 entities must rest.
    What do you not accept for God as the necessary being?

    Atheism is not offered as an explanation for anything.
    Atheism defaults to explaining the existence of the universe without a necessary being. As atheism cannot offer any reasoned explanation for how anything exists at all then atheism cannot provide any reasons for the existence of any thing whatsoever. Hence atheism is a non explanatory world view. Some have said atheism defaults to naturalist, materialism, whereby the only things that exist are natural, material things without any reference to any supernatural causes, or anything existing apart from the material universe.

    Yet so, atheism cannot even account for any material thing, nor any natural cause for reasons given in the opening post. Atheism does not end with the denial of God as many atheists think, it does however begin with the denial of God as the prime being, and from there involves a world view that has no explanatory value whatsoever. For the atheist, God does not exist, hence according to the logic of atheism, nothing else can exist, yet we know things do exist. Therefore atheism must deny the value of reason to understand and explain reality. For atheism to be true, ultimately both reason and all being must be denied.

    The atheist experiences the real, but has no explanatory value within his worldview, which means for the atheist to be consistent with his atheism, he must adopt something like a Hindu concepts of life whereby all reality is really only an illusion. But again, even this adoption of hyper skepticism regarding the nature of reality does not go far enough. For the atheist to be fully logical, he must also deny the existence of the illusion and any thought whatsoever. Atheism then concludes to a Helen Keller like existence which is almost completely detached from all sensed experience and following this, must embrace something like the equivalent of the Buddhist, black nothingness of Nirvana in this life, which excludes all thought.

    That's where atheism goes . . . to the present nothingness of no sensed experience and no thought. Of course, nobody can live this sort of life, hence the practical witness of atheists living and thinking is very strong evidence against atheism.

    Please understand I do not say the above to be offensive, or to infer atheists are stupid. Many atheists are very smart. Nevertheless, atheism as a world view does have its own interior logic which arrives at a zero sum for being, which concludes to a zero sum for knowledge and any thought. If atheism is true, then logically nothing exists, which includes no thought.

    If an answer has to change your mind in order to be compelling, then your doubt is probably justified.
    My doubt is justified.

    JM

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    Further Problems for atheism on the theme of the cause of being of things.

    If an infinite series of caused causes exist as to account for the existence of many things, then how does atheism account for the cessation of things existing? After all, things change from not existing in act, then existing for a time in act, then cease to exist. For example a block of wood does not exist, then exists for a time, then ceasing to exist. This means atheism must account for how an infinite series of caused causes does not exist in act, before the existence of the block of wood, then does exist in act when the block exists, and then does not exist when the block of wood ceases to exist. The problem seems to be unsolvable, for the infinite series of caused causes must cause a thing to exist, now and all throughout the time the thing exists. The ongoing causation of the things existence, means the infinite series must continue to exist only when the thing exists. How then does atheism account for –

    1) The bringing into existence of the infinite series of caused causes to cause the being of the thing (block of wood), when the series of caused causes is itself the cause of being? Stated in another way – when the thing does not exist, the infinite series does not exist to not cause the thing that does not exist. However, when the thing does exist, the infinite series does exist to cause the thing to exist. Therefore the infinite series changes from non being to being, when the thing caused by the series changes from non being to being. Yet the series is the cause of being itself, so what is the cause that causes the infinite series to change from non being to being? If it is the infinite series itself, how does the series act in a finite manner? Doesn’t this mean the infinite series has both an infinite be, which is indicative of a cause that must always be, and simultaneously have the capacity to not exist and therefore be a finite being, and then not always be? Please explain.


    Following upon the problems of the infinite series given above -

    1) If the cause of the change in the infinite series is ontologically within the infinite series then the series is ontologically circular. For the series is both the cause of being and contingent and therefore dependent upon itself for being. Thereby the series both gives and receives being in a circular manner.

    2) However, if the cause of the change in the infinite series (A) is ontologically outside the infinite series, then the infinite series is dependent upon another cause, which itself must be within another infinite series (B), which only acts to cause being when infinite series (A) is required to cause the thing’s being. Yet again, if this option is true, the infinite series (A) is dependent upon infinites series (B), which is likewise also dependent upon another series ad infinitum. Such a piling up of infinite series does not account for the change of the thing changing from non being to being, but only delays the answer to the problem according to an infinite series of infinite regresses of causes. Such an ontological answer is merely a pseudo answer.

    3) If the atheist requires the infinite number of infinite series to exist, why then be an atheist, when the theist has already concluded to the existence of the prime being, which is infinite? After all, isn’t the most simple answer that accounts for a problem the most preferred answer? Doesn’t nature always act simply to affect action and causation and naturally diverges from overly complex means to act? Given as an example, if we observe water running down a stream we account for this through the action of water in a gravity field. If a more complex answer is given with the same end result, why deny the action of gravity on water to account for the flow of water? Similarly, why require the problematic infinite number of infinite series to account for the things existence, when theism has already provided answers for the existence of all things with only one being that is itself both necessary, infinite and the universal cause of being? Surely the simplest and clearest answer is the most preferable?

    4) Both atheism and theism require being to account for being and both refer back to a prime being, which is in a certain manner infinite. Why then is the atheist so sure of the non existence of the infinite, prime being when atheism requires an infinite number of infinites series to account for change from non being to being of say a lump of wood?

    5) The cessation of the being of the infinite series of caused causes occurs when the being of the thing ceases (the wood ceases to be), when the series of caused causes is itself the cause of being. If the infinite series of caused causes exists to cause the being of a thing, what then is the cause that stops the infinite series from causing? As being from itself is in act and not in potency, then being from itself tends to continue in being and not to cease from being. If an infinite series of caused causes acts to cause, each of which is being and each of which cause being in the series, what is the cause of the series changing from cause of being to not cause of being? Such a change must occur every time a thing, such as the block of wood ceases to have being.

    6) If it is posited that the infinite series ceases to cause being from within the series, then there are causes in the series which affect non being. Yet to affect non being is contradictory to being. And as a series of causes, which cause being, cannot produce contradictory effects, then the cause of the cessation of the series cannot be caused from within the series itself.

    Alternatively, the cause of the cessation of the infinite series (A) is from outside the infinite series. Yet such a cause must itself have being, which requires an infinite series (B). This means the series B acts on series A to stop series A from causing the thing’s existence. Then again the existence of series B also requires another series and so on. Therefore the cessation of the thing’s being also requires the existence of an infinite number of infinite series. Therefore atheism concludes to a pseudo infinite being similar to the conclusion of the real, infinite being in theism.

    Even if it is posited that such infinite number of infinite series do really exist, what evidence is there for the existence of such series in reality, other than the speculative thought of atheism that requires that there be no God (infinite, prime being)? Atheism cannot go to the empirical sciences to observe such series, for the sciences only observe what comes under the senses and the senses do not observe infinite series of caused causes acting now. Atheism cannot go to logic, for logic concludes to the falsity of an infinite series of caused causes acting now, being able to account for causation. Therefore atheism cannot rely upon either science or reason to account for the existence of things, or the existence of change in things.

    7) If a thing exists (lump of wood) and atheism requires an infinite series of caused causes to cause the being of the thing (wood), -

    What then are these caused causes, when the causes are not manifested under the senses? The caused causes cannot be observed empirically, so how sure can the atheist be that such causes are real and not merely a figment in the mind of atheists?

    Why does the infinite series of caused causes just so happen to terminate the causation at the thing which observably exists?

    This means the infinite series is only infinite regarding the regress of causation and not the progress of cause to final effect, for atheism posits an end to the infinite series in the thing itself existing. For example, atheism posits a block of wood exists because of an infinite series of caused causes acting to cause the being of the block of wood now. Why then does the block of wood not go on and cause the being of anything else other than the being it receives in the block?

    After all, every other member of the series manages to cause the being of the ontologically posterior cause, so why not the block as well?

    And for that matter, why not any other finite thing?

    Why is it that every time a finite thing is observed to exist, it is not the cause of the being of another thing? Yet atheism requires infinite series of caused causes that cause the being of every single finite thing that exists, knowing full well that such causation is not observed for any physical, finite thing.

    As there is no observational evidence for physical, finite things causing the being of another thing, what then are the infinite series of caused causes that cause the being of another?

    It cannot be a physical thing, otherwise the series would be observed. If it is not a physical thing, then the only other candidate is a series of causes that do not have a body and cannot be observed. Such a thing existing without a body is a spirit. As such, for atheism to posit an infinite series of caused causes to cause the being of any physical thing, atheism must fall back on the world of unobservable, spirits to account for existence. But to do this is unscientific and requires an act of faith (apart from reason) in atheism. Yet atheism at its very core is antithetical to faith, for faith is directed to God revealing truths about reality. Evidently for atheism to arrive at this conclusion is self defeating.

    If there are infinite series of caused causes that are not bodies, how then do these causes, cause the being of bodies?

    Why does one infinite series of non physical causes only cause the being of one particular body and not many bodies?

    If there are no compelling answers why does atheism arrive at the need for spirits in an infinite regress, yet at the same time, deny the theistic conclusion that a singular spirit which is infinite, is the universal cause of being?

    Isn’t the atheistic conclusion far more speculative and problematic that the theistic position? If not, why not?

    8) Atheism must either affirm existence is not accountable through reason, or existence of things is accounted for through superstition. Being is either contingent, or necessary. Atheism denies the existence of the necessary being, which is God. Therefore atheism affirms the existence of only contingent beings. But to affirm the existence of contingent beings, means such beings have a real distinction between essence and being. This means the essence of the creature is not the being of the creature, and vise versa. For if the essence and being of the creature were identical, then the creature’s nature is being, which means the creature must 1) always exist, yet creatures are observed to cease existing, 2) the creature is God, for only God has an identity of essence and being.

    But what is really distinct in a thing, but found united within a thing, is not united by the diverse components within the thing. For diversity is the principle of diversity and not unity. But as the necessary being is denied by atheism, then the existence of the contingent being must also be denied, for atheism cannot account for contingent beings without another cause acting within the contingent beings, which causes a union of essence and being in the things. Yet atheism denies the existence of God. Therefore to account for the existence of the contingent, atheism must posit a power within the contingent thing, the thing does not have to unite the essence and being of creatures, which are of themselves diverse, yet found united in creatures. Therefore atheism either affirms existence is not accountable through reason, or existence of things is accounted for through a power not accountable by reason in things and therefore by superstition. Therefore atheism either has no power to account for the existence of things, is anti rational and concludes to things existing through superstition.

    9) Atheism is always excluded, or superstition is required to grant atheism any tenable explanatory power. If anything is affirmed to exist, then it must have a cause, or it must not have a cause. If it does have a cause, then there is an ultimate cause, which is a form of theism, such as monotheism, pantheism or polytheism. Or a thing that exists does not have a cause and that thing is either God, or the thing must exist according to some power within the thing which is not within the bounds of reason to explain. Such a power manifestly requires the thing exists through mindless superstition.

    10) Atheism requires that God, which has the most being, does not exist and therefore does not be. This means atheism concludes to the most being is the least being. The conclusion is self-contradictory, therefore atheism is false.

    11) If atheism posits a circular series of causes whereby causes are dependent upon other causes as A to b to A, then such a series also does not explain how anything exists, and then ceases to exist. Why? Simply because each member within the series supplies the causation for the being of the other causes. If one cause within the series ceases to be, then all causes must also cease. The circular series is likened to the circular series of iron rings, which falls apart as a circle when one ring is removed. But when the circular causes of being involve the loss of one cause of being, then all the being is lost within the circle. Even so, there is no known way such a series of causes which cause being of other cause can exist. Hence if atheism posits a circular series, such a series does not explain how anything exists.

    JM

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    Reason is the use of arguments to reach conclusions. Every argument rests on certain assumptions. I don't accept all of the the assumptions on which arguments for the existence of any of these 7 entities must rest.
    How can atheism explain causation without any uncaused causes?

    JM

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    tWebber
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    Further Problems with Atheism

    1) Atheism requires that the necessary being (God) does not be and the contingent being, which does not have to be, but does be. This means atheism requires the only being which must exist (God), does not exist and the beings which do not have to exist (contingent beings), are the only beings to exist. Therefore atheism inverts the reality of being, by making that which has the lesser being (contingent) have more being than that which actually has the most being (God). As such, atheism is ontologically absurd.

    Stated in another way – why does atheism require that only one being does not exist and every other possible being either can exist, or does exist? What powerful proof is presented by atheism to deny the possibility of a being which has its nature and existence identical and only things with a real distinction between essence and being can exist? Isn’t it more in line with common sense to begin by acknowledging that things with a real distinction between essence and being are less likely to exist than a thing which is in its very nature, being itself? After all, if being is existence and God is being, isn’t it simply a matter of common sense that it is far more likely that that which is being, really does exist and that which is not being, only may, or may not exist? If common sense is against atheism right from the start, how does atheism intend to overcome common sense to present a powerful argument that is against common sense?

    2) The good is the natural term of a nature. As God is infinitely good, then God alone is the natural ultimate end of all natures. God is the natural ultimate end of the universe. As atheism denies the existence of God, then it denies the existence of nature ends for natures and an ultimate natural end of the universe. Yet, according to the principle of finality, every agent acts on account of an end, atheism must deny the teleology of natural actions and therefore any reason of be for actions to be directed towards ends. Therefore atheism has no explanatory power for the reason of be of any natural actions in specific, nor for any natural actions directed to an ultimate term. Therefore atheism cannot explain any natural action within the universe according to final cause.

    3) God is the ultimate end of the universe. The ultimate end is the ultimate good. Atheism denies the existence of God and therefore must also deny the existence of the ultimate end of the universe and the ultimate good. But to deny such is to propose no good is greater than another. This means that either 1) all goods are equal, and therefore all goods are equally ultimate. But this contradicts no good is ultimate. Or, 2) a good is greater than another good, But this contradicts no good is ultimate. Or, 3) no good exists. But the good is that which all appetise and that which is appetised is being. Good and being are then interchangeable terms. Therefore if things exist, then good exists. Things do exist, therefore good exists. Therefore there must be an ultimate good as shown above. But atheism denies the existence of the ultimate good; therefore atheism is only true if nothing exists, and there is no good at all. But things do exist, therefore atheism is always false.

    4) The greatest contradiction possible is to have a positive and negative statement whereby the term stated is infinite (infinites do not add). For example, if A is not A and A is an infinite being, then this is the greatest contradiction possible. Atheism says theism is false. Theism says the necessary being has an identity of essence and be and as such, contains no limit of being. God is therefore an infinite being. Therefore atheism says God does not be, which means infinite being (infinite A), does not be (zero A). As atheism is false, therefore atheism is the greatest contradiction possible.

    5) Atheism excludes a creator God and therefore excludes and act of creation ex nihilo. Therefore atheism purports to account for the existence of the universe and all biological life through a natural process of causes contained within the universe (such as evolution). But to do so is to account for the existence of the universe and all life within the universe, from the universe itself. The universe is then the cause of all things and all life. Therefore for atheism to posit all things observable within the universe are accountable by natural causes within the universe, concludes to the universe as the supreme being. This means atheism has explanatory power only when it is inconsistent with itself concerning the supreme being and the supreme cause. For atheism concludes to no supreme cause and yet requires the existence of the universe as the supreme cause. Atheism is inherently theistic and concludes to at least pantheism. Therefore atheism is both self contradictory and false when it concludes to a false theism, in pantheism.

    6) Wisdom is knowledge of ultimate causes. Atheism concludes to no ultimate cause and therefore requires that true wisdom does not exist. It is therefore unwise to be an atheist.

    7) If atheism denies the existence of the supreme being, it must deny the existence of a hierarchy of being in reality. This means atheism must deny that one being is greater than another, to deny the existence of the greatest being. But to deny the existence of greater and lesser beings is to deny the existence of greater and lesser acts. For as do follows be, the act of a thing follows upon the be of a thing. Therefore the greater the act of a thing, the greater the being, the thing has. For example a rock has some being and performs the act of resting on another rock. The plant has more being and performs the act of growth, a man has greater being still and performs the act of knowledge. For atheism to deny the existence of the greatest being means it must equate all acts as the same and all being as the same. Evidently a man who can think, does more than a rock that reposes. Yet atheism must deny this obvious truth. As atheism is against reason, the observed hierarchy of being in the universe and the observation that some beings have more being than another, atheism is false.

    8) Atheism has no explanatory value. Atheism must posit that there is no supreme being, first cause, first mover, first orderer, first perfector, or necessary being. Because atheism requires the above denials, it cannot account for motion, causation, order, perfection, being, or contingency, for all these parts of reality point to an ultimate being in God to account for their existence. Therefore because all things in the universe fall under one or more of the above, which atheism cannot explain, atheism cannot account for anything that exists in the universe.

    9) Order is observed in the universe, which has it’s ultimate cause in the unordered orderer. Atheism denies this and must posit order comes from either the thing itself or from causes in the universe alone.

    For a thing to order itself, means it must have being prior to ordering itself. To have being, prior to self ordering, means the thing must exist before it exists and be ordered before the thing orders. Such being before being and ordering before being ordered is self evidently circular and therefore false.

    If the order of all things comes from the universe, then the universe is the ultimate account of order. Yet what is the ultimate account of order is the prime orderer. This means atheism must posit the universe as the prime orderer. Therefore atheism concludes to a form of pantheism as the reason for order in the universe. Such a conclusion requires the substitution of the unordered orderer in God as the prime orderer, for the universe as the prime orderer. The conclusion reduces the prime orderer from the true solution found in theism, whereby God is the prime orderer, to the pseudo solution of the universe as the prime orderer.

    Why is the universe as the prime order merely a pseudo solution to the problem of order? The pseudo solution appears for the universe as the prime order for the following reasons –

    A) The prime orderer must be the prime being. As the prime being does not have any change, and the universe has many changes, then the universe is not the prime orderer.

    B) The prime orderer must know of the nature of order and then act to order as a known end. As the universe does not have an intellect, as the universe is material and not spiritual, then the universe cannot know the nature of order, nor of end and therefore cannot be the prime cause of the order in things within the universe. Only the prime being, which is pure intellect, which knows the nature of order and end and then arranges many parts to act for ends in order, can be the prime orderer.

    C) The prime order is unordered, which means the prime orderer has no passive potency to be ordered my another. As the prime order which has no passive potency is only the infinite being, which is God, the universe is not the prime orderer.

    D) The prime orderer cannot undergo change and therefore must be the being, which is according to its nature, being. As the universe is composed of matter and form and therefore is not according to its nature, being, then the universe is not the prime orderer.

    10) Atheism denies the existence of the possibles. A possible is what can be as an object of an intellect. For example, it is possible that human nature can exist, for human nature is known by God as an object of His intellect. Yet atheists deny there is a God who can have an object of his intellect. Therefore atheism must deny the possibles. For example atheism must say that before man existed, man was not a possible. Yet what is not possible is either impossible or actual. Yet before man existed, it was not impossible for man to exist, nor was man actually existing. Therefore before man existed, man was a possible. Therefore God must exist as the intellect whereby things are known as possibles. The existence of possibles is not able to be explained by atheism.

    11) Atheism is either based upon reason or is irrational. For atheism to be true, the necessary being must not be. Which concludes to the necessary being is that which does not be, which is self evidently absurd. As such, atheism is not based upon reason, and is therefore irrational. As atheism is irrational, then atheism is against the nature of man as a rational animal. Therefore atheism is an inhuman worldview.

    JM

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    What do you not accept for God as the necessary being?
    I see no reason to believe that any being is necessary.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    Atheism defaults to explaining the existence of the universe without a necessary being.
    Not just because you say so. Atheism does not default to explaining anything.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    How can atheism explain causation without any uncaused causes?
    It can't, but it doesn't need to. When I want to explain causation, I use philosophy, not atheism.

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    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    I see no reason to believe that any being is necessary.
    Please qualify what you mean. Being to say an existence or being to say a personage. If you mean even the necessity of mere existence please explain.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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