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Thread: Three irrefutable miracles.

  1. #231
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    The cause and the ability of the cause is all that need exist, unless you want to argue that the actions of the cause need be eternally determined. Sacrilege!
    I'm not arguing that the actions of the cause need to be eternally determined. I'm saying that the cause of the universe in this scenario is "an eternally existing god deciding to create the universe and acting upon that decision", not simply an "eternally existing god". Positing an "eternally existing god" as the cause for the universe doesn't make any sense, unless you're arguing that the mere existence of this "eternally existing god" is enough to produce a universe.

    We're discussing sufficient causes. A sufficient cause is such a cause that it fulfills all the requirements to produce it's effect. And if all the requirements to produce an effect are in place then the effect must necessarily follow. An "eternally existing god" would not be all the requirements needed to produce the universe (the effect), so it cannot be a sufficient cause for the universe to exist.
    You would also need to add "that decided to create a universe and acted upon that decision", or something to that effect (pun intended), for it to be a sufficient cause. The only question then is if that decision and act can be eternal or not. I don't believe they were, seeing as I'm a Christian who believes the universe is not eternal, but I don't see any reason why they couldn't have been eternal.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Because if the effect is not of the same substance as its creator, if it was created ipso facto out of nothing, then it obviously is not eternal, it obviously hasn't never not existed. But of course, the infinite and eternal is the cause of the finite and temporal, but they are also just differing forms of one in the same thing. The finite and temporal is such with respect to itself, but it is eternal with respect to it's cause. It's similar to the way our own material world works. All things come into being, endure for a certain period of time, and then disappear. But the stuff of which they are made doesn't disappear, it is taken up into another form. Though Jesus died long ago, the atoms that made up his body are still here, you might even be breathing some of them in right now.
    There is no logical contradiction to something being created out of nothing and having existed for infinite time. It might be metaphysically impossible (which I do believe), but that's another issue. But if you believe an infinite past is possible (which I don't) there's nothing contradictory about saying the universe was created/caused by an eternally existing god in the infinite past and is therefore eternal.

  2. #232
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    I'm not arguing that the actions of the cause need to be eternally determined. I'm saying that the cause of the universe in this scenario is "an eternally existing god deciding to create the universe and acting upon that decision", not simply an "eternally existing god". Positing an "eternally existing god" as the cause for the universe doesn't make any sense, unless you're arguing that the mere existence of this "eternally existing god" is enough to produce a universe.
    If the decision to create the universe is an eternally existing decision, then it is a determined decision, and so not a decision at all.
    We're discussing sufficient causes. A sufficient cause is such a cause that it fulfills all the requirements to produce it's effect. And if all the requirements to produce an effect are in place then the effect must necessarily follow. An "eternally existing god" would not be all the requirements needed to produce the universe (the effect), so it cannot be a sufficient cause for the universe to exist.
    Again, if your requirements are the existence of an eternally existing decision, then the decision is determined as is your god. but that's all besides the point, the decision being eternal doesn't make the effect itself eternal. If you have an idea in your head to build something, and then ten years later you decide to go ahead and build it, though the idea is ten years old, the thing built is not ten years old. Two different things.
    You would also need to add "that decided to create a universe and acted upon that decision", or something to that effect (pun intended), for it to be a sufficient cause. The only question then is if that decision and act can be eternal or not. I don't believe they were, seeing as I'm a Christian who believes the universe is not eternal, but I don't see any reason why they couldn't have been eternal.
    The decision to create could be eternal, but not the act of creating, and not the effect of the act. The only way the created thing and the creator of that thing could both be eternal is if they are both one and the same substance, the thing created being just a temporal form of the eternal whole.



    There is no logical contradiction to something being created out of nothing and having existed for infinite time. It might be metaphysically impossible (which I do believe), but that's another issue. But if you believe an infinite past is possible (which I don't) there's nothing contradictory about saying the universe was created/caused by an eternally existing god in the infinite past and is therefore eternal.
    That doesn't make any sense at all Chrawnus, a thing being created last year by an eternally existing god, doesn't make the thing created last year itself eternal, it makes it a year old.

  3. #233
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    If the decision to create the universe is an eternally existing decision, then it is a determined decision, and so not a decision at all.
    I don't see how that follows at all, but I'll grant that point to you, because it has no bearing on the bigger picture at all. The important thing is that there is intent, regardless of whether that intent was determined or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Again, if your requirements are the existence of an eternally existing decision, then the decision is determined as is your god. but that's all besides the point, the decision being eternal doesn't make the effect itself eternal. If you have an idea in your head to build something, and then ten years later you decide to go ahead and build it, though the idea is ten years old, the thing built is not ten years old. Two different things.
    Sure. Nothing of what I've written contradicts any of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    The decision to create could be eternal, but not the act of creating, and not the effect of the act. The only way the created thing and the creator of that thing could both be eternal is if they are both one and the same substance, the thing created being just a temporal form of the eternal whole.
    Well, that's what you're claiming at least. I've yet to see a convincing argument as to why anyone should accept that claim.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    That doesn't make any sense at all Chrawnus, a thing being created last year by an eternally existing god, doesn't make the thing created last year itself eternal, it makes it a year old.
    But I didn't say it would be created a year ago, or any finite duration you want to pick, I said it would be created an infinite time ago.

  4. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    I don't see how that follows at all, but I'll grant that point to you, because it has no bearing on the bigger picture at all. The important thing is that there is intent, regardless of whether that intent was determined or not.



    Sure. Nothing of what I've written contradicts any of that.



    Well, that's what you're claiming at least. I've yet to see a convincing argument as to why anyone should accept that claim.




    But I didn't say it would be created a year ago, or any finite duration you want to pick, I said it would be created an infinite time ago.
    Again, if the object is eternal, if it has never not existed, then how could it also be said to be created? It can't be, they are contradictory terms.

  5. #235
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Again, if the object is eternal, if it has never not existed, then how could it also be said to be created? It can't be, they are contradictory terms.
    I think we've been focusing too much on the word and phrase "created" and "out of nothing". I actually agree with you that if something is created out of nothing then it cannot have existed an infinite time ago.

    However, "caused by x" does not necessarily have to mean "created by x", either "out of nothing", or "from the same substance as the cause", it can also mean "is dependent on x for it's existence".

    In that case we would have "The universe is caused by (i.e "is dependent on for it's existence") an eternally existing god(or whatever you want to posit as the cause, e.g. some sort of "Natural Law" or w/e)".

  6. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    I think we've been focusing too much on the word and phrase "created" and "out of nothing". I actually agree with you that if something is created out of nothing then it cannot have existed an infinite time ago.

    However, "caused by x" does not necessarily have to mean "created by x", either "out of nothing", or "from the same substance as the cause", it can also mean "is dependent on x for it's existence".

    In that case we would have "The universe is caused by (i.e "is dependent on for it's existence") an eternally existing god(or whatever you want to posit as the cause, e.g. some sort of "Natural Law" or w/e)".
    If it is not of the same substance and is also eternal, then it is also illogical to say that it is dependent upon another for its existence.

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